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Price just reduced! Beretta 92FS M9 9mm.

Price just reduced! Beretta 92FS M9 9mm.

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Gunfighter Moment – Pat McNamara

Gunfighter Moment – Pat McNamara

The king daddy of all marksmanship fundamentals is Trigger Control. I do not consider this debatable. Partially due to the fact that I cannot see my front sight anymore. It’s there and visible on target but all a blur. I’m still quite capable of knocking the X ring out at 25 though.

My teaching of trigger control differs from many other of my fellow credible instructors who I respect.

When I transitioned from 1911 to Glock 19 (For administrative reasons) about a decade ago, I would push my group to my non-firing side. Frustrated, I called a friend at the AMU and asked his advice. He told me that he puts so much finger on the trigger that when complete with his trigger squeeze, he can drop his magazine with his trigger finger. This became my magic elixir. Since sinking my finger, I’ve straightened out my group. I teach this as well with some push back mind you.

In my opinion, splitting the distal phalange, or finger tip, is an anachronism. When using this method, the trigger finger is essentially a fulcrum where sinking the finger becomes a vice. The vice pulls evenly while the fulcrum speeds up at the end of the squeeze. I’m not suggesting that I am right and that this is law. I will add though, that if you do what you’ve always done, you’ll get what you’ve always gotten.

Patrick McNamara
SGM, US Army (Ret)

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Gunfighter Moment – Frank Proctor

Gunfighter Moment – Frank Proctor

I get asked about slings from time to time and the big question is 2 point or single point. It’s an easy choice for me, 2 point all the way. The single point has some advantages, it holds the gun right where it needs to be to shoot and doesn’t hang too low when transitioning to pistol. The single point is also makes it pretty easy to transfer the gun to your non-dominate shoulder to shoot around cover. Outside of that there’s not much else it does well.

I decided to run the 2 point in 2006. I was at a master breacher course that was put on by a crazy dude that had us doing mechanical breaching on a pro timer. It was good times and put emphasis on getting in quickly, however some equipment issues quickly came to light! One of them was the single point sling. When slinging a ram or sledge hammer around, busting open doors and through block walls and such the rifle was all kinds of in the way. Then, add in jumping out of a van and climbing an 8 foot chain link fence to get to the structure, once again the rifle was in a bad place and making life suck. I thought to myself, there has to be a better way and of course there was, a 2 point adjustable sling.

The 2 point adjustable holds the gun closer to the body when the rifle is not in your hands and pushing the rifle to your back is awesome when you need to do some work like climbing, mechanical breaching, medical stuff, etc. There are several good 2 point adjustable slings out there to choose from. How you mount the sling on the rifle matters. I highly recommend attaching the sling to the longest points on the rifle you can. This keeps the gun tight to the body when pulled tight and stowed. I also believe in setting up the sling for 2 adjustments, loose and tight; I call them operational mode and storage mode.

In operational mode the sling should be loose enough for you to get the rifle into your shooter’s box/work space and also loose enough to keep the muzzle at 12 o’clock when moving at high ready. In operational mode the sling should not be so loose that the rifle hangs too low when transitioning to pistol.

In storage mode the the sling should hold the rifle nice and tight to your body up front or on your back, but still loos enough that you can shoot the rifle from storage mode. The 2 point adjustable slings can also be used for stability in long range shooting not so much with the single point. Swimming the support arm out of the sling makes it nice and easy to transition the rifle to your non-dominate shoulder for shooting around cover.

Long story short if you put a sling on your rifle I think it needs to do more than just hold the gun when you are not shooting.

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.22 Shooting: Measuring Field Accuracy

.22 Shooting: Measuring Field Accuracy

By: C. Rodney James

Here’s a useful way to determine the accuracy of your rimfire .22 under field conditions.

Ed Matunas, writing on accuracy, takes to the field for a practical look at this subject. The field is the realm of exterior ballistics where wind, temperature, and light conditions make a world of difference along with firearm mechanics and shooter errors.

