Saturday, September 29, 2012

Clipdraw Glock Revolver 1911 Universal Model Review


Clipdraw Glock Revolver 1911 Universal Model Review
The idea is simple; attach a spring loaded belt clip to the side of a handgun so that it can be easily and securely, clipped, carried, and drawn. At some point you have seen the Clipdraw products in magazines or on the internet and wondered whether they perform as expected.  

As it seems almost every free state in the US now has a concealed carry law, folks are looking for simple and secure ways to carry a handgun.  More importantly they want a carry method which conforms to their lifestyle.  


The Clipdraw seems like a brilliantly simple idea to a rather complex and occasionally cumbersome problem. For most of us the idea looks a bit gadgetry but the question is does it work? In my situation, a buddy of mine is currently active DOD Special Operations.  I let the questions fly as I say him stuff a Clipdraw equipped .40 baby Glock G29 into his shorts as we were heading out for BBQ. 



He raved about how much he liked Clipdraw on his “everyday” carry gun.  I remember thinking, “wait a minute, a special operations guy is using a Clipdraw?”  His point was that he is usually wearing shorts or jean, sometimes without a belt, just running to the store, in between base, picking up the kids, or grabbing a bite to eat and in general usually does not have the time to slip on his Supertuck Deluxe Crossbread Holster. He also noted that in the course of the day, it was just far easier to just tuck the Clipdraw in this shorts running out the door than worrying about situating or belting on a holster.  If he was going to be out for the day, his Crossbread was more comfortable and because of the tuck feature, more concealable, however for any other carry situation of daily life, the Clipdraw equipped G29 was his prefered go to carry gun.

This was quite an endorsement from my perspective and ordered Clipdraws for my Glock 19, Ruger SR1911, Ruger LCR, and Ruger LCP which are all pistols I seem to carry often.  The other reason I bought in quickly to the concept was that I have been carrying a Ruger LCP .380 modified with a Keltec pocket clip for some time. I was not sold on the position of the clip, however the setup seemed to be stunningly convenient to carry for both myself and Mrs. Pandemic.

ABOUT CLIPDRAW
Clipdraw was developed almost ten years ago and is not what you would call a new product, but one which I feel is under publicized. The products were originally introduced by the parent company, Skyline Toolworks, which dedicated a division to the Clipdraw line of products.  Clipdraw has developed a number of other products including a Glock trigger safety block and a dedicated S&W revolver version in addition to those I am reviewing here. 



FINISH & FIT
With the exception of the black Glock model, all the Clipdraw versions are available in black phosphate or chrome finishes and in general match up to the finish on the guns pretty well.  I went with all black clips as I think silver clips are a bit more noticeable during carry.  Overall the various models had a nice finish however I would have liked the edges to be a little more deburred as I found a couple sharper edges here and there and hit any significant edges with a nail files to prevent any from biting into my pants or belts.

I had no issues from a fit perspective on any of the models with the exception of the Universal Revolver model covering up the serial number on my Ruger LCR.  Should someone require to see the serial number, the VHB tape can be removed by prying it off.  While I am noting the 3M VHB (Very High Bond) tape, it should be noted that this is unlike any other double sided tape you have run across before.  VHB has incredible adhesion assuming you use the alcohol wipes to clean the mounting plates and gun well.  Clipdraw includes about four-to-five extra pieces of tape should you decide to move the clip to another gun at some point.  The VHB is VERY HIGH BOND!  Freeze it, wiggle it, get it wet, inadvertently get a little gun cleaner on it and it will stay put. At first I was sceptical of how securely the tape would hold, however I have had no issues through this super hot sweaty summer.

None of the Clipdraws interfered with any of my holsters and none required removal for holstering. In some cases the clips slipped under or over the holster, however I had no issues with holstering.

FEEL, FEATURES & FUNCTIONS
Glock Clipdraw - The Glock version attaches quickly via a rear plate replacement.  The rear slide plate on the Glock is plastic, however the Clipdraw slide plate version is billet aluminum and it the host for the clip to securely mount to via two screws.  Swap out the plate, bolt on the clip and you are done.

The placement of the clip does not obstruct ejection, however it does cover the right side of the slide. I typically carry empty chamber with the principle of draw, charge, fire which means I could use a little grip tape on the Clipdraw device to improve grip on the right hand side of the slide. The clip was very tight on the Glock model compared to the others which I really liked and provided secure carry even during more active situations.  I would have liked the clip to provide a little deeper carry, however I found that as long as I clipped to just the waistband, in most situations the fabric would slip under the clip beyond the belt notch and provide deeper carry. Will this displace my Crossbread holster? Not completely, because the Clipdraw is not tuckable, however I do tend to carry my G19 much than I have previously.  

