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TangoDown BG-18 – Familiar Like an Old Friend

I purchased by first AR-15 shortly after leaving college and finding gainful employment. That was about 15 years ago. The first thing I added to that AR-15 was a TangoDown BG-16. I liked its comfortable contoured design, clever battery storage, and pebbled texture so much that I ended up with 4 of them as my collection of AR-15s grew.

Later, some wrist injuries would lead me down the path to more vertical and hand filling grips but I missed those old BG-16s. Few other grips I tried could match the comfort of the simple contours and just-right texture on the BG-16, until… The BG-18 came along.

The I’ve been using a BG-18 for a while now and I am thrilled with it. It has everything I love about the BG-16. The flowing contours are intact and so is the excellent texture. In fact, I think the texture may even be slightly improved over my earlier BG-16s. It does however lack the battery storage, which I don’t really miss that much.

While the BG-16 was more raked back and slender, similar in size and angle to the A2 grip, the BG-18 is more vertical and hand filling. TangoDown has designed it with a tang that rides up over “beaver tail” area of the lower receiver to let the shooter get a higher grip while also moving their hand back for better trigger finger placement. Overall, the grip looks and feels just like a BG-16 but even more comfortable.

Putting a TangoDown BG-18 on one of my most shot AR-15s feels a lot like meeting an old friend again.

Review: SIONICS Weapon Systems Patrol III Upper

I have been using SIONICS Weapon Systems products for years – especially their barrels. When I heard that they were updating their entire line recently with new parts from the likes of TangoDown and Centurion Arms, I quickly placed an order for a Patrol III Upper. I have had the upper in hand for several months and have 1535 document rounds through it. Let’s dive into what I’ve learned along the way.

Details

Before I get into my experience with the upper, lets looks at the details of the upper that I purchased. The Patrol III Upper, starting at the muzzle device and working back, has the following features:

  • A2 muzzle device
  • Purchaser’s choice of Medium or Lightweight contour (I chose Lightweight)
  • Both barrel choices are 16”, chrome lined, 41V50, 5.56mm NATO Chamber, 1:8, Air-Gauged, Radiograph and MP Inspected
  • Centurion Arms CMR M-LOK 13″
  • Low profile gas block in the midlength position
  • 7075 aluminum upper

I also added an optional NP3 BCG which is another SIONICS product that has served me well in the past.

Observations from Use

Let’s get to what you came here for first – reliability and accuracy.

Reliability – This upper has had exactly 1535 rounds through it spread over several range sessions. The upper has never been cleaned though oil has been added as necessary. The vast majority of the ammo used was 55 gr. Wolf Gold .223 that I purchased specifically for this test. The rest of the ammo was Prvi Partisan 75 gr. .223 which was used to check the accuracy of the rifle with 10 shot groups at various points during the testing. There were no stoppages of any kind. It ejects both ammo types to 3-4 o’clock on the dial with a standard carbine spring (CS spring from Brownells) and an H buffer.

Accuracy – I have this recurring problem with SIONICS barrels. I buy them for builds thinking that I’ll just drop an Aimpoint on them and call it good. Then the barrels shoot so darn well that I end up buying more glass to take advantage of it! It happened with the previous medium contour barrel that I purchased from them and it happened again with this one.

I intended for that rifle to host an Aimpoint CompM4 with Scalarworks LDM/CompM4 mount and it did serve as a test rifle for that mount for about 100o rounds. However, the accuracy that I was seeing was so promising that I now have a 1-4x optic installed.

I used Prvi Partisan 75 gr. .223 and a Leupold MR/T 1.5-5x optic for accuracy testing at 100 yards. Accuracy was tested at 300 rounds into the test, roughly 700 rounds into the test, and finally at just over 1000 rounds into the test. I shot two 10 shot groups at each of those intervals for a total of 6 groups. There was no time left for cooling or anything like that. I just aligned the sights and squeezed the trigger 10 times for each group. The target used was a grid square (1.9″) from the 50/200 yard zeroing target that I use.

I never had a group larger than 1.293″. The average across all 6 groups was 1.281″ and you can see what turned out to be a roughly average group for this rifle below. Eventually, I would like to test this with a true “match” ammo as I suspect it will shoot very well. In my book, a lightweight barrel that will shoot consistent 1.2 MOA 10 shot groups with ammo (and a shooter) that is just decent, is darn impressive.

