Do You Need A First Focal Plane (FFP) Scope?

Should I get a first focal plane optic? This is a question I get all of the time, and my answer is always the same, it depends on what your intended use is. So, this week’s shoot-the-shit topic explains my rational.

There’s nothing magical about a first focal plane (FFP) optic but they sure command a higher price, and as with most decisions, you need to measure the utility of absorbing added cost against its benefit.

The FFP is a design feature found exclusively on variable power optics. Prior to their broad availability, a shooter using a ranging reticle, for example the Mil-Dot reticle,  needed to be at the calibrated magnification level to range accurately; usually that was the highest magnification setting. For example a shooter employing a 2.5 – 10 power optic needed to range a target at the 10x setting. The First Focal Plane optic does away with that requirement and allows the shooter to range at any magnification setting. It is a naturally appealing benefit right up to the point when you start to consider its non-trivial added cost. So, should you spend the extra $200 to $500 for an FFP optic?

It’s technically incorrect to say that a FFP allows the shooter to range accurately at any magnification – although it’s a statement made across all Christendom. The better statement is that a first focal plane reticle retains the same distance between reticle subtensions irrespective of magnification setting. This is what makes ranging at any magnification value possible. It also means that you can measure target size at any magnification level. The more common second focal plane optic, requires the shooter make ranging estimates at a specified calibrated magnification.

reticlesreticles - Copy (2)

Another distinguishing characteristic is evident when sighting through a first focal plane optic, you’ll see the reticle change in size as you move from high magnification to low . The picture on the left illustrates a first focal plane reticle at the highest magnification setting, the one of the right is at the lowest magnification. Notice that the FFP reticle becomes less defined and under commonly encountered lighting conditions you can lose the reticle against the target. This is a problem you won’t encounter with a second focal plane optic as the reticle size does not change. It is this characteristic that limits, at least in my mind the utility of an FFP optic.

I have both fixed and variable power scopes. In all of my shooting experience, I have rarely experienced the need to decrease magnification on a variable power scope, actually quite the opposite. When I set up my shooting position, I turn the power ring to the calibrated magnification setting and there it stays throughout its use. This is especially true when I’m shooting unknown distances. In fact, the only reason that I’ve ever gone to say a 2.5x magnification is at close range to get the widest field of view possible and achieve a crisp target picture. My use of low magnification has never been driven by a need to range at shorter distances. This is true for any precision shooting that I’ve done with a 5.56 mm or 7.62 x 51 platform. So, for me, paying the added cost of a first focal plane optic in the magnification range of 2.5x to 10x has no real merit. Even at a magnification range of 3.5x to 15x I still need to have an overwhelming need. At 3.5x, the FFP reticle is still quite thin and easily lost and for all intents and purposes useless for ranging with accuracy.


This is a story that changes when I shoot a .300 Win Mag or 338 Lapua where my optics is a 6.5x – 20x. In this scenario, the low end of the magnification setting produces a reticle picture that is dense and well defined so it won’t washout or disappear against a target and still allow accurate ranging.

The picture on the left illustrates the FFP reticle washout at low magnifications – in this case 5x.

So, what should you get? Asses your needs and get what you need. One of the worst decisions you can make is to purchase something just in case you’ll need its capabilities.

As will all shoot-the-shits you are free to make unsupported statements, use profanity, insult anyone or change subject.

Have a great weekend readers!

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SIG Arms Tests Prototype Machine Gun Suppressor


Screenshot 2015-05-28 21.54.16

SIG Arms lites up their prototype machinegun suppressor with 600 rounds of continuous fire through a MK48; only slowing fire to reload. SIG’s suppressor hung in there for the duration of the torture test. The flame visible in the video is probably residual powder ignited by the suppressor’s elevated temperature. Not too shabby!



