All posts by Shawn

Colt LE901 1st Impressions

Loose rounds was sent  the new modular 308 rifle from our friends over at Colt Defense today.  This is the new gun that has a 308 upper and a lower that can take a 5.56 upper to with a slight addition of an adapter block.  I got the gun and did a few groups with it and took some pics to get them up for everyone to see. Much much more to follow in the weeks to come!!

I set it up for the groups using a Leupold in Larue mounts. Shot at 100 yards with match ammo.

A lot more to come. I will be running it pretty hard and shooting it out to 1000 yards. More if I can pull it off. But this is a hint of things to come.

and yes, the 901 will take a bayonet

Woolrich Elite Pants

There are a lot of options for pants today and I know everyone rolls their eyes over the thought of “tactical pants”  and I can understand that. But, Woolrich Elite  has a really nice line of pants for range use or CCW use or just whatever you want to use them for. One thing I like about them  is how soft and comfortable they are.  They are tough and made for heavy use like some of the other brands, but the difference is, I can wear these no matter how hot it is outside. They breath and let you move around in them easily.

The pants I have came to me from my girlfriend buying them for me for christmas.  They are the light weight operators pants in the line.  I had always saw the woolrich elite line and admired them but did not know how nice they were until I had them.

Th pants seem to be a standard BDU type of pants at first glance but they are far from it. They have around ten pockets and none of them  useless pockets. My favorite is the rear pockets. One will hold your wallet very secure on the inside of a larger pocket that you could fit your mother in law in if you wanted to do something so stupid. And you get this feature on the left and right rear pocket. The front two hip pockets are deep enough to hold everything you want as well.

The two side cargo pockets are deep and will expand to hold a metric ton. They have the shock cord drawstring seen on a lot of pants these days  like the ACU uniform pants.  The inside of these pockets had a very neat feature. Inside each thigh cargo pocket is  elastic bands that will hold and secure anything you need. They will easily secure  mags for the M16 series of weapons.

At the knees is another welcome touch. The pants have a  pocket to hold knee pads. you can put in the military foam pads or the thicker rubber type like 5.11 offers.  Having even the thin foam pads is nice. You dont have the extra weight or heat but you do have some protection against falling off of you big wheel. It has saved me a skinned knee for sure.

The Pants have the now common ankle pockets on each leg too. Both will hold a small IFAK or  a AR15 magazine and are velcro closed. The outside has elastic bans t hold things, woolrich says they will hold chem lights . I tried it and they will. I am not really sure what else you could put in there but I never was clever with thinking up something useful.

I love there pants and I do not mind telling anyone.  They are worth every penny. They look good for any used short of a tuxedo and they feel great. Mine are ta, but Woolrich offers them in more then one color of course.  The belt loops take a large variety and the cuffs do not have a drawstring so if you need to tie them off on the bottom i do not know what to tell you.  I would not let that stop me from buying a great pair of pants though. I have been wearing and using them 2 years and they still look new.

1/7 Twist and light bullets. The Myth Debunked

Some people will tell you that a 1/7 twist is only good for  bullet weights above 55 grains.  It is a common myth and spread all over the internet  that  to get good accuracy out of the your ar15  with  the most plentiful ammo, buy a 1/9 twist.   This is a myth that has been  repeated so long  it is widely believed.  The problem is,  the people who tell you this never test it.  The truth is the 1/7 is the best of all worlds. You can shoot very light stuff. As light as you would care to shoot anyway. And you can go all the way up to 80 grains.

Above is a target I fired 18 rounds of 40 grain hornaday V-max bullets at 100 yards.  The orange dot is  3/4 inch in size.   I can not get accuacy much better then that when that many rounds are fired and using a milspec trigger.   The rifle was a factory Colt 6940 using nothing more then sandbags for rest and a 18x leupold target scope so I had nothing to blame on the group size.  If you got a 1/7 twist and want to shoot bulk cheap 55 grain ammo, or remington or winchester brand bulk 45 grain ammo from walmart do not worry. Go for it. barrel quality, ammo quality and your own skill may make the groups bigger, but it will NOT be because of the twist of 1/7.

