SUREFIRE 60 round magazine

The Surefire magazines that hold 60 and 100 rounds have been out for a while now. If you are like me, you have read a few conflicting reports on the quality of the mags all over the internet.  With a possible panic buy situation looming in the future and my own curiosity I decided to try one out. I had no real use for the 100 round magazine since I am not a SAW gunner I opted for the 60 round mag. And as a side note it should be pointed out that surefire now sells MOLLE mag pouches that will hold the mags now.

Once I got the mag, I set out to test it as hard as I could. I loaded it completely full and inserted it into my carbine expecting it to feel like a boat anchor. I was greatly relieved to find that you can not really tell  it is 60 rounds. It really does not feel like any real extra weight. The balance of the weapon still has the same balance and handles just as well as it would with a 30 rounder.  The mag dropped free when empty and I felt no stiffness or friction when the mag release was pressed.  The mag was also very easy to seat  into the gun when loaded full and the bolt was closed. I thought with all the tension from that much ammo it would need some effort but it did not. Another nice discovery was that the 60th round was just as easy to thumb into the mag as the 1st round was. No sore bloody thumbs like was expecting. That was a very nice surprise.

The surefire is pretty much USGI in the feed lips department. The mag body is made from the same metal as the gov issue mags with what appears to be the same coatings. It is pretty simple to take the mag down for cleaning etc.

I went into the testing after all the usual examinations and fondling. I fired the mag empty in one go and it worked fine, locked the bolt open and dropped free while using M855. Next I dropped the ammo into the dirt, loaded them while dirty, shook them up in the mag and ran it dry with the same result.  Next I got into prone and put all the pressure I could on the mag using it as a monopod. I ran it empty with the same results.

I know some mags will give problems from the mag rest so I tested this a lot over two days. I fired another full mag while using it as a rest, but this time pushing it forward as I fired, rocking it forward. I reloaded it and did the same thing though this time I pulled back on it while pushing down hard. It worked great in both cases. I then did the same while holding the gun at an angle to the left then the right. I did both of these tests with a full mag. I did this thinking that some people  may have trouble shooting under a car and not touching the ground with the mag because of the longer length. In any case it did not matter. The mag ran fine with no problems. At this point I had put 400 rounds through the mag adn the gun. I had wiped off most of the lube from the colt to try to make it harder on the magazine. I also made sure to use stripper clips to laod as fast as I could so as to keep the gun hot and the mag warm and dirty. At this point I started using crummy ammo. I tried it with silver bear, brown bear, tula and wolf. Some of it was very under powered but, the mag worked fine. I would have been surprised to have any problems at that point, but I tried them just for the sake of trying them. And I am always looking for an excuse to shoot so it worked out nicely. Most of this testing was done today and a very windy and dusty place. My carbine was coated in a fairly thick coating of dust and I left the bolt open with mag in it to let dust in while shooting other guns to see if I could at least get the mag to feel gritty while working. No dice.

Now I will show a few pictures comparing the mag to a regular USGI and a Pmag and with and without ranger plates so people can get a idea of how long it is.

Here they are side by side. As can be seen, they are not to different in size. To the one guy who does not have a Pmag, they are slightly longer then a USGI.

I think this is a better shot to compare length with out the trick of the  curve of mags making them seem longer.

As can be seen in the picture. The surefire really is not too bad when you see its barely longer then a USGI with a magpul ranger plate on it. A lot of people use the pull tabs anyway, so when it comes to just plain length, it is really not all that much longer.

I know there is a lot of bad reports of the surefire all over the internet, but there is good as well. Mine has run great so far. I plan to test it a while longer before I say it is 100 percent ready to trust my life on it, or even a rifle match. But I am leaning toward that thinking currently. As much as i would like to say “buy with complete confidence” I must hang back. Though it worked great so far, it is not quite mature technology that has been proven enough in real combat in my mind. But, I am slow to jump all over something new. I usually want to see 5-10 years of something being used by the military or some other hard use  group and widespread adoption before I switch to something new. Especially if it is something really different. The surefire mag is not quite as big a deal as a new jet fighter or standard infantry round but, having a mag that fails you in a fight is a pretty big deal to anyone I think.  I will say it is worth buying and trying. if it works fine for you then that is great but take into consideration all the problems we are hearing. I have no way to prove how these supposed problems have happened or how  the mags were treated before they failed so keep in mind that most of the bad mouthing may be BS.  I will say I have heard a lot more good then bad. If you do want one but can not do it right now keep these things in mind.