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Crimson Trace Introduces New Laser Products For Bersa’s 380 and Glock 43


Crimson Trace's LG-443 Laserguard on a Glock Model 42 pistol

For Glock pistols, the new products include the recently released LG-443 with a red laser diode for the compact GLOCK 42 pistol. The Laserguard®–LG-443 (red) laser sight also fits on GLOCK’s newer Model 43 pistols. Even better news is that the new LG-443G (Green) Laserguard will soon be shipping to dealers and also fits the GLOCK pistols.


LG-646 for the Bersa ThunderCrimson Trace is also shipping the Lasergrips® LG-646—a powerful red laser designed for Bersa’s popular .380 caliber Thunder Concealed Carry (CC) pistol.

Crimson Trace Lasergrips feature: Instinctive Activation™, a master on/off switch, and the laser sights are easily adjustable for windage and elevation with a provided wrench. These innovative laser sights are also sold complete with cleaning accessories, batteries and a product specific easy-to-search owner’s manual to aid with installation and set-up.

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SOFIC 2015 Persistent Systems LLC


If I had to identify generational gains in technologies exhibited at SOFIC 2015, in Tampa, it would be Persistent Systems’ Wave Relay. Undoubtedly, the term is new to readers so I’ll devote a bit of space to provide you with a 50,000 foot view.

Wave Relay is best described as Ethernet over r.f.; in fact, many of the layer 1 and layer 2 functions are precisely the same as Ethernet.

Readers old enough to remember IBM’s token ring technology, affectionally referred to by IT professional as “broken ring”, was touted by IBM over Ethernet. IBM’s claim was that Ethernet’s throughput was lower because of collisions and retransmission, which was clearly a bogus claim. In fact, I have yet to see a properly designed Ethernet network reach a bandwidth limit.

In layman’s terms what happens on an Ethernet network is when a device needs to communicate, it broadcasts the address of the device it needs to communicate with. If another device is broadcasting at the same time, a collision takes place. When that collision is detected, the transmitting devices back off a random time interval, listens and transmits again. So it’s very much like a group of individuals talking and when two individuals start to speak at the same time both stop, back off and listen before trying again. Wave Relay also uses multicast messaging so all devices on a network hear the message; that message can be voice, data or video. Unlike conventional radios that allocate channels or time slots to voice, video or data, wave relay allocates all of the available bandwidth to the active devices. Persistent Systems designs and manufacturers scalable, peer-to-peer wireless networks which provide data, video, and voice even in the most challenging applications. Their communications products provide user throughput of 41 Mbps UDP and 31.1 Mbps TCP. Wave Relay® technology provides a dynamic, reliable, and secure wireless networking solution beyond mesh.

The Wave Relay 5100 radio has a number of features that impressed me. This is a man portable radio that operates in the L, S or C r.f. bands. It uses 3 antennas to eliminate dead spots; as a result, the Wave Relay 5100 can be reliably used in  caves, buildings or other environments that would normally be difficult for a VHF or UHF transceiver. This radio runs Android; as such, it will run any Android application, for example COP or other situational awareness applications written for the Android OS. Changing frequencies does not require software reconfiguration, the operator simply swaps out the interchangeable module. Since the radio runs Android, there is no need for a smart device, so a georeferenced map can be downloaded directly to the 5100 then using one of 4 ports, a small touchscreen monitor can be attached for operator interaction.

The 5100 architecture lends itself extremely well to the UAV platform for example…

Wave Relay

I’ve only scratched the surface of Wave Relay’s potential in this post but I encourage anyone interested in overcoming the bandwidth limitations and operational constraints of the more conventional software defined communications technologies to contact Persistent Systems LLC for additional technical information or demonstrations.

NEW YORK, NY 10016
PHONE: (212) 561-5895
FAX: (212) 202-3625

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Sneak Preview: Streamlight TLR-2 HL G



Streamlight’s TLR-2 HL G is possibly one of the best values in a high performance, high output, weapon mounted light. Users will have 720 lumens of concentrated white light at their disposal and a laser aiming module that dispenses with the traditional green laser environmental constraints.

