All posts by lothaen

DI Optical’s EG1 Review: Thinking Outside the Box with a Box

Aimpoint is the only serious dot sight that anyone recommends anymore, right? Right. With the death of EOTECH’s reputation, we are left with option A for a serious duty ready red dot sight. Well, that would be the case had not D I Optical stepped into the American market. Can DIO fill the gap and bring in a quality product that gives consumers a second option to consider aside from Aimpoint?

New to the Market, Not New to the Game

If you aren’t familiar with DIO, the RV1 is the Americanized version of their service rifle red dot sight, and DIO has been making red dots of all sizes for years. See NSN# 1005-01-626-1714 for their Heavy Machine Gun Sight which is in service here stateside.

My first hands on impression with DIO was with their RV1 red dot, which I reviewed at my own blog a few weeks ago. Reaching out to DIO to show them that I beat their little red dot up and it survived, they propositioned me to beat on their EG1 red dot like I did to the RV1. I agreed.

So I took it out to the ranch, sighted in off the co-witnessed iron sights, and got to work. I threw it down multiple times, and attempted to drown it several times, and did my best to make it break. No dice. No Drama. The dot stayed on and nothing construction wise was amiss. The only problem I encountered was a loosening of the mount screws… and this was a self-made problem. I should have loc-tited it down before I even mounted it. I know better. Once I noticed that it was loosening, I ran into my shop, torqued the screws back into place, and my zero came back, and I kept on shooting. (PS: My Geiselle Mk4’s screws also started to loosen, so keep that in mind. Yes, I beat my gun that bad testing the EG1).

So with the beating, the drowning, and the overall slapping around, the EG1 performed like a red dot should… bright and always on. One of the key features of the optic is the unique form factor. As you can see, it is a square body with a square-ish 28mm lens. This unique configuration is made possible due to the prism assembly which allows the emitter to be smack dab in the base of the optic. As the emitter shines upward from the base, it is redirected by the prism to the shooter and it allows the DIO to maximize lens real estate without the emitter assembly getting in the way. Thinking outside the box with a box. It’s just crazy enough to work. I like it.

It features a battery life of 5000 hours at a medium setting… lets see, 15 total brightness settings divided by two… well let’s call that setting 8, we will round-up. The side of the optic has the windage and elevation adjustments and comes with a handy tool to adjust them, though a dime would work just the same.

It’s also mil-std 810G environment tested so we have some certification that we are getting a optic which passes some testing standards unlike many of the Chinese products on the market today. The mount itself is held in place by two hex screws, and they are big and beefy. The optic is compatible with ARMS #17 style mounts, so you have plenty of options for trading out the finger knob.

The sun shades are removable, so you can enhance the view even more. I noted that the optic is not sensitive to placement. There isn’t a “tube effect” like the Comp M4 or the mini RDS when they are mounted too close to the eye. The EG1 is just a wide open eye box. I ran it close to the rear BUIS to reduce over-the-shoulder sun glare if the heat was at my 6.

SO OVERALL

Impressions are good. This optic retails for just north of $400 bones and that is precisely in Aimpoint Pro territory. For a relative newcomer to the US market, the EG1 represents a very different approach to the RDS and its use of a prismatic assembly to widen the field of view is a novel concept. With my two DIO red dots in hand, I must say that I have started to recommend them on the forums I haunt. I hope to see more of DIO’s products in the future, and hopefully they can continue to innovate in the red dot market and add some much needed competition.

The Jericho 941: High Quality, With Quirks

My wife has a new gun. She wanted something metal. She wanted something that would be fun to shoot. She wanted something that would be interesting. We hunted interesting down, watched some Cowboy Bebop, and hopped on the internet. The Jericho was being re-imported once again by IWI, and after discussing the particulars of the Jericho with her, she was sold. She wanted Isreali Steel. I just hoped that when we plunked down the cash, the Isreali wunder nine would function and give her enough of a smile to enjoy shooting.

