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Archive | Guns

Preview: Tactical Solutions TSG-22

I have been watching and waiting for this one for a while now. The Tactical Solutions TSG-22 is new .22LR conversion for Glocks and it brings with it some unique features that might just make it the premier conversion unit for people who really train with their Glocks.

The 3 most attractive features to me are also reasons that people who want a serious training weapon will want: it is machined from STEEL for realistic weight, it takes any Glock sights so you can replicate your serious gun, and it has last round hold open so you can train reloads realistically. On top of all that, Tactical Solutions makes some seriously accurate barrels so this one should be quite accurate.

If this is at least as reliable as comparable conversion units that are already on the market, it will be a huge success.

My Favorite Glock Trigger Set Up

Poor Trigger or Just Misunderstood?

Glock’s (and similar handguns) are often beat up for having “poor” triggers. The 1911 with it’s short single action trigger is held up by some as the ultimate trigger. While I do believe that the 1911 is an excellent handgun, I do not believe that the Glock trigger is poor. It is different, which doesn’t necessarily make it worse. In fact, it has some pretty significant strengths that are worth noting. These strengths do not become apparent by clicking the trigger at a gun counter or during once yearly slow fire practices at the local range.

Maybe we should start by defining what makes a trigger good or bad. For many, a good trigger has a very short travel and a very crisp and light break. Those may be desirable qualities for some. Short, light triggers tend to cover a lot of short comings in technique which is probably a good thing. I would submit that there are two other qualities that should be considered as much as, or more so, than pull weight and travel. In my experience, a fast, positive reset and consistent action have proven to be paramount to fast, accurate shooting.

A fast, positive reset will allow you to feel when the trigger resets which is key in working the trigger quickly when multiple shots are required. I can not stress the importance of reset enough, especially with Glocks. You can use the reset to your advantage by learning to shoot from the reset position. This essentially means that you only allow the trigger to travel far enough forward to reset for the next shot so that you do not have to deal with the entire trigger travel for your follow up shot. This is one of the keys to learning to be fast and accurate with a Glock.

Consistent trigger action simply means that you don’t have to transition between different trigger actions. A trigger pull that is the same for every shot allows the shooter to master only one trigger pull, rather than transitioning between multiple trigger actions as is the case with double action/single action (DA/SA) triggers. This is also a key to fast, accurate shooting.

If you acknowledge that a problem that requires the use of a gun may not be solvable with just one shot, then reset and consistency should be a factor when you determine what is “good” about a trigger.

How Do We Make It Better?

While the Glock’s trigger may not always be light or crisp, it is consistent (consistently mushy in it’s stock format). The trigger pull is the same every time. There is no DA/SA transition.  Glocks also have a very fast reset. The slide needs to only travel a very short distance rearward before the trigger resets. It also has a reasonably positive reset and by that I mean that the reset can be easily felt by the shooter. I do not find the Glock trigger to be overly heavy but it can be quite long (it is likely long as a safety feature). Glock triggers will never be completely like 1911 triggers but there are some things that we can do to mitigate the shortcomings and enhance the strengths of the trigger.

The stock trigger parts that Glock installs are the 5.5 pound (#) connector, and standard trigger spring. This renders a pull weight of about 5 to 5.5 pounds (though it lightens after several hundred cycles). The standard spring makes the trigger feel a very mushy or springy to me. The reset is fairly positive but could be improved on.

Some people like to do what is referred to as the $0.25 Trigger Job. I can tell you that it works. I can also tell you that lots of dry fire and plenty of time at the range will net you the exact same effect. The $0.25 Trigger Job is essentially just accelerating the normal wear that the trigger parts go through. I usually skip it. If you choose to do it, AlphaRubicon.com has the original and still one of the best tutorials.

In my opinion these two inexpensive parts will go the furthest in improving the Glock trigger: a NY1 Trigger Spring and a 3.5# connector. If you do nothing else, install these two parts. Together, they will improve trigger feel, consistency, and reset.

The NY1 Trigger Spring was originally designed to make the Glock trigger feel heavier and more like a double action revolver. It is a completely different design than the stock trigger spring. It is a beefier coil spring held in a plastic wedge. When you pull the trigger you are compressing the spring rather than stretching it as you are with the stock spring. When it is installed, it applies more consistent spring tension on the trigger which leads to more consistent and less mushy trigger feel. It also makes the reset much more positive which may be the best thing about it.

