C Products Defense AR-15 Magazine Review

I have been provided the materials needed for this review. However, my opinions are entirely my own and I have not been paid to publish positive comments.

I came into this review with an open mind and I hope you do as well. I know this company has had their faults in the past but this review is one I hope lets us move forward.

I met them at SHOT Show 2013 and it took a year but they finally approved my request for mags for testing. I received six aluminum and six stainless steel 30 round AR mags.

Testing 

While I have tested mags in the past by throwing them off towers and dragging them behind golf carts for 10 minutes, I decided this go around I would only test in ways a civilian might damage them. Chances of mags being dragged behind a car or dropped off of a tower are slim (if you don’t account for training courses that teach shooting from the tower).

We have been testing the mags for 6 months or so now and have shot well over 3000 rounds out of all 12 mags. I used mostly steel cased ammo and they never had one hiccup.  The orange follower is anti tilt.

The finish has lasted on all of them and show very little signs of wear. I wanted to test them to see if standard wear such as heavy use would give problems. I also wanted to  know what would happen if, god forbid, I forget I have a loaded mag and I drop it and end up driving over it (yes, this has happened during a review and lunch break).   

Driving over the stainless steel mag caused a small dink in the metal but did not affect the performance of the mag or capacity.  While the whole mag was driven over front to back, the only damage was near the  base plate.

Crushed C Products Mags

Stainless Steel Crush view C Products DefenseCrushed Stainless Steel C Products Defense

The aluminum did not fare as well.

Side View Aluminum C Products DefenseAluminum C Products Mags

Even after bending the metal back as best we could, the aluminum mag is not functional and is now just used for display purposes.

Spot Welds

The welds on all of the mags look solid and should not remind anyone of Christmas past.

Spot Welds C Products DefenseSpot welds C Products Defense 2

Even after the crush test the welds held and seem completely unharmed

Final Thoughts

Go into any gun shop and ask enough questions and someone will always tell you about why you should stay away from (fill in the blank) because in 1967 they had (fill in the blank) problem and there for they cannot trust anything new when it comes to (fill in the blank). Look, all I can tell you from my stand point is if you are looking for metal mags and you have no intention of being attacked by a Sharknado or a herd of “I can’t trust polymer guns because in 1943 we used wood…”. C Products Defense mags pass my test.

Ohio Ordnance Works 1919A4 Bundle Review

I have been provided the materials needed for this review. However, my opinions are entirely my own and I have not been paid to publish positive comments.

Before I talk about this 1919A4 belt fed firearm I have to talk about Ohio Ordnance Works. I have never met them in person but I can tell you I have the upmost respect for the men and women of this company. Normally when working with a firearm manufacturer I work with one person and if I have any problems they are the only one I can contact to get a problem resolved. This company however is not like that. When I had a problem with the 1919 on a Tuesday morning I did not speak to my contact Bob Conroy I spoke with the owner directly. I will talk more about that a little later on and help further explain why I have to open with these comments.

Ohio Ordnance Works 1919A4 Bundle Review

M1919A4 Specs+

Designed: 1919
Number built: 5 million
Variants: A1; A2; A3; A4; A5; A6; M37 and AN/M2
Weight: 31 lb (14 kg) (M1919A4)
Length: 37.94 in (964 mm) (M1919A4)
Barrel length: 24 in (610 mm)
Cartridge: .30-06 Springfield and 7.62×51mm NATO
Action: Recoil-operated/short-recoil operation
Rate of fire: 400–600 round/min
Feed system: 250-round belt

The OOW M1919A4 is classified as a belt fed rifle.  The machine gun classification is for full auto only, making this gun a semi auto and available without a NFA tax stamp.

The Backstory

As many of you may have already seen and heard, Ohio Ordnance Works has redesigned the BAR and made it their H.C.A.R. (Heavy Counter Assault Rifle). This is a very cool looking rifle but it honestly was not the first thing that peaked my interest when I first came to their website. While scrolling through their guns I saw the semi auto 1919A4 Bundle which is a SEMI AUTO belt fed tripod rifle. Side note: this means you cannot put the sig stabilizing brace on this and turn it into a pistol (I found this out at my FFL holders shop when I told him all the cool kids were making pistols and I wanted one too). When I saw that, the first thing that went through my head was this is AWESOME! who doesn’t want to own a belt fed gun? and that is when I saw the price. $3,997. I honestly figured they would have this priced to be closer to $7000+.   On top of all of that, the gun at the bottom of the page is a 1919A4 with a Cleaning Kit, Manual, Headspace & Timing Gage, and the .308 Trunnion Shield for $2500.

YOU ARE TELLING ME I CAN OWN A BELT FED RIFLE FOR THE SAME PRICE AS 2.5 AR-15s? Sign me up!

Let me put two images in your head.

1. You pull up to the range, get out of your truck, walk to the firing line and pull out the same plain Jane AR-15 that every other shmuck has and shoot it

or

2. You pull up to your private range, back up into your bay, unload a 1919 A4 out of your truck and not give a s**t about what anyone else thinks because you own a belt fed tripod rifle of glory?

That is what I thought.

OOW 1919A4 Bundle Specs

Bundle Includes:

· 1919A4 Semi-Auto

· Manual

· Tripod, Pintle, T&E

· Headspace & Timing Gage

· Custom Cut Pelican Case

· 1919A4 Linker

· Cleaning Kit

· 1,000 Links

· Spade Grip

· .308 Trunion Shield

· Parts to Convert Gun to .30-06

· Membership Access to Video Tutorial

The Bundle

When my gunsmith got the M1919A4 in he told me he saw the parcel service driver spending more time than normal in the back of the truck so he walked outside to see what the deal was and the driver told him he needed to get his dolly to carry this box into the shop. My gun smith told him that he didn’t need to worry he would just help him carry it in. In his words, “that was a mistake”.

1919a4_bundle_copy

The pelican case isn’t grossly over heavy but it’s a long case that is meant to be carried using the handles or rolled using the built in wheels, making it easy to move. In the cardboard box it was heavy and awkward.

