DIY Archive

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AR Soc Custom Printed AR Magazine Cover for GI Mags or PMags

Here is another product that I was a bit skeptical about until I had it in my hands and realized exactly how cool it is. The AR Soc is… well… a […]

AR Soc ar-15 printed magazine cover for pmag or gi mag - Come and take itHere is another product that I was a bit skeptical about until I had it in my hands and realized exactly how cool it is.
The AR Soc is… well… a sock, for your standard capacity AR-15 magazine. From looking at the pictures on the arcustoms.com website, I had surmised that the AR Soc is a thin decorative cloth sleeve to give a new aesthetic appearance to an AR-15 magazine. And it is… and more!

Now that I have held one and installed on a magazine, I openly admit to initially underestimating how cool a decorative magazine sleeve would be.

The decorative aspect is only one benefit. The thin neoprene base material of the AR Soc improves grip on the magazine a bit. The graphics improve grip a LOT. I don’t know what sort of rubberized printing medium AR Customs uses when they print the graphics on the AR Soc, but it is just grippy enough, without being tacky, where you would expect it to pick up dirt, sand, etc.

I’m actually looking forward to using a magazine with an AR Soc on it in one of my hunting stands this fall, as the shooting rail is at just the right height and distance from me that the magazine tends to bump it. The AR Soc should silence the magazine contact with the shooting rail. I also expect that spare mags won’t clang around as much when wrapped in an AR Soc.

So… looks cool, adds grip and quiets the magazine… all worthy benefits, but the one that blew me away is that you can have your own design printed on the AR Soc! The more I look at the AR Soc, the more ideas I have… custom birthday presents and Christmas gifts, branded promotional items, gag gifts, or even just because they look cool. If my math is correct, they have about 120 different designs listed on their website.
I sent AR Customs a Gear Report logo, and a few days later, these smoking hot nuggets of badassery landed in the Gear Report mail box:

AR Soc ar-15 printed magazine cover for pmag or gi mag

Custom Gear-Report.com AR Soc by arcustoms.com

AR Soc ar-15 printed magazine cover for pmag or gi mag - US Air Force

US Air Force printed AR Soc. Aim High! 2nd most awesome AR Soc design ever created.

I put the PMag version AR Soc on a brand new ProMag RollerMag and it fit just fine. Because the base of the RollerMag is pretty wide, I removed the base first and slowly worked the AR Soc up the magazine until it was in place. The whole process took all of about 4 minutes. The following is cut and pasted from ARCustoms.com, as they do a great job of describing the product and installation process.

“AR Socs are available for 30rd AR15 style USGI mags and also available for most all other polymer 30rd mags including PMags. They are 2 different sizes. Many more sizes and configurations are currently in development. When purchasing your Soc on the product page select the size of your magazine.  Remember when installing your AR Soc™ to take it slow and alternate from side to side and top to bottom when pulling it up on the magazine to prevent overstretching. Each Soc takes a minute or possibly more to get into place correctly and slight adjustments may be necessary to line it up the way you want it. They fit tightly. Each Soc has a 30 day satisfaction guarantee as well. All our Socs are handmade by us in Texas and if you have any quality concerns, or are not happy with yours for whatever reason, please contact us and we’ll make it right!

AK Socs are currently made for 30rd steel AK47 style magazines only. It is very important to install them onto a smooth surface steel mag. Also we recommend using “Sprayway” or any other ammonia free foaming glass cleaner to make the installation easier and avoid possibly overstretching. Spray the bottom half of the magazine and slide it on. The top end of the Soc has a slit cut into it and the slit lines up with the ridge on the back of the magazine.

AR Soc ar-15 printed magazine cover  These Socs are a result of almost 2 years research and development. We tested every material and compound known to man to come up with the best product possible. They are made from a super strong, super thin neoprene rubber compound made to our specs and fit tightly around the base of the magazines. They will not move around once theyre installed unless you want to move them and can be uninstalled and reinstalled as many times as you want. They will not obstruct the magazine from installing in the gun when properly installed and look great.

         In addition to the improvement in the way the guns look the other great thing about our product is that we install a grip assist coating on both sides of the Soc that gets you extra grip on your mags and feels great! We appreciate and look forward to your feedback. Please contact us if theres some other design or image youd like us to put on your Socs. Custom Socs are easily done and we’d love to make you one!”
As we get out and shoot with the AR Socs I will update this review. Also look for the AR Soc in future product stills, range photos and videos. It looks so cool with the Gear Report logo that I will be tempted to use it in all of our photo shoots. :)
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Soloflex Exercise Machine: Exercises From Soloflex Poster

Having recently acquired an old Soloflex Muscle Machine that came with nearly every original part… except the instructions and soloflex exercises poster… I tracked down what info I could find […]
original Soloflex workout poster

original Soloflex workout poster

Having recently acquired an old Soloflex Muscle Machine that came with nearly every original part… except the instructions and soloflex exercises poster… I tracked down what info I could find on the web to preserve it here. Much of this is from the current Soloflex website. Although I do not know how stable the company is today, or how long the site might be around.
Click here for a .pdf of content pulled from an old version of the Soloflex web site, it is dated 2004 and has a bit more info than is on the current site (2015, as of this writing). I found this online and did not create it.

To the right is the best image I could find of the original Soloflex workout Poster. Please leave a comment below if you have a better image.

If you are looking for home exercise equipment, check out these brands that are currently in production:

Exercises

Soloflex_exercises_workouts_assembly (26)

Lower Body Exercises

Soloflex_exercises_workouts_assembly (2) Calf Raise
Primary Muscle Group – CalvesPlace bench on floor across the mainframe.Squat under the barbell arm.Adjust your feet so the balls of your feet are on the bench and your heels hang off.

Start each repetition with your calves fully stretched, extend up onto your toes for a two-second peak contraction.Slowly return to a calves-fully-stretched position for an additional count of two.Also attempt to keep a firm lower back in order to avoid any stress on the spinal column.

 Soloflex_exercises_workouts_assembly (50)  Dead Lift
Primary Muscle Group – Erectors (Lower Back), QuadricepsSecondary Muscle Group – Gluteals, HamstringsPlace the bench on the floor across the mainframe. Attach the barbell arm to hole #24.

Stand on the bench, straddling the barbell arm facing away from the mainframe. Take an overhand shoulder width grip. Bend your knees. Keep your head up and arch your lower back. Lift to the upright position using your legs as much as possible. Stop just short of locking your knee joints and slowly descend, dropping your hips back and using the legs.

 Soloflex_exercises_workouts_assembly (32)  Donkey Press
Primary Muscle Group – CalvesLie on bench as pictured. Place your feet shoulder width apart.Press to starting position. Position barbell arm on balls of feet. Start exercise by letting the resistance stretch your muscles for two seconds. Begin the repetitions by pointing toes toward ceiling. Squeeze the calf muscles for two seconds. Lock your knees to focus on the upper part of the calves, flex your knees to stress the other calf muscles.

NOTE: always wear non-skid shoes.

 Soloflex_exercises_workouts_assembly (43)  Frontal SquatPrimary Muscle Group – Quadriceps, GlutealsSecondary Muscle Group – Hamstrings, Erectors (Lower Back)

Remove the bench and set it aside. Slide foam pads onto the barbell arm.

Face the mainframe, stand with heels securely on stabilizer. Rest the barbell arm on your shoulders, not the biceps. Place your hands on the bend of the barbell arm. Keep your back slightly arched and press to a standing position, just shy of locking your knee joints. Slowly lower to the starting position by dropping your hips backward

 Soloflex_exercises_workouts_assembly (58)  Leg Extension
Primary Muscle Group – QuadricepsSit facing away from the mainframe with the foam pads under your knees. Hook your feet under the foam pads as shown.Slowly extend your legs to a point just short of locking the knee joint and slowly return to the starting position. By angling your torso back 20 to 30 degrees, you will activate all four segments of the quadriceps. An upright position only uses three parts of the quads.
 Soloflex_exercises_workouts_assembly (40)  Leg Curl with Leg Extension
Primary Muscle Group – HamstringsLie face down on the bench. Rest the foam pads on the leg extension just above your knees. Position your head on either side of the mainframe.

Hook your legs under the foam pads and point your toes away from your shins and slowly curl your legs toward your buttocks. At the top of the range, flex your hamstring muscles forcefully for a count of two. Slowly lower to the starting position.

 Soloflex_exercises_workouts_assembly (52)  Leg Press
Primary Muscle Group – Quadriceps, GlutealsSecondary Muscle Group – HamstringsLie on bench as pictured.

Place your feet shoulder width apart.Slowly press your legs up avoiding a locked knee position at the top. If you have a lower back problem, be cautious about bringing your knees so far down as to cause your hips and lower back to lift off the bench.NOTE: always wear non-skid shoes.

 Soloflex_exercises_workouts_assembly (45)  Squat
Primary Muscle Group – Quadriceps, GlutealsSecondary Muscle Group – Hamstrings, Erectors (Lower Back)

Place bench on floor across the mainframe. Adjust the barbell arm slightly higher than your waist.

Slide the foam pads on the barbell arm.Stand flat on the bench facing away from the mainframe with your weight toward your heels and hips dropped back. Slowly press to standing, keeping your head up and back slightly arched. Lift with your legs and gluteals. Use a comfortable resistance and do the exercise slowly. This is the most important exercise you can do.NOTE: We recommend lighter weights and longer sets (15-25 reps). Build up gradually to heavier weights.

 Soloflex_exercises_workouts_assembly (59)  Stiff-Leg Dead Lift
Primary Muscle Group – Lower Back (Erectors)Secondary Muscle Group – Gluteals, Hamstrings

Place the bench on the floor across the mainframe. Attach the barbell arm to hole #24.

Stand on the bench, straddling the barbell arm facing away from the mainframe. Bend over at the waist moving your hips back and grasp the bar with an overhand, shoulder width grip. Arch your lower back and bend your knees slightly. With your head up, slowly raise to an almost erect position. Drop your hips back as you slowly lower the bar to the starting position. Keep your head up and your lower back tight throughout the set.

 Upper Body Exercises

 Soloflex_exercises_workouts_assembly (51) Back of Neck Press
Primary Muscle Group – Rear DeltoidsSecondary Muscle Group – Triceps, other Deltoids, Trapezius

Position the barbell arm at shoulder height.

With a grip just outside shoulder width, elbows out and your back straight, press the arm upward, just short of locking the elbow joint. Slowly lower the bar and just prior to touching your upper back, squeeze your shoulder blades together for a count of two. Then press overhead again.

 Soloflex_exercises_workouts_assembly (30)  Bench Press
Primary Muscle Group – PectoralsSecondary Muscle Group – Triceps, Deltoids

Pin the barbell arm at about hole #17. Get into position by sitting sideways on the bench. Lie back and swivel your neck under the barbell arm. Then scoot into position. To exit, do the reverse.

Grasp the bar just outside shoulder width, keeping your elbows out. Press to an almost locked elbow position and then slowly lower the bar with your elbows out. Make your chest do the work. Vary your hand spacing from set to set.

 Soloflex_exercises_workouts_assembly (61)  Bench Row
Primary Muscle Group – Biceps, Latissimus DorsiSecondary Muscle Group – Rear Deltoids, Trapezius, Forearms

Position the barbell arm for a pulldown.

Pull toward your chest. As the bar approaches your chest, arch your back and pull your elbows down as far as possible and then squeeze them in toward your spine. Hold this contraction for a count of two. Alternate between underhand and overhand grips and vary your grip spacing between sets. Relax your grip and arms to avoid too much involvement of the biceps and forearms.

NOTE: Support the barbell arm when removing weight straps.

 Soloflex_exercises_workouts_assembly (1)  Bent Over Row
Primary Muscle Group – Latissimus DorsiSecondary Muscle Group – Rear Deltoid, Trapezius

Place bench on floor across the mainframe. Position the barbell arm to hole #24 (approximate).

Stand over the barbell arm facing away from the mainframe. Bend and take a wide grip. Keep your knees slightly bent, head up, and buttocks against the mainframe.Slowly pull the barbell arm to your lower ribs or upper abdomen. Hold this contraction for two seconds and slowly return to the starting position. Maintain an arched lower back throughout the movement and squeeze your elbows toward your spine at the top contraction.

