Thursday, August 20, 2015

3 habits tactical shooters can learn from competition shooters

3 habits tactical shooters can learn from competition shooters

Competition shooters—I believe that the tactical shooting community should always be keeping an eye on this group.  Top ranked shooters who participate in events through the International Practical Shooting Confederation (IPSC) and other competitive shooting outfits have really taken the art and science of shooting to a whole new level over the last several decades and those of us who carry guns for a living (cops, military personnel and armed security officers) or who carry firearms for self defense ought to seek out lessons from these well qualified, goal driven athletes.
Here are just a few things we all do well to pay attention to and adopt when we can:


The end goal of firearms training for all shooters is to become so comfortable with the weapon that the gun becomes like an extension of the shooter’s body.  The only way to get to that level is through repetition—the law of learning—which is to say, against a clock or an armed assailant, you can’t shoot well without practicing.  A lot.
The physical health benefits of practice aside, succeeding means being able to visualize success and the only way to know what success looks like is to go out and find it by doing it. Competitive shooters know that actually getting out and “doing it” takes serious discipline.
Competitive shooters never let anything stop them from practicing, even not being able to make it to the range.  Whether dry-fire practicing (you can use your own gun or an Airsoft gun), drawing quick from the holster with rapid target acquisition or conducting reloads in the bedroom, these guys and gals prove that if you want to get better, you’ve got to move.
By adopting these practice habits, and practicing well, I have no doubt a shooter will develop the skills needed to survive and win gunfights.

Ergonomics and economy of motion

Speaking of practicing well, the reality is that you could shoot 10,000 rounds and still never improve unless you embrace and use the best methods and techniques available.  If you want to continue to increase your skills with a firearm, you must be willing to discover what is most efficient for speed and accuracy and that means trying new things—getting out of your comfort zone and into your learning zone.
It’s sometimes human nature to resist this thinking, while other folks are just stuck in the past, but you cannot be closed to new techniques and expect to always be improving.
This is definitely one area that competition shooters have pushed to the limits and 3-gun competitors in particular have raised the bar when it comes to shooting fast and accurately through minor, though significant, updates to proven methods and new approaches to reloading.
In order to be better than competitors who are putting in just as much sweat equity as they are, these shooters have no choice but to refine and perfect the the minutia of shooting techniques to beat others on the playing field.  This means finding out exactly what works best for the shooter and focusing on the little things.
Mastering a thumbs forward grip, changing up stance, concentrating on trigger control and adjusting grip when necessary are techniques that should be on all handgun shooters’ minds all the time when practicing (and part of the time when not).

Revolutionary gear

Alongside new methods of shooting and reloading, forward-thinking, purpose-built inventions are what have really allowed shooting sports to develop and reach a wider audience these past few decades. Indeed, new kit is pretty much what drives public interest in all aspects of the shooting industry, but the competitive community has inspired more than it’s share of ingenuity in entertainment and excellence in gear and mods.
Whether its mounting back-up iron sights on a 45-degree tilted angle off an AR or putting an extended magazine tube on a shotgun, you can see practical benefit to those interested in saving their lives by using guns just as much as to those looking to hoist a cup.
In the end, whether it’s just with a pistol alone or in a three-gun style competition, a gunfight or a dove field, it’s all about shooting fast and accurately.  Sure, there are a other elements to self defense and tactical gun play, but these two skills are precisely what’s needed for success in all shooting engagements.  And in this regard, competition shooters are golden.

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Assault Rifles: 328 in Ridgefield

Assault rifles are perhaps the most vilified guns in the history of the United States, a weapon of choice for mass murderers Adam Lanza in Newtown and James Holmes in Aurora, Colo.
There’s a strong public outcry against the high-capacity and sometimes high-powered weapons, but Fairfield County is in love with them and Ridgefield is no exception.
Data provided by the State Police under the Freedom of Information Act shows county residents own 11,322 of the weapons, with 328 in Ridgefield. A previous data request by The Press showed handguns outnumbered long guns, but didn’t included assault rifle data.
“We are not the people you think we are,” said Dean Price, owner of the Wooster Mountain Range in Danbury, just north of the town line, and a fan of assault rifles.
Only, to the card-carrying National Rifle Association members who enjoy these guns, they do not call them assault rifles. That name is reserved for the fully automatic, continuous fire versions of the guns used by the military.
The civilian models, such as the AR-15, are called all-purpose rifles.
They pack a lot more ammunition than the typical four-shot, manually cocked hunting rifle, but they are better suited for sports shooting as well as self-defense including home defense, the NRA claims.
Catherine Mortensen, spokesman for the NRA, pointed to a recent case of an elderly woman who defended her home from burglars using her AR-15.
“It’s not a machine gun. It’s not rapid, continuous fire like you see in the combat movies,” Mortensen said, dispelling the myth that an assault rifle is something akin to the infamous Tommy gun. Acquiring a fully automatic weapon involves expense and a rigorous FBI background check, so far fewer people own those.
But the category includes a range of weapons that vary in power. They can pack a punch.
AR-15 type rifles are made by many manufacturers and include those with small caliber sizes such as .22 caliber, but some, like the Bushmaster series that Newtown shooter Adam Lanza used, can fire .45 caliber, a much larger bullet that makes a more severe wound and is more lethal. Some AR-15 models even load .50 caliber ammo, which is about as large as a bullet gets.
It is not a military rifle, although it can fire a bullet as quickly as its operator can pull the trigger. With an ammunition clip holding 25 or 35 bullets, it is a rifle that gun opponents fear can do the most damage in the least time.
More than 1.2 million of the rifles were purchased in 2013, and the trend each year has generally been for greater annual sales, according to the NRA’s sales figures.
The NRA is quick to point out that the AR-15 gets its name not from the term “assault rifle,” but from Armalite Rifle, the company that first made them out of plastic decades ago.
Since the mid-1990s, the AR-15 has been the dominant rifle in a wide variety of rifle marksmanship competitions, including NRA and civilian marksmanship Program Service Rifle competitions, U.S. Carbine Association events.
“It is the most commonly used rifle for defensive firearm training,” Mortensen said.
Polling data shows that protection, not hunting, is the primary reason Americans own guns, and polling also shows that Americans in most demographic groups increasingly believe that guns increase safety, Mortensen said.
“Gun control advocates want to make it as difficult as possible for law-abiding citizens to exercise their Second Amendment right to self-protection, so it makes sense that they would target America’s most popular self-defense firearm. Despite their efforts to demonize the AR-15 with a misinformation campaign, it remains America’s most popular general purpose rifle because of its reliability, accuracy, and adaptability. Their light weight makes them especially popular with women and the preferred firearm for hunting, home defense, and competition shooting,” Mortensen said in a statement.
The defense angle may make up a larger piece of the pie because of the decline in the popularity of hunting. A survey released in March showed gun ownership declining overall. The Associated Press reported that, according to the NORC survey, the number of people who live in households with guns was lower than it had ever been, at 32%. In the 1970s and 80s, that figure was up around half of households.
Those who want the gun banned, as it was during the Clinton years of the 1990s, do not speak of the AR-15 in glowing terms.
“We support a renewal of the federal assault weapons ban,” said Ladd Everitt, spokesman for the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence.
He considers it a battlefield rifle, even if incapable of firing in the full automatic mode.
“They have no place on our streets,” Everitt said. The NRA says that all-purpose rifles are rarely if ever used by criminals.
Rep. Rosa DeLauro, D-CT, has also publicly decried the AR-15 and its kind.
“There is no reason on earth, other than to kill as many people as possible in as short a time as possible, that anyone needs a gun designed for a battlefield,” DeLauro told the media when she reintroduced the Support Assault Firearm Elimination and Education of Our Streets Act last April. It offered as much as $2,000 to people to turn in their assault rifles.
Yet, six million law-abiding citizens own AR-15s.
Connecticut has the strictest gun control laws in the U.S. regarding assault rifles, which the Connecticut statutes loosely define as a wide range of semiautomatic and selective fire rifles including the Mini, in past decades known as a ranch rifle before the terminology assault rifle became popular; the Bushmaster Auto Rifle, which Adam Lanza stole from his mother; and the MAC-10, a weapon frequently mentioned in gangsta rap songs. Most of these rifles are different from other rifles in that they feature one or several handgrips on the underside, in addition to their higher capacity magazines.
All assault rifles in Connecticut are supposed to be registered as of 2014 and a certificate of ownership has been issued for each. Sale or transfer of these rifles to anyone who is not a licensed gun dealer is now prohibited in Connecticut, except under certain exemptions such as for law enforcement purposes.

