Sunday, April 29, 2012

Our New Ride

Yes, today my wife and I were out pounding the pavement - we were looking for the vehicle that will take our outdoor adventures into the next phase.  My old Dodge Ramcharger has been a good work horse and a solid performer, but it just doesn't fit into our lifestyle anymore.  My wife flat refuses to drive it, and having two doors makes it difficult with kids, who are sure to be in car seats for as long as they can fit into them.  Back in late 2004, when we bought the Ramcharger, it fit our lives perfectly.  Then again, we were newlyweds and had no children.  2 doors were cool.  Nowadays, functionality determines value, especially for something like this.  Hauling kids and pets is so much easier when you don't have to climb in and out of the rig every time you buckle them in or take them out, or climb up onto a tire to reach the contents in the roof rack.  And as an after thought, there's that danged fuel economy thing.

Enter the JEEP Cherokee XJ.  This Limited is a 2001, and it's fully loaded.  It comes to us with a 4.0L 6 cylinder engine, automatic, four wheel drive, power windows, door locks, mirrors, cruise control, tilt steering, am/fm CD, ice cold air conditioning, rear wiper, rear defrost, OEM fog lamps, 16" alloy wheels, and the latest body style that Jeep made before dropping the XJ line.

This rig is straight.  For the most part, the body is clean.  It has a couple of minor dings as well as a little war wound on the passenger side, but that's alright.  This Jeep is slated to be our work vehicle, camping rig, expeditionary explorer, bug out vehicle, as well as many daily driving functions that our Saturn Ion can't do, and what the Ramcharger is too bulky to accomplish effectively.  We are downsizing our lives considerably, and a large vehicle just doesn't play into the next chapter of it.  This Jeep is ideal for the role that we are going to set it to.

I've driven it around town a bit today, and got it out on the freeway for a few minutes.  For an eleven year old vehicle, this thing drives rather nicely.  It has decent road manners.  It definitely drives like a Jeep, but I don't find myself herding it down the road like my lumbering Dodge Ramcharger.  The Jeep is nimble.  and can do maneuvers my Ramcharger only dreamed about.

This Jeep has some nut too.  I don't know how much acceleration other Cherokee's have, but this one definitely has a lot of power.  It came with a K&N cold air intake, so it's possible the engine has been chipped or simply tuned.  Either way, it sounds great, and accelerates with authority.  The belt did squeak on me once, but that's no problem.  I usually do a battery of preventive maintenance work on used vehicles right after I get them.  This will be no different.  I already replaced the headlights because one was a little on the dim side.  It worked, but it wasn't as bright as the other.  I replaced them both because headlights get dim as you use them.  Now, they both burn bright.  It's been so long since I purchased sealed beam headlights.  Back in the day, about 6 years ago, you could pick up a set for $6.99 each.  Now they are more like $10 a pop.  Everything's getting expensive anymore.

The tires on this vehicle are sufficient for now.  The tread is still good and they aren't beat up.  They are all season road tires though.  My plan is to change them out to all terrain tires before the next snowfall.  I'm not looking to get oversized tires just yet because I like how this rig looks as it sits right now.  That opinion is always subject to change, but for now I just want to drive an OEM vehicle for awhile.  Besides, we don't really go "wheeling" anymore; mostly trail riding and camping.  I can't justify lifting a vehicle that is plenty capable of it's intended role as it sits.  We will see how my opinion changes later down the road.

Anyway, that's it for this.  I've had a Jeep on my radar for years, and with my wife telling me she wants one, I couldn't pass up an excuse to finally get one.  I'm a happy man right now.

-James


Friday, April 27, 2012

5.11 Tactical 36" AR15/M4 Gun Case Review

I uploaded a review video about the 5.11 Tactical 36" AR15/M4 gun case.


-James

Utah CWP Holder Subdues Armed Lunatic with Knife

This is the reason why I carry a gun everywhere I go.  You just never know if or when an attack will occur.  While this attack started with a deranged lunatic purchasing a kitchen knife and stabbing two innocent people, an armed CWP holder was able to stop the violence from escalating further by drawing his legally concealed handgun and holding the suspect for police.  This paints a good picture for legally armed citizens across the country.  While I feel for the victims of this crime, I just gotta say that perhaps they might not have become victims if they were armed.

Story here.

-James

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Accessories, Accessories...

My wallet has been getting into a lot of trouble with my Ruger SR-556 lately.  I've been busy gathering some parts to make this gun a little more functional.  The gun came from the factory without sling mount provisions.  Ruger probably assumed (correctly) that the user was just going to figure out his or her own way of getting a sling onto the rifle, which I will explain in a minute.  I also added some OEM low profile rail covers to make the gun more comfortable to hold in my hands.  Without getting bitten by the sharp edges of the picatinny rail, handling this gun will be more enjoyable in the long run.

Starting from the front, and working our way back, I'll go over some of the "enhancements" that I feel will make this rifle really shine.  First up is a multi-sling mount from Damage Industries.  I searched high and low for a sling mount that would offset an HK hook mount for the bottom rail instead of the side.  The reason is because the Thorntail light mount interferes with the rail section that it rides against, making it impossible to mount anything there.  Finally, after searching the internet, I found this little guy on sale for $24.95 plus shipping.  This mount is cool.  It allows you to use the HK hook (which you can see the hole for on the side), an offset quick disconnect (QD) swivel, a bottom mounted QD swivel, or you can simply run a sling through the loop provided (you can see the loop better in the first picture).  When I mounted it, I thought "this thing is going to be a bit large" because I wanted something low profile.  However, my attitude changed when I shouldered the rifle.  I realized that the sling mount, when not being used in the 2 point sling role, actually acts as a hand stop.  It will keep my fingers from touching the hot gas regulator housing on the barrel.  During high speed shooting, run-n-gun, or a defensive gun fight, this could come in handy.

For the rear/single point sling mount, I chose to go with a Magpul ASAP plate.  ASAP stands for Ambidextrous Sling Attachment Point.  Its claim to fame is that you can transition from strong side to reaction side shoulder in a big hurry.  I tried it and it really does work.  I was concerned that the little chain link thingy would jingle jangle a lot, but when the sling is attached, it is almost completely silent.  Honestly, if I was in a fire fight, my sling would be attached.  if it wasn't, I would probably be trying to ditch my weapon anyway, so it wouldn't matter.  The only thing it has going against it is that when I go to hook my sling to the little loop, I have to sort of chase it to get it on.  It's not a big deal, however because I'd experience the same issue with a QD swivel back there.  The price on this doodad wasn't bad either.  For less than thirty bucks, I have an all metal sling mount end plate that will last for years, and will help me retain my weapon.  That's good because the thought of me pitching this gun into the dirt because of no sling attachment makes my stomach queasy.