Inside of the custom cut Pelican case the rifle also comes with:
Manual
Tripod, Pintle, T&E
Headspace & Timing Gage
Cleaning Kit
Spade Grip
.308 Trunion Shield
and Parts to Convert the Gun to .30-06

You also get:

1000 Links (they link .308 Winchester, .30-06 Springfield and 8mm cartridges)
Membership Access to Video Tutorials (this is very important)
and the 1919A4 Linker

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The Ammo

Our good friends over at Luckygunner.com sponsored the .308 used in this review.
We used 1000 rounds of 308 Winchester 180 Gr Sp Prvi Partizan

Be sure to check them out for all your ammo needs.

Linking

When the rifle first came in Ohio Ordnance Works was out of stock of the linker so they shipped it without one. The crew and I had plans to get this gun on the range as quick as possible because it was going to rust from all the drooling if we didn’t.

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[1000 links in a plastic box I purchased)

I called over one of the guys to come help me hand load 500 rounds and I can tell you from experience this is a bloody ordeal and I am thankful I never have to do that with this gun ever again. It took two people about an hour of linking to get all the belts made (we made them into 40 round belts.)  When we got the linker in a few days later, it took me 23 minutes by myself to do the same amount.

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Shooting

As I said, we shot 1000+ rounds of .308 through the M1919A4. It was the most fun you can have without full auto.

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I tried both the spade grip as well as the standard grip and both of them are fun to shoot. I think I like the standard grip more because it means I don’t have to take the M1919A4 down to put it back in its case… maybe I am just lazy.

Changing Barrels and Cleaning

This gun comes with a membership to videos on how to change the barrel and take apart the gun and they do a much better job at explaining this than I can. I will say I have watched the videos every time I have cleaned this gun and when I had to fix the gun to insure I don’t miss anything. The videos are helpful and comprehensive.

The Problem and the Solution

On the first range trip, we shot about 250 rounds before I broke the gun. Yes I admit I broke it and I am kind of happy it happened. I have no idea why the detent pin bent but the pin that rides in the channel from the extraction arm bent out of place and stopped the gun from working. Ohio Ordnance Works said, “it was probably a fluke, a wriggling out of place by the pin. We’ve made tons of these and not had an issue like that. They are new/grad A surplus, so you may have found one that just wasn’t perfect.”

IMG_5861

I am happy about breaking the gun because of the experience I had afterwards. I hate breaking guns. I know as a reviewer I can be hard on gun but normally we know their limits and where the maximum amount of safe operating abuse is and we err on the side of caution. This however was not abuse. We were still warming the M1919A4 up when it bent.

This killed the mood at the range. Since this is a review gun and it was a weekday morning I called Ohio Ordnance Works to try and figure out what had happened. I spoke with the young lady who answered the phone and she told me, Bob Conroy wasn’t in the office.  She transferred me to Mr. Landies instead. Under stress, my vocabulary resorts to almost grunting so when Mr. Landies got on the phone and started helping me he was very understanding at my lost of proper terminology and told me that a picture is worth 1000 words or in my case 3 words and a grunt. So I e-mailed a photo of the bent part and he e-mailed me back just a few minutes later asking for a shipping address.

The following day I had my whole family over for lunch. When I got a knock at my door from the shipper with the part, you might say I was very surprised. I had figured I wouldn’t get this gun fixed for a few days at a minimum, but they overnighted the part to me. This blew me away, no one does that. No one ships you the part overnight unless it is a dire emergency. To say the least, I was impressed.

About a month ago, while on Instagram, I saw that Ohio Ordnance Works had posted a picture of a gentleman holding a beautiful rifle with the caption of Happy birthday boss… Mr. Landies. As it turns out I wasn’t transferred to some shop floor guy who builds the rifles but to the owner of the company. Again… no one does that.

After fixing the gun we took it back on the range a few weeks later and the gun ran like a champ. Screen Shot 2015-06-02 at 6.28.23 PM

Final Thoughts

The gun is battle tested. I never had any doubts that this was a good gun, if it wasn’t, it would not still be in service all over the world.
While owning this 1919A4 only makes me feel cooler in my head, I know that I will not be taking this out to the range every Sunday. I know that it is a special occasion gun than is very expensive to just play with.

This is a gun that has a lot of history attached to it and since Ohio Ordnance Works has made this M1919A4 to be as affordable to own as possible I think it is a very nice piece to have in anyone’s collection. Plus, when your friends are bragging that they own a Tavor or a SCAR 17 you can just look at them and say “that’s cute, I own a belt fed tripod rifle”.

I have been very impressed with this company from the first time I spoke with them on the phone. They have always been very helpful and ready to work with us. I know I say this a lot, but I truly love the gun community. There is, bar none, not a single community with more caring and awesome people.

Remington R1 Enhanced 1911 Review

When I was younger I fancied myself a “Glock” man. In all of the debates with my friends I held true to my Glock fandom and that there wasn’t a 1911 on the face of this earth that could sway me. I have grown up a lot since then and I have experienced one or maybe two more guns since I was a youth. As I have matured and become a reviewer, I know that my tastes and knowledge has grown with me. I have been on the hunt for a 1911 that I could put the Atticus James stamp of approval on for about 2 years now, and I can say I have finally found it.

Remington R1 Enhanced 1911 Review

Side Story 

Before I get to reviewing this gun I wanted to share a story with you. As some of you know, I name my guns like they are my children and each firearm has a name that relates to a part of the gun and how it came to be mine.

On Valentine’s Day 2015, I picked up the Remington R1 1911 and the OOW 1919 (it was my month of ordering firearms designed in the 1900s). I opened the Remington pistols’ hard case and saw the gun for the first time. I instantly knew her name. Cupids Bow (Cupid for short). Because if Cupid was real it wouldn’t carry bow and arrows, it would carry this .45ACP, so when you get hit with love it feels like a Mac truck just hit you. This is how I felt when I first held the Remington R1 Enhanced and again when I first shot this pistol. Love hitting me like a Mac truck.