This June we will also introduce some exceptional folding and fixed blade knives from Spyderco and CRKT. We’ll also take a look at an interesting ammo offering from CCI, so stay with us for all that…

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SOFIC 2015 Core Survival


Core Survival had a unique beginning. The company emerged out of a conversation with the U.S.  Air Force in 2002 where there was an expressed need for a more compact helmet marker for the USAF PJs. From that meeting, the HEL-STAR 4®, and subsequently, HEL-STAR 5®, were born through direct collaboration with users. The initial requirement expanded to other tailored needs within the broader SOF community.

The HEL-STAR product line shares common DNA arising from the needs of HAHO/HALO jumpers’ need for an effective marker with a lower profile than the ubiquitous Manta strobe lights.


The HEL-STAR 6® Gen III, which will be available in July 2015, combines the basic features of the earlier HEL-STAR 4® & HEL-STAR 5® multi-function marker lights into a compact, integrated design with enhanced omni-directional visibility and easy battery replacement.

Improved sliding switches enhance tactile feel and provide positive, intuitive control between the two operating modes and four user-defined functions. Functions can be selected from virtually any combination of White, four different color options, and IR – either flashing or steady. Variable flash rates, intensities and coded signals provide expanded IFF capability.

Independent testing confirmed that the HEL-STAR 6® Gen III exceeds the FAA’s 3 statute mile visibility requirement and is shock and vibration resistant, dustproof, and open sea waterproof to 130 fsw (laboratory 300+ feet). HEL-STAR 6® Gen III is built on a platform that allows new technology to be incorporated as it becomes available.

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SOFIC 2015 Sikorsky S-97 Raider



It’s well known that United Technologies is looking to sell off its Sikorsky Aircraft. The company is a gem in need of just a little polishing but in order to make an outright purchase work, Sikorsky needs to garner $13B a tough nut to crack given the company’s annual sales of $7.4B. There’s been some speculation about a Textron merger, which could be accomplished via a Reverse Morris Trust, but in order to escape tax consequences, Sikorsky needs a higher valuation or Textron a smaller valuation and those mechanics may prove difficult to implement.

Setting aside the many business technicalities, Sikorsky’s S-97 Raider could be the key to making things happen on the business side. I had a great opportunity at this year’s SOFIC conference, in Tampa, to discuss the S-97’s characteristics. The Raider features a coaxial rotor assembly and a pusher propeller aft to achieve its 200+ knots cruising speed. The raider has an endurance of more than 2.7 hours and can transport 6 and/or be configured for close ground support. I can only summarize the S-97 Raider capabilities as revolutionary. The company’s first prototype completed its maiden flight this past Friday, 22 May 2015, at the West Palm Beach facility.

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HK Memorial Day Special



Free magazine will be deducted at the time order is processed.

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Jacob Sams Joins ASP as Director of Military & Federal Sales

jacob samsArmament Systems and Procedures (ASP) has announced that Jacob Sams has been named Director of Military & Federal Sales.  Jacob will work closely with ASP government and military Distributors, as well as federal end users.

Jacob has an extensive background with GSA, military and federal sales.  He began his sales career in 2002 with one of ASP’s key Distributors where he learned how to work with GSA contracts and the overall federal procurement process.  Most recently, Jacob worked for Atlantic Tactical, another key ASP Distributor.  There he initiated and administered their GSA contract, and coordinated government sales.

A former military police officer, Jacob is very familiar with use of force products.  Because of his work in the military and his sales career with prominent ASP Distributors, Jacob comes to his new position with extensive knowledge about ASP products.

“I am excited to join the ASP team,” Jacob said.  “ASP has always had a great reputation, and I look forward to adding my background to their government sales efforts.”

As the Director of Military & Federal Sales, Jacob will manage the ASP GSA contract and work closely with key federal Distributors on opportunities related to ASP products.  He looks forward to listening to his customers’ comments and concerns to meet their needs and grow sales.  “I believe that as a manufacturer, we need our Distributors more than our Distributors need us,” Jacob said.  “It is key to talk with users of our products and listen to their feedback to stay on the innovative edge of our industry.”