This next mod is about 90% asthetic and 10% function for me.  The trigger guard that comes on any AR15 rifle is flat.  I personally like the look of the Magpul Enhanced Trigger Guard.  This one is aluminum.  To me, it is one of those little details that sets this gun apart from your run-of-the-mill AR15. The functionality comes in two parts.  The first is that the trigger guard is bigger, which facilitates shooting with gloves on.  The second is that the back of the trigger guard fills the gap between the grip and the rear of the guard to help avoid pinching your fingers (if you decide to shoot without gloves on).  I never had a problem with it, but others have said it bothers them.  Whatever.  I still like how it looks more than anything.

So, how much further can I take this rifle?  Well, there are a million things I could do to it.  For now, I'm saving my pennies for a new flash suppressor.  I don't care for the look of the factory Ruger suppressor.  I want something a little more aggressive, perhaps medieval looking.

One thing I'll say about this gun is that it is ba-lack!  I'm on the fence about replacing some of the furniture with tan or foliage to sort of break it up a bit.  Who knows?  For now, I'll run it as a black gun and not worry about anything else.  Until next time, ta ta!

-James

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Utah Gun Law Fourth Edition

I don't live in Utah, but I travel there once or twice a year to visit my wife's side of the family.  Since my WA State CPL has full reciprocity with Utah's CWP, I can legally carry a concealed firearm in that state.  That being said, however, it is the responsibility of every gun owner to know the laws of the land, especially if he or she decides to take their concealed handgun across state lines.

This book, Utah Gun Law Fourth Edition, by Mitch Vilos and Evan Vilos, is a great, no nonsense approach to understanding the firearms laws in the state of Utah.  In this book, the authors use "plain talk" summaries to explain the laws in a manner that the average Joe can understand.  As we all know, laws are often written in a form of legalise that only an attorney or a court can interperet.  Well, since the author is an attorney who specializes in personal injury and firearms cases, who better to explain the laws than he?

The book is also full of humorous anectdotes as well as examples of case law that I found helpful in understanding ambiguous gun laws.  The authors go through the laws in chapters relevant to the subject at hand, such as hunting, where it is legal, and not legal to carry a handgun, definitions, and of course, penalties.

Did you know it is legal for a concealed weapons permit holder, in the state of UT, to carry their concealed gun into a public school?  I didn't either, but it's a dang good idea.  Of all the schools in the country that experience massacres at the hands of disturbed kids, UT is not one of them, and that's because instead of doing the insane, which is trying the same thing and expecting different results, UT took the approach of allowing teachers and parents to pack heat in schools, and guess what... you guessed it.  No school shootings of any kind for the State of UT. 

Anyway, that's just a small example of some of the great information contained in the book.  It's over 300 pages long, but it is an easy read, and most importantly, it's not a dry read.  It is very understandable, comprehensive, and gives you a lot of insight into the laws pertaining to firearms in that state.

I also enjoy the fact that the author and I have very parallel ideas when it comes to self defense, concealed carry and firearms in general.  It made reading the book very enjoyable.  If you're going to travel to the state of UT, it might not be a bad idea to pick this up and spend a few days reading it.  I ordered mine through Amazon.com, and I'm glad I did.

-James

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Ruger SR-556 Shakedown

Today was the big day.  Come hell or high water, I wasn't going to miss a perfect opportunity to get my Ruger SR-556 out and run it through its paces.  Not having fired this rifle before today, I was time to get this hog out and sighted in.

After setting everything up, posting targets, measuring the distances for sight in, and getting the rifle in the rest, I was able to get to work.  I started with the irons.  After removing the optic, I went ahead and verified mechanical zero.  After slapping a 5rd magazine into the weapon, I sent the bolt home.  Made final adjustments, released the safety and placed my finger on the trigger.  This was it!  Gave the trigger a light press and BANG!  Checked the rifle to make sure all was well.  Reset the rest and placed my finger on the trigger and gave it a light press. BANG!  I repeated the above actions until the mag ran dry.  The bolt held open on the last shot, as it is supposed to.  Everything I did with the weapon during these first 5 rounds was slow and deliberate.  I wanted to make sure that if there were going to be any malfunctions, I'd be able to identify them and diagnose the reasons why.  To my satisfaction, the gun was operating perfectly, and there were no malfunctions.

After making adjustments to the irons, and getting rounds in the bulls eye, more or less, I put a few more 5 round groups on paper to ensure there were no anomalies.  I have to say that at 50 yards, a black target against a black front sight post doesn't look like much.  The next time I have this hog out, I'm going to use a white or red target so I can fine tune the weapon.  I was shooting about 2" groups at 50 yards, which for a guy who wears prescription glasses and has an astigmatism in his dominant eye, that's good enough for me.

After I got the irons squared away, I attached the Comp ML3 to the receiver and proceeded to sight it in.  After setting up the initial zero against the irons, I laid them flat and took 5 shots to the paper.  They all went through the bulls eye with a somewhat tighter group.  Not bad.  I made some final adjustments to the optic.  I then pulled the target in to 25 yards and watched as all the shots went through a tiny hole dead center.  Hmm, that's odd.  I was hitting the bulls eye at 50 yards with a 1 1/2" group with the optic and at 25 yards, it went through the bulls eye as well.  Must be my eyes.

One thing I can say about shooting with a red dot sight (RDS) is that it negates the disability I have with eyesight.  The problem I have is even with glasses, I can have some difficulty focusing on the front sight, especially when shooting long range, like 100 yards or more.  This problem is exacerbated when shooting flat black irons against a black target because my eyes cannot compensate very well.  This is why I like 3 dot sights because there is plenty of contrast.  It gives my eyes the ability to compensate and focus.  I'll be painting my front sight post white for future shooting.  Getting back to the red dot, I like it because I can keep both eyes open (a guy like me needs all the help he can get) and focus on the target.  The red dot appears to float in space, so I just level it on the target.  Click BANG!  I was shooting offhand at 35 yards and saw a clay pigeon on top of a stump.  I quickly placed the red dot over it and pressed the trigger.  Watching through the scope, I saw the target disappear in a cloud of orange dust.

