Kel-Tec SU-16CA – Two Years later

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.

One of the first guns we ever reviewed was the Kel Tec SU-16CA rifle. When we first tested it, we ran about 2000 rounds of Russian and Lake City ammo through this rifle, before we cleaned and oiled it.  It was wonderful and if you want to read the first review you can find it HERE

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I now own the rifle and typically it is always taken to the range with me no matter what. Really, to me, that is what we are looking for when it comes to rifles… a rifle that is so reliable that no matter what we are doing we have to bring it out. Now I know I am opening a can of worms by saying that, because of the whole AR VS. AK battle that has been going on forever. It will still be the big argument even when we are carving our thanksgiving turkeys with light sabers.

My SU-16CA has been used for (non full auto) mag dumps to ringing the gong at 300yd with iron sights to teaching someone how to use a gun.  I also use it for ammo/magazine/optic reviews. In the last two years this rifle has shot at least 6000 rounds and I have not had any misfires. This rifle is not the most aesthetically pleasing rifle nor should it be. Kel-tec didn’t sit with the designers saying this rifle needs to be a fashion statement. The rifle is just that, a rifle.

My personal favorite place to take this rifle is a public range where we are shooting in a “building”. Kel-Tec doesn’t ship this rifle with a muzzle device.  I have yet to find one I liked enough to change the look of the rifle. That being said, when we are shooting inside it sounds like a .308 or .30-06 going off, making it one of my favorite conversation starters. People are always walking over and telling me about their .308 semi auto or .30-06.  I love watching their mouth drop when I tell them it is only a .223. The sound isn’t the only thing I love about this rifle and here are my top ten reasons.

Top Ten Reasons I love this rifle

  1. Piston driven. – This makes the rifle run very clean.
  2. Uses standard AR style mags – this is nice because I can run an X-Products X-15 drum with it or p-mags or the Surefire 60 and 100 round casket mags
  3. Easy to fold and store – since this rifle splits the stock and frame and hinges together, it makes it nice to carry when backpacking and on hunts (when you don’t need heavier calibers to take down game).
  4. Sounds like a cannon.
  5. Easy to clean
  6. Lightweight
  7. User friendly – put this rifle in most peoples hands and they can figure it out with no problem.
  8. Comes in five .223 models and one .22LR
  9. Carries two 10 round mags in the stock
  10. Fun to shoot

While my ARs and AKs are great guns and are the equivalent of Legos for men, they aren’t always as reliable.

My 25yd to 300yd rifle is my Kel Tec SU-16CA for the simple fact that it has been tested time and time again and it just works.

Colt LE901 Modular Multi-Caliber Rifle Review

I have been wanting to get my hands on the LE901 since Colt first debuted it at SHOT Show 2012. After 2 years of waiting, I finally got the chance to shoot this AWESOME rifle.

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In the caliber war debates, I have always stood with the .308 WIN as my favorite AR caliber. There is something about sending 150 grains of lead down range without killing your shoulder that always makes me happy.

Colt LE901 specs

I had this rifle for 3 months and we shot roughly 500 rounds down range without one problem. I asked Colt to send the mag well adapter, 5.56 spring and buffer and a LE6940 5.56 upper with the LE901. I shot mostly Liberty Silverado .223 ammo using the Colt LE6940 and found that the combo worked well at keeping the barrel clean.

Thoughts about the multi-caliber system

I hate spending money twice on the same part for two guns like a trigger or butt stock. I know what I like, so typically I am going to replace the parts that don’t feel right, with ones that do. This rifle makes that problem go away. You only have to own one lower, one trigger group, one pistol grip and one buttstock that is your personal preference.  Then you have different uppers for the different needs. This way you can have a .308 win for the bench and a .223 for run and gun.

 

 

Caliber change

To change the gun just takes just a few seconds. All you need to change is the buffer and spring. Have your mag well adapter block on the 5.56 upper and that just drops in the mag well and using the same pins for the .308 win upper.  This is quick and easy to do on the fly, making this gun a breeze to use in either caliber.

