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The COLT LE901 Part III Shooting and Handling

Since I have already written about the 901’s accuracy and long range precision, I wanted to talk about how the rifle handles, how it feels in recoil and in rapid fire and how it works out while wearing gear.

The first thing is how the gun feels in rapid-fire drills and “running and gunning.”  The 901 is in .308 winchester, a round that does not let you control the gun like a 5.56 will.  The carbine does not come with a muzzle brake, and a lot of people seem to worry it will be hard to control without real effort. The 901s recoil to me, feels very close to a light weight 6.8 carbine or a 7.62×39 AK with a underfolder stock. It is not bad at all.

As you can see in the action shot above. The recoil of the gun is very light for a 308. The gun is still on target while a case is in the air. My stance is not any kind of aggressive combat stance in that picture since I was shooting casually to see how easy the recoil would be.

After a little warm up with the 901 to see how it felt I started out with some triple and double tap drills at 20 yards with the weapon using my T-1 red dot.  During rapid fire I was able to keep the majority of the double and triple tap shots in the  CNS area.  Notice the shots in the face and high chest area of the target above.  All shots fired were full-power M80 ball surplus. The gun was very easy to control.  If I had slowed down, the shots would obviously tighten. I have to say, a vertical fore grip does give even more control and allows for some very rapid handling of the 901 and improves follow-up shots. This is not a real revelation but the VFG has fallen out of favor lately.  The slightly increased recoil of the 901, while not serious, does make a VFG handy.

Fast and easy reloading is accomplished just like any other AR.  Thanks to the ambi controls of the 901, this is sped up nicely. Ambi controls, while not something you have to have, are a nice feature.  Looserounds believes ambi controls are going to eventually be standard on every serious fighting rifle.

The 901 balances very well. A lot of people will complain about the gun weighing 9 pounds and more with gear added but the balance of the gun is so nice you do not notice the weight. I worked with the gun all day while shooting several times and never felt tired or like the gun was dragging me down.

Others who have shot it feel the gun is very controllable and balanced. Most have been surprised by how smooth the recoil of the carbine is.

The Colt is very fast to the shoulder form low ready making fast hits on multiple targets as slick as satan’s lawyer. The vortex flash hider tames the muzzle blast just like you expect the well-respected FH to do.

I tested the Colt while wearing my plate carrier to see how everything felt. I did not expect any surprises or let downs and I was right. The 901 is like any 556.

Firing the slayer while wearing plate carrier in non-standard and standard positions was typically easy and handling was slick.  I swapped out the factory stock for a Magpul CTR to see if a lighter stock made felt recoil more noticeable but I could tell no change.

The lower with 556 uppers used was also something with no surprises. After firing multiple surefire 60 round mags and a variety of other magazines through the upper/lower I found the gun had heated to the point gloves were needed. The T-1 mount was too hot to the touch yet the gun worked just like it was intended.

After high round count shooting and testing the rifle with normal drills, I took the gun  for a little urban use to see how it handled indoors in a more cramped situation. Even while wearing your gear and making way through small rooms and  hall ways, the 901 did great. The 308 round  is not a great choice for home defense if you are worried about over-penetration but it has appeal to a lot of people when it comes to knocking through some types of walls and structures in a more violent urban environment.


As of this writing I have over 2200 rounds through the 901. I did not clean it when I  got it and I did not clean it between shooting for groups.  I did not even put lube on the BCG until it burned away. In all that time not one malfunction appeared. The gun did not run sluggish or gritty. The only thing I noticed was the sludge from carbon and oil ruined my Tshirt. I have taken the gun apart and noticed very little wear on the parts you expect to see wear on. This is not a big deal because most quality ARs will hold up this well, but this is a new system not yet as proven as the M4 or M16 series so I think it is important to take note of how reliable it has been. Even though I have gotten it hot enough to feel through gloves. After leaving the  lower as dirty as it was, the 556 uppers were tested and ran like a swiss watch. Most of the ammo fired through the gun was federal gold medal and M80 ball with other match ammo brands used. The federal and M80 being the most used by far. The only ammo not tried yet was the cheaper Russian brands.

