Category Archives: Scattered Shots

Miscellaneous ramblings.

Extra Security Measures To Incorporate Into Your Life

Guest article by Marina Securities CEO Sam Tadesse:

Extra Security Measures To Incorporate Into Your Life

As you well know…Security matters. Which is why taking steps to add even more safety-ensuring measures to your life will always be a good move. Here are three of our tried-and-true favorites.

1. Stay Alert

Easier said than done, tweaking even a few of your day-to-day habits can help you keep you and your loved ones safe.

It is vital to minimize distractions whenever possible. This means putting down your smartphone when you’re exploring a new area (or when you are walking around any isolated area late at night, no matter how familiar you are with the territory in question) and keeping your eyes up and forward, always.

2. Lock It Up

Always take the time and effort to secure your property. Invest in high-quality locks and check these for signs of tampering on a regular basis. Lock your vehicle doors, even if you are just running into a store to grab an item or two on your way home from work. Don’t forget to toss your valuables into a safe (and put this in an unexpected hiding spot, like a garage fridge or underneath dirty clothes in a laundry hamper) whenever you’re going to be away from home for an extended period of time. You get the picture, right? Good.

3. Talk Tactics

Birds of a feather flock together, so you most likely have a couple of buddies who are as adamant about safety and security as you are. Be sure to exchange ideas, inspirations and tidbits every so often, since this will both clue you in to new arenas of knowledge and provide you with a sounding board of sorts for your own schemes.

There you have it; three super simple and do-able ways to stay extra safe.

Midwest Industries AK Railed Gas Tube, Part 1 Install

Midwest Industries (MI) was kind enough to send us their new AK Railed Gas Tube for review.  This rail has only been out since the end of June and we have really seen nothing on it, other than some pictures. First I have to say, the MI AK Railed Gas Tube looks amazing and after the installation, it is rock solid. I am hoping it performs half as well as it looks.  I was recently looking to get an Ultimak rail when I ran across the new MI AK Railed Gas Tube.  It looks like a promising competitor to the Ultimak, and I was interested in it installing faster and easier that the Ultimak.  In this Part One review, I will go over the MI AK Railed Gas Tube features and some things you need to know when installing it. I will attempt to simplify the steps for installation as there are some dry fit/pre final install requirements.

MI AK Railed Gas Tube, DDI AK74
MI AK Railed Gas Tube, DDI AK74
MI AK Railed Gas Tube
MI AK Railed Gas Tube


*Provides a lower 1/3 co-witness sight picture with most (Aimpoint type) micro red dot sights.

*Easy Installation, with no permanent modifications to weapon.

*Made to same internal profile as standard AK gas tubes.

*Constructed of 6061 aluminum and 4140 steel, with mile-spec picatinny rail.

*The MI Railed Gas Tube can be found in four configurations, to be compatible with Standard AK 47/74 rifles, Yugo M70, Yugo M92 PAP and Yugo M85 PAP gas tubes.

The MI AK Railed Gas Tube comes with mounting screws, Allen key and blue loctite for the installation. A small word of advice though, as with everything AK related, a big hammer is always needed. I had to use a large rubber mallet to assist with installation. A large flat head screw driver will also help you when dry fitting the railed gas tube.

Loctite / Set Screws / Allen Key
Loctite / Set Screws / Allen Key
Extra Tools Needed
Extra Tools Needed


There are installation steps provided with the packaging but I recommend these steps, as different hand guards can affect the installation. With some hand guards it is hard to reach the leveling screws.  I currently have Magpul AK hand guards and there was some back and forth in getting the rail on. As you can see below, you cannot reach the Allen key screws with some hand guards without pre-leveling and setting up the MI Railed Gas Tube.

Leveling Screws w/Magpul MOE Grips
Leveling Screws w/Magpul MOE Grips

Step One, dry fit & leveling.

Completely unload, field strip and remove the hand guard on your AK. replace the stock gas tube with the MI Railed Gas Tube.

Initial dry fit of rail

Make sure there is no gap between the sight block and the gas tube. This is where the rubber mallet comes in handy, to tap the rail in place.


Screw the end plug nut out, until it fits the gas tube to the gas block. This should be done only hand/finger tight.


Insure the rail is level and in the position you want, by adjusting the rear leveling screws on each side with the supplied Allen key, to the barrel.



Insure the gas tube locking lever can move freely and lock the lever down.


Step Two, loctite the leveled tube.

Once dry fitted and leveled, back out the rear gas tube leveling screws, apply loctite to the screws and reinstall them in place on each side.


It is recommended that you let the screws sit in place for 12 hours, before moving on.


               Step Three, Complete installation.

