Tag Archives: Shopping

Simple and useful High Point Carbine mods

Armed Defender Videos has posted several videos on the High Point carbine lately. This one is great if you are thinking about buying one (useful and fun for a low price) or already have one.

Many people talk smack about High Point but simple and low cost is not always bad (ever hear of the AK-47?) These rifles are a nice addition to your collection for all these reasons:

  • Available in 9mm .40 and .45 calibers
  • Carbine length barrel makes 100yd combat effectiveness possible
  • Excellent for home defense- short footprint and better accuracy than a handgun
  • Inexpensive, Durable and fun to shoot

Budget Korean Glock Mags: Initial impressions

Finally I got curious and decided to order a $10 “American Tactical” Korean-made knockoff Glock magazine. Maybe it would work out perfect as a practice mag for the range. Let’s see how the experience was- first off, here is how the mag arrived- well packed in a sealed paper pouch:

 

Opening the pouch I found this little gem- which according to the website should be compatible with G22 and G23 Gen4s. It has steel insides and the proper number of holes in the back, although not as tightly aligned with the openings in the steel as most factory mags. The edges are a little blocky and sharp compared to the factory mags.

 

Loading the mag was a chore- it took some finesse to get 13 rounds loaded. I let it sit a few days and tried again but still couldn’t get 15 rounds in. Not a big deal for my intended purpose- I typically practice shorter splits with more frequent mag changes. On to the range test!

The first time I inserted the mag it felt sticky- it tripped the mag release but when I pressed the release the mag didn’t drop out freely like every factory mag I’ve ever owned. That’s annoying- removing a little material from the right edges would probably fix it right up. Of course that’s assuming you own some finishing stones or a serious set of metal files. The big question- how does it hold up through a series of drills?

The actual operation of the magazine was the biggest disappointment. The first time I pulled it from my mag holster and loaded the Korean mag my slide jammed up. The mag actually slid up and seated so high that it blocked the slide from releasing. And it won’t release without assistance. Once I wiggled the mag into place it fed without problems- but it was going to be finicky to make the mag work. This isn’t even a typical malfunction to get me extra tap-rack reps.

The issue with the mag sliding into the action was too much for me- don’t buy these!! After this experience I really appreciate the fit and finish of the factory mags. My advice: spend the extra $15-20 and get mags for your Glock that will perform exactly like your carry mags.

Must-Have Gear part 2: tricking out your Glock

I made a few tweaks to my G22C lately that have had a significant positive impact. Some of these were amazingly inexpensive and simple to install- not a single spring got away from me, unlike the first time I've done pretty much anything past field stripping on an AR.

Let's start with the expensive upgrade- Meprolight TRU-DOT night sights.

I realize that Meprolight doesn't recommend using a tritium front sight in the 22C since the sight is really close to the compensator ports but I'm going to risk it because the factory sight was fouling up after 80-100 target rounds. Meprolight features a thick white outline around the tritium lamps to keep the dots visible in bright light where traditional tritium sights become hard to see. About 200 rounds in so far so good- the front sight remains highly visible in various light conditions at local indoor ranges.

Changing from the Glock dot and bracket to the larger Meprolight 3-Dots wasn't as easy as I expected it to be. I shot low with them for a couple weeks and had to focus my point of aim so the center of the front dot was aligned with the top of the target. After a few hundred practice reps I made a discovery: when I relaxed my vision enough to really look through my gun at the target using both eyes the front dot just floated in my field of vision.

I could still see the rear sight but it was like the frame around my sight picture. Until that point all 3 dots from front and rear sights were what I was focused on at first. Suddenly aiming became simple- put the dot on the target and be sure to use both eyes.