After all of the harsh firing schedule abuse I could manage, the rifle still shot well enough for “recce” or DMR work and not break a sweat.

The 901 is showing itself to be one of the truly most versatile Ar type rifles we have seen in a long time. It is not a dedicated sniper or CQB gun, but if used in those roles it can be employed effectively.

In the next parts there will be some reports on how it is doing with a wider variety of optics and ammo while in Florida heat and humidity while Loosrerounds testes it further and if we are lucky we will try it out on wild hogs. Fingers crossed we can pull off a successful hog hunt.

Testing The Colt LE901-16S Part II Accuracy Testing

Part two of my review of the Colt LE901 will be the results of  my shooting of the gun, its accuracy, performance and handling. I shot the rifle with all of the more popular match ammo and with handloads. I also took the gun out past what the company reasonably expected it to be fired at.  I expected the gun to perform well with its accuracy since it is in essence a larger 6940. The 6940 with its free floated barrel and unique barrel nut has been a very impressive performer.  The results still surprised me a little bit and shocked me with what it did at 1000 yards and beyond.

 

The 1st set up groups were shot using  168 grain federal match, M118LR, Black Hills 175 match. This was the first shooting from the gun after I got it. I placed a Leupold 18x target scope in larue mounts on the upper and got a rough zero then proceeded to shoot for groups.  The groups were shot at 100 yards on a calm day using  bipods and a small rear sandbag rest.  I considered this to be outstanding accuracy from a chrome-lined military 16 inch barrel. The 901 is pretty much a battle rifle, and to expect this accuracy from a battle rifle is not always reasonable. Some battle rifles will give good performance but  2-3 MOA is usually considered  fine for such weapons.

Above picture represents the rifle setup used for all accuracy testing.


The next set of  testing of accuracy was long range. I started out shooting the rifle with the common Federal Gold Medal 168 grain loading. I  used steel gongs at 600 yards the size of a man’s chest and a steel shaped groundhog.  With only 16 inches of barrel, velocity did fall off as expected causing me to need more adjustment on the optics compared to my normal 26-inch bolt-action. Some people seem to think shorter barrel means less accuracy but this is simply not true. You lose velocity but not accuracy. A quality barrel will always shoot and the shorter it gets, the stiffer it becomes and usually will gain a slight edge in accuracy with the shorter stiffness.

Posing beside the target for scale,the T-1 was not used for the 600 yards shot and was installed afterwards.

The groundhog target can be seen over the authors left shoulder. Hits were made easily once the scope was adjusted. Military ball ammo could be used to make repeated hits out to 600 yards though not with the reliability of the match ammo.

The next step tried with the 901 was 1000 yards. For this test I used the popular 168 grain load and my own handlaods of Berger 175 grain Berger VLD bullets with Varget.  I set up the target at 1000 yards and got to work. Because of no cant on the base or the upper I ran out of elevation on the optic. The optic was the Leupold 18x with a 1 inch tube. It is a target varmint scope and not suited to true long range work unless a canter base is used.  Not being able to zero and hold point of aim/point of impact, I had to hold off.  This made wind correction difficult.  It did not take long to become frustrated trying to determine hits on target with using hold off. So I settled on using the steel gong I used to get the rough zero at the distance by putting it a foot behind the paper target. In doing this, I was able to hear the steel ring when I was enough on paper to record a hit. With the wind blowing 8-12 MPH on the day trying to watch the dust from misses was not going to work. The gong behind the target worked well.

Because of the distance and the length of the barrel, the 168 grain load was a no go. I tried but the rounds just could not make it. The 168 has trouble staying super sonic even in a 26 inch barrel at 1000 yards, and in a 16 inch barrel, it was pointless though I did try. A lot of people seem to think the accurate 168 load is the standard but it simply is not. The 175 grain loadings for long range are better in every way and have been in use for sniping for years now in its M118LR form.