2015-05-11 17.33.12

Specs

ACTION: Short recoil operation
CALIBER: .45 ACP
MAGAZINE CAPACITY: 8+1 (comes with two mags)
BARREL: 5 in.
OVERALL LENGTH: 8.5 in.
OVERALL HEIGHT: 5.5 in.
GRIPS: Enhanced Wood Laminate
TRIGGER PULL: 3.5-5 lb.
WEIGHT: 39.5 oz.
Price: $940

First Impressions

I am not a good shot with pistols at anything farther than maybe 10 feet. I am working at getting my accuracy better but it has taken time. When we first took the Remington R1 Enhanced out to the range we were working in our back bay that goes out to 182 yards. We had been shooting our OOW 1919 out to the 50 yard line. We had to take a break from the 1919 and moved over to pistols for a bit. After shooting about 250 rounds down at the 7 yard with the Remington R1 Enhanced I decided to ring steel at 10y and 25 yards. I felt super confident after ringing in the silhouette at 25 yards. I wanted to try my hand at 50. After about 3 shots of walking up I rang the steel. For some of you this is nothing and I understand that, but for me this was AWESOME!

Shooting

When I moved over to the knockdown plate rack I was averaging about 90% hit rate at 10 yards. I let my sister try this pistol out and she noted it was heavy when she first picked it up but after shooting the gun and seeing how the weight helped her follow up shots I think the heaviness didn’t bother her after that. The crew got some time behind the gun and I heard things like “they can take this from my cold dead hands” “dibs” “do you think Atticus would notice it missing if I sneak it under my shirt and take it home”.

Grips

I don’t like the prickliness of the grips. I understand the reason being that it adds more slip resistance, but I am not a fan. I found that the screws were loose on the grips when I got the gun. After tightening them they haven’t backed out once.

 2015-05-11 17.28.30

500 Round Cleaning

After the first day of shooting, the muzzle was very caked with carbon and powder. I always use M Pro 7 cleaner on my guns and after taking the Remington R1 down and spraying everything with cleaner all the carbon just wipes off and returned the gun to a shiny new-ish gun.

2000 Round Cleaning

When shooting the next 1500 round (maybe 200 rounds in) is when we had our first and only failure to fire. I was being bad and using an old box of Tula and I believe the round was just bad. After cleaning the gun it is still shiny and looks new. The fiber optic front sight needed to be cleaned with a q-tip but still is red and very visible .

Ammo Used

I have been using Blazer 230 Gr FMJ .45 Auto ammo in my .45s for years now and I have never really had any problems with it. I used 1600 round of Blazer, 50 rounds of Tula Ammo 45 ACP 230 Gr. FMJ Steel Case, 50 rounds of HPR .45 AUTO 230 JHP (the round I used to hit steel at 50 yards) and the last 300 rounds was Monarch brass .45 ACP FMJ.

Take Down

Remington ships a plastic barrel bushing wrench with the pistol making the take down easier. The gun takes down just like any other 1911.

Trigger

I have a Geissele Super Semi-Automatic Enhanced (SSA-E) Trigger in my AR-15. I have been complimented on this trigger more times than I can remember. The Remington R1 Enhanced Trigger is very similar. The trigger had a little more play left and right then I like but the pull and the reset are crisp and clean. It is like drinking a nice cold glass of water on a hot summer day. This trigger quenches that thirst like very few can.

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The Sights

The adjustable rear sight and fiber-optic front sight (red) make for an easy to see and quick to draw sight picture. Out of the box the pistol was dead on at 25 yards. When holstering this pistol in my drop leg holster I never had any problems with it snagging on the front sight. I never carried this pistol concealed because I do not have a holster to fit this gun.

2015-05-11 17.31.07

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The Hard Case

In the case, it has a cut out that I could not figure out for the life of me what went there. 2015-05-11 17.37.28

As it turns out Remington sells a 1911 Multi-tool that fits in that spot

1911-Multitool_closed

1911-Multitool

As to why anyone would store this in the hard case is beyond me but I guess if you are wanting to give this as a gift with the tool included it would make for a nice one piece gift.


Overall Thoughts

The Remington R1 Enhanced is a custom factory made gun. Fit and finish on this pistol makes that apparent.

I loved this gun. I have never shot Remington’s other 1911s but my gunsmith said he has never been happy with them and that he only liked what Remington had done with the R1 Enhanced.

2000 Rounds and only one issue is good odds. Especially if that was only due to bad ammo.

At $940 MSRP it is hard to beat the price for a custom gun. While this gun would make for a nice piece to display it is also a firearm you could can shoot day in and day out.

Targetvision Short Range Wireless Spotting Scope Review

At SHOT Show 2014 I met Clay Rhoden one of the co-founders of TARGETVISION at media day at the range. Having just finished reviewing a similar short range target camera viewing system, I was interested in seeing what TARGETVISION had done differently. Two of the most noticeable things I first saw was that it was a self contained camera and wireless transmitter housed in a plastic tube vs. the tool box the other company uses. The other thing was the HD camera that they use.

Short_Range_Next_to_Tripod_1024x1024

There were three items total that were shipped to me. The camera system, the charging cord and a small tripod that the camera screws into. This means there isn’t much to misplace. This is a big thing for me since I carry a large amount of gear to the range.

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When I first used the camera, the picture (seen below) was blurry. I called the company from the range and spoke with Clay at TARGETVISION. He, at first, thought it might have been a defective camera. After a couple of conversations, he wanted me to try some different things before we shipped it back. In the meantime, for whatever reason, the camera recalibrated itself when we got home and the next week we had a very clear and crisp video.

At the range
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A week later.

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I am a red blooded male and I admit I do not like to read manuals. As a reviewer, I admit, I should know better. TARGETVISION sent not one, but TWO guides. The 19 page manual and birthday card size quick start guide. Again, I did not read either of them and I thought more was wrong with the camera than really was. The camera tube is meant to be 10-15 feet away from the target and off to the side so you do not shoot it. We were use to my other system, which sits about 6 feet away from the target. Don’t be like me and skip reading the important information TARGETVISION sends you. It is not because they want to send you one more booklet for you to lose but so you know how to use your $595 targeting system.

Setting the System

As you can see in the pictures, there are no wires you have to mess with. The TARGETVISION System is pretty much turn the device on, connect to the devices to wifi, open the app and shoot.

App

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I used the system on my iPhone 4s, 6 and my android (don’t judge me) tablet. The system worked great across all three devices. I do prefer to use the tablet over the phones simply because of the larger screen.

Overall Thoughts

I am a big tech fan and I like seeing how new technology is helping me become a better reviewer and better shooter as we have more and more things to assist in giving us instant data to get the round on target better and faster.

I have to note that when the TARGETVISION system is sitting in a 100 yard long wind tunnel with 12 foot high walls of steel belted radial tires the camera does not always connect quickly or stay connected. I don’t spend much time in them so it wasn’t really a problem but it was worth noting. This has to do with how wifi signal carries and not the device.

