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  1. Never let it be said that Kalashnikov Concern is resting on its laurels. The Russian arms maker, best known for its AK rifle platform, recently conducted a live demonstration of some of its latest goodies, including a pair of unmanned ground vehicles (UGVs) called the Soratnik and Nakhlebnik. Watch the video above to see them in action. RELATED STORY Kalashnikov Concern to Start Full Production on PL-14 Handgun Soratnik The BAS-01G Soratnik, which translates to “companion” in Russian, is designed for fire support; combat reconnaissance; patrols; and mine clearance. It also conducts logistics operations, Army Recognition says. The vehicle weighs in at seven tons. Its operational range is 248 miles. Meanwhile, it can reach a maximum road speed of 25 mph. Additionally, it can be operated via remote control at a distance out to six miles. Its three control modes are direct control, semi-automatic and fully automatic. Kalashnikov’s Soratnik can be equipped with a 7.62mm Kalashnikov PKT/PKTM machine gun; 12.7mm 6P49 Kord heavy machine gun; 30mm AG-17A Plamya automatic grenade launcher; and a 40mm 6G27 Balkan AGL. Furthermore, Army Guide says the vehicle can accommodate up to four hand grenade launchers. In addition, TASS says Kalashnikov is looking at arming the Soratnik with eight Kornet-EM anti-tank guided missiles. In other words, the Soratnik can do some serious damage. Nakhlebnik The Nakhlebnik, “freeloader” in Russian, is described by Deagel as a UGV built by Kalashnikov as a platform for future combat systems. In addition, the automated system uses a tracked chassis and features a small caliber machine gun. It also sports an armored shield which supports infantry during operations. Kalashnikov also tested out its “Tourist” buggy; Vityaz-SN assault rifle; Group-99 combat outfit; and motorcycles for special forces at its live demonstration outside of Moscow, Sputnik reports. The post WATCH: Kalashnikov’s Soratnik UGV Blows Stuff Up in Live Demo appeared first on Tactical Life Gun Magazine: Gun News and Gun Reviews. View the full article
  2. IWA OutdoorClassics 2018 was jam-packed with interesting firearms. On the high-end side of things was British company Medwell Precision Rifles and its new Vanquish and Wraith high-performance models. RELATED STORY 12 Long-Range Shooting Tips from Gunsite’s Cory Trapp Details At the heart of both the MPR Vanquish and MPR Wraith is the Mayfair M98 action. In its press release announcing the guns, Medwell says Mayfair 98 is the only hot drop hammer forged Mauser action. Each takes “a great many hours” to finish and each is made individually by the company’s craftsmen, Medwell says. The actions are made from 8620 steel. In addition, the bolts are one piece drop hammer forged in the same way from EN36(AISI 9310) nickel steel. The full-length claw extractor is made from EN47 Chrome Vanadium Spring Steel. The MPR Vanquish and MPR Wraith come with detachable magazines and are available in the following calibers: 243, 6.5 Creedmore, .308, 7mm Rem Mag and 300-Win Mag. The barrel is made from 416R stainless steel. It is CNC machined, precision reamed, button rifled, fully stress relieved, hand lapped and CNC contoured, Medwell says. Meanwhile, the contoured walnut grip offers a palm swell with finger grooves and a hand stop. Additionally, the stock has an adjustable length of pull. The adjustable cheek piece is hand-crafted in leather, offering up a comfortable cheek weld. The rear of the stock also has a spring tensioned micro adjustable integral monopod for both range and field use. Medwell Precision Rifles’ Vanquish & Wraith The Vanquish sports a British Racing Green finish, with tan leather on the cheek and recoil pads. It has a 24-inch barrel. Furthermore, it also features an extended forend with M-LOK accessory slots. is touted as being suited for long-range shooting and hunting. The Wraith is the more compact, practical offering. It features a 17-inch barrel; shortened forend; enlarged bolt knob; and is designed to work with an over-barrel suppressor. “These rifles are the first of their kind to incorporate aerospace engineering precision, blended with the time old skills of traditional English gun making and finishing. Each of the rifles are individually custom made to order,” said Ian Medwell, the managing director of Medwell Precision Rifles. “The specially commissioned Mayfair Mauser action, with detachable magazine, had enabled us to take the Mauser action back to its origins: that of a practical precision rifle.” There’s no word on pricing for these bespoke rifles, but it’ll likely cost a pretty penny. For more information, visit medwellprecisionrifles.com. The post Medwell Precision Rifles Unveils High-End Vanquish, Wraith Models appeared first on Tactical Life Gun Magazine: Gun News and Gun Reviews. View the full article
  3. The Frazier History Museum in Louisville, Kentucky, exhibits a remarkable collection of famous Western firearms. This includes a cased pair of heavily engraved, gold- and silver-plated, elephant-ivory-gripped, .36-caliber Colt Model 1861 Navy revolvers believed to be owned by Lieutenant Colonel George Armstrong Custer. A marshal superstar in his time, Custer is remembered today mostly for dying at the Battle of Little Big Horn in 1876 with all 210 cavalrymen from the five companies he kept under his direct command. On that bloody day, Custer’s 7th Cavalry was vastly outnumbered, probably in the range of four to one, by a combined force of Lakota, Northern Cheyenne and Arapaho Indians. Many outside of Custer’s battalion survived the battle, which was more complex than most people realize. But for the Plains Indians, it was a great victory. For the U.S. Army, it was the worst defeat of the 18th century Indian Wars campaign. When the news of the massacre broke, it sent an immediate shockwave across America. RELATED STORY New Old West: The Wonderful Guns of ‘Westworld’ At the time of his death, Custer was a national hero. During the Civil War, he was nicknamed “The Boy General” after he was promoted to brigadier general on June 29, 1863, at age 23. He was one of the youngest men of that rank in the Union Army. Collector lore says these revolvers were a gift to the young Custer on the occasion of this brevet promotion to general. However, we can only speculate who they came from because the dedication plates are no longer on the grips. Custer cultivated a heroic image for himself with custom uniforms, upscale personal weapons and his signature long, curly blond hair that he sometimes scented with cinnamon. But mainly it was his dashing battlefield victories that won him fame and respect. He was an extremely aggressive and courageous commander, and he led his troops from the front. He was in many respects a 19th century General George S. Patton, though considerably less learned and disciplined. Like Patton, Custer was also an avid hunter, shooter and gun collector. Patton’s ivory-gripped, engraved Colt Model 1873 six-shooter became an icon. But that was not the case with Custer’s brace of ivory-gripped, engraved 1861 Navy Colts. Beautiful Colt Model 1861 Revolvers Before I examined these magnificent Colt Model 1861 revolvers, I had always assumed them coffee-table trophies that never left his quarters. But they are masterpieces. To me, shooting them would be like using King Tut’s gold death mask for a Halloween costume. After I had a chance to study the Colts up close, it was apparent that both revolvers had some damage from pitting and significant finish wear. They were cleaned up and returned to a high polish at some point in their history. However, they were not re-plated. To me, this clue suggests that these pistols were carried and shot. Patton shot his engraved Colt extensively. Wouldn’t the flamboyant and daredevil young Custer have done the same? It is possible, and perhaps even likely, that the pitting on these pistols is the result of some poor storage in the 137 years before they made their way to Frazier Museum. That is a harder case to make in regards to the wear on the gold finish and grips. It is feasible that the pistols were handled by so many Custer admirers over the years that they simply “loved” the gold plating off of the backstraps; triggerguards; hammers; cylinders; and loading levers. Those admiring hands could have also worn down the high spots on the grips. There’s no way to tell how much an impact handling may have had on these revolvers without researching the habits of the individual collectors that owned them before. Once in the Frazier collection, however, they were cared for in the manner artifacts should be. Whatever minimal handling they experienced was undertaken with gloved hands. Speculation There is another explanation, perhaps complimentary, of the wear on these pistols that is worth considering. It’s also a lot more fun. If they were used by a cavalryman actively campaigning for a year in the Civil War, they would be carried in leather holsters. Leather holsters absorb humidity from the air, and rain for that matter, and can rust the pistol stored