Glorious SHOT week. Every year the depth and breadth of new product announcements gets a little bit bigger. Drinking from the firehose of flagship product debuts can be nearly as overwhelming as walking the endless SHOT show floor. There are so many shiny things to catch your attention it’s easy to miss a few along the way. So here you go- the kR-15 list of notabke new products for SHOT 2014
ATN X-Sight Day/Night Riflescopes
This optic looks awesome- switch from daylight to infrared on the same scope. HD video out, smartphone remote viewing app and more- for less than $700 retail. They are offering 3-9 and 5-12 power models to start but these will be hot items.
Tri-Star Cobra Marine Shotgun
Stainless steel to repel corrosion, spring-loaded forearm that claims to speed cycling (I’d like to try head to head with a Remington 870 or Mossy 500 to validate this one-but it sounds good), picatinny rail and more for $360 retail .
TacSol 300 BLK upper receiver
Tactical Solutions makes some awesome kit. Their aluminum barrels and receivers are accurate, attractive and well designed. It’s about time they tossed their proverbial hat into the BLK caliber. At $1100 retail it’s pricy just like all their stuff but if it is intriguing- the upper is ready to rock, includes a BCG and features a free-float handguard, barrel shroud that covers either your own suppressor or the tacticool fake suppressor that comes with it. They hint that the fake suppressor is required to attain a 16″ barrel length– not a big deal but be advised.
Tac-Con 3MR Fire Control Group
I remain on the fence for this one but it’s getting lots of smiley reviews from initial testers. It is basically the bump-fire concept encapsulated into a drop-in fire control group that includes a giggle switch for the rapid fire mode. The thing I like most about this is the 3rd selector position. From initial reviews it seems that the rapid fire mode shrinks the trigger reset to about 1/16″ and has a 2.5lb pull. At the end of the day bump fire isn’t accurate so is it useful? Maybe not but full auto isn’t accurate either and people seem to enjoy it- try to find a video of someone using the giggle switch where they aren’t smiling if you don’t believe me.
Time to take a couple days off for gatherings and celebration- until then enjoy this video, stay safe and stay vigilant.
I keep pondering what sort of holiday targets to bring to this year’s Christmas shoot. The gingerbread house shown here is FTW though!
Recently I explained my new thinking on ranges to sight in my BLK. However targets can appear at many different ranges and this is not a new problem relegated to the 300 Blackout. While BLK- specific optics feature dual reticles to help range different shots with subsonic and supersonic ammo, other systems exist and have been used with great success for many years.
The three common methods to correct for trajectory and/or wind on a shot outside your zero range are adjusting in inches, Mils or MOA. Inches are a system used in countless other applications so we won’t cover that method any further. But how can we simply define the other methods?
MOA stands for Minute of Angle. Imagine you divided a circle into 60 equal parts- like minutes on a clock. Except 1MOA is 1/60th of a degree. While that may seem complex the units make the system extremely user-friendly because at 100 yds 1 MOA always = 1.047″. In practical use that equates to 1″ per 100yds no matter what caliber or what distance. Knowing how many MOA per click you have on an optic, along with range of target is pretty much all you need to know for MOA.
MILs are a little different. The name is short for mili-radians: one thousandth of the distance to an object. Simply put, Mils allow the user to estimate the range to a target based on the size of the object (height/width) in the reticle. A MIL reticle has many dots on each axis that are used to accomplish this – sometimes referred to as MIL-dots. As you can see from the picture below this method is really clever but also requires strong mathematics or use of a reference chart/tool.
To use a mil-dot reticle effectively, all one need remember is that the distance between dot centers is 36″ at 1000 yards. This lets you determine the range of a target of known size. At that point, you can dial the scope in for proper elevation OR use the dots to hold over the proper amount. The dots on the horizontal crosshair can be used to lead a target (if you know the range to the target, then you’ll know the distance between dots, and thus the distance to lead) or to compensate for deflection.
Converting between the two systems is not a very clean exercise- check out the conversions noted in this image:
For that reason I think each user can choose between one system or the other. Watch this space for more on choosing the right optics for this- especially as it pertains to the BLK.
Hoss USMC puts it all together in this video…
You get to see :
- drunken projectiles head downrange!
- the best use for a Buick Regal ever conceived- it makes me wish I had held onto my burgundy beauty
- capped off with the MRAD leaf blower
Enjoy the rest of the weekend!!
Recently I spent a couple days working at my local gun club’s deer sight-in event. I landed a cool job- working the running deer target. The skill level of participants varied over the course of the days but this clip is a good example of the typical pass- dirt was the biggest threat to the running target.
A day of watching this play out over and over inspired this article- a few tips on how to shoot moving targets. The basic concept is pretty simple- lead your target enough to ensure that your shot can arrive at the desired point of impact at the right time to score a hit.
There are two types of moving targets as defined by the heroes at Camp LeJune: steady moving targets and stop-and-go moving targets. Steady moving targets are like the trolly-laden running deer in the video above. Stop-and-go targets are more erratic because they tend to run to and from points of cover or concealment. Stop-and-go targets are easiest to hit as they leave cover because they require time to accelerate.
The lead is the distance ahead of your target that you aim a shot to ensure that the projectile does not fall short of the target since it will keep moving after your shot breaks. Lead is affected by range, angle and speed of movement. There are three types of leads:
1) Full Lead. The target is moving straight across your line of sight with only one arm and half the body visible. This target requires a full lead because it will move the greatest distance across your line of sight during the flight of the bullet.
