I forgot to blog the guns of the last episode of Top Shot. I think. Did I? Wait. I did. Forget that is. Now why was that? It’s on at 10pm EST. Grass doesn’t grow at that time of night so the lawn couldn’t have been claiming my attention. Anyway, last night’s episode featured a new AR so new that A) It was new in April when the program was filmed and B) Top Shot’s host almost removed his hands from his hips to make some sort of enthusiastic gesture. But didn’t . . .
Although the Vltor TS3’s an AR (and that’s a good thing), the curiously vowel-less rifle is not exactly a fist-pumpingly wikkid weapon. But don’t take my word for it. I asked our resident rifle rabbi Nick Leghorn for his opinion of the Vltor TS3. His reply was not the stuff that free Testing and Evaluation samples are made of.
We shouldn’t be giving this thing a second glance. The only real improvements over a “standard” AR-15 is the larger magazine release and the integrated sling attachment points. Even then, the benefits are marginal over the normal setup. Everything else on this rifle is offered commercially already, and some may argue that the other options do it better. In short, there is nothing exciting at all about this rifle.
As I’d spoken with Top Shot’s PR flack yesterday, who promised an interview with the latest Top Shot loser (that somehow didn’t materialize), I wanted to make sure before I published, um, what I just published. So I clicked over to hausofguns.com for their ode to TS3’s TS3.
Vltor has rethought the modern M4 weapons system. As it sits, this gun makes a perfect 3 gun competition piece with its beveled mag well, the free float upper and the long 10 inch forend compared to a standard carbine length 7 inch forend. There’s a relative cool factor that comes with anything Vltor too as it just looks slick. There’s something inherently alien about the look that these guys put into their AR products not to mention the durability of their manufacturing process. It looks like a Benelli mated with a Bushmaster. Uh oh, I went there again.
I could say something rude involving mutual masturbation here, but I won’t go there. But I did send Nick the link (as opposed to Nick the Greek) to make sure we hadn’t missed something.
The only “new” thing here is that Vltor is making a finished complete rifle. This stuff has been available as aftermarket parts for a while, even the features on the lower have been available from Olympic Arms for some time.
It’s like slapping the body of a fine sportscar on an F150 and calling it a brand new breakthrough. Nothing here is new.
So . . . how about that Corner Shot gun, then?
The advantages of the Corner Shot seem pretty obvious: you can shoot from around a corner. But there are drawbacks as well. The weapon depends entirely on a video screen and electronics (including the trigger mechanism), which are prone to effing up in battlefield conditions. Try throwing the Corner Shot onto the pavement once and see what happens. Also, the weapons system uses pistols, which have limited ammo capacity (even with a “happy stick”).
If you want to know the ergonomic downside, just click over to the company’s website, where white-on-black text makes your eyes smart for a good ten seconds after you’ve left. Video screens have come a long way since the Sony Portapack, but they’re still a bitch to see in certain light conditions. And they’re not cheap. But then, SWAT teams love toys and your tax dollars love SWAT teams.
And you love Top Shot. A new shooting buddy proudly informed me that his whole family now watches the program. With a firearms-related TV show bringing non-gun guys and gals into the ballistic fold, who am I to complain that I find it about as compelling as the old Family Circus cartoons and as historically relevant as The Flintstones? Now what about that phone interview with Colby? I want to know more about those fabulous teeth!