Let’s break it down:

IWI Jericho

The Jericho 941 is steel meets steel. It’s a heavy, big service pistol. It’s the type of gun you would want to hit someone with after exhausting all your ammo. Clean lines, excellent (or rather, peerless) machine work give us a pistol with incredibly smooth contours and lines. There are no machining marks, or rough edges. I am really impressed by the work in this piece. After researching the Jericho 941 and ordering sight unseen… I was a wee bit worried. Not so much anymore. The action is based on the CZ75 with an Isreali twist. It bears a familial resemblence, but the lines of the Jericho are much more industrial and flat. Like its relative, the action and slide of the Jericho sit tight inside the frame and as a side effect, reveal little of the slide itself for weapon manipulation. Unlike say, my square Glock which gives me lots of real estate for racking and manipulation, the Jericho gives much less purchase. Consider this a negative if forced to manipulate the weapon when wet or in slippery conditions. Oil carefully so that you don’t coat the slide in excessive slippery oil. Overall, the slide serrations work fine and once you have a normal grip on the pice, it slides back to the rear with little effort.

IWI Jericho Slide

Once you do get the slide back, you might also notice how smooth it is. Coming from the Tupperware generation of Glocks, I recall the first time I racked a Glock and was met by the scratchy, gritty feel of Gaston’s masterpiece. Once we got the Jericho home and I racked it back, I was jealous. The slide came back so buttery smooth that I instantly realized that IWI had quality in mind with the piece. There is no grit, no chrunch, just a smooth resistance until the barrel drops, which then is increased ever so slightly as the slide pushes the hammer down into the cocked position. Fantastic quality here folks, especially at $549 dollars.

IWI Jericho Review

The controls are ergonomic, but not ambidextrous. We have right handed controls incorporating a slide lever and safety made for a right handed shooter. A beavertail sticks out the rear to discourage slide bite. The full size service pistol frame fits my hands well, and I am a small-medium glove wearer. Smalls feel a bit tight, mediums a bit roomy. The Jericho’s controls were all reachable and capable of being activated with my hand size.

The trigger is a double / single action without a decocker. Meaning if you want this pistol in condition one, you have two options: drop the hammer with your thumb while pulling the trigger and hope you don’t slip, or option two: hammer back, round in chamber, safety on. Trigger pull itself is heavy and stiff much like every other double action I owned, but since the pistol will be primarily in single action mode (I am not willing to drop that little hammer on a live round, I like having a thumb) the single action mode was good to go. Single action is light, perhaps 3-4 lbs of trigger with a very short pull distance to the wall, and a smooth pull to the rear completes the hammer drop. A short reset with a tactile snap of sear engagement rounds out the single action package. I believe this gun permits you to run it fast based on the single action trigger characteristics.

IWI Jericho Slide lock

 

The sights are standard, front and rear driftable three dot sights. Night sights are available from Meprolight for upgrades down the road.

IWI Jericho Sights

In action, the gun had no major concerns from me. The heavy frame kept recoil down to a minimum and my wife, a first time pistol owner, had no trouble or fear from this gun’s recoil. It simply shoots without much fanfare. We cycled a 50 round box of Winchester 124 grain 9mm without issue. I was relieved that my wifes new pistol was functioning properly.

I had lots of my favorite brand of malfunctioning reloads handy, freedom munitions, to test as well. Having bought this stuff a year ago, I found that my G19 ate it like candy, while my G17 jammed like crazy with it. In my opinion, it is a weakly loaded ammo that I believe had difficulty cycling the heavier slide and new recoil spring of my G17. We threw some of this 115 grain 9mm through the Jericho and my Glock and both pistols choked at least once or twice a magazine… which gave me a chance to teach my wife how to clear malfunctions. At this time, another quirk became apparent; the flat, flush floorplate give us nothing to grab in order to strip a mag to clear a malfunction. Consider CZ75 magazine extensions to assist in clearance drills since the CZ75 and Jericho magazines are the compatible.

IWI Jericho Magazines
16 round steel magazines with a flush flooreplate. Needs a extension.

 

Past the crappy reloaded ammo, the gun started to loosen up, and was taken out again for a separate range session with one malfunction during my wife’s CCW course. She stripped the magazine and cleared the pistol, and had it back online for the next target rotation without issue. This singular malfunction was with factory new Winchester 115 grain white box. The ammo breakdown was thus: 50 rounds of 124 grain ammo without malfunction. 100 rounds of underpowered reloads which choked both the IWI and my G17, 25 rounds of aluminum cased budget ammo with no malfunctions, and 100 + – rounds of new 115 grain Winchester white box with one malfunction during a CCW course.

