Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Feddersen 22XG Brass Alloy 10/22 Receiver

Feddersen 22XG Brass Alloy 10/22 Receiver

Fred Feddersen is one of those guys who constantly is coming up with a new ideas… sometimes it is tough to keep up.  This Feddersen Special Bronze Alloy 10/22 receiver is yet another new idea from his never idling mind. Only Fred would ask the question “why has no one made a heavy shiney high precision solid Special Bronze Alloy 10/22 receiver?” The result is the single most stunning 10/22 receiver I have ever seen which is still plug and play compatible with all factory and aftermarket 10/22 accessories.

The company is known by many names; Feddersen, R4,, and  Even with that identity crisis, Feddersen is a name people know. The company was founded in 1979 by Fred Feddersen and has become rather famous for his world record breaking patented R4 SIPR .50 BMG gun barrels.  The company’s barrels are so well regarded that they do also have several military contracts for their proprietary barrel designs.  Fred has been making gun barrels for quite some time and knows that there is more to making match quality gun barrels than just drilling a hole in a steel rod and pulling a rifling button through it.  Fred prides himself on offering the straightest bores in the industry all thanks to his patented process and machines. Each and every step of their in house barrel production is unique and in fact their entire process is patented and a trade secret process.

Unlike many barrel or firearms manufacturers, Feddersen is not buying pre-rifled blanks and just finishing them to their own specs, they are producing 100% of their barrels in house from solid round bar stock.  They have a special drilling process, a patented ultra-sensitive lapping/honing process, unique patented and proprietary SEPR - Single Edged Polygonal Rifling, and one of the few companies in the world which offer a barrel with near perfect centricity and straightness between the bore and profile. 

Amazingly enough their 10/22 barrels start at only $145, but they also manufacture ¼ moa blanks for .223 and .308. Noteable my AR .223 and .308 barrel  are the most accurate barrels I have owned including my $500+ custom barrels and my 10/22 Feddersen barrels have delivered 50-yard .12x” groups. The voodoo that Fred’s patented design and trade secret process delivers superb accuracy which rivals the best barrels anywhere.

With all the 10/22 accuracy fame around Feddersen’s barrels it seemed like a natural development to create a 10/22 receiver, but like everything else, Fred had to do it better and differently.  Fred decided on a high Special Bronze Alloy for a number of reasons. The Special Bronze Alloy receiver is stunning but there are other advantages beyond the looks.

The Special Bronze Alloy is considerably heavier than aluminum which delivers a stiffer and more substantial feeling 10/22 build which in turn should deliver improved accuracy. The Special Bronze Alloy is also naturally slick and for the most part self lubricating. I can tell you that bolt glides back and forth like it is on bearings - it is amazingly smooth.

Feddersen integrated an extended 1913 spec picatinny rail into the receiver. Another notable feature is the barrel trunnion v-block area is specced to precisely fit a .920 bull barrel profile, so instead of a gap around the barrel, the trunnion actually provides support to assure there is no barrel droop.

Feddersen is still in the process of starting up production on the 10/22 receivers, however the initial plans are to offer the receiver in several versions with polished or standard finishes. The models will includes Special Bronze Alloy 22XG, Nickel Alloy 22XN, and Aluminum 22XA billets versions.  The Brass Nickel Alloy 22XG are planned to have a $375 retail, Nickel Alloy 22XN $385, and Aluminum 22XA $175 billets versions.

I am not going to rehash the stunning accuracy the Feddersen barrels deliver, however I will point out that I have won bets with Feddersen barrels like slicing  cards at 25 to 50 yards with the right ammo. This Feddersen Special Bronze Alloy 22XG only enhances that accuracy. My best 50-yard groups are now solidly in the .1X” range with Lapua Center X.

Special Bronze Alloy 22XG $375 retail
Nickel Alloy 22XN $385 retail
Aluminum 22XA $275 retail

Feddersen 22XG 10/22 Receiver
Volquartsen Trigger Unit
Feddersen 16.25” Fluted Bull Barrel
Tactical Innovations Match Bolt and Red Charging handle
Burris Timberline 4.5-14 Scope

FJ Feddersen, Inc.