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Other Calibers

Since the .300 blackout was designed for the .223 AR platform you could also use it for this rifle.

The LE901’s .308 upper is propriety and only used on this rifle. This means you don’t have the option yet, to change to the other heavy calibers like other AR-10 style rifles, namely .243 win.

When that day comes, this rifle truly will start exceeding anything else in its class. The AR-15 already has so many different uppers from .22 conversions to .50BMG bolt action to crossbows. The introduction into the .308 mag well calibers truly unlocks it full potential.

Shooting from the bench

This rifle has the stock Colt trigger which I really have never been a fan of, but it still does a good job of not being sloppy and hard breaking.

On the bench at 300 yards I was shooting a 2 inch group which is more a comment on my lack of distance skills than the rifle itself.

Run and Gun

We took this gun and set up a few shooting courses at the range for fun and found we like the heavier .308 more for the course than we did with the lighter hitting 5.56. We kept forgetting the .308 Magpul P-mag Colt shipped with the rifle, was 20 rounds and that our 5.56 P-mag is 30.  We would run the course like we had 30 rounds vs. the 20 we really had loaded.

Cleaning

This rifle is like any other AR style when it comes to cleaning.

Ambidextrous controls

Since I am right handed, I mostly used the bolt release on the right hand side of the rifle which was nice. However, I would have also liked the ability to lock the bolt on the same side.

Owning this rifle

I do plan to buy one of these rifles someday, for the simple fact that it is one lower for multiple uppers.

Overall thoughts

I loved this rifle and I do plan on trying to get another one for review and maybe purchase in the future.

As a stock Colt rifle this is built to be used and abused and takes it. The Colt tradition of making great firearms is very much alive and well in this rifle.

X-products X-15 50 Round .223/5.56×45 Drum 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.

Typically I am not one to share my hopes and dreams with you as this is a gun website full of guns and gun stuff but today I need to share with you the nightmare that has been in my life for the past year now.

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As I am sure a lot of you have seen the X-products 50 round X-15 .223/5.56×45 drum magazine for the AR-15 platform and might have even seen the video below of me firing off all 50 rounds with the ZA-15 which, as you see, feeds the rounds like a dream. But this isn’t the part where I tell you about the good but where I share my nightmare.

When I first started my testing a year ago I fell in love with the magazine and I am known to call this the p-mag of the drum world because of how fun it is. I love to walk around with the bad boy in my rifle and shoot off a few rounds. Of course it makes you want to reload your mag more and that is my nightmare.  I will be at the range and go to open that ammo can to reload only to see that it is empty of .223 ammo to feed the drum and gun. Damn, that stuffs goes fast when you are having fun!

All joking aside this is a really great magazine that I have found is great for everything from plinking on the range to sighting your AR on the lead sled to displays at your local gun shop.

Testing stages:

The crew and I talked about trying to torture this magazine by driving over it or throwing it off the tower but since X-products has done such a good job at designing this out of aluminum and steel it would be really hard to show any kind of damage to this without blowing it up or taking a blow torch to it which there is really no real world reason that SHOULD ever happen.  Our testing was concentrated on just sending rounds thru it.

Jams and misfires:

I have put about 1000 rounds through this magazine without any problems what so ever. I own a surefire 60 round casket magazine which looks cool but since we primarily shoot steel cased ammo we get metal on metal friction which stops the magazine from working but since the X-15 drum is designed in a spiral the ammo has a hard time locking the magazine down.

Size:

I live in the great state of Texas where I am not limited on how many rounds I can have in my magazine so I own 30 round magazines and up which can be a problem if you are sighting your rifle in on a lead sled but I found that the X-15 works great for that and I don’t have to change mags if 10 rounds wasn’t enough or if you are sighting in a number of ARs.

