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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.

Blue Force Gear Ten Speed SCAR-H Chest Rig

The Ten Speed line of products from Blue Force Gear have become very popular for their low weight, simple, and versatile magazine carrying solutions. Pouches from the Ten Speed line are unlike typical magazine pouches in that they use heavy duty elastic material to provide a stretchable pocket that grips the magazine. The newest addition to the Ten Speed line is the SCAR-H Chest Rig.


The innovative elastic construction of the pouches allows the Ten Speed SCAR-H Chest Rig to accommodate magazines from just about any .308 battle rifle and even other items like a blowout kit or pistol mags. When the pouches are empty, they lay completely flat against the wearer.

There are pouches for 5 magazines and the chest rig has a low profile “H” harness for comfort. It is available in just about all of the typical colors that are popular these days. The whole rig weighs just over 10 ounces unloaded!

This is a very versatile, very light weight, very low profile chest rig. Check it out on Blue Force Gear’s website.

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.

Patch Collecting: 5.1.11 Prevail Morale Patch from ITS Tactical

The tactical blogging juggernaut and all around nice folks, ITS Tactical, have a new patch available for pre-order. The 5.1.11 Prevail Morale Patch commemorates the day that Osama Bin Laden was purged from the living by Navy SEALs. Not only does it commemorate a high point in our nation’s current conflict but it will help support an excellent cause, America’s Mighty Warriors, which was founded by Debbie Lee, mother of Marc Lee, the first SEAL killed in Iraq.

The patches feature 100% custom embroidery and are 3.3 inches by 3.5 inches. The full color artwork shows a “PREVAIL” banner, an eagle, Osama Bin Laden with an extra hole in his head, and keen eyed observers will notice the ITS Tactical shield logo in the backgound.

This is a great patch, commemorating a great moment, for a great cause. Pre-order yours today at ITS Tactical.

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.

Dry Fire Practice: Don’t Screw It Up!

Shooters know that frequent training and practice are the best ways to maintain and improve your shooting skills. However, there are many good reasons why we don’t make it to the range every week. A savvy shooter can use “dry fire” to maintain and improve their skill set at home without ever firing a round.

Dry fire practice is the act of using an unloaded firearm to repetitively practice various weapon manipulations in order to form “muscle memory.” You can dry fire practice anything from shooting positions, to trigger control, reloads, malfunction clearance, target transitions, and everything in between. While this practice may not be as effective as actual live fire practice, it is certainly better than nothing.

Caution

Dry fire is probably sounding pretty good to you at this point but there is a dirty underbelly to this type of training that is rarely mentioned. If an untrained shooter embarks on a dry fire regimin without direction, they will likely reinforce bad habits rather than create positive muscle memory. There is immediate feedback from a trainer, timer, or target when completing live fire training. Dry fire practice provides very little feedback which can lead to a shooter continuing to repeat poor habits unknowingly. Muscle memory cuts both ways – good and bad.

You can not do enough bad repetitions to create good habits. Dry fire is not a substitute for training and the untrained will likely make their situation worse if they persist in bad habits and poor technique.

Tips for Success

Triple check that your firearms and magazines are unloaded. Nothing will put a damper on a dry fire session faster than shooting a hole in your wall or worse. I like to completely remove all of the ammo from the room when I practice.

Have a plan. Just like anything else in life, you will get more out of your time when you focus. If you have a plan, you can be sure that you are not just repeating the same drills over and over. Think of it like weight lifting, you may not want to work the same muscle groups several days in a row. Plot out your time so that you can work different skills.

Get the gear. Things like snap caps, dummy rounds, and inert training barrels can be a tremendous aid to your efficiency and safety when dry firing. They can also help prolong the life of certain types of firearms that don’t tolerate dry fire.

Do the things that aren’t fun. We, as humans, tend to prefer to practice the things that we do well rather than the things that we do poorly. It is easy to do that reload drill that you can absolutely smoke but not as easy to make yourself work those double feed clearances that you are painfully slow at completing. Don’t train to stroke your ego. Train to find your weaknesses and press through them.

Get a shot timer. I mentioned before that dry fire doesn’t really provide feedback about your performance since there is no target to check and no trainer watching your progress. However, there are some shot timers that are sensitive enough to pickup the sound of dry fire. You may even be able to download one for your smart phone. The timer can provide you real data for how you are progressing. I especially like using the shot timer to track my reloads.

Walk before you run. It can be extremely helpful to do several repetitions at half speed. Use this time to concentrate on doing every motion correctly and checking for unnecessary movements. Make sure you can do everything right at half speed before starting to move faster.

Try new things. So you want to change the way your grip your handgun or the way you complete a reload? Consider working through it at home first. I like to dry fire practice a new skill, like using the slide release instead of grabbing the slide during a reload, for several days at home before I head to the range. That way I can hit the ground running during live fire. Make sure you give yourself plenty of time to make the new skill second nature before you need it on the range.

Record your practice sessions or have someone watch you. If you can watch video of yourself completing a drill, you might notice something that you otherwise would not have seen since you were absorbed in the drill. A second set of eyes are always helpful in correcting problems with technique, especially if those eyes are more experienced than you.

Un-screw your gear at home. Dry fire can be a great time to find out that your new cool guy chest rig blocks your draw stroke or that your magazine pouches tend to leave a trail of gear behind you as you run. Fix this stuff at home. Don’t be “that guy” at the range.

Put everything to the test. The only real test of your dry fire will come on the live fire range. If you are not maintaining or improving your skills, you may not be doing something right.

Conclusion

Dry fire practice can reward you with improved performance or cripple you with bad habits. Be safe and do it right and you will have success.

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.

Eyes and Knives Caption Contest from Revision

Revision and Ontario Knife Company are teaming up to give you a chance to win some really nice gear in the Eyes and Knives Caption Contest. The winner will receive a set of the sharp new Vipertail Ballistic Sunglasses and a RAT-3 knife from Ontario Knife Company.

Revision Vipertail

All you have to do to enter is visit the sweepstakes page on Revision’s website and enter a caption for the picture.

While you are there, you can check out the brand new Exoshield Extreme Low-Profile Eyewear. Ballistic goggles don’t get any lower profile than the Exoshield. They don’t even have a frame but they provide full coverage and a comfortable fit that won’t get in your way.

Revision Exoshield

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