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US PALM AK45QS

It is official! US PALM released a photo of their new quad stack 45 round capacity AK-47 magazine – the AK45QS.

This magazine offers 45 rounds without a reload and it manages to pack all 45 rounds into a package that is shorter overall than a 30 round magazine. It does this by utilizing a quad stack design meaning that the magazine contains the cartridges in 4 stacks rather than 2 like a typical magazine.

Details are still sparse at this time but we should know more after the SHOT Show. Keep an eye on the US PALM website and their Facebook page for details.

PMAG 30 M3 and Accessories from Magpul

Magpul continues to revise and evolve the PMAG. The latest iteration is the recently released PMAG 30 M3. Magpul has also announced a couple of accessories to go along with the new magazines – the SL Floorplate and the MagLink Magazine Coupler.

The PMAG 30 M3 incorporates several improvements and new features. The improved internal and external geometry will permit the use of the PMAG 30 M3 with a wider range of STANAG specification rifles like the British SA-80 and the FN SCAR to name a couple. The bolt notch at the rear of the magazine has been redesigned to provide more clearance and a over-travel stop has been added to the spine of the magazine. The texture has been improved to enhance handling and dot matrix has been added to facilitate marking the magazines to identify the owner or number your magazines. This is a very feature rich new revision of the venerable PMAG.

The SL Floorplate is something that a lot of people have wanted for a long time. The standard floorplate for PMAGs is flared and while this does improve handling, it can also make it difficult to place more than one PMAG in a pouch. The SL (Slim-Line) Floorplate should solve that issue with its much slimmer profile. I actually like the current floorplates but I rarely carry more than one magazine in a pouch. The SL Floorplate will be a definitely improvement for those who have a loadout that requires multiple magazines in a pouch. The SL Floorplate is designed only for the new PMAG 30 M3, so users of previous iterations of the PMAG won’t be able to use these.

Magpul also introduced the MagLink Magazine Coupler. This is designed to attach 2 PMAGs together in a way to allows a quick reload. It allows you to keep a reload on the rifle which can be useful for times that you may not be able to don your support gear before investigating a bump in the night. The MagLink will work with all versions of the PMAG.

You can find more info about these new PMAG products at the Magpul Propaganda Blog.

Review: Manticore Arms NightBrake

It used to be that if you had an AK with 24mm muzzle threads, you had very few choices in muzzle brakes. The most common choice is the ubiquitous AK-74 brake. The AK-74 brake is effective but there is some room for improvement which is why I am so glad that the Manticore Arms NightBrake is on the market. I have previously reviewed the excellent Manticore Arms NightShroud and I had high expectations for the NightBrake.

The Manticore Arms NightBrake looks right at home on this converted Saiga.

The Manticore Arms NightBrake is a muzzle brake that is designed to be used with AKs with 24mm muzzle threads that are chambered in 7.62×39 or 5.45×39. Muzzle devices in this thread pattern are in demand based on the popularity of the Arsenal SGL-21 and SGL-31 rifles which both have 24mm threads. Since the SGL series rifles and most other rifles with 24mm threads come from the factory with an AK-74 style muzzle brake and given the widespread use of the AK-74 style brake, it is only natural to compare and contrast it with the NightBrake.

The NightBrake is very, very nicely made in the USA (922R compliance) from 8260 steel that is hardened and finished with a black oxide finish that leaves it slightly shiny. It is a very attractive muzzle device in terms of fit and finish. It features 18 ports arranged radially in such a way that there are no ports that vent directly down or directly up. This helps keep flash out of the shooter’s sight picture (more on flash later). It is considerably shorter and lighter than an AK-74 brake.

AK-74 Brake NightBrake
Length (inches) 3.21″ 2.5″
Weight (ounces) 3.60 3.2

The NightBrake will be inevitably compared to the AK-74 brake.