Drum mags:

I have a few friends who have owned beta mags and other AR drums and they haven’t liked them all that much.  Most of them were skeptical about the X-15 when I first started talking about them but after they used mine they could feel the difference.

When you load the mag in your rifle for the first time you might think this is going to make your gun heavy and unbalanced. By keeping the weight straight under the gun it doesn’t unbalance the rifle and the weight doesn’t really become much of a factor when you are pulling the trigger.

Overall thoughts:

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For $239 this might seem like a high priced magazine but you have to consider the durability that a steel and aluminum drum offers you. Would I go out and buy 30 of them? No, because I don’t need that many drum magazines with having less expensive AR polymers. However, if I have a need for a reliable over 30 round magazine this is my first choice.

I have not yet gotten into 3 gun matches or competition shooting but I have seen a few videos online of competitors using the X-15 and they have nothing but great things to say about them.

I love this magazine.  It is well made, durable and dependable.  It is also a hell of a lot of fun.  I am really excited to see what they have in store for us in the years to come.

 

 

Aaron–FN-H SCAR Mk 17

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SCAR SPECIFICATIONS:
Caliber: 7.62 NATO
Action: Gas operated, Semi auto center fire
Receiver: Aluminum upper, polymer lower
Barrel: 16.25″ cold hammer forged, chrome lined
Overall Length: 38.5″ and 28.5″ with the stock folded
Trigger pull: nonadjustable, single stage; 6lbs, 5oz
Empty Weight: 8.0 LBS
Capacity: 10 or 20 round proprietary box magazine
Price: $2,900-$3,350

The SCAR Mk 17 was a new addition to the U.S. arsenal that entered service in 2009. It fires the bigger 7.62×51 NATO round compared to the 5.56 that the US uses most. This versatile solution was made by FN Herstal out of Belgium for the US SOCOM forces.

The 75th Ranger Regiment were the first soldiers to get their hands on the SCAR’s first models. The US military has canceled orders on the Mk 16 version of the SCAR and has started to get the SCAR Mk 17 with plans to purchase 5.56 conversion kits for the rifle. This was one of the competing firearms to replace the aging M4 Carbine.

For the civilian market, FNH has also created a semiautomatic version imported over as the SCAR 17S. SCAR is an acronym for “Special Operation Forces Combat Assault Rifle,” with the name proclaiming its original intended purpose.

There are many other things that this rifle has improved on P1110336-1024x684P1110336-1024x684from the current assault rifles the US uses. This rifle contains a short recoil system similar to a Saiga shotgun, allowing a cleaner operation than a direct impingement system. FNH is claiming a 90% cutback of the carbon build up in the action over the AR style of rifles.  This should mean a lower amount of maintenance that you would have to perform to keep this firearm functioning.

The short recoil system helps lessen the recoil with shooting larger calibers. A firearm with short stroke recoil has a heavy bolt carrier assembly that the piston is in contact with for only a short amount of time. The recoil force is spread over a longer period of time with this beefy bolt carrier, allowing for more accurate follow up shots on target.

With the SCAR 17, the controls are mostly ambidextrous. The magazine release and the safety can be operated from both sides of the firearm but the bolt catch is only on the left. The charging handle is actually attached to the bolt like an AK is which is potentially dangerous to the user, and will reciprocate with the bolt while firing. While firing a firearm with a reciprocating charging handle, it can throw off the balance of the firearm while shooting.

 

Walther Arms H&K MP5SD Review PT:2

Last year I came across the replica MP5SD that was made by Carl Walther of Germany and I read up on my reviews to see what others thought on the product and I saw pretty much the same thing from post to post, this was a GREAT replica and that no matter what you fed the gun it worked.

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As you can see on our Product Review page we had this gun back in 2012. Both Panzer and Gun Bunny gave a short review on how they loved the gun. I ran out of time with the gun and had to send it back to Walther before I got to write a review.  