1911 grip Clipdraw - The 1911 model is also quick to attach and only requires you to remove your right hand grip panel drop on the Clipdraw unit and reattach the grips.  It could not be simpler.  Like the Glock, on the 1911 model I would have like a deeper carry to offset more of the weight of the heavy 1911 and also a bit tighter clip. 

The model works fine as is, however this is a personal preference to carry my firearms deeper for improved concealment and higher retention.  I tweaked the tension of the clip just a bit with a strategic bend.  In general full sized 1911 are a pain in the ass to carry; they are heavy, bulky, and have lots of sharp points.  With that noted, I was quite impressed with how easily I could carry my SR1911.  

I probably would not choose to carry it in this way on an evening out, however it does make it super easy to slip it into your pants to investigate a bump in the night, to let the dog out, run to the grocery store...etc.  

It definitely has found a permanent home on my SR1911, however my challenge with this Clipdraw is that without a really thick belt, it simply does carry deep enough or clip secure enough to provide the retention I believe is required during potential “active situations”.  My fear is that I could drop a gun on the floor during an active two-step.

Universal Revolver Clipdraw - I love my Ruger LCR .357, however I have been fighting with it a bit from a “how to carry the damn thing” perspective.  Generally if I am going to “carry” all day, I go for my Glock 19 in a Crossbreed holster, however I have hoping to finding a convenient way to carry the super-ultralight LCR.  What I like most about this Clipdraw model is that it fits the Ruger LCR and secondly that it is tuckable.  

Because of the design of the clip, it has just enough room behind the clip that you can make it work as a tuckable/shirt-in concealment option.  In .357 this is a very compact, simple and easy carry option for those that like to carry a simple handling wheel-gun.  This is hands down the best upgrade for a Ruger LCR and if you happen to have another brand, the Universal Model will fit just about any small frame revolver out there including Taurus, S&W, Ruger, and others.  The clip looks small however it is very effective because it situates the revolver deer than any of the other Clipdraws.  For guys, this would even be a great setup to slip into the waistband on swim trunks carry gun.

Universal Handgun Clipdraw - This is an all purpose model which will fit just about any gun which has a flat area the base can attach to. In this case, the previous Kel-tec clip on my LCP .380 positioned the pistol too deep and did not leave enough of the tiny pistol to grab onto.  60 seconds later I had the base plate mounted with the supplied VHB tape and the clip screwed onto the mounting plate.  

Now the clip position works perfectly and I or Mrs. Pandemic carry this constantly because it is exceptionally light and only ½” thick.  It disappears on clothing. Due to the size of the clip with this gun, I would classify this model as semi-tuckable and in most situations I can tuck in a shirt and make the gun disappear. Larger guns will obviously be less concealable, however this is a good option for the 99% of semi-auto guns out there. This is a must have upgrade for any LCP.

FINAL THOUGHTS
You have to ask yourself, do you want to make a style statement or have an option which promotes safe carry so you can protect yourself. The Clipdraw does not makes the gun look better.  In reality, none of these clips look great, however if you are carrying a concealed carry gun, looks should be the last thing on your mind. The purpose of the Clipdraw is pure and simply to provide a convenient carry system which can easily morph to your lifestyle and promote concealed carry more... after all the super cool custom gun at home is helpful in a life threatening situation.

On guns which will be in and out of your waistband multiple times a day, in and out of cars, or used for short jaunts to the store, in shorts, jeans, or a skirt, the Clipdraw is an exceptional option and has become my prefered quick carry option.  In our get home bags we have G17 and I am thinking that Clipdraws on those guns would be a very smart option as well. We all have guns we would like to carry more. For 1911’s specifically, Clipdraws provides a quick attaching option to carry and use the gun more than you would normally and can be detached in a under a minute by just removing the grip screws.

This simple carry system dynamically transformed the usability of all the guns I have mounted them to greatly extended the amount of use these guns see.  The harder to carry LCR and 1911 suddenly became easy to tuck into my jeans to go for a walk or let the dog out at night all while not interfering with my dedicated holsters. Now my prefered Glock 19 sees more carry time as well and provides a more substantial carry option to my little Ruger LCP.  Simply put, get a Clipdraw and carry your guns more. As it turns out my buddy was right, maybe simpler is better.



SOURCES
Clipdraw
http://www.clipdraw.com/

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Mosin Nagant - Transforming a Legend

Mosin Nagant - Transforming a Legend

Part of the attraction of the cold war Mosin Nagants are that they are excellent rifles for the typical $70-$100 street price but the bigger draw is that the 7.62x54R ammo, which is comparable ballistically to the .308 or 30-06, can easily be had for a stunningly low $.25 a round. At this point there is no other large centerfire rifle this inexpensive to shoot. In fact most consider it a fun plinking gun, however it is one mighty fine deer, elk, or moose rifle as well. 


