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”.

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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.”

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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.

Happy 3 Years

Wow! It has been an amazing three years. Gearsofguns.com was first published on Feb 28th 2011 and we have been growing more and more everyday. For me, being able to write and review for the past thee years, has been a very fulfilling job. I have enjoyed every minute I have gotten to spend researching and reviewing and shooting for this company.  I am very thankful for all of our readers who have made us a successful blog.

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We have had the chance to the meet and work with some truly amazing individuals and companies. We have had a chance to shoot and do some really fun and exciting things these past three years. I know we have more exciting things in store for years to come.

To be able to have the opportunity to make great friends and contacts from all over the world is a true blessing. Thank you again for your support.  I can’t wait to show you all what we have in store for the rest of this year.

Panzer- day 3 shot show update

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I like this mini gun by Dillon because it can be mounted onto everything from a helicopter to the back of a pickup truck.

 

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Polymer framed dual 1911’s at Rock River Arms had a timeless but effective look.

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Got my hands on the updated H & K MP5. Surprisingly it was much lighter than I expected.

 

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The H & K MR 762 A1-SD with  a OSS inc. suppressor is the perfect combination of stealth and power.

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I  really like Izmash modernized AK  because it proves the AK can continue to evolve with the times and yet remains very versatile.

 

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The Barrett M107 with suppresser really stood out in its class of rifle.

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I really like the look of the slides in Damascus steel on this 1911 by Christensen Arms.

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holster by De Santis Gun Hide.

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The Beretta ARX-160 was attracting lots of attention with its sleek profile.

 

 

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Springfield M1A’s on display in several different options. 

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Flat dark earth frame five-seven from FN really stands out.

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FNS 9 has a small frame but packs a punch.

SHOT SHOW 2014

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In Las Vegas for the 2014 SHOT SHOW with Old Man Lefty and Aaron. We are excited to bring you pictures from the show as well as from Media Day at the range on Monday the 13th.

We will be uploading photos to our twitter account @gearsofguns  as well as our instagram account @gearsofguns

follow us 

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Panzer – Leupold VX-3 3.5-10X40mm Reviewed

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This review will start like so many of my previous in Las Vegas at the Shot Show 2013. Since I was planning an elk hunting trip that fall  and had very little knowledge about optics and sights I made it my mission to collect as much info as possible. I had done a little long-range shooting but never took the time to learn the subtle nuances of high-powered rifle optics. Five months later and the final search for a scope was on. We followed up with Leupold and spoke with Sarah Kirby who is the Marketing Communications Assistant for Leupold & Stevens, Inc. She was very eager to help us find the perfect scope for what we needed. The attention to customer detail is phenomenal at Leupold, anything we needed and even things we had not thought of Sarah was ready to help. After consulting with her scope experts at Leupold they suggested the Leupold VX-3-10X40mm with the Matte 1 in reticle. She explained it might take 6-8 weeks for the scope to arrive and within 3 weeks I had my new scope. We forgot to ask for the mounting rings but a week later she suggested the Leupold duel dovetail mounting system for my Winchester model 70.  It is possible to mount the scope yourself, but in order to ensure a perfectly aligned scope I took it to SMR firearms because my gunsmith had the right tools and expertise.

Here is a list of the specs for the VX-3.

Low

High

Actual Magnification

3.30x

9.70x

Linear Field of View (ft/100 yd)

29.80ft

11.00ft

Linear Field of View (m/100 m)

9.90m

3.70m

Eye Relief (in)

4.40 inches

3.60 inches

Eye Relief (mm)

112.00mm

91.00mm

Weight (oz)

12.60oz

Weight (g)

357.00 g

Objective Clear Aperture (in)

1.60 inches

Objective Clear Aperture (mm)