The pistol handled well, points well, and shoots well. Thus far it slings lead with precision and ejects brass consistently to the right. I believe the malfunctions at this point are ammo related. Most problems were failure to eject, telling me that the ammo just didn’t have the power to rock the slide back all the way to the rear. This gun likes ammo with a decent power factor, otherwise plinker ammo and weaker stuff is likely going to have a hard time cycling the heavy steel slide and stiff (new) recoil spring.

With a gun like the Jericho, expect less in the way of accessories than standard common sidearms, but luckily this pistol has been around for decades, and importers bring a variety of holsters and components over from Israel… but ultimately the options are somewhat limited in comparison to more common products.

Final impression: A little more testing is warranted to examine the pistol and different ammo types. Defensive quality ammo seems like it will be the hot ticket for reliability, and the overall weight and heft of this steel service pistol will keep the recoil impulse down. The controls are ergonomic for a right handed shooter, and the second stage of the trigger is light and clean. The first stage is long and hard to reach if you have small hands. The gun must be carried cocked and locked. This gun would be a excellent piece for home defense with some night sights and a light. A little big / heavy for carry  (2.3 lbs) but if your a OWB carry guy / gal and want a old fashioned steel piece, give it a try. I will report back on Looserounds if the pistol has any problems past the break in period, but I will be cycling 124 grain or higher 9mm through this pistol for the foreseeable future.

Spike.Spiegel.full.1725812
SEE YOU SPACE COWBOY…

 

 

 

 

 

 

Turn the Tide: Guidelines for Open Carry

Turn the tide

Congratulations Texas. Your incredibly pushy efforts to get open carry have succeeded in getting you a open carry provision added to your state CCW licensure. Open carry comes with certain responsibilities. In this handy guide, we will discuss the steps you need to take to avoid being a open carry douchbag. As our visible representation to the average joe, you are a walking billboard for the gun community. It is your responsibility to carry in a way that turns heads and changes opinions. So here are X steps you need to take to be a representative of gun owners everywhere.

Denial Measures

The first point of discussion is the most important aspect of open carry:  A holster made to carry the pistol in a responsible manner. THE WORST THING we can do is allow our weapon to fall into the wrong hands. Be that it is taken from you by force, or that it simply falls out of that shit nylon holster you got at Bob’s Guns, its high time to realize that if you drop that gun in a public place, or if you are shot or killed with a weapon taken from your person, YOU WILL BE NATIONAL NEWS. You will give countless liberal idiots everything they need to point and scream at how ineffective, dangerous, and meat headed open carry is. If that pistol makes its way out of that nylon holster in the wrong circumstances, you not only could lose your CCW license, but you will make us all look like idiots.

Glock-Level-II-_2_46636c88-f808-4543-9071-807f110cce41_grande
Good Kydex Plus Active Retention: Photo courtesy Bravo Concealment

RETENTION is the name of the game. If you are going to open carry responsibly, you need a retention holster instead of that cheap hydrodipped skull kydex you got off Amazon. True, GOOD KYDEX has passive retention, and this is a good thing, but would it help you if a thug started tugging at the pistol? Active retention buys you security and time. Active retention gives you precious seconds longer to deny a thug your pistol. Good Retention will prevent that pistol from dropping out at the park. Active retention will prevent it from falling out at the park and keep it out of thug hands. Don’t make the news. Go for active retention with open carry. It just makes too much sense.

Dress for success

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If you can pull this off and Open Carry, you are doing more for the second amendment than you can possibly imagine.