Once I fired at 1000 yards and saw the 901s performance I tried my luck at 1200 yards. So I moved back another 200 yards and tried again. The group at 1,200 may not seem like much, but in a carbine  not meant  for this work, it is impressive.  The groups are marked in the picture circled in different color to indicate which groups was shot at the different distances. Blue for 1000 yards and green for 1,200.   The 1000 yard groups does not seem as impressive as it really is at first glance. Wind was catching me and taking the shots off to the left. Since I could not see the hits I used the same hold through the whole string of shots, but if you move the holes over to the right, you will see the most of them would have fallen in the bad guys chest and would have been lethal. The position of the group is my fault , not the fault of the rifle. The 1,200 yard group is better than at first seems as well. It may not be sniping precision but it is enough to make hits at the range or at least provide effective covering fire.  It is surely good enough to disable a vehicle form the distance, or any other machine that needs stopped, or even to direct fire for a machine gun team? Who knows, the possibilities are what you make them.

After this testing I shot the rifle in the usual fashion using tactical drills and IDPA target, Q targets, clay pigeons and steel gongs. Most of this general purpose was done with ball ammo and some match thrown in. After over 1,200 rounds at that point I had not cleaned or lubed the 901. It worked as flawless as it did when I took it out of the box. At times I heated the gun up so much I needed gloves to continue to fire it and even the mount that held the T-1 to the upper was too hot to the touch for bare skin. At no point did the gun have a problem or feel sluggish.  After totaling up those rounds fired with no cleaning I decided to test its accuracy again.  I would test it dirty and if it did not do well I would clean the barrel and try again, showing the effect of fowling if it was drastic.

I used the same optics and mounts as before but for the next test I used a dedicated Benchrest competition style front rest that weighs about 35 pounds, with a sandbag on the rest and a rear bag.  To get all I could from the gun I concentrated and used all my effort to shot the best groups I could. Most groups took longer then 10 minutes for 5 rounds. It is hard work to shoot small groups and total effort when using a milspec trigger and a semi auto. Shooting a semi auto is a different animal then shooting small groups off a bench with a dedicated bolt gun with a target stock and has different needs you have to be aware of.

This set of targets were shot first while the gun was dirty with over 1200 rounds of fouling. I decided there was no need to clean after getting these result.  They are slightly better then the original test for accuracy so I felt cleaning would not help or hurt much. If anything the gun shot slightly better, perhaps do to some break in. After years of experience I have come to the conclusion that barrel break-in is a waste of time.  I can not think of any good reason why the gun did better and I surely never used the conventional “wisdom” of 1 shot, clean, repeat etc etc.

The 10 rounds group of Black Hills 175 grain was shot last and is very impressive to me. I have seen few factory bolt guns that would shoot this well and I do not recall ever seeing a factory M1A or M14 that would do as well.

Here is a picture of all the groups side by side.

The gun now has close to 2000 rounds though it still with no cleaning. I am able to make head shots out to 300 yards with it and stay within the CNS or “A” zone of the badguy targets if the wind is not too bad and I do my part.  If not, head shots are still easy.  I have lubed the BCG since it was bone dry, and have created a nice black slurry that has not done anything negative except ruin my t-shirts.

In Part 3 I will talk about shooting the gun in a more “run and gun”manner, how it feels, what the recoil is like and how I set it up for comfort and shooting it wearing gear.

ARMS 41

The ARMS 41 is a clamp on flip up sight for the AR15.  It is available with and without a bayonet lug.

Installation is easy.  ARMS also includes a spacer in case you are not using a standard handguard.  When up, the 41 has the same profile as an standard fixed front sight base.  To fold it down, you push down on the angled support next to the front sight post.  It uses standard AR15/M16 front sight posts, so you can insert a match or night sight.

The finish is a light grey.  While I have read reports online of people having the finish wear off quickly, I had no such issues with mine.  While there are reasons why ARMS is not popular, the ARMS 41 is a solid product.

The COLT LE901-16S A DETAILED LOOK PART I

Everyone knows Colt.  Colt started a little over 175 years ago and is now one of our country’s oldest gun makers. In the 1960s, Colt secured the rights to the Stoner/Armalite AR15 and AR10.  Back in ’09 Colt introduced the LE6940 to the market as the first major change to the family since the intro to the wildy successful and popular M4 carbine we see everywhere today.  The 6940 had a lot of parts in common with the M4 (known as the 6920 in semi-auto dress). The major difference was the new upper.  The  6940 upper is monolithic and free floats the barrel.  The receiver and the rail of the ’40 are all machined from a one-piece forging and offers the ability to set optics anywhere on the rail and have total stability.  This helps to keeps your zero, well, zeroed.  Another addition was the folding front sight that replaced the fixed military legacy front sight base that dates back to the originals.