A feature I would like to see is integration of a ballistic calculator in the app. Also on that note, I would like to see more community involvement so integration can be like the health app on the iPhone which allows you to better track your health with different devices all in one app.  The more data we can share all in one place the better and safer shooters we all become.

TARGETVISION is one of the companies who first had a product like this. I liked the camera for 3 reasons: It was easy to set up, easy to use, and all self contained. Being able to mark your shots is important but it is a feature on the other cameras so it doesn’t play as much of a factor into my review as that is the norm.

Henry Repeating Arms – Golden Boy Eagle Scout Tribute Edition Rifle Review

Some of you may already know I received the rank of Eagle Scout in the Boy Scouts of America, in 2004. This is the highest rank one can receive and it must be earned and is never just given. My father was a big part as to why I made it to Eagle because he cared enough to be a part of the program and help make scouting worth what it should be. A place for boys to grown into men.

History in a Rifle

Henry Repeating Arms has been reproducing the Henry lever action since 1997 based on the 1860s rifle designed by Benjamin Tyler Henry. Henry Repeating Arms makes a very large variety of different lever action rifles all based on the original design.

Henry makes a large number of tribute edition rifles such as the BSA, the EMS, the Military and Law enforcement, just to name a few. They make 5 different “Scouting Special Edition” rifles.

 

Big Boy “Order of the Arrow Centennial Edition” (.44 mag)

Big Boy Eagle Scout Centennial Rifle (.44 Mag)

Celebrating 100 Years of Eagle Scouts

Boy Scouts of America® Centennial Edition Tribute Rifle (.22 Short/Long/LR)

Celebrate 100 years of Scouting

Special Edition Philmont Scout Ranch Rifle (.22 Short/Long/LR)

Celebrating the oldest BSA adventure camp

Golden Boy Eagle Scout Tribute Edition Rifle (.22 Short/Long/LR)

Once an Eagle, Always an Eagle

Tribute Edition Rifles

While all of the scouting edition rifles are beautiful works of pure art the Golden Boy Eagle Scout Tribute Edition Rifle just my hands down favorite of the 5 and why I wanted to review this particular rifle. The detail work on this rifle is incredible.

I would love to own all of Boy Scout rifle editions and keep them as a predominate display in my office  but if I could only choose one I believe I chose correctly.

Smooth Shooting

If you have never shot a Henry Lever Action Rifle there is really only one word to describe the overall feeling…. Smooth. When I first picked up this rifle and held it in my hands it felt special and different. It felt like the night I received my Eagle Scout but in a rifle. The first time I pulled the trigger I remembered the night of my Eagle board of review and when they told me I had passed. It feels special.

Honor of Owning a Henry

If you were never involved in this program I am sorry if you do not understand completely what I am talking about. I know that most people feel a different way based on the rifle and special editions they may own. Owning a Henry is like being in an exclusive club. It is that nod at the range when you see someone with one or when someone walks up to you and asks if that is a Henry and how they have always wanted one.

I am a Brotherhood member of the Order of the Arrow and I have even hiked to the top of the Tooth of Time, but I am most proud of my Eagle Scout. I would not be the man I am today if it wasn’t for my time spent in the program. I am honored to have a such a special fire arm to honor that moment in my life.

Eagle Scout or Scout Master Gifts

I have to take a moment a say that this would be hands down be the best Eagle Scout gift to give a scout who enjoys shooting. A Henry Boy Scout edition would also be a great way to honor an outstanding Boy Scout Leader, Scout Master or Eagle Advisor. If you have a hero returning home from overseas who enjoys shooting, any Henry rifle would make an awesome welcome home gift. I am pretty sure you can look and see what other Henry gifts are perfect for the special men and women in your life.

Specifications

Eagle Scout Tribute Edition

Model Number: H004ES
Action Type: Lever Action
Caliber: .22 S/L/LR
Capacity: 16 rounds .22 LR 21 rounds .22 Short
Length: 38.5″
Barrel Length: 20″
Weight: 6.75 lbs.
Stock: American Walnut
Sights: Marbles fully adjustable Semi-Buckhorn rear, with reversible white diamond insert and brass beaded front sight
Finish: Brasslite receiver, brass buttplate and blued barrel and and metal barrel band
M.S.R.P.: $1,095.00

Editorial: Modernizing the Wheel vs. Newly Invented

I was talking with someone the other night about guns (Yes, I do talk about other things than guns… sometimes) when they asked what I thought was the 5 top new innovations were in the industry. This is a topic I have been wanting to write about for a while, I just have never had the words.

M1 vs SCAR

When it comes to the gun industry we have cycles we go through. The inventing and learning cycle and what I call the modernizing of the wheel. In the inventing and learning cycle we have invented things like the tube sights for long distance shooting and learned things like rifling. With the modernizing the wheel cycle, which we are currently in, we are just finding ways to make these older designs fit the 21 century.

In the 1950s and 1960s the .308 Winchester and the .223 Remington made their debut in the in the shooting world and we are still using them as a our standard calibers. The FN-H SCAR is a modernized version of the FAL. The target cameras are the updated version of a spotting scope.

Don’t get me wrong, I am happy with the advancements we have made. However, I want to see something new. I want to live in a time like my grandfathers era when a lot of new things were introduced.  He saw the explosion of “modern guns with the invention of the  “plastic gun” or “black gun”, He also saw the invention of the standardized 30 round magazines as well as being able to control the muzzle climb with an intermediate cartridge.

I am not saying we don’t live in a time without people like Eugene Stoner and Mikhail Kalashnikov.  I am just saying we haven’t really seen something that has made a small arms like the M16 or M14 go almost obsolete. We saw the M16 quickly replace the M14 as the US service rifle in the 1960s.

As strange as it might seem, history shows us that the government is the main reason for innovation and invention in this industry. Until a government demands a new product to suit their new need, we do not see new creations. A government contract can be in the price range of billions which goes towards R&D and eventual release to the general public.

While some might think with the increased use of drones, it may be a long time before we see anything new.  I am a believer that we will always need boots on the ground, if for no other reason than for intelligence gathering, for aid and for maintaining goodwill.  I am excited and hopeful for the future of our industry.