The Manticore Arms NightBrake performs very well. It reduces recoil and muzzle rise at least as well as the AK-74 brake which means it keeps the muzzle quite level. You would have a hard time telling the difference between the two if you weren’t paying attention. That isn’t necessarily a bad thing since the AK-74 brake is very effective. I have tested the NightBrake with just over 600 rounds through a converted Saiga chambered in 7.62×39 and noticed that it significantly reduces muzzle rise and felt recoil versus a bare muzzle.

I should point out that this is a muzzle brake not a flash suppressor. It does not suppress flash. The visible flash output seems to be roughly equal to that of the AK-74 brake but it is shaped differently. While the AK-74 brake tends to vent flame out the sides through the two large ports, the NightBrake seemed to mostly contain the flash within itself with very little if any coming out of the smaller ports and some being directed out forward of the muzzle. It flashes, but the shape and location seem much less noticeable to the shooter.

The closed bottom is responsible for much of the muzzle rise reduction.

The AK-74 brake is well known for stomping your chest and rattling your teeth if you happen to be standing to the side of one as it spits lead and belches fire. The NightBrake, while still not pleasant to be next to, seems to be more mild mannered. It is hard to quantify this without the right equipment but the NightBrake seemed to be less concussive to those who were near the muzzle.

All in all, I am really impressed with the NightBrake. It offers a recoil and muzzle reduction level that at least equals the venerable AK-74 brake but it does it in a smaller, lighter, and less obnoxiously loud and flashy package. It gives all of the performance while reducing the negatives of the AK-74 brake.

The NightBrake can be viewed on the Manticore Arms website and purchased from RatWorx USA. It now also available with a 14x1L and 1/2×28 TPI thread pattern.

More than 600 rounds were put through the NightShroud on this converted Saiga.

Laser Devices DBAL-D2 at SHOT Show

Victor at Tactical Night Vision Company (TNVC) has given everyone a sneak peak of the new Laser Devices DBAL-D2 that will be shown at the SHOT Show. This is a new class 1 IR laser that mimics the restricted DBAL-A2’s visible laser and IR laser with the addition of a focusable IR illuminator. That cheering that you hear is the sound of civilian night vision owners rejoicing.

Kudos to TNVC and Laser Devices for their commitment to these class 1 IR lasers and the civilian night vision market.

1MOA Solutions at the SHOT Show

If you are headed to the SHOT Show, be on the look out for Adam Wilson of 1MOA Solutions. If you see new information cards, pick up one of his new and spend a minute learning about the great training opportunities that 1MOA Solutions has to offer.

Buy 2, Get 1 Free Sale on the TacStrike CPaSS Target Carrier

The Carrier Portable and Self Staking or CPaSS from TacStrike is one of the most versatile, innovative, and portable target stands around. The CPaSS is so portable that it lets you turn any location with a safe backstop into a fully functional training range – even if you have to hike your gear into your favorite spot to shoot.

Best of all, if you use the coupon code “2 CPaSS 1 Free” you will get a free CPaSS with the purchase of 2 CPaSS target carriers. Buy 2 and you get one free. That is a $65 value. The promotion will run through Friday, January 13th.

Check it out on the TacStrike website for more information.

Patch Collecting: OC Tactical Multicam Grande Patch Panel

Who in their right mind would collect a bunch of beautiful paintings and then store them in a box. That wouldn’t make any sense and it doesn’t make any sense to hide all your collectible hook backed embroidered art work (aka patches) in a box either. You need to put them on the wall where everyone can see them and OC Tactical can help with their new Multicam Grande Patch Panel.

The Multicam Grande Patch Panel is just what is sounds like – a big Multicam panel for displaying patches. It is 18″ tall by 24″ wide which is enough real estate to display a lot of patches. I have 51 patches of various sizes and shapes on mine right now and I could fit more if pushed them closer together.

The panel is very well made from very good materials. It features Velcro brand Multicam printed loop material on the front and it is backed with coyote brown 1000D nylon. The backing features reinforcing stitches to prevent it from separating from the loop material.  The edges are all finished with Multicam printed binding. It is pretty bomb proof for something that will just be hanging on your wall, but that is how OC Tactical does things.