Another neat thing about the RDS is that I don't lose the red dot during rapid target acquisition and shooting.  It stays out there.  All I have to do is level it on my next target and press the trigger.  It's like having an easy button at the range.  Click BANG!  That was easy!

The Ruger SR-556 exhibited many of the familiar qualities I've come to expect from an AR15.  One thing that was immediately noticeable is that the recoil was somewhat lighter than my Rock River Arms carbine.  Perhaps it has something to do with the short stroke piston or the buffer weight, but the rifle was very pleasant to shoot.  It's a bit on the heavy side too, but it's a good weight.  I put it on the scale last night and unloaded it weighs 9.4 lbs.  That's a bit chunky for a rifle that only shoots a 22 caliber bullet, but considering all the technology that went into this thing, you can see where it all goes.  That weight was with the Aimpoint installed.  During shooting, the weight didn't seem to bother me because I never noticed it.  I just kept on shooting.

The SR-556 trigger is a bit stiff, but it is predictable.  I didn't find it gritty or sloppy at all.  It feels solid and reliable, as a combat trigger should.  It certainly didn't hurt my ability to lay waste to 3" clay pigeons 30 to 50 yards away, and my hit accuracy on the 8"x8" steel plate was good enough for my BSA style of shooting.

All in all, I am glad I made the switch over to the Ruger SR-556.  It is a wonderful weapon and a joy to shoot.  I look forward to getting this rifle fine tuned and learning more and more about it as time and training allow.

Oh but lest I forget, I made a short movie.  Watch it.  I had fun.


-James

Friday, April 20, 2012

Aimpoint Comp ML3 Added

A couple weeks ago, I had posted a picture of my SR-556 on a local classified/gun forum to show it off.  Somebody posted a comment saying that this rifle was screaming for a Trijicon.  Well, he was close, but I opted for an Aimpoint Comp ML3  instead.  For a mount, I went with a LaRue Tactical LT150 lever mount.  I know, big deal, right?  Everybody has this setup on their rifles.  I agree, and for good reason. This combination is battle proven.  If it is good enough for soldiers fighting it out in shit holes around the world, then it is good enough for my application, which is primarily home defense.  Since I probably won't ever encounter the horrors of the modern battlefield, this expensive, albeit worthwhile setup will probably outlast the gun it is mounted on.  It will certainly outlast me.  I now understand why people spend a ton of money to put these items on top of their rifles.

Now, I went with a 2MOA red dot because I was afraid that the 4MOA dot might look too large for longer distance shooting.  What I mean by "MOA" is "minute of angle."  Minute of angle is the width, or distance, of something at a given distance.  If you are standing 100 yards away from me, a 2MOA red dot will appear 2 inches in diameter against your body.  A 4MOA red dot would appear to be 4 inches in diameter at the same distance.  This is not to say that shots at 100 yards, or more, aren't possible with a 4MOA dot.  In fact, my research turned up interesting information to the contrary.  Shooters with 4MOA dots learn to use the bottom, or top of the dot to make precision shots, much like a shotgunner would use when bead sighting.  It's not a hard concept to learn.  The thing about the 2MOA optic vs the 4MOA is that if I want a 4MOA dot against my target, I can simply turn up the brightness until the dot blooms, and back it off one click.  It really works.  I tried it out.  The advantage then is that if I want it to be a 2MOA dot, I simply turn the brightness down.  A 4MOA dot is a 4MOA dot and can't become a 2MOA dot even if it wanted to.  How many times did I spell out MOA?  As for the rest of this optic, there's a wealth of information, videos, technical data, anecdotal stories, etc, so I'm not going to dwell on the specifics of the optic itself.  If you want more specs, check out the links above.

The throw lever on the LaRue mount makes it easy to remove the optic for whatever reason and still retain zero when I reinstall it, provided I put it back in the same spot.  I mounted mine up forward so that the front of the mount is sitting on the hand guard.  The two slots in the mount are indexed in the furthest forward slots on the receiver itself.  This gets the optic out as far forward as I want it to go without hanging way over the hand guard.  I don't intend to run magnified with this optic, so no need for a cantilever mount, although I considered it.  I like this mount.  It sits up there solid as a rock.  The retention can even be adjusted with a little wrench that LaRue sends with the mount.  The four ring screws are torx head and LaRue sends a small allen wrench as well.  What I like is that instead of cutting threads in the mounting rings out of the aluminum housing, LaRue has steel inserts that you thread the screws into.  That's a huge plus because it is so easy to strip aluminum with a steel screw.

For the pictures, I left the dust cover off because I think it looks better without it.  However, since I do live in one of the rainiest areas of the country, I put it on for an extra measure of protection.  It seems silly though because the Comp ML3 is said to be completely waterproof.

Additionally, the mount sits at the right height for a 1/3 cowitness of the iron sights through the ML3 optic.  In fact, since the SR-556 sights are mechanically zeroed at this point, and the aimpoint is mechanically zeroed as well, the red dot sits just above the front sight post, albeit it a click off to the right.  Tomorrow, I'm going to go get this fantastic gun sighted in.  There will probably be a video of sorts to accompany my range report.  Until that time, peace out!

-James

Thursday, April 19, 2012

My Big LaRue Order


Look what came in the mail today!

-James

Saturday, April 14, 2012

What Works For You - That's Important

Today, I was out making a firearm transaction happen, and I got to talking with the guy I was dealing with about forum elitism and how one brand of gun can be held in such high esteem in some places while another can lead the owner to ridicule.

One of the reasons I stopped going to a lot of firearm forums, and forums of any kind, truth be told, is the nonsense spewed by armchair elitists and keyboard commandos that are really reaching when it comes to their "tactical" experience or regarding their opinions of other firearms makers that don't jive with what they have in their mom's basement.  Now, I still go to some of the more popular forums, but 99% of the time, I'm lurking. I use my blog as a medium to express my ideas for the most part; not that I'm afraid of rebuttal, but because oftentimes that rebuttal is nothing more than drivel.  I enjoy a good debate, but with most internet debates, a good exchange of ideas generally turns into a quagmire of bullshit that one must sift through with a fine toothed comb in order to glean anything of value from it.  The unfortunate thing is that some of these keyboard commandos are very convincing.  Of course, it's easy to be convincing when you have Google at your fingertips.

Of course, there is always the oftentimes overreaching forum administrator authority that typically deletes threads, posts, and edits out parts of comments that don't jive with the group think on their particular forum.  I don't have time for that BS.