The machine-rest in the tunnel is not bothered by a lousy trigger pull, poor sights, a badly fitting stock or a shaky rest on a tree limb.

Matunas stresses Schiffelbein’s point of the need for adequate practice firing, stating: “Having fired countless tens of thousands of groups during more than forty-five years of extensive shooting has proven that a few groups can, in fact, be very misleading.”

Matunas proposes the use of a target overlay system at a distance commonly fired. He uses 100 yards. Depending on the quality of your rimfire rifle, you may wish to use 75 or 50 yards. The preferable distance is the one you use, or wish to use for hunting or target shooting. After selecting your load/ammunition for testing, precisely overlay two commercial, printed targets.

Shooting should be done at the pace normally used in the field or at a match. If you wish, 10-shot groups may be used. Fire your group. Next, overlay a new target on the first in precise alignment. After the barrel has cooled, fire a second group. Mark the bottom “master target” and preserve all. Testing is over for the day.

On another day, bring back the “master target,” overlay a new target and fire one group. Preserve both. Repeat this operation on different days until at least 25 shots have been fired. The greater the number of test-fires the more reliable your data. More data is always better. Fire at different times of day with varying light, breeze, humidity and so on to cover the variety of conditions under which you will shoot. Mark each new target with time of day and other relevant data. Save everything.
When you finish you will have in your master target a composite group of at least five, five-shot groups from different days under “field” conditions.

This will give you a good idea of what to expect from a particular rifle and ammunition with your original sight setting. Individual targets reveal shifts of groups over the point of original impact. These may be caused by humidity warping a stock, lighting conditions affecting aim (most common with iron sights), or temperature variations.

On the issue of barrel cleaning, Matunas recommends doing or not doing what you would do under your normal shooting conditions. On the first shot from a cool barrel, that shot may strike higher. You may mark it on your individual targets. Check for average differences if they exist.

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Gunfighter Moment – Mike Pannone

Gunfighter Moment – Mike Pannone

Pistols and courses of fire
There are a lot of great courses of fire out there that truly test marksmanship skill but we should identify the advantage/disadvantage or relative level of difficulty of the same course of fire given the type of pistol/caliber combination used and the relative accuracy of the gun. To make the point as clearly as possible I will use a well-known course of fire that is one of my favorites, the 700 point aggregate. It will challenge even the best shooters and has been a part of my training for 15 years now. The 700pt Aggregate is extremely gun dependent and truth be told was designed to be shot with a match grade gun. Shooting it with my Vickers Custom 1911 vs. my Glock 22 w/stock barrel is truly the difference of night and day. My LAV gun will shoot sub 1.5” @ 25 all day long and my G22 is working to shoot 2.5” with the stock barrel. That disparity constitutes a 40% smaller group potential at the outset. The accuracy capability of the LAV gun vs. the G22 is a distinct advantage. That is compounded by the crisp flat 1911 trigger vs. the Glock Safe-Action (even with the best trigger job I can do with a full power striker spring). There is nothing wrong with the Glock, I like and have carried them for personal defence, protection work (PSD), combat and sport so don’t get wound up yet. There are certain advantages with certain guns that lend themselves towards certain courses of fire. If you shoot a course of fire that is both accuracy and speed dependent with a match grade 1911 in 45 ACP and then the same course with the identical gun in 9mm who has the advantage now? Obviously the 9mm has the advantage due to recoil impulse. Now shoot that 9mm 1911 against a Beretta M9? Now put in high round count stages that mitigate the accuracy and emphasize the capacity? The gun gives you or gives up advantage by design, accuracy potential and capacity even in the same caliber. The point I am making is one I just made recently to a close friend from my SOF days who asked me “what are you shooting the 700 in nowadays?” My response was “with which gun?” A Glock 22 on a 12 round course of fire with the potential of make-up shots has an overwhelming advantage over a single-stack 1911. Shoot whatever you have and shoot the 700 point aggregate but make sure when you compare scores take into account what gun you’re shooting. Depending on the course of fire it will make a world of difference.