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SOFIC 2015 Black Dagger MHC, Inc.


As we enter Memorial Day, we pause to remember all of our veterans especially those who gave their lives for their comrades and their country. It’s also important to recognize those who serve our disabled veterans. We live in times were we lose 23 veterans a day to suicide a tragic statistic. At this year’s SOFIC Conference, I was introduced to Black Dagger Military Hunt Club, Inc. by its founder Dave Winters.

Black Dagger MHC, Inc. is a 501c(3) non profit organization dedicated to providing disabled veterans with hunting, fishing and shooting experience. The organization serves wounded veterans from all eras without limitation to when or where they served. They serve veterans with spinal cord injuries, traumatic brain injuries, PTSD, loss of limbs and loss of eye sight. Black Dagger works in conjunction with the James A Haley VA Hospital in Tampa, Florida, the United States Special Operations Care Coalition, Florida Forestry Department’s Operation Outdoor Freedom and other veteran support agencies.

If a veteran wants to get back to the range or do some fishing and hunting, Black Dagger MHC, Inc. makes it all happen including adaptive equipment like the one shown below…


Black Dagger MHC, Inc. is a unique organization but it needs all of our support. Your help can take any one of several forms: monetary donations, product donations or sponsoring an event. If this is a project that you and your company wish to be a part of, please contact Dave Winters at

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SOFIC 2015 Component Commanders


One of the more informative sessions was with component commanders. These senior executives and their commands have a great deal on their plates with diminishing resources. At the top of their needs list is recruitment. On the technology side, SOF operators are increasingly confronted by combatants with night vision technology and improved communications. Where SOF once owned the night that tactical advantage is no longer exclusive and component commanders across the board are looking for generational improvements in enablers, not just incremental improvements.

What impressed me most about this distinguished group of military leaders is their commitment to people and their families, the mission and their country. Sadly, increasingly rare qualities.


Unique among the group was Lt. Gen Bradley A. Heithold, USAF, Commanding Officer AFSOC who sees the enemy as his customer and his business as “delivering violence.” George Patton would have described him as being an eloquent bastard. And, like Dominos Pizza, it wouldn’t surprise me if he were working on a web site that allows his customer to track progress

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SOFIC 2015 Petzl

DSC_3039I want to give Petzl a shout out for some great product. I’ve used 2 descender the Huit and Pirana; both excellent, but the Pirana is my favorite. If you’ve never used a Pirana descender  give it a try.

The Pirana makes it very easy to add as much or as little resistance as you need and ties off easily. Great gear from a very experienced company.


This configuration with an 11mm rope works very well under most conditions. Carrying a heavier load, no problem add a turn over its cleat like design.


Tying off is always a pain in the neck.  Using a Pirana, bring a bite around and jam it. If you want to be extra careful you can through a knot around it but I’ve never had a problem using a jam. No slip!

I’m directing this at my U.S.M.C. readers, if you are using a Huit or Figure 8 check out the Petzl Pirana!

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SOFIC 2015 Troy Industries, Inc.


Troy Industries was exhibiting at this year’s SOFIC Conference in Tampa, FL. They were on of several accessories exhibitors attracting a lot of attention. Their booth was continuously busy with visitors. I was particularly interested in the company’s offset sights. The company manufactures several configurations but my favorite is the HK style front. Excellent quality of manufacture and finish with  perfect height.

See them all at Troy Industries, Inc.

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Liberty Ammunition Announces Memorial Day Sale

The sale runs from May 22 – 25, 2015 offering 10 percent off all ammunition purchases using code MEMORIAL at checkout at In addition, customers will receive a free t-shirt with purchases over $100.

Liberty Ammunition provides state-of-the-art tactical ammunition to the U.S. military, American allies and law enforcement, as well as serving the civilian market with the highest performing ammunition in the world for superior personal protection and to enhance the game hunting experience. Liberty Ammunition currently offers 9mm, 40 S&W, 45 ACP, 380 Auto, .38 Special, .357 Magnum, 10mm Auto and 45 Long Colt in its Civil Defense line and .223 REM 55 Grain in its Silverado Hunting line.

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Tip For A Good Home Theater System

It’s Friday and time for our once per week shoot-the-shit. Regular readers know that shoot-the-shits have no rules – you can use profanity, put forth unsupported ideas, falsehoods, change the subject or disparage someone you dislike, it’s truly limitless. With that introduction out of the way, let’s talk home theater system.

What is the most important component in a home theater system? It’s not the screen, the speakers or amplification. It’s the room! I have seen home theater systems with $100,000 per pair speakers from Wilson and $12,000 amplifiers (that’s each)  sound like crap. Generally these installation were designed by interior designers with no understanding of acoustics. So let’s talk about rooms.

Bass frequencies in the range of 20Hz to 100Hz love to pile up at wall-wall intersections, ceiling-wall and wall-floor; they are also non-directional. A well balanced subwoofer, meaning its output is matched to the room size and acoustics, is not audible; it’s felt. High frequencies, >100 Hz to 20,000 Hz, are like bullet ricochets; they bounce around. To reduce or eliminate those reflections we dampen them using a variety of wall treatments. You can test your planned home theater area by standing where you plan your seating and loudly clap your hands. If you hear ringing or reverberation you’ll want to dampen the walls, floors and ceiling.

Ideal home theater areas will have a cathedral style ceiling, tightly knit floor covering not unlike what you find in a theater and no parallel walls, if at all possible. If you have a new construction project have the developer add a second sheet of sheetrock to each of the room wall. Avoid home theater spaces with a lot of glass.

Lets talk about wall treatments and dealing with bass, I’ll start with bass. Wall and ceiling intersections are 90 degrees, you need to eliminate that angle and add some absorption. Take a look at the bass trap below…

You can easily build this at home and cover it with a nice fabric. The important point is that you break up the 90 degree interface. I would use some plywood, acoustic foam but do a nice job upholstering it.

To eliminate high frequency nastiness, build a large picture frame with a backing, use something like .25” plywood or particle board for the backing then pack and staple fiberglass insulation, 2 or 3 layers if possible on to the frame. Pick out some nice fabric with not too tight of a weave and upholster it.

It will look something like this… 

There is a right way and wrong way of using panels; I’ll provide you with the inexpensive secret. Start by placing a mirror against the side wall and about 3 feet in front of your main speakers. Next, sit at your sitting position and desired seating height  but look towards the mirror. If you can see any part of the speaker, mark that spot for a panel. Keep shifting the mirror’s position along the wall until you can no longer see the speaker; marking each one of those points for panel installations. The size of the panels should be as shown on the picture but you could also have one large panel although I don’t recommend it. Involve your spouse in the fabric selection and upholstering piece,  if you want to same your marriage.

By working on your room, you will derive maximum benefit from any equipment selection that you make. If you’re at the top of the socioeconomic pecking order and can afford $30,000 in room treatments, make sure that you are dealing with someone that will sweep your room and knows what they’re doing. What I’ve suggested here will run you about $500 if you do the work which is not hard at all and it’ll look like a million bucks. I promise.

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SOFIC 2015 Comes To A Close


The overwhelming theme at SOFIC 2015 was leveraging the SOF/ Industry partnership to enable SOF and its Blue Force partners to operate and win in a complex world. The world as it exists today is certainly complex and USSOCOM is increasingly called upon to support indigenous forces and conduct kinetic operations in support of national interests and policy. Winning in this geo political milieu will require more than incremental improvements to existing enablers and USSOCOM is looking for generational gains in ISR, C4, C2, operator protection and survivability, signature reduction to include biometrics, fixed wing assets, rotary and ground mobility.