inside. The snug-fitting flap holsters in common military use at this time could easily cause some finish and grip wear. Actually shooting the pistol will tend to wear the plating off the trigger finger area and the front- and backstraps. The heat of shooting and the handling necessary to load the revolver could lead to plating loss on the cylinder. The loading lever would also logically show a lot of plating loss since it is handled every time a cap-and-ball revolver is loaded. I suggest that Custer was just the type of man to actually carry and use presentation-grade firearms. There is an 1874 photograph of Custer and his wife, Libby, in his study in their quarters at Fort Lincoln in the Dakota Territory that shows his gun rack in the corner. The cap-and-ball Colt 1861 Navy revolvers aren’t visible in the gun rack in that photo. But why would we expect them to be? By 1874, the metallic cartridge was pushing cap-and-ball pistols into obsolescence with nobody lamenting the change. Digging Deeper The brace of revolvers we can see in that gun rack appear to be plated S&W Model 2 revolvers. I see this as significant because, in 1869, Custer received a beautiful cased pair of .32-caliber S&W Model 2 revolvers, acid-etched with floral designs, silver plated and stocked with mother-of-pearl grips from his admirer, business tycoon John B. Sutherland. Assuming the pair of pistols in the rack are the same, and assuming they are in the rack rather than their fitted case because Custer shot them, why wouldn’t he have shot his Colt Model 1861s, too? The nearly identical American scrollwork that covers virtually ever surface of each pistol was presumed to be the work of master engraver L.D. Nimschke. There is no record to support this, but the style and execution strongly suggest it. The hand-carved, high-relief patriotic eagle and shield grips may have been provided by the Colt factory. I could find no shipping information from the Colt factory in the museum’s records. However, the serial numbers of these pistols (“13511 P” and “13514 P”) put them among a group of Navy Colts made in 1863 and specially polished and set aside for embellishment. Comparison It is believed the “P” indicated at that time that the pistols were highly polished. The cylinders of these pistols seems to have been left free of the usual roll-engraved battle scene. However, the parallel lines that frame a border around the serial number are clearly evident on the cylinder of revolver #13514. Of the two revolvers, #13514 is in significantly better cosmetic condition. Revolver #13511 has a lot more pitting on the barrel. The gold plating in the triggerguard area and inner grip frame is more worn. Its cylinder is virtually devoid of gold plating. It also seems to have more grip wear on the high points of the eagle’s talon below the shield and his outward wing. This makes me wonder if #13511 was fired more than its mate. Both pistols have good barrels with crisp rifling. If they were shot, their barrels were well cleaned. The accessories fitted into the velvet-lined case, as well as the case itself, are in very good condition with little damage. I didn’t detect obvious signs of serious moisture damage to the case or accoutrements. The bullets had the usual light white corrosion one finds on old bullets. The silver-plated powder flask was tarnished and showed some light discoloration. The paper cartridge boxes and metal cap tin appeared to be in excellent condition. The set also includes a nipple wrench and a silver-plated dual bullet mold that matches the bullets in the set. The key to the case lock was lost long before it got to the Frazier History Museum. A Curious Path Readers will notice that the right side of each grip frame was smoothed down. In addition, holes were made for mounting a dedication plaque. Because these reportedly gold plaques are missing, exactly who gave these exceptional (and expensive) revolvers to Custer is lost to history. Collector lore says they were absent from the grips when the revolvers were sold. They are reportedly removed by Custer’s wife to keep as mementos. Their location remains unknown. Secondary records in the museum files suggest the plaques were removed to avoid embarrassment to the family at having to sell such an important ancestral heirloom. Knowing how Custer’s wife dedicated the rest of her life to protecting her husband’s reputation, this is at least as plausible as them being stolen or lost. However, secondary sources suggest that Libby Custer was in good financial shape thanks to the publication of her books. RELATED STORY The Interesting History of Remington Revolvers From the 1850s-1870s Unfortunately, the museum’s files had no originating documentary provenance for the pistols. I could find no bill of sale from the family to the original buyer, nor any indication of the exact date the transfer took place. Without the plaques to authenticate Custer’s ownership, we are left only with a long trail of private collector provenance. Evidence suggests the first buyer, famed Philadelphia arms and accoutrements dealer W. Stokes Kirk, obtained the pistols in the early 1920s. He died on January 26, 1926. He was about seven years younger than Libby Custer, who lived in New York City at the time of her death in 1933. Shoddy Recordkeeping Back in those days, and still quite often now, collectors commonly accepted verbal affirmations of a piece’s authenticity without collecting and recording documentary evidence supporting that stated provenance. The result is that all we have left today to go on when trying to authenticate an artifact’s provenance is what we can research in surviving records and our impressions of the personal integrity of the parties involved. When I was the director of the Patton Museum of Cavalry and Armor in Fort Knox, Kentucky, I was astonished to learn we had no documentation of any kind positively linking the 1938 Cadillac sedan on display in the museum for half a century to General Patton. Fortunately, Patton’s driver, Woody Woodring, was still alive at the time. I was able to get his personal assurance that it was in fact the car he was driving at the time of the accident that led to the General’s death. That sort of thing doesn’t happen with Civil-War-era firearms these days. The Truth Is Out There I suggest that circumstantial and documentary evidence on the provenance of the Custer Colts may still be out there for someone willing to take a closer look. A fruitful area of research might start with an examination of the respective lives of Libby Custer and W. Stokes Kirk (a Bannerman protégé of sorts) and the extent of their relationship with each other. For example, were they friends? Naturally, I really hope the dedication plaques show up one day. Imagine the excitement of checking to see if the holes in them line up with the nail holes in the ivory grips. Every time I go to an online auction site, I can’t resist a “Custer gold plaque” search. This article was originally published in the winter 2017 issue of “Guns of the Old West.” To order a copy and subscribe to that magazine, visit outdoorgroupstore.com. The post A Look at 2 Colt Model 1861 Revolvers Owned By Colonel Custer appeared first on Tactical Life Gun Magazine: Gun News and Gun Reviews. View the full article
  4. Oklahoma-based company Rise Armament has introduced its new 1121XR precision rifle chambered in the popular 6.5 Creedmoor cartridge. Geared toward those want to get the most out of a heavy-caliber gas gun, the 1121XR in 6.5 Creedmoor features a reduced weight of 10 pounds and four ounces. This boosts the gun’s portability. Rise is also guaranteeing sub-1 MOA accuracy here. RELATED STORY 12 Long-Range Shooting Tips from Gunsite’s Cory Trapp “The 1121XR hits levels of accuracy that a gas gun has never seen,” Rise Armament president Matt Torres said in a press release. “With its emphasis on accuracy, it helps shooters remove their limits, making virtually any shooter better.” Rise’s 6.5 Creedmoor 1121XR sports a 22-inch barrel and 15-inch slim, billet aluminum handguard. The handguard is M-LOK compatible and features a Picatinny upper rail system for accessories. Also included on this rifle is Rise’s RA-535 Advanced-Performance Trigger. This trigger has a 3.5-pound pull, crisp release with minimal over travel, and a short reset for fast follow-ups. In addition, the 1121XR’s bolt carrier group features a black nitride finish. Meanwhile, the stainless steel Rise Armament RA-701 Compensator counter acts recoil. Finally, the durable Cerakote finish ensures the rifle will operate in harsh conditions. The rifle comes in black, foliage green or flat dark earth. “With the 1121XR, competitors and long-range shooters can have the accuracy of a bolt-action gun with the benefit of quick follow-up shots due to minimal recoil and muzzle bounce,” the presser says. “Big-game hunters can also have accurate knock-down power at long distances without having the extra weight that typically comes with such a platform.” Shipping out with a hard case and two magazines, the Rise Armament 1121XR is available at a MSRP of $2,449. See the specs below. To learn more about Rise Armament, visit risearmament.com. Rise Armament 1121XR Specs Model name: 1121XR Caliber: 6.5 Creedmoor Magazine/cylinder capacity: 10 Barrel length: 22″ Overall length: 44″ Weight: 10 lbs., 4 oz. MSRP: $2,449 The post Rise Armament Introduces the 1121XR Precision Rifle in 6.5 Creedmoor appeared first on Tactical Life Gun Magazine: Gun News and Gun Reviews. View the full article