1. Model
2. Caliber
3. Size (compact/fullsize/long slide)
4. Trigger weight
5. Relative accuracy from the bench (I had a big name polymer gun shoot 4-6” groups @ 25 right out of the box. That alone would put a 700 Pt. Ag in the low 500’s instead of 600’s.)
6. Capacity

- Mike Pannone

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Squeeze out accuracy with these 12 AR 15 triggers.

Squeeze out accuracy with these 12 AR 15 triggers.

Why does a quality trigger improve shooting accuracy?

It’s actually quite simple. A consistent, clean, predictable break allows you to time the movement of the crosshairs on the center of the target to coincide as closely as possible. Next, involuntary muscle movements can be better controlled throughout the duration of a short trigger pull and a fast lock time.

Is adding a quality after-market trigger worth the expense?

I look at it this way: If I’ve spent $1,500 on an AR and $400 to $1,000 on an optic, is spending another $150 to $300 worth cutting group size by 15 to 50 percent? Every time. Here are 12 aftermarket AR-15 triggers that are certain to help you tighten up your groups.

Alexander Arms
This trigger is basically a single-stage unit with a bushing-mounted disconnector, which is adjustable for engagement and over travel. The pull weight and disconnector engagement are fixed to ensure durability during hard use and inclement environments. The pull weight allows manipulation of the trigger with gloves while minimizing the possibility of discharging a round unexpectedly in the manner of a target trigger. ($160; alexanderarms.com)

American Trigger AR-15 Gold
The AR-15 Gold fire control group is a two-stage unit that has two important features: First, when the safety selector is put in the “safe” position, it retracts the hammer to the disconnect. Second, a very light, short first stage followed by an approximate 3-pound second stage. The trigger cassette comes assembled and ready to install in any mil-spec AR receiver with .154-inch holes and no Colt sear block. ($280; americantrigger.com)

Jard AR Adjustable Single-Stage
The Jard two-stage AR fire control unit offers a wide range of trigger pull weights. The lightest, at 1.5 pounds, may be a tad lighter than most want for their rifles. Other weight spring kits allow the pull weight to be set at 2, 3, 4, 4.5 or 5 pounds. This unit differs from other manufacturers’ by the sear engagement adjustment screw. It uses the AR lower receiver’s grip screw hole to thread an Allen screw in place to adjust sear engagement. ($165; jardinc.com)

Jard AR Trigger Module System
The trigger I installed was preset from the factory at 2.5 pounds, and installed in less than five minutes. A neat feature of this unit is rubberized tension balls that are located in the bottom of the trigger assembly. They help reduce play between the upper and lower receiver when installed. ($230; jardinc.com)

Geissele Hi-Speed National Match Rifle Trigger
This fire control unit features a Hi-Speed hammer with 50 percent lock time reduction over standard hammers, and the two-stage trigger is adjustable for overtravel and sear engagement. First stage pull weights range from 1.3-3 pounds, and second stage pull weights range from .5-1.5 pounds ($279; geissele.com)

Geissele Super Semi-Automatic (SSA) Trigger
The Geissele SSA trigger assembly exhibits highly precise craftsmanship, precision and finish. Two examples of this fire control unit with different spring tensions were tested. The installation instructions are concise and clear. Lubrication is vital to keeping a trigger functioning properly and this one is no different. ($170; geissele.com)

Timney AR
The Timney fire control group that was tested was factory preset at 3 pounds. This is a single-stage trigger with almost no creep. Contrary to my previous statement on adequate lubrication, I had heard that this trigger was sensitive to lubrication, so I installed it dry and tested the feel. It was crisp with about 1/8-inch overtravel. Then I lubricated the sear surfaces with Mobil 28 grease and replaced it for a quick trial. The difference was minimal with a slightly better feel dry ($195; timneytriggers.com)