 Soloflex_exercises_workouts_assembly (35)  Bicep Curl/Lat Pulldown
Primary Muscle Group – Latissimus DorsiSecondary Muscle Group – Biceps

In the down position set the barbell arm at mid shoulder height.

Pull the bar downward. As the bar approaches the upper chest, draw the elbows backward and squeeze the shoulder blades forcefully together for two seconds. Slowly return to the starting position. Vary your grip spacing and alternate between underhand and overhand grips from set to set.

NOTE: Support the barbell arm when removing the weight straps.

 Soloflex_exercises_workouts_assembly (10) ButterflyPrimary Muscle Group – PectoralsAttach the load pin so the butterfly attachment will rest one inch above your head. Slide the butterfly attachment down over the top of the mainframe to rest on the load pin. Load the weight straps and retainer clips.

Sit on the bench with your back against the mainframe. Grip the attachment as pictured. Push with your forearms not your hands. Bring the butterfly arms together slowly, squeezing your chest muscles for a count of two. Slowly return to a stretched position. (Alternating one arm repetitions can also be performed).

 Soloflex_exercises_workouts_assembly (53)  Dip
Primary Muscle Group – Pectorals, Triceps, Front DeltoidsPosition barbell arm at approximately hole #9. The bench legs should be used for additional support.

Grip the dip bar and press to an almost locked elbow position (with knees bent). Slowly bring your chest down to the dip bar, and press up again. Keeping your torso more upright will place additional stress on the triceps. Leaning your torso into the machine will accentuate the involvement of the chest muscles. When dismounting, slowly ease the weight off your chest.

NOTE: Do not swing! Use bench legs for extra support.

 Soloflex_exercises_workouts_assembly (34)  Dorsi Bar Pulldown
Primary Muscle Group – Latissimus DorsiIn the down position set the barbell arm slightly higher than shoulder height.Sit on the bench facing away from the mainframe.Grasp the barbell arm overhead. Slowly pull the barbell arm down to the top of your shoulders while tilting your head forward. As the bar approaches the upper back, draw the elbows backward and squeeze the shoulder blades together for two seconds. Slowly return to starting position.

NOTE: Support the barbell arm when removing weight straps.

 Soloflex_exercises_workouts_assembly (16)  Haney Shrug
Primary Muscle Group – TrapeziusSecondary Muscle Group – Biceps, Forearms

Place bench on floor across the mainframe. Position the barbell arm at finger tip level when standing on the bench.

Stand facing away from the mainframe, grasp the bar just outside hip width, palms facing behind you, knees slightly flexed. Move your hips slightly forward and draw your elbows as high as possible, pinching them toward each other for two seconds at the top contraction. Slowly lower to starting position. Avoid flexing your wrists too much at the top of the range.

 Soloflex_exercises_workouts_assembly (57)  Incline Bench Press
Primary Muscle Group – Upper PectoralsSecondary Muscle Group – Front Deltoids, Triceps

Adjust bench to approximately a 30-degree incline position. Lie back and swivel your neck under the barbell arm. Then scoot into position. (To exit, do the reverse.)

Press just short of full extension and then slowly lower the bar. Make your chest do the work by keeping your elbows out during the set. Vary your hand spacing from set to set. Getting into position is accomplished by sitting sideways on the bench.

 Soloflex_exercises_workouts_assembly (23)  Military Press
Primary Muscle Group – Front & Middle Deltoids, TricepsSecondary Muscle Group – Tapezius

Position barbell arm at collarbone level. Sit facing the mainframe.Grasp the barbell arm just outside shoulder width, keeping your elbows back and in line with your torso. Press overhead just short of locking your elbows. Slowly return to starting position.

Soloflex_exercises_workouts_assembly (42)  Negative Pull Up
Primary Muscle Group – Latissimus Dorsi, BicepsSecondary Muscle Group – Forearms

Invert the barbell arm. Place the end of the arm into the top of the mainframe and pin at hole #2.

Many individuals find it difficult at first to perform several repetitions of the standard pull-up. As an alternative, step up on the bench and grasp the bar for the starting position. Remove your feet from the bench, supporting your weight with your arms only. Do not swing. Hold this position tightening your muscles for a count of 2 and then slowly lower down (5 seconds) straddling the bench with your legs. Hold this stretch for 2 seconds, then repeat exercise.NOTE: do not swing!

 Soloflex_exercises_workouts_assembly (4)  Pull Up
Primary Muscle Group – Latissimus Dorsi, BicepsSecondary Muscle Group – Forearms

Invert the barbell arm. Place the end of the arm into the top of the mainframe and pin at hole #2. The bench legs must be used for additional support.

Alternate sets as follows: face mainframe, using a close underhand grip; face mainframe using a wide overhand grip, or face away from mainframe using a wide overhand grip. Focus on flexing your back muscles at the top of the range of motion.Note: Do not swing! Bench legs must be used for additional support.

 Soloflex_exercises_workouts_assembly (14)  Rowing with Leg Extension
Primary Muscle Group – Latissimus DorsiSecondary Muscle Group – Rear Deltoids

Sit on the bench straddling the leg extension attachment. Place your feet firmly on the floor, keep your weight back.

Grasp the pivot arm and pull toward you. Arch your back at the top of the repetition and flex your elbows down and in toward your spine for two seconds. Slowly return to a stretched position, rounding your shoulders forward. Be sure to maintain a slight arch in your lower back.

 Soloflex_exercises_workouts_assembly (22)  Shoulder Shrug
Primary Muscle Group – TrapeziusPlace bench on floor across the mainframe. Position the barbell arm at finger tip level when standing on the bench.

Facing the mainframe, grasp the barbell arm with a close overhand grip. Tilt your upper body forward 10 degrees. With your knees slightly flexed and arms straight, elevate your shoulders as high as possible, attempting to touch your “traps” to your ears. Flex for two counts and then, with your shoulders still elevated, roll them backward and flex again for a count of two. Slowly lower your shoulders, allowing them to round forward.

 Soloflex_exercises_workouts_assembly (18)  Standing Bicep Curl
Primary Muscle Group – BicepsPlace bench on floor across the mainframe. Stand with your feet shoulder width apart and knees slightly bent. Position the barbell arm just below your fingertips when standing on the bench. Slide the curl tubes onto the barbell arm.

To perform the exercise, face the mainframe, take a shoulder width underhand grip on the curl tubes. Curl the barbell arm up, keeping your elbows close to your sides. Lean your body toward the mainframe and squeeze the biceps at the top of each repetition.

 Soloflex_exercises_workouts_assembly (25)  Tricep Extension
Primary Muscle Group – TricepsPlace bench on floor across the mainframe. Position the barbell arm to hole #14 (approx.) Stand on the bench facing away from the mainframe.

Press the barbell arm down. Keep your elbows in and do not cheat by using your body weight. Focus on squeezing your triceps at the bottom of the range of motion. The closer you place your hands on the bar, the more stress you will put on your triceps and the more difficult the exercise becomes.

NOTE: Support barbell arm when removing weightstraps.

 Soloflex_exercises_workouts_assembly (47)  Tricep Press
Primary Muscle Group – TricepsPosition the barbell arm at shoulder height.Sit facing away from the mainframe.

Grasp the barbell arm palms up. Keep your back straight and elbows in. Press to the top. Flex your triceps for two seconds and slowly return to the starting position.

 Soloflex_exercises_workouts_assembly (11)  Tricep Pushdown
Primary Muscle Group – TricepsPlace bench on floor across the mainframe. In the down position set the barbell arm slightly higher than fingertip level.

Face the mainframe with your elbows at your sides. Grip the barbell arm and press down. Concentrate on using the triceps by keeping your elbows to your sides. Flex your triceps at the end of the range of motion for two seconds. NOTE: Support barbell arm when removing weight straps.

 Soloflex_exercises_workouts_assembly (36)  Upright Row
Primary Muscle Group – TrapeziusSecondary Muscle Group – Deltoids, Biceps, Forearms

Place bench on floor across the mainframe. Place barbell arm at fingertip level.

Stand on the bench facing the mainframe. With a close overhand grip, pull the barbell arm up toward your chin and flex your traps for two counts at the top. Lean in and tilt your head forward during this motion. Slowly lower the bar. Focus on keeping your elbows higher than the bar.

 Mid Body Exercises

 Soloflex_exercises_workouts_assembly (27)  Body Curl
Primary Muscle Group – Lower AbdominalsIncline the bench. Attach the load pin in the third hole above the bench pin.

Lie back on the bench with your head close to the mainframe.Grasp the load pin over head, palms down. Keep legs straight and raise them up toward the mainframe. Exhale fully as you approach the top position and forcefully contract your lower abdominals for two seconds. Slowly lower your legs to the starting position but not so far as to put undue strain on the lower back.

 Soloflex_exercises_workouts_assembly (5)  Incline Sit Up
Primary Muscle Group – Upper AbdominalsStart with the bench at a slight incline, increasing the incline after you’ve built strength.Hook your feet under the load pin and rest your heels on the bench ears. Keep your knees bent.

Place your hands on your hips and curl your body 3/4 of the distance to the mainframe. Exhale fully before you reach this top position and forcefully contract your abdominal muscles for two seconds. Then slowly lower your body. Stop just short of a relaxed position at the bottom.

 Soloflex_exercises_workouts_assembly (9)  Leg Bend
Primary Muscle Group – Lower AbdominalsUse the same bench positioning as the incline sit-up.

Lie back on the bench with your head close to the mainframe.Reach over your head and grip the load pin, palms down. Bend your knees and curl them to your chest. Exhale fully prior to contracting the lower abdominal muscles as forcefully as possible for a count of two. Keeping your knees bent, slowly return to the starting position.

 Soloflex_exercises_workouts_assembly (44)  Roman Chair Sit Up
Primary Muscle Group – AbdominalsRemove the barbell arm. Insert the roman chair pin into the hole on the stabilizer.

Sit sideways on the bench. Hook your toes under the roman chair pin. Place your hands on your hips, round your shoulders and slowly recline. Do not recline further than parallel with the floor. Curl your body up to a 3/4 upright position. Exhale fully before tensing your abdomen for two seconds.

If you are looking for home exercise equipment, check out these brands that are currently in production:

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FB 200 Likes Give-Away Winner Plus More Chances to Win

If you didn’t win this give-away, don’t fear! We spend most of our time reviewing gear and have neglected our social media channels lately. We want to reward you for […]

IMG_20150710_104634

If you didn’t win this give-away, don’t fear! We spend most of our time reviewing gear and have neglected our social media channels lately. We want to reward you for helping us spread the word about Gear Report by giving away more FREE stuff when:

And now our Facebook 200 Likes winner…
Thanks to the magic of Excel’s random cell selector formula, the winner of the Gear-Report.com 200 FB Likes give-a-way is:

Patty H from Montana!

Patty, THANKS  FOR BEING AWESOME! Send your address and shirt size via FB message and we will get your shirt in the mail to you early next week.

Facebook 200 Likes give-a-way winner

Facebook 200 Likes give-a-way winner

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Where To Buy .300 Blackout Brass: AGBArms.com Processed .300 AAC Blackout Brass

.300 what?! .300 Blackout… officially “300 AAC Blackout” or “300 BLK” (SAAMI short name)… sometimes called “.300 AAC”… it goes by a number of names. The 7.62 x 35mm, .30 […]

AGBarms.com_300_blackout_brass_for_reloading (1).300 what?!
.300 Blackout… officially “300 AAC Blackout” or “300 BLK” (SAAMI short name)… sometimes called “.300 AAC”… it goes by a number of names.
The 7.62 x 35mm, .30 caliber rifle cartridge was designed to give a larger, heavier bullet option that is backwards compatible with the 5.56×45 AR-15/M-16/M-4 platform rifles and accessories, requiring only a barrel change. 300 Blackout is becoming well known for the ability to fire supersonic projectiles that are roughly double the weight of typical .223/5.56 projectiles, as well as heavier, slower projectiles in the 200 – 220 grain range at subsonic speeds. Subsonic rounds fired from a .300 BLK through a silencer are dang-near “Hollywood quiet”, as our friend Don Berckman of GP Arms says.

