SNIPE ISSION OLDIER’S LIFE TACTICAL BOOT BUYER’S GUIDE VOLUME 6 | ISSUE 3 AAC HALCYON TWO RIM-FIRE SILENCERS IN ONE OWN THE NIGHT FINETUNE YOURNIGHT VISION SKILL AR BASED PISTOL CALIBER CARBINE BUILD DIGITAL ISSUES AVAILABLE ON WWW.ENGAGEDMEDIAINC.COM U.S. $8.99 MAY/JUNE 2018 DISPLAY UNTIL 05/29/18 05 0 74470 01506 ENGAGED MEDIA INC. CUSTOM PCC 2 ELITE OPERATOR SPRINGFIELD ARMORY’S LATEST 1911 4 WORLD OF FIREPOWER 42 14 88 MAY-JUNE, 2018 COVER STORY 42 The Ground Up A full-custom AR-Based PCC Build FEATURES 14 Own the Night 34 54 Sureﬁre steps to proﬁciency with night vision 22 Night Shade A one-of Grey Ghost Precision Glock build 34 Halcyon Daze Advanced Armament Corporation’s Halcyon: Two rimﬁre silencers in one 54 Lace ’Em Up Good Tactical boots for any eventuality 68 Simply Efficient Springﬁeld Armory’s latest Range Officer Elite Operator 1911 80 Never in the Dark EDC ﬂashlights—tough, reliable and bright 80 22 88 Updating an Icon Steyr AUG A3 M1: Up-to-date, modular and American-made 100 Tankland USA A visit to the American Military Museum departments 06 First Words 08 Uncovered 10 Reload 12 Dual Blades 108 Ground Zero 112 Pocket Dump 114 Five 100 on THE COVER Subject: Custom PCC build Photography: John Teator | Designer: Yekaterina Sverdlova 5 « 6 WORLD OF FIREPOWER MAY/JUNE 2018 the road ahead We think it’s fair to say that at his or her core, any firearm enthusiast is a survivalist at heart. Indeed, our basic right to self-protection and preservation is a central tenet in the American Constitution’s Second Amendment. These pages are dedicated to you, the firearms enthusiast and World of Firepower reader, to maximize your exposure to not only the world of firearms, but also the world of personal well-being. With that said, this issue features a couple of buyer guides intended to help you outfit yourself. The 12-page boot guide starting on page 54 showcases a range of tactical footwear that can be adapted to virtually any real-world setting or situation short of a wedding or wake, from great comfort and support at the shooting range to durability and performance while hiking through rough back-country terrain. On page 80 you’ll find a guide that illuminates the world of high-performance flashlights to enhance your tactical loadout—or add an upgrade to your everyday carry. This issue’s cover subject is a custom AR-based PCC we built from the lower receiver up with help from some of the best companies in the market. PCCs have grown exponentially in popularity in recent years and this one is assembled to offer the best of both worlds—performance and functionality. Elsewhere in the issue we outfit and test a custom Glock 17 with gear from Grey Ghost Precision and a handful of others, once again proving the great customizing potential of the Glock platform and the extreme high quality of this gun’s aftermarket support. We also take a look at two updated iterations of two world of firepower stalwarts: the Springfield Range Officer Elite Operator 1911, an up-to-date take on the classic sidearm design, and the king of the bullpups, the Steyr Arms AUG A3 M1, a legendary platform that’s as reliable as it is potent. You’ll also find an overview of night-vision equipment and the significance of its application in the field deployed in the hot zones of Afghanistan and in the field back at home. On page 34 we take a close look at the dual-nature AAC Halcyon rimfire suppressor, a silencer adaptable to a wide range of applications from each end of the long-gun and hand-gun spectrums. And on page 100 we visit Tankland USA on the grounds of the American Military Museum and its jaw-dropping collection of heavy American armor and artillery spanning from World War I to Operation Desert Storm. And on page 108, step into the boots of an operator in Afghanistan and experience the harrowing events that would shape his military career. We hope you enjoy this issue of WoF. VOLUME 6 • ISSUE 3 EDITORIAL Jason Mulroney John Scott Kelly Nomura Karl Funke Director of Content Technical Editor Executive Managing Editor Managing Editor DESIGN Katia Sverdlova David A. de la Torre, Jr. Design Director Art Director CONTRIBUTORS Reuben Bolieu, Jason Davis, Michael Furrer, George Huang, Michael Penhall, Richard Schultz, Mike Searson, John Teator, TracerX, Chris Tran ADVERTISING Bob Hulsy (714) 200-1940 Casey Clifford (714) 200-1982 Mark Pack (714) 200-1939 Charles Dorr (714) 200-1931 Spencer Redmond (972) 448-4649 John Bartulin (866) 866-5146 ext. 2746 John Cabral Gennifer Merriday Eric Gomez OPERATIONS Robert Short Parveen Kumar Shailesh Khandelwal Alex Mendoza Melinda Magde Victoria Van Vlear Ad Sales Director firstname.lastname@example.org Senior Account Executive Senior Account Executive Account Executive Account Executive Account Executive Advertising Design Advertising Traffic Coordinator Advertising Traffic Coordinator IT Manager Newsstand and Circulation Analyst Subscriptions Manager Administrative Assistant Project Manager Intern Program Manager EDITORIAL, PRODUCTION & SALES OFFICE 17890 Sky Park Circle, Suite 250, Irvine, CA 92614 (714) 939-9991 • Fax: (800) 249-7761 www.facebook.com/worldoffirepower www.facebook.com/eembybeckett WORLD OF FIREPOWER (ISSN 2332-0281) is published bimonthly six times per year (January/February, March/April, May/June, July/ August, September/October, November/December) by Engaged Media Inc., LLC, 17890 Sky Park Circle, Suite 250, Irvine, CA 92614. POSTMASTER: SEND ADDRESS CHANGES TO WORLD OF FIREPOWER C/O ENGAGED MEDIA INC, VSI, INC. 905 KENT ST., LIBERTY, MO 64068. © 2018 by Engaged Media, Inc. All rights reserved. Reproduction of any material from this issue in whole or in part is strictly prohibited. CUSTOMER SERVICE Engaged Media, Inc. 17890 Sky Park Circle, Suite 250. Irvine, CA 92614 Subscriptions, Address Changes, Renewals, Missing or Damaged Copies (800) 764-6278 (239) 653-0225 Foreign Inquiries email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org Back Issues: www.engagedmediamags.com Letters to Editor, New Products, or to Contribute a Story or Photo email@example.com SUBSCRIPTION RATES $21.95/1 year, $34.95/2 years. Outside the U.S., add $26.00 per year payable in U.S. funds. Single copy price is $8.99. Please allow 6 to 8 weeks for new subscriptions to begin. ENGAGED MEDIA INC. Scott Hall Tom Conradi Philip Trinkle Jason Mulroney Pinaki Bhattacharya CEO Group Publisher Newsstand Sales Director Director of Content Vertical Manager This magazine is purchased by the buyer with the understanding that information presented is from various sources from which there can be no warranty or responsibility by Engaged Media Inc., as to the legality, completeness or technical accuracy. S P O R T SAFETY SOUNDS BETTER THAN EVER. Peltor™ Sport Tactical 300/Tactical 500 SMART Electronic Hearing Protectors from 3 SMART technology automatically adjusts to your environ and firearm for customized protection. Speech is clearer. Operation is easier. Plus, the Tactical 500 syncs with Blue enabled devices — so you can stay connected and prote 3M SMART Technologies Dynamic Suppression Time measures the energy in gunshot noise and automatically sets suppression time for reduced echoes and increased comfort Clear Voice Tracking seeks voice within background n and actively filters noise for improved speech intelligibi 3M.com/PeltorSport Official Sponsor © 3M 2017. All rights reserved. 3M and Peltor are trademarks of 3 . he luetooth® word mark and logos are registered trademarks owned by Bluetooth SIG, Inc. and any use of such marks by 3M is under license. a e or s orage d protection. 24 26 NRR NRR Tactical Tactical 300 500 8 WORLD OF FIREPOWER 04. Camelbak BFM (older version shown) $300 camelbak.com 01. Mechanix Wear Specialty Vent $28 mechanix.com 02. Nathan Sports HammerHead 40oz Steel Insulated Bottle $40 nathansports.com MAY-JUNE, 2018 03. Garmont T8 BIFIDA $155 garmont.com 05. Woodman’s Pal Classic with Leather Sheath $98 protoolindustries.net 08. Olight SR Mini II Intimidator $130 olightworld.com 9 10 WORLD OF FIREPOWER  RELOAD  [o4]  MAY-JUNE, 2018 01. TOPS Knives / Backup Many cutting tasks can be done with knives that have short cutting edges. This is where the TOPS Backup comes in to get it done. Its blade comes in at just over two inches and has a continuous curve throughout to assist in skinning small game, feather sticking and other camping tasks. It comes with a minimal Kydex sheath that provides a super low-proﬁle, lightweight carry. MSRP: $75 URL: TOPKNIVES.COM 04. SIG Sauer / OSCAR3 10-20x30mm Spotting Scope SIG’s OSCAR3 10-20x30mm is a pocket-sized spotting scope that features SIG’s SOS (SIG Optic Stabilizer) electronic image-stabilization. This means that it allows for quick and easy target identiﬁcation by stabilizing the image and virtually eliminating a shaky image for all users. The OSCAR3 puts rocksolid spotting scope magniﬁcation in the palm of your hand with no tripod required. 11 06. Smoke Composites / Closed Shoulder Stock Smoke Composite’s carbon-ﬁber buttstocks are said to be the lightest available stocks on the market today. They are interchangeable with any Mil-Spec AR-15 stock and utilize the existing bufer and spring. The closed shoulder plate design prevents snags. Available in short and riﬂe pull lengths. MSRP: $209 URL: SMOKECOMPOSITES.COM MSRP: $600 URL: SIGSAUER.COM 02. Pachmayr / GuardianGrip What makes Pachmayr’s new GuardianGrip unique is the patented ﬁnger extension it ofers popular concealed-carry revolvers. With the simple press of a button, the spring-loaded ﬁnger extension drops down out of the grip, converting a two-ﬁnger compact grip into a controllable three-ﬁnger grip. Pachmayr says that this is the ﬁrst grip that combines the concealment of a compact grip with the shooting control of a full-size grip. MSRP: $50 URL: LYMANPRODUCTS.COM 07. G-Code / Micro Chest Rig 05. Mechanix Wear / specialty 0.5mm Covert Looking to retain trigger feel while protecting your hand? The Specialty 0.5mm shooting glove features a precision feel and high-dexterity ﬁngers with 0.5mm palm protection. Its 0.5mm AX-Suede provides a blend of tactile control and protection in the ﬁeld or at the shooting range. Breathable TrekDry reduces heat build-up and its expandable ﬂex joints improve trigger ﬁnger mobility for smooth manipulation. Only need to carry the essentials and not the whole kitchen sink? G-Gode’s Micro Chest Rig is uniquely suited for low-proﬁle operations or situations requiring rapid force escalation. It can be conﬁgured for a wide variety of mission requirements and working environments. The chest rig provides two Scorpion riﬂe and two Scorpion pistol magazine carriers of either Hard Shell or Soft Shell variation. MSRP: $156 URL: TACTICALHOLSTERS.COM MSRP: $28 URL: MECHANIX.COM 03. Federal Premium / 224ValkyrieFusion SoftPoint If you haven’t heard already, the .224 Valkyrie is one of the hottest calibers to emerge in the world of precision shooting. Virtually every component in Federal Premium’s Fusion Soft Point ammo is optimized for peak ballistic performance in modern sporting riﬂes. This 90-grain variety extends range even further, ofering devastating accuracy and terminal performance on medium game. [o1] MSRP: VARIES URL: FEDERALPREMIUM.COM   12 WORLD OF FIREPOWER D blade length 3.5 INCHES L blade finish STONEWASHED blade material 8CR14MOV blade edge PLAIN blade thickness 0.125 INCHES KERSHAW CQC-11K Based on the Emerson Rendezvous, the CQC11K is perfect for hunting, survival, camping, bushcrafting or just about any other outdoor activity. It features an 8Cr14MoV stainless steel blade with a stonewashed ﬁnish. The wide blade ofers plenty of surface area for skinning and other game processing, as well as superior slicing action. For a secure grip, the CQC-11K has a G10 front scale with stainless steel back and a sturdy frame lock. Emerson’s “waveshaped opening feature” allows the folder to be opened as it is withdrawn from the pocket. closed length 4.75 INCHES lock Style FRAME LOCK KERSHAW.KAIUSALTD.COM $60 handle material TEXTURED G10 FRONT, 410 STAINLESS STEEL BEAD-BLAST FINISHED BACK overall length 8.5 INCHES overall weight 5.8 OZ. MAY-JUNE, 2018 13 L blade length 3.5 INCHES blade finish SATIN blade edge PLAIN blade material VG-10 blade thickness 0.160 INCHES closed length 4.87 INCHES SOG Vulcan Inspired by the speed, power and versatility of the 20mm, 6-barrel Gatling-style rotary cannon found on modern U.S. military fighters such as the F-15, F-18 and F-16, the SOG Vulcan is also a formidable instrument with a powerful strength of construction. According to the manufacturer, there’s nothing weak about the Vulcan. One example is the patented Arc-Lock, which can hold more than 1,000 pounds of force. The full steel liners, encased in glass reinforced nylon (GRN) handles, give the knife extreme rigidity and durability. SOGKNIVES.COM handle material GLASS-REINFORCED NYLON $183 lock Style FRAME LOCK overall length 8.375 INCHES overall weight 5.0 OZ. 14 WORLD OF FIREPOWER Own the Night Surefire Steps to Proficiency with Night Vision T E X T BY MIK E GL OVE R “We own the night…” have heard that mantra repeatedly over my career in Special Operations. Our ability to operate under the cover of darkness translates to total domination of our objectives against fully armed terrorists—and no casualties for our team. I I have conducted the containment of an objective by surreptitiously surrounding it, and due to our nighttime capabilities, I came within a few feet of an armed insurgent who had no idea we were there. The ways in which the technical and tactical aspects of nighttime warfare have turned the tide in the global War on Terror are numerous. I will not go into them all, but we must consider night operations to be a crucial aspect to mission success. Understanding the importance of nighttime operational proficiency needed to “own the night,” you would think that the training cycle in the months leading to combat would be saturated with nighttime training. Unfortunately, that is not the case. Nightly Attacks In 2005, I was in a remote American fire base in Afghanistan. We were attacked nightly by nasty and destructive 107mm rockets. I was a young 18B or Special Forces Weapons Sergeant, and I was on a “mountain team” in 3rd Special Forces Group. Lee, my bunkmate, and I were thrown out of our beds by a rocket that was danger close—fatal range for most. Lee was the 18C Special Forces Engineering Sergeant. Our entire room shook violently. The sandbags surrounding my bunk shifted and emptied; our room filled with a thick, brown cloud of Afghan sand. I was exhausted, and my mind was cloudy, but repetition of immediate action drills in the event of something like this drove me to search for my gun. It is as if I operated on muscle memory alone—full autopilot. I threw on my kit (plate carrier, helmet, etc.) and grabbed a 240B Machine Gun. On my gun, I mounted a thermal scope with the ability to differentiate heat signatures in the darkness. It displayed them, bright white against the cold black background. MAY-JUNE, 2018 15 16 WORLD OF FIREPOWER Inside Fieldcraft Survival Observing that the average citizen is not properly equipped to preserve life in worstcase scenarios and with a continual desire to serve in some capacity, Mike Glover forged Fieldcraft Survival in 2015. Eighteen years of experience, coupled with lessons learned, paved the way to provide American Citizens with the tactics, techniques, and procedures to survive in potential disasters. Fieldcraft ofers information gathered by former Special Operations soldiers and subject-matter experts in their ﬁeld of expertise to build better Americans. URL: FieldcraftSurvival.com Hello, insurgents! Our fire base had a battle drill for such an event, with priority being to prevent a direct attack from the ground. From where we were on the base, the second story of our mud hut would give us the best advantage to keep overwatch and prevent such an attack. Lee and I made our way up to the rooftop with night vision mounted to our helmets. Along with the thermal scope on my gun, there was nothing we could not see. As I set up, I looked through my scope and I tried to identify the Point of Origin of the rocket attack—the POO. Yes, the POO. The 107mm rocket has advantages, depending on which end of the projectile you find yourself. It can be launched off a rock shelf and stabilize itself for a flatter trajectory, which is great for a shoot-and-run style of attack. Therefore, typically, POO sites were unoccupied; but I was hoping for the best. In a gunfight, you want the high ground; yet as I traversed our surroundings under night vision, I saw we were surrounded by mountainous ridgelines. I saw a heat source that looked like a potential launch site. I began to communicate its location to Lee so he could “paint it” in order to provide me with an infrared (IR) beam leading me to any potential insurgents at the site. Thermal and night vision are very different technologies, so this was problematic to say the least. The IR beam on Lee’s gun was not able to translate into anything visible within my scope. I could not track the IR beam without giving up the thermal sight picture. I could see the IR laser through my helmet-mounted night vision, but that turned everything green, which meant no heat signatures. I had to raise those up to then look through my thermal scope. I moved back and forth between optics until I built up the confidence that what I saw through each was the same and I had a valid target. “let us say you want to learn how to shoot with night vision and an IR laser… Although it seems like two separate and simple tasks, it is complex.” 