At first you are just thrilled you found a powerful centerfire rifle which only set you back around $100 and have danced until you got a leg cramp after buying an entire SPAM can of 400 rounds for only another $100.  Honestly in that initial ownership period, you really don’t care how it shoots, when it was made, or by which european factory; you are just thrilled that it goes bang each time you pull the trigger.
Then you actually set the rifle on the bench to see what it can do on the 100 yard range. In stock state, fresh out of the crate, Mosin’s are pretty good and easily deliver paper plate accuracy at 100 yards even with iron sights assuming you zero the rifle first. Then you start to ask yourself “how accurate is this $70 1930’s surplus rifle?” and I wanted to find out.  

Getting the most from the Mosin means a little barrel tweaking, mounting a scope, improving the trigger, and upgrading the stock; in total my Mosin build comes in at just over $1000.  Some would ask me if I am nuts dumping this kind of cash in a $100 rifle, however the question I would ask is why not?  A comparible gun on the budget side would be one of Mossberg’s 308 packages that includes scope and rifle at around $600, however the ammo costs stack up quick as you start to shoot compared to the Mosin. My justification was that with accurate surplus ammo about half the cost of even the affordable 308 round, any investment comparatively pays for itself in only two thousand rounds; a more affordable 10X fixed powered scope and the upgraded $1000 Mosin pay for itself even quicker.  

More importantly, it is an amazingly fun project which nets a gun that can hunt any North American large game easily out to 300 yards and beyond.  I went all in and the only thing I did not do to the build was Cerakote the entire rifle, however the action and barrel were only modified slightly.  I will apologize in advance for not following my normal article format, however this has been a meandering journey which deserves an article of the same approach.

ACCURACY
I will save you the time of missing a great story as you skim for accuracy results and have this info up front. So what kind of accuracy did I achieve?  My best was a 2.23” 5-shot group.  Now you are thinking that is not that great, but then I let out the rest of the story; those groups were shot not at 100 yards, but at 300 yards with Hornady’s 7.62x54R ammo which is seriously impressive, however consider that I am still able to consistently manage 3”-4” groups with the surplus SPAM can ammo.  I can relentlessly hammer the 300, 400, and even 500 yard 12” steel gongs on our range.  Let me tell you these is something very special unlike anything you can imagine knowing you transformed a $100 rifle into a precision long-range tool that lets you vaporize clay pigeons at 300 yards.

THE MAJOR PANDEMIC MOSIN NAGANT BUILD
This build started when a long-time reunited friend presented me with a 1930s Tula 91/30 Mosin Nagant minutes before we were heading out to the range just because he wanted to see what I could do with it. I had wanted one, however never had pulled the trigger on a purchase. In the friendly banter of “you don’t need to give me a gun”, and the polite insistence of my friend, it came out that he owns more than a few and in fact had been buying them by the case for $69 each and now owned around four dozen. I accepted and we grabbed a handful of surplus armor piercing rounds and headed to the range.


STOCK STATE
That day we only shot around 20 rounds through the Mosin which shot over a foot high and right from point of aim, however I was hooked and we Kentucky windaged our way to shooting some cans.  Once home I headed to the range again with a couple packs of Romanian 147gr light ball ammo  from a SPAM can and was able to properly zero the rifle with a few taps to the front sight with a hammer.  On the 100 yards range, the Mosin managed to keep all the bullets within the 10” pie plates used as targets.  The question was would a scope net better accuracy?

SCOPE MOUNT
After a little research, all the Mosin nerds seemed to have the highest regard for Rock Solid Industries so I placed a call and what I received from the owner, Ken, was much more than “what’s your credit card number?”  



Ken downloaded about three years of Mosin R&D into my head in about ten minutes.  In the end, I not only ordered the Rock Solid Mosin Scope mount, but also their bedding pillars, hex receiver bolts, and their bolt weld service where my bolt handle is transformed to a scope clearing bend. I sent in my bolt and about a week later, I received my old bolt back with the handle rewelded to a scope friendly position along with the other Rock Solid Parts.

The Rock Solid mount requires drilling and tapping for installation and was something personally I had not done before.  This sounds rather intimidating, however it really involves no more than buying the appropriate $5 Irwin drill and tap combo from your local hardware store, aligning the mount on the receiver and taking your time drilling, tapping, each hole one at a time. The Rock Solid Mount finds its home when placed on the Mosin receiver and only required just a bit of eyeball alignment before my first hole was drilled and tapped.  



Tapping is easy, just go slow, one turn in, half turn out; repeat until the hole is threaded.  Plenty of lube helps or at least coating the tap with candle wax in a pinch. 