Ammo prices

Sure, .300 AAC has some interesting ballistics and a range of potential uses, but the ammo can be pretty pricey. Most people I know that shoot .300 Blackout choose to load their own ammo since you can cut the cost to about 1/3 of the price of factory .300 Blackout ammo (or less if you buy components in bulk). I have found .330 BLK to be one of the easier rifle rounds to load. However, since it is a relatively new cartridge and many people who shoot it keep their brass to reload, finding economical brass cases to reload can be challenging, with factory new .300 AAC brass cases sometimes costing as much as factory loaded ammunition.

AGBarms.com 300 blackout converted brass for reloading shirtCheap .300 Blackout cases

Maybe I should say “inexpensive” instead of cheap, but the best way I have found to get .300 BLK cases without breaking the bank is via converting .223 Remington or 5.56×45 cases to .300 AAC. The process isn’t that difficult… cut the spent .223 or 5.56 case down to the specified length, lube and run it through the .300 Blackout sizing die, trim to finished length, chamfer, tumble, swage, etc. However, it is a multi-step process that can be time consuming.

AGBArms.com to the rescue!

If you either don’t have the tools, time, or inclination to convert your own .300 Blackout brass, then I suggest you talk to the guys at AGBArms.com (All Guns Blazin’ Arms). AGB Arms sent us a batch of 1,000 converted .223/5.56 cases to test and review. So far, we have not loaded all of the cases, but have AGBarms.com 300 blackout converted brass reloading benchnothing but great success with the AGBArms.com converted .300 Blackout brass that we have used. In fact, a couple of weeks after sending us the brass to test AGB Arms identified a trend of some cases of a certain brand being a bit more challenging to load, so they sent us a box of replacement cases to cover any of the troublesome brand that _may_ have been in the batch of cases we were sent. Talk about customer service!

AGBarms.com – In their words…

“We are a very young company in this industry.  We are a group of four who also own and have owned other businesses in a number of different industries.  We are slowly but surely finding where each of our expertise can be valuable to this business.  Randan, who is the other active partner besides myself is really the brains as this industry has been a major part of his life from when he was a young boy, to serving in Afghanistan as a Marine Scout Sniper, to our current time being a key factor in this company.
AGBarms.com_300_blackout_brass_for_reloading (7)The other three of us function together as the financing for this business and I also work the day to day with Randan.
Initially we are working on becoming a reliable brass company for reloaders and manufacturers alike.  We are solidifying relationships with primer companies, projectile companies, and powder companies, so that we can soon be a full on component supplier.  It is then our goal to be a once fired ammunition company.
Our brass is inspected twice.  once during the sorting process and once again for the brass that has been fully reprocessed.  Reprocessed cased are cleaned in a dry media and then processed on commercial equipment.  Depending on the caliber and need to be filled, our brass is decapped, swaged, full length resized, trimmed, and deburred prior to being polished and sent out to our customers.” -Landon Noah, AGBarms.com
AGBarms.com 300 blackout converted brass - nice brass Gear Rating:
Gear Score
Gearswww.dyerware.comwww.dyerware.comwww.dyerware.comwww.dyerware.comwww.dyerware.com
Solid product from an up and coming company committed to continual improvement.

*A note on our ratings system… No one has ever gotten a perfect “5 gears” rating, and it may NEVER happen.
  • 5 gears = Perfect!
  • 4 gears = One of the best, minor room for improvement
  • 3 gears = We like it. Could be better though.
  • 2 gears = Not really a fan
  • 1 gear = Why did we waste our time reviewing this?
Jeff shooting rounds made from AGBarms.com brass in an AR pistol in .300 Blackout

Jeff shooting rounds made from AGBarms.com brass in an AR pistol in .300 Blackout

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Cheap Hunting Rifle: the Mosin Nagant

Many Americans first deer rifle was the venerable and inexpensive Mosin Nagant 1891/30, a rifle first designed well over 100 years ago and produced in staggering numbers and variations by […]

Hunting rifles Mosin Nagant Russian and Finnish Many Americans first deer rifle was the venerable and inexpensive Mosin Nagant 1891/30, a rifle first designed well over 100 years ago and produced in staggering numbers and variations by a many nations.

As of this writing, arsenal refinished Mosin Nagant rifles imported by Century Arms are selling for $200 at a local Big Box retail store. It was not too many years ago that it was easy to find Mosin Nagants by the crate for less than $100 per rifle. With a very low acquisition cost and plentiful surplus ammo flooding the market from communist block countries, the Mosin Nagant has long been a great option for a dirt cheap hunting rifle capable of taking down most any North American game. Of late, import restrictions have made importation of Comm Block guns and ammo more difficult. Additionally, fighting and political issues are preventing most importers from accessing the Mosin rifles that are still packed away in long term storage warehouses in many countries around the world.

Compound these supply constraints with the recent surge in Mosin Nagant rifle modernization upgrades that are driving demand. Companies making mosin upgrade parts include:

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Ultra-modern CBRPS Mosin Bullpup conversion

 

Hunting rifles Mosin Nagant boltsA Mosin owner can likely hunt successfully with an old military surplus (milsurp) Mosin simply by cleaning off the long term storage grease and running a few clean patches down the barrel. However, anyone wanting more from their Mosin Nagant has a wide variety of options to modify the rifle to their liking.

The Mosin Nagant fires a proven round first developed in the late 1800s, the 7.62 x 54r. According to the loads listed in Modern Reloading by Richard Lee, the 7.62 x 54 Russian round (sometimes called the 7.62x 53 Russian) can be loaded with light, fast 110 grain bullets traveling over 3,200 FPS, all the way up to heavy, but still supersonic at over 2,000 FPS, 220 grain bullets. Using bullets This gives a wide range of ballistic load options for the handloader to customize to their needs. Many folks liken the Mosin round to that of the .30-06 Springfield.

There is a TON of information available on the Mosin Nagant, like this book on The Mosin Nagant Rifle.  Heck, you can even get a Mosin Nagant manual in English for cheap.

 

Mosin Nagant image gallery below

 

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Strike Industries Enhanced Pistol Grip AR15 AR10 Pistol Grip Review

Quick Strike Industries Enhanced Pistol Grip questions (and answers) for the impatient : Does the Strike Industries Enhanced Pistol Grip fit any standard AR platform rifle? Yes, as far as […]

10-IMG_20150526_151157Quick Strike Industries Enhanced Pistol Grip questions (and answers) for the impatient :

*many of the links will take you to a trusted retail site where you will find additional product info and can purchase AR15 products, if you like.

Other AR15 / AR10 articles you might like:

Old A2 Ar15 pistol grip

Old A2 Ar15 pistol grip

Few things are more motivating than sheer annoyance. 
While building an AR-15 pistol in .300 AAC Blackout it became rapidly apparent that the minor annoyance of the front finger lump (I honestly don’t know what else to call it) on the standard A2 style AR15 pistol grip was significantly amplified by the ergonomics of the AR pistol. Simply put, it was really uncomfortable. So uncomfortable that I would get grumpy, sometimes even angry at the thought of spending extended time shooting the AR pistol all because the standard  pistol grip shape just doesn’t fit my hand well. At. All.

Strike Industries to the Rescue

When I reached out to Strike Industries I actually asked for the Patriot Tactical Enhanced Pro AR pistol grip (which has an American flag embossed into the texture of the

Strike Industries AR Enhanced Pistol Grip on AR pistol

Strike Industries AR Enhanced Pistol Grip on AR pistol

grip!) instead of the newer Strike Industries Enhanced Pistol Grip. I had actually been looking for the newer Enhanced grip when I got distracted by the American Flag grip. I couldn’t tell from the pictures how the Enhanced Pistol Grip would fit my hand or how the texture of the grip would feel. However, Strike Industries was willing to send the Enhanced Pistol Grip to be reviewed, so I agreed to give it a shot. I am really glad I did.

You know what Big Hands means, right?

At 6’4″ and about 205Lb I am not huge, but I’m not a little guy either. I have fairly big hands that don’t fit well on many of the aftermarket grips on the market. I have found, for example, that while I LOVE the grip texture of the Hogue overmolded AR15 pistol grip, the lack of beaver tail puts my trigger finger about 1/4″ further forward than an AR grip that has a beaver tail. 1/4″ is quite a lot when talking about optimal trigger pull angles and where on the trigger finger the trigger should/shouldn’t touch. That the Strike Industries Enhanced Pistol Grip is equipped with a robust beaver tail really helps me naturally attain the proper finger position on the trigger. So, if you guessed that Big Hands means “needs a beaver tail AR grip”, then you are correct.

06-IMG_20150526_151106Get a grip, dude!

For all of the ergonomic thought that went into the straight line recoil system of the AR15, the standard A2 grip is beyond heinous, IMHO. It is too slick in some parts, too hard in others, and just plain shaped wrong. I quite literally hate it. The Strike Industries Enhanced Pistol Grip fixes nearly all of the issues I have with most AR15 grips.

I like these things about the Enhanced Pistol Grip:

  • is equipped with modest palm swells , which I believe gives better control
  • has texture patterns that enhance grip, without diggin in and/or hurting my hand while shooting
  • has a nice forward pertrusion at the bottom of the grip to keep the operator’s hand from sliding off the bottom of the grip… sort of like the ring at the bottom of a baseball bat handle.
  • has the biggest internal storage compartment I can recall seeing on any AR grip
  • has a rather secure fitting rubber cap on the bottom of the grip to close the storage compartment
  • has fairly aggressive thumb cutouts on either side
  • is more vertical than most grips in the A2 style. A more vertical grip works better for an AR pistol or SBR.
Strike_Industries_Enhanced_Pistol_Grip

Strike_Industries_Enhanced_Pistol_Grip – stock photo

I wish these things were different about the Strike Industries Enhanced Pistol Grip:

  • I would love to try this grip with a rubber overmolded finish
  • um… I can’t think of anything else

Overall

I didn’t know what to expect from the Strike Industries Enhanced Pistol Grip. I have to admit to being pleasantly surprised that I like this hard surfaced grip, since I have long loved rubber overmolded grips. The dimensions and grip texture of the Strike Industries Grip really seem to fit my hand well. Keep in mind that shooting an AR pistol is a lot more demanding on the pistol grip than most other shooting methods. If ever there was a test platform to torture and reveal the weaknesses in a grip, it has to be the AR pistol. So far, the Strike Industries Enhanced Pistol Grip has felt naturally good in my hand and performed very well. If I were ordering an AR15 pistol grip for a build today I would give strong consideration to the Strike Industries Grip, likely deciding which grip to buy based on the exact intended use of the rifle.
Gear Rating:

Gear Score
Gearswww.dyerware.comwww.dyerware.comwww.dyerware.comwww.dyerware.comwww.dyerware.com
The most economical of my favorite AR15 grips. Great choice for an AR pistol

Jeff talking about the AR pistol with Strike Industries AR Enhanced Pistol Grip

Jeff talking about the AR pistol with Strike Industries AR Enhanced Pistol Grip

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Gibbz Arms G4 Side Charging AR-15 Upper Builds Progress

We have FINALLY received the final parts and are ready to start assembly of two AR-15 uppers that we have been drooling over for the past several weeks. I wouldn’t […]

GibbzArms side charge uppers build parts

We have FINALLY received the final parts and are ready to start assembly of two AR-15 uppers that we have been drooling over for the past several weeks. I wouldn’t normally post the pre-build pictures, but these builds have so many cool parts from great brands that I had to share.
In case you have not noticed, these Gibbz Arms G4 Side Charging uppers don’t use a standard AR-15 charging handle. The biggest ergonomic downfall of the M-16/AR-15 and similar rifles, IMHO, is the position of the charging handle, which requires the operator to break cheek weld and lose sight picture in order to cycle the charging handle. The side charging handle on the Gibbs Arms upper fixes this.

One great thing about the Gibbz Arms G4 Side Charge uppers is that they use a standard AR-15/M-16 bolt carrier group. Gibbz Arms supplies a replacement cam pin that works with their upper. It just has to be swapped into the BCG, which is a 1 minute job (if you are slow, like me).