18 WORLD OF FIREPOWER Once I was satisfied with my sight picture, I let off a short burst of 7.62mm rounds at the target. Some of these were tracer rounds, rounds mixed with a very small amount of organic fuel that causes an incendiary effect. The round is then traceable from the gun to the target with the naked eye. As we shot into the pitch-black Afghan night, it occurred to me that from the enemy’s perspective it would be relatively easy to identify my location by following the tracer back to my gun, with me behind it—a potentially fatal scenario. Though our enemy had no night vision capabilities, tracer rounds were now a potential danger. Every time I fired a burst of rounds, the trajectory of my rounds was not only clear, but I became a visible POO to the enemy who would eventually do to Lee and me what we were attempting to do to them. As I was formulating that conclusion, I heard a loud WOOSH as a 107mm rocket roared over our heads. Before Lee and I could react, the rocket impacted into the rear of our base—again danger close. “That was close!” I screamed over the explosion to Lee. With such a large kill radius upon contact, had that rocket impacted anywhere in front of us, it would have meant certain death. I looked at Lee; we did not need to say anything for us both to know it was time to get off the roof ASAP. Lesson Learned In this one isolated situation, I gleaned some very indispensable knowledge about modern, nighttime warfare. I quickly learned what would work, what would not, and that there is a comparative relationship between you and the enemy which must be understood to succeed. “Our equipment versus theirs” is one relationship that must be understood immediately. How can you gain fire superiority? The rest is a learned ability to know who your enemy is and to guess what their reactions to your actions may be, always staying one step ahead. Luckily for me, I would spend nine more months that year in Afghanistan, where I would train, learn and fine-tune my combat skill set while serving with America’s finest warriors. Training In my nearly 20-year career in Special Operations, I have been to almost every U.S. Army Special Forces school available. I have been to advanced close-quarters battle (CQB) training, Sniper school, and air controller school, where I learned to direct aircraft in the middle of a fight—which can be a crucial skill in large-scale nighttime warfare. I have attended advanced Military Free Fall (MFF) School and technical surveillance courses. Regardless of the curriculum offered, I had great leaders that kept me proficient by sending me to these schools and training me well. I honed my skills outside of combat. Every single school I have been to never really emphasized night training paired to that skill set. Nighttime operations were still relegated to something we learned on the teams— outside the schoolhouse. I remember thinking it was probably an administrative or safety protocol that kept us from doing a lot of night training, but whatever the reason, we were not capitalizing on the opportunity to become proficient in such a crucial aspect of modern combat operations. Our training time, in my mind, was not being fully optimized. Transition to Fieldcraft When I separated from the military and transitioned into running Fieldcraft Survival, my business based in Durango, Colorado, I started to realize that civilians did not have a structured process to learn the proper mindset or technical skills needed to overcome what life throws at them. The skills were there to learn, but there was no readily available mode of delivering those skills to potential students. I started my company keeping in mind that to effectively impart knowledge to someone and instruct them you must Keep It Simple, Stupid (KISS). I came up with Isolate, Rehearse, Repeat (IRR). The premise behind IRR is that the end state in training is typically a culmination of several sub-tasks, smaller skills and specific training principles that must be mastered individually before the student can be considered proficient in the culminating event. For example, let us say you want to learn how to shoot with night vision and an IR laser, much as you would during nighttime combat operations. Although it seems like two separate and simple tasks, it is complex, and you must understand how night vision operates, how your gun operates and how they operate together. 20 WORLD OF FIREPOWER Therefore, you may start with learning the capabilities of night vision. I would suggest walking around with the night vision on to build your understanding of depth perception, loss of peripheral vision, how it reacts to different light sources, what familiar things look like under night vision, so you may begin to differentiate objects—and how all of this may hinder or benefit you. Once you have isolated any task that is to be learned, you will then rehearse the task until you are unquestionably proficient at it. NightVision vs. Thermal Thermal Optics detect radiation or heat, and because the subject’s temperature is higher than its surroundings, the thermal optic will provide an image. Since they detect radiation, thermal optics do not require visible light. Night vision requires a light source to provide an image. In many cases, the stars and moon provide enough light to produce an image, but shadows make it difficult to see small details. You are not done yet… You will repeat the task until there is uninhibited muscle memory. Once you think you have completely ingrained that task into your memory, conduct an honest assessment of yourself—what we call an After-Action Review (AAR). What can you improve on? Isolate those areas for retraining. What can you sustain when translating from training to operational environments? Every time you have a culmination exercise for a new skill, you must do this. It is the best way to constantly improve, and remember to go back to the drawing board with things that need work. Value of NVD Night vision is one tool of many that, when utilized with other equipment, can greatly increase your chances of operational success. When I was in Special Forces Sniper School, we were exposed to a few night iterations that were more for familiarization than perfecting a craft. The takeaway was that once you are given a taste of what right looks like, you need to take your own time to perfect your craft. Learning skills takes a great deal of personal responsibility and work ethic. You will never be spoon-fed proficiency. I use this same concept when I teach survival tactics for Fieldcraft. I can philosophize and give you really great information in a class, but if I don’t give you the tools and wisdom on how to implement those Tactics, Techniques and Procedures (TTPs) in your own environment, then I’m not doing you any good and you will not leave the class better than you came. It reminds me of the old saying, “Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day, teach a Heat radiation and light are both parts of the electromagnetic spectrum, but an optic designed to amplify light won’t see radiation energy, and vice versa. man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime.” That statement is at the core of my teaching philosophy and training methodology when I seek to mold others into becoming better trained and proficient modern survivalists. The Army taught me that I could be trained in anything. I could be and would be a jack-ofall-trades, if I wanted to; however, if I wanted to perfect a skill set, if I truly wanted to be a master, then I would have to train on my own—when nobody is there watching. So that is what I did. Once I understood the concepts and familiarized myself with them, I was able to take the specific tactics and perfect them as it applied to my job in Special Operations. Likewise, for your own career or even hobby, you can follow those same steps to proficiency. Always repeating the tasks until they are innate actions. Because I was a Sniper, I started studying every type of optic, laser, and rangefinder I could get my hands on to understand how night vision could give us the upper hand in combat. I started to discover, as I evolved as an operator and shooter, that I was only scratching the surface. Remember, once you receive a block of instruction from an individual, institution, or other entity, when you leave the classroom that was only the beginning of the process. It is what you take away from that experience and begin to train early and often that makes the difference in mastering that skill. You do not have to be a Special Forces sniper to understand the best way in which to tackle a problem. You just need to be teachable, and disciplined enough to commit to and trust the process. THE I YO U ’ T-BEARING HOLSTER EN HUNGRY FOR. The Omnivore holster set the bar for versatility, fitting over 230 pistols. The light-bearing Omnivore takes the accessibility and Level 2 retention of its counterpart boldly into the night. It’s the Omnivore you’re used to – but with a bigger appetite. OMNIVORE ™ WK. M SUREFIRE X300/X300U-A STREAMLIGHT TLR-1/2 22 WORLD OF FIREPOWER MAY-JUNE, 2018 A One-Off Grey Ghost Precision Glock Build T EXT & P HOTOS BY M I K E S EAR S ON 23 24 WORLD OF FIREPOWER « started building things when I was a kid. New York City is a tough place to grow up poor and when there wasn’t enough money to go around when I needed a new bicycle, I built my own from parts I scrounged. I It was never any great feat of engineering but I gained a better appreciation than any of my other friends—who bought (or stole) their bikes in the fourth grade—for bicycle chains, how gears worked and, more importantly, how brakes functioned. That same approach helped me later in life as my interests turned to cars, motorcycles and, of course, firearms. A trade-in G22 frame provided the foundation for this build; the price was right and it included the bulk of the parts we needed. Many of my firearms in my younger years were built in an effort to save money. Later on it was to build something that no one else had or in other cases a repair or restoration effort. This time was different. This time I decided to tackle a Glock. For many people this may seem like an easy build, maybe even one they have tackled numerous times in the past. In my case it was a bit different. I currently own MAY-JUNE, 2018 I decided to build a Glock 17—the one model I had never owned. six Glocks (19, 20, 30S, 40, 42 and 43) and each one is pretty much a stock pistol except for the sights or another small part here and there. I have always viewed the Glock series of pistols as I viewed a Honda Accord or Toyota Camry. They are reliable working firearms that do their job and do it well. That was my position until I started looking around and saw what other people were doing with their Glocks, and for the first time I saw untapped potential in these striker-fired, polymer-framed pistols. 25 The slide features an RMR cut and Grey Ghost's aggressive hexagonal chevron serrations—but we opted to skip any lightening slots. For a slide and barrel we reached out to Grey Ghost Precision (GGP). That company's new slides had caught my attention late in 2017. I knew I wanted an RMR cut, but I also wanted the ability to run iron sights. I did not care to have lightening slots cut in the slide. I wanted Grey Ghost's aggressive hexagonal chevron serrations and their match-grade barrel. Looking to the frame, I briefly considered building from an 80% lower when I realized that I could find a perfectly good Glock frame on the secondary market. A police 26 WORLD OF FIREPOWER « The pistol features a match-grade barrel, a Velocity arms trigger and a ZEV firing pin safety spring that we feel made the trigger pull almost a half pound lighter. went this route because we lost the cursed factory spring and had to order another one. A Taran Tactical Ultimate Connector went on our new 9mm trigger housing/ejector to pull the last bit of factory creep out of our trigger. Some of the other parts that we needed were the slide plate and the guide rod/ recoil spring. We sourced these from Strike Industries and found each one to be a true drop-in fit. The Strike Industries Slide Plate allows for easy removal without tools, so we found that to be a nice enhancement. The steel guide rod and shock buffer system went in just as easily as a stock captured recoil spring. Last, we went with Strike Industries pins to replace the existing pins because we had no idea how long the existing pins had been in the pistol. CUSTOMIZING For a build like this, I wanted an undercut trigger guard and a different type of stippling. Knowing that any attempt on my part would probably result in our being crowned the “Ugliest Gun of 2017” contest winner, I sent the frame off to Russ Bacon of Nevada Cerakote for him to work his magic with laser stippling in an effort to improve the texturing of the frame. Bacon worked his signature “brain pattern” into the grip, which resulted in a texture that is not too aggressive yet yields a good hold whether you're wearing gloves or not. I retained the finger groves since with the undercut trigger guard they line up perfectly for my XL-sized hands. Our base gun was really taking shape, so we turned to two components we consider critical to a fighting handgun: sights and a light. Glock factory sights are pretty much “place holders” until you can find something better. One of our other Glocks, a G40 in 10mm, still wears the Austrian plastic inserts because we installed a Burris Fast Fire MAY-JUNE, 2018 We found a suitable holster with a Werkz Origin Custom Kydex unit, which fully accommodates the Laser Max Spartan and the Trijicon RMR to make this pistol surprisingly concealable. 3 on the MOS plate, and we were prepared to follow suit with this version until we learned that the Grey Ghost slides will only fit a true Trijicon RMR. and in the light the dot is powered by fiber optic. The fiber-optic top strap of the RMR goes nicely with our Disruptive Gray Matter color scheme, too. We think the RMR is the best sight of its type so we ordered a Dual Illuminated version rather than one of the battery-operated models. This sight’s dot is powered by the technology behind the ACOG: tritium and fiber optics. In the dark the tritium lights up, As I still pick up iron sights faster than the dot on a handgun, we looked for a set of irons that would co-witness and turned to Ameriglo for that company's suppressor-height sights. We debated going the threaded-barrel route to add a suppressor as 27 28 WORLD OF FIREPOWER As it turned out, the Grey Ghost slides will only fit a true Trijicon RMR. But we think the RMR is the best sight of its type; ours is a Dual Illuminated version rather than one of the battery-operated models. . ecided to go with that option at a later date. For the final touch we installed a Strike Industries magazine well. The body mounts in the grip plug and secures via set screw, and the funnel attaches to the base in the same way. ACCESSORIES For a weapon mounted light we decided on a light and green laser combination and chose the Spartan by Lasermax. The Spartan is lightweight, powered by a single AA battery and installs in less than a minute. However, its unique shape means that you need to go the custom holster route, and very few makers build a holster to fit any firearm equipped with this particular setup. As luck would have it, we found a suitable holster with Werkz. They shipped us a standard OWB rig in the form of their Werkz also supplied a double magazine holder in black carbon fiber weave to match the exterior of the OWB holster. 30 WORLD OF FIREPOWER « Origin Custom Kydex Holster, with black carbon fiber on the outside and blood-red carbon fiber facing the body. This holster fully accommodates the Laser Max Spartan and the Trijicon RMR. Werkz also made us a matching double magazine carrier. For the magazines themselves we went with MagPul G17 units. Werkz also let us try out one of their IWB holsters in standard Kydex. At first we thought that a full-size pistol with a weapon light might be a bit bulky to carry IWB, but this well-designed Kydex rig actually was more comfortable and concealable than we thought possible. DOES SHE SHOOT? With the new Glock build complete and lightly oiled, we ran it through the paces at our local shooting range. We tried a variety of ammunition types, including American Eagle 115-grain FMJ, Remington 124 FMC and Hornady 147-grain XTP. Our target was set up at 25 feet. The American Eagle brand gave us a decent grouping and while the Remington UMC let us down a bit, the real surprise was the Hornady. Our three five-shot groups had all rounds touching in a clover leaf that would have made Saint Patrick smile. We suffered no stoppages or malfunctions of any kind. Our home-built pistol ran like the proverbial well-oiled machine. PROBLEMS For lighting, we decided on a light and green laser combination, the Spartan by Lasermax—lightweight, powered by a single AA battery, and installs in less than a minute. The signature “brain pattern” texturing from Nevada Cerakote results in a grip that is not too aggressive yet yields a good hold whether you're wearing gloves or not. Despite the RMR’s “always on” nature it still took us a bit of time to acquire the dot, and then we realized that part of the problem Nevada Cerakote also performed work on the trigger guard, helpful for those shooters with XL-sized hands. Home Security. Done Right. Meet the all new SimpliSafe. It’s smaller. Faster. Stronger than ever. Ready to stop intruders day and night. You can blanket your home with protection and never notice. Intruders will. All at prices that are fair and honest. Right now get Free Shipping at SimpliSafe.com/STRONG 32 WORLD OF FIREPOWER The final touch was a Strike Industries magazine well, which mounts in the grip plug and secures via set screw; the funnel attaches to the base in the same way. we faced now was that the taller rear sight had the potential to obscure the dot until the pistol was perfectly aligned on target. Another issue is that the lens coating on this RMR made the sight picture a bit darker than we would like, which was fine for the dot, but less optimal for our taller sights should the RMR cease to function. We have seen other shooters have their slides built with the rear sight mounted in front of their reflex sight of choice. While a shorter sight radius may be an overblown first-world problem, make sure your sight’s optical coating does not make acquiring your sight picture difficult. Or, maybe do not get overly concerned with the ability to co-witness your sights. In retrospect, this was the only part of the build I would have done differently. The RMR definitely allows for tighter groups than the irons, but the dark lens coating will more As we found, customizing a Glock has a tendency to open a Pandora's Box; the possibilities are almost limitless. than likely have us switching back to on the other models in the future. All in all, this build was very satisfying a aside from losing a few small springs in beginning it was almost trouble-free. Th final result was an accurate and reliable Glock that was unique and surprisingly concealable with the proper holster. The real problem now is that this projec has opened a Pandora’s Box and will undoubtedly lead to more Glock builds in t future. At times during this process I wa thinking that it might be cheaper to buil a 1911, although definitely not as quick as easy. Yet sometimes that’s the greater reward it comes to building something you enjoy: having a finished product of which you ca be proud, regardless of the time, money a energy it took to get you there. 