Winchester Model 70 Sniper: A Brief History

 

 

 

 

 

Five years before WW2 kicked off , Winchester started production of their masterpiece the Model 70 rifle.  The M70 was known as the rifleman’s rifle and was known as the highest quality factory produced sporting rifle of its time. Little really needs to be said about the quality of the rifle even to this day.  It does not take very long to find some one talking about the “pre 64 model70.”

The start of the model 70 finding its way into sniper use starts Nov 12 1942 when Van Orden and Lloyd  wrote a study on “equipment for the american sniper.”  The testing of the model 70 showed it to be superior to the rifles then in use by the military. Of course the military decided it was unsuitable for combat use because they worried the rifle was not sturdy enough for use by the average infantryman in war.  This, however, set the stage for the Model 70 to be remembered when something else was needed in tough times and US military sniping  was still in its early days.

The model tested by the equipment board was a .30-06 caliber with heavy barrel of 24 inches and sporter stock. The optic was the commercially produced Unertl 8x scope with target blocks and the provision for target iron sights.

In these early days Winchester delivered 373 rifles with unertl optics to the USMC  for testing.  After deciding not to use the M70 or the 1903, the Corps decided to go with the 1903a4 rifle for sniping use.  Though the M70 was not officially adopted for sniping use, it was reported by 1st-hand accounts that a few did see service against the Japanese in the early days of the US fighting in the pacific.

After the war, the rifles remained in the hands of the USMC for target use or to be loaned out for hunting while on leave and even given away as prizes for winning shooting matches.

After the war Winchester continued to refine and upgrade the M70 for highpower shooters. The model 70 was offered in three versions: the national match, the target grade and the heavy weight “bull gun”.  The difference of these models was in the stocks, barrel weight and length.

During the Korean war the model 70 was called up again to be considered for sniper use. One Ord. officer tried very hard to get the military to look closer at the model 70 by showing men in the field what a trained marksman with the M70/Unertl combo could do.  Several 1000-yard kills of chi-com troops were confirmed by Captain Brophy.  The USMC took another look at the Winchester but judged it the same as before, saying it was not durable enough for standard sniping use.

At this point the USMC had around 1000 Model 70s that are currently known of.  Around 1956-1963 the USMC had the existing in-stock Model 70s rebuilt into target rifles . The serial numbers ran from 41,000 to 50,000.  These are the rifles that would later go on to see use in the Vietnam war where the model 70 showed what it could do and went on to help make legendary status in the hands of Carlos Hathcock.

The M70s in stock after rebuild by the corps the have receivers slotted at the top.  The sporter lightweight barrels were removed and either heavy Winchester target barrels were installed or douglas custom barrels were used all in 30/06 caliber.  Existing sporter stocks in good shape were used but relieved to take the heavier target barrels.  If the sporter stock was in too rough of shape, the winchester marksman stock was used. The action and barrel was then glass bedded into the stock and 1 1/4 sling swivels were used along with metal buttplates.

At the end of this period, sadly, Winchester stopped making the version of the model 70 that would go on to be so desired. In 1964 the arms maker went on to change the rifle in many ways to make it cheaper and easier and faster to make.  I will not list all the changes here, but it was enough to damage the company’s reputation for many years and was something many fans never forgave.  It also ended any chance the M70 had of becoming sniper standard in the years to come.

In 1965 the war in Vietnam started to really heat up.  The need for snipers and sniper rifles was remembered after casualties from enemy snipers reminded the US military how effective the sniper can be.  Very early in the war it become apparent the M14 rifle was in no way useful as a true sniper rifle in current form.  In fact the army spent a lot of time and money trying to make the m14 into a sniper system and finally gave up in the 80s before going to a bolt action system.

In the early days of rifles being pressed into service as sniper rifles, the model 70 was the un-official USMC sniper rifle.  The first rifles sent to Asia to be used were from the third marine division rifle team.  These were the rifles rebuilt for use for highpower competition at Camp Perry.  One of the rifles was used by S/SGT Don L Smith to win the 1953 championship.