The 3.5# connector is basically just there to keep the trigger pull weight down. If you just installed the NY1 it would make the trigger pull heavier (about 7-8 pounds). If the 3.5# connector is installed it basically cancels out the pull weight that we added with the NY1. The combination of the NY1 and 3.5# connector renders trigger pull weight of about 4-5 pounds which is very manageable, especially considering the other improvements that we have made by installing these parts.

If you are after the best combination of consistency, pull weight and reset for your Glock (and you should be), then consider installing a 3.5# connector and NY1 Trigger Spring. There is more to a good trigger than just being light and short.

The Regular Guy Sessions: Jon at Danger Close Consulting

In this installment of The Regular Guy Sessions, we will be talking with Jon at Danger Close Consulting (DCC). Jon is the man responsible for the recently reviewed Low Pro Scout Mount as well as other excellent light mounts (and some pretty hilarious t-shirts). I first found Danger Close Consulting on Lightfighter where he shares his knowledge as a Moderator. I ordered one of his mounts recently and, like I said in the review, it solved a problem for me. That is what I like my gear to do – solve problems.

I have said it before and I will say it again – if you can trust the person who makes the gear, you can trust the gear. That is the point of these interviews. I want people to get to know those who are making their gear. I want to connect buyers with sellers and give people options when it comes time to spend hard earned cash on gear. I think after you learn a bit about Jon, you will certainly trust his gear.

I want to first start out by thanking Jon for his service to this country and for taking time to answer my questions. Thank you, Jon.

Can you tell us about your background?

Jon: I am an active-duty Army soldier.  I have served in Infantry and Special Forces assignments.  I am fortunate enough to have had a wide exposure to the weapons systems used by US Forces and the military forces of other nations.  I have 4 combat rotations overseas and have participated in numerous programs for the development of SOF weapons systems.  I am also an avid participant in the sport shooting arena when time permits.  I have always had an interest in firearms and tactical products, so when I got to a place where I was able to dedicate the time to developing and producing weapons peripherals it was a no-brainer.

How does your line of work influence your product design? How do end users influence your product design?

Jon: I have been afforded the opportunity to receive some of the best tactical and shooting training in the world in my job, as well as a good amount of combat experience.  I also have a network of  peers which is extremely valuable for gaining a huge amount of feedback and guidance.  These are key factors in being able to know by looking at a product or concept and know it’s strengths and weaknesses over a broad spectrum of possible uses.  I can translate this combined information into product gaps, and then I find ways to fill so end-users have what they need to most efficiently do their jobs.

What made you decide to strike out on your own when there are already a TON of light mounts on the market?

Jon: Nobody made an affordable, durable, ultra low-profile mounting system.  I could pick any two of those three traits but not all of them. By pure luck I found an experienced local machinist who could make it happen, and already had experience with making products like I needed.  Our low-profile G2 and 1″ mounts are simply a further refinement of a piece he has been making since 2003.

What makes your mounts different and better?

Jon: Our mounts provide a level of function and value few have been able to match.  I do not want to set a price that would make a Law Enforcement Officer, Service Member, or civilian shooting enthusiast have to save for two months to buy one.  My partner and I both have day jobs to pay the bills, and we produce these mounts because we love making these products.  We are also able to bring a level of expertise in both tactical experience and manufacturing capability that is not often found elsewhere.

As far as I know the Low Pro Scout Mount is the first mount of it’s kind. Where did the inspiration for the Low Profile Scout Mount come from?

Jon: Pat Rogers of EAG Tactical, 100%.  He called me and said, “Why don’t you make an offset Scout Light mount?”  And I did… (We here at Jerking the Trigger think that is probably the only proper response when Pat Rogers wants something!)

Can we look forward to more gear from DCC soon? Can you share any teasers with us?

