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VOL.

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DISTINCT ADVANTAGE

CONTENTS

28
COVER STORY

Firepower and Discretion


DRD Tacticals M762 packs a
wallop, and you can pack it into a
small hard case about the size of a
backpack.
By Terrill Hoffman

12
78
PICTORIALs
12 Beauty & Guns I
66 The Sound
of Freedom
102 Beauty & Guns II

4 WORLD OF FIREPOWER

18

COLUMNS
6 First Words
10 Equipped
13 Firepower Past
16 Firearms Fitness
18 Front Sight
130 Last Shot

FEATURES
22 Long Day Off

60 Armed With Knowledge

104 Because S**t Happens

His name is on that short list of names


that command respect, and he has some
self-defense principles you need to know.

Have you ever been inside a house with an


active shooter who has a hostage? Today,
you will be.

Its reality. Things happen. So, whats in your


bug out bag?
By Clint Walker

By Rob Pincus

108 Freedom Fighter

By Scott Schanaker

36 On Target
For a full-on test of Barskas SWAT AR Rifle
Scope, we put it in the hands of a law enforcement officer.
By Drew Pruhs

68 One Bad VP

By a Staff Writer

114 Roll Camera

72 Legendary Performers

If you like reliving your shooting experiences,


youll like the ATN Shot Trak camera.

If you want accuracy and reliability overload,


you will want Springfields Range Officer.

By D.K. Pridgen

By Chuck Taylor

118 Engineered for Precision

78 Dream Rifle

52 Potent Pistol
Its light, sleek and accurate. Its CMMGs
Mk4 AR pistol, and we tested it.

By Doug Jeffrey

By Clint Walker

40 On the Cover
If you dig the gear on the cover model,
check the specs on page 40.

Snipers are bad dudes, but they are also


human, as youre about to see.

Youve heard the chatter about Heckler &


Kochs VP9; now find out the truth.

War Sports LVOA has nasty accuracy.

Youll never guess what connection U.S. Optics has to Apple, IBM and some top brands.

By Clint Walker

By Lee Williams

88 360-Degree Battle Space

By Tim Stetzer

124 Flight Patterns

The operational environment is a


360-degree animal, and youre going to learn
how to tame it.

Special Operations Command Marines handle some of the Marine Corps most highlyspecialized missions.

By Danny Pritbor

By Leroy Thompson

52
ON THE COVER
Cover Gun:
DRD Tactical M762
Scope:
Barskas SWAT
AR Scope
Knife:
Pohl Force Alpha 3
Model:
Drew Pruhs

88

product GUIDEs
44 Red Dot Sights
96 Plate Carriers

10

WORLD OF FIREPOWER 5

PHOTO COURTESY OF SIMON CRUZ

first words
n Simon Cruz

ANOTHER
PERFECT
DAY
By Doug Jeffrey

I slowed into yet another curve as I made my


way slowly up the narrow road to the Angeles
Shooting Ranges in Lake View Terrace. The black
asphalt runs adjacent to a dry streambed, which
is surrounded by the brown, parched hillsides. A
seemingly endless drought is hammering the
sun-drenched Southland, but the rolling hills provide a barrier from the major metropolis and create a peaceful serenity.
As I meandered closer to the range on a fall
afternoon, I could hear the feint sound of gunfire echo through the chaparral-covered canyons.
I finally pulled into the packed parking lot, some
20 miles northeast of downtown Los Angeles,
and looked for Fort Angeles Range.
It was shirt-sleeve weather, it was a great day
for shooting and it was another day in paradise
for Simon Cruz.

YEARS IN LAW ENFORCEMENT


Wearing sunglasses in the bright Southern California sunshine, Cruz, director of operations at
the Double Tap Training Center, was overseeing
another training session. To make sure things are
in order, he walked over to each instructor and
asked for an update. Helping people is one of
the main reasons he entered law enforcement 22
years earlier.

I enjoy working with people, says Cruz, who


spent 16 years on the State Exposition Park Police
Department. I have that desire to help.
During his tenure, Cruz provided the ultimate
help to a couple of people, including a college
coed, whom he revived with CPR.
After that incident, I felt like I had done my job
for the day, he says.
To put it mildly.
For Cruz, life was good on the department.
I am an adventurous guy, and law enforcement
gave me the opportunities to do different assignments, he says.
From detective work to DUI task forces to
D.A.R.E. programs, the 40-year-old kept busy and
challenged.
I did not want a routine job, he says. That job
kept me spiced up. I like to deal with problems and
provide solutions. Even when you make an arrest,
you can help someone [hopefully] change his
lifestyle.
After retiring from the force in 2008, Cruz began
looking for a new calling in life, but he didnt venture far.

HELPING OTHERS
After taking some time off, Cruz realized he still
had that passion for helping others and teaching,
so he got certified through the NRA and started to
provide firearms training to civilians.
The teaching started to occupy my time and
then the business started to grow, he says.
From civilians, his clientele grew to law enforcement and the military. His resume now includes
consultant to the movie industry and FBI certified
instructor.
This is my cup of tea at the moment, he says.
Like the road leading to the range, there are
turns in life, but Cruz is firmly set on this path for
now.

CHALLENGING AND REWARDING


Cruz, who also volunteers with the Bureau of Security and Investigative Services, says its challenging to run a business in a bad economy, but he is
ready for anything life throws his way.
Plus, I love what I do, says Cruz. I do not feel
like I am working.
In other words, its another perfect day. FP

EDITORIAL
Editor: Doug Jeffrey
Editor At Large & AR Platform Expert: Clint Walker
Associate Editor: Breanna Armstrong
Consulting Editors: Paul Hantke, USMC retired;
Eric Kowal, veteran, military affairs specialist
Contributing Editors: Terrill Hoffman
Managing Editor: Peter Schelden
Senior Creative Director: Eric Knagg
Art Director: Tracy Powell
Group Editorial Director: Erin Mascercola

CONTRIBUTORS
Abe Elias, Brad Fitzpatrick, Leroy Thompson, Mike
Dickerson, Lee Williams, Patrick Robinson, Paul Granger,
Jim Weiss, Mickey Davis, D.K. Pridgen, John Raguso,
Stew Smith, Paul Hantke, Carlos Avina, Scott Schanaker,
Drew Pruhs, Tim Stetzer, Rob Pincus, Danny Pritbor, Gary
John

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6 WORLD OF FIREPOWER

Volume 3, Issue 1/January/February 2015

Nick Singh: Executive Director


Vikas Malhotra: Vice President
This magazine is purchased by the buyer with the
understanding that information presented is from
various sources from which there can be no warranty
or responsibility by Engaged Media Inc. as to the legality,
completeness or technical accuracy.

equipped

Tactical,
Practical,
Versatile

FROM THE TOOL BENCH TO THE RANGE


AND BEYOND, 7 HOT PRODUCTS THAT
WILL TAKE YOU TO THE NEXT LEVEL
BY DAN FAWCETT

Are you one of the guys who always strives to get to the next
level? Regardless of what youre
doing, youre eyes are set firmly
on improvement. If so, this installment of Equipped is designed especially for you.
Whether youre shooting, building or surviving, these products
will give you the edge. They are
tactical, practical and versatile,
which puts you firmly on the track
to that next level.

BTI

Model: Bog-Pod CLD 3


Website: BTIBrands.com
MSRP: $169.99

You know how beneficial a stable platform to shoot from can


be. Like, the difference between a great shot and a missed shot.
The Bog-Pod gives you an edge with its many and easy to use
accessories. The Switcheroo Shooting System allows you to easily
switch between accessories in the field using the same platform,
and the three-section, high-strength, lightweight aluminum legs
feature camo finish.
Whether youre shooting a buck with your rifle or camera, the
Bog-Pod will guarantee the best shot.

ENERGIZER

Model: LED Swivel Light


Website: Energizer.com
MSRP: Prices vary (about $30)

Do you want to own a flashlight


or a game changer?
The Energizer LED Swivel Light is
the game changer; it provides 95 lumens, 14 hours of run time, its head
pivots 125 degrees, it has a shatterproof lense and it stands for handsfree lighting.
If you need a tough light that can
take a beating and give you some
serious light, the LED Swivel Light
will get the job done.

8 WORLD OF FIREPOWER

AR POWERCORD
Model: 1 to 2 Point Rifle Sling
Website: ARPowerCord.com
MSRP: $65

When you see this product, youll


think, Why didnt I think of this?
This is one gun sling that can do
almost anything. Its a two-point
sling with a built-in whistle and
firestarter. In a snap, it can be converted to single point.
The advice from the maker is,
The top layer could be used if
SHTF. No translation is needed
there. It is made out of paracord, so
you can use it in an emergency situation, and you could unravel the
top layer while still keeping the
sling intact.
Why didnt we think of this,
actually?

KREED XR DEFENDER SERIES


Model: Brigade, Website: KreedEyes.com, MSRP: $21

TITAN STRAPS
Model: 25 Super Utility Strap
Website: TitanStraps.com
MSRP: $8.99

If the inside of your plane is just a little too full for


that last carry-on item, dont worry. Just step onto the
tarmac, place the item on the plane and secure it with
the Super Utility Strap. Thats just one of the many uses
of this stretchy, heavy-duty polymer strap that is UV resistant and works in the most extreme environments
and temperatures.
You can also use it to tie down or organize, which

Kreeds XR Defender series provides


fashion and function and a high-impact
resistance ANSI Z87.1 rating. Whether
hunting quail, at your local shooting
range or just enjoying nature on a
sunny day, dont forget to get a pair of
XR Defender series sunglasses.

CALDWELL

Model: Crosswind Professional


Wind Meter
Website: BTIBrands.com
MSRP: $109.99

Itd be nice if you could go shooting


everyday without worrying about the
wind or other weather conditions, but
lets get real. Wind blows.
With the Crosswind Professional
Wind Meter, youll be able to hit the
center of your targets with ease even
in the varying wind conditions. Its 90degree rotating anemometer head allows you to measure how much
crosswind will be applied on the side of
your bullet. You wont have to move
the wind meter or do angle calculations.
Its almost as good as shooting on a
wind-free day.

The Author: Dan Fawcett is an intern with Beckett Media.


10 WORLD OF FIREPOWER

means you can do things such as secure your ladder to


your truck rack, secure a hose or electrical cord or use it
to organize items in your garage. If you need extra
length, connect a few together.
Titan Straps provide the solutions.

SKELETOOL CX
LEATHERMAN
Model: Skeletool CX
Website: Leatherman.com
MSRP: $94.85-$99.85

Less is more with the


Leatherman Skeletool CX.
Lucky number 7 is the number of tools on this simple, elegant multi-tool. Though some
pocketknives have more tools
and features, the Skeletool CX
gives you exactly what you
need, without any extra bulk.
It has a 154CM stainless steel
blade, pliers, bit driver, pocket
clip and carabiner/bottle
opener.
In essence, you're set. FP

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guns & beauty

Anna is a
firearms
instructor in
Tennessee.
How do we
sign up for
her next
class?

The Gun
4 Glock 17

The Model
Anna Marangelli
STYLIST
Teri Reid
HAIR/MAKE-UP
Anna Marangelli
PHOTOGRAPHY
Shannon Fontaine
ShannonFontaine.com

12 WORLD OF FIREPOWER

FIREPOWER H
PAST

Firepower Past

n Sir Hiram
Stevens
Maxim and
his gun.

Welcome to Firepower Past.

AD SIR HIRAM STEVENS MAXIM


NOT INVENTED AND PERFECTED
THE SELF-LOADING, ALL-IN-ONE
AUTOMATIC MACHINE GUN, HED

STILL BE REMEMBERED AS A RATHER GOOD


INVENTOR.
Consider this. He literally concocted mouse-

traps, electrical devices, steam pumps, curling

THE MAXIM WAS THE MOTHER OF


ALL SELF-LOADERS
BY JIM THOMPSON

irons and many early aviation-related items. Our


focus, of course, is the machine gun, and by 1884
the time was right. Metallic cartridges had become consistent, cleaner smokeless powders
were coming into use and the imperialism of the
times suggested a need to confront large num-

KEY NUMBERS

bers of local inhabitants with lots of firepower.


There had been other rapid-fire guns, mostly

350-550

60-70

60-85

34

600 RPM

with heavy mounts and multiple barrels, but the

The number of
rounds per
minute the typical
rifle-caliber Maxims fired

In pounds, the
weight of the gun
without its water
load

The typical
weight of the
mounts

In pounds, light
Maxims and the
aircraft LMG08
versions usually
topped this
weight

Slicked up, polished, re-sprung


specialized aircraft
and AA multiple
mount specimens
were speeded up
to deliver cyclic
rates as high as this

Maxim was self-contained, did not need arm


power and usually didnt require draft animals
to be emplaced.
Following is his journey.
WORLD OF FIREPOWER 13

n A German machine gun is demonstrated by trainees


in Belgium about
1916. The weapon
is a pretty standard
MG08.

n A Vickers-Maxim M.1904 US is arrayed in front of a World War I SPAD


fighter. These guns were used extensively in training during that conflict
but saw no combat. The leather flight coat is also fascinating. It belonged
to actor David Niven, who considered it his "lucky coat." He reportedly
sneaked into films over about 50 years of work.
GERMAN BUNDESARCHIV

JIM THOMPSON

WHERE IT STARTED

THE DESIGN

coil of the cartridge and barrel, locked and moving

The design of the mechanism was well devel-

rearward, to initiate every action of firing and re-

the creative type. However, his more imaginative

oped and complete by 1884. Many generalist publi-

peating after belt placement and cocking. Robust

concepts were rejected in his home country, so he

cations list the service life of the Maxim from 1884

parts, sturdy springs and some overbuilding to

moved to Europe. By 1890, he became a citizen of

to 1959. Of course, many were captured in Vietnam

make up for the weaker metallurgy of earlier days

the United Kingdom and was knighted 11 years

as late as 1971, so its life was even longer. And then

made for weapons that outlasted not merely their

later.

some.

designer, but their entire first two generations of

Born in Sangerville, Maine in 1840, Maxim was

Ironically, some remember his primary invention,

While I was preparing a piece for one of the late

users. Even the later, streamlined Vickers gun spun

the machine gun, as the primary instrument of

Jack Lewis last issues of The Gun Digest Book of

off the Model of 1912 British gun are, in fact, re-

Victorian British Imperialism. The Model of 1910

Assault Weapons, I was about to put on a disc

finements of Maxims 1884 design.

version was the primary support machine gun of

about the demise of the Maxim when I looked up

Russian/Soviet troops in both World Wars, and the

at some CNN footage that was droning on. It was

wheels either disappeared entirely or became much

German MG08 version fought on the other side of

about 2003.

smaller. The Pom-Pom guns, most commonly of

WWI, helping creating the morass that become


trench warfare.

On tape, muscling an entire Soviet-format

The mounts changed, and in most of the world,

37mm are today thought of as anti-aircraft

M1910 and wheeled mount off the trench floor sur-

weapons, but were actually designed to deal with

face, resting only the water jacket on some bags,

torpedo boats a decade before the Wright broth-

at least briefly in almost every army on the

was a friendly Afghan, cranking out a rather pro-

ers flew at Kittyhawk. The heavily-caliber versions

planet at some time. Even the French and Japan-

found long burst. Even if he was merely showing

served some Navies into the 1950s.

ese, both of whom pursued the even heavier

off for the camera or proving his manhood, the

Hotchkiss family of air-cooled machine guns, ex-

fact that the hardware was around and in working

perimented with and ordered their own versions

condition caused some modification in my article.

of the weapons before reaching that conclusion.

That Maxims work and work well is not surpris-

Maxims rifle-caliber water-cooled guns served

THE FOUNDATION
Every self-loading firearm today owes many mechanical details to Maxim and his gun, even tiny
handguns. FP

They were standard issue all over the world,

ing. They date from times when masterful engi-

even in the United States, which fielded the

neering dominated industry and in which questions

Model of 1904. Through revolutions and resur-

about how long an assembly needed to last would

About the author: Jim Thompson is an internation-

rections, China used Maxims for at least 70 con-

have been thought insane.

ally published firearms writer, photographer and

tinuous years, from two of the guns family


branches.

14 WORLD OF FIREPOWER

Maxims knee-action toggle eliminated a lot of


vertical sway from such a joint and used the re-

consultant with more than three decades of experience as a serious collector and shooter.

GEAR AS PREPARED
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Firearms Fitness

POWER GRIP

ENHANCE YOUR SHOOTING WITH THESE 5 DRILLS


THAT WILL CREATE STAMINA AND STRONG FOREARMS
BY STEW SMITH / ILLUSTRATIONS BY ERIC KNAGG

F YOURE LIKE MOST GUYS, THE ONLY PERSON YOU COULD PROBABLY BEAT IN AN ARM
WRESTLING BOUT IS A 98-POUND HIGH SCHOOL COMPUTER NERD. DONT BELIEVE ME?
Try dry firing a dozen times with your non-dominant hand. It wont take long for you to realize
that your grip and forearm are a lot weaker than you probably realized. Not to worry.
The following exercises are designed to pack some muscle and stamina into your arms. So
whether youre a tactical athlete, a competitor or a recreational shooter, add these drills to your workout. Youll be able to shoot all day and be steadier.
And when youre done shooting, challenge one of your buddies to an arm wrestling bout. Then inflict a little pain. FP

EXERCISE 1

EXERCISE 2

EXERCISE NAME:

EXERCISE NAME:

OLD SCHOOL
WEIGHTED ROPE
FIRST For this classic rope twist,
tie a weight (5 to 10 pounds) to
the rope and attach it to roller,
which can be a piece of wood or
PVC pipe.
HOW TO DO IT Stand with your
feet shoulder-width apart. In an
overhand grip, pick up the roller
and extend your arms straight
out. Holding your arms steady,
roll the weight up until it meets
the roller, pause, return to the
starting position and repeat.

About the author: A former Navy SEAL lieutenant,


Stew Smith is certified as a
certified strength and conditioning specialist by the
National Strength and Conditioning Association.

OLD SCHOOL
RICE BUCKET
FIRST Fill a 5-gallon hard-plastic
bucket about full of rice.
HOW TO DO IT Sit on a stool
with the bucket directly in front
of you. Place one hand (or both)
into the rice so it covers your
fingers. Open and close your
hand. As an alternative, dig to
the bottom of the bucket by
opening and closing your hand.
DURATION Do 50 reps for each
hand.

DURATION Build up to 1 minute.

Mix It Up 2 Ways
1 FOR VARIATION, DO ALL
OF THESE EXERCISES IN A
NON-STOP CIRCUIT A ONCE
A WEEK.

16 WORLD OF FIREPOWER

2 YOU CAN BUILD YOUR

OWN GRIP CIRCUIT BY SELECTING THREE OF THE EXERCISES. DO EACH FOR


TWO TO THREE MINUTES
FOR A TOTAL TIME COMMITMENT OF SIX TO NINE MINUTES.

EXERCISE 3

EXERCISE 4

EXERCISE NAME:

EXERCISE NAME:

FIRST If you do not have a vertical rope to climb, you can substitute battle ropes.

FIRST You will need a pull-up bar.


Some are attached to the wall,
while others are part of various
apparatus in a gym.

BATTLE ROPES

PULL-UP HANGS

HOW TO DO IT When using the


battle ropes, stand with your
feet shoulder-width apart. Firmly
hold the rope and then extend
your arms straight out. Move the
ropes up and down and side to
side.
DURATION Do three sets of one
minute.

HOW TO DO IT With your feet


shoulder-width apart, jump up
and grab the bar with an overhand grip. Simply hang on the
bar in the down position, but
flex your shoulder blades so your
shoulders are not relaxed. Once
you cannot hold your shoulders
flexed or hang onto the bar with
your hands, you are done.
DURATION Hang for 1 to 2 minutes.

EXERCISE 5
EXERCISE NAME:

PULL-UPS
WITH A ROPE
FIRST If you do not have a rope to climb or
cannot climb ropes well enough to add to a
workout, this rope pull-up/hang exercise is a
good alternative.

a
b

HOW TO DO IT Throw a rope or strap over the


pull-up bar, leap up and grab both ends of the
rope. Pull yourself up until your eyes are about
level with the bar, pause, return to the starting
position and repeat. When you cannot do any
more pull-ups, hang onto the rope in the
down position for as long as you can.
DURATION Do three sets of 30-60 seconds.

WORLD OF FIREPOWER 17

Front Sight American Snipers

MISSION
ACCOMPLISHED

ORGANIZATION
PROVIDES GEAR TO
AMERICAN SNIPERS

personal gear to our guys still fighting overseas, said Sain. I said, Yes maam, we can
sure get it in the right hands.
They talked for a while and said their goodbyes. As Sain tried to hang up, he realized the
woman was still talking.
The soldier's mom said, This may sound
strange, but you dont by chance need a brand
new Sony PlayStation?
As a matter of fact

SNIPERS HOME AND ABROAD


AmericanSnipers.org began in 2003 when a
small group of American police snipers formed
a support network to address the operational
equipment needs of American military snipers
deployed abroad.
The peace officers were employed as SWAT
team snipers here in the United States, and had
friends who were also assigned as snipers
within the military.
As the war in Iraq progressed, the urban
mission profiles of police snipers and military

PHOTO COURTESY OF BRIAN K. SAIN

snipers were found to overlap somewhat and


the gear needed to accomplish the mission is
virtually identical, said Sain.
Once deployed, the military snipers requested assistance from their SWAT sniper
friends in procuring the specialized gear, which
was better suited for their missions and which
was unable to be supplied by their parent military entity for a variety of reasons.
STUFF HAPPENS.
While on an overseas mission, a U.S. Marine
Corps Scout sniper returned to camp to discover
that the units bomb-sniffing dog had devoured

And thats where AmericanSnipers.org steps

down, and it got to the point that I was considering hiring a burglar to steal one of the
things, joked Sain.
The calendar then rolled into December. Just

in.
Since 2003, the non-profit organization has
raised hundreds of thousands of dollars and

his daughters Sony PlayStation the Marine had

before Christmas, the snipers wife reached out

procured gear supporting over 1,200 platoons

brought from home.

to the organization again.

of snipers in the U.S. military at no cost to the

The snipers wife initially contacted Ameri-

Knowing fully well they were beyond diffi-

canSnipers.org to help replace her husband's

cult to obtain, the Marine wife asked tongue in

protective eyewear and jokingly mentioned the

cheek, Hey, whats up with the PlayStation?