Cost: $85 installed at my LGS (local gun store)

Extended mag release

Compared to the factory release it doesn't look like much but the extended mag release solves a major problem with pre-gen4 factory releases (Glock ships all Gen4 models with an extended release as standard issue): sometimes I can hit the mag release just fine but too often my thumb doesn't reach the button and I have to adjust my grip to drop a mag. Thats a deal-breaker if I ever want to give my squad a run for their money in any competition and even worse if the SHTF and I end up needing to reload or clear a malfunction in a defensive situation the last thing you want is a struggle to drop the mag.
You can spend anywhere from $5-$30 for an aftermarket extended mag release- I have no complaints about my oem simple version. However if you like even more button you can get something like the one pictured above. One thing to consider is that if you carry your Glock concealed – especially IWB- the extended release may add an edge that catches your clothing. One option is to remove some material from the button to shorten the protrusion of the extended button. Another option is to switch to holstered concealed carry – it has many advantages 🙂

Installation is a snap- this video shows how easy it is to change the release out — and it's a 5 minute job the first time you try. Unless you have freakish gigantic hands there is no good reason not to perform this upgrade if you shoot your Glock on a regular basis.

Cost: $5.17 from Amazon – up to $30 if you get fancy.

Tuff1 Grip

I mentioned it before but it's worth another plug for Tuff1 slip-on grips. I used to swear by Pachmyer but the Tuff1 is the perfect compliment to the slick polymer of a Gen3 or older Glock pistol. It gives the grip a little feedback from the cushion it provides- a huge difference as I scale back my strong hand grip to that 40% range of pressure.

Cost: $17

 

Training Options During Ammo Shortages

Support for Gun Control is waning… People are flocking ranges again and which suggests that the popular opinion is that it won't be a tough thing to find ammo over the next few months. However I don't foresee a surplus of ammo in anyone's future without paying some hoarder a royalty to obtain said ammo.

It's time to treat ammo as the safe queen it has become. Others around the world have to have some tips for us, Don't you think? For your consideration here are some training techniques we can all leverage in these desolate times to help preserve ammo – even though there is nothing like the real thing.

Copy Proven Military Techniques

The Mali Army trains without ammo using sophisticated techniques like the ones depicted below. With focus and diligence you could easily practice this drill several times a week in your own home. You may want to draw the blinds first though.

Train Using Realistic Alternative Weapon Systems

Full Auto Hi-Cap Glory!

 

Japan has sophisticated alternative weapon systems… (Reusable Ammo- this could be the next DefDist!!)

nihon gomu juu shageki kyoukai, The Japan Rubber Band Gun Shooting Association

and has found ways to keep their self defense skills sharp by forming Civilian Militias like the one pictured above.

Don't forget about Shock Knives…To Hell with the BLK SBRs– I hope these things are featured in the new GI Joe movie!!! And enjoy your April Fools Day…

 

 

At what Distance Should I Zero the 300 BLK ?

My 300 BLK project has advanced a little further- I am now the proud owner of the legendary Troy Battle Sight system. I am impressed with the fit and feel of the sights but can’t opine any sort of review until I sight these babies in. That got me thinking about what range to zero at. The combat effective range – that is

The distance from a weapon system at which a 50 percent probability of target hit is expected, or the tracer burnout range.” [copied from FM 101-5-1 Operational Terms and Graphics]

of the AAC 300 Blackout is about 440m for a 9″ barrel when using supersonic ammo. So 100m seems like a wise zero point, right? Well, the 5.56 round in an M4 is combat effective to 500m but it’s standard to sight those rifles in at 50/200Yds. [ There is a difference between yds and meters but its negligible in terms of energy and point of impact (a couple inches). here the terms will be used interchangeably for that reason.

Why not zero the 300BLK the same way? Well there is a slight difference in trajectory between the two. 

5.56 has a trajectory like the one shown above – since we are talking carbines here pay attention to the bottom. Due to the curvature of the bullet’s flight path the point of aim is the same at 50yds as it is at 200yds. For other distances one must adjust the point of aim accordingly. However any deer hunter will tell you that shots past 200yds are uncommon as lines of sight further than this are also uncommon in much of the US. For that reason this seems like a pretty sensible approach (especially if you don’t like aiming 14-20in above your target for those long shots– which is what larger caliber rifles are for).