Monday, October 10, 2016

Shooting Innovations Recoil Reduction System Captured Buffer Spring

Shooting Innovations Recoil Reduction System Captured Buffer Spring

After a multitude of custom AR15 builds for either good stories or good causes, I really was dieing to do something over the top similar those build I donated for auction to the Mercury One and The Lone Survivor foundations. One of the manufacturers I worked with closely for both the Lone Survivor builds and one of the Mercury One builds was Area 53. Area 53 creates gorgeous billet AR15 and AR308 uppers, lowers and even complete rifles.

After working together to do some charitable good, Area 53's owner Charles did something surprising... he reached out to me to offer me a one-off custom billet El Jefe AR15 upper and lower receiver set as a thank you for, in his words, "my hard work with the charities". I was blown away. Charles at Area 53 had a simple request; "Do something very special with them for yourself."  So I about $2500 worth of custom one-off "special".  I wanted something that as you looked at it, you would just keep seeing more and more custom.  When I interviewed with the legendary Jesse James, he emphasized layering the custom details and that the eye should never really be able to take in all the custom elements at once. Although I doubt I will ever achieve Jesse’s level of custom, my goal was to give it a try on this build with a multitude of hand finished parts.

The theme I tried to carry through a “Four” theme in shades of grey from polished silver to black. The result was a beautiful use of carbon fiber, anodized billet aluminum, synthetics, titanium and stainless steel delivering a feathery 8.5lb rifle including the full sized 4-14 Primary Arms FFP Mildot optic.

Part of that customization were internal parts you cannot see, but in some way enhanced performance. The barrel had a custom gas port, Precision Reflex adjustable gas block, Fail Zero m16 Bolt Carrier Group and Extension, V7 Ultra Light buffer retainer, and a CMC flat trigger that you can just see the shoe on. One of the really interesting parts was the Shooting Innovations Recoil Reduction System which notes a 30% reduction of recoil.

Shooting Innovations LLC Recoil Reduction System (Captured Buffer Spring) - $150 - To even take even more bite out of the very little recoil left, I opted for Shooting Innovation’s Captured Buffer Spring which touts a significant 30% recoil reduction. Combining this with the adjustable gas block, and giant brake netted a rifle which felt like I was shooting an electric stapler with a bit less recoil than my 10/22s.

This is a similar concept but a bit different than JP Rifles captured buffer spring. The Shooting Innovations Recoil Management System adds a set of additional springs and floating brass collar which provides extra damping to the recoil cycle. SI claims that the combination of the reciprocation, dual springs, and brass collar deliver a level of recoil cancellation since all are moving at different rates.

The system does work and delivers a delightfully soft and smooth recoil. As a side benefit the Shooting Innovations Recoil System also took the “boing” spring sound out of the the recoil.

One of the odd installation points is that the Captured Buffer Spring installation requires the removal of the buffer retention detent and spring. Since the SI system is captured already, it is not going to spring out like a regular buffer spring would.

I have tested a couple of these captured buffer spring systems and they do work. They work really well when they are just plugged into a standard upper which has not had a world of tweaks, but one the custom builds they can really shine with the ability to further tune gas pressure.

The founder of Shooting Innovations, Andy Baker, does have a long history in the firearms industry and has worked for over five years to develop this rather unique captured buffer spring solution. If you are looking to drop a large portion of your AR15’s recoil or just smooth out an already great shooting competitive AR15, I would suggest taking a close look at this $114 system. It may be just what you are looking for for an even better AR.

Shooting Innovations LLC -
Mission First Tactical -
DoubleStar -
Precision Armament -
Battle Arms Development -
Aero Precision -
Precision Reflex -
Feddersen/MicroMOA/Artisan Arms -,

Friday, October 7, 2016

Clinger Atom and Stingray Holsters Review

Clinger Atom and Stingray Holsters Review

As a writer, a lot of handguns run through my hands for review. Some of those, I actually like enough to slip into my waistband to test as a concealed carry firearm.  The problem is that typically a quality holster to slide a test gun into can run $80-$100 pretty easy and… well, you know that seems stupid to drop that cash for a gun I may just send back to a manufacturer.  I stumbled onto Clinger holsters simply because I needed an inexpensive holster option that didn’t suck. The reality is that the Stingray and Atom holster I have started using are awesome holsters at any price, but for my use, the price is right.

