Tuesday, October 31, 2006
Bring on the Legions of the Dead!
My good friend Tom Gresham, host of Gun Talk Radio and the new Personal Defense TV, took this photo last week at GUNSITE. You can see that I'm clearly ready for the Armies of Darkness (significant cultural reference: "Good? Bad? I'm the one with the gun!").
This is, BTW, just about my all-time favorite AR set-up...16 1/2-inch barrel; retractable CAR stock, flat-top receiver with red-dot optics, in this case an Aimpoint M3 and the 3X multiplier right behind it; SureFire Scout Light mounted directly below the barrel with pressure switch mounted on the right side of the handguard for weak-hand use and the SureFire Suppressor.
I was running this gun against a 50-yard Pepper Popper and worrying it to death, just about as fast as I could pull the trigger. Unfortunately, this is not my personal AR. Right now I have two ARs, the one we built on Season 1 of SHOOTING GALLERY (the one I'm holding on the SG website) and my JP Enterprises competition rifle.
The yellow AR is a plain-vanilla version with a carrying handle, built on an excellent DPMS lower. I think of it as a house gun — light, maneuverable, quick to bring on close-up (inside 25 yards) targets. The JP is a racehorse...it's currently equipped with an Aimpoint M2 I got from a friend of mine who used to be in one of those unnamed special ops groups, and it shoots a lot better than I can.
Based on my week at GUNSITE, I'm going to set-up the new S&W M&P-15 like the gun above, with one change. Instead of the two-part Aimpoint set-up, I'm going to go to a dedicated tactical scope...a Leupold Mk-4 1-3X CQ/T, methinks. The reason for this is my pathetic right eye, which is still in free-fall. I spent a long afternoon yesterday at the opthamologist's office, where he confirmed that I've lost about 30% of the vision in my right eye over the last four months (and that I now have, oh joy, "secondary glaucoma" in that eye as well). The good news is that this type of glaucoma is controllable, and my vision is still correctable to close to 20/20, once the various eye problems are under control. Adjust & adapt!
The vision stuff isn't an issue with the handgun, because I shoot with both eyes open. The left eye picks up the slack. With a rifle, though, especially at distances beyond 50 yards, it's just too much stress on my right eye without some magnification. The Leupold is a fine scope, and about 50% of the cost of an ACOG, another potential choice. I'm thinking of going to a higher power Leupold Tactical scope on the JP Enterprises gun, maybe the 2.5-8X. I need to talk to John Paul of JP and 3-gun champion Mike Voight about that choice.
And, yes, I think I'm gonna suck it up and jump through the hoops for the suppressor...I might want to use my ears again after firing this thing in a contained space!
The S&W already has a Wilderness Tactical single-point sling fitting, via a Brownell's sling adaptor, and my plan is to fit the same adaptor to my other ARs and my pump shotguns. No, a single point sling isn't as fast as a full-blown 3-point Giles sling, but hey, it doesn't require a memory card and ballet training to get into, either!
I'm half-way considering converting the little DPMS carbine into a dedicated 9mm gun, since I always have many thousands of rounds of 9mm lying around and it'd be a good gun for training. My good friend Alan Samuel, who you've seen several times on SG, has a really nice magazine block and has done some excellent conversions. Maybe with el-cheapo Sten magazines...I'll keep you informed.
You all know I've issued a BUY HI-CAP MAGAZINES RIGHT NOW alert, in case of a Dem debacle in next week's elections. If the Dems sweep, think the price of hi-caps will go up??? I feel a little better about our titular friends, the Republicans, holding onto at least a piece of the government, but it never hurts to be prepared. I've bought fresh, clean AR, SIG, Glock and Para-Ordnance mags, and I'll probably add a couple of factory Mini-14 20-rounders (the only Mini hi-caps that work 100%, BTW!) just to round things out.
I do have an AR MAGAZINE SHOCKER for you...who do you suppose supplies most of the AR magazines to the boys at SOCOM? Try Brownell's!
The Brownell's 30-rounder is the mag of choice for the special ops community. I had a long and really illuminating talk with Pete Brownell about the whys and wherefores of the success of the Brownell's mag. Pete emphasized that the Brownell's magazine is made to the current military spec. He told me that mil-spec is constantly changing; the specs for the magazines have changed seven times this year alone, mostly driven by Real World experience in Iraq and Afghanistan. So when you go to El Cheapo Magazines and buy "mil-spec" green follower magazines, the question is, "Which mil-spec?"
Yes, the Brownell's magazines are more expensive, $17.95 MSRP, versus a more-or-less $12 MSRP "on "current green-follower mil-specs." You tell me what a 100% magazine is worth! I've standardized on the Brownell's; you might consider doing the same.
ALSO BTW, I tried to give you all the links for this stuff to stave off the "where can I get that?" emails. It always irritated the hell out of me when I read about something that I thought I needed, only to find that the publication didn't bother to tell me where to find it!