Windham Weaponry R16FSFST-308 Review

For those of you not familiar with Windham Weaponry and would like more history on them, you should visit  The Windham Weaponry Story…

Windham Weaponry R16FSFST-308 Review

Introduction to the .308 AR Style Rifle

I have always preferred the larger .30 caliber round over the 5.56×45. While the military finds the 5.56 round “adequate” it leaves much to be desired for more applications in the civilian market. For everyday plinking the 5.56×45 (.223 Remington) is fine but if I want to take that caliber for other hunting type purposes I might not legally be able.

The AR-15 style rifle is Legos for the adult world. You can customize it to make some really interesting firearms. With thousands of different products designed for this platform, the possibilities are endless. As each year passes, people are inventing better and better products for the AR.

The issue that I have with the AR platform is the caliber. While it is true that you can build an AR in every caliber known to man, the staple calibers are the ones we want more of.

While the AR-10 style rifles have been year for years, The magazines use to be outrageously expensive until the DPMS/SR-25 style mags started getting manufactured by companies who knew how to make great magazines. This was part of what I saw as the awakening of the .308 AR rifles.

Specs   

Windham Weaponry R16FSFST-308
Rifle 16 Shaved Front Site (SIC) w/Telestock (found on the invoice shipped with the rifle) R16SFST-308 L

Caliber: .308 Win. / 7.62x51mm
Action: Semi-Automatic, Gas Impingement System
Capacity:  20 + 1- Ships with one 20 Rd Magpul Magazine (accepts all std. sizes)
Safety:  Manual Lever with Indicator Markings on Both Sides of Receiver
Receiver: Flat Top Type Upper w. Mil Std 1913 Rail / QD Sling Sockets in Lower
Receiver Material: Forged 7075 T6 Aircraft Aluminum with Integral Trigger Guard
Receiver Finish: Hardcoat Black Anodize Finish
Bolt Material:  Carpenter 158 Steel
Barrel: 16.5” Medium Profile, Chrome Lined with A2 Flash Suppressor
Barrel Material: 4150M Chrome Moly Vanadium 11595E Steel
Rifling: 1 in 10” – Right Hand Twist – 6 Lands & Grooves
Stock: 6 Position Telescoping Buttstock with Windham Weaponry Logo
Forend:  Midwest Industries 15” SS Key Mod Free Float Handguard w. Rail Segment
Pistol Grip: Hogue Beavertail Overmolded Grip
Rear Sight:   None – Ready for optics or other type accessory sights
Front Sight: None
Weight / Length:  8.0 lbs. (without magazine) / 38” (34.1875” with Telestock collapsed)

Packaging: Hard Plastic Gun Case with Black Web Sling, Operators Manual. Transferable Lifetime Warranty.

The Quick Detach Points and Keymod

The lower on this rifle comes with two QD sling attachment points located below the charging handle. The Midwest Industries Keymod handguard has 5 QD points located on the left and right hand sides of the handguard as well as one at the muzzle end of the handguard. This gives the user multiple points and configurations for their needed sling setup. I personally only like single point slings so this was right for that setup.

This was the first time using the keymod rail system and overall I really like the design. It is simple and easy to install the rail pieces where you want and need them in a very short amount of time.

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The Trigger

The trigger is built by Windham Weaponry. The say they take great pains to make the trigger as smooth and crisp as possible but if you are unhappy with their trigger they do offer other replacement triggers from companies like CMC, POF and Geissele.

The trigger pull is a bit heavier than I like, but I never found myself jerking the trigger or having any other trigger related accuracy problems with the installed trigger.

The Pistol Grip

At first when I saw the Hogue overmolded grip I wasn’t sure how much I would like it. After getting some heavy range time in all kinds of temperatures, this is now my second favorite grip of all time. With gloves on, this grip wasn’t tacky but when I had sweaty hands in the heat it was.

The Stock

The stock is the standard 6 position stock with the Windham Weaponry logo. The stock is nothing to write home about. But I like the fact that using a stock like this helps keep the rifle at a very consumer friendly price. 

The Barrel

The 16.5 inch barrel is the perfect length for shooting from the bench, to run and gun, or stalk hunting.

This length is my ideal length for a .308 semi auto rifle. It keeps the weight down so the rifle is more versatile.

The Bolt Catch

This was my only “problem” with the gun. When the bolt was locked to the rear just tapping the barrel against the rifle rest would send the bolt forward.

The Charging Handle

I have trained on the stock charging handles and all I have to say is real estate, real estate, real estate! I like my charging handles to have as much real estate as possible. The more grip I can get on the charging handle the better in my mind. If I have to rack the gun back, I want to go with as little effort as possible. The small stock charging handle is something I would change if I owned this rifle.

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Sights

This rifle does not come with any sights.

Shooting

This gun looks like a tank and is built like one too. It can take a beating and still come back for seconds.

In the 500+ rounds we shot through this gun, we never had a hiccup or anything. It just kept begging to be fed.

We had this rifle on the 25 yard bay out to the 300 yard bay and I always kept 1-3 inch groupings. This is not necessarily an accurate portrayal of what the gun can produce but more of a mark on my shooting abilities.

Cleaning

This rifle is like any other AR style when it comes to cleaning. The 500+ rounds had very little carbon build up. The barrel stayed relatively clean. I would bet we could have shot another 1000+rounds  before it even started slowing down.

Overall Thoughts

For the price I have not seen a better .308 AR. Flat out, Windham Weaponry knows their sh*t. They know how to build quality rifles at a great consumer price point. They don’t focus on the bells and whistles because they know you are going to want your own bells which is where can see your savings. 

Out of the box, the only thing you need to add is a sight. You can buy .308 rifles for the same price and you are going to end up wanting to replace the other companies “quality” parts. Windham Weaponry, from what I have shot and seen are not like that. You might find something you want to change, like the stock or the charging handle. But let’s face it, if you are working on a budget, the Windham Weaponry .308 line, as is, will impress you with their quality.

The firearm industry is made up of a lot of really great people who are just trying to make the best and toughest products in the world. I have met the people at Windham Weaponry a few times at SHOT Show and was impressed by the great people. I believe that they are always trying to make something that is going to stand the test of time. .

Talon Grips for Glock 21 Review

I have been provided the materials needed for this review. However, my opinions are entirely my own and I have not been paid to publish positive comments.