Timney AR Skeleton
This trigger is similar in feel to the previously covered Timney AR fire control unit. I liked the feel of this design, and from a personal standpoint, prefer it to the less expensive Timney AR unit if only for its cool looks and ever-so-slightly crisper feel. ($266; timneytriggers.com)

JP Enterprises EZ Trigger
The JP unit tested included the .156 small pin drop-in fire control unit, a speed hammer, oversize antiwalk pins and an adjustable, reversible safety selector. The final pull weight of the JP EZ Trigger is determined primarily by the spring setup and will range from 3 to 5 pounds. Installation instructions, in both written form and via a supplied DVD, are clear and thorough. ($260; jprifles.com)

Chip McCormick Tactical Trigger
The Tactical Trigger Group is a completely self-contained, 100-percent drop-in fire control group upgrade for both AR-15 and AR-10 rifles. Building on the original Super Match design, the Tactical Trigger pull is factory preset between 3 1/2 and 4 pounds, and is not user adjustable. It fits all standard mil-spec lower receivers with .154-inch trigger and hammer pin holes. ($240; cmctriggers.com)

Chip McCormick Flat Tactical

Chip McCormick Flat Tactical
When a consistent trigger finger position is desired, this unit’s design allows you to index you finger at the bottom of the spur where it turns at 90 degrees. I have a tendency to ride the bottom of an AR trigger to create a consistent hold and squeeze. This trigger’s design makes it easy to feel that your finger is in the correct position every time. ($200; cmctriggers.com)

Wilson Tactical Single-Stage
Since my shooting with an AR leans heavily toward hunting I like a single-stage trigger. Wilson Combat’s single-stage Tactical Trigger Unit (TTU) rates high on the list, owing to its ultra-crisp 4-pound let-off. Another positive attribute is that the TTU takes less than two minutes to install, and there’s no user adjustment needed. Just drop it in, set the pins and go shooting. ($270; wilsoncombat.com)
Why does a quality trigger improve shooting accuracy?

It’s actually quite simple. A consistent, clean, predictable break allows you to time the movement of the crosshairs on the center of the target to coincide as closely as possible. Next, involuntary muscle movements can be better controlled throughout the duration of a short trigger pull and a fast lock time.

Is adding a quality after-market trigger worth the expense?

I look at it this way: If I’ve spent $1,500 on an AR and $400 to $1,000 on an optic, is spending another $150 to $300 worth cutting group size by 15 to 50 percent? Every time. Here are 12 aftermarket AR-15 triggers that are certain to help you tighten up your groups.

Alexander Arms
This trigger is basically a single-stage unit with a bushing-mounted disconnector, which is adjustable for engagement and over travel. The pull weight and disconnector engagement are fixed to ensure durability during hard use and inclement environments. The pull weight allows manipulation of the trigger with gloves while minimizing the possibility of discharging a round unexpectedly in the manner of a target trigger. ($160; alexanderarms.com)

American Trigger AR-15 Gold
The AR-15 Gold fire control group is a two-stage unit that has two important features: First, when the safety selector is put in the “safe” position, it retracts the hammer to the disconnect. Second, a very light, short first stage followed by an approximate 3-pound second stage. The trigger cassette comes assembled and ready to install in any mil-spec AR receiver with .154-inch holes and no Colt sear block. ($280; americantrigger.com)

Jard AR Adjustable Single-Stage
The Jard two-stage AR fire control unit offers a wide range of trigger pull weights. The lightest, at 1.5 pounds, may be a tad lighter than most want for their rifles. Other weight spring kits allow the pull weight to be set at 2, 3, 4, 4.5 or 5 pounds. This unit differs from other manufacturers’ by the sear engagement adjustment screw. It uses the AR lower receiver’s grip screw hole to thread an Allen screw in place to adjust sear engagement. ($165; jardinc.com)