300 Blackout Trajectories

 

You can see here that the load has a big affect on the BLK- the 220gr subs drop like rocks at 125yds. That’s what I plan to shoot most of the time from this gun so it makes sense for my intended use to look at a 25yd zero leaving other supersonic loads only 2″ lower at 25yds and from there it’s memorizing the optic settings (set either super or sub to zero and memorize the other settings for yardage and point of impact), using a BLK reticle or mils. One of the nice benefits of the BLK is that you can switch mags from subsonic to supersonic and gain a substantial amount of range (75-100yds) and still perform at least as well as a 5.56 and in some cases better. 

There you have it- the verdict is 25yd zero for subsonic ammo, 75 yd zero if you will mix it up between both and probably 100yd if supersonic is your primary ammo. 

Back to the fun stuff: 300 BLK SBR Project

Exciting news at Mission Control: I was able to purchase a 9″ AAC upper receiver and have it in hand. Today it remains a pistol (translate: no stock, just a naked pistol buffer tube is what sets a pistol lower apart from a standard AR lower) but eventually my paperwork will be complete on an SBR lower receiver. At that point I will be able to combine the lower receiver I am building with the upper receiver to create a beautiful creature similar to the one pictured above. 

 The 300 Blackout packs a lot of punch out of a compact package (earlier ravings about all the utility and innovation of the BLK if you’re curious)

  • 25% more muzzle energy from a 9″ 300 BLK barrel than a 5.56 from a 9″ barrel
  • 300 BLK has a flatter trajectory than 5.56 NATO- a big problem with 5.56 out of short barrels is that projectiles tend to tumble very quickly (thus accuracy suffers)
  • The 300 BLK was designed to run supersonic and suppressed subsonic without gas system adjustments 
  • The 300 BLK is a very efficient cartridge- it doesn’t need much powder and doesn’t create much muzzle flash. That makes powder go further if you load your own ammo-which sounds pretty good these days.

To add to the last point above- if you are running a rifle like this you really owe it to yourself and anyone around you to add a can (a suppressor, aka silencer). It further reduces muzzle flash and really softens the concussion from the muzzle. That helps not only you but also your compadres since the people around you catch most of the muzzle concussion. Good news btw- Advanced Armament makes a 7.62 can that was designed to compliment the 300 Blackout – the coveted AAC 762-SDN-6

First impressions on the upper

The KAC URXIII free float rail and forearm system is impressive. Knights Armament did a good job keeping it lightweight. The aluminum hand grip area is really comfortable. I cant wait to put some rounds through it- there is a very natural feel to the upper.

I ordered some furniture from Knights to help facilitate a C-clamp front hand grip- they offer a panel kit. The panel kit basically accomplishes what the Magpul AFG seeks to accomplish- a support for your hand that facilitates a nice, natural C (like Chris Costa is demonstrating in the photos and videos here).The Knights panels are nearly the same price as an AFG and fit this kit perfectly. Either product is far superior to the pistol grip or mini pistol grip as far as I’m concerned.

Even in a pistol lower receiver the AAC upper has a natural feel to it. The charging handle is solid- no worries about bending this baby like some of the entry-level builds and kits do. I will add an extended latch to the charging handle though. Sadly that’s all I can tell you for the moment.

What’s next to keep the build rolling?

I decided to go with a co-witness sighting approach. That means flip-up “iron sights” with a compact red-dot type 1 optic in the center. You only need to use the rear flip-up if the dot fails. Not only is it cheaper than an EOtech or ACOG, (which can both run as co-witness btw) but this is supposed to be the fastest target acquisition technique for close targets (0-150M). Great background on co-witness sighting here.

Right now I’m leaning towards Troy Battlesights for the fixed option and undecided on the red dot. Candidates include the always cost-effective Leapers UTG compact red/green dot and the Bushnell TRS-25

Eventually I reckon I will end up with an SDN-6… More on that in a future article.

