Loose Rounds’ 5 most popular posts in 2013.

We posted 254 (including this one) posts in 2013.  Of those, these were the five most popular ones:

Thank you to all of you who read our articles and posts.

Stuff I Like From 2013

Surefire X300 Ultra – It’s small, it’s lightweight, it’s stupid bright, and works equally as well on pistols or rifles. The Ultra and the other 500+ lumen lights now coming on the market are setting a new standard for illumination.

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TangoDown IO Aimpoint Cover – My T1 came with removable rubber lens caps that I promptly lost so I was highly interested when the IO cover came to market. It protects the optic well, adds almost no bulk or weight, and the lens caps are permanently affixed and clip out of the way so they don’t get lost. It does exactly what you want it to and does it well for not a whole lot of money.

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Centurion Arms C4 FSB cutout rail – In the free float rail segment I’ve come to prefer the C4 series from Centurion Arms. They’re easy to install, relatively lightweight, free float the barrel, have built in sling mounts, and are competitively priced.

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HSP Thorntail Light Mount – This mount is a high quality and relatively inexpensive piece made by Impact Weapon Components for Haley. It allows the light to be positioned further forward and at an angle perfect for weak side thumb activation. For those with a carbine length rails it effectively adds real estate on the handguard by pushing the light further out.

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Walmart Colt 6920’s – 10 years ago Colt 6920’s were not available to the general public. After the ban sunset in Sep 2004 distributors were skittish about selling them to the general public due to the restricted markings. I remember paying $1200 when I was actually able to find one in early 2005. Now you can buy one for $1000… AT WALMART. For those that were in the AR game during the ban the idea that you can buy a Colt 6920 at Walmart is incredible.

My Top Products of 2013

Daniel Defense Omega X 12.0 FSP and Omega 7:

I have been wanting to try an extended rail system for several years. I finally had the opportunity to get the one I have been looking for in the Omega X 12.0 FSP. The extended rail, extreme thinness and ability to keep my trusted Colt gas system intact was a huge winner. Keeping my light of choice and moving it to the 12 o’clock position on the rail, improved weapon handling and avoids flash back from walls as the light is in line with the boar.  I am now able to get my hand out under the FSB, which is more natural for me. The rail also free floats the barrel and has a QD point at the rear of the rail, where I prefer my sling to be mounted.

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Daniel Defense Omega X 12.0 FSP rail

I purchased the DD Omega 7″ rail system about six months ago to make sure I wanted the Omega X 12.0 FSP rail.  This rail has the same overall futures as the Omega X but in a 7″ drop in system. I recently moved it from a Colt 6920 to a light weight Colt 6720.  This rail weighs as much as the stock heat shield handguards. This set up truly lives up to the Daniel Defense motto of “Lighter, Stronger, Better”.

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Daniel Defense Omega 7″ rail

Aimpoint Micro:

I finally jumped onto a micro when a great deal presented itself. I am a hard core Aimpoint fan and user of the optics, for over a decade. I mainly have used the Comp M2, ML2 and PRO models and was apprehensive at forking over the cash for a micro. Well I’m glad I did, the light weight, small and fast optic is a huge improvement over its proven 30mm models.  Simply put, you get the same Aimpoint reliability in a smaller lightweight package. I feel it is a little easier to pick up when presenting the rifle and you get a better field of view as you do not have a larger optic blocking that view.

Honorable mention to the Tango Down I0 Cover: you simple cannot have an Aimpoint micro and not get an I0 cover.  The I0 cover with its lens cap covers that can be locked back is one of the greatest optic accessories made.

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Aimpoint Micro

Dark Star Gear Holsters:

In 2013 I took a custom made Dark Star Gear (DSG) holster to a two (2) day Combat Focus Shooting course.  Several things in this class challenged me, even with my experience as a law enforcement officer and firearms instructor.  The thing that help me excel in this mentally and physically demanding course was the DSG holster. Comfort, easy of movement and consistent reliability in the draw, is what the DSG holsters are all about. Shawn turned me on the DSG holsters and I’m sure glad he did. The only thing that holds me back from purchasing numerous DSG holster is cash flow, not that they are expensive but I want more of them than I can afford. I simple have not found another kydex holster that is better.  I have tried numerous kydex holster and DSG is better than all of them.  The big thing that stands out with the DSG holsters are the soft belt loops.  They make the holster more comfortable for all day or hard duty/range use. DSG was kind enough to ship me several of the soft loops for other holsters I have and these improved holsters I was previously unhappy with.

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Dark Star Gear Holster

Gear Sector GS-2P:

When buying a new rifle there are a few things that are a must for me; a GG&G MAD BUIS, an Aimpoint optic and a quality sling.  The first thing I buy is a sling and once again my first sling of choice is a Gear Sector GS-2P. A quality sling is needed on a fighting rifle but I usually can’t buy an expensive sling right off the bat. The GS-2P has the right amount of features at a very low price point. It is a two point adjustable sling, (similar in operation to the Vickers Slings), and can do just about everything you need it to. I actually have one for every rifle I have. When I buy a rifle it is the first thing I think about getting for it. I have used the GS-2P slings from Patrol use, Entry use and Home Defense use.  Gear Sector also has a large amount of adapters and accessories to support this sling. You can mount it anyway you want and the GS-2P can handle it all.

Gear Sector GS-2P Slings
Gear Sector GS-2P Slings

Tango Down Battle Grip:

This year I got back to flirting with different grips on my AR’s as did most of us. I had been running the Tango Down (TD) battle grip for the last 7 years. I thought I had found another grip that I liked more but as I moved back and forth with my TD grip, it just confirmed there is nothing else out there as good as the TD grip. It has the best angle and features I like on a grip.  It is still unbeatable in my opinion.

Tango Down Battle Grip
Tango Down Battle Grip

Combat Focus Shooting / Rob Pincus:

Although not an actual firearm accessory, the CFS Course, information I have obtained over the year from Rob Pincus, his books and home training courses have been amazing.  With my LE experience and LE firearms instructing experience, my personal training had become stagnant and at times mundane. I always enjoyed being challenged and challenging myself.  Since moving to a federal desk jockey position, I had lost my edge and was looking for something to motivate and challenge me, in the personal defense field.  The Combat Focus Shooting courses as well as Rob’s personal defense books and home training products, have made me a better shooter. They have also reignited the fire inside me to continually educate and improve my skills.

Duncan

Best , Worst And In Middle Products Of 2013

We have used a lot of different stuff in this past year. Some of it  given to us to test, most we paid for out of pocket.  There was a lot out this year, some of it great, some not so great or just crappy and some of it was just blah at best according to personal taste.  I am going to kick talk a bit about some of each that I used in this past year.  Not all of it was new just for this year exactly and some of it was just new to me so, I talked about just the things that made the biggest impression on me this year that was at least, new to me.  Nothing is in an order denoting its favor, but I still number it out of some strange sense of obligation to number lists.

First off is my listing of the good stuff I used in the past year.

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The IO cover made for the Aimpoint T-1 was new this year.  Howard got us some through the kickstarter program that got it made.  It is everything advertised and having a way to protect the T1 was something needed for a while.  I love it.

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I used this some last year as well, but since I love it so much I included it this year. It takes a while to be able to really test a magazine to know you can trust it 100 percent so after over a year, I am still in love with the Lancer AWM and consider it the best mag out there right now.

 

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Speaking of Mags, the  Magpul 40 round Pmag hit this year.  It is as you would expect any Pmag.  It is a 3rd gen mag obviously and having the extra 10 rounds with no real noticeable wight is damned nice to have.  While it is not a AMW Lancer, it is still a great magazine and if as reliable as any other Pmag.

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When it comes to outside the belt Kydex holster, in my opinion, nothing and no one beats the DarkStar Gear custom made holsters.  I am proud to have a DSG banner on our website for a reason.  I have three of these babies in three different versions and I do not see how I ever lived my life without these.  They are comfy, low profile and hug your body. The craftsmanship is very high and customer service can not be beat.  less wait time then some of the other  more well known big name makers with more hype to their name but with all the quality that should make these even more famous and well known then holsters from places like Raven.

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the soft belt loops which I have not seen on other kydex tactical holster, hug the holster even tighter to the belt and keeps the holster to belt fit solid and tight.  I could go on and on about the Dark Star Gear holster but I would bore you to tears.  Get some of them.

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Another holster I am very impressed with and like an idiot missed out on for years. the Comp Tac inside the belt holster is a blend of leather and Kydex and is the most comfortable IWB holster I have owned and I own a lot. Being able to adjust how deep the gun set in the pants and tight the retention are just two of its features.  I wear a full size 1911 all day every day, and with this holster, after putting the gun on, I forget I even have it on even when setting or driving. Worth every penny they ask for them.

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In a time that is in a craze for 1x-4x-5x-6x-8x smaller optics meant to be used with more direct action violent gun handling in mind, the Leupold MK AR  1x-4x is a great scope. It is a lot of optic for the money.  You get a useful reticule that is illuminated, Mil turrets with a BDC that can be swapped out for whatever bullet weight you want to use and with a price that is not catastrophic with all the Leupod quality.  I really like this scope. it is at home on a carbine or an SPR. Just the day before I used it to ring steel to 600 yards over and over.

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Another CompTac product I like is the single stack mag pouch. With retention adjustment and a clip for the belt. This  low profile pouch for EDC or competition is my new every day spare reloads mag holder.

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After T&Eing the Tactical Link Z-360 rear sling point mount, I fell in love. Light weight and strong, you do not have to take your gun apart or alter staking. It has a steel cup for your QD swivel and comes in a variety of colors. I have not been able to break mine and since it was given to me to test, I gave it my best shot to break it or pull the sling out of its socket. All I did was hurt my back.

And that leads me to the next Tactical Link product..

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If you use a Magpul BAD lever, stop.  Buy this instead.   In a perfect world, that is all I should have to say but since its not…   the Tactical link EBAL is  what the BAD lever wants to be when it grows up.  This thing is everything you would have thought the BAD would have evolved to after all these years instead of stagnating and not changing.  I did a full review on this part that you can read for more detail if you want.  No joke. This thing is truly a real improvement that is hard to imagine until you start trying one. Made as tough as chinese algebra, this thing is not just for 3 gun or some plinking on youtube to look cool. It is great.

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I tried this Norma match 77 grain .223 ammo a few months ago. It is more accurate then the Federal gold medal match 77 grain round and is neck and neck with Black Hills match in the red box.  Still not hand load great ( only handloads are that good) and its pricey, but it is good stuff.

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If you read anything about what I like on my carbines, you know  I like Ambi.  The Knights Armament Ambi selector is what I  have been using and I am really happy with it.  I have been using the KAC ambi for too long to talk about here. but the Colt ambi selector will be what I buy for the guns I will outfit with the ambi selector in the future.  It lacks the scalloping of the KAC but thats not real concern, It is Colt quality and it works perfect, installs easy and gives me the warm feeling of knowing it has the quality of a Colt product which I obviously and unabashedly prefer.

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Last in the good list ( unless I remember something later, so check this in a few days) is the Leupold repro of the Redfield USMC sniper scop made for the M40 Sniper rifle in the Vietnam war.  Remington made a  limited run precise copy of the M40 a few years ago but no one could find or afford an original Redfield green sniper optic for it.    Leupold now owns redfield so the custom shop made a few 3x-9x scopes in green in the refield accu track pattern for those of us with the M40 repro.  It has its faults,i.e friction plate adjustments and a mildot, instead of cross hair and accu track range finder, but its still a leupold quality scope and looks correct on an M40. or as close as most of us could get without spending a small fortune   Badger Ord also made matching repr Redfield Jr.  M700 short action /M40 bases and rings for the same gun/scope that are equally nice.

 

 

Now I will talk a bit about what I was least impressed by this past year.

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the BCM grip was “meh” for me.  I know a lot will claim its a huge advance and puts the trigger in line with the blah blah blah, but I found it just did not offer up any real reason to change in most cases. And sometimes I found it made things worse for me and most of my friends who tried it agreed with me. I know people love BCM like the company is their Mommy, but that’s just my opinion on it not a scientific fact.

Next up is the TAVOR. I found it nothing more then hype and the normal band wagon love that comes with everything IDF.  If you want a bullpup, get an AUG.

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The Super Sniper 1x-6x.  While a great idea, it was not really executed all that great.

 

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The Civilian Legal DBAL is really cool and the IR laser is everything you would want.  the bad side is the day visible laser is very, very hard to see. Even from 20 yards it is not much good.  I would not say this product is bad, but it did let me down a little.  Luckily the IR laser is really the only reason to have one of these so it works out after all. But don’t buy one unless you really need IR laser and have something like a PVS 14 because  the visible laser is mostly unusable.

Observations from the range

I have started to see some of the S&W M&P 10 .308 AR rifles.  In it’s stock form it seems ok and functions fine.  However in almost every case I have see where people have tried to trick out their rifles they have ended up with serious function issues.  If you are planning to buy a S&W .308 AR, you have to keep in mind that the .308 does not have complete parts interchangeability with the 5.56/.223 rifles.  Slapping on an AR15 receiver extension and using an AR15 buffer and buffer spring will NOT work.

I saw a person attempting to use a cheap optic mounted on the carry handle of an Olympic 9mm carbine.  Not to mention the problems of working with cheap optics mounted so high over the bore, the carry handle scope mount was a polymer unit made by Tapco.  This scope rail could flex under finger pressure.  It is complete junk, I stick to my statements of that the Tapco G2 AK trigger is the only thing they make that is good.

DPMS AR15s and steel cased ammunition is a poor combination.  While many claim it is the lacquer on Wolf cases that is the problem, it is not.  Just as many polymer or zinc coated steel cases get cemented stuck in DPMS AR15 chambers due to the carbon build up.

I got to fire a couple of rounds out of the “pistol” PPS43-C.

I.O.Inc PPS43-C

 

This “pistol” chambered in 7.62×25 had more recoil then I expected(I think its do to reciprocating mass, my TT33 doesn’t recoil like that).  Other than that, I liked the sights, the trigger was great for a cheap pistol caliber carbine.  The owner intends to SBR it and I think that would be a very fun little carbine.  He also said that it can very easily be changed to 9mm.  This one was purchased for $300.  If I see one locally for that price I think I will buy it.

Inventor Of The AK47 Rifle Died Today

Not quite an hour ago I read about Kalashnikov dieing at age 94.  I am not going to go on and on about his life history since so many of you already know the gist and it is going to be repeated beyond count over the next month in news reports and the gun rags, but you can read some of it at this random link and some of his typical propaganda about his very well known gun.

http://www.nydailynews.com/news/world/inventor-ak-47-dies-article-1.1556419

 

I don’t know what kind of guy he really was, clearly he seems to be a unreconstructed commie or at least socialist, who still loved the USSR. Who wouldn’t if they were him?  Due to his invention I’m sure he got it easier than most of his comrades would have during the cold war.  But that is neither here nor there.

No one can argue his weapon did not change the world forever.  It certainly changed the way armies thought about their rifles.   His was not the first of its type. A lot of people were working on something along those lines at the same time or before any other countries not in the Soviet sphere of influence, even really knew what it was or how it worked.   But, it was the first one to really matter.   The MP44, in my opinion, really was the biggest influence on the AK despite what Kalashnikov may claim.  He did not develop the gun under a rock on mars.   Take a look at the safety on a remington Model 8 and then look at the AK if you think it was 100 percent original.     He did however, make something truly modern, tough , simple and easy to make fast enough to matter.    Being born in the 70s and growing up on the 80s, two guns dominated my interest in guns. The M16 and the AK47.  It was a while before I was able to get my hands on a semi auto AK , but it certainly became a hit here as well as every hot spot, revolution or terrorist shit hole in the world as well as Hollywood. Those two rifles have really been at the front of my gun life and I could not imagine life with out either one.

Its reported over 100 million AKs are out there and I do not doubt it.  The thing has been around and fired a lot of rounds at people ( not always accurately I might add)  and it will be around a looong time thanks to its popularity and toughness.  It will certainly outlive its creator until we are all gone from this world I am certain.  It was a hell of an achievement for sure.  The man was rightly proud of his rifle but I often have wondered what it would be life to know that your baby is the 1st choice of every terrorist or dirt bag in this world.  No doubt a man is not responsible for how others use a tool, but i personally would be pissed that my country was so free to give away my pet invention and let it gain such a rep in the media.    The AK is not evil or good, it just is.  The Ak is not a communist or Terrorist even if thats what the ignorant think about when seeing one.   Has the AK saved as many lives as it took?  I doubt that.  But it has saved lives, and that is just as important. It is there for people who need it , to help them in whatever way they ask and it works.  What more can be asked from a tool?  That is Kalashnikov’s  greatest success , he made  a tool as timeless and simple  as the claw hammer and despite what most of the world thinks, it has probably done as much good in its time as bad, and with more and more people buying the AK, it’s days of working for the good guys has really just begun in the larger picture.

So enough of my rambling thought on the AK and its inventor who truly meant well and did the best for his country.  He is a Russian hero and a legend for as long as this world exists.  I suppose if there is an afterlife, he and Stoner can argue forever while Mr. Browning laughs at them both.

 

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Story of a gun.

Sent to me via email by Mark Hatfield.

Bought a used muzzle loader today.  Front sight is bent, don’t know if by accident or deliberate, it is dovetailed.  Perhaps needed to drift in the dovetail but it was too tight.  Hammer is offset, unusual but not rare.  Appears to have been done by owner.
Didn’t look at the ramrod, got home and realized it is missing a couple inches but still useable.  The front sight will need to be straightened.  While dry sighting I noticed that the entire front sight blade is visible through the rear notch.  This means that the eye naturally centers the entire post not just the offset tip.  Then I realized that the barrel was not straight up and down.
I had noticed some work marks near the breachplug.  I believe this is what happened:
User loaded a bullet with no powder.
Used a bullet puller but the puller was not adequately attached to the rod so the end of the rod came off and stayed in the barrel.
Had to remove (with some difficulty) the breachplug to remove the bullet and rod tip
When replacing the breachplug, they could not screw it quite all the way in, so…
The sights are not quite straight up and down but slightly to the right, so…
The rear sight was adjusted to the right and to front sight bent to the left to attempt to compensate.

Technology and the Rifleman: The Remington 2020

 

Following is a new article from  Brain from  TheNewRifleman.com.    Read more from him at www.thenewrifleman.com

 

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Technology and the Rifleman: The Remington 2020

We constantly have thresholds being crossed by technology.

What determines whether we accept it or not is simply… time and comfort. The latest issue of American Rifleman introduces the Remington 2020 system.

The crux of the system is this: the 2020 allows a shooter to hit distant targets with a system that calculates trajectory, windage, temperature, pressure, rifle cant, and a few other variables to 500 yards. This system uses visual cues to aid the shooter: when the dot and cross-hairs are aligned correctly they turn red. Pull the trigger. The system retails just past $5000. The introductory model will range and adjust to targets out to 500 yards with specific non-user adjustable loads.

Right now I don’t believe the system offers much for a practical rifle shooter inside of 500 yards. A bit of experience doping wind and a ACOG could give a shooter fast and accurate hits at that distance. Right now I would bet time to acquire and fire on a man-sized target would easily go to a well versed rifleman. The 2020 system requires you to tag the target with a button on top of the optic before it calculates a shooting solution. The optic isn’t really made to compete with an ACOG though… it is made to deliver a calculated solution for a specific load that will be accurate enough to nail an apple at 500 yards with minimal experience from the shooter. So how does a system like this effect shooters now and in the future?

What an item like this does is, to a certain extent, take away the education needed to make difficult precision shots.

Eventually, a product will be released with calculations out to 1000 yards and the costs will decrease. Suddenly, anyone with the money for the system can then pull off shots at 1000 yards that would have taken years of shooting and experience to accomplish. You know what? I am OK with this. What was once a full plate of learning many ballistic calculations has been reduced to a tag button and a red flashing reticule.

There is no escaping the progress of technology. Our rifles are evidence of that. The Marines know that it is easier to teach marksmanship through the lens of a Trijicon Acog than it is Irons. My wife never shot past 25 yards in her life before last month, but I dropped her behind my rifle with the ACOG and she was hitting head shot sized steel at 200. The visual aid the ACOG gave her reduced the education needed to make that shot. She didn’t have to worry about breath control or a front sight post… she put the shiny red arrow on the target pull the trigger. She was able to get those hits over and over again. What a fantastic tool.

As items like the Remington 2020 reduce in size, increase in durability, and improve on battery life… I would consider one a fantastic tool for a rifleman. Imagine a future optic that could switch between an ACOG style fast BDC reticule and then could be switched to the computer calculator to pull off a precision shot at 800 yards.

We get so antsy when politicians talk about our AR15 being “weapons of war.” We know what a great tool of self-defense the AR15 is. We have seen it adapt to technology that didn’t exist when Eugene Stoner and Armalite created it in the 1950’s. It remains popular because it has evolved and adapted to the technology of today. The founding fathers would no doubt see it as the essential modern rifle of a free and independent people.

The 2020 is yet another chapter in rifle technology. It can simplify what was once complex, and that only empowers the shooter. I applaud Remington and tracking point for giving us the first civilian iteration of this tool.

To not accept and embrace this technology as it matures would be, simply, shooting ourselves in the foot.