Jard AR Trigger Module System
The trigger I installed was preset from the factory at 2.5 pounds, and installed in less than five minutes. A neat feature of this unit is rubberized tension balls that are located in the bottom of the trigger assembly. They help reduce play between the upper and lower receiver when installed. ($230; jardinc.com)

Geissele Hi-Speed National Match Rifle Trigger
This fire control unit features a Hi-Speed hammer with 50 percent lock time reduction over standard hammers, and the two-stage trigger is adjustable for overtravel and sear engagement. First stage pull weights range from 1.3-3 pounds, and second stage pull weights range from .5-1.5 pounds ($279; geissele.com)

Geissele Super Semi-Automatic (SSA) Trigger
The Geissele SSA trigger assembly exhibits highly precise craftsmanship, precision and finish. Two examples of this fire control unit with different spring tensions were tested. The installation instructions are concise and clear. Lubrication is vital to keeping a trigger functioning properly and this one is no different. ($170; geissele.com)

Timney AR
The Timney fire control group that was tested was factory preset at 3 pounds. This is a single-stage trigger with almost no creep. Contrary to my previous statement on adequate lubrication, I had heard that this trigger was sensitive to lubrication, so I installed it dry and tested the feel. It was crisp with about 1/8-inch overtravel. Then I lubricated the sear surfaces with Mobil 28 grease and replaced it for a quick trial. The difference was minimal with a slightly better feel dry ($195; timneytriggers.com)

Timney AR Skeleton
This trigger is similar in feel to the previously covered Timney AR fire control unit. I liked the feel of this design, and from a personal standpoint, prefer it to the less expensive Timney AR unit if only for its cool looks and ever-so-slightly crisper feel. ($266; timneytriggers.com)

JP Enterprises EZ Trigger
The JP unit tested included the .156 small pin drop-in fire control unit, a speed hammer, oversize antiwalk pins and an adjustable, reversible safety selector. The final pull weight of the JP EZ Trigger is determined primarily by the spring setup and will range from 3 to 5 pounds. Installation instructions, in both written form and via a supplied DVD, are clear and thorough. ($260; jprifles.com)

Chip McCormick Tactical Trigger
The Tactical Trigger Group is a completely self-contained, 100-percent drop-in fire control group upgrade for both AR-15 and AR-10 rifles. Building on the original Super Match design, the Tactical Trigger pull is factory preset between 3 1/2 and 4 pounds, and is not user adjustable. It fits all standard mil-spec lower receivers with .154-inch trigger and hammer pin holes. ($240; cmctriggers.com)

Chip McCormick Flat Tactical

Chip McCormick Flat Tactical
When a consistent trigger finger position is desired, this unit’s design allows you to index you finger at the bottom of the spur where it turns at 90 degrees. I have a tendency to ride the bottom of an AR trigger to create a consistent hold and squeeze. This trigger’s design makes it easy to feel that your finger is in the correct position every time. ($200; cmctriggers.com)

Wilson Tactical Single-Stage
Since my shooting with an AR leans heavily toward hunting I like a single-stage trigger. Wilson Combat’s single-stage Tactical Trigger Unit (TTU) rates high on the list, owing to its ultra-crisp 4-pound let-off. Another positive attribute is that the TTU takes less than two minutes to install, and there’s no user adjustment needed. Just drop it in, set the pins and go shooting. ($270; wilsoncombat.com)

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SureFire

SureFire

The new hotness from SureFire is the P3X Fury Tactical which boasts 1000 lumens! All that at 1.5 hours with just three CR123A batteries.

That’s enough power to illuminate targets at over 400m. There will be two models, one will have the standard momentary switch as well as a version with a clicky switch.

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Gunfighter Moment – Mike Pannone

Gunfighter Moment – Mike Pannone

The Triad
a crucial intersection
I have been preaching for nearly a decade now that shooting is about body mechanics and body mechanics is all about what I call “the triad”. That is the point at which we operate with the best efficiency i.e. reliable and repeatable speed and precision.

* Strength- “power in the most efficient range of motion”
* Dexterity-”control with minimum effort and maximum precision”
* Visual acuity- “vision that is specifically as precise as the task requires”

Everything we do in the shooting world puts a premium on the efficient use of the body and weapon together at the intersection of at a minimum two of these three factors. Every action and technique should be evaluated and refined based on this in order to maximize its speed, precision and effectiveness. Operating at the triad makes motions and techniques feel more natural and allow the shooter to learn them faster, more precisely and conduct them in varied conditions more reliably. Anyone who has been in one of my classes has heard me say repeatedly “if you get outside your range of motion for strength and dexterity you are making the action harder and compromising your efficiency.” Every human body is different so your “triad” is your own…find it and don’t violate it.

- Mike Pannone

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The 30-Second AR-15 Checklist

The 30-Second AR-15 Checklist

Keep your AR-15 from malfunctioning. Check these 4 key things in 30 seconds or less and stay in the game.

By Patrick Sweeney

1) Hammer and trigger pins are flush to receiver sides and not hanging out. A trigger pin sticking out almost certainly means the hammer spring is improperly installed and is not detenting the trigger pin in place.

The result will almost certainly be sporadic or continuous misfires, burst fire, shut-down. A hammer pin sticking out probably just means it was not pushed in far enough. It is detented by the “J” spring, which is simply a length of spring wire that is permanently staked into the hammer. These practically never fail or come loose.

2. Hammer spring is correctly installed with both legs horizontal, spread out against inside wall of receiver, and laying on top of trigger pin properly in that pin’s outboard groove, acting as a detent for same.

A hammer spring installed backwards will give a light primer strike causing misfires, and although it may appear to be laying on and detenting the trigger pin, it in fact will not. This will lead to the trigger pin walking out and causing failures to fire, or doubling/burst fire.

Hammer springs not installed backwards can still be improperly installed, with legs either under the trigger pin resting on the floor of the receiver, or inboard of the receiver wall and thus not laying in the detention groove of the trigger pin.

In either case the above trigger-pin-walking problems will be the eventual result, plus, when the legs are under the trigger pin instead of on top of it, the blow to the firing pin is reduced somewhat as the spring is not as “wound up” as it would be when properly installed.

3. Carrier key is not loose. Simply hold the carrier in one hand and try to wriggle the carrier key with the other.

This is almost certainly the number one cause of AR-15 malfunctions. Carrier keys come loose, allowing gas to escape from between the carrier and key. Then there is not enough gas to operated the bolt. The immediate, field expedient fix would be to simply tighten the screws (9/64, and sometimes 1/8, Allen wrench).

A better fix would be to remove the screws, clean them and dry them, apply red Loctite, and tighten. Better yet, when time allows, is to do the above and then stake the screws in, displacing carrier key metal over them.

This is supposed to be done at the factory but most manufacturers are doing it poorly and some are doing it not at all. Even staked, screws have been known to come loose and although they cannot separate from the carrier key due to the stakes, they will actually turn and lift the key off the carrier.

One final bit of insurance after staking and Loctiting can be had by counter-staking the screws, just to the clockwise side of the stakes in the carrier key. This way, if the screw ever did try to turn, the outwardly displaced metal of the screw will hit the inwardly displaced metal of the carrier key, preventing the screw from turning.

4. Firing pin retaining pin (cotter pin) not blocking the firing pin. Simply slap the carrier’s back end into your palm to make sure the firing pin cannot come out.

Also, with the bolt pushed into the carrier, you can press the firing pin forward and check that it protrudes from the bolt face. With this check you have checked two things: that the firing pin is free to travel fully forward and that the firing pin tip is present (although I have never, ever heard of one breaking). Note that the firing pin will not protrude if the bolt is extended forward.

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