The simple fact is that plastic pistol sights break. Don’t trust them for serious or hard use.
Last month I got the chance to handle some of the concealment handbags that are being produced by Conceal In Plain Sight.
Now I don’t use a purse so I can not vouch for how well these work, but if you are interested check out www.Concealinplainsight.com.
After a discussion among the writers about our favorite “add ons” to our carbines or rifles, I decided to compile the comments from some of the writers into an article. The parts or tools listed in these comments are not necessarily “must have”. The idea being everyone knows you must have mags, ammo, some optics etc. The idea is, things we really, really like and would put on every gun we had , or thought they are good enough to use on every gun if money allowed. The list was to be 3-5 things that we each consider maybe not absolute must haves, but close to it.
My three must have add-ons for AR15/M4.
Every time I purchase an AR15/M4 type rifle, there are several key add-ons I personally must have.
1.) I have to change out the standard A2 grip with a Tango Down Battle Grip. Having been through numerous Patrol rifle schools and Instructor Schools, I always hated how my middle finger would get tore up. This was from the gap between the trigger guard and grip. The Tango Down covers this gap and is more comfortable in my hand than the A2.
2.) I just simply must have a BCM Mod4 Charging Handle. After using several charging handle latches over the past decade, nothing out there works as well as the BCM Charging Handles. For ease of one handed manipulation and a positive charge, it is a must have item.
3.) One thing that is very important to me is a quality sling. Once again, I have used just about every sling out there at one time or another. I always purchase a Gear Sector GS-2P sling when I get a new rifle. I have found for a relatively inexpensive sling, it does a lot and it is top quality.
When thinking about my top three must have add-ons, I think about the best bang for the buck, (i.e. cost and actual rifle performance/manipulation benefits).These three top quality items not only enhance the handling of your rifle but cost just about 100 dollars. This helps me save more money for ammunition and Optics, which really hit your pocket book hard.
My list of favorite add-ons .
1. I am a huge fan of the Surefire SR07 Remote dual switch for weapons lights. I am not a fan of the pressure tape switch but I do like the short term bust you can get form them. Most important I like positive click on and click off. The SR07 give you both. It also allows you to mount it where ever you need/want to mount it. A huge plus is that its made to snap onto a rail. It is so handy I don’t want to live life without it.
2. The next us is the Knights Armament Ambi safety. You can have two safety lever the same length, one scalloped to clear the firing hand or the ability to use it as a single side. It goes on easy and swapping out the right side lever is so easy even my dog can do it. Being KAC its top quality.
3. The BCM Gunfighter charging handles. I like the small one best and the medium sized one is next in line. They are tough enough to justify buying them and they do make things considerably easier. While not a must have, they are an upgrade that anyone serious about putting together “the perfect fighting carbine” needs to take a long serious look at. And now that they are made to be a gas buster, there is not reason to use any other brand or version of the extended type charging handles.
And Because its my article and I can cheat.
4. The Norgon ambi mag release. Being able to work the safety and drop mags free using just one hand, no matter which it is, is important if you really believe in the concept.
5. The Knights Armament 600 meter back up iron sight. This did not make the top three because, to me, if fits the same true “must have” qualities as mags, good ammo and optics.
Like I said, none of them will keep your gun from working, but they are such an improvement for comfort, efficiency or versatility that I feel that are important enough to go on every carbine I take serious as a fighting gun. I am not too worried about price, even though you pay a lot for such small items. To me, the price is well worth it if it gives you an advantage.
More to come by the other members as they narrow down and complete their choices. So check back as I update this article
1. Geissele SSA trigger. While a trigger won’t make a rifle more accurate, it can help a person shoot a firearm more accurately. Currently the SSA is my favorite aftermarket trigger.
2. KAC 2-600m rear sight. I like shooting with irons, and I like having good backup iron sights on my rifles. The KAC 2-600m rear sight is my absolute favorite folding rear sight.
3. Surefire Scout light. The reasons for having a light should be nearly self explanatory.
Notable mentions: Norgon ambi-mag catch and KAC ambi safety. I like trying to keep things ambidextrous. I find I use the ambi-mag-catch a great deal more then the ambi-safety, but having the ambi-safety for me is preferable over having to comprimise my left handed firing grip by placing my left thumb over a standard safety. BCM new gas-busting gunfighter charging handle.
Dr. Carlos Lopes
1. The stream light TLR-1S. I can move if from my HK, to my FN to my AR. It’s cheap and you get a lot of value for the money. I do not care for the mounting screw, but I can live with it. It’s a great alternative to the higher priced Surefire x300.
2. The Knights Armament RAS. It is so useful and tough that I can’t imagine having a rifle or carbine without it. It is easy to take on and off and its tough enough to have been used by the armed forces for a decade or more. Using it does not require modification of the rifle and I really like that.
3. The Magpul CTR. It locks up, has a great cheek weld, is tough and durable. There is nothing about it to dislike.
I am a very strong proponent of Aimpoint sights. You really cannot go wrong choosing any of the Aimpoint models. When I was with my hometown police department, I was the only officer on the force with an Aimpoint, I carried an ML2 (purchased 2003). This Aimpoint was with me when I was on the Firearms Unit and testing for SWAT. There was a lot of discussion about the Eotechs on the department in 2004 and 2005. The department decided on the Eotechs for issue optics and I just could not understand this. Every time I had to do an entry, there was always one guy with an Eotech, who had a dead battery. The guys on the team where changing batteries monthly or every several weeks. I never had an issue with my ML2, it just kept going strong year after year.
