I’ve watched over the last couple years as more and more competition shooters have started wearing and using “action cameras” to record their runs in competitions. It’s a smart practice, since not only can you later dissect your every move and find ways to improve but you can throw that video up on YouTube and make your sponsors happy — not to mention promoting the competition shooting sports. 3-gun is one of those sports where it’s a whole lot more fun and exciting watching from a first person view, and just having a camera following you doesn’t provide the same kind of heart-pumping video. Everywhere you look in firearms the same thing is happening, from hunters recording their kills to average Joes filming their range sessions. Finding the perfect camera for every situation is tough, but Replay XD might have hit the nail on the head with the Prime X Camera System.
At SHOT Show 2015, I ran across a couple of drop-in AR-15 triggers that I don’t believe I had seen before. One was RISE Armament’s RA-535, and the other was KE Arms’ Drop-In Trigger. Both are on the way for reviews, and will be great to compare against the Elftmann Tactical ELF Match Trigger, the Velocity Triggers Velocity AR-15 Trigger, and the CMC Triggers Standard Trigger in 3.5 lb flavor that I’ve already been playing with. I’ve put a lot of rounds through the ELF unit in particular now and will be writing up the review on it in a couple of weeks. A “teaser” video, plus photos of all of the triggers mentioned here, follow. . .
This has to be one of the more interesting pieces of kit I’ve seen at SHOT Show this year — which admittedly isn’t saying much. A Mr. Cisko, self-proclaimed “master gunfighter,” was sporting a kydex quick-draw holster at the ATI booth, whipping out his big black Omni rifle with amazing ease. The gizmo appears to hold the AR pistol fairly firmly in place, but there’s no way I’d want to be the guinea pig for that test. As far as I can tell this puppy is USPSA legal — it covers the trigger guard completely, after all. The magazines, on the other hand, might be a touch over that 170mm mark.
Switching from close range to long range targets is a pain in the ass. Close range targets are best serviced with 1x optics like red dots, but anything past 100 yards really needs a bit of magnification. Usually there are three options: use a variable 1-6x scope that is expensive and heavy, get a flip-to-side magnifier for your red dot, or just live with whatever you have. Leupold has released a new optic called the D-EVO that is designed to fit underneath your existing red dot and give you the ability to use both a red dot and a magnified optic with a BDC reticle. At the exact same time, no switching needed . . .
Sunday before SHOT Show, the guys from Shaolin Rifleworks invited me out to the desert to check out their new lineup. I admit I wasn’t particularly thrilled at the prospect of yet another AR from yet another assembler. However, it turns out Shaolin is much more than that, and their hit list of high-end, custom, all-in-house machine work, hand fitting, accuracy testing and real-world 1/2 MOA guarantee piqued my interest. What just might be the most accurate AR rifles in the world at an MSRP lower than most vaguely competitive options? Yes, I’m listening. Details and first impressions follow. . .
For the last couple years, ArmaLite has been more than a little stagnant with their product line. Thankfully, Tommy Thacker has arrived at the helm of the company and has injected some more awesomeness into the M-15 line of guns. New this year are three rifles: two competition AR-15 rifles and a varmint focused 20 inch rifle. I had a chance to shoot all three, and I gotta say, I really like what I see . . .
By the time I picked up my Armalite M-15 3-gun rifle from my local range, it was already covered in fingerprints. The guys at my range knew it was coming, and its arrival was highly anticipated – not just by me, but by them as well! So, they got a head start on inspecting all of the really cool features, but they were kind enough to save me the first shots. And wow, what shots they were . . .
Over the last couple years, there has been no bigger influence on the firearms market than the emerging sport of 3-gun shooting. As the number of participants has skyrocketed, so too has the number of rifle manufacturers producing firearms to feed that voracious market. Everyone and their brother has a rifle optimized for 3-gun shooting these days, and figuring out which rifle manufacturers have got their heads screwed on straight and actually understand the challenges of the sport can be a challenge. Adams Arms recently introduced a line of rifles specifically designed for 3-gun shooting, and they sent one to me to test out.
It’s no secret that I didn’t like the Tac-Con 3MR trigger. It isn’t necessarily that it’s a bad egg — the thing functions as advertised — it just seems overpriced for what you get. They were asking $500 for a trigger that doesn’t do anything all that new, and came with no training materials or instructions on how to use it. Their PR guy’s response to the article wasn’t all that pleasant, but after a few conversations with the Tac-Con guys themselves, they invited me out to try out their latest creation. Tyler liked it. As for me . . .
The 2014 shooting season closed out with a bang last weekend with the most anticipated event of the year – the inaugural Brownell’s Lady 3-Gun ProAm Challenge in Covington, GA. After months of pent-up excitement, 164 mothers, wives, daughters, girlfriends, and all the single ladies (right, Beyonce?) converged on Georgia to try their hand at something new . . .
There are a lot of ammunition manufacturers out there that make some rather impressive claims about accuracy, but so far very few have been able to back those claims up with solid performance. We have been testing the big names in the ammunition world, and so far those tests seem to put Winchester on the top of the pack. Even then, they don’t make any claims about the accuracy of their ammo. Eagle Eye is a new ammunition manufacturer that not only claims to be the best on the market, but backs it up with a guarantee — 1/2 MoA accuracy from every box, every time. But it gets better . . .