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Battle Arms Development – Ambidextrous Safety Selector Cerakote

The Battle Arms Development – Ambidextrous Safety Selector (BAD-ASS) is already the best ambidextrous selector for the AR-15 on the market. It blew me away when I reviewed it but Battle Arms Development hasn’t been content to just rest on their laurels. First, they introduced the amazing short throw BAD-ASS-ST and now they are introducing Cerakoted versions of the original BAD-ASS.

Cerakote not only allows the BAD-ASS to be offered in a number of colors but also provides increasde wear and corrosion resistance. This finish should hold up to hard use very well.

The BAD-ASS Cerakote versions are available in Flat Dark Earth, Gunmetal Gray, and Olive Drab.

Review: Carlson Comp for the AR-15

Have you ever purchased and installed a compensator on an AR-15 only to find that there was no noticeable reduction of muzzle rise? There is no danger of that happening with the Carlson Comp from Carlson Comps.

The Carlson Comp is very simple and very effective. It chooses to forgo more exotic features like flash suppressor tines, crenelated strike surfaces, and rebar cutting notches in favor of pure performance. This is a compensator and only a compensator. The Carlson Comp reduces muzzle rise and it does it well.

The Carlson Comp features two large ports.

Why a Compensator?

Before I get into the review, I should discuss why you might choose to purchase and install a compensator. Compensators are devices that attach to the muzzle end of a firearm’s barrel. They redirect the gasses that escape the barrel with the bullet in a way that counteracts the muzzle’s upward movement. By reducing the amount that the muzzle moves, you reduce the time needed for the shooter to reacquire the sights. It all adds up to more bullets down range faster.

That all sounds great, but shooters should be aware that this enhanced performance comes with a cost and is not a substitute for technique. The cost is in the form of redirected sound and concussive blast. The compensator vents gasses up and to the side in order to counteract muzzle climb. Sound and concussive blast are redirected right along with the gasses. The shooter will likely notice that the firearms sounds louder. Those who are next to the shooter will definitely notice increased sound and will likely feel the concussive blast coming from the firearm. It should also be noted that even the best suppressor will not compensate for poor technique. Compensators will make a fast shooter faster but will likely not make much difference at all to the untrained.

When choosing to use a compensator, the shooter must be aware of the benefits and the drawbacks. This is true of all compensators, not just the Carlson Comp. Not all gear will work for you in all situations. Your specific mission should dictate the gear that you choose.

Installation

Installing the Carlson Comp is simple. It comes with a peel washer. I just held the peel washer with pliers while I applied heat to the washer with a lighter. The heat allows you to peel away very thin layers of the washer. You keep removing layers until the Carlson Comp lines up correctly, with the two ports on the top when it is fully tight.

Fit, Finish, and Details

The Carlson Comp is very cleanly machined and it threads into the muzzle very smoothly. It is finished with a matte black finish that matches the barrel well. It weighs 3.05 ounces, 2″ long, and 7/8″ in diameter. The Carlson Comp features two massive ports and a closed bottom.

The Carlson Comp (right) is similar in overall size to many muzzle devices.

Muzzle Rise, What Muzzle Rise?

I installed the Carlson Comp on a Colt 6520 with an Aimpoint and hit the range with some .223 ammo provided by LuckyGunner.com for this test. I started on the 25 yard line and faced down a 2/3 size IPSC silhouette steel target. I fired several single shot strings bringing the rifle from low ready to get a feel for how loud the Carlson Comp would be. It was a bit louder but not very bad at all when you are behind the rifle. Those who were nearby noted increased sound and could feel the concussive blast as they would with any other compensator.

Then I moved onto controlled pairs (2 shots, 2 sight pictures). At 25 yards and with the Carlson Comp, this was basically an exercise in how fast I could control the trigger. The Aimpoint’s dot just simply did not move off the target.

Double taps (2 shots, 1 sight picture) were a breeze. The Carlson Comp ensured that the muzzle stayed down which kept the dot on target. The Carlson Comp really changes how the rifle behaves at these speeds. Rather than the muzzle wanting to rise and feeling the rifle climb over the target, the rifle just seems to push back into your shoulder with hardly any detectable rise.

The Carlson Comp was mounted on a Colt 6520 (lightweight barrel profile) for testing.

Next, I moved back to 50 yards and ran through the same routine. I can’t tell you how much fun it is to be able to get hits as fast as you can pull the trigger because your technique is working so well with your gear. The Carlson Comp allowed for very fast controlled pairs and double taps. The controlled pairs were most telling about the performance of the Carlson Comp. At 50 yards, even with good technique, the muzzle will often lift enough that my aiming point moves up into the shoulder area of the target. With the Carlson Comp, it seems that Aimpoint’s dot never strayed from the high center of mass.

To wrap up my time with the Carlson Comp, I wanted to test how it affected accuracy. I fired 3 separate 5 shot groups with the Carlson Comp and then 3 more with the flash suppressor that I usually keep on this rifle. There was no difference. The rifle put all shots into it’s usual 3-4″. There was no difference that I could detect. I shot for accuracy from the prone position, using a backpack as a rest. It was interesting to watch the muzzle actually dip after each shot!

Conclusion

I put just over 200 rounds through the Carlson Comp. I found it to be extremely effective at controlling muzzle rise. It was so effective that the muzzle actually dips when shooting off a rest! Compensators are not for all situations, but if they fit your mission, the Carlson Comp would be a great choice.

Disclosure: Carlson Comps provided the Carlson Comp to me, free of charge, for this review.

The Viking Sight

The Viking Sight, from Viking Tactics (VTAC), is a new set of handgun sights that have some features that I am sure you will not find on any other set of sights.

