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Review: Battle Arms Development CASS-3P

I first wrote about the CASS-3P AR-15 selector back in June and you can read more about the excellent pedigree of this selector in that post. Since that time, I have been working with a prototype CASS-3P that Battle Arms Development provided for me to review.

The CASS-3P will feel familiar to those of you who have have a BAD-ASS already. The levers are dimensionally identical to the excellent BAD-ASS levers. However, there are 2 notable differences that really make the CASS-3P stand out.

The first difference is the way that the levers mount. The BAD-ASS uses a slot style mounting system that takes the stress off the mounting screws but does nothing to retain the lever without the screw. The CASS-3P uses a horizontal dovetail mounting system. This not only takes the rotational stresses off the screw but will retain the lever to a certain extent even if the screw is lost or broken. I tested this by installing the strong side lever without a screw and cycling the lever from fire, to safe, to fire, and so on. I made it to 200 cycles before I was bored and the lever was still intact. It was sliding around on the core but it didn’t fall off.

The second difference is that the center core that the levers attach to is slightly longer. This is to allow some additional clearance for when you slide the levers onto the core. The happy coincidence is that this also makes the levers feel wider. They are dimensionally the same as the BAD-ASS levers but they are raised slightly higher off of the receiver. This makes them even easier to find with your fingers but also can add to the interference with your trigger finger so you will want to choose your weak side lever wisely. If you are used to shooting with an ambidextrous selector switch, you really won’t even notice the extra thickness.

Overall, this is probably the most battle worthy selector from Battle Arms Development yet. The dovetail mounted levers adds a degree of redundant lever retention that is really attractive for those who are looking to build a fighting carbine. The CASS-3P will be available on the Battle Arms Development website soon.

Review: White Sound Defense H.R.E.D.

The HRED from White Sound Defense is a direct replacement for the Glock extractor depressor assembly that is designed to provide more reliable extraction. This functionality has become especially relevant as Generation 4 and later Generation 3 Glocks have been experiencing reliability issues that seem to stem from inconsistent extraction.

The HRED (bottom) is a complete redesign of the standard extractor depressor assembly.

How It’s Different

The HRED differs in several ways from the Glock OEM extractor depressor. It isn’t different just for the sake of being different. Each difference represents a purposeful redesign to enhance reliability.

The HRED comes with White Sound Defense’s heavy duty extractor spring. This heavier spring provides more tension than the stock spring. It is ground flat on the ends to ensure that they do not bind or misalign. This spring is available separately for use with the factory extractor depressor unit.

The most obvious difference between the OEM parts and the HRED is that the OEM parts insert with the short end toward the rear of the Glock and the HRED inserts with the short toward the extractor. This is done to shift the mass of the unit so that the movement of the slide assists the plunger rather than working against it.

The entire HRED unit is made from stainless steel. It has a larger diameter than the stock part so that it resists movement and binding in the extractor depressor channel.

Every material, dimension, and function was scrutinized and tweaked for reliability during the creation of the HRED.

Does it Work?

I installed the HRED in my Glock 17 Generation 3 RTF2. This particular G17 was produced sometime in early to mid 2010 as far as I can tell. It has experienced no stoppages through just over 600 rounds but it did exhibit some very inconsistent extraction. It would kick one piece of brass way over my shoulder like it should and then the next would dribble out of the ejection port and flop onto my forearms. This seemed to happen with several different types of ammo. The weak extraction seemed to happen about 1 in 5 times.

After the installation of the HRED, I have seen consistent extraction. In fact, I haven’t had a piece of brass hit my forearms since the installation. I have just over 400 rounds on the G17 since I installed the HRED without any stoppages. Stoppages seems much less likely now that the G17 is ejecting consistently.

Does it work? It has worked for me so far. For what it’s worth, several users are reporting online that the HRED alone has cured the reliability issues that they were having with their Gen4 9mm Glocks.

Installation is simple using the included diagram and easy to follow instructions.

Conclusion

Is the HRED the cure for your Glock reliability woes? It might just be. It is certainly a well designed and well executed unit that could even help improve the reliability and durability of Glocks that aren’t having issues. I am impressed with the results that I have witnessed from the HRED. As with any new part, only time and testing in your particular firearm will tell the whole story.

You can read a far more technical and detailed description of how the HRED works at White Sound Defense’s website.

McCann Industries M14 Carbon Fiber Stock

What if you could add a “pistol” grip, collapsible stock, and fore-end rails to your M1A or M14 and still reduce your rifle’s overall weight? With the McCann Industries M14 Carbon Fiber Stock does just that. It adds features and functionality while reducing weight.

The stock makes extensive use of carbon fiber to create a chassis that is both extremely rigid and extremely lightweight. Every part of the stock that is not made from carbon fiber is made from 7075 Aluminum. The sum of all of these materials is a stock that weighs a feathery 24 ounces.

I am really just scratching the surface of the features that this stock brings to the M14. You can read more about the interesting properties of carbon fiber in rifle stocks and other features on the McCann Industries website.

Review: QD Micro MOUNT-N-SLOT Installed by IWC

I recently mentioned that Impact Weapons Components (IWC) is offering Magpul MOE Hand Guards with their QD Micro MOUNT-N-SLOT pre-installed by IWC. Now I have a sample of the hand guards in hand so that I can check out the QD Micro MOUNT-N-SLOT and the quality of the installation for myself.

IWC uses a jig to allow them to precisely and repeatably locate the hole that must be drilled in order to install the QD Micro MOUNT-N-SLOT in the MOE Hand Guards. The result is a very clean looking installation. At first glance, the modification is barely noticeable. It looks like it was meant to be there.

IWC installs the QD Micro MOUNT-N-SLOT very close to the receiver end of the hand guards. This serves a couple of purposes. First, placing your sling mount closer to the receiver increases the mobility of the rifle. You can move the rifle through more shooting and manipulation positions without the sling pulling so taught as to hinder movement. This location also happens to have enough “meat” to allow mounting the QD Micro MOUNT-N-SLOT on any of the three lengths of MOE Hand Guards.

The QD Micro MOUNT-N-SLOT itself is very slick. This is about as low profile and light weight as a sling mount can get. It nests inside the hand guard with only a small metal ring protruding through to give a clue that there is a sling mount present. There is a split ring on the outside that prevents the QD Micro from falling back into the hand guards and 2 small set screws inside that prevent it from spinning. I am also happy to note that there are several rotation stops that prevent the sling swivel from spinning. This is an incredibly economical, simplistic, and clever approach to mounting a sling.

You can view the MOE Hand Guard and QD Micro MOUNT-N-SLOT combos on the IWC website.

Disclosure: This product was provided to me by IWC, free of charge, for review.

Remember to use the coupon code “triggerjerk” at checkout to receive 5% off at IWC.

Blade-Tech WRS RMR Equipped Tactical Holster

Image property of One Source Tactical

One Source Tactical has partnered with Blade-Tech to design and create the WRS RMR Equipped Tactical Holster. This is the first production level 2 retention holster that I am aware of that is designed to accommodate a handgun (Glocks in this case) with a red dot sight (RDS) mounted on the slide.

The slide mounted RDS concept seems to be gathering more and more momentum now that there are some optics, like the Trijicon RMR, that really lend themselves well to this application. One Source offers their own package of slides that come complete with an RMR and gunsmiths, like Bowie Tactical Concepts, report that they are milling slides to accept RDS at an increased frequency. The introduction of this holster would seem to lend further credence to the growth and acceptance of this concept.

You can read more about the holster at One Source Tactical.

Image property of One Source Tactical

 

Centurion Arms C4 Rails

Centurion Arms may be known for excellent barrels and top quality uppers, but they may soon be known for their new entry into the AR-15 rail market – the C4 Rail. These rails have some features that really set them apart from anything else on the market right now.

Centurion Arms Mid-Length C4 Cut Out Rail

The C4 Rail has a two piece design that allows the user to install the rail on a standard AR barrel nut by simply removing the handguard retainer and delta ring assembly. The handguard retainer and delta ring assembly can be removed without removing the barrel from the upper which allows users with permanently attached muzzle devices to install the C4 Rail. That is a huge plus considering how popular 14.5″ barrels with permanently attached muzzle devices have become.

The C4 Rail is also relatively light weight, especially for a rail that uses the standard barrel nut. It comes in a wide variety of lengths for various gas systems and even “cut out” models that extend beyond the front sight base on the sides but still allow access to the bayonet lug. It snugs right up to the upper receiver in order to provide an uninterrupted or “monolithic” top rail. The C4 Rail also features several sling attachment points built in to the side rails and anti-rotation tabs that prevent the rail from spinning on the barrel nut.

All of these features add up to a very well thought out rail option for the AR-15. Check out the C4 Rails on Centurion Arm’s website.

Hogue AK-47 Handguards

Hogue is now shipping their new AK handguards. These handguards are rubber “OverMolded” like many Hogue products but they also have some other interesting features that are worth noting.

The most interesting feature is the ability to attach rails at 12, 3, 6, and 9 o’clock on the handguards. This could be useful for mounting a weapon light, vertical grip, or sling. The handguard comes with two upper handguards: railed and normal. I don’t think plastic handguards are suitable for mounting optics but I guess the option is there if you want it.

The handguards have a very nice “swell” that really fills the hand. This ergonomic shape coupled with the OverMolded grip really let you drive the rifle aggressively. I usually stipple the plastic handguards on my AKs but that wouldn’t be necessary with the Hogue handguards.

The handguards will be available in several colors but the upper handguard is not color matched at this time. Hogue is working to correct this.

There is no official word yet on whether or not these work with the Ultimak gas tube.

You can check out the Hogue AK handguards on their website.