Each of the 4 corners features a blackened grommet which should give you a ton of options for hanging the Multicam Grande Patch Panel. I used brass picture hanging hooks and they work perfectly. You could also string it with some paracord or just hang it on a pair of properly spaced nails. I also found that the grommets are spaced well for use on peg board.

The Multicam Grande Patch Panel is good for more than just hanging on the wall. I found that if I placed the patches in columns, the panel could be rolled up and used to transport several patches. Placing the patches in columns allows it to be rolled fairly tightly.

If you are reading this blog, there is a very good chance that you have more than a handful of patches. You won’t find a better made or more attractive way to display them than the Multicam Grande Patch Panel. You can find more information about the panel and information on ordering your own on the OC Tactical blog.

 

Line of Fire Grip System

If you are heading to the SHOT Show, be sure to check out the Line of Fire Tactical booth (25513). They will be showing their new grip system which is designed to interface with their line of TEGS enhanced gloves. The grip system will consist of various molded weapon parts that have been developed in conjunction with Tango Down and US PALM. These parts will provide greatly enhanced grip when used in conjunction with Line of Fire gloves.

You can read more about the Line of Fire Tactical gloves in AR15News.com’s review of the POINTMAN glove. You can also visit the Line of Fire Tactical website for purchasing information.

Equinox Monarch Ultralite Travel Bag

Kevin at Advanced Outfitters first told me about these Monarch Ultralite Travel Bags from Equinox. These versatile bags are perfect for a number of different uses.

The Monarch Ultralite Travel Bag has 5 internal pouches of varying size and there is still enough room to store items loose inside the clamshell opening bag. The pockets are made from mesh so that you can see what they contain at a glance. The body of the pouch is made from ultralight 1.1oz silicone impregnated ripstop nylon to keep the weight to a minimum and provide some water resistance.

These make great first aid kit bags or gear organizers. I like to organize my smaller gear in this type of bag so that I can easily move it from one bag to another. The Monarch Ultralite Travel Bags are perfect for this “bag in bag” organization style because they don’t add much weight unlike other organizers made from heavier materials. They also come in several colors so that you can easily color code your gear.

The Equinox Monarch Ultralite Travel Bag is made right here in the USA. Check them out on the Equinox website.

Emberlit Stove

I have come to the point in my life where I do not relish the idea of rucking all of the tools necessary to process large pieces of wood for a cooking fire when I am in the woods. This means that I have to carry a stove of some kind to heat my meals. Carrying a stove means have to buy and carry fuel. In the end, I often just end up eating cold food on the trail. Fortunately, I recently came across the Emberlit Stove.

The Emberlit Stove is the best designed wood burning cooking stove that I have ever come across. It assembles and dissembles easily and packs almost completely flat in its disassembled state. In its assembled state, it allows you to build a clean burning, efficient, contained wood fire to quickly heat your trail food using only the fuel that can gather on the trail. All it takes is a handful of wood to boil water. You can easily process all the wood that you will need with a good field knife.

It may sound silly, but I think I am most excited by the fact that the Emberlit stove actually has a feeding hole. Most stoves of this type do not have this which means constantly having to lift your cooking container to add wood through the top of the stove. With the Emberlit stove, you can just add fuel through the feeding hole when means you can keep the temperature more constant.

The Emberlit stove can also be used with trioxane, Esbit tabs, and even candles to heat your food. You can carry a back up fuel source just in case your find yourself in a spot where you can’t harvest wood. That is a very nice bit of redundancy.

The Emberlit is made in the USA and is available in either a stainless steel or titanium version. The stainless version weighs a fairly scant 11.3 ounces and the Ti versions weighs an amazing 5.45 ounce. It collapses down to a mere 1/8″ thick for packing. There are also a handful of accessories available. You can check them out on Emberlit.com.

Stay tuned to Jerking the Trigger for a full review of the Emberlit Stove.

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