  5. Federal Premium continues to chug along in 2018. Last week, the ammunition manufacturer announced it had won a contract to supply multiple DHS agencies with up to 180 million rounds of its 40 caliber Tactical HST duty ammo. Now the company is going international, having just secured a deal to deliver its 223 Rem./5.56x45mm Tactical Bonded and 308 Win. Tactical Bonded Tip ammo to the Swedish Police Authority, Danish National Police and Norwegian Police. The contract covers a period of five years and begins in 2018. The monetary value, and number of rounds involved in the deal, has not been disclosed. Additionally, the the aforementioned law enforcement agencies will use the ammunition in their duty rifles. According to the available information, Swedish police officers rely on the HK MP5 in specialized circumstances. The National Task Force and the Reinforced Regional Task Force, which operate under the Swedish Police Authority, also use the MP5, in addition to the HK G36 and LWRC M6. Snipers in the National Task Force use the L96A1 AW, HK 417 and Sako TRG. Furthermore, the standard sidearm for Swedish police is the Sig Sauer P226. In addition, the Danish National Police, or the Rigspolitiet in Danish, also go the MP5 in certain situations. They use the HK USP as their duty pistol. Lastly, the Norwegian Police Service does not allow its officers to carry firearms on their person. But officers do keep HK MP5 submachine guns and HK P30 pistols in their patrol car. Federal’s Duty Ammo Federal’s 223 Rem./5.56x45mm Tactical Bonded and 308 Win. Tactical Bonded Tip are designed to penetrate tough barriers while maintaining terminal performance. They’re used in intense duty situations. Federal says the accuracy and terminal performance of its .308 Win. load, particularly, is “unmatched” by other ammo. “Police in Norway, Sweden and Denmark will now be relying on Federal Premium in their duty rifles to keep their residents safe and protected,” said Federal Premium President Jason Vanderbrink. “We’re extremely proud of this important contract. Our Tactical Bonded ammunition was chosen for its reliability, accuracy, terminal performance and ability to defeat barriers.” For more on Federal Premium Ammunition, visit federalpremium.com. The post Federal Inks Duty Ammo Deal With Sweden, Denmark, Norway Police appeared first on Tactical Life Gun Magazine: Gun News and Gun Reviews. View the full article
  6. As holographic and red-dot sights have improved in design and construction, they’ve become commonplace on patrol rifles. But it was not an easy transition. I still vividly remember many heated discussions about their use. Many, including myself, saw them as gadgets that encouraged officers to “ignore their irons.” It took some time, but today the opposite is true. Agencies and officers that can afford red-dot sights use them. I even use red-dot sights on rifles and shotguns going into harm’s way. Sure, the iron sights are there, but they’re generally backup sights often left folded down, out of the way. Well, times are changing again, and the new kid on the block is the low-power variable optic. But are they as useful as many seem to think they are? RELATED STORY These 20 Next-Gen AR Optics Will Get You on Target Using low-powered optics on patrol rifles isn’t new. Battlefield optics in various fixed configurations ranging from 3x to 4x magnification have been around for years. Soldiers with operational distances at greater distance find them incredibly valuable. But their introduction to the police world took some time. They are great—until it’s time to get really close, where police officers generally have to operate. Red dots are very popular for this task, especially with 3x magnifiers installed behind them. These setups work well, but they can be heavy, and all you really get is a magnified dot. In the past few years, I’ve tested lots of new scopes ranging from 1-4x or 6x magnification, with a few in the 8x range. 3-Gun competitions have driven immense improvements in the optics world. Early scopes were heavy and bulky, with less-than-inspiring reticles. But improvements in construction, lenses and reticles have made them lighter, more rugged and downright practical. Many of the scopes I’ve used over the past few years came from U.S. Optics and Leupold. All were top-tier, with U.S. Optics’ scopes seeing lots of time on my guns. The Leupold 1.1-8x24mm Mark 8 CQBSS proved to be a superb optic. It was usable at close range and excellent with .308/7.62mm or 6.5mm rifles, but it was a little too large for most patrol rifles. I also recently tested a Leupold 1-6x20mm Mark 6 that was superb. The 34mm tube was a bit big to suit me, and it is also a top-tier scope with a price tag to match. I’ve used a few other brands, too, but to really see the value of a low-powered scope on an AR, I spent plenty of time testing Bushnell’s 1-6.5x24mm Elite Tactical SMRS riflescope with its BTR-2 reticle mounted in the second focal plane. Light, rugged and moderately priced, it fits well into this patrol rifle concept. After using it on several rifles, I’m practically a convert to this optic/patrol rifle concept. I’ve used the Bushnell SMRS on several rifles, both for rifle tests and on my personal guns. I wanted to see how well it worked up close. Its value at 300 yards and beyond is obvious, but how well would it work up close, under rapid-fire conditions with multiple targets? At every opportunity, I used this scope on rifles in my range’s shoothouse, tackling multiple target on the range, and when shooting on the move. I conducted these drills in off-duty attire as well as my full kit. For these situations, I mostly used my IWI Tavor SAR, a bullpup rifle perfectly suited to working in close quarters. Finally, I also took the scope with me to the Sig Sauer Academy for its Advanced Defensive Carbine class for two days and 1,000 rounds of hard use. After several months of overall testing, I am pretty well sold on the idea of using a low-powered scope on a patrol rifle. Here are some of my conclusions. Close quarters In CQB, use the scope at 1x—hopefully it’s parallax free. If your optic is not parallax free (or very close), it can be distracting when you’re shooting with both eyes open. After a while, a parallax-free 1x scope will seem just like shooting a red dot. During testing, the SMRS was very fast, and there was no lag time or problems with eye relief. Sure, it took some getting used to, but once I was accustomed it was excellent. In fact, the scope was clearer than most red dots I’ve used while offering a greater field of view. First-focal-plane scopes are not the best option if used up close. Using both types over the course of almost a year, second-focal-plane scopes were much easier to use up close. Simple reticles do not occlude your target and provide tons of aiming options. If I want a dot, I will mount a red dot. First-focal-plane reticles are great for ranging, but reality makes this a 300-yard and closer proposition. If ranging is critical, you are probably on 6x magnification, which is fine. First-focal-plane reticles just disappear at 1x and are huge at 6x. Keeping the reticle the same, in the second focal plane, meant my eye picked up the same thing every time—essential when shooting fast or snapping to the target. Keep it light; 30mm tubes are fine, even 1-inch models, if it is a good scope. My preference is for a mil-based reticle, which allows for elevation and wind holds in the scope. Except for zeroing, I don’t have to turn the knobs, so short, capped knobs are great. Keep the scope trim and you will be at about the same weight (or less) than a red dot and magnifier. Backup Iron sights are a bit distracting in front of an optic. Iron or mini red dots that sit at 1 o’clock worked best for me. Dueck Defense makes a great set of offset sights, or you can use any rail-mounted sight with a couple of 1 o’clock rails. Backup sights like these are important because you could always break or loosen your scope. RELATED STORY MRAP & Roll: Why Police Need Armored Military-Surplus Rigs Quick-release, one-piece scope mounts are great, especially if your backup sights are centered on the rifle. There are tons of great mounts to choose from, all the good ones return to zero each and every time. Both the Alamo Four Star and LaRue Tactical mounts I used for this testing were excellent and held their zero every time. Take some time to get used to it. Having spent years with a red dot, a scope in this role will seem odd at first, but it grows on you—much the same as red dots did for me initially. Lastly, given how small the 1-6x scopes are these days, they would be my preference. They are the same size or smaller