A 03/04 Colt LE6920. Updated with Daniel Defense Omega X 12.0 FSP rail, Aimpoint H1 micro, Streamlight TLR-1, Tactical Link Gen2 Z-360 mount and Umbrella Corporation Weapon Research group Grip-23.
After a discussion among the writers about our favorite “add ons” to our carbines or rifles, I decided to compile the comments from some of the writers into an article. The parts or tools listed in these comments are not necessarily “must have”. The idea being everyone knows you must have mags, ammo, some optics etc. The idea is, things we really, really like and would put on every gun we had , or thought they are good enough to use on every gun if money allowed. The list was to be 3-5 things that we each consider maybe not absolute must haves, but close to it.
My three must have add-ons for AR15/M4.
Every time I purchase an AR15/M4 type rifle, there are several key add-ons I personally must have.
1.) I have to change out the standard A2 grip with a Tango Down Battle Grip. Having been through numerous Patrol rifle schools and Instructor Schools, I always hated how my middle finger would get tore up. This was from the gap between the trigger guard and grip. The Tango Down covers this gap and is more comfortable in my hand than the A2.
2.) I just simply must have a BCM Mod4 Charging Handle. After using several charging handle latches over the past decade, nothing out there works as well as the BCM Charging Handles. For ease of one handed manipulation and a positive charge, it is a must have item.
3.) One thing that is very important to me is a quality sling. Once again, I have used just about every sling out there at one time or another. I always purchase a Gear Sector GS-2P sling when I get a new rifle. I have found for a relatively inexpensive sling, it does a lot and it is top quality.
When thinking about my top three must have add-ons, I think about the best bang for the buck, (i.e. cost and actual rifle performance/manipulation benefits).These three top quality items not only enhance the handling of your rifle but cost just about 100 dollars. This helps me save more money for ammunition and Optics, which really hit your pocket book hard.
My list of favorite add-ons .
1. I am a huge fan of the Surefire SR07 Remote dual switch for weapons lights. I am not a fan of the pressure tape switch but I do like the short term bust you can get form them. Most important I like positive click on and click off. The SR07 give you both. It also allows you to mount it where ever you need/want to mount it. A huge plus is that its made to snap onto a rail. It is so handy I don’t want to live life without it.
2. The next us is the Knights Armament Ambi safety. You can have two safety lever the same length, one scalloped to clear the firing hand or the ability to use it as a single side. It goes on easy and swapping out the right side lever is so easy even my dog can do it. Being KAC its top quality.
3. The BCM Gunfighter charging handles. I like the small one best and the medium sized one is next in line. They are tough enough to justify buying them and they do make things considerably easier. While not a must have, they are an upgrade that anyone serious about putting together “the perfect fighting carbine” needs to take a long serious look at. And now that they are made to be a gas buster, there is not reason to use any other brand or version of the extended type charging handles.
And Because its my article and I can cheat.
4. The Norgon ambi mag release. Being able to work the safety and drop mags free using just one hand, no matter which it is, is important if you really believe in the concept.
5. The Knights Armament 600 meter back up iron sight. This did not make the top three because, to me, if fits the same true “must have” qualities as mags, good ammo and optics.
Like I said, none of them will keep your gun from working, but they are such an improvement for comfort, efficiency or versatility that I feel that are important enough to go on every carbine I take serious as a fighting gun. I am not too worried about price, even though you pay a lot for such small items. To me, the price is well worth it if it gives you an advantage.
More to come by the other members as they narrow down and complete their choices. So check back as I update this article
1. Geissele SSA trigger. While a trigger won’t make a rifle more accurate, it can help a person shoot a firearm more accurately. Currently the SSA is my favorite aftermarket trigger.
2. KAC 2-600m rear sight. I like shooting with irons, and I like having good backup iron sights on my rifles. The KAC 2-600m rear sight is my absolute favorite folding rear sight.
3. Surefire Scout light. The reasons for having a light should be nearly self explanatory.
Notable mentions: Norgon ambi-mag catch and KAC ambi safety. I like trying to keep things ambidextrous. I find I use the ambi-mag-catch a great deal more then the ambi-safety, but having the ambi-safety for me is preferable over having to comprimise my left handed firing grip by placing my left thumb over a standard safety. BCM new gas-busting gunfighter charging handle.
