Archive for the ‘Gear’ Category

Mar
29

Nikon Monarch 4-16×42SF

The Nikon Monarch 4-16×42SF is what rests atop the Savage Model 10. This is the scope that helps me shoot 3/16″ groups with that Savage.

The Nikon Monarch 4-16x42SF graces the Savage Model 10 Tactical

The Nikon Monarch 4-16x42SF graces the Savage Model 10 Tactical

This Nikon Monarch features adjustable magnification from 4x-16x with a 42mm objective lens and a 1″ tube. Nikon offers three different reticles on this Monarch – their standard Nikoplex, a bullet drop compensator reticle, and a mildot reticle. This one features the standard Nikoplex, and it can be found at many online retailers for around $450.

Magnification is adjustable from 4-16 power.

Magnification is adjustable from 4-16 power.

One very nice feature of this scope is the “side focus” – parallax adjustment is made with a dial on the left side of the scope, rather than at the objective. This is very handy in the field, since you can adjust the parallax without moving the rifle too far out of position.

Parallax adjustments can be made from a firing position with the side focus

Parallax adjustments can be made from a firing position with the side focus

Another nicety is the mid-height windage and elevation turrets. If you don’t want the giant tacticool turrets, but you don’t want to get out a dime every time you want to make an adjustment, then this is a good solution.

Unscrew the aluminum caps, and you’ll find the windage and elevation turrets, plainly labeled and thumb-click adjustable in 1/4″ MOA increments.

The mid-height turrets feature 1/4" MOA adjustments

The mid-height turrets feature 1/4" MOA adjustments

The glass on this scope is stellar for its price. I had this side-by-side with a Leupold 4.5-14 Vari-XIII at the range. The Leupold’s glass was slightly clearer… but then again, the Leupold cost almost twice as much as the Nikon.

This Nikon scope is very well made, has excellent Japanese glass, great features and is an excellent value. You’ll be hard-pressed to find its equal in the sub-$500 price range. I highly recommend the Nikon Monarch line of riflescopes.

Mar
24

Heckler & Koch USP Compact 9mm

This is the H&K USPc 9mm.

H&K USPc 9mm Stainless

H&K USPc 9mm Stainless

This is my primary carry weapon. It’s durable, reliable, accurate, and just the right size for me.

H&K offers the USP (Universal Self-loading Pistol) in a variety of calibers, and is available in full size and compact models. This compact 9mm takes a double-stack magazine. 9mm USPc magazines are available in 10 and 13 round capacities. I carry this in a Galco Summer Comfort IWB holster. It’s quite comfortable and conceals well.

H&K USPc 9mm - Variant 1

H&K USPc 9mm - Variant 1

This particular USP is a “variant 1,” meaning it is DA/SA with a “safe” position and control lever (manual safety/decocking lever) on left side of the frame. This means the user has the option to carry the pistol in a single-action mode (cocked and locked) with the manual safety engaged, or decock the pistol and carry in double-action mode. Double-action only (with or without manual safety) and right side or ambidextrous controls are available in other variants. The USP is also available in .40SW, and .45ACP.

H&K USP full-size .45ACP stainless

H&K USP full-size .45ACP stainless

The HK USPc 9mm is a surprisingly accurate pistol, just like its big brother pictured above. I’m not a great pistol shooter by any means, and I have no problems putting 5 rounds of 9mm in a 3″ group at 25 yards with this gun. Keep it clean, use good quality ammo, and it will serve you well for a lifetime.

Feb
27

New Toy! AR-15 Front Sight LASER

UPS dropped this off for me yesterday: Leapers UTG Removable Front Sight Tower with Red LASER.

Leapers UTC Front Sight Tower with LASER - stock image

Leapers UTC Front Sight Tower with LASER - stock image

I had been looking for a laser solution for the RRA AR-15 Pistol for some time, and was having difficulty finding what I wanted. The AR pistol is a flat-top with a free-float tube, and I didn’t want to go through the expense of replacing the free-float tube with a quad-rail. The only thing I could find was optics that had a laser built-in, like this Sightmark. But that Sightmark had poor reviews, and the laser isn’t adjustable, and that just won’t do.

I had about given up when I found the Leapers sight on opticsplanet.com. I was VERY skeptical – Leapers is known for its cheap Chinese crap, and the $29.95 price tag only reinforced my skepticism (looks like they bumped the price up to $34.95).

But I figured what the heck, it’s only $30.

It came in a fancy box with die-cut foam to hold all the individual little parts, including separate holes for each battery.

Fancy Box

Fancy Box

While that’s pretty neat and all, it reinforced my skepticism even further – figure that’s an easy $3 just in packaging. How cheap is this thing?

As it turns out, I was pleasantly surprised. The sight tower and mount seem solid enough, as does the manner in which the laser is mounted. It came with batteries, a tiny screwdriver for adjusting the laser, and an on/off tailcap as well as a remote pressure pad (which I don’t intend on using, but I know a lot of folks will like it).

