Category Archives: Scattered Shots

Miscellaneous ramblings.

Leupold MK6 with Horus H58

I had the opertunity to play around a bit with a Leupold MK6 3-18 with the Horus H58 reticle.  Horus reticles tend to be a polarizing subject as people seem to either love them or hate them.

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I am a big fan of the Leupold MK6 3-18.  I’d take it over a S&B, Nighforce, or other high end scope as I love its compact size, layout , and features.

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Other than the reticle the H58 MK5 is exactly the same as my MK6 with a TMR reticle.  So to get you some size by size pictures, I mounted both optics to my Optic Test Fixture, as shown below.

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At three power the thick outer bars of the TMR reticle makes it east to quickly pick up.

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The H58 has two horizonal bars which are useful for indexing on a target quick at low power.  They appeared to be thicker than the bars on the TMR, but just having two made me feel slower and less intuitive for lining up on a target quick at low power.

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I took many pictures of the Horus reticle at 18 power and this is the only one that turned out anywhere near acceptable.  It does look a good bit better in person.  The horizontal lines above the center of the reticle start at 1 mil and then lower at .1 increments to aid in measuring the height of an object for ranging.  The set of numbers along with those lines are for finding the movement speed of the target in MPH.  Below the center of the reticle is the famous(or infamous) Horus grid.

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Here is the TMR at 18 power.

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The Leupold MK6 has a nice set of features including zero stops, a capped windage know with +- 5 mils of adjustment before hitting the stop, etc.  I think the main benefits of this 3-18 is its large power range in a small size along with excellent glass.

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So after having the chance to use the Horus 58 for a bit, I’m really not sure if I like it or not.  When I have shot at paper targets at known ranges, the Horus reticle appears to be thicker than the TMR and covers more of the point of aim.  The grid can cover a bullet hole in paper making it harder to spot.

The Horus starts to shine at longer distances.  Shooting steel at 600 yards it was easy to see the splash in the dirt from misses and quickly adjust from it.  You really benefit if you shooting a gun where you can spot your own impact and shooting in an area where you can easily see misses.

I’m not quite sure how to put it, but I wouldn’t recommend the Horus reticle to someone.  If you need it you would know.  If you don’t know if you need it or not, you don’t.  I don’t believe it would aid or be more intuitive for a new shooter, however I don’t believe a good scope with a Horus reticle would hurt a novice either.  It is an interesting option, but not a necessity.

What If YouTube Gun Channels Were 100% Honest?

What If YouTube Gun Channels Were 100% Honest?

 

Look, as the Geico commercial reminds us, not everything you see on the internet is true. YouTube gun channels are no exception. While many are honest and forthright, many others are dishonest shills who will say anything to get more free stuff.

 

 

YouTube posters do not earn as much as you might think. The amount earned for each view varies, depending on a variety of factors such as view duration and engagement, but it looks as though most channels earn somewhere in the neighborhood of about one dollar for every thousand views. That means that, unless you have an extremely popular channel, you probably will not even recover the gas money you spend driving to the range. That’s okay for many of us. We are not in it for the money. Don’t get me wrong, it would be great if I was someday able to get enough from YouTube that I could buy a new gun, but for the time being, I spend more on making test videos than I get out of them and I’m fine with that.

 

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As you can see, I get about $30 a month from YouTube and about two bucks a month from my most popular video. Not time to quit the day job yet. Some YouTube channels treat their channel as a business, though. They have invested in advertising to promote their channel and have enjoyed a significant return on their investment in subscriber count. Channels like this usually aggressively pursue manufacturers for test and evaluation samples and may even receive monetary compensation. The latter is of questionable legality under consumer protection laws. If they do receive compensation and do not disclose the fact, it is most likely a crime. On the other hand, they will shatter their illusion of impartiality if they do tell their viewers that they are promoting paid content.

 

In some cases, it is painfully obvious, such as TWANGnBANG’s videos where he simply tells us everything that a manufacturer put out in their press release over the manufacturer’s publicity photos without fact checking any of the manufacturer’s claims. Other times, it is more subtle, such as MAC’s pervasive use of ZQI ammunition in all his videos, right after the trip he took to their plant in Turkey that I’m sure he paid for out of pocket. Or his detour to tell us about the 3M electronic earpro in a video about a 9mm carbine.