I am still running my original Aimpoint ML2 on my personal home defense Colt LE6920. In fact, I am on the original battery from 2003. The only thing I worry about is possible corrosion, as the battery has been in it for almost ten (10) years now. I have simply kept it in the ML2 and on the rifle this long, to see when it will finally die.
Now you may be thinking, It has never been left on and has not been through any hard use. I will tell you that it was in a rifle mount on patrol, in a Crown Vic, for almost four (4) years. I used it as my primary Instructor Rifle Optic and Patrol Rifle Optic, on several Colt rifles, LE6933, RO933, LE6921 and an LE6920 for several years. The optic has seen more rounds on rifles than I even know. It has been though countless training classes, entry schools and instructor schools. When it was on duty, the ML2 was on for an average of ten (10) hours a day four (4) days a week.
For the past six (6) years the ML2 has been my home defense optic, on a Colt LE6920. I do not keep it on all the time but it does get used a lot. Mostly during range time now and Loose Rounds articles. It is still going strong and I’m sure the battery will die soon. I tried to do a rough calculation of how many hours it has been on. The only hard number I could go off, was the roughly ten (10) hour duty times. I estimated about 8060 hours. I know it has seen more hours than this but I just don’t have a way to measure this.
The Aimpoint ML2 has a 10,000 hour battery life, (roughly one year). It has to be very close or over this mark. Given the fact it has stood up to every day patrol work, entry work, countless range days and tactical schools, on several different rifles, I would say Aimpoint is the only red dot optic I will ever use. If you purchase one of the newer Aimpoint models, (i.e. PRO, M3, ML3, M4, M4S, H1 or T1), with battery lives of 30,000 to 80,000 hours, these will likely last you a lifetime. There is no other optic that gives you this much bang for the buck.
Article Submitted by Landon Faulkner
When it comes to regulating your temperature in the outdoors, the base layer is THE most important thing in my opinion. Previously I had always believed Polyester blends were what I should get because basically that’s just what was out there. But after a half day out of wearing my poly I would notice I smelled so bad that I didn’t even want to stand close to another person out of embarrassment. Imagine what the animals thought of it.
I did some research and I came across some articles about Merino wool base layers that a lot of backpackers/adventurers were using that was apparently very comfortable and could go days without stinking to boot. After some research I found a brand called First Lite, a hunting apparel company out of Idaho who are all hunters and specialize in merino wool. After trying several pieces of their gear, I can tell you from now on merino wool is the only base layer I will be wearing whether I’m hunting in the early season 90 degree sun, late season rut with temps in the teens, or even just snowboarding, camping, whatever.
First of all, this is NOT the thick itchy wool your father and grandfather wore. Merino wool is a super fine, small diameter fiber, from New Zealand and Australia mainly, that feels good against the skin. It causes no itchiness or rashes. It insulates well, it holds its insulating properties when wet, and it dries out fast. It is also flame-retardant and does not melt when exposed to fire (which is a big selling point for Military operators who are exposed to explosions). This means you can get closer to the camp fire without having to worry about melting your clothes to your skin.
First Lite has designed their stuff to be very durable to last you a long time. With a nice form fitting cut and triple stitching in places where it counts, expect to use these garments for days on end for many years before needing to replace. This value for your dollar is important, since Merino wool gear is a little on the pricier side.
All of us hunters know how extremely important odor control is. Most of the game we stalk use scent as their number one defense. I promise you if you use polypro as a base layer, you WILL stink worse than normal after a single day. I am a fairly skinny guy and I don’t normally stink, but that stuff makes me reek. I am also not a big user of so called “scent control” carbon lined clothing because they literally lose their odor blocking properties with every wash, and it doesn’t take many.
Merino wool can be worn for numerous days without getting stinky. It is an anti-microbial fabric that does not hold bacteria like synthetic fiber, it wicks away moisture and disperses it better with a process called “glass transition”, and I have personally worn their Red Desert underwear for a whole 3 day trip and still smelled good enough to be comfortable stopping at a restaurant on the way home for a good meal without feeling like the stinky guy in the room. Coupled with some scent spray, it’s as good as it gets.
First Lite offers many different options for weight and style of garment. Something for any hunt, any time of year. I wear their Llano long sleeve tee and Red Desert boxers for hot weather and it feels super light and dries fast when I sweat, and I add the Chama mid layer and Allegheny long underwear when its gets cold, and I hope to soon try out their Labrador full zip sweater as well for some even colder stuff. This year they have also introduced some very high-tech outerwear with the latest materials that I hope to try for late deer season if I can get my hands on some. It would also be really nice to see them make a women’s line or sizes in the near future. My girlfriend has been really jealous and wants some for her 🙂
Almost all of their gear is offered in the best licensed camo patterns available today, including ASAT camo, Realtree Max1, Realtree Xtra, Mossy Oak Infinity, and everything still comes in standard black or Dry Earth as well.
Try some out and you will up your game in the woods.