Place the scope mount, tighten in the first bolt and then use the scope mount as a guide and step through drilling, tapping, and tighten each hole and bolt until you are done with all three.  I did need to Dremel shorten a couple screws to allow the bolt to cycle. At that point you have a Rock Solid scope mount. I also bedded the mount with Gorilla 2-part epoxy. To do this I sprayed the scope mount with silicon mold release spray and then applied the epoxy to the receiver and let the epoxy set. This allow the scope mount to removed at some point should the need arise.

You can reuse the old stock by just inletting a place for the improved bolt to drop into with a Dremel tool.  My Mosin did not require any inletting for use with the Rock Solid scope mount however some do require just a bit for clearance. 


If you are fighting zombie hordes, you could attach a XPS2 Eotech Zombie Stopper sight, which I will note netted me solid 4”-6” groups at 100 yards. So already the Mosin is starting to show some big accuracy gains and makes one heck of an inexpensive Zombie gun.

STOCK
You could also go nuts and bed the barrel, drill the old stock for bedding pillars and/or inlet for a Timney trigger, however I decided that the more fun route was to look to a new company now serving Mosin owners with kick ass hard rock maple affordable stocks. Bluegrass Gunstock Company actually began by working with Rock Solid Industries on a target stock for Mosin Nagant rifles.  



Being a writer occasionally has its privileges and after emails were traded with Rock Solid who gave me Morgan’s name at Bluegrass, the result of that connection was my possession of the second Bluegrass Tactical Stock ever made. The Bluegrass Gunstock base model is an outstanding deal for $118.

The Bluegrass Tactical Stock is a TRG sniper style stock made from solid hard rock maple. It features a deep palm swell with a comfortable grip material added on the grip and handguard.  The stock also free-floats the barrel which maximized the accuracy of our free Mosin Nagant.

 
Bluegrass deeply solicited my feedback.  Those discussions morphed into a $167 option pre-finished complete with inletting for Timney Trigger safety, Rock Solid bedding pillars and scope mount, a little more adjustment on the adjustable cheekpiece, and chamfering the stock for the bolt and potentially a few more upgrades coming on future models. Pillar bedding only requires you to 2-part epoxy the aluminum pillars in place (the pillars look like to small pieces of aluminum pipe). Currently the stock is available in black, OD green, a beautiful natural finish and upgraded custom woods as well.

Just by slipping on the stock with the Eotech my groups shrank to the low end of the 4” range at 100 yards with surplus ammo and transformed the rifle into a modern looking sniper rifle. 



A huge bonus of this stock is that the rifle stops kicking like a shoulder bruising mule and more like a soft shooting .223.  Due to the recoil reducing palm swell design and cushy buttpad, you can pound through 100 rounds easily without feeling a thing.  With this stock the rifle becomes a painless plinker.

TAMING THE TRIGGER
There are many things great about the Mosin Nagant, however the triggers sucks in a mighty way.  There are tuning techniques out there to improve the feel, however after talking with more than a few very happy Timney triggered Mosin owners, I sprung for Timney’s Mosin Drop-In Match Trigger Group.

Someone at Timney definitely saw the potential of the Mosin and decided the right thing to do was make a stunning trigger. Like all Timney triggers, this Mosin version is spectacularly crisp and mounts as a drop in replacement for the stock trigger. 



This trigger group not only delivers a world class match grade trigger, but also adds a thumb safety to the Mosin.  Yes, this means you do not need to use your Jeep with a winch just to pull back the retarded bolt safety on the Mosin; a simple and civilized thumb actuation will kick the rifle on and off safety.  

If you are using the Rock Solid bedding pillars you will need to notch the aluminum pillars for clearance of the sear before they are bedded otherwise you will not get your trigger or action to seat without modifying the rear pillar first.  This upgrade enabled my groups with the Eotech to drop under 3” at 100 yards with the same SPAM can surplus ammo I had been using.


SCOPED POWER
As you know from my articles, I like Bushnell optics from their value to premium lines. In this case I was planning for the $200 Fixed power 10X Bushnell Tactical Elite Mil-Dot scope, however due to backorders, I ended up with the 5-15X version instead.  




This scope will end up on one of my 308 rifles when a 10X version is available as I think the $200 scope is a more price appropriate and would keep the total price well under $900.

With the Bushnell 5-15X LRS Tactical Elite 40mm Mil-Dot Scope bolted up to the Rock Solid mount, I was greeted by my familiar Mil-Dot reticle and super clear optics which allowed me to deliver consistent 1.25” 100-yard groups with surplus ammo and sub-1” groups with the Hornady 7.62x54R Custom Ammo.

