Sunday, December 30, 2012

SGM Tactical VEPR 12 Magazines

Just in time for Christmas my SGM Tactical mags showed up last week, here's what I've found...

-Lightweight polymer design
-Modular design.  They can be cut along the ribs to make 10, 8, ect... round mags
-Even fully loaded they still balance well in the gun
-Reliably feed variety of loads
-Did I mention they give you 12+1 capability?
-Easy to disassemble/clean
-Cost.  They can be purchased for around $50 
-They lock up solidly in the gun

-They make firing from the prone awkward
-I've fired 96 rounds of bulk Walmart Winchester 8 shot loads---one time it didn't lock the bolt back.  It only happened with that load so most likely it wasn't the mag but just noting it for others in case they experience it.

Here's a video with some shooting, a breakdown of the mag's properties, and a discussion of the pros and cons:

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Speer Gold Dot 357SIG 125gr JHP Ballistics Gel Test

Finished up the testing of the 125gr 357 SIG Gold Dot (#54234) round.  Here are the conditions and results. 

Test conditions: 
-Glock 22 with G31 barrel (4.48'')
-Test rounds fired from 10 feet 
-FBI spec Clear Ballistics gel block (more on this below) 
-4 layers of denim 

-1373 fps, 522 ft/lbs energy
-18.75'' of penetration 
-Recovered weight: 124gr
-Average expansion: .515'' 

The manufacture of the gel block, Clear Ballistics, claims their gel meets FBI specs for testing. I calibrate my gel per their specs prior to testing and use 4 layers of denim per IWBA protocol. 

However, by no means am I saying this test is a substitute for the great work industry professionals like Dr. Roberts and others do. I'm just a shooter that likes to learn about the products I use. 

Here's the video showing the test, the permanent cavity, and a discussion of the results: 

Mosin Nagant M44

First off, I'm not a Mosin Nagant aficionado but I'll do my best here...  

Both of my rifles are Izhevsk laminated rifles and came loaded with cosmoline; once removed the bore and finish on the metal looked excellent.

-Price.  These rifles can still be found for around $200.
-Build quality.   These rifles are overbuilt--in a good way.   The actions are very smooth for a surplus guns and when you fire the rifle it just feels like a quality gun.
-Ammo.   The 7.62x54r round has great ballistcs performance and is relatively inexpensive.   I just ordered a crate 2 weeks ago for $0.18/round in fact.
-The shorter 20'' barrel and 7.62x54 round produce a large fireball with just about every shot; who doesn't love a good fireball??
-Good accuracy for a surplus gun.    With 147gr Bulgy surplus I was getting around 4'' with irons at 100m.   With "AK style" irons, that's not bad for me.

-The safety is poorly designed.   I can only imagine what it must have been like for a Russian soldier to come around a corner, see a German soldier, then realize his rifle was on safe...   My guess is they probably left the safety off for that very reason.
-If you want to use optics, the bolt needs to be modified/replaced.
-Weight.   While they cut 8'' off the old 91/30 to create the M44 the rifle still weighs 8.7lbs.

All in all, the M44 is a great rifle considering the cost.   Well built, accurate enough for a variety of uses, and fires a cartridge that can take down most about anything you'd find in North America.  Here's my video review of the M44:

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Hornady 147gr 9mm TAP Ballistics Gel Test

Loaded up some Hornady TAP 147gr 9mm JHP rounds, brought out the Clear Ballistics gel (calibrated to manufacturors specs), grabbed my SIG P6 (3.9'' barrel), and the video camera and here's what I found.

Chrono Data:

971 fps, 308 ft/lbs energy

20.5'' penetration

As you'll see in the video below, the round failed to expand but did tumble in the block.

The manufacture of the gel block, Clear Ballistics, claims their gel meets FBI specs for testing. I calibrate my gel per their specs prior to testing and use 4 layers of denim per IWBA protocol.

However, by no means am I saying this test is a substitute for the great work industry professionals like Dr. Roberts and others do. I'm just a shooter that likes to learn about the products I use. 