Surefire will only improve it as time goes on an they will make any problem right. And there is a very very very good chance of wide spread panic buying and price hiking to come over the next few months and is a certainty if you know who is re elected.  So, my thinking was, if it works, great, I got it at a good price and if it give trouble, surefire will fix it and I will have gotten what at a good price before any chance, real or imagined for them to become hard to get, very high priced and sold out. I hope that at least helps you decide on to get one or not. I am very happy with mine and if it keeps performing as is, I will get another one for sure.

COLT Gov Model 1911 test.

Today I picked up another colt 1911, it is the regular gov model sold as the  1991A1 in the past, and still called that in the colt webpage. If you do not already know, it is just a basic model. It is sort of a cross between a 1911 and a 1911A1 with  better sites and a few differences. And of course it has the series 80 trigger system.  When I was a teenager, it would be what was called the MK IV series 80 Gov Model. If you are out of the loop and last had a colt in the 80s, and want another like it, this is the model to get.  Colt ad refers to it as a direct descendent of the 1911 used in WW1 and WW2.  This is a pretty good description actually, so I wont say more on that.

Now, to the meat of this review. I was very tempted to just skip any kinda intro and lead off with a pic of the target  as the 1st thing anyone could see. I was pretty giddy after I fired the first 5 rounds out of the gun. The picture below was shot using the colt, Black hills 230 grain match ammo, and off a bench at 25 yards. And,it was the first 5 rounds through the gun, brand new, out of the box. I had not even lubed it or cleaned it yet.

As you can see why, I was fairly surprised and pleased. This may be the best group I have ever fired with a handgun that was not a custom pistol.

I next moved on to using winchester white box ball ammo, since those last 5 rounds was all the BH match I had on hand. The next group below was shot the same way; off a bench at 25 yards.

Not as good, but wow!  not bad at all with walmart ball ammo. I am used to great accuracy from my colts that have the national match barrel and up graded specs. But, this out of a  pistol meant to be a little niceer finished milspec was amazing. Last I fired the same WWB ammo at 25 yards but instead of 5 I shot 7 rounds. Even off hand, I was more then happy.

With this pistol, better sights and a lighter trigger I would not be afraid to go to camp perry. It ran flawless just as I knew it would. Some people think a stock 1911 needs work to work perfect. The thought that it would, never crossed my mind. I have never had a colt let me down, though I will not say the same about kimber or springfeild.  The gun comes with 2 seven round mags, the lock to make new yorkers feel safer and the ever present NRA join up paper work.  The gun comes with a nice set of checkered double diamond grips,but I replaced them with a set with the colt gold medallions. The gold colt medallion was all the 1911s of my youth and I have always loved them and tried to keep them on as many of my colts as I can.

One thing that gave me a idea the gun would shoot tight before I even pulled the trigger, was how tight it was. I mean it was tight. No play of the barrel in the slide, no side to side movement,just tight.  The level of craft is a lot higher then some of the plain jane gov models  I have bought in the last decade. Not that the others were bad, just not as nice as this one in the little ways that matter to people that like safe queens and collectors items more then they like shooters and combat pistols meant to work hard.

The barrel is stainless, but not match. No full length guide rod either. A few years ago the same model came with two blued 8 round mags, but this one came with two 7 rounders. I might also add this is this years model.

After testing this gun I am very tempted to use it as a base gun for a MEUSOC clone, which was my intention. But now, no way. This however would be a great base model for a custom CCW gun for anyone. It is a great price and of course it is a colt. A lot of people would tell you to get a series 70 and thats fine too. But I have never had problems with the series 80 triggers and my series 80 gold cup has a better trigger then my series 70 gold cup national match and  every series 70 I ever tried. The BS you hear bad about the series 80, is just that. It makes the gun safer. It may be more parts but so what? If it was as bad as some ignorant people claim, colt would have stopped using the series 80 years ago , and would not put it in their flag ship pistols like the special combat gov the rail gun or the XSE series.

If you want a very nice shooter  as an example of history, a plain combat gun or a base gun for a custom project this is a great choice. It has a forged frame and slide, the least MIM parts on the market ( which is a rare thing in the 1911 market these days) put together still by hand from the company the introduced the pistol and has been making the for over 100 years now. And made right here in the USA. I think the choice is very easy.

www.coltsmfg.com

RMR Glock first impressions

I recently had a Trijicon RMR mounted on a Glock 19c.  A full review will be posted later, so here are a few first impressions.

 

It will take some practice to get used to having an optic on a pistol.  If I bring the Glock up looking for the red dot I don’t see it.  If I bring it up looking for the sights, the dot is quickly visable.