34 WORLD OF FIREPOWER ADVANCED ARMAMENT CORPORATION’S HALCYON: TWO RIMFIRE SILENCERS IN ONE T E X T & P H OTOS BY MIK E SEAR SO N hether you call them silencers, suppressors, mufflers or cans, we have always found the rimfire versions to be the most useful and practical. The latest one from AAC (Advanced Armament Corporation), the Halcyon, is one of the best of the breed. W A modular silencer, it has a removable front end that allows the user to run it long or short. This is patterned after the company’s modular pistol silencers in its Ti-Rant M series. When suppressing 17 HMR, 17 M2, 22 Magnum or even FN’s 5.7, you may want to run a longer profile silencer for better suppression, and in this case that is a matter of 5.28 inches with a weight of 6 ounces. However, if you want to quiet down a bolt-action 22 long rifle and keep a shorter profile you can Full size is 5.28 inches with a weight of 6 ounces, but if you want to keep a shorter profile you can take it down to a 3.4-inch can that weighs a scant 4.5 ounces. take it down to a 3.4-inch can that weighs a scant 4.5 ounces. Switching back and forth takes just seconds without tools just like the company’s Ti-Rant 45M and Ti-Rant 9M. When our good friends at Silencershop.com asked us if we wanted to try it, we leaped at the chance and we had one ready to go in less than a week. There is some good news on that front, courtesy of Silencershop.com. Owing to the staff’s background in IT (Information Technology), they recently teamed up with several industry partners and the NFA Branch to develop a bar-coded system for ATF Forms. It reduces some of the waiting period, particularly on the Form 3 (dealer to dealer) side as the forms need only be scanned. This saves 15 to 30 minutes on the part of an ATF Examiner who would need to type this information manually. Multiply that by the thousands of forms being processed and it adds up. Form 3 approvals have been reduced from 4-6 weeks down to 24 hours and sometimes less because of the bar code. We recently had one come back in less than an hour. Unfortunately, Form 4 transfers are still taking close to a year for approval. This is a hazard of the NFA (National Firearms Act) and is mostly related to the implementation of 41P last July. However, we have seen more of the holdup on the side of the background checks taking longer than normal from the FBI/NICS desk. With the wait times involved with NFA and the $200 tax stamp, we like to take advantage of modular cans, which give you in essence two silencers for one price. Not that you can make two standalone cans from one of these, but it gives you an option. MAY-JUNE, 2018 35 36 WORLD OF FIREPOWER « Advanced Armament Corporation MODEL: HALCYON CALIBER: 17 HMR, 22 LR, 22 WMR, FN 5.7 (FULL AUTO RATED FOR ALL) MATERIAL: TITANIUM (K-BAFFLES, MAIN TUBE), ALUMINUM (FRONT TUBE) FINISH: CERAKOTE MOUNT: 1/2 X 28, ADAPTERS AVAILABLE LENGTH: 5.28 INCHES (FULL), 3.41 INCHES (COMPACT) DIAMETER: 1 INCH WEIGHT: 6.1 OUNCES (FULL), 4.5 OUNCES (COMPACT) DECIBEL REDUCTION: 42 DB MSRP: $449 URL: ADVANCED-ARMAMENT.COM Construction The Halcyon's baffles are K-type and made of titanium, keeping the weight down and reducing sound signature. Taking the Halcyon apart, we noted that the bafﬂes were K-type and made of titanium. This keeps the weight down and reduces sound signature. Then we noticed that they were keyed for repeatable short alignment in an effort to not reduce but eliminate Point of Impact (POI) shift. The front section of the tube is made of aluminum and the rear portion is titanium with steel end caps. The whole unit is ﬁnished in armor-black Cerakote. AAC promises additional adapters in other thread pitches to replace the standard ½ x MAY-JUNE, 2018 As the backlog from 41P is clearing at the NFA Branch and forms are starting to move more quickly through the system, this is probably the best time in history to purchase a silencer. 37 well as our FN PS90 SBR (Short Barreled Riﬂe) and our full-auto Uzi with a 22 conversion kit, as the Halcyon is full auto-rated. One of the design features that AAC set out to address speciﬁcally with the Halcyon was the elimination of ﬁrst round pop (FRP). First Round Pop refers to the initial air trapped inside the suppressor. When this oxygen burns up after making contact with the hot gasses from the fired round it makes the first shot sound louder as a result of being fueled from the cooler air. Subsequent shots tend to be quieter. It is a problem with just about any type of sound suppressor but it does seem ampliﬁed in suppressed 22 rimﬁre cans. This is due to how inherently quiet most of these silencers are. The AAC Halcyon has minimalized this to such a degree that it is barely noticeable. 28” threaded end cap. Hopefully we will see ½ x 20” to use on European rimﬁre riﬂes and the threaded Beretta Model 71 pistols that were imported a few years ago by Century International Arms. Undoubtedly we will see end caps from AAC for use on various other rimﬁre handguns that have a two-piece barrel construction and can skip buying questionable adapters. We have heard a three-lug adapter is in the works, too. We mounted the short conﬁguration on several riﬂes, including a Savage 93 and a S&W M&P 15/22. It was so quiet on the Savage that someone asked me if I was shooting a Another unique feature that we have not seen elsewhere is a wave spring located under the rear end cap that applies tension to the thread adapter and aligns it to the main tube in order to prevent the rear cap from loosening while ﬁring. What really impressed us is the fact that the entire silencer can be taken down and reassembled, as well as reconﬁgured from long to short versions, without the use of tools. The bafﬂes dump out of the tube easily and because they are titanium they can be cleaned more easily than stainless steel or aluminum bafﬂes. You can use Hoppe’s #9 on these or clean them in an ultrasonic cleaner with no worries at all about degrading the material. Performance We took the Halcyon to the range with an assortment of rimﬁre riﬂes and handguns as A wave spring located under the rear end cap applies tension to the thread adapter and aligns it to the main tube, preventing the rear cap from loosening while firing. 38 WORLD OF FIREPOWER pellet gun. The 16-inch barrel allows enough time and space for all of the powder to burn up before the bullet enters the silencer, and with no semi-automatic bolt or anything else to allow gas and noise to escape you can count on the full 43 dB reduction promised by AAC. We like to take advantage of modular cans, which give you in essence two silencers for one price. pistol host of the Walther PPK/S in configuration, but the Halcyon is to 16-inch-plus barr shorter, including Final thou That said, the S&W M&P 15/22 was only slightly louder. Plus, the look it gave this rifle made it appear to only have a slightly longer flash suppressor as opposed to a full-on sound suppressor. On the FN P90 (actually a PS-90 converted to an SBR) the longer version sounded better than the short mode. The short version may not have been completely hearing-safe, but it gave us no tinnitus from shooting it. Moving over to handguns, we found the longer version to work better with regard to sound reduction than the shortened one. This goes back to barrel length and burning time of the powder from the fired round. The long version mounted on a Smith & Wesson model 41 was probably our quietest An all-titanium rim been awesome, b driven up the pric The front section of the tube is made of aluminum and the rear portion is titanium with steel end caps. The whole unit is finished in armor-black Cerakote. MARS G E AR .C O M USE CODE: wfp2018 CONDOR ROVER PACK SIZE 20”h X 11”w x 8”d LOOP PANEL FOR POUCHES *Accessories not included MG VULCAN TAC. PANTS » Poly/cotton ripstop fabric » 12 strategically placed pockets » Smart-sized pockets for gadgets and mags » Articulated knee & gusseted crotch » Drawstring leg ties » Elastic waistband KNIFE POCKET MAG POCKET volume 27.5 Liters STRETCH SIDE POCKET 40 WORLD OF FIREPOWER Our basic takeaway with the Halcyon is to run it short on rifles with 16-inch-plus barrels and long on anything shorter, including pistols. pushes it toward the higher for 22 cans. We were going to lay off on until the Hearing Protection However, in light of the curr landscape, we think we wil smoothing over the 9th circ that happens. As the backlog from 41P is NFA Branch and forms are s more quickly through the sy consumer incentives in the prices and rebates, this is pr time in history to purchase The word Halcyon refers to usually identified with the k breed about the time of the a nest floating on the sea, a of charming winds and wav Alternatively, it can denote the past that was idyllically ful. In the spirit of either of we think the Advanced Arm Halcyon is one of the best r we have ever shot. It can make any day at the range, or a simple walk in the woods while out squirrel hunting, calm, happy and peaceful. Particularly with regard to the quiet time it gives. MAY-JUNE, 2018 41 An all-titanium rimfire suppressor would have been awesome, but would drive up the price. As it is, the Halcyon's $450 MSRP pushes it toward the higher end of the scale. 42 WORLD OF FIREPOWER A FULL-CUSTOM AR-BASED PCC BUILD T E X T & P H OTOS BY JOH N SCOTT hat are your favorite b h MAY-JUNE, 2018 43 The und Up A hot trend among shooters over the past couple of years has been the pistol-caliber carbine (PCC). Although this category of firearm covers many carbines that fire pistol-caliber cartridges, it’s the AR-15’s modularity that makes it one of the most popular rifles in this field. With the great numbers of manufacturers that make parts and accessories for the rifle, it would be easy to assemble one starting with a stripped receiver by using nothing but aftermarket parts. In fact, we did just that. With pistol-caliber ARs being as hot as they are now, it’s only natural that we went ahead and assembled one from all-aftermarket parts. The lower receiver is considered the foundation of the AR-15 and with pistol carbine builds, so it is important to choose one that can accept the magazine that you will be using with it. In general, 9mm ARs come in two styles. One is the Colt pattern, which accepts Colt-style submachine gun magazines that are very much like Uzi mags, and the other takes Glock magazines. We opted to go with a lower that takes Glock mags. The Critical Capabilities NC-9 lower is a dedicated receiver that accepts Glock smallframe magazines such as those made for G17, G19 and G22. The lower comes complete with a magazine release and ejector and is machined from 7075-T6 aluminum. It is also has a matte-black anodized finish and a precision-machined mag well with beveled lip. It is engraved for use with 45- and 60-degree safety selectors. One thing to know prior to assembling your own 9mm-firing AR is that some tuning may be required for it to run perfectly. For your PCC’s system to work correctly, you may be required to tune your lower’s ejector for it to function properly. To complete the lower, we added a few items from Battle Arms Development, including the company’s Cast Enhanced Bolt Catch and titanium enhanced front and rear takedown pins, which are precison CNC-machined from Grade 5 Titanium. 44 WORLD OF FIREPOWER “Thanks to its ever-changing capabilities, the nearly sixty-year-old design manages to stay relevant and shows no sign of stopping.” The onboard optic is a Vortex Razor HD GEN II-E scope sitting in a Midwest Industries 30MM QD Scope Mount complete with smooth QD levers and a multifaceted adjustment nut. MAY-JUNE, 2018 The lower is a Critical Capabilities NC-9, a dedicated receiver that accepts Glock small-frame magazines such as those made for G17, G19 and G22. The POF USA Enhanced Finger Placement trigger is designed to naturally guide the tip of your finger to the same resting place for precise, consistent pulls. We also dropped in a POF USA Enhanced Finger Placement Drop-In Trigger. The trigger is designed to naturally guide the tip of your finger to the same resting place for a precise, smooth, consistent trigger pull every single time. Complementing the takedown pins and keeping the trigger in place are a set of Black Rain Ordnance titanium hammer and trigger pins as well. Keeping everything in control is a Blackhawk! Knoxx AR Pistol Grip. The grip features a more pronounced palm swell and a grippy, textured surface. Moving on to the rear, you’ll notice that we combined a Phase 5 Weapon Systems’ HexOne rifle-length buffer tube along with their Universal Mini Stock to create a strong, lightweight buttstock combination. A BCM 45 46 WORLD OF FIREPOWER The rear features a Phase 5 Weapon Systems’ HexOne rifle-length buffer tube along with their Universal Mini Stock to create a strong, lightweight buttstock combination. The Kaw Valley Precision handguard is made solely for use on PCCs and features an ultra-thin 1-5/8-inch outer diameter, making it the thinnest handguard that we’ve encountered. We were able to use our 33-round Glock mags, which are great to use in pistols at the competition, but also essential to use with PCCs. MAY-JUNE, 2018 47 The Faxon Gen 2 9mm PCC Blowback FullMass Bolt Carrier Group is ramped so it can be used with both Colt and Glock style systems. 