Gibbz Arms Side Charging Upper JP Enterprises build
Gibbz Arms G4 Side Charge upper, Right hand:

  • Bear Creek Arsenal 16″ stainless steel M4 profile barrel. 1:8 twist, Wylde chamber
  • UniqueARs.com “Jax 2015″ 15” handguard
  • Newtown Firearms NF-15 Complete Elite BCG in DLC matte finish
  • Rousch Tactical Multip Port Muzzle device
  • Rousch Low Profile gas block
  • Rousch stainless gas tube

Gibbz Arms G4 Side Charge upper, Left hand:

  • Bear Creek Arsenal 16″ diamond fluted heavy profile barrel. 1:8 twist, Wylde chamber
  • Gibbz Arms Side Charging Upper UniqueARs buildJP Enterprises JP MK III 12.5″ Rapid Configuration Tube handguard (JPHG3-1M-RC)
  • JP Enterprises JP Adjustable Gas System (JPGS-5B) low profile gas block
  • Rousch stainless gas tube
  • Standard A2 Bird Cage muzzle device (for now)

As you can see, we have already dry fit the parts, and even mounted the JP handguard build on our JP-15 lower for photos.

What sights and/or optics should we put on these builds?

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How to Legally Purchase a Silencer – Review Series

What are looking forward to most in this upcoming silencer review series on how to legally purchase a silencer / suppressor? Maybe you want to use a silencer while hunting, […]

rifle silencerWhat are looking forward to most in this upcoming silencer review series on how to legally purchase a silencer / suppressor?

Maybe you want to use a silencer while hunting, so you don’t lose valuable hearing.

Or you want a silencer so target shooting will be more enjoyable.

Look for review articles on Gear Report as we progress, covering each step of the process:
1) Creating an NFA Trust: (We used Andrew Dempster at Law Office of Smith, Dickey & Dempster P.A., Hope Mills Location, since we are in North Carolina and Drew has expertise in NFA Trusts). Call Andrew and let him know Gear-Report.com sent you if you need an NFA trust. 800.807.0497

2) How to legally purchase a Silencer: Ordering commercial manufactured silencers from AMTAC Suppressors Inc., Gemtech Silencer, and Silencerco. All 3 brands are sending silencers which will include the Form 4 transfer process once the cans arrive at our local FFL/SOT.

3) How to legally make a Silencer from purpose made parts: Ordering parts to assemble our own silencer where we are the legal “manufacturer”, via AFT Form 1

4) How to legally make a Silencer from other parts, like a Flashlight or “Solvent Trap”: We may submit another Form 1 to make a flashlight based silencer.

SD Tactical Arms (46)
We are almost ready to pay the $200 tax stamp and submit our very first ATF Form 1 for the silencer we are building with parts from SD Tactical Arms. (*We only had the external parts for the attached picture, and notice the end cap has not been drilled, so this is not a silencer yet. Only parts*) Just waiting on response from ATF on whether it is a problem that their eFile form automatically populates the incorrect County for my address.

While we wait for the Form 1 to clear we have sent the parts to WMD Guns to be NiB-X coated (or whatever advanced coating they think is best). When coating is complete they will go back to SDTA to be engraved per ATF requirements, then will be sent to us, along with internals (once the Form 1 is approved) so we can stamp and drill the baffles, drill the end-cap, and assemble the parts, which through the magic of the AFT, transforms the parts into a legal silencer.

 

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KynSHOT Precision Recoil Damper AR10 and AR15 Buffer Upgrade Review

Quick KynSHOT questions (and answers) for the impatient : Does the KynSHOT hydraulic buffer reduce recoil? Yes, we have used 4 different Kynshot precision recoil dampers and found that all […]

IMG_20150329_170711~2Quick KynSHOT questions (and answers) for the impatient :

  • Does the KynSHOT hydraulic buffer reduce recoil? Yes, we have used 4 different Kynshot precision recoil dampers and found that all of them deliver a reduction in felt recoil.
  • Did any KynSHOT AR recoil dampers fail to fit or operate? All of the Kynshot buffers that we tried fit in every AR matched the specifications for that Kynshot model.
  • What did we compare to the KynSHOT precision recoil damper? For starters, standard carbine recoil dampers for AR-15 and fixed stock rifle recoil damper for AR10. Additionally, we compared the AR-15 Kynshot buffers to the JP Enterprises Silent Captured Spring (SCS) for AR-15 carbine.

*many of the links will take you to a trusted retail site where you will find additional product info and can purchase Kyntec / KynSHOT products, if you like.

Other AR15 / AR10 articles you might like:

With no shortage of parts on the AR platform that have enjoyed significant evolutionary progress over the years, the lowly Recoil Buffer seems to have lagged behind a bit. However, KynSHOT claims that their innovative recoil buffers for AR15, AR10 and select shotguns help reduce felt recoil up to 30%, while diminishing wear and tear on parts, improving accuracy, and decreasing the flinch reflex.

So, what does the “Buffer” do, anyway?

Short version: When a shot is fired in an AR10 or AR15, the buffer slows the bolt carrier group’s rearward momentum, then pushes it all forward again.
Long version is at the end of this article.

IMG_20150329_171525Zen and the art of AR recoil buffers

Most people I know put little, if any, thought into balancing the energy required to cycle the various parts of their AR’s operating system. They simply trust that the manufacturer got it right. In an ideal world, the energy diverted to push the bolt carrier group rearward will be just enough to allow it to return to full battery, and no more.

There are a variety of other variables that can influence the balance of the operating system, like gas tube length and/or diameter, variable gas ports, varied buffer spring rates, different bolt carrier group weights, varied buffer weights, lubrication and/or coatings to increase or decrease operating friction, etc. While all play a role, this review will focus on the role of the recoil buffer.

IMG_20150329_170633Manufacturers often design ARs to operate with a wide range of ammunitions. To ensure operation with lower powered loads, more energy might be diverted to cycle the bolt via a larger gas port. We call this over-gassing: designing the gas system to deliver quite a bit more rearward energy than is expected to be needed so that a load on the lower energy end of the spectrum will still create enough pressure to cycle the operating system. Often, the increased rearward energy will be either ignored in design, or countered with a stouter recoil buffer / spring. This scenario results in higher than needed operating forces, which cause wear and tear on parts, as well as contributing to recoil that makes accurate follow-up shots more difficult.

The other end of the spectrum is to under-gas the operating system, such that there may not be sufficient energy to fully cycle the operating system, leaving the AR out of battery and unable to fire. This is annoying for a target shooter and can be deadly for someone that relies on their AR for targets that fight/shoot back.

How can the recoil buffer help?

IMG_20150329_170822A quick internet search turns up a variety of current offerings that claim to be improvements of the standard buffer. However, most that I have seen focus only on adding weight to the traditional buffer design via inclusion of a more dense material inside the buffer itself to increase mass. Increased buffer mass will absorb more kinetic energy, slow down the rearward motion of the BCG and retard the forward acceleration of the BCG, but at the cost of having more reciprocating mass in the operating system. More mass moving in the operating system means a heavier rifle, and more wear on the contact surfaces. It can also amplify the recoil impulse, if not balanced properly.

Another trend, which looks promising, involves the use of a hydraulic shock absorber within the buffer tube to translate part of the rearward energy of the BCG into heat instead of transferring it to the shooters shoulder. By changing the precision orifices/valves and/or other design parameters within the shock absorber one can alter the rate at which the shock absorber compresses, how much resistance it provides to the compression, and how much of that energy remains available to extend the shock absorber, translating the stored energy into kinetic energy.

Advantages of hydraulic recoil buffers

One advantage that hydraulic recoil buffers have over standard buffers is the ability to effectively absorb a portion of energy so that energy is no longer available to push the BCG forward. In an operating system that is over-gassed, with no ability to adjust the gas system, this is one of very few options to reduce some of the kinetic energy that causes wear and it reduces felt recoil.

Another advantage is that in the gradual compression and extension of the hydraulic recoil buffer to make the transition of the BCG from still to rearward motion, from rearward to forward movement, and forward movement to still more gradual. Spreading the energy over a longer time period can dramatically reduce the perceived / felt recoil.

Sounds good, but does it work?

I like a good theory of operation as much as the next guy, but I am more concerned with actual operation. What better way to test operational efficacy than to install and shoot with them? KynSHOT was kind enough to send us 5 of their hydraulic buffers for testing.

Model # Designed for
RB5000 .223/5.56 super-sonic ammo in carbine length stocks
RB5000L .223/5.56 sub-sonic ammo in carbine length stocks
RB5005 .308 super-sonic ammo in carbine length stocks
RB5006 .308 super-sonic ammo in rifle length stocks
RB5006L .308 sub-sonic ammo in rifle length stocks

Honestly, the answer was apparent on the first shot after replacing the standard buffer with a KynSHOT buffer. However, we still shot a few hundred rounds with the various KynSHOT buffers installed to verify consistency.

IMG_20150411_195041

Josejuan shooting an AR15 .300 Blackout with sub-sonic ammo and the RB5000L KynSHOT precision recoil buffer

YES, the KynSHOT recoil damper works!

We have used two of the KynSHOT buffers in a variety of rifles, both in .223/5.56 and .300 AAC Blackout. The third, however, was for a .308 AR with a carbine stock. The rifle we intended to test this in was delayed waiting on a specific barrel. So, the .308 buffer went unused. When the .308 rifle arrived (the WMG Guns Big Beast WMD-10), we realized that the Luth-AR MBA-1 stock was mounted on a rifle length buffer, not the carbine length buffer that we had a KynSHOT for. While this was not an error on KynSHOT‘s part, they sent us the appropriate sized .308 rifle length buffer for testing AND even threw in a prototype buffer designed for low energy / subsonic rounds for review as well.

Having shot the standard .223/5.56 buffer in nearly a dozen lowers, all of our testers agreed that there was a marked reduction in both felt recoil and the ability to get back on target quickly. Using the most sophisticated test tool known to man… um… man himself (did I just call us all tools?) we would guestimate about a 50-60% reduction in felt recoil in the .308, and maybe 50-ish% in the .223/5.56/.300 blackout.

One of my big questions going into this review was how the KynSHOT would compare to the JP Enterprises SCS system… which operates VERY differently. I hoped for some clear differentiators in performance, but in the end, they felt about the same to me. We have both in our long term test pool and will update this if more shooting reveals any notable differences.

But it is hard to install the KynSHOT buffer, right?

Not remotely.

If you really take your time and pay close attention to every detail, as you should on any firearms manipulation, you will be in for maybe a 1 minute installation… start to finish. I can remove a standard buffer from a working AR, replace it with a KynSHOT recoil damper and have the gun put back together in about 15 seconds, if I’m not in a big rush. However, my parents always told me that I was above average. Plan to spend a whole minute on the initial installation.

How to install a Kynshot recoil damper in an AR platform rifle:

  1. Make the weapon safe… all the good stuff like removing the ammo and putting it in another room, verifying that the chamber is empty, etc.
  2. Release the rear receiver pin, allowing the upper to hinge forward on the front receiver pin, and exposing the face of the buffer. You can remove the upper, but don’t need to.IMG_20150625_163259
  3. Depress the buffer retention pin so that the buffer shoots out of the buffer tube… or maybe it is better to use one hand to depress the buffer slightly in to the tube while pushing down the retention pin, so that the buffer does NOT shoot out of the buffer tube, but rather, can be eased out in a controlled and safe manner. You don’t need to remove the buffer spring from the buffer tube. Just let the buffer out enough that you can remove it from the buffer spring.IMG_20150625_163327
  4. Throw the buffer in the box of interesting improvised targets (my box has golf balls, old cell phones, shotgun shell hulls, etc.), as you won’t be needing it again.
  5. Slide the KynSHOT recoil damper into the buffer spring… pretty much the same way that the original buffer was installed.IMG_20150625_163355
  6. Push the KynSHOT recoil damper into the buffer tube so that the buffer spring retainer catches it and holds the assembly in the buffer tube.

    Almost there...