After waiting for the loctite to cure, remove the railed gas tube. Back out the front end plug nut, and this is where the mallet and screw driver come back into play, tap out the railed gas tube.  Re-assemble the hand guard and reinstall the railed gas tube. Once again, I had to use the mallet to tap the railed gas tube in place.

MI AK Railed Gas Tube, DDI AK74
MI AK Railed Gas Tube, DDI AK74

Hand tighten the front end plug nut to the gas block.


Once the front end plug nut is hand tightened to the gas block, apply loctite to the set screws and screw them in hand tight to each side of the railed gas tube.



Installation is now complete.  Check to make sure everything is level and where you want it. You can now mount your optic of choice and head to the range for zeroing.

MI AK Railed Gas Tube w/Micro RDS
MI AK Railed Gas Tube w/Micro RDS
MI AK Railed Gas Tube / Micro RDS / DDI AK74
MI AK Railed Gas Tube / Micro RDS / DDI AK74

I am very excited to get the rail and optic to the range for testing.  This system is much easier to install and remove than the Ultimak rail, as the Ultimak uses barrel bands. I will be removing and replacing the MI Railed Gas Tube during live fire to see if the point of aim and impact is affected and changes. So far I am very happy with the installation and quality of the rail. I actually think it weighs less than the stock gas tube, at least if feels like it does. Stay tuned for Part Two, to see how the rail performs.


Rare Civilian Legal Colt XM148

Below are some pictures sent to me by good friend to the website, Trey Moore, owner of MooreMilitaria.  He is selling something that is rarely seen on the market.  The ultra rare Xm148 made by Colt.

This is the Vietnam war era grenade launcher that mounts to the barrel of the M16 family of weapons.  It has the X designation because it was never made standard. The M203 was the grenade launcher that was adopted by the military for use with the M16 series  and is still in use today.   Trey tells me there only about 6 of them on the registry.

If you have the money and want this one you can find it at You can get to it by clicking on the banner link on the right.   It is certainly a once in a life time chance.   For the rest of us, enjoy the detailed pictures of the system.



Leupold MK8 CQBSS, the best rifle optic?

Is the CQBSS the ultimate rifle scope?  No, but it is damned awesome.

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Ever since the Leupold MK8 1-8X CQBSS came out, I have been reading people sing praises of it online.

So why would someone want something like the CQBSS?

The concept is to have a single optic with the speed of a reflex sight at low magnification and the clarity, tracking, and capabilities of a sniper scope for medium to longer ranges.  This flexibility of being able to quickly switch from 1X to 8X magnification to give you the option to use the magnification best suited for the distance your shooting.  It is nice to have an optic with the intent to be able to do room clearing out to 800m shots.

Now there are a couple main versions of this scope.  One style has a Horus reticle with a 5 MOA donut that is bright for use like a reflex sight.  This version is the most expensive, and you tend not to see anyone mention what the battery life is.  The other style does not have a daylight visible illumination, and is offered in the TMR, Mildot, and CMR-W reticles.  The scope referenced here is a TMR reticle MK8.

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At 1X magnification, the TMR reticle gives you a nice clean simple crosshair you can quickly get on target.

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At 8X magnification, you have Leupold TMR reticle allowing for ranging the target in mils and holding over necessary adjustments.  Note the range finding marks below the center of the crosshair for estimating range of man or vehicle at 700-1200m.

So why wouldn’t you want a CQBSS?  First is cost, list price runs from $3,899.99 to $4,939.99.  The second is that no matter how awesome it is, it is still only an 8X magnification scope.  Many people who might want to shoot groups or shoot out to longer ranges may find them selves wanting more magnification.

The CQBSS shows up what the future of scopes is going to look like.  Just as the low magnification optics like the ACOG feel right as home on the AR15, these variable optics just feel right on the growing number of semi auto .308 rifles.  However consider these the first generation of the future combat/battle rifle optics.

A look inside the Larue 5.56 PredatAR.

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The Larue PredatAR has a free floating lightweight barrel in a proprietary upper with free floating hand guard.

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The barrel is made in house, the barrel nut is 1 1/4 inch.  The heat treating method that Larue Tactical uses gives it a golden, almost brass like color.

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The upper and rail have mating surfaces to ensure alignment.  4 screws hold the rail to the  upper, with helicoil(or similar) inserts.

So, why did I have this one apart?  I was showing it to a friend expounding on how great Larue stuff is.  When I got home, I was looking it over again and I noticed a very small amount in play  in the barrel.  After removing the hand guards I found the barrel nut was loose.

Now, even more annoying is that I don’t have a wrench in 1 1/4 inch size, I visited several local auto parts stores and hard ware stores and the half dozen stores I visited this weekend didn’t have a crowfoot wrench in that size.

Goes to show that no matter what your equipment, you need to inspect it regularly and have spare or backups.