Right or wrong, a desire for more power than the 5.56 arose over the last decade because of the GWOT and because our soldiers are sometimes involved in long range contacts.  The tired old M14 was pressed into service in hopes of extending the range of SDMs and to give a little more confidence to those who felt the 5.56 was not quite enough.  In the years since, a lot of companies have started to ramp up and offer their own versions of the AR-series in 30 caliber and anything else they can squeeze into the magazine well of the rifle pattern.  The Armalite AR10 has been around for a while, the KAC was adopted as a sniper weapon by both the US Army and the USMC, and the LMT MWS has seen limited success as a DM rifle for the British military.

It is in the midst of this 30 caliber revolution that people noticed one name oddly absent from the 7.62 AR market game–Colt.  The company had not forgotten or ignored the trend, but it had to make sure to fill contracts worth millions for the US Gov, including the M4 and recent awards for M240 machine guns.  Now that the war seems to be winding down and Colt has more breathing room, they’re expanding and are stating to fire up their impressive R&D again.  Remember that this is a company that has brought out some of the most legendary firearms of the past 175 years.  After the release of the 6940, rumors started about a version chambered in 308 all over the internet with some links to patents to support the rumors.  Then over a year ago at the SHOT show we saw the 901 for the first time. It was shown in several different barrel lengths and finishes.  Now over a year later the 901 is ready to  hit the market.

What makes the Colt LE901 special is not only is it a 308 rifle, but it can be very easily converted to take any milspec 5.56 upper available and made to quality. Colt considers this their “Modular carbine” and it most certainly is.

With a adapter block (which is installed very easily), the modular ambi lower will take any upper you can find.  One extra part and a swap of the buffer spring and buffer give you unlimited combos with the 901.   The rifle takes the SR25 pattern magazines so it will take the Pmag, (and therefore the KAC and LaRue mags as well).  The barrel is 16 inches long and the button-rifled barrel and chamber are chrome-lined.  As with all Colts, the barrel is MPC and proofed–not just in batches, but every single one of them.  The twist rate of the gun is 1/12 which gives you a pretty wide range of bullet weights to use.

Like the 6940 the  901 has a monolithic upper.  It also has a few upgrades the 6940 does not have. The rail of the 901 has QD sockets not just in the front of the rail, but also in the rear of the rail.  Most people want this and it is great to see this added to the rifle. The front sight is like the 6940’s in that it folds, but the difference is that the 901’s front folding sight is not lockable in the up position for those who worry it might fold down in harsh use right when you do not want it to.

As written above, the lower of the rifle is also ambi.  This is another trend that has started in the last decade and one that will be sticking with us in my opinion. The controls are well placed and easy to use.  None of them are stiff or require so much force as to make them useless.  The gun comes standard with a Colt marked troy BUIS.

A nice feature in the lower is the absence of a web blocking the installation of a RDIAS. So if you have one, full auto fire in a colt 308 can be a reality. The FCG parts are all standard Milspec with all the typical colt quality and testing that goes with that. The 308 marked buffer in the gun can be seen in the picture above.

The 16 inch barrel is described by colt as a HBAR but I would call it more of a medium heavy with a straight taper unlike the taper of older colt HBAR carbines of the past. The rail comes off like the 6940 by depressing the lock on the bottom rear with a round or punch. The rifle sent to me by colt defense also needs a screw on each side of the rail taken out for further stripping.  This helps keep the rail from moving at all for  reliability when using IR lasers or other force multipliers.

The bolt carrier group comes apart just like any other AR but with a few slight upgrades. The firing pin has the addition of a firing pin spring that colt advises not to remove.  The gas rings on the bolt are also one-piece instead of three rings like the 5.56 bolt.

The rest of the BCG is  no surprise. It is made to the same standards as any colt rifle meant for hard combat use with everything tested to milspec and Colt’s TDP that has served millions of military, LEO and civilian personnel for years.