All the Clinger holsters feature adjustable retention, high grade Kydex, compact designs, and rust-free hard anodized hardware. Clinger holsters are not just low grade holsters slapped together with high grade components; instead the holsters are made by a highly trained staff. Now having a couple of these holsters, I can say the quality is pretty freaky great for a $90 holster and stunning for the actual sub-$40 price. In fact, Clinger Holsters backs up that quality claim with a no questions asked “Bumper-To-Bumper Lifetime Warranty”. Based on what I have experienced with the Atom and Stingray holsters, I want to keep buying them. As of this article I had just purchased two more of these holsters.

Stingray Holster - Between the two holsters I like the Stingray holster the best. It is fast, tight and easy holster design that slips into the pants easy, is highly concealable with a shirt pulled over it, and can be pulled out quick at the and of the day or accommodating gun-free zones. The holster itself is extremely well designed fast drawing and due to the clip placement very concealable. The broad clip placement delivers good belt support, pulls in the grip of the gun, and keeps the grip well tucked in.

The full sweat guard makes the holster very comfortable and prevents hammers, safeties, slots on slides, and sights from digging into your side. Clinger has worked around the limitations of a single clip holster with the large belt clip to provide support , but as with any single clip holster design it still does not distribute the weight like my Crossbreed Supertuck Deluxe’s two broadly spaced clips at 3 and 5-o’clock. The one big 1.25” clip does do a pretty great job to deliver comfortable all-day carry.

Clinger offers the Stinger for pretty much every popular gun model on the market with left or right hand configurations with 15, 30, 0, and low ride cant options. Overall this is a great holster design I will end up buying for a lot of pistols. For the record, I like the low-ride cant format best, but then again I really like a very low ride carry.

Atom Holster - The Clinger Atom holster is the deep concealment model from the company and allows a shirt to be tucked in over the holster. This is a similar tuckable concept to the Crossbreed Supertuck Deluxe and copy Galco King Tuck designs, but the Atom has only one J Hook clip. There is a unique J hook which provides a gap for a shirt to be tucked in over the holster. I have this Clinger Atom holster for my Walther PPS and Glock 42. For deep concealment the simple Atom design can make a small single stack disappear. The Stingray is not tuckable, so this is where a trade-off decision has to be made of what your carry intents.

One of the problems I have with this holster is that the hook that enables the tuckable design adds easily ¼-inch to the width of the overall mounted gun and holster inside the pants. If I was rarely going to carry a gun “tucked” I would buy the Stingray. For the $29.99 price it would be hard to not go ahead and add the Atom to the shopping cart as well as the Stingray for a high level of flexibility and comfort which leads me to the next point. The Atom is not as comfortable as the Stingray due to a partial sweat guard that allows the slide and sights to dig into your side but it is more concealable. The low profile sweat guard aids in concealment, but there is a trade off. My advice is to buy both since each holster serves a unique purpose and flexibility for carry and are combined still less expensive than most holsters.

The quality is high and the design is clean and simple on both the Stingray and Atom holsters. I have had a lot of holsters over the years and I can say these are great holsters for the price. If you are looking for some great holster options, I can easily recommend the Clinger Holsters since I am still buying them, and buying them...

Stingray Holster $39.99
Atom Holster $29.99


Clinger Holsters  -

Sunday, September 18, 2016

STD Simple Threaded Device Brake Review

STD Simple Threaded Device Brake Review

After realizing that my fun time blasting away with my AR15 pistol was causing the stock price of Tylenol to raise, I decided something needed to be done to tame down that insufferable AR15 pistol muzzle blast.  Historically my prefered muzzle brake has been the PWS CQB which I find does a mighty fine job of the shooter perceived concussion of the blast on short barrels AR15 uppers and also delivers a braking effect as well. The problem is that these Krinkov and other similar brakes are usually well over $100 and I was in search of something less expensive, lighter and more compact. Someone suggested I get an STD - which lead into a whole different discussion.  The STD or Simple Threaded Device does have a rather catchy name for a really cool little brake that actually works.