Jon: We have a solid lineup of new gear coming out, and in addition to weapons parts we are going to introduce some specialized soft goods.  In the near future we look forward to offering a new handstop that offers improved grip, footprint, and value over others on the market as well as some new solutions for attaching slings to popular weapons systems.  I want to expand at a rate that is manageable with my primary job, and also I want to make sure we are not re-inventing the wheel with our products.  I don’t wish to compete with other manufacturers, really.  I want our products to be specialized and truly offer something different from others on the market.  If I can go buy it from LaRue, I will just go do that instead (shameless plug for LaRue, BTW.)

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Review: Danger Close Consulting Low Pro Scout Mount

Here is the bottom line up front…The Danger Close Consulting (DCC) Low Pro Scout Mount is the mount that should come with the Surefire M600 Scout Light from the start! I have had this for a couple of weeks now and it is everything that I hoped it would be and does everything I hoped it would do.

The DCC Low Profile Scout Mount works great on the Daniel Defense 9.5FSP Lite Rail.

Problem Solver

I think the one of the best compliments you can pay to a piece of gear is to say that it solves a problem. This mount solves multiple problems. The M600 Scout Light is a great weapon light in its stock form but it has some shortcomings, especially for those who will be using it without the remote pressure pad switch (I despise them). The stock mount places the light too low in relation to the shooter’s support hand grip. The light falls in a place that is awkward to reach with the support hand thumb. The stock mount also places the light high above the rail and has a large thumb screw that can be a snag magnet.

The DCC Low Pro Mount allows the user to place the light at around 11 o’clock on the rail and it tucks the light in very close to the rail. This is a much more natural position to hit with the thumb of the support hand and there is no more thumb screw to snag anything and everything.

Here you can see just how low profile the mount really is.

Attention to Detail

Attention to detail is often what separates good gear from great gear and the DCC Low Pro Scout Mount is great gear. The mount is very nicely machined with no visible machining marks. The hard anodized finish is smooth and evenly applied. There is a large hole that has been machined away to save weight. It would have been easier and cheaper to just machine a round hole, but DCC chose to mill a more complex shape that would save more weight. The set screw that provides tension against the rail even has a small rubber pad to prevent the steel screw from gouging your aluminum rails. That is attention to detail.

Note the lightening cut.

Locked Down

This mount is solid. The light is held to the mount with 2 screws (provided). I used a bit of Loc-Tite on both screws. The mount itself must be slid onto the rail from the end. The set screw should then be positioned in a rail slot. Once the set screw is in position, you simply tighten the set screw. This keeps the mount from moving forward and back by dropping into a slot and by pulling the mount up against the under side of the rail. It is rock solid.

Here you can see the two mounting screws and the green rubber pad on the set screw.

In Use

The difference when you are actually using the light must be felt to be believed. Those who are familiar with trying to use an M600 Scout Light with the factory mount will know immediately what an improvement this mount has the potential to be. I shoot with a vertical grip but I don’t wrap my hand around it. I use a thumb forward grip on it much like I would with my support hand when shooting a handgun. The original Surefire mount didn’t work very well with this grip. It was simply too low since it could only be mounted at 9 o’clock on the rail. I would have to contort my hand and shift my grip to get my thumb down to the tail cap which basically meant that I left the light unused. Now, with the DCC, the tail cap falls much more naturally under my support hand thumb at around 11 o’clock on the rail. I no longer have to shift or contort my grip and the light is much more usable.

Verdict: Buy One!

Jon at DCC is a genuinely nice guy and he is active in the Army Special Forces so he knows a bit about what makes gear work. If that isn’t enough reason to buy one, then knowing that this is the only mount of its kind should be. If you running the M600 Scout Weapon Light with the “clickie” tail cap then you need this mount. Buy one.

Look for an upcoming interview with Jon at Danger Close Consulting on Jerking the Trigger.

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Magpul RVG Vertical Grip

The Magpul RVG Vertical Grips are shipping. You may remember these from SHOT Show 2010.

These have some pretty nice features for such an affordable grip. The RVG comes with a short section of rail so the RVG can be mounted to your MOE handguard. It is designed to be used comfortably with a thumb forward grip.

I like that the design is hollow so the grip to can be trimmed to whatever length the shooter desires. Some shooters, who use the RVG as a handstop or index point, will only need a small stub of a grip. A few moments with a hack saw and some sand paper will allow the user to completely customize the length of the RVG.

I have only seen these available in black, but I suspect that other colors will be available soon.

