5.56 Timeline

M1014 and VEPR-12

For some time I had wanted to get a Benelli M4 Super 90 (M1014) and figured I’d sell my VEPR-12 after I picked up the Benelli. Molot VEPR-12s are no longer imported, and I am concerned about spare part and magazine availability. I liked the idea of the Benelli having the self contained tubular magazine where I wouldn’t need to worry about accessories. I thought the M4 Super 90 would be an excellent choice due to its’ proven performance, reliability, etc. I traded for a customized limited edition (the flag edition) M1014 model of the M4 Super 90 line.

While I was waiting on the shotgun to come in to my dealer, I read so much about them. The operation, history, manuals, etc. So many people talked about how it will reliably feed any ammo and is so light recoiling.

I wonder now if the people who said that actually shot one. It recoils like a pump action. Shooting the VEPR-12 and the M1014 side by side the VEPR move so much less. Shooting the VEPR-12 is like shooting a standard AK. Shooting the M1014 reminds me of when I had a .45-70 guide gun. Not unpleasant, but moves a great deal with the recoil of every shot. I can shoot the VEPR-12 fast and the barrel stays level and the sights on target.

I would have probably would like the Benelli a great deal more had I never shot a Vepr-12. But I can load 3 inch slugs and extra-light bird shot in the mag of the Vepr-12 and it runs it fine due to its’ self adjusting gas system. The M1014 chokes on light loads and makes heavy loads borderline unpleasant to shoot.

Now, I’m not so sure I’m going to keep that Benelli. I might just sell or trade it off and leave the Molot Vepr-12 as my semi-auto shotgun.

Hate Mail Part 3

Today we got another post from some one who doesn’t like that I have my own opinions that I am honest about and share with readers.

Yeah, you didn’t specifically say a $2,000 rifle but you obviously knocked a budget brands which implies it. And suggesting PSA “vomits” out “cheap junk” smells like a gun-snob. You’re like a guy saying you only drive Mercedes Benz when my Honda Civic has never broken down over 300,000 miles. Not everyone wants to spend big money on guns. I’d rather have two Smith and Wesson’s than one Daniel Defense. Anyway, I won’t be reading any more of your articles. You won’t miss me because it doesn’t seem many people do read your stuff.

_ Love Christian

Well, he is half right. I won’t miss him. Over 100,000 unique visitors read the website every month though, so some one is reading it. Sorry you are offended that I have an opinion you don’t like Christian. But, hey, that’s life.

UPDATE with more hate mail

What have you even seen first hand? Probably nothing first hand. Just going off what youve heard. At least ak operators union tests out the rifle. Your fat ass, and yes ive seen you picture, sit around and spout off about things you have no clue of.

LaserMax Defense Pistol Enhancer LMD-PE-IR-1

Guest post by Brent Sauer.

On January 17, 2017 Sig-Sauer was declared the winner of the Army Modular Handgun System (MHS) competition. Sig-Sauer’s P320 based M17 / M18 design beat out designs from Beretta, FN, Glock, CZ and Smith & Wesson to name a few.

In addition to fielding new pistols, the Army is fielding an entire ‘system’ of accessories that include a holster kit manufactured by Safariland and a new family of ammunition consisting of five different rounds. The ammunition in the program is the M1152 full metal jacket (FMJ), M1153 Special Purpose, M1156 Dummy, a Drill round and an inert round. The Army also wanted a Pistol Aiming Laser (PAiL) for the warfighter that would provide the soldier with a white light, infrared light (IR) and an IR aiming laser.

On September 5, 2018, the Product Manager, Soldier Precision Targeting Devices (PdM SPTD), located at Ft. Belvoir, Virginia published a Request For Information (RFI) for Competitive Procurement. The RFI requested data from potential sources for a Pistol Aiming Laser (PAiL) with Laser/white light Illuminator, that meets performance requirements set forth in the Modular Handgun System Capabilities Production Document Addendum for the Pistol Aiming Laser Module.

To find the soldier a light with the desired capabilities, the Army conducted an evaluation between the LaserMaxDefense (LMD) Pistol Enhancer (LMD-PE-IR-1) and the Streamlight TLR-VIR-II weapon light. Evaluation of the offerings by LMD and Streamlight took place in the summer of 2018.

LaserMaxDefense Pistol Enhancer LMD-PE-IR-1

Streamlight TLR-VIR-II

There has been some discussion on the internet as to why the DoD didn’t select an existing, proven weapon light like the Surefire X300 or X400. These two lights were disqualified from consideration for the PAiL requirement because one of the design requirements in the DoD industry solicitation was for the pistol aiming lights submitted for evaluation to not extend past the muzzle of the M17/M18 pistol. Here are a few photos that I took to demonstrate the differences in light profiles.

On January 17, 2019 LaserMaxDefense (LMD) announced that they were awarded an initial contract from the U.S. Army for 20,000 Pistol Enhancers. The PAiL is being fielded in a kit that consists of the M17 pistol, a Pistol Enhancer and a specially designed holster from Safariland shown in the following photo.

Photo courtesy of Soldier Systems Daily

A U.S. Army Infantry company was authorized nine M9 Beretta pistols. Under the Modular Handgun System fielding plan, Army pistol authorizations increased to 46 pistols in the an Infantry company. Pistols are being assigned to soldiers in leadership positions from the Team Leader level up to the Commander and First Sergeant. Each pistol issued in an Infantry company will be issued with a PAiL and holster.

Some of the more notable features of the LMD Pistol Enhancer are:

        * Battery compartment is on the bottom of the light body. This enables the battery to be changed without removal from the pistol. This ensures retention of laser zero.

