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A-TACS FG Photo Contest from Beez Combat Systems and Predator Intelligence

A-TACS FG is one of the newest camo patterns on the block and it is really turning some heads with its performance and versatility. JTT is fortunate to have two companies as partners, Beez Combat Systems and Predator Intelligence, who have really been on the forefront of the integration of A-TACS FG into new gear. Now, these 2 great companies are teaming up to bring you a killer contest – the A-TACS FG Photo Contest.

You can find all the details you need to get started in this flier:

SIRT PERFORMER 110 Student Training Pistol

I have mentioned SIRT Training Pistols from Next Level Training on JTT before. Many of you thought they were a great idea but hesitated to purchase one because of the price. NLT heard those concerns and introduced a new, more economical option – the SIRT PERFORMER 110 Student Training Pistol.

The main difference between the PERFORMER 110 and NLT’s other Training Pistols is that the PERFORMER 110 features a polymer slide assembly instead of the metal slide of other SIRT Training Pistol models. This has the advantage of lowering the price but the disadvantage of having a less realistic feel and weight. The price reduction is very significant versus the other SIRT Training Pistols.

Like previous SIRT Training Pistol models, the PERFORMER 110 is similarly sized and shaped to the ubiquitous Glock 17/22. It features a Red/Red laser set up that is suitable for indoor use and outdoor use in limited situations. The SIRT Performer 110 comes with 1 weighted training magazine and additional training magazines are available for purchase separately.

If you have been wanting to try a SIRT Training Pistol but the price has been holding you back, check out the new SIRT PERFORMER 110 Student Training Pistol. You can use the coupon code “jerkingthetrigger” to save $20 on your own SIRT PERFORMER 110.

Flat Dark Earth (FDE) Glocks from Lipsey’s

There have been leaked pictures turning up here and there of Flat Dark Earth (FDE) Glock magazines which has lead to speculation that FDE Glocks may soon be available. Well… check out what Gear Scout turned up.

Lipsey’s will be offering 9 popular Glock models with FDE frames. There will be a mix of both Gen3 and Gen4 models. It should be noted that this is more of a true FDE coloration rather than the “OD Green” frames that have been offered in the past that just looked like Magpul’s FDE.

Judging by the amount of people online who are bemoaning the discontinuation of the OD Green frame Glocks, you will want to act fast if you are thinking of ordering one of these.

Review: Echo93 V1, V2, and V3 Sling Plates

Mounting a modern 2 point or single point sling to an AK pattern rifle can be a bit of a pain. This is especially true for the rear sling attachment point if you don’t want to settle for the one that is located on the rear of the buttstock. Thankfully, there are innovative companies out there like Echo93 who offer solutions like their Sling Plates. The Echo93 Sling Plates take the pain out of mounting a sling to your AK.

I recently received the Echo93 V1, V2, and V3 Sling Plates for testing. I used each of the three in a mix of multiple range trips and dry fire practice. In that time, I learned a lot about each individual version. In this review, I will talk generally about all of the Echo93 Sling Plates and then focus down onto the 3 specific plates that I had to try.

Overview

The Echo93 Sling Plates are extremely simple and I mean that as high praise. They are simply powder coated steel plates that mount under your pistol grip and provide a loop to which you can attach a sling. The steel that Echo93 uses is nearly 1/8″ thick. There are no moving parts – just a single piece of steel. You aren’t going to be able to break or wear out these sling mounts.

Installation is extremely easy. You simply remove your grip. Then you place the Echo93 Sling Plate on your receiver so that the grip screw can pass through the square hole in the sling plate and so that the sling loop is on the desired side of the AK (all 3 of the tested Sling Plates are ambidextrous). Then reinstall the grip. The sling plate has two tabs that slip onto either side of the trigger guard to prevent it from spinning. If you know how to use a screwdriver, you can install an Echo93 Sling Plate.

Echo93 V1, V2, and V3 Sling Plates

Observations from Use

The Echo93 Sling Plates are sold as a single point sling mount but they work extremely well as the rear attachment point for 2 point slings as well. I like to mount the rear sling point of my 2 point slings as close to the rear of the receiver as possible. This gives a greater range of motion than is possible when mounting the sling near the rear of the buttstock. This is especially important if you, like me, drop the butt of the gun under your arm and bring the magazine well into your “work space” on reloads. Mounting the sling in this position also allows your to transition from shoulder to shoulder without dropping an arm out of the sling when quick adjust slings like the Blue Force Gear VCAS or VTAC.

