Leatherman Gives a Rundown of New Products

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BRgKEP45lKU

 

Leatherman Gives the Gears crew the rundown on two of their new products for 2016

Watch while we learn about the Skeletool RX and the Knifeless Rebar.

The skeletool RX is a tool to use to respond quickly and safely in emergency situations.  Specialized tools, such as a 154CM deeply serrated blade for more cutting surface on clothing or fibrous materials and carbide glass break bit, makes the Skeletool RX an essential piece of kit for any EMT or first responder.

The new Knifeless Rebar includes 16 of the most popular tools found in the original multi-tool, including: needlenose pliers, regular pliers, saw, ruler, can opener, precision-ground screwdrivers, a Three-sided ground file, replaceable premium steel wire cutters and a bottle opener.

Meade Wilderness In Full Scope

Meade Instruments Wilderness™ Spotting Scope – 20-60x100mm Review

Meade Instruments Wilderness™ Spotting Scope - 2060x100mm Review

The Prologue

While visiting with one of my cousins on a recent layover in Dallas, we started talking about her sister who works for Meade Instruments in the marketing department. I went home and checked out Meade’s site. I had found they had a few sporting optics. I wondered why I had never heard of Meade before. I explored the website further and I looked into their sports optics. I found their target audience to lean more in the general sporting optics needs and astronomy.

I called my cousin and she set me up with a Meade Instruments Wilderness 20-60x100mm spotting scope. I requested the largest scope they make because we are trying to see 6 to 8mm holes at 200 yards. My general rule of thumb is, the bigger the optic the better chance of making out what we just hit.

Specs

  • Meade high-quality, 20-60 power, zoom porro prism binoculars deliver years of use.
  • Large 100mm objective gathers plenty of light for bright detailed images.
  • All Wilderness spotters feature high index BaK-4 prisms and high-quality, precision ground lenses that are coated with multiple layers of anti-reflection coatings to provide optical performance that is equal to, or better than any spotting scope in its class.
  • Each Wilderness spotting scope features a sliding sunshade to further reduce glare.
  • A rugged rubber armor covering protects your Wilderness spotting scope from abrasions and damage from regular use.
  • All Wilderness Series spotting scopes are waterproof, fog-proof, and nitrogen purged to ensure many years of performance regardless of the environment.
  • All Wilderness spotting scopes come standard with the soft case and camera adapter (requires T-Mount, not included).

I asked if they manufactured any of the scope parts or glass in the United States and sadly the answer is no as they manufacture in Mexico and China.

Testing

I used this scope during all of our range trips as well as during the September 2015 blood moon eclipse. We were fortunate enough to be able to see that event clearly here in Texas.

Meade Blood Moon

I own only one tripod. All of the others are owned by Clay, our videographer. My tripod is a super expensive one, a $9 deal, that I picked up on Amazon a few years back. I have only used cameras with this tripod prior to this and it had always been fine for that use.

This tripod however did not work well with the Meade Instruments spotting scope. The weight and balance of the Meade scope needs a better built tripod. With that said, the only time this was a big problem was when we used it for the lunar eclipse. Trying to keep the scope centered on the moon was challenging.

Meade Instruments Review

During all of our range trips, the scope was clear and crisp when defining each shot taken at 200yds. We only ran into trouble using it to define each hole in the paper at 300yds.

Final Thoughts

If you are planning on using this scope I would recommend a stronger tripod first and foremost. The scope performed well for us up to 200yards and that was our max. The MSRP is $380. I found the price of this scope to be about $260 online, which is a fair price in my opinion, for the quality of the scope. The scope comes with a carrying bag. As someone who had to carry out two trucks worth of gear for an average range day, I would definitely want to replace the bag with a hard case with foam. I like to keep my gear protected.

Olight M1X Striker 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.