14-Year-Old Wins NRA 3-Position Air Gun Championship

14-Year-Old Wins NRA 3-Position Air Gun Championship

Annabelle Stanec seems to have a bright future ahead of her as a competition shooter.
I have the sneaking suspicion that Ms. Annabelle Stanec is going to be a sport-shooting superstar one day:
“What I’m doing now is I’m doing a double follow-through and placement,” said 14-year-old Annabelle Stanec, who won the NRA 3-Position Air Gun Championship at West Mesa High School in Alburquerque, New Mexico on May 24. “I look off into space, then I relax and see where I really am lined up to the bull.”
There were other factors contributing to Stanec’s victory besides natural point of aim, but that particular attention to detail might have been the key that ultimately put her in first place in the premier air-rifle competition that invited the top 100 NRA qualifiers to the shooting showdown in the Land of Enchantment. The 5-foot-6 rising prep sophomore fired a total, including a final round 102.2 in the standing position, of 1,340.4 points.
“I’m hoping to get a college scholarship for rifle,” said Stanec, who represented the Ashland (Ohio) Eagles Rifle Team and attends Highland High School of Medina, Ohio. “And I’d like to win the National Junior Olympics.”
Stanec paced an Eagles squad that also took the precision team title with a two-day total of 4,885.5 points. Her champion teammates included Josh Kovach, Christina Holden and Antonio Remedios.
Stanec has a long way to go before the National Junior Olympics of course, but it’s inspiring to see young shooters like her and her teammates showing such enthusiasm for the sport.
I recently spoke with a field rep for a major firearms brand as he was putting together a speech he was giving to a group of high school shooters and their parents. He spoke in front of over 800 people.
As we’ve hammered on repeatedly, the fastest growing segments of the shooting sports market are young, urban, and female.
Youth shooting is exploding in popularity across the country, and shooting sports are the fastest growing high school sports in many parts of the nation. Parents are coming to realize that when their kids get involved in shooting sports their concentration increases and they develop better discipline. Developing their concentration and discipline often leads to more academic success, and happier kids.
Folks, these are the kind of stories we should be sharing. Our youth are embracing the shooting sports and are becoming better people and better citizens because of their involvement. Because of their positive experiences, many previously neutral-to-anti-gun parents are now enthusiastic supporters of sport shooting.
If you have an opportunity to support your local sports shooting programs, please do.
They are our future, and a key reason to believe we’ll have great support of the Second Amendment for years to come

Border Patrol Opens Fire On Militia In Texas

Border Patrol Opens Fire On Militia In Texas

Bearing Arms noted almost exactly a month ago that the next “shot heard ’round the world” may be fired in Texas, as private militias have headed to the U.S. Mexican border to help stop the flood of criminal aliens flowing northward from Central America through Mexico into the United States.
What we didn’t expect is that the first shots fired at the militias weren’t from smugglers, Mexican military members working for the cartels, or the Islamic terrorists the cartels are helping to smuggle across the border as the Obama Administration refuses to stop them.
Instead, the first shots fired were blue on blue.
A Border Patrol agent pursuing a group of immigrants in a wooded area near the Texas-Mexico border on Friday fired several shots at an armed man who later identified himself as a militia member.
Border Patrol spokesman Omar Zamora said agents had been chasing a group of immigrants east of Brownsville Friday afternoon when an agent saw a man holding a gun near the Rio Grande. The agent fired four shots, but did not hit the man. The man then dropped his gun and identified himself as a member of a militia. Zamora said no other details were immediately available.
Cameron County Sheriff Omar Lucio, whose agency is involved in the investigation, said the incident occurred on private property and it appeared the man had permission to be there. He was not arrested, Lucio said.
Fortunately for the militiaman the Border Patrol agent can’t shoot straight, and he was unharmed.
Federal, state, and local officials insist that they have enough resources to control the continued criminal invasion of our Republic.
The number of criminal aliens coming over the border convincingly proves otherwise.
Militia units are not attempting to apprehend criminals coming over the border, but are attempting to spot them as they infiltrate so that authorities can make arrests.
It remains to be seen if the Border Patrol agent will face an internal or criminal investigation

Monday, August 17, 2015

Tactical AR-15/M4/M4A1 Carbine Aftermarket Accessories for Military Combat Applications

  • Ross & Zheng Engineering RZE UNIMAG Multi-Caliber/Universal AR-15 Rifle Mag (Magazine) for Tactical AR Rifle/Carbine/SBR’s: Will it Actually Work?
Tactical AR-15/M4/M4A1 Carbine Aftermarket Accessories for Military Combat Applications: The Competition-to-Combat Crossover, Part 1

Tactical AR-15/M4/M4A1 Carbine Aftermarket Accessories for Military Combat Applications: The Competition-to-Combat Crossover, Part 1