than early 1-4x scopes with more reticle choices, better glass and increased range. If you are going to go optical, you might as well get the most out of it. Low-Powered Optics My guess is that time will show low-powered optics becoming the norm on LE patrol rifles—it only makes sense as these scopes get smaller, lighter and more. The versatility is hard to argue; these scopes are fast and accurate at close range while bringing the precision required at the limits of most police engagements. For anything but a rifle dedicated to serious CQB work, it is a plus; for your average patrol officer, it could be a game-changer. The only downside is cost. Cheap scopes are out there, but they should stay on your range toys. Well-built scopes in the 1-6x range may cost you close to a grand, and you can spend twice as much or more. Given time and demand, they will come down in price—they already are. They are comparable to getting a proven red dot and magnifier but offer increased power and versatility. This Bushnell Elite Tactical SMRS scope currently sits atop my Tavor SAR, my preference for a patrol rifle these days. It will also be used in a local 3-Gun match or two, so clearly I am sold on the idea. Give it a try. You just might make the conversion as well. This article was originally published in October/November issue of “Guns & Weapons for Law Enforcement” magazine. For more information, visit outdoorgroupstore.com. The post Why Cops Should Increase Their Versatility with Low-Powered Optics appeared first on Tactical Life Gun Magazine: Gun News and Gun Reviews. View the full article
  7. Surprisingly few light vehicle designs have served the U.S. armed forces since World War II. The classic military Jeep set the standard not just in the U.S. but globally, starting with its introduction in 1941. Jeeps or close derivatives served continuously around the world for more than 40 years. They eventually relinquished their military utility transport role in the mid-1980s to the High-Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicle (HMMWV, better known as the Humvee), currently the standard U.S. light utility vehicle. Although it hasn’t generated the Jeep’s universal affection and regard, the Humvee’s career has been as illustrious as its predecessor. It has seen ubiquitous service in an extremely wide variety of roles and missions. After more than 30 years of service, however, the Humvee’s days are numbered. RELATED STORY MRAP & Roll: Why Police Need Armored Military-Surplus Rigs The reason is the changing nature of warfare. The Humvee is rugged, with excellent off-road capabilities for force mobility. However it was never intended to provide ballistic protection for crews, passengers or cargo on the front lines. In addition, in unconventional warfare and counter-insurgency operations, there are no front lines. The demarcation between front and rear echelons has essentially disappeared. As a result, Humvees and the troops inside them are vulnerable to attacks and ambushes anywhere, anytime. Improvised explosive devices (IEDs) have been especially troublesome for vehicles without armor protection, but Humvees have borne the brunt of these assaults because there are so many of them employed in convoy duty and other transport missions. In fact, since the advent of operations in Afghanistan and Iraq, IED attacks are responsible for more than 60 percent of American casualties—that’s more than 3,000 dead and 33,000 wounded—many of whom were in unprotected Humvees. These woeful totals demonstrate not only the inadequacy of light military vehicles in combat, but also the unpreparedness of American forces when confronted with IED threats. Troops resorted to expedient measures that seem almost pathetic in retrospect—wrapping thin-skinned Humvees with plywood and chicken wire, for example. After a significant delay, the Department of Defense (DoD) responded with the Mine- Resistant Ambush Protected (MRAP) vehicle. The MRAP’s heavy armor can withstand IED attacks. But the vehicle’s heft sacrifices speed, mobility and maneuverability. In addition, their acquisition and operational costs are high. New Requirements The need for something new and different was obvious and urgent. Both the Army and Marine Corps called for a new tactical vehicle design to replace the Humvee, providing the right mix of armor protection and high mobility for counter- insurgency warfare. As a result, in January of 2006, the DoD launched a new Joint Light Tactical Vehicle (JLTV) program to develop a Humvee successor with protected mobility. The DoD issued requests for information (ROIs) for potential producers. The new program faced several challenges, including joint service requirements and avoidance of obsolescence during development as other vehicles, including lightweight MRAPs, evolved. By the end of 2006, however, the DoD approved a Concept Refinement phase for the program, followed by a Technical Development phase in early 2008 involving requests for proposals (RFPs) for competitors. Seven companies and consortiums submitted proposals. The government selected three competitors in October of 2008. These competitors included Lockheed Martin, General Tactical Vehicles and BAE Systems/Navistar. Selection Selection of these competitors did not, however, prevent others from competing in the subsequent Engineering and Manufacturing Development (EMD) contract phase. That phase was delayed until late 2011 as the DoD refined and changed program requirements. Seven competitors—including Oshkosh Defense, which had been eliminated in the initial program phase—offered EMD design proposals. Oshkosh’s concept, the Light Combat All-Terrain Vehicle (L-ATV), was derived from an earlier design created with Northrop Grumman. The design didn’t make the initial cut. Of interest, Oshkosh has specialized in large, heavy transport vehicles for the U.S. armed forces and also developed successful MRAPs, giving it significant experience in armored vehicles. Furthermore, in August of 2013, Oshkosh and two other contractors, Lockheed Martin and AM General, each delivered 22 vehicles for about a year’s worth of testing and evaluation in a variety of locations with different climates and terrain. As a result, after submission of final proposals in February of 2015, the government announced in August that Oshkosh Defense won the competition. Oshkosh’s Take John Bryant, Oshkosh Defense’s senior vice president of defense programs, explained the company’s strategy. “Oshkosh invested significantly in independent research and development (IR&D) to make sure that we could focus of the government’s JLTV Engineering and Manufacturing Development contract and offer a more advanced and mature platform than our competitors,” he said during a recent interview. The company focused on perfecting its design to meet or exceed the DoD’s full range of structural and operational requirements. “Oshkosh’s JLTV involvement extended over about 10 years, counting our early technical development work with our partner in the program’s first phase.” Bryant added. “We weren’t chosen, but that gave Oshkosh an opportunity to work in parallel with the government’s development efforts. Our IR&D investment enabled us to evolve the L-ATV over six generations, and we could accomplish this over a more commercial timeline. We actually moved through developmental phases more quickly than the government’s technical development program. So when the government initiated the JLTV EMD, Oshkosh was already in position with a very mature platform offering incredible protection, the highest off-road mobility levels and a fully integrated modular C4ISR suite.” Winning Formula The outcome of this effort successfully addressed the program’s next-generation vehicle requirements. “The Oshkosh JLTV offering provides protection previously seen only in light tanks, the mine resistance of an MRAP, and the speed and maneuverability of a Baha racer, with C4ISR capabilities of a mobile command post, something never done before,” Bryant added. “In the most basic terms, Oshkosh offered more protected mobility at a better price than our competitors,” he explained. “The competition was intense. We also provided the best value for procurement and operational costs. The selection process was innovative, including not only technical criteria but also delivery capabilities over the program’s life. Fuel economy was very significant, and our vehicle delivers better than 10 payload ton-miles per gallon,” said Bryant, a retired Marine Corps colonel who served in tanks and later managed Marine Corps armored vehicle programs. The DoD could not formalize Oshkosh Defense’s winning proposal for more than six months because one competitor protested the decision, an increasingly common byproduct of fewer large defense procurement programs, and then filed a lawsuit, later dropped, to stop initial production after losing the competition. One reason for dropping the lawsuit may have been the release of test data showing the L-ATV’s reliability metric (mean miles between operational mission failure, or MMBOMF) was 5.5 to 13.4 times better than