One subject I brought up was the fact that there seem to be two types of internet elitists out there: the true elitist snob who will only buy what he perceives to be "the best" equipment and guns there are.  This is a guy who either has some experience or has none.  In order to show just how tacticool he really is, he is the one boasting a high dollar rifle or pistol, duracoated in all the cool colors (last year it was two tone tan - now it seems to be foliage green), and looks down through his nose at anything he considers to be below his stature; if there is such a thing on the internet.

Then there is the retarded half brother of the elitist.  This guy parades himself around the internet sporting all the tacticool stuff that may be, or may not be top notch, and he will side with the elitist every time to get into his favor.  He'll be the first to pound his fists and TYPE IN ALL CAPS TO LET YOU KNOW JUST HOW MUCH BETTER HIS JUNK IS THAN YOURS!!!.  Of course, he typically types without punctuation, which is a clear indicator of his true intelligence.  Of course, he knows all the cool brands, and he, with no true experience, will tell you that he'd rather spend "a little more" on his tacticool item because it may just save his life someday.  After all, a nitride coated, cryo-dipped, dimpled barrel on an AR15 is the only barrel that can be used to save your ass in a home invasion.  Don't tell this guy you run a Chromoly barrel on your AR15.  IT'S NOT MIL-SPEC!!!

Now, I have personally been on the receiving end of some of these so-called assaults before.  I went online once and replied to a thread question regarding the Rock River Arms AR15.  I said it was a good rifle and the guy, who was considering it, should buy one, and he wouldn't regret it.  I was immediately inundated by the armchair elitists who told me Rock Rivers are complete junk and that buying one was a sign of bad judgment and on and on.  Of course, when it came down to why the Rock River was garbage, they had nothing of real value to add.  Oh, they did show metallurgical analysis on Mil-Spec barrels, bolt carriers and the like.  But these elitist morons completely missed the point.  The guy asking the question was asking about something he could use to plink with and for home defense.  I would contend that if you need a MIL-SPEC weapon for home defense, you'd better have your head looked at.  I don't plan on shooting a thousand rounds out of my AR15 for home defense anytime soon.  Now, if I was going to Afghanistan, that'd be a different story altogether.  I would take a Colt to Afghanistan because I know I'd be beating the piss out of that poor rifle in some of the worst conditions the planet has to offer.  But here in America, it's not necessary.  Of course, I did grow out of my RRA, and moved into something gear more toward professional use, not because I felt deficient with my commercial grade AR15, but because I wanted to try something different and Ruger satisfied that requirement.  

Personally, I hate Glocks.  I know they are notoriously reliable, sans the Glock 19 I recently shot... and jammed, and I know they are very popular.  However, they just aren't for me.  I like my Berettas and I like my Rugers.  I've taken some heat for both brands in the past.  People get online all the time and say, "trade it for a Springfield XD or a S&W M&P, or get a Glock."  Honestly though, the guns I have I bought because they fit my lifestyle.  I love my SR9c.  It is reliable, durable, easy to maintain, fits my hand well, compliments my shooting style, and it was highly affordable when I bought it.  If Springfield and S&W had comparable weapons at the time, I might have given the nod to one of them, but they were late to the game, and Ruger has been kicking other gun manfucturers in the balls each year ever since they introduced their HARD R line of firearms.  Did they invent the LCP?  No, they clearly copied the Kel Tec P3AT.  I'm not denying it.  But they refined the heck out of it and took a bunch of business away from Kel Tec.  Did they invent the Glock trigger?  Nope, but they manufactured the Ruger SR9, SR9c, SR40, SR40c, and rumor has it a SR45 is going to be released someday, and they made these guns affordable... and kicked Glock square in the balls. Now, will Glock care?  No, Glock has it's hoard of Glock zombie fanatics that will buy a Glock just because it is a Glock.  They will consider nothing that doesn't have Glock written on the side.  Hell, if Glock came out with their own AR15, it would suddenly be the best AR in the world simply because it says Glock 15 on it or some shit.  Actually, I think the Glock model 15 was a blender.  Or was it a toaster?

The point to all of this is that you need to do impartial shopping when you choose to buy your next gun for self defense, plinking, or for tacticool paper punching destruction.  I don't buy into the hype around anything.  I analyze what I'll be using my weapon for and budget accordingly.  Don't buy into a brand just because all the cool kids are doing it.  I can't tell you how many jackasses I run into at the range who buy fancy equipment just because they saw it on AR15.com and they can't even manipulate it properly.  Why?  Because instead of focusing on reinforcing the fundamentals, they spent all their energy throwing money into a hole.  They got their tacticool toy, posted some pictures for the world to see, and they may shoot 100 rounds a year through it.  Big deal!  I shoot my $400 SR9 all the freaking time.  I've got loads of rounds downrange and out shoot many guys who bring in fancy high dollar guns just because they saw the pros use them in a competition.  I almost always catch them snickering to their buddies about my Rugers.  Then the shooting starts and when I pull my target in, I almost always overhear the same firearm elitist idiots comment on how well I shoot my cheap junk.  And of course, when these idiots shoot terribly, they always blame the gun, the magazines, the ammo they're shooting, and on an on.  They never mention the fact that they are jerking the trigger, not reinforcing the fundamentals, using a teacup grip or any of that stuff.  It disappoints me when I see such high end guns wasted on such lunacy.

Whatever you do, don't get sucked into the chasm of internet armchair elitism that is prevalent on gun forums.  Go there for hard facts and valuable information.  Stay far away from all the minutia and literary excrement that gets smeared on forum walls every single time.

Of course, all this is purely my opinion.  You may think this entry is garbage.  I don't care.  But I'm sure there are plenty who agree with me as well.  So take it or leave it.  YMMV.

-James


 

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Gratuitous Gun Porn.

I wanted to post some higher quality photographs of my SR-556 because the ole point-n-shoot photos just weren't good enough.  I went over to the LGS to pick up a Magpul RVG to hang out up front.  It's perfect where it is and makes the gun faster into action, quicker to point, and I can stop this baby on a dime when pointing from target to target.  It's amazing how much leverage you can get on a gun this heavy.  Just need to add a sling, an optic (someday), and some rail covers to keep that fabulous Troy rail from biting my hand.  Okay, enough talking.  Here's some gun boneration for you.





-James

Outstanding Explanation of Why the Second Amendment Is Important To America

This is one of the most eloquent and well thought out responses to the question of why we need guns in America.  I'd vote for this guy in an instant.