. Towards the end, I mentioned the developments derived from both the military and civilian competition in regards to accessories for the AR/M4 platform. For this article, I would like to go into further detail on that subject. Even with all the various optics and accessories offered under the Special Operations Peculiar Modification (SOPMOD) program for the rifle, soldiers are opting to outfit their rifles with certain items. They’re seeing what the top shooting competitors are using to win competitive shooting events like 3-Gun, and what is working for the majority of shooters, and they recognize what wins in a match can also help them win on the battlefield.
Before I cover accessories, I think I should bring up one popular concept in regards to rifle setup, and that is the KISS principle: Keep It Simple Stupid. In its strictest interpretation, this means avoiding optics and electronics that could fail during use. I think I should address the “KISS” rifle concept because, despite its popularity with some civilian tactical/defensive shooters (see the numerous threads on and discussing “KISS” rifles), most soldiers are choosing rifles set up with anything that can help them consistently engage targets better and faster. In fact, today there is little difference between a soldier’s tactical rifle and an Open-class 3-Gun competition setup.
Jeff Gurwitch AR 15 M4A1 Carbine Tactical Accessories DR Pic A Tactical AR 15/M4/M4A1 Carbine Aftermarket Accessories for Military Combat Applications: The Competition to Combat Crossover, Part 1
Far from KISS; Schmidt & Bender Short Dot tactical scope, extended rail, aftermarket stock and grip, take off the LA-5 laser and you could easily see this exact same set-up at any local 3-gun match, instead this is currently downrange being employed by a U.S. Infantry Soldier.
KISS Rifle: My Interpretation
While it’s true that plain old iron sights have carried us through a couple of world wars and numerous major conflicts, simpler is not always better, in my view. I would not want to limit my capabilities in terms of optics based solely on a fear of them failing. If using an electronic sight gives you the ability to shoot farther or faster, why not use it? For example, with iron sights I can hit a man-size target out to about 350 meters fairly consistently. But, using a red dot scope with a 2-MOA dot, I can hit 12-inch plates out to about 450 meters (450m). Thus, when going into harm’s way, I want to take advantage of any piece of kit that can aid me in staying alive by eliminating threats more quickly and consistently.
I don’t think the KISS principle is a bad idea. I just think it’s misdirected in its application. It should be applied not to the gear on your rifle but to your skill base. Instead of limiting yourself on what accessories you use for fear of failure, you should instead take advantage of the modern sighting systems while maintaining your proficiency with the basics.
This means I will use any piece of kit that gives me an advantage, but I will also train to shoot without all the fancy stuff in case Murphy’s Law goes into effect. All my tactical rifles have back-up iron sights (BUIS) on them. For my setups, I like to have a fixed front sight post and a fold down rear sight. I know a lot of shooters and instructors run with their back up iron sights up all the time so they can instantly transition if their optic fails. I prefer to run with my rear sight down, keeping it out of my peripheral vision while I look through my sight.
Now I know what you’re thinking: “What if your red dot goes down in the middle of an engagement and your back up sight is folded down?” To prepare for that eventuality, I practice with the red dot sight turned off. I use the method of looking through the tube of the red dot, shooting off the front sight. I am basically using the housing and lens of the red dot itself as my rear sight aperture and aligning it with my front sight. Using this technique, with practice, I can still engage targets out to a pretty good distance and at CQB/CQC (Close Quarters Battle/Close Quarters Combat) ranges. While I may not be able to shoot 1-inch groups, I can get center shots on targets almost as fast as I can with the dot turned on. The bottom line is that I’m not dependent on a fancy scope. I train to use just iron sights, and for the worst case scenario with no rear sight up at all, looking through a dead optic if I need too.
Reasons for Upgrading the M4/M4A1 Carbine
Awhile back during a deployment, a fellow soldier, after seeing my M4A1 rigged up with all the accessories I consider normal for me (Arredondo extended mag well, left-handed mag release, extended bolt release and some other items), made the comment “I don’t see why you need all that fancy stuff. The basics work just fine.” While the M4/M4A1 does work well in its standard issue form–and again through the SOPMOD program there are some really good accessories and optics offered,–I still see the need to make up for shortcomings I find with some standard items.
The issue M4/M4A1 stock is, in my opinion, pretty substandard and suffers from a few issues. First, it’s pretty fragile in terms of taking abuse. “Mortaring the rifle,” as David Crane calls it [Editor’s Note: This term and jam-clearing technique were both learned from tactical instructor and DR writer Mike Pannone at a CTT-Solutions (CTT-S) tactical rifle/carbine course], is one of the best ways to clear a stuck round in the chamber when you can’t get the bolt back. It involves pulling back on the charging handle and simultaneously banging the butt stock on the ground, letting the force help pull the bolt back. It’s a great technique; unfortunately if you do it too hard or bang the bottom edge of the butt plate on the ground and not square on the plate, the issue stock tends to break pretty easily. Even with good technique, I have seen numerous broken stocks that have the bottom half of the butt plates broken off from mortaring them to clear jams.
Another limitation, and probably the biggest reason you see a lot of aftermarket stocks being used, is the standard issue stock adds no extra cheek weld from the buffer tube. Stocks with a larger surface area for your cheek aid in getting faster and more consistent cheek-to-stock placement. Being able to mount the rifle faster means faster first shots on target. Having solid cheek/stock placement can also aid in multi-shot strings as you can settle the gun faster between shots.
Although the Crane NSWC/Lewis Machine & Tool (LMT Defense) SOPMOD stock (which I think is still one of the best stocks out there) is issued as part of the SOPMOD kit, it is limited to Special Ops troops as a standard issue item. In some cases, units that are supposed to have them do not, due to supply limitations.
The military still issues the Knights Armament Co. (KAC) vertical foregrip, which has always had the issue of coming loose, as it lacks a good locking mechanism. The newest-issue vertical foregrip is from TangoDown. The TangoDown BattleGrip Vertical Grip (standard length) is a rock-solid grip and an improvement over the Knights Armament version. However, like the LMT Defense SOPMOD/Crane NSWC stock, it’s not in full circulation with all soldiers. Plus, I find it a little too long for my taste. I don’t need something that long sticking off my rail. [Editor's Note: TangoDown also makes a BattleGrip Stubby Vertical Grip that's shorter, as well as the new TangoDown BattleGrip Quick-Detach Vertical Grip models.]
Below from basic to all out; top rifle minimum upgrades Magpul STR stock, XTM rail panels and a Surefire G2X in a VTAC offset mount. Bottom rifle everything minus the Crane Stock and receiver has been switched out to fit the user’s preference. (Ergo grip, Troy rail, Magpul AFG and Surefire Scout light on a 10.5 barrel).
Jeff Gurwitch AR 15 M4A1 Carbine Tactical Accessories DR Pic B Tactical AR 15/M4/M4A1 Carbine Aftermarket Accessories for Military Combat Applications: The Competition to Combat Crossover, Part 1
Jeff Gurwitch AR 15 M4A1 Carbine Tactical Accessories DR Pic C Tactical AR 15/M4/M4A1 Carbine Aftermarket Accessories for Military Combat Applications: The Competition to Combat Crossover, Part 1
Top Accessories/Upgrades
Magpul Industries has turned out to be one of the top brands when soldiers choose accessories. The two most popular upgrades to the M4/M4A1 Carbine are stocks and foregrips. A stock with a proper length of pull and a good cheek weld, combined with a foregrip that facilitates a straight pull back on the rifle, can improve your shot cadence and help your accuracy.
Telescoping/Collapsible Buttstocks
One big reason I think MagPul stocks do well with soldiers is because of price. Their Adaptable Carbine Storage (ACS) model, which is considered one of their higher end stocks at $109.95, is still almost half the price of an LMT SOPMOD/Crane NSWC stock at $199. The most prevalent MagPul models I have seen in use are the MOE, CTR, and ACS. All have increased cheek weld surface area, rubber butt pads, and multiple sling attachment methods. The MOE seems especially popular, even though the cheek weld area is only slightly larger than the issue stock, but at $59.95 the price cannot be beat. Fore grip and pistol grip: The MagPul Angled Fore Grip (AFG) seems to be a top choice among soldiers. The popularity of the C-clamp method of shooting (non-firing hand thumb on top of the rail, palm on the side rail, fingers form a C around the rail) is on the rise, and the Magpul AFG facilitates a C-clamp grip. Ergo Grips, Hogues, and the Magpul MIAD Grip Kit seem to be among the most popular pistol grips. I have not seen any one brand or model stand out more than another. All offer a much more ergonomic and fuller grip on the AR than the current issue A2 grip. I think most shooters find the A2 grip allows your hand to ride up on the receiver. Just about every other aftermarket commercial grip out there does a better job at keeping your firing hand straight behind the trigger, facilitating a more consistent trigger pull.
Jeff Gurwitch AR 15 M4A1 Carbine Tactical Accessories DR Pic D Tactical AR 15/M4/M4A1 Carbine Aftermarket Accessories for Military Combat Applications: The Competition to Combat Crossover, Part 1
As you can see from the photo these 3 rifles have a lot in common, besides the SOPMOD issue items the users have all chosen to upgrade certain parts of the rifles to fit them better (stock, grip or fore grip). Here is also a perfect example to show how popular Magpul items are with the troops. Each rifle has at least one Magpul item on them and two have P-mags. Also check out the Noveske KX3 flash hider (middle rifle). .
Jeff Gurwitch AR 15 M4A1 Carbine Tactical Accessories DR Pic E Tactical AR 15/M4/M4A1 Carbine Aftermarket Accessories for Military Combat Applications: The Competition to Combat Crossover, Part 1
Innovation from the competition world; Dual optics have been in use with the military for some time now, as you can see in some of the previous photos ACOGs and Elcan Specter DRs are issued with Doctor sights on top. What has been slowly catching now as a direct result from their effectiveness with the 3-gun crowd are offset mounts. Problem with the Doctor sight mounted on top of another optic is the hold off is too much. Even with a 25 meter POA/POI zero you are still looking at as much a 4 inch hold off at room distance. With the offset mount it’s less than 2 inches. Plus I find it faster and smoother to roll the gun in my shoulder to pick up the offset sight. I have been using Matt Burkett’s 45 degree offset mount with a Doctor sight for 2 tours now and on 2 different rifles; M4A1 and a SCAR light.
One other item that is pretty popular is the Grip Pod vertical foregrip/bipod/weapon stabilizer by Grip Pod Systems International (GPS), which consists of a spring-loaded bipod enclosed in a forward grip. It has two advantages over the conventional style metal bipod; the Grip Pod is much lighter. Being both a forward grip and bipod, it saves space on your rifle for other items. And, since the legs collapse into the grip, you don’t have to worry about them catching on stuff when not in use. Personally, I find the Grip Pod vertical grip a little too long for my taste. I find that it sits up too high when using it in bipod mode in the prone position, . I therefore have a difficult time trying to get into a comfortable position behind the rifle.
Jeff Gurwitch AR 15 M4A1 Carbine Tactical Accessories DR Pic F Tactical AR 15/M4/M4A1 Carbine Aftermarket Accessories for Military Combat Applications: The Competition to Combat Crossover, Part 1
M4A1 equipped with Grip Pod
Tactical Weapon Lights
SureFire is the most prevalent brand in use over the current issue SOPMOD light (the L3 Warrior Systems/Insight Technology M3X/SU-33/PVS). The M3X is a pretty basic light with only one brightness setting and a momentary switch. It’s also not that bright compared to many other lights on the market. Bulb life is also relatively short, about a year if you do a lot of shooting.
The Surefire Scout Weaponlight is pretty popular along with the new SureFire G2X and SureFire 6P series, both used in conjunction with a Viking Tactics (VTAC) offset light mount. One light that I am pleased to see making headway with the troops is the Inforce WML. I have reviewed this light in the past for DR (published on 12/16/2011). The WML incorporates a new innovative 45-degree activation push button that allows you to go from constant-on to momentary-on and strobe. With a flip of an easy-to-reach toggle lever, you can go from white light to IR (infrared). With all those features and a price around $180.00 (I have seen it online as low as $150.00) the WML makes for a great compact weapon light.
Even with the adoption of the improved 30 round GI magazine, commercially made magazines are pretty popular items. The reason for this is the perceived poor performance of standard issue military magazines. Personally, I have never had an issue with GI mags, even the older style with the green follower. I have several of the green follower mags that are at least 5-6 years old that I have used on multiple deployments. The issue is not the quality of the magazine, but rather how they are handled. Instead of treating the magazine as an expendable item, soldiers in some units have to sign for them, and losing a magazine is looked down upon. This leads to the same batch of magazines floating around in a unit for a number of years, going from soldier to soldier.
So it’s no wonder a soldier might have no confidence in a standard issue magazine when the ones he has could be well worn out from overuse. To this day some do not understand that double feeds come from bad magazines, which compounds the issue. Time and again I have seen double feeds occur on the range, and instead of throwing the magazine away or marking it "bad", it just gets reloaded and used again.
Prior to any deployment, I load up all my magazines I plan on using and shoot them at least one time to ensure there are no bad ones. If I do come across a bad magazine, before I throw it away, I will step on it, crushing it just to make sure it does not get picked up and used by someone else.
The top choice among soldiers for commercial magazines is the Magpul PMAG 30 M3 (also written P-MAG 30 M3). In fact, they are so popular I have seen at least one out of every three soldiers with a PMAG in their rifle as opposed to any other magazine. Personally I prefer the Lancer L5 Advanced War Fighter Magazine (AWM). I give the edge to Lancers solely for the reason that it is possible to accidentally load 31 rounds into a PMAG. That will result in the inability to seat the magazine in a rifle with the bolt forward on a tactical reload. This is not to say I do not use PMAGs at all. Currently my basic load consists of Lancer mags and Magpul PMAGS and EMAGs.
Jeff Gurwitch 5.56mm M4A1 AR Mags Lancer L5 AWM Advanced Warfighter Magazine MagPul EMAG and PMAG USGI Mags DR 1 Tactical AR 15/M4/M4A1 Carbine Aftermarket Accessories for Military Combat Applications: The Competition to Combat Crossover, Part 1
Left to right; Lancer L5 Advanced War Fighter Magazine (AWM), Magpul EMAG and Magpul PMAG. On the far right; standard issue magazine with issued Magpul follower, Center standard USGI mag Green follower and the new Improved USGI magazine with Tan follower. One thing to be aware of, because the Improved magazine follower has the bullet push on the left when loaded with 30rds the top round sits on the left (Opposite of most other magazines).
One Item You Don’t See…
Despite its popularity with the 3-Gun crowd and shooters stateside, you won’t find compensators in wide spread use on tactical rifles. Even though compensators do an excellent job canceling out muzzle rise to facilitate faster strings of fire, the increased muzzle blast and noise associated with them makes compensators impractical for tactical use. Imagine having a buddy with a comp shooting his rifle right next to you and all the excess gas being vented off right into your face.
I have tried a lot of the “tactical” comps offered, and although they do a great job minimizing the excess gas, they are still much louder than flash hiders. As a soldier you won’t always have the luxury of shooting with hearing protection on. The last thing you want if you end up shooting in super-close confinement (such as a vehicle) is a very loud rifle.
The Wrap Up
Thanks to competitive shooting sports like 3-Gun, vendors are now offering more shooting accessories of all types than ever before. Today’s gunfighters are benefiting from the same accessories that have proven successful to both top shooters and the everyday competitor. This vetting of gear through shooting matches is helping highlight some of the best and most durable gear out there that is in turn being used to get an extra edge on the battlefield.
Jeff Gurwitch AR 15 M4A1 Carbine Tactical Accessories DR Pic G Tactical AR 15/M4/M4A1 Carbine Aftermarket Accessories for Military Combat Applications: The Competition to Combat Crossover, Part 1