the two other finalists. Moving Forward Today, Oshkosh is prepared to move forward at full steam with L-ATV production. The program therefore involves exceptionally large production numbers and will continue for decades. According to recent reports, the Low Rate Initial Production (LRIP) contract is worth $114 million over two years. Furthermore, a five-year Full-Rate Production (FRP) contract, worth up to $6.75 billion, is due in 2018. The total program value is more than $24 billion, factoring in anticipated program economies. Initial Operating Capability (IOC) for both services, when the first operational units are fully equipped, is slated for 2020. The Army requires more than 49,000 vehicles, and the Marines call for 5,500. These totals do not include planned derivatives or international sales. Production will continue at least 25 years, through 2040. There are currently two JLTV variants, and three payload categories are planned. Furthermore, JLTVs may be externally sling-loaded under Army CH-47 Chinooks or Marine CH-53 Sea Stallion helicopters. They can also be carried in C-130 transport aircraft. Details So what is the JLTV all about? The Oshkosh design combines unprecedented protection and mobility. “This has never before been achieved,” Bryant said, adding, “The way we did this, we relied on our experience with the Medium All-Terrain Vehicle [M-ATV] program.” The M-ATV is the Oshkosh MRAP design created to replace the M1114 armament carrier version of the Humvee. “We leveraged the M-ATV program’s urgent and challenging design requirement to quickly provide MRAP underbody protection with off-road mobility,” Bryant continued, “creating the JLTV platform along the same lines, using the Core 10-80 protection system, but producing a vehicle one-third lighter than the M-ATV. In fact, our experience with heavier vehicles was a real plus, since it was easier to go from heavy to light than in the opposite direction.” RELATED STORY 16 Vehicles of the Special Operations Forces Because the JLTV program was a more traditional procurement effort with a deliberate timeframe, Oshkosh performed extensive iterative testing on the JLTV to ensure actual performance matched the design model. “We evaluated every single aspect of the vehicle to see how components behaved, and more importantly, how they behaved together,” Bryant explained. “With system engineering, we could optimize the entire platform’s design.” Oshkosh Defense’s digital modeling capabilities are robust enough that the company was confident its design met survivability requirements. But the program validated model predictions with extensive real-world system evaluations, including live-fire tests. Advantages Bryant explained that the JLTV design process was similar to a NASCAR vehicle. “The traditional tactical vehicle rides on frame rails,” he said. “We discovered that frame rails have little protective value, so we opted for unibody construction. The L-ATV’s monocoque hull with a subframe improved JLTV survivability and reduced costs. No one has ever offered this level of protection at this price.” Using traditional materials also reduced costs. There are very few composites in the L-ATV design, Bryant said. Additional protection kits can also be installed in a few hours when needed. Furthermore, the vehicle contains an automatic fire-extinguishing system as well. The JLTV’s off-road mobility and speed levels are also unheard of, according to Bryant. “We did that with a high-density diesel engine, the Tactical 4 intelligent [TAK-4i] independent suspension and Oshkosh’s proprietary high-pressure gas spring shock absorbers that provide 20 inches of wheel travel for good ride quality, more like a tracked than a wheeled vehicle,” he said. “The L-ATV offers 70-percent higher speed than the M-ATV, the current off-road mobility benchmark for protected platforms.” Furthermore, as for international sales potential, Bryant noted that the need for protected mobility is universal. “Every customer wants this capability in a smaller package,” he said. “Oshkosh is focused of delivering the L-ATV to its U.S. armed forces customers and transitioning into full production, but we believe future opportunities are excellent.” Given the widespread global sales of Humvees, he is undoubtedly right. Oshkosh JLTV Specs Length: Varies Width: Varies Height: 6.25 feet Curb Weight: 14,000 pounds Propulsion: GM Duramax 6.6-liter V8 Transmission: Allison automatic Suspension: Oshkosh TAK-4i Drive Train: 4×4 Passengers: 4-6 Range: 300 miles (480 km) On-Road Speed: 70 mph Possible Variants: Four-seat general purpose (JLTV-GP); four-seat close-combat weapons carrier (JLTV-CCWC); two-seat utility (JLTV-UTL); light reconnaissance vehicle (LRV) Possible Armaments: Machine guns, automatic grenade launchers, automatic tank-guided missiles, smoke grenade launchers For more information, visit oshkoshdefense.com. This article was originally published in “Tactical Weapons” February/March 2017. To order a copy and subscribe, visit outdoorgroupstore.com. The post Oshkosh JLTV: Enhanced Speed, Power & Armor for Our Warfighters appeared first on Tactical Life Gun Magazine: Gun News and Gun Reviews. View the full article
  8. Did you know that Aimpoint has never sold a flat dark earth-finished sight in the United States? It’s true. But that’s all about to change; the Swedish company announced it is now offering a limited run of Micro T-2 red dots in FDE to U.S. consumers. RELATED STORY Aimpoint Wins Berlin Police Contract for CompM4 Red Dots Micro T-2 FDE Coating These Micro T-2 FDE sights boast a Cerakote H-Series coating. The press release describes it as a thin-film ceramic coating that bonds with the sight’s aluminum alloy housing. Cerakote finishes are famous for being corrosion and chemical-resistant. They’re also touted for UV and thermal stability, in addition to durability in harsh conditions. “We needed to match our choice of color surface finish with the durability and performance of the Micro T-2 sight,” Jonas Ardemalm, Aimpoint’s director of commercial sales & marketing, said in the presser. “Cerakote offers an extremely durable coating that has been proven to perform under very demanding conditions, and it offers advantages beyond typical paint applications. We are very happy to offer this enhanced Micro T-2 to our customers in the USA.” Aimpoint says select dealers will be selling the Micro-T2 FDE on a “test” basis. They’ll likely sell out quickly. The MSRP isn’t listed in the presser, but the Micro T-2 FDE is going for $910 at MidwayUSA, and $909.90 at Optics Planet. The standard Micro-T2 was first introduced in 2014. See below for a rundown of features. For more on Aimpoint, visit aimpoint.com. Aimpoint Micro T-2 Advanced optical lenses for even better light transmission Front Flip-up lens cover Transparent rear Flip-up lens cover Reinforced protection of the turrets for even greater ruggedness Ideal for rifles, carbines, shotguns, submachine guns, and handguns Weight 3.7 oz. (105g) including mount, sight only 3.0 oz. (84g) 1X (non-magnifying) parallax free optic Compatible will all generations of Night Vision Devices (NVD) 1 Off position, 4 night vision compatible settings and 8 daylight settings Integral Picatinny-style base allows easy attachment to any rail ACET technology allows 50,000 hours (over 5 years) of constant operation with one battery Available in 2 MOA dot size Hard anodized non-reflective finish Submersible to 80 feet (25 meters) Use as a standalone sight or piggybacked on larger magnifying, thermal, or night vision optics The post Aimpoint Launches Limited Run of Micro T-2 FDE Sights for US Market appeared first on Tactical Life Gun Magazine: Gun News and Gun Reviews. View the full article
  9. Last month, the Department of the Navy released its Budget Estimates Justification Book for USMC procurement in FY19. A section of that DoD report reveals that the USMC has set aside funds to buy the Army Modular Handgun System. RELATED STORY Testing Modularity with 3 Different Versions of the SIG P320 Modular Handgun System As Military.com points out, Sig Sauer won the $580 million contract to build the Modular Handgun System in 2017. The gun is designed to replace the aging Beretta M9. The Army began fielding its 9mm Modular Handgun System, designated the M17 and M18, in November. While the Army has adopted the Modular Handgun System, the Marine Corps is still using the M9 for now. But it looks like that’s about to change; the Modular Handgun System was included in the Family of Infantry Weapons Systems section of the DoD report. “The Modular Handgun System will be purchased to replace the legacy M9, M9A1, M45A1, and M007 pistols with a more affordable and efficient pistol for maintenance,” the report says. “The MHS also provides modularity and greater shooter ergonomics over the current models, which will allow for more accurate fire for military personnel of different sizes.” According to the document, the USMC will buy 35,000 Modular Handgun System pistols at a cost of $180 per unit. In addition, Military.com speculates that the Marines want the more compact M18 pistol. This speculation is due to a RFI issued by Program Manager Individual Combat and Equipment (PM ICE) and MARCORSYSCOM in February seeking “industry input that identifies potential sources for holster sleeve for the Modular Handgun System (MHS) (P320 Sig Sauer handgun) Compact (MX18) version.” The RFI says submissions are due no later than March 30. The USMC has set aside $28.3 million for its Family of Infantry Weapons Systems. That money will go toward procuring and fielding the M27 Infantry Automatic Rifle and Modular Handgun System (MHS). Furthermore, it’ll also go toward the Compact Semi-Automatic Sniper System (CSASS); M320 Grenade Launchers; and Tow Objective Gunner Protection Kit 2.0 (TOGPK 2.0), the document says. The post REPORT: USMC to Buy Army Modular Handgun System in FY19 appeared first on Tactical Life Gun Magazine: Gun News and Gun Reviews. View the full article