The rifles were used to great effect by many snipers during the time.  One of these was of course Carlos Hathcock to make most of his 93 confirmed kills in his first tour in Vietnam.  Hits were recorded out to 1000 plus yards with most kills falling into the 500-700 yard range for the more average sniper.

All Ammo used for the Model 70 snipers was the Lake City, NM ammo.  This was a 173-grain boat tailed FMJ match bullet at around 2600 FPS in the 30-06 caliber, the same ammo used at Camp Perry.

Most optics were the original WW2 contract Unertl scopes built for the USMC by John Unertl  in 8x. The power was actually closer to 7.8 but was marked as 8x.  Other powers were used but 8x was the most common. Other brands were used, such as those made by the Lyman sight company and some other optics companies which are now long defunct.  The optics, though of the highest quality for target and sporting use at the time, came up short in the humid jungles of Vietnam.  The scopes sometimes fogged in wet weather and had a small field of view.  The Unertl scope of the time period is still very sturdy and if you can find one today there is no need to worry about it not working.  The elevation and windage adjustment were external and the scope body is one piece steel making it tough.

The scope was a real weak point as far as the USMC was concerned and did not provide enough light-gathering ability and had a small FOV.  These are very important things for combat sniping.

model 70

As the need for more snipers and rifles became more urgent, the USMC needed more rifles.  Parts for the “pre-64 model 70 began to dry up since Winchester had stopped making the older, better rifle in 1963.  Because this version was no longer made and the new Model 70 was of decidedly less quality, another rifle was sought.  The corps ended up with the Remington M40x, a more refined target version of the M700, with a few changes they speced out themselves and type classified the M40.  Also the Unertl was replaced by the Redfield 3x-9x optic with a range finder. Both had their own problems in early use but went on to later become the M40A1. the M40A1 went on to use a more modern Unertl that replaced the problematic Redfield scope and is still in use on some rifles. the M40 is now the M40A5.

The M70 / Unertl was issued again right before the M40 was delivered. Fifty more model 70s with Unertls were ordered and converted to sniper use and sent immediately to vietnam by HQMC.

The model 70 Winchester was never officially issued for sniper use by the USMC or the Army but it saw a lot of service anyway.  The gun has since become legemdary.  The Army even tried the rifle suppressed for special operations use in Vietnam and fired a version of the .458 magnum round.  Many well known snipers during the Vietnam war used the M70 with Hathcock being the most famous by far.  When asked about the rifle he used during the war he stated he loved it.  It is no wonder.  If you have one of these truly fine rifles or get the chance to try one you will see why it was so highly regarded in its time.  Even before WW2 it was the most expensive sporting rifle made in the USA and you can see and feel the quality that made it so.  For years after ’63 it was a shadow of its former glory until Winchester brought the original action back with a few  upgrades to it to make it safer.  The M70 is still made with the Winchester name today by FN and the action is used by FN for their sniping rifles.

Link to   short M40  history

http://looserounds.com/2012/07/11/the-usmc-m40-sniper/

more vietnam USMC  equipment

http://looserounds.com/2012/08/02/usmc-scout-sniper-weapons-of-the-viet-nam-war/

BCM Gunfighter Charging Handle

Duncan Larsen AKA FailureDrill-P099 submitted this article.

 

Recently I was asked if I would do a review of two Bravo Company Manufacturing (BCM) Gunfighter charging handles for looserounds.com. This all came about after having numerous conversations with Shawn Thompson. We recently discussed the BCM Mod 4 medium Gunfighter charging handle. I have been using the BCM Mod 5 small charging handle for several years now and had recently purchase a BCM Mod 4. Shawn said he had used the BCM Mod 3 large charging handle and found it too large causing it to hang up on his gear.

Top View
Side View

I originally purchased the BCM Mod 5 because I did not want a latch that might dig into me or my gear. I had a lot of experience with the Badger Ordinance Gen1 square latch years ago when I was a police officer and patrol rifle instructor. I remembered during several rifle instructor courses, training days and SWAT trainings how the Badger latch would hang up on gear and dig into you hard. When purchasing one of the three sizes of the BCM Gunfighter I did not what a charging handle that was going to be overly large. The smooth profile of the BCM Mod 5 charging handle appealed to me.