40.00mm

Elevation Adjustment Range

52.00 moa

Windage Adjustment Range

52.00 moa

As I previously mentioned I had a little experience with long range shooting but never had I hunted large game in the mountains and the last thing I wanted was my scope to be the reason I missed my shot. I needed to be able to take down a large game at 300 yards with as clear of an image as possible.  The first day I tested the scope at TDSA range in Ferris TX, I learned the difference between sub par optics and superior quality.  With the help of a friend at TDSA, who was much more skilled, I sighted my rifle in at 200 yards using the non-turreted toolless finger adjustments. It was fairly easy to figure out how to dial in correct adjustments with 1 cm per click. With the generous eye box I had no problem quickly finding the sweet spot in the scope and setting up for the shot whether at 25 or 300 yards. My favorite feature is the adjustable power ring which acts like a zoom dial quickly bringing distant targets into clear view. My confidence level quickly grew as I pushed my abilities to their limits combining the dependable accuracy of my rifle with the preciseness of VX-3 optics.

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The proudest moment for me was once I put my money where my mouth was at the range in Colorado right before the hunt. My father, who accompanied me, was ready to see what I could do. After hitting a perfect bull’s-eye I proceeded to do it 3 more times at 300, 350 and then 400 yards at varying elevations. I turned around and noticed my dad with a look of satisfaction that meant “alright I think you are ready”. Thanks to all the time at the range in Texas I was very comfortable with what the Leupold VX-3 has allowed me to shoot at various elevations and distances. Most impressive was that I didn’t need to mess with the scope after a month which included a 13 hour drive and a very rough ride on the back of the ATV. I didn’t have to worry about my accuracy because the durability of the scope design protected it from bumps.

While in the mountains the elements put my equipment to the test with rain, mud, snow and ice on the daily. I noticed my eye glasses were fogging regularly while my scope remained crystal clear. Usually Leupold uses nitrogen gas sealed inside the scope which prevents condensation on the lens but with elect scope models, as with the VX-3, uses 2nd generation Argon/Krypton Waterproofing which not only reduces the effects of thermal shock, but also works better at preventing fogging and condensation inside the scope from forming. My other concern was scratching the lens since dirt and dust were inevitable out there. What  I did not realize at the time was that my scope was treated with lens coating called DiamondCoat 2 which not only protects the lens from abrasion but greatly enhances light transmission which increase clarity.

2nd Generation Argon/Krypton Waterproofing

While we still waterproof other optics with bone-dry nitrogen – technology pioneered by Leupold® – Select models feature our exclusive, proprietary Argon/Krypton gas blend. Its advantages are two fold: it nearly eliminates the effects of thermal shock, and the Argon/Krypton molecules are significantly larger than nitrogen molecules, reducing the diffusion of gases sealed inside your scope even more than our proven nitrogen technology already does. We pioneered riflescope waterproofing, and now with Argon/Krypton we’re exceeding the standards we set ourselves.

[From the Leupold.com website]

Overall Thoughts and comments:

After all the time I practiced for that perfect 300 yard shot my elk walked a mere 50 ft. in front of me. I truly enjoyed the opportunity to take the Leupold VX-3 with me on the hunt and have learned what superior quality optics can do when put to the test. Overall I feel the Leupold VX-3 is a reliable scope for the hunter or range shooter because it offers flexibility, durability and top of the line quality for around $600 MSRP. For middle of the road cost you get top quality glass from a company that in my experience not only goes out of their way for you, but seems to take great pride in their craftsmanship as evidenced by the life time warranty.  I was unable to find anything wrong with my scope, and  trust me I did try, but I can not wait for my next hunting trip.

Pros and Cons:

  • Easy to use from box to sighting in.
  • Durable design meant did not have to worry about easily getting damaged and stood up to the elements.
  • The adjustable power ring for clear image at various distances
  • DiamondCoat 2 for abrasion resistance and enhanced light transmission
  • Non-turreted toolless adjustment for windage and elevation made sighting in actually fun
  • Eye box and eye relief made for easy target spotting at various distances

Bullseye Camera Systems 500 Yard Edition review

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I contacted  Bullseye Camera Systems a few months back to review their Bullseye Camera Systems 500 Yard Edition.

The company was founded in 2012 and I rate it as one of the best new pieces of shooting gear for 2013.