The conversion kit that lets you use the 5.56 upper of your choice comes in three parts. The adapter magazine well block, the 556 buffer spring and the standard Milspec  M4  “H” buffer.  It takes less than a minute to convert the rifle over to 556 and having it operate just like your favorite 556 slayer.  Some people are already saying to use the 308 buffer for a softer shooting carbine but this is a bad idea and I will go out on a limb and say if something goes wrong with your rifle in this configuration of 556 with 30 buffer parts, Colt may not warranty it.  That is PURE SPECULATION on my part, but we all know how companies view such things.

The 901 receiver extension or “buffer tube” as it is commonly called, is standard M4 all the way with the normal colt 4 position. In the picture above is the 308 buffer inside its spring on the left with the 556 buffer to the far right. The 5.56 spring is far left next to the block.

The upper can be tilted down for removal of the BCG and cleaning without taking the entire gun apart. If you’re in a hurry, it’s the way to go although it’s easy to remove the upper completely with the block still on the upper.  The pin is captured so there is no fear of losing it.

Picture shows 556 upper opened as far as it will go with block installed and attached to the lower.

A few people have voiced concerns over what mags the lower with adapter block may or may not take. I found every mag tested will work, including uncommon mags.

Above is a pre-ban colt upper in 7.62×39 with a  ’39 mag in the well. The gun runs flawlessly with the commie caliber upper and magazine fit.

Here is a 6940 upper with the surefire 60 round magazine showing off its stuff and working perfectly.

The world standard 6920 ( M4) upper and the beloved 5.56 Pmag in the 901 lower and working 100 percent.

Finally the Colt  HBAR ELITE  CR6724 24 inch barreled precision upper takes a turn on the lower. All uppers ran as expected with no trouble.

In part two I will write about shooting the 901, its recoil, accuracy and how it does out to 1000 yards along with pictures of targets in testing.

The Colt LE901 A Look at the Parts

I got a few pictures of the BCG  stripped to show the differences in the parts and the size compared to a 5.56 and other  308 pattern rifles.

The BCG stripped for cleaning. The firing pin retaining pin slot has a very nice recessed slot to protect it.

Firing pin and firing pin spring. Colt says DO NOT remove firing pin spring from the firing pin.

901 bolt with firing pin.   You can not tell from this picture but the gas ring on the bolt is one piece.

Front view of the bolt face. Notice how thick and strong the lugs are. This is a heavy duty  part and shouts QUALITY.  Just like all Colt rifles, the bolt is MP inspected, proof fired and hardened. Not in batches, but every one.

The inside of the carrier still looks clean even after 500 rounds fired with no cleaning or lube.

Massive cam pin.

Here is the charging handle. Notice the ridge, or lip on the bottom rear.

A look up into the upper receiver. If you look close you can see the part added for piston conversion on later models.

Check back for more testing of the 901’s accuracy out to 1000 yards coming up.

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.

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.

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.

Kakadu CCW Vests review

A few weeks ago I was contacted by a company named Kakadu and was asked if I would review a few of their products. They are an Australian based company that has been around for a while making outdoors adventure and work/casual type clothes. They make a variety of products that are all meant for what I think of as the adventurer type market. If you look at their website you will see coats, vests, pants, and general purpose bags and satchels.

I was sent two of the company’s vests  for CCW they refer to as “GUNN-WORN”. One for hot weather outdoorsy type use and another one for colder outdoor casual wear.

The first vest is the hot weather vest with a mesh back. It is in the “GUNN-WORN” branding and has, if memory serves, about 19 pockets.  It has internal panels that set  under the arms at the bottom of the ribs. It has one pocket on each side made from heavy duty elastic to hold a handgun and 1 pocket for a double stack mag and one pocket for a single stack mag. This set up is on the right and left side. The hidden pouch is held together by a small velcro closure.

It does hold the 1911 pretty snug, but the double stack mag holder can not hold a single stack mag tight.  A flashlight can fill the space if you need it filled, though. I found the gun came out pretty easy without hanging up or causing a fumble.  Once the gun is in place and the vest closed I was afraid it would drag down one side and stick out like a sore thumb. But it was not bad at all.