Carbon Fiber and Titanium rifle

The Carbon Fiber and Titanium rifle uses aerospace technology to produce a rifle that’s lighter and more accurate than traditional tactical rifles.
Christensen Arms Carbon Fiber Tactical Force Multiplier Rifle
Christensen Arms Carbon Fiber Tactical Force Multiplier Rifle
Christensen Arms
Christensen Arms
 Christensen Arms, manufacturers of superior hunting, tactical and sport shooting firearms utilizing the latest in carbon fiber technologies, is pleased to introduce its new Tactical Force Multiplier (TFM) rifle.
“We’re gun guys at heart.  It was a logical transition of resources and expertise.   Our goal was to use the same carbon fiber manufacturing expertise (from the aerospace industry) to build a cutting edge tactical rifle.   Our rifle is lighter and technically more advanced than your traditional tactical rifles.  I am very pleased with the final product,” said Jason Christensen, the owner of Christensen Arms.
The TFM features carbon fiber technology and precision machining only found at Christensen Arms.  The three main components of the TFM (stock, barrel, and bolt action) are an advanced combination of traditional firearms features and aerospace grade componentry.
The Tier One tactical stock astonishingly weighs only 2.3 lbs.  It is manufactured in house from hand laid carbon fiber.   Shooters of all sizes will find customized fit and comfort with the embedded tactical adjustment dials for length of pull and comb height.  Perfected for the battle field, the Christensen Arms tactical stock is the perfect cross over stock for both the traditional bench-rest shooter and high country hunter.
Christensen Arms developed and manufactured the first carbon rifle barrel in the industry.  Nearly 20 years later, it remains the standard for ultra-lightweight, highly-accurate rifle barrels.  The TFM is fitted with an original carbon fiber wrapped, select match grade barrel.  Each TFM rifle is backed by ½ MOA accuracy guarantee.
Christensen Arms has now added its own billet machined bolt action to their carbon fiber rifle components.   Each stainless steel receiver is precision machined in-house to tight aerospace tolerances.  The receiver includes an integral Picatinny rail, fluted bolt with tactical knob, adjustable Timney trigger, and drop box magazine.
The TFM is available in .223 REM, .308 WIN, .300 WIN, and .338 LAPUA. Experience the unique combination of traditional firepower and the technological advancements of the aerospace industry.
Tactical Force Multiplier Specifications:
Calibers: .223 Rem .308 Win .300 Win Mag .338 Lapau
Accuracy: ½  MOA ½  MOA ½  MOA ½  MOA
Weight: 8 lbs (may vary based on options) 8 lbs (may vary based on options) 8 lbs (may vary based on options) 8 lbs (may vary based on options)
Barrel: 24” 24” 26” 26”
Contour: Sporter Sporter Sporter Bull
Rifling: 1-12 1-10 1-10 1-10
Pull: Adjustable Adjustable Adjustable Adjustable
Trigger: Timney – 2.5 lbs. Timney – 2.5 lbs. Timney – 2.5 lbs. Timney – 2.5 lbs.
Mag Capacity: 3+1 3+1 5+1 5+1