While Panzer was prepping for an elk hunt this past October, we spent day after day at the rifle range to hone his distance shooting skills with his new rifle. Before starting to talk with Bullseye Camera Systems, we were utilizing every binocular, scope and spotting scope we had, to judge each shot taken. Every 10 or so shots we had to walk the 200-300 yards to cover previous shots with stickers to get clean readings.  The back and forth trips down the range kills a good 15% to 50% of your day at the range.

The Bullseye Camera Systems is just that… a target viewing system that sits near your target.

“No more walking back and forth to the target! Spend more time shooting!” – Bullseye Camera System Facebook page.

The system comes with:
– Weatherproof camera w/night vision
– 5-hour rechargeable battery
– Router and antenna
– Tripod and connectors
– Secure carrying case
– Bullseye Target Manager Software on a flash drive
Works with any laptop running Windows XP, Vista, Windows 7 or 8.

I know a few “purists” who believe that when it comes to shooting, old school is best and not use any tech. The two “purists” that I showed this system to, both thought this was a great for young and old alike since most people can’t see a .22 caliber hole in a paper at 200+ yards away.

The system is practically no maintenance  other than keeping the batteries charged and periodic free software updates.

During use, twice the system battery lasted longer than the laptop, so we just had to make a quick change of laptops by simply switching the flash drive. No download needed.

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After every shot you make, by hitting the spacebar on the laptop, the Bullseye Target Manager Software takes a still shot of the target. The software then flashes between the two most recent still shots comparing them. 

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The set up is as easy as setting up the tripod, mounting the camera, plugging the two USB cables into the battery pack, connecting the flash drive to your laptop and running the program.

Bullseye Camera Systems has two options:  500 yard or 1000 yard with an upgrade option for 1 mile. Both systems are similar, aside from the antenna which boosts the Wi-Fi range on the camera.

The base systems (without laptops) are $449 for the 500 yard and $549 for the 1000 yard system. Both are more an affordable option than some of the higher end spotting scopes that have clear glass to see at ranges like that.

The software lets you record all the data regarding each individual target; allowing for comparisons between days at the range. You can set different profiles for different shooters so everyone can use the same program to track their shots.  The software has a mark shot button that lets you cover your shots with a colored mark on the screen so you can use a target that has a few holes already in it.

Overall Thoughts:

This system is amazing! The company is still young so I expect to see them really starting to make waves in the next few years as they grow. The long range shooting part of the industry has needed something like this for years and as the tech becomes better and better so will this system.

Panzer – Magellan eXplorist 350H reviewed

At shot show 2013 I was called over to the Magellan booth by Atticus because Magellan was interested in Gears of Guns reviewing their new Magellan eXplorist 350H. This was perfect because I was planning an elk hunt for the following October. So I listened very attentively to the 30 minute presentation Carol Bardia had for me and the Crew. I will be up front with you, I was unfamiliar with Magellan, as well as GPS systems designed for outdoor enthusiasts, so the learning curve was steep at first. Fast forward to August 29th 2013 when the product arrived and I immediately discovered my lack of experience did not matter. The applications in the field and at home after the trip are so numerous it is difficult to list them all but here it goes.

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The eXplorist  350 H is above all else very user-friendly and within the first 10 minutes I had already begun planning my trip by locating the exact area I would be hunting within 10 feet. I had topographical data, county roads and game management areas (GMU) all loaded with the push of a button. The five button control panel was easy to use, with or without gloves and I liked the way you could quickly access trip information without excessive toggling.

Field Functions:

Upon arrival to the campground I mapped out the my various points of interest using several of  the handy custom marker icons specially created for hunters including; campsite, blinds, stands, glassing areas and trail heads to name a few. Or you could mark way points using specific game icons, bedding locations, scat, blood trails, scrapes, rubs, sheds and many more.  I also used the text function to enter field notes when a custom marker wasn’t enough. My first few days before the hunt I was glad to have the eXplorist on hand because it allowed me the chance to get oriented and to map and section out the large area quickly and effortlessly. After taking a long ride on my 4 X 4 with the eXplorist on board, I had all my ATV trails marked without having to do very much but enjoy the ride. At no point during my two weeks there did I have to worry about finding my way back to camp day or night.