With this being the 4th flashlight I have reviewed on GEARS you might be wondering if I really use a flashlight that often and if I need all of them. You might think a flashlight is a flashlight is a flashlight in terms of finding one you like based on your needs and how that flashlight SHOULD be your “end all”… or at least until you find a new “end all” flashlight if you use one enough.

My Truth

My truth is a little different; I collect flashlights because there is always a time and place for each of mine. I have a small Extremebeam 160 Lumen that I like to keep on me when I am going for lightweight or when I am wearing a suit. I have my Olight 1100 Lumen Hulk of a flashlight I keep in my bag that goes everywhere with me. Then I have my LED Lensor 1000 Lumen and my Olight M1X Striker that I use in my everyday carry because they are perfect in size and weight for my day to day work.

 

Olight M1X Striker Review

Specs

Olight M1X Striker Specs

Olight M1X Striker

I had been looking at a different flashlight from Olight when it was suggested I check out this light as it fit the specs I was looking for.

Olight M1X Striker Batteries, and Charger

My Specs

· Has to fit comfortably in the front pocket of my pants without taking up too much pocket
· Has to use standard type batteries like CR123.
· Has to have a heavy duty pocket clip that is reliable and replaceable.
· Has to be bright
· Has to fit my hand comfortably
· Has to be a single LED

 

Daily Use

As I said, this is one of the flashlights I use in my daily rotation. It gets used at least a few times a week and I haven’t noticed any wear in the function of the light. Yes, there are minimal blemishes on the body from dropping the flashlight. There isn’t any wearing on the coating like you might expect from being slid in and out of my pocket or from sitting in my pocket.

The Olight M1X Striker is made of a multi part aircraft grade aluminum body and all the parts screw together with a tight tolerance feel so you are not worried about it unscrewing on you.

Illumination

The 1000 Lumens is sure to illuminate any area you are looking at. The lower .5 lumens setting is so you can run your light for days without recharging. The .5 Lumens would be great for backpacking if you want to drop as much weight as possible but still have a dependable flashlight. Chances are you are not going to need the brightest light in the world if you are just fiddling around with setting up camp or just looking around the campsite at night.

The Clip

The clip is pretty strong and always snaps back after yanking on it. It is connected to the flashlight with just a C-loop so if you do pull it really hard it will just disconnect from the flashlight and not break the clip off.

The Olight M1X Striker has 2 buttons on it. The top thumb on/off switch and a mode switch near the light end. This makes it easy to change the mode without doing that stupid dance that single button flashlights have when they have different modes.

I like to be able to quickly change my mode. I try to keep my clip pointed at the mode switch so when I pull the light out and have the on/off switch at my thumb I can quickly find the mode switch with my pinky.

 

Gun Mounts

Olight offers a couple of mounts for their light. I have not put this on anything, I use it for my EDC.

 

The Battery

The batteries are a pro and con topic for me. The Olight M1X Striker does not ship with a battery and I do some what understand the reasoning behind that. The 18650 battery is not one you can just pick up at the local big box store. I am guessing the thought is; most people will want a rechargeable. Rather than hiking the cost of the flashlight by adding one of their batteries (their 2600MAH sells for $20 on their website).  Olight will just offer them to you or let you just order your own from someone else. I picked up an Ultrafire 2pcs 3.7v 18650 3000mah Rechargeable Battery plus a NiteCore-i2-I2 Universal Intelligent Charger for two batteries on Amazon for $17.

OLIGHT REVIEW CHARGER AND BATTERIES

As you can see in the picture above I have two CR123 batteries in a battery sleeve. As you might have guessed but now you can see, I use 2 CR123 batteries stacked on top of each other with this sleeve that comes with the flashlight instead of using the 18650. The run time has been shorter in my experiments with the light but for those of us who use sights and other lights that use CR123 batteries this makes for a nice quick change if you don’t feel the need to order a new battery.

Final Thoughts

The Olight M1X Striker, as the name implies, has a striking bevel. I haven’t been walking down any dark alleys and been attacked while I have had this light so can’t talk about how good or bad it is. This light is built to be solid and ready to handle whatever you might throw at it.