Grip on standard AR-15 charging handle
Grip on BCM Mod 5 charging handle

The BCM Mod 5 has been great. The BCM Mod 5 latch is slightly larger than a standard AR15/M16 charging handle latch. I have always used my support hand, with my index finger and thumb to work the charging handle. The BCM Mod 5 gave me just a little more grip surface over the standard latch. For someone who really wants an as close to standard size latch with just a little more surface area to grab, the BCM Mod 5 might be for you. With the BCM Mod 5 you will not have to worry about it hanging up on gear or digging into you. But, when I think about why I purchase the BCM Mod 5, it was because I had a hangover from that huge Badger Ordinance latch. I was being hyper sensitive about a charging handle that was going to hang up and dig into me as I was moving or transitioning to a sidearm.

Top view of the BCM Mod 5 charging handle
BCM Mod 5 (top)
BCM Mod 4 (bottom)
BCM Mod 5 (left)
BCM Mod 4 (right)

With my next charging handle purchase I decided I needed to give the BCM Mod 4 a try. Wow I sure am glad I did. I was surprised to see it was just slightly larger than the BCM Mod 5. For as large as it looks it still does not dig into my chest or hang up on my gear as bad as other latches. I won’t say that it’s not going to hang up on some gear, but I find it is not as frequent. I think part of this is due to the angle of the latch. As far as function, for me it is the same as the BCM Mod 5, with the technique I use. As it is slightly larger you get that peace of mind of a firm grasp of the latch. For someone who uses the blade of the support hand to charge the handle it is superior. You can fully charge the handle aggressively with or without gloves. I would suggest gloves if you are training hard. The smaller BCM Mod 5 just is not up to the blade of the hand charging. I just can’t get a good, full, aggressive charge on the BCM Mod 5 with the blade of the hand technique.

Using the thumb and forefinger to work the BCM Mod 4
Using the palm to work the BCM Mod 4

Now that I have run both of the BCM Gunfighters for a while I find the BCM Mod 4 is my personal favorite. Both BCM Gunfighters will serve you well but, the BCM Mod 4 holds a slight advantage over the BCM Mod 5 for positive aggressive use. If you are going to spend the money on a BCM Gunfighter for a patrol, entry team or home defense rifle, I would go with the BCM Mod 4. Your just getting more bang for the buck. Either way a BCM Gunfighter charging handle is a must have piece of gear for a serious fighting rifle .

Duncan Larsen.

Loosrerounds on the Web

In case  you came to this site through google or by chance, the blog was referenced in a recent New York Times front page article about CCW clothing.  This drew quite a bit of attention to our little blog.  After this happened our friends over on Tactical Gear news  talked to me about it and about the blog.  If you never been to that website you should give it a look. They have some good stuff going on over there and its better then a lot of other so called  gun related news websites.

www.tacticalgear.com/news/ccw-fashion-firearms-a-chat-with-gun-blogger-shawn-thompson/

There is a link to the article featuring me and talking about looserounds. And of course you can explore the whole website form there.

Like Looserounds  tacticalgear.com reviews  clothing and gear (of course)  and features video reviews and a lot of other cool stuff on training, guns and the usual things that fill all or thoughts while we should be working.  Of course make sure you come here first but then check them out.

Home made Rifle Tripod. cheap precision

Bipods are great.  I love them. Years ago  I when I was under the wings of two older gentlemen who had become accomplished highpower and benchrest  shooters, I was told that there was no need for them. That  if I laid prone the weeds or grass would obscure the shot and if I was in any other positions I could find something to rest on  anyway. Like a fence post, tree limb, mother in laws back etc.  And I was told rifleman used a sling to shoot with.  I found this odd coming from a BR shooter that used a rest  when not in the field but thats another story.