Monday, December 17, 2012

Gen 2 Glock 19

Lots of Glockers out there consider the Gen 2 Glock 19 to be the "perfect Glock" and I would have a hard time arguing that point.   In the last few years, these Gen2 guns have been flooding the surplus market as departments upgrade their guns to the newer Gen4 models.   The good news for the public is that while most of these guns were carried a lot and show some wear, many  were shot very little over their lifetime and have plenty of life left in them.

-Reliable.  The gun has had 0 malfunctions
-Accurate (more accurate than I am) 
-Durable.   There are many, many of these guns with documented round counts over 25k that have only had simple spring replacements in that time
-Easy to maintain 
-TONS of aftermarket support 
-Accepts 15, 17, and 33 round factory magazines 
-Small and light enough for most to carry but holds 15+1 
-Glock's customer service is second to none 
-Durable finish
-Cheap replacement parts, should you ever need them 
-Low Bore Axis resulting in a relatively soft shooting gun
-Easily modified to fit the shooters' preferences
-Requires very little cleaning/lubrication to run reliably 
-Many people prefer the Gen2 grip without the finger grooves present on the Gen3/4 guns
-Many of the worries about brass to the face are assuaged since these models were never known to happen with the older guns.

-I'm not a fan of the Glock factory plastic sights
-Comes with a serrated trigger due to import rules (easy swap)-I prefer the Gen3/4 finish to the Gen2 finish
-When I first inspected the gun, I noticed the slide stop lever had almost no spring tension and replaced it.  What I'm getting at there is that you'll certainly want to inspect the guns because some departments out there do very little armoror work (if any at all) on their guns.

Here's a video with some shooting from the 12m line,  break down the gun, do a size comparison, go over the "6 part upgrade," and do a chronograph test with some popular carry/defensive loads:

Chrono numbers:

Federal 124gr HST: 1132fps, 353 ft/lbs energy
Speer 124gr Gold Dot: 1145fps, 361 ft/lbs energy

Monday, December 10, 2012

Streamlight Polytac Review

I bought my Polytac primarily because it was cheap a while back and I've been using if for a couple years now; here's a quick summary of my findings thus far.

-Cost.  The light can be had for under $35 shipped.
-Uses relatively common CR123 batteries.
-Fits in common 1'' mounts.
-It works.   So far I all the Polytacs I own have kept on ticking even with use on rifles and shotguns.
-130 C4 LED output.   It's a nice white light with a good peripheral cone.
-Has o rings to seal out water on both the tail cap and lens cap.
-Lightweight.   Weighs 4.1oz with batteries.
-Comes in black, coyote, and bright yellow.

-1 of the 3 I lights I have flickers slightly under recoil (can be seen at the beginning of the video).   Is it a huge issue for SD/HD?  Maybe.  I really doubt I'd ever shoot in the dark with the light off in a HD/SD situation but for use with night vision devices it's a different story.
-It's not as bright as some lights on the market.

Saturday, December 8, 2012

How To Zero Your AK 74

I go through one way to zero your AK-74 (and variant) rifle. I suggest either doing it the way I do in the video or just using the battle setting and zeroing point of aim=point of impact.

Basic front sight adjustments:

If you want to move the group to the right-----move the front sight left.
If you want to move the group to the left----move the front sight right.
If you want to lower your group, raise the front sight (counter clockwise)
If you want to raise your group, lower the front sight (clockwise)

Ballistics numbers of the 7N6 round:

Bullet weight - 3.42 grams (53gr)
initial velocity, according to the manufacturer - 870 m / sec (2854 ft/s)
Ballistic coefficient: 0.282

Below is some data taken from a 1980s Russin AK74 manual:

Velocity in ft/sec
Distance in meters
0 = 2970 (note this is for the particular 5.45x39 round in use at the time)
100 = 2673
200 = 2340
300 = 2056
400 = 1792
500 = 1508
600 = 1310

Wind Drift for 10mph at 90 deg.
100 = 1.2in
200 = 4.3in
300 = 9.1in
400 = 20.5in
500 = 34.3in
600 = 52.8in

Bullet drop in inches
Zero at 100 meters (sight set at 1)
50m = 0
100m = 0
150m = -1.2
200m = -3.9

Zero at 200 meters (sight set at 2)
50m = 1.2
100m = 2
150m = 2
200m = 0
250m = -3.9
300m = -9.8