2) Half Lead. The target is moving obliquely across your line of sight (at about a 45 degree angle). One arm and over half of the back or chest are visible. This target requires half of a full lead because it will move half as far as a target moving directly across your line of sight during the flight of the bullet.
3) No Lead. A target moving directly toward or away from you presents a full view of both arms and the entire back or chest. No lead is required. This target is engaged in the same manner as a stationary target because it is not moving across your line of sight.
The USMC uses a system for calculating lead amount in points of aim- it’s covered here if you’re interested. There are two methods used to engage moving targets: tracking and trapping (aka ambush method).
Tracking a moving target requires the user to match the movement of the target with the front sight and establish the proper amount of lead before breaking the shot:
1) Point the weapon downrange and disengage safety.
2) Take up trigger slack and track the muzzle of the weapon through the target to the desired point of aim (lead). The point of aim may be on the target or some point in front of the target depending upon the target’s range, speed, and angle of movement.
3) Track and maintain focus on the front sight while applying trigger pressure and acquiring sight alignment.
4) Continue tracking and applying trigger pressure and acquire sight picture. When sight picture is established, engage the target while maintaining the proper point of aim (lead).
5) Follow through so the lead is maintained as the bullet exits the muzzle. Continuing to track also enables a second shot to be fired on target, if necessary.
Follow through is very important when tracking a target- if you stop moving before the shot breaks it is easy to miss. Remember that the target is still moving. Also this keeps you in position for a follow up shot if required.
The Trapping method requires the user to pick a spot and wait for the target to cross that spot. This method is useful for start-and-stop targets since a pattern can fequently be discerned if you study the movement quickly (OODA Loop again? Yep).
1) Look for a pattern of exposure, such as every five seconds, etc.
2) Rifle pointed downrange, safety off, trained on a selected point of aim ahead of the target. Take up trigger slack.
3) While applying trigger pressure, obtain sight alignment in the aiming area.
4) While continuing trigger pressure, hold sight alignment until the target moves into the predetermined engagement point and the desired sight picture is established.
5) When sight picture is acquired, engage the target.
6) Follow through (hold steady) so the sights are not disturbed as the bullet exits the muzzle.
And there you have it – two tried and true methods of engaging moving targets- 2 legged, 4 legged and even rolling! Stay safe out there.
Happy Monday! Treat yourself to a little Tech Assassin- this week it’s starring the HK MP7 and the iPad Mini.
Wow. That MP7 is one formidable sub-gun. Compact, fast cyclic rate, looks pretty easy to control – even by a mini-assassin!
Recently we learned a little about suppressors. Now let’s look at the different types of baffles used in suppressors:
Solid core. Baffle is a core based on a solid piece of material with some sort of cuts/holes to cut gas and create turbulences:
Common monocore suppressors include the SilencerCo Sparrow SS and the Advanced Armament (AAC) Prodigy
1- part baffle. One of the most effective designs for .22 caliber suppressors:
Common K baffle suppressors include the Gemtech Outback IID and the Huntertown Guardian SS.
These are 2-part Baffles, consisting of a 45º/60º cone and a spacer that get stacked up in sequence inside the suppressor:
This baffle type isn’t too common these days, but it’s a pretty clever design. Common M baffle suppressors include Coastal P-22 (shown above).
The Omega Baffle is a newer design concept that improves on the M baffle design to utilize a one-piece baffle that still performs at a high level. Some manufacturers such as SilencerCo and Surefire have recently updated popular suppressor designs to embrace this style of baffle core.
The SWR Spectre and Surefire 22-A are common suppressors that use omega baffles.
Once you have accomplished enough of the basics of pistol marksmanship to hit your intended target most of the time, how do you grow to the next level? That’s part of what I’m working through in my own skills development – I know that my leading shots tend to fly true but I still have hits outside the 8″ A-Zone- and my goal is to put everything into a 4″ zone inside the A. Here are 5 focus areas I am using to tighten my pistol groups:
Scattered groups can often be improved by sharpening front-sight focus. you should be focused intently on the front sight when the trigger is depressed. This means both the target and your rear sight will be slightly blurred, as depicted in the image above.
Trigger press is everything when it comes to marksmanship. This is the last human input into the weapon before a shot breaks. Even if you do everything perfectly to aim a shot bad trigger technique will cause a miss. Trigger finger placement should be one of the options shown below:
Once you can consistently place your finger on the trigger, it’s all about the press. Honing trigger press technique requires practice. Here are a couple drills you can use to improve your press technique:
Practice Slow-Fire Drills
Slow-paced execution of all the perfect mechanics can go a long way in shrinking groups. Try this drill to ingrain strong follow-up shots.
Just like any other sport, shooting requires follow through. The process of shooting involves sending a tiny projectile down a long tube at ridiculous speeds. We want to make sure that we are allowing the bullet to make it safely out of the barrel prior to moving ourselves or the firearm. As you line up your shot – utilizing all of the other steps – remind yourself not to move after you squeeze the trigger. Granted, the recoil is going to move you. That’s fine. What you want to do is be able to tell where your shot hit, or “call your shot.”
Know When to Shut it Down
You may be fatigued from work, your mind may wander away from shooting focus or you may feel yourself getting tired. In any case, if your focus is not on shooting, you are wasting ammunition and developing bad habits that will have to be fixed later.
Dynamic Pie Concepts does tremendous work blending entertainment with some tactical showboating. A lot of this is camera tricks…but nevertheless it’s entertaining
I’m not sure what I like best about this video:
- Using at least 30 mall ninja buzzwords in 1:20
- The whole tactical trash can sequence complete with Frankenstein optic
- “Power stroke that shit”