Olight has a massive line up of flashlights that seem to be built with the user in mind and not just building a flashlight. Things like the mode switch, c-loop clip, 1000 lumens and the battery sleeve for CR123.

If you are looking for an EDC that has high lumens for a great price, Olight is a good place to start.

Otis Technology Elite Cleaning System Review

I have this weird need to collect cleaning kits. It isn’t because I need 7 identical  12 gauge brushes or because I am lacking in the cleaning rod or cleaning cable department. It seems everyone has their own take on what a shooter needs to help them achieve the best clean possible and I like to see what the differences are. Most companies send out their version of oil and cleaner or even just CLP. However, so far, as much as I am willing to try new types of cleaners or CLPs I do favor my M-Pro7 32oz spray for cleaning.

 FG-1000_facing_left_Large_Multi-Large

Specs

– Over 40 firearm-specific cleaning components in a nylon case
– Six (6) Memory-Flex® Cables of varying length for effective and correct Breech-to-Muzzle® cleaning
– Twenty-two (22) bronze bore brushes to remove copper deposits and other fouling
– Obstruction removal tools for jammed cases and other blockages
– Specialized precision tools for complete breakdown and fine cleaning of all critical and hard to reach areas of your firearm
– Optics cleaning gear for care and maintenance of scopes, rangefinders and more
– Removable Tactical Cleaning System (Item # FG-750) for convenient carrying in the field
– Dimensions: 15 1/4″ x 8 3/4″ x 4 1/2″

The Brushes

As you can see in the picture above the main kit comes 14 different caliber brushes for just about every caliber you might need.

  1. 22 (.204 thru .222)
  2. 25 (.223 thru 6.5)
  3. 27 (.270 thru 7mm)
  4. 30 (.30 thru 8mm)
  5. 35 (.338 thru .357)
  6. 38 (.370 thru 9.3mm)
  7. 40 (.40 thru 10.75mm)
  8. 45 (.44 thru .458)
  9. 50 .50 thru 12.9mm)
  10. .410 GA Shotgun
  11. 28 GA Shotgun
  12. 20 GA Shotgun
  13. 16 GA Shotgun
  14. 12/10 GA Shotgun (
  15. .17 caliber short brush (rifle/pistol/air rifle)
  16. .22 caliber Short brush (rifle/pistol/air rifle)

The other six brushes are found in the removable tactical cleaning system

For me, this means I can clean all of my firearms and my friends and family can use this kit to clean theirs too.

Other brushes:  It comes with a nylon brush that I like to use in addition to gun cleaning as my travel tooth brush and beard comb. I have found that a hit of rem oil really gets the teeth pearly white and the beard soft and shiny (No!  Seriously,  I promise I am NOT stupid enough to believe that I can use gun cleaning gear to brush my teeth or comb my beard! Just joking! You will harm yourself if you try this).

The Other Nougaty Stuff and Things

Otis ships this kit with carbon scrapers, 3 tubes of CLP, lens cleaners, patches for all calibers, cleaning parts for air guns and even a chamber brush for your ARs.

This kit doesn’t come with a brass cleaning rod but rather cleaning cables.  I admit to having days I like them and days I don’t.

Removable Tactical Cleaning System

– 8″, 30″ and 34″ Memory-Flex® Cables for effective and correct Breech-to-Muzzle® cleaning
– Six (6) firearm-specific bronze bore brushes to remove copper deposits and other fouling
– Lightweight soft pack case with belt loop for convenient carrying
– T-handle and obstruction removal tools for jammed cases and other blockages
– Redesigned component holder secures and protects brushes and components
– Dimensions: 4″ x 4″ x 2 1/2″

The 6 brushes that come with this kit are 12/10 Gauge, .22 cal, .27 cal, .45, .38, and .30.