48 WORLD OF FIREPOWER The heart this carbin 16-inch Ra Arms Ultra 9mm barre the combin duo of a Fo Muzzle Bra and Contro Shield blas device at it p g impact of the buffer's weight. This is all supposed to add up to softer perceived recoil. The buffer is coupled with one of JP Enterprises Custom Centerless Ground and Polished Operating Springs. The spring is ground and polished and is said to offer a smoother and e buffer tube. We did buffer noise is greatly g was installed. ngled out New Frontier g Pistol Caliber Stripped Round Bolt Hold Open milar to your .223 New Frontier’s upper be held open after the last round is fired, which isn’t always the case with all 9mm ARs. For ease of pulling the side charger back, we installed an extended charging handle, also made by New Frontier Armory. Installed inside the upper is a Faxon Gen 2 9mm PCC Blowback Full-Mass Bolt Carrier Group. The BCG is ramped so it can be used with both Colt and Glock style systems and, unlike other dedicated 9mm BCGs, features an AR-15 pivoted and sprung style extractor. The heart of this carbine is a 16-inch Rainier Arms Ultramatch 9mm barrel. It starts out as a stainless steel match grade Shilen blank, which is finished in a bead blast and rifled with a 1:10-twist rate. At its tip is the combined duo of the Fortis Muzzle Brake and Control Shield blast device. The Control Shield can “With pistol caliber ARs being as hot as they are now, it’s only natural that we went ahead and assembled one from all aftermarket parts.” MOUNTS RINGS BASES PRECISION SHOOTING ACCESSORIES The accuracy potential of your rifle and scope is totally dependent on the integrity of your mounting system. Warne has become the industry standard of discerning hunters and shooters worldwide for technical precision, scope-holding strength and ounce-counting efficiency. Trust our full range of products to deliver uncompromising performance in the toughest conditions and throughout a lifetime of hard use. All are backed by Warne’s Lifetime Warranty. CONFIDENCE IN EVERY SHOT.TM ANGLEYE TM MOUNTAIN TECH Patented Design TM MAXIMA® warnescopemounts.com 50 WORLD OF FIREPOWER “One thing to know prior to assembling your own 9mm firing AR is that some tuning may be required for it to run perfectly.” be quickly attached and taken off and was designed to push noise forward while its top ports keep the muzzle device flat on target. The sexy handguard is made by Kaw Valley Precision. Made solely for use on PCCs, the lightweight carbon-fiber handguard features an ultra-thin 1-5/8-inch outer diameter. They get away with this small diameter because AR PCCs don’t require a gas block or gas tube. So the space that’s usually reserved for those items on regular ARs isn’t needed. This allows it to be the thinnest handguard that we’ve encountered. The small diameter does still allow clearance for most muzzle devices. Our intention for this build it to run it at local steel plate matches. The matches have paper targets that are as close as 5 yards and steel from 15 yards out to 150 and many times beyond. With that goal in mind, we dove headfirst into outfitting the carbine with optics. The big dog onboard is Vortex Optic’s Razor HD GEN II-E scope. The newest version of this variable 1-6x24 powered scope is nearly a quarter of a pound lighter than its predecessors and with its crystal-clear glass, even at maximum magnification, the Razor is truly bang for your hard earned buck. It sits in a Midwest Industries 30MM QD Scope Mount For the top half, we singled out New Frontier Armory’s Side Charging Pistol Caliber Stripped Billet Upper, which allows for the bolt to be held open after the last round is fired, not always the case with 9mm ARs. complete with smooth operating QD levers and a multifaceted adjustment nut to get the exact tension required. For close-up shots, we will utilize a Vortex Optics Razor red dot that sits in a Midwest Industries Offset Rail. The offset rail attaches to any Picatinny rail and allows for the offset mounting of lights, lasers and, as in our case, optics. Being that this build was based on us sharing magazines between our Glock pistols and this carbine, we were able to use our existing “big stick” Glock mags. These 33-round behemoths are great to use in pistols at the competition, but are essential to use with PCCs. We further modified these factory mags by fitting them with Arredondo Glock base pads and springs. These base pads increase our round count by about five or six rounds, which is nice especially when tackling moving targets such as Texas Stars. We’ve fed the PCC plenty of ammo since it was built, but it seems to like Rainier Munitions 9mm 147-grain FMJ Match Subsonic the best. © 2017 O.F. Mossberg & Sons LET FREEDOM RING... AT 1000+ YARDS. ENJOY THE RING OF SUCCESS ALL-DAY finding steel from downrange with the new MVP Precision rifles from Mossberg. As America’s oldest family-owned and operated firearms manufacturer, we’ve been building dependable, hardworking rifles and shotguns since 1919. American built. American strong. ARM YOURSELF WITH MOSSBERG. MVP PRECISION RIFLE ® ® ® ® MAGPUL PMAG & M-LOK FOREARM, LUTH-AR ADJUSTABLE STOCK 6.5 CREEDMOOR & 7.62MM NATO M O S S B E R G . C O M / ARM YOURSELF ARM YOURSELF WITH SAFETY Be sure OF YOUR TARGET AND WHAT IS BEYOND IT. with all AR builds, was a fun one to tackle.” Our intention for this build it to run it at local steel plate matches; for close-up shots, we will utilize a Vortex Optics Razor red dot that sits in a Midwest Industries Offset Rail. specifications Custom AR PCC CALIBER: 9MM LENGTH: 35.25 INCHES BARREL LENGTH: 16 INCHES WEIGHT (W/O MAGAZINE): 9 POUNDS, 5 OUNCES 54 WORLD OF FIREPOWER Lace ’E Up Goo o m od MAY-JUNE, 2018 TACTICAL BOOTS FOR ANY EVENTUALITY O ver the years, the battlefield has experienced drastic changes. No longer do armies line up against each other, ready to charge at the horn’s blow. The modern world’s battlefield has been injected with complexity through growth of technology and the advantageous collection of knowledge. As we experience such changes, our equipment and gear require upgrades and superior designs that we have never seen before. Tactical boots have undergone many facelifts, weight reductions and invasive surgeries to get where they are today. Modern heroes out on the battlefield, city streets, naval ships and aircraft all require boots with the technological advancements to carry them through the day’s mission. The following is a compilation of some of the newest tactical boots. A byproduct of evolution, the boots in this guide feature top-of-the-line materials, grips, technology, designs and characteristics. As a closing thought, consider this: In all of history, tactical boots are at their pinnacle today. You are among the lucky that may experience the wonder that technology and hard work have created in the modern boot. 55 56 WORLD OF FIREPOWER 01 02 Chase 9" WP Side-Zip Original S.W.A.T. Black Eagle Tactical 2.0 GTX High Haix Ready for slippery surfaces, the 39-ounce Chase 9" WP Side-Zip is slip- and oilresistant and exceeds the ASTM F2913-11 test standards. A gusseted tongue works to keep dirt and debris out, while the HydroGuard full bootie construction makes these boots waterproof. Lined with moisture-wicking AEGIS antimicrobial protection, Chase WP boots keep your feet safe and dry no matter where the day takes you. YKK side-zippers make putting on and taking of these boots quick and easy. A hookand-loop tab-stay closure prevents the zippers from accidently coming undone. The airport-friendly shank allows you to go through security checkpoints with less hassle and provides lightweight support and fatigue control. SPECS WATERPROOF: YES HEIGHT: 9 INCHES OUTSOLE: SLIP- AND OIL-RESISTANT, NON-MARKING RUBBER WITH SIPING FASTENER: YKK SIDE-ZIPPER IN VISLON PATTERN LINER: MOISTURE-WICKING WITH AEGIS ANTIMICROBIAL PROTECTION UPPER MATERIAL: FULL GRAIN LEATHER/1200 DENIER NYLON OTHER FEATURES: BLOODBORNE-PATHOGEN RESISTANT, AIRPORT FRIENDLY, REMOVABLE CUSTOM FIT EVA INSOLE MSRP: $139.99 URL: ORIGINALSWAT.COM HAIX upgraded and improved its popular boot, the Black Eagle Tactical 20, to create the Black Eagle Tactical 2.0 GTX. The outsole of this boot mimics the original through its shock absorbing, non-slip, non-marking, fuel- and oil-resistant design. Adding to that already impressive list, the upgraded outsole is now heat-resistant as well. The tough, sturdy outsole nicely compliments the comfortable insole that has been enhanced with the addition of softer cushioning in the heel. Furthering your comfort level, the 2-Zone Lacing system gives you the freedom to adjust the width of the boot in both the leg and foot area separately. This feature is great for those with very wide or slim calves, as you can personalize the ﬁt. With the addition of the new Black Eagle tread, scraping of the mud from your boots at the end of the day is now a thing of the past. As you walk, the self-cleaning tread naturally sheds dirt and dried mud. The Black Eagle Tactical 2.0 GTX also works to keep your feet in a comfortable temperature range. Using the HAIX Climate System, which utilizes air circulation, your feet stay cool on warm days and warm on cool ones. SPECS WATERPROOF: YES HEIGHT: 8 INCHES OUTSOLE: BLACK EAGLE 018 SOLE FASTENER: SMART LACING LINER: GORE-TEX UPPER MATERIAL: SMOOTH LEATHER OTHER FEATURES: ABSORPTION, ANKLE PROTECTOR, 2-ZONE LACING, SUN REFLECT MSRP: $169 URL: HAIXUSA.COM MAY-JUNE, 2018 03 04 APEX Waterproof 8" Boot 5.11 Tactical Vengeance SR 8" Side-Zip Altama Tough, comfortable, tactical—these words describe the 5.11 APEX Waterproof 8" Boot in a nutshell. If you’re in a line of work that requires readiness at a moment’s notice, then the Altama Vengeance SR 8" Side-Zip might just be the boot for you. Updated and improved cushioning with heel and arch support keep your feet comfortable, even on long days. Full-grain, waterproof, polishable leather give these boots a sturdy build. Lined with an eVent BBP waterproof membrane, the APEX Boots keep your feet dry in wet conditions, but allow sweat to get out on warm days. This lining also protects your feet from bloodborne pathogens. Using YKK’s durable Vision zipper, getting your feet in and out of these boots quickly is a cinch. Speed lace eyelets allow you to re-adjust your boot-ﬁt promptly and without hassle. The VIBRAM Megagrip outsole provides a high level of grip on both wet and dry terrains. This durable outsole is designed to last, but it is re-soleable so you can replace it if it wears out. To make sure you get the most out of your purchase, 5.11 Tactical partnered with NuShoe, which ofers a 5.11 Boot Restoration Program. They will replace the outsoles, clean and polish the boots, and add new laces for under a hundred bucks. SPECS WATERPROOF: YES HEIGHT: 9 INCHES OUTSOLE: RE-SOLEABLE VIBRAM MALTEASE FASTENER: LACES LINER: EVENT BBP WATERPROOF MEMBRANE LINING UPPER MATERIAL: FULL-GRAIN LEATHER OTHER FEATURES: D30 LITE EVA MIDSOLE, D30 SUPPORT FOOTBED MSRP: $249.99 URL: 511TACTICAL.COM The Vengeance SR ofers many advantageous beneﬁts. Features include an airportfriendly nylon shank, removable EVA insole with PORON performance cushioning pad, custom-molded phylon EVA midsole, full grain vamp and balance action, and a moisture-wicking air mesh lining with AEGIS antimicrobial protection. Take every step with conﬁdence since the carbon rubber outsole exceeds the ASTM F489-96 test for slip resistance. Made with full-grain leather and durable nylon mesh, the Vengeance SR, which weighs 23 ounces, was built to last. Altama is so conﬁdent in the design that the company gives a one-year manufacturer’s warranty, along with a 60-day comfort guarantee. SPECS WATERPROOF: NO HEIGHT: 8 INCHES OUTSOLE: CARBON RUBBER FASTENER: YKK ZIPPERS AND POLYMER LACE EYELETS LINER: MOISTURE-WICKING AIR MESH WITH AEGIS ANTIMICROBIAL PROTECTION UPPER MATERIAL: FULL-GRAIN LEATHER/DURABLE NYLON MESH OTHER FEATURES: FULL-GRAIN LEATHER/DURABLE NYLON MESH MSRP: $119.99 URL: ALTAMA.COM 57 58 WORLD OF FIREPOWER 05 06 Tac Athlon Maelstrom Defense Military BLACKHAWK! Engineered to fulfill the demands of law enforcement, security and work professionals, The Defense Military boot was made to meet the strict demands of active military the Tac Athlon is a high-quality, high-performing boot with a reasonable price tag. Using personnel and comes with an extensive list of features. Beginning with the exterior premium materials, the Tac Athlon is meant to last. The upper is made of full-grain of the boot, the Defense Military is equipped with Lycra lace pocket storage systems leather and easily attains a polished appearance, while nylon and rip-stop leather to keep the laces from hanging loose, while the NATO quick-lace system allows you boost resilience and breathability. Held together by a lightweight cement, with triple to get ready at a moment’s notice. Further assisting you to quickly get dressed is the stitching along vulnerable areas, the upper and sole are designed to stay intact. The Maelstrom iH2O-Tex breathable waterproof membrane protect your feet from rain and snow, while the rubber outsole’s aggressive treads provide traction across all terrains. Keeping your feet comfortable, the high-density polyurethane insole supports your feet, while the shock-absorbing EVA midsole maximizes compression and reduces foot fatigue. webbing pull tab, which aids in putting on the boot. On the bottom of the boot, the VIBRAM outsole, combined with a PU midsole, provides ultimate support, stability and traction. The toe cap is fully reinforced with an extra layer of suede and the fully gusseted tongue prevents water and debris from reaching the interior of the boot. Removable OrthoLite insoles keep your feet cushioned all day and may be washed to mitigate odor. Made with metal-free materials, the 18-ounce Tac Athlon won’t slow you down through security checkpoints. Thanks to the lightweight design, these boots won’t slow you down physically either. The Tac Athlons come with a one-year manufacturer’s warranty SPECS and free returns for U.S. customers. WATERPROOF: YES HEIGHT: 8 INCHES SPECS OUTSOLE: VIBRAM RUBBER OUTSOLE WATERPROOF: YES LINER: HYDROGUARD + BREATH RIGHT MOISTURE-WICKING MEMBRANE HEIGHT: 6 INCHES UPPER MATERIAL: 1000 DENIER PADDED DWR NYLON OUTSOLE: SLIP- AND OIL-RESISTANT RUBBER OTHER FEATURES: ORTHOLITE INSOLE, AR 670-1 COMPLIANT, LYCRA LACE FASTENER: NON-METALLIC EYELETS AND HOOKS WITH NON-FRAY THREAD FASTENER: NATO QUICK-LACE SYSTEM POCKET LINER: WATERPROOF FULL-BOOTIE LINING UPPER MATERIAL: POLISHABLE FULL-GRAIN LEATHER AND NYLON OTHER FEATURES: REMOVABLE ORTHOTIC INSOLE, BLOODBORNE MSRP: $149.99 PATHOGEN RESISTANT, COMPRESSION-MOLDED EVA URL: BLACKHAWK.COM MSRP: $104 URL: MAELSTROMBOOTS.COM MAY-JUNE, 2018 07 08 Halcyon Waterproof Boot 5.11 Tactical Stalwart Danner The Halcyon Waterproof Boot features new Tac-lock laces that prevent accidental untying and won’t come undone unless you pull them loose. The low-friction, odorcontrol lining works to keep your boots smelling fresh while reducing heat and blistering. A multi-tread slip- and oil-resistant outsole keep you firmly grounded while walking across any surface. The Slipstream Waterproof membrane keeps your feet dry and comfortable and provides protection against bloodborne pathogens. Built with an OrthoLite X-40 high-rebound footbed, shock experienced from walking or impact is minimized, thus enhancing comfort. The high-abrasion, rubberized toe provides added durability. SPECS WATERPROOF: YES HEIGHT: 6 INCHES OUTSOLE: MULTI-TREAD SLIP- AND OIL-RESISTANT FASTENER: TAC-LOCK LACES LINER: LOW-FRICTION, ODOR-CONTROL LINING UPPER MATERIAL: SUEDE OTHER FEATURES: BLOODBORNE PATHOGEN RESISTANT, 10MM HEEL TO TOE DROP, ORTHOLITE SHOCK-ABSORBING X-40 FOOTBED MSRP: $159.99 URL: 511TACTICAL.COM Searching for new ways to design a lightweight and quick-to-comfort boot led Danner to develop the Stalwart. The construction of this boot was well-thought-out from start to finish. Lined with GORE-TEX, sweat and moisture escape through the breathable material, while water is prevented from entering. Keeping the weight goal in mind, the upper is made with a combination of full-grain leather and 1000 denier nylon, which adds strength to the lightweight design. The bottom of the boot hosts the VIBRAM Kletterlift Light outsole. Slip- and oilresistant, this lighter weight version of the classic Kletterlift outsole also features the VIBRAM TC4T compound for added durability. Handcrafted with a stitchdown construction, the 52-ounce Stalwart provides stability with each step and the fulllength, removable footbed provides all-day comfort. SPECS WATERPROOF: YES HEIGHT: 8 INCHES OUTSOLE: VIBRAM KLETTERLIFT LIGHT FASTENER: LACES LINER: GORE-TEX UPPER MATERIAL: FULL-GRAIN LEATHER/1000 DENIER NYLON OTHER FEATURES: STITCHDOWN CONSTRUCTION, RECRAFTABLE, BI-FIT SHANK MSRP: $220 URL: DANNER.COM 59 60 WORLD OF FIREPOWER 09 10 Moab 2 Tactical Merrell V3 Black Boot BLACKHAWK! The Moab 2 Tactical boot is designed to carry you through some of the toughest Loaded with premium materials, the V3 Black Boot by BLACKHAWK! helps you environments one step at a time. Walk conﬁdently across any surface as the VIBRAM perform at your highest level. TC5+ outsole provides trusted traction, and the Merrell air cushion helps to increase stability and absorb shock while walking. Starting from the bottom up, the VIBRAM rubber outsole features an aggressive design with wide lugs to give you ultimate traction across any terrain. Waterproof Since you never know what the day might bring, the Moab 2 Tactical boot comes yet breathable, the V3 features a HydroGuard + Breathe Right moisture-wicking prepared. Waterproof PU-coated leather keeps your feet nice and dry no matter how membrane that will keep your feet dry and comfortable on both hot and wet days. stormy the weather. Meeting the electrical hazard ASTM F2413-II standards, these boots protect against open circuits. An abrasion-resistant rubber toe cap stands in A truly tactical addition, the Lycra lateral pocket allows you to store and conceal small your toes’ defense against forceful impacts. A bellows tongue is attached to the upper items such as a knife. The speed lace system along with the webbing pull tab allow you on both sides to keep debris out. to get the boot on fast, and the Lycra lace pocket prevents the laces from catching. The OrthoLite insole may be removed and washed to keep your boots smelling fresh These boots can quickly be taken of or put on using the durable side zippers. mile after mile. SPECS SPECS WATERPROOF: YES WATERPROOF: YES HEIGHT: 8 INCHES HEIGHT: 8 INCHES OUTSOLE: VIBRAM TC5+ OUTSOLE: VIBRAM RUBBER OUTSOLE FASTENER: SIDE ZIPPER FASTENER: SPEED LACE SYSTEM LINER: BREATHABLE MESH LINER: MOISTURE-WICKING MEMBRANE UPPER MATERIAL: WATERPROOF PU COATED LEATHER UPPER MATERIAL: POLISHABLE ACTION LEATHER OTHER FEATURES: KINETIC FIT FOOTBED, SAFE FROM ELECTRICAL HAZARD, OTHER FEATURES: REMOVABLE ORTHOLITE INSOLE, HYDROGUARD + M-SELECT DRY BREATHE RIGHT MOISTURE-WICKING MEMBRANE, LYCRA LATERAL POCKET MSRP: $155 URL: MERRELL.COM MSRP: $149.99 URL: BLACKHAWK.COM MAY-JUNE, 2018 11 12 Shadow Amphibian Lalo Tactical Tac Elite Maelstrom Truly unique and versatile, the Shadow Amphibian was made in conjunction with the Created with law enforcement, outdoor enthusiasts, and uniformed professionals in Navy SEALs to be used in the air, on land and while swimming. As its name suggests, mind, the versatile Tac Elite delivers optimal comfort and ﬁt for those on their feet all this boot was designed to excel at water missions. Instead of keeping water out, the day. The lacing system snugly wraps your foot for a secure and comfortable ﬁt, while Shadow Amphibian, which weighs 19 ounces, features a two-way passive drainage the high-density cushioned insole supports your foot for all-day wear. Enhancing system that allows water to ﬂow in and out of the boot as needed. ﬂexibility, the lightweight EVA midsole increases the range of arch movement and helps absorb shock as you are walking. Quiet on land, the TPU outsole and articulating heel allows for a “stealth approach” when transferring energy from heel to toe. The abrasion-resistant