I was contacted by Talon Grips to review their product for my Glock 21.

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Introduction

Gun stippling has become a main stream feature that people get on their pistol grips for pistols and rifles. It is for better hold of the grip in all situations. Although some people will stipple their grips at home, most choose someone with more experience in the field, so they don’t damage the grip. Talon Grips has a more cost effective method with their self adhesive gun dependent grip tape.   

Testing

I am not a competitive shooter, in the military or law enforcement. The times I am holding my firearms are not typically really tense moments where I am feeling like I am losing the grip of my firearm. I normally prefer the manufacturers stippling on my rifles and pistols because they are not intrusive and I know if I pick up an identical pistol they will feel the same which helps with faster target acquisition.

Applying the Talon Grip to the Glock 21 was as simple as peeling a sticker and wrapping it around the grip. I wear a leg drop holster at the range and I did noticed the Talon grip started to peel when I would quick draw from my holster.

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Overall Thoughts

I plan to keep the grips on this pistol for the foreseeable future to see if over time I grow more accustom to use them. This is definitely a product you might want to look into as an alternative to  firearm stippling.

At this time, I do not feel that the Talon Grips improved or benefitted my grip with and without gloves.

The MSRP for the Pre gen 4 Glcok 21 is $17.99. That is considerably less expensive and non damaging to its counter part (stippling.)    This product is a cost effective alternative and it can give you experience as to what stippling would feel like on your firearm.

Repost: Work Sharp Ken Onion Edition Knife Sharpener Review

I wrote a review on the Work Sharp Ken Onion Edition Knife Sharpener over at AtticusJames.com. I review how I was able to get a razor edge on all my knives with relative ease after learning how to use the Work Sharp sharpener.  

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I designed AtticusJames.com to be review site for all things guy. I publish new guy stuff reviews every Monday

Mossberg ATR™ NIGHT TRAIN™ 27204 .308 Bolt Action Review

I have been provided the materials needed for this review. However, my opinions are entirely my own and I have not been paid to publish positive comments.

Normally I don’t put the model number in the title but with the number of different options Mossberg offers  for the rifle I want to be specific on which rifle I reviewed.

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Specs

Caliber: .308 WIN
Capacity: 5
Barrel: 22” Fluted
Rail: 6” Picatinny Rail
Scope: UTG 6-24x50MM w/ Illuminated Reticle, Sun Shade and Lens Protectors
Twist: 1:10
Length Of Pull: 13.25″
Finish: Matte Blue
Stock: Synthetic (Multi-Cam Camo)
Weight: 9.5 lb
Overall Length: 42″
MSRP: $891

Features:

LBA Lightning Bolt Action Adjustable Trigger
Free-Floating Button-Rifled Fluted Barrel
Scope and Bipod Included
4+1 Capacity, Top Load Magazine
Free Gun Lock/2-Year Limited Warranty

First Impressions

Growing up in the Boy Scouts, I knew Mossberg for two reasons. They made the Mossberg .22 bolt action rifles my troop owned for shooting sports and we had a Mossberg 500 12 Gauge shotgun we would use. When I was in the market for a new 12 Gauge I contacted Mossberg because they make the Mossberg 500 Flex which lets you customize your shotgun for your shooting needs.

You can pick up a wide range of different parts to make your gun more tactical or more home defense. If you want to keep it a normal bird gun, you can change the length of pull with different recoil/length of pull pads that snap in and out of the buttstock.  After a year of shooting the Mossberg 500 Flex 12 gauge, I wanted to do more work with Mossberg.

I requested the Mossberg ATR™ NIGHT TRAIN™ 27204 .308 Bolt Action Rifle for review. The gun, out of the box, makes you feel like you were just handed a sniper rifle and you are going to be able to take down all the bad guys from 4 miles* away. The scope is over a foot and a half long (w/ sun shade) and it has a the multi-cam stock fluted barrel and bipod.

Man, this Mossberg ATR looks like it can hit a dime from miles away*. (* The GEARs Crew understands that the max effective range of a .308 Win is 800-1000 meters. The distances named are for this writers dramatic impact only and should not be the expected results.)

Shooting and Feel

After getting the Mossberg ATR sighted and realigned I started out shooting 20 rounds at the 100 yard range getting the rounds to go through the same hole. When I felt comfortable, I moved on to the 300 yard range and noticed that the optic was fuzzy in the beginning. I had expected this, since it is not a very high end scope.

I had the steel gong as my target which I figured I would hand load each round and do a rapid engagement of 10 (3-5 seconds per shot to reload) back to the 300 yard target, even with my speed the rifle maintained about a 6 inch grouping. After about 80 rounds my shoulder was not fatigued. The rifle had the right length of pull for my size, making this rifle rather enjoyable to shoot with all day.

The barrel is threaded into the action and not one solid piece. This is normal, however the chamber is not as forgiving to someone who is hand loading each round vs. using the magazine to load the rounds. I would have liked to have seen a feed ramp on this, but for the price of the Mossberg ATR, it still feeds like it should.

The bolt does have good play and good flow when manipulating the bolt to load rounds.

The recoil as mentioned above is not overwhelming so if you shot more than 100 rounds you shouldn’t be running for the ice pack.

Scope

The UTG scope is good if you are not planning to shoot past 100 yards. The scope that Mossberg mounted on this rifle was fuzzy until we shot about 20+ rounds. The scope prisms must have moved to the correct spot and cleared up enough to shoot the 200 yard range. It was still fuzzy and hazy at 300 to the point you could not see your hits on high visible targets.

When we first took the rifle to the range the scope had not been zeroed and it took about 20 rounds to zero in. I never used the Illuminated Reticle since it was a bright sunny day every day we went to shoot.

With this being said, if I am able to continue reviewing this rifle, I would look at a relatively inexpensive scope upgrade to a Redfield Revenge 6-18x44mm scope with an MSRP of $314.  This upgrade keeps the look of the rifle and scope package with a better optic.

Bipod and Rail

The Caldwell bipod is “adjustable” however, when I tried adjusting the height, the legs never matched up enough to give a stable shooting platform. Thankfully, I did most of my shooting off the bench and not from prone, so the short legs were at the correct height.   I personally feel that Mossberg would have been better suited to have the bipod attached by picatinny rail verses the “permanently” mounted Caldwell. In keeping with how I would upgrade this rifle, I would unmount the bipod and have a gunsmith mount a 3” picatinny rail on the flat bottom of the stock allowing for a bipod and other types of sling mounts.