To keep up with Christensen Arms, customers can opt-in to a newsletter that will offer new product information, hunting and shooting sports news and tips, customer stories and videos and promotions.
For more on Christensen Arms, visit their website or join the conversation on Facebook.
Christensen Arms Carbon Fiber Tactical Force Multiplier Rifle CA Bolt Action
Christensen Arms Carbon Fiber Tactical Force Multiplier Rifle CA Bolt Action
Christensen Arms Carbon Fiber Tactical Force Multiplier Rifle
Christensen Arms Carbon Fiber Tactical Force Multiplier Rifle
About Christensen Arms:
Christensen Arms was founded in Gunnison, Utah in 1995 as a result of Dr. Roland Christensen’s knowledge of carbon-fiber and passion for hunting. Dr. Christensen first earned his Doctorate of Science in Mechanical Engineering and went on to start a company that utilizes carbon-fiber material for the aerospace and medical industries. This technology was revolutionary in barrel production and saw widespread acceptance. Christensen Arms builds a full range of firearms, including bolt-action rifles for hunting, target shooting and tactical applications, with hand-laid-up carbon-fiber stocks, a line of AR-styled tactical rifles and custom, handcrafted 1911 pistols. These firearms are among the most precise, distinctive and technologically advanced products on the market today.

Thursday, August 13, 2015

The Texas Firearms Festival Needs Shotgun Sellers!

The Texas Firearms Festival Needs Shotgun Sellers!

The 2015 Texas Firearms Festival is Almost Fully Booked. Shotgun Sellers Need Apply!
Texas Firearms Festival
Texas Firearms Festival
Texas Gun Fest
Texas Gun Fest
Austin, TX -( It’s hotter than Hell here in Central Texas. Thankfully, in less than one hundred days, the hot bath that is Austin will cool down for the 2015 Texas Firearms Festival.
The weather will be perfect for the 4,000+ firearms enthusiasts gathering at Best of the West Shooting Sports in Liberty Hill on Nov. 14 and 15. Tickets are already selling quickly — ahead of our fall billboard, radio and social media campaigns. And why not? Check out all the companies showing their stuff at the “try before you buy” gun show.
In the big bays: FN USA, Noveske/US Optics, STI Guns, IWI, CMC Triggers, Texas Custom Guns, War Sport, Armalite, LANTAC USA, SIG SAUER, HPR Ammunition, PWS, Silencer Shop, Roughneck Firearms, Republic Forge, Walther and YHM.
On the rifle range: Bergara Custom Rifles, Leupold, Double D Armory/Gorilla Ammunition, Daniel Defense, Blaser, LWRC, Battle Rifle Company, Cobalt Kinetics, Henry Repeating Arms and Sons of Liberty.
In the retail village: DSG Arms, DPX Gear Inc, Kangaroo Carry, Texas Concealed Carry, Dead Goose Society, Bond Arms, Pipe Hitters Union, Sure Shots Magazine, Trophy Tools, A Girl & A Gun Women’s Shooting League, Well Armed Woman, Fighter Design, Lone Star Gun Rights, Americase, 610Precision, Brim-It, AR Customs, Ducks Unlimited, Second Amendment Foundation, Bee Tactical, Precision Small Arms, Texas State Rifle Association, KNS Precision and Target Vision.
In addition, the Texas State Rifle Association is sponsoring our new-for-2015 Competition Zone. The National Shooting Sports Foundation’s sponsoring our VIP tent. We’ve made room for more companies in our Retail Village. What we need now: shotguns! We have three shotgun demonstration/sales areas left – just opposite the NSSF VIP tent.
If you’re interested in a retail spot or a shotgun position, please contact Lee Johnson on 832 656 5870 or email If not, click here to buy your tickets to the 2015 Texas Firearms Festival, where we shoot guns, wear short sleeves and pity our freezing northern neighbors.
About the Texas Firearms Festival
The Texas Firearms Festival is on November 14 and 15 at Best of the West Shooting Sports in Liberty Hill, Texas. Purchase tickets to the “come and shoot it” event at For more information or exhibitor reservations call Lee Johnson on 832 656 5870 or email

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  • Sunday, August 9, 2015

    Sandra Bland Protest: All White People Should Be Killed

    Sandra Bland Protest: All White People Should Be Killed

    WALLER COUNTY, Texas — Breitbart Texas was at the Waller County Sheriff’s Office county jail Saturday evening when a protester told reporters and others present, that all white people should be killed. She also called white people and reporters, “terrorists.” Her orders – “go back into the cave where you came from.”
    As reported by Breitbart Texas, the group Anonymous posted a YouTube video and made threatening demands upon the Waller County Sheriff’s Department and Waller County officials saying, “We all know where you live. No mercy for murderers.”
    The group planned protests in 35 cities throughout the U.S. on Saturday, August 8th, and made specific threats against the Waller County Sheriff and other Waller County police officers. They were at the Waller County jail on Saturday evening.
    “You see this nappy-ass hair on my head? … That means I am one of those more militant Negroes,” a protester later identified as “Sunshine” said.
    She told reporters she was at the protest because “these redneck mother-f**kers murdered Sandra Bland because she had nappy hair like me.”
    The protester, aka “Sunshine,” was live-streaming the protest and her verbal assaults on journalists and photographers. She posted on her @ClaimMalcolmDay Twitter page – “I’m broadcasting ‘F**KWHITESUPREMACY’ live on @Ustream.”
    Sandra Bland
    “Sunshine” as she is referred to, describes herself on her @LOLatWhiteFear Twitter page as “The noncompliant negro female formerly known as @stylistsunshine founder of #CMXD campaign. 1 of the organizers of #Fergusonspring.”
    "I'm a nappy-headed militant non-compliant Negro that's hear because Sandra Bland was murdered..." (Photo: Breitbart Texas/Bob Price)
    “I’m a nappy-haired militant non-compliant Negro that’s here because Sandra Bland was murdered…” (Photo: Breitbart Texas/Bob Price)
    #CMXD or @ClaimMalcolmDay states on the Twitter page, “This year we give Malcolm X a national holiday. We are not asking, we are TAKING it!”
    After saying she was a follower of Malcom X, Breitbart Texas asked “Sunshine” if she agreed that all white people should be killed. She retorted, “You’re damn right I do! You think I am scared to say that to you?!”
    Breitbart Texas caught this on video, and Sunshine said she was recording this on her live stream.
    She continued, “You mother-f**ckers thought we should be killed when ya’ll came and stole us from Africa and put us in chains and murdered us for over 400 years, so yeah, you do need to die. I think everybody else on the planet would have peace when you’re dead.”
    Prior to the video being recorded by Breitbart Texas, “Sunshine” told Price that she was a follower of Malcolm X. Sunshine apparently is #CMXD or @ClaimMalcolmDay because “CMXD” posted that “I’m broadcasting ‘F**KWHITESUPREMACY.”
    This protester verbally assaulted Breitbart Texas journalists and other journalists, bloggers, and photographers while at the protest. All of the victims of her verbal tirade were white.
    “Sunshine” called white people and reporters “terrorists” and said she didn’t “negotiate with terrorists” when reporters asked her questions.
    “I think you should go back to those caves that you crawled out of in the Caucasus mountains because you can’t leave black and brown people alone. We can’t have any peace on the planet because of white supremacy and white existence. So yeah, f**king die or go back to the cave. I’m not scared to say it.”
    The Caucasus mountains is a mountain system in Eurasia.
    She said, “I don’t do too well with racist-ass, hick-ass, white people. I just don’t. And nobody that like should be here, except for them and us and him (looking at some protesters). The rest of them are just here to like, I don’t know, just get a story or whatever. They don’t give a f**k about Black genocide. They don’t give a f**k about what happened to Sandra Bland. They don’t give a f**k about the fact that these people (pointing to the Waller County Sheriff Department jail) have told several different stories about what happened to this woman.”
    She said she was at the jail just two weeks ago when “Sheriff Glenn Smith told me that she sat down on a toilet and that is how she f**ing died. That is not what they said on CNN. I will release the video to ya’ll.”
    She said, “they” have continued to change “their story,” have told story after story, and come up with something different each time.
    “Sunshine” said of reporters, “None of these f**ing pale-skinned people give a f**k about that. All they give a f**k about is getting a G**-damn story.”
    A young white man at the protest told her that he had a Black friend, his best friend, and his friend was there.
    “Sunshine” told him, “I don’t give a f**k about you having a Black friend. I don’t give a f**k about you having a Black friend. … Then get out here and die for him. … If you give a f**k, get your ass out here and die for him because a lot of people are dying. I don’t give a f**k about your Black friend. All racist white-people have a Black friend. Get the f**k out of here with your token Black. That don’t impress me.”
    She told the young white man, “Get the f**k out of here. If you … were really his friend, you would know why the f**k we were saying, what we’re saying. Get the f**k out of here with that s**t.”
    Before Sunshine left the area where reporters were gathered she said, Waller County is “white-supremacy at its finest.”
    Neighbors told Breitbart Texas there was nothing racist about the county.