    Almost there…

  7. Close the upper receiver on the lower receiver and re-insert the rear receiver pin. And you are done. It took quite a bit longer to read this than it does to actually do it.IMG_20150625_163451

What else is there to say?

I trust that a lot of engineering went into designing the KynSHOT buffers and tweaking the different models for different uses. While I appreciate that effort, what I REALLY care about is how well it works. As noted earlier, they work well.

Very well.

At our latest testing session Jason, who at the time was the only one to have shot the WMD Guns WMD-10 .308 with the KynSHOT buffer installed, told me that it was “Amazing”, and that with the KynSHOT buffer, “…felt like a .223 with no compensator.” That is a ringing endorsement if I have ever heard one. And I was able to shoot it one handed while filming through the night vision scope that night. Try that with full, unmitigated .308 recoil. Or, actually, don’t. It will probably break your camera.

The cost isn’t that bad at around $110-$120 retail, depending on model. It is a bit more than the other popular way to reduce felt recoil: muzzle brakes. I love a good muzzle brake, and may (or may not, as far as you know) enjoy the way people move away from the adjacent benches at the range when I shoot with an aggressive bake. However, muzzle brake add weight and often length to the rifle, don’t reduce any of the kinetic energy slamming around the action, and are really annoying to other shooters.
I think that a great compliment to the KynSHOT recoil damper would be an adjustable gas block… which is one of my favorite ways to reduce cycling energy by diverting less of it to cycle the action in the first place. However, be aware that you may need to check with KynSHOT on which buffer will be appropriate for you if you shoot reduced power loads (like sub-sonic ammo), with a silencer, or with the operating pressure turned down via an adjustable gas system. Any of those might require one of the “L” models of KynSHOT buffer… “L” meaning it is made for a lower power load or lower operating energy.

On my personal rifles I will use the combination of a KynSHOT precision recoil damper, muzzle brake and, in guns that will sometimes wear a silencer and shoot sub-sonic ammunition, an adjustable gas block… in that order. While I think the adjustable gas block could be considered a first choice, they are comparatively hard to install. The KynSHOT is the easiest installation of the 3 by a long shot.

Gear Rating:

Gear Score
Gearswww.dyerware.comwww.dyerware.comwww.dyerware.comwww.dyerware.comwww.dyerware.com
Reduces felt recoil as advertised. Rating may go up if it remains consistent over extended use.

IMG_20150329_171929KynSHOT

We really like to buy American made products whenever possible. KynSHOT products are made by KYNTEC Corp. Because these buffers are ITAR regulated, ALL of its parts come from US sources.  Scott Taylor, the KynSHOT president clarified this forme, as I had read on their website that some parts were produced in Canada. He said that “KYNTEC’s industrial products use some Canadian parts, but the recoil product line does not.” With friends from the Buffalo area I know that they sure need productive industries hiring folks to help with their struggling economy and raise their spirits, since their sports teams seem to specialize in the soul-crushing cycle of getting fan’s hopes up, just to shatter those hopes. Over and over again. 😉 So, we not only like that KynSHOT is American made, but also that their operation is helping a region that has struggled in recent decades.

Nice ammo, dude!

We are fortunate to have an arrangement with Ammunition Supply Company where they provide ammunition for many of our reviews. In return, we share our videos and reviews with ASC for them to use on their website. For this and our other .308 reviews ASC sent some bulk 7.62×51 military rounds,  2 boxes of Hornady TAP 168gr .308 Win, 2 boxes of Federal Premium .308 with 168gr Sierra Match King projectile,s as well as American Eagle .223 55gr FJM and XM855 5.56 NATO rounds.

Huge thanks to Ammunition Supply Company. Please consider ASC when you need ammo and let them know you heard about them from Gear-Report.com

How recoil buffers work – Long version:

When the trigger is pulled, the hammer releases, striking the firing pin, whichg ignites the primer. The resulting burning gunpowder in the case creates high pressure behind the bullet which pushes the bullet down the barrel. As the bullet passes the gas port some of this high pressure gas vents through the gas port, down the gas tube to the upper receiver, and into the gas key on the bolt carrier. This impulse of high pressure gas pushes the bolt carrier aft, causing the bolt to unlock (rotate out of battery) and move aft, extracting and ejecting the spent case along the way. The combination of the buffer spring and buffer slow the rearward motion of the bolt carrier group as it moves aft, then pushes the bolt carrier group forward to strip another round from the magazine and push the bolt forward, where the cam pin causes it to rotate and lock into battery.

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Gallery of images from this review…

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Hiperfire Hipertouch TH24 Tarheel 3 Gun Competition AR15 AR10 Trigger Preview

The skinny on Hiperfire One of our favorite triggers from our Big AR Trigger Upgrade review was the Hiperfire Hipertouch 24C trigger … the Competition model with the distinctive Hipershoe. When Terry at […]
Hiperfire Hipertouch TH24 tarheel 24 trigger upgrade - Carolina Blue Hipershoe detail

Carolina Blue Hipershoe

The skinny on Hiperfire

One of our favorite triggers from our Big AR Trigger Upgrade review was the Hiperfire Hipertouch 24C trigger … the Competition model with the distinctive Hipershoe. When Terry at Hiperfire told me that he had a new trigger coming out soon that would be BETTER than the 24C, I wondered if he was high on … well, whatever it is that Engineers get high on. After all, the 24C caused such a stir among the Gear Report test team that I was in fear for my well being when deciding how to dispose of that trigger when testing was done. Lets just say that there were no shortage of hands that went up when I asked who would like to keep the Hipertouch 24C for extended testing.

Magic coatings

We saw in our AR Fire Control Group testing that WMD Guns turned a clunky stock mil-spec trigger into a very respectable fire control group by applying Nickel Boron to all of the non-spring parts and doing a bit of polishing. So, it should not have surprised me to see that Hiperfire had done much the same in coating the 24C with an un-named “secret sauce” Nickel alloy based finish, and called it the Hiperfire Hipertouch TH24 Tarheel 3 Gun Competition Trigger. Hiperfire doesn’t disclose that the plating is NiB-X. However, that is what it looks like to me.

Hiperfire Hipertouch TH24 tarheel 24 trigger upgrade - package

Hiperfire Hipertouch TH24 tarheel 24 trigger

Hiperfire says that the TarHeel TH24 trigger:

  • is smoother, so the shooter feels greater control and confidence, improving accuracy
  • is more responsive and more pleasurable to shoot
  • extends trigger life via reduced wear, since the plating is hard and somewhat lubricious.
  • absorbs lubrication into plating surface matrix
  • is easier to clean carbon fouling
  • provides better corrosion protection than parkerizing
  • offers better looks, although color will darken with use

I found the intro video on the Hiperfire site to be a list of great features, mixed with a few negating statements that make it clear that Hiperfire wasn’t initially convinced that coating a Hiperfire 24C would make a difference. My expectations are that the Hipertouch TH24 will feel nearly identical to the Hiperfire 24C competition trigger.

Hiperfire Hipertouch TH24 tarheel 24 trigger upgrade - ready to install 2

Hiperfire Hipertouch TH24 tarheel 24 trigger upgrade – ready to install

Set it up!

I installed the Hiperfire Hipertouch TH24 in the new WMD Guns Big Beast .308 WMD-10 (AR10) for initial testing. Installation is identical to the Hiperfire 24C, so check out this video to see how it is done. The Hiperfire 24 series triggers look a bit complex, but aren’t really that hard to install at all. Besides, Hiperfire provides the best instructions I have seen, rivaled only by LaserMax (they also have awesome printed instructions… but I digress). The only tool that I use is a little alignment pin from the Hiperfire Hipertouch EDT installation kit. It is not required, but makes it easier to align the trigger group and the hammer with their respective pins. If you are new at this and take your time following the instructions to the letter, including watching the video(s), then you are probably looking at at 30 minute install. And you really should take your time since there are a couple of critical things, like the orientation of the toggles relative to the toggle pin, that you really don’t want to get wrong. Once you understand how the Hipertouch 24 series triggers go together, you can probably remove a mil-spec trigger group and install the TH24 trigger in about 5 minutes. I chose to install the heaviest toggle springs in the TH24, so I expect trigger pull to measure about 3 – 3.5 lbs.

As you can see in the pictures, the Big Beast is pretty much totally coated in NiB-X on all visible surfaces… and even some of the hidden ones, like the trigger well and mag well. While we have a variety of lowers that we could install the Hiperfire TH24 in, I chose the AR10 not because the Nickel finishes match, but rather because:

  • The stock trigger in the Big Beast is a fully coated and polished mil-spec trigger, as mentioned above (the one mentioned above was from the WMD Beast lower, not this Big Beast), but it seemed to be the weakest link on the solid WMD-10 platform. I am a big fan of the Hipertouch 24C trigger and can’t wait to feel how the Hipertouch TH24 feels in the AR10.
  • To show that Hiperfire triggers fit in AR10 rifles, not just the smaller AR15 platform rifles.
  • Because the Big Beast is our workhorse for testing various night vision and normal optics, so it will be used a lot.
  • And yes, also because the finishes match. While I am not a slave to fashion, I do appreciate the ability to color coordinate my rifle with my trigger. :)

How we will test the TH24

Hiperfire TH24 tarheel 3 gun trigger - tarheel 3-gunMuch of the testing will be opportunistic, as it is installed in one of our testbed ARs. As we shoot the WMD-10, we will also note how the Hiperfire Hipertouch TH24 feels and operates. However, we will do the obligatory hammer drop block testing and trigger pull weight testing.

Tarheel 3-Gun

Gear Report is located in Central North Carolina, the heart of 3-Gun country, in large part, due to the efforts of groups like Tarheel 3-gun. We look forward to checking in with the folks at Tarheel 3-gun as part of this review. The TH24 came about at the request of Tarheel 3-gun. It is my understanding that they insisted on a Carolina blue trigger. Please understand, if you aren’t blessed to live in the Tarheel state, that the exact shade of Carolina blue associated with the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill is what many North Carolinians refer to as “Carolina Blue”. The blue on the hipershoe is close, but a bit too dark. :(

hiperfire AR15 AR10 trigger upgradeHiperfire

As noted in our AR Trigger Test Preview, Terry Bender, the Hiperfire CEO wasn’t just willing to pit his triggers against the competition, he was EAGER. While every other manufacturer in our big AR Trigger test sent one model of trigger for evaluation, Hiperfire sent all 5 current production triggers. Well, Terry is back at it again, this time with the new TH24 Tarheel 3-Gun trigger. Terry, a graduate degreed mechanical engineer by training, created a very innovative design for the 24C series triggers, adjusting the geometry and mechanisms within the AR trigger group. My experience with the complete line of Hiperfire 24 triggers is consistent with how Terry describes them: “The triggers are differentiated best by the amount of creep to meet any preference.” However, I would add that the ability to dial in the trigger pull weight by swapping the springs is a great added feature.

Huge thanks to Ammunition Supply Company, who kicked in 3 types of .308 ammo for testing the WMD Guns WMD-10, that houses the Hiperfire TH24.

You can read more about the hiperfire AR15 AR10 trigger upgrade and the other triggers in the test in our full AR trigger upgrade review.

More pictures of the Hiperfire Hipertouch TH24 Tarheel 3 Gun Competition Trigger:

0

Grip-Key Key Organizer Review

What is a Grip-Key? Grip-Key is a Kydex polymer key organizer that allows you to stabilize, align, and organize your personal array of keys, giving you a compact Swiss-Army knife style sandwich […]

GripKeyWhat is a Grip-Key?

Grip-Key is a Kydex polymer key organizer that allows you to stabilize, align, and organize your personal array of keys, giving you a compact Swiss-Army knife style sandwich with your keys neatly stored inside.

A product in search of a need?

Grip-Key says that their product “…will eliminate all your key problems.” Wow! That is a pretty tall order. On a more realistic note, it is designed to keep keys from rattling, better organize them, and make them easier to carry.