The scope rail is a 5” picatinny rail. This is nice, but in terms of upgrading this rifle I would change to Leupold dovetail scope rings and so I would have to change the rail. Mossberg does make this possible as the rail is not wielded to the action.

Modularity

Mossberg introduced the Mossberg flex line of shotguns and MVP rifles. Although this rifle doesn’t need to be changed into a pistol grip rifle, I would have liked to have seen the buttstock length of pull modularity added into the design of the of the ATR™ NIGHT TRAIN line of centerfire rifles.

I think Mossberg is really onto the next gen of designs by adding features like the modularity they have already introduced. It would be great if companies like MAGPUL who already make stocks for Mossberg shotguns started adding new stocks and parts to Mossberg Flex line of modular rifles and shotguns.

Trigger

For those of us who are trigger snobs, you should like the Mossberg’s no gunsmith needed adjustable trigger. I didn’t mess with this trigger adjustment as I was having issues with the scope and my review focus changed.

Final Thoughts

The Mossberg ATR was designed for someone getting into the art of distance shooting. This gun is for someone who doesn’t want to spend $800 on a bolt action rifle that won’t have a long life and then drop another $400 or $500 on scopes and rings and bipods just to get your first shot down range. This gun has it all for $891 MSRP.

Out of the box, this rifle is ready to be sighted in and taken on a hunting trip or just to the distance range. The upgrades I have talked about are not something you will have to get if you are starting out and learning how to shoot. As a shooter gets more proficient at shooting longer and longer ranges that is the time to start thinking about upgrading.

I have loved shooting the Mossberg ATR. As a proficient distance shooter, I would love to be able to report back with my findings after some simple upgrades to an already extremely well built bolt action.

Kel-Tec KSG (Kel-Tec Shotgun) review

If you haven’t seen or heard about the Kel-Tec KSG, it is a bullpup 12 gauge shotgun with 2 magazine tubes and one barrel.

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Introduction

The Kel-Tec KSG shotgun is not your standard old faithful shotgun. It is not the shotgun that our grandfathers have been using since they were young pups. This is Kel-Tec’s entry into the modern day shotgun class. From first glance, you can see this shotgun is different. The KSG doesn’t have the look of that old American classic. This shotgun is part of the future of shotguns in both the LE/military market as well as the civilian market.

Specs

Caliber: 12 gauge up to 3” shell

Barrel length: 18.5″

Total capacity: 6+6+1 (using 3” shells)

Weight empty: 6.9lbs

Weight loaded: 8.5lbs

Length: 26.1″

Height: 7″

MSRP: $990.00

Materials: Hardened Steel and Glass reinforced nylon (Zytel)

First Impressions

The Kel-Tec KSG shotgun made its way on to the market a few years back. I had a number of opportunities to get some trigger time with this shotgun, prior to getting this one for review. I liked the look when I first saw this gun and I have always liked the bullpup design.

As I have mentioned in the past, I own a 20 gauge that is a bottom loader and ejector shotgun so I have had years of experience with that style. I have wanted to own the Kel-Tec KSG since day one.

Shooting and Feel

This shotgun is a 12 gauge and there is no denying that fact. Since this is a bullpup, there is not a lot of room to add things, like recoil dampeners, that you might have in a plastic butt stock of your favorite bird gun.

I am sure when Kel-Tec was building and designing this shotgun bullpup they weren’t designing this for a 10 year old child who might not be ready to shoot heavier recoiled shotguns. This shotgun has the recoil of a normal 12 gauge. For me, that doesn’t affect my personal take on this shotgun, because I own a number of shotguns and I have been shooting them for years. The compact size makes the gun easier to control because you are not sticking that 18.5” barrel past where it is comfortably maneuverable.

Operation and Controls

The Kel-Tec KSG is a pump action that offers the shooter dual 7 round (2.75 inch shells) magazine tubes so they can carry 14 + 1 shells in the shotgun. The magazine tubes are manually operated by a toggle switch behind the pistol grip. This gives you total control over the type of ammo the shotgun is shooting.

The most common question I have been asked is why do you need manual switch tubes? The best answer I have found, is that it was designed for someone in the LE/Military to use this shotgun to clear a building. The Kel-Tec KSG offers them 2 shotguns in one. You can load mag tube one with door breaching rounds or lethal rounds and load mag tube 2 up with something less than lethal. You can make the shotgun mission adaptable i.e. slugs in one tube and bird shot in the other to keep the spray pattern from over penetration.

For hunting, you might want that slug in one tube to take down your deer or hogs and buckshot or bird shot for varmint. For range commandos about 8 seconds of 12 gauge glory as you rain down fire and birdshot on your paper targets.

The pump release is right where you want it to be on the trigger guard. All you have to do is extend your trigger finger from a trigger control position to the lever to release your pump. The safety is a larger side to side push safety with clear written red “F” for fire and the left side a white “S” for safety.

Sights and Rails:

The KSG comes with a 12.25” picatinny rail on the top and a 5 inch picatinny rail on the pump. The shotgun does not come with iron sights or any kind of sight for that matter. The top rail offers the shooter a wide range of set ups from backup iron sights with a holographic sight as your main sight or even a shotgun tube sight. On the bottom of my KSG, I have put a Troy fore grip to assist in the pump action and keep my hands from being anywhere near the muzzle. There is enough room for a laser and fore grip on the bottom or even a fore grip/bipod combo.

Sling:

Kel-Tec ships a webbing and connectors to give the KSG a 2 point sling which is my biggest con of this gun. I have the sling attached and have had it attached since day one to insure I gave everything Kel-Tec sent a fair and honest review. I don’t like the connection points at the muzzle and at the butt stock. I have found I have almost shot my sling off a few times. The KSG hasn’t been designed with quick detach slings in mind and so you will not find QD points on the shotgun. I think that is something that would give this shotgun more to offer, having more freedom of sling options. I did find on the Kel-Tec website a metal single point attachment bracket for $21. If I keep this shotgun that is definitely one of the extras I would like to get.