To achieve its goals and objectives, USSOCOM will continue to focus on COTS, Improvements to COTS and co-development partnerships where needed. The small business slice of USSOCOM’s procurement pie is increasing year-to-year. Fiscal 2015 year to date contract awards going to small business is approximately $359 million up from FY 2014. USSOCOM likes small business and wants to do business with small businesses but it will take some work on your part. That work starts with you familiarizing yourself with SOCOM’s needs. To succeed, you’ll need to demonstrate you have that understanding and succinctly articulate how your product or service meets the needs – being a service disabled extraterrestrial won’t do it. They way you gain that knowledge, and develop relationships, is best accomplished by becoming an NDIA member and attending SOFIC.

Over the coming weeks, I’ll be processing photos and posting articles revealing some of the emerging technologies that are clear generational improvements so stay with us for that.

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SOFIC 2015: FLIR Tricks Out Polaris ATV


FLIR showed us their tricked out Polaris ATV designated the FLIR Light Tactical Vehicle or LTV –
Ka band radar, mast mounted and  gimbaled thermal sensors, laser designators, GPS.

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SOFIC 2015: FN Ballista Going Commercial Q3 2015


FN’s highly regarded Ballista is looking on track for Q3 2015 availability. Ballista is a highly configurable multi-caliber precision rifle that in my view sets standards.

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SOFIC 2015 Kicks Off


We’re in Tampa all this week for the Special Operations Forces Industry Conference SOFIC 2015 event.
We’ll be bringing you the latest throughout the week.

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Larry Vickers With An Inside Look At The AK74


In this video Larry Vickers gives you an inside (literally) look at the AK74. The AK47s, AKMs and AK74 are amazing weapons. The modern interpretations of these weapons are mitigating many of the original shortcomings like its short sight radius and adaptably to modern accessories. I’m not sure that I would fire one without its gas tube but minus its dustcover is no problem. Great video!

Larry Vickers

Larry Vickers in Desert StormIs a retired US Army 1st SFOD- Delta combat veteran with years of experience in the firearms industry as a combat marksmanship instructor and industry consultant. In recent years he has hosted tactical firearms related TV shows with the latest being TacTV of which Bravo Company is a presenting sponsor. Larry Vickers special operations background is one of the most unique in the industry today; he has been directly or indirectly involved in the some of the most significant special operations missions of the last quarter century. During Operation Just Cause he participated

                                                                                                             Vickers in Desert Storm

in Operation Acid Gambit – the rescue of Kurt Muse from Modelo Prison in Panama City, Panama. As a tactics and marksmanship instructor on active duty he helped train special operations personnel that later captured Saddam Hussein and eliminated his sons Uday and Qusay Hussein. In addition he was directly involved in the design and development of the HK416 for Tier One SOF use which was used by Naval Special Warfare personnel to kill Osama Bin Laden. Larry Vickers has developed various small arms accessories with the most notable being his signature sling manufactured by Blue Force Gear and Glock accessories made by Tangodown. In addition he has maintained strong relationships with premium companies within the tactical firearms industry such as Blue Force Gear, BCM, Aimpoint, Black Hills Ammunition, Wilson Combat, Mile High Shooting, Red State Tactical, and Schmidt & Bender.

Larry Vickers travels the country conducting combat marksmanship classes for law abiding civilians, law enforcement and military and has partnered with Alias Training to coordinate classes to best meet the needs of the students attending the class.

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Knowing What We Know Now Would You Have…

It’s Friday morning and time for our weekly shoot-the-shit topic. It’s that one moment in time when you can say anything, supported by facts or not, change the subject, insult someone or  change subjects and not be billed by a moron who’s primary reason for studying behavioral sciences was to understand themselves better!

Undoubtedly, you’ve all heard of the flack Jeb Bush has been taking on how he fielded Megan Kelley’s question: “Knowing What We Know Now Would You Have Invaded Iraq?” I like Megan Kelly, but it was a ridiculous question. It’s what I call vaginal reflection. It is the same question a spouse gets asked after he discovers his wife’s excessive flatulence – “Honey would you have still married me had you known I had a bad gas problem?”