Of course years later and a lot of rounds later  after college I had enough money to buy a harris bipod. Once i had it, I could not see how I ever lived without it.  I believe firmly that rifleman should know how to use a sling. but, I also think to not used ever method of making yourself as steady as possible to make a precision shot is simply foolish.   To me a sniper, no matter how accomplished, that has a chance to use a bipod and a rear bag or even a front and rear bag and does not is not the kinda guy I want taking a shot  a inch past my head. It is not cheating.  Cheating wins fights, not honor and fair play.

With this in mind I had seen camera tripods modified for years to be used in a myriad of sniping situations and instantly saw the brilliance of this simple rig.  Lately after seeing more and more of the expensive camera tripods being used for the Larue OBR and the adapters to make them  work together I got thinking about it again.  Where we shoot it is often covered in knee high grasses during the warmer months.  This makes it hard to get a shot at a coyote laying down and there is no  handy tree branches or fence posts to use while standing up as I had been told years ago there would be.

I lusted for the   more elaborate setups for a while  but of course the price is pretty daunting. So I decided to use the my usual method of making something I want.  And that is to get my Dad to help. He is of the generation that can do anything when almost nothing to work with.  I am an idea man where my Dad is the one I go to that can actually make something of my crazy ideas. So together we  were able to come up with a  simple but highly effective  tripod.

A trip to the local flea market and  8 bucks later, I had a very nice used camera/video tripod  that was completely adjustable in every way and very high quality.  It can be adjusted to be very short and tall enough to use standing  with plenty of room left over  for more vertical adjustment. The top will swivel and rotate and can be locked. The arm or moving the top fixture can also be swapped for a lefty or righty.

After getting the tripod, A half of a PVC pipe was  secured with screws and epoxy. Then to make sure the forearm would be snug I glued on foam padding. This made a nice little rest without adding any weight.  After it was dry I used krylon to  subdue it with tan and OD green so it would not be shiny black and silver.

After everything was done I had to test it a few days later to make sure it was stable enough.  I was not worried about stability when low to the ground, but when it is high up in the air thats when wobble starts.   After taking it to the usual place and shooting it from a variety of heights and angles  i have to pronounce it a success.  I was able to hit skeet out to 300 yards using it and my rifle.  It may not sound like a big deal but to do this while standing straight up is pretty nice.  It is not as steady as bipods in prone and I don’t think I could make hits every time on a man sized target  past 700 yards when fully extended but thats OK.   No one takes shots at people shooting back at them from a full exposed standing position unless you are in a hollywoood action movie.   As steady as it is even when at its lowest setting i would not use it for zeroing.  The more the gun weighs  of course the more it helps steady things but it has no way to support the firing and alternate killing hand when shooting.  These are pretty big factors for precision and its a drawback with a tripod this high.  When  used to a tripod locked down with a rifle in it, the thing can pull off some amazing hits  and give some serious versatility  but nothing will beat sandbags and all the traditional stuff for zeroing and pure accuracy work.

But if you can find a good used tripod I say give making one of these a try. They are not hard to make and the components are not expensive. Why not add something that can fill a need like the tripod can. At least if you want something more specialized or better quality you can make one to try out if you really want/need this tool before you spend huge amounts of jack on the higher end  models.

Remington XR-100 thoughts

The Remington XR100 was trotted out a few years ago after big green saw that the .204 ruger was a hit.  The guns heart is actually the old XP100  piston action. A scaled down bolt gun action in a bolt action pistol chambering the .221 fireball. Which the fireball is a wonderful round for varmint hunting and wildcating.  The XP100 was well thought of by serious boltgun-pistol shooters it was ahead of its time in a lot of ways.

The 204 ruger was developed by Hornady and ruger  from the older .222 magnum  round.  If you care and  can not find brass like me when it first came out, you can neck down 222 mag brass the fire form it in your 204 chamber then  full length size. No need for that these days, but it can be done if you get some 222 mag brass really cheap.