Dress for success. This is key. As our walking billboard, you need to show the community you live in that, as a gun owner, you are clean, good looking, hell even popular. If you dress like Slob McAllister, you continue to perpetrate stereotypes which work against us. Dress well. It doesn’t have to be business casual, but dress in a manner that represents us. The more loser you look, the more opinions will be re-inforced. We are on the offensive now. Gun ownership is experiencing a resurgence not seen in decades. Help that wave grow by looking damn good, and looking cool as hell. Yes this is a popularity contest. We have to make the other side look like sheepish morons, while we, the gun owners, look like American action stars (if applicable) at best, and at the very least… like an approachable all American guy or gal.  Carry those pocket constitutions in your back pocket and hand out lollipops if necessary. This is a cultural war, and we have to be on the cutting edge and relevant to young adults and all future generations. So look good, and answer questions politely.

Put the Phone Down

Stop recording the cops… Or at least change the strategy. As an open carrier, your going to be approached by police. You may want to record the interaction because sometimes the police are wrong. I know you want to post every bad interaction on YouTube, but when your video starts out with a nice cop asking to see your CCW and you start screaming “AM I BEING DETAINED?? AM I BEING DETANED?!?!” you look like a douchbag.  Stop it. You make us look unreasonable and further the impression of those who are on the fence that we may be, in fact, idiots. Quietly turn on that cell phone, put it in your pocket, and comply with the cops demands to all reasonable ends. If he or she was wrong and you are reasonable with your speech and actions, we, the gun community, will stand behind you. Post that to YouTube and contact your lawyer.

Wrapping Up:

IMG_9467_zpsytmjubc1

Remember, this is a popularity contest. I don’t care how much you think the Constitution protects your rights, the reality is that it does nothing if the public doesn’t believe in the rights written on it. Nothing could be worse than to let popular opinion of the gun owner turn against us. When the majority of the citizenry believes the constitution is a failed document, and begin to shred it by re-interpreting, restricting protections, and crapping over the brilliance of the founding fathers… then its protections mean nothing. The citizenry is doing that RIGHT NOW. We have to turn the tide. Your job, as a walking billboard for gun owners, is to carry responsibly, to look damn good doing it, and to change minds about what a gun owner is. We’re not rednecks. We are culturally relevant bad asses who pet kittens and kiss babies, yet are prepared to defend ourselves and possibly those around us from harm. Please represent us well Texas, and as a former Pennsylvania open carry resident, good luck with future legislative success.

 

The SSM Review: A System for Shooters

Six Second Mount

I have had the Six Second Mount for a few months now. I have put several hundred rounds down range on a otherwise stock Glock to try my hand at the latest and greatest of pistol enhancements.

The mount has worked well. It introduces a few notable upgrades for the shooters who are willing to sacrifice portability for performance. Not quite a race gun, but not a clean slide melt RDS system… it fits somewhere in between. So what’s the point?

The story from ALG defense is that a certain counter terrorism unit liked the performance of a RDS on their Glock, but they encountered frequent failures of the RDS, so they approached Geisselle for a solution. The solution was introduced from their sister company ALG defense as the SSM. I don’t know what G forces are produced on a red dot as it slams to the rear of slide travel and then is suddenly slammed forward back into battery, but suffice to say I think that battering a small electronic optic like that, no matter how hardened it may be, will likely lead to failure sooner than how the SSM mount isolates its RDS from movement.

six second mount 3
Fully Loaded SSM

 

Our RDS for the SSM is mounted as low as possible over the slide and the only movement the RDS will see is the movement of wrist flexion and whatever amount of travel the grip and frame of the G17 see in your hand. It’s isolated and free and clear of the damaging G forces that slide mounted systems will experience.

The SSM’s lattice work frame extends down to the plastic Glock rail where it clamps in place over it to offer a picatinny rail mounting solution for all manner of lights and lasers, etc. The two points of hard contact for the mount are the trigger pin, which is replaced by the ALG system, and the front rail which is another pin that clamps over the aforementioned Glock rail.

So it’s cool looking, and offers a bulky way to attach a light and a laser, so how is that better than a svelt slide mounted setup other than red dot durability?

Well, looking past that very important point of RDS durability, it does offer unique shooter advantages. The weight of the system, especially with a light or laser mounted up front, mutes the muzzle flip significantly. With the muting of recoil, we have much less visual deviation with the red dot. It dances up and down, but it is very easy to track. The foreward weight bias keeps in securely in the window of the RDS. Having the RDS in a fixed spot helps you to keep track of that dot better than if it was driving back and forth on a reciprocating slide. A muzzle device would further reduce flip, and this mount could run in Open USPSA just fine, I think.

six second mount 5
10 yards out as fast as possible. I’m not proud as 10 yards isn’t impressive, but I’m not ashamed either. I would be happy to examine my groupings like these on a dead assailant. Critique my performance even while I wait for the authorities.

