Thursday, February 13, 2014

Arsenal SLR-104FR

The SLR-104FR has recently been introduced to the US market and I snagged one off the first shipment.   Here's what I've found…

-100% reliable to date with mostly 7N6 and some Red Army Standard thrown in (69gr) occasionally
-Build quality is great.   Everything's lined up, locks in tight, and the sights are nice and straight
-CHF CL barrel made on the famous Arsenal Bulgaria Steyr machinery
-Finish is vastly improved over other Arsenal rifles I've seen in years past.  
-Accuracy (with an optic) has been right around 2'' groups (some slightly over, some slightly under) with 7N6

-The only one I can really think of would be cost.   But, considering the price of other '74 variants on the market I really don't think $1100 is bad.  I'd bet they could charge $1300 or more and still move them if they wanted to….

Here's my review video with some shooting, a discussion of the features of the rifle, and my overall thoughts on it:

Sunday, December 29, 2013

RS Regulate BM-12 Light Mount For VEPR 12 & Saiga 12s

The BM-12 mount was designed to be a simple way to add a light (or other accessory) to your Saiga 12 or VEPR 12 shotgun.  Well, it does just that.   Here's what I think of it overall….

-Simple design.  KISS principle is hard at work here.
-Lightweight----weighs in at 1.05oz
-Anodized 6061-T6 aluminum.
-1913 spec rail with 4 slots so it'll accept a wide variety of lights/accessories.

-MSRP is $60.  Some folks think it is high but compared to other mounts out there I think it's pretty reasonable.

Here a video with some shooting, how the mount works, and what I think of it overall:

Friday, December 20, 2013

Remington HD 410 Buckshot From A Derringer

I always wondered what 410 buckshot would do out of some of the current 'self defense' pistols on the market these days so I figured I'd make that happen.  I used the 2.5'' Remington HD 000 buckshot load, the Clear Ballistics "FBI Spec" gel,  and a Bond Arms Texas Defender (3'' barrel) for the test.  Here's what I found:

-2.5'' pattern at 7 feet
-Penetration was 8.5'' to 12''

Here's the video of the test and what I think of the results:

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Mossberg 590 / 500 Shotgun Furniture

Lots of folks have been waiting since SHOT last year for Magpul to release their Mossberg shotgun furniture and it's finally started shipping out.    I snagged a set and here's what I've found so far:

Stock Pros:
-Very ergonomic.
-Good texturing on the grip.
-LOP is user adjustable between about 12.5'' and 14.5'' (my measurements, it may be slightly different officially).
-There are different height combs available for use with optics
-You can put QD sling attachment points on either side of the stock.
-The grip angle puts your thumb in a great position to work the safety.

Stock Cons:
-The trigger group doesn't drop out for disassembly as it should with it installed.   Easy fix but it's worth pointing out.
-Some folks think it looks ugly but it's grown on me over the past year since I've had it on my 870s.

Forend Pros:
-Handstops in the front and back of forend provide a good grip to run the action hard.
-3 slots on the left, bottom, and right provide a lot of options for mounting accessories on the forend as the user requires.

Forend Cons:
-Not so much a con but with all the Mossberg 500 models floating around out there it may not fit your shotgun (see the video for examples).  Most will work however.

All in all, for around $140 MSRP the addition of the stock and forend are an excellent upgrade to your fighting shotgun in my opinion.   I'd certainly buy them again.    Here's a video with some shooting, a discussion of the pros/cons/features of the products, and what I think of them overall:

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Mossberg 590A1 12ga Shotgun Review

Mossberg or Remington?   Um…..   both?     I'll be focusing on the 590A1 in this review however.   I've had several over the years including the 18.5'' model which is probably my favorite due to the balance of it and the availability of 1 & 2 shot extensions.    Here's what I've found over the years with my 590A1s though.