Mounted: Leapers UTG Removable Front Sight Tower with Red Laser

Mounted: Leapers UTG Removable Front Sight Tower with Red Laser

Another view:

Mounted: Leapers UTG Removable Front Sight Tower with Red Laser

Mounted: Leapers UTG Removable Front Sight Tower with Red Laser

You can see the tiny brass screws for adjusting the laser. They are very easy to turn, which worries me a little – they may require some loctite down the road.

I went ahead and lined it up with the EOTech dot at about 20 feet. I’ll take it outdoors later on and zero it in properly.

The dot is pretty large. This will be fine for my purposes – I wanted something I could use close-range, very quickly, in an emergency situation.

Here’s the dot on the wall about 7 feet away:

Rather large dot

Rather large dot

It looks HUGE in that picture because of the refraction on the white wall. In actuality, it’s close to 1/16″ in diameter at that distance.

We’ll get this rig out to the range to make sure that laser will hold a zero.

Happy shooting.

Feb
26

Rock River Arms AR-15 Pistol

Meet the RRA LAR-15 A4 Pistol.

Rock River Arms LAR-15

Rock River Arms LAR-15

This particular pistol is chambered in 5.56 NATO. It has a 7″ Chrome Moly 1:9 twist barrel on a flat-top upper with a free-float tube. This came from the Rock River Arms factory with a Hogue grip and RRA’s Dominator2 EOTech mount.

Rock River Arms LAR-15

Rock River Arms LAR-15

The Dominator2 allows co-witness of the iron sights with an EOTech holographic weapons sight. Seems like a good chance to try out the EOTech 551.

Rock River Arms LAR-15

Rock River Arms LAR-15 with EOTech 551

This one is still pretty new to me. I’ve performed the barrel break-in and I’ve zeroed the iron sights and the EOTech, but that’s about all. We’ll run it through its paces as soon as we’re blessed with some decent weather.

Happy shooting.

Feb
20

Savage Model 10 Tactical

This is a Savage Model 10 Tactical.

Savage Model 10 Tactical in .223 Remington

Savage Model 10 Tactical in .223 Remington

This Savage is my tack-driving 223. I traded a lightly used Remington 870 Express for it in 2008 – by far the best gun deal I’ve ever made.

This bolt-action .223 is a single-shot with a follower. It has a 1:9 twist heavy barrel with a target crown, free-floated in an HS Precision stock, bedded action, and a sweet trigger job that consistently breaks clean at 12 ounces.

Savage Model 10 Tactical

Savage Model 10 Tactical

I’ve topped this rifle with a Nikon Monarch 4-16×42SF scope. I hope to upgrade the scope to a Zeiss Conquest here in the near future… this outstandingly accurate rifle deserves outstanding glass.

Savage Model 10 Tactical - Nikon Monarch 4-16x42SF

Savage Model 10 Tactical w/ Nikon Monarch 4-16x42SF

When i first picked up this rifle, it was pretty dirty. I spent some time cleaning what looked like a couple years worth of powder and copper fouling out of the barrel. The Model 10 Tactical came with rings on it, so I rummaged through a drawer and found an old, beat up Tasco 4x scope to slap on the Savage and took her to a local rifle range the next morning.

I set up at 100 yards. After a quick bore-sight, I reached in my bag to get some rounds to zero in the beater Tasco. Alas, in my haste, I had forgotten to bring ammunition with me.

Luckily, a couple other fellas at the range were testing some of their .223 loads, and offered me some of theirs.

The first guy had some 55g Noslers loaded up in new brass that he gave me to get a zero. The first shot was about 2″ high and 1/4″ to the left of the bullseye. Gave the Tasco a click to the right and tried one more, and it was right where it belonged – 2″ directly over the bullseye at 100 yards.

The second fellow range-goer had loaded up some 52g Sierra HPBT bullets in some once-fired brass. He wasn’t having very good luck with his ammo in his Thompson Contender. I shot two of his rounds at my same target and slightly widened my earlier hole. The first gentleman was incredulous, so I allowed him to shoot the rifle. His shot widened the same hole to just over 1/4″. Then the loader himself had to try it out – his shot made our three-person five-shot group 3/8″.

So we had three different shooters make one jagged hole with 5 rounds of 223 at 100 yards shooting a used Savage Model 10 with a beat up Tasco scope on it using two different kinds of ammo.

Savage Model 10 Tactical - First target

Savage Model 10 Tactical - First Target

The gentleman with with the Sierra loads was kind enough to share his recipe:
52 grain Sierra Match BTHP, Winchester primer and case, 24.5g H335.

We’ll visit this fine rifle again to see what it does with some real glass on it… and many, many different loads.

Happy shooting.