Speaking of the barrel, you really should consider the SIONICS Lightweight Barrel if you are considering a lightweight build. It is not radically thinned pencil barrel. It has a bit more meat on it than some which I like – it is still quite light at 1 pound, 6 ounces. It balances nicely if you care about such things. This combination of accuracy, reliability, and general handiness make it great all-around barrel for general purpose carbine.

The inclusion of the Centurion Arms CMR on this upper is icing on the cake. It is slim, light, strong, and functional rail that compliments the lightweight barrel very well. It lets the upper work well across a variety of shooting positions, makes it easy to carry and hold, and keeps weight to a minimum.

The SIONICS NP3 bolt carrier groups are excellent and I own a few. I have owned NiB coated bolt carrier groups before and they all tend to collect carbon. Most of it will wipe off but before long, they have taken on a dingy gray tone from carbon that can’t be cleaned. The NP3 coating that SIONICS uses doesn’t seem to suffer from the same issue in spite of the fact that it is a similar coating – on paper at least. These BCGs are slick, easy to clean, and have always run well for me.

Wrap Up

Bottom Line: This is an affordable upper that is completely reliable through more than 1500 rounds and shoots consistently at around 1.2 MOA in spite of it’s lightweight profile barrel. I think SIONICS is turning out some of the best uppers and complete AR-15s on the market right now. This upper and every other product I have owned from them has proved that to me.

Check out the Patrol III Upper at SIONICS.

Review: TacPack November 2016 Edition

The November 2016 TacPack is one of the coolest and most interesting yet.

Hopefully you are familiar with the concept of TacPack by now. If not, you can read the reviews of the previous TacPacks for some background on this subscription box. I recently received the November 2016 TacPack. Here are the details…

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This month’s box is a very solid value. The items seemed to strike a great balance between value, quality, usefulness, and level of interest. This is probably my favorite box yet in part because it exposed me to an interesting product that I am still trying to wrap my head around.

Nelson Precision Manufacturing AR.5 – All of these subscription boxes come with bottle openers. If you subscribe for long, you will end up with a ton of them and they are easy to forget about. Every once in a while you get one that stands out and the NPM AR.5 certainly stands out. It is basically an accurately crafted half scale 80% AR-15 lower that opens bottles. I have tested it thoroughly on a variety of bottles and can confirm that it works VERY well. Best. Bottle Opener. Ever.

Black Rifle Coffee Company Mug – This mug rocks. I happen to like Black Rifle Coffee Company. I also happen to like enameled steel coffee mugs and early American history. This mug hits all those notes. It is a lot nicer than most of the enamel ware I see these days. Hint: You can also drink whiskey out of it.

Burnproof Gear Boot Laces – Burnproof gear makes cool stuff, especially if you have a suppressor you need to cover. They also make really nice boot laces. These kevlar laces are super strong and have a great texture so they don’t slip which makes them very good boot laces (good boot laces are hard to find). They offer heat resistance and high tensile strength so they have all sorts of survival applications.

Exotac polySTRIKER – I own and use several Exotac products. You can never go wrong with putting one of their products in these boxes. If you don’t have a ferro rod, you need one (or two, one to practice with and one to carry). You can always find a place to tuck a good ferro rod. Inclusions like this rank just about as high as possible on the usefulness scale as it pertains to subscription boxes.

ReadyMan Home Defense Hand Grenade – You know ReadyMan for their survival cards but they actually have a lot more than that going on. They offer a variety of products and advocate readiness in all forms. This Home Defense Hand Grenade isn’t on their website currently but it is extremely interesting. It is basically a puck shaped object that has bright strobes and screeching siren. You push a button, there is a short delay when you can throw it, and then it goes off with the intent of working as a distractionary device. In the confines of a dark room or hallway, it would be very disruptive.

I need to think more on how best to use something like this. On one hand, it makes a certain amount of sense on its face and I can see how it would be useful. On the other, the home owner is already faced with an interesting conundrum when confronting the bump in the night… You have two hands but need to carry a gun, a cell phone, and a flashlight at a minimum and there may not be time to jock up with gear. Something like this has merit and I have enjoyed thinking through how it might be used effectively.

There is also a coupon included so you can save 20% off at ReadyMan.

Check out TacPack to get in line for the December box which TacPack is saying will contain a high value knife along with a bunch of other slick kit.

Review: PIG FDT-Delta Utility Glove from SKD Tactical

I have owned at least one pair of every glove offered in SKD Tactical’s PIG FDT line and in the case of what is now called the FDT-Alpha, I’ve owned several. My wife even has a pair of the FDT-Charlie Gloves. I’ve worn these gloves for years and, with all that experience, I would say that the FDT-Delta Utility Glove is the best yet. It also happens to be the least expensive. Go figure.

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Fit

The fit on the FDT-Delta Utility Glove is excellent. It fits extremely close to hand if you follow SKD’s sizing instructions and I have come to expect that from the FDT Gloves. They always seem to have a nice slim fit with no excess bulk.

If you hold your hand out at rest, you’ll notice that it isn’t completely flat. The fingers curve to varying degrees. Yet, most glove makers design their gloves as if your finger were straight all the time. The PIG FDT Gloves have curve designed right into them which is part of why they feel so natural on the hand.

If you look at most slip-on type mechanic’s gloves or shooting gloves, they have a bit of elastic sewn into the cuff in a zig-zag pattern with a very wide cuff. This creates a weird little skirt on your wrist that bunches up under a long sleeve or gapes open. The PIG FDT-Delta Utility Gloves take a different approach with a “triangle” gusset of stretch material sewn into the wrist of the glove. This allows the gloves to lay perfectly flat even on slim wrists. It’s basically magic.

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Dexterity

Dexterity always sets the FDT Glove line apart and that is true of the FDT-Delta Utility Gloves too. The finger tips are designed so that there are no bulky seams on the tips. This allows you to actually feel something other than the glove chafing against your fingers when you are squeezing a trigger and provides the dexterity necessary to pick up small parts.

The pre-curved finger design also aids in dexterity. With some gloves, you feel like you are doing some kind of grip exercise when you close your hands into a fist. The gloves are sewn flat so they resist you when you try to close your hand. The PIG FDT Gloves have some natural curve already sewn in so they move very naturally with your hands.

Finally, the material on the palm side of the glove is very thin on the FDT-Deltas and all of the FDT Glove line. Unlike the rest of the line, the FDT-Delta Utility Gloves also features rubbery, silicone printing on the fingers and parts of the palm which aids in grip.

Durability

I have found the FDT Glove line to be generally about as durable as any mechanics style glove with a synthetic leather-like palm. You will eventually wear through the material – usually at the finger tips. If you need a more bomb-proof glove, you can check out the FDT-Bravo but I have always felt like I get my money’s worth out of the FDT-Alpha and FDT-Delta.

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Wrap Up

I have come to prefer the FDT-Delta Utility Gloves over all other FDT Gloves and other shooting gloves in general. They fit closer through the wrist than anything I have tried. They are more comfortable and natural feeling that anything I have tried. They are light, durable, and provide excellent dexterity. They also happen to be the most affordable in the FDT Glove line. Those are wins all around.

Check out the PIG FDT-Delta Utility Gloves at SKD Tactical.

Disclosure: I was provided a pair of these gloves free of charge by SKD Tactical. I have since purchased more of them at full price.

Review: TacPack October Edition

Hopefully you are familiar with the concept of TacPack by now. If not, you can read the reviews of the previous TacPacks for some background on this subscription box. I recently received the October TacPack. Here are the details…

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The October Box is solid in terms of value but the usefulness of some of the items may vary. This box contains a handful of items that retail higher than the fodder included in most subscription boxes so there are fewer items than you may find in a typical box but the quality is also better the most.

BreakThrough Clean Battle Born Grease – You can get by with just gun oil in most cases but grease is always good to have on hand. It stays put better on handgun slide rails, trigger engagement surfaces, and similar places that are hard to access or prone to leaking out all over you. This 12cc syringe makes application easy and could last you a few years in most cases. This is a solid inclusion.

Tactical Oatmeal Mag Carrier – This kydex magazine carrier is pretty slick. It is designed to accept a wide variety of belt hardware or MALICE clips (included). Additionally, it may be stacked with other Tactical Oatmeal Magazine Carriers in a variety of ways. The included MALICE clips will let you mount it on PALS webbing (though it can’t really be weaved) or your belt. I am not sure if this example is indicative of all Tactical Oatmeal products but while the design and molding is solid, the finish could use some work. The edges are left sharp and there is still bits of kydex left in the mounting holes. It isn’t pretty but it is functional.

Cittac EDC Beetle Buster – Cittac makes steel targets and very slick flat-pack target stands. They also make these little steel Beetle Busters. If you like knuck-like bottle openers or EDC tools, you’ll like this.

Trayvax Wallet – While I do not care to carry an exotic wallet, I can admit that this Traywax Wallet is pretty cool. It is actually of made thin steel with an adjustable strap to carry cards. It also has a place to stow a key and it blocks most RFID signals by nature of its steel construction. It’s very slim and I suspect it will last a long, long time.

Gang Bangers Anonymous Patch – Another patch for the patch wall!

Check out TacPack to get in line for the November box which TacPack is touting as the highest value yet.

Review: Multitasker Twist

My very first tool from Multitasker Tools was the Multitasker TUBE and I still use it to this day. It’s unique pen-like form factor and ease of carry have made it a staple of my range kit. The TUBE was eventually discontinued and there was no similar tool available until Multitasker released the Twist. Does the Twist fill the shoes of it’s predecessor, the TUBE? Let’s find out.

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Overview

The Twist is a pen shaped multitool that is machined from 6061 aluminum with a hard anodized finish. Many of its tools are useful in broad applications but the tool is specifically designed to aid in field weapon maintenance and cleaning.

The top cap of the Twist features two nibs for adjusting Aimpoint Micros. The top cap also features a heavy-duty steel clip that is not only the key to keeping the Twist handy but works as a flat blade driver for adjusting optics or other tasks. If all you had was the Twist’s top cap, you could adjust almost any modern optic!

There is a standard 1/4″ hex shank bit driver under the top cap. By default, this is loaded with a front sight adjustment tool but it can accept any standard 1/4″ hex shank bit. The Twist comes with a selection of bits in a rubber holder.

The bottom cap features a recessed 8-32 male thread that accepts Otis Cleaning Kit components or any of the three tools found under the bottom cap: a pin punch, a radial carbon scraper, or a dental pick.

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Observations from Use

The Twist makes a great first impression. The box that it comes in is very slick and you may actually want to hang onto it for storing your Twist when you aren’t using it.

The selection of tools on the Twist is more complete and more modern than those found on the TUBE. I especially like having the Aimpoint Micro turret adjuster accessible without having to open the tool. This makes for very quick and easy adjustments of the most common type of Aimpoint I own.

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My two favorite things about the TUBE are still intact in the Twist and I am very happy to see that. First, the standard 1/4″ hex bits are a necessity. If you have a tool that doesn’t use the standard size bits, ditch it. I like knowing that I can walk into any hardware store and buy the exact bit that I need so that I can customize my bit loadout to match the firearms I’ll be using on that day. I should also mention that the Twist is actually a very good driver unlike pliers format multitools which can be a little bit of a pain to use for this purpose.

My second favorite thing about this type of tool is the pen-like form factor. The shape and the included steel pocket clip mean you can stow this tool anywhere and it will be more accessible than any tool without a clip could be. I generally clip it in my pocket or into a single column of PALS webbing. This means I don’t have to dig in a pouch or pocket to find it. That is really nice when you are trying not to be that guy in a carbine course but you need to make a quick adjustment.

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All of the included tools work well. The dental pick is well shaped for fishing out cotter pins that you can’t quite get your finger tips on. The pin punch is useful for starting stubborn take-down pins or pushing pins on a Glock. The scraper is not quite as sharp or stout as the one on the TUBE but it works and it is more versatile. The front sight adjustment bit on the Twist appears to be more stout than the one on the TUBE and I appreciate that.

I believe that it is a very good idea for shooters to carry some kind of tool that is specific to their rifle in the context of training – especially paid training. If you can’t fix your gear and keep it running, you are wasting your own money and possibly the other student’s time. I strongly recommend the pliers format Multitasker tools for this application all the time. However, if you are on a tighter budget or already have a good multitool that serves you well, consider adding something like the Twist to your range kit. It has AR-15 specific tools that you will find handy in the context of a carbine course and a form factor that keeps it at your finger tips.

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Wrap Up

The biggest strengths of the Twist are its excellent bit driver and its form factor. It is always easy to reach for thanks to its shape and the clip. The standard bit driver lets you tailor the tool to your application. This really is a worthy successor to my beloved TUBE.