 

Having a RDS mounted up top gave me a great deal of precision at all distances and allowed 100 yard shots to be, well, too easy. I had a fifteen yard zero and at 100 yards I aimed at the head to drop 9mm squarely into the torso. My shooting buddy called out the shots to ensure I was getting hits and… I was, over and over. At this point several onlookers put down their equipment to watch my fancy ray gun, and they watched and commented as hit after hit was called out at 100. The precision made hitting the human silhouette child’s play.

So what else does it do?

The rail and light mount being permanently attached also allows you to zero a light and a laser together for you high speed types with night vision. Apparently the Glock rail is prone to losing zero with fancy IR lasers… according to the customers who approached Geisselle.

The biggest hurdle is the size and the weight. With G17, rail, TLR-1 light, and PA red dot, it weighs in at 32.9 oz or 2.06 lbs unloaded without a magazine. Rock in a fully loaded G17 magazine and we are at 42.8 oz or 2.68 lbs.

How do we carry the weight of the SSM widget system? We need a good holster. I approached Vigilance Tactical in Elizabethtown PA for a custom solution, and they delivered two holsters which do a fantastic job of carrying the G17 with and without light attached. After a brief jog in the mail to Recoil magazine, my light bearing holster, dubbed the Nocturnal Sentry 6, was sent back to me and added to Vigiliance Tactical’s model listings.  Yes, that is my Glock pictured on their website. Thanks, I’m a proud parent.

six second mount 2

The Vigilance Tactical holster was the last piece of the puzzle missing to make the SSM more than just a nite stand gun. The Vigilance Tactical kydex gives me a great holster for the SSM and offers some portability / concealability under a coat in winter. Having both the slimmer model  Sentry 6 for sport, and the full on tactical model with thum-break for the full SSM Kit, I have options. Vigilance Tactical did fantastic work and retention is strong. Aesthetically, it looks great. Some of the other holsters I have seen for the SSM look, well… awkward and crappy.

six second mount 4
The Vigilance Kydex tied this project together. Special thanks to Vigilance Tactical.

 

Wrapping up, the SSM is a full-on kit for someone who is looking for every advantage in a fighting pistol. It mutes recoil very well, minimizes dot loss from slide reciprocation, and increased red dot longevity / lifespan by isolating it from harsh recoil. The costs are increase weight, bulk, cost, and complexity over slide mounted setups, but if you want to carry something that will last you out in the wasteland, go with the SSM and eat the weight. If you need a slimmer gun, then it’s not suitable for your goals. I can see this as a perfect firearm for a recoil sensitive shooter in a home defense environment as well.

The SSM offers lot’s of dirty firepower on tap for the more recoil sensitive shooting soul.

 

How To Record Your Bullets In Flight

Recording projectiles flying to the target is a very simple process, and it produces some neat results that you can take home with you on film after your done at the range.

A up to date camera is a must. I used to film with a standard definition camera, and when you zoomed in the mirage made everything turn to pot. With the HD camera, mirage still occurs, but you can still see whats going on down range better than with an old camera.

The camera I used is a Panasonic HC-V270 with 90x optical / digital zoom. This is a budget camera that runs a 1080p picture in 60 FPS. Nothing special and by no means a pricey piece of equipment.

Place the camera next to your position and zoom in on the target. Ensure that you are recording more of the space above the target than below since our bullet will arch to the target.

For even better results, shoot with the sun behind you and you might capture an image of the bullet itself as it fly’s downrange. In this case, I was fortunate to capture a 75 gr Hornady fly to a 600 yard gong.

I hope you can record some very cool shots. Anyone have a 45/70?

Happy Bullet Trails!