PlayStation. Christmas was approaching and


Brian K. Sain, the .orgs founding director, made

I told her I could not frigging find one. I


suck, said Sain.

it his mission to find her one. He looked every-

And then something happened.

where but was having little luck. Santa had

The mother of an American soldier lost her

bought them all.


I was not about to let this Marine wife

18 WORLD OF FIREPOWER

son in an auto accident in Germany.


She called and offered to donate her sons

snipers themselves.
"They are our countrymen, and it is our single-minded goal to help them as much as we
can for as long as we can, so help us God.
~AmericanSnipers.org

To contribute, go to
AmericanSniper.org.

n There are
more than
1,600 exhibitors and
tons of gear.

GO FIGURE

THE SPECS OF THE


2015 SHOT SHOW

n The SHOT Show is


very much hands on.

PHOTOS COURTESY OF NSSF

Front Sight Places and Facts

n This captures the essence of the show


wall-to-wall people and product.

WHAT IT MEANS
SHOT stands for Shooting, Hunting and
Outdoor Trade.

DID YOU KNOW?


The SHOT Show is owned and sponsored by the National Shooting Sports
Foundation, the trade association for the
firearms, ammunition, hunting and shooting sports industry.

630,000
In square feet, the total exhibit space
for the show, which will have 1,600 exhibitors. This is equivalent to more than 13
acres, the area covered by the New Orleans Superdome or the base of the Great
Pyramid of Giza.

12.5
In miles, the length of the combined
aisles at the show.

20 WORLD OF FIREPOWER

37
The number of years the show has run.

16
The number of times the show has
been held in Las Vegas.

89.6
In millions, the amount of non-gaming
revenue the 2014 show generated for the
Las Vegas economy.

LAW ENFORCEMENT
This is the fastest growing segment of
the SHOT Show. Twelve years ago, law enforcement covered 7,000 square feet;
today it covers more than 170,000 square
feet of the show.

8
In billions of dollars, the amount of
money the firearms and ammunition industries generate.

n Actor and martial


artist Steven Seagal
was at last years
event.

Long
Day
Off
THE RIVETING,
HARD-HITTING TRUE
TALE OF A SWAT TEAM
RESPONDING TO A
HOSTAGE SITUATION
BY SCOTT SCHANAKER
HAD A LONG TO-DO LIST AND FIRST UP WAS A DOCTORS APPOINTMENT TO GET MY KNEE LOOKED AT.
AFTER THAT, ID HIT THE GYM, DO SOME GROCERY
SHOPPING AND THEN BACK HOME FOR SOME YARD
WORK. IT WAS GOING TO BE A PRODUCTIVE AND RELAXING DAY IN THE WARM JULY SUN.
At least it seemed that way until my pager went off. I
stabbed the pagers alarm button and squinted at the tiny bluegreen screen.
All SWAT respond hostage situation. Shots fired.
The address was unfamiliar to me, but it was in the city limits, or the Couve, as it is affectionately called. I missed the first
exit to turn around and kept driving, hoping there would be a
quick follow-up page telling SWAT to stand down. It could happen, I tried to convince myself, but my gut knew better.
Just then my cell phone rang. It was Chris.
You on your way?
Dude, I got a doctors appointment Ive been waiting a
month for.
The excuse was feeble, and I knew it as soon as I said it. It
was something a newbie cop would say when trying to weasel
out of mandatory overtime. My conscience had just bitch
slapped me back to reality. More was expected from the assis-

22 WORLD OF FIREPOWER

tant team leader of a SWAT team.


Umm, this is the real deal. The Marshalls have
been hunting this guy. Hes a bad boy and threestriker and knows hes going back to prison.
I pause a moment as my brain started to engage.
Hostage legit?
Yep and suspect shot at patrol. No coppers hit
but things are pretty amped up.
All right. Itll take me 10 to get home and swap
cars then another 10 to get suited up and drive to
the scene.
Hurry up, were short on bodies. Theres only
three SWAT here now. Bunch of guys are on vacation, out of town, at training or on admin leave
from the last shooting.
Be there in a few. Is the armor rolling?
Yep. Guys are headin to the SWAT locker to get
the Bearcat, Peacekeepers and SWAT van, but they
are a ways out. Hurry up.
Ten minutes later I bail out of my personal Tahoe
and beat feet into the house and threw on my
green BDUs, boots and gun belt. Next, I grab the
guns from my safe and head out to my assigned
take-home caran unmarked Ford Expedition.
Inside is a locked vault with all my SWAT gear. I
crank the powerful V-8 and blast through the
neighborhood with siren and lights blazing. Eight
minutes later I was coming in hot to a scene that
was awash in cop cars and medical personnel.

GEAR UP
Starting four blocks out, the neighborhood was
locked down between two perimeters. Pockets of
animated neighbors stood on the sidewalk talking
excitedly about the unusual violence. I drove to the
inner perimeter where a fresh-faced rookie city cop
working the checkpoint stopped me. I flashed my
grill lights as he squinted to see my BDUs, and then
he motioned me in as he raised the drooping crime
scene tape. The rookie looks rattled. His district
partners had just taken fire, and it looked as if the
reality of that was sinking in. Welcome to the
Couve, young man.
I nosed the SUV to the curb, pressed the button
to release the rear lift door and started gearing up.
First, I started sliding my portable radio into its
holder on my tac vest. I quickly connected my
earpiece and mic to the radio then punched my
arms into the ballistic sleeves of my tac vest and
zipped it up.
I donned my ballistic helmet, snapped the chin
piece, then slung my HK MP5K and let it hang. I
pulled my HK USP .45 from my thigh rig and performed a press check on the slide, ensuring the
Hydro-Shock round was chambered. I checked the
weapons light to ensure it was functioning. Next, I

n This photo, which is


for illustrative purposes, captures a
SWAT team searching
homes for a suspect.
Getty Images photo by
Timothy A. Clary

WORLD OF FIREPOWER 23

n This photo, which is for illustrative purpose, captures a Massachusetts SWAT team as
it searches homes for a suspect. Getty Images
photo by Mario Tama

THE LIVING ROOM WAS COMPLETE CHAOS AS VOLLEYS


OF BULLETS PERFORATED THE WALLS ON THEIR PERPETUAL
MISSION TO IMPALE FLESH.
racked a 9mm Hydroshock into my MP5K and let
the bolt slam home. I fingered the Surefire touch
pad on my vertical foregrip to test the weapons
powerful mounted light. All good.
I double checked the mag pouches on my vest
that contained four 30-round magazines. They
are tightly fixed inside their Cordura houses. Two
more pouches contained two .45 mags and hung
next to a larger pouch with a first-aid kit, 25 feet
of black nylon para-cord, an extra Surefire flashlight, notepad, Sharpies and a protein bar.
I reached back and checked the small canister
of personal smoke on the back of my vest, as well
as the four sets of flex cuffs. I pulled open the Velcro from my gas mask pouch and removed my
mask. I then pulled the mask from the cotton sack
I stored it in, stuffed the sack in my BDU cargo
pocket then reinserted the mask back into its
pouch. If we were to end up gassing this turd, I
wanted to be able to access the mask as quickly as
possible.
I inserted my custom earpiece then performed
a self-test with my coms. I grabbed a DEF-TEC #25
Noise Flash Diversion Device and slid it into its
hard pouch on my thigh rig next to my USP and
locked my SUV. I did a brief jump test. All my gear
is ninja quietno jingling, knocking or rubbing.
Satisfied I had everything, I put on my safety
glasses and gloves and took off at a jog to the
command post one block away. Despite the multitude of tasks necessary to gear up and self-deploy,
the total time from parking my SUV to closing the
rear door was a little over a minute. The key to
thorough self-deployment is good prep, repetition in training under stress, repetitions from
missions and knowing where everything in my
kit was.
The radio traffic was already obnoxious. There
was a heavy patrol response and deployment on
the perimeters, and the radio frequency was
clogged with all the coppers giving status updates. Because only a handful of SWAT were on
scene, there was no point to switch to the SWAT
freq until all patrol was rotated out and replaced
by SWAT. To be on my game, I was going to have
to filter out the nonessential rambling dialogue
humming through my earpiece.
Regardless of the extraneous radio traffic, one

24 WORLD OF FIREPOWER

thing was clear, something was different about


this call. It was a palpable feeling, and it was not
just that cops had been shot at. There was more,
something visceral on a subconscious level that
could be heard in the voices on the radio. Maybe
it was simply my overactive imagination or maybe
it was that I had been doing this type of work for
over nine years and had been on over 400 missions. Whatever it was, when I arrived at the command post there was an eerie anticipation that
pulsed throughout the handful of detectives, administrators and SWAT command.

AT THE COMMAND POST


I looked at the roster board to see how many
from SWAT were on hand. Even with my 20minute drive time I was only the fifth SWAT team
member on scene. The team leader gave me a
quick run down on the situation and suspect.
Jeremy Smith is a 6-foot 200-pound, white
male. He is a career criminal who was recently
paroled and had been on a sprees of drugs and
strong-armed robberies. U.S. Marshalls had been
looking for him for weeks and had been working
with our fugitive unit, C-CAT, Career Criminal Apprehension Team. They had gotten wind to
Smiths location the day before.
Despite Smiths general lack of intellect, he was
street smart, feral and had rightly concluded his
respite from prison was about to end. However,
while trying to exit out a back window, he saw a
patrolman taking up a perimeter position so he
started blasting and pulled back inside where he
remained with one other person. Phone contact
had been made, but the impromptu negations
with C-CAT detectives were going nowhere.
Smith was spinning up and becoming
increasingly agitated, claiming he had taken a
hostage and had tied the hostage up on one of
the beds. The team leader gave me a run down
on personnel present and available equipment
then told me to go run the three-man React
Team.
I moved out on foot and stealthed my way
around houses and cars to the garage where
Holms, Key and Chris were set up at the corner.
The four of us began discussing roles and tactics.
If we had to do a crisis entry or if the suspect

Into the
Madness

PART II IS IN THE NEXT


ISSUE OF FIREPOWER
MAGAZINE.

surrendered, I assigned jobs to each so there


would be no confusion. We began running
through options and contingencies and within
five minutes several more teammates arrived and
deployed to the backside of the home in case
Smith or the hostage came out the back. The constant radio chatter between patrol and the command post was really getting to me, and I had to
take my earpiece out so I could concentrate.
Just then the three become quiet, and I could
tell they were listening to radio traffic. I put my

earpiece in in time to hear SWAT command with


an update.
Smith is demanding we leave. He is given an
ultimatum. If we are not out of here in five minutes, he is going to start cutting off body parts
from the hostage.
Something about the commanders tone was
not right, and I watched the other three of the
React Team to see if they were tracking what was
going on. As I was watching them, I was also
checking to ensure their heads were in the game,

if they appeared scared, what was their breathing


like, if their verbal input was relevant to the task
at hand. I saw that all were solid. Each was fully in
the moment and using their skills and experience
to weigh options and mentally prepare for a
fight.
There is something quite humbling about
standing next to men I had trained and fought
along side of for years and knowing without a
question that whatever was about to happen
they would be there right next to me. Sure, going

WORLD OF FIREPOWER 25

n For illustrative purposes, this photo captures members of a NEMLEC SWAT team as it arrives at a location in
Cambridge to take part in a simulated injured officer training exercise. Boston Globe image via Getty Images

WE WOULD BE GOING IN BLIND AND ATTEMPTING


TO SAVE A HOSTAGE FROM A COMMITTED FELON IN AN
ENVIRONMENT HE CONTROLS.
in harms way was what we all signed up to do,
but that was more of an intellectual notion. The
reality of heading into violence is often much
different.
As I looked at my teammates, each showed no
sign of fear or backing down and there became a
clarity to the moment that alighted something
deep within my consciousness. Whatever lay
ahead, we possessed the steam to accomplish
that mission.
Anxious energy knifed through the scene, and
we were hyper-aware of time ticking by. I was uncomfortable hitting the front door on if we had
to make entry and got on the radio.
Team 3, whats the back look like for entry?
Glass slider
Any obstructions on the inside?
Negative. All clear.
Copy.
Command, if we make entry, well use
the back.
Copy. Four minutes.
Team 3, can you open up the gate next to the
house? React Team is moving there now.
Copy.
After a five-second pause, Gate open.

26 WORLD OF FIREPOWER

ASSAULT TEAM
By now, more SWAT had arrived. A Brake and
Rake Team moved to the rear of the home where
we met with them. I talked the breacher through
the choreography of what I wanted if we had to
make entry. All of us realized we were now an
Assault Team and most likely going to make
entry. Regardless of their contemplation, I could
see they were all present, thinking and focused.
Chris is shorter than I am so I put him at point.
My thinking was that I want to be able to shoot
around him more easily if we came under fire
right at the entry. With everyone set in their positions, we did a last-second huddle.
If we go, we know this would be completely
impromptuwe would be going in blind and attempting to save a hostage from a committed
felon in an environment he controls. We were all
good with that, and we quietly bumped each
others knuckles and turned to wait in our stack
for the green light to make entry.
Entry team you have a green light. Move.

INSIDE THE MADNESS


The breacher powered his brake and rake tool

through the rear slider, and the tempered glass


exploded into a hail of fragments. The interior of
the home immediately erupted in gunfire. Chris
had already stepped out, moving with lethal
intent, crunching over broken glass and across the
threshold, angling right toward the kitchen. I was
right on Chriss ass and hooked left, dug the far
corner then scanned right. No bad guys, so I kept
moving on a beeline across the living room
toward the hallway as the roar of gunfire
shuddered through the homes interior.
The room was shadowy, and the air felt oddly
thick. I hit my weapons light to torch through the
eerie shimmer of dreamlike surliness, and the light
reflected off a million billowing dust particles that
danced in the cloying air. My brain was slow to
connect the dots until I swept my light across the
far wall as a stitch of bullets pierced the drywall
with spits of dust that billowed into the rooms
already murky air. Bullets buzzed around me,
striking the Lazy-Boy to my left, erupting the
armrest into tufts of upholstery that hurtled
skyward. These arent Simmunition rounds, I
thought, as I keep moving forward with weapon
up, scanning for something to engage.
The living room was complete chaos as volleys
of bullets perforated the walls on their perpetual
mission to impale flesh. The gunfires echo was
disorienting, and it was impossible to determine
exactly where it was coming from. Obviously, the
shooter was on the other side of the living room
wall, but where exactly?
I made my way through the dust and gloom
and was the first to reach the head of the hallway.
Through the cacophony of noise my brain was
attempting to process all what was going on. A
thousand thoughts were vying for attention, and
things seemed to be slowing down.
To my right was the homes front door. I give it
a passing glance. It was barricaded for the inside
with chairs and end tables. My focus is down the
dark maw of the awaiting hallway but a thought
niggles at my consciousness. Had we attempted to
make entry through the front door we would
have been tangled up and funneled directly into a
kill zone. What the hell was going on?
My thoughts pulled back as another volley
burst through the walls and hallway with a thundering roar. We had to keep moving. We had to
go into that hail of gunfire and rescue the
hostage. I squared my shoulders to the threat,
gave a loud exhale just as Chris gave my arm a
squeeze and yelled, Move!
Time to put a stop to the madness. FP

The
Gear
A

SAFARILAND
BALLISTIC VEST
B BALLISTIC HELMET
W/ OREGON AERO
INSERTS
C SLEEVES OF VEST
D 1X DEF TECH
SAF-SMOKE
E SAFARILAND TAC
THIGH HOLSTER
W/ NFDD POUCH
F HK MP5 K
W/ NIGHT SIGHTS
AND SUREFIRE
WEAPON LIGHT
G HK USP.45
W/NIGHT SITES
H 5X30 ROUND 9MM
MAGAZINES
I ALL-WEATHER NOTE
PAD AND SHARPIES
J 3X12 ROUND .45
MAGAZINES
K 1X DEF TECH #25
NOISE FLASH
DIVERSION DEVICE
L SUREFIRE
FLASHLIGHT AND
PARACORD
M RADIO/EARPIECE

F
I

WORLD OF FIREPOWER 27

28 WORLD OF FIREPOWER

WHY?
That is a rather simple
question, but it is probably
the most asked in the universe. It, and its variations,
are the first questions I ask
whenever I see a new
firearm. .
Why did the company introduce this model? Why did
they design it the way they
did, and why would a customer want to buy it?
All of these questions may
sound simple, but when you
are looking at a new model
in the AR family of rifles,
there are times when you just
have to sit there and scratch
your head. Fortunately, when
the new weapon is a rifle is
made by DRD Tactical, the answers to these questions are
apparent. A perfect case in
point would be their latest
addition, the M762.

WORLD OF FIREPOWER 29

n You might think


that other than the
takedown system,
the M762 is like
any other 7.62
NATO AR, but once
you view the quality of construction
you realize the attributes that sets
this rifle apart from
the rest of the
herd.

HISTORY, REPUTATION
To fully understand the Why aspect of the
new M762, you should first look at the reputa-

would not want everyone know that you are

the ideal next addition to DRDs product line. The

armed with a rifle.

customer is getting the DRDs breakdown fea-

The Paratus was soon followed by the CDR-15,

tures in a well-known AR-10 platform, featuring

tion and history of DRD Tactical. Their motto,

available in both 300 Blackout and 5.56 NATO,

the firepower of the 7.62 x 51mm NATO car-

Tool Makers for Clandestine Missions, was de-

which was reviewed in the December 2013 issue

tridge, and the retail is just a hair over half of that

rived with the introduction of the Paratus. This

of World of Firepower. The CDR-15 uses the same

for the Paratus.

weapon chambered in 7.62 x 51mm NATO was

breakdown design in a more conventional AR-15

I will admit to enjoying the review process of

designed for the military as an answer for the

platform. This model also retails for about a third

the CDR-15 enough that I instantly jumped at the

Clandestine Breakdown Rifle (CSR) request listed

of the price as the Paratus. This places the CDR-15

chance to try out the M762. As requested, DRD

on an open announcement by Joint & Special Op-

within the price range of most quality AR-15s,

forwarded a sample rifle with a 16-inch barrel

erations Program (JSOP).

which could help explain why the CDR-15 has

that would still fit in their 18x 14x7-inch hard

been rather popular since its introduction.

case. If you think that is something, just realize

The Paratus was the first of the series to incorporate DRDs patented method of creating a
breakdown rifle capable of fitting into a small
hard case (18x14x7 inches), backpack or Attach

that you can also carry two spare magazines, op-

M762
As common logic would dictate, the M762 is

case. If you are wondering why this feature has


any value to the average shooter, just think
about a typical scenario. If you carry a standard
rifle case out of your home, it is like having a billboard broadcasting the contents. My neighbors
may be used to this and not give it a second
thought, but unfortunately this may not be the
case in every neighborhood. If you carry this occurrence over to a direr situation, such as an evacuation or bug out, you could imagine why you

30 WORLD OF FIREPOWER

n A long known
advantage of the
AR design is the
ease of mounting
optics. While I prefer a low-powered
scope or red dot,
there is room for
whatever you
choose. Plus, unless you pick an
oversized night vision device, it
should fit in the
carrying case.

tics, a full size semi-automatic handgun with at


least half a dozen spare magazines and a suppres-

sor. Granted, the case may start to get a little


heavy.
The bright side is if you ever need to bug out
you would give the impression of a poor refugee
foolish enough to carry the weight of a camera.
Instead you would be a secure person armed to
the teeth and more than capable of defending
yourself and your family.

n Only the rifles by


DRD can boast
about being such a
compact package.
Not only can you
carry a full-sized
AR-10, but you
have room for your
optics, handgun
and spare magazines for both
weapons. If
needed, you could
even add a set of
spare underwear.

For those that may have missed the review of


the CDR-15, Ill explain DRDs takedown method.
Any AR-15 or AR-10 can be broken down into two
parts by merely pushing the two pins that hold the
upper and lower receivers together.
The longest part will be the upper with the receiver and the barrel assembly. Measuring the
M762 this method would give you an upper assembly of 26 3/8 inches and a lower assembly of 16
5/8 inches with its collapsible stock. DRDs method
is to supply a quick detachable handguard that
gives access to a barrel nut, which can be removed
without tools. This allows you to separate the barrel assembly and leave the upper receiver attached
to the lower.
You then have a barrel assembly of 19 inches
and a lower of 17 3/8 inches. This creates a situa-

WORLD OF FIREPOWER 31

n The M762 breaks


down like any other
AR for cleaning, but
now you have the
ability to clean under
the handguard. Barrel cleaning is also
easier once it is removed from the
upper receiver.

tion in which the longest section of the M762 is 7

lined barrel comes in a length of either 16 or 18

1/8 inches shorter than if you used the standard

inches and is supplied with a 1 in 12 twist. The di-

method of disassembling the rifle. Seven plus

rect gas impingement operating system is rifle-

inches may not seem like much, but it is a major

length mated to the barrel with a low profile,

factor when you are fitting the barrel assembly di-

clamp-on gas block.

agonally into the top of an 18x14-inch case.

