The term Designated Marksmen Rifle has been around for a long time, but in the last 8yrs it has really made a comeback. When the United States invaded Iraq, there was more street fighting and urban engagements that in the first Persian Gulf War. I remember making some comments to a few friends about what we will see evolved with the military now that we actually have boots on the ground. We expected to see the M16 replaced by now, but according to many sources, the piston driven versions of the M16 are in service in Special Forces and some branches. Even rumors that the H&K 416 was used to kill Osama Bin Laden.
You can make any rifle into a Designated Marksmen Rifle. In my opinion it usually means putting a higher magnification optics like a Trijicon ACOG or Leupold Rifle Scopes on them. If you have a good enough operator behind a weapon the standard M16A2 can be a very leathal weapon out to 600yds, especially with the right type of ammo. There are some really good rounds for longer engagements, but the .308 is probable a better choice. There are many times where a bad guy sticks his head out and it’s too hard to get them with an M4 Carbine. The LWRC REPR is probable the nicest .308 gun designed for this role that is actually a few pounds lighter than it’s predecessors.
I’ve seen plenty of guys really worn down about half way through a training course and there is usually a mount of unwanted gear tossed somewhere on a range. Mag pouches, ammunition, gun parts and backpacks can really wear you out if you are over packed. Getting a gun that is a pound or two lighter than really makes a difference especially if you’ve ever thrown some of your ammunition on a scale to see how much 30rds of .223 actually weighs. One other thing to seriously consider doing is lightening the footwear you are using. Sneakers may be good for an urban environment to some degree, but not good on rough surfaces.
Wearing your steel tip boots that were meant for construction workers is also an over kill. Original Swat boots has a broad selection of footwear to choose from and if you want support, and don’t want to get weight down. Try the 1232 Air 9″ Side Zips. These boots always impress people when they put them on and feel how light they are. If you want a steel toe, try the composite toe try the 1260 boots. These won’t transfer cold like steel toe boots but give you the protection you need.
Well, there’s many reasons, and it’s not all about keeping your shit together. There are plenty of nice assault rifle style bags, but you gotta watch what you order online because you might find out that little M4 Carbine you have in your gun safe won’t fit in a gun case that is designed for that barrel length. Your tactical flashlight, laser, optics and the list goes on can cause it to not fit in there. I’ve had to carry some of my Carbines in a Elite Survival bag that was really designed for a sniper rifle because my smaller AK type gun cases wouldn’t fit them. I took my flashlight on my LWRC M6A2 last week and tossed it in a case not realizing that the flashlight was floating around and could have damaged something.
Protecting your stuff can vary, if you want to drop it out of a helicopter, get and SKB gun case, but there are some fine gun cases like the Blackhawk gun cases that are really drag bags. These gun cases can carry pistol, pistol ammo, lots of AR15 gun magazines and more. It might be a good idea to research gun bags or better yet, stop in a gun shop that carries them so you know exactly what you are looking for. Having a gun bag that fits your needs may take some research because some gun bags an be pricey and ordering them online from just a picture can be a headache.
I recently got a customer phone call about the Blackawk level II leg holster. This is our number one selling leg holster and there’s a reason why. For many of the guys running competition shooting, this holster gives you free upper body movement with a carbine without having too much gear on your chest to snag a rifle sling. Many of the rifle slings that you really should use on an M4 Carbine should be quick detach. It’s nice to be able to secure a firearm to you, but bad things can happen when you can’t get your gear off. Ask an EMT or medical technician about getting seat belts off of injured people and you’ll know what I’m talking about.
There is a quick detach mechanism you can install on your holster, but it’s a little hard to explain it without doing a video explanation. One good thing about the Blackhawk holsters that I use is that I can swap anyone of them out on my drop down rig depending on which sidearm I want to use. The one thing I have noticed about this type of leg holster is the flexible yet hard back keeps your gun in place when you are moving. Some of the nylon versions of these holsters will wobble when you walk and that might be a problem if your gun is not in place when you reach for it.
I have been using one of these on my LWRC M6A2 for several months now. It’s taken me awhile to get to where I am at with using it, but it was a learning experience. When I first looked at these I was trying to decide if I should get an Eotech magnifier or the Mako magnifier. I figured I would start out with the higher end and work my way down. The first thing that hit me was the cost of the Eotech 556 I have and the Magnifier were the same as some of the Trijicon rifle scopes that I have been looking at.
I’ve learned to keep my guns in a configuration that they are meant to be in, and M4 carbine is meant for close up fighting so why turn it into a long range shooting weapon. Eotech gun sights are my favorite for close fighting but there are major drawbacks to using them at medium ranges and in low light environments. The magnifier gives you that medium range visibility and helps ID targets and become more effective at hitting targets. with the flip to side mount, it takes a second to go back to close range shooting. Definitely worth it in my book.