-James

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

HSP Thorntail Light Mount

I have the second half of my SR-556 lighting solution in hand.  This is the Thorntail Adaptive Light Mount offered by Impact Weapons Components and Haley Strategic Partners.  It's not an inexpensive light mount.  Most innovative and useful products rarely are.  Travis Haley, a man who is nearly a legend in the AR15 community, who served multiple tours in Iraq and other war torn armpits of the world, designed this light mount to make weapon lights work around the shooter - not the other way around.  In his words, we should not compromise grip because of a simple accessory.  This product does exactly what he claims.  It allows me to operate with my ideal support grip, but keep the light exactly where I need, and want it without sacrificing anything.  In fact, this device actually helps me because it gives my thumb something to rest on when I'm not using the flashlight.  That way, I go back to the same grip every time.  Each time I grip the weapon, that's one more useful repetition in my life, which adds value to my training.

Okay, so let's see this thing close up.


On my weapon system, this is how it is set up.  The base is not intrusive on the rail.  It is very slim and compliments the weapon nicely.  It's not bulky like other light mounting options are.


The components come to you like this.  They are actually in separate baggies.  The hardware and allen wrench are in one bag.  The other components are in the other.  This thing is pretty sturdy.  I think that if you were to break this in the field, you'll probably be breaking your weapon too.  Dare I say I'd break my rail before this mount?


Now don't let all these small pieces intimidate you.  It's pretty easy to mount.  The instructions included are very detailed, albeit a bit non-intuitive.  I'm a generator technician by trade and I still needed to read the instructions twice.  That's okay because once you get started, it pretty much assembles itself.  Mine came with a 1" ring to accommodate my Elzetta ZFL-M60.


After mocking the mount up, I put blue loctite on the threads to keep them from coming loose.  I'm using blue loctite for now.  If heat becomes an issue, I will switch to red, but for now I want the ability to move it around if I need to, but have it rigid enough to stay put while testing.


The mount is offset at a 45 degree angle, which tucks the light up close, but not too close.  The drop wing mount would have been a little tighter, but would present interference issues in my application, which is why I opted for the Thorntail to begin with.


As of this writing, this is the only picture of a Thorntail mount on a Ruger SR-556.  Just check out the clearance between the set screw on the light ring and the picatinny milled section of the gas regulator housing.  Yeah, there isn't much there.  It fits, however, and that's all that matters.  All parts are made of aluminum, and the flashlight/mount combo do not touch the regulator housing in any way, so there is no direct heat transfer point to the light or the mount.


On the back side, you can see there is plenty of room to get my thumb between the back of the light and the sight detent so it can be put down without a hassle.  Of course, when the light needs to be deployed, the detent does not have to be depressed, so it's a non-issue in emergency deployment.  Still, the light is far enough away to help avoid a negligent light discharge when the sight is deployed.


 As you can see, I can run my grip out toward the end of the rail.  My thumb sits just above the mount base, right where it needs to be in order to activate the flashlight without changing my overall grip.  I dare not run my hand any further forward than this due to the heat generated by the gas regulator housing.  Even then, I will be wearing gloves unless I absolutely cannot stand it.

For more information on the Thorntail Adaptive Light Mount, or the Drop Wing, check out this video.


-James

Friday, April 6, 2012

Elzetta ZFL-M60 Tactical LED Flashlight

I have been undressing this light with my eyes for a little over six months now.  I just haven't had the bread to buy it.  At $170 list, it isn't exactly the most affordable game in town.  Recently, however, I ran into a little bit of money and a problem that needed a solution.  So here's the solution... well part of it.  This is the Elzetta ZFL-M60 Tactical LED flashlight.  More specifically, this is the ZFL-M60-SS2R, which is the call number for a 2-cell body, standard bezel, Malkoff 8-degree lense, rotary cap.  Did you get all that?  In a nutshell, it is what I consider to be the more basic light, and for my kind of work, the most appropriate.  No, this one doesn't have a fancy high/low clicky with strobe option or a remote tape switch.  This one hearkens back to the days when I used a Pelican M6 Xenon tactical light on my shotgun.  If you'll excuse the digression, I still have that light and I still love it.  It takes up residence in the kitchen drawer, ready for a power outage or other emergency.  

So why no fancy features?  Why not a strobe light or a hi/lo function or a clicky switch?  I can sum it up in just one word: simplicity.  The user interface (UI) on multi-function lights are innovative, but they don't necessarily add real value to you if you have to shoot under stress.  When things to wrong, they go wrong very fast, and chances are you won't have time to think about how to activate your fancy functions.  In a worse case scenario, you may leave your light in the wrong setting in training, so when you go to use it for real, it fails you.  This wouldn't be a fault of the light, but the fault of the user.  Now, that's not to say that the user is poorly trained or he/she is an idiot, but it's more about the fact that we are all human beings and are prone to mistakes.  It's in our nature.  This is why we have to practice, train, and hone our skills often.  Shooting skills are finite skills.  As soon as you stop shooting, you start to suck.  How much you start to suck will depend on how often you train, but if you let your training fall to the wayside for even a month, you'll suck compared to the last time you went out and got in some trigger time.  For the sake of simplicity, ease of use, and the fact that a carbine-mounted light just needs to work when the shit is hitting the fan, I opted for a momentary switch with a rotary on/off function.  It's simple, durable, and when it has to work, it just works.

The LED on the M60 is a Malkoff M60 8-degree module lens.  It has a soft cut off, which makes it ideal for low light, no light situations because it doesn't cut off as sharply as other lights.  Elzetta states that it helps eliminate tunnel vision.  Okay, I'll buy that for a buck.  With my Streamlight Scorpion X, the cut off is crisp, and anything on the outside of it's wide angle beam is not lit up.  Elzetta advertises the ZFL-M60 to be a 235 lumen flashlight.  I'll buy that too because it just buries my 200 lumen Scorpion X in it's beam.  When I say it buries it, I really mean it.  Watch the attached video below and you'll see a good example of this.  

Okay, the light is rocking 235 lumens with just two batteries.  How long is the burn time at full blast?  Elzetta claims 1.5 hours of light at 235 lumens, and then another 6.5 hours of useful light after that.  For this two cell model, you get 8 hours of total run time, with a degree of intensity loss after one and a half hours.  I have to tell you, with a fresh set of batteries, this bad boy burns bright.  For close distances, like my back yard, the light is intense, and would blind anyone so unfortunate enough to find themselves on the receiving end of it.  The Elzetta is offensively bright, and could act as a non-lethal deterrent in the event you had to confront someone.