CROWN ME BABY
More than a few folks have noted that old rifles should always be re-crowned and I certainly saw that after recrowning an old 10/22 barrel which delivered groups half the size it did originally. I placed an order with Pacific Tool and Gauge for a 308 caliber 11 degree crown tool and a tube of their Snake Venom cutting oil.  Typically recrowning involves a $6000 lathe and a fair amount of expertise on how to use it.  The PTG crowning tool works with any larger  ½” chucked hand drill (note most electric drills are ⅜” chucks and are too small). 



Place the drill in your vise with the bit pointing skyward and lube the bit liberally. Lube up the barrel and slip it on the crowning tool.  The tool and guide should fit snugly, but not tight in the barrel.  Use slow drill speed to recut the crown.  This entire process will probably take around five minutes. Just don’t rush.  To finish the crown, use a large brass screw ($1 from hardware store) and spin it on the crown forward and reverse in an oscillating movement to remove any machining burrs on the rifling... done.

If you want a shorter barrel, just chop the barrel with a hacksaw and recrown the barrel.  Generally it is believed that accuracy is most influenced by the chamber and the last 2” of the barrel. Most critical are the last 2” where the crown must be concentric to the bore.  Most often you will find that a simple barrel recrowning will have a stunning impact on accuracy. After the recrown I saw a 30% improvement in accuracy with a few .7” 100-yard groups with Hornady Custom 7.62x54R ammo and most surplus ammo grouping right in the 1” range at 100 yards.  Yes, in fact your standard off the rack Mosin is sub-1” capable, it just takes a little tuning.

FINAL TOUCHES
I could not just leave my Mosin with the old iron sights and in original state; it needed some color.  My FFL dealer has a killer looking bonafide custom sniper rifle which has been known to take groundhogs at over 700 yards. It had a OD green stock and black action, so I did the reverse and decided on a green action after removing and filing down the front sight and de-pinning, de-soldering, and filing down the rear sight.


 

The finish is a simple OD green Krylon finish after plugging the breech and barrel.  After I allowed it to dry for 10 days (Krylon recommends 7 days for full hardening), I then coated everything with a spray lacquer. Krylon by itself is not oil and cleaning solvent resistant and will pretty much come off as soon as solvent hits it, however lacquer is surprisingly tough stuff and with only a couple coats will make you Krylon finish more durable and highly solvent resistant. 



The lacquer finish is really aggressive going on, so make sure you do angel light coats with an hour drying time minimum or you will buckle the entire Krylon finish.  I did about four or five light coats.  Recently I was told the Dupli-Color High Heat Enamel with Ceramic spray paint in automotive store in a Cuming Deisel tan/beigh is solvent resistant, however colors are limited to glossy finishes.

The bolt was cleaned and steel wool polished then hand rubbed about ten times with Perma Blue to produce the black pearl finish shown. The paint does not affect functioning and I have had no problems with heat distortion.

FINAL THOUGHTS
So here we have a $1000 Mosin Nagant which some would say I am nuts for building and putting this money into, others would say I have perverted the purity of the historic Mosin.  I would say to those people you have missed the point I am striving for.  The question was asked and answered by the voice in my head and this experiment of how accurate a Mosin really can be? 3”-4” 300-yard groups would make me smile with my high end 308, and doing it with circa 1950 surplus ammo that only costs $100 per 400 rounds is just amazing.

There are still a few tweaks I am planning on testing including polishing the bore with Never Dull, handloading my own rounds, and tweaking surplus rounds.  



I will keep you posted with those updates as well as in depth reviews of the components used in this build.

What I have attempted to do here is take the Mosin and update it to a modern rifle with improved shooter comfort and drastically increase the accuracy potential. These are really inexpensive guns which are screaming for a project such as this, if you really want that historic version, buy and extra after all they are only $100.

 

SPECS
Mosin Nagant 91/30 - Free from a friend (regularly $70-$100)
Bluegrass Gunstocks - Full Tactical Package Gun Stock $167.99
Rock Solid Industries - Round Receiver Scope Mount $100
Rock Solid Industries - Bolt Handle Welding Services $50
Rock Solid Industries - Bedding Pillars & Hex Action Screw - $20
Timney Trigger - Mosan Nagant Match Trigger $94.99
Bushnell 5-15X LRS Tactical Elite 40mm Mil-Dot Scope - $449
Pacific Tool & Gauge 308 11 degree crowning tool - $66
Approximate Total $1047.98

