Crimson Trace VF 302 M

Recently I got a package deal on a bunch of stuff. In that package was this Crimson Trace VF302 M vertical grip with IR laser grip.

Crimson Trace is best known for their lasers that they make for pistols. This is a solution they came up with that is a quick detach vertical grip that uses their Beretta 92F/M9 laser grip.

Some of the VF302 vertical forward grips used a thumb screw attachment. This one has an older, no stop, ARMS mount. It can be used by it self, or with any Beretta grip panels on it. The Crimson Trace Laser Grip mounted on it could be taken off and put on any Beretta 92, 96, or M9.

The laser grip in shown here is an IR model. The laser is only visible through night vision. With good 3rd generation night vision the laser dot is visible for several hundred yards at least.

It does what it is suppose to do, but it had a few minor issues. The laser grip is an older model that has already been replaced with a newer design. The Beretta isn’t know for having a small grip. Putting that same grip design as a forward grip on an AR is pretty awkward. With newer, more popular, higher support hand placements your hand will block the emitter.

It is just awkward enough an item that I wouldn’t recommend it.

Just a reminder

I’d been meaning to bring this up again for a while. I was reminded again when I was on a gun forum where people were posting their “bragging” pictures to show off how many guns they own.

Firearms mean different things to different people. For some it is a weapon, others a tool for hunting. Some buy them because they are collectible, or cool. For what ever reason, gun are a whole lot of fun.

But if we are concerned about serious usage, fighting, or survival, lets not forget the big picture.

If you are a pepper, don’t forgo food, money on hand, supplies, etc over an additional extra gun. There are a great deal of more plausible shit hits the fan (SHTF) scenarios then a prolonged gun fight.

Before you buy that 40th gun to add to the collection. Consider if you are lacking in other equipment like body armor, night vision, or silencers.

Some years back I had a friend tell me he had a gun to protect him self and his family from zombies. I asked him how much ammo he had and he replied 20 rounds. I commented how the 21st zombie would get him. I’ve had machinists tell me that if the SHTF they are going to turn their own silencer on a lathe. I challenge them if they know how to make their own night vision or lightweight body armor.

I love guns.
I love having a lot of guns.
But sometimes we might want to consider if there is something else we need before we add another gun to the stable.
Especially consider special equipment. For example, night vision. That would be much harder to obtain in the middle of a bad situation.
And, of course, don’t put your self in debt buying this stuff.

Recoil damaged night vision

Night vision devices are very tough, they are also very fragile.

This is a picture of damage to a night vision tube, where someone swapped out the weapon rated tube in a night vision scope with one that isn’t weapon rated. After firing a few shots, this is the permanent damage to this tube.

I’m not familiar with how night vision works, but most of these designs there are components that are right next to each other that will fail if they touch each other. Damage due to firearm recoil tends to be at the center of the field of view right where these layers can flex the most.

It is a real shame, as this was a really nice tube. Most of the newest night vision devices are not very durable regarding recoil. Something like a AN/PVS-14 should be able to handle a 5.56×45, but larger calibers (or even ones like .300BO) can damage it. Air rifles recoil differently than firearms and can cause night vision to fail.

If you are planning to weapon mount a night vision device, make sure the one you have is designed to handle it.

Inland MFG M3 Carbine

We have seen a few really nifty M1 carbines out of Inland the last few years. It was just a matter of time before they offered us the version the least known or seen. The M3 was the variant done up to mount a huge active IR night vision “sniper” scope and a huge battery to run it. It didn’t really pan out at the time but it’s existence did mean the carbine Colt version of the M16 would forever be known as the M4.

Now, if you add some normal day time optic to the handy little carbine that is another story. Above you can see the base/ring mounting system Inland has developed for the mounting of optics. Simply put, the base uses the redfield/leupold turn in front ring and dual windage screw rear ring system. any rings you want to buy that work in this manner will fit and work. And it works really well. I chose to put a vintage Weaver K4 on the gun as it is more evocative of the time period this gun had its short heyday.

The machine work Inland put in on this is kinda of amazing. My friend and partner in crime when it comes to our more insane long range shooting ideas is an experienced machinist and when I showed it to him, we both at first thought the base was part of the receiver and machined into shape. It took a surefire light and a closer look to see that it was indeed not part of the gun. It really is a beautiful job.

One of the things that sticks out on the M3 was the cone flash suppressor. Inland did not forget this iconic attachment. And it is attachable. As you can see above it is a simple system. You can chose to put it on or leave it off. I found it did not really impact accuracy any amount I could determine while on and shooting at ranges the 30 carbine round was meant for. There was slight changes when shooting with our without though and depending on the mood or whichever gun you may have, the amount of re-zeroing could vary. I did not bother to re adjust the optic as it was less than 3/4 inch impact change and I was shooting for groups and location on the target did not matter to me.

As expected, being able to use some magnification helped with group size at longer ranges. The Inland M1s have been accurate for me over years since starting to test them.

Group above was shot off bags from bench at 100 yards. The group is a 10 round group and the one flyer I offer no excuse for other than I just touched it off without being ready. The group below was fired at the head at 150 yards.

All groups were fired using federal soft point LEO ammo. I have no idea where I ever got this ammo from but it is pretty accurate. Unfortunately I used all I had left for this test. Target below was fired at center body of target from 300 yards. With the optic it was pretty easy. It is still a carbine meant for combat but I can’t imagine anyone with any sense really having much to complain about its performance at this range. But I am sure some one will in the comments.

Hey, what more could you ask for considering the limitations of the round? Pair the optic with a Korean era 30 round magazine and you got one heck of a neat little carbine for something. Walking around the farm shooting ground hogs or maybe short range coyote gun. With proper bullet selection maybe even white tail at shorter ranges. I don’t know, your imagination is the limit. It doesn’t need justification if you want it. if you think it’s neat then buy one. The quality won’t let you down, nor it’s looks.

I apologize for not having a full glamour shot of the gun with optic for this review. Something went badly wrong with my camera during the uploading process. The camera decided to die after 9 years and it took the remaining pictures with it. This includes the rest of the groups shots and the glamour shots of the gun posed with period militaria collectibles and all that crap you are used to seeing when I do these. That is also why this review seems shorter than normal. It’s not just your imagination or my laziness. I have been trying to recover those photos and if so I will update this review ASAP. To add to that this was the first time I didn’t bother to back up every picture by taking the same pictures with my Iphone just in case.

Watch out for scams

Saw a case recently where someone saw an ATN night vision scope on a website for sale for $40 instead of the usual $700-800. They asked online if it was a scam, many people told them it was. They ordered it anyways. After a while the site went down. They did receive a toy lightsaber from the company, so I suppose it wasn’t a total loss.

Another person ordered a Surefire light from Amazon. They received a Surefire knockoff from Amazon. Not sure if the seller was selling knockoffs as real, or if someone bought a real one, returned a knockoff, and it got resent to this person.

I’m starting to get a little worried because I bought something on Gunbroker and the seller wanted a certified check. After they received it they have stopped contact and have not shipped it yet.

So be careful out there.