Chamber Stars. Not a gimmick, not necessary, but nice to have.
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.
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.
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.
I found this company through a fellow shooter a few months ago and admired the quality. My friend had one on a Pelican rifle case. It was black with a white decal and I though it was provided by the factory it looked so good and professional. After ordering a Decal from them I set mine up similar to my friends and it is sharp.
The decals can be had in a staggering variety from DogFight Inc. Not only do they make logos but they also sell stickers of firearms profiles. They can be bought in different colors and sizes. If you want to spice up your gear or vehicle for that unique look, give them a try.
When ever you buy new gear, or change the setup of your gear, you need to test it out. It is good to make sure there are no unexpected issues.
For example, today I found that the LaRue POD stock attachment I have interferes with my plate carrier. Shooting with out the body armor was a non-issue, however with the body armor, getting the stock where I wanted it was not working out. I also installed an ITW Fast Mag M16 magazine holder on my belt. While I loved the pouch, I found that its’ rigid body got in the way when I got into the kneeling position.
As always, it is better to find out issues in practice then then find them in the fight.
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:
A friend of mine bought one of the slidefire stocks a few weeks ago and brought it out for me to try it out and see how “awesome” it is. The first thing I noticed was how huge and bulky it is.
Not only is it kinda big and bulky, but it makes using the safety pretty difficult. that is a pretty big turn off to me. The cheek weld is not bad at all. The problem wit this is that it does not matter because the gun can not be fired accurately. Sure the youtube videos make it look like you can do controlled bursts and keep the rounds on target the truth is you can not. You can make controlled bursts ( when it works) but the method used to make the stock do its trick, makes shooting with any kind of effective fire pointless.
The author trying to make it work with his 6940 upper installed. And still failing like most things in life he tries.
The way this contraption works is you lay your finger across the trigger very loose. The finger actually rests on a ledge and barely touches the trigger. You then pull forward on the forearm and this simply is suppose to cause a controlled bump fire. I know it sounds odd and it takes a bit to get the hang of it.
The lower used was a Stag arms ( not mine!!!) on top of a RRA carbine upper. ( not mine!!) The lower had a carbine buffer in it instead of a H or H2 buffer. This combo worked right up until it did not. I still have not figured out the problem is but the gun would just stop. The trigger was stiff, not much and not loose like just fired. A round would be chambered with a normal dimple on the primer but thats it. Sometimes on ejecting th4 chambered round, I found it to be bent slightly at the shoulder neck junction. Odd.
I do not think the slidfire is worth the money. Maybe if it was 100 bucks but even then I really would not care to have one. Maybe on a semi auto RPK clone with bipods and a 100 round drum it could be fun. But I doubt it.
The problem could be from bolt bounce or the timing but I do not know. it was not my gun and I did not and could not have taken it all apart to find out or try it more. So I am sorry to say I can not give any solid answers about it. So solly cholly.
I was told this model was the 2nd gen model that sold for around 360 bucks. I keep thinking tat would have bought 3 surefire 60 round mags or a case of ammo. So unless you are a dirt clod blaster or so rich you just do not care. I would pass on this contraption.