 

Now, T&E samples are an important part of the gun industry. Reviewers get free samples and sometimes are allowed to keep them and we get to see new stuff. The Manufacturer gets free advertising and the YouTube channel gets a way to make content that generates revenue. There isn’t necessarily anything wrong with paid advertisements, either, so long as it is clear that is what we are seeing.

 

The real problem comes into play when viewers believe they are watching an honest, unbiased product review when, in reality, they are watching what amounts to a paid endorsement. Even when actual cash money does not change hands, it can be difficult to maintain an entirely unbiased perspective if you are getting free stuff. Moreover, the manufacturers are not likely to give you things to review if you have a reputation for tough criticism. This pressure to be gentle is usually somewhat subtle but can occasionally be explicitly stated. Another YouTuber told me about an interaction with a manufacturer where they explicitly stated that they would not send ammunition for testing unless they could be assured that they would have the opportunity to review the video before publishing.

 

I know from personal experience that some manufacturers react poorly to negative reviews of their products. A while back I posted an article here that was highly critical of DRT ammunition on the grounds that it fails to meet, or even come close, to FBI penetration recommendations. I have often used DRT as an example of worthless gimmick ammunition because it is. In response, the president of DRT emailed me to invite me to shoot animals with his ammunition. I am a meat eater and I am happy to kill an animal for food. Moreover, I am confident that the animals used in his testing are not wasted, but it seems unnecessarily cruel to shoot the animals solely to determine the effects of the ammunition. I cannot rightly articulate why it rubs me wrong, it just does. Aside from the ethical consideration, the fact is that his ammunition does not meet established standards using the established method of testing. Apparently, he hoped to distract from the failure in standardized testing by subjecting animals to his idea of “testing”.

 

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He declined to answer when I asked him whether the deer would be moving rapidly, using cover, and shooting back, but the exchange went downhill from there. Shooting an unsuspecting animal in relatively controlled conditions is obviously not the same as a desperate fight with a human being who is also desperately fighting for his own life, which is why a shallowly penetrating projectile works fine for hunting, if the shot is carefully placed. When fighting a human being, though, you do not have the luxury to decide not to take a shot if you think it will not produce a humane kill. You must shoot to stop and your rounds will likely impact the torso at an angle after passing through a limb or other intervening obstacle.

 

It is pure speculation on my part, but in light of this interaction, and given the conversations I have had with other folks in the gun community and in the industry, this sort of “gentle” pressure is likely common. And why wouldn’t manufacturers want to aggressively promote a positive image of their products?

 

The bottom line is that you are encouraged to exercise discretion and take YouTube reviews with a whole fistful of salt.

 

Editor’s/Owner’s note –   While I have no idea how things likely work on the youtube gun community.  Gun writers with few exceptions get to keep any guns for free.  It is true that we are mostly offered the “writer’s price”  and that price is often very hard to say no to, we get no guns from any companies for free.  Obviously they do send them out for demo free of charge, but they do want them back or want you to buy them.  Some writers do indeed get stuff for free to keep and we all obviously know them as what they are. Shills. 

As far as companies wanting to  look at a review before it goes up, only one company has ever said that to me and it was KAC.  And that was after I had to justify and explain in detail what I wanted to do with the gun in questions.  Obviously since you have never read a review of the KAC  EMC carbine on looseorunds, you know how that turned out.  – Shawn

 

 

 

 

Inland MFG M1911A1 Test Part 2 Accuracy Testing

Friends, it can be said that I like 1911s. I love 1911s.   I love the feel of a M1911, the way it shoots, its ergonomics, its recoil and its over all beautiful looks. I Blue, stainless, nickel, parkerized or duaracote, I love a 1911.  But, almost without fail, my love for the 1911 is reserved for those made by Colt’s MFG.   Today I can say that I really am impressed with the Inland M1911A1.  It is not flashy or fancy, it is just a  USGI clone M1911A1 made to look like the typical WW2 service sidearm. It does a good job at that.

Inland MFG 1911A1 Review Part 1

Generally speaking, the 1911s made to look like USGI guns that we get on the market today leave a lot to be desired.  GI issue style pistols are common by the lesser makers because it is so cheap to make them in that configuration. No after market sights or parts, no extra time and effort fitting custom after market parts or things like forward slide serration etc.  I think of the GI style pistols churning out these days are looked at as pizza by the makers.  Even if its bad its still kinda good. Everyone wants a GI pistol even if its cheap. Especially if its cheap because they assume no one really shoots them much.   Well, that not really true and there are a lot of just pure crap 1911s on the market.  The Inland is made very well

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As I mentioned before, the gun is a but more than just a GI issue clone.  The bushing is a tight fitting match bushing. The same used on the company’s custom carry pistol and trust me, it shows.

I test fired the pistol for accuracy after some serious abuse. A lot of it I did not film due to the weather conditions that would ruin a camera.  I froze it. I buried it in mud and snow, I have fired 1,500 rounds through it without cleaning and with only a little bit of LSA  from the 60s on it. I fired some of the most filthy training ammo you have ever seen through it. I have tried very hard to see what it would take short of putting bad mags in it and faulty ammo which is unfair.  I did however use real GI Issue  original magazines and they worked fine. And as you can see in the link below, I shot up a muddy water hole to break the ice and tossed the gun in it and kicked mud over it, then shot it.

Inland MFG M1 Carbine & M1911 Mud& Frozen Water Torture Test

After all that, and no cleaning, i started my serious accuracy testing by using bags and a bench.  I started out at 15 yards and I used jacketed hollow point ammo for accuracy testing and to once again make sure it fed hollow point bullets.   After I settled in on the bags and dry fired a few times, I fired this first group.  For a gun that is meant to basically meet plain old USGI standards you really can’t ask for much more.

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I then went on to shoot at 20 yards using different types of ammo including ball and PDX1.

I was really  proud of the last group of the day, a full  7 round loaded mag at 20 yards.

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I strung the shots vertical a bit, but I I don’t think anyone would hold that against  the pistol in this case.  I am sorry to say I did not get more groups with the HP ammo because I ran out.  The bulk of that ammo was used up on other reviews but I promise you that all groups shown are all the groups fired.  I did not toss out any that made me or the gun look bad.

Previous off hand plinking and goofing with the gun by shooting steel rifle gongs at 100 yards had already given me a pretty good idea I was not going to be shocked at horrible accuracy and the hunch was right.  One thing to point out is the trigger. On this particular T&E gun, the trigger is a typical milspec trigger, It is a little heavy.  It is not godawful, but if you are expecting a modern custom production 1911 type trigger you better get ready to have that illusion popped.  It is not a terrible trigger, It is what it is and what it is meant to be, a USGI trigger. If you buy a pistol like this expecting something else that is your fault.

 

I have really enjoyed my time with the piece.  Most non-colt 1911s  fail my standards with regularity of a swiss watch but not this one.  I would not hesitate to own one of these.  It is a lot better than most of the others of this type. I would take this over the Springfield Armory USGI model every day of the week.  If you are wanting a USGI pistol but are not worried about paying more than you would by a RIA, and want something more reliable and with really, really good accuracy, give this a serious look.

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Inland MFG M1 Carbine Part 2 Accuracy Testing

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This is the final part in the T&E of the Inland MFG M1 Carbine.  In case you have no read the pr4evious posts, I examined the gun closely with plenty of close up pictures and tested the carbine for reliability in mud, snow, water and ice.  Now at last is the accuracy portion of the review.

I fired the gun with a few different loads but no match ammo since I could not get my  hands on any  in an amount that would have mattered. I tested the gun using ball, which is what I think most buyers will be using and a federal soft point rounds that for some reason I marked as a hollow point on the record targets  I have no idea why I marked it incorrectly as HPs unless it is just out of habit.    Rest assured the  target groups marked as “HP” is a mistake and I actually fired the Federal jacketed soft point load.

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First I fired the traditional  25 yard group for establishing a zero. I used five rounds of ball.

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I then moved out to 50 yards and  75 yards.  This 50 yard  10 round group is with the mentioned Fed SOFT POINT load. The carbine really shot well with this load.  I believe this load is the ammo that was used by the PD in the town over in WV across the river from me. The ammo was provided by a police officer and came from the department so it may well be the load Federal intended as a LE or home defense load. It does shoot well in the carbine despite the ammo I used being at least 10 years old that I know of.

The next two pictures are of another 50 yard group and a group fired at 75 yards  with the same ammo.  I did not fire a 100 yard group due to the fact that my eyes have a hard time with the iron sights on M1 carbines   for some reason.  I can shoot them just fine for general use, but I really struggle with them when it gets down to taking precise shots in an attempt to fire groups for accuracy testing  I have never done well with them  and felt it unfair to shoot much further and not know if it was me or the gun.  However 75 yards is close to 100 enough to get some kind of idea of what it may do.

I did fire the gun past these shorter distances.  I set up the steel target at 300 yards while shooting it when it first arrives.  My Dad was with us and before shooting I announced i was going to take some shots at 300 yards with the gun.  Everyone chuckled and said “yeah right”. i then asked them if they wanted to bet 20 bucks on me being able to do it.   Fortunately for them, they would not take the bet because I found it very easy to hit a roughly man sized target , ( head to belt buckle) at 300 yards with the carbine.

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The target  is a little hard to see in this picture. But it is in the center of the road.  I used a home made tripod to get over the grass but none of the shots used a sand bag or laying prone.  I then stood up and made a few hits off hand.  The carbine is capable for shots most modern rifle shooters can not make with  308 rifles or more sad to say.

The Inland Carbine is a handy well made and faithful reproduction of the original. It is much nicer and better made than its competition out there making some really rough looking M1 carbines.  You can also get the M1A1 paratrooper version of the carbine and a cut down “Advisor” model like used by US troops in Vietnam.

If you like WW2 weapons and history and want a carbine that you can shoot heavily without any guilt, or just want a small handy “trunk gun” this would be a good choice. I would certainly pick it over a SKS or nagant.   The rifle comes with the 15 round mag but obviously will take the 30 round magazines.   The M1 could be the answer for those people in certain states that governments that have been confusing their role with those of communist states.  Or for those who want something not as scary and evil looking as an evil black rifle.

Over all I am very impressed with it. I admit that everyone who was with me during the first testing had major doubts and rolled their eyes at it when I said I was going to do some of the stuff with it I ended up  doing, but they became believers. A lot of preconceived biases got busted by this gun.  it certainly impressed me.  This Inland M1 will perform above and beyond for you within its envelope and a little beyond.

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Wolf Gray Color Comparison

Gray colored gear has become a bit of a thing lately for those looking for tactical gear that doesn’t give an overt military/LE feel.

But is all wolf gray created equal?  We’ve gotten a few pieces in to try out so we figured we’d do a color comparison.

Here we have a Blue Force Gear triple mag pouch in their wolf color along with a Emdom USA utility pouch in their SDU gray laying on top of an ATS Tactical RAID II pack in their wolf gray color.

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Getting colors exactly correct can be a bit tricky over the internet as camera and monitor settings all play a part.  It may not completely come through in the photos but in person the RAID II pack gray has a strong green tint to its color, almost a foliage green.  The Blue Force Gear gray has a darker more blue tinted color.  The Emdom USA SDU gray has a more brown/tan tint to it.

For further comparison here are the above three pieces of gear along with a coyote brown mag pouch, an OD green canteen cover, a woodland camo buttpack, and an ACU mag pouch.

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M855A1 EPR: The Armor Piercing Round That Wasn’t

The Army does not actually consider M855A1 to be armor piercing ammunition, but it is capable of some really impressive penetration. Standard M855 is stopped easily by ¼” AR500 level III body armor, but M855A1 can penetrate even level III+ steel armor.

Bear in mind that the plate in that test was able to stop 5.56mm M193 and 50 gr TSX, .450 Marlin 405 gr JSP, and even a round of 7.62x51mm M61 AP. This plate is seriously tough.

Let that sink in a bit: a standard 5.56mm “ball” round was able to penetrate a target that 7.62x51mm armor piercing ammunition could not get through. Of course the old farts will complain about how their beloved “thuty cal” will carry more energy down range and that is absolutely correct. 7.62x51mm will likely be better at getting through thicker, heavier obstacles like trees and possibly better at multiple layers of light barrier like car bodies. It will definitely be better at chewing up concrete barriers with multiple rounds. Still, at close range, in this narrow use case, a 5.56mm “ball” cartridge outperformed 7.62x51mm AP and that is really saying something. How far away does M855A1 EPR keep that performance edge though?

It is not particularly surprising that it loses some steam and is unable to penetrate at 50 meters, given the light weight of the projectile, but the fact that it can still get through the plate at 25 meters is notable in its own right. There is some limit to the capability of this new round, but it is nevertheless impressive. It is not simply some icepick penetrator, either.

Even when fired from a short barrel, M855A1 shows immediate upset and dramatic tissue disruption. In comparison, M855 shows a much longer “neck,” about four to five inches, actually. The “neck” is the portion of tissue that is relatively undamaged by a projectile’s passing before the bullet begins to yaw, fragment, or expand.

Even when fired from a 16” barrel, the M855 showed a longer neck and less tissue disruption than the M855A1 did from an 11.5” barrel. In other words, the M855A1 is more terminally effective at a lower velocity than M855. There is every reason to believe that it should continue to demonstrate excellent down range performance too, based on the light, three part construction of the bullet. It is refreshing to finally see an effective loading fielded for our soldiers’ 5.56mm rifles. For decades, civilians have enjoyed high performance loads that take full advantage of the 5.56mm cartridge’s potential but our service men and women have made do with an obsolete answer to a question no one cared to ask. The M855 was not particularly good at anything. It was not terrible, of course, but it was far from ideal. At long last, it looks as though the Army has a load that is actually better at penetrating cover than M855 but also produces better tissue damage.

Is Ceramic Armor Really “Better” Than Steel?

Some things really are better. Cold beer is better than warm beer. Empire Strikes Back is better than Return of the Jedi. But in most cases, one thing is not really better than another thing, just different. As much as it pains me to admit, PCs are not better than Macs, just different. Depending on your priorities, one or the other may be a better fit. This concept applies to body armor as well. There is a perception that level IIIA soft armor is “better” than level IIA because it is rated for higher energy threats. Level IIIA armor also tends to be heavier, stiffer, hotter, and generally less comfortable than level IIA. Anyone who has worn armor for a living knows that comfort isn’t nearly as superficial as it might sound to someone who has not worn armor for long periods of time. There are a number of other factors that should be considered when selecting armor such as weight, thickness, threat rating, and of course, price. There are some other factors that may be overlooked, though.

One factor is the fact that different types of body armor might perform differently with specific threats, even if they have the same threat rating. By way of example, this level III steel plate was able to stop a round of M61 7.62x51mm AP.

When shot with the same ammunition from the same barrel length, a ceramic level III plate was perforated, though.

How can this be? Every internet operator worth his keyboard will tell you straight up that ceramic armor is “better” than steel, so how is it that the steel can stop a round that gets through the ceramic? The fact is that the real world is not a video game. Ceramic armor is not a +10 damage resistance over steel armor. Different armor types perform differently across a spectrum of velocities, bullet weights, and types of projectile construction. The materials used in each plate work differently to stop bullets. That does not mean that the steel plate is superior, either, though. The same plates had opposite performance when tested against the Army’s new M855A1 62 gr EPR.

In this case, the ceramic plate stopped the round but the steel plate was perforated.

Both plates carry the NIJ level III rating. Shouldn’t that mean that they will stop the same ammunition? In a way, that is precisely what that means, but we have to put a very fine point on that statement. It means that they will both protect the wearer from 7.62x51mm M80 at 2,780 fps by preventing the round from reaching the wearer but without deforming more that 1.7″. This last bit is often overlooked as well. Soft body armor and composite rifle plates deform when struck by a projectile. Often, that deformation is substantial, as seen in the video below:

The NIJ specifies that the degree of back face deformation should be measured by measuring the depression left in a clay block placed behind the test article. In this informal test, the clay used is not exactly the same type and consistency of the clay specified by the NIJ, but it gives a general picture of the difference between the back face signature produced by these two plates when struck with the same projectile.

Although they are the same threat level and were struck with exactly the same ammunition, the degree of back face deformation on the ceramic composite plate was profound, while the steel plate showed virtually zero deformation.

Please understand that this series of tests should not be taken to indicate that steel is “better,” either, just that steel and ceramic work differently. The two plates shown here vary substantially in price, thickness, and weight as well as the factors discussed in this article. They perform differently, but one is not necessarily “better” than the other. Both plates will still protect the wearer against the vast majority of small arms munitions, though.

As always, it is your responsibility to do extensive research before purchasing any personal protective equipment. Also remember that training is far more important than equipment. There is no amount of gear that can make up for a training deficiency.