The 204 is a 20 caliber round that fires a 32 to 45 grain bullet and velocities that rival the 220 swift but with less barrel burning and pressure.  The 204 compared to the 17 remington has less fouling, less pressure, longer case life and longer range all with better accuracy.  The 204 usually has  around a 4200 fps muzzle velocity  but can be loaded a little hotter wit handloading.  The 17 remington is the closest caliber to compare to the 204 when it comes to terminal effects on varmints. With the 17 you either get a dead animal with not a mark, or immediate disassemble of the target. The 204 is always impressive on the target. Crows look like a grenade went off inside a feathered pillow and the flatter trajectory of the .204 allows dead on aiming to ranges that you would not believe if you are used to 22.250s and .223s.

The XR-100  is  the same action as the xp100 pretty much, but thats where it ends.  The Rifle comes with a laminated stock with a thumbhole grip that feels great in the hand. I was never a thumbhole stock fan but this is nice. The barrel is free floated  and the fore arm has the cooling slots. I have not clue why because it is a single shot bolt action and it would be real work to heat it up enough to really need them.   The stock is  sadly not bedded in any way which is typical for remington in those type stocks. It does not effect the accuracy of the gun in any practical way though.

The gun using my handload of Vit powder and  a 32gr Vmax shoots 1/2 MOA to 3/4 MOA depending on me. One thing I notice is people tend to  think their groups are worse when looking at the results of the 204 on paper. The holes are smaller so the space between holes in the group sometimes makes some people mistakenly think its not shooting up to par.  On the surface it can look so so until they stop and think about the size of the holes and measure the group. A 3/4 MOA 100 group with a 20 cal looks horrible when shown beside a 3/4 MOA group from a 308.

I usually zero the .204  so I can hold dead center of a crow out to 300 yards and they have yet to let me down. That is the real benefit of the round to me more so then its terminal effects. It is easy even for a beginner to use  since they have little experience judging distance and using hold.

The XR100 comes with  the standard remington 700 trigger but it is adjusted to be very very light. Some feel less then 3 ponds and break like a GI Joe action figures thumb. This makes the gun a pleasure to shoot when you out good glass on it and consider its accuracy and trajectory.  Opening the bolt shows the guns  solid no magazine action. The gun is single feed. This is not a big deal for what it was meant for  but some people would want a repeater.

The gun has a  leupold VX-II 6x-18x scope on it. This scope with the target turrets has long been a favorite of mine when it comes to none tactical uses. It is attached with leupold bases and rings.

I have some strange habits when varmint hunting that some find odd but I am always trying to make it easier to hit at long range but not have to carry a lot of stuff with me.  I have other uses for a back pack and if I need something out of the pack to help me usually the time has passed for the shot by the time I get it out and in play.  One of my little tricks is to keep a caldwell rear bag attached to either my belt  or a strap by 550 cord so it can not get lost but it is always there when I need it and has freedom to be adjusted. Since this gun has a thumb hole stock I looped the cord around the hole and kept it with the gun. It worked out a lot better then I imagined. When I move it is always with the gun and I wrap the extra cord around the stock. This is not the kind of rifle you are running around with over mountains or hanging by a 3 point sling so this works nice. And its already with the gun if I see a shot and I need to just grab the gun and get ready fast before the shot passes.

Bag is filled with  foam beads so it weighs nothing but works as great support.

I always try to keep a simple set of bushnell laser range finders with the gun so I can get a fast reading if I am in land I am not used to estimating range  in.

And like all of my working varmint guns I have a set of harris bipods. This rifle has the BR model which although is not the best all around model, is my favorite if the grass is not too high.  The leupold sunshade is also something to consider when trying to nail crows that are smarter then your mother in law. Depending on the sun position, a little flash is all it takes for a crow to go into counter sniper mode.

The XR100 is a nice target/varmint gun and the 204 is a wonderful killer that can make you look like a better shot then you deserve. If you can find this combo and want a varminter, this is a good choice if the price is right.  I have for years been a 17 remington fan but dumped it as soon as I got to work with the 204 ruger.  Sure it does not have the performance and range as my 243 WCF or the complete familiarity of the 5.56  but it is worth having in every ones arsenal. And as far as varminting goes there is few things coyote sized or smaller it can not take.