You will definitely want to give careful thought to your AK variant, your grip type, your stock configuration, and your hand shape when choosing which sling plate to order. Obviously, if your AK precludes the use of a certain version of the Echo93 Sling Plate, you will want to avoid that particular version. Grips that drive the hand very high and into the receiver will effect the feel of some of the plates (more on that later). Some of the Echo93 Sling Plates will not work with folding stocks so pay attention if you own a folding stocked AK. Users with thick hands will want to pay careful attention as your hand may come into contact with the sling plate and this may or may not be an issue for you (more on this later).

The powder coating holds up fairly well but the inside corners of the sling loops will loose their coating quickly from wear. This is a purely cosmetic issue and it does not alter the function of the sling plate in any way. It is simply unavoidable when you have metal hardware rubbing on the loop.

I tested these sling plates with HK style snap hooks and ITW Mash Hooks. Both worked very well. Any type of metal hook type hardware should work well with Echo93 Sling Plates.

The Echo93 Sling Plates are very, very thick (nearly 1/8″ thick). This makes them very rugged but I can’t help but wonder if they couldn’t be made thinner. I suspect they could be quite a bit thinner and still be more rugged than they need to be while saving some weight and cost. As they are now, you will never be able to break or bend one in the normal course of use.

In all my testing, I was unable to get any of the plates to spin. The simple tabs that are cut into the plate to lock it on the trigger guard work perfectly. There is also enough wiggle room to allow for quite a bit of variation between AKs.

It seems like there is some effort to break the corners a bit so that they aren’t very sharp. This is a nice thing considering that the top of your hand may be contacting this sling plate frequently while firing.

V1

The V1 is one of my favorites but there are going to be some people who just don’t care for it. The V1 allows the sling to slip from one side to the other as you transition from shoulder to shoulder with your AK. It accomplishes this by placing the loop on the center line of the AK, just above your hand.

If you are using a standard AK grip, your hand might not contact the V1 but if you are using a grip that forces your hand high like the US PALM AKBG then you will definitely contact the sling plate and sling hook. It isn’t really the sling plate that you will notice, it is the sling hook that is attaching your sling to the plate that will rub your hand. This has been a non-issue for me through 2 live fire sessions and several dry fire sessions but if you have meaty hands, you will want to take note.

V1 with Sling Attached

You can see how the V1 and the sling hardware can contact the shooter's hand. This was a non-issue for me.

V2

The V2 was my least favorite. It lacks the side to side versatility of the V1 though it still allows easy transitions and it was the most noticeable during live fire. It can also preclude the use of side folding stocks (and all under-folding stocks) depending on which side the stock folds to and whether the shooter is left or right handed.

The sling loop on the V2 is pushed out to the side of the receiver, directly over your thumb knuckle (right handed shooter). This can cause the sling hook to rub and bump your thumb during manipulations. This effect is magnified by using a grip that drives your hand higher than the standard AK grip. I don’t have huge hands but I do have thick thumbs.

V2 with sling

The V2 caused the sling hardware to rub my thumb. It didn't really work for me.

V3

The V3 is a sort of variation on the V2. It also pushes the loop out onto the side of the receiver but it also turns it up away from your hand which made it great for me. It also allows quick transitions in spite of the higher sling positioning. However, it also precludes the use of some side folding stocks (and all under-folding stocks) depending on which side the stock folds to and whether the shooter is left or right handed.

This is easily the least noticeable and therefore the most comfortable of the 3 sling plates that I tried. If you have thick hands and a fixed stock AK (or side folder that folds to the opposite side as the sling loop) you will love this sling mount.

The V3 moves the loop up and away from the shooter's hand making it very comfortable.

V3 with sling

Conclusion

I love these mounts. They place my sling exactly where I need it for how I work with an AK. There are really no other mounts out there that do this (except for the knock-offs, so buyer beware). Some of the variants are not going to work for some people or some rifles, but there are now 7 different version of the Echo93 Sling Plates so every shooter should be able to find something that works for them.

You can get your own Echo93 Sling Plate at Brownells or direct from Echo93.com.

Disclosure: These Sling Plates were provided to me free of charge by Echo93.

UW Gear Mag Pouches

Now you can add the same great retention, speedy access, and reliable simplicity of the Minuteman MKII Chest Rig pouches to any MOLLE platform. UW Gear has adapted their great Minuteman MKII Chest Rig pouch design to stand alone magazine pouches. The new pouches have all of the same innovative features of the chest rig pouches including the flap closure design and sewn in drainage hole.

Left to right: AR-15, AK-74, AK-47

The new UW Gear Mag Pouches are available in a single magazine and double magazine configuration and they are available for the AK-47, AK-74, and AR-15. They can be mounted to any MOLLE platform via Tactical Tailor MALICE clips or similar mounting devices. These should be especially well suited to plate carriers and armor.

Left to right: AR-15, AK-74, AK-47

You can check out my previous review of the Minuteman MKII Chest Rig for more details on how these pouches work and what makes them unique. Head over to UWGearInc.com to order your own UW Gear Mag Pouches.

Armory Racks 1 Gun Rack

The newest offering from Armory Racks, the 1 Gun Rack, is a bit of a departure from their other racks. The 1 Gun Rack isn’t free standing. Instead, it can be bolted to just about any vertical surface. This design opens up some interesting possibilities.

The 1 Gun Rack can be mounted above a door, on a door, in a drawer, to a wall, to the side rail of a bed, to a nightstand, inside a safe, or countless other places where you might want quick access to a handgun. There are a ton of possibilities here.

The Armory Racks website has an application guide that can give you a few ideas about how to use the new Armory Rack.

Review: Fight and Flight Tactical Y.U.C.K.

If you have kids, you know that they tend to come with a lot of gear. If you have kids, you probably end up carrying a lot of their gear. Fight and Flight Tactical thinks it is high time that kids started carrying their own gear, so Dave, the owner, created the Youth Utility Carrier Kit or YUCK. The YUCK is a kid sized backpack that is made durable enough for adults. It offers some kid specific features that really make it useful to a parent.

The YUCK can carry everything your little operator needs to fast rope into story time at the library.

Quality

The YUCK is constructed from the same materials as a typical adult sized 3 day pack. It features 1000D Cordura nylon construction that is fully lined with 420D pack cloth. This adds durability and water resistance. It uses quality plastic hardware and features burly inverted zippers. All of the cloth edges are bound and for the most part, there are box stitches and bar tacks everywhere that you would expect them.

There are some nits that I could pick in a few places. There are spots where the stitching isn’t quite straight and I did have to go over the packs with a lighter when I first received them to burn off some extra thread. So far, none of these things have effected function and, on the whole, these bags are far better made than anything that I have been able to buy off the shelf. Your children are not going to wear this pack out.

Kid smart features like D ring leash points and an oversized grab handle show that an actual parent designed this bag.

Features

There are a lot of kid specific features on this pack that make it really stand out. There are 2 d-ring attachment points for use with a leash. The mesh side pockets are actually large enough to accept every sippy cup that we own (this is not the case with any other kids pack that I have tried). The oversized grab handle is a convenient place to steer your child through a crowd or prevent them from stepping into traffic. Another oft overlooked feature on kids packs is a sternum strap. Sternum straps are important for keeping the shoulder straps from slipping off of tiny children’s shoulders. Obviously, Dave is a dad.

There is a second leash point on the center of the pack, under the MOLLE panel.

The pack features some organization. There is a good sized pouch (9″x6″x2″) that can be used to store small items. The interior front of the main compartment has a full height mesh pocket that can help separate contents in the main compartment. The main compartment itself is surprisingly spacious at about 12″x11″x3″. The main compartment is accessible via a zipper that extends about 2/3rds of the bag’s height. It is a panel loading type set up that allows the bag to accessed when it is standing up or laying on its back.

The interior mesh pocket offers a way to organize the main compartment of the YUCK.

The YUCK also features a 1″x6″ section of color (or camo) matched hook and loop for names tapes and an additional 4″x3″ section of hook and loop for patches. I had Multicam and hot pink nametapes made for my daughters and they love their Mojo Tactical TACTICUTE tabs.

There is also a 4 column by 2 row MOLLE webbing panel on the front of the pack. You can attach small pouches here or use it to stow slender items like chemlights or, more appropriately, string cheese.

Chemlights? Flex cuffs? Nah... my little operator tactically deploys cheese sticks.

In Use

My oldest daughter loves her “pack pack”. She mostly wears it around the house for adventures and then we use it as her day bag. We use another bag as a diaper bag for my youngest daughter. Both bags have seen daily use and still look like new after several months.

I underestimated just how much my 2 year old would like the fact that these bags were camouflage, just like many of my backpacks. I think the best thing about these bags has been watching my daughter enjoy having something just like daddy.

A sternum strap and comfortable harness are a must on a kids pack.

The kid specific features that I mentioned above make this pack great. So many packs have poorly sized pouches and lack a sternum strap. I have to believe that most packs were designed by people who never had a child. The YUCK pack is obviously built by a parent. It just works for parents and children.

Dave sized these packs very well. They are large enough to serve as a diaper bag and small enough to easily slip under the stroller when you are at the zoo.

My oldest operator... planning her next mission.

Conclusion

I was tired of bag makers that made children’s bags of poorer quality than their adult lines. If anything, your kids will be harder on their gear so the bags must be durable. You can buy a $20 backpack that will last your kid a year or you can buy a $50 bag that they will be able to hand down to their siblings (and probably their own kids). The YUCK is a children’s backpack that is designed for kids and built to stand up to them. That is just what I was looking for.

If you want your kid to start carrying their own gear, check out the YUCK on FightandFlight.com.

RS Products AKML

Today’s AK shooters are spoiled. It wasn’t long ago that it was extremely difficult to find and purchase good quality optic mounts for the AK. Now, with companies like RS Products, that is all changing. It is easier than ever to mount quality optics like the Aimpoint Micros to your AK using the new AKML.

The AKML shares all of the same features with the previously mentioned AKM. It is machined from 6061-T6 Aluminum and features a robust, return to zero locking lever which really sets it apart from the flimsy imported mounts. RS Products has also designed a unique adjustment system that allows you to center the optic over the action and then permanently set the position to ensure that the mount won’t leave you hanging at the worst possible time.

Unlike some mounts that require the use of a comb riser, the AKML sits low enough to co-witness with the iron sights. Your AK can still be completely field stripped without uninstalling the mount in spite of how low the AKML sits.

The AKML is designed to be extremely durable but it is also built to keep weight to a minimum. It weighs only 5 ounces which is appropriate since it is designed to work with one of the lightest Aimpoint sights available. It also places this very minimal amount of weight over the center of the rifle so it doesn’t effect the handling characteristics much.

RS Products currently offers the AKML in black, but they will soon offer them in OD Green and Flat Dark Earth. You can check out the RS Products AKML at Brownells.

Ruger 10/22 Takedown Rifle

It seems like Ruger does something to set the firearm world on fire every other month. This month they have managed to do it once again with the Ruger 10/22 Takedown Rifle.

The 10/22 Takedown Rifle utilizes the famous 10/22 action along with some clever engineering to create a rifle that can quickly and easily be taken down into 2 pieces. This makes the rifle much easier to pack into your backpack or the slick little backpack that Ruger provides with the rifle. Judging by preliminary reviews, Ruger was able to accomplish this with no real loss of accuracy and return-to-zero capability. This take down functionality coupled with the reputation of the 10/22 for reliability makes this rifle extremely attractive.

As cool and interesting as this rifle is, it does seem that there are some potential downsides. First, the stock appears to be very similar to the standard OEM plastic stock that comes on some 10/22s. If this is the case, many users may not care for the shape and plasticky feel of the stock. Second, the standard 10/22 is held in the action via only one screw so it is already a decent “takedown” rifle when you remove the barreled action from the stock. It even returns to zero quite well if you witness mark the screw so you can be assured that you are returning it to the same tension constantly. It also looks there were opportunities to shed some weight from this rifle that were missed.

In spite of my initial misgivings, this rifle does intrigue me. The preliminary reports of performance and how consistent the barrel locks up are impressive. It is, after all, a 10/22 and who doesn’t like a 10/22?

Check out the new 10/22 Takedown Rifle on Ruger.com.

Ares Armor 7.62 EFFIN-A Comp

Ares Armor released a sneak peak of their upcoming .308 EFFIN-A Compensator. Like it’s 5.56 sibling, the .308 EFFIN-A Comp will offer threaded ports that can be blocked or opened by the user to tune the performance of the comp. The EFFIN-A also has the ability to be stacked with another muzzle device like a flash suppressor.

There is also an AK-47 version coming soon. The new models of the EFFIN-A will be available on PredatorARMAMENT.com.

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