RiverofGuns.com

Some of the best places to get discounted guns, knives, and tactical gear are on the various discussion forums that are scattered around the web. Many people use these places to list their new and used gear in the hopes that you will buy it. Think of them as a classifieds section in your local paper except they reach the entire nation (and the world). There are some serious deals to be had but it can be quite time consuming to surf all of the different forums looking for your particular item.

RiverofGuns.com is a search engine that scours hundreds of forums so that you don’t have to. You simply enter what you are looking for and click search. River of Guns does the rest.

It is an invaluable tool for bargain seekers.

Gun Shop Myths: Pump the Action!

There are so many gun myths that are repeated over and over again at gun store counters, deer camps, locker rooms, and range trips. These myths are repeated so many times that eventually people accept them as fact without applying even the smallest amount of critical thought.

Few firearms, if any, seem to be surrounded by more of these myths than the shotgun. A coworker, while discussing their home defense plans at work, started talking about the “shotty” that he keeps under the bed “just in case”. It always amazes me that people are willing to discuss such things so loudly at work. I wasn’t part of the conversation but it was plainly audible throughout the whole office. It wasn’t long before that oft repeated tidbit of shotgun wisdom reared its ugly head.

“You don’t even have to shoot it, the sound of the action being pumped will send robbers running!”

What a ridiculous statement! If your plan is to scare people off with noises, buy a stereo system not a shotgun. Better yet, install a whole house entertainment system so that you can surround your midnight visitor with the sounds of shotgun actions cycling in every room! Scaring evil doers away with a sound seems like a nice tidy plan, until it doesn’t work. Shotguns are not a magic talisman that, in the stressful moment when you hear someone crashing through your window, transform you into a Spartan.

The shotgun is a viable home defense weapon (though I believe there may be better choices). As with any other piece of equipment and skill, its effective use must be learned. It is only through training and repetition that someone can learn to effectively use the shotgun (or any other gun) with an appropriate level of efficiency and violence. This level of training cannot be reached by asking the gentleman at the gun counter how to work the shotgun when you purchase it. It cannot be reached by running a box of shells through it once in a while at the range.

The sound of a shotgun’s action being cycled may or may not deter someone intent on doing harm, but it would be foolish to count on that happening. Quick and violent action by a trained individual is a far better response. Seek professional training from a respected trainer and stop repeating the silly things you heard at the gun counter!

Review: SWAT Magazine

I have never paid for a magazine subscription in my life. I have been given subscriptions as gifts, but i have never paid for one with my own money. That changed recently after reading several issues of SWAT Magazine.

SWAT is not just a gun magazine. It is a tactics and training magazine. There are reviews of training courses in just about every issue. There are amazing articles from Pat Rogers on technique and training. This magazine is for shooters, not gun owners.

The contributors really set SWAT apart. You will see names like Pat Rogers who you may know as, perhaps, the premier carbine instructors in the nation. The Pat Rogers articles alone are worth the price of admission. Jeff Randall, co-owner of ESEE Knives and premier survival/escape & evasion trainer, contributes regularly. Louis Awerbuck is in every issue. Mr. Awerbuck is one of the real thinkers in tactical training today. There are also many other well-known and influential contributors.

SWAT also is more than willing to tell its readers when a product is garbage. You simply will not find that in most magazines because they are afraid to lose an advertiser. SWAT seems to be more concerned about making sure their readers don’t buy and stake their lives on a piece of junk. That is the way it should be.

The title may be SWAT but this magazine is geared toward the civilian shooter. The editor, Denny Hanson, does an excellent job of balancing politics and gun content. He is also a constant advocate for gun rights in his editorials and responses to readers who write to the magazine.

It is truly worth your time and money to purchase and read.

Preview: Danger Close Consulting Offset Surefire Scout Mount

The Surefire M600 Scout Light is one of the most compact and lightweight rifle mounted weapon lights available. It is truly an excellent light. However, I have always had issues determining the best place to mount it since I do not care for tape switches and the standard mount places it in an uncomfortably low position for use with the support hand thumb. The Scout is a light in need of an offset mount but, until recently, no one made them.

Danger Close Consulting has filled that niche and filled it well! I have one of their mounts in hand and it is excellent.

Look for a more complete review with pictures to be posted here soon.

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