The barrel is finished off with a 2 -inch flash

In case you are wondering, assembly or disas-

suppressor, and the DRD handguard is rifle-length,

sembly takes less than one minute. To disassemble

ending right behind the gas block. While the

the rifle, you pull a lever on the handguard, which

handguard continues the top Picatinny rail found

removes the tension of the handguard against the

on the upper receiver, it will also accept additional

barrel nut. You then pull out a single pin and re-

Magpul L-4 rail panels for additional accessories.

move the handguard. Next, retract the bolt carrier

The lower assembly is supplied with a Magpul

enough to disengage the bolt from the barrel extension and loosen the barrel nut by hand. The
barrel can then be slid back into the handguard
and stored. A small tab on the end of the handguard fits into a corresponding notch in the upper
receiver to assure proper alignment once the rifle
is re-assembled. If you are like me, the biggest
question is: Why didnt I think of that?
Once the takedown aspect is considered, the
specifications of the rifle may seem standard to a

MOE pistol grip and MOE collapsible buttstock.


n DRDs light-

weight handguard is
removable and
extends the top
receiver rail. It
also allows addition Magpul rail
sections to be
added in the 3-, 6, or 9- oclock positions for
additional accessories.

The sample rifle came with a nickle boron finish,


but the standard finish for the M762 is a black
hard-coat anodize.
Two Magpul 20-round magazines are also included with the package, along with the hard case
with precut foam inserts. Other than the takedown feature, the M762 may sound like other AR10 patterned rifles, but what cannot be expressed
by words is the fit and finish of the rifle. The M762

DPMS pattern AR-10. This 8.7-pound rifle is

is a well-executed example of firearm craftsman-

equipped with billet 7075 aluminum upper and

ship.

lower receivers. The hammer forged, chrome32 WORLD OF FIREPOWER

THE M762 IS HEAVIER THAN


THE TYPICAL AR-15, YET IT IS
WELL BALANCED, AND THE
EXTRA WEIGHT HELPED TO
REDUCE THE RECOIL OF THE
MORE POWERFUL 7.62X51
NATO ROUNDS.

n Why did DRD intro-

duce the M762? It offers


increased power over an
AR-15 and a discrete
method of carry. This
rifle opens a completely
new aspect to the field of
concealed carry. There is
no gimmick to the
M762. It is a quality rifle
in a compact package.

WORLD OF FIREPOWER 33

SPECS

performance

DRD Tactical M762


CALIBER: 7.62 NATO
CAPACITY: Magpul 20-round magazines
LENGTH: 38 3/8 inches (assembled and stock extended)
WEIGHT: 8.7 lbs.
BARREL: 16 inches (18 inches available) hammer forged,
chrome lined
OPERATION: Rifle length direct gas impingement
semiautomatic
RECEIVERS: Billet 7075 aluminum
STOCK: MagPul MOE 6-position collapsible stock
PISTOL GRIP: MagPul MOE
FRONT/REAR SIGHT: MagPul front and rear BUIS
TWIST: 1x12
HANDGUARD: DRD removable rifle length
MSRP: $3,250

RANGE TIME
The best part of reviewing any

LOAD

VELOCITY

Hornady 168 gr. Match


Winchester 168 gr. Match
Sierra 165gr. Handload

2457
2,425
2,560

and this rifle deserved extra attention.

The best group of the day measured 1

More than once I had considered the

inches center to center, which was very

option of carrying an AR chambered in

acceptable considering the low-powered

7.62 NATO over the typical M4 style AR-

scope. The Winchester Match loads pro-

15 in 5.56 NATO. I will not fault any

duced a group of 1 3/8 inches, which

mans choice, but I have always had a

again indicated the potential of this rifle.

Because the rifle supplied came with a

The M762 is available in both 16- and


18-inch barrel lengths, and this is a factor that should be chosen by the individ-

16-inch barrel, I chose to start by mount-

ual buyer to match his needs. However,

ing a low-powered Leupold 1x4 scope.

it should be noted that, depending on

This would allow me to shoot for groups

the load tested, there was a velocity loss

at 100 yards and give me a good idea of

of 80 to 120 feet per second with the

the accuracy level I could expect from the

shorter 16-inch barrel when compared

M762. The three sets of groups were

to another rifle with an 18-inch barrel.

fired using Hornady 168 grain Match,

There is also an increase in muzzle blast,

Winchester 168-grain Match and my own

but it is not enough to be highly objec-

165-grain handloads with Sierra bullets.

tionable.

Four five-shot groups were fired with

DRD Tactical
DRDTactical.com

Match performed the best with the Winchester Match being a very close second.

thus the 7.62 NATO, cartridge.

Contact

vorite, yet for this rifle the Hornady

firearm is the time spent at the range,

soft spot for the .308 Winchester, and

n The low profile


gas block allows for
easy removal of the
handguard, and the
flash suppressor performed well during
firing. Of course,
you can change to
any muzzle device
you prefer.

After removing the scope, I chose to

each load, and the velocities shown are

fire using the BUIS set by Magpul and

the average for 20 rounds. The group

even with my old eyes any man-sized

size is the best group of each load tested.

target within 100 yards would be an

In previous testing with other rifles, my

easy shot. However, my speed of fire

handloads have proven to be the fa-

was greatly reduced by trying to focus

n Magpul sights are well known and are worth their weight in gold by providing backup to any optic chosen.
The front is adjustable for elevation while the rear unit handles any windage adjustment needed.

34 WORLD OF FIREPOWER

ACCURACY Notes: Bullet weight measured in


1.25 inches grains, velocity is average of 20 shots
1.37 inches in fps measured 10 feet from muzzle,
1.50 inches and accuracy in inches for the best
five-shot group at 100 yards.

n The robust barrel


nut is turned by
hand and easily allows the barrel to
be removed. Barrel
position is repeatable and the nut
provides a solid
lock-up.

n The furniture
used on the M762 is
supplied by Magpul.
Their pistol grips
and buttstocks have
a reputation for
quality. I especially
like the concept of
protecting the release lever of the
buttstock from accidental release.

on the front sight. The Magpul sights work

back-up to their primary weapon the rifle,

well even if my eyes dont.

the Securis could be a valuable breaching

Because I had several red dots sights in

tool. Its one-piece construction is strong

for testing, I also mounted a Barska 4-inch

enough to handle any task and the versatil-

Tactical IR Red Dot sight and this is when the

ity is unlimited. If I ever had to bug out to a

DRD rifle really began to shine. The M762 is

safe location, I would feel rather comfort-

heavier than the typical AR-15, yet it is well

able grabbing the M762, but I would have

balanced, and the extra weight helped to

to admit that a tool such as the Securis

reduce the recoil of the more powerful

would see more use.

7.62x51 NATO rounds.


At any distance on my range, the rifle
could make constant head shots while

ASK WHY NOT


A day spent at the range is always enjoy-

aiming at 8-inch metal plates. From start to

able, and the DRD M762 performed well.

finish, the M762 did not have a single fail-

Accuracy was very acceptable, and the relia-

ure to feed or fire.

bility was as it should be, 100 percent.

I have mentioned the speed of assemble

However, other than practice sessions,

for the M762 and while at the range I put

the M762 is designed for another purpose.

this to the test several times. Even without

This rifle is a defensive tool meant to be

trying to rush the procedure it took less

available at a time of need. It would be per-

than one minute to either assemble or disas-

fect to carry secured in a patrol car or dis-

semble the rifle. It should also be noted that

creetly carried at any location. It supplies a

I would fire a couple of shots, break the rifle

level of power that the typical AR-15 could

down and then reassemble it to fire a few

only dream about.

more shots. The point of impact never var-

n You notice that


the tab extension of
the handguard fits
well with the corresponding notch in
the upper receiver.
The handguard is retained by a lever
and pin, but the extension prevents
any rotation.

The next time you ask Why? just

ied over 1 inches for the first shot, and

consider the M762 and ask yourself

the following shots would transition back to

Why not? FP

the original point of aim.


As a side note, DRD had also sent along

About the author: Terrill Hoffman, a long-

an example of their new Securis Tomahawk

time shooter and photographer, writes regu-

also finished in nickel boron. While most

larly for World of Firepower and Knives

would consider any edged weapon as a

Illustrated.

n All that is required to release the handguard is pulling one lever and one pin.
The cam action of the lever assures there will not be any accidental release.

WORLD OF FIREPOWER 35

Field Tested
36 WORLD OF FIREPOWER

ON TAR

RGET
BARSKAS SWAT AR SCOPE
BRINGS VALUE AT A BARGAIN
BY DREW PRUHS / PHOTOS BY GUS ALONZO

ARIABLE POWER SCOPES SEEM TO BE THE CURRENT


HOT OPTION FOR TACTICAL RIFLES. UNTIL RECENTLY,
THE MOST POPULAR MODELS WERE 1-4X VARIABLE
POWER. MORE RECENTLY STILL, THE 1-6X VARIABLE

POWER OPTION WAS BROUGHT TO MARKET, BUT THEY TYPICALLY CAME WITH A HIGH-DOLLAR PRICE TAG.
Barska has thrown their hat in the ring with their new offering: the SWAT-AR 1-6x32mm IR. While Im a proponent of the
Buy once, cry once adage, Barska holds a place in the market
for those who are looking for a budget option.

WHAT ITS GOT


Designed to be used on an AR platform, I was lucky enough
to evaluate this scope by mounting it to the DRD Tactical M762
chambered in 7.62 NATO. For those not familiar with that particular takedown AR-10, do yourself a favor and seek it out.
I started my evaluation on an indoor 50-yard range where I
could control the light and take advantage of the backlit-illuminated reticle. To better evaluate overall performance, I then
went to an outdoor range where I could shoot out to 600 yards.
Marketed to the tactical crowd, the Barska features a Mil-Dot
second focal plane reticle. Whereas most variable power scopes
1x power setting is typically not a true 1x power, more like 1.5x
power, I found the Barskas 1x power setting to be closer to a
true one power. I was able to shift through the magnification
options by way of a smooth but firm adjustment ring. The ring is
textured for optimal grip and firm enough to hold its place once
it is set.
The scope is built using a 35mm tube and offers a 32mm objective. The glass is multi-coated for clarity, and the tube is nitrogen purged to make the scope waterproof and fogproof. The
scope offers a built-in angled sunshade, which can help with var-

n Officer Drew Pruhs locks onto the Barska scope.

n The external locking turrets allow the user to


make adjustments to the scope's windage and
elevation settings. You can lock them into place
to prevent any unintentional movement.

WORLD OF FIREPOWER 37

Field Tested

n The scope has been


specifically designed
for rifles such as the
M4 and AR-15.

AN OUTSTANDING FEATURE OF THE


SWAT-AR SCOPE IS THE RED AND GREEN
BACKLIT ILLUMINATED RETICLE.

n The scope comes nitrogen


purged and O-ring sealed for
waterproof and fogproof
protection.

ious angles of sunlight, though I found it offered

mal option to use during daylight, while the red

found it to be quite severe at close range (read

less purchase for the included pop-up lens cover.

is suggested for use in low-light environments.

CQB distance). There is a focus adjustment knob

Even with the built in sunshade, the objective is

that helps, and I found parallax was less notice-

is the red and green backlit illuminated reticle.

An outstanding feature of the SWAT-AR scope

large enough to let in a good amount of day-

able when I was working at 50 yards and out.

The two colors provide options for both daylight

light. As a result, the green reticle was washed

Being a 6x power scope, the parallax was not

and low-light environments. This, of course, re-

out while I was at the outdoor range. Mind you I

much of an issue at the distances at which I was

quires a lithium CR2032 battery, which is in-

was at the range during midday, and I believe

shooting and for the distance for which the

cluded, installed by way of a screw cap.

the green would be more of an asset during

scope was designed. Ultimately though, the

early morning or evening. In low light, the green

Barska scope would benefit from a parallax ad-

dedicated button for each color near the ocular

is noticeably brighter than the red, but you can

justment.

lens. There are several brightness options for

dial either down to an appropriate level.

To activate the red and green options, hit a

each color. The green option is listed as the opti-

38 WORLD OF FIREPOWER

Though parallax is an issue with every scope, I

The eye relief for the Barska is listed as being


between 5.1 and 3.9 inches. Though that number

SPECS

n Following his test,


Officer Drew Pruhs
said Barskas scope
provided a lot of
value for its price.

MODEL: AC12138
MAGNIFICATION: 1-6x
OBJECTIVE LENS: 32mm
WATERPROOF AND FOGPROOF: Yes
RETICLE: Green and red mil-dot IR
EXIT PUPIL: 22mm@1x-6mm@6x
OPTICAL COATING: Fully multi-coated
FIELD OF VIEW: 88/26.82@1x -14.2/4@6x
TUBE DIAMETER: 35mm
FINISH: Black matte
WEIGHT: 29.6 ounces
LENGTH: 11.25 inches

Find Them Here


WEB: BARSKA.COM
EMAIL: INFO@BARSKA.COM
PHONE: (888) 666-6769

n The illuminated Mil-Dot reticle gives


you an advantage in low light.

seemed accurate, I found the eye relief to be a

with some firm inward pressure. Its a nice option

bit short overall.

for once your scope is dialed in, and you can

As for the windage and elevation turrets, they

work with hold overs and unders.

STARTER SCOPE
Offering a Mil-Dot reticle, 1-6x power variable
magnification that is capable of 1x power, a two-

are clearly marked and each click has a half-inch

The Barska comes with an integrated can-

value. Like the magnification adjustment knob,

tilever rail mount and rings, which allows you to

and mount, the Barska SWAT-AR brings a lot of

the turrets are knurled and provide a great tex-

plug and play on a standard Picatinny rail.

value at its price point.

ture to get a positive grip. The values are clearly

The scope is affixed to the rail by means of

color illuminated reticle, and integrated rings

All in all, if you are looking for a basic starter

marked and have a positive click when making

two tension screws. I found that after approxi-

scope for your AR, then the Barska SWAT-AR de-

adjustments.

mately 40 rounds the mount started to loosen.

serves your attention. FP

For those who are wondering, the turrets do

While some blue loctite could fix that issue, I

not have a zero stop. However, they have the

would feel better served with a quick release

About the author: Drew Pruhs works for a Southern

great feature of being able to be locked in place

lever.

California-based law enforcement agency.

WORLD OF FIREPOWER 39

On
the
Cover
GEAR UP
LIKE A PRO

PHOTOS BY GUS ALONZO

THE
HANDGUN

Company: Glock
Model: 17
Caliber: 9mm
Website: US.Glock.com
MSRP: Varies

THE MODEL

Name: Drew Pruhs


Occupation: Law enforcement

THE KNIFE

Company: Pohl Force


Model: Alpha Three Outdoor
Quick Facts: The overall knife
length is 10.236 inches, the blade
is 4.44 inches and the knife
weighs 9.87 ounces
MSRP: $240
Website: PholForce.USA.com
40 WORLD OF FIREPOWER

AMBIDEXTROUS
EASILY CONVERTS FROM RIGHT HAND TO LEFT HAND
WITH OUR PRECISION BELT SPECIFIC ATTACHMENTS.

OWB / IWB
EASILY CONVERTS FROM AN OWB
(OUTSIDE THE WAISTBAND), TO AN
IWB (INSIDE THE WAISTBAND) HOLSTER.

TENSION ADJUSTABLE
EASILY ADJUST THE TENSION PLACED
ON YOUR WEAPON BY TIGHTENING
OR LOSIENING THE SCREW FOR A
SNUG FIT, OR LOOSER FIT.

W W W. B L A D E - T E C H . C O M

handcrafted
BUILT SPECIFICALLY TO FIT YOUR WEAPON.

877.331.5793

THE AR

Company: DRD Tactical


Model: M762
Caliber: 7.62 NATO
Website: DRDTactical.com
MSRP: $3,250

On
the
Cover

THE PANTS

Company: 5.11 Tactical


Model: Stryke Pant
Design: The proprietary fabric
has a blend of mechanical
stretch polyester and cotton,
which is engineered to provide
durability and performance
Quick Facts: Teflon finish for
stain and soil resistance, ripstop fabric, reinforced front
utility pockets, badge holder
on front belt loops
MSRP: $70.99

THE SHIRT

Company: 5.11 Tactical


Model: Freedom Flex
Woven Shirt
Design: Features a perforated fabric under the arms,
at the sides and across the
back that increases breathability and movement
Quick Facts: Built from
lightweight 3.9-ounce polyester stretch fabric, snap
closure at collar
Web: 511Tactical.com
MSRP: $69.99

THE BOOTS

Company: 5.11 Tactical


Model: XPRT 2.0 Tactical
Urban Boot
Design: Combining high-performance material with highquality construction, the
boots are designed for agility
in difficult environments
Quick Facts: Waterproof,
breathable compression
membrane, lightweight ripstop nylon and dual hardness
insole board
MSRP: $194.99

42 WORLD OF FIREPOWER

THE BELT

Company: 5.11 Tactical


Model: Apex T-Rail Belt
Design: Providing enhanced
load-bearing capacity and
comfort, the belt is designed
to excel in any circumstances
and any environment
Quick Facts: Made from TPUcoated B10 webbing, three colors, natural ergonomic curve,
cast-aluminum buckle with
dual retention prongs
MSRP: $64.99

SilencerCo Salvo 12

WWW.SILENCERCO.COM

Product Guide

FAST

ACQU
I

F YOURE A HUNTER OR TARGET


SHOOTER, RAISING YOUR GAME IS YOUR
NO. 1 PRIORITY. DAY IN AND DAY OUT
YOU WANT TO TAKE YOUR SKILLS TO
ANOTHER LEVEL. ONE WAY TO DO THAT IS
THROUGH RED DOT SIGHTS.
If youre in law enforcement or the military,
fast acquisition can mean the difference between survival and disaster. Red dot sights will
are the answer to your safety.
In the following story, weve rounded up five
of your best options and have included input
from our firearms expert who provides insight
into what he likes about each model.
Read carefully, choose wisely and take your
game to the next level.

44 WORLD OF FIREPOWER

5 RED DOT SIGHTS THAT WILL


MAKE YOU A WHITE HOT SHOOTER
PHOTOS AND EXPERTS
; OPINION BY TERRILL HOFFMAN

ISITION

WORLD OF FIREPOWER 45

Product Guide

1
FEATURES
New
technology
called ACET
allows
50,000
hours of
operation
(on setting
7 out of 10)
500,000
hours of
use on NVD
setting
Available
in 2 dot
sizes (2 and
4 MOA)
Submersible to
45 meters
(135 feet)
Light
sources is
LED

AIMPOINT
Model: CompM3
Website: AimPoint.com
MSRP: $526-$616
Description: And you thought Ford was Built Tough.
For the armed forces and police, this unit is designed
to hold up under rugged handling and severe weather.
That also makes it good for hunters and sport shooters.
The CompM3, which works with any gen of night
vision device, features Advanced Circuit Efficiency
Technology (ACET) and gives the sight unparalleled
battery life and ease of use.
The CompM3 comes with a replaceable, outer black
rubber cover, which protects it from scratching. The
outer cover is also available in various colors, including
dark earth brown, which nails the camouflage angle.
Why we chose this product: Aimpoint brought out
one of the first widely used red dot optics, and they are
still one of the most used sights available. Their rugged
construction assures the shooter his sight can handle the
rigors of battle, and a run time of 50,000 hours off of a
single battery can only be classified as simply amazing!
The compact size and 2 MOA dot made using this sight
a pleasure and precise. Just the fact that more than one
million Aimpoint sights have been produced can vouch
for the popularity of this company.

46 WORLD OF FIREPOWER

FEATURES
Hybrid
illuminated
reticle
Aluminum
alloy
housing
Waterproof to 50
meters
Magnification: 1X
Objective
Size: 39mm
Field of
View: 69
feet at 100
yards

TRIJICON
Model: SRS
Website: Trijicon.com
MSRP: Varies
Description: Size matters. Sometimes.
The Trijicon SRS (Sealed Reflex Sight) is a MIL-spec
rugged, parallax free, reflex sight that incorporates a
larger aperture for maximum situational awareness in a
shorter body.
The illuminated 1.75 MOA red dot has 10 brightness
settings. To extend battery life, the single AA battery receives a little help from a solar cell. For easy adjustments,
it has snag-free button pads.
Why We Chose This Product: The overall shape of the SRS
was the odd man out when compared to the other models tested. It was shorter than most red dots, but at the
same time it was fatter than the other units. It even had a
solar panel across the top of the body. Only after tested
can I say that the size helped in viewing through the sight
and the panel prolongs battery life. The 1.75 MOA red
dot was crisp and easy to aim even at extended distances.
It may look a little different, but no one should be able to
complain about its performance.

FEATURES
2x optics
for fast target acquisition in low
light
Built-in
mount for
Weaver-style
rail
Multicoated optics
AmberBright highcontrast lens
coating
100% waterproof/fogproof/shockp
roof construction

BUSHNELL
Model: 2X MP
Website: Bushnell.com
MSRP: About $340 but prices vary
Description: Low lights? No problem.
They call this the ultimate lowlight performer, as it has five brightness settings and multi-coated optics.
With ease, it fits on tactical rifles and
shotguns with an integrated mount
and Weaver-style rails.
Why we chose this product: The
Bushnell AR 2x MP has a 2x magnification as its name would imply, but it
is also available in a 1x version. The
sight also has a T reticle (two horizontal hash marks and one lower
vertical hash mark), which helped
while shooting at a distance greater
than 100 yards. The built-in molded
in iron sights along the top of the
unit were also a nice feature for
close work.