The stripped lower receiver will get some love:

  • Lower parts kit- gotta run an H2 buffer with the 9″ (a heavier buffer performs better in shorter gas systems)
  • 3lb Timney trigger
  • Lightweight yet solid stock- probably a Magpul CTR, potentially an ACE Skelton
  • A solid handgrip- Magpul or Mako Group are likely candidates

 If you’re not sure yet I’m excited to bring this all together. This is a whole different 

Gun Control Pundit Mark Kelly Busted Buying an Evil AR-15

 

What gives Captain? Gun Control puppet Mark E Kelly, husband of gun control puppet and former Congresswoman Gabby Giffords got caught exercising his Second Amendment rights this week in Tuscon, AZ. Recently Mark made a tour of legislative bodies testifying on behalf of renewing the A-Word ban and enacting as much civilian disarmament law as possible.

Of course this sequence of events makes perfect sense:

 So what are we supposed to think about all this Mark? It would seem that, assuming you are an honest and truthful man,  are planning to kill a large number of people very quickly. Clearly you did not expect to be outed after purchasing a modern-day musket for yourself. Then again your wife was the victim of a horrific violent crime, wasn’t she? I may be stretching here but maybe, just maybe are you worried about being able to defend your family and your home from criminals? I can understand that- in fact I FEEL EXACTLY THE SAME WAY ABOUT MY LOVED ONES AND PROPERTY.

That’s not a crime- in fact it makes a lot of sense. One thing puzzles me though- how could you possibly crusade for civilian disarmament in the United States, the country you swore an oath to protect and fought to protect in the Middle East? I really hope you don’t expect to retain credibility now that you have showed America that you think it’s not ok for the common citizen to be able to Keep and Bear Arms but when it comes to the Gifford Household …. well that’s a different story. 

$22 for a box of 50 22LR

 

Have we hit the bottom of the supply-demand ammo madness yet? When I was training on the range at one of my local gun stores (LGS)  last night the manager stopped me to chat. He mentioned that our good old standby, the 22LR rimfire, has finally succumbed to the wave of panic buying. You may be able to find .22 ammo at normal prices still (gunbroker.com shows prices panic prices to the tune of $0.25-$0.14 a round)– if you need ammo I suggest buying it quickly.

What evidence can I offer to support this word-of-mouth intel? The LGS manager was pricing boxes of CCI Standard Velocity 22LR at $22 per box of 50. That’s right- only a price hike of 1000% compared to 180 days ago.

Dry fire practice can keep you sharp in the meantime- remember not to dry fire your rimfire (22LR, 17 HMR, etc) though since you may damage your firing pin =)

Mag Holster Review: Tagua vs. Galco

As I get closer to my first Practical Shooting competition it seems like a good idea to add reloading from a mag holster into my training regimen. I ended up with two double stack mag carriers: a Tagua MC6   and a Galco DMC22B . Both offer belt slits and snap-on options for wear. They are also both suitable for USPSA and IDPA type Practical Shooting use.

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The Tagua cost about $28 at my Local Gun Store

galcoDMC

and the Galco was about $50 at a different LGS.

How do they compare?

The Tagua is a nice, hearty leather. To fit my double-stack Glock 22 mags into it took some time and effort. A great trick I learned to help with break-in is to wrap two mags in a gallon ziploc (leave the tops of the mags accessible) and insert them into the holster. Stop a couple times working the mag into place and twist it to stretch the leather. Do this once a day and leave them in for a week wrapped in the plastic. The Tagua is nice for costing less than $30 but you should be prepared to break it in for a couple weeks and live without adjustable retention.

The Galco is easily the superior product but you pay more for the quality. In contrast I adjusted the retention screws on the Galco in just a couple minutes and carry mags securely enough to pass the ‘jumping jack test’ yet the mag draw requires virtually no effort. Once the Tagua is broken in I’m sure it will do the trick so if you’re on a tight budget just plan ahead and save the dollars.