SOURCES
Bluegrass Gunstocks
http://www.bg-gunstocks.com/

Rock Solid Industries
http://www.rocksolidind.com

Pacific Tool & Gauge
http://shop.pacifictoolandgauge.com

Timney Triggers
http://www.timneytriggers.com/

Hornday
http://www.hornady.com/

Bushnell Optics
http://www.bushnell.com/

Monday, September 24, 2012

Mako Grip Stock Sling Magazine Pouch Review

Mako Grip, Stock, Sling, Magazine Pouch Review

Mako Group is an interesting Israeli company with a long history of producing some very innovative combat proven accessories at extremely competitive prices for the Israeli and other special operations forces around the world.  Their designs are no-nonsense light, slim and trim without any “Tacticool” frills.  Every nuance of their designs have some proven and tested tactical reason. While upgrading my Aero Precision build with White Oak barrel, Young Machine M16 Bolt Carrier Group, Geissele Trigger, Syrac Ordnance adjustable gas block, and PRI quiet brake I decided on using Mako grip and stock on this high end build.  While I was cruising The Mako Group’s site, I added their single point sling, 5.56 magazine pouch, and detachable sling to the order.  In the past I have been very pleased with the quality of their innovative common sense designed components such as the grip and recoil reduction stocks I have reviewed previously.


The Mako Group GLR16 M4/AR-15 Stock
This stock is a direct replacement for any sized buffer tube; commercial or mil-sepc.  The GLR16 has an internal self-adjusting tension system which allows the stock to fit or be swapped between a commercial or Mil-Spec buffer tube.  Another advantage of this feature is that it is a rattle free stock. 


Along with a quieter stock, the very trim design of the GLR16 has a built in storage compartment for two CR123A 3V lithium batteries or two AA batteries and will hold either battery type without any rattles. As with the previous Mako Group stock I reviewed, the chevron rubber but pad offers a nice cushion and very secure mounting surface whether you are wearing a t-shirt or body armor. 

The Mil-Spec reinforced polymer composite body is very tough and uses steel hardware but still remains only 9.7oz.  If you have a sling, you will have plenty of attachment points; the GLR16 has six total attachment points for single, 2-point, and 3-point slings.  Just a note that this is such a well regarded stock that it is the standard issue for Israeli Defense Forces and is the stock used on one configuration by SIG on their SIG 556 rifle.

So let’s put this stock head to head with the Magpul MOE Stock.  Yes the MOE stock is less expensive by about $25, however the Magpul is 12 oz, the GLR16 is 9.7oz.  The MOE  does not have any internal storage, the GLR16 does, the MOE has not QD-sling mounts, the GLR16 has two.  The Mako stock even has more sling attachment points all while fitting both mil-spec and commercial buffer tubes and being completely rattle free.  I like my Mako MOE stocks however this is a lighter and more full featured stock all the way around. 


SPECS
Weight       9.7 ounces  (276 gr)
Width            1.9"  (48 mm)
Height           5.1"  (130 mm)
Length           7.1"  (180 mm)
Color Black, FDE, OD Green
MSRP          $83.99

Mako Group Tactical Single-Point Bungee Sling – Bungee
I have been considering doing a little 3-Gun shooting and tactically I like the features of the single point sling.  The problem is that static single point slings can be a bit brutal on the shoulders in just a T-shirt.  After talking this over with my buddy who is DOD Special Operations, he indicated everyone uses a bungee style sling to improve comfort and prevent restriction of movement. 


The Mako Group Tactical Single-Point Bungee Sling is a steal for only $22 and provides all the features I was instructed to look for.  It features a bungee section for comfort and movement, steel snap clip and bungee section are shrouded by webbing for quiet operation, easy adjustment, and quick-release buckle allows sling to be removed without taking it over the head which is a feature useful when worn under a jacket or if an injury occurs.  


The sling works as advertised, however my one complaint was an inability to swap out the clasp for a QD-mount, or other style clasp.  The steel clasp is securely sewn in and prevents the swap to QD or other type sling mount. Actually I ordered the QD-Sling mount stud thinking I would be able to swap the clasp.  For those rifles which have a ring style single mount buffer tube plate mounting point such as the Phase 5 Tactical Revolution mount shown, this sling works very well and has been completely indestructible, comfortable and very quiet. All around a feature rich inexpensive single-point sling I would buy again to dedicate to other rifles.

Mako Group Polymer Magazine Pouch with Belt Paddle for 5.56mm Magazines - 556 Pouch
In my consideration of wanting to start shooting 3-Gun, I have been looking around for an inexpensive way to holster up several AR15 magazines and did not want to jump right in with a complete $400 Safairland 3Gun rig. Let me tell you that the 3-gun craze has not made this type of accessory a cheap item.


Then I stumbled on the $22 Mako Group 556 Pouch which is so freaking simple I am ticked off I did not think of it.  The 556 Pouch/magazine holster was designed as a quick grab and go and/or under cover option where a duty belt would be too slow to attach, cumbersome, be too noticeable.  


