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Just Hit the Gym – Why Lightweight Carbines Aren’t Just for Sissies

It seems like whenever I post about a weight saving strategy or carbine part, some Tactical Internet Adonis drops into the comments section to shame all potential buyers of said part with comments like “Just lift more bro!” Meanwhile, people who can think their way out of wet paper bags realize that lightweight gear is less about building a carbine that our puny little arms can hold and more about common sense.


The easiest to grasp reason to be at least a little weight conscious when it comes to your gear is that lighter gear is easier to carry for a long time. Certainly, soldiers all over the world have proven that you can carry heavy rifles day in and day out but I suspect that many would choose lighter if they could. Carrying a light carbine just simply sucks less than carrying a heavy one. I can’t speak to being a soldier but this principle comes into play if you are hiking or during 3+ day carbine courses too.

One of the best reasons to be a bit weight conscious and the one that I have never heard anyone talk about is to deal with injury. It is easier to use a lightweight carbine when you are injured. Certainly that applies to hardcore scenarios like your support arm getting disabled by a knife wielding meth-head. It applies equally to far more mundane injuries – the type that happen in your every day life and can have very real effect on your ability to use a firearm in defense.

I’ll give you an example from my own experience. My family processes firewood in late summer and into fall. Last fall, I found myself spending a lot of time swinging a splitting maul in preparation for our first year heating with wood. My elbows were becoming more and more sore every day but there was work to be done so I pushed through. By the time everything was cut and stacked, I had a rip-roaring case of tendinitis in both elbows.

I have since figured out what was wrong with my form but the elbow and forearm pain during that time was no joke. There were days where I was physically incapable of extending a handgun out in front of me. The weight was too much and my hands would basically just open involuntarily to drop what ever weight I was trying to push out at arms length (side note: grip strength was also effected in a big way so I found that aggressively textured grips were a must during this time). The only firearm that I could still operate effectively was a lightweight carbine. Heavy carbines were better than handguns thanks to the way the shoulder takes some of the weight of a rifle but they were still pretty rough. That was one of impetuses for the Sub 6 with a Twist project. That carbine was lightweight enough that, when anchored to my shoulder, I could actually use it unencumbered.

There are definitely cases where strange, unnecessary, and expensive things are done to carbines in the name of saving weight. There can be value in the exercise of shedding all those ounces but you don’t need to go crazy. I think that the wise shooter is more than a little concerned about the weight of their carbine. Reliability and accuracy are probably the two most important factors in choosing a firearm for defense but neither of those matter if injury renders you incapable of lifting it so the mundane ability to live with the carbine you choose is pretty important too.


Scorpion HP2 Hearing Protection Covers from OC Tactical

OC Tactical managed to get their hands on some Scorpion W2 Cordura Nylon. They now have extremely limited numbers of HP2 Hearing Protection Covers and Griffon Industries Muff Sacks in the hard to find pattern. These HP2s in rare camo patterns never last long so act fast. Check out the HP2 and Muff Sacks at OC Tactical.

Scorpion at OC Tactical


Chase Tactical Columbus Day Sale

From now through midnight on 10/13, Chase Tactical is offering 15% off all orders and free shipping on orders of $150 or more. Use code COLUMBUSDAY15 at checkout.

Check out Chase Tactical.

chase tactical columbus


Bipod Talons from Tactical Supply

A friend of mine has had less than stellar luck trying to get a pair of aggressive feet for his Harris bipod. Most sets were either too expensive to consider or unavailable. One company even took his order, charged him, and never delivered. Only after too much time and a threat of a credit card charge back did they return his money. Fortunately, we recently came across Tactical Supply’s Bipod Talons and they seem to have created a solid product that they can actually ship.

tactical supply bipod talons

The Bipod Talons have a design that should make them well suited to grip a variety surfaces, allowing you do load the bipod more aggressively. The large central spike bites into harder surfaces and the crenellated skirt gives stability in softer materials like sand and dirt. They are machined from 6061-T6 aluminum and are available in a variety of colors for both Harris and Atlas bipods.

Check out Bipod Talons at Tactical Supply.


Apex Action Enhancement Trigger for Glocks

Apex Tactical Specialties already makes a small handful of Glock parts but ironically for a company best known for M&P trigger parts, they haven’t yet offered a Glock trigger. That is about to change with the upcoming release of their Apex Action Enhancement Trigger for Glocks.


The trigger features an black anodized aluminum bow with a unique shape that is somewhere between a flat and traditional curved bow. According to Apex, the new trigger will reduce pre-travel, reduce the overall travel, provide a shorter reset, smooth out the trigger overall, and provide a crisp break.

The Apex Action Enhancement Trigger will be available with or without a trigger bar. See the Apex Tactical Specialties blog for more details.


Ballistic Advantage Columbus Day Sale

Ballistic Advantage is running a Columbus Day Sale through the weekend. They have several barrels on sale with some discounted as much as 25%. If you are in the market to build a precision 5.56 AR-15, there are really affordable options. AR308 shooters will definitely want to browse the sale too. There are barrels for as little as $104.

Check out the Columbus Day Sale at Ballistic Advantage.



Snake Eater Tactical – If You Die First Shirt

Not only is this new shirt from Snake Eater Tactical funny but I like the idea of gear makers creating gear with the thought that it will outlast its original owner. Check out the new shirt at Snake Eater Tactical.

Snake Eater Tactical Shirt


Aimpoint Replacement Parts at Brownells

Have you ever lost your Aimpoint Micro mounting screws? I have which is why I was glad to see that Brownells is now carrying a large selection of Aimpoint replacement parts. Keep that filed away for the next time you come back from the range without a turret cover!

Aimpoint Multiple Models


Combative Edge Dragon’s Tail

Combative Edge has introduced a new karambit style knife called the Dragon’s Tail. It’s thin, skeletonized design should make it very concealable and it’s leaf shaped blade will be easier to maintain than a more traditional hook shaped karambit blade.

combative edge dragon tail

This knife is ground from .175″ thick D2 tool steel. It is 6.75″ in overall length with a compact 2.3″ blade that should keep it legal in just about any jurisdiction that allows fixed blade carry. The Dragon’s Tail comes with a kydex belt sheath.


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