The first thing you notice about these sights is that they have 3 fiber optics dots (1 front, 2 rear) and 3 tritium dots (1 front, 2 rear). This allows the sights to be highly visible during the day and night. The fiber optic dots are placed above the tritium dots. The fact that the dot sets are placed one on top of the other opens up some pretty interesting “hold over” possibilities for long distance shooting. The tritium front dot could be aligned with the fiber optic rear dots to provide a consistent reference point for a hold over.

In order to accommodate this dot over dot set up, the rear sight notch is cut very deep. VTAC claims that this deep cut enhances speed. It has been my experience with other sight sets that deep notches and tall narrow front sights usually do make for fairly speedy sights. The Warren Tactical Sevigny Carry sights are a good example.

One of the most interesting features to me is that the front sight is tapered. It gets narrower at the top. The tapering should give a somewhat fine aiming point. This seems like the kind of thing that would work well but I have never used a tapered front sight.

The Viking Sight is different than any other handgun sights available. Time will tell if they are successful, though I would never bet against a product designed by Kyle Lamb of Viking Tactics. I can’t remember the last time I saw a set of sights that contained so many innovations all at once.

The Viking Sight is available for the Smith & Wesson M&P series of handguns from Viking Tactics.

TangoDown Shooters Log

Firearms are a lot like your car in that they are a significant investment and they require regular maintenance in order to continue functioning efficiently. Just like your car, it is difficult to ensure that your firearm is up to date on its maintenance intervals unless you are keeping quality records.

The TangoDown Shooters Log is designed to help you organize and record critical information about your firearms, like round count, notes on ammo, and optics settings. The round count is especially important since it determines when your firearm is due for maintenance. I like having a place to track changes to my optics since there have been times when I make a change, only to find that I need to restore the original settings at a later date. It might be easier to track things like this on your computer in a spreadsheet but I still like to have something that I can easily carry to the range with me.

The TangoDown Shooters Logs are available in packs of 5 on the Tango Down website.

AXTS AX762 and AX556 Lower Receivers

I wrote about the A-DAC lower receivers from AXTS Weapons Systems in January. Now AXTS has introduced two new lowers that are absolutely full of new features.

The AX556 and AX762 feature the A-DAC’s right hand bolt catch that is integrated into the magazine release. They also have a number of other innovative features including a flared magazine well, extended bolt stop paddle, and texturing on the magazine well that takes visual cues from the ubiquitous Magpul PMAG.

These lowers will also be available with 45 degree selector markings to support the previously reviewed BAD-ASS-ST.

Magpul MBUS Generation 2 Now Shipping

The original Magpul Back Up Sights (MBUS) were well loved for their combination of functionality and affordability. Now Magpul has released the second generation of the MBUS. Like the originals, the Gen 2 MBUS front and rear sights will be very reasonably priced and be molded in variety of the typical Magpul colors.

The Gen 2 MBUS improves on the original by adding a detent to the front sight so that the front sight post is locked in place. Both the front and rear have been made lower in profile so that they work with a wider variety of optics.

Both the front and rear MBUS can be found on Magpul’s website and should be on dealer shelves shortly.

New Stubby Vertical Grip by Gear Sector

The new Stubby VFG (vertical fore grip) from Gear Sector is now available. It is a no-frills vertical grip that is meant to serve as a reference point, especially when used in conjunction with a hand stop.

The Stubby VFG is machined from 6061 T6 aluminum. The center of the grip has been hollowed out to save weight. The surface of the grip has several rings milled into it that can hold rubber o-rings in place if the users needs more grip. The mounting interface allows the Stubby VFG to be rocked into position rather than being slid on from the muzzle end. This makes installation easier.

Gear Sector mountable accessories are machined in such a way that they blend seamlessly with Tango Down rail covers. This provides a less interrupted, more clean, and snag-free gripping surface. This is the kind of attention to detail that I have come to expect from Gear Sector.

You can read more about the Stubby VFG and all the available colors on the Gear Sector website.

Trijicon HD Night Sights

The new Trijicon HD Nights Sights are now available. Interestingly, they look very much like the Ameriglo I-Dot Pro and Hackathorn sights with some small differences. The Trijicon HD’s rear sight is serrated and has a true “U” notch. They are available in both orange and yellow colors.

You can find more information on the Trijicon website.

Pistol-Forum.com

Noted handgun course instructor Todd Green has started a new internet forum called Pistol-Forum.com. The new forum is a sister site to his blog, Pistol-Training.com (which is also part of the GunUp blog network).

Shooters of all skill levels are welcome and it is free to join. The forum already boasts some well known and very knowledgeable SMEs (subject matter experts) as members so it is already well on its way to becoming an  invaluable resource for those who are dedicated to honing their skill with a handgun.

You can join the discussion on Pistol-Forum.com.

KRG Bolt Lift

The Bolt Lift fromKinetic Research Group (KRG) is a very clever product for precision shooters. It is a user installed over-sized bolt knob for the ubiquitous Remington 700.

Over-sized bolt knobs are one of the most popular additions to a precision rifle. They provide more grip for the shooter to operate the bolt in cold, wet, muddy, or any other less than desirable condition. You used to have to send the bolt off to a gunsmith who would thread your bolt so that a new over-sized knob could be installed. The KRG Bolt Lift can be easily user installed.

The KRG Bolt Lift consists of two halves that can be screwed together. There are some internal spacers that can be used to fine tune the fit. The Bolt Lift can be installed in such a way that it is easily removable (one screw) or it can be epoxied in place using the epoxy that KRG includes with the Bolt Lift.

The KRG Bolt Lift is available in black only (for now) on the KRG website.

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