    NRA Supports Senator Cornyn’s Bill to Halt Obama NICS Abuses

    NRA Supports Senator Cornyn’s Bill to Halt Obama NICS Abuses

    On August 5th, U.S. Senator John Cornyn (R-TX) introduced S. 2002, a bill to protect the Second Amendment rights of law-abiding citizens from continued bureaucratic abuse by the Obama Administration.  As we reported on July 18th, Obama’s latest gun grabbing ploy was to forward all individuals receiving Social Security Administration (SSA) benefits through a representative payee to the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) as “prohibited persons” under federal firearms law.  This is estimated to impact over 4 million Americans.
    But this approach is nothing new to Obama bureaucrats.  In fact, stripping Second Amendment rights by administrative fiat has become Obama’s favored tactic in the face of Congress’ refusal to pass gun control.  As we’ve previously reported, the Veterans Administration (VA) was the first to develop an administrative mechanism to forward records to NICS without due process protections in place.  The VA is doing so for those veterans who have a fiduciary assigned to their account.  This is being done without any adjudication or finding that such veterans pose a danger to the community, but simply because they need help managing their financial affairs.
    While Obama may relish the ease by which his pencil-pushers can deprive American citizens of constitutional protections, the NRA has pressed Congress for legislation to end this abuse.   Senator Cornyn answered our call by introducing S. 2002, a bill that provides critical protections needed in the face of Obama’s bureaucratic onslaught.  
    The bill clarifies that an “adjudication” under the Gun Control Act’s (GCA) mental health provisions will require due process protections, including a full hearing in which an individual has notice, the opportunity to participate, and the right to counsel.   Moreover, the findings of such a process are clearly specified and focus on adjudications that involve individuals that are a danger to themselves or others. 
    Importantly, the bill removes the category “lacks the ability to contract or manage affairs” as relevant to the determination of a prohibited person under the GCA.  This provision was the hook used by the VA and SSA, and presumably being considered by other federal agencies under Obama’s directive, to sweep broad swaths of the American public into NICS.  
    For veterans, the bill even provides additional protections.  It requires notification to veterans who have been submitted to NICS under the “fiduciary” program and an opportunity to have their individual case reviewed by a board established for this purpose.  The standard is exactly where it should be, requiring the new board to find the veteran is actually a danger to themselves or others to justify retaining their record in NICS.  In all cases, the board’s decision will be subject to court review. 
    The bill would also significantly expand avenues of relief from firearm prohibitions for others, including those who have their record expunged, those who are no longer subject to an order for treatment, and those who have been granted relief by a state program.   The bill further requires the Attorney General to remove from NICS the record of any person who would not be considered prohibited under the new requirements of the bill.  
    The states will be encouraged to submit records with a “carrot and stick” approach where the states can maximize grant allocations by forwarding 90% or more of disqualifying mental health records within 18 months of the bill’s passage.  Importantly, the bill’s safeguards provide the standards by which records can be transmitted.  Only those mental health adjudications which comply with the new due process protections are to be forwarded.  
    In summary, this bill would protect millions of law-abiding citizens from bureaucratic abuse by the Obama Administration, while ensuring only relevant records that comply with the new due process safeguards are entered into NICS.

    Boy Scouts Are Now Using Gun Silencers During Shooting Practice

    These Boy Scouts Are Now Using Gun Silencers During Shooting Practice

    A Boy Scouts camp in Maine is now using silencers — the controversial devices that muffle the sound of gunshots — as part of their marksmanship training, thanks to donations from various firearms companies and coordinating efforts by pro-silencer groups.
    In July, Camp William Hind in Maine began using 10 silencers donated from two of the leading silencer companies, Gemtech and SilencerCo, Scout Executive Eric Tarbox told VICE News. Gemtech donated eight silencers and SilencerCo gave two. The camp also received a donation of eight .22 rifles and ammunition. Shooting programs have been a central part of Boy Scouts training for decades, but Camp William Hinds, which is overseen by Boy Scouts of America's Pine Tree Council, is the first to use silencers.
    The National Rifle Association (NRA) connected Tarbox with the American Suppressor Association (ASA), a pro-silencer advocacy group, NRA spokesperson Lars Dalseide told VICE News. The ASA then acted as a liaison between the Boy Scouts and the manufacturers after the Pine Tree Council expressed interest in acquiring silencers.
    The adoption of the silencers, also called suppressors, comes after the camp recently acquired 50 more acres of conservation land and finished constructing a new shooting range, said Tarbox. He said Scout leaders wanted to keep the noise down in the surrounding conservation area.
    "The noise of shooting, simply, is sometimes distracting to people trying to enjoy the nature," Tarbox told VICE News. "We wanted to truly embrace the conservation mindset of respecting our neighbors, frankly."
    In addition to reducing noise pollution, Tarbox added that the silencers are "about adding an extra modicum of safety for hearing."
    Silencers are a way to make membership and camper activities more interesting, ASA president Knox Williams told VICE News. "Really for these kids, for these young scouts, being able for them to say they went out and did something cool is a pretty neat thing," Knox said. "When I was a Scout I absolutely would have used one."
    First patented in 1909, the original .22 caliber silencers were sold as a novelty so that shooting enthusiasts could take target practice quietly. The technology was quickly adopted by the military, however, and has historically been associated with gangsters, criminals, and assassins. The possession and manufacture of silencers are tightly regulated under the National Firearm Act, a law passed in 1934 in the years after the Valentine's Day Massacre — which saw six mob associates and a mechanic murdered in Chicago — in an effort to curtail the use of dangerous weapons, including automatic machine guns and sawed-off shotguns.
    Yet despite the negative reputation of being a tool for quiet killers, few gun control groups have an official position against silencers. The Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence declined to speak to VICE News about the issue, saying the group does not have a specific stance on suppressors. The Violence Policy Center also declined to comment on the issue of silencers.
     'When I was a Scout I absolutely would have used one.'
    New Yorkers Against Gun Violence does not have a specific position on silencers, but the group's director, Leah Gun Barrett, told VICE News that silencers "are notorious for people being able to snuff out other people's lives silently. Any of these things in the hands of civilians are unnecessarily dangerous and can be misused."
    Gun companies "are going to dress up [silencers] as being okay, as being actually a reduction in noise pollution," she said, "when actually it's an increase in gun pollution and gun injury."
    A Silencer SurgeThe Boy Scouts' Camp Hind is the latest indication of the rapid rise in the market for silencers in recent years. The number of registered silencers in the US increased by 177 percent between 2010 and 2015, according to the most recent numbers from the ATF. In the past year, silencer registration increased by nearly 40 percent.
    This is in part because an increasing number of states have rapidly legalized silencers for civilian use: 41 states now allow them, with Minnesota and Vermont passing laws most recently in June.
    But silencers are still relatively difficult to obtain. If someone wants to legally acquire one, they must pass an extensive federal background check, receive written approval from their chief law enforcement officer, register their silencer with the Department of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, and pay a $200 tax. The entire process usually takes nine months to a year.
    In an effort to make the process easier, SilencerCo, one of the companies that donated to the Boy Scouts, offers legal services for a $130 fee.