* The laser is located inline with bore of the pistol increasing accuracy once zeroed.

* The windage and elevation can be adjusted with a slotted screwdriver or multi-tool.

The multi-position switch on the left side of the PAiL has the following functions:

        White dot- White light

        Red dot- Off

        Green dot- IR light and IR laser

The black button at the rear/top of the PAiL body on the left and right side is the main on/off switch for the unit. It is easily manipulated from each side with the index finger.

One item that seems to be complained about by soldiers using the PAiL is that the IR aiming laser is on anytime that the IR light is on. The IR laser/light cannot function separately from each other.

The LaserMaxDefense Pistol Enhancer comes in a small, sturdy cardboard box. Inside the box is a pink bubble-wrap envelope that contains the Pistol Enhancer, a clear ziploc bag with one CR123 battery and one Pistol Enhancer booklet.

The U.S. Army does not have a separate Technical Manual (TM) at this time and the LMD booklet fills the role of TM at this time. Here are some excerpts from the booklet.

Overall, The LaserMaxDefense (LMD) Pistol Ehancer/PAiL brings a compact improvement in functionality to the M17/M18 pistol as part of the MHS fielding program. The integration of the aiming laser into the light unit could translate to faster target acquisition and increased lethality once the PAiL sees use in a combat environment.

The features of the Pistol Enhancer/PAiL are:

175 lumens (typical) of white light

175 mW (typical) of 850nm illumination

850nm 0.7 mW max (class1) eye safe aiming laser

Length: < 2.8″
Height: < 1.4″ (not below trigger guard)
Width: < 1.5″
Weight: 2.6 ounces with battery
Housing Material: Glass filled nylon can be in black, desert tan, or FDE
Switching: 3 position rotary switch
Activation: Tactile feel button located on both sides of the unit for easy location in the dark. Single tap on single tap off + Momentary.
Power: Single CR123 reduces previous battery requirement by 50%
Battery life: 2 hours continuous in any mode
Bore sight retention: within 4 inches at 50 yards
Operating range: -10° to 50° Celsius
Immersion: 1 Meter for 30 Minutes
Warranty: 1 year
Price: $349 per unit

Currently the LMD Pistol Enhancer is only available to the U.S. Department of Defense, government agencies, law enforcement agencies. Personnel that work for a DoD, government or LE agency can also purchase the units by contacting LaserMaxDefense from a DoD/government/agency email account.

There is some discussion of a revised PAiL for the civilian market. I think a version with a visible laser in place of the IR laser would be a popular accessory purchase by people who have had the opportunity to purchase one of the Sig-Sauer M17 Surplus pistols that came onto the civilian firearms market in 2019. I have used my personally purchased LMD Pistol Enhancer and Sig-Sauer M17 Surplus pistol in the photos in this article.

For owners of the Sig-Sauer M17 Surplus pistol, there is Facebook group dedicated to these pistols and accessories at:


For more information on the LaserMaxDefense Pistol Enhancer see the links provided below.

This Laser and Light Combo Could Find Its Way Onto The Army’s New Handgun 23 JAN 2018


Army Close to Selecting Lights, Holster for New Service Pistol


Army Times (Gear Scout) article discussing the new pistol light requirement and mention of competition between LMD and Streamlight. 11 JUL 2018


Army In Search of Laser/Light Module for Modular Handgun 24 JUL 2018

Request for Information (RFI) for Competitive Procurement of

Pistol Aiming Lights with Laser / Illuminator  5 SEP 2018


Federal Contract Opportunity for Pistol Aiming Light (PAiL) W91CRBPAiL 5 SEP 2018


XM17/XM18 MHS Executive Summary 2018


LaserMaxDefense Contract award announcement 17 JAN 2019:

LaserMaxDefense article 22 JAN 2019

Army Times Article Referencing the PAiL 22 JAN 2019


Soldier Systems Daily article 28 JAN 2019:


Soldier Systems Daily PAiL Holster article 7 FEB 2019


PAiL Holster 2 JUL 2019

Nevada Highway Patrol Adopts SIG P320

I really don’t no what to make of this. I am not a fan of Glocks. I don’t hate them, I’m just indifferent to them mostly. I do recognize them for what they are so it baffles me that any LE agency at this point would chose the SIG over a Glock

NEWINGTON, N.H., (February 21, 2020) – SIG SAUER, Inc. is proud to announce the Nevada Highway Patrol has transitioned to the SIG SAUER P320 9mm pistol as their official duty pistol. The Nevada Highway Patrol is a division of the Nevada Department of Public Safety responsible for law enforcement across the entire state of Nevada with over 480 sworn Troopers.

“Our initial transition to the SIG SAUER P320 has been seamless, and our Troopers are impressed with the accuracy and superior performance of the pistol,” said Colonel Daniel Solow, Nevada Highway Patrol. “Our diverse group of Troopers is going to appreciate the custom fit of their P320, and having the ability to choose a grip size based on their personal preference due to the unique modularity that the P320 is known for.”

“SIG SAUER is honored to continue our long-standing relationship with the Troopers of the Nevada Highway Patrol through their selection of the P320 as their official duty pistol,” began Tom Jankiewicz, Executive Vice president, Law Enforcement Sales, SIG SAUER, Inc. “We are proud of the positive feedback we have received during their transition to the P320, and with the inclusion of the optics-cut on their slides they have the ability to easily expand the pistols capabilities in the future with the addition of a red dot optic.”

Is this a case of the SIG being in the government supply system and all that? The P320 is fine I guess, But I just don’t see it being better than a Glock for this kind of service.