carbonized rubber Waterproof and bloodborne-pathogen resistant, the Tac Elite protect your feet from toe cap protects your feet, while rip-stop nylon accents protect the boot from damage. harsh and dangerous conditions and the deep threads on the outsole ﬁrmly ground you on all types of terrain. A YKK side zipper allows for speedy on/of without needing to The microﬁber H2O-shedding synthetic leather upper includes a breathable membrane untie the laces. However, lacing the boots doesn’t take long with the spinning speed- and the boot is lined with antimicrobial, moisture-wicking lining. The sleek vamp proﬁle hook lacing system speciﬁcally engineered for quick lacing. ofers a secure ﬁt, while the gusseted tongue features invisible lace pockets. Ready to wear right out of the box, the Tac Elite boots do not need to be broken in over SPECS WATERPROOF: YES time. Purchase includes a 1-year manufacturer’s warranty. HEIGHT: 5 INCHES SPECS OUTSOLE: SLIP-RESISTANT TPU WATERPROOF: YES FASTENER: LACES HEIGHT: 8 INCHES LINER: MOISTURE-WICKING, H2O-SHEDDING ANTIMICROBIAL LINING OUTSOLE: DEEP THREADED RUBBER UPPER MATERIAL: MICROFIBER H2O-SHEDDING SYNTHETIC LEATHER FASTENER: YKK SIDE ZIPPERS AND SPINNING SPEED-HOOKS OTHER FEATURES: INVISIBLE LACE POCKET, 2-WAY PASSIVE DRAINAGE LINER: BREATHABLE, WATERPROOF MEMBRANE SYSTEM, STEALTH APPROACH UPPER MATERIAL: FULL-GRAIN COWHIDE LEATHER OTHER FEATURES: BLOODBORNE PATHOGEN RESISTANT, READY TO WEAR, MSRP: $350 YKK ZIPPER URL: LALO.COM MSRP: $120 URL: MAELSTROMBOOTS.COM 61 62 WORLD OF FIREPOWER 13 14 Sublite Cushion Tactical Reebok Moab 2 Tactical Response Merrell Usually when someone thinks about a tactical boot, they think of a gnarly, heavy-duty Built on the original Moab platform, the Moab 2 Tactical Response, weighing in at 48 design. But that isn’t always the case. Reebok understands this concept as well and ounces, incorporates the time-tested fit and comfort that Merrell customers have created the Sublite Cushion Tactical boot. loved since 2006. Despite its light weight, this boot packs one hell of a punch where features are The Kinetic Fit Elite footbed supports targeted pressure points and securely cushions concerned. The Sublite Cushion Tactical is ASTM F2892 and AR670-1 compliant, the heel. Merrell air cushioning around the heel absorbs shock while adding stability to airport-friendly, has a slip-resistant outsole and provides electrical hazard protection. each movement. The flexible, lightweight nylon arch shank supports your feet without weighing you down. Inside the boot, a MemoryTech Massage footbed adapts to the unique contours of your foot and provides all-day cushioning and comfort. Flex grooves line the entire bottom of Waterproof full-grain leather with M-Select DRY works to keep your feet protected the boot, giving you greater flexibility and range of motion. from wet conditions. The VIBRAM TC5+ outsole provides durable traction and is EH rated ASTM F2413-11. Attached to the upper, a bellows tongue repels debris and SPECS WATERPROOF: NO breathable mesh lines the boot to provide superior all-day comfort. HEIGHT: 8 INCHES SPECS OUTSOLE: RUBBER WATERPROOF: YES FASTENER: LACES HEIGHT: 8 INCHES LINER: MOISTURE-WICKING NYLON MESH OUTSOLE: VIBRAM TC5+ UPPER MATERIAL: CATTLE HIDE LEATHER AND BALLISTIC NYLON FASTENER: HEAVY-DUTY ZIPPER OTHER FEATURES: MEMORYTECH MASSAGE FOOTBED, LIGHTWEIGHT, LINER: BREATHABLE MESH FLEXIBLE UPPER MATERIAL: WATERPROOF LEATHER AND RIPSTOP TEXTILE OTHER FEATURES: RIPSTOP TEXTILE, EH RATED ASTM F2413-11, MSRP: $150 STABILITY ARMS URL: REEBOKWORK.COM MSRP: $175 URL: MERRELL.COM MAY-JUNE, 2018 15 16 Reckoning Danner Black Eagle Athletic 2.0 Haix Built on a VIBRAM All-Terrain platform, the Reckoning was designed to handle the Combining running shoe technology with functional boot features, Haix created the rugged demands of the modern battleﬁeld. Black Eagle Athletic 2.0. Calibrated for shock absorption, the VIBRAM midsole and outsole provide comfort Breathable and lightweight, this boot was designed for speed while still maintaining with each step. Engineered for high-mileage treks, the omni-directional pentagonal a durable construction. Cushioning in the heel area absorbs just the right amount of outsole lug pattern gives ultimate traction in every direction. For missions that require climbing and roping, the Arch Tech grip gives you secure traction. Double-bevel tread keeps debris and dirt from getting stuck in the outsole, which keeps your traction set to maximum all day. shock so that the spring-back material in the forefoot gives you the most efficient use of energy. Start, stop and turn at a moment’s notice without worrying about losing your footing. The tread design provides multi-directional anti-slip grip and its rubber construction is oil- and gasoline-resistant, antistatic and non-marking. A 2-Zone Lacing System allows A speciﬁc heel shape locks the heel into place for a secure ﬁt and increased comfort. The polyurethane footbed absorbs shock and includes an additional layer of open cell independent adjustment between the upper and lower part of the boot for a secure, customizable ﬁt. construction for improved air circulation. The 37-ounce Reckoning meets the U.S. Army AR 670-1 requirements for optional wear. The Black Eagle Athletic 2.0 is airport-friendly so you can move quickly through security checkpoints. A removable antibacterial insole provides superior comfort and SPECS support, and may be washed to maintain odor control. WATERPROOF: NO HEIGHT: 8 INCHES SPECS OUTSOLE: VIBRAM ALL-TERRAIN OUTSOLE WATERPROOF: NO FASTENER: DOUBLE RIVET SPEED LACER HEIGHT: 8 INCHES LINER: BREATHABLE, MOISTURE-WICKING AIR MESH OUTSOLE: ANTI-SLIP, RESISTANT TO OIL AND GASOLINE, NON-MARKING UPPER MATERIAL: SUEDE LEATHER AND ABRASION-RESISTANT NYLON OTHER FEATURES: POLYURETHANE FOOTBED, OMNI-DIRECTIONAL PENTAGONAL OUTSOLE LUG PATTERN, ARCH TECH GRIP MSRP: $260 URL: DANNER.COM FASTENER: SIDE ZIPPER, 2-ZONE LACING SYSTEM LINER: TEXTILE UPPER MATERIAL: MICROFIBER/TEXTILE OTHER FEATURES: HAIX CLIMATE SYSTEM, HEEL CLIP, ANKLE SIDE PADS MSRP: $169 URL: HAIXUSA.COM 63 64 WORLD OF FIREPOWER 17 18 Speed 3.0 Waterproof Boot 5.11 Tactical 7-Inch Operator First Tactical Just like its name suggests, the Speed 3.0 Waterproof Boot is designed to handle fast movements and quickly cover long distances. The Speed 3.0 Jungle platform outsole provides aggressive traction across most terrain. The fence-climbing toe allows you to maneuver easily over walls and chain-link fences while keeping your toes safe and sound. An OrthoLite footbed gives you all-day cushioning and support, while the low-friction lining reduces heat and blistering. A bloodborne-pathogen-resistant waterproof membrane lines the boot. Side zippers aid in quickly removing or putting on these The Operator gets its inspiration from professional athletes. Translation: These boots provide the flexibility and comfort you’d expect in a running shoe, but they also have the durability of a tactical boot. It’s the best of both worlds. The upper features lightweight, tough synthetic construction that delivers ample agility. The OrthoLite foam and enhanced airflow pockets provide ventilation and comfort, regardless of how hot it is. The Achilles’ flex point allows freedom of movement, while the gusseted tongue construction keeps the tongue aligned and debris out. Among other features, the lightweight TPU heel clip provides extra support and stability, and the OrthoLite foam top layer is breathable, moisture-wicking and fungus-fighting. boots. SPECS SPECS WATERPROOF: YES HEIGHT: 8 INCHES OUTSOLE: SPEED 3.0 JUNGLE PLATFORM OUTSOLE FASTENER: SIDE-ZIP LINER: LOW FRICTION, ANTIMICROBIAL LINING UPPER MATERIAL: LEATHER AND NYLON WATERPROOF: YES HEIGHT: 7 INCHES OUTSOLE: RUBBER, OIL- AND SLIP-RESISTANT FASTENER: LACES UPPER MATERIAL: SYNTHETIC OTHER FEATURES: KNIFE HOOK ON MEDIAL AND LATERAL SIDES, TONGUE LACE POCKET KEEPS LACES OUT OF THE WAY OTHER FEATURES: BLOODBORNE PATHOGEN RESISTANT, 5.11 SLIPSTREAM, ORTHOLITE FOOTBED MSRP: $119.99 URL: FIRSTTACTICAL.COM MSRP: $129.99 URL: 511TACTICAL.COM 66 WORLD OF FIREPOWER 19 20 Shadow Intruder Lalo Tactical XPRT 3.0 5.11 Tactical Designed for and in conjunction with U.S. Special Forces, Lalo Tactical gave birth to the You never know where the day might take you, especially when you’re on a tactical Shadow Intruder. Just like its name hints, this boot is inherently quiet by design. The shift. patented bi-ﬁt board and rubber outsole supplies an efficient “stealth approach” with each step you take. Combine that with the articulating heel and outsole shape and you Being prepared may just be the bridge between you and success. The XPRT 3.0 is have one heck of a quiet boot. designed to get you there. Built with VIBRAM Megagrip, the outsole holds a steady grip over dry and wet terrains. When you do travel through wet scenarios, your feet will Outside of its noise reducing abilities, the 20.8-ounce Shadow Intruder features a stay dry and comfortable thanks to the eVent Protect BBP waterproof lining. slip-resistant, lightweight rubber outsole and an abrasion-resistant rubber toe cap. Microﬁber H2O-shedding leather keeps water out while still allowing fresh air to ﬂow For those days that seem to stretch on forever, the XPRT 3.0 helps you get the most into the boot. The Shadow Intruder includes H2O-shedding antimicrobial upper lining, out of your energy through the new OrthoLite Imperial footbed. This feature works to an invisible lace pocket, gusseted tongue, Achilles ﬂex notch, and rip-stop nylon prevent fatigue and gives you a higher energy return. accents. SPECS SPECS WATERPROOF: YES WATERPROOF: YES HEIGHT: 6 INCHES HEIGHT: 8 INCHES OUTSOLE: VIBRAM ANANASI OUTSOLE: SLIP RESISTANT, LIGHTWEIGHT RUBBER OUTSOLE FASTENER: LACES FASTENER: LACES LINER: EVENT PROTECT BBP WATERPROOF LINING LINER: H2O-SHEDDING ANTIMICROBIAL UPPER LINING UPPER MATERIAL: FULL-GRAIN, WATERPROOF, EASY-POLISH LEATHER UPPER MATERIAL: MICROFIBER H2O-SHEDDING GENUINE LEATHER OTHER FEATURES: VIBRAM MEGAGRIP, ORTHOLITE IMPERIAL FOOTBED, OTHER FEATURES: INVISIBLE LACE POCKET, BLADE RESISTANT, KEVLAR HEEL AND SIDE ANKLE ABRASION PROTECTION STEALTH APPROACH MSRP: $157.49 MSRP: $275 URL: LALO.COM URL: 511TACTICAL.COM 68 WORLD OF FIREPOWER MAY-JUNE, 2018 69 70 WORLD OF FIREPOWER Three-shot 25-meter Ransom Rest group shot with author’s Elite Operator and DRT 150-grain TS ammo was superb. Accuracy with 230-grain FMJs and the usual array of 160- to 230-grain JHPs was also excellent. For Serious Work The RO Elite Operator reflects a cognizance of the need for simplicity when things get deadly. It’s as simple as can be, while still offering a high mission-accomplishment capability. No gadgetry or gimcrack is evident anywhere, just what it takes to offer the combat shooter a nice tactical package. It has SA’s new Black-T finish to minimize corrosion and wear, both elements of which anyone who actually carries a gun daily are all too aware. It also has high-visibility fixed sights that are easily acquired at high speed, even in low light, courtesy of its double-white-dot rear sight and fiber-optic front. The rear tactical-rack sight features a ledge to allow for one-handed slide manipulation. Its stocks are thinner than typical, allowing fast grip acquisition when presenting from a holster and better control in the fast shooting sequences common to pistol encounters. And to aid in fast speed-loading, the left-hand stock panel is relieved to allow faster thumb placement on the magazine release button. “The Elite Operator reflects a cognizance of the need for simplicity when things get deadly.” On my specimen, no clothing- and skin-abrading sharp edges were evident either, which is in itself a major accomplishment, given the fact that such edges are commonly found on the majority of so-called “tactical” pistols. I also like the fact that the Elite Operator utilizes a standard bushing, recoil spring, plunger and guide rod, which in turn allow easy field stripping and maintenance. Once again, most so-called “tactical” M1911s now use a full-length guide rod and special bushing to accommodate it, making disassem- MAY-JUNE, 2018 71 bly an annoying—and unnecessary—chore. The premise upon which this is based—that a full-length guide rod is needed to prevent the recoil spring from “kinking”—is erroneous. Fiber optic front sight and dual white dots to either side of rear sight notch are prominent and provide fast, effective sight acquisition, even during low light periods. X-ray photography shows that any partially compressed coil spring is slightly “wrinkled.” This is not “kinked.” Kinking occurs when the actual wire of the spring is bent, causing the spring to lose its normal shape. In reality, all these gadgets do is complicate the field-stripping process. In return for this, no actual advantage or increase in performance is achieved. Other Features The RO Elite Operator also features wellshaped, edge-free ambidextrous thumb safeties, a necessity for left-handers, a skeletonized burr hammer for fast lock time and edge-free beavertail grip safety to prevent both hammer “bite” and skin abrasion in the web of the firing hand. A crisp 4.5-pound trigger pull and 45-degree beveled magazine well complete the package. 72 WORLD OF FIREPOWER MAY-JUNE, 2018 The RO Elite Operator features a standard bushing, barrel, recoil spring and guide rod for fast, easy field stripping. « If you can’t beat ’em… As every serious shooting aﬁcionado knows, there are at least a couple dozen manufacturers ofering some form of M1911 pistol these days. Some are excellent, some are mediocre, but none are awful. Yes, “Olde Ugly,” as the M1911 has been known for over 100 years, is still with us, still going strong, and continuing to emerge in the widest variety of conﬁgurations of any handgun in current production. Interestingly enough, though Colt is no longer the sole or even primary manufacturer of the M1911 design, many of its long-time competitors—Smith & Wesson, SIG, Ruger, Remington—now ofer their own versions, proving unequivocally that not only is imitation indeed the sincerest form of ﬂattery but also that if you can’t beat ’em…join ’em! Attractive laminate stocks are also thin to allow quick-firing grip acquisition during rapid presentations from the holster and during fast shooting sequences. 73 74 WORLD OF FIREPOWER « SHOOTING RESULTS SPRINGFIELD ARMORY RANGE OFFICER ELITE OPERATOR LOAD It also comes with a checkered mainspring housing and skeletonized long trigger, both of which are popular these days. However, I must admit that, having a relatively small palm and short fingers, I find the M1911A1 modification of a short trigger and arched mainspring housing more to my liking. But, once again, the market is what it is, and most shooters seem quite satisfied with a flat housing and long trigger. All of these features enhance performance without compromising the weapon’s functional reliability or “user friendliness.” A Picatinny rail section allows rapid, secure mounting of a tactical light or other specialized equipment. A Good Shooter BULLET WEIGHT (GRAINS) VELOCITY (FPS) GROUP SIZE (INCHES) R-P GOLDEN SABRE JHP 230 933 1.6 W-W FMJ 230 805 1.4 WCC-82 GI FMJ 230 801 1.1 REM FMJ 230 831 2.7 FEDERAL AMER EAGLE FMJ 230 811 1.2 FED PREM HYDRA SHOK JHP 230 865 1.7 HORNADY 230 JHP 230 848 1.6 COR-BON JHP 230 823 2.7 COR-BON JHP 200 1,032 3.0 COR--BON DPX JHP 185 1,051 2.2 COR-BON JHP +P 165 1,223 3.5 FEDERAL PREM HYDRA SHOK JHP 165 1,066 1.9 COR-BON DPX JHP +P 160 1,257 1.4 DRT TERMINAL SHOCK 150 1,102 1.1 Accuracy: Five-shot groups fired at 25 meters from Ransom Rest; chronograph: Oehler Model 35P with sky screens; altitude: 4,250 ft. ASL; temperature: 67 degrees F; humidity: 41 percent I ran several hundred rounds each of a wide variety of .45 ACP ammo through my RO Elite Operator, finding that it functioned flawlessly with them all. This is something that cannot honestly be said of all the M1911s we see offered these days. Area directly to the rear of the magazine release button on the left-hand stock panel is relieved to enhance operation during speed-loading procedure. Advanced ergonomic shape improves the feel and handling of your SIG MCX/MPX Lightweight, rugged construction of 6061 aluminum, hard coat anodized for a lifetime of service Heat treated 4140 retaining clip with phosphate finish Easy no gunsmith installation Includes one five slot M-LOK™ compatible rail section Patent Pending 100% made in the U.S.A., MI Lifetime Warranty ressor MI MCX Supp andguard Compatible HL height 2.640 inches ches / OA Width 1.975 in er 1.750 inches et am Internal Di MCX Virtus ll not work with Fits MCX only wi tible pa $179.95 ppressor Com MI Sig MCX Su . . . . . . . . . . . . . .#MI-MCXSP10 . 10 Inch, 7.5 oz patible ppressor Com .5 $209.95 MI Sig MCX Su . .#MI-MCXSP13 . . . . . . . . . oz 13.5 Inch, 10.5 le ressor Compatib CXSP15.25 $219.95 pp Su CX M g I-M #M MI Si . . . . . . . .0 oz . . 15.25 Inch, 12 Handguard MI Sig MCX 6 inches / OAL height 2. es Width 1.67 inch er 1.46 inches Internal Diamet MCX Virtus ll not work with 25 Fits MCX only wi . . . .#MI-MCX8. 25 Inch, 5.0 oz .5 10 CX I-M #M MI Sig MCX 8. . . , 6.9 oz . . ch In .5 10 CX 12 MI Sig M . .#MI-MCX .5 Inch, 8.5 oz . . .5 12 CX M g MI Si . . .#MI-MCX15 .. Inch, 10.4 oz . MI Sig MCX 15 $179.95 $189.95 $199.95 $219.95 andguard MI Sig MPLXheigHht 2.6” / Internal Diameter 1.8” Width 2.06” / OA M-LOK™ is a trademark of Magpul Industries Corp. W292S4498 Hillside Rd, Waukesha, WI 53189 5M . . . .#MI-MPX4. 5 Inch, 3.0 oz 4. 5M PX 6. M PX g Si I-M I M . . . .#M 5 Inch, 5.0 oz 0M 8. PX I-M MI Sig MPX 6. #M . ... 0 Inch, 6.6 oz 10.5M PX I-M MI Sig MPX 8. #M . . .5 Inch, 8.8 oz MI Sig MPX 10 . . .