The Razor HD II at 6 Months: Versatility at a Price

Razor HDII

I have been using the Razor HD II for about 6 months. It’s a well-known optic, and there are many good reviews online for the piece already. They discuss its weight, its features, its huge eye-box, and they discuss X, Y, or Z… but they seem to neglect the real meat and potatoes of the optic. The Razor HD II is a Jack of All Trades.

I studied my options for weeks before I chose the Razor. $1400 isn’t chump change. It cost more than the ACOG it replaced, but looking at the optic from a shooters perspective can give us some good reasons to go with a high-end variable over a ACOG.

Razor HD rear

First and foremost, the optic I chose has a JM-BDC1 reticle. This reticle is a BDC calibrated for multiple loadings. The ranging marks are good for 9 inch wide target, and not the shoulder width of the typical BDC stadia. For ranging purposes on a human silhouette, the head must be used instead of the shoulders to measure an accurate range. I don’t consider this good or bad, just different.

Razor HD II
Click to Enlarge

What is good though, is that the BDC mirrors several important loadings very well. 55 and 62 grain ammo will match the stadia out of 16 inch and longer systems well with a sight in at + – 100 yards. Heavier ammo in the 69-77 grain range will match the stadia closely if zeroed at 200 yards. This makes the razor a good system for people who might be switching rifles or ammo types and haven’t settled on a specific loading.

Furthermore, since it’s a second focal plane optic, we can also modify the bullet drop by dialing back a bit on the magnification. Very oddly… i found that, according to Strelok Ballistic Calculator, the Razor HD would calibrate very well at 3x for a 12 inch .300 blackout firing supersonic loadings. Also the 9 inch stadia (calibrated at 6x) become 18 inch stadia at 3x so suddenly this optic can be capably used for a loading it wasn’t designed for…

Obviously experimentation is necessary to identify loadings that match well to the stadia and which level of magnification will further align with the bullet drop. Since the Razor is offered in Mil-Rad and MOA reticles as well, you can go that route too instead of tweaking things like I do with the JM-BDC-1.

The illumination is daylight bright, and is a single dot in the center of the cross-hairs. Is it red dot bright? Yes. The Razor’s field of view at 1x and bright red dot make this a devastating variable up close.

When you are stretching the optics legs, you can take off the caps and dial in your dope. Underneath the caps the optic is waterproof so no need to worry about leaving the turrets exposed. The important thing to note here is that takes a full 50 minutes of rotation to go past your zero. Since it doesn’t have zero stops, the huge amount of rotation should keep you from getting lost in the dial. If you are shooting 5.56 in a 0-600 yard setting you would need to shoot one slow… derpy loading to need to rotate the dial past 25 minutes.

Vortex RAzor HD II up close

Wind corrections are also marked and can go 25 minutes either way.

The Razor HD II has plenty of stiff competition. There are many options at the Razor HD’s $1300 price point, but I think it has a nice mix of features to allow you to shoot it in a variety of ways to extract the most value for your dollar. Not to mention the glass is beautiful. Overall, I believe an optic like this goes well on a general purpose gun. It’s not specialized enough to give a precision minded shooter the tools he / she needs for long-range work, and it’s not as light and fast on target as a red dot. It, like many other variables… operates in that niche where it is a jack of all trades, but a master of none. That said, it has more going for it than many other variables I have handled due to its combination of features.

Lothaen

+ Glass is clear

+ Turrets are hard to get lost in

+ Water proof with or without caps

+ Can be very versatile if you experiment

+ Red dot bright illumination

+ BDC, MOA or Mil-Rad options available

– weight

– heavyness

+ increases physical endurance

USPSA Journal #1: Magpul Pmag 17, Freedom Munitions Remanufactured 9mm, Zev Race Connector

Alright: here is my USPSA series on practical pistols in competition and home defense. Right now the series is just getting started with some local matches and a nearly box stock G17. As I move foreward, I will be competing with an open class gun which favors reliability over game enhancing parts and products. Keep an eye out for the G17 PDW gun as it evolves into a (hopefully) performance enhancing shooting iron with the ALG defense six second mount, custom kydex holster, and a few other accessories along the way.

Special thanks to www.looserounds.com for hosting the video / pistol series!

