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.

Gun Stickers and Decals

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.

http://www.dogfightink.com/FirearmsLogoDecals.html

Check and recheck your gear.

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.

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

SLIDEFIRE STOCK

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.

LaRue XTRAN

The left three cases were fired from a LaRue PredatAR with XTRANs chamber.  The rightmost case came from a standard chamber.

XTRAN chamber left a sprial of carbon on the case.  There is no felt damage to the case.  This spiral of carbon could be wiped off with finger.

Thanks LaRue Tactical

A big thanks to the good folks at LaRue Tactical.  I needed a replacement ring half (to replace one I damaged) and some screws for my mounts.

Despite that I gave alternate info that had no ordering history from LaRue and that I offered to pay, LaRue Tactical still sent me the parts for free.  Their fast shipping allowed me to correct the issue I created quickly.

On that note, I would like to mention one company I was less then impressed with, Daniel Defense.  I asked what size a certain set of screws where that I needed.  They kindly offered to send me some, and then quickly mailed me a bag of the wrong screws.  All of my several attempts to contact them about getting  the correct screws were either ignored or not responded too.

Correct position of hard armor plates

I see a lot of pictures on forums of guys wearing their plate carriers with armor in them in ways that barely do them any good all the time. Usually you see the plates setting too low in the front and the back.  As can be seen in this picture you do not really need a huge plate to cover every inch of  your body, but you do need it to cover the most important inside red parts.

Here are a couple of pictures I hope will help people make sure they do not wear their armor wrong and some day have a round slip through or over a plate and cause sever leaking.

 

These pictures came from a poster on www.ar15.com