Product Guide

n The Barska red dot sight


is shown in action.
48 WORLD OF FIREPOWER

FEATURES
Three
choices of
reticle
color
Multicoated
lenses produce 95%
light transmittance

TRUGLO
Model: 30mm Lightweight Tactical Red Dot
Website: TruGlo.com
MSRP: $160
Description: Choices are good.
This unit provides three choices of reticle color to create contrast against any target or background. The system also includes one-piece 30mm tactical rings, and the multi-coated lenses produce
more than 95% light transmittance. To eliminate stray light from appearing inside the sight, the special anti-reflective interior handles that job.
.
Why We Chose This Product: You can call the Truglo Triton a red dot, but in truth it is a
red/green/blue dot system. Offering three colors has gone a step or two beyond most red dot systems. Red is great in bright light, and the green aides in low light. Many shooters will find the blue
brighter than either of the other colors. Both the sight and the mount proved to be rather rugged
and capable, but a limited lifetime warranty still offers the buyer a bit of security.

WORLD OF FIREPOWER 49

Product Guide

BARSKA

FEATURES
Adjustable
brightness
levels
Fullycoated optics
One
high-rise
cantilever
mount
One lowrise mount
Adjustable
windage/
elevation
Includes 3V
Lithium
battery

3 Key Areas
THE GOOD, THE BAD AND THE RED DOT
If you ever needed a perfect example of the K.I.S.S. (Keep It Simple,

pull the trigger.


Simplicity is not the only advan-

Model: 1x30 Red/Green Dot


Website: Barska.com
MSRP: $59.99
Description: Switching up is easy
with this unit from Barska.
The 1x30 features a 4 MOA dot
reticle that can switch from red to
green quickly with the scopes adjustable rheostat knob. Need extra
brightness? Same deal. You can adjust the brightness to the current
lighting situation.
Why we chose this product: Not
everyone can afford the prices of
some red dot systems, and not
everyone has the need to justify
this added expense. The Barska
1x30 Red/Green Dot performed
well at the range and offers the
shooter added value when compared to the cost. The Barska also
came equipped with both a high
and a low mount to match any
firearm and shooter. FP

the ability to use these sights with

magnification will also hinder preci-

both eyes open, will also increase

sion aiming at distance.

your field of view and allow you to

Some may also say that be-

maintain awareness of your sur-

cause red dot sights require batter-

roundings.

ies there is always a chance of your

These features also make red

sight going dead at the wrong time.

dot sights the easiest system for

However, with run times of the

Stupid) principle, just consider the

tage found in the use of red dot

new shooters. As I explained to my

sights on todays market reaching

red dot reflex sight.

sights. Because the dot and your tar-

80-year-old father-in-law on his first

into the thousands of hours, I feel

get appear in the same optical plane,

hunting trip, just remember DOD

little pity for the guy who forgets to

both may be in focus at the same

(Dot-On-Deer).

change the battery. Modern sys-

time. While using traditional iron

tems have also been greatly im-

THE GOOD
The design of this type of
sight system may be as elabo-

sights, the rear sight, front sight and

rate as any other firearm optic, but in

target are all in separate planes, so

use a red dot is the epitome of sim-

they cannot all be in focus at the

plicity. Traditional handgun sights re-

same time.

THE BAD
Unfortunately, the features that enhance the use

proved in their ability to withstand


impact and are close to being as
strong as typical iron sights.

in the notch of the rear sight while

have little or no magnification, which

keeping the top of both sights even

eliminates any parallax effect found

itself, most red dot sights will have

and on target. To use an aperture

on riflescopes and offer extended eye

a dot diameter ranging from 2 to 5

is to take into account the pros and

(peep) sight, as found on the typical

relief.

MOA. That is to say that the dot will

cons of the system and to match

cover from 2 to 5 inches at 100

those with the planned use of the

quire that you center the front sight

AR-15, look through the rear aper-

At the same time, red dot sights

Red dot sights are also the fastest

of red dot sights also create their


own limitations.
First, to aide in viewing the dot

AND RED DOTS


The trick to selecting
any type of sighting system

ture and let your eye naturally center

type of sights to acquire and aim,

yards, which will somewhat limit

firearm. At close to mid-range dis-

the front sight blade while aligning

which can be an advantage during

precision aiming at extended

tances the red dot sighting system

the blade on your target. To use a red

hunting and close combat.

ranges.

is close to perfection.

dot, simply put the dot on target and

50 WORLD OF FIREPOWER

The little or no magnification, and

Secondly, the lack of greater

RED DOT
SIGHTS ARE
ALSO THE
FASTEST TYPE
OF SIGHTS TO
ACQUIRE AND
AIM, WHICH
CAN BE AN ADVANTAGE DURING HUNTING
AND CLOSE
COMBAT.

Potent
Pistol
CMMGS PISTOL VERSION OF THEIR MK4 K
SBR IS LIGHT, SLEEK AND ACCURATE
BY TIM STETZER / PHOTOS BY JIM HOLMAN
52 WORLD OF FIREPOWER

n The CMMG Mk4 K


is the pistol version of
CMMGs Mk4 SBR.
With the addition of a
SIG SB15 Brace and an
optic you have a formidable package that
will give any SBR a
run for its money.

AR-15 BASED PISTOLS HAVE


BEEN AROUND FOR A LONG
TIME, BUT IT SEEMS THAT
THEYVE REALLY ONLY DRAWN

MAJOR INTEREST FROM CONSUMERS IN RECENT YEARS.


A few years ago youd be hard pressed to find
many choices if you went looking for a factorybuilt AR pistol, but if you take a look around
these days, youll see them being offered by
most major manufacturers and more are on the
way seemingly every day. CMMG is one of those
companies.
When I had the chance to check out their Mk4
K pistol, I jumped at it.

WORLD OF FIREPOWER 53

n For field testing, the author added a Hi-Lux CMR4 14x24 power optic and a SIG SB15 arm Brace with a KAK
Industry 1.25-inch length adjustment spacer. The end result was a compact and capable pistol capable of reaching out well past normal pistol ranges.

AN INCREASE
The way we think about rifle-caliber handguns

SIG SB15 BRACE


Fast forward to a little over a year ago, and we

has changed in recent years, and I suspect thats

saw the introduction of the SIG SB15 Brace. The

why were seeing more interest in the design. For

SIG Brace is a clever device that slides onto an AR

a long time these types of set-ups were viewed

pistol buffer tube and allows you to strap the pis-

primarily as range toys. Theyre heavy compared

tol to your forearm; this makes it easier to shoot

to a regular handgun, and you cant really shoot

the pistol one-handed. Ive used the Brace in this

help but notice that it bears more than a passing

them one-handed with any sort of practical ef-

manner, and it does help, but it also locks your

resemblance to an M4 buttstock. It isnt one, but it

fect. Even when you hold them up with two

hand into a rigid position. If youre using a red

does kind of look like one, and it started a

handsone grasping the forend and the other on

dot sight and holding the pistol at arms length, it

firestorm of controversy as folks started shoulder-

the pistol gripand hold them at eye level, the

works OK. If youre trying to get on your iron

ing their AR pistols and using the SB15 like a

setup is awkward and its hard to get a good sight

sights, it can be tough getting the right angle and

stubby stock. The Internet was ablaze with oppos-

picture with iron sights.

distance from the eye with the Brace strapped in

ing camps debating whether doing so was legal.

place.

Well, SIG did the responsible thing and decided to

Newer designs with flat-top rails make mounting optics easy, and a red-dot style sight definitely

Now, if you look at an SB15 Brace, you cant

ask the ATF.

helps, as do other alternative shooting styles. I


used to hate the look of the bare buffer tube
sticking out of an AR pistol and honestly that put
me off from looking at them closer for years. Its
only been that past year that I realized through
some reading and observation of other shooters
that that buffer tube actually makes the AR pistol
a lot more shootable than many other rifle-caliber
handguns.
If you bring an AR pistol up to eye level and
drop your cheek on to the buffer tube, you now
have three points of contact on the pistol: the
forend, grip and cheek weld. Youre still missing
that ever important shoulder contact like youd
have with a rifle, but its amazing how much difference even that third point of contact makes
when youre shooting. Obviously, a lot of folks
figured this out way before I did, which is why

THE ADVANCED GUNSLINGER


ARMAMENT HIT SLING
When it came time to pick a
sling to use with the CMMG
Mk4 K, I got a recommendation from a couple of my departments SWAT guys to
check out the HIT sling from
Advanced Gunslinger Armament (AGA).
HIT stands for the Hybrid Instant Transition Sling, and basically it works as follows: The
HIT starts out as a fairly traditional single-point sling.
Where it differs from other
slings is that it also allows you
to transition the sling into a

two-point configuration so
that it isnt swinging around
during periods of inactivity.
A quick-release buckle also
lets you snug the weapon up
close to your chest so that it
isnt in the way if you need to
navigate obstacles or while
you perform other tasks. A single-pull tab snugs the rifle up
and also rapidly releases tension so that you can go right
back into using the rifle in the
two-point configuration
again.
Where the HIT sling shines

though is in its ability to instantly transition back to a single-point sling. By using a


quick release coupler, which
AGA calls the RED swivel,
mounted on a short piece of
forend rail, you can transition
back to a single-point sling
with a fast pull of the red
knob. Its a much faster
process than any clip-style connector on the market. With a
little practice it can be done as
part of the motion of bringing
the weapon up to the shoulder.

you see the foam rubber buffer tube covers on so


many AR pistols.

54 WORLD OF FIREPOWER

For more info on the HIT sling, check out Advanced Gunslinger Armament:
Advanced Gunslinger Armament, Info@advancedgunslinger.com, www.advancedgunslinger.com

n The Mk4 K is fitted


with a RKM11 KeyMod
free-floating handguard. A full-length rail
allows for a wide variety of sight and optics
mounting solutions,
and the KeyMod system lets the user add
only the accessories
that they want or
need.

n The Mk4 Ks flattop upper rail mates


perfectly with the rail on the RKM11
KeyMod free floating hand guard.

n The key to the HIT slings


rapid conversion is the RED
knob, which allows instant
transition from a two-point to
a one-point sling.

ATF had already approved the Brace for use on

First, theyre pretty fun, and they are as close

handguns so SIG followed up and asked if it were

as many of us will ever get to an SBR or a subgun

OK to shoot your pistol with an SB15 from the

version of the M16. I know, that still puts them in

shoulder or if this would turn your pistol into a

the range toy category, but hey, lets be honest,

de facto short-barreled rifle (SBR). In March of

most of us shoot because its fun, so we cant ig-

2014, SIG got the response from the ATF Techni-

nore that aspect of things.

cal Branch that simply firing your pistol from the

With that said, you also end up with a very

shoulder would not reclassify the pistol as an SBR.

short, very handy platform thats easy to operate

ATF stated that they simply ruled on the legality

indoors, in and around a vehicle, or in heavy

of the part, not on how you use it, so as of March

brush outdoors. I could easily see using an AR pis-

you can use your SB15 Brace in whatever manner

tol for home defense or for brush hunting where

suits you best. That is yet another reason AR pis-

legal.

tols are gaining in popularity.


As stated, the SB15 is not a buttstock. It only

Another advantage is that they are indeed pistols, which means that most places you can carry

slides onto the buffer tube so it isnt as solid as a

them on your concealed weapons permit. While I

real stock. Its not adjustable, and it has a fixed

doubt many folks are going to go around with an

length. It also doesnt have a butt pad because

AR pistol under a trench coat, it does mean that

its designed for your arm to slide through it.

its legal to keep loaded in your vehicle or take

With that said, it still works pretty well from the

with you in a pack. Check your local laws to be

shoulder now that we know its legal to shoot

sure, but this adds some versatility that you dont

our pistols that way.

have with a long arm and gives you a serious


jump in capability over the traditional pistol on

WHY AN AR PISTOL?

your hip.

So, why would you want an AR pistol as opposed to just getting a collapsible stock AR carbine? Well, Ive come around from my original
thoughts that the pistol platform was just a
range toy and now can see a number of reasons
to look at one.

56 WORLD OF FIREPOWER

n The CMMG Mk4 K comes with a dual loop,


ambidextrous sling adapter endplate that works
with single- and two-point slings.

AN IN-DEPTH LOOK
With that background out of the way, lets
take a look at the CMMG Mk 4 K.
If you look at CMMGs catalog or website,
youll actually see two Mk4 Ks listed: a pistol and

n The KeyMod rail allows easy attachment of accessories such


as this short length of rail used with the forward sling swivel.

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an SBR rifle. Thats because youre basically

own AR pistol about a week before I re-

looking at the same package; one just has a

ceived the Mk4 for testing. I hate to admit it,

buttstock and one comes with a pistol buffer

but I like the Mk4 better than the pistol I

installed.

built. Theyre similar in size and concept, but

Both models are available in 5.56x45mm

the CMMG pistol is lighter and sleeker than

or .300 AAC and feature a 12.5-inch medium

my build. I didnt save much building it my-

weight barrel and are fitted with a standard

self either!

A2 flash hider. Twist rate on the 5.56 version


is 1:7 inch, and the barrels are constructed of
n The CMMG Mk4 K ships from the factory with a Magpul 30-round
magazine, a bottle of weapons lubricant, a Master Lock Cable lock, a
manual and a CMMG catalog.

4140 chrome moly steel. They feature a salt

did need to add a couple of things to it be-

gas system.

fore I took it to the range. Most importantly,

tol grip and trigger guard and a RKM11 Key-

The flattop upper and full length rail on


the handguard give you a lot of options

7075-T6 AL M4-type upper is mated to a

when it comes to mounting sights. My initial

standard AR-15-type lower fitted with a sin-

thought was that I was going to pull my

gle-stage mil-spec trigger. A dual loop, am-

Magpul back-up sight and red dot off of my

bidextrous sling adapter endplate is fitted

pistol and use them for this test; however,

for easy sling attachment.

after looking at all the rail space I had avail-

inches, a hair shorter than the SBR version


with the stock collapsed. Weight on the Mk4

able, I decided to do something a little different.


With the 12.5-inch barrel on the CMMG, I

K pistol is 5 pounds 6 ounces, again just a bit

suspected that this gun might really shoot, so

less than the SBR version. MSRP on the Mk4

I wanted to see what it could do. Thus, I de-

K pistol is listed at $1,099.95, which is com-

cided to mount a magnified optic on the

petitive with other quality built ARs.

gun. I used a Hi-Lux CMR4 1-4x24 power

The CMMG is definitely a quality piece. Fit

58 WORLD OF FIREPOWER

I needed some kind of sights.

Mod free-floating hand guard. A forged

The overall length is a compact 28.25

n The CMMG Mk4 K ships from the factory with a lightly


knurled buffer tube extension. The author added a SIG
SB15 Brace for most of his shooting tests.

While I wanted to keep the Mk4 trim, I

bath nitride finish and use a carbine length

The MK4 is fitted with a Magpul MOE pis-

n The Mk4 K uses a 12.5-inch medium-contour


barrel fitted with a standard A2 style flash hider.

RANGE TIME

optic with a green illuminated reticle. The Hi-

and finish is excellent, and the mate up of

Lux is a patrol rifle style scope, which allows

the upper and lower is tight. The Mk4 K

you to use it as a basic dot sight on 1x, or

presents a sleek, clean design that handles

crank up the magnification if you need more

well. The pistol comes up to eye level quickly

precision at further distance. To get the

and is fast to maneuver. While many folks

proper eye relief, I just moved the scope a lit-

will want to take advantage of the KeyMod

tle further forward on the rail. With this set

rail to hang all sorts of gadgets on their gun,

up and a single point sling, I had a pretty

I have to say that the slim rail helped keep

handy package that should be able to reach

the whole package compact, and I was loath

out well past conventional pistol ranges.

to hang much off of it.


I had actually just finished building my

With that said, I had a SIG Brace on hand


that I was using on my pistol build so I de-

cided to give it a try on the Mk4 as well. I found

for training so I figured it should work well for my

sionally menace clay birds with a regular hand-

the Brace slightly loose on the CMMG tube but

more pedestrian shooting.

gun, I cant hit them reliably with a conventional

nothing that a quick wrap of 90 mile an hour tape

Accuracy of the CMMG Mk4 K was very good.

pistol. The CMMG does a great job of bridging


the gap between a typical pistol and a rifle.

around the tube couldnt cure. To give myself a

Most groups came in under 1 inch, barring an oc-

little longer length of pull, I also used a 1.25-inch

casional user induced flier. The pistol had a slight

spacer from KAK Industry between the Brace and

preference for the lighter 55-grain bullets, put-

the receiver. The last piece I added was a quick re-

ting loads from Hornady and Winchester under a

lease HIT Sling from Advanced Gunslinger Arma-

half inch. Accuracy was helped by the crisp single-

option, then the CMMG Mk4 K rifle is probably a

ment, and I was ready to roll.

stage trigger, which came in just over 5 1/2

great way to go. For the rest of us though, the

pounds on my trigger gauge. That is not a match

Mk4 K pistol is a heck of an alternative.

The Mk4 K comes with one Magpul 30-round

GREAT ALTERNATIVE
If you live an area where getting an SBR is an

PMAG, and I used that as well as PMAG 20s, a

trigger, but it is quite useable and an appropriate

PMAG 10 and some GI mags while at the range.

weight for a gun that may be used for self-de-

able to anyone outside of the assault weapons

Function with all mags and ammo tested was

fense.

ban areas with no special paperwork. The fact

100%. There were no failures to fire or failures to

Handling off of the bench was dynamic. The

Its a well thought out, quality AR thats avail-

that it is a pistol gives you some additional carry

feed. I split the difference between an average

short barrel made the Mk4 easy to work with. It

and transport options as well. If you choose to

pistol and a rifle and did all of accuracy testing

pointed fast and stayed tucked close to the body

pick up an SB15 Brace and add that on, you only

from the bench at 50 yards.

while moving. It worked well with just the buffer

increase the Mk4 Ks utility.

I used another Advanced Gunslinger Armament product for my bench testing their Shot
Placement target. This is a full-sized target sheet

tube as it ships from the factory or with the SIG


Brace installed.

If youre thinking about an AR pistol, youd do


well to take a hard look at the CMMG Mk4 K. I

At close quarters, say 25 yards and in, I didnt

know I wish Id have seen it before I built mine! FP

with a number of numbered and lettered dots of

feel hampered at all shooting with just the tube.

varying sizes. It can be used in a variety of ways,

When I started creeping out close to 50 yards, I

About the author: Tim Stetzer also writes for Knives

either for called shots on certain targets or to

did appreciate having the SB15 though and being

Illustrated and works for a major East Coast-based

allow for shooting a longer string from the bench

able to snug the Mk4 up against my shoulder. I

law enforcement agency. He is a lifelong shooter

without having to keep changing out targets. Its

also found that it improved my hits out at 100

and has served in both the Army Reserves and Air

a nice setup, and it worked well for my bench

yards when I was shooting at clay birds on the

Force Reserves.

testing. My departments SWAT team is testing it

backstop. Thats worth noting. While I may occa-

SPECS
The CMMG Mk4 K
CALIBER: 5.56mm
LENGTH: 28 inches
WEIGHT: 5.3 pounds unloaded
BARREL: 12.5-inch medium weight, 1:7 inch twist
RECEIVER: Forged 7075-T6 AL
TRIGGER: Single stage mil-spec
FURNITURE: Magpul MOE pistol grip
MAGAZINE: 30-round PMAG
MUZZLE: A2 Compensator
HAND GUARD: CMMG RKM11 free-float KeyMod handguard
MSRP: $1,099.95

Accuracy Results
Load
TulAmmo 75gr HP
Hornady V-MAX 55gr
Hornady Match 75gr BTHP
Winchester 55gr FMJ
Winchester Match 77gr BTHP

Accuracy
11/16
9/16
13/16
3/8
7/16

Average Velocit
Not tested
2,743 fps
2,319 fps
2,900 fps
2419 fps

All shots fired at 50


yards from a sandbag rest. Ambient
temperature 42 Degrees. Group size is
the best of 5 shot
groups fired.

n The AGA HIT Sling allows rapid transition


from a two-point to a single-point sling. Its an
American made sling designed by a military
veteran for operational combat use.

WORLD OF FIREPOWER 59

ARMED WITH
KNOWLEDGE
15 CRITICAL HOME DEFENSE

PRINCIPLES THAT CAN SAVE YOUR LIFE


BY ROB PINCUS \ PHOTOS BY JESSE CLEMENTS

60 WORLD OF FIREPOWER

CERTAIN NAMES COMMAND RESPECT.


In the NFL, its Peyton. LeBron rules the
NBA. In the world of firearms, try Pincus.
It starts with the mans booming, authoritative voice; it extends to his supremely confident demeanor and carries over to his
unparalleled skill and firearms knowledge.
Rob Pincusthe owner of I.C.E. Training
Company and the developer of the Combat
Focus Shooting Programis the industrys answer to Peyton Manning and LeBron James.
When the man talks, you listen. And he is
about to speak about home defense.
Editor

Principle: Youre not actually defending your home;


youre defending yourself
and your family

WHILE WE REFER TO HOME DEFENSE quite


often, the fact is that you shouldnt actually
focus on defending your property, especially
with a firearm against a lethal threat. Focus
your planning, your equipment, your training
and your tactics on protecting people you care
about, including, of course, yourself.

PRINCIPLE: MERELY HAVING A GUN


INSIDE THAT YOU ASSUME YOU
COULD USE FOR DEFENSE IS NOT A
SECURITY PLAN

TOO MANY PEOPLE TREAT THE GUN LIKE a


magic talisman that will ward off evil or instantly eradicate it when it shows up in your
home. Having a firearm without a plan, without specific training for its use in the context of
a defensive event and without staging it appropriately so that it can be used efficiently in
an emergency, means you are not entirely
ready. You really dont have much going for
you by simply having a gun in the house and
some generic shooting experience.