Zero at 300 meters (sight set at 3)
50m = 2.4
100m = 5.1
150m = 6.7
200m = 6.3
250m = 4.3
300m = 0
350m = -6.7
400m = -16.9

Zero at 400 meters (sight set at 4)
50m = 4.3
100m = 9.4
150m = 13
200m = 15
250m = 14.6
300m = 12.6
350m = 7.9
400m = 0
450m = -10.6
500m = -25.6

Zero at 500 meters (sight set at 5)
50m = 7.1
100m =14.6
150m = 20.9
200m = 25.2
250m = 27.6
300m = 28.0
350m = 25.6
400m = 20.5
450m = 12.2
500m = 0
550m = -16.5
600m = -38.6

Monday, December 3, 2012

EAA/Tangfolio Witness 9mm Review

 I originally purchase the EAA Steel Witness 9mm (also known as the Tanfoglio T95 in some countries) a year or so ago because the I like the CZ75-type platform, the price was right, and it easily converted to 22lr.   Here's what I've found so far:

-Reliable.  When the gun is in its' original 9mm configuration it's extremely reliable (I've personally never had a malfunction but my buddy borrowed the gun for a week and claimed he had one with his reloads).
-Accurate.  Most CZC75 variants are very accurate guns and this pistol is no exception.
-Ergonomic.  It feels great in the hand and the extended beaver tail allows you to get your hand very high up on the frame.
-Modularity.  Current production EAA Witness guns are built on what was formerly known as the 'large frame.'   You can purchase a separate slide assembly (40, 45, 22, ect....) and they will all work on the same frame.  The frame is the serial numbered parts so there's no need to go though a FFL.
-Many (not all) of the aftermarket parts developed for the CZ75 will also work on the Witness.
-Standard 1913 rail for mounting lights/lasers/bayonets/whatever else tickles your fancy.
-It has a relatively low bore axis for a DA/SA gun due to the way the slide rides in the frame.
-Weight.  The all steel version weighs 33oz unloaded which makes it a pleasure to shoot.
-Ability to be carried 'cocked and locked.'   For many shooters this is a system we're used to and operating it is second nature.
-Price.  I purchased mine for under $400 with the 22lr kit included.   They've gone up since then but they're still very affordable.

-No decocker.  
-Only comes with 1 magazine
-Finish.  It's just a paint type finish that wears relatively easily.
-The trigger has a little more overtravel than I'd like.  That said, it does break crisply.

Here's a video with some shooting, disassembly/assembly, a discussion of the pros/cons, and a chronograph test:

Chronograph numbers:
Winchester Ranger 115gr JHP: 1123fps, 322 ft/lbs energy
Federal HST 124gr JHP: 1145fps, 361 ft/lbs energy
Speer Gold Dot 124gr +P: 1253fps, 432 ft/lbs energy

Midwest Industries Gen2 SS Free Float AR Handguard

I've had the Midwest Industries Gen2 SS series handguard on my AR for about 6 months so far and figured I'd do a product review since there seems to be a lot of questions out there about these rails.

-Lightweight (7''-7.1oz, 9''-8.3oz, 10''-8.6oz, 12''-9.3oz, 15''-10.9oz)
-Made of 6061 anodized aluminum.  The anodizing is holding up well so far.
-Made in the USA.
-The narrow profile helps you really "grab on" to the handguard and stabilize the rifle.
-Comes with 3 2.5'' rail sections for mounting whatever toys you have in mind.  One of the rails has an anti-rotation QD socket for sling mounting.   There's also a bipod stud that comes with the rail.
-Comes in OD green, FDE, and black.
-A barrel wrench is included (not the best but it is functional).
-The slots in the rail allow for good barrel cooling.  The holes just below the rail also help the gas tube cool.
-The anti-rotational system works as advertised (better explanation/visualization in the video).
-The rail sections are contoured to the shape of the rail and mount flush so there's less chance of snagging.

-The barrel nut has to be replaced.  I don't think it's a big deal but it's just an extra step vs some competitors out there.

Here's the video review with a little shooting and a discussion/demonstration of the rails' properties: