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Review: Manticore Arms NightShroud

The NightShroud from Manticore Arms is a flash suppressor that is designed for the AK-74s and AK-47s, like the excellent Arsenal SGL-21, with 24mm threaded muzzles. It is an excellent alternative to the ubiquitous AK-74 brake that is most commonly found on AKs with 24mm threads.

I found the NightShroud while I was looking for an alternative to a muzzle brake for my SGL-21. I wanted something quieter than the AK-74 style brake that came standard on the SGL-21. I quickly found that, since the SGL-21’s muzzle has 24mm threads, my options were extremely limited. Thankfully, one of those limited options was the NightShroud.

The NightShroud is very cleanly machined from 8620 steel and then finished with a slightly shiny black oxide. It certainly looks and feels well made. It features 8 indentations all the way around the collar so that you can tighten the NightShroud all the way down to the muzzle and still engage the locking detent. This is the type of feature that takes some extra machining but the results, a solid muzzle device with little to no wobble, are worth it.

I really just wanted something that was quieter and the NightShroud is certainly quieter than the AK-74 brake. However, it is the better part of an inch shorter and a bit lighter in weight!

AK-74 Brake NightShroud
Length (inches) 3.21 2.46
Weight (ounces) 3.60 3.30

The NightShroud does a great job of suppressing flash as well. It elimated the amount of flash that is visible from the shooter’s position. Only a very small, thin bit of flash is visible from beside the NightShroud. The performance is pretty impressive.

So if you own an AK-74 or an AK-47 like the SGL-21 with 24mm threads you should definitely check out the NightShroud. It is an excellent option in spite of the fact that it is one of the very few options.

The NighShroud is manufactured by Manticore Arms and can be viewed on their website. I purchased my NightShroud through Rat Worx.

Note: The Manticore Arms website cautions that the NightShroud may not fit some rifles like the SGL-21. I believe that is old information. The version that I recieved has a longer collar so it will fit a wider variety of rifles as evidenced by the longer overall length and heavier weight than those listed on the Manticore Arms website. The version that is now shipping is the an improved model that should fit most AKs with 24mm threads. However, you may want to contact Manticore Arms or Rat Worx to verify that the NightShroud will work with your rifle.

Update: AR15.COM Ambidextrous Billet Lower Receiver

Earlier this week I wrote about the AR15.COM Ambidextrous Billet Lower Receiver. Since that time I have been given more details regarding the lower. The details are impressive to say the least.

As I mentioned in the original post, the selector markings are made to work with either a 45 or 90 degree selector. The buyer will be able to choose between the BAD-ASS and the BAD-ASS-ST.

It will come with the Magpul MIAD grip. The purchaser will be able to choose which Magpul stock they want (UBR, CTR, etc).

The excellent 4.5Lb Geissele 3 Gun trigger will come standard. It is a special version that has the AR15.com Bolt Face Logo engraved on the hammer.

As if all of this isn’t enough, there are still more details and an official announcement to come.

Mesa Tactical Urbino Tactical Stock

The Urbino Tactical Stock from Mesa Tactical is made for both Remington and Benelli shotguns. This new stock should make Benelli owners especially happy since there is a distinct lack of OEM and aftermarket stock choices available for the Benelli line.

The Urbino Tactical Stock has a shorter 12.5″ length of pull. I find that shotgun stocks are generally too long so the shorter length of pull is a positive. The stock also features several sling mounting options and a rubber sleeved pistol grip. It accepts an optional LimbSaver recoil pad which should help ease the pain of high volume shotgun training. Mounting optics like micro Aimpoints have become more popular on shotguns, and the Urbino has an optional adjustable cheek piece to accommodate these optics.

The Urbino Tactical Stock looks like it will be an excellent option.

AR15.com Ambidextrous Billet Lower Receiver

I don’t have many details yet but pictures of the upcoming AR15.com Ambidextrous Billet Lower Receivers have been released.

Image courtesy of AR15.com

Roger at Battle Arms Development tells me that these lowers have unique selector markings. The pictogram that represents the “fire” selector position is engraved at 68 degrees from “safe” rather than the standard 90 degrees. This makes the markings compatible with 90 degree selectors like the BAD-ASS and 45 degree selectors like the BAD-ASS-ST (Short Throw).

This will be the first lower receiver on the market that will be compatible with both the excellent 45 degree BAD-ASS-ST and the 90 degree BAD-ASS. I will share more details as they become available

TangoDown Vickers Tactical Glock Slide Stop

Glock 17RTF2 with Vickers Tactical Magazine Release and Slide Stop

The Larry Vickers designed, TangoDown produced magazine release for Glocks is one of my favorite Glock add-ons. Given my experience with the magazine release, I have been very excited to try the new TangoDown Vickers Tactical Slide Stop for Glocks which is now available.

The problem with most extended slide stops for the Glock is that a right hand shooter’s support hand can unintentionally contact the slide stop when the shooter is using a high hand grip. This unintentional contact can cause the slide to lock back before the magazine is empty or prevent the slide from locking back when magazine is empty.

The Vickers Tactical Slide Stop is designed to give a fairly large amount of surface area without being so overly large that it is prone to contacting the support hand. It has a fairly aggressive texture that makes it very easy to operate, even with gloves. Other slide stops extend to the rear of the Glock to provide more leverage. The Vickers Tactical Slide Stop extends out from the frame to provide a “shelf” that the thumb can press down on in order to release the slide.

I have one of these in hand for an upcoming review and so far I am really impressed.

300BLK

Last week I mentioned a new effort by Wilson Tactical to put a 30 caliber projectile in an AR-15. I would be remiss if I didn’t mention AAC’s entry into the same niche – the .300 Blackout (7.62×35).

The 300BLK replicates the ballistics of the venerable 7.62×39. It is designed to work within the confines of the AR-15 with no reduction in capacity and to use the standard bolt. It should come as no surprise, given AAC’s hand in this project, that the 300BLK is purpose built to be suppressed. There will be a standard 123 grain super-sonic load and an impressive 220 grain sub-sonic load.

The 300BLK seems to already enjoy some pretty extensive support. Remington will be loading ammo for it. There are already gunsmith tools like chamber reamers available. AAC has plans to manufacture short barreled PDW type AR-15s, a 16″ carbine type AR-15, and even a slick little version of the Remington Model 7 which really highlights the versatility of this cartridge.

You can read more about the 300BLK on 300AACBlackout.com.

New Cartridge from Wilson Combat: 7.62×40 WT

Wilson Combat has developed a new cartridge that shoehorns a .30 caliber projectile into the AR-15. The 7.62×40 WT is a low recoil cartridge that exceeds the energy of the 7.62×39. Wilson Combat sees this as a versatile do-all of a cartridge that is suited for hunting and tactical applications.

It will be able to utilize a wide variety of the .30 caliber projectiles that are already on the market so reloaders should have no problem working up a pet load. The dimensions of the 7.62×40 WT will allow it to work with standard AR-15 magazines but some modifications may be required for better reliability.

You can read more about the 7.62x40WT project on the Wilson Combat website.

 

Ares Armor Huskey Amentum Slider Sling

Image courtesy of Ares Armor

The Huskey Amentum Slider Sling from Ares Armor has some very interesting features and functionality. At first glance, it looks fairly similar to other padded 2 point slings on the market, but a closer look reveals a really well designed slider and the ability to act as a shooting aid (like a shooting sling).

The slider is designed for quick and easy function. The user can simply pull it in both directions to tighten or loosen the sling on the fly. The webbing loop makes it hard to miss when you are in a hurry.

Typically, I like my 2 point slings to be mounted at the front and rear as close to the receiver as possible which gives excellent mobility. The Huskey Amentum Slider Sling is designed to promote a stable shooting position so it should be mounted as far out toward the muzzle and buttstock as possible. Ares Armor’s instruction video for the Huskey Amentum Slider Sling does a great job of explaining more about its use as a shooting aid.

The Huskey Amentum Slider Sling is available on Ares Armor’s website.

Heat Stippling – Not Just for Handguns

Heat stippling is nothing new. Everyone with a wood burner and Glock has improved their grip by adding some extra texture. Stippling works great on handguns, but can long guns benefit from stippling? They certainly can!

My first adventure in heat stippling a long gun came as an attempt to solve a problem with my AK47s. I typically run my AR-15s with a vertical grip or hand stop. This allows me to use my support hand to pull the AR back into my shoulder and control the muzzle. The vertical grip or handstop is basically just something to pull against. I wanted to be able to run my AK-47s the same way, but I was unwilling to spend the money for a quality rail system and vertical grip for a weapon that is not my “go-to”.

I needed a way to generate a lot of grip so that the AK could be pulled back into my shoulder in the manner that I prefer, so I broke out the wood burner. After a few minutes of work, I had a small area of the polymer lower hand guard  stippled. I took the rifle to the range and I was thrilled with how it performed – so thrilled that I stippled even more of the hand guard when I returned home. I also stippled my second AK.

The extra grip generated by the stippling really aids in driving the AK. I was able to pull the rifle aggressively into my shoulder with less effort which helped keep the muzzle level during fast strings of fire. It isn’t a perfect replacement for a vertical grip but, for me, it has basically the same effect.

AR-15s can benefit from stippling as well. I applied some texture to an AR-15 that I have set up with Magpul MOE hand guards and an IWC Weapon Control MOUNT-N-SLOT. The result is excellent. The grip is positive and aggressive without being overly harsh. I find that I am able to lock my hand into place and really drive the gun. It also works great with gloves which is very nice in the winter.

I am certainly not the first person to heat stipple a long gun but it is far less common than heat stippled handguns. I hope this post encourages you to try your hand at stippling. You might just find that it solves a problem for you, too.

Insight Technology M3 LED

The Insight Technology M3 was one of the first affordable and readily available weapon mounted lights. Its tough, light weight polymer construction and 60 lumen output were state of the art at the time. However, as LED technology progressed, the M3’s performance was eclipsed. Now, Insight Technology has given the venerable M3 a new lease on life.

The Insight Technology M3 LED features the same polymer construction as the original M3. The only real difference is the head. Where the original M3 had an incandescent bulb, the new M3 LED features a 125 lumen LED. The original M3 ran for only an hour but the new M3 LED runs for 3 hours. The new LED head offers twice the output and twice the run time.

The M3 LED is available in black or tan. I have seen some retailers listing just the LED heads for sale to those who want to upgrade their current M3. There is also an updated M3X LED available.

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