I think I would rather is be a MOLLE pouch but I am sure there is a good reason it isn’t. (I’ll ask at SHOT 2016)

Overall Thoughts 

The Otis Technology Elite Cleaning System retails for $99 Amazon. This kit is really nice in the brush department but I would have liked to have seen their AR BCM cleaning tool they call the B.O.N.E.® TOOL. They make them for both 5.56 and 7.62 bolts.

As I said earlier, I use this with M-Pro 7 cleaner and oil because I find it works best for me.

The Otis Technology Elite Cleaning System is great if you are looking for an all caliber in one kit. Everyone with more than one caliber collection should have one. This kits is a must for collectors, gun ranges, firearm instructors, etc.

If you are someone who stays in the 3 or 4 caliber range ( 9mm, .45, .22 and .30 caliber or what ever it might be) this kit might be overkill but if you know you are going to be branching out and getting into the revolver or big bore game or even just into the Shotgun game this kits is GREAT!

My only two comments, or wish list about what I would like to see changed or added is the BONE tool and the removable kit upgraded to MOLLE.

Kilimanjaro Gear Review PT: 1 The Knives

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 Kilimanjaro Gear asking if we would be interested in reviewing a few of their products. I had not heard of them prior to getting their email but after looking on their website I found 3 items we were interested in reviewing. This is a review of the two knives that I received.

The Back Story

I am not really a knife guy or know much about what makes one metal better than another. My only experience is, that I have carried at least one knife on my person everyday for years. My grandfather always carried one in his pocket and in the BSA we always carried one. When I turned 18 it was just natural to always have one on me.

My sister and I received our first knife from my father at a camp out with cub scouts. A few minutes after receiving the knife, my sister took hers and broke the tip off popping rocks out of the road tar.   Needless to say my father was not happy.

In the BSA, I carried many knives over the years. I had Victorinox, Kershaw and a Smith and Wesson, S.W.A.T Millennium Run Knife I received from my scout master for achieving the rank of Eagle Scout. I carried the S&W knife until last year when my father gave me another knife that had a webbing cutter and a glass breaker on the end. I liked the knife for the most part but my biggest problem with it was that it had a half serrated edge. A half serrated edge is one feature I hate with a passion on my EDC knife.

The Knives: Vello and Shira

Kilimanjaro Gear has 5 categories for their knives. Every day, Outdoor, Tactical, Hunting, and Fishing. I looked over all of the knives and chose the Vello and the Shira from the tactical catagory.

 

Vello Specs :
8Cr13MoV Stainless Steel Blade
G10 Handle
Dual Thumb Stud
Liner Lock
Seat belt cutter
Pocket Clip
Bottle Opener/Screwdriver
Carbide Glass break

Overall Length: 7.8 in
Blade Length: 3.1 in
Closed Length: 4.6 in
Weight: 5.1 oz

910036_X-500x500

910036_straight_front1-500x500

910036_Glass-Break-500x500

I liked this knife because it closely matched what I was already carrying. I have carried this knife most everywhere I have gone for the past 4 months. I haven’t used the glass breaker, but bottle opener and blade screw driver have been nice. The webbing cutting came in handy a few times.
The blades edge was poorly shaped and sharpened when I pulled it from the package but I quickly fixed that on the knife sharpener from Worksharp.

The knife holds an edge for a few weeks of use before I have to put it back on the sharpener. I would say it is light to medium duty cutting knife. I open a lot of boxes and so it has been good at doing that at the very least.

 

Shira Specs:

  • Full tang construction
  • Rubberized handle overlay
  • 8Cr13MoV Stainless Steel Blade
  • Serrated edge
  • Titanium  Nitride Finish
  • Nylon sheath for carrying and storage
  • Overall Length: 10 in
  • Blade Length: 4.7 in
  • Weight: 6.9 oz

910094_X-500x500

910094_Straight2-500x500

910094_In-Pouch1-500x500

The Shira is my current go-to fixed blade. I don’t carry this around all that much. I keep it on my desk for when I get into a fight with that ninja tape that always seems to want to stick to itself. When I carry it on me for a few days in a row I notice I still tend to go for it even when I don’t have it on me.