The dot shows any errors in your trigger pull while your pulling the trigger.  This will make this setup an excellent practice gun, and might make it a good trainer pistol when teaching people how to shoot.

The Glock with RMR will still fit in some holsters with out modification.

I do not like having threaded holes in my Glock slide.  I think I would prefer is some sort of helicoil or similar insert was used to prevent possible damage to the threads in the slide.  Also one of the holes extends into the channel that the extractor spring/plunger runs though.

 

Having a red dot on a pistol is interesting, and I will be posting more about it after I get more trigger time with this setup.

More Colt Nostalgia

I am always on the lookout for  Colt stuff.  Over the years I have gathered a nice little collection of colt parts and assorted collectables.  Two of the nicest items in my collection I like to keep with the SP-1 since they are from the same time period and  are rather hard to find. Both are new in unissued condition.

First up is a genuine colt M-7 bayonet with scabbard.  It was never used and has no marks, scratches or damage.

Everyone seems to have or did have a M7 laying around at one point. Then a few years ago the  interest in them soared for reasons I do  not know. I assume it is over the  explosion in the interest in all things “retro” related to the M16  from the 601 to the 603 series.  This was given to me by a dear friend after  I helped him get something he needed badly.

Next up is my personal favorite item in my collection. It is a unused Colt marked bipod that at one time would have been issued to the infantry to be used for the M16 in full auto fire from the prone.  Not only is it in perfect conditon, but so is its carrying case.

Of course clamping this simple piece of kit to a barrel would destroy in hopes of real accuracy, but that is not the point.  it is still a very nice bit of colts history to own though. One neat thing about its carrying case is it has a pouch on the front for the then issued sectional cleaning kit.  A modern kit will not fit in the space provided on the case because  the more modern sections are longer then the older VN era kits.

Finally is a poster/add from the early 90s. I bought this when I was coming up on the twilight of my teenage years. It could be purchased though the mail only since this is a few years before the internet. At least it was a few years from everyone having it and colt sure did not have a website at the time anyways.  I can not remember if it was made because of the growing popularity of the cowboy action shooting or because of a re issue of some special edition SSA.  But, at any rate here it is for your enjoyment and a look at how much of a packrat I am about throwing gun related stuff away.

Smallest to the Biggest

After stopping by an old friends work place the the other day, we got talking guns as usual.  He is more of a hunter then I am so he was  all giddy to show me two of his newer guns.  After seeing them he showed me a round of each and gave me  a sample to keep just for fun.  I would only shoot one of them. I bet you can guess which I would not shoot!  5.56 for size

from left

.22 squirrell , 5.56 and then 505 gibbs

the 22cal has a .22 hornet parent case

Nightforce has a new website.

http://nightforceoptics.com/

NightForce optics has a new web site.  NightForce scopes have been popular in both the tactical and benchrest competition crowd due to their durability and accurate tracking.  I own a NXS 2.5-10×24 and love it.

Now there are tutorial videos on how to set the NF zerostops.  This is an excellent addition because the previous printed instructions of how to set the zero stop on the compact models was not clear.

On ported Glocks

Every so often people ask about the ported Glocks.  As an owner of a Glock 19c, a ported 9mm compact, I can answer those question.

Q:  Does the porting reduce recoil?

A:  Yes, by a small amount.

Q:  Will the porting make the firearm louder?

A:  Yes, it is very noticeable firing indoors.

Q:  Does the ported 9mm Glocks shoot jets of flame from the ports?

A:  Only if you use really poor quality ammunition with no flash suppressant.  Even then, the blast from the muzzle will far surpass the blast from the porting.

Q:  Are there problems from shooting in a retention position with a ported Glock.

A:  Not if you cant the pistol slightly away from you.

Q:  Will carbon build up on the front of my front night sight?

A:  Yes, but not enough to prevent its use.(Under normal firing conditions)

Q:  Will the carbon buildup on the barrel and slide be hard to clean?

A:  No harder or longer then cleaning a standard Glock.

Q:  Is it worth getting a ported 9mm.

A:  No, however other calibers might benefit more from porting.

Notes on the FN SCAR rear sight

There is some confusion to the FN SCAR rear sight.  Hopefully this will help clear things up.

The windage is 1 MOA clicks.  There are 36 clicks of adjustment for windage, so 18 from one end will put you in the middle.

Elevation adjust is 1.5 MOA per click.  There should be enough adjustment to go below the 200m mark and have a 100m zero, and plenty of adjustment past the 600m mark.

Ideally the rifle should be zeroed with the front sight, and the rear sight left mechanically zeroed and only adjusted for wind or distance.