You can check out MultitaskerTools.com for more information about Multitasker Tools. The Twist is available from Brownells and other great retailers.

Disclosure: The Twist was provided to me by Multitasker Tools for review.

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Multitasker Twist (foreground) shown with my original Multitasker TUBE.

Review: Special 1404 Sling from Blue Force Gear

I have had the chance to use one of Blue Force Gear’s Special 1404 Sling since July of this year. As you may recall, this sling is somewhat expensive due to the nature of its small production run and the custom hardware it uses. Blue Force Gear was fully aware of the perceived cost of this sling so they offer it with 2 free QD swivels to help add value.

I don’t normally comment much on cost, choosing instead to let you make your own judgements on value. However, in this case, the cost is integral to the story of this sling and it will come up in the review.

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Overview

The Special 1404 Sling is very much like a regular Vickers Sling (VCAS) with a few changes. It has the soft touch webbing that you are used to from Blue Force Gear, the quick adjuster with contrasting pull tab, and the general bomb-proof quality you expect.

Most of the differences center around the use of 1.5″ webbing for the rear part of the sling instead of the standard 1.25″ webbing. This transition from 1.25″ webbing at the front of the sling, to 1.5″ webbing at the rear, requires a custom machined piece of hardware. In fact, every piece of hardware on this sling is machined from aluminum and hard anodized in a FDE-like color.

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Observations from Use

The idea with the Special 1404’s wider webbing is to spread out the weight of the rifle, making it more comfortable to wear over a longer period of time – sort of like a padded sling without the padding. It works to some extent but it is difficult to say how much. I used this sling with some of my heavier rifles and found that it was a slight improvement over the regular VCAS but a padded VCAS was still preferable for a heavy rifle – no surprise there.

I think this particular sling shines on rifles that are already somewhat light in weight and I don’t mean ultra-light rifles. This sling adds an extra measure of comfort on a rifle in a 8 lb and less range. That is where this sling really shines because, unlike a padded sling, it is able to provide that extra comfort without the bulk of padding.

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I used Blue Force Gear slings long before they were an advertising partner here on JTT. I always preferred their webbing and the simplicity of their quick adjuster – push to tighten, pull to loosen, easy. This sling has all that. If you have never tried Blue Force Gear’s webbing, borrow one from a friend and see what I mean. It is thick with rounded, comfortable edges and a soft brushed feel that seems more like soft cotton canvas than harsh nylon. The Special 1404 Sling has that same webbing.

It also has the quick adjust slider with contrasting pull tab. The simplicity of this system continues to be the strength of the VCAS slings and it works just as well here. This also happens to be the best looking slider I have seen yet on a Blue Force Gear sling. It’s machined aluminum and sports an FDE, hard coat anodized finish.

So, does this sling live up to it’s cost? I say it does and I’ll explain. A standard VCAS without padding and the metal hardware option costs $65. If you add two QD sling swivels, you add another $34 for a total of $99. The Special 1404 Sling comes with swivels, has even nicer hardware, and the benefit of the wider webbing for $105. It isn’t as expensive as you think when you actually do the math… at least at MSRP. The gap does widen a bit more if you consider a standard VCAS at a retail establishment but BFG is still delivering value for that increased cost.

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Wrap Up

I like the Special 1404 Sling but that shouldn’t really be a surprise because, under the slick hardware and wider webbing, it is a well proven Vickers Sling – my preferred sling. It works and it is really, really nice. Blue Force Gear delivers value for the cost of the sling so it doesn’t feel like a waste, but I would never fault someone for choosing a standard Vickers Sling over this.

You can check out the Special 1404 Sling at Blue Force Gear.

Disclosure: This sling was provided to me, free of charge, by Blue Force Gear.

Best Budget Precision Optic: MidwayUSA Exclusive Weaver Tactical Grandslam 3-10×40

Fully multi-coated Japanese glass, mil reticle with 1/10th mil windage and elevation adjustments, exposed target turrets that can be reset to zero, lifetime warranty backed by an established manufacturer with a long history… Normally you can touch a scope like that for less than $800… Unless you know where to look.

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MidwayUSA carries an optic exclusive to them called the Weaver Tactical Grandslam 3-10×40 and it has long been one of the best kept secrets in precision optics. This scope is exclusive to MidwayUSA and they sell it for just $400 shipped everyday. It is frequently on sale for around $300 shipped. I saw them on sale as recently as 2 weeks ago for $273 shipped (if you Round Up for the NRA and you should). That is basically unheard of in mil/mil optics, especially those with this level of quality.