As I said before, the blades out of the factory are poorly shaped and sharpened. I have a very nice knife sharpener that I use, but I would recommend if you purchase these knives to get them professionally sharpened if you are not skilled at it.

The sheath is nothing to write home about. It is a molle sheath. It is standard webbing style clothe sheath that I plan to replace with kydex so it is a straight pull down knife off a molle vest.

The knife is half serrated which is something I really hate on a knife but I know a lot of people love that feature.

Overall

The knives are good utility knives. I liked that the Vello offered a good all around knife that can be used for EDC or can be kept in the car in case of an accident. I liked that the Shira is a full tang with a point on the butt of the knife so you can break glass or whatever you might need without using the blade.

The knives need to be better profiled and sharpened out of the factory. Once you get the knife you can easily get that done for a couple of bucks at your big box outdoor stores.

 

 

 

 

 

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

2015-06-02 19.06.24

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.

IMG_5843
[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.

IMG_5905

Shooting

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

IMG_5860

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.

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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.

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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

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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.

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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.

Our Government works for us

There is a saying that I truly love and believe in. “A firearm is only a tool, I am the weapon”. It is not a secret that the firearm community fights for what we believe in. We just won a battle to keep an agency from banning common bullets.  New plants are being built in the USA because they were banned from importing their firearms into the United States of America. We as a community fight for what we believe in. Our industry has used the power of emails to our government officials to successfully fight for our God given rights.  Great job, lets keep up this up and remind our government that they work for us. 

Olight R40 Seeker 1100 Lumen Flashlight 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.

Olight R40 Seeker 1100 Lumen Flashlight Review

I have been carrying a few flashlights with me where ever I go for the past few weeks. People keep asking me why so many. I’m reminded of this joke…

A Texas Highway Patrolman pulled over an elderly lady for speeding. When he went to the car, he asked for her driver’s license, and proof of insurance. The lady took out the required information and handed it to him. In with the cards he was somewhat surprised (due to her advanced age) to see she had a conceal carry permit.

He looked at her and asked if she had a weapon in her possession at this time. She responded that she indeed had a .45 auto in her glove box. The Patrolman could just  tell something wasn’t right so he asked if she had any other firearms. She admitted to also having a 9mm Glock in her center console. At this point the Patrolman just had to ask one more time if that was all. She responded once again that she did have just one more, a .38-special in her purse. He then asked her what was she so afraid of.

She looked straight at him and said, “Not a damn thing!”

Introduction

I had never heard of Olight before I ended up on their mailing list. I have always been someone who didn’t need an expensive flashlight because I never really carried a flashlight with me.  While I have had some good flashlights over the years, I normally just kept a cheap dollar store flashlight in my truck. Of course by the time I ever needed it, it would be corroded and worthless.

In the beginning of 2014, when I started going to the gym at night, I started to carry a flashlight with me. I have been on the lookout for a good everyday carry flashlight that is dependable and has good light.

After months of emails from Olight I decided to really check out their product line. I found the R40 Seeker interesting. This hand held light boast an impressive 1100 Lumens. I contacted Olight and request a test and evaluation of the Olight R40 Seeker.

Specs

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Usage

I have been carrying the Olight R40 Seeker for a month now. I have only had to charge it 3 times. First time was the day I got it. The next one during my testing and the last time was a few days ago just to keep the battery topped off

I haven’t had any need for heavy usage but I try to use it every night. For my day to day usage this light works great. I haven’t had any dimming problems or any other problems with just light to medium usage.

Testing

Olight says this light will run for 2 hours on mode 1 (1100 lumens). So I figured I would test this and see how hot the body of the light got.