  10. Aimpoint has won a contract to supply the Berlin Police with its CompM4 red dot sights. RELATED STORY Berlin Police Pick HK SFP9 TR as New Service Pistol Contract Details According to a press release, the agreement calls for Der Polizeipräsident in Berlin—also known as the Berliner Polizei— to receive almost 3,800 CompM4 sights. The sights will be mounted on the Heckler & Koch MP5 carbine. Aimpoint won the contract in an open competition. Delivery will begin later this year. “We are proud that the Berlin Police has chosen the Aimpoint CompM4 in their development program,” Aimpoint president Lennart Ljungfelt said. “The CompM4 is a very much appreciated product by the operators for its reliability and ease of use. Therefore, we know that our new customer will be satisfied with its choice.” Berlin Police Pistol The Berlin Police previously announced back in December that it had selected the Heckler & Koch SFP9 TR as its new service pistol, replacing the aging Sig Sauer P6. Under the terms of that contract, the Berlin Police will receive 24,000 pistols at a rate of 2,000 per month. The first shipment took place in January. Aimpoint CompM4 Many law enforcement and military orgs, particularly in NATO countries, use Aimpoint’s CompM4 sights. Touted as boosting individual soldier effectiveness, it operates on a single AA battery to provide a constant-on of up to 80,000 hours, or eight years. See a rundown of features for the CompM4 below. High battery compartment Compatible with every generation of NVD ACET technology allows up to 80,000 hours (over 8 years) of daytime operation on one AA battery CompM4 can be used with any AA size battery via Internal voltage regulator 7 NVD settings and 9 daylight settings QRP2 mount has twice the clamping force of the original QRP, and the mounting knob is wider and shorter to improve operation and lower the risk of snagging on other gear Mount base is keyed into to the body of the sight to absorb recoil Mount base screws directly into the sight – no separate sight ring required. 500,000 hours of use on NVD setting 2 MOA dot for close combat and long distance engagement Matches perfectly with Aimpoint 3XMag Unequalled light transmission Threaded front lens opening for a killFlash anti-reflective device Submersible to 150 feet (45 meters) Vertical spacer included Type classified as the U.S. Army’s new M68CCO Improved adjustment caps are easier to remove and protected against impact Mechanical switch for speed and reliability The post Aimpoint Wins Berlin Police Contract for CompM4 Red Dots appeared first on Tactical Life Gun Magazine: Gun News and Gun Reviews. View the full article
  11. A lot of ARs, AKs, SKSs and similar semi-auto rifles have been sold for self-defense in the last few years. Usually, new owners will take their rifles to a shooting range a few times a year to practice basic marksmanship and check the alignment of the sights. Then they put them back in the safe. Like all of us, they hope they’ll never have to use them to protect their homes. But that rifle just might need to be used someday, and when the balloon goes up, you will quickly learn that using a rifle in self-defense requires a different set of skills from using a handgun. Fortunately, there are three ways to build these skills: professional training, practice drills and formal competition. Pro Training The increase in concealed-carry license applications has created a large market for professional firearms trainers. Most states require some type of training for the license, but that training almost always focuses on handguns. Fortunately, there are quite a few firearms training venues that offer defensive rifle courses as well, including Defense Training International, Gunsite Academy, Thunder Ranch, the Big 3 East Training Center, the Telluric Group, Suarez International and many others. RELATED STORY FN’s Military Collector M16, M4 Are as Authentic as You Can Get When choosing a professional training course, there are a number of skills to look for. These are skills you can practice at your home range, including shooting from cover, working around corners, moving and shooting, clearing rooms and hallways, reloading, offset aiming at CQB distances, rapidly engaging multiple targets, precise bullet placement, shoot-no shoot scenarios, transitioning to a handgun, low-light operations, malfunction-clearance drills and transitioning to the weak-side shoulder. Most rifle courses cover the majority of these skills while providing a basic rifle safety review. Range Practice Practice is the process of converting lessons learned in a rifle class into what many authors have called “muscle memory.” Of course, this term isn’t meant to be taken literally. Muscles don’t remember, nor do they decide to act. Instead, muscle memory is really a series of mental operations that take place in the brain. Basically, the goal of rifle training is to learn the basic rifle skills so well that performing them becomes almost automatic, leaving the brain free to think tactically and create a plan for resolving a threat. In the past, it was difficult to find ranges where you could do anything but stand still and fire slowly. Fortunately, that’s changing. As more ranges host competitive matches, more are building shooting bays designed for hosting IDPA, IPSC, ICORE and other practical shooting competitions. There are two such ranges within 45 minutes of my home. At these ranges, I can run timed drills and create scenarios that allow me to hone my skills. Details I recently used the new FN 15 Competition rifle in 5.56mm NATO to run a couple of basic drills that most anyone can practice in a shooting bay. The FN 15 Competition is a high-end, semi-custom version of the FN 15 Tactical. The FN 15 Competition is specifically designed for 3-Gun and similar tactical matches. This rifle has features like a Timney trigger, billet-crafted upper and lower receivers that have been hardcoat anodized blue, a SureFire ProComp 556 muzzle brake, a free-floating handguard, an H2 buffer to soften recoil, a Magpul MOE-SL stock and a highly reliable nickel-boron-coated bolt carrier group. For these range drills, I equipped the rifle with Leupold’s 1.25-4x20mm VX-R Patrol scope, which is specifically designed for tactical shooting. This setup ran without a hitch and delivered fast, accurate fire on target using Black Hills’ 50-grain V-MAX ammunition. First Drill The first drill was a timed T-shirt aiming drill, and the second was a timed multiple-assailant drill. These are only two of the simpler drills that can be done in a shooting bay. Other drills include reloading drills; shooting-on-the-move exercises; moving to and shooting from improvised cover; vehicle-exit drills; team exercises; and room-clearing drills. Taken together, these drills provide an idea of what can be done once the shooter moves away from “square range” training on a traditional firing line. The T-shirt drill teaches the shooter to do two things: move off the line of the assailant’s fire and shoot at a target that has no visible scoring rings. It’s simple to perform. When my Competition Electronics timer gives the start beep, I take a large step to the right or left to get away from standing in front of gun muzzles depicted on the targets and get out of the line of fire as I acquire my sights. Then I fire multiple rounds at an aiming point above the center of the chest. After shooting this drill, I lift the T-shirt to see where the bullets struck. They often tend to hit around the diaphragm, especially for those of us who have trained for years to shoot at the target’s center-mass. It takes a while to learn to adjust your aiming point high enough to hit the center of the chest, especially with a gun like an AR, where the offset between the bore and scope’s line of sight can be as much as 3 inches. Second Drill During the drill, I fired five double-taps at the target from 20 yards. The average time was 3.65 seconds, and my total score was 60 out of 100. A number of shots fell just below the 10 ring, so clearly more offset was needed. RELATED STORY Gun Review: The FN 509 9mm Striker-Fired Pistol The second exercise was a multiple-assailant drill. The target depicted two armed individuals