This is a superbly executed and inexpensive accessory which I am sure the 3-Gunner crowd would eat up.  The clip works the same as a paddle style holster and securely clips into the pants or shorts over the belt.  I have found that it also holds very well even when clipped into drawstring shorts which you will find me in on super hot range days.  With this key slip on feature in mind, it is a very valid personal defense accessory to your AR. 

I was interested to see how the pouch worked with various types of magazines and have had no issues with Mil-Spec, Magpul, or Troy magazines. More importantly, the 556 Pouch is super comfortable and with a wider 1.5” loop width belt, several could be worn for competitions or for training.  I have also extensively used this Mako Mag Pouch holster to train with my S&W M&P 15-22 and it holds those magazines as well. I need several more of these to dedicate to each of my rifle’s kits... this super simple design is really pretty awesome and for $23, that this only the price of a magazine.


SPECS
MIL-SPEC reinforced polymer.
Weight     2.96 ounces (84 gr)
Width      1.8" (46 mm)
Height     3"  (77 mm)
Length       4.4"  (111 mm)
$22.40

Mako QD Sling Swivel – SLS – QD sling mounts are all the rage and are now becoming more prevalent than ever, so in my opinion you can never have too many.  The CNC machined steel QD Sling will mount to any Mako QD equipped buttstock or to any quick release socket which are standard sized. The idea is simple, push the center button, insert the swivel and the swivel locks in place; to remove the swivel push the button again.  There are various loop widths available on QD slings however Mako only offers the 1.5” width loop which is compatible with the vast majority of slings.  I have seen people charging exorbitant prices for QD swivels however $12.80 MRSP is very competitive.

Mako Israeli Defense Forces Pistol Grip for M16/M4/AR-15 - AG-43
I have used this grip before on my DPMS 7.62x51 AP4 build and have liked it so much much that I decided to use one again on this build. You may have seen similar “ergonomic” grips before however this one will not leave your hands blistered as I have experienced on other competing models.  Let me tell you that if my AP4 is drastically more comfortable to shoot long-term, then your AR15 will be as well.  

Mako notes the pistol grip provides an improved shooting angle, better control, less slipping and less wrist fatigue than other grips.  The grip proved itself to me on the big AP4 and again on this upgrade. On my AP4 the grip did have a little gap at the top of the beavertail due to the different 308 platform, however it fit perfectly on my mil-spec Aero AR15. The beavertail added a lot of comfort for me and seemed to position my hand higher and more comfortably to control recoil.


To pick on Magpul again, I have had one situation where my grip compartment auto opened running standing to prone firing drills with an AR15, however that will likely never occur on the AG-43.  The Mako AG-43 required a bullet tip or screwdriver to pop open the grip storage compartment which at first I didn’t like, but now I prefer it.  Generally you are not putting things in the grip you need quick access to, but backup parts which may never get used.  My only regret was not buying this grip and the stock in FDE as I seem to getting a little tired of an all black rifle.

SPECS
Lifetime Replacement Guarantee!
MIL-SPEC reinforced polymer composite.
Weight       3.4 ounces  (96 gr)
Width         1.3"  (33 mm)
Height       5"  (127 mm)
Length       3.27"  (83 mm)
Color Black, FDE, OD Green

FINAL THOUGHTS
Again The Mako Group impresses with competitively priced products.  If you are looking for Tacticool products, then Mako’s designs may not appeal to you, however as a guy how has trained with real life Isreali Special Forces guys, these guys and their equipment are the epitome of the phase high speed, low drag.  This “everything to do the job and nothing more” design attitude carries through the Israeli Mako Group’s products. The question should be; do you really need anything more?

SOURCES
The Mako Group
http://www.themakogroup.com

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Eotech XPS2 Zombie Stopper Sight Review

Eotech XPS2 Zombie Stopper Sight Review

Zombies of course require a precise shot to the brain to stop them, so with that in mind precision shot placement on target is more important than ever when you have an infected horde coming to eat you.  As has been proven in military studies, and by the special operations community, Eotech sights help you put shots on target better than just a red dot.  

There is something to that circle-dot reticle, however Eotech decided it could be even better for the suppression of blood thirsty zombie attacks.  Lately there have been some VERY odd happenings such as that dude down in Florida eating that other guy… I would classify him as a zombie considering the shots it took to put the guy down.  I thought perhaps it was time I procure a dedicated zombie attack optic and slapped down the cash for the Eotech XPS2 Zombie Stopper.

FIT, FEEL, FINISH, & FEATURES
Like all Eotech sights, the XPS2 Zombie Stopper is a mighty fine quality sight which can take the beating any horde can dish out as well as any punishment from rough exits as you outrun a few rogue zombies.  The finish is impeccable and fed by only a single transverse loaded CR123 battery. The sight is essentially the widely popular Eotech XPS2 but with biohazard logos and Eotech’s Circle-Dot standard reticle expanded to a biohazard design.  