The power for this mighty little powerhouse come from CR123A batteries.  I prefer Surefire batteries as I believe they last a bit longer and make the light burn brighter.  Plus, they are readily available at my local gun shop.  Now, all the energy discharge has to go somewhere.  It gets converted into light and heat.  The light body does get pretty warm during extended use.  I had it out with the batteries it came with and I was just messing around, pointing it at stuff on my dad's property.  I did notice the bezel start to warm up during extended operation.  According to Elzetta, it's normal.  The CREE LED in the Malkoff module creates a lot of heat during use.  One advantage to that nicely shaped bezel is it acts as a heat sink to dissipate the excessive heat.  As the heat extends into the body of the light, it will get warm to the touch.  This gets the heat away from the LED module and away from the CR123A batteries, which are known for heat sensitivity.  All this is to enhance the performance and life of the light.  Honestly, for how I intend to use this sucker, I'm not seeing excessive heat as a problem unless I need to just run the light as a utility light on the end of my carbine.  

In my video, I made an error.  I said the Streamlight Scorpion X only had 180-185 lumens.  That's wrong.  Streamlight advertises 200 lumens with a runtime of 2.5 hours.  I also said the Streamlight uses a CREE LED.  This is technically correct.  However, if you study Streamlight-o-nomics, they call it a C4 LED, which is a marketing gimmick to make buyers feel special.  It is, however, very bright and the measurable light output is impressive.

I put these lights side by side for the pictures to show size differences.  As you can see, the Scorpion X is longer than the ZFL-M60.  The bezels are nearly the same width, but the Elzetta is more compact.  Both lights house two CR123 batteries and both have switches at the end.  The Streamlight is a clicky with a strobe and a hi/lo function.  While all this crap is cool to have, I never found it useful on my rifle.  I always just deferred to the momentary high beam.  Occasionally, I'd leave it on, but not often.  

Now, you can't truly and fairly compare these two because they are in totally different classes.  One is a super high quality light designed with weapons use in mind.  The other is a tactical hand held utility light that serves a variety of roles, but that didn't stop it from finding a home on the end of my old carbine.  The Elzetta came to my doorstep, shipped 2nd day air, for $142 bucks!  Hey, Amazon gave me the option for 2nd day air with free shipping, so I took it.  The Streamlight came to my door for about $60 shipped.  There is a significant price difference between the two and as such, there is a significant quality difference as well.  

The Elzetta is constructed of Mil-standard Type III hard anodized 6061-T6 aluminum.  The Streamlight is  made from thinner machined aluminum, but it features a non-slip rubber sleeve, which is replaceable.  I ripped the sleeve at the tail cap, so I ordered a few spares.  At $2 a piece, it's a must have for proper flashlight maintenance.  We've already gone over the LED module differences, so I'll skip that part.  Since the materials are the same, yet different, the weights will be different as well.  The Streamlight comes in at an advertised 5.0 ounces with that big heavy anti-roll head.  The elzetta comes in at 5.3 ounces due to the extra material used to make the body.  In the hand, the Elzetta feels lighter than the Streamlight and I think that's because Streamlight probably advertises it's weight without batteries installed.  

In the photo above, you can also see the size difference in the lenses.  The Elzetta is smaller and the bezel extends out well enough to provide protection from the occasional bump against doors, walls, trees, bad guys, you name it.  The Streamlight lens is recessed as well and this seems to provide good protection for it because there's not a scratch on the lens,  Considering I tossed this light about 15 feet in the are multiple times, chucked it across my yard, and drop tested it onto the head many times, that's saying something.  

Overall, I think the Elzetta will perform in its role as weapon light very well.  The Streamlight will not be retired.  Instead, it will actually see a lot more use as a tactical/utility flashlight on my LBE.  Both are excellent lights for what they are.  When I have my light mounting solution, I will update my blog to show the process of getting this Elzetta to really work for me.  Until then, enjoy this video review.


-James

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

VTAC Light Mount and SR-556 Compatibility

Some time ago, I purchased a Viking Tactics VTAC light mount for my AR15.  After looking at all the light mount manufacturers out there, I came to the conclusion that I didn't want to spend too much money just to test my Streamlight Scorpion X under fire.  Yes, part of my testing included mounting it on the end of my gun and firing nearly a thousand rounds down range.  Call me crazy if you want.  I'll take it as a compliment.  If it could handle the recoil of the gun, then it definitely would be suitable as a rugged handheld light.  In fact, the light did fantastic.  It works perfectly still, after being banged around, dropped, mounted to a gun, and thrown in the water.  But this entry isn't about the light itself; let's talk about the mount I used for testing: the VTAC.

The VTAC light mount is a polymer mount that weighs in at just 1 7/8 ounce.  It is designed to be mounted on a picatinny rail and accepts lights of .80" or 1" diameter.  It accommodates the smaller diameter lights with a little ring adapter that is included.  Note, my Scorpion measures about .90" diameter, so I used an old rubber sleeve that I replaced to use as a shim.  It worked great.  The mount attaches to the picatinny rail using two metal screws.  It's a very simple piece that is extremely durable.  The flashlight is clamped into the mount with another two metal screws that hold it securely in place.  My light never moved around at all.

At just $25, the VTAC is a high value option for folks who want to get a light mounted to their gun, but can't justify the expense of other high dollar mounts.  The VTAC works just as well as it's more expensive brethren.  In fact, after my light testing was complete, I just left the thing mounted to my gun. I figured, "what the hell?"  It worked fine for me.  I moved it from the original spot I had it (see the first picture above) and got the mount secured to the top rail of my oh-so fantastic Daniel Defense Omega 7 rail.  It was pretty much out of the way up there, and it put the light in the 11:30 o'clock position in relation to my barrel, which I quickly fell in love with.  It works ideally with the thumb break method of shooting I use.