#MI-MPX14M .0 Inch, 12.1 oz 14 PX M g Si I M Tel: 262-896-6780, Fax: 262-896-6756 $134.95 $144.95 $154.95 $164.95 $179.95 www.midwestindustriesinc.com 76 WORLD OF FIREPOWER specifications Springfield Armory Range Officer Elite Operator CALIBER: .45 ACP MAGAZINE CAPACITY: 7 (STANDARD) BARREL LENGTH: 5 INCHES OVERALL LENGTH: 8.6 INCHES HEIGHT: 5.5 INCHES WEIGHT: 41 OUNCES (UNLOADED) MSRP: $1,145 URL: SPRINGFIELD-ARMORY.COM “I ran several hundred rounds each of a wide variety of .45 ACP ammo, finding that the operator functioned flawlessly…” The distinctive “Operator” inscription is clearly visible on left side of slide. Ambidextrous thumb safeties are well-shaped and edge-free for fast, convenient operation. BUILT TO SURVIVE ANYTHING PRETTY MUCH SKB waterproof iSeries cases are built to military spec and feature a virtually indestructible construction that’s lighter and stronger than the competition. With over 50 sizes and many interior options to choose from, you can bet that if you’ve got something worth protecting we’ve got a case for the job. skbcases.com 78 WORLD OF FIREPOWER Accuracy was excellent, too. From a Ransom Rest, my RO Elite Operator consistently shot three-shot, 25-meter groups from 1.5 to 2 inches with the most accurate groups—just over an inch—coming from Dynamic Research Technologies’ 150-grain Terminal Shock JHPs. Coupled with the fact that DRT ammo consistently exhibits spectacular terminal ballistics in not just gelatin but living targets as well, this kind of accuracy is usually found only in match-prepared handguns, not combat pistols. The RO Elite Operator fed and functioned flawlessly with not only standard 230-grain FMJ “hardball,” but also with the entire spectrum of JHPs. Everything You Need Last, the gun comes with not only an adjustable belt-slide holster and dual mag carrier, but a nice shooting bag as well. Add to this the inclusion of a couple of magazines and the package is complete. With an MSRP of $1,145, the RO Elite Operator is a heck of a nice M1911 for a fair price and one upon which any owner can without reservation bet his life. For anyone who favors a full-sized pistol (of which I am one) for concealed carry selfdefense, this is one M1911 .45 ACP you shouldn’t be without. Ejection port is enlarged and lowered for more reliable ejection during fast shooting sequences or malfunction clearances. 80 WORLD OF FIREPOWER Never in the Dark The newest EDC flashlights are tough, reliable and bright MAY-JUNE, 2018 N 81 ight or day, inside or out, there are always dark places you might need to light up, whether you’re identifying a possible threat, trying to retrieve a piece of dropped gear or looking for a safe avenue of escape. Today’s newest LED lights are dependable, bright and fit in your pocket. They can be a critical part of your EDC gear. Here are some of the top new lights covering a wide range of sizes and brightness levels. Some are powered by rechargeable lithium cells, some take commonly available alkaline batteries, and some can use either. Mag-Lite Solitaire LED The diminutive Solitaire has been in the Mag-Lite lineup for many years, but now it’s even better with its 47-l umen LED with 150-foot reach. It run time is 1.75 hours. This light is powered by a single AAA alkaline battery. It’s 3.25 inches long and weighs a mere 0.8 ounce. A key ring and lanyard are included. Available colors are black and red. MSRP: $12.95 URL: MAGLITE.COM 82 WORLD OF FIREPOWER Coast HP10R The new Coast HP10R rechargeable flashlight combines an extremely bright light with a versatile power system for go-anywhere illumination. The HP10R features Coast’s Flex Charge Dual Power System, allowing it to be powered by either the included rechargeable lithium power cell or four AAA alkaline batteries. Pulling back the tail cap reveals a micro USB port for on-board battery charging. The battery cell also has an integral charging port, so you can charge the battery outside of the unit. An output port on the lithium cell allows you to charge other devices from the battery. The light features high, strobe and low modes, controlled by the push-button tail cap. On high, the light puts out a super-bright 1,050 lumens, with a beam that reaches 1,017 feet and lasts six hours on a full charge. On low, the 230lumen beam still reaches 475 feet and lasts 11 hours on a full charge. Extending the HP10R’s bezel switches its Pure Beam Optic from a floodlight to a Bull’s-Eye Spot Beam. A twist of the bezel locks it in place. The light is 7.1 inches long and weighs 8 ounces. MSRP: $186.99 URL: COASTPORTLAND.COM Streamlight MicroStream USB The new Streamlight MicroStream USB flashlight, as the name suggests, makes use of a lithium ion cell that can be recharged at any USB port or from a USB wall charger. It provides 250 lumens of light on high and 50 lumens of battery-saving light on low. The run times are 1.5 hours on high or 3.5 hours on low. This small, easy-to-carry light features a twoway clip for attachment to a pocket or the brim of a cap for use as a headlamp. MSRP: $50 URL: STREAMLIGHT.COM MAY-JUNE, 2018 Fenix PD35 TAC Fenix has upgraded its popular PD35 with additional tactical features for the PD35 TAC. This ﬂashlight provides a maximum output of 1,000 lumens for a beam that projects up to 656 feet. Run time on high is 1 hour, 10 minutes. It’s powered by a single 18650 rechargeable lithium battery or two CR123A cells. The PD35 TAC can be switched between outdoor mode and tactical mode. In outdoor mode, you can choose between six function settings, including a strobe, and ﬁve brightness settings. In tactical mode, you have just high, low and strobe to keep things simple and fumble-free. The tail cap switch allows for momentary on. A side switch for cycling through brightness modes in outdoor mode is made of durable stainless steel. The light is 5.4 inches long and weighs 3.1 ounces. Included are a pocket clip, lanyard and holster. MSRP: $71.95 URL: FENIX-STORE.COM Mag-Lite Mag-Tac Rechargeable Mag-Lite has long been a brand synonymous with tough, bright ﬂashlights. The Mag-Tac rechargeable, Model TRM1RA4 Crown Bezel ofers four modes: momentary, full power, power save and strobe. On high, the light’s output is 543 lumens with a run time of 2.5 hours. On power save mode, the light puts out 112 lumens for 4.25 hours of run time. The light is powered by a lithium iron phosphate battery. It charges in just 2.5 hours using the mountable charging base with either the included USB cable with 12-volt adaptor or 120-volt AC wall plug. The light is 5.81 inches long and weighs 5.5 ounces. It’s also made in the USA. MSRP: $132.50 URL: MAGLITE.COM 83 84 WORLD OF FIREPOWER Fenix TK20R The Fenix TK20R has a maximum output of 1,000 lumens that enables its beam to reach out to 1,017 feet. It is 5.9 inches long, weighs 4.97 ounces and is made of aluminum, with a crenellated strike bezel and anti-roll grip ring. The TK20R features an integral micro USB port for on-board charging of its single 18650 lithium battery. You can also power the light with two CR123 batteries. The TK20R provides four brightness settings plus strobe with a separate push-button switch on the barrel to cycle through the various modes. Run times range from 1 hour, 50 minutes on turbo (high) to 160 hours on low. The light has a battery level indicator. Included are one rechargeable battery, a USB charging cable, holster, lanyard and spare O-ring. MSRP: $99.95 URL: FENIX-STORE.COM Coast PX1R The new Coast PX1R is a small, rechargeable light with big features. On high, the PX1R provides 460 lumens of light that projects 508 feet with a run time of 3.5 hours. On low, the light still provides 50 lumens for a 164-foot beam that provides 14 hours of illumination. You can power the PX1R with either the rechargeable lithium cell or three AAA alkaline batteries. There is a micro USB port in the pull-out tail cap for on-board charging or you can remove the battery and charge it through its integral charging port. At the bezel, you can adjust the beam from flood light to a finely focused spotlight. The light is 4.9 inches long and weighs 4.9 ounces. The PX1R is available in red, blue, green, orange and black. MSRP: $120 URL: COASTPORTLAND.COM LE PERFORMANCE BEYOND 1,300 YARDS » SAVAGEARMS.COM/MSR 86 WORLD OF FIREPOWER 07 PowerTac E5R The PowerTac E5R is powered by a 18650 lithium-ion rechargeable battery that can be recharged through the ﬂashlight’s built-in micro USB port. The E5R provides ﬁve diferent light mode settings with a separate push-button on the barrel to cycle through the settings. On high, it provides 1,000 lumens of light over 241 meters with a run time of 2.7 hours. In the dim ﬁreﬂy mode, the light’s run time is an incredible 32 days. The light measures just over 5 inches long and weighs about 2.2 ounces. It’s is made of aluminum alloy and features a crenellated bezel for use as an impact tool. It comes with a reversible pocket clip so it can also be attached to a hat brim and used as a headlamp. Also included are a USB charging cable, AC adapter plug, polyamide holsters and a lanyard. A kit is available to mount the E5R on a weapon. Colored ﬁlters are also available. MSRP: $119.95 URL: POWERTAC.COM 08 Fenix PD25 The Fenix PD25 is a powerful light for its size. The light measures only 3.7 inches long and weighs just 1.65 ounces, but it emits 400 lumens of light with a CR123A battery or 550 lumens with a 16340 rechargeable cell. That beam projects 427 feet. There are four brightness levels plus a strobe, all accessible from the tail cap switch. Run time on high with a CR123A battery is 1 hour, 10 minutes, but 100 hours on low. Waterproof to 2 meters for 30 minutes. Included are a holster, lanyard and pocket clip. MSRP: $56.95 URL: FENIX-STORE.COM 09 PowerTac E9 The PowerTac E9 emits 1,020 lumens of light on high. It’s powered by two CR123A or rechargeable RCR123A batteries or a single 18650 lithium battery. (Charger not included.) The E9 has four brightness modes plus strobe. The button on the tail cap serves as the on-of switch, while the button on the barrel allows you to cycle through the brightness settings. Pushing that button when the light is of immediately takes you to the strobe mode for emergency use. The light memorizes the last mode used. Both the bezel and tail cap are crenellated for use as an impact tool. The light is 5.27 inches long and weighs 2.7 ounces. MSRP: $99.95 URL: POWERTAC.COM Meet your next rifle. Experience 3-inch groups at 100 yards, from a crossbow measuring just 6 inches from axle-to-axle. Introducing Ravin with HeliCoil™ technology, a revolutionary cam design that fires arrows downrange with dead-straight nock travel and zero rail friction – for devastating precision. See the crossbow that shoots like a rifle at RavinCrossbows.com. SPEED (400 GR) 430 FPS I POWERSTROKE 13" I KINETIC ENERGY 164 FP I DRAW FORCE 12.0 LBS WIDTH AXLE-TO-AXLE 6" COCKED • 10.5" DE-COCKED I LENGTH 34.5" I PHYSICAL WEIGHT 7.1 LBS 88 WORLD OF FIREPOWER STEY UP-T AND T E X T BY TODD B PH OTOS BY TODD MAY-JUNE, 2018 89 weapon reviewed here is the Steyr G A3 M1 chambered in 5.56mm NATO d featuring the integral 1.5x optic rail ore on this later). e Steyr AUG is the recognized g-bearer for bullpups. Designed and ofed in the late 1960s by Steyr, the G was selected by the Austrian Army 1977 to replace the licensed-built FN variant StG 58. Full AUG production mmenced in 1978. This represented precedented success for the bullpups erms of use by a respected military. AUG bullpup design went on to serve more than 20 other countries’ military, or special operation units. 90 WORLD OF FIREPOWER Whereas the military AUG is a select-fire weapon, the A3 M1 is semiautomatic. The AUG is operated via a short-stroke adjustable piston system firing from a closed bolt. This piston operating method, combined with the weight of the AUG’s bolt group, provides ruthless extraction and chambering—perfect for harsh environments or when weapon care is neglected for whatever reason. The AUG’s stainless steel operation and guide rods affixed to the bolt carrier glide effortlessly inside the receiver for unparalleled smoothness in operation, as well as exceptional reliability. Dual gas-adjustment settings ensure its operation, even with the dirtiest ammunition and in adverse conditions. Ejection ports are present on both sides of the weapon and can be selected by installing the bolt with the ejector mounted on the right or on the left. The non-reciprocating charging handle is located at the front-left side of the gun. BULLPUP NUANCES Generally speaking, the triggers found on Even with its 16-inch barrel, the Steyr AUG A3 M1 still measures only 28 inches in overall length. This rivals many short-barreled ARs. “When it comes to effectiveness, the handling advantages of SBR rifles are often touted as the difference-makers.” bullpups are not as crisp as other designs due to the linkage required between forward-located trigger and rearward-located action. Good advice here is to treat bullpup triggers like a Glock or double-action revolver trigger. One should not try to stage the trigger, but instead work it smoothly. The AUG A3 M1 trigger took approximately 9 pounds of pressure to fire the round. A simple cross-bolt safety is easily accessed, located behind the trigger. The shell of the rifle is made of nearly indestructible fiber-reinforced synthetic material called Polyamide 66. The AUG A3 M1 is designed to be fed from translucent polymer 10-, 30- or 42-round AUG magazines. Determining the number of rounds left in an AUG magazine is as simple as looking at it. The AUG’s translucent magazines were some of the earliest examples of polymer magazines. The AUG magazine’s 42-round capacity proved a troop favorite, with other MAY-JUNE, 2018 The bolt catch is located above the mag well just forward of the shooter’s chin. (Left) A simple cross-bolt safety is easily accessed; it is located behind the trigger. (Right) The mag release is unique and is found just behind the mag well. 91 rifles confined to 20- or 30-round magazines. Other versions of the AUG were developed at a later date that cater to AR-15/ M16 magazines. The magazine release button is installed behind the magazine well, facilitating ambidextrous access. The release is oversized and easily actuated/pushed down, even when wearing gloves. The hand is naturally positioned to remove the magazine as the thumb engages the catch. Many will wax poetic about a rifle encouraging magazine retention versus dropping magazines haphazardly on the deck. The AUG A3 M1 does have a last-round bolt hold-open feature. Prior AUGs did not. The non-reciprocating charging handle is placed on the left side of the receiver along the handguard, just as on the HK G3. Overall, the AUG design is sealed tightly, with few points for dirt or debris; even the charging handle slot is sealed. AUG ADVANTAGE Compactness is one of the most oftenrepeated positive attributes of bullpup rifles while maintaining a full-length barrel to maximize cartridge performance. The AUG 92 WORLD OF FIREPOWER The forward vertical grip and two-position adjustable gas block are important design features of the AUG bullpup. penalty. It is easy to manipulate the AUG A3 M1 with one hand, because the center of gravity is farther back. As a result, if you have to open a door or other similar task, the bullpup offers you an advantage. You can effectively treat the AUG A3 M1 like a big pistol if the situation demands. Bullpups are generally the same size as specialized short-barreled rifles (SBR) without having to resort to sub-16-inch barrels to achieve this size. MAY-JUNE, 2018 93 “The biggest plus is that for the same barrel length, a bullpup will be at least 7 to 10 inches shorter than a traditional rifle, thus improving maneuverability, handling and reducing weight.” The bolt group, left to right: the bolt carrier, cocking piece, firing pin, bolt locking piece (with spring and sleeve) and bolt. Shooters’ hesitation to adapt to the bullpup stems from its manual of arms, compared to those of traditional rifles, with which most of us have more experience. For example, bullpup magazine changes are different, combined with the action not being as readily visible. The action is contained in the stock and thus out of view in most bullpup designs; the AUG is included in this category. Another point raised is that some bullpups are not as ambidextrous as others. RANGE TIME—LIVING UP TO THE AUG REPUTATION I put more than 400 rounds through the Steyr A3 M1 using various courses of fire I experienced while attending training focused on operating around vehicles, as well as CQB techniques. In addition to the Federal, American Eagle and SIG ammo that was tested for performance, Hornady TAP 55-grain and Black Hills 69-grain OTM were used for reliability testing. 