PRINCIPLE: START WITH A SECURE PERIMETER: DOORS, WINDOWS AND LOCKS

STRENGTHENING THE PERIMETER DOES MORE


than just make it harder for a bad guy to get into
your home. Quality doors, windows and locks also
send a message to would-be intruders that you
take your safety seriously. Presenting yourself as a
harder target can dissuade victimization. Always
remember, the weak link in your perimeter will always be you and those you let inside it. If you
dont secure the doors, use the locks and close
your windows, all the investment in good equipment is meaningless.

PRINCIPLE: THE FIRST FUNDAMENTAL OF DEFENSE INSIDE THE


HOME: EVADE

IF YOU CAN GET AWAY FROM A THREAT, DO IT.


If you can move one more corner, one more
doorway or one more room away from someone
who can hurt you, you should. The only exception
to this rule is when doing so would expose you or
anyone you care about. Your first choice is always
to avoid a conflict. Retreating isnt weak; it is
smart.

PRINCIPLE: THE SECOND


FUNDAMENTAL: BARRICADE

IF YOU CANT GET AWAY FROM THE THREAT,


make it harder for the threat to get to you. This
could simply mean hiding or closing and locking a
door. If your plan is going to involve a safe
room, then it makes sense to prepare that room
with a strong door and upgraded locks. Slowing
the threat down will give you more time to acclimate to the situation and more time for the police to respond before you need to take your own
violent action.

PRINCIPLE: THE THIRD FUNDAMENTAL


OF DEFENSE IN THE HOME: RESPOND
AS APPROPRIATE

IF YOU HAVE NO OTHER OPTION THAN TO FIGHT,


you must be prepared to do so. This could involve
defensive tools, the use of an improvised tool or
simply fighting with your natural tools (elbows,
knees, teeth, hands, strength, etc.).

PRINCIPLE: ADDITIONAL DEFENSE


IN THE HOME TACTICS: ARM AND
COMMUNICATE

IF APPROPRIATE, WHILE EXECUTING THE THREE


fundamental defensive tactics, you should arm
yourself with an appropriate defensive tool. An
appropriate tool is one that is designed to stop an
attacker (like a firearm, Taser or knife) and that
you have trained with.
Communication should also be undertaken as
soon as possible, primarily with the police. If you
are ready to defend yourself inside your home,
there is no question that you should contact the authorities in the hope that they can deal with the situation first or at least be there to deal with the
aftermath.

PRINCIPLE: THERE IS A DIFFERENCE


BETWEEN STORING A FIREARM AND
STAGING IT FOR DEFENSIVE USE

IF ANY OF YOUR DEFENSIVE TOOLS ARE NOT


accessible when you need them, they are useless.
When it comes to defensive firearms, you have to
balance your responsibility to secure the gun
from unauthorized access (sometimes as required
by local laws) with being able to get it into your
hands efficiently during an emergency. I suggest
quick access safes to my students and use them
myself for staging defensive guns.

TOO MANY PEOPLE TREAT THE GUN LIKE A MAGIC TALISMAN


THAT WILL WARD OFF EVIL OR INSTANTLY ERADICATE IT WHEN
IT SHOWS UP IN YOUR HOME. ROB PINCUS
n Rob Pincus is the author of a book on home defense. The photo is for
illustrative purposes.

WORLD OF FIREPOWER 61

62 WORLD OF FIREPOWER

PRINCIPLE: CLEARING YOUR


HOUSE ISNT A THING YOU DO

MANY PEOPLE HAVE HEARD THE TERM


clearing in reference to moving through your
home to make sure that there are no threats and
that it is clear. This is something that teams of armed
professionals do to secure areas or to find threats.
Not only are neither one of those things something
you should plan on doing during an incident inside
your home, it is also something that is impossible to
do by yourself. The most trained teams in the world
often miss things when clearing, and they expose
themselves to great danger while they are doing it.
You should evade, barricading and only engaging a
threat directly when they find you.

10

PRINCIPLE: ELECTRONIC ALARM


SYSTEMS CAN PLAY A COUPLE OF
ROLES IN YOUR DEFENSIVE PLAN

HAVING AN ELECTRONIC SECURITY ALARM CAN


dissuade a potential threat, cause an intruder to
change his mind when it is triggered and summon
the police automatically when someone does break
into your home. All three of these things are incredibly valuable. Most contemporary alarms can also be
equipped with a panic button feature that allows
someone to trigger the alarm when someone they
have chosen to let into the home becomes a threat
(worker, visitor, abusive family member, etc.).

11

PRINCIPLE: INVOLVE THE


WHOLE FAMILY IN THE
HOME DEFENSE PLAN

INVOLVING EVERYONE IN YOUR HOME IN THE


plan is a must. Just as you would explain and practice a fire drill with the entire family, you should discuss and practice your home defense plan. As
appropriate, given the age of your children and
physical capabilities of everyone involved, there can
be more than just a passive involvement. Passive involvement in the plan is to simply tell people to use
the alarms and locks appropriately and where to go
(or how long to stay somewhere) when an incident
occurs. Active participation in the plan could involve
communicating with the police, arming themselves
and even training to respond themselves to a threat
if necessary.

WORLD OF FIREPOWER 63

12

14

PRINCIPLE: BE READY TO
DEAL WITH THE POLICE
SHOWING UP TO YOUR
HOUSE AFTER ANY EVENT

PRINCIPLE: BE READY TO
DEAL WITH THE POLICE
SHOWING UP TO YOUR
HOUSE AFTER ANY EVENT

THE MOST IMPORTANT THING HERE IS TO


make sure that you dont get mistaken for a
threat and get shot by responding police officers. If you communicate and behave appropriately, this should be incredibly unlikely
to happen. It is important that you let the
911 operator know your description and that
you are armed (assuming you are). It is also
vital to ensure that you cooperate with all of
the instructions from the officers when they
arrive at your home. After you have established yourself as a non-threat and any actual threat has been dealt with, it is
important that you have a plan for communicating with law enforcement so that you
can avoid being arrested and/or minimize
the likelihood of you being convicted for any
wrongdoing.

WHILE MANY PEOPLE EXTOL THE POWER AND


capacity advantages of a rifle for home defense,
the fact is that increased deviation control is the
biggest advantage any long gun gives. With four
points of contact instead of one, the rifle (or
shotgun) is much more easily aligned on a
threat. It is also important to note that long
guns are best employed for home defense from
a static position, behind a barricade, which
makes it much less likely that any threat could
get their hands on the gun.

13

THE BEST DEFENSIVE HANDGUN INSIDE THE


home is going to be one that is reliable, that fits
you and that you can access quickly. Outside of
the home, access quickly is a factor of carryability. Inside the home, if you are not carrying
the gun, then you dont have to worry as much
about weight or size, so long as you can hold
and shoot the gun well. If you do carry a gun
outside of the home, it also makes sense for you
to use the same gun (or the same type) for defense inside the home for consistency. FP

PRINCIPLE: BE READY TO
DEAL WITH THE POLICE
SHOWING UP TO YOUR
HOUSE AFTER ANY EVENT

SHOTGUNS HAVE LONG BEEN A STANDARD


home defense firearm for many people. I
suggest you seriously consider the 20-gauge
option. A 20-gauge shotgun offers much
more power against the threat than any of
the handguns that people typically rely on
for personal defense in a variety of situations, and it is much easier to control. Generally, 20-gauge shotguns are also lighter and
much easier to train with.

A 20-GAUGE SHOTGUN
OFFERS MUCH MORE
POWER AGAINST THE
THREAT THAN ANY OF THE
HANDGUNS THAT PEOPLE
TYPICALLY RELY ON FOR
PERSONAL DEFENSE
64 WORLD OF FIREPOWER

15

PRINCIPLE: BE READY TO
DEAL WITH THE POLICE
SHOWING UP TO YOUR
HOUSE AFTER ANY EVENT

THE SOURCE
These tips were drawn
from Rob Pincus Defend
Yourself: A Comprehensive Security Plan for the
Armed Homeowner.
It is available at
IceStore.us, Amazon and
retailers nationwide.
For more information,
please visit IceTraining.us.

n When confronting a
potential threat in a
two-handed ready position (1), be prepared
to take the weak
hand off the gun (2)
to gesture, push
someone out of the
way or keep the
threat from
etting a hand on your
gun. If you need to
shoot at a threat at
extension, you can regain your two-handed
grip as the gun
moves toward the
shooting position (3).
These shots, including
(4) are for illustrative
purposes.

n In his book,
"Defend Yourself,"
Pincus discusses
smart weapon
choices and how
best to stage them
when you need
them. The photos
here are for
illustrative
purposes.

WORLD OF FIREPOWER 65

the

SOUND of
FREEDOM

JETS, SUPER STALLIONS AND MORE PUT ON A

PHOTOS BY GUS ALONZO

n The F-35B is the


next generation
fighter.
n Another flawless
performance by the
Blue Angels. Their
streak continues.

66 WORLD OF FIREPOWER

n A trio of
CH-53E Super
Stallions

HE THEME FOR THE MIRAMAR AIR SHOW


WAS CELEBRATING THE MARINE AIR
GROUND TASK FORCE (MAGTF).
The Task Force is the organization of U.S.
Marine Corps forces deployed around the
world, and it provides a rapidly deployable, lethal
and credible response to a number of crises, including
forcible entry from the sea to disaster response to humanitarian assistance. With it, the USMC commander
has an arsenal of arms, ranging from artillery, naval
gunfire, fixed wing and rotary wing attack aircraft. It is
a formidable fighting force.
While reading, pause for a moment and were sure
youll hear the sound of freedom.

DAZZLING PERFORMANCE AT THE MIRAMAR AIR SHOW


n It used to be Don The Snake Prudhomme and Tom The Mongoose
McEwen who put on the most exciting races. Now its the Marines.

WORLD OF FIREPOWER 67

n The author found


that using the index
finger of his strong
hand worked best for
quick mag changes,
but it did take some
getting used to.

One Bad VP
ALAS, A FULL-FEATURED CONCEALABLE CARRY
WITH DUTY FEATURES AND LOTS OF ACCURACY
WORDS AND PHOTOS BY CLINT WALKER

FEW MONTHS BACK I WAS ON


THE RANGE WITH SOME INDUSTRY FRIENDS TESTING RIFLES
WHEN WE DECIDED TO TAKE A

BREAK FROM THE LONG RANGE TO SHOOT A


PAIR OF CUSTOM 9MM AND .40-CAL PISTOLS.

68 WORLD OF FIREPOWER

RIGHT OUT OF THE BOX THE


MOST STRIKING ASPECT OF
THE HK VP9 IS ITS COMFORT
IN THE HAND.

n The VP9 breaks


down easily for
cleaning via the takedown lever.

THE COMBINATION OF COMFORT AND LIGHT RECOIL


PULSE MAKE THE VP9 A PLEASURE TO SHOOT.
I soon realized that my short game was not
nearly as proficient as my long game and subse-

HK VP9, I decided to check it out and was anxious

on the trigger housing. This takes some getting

to get one in my hands by the time it arrived.

used to, and I will have more on that later.

FIRST IMPRESSIONS

not compare it to the Walther PPQ. If you are fa-

quently Ive been on a mission to improve my pistol shooting skillset. I spent a weekend in a
Combat Pistol class taught by recently retired

Lastly, its difficult not to look at the VP9 and

Right out of the box the most striking aspect of

Sgt. Major Jack Nevils of R4 Evolution. Jack

the HK VP9 is its comfort in the hand. This is criti-

headed up the Counter Terrorist Training Center

cal when choosing any pistol, be it concealed

at Ft. Bragg and has a rather simple philosophy

carry or recreational shooting, as I have found it

when it comes to combat pistol training: neutral-

difficult to be accurate with some of the feature-

ize the threat with speed and violence and make

less concealed carry pistols.

sure its no longer a threat.


I only preface this recent training as it is meant

While being comfortable out of the box, the


VP9 also ships with three additional sets of inter-

miliar with this popular pistol, then you are familiar with the VP9.

DETAILED OVERVIEW
Aesthetically, the HK VP9 is sleek, with no controls to get hung up when carrying concealed,
and yet it still offers some design cues that lends it
well to combat shooting.

to clarify how I look at all pistols anymore: Sure

changeable grip panels, resulting in a customiz-

it looks pretty, but can I fight with it?

able combination for virtually any hand. The total

nous paint with Tritium sights available as a fac-

ends up being 27 different configurations.

tory upgrade. I noticed the rear sight is a

Since that course I have invested heavily in

I do like the stock sights. They feature a lumi-

range time, running a wide selection of pistols

Second, the ergonomics of the VP9 are superb

contoured design that sweeps back. Personally, I

with my go-to pistol being a ZEV Custom 9mm

with both ambidextrous slide release and maga-

prefer a much more abrupt edge that can be use

(Glock). Having heard the buzz surrounding the

zine release. The magazine release is paddle-style

to cock the pistol against clothing or other sur-

WORLD OF FIREPOWER 69

n The low recoil


pulse of the VP9
enables close
followup shots.

n The VP9 features an ambi-mag release in a paddle-style


lever on the trigger guard.

faces for one-handed operation. That said, the designers at HK did included charging supports on
the rear of the frame sides.
The hammer-forged barrel and polygonal rifling may seem replicative of Glock, but H&K did
it first back when they introduced the P7.

ON THE RANGE
I brought some friends with me to the range review, including a retired Navy SEAL. We ran roughly

our accuracy testing:


1) The VP9 is very accurate and 2) The VP9 favors
a lighter grain round.

300 rounds through the pistol in total, and we all


played with the mag-release.
Here again, on the range the mag release took

LOTS OF CHATTER
Theres a lot of talk in the community about the

The pistol takedown is very simple, using a

some getting used to. After about 40 to 50 repeti-

HK VP9 as the pistol that has Glock in its sights

takedown lever and allowing for the removal of

tions, I found that using my strong-hand index fin-

and for good reason, as the HK VP9 is a feature-

the top slide. The most noteworthy feature inter-

ger worked best for me. However, one could use his

rich, comfortable, very accurate pistol.

nally is the robust slide lugs and the extractor. HK

thumb or off-hand just as well I suppose.

took no shortcuts here; the VP9, like everything

The combination of comfort and light recoil

The design team at H&K has obviously been


thoughtful in their efforts as has the marketing

pulse make the VP9 a pleasure to shoot. We loaded

team in deliberately executing their first budget

a combination of rounds for the review; however,

minded pistol. The VP9 is large enough to accom-

steel and feature a smooth and durable finish, de-

the bulk of what was used was 115-grain ball

modate 15 rounds of 9mm and yet streamlined and

scribed by HK as a corrosion resistant, nitro-carbur-

ammo loaded into the pair of 15-round mags the

ergonomic enough to allow for the ultimate con-

ized finish. Whatever the marketing buzzwords,

pistol ships with. (Of course, 10-round mags are

cealed carry pistol that one could fight with.

the bottom line is its durable. I dropped the pistol

available.)

they do, is built to be used hard.


The slide and barrel are milled from high-carbon

onto rocks during testing, and it didnt leave a

When shooting in rapid-fire succession, I did find

I simply cannot imagine anyone comparing stock


H&K VP9 and Glock 19 pistols side-by-side and not

scratch. (On that note, the internal disconnect pro-

the long reset a bit prohibitive to get a good shot

favoring the HK. Yeah, I said it. And, of course, the

hibits the pistol from firing unless the trigger is

group in a 3+ round shot string. The 5.5-pound trig-

argument will then shift to reliability and for that

depressed.)

ger pull was acceptable but may account for some

I can only say that we simply didnt have enough

spacing between double taps or multi-shot strings.

time or ammo to gauge that so well leave that

As another safety feature, the VP9 features a


visual indicator on the back of the slide that is

After getting comfortable with the pistol using

open for time to tell. FP

only visible red when a round is loaded in the

ball ammo, we ran a series of controlled shot

chamber.

groups using premium hollow-point defense

About the author: Clint Walker is the consulting ed-

rounds. Two things were immediately evident from

itor of Firepower.

Overall, the VP9 is easy to takedown and service.

70 WORLD OF FIREPOWER

SPECS
Heckler & Koch

Performance
LOAD

MODEL: VP9
CALIBER: 9mm
OVERALL LENGTH: 7.34 inches
WEIGHT: 25.56 ounces (empty)
ACTION: Striker fired semi-auto
CAPACITY: 15+1
SLIDE: Carbon steel
FRAME: Polymer/interchangeable grip
BARREL: 4.09 inches hammer forged / polygonal rifling
MSRP: $719

Hornaday 115-gr FTX JHP


Federal 124-gr HST JHP
Federal 147-gr VTX
Winchester 115-gr

Avg Muzzle
Velocity (FPS)
1125
1120
1115
1100

Avg Group
15 yd
1.0
1.5
2.1
2.5

Best Group
15 yd
.75
1.25
1.8
2.2

Find Them Here

COMPANY: HECKLER & KOCH


PHONE: (703) 450-1900
WEB: HK-USA.COM

WORLD OF FIREPOWER 71

Legendary
Performers

SPRINGFIELD ARMORYS 9MM RANGE OFFICER IS


EXCEPTIONALLY ACCURATE AND EXTREMELY RELIABLE
BY CHUCK TAYLOR

HERE IS NO QUESTION THAT

reliability, user friendliness and stopping

the M1911 is affectionately known. The M1911

THE M1911 PISTOL IS THE MOST

power have saved thousands of lives, making it

is the fighting handgun against which all other

FAMOUS FIGHTING HANDGUN

the preferred weapon of most who are serious

handguns are measured and more often

IN HISTORY. IN CONTINUOUS

about self-defense.

than not, found wanting.

PRODUCTION SINCE 1912, IT CONTINUES TO

From Chateau Thierry to the Somme to Bel-

RIDE AN UNINTERRUPTED WAVE OF POPULAR-

leau Wood, from Guadalcanal to Tarawa to

ITY THAT SPANS MORE THAN A CENTURY.

Iwo Jima, from Kasserine Pass to Anzio to the

Competition shooters of all disciplines also

beaches of Normandy, from the Chosin Reser-

And then there is the 9mm Parabellum


cartridge.

9 HISTORY

adore it, rightly believing it to be the most ac-

voir to Pusan and from Khe Sanh to Quang Tri,

curate pistol available for their needs.

the deadly voice of the M1911 has been the

Luger pistol and subsequently spreading in

last sound heard by its enemies.

popularity throughout the world, The Nine

Its legend also spans multiple continents


and is prized by those who have used it in battle, whether the conflict was large or small. Its

72 WORLD OF FIREPOWER

Indeed, few handguns in history have even


approached, much less equaled, Old Ugly, as

First appearing in 1902 and then used in the

has also seen much action. Succeeding the unsuccessful 7.65mm Parabellum from which it

ITS WELL-CONCEIVED AND WELL EXECUTED, MAKING IT


AN ESPECIALLY GOOD DEAL FOR ITS PRICE.

n A solid stainless
steel bushing and
barrel enhance the
weapons aesthetic
appeal and make it
easier to maintain.

came, it represents the high point of European


handgun cartridge evolution and has since become
the worlds most prolific pistol cartridge.
Thus, it seems strange to me that until now,
only few attempts to mate up the M1911 with the
9mm cartridge have been made. After all, the attraction would seem obvious. Still, until Springfield
Armory did so, scant little attention was paid to
the possibilities such a union might produce.
Perhaps it was because for decades, the 9mm
just wasnt that popular in the U.S. The .45 ACP
was the militarys pistol cartridge of choice, not the
9mm Parabellum. As well, police officers carried
.38 Special and sometimes .357 magnum revolvers,
not self-loading pistols, so one could legitimately
claim that conditions favorable to the 9mm Parabellum becoming popular on this side of the Atlantic just didnt exist.
But that all changed in the mid-1980s when the

n Taylors particular Range Officers model is exceptionally accurate,


with 1-inch, 25-meter 3-shot Ransom Rest groups being typical.

WORLD OF FIREPOWER 73

n Legendary M1911 .45 ACP is the basis for


SAs new 9mm Range Officers Model and
why not? Both gun and cartridge are immensely popular and are thus a good combination.

n Because of its inherent features, the 9mm Range Officers


model is a winner for competition, hunting or self-defense.

n Beveled magazine
well allows fast magazine insertion without
being ostentatious or
negatively affecting the
guns concealability.

n The ejection port is lowered and relieved to prevent spent


cases from denting during the ejection cycle. This both enhances functional reliability and is a boon to reloaders.

U.S. Army adopted the Beretta M92F 9mm as the


M9. Then the floodgates opened and myriad

HOW SHE LOOKS


Like its .45 ACP parent, the 9mm Range Officer

9mm pistols suddenly began to appear. The po-

is nicely finished, relatively edge-free, well bal-

lice, suddenly realizing that they faced new crimi-

anced and, if my example is representative, excep-

nal threats that made their primary

tionally accurate. In fact, mine is so accurate that

weapon-system obsolete, enthusiastically climbed

it rivals a custom-prepared National Match

aboard the bandwagon for the 9mm pistol.

M1911.

And the rest is history.


Today, the 9mm has supplanted both the .45

In testing it with a variety of factory ammunition


and custom-loads, I found that at best, it shot into a

ACP and .38 Special as the most popular cartridge

mere inch at 25 meters, while at worst, it printed

in the U.S., with literally dozens of handguns

groups of under two inches. This is far

chambered for it and no end in sight. Yes, after a

superior to the vast majority of 9mm pistols on the

century of being a European cartridge, the

market today and represents a significant accom-

9mm has finally reached its zenith.

plishment, more significant than most shooters re-

So what about the Springfield Armory 9mm

alize. Because the 9mm Parabellum cartridge is

Range Officer M1911? Is it as good a gun as its

anything but universal in its specifications, it has a

parent in .45 ACP? Is it as well balanced, user-

reputation for mediocrity as far as accuracy is con-

friendly and accurate? Is it as easy to handle

cerned. Nonetheless, in my RO M1911, every 9mm

under stress? On all counts, the answer is a

factory and custom-load shot superbly.

resounding yes.