The VTAC is pretty low profile.  Now, I know there are some "low profile" mounts out there.  Some are not as low profile as they'd lead you to believe.  The problem with mounts that position the flashlight over the piece of rail they're bolted to is that the light now sticks out passed the rail, and makes for a really wide business end.  Now, if that doesn't bother you, then no problem.  What bothered me, especially about having the light on the same horizontal plane as my side rail was the fact that my support hand grip suffered.  Either I'd have to use a tennis racket grip on my VFG or pull my hand all the way back to the magazine well on my carbine length gun.  This is not conducive to fast and accurate shooting, where switching from one target to the next without excessive muzzle sway is important.  The nice thing about the VTAC is it locates the light closer to the bore axis of the barrel offsets it from the rail line.  As you can see in the picture to the right, my hand is free to sit right about under it, which then gives my thumb the perfect spot to activate the flashlight controls without shifting my grip.  Awesome!

Since the rail on my Rock River Arms carbine didn't touch the gas block, there was no problem with excessive barrel heat melting my VTAC light mount.  We run into a compatibility issue with the Ruger SR-556FB however.

On my SR-556, there was a bit of rail section milled out of the gas regulator housing.  Initially, when I installed the light, I thought nothing of it.  However, after eyeball fucking the rifle for an hour, I realized a problem with the arrangement.  The gas regulator housing gets very hot when firing.  In fact, it gets hot enough that it would soon melt the high tech polymer VTAC light mount.  There was also a possibility that any heat transfer to the flashlight would melt the rubber housing that surrounds the aluminum light.  As it sat, the combination just wouldn't work like that.  So, I moved it to the side, keeping the light up around the 11 o'clock position.  Unfortunately, the light mount impinged on the front sight detent, so it could not be operated without removing the light mount.  I could always move the front sight back, but reducing the sight radius to accommodate a light is a stupid compromise.  Big boy rules say it's time to get a different setup.

Now that's not to say that I didn't try to do other things.  I tried to mount the light behind the front sight, on the top rail, like I did with my RRA, but instead of the mount impinging on the front sight detent, the bezel on the light did!  If mounted on the other side, it was impossible to reach.  I don't like pressure switches and wires running all over my gun, so I wasn't about to try that.  Couldn't put it on the bottom right or left because it doesn't compliment my shooting style and the way I've been training ever since switching to the AR platform.  I'm not about to go changing an entire manual of arms training regiment on account of a $75 light and mount setup.  There is just no way.

Now, none of this is the fault of the VTAC itself, no no no.  This is simply part of the process of going from one AR15 style to another; direct impingement (DI) to piston.  These are just some of the teething issues that I have to deal with on a new design.  As far as the mount itself goes, I give it a solid 10 out of 10 because of the ease of use with traditional DI guns, even carbines, the quality construction, light weight, and the value price point of just $25 bucks!  You can't go wrong with this mount... unless you're running a Ruger SR-556 piston gun.

So, what's my solution?  Stay tuned.

-James

Monday, April 2, 2012

Ruger SR-556FB

Well, I wasn't kidding around when I said I was going to get the Ruger SR-556.  I just didn't know it was going to happen so quickly.  After selling my RRA carbine, I started calling the Local Gun Stores (LGS) in my area.  When I called the first LGS, they told me they didn't have any SR-556 rifles in stock, nor could they order any.  Curious as to why, I asked and the man on the other end told me that Ruger is not taking any new orders for the rest of the year.  You gotta be kidding right?  It's was only the end of March!  Is Ruger that slammed with orders?  Well, I don't know if he was blowing smoke up my butt or not, so I took that data point and called the next store.  They didn't have one either, and they didn't know if they were going to get any in stock anytime soon, but were happy to give me a price.  Another LGS didn't have the SR-556FB, but tried to convince me to buy the SR-556E model instead.  Nope, no thanks.  After calling about 14 gun stores, I was starting to get really bored.  So, I went online and found one at Bud's Gunshop.  Their price was okay, but a $50 FFL transfer would negate a good price.  So, I checked to see who their preferred FFL vendors were and realized that I had forgotten a LGS only two miles from my house!  I quickly called them up and asked if they had any.  They did, and the price was right.  I asked him to put it on hold for 30 minutes, and I'd be down to look at it shortly.  Long story short, I ended up dropping a grand on this bad boy to secure it until I could take delivery today.  I wasn't about to let a perfectly good rifle slip through my fingers.

After getting the rifle home, I took it out of the boldly labeled box.  Side note: I had posted a Facebook picture of the box, which has the Ruger logo, and the letters "SR-556" printed in big bold black letters across the middle and captioned it, "Bet you can't tell what's in here."  Well, it was good for a chuckle.  I like the padded case that comes with the weapon.  The outside of the nylon case has the Ruger logo on it, but nothing else.  It's a nice touch.  The inside has straps to keep the rifle secure, and little pockets to keep PMAG's in place.

The rifle also came with three cheesy hand guards that I tried on, but didn't like.  They made the grip area too fat, and they rattled a bit.  I think I'll just use some ladder rail covers instead.  While trying to remove the Troy covers, I accidentally broke the little retainer tabs.  After getting them off the weapon, I pitched them.  It was a nice thought, Ruger, but you should just send the weapon with the ladder rail covers instead.

 What I did find already installed were the fantastic Troy Industries back-up front and rear iron sights (BUIS).  These are expensive sights (about $100 apiece) and they are great.  Of course, Ruger couldn't help but make it so the bad guy knows just what gun killed him by having their name engraved on the front of the sight mounts.  Clay pigeons, steel targets, and soup cans beware!  A Ruger is bearing down on you!  Actually, I really like the HK style front hood.  It helps me better align the sights than the flared out standard AR sight does.  Adjustments should be easy enough.  Ruger sends a Troy Industries sight adjustment tool with the gun.  It's not an expensive tool, but it is a nice addition.  No need to use a cartridge tip to adjust the front elevation.  Apparently, you can adjust the windage on the rear BUIS as well.  Overall, I'm a fan of these sights.  They have a positive up "click" and they don't budge once in place.  To fold them down, you simply push the detent on the side, which releases them.  To fold up, you simply push them up with your thumb.  Simple!

The heart of this system is going to start with the 16.12" 41V45 hammer-forged chrome-lined barrel.  The end of the barrel has the Ruger bird cage flash hider.  I'll see how I like it.  If I hate the flash hider, I'll get something else.  I wanted the chrome-lined barrel so badly.  Cleaning is easier.  The Chromoly steel barrel on my RRA was a bit of a butt to clean after a long day shooting.

The bolt carrier group is also chrome-lined, which makes it as easy to clean as wiping the carbon off.  Of course, Ruger ships their guns to the customer filthy as hell, so I went ahead and stripped it down to clean it.  At first, I was confused.  The bolt itself appeared to be missing an o-ring.  So, I looked at the exploded parts diagram just to be sure.  Nope, no o-ring listed on the bolt.  Guess it doesn't need it.  I have to remember that this bolt carrier is a one-piece design and no gas is getting back to the bolt carrier group anyway.