We started this review cycle with open minds, but a healthy dose of skepticism. After all, we have carried keys on traditional key rings for a couple of decades, and people have carried keys for hundreds of years before us. Could there really be something new and innovative in the management of keys? The is the second key organizer that we received for review. The Key-Bar arrived a week or two before the Grip-Key and is discussed in a separate review here: http://gear-report.com/key-bar-key-organizer-review/

01-IMG_20150330_150055Some assembly required

The Grip-Key arrived wrapped in bubble wrap and inside a padded USPS First Class mail envelope. The Grip-Key had 2 sets of 3 screws (long and short) and T-nuts, a spring steel belt clip like you find on many IWB holsters, and a little instruction sheet. Assembly was simple enough. Just slide a screw through each end of the Grip-Key, plus one in the center and start putting on keys. Well, actually, it sounds a bit easier than it turned out to be in practice. While the whole process of setting up a Grip-Key is not complicated, it took me a bit of trial and error to get the right distribution of keys on each end. I had already drilled out the holes in a couple of keys, as the Key-Bar screws were just barely too large to fit. Since I was moving keys from the Key-Bar to the Grip-Key, this make the Grip-Key, the holes had already been enlarged sufficiently for the Grip-Key screws. I assembled and reassembled the Grip-Key about 3 times before I found the distribution of keys that worked best for me. It helped that I had already been through this process with the Key-Bar. Then a week later I realized that I had my big car key in the wrong place, as there is actually a molded indention on one end just for a large car key. However, there is a significant design difference between the two. The Grip Key sides are Kydex which has been molded a bit. The shape of the Kydex dictates positioning of keys and provides some squeezing pressure in a few places.

Any issues with the Grip-Key?

Grip-Key key organizer - done

No major issues, but some interesting challenges.

  • If you have any odd shaped keys, the you may not be able to use them in the Grip-Key. See the pic below where you see the round key to my little fire safe sticking out the side. I made it work, but it is not contained like the flat keys. Keys with built in car remotes likely won’t fit at all.
  • If you have a key fob for the door locks and alarm on your car, then you will have to attach it to the outside of the Grip-Key. Not a big deal, as there is a little grommet reinforcing a hole for this. Just something you have to keep in mind.
  • 09-IMG_20150514_173315Some keys don’t have holes big enough for the screws that hold the keys in the Grip-Key. I drilled out the holes to make them big enough.
  • It took some trial and error to figure out how to best arrange the keys on the Grip-Key. As with most of these “issues”, they aren’t really “issues”, just stuff you have to learn and adjust to.
  • The Grip-Key torques a bit when I turn the ignition key in the Battle Wagon. It doesn’t cause any problem, just feels weird to me.

What is Grip-Key made of?
The sample provided for this review is made of Kydex with a woodland ACU digital camo pattern printed on it. A quick scan of grip-key.com shows various other Kydex color and print options. Dimensions are about 4 inches x 1.5 inches.

Grip-Key key organizer - Key-Bar compared

Grip-Key key organizer – Key-Bar compared

Does the Grip-Key work?

First, let’s talk about how we tested the Grip-Key. Conceptually, the Grip-Key is only the second such device that I had seen. I kept noticing both Key-Bars and Grip-Keys in Instagram Pocket Dump pictures after creating our Gear Report Instagram account. I pinged Key-Bar on Instagram and they were kind enough to offer one for review. Within a week I noticed a similar product with a rather different implementation in the Grip-Key and they offered to send one also. So, we were brand new to the idea of using a key organizer and had both a Key-Bar and Grip-Key for review. While both products are similar in usage, their design and materials are quite different. So, I (Jeff) took the Key-Bar and Josejuan took the Grip Key. After about a month we switched. Each of us spent a month carrying each of the key organizers.

Based on this somewhat extended test, we came to a clear answer of “Yes!” It actually took a few days for me to get used to the different feel of having a Key-Bar clipped to the upper inside of my left hand, front pants pocket. Since I carried the Key-Bar first, I had no such adjustment period when I switched to the Grip-Key. I can say without a doubt that NOT being poked in the groin by keys pointing random directions in my pocket was a welcome change. While I may have started the review period with a healthy

Grip-Key key organizer - ignition

Grip-Key key organizer – ignition

skepticism, I am surprised to say that I don’t care to even think about going back to a keyring. The only problem I have at the moment is that I can’t decide which one I want to keep carrying. The Grip-Key and Key-Bar have some notable differences and each has pros and cons. Josejuan has the Key-Bar now and I am considering asking if he would mind trading it back to me. The Key-Bar is a bit heavier, but the rigid metal sides feel better to me when turning a key… like starting a the Luxury Battle Wagon, since there is no torsional flex. I never had any issues with the screws coming loose in the Key-Bar, but I have a couple of times with the Grip-Key. The Kydex Grip-Key is lighter, and thinner, which I like, but the pocket clip is a lot larger and tends to scrape on things. The Key-Bar’s pocket clip never seemed to snag on anything. Overall, I think I prefer the Key-Bar but not by much. I think either is a great way to get your keys under control.

Is it bulky or odd to have in my pocket?
Well, I think it was a bit odd at first, but not after I got used to it. Yes, the Grip-Key adds 2 slabs of Kydex to the already bulky set of keys in my pocket. However, the Grip-Key organizes the keys in 2 neat stacks so that it actually feels more compact than carrying the same keys on key rings. Because the pocket clip holds the keys close to vertically in my pocket, I don’t really notice them there nearly as much as before the Grip-Key. Josejuan had similar thoughts on this issue.

Grip-Key key organizer - belt clip

Grip-Key key organizer – belt clip

Does Gear-Report.com recommend the Grip-Key?
Yes, this is one of the items that has been an eye opener to both of our reviewers. While I really expected to be unimpressed and left scratching my head as to why anyone would pay $25 for Grip-Key, instead I find myself wondering how it took this long for someone to bring such a product to market. While I like the solid feel of the Key-Bar vs the flexible Kydex of the Grip-Key, I certainly like the Grip-Key’s $25 price better than the $45 for the entry-level Key-Bar.

Is the Grip-Key a good value?
The MSRP of this camo model is $25.
This seems high for a key chain, but it is not just price that we are discussing . We include here the value, performance and benefit from use.
What say our reviewers:

Jeff: “The $25 price seems to be on the low end for this new class of products. Given that this is a 100% American made, hand-crafted product, $25 seems like a fair price.”

Josejuan: “I like the Grip-Key a lot.”

Do we recommend?
Highly. As a product that we would not necessarily be seen as needed, most adults have at least a few keys for the office, auto, and home. Having a nice compact set of keys has proved to us the usefulness of this product.
The sample provided to us is the basic unit. The company has a variety of custom options and the Shark Key accessory to go with their Grip-Key.

Gear Rating:

Gear Score
Gearswww.dyerware.comwww.dyerware.comwww.dyerware.comwww.dyerware.comwww.dyerware.com
A good option for quieting and organizing your keys

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1

Key-Bar Key Organizer Review

What is a Key-Bar? No, its not the key to the liquor cabinet. We think it is worth your time to keep reading anyway. Key-Bar is a key organizer that allows you […]
key-bar key organizer - some keys don't fit

key-bar key organizer – some keys don’t fit

What is a Key-Bar?

No, its not the key to the liquor cabinet. We think it is worth your time to keep reading anyway.
Key-Bar is a key organizer that allows you to stabilize, align, and organize your personal array of keys, giving you a compact Swiss-Army knife style sandwich with your keys neatly stored inside.

A product in search of a need?

The sales pitch is that the Key-Bar keeps keys from rattling, better organizes them, and makes them easier to carry. We started this review cycle with open minds, but a healthy dose of skepticism. After all, we have carried keys on traditional key rings for a couple of decades, and people have carried keys for hundreds of years before us. Could there really be a better way? The is the first key organizer that we received for review. The Grip Key arrived a week or two later and will be discussed in a separate review.

key-bar key organizer - assembly

key-bar key organizer – assembly

Some assembly required

The Key-Bar arrived in a metal box similar to an Altoids tin, complete with 3 pairs of stainless screws, a pocket clip, a key fob loop, a stack of stainless washers / key spacers, directions and a couple of rubber o-rings. Assembly was simple enough. Just thread an o-ring onto a screw, slide a screw through each end of the Key-Bar, and start putting on keys. Well, actually, it sounds a bit easier than it turned out to be in practice. While the whole process of setting up a Key-Bar is not complicated at all, it took me a bit of trial and error to get the right combination of keys, screws and washers. I also had to drill out the holes in a couple of keys, as the screws were just barely too large to fit. I assembled and reassembled the Key-Bar no less than 5 times before I found the distribution of keys that worked best for me. Josejuan estimated that 20 keys would fit in the Key-Bar. I have a few odd shaped/sized keys, so I think about 15-ish is about all it will hold for me.

Any issues with the Key-Bar?

key-bar key organizer - drilling key holes

drilling key holes

No major issues, but some interesting challenges.

  • If you have any odd shaped keys, the you may not be able to use them in the key-bar. See the pic below where you see the round key to my little fire safe sticking out the side. I made it work, but it is not contained like the flat keys. Keys with built in car remotes likely won’t fit at all.
  • If you have a key fob for the door locks and alarm on your car, then you will have to attach it to the outside of the key-bar. Not a big deal. Just something you have to keep in mind.
  • Some keys don’t have holes big enough for the screws that hold the keys in the Key-Bar. As you can see, I drilled out the holes to make them big enough.
  • It took some trial and error to figure out how to best arrange the keys on the Key-Bar. As with most of these “issues”, they aren’t really “issues”, just stuff you have to learn and adjust to.
  • The round ends of the Key-Bar may prevent your car key from going all the way in to the ignition. I could have ground down the end of the Key-Bar, but opted instead to file a bit of plastic off of the ignition switch housing in the Luxury Battle Wagon. For the record, I have no idea why Ford thought it necessary to put such a big key vagina on e-150.
key-bar key organizer - doesn't fit

doesn’t fit

key-bar key organizer - filing the Ford e-150 so it would fit

filing the Ford e-150 ignition housing so the Key-Bar would fit

What is Key-Bar made of?
The sample provided for this review is made of aluminum and stainless steel screws. A quick scan of key-bar.us shows various other materials such as copper, titanium, carbon fiber, brass, and a few multi-material hybrids. They also offer a few interesting finish options, which appear to be mostly different types of anodizing.

Grip-Key key organizer - Key-Bar compared

Grip-Key key organizer – Key-Bar compared

Does the Key-Bar work?

First, let’s talk about how we tested the Key-Bar. Conceptually, the Key-Bar is the first such device that I had seen. I kept noticing it in Instagram Pocket Dump pictures after creating our Gear Report Instagram account. I pinged Key-Bar on Instagram and they were kind enough to offer one for review. Within a week I noticed a similar product with a rather different implementation in the Grip-Key and they offered to send one also. So, we were brand new to the idea of using a key organizer and had both a  Key-Bar and Grip-Key for review. While both products are similar in usage, their design and materials are quite different. So, Jeff took the Key-Bar and Josejuan took the Grip Key. After about a month we switched. Each of us spent a month carrying each of the key organizers.

Based on this somewhat extended test, we came to a clear answer of “Yes!” It actually took a few days for me to get used to the different feel of having a Key-Bar clipped to the upper inside of my left hand, front pants pocket. The pocket clip holds the Key-Bar up and secure, instead of having a jumbled mess of keys at the bottom of my pocket. I can say without a doubt that NOT being poked in the groin by keys pointing random directions in my pocket was a welcome change. While I may have started the review period with a healthy skepticism, I am surprised to say that I don’t care to even think about going back to a keyring. The only problem I have at the moment is that I can’t decide which one I want to keep carrying. The Grip-Key and Key-Bar have some notable differences and each has pros and cons. Josejuan has the Key-Bar now and am thinking of asking if he would mind trading it back to me. The Key-Bar is a bit heavier, but the rigid metal sides feel better to me when turning a key… like starting a the Battle Wagon, since there is no torsional flex. I never had any issues with the screws coming loose in the Key-Bar, but I have a couple of times with the Grip-Key. The Kydex Grip-Key is lighter, which I like, but the pocket clip is a lot larger and tends to scrape on things. The Key-Bar’s pocket clip never seemed to snag on anything. Overall, I think I prefer the Key-Bar but not by much. I think either is a great way to get your keys under control.