The 1100 lumens is so bright that during my testing of keeping it on my desk at the ceiling turned on I started to get a headache. It took about 37 minutes for the light to get to it hottest point which is 104 degrees F. The light stayed at 1100 lumens for 2 hours and 12 minutes. In my experience with most of the LED flashlights, when the highest setting is 2 hour run time that means the flash light is dead and needs to be recharged. This is not the whole story with the Olight R40 Seeker. The battery is not completely dead and will still run for another 4+ hours on the lowest setting (mode 3 12 Lumens) For the first hour I thought this was a cool feature but as the hours past I was more annoyed than happy. I would rather have a light that has a full run time until dead rather than sitting there more battery life that I cannot use to the full lumen.

At hour 5 the 12 lumens would stay on for 180 seconds and then shut off and would do this every time you turned the flash light back on. At hour 6, the light would stay on for 10 seconds before turning off.

I did not find out the true length of time that the battery  life has because at 6 hours my head was hurting and hand tired from the constant turning the flash light back on.

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Charging

The light has a standard android style charging port on the back of the flashlight and uses a standard android style charger.

The charge time has been a consistent 6 hour charge regardless of the usage. This to me is about 4 hours longer than it should be, but I am not an electrical engineer. I have no background to say that isn’t an impossible improvement. I just know that’s what I would like to see.

The light uses a 26650 Lithium ion battery. Its not easy to get out. The only reason I make note of that is because you can buy that size battery and chargers if you wanted to keep spare batteries.

Final Thoughts

I like the size and feel in my hand, I like the 1100 lumens, and I like that it has a charging port on the light.

Things I wish this light had was a shorter charge time, full battery life on the highest mode, and a rear on/off switch on the battery cap vs. the charging port. The Olight R40Seeker is rugged and build to be dropped and used.

I asked a number of cop friends what they thought and they all agreed with what I have mentioned above.

If you are looking for a good light to keep in your truck or car for emergencies this is a great light.

I have found this light online for $120 which seems like a fair price for a 1100 Lumen single LED flashlight.

Poll: Tech in Shooting

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I have noticed as I go to the range lately, I carry out about 75 pounds of gear. This doesn’t even include my guns and their respective cases.

Range Tech in the Range Bag

While a lot of what I carry to the range is related to reviews and just normal work equipment, I have noticed that over the past few years my distance range tech as increased and yet my range distance hasn’t.

I have observed more people with lasers and lights and camera mounts on their $700 M&P-15. I have asked a few why they have this mounted at all times and they tell me that they just need it. Mind you this is not your SWAT officers or Texas National Guard, I am talking to, but that guy who has been in the semi-auto rifle game for 2 years.

Constant Evolution

Like most every other industry, we are subject to constant evolution with the tech world. I carry out my electronic spotting scope for any shots over 25yds. I wear electronic ear muffs to help me hear and still mute the shooting. I use laser trainers at home to help me with my rifle and pistol skill. Tech is replacing the old school shooting world which is helping us with our shooting skills.

Old School

I look back to my grandfather’s era of hunting and shooting and how the trail cameras were the tracks you saw on the ground, the e-spotting scopes were binoculars and monocular spotting scopes, the laser trainers were tin cans on a fence.

It is interesting to me, to see the distance shooters at my local range who are much older and the worries they have are about the clarity of their glass on their high end scope and the twist rates of their bolt action rifles. Then I see the younger shooters looking for every piece of tech they can get their hands on to make them the next top shot.

Controversy

Personally, I love the tech. Even with how tech is changing and making some interesting splashes in the gun industry. Some tech is even controversial such as the Barrett Optical Ranging System (BORS) or the Tracking point systems giving shooter an easier time making the right calculations to hit their target out at 1000+ yards.

Shooting World has Room for All

Change can be scary to some people. All I know is that you can adapt to the new tech in shooting or not. Old school and new school, both have their amazing shooters who defy what we think is possible.

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