It’s been awhile since I’ve done a thorough check of my gun cleaning supplies, and today I decided it was time to do a brush check to see if I need anymore gun cleaning brushes. Some of the gun cleaning brushes I have seem to have really taken a beating and especially with my rifles, I thought it was a good idea to replace them because I didn’t know if they were really doing the job anymore. I was happy to find out that I completely forgot that I have an Otis 5.56 grip cleaning kit that was unused from over a year ago.
I met with a rep that worked for Otis at a few conventions and he hooked me up with a few of the Otis gun cleaning kits. The Otis 5.56 grip cleaning kit is meant to fit exactly where you think it goes, the pistol grip on your AR15. These gun cleaning supplies are meant for AR15. When I was cleaning my AR15 rifles, I was thinking that I should be using a chamber brush, unfortunately the Otis pistol grip cleaning kit doesn’t come with one. I find that somewhat disappointing because I would think that any AR15 cleaning kit would come with one of these. The chamber area is one of the hardest parts to get to on an AR15 and on a direct impingement carbine, this is where the most dirt can collect that usually causes jams. The kit is nice for being a compact kit, but I’d still add a a chamber brush to it.
There are a great many combat optics you can float on your boat, but much of what I like is the dressed down versions. I still have pretty good eye sight for my age and I find many of these red dot and reticles to blur or obscure targets and that just pisses me off at times. I’ve done enough steel plate shooting to know that you can’t see steel plates at 200yds unless they are in broad sunlight and or have a strong contrasting background. I learned this while looking forward to a day of shooting with my primary firearms instructor when he took me to his Class III friendly range.
I get bored shooting handguns and moved over to the steel Carbine range and starget plinking. I couldn’t ID a 6″ plate at 100yds with an Eotech and the Red Dot I had on a 10/22 was just as difficult. I recently picked up a few Trijicon ACOGS and have various Carbines with the Trijicon TA01-NSN. These optics give you 4×32 visibility and also have backup iron sights mounted on the top. I believe Trijicon is re-thinking the way they mount sights for CQB on the top of the Trijicons, but the NSN works well. The drawback to the ACOG is that it isn’t as good in close up fighting, but you can’t beat iron sights for short ranges.
I have definitely evolved in my tastes for firearms over the years, but all of us have a starting point and grow from their. I have always had a lot of respect for Russian semi-autos, because they just don’t have the maintenance issues that many European firearms have. One of the biggest draw backs to the SKS and AK style rifles is the scope options. These firearms were never really meant to be shot with optics and with something like the SKS, the mounts are usually part of the top of the bolt covering and once you take this off for cleaning, the rifle will loose it’s zero. I know a few people that have welded mounts on SKS rifle because they used them for hunting.
The SKS can make a good medium range DMR gun because it can be more accurate than an AK and it’s longer flatter design is easier to shoot off the ground. The Trijicon rifle scopes that I like for the AK though are the Trijicon TriPower optic this isn’t like the Trijicon Acogs. This give you 3 options for illumination, one for daytime use and power regulation, low light use and one with a battery backup. Getting this mounted on an AK gives you a better optic than what you find at gun shows and with Trijicons reputation on combat optics, you’ll have nothing to worry about.
There have been many changes in recent years away from the tradition long tube rifle scopes. There has been a steady trend away from magnification and most combat optics are now either zero magnification or less than 4x. There are many things that I wish they made, but technology is not there yet, but it soon will be. I love the Eotech gun sights, but the dependency on batteries is a major drawback. The Eotech magnifier is so popular that many are using them with Aimpoint optics. The wide object and fighter plane combat gun sight really make the Eotech a great close up fighting optic.
There are a lot of preferences out there and it’s another one one those age old debates, but it’s really all about what you are going to use a combat optics for which makes it worth the price. Trijicon ACOGS have had many changes and I often have to refer to the Trijicon catalog to remember all of the changes. I’ve heard rumblings that the ACOG DOC sights aren’t being made anymore or they are going to be modified because they keep getting sheered off. It kind of reminds me of the guys bitching about Blackhawk Serpa holsters that got sheered off during a police chase.
We are now a stocking dealer for the Timberline tactical knives. Not only have our customers asked us to carry them, but we are having fun showing people how to use them and doing demonstrations on using the Gatco Sharpening Systems. One of the best things about the sharpening systems is the ability to sharpen serrations. The type of knife you choose will be all up to you, but I’ve found the knives that are partially serated to be the best. There are times when cutting isn’t going to get the job done, something more like a saw is needed. This tends to be the case when cutting down rope.
A few years ago a friend held a shooting competition and people must have spent hundreds of rounds trying to cut rope with a bullet. It was amazing the number of times we saw the rope get shot, but it would hardly tear. Cutting through seat belts is even harder and the 18 Delta full serration is probable the most recommended for EMS. Timberline Knives also release the Timberline Tactical SOC folder, we are giving them away for anyone that orders $200 or more of tactical or CCW clothing this month while supplies last.