-Extremely reliable.   So long as the shooter does his/her part and doesn't short stroke the gun there's an very high probability that the gun will go bang when you want it to.  No gun is infallible but this one's about as close as it gets.
-Tons of different factory options out there.   Different stocks, sights, finishes, ect…. can be had from the factory.
-Dual extractors.
-The 590s give you the ability to add mag tube extensions.
-The safety location is equally ergonomic for lefties and righties.
-Parkerized finish.
-Heavier barrel vs. the 500s.
-The shell lifter stays up when loading it.
-Metal trigger guard.

-Relatively expensive compared to other pump guns.
-Some folks will consider the aluminum receiver to be a con for the gun (I don't think it matters either way as the lockup is still steel on steel).

All in all the 590A1 is as good as any pump shotgun out there and better than many.   It's seen military/LEO/competition use for many years and continues to prove itself time and time again.   Here's a video with some shooting and a discussion of the pros/cons/features of the shotgun:

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Sig Sauer P226 Review

The Sig P226 has been around since the XM9 service pistol trials in the mid-80s.   Its' basic design comes from the P220 but it has a double stack magazine and is chambered in 9mm (40S&W and 357SIG variants are out now obviously).  

Here's my summary of the pros and the cons of the gun:

-Ultra reliable.  I've had several P226s over the years and none has had reliability issues at all.
-Nitron finish.   Very durable metal surface hardening treatment that does a great job at preventing corrosion as well.
-Aftermarket accessories are readily available.
-Very accurate gun.
-You can choose which trigger system you'd like (DA/SA/SAO/DAK/ect…).  DA/SA is the most common and the one I prefer.
-Available in tons of different configurations to suit the users needs.
-No external safeties.
-Compliant in most ban states.
-Very attractive looking gun.
-Magazines are widely available from 15-20 round factory options.

-Expensive.  While surplus P226s are still out there at reasonable costs, new models are priced higher than many other competitors out there.
-Relatively heavy.   Aluminum frame models come in at 34oz.
-High bore axis.  Not an issue in 9mm but with some more powerful rounds it may slow down follow up shots for less skilled shooters.

All in all, the P226 remains a classic gun that you can buy and be very certain you won't go wrong along with the CZ75, G17, 92FS, ect….   Here's my video with some shooting, a breakdown of the pistol, a discussion of the operation and features of the gun, and my overall thoughts on it:

Friday, November 29, 2013

Elzetta High Output Bravo Flashlight

Earlier this year Elzetta mentioned on the forums that they were going to come out with a high output light to compete with the slew of high end light makers that have come out with 500 lumen and up lights this year.   Well, it's a reality now with their 650 lumen Bravo model and 900 lumen Charley model.   Here's what I've found so far with my Bravo model…

-The light just screams quality.  All the components are top notch as is the fit/finish.   All operations are smooth and have positive actuations when used.
-650 lumen output in the 2 cell, 900 lumens in the 3 cell model.  The AVS head automatically senses the power source and the output generated corresponds to the power (i.e. 650 or 900 lumens)
-Uses an acrylic lens vs reflectors for softer edges on the beam pattern (see video for a demonstration).  The lens is field replaceable without tools and apparently different lenses are in the works (like a larger flood version).
-Cree XM-L2 LED
-Elzetta designs their lights to be interchangeable.  So, you can pick the tailcap, to include tapeswitch models) you want.   There are several models to choose from though.   They also have 2 bezels (crenellated and standard) and two bodies to choose from.     If you have the old ZFL-M60s you can just purchase the high output head and get the same performance.  
-Fully potted electronics so shock/impact will not have any influence on output or reliability of the light.  These lights have a reputation as the toughest lights in the world and I believe it.
-Lights come lubricated/greased where they should be and have o-rings on the head/tail for use in wet environments.
-100% made in the USA.
-Springs are used on the head/tail for shock resistance so you won't have the light flickering under recoil should you mount it on a gun.
-The beam has a bright hotspot.  Spill is generous with good flooding as well for peripheral vision (again see video for example).

-Really the only one I can think of is Elzetta states not to use 18650 batteries with it and some folks will be very put off by that.
-Price is roughly $190-235 depending on the options you chose.   But, as I stated above the quality is top notch.

Here's a video with some shooting, beam comparisons with other lights, a demonstration of the properties of the light, and my overall thoughts on it: