Mag Storage Solutions – Pistol Mag Holder

Last year we reviewed the AR-15 Mag Holder from Mag Storage Solutions. We were lucky enough to be the first to get a review out on the AR-15 Mag Holder. The AR-15 Mag Holder is a great product and functions very well; several of us at Loose Rounds have them. The owner of Mag Storage Solutions (magstoragesolutions.com) reached out to us last week. Mag Storage Solutions stated they had a new prototype magazine holder for us to look at. This time, Mag Storage Solutions has put together a mag holder for Handgun/Pistol magazines. The Pistol Mag Holder is a perfect mate for those who have the AR-15 Mag Holder.  There are approximately 5000 units currently in production. These should be hitting retail markets in the first few weeks of October (2015). I expect the new Pistol Mag Holder to move just as fast as the AR-15 Mag Holder did when released.

Mag Storage Solutions - Pistol Mag Holder
Mag Storage Solutions – Pistol Mag Holder

The Pistol Mag Holder provides a storage solution for mainly full sized handgun magazines. Depending on what magazines you are using, you can store ten (10) Glock or fifteen (15) 1911 magazines. The Pistol Mag Holder is similar in size and shape to the original AR-15 Mag Holder. It can be mounted inside your gun safe, weapons room, or any area where you store and organize your magazines. It also looks very well mounted next to the AR-15 Mag Holder.

Continue reading Mag Storage Solutions – Pistol Mag Holder

More problems with Eotechs?

It is not new that I don’t like the Eotech.
The problems I have had with the three Eotechs I have owned were:
512 Rev F.  Batteries draining in under a month with the unit turned off. Broken battery compartment contacts.
552 Rev F. Extremely dim, possibly due to losing its nitrogen purge.
553 Battery contacts broken. Reticle hard to see in portions of the window, most likely due to lens de-laminating. One of the screws that held the hood on fell out and was lost, turns out the threading in the body had stripped out.

When I worked at a Shooting Range, It was common to see Eotechs break. An Example Broken Eotech

While this is more then enough reason to not recommend Eotech Optics, turns out this isn’t the whole story.

You can learn more about OTHER issues with Eotechs over at Soldier Systems.

Now the issues being discussed include but are not limited to:
Loss of zero in temperature shifts.
That Eotechs are not parallax free.
Adjustment are not actually half MOA but “Approx. 0.5 MOA”.
L3 knows about issues with the Eotechs.

Some of the Eotech fans are already trying to use the argument that if Eotechs had a problem, SEALs, Devgru, etc wouldn’t be using them. Most of us that have served can easily say that the military often issues absolute junk(for example the ILBE pack).

Whether you like Eotechs or not this will be something worth keeping an eye on.

Inland MFG M1 Carbine Test & Review PART 1

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the M1 carbine. Loved and hated in equal parts it seems.  Meant to replace the pistol for rear line troops. officers and the GIs that did not need a rifle, the M1 carbine is well known. In recent years a few companies have started to make  new “clones” of the m1 carbine to satisfy the every growing demand of out Grandfather’s weapons from WW2.    When I was younger it was no big deal to buy a surplus carbine or M1 rifle.  I paid 150 for my first carbine and 315 for my first M1 Garand.  Then Saving Private Ryan came out, followed by Band of Brothers and all that ended.

Since then, I have taken a look at most of the new made clones of WW2 arms.  The carbine in its new life has had some really crap copies made.  Sadly enough in my opinion, the most atrocious of some of these clones have been the ones made in within the last few years.   The one I am going to show you is not in that class.  It is superb. the Inland MFG M1 carbine is the gold standard for new made M1 carbines.   Inland even picked up serial numbers ranging after original production numbers in Gov. owned guns as a very cool touch.  Now, there are a few features that may not look exact to the discerning M1 collector and expert, but all features on the gun are present to reflect the carbine over its history and retain that broad general look so iconic to us all.

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One thing every one I have let handle the gun has mentioned is the wood and how it looks.  This is because Inland’s personnel had a relative who worked on the original war production guns and gave all the information on the original wood stain with pictures, the formula and all steps how to attain it.  That may not impress you, but that is a very neat continuation of a lost method from the original  time period, that I think really ads a great touch. And it looks great indeed.

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Unlike some of the other  new production M1 carbines or poor attempts at said carbine, the Inland comes with the adjustable rear sight.  The rear is the same as found on the M1903A3, adjustable for wind and elevation.  I have seen this site reproduced on the 22LR carbines meant to look like the M1 but they are cheap near useless things. This one is robust and well made with positive returning clicks.

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As expected , the makers name and serial number is on the rear of the receiver  behind the rear sight. You can see how well made the sight is and how the peep sight travels to the rear to raise your elevation.

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The front of the receiver and its markings. The excellent parkerizing can be seen in the picture but my camera does not do justice to the pleasant color of the park. Its that grey matte finish we all know and love.

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Some of the efforts of other companies produced  wood that fit poorly with edges bordering on splinters.  The Inland has no such problem. You can run your hand all over it and not get cut. The only sharp corners are the ones that need to be, such as the sights,

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One of the give a ways of the old universal carbines is the cut away on the op rod. Not on the Inland. It works smoothly and is robust.  It also makes that wonderful metal on metal sound I love when being cycled by hand.  Irrelevant, but I still love that sound.

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Maybe a sticking point for some of the stickier sticklers. The bayonet lug is the late war and Korean war era. The carbine can be had with or without, The M1A1 paratrooper model from the company does not have it.  I think its not really something to complain about really. as I can see most buyers wanting to mount one of the many surplus bayonets on the market.  It is well done and made with the great park’ed finish.

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The sling attaches at the front with the usually sling swivel. Inland supplies a brand new M1 carbine sling with the rifle as well as the stock oiler bottle.

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Sling attaches to the rear and is held in place by the oil bottle. I did not set it up that way because the sling is brand new and tight and I did not want to force it in place since it’s  a loaner form the maker.   Inland tells me the method to get it in place the first time is to wet the sling, then use a rubber mallet with a gently tappy tap or roller to press the sling and oil bottle in place to break it in.  I felt no real need to put it in place so I just assemble the sling around the stock the same way most owners of M1 carbines do minus the oil bottle. It works. Good enough for me.

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A matching stock and top hand guard.  If you have not spent a life around surplus firearms, you have no idea how rare that is and how nice it is to see.

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The magazine that comes with the gun is the standard capacity original. Of course the gun will take the later 30 round magazines. It locks into place and has the mag release button.  The safety is also the button just to the rear of the magazine release.  This has cause some problems for a lot of people over the years who hit the wrong one at the wrong time when it matters most.  Other carbines had a switch or selector lever for the safety that was less likely to cause you to mistakenly dumb your ammo  at the worst time if you are not careful.  This type I think is faster but something to be aware of.  Not the best safety position but it is correct for the carbine.

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As you can see, the gun is made well and looks great. Better than any other new made M1 carbine I have seen.  In the next part I will be giving the accuracy testing results  and reliability of the gun,

AR15.com 26" Covert Takedown Case

I was looking for a smaller case to put an SBR or broken down AR in. I have owned several AR soft cases and have paid quite a bit of money for them. About a year ago I saw the AR15.com 26″ Covert Takedown Case. For 60.00 dollars it looked like a case worth taking a chance on. Unfortunately it was never in stock. I finally clicked the notify when in stock button and was on the notification list for a long time. To my fortune, when I was notified it was back in stock, it was on sale for 30.00 dollars.  Without hesitation I got one. At this price point it was worth the chance to gamble on the case.  Looking back now, I should have bought two or three of them at that price. This case has many features higher priced cases come with and a little more.

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26″  Covert Takedown Case

Specifications/Features:

Velcro Straps/MOLLE:

One of the main reasons I looked at the ARFCOM case were the eight (8) Velcro straps that come with the case. Pretty much all soft rifle cases come with two (2) Velcro straps. The versatility of having (8) straps, gives you unlimited rifle mounting and accessory mounting options throughout the case, with the three (3) rows of MOLLE loops.

(8) Velcro Straps
(8) Velcro Straps
Adjustable Velcro Strap
Adjustable Velcro Strap

Dimensions:

With the dimensions of  26L x 12W x 4D, there is ample room to place the upper & lower of your 10.3″ to 16″ rifle as well as its mounted accessories and additional accessories, in the case.

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AR6720 / 26″ Case
LE6920 / 26
LE6920 / 26″ Case

D-Rings:

The case comes with four (4) D-rings on the back.  These are large and seem to be very secure. The case does not come with a strap, but the addition of the D-rings allows you to mount a shoulder strap, if you want.

D-Rings
(4) D-Rings
D-Ring
D-Ring

Padding:

The case comes with upper and lower Velcro pockets for  the foam padding sheets. The foam sheets are removable and replaceable. The padding is very generous at 3/4 of an inch on both the top and bottom. The foam padding sheet is a three (3) part sheet, a soft foam middle sheet, sandwiched between a top and bottom cardboard type layer, that has a thin foam coating.  This pads the case nicely and creates some rigidity to the case.  The (3) layer foam sheets also help the soft foam to avoid memory prints/indents. Surprisingly, the (3) layer foam sheets appear to be nicer and thicker than on the closed-cell foam on other higher end cases.

Velcro Pocket / Foam Padding
Velcro Pocket / Foam Padding
(3) Layer Foam Pad
(3) Layer Foam Pad

Velco & Zippers:

The case comes with a double sided carry handle that has a loop around Velcro closure. This allow you to secure both sides of the handle together for easier carry and security.  The main compartment of the case  has two (2) large zipper tabs. The zipper teeth are large and function very smoothly.

Zipper / Tab
Zipper / Tab
Carry Handle
Carry Handle

Observations:

The AR15.com 26″ Covert Takedown Case appears to be made very well. The stitching is well done and it appears that it will hold up very well. I was unable to find out any real material specifications on the case.  The case appears to be at least 500 Denier Cordura Nylon Fabric. The older version of the case had a stitched on AR15.com patch, that is no longer offered.  It now has a Velcro loop patch so you can add any patch you would like on the case. I have compared this case to several other soft cases I have and the construction seems to be very close.

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26″ Covert Takedown Case

Final Thoughts:

The mounting options with the size and (8) Velcro straps makes this case a huge winner in my book. The price point is also a major winner with this case. Even at the full price of 60.00 dollars, you could buy two of these cases for the price of some of the big name brand cases. With what I am going to be using the case for and probably what you will too, I do not see the advantage or need to step up into a higher priced case. There is so much the case can carry with your rifle and accessories, it is only limited to your imagination. As you can see from the pictures, you can place your fully outfitted rifle with magazines and other accessories with no problem. You even have some more room to spare.

Duncan

Can a Tiny 45 gr .223 Varmint Bullet Defeat Level III Steel Armor?

Note:  I want to take a moment and thank Andrew Betts for this article.  I often have tried to explain this to people and I don’t think they believed me.  If you choose or have to wear body armor, be aware of its limits.  And as always, try not to get shot.  -Howard

Can a Tiny 45 gr .223 Varmint Bullet Defeat Level III Steel Armor?

By Andrew Betts

 

Level III AR500 armor is rated to stop 7.62x51mm NATO. It seems obvious that anything “less” than that would also be stopped. Is it possible that such a tiny bullet from a much less powerful cartridge could perforate armor designed and rated to stop the mighty 7.62x51mm?

As it turns out, yes. That tiny bullet can zip right through the steel armor, even when fired from relatively short barrels. How is this possible? It seems counterintuitive. It seems that it would require more power to get through steel armor but in fact, velocity is the primary factor that influences steel armor penetration. Sectional density, bullet construction, and mass all play a role, of course, but the roles they play are minimal compared to the role played by velocity. In the case of ¼” thick AR500 steel, 3,200 fps is about the cutoff point. Anything faster than that will usually pass through and anything slower will probably be stopped. The actual V50 rating is not published by the company, but it is apparent that it is somewhere in the neighborhood of 3,200 fps. The V50 rating is the velocity at which 50% of the projectiles of a given type pass through. To determine the V50 rating, a laboratory increases the velocity of the bullet being tested until it perforates the armor, then tests statistically relevant sample sizes at velocities near that point to determine the velocity at which 50% of bullets pass through.

It may be tempting to declare that this armor is garbage, but that is far from the case. This test simply demonstrates the design limitations of this type of armor. The plate shown in this test is available for $65 from http://www.ar500armor.com and will stop all handgun rounds and most common rifle rounds such as 7.62x39mm, 7.62x51mm, .300 Blackout, and even most .223 or 5.56x45mm ammo. While it is not specifically rated for M855, this plate will stop multiple hits of it. It will not stop M193, if it is fired from a long enough barrel and impacts at a close enough distance, but it will stop virtually any 60 grain and heavier .223 Rem projectile. Moreover, it will do so even after significant abuse. As we saw in the video, the plate stopped two rounds of 7.62x51mm, even after it had been perforated multiple times by the varmint ammo. Rather than focusing on the few threats that it will not stop, consider that you cannot purchase any lower threat level for the same cost. It stops far more than Level IIIA soft armor does and costs much less.

It is also worth noting that, while the high velocity varmint ammo does a good job of getting through the steel plate, it is not a good choice for defense. As seen in the test below, it penetrates far too shallowly to achieve reliable incapacitation.

Finally, it bears mentioning that the same company that produces this armor also produces Level III+ steel armor, which is designed to stop many of the threats that can defeat Level III armor. Be wary, though. Level III+ is not an actual NIJ rating, just an affirmation by the maker that the plate exceeds Level III by some degree in their assessment. Some manufacturers have had independent labs test their Level III+ plates and give them a special threat rating for specific rounds and others have not. Just because the plate is advertised as a Level III+ does not mean the same thing for various manufacturers. As with any other purchase you must do your own research. You should do your level best to find independent testing results from qualified labs and where that is not available, amateur testing as seen in the video above can help to inform your decision. As always, software > hardware. What is between your ears matters far more than what is on your chest. Train hard.

Trying Floor Tiles As Body Armor, Can It Really Work ?

By Andrew Betts

It could be the recent growth in interest in “prepper” shows or it could be the more general trend toward self-reliance and a DIY attitude, but for some reason making homemade body armor has become a popular thing to do. It may sound sketchy, like a homemade parachute or homemade aqualung, but one guy is taking a somewhat unique approach to the task.

Rather than simply slapping some tiles together to see what happens, The Chopping Block channel is taking a systematic approach to developing a dependable and repeatable design. The goal is to use experimentation and specific metrics to create a design that anyone can build, regardless of skill level. The other unique facet of his open source armor project is his insistence on leveraging the ingenuity of the community as a whole.

But why would someone want to build a homemade plate of dubious quality when quality professionally built body armor is readily available and affordable? While armor is available in most US states, it is not legal for civilians to purchase everywhere and it is always possible that future legislation could restrict the purchase of body armor. There have been several unsuccessful attempts to regulate body armor at the federal level over the last decade. It is also worth noting that while an entry level plate may not exactly require a second mortgage, the $65 price tag is more than the $10-$20 that some of these home built projects cost. Is your life worth more than $65? Of course it is, but when you add the cost of a carrier, it can start getting far more expensive to outfit a family of four with Level III plates, especially if you wanted to keep a set in more than one vehicle. The point is not that a homemade solution is better than a professionally made plate, but that the homemade solution is better than having nothing at all due to cost or legal hurdles. If you have the ability to purchase quality, professionally built armor, you should do so. It still might be handy to know how to build a field expedient rifle plate from a few dollars of home improvement supplies. Aside from any practical application, though, projects like these are fun and fascinating. The project has some interesting challenges to overcome and it will be exciting to see how they address them.

COLT 6940PISTON PART 2 ACCURACY AND LONG RANGE TESTING

After taking a look at the parts and guts on the Colt 6940 Piston carbine last time, it is now time to show the results of testing the carbine for accuracy and reliability.

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For my accuracy testing of the carbine, I used the Leupold 18x target scope on a Larue SPR mount and my usual bags and test as I am wont to do.  I fired all groups shown at 100 yards and 200 yards using a variety of match factory ammo as well as my own match handloads. I also  fired the gun at 1,000 yards and 500 yards in my typical test to push it as far as possible. Once again for the long range resting, the 18x target scope was used,

To make the job a easier , I did use a SSA trigger int he carbine this time.  The reason for using the SSA trigger instead of the milspec trigger this time, was because there is a reputation of piston guns having a little less accuracy than DI guns.  My thinking was to try my best to eliminate anything I could that may give results that I , or anyone, may be biased to attribute to the piston system. So I used the match SSA trigger and a very secure front rest and sand bag set up from a bench.   I wanted to get every bit of accuracy I could from the carbine.

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Above are the 5 rounds groups fired at 100 and 200 yards.  Due to limited amounts of some of the test ammo, I was only able to use 5 round groups after zeroing the gun and settling in.   While all groups are what I considered great, I did notice small changes in the group size with certain match ammo  from the DI guns to the piston. When using the DI carbines some of those brands shoot better  in about every DI carbine/rifle I have used and other bands are not as tight while it seemed to be the opposite with the piston.  Now, this is a small amount and not worth even talking  about in a practical matter, I only noticed because of firing the ammo through so many guns that I was able to notice the change,  Practically speaking , and from the outlook of field use, It is irrelevant.  You can notice the SSA and the TAP strings vertically at 200 yards and beyond,  I shot these at a later time with a cold clean bore and with a cold dirty bore and hot dirty bore. Those brands of ammo string vertically in the gun after you get to 200 yards.  Again, practically speaking, it is not enough to matter or worry about in a carbine  with a milspec barrel meant for fighting.  It may be just this one gun, or may be those brands are sensitive to a piston operated carbine. I have no idea.  But I present the info to you regardless.

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Above is the target with the boxes of some of the brands tested. Below is a closer picture of the groups for closer inspection.

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After seeing the results of the groups and being pleased with the accuracy , I determined it was worthwhile for long range testing.  With the guns potential in mind, I and my friend loaded up and went to the mountain top strip job for the long range testing 3 weeks ago. Weather was mid with slight winds.  Being on top of the mountain, it is hard to catch a windless day.  The wind without fail travels right to left and can be seen on target as can be seen in almost all long range test targets from me.

I used a cardboard target with two orange panels to make target ID easy and to give me a better aiming point.  Readers will notice I have used as variety of different target types and styles for long range testing,  This is an ongoing project of mine to determine the best target and color combination to make long range testing as easy as possible to center the target in the optic for precise aiming,  This system worked well on a sunny day, but the color or the paper was not much help late on when the sun was not shinning on it directly.

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The shots fired at 500 yards , I circled with a sharpie. The 1,000 yard shots  I drew a square around them. The one hole with a star like squiggle drawn around it, is a hit that I am not sure is a 500 round or 1,000 yard shot. I thought it was a 1K shot but later I thought maybe I intended to mark it when I fired the 500 yard group.  So I marked it as a 500 shot to not give myself the benefit of the doubt  and make a note of it.  I feel it is more honest in this case to just call it as a 500 yard hit.   On top of that, the 1,000 yard string obviously shifted to the bottom left corner and I feel it was unlikely that one of the 1K shots hit that far right and high.

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The first fired 10 rounds at  500 yards using the Black Hills 77 grain MK 262 MOD 1 ammo.  Five hundred yards is not a serious challenge for a quality carbine. Especially off of a bench rest and bags with an 18x optic.  As per my usual method, I fired 10 rounds on a steel target gong to confirm my zero. I think fine tuned on a few skeet I lay around the target to make sure it is refined, then fire my “record group” of 10 rounds.  As you can see I missed the target completely on one shot and of course the specially marked hit that may or may not be a shot at 500 yards. So NOT giving myself the benefit.  8 out of 10 rounds on target at 500 yrds.   But, this is a very good group.  The wind showed me some mercy while I fired the 10 shots and it shows.  Once again, you can see the vertical stringing sneaking into the group.

Last I fired 20 rounds at 1,000 yards with 6 hits and then the hit in question that may have been a seventh round hit,  Once again, not giving my self the benefit, I toss this shot out since it is in doubt, I give a count of 6 hits. The wind at that distance carried the shots further to left and I used several minutes to get me on the target this much.   For the 1,000 yard group,I switched to my personal hand loads,  It is a pet load that out performs factory ammo and is hot enough I do not share the load data.  Now, whether it shoots better at this range or I just have more confidence in it, I have no idea really. But confidence is a huge factor, so I stick with it since it has always performed well for me.   It takes extreme effort to get a 16 inch barreled carbine on target at 1K.  Using a 20 or 18 inch barrel or better yet, a 24 inch barrel 556 gun is like heaven compared to the gymnastic it takes to get a carbine on but it can be done.  Once again, I show it, just to show what a person can do with an M4.

The  6940Piston has some benefits in the long range testing in the fact that it comes with the SOCOM profile heavy barrel that is a big help. If the piston does disrupt the barrel from its extra movement and vibrations, then the heavy SOCOM barrel meant for harsher full auto firing schedule, helps cut this down possibly.

Last we come to the reason that the piston M4 carbine is supposed to exist. More reliability and especially in hard use with little cleaning, And of course in a military context, full auto fire with little cleaning and lube.

Last week friend of Looseournds.com and my neighbor , Tug Valley Armaments brought his full auto guns out for us to do some hard testing of the Piston Colt.  Since getting the gun in the mail from Colt. I have rnot cleaned or lubed the gun.  After 784 rounds of no cleaning and no lube, It was time.  We put the upper on the full auto lower and fired up a few 40 round Pmags to get it so hot, it took glove to even hold it by the  KAC vertical fore grip.  I stuck a full surefire 60 round mag in the bone dry, very dirty gun with zero lube on it and held the trigger down until empty.

The gun went through the magazine without issue. Let me tell you it was hot before I fired the mag, and it was smoking after., We got the carbine dangerous hot.

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You can see the barrel of the carbine smoking from the heat of the 60 round mag dump after not taking a break after also firing through five Magpul 40 round Pmags and various USGI 30 rounders.  There was no problem form the gun. It ran wonderfully.  I cannot make any dubious claims of the BCG being cooler because it was a piston though since by the time I stopped shooting even the receiver extension was hot to touch.

One observation we did not expect is that the gun on full auto  would not run with the full auto lowers carbine buffer.  We slapped the upper on the Class III lower and left the buffer it had in it in place. I went to auto and it was semi auto only.  After thinking about it a second, we put the H2 buffer that comes standard in the  6940Piston, in the NFA lower and the gun ran perfectly. Just more reason why I have always appreciated Colt giving at least the H buffer in their carbines and heavier buffers based on what the  gun was intended to do.

The piston 6940 is a superb piston AR15 carbine. If you are the type who thinks he has to have a piston to kill the commie invasion, I can not see you being let down by this gun or find any complaints.  If you just want a great gun and you like this one and do not have any strong thoughts on the piston vs DI, you are gonna love this gun.  If you are a DI die hard guy like me?  You are still going to really like this gun.   I won’t be switching to piston nor do I feel the need to, but I am impressed by this gun. I think the DI does edge it out in accuracy with match ammo, but in practical field use it is not really a factor.   Since I used match ammo for the testing in the part, I will be using milspec issue ammo testing in the next part  to see how it does and  possibly a direct shoot off  between the 6940 Piston and the standard 6940 DI gun.  So, if you are interested check back for that info.

Man Shoots Soldiers’ Armor With .44 Magnum, What Happens Might Make You Cringe

By Andrew Betts

Our service men and women are issued body armor systems composed of a carrier, soft panels, and hard plates. One of the most common systems is the IOTV, or Improved Outer Tactical Vest. The military faces different threats than law enforcement does and therefore military body armor is not NIJ rated, but the soft panels are widely said to be roughly equivalent to NIJ level IIIA. That means that they should stand up to a .44 magnum 240 gr jacketed soft point at 1,400 fps with no more than 2.7” of back face deformation in a modeling clay backer.

We wanted to know if the armor would meet that standard so we tested a groin protector panel from an OTV. Be warned, this video might make you cross your legs.

It was interesting that the aramid layers are not stitched around the edges, as they are in many other armor panels. They had just a single stitch in the center. Nevertheless, the groin protector panel came very close to passing this IIIA standard. It stopped the bullet and the back face deformation was only slightly over the standard. Of course, .44 mag is not exactly a common threat on the battlefield.

Military armor is designed with other threats in mind, but it is encouraging to know that our soldiers are protected by excellent armor.

Point Of Impact. ( Books for the gun enthusiast )

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“I was at my best with a rifle in my hand. I always loved rifles. So I decided to live in such a way that the rifle would be all I needed. And I succeeded.”  Bob Lee Swagger.

Above is just one of many great lines from Stephen Hunter’s masterpiece “Point of Impact”, the first book about his iconic hero Bob Lee Swagger.   This is the book the dreadful movie with Marky Mark was based on.  And I use the term loosely.

Bob Lee is a disabled and retired former USMC  scout sniper and Vietnam war vet. Bob sustained a career ending wound in the hip  just before his partner was killed on a sniper mission in the later years of the war.  Bob is clearly a fictionalized version of the Ultimate Sniper Carlos Hathcock in the universe of the book.  Bob is famous after the war and is well known in the gun culture, though he is bitter and seeks no lime lights.  Because of his exploits and skill during the war, he was nicked names “Bob the Nailer”.  While he is obviously close to the real life master sniper, Carlos himself is represented in the book as the character Carl Hitchcock as a nod to the real life sniper.

As the story opens, Bob is shown to be a recluse who has had a tough life after he is medically retired from the Marines. He collects his pension and lives alone in his trailer in the mountains with no one but his dog. He spends his days shooting and reloading and avoiding people.  Ever day he shoots his rifles, handloads. workds on his guns and reads gun books.  He had trouble with booze in the years before the start of the story and had a wife that left him before he went into his voluntary solitude.

Much like the movie, he is found and set up in a plot that looks like he tries to kill the US POTUS. He goes on the run eventually meeting up with his dead spotters wife and falling in love with her and teaming up with a FBI agent who helps him through the rest of the story.

As tiresome as it is to hear it again, the book is far better than that abortion of a movie. Bob is not arrogant and cocky. He is a Vietnam vet  and much more clever than his movie counterpart.

One thing we learn in the book is that Bob is living a life of quite desperation, just waiting to die.  When he is set up and sets out on the run to clear himself, we learn that he is once again alive for the first time since the war. He is fully engage again now that he has a war to fight.     And the the climax and gun fights of the book do not disappoint.

Unlike the vast majority of writers, Stephen Hunter is a gun guy. The book is full of gun talk and details and is accurate to weapons type and ballistics.  Indeed one rifle  pretty much becomes a character in the book.  Knows as the “tenth black king” a Pre 64 Model 70 winchester target rifle 1 of 100 that is The number 1 of that special run.  It is a 300 H&H magnum with a Unertl target scope used for the kill that sets Bob up and has a long history back to the death of JFK and it is essential to driving the plot.

This great book set off the popularity of Bob Lee and his adventures that are still ongoing to this day, And even some side books about Bob’s father Earl who is even more deadly and impressive as well as heroic as Bob himself.  Earl was a WW2 vet and received the Medal Of Honor.  Earl goes on to have adventure of his own as a Arkansas state  trooper before dying on duty when Bob is still a boy.   Earl had a huge impact on his son to say the least.

The book is one anyone who loves guns needs to read, It is better than any action movie I have ever seen with plot twists and pacing that is truly masterful. It is never dull and is 100 percent entertaining.   I read it many years ago ( it first came out around 91 or 92) and I have probably read it again every two years or so. it is really that good.  Lastly, in addition to all I said, it also has some deep thoughtful things to say about life and duty and doing the right thing.   It  has never failed to entertain me.