The New Rifleman

The Birth of the Pistol as a PDW

The last decade has been a wild ride for the AR15. The technology rush that shaped the basic rifle of the AWB era has given way to a technology rich rifle platform made to promote quick hits, at any distance, with ergonomic excellence and a user centric design.

It was only a matter of time before the technology march reached into the territory of the sidearm.

A PDW is a Personal Defense Weapon. It’s that weapon you would give tanker crews and other non combat troops which packs more punch than a pistol, but less than a rifle. It’s an in-between to shoot back at your assailant and get out of dodge. Here too, technology has tricked down to miniaturize existing designs such as the AR15 and equip it with high performance accessories. The civilian marketplace has made great strides in pushing technology and the design of the AR to the peak of its performance.

Now here we are… it’s 2015 and now the technology is transitioning to the pistol. As miniature red dots make their way onto thousands more pistols this summer, we have to take another look at the pistol and examine the direction it will take in the future. My thoughts?

We are turning pistols into the equivalent of a civilian PDW:

GLock Scorpion

As we install micro red dots and then install compensators to keep the muzzle down and make that fancy dot easier to track, we can see that modern defensive pistols are slowly following the same path as the AR. As race gun technology trickled down into the military world, we forged the utility of the fighting rifle together with the practicality of the race gun to give our soldiers one of the best fighting rifles in the world.

Now we will see the same transformation of the pistol. It will be the melding of a traditional defensive handgun with the miniaturized features of the race pistol. We see manufacturers offering micro red dot mounting systems right from the factory. We see well known trainers equipping their pieces with +5 or +6 magazine extensions. I saw several “non race-gun” CCW pieces equipped with slide mounted red dots competing in a USPSA event.

So do we need to go this route? Does a defensive pistol need this junk?

Glock 17 P90

We likely will not be in the next Kenya Mall style attack. The chance is infinitesimal… but as red dots and control accessories become more commonplace in the CCW pistol, who wouldn’t want a pistol that runs at the cutting edge of speed and performance? I don’t intend to stick around and play hero in any mass shooting, but if an assailant gets between my family and the exit I want to lay down lead so heavy the coroner would believe he was hit by a shotgun. We got *lucky* in Garland, Texas.

I purchased the G17 you see above to specifically to test out the latest in drop in, non custom performance accessories. My intent is to run this gun in USPSA open division as soon as I get all the accessories I need. I want a RDS, Light, and a Compensator. I will carry it in winter time under my coat as my CCW and if I can figure out a way to conceal it in the summer, game on. I figure… why not.

It’s going to be my PDW after all.

-The New Rifleman

USPSA – Fast, Affordible Self Evaluation of Your Skills

USPSA match

This last week I went to my first USPSA match with a G19. I didn’t know what to expect out of a match, as all the videos posted online make it seem like everyone you go up against will be a speed freak with a laser like shot to the target. Seeing those videos can really put a dent in your resolve as you may believe that you won’t be able to compete.

First off, your will to get better should be the driving force behind your practice, the gun courses you take, and the competitions you go to. Watching too many videos of the World Class He-Men and She-Ra shooters will make you feel outclassed, so stop watching them and start doing! As pistol is my weakest skill, I *was* outclassed by many shooters… but the reason I went is because I know my pistol hand sucks. Perhaps for that reason, pistols were left behind when I need those skills as much as I need rifle skills.

The USPSA match would put me in the same position as it did when I began to compete with my rifle; it would put me out of my comfort zone and into a field were I could test my mettle against better shooters. It would give me a basis to compare myself and learn what I need to work on to master my sidearm.

“Make Ready and Holster Your Weapon”

I joined up and entered as a production division shooter which amounts to a 10 round magazine capacity limit on a box stock gun. New sights are allowed. I had a holster and a Blade-Tech mag holster and brought a total of 5 mags. The gear you need is really sparse, as a pistol, eyes, ears, ammo, gear bag, a mag pouch, and a holster are all you need to get started.

GLock 17 Rudy Project Shooting
Some good sunnies will help make your targets pop! Rudy Project RX.

Each course was held in a bay with a total of five bays and five squads of shooters. Each course was set up to allow you to problem solve the situation and determine which targets would get your attention first. Two rounds on each target, with steel targets needing to be knocked down to be neutralized were the main COF.