Is it bulky or odd to have in my pocket?
Well, I think it was a bit odd at first, but not after I got used to it. Honestly, yes, the Key-Bar adds 2 chunks of metal to the already bulky set of keys in my pocket. However, the Key-Bar organizes the keys in 2 need stacks so that it actually feels more compact than carrying the same keys on key rings. Because the pocket clip holds the keys close to vertically in my pocket, I don’t really notice them there nearly as much as before the Key-Bar. Josejuan was more direct in his feedback, stating “No, it is not. Compared to the usual having the keys freely moving and jingling in your pocket, this is cleverly organized and quieter. The key-bar has a clip included which lets you clip the keys to the belt or pocket edges.”

Does Gear-Report.com recommend the key-bar?
Yes, this is one of the items that has been an eye opener to both of our reviewers. While I really expected to be unimpressed and left scratching my head as to why anyone would pay $45 for Key-Bar, instead I find myself wondering how it took this long for someone to bring such a product to market.

Is the Key-Bar a good value?
The MSRP of this aluminum model is $45.
This seems high for a key chain, but it is not just price that we are discussing . We include here the value, performance and benefit from use.
What say our reviewers:

Jeff: “Call me cheap, but I struggle a bit with the $45 price tag. At the same time, I am looking forward to getting the Key-Bar back.”

Josejuan: “On this we have to acknowledge that it is worth every penny.”

Do we recommend?
Highly. As a product that we would not necessarily be seen as needed, most adults have at least a few keys for the office, auto, and home. Having a nice compact set of keys has proved to us the usefulness of this product.
The sample provided to us is the basic unit. The company has more advanced options and also has some accessories to go with their key-bar. They have small tools like screw driver, bottle opener, stainless comb, memory stick, and other items that compliment their system.

Gear Rating:

Gear Score
Gearswww.dyerware.comwww.dyerware.comwww.dyerware.comwww.dyerware.comwww.dyerware.com
A surprise product that I didn't expect to really like, but won me over with solid construction and reliable use

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0

Bear Creek Arsenal Review – Gear Report Road Trip Factory Tour

It started with an email to Jason, the resident FFL and AR specialist at Gear Report. A couple of Silencer manufacturers committed to send cans for review. Each was rated […]
Bear Creek Arsenal visit - black logo

Bear Creek Arsenal visit – black logo

It started with an email to Jason, the resident FFL and AR specialist at Gear Report.
A couple of Silencer manufacturers committed to send cans for review. Each was rated for up to .300 AAC Blackout… but Gear Report didn’t have any guns chambered in .300 blackout.
I asked Jason who he recommended for quality, but budget friendly AR15 rifle and pistol uppers in .300 AAC. Since Jason builds a LOT of ARs for Law Enforcement Agencies in the region, he often has the challenge of finding the best value in ARs that can be depended on in deadly situations. He gave me only 3 names, and one was followed by… “oh, and they are just down the road in Sanford, NC”.

That was Bear Creek Arsenal.

Bear Creek Arsenal visit - no cameras

Bear Creek Arsenal visit – no cameras allowed

Who?

I checked out their website and found that they really do offer pretty good prices. However, I had never heard of them and wanted to see for myself what kind of commitment to quality they have. My undergraduate degree is in Industrial Technology and I created an ISO-9000 quality program for a manufacturer back in the day… So, I have enough formal training to recognize a well run shop with a focus on quality… or the lack of quality focus. Bear Creek Arsenal was kind enough to agree to let the Gear Report team crash their facility on a Friday afternoon. So, Jeff, Josejuan and Chris from Three Pillars Shooting piled in the luxury battlewagon and blew off “work” for a Road Trip! While our brief visit did not afford us a thorough review of their production and quality control systems, the gun room, where barrels were being inspected, bore snaked, oiled, and sleeved in protective wrap for storage until final assembly, appeared clean and well organized… both good signs.

I had heard that Bear Creek is a “small shop”. Um… what?! The main shop floor by the office isn’t massive, but it is just one of several expansive buildings filled with a mix of large CNC machines of various sorts and bins upon bins of raw materials and machined parts for cars and guns. And yes, I said car parts. Bear Creek Arsenal is owned by Moore’s Machine Company and resides on their site in Sanford, NC. While Bear Creek Arsenal may be a family owned business, it is certainly not a little Mom and Pop shop. The elephant in the room, as I found out while doing research for this post, might just be the rough start that MMC got off to when they started making AR-15 pattern rifles. While I have no experience with any MMC branded rifles, the internet has a long memory and some reviews of their early products are rather brutal. This might be the reason that such an effort was made to impress upon us their intense focus on improving their product quality. The reality is that all I can really report on is what I see and experience, and so far I have seen nothing to worry me. In fact, left the facility rather impressed. The proof, they say, is in the pudding… or in this case, the barrels, as we have a few barrels that were pulled from their production stock and sent with us for testing and reviews. I am told that a complete upper will ship soon with a black spiral fluted 24″ heavy barrel with .223 Wylde chamber. Unfortunately, we had to leave before it was ready. Can’t wait to see how the Bear Creek Arsenal products perform.

Bear Creek Arsenal visit - upper

Bear Creek Arsenal visit – upper

Pics or it didn’t happen!

I apologize that we were not able to take any pictures or video in their production facility, but also appreciate that they described a big, ongoing investment in improving the quality of their products. It makes sense that BCA would want to protect their processes and products from the prying eyes of the brands they have in their sights. We were allowed to take a few pictures on the workbench in the gun room of select parts and assemblies. It is a real shame that we can’t share with you any info on the prototypes in various stages of production that we were shown. Some were awesome… one of the uppers that is in pre-production quite literally made the hair stand up on my arms. It was stunning. And then there was that one… doh! Almost slipped up and spilled the beans.

Barrels as works of art?

What do you do when you are a manufacturer who makes your own barrels, but can’t decide which new models would be best received by consumers?

Bear Creek Arsenal visit - Which barrel do you like best

Bear Creek Arsenal visit – Which barrel do you like best

Easy, let Gear Report line up a bunch of options and take pictures, then wait for the Gear Heads to let you know what they like. In this set you see 8 different barrels, from top to bottom. Please leave a comment stating which you like best.

  1. 16″ parkerized contour barrel
  2. 16″ stainless contour barrel
  3. 16″ diamond fluted parkerized heavy barrel
  4. 16″ diamond fluted stainless heavy barrel
  5. 18″ Bear Claw spiral fluted Melonite stainless barrel
  6. 10.5″ Heavy 1:8 .300 AAC Blackout Parkerized barrel
  7. 18″ (I think) stainless spiral fluted
  8. 16″ M4 1:9 coyote tan Cerakote

Sadly, the coolest barrel I have ever seen was sitting just 10 feet away and we were not able to take a picture of it. Lets just say that you will want to check the BCA website and FaceBook pages periodically to see if they release it. You will know it when you see it. :) Seriously… the only thing that troubles me about this mystery barrel is that the typical lightweight AR handguard would still cover up quite a bit of the barrel.

Bear Creek Arsenal visit - 80% lower

Bear Creek Arsenal visit – unfinished 80% lower

NC born ARs

While they do source some raw parts, like upper and lower forgings, from elsewhere, most big parts are machined in-house. Bear Creek Arsenal drills, reams, rifles, turns, and if applicable, flutes barrels on their CNC Machines. They said that the quality of their barrels is beyond what even they expected and is leading the charge to higher quality. While our best interrogation techniques were not sufficient to pry out of them the brand names, I hear that BCA supplies OEM barrels to a variety of big name brands. Another, non-Bear Creek source told us a couple of brand names and, indeed, they were well known brands. Bear Creek Arsenal makes their own A2 bird cage muzzle devices, gas blocks and A2 front sights, as well as machining to complete  the forged uppers and lowers. They have other parts in the works that will be made in house soon. If you have followed the Bear Creek Arsenal brand, you might have noticed that the branding has changed. Gone is the bear with a swiping paw, replaced with a circle with an angry bear head. I was told that the transition to the new branding is in the works and being done in conjunction with improved quality measures.

More to come…

This was our first trip to Bear Creek Arsenal and, as with any new relationship that we care about, we are taking things slow. We saw a few prototypes that aren’t yet ready to fire, and heard about a few other cool things in development. We expect to visit BCA again when these new products, with a few innovations that I pinky swore not to reveal yet, are ready. With any luck, we will be cleared to take some pictures and maybe even video from the shop floor (not allowed on the shop floor this time) and will have more time to explore more products in more detail. In the mean time, look for the reviews on the barrels we received for testing as soon as we track down some uppers to build them on.

 

 

0

Win A Free Anderson Manufacturing AR15 / AR10 Trigger Kit

This contest has ENDED. Please congratulate Mark T., the lucky winner. Follow the directions in the entry form below to enter the contest to win a free Anderson Manufacturing AM […]

This contest has ENDED. Please congratulate Mark T., the lucky winner.

AR15 Trigger Give-a-Way Gear-Report.com

AR15 Trigger Give-a-Way Gear-Report.com

Follow the directions in the entry form below to enter the contest to win a free Anderson Manufacturing AM Hammer and Trigger Kit