94 WORLD OF FIREPOWER « specifications Steyr Arms AUG A3 M1 (Optic Variant) CALIBER: 5.56X45MM/.223 REM OPERATION: ADJUSTABLE, SHORT STROKE, GAS PISTON, SEMIAUTOMATIC RECEIVER: HARD ELOXAL-COATED AIRCRAFT ALUMINUM BARREL: 16.375 INCHES, CHROME-LINED CHF; SIX GROOVES, 1:9 RH OVERALL LENGTH: 28 INCHES WEIGHT: 8.8 POUNDS, EMPTY (AS TESTED: 1.5X OPTIC VERSION) SIGHTS: INTEGRAL 1.5X OPTIC WITH "DOUGHNUT” RETICLE (ALSO AVAILABLE: 3X OPTIC, 11-SLOT SHORT RAIL OR 16-SLOT HIGH RAIL) TRIGGER: 9 POUNDS, 8 OUNCES; SINGLE STAGE An example of the AUG's beneficial compactness would be working in and around vehicles; you can have the A3 M1 bullpup rifle pointed, muzzle down, between your legs with the buttstock resting on the seat cushion. In these tight quarters, I quickly found a key benefit: The AUG’s exterior is “slick,” with virtually no projections to hang up on straps, lines, vehicle interiors, vegetation or anything else. A 30-round magazine protrudes only about 4 inches below the stock. It did not take an inordinate amount of time to become familiar with operation and handling during the testing and evaluation. Despite the radical design difference, it was no different than switching between an AR and an AK. The magazine sitting closer to the body took a little getting used to during reloads, as well as orienting hand location when racking the charging handle during weapon manipulation. FURNITURE: POLYMER WITH FOLDABLE VERTICAL FRONT GRIP MAGAZINE: AUG, TRANSLUCENT, DETACHABLE BOX, DOUBLE-STACK, 30 ROUND (ALSO AVAILABLE IN 10 AND 42 ROUNDS) COLORS: BLACK, WHITE, OD GREEN, MUD (TESTED) MSRP: $2,099 URL: STEYRARMS.COM Range tests consisted of moving around vehicles and simulated cover while engaging an assortment of paper and steel targets; these included automobiles located at Echo Valley Training Center (EVTC). MAY-JUNE, 2018 The Steyr AUG showed its true promise by performing well—not only within the 100yard bays, engaging multiple targets, and in CQB scenarios in the 360-degree range, but also at the 300-yard prepared firing position line. The AUG A3 M1 proved to be very accurate. In fact, it’s so compact that it makes one forget it still features a full-length, 16-inch barrel. The AUG feels lighter than it actually is, because the weight distribution is heaviest toward the rear of the carbine. The AUG’s center of gravity—without a loaded magazine—is at the firing hand grip, which makes it a very balanced rifle. It also places most of the weight close to the body, which means you’re supporting the weight of the rifle with your large core muscles. Traditional rifles require smaller muscles for support, because the weight extends farther from your body. With the AUG, this also equates to better handling over longer time frames due to lessening fatigue on the arms and shoulders—an important consideration for CQB operation involving structure-clearing. Some might question the effects of a bullpup’s muzzle blast, because the barrel and action are oriented close to a user’s face during operation. However, evaluation did not find this troublesome or noticeable. It was no different than users experience with an SBR—and possibly less, considering the Steyr AUG offers 16 inches of barrel, allowing for the powder to burn fully. One of the most unique aspects of the AUG—the trigger mechanism is removed rearward via the butt. « Performance Results LOAD VELOCITY (FPS) ACCURACY (INCHES) AVERAGE BEST SIG SAUER ELITE 77-GRAIN OTM 2,615 2.66 FEDERAL GOLD MEDAL MATCH 69-GRAIN 2,620 2.75 2.33 2.5 AMERICAN EAGLE 62-GRAIN FMJ 2,890 3.33 3.0 NOTES: VELOCITY AVERAGE WAS BASED ON FIVE ROUNDS FIRED OVER AN RCBS SHOOTING AMMOMASTER CHRONOGRAPH. ACCUR Various ammunition from SIG Sauer, Hornady, Black Hills and American Eagle was tested with the Steyr A3 M1. S WERE DETERMINED VIA THREE FIVE-ROUND GROUPS AT 100 YARDS. 95 96 WORLD OF FIREPOWER One of the less-appreciated/-touted aspects of the AUG design is its modularity. As in so many ways, it was ahead of its time. Switching out barrels of different profiles and lengths is easily accomplished via one button located at the front of the forend: Just press the button and twist the barrel about 10 degrees. Hazard 4 Smuggler Sling Pack Steyr has followed along with the times by now offering users the ability to forego the integral optic by removing it and replacing it with Picatinny rails, allowing for the mounting of red-dots or other optics-ofchoice. The AUG A3 M1 is available in a short-rail version and high-rail version, as well as an integral optic version with either a 1.5x or 3x scope. The scope tube on the integral optic version has exceptionally bright and clear optical elements and is modernized with the addition of Picatinny rail sections. The rail and optics platforms on all three AUG A3 M1 versions are interchangeable via the three base screws that thread from the underside of the top of the receiver. I decided to use the 1.5x integral optic version for this review in order to experience a more traditional AUG profile. Nothing is as individu carry immediate-actio handgun, weapon ma and rifle), medical IFA whatever else is need risk environments. Fa as accessibility, adapt fit, weight-to-mobility ratio, retention and sp constraints all come i play. Let’s face it: The world is becoming a more dangerous place not only overseas, bu here in the United States, as well. A company helping to equip our military, law enforcement, private security contractors (PS and also civilians is Hazard 4. The low-powered, magnified optic with “doughnut” reticle was another feature found on the AUG that was ahead of its time upon its introduction in the late 1970s. I have read that both Meopta and Swarovski manufacture the integral optic for Steyr. The optic-and-reticle setup is intended as a combat sight. It contains a simple black ring reticle with a basic rangefinder that is designed so that at 300 meters (984.3 feet), a man-sized target (180 cm/5.9 feet tall) will completely fill it, giving the shooter an accurate method of estimating range. Removing the barrel on the AUG is as simple as pushing one button and twisting the barrel about 10 degrees. The Hazard 4 Smuggl Sling Pack has been i use supporting my var article projects for th last several months. T convenience of easy a for carrying multiple w is much appreciated. The Smuggler is a large Evac Series sling pack specifically designed to accommodate carbines up to AK47/AR length. However, the Smuggler is designed so that users do not feel that items are jammed in. I found it easy to accommodate the Steyr AUG with no issue. Shooters can transport their rifles with a magazine inserted and/or optics mounted. Additional external pockets can carry magazines, a cleaning kit, extra parts and everything you need for transporting your work gun or hauling around urban gear. A folded, padded sleeve is included with the Smuggler that can be used as padded support for any items you might want to place inside the compartment; alternatively, it can be used to hold a rifle inside. This means you can place a rifle inside the folding sleeve itself to provide a little cushioning for it. The folding sleeve can also be taken out of the bag and used as a shooting mat. The Smuggler Pack has evolved into one of my favorite weapon-transport cases. HAZARD 4 Hazard4.com 98 WORLD OF FIREPOWER The user can mount the barrel length and/or profile that best suit the mission. The barrel lugs lock the barrel securely in place without loss of zero. “The AUG’s stainless steel operation and guide rods affixed to the bolt carrier glide effortlessly inside the receiver for unparalleled smoothness in operation, as well as exceptional reliability.” THE “DIFFERENCE-MAKER” Arms aficionados will find the Steyr AUG A3 M1 bullpup intriguing compared to typical standard-pattern rifles and might want one based on this uniqueness. Many will find the AUG A3 M1 desirable due to its compactness, reliability and accuracy. After all, this is a combination that’s hard to argue against in terms of utility for any user. The sight cannot be set to a specific range but can be adjusted for windage and elevation for an initial zero and is designed to be calibrated for 300 meters. When so set, aiming at the center of a target will produce a hit at all ranges out to 300 meters. Obviously, this arrangement is geared toward combat applications and not sub-MOA T&E results. The 5.56’s flat trajectory aids in making hits out to 300 yards without having to compensate excessively for bullet drop—especially with the full-length AUG A3 M1 barrel. The Steyr AUG A3 offers the handling advantages of an SBR rifle but retains the barrel length that maintains the ballistic performance of a full-length rifle. When it comes to effectiveness, the handling advantages of SBR rifles are often touted as the difference-makers. Why not enjoy this advantage while retaining barrel length that optimizes ballistic performance? This is what the Steyr AUG bullpup offers. The individual is the key to effectiveness, not the weapon. An operator with this type of mindset will surely appreciate the Steyr AUG A3 M1. WORLD OF FIREPOWER Tankland USA 100 visiting the American Military Museum T E X T & P H OTOS BY JOH N TEATO R MAY-JUNE, 2018 101 e discovered the actual “happiest place on Earth” in Southern California, and it has nothing to do with a mouse. Just 15 minutes east of downtown Los Angeles you’ll find a rarified collection of more than 170 armored and support fighting vehicles on display. The American Military Museum’s collection of vehicles pays tribute to over 50 years of American armor. We couldn’t help but stop by to take a closer look. W 102 WORLD OF FIREPOWER The museum has been collecting, preserving and restoring a large variety of military vehicles, artillery and equipment since 1962 and is home to one of the largest inter-service in the Western United States. Its displays include vehicles that have served in most of America’s modern conflicts including World War I, World War II, the Korean War, the Vietnam War, the Cold War and Operation Desert Storm. Not only is the American Military Museum a place to see these incredible machines up close and personal (you’ve never experienced the M53 155mm Self-Propelled Gun properly until you see how giant this beast is in person), it is also a center for education about the lineage of American military vehicle history, from horse-drawn artillery all the way to self-propelled cannons and battle tanks. The museum prides itself in being a place for historical, design and engineering learning. They have study guides available to students that cover everything from the American Civil War to the Cold War. DESERT EAGLE .50 AE CASE HARDENED FINISH Available in .50 AE, .44 Magnum & .357 Magnum Ships with walnut grip with engraved gold Desert Eagle logo plus Hogue® rubber grips with finger grooves Made in the USA DESERT EAGLE L5, .50 AE Available in .50 AE, .44 Magnum & .357 Magnum WWW.MAGNUMRESEARCH.COM 104 WORLD OF FIREPOWER a face-lift of a Jeep as well. You can follow along with their latest project progressions on their blog, tankland.com/museum-news. All of this fine work is done largely in part to the fine work of its dedicated volunteer force. If you’re a hands-on type and enthusiastic about tanks and other military equipment, the museum welcomes enthusiasts to join them for volunteer service. In fact, the museum has served as a place where students from renowned design universities such as Art Center of Pasadena and Otis College of Art and Design come to study vehicle and industrial design. They’re not all static displays either. The museum has vehicles and equipment that has been rented out for movie and televisions shows, too. In an ongoing push to keep our past alive, the museum’s core volunteers have been continually maintaining and restoring their collection. Currently, they’re restoring a WWII-era M3 Half-track and just completed The museum has been collecting vehicles and equipment since 1962, and its collection includes hardware that has served in every modern American conflict from WWI to Operation Desert Storm. Along with tanks and artillery, you’ll also see air- and water-borne vehicles including PT Boats, D-Day Higgins landing craft, a Vietnam river boat and even a Huey Gunship that saw action in Vietnam. It was a memorable and worthwhile visit for us for sure. The next time you’re out in Southern California, pay a visit to what we consider the area’s real happiest place on Earth. Double the Firepower, For Less SAVE BIG ONLY $34.95 Get a 1-year subscription to both World of Firepower and Gun World and save 80% on the combined cover price! Limited-Time Offer: Act Now! Fill out the order form below and mail it, along with your payment information, to: Engaged Media Inc., Lockbox # 70253, Philadelphia, PA 19176-9883 T SEND S U T IT J IT FILL IT YES! Sign me up for a subscription to World of Firepower and Gun World for just $34.95. CU Method Of Payment That’s 18 issues for a total savings of $138.87 on the cover price. Check Enclosed Payment Through Credit Card Visa Credit Card MC Money Order Bill Me Later Discover Name On Credit Card AMEX Credit Card Number Subscriber Name Expiration Date First Middle / / Last Address City State Phone Email Signature Date / / Or, log on to www.engagedmediamags.com/combo_fpgw and use promo code A184F3K1 or call 800-764-6278 Outside U.S., add $49 per year for postage. Payment in U.S. funds only. 106 WORLD OF FIREPOWER « Location: AMERICAN MILITARY MUSEUM THE WHITTIER NARROWS RECREATION AREA 1918 ROSEMEAD BLVD. SOUTH EL MONTE, CA 91733 TEL: 626.442.1776 URL: TANKLAND.COM OPEN FRIDAY, SATURDAY & SUNDAY 10 AM TO 4:30 PM ADMISSION $5 ADULTS, $4 SENIORS, $3 JUNIORS (10-16), $1 CHILDREN 5-9. CHILDREN UNDER 5 FREE Get One Issue FREE! + SAVE 76% on Annual Subscription SUBSCRIBE NOW To Your Favorite American Survival Guide Digital Magazine Just log on to ENGAGEDMEDIAMAGS.COM/EEM-5017 OR SCAN QR CODE BELOW Available on app stores below *12 issues for only $27.99 Single issues are also available at $6.99. Online (Win/Mac) For questions on downloading the magazine apps contact 800-764-6278. For a full listing of our digital titles, visit www.engagedmediamags.com/digital today! 108 WORLD OF FIREPOWER A SNIPER IS BORN T E X T BY PAUL MARTIN EZ I ’ve been on more missions than an I can count. Somewhere between 500750 objectives attained during my years of service, there is one which shaped my entire life. It was on that particular day in the Summer of 2009 when I decided I wanted to become a sniper. I’d never given it any thought before then and, in fact, I had plans to leave the military entirely later that year. THE MISSION THAT CHANGED THINGS All it took was one mission into the heart of Marjeh, in southern Helmand Province, Afghanistan. We had launched our mission from Kandahar Airfield, which was much more than an airfield: a bizarre Babylon of coalition nations coexisting, trying to make the best of the desert steppe that was either blisteringly hot, or ungodly cold—and sometimes both in the same 24-hour period. Not many places on Earth get both snow and 130-degree heat. It was mid-summer; we had the pleasure of experiencing of those 130-degree days, and the nights were no better. Honestly, I couldn’t tell the difference. My buddy Nicholas Irving (yes—The Reaper) and I were attached to Charlie Company, 3rd Battalion, 75th Ranger Regiment. He was a sniper, I came as a squad leader of a Mortar Section, but we had gone to Ranger School together, and were in the same Headquarters and Headquarters Company, or HHC. As part of a new strategy, our company’s Task Force was additionally augmented with a squad of Afghan Soldiers, hand-selected and trained by some secret-squirrel guys whose names and units we didn’t need to know about. These Afghans were vetted by the Ranger Regiment’s personnel as well, so—the briefing said—we were to trust them as allies. They needed a Ranger counterpart to their own Afghan “commander,” who was essentially a Platoon Sergeant. This was both an undesirable and dangerous job, but this Afghan squad was mission-essential and would go out on every single mission. I volunteered without hesitation; any chance to go out of the wire was worth it to me, regardless of the risk. called Marjeh. Never during the war had any coalition forces made a move to control Marjeh. It was a stronghold, a den of iniquity and as dangerous as any place on the planet in the history of dangerous places on the planet. About a klick out, we started to hear chatter on the Taliban’s radio frequency. “The Americans are coming. Get the big guns ready!” “Get the big guns ready … we will kill the infidels … praise be to Allah!” We landed four klicks outside of Marjeh city, in hopes that we could gain some element of surprise. A small chance in the thin desert air. The whirly-birds flushed like grouse back to KAF after depositing our Ranger platoon and my Afghan squad in barren moonscape. It wasn’t the first time we walked into a trap or an ambush. It also wouldn’t be the first time the Taliban attempted their own version of psychological operations— feigning greater forces and preparedness than what they actually had. Walking into Taliban city, we all knew this would not be the case. Yet, the quiet desert night gave us no clue either way. The stars shone down impartially on the same sand as they had for thousands of years’ worth of summer nights. We started walking towards “Taliban City,” as the Afghan commander Amin INTO THE CITY’S HEART We were coming to a point in our route MAY-JUNE, 2018 109 GROUND ZERO « MISSION NOTES WHO: Squad Leader, Charlie Company, 3rd Battalion, 75th Ranger Regiment WHERE: Marjeh, southern Helmand Province, Afghanistan WHEN: Summer 2009 where we would change direction and move into the heart of the city. There was a man crouching by a ditch, staring up at us from maybe 25 meters off the road. We could see him plainly and he us, yet he did not move, and he did not appear to be armed. It might be Taliban City, but even here the civilians were trying to live their lives, hoping the war would pass and they could go back to raising crops and children. This guy could have just been a chicken crossing the road; he had no visible weapon, he was outside of suicide-vest range, and his posture was passive. My friend Nick held back, watching the man through his sniper scope from an unseen vantage point. When the last of us passed him by, the man near the ditch pulled a radio from his dish-dash (commonly referred to as a “man-dress,” the long tunic that was custom Afghan garb). As he did, it revealed the