In an effort to conserve battery life I utilized the active suspend function which worked like a sleep mode but with continued tracking. Also the screen saving mode turns off when not in use within 20 seconds. It takes two double A batteries of which I replaced once the entire trip. While it is stated to have a battery life of 18 hours (if you use lithium), if you fail to use active suspend don’t be surprised if the hours of battery life vary. Another annoyance is that the Duracell alkaline batteries got down to 25% remaining and a message would appear telling you to change them and soon after that the device would shut off. The batteries I used after the first change were (Duracell AA alkaline), however Magellan recommends using two AA lithium batteries.

Once I had my hunting area mapped I could track prey, mark glassing areas and establish which group members were hunting where. The stated temperature range for this device is between 14 and 140 degrees Fahrenheit. While it continued to work for me at 20 degrees F your experience may vary, however at times it was cold enough for my smart phone to stop working while the eXplorist continued to worked. Magellan has used the IPX7 waterproof standard for this device. During my trip I exposed the device to rain and snow and had no issues with it working properly.

Computer Application:

Even though I enjoyed using the GPS in the field once I returned home and plugged the eXplorist 350H into my computer and downloaded the Vantage Point software onto my PC, my experience only got better

You must be using Windows XP, Vista or Windows 7 to use the Vantage Point software or if you are running a MAC you can use the Magellan communicator for MAC which is compatible with a website called Geocaching.com. Once installed the Vantage Point software took all the data I had collected on my two-week trip and plugged it into the DigitalGlobe format where I could play back  every movement I made while the device was active using either  satellite images or the topographical map. There are countless ways you can use this software from planning available routes, tracking animal movements or  measuring distances. The Vantage Point software uses collected data to paint a clear picture of the outdoor experience while allowing the user to plan, track and view all movements in the field. So when I was ready to relive the experiance, Vantage point software painted the picture for me. When I am ready to plan my next trip I can easily build of the info gathered by the eXplorist and displayed on Vantage Point.

Having access to such a great tool takes your hunting or hiking game to a whole new level and I highly recommend it for everyone from the beginner to experienced outdoor enthusiast.

Pros:

  • The five button control panel is very easy to use when scrolling through the various menus.
  • Can be used with or without gloves without much difficulty.
  • Thirty custom markers for hunt mode plus ability to add custom field notes.
  • Active suspend mode conserves battery life while continuing to track  your movement.
  • Screen is bright and display is clear with sharp contrast.
  • The Vantage Point software uses collected data to paint a clear picture of the outdoor experience while allowing user to plan, track and view all movements in the field.
  • Cons:

  • One  con was that the 350H is a bit bulky when carrying it around in my pocket so I eventually started keeping it in my day pack which was not always convenient.
  • The screen size was a bit small but the display is bright and clear and it did come with a screen protector.
  • Stated battery life is 18 hours but when left on not in active suspend much less battery life.
  • When alkaline battery life got down to 25% remaining, a repeating message to change batteries appeared and the device would power down, however Magellan recommends using a AA lithium battery for optimal battery life.

Panzer: Good Articles

Atticus and I are heading to the range to work on a few more reviews for you all so I figured I would post a few interesting articles from other bloggers.

 

.17 Winchester Super Magnum Rimfire Review – GunsAmerica

First look: X Products Skeletonized AR drum – TheFirearmBlog

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Ruger Announces American RIMFIRE Rifle – RTB

What’s in a name –TheBangSwitch

 

The coolest thing you will see ever… – GunMartBlog

TDSA: The new GEARS Range

For the past year I have been looking for a new range to move my company to.