CSAT Rear Sight for Troy Back Up Irons

The CSAT Rear Sight for the AR family of weapons is a concept born from the mind of Paul Howe of Combat Shooting and Tactics (CSAT). It adds a sighting notch above the small aperture of a same plane A2 sight. This notch serves as an aiming reference that compensates for mechanical offset for closer shots where speed is of the essence. It is a more formalized approach to the technique of holding the front sight above the aperture for closer shots.

Until recently, this sight was only available for sights that used the A2 aperture which left most folding back up iron sights out in the cold. Now XS Sight Systems makes a version that will work with the premier folding sight on the market – the Troy Folding Battle Sight. It should also work on the newer Troy Fixed Battle Sights as well.

You can learn more about the CSAT sights at the XS Sight Systems website.

CASS-3P SA Selector – Coming Soon From Battle Arms Development

No one makes better safety selectors than Battle Arms Development (BAD). Their BAD-ASS safety selector and Short Throw BAD-ASS safety selectors are some of my favorite gear that I have had the pleasure of reviewing here on Jerking the Trigger. Now we have a new safety selector option to look forward to from Battle Arms Development – the CASS-3P SA.

You can clearly see the dovetailed selector levers in this picture of the CASS-3P SA. Keep in mind that this is a prototype. Production versions will be finished to the same high standards that you expect from BAD.

The CASS-3P SA is based off of BAD’s M16 selector, the CASS-3P M16. The CASS-3P M16 was originally developed specifically for one of the oldest names in firearms to be part of the improved carbine trials. The carbine that it was developed for is still in the running. That is a pretty good pedigree for a new piece of gear.

The CASS-3P SA has the same horizontally mounted dovetailed selector levers as the M16 version but they are mounted on a semi-auto selector core. The dovetailed selector levers are what sets it apart from the BAD-ASS which uses a slotted selector lever. Like the slotted selectors of BAD-ASS, the dovetails served to take the stress of moving the selector off of the screw that secures it. The dovetails also allow the selector lever to remain attached to the core and functional in the unlikely event that the screw does break.

The levers offer the same texturing, easy to operate shape, and size as those found on the BAD-ASS. However, since the levers are dovetailed, the selector core is designed to be just a bit wider than the one on the BAD-ASS. This moves the levers out away from the receiver slightly and results in a lever that feels wider to the user.

The CASS-3P SA was developed as a semi-auto version of the CASS-3P M16 shown above.

Roger at Battle Arms Development tells me that the CASS-3P selectors are the finest machined products that BAD has completed to date. That is really saying something considering how finely made all of the BAD products are that I have used. Each and every male and female dovetail is checked against a “go” and “no-go gauge” to be sure that the levers are neither too tight or too loose. This fit is vital. If the lever is too tight, the user won’t be able to slide it onto the core. If it is too loose, it will wobble on the dovetail.

So, maybe you are reading this and thinking, ‘That sounds great, but I am spoiled by my short throw version of the BAD-ASS.” I have good news. There will also be a short throw version of the CASS-3P SA that will be released around September 2011.

The CASS-3P SA is not available for purchase yet, but while you are waiting, you can check out all of the other selector options that Battle Arms Development offers on their website.

H.R.E.D. from White Sound Defense

I recently reported that many shooters are finding the Lone Wolf Extractors to be a fix for the reliability problems with late Generation 3 and Generation 4 Glocks chambered in 9mm. Reports have also been very encouraging for a product from White Sound Defense called the H.R.E.D. or High Reliability Extractor Depressor.

The H.R.E.D. is basically a complete redesign of the stock extractor depressor plunger. The extractor depressor plunger works to keep tension on the extractor so that it can maintain a grip on the rim of the chambered cartridge. If consistent tension cannot be maintained in any and all conditions, then the pistol in question can suffer inconsistent extraction which may lead to reliability problems.

White Sound Defense tweaked the materials, orientation, size, geometry, mass, and mass distribution of the system in order to provide consistent grip on the cartridge over a longer period of time which should equal more reliable extraction. While all of that may not make much sense, you will notice at least some of the differences between the H.R.E.D. and the factory parts immediately. For instance, the H.R.E.D. is installed the opposite way that you might expect based on the factory parts. The shorter part of the H.R.E.D. is toward the muzzle unlike factory parts where the shorter part is installed toward the rear of the gun. It is also immediately noticeable that the H.R.E.D. is made from stainless steel instead of plastic.

The bottom line is that there are people with thousands of rounds on these units that are seeing reliable extraction in Glocks that displayed extraction issues from the factory. I hope that it can do the same for me. I have a Generation 3 RTF2 Glock 17 that has been completely reliable but does show signs of inconsistent extraction. It will kick one case out over my right shoulder as it should and lay the next one right onto my forearm by my wrist. I plan on installing the H.R.E.D. in this gun to see if it makes ejection more consistent and I will let you all know how it works out.

You can read a much more technical explanation of how the H.R.E.D. works on the White Sound Defense website.

 

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