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.
Open Carry vs. Concealed Carry, is something you should think strongly about, if you live in a state that allows both methods of carry. This is a complex issue with strong points and weaknesses to both carry methods. There are several key things you must consider. As we talk about personal protection as a civilian (sheep dog) or someone else’s protection as a law enforcement (sheep dog), we must think about what is and what is not tactically advantageous.
When thinking about Open Carry there are advantages in certain situations, that usually only apply to you. (1) If someone is planning to rob, harm you or make you a victim, they see you are armed. They think more than likely you will put up a fight and they may not have a weapon equal to your firearm (i.e. knife or blunt force object). (2) They may think you are a law enforcement officer, ex-military, or trained citizen and would rather not have a trained person, or the police force coming down on them. (3) Location is a big factor, are you in a rural area? Possibly hunting or hacking and you are worried about predators (i.e. mountain lions, wolves, bears). Open Carry of a personal protection firearm would be best in this scenario.
I personally believe, through my LE experiences and actual deadly force encounters, (that do not involve animals), Concealed Carry offers you the most advantages against a criminal attack. (1) You are not being targeted right of the bat if a criminal sees you are armed and is adamant about making an attack. (2) The element of surprise is on your side and you choose when to press the attack/advantage. The shock of being confronted with an armed individual may force a peaceful outcome to the encounter. (3) I believe the possibility of a concealed weapon on someone is more of a deterrent to a criminal than them knowing who is armed. This forces the bad guys to be on a 360 degree swivel, not you.
I’m not a fan of open carry in an urban environment. The element of surprise is a good thing IMHO. Even when I was an off duty police officer, I went with concealed carry. I more than surprised a few bad guys when I drew down on them and they had no idea someone was carrying. If they had seen me open carrying, I would have been a target right off the bat, as I cannot see everything that is going on around me. This was a tactical decision, to always conceal carry. The bad guy cannot target you first if they don’t see your armed.
In our current political climate, I feel open carry works against us, in an urban environment. I have always lived in very firearm friendly states (i.e. Utah and Tennessee). In rural areas, I have no problem with open carry as most people are on the same thinking page. In urban areas, I feel Open Carry is doing harm to those that might be on the fence regarding firearms. Also, as mentioned above, I feel it is tactically to my advantage to conceal in most situations. Although it is our right to bear arms, I cringe every time I see a guy on the news carrying his AR15 or M1A, in a store or down main street. This draws negative attention to responsible firearms owners. Most of our politicians and left wing citizens see this and try to push more restrictive firearm laws.
Update: Personal Defense Network 6/04/13
After taking with Rob Pincus of I.C.E. training about this issue, he gave me permission to link his Personal Defense Network (PDN) video on, “Appropriate Open Carry “. In this video Rob states several other reasons that conceal carry is a better option in most cases (not all). Rob’s opinion while his own, is not to be taken lightly, in my opinion. Rob also can state things more eloquently than I can.
Link: Appropriate Open Carry
Whatever method you choose to carry, think about all the options and ramifications of your choice. Open Carry may or may not work in some environments and Concealed Carry may or may not work in those same environments. Think hard about what gives you the advantage in the area you find yourself in. If you are in the Alaskan wilderness, concealing a Glock 10mm or S&W 500 probably is not the best choice, if you are worried about bears. On the other hand, open carry downtown in a major city, while it may be your right, probably is not the best idea politically and tactically. Remember, your actions as a responsible firearms owner could sway someone’s decision, criminally and politically.
Authors opinion on CCW and Open carry are his alone and does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the rest of the staff or the two owners of looserounds.com
Today I got to handle one of the much hyped and anticipated TAVOR Israeli rifles. I have not been excited about them because I am not much of a bullpup kind of guy. I don’t hate all of them, but the AUG was about the only one I like. Ever since the thing was first shown, people have been wanting a legal version for the civilian market, and hype has just increased over the last months. A lot of gun rags have called it the next evolution in the 5.56 rifle or something to replace the M4. And of course there are those that believe with their entire heart that anything from IMI is the best.
If you have been waiting like a 9 year old kid at christmas for the TAVOR to come here so you can toss out all your M4s and AKs, I got some bad news for you.
After being handed the piece I was immediately shocked at how terrible it felt. The balance is so bad. It is not like an AUG or even the absurd FS2000. I hate the FN 2000 but I would be happy to take it if my only choice was between it and the Tavor.
The manual of arms for the thing is a major problem in my opinion and the other party there with me. It is very awkward. I am sure it can be developed and some one with an airsoft version will probably be ready to show me a video of how fast then can reload it, but airsoft is not real life and this gun suffers from bad control placement and it hurts your ability to run the gun.
Here is a picture demonstrating the contortionist position used to lock the bolt back.
Yes, he had to brace then gun against his hip, push up and hold in the bolt release and take his firing hand and reach over and pull the bolt back. Neither one of us has spent days or hours training on the weapon, but its pretty evident how strange these controls are.
A reload is not as bad as it would seem. It may be easier to get to the mag during a combat reload then the AUG and some others.
As you can see, you could dump a empty and insert a fresh mag without removing the gun from the shoulder after some practice.
Above is a view from both sides of the weapon when shouldered for firing. It is not a natural feeling due to the odd balance of the gun. After looking at the barrel without taking the gun apart, it appeared to have a barrel profile that if not a HBAR, it is very close to being a HBAR profile.
Now, on to some of the other features that really stood out to me.
The top rail. Have you ever had any experience with the Weaver scope and ring bases? The ones for mounting mediocre optics to mediocre ( or less) rifles using mediocre rings. They feel like cheap aluminum painted a shiny black and can be easily damaged or cracked. Well, that is what the rail made me think of as soon as I saw it and handled it. It is a shiny black and looks like it is painted on. I have no idea what type of aluminum the rail is made form, but it sure as hell is not the same quality as a KAC rail, or DD or upper on a flat top AR15 or most other weapons meant for fighting that any of us would take seriously. I was honestly surprised by this. It has TAPCO reek coming off it so much I would have thought it was a TAPCO product if I did not know better.
Next up are these high quality iron sights. Hey, no BS, these things are a joke. I don’t care how bad you want one of these or love it, ( or at least think you do) this is a terrible set of iron sights. On the bright side, they do fold down inside the “rail” and hide away nicely and are easy enough to pop up. But that is about all the good I can say about them..
The barrel is marked that it is made in Israel on one side and it is CHF with a1/7 twist on the other. That will soothe a lot of nerves I guess. I have never understood why CHF is somehow now “the best.” When I first started shooting years ago, CHF was known to be a way to make cheap barrels fast and save a lot of money. Marketing is like coke, It’s a helluva drug… But I digress..
You do get a CHF barrel in the proper twist rate for a 556 if you really think you may need it for fighting. At least they did not pull a bushmaster ACR move and send the thing out with a 1/9 twist.
One of the worst things on the gun was the infernal trigger. I am not the kind of guy who will complain about milspec triggers not feeling like a National Match bolt gun trigger, nor do I think that there is anything wrong with military triggers. They are often the safest and best bet for a gun meant to fight with. But, wow. This things trigger was the strangest thing I have ever seen. I pulled and pulled as it ..moved..? And then it seemed to want to hang up, then it snapped. I really do not know how to exactly explain it to you. It would take a long time and serious training to be able to do fast accurate work with this guns trigger.
The magazine the Tavor comes with is not a Pmag….
But it sure is trying to be. It has CAA or Mako quality written all over it. You can draw your own conclusions on that. It did drop free from the weapon though, so thats a good thing. The follower to feel smooth as well. Not having tested it, it did not appear to be a terrible mag. After all it is a pretty close copy of everyone’s favorite mag, so it may work fine. But it is still not a Pmag or Lancer.
One thing to impress me and that was the well thought out , complete cleaning kit that can be stored in the gun.
I comes with chamber brushes, bore brush, tiny soft hair barber type brush, a small bottle for oil or solvent . the rod and that giant white nylon brush I have no idea what it is for other then to maybe choke yourself to death with after you feel how bad the trigger is on the gun you just bought. I keed I keed.. It comes in a nice little pouch that holds everything nice and snug with velcro. It really is very nice. I would buy this kit on its own if they offered it. It is a lot like the kit I would put together for my rifles for the field. I really liked it.
One last thing is the manual that came with the gun. The cover lists the manual working for the 5.56 Tavor and the 5.45 and 9mm models. So maybe they plan on releasing some extras in the near future. I have no idea. I checker around and no one has any answers on it.
I was not able to shoot then gun for you since it was going up for sell. I wish I could have , but, thats life. It may be super accurate or not. I can not give any details on accuracy or reliability either sorry to say. I know it is not a very satisfying review but I did everything I could with a gun I could not fire. This was all my opini0n and impressions based on not shooting. It may shoot so well a lot of people can over look all the points I feel make the gun a dog.
I was indifferent over the TAVOR and had no opinion on it before looking this one over. After handling it and studying its quirks, I just can not understand the hype and desire for the gun. It is like the people talking it up do not live in the same world as the one this Tavor exists in. I know there are a lot of people out there that consider anything that is not made here or not a M4 better. Guys who want a SA80 for instance , would probably want one of these. And of course the IDF fetishists out there will tell you it should replace everything else. But I do not see it. Accuracy is not the only consideration for a fighting gun and I have no idea how accurate these may be. But ergonomics and handling and manipulation added in, this thing is not anything I would want to have to work with. But that is just me.
If you want this gun, the gun store owner and my friend will have it up on gunbroker very shortly. I will add a link to the bottom of this post as soon as he has it up for bidding. So you can check it out as soon as its ready. I am not sure how common the FDE version is to find because I thought they only would come in black. But, it will be up for anyone who has to have one or just wants to collect the tavor.
Not happy with my review? Read the review of an end user IDF soldier guest submitted here
be warned the IDF user does not think much more highly of it then I do.