Gear Tree/ PC Stand

A lot of people have a ton of tactical gear with no decent way to store it. It is hard to find hangers that will support the weight of plates and mags already loaded plus all the extras.  After seeing a few versions of this handy system me and my Dad put a couple of them together ourselves to hang gear on. It keeps it ready and not tangles up.

The first is the one I keep my TAG  Banshee on.

It holds the Banshee loaded with plates and armor, three 30 round mags and 3  ten round 1911 mags.  Also  it holds my warbelt with x2 ar mags, 1 1911 mag my pistol holster, IFAK and dump ouch and GPO pouch.  On top rests my ACH MICH helmet. When making them if you want it to hold a hat or helmet you have to remember to have the main support be tall enough to hang the head cover on.

The beauty is you can make them as tall and wide as you want. And they are strong enough to hold every bit of gear you own if  the gear has a way to hang off of it.  It does not cost much to make them either since all you need is a few 2x4s and some paint and nails.

Be sure to make the base well enough to keep the stand balanced when loaded down.

The base is the one part  that you can not make too small. But you do not need to make it huge.  Make it big and you can always trim it down. We always just make them a little bigger then we think we will need just to be safe.

The second lacks the helmet stand but holds a full riflemans kit MOLLE II FLC and a Source WXP. This is quite a bit of weight but the stand handles it with ease. This one was made a little smaller but with wider “shoulder” so to keep the weight even across the vest.

On a side not the MOLLE II FLC is an excellent fighting kit that is often over looked.  they can be found in coyote, ACU, Woodland and DCU all over the web at very affordable prices. They are made my gov contractors for the military> They are not  the coolest new stuff but they can take a ton of abuse and hold more then you can stand to carry.  They do not hold armor but can fit over armor carriers just fine and the vest area is  mesh so it is much cooler then a lot of chest rigs. it can also be configures as a chest rig as well as the vest system.  I will do another full article on the FLC later.

The only downside is the gear tree does not easily fit into a closet or hide as well, but it is a safer way to store you armor and it is always ready for you to don in a hurry. Nothing gets tangled and your gear is not laying in a corner getting peed on by the family cat. Another bonus is if airs out and drys faster when wet or sweaty with your manly funk.

Sig 716 and the SCAR-H

Yesterday I got a chance to handle, grope, fondle, caress , smell and taste both of these 7.62 rifles.  I have not had a chance to shoot them both yet since they had just arrived but I did get to play with them for a pretty good while.  Both of these are fairly new to the market compared to other rifles in their niche like the M14/M1A , FAL and  G3 etc.  But I can say  in my opinion, they are better choices  over these older models…..for now.

I do not mean to spend this write up crapping on the M14 and the M14 boys club  but the ’14 was really  too little too late before it even hit the G.I’s hands.   I would hope few people reading this would argue the ergonomics of the older 30 cal battle rifles is no where near the newer generation.

The Sig is the newest of the two and it is the one I took a look at first.

The first thing I thought when I got it in it my hands was that it seemed heavier then the LMT MWS.  I did not have the MWS next to  it to check, but it did strike me as heavier.  And then I realized of course it is, the extra piston  parts would make it seem heavier up front even if it was not.  The Sig weighs  a touch over  9 pounds.  The Lower was ambi except the safety and to me thats the most important part I want ambi.. I see a day when few people will want something that is not ambi if they intend to use it in a serious social manner.  The rail felt good in the hand and had plenty of QD sockets. Sig added the Magpul  ACS stock which is their answer to the SOPMOD I suppose, and it is a pretty good alternative to the pricey SOPMOD but with better battery access.

It also had the magpul grip and came with the popular 308 Pmag that can be had for 17-18 bucks if you look around. The Pmag is the  SR25   KAC patter and not the  M14 type used by most armalite models.  The SR25 ( M110 SWS ) pattern is becoming the standard despite what some may or may not like.  This is important and I will get to it latter.  But suffice it to say  that the KAC M110 uses this pattern and it is in the Mil system along with the LMT  MWS used by the British in their DMR role.  SO it is the “standard”  7.62 AR mag for the near future at least.