The bolt carrier is finished in a dull matte look to keep the shine down but still make it easy to clean.  Instead of a staked gas key on the top, they have a forged piece as part of the bolt carrier that the piston transfer rod acts on to actuate the system.  The transfer rod is pushed back by the gas piston, located at the front of the weapon, which then pushes the bolt carrier backward, cycling the action.  The transfer rod then moves forward under spring pressure.  When the bolt moves rearward, it heads down the upper into the buffer tube, ejecting the spent cartridge.  Upon it's return to the breech, it strips another round off the top of the magazine and sends it home.  There is a lot more to it, but this is the reader's digest version of what happens.  The rotating bolt goes through a rotation for extraction and lockup as well.

In my research, it was evident that the first Ruger SR-556 rifles experienced some carrier tilt issues.  After thousands of rounds down range, some guns looked like someone took a grinder to the inside of the buffer tubes.  Carrier tilt, as I understand it, is when the bolt carrier cants backward as the piston presses the key on the top.  As it moves backward, the rear of the bolt grinds away at the buffer tube.  Ruger seems to have mitigated this issue by putting a radius on the back of the bolt carrier, which will allow it to ride up into the buffer tube without slamming two flat surfaces together.  Of course, I'll be monitoring that closely.  Some surface wear is normal, but once the aluminum buffer tube starts galling, that's when you know you have a problem.  Here's to hoping mine doesn't suffer this issue, but you never know.  A lot of piston guns are having this issue, and I believe it's just the nature of the beast.  The design is still young.  Whether I build a piston gun or a direct impingement (DI) gun will depend greatly on this.


One of the things I really like about the SR-556FB is that mile of rail in front of the receiver.  That's about the perfect length for me.  I can get my hand up there really far and not feel all scrunched up like I did with the carbine length rail on my old AR15.  I'm going to cover the sharp edges of the picatinny rail and install a stubby VFG up near the front for hand indexing.  I might give the Magpul AFG a chance, but I wasn't too impressed with it on a carbine gun.  It might be better on a longer rail.  One thing is for sure: my wife wants a VFG up there because she holds onto it.


Since I had the gun o the bench, and finished cleaning and inspection, I went ahead and installed my Streamlight Scorpion X light, which used to take up residence on my RRA using a V-TAC light mount.  I'll see how it goes up there.  The gas regulator blows the excess gas out up there, so I may move the light back depending on how dirty it gets.  I also hear the gas block gets rather hot on these short stroke piston guns.  We'll see how the polymer mount holds up there.  If it melts, then I know I need to get a metal one.

For right now, I'm very pleased with this purchase.  While I haven't been out to shoot it yet, I look forward to wringing this gun out on the range.  While my old RRA was a nice gun, this is much better.  It's definitely worth the extra price you pay.  Speaking of price, it's amazing how little you are really paying for this weapon when you factor in the Troy Industries Rail, sights, and the piston system.  As for value, I'd say this gun is an extremely high value system simply because it inherits Ruger's exceptional build quality and affordability.  Should something go wrong, and nobody wants it to, the gun is backed by Ruger's famously excellent customer service.  I've used their customer service in the past to get my Ruger LCP repaired, and my experience was very satisfying.  If something broke on my RRA, I was pretty much on my own.  It feels nice to have a good company backing me with this weapon.

This gun is tight!  No, I don't mean to say it like your homeboy would.  What I mean to say is that all the pins, detents, etc are freaking super tight.  I had to tap the take-down pin to get it moving.  The piston detent was a bear to get moving too.  They will loosen up a bit as I get some rounds down range, but for now, they are just in there good.  As for receiver slop, there is none.  The upper and lower mesh together and create a nice tight marriage.  I know that some receiver slop is okay, and doesn't affect accuracy, but it just bugs me.  I prefer a tight assembly, and this is just that.  Ruger did a good job putting this weapon together.  The fit and finish are great, and the gun is just one mean bastard.  It's a great combination of mil-standard controls and commercial liberties that you just can't get on a government contract.  I like it.

 As for modifications, do I have any plans?  Yeah, I've got some ideas I'm kicking around.  I'd like to remove the M-faux stock and replace it with a Magpul CTR stock.  I want this rifle to stay black because it looks good this way.  I know, tan guns are the "in" thing nowadays, but I need to have at least one black "black rifle" in the corral.  Who knows?  Maybe I'll change things up and do the tan thing later on.  For now, I need to get some covers on the rails, a vertical forward grip, and I need to get this gun outside and send some rounds down range.

As for optics, I think I want to put a scope on it.  Yeah, I know.  Put an Aimpoint or an Eotech on there.  Um, well honestly, I want some magnification.  I know I can get a magnifier for an aimpoint, but I can also put a Trijicon scope on there for less money and still get the same result.  CQB capability might suffer, but I don't know.  I seem to have no problem using my 4x scope on my Ruger 10/22 in the house.

So that's my initial impression.  I know this entry was a little pic heavy, but I had a hard time finding any close up pictures online, so I hope that my contribution helps out anyone who wants to see some semi-okay pictures of the gun.  I plan on getting some really high quality photographs when the weather gets better, but until then, you can deal with this.  Enjoy!

-James

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Tactical Kilt?


5.11 just sent me an email announcing their new "Tactical" duty kilt.  Ha ha!  For those who are interested, here's the specs:


Features/Construction:

  • Front slant pockets with reinforced edges
  • Side cargo pockets positioned at same height as TDU cargo pockets for consistency in training.
  • Side cargo pockets hold 2 30 round AR magazines or 3 pistol magazines (1 of each version). Pockets can be switched from one side to the other.
  • 6.14-oz polyester/cotton blend with ripstop weave.
  • Teflon® treatment for stain and soil resistance.
  • Belt loops sized to accommodate up to 1-3/4" Operator belt.
  • Front belt loop includes badge holder.
  • Double and triple stitched for durability.
  • Hidden interior pockets for back up weapon and/or wallet.
  • D-rings for attaching sporran.
  • Kilt design affords maximum flexibility and breathability, 5.11 Sport Boxer Briefs available separately, but not required
Pre-order yours today at 5.11.com and feel the wind in your "sails."

Makes me wonder if this is an eleborate April Fool's Joke.

-James