    Firearms suppressors, including the SilencerCo Osprey 9, SWR Octane 45, and SilencerCo Saker 5.56.
    For many years the NRA did not have an explicit stance favoring silencers, in part because of the negative image associated with the devices. This changed in 2011, when the NRA backed a group of gun manufacturers, including Gemtech and SilencerCo, in forming the American Suppressor Association. A primary objective of the ASA, according to the group's website, is to "raise public awareness about the benefits and merits of suppressors through a comprehensive public awareness campaign." In other words, move the association of silencers away from the gangster-associated past and reframe them as a tool for safety.
    "Billions of dollars are spent every year in our healthcare system for hearing loss conditions, such as shooting-related tinnitus," the NRA wrote in a 2011 article titled, "Suppressors - Good for Our Hearing… and The Shooting Sports," which extolled the virtues of silencers.
    "Sound suppressors attached to firearms… are an additional tool available to help protect our hearing and are quickly gaining in popularity throughout the country," the article said.
    Getting silencers into the hands of Boy Scouts is the latest example of how the devices have been rapidly normalized since the days of Al Capone, and, according to Barrett, a direct result of firearms manufacturers attempting to increase gun ownership across the country. "The market is shrinking and the [gun industry] is interested in trying to build it back up," Barret said. Giving Boy Scouts ammunition and accessories such as silencers "is one of their desperate attempts to do so."
    The NRA does not deny this strategy. In 2011, one NRA spokesperson said that silencers were important for "getting younger folks involved. They're less afraid of the loud bang," according to Salon.
    Gun companies "will do anything they can" to make money, and silencers are a major way to do so, Barrett claimed. Since guns don't wear out, the industry needs to rely on selling accessories, ammunition and add-ons such to keep profiting, Barrett said. Firearms companies make a substantial amount of money from the sale of accessories, sometimes more than the guns themselves.
    "There was absolutely a PR aspect to it," Knox said of the decision to donate silencers to the Boy Scouts. "We'd like to see every Boy Scout rifle have a suppressor on it, as well as every shotgun they learn to shoot on have a suppressor on it," he said.

    Saturday, August 8, 2015

    Stag Arms AR-15, Model 2L—Retrospective Look From a Southpaw Shooter

    Stag Arms AR-15, Model 2L—Retrospective Look From a Southpaw Shooter

    Stag Arms is one of the few manufacturers offering a left-hand oriented AR-15. This gun has been around for many years now, and this review is from the perspective of a southpaw shooter who’s used it for the past seven years. It’s been run in several marksmanship and defensive carbine classes, lugged around for miles in preparation for and execution of run-and-gun competitions, and general practice.


    Stag Arms Model 2L left-handed model AR-15
    The author’s Stag Arms 2L with a custom rear sight and optic.
    This model has a standard adjustable buttstock that extends the collapsed 32.5-inch length to 35.75. It’s available, at this time and historically, in black only. It’s chambered for 5.56 so will also shoot .223. The 16-inch barrel has a 1:9 twist and sports a handsome flash hider. Sights include an adjustable Midwest Industries flip-up rear sight—which I replaced with a lower-profile one—and a fixed front post sight/bayonet lug. The front sight is quite prominent and necessitates an extra-high mount of most optics so as not to block the view.
    The left-handed features on the 2L represent, in this writer’s opinion, a place where the booming industry still lags in satisfying customers….but kudos to Stag for trying. The most dreaded feature of right-hand bias rifles (for us lefties anyway), the case ejection port, has been placed on the left so hot brass flies safely away from the shooter’s face. In the process, Stag mounted the dust cover as a flip-up rather than the standard flip-down mechanism. The disadvantage here became obvious the first time a magnifying optic was mounted on the rifle. On the next practice session, failures to eject suddenly occurred with regularity on this once-dependable carbine. Upon inspection, we discovered that the bell-shaped scope end happened to be over the dust cover and was impeding its full opening to a degree that caused malfunctions in about one in five shots.
    The other nod to southpaws on the 2L is a left-handed safety. It’s a great feature for both safety and smooth operation.
    What’s lacking for left-handed shooters are two features that would seem to be common sense, but they’re not there. The most annoying is a standard right-hand bias charging handle. Over the years, I became accustomed to reaching over the top of the weapon with my right hand to reach the charging handle. Unwieldy, but with practice it worked. Now that I’ve changed it to an ambi charging handle, it’s still a challenge to overcome this unwieldy habit that practice instilled.
    The other missing feature is a left-mounted magazine release. Right-handed shooters have the “luxury” of depressing the mag release with the trigger finger. Stag has done a disservice to the efficiency of left-handed shooting by keeping the mag release on the right, forcing the operator to let go with the support hand and use the right thumb to drop magazines. It’s an efficient motion when practiced consistently, but lacks speed when compared to typical right-hand operation.


    Reliability is the hallmark of this AR. It’s not elegant or even attractive by today’s standards, but its enduring value lies in reliability. In years of use and thousands of rounds, with the exception of the dust cover issue mentioned above which was promptly corrected, it has never malfunctioned. It’s cycled cheap Russian ammunition (yes, some may consider that to be rifle abuse) and many kinds of match ammo, from 55 to 78 grain, without problems. The trigger is a battle-ready mil-spec, somewhat grainy character with what Stag calls a five-to-eight pound pull. Today’s average American rifleman, harboring affection for a light and smooth trigger pull would likely pick the trigger as the first upgrade.


    Shooting the Stag Arms 2L
    Giving the 2L a workout on a blustery winter day.
    Accuracy is what we can reasonably expect from a battle rifle. This writer has hit 18×24-inch targets with the 2L at 400 yards, only with complete attention to fundamentals. It consistently fires 4 MOA groups out to 100 yards. Ammunition and fundamentals here are at least as important as the gun. The Stag 2L demonstrates better accuracy with Silver Bear brand ammunition for practice, and Prvi Partizan match ammo. In attempts to make this 2L a better partner for the long-distance segment of some competitions, I’ve tested six common brands of match ammunition. Prvi Partizan 72-grain match performs better than others do.


    Appearance is in the eye of the beholder. Stag would do well to update the flared handguards, which aren’t conductive to mounting lights or other accessories. It does offer a nice length of Picatinny rail to give shooters choices on where to mount optics. The butt surface is rather austere; I’ve added a wrap-around shoulder pad to soften recoil and ease fatigue—incidentally, a shoulder pad is a suggested accessory for most rifles in the hands of a left-handed shooter, to diminish heartbeat interference.


