Today I took my newest LWRC rifle to the range to break it in. This is a combat rifle and I expect that it eventually get pretty beat up, but it’s always a good idea to run through some firing drills before you rely on it. Some of the biggest malfuntion problems I have seen on the firing line were with supposedely brand new out of the box rifles. Sometimes there are bugs or issues that are easy to fix, but you really need to put some lead down range with your rifle or pistol before you rely on it. I’ve mentioned before about a time when I saw a guy show up with a Beretta 92FS inox pistol and it jammed after every round. The shooter was very frustrated because this was it’s first range trip. Well, turns out that the pistol was bone dry and had absolutely zero lubrication on it and with one wipe down, the gun ran flawlessly. The same should go for any firearm. I strongly suggest cleaning guns every once in awhile, even if you haven’t shot them. Lubrication can run off of guns or drain off, and I also highly recommend using a small level of grease on even pistols, especially if they may sit in a gun safe for long periods of time.
My LWRC defanitely runs on less lubrication that any direct impingement rifle, but I am going to use small amounts of Break Free CLP on it just to help reduce the amount of wear on the parts. I have tested previous LWRC rifles out and they have all lived up to my expectations. The product has been modified over the last 3yrs, but I’d have to say that they were big improvements, mostly on the bolt carrier and short stroke piston designs. My favorite configuration is the shorter version that is close the militaries version of the M4 Carbine. The M4 Carbine is the fastest CQB rifle, but it is possible to inhibit the speed of the rifle by putting too much optic on the rifle. The rifle is meant for close range fighting and anything more than 4X is too much. The lethality and ballistics of the M4 make it a very good close range fighting rifle, but even though the rifle is accurate out to 600yds, it is a very week round at those distances. You may be better off with a longer barrel AR15 variant and mounting 4-10X rifle scopes if you aren’t looking for a close range fighting rifle. I am starting to see a trend away from magnification on the M4 and even many of the Trijicon ACOGS are now mounting red dots because we know that even 3-4x magnifications will slow you down at pistol range distances.
Removing dust and debris from the interior helps to rid the lens of unnecessary obstructions. Begin by dismounting the screws that are attaching the scope to the rifle – but be sure to use a properly sized screwdriver. From there, you can use an optical cleaning wipe or some fluids and cloths from a specifically designed kit. When the scope is remounted, you should notice a marked improvement, which will improve your marksmanship.
It’s certainly no secret that a scope vastly improves a hunter’s ability to zero in on potential prey. In order to squeeze off the best shot, accuracy and precision need to be optimized. All too often, hunters align their rifle scopes and then proceed to forget about basic maintenance procedures. With some minimum care and effort, you can keep your scope in pristine condition for years to come.
Optics have multiple purposes. They can be used for Astronomy, Scouting, birdwatching, target shooting, hunting and military purposes. With the emergency of combat optics for close quarter combat, scopes used on rifles have gotten smaller, more compact and sometimes have zero magnification. The point is to give you a good sight pictures and a reticle that is easy to follow.
Many combat optics like Trijicon and Eotech are 4X or less. DMR or Designated Marksmen are using optics made from Trijicon, Zeiss and Leupold that are combat worth but higher magnification since shooting 300-600 meters is becoming the norm in places like Iraq and Afghanistan. Rifle Scopes are no longer made with the standard crosshair reticles and may even come in range finding or illuminated reticles.
Another issue you may run into when using hunting style optics on a military style rifle is this. What are you going to do if the optic fails or breaks? Are you going to need to u se a screw driver to remove it or can you detach it quickly? Quick detach optics and accessories can become very important if you have a failure of some sort. For instance, I’ve seen plenty of incidences where soldiers in Iraq took bullets in their optics but the rifles still worked. Always have backup irons on an M4 is a good idea. Not only can batteries on something like a Eotech gun sight go down, but sometimes that can actually get broken from being slammed around or from fragmentation. The Mini 14 ranch rifle is a very manueverable Carbine. Even though the Eotech optic is primarily for military purposes, I’ve found the Eotech to work very well on a Mini 14 Ranch rifle. The MOA dot works well with a gun that can shoot MOA as long as the rifle barrel has not heated up, which normally occurs after the 3rd shot, but from a hunting standpoint, I rarely know anyone that takes 3 shots on any hunting trip.