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4. HOW TO ENTER: You may enter the Sweepstakes through the application that appears on gear-report.com or the Gear Report Facebook page. To access Gear-Report.com Sweepstakes application, you must go to www.facebook.com/GearReport and click on the “like” button and then click on the “Sweepstakes” tab. You will be asked to complete and submit the online Registration Form including your first and last name, email address (associated with your Facebook account), and zip code. Entries must be received by dates stated in the Online Registration Form in order to be entered in the Drawing. Each drawing shall be referred to herein as a “Weekly Drawing”. Limit one (1) entry per person and per Facebook account per Entry Period. Subsequent entries submitted by the same person or Facebook account in excess of the stated limitation for any Entry Period will be void. Entries that are generated by script, macro or other automated means and entries by any means which subvert the entry process will be void. Entries become the property of the Sponsor and will not be returned. Incomplete entries or entries not complying with these Official Rules are subject to disqualification, at the Sponsor’s sole discretion. If a dispute results as to the identity of an entrant, it will be determined that the entry was submitted by the authorized account holder of the Facebook ID from which the entry is made. For these purposes, the authorized account holder is the natural person assigned to a Facebook ID from which the entry is made. The promotional website’s database clock will be the official timekeeping device for the Sweepstakes.
Entry must be in keeping with the Sponsor’s image, and may not be offensive as determined by Sponsor in its sole discretion. Releasees are not responsible for late, lost, delayed, stolen, undelivered, incomplete, garbled, damaged, or misdirected entries. Sponsor’s decisions are final on all matters relating to this Sweepstakes. Sponsor reserves all rights, including the right to edit, publish, use, adapt, modify, or dispose of any entry, proper names, likenesses, and photographs for advertising and promotional purposes in all media (including, but not limited to, the internet) without additional compensation, except where prohibited by law. If an entrant changes his/her email address after he/she enters the Sweepstakes, it is his/her sole responsibility to notify the Sponsor by postal mailing notice to Sponsor’s address (listed in section 13 below) to be received by the end of the Promotional Period.
SPONSOR RESERVES THE RIGHT, AT ITS SOLE DISCRETION, TO REMOVE ANY ENTRY POSTED TO THE WEBSITE THAT THE SPONSOR FEELS IS INAPPROPRIATE, OBJECTIONABLE AND/OR INCONSISTENT WITH THE POSITIVE IMAGE AND/OR GOOD WILL IT WISHES TO PROMOTE IN THIS SWEEPSTAKES.
ALL ELIGIBLE PARTICIPANTS ACKNOWLEDGE AND AGREE THAT ALL ENTRIES SUBMITTED IN CONNECTION WITH THIS SWEEPSTAKES ARE SUBMITTED ON A NON-CONFIDENTIAL AND NON-PROPRIETARY BASIS AND MAY BE USED BY SPONSOR, ITS AGENTS AND SUBSIDIARIES, FOR ANY AND ALL ADVERTISING AND PROMOTIONAL PURPOSES INCLUDING (BUT NOT LIMITED TO) IN CONNECTION WITH THE SWEEPSTAKES, IN PERPETUITY, WORLDWIDE, IN ANY MEDIA NOW KNOWN OR HEREAFTER DEVELOPED.
5. DETERMINATION OF WINNERS: Potential winner will be selected in a random drawing using random.org. Sponsor’s decisions are final on matters relating to this Sweepstakes.
Potential winner will be notified by Facebook post, Facebook message or email after the potential winner has been selected. Potential winner may be required to verify their mailing or email address or to sign an affidavit of eligibility/liability release, a publicity release where legal, and Federal and State tax release, and return these documents, properly executed, via email, within forty-eight (48) hours of date and time of notification and the original documents within seven (7) days of date of notification via regular U.S. Mail. Non-compliance with this time frame and/or with these Official Rules; Sponsor’s inability to contact a potential winner within a reasonable time period; or prize’s or prize notification’s return as undeliverable will result in such potential winner disqualification and, at Sponsor’s discretion, the prize may be awarded to a potential alternate winner. Allow 6-8 weeks for delivery of prize.
6. ODDS: Odds of winning a weekly prize depend upon the total number of eligible entries received for the applicable Drawing.
7. PRIZE: one t-shirt screen printed with the Gear-Report.com logo.
No substitutions, cash equivalents, or transfer of prizes are permitted, except at the sole discretion of the Sponsor, who reserves the right to substitute a prize (or portion thereof) with one of comparable or greater value. All taxes, and any other costs and expenses associated with prize acceptance and use not specifically stated within these Official Rules as being provided, are the sole responsibility of the winners, including, without limitation, all federal, state, and local taxes. Prize may not be transferred or substituted except at the Sponsor’s sole discretion. If prize winner is at least 18 years of age but still considered a minor in his/her state or place of residence, prize may be awarded in the name of his/her parent or legal guardian, who will be responsible for fulfilling all requirements imposed on winners set forth herein. Limit one (1) prize per person and per Facebook account during each calendar year.
8. CONDITIONS OF PARTICIPATION: By entering, entrants agree to be bound by these Official Rules including all eligibility requirements and the decisions of the Sponsor, which are final and binding. By accepting a prize, each winner consents to the use of his/her name, image, likeness, photograph, voice, and biographical material for advertising, publicity, and promotional purposes by Sponsor, or party designated by the Sponsor, in any and all media now or hereafter devised, including but not limited to, any online announcements, worldwide in perpetuity, without additional compensation, notification, or permission, except where prohibited by law. Entrants release and hold harmless Releasees from any claims, actions, injury, loss, or damage of any kind, including but not limited to, personal injury or death, resulting, directly or indirectly, in whole or in part, from participating in this Sweepstakes or from the acceptance, possession, or use or misuse of the prize. This limitation of liability is a comprehensive limitation of liability that applies to all damages of any kind, including (without limitation) compensatory, direct, indirect, or consequential damages; loss of data, income or profit; loss of damage to property; and claims of third parties. Entrants agree that Releases have not made nor are in any manner responsible or liable for any warranty, representation, or guarantee, statutory, express or implied (including but not limited to, the implied warranties of merchantability, title, and fitness for a particular purpose), in fact or in law, relative to the Sweepstakes or any prize awarded.
9. REPRESENTATIONS AND WARRANTIES: Entrant represents and warrants the following: 1) that he/she is 21 years of age, or older, and a US Citizen residing in the United States of America. Entrant acknowledges that nothing herein shall constitute an employment, joint venture, or partnership relationship between entrant and Sponsor. In no way is entrant to be construed as the agent or to be acting as the agent of Sponsor in any respect.
10. GENERAL: Sponsor will collect information from the entrants solely for the purpose of the drawings and to notify potential winners. Sponsor reserves the right to share this information with any third party, attempt to contact entrant, to send further information on Sponsor’s publications and promotions or for potential winner notification (if applicable). Releasees are not responsible for entries that are lost, misdirected, or fail to enter into the system, or are processed, reported, or transmitted late or incorrectly; or for any other errors or problems of any kind, whether typographical, printing, mechanical, human, electronic, or otherwise, relating to or in connection with the Sweepstakes, including, without limitation, any error or problem that may occur in connection with the administration of the Sweepstakes, the processing of entries, the announcement of the prizes, or in any Sweepstakes-related materials. Entry materials that have been tampered with or altered are void. Sponsor reserves the right, in its sole discretion, to cancel or suspend part or all of this Sweepstakes at any time without notice and for any reason, including if in the Sponsor’s opinion, there is any suspected or actual evidence of electronic or non-electronic tampering with any portion of the Sweepstakes, or if virus, bugs, non-authorized human intervention or other causes corrupt or impair the administration, security, fairness, or integrity and proper play of the Sweepstakes. In the event of cancellation, Sponsor may void any entries it suspects are at issue and, at its discretion, award the prizes at issue in a random drawing from among all non-suspect, eligible entries received for the applicable Drawing(s). Caution: Any attempt by an entrant or any other individual to damage the website or undermine the legitimate operation of the Sweepstakes may be in violation of criminal and civil laws and, should such an attempt be made, the Sponsor reserves the right to seek damages and other remedies (including attorneys’ fees) from any such person to the fullest extent permitted by law, including criminal prosecution. Sponsor’s failure to enforce any term of these Official Rules shall not constitute a waiver of that or any other provision. Sponsor reserves the right to disqualify entrants who violate these Official Rules or interfere with this Sweepstakes in any manner. If an entrant is disqualified, Sponsor reserves the right to terminate that entrant’s eligibility to participate in the Sweepstakes.
11. DISPUTES: Except where prohibited, all issues and questions concerning the construction, validity, interpretation and enforceability of these Official Rules, or the rights and obligations of the Eligible Participant and Sponsor in connection with the Sweepstakes, shall be governed by, and construed in accordance with, the laws of the State of North Carolina, without giving effect to any choice of law or conflict of law rules (whether of the State of North Carolina, or any other jurisdiction), which would cause the application of the laws of any jurisdiction other than the State of North Carolina.
12. WINNERS’ LIST: For the names of the winners, available after March 20, 2015, email a request for winner’s list to info@gear-report.com, including the start and end dates of the sweepstakes.
13. SPONSOR & ADMINISTRATOR: The Sponsor and Administrator of this Sweepstakes is Cress Sales and Marketing, LLC., Gibsonville, NC 27249.

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Lone Wolf Distributors LWD-17TH Threaded Glock Barrel Review

Quick questions (and answers) for the impatient : How does the Lone Wolf Distributors LWD-17TH threaded barrel fit in the Glock 17? It slid into place and performed well. Is the […]
Lone Wolf Distributors Glock barrel upgrade LWD barrel installed + thread protector installed 1

Lone Wolf Distributors Glock barrel upgrade LWD barrel installed + thread protector installed 1

Quick questions (and answers) for the impatient :

Quotable: “Get a Lone Wolf threaded barrel for your Glock. You will be glad you did.” – Don Berckman (GParmsLLC.com)

Lone Wolf Distributors Glock barrel upgrade both barrels removed + thread protector

Lone Wolf Distributors Glock barrel upgrade both barrels removed + thread protector

1)Installation

Installation of the Lone Wolf Distributors LWD-17TH threaded barrel for the Glock 17 was the quickest, easiest upgrade I have ever made to a firearm.

Simply:

  • Remove the magazine and manually verify that the chamber is empty/unloaded
  • While still unloaded and with the muzzle pointed in a safe direction, pull the trigger to release the firing pin
  • Pull the slide back about 1/8″ and hold while pulling down on the slide release
  • Move the slide forward off of the lower frame
  • Carefully remove the spring assembly
  • Remove the barrel
  • Insert the LWD-17TH barrel
  • Reinstall the spring assembly
  • Reinstall the slide on the lower frame
  • Cycle the slide to verify that it is installed properly

It literally took longer to type these instructions that it does to complete the installation process.

The installation is shown at the beginning of the review video above. Pay attention or you will miss it!

The table in the video is the HySkore Ten Ring Portable Shooting Bench, which we REALLY like.

Lone Wolf Distributors Glock barrel upgrade LWD barrel installed + Yankee Hill Machine silencer

Lone Wolf Distributors Glock barrel upgrade LWD barrel installed + Yankee Hill Machine silencer

Why?

Some reasons one might need a new pistol barrel:

  • A barrel with threads around the muzzle end is required to mount most silencers
  • To shoot a broader range of ammo (Glock 17‘s polygonal barrel rifling is not compatible with cheaper lead bullets)
  • For greater accuracy via a higher quality and/or slightly longer barrel
  • To replace a worn or damaged barrel
  • For a different barrel finish (stainless vs other coatings)

The first is the reason we requested a barrel from Lone Wolf distributors, as we are working on a series of articles on how an average person legally acquires a silencer, how silencers work, shooting with silencers, etc. We also need a threaded barrel for the Ruger SR1911, but opted to start with a threaded Glock 17 barrel since it is an easy drop-in upgrade with no gunsmithing required. Many 1911 replacement barrels require custom fitting by a gunsmith.

Lone Wolf Distributors Glock barrel upgrade out of package

Lone Wolf Distributors Glock barrel upgrade out of package

Features

The Lone Wolf Distributors LWD-17TH threaded barrel for the Glock 17 is advertised as follows:

Lone Wolf Distributors replacement barrels are manufactured from the highest grade mill select 416 stainless forgings. CNC machined and heat treated, providing a life time of service and unparalleled accuracy at an affordable price. The standard groove and land rifling make this an excellent choice for those who wish to shoot lead, plated or jacketed bullets. Can be used in factory ported or stock pistols. Intended for use in the Glock 17 pistol only. Threaded 1/2 x 28 to fit Gemtech suppressors (or similar).

Special features include:

  • Ready to use, pre-fit drop in. No gunsmithing required.
  • Precision machined from heat treated 416R stainless forgings.
  • Oversized lock-up area produces greater shot-to-shot accuracy.
  • Tighter dimensions than the original.
  • Polished feed ramp and bore, diamond turned exterior
  • Maximum chamber support, improved feed ramp design.
  • Broach cut rifling and target crown.
  • Ok to use lead, plated or jacketed bullets.
  • Lifetime warranty.
  • Does not fit “pencil style” Gen1 slides.
Lone Wolf Distributors Glock barrel upgrade LWD barrel target crown

Lone Wolf Distributors Glock barrel upgrade LWD barrel target crown

Lone Wolf Distributors will replace any of our barrels or barrel accessories which are found to have manufacturing or material defects. Customer modifications or the use of reloaded ammunition will void this warranty.”

I don’t have the data to support or challenge the claim that the barrel is made to tighter dimensions than the original.

For my purposes, the two LWD barrels that I have shot both worked without a hitch for a combined 100-ish rounds. Obviously, I’ll need to report back after our silencers arrive and I have had a chance to put more and a greater variety of rounds down the pipe.

Overall

Gear Score
Gearswww.dyerware.comwww.dyerware.comwww.dyerware.comwww.dyerware.comwww.dyerware.com
The barrel looks good and functions properly so far. Giving a conservative 4.0 gear rating only because of the limited use so far. I expect to upgrade this rating if it continues to perform well when a silencer is attached and more types of ammo are tested.

Lone Wolf Distributors Glock upgradeLone Wolf Distributors

If you own a Glock pistol and have ever looked for upgrade parts, then you have likely run across Lone Wolf Distributors already. They have a reputation for parts that work at a fair price. Based on our limited use of a couple of their barrels, the reputation looks earned. However, we will update if any issues arise. Barrels are a staple of LWD, but they carry a broad line of Glock upgrade products as well as a variety of parts and accessories, including a Glock magazine compatible AR15. If you have an LWD parts that you would like to see reviewed, let us know in the comments below.

GearReport logo Round AR15Where’d you get that ammo, bro?

We are fortunate to have an arrangement with Ammunition Supply Company where they provide ammunition for all of our reviews. In return, we share our videos and reviews with ASC for them to use on their website. For this review we shot Winchester 9mm FMJ 115 Grain “white box”, Remington UMC 9mm FMJ 115 Grain and Speer LE Gold Dot 9mm JHP 115 Grain.

Huge thanks to Ammunition Supply Company, who kicked in nearly 100 rounds of 115 grain ammo for this test.

 

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