The ammo we have found to run through the gun was:

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Federal .22 LR 40 Grains (100 rounds no misfires or jams)
Remington Thunderbolt High Velocity .22LR 40 Grains (50 rounds no misfires or jams)
Remington 22 Target Standard Velocity .22LR 40 Grains (100 rounds no misfires or jams)
Winchester Wildcat 22 .22LR HV 40 Grains (1000 rounds no misfire or jams)
Blazer 22 Long Rifle 40 Grains (50 rounds no misfires or jams)
CCI Mini Mag 22 LR 40 Grains Copper Plated round nose (100 rounds no misfires or jams)
Winchester Super X .22 LR super speed round nose (100 rounds no misfires or jams)
Remington Golden Bullet HV Plated Round nose 40 Grains (1000 rounds no misfires or jams)
Eley Target .22 LR (200 rounds no misfires or jams)

For a total of 2700 rounds. We shot over 2000 before the gun was ever cleaned.

I said that there were not misfires or problems with the ammo but I have had one operator error that I would like to note. When shooting I forget to keep my fingers out of the magazine speed loader channel which stops the follower from pushing up the rounds so it feels like a misfire. The spent brass is ejected but the bolt and follower cannot push the next round into the the chamber since my finger is stopping it. I am the only gears crew that has had this issue. 

 

Specs:

Caliber: .22 L.R.
Capacity: 10 or 25 rounds
Mode of Fire: Semi-Auto
Barrel Length: 16.2 in (412 mm)
Barrel Twist: 1 in 13-3/4 in
Rifling Grooves: 6
Rifling Length: 13.78 in (350 mm)
Front Sight: Interchangeable Posts
Rear Sight: Adjustable – Windage & Elevation
Overall Length: 26.5–32.5 in (675-825 mm)
Overall Height w/Mag:10.6 in (270 mm)
Overall Width: 2.2 in (55 mm)
Stock Style: Single Point Adjustable Telestock
Trigger Type: Single-stage
Trigger Pull: 6.6-8.8lbs
Safety Type: Manual
Principal of Operation: Blowback
Muzzle Thread: M8x.75
Length of Pull: 6.5 – 12.375 in
Sight Radius: 13.2 in (335 mm)
Diameter Rear Sight Aperture: .24 /.13 / 0.11 / 0.1 in
Front Sight Width: .07 in (1.8 mm)
Weight w/out Mag: 7.45 lbs (3400 g)
Weight of empty Mag-25: 2.5 oz (70 g)
Features:
Metal Receiver and Compensator

Safety and Magazine:

The MP5sd has a large ambidextrous safety selector.

The gun has both a magazine release button similar to the AR platform and the ambidextrous paddle release like that of an AK platform.

Suppressor:

The suppressor is just a weighted tube on the end of the gun to help mimic the weight of the real 9mm MP5SD.

Sights:

The iron sights out of the box were dead on at 50 yds. The rifle does not come with a picatinny rail for the top but you can pick one up for about $100 from HKparts.net.

Trigger:

The trigger is one of my cons for this gun. The trigger is plastic and feels like a toy. This rifle is a .22lr and with that in mind it isn’t really a problem but for the sake of a balanced and unbiased review I have to make a note of that. 

Looks:

It is a replica of the real H&K MP5SD. I like the looks and think it has a cool factor that says to everyone at the range “Yeah, I’m the bees knees”. (as to why your gun is talking to people and telling them you are the knees of a bee I have yet to figure out). All joking aside the MP5 is a very iconic gun that has been around since the mid 1960’s and has been on many peoples wish list since they first laid eyes on one.

.22 Caliber

For those of us who like the look of the real H&K MP5 (from $5,000 to $30,000), Walther has made one chambered .22LR that is more affordable to the everyday shooter.

With the gun chambered in the cheaper .22LR you can spend all day at the range without needing a bank loan for the 9mm.

.22 LR is one of my favorite rounds since I can shoot it without the recoil pains the next day or guilt that I shot 100 rounds in under 2 minutes.

Stock:

It is a single position adjustable stock meaning it is in pistol form with the stock retracted or in rifle mode with the stock at it farthest point for a length of pull around 12.3 inches.

Shooting:

There were no malfunctions outside of the operator errors which I was the only one of the crew to have.
We ran over 5000 total rounds between the two guns  (this time out and the previous review period) and both of the guns did better than expected with no malfunctions.

Price:

The MSRP is $549.99 but can typically found online for around $500.  This is a higher end .22 LR. I believe that  this is a case of you get what you pay for; quality.

Overall thoughts: 

I love this gun and in the next few months we will have a follow up review out on our 5000th round.

 

 

ProMag 30-42 round magazines

A few months back ProMag sent us out a few magazines to test and see how they’d perform under more intense handling. We had opted for the high drop test, Drag test and a crush test as seen in the following videos.

As I am not military I will never say that the testing done proves any kind of battle worth. I can say that it does prove it it can hold up against some more impractical and improbable abuse. While these magazines typically shouldn’t ever go through this kind of abuse it is nice to see that they still will function.

After all the testing was done we took the magazine apart to see if we had damaged any of the internal components like we had in the Lancer review, much to my surprise nothing was damaged.

I own about 12 ProMag AR-15 30 and 42 round magazines which I use in all of my AR style rifles (The ZA-15, Kel Tec SU-16CA and our 2 SIG556 rifles) the magazines just work….   Plain and simple. I load the magazines to the correct number of rounds for the magazine (30 and 42) put the magazine in the gun, chamber a round and shoot until it is empty. They have never given me any feed problems even after we tried to see if they would break under our testing.

The ProMag 30 round AR-15 magazines are not a fancy magazine, they don’t come with dust covers, they don’t have metal feed lips, they don’t carry the infamous shoulder thing that goes up on them and they can’t carry 10,000 rounds per magazine (I was shocked when I tried loading the magazine and this standard capacity magazine only held the STANDARD 30 rounds as spec’d). They do one job and one job only… They feed ammo into your rifle.

The look and feel is very close to the MAGPUL PMAGs. It has a similar subtle waffle texture and rounded out base plate. The spring holder that connects to the base plate has two round tabs that have to be depressed to take the base plate off rather than the the long single button on the MAGPUL.

ProMag Base Plate JPG

Overall I like the ProMag 30 and 42 round AR-15 style magazines. They have worked well for the GEARS crew for over a year now and I foresee them being used for years to come.

Lancer L5 AWM Advanced Warfighter Magazine Review

The Lancer L5 AWM is a hybrid AR-15 magazine meaning it has steel feed lips and an impact resistant polymer body. The top of the magazine catch is steel which helps to keep the magazine catch from wearing out or getting nicked up to the point that the body of the magazine becoming worthless.

The follower is a non-tilt follower. This means when you are loading or shooting the follower cannot tilt inside of the magazine causing failures to feed and jams. The spring inside the magazine we dropped, dragged and then drove over is bent out of shape. (this might be how I would feel if someone did that to me)

Bent Spring

The magazines were designed to fit the AR platform, HK416, SCAR16,  ARX160 and a few others.  We tested the mag using a SIG556, Keltec SU-16CA and the ZA-15. The magazine functioned flawlessly in all three guns.

The Lancer L5 AWM magazines can be stored loaded without damage to the spring.  This is a good feature if you plan to store your magazines at the ready.

 

 

 

We dropped, dragged and then drove over the magazines with very little damage. The body of the magazine was dented and scratched  and the spring was bent after driving over it but the magazine is still fully functioning as expected from a quality made magazine.

The magazine still drops free from the mag well which is a good sign that the magazine feed lips did not expand or get bent during the testing. I ran my calipers on the feed lips on the tested magazine and on a new magazine and saw there was no change in size. When the magazine is loaded with 30 rounds and the AR-15s bolt is closed the magazine still locks in as it should.