Extras/Accessories:

As I mentioned about the single point adapter there is one more accessory I would want. That is the choke tube adapter. My other con I have for the KSG is that is it neither rifled for slugs nor choked for spread pattern. While the choke isn’t really a bad thing, as a hunter a rifled barrel would better serve the gun. Part of the reason I want a choke adapter is to allow me to thread on the new Silencerco Salvo 12 gauge suppressor.

Final Thoughts:

I have loved every second of reviewing this Kel-Tec KSG. This bullpup is fun to shoot, fun to show other shooters and most of all an extremely well built 12 gauge. There are other 12 gauge shotguns in this class that might not always be able to stand up to the forces that is modern day 12 gauge range commandos shotgun does. The KSG has even more applications than what I have mentioned. That to me, makes this shotgun such a nice tool to be added to anyone’s gun collection.

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Leatherman MUT First Impressions

I have been provided the materials needed for this review. However, my opinions are entirely my own and I have not been paid to publish positive comments.

This is my first impressions of the Leatherman MUT (Military Utility Tool). I plan to release my full review later this month, after I have had a chance to use the tool more. I have had the Leatherman MUT for about a week now. I haven’t used it much in the field and it has spent most of the time in its pouch on my person or in the desk next to me.

SPECS of the Leatherman MUT

MUT SPECS

The Leatherman MUT weights in a 11.2 oz. or 317.5 g so it falls on the slightly heftier side of what I normally carry (Leatherman Wave 8oz).  The weight is not that noticeable on my hip.

I did take the 3/8 wrench/ AR front sight tool out of the pouch as I am afraid of losing it. I have been carrying the Leatherman Rail to the range since I got it Christmas 2013 which has the sighting tool on it. I think if maybe there was a way the wrench combo could have been added to the MUT that might have been better. I don’t know yet and I will get back to you on my finding later.

Serrations VS. Straight Edge

The Knife has serrations which I have never been a fan of on the same blade as your straight cutting blade. Since Leatherman was trying to make this the best battle tool they could, I get it, as there are a lot of people out there that like that. It is all about getting the tool to fit your hand and not weight 400 pounds.

A Gunsmiths Point of View

The carbon scraper will be nice when I am cleaning the review guns as they tend to be more worn than my firearms. I took this tool into my gunsmith who agreed that this was designed nicely for taking your guns down.

The pouch is sewn to handle even the heaviest of wear and tear. I will talk more on the webbing and how it adjusts for your belt or molle gear in the next article.

Overall Thoughts

I am very happy with this new (to me) Leatherman MUT.  I can see this replacing my Leatherman Wave for everyday carry.

 

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Howard Leight Impact Sport E-Earmuffs review

I had planned to just review the Howard Leight*1 Impact Sport Electronic Earmuffs but plans changed.

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Customer Care

A few months back I got in contact with Howard Leight about getting some earmuffs to review for shooting but what I didn’t know at the time was that I was going to review the company as well. When I contacted the company, instead of my normal getting bounced around and transferred five times until I talked with the right person, I talked with ONE person. I had the pleasure of talking with Customer Care Rep Laraine from Howard Leight.

Empowered Reps

Normally I have to talk with someone in marketing or another division who handles media requests such as this one. With Howard Leight, I only worked with the customer care rep who the company has empowered to be able help the customer not like a number of other large (non-firearm) corporations.  Most companies keep sending you to the next tier up because all the first tier customer care rep can do is ask you if you have turned the product on and off.

I am not going to get on my soap box and talk about that because I really want to just talk about Howard Leight and how I had such a pleasant experience with them.

skip to Earmuff Review

I called Howard Leight and spoke with Laraine about getting the earmuffs and she was more than willing to help me out with this not just because I am a blogger but because Howard Leight seems to only employ customer care reps who CARE. I know this to be a fact because in the few times I did have to call the company and ask for Laraine I would always be greeted by one the of reps who would try to help me in any way they could before I would ask to speak with Laraine.

Consistency

I have contacted Howard Leight a couple of times since my first contact and have spoken to different customer care reps who were just as helpful and knowledgeable as Laraine.

Lifetime Customer

Howard Leight makes great ear protection but they have also made me a lifetime customer because of how they work with the customer.

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Specs: Impact® SportFolding

  • Sleek, extremely low profile earcup design allows for full clearance of firearm stock
  • Automatic 4 hour shut-off increases battery life
  • AUX jack connects to MP3 players and scanners
  • Automatically shuts off loud impulse noise to a safe 82dB while amplifying conversation and range commands
  • Convenient folding design for easy storage
  • One single power and volume control knob
  • Air Flow Control™ technology
  • Black leatherette headband with sporty hunter green earcups
  • Water resistant
  • Easy access to the external battery compartment
  • 2 AAA batteries included

Source: The Howard Leight website

Impact Sport E-Earmuff Review

For a number of years now I have used the surefire earplugs or my good old non-electronic over the head earmuffs because both offer me what I need for shooting.

The surefire plugs are great if I am going to be just shooting and minimal talking on the range and when I have a rifle stock glued to my face.

My  non-electronic over the head earmuffs offer me noise dampening but they are quick to slide off if I need to make a video or hear what the crew is saying, they are overly bulky and you hear every tap of the buttstock to your earmuff.

Adjustable Volume

The Howard Leight electronic earmuffs give me the best of both worlds. I can adjust the volume when I need to listen or almost turn the sound off when I am firing on the line with the three .30-06 rifles going off. The muffs are low profile so the overly bulkiness is minimized to the point it is comfortable to run and shoot with a rifle or to sit on the bench and shoot long distances.

Long Battery Life

We have been using the muffs for about 5 months now and haven’t had to change the batteries yet.

Increased Range Communication

I like the fact that I can adjust the volume easily when I am shooting from the bench and we have other shooters near us.  The spotter and shooter can almost whisper to each other adjustments without having to listen to everyone on the range. I can also turn the volume all the way up and hear the crew from a distance without anyone having to scream commands.

 

Overall Thoughts:

The earmuffs will run about $50 but for the safety of your hearing and still being able to hear what is going on around you,  they are well worth the investment.

 

*1 Howard Leight is owned by Honeywell, An American multinational conglomerate company that produces a variety of commercial and consumer products, engineering services, and aerospace systems for a wide variety of customers, from private consumers to major corporations and governments.
Source: Honeywell’s Wiki page