I like to run guns with a more universal approach. I want to be able to compete in any event with the same guns I would use if the deepest, darkest SHTFANTASY erupted. I want my guns to be all the same, and each of them nearly worn out by the time I die. I want to be the man with one gun, or in my case multiple guns in the same platform. So any guns I shoot will be on the practical side… even if they cost me the National Championship. Yea No.

“Is the Shooter Ready? Standby: Beep!”

The courses were a challenge and pushed me and my G19 to hit COM as fast as I could keep in control. My biggest blunders of the day were failing to engage two targets completely. I didn’t see them as I ran the course too fast and I obscured them by moving to a different location. Otherwise, I hit all my steel and generally hit the targets where I was supposed to. The biggest challenge in weapon manipulation was focusing on the front sight in spite of the excitement of the COF.

I find that running my gun in a USPSA match was invaluable, and cheap, way to learn to self correct my deficits. Some takeaways from the day:

  • Your gonna suck, so just get it over with… the suck will go away
  • Your weapon will be well suited to have a malfunction in a USPSA environment
  • You can only improve so much on a static target or if you are static at the gun range
  • The “game” will, at the very least, help you improve your speed on target and follow up shots

“Clear Weapon, Show Clear, Hammer Down, Holster!”

The sport of USPSA will be a great, low cost means to improve my shooting with my CCW and my new *Home Defense Pistol* which is basically a G17 that I will modify for the hell of it. Get your gun working for you, and don’t hesitate to take it to a competition. There is far more to the art of the gun than shooting at a static target at crowded shooting lane on a Saturday afternoon. Avoid the non-member range danger, and try out a well controlled, challenging sport which will push you to master that pistol! It is NOT a complicated sport, and anyone can get into USPSA.

Video Courtesy of Guns1961

As a supplement to my rifle, its going to be a great year of shooting ahead! – The New Rifleman

Is Your Red Dot Turning Into Sour Grapes?

I used to have a Comp M4, but I could tell, even at 30, that my eyes were not what they used to be. The biggest and chief concern to me was the gradual smearing of the dot and seeing it lose some of its crispness as my eyes aged. I typically wear corrective lenses, but even that wasn’t able to fully mitigate some of the smearing.

The 2 MOA RDS was still very useable, but I didn’t like the idea that ten years from now my $800 dollar investment might not have the same value to me as a shooter that it once did. Along the way, I learned of some tips and alternatives to help any other shooters with poor eyesight still make use of RDS or similar 1x systems.

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Flipping up the irons is a good way to help increase the crispness of the dot. In this example, I used the large aperture for the picture just as an example, but in reality using the small peep is an effective way to reduce the smearing effect of your RDS and give it a resolution boost. Practically, I used this method to shoot at longer range targets at competitions when I needed a sharp dot and to reduce dot glare. This assisted me with 200-300-400 yard targets as it made the dot incredibly crisp.

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Sighting through your small peep is a band aid solution to a fuzzy reticle, and if your eyes are very bad, it may not increase the sharpness of the dot enough to help. Furthermore, it eliminated some utility of the RDS… but if you have to settle into your sights and concentrate on a distant shot the speed loss might not be so critical. Another alternative to a RDS is a simple prismatic optic.

Prismatics are like a 1x scope that’s fixed at, well 1x. I have had a chance to look through a Leupold Prismatic at the funshop, and have recommended it to others who have experienced a loss of RDS resolution. Since it doesn’t rely on a LED diode and a reflective lens, the prismatic should offer a solution to dot distortion and loss of resolution that can help keep your 1x game up for years to come.

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The disadvantages to these systems are, however, a smaller eyebox than traditional RDS and short battery life on the illuminated reticle. On the flip side, these optics will maintain their resolution and still offer the shooter a black etched reticle should the electronics ever fail.

My chosen route, for now, was to go with a variable to eliminate the concern of a fuzzy reticle and give me a more versatile shooting setup. I wouldn’t mind getting another RDS, but I would like to keep the cost on the lower end for something that may decrease in value for my shooting as my eyes age.

I hope this can help some of our older shooters looking for options on their defensive rifles!