butt-stock of a shoulder-fired weapon. Nick’s sniper rifle, already trained on the man’s face, coughed through its suppressor, abruptly ending the threat to our mission. “Sierra, EKIA,” Nick calmly spoke into his radio. It was my first crash course in being a Ranger Sniper. Nick seemed to have a sixth sense, always looking where we were not, always finding the gap in the battlefield that our own highly trained scrutiny overlooked. It was an essential skill for a Ranger Sniper who, more often than not, must do his work alone—and on the fly. We walked another 800 meters, and stopped on broken terrain. Mounds of fill dirt and manure provided much of us cover. We had altered our route to hopefully flank the ambush the Taliban was laying for us. We all went to ground, finding cover where we could. Nick and his partner climbed a small outbuilding—the equivalent of an American corn crib or a tool shed—to provide overwatch for our ground positions. Platoon sergeants tasked several teams to probe forward in the directions the attack was likely to come from. I stood up from my covered position behind a mound of dirt to cross a narrow “road” that separated myself and my squad of Afghans, and something stopped me short. The biggest, most orange harvest moon I had ever seen caught my eye, but … it was wobbling, and growing larger very quickly. I dove to the ground and flattened myself. I had no idea what was incoming, but I knew it was bad. That meant grab the earth, point your armor at the threat, and cover your vulnerable parts with your meaty ones. The Afghans shrunk to nothing, becoming one with the mounds of fill dirt they were using as cover. The RPG burned past us, right as the line rangers called out “RPG!” The warhead screamed past Nick’s position and detonated harmlessly a few meters past the now-compromised sniper perch with a terrifying “CRACK” I could feel in my lungs. Like a boxer ducking his opponent’s punches, Nick braced for the overpressure from the explosion, then sent a 175-grain counterpunch— center mass—into the enemy who fired the rocket. Nick’s partner followed suit, putting down the two-man rocket team in short order. We picked up and continued movement, as we had—according to our INFIL plan—8 klicks to go. All we had were drone imagery and Russian maps, which were about equal in resolution and detail, back in 11 WORLD OF FIREPOWER 2009. We turned our route 180 degrees, heading into the heart of the city. We made it maybe another 800 meters, when we started hearing AKs firing, answered by cracks of M4s. It seemed to come from every house, every window, and every doorway at once. The guys silenced the enemy quickly, saved by their expert training and finely honed reflexes. I was in the middle of our column with a C2 (command and control) element, a radiotelephone operator (RTO), a platoon leader (PL), and our 60mm Mortar team—Monkey and Bacon. As the roaring ambush up front turned into a trickle of pops and snaps, we were ambushed by a machine gun team in a wood line, maybe 250 meters away. Their Russian-made belt-fed was chugging through ammo, firing at our lead elements before they turned their attention to us. Monkey, the mortar team leader, yelled to the PL that he was ready to engage with mortars, which would be faster than we could work up a Close Air Support mission with one of the helicopters overhead. All they would hear from our mortars is a death whistle an instant before high explosive and white phosphorous cracked them open and burned them to a crisp. The PL yelled to Monkey that he was clear, so the mortar team leader lined up his cannon while his assistant gunner, Bacon, fished a round out of his pack. Monkey was a new Team Leader, but he was as smart as the come. Still, I couldn’t help myself from butting into his fire mission—we were in the same platoon and I outranked him. “You going to hit them with Willy Pete (white phosphorous) right?” I barked. Even in the dark night, I could see his eyes light up. “YEAH!” He called back, then asked a bit sheepishly, “How far do you think that is?” “ASK SIERRA!” I suggested, which he did instantly. Our sniper team gave him their best estimate—which would be better than ours. Their training and experience had calibrated their eyes more precisely for the task. We were an area fire weapon, after all. Monkey tipped his cannon to account for range and launched the white phosphorous round straight up, as if the little metal football of death was an escape pod trying to exit the bullshit that was happening on the ground around it. It came screaming down with a whistle while the muzzle flash of the machine gun team strobed death at us. We heard the distinct CRACK of white phosphorous creating an oxygen-sucking, 5,000-degree conflagration in the center of the machine gun emplacement. AN AK ENCOUNTER Monkey and Bacon were packing up their cannon while I called to Amin, our Afghan squad leader, and he gathered up his men. I saw my interpreter moving toward me, and I turned once again to face the heart of Taliban City, somewhere out there in the darkness. I scanned in front of me, rooftops first. Suddenly, for the first time in that ungodly Afghan summer, I felt cold; less than 100 meters away, I saw the unmistakable silhouette of a man in a dishdash, his AK pointed dead at me. My M4 was moving, but it was slung muzzle-low and pointing a full 180 degrees away from the Taliban fighter who was about to take my life. I felt like I was encased in mud. Underwater. I had to make a gross movement to point my M4, move the selector switch from SAFE to SEMI, find my sights, and click on my laser—all before he made a single movement to press the trigger on his rifle and kill me. I had read about this moment in Louis L’Amour novels half a dozen times. He definitely had the drop on me, and I was “Dead to Rights.” The thick, creeping time—a phenomenon known as “tachypsychia”—suddenly abated, and my brain brought me back to the present as it registered a loud “SNAP” from off to my left. I saw my assassin’s head scarf flail into the air and he dropped behind the low wall on the rooftop like someone had cut the string suspending him. My tunnel vision dilated back to a normal human field of view and I saw Nick Irving’s silhouette to my left. His SR-25 sniper rifle— affectionately named Dirty Diana—was shouldered, and the muzzle was lowering slowly. He turned his head to me with a half smirk and said, “Damn, I’m good.” CONTINUE MISSION I took a deep breath and watched Nick sling his rifle and head out into the heart of Taliban City, following Charlie Company’s lead elements as they swept forward. I turned quickly to make sure my Afghans and “Terp” were following me, and then I followed him. I knew something important had just happened, but I wouldn’t understand exactly how until much later. We opted to “Charlie Mike,” or Continue Mission. In the remaining 2 or 3 klicks to our target building, we took fire repeatedly, and each time, by some miracle, we pressed on without injury. Finally, as dawn was turning into day, we reached a nondescript adobe compound with a big metal gate. There was nothing unusual or distinct in any real way; however, from the well-worn footpaths coming to and from the house, you could guess this was a hub of some sort. As soon as we were close enough to cordon off, several men fled the house. Our Platoon Sergeant dispatched a chase team—including our dog handler. The rest of us moved into the structure, conducting Sensitive Site Exploitation, or SSE. Digging through the house, we found documents, propaganda, weapons—we were on the right track. I didn’t know, due to my low rank and limited experience, if we had gotten what we came for; but, we collected ourselves to begin our exfiltration from the city. Without the cover of darkness, in a city filled with Taliban, and with our air support out of gas and ammunition, we found ourselves on less-than-equal footing with an enemy that had defied even the great Russian armies. I remembered from our mission briefing that we had 4.5 klicks to go to our extraction HLZ (helicopter Landing Zone). We moved out through the city. Civilians, as well as Taliban sympathizers, began clogging the streets in front of us. Some of them attempted to go about their day. Others were clearly trying to bog us down long enough for an ambush to be set along our course. MAY-JUNE, 2018 I was called to take my Afghan squad and push to the front of the formation. We moved out at a “Ranger Trot,” a rapid, barely sustainable running pace that would kill ordinary men in the blistering desert heat. I was now walking point, with a squad of indigenous soldiers I barely knew. Luckily Nick, with his sniper partner, our K-9, and another team leader were up front with me. Leap-frogging with my Afghans, Nick and his small ad hoc team processed the battlefield in front of us. They looked far ahead with their sniper scopes to clear our next move. They often fell back, or found a hasty overwatch position while my Afghans intervened with the civilians—encouraging them back into their homes, or grabbing suspicious men and passing them back to be interrogated on the fly by the main force behind us. I wanted to be up front focused on the fight with Nick’s tiny band, but our platoon sergeant made one thing clear: my job was to make sure the Afghans were doing their job of deconfliction, and keep them tactical, spread out, behind cover when we could. It was a delicate balance of speed and caution. Break neck-pace and scrutiny. We may be in Taliban City, but we couldn’t simply blast our way through and cause civilian casualties, which was always our highest imperative. We finally fought and cajoled our way to the edge of the city when we got a call from an unarmed drone overhead. There was a possible RPG or mortar team, as well as an enemy sniper, waiting for us in the high ground that would be at our flank as we moved into the desert. Nick and his partner ran forward without hesitation, and the TL went with them to make sure they could focus on the distant threat while he covered everything closer. Nick immediately identified the threat and he and his sniper partner went to work a mental flurry of math, range estimation and target identification, reporting exactly what they observed at the same time. A Marine Corps Cobra gunship, the only air support available since we had expended everything the Air Force and Army had allotted us, was dispatched to help. Nick and his team took the sniper out first, neutralizing the threat at almost a kilometer. They pinned the rest of the enemy ambush team to the ground with rapid, accurate shots in even intervals. The helicopter rolled in next; he was just above the trees and rooftops, a stone’s throw from the ground and pointing his considerable arsenal straight at me. The gunner loosed two rockets, and my brain processed every movie memory I had of friendly fire incidents. I yelled for my Afghans to get down, sure we were about to get fragged. The 2.75-inch rockets ripped over our heads and pulverized the second story of a building less than 25 meters away. The Cobra crew called their target destroyed. THE KILL ZONE Unbeknownst to us, a machine gun team had been on the roof, hidden from my view, and was seconds away from annihilating me and my group of Afghans—and trapping our entire unit in a textbook “Kill Zone.” The Cobra flared in a turn at full speed and screamed toward the rocket team and sniper, sending another lethal volley to pulverize what was left of our would-be ambushers. The helicopter then turned back the way he came and screamed away from the city, where he would wait, out of range of enemy fire, until we needed him again. INTO A HORNET’S NEST Nick and his partner used their scopes to confirm the enemy were KIA and called up, so we could continue moving. I shook off my awe at the fine bit of flying and precision aerial weaponeering. On our platoon frequency, we were informed that the city behind us was a hornet’s nest of activity and armed men were massing to run us down. We picked up our breakneck pace and I sipped the last of my water as we headed into the desert. One and a half more klicks and we would be picked up by our magic school bus, a souped-up MH-47E Chinook from 160th Special Operations Air Regiment, also known as Nightstalkers. We moved out into the desert, and I counted down the meters between us and extraction. It was full daylight, and the heat was on. The enemy forces behind us had recollected themselves and were moving in our direction, just out of our sight. They didn’t simply want us out of their city, they wanted to run us down and slaughter us like cattle. Our Nightstalkers called to change our extraction point, trying to put more distance between them and the city, mitigating the risk of a helicopter being damaged or downed as much as possible. I caught a second chill when I came to the realization we were being chased into the desert without water and our ammo depleted to dangerously low levels. The men chasing us were seasoned desert warriors, most of them fresh from sleep in the comfort of their own homes. There was nothing to be done except what we were doing. So I put it out of my mind. I was dehydrated, bleeding through my boots, and I was coming up on 24 hours without any sleep or food. Aside from the boiling moonscape in front of us and the army of fanatical fighters behind us, this was just another day in 3rd Batt. Finally, 5 klicks into the desert, the enemy gave up their chase. On wobbly legs, we crouched down and formed a perimeter in the blinding sun. Soon we heard the whopping of heavy rotor blades, indicating the sweet, merciful approach of 160th SOAR’s chinooks. We ran for them before their wheels touched down, stuffing ourselves inside. In seconds we were airborne, the air rushing into the open aircraft cooling us as we sped towards Kandahar. The Nightstalkers’ flight crew passed out water bottles, and I relaxed enough to start dozing. As my mind drifted, I pictured a head scarf flailing into the wind, the sweet taste of life returned when Nick cut the man’s strings before he could have killed me. I pictured Nick and his team, shouting wind corrections to each other while rockets flew overhead. I added up the effect of one man firing one round at a time through a precision rifle. There were fighters, and there were hunters, and I knew I had been one and not the other. I knew I would not be getting out of the Army in the fall like I had planned. In fact, I told myself, I would not be getting out of the Army until I could be that man, with a precision rifle, Overwatching the finest infantrymen that have ever been fielded. 112 WORLD OF FIREPOWER MAY-JUNE, 2018 113 114 WORLD OF FIREPOWER Firearms Owners’ Protection Act The Firearms Owners’ Protection Act (FOPA) is a compilation of laws that protect those who are transporting firearms for lawful purposes from local restrictions that would otherwise prohibit passage. No federal permit is required or even available for the interstate transportation of firearms. Federal law does not restrict individuals from transporting legally acquired firearms across state lines for lawful purposes except those explicitly prohibited by federal law. Understand Local Laws Most states and localities have their own laws that govern the transportation of firearms through their jurisdictions. Those transporting firearms through these territories must be aware and comply with the laws of the jurisdictions that they pass through. It is your job to be aware of the laws in the areas you transport to. Transport By Vehicle There isn’t a uniform transportation method for firearms when travelling by motor vehicle between states. When in doubt, the NRA (in accordance with 18 U.S. Code § 926A) suggests that “a traveler should carry firearms unloaded, locked in a case, and stored in an area (such as a trunk or attached toolbox) where they are inaccessible from a vehicle’s passenger compartment and not visible from outside the vehicle. Any ammunition should be stored in a separate locked container.” There are exceptions depending on the type of firearm and the locale you’re travelling through. Again, it is highly recommended that travelers consult local law prior to travelling. Transport By Aircraft Interstate Firearm Transportation Tips Disclaimer: These travel tips are just that, tips. Bottom line is use your own due diligence and make sure you are aware of the laws before interstate travel with firearms and ammunition. More information can be found at: nraila.org Yes, you can transport firearms and ammunition in checked baggage on commercial flights. The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) has stringent requirements for transporting these items that must be followed. Some of the requirements include that firearms be unloaded and checked with the airline as checked luggage. Be aware that firearms and their parts such as barrels, magazines, receivers and other internal components, as well as ammunition, are prohibited from carry-on baggage. One must comply with FOPA, airline and TSA policies regarding firearms and ammunition transportation by airplane to avoid legal liabilities. More regulations exist; look them up prior to traveling. Transport On Your person If you’re a CCW permit holder and wish to transport your firearm on your person or within ready access in a motor vehicle, remember that all state and local laws regarding the carrying of firearms apply. It is prudent to find out what each state’s laws are regarding concealed carry reciprocity by contacting the state’s Attorney General’s ofice. You can also review the Concealed Carry Reciprocity Guide at: https://www.nraila.org/gun-laws/.