Absolutely the coolest reticle you will ever shoot from.  Working closely with military contacts, I again returned to the ZNTF (Zombie Neutralization Testing Facility) in Area 51.  We loaded up a couple thousand rounds of Hornady Zombie Stopper ammo and a few other rounds I would curious to test the effectiveness of. Rifles included in testing were my Black Rain Ordnance Fallout-15, Houlding Precision custom AR, Mosin Nagant, and Troy chassised 10/22 with Nordic retractable stock.



The big features I love on Eotechs are that have pristinely clear optics, and unlimited eye relief, and are parallax-free from zero to infinity, so if a zombie suddenly appears in from of you at 5 yards, the 3'-8” of parallax error common on other red dots at that distance will not throw you off your mark and make you into zombie dinner.

At only 3.5”x2”x2.4” and only 8oz, it is both compact and lightweight.  Providing over 600 hours of continuous operation on the normal setting and much longer if the sight is shut down when not in use, you have realistically a 6-12 months of battery life to keep you shooting.

FUNCTION
Functionally there were no surprises; it works just like any XPS2 but with a far cooler reticle. Press either of the rear operation buttons on the sight and the biohazard reticle jumps to life instantly.  The reticle can then be adjusted up or down using the two controls.  To turn the unit off, simply hold down both buttons for more than four seconds. To conserve battery life, the sight auto shuts down after 8 hours on inaction but can be programmed to auto shutdown after four hours.


Yes amazingly this is a real pic of the reticle

Our team found this sight to be a highly versatile on all the firearms tested at the US Military ZNTF.  We found that the sight allowed us to easily make hits on zombies out to 500 yards and occasionally even connect with the brain at those distances.  With a Rock Solid scope mount attached to a Mosin Nagant, the team ran through an entire spam can of surplus 7.62x54R.  The reloads are a little slow on the Mosin without stripper clips, however it proved a violently effective firearms on the rotting zombie flesh.  

The Black Rain and Houlding Precision ARs were the most effective and fastest way to thin the horde-ish herd and the Troy T-22 Chassis 10/22 was extremely fast to shot and actually provided the fastest shooting option for exterminating zombies with head shots. The bio-hazard logo is cool and  we also found it to add a lot of fun to the shoot as well as being a nice little moral booster in a zombie pandemic situation.

FINAL THOUGHTS
I have heard more than a few people emit various four letter words when seeing the price of the XPS2 Zombie Stopper, however it is the same exact quality as a standard XPS2, but with the biohazard reticle and logo. This is no play toy or a dumbed down version, this is a real deal Eotech XPS2 which can handle the recoil of everything from .22LR to .308 and larger calibers.

The XPS2 Zombie Stopper is the right tool for zombie extermination and provides the user with a very fast operating sight build on a proven XPS2 platform.  Whether you are shooting zombies or jsut having a little fun at your local match, the Zombie Stopper Eotech sight will certainly put a smile on your face.

SPECS
New BIOHAZARD reticle
Single transverse 123 battery to reduce sight length
Shortened base only requires at most 2 3/4 inch of rail space
Battery cap is a simple O-ring, tethered cap that offers a better seal
Average battery life at brightness level 12 is roughly 600 hours
Suggested Retail from $559.00



Operation
    Optics: Transmission holography -  parallax free
    Magnification: 1x
    Eye Relief: Unlimited
    Length/Width/Height: 3.5"x 2"x 2.4" (88.9x50.86x60.96)
    Weight: 8oz (227 grams)
    Temperature: -40 to 150 F
    Waterproof: Submersible to 10 ft depth
    Sealing: Fogproof internal optics
    Adjustment (per click): 0.5 MOA (1/2" at 100 yds)
    Adjustment Range: +/- 40 MOA travel
    Mount: 1" Weaver or Picatinny (MIL-STD-1913) rail
    Return to Zero: Repeatable to 2 MOA after re-mounting
    Night Vision Comatibility: none

Heads-Up-Display Window
    Optical Surfaces: Anti-glare coating
    Window Dimensions: 1.20" x 0.85" (30 x 23mm)
    Front Window Material: 1/8" solid glass
    Rear Window Material: Shatter resistant laminate (3/16" thick)
    Field of View (100 yds): 30 yds (28m) at a 4" eye relief

Electrical
    Brightness Adjustment Range: 146,000:1 brightest to lowest
    Power Source: (1) 123 lithium battery
    Battery Life: 600 continuous hours at nominal setting 12
    Brightness Settings: 20 settings with scrolling feature
    Auto Battery Check Indicator: Flashing reticle upon start-up
    Auto Shut-down: At 8 hrs- programmable to 4 hrs




SOURCES
Eotech Inc
www.eotech-inc.com