The gas system can be removed in the typical for AR15 P  rifles way.  It has a 4 position regulator on it that way some  jackass can be sure to put it on the wrong setting when you are not looking or to allow you to adjust it for a suppressor And oddly enough has a bayonet lug on it. I do not know why anyone cares about the bayonet in the civilian and LEO world, but some still do.  I have to say I did not care for the iron sights on the rifle but few will leave the factory provided ones on long anyway.  They both fold  when not needed.  The barrel is 16 inches and has a 1/10 twist. I believe this to be a better choice to the 1/12 on a lot of bolt guns since it allows heavier bullets to be used.

I took the gun apart and looked it over up in them guts. Trigger is all milspec and can be expected to feel like a milspec trigger. But thats OK. A rifle meant to see abuse is no place for a Camp perry trigger.   The BCG however was a nice surprise. It was coating in something that made it as slick as snot on a pump house door. I mean slick.  I have no idea what the coating is right now. I was told it is the same as used on the LWRC and since Sig was sued by LWRC, this is likely. Sorry to say I am too lazy to look it up to find the specs of the coating.  The carrier also had cuts in it to shed weight or to collect crude. Probably for weight saving but they would work  in both ways I am sure.  For people in love with pistons currently you should take note of this. Since the MFG thought their piston rifle needed a miracle coating on the bolt that should tell you not all the hype some companies spread is true. All weapons need lube and this was a really nice touch.

Over all I liked the Sig fairly well. I even thought it felt better  and handled better then the SIg 5.56 piston AR oddly enough.  Sig has had some problems with their quality control recently so do keep that in mind. Though the guns sell for around 1700 and that is a great deal for a 7.62  Ar rifle and a piston to boot if you want a piston this would be a better starter weapon then the MWS.

The next rifle is the SCAR-H , beloved by  SOCOM/SEAL groupies and call of duty players throughout the universe. This is the 1st H I have had a chance to play with and I really wanted to like the SCAR H. In fact before I heard about the LE901, this was the gun I gave series thought to getting,  It is what I consider the closet thing to a modern “battle rifle”  in the older sense of the name. The Sig is more of a carbine in 30 caliber I Sig pretty much confirms that its no DM rifle but the SCAR is touted as a sniper rifle among some on the internet. Of course that doe not make it so, but  you know how that it.

I hate to have to come on here and write some stuff less then flattering about the gun I wanted to like  but it is what it is. I am sure the gun is reliable but it has a few down sides.  The first thing I tried to do was  dry fire then rifle. It had a ACOG mounted  on it by the owner and I promptly tore the skin off my knuckles by the optic mount while working the bolt to the rear.   I do not like having to reach over to charge the rifle like on a AK  so if you are like me, you better be careful. The rear butt stock was stiff and hard to adjust and move.  I do not mean just tight either. I mean I almost asked for a rubber mallet.  The trigger on it was terrible.  Not a big deal, it is a battle rifle.  Mags did not want to drop free very easy either.  Oh and since I am talking mags.  The mags for the H are FN mags and do not work on anything else.  They are nicely made and strong but they are not SR25 patter. I understand why FN did this, but I would rather pay 17 dollars then 80-120 or more for the SCAR mags.   I am sure someday some company will make after market mags for the SCAR H  but usually it takes a while for a aftermarket mag to be trustworthy unless its a magpul mag. I am confident this will happen someday.  A company is currently working a lower that would accept the  magpul  30 cal mag and that is something to keep in mind.

The owner told me the accuracy of the gun was so so but I do not trust the opinion of some one that accuracy tests with wolf ammo only.  The SCAR has been used as a sniper support weapon in some cases so I am sure it will do fine as battle rifle.  I was told it does shot softly but is louder then a A Bomb.  Of course the muzzle device is the culprit for these things.  The gas system of the H is adjustable for cans  and for reliability like other pistons. The ergos of the gun are pretty decent since the grip is all AR15.  The SCAR H is about a thousand and a half more then the Sig normally. Both can be had in FDE which is the much more popular color.  Even though I was kinda rough on the H if not for the price i would still pick the FN  if price was equal and had only those two to choose from.  Next week I will try to get some live fire with them for some accuracy reports.