The makers of the STD Simple Threaded Device muzzle brake cite reduced levels of sound pressure experienced by the shooter. I am not talking about suppressors, or mythical acoustic disintegration devices, the STD is just a really simple little brake which is designed to not increase noise to the shooter.

The problem is that these days we all screw on most effective muzzle brakes redirects the muzzle blast to 90-degrees from the shooter instead of 120 to 180-degree like a normal bare muzzle would. All these really effective brakes effectively redirect the muzzle blast closer to the shooter and therefore making it louder for the poor bastards to the left, right, and behind the gun. The idea of the STD muzzle device was to create a brake that would effectively move/direct the muzzle blast as close to 180-degrees from the shooter as possible. The result is pretty surprising and extremely noticeable on AR15 pistols and short barreled rifles.

The STD is not magic and there are compromises. It does not do a very good job with controlling muzzle rise, but really is not any worse than a bare muzzle. The STD muzzle brake is not a flash hider either and in fact can produce some freaking unbelievable fireballs out of really short barrels.  The STD has one singular purpose which is avoid breaking your eardrums every time your gun goes off.

On a rifle length barrel it does this pretty well and in fact could be a really nice muzzle device for hunters which will take the occasional shot or two without ear protection. One .22LR rifles the report was really quite pleasant, but hearing protection would still be recommended in all situations. AR15 pistols and SBRs are freaking loud and there is no way around it without a suppressor. The STD just makes it a little better and prevents the report from gettting amplified by other brake or flash hider designs. Testing has shown that the STD can reduce shooter perceived sound pressure levels by as much as 3db over a standard bare muzzle - that 3db reduction makes it seem like the report is half as loud to the shooter. If you swap from a typical vented brake, most people will perceive they have cut the perceived sound pressure by four times.

The other thing I really like about the STD is that it is tiny, short, light, and quite inexpensive. At around $60, the STD is one of the most affordable aftermarket brakes on the market and certainly one of the lightest and smallest. If you have an AR15 pistol this is an option the can bring the deafening roar into check.

Simple Threaded Device -

Thursday, September 8, 2016



Warning these Vortex ranging monoculars will end up on your “stuff I need” list. Let me sum this up quick and then I will work through the features. The Vortex Recon R/T and Solo Tactical R/T deliver the shooter a compact, quick and robust observation, scouting and ranging solution that starts at only $169. It is a “damn it, I wish I would have thought of it” idea that combines an offset MRAD/MilDot ranging reticle with a simple-to-use high quality monocular. Vortex is offering these monocular models in 8x, 10x, and 15x magnifications. All the R/T (Ranging and Tactical) models feature the mil-dot reticle and pre-ranged 300, 400, 500 and 600 meter standard man sized silhouettes. Look, range, adjust turrets and shoot. The Mil-Based reticle also allows ranging via a standard mil-dot grid system.

Line up the silhouette with a human sized silhouette for immediate ranging or use the Mil-Dots for measurement and you can quickly calculate the range all without batteries. This method also prevents rangefinder errors because grass was waving in front of you while you were snuggled into a prone position. Ahh, good old fashioned manual ranging technology paired with enough magnification power to actually see details that an electronic 4x rangefinder would fail to deliver. In my opinion, this was one of the top optic products of the 2016 SHOT Show this year and after testing, I believe it should be in everyone’s kit.

A great pair of binoculars are handy, however there are a lot of times that they seem a bit too cumbersome or heavy and this is where a quality monocular makes perfect sense. Monoculars can be tucked into a jacket pocket or in the case of the Vortex Recon and Tactical R/T they can be clipped to the belt. Technically you are getting better optics in a monocular for the money than you would with binoculars simply because you are paying for just one eye-full of optics and not two. The clarity of these Vortex Monoculars is really outstanding considering the price. The only shortcoming in the lineup is a focus-free model, but all the current models do feature easy-to-use focusing and ocular adjustment.