Since before I was blogging I always shot at a public range and after almost 3 years trying to write the best reviews I could with the amenities that range had I was frustrated. I would be working on a review and want to make a video to show the different parts of the gun or how the gun works and when I would get back to the office I would watch the video and it would sound like *BANG* Hi, my name is Attic- *BANG BANG BANG* *ONE SHOT A SECOND!* -sofguns.com *BANG*. that just doesn’t make for quality videos.

This article is by no means a diss on that range or even public ranges in general. I know that they have their place and for most gun owners are the best place in the world.

I will give my pros and cons to public ranges

PROS:

· Range officers everywhere to keep everyone safe.
· Safety rules like one shot a second to keep people from thinking they are Rambo the first time they ever pick up a MSR.
· Public ranges are relatively common in populated areas in the USA.
· Some have pro shops that can help you with basic questions about shooting and there is a good chance they have shooting clubs that meet out there if you are looking to get into that.
· For the gun owner who doesn’t get to the range but just a few times a year this is an inexpensive way to shoot.
· Typically there are experienced shooters who might be able to lend a hand if you are having problems.
· Safe for all types of shooters
(If you have a pro or con I might have missed please comment and share your thoughts)

Cons:

· Gun owners who shoot a lot can get bored.
· Public ranges typically have restrictions on types of guns and ammo that can be shot there (This is for safety reasons).
· Public ranges can get crowded at anytime.
· The noise level can get intimidating for new shooters.
· If you have more than one gun, space for cases and gear can be limited.
· Some ranges have a max amount of time you can shoot.
· If you are a frequent shooter cost for the range fees get overly expensive.
· The length of the ranges may not give you the distance you are looking for.

With all of that being said I have my own cons as a gun blogger that make working from a public range rather difficult.

Cons:
Space for guns, gear and crew.
Cost
Noise
Safety rules that stop us from testing triggers,holsters,over 10 rounds in a magazines, etc.

Since this has been making reviews and shooting more difficult I started looking to friends of the GEARS crew for help to see if they had a ranch we could shoot at and every time the answers were the same. No, we don’t know of a place or sure but it is a 5 hour drive out there.  I googled ranges in my area before and most were unable to help me any better than my current public range and that was when I spotted TDSA.net.

For any of you who follow Colion Noir on YouTube or watch Video Tuesday here on our site you might have seen Colion shooting targets from a golf cart and thought hey that is really cool… Well the cat is out of the bag. He was at TDSA in Ferris, TX.

I had seen when he released his video what range it was and never really thought about it again until I came back across the site when I was searching for a new range again and read the amenities they offer there.

7 Pistol Ranges:

  • Roughly 25 yards by 25 yards in size.
  • Rapid Fire is allowed.
  • Moving while shooting is allowed.
  • Drawing from holster is allowed.
  • Transitioning from rifles to pistols is allowed.
  • We also allow you to set up scenarios using barrels or barricades.
  • ***Upon request you may park your vehicle in the bays and shoot from inside your vehicle. (Remember this is based on request and approval ONLY).
  • ***We allow FULL AUTO FIRE in our pistol bays after a short Shooting Proficiency Test.

Rifle Ranges:

  • Shooting Proficiency Test required at 100 yards.
  • Full Metal Jacket is allowed
  • Steel Core is allowed
  • .50 and .338 caliber is allowed
  • All shooting done from a bench or prone position ONLY.
  • No Tracer or Incendiary rounds allowed.
  • Distances: 25 yards, 50 yards, 100 yards, 200 yards, and 300 yards.

Other Ranges (used for training and shooting matches):

  • 200 yard STREET with multiple cars lining each side.
  • 40 foot shooting TOWER with 4 floors and multiple ports on each floor.
    • TOWER can be used to train sniper initiated entries into STREET and CITY.
  • 200+ yard CITY with multiple rooms all around to shoot into and out of.
    • One large area is designed to resemble and Afghan village commonly seen by soldiers.
    • The CITY can be used for live fire, force on force training, and can take up to and including .50 caliber rifle fire.
  • Both CITY and STREET may be used to shoot from moving vehicles.
  • Rifle range can also be used as 270 degree 300 yard assault course.