As you can see in the picture the gun does not print in any easy to see way when it is in the inside holster. I wore it around and asked several people if they could spot a gun and asked them to look hard. They had to guess where it was at and always guessed wrong.

The vest has a multitude of pockets and pouches to hold almost anything you could want. The bad news is the two pockets that look like they will hold two USGI 30 round mags will not.  It’s close, but the flap will not completely close with the velcro secured. I talked to the manufacturer about this and they assured me the vest is always in R&D so I am hoping this will change. It would only need maybe a 1/4 inch added to the length of these two pockets to make them ideal mag pouches.

One thing I do like is that all the pocket openings had the elastic ring that stretches open but will help hold anything inside. It is not super tight but its enough to help. I found a use for most of the pockets. Some are perfect for surefire battery holders, a compass, a small survival kit or an EE  kit.

The material it is made from is tough but soft and very comfortable and the stitching is well done. I used it pretty hard for about 3 days with guns and other gear rubbing against it and abrading it with no sign of fraying or the threads coming loose under weight.

The vest zips closed and has the typical little tap with snap closure in case you want to leave it open but prevent it from flopping around. One thing I really appreciate is they size of the vest runs true. So if you wear a medium , order a M and it will fit perfect. My favorite thing about it is the mesh back. The mesh is strong and not the typical cheap plastic crap. The openings in it are wide enough to keep you cool and very comfortable in hot weather. I wore it for 6 hours in the hottest part of the day while it was 92 and humid and stayed pretty cool.   The bad thing is if you wear a gun belt everyone will see it. I think it would be nice to have the best of both worlds. Mesh back but  a 5 inch strip of solid fabric at the waist line to hide anything on the belt. But thats just me.

Apparently this vest was a big hit among some vets at a recent trade show was was labeled the “afghan fishing vest”  and you can see why.

The next vest is intended for colder weather.  The material reminded me of the same stuff carhart brand is made from.  It was tough and can take some abuse, but it is still soft and comfortable with a supple leather lined collar.

Authors ugly friend models the Kakadu Kelly vest:

The vest has two breast pockets and two side lower hip pockets. it has a zip front and tow take up tabs on the side and to the rear. Like the hot weather vest it has two inside CCW pockets with mag pouches on the left and right side. This vest, however, comes with a backer that the company calls an anti-print pad and it works great. I wish other CCW clothing had something like it as well.

The inside lining is very comfortable and you can tell it would keep you comfortable on a cool, late autumn night. It has a inside extra zippered pocket as well as the ccw holster. The pockets for the CCW pouches closes the same was as the other vest using a velcro tab.

My friend is a pretty hard core outdoorsman that is really picky about his clothing when it comes to wearing stuff for his outdoor activities, and he fell in love with this vest. He even offered his wife in trade. Luckily I know about her inability to cook.

Kakadu has more then just this two styles of vest of course and offers pants as well. All of the “GUNN-WORN” line have a pocket or pouch in them or the same style of these vests to hide a handgun inside them.  They have worked hard and listened to a lot of advice about what the buyer wants in a ccw vest trying to please their customers.

The thing that is important to remember for some is that this line of clothing from them is NOT for the full time pure duty use. This stuff is meant for the outdoorsman and sometime casual wear. I was told it was mainly for people out side a lot to be able to carry a gun. It is not “operator”  type stuff.  But if you are fishing  and that kinda stuff, but still want to carry a gun, this is the niche it fills.  I would not buy it and use it the same way a woolrich or 5.11 ccw vest is meant to be used.  You can, but its just not ideal.

They are an Australian company so you can imagine what the clothes are intended to hold up to. I have not been there but I have seen Crocodile Dundee parts 1-3 enough times to know that it’s pretty dangerous and is like Jurrassic Park with more kangaroos and snakes. So you can bet the clothes made for the brave soul who would dare to live there is pretty tough. If you stay outside  on vacation a lot and want your slayer they make some good solutions for that.  At the same time they make some good tough working clothes that will also hold your gun.  Take a look:

www.kakaduaustralia.com