with guns pointed at me. One of the “bad guys” was only partially exposed, leaving just his head and neck visible. I treated the fully exposed target as a failure-to-stop drill requiring one shot to the chest and one to the head. The second “bad guy” required a single head or neck shot. Again, I engaged the targets from 20 yards after taking a big step off the line of fire. My average time for three repetitions was 5.45 seconds, and my total score was 75 out of 100. There were no missed shots during either drill. Rifle Matches Competing in multi-gun-style matches provides an opportunity to bring all of your rifle skills together under stress. These competitions require the shooter to develop a plan for identifying threats and neutralizing them in a systematic way. They also require an awareness of the shooter’s surroundings. This means you can’t shoot targets representing bystanders. You also must maintain cover as you engage targets, scan for additional threats and make sure that your gun’s muzzle is not extended beyond cover, where it could be grabbed by an assailant. In addition, competition requires complex skills like reloading, switching the rifle to your weak side and transitioning from your rifle to your pistol. Shooting on the clock adds pressure. When I shoot matches, however, I take care not to go so fast that it limits my ability to deliver accurate fire. As Wyatt Earp wisely said, “Fast is fine, but accuracy is final.” That’s an important point to remember. In the end, there are no guarantees when it comes to armed confrontations. The bad guy can always get lucky. That’s why we make every effort to recognize trouble early and get out of the way. However, some armed encounters are unavoidable. To have the best chance of surviving, we need to acquire and build basic skills through professional training, practice and competition. FN 15 Competition Specs Caliber: 5.56mm NATO Barrel: 18 inches OA Length: 35.7-39 inches Weight: 8.1 pounds (empty) Stock: Magpul MOE-SL Sights: None Action: Direct impingement semi-auto Finish: Matte black, blue Capacity: 30+1 MSRP: $2,249 For more on the FN 15 Competition, visit fnamerica.com. This article was originally published in “AR Rifleman” 2017. To order a copy, visit outdoorgroupstore.com. The post FN 15 Competition: Boosting CQB Skills Via Training, Hardware appeared first on Tactical Life Gun Magazine: Gun News and Gun Reviews. View the full article
  12. German gunmaker C.G. Haenel came loaded for bear at this year’s Enforce TAC and IWA exhibitions, debuting its AR 10-type CR 308 rifle under its Haenel Defence brand. Based on the company’s CR 223 model in .223 Rem./5.56x45mm, the big brother CR 308 is chambered in—you guessed it—.308 Win./7.62 x51mm NATO. The brochure says it’s available in both 16.5-inch and 20-inch barreled variants with an A2 flash hider and a QD suppressor mount. Spartanat claims 14.5-inch and 18-inch options are also available. The barrel is cold hammer forged. In addition, this rifle uses a short-stroke gas piston system. The CR 308 also features an ambidextrous magazine release; ambidextrous bolt catch; ambi 60 degree safety lever; ambidextrous charging handle six-position telescopic buttstock; and adjustable pistol grip. Furthermore, the handguard can be removed without tools. It features two NARs (Nato Accessory Rails) at the 12 and 6 o’clock position. It also sports KeyMod rails at the 3 and 9 o’clock position, Spartanat says. Meanwhile, buyers have the option of choosing between a single stage trigger (6.2-7.8 pounds) and a two stage trigger (3.8-4.4 pounds). Haenel’s new CR 308 sports a 10-round magazine capacity. Additionally, the overall weight is between 9.4 and 10.1 pounds, depending on the options you choose. Furthermore, the OAL ranges from 33.7 inches to 39.2 inches, again option dependent. Pricing hasn’t yet been announced for this model. See the specs below, pulled from the brochure. For more information about C.G. Haenel and Haenel Defence, visit cg-haenel.de. Haenel CR 308 Specs System: indirect gas operated Caliber: .308 Win. Barrel Length/Twist: 16,5“/ 420mm – 12“, 20“/ 508mm – 12” Stock: AR-15 telescopic buttstock, 6 stages Length Max/Min: 16,5“– 978mm / 894mm, 20“–1.080mm / 996mm Flash Hider: A2 standard with QD suppressor mount Handguard: Two NAR and two KeyMod rails, removable without tools Pistol Grip: Standard Sight: Foldable mechanical sight Trigger: Single stage trigger 28–35N, Pressure point trigger (Two stage trigger) 17–20N Safety: Fire pin safety, ambidextrous, 60 degrees Magazine Capacity: 10 rounds Weight: approx. 4.3kg – 4.6kg The post Haenel Defence Unveils CR 308 Rifle at Enforce TAC, IWA Exhibitions appeared first on Tactical Life Gun Magazine: Gun News and Gun Reviews. View the full article
  13. A wise commander once noted that there are two types of troops on a battlefield: marksmen and targets. While most uniformed personnel are not performing infantry missions, everyone must have the ability to handle small arms. Base qualification is the same for all personnel regardless of military occupational specialty. This even includes military band members, as they’re responsible for rear-area defense during combat operations, reinforcing military police to perform command post and perimeter security. Everyone with a firearm needs the skills to use it. Various programs to train small arms skill across the military have existed since the Industrial Revolution created the means to provide rifled firearms as standard-issue weapons. All of these programs can trace their roots to a competition shooting event that originally spawned it. The first programs began as simple target shooting from typical field positions, starting with rifled muzzleloaders and then single-shot breechloaders. Manual repeaters allowed sustained, rapid fire and magazine-fed rifles had courses incorporating speed reloading. These initial target events would branch off into their own differing shooting disciplines. Getting Real Qualification and training courses were initially based off of these competitions. However, they were deliberately kept simple and easy enough for new recruits and personnel lacking marksmanship experience to pass annually. Often, they were simplified over the years. I’ve been in the military for a quarter-century now. Changes to Army and Marine qualification courses in that time have effectively made it easier to earn a passing score. RELATED STORY 10 Experts: Can Competitive Shooting Help Real-World Defensive Shooting? Contrast this with competitive courses that have evolved to become more difficult or take more tasks into account over the years as advances in equipment and shooter skill were made. While some of these events pushed the precision envelope, “Service Conditions” shooting sought to retain factors most useful to military personnel. Skirmisher courses were created that added varying humanoid-shaped targets, had competitors running, maneuvering and shooting targets on the clock, and required use of as- issued weapons, ammunition and field gear. Enter USAMU Interest and support for these events have ebbed and flowed over the years. During the initial Iraq and Afghanistan mobilizations, the Army was again receptive to higher-level shooting events. Lt. Col. David J. Liwanag, then-commander of the U.S. Army Marksmanship Unit (USAMU), reorganized the All Army Small Arms Championship during this time. The USAMU has been hosting the annual event ever since. Like all small-arms training, this event has morphed over the years. Initially starting with National Match-derived courses similar to those that spawned the still- current Marine Corps course, this event changed to take more fire and maneuvers into account. Nearly every string of fire in the rifle event begins with a rundown after targets appear. Competitors are required to run 25 to 100 yards before engaging targets. Exposures routinely begin at 400 to 500 yards, with multiple strings of fire on the clock with lessening time limits as the shooters advance, sometimes as close as 25 yards. There are also stages with competitors first running for greater distance and scored for time before beginning a series of rundown shoots. Pistol courses are managed in similar fashion. Precision portions begin at 35 yards and advance in to 10 yards. All timed strings begin holstered and require reloads. Finally, competitors face stages similar to those in USPSA or IDPA matches where they must use rifles and pistols to maneuver and fire around cover and barricades, hitting as fast as possible with time-plus scoring. American Soldiers’ Issued Guns & Gear All of the equipment used in Service Conditions matches is as-issued. All Army, just like similar events held throughout other NATO countries, forbids “match-grade” equipment. The only gear allowed is exactly that currently issued to troops. U.S. competitors shoot M16/M4-series rifles with issued sights and M9 pistols with standard ball ammunition. Competitors’ uniforms, boots, web gear, holsters and helmets have to be common issue. Nearly everyone uses some form of MOLLE web equipment in either a belt or chest-mounted