Lancer produces transparent and solid colored magazines for those who like to be fashionable when you are at the range. The transparent magazines have 20 and 30 round line markers on the side of the magazine.    They weigh in at 4.4oz unloaded. The stippling on the sides allows for non slip grip when changing mags. I like this stippling over the ridged bodies of ProMag and MagPul.

Since the only metal the ammo comes in contact with is the feed lips the magazine cannot seize due to metal on metal friction.

The price of the magazines tend to be more expensive than other polymer magazines but I personally believe that the magazine value meets the price.

ZA-15 One year later

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As some of you have seen in the videos posted and will see in a few upcoming reviews we still have the ZA-15 from American Weapon Systems.

 

I wanted to post an updated review about the rifle. If you haven’t read the original review you should check them out first here:
Part 1
Part 2

After a year of shooting with it and working on reviews with it I would like to share my findings.

SPECS:

American Weapon Systems Forged Zombie Annihilator® Lower and Upper, Machined from Forged 7075-T6 Aluminum
AWS 16″ Mid-Length LW-50 Stainless Steel Barrel 1:8 Twist Polygonal Rifling, With .223 Wylde Chamber.
AWS Nickel Boron Coated M16 Bolt Carrier
Two Stage Trigger: Geissele
Magpul UBR (utility / battle rifle)
Magpul MIAD (Mission Adaptable) Grip
Magpul MOE Trigger Guard
Surefire 60 round high Cap Mag
Forward Grip: TROY Industries, Modular Combat Grip
Samson Low Profile Gas Block
MechArmor TacOps-1 Charging Handle
A2 Flash Suppressor
Samson FFS & FRS Quick Flip Sights

Trigger:

Typically now when I am out at the range and I meet other shooters the first comment they make about the rifle is the trigger.

Most of the comments are along the lines of “I love that trigger!” or “ WOW! That trigger break is crisp.”

AWS’s choosing the Geissele trigger as the stock trigger just makes the rifle feel top of the line.

AWS Nickel Boron Coated M16 Bolt Carrier:

As is said in the first part of the review I like the fact that it is a full auto bolt because I have never once had a malfunction with this rifle.

After a year of shooting the bolt has darken in color.

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After shooting, while I am cleaning, I use a gun cleaner that doesn’t have oil in it (CLP). When I strip the bolt down and clean it, I always notice that after I get all the oil and grime off the bolt it is still slick as if it has oil on it.   Of course before I reassemble the rifle I spray it down with oil.  It is just nice to know that the Nickel Boron coating keeps that bolt slick.

Forward Grip: TROY Industries, Modular Combat Grip:

In the original review I hadn’t spent a lot of time playing with the fore grip but after finishing the review, I had taken the bottom two modular pieces off to store in my safe and forgot to put them back on when we hit the range next. I loved it with only the short nub. It keeps my hands from sliding when using the thumb over bore grip.

As different shooters have different shooting preferences the one I have heard a few times is that people don’t like that foregrip. When it is on a lead sled or vise, the grip gets in the way but for my shooting I like the nub.

Surefire 60 round magazine:

The 60 round magazine hasn’t had much use since the review finished. The reason is I shoot mostly steel cased ammo and I have found I get metal on metal fiction that seizes the magazine and causes it to stop working. If I have brass ammo the magazine works just fine for me.

Overall final thoughts:

I still love this rifle. The quality parts that AWS puts into making the rifle shows that they aren’t just slapping rifles out the door and that they want to make you the best gun for your money.

Video Tuesday!!! TDSA and X Products

Atticus testing the X-products X-15 magazine at the TDSA range in Ferris TX.

If you are interested in visiting the range call them and tell them Atticus sent you!

Gun Range: http://www.tdsa.net/
Drum Magazine: http://www.xproducts.com/
AR-15: http://www.americanweaponsystems.com/
AR-15 Review: http://gearsofguns.com/aws-zombie-annihilator-review-pt-1/