I have long been a fan of Weaver’s optics, especially their Classic 1-3×20 and their Classic Rimfire line. Weaver knows how to squeeze a lot of value into an optic and their glass is always surprisingly good for its price range.

Optic Quality

The Tactical Grandslam’s optics are relatively bright and clear which is what we have come to expect from Weaver’s Grandslam line. It has long been known as an excellent value. Weaver claims the fully multi-coated Japanese glass has 94% light transmission. I can’t really test that but I can share some general observations.

The optics are relatively bright and clear. I compared it to a few optics I had on hand and found it to be optically similar to a Bushnell Elite 4200 or Nikon Monarch for brightness and clarity. It is outpaced by a Vortex Viper PST and Leupold Mark 4 which is to be expected. Color rendition is good. There is some blurring at the edges and some chromatic aberration but overall, the quality is better than you would expect from an optic at this price.

I own one of these and have been able to shoot with (and look through) several others. All have been consistently good and all the owners have been consistently pleased.

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Field of View and Eye Relief

The field of view is 35′ at 100 yards when set to 3X magnification and 11.3′ at 10X magnification. This compares favorably to other optics I have in this magnification range.

The eye relief is generous at 3.5″ and constant throughout the entire magnification range which I like. This is more than enough eye relief to work well on AR-15s and AR308s.

Reticle

The Tactical Grandslam has a proven mil-dot reticle. It features .25 mil dots at 1 mil spacing. The reticle is wire construction and placed in the second focal plane.

It is worth noting that the Tactical Grandslam ships with a pamphlet that contains information on how to use a mil-dot reticle and several ranging tables. The information is actually very useful and well executed. This is a very nice touch, especially for those using this optic as an affordable way to dip their toe into mil/mil optics.

Adjustments

All of the Tactical Grandslam’s windage and elevation adjustments are accomplished via large, easy to grip, and easy to read target turrets. Every rotation of the turret gives you 5 mils of adjustment, 1/10th mil at a time, and there is a total of 16.5 mils of adjustment available. This optics features a 1″ tube which limits its adjustment a bit but it still manages to have enough to get a .308 to 1000 yards if you use a 20MOA base. The adjustments seem to be quite accurate and it passes a simple box test.

The turrets can be easily reset by removing the center of the turret with a hex key, lifting the turret body, and replacing with the “0” aligned. Just be sure that you don’t lose the o-ring that typically comes out with the center of the turret when you reset the turrets.

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The clicks are tactile and audible though not as crisp as something like a Vortex Viper PST. Mine felt a little mushy at first but spinning the turrets a few times broke them in nicely. It takes some effort to spin the turret and the detent at each position seems quite strong so it is unlikely that you will accidentally spin a turret off your zero. That is a good thing because there is no zero stop.

The magnification is adjusted via an easy to grip magnification ring. The Tactical Grandslam’s entire 3-10x magnification range can be accessed with a 180 degree throw of the ring.

Focus is adjusted via a fast focus eye piece. I would prefer a locking eye piece but I’ll gladly overlook that at this price.

Specs at a Glance

  • Tube Diameter: 1″
  • Objective: 40mm
  • Length: 12″
  • Weight: 16.6 oz
  • Field of View: 35′ (3X) to 11.3′ (10X)
  • Eye Relief: 3.5″
  • Adjustment Click Value: 1/10 MIL
  • Finger Adjustable Turrets: Yes
  • Turrets Resettable to Zero: Yes
  • Zero Stop: No
  • Warranty: Limited Lifetime
  • Eyepiece: Fast Focus
  • Reticle Construction: Wire

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Other Items of Note

One nice thing about this optic’s Weaver Grandslam heritage is that there are accessories like sun shades available for it. I purchased a Weaver Grand Slam 40mm Sun Shade (part #849737) and it fits perfectly.

This optic would be right at home on a precision bolt action or precision AR-15 build. It has plenty of eye relief to work well on an AR pattern rifles.

This optic does have a flat spot on the bottom, under the turrets. I always appreciate that as it makes it easy to mechanically level the optic in one piece mounts or over a rail.

An etched reticle, locking eye piece, and adjustable parallax would be nice but something has to give in a $400 optic. You can live without those items. Weaver and Midway did a great job getting the most important things right in this optic. They delivered a very functional optic with very good glass at a very attractive price.

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Wrap Up

I don’t know of an optic in this category that can match the Weaver Tactical Grandslam for quality, value, and features. In fact, you really can’t find another mil/mil optic until you get into the $800 range. This optic is perfect for those looking to dip their toe into the mil/mil optic pool at an affordable price and it’s perfect for budget precision rifles.

The Weaver Tactical Grandslam 3-10×40 is a good value at the every day price of $400 shipped, an amazing value when it is on sale at around $300 shipped, and a can’t miss bargain when the price goes below $300 (I paid $273 shipped for mine).

Check out the Weaver Tactical Grandslam 3-10×40 exclusively at MidwayUSA.

Review: Butler Creek Tactical One Piece Flip Caps

I have had universally poor luck with Butler Creek scope caps in recent years. I’ve had broken springs, broken latches, and broken hinges. I stopped buying them because they were so terrible which is a real shame because they are easily the most available scope caps on the market. My moratorium on buying Butler Creek scope caps ended a couple of months ago when I came across their new Tactical One Piece Flip Caps and had to give them a try.

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The Tactical One Piece Flip Caps are different from other Butler Creek scope caps because they lack every part that I have ever broken on their caps. They are made from a material that feels like a sturdy rubber or maybe a flexible polymer. Like their name suggests, they are made from a single molded piece. There are no springs, no latches, and no hinges which hopefully means there is less that can break.

The flexible materials used in their construction means that the collar can stretch a bit to fit a wide variety of scope objective and eye piece diameters. Butler Creek only offers a handful sizes in these caps but, because of how they stretch, those few sizes will cover most scopes.

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Instead of a hinge, these scope caps have the lid connected to the collar via two flexible pillars. They are molded so that the lids spring open enough to not obstruct your view through the scope when you push the tab to unlatch the lid. The lids can be further secured from flapping around on your optic by bending them all the way back and tucking them behind a small fin that holds the lid nearly flat, folded back on the optic itself. Its a very simple system that seems to work well.

I am not sure that, after only a couple of months with these Tactical One Piece Flip Caps, I am ready to say they are going to last for the long haul but they definitely seem to be an improvement over the regular Butler Creek Scope Caps. They are also similarly affordable and widely available, both which are nice.

You can check out the Tactical One Piece Flip Caps at Butler Creek.

Review: TacPack September Edition

Hopefully you are familiar with the concept of TacPack by now. If not, you can read the reviews of the previous TacPacks for some background. I recently received the September TacPack and here are the details…

September’s box is another one that delivers not only good value, but useful items. The usefulness of the items included continues to be my favorite thing about TacPack’s subscription service.

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Nine Line Apparel Swag Pack – Nine Line Apparel is represented in a big way in this month’s box. They included a sticker, a koozie, and a t-shirt. I have a tool chest so I can use the sticker. I like cold beverages that come in cans so I can definitely use the koozie. I also [usually] wear clothing so I will get a lot of mileage out of the All Rifles Matter shirt. I always pleased when these boxes include a shirt.

Bellflower AK47 – This is an aluminum bottle opener that is shaped like an AK-47 and can be attached to your keys. It’s anodized in a gold color so you can feel like an oil baron or sultan while you are opening bottles. Even if you don’t put it on your keychain, you need a bottle opener for every drawer in your kitchen because they tend to disappear over time and no one wants to try to remember which drawer the bottle opener is in.

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ReadyMan Survival Card – ReadyMan makes a variety of these cards. The one included in this box has a variety of fish hooks, frog spears, and other useful survival goodies packed into one easy-to-carry credit card form. I have a few of these tucked into various kits.

Wild HedgeHog Tactical – Wild HedgeHog Tactical really came through in this box. There is a coupon for 20% off at their site and one of their Ouch Pouches which is a compact, water-resistant first aid kit. You can never have too many first aid kits. This is the type of useful item that I really like finding in my TacPack.

Armaspec ST-45 Ambi Selector – This is a solid inclusion for both value and usefulness. If you are reading JTT, you almost certainly own an AR-15 in which you can use a short throw selector.

Check out TacPack to get in line for the October box which TacPack is touting as possibly their best yet.

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