It is true that there is very little difference in application between a military optic and a hunting optic. The really difference should really be in durability. There are plenty of good quality hunting optics that will hold up to being dropped every once in awhile, but it has an awful lot to do with the mounts that are on the scope. Many military rifle scopes attach to the rail of an A3 mount and there is very little to do other than adjust windage and elevation. It took me a long time to be able to mount cylinder rifle scope properly because you’ll find out really fast if your scope in incorrectly mounted when making elevation or windage adjustments at long distances. The first sign of an improperly mounted rifle scope is noticing that your point of impact is changing on a diagonal line. The trick I learned was to make sure you are on a flat surface in the first place and then set your horizontal reticle lines to match a flat object in your home. I’ve setup optics on firing lines and found out that even though the target looked like it was level with me, the table I was shooting from was actually slanted.
We have been waiting for the Eotac womens pants for almost a year. We expected them to arrive in June of 2009, but there were production delays which we suspect we’re due to re-design changes. Later we were expecting them in the Fall of 2009, but once again, there were shipping delays. We’ve been holding backorders for the Style 702 pants and just got around to fullfilling the orders in April of 2010 and we were crossing out fingers that the design would be well accepted. When the tactical pants first arrived, we shipped a lot of them out to associates as beta testers to see what there opinions were before we started stocking the product. We have carried other brands of womens pants in the past, but we dropped them because statistically speaking, the return and complaints about them were about 85% complaints about fit and sizing. You may think that is a really bad stat, and it certainly is, but desigining womens tactical pants are much harder than designing mens.
Eotac has the connectios in the manufacturing industry to bring in the right people that know tactical, and know how to make products for women. As of today, we have not had one single return where women could not wear these pants, we have had a few that had to return the pants for differernt sizes. The production for the Style 701 womens tactical pants is still ramping up so there may be some shortages in certain sizes and colors, but we defanitely have a winner here when it comes to the product line. Overall, the demand for the Eotac tactical pants has far exceeded the production capabilites at this time, so please keep in mind that this is something you need to jump on now before there is a 6-9 month gap in our inventory. We recently sponsored a Ladies shoot at the Langhorne Rod and Gun Club and the top 3 scorers each received a pair of Style 702 womens pants. The responses we got were great and we’re waiting for them to get more range time in and tell us how they held up.
I had the opportunity to get out to the range again this week. I tend to bring the same bullet weights with me to firing ranges whenever I’m shooting my ARs because there can be really big differences in bullet trajectory when shooting out to 600yds. There is also a very big difference between bullet drift with just a few extra grains of weight. I’ve pulled the trigger on 150gr FMJ bullets out to 500yds that missed targets just depending on whether or not I fired during a wind gust or not. It’s really a lot of fun to shoot distances because you find out that it’s not all about how well you hold a gun down and how well you pull the trigger. Timing is something that really plays a factor when shooting into the wind. I use to shoot at a range that had a wind that blew from right from 100-300yds and when you got out to the 400-600yds, the wind blew from the left.
Today I was testing out how well an M4 could shoot 75gr bullets and tested the difference between a 1-7 twist and the 1-9. I normally shoot a lot of the M855 ammo for target shooting, just because it’s so darn accurate, but IMHO it is not the type of round that any civillian should consider using for self defense. The round penetrates entirely too much for urban environments and out of an M4 does not perform as well as 55gr ball ammo. I have noticed considereable accuracy differnces in my 1-7 twist rifle vs the 1-9 and I am a firm believer in that the 75gr HPBT is a better round for th M4 rifles even if you are using a 1-9 twist. I have tried swapping out some of my AR 15 Uppers to different bullet twists and I still think the shorter the rifle, the faster the twist and weights should be.
Cleaning more than one rifle at a time can be a really pain in the neck. Depending on the number of calibers you are using, you’ll have to change each brush you use, each punch, and each cleaning patch to properly clean your rifle or pistols. I never really felt the need to change from a traditonal rifle rod to any fancy gun cleaning kits for a long time. Some of these gun cleaning kits look very nice, but the reality is there are several cleaning kits out there that have made traditional gun cleaning obsolete. Granted, I will have to say that I do have a few friends that sweat that they still need to use their cleaning rods to clean bolt action sub-moa rifles, because Otis gun cleaning kits and bore snakes aren’t 100%. I’ll have to leave that up to personal choice, but I don’t see it.
The first time I took more than 4 rifles to the range and had to take the time to clean each one of them, I must have spent over 2hrs between cleaning brush changes and constantly running patches through the barrels. I finally decided to run out and pick up a 22 Cal bore snake and see what they were all about. I realised immediately that this Hoppes bore snake was really worth the money after I cleaned 3 of my AR15s and 1 Mini 14 rifle in less than half an hour. The only time I used cleaning patches was to wipe down the bolt carriers. I still think there is the need to use chamber brushes on the AR15 style rifles, but that isn’t something I would say needs to be done after every firing. Rogue Elite is selling most of the Hoppes Bore Snakes for under $20 and I promise you’ll eliminate 50% of your cleaning time with them.
