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2018-05-01 World of Firepower

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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
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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
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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
[07]
RELOAD
[03]
[o4]
[05]
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
[06]
[02]
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
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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
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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
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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
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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.
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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
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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.
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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.
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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
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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.
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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.”
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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
.
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.
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.
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.
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oz
13.5 Inch, 10.5
le
ressor Compatib CXSP15.25 $219.95
pp
Su
CX
M
g
I-M
#M
MI Si
.
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.
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.
.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
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10
CX
I-M
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, 6.9 oz . .
ch
In
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10
CX
12
MI Sig M
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Inch, 8.5 oz . .
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12
CX
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g
MI Si
. . .#MI-MCX15
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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
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5 Inch, 5.0 oz
0M
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PX
I-M
MI Sig MPX 6.
#M
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...
0 Inch, 6.6 oz
10.5M
PX
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14
PX
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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
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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
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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.
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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
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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
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not only overseas, bu
here in the United
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A company helping to
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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
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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.
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«
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AMERICAN MILITARY MUSEUM
THE WHITTIER NARROWS RECREATION AREA
1918 ROSEMEAD BLVD.
SOUTH EL MONTE, CA 91733
TEL: 626.442.1776
URL: TANKLAND.COM
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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/.
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