    Woman running with the lightweight Stag Arms 2L AR
    The Model 2L is light enough to run with for miles.
    Weight is on the light side, and ideal for the run-and-gun competitions in which this gun has logged mileage. At 6.5 pounds, it’s easy to carry on the run and not so easy to hold still in windy conditions. The fixed sling attachments are somewhat limiting, but this has been overcome by rigging a more flexible arrangement on the butt with paracord.


    In a word, yes. The Stag 2L AR-15 is an excellent choice for the novice left-handed shooter. Importantly, it eliminates the hot brass/facial interface possibility that’s present with standard AR-15s. This recommendation is given with cautionary advice: its handler is best served by making a commitment to this AR and none other. The habits formed by operating the half-left-handed set of features on this AR will interfere with operation on a “normal” AR-15, especially when rapid engagement is desired

    NRA A+ Rated Republican Announces New Gun Control Measure

    NRA A+ Rated Republican Announces New Gun Control Measure

    It is not often we find new gun control legislation being offered by the Republicans. Even more rare is a Senator with an NRA A+ rating proposing new gun control measures. However, before you get your dander standing on end, look at the details and make an informed decision. Then, leave your comments below to give your “informed” two cents.
    Sen. John Cornyn
    Sen. Cornyn (R-TX) has received an A+ rating for the NRA. His current proposed legislation also has the backing of the NRA.
    While millions of gun owners are blamed and slandered by politicians and the media every time there is a high profile shooting, there has been a strong link in each case to mental health that is for the most part, if not completely, ignored. This fact has not evaded the radar screens of gun owners, politicians or the media. The difference has been that the mainstream media and many politicians pushing gun control have chosen to ignore it.
    Even pro Second Amendment lawmakers have not taken action on mental health until recently. As a knee-jerk reaction, I would say that was a good thing. Legislation is good when it is well thought out and well reasoned, not when it is slapped together in response to a news headline the day before. That is what makes Sen. John Cornyn’s (No. 2 Republican in the Senate) proposal worthy of a look.

    Misleading Measure or Misleading Media?

    Cornyn’s proposed the Mental Health and Safe Communities Act, which address the heart of the problem behind high profile mass shootings—mental health. The bill seeks to reward states for sending more information regarding their residents with serious mental health issues to the federal background check system. Beyond simply data collection—because we all know passing a law will not prevent another tragedy—the new proposed bill would also bolster programs designed to treat mentally ill people and handling confrontations with the mentally ill.
    “This legislation will strengthen programs that promote preventative screening and crisis response training so that we can better understand and treat the factors which may endanger public safety,” Sen. Cornyn continued. “By giving our communities the resources necessary to recognize and prevent acts of violence, we not only protect American families, but help those affected by mental illness.”
    Mental health is a touchy subject. While it sounds common sense on the surface, and is often billed that way by gun control advocates and politicians, the definition is often too broad. Many veterans return from overseas tours carrying a weapon one day with the government’s blessing, then deemed unfit to own a firearm the next when they are stateside. Why? Because they sought needed help for depression or stress and in the process had their rights stripped from them.
    ATF Form 4473
    Sen. Cornyn’s new bill would not change requirements already in place. It would provide an incentive for states to share mental health information for background checks.
    Two years ago, the NRA and Republicans soundly defeated a Senate measure that would have expanded background check requirements; Cornyn was a big factor in ensuring that defeat. Cornyn’s bill will now compete with a new Democrat sponsored bill that was introduced about a week ago. The Democrat-led effort seeks to go much further than Sen. Cornyn’s. Nevertheless, Sen. Cornyn is breaking new ground that has some pro Second Amendment forces wary. He’s marching through seldom-charted territory by a Republican by broaching anything that could be considered gun control.
    If the bill passes, some firearm purchases will be stopped. Many Second Amendment proponents do not believe there should be any sort of background check as our rights are granted by the Second Amendment. This has gun owners debating whether this the common sense legislation that is needed, or whether Sen. Cornyn betrayed his NRA A+ rating? Cornyn has a rich history of opposing measures that sought to restrict firearm ownership, but supported others that limited firearm ownership of the mentally ill. This new bill follows that line.
    “Gaps in existing law or inadequate resources prevent our communities from taking proactive steps to prevent them from becoming violent,” said Cornyn, R-Texas, in a written statement.
    The NRA is backing Cornyn’s proposed bill. This is not much of a surprise. NRA leaders have been on the record for some time stating the high profile shootings are not a gun issues but instead a mental health issues. Will Sen. Cornyn’s bill advance the effort to prevent the next tragedy?
    1 Gun Store Etiquette
    Jennifer Baker, spokeswoman for NRA legislative affairs, said the bill took “meaningful steps toward fixing the system and making our communities safer.”

    Mental Health and Safe Communities Act of 2015

    The Mental Health and Safe Communities Act of 2015 is designed to improve outcomes for people with mental health disorders that come in contact with the criminal justice system through a number of actions, including:
    • The authorization of pretrial screening, assessment, and supervision programs to improve outcomes for people with mental illnesses by ensuring they are accurately diagnosed and receive appropriate need-based treatment that focuses on increasing public safety.
    • An increase in the use of treatment-based alternatives to incarceration for people with mental illnesses.
    • The establishment of a pilot program to determine the effectiveness of diverting eligible offenders from federal prosecution, federal probation, or a federal corrections facility, and placing those eligible people in drug or mental health courts.
    • Improvements to reentry programming for people with mental illnesses who are released into the community by authorizing the deployment of Forensic Assertive Community Treatment (FACT) Initiatives, which are designed to ensure that people with mental illnesses receive treatment-based interventions.
    • The expansion of specialized law enforcement crisis intervention teams, which respond to and de-escalate mental health crises for federal law enforcement personnel.
    The Mental Health and Safe Communities Act of 2015 also includes reauthorization of the Mentally Ill Offender Treatment and Crime Reduction Act (MIOTCRA), an essential funding mechanism that supports the use of mental health courts and crisis intervention teams in local law enforcement agencies. The bill would extend MIOTCRA for an additional four years, effectively filling critical gaps in the system, including providing additional resources for veterans’ treatment courts to help those suffering from behavioral or post-traumatic stress disorders. The bill also offers broader training during police academies and orientation as well as increased focus on prison- and jail-based transitional services and reentry programs that can help reduce the likelihood of recidivism.
    Police Making an Arrest
    The Mental Health and Safe Communities Act of 2015 seeks to increase the odds of preventing a mentally ill person from passing a background check through increased mental health reporting.

    Would Anything Change?

    Arkadi Gerney, a gun policy expert for the liberal Center for American Progress, said prodding states to submit additional data to the background check system is “a good and smart notion,” but it would be better to push broader legislation “that covers all the gaps.”
    If the antis agree, but think it does not go far enough, does that mean we should decide or oppose it? The current background check system already bars firearm purchases to people legally determined to be “mentally defective” and those who have been committed to mental institutions. Sen. Cornyn’s new bill would not change this. It would, however, provide more information on individuals who have already met the legal standard to have their gun rights suspended. Currently, states do not have any responsibility to share mental health information. This creates a gap in safeguarding the public versus practices.
    “While potentially dangerous mentally-ill individuals are often known to law enforcement and local officials, gaps in existing law or inadequate resources prevent our communities from taking proactive steps to prevent them from becoming violent,” said Sen. Cornyn.
    While Cornyn’s bill would not change the law or force state’s to comply, it purportedly would (these details are unconfirmed at this time) increase grants under the government’s main law enforcement program by up to 5 percent for states that send the federal system at least 90 percent of their records on people with serious mental problems. States providing less data could see grants from a broad range of justice programs penalized by the same amounts at the attorneys’ general’s discretion.