I realize there is still a place for using cleaning rods to clean out the barrels of a rifle or pistol, and that running a white cleaning patch through a firearms and having it come out just as white is something that tells us our job is done. Gun cleaning has gotten easier over the years. If you are cleaning your firearms after each use, there is no need to be sitting there for hours and soaking your rifles in this cleaner and that cleaner and they running through the routine 2x’s. Gun lubrication has taken long strides in practically eliminating the need for having to use more than 2 gun cleaning liquids. The really issue I see is in having a lubrication that also has preservatives to help protect metal from rust. I have some friends that use Mobil 1 for all of there AR15 lubrication, but Mobil 1 doesn’t protect a firearm as well as BreakFree CLP does.
I’ve been talking to some of my friends about the issue of gun cleaning equipment. One of them told me that he only owned a few rifles and there wasn’t a need for getting any fancy gun cleaning kits. I asked him how he cleaned his lever action rifles and he said it was a pain to clean because he had to clean it from the muzzle end unlike his bolt action. I explained to him that Hoppes boresnakes cost less than $20 and he could run it through his lever action in seconds and not have to worry about cleaning patches ect. I clean my hunting rifles even if I don’t fire them. Ever since the time I brought a couple guns with me on a hunting trip, didn’t get anything, came home and put them back in the safe and then took them out 3 months later and found rust all over them, I’ve paid close attention to the gun cleaning equipment I use.
Next week there will be a Police and Security Expo in Atlantic City, New Jersey and Eotac will displaying some of their A-Tacs and Direct Action products. We’re still not sure about everything that Eotac has coming out this Fall and in 2011, but seeing some of the info about what is coming soon really makes us think that 5.11 Tactical is going to have some real compeition out there. I can’t tell you the number of times we’ve had customers call us up and complain about the tactical pants that they have been wearing from 5.11. Many of them complain about how things use to be and how they end up with different sizing even though they keep ordering the same sizes. I was checking out some of the 5.11 tactical shirts that were the Covert carry design and I may pick up a few, but I personally think the Woolrich Elite CCW shirts are a much better feel. Even though we are very selective about the products we carry, I’d have to admit that every big name manufacturer has a niche market that some of their products perform very well in.
The slow economy doesn’t seem to be affecting the tactical pants market though. It seems that every time I step onto a firing line, somebody shows up wearing tactical pants from another company that I never heard of. There was even a gun shop on the West Coast that was making a really cheap knock off of the the ACU pants. I believe I could name half a dozen manufacturers that made the ACU pants, but only Eotac made it right. I still have a few BDU pants that I use to wear when I was in College, but those pants are so darn uncomfortable to wear to the range anymore and the pockets are not very secure. It’s one thing to have a pocket for mag dumps, but try putting a Blackberry or mace in BDU pants and you’ll have no idea where they are after you take your first stride. Some of the tactical pants I have seen really look over done though. They’ve got a pocket within a pocket and a pocket behind every seam. I guess I should walk around and check out some of these other manufacturers and see how the quality holds up. I think thats the issue that eliminates a lot of competition.
Elite Operator Tactical came out with a new tactical shirt a few months ago and although we like to test products out for a few months before we become too critical about them, we defanitely got a winner here. The Eotac style 410 Shooting Sports Polo is made of a 100% polyester material and is excellent for breath-a-bility. It’s been getting up in the 90F temps here in Virginia and it’s time to clear out the Spring weather clothing and get into summer gear. The Style 405 feel slightly lighter weight than some of the Woolrich Elite Series Polos I have worn in the past. We all have different styles and needs when it comes to what we want to wear, but I’d have to admit that the Polos I wore in the past were extremely hot and I could absolutely not wear them in 85F temps comfortable.
The Competition shooter polo is whole other issue. We’ve been up to the IDPA State Championships on several occassions and guys there always want to look good for their team and not sweat unneccessarily. Another thing you will noticed is the shirt is designed for an operator that is moving. On many of the tactical shirts, you will constantly have to adjust the shoulders or sleeves. I won’t say that everyone will feel comfortable in replacing their usual polos for these because we know from the years we’ve been in business that everyones body is different and not all pants and shirts are going to fit, but from the customer feedback we’ve been getting we’ve not gotten a single complaint about the fit on these. You’re either a competition shooter or you aren’t, but these will look good in an office or professional environment.