74 WORLD OF FIREPOWER

Aesthetically, the 9mm RO is quite pleasing,

n Located in the mainspring housing, an integral lock is


also provided for security when the weapon is stored.

SPECS
SPRINGFIELD ARMORY 9MM
RANGE OFFICER M1911
CALIBER: 9mm Parabellum (AKA 9x19, 9mm Luger)
OPERATIONAL DESIGN: Tilt-lock, Browning Design
OVERALL LENGTH: 8.6 inches
BARREL LENGTH: 5.0 inches
WEIGHT, UNLOADED: 42 ounces
HEIGHT: 5.50 inches
SLIDE THICKNESS: .954 inches
THICKNESS, WIDEST POINT: 1.324 inches
MAGAZINE CAPACITY: 9 rounds.
FRONT: Blade, .115 inches wide
REAR: Adjustable Target Type, Rear Notch .140 inches wide
FINISH: Gray Parkerized
STOCKS: Checkered Cocobolo, w/Springfield Armory Logo
MSR: $977

1911 In Competition
The 1911 holds all the accuracy records at Camp Perry and is
the darling of the IPSC/USPSA and IDPA action shooting.

Find Them Here

COMPANY: SPRINGFIELD-ARMORY.COM
PHONE: (800) 680-6866

I, however, have a small palm and short fingers,

and Remington 115-grain JHPs all printed 3-shot,

and at all times carry my pistols concealed. Thus, I

25-meter groups in the 1-1 range. Moreover,

prefer a short trigger with arched mainspring

they all functioned flawlessly from both of the 9-

housing (standard M1911A1 modifications from

shot Metalform stainless magazines that came

the original configuration) and a flatter, yet still

with the gun.

quickly accessible Government Model type thumb


safety. And, to complete the package, I also had
its trigger pull lightened a bit and added a set of
Scorpion stocks from Rio Grande Custom Grips.
The result is a M1911 that in all respects satis-

QUALITY AT A BARGAIN
Conclusion?
Its obvious. The 9mm version of Springfield Armorys Range Officer M1911 is a winner. Its sharp

fies my needs. I can carry it for self-defense if I

looking without being ostentatious, exceptionally

wish or, because of its exceptional accuracy, use it

accurate, mechanically reliable, well-balanced and

for hunting. Because of the ROs 5-inch barrel, my

in all respects user-friendly.

preferred custom-load of the Hornady 90-grain

In short, its well-conceived and well executed,

XTP JHP bullet and 6.0-grains of Alliant Unique

making it an especially good deal for its price. If

produces a sizzling 1370 fps, virtually guarantee-

youre interested in having a 9mm on a nice

ing reliable bullet expansion and light recoil,

M1911 platform, this is the gun for you. FP

n All Range Officers come with a factory-provided hard


case, holster and spare magazine carrier.

which makes fast shooting sequences a breeze.


And, as an added bonus, this particular load also

About the author: Chuck Taylor has received

with its soft matte Parkerized finish, stainless steel

happens to be the most accurate, shooting into

multiple commendations from various organiza-

barrel and bushing and special Springfield Armory

less than an inch at 25 meters.

tions, including the U.S. Department of Justice,

logo stocks. From the folks at SA, it comes with

Such outstanding accuracy wasnt limited to

Drug Enforcement Administration, Federal Bu-

features that are currently popular with the ma-

my custom-load, either; other loads also shot

reau of Investigation, the U.S. Army Special

jority of shootersa long trigger, flat mainspring

well. For example, standard factory Federal Gold

Forces, U.S. Navy Special Warfare and dozens of

housing, speed safety, beavertail grip safety and

Medal 115-grain FMJs, Federal Hydra-Shock 124-

SWAT units and law-enforcement agencies

lightly beveled magazine well.

grain JHPs, Winchester 115-grain Silver Tip JHPs

worldwide.

76 WORLD OF FIREPOWER

78 WORLD OF FIREPOWER

n The V5 is a great, lightweight, carbine-length duty rifle.

DREAM
RIFLE
WORLD OF FIREPOWER 79

SPECS
Under the Hood
MANUFACTURER AND MODEL: War Sport LVOA
CALIBER: 5.56 NATO / .223 Rem, Wylde Chamber
MAG CAPACITY: Standard 30-round (variable)
BARREL: 14.5-inch, 1/8 twist Match Grade Melonite
GAS: Direct Impingement, Mid-Gas
UPPER: 7075-T6 Forged
LOWER: 7075-T6 Forged
OVERALL LENGTH: 34.75-inches collapsed stock
WEIGHT: 8.4-pounds (empty)
SIGHTS: MagPul MBUS Pro
FURNITURE: B5 Systems and MagPul
TRIGGER: CMC 3.5-pound Flat
PRICE: $3,050

N THE HEELS OF A FIREARM CATE-

Performance Results
LOAD

Avg Muzzle
Velocity (FPS)

Avg Group
100 yd

PMC 62-gr

2,680

1.8

1.5

Green Tip
PMC 55-gr
FMJ-BT

2,880

1.5

1.25

Hornaday 53-gr
Super Performance
V-MAX

3,100

.78

.75

American Eagle 50-gr

2,890

.51

.50

Gunsmith Alexander Kennedy, who manufac-

Best Group
100 yd

After successfully completing those contracts,

GORY THAT HAS TRIPLED IN SIZE

tured long rifles for American soldiers, founded

War Sport Industries was asked to research and

OVER THE PAST THREE YEARS,

Robbins, North Carolina in 1795. Some 200 years

apply low signature reduction to small arms; this

THERE ARE BUT A FEW THAT ARE

later, in 2007, Joey and Martha Boswell contin-

is where the War Sport LVOA rifle was born and

TRUE STANDOUT COMPANIES. WAR SPORT

ued with the legacy when they founded War

developed. Some of the research included

WHICH HAS QUIETLY GROWN A BRAND

Sport in North Carolina.

weapon IR reduction, distortion and confined

BASED ON A REPUTATION FOR QUALITY, AC-

Initially, the company focused on manufacturing

CURACY AND A FEW KEY DESIGN INNOVA-

and material science R&D, providing signature re-

TIONSIS ONE OF THEM.

duction textiles for the U.S. military. This included

And they have a rich firearms connection in


their home state of North Carolina.

80 WORLD OF FIREPOWER

heat signature reduction for combat small arms.


Hence, LVOA (low visibility operation/applications).

space attributes.
Following is our research.

FIREST IMPRESSIONS
Out of the box, the War Sport LVOA is hand-

n Above, the most distinctive feature of the LVOA is the muzzle of the rifle that features a notched handguard specifically designed to optimize the "Top Hat" brake/comp.
Below, a top view.

foundation upon which the rifle is built. The


unique handguard designed by War Sport measures 16.25 inches with a (c-notch/fish mouth) at
the muzzle end. In the addition to the notch, 3.5
inches of the lower section of the handguard at
the muzzle are left solid whilst the top remains
ventilated, as does the rest of the rail. I believe
this design was employed to maximize the effectiveness of the War Sport Top Hat muzzle

some and heavy, tipping the scale at roughly 8.5

trigger that includes an set of anti-rotation pins.

nature beneath the muzzle.

pounds sans magazine and optic.


Looking the LVOA over, its clear that the
focus of the rifle was designed for functionality

brake/compensator whilst minimizing a dust sig-

THE DETAILS
Beyond the positive first impression, disassem-

The rail itself is quite robust with a 5/16-wall


thickness and solid neck that cinches down with

and accuracy with premium furniture and con-

bly of the War Sport LVOA further revealed the

three machine screws around the barrel nut.

trols, including B5 Enhanced SOPMOD collapsible

pursuits of the company and designerthe exe-

(The bottom entire bottom rail is nearly -inch

stock, a MIAD pistol grip, MBUS pro flip sights,

cution takes no shortcuts whatsoever and its

thick throughout the entire length of the hand-

Battle Arms Development 50-degree ambi-safety,

clear that whomever conceived the LVOA was

guard.) The rail is prohibited from rotating by

Seekins mag release button and Norgon ambi-

building a dream rifle.

being secured with a small billet biscuit located

mag release. Another huge plus for the first impression was the inclusion of a CMC Triggers flat

The LVOA is built on a forged upper/lower


7075 T6 receiver set, which provides a stout

under the top rail and a single set screw at the


bottom.

WORLD OF FIREPOWER 81

War Sport chose to avoid the KeyMod/M-Mod debate by shipping the rifle with rail sections that attach with machine screws
and are KeyMod compatible. Those with KeyMod accessories
may simply remove the cams and tap the existing screws into the
War Sport rail that offers the same spacing and thread pitch
brilliant really.
Beneath the handguard is another culprit of the 8.5-pound
weigh-in; a large and robust proprietary steel barrel nut and the
14.5-inch mid-profile 1/8-twist match grade barrel that features a
.223 Wylde chamber and mid-length, direct impingement gas system with proprietary gas block with a melonite finish.
The forged upper is fairly standard with exception to the accouterments, including the Rainier Raptor charging handle
branded adorned with the War Sport logo.
Lastly, the Mil Spec Bolt Carrier Group is machined from C158
steel and finished in black nitride.
The forged lower is feature rich.
In addition to the aforementioned
accessories, the lower also features
a set of custom front and rear enhanced takedown pin set made by
Battle Arms Development, as well
as a back-plate with a QD mount.
The entire rifle is finished off in an
FOL low-vis green moly-resin that is
flat and very durable.

ON THE RANGE

ITS CLEAR
THAT THE FOCUS
OF THE RIFLE WAS
DESIGNED FOR
FUNCTIONALITY
AND ACCURACY
WITH PREMIUM
FURNITURE AND
CONTROLS

I was anxious to get the rifle on


the range as the hype had been built in the social media sphere
to a point of near hypoxia. I mounted up an AimPoint CompM4s
optic with no magnification and ran the rifle first using standard
Federal .223 55-gr FMJ ammo through three different magazines,
including the 30-round HexMag, MagPul and a 20-round Lancer.
The first 200 rounds with the LVOA were spent getting a feel
for the recoil energy and controls. Having shot more than 10,000
rounds through standard non-ambi AR-15 rifles, I must say its difficult for me to get excited about the ambi mag-release and
safety without more extensive use or perhaps simulating shooting
while critically injured. Thats not to say ambi controls dont serve
a purposethey certainly dowhen youre left-handed or when
conditions arent optimal. That said, I am very impressed with the
quality of the various aftermarket controls included on the LVOA.
The War Sport LVOA is very well balanced and flat shooting.
The combination of weight, barrel stiffness and the Top Hat
brake/comp really work well together. The LVOA shipped to me

82 WORLD OF FIREPOWER

n The LVOA's added heft makes for a well-balanced rifle even with the addition of
accessories such as weapon lights.

INTRODUCING THE

LAR-.458 BEAST
With its massive .458 round and custom muzzle brake
to help reduce recoil, the Beast delivers the stopping
power needed to take down the most menacing game.

LAR-.458 BEAST SOC1820X


WITH RRA DELTA CAR STOCK

MSRP: $1500*

RRA BEAST
MUZZLE BRAKE

* Prices are subject to change. Optics and scope mount not included.

ROCKRIVERARMS.COM

featured a MagPul XTM Hand Stop. Overall, the

n The War Sport, in all its


glory, breaks down easily.

rail is incredibly comfortable in the hand and the


rail bungee offered a little more grip.
During my rapid-fire sessions, I noted two failures to feed while running a standard MagPul
mag. That being said, the issue may have been in
the magazine, as I did not experience any failures to feed with either the HexMag or the
Lancer. I did, however, note that the bolt failed
to lock back on the bolt catch and instead locked
back on the magazine; this was consistent with

THE WAR SPORT LVOA IS VERY WELL


BALANCED AND FLAT SHOOTING.

all of the magazines. The result? When the


empty mag was dumped, the BCG released. After
speaking with War Sport about this, I understand

market, and its quite effective. Likewise, the

been road hard and put away hot. I was told

they have made a revision to the design to pre-

perforated design seems to work well in diffus-

that the round count in the review sample ex-

vent the occurrence.

ing the gases without being as loud as many

ceeded 7,000 rounds.

The bolt release on the LVOA is another War

brakes in the market.

Sport design. It is made from 17-4 SS and melonite

Two things stood out above all in the first 200

coated. Like the rest of the rifle, it is robust and ac-

roundsthe accuracy of the rifle and the trigger.

temps hung in the low 40s, so I was wearing Brothers & Arms/Mechanix gloves much of the time.
The War Sport Top Hat brake/comp has in-

ABOUT THE TRIGGER


One cannot get excited about the LVOA without being excited about the CMC trigger. This

strong in the past few years, and its clear that

beforehand was that it seemed a bit gimmicky.

their ambitions and pursuit of excellence in

However, I was impressed with this little comp.

aligned with War Sport.

84 WORLD OF FIREPOWER

reset. It still measured 3.5-pound pull, and the

shots and accuracy. Ultimately, that aided in


some very impressive shot groups once we put it
on the bench.

relatively small company has really come on

trigued me prior to the review. My perception

Its smaller and lighter than many others in the

(not everything is bigger in Texas) and a fast

break was crisp. This allowed for rapid follow-up

centuated to allow for ease of operation with a


gloved shooter. During our range testing, the

And still the CMC Flat Trigger had zero creep

The review sample I was shipped literally had

ACCURACY EVALUATION
When we looked at the shot groups from the
rapid target transitions (20 to 80 yards), we noticed that many shots found the target either

n Top, the ambi controls on the LVOA are an added plus, including the oversized bolt catch/release,
which are also designed by War Sport. n Below, the LVOA features high-quality after market ambi
controls and a 3.5-pound CMC Trigger.

touching or within a very small area. So I was excited to shoot the LVOA in a supported position.
Keeping with the battle rifle theme, I shot the
rifle from a prone position with the rifle resting
on a Mystery Ranch 3-day Assault Pack. I
switched out the AimPoint for a NightForce NSX
1-4 optic with the FC-3G reticle. This reticle is optimized for use with 16-inch barrels and the .223
round.
To be fair to the manufacturer, I ran three
groups of 5-round shot groups with each of the
four different types of ammunition and chose
the best of each group. (Some included a fowling
shot.)
The PMC 5.56 NATO LAP .62-grain (green tip)
rounds resulted in the largest shot group at 100
yards with a spread of 1.5 MOA. I then moved to
the PMC .223 Rem 55-grain FMJ BT round and
noted a nominal improvement with a group of

86 WORLD OF FIREPOWER

1.25 MOA. Next I ran the Hornaday Super Performance .223 53-grain Varmint rounds. This was

EXCELLENCE
As previously stated, the War Sport LVOA re-

the hottest round in the group at 3,100 fps and

sembles a rifle built by a person or company in

produced a .75 MOA group with one shot just

pursuit, not of price point, but rather excellence.

outside the cluster two different times. Other-

One might also make the argument that the pur-

wise we would have run (.5 MOA.)

suit of accuracy comes at the expense of addi-

The most impressive round we ran was somewhat surprisingthe American Eagle 50-grain
HPFMJ by Federal, which shot .50 MOA consecu-

tional weight; however, I see nothing on this rifle


that represents a weak point either.
While some might balk at the asking price,

tively while having the slowest muzzle velocity

they likely would appreciate all of the features. I

measured at 2,890 feet per second.

see a fit in the growing MSR segment for the

One could conclude from the range results

LVOA just as I see a loyal following of shooters

that the LVOA 1/8 twist barrel favors a lighter

who appreciate the companys dedication to

grain bullet. However, its impossible to be defin-

quality. FP

itive without comparing other hollow point


rounds.
In either event, the War Sport LVOA is quite

About the author: Clint Walker is the consulting


editor of Firepower.

literally a sniper rifle dressed as a battle rifle.


This rifle is so accurate in fact that I would gladly
put it up against many of the so-called match
grade varminting rifles in the market.
n The LVOA ships with Magpul MBUS Pro flip
sights and a Rainier Raptor ambi-charging handle.

Find Them Here

COMPANY: WAR SPORT


PHONE: (910) 948-3000
WEB: WARSPORT-US.COM

88 WORLD OF FIREPOWER

HE OPERATIONAL ENVIRONMENT
IS A 360-DEGREE ANIMAL.
This means all directions, including overhead and quite possibly

the terrain below. It is ever-changing.


When given the opportunity to train and operate in such environments, you quickly realize
how unforgiving it is. It is a world of deadly
cross-angles, and your mind processes huge
amounts of data as you traverse through the environment. You are scanning for threats and
identifying locations that may serve as suitable
cover. Sometimes that means you may have to
rapidly get into shooting positions for which you
did not consistently train.

n Danny Pritobr shows the urban prone leftside-rifle position.


WORLD OF FIREPOWER 89

THE DRILLS
DRY DRILL 1
SIRT or Cleared Weapon
This is a continuous drill: Transition smoothly
to each position. Place weapons with safeties on
safe while transitioning.
Four shots from the standing position
Four shots from the squat position
Four shots from the supine position
Four shots from the rollover prone (left side)
Four shots from the rollover prone (right side)
Four shots from the standard prone position
(on your supine)
Four shot from the supine position
Reload from supine, move to a kneeling position, check 6 oclock (rear) and stand while scanning for threats.
*As you drill, work reloads and malfunction
drills into each position.

DRILL 2

n This is the extended ready-rifle position.

Success in the environment requires getting


out of the square range mindset, which is

pen exactly in that order.


We have a saying in our profession: Move-

where you are shooting in one direction (maybe a

ment without observation can equal death. We

fixed position), and weapons are postured for

cannot go running through the environment

safety, not realism.

without determining if we have identified our

Thus, the goal of this piece is twofold.

next piece of hard cover and from where the

One, you will get an understanding of

threats are coming.

weapons postures as they pertain to you and


others.

SIRT or Cleared Weapon


180-Degree Shift Drill
The goal is to keep lower body movement as
minimal as possible. When conducting this drill
from the standing position, the support side leg
will start in the forward position, After the shift,
it becomes the leg positioned in the rear. Adjust
your feet for a proper base as needed.
Four shots from the standing position, scan
and check 6 oclock, shift position 180 degrees
and engage threat with one to four shots.
Practice the same drill from standing to kneeling and kneeling to kneeling positions.
Make checking your 6 oclock position a standard before moving from cover or standing up.
This is to ensure you have full awareness of your
surroundings as you could potentially be moving
across or standing up in someones lane of fire.

When the chaos ensues, you will see most people moving frantically in flight mode. Analyze

One thing I have come to understand through my

those that are not in flight mode and who may

years of experience is that the environment will

drills that train you to fight, reload and clear

be in a scan or fight mode (just as you are). If you

dictate where I place my muzzle. I am not an al-

malfunctions from any position.

understand weapons postures, then you can de-

ways low gun or always high gun type of

termine the trained from the untrained and iden-

teacher. There are times for both, but it should be

tify potential threats.

left up to a properly trained operator to deter-

Two, this will give you a chance to focus on

WHAT TO EXPECT
In the environment, during an active threat sit-

When it comes to weapons postures, many

mine the appropriate response and posture.

uation or contact, the initial objective is to iden-

ranges, both law enforcement and civilian, will

tify where the threat is coming from and seek

not allow for its officers/members to orient muz-

of these postures, think of the muzzle of the

cover from incoming projectiles. It may not hap-

zles to certain positions due to safety protocols.

weapon on an active threat or threat area. You

90 WORLD OF FIREPOWER

I teach four ready postures. When you think

n The owner of Firebase


Combat Studies Group
showcases the high port
rifle position.

GO SIRT,
GO
DRY
TWO WAYS TO TRAIN SAFELY

To do these techniques without getting banned from your local range, a


safe training solution is a SIRT pistol
and SIRT AR bolt. Next Level Training
makes these.
These training tools render the AR completely safe as the bolt carrier group is replaced
with one that emits an eye safe laser. The SIRT
pistol is its own system and cannot be made to
fire live rounds.

Another option is to perform a safety


check of your weapon systems, and
make sure you have no ammunition.
Then run dry drills.
Place a chamber flag in your
weapons. If you break from training, perform
another safety check before resuming the
session. It cannot hurt to get a buddy check.
Practice these techniques in a controlled area.

n Here, the author


shows low ready rifle.

92 WORLD OF FIREPOWER

n The low port-pistol position.

n Here, the author shows the high port pistol.

n The high ready posture

MOVEMENT WITHOUT OBSERVATION CAN EQUAL DEATH.


are ready to engage. You are in fight mode

weapon parallel to the ground. With a handgun,

destroy. As a professional, I have to be aware

and/or scanning for threats.

it is pulled close to body by bending the elbows;

of where my muzzle is at all times. As a defen-

keep it parallel to the ground.

sive-minded citizen responding to a threat, I

1 High Ready
The muzzle is in line with the eyes, and you can
scan an area. On a long gun, the stock is off the
shoulder and tucked under the master side arm.

need to be aware of how I am perceived when I


4 Low Ready

am handling my weapon. If you draw your

The muzzle is oriented at a downward angle; if

weapon and carelessly flag everything in the

you're covering a threat with his/her hands at

environment, you could potentially be identi-

their side, your muzzle would be oriented at their

fied as a threat.

2 Extended Ready

hands and you would be looking over the sights.

The muzzle and sights are on the threat, the

For range purposes, you are covering just below

1 High Port

the base of an IPSC-style target.