Classroom:

  • There is a 1,300 sq. ft. classroom available upon scheduling. A white board and 60 inch TV monitor is included.

Other Information:

  • We allow Binary Exploding targets to be shot UPON REQUEST AND APPROVAL.
  • Night Fire is allowed on a “special needs basis” and UPON REQUEST AND APPROVAL.
  • Law Enforcement Discounts for Individual officers.
  • Corporate Membership Discounts.
  • Law Enforcement Agency Memberships.

[Taken from the TDSA website]

 

After reading all of that I was amazed and had to set up a meet with the Owner of TDSA, Len Baxley.

A few Mondays ago Panzer and I drove down to meet with Len and see this range.  The drive is about 45 minutes from where I live and the whole time I was thinking about the new and different reviews I could post on the website.

We pulled up and met Len in the classroom/his office and we sat down and started talking and getting to know each other. After 30 or so minutes of talking with Len and reading about his range I knew this is where the GEARS Crew would be shooting from. I told him that I didn’t need to see the range that I was ready to just sign up as a member. We talked for another 30 minutes when he said we should go and at least look at the range. He gave us the introduction/safety tour.  About halfway through the tour, I looked around and saw no other members were at the range. It was the most quiet and peaceful gun range I had ever been at!

Len is a no-nonsense kind of guy. He has built a range that is designed with a different kind of shooter in mind. This range is not for the gun owner who doesn’t shoot all that much or for the shooters who aren’t looking to take their shooting abilities to new levels. Len stresses that you are not going to have that range officer to keep you in check, this is the kind of place were you have to be in the mind-set that safety is your job.

I like this range because it opens new opportunities to the GEARS Crew and to the reviews we can offer.

If you live in North Texas and this sounds like the kind of range you are looking for, than CONTACT Len Baxley and tell him Atticus sent you.

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Ghost Targets

Last week I was contacted by Casper (Mike) over at GhostTargets.com wanting to meet up with us to review his reactive targets.

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The targets are about the size of a cap of chap stick all the way up to the size of a large marshmallow. The targets come in 3 sizes 5/8″, 7/8″, & 1 1/8″.

Ghost targets are a proprietary chalk looking target that poofs when you hit them. As we learned from talking and shooting with the owner of GhostTargets.com the targets work best if they are not sitting right on a backing that you might attach paper targets to so you want to hang them so they are dangling 6 inches or more away.

Ghost Targets are for firearms that are zeroed in only. Since you don’t want them against a paper targets you have to know that you are zeroed in.

I’ve been asked how I came up with the idea for these targets and the name. It started when I was watching the TV show Top Shot on the History Channel it seemed everything they shot exploded or re-acted in an extreme way, then was shown in slow motion, very cool! It was so cool that I was inspired to create targets that would re-act in the same way and be safe for kids to use. About 50 formulations later and I had my targets.

The name was thought of after talking to my friend that runs a shooting range and he said he just ordered the hottest new target “Zombie” targets. I asked what they did and he laughed and said they don’t do anything they’re just paper with pics of zombies. Zombies made me think of dead things and dead things lead me to ghosts and I had my name, Ghost Targets!

[From GhostTargets.com]

 

Panzer and I will be working on sighting in his new .30-06 and plan to have these targets up once we are zeroed in for a little friendly competition.

They might not seem all that much fun if you have never tried them but after hitting the three in a row I was ready to reset and keep blasting them. It reminds me of shooting and dusting clay pigeons when shooting shotguns.

This is a fun way to change-up your shooting trips and if you are looking for a way to test your sharpshooting skills this is a good way to do that.

The targets are hung up using small rubber bands and paper clips which helps keep the cost low for the targets as well as make it easy to replace if you hit the rubber band or paper clip and miss the target as I found out.

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Whitey plays with lube and thinks you should too

 

Whitey from Fourguysguns.com gives his 6 month review on FrogLube.

 

 

Atticus and I are still wanting to test this lube out for ourselves but from what I have read and heard this is really good gun lube.

–Panzer