Our group just returned from the shooter’s briefing out at Rifles Only, followed by a grocery store trip, followed by a stop for feeding. We’re now back in the hotel room, readying our gear and going through the course of fire documents to start building dope cards. And oh boy what a course of fire . . .
First up in a series of about eight AR-15 drop-in trigger reviews are the Elftmann Tactical ELF Match and 3-Gun triggers. I’ve been playing with these since early November and — spoiler alert — I like ’em a lot. That said, I have no way of testing out claims such as “incredibly fast lock time.” Actually, this may be changing as we’re working on borrowing a Dvorak TriggerScan to objectively compare all of these AR triggers back-to-back, so stay tuned. Regardless, the ELF triggers have a couple of features that set them apart from the pack . . .
It’s no big secret among my friends, gun-related or not, that I’m easy to sell on an adventure. Some of my best memories have come from saying yes when I know the response should have been no. Nick has taken advantage multiple times, notably by challenging me to run my Garand in a local carbine match. So I should have seen it coming when my instant message client at work popped up with a note from my coworker Jacob . . .
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.