The muzzle, whether it is a long gun or hand-

long gun is shouldered and you are ready to engage. With a handgun, your arms will be extended and you are looking through your sights
at the threat.

gun, is straight up and extended past the top of

PORT POSITIONS
Lets now look at port positions.

your head (do not flag yourself; keep the muzzle


high) with the weapon on safe.

These positions are used to carry the weapon


3 Compressed Ready

system in a fashion that will not flag anyone in

The muzzle is on the threat. Retract the

the environment. I tend to use these positions

weapon in toward your body. This would be ideal

when I am moving dynamically from one shoot-

in a close-quarter situation in which weapons re-

ing position to another. One of the four basic

tention could be an issue. On a long gun, the

safety rules we constantly hear is, Do not point

stock is under the master side arm with the

your firearm at anything you are not willing to

Low Port
The muzzle, (LG or HG), is pointed down toward the ground, weapon on safe.

As you move through the environment, these


positions flow based on the stimulus and terrain.

WORLD OF FIREPOWER 93

OBSERVE AND PROCESS


It is important to remember that not everyone
with a weapon can be engaged. Conditioning
yourself otherwise could be detrimental to your
freedom.
Observing and processing information in the environment are the keys to making a good judgment
call when it comes to lethal force. As an example, I
am not a fan of the commonly used range fire command Gun! It tends to build in an automatic
fire response.
Seeing a gun in the environment is not always a
green light to shoot. I remember one specific incident in which I was thankful for good discernment.
My team and I were traveling through a congested
part of Port-au-Prince, Haiti when we were struck by
another vehicle on the driver side. The damage was
enough that it rendered our vehicle temporarily immobile because the front flare was pushed up under
the wheel well. The team quickly got out and
posted security around the vehicle.
As one of the members attempted to do a quick
fix on the damage, a large hostile crowd started to
gather. I had security on the driver side, watching
the 12 oclock position. The sun had just set, it was
getting pretty dark and it was extremely hazy from
the dust. I remember seeing the silhouette of a man
walking along the front of the crowd in our direction. I made out the distinct shape of a medium
length revolver in his right hand. The revolver was
pointed at the ground as he approached. I called
out gun to notify my team of the threat, as I
brought my rifle to extended ready, moved the
selector to fire, aligned my red dot, prepped the
trigger and illuminated the target. One thing was
not right.
I noticed his pants were bloused in military fashion into his boots. This was not common dress for
the locals. He was wearing a T-shirt with no markings; as he came closer, I saw his pants were the
n Starting at the top left and going clockwise, Danny Pritbor demonstrates the 180-degrees shift drill sequence.

local palace guard pants. It turned out he was an


off-duty officer trying to assist us.

IF YOU UNDERSTAND WEAPONS POSTURES, THEN YOU


CAN DETERMINE THE TRAINED FROM THE UNTRAINED
AND IDENTIFY POTENTIAL THREATS.

I am thankful to the many instructors and mentors that pounded me during force-on-force training and stressed being a thinker first. I often
reflect on how different the outcome could have
been. Unwittingly, his weapons posture and the

94 WORLD OF FIREPOWER

OVERVIEW OF
THE TRAINING
Set targets up at 360 degrees and work different positions, including standing, kneeling,
supine and various prone positions. Practice
quickly shifting into positions and engage targets.
Being a great shot is only a fraction of the
battle. You need to be able to observe, orient,
decide and act on a repetitious cycle under extreme physical stress, as well as efficiently move
through the environment, remain calm and
make good decisions.

proximity of the contact bought him and I time.


Had he been waving his revolver around it may
have been a different outcome for both of us. Understanding weapons postures can help you respond with certainty, as well as allow you to
articulate your actions during a debrief.

TRAIN, TRAIN MORE

n The author shows the


supine-rifle position.

Once you have a solid grasp on the weapon


postures, it is time to work on efficient movement
for the 360-degree environment. If you have been
through any sort of basic long gun or handgun
training, then you have an understanding of
shooting positions. Applying them under dynamic
physical stress is another world.

Find us on

We need to practice engaging targets from all


shooting position, from all directions. Shoot one
direction and quickly shift 180 degrees to engage
the opposite direction. Do the same from standing, as you're shifting transition to a knee, and engage 180 degrees. Practice doing this with
minimal lower body movement.
Your feet do not have to be in a picture perfect
shooting position for you to align sights and apply
good trigger control. Practice speed and efficiency
getting into these positions, all while maintaining
solid weapons postures. FP

About the author: Danny Pritbor runs the Firebase


Combat Studies Group in Florida.

Find
Them Here
COMPANY: FIREBASE
COMBAT STUDIES GROUP
PHONE: (434) 218-3473
WEB: FIREBASECSG.COM
EMAIL: INFO@
FIREBASECSG.COM

Provides you with everything


you need to know about the
gun lifestyle.

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Product Guide

NIGHTS

IN ARMOR
FORTIFY YOUR VITAL ORGANS
WITH 5 OF THE FINEST
PLATE CARRIERS
STORY BY GARY JOHN
PHOTOS BY ANDY GIRAUD

ACTICAL PLATE CARRIERS


AND TACTICAL VESTS ARE
AN ABSOLUTE MUST FOR
THOSE OPERATING WHILE
IN HOSTILE TERRITORY. Theyre also
a great addition to the shooting enthusiasts range kit or go bag. Theres a lot
out there and a lot to consider. Following are some of the best options available.

96 WORLD OF FIREPOWER

WORLD OF FIREPOWER 96

BLACKHAWK!

Model: STRIKE Cutaway Plate Carrier Multicam


Website: BlackHawk.com MSRP: $249.99

Specs:
3.2 pounds
Adjustable waist and
shoulder system
Front shoulder panel
features quick-release strap

Description: Available in
numerous colors, the Cutaway Plate Carrier is constructed of Cordura nylon.
Why We Chose This:
Weighing in at only 3.2
pounds, the carrier is the
lightest cutaway available.
It was designed to accommodate Level IIIA, collar,
groin, yoke, side plates
and biceps. Its simplistic
construction allows it to be
reassembled in under a
minute.
To accommodate all operational and training need,
the carrier features external STRIKE webbing to
allow for various holster
and modular attachments,
and it is outstanding.
The waist and shoulder adjustments allow you to
better tailor the overall fit
to your specific torso type.
The non-slip HawkTex material provides secure
weapon retention and the
built-in, reinforced nylon
release tab on the front
shoulder panel is a great
additional feature, which
provides rapid removal.

WORLD OF FIREPOWER 97

BARSKA

Model: Loaded Gear VX-500 Plate Carrier Website: Barska.com MSRP: $ 59.99

Specs:
Weighs 2.5 pounds
20.5 inches long
Adjustable 44- to
57-inch torso

98 WORLD OF FIREPOWER

Description: Available in
black, the VX-500 weighs
in at 2.5 pounds.
Why We Chose This: Its
obvious this was designed
with versatility in mind.
The platform provides a
lot of real estate for attaching an array of accessories for operational
usage, and it is put together well.
The VX-500 features front
and rear sleeves for inserting body armor plates, ensuring that vital areas are
well protected. This vest
includes an internal adjustable cummerbund for
comfort and a reinforced
rescue pull handle.

SHELLBACK TACTICAL/AR500 ARMOR

Model: Shellback Tactical Banshee Rifle Plate Carrier Website: ShellBackTactical.com, AR500Armor.com, MSRP: $199.99

Specs:
Fits over soft body
armor/uniforms
Quick-release buckle
secondary securing
system
Lifetime warranty

Description: The Banshee


Rifle Plate Carrierdesigned for utility, protection and mobilityis
available in numerous colors, including coyote tan,
black, ranger green, multicam, A-TACS, operator
grey and ATACS LE.
Why We Chose This: Designed to exceed the
needs of law enforcement,
military and private military operators, this plate
carrier is ultra lightweight,
it features a low profile
and has great load carrying capacity. Check the
sidebar for the high ratings this got. The shoulders are adjustable and
padded, so they provide
extreme comfort.

WORLD OF FIREPOWER 99

VOODOO TACTICAL

Model: Voodoo Tactical 20-8399 Armor Plate Carrier Vest Website: VoodooTactical.com MSRP: $103.95

Specs:
Padded pouches
Holds plates up to
10 by 13
Velcro fasteners
make insertion
easy

Description: The Armor


Plate Carrier Vestavailable in coyote tan, black
and olive drabfeatures
padded pouches to hold
plates up to 10 by 13
inches. Insertion is easy
with the Velcro fasteners.
Why We Chose This: The
vest stays true to the classic
appeal and need for a
durable and fully functional tactical plate carrier
with the top-notch built-in
Molle and webbing platforms required in the field
by law enforcement and
military professionals.

Rated from 1 to 5, with 5


being the best, we have
put these tactical vests
to the test. Heres where
they stand.
RATING KEY
Weight Where the vests rank in
overall weight minus the armor
Assembly The speed and ease
of reassembly
Molle & Webbing The functionality, placement and amount of
Molle and webbing
Construction The overall construction, quality of materials and
durability factor
Profile & Fit The overall profile,
pattern, feel and fit when wearing
the vests

100 WORLD OF FIREPOWER

BULLETSAFE

Model: Bulletproof Vest from Bullet Safe Website: BulletSafe.com MSRP: $299

Specs:
Can be worn
under a uniform
3A protection
Wrap-around
protection

Description: The BulletSafe


Bulletproof Vest offers
class IIIA protection.
Why We Chose This: The
BulletSafe Bulletproof Vest
comes standard with protection against handgun
rounds up to .44 magnum.
The BulletSafe Vest can be
upgraded with the addition of Bullet Safe Ballistic
Armor plates, which will
provide class IV protection.
The plates are made from
a ceramic alumina and a
high-strength polyethylene. The vest is incredibly
light and form fitting, with
a low profile, which is
great for concealing the
vest itself. The construction of this vest is firstclass. FP

RATING
BLACKHAWK!
Weight

Assembly

Molle/Webbing

Construction

Profile & Fit

BARSKA
Weight

Assembly

Molle/Webbing

Construction

Profile & Fit

AR500 ARMOR
Weight

Assembly

Molle/Webbing

Construction

Profile & Fit

VOODOO TACTICAL
Weight

Assembly

Molle/Webbing

Construction

Profile & Fit

BULLET SAFE
Weight

Assembly

Molle/Webbing

Construction

Profile & Fit

WORLD OF FIREPOWER 101

guns & beauty

The Gun
Century Arms C-39 Sporter

The Model
Anna Marangelli
STYLIST
Teri Reid
HAIR / MAKE-UP
Anna Marangelli
PHOTOGRAPHY
Shannon Fontaine
ShannonFontaine.com

102 WORLD OF FIREPOWER

5
1

104 WORLD OF FIREPOWER

BECAUSE S**T
HAPPENS
THE KEY ITEMS YOU NEED IN YOUR
BUG OUT BAG

TEXT AND PHOTOS BY CLINT WALKER

ECENTLY, I GOT TOGETHER WITH SOME FORMER COWORKERS, AND WE WERE DISCUSSING THOSE THINGS
WED BEEN FORCED TO LEARN IN OUR LIVES THAT HAD
LITTLE OR NO USE TO US IN THE REAL WORLD VERSUS
THE TRAINING WED RECEIVED THAT ACTUALLY BENEFITTED US EVERY DAY IN ONE WAY OR ANOTHER.

1) MysteryRanch.com
2) NRS.com
3) GerberGear.com

10

4) Bedroll
5) Filson.com
6) MountainHouse.com
7) GerberGear.com
8) Paracord
9) Tarp

10) PowerBar.com

21
Must
Have
Items

While Algebra topped the list (for


those not sniper trained) for things
never used, preparedness topped the
list for best life lesson. Later that
night, full of whiskey and nicotine,
we examined the contents of a few
go bags or bug out bags as they are
commonly referred.

FIRST LOOK
The packs ranged in size from a
shoulder-carried Filson briefcase to a
full-frame pack weighing in excess of
60 pounds. Despite the sizes, there
were some common items between
them, including basic first aid, a pistol
with extra rounds, a light source, a
fire starter, a utility knife, paracord, a
tarp, rations and water filtration and
transport.
It occurred to me that each pack is
a reflection of ones geographic area
and physical capability. Using those as
baseline criteria, I thought I would
share the contents of my bug out bag
with you. Keep in mind that in the
wilds of Montana where I call home
food and freshwater are in abundant
supply; other factorsincluding
weather, altitude/terrain and my per-

106 WORLD OF FIREPOWER

sonal physical conditionplay a role


in how much weight I feel comfortable with.
We also have to look at two types
of bags.

FULL OF WHISKEY
AND NICOTINE, WE
EXAMINED THE CONTENTS OF A FEW GO
BAGS OR BUG OUT
BAGS

BUG OUT BAG VS. GO


TO HELL BAG
Think of a go-to-hell bag as a
stripped down version of your bug
out bag. This should generally be
something that is compact and thus
allow one to be much more mobile.
Both your bug out bag and your go
to hell bag should include some form
of currency and tools to increase your
lethality/ability to defend yourself.

BE READY
Bugout bags arent just for end of
days, such as zombie apocalypses.
Bear in mind that one is much more
likely to encounter a natural disaster
than a man-made event. Still, one
should be prepared for anything. FP
About the author: Clint Walker is the
consulting editor of World of Firepower.

n BioLite's Camp Stove: BioLiteStove.com


Windproof Lighter: Brunton.com

1) A rugged pack
2) Folding pocket knife
3) First aid kit
4) Water storage / filtration
5) Lighter / fire starter
6) Suitable clothing to climate
7) Food / rations for 3+ days
8) Tarp & 100 feet of paracord
9) Multi-tool
10) Map
11) Portable charging device / storage
12) Solid shank survival knife
13) Boots with ankle support
14) Pistol / rifle + ammunition
15) Bed roll
16) LED flashlight
17) Additional batteries for
miscellaneous devices

18) Currency
19) Sleeping bag
20) Large steel cup
21) 100-MPH Tape (duct tape)

Now DW\RXUQJHUWLSV

World of Firepower
World of Firepower is now
available on Apple Newsstand,
Google Play and Kindle.

World of Firepower provides the gun enthusiast with everything


about the gun lifestyle, including the latest gear, home defense, trends,
training and the hottest new guns on the market.
Download the FREE APP and get a 1-year subscription (6 issues) for only
$15.99 and save 70% off newsstands!
You can also purchase single issues for only $3.99.

For questions on downloading this app contact 800-764-6278

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Q&A

FREEDOM
FIGHTER
THE EMOTIONS AND CONFLICTS OF A
BRITISH SNIPER: THE INSIDE STORY
BY DOUG JEFFREY / PHOTOS COURTESY OF SKYHORSE PUBLISHING

n Monty B spent 26
years in the military, including 14 as a sniper
instructor.

BREATHED OUT SLOWLY AND DELIBERATELY, BRINGING MY


CROSSHAIRS TO THE CENTER OF
THE CHEST AREA, HELD THAT POINT
OF AIM AND THEN SQUEEZED THE

TRIGGER GENTLY.
There arent many things that can stop a
deadline in its tracks, but a book about
snipers is definitely one, especially with a
powerful quote like that.
I picked the book up, read various passages
and then came to the release from the publicist, which was tucked away in the middle of
the book. On the second page, I saw, To
schedule an interview with the author
and immediately sent an email.
Following is that interview with Monty B, a
brutally honest, straightforward former
British solider who spent 26 years in the military, including 14 as a sniper instructor. His
deployment zones included operational tours
of Northern Ireland, the Balkans, Iraq and
Afghanistan. This is Part I.
In our next issue, youll go inside the riveting pages of A Snipers Conflict: An Elite
Sharpshooters Thrilling Account of Hunting
Insurgents in Afghanistan and Iraq.
Editor

108 WORLD OF FIREPOWER

Hollywoods
Portrayal

Sometimes Hollywood gets it wrong. At the end of


the day, as an instructor, I think that they did not have
the right people advising them.

WORLD OF FIREPOWER 109

Q&A

WHEN ON A MISSION, THERE IS A LOT OF SHIT HAPPENING AROUND ME. REGARDLESS


OF WHAT IS GOING ON, ITS IMPORTANT TO HIT THE TARGET BECAUSE I MAY NOT GET
ANOTHER CHANCE.
FIREPOWER: In the book, you said your family
influenced you to enter the military.

well, as well as all the other requirements.


Maybe it had something to do with this.

MONTY: My father, grandfathers and great


grandfather all served in the British Army. I had a
sense of family loyalty to carry on in some way. I
was also inspired because I used to hear some of

out more, if that makes sense.


There are a lots of books out there and it was
hard to pick the correct title, but the word sniper

FP: Take us through process in which you

draws people in.

selected the book title.


MONTY: The first title was a A Snipers Jour-

FP: Early in the book you said a sniper is a

the stories they talked about. Plus, it was an

ney. However, I did some research and discov-

special type of soldier with special qualities.

opportunity for me to see the world.

ered that an American Vietnam vet had used that

Explain that.

title for his book. So, I changed it to Conflict.


FP: Did you enter with the specific intent to
become a sniper?

I used conflict because I talk about the first-

MONTY: The sniper must be a good communicator, and that includes the understanding of the

hand experiences, or the reality, of the life of a

signals and communications that are used. He

sniper. There are hours of observation, there are

must also be a medic; a navigator who can han-

through training. I quickly found out that it was

decisions as to whether someone poses a threat.

dle any terrain or weather; an expert in small

easy for me to shoot. I seemed to be able to do it

We just thought the word conflict would stand

arms; a man with above average shooting skills

MONTY: Not really. It sort of happened

110 WORLD OF FIREPOWER

n When preparing to engage a target, Monty said there were times he


thought his heart was going to burst through the body armor.

who constantly wants to learn and improve.

to do the same thing to the sniper. That is what

When things go wrong, he must also have the

a sniper is up against. Those are the rules of

will to survive.

engagement.

I dont think one is born with these character-

For observation, its interesting to note that

is normal and what is not normal.

FP: In several passages, you referred to the importance of blocking out the rest of the environ-

istics. In fact, during the selection process and

humans are like animals. They provide tell tale

ment so you could focus on shooting. How do

training, we put candidates through various

signs and have behavior that is like animals,

you do that, and why is it important?

exercises and tests to see if they had these

which means they have set patterns. We can

qualities.

then look for behavior that is suspicious. When

happening around me. Regardless of what is going

we are watching them, there comes a point

on, its important to hit the target because I may

when they may cross that imaginary line. When

not get another chance. If I do miss, that gives him

they do, they go from a non-threat to a threat.

the chance to take another persons life. I really

FP: Previously, you talked about the importance of observation. What are the keys for that?
MONTY: A sniper must have enduring patience

Our skills in observation do improve, and that

MONTY: When on a mission, there is a lot of shit

have to concentrate on what Im doing, and that in-

and a hunters instinct. Were talking about tak-

comes with many hours of watching. Sometimes

cludes things such as position, breathing, wind

ing a mans life, and the insurgent is also trying

its important to read between the lines on what

judgment, sight alignment and trigger control.

WORLD OF FIREPOWER 111

Q&A

n I did what I was taught, and I did it to the best of my ability. I hope there are at least
one or two of my comrades walking around because I did that.

FP: You must exhibit intense focus. Were


there times when that was difficult?
MONTY: Yes. There were times when it was
hard, such as when we had been in the field for
a couple of weeks. In those circumstances, fatigue can set in. It takes a lot more effort to get
in position, to focus on breathing and concentrate when youre tired and aching.

FP: While sighting, you said you often broke


into a cold uncomfortable sweat. Why did that
happen?
MONTY: Adrenaline, fear. To me, it was like I
was going one-on-one with the insurgent. I am
watching this guy do something, and he does
not see me. Maybe he is getting closer to my

112 WORLD OF FIREPOWER

comrades or some vehicles. Rounds are going

MONTY: I do think about it quite a lot, hon-

off all around us, and it is very chaotic. I get

estly. Generally, what brings back the memo-

him in my line of fire, and I think, Do it, do it,

ries is a scent. The breeze may be fresh and in

do it. I have to do that as quickly as I can.

my face, and that may take me back to

There was so much going on around me that I

Afghanistan on a warm summer day. I think

cannot afford to miss. There were times when

about it, but I am glad I am here and not

I thought my heart was going to burst through

there.

my body armor. It was adrenaline and fear.


FP: Are there any regrets?
FP: Did those emotions last your entire
career?

MONTY: To be honest, I did what I was


taught, and I did it to the best of my ability.

MONTY: To be honest? In Iraq, it was sort of

I hope there are at least one or two of my

like the same. Halfway through my Afghan

comrades walking around because I did

tour I was older and more mature. I had been

that.

around a little bit, so I controlled it better.

[the insurgents] are brainwashed or have

help us calm down.

tremendous devotion to a cause because they


are on drugs or whatever. Regardless, at the

sniper now, or is that all a different place and

Monty is retired from the


military and is working on his second and third project, both
of which are books.
He lives in the South of
England with his girlfriend of seven
years.

Next Up
In the next issue, watch for an
excerpt from A Snipers
Conflict.

People do not understand that these people

When things did happen, there were drills to

FP: Do you think about those days as a

Life
Today

end of day, they want to kill or maim you and


I. These people want to kill us. FP

Find Them Here


PUBLISHER: SKYHORSE PUBLISHING
WEB: SKYHORSEPUBLISHING.COM

time?

Now

DW\RXUQJHUWLSV

World of Firepower
World of Firepower is now
available on Apple Newsstand, Google
Play and Kindle.
World of Firepower provides the gun enthusiast with everything
about the gun lifestyle, including the latest gear, home defense,
trends, training and the hottest new guns on the market.
Download the FREE APP and get a 1-year subscription
(6 issues) for only
$15.99 and save 70% off newsstands!
You can also purchase single issues for only $3.99.
For questions on downloading this app, contact 800-764-6278.

