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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

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.

 

Give Terror the Axe Foundation

Shawn Phillips, a friend from the Usual Suspect Network, is working in conjunction with Daniel Winkler to make sure that our soldiers have some amazing axes and tomahawks at their disposal. Shawn started the Give Terror the Axe Foundation to put these highly sought after axes in the hands of the US Navy’s Special Warfare community and the US Army’s Special Operations community. These are functional tools that are being put to good use in Iraq and Afghanistan. Sources say that Winkler axes were present in Somolia during the pirate boarding and in the recent action in Abbottabad.

Give Terror the Axe raises funds several ways. Donations of any size are accepted to the foundation’s paypal account (information below). You can also purchase items like patches or other really amazing items that are donated from time to time. Soon, the foundation will have their own custom patches available for purchase.

The funds are handled in a completely transparent way and as soon as there has been enough raised for an axe (about $350), the funds go straight to Daniel Winkler. All donations are published on the Usual Suspects Network so you can be sure that your donations are going to the right place.

Here is how you can get involved (it will be easier if you have an account with the Usual Suspects Network)…

Read more about the foundation here: Usual Suspect Network Thread – Give Terror The Axe Fund

Buy a patch here: Usual Suspect Network Thread – FS: Give Terror The Axe Fund PATCHES

Check out the extremely rare Strider BD CuBe that is being sold: Usual Suspect Network Thread – Give Terror The Axe SALE: Strider BD CuBe

Send questions or a donation to the Give Terror the Axe Foundation’s Paypal account: GiveTerrorTheAxe@gmail.com

Springer Precision FASTMAG PMAG Couplers

I have used various magazine couplers over the years and have generally found them wanting. Most couplers work by clamping two magazines together tightly enough that they do not slip. The problem is that they eventually do slip or they are clamped so tightly that the magazine body pinches causing feeding problems. I eventually gave up on trying to find a decent magazine coupler.

I recently had my interest piqued once again in magazine couplers when I came across a new design that is all together different from anything else I have seen. The FASTMAG PMAG Couplers from Springer Precision work by replacing the baseplates of the magazine instead of clamping them together. That is not only innovative and interesting, it should completely do away with all the issues of clamp type couplers. It is obvious that a lot of thought went into this coupler.

The FASTMAG PMAG Couplers are machined from aluminum and then hard anodized for durability. It must be durable since it replaces the baseplate and it will take impacts from being dropped during magazine changes and from being used as a monopod. The magazines are not staggered as they are with some couplers. Staggering is usually unnessary and placing the magazines at the same level allows for a broader, more stable base for the magazine monopod technique.

Springer Precision offers 3 different models of the FASTMAG PMAG coupler: a model for .308 PMAGs, a model for 2 30 round 5.56 PMAGs, and a duty model for a 30 round and 20 round 5.56 PMAG. The duty version is very intriguing. It is designed to couple a 20 round PMAG with a 30 rounds PMAG. It weighs less and is slightly more compact than the standard 2x 30 round FASTMAG PMAG Coupler. It gives you the flexibility of having a reload on board with your rifle without the full weight and size of another 30 rounds magazine.

I am really impressed with this magazine coupler.

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