Dr. Carlos Lopes
1. The stream light TLR-1S. I can move if from my HK, to my FN to my AR. It’s cheap and you get a lot of value for the money. I do not care for the mounting screw, but I can live with it. It’s a great alternative to the higher priced Surefire x300.
2. The Knights Armament RAS. It is so useful and tough that I can’t imagine having a rifle or carbine without it. It is easy to take on and off and its tough enough to have been used by the armed forces for a decade or more. Using it does not require modification of the rifle and I really like that.
3. The Magpul CTR. It locks up, has a great cheek weld, is tough and durable. There is nothing about it to dislike.
Over the last few weeks, Loose Rounds readers have asked several questions about installing sights on your Glock. I will go over some of the basic tools you need and the process of installing new sights on a Glock. For removal and installation of sights, I use a Glockmeister Sight Tool Set. This set is the best bang for the buck in my opinion. With the right tools this is a really easy process, taking only a few minutes of your time.
No matter what brand of sight tools you choose, you will need the following to install your sights.
-Rear sight pusher tool.
-Front sight hex screw tool.
-Red Loctite 262.
– Soft work mat of some kind.
You may want to have some cleaner and a brush handy, to clear out the rear sight channel and front slide hole, after removing the old sights.
Before getting started make sure your firearm is unloaded/clear. Do not have a magazine or any ammunition around as you work. Field strip your Glock and set all parts aside, except for the slide. Whether you choose to remove/install the front or rears sight first is up to you. The following steps are my preference only.
Removal of Front Sight:
Use the front sight tool to remove the front sight. Depending on the thread locker that has been used, you might want to apply a little heat if the front sight is being difficult. In most cases this is not difficult. If you are planning on reusing the sight, take care not to damage the threads or hex screw head. If there is debris/dirt in or around the slide hole, brush it out.
Removal of Rear Sight:
Place the slide in the rear sight tool. You should orientate the rear sight tool to push the rear sight out to the right. Rotate the push key on the left to push the sight out. Most rear sights are installed from the right side of the slide, pushing the sight left. Following this path makes the sight easier to remove and less wear is added to the sight channel. The sights are now removed and you are ready to install the new sights. If there is debris/dirt in the sight channel, brush it out.
Installation of Rear Sight:
The slide is already in the rear sight tool, so now you just have to install the new rear sight. Reposition the left push key back and slide in your new sight. Place the sight in from the right and push toward the left. The new sight will almost slide halfway in with your finger. Once in place, rotate the right push key until the sight is centered.
Ensure there is an equal amount of distance on both sides of the sight to the edge of the frame. This may take several minor adjustments with the rear sight tool.
Installation of front Sight:
Place the new front sight in the front sight slide hole. The sight will have a post that fits the slide hole, it will usually be snug. Make sure the sight is parallel with your slide as it can move slightly. Place the front sight hex screw in the front sight tool. Add some thread locker to the screw threads.
Place the slide in one hand while pushing down on the front sight with your thumb. With the other hand screw the hex screw in with the front sight tool. It is important not to strip the threads, just a slight tightening is needed to secure the sight.
The installation of the new sights is complete. Check to make sure the front sight is parallel to the slide and the sight alignment is straight. Reassemble your Glock and take it to the range to make sure the sights are hitting where you want them too.
I am not a fan of placing a Glock in a vise and using a punch to hammer/push a rear sight in. Although you can accomplish removing/installing rear sights with a punch, it is not as easy as using a push tool. Since you are going to have to buy some equipment, I suggest investing in some sight tools. Especially if you have several Glocks. For a one (1) time installation you may not want to spend the money. But, the right tools are very nice to have when you see those new sights you want to try.
The Glockmeister Sight Tool Set is a great deal. It comes with the rear sight pusher, a front sight hex screw tool and a capsule of 262 Red Loctite. All of this for $99.00 dollars. This set pretty much sets you up with what you will need. This set works with most sights designed for Glocks. Other sight tools can cost well over a hundred dollars, just for the rear sight tool.
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.
A Keltec PMR-30 with somewhere between 5000-7000 rounds through it with out cleaning was found to have a broken slide retaining pin. The owner found the headed side of the pin walking out when firing. The other half of the pin remained captive and the pistol functioned perfectly otherwise. I would write this up as a fluke, just a bad pin. I am going to follow up with the owner and see how Keltec treats him and handles this broken part.