SUBSCRIBE ON HTTP://ENGAGEDMEDIAMAGS.COM/EEM-2078 AND GET 1 ISSUE FREE

Roll Camera
THE ATN SHOT TRAK CAMERA CAPTURES YOUR
SHOOTING ACTION IN HIGH DEFINITION
STORY AND PHOTOS BY D.K. PRIDGEN

114 WORLD OF FIREPOWER

Quick Facts

COURTESY OF ATN

PRICE $139
WHICH FIREARM The Shot
Trak HD mounts on any rifle
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PIXELS 1,920 X 1,080
VS. OTHERS The Shot Trak HD
delivers five times the
magnification of a standard
action camera.

WORLD OF FIREPOWER 115

n ATNs Shot Trak takes


up very little acreage,
as can be seen on this
new Daniel Defense
DDM4 v11.

LEFT TO RIGHT: The rocker/toggle switch is simple and easy to use. Move the pointer from the off symbol to the symbol of a camera, a red LED on the pictures left will come on and recording begins. n The two visible screws are removed to allow the rail mount to be located in different positions. n The moveable rail mount is designed to keep the camera mounted correctly,
whether attached to a side or bottom. n Shown here is the mount that attaches to Weaver rails. Removing the screws allows the mount to be moved to either side or the bottom.

OTHINGABSOLUTELY NOTHINGSEEMS TO HAPPEN WITH-

looking at you, kid."


Now, lets look at the ATN Trak HD Camera.

OUT SOMEONE WHIPPING A


SMART PHONE OUT, CRANKING

UP ITS CAMERA AND STARTING TO RECORD.


With this trend, it should come as no sur-

and top (not the bottom) on the camera, keeping


the camera oriented correctly when the Shot Trak
HD is mounted on side or bottom rails. Those of

HERES LOOKING AT YOU


Producing some really interesting electronics,
American Technology Network (ATN) has been

us who find ourselves twisting necks to see misoriented photos, and in great pain watching a misoriented video, are certain to appreciate this.

prise that shooters, competitors and hunters

around for nearly two decades. Todays products

The cameras 5X magnification draws in distant

can also join Steven Spielberg, recording and

are things like night vision, thermal night vision,

targets or game, making them much easier to see

presenting their performances to friends and

thermal security cameras and Smart HD Optics,

on the video. Most cameras lack this ability be-

family. Perfectly punched targets, match stages

which include binoculars, scopes and one of

cause of their low magnification. Even with its

negotiated like Angelina Jolie in Tomb

their newer offeringsthe Shot Trak HD (and

higher magnification, Shot Trak still has a useable

Raider and game dispatched with an incredi-

Shot Trak X HD with IR beam) gun cameraa

field of view on closer targets.

ble, long range one-in-a-million shot are now

compact gun camera that produces video in

ready for the silver screen.

full high definition.

Most of us in the average crowd have few

Designed to bolt to Weaver rails on firearms

With a goodly amount of their other product


destined for the military, ATN is familiar with MilSpec requirements for extremely durable mate-

opportunities to wow our adoring fans, but

(long and short) or bows, the Shot Trak HD brings

rialmaterials they have used for years. From

gun cameras can change that. Not really a re-

a number of nice features to the gun camera

external examination, the Shot Trak unit is built of

cent idea, gun cameras have been in use by TV

genre. It weighs 4.8 ounces, and its height, width

pretty tough polymer.

shows and movies to give viewers a glimpse of

and length are 1.81, 1.3 and 2.6 inches, respec-

what the user saw and what the user looked

tively. It's compact and not too weighty. The

like while performing.

weight should hardly be noticed on long guns but

Sound familiar? Its what todays shooters


want to showat least their view. So, "Here's

116 WORLD OF FIREPOWER

may be felt a little more on handguns.


The mount is built to swap it from side to side

HOW TO OPERATE
Operation of the Shot Trak is simple, which is one
of the selling points the company emphasizes. Insert
a micro SD card, and switch the unit on by moving

the rocker switch from off to on. A red light comes


on, and the camera begins recording. Move the
rocker switch back to off and the red light is extinguished, but the unit is ready for instant activation
when game or a target is ready to engage.
Finally, at the heart of the matterrecording.
Despite knowing about the absence of image stabilization in the recorder, I expected the HD images to be as snappy as a Blu-Ray playing on my
HD TV. Images did not quite make that, displaying
a little graininess when the camera/gun was in
motion. With the rifle steady in a rest the video
cleared somewhat.
After a little retrospection, I realized the problem was in my unreasonable expectations, not the
Shot Traks performance. Considering the absence
of image stabilization, the video is just fine.
Of course, unless were watching a silent movie,
sound is as important as video. Audio from the
Shot Trak was surprisingly good. It will certainly
allow users to give a blow-by-blow description.
And now we come to my one complaint. The Shot
Trak HDs built-in microphone, which ATN describes
as used for narrating your story as it unfolds in
front of your eyes, cannot be turned off. I have a
bad habit of muttering when something goes awry,
sometimes profanely, which Id prefer my popcornmunching family and friends not be burdened by.
(Yes, post-production editing can correct this.)

YOU CANT HANDLE THE TRUTH


I feel the company has succeeded in producing
a compact, true HD camera that is simple, easy
and quick to use. Designing it to allow camera
placement in multiple locations without producing misoriented videos is a glimpse into the effort
that went into the Shot Trak.
I like the ATN Shot Trak and plan on adding it
to my gear for range excursions, just in case I do
something noteworthy.
n Shot Trak is narrower
than even this ultrathin Daniel Defense
SLiM handguard.

Until then, Hasta la vista, baby! FP

About the author: DK Pridgen, a Texas resident, is a


long-time firearms expert and writer.

OPERATION OF THE SHOT TRAK IS SIMPLE, ONE OF


THE SELLING POINTS ATN EMPHASIZES.

Find Them Here


COMPANY: ATN
PHONE: 800-910-2862
WEB: ATNCORP.COM

WORLD OF FIREPOWER 117

ENGINEERED
FOR PRECISION

BORN IN A GARAGE, U.S. OPTICS IS NOW A LEADING SUPPLIER


TO THE MILITARY & LAW ENFORCEMENT
BY LEE WILLIAMS

118 WORLD OF FIREPOWER

PHOTO COURTESY OF Q CONCEPTS

WORLD OF FIREPOWER 119

PHOTOS COURTESY OF U.S. OPTICS

SR-8C1
MSRP $2,495

LR-17
MSRP $2,746

SOUTHLAND
AGENCIES
THAT USE
U.S. OPTICS

IF THEY [THE SCOPES] GET DROPPED OR VIBRATED IN A


CAR FOR YEARS, THEY HOLD THEIR ZERO. THAT LENDS
ITSELF TO MECHANICAL PRECISION AS WELL.
GEORGE SYRENGELAS OF U.S. OPTICS

IKE APPLE, IBM AND SOME REALLY


GREAT BRANDS, U.S. OPTICS WAS
BORN IN A GARAGE.
John Ben Williams, Jr., an accomplished California gunsmith and gun
retailer who had a vision for bigger and greater
things, founded the firm on Jan. 1, 1990.
He saw there was an opening to build truly
customized scopes for military and law enforcement, says George Syrengelas, U.S. Optics director of military and law enforcement sales and
product development.
In his garage in Fullerton, California, Williams
sought to build a scope exactly like his customers
wantedto their precise specificationsrather
than forcing them to buy an off-the-shelf product. He did it smart and consulted with accomplished military and law enforcement shooters.
His firm began growing slowly, eventually becoming big enough for two plants. Williams recruited his son, John Williams III, who worked
with his dad until June of 2004 when tragedy
struck. John Ben Williams was riding his motorcycle to work when he was struck and killed.

120 WORLD OF FIREPOWER

His son continued growing the business as


president and CEO until he opted to retire last
year. Williams remains a shareholder and partner, along with Nick Baroldi and Arnold Vonbargen.
Todays U.S. Optics is better than ever, and
they are meeting the demanding needs of law
enforcement and military snipers, competitive
shooters and hunters. John Ben Williams dream
is not only alive, its flourishing.

COMMITMENT TO EXCELLENCE
The firm employs 27 people, including many
highly skilled craftsmen.
Their most popular scopes are the LR-17 with
an MSRP of $2,746, and the SR-8C1, which retails
for $2,495.
What sets us apart is mechanical durability
and precision, Syrengelas says. We know when
we send scopes out the door, they track. Every
click will move the reticle exactly where it should
be for precise shot placement. We feel we build
the most precise scope out therethats our one
thing.

County Sheriffs
1 Orange
SWAT teams
2 Santa Monica Police
San Diego Sheriffs
3 deputies
4 Vacaville Police

Each scope is hand fitted. The metal is


churned within 20 miles of the plant. All of the
coatings are done locally. Syrengelas says while
the glass and electronics are imported, theyre
purchased from the best possible vendors.
We inspect, assemble and do all the final
steps here. Whether youre buying one of our
custom scopes or an off-the-shelf model, the
process is the same, he says.
The firms custom scope programa one-of-akind in the high-end scope marketallows the
end user to select the type of reticle they prefer,
the exterior color, a choice of red, blue or green
LED illumination, and a chance to mix and max
the control knobs.
Thats what people really appreciatean opportunity to custom-tailor a scope to their liking, Syrengelas says. I believe we are the only
custom scope maker that advertises it.
For that reason and others, business is brisk.

SWAT TO TIER ONE


Production has increased more than 30 percent in the past 18 months, but this hasnt trans-

PHOTO COURTESY OF Q CONCEPTS

PHOTO COURTESY OF Q CONCEPTS

n U.S. Optics officials said mechanical durability and precision are the keys that separate their product from others.

lated into backorders or longer waiting times.


At this point the average wait is around two
weeks, but it could stretch to 16 to 20 (weeks) if
we have to have the reticle custom built, he
says. The reticle is the long-lead item.
The high-end scope market, he admits, is saturated with other makes and models, all competing for the same dollar.
You can buy cheaper or more expensive
scopes, but I really think were the best dollarper-dollar value, he says. I really dont think
theres a better scope out there, if you were to
put them through their paces.
U.S. Optics scopes are flooding the law enforcement market in California. See the sidebar
for the agencies that are using their product.
While U.S. Optics currently has no contracts with
the DoD, they have done business with the U.S.
Marine Corp. The firm took over the Unertl
scope contract for a few years, until a replacement scope contract was let to another vendor.
Military snipers continue to purchase U.S. Optics scopes individually.
Well get customers who have impact cards,
or who buy them with their own personal
money, Syrengelas says. Weve had some high-

122 WORLD OF FIREPOWER

profile customers, like Steve Reichert, Craig


Sawyer and others who are using our optics.
Several Tier One operators have also become
customers.
There are some people who have used our optics at that level, Syrengelas says. These are individual purchases. Theyre not done on a contract.
Thats something wed love to work toward, and
we are working on product development.
The feedback from downrange has been
good, but with some criticism.
Typically, what we get is that our products
are extremely rugged and precise. The negative
is that theyre heavy and a little long, Syrengelas says. When you look at heavy and long,
most of the time when you make is shorter you
end up putting more glass into it, which is the
heaviest component.
The heavier argument we hear it. Were
doing product development for some stuff next
year, because we heard the shorter and lighter.
We know we can do shorter. I dont know about
lighter, he says.

THE EDGE
U.S. Optics knows theyre competing against

scope makers who have can offer the same, or


even better clarity, but theyre not as rugged.
If you take a competitors product and look at
them, some glass does see clearer. It takes a discerning eye to pick it up when theyre next to each
other, he says. A trained eye can see the difference when it comes to clarity. Thats how I look at
the top tier, but mechanical precision does not lie.
Our scopes are more robust than other scopes.
Theyre not temperamental. If they get dropped or
vibrated in a car for years, they hold their zero. That
lends itself to mechanical precision as well. We really make a great product.
And they now make that in the heart of
Southern California. FP
About the author: Lee Williams, who has written
about firearms for years, is an investigative reporter with the Herald Tribune in Florida.

Find Them Here

WEB: USOPTICS.COM
EMAIL: INFO@USOPTICS.COM
PHONE: (714) 582-1959

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PHOTO BY LANCE CPL. STEVEN FOX

n A U.S. Marine Critical


Skills Operator with 1st
Marine Special Operations Battalion, Marine
Corps Forces, Special Operations Command,
guides himself to a dropzone in the Arizona
desert, during a doublebag static line parachutetraining course. The
course was an introduction to the High Altitude,
High Opening insertion
method utilized by Special Operations Forces.

124 WORLD OF FIREPOWER

Flight
Patterns

TRAINING FOR MARSOC MARINES FOCUSES


ON HAHO INSERT CAPABILITY
BY CPL. STEVEN FOX

NE MINUTE, SHOUTED
THE JUMPMASTERHIS
VOICE COMPETING WITH
THE INCESSANT HUM OF
THE AIRCRAFT.

Marine Critical Skills Operators (CSO) with


Bravo Company, 1st Marine Special Operations
Battalion, Marine Corps Forces, Special Operations Command, aboard the plane, held out their
right index fingers, acknowledging the oneminute countdown to their final jump of the
Double-Bag Static Line (DBSL) parachute-training
course.

WORLD OF FIREPOWER 125

n Members of the 2nd Marine Special Operations Battalion


providing over-watch security in Afghanistan. See sidebar.
(USMC)

The light at the ramp shone green and, one-by-

conducted the 11-day point of instruction. The

HAHOS GOAL

one, CSOs leapt from the rear of the aircraft into

course, which took place Aug. 19-29 in rural Ariz.,

the night sky, gliding toward the black Arizona

started with several days of classes, parachute

lish a flight pattern, and the ability to travel to-

desert below. On the ground, 1st MSOB Paraloft

packing, and emergency procedure tutorials and

gether over long distances to an offset location.

parachute riggers scanned the sky with thermal

drills. Before the Marines could execute any

and nightvision goggles, looking for jumpers.

jumps, it was necessary for them to gain a com-

plained, It offers them an opportunity, as theyre

plete conceptual understanding of the way a

in the air, to do long distance navigation. With

chutes, announced the rigger who first spotted

DBSL HAHO jump is conducted and what to do if

HAHO, theyre able to stay consolidated for a

the jumpers.

something went wrong.

longer period of time, which increases their likeli-

I have one-two-three-four-five-six good

Those with nightvision capabilities kept a close,

The intent of this course is to be able to take

HAHO jumps allow a team of jumpers to estab-

The Bravo Companys Executive Officer (XO) ex-

hood of landing together.

attentive eye on the jumpers as they began to ex-

a basic parachutist and give them the information

Halfway through the course, the CSOs con-

ecute the landing of their final and most difficult

needed, and the ability to jump a ram-air canopy

ducted slick jumpswith no combat gearto

jump of the course.

via static line, said the 1st MSOB Paraloft chief.

familiarize themselves with jumping and navigat-

It bridges their capability from the low level

ing to the drop zone.

Along with a mobile training team of Marine


instructors from Marine Corps Base Quantico, Va.,

parachuting they already know, to the High Alti-

the 1st MSOB Paraloft personnel coordinated and

tude, High Opening (HAHO) jumps.

126 WORLD OF FIREPOWER

After a certain amount of slick jumps and


gaining a certain level of confidence, we start

adding the complexities of the combat equip-

More specifically, the CSOs will start jumping

ment, explained the paraloft chief. That con-

from higher altitudes, traveling longer dis-

sists of their ruck sack, which is placed inside of

tances, carrying mission-critical equipment, all

a container called a parachutist drop bag, their

under cover of darkness and ensuring the train-

weapon, secured to their side, and supplemen-

ing more closely resembles real mission condi-

tal oxygen.

tions, the XO went on to say. And once every

Though the Marines never jumped from an

Marine hits the drop zone, numerous consider-

altitude high enough to require supplemental

ations must be accounted for, as that is when

oxygen, it was essential the CSOs understood

the mission truly starts. The jump is not the mis-

the difficulties of jumping with the cumber-

sion; thats just a way to get to a desired loca-

some equipment for future jumps, which will

tion.

require a supply of oxygen. Ultimately, this is

As the CSOs continue to refine their HAHO

the CSOs first step to developing an expertise

insertion skills, they increase their value as op-

in HAHO jumping. Applying everything they

erational assets to commanders while forward

have learned to more advanced HAHO training,

deployed. The potential missions for deployed

further refining their insertion capabilities is

MARSOC require expertise in a variety of inser-

what follows.

tion techniques.

Theyll do follow-on training that enables

n A MARSOC operator firing an M4A1


with an EOTech sight and a grip-pod,
which can function as a fore grip or also
as a bipod. He carries his .45 pistol as
well. See sidebar. (US DOD)

It is a capability we need to have so we can

them to operate within their teams, so they can

be the force of choice that the commander

actually start looking at the tactical side of it,

goes to, said the XO. Whenever any contin-

not just the actual capability of jumping, but

gency operation comes up, or any emergent

how to use this as an actual insert method on

mission arises, we want to be prepared for the

the mission, itself, explained the XO.

worst-case scenario.

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n A MARSOC operator
aboard a Polaris MV850
All-Terrain Vehicle, 400 of
which were purchased by
SOCOM at nearly $15,000
each. This vehicle mounts
an M249 LMG. (USMC)

MARSOC

However, when SOCOM (Special Operations

the first Marine Special Operations Individual Train-

Command) was formed, the Marines did not supply

ing Course was run. In addition, the Marine Corps

any personnel. Part of the rationale was that the

had assigned the FMTU (Foreign Military Training

Marines best trained for special operations, Force

Unit) to the early forerunners of MARSOC. The for-

Recon, were invaluable within the Marine Corps.

eign military assistance mission is now handled by

That changed, however, with the activation of

the 3rd Special Operations Raider Battalion, which

THROUGHOUT ITS HISTORY, THE U.S. MARINE

MARSOC (United States Marine Forces Special Oper-

absorbed the Marine Special Operations Advisory

CORPS HAS HAD A REPUTATION AS AN ELITE UNIT.

ations Command) in 2006.

Group (MSOAG), as part of MARSOCs mission.

THE HISTORY

dergo an array of tests and checks, including of

THE SPECIAL OPERATIONS


COMMAND MARINES
BY LEROY THOMPSON

AS A RESULT, THERE HAS OFTEN BEEN A RELUCTANCE TO RECOGNIZE ANY UNITS WITHIN THE
MARINE CORPS AS THE ELITE OF THE ELITE.

Prior to the integration of Marines into SOCOM,

Candidates attending the SOITC must first un-

their record as Marines, physical fitness, and med-

the Marines had assigned selected Force Recon per-

ical and psychological fitness. Candidates must also

for special tasks. The World War II Marine Raiders

sonnel alongside some U.S. Navy SEALs to a special

be able to obtain a SECRET security clearance.

and Paramarines were highly trained elite troops.

ops unit in Iraq. Due to the success of this mission,

Traditionally, Marine ANGLICO (Air Naval Gunfire

the Marines set up the first Special Operations Com-

Liaison Companies) teams have also been consid-

pany in June 2006, as the initial component of

ered elite. Post-World War II, Marine Recons and

MARSOC.

Still, there have been Marine units designated

Force Recons were assigned a variety of special missions.

128 WORLD OF FIREPOWER

This unit took part in various missions, including


reconnaissance and direct action. In October 2008,

THE ADOPTION
In August, 2014, the Marine Special Operations
Battalions were consolidated into a Regiment,
which took the name of the World War II Raiders.
The Marine Special Operations Raider Regi-

n Members of the 2nd Marine Special Operations


Battalion secure a landing zone for an Osprey
MV22B (USMC)

AD INDEX
Advertiser
American Defense Mfg
American Tactical Imports
ATK - Blackhawk
Blade-Tech Industries
CampCo
Colt's Manufacturing Company
Daniel Defense
Elite Survival Systems
EOTech
FNH, USA
Major Surplus & Survival
Night Optics USA
Original Swat
Precision Reflex
RamRodz Inc
Reds Gun Lube
Rock River Arms
Silencerco
Sport Manufacturing Group
Sturm, Ruger & Company, Inc.
Tactical Night Vision Company
U.S. Optics
Wilson Combat
Yankee Hill Machine Co

Page
51
55
15
41
21
2
77
7
57
3
9
47
75
87
127
85
83
43
19
107, 132
91
131
95
11

ment is tasked with direct action, special reconnaissance (behind enemy lines), counterterrorism,
foreign internal defense and unconventional warfare.

THEIR FUNCTION
The USMC still retains recon units that are integral to Marine Divisions and which deploy with Marine Expeditionary Units. These units continue to
supply an integral special operations reconnaissance capability, but MARSOC, the Raiders now
function more as joint asset with other elements of
Special Operations Command.
About the author: Leroy Thompson is a regular contributor to Firepower magazine. FP

n MARSOC operators practice combat boarding of a


vessel at sea with the operator in the foreground
providing covering fire. (USMC)

WORLD OF FIREPOWER 129

LAST shot

GROUND
AND AIR
PHOTO BY GUS ALONZO

WITH AN IMAGE LIKE THIS, THERE ARENT A WHOLE


LOT OF WORDS NECESSARY. AFTER ADMIRING THE
M1 TANK, JUST MAKE SURE YOU CHECK THE UPPER
LEFT CORNER OF THE IMAGE.

n Gus Alonzo
shot this at the
Miramar Air
Show.

FORCE (LB.)

TRIGGER PULL
12
11
10
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8 Crisp Trigger
7
6
5
4
3
LC9s
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1
0
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0.2

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Only Trigger

LC9

0.4

0.6

0.8

DISTANCE (IN.)
Trigger Pull Comparison

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The LC9s provides slim, lightweight and compact personal
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2014 Sturm, Ruger & Co., Inc.

112414