If you are using a Mil-Dot ranging system, regular scouting optics would require you to find what you are looking for and then get behind your rifle to relocate the target and use the rifle optics’ reticle to measure objects in order to calculate the distance for the shooting solution. With both the Vortex RECON R/T and Vortex SOLO R/T you or a shooting partner can find and range a target and the rifle only needs to be used to deliver the shooting solution. Some people would say “why do I care?” The main reason is that the Vortex Monoculars get the measurement tool off a potentially loaded gun so that you can range all sorts of stuff at football games, golfing, and keeping an eye on that car down the street all without waving a gun muzzle around. The other valid reason is that it gives you a ranging and scouting tool which will never require batteries. Once you start burning into your brain the mil-dot sizes of typical animals, human, and environmental objects, ranging can be really fast without any math involved.

Vortex has though each of these monoculars out very well. Both have belt clips to make it easy and simple to clip to a belt or pack. Other accessories include lens covers, lanyards, and neoprene covers which are compact and protective. The larger RECON R/T also includes a hand strap, picatinny rail, tripod adapter, and mini tripod.

Vortex Recon R/T - Vortex’s Recon is basically a compact spotting scope with 40 mils of positive and negative ranging ability from center. The 10X magnification does require some type of stabilization or the image starts to jump around. Vortex does include a small flexi-leg tripod which mounts quickly via the included multi-mount. The included tripod is just barely strong enough to hold up the Recon’s weight, but it does work if you get the legs bent the right way. 

The Recon R/T also can be mounted to any screw-on type tripod on either side which would be a preferable mounting if used on a bench. At $689 the assumption is correct that the Vortex Recon R/T is a significantly better optic than its little brother. Notably the Recon is a significantly higher tier of optic with greatly improved clarity and brightness all around.

It feels more rugged and is a more featured packed kit compared to the slimmed down Solo. Where I see the primary use of the Recon R/T 10x and 15x models is taking the place of compact spotting scopes in the field while also reducing the weight burden of also carrying binoculars and ranging devices.

Vortex Solo R/T - The Vortex Solo is the little brother of the Recon but with 60 Mils of positive and negative of ranging front center due to the broader field of view 8x magnification. The Solo does not have the extra lens covers, the tripod, or the hand strap, however it is the perfect compromise of small compact usefulness that would make you carry it everywhere. 

It does not look “tactical” which I think is important as a multi-tool optics for residential, urban, and even public sporting environments.  It does not scream hey I am ranging you “mother-f&&*er”. The Solo R/T still packs in the ranging reticle, silhouette ranging, and pocket clip all protected by a simple slip in neoprene case. The 8x magnification is more forgiving and easily used unsupported single-handed while still delivering a stable image picture. I can say that I use the Solo so much I will likely buy at least another one. It gets used a lot at the range to see “Now where exactly did I hit that steel?” or just to check targets.

It is easy to whip out your laser range finder, but there are many situations where I have found these tools to deliver false or unreliable readings. Mil-based ranging may not give you the perfect accuracy of a laser range finder, but the Recon and Solo do provide a tool which can validate a range and double as a scouting tool. A brilliant idea by Vortex of offering this concept in an affordable package to the consumer markets.

Magnification 10 x
Objective Lens Diameter 50 mm
Eye Relief 19.5 mm
Exit Pupil 5 mm
Linear Field of View 280 feet/1000 yards
Angular Field of View 5.3 degrees
Close Focus 12 feet
Length 7 inches
Width 3 inches
Hand Grip Width 2.4 inches
Weight 15.2 ounces

Magnification 8 x
Objective Lens Diameter 36 mm
Eye Relief 18 mm
Exit Pupil 4.5 mm
Linear Field of View 393 feet/1000 yards
Angular Field of View 7.5 degrees
Close Focus 16.4 feet
Length 5.3 inches
Width 2.3 inches
Hand Grip Width 2 inches
Weight 10.2 ounces