While you might not need to clean your firearms, you should at least be checking any serious use firearm regularly for abnormal wear, cracks, and damage.
One shooter had the new XS offset sights. I found them to be far too low and unusable for me. The owner of them initially indicated his displeasure of how long he had to wait to get them, and then at their layout. Later in the day he stated that by using a modified sight picture, he was able to use them to his satisfaction. Despite his change of heart, I feel that they are way to low, unusable, and I recommend against them.
I find the Thorntail offset Scout light mount to be ideal. I highly recommend this product and will be buying another for my self.
I went on a trip to Michigan recently. During this trip I ended up using my hand held light for 40 minutes one night. It still boggles my mind that some people feel it is not necessary to carry a flash light, however that is beside the point. This use drained the battery in my light, so in the morning I went to replace the battery. Turns out both Panasonic brand batteries I bought with me as backups were dead.
So from now on I am going to check my spare batteries before I pack them.
LaRue has announced an upcoming price increase. At the 1st of next month prices will jump 7.5 to 12.5%. While I understand that prices will change, and that change is normally upwards, it saddens me to hear of this. I already know to many people who have bought far inferior gear just to save a few dollars. I hope that this increase in price won’t discourage new buyers from buying LaRue products. If you were planning a purchase from LaRue, might as well try and get it in before the price increase.
Yards vs. Meters. Turns out there really is a difference. In the USMC we often used the two terms interchangeably. However yards are not the same as meters. Currently the Army uses a 300 meter zero on their M4 carbines. This is accomplished by firing point of aim (POA) point of impact (POI) at 25 meters with M855 ammunition. This puts the round about 7 inches over POA at 175 meters, and 7 inches low at 350 meters.
Zeroing at 300 yards with the same ammo gives you a max hight of 5 inches over the point of aim (at around 175 yards), then the round drops to 5 inches below point of aim at 350 yards. However at 350 meters the round is about 9 inches below point of aim. I have not double checked the numbers yet, but it looks to me that the distance numbers on the detachable 6/3 carry handle for the M4 are a better match if you are shooting in yards instead of meters.
For many civilians, the 300 yard zero may be more practical then the 300 meter zero due to the flatter flight path under 300 yards. Most ranges are measured out in yards, so a reduced 300 yard zero could be had by having your impacts 1/2 inch low at 25 yards or 1 inch high at 50 yards using your 300 yard sight setting. As always, when possible confirm your zero at distance.
One last thing, please don’t try to get a 300 METER zero by shooting at 25 YARDs. This is closer to a 350 meter zero, and puts your rounds about 10 inches high at 200 meters. If you want a 300 meter zero on the M4, shoot at 25 meters.
I have seen many arguments online about the necessity of back up sights on a rifle using optics. The general concensious seems to be that they are needed on military rifles, but not on civilian rifles. This is not the case.
In the military people work in teams and are almost never alone. Should a rifle go down it is not really an issue as you still have many other people capable of continuing the fight. For the civilian and the police officer this is often not the same. If someone wakes up in their home and finds the battery dead in their reflex sighted rifle it helps to have iron sights. However if a Marine’s optics fails, he is only reducing his squads fighting ability by 1/13 its firepower.
So do you need back up irons? First needs to consider if the rifle is a toy, or a tool for fighting. If it is a toy, back up sights are not necessary. If it is a fighting tool, look at its role and how it is set up. If you are running battery powered optics or magnified optics on quick detach mounts, I would suggest back up sights. So if you need to use a wrench to remove your optic, back up sights may not be practical for you and you may be better off switching to a different weapon.
“Damn, the batteries are dead.” Is not an uncommon saying at the range I work at. Not only among cheap optics with poor battery life, but often about Eotechs. Batteries discharge, cheap batteries and cheap optics drain even faster. Even the best optics can be broken. On the range this is just an annoyance, for the Soldier or Marine it means that their buddies will have to take up the slack. However if you, as a lone civilian or law enforcement officer, have this happen in the fight, the results can be costly.
I highly recommend back up sights on the individuals fighting rifle. If you are fighting by your self, being able to keep your weapon in the fight is crucial.
On that note, also make sure to keep your back up sights zeroed.