rig with an ACH (Advanced Combat Helmet), MICH (Modular Integrated Communications Helmet) or similar helmet, all depending on what the unit issues and the shooter’s preference. Holsters are primarily BlackHawk SERPA or Safariland ALS (Automatic Locking System) models. Previous events required iron sights to push the “minimal issue” aspect. As most troops in the U.S. and around world are routinely seeing optics as general issue, last year’s event allowed currently issued optics for most of the courses. Trijicon ACOG sights were the dominant choice. Most of the competitors’ ACOGs used TA31F reticles or the older TA01. Not surprisingly, the optics didn’t have a huge influence on scores compared to previous events shot exclusively with iron sights. Shooting well is primarily a factor of the shooter’s marksmanship. Equipment helps, but it doesn’t influence skills that aren’t already there. National Match Courses While the skirmisher aspects are obviously useful, precision is also important. It’s the reason why military teams continue to support formal National Match competitions. Last year’s event featured full-blown rifle and pistol National Match courses (NMCs) on bullseye targets. The USAMU did it in part to double the number of “Excellence In Competition” courses. It also provided more opportunities for competitors chasing “Leg” points. It also served as a valuable test. Average scores for NMC events are well known. But they are typically shot with match-grade equipment spelled out in the Civilian Marksmanship Program rules. How would rifle-shooters fare using a rack-grade M16 or M4, issued iron sights and ball ammunition, with no shooting coat or sling to dampen movement? How about pistol-shooters firing issued M9s at 50 yards with one hand? RELATED STORY How to Get the Most Out of a Tactical Shooting Course Good shooters have long known that the difference between “regular” issued equipment and even radical match-grade equipment accounts for 10 to 15 percent of the score at most. The difference is usually less. This event proved the truth of that estimate yet again. The rifle NMC EIC match was won with a 437 and the pistol with a 243. Allowing for a 10- to 15-percent score reduction, these results are on par with typical winning scores with match-grade gear. It should be noted that rack-grade rifles and pistols aren’t precise enough to hold the 10-ring on bullseye targets even from a machine rest. No amount of human skill can compensate for that, yet a good shooter can still earn about 90 percent of a typical winning score. Keep this in mind the next time someone whines about competitions being unfair due to fancy match equipment. Better Marksmen Almost prophetically, Army Times published a headline article pointing out force-wide flaws in marksmanship training while the All Army event was being held. The fix alluded to on the cover is the USAMU’s new Master Marksmanship Training Course (MMTC). Not surprisingly, this course builds on the knowledge base established over decades of formal competition. While the MMTC is far from the first attempt of addressing training concerns (the Army Reserve and National Guard Training Teams have run similar courses for years), it brings this knowledge base further down to more end-users. Participating in events like All Army puts personnel directly at the source. So, marksman or target? In the end, formal events like All Army are really advanced training cleverly disguised as competition. Such events offer a more stringent skill evaluation to find out what the best possible performances can be rather than being satisfied with passing a “good enough” minimal standard course. Participating in something more arduous and exacting than a routine qualification that never advances skills or standards beyond basic recruit training makes more marksmen and less targets. This article was originally published in “Tactical Weapons” February/March 2017. To order a copy and subscribe, visit outdoorgroupstore.com. The post How USAMU Is Helping American Soldiers Become Better Marksmen appeared first on Tactical Life Gun Magazine: Gun News and Gun Reviews. View the full article
  14. DoubleStar is diving into the ever-popular world of stabilizing braces with its new Strongarm pistol brace. It didn’t take long after its release for the Strongarm to sell out, but DoubleStar expects more to be ready the week of March 12. RELATED STORY 11 Aftermarket AR Stocks to Boost Your Rifle’s Fit, Feel and Accuracy The DoubleStar Strongarm is made from 6061 billet aluminum. This, the manufacturer says, gives it an advantage over the plastic or soft foam products out there in the marketplace. The Strongarm fits on most AR-style pistol buffer tubes with two clamp screws. The buffer tube must have a diameter between 1.11 inches and 1.2 inches. For even more control, DoubleStar threw in a Velcro strap. The strap secures the pistol to your forearm for one-handed shooting. In addition, the Strongarm features three QD swivel mounting points. The swivel is included. Meanwhile, a Type 3 hardcoat anodized finish means it can withstand harsh use. Finally, a hook and loop strap is included for better stabilization, “making Strongarm your shooting arm,” DoubleStar’s presser says. “With the popularity of pistol stabilizing braces on the rise, there are many that make the shooting experience less desirable because of poor materials or faulty production,” Nick Collier, director of special operations for DoubleStar, said. “We at DoubleStar know that people rely on our products, whether it is because they are military, law enforcement or serious competitors; therefore, it is extremely important to us that every part is carefully designed and manufactured in our state-of-the-art facility using only the materials and technology that will ensure our DoubleStar and Ace products will perform to our stringent standards.” The MSRP for the DoubleStar Strongarm is set at $99.99. For more, visit star15.com. DoubleStar Strongarm Pistol Brace Product Weight 4.8 oz Material 6061 Aluminum Coating Anodized Diameter 1.11″ – 1.2″ Overall Length 1.9″ Color Black Warranty Yes The post The New DoubleStar Strongarm Pistol Stabilizing Brace Sold Out Fast appeared first on Tactical Life Gun Magazine: Gun News and Gun Reviews. View the full article
  15. An armed robbery suspect was shot and killed after opening fire on San Francisco police from inside a car trunk. Footage of this officer-involved shooting is available from two sources: an SFPD officer’s body camera and a bystander’s cell phone. Watch the first video above and the second below. RELATED STORY Gunfight Tactics: 10 Tips for Fighting Around a Car San Francisco Police Shooting According to the SFPD news release, the incident took place on the evening of March 6. It all started when two officers were flagged down by two people who said they had just been robbed at gunpoint. The victims gave the officers a description of the suspects’ getaway vehicle. That vehicle, a black Honda Civic, was found shortly thereafter. The officers ordered the driver out of the car. He complied and was placed in handcuffs. The officers then noticed that the car trunk was ajar. That’s when they saw a man inside the trunk. The officers repeatedly ordered the man to come out of the trunk with his hands up. He ignored them. One of the officers fired a less lethal round to get the suspect to comply, to no avail. The bystander’s video clearly shows the man reach out with one hand and open fire with a handgun. Consequently, the officers fire back, shooting the suspect. Police later said ten officers discharged around 99 rounds from their handguns. The suspect was struck approximately 25 times. After the shooting, officers removed the armed suspect from the trunk, administered first aid and called for an ambulance. He was pronounced dead at the scene. His handgun, a Taurus Millennium G2 PT 111 9mm, was found in the trunk. A third suspect was also ordered out of the car and detained. Controversy The surviving suspects, Victor Navarro-Flores, 19, and Christina Juarez, 18, were booked and charged with two counts of robbery and one count of conspiracy. The deceased suspect has been identified by the San Francisco Examiner as 19-year-old Jesus Delgado-Duarte. Delgado-Duarte’s death has sparked some accusations of excessive force in the local community, with demonstrators marching on the Mission Police Station with signs that said, “Justice for Adolfo Delgado.” “If he had a gun or not, they still should have not shot him 30 times,” friend Rocio Navarro told KGO. “Once or twice is still bad, but I would have rather them shot him once or twice than 30 times.” “He aimed at the f*****g floor and they shot 99 bullets at him,” Benjamin Bac Sierra, a City College of San Francisco teacher and activist said at a town hall meeting. “This is a f*****g circus, to be honest with you.” San Francisco police said this is an active and ongoing investigation. The post WATCH: San Francisco Police Shoot Armed Robber Hiding in Car Trunk appeared first on Tactical Life Gun Magazine: Gun News and Gun Reviews. View the full article