Instead of getting at Jeb Bush’s thought process, ethic or decision making criteria, which would be both productive and revealing of the man, it opened the door to criticism by less capable journalists, with clearly hidden agendas, to disparage Jeb using ridiculous arguments  . Does it make any sense to ask someone if they would have played the game had they known they would loose it. Pointless!

Be sure to chime in to let us know what you think. Enjoy your weekend with your buds and family.

Have a Great Weekend Everyone!

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Gear Review: Magpul’s Illusive MOE SL Buttstock Commercial Spec.


Magpul Industries launched the MOE SL buttstock for the AR patterned rifles back in August of 2014. It rounds out the MOE SL carbine furniture offering.

MOE (Magpul Original Equipment) SL (Slime Line) departs from the original MOE buttstock in a number of significant ways that I like a great deal. Selecting a buttstock for your rifle is akin to buying a pair of shoes; your selection is ultimately based on what works for you; however, within that criteria there are points worth considering.




When I decided to use the term “Illusive” in connection with the MOE SL – Commercial-spec, I was expressing a sense of frustration with the reliability of MAGPUL’s product availability notices.

One of the most difficult things for any business to do is manage success, and Magpul Industries is the classical example of that statement. In fairness to the company and all of its employees, they’ve moved operations out of Colorado and managed to keep supplying customers with a variety of products; however, acquiring a MOE SL Commercial-spec buttstock, after 6 months of reading, “Now shipping to dealers and distributors”, turned out to be quite the task hence “illusive” is appropriate.

When I finally managed to pick one up it was cause for celebration!

To celebrate the event we’ve been working on developing a matrix readers can use to correctly interpret MAGPUL’s product availability notices. We were using some hilarious soundtracks but ran into some technical difficulties embedding the objects and controlling playback so that only one audio clip plays per status. We haven’t given up yet but may have to. It’s worth the effort.

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Fire-Proof Tracer Ammunition!

Winder, GA, May, 2015G2 Research announces an absolutely revolutionary cold tracer round for handguns.

Through chemical research and applied ignition, G2 Research, the makers of the new R.I.P self-defense round and .300 Ripout Round, have invented a NO HEAT NO FLAME tracer round for the 9mm (.45 ACP coming later). Designed to emit a bright tracer effect for 50-100 yards, testing shows that the round stays visible in the dark up to 200 yards (for anyone who “wants” to shoot a handgun 200 yards in the dark).

Because the new G2 tracer round is a cold tracer that literally emits no heat or flame, shooters can now visually follow training or self-defense rounds in low light or dark conditions without worrying about burning down their range or neighborhood. Now “tracer” ammunition can even be safely fired at indoor ranges with no fear of fire from the tracer element. There is also no damage to the inside of the firearm from tracer component ignition during firing or while in the barrel.

Finally, there’s a dark or near-dark condition round that is tactically smart, safe from starting fires or causing explosions in contaminated conditions – and let’s face it, fun to shoot! Additionally, it can be safely used as a signaling round in forests and other environments when incendiary rounds would be problematic.

This new firearm-and suppressor-friendly round uses a premium-grade, copper-clad 95-grain 9mm bullet. The patented technology for the tracing element can be applied to any type of round and the company is of course looking into that. But for now, it’s available in 9mm custom hardball, and will be offered in .45ACP later.


  • Caliber: 9mm (.45 ACP to follow later in the year)
  • Velocity: 1,150 FPS
  • Bullet: Special 95-grain, cold tracer round
  • MSRP: $19.95 box of 20
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LaserLyte® Adds Tri-Color Laser Housings for SCCY®

COTTONWOOD, AZLaserLyte®, is adding a custom touch to SCCY® pistols with new UTA-FR 2.0 Tri-Color laser housings. The ergonomic Trigger Guard Laser (TGL) provides seamless fit and color matching with black, tan or pink-framed SCCY CPX-1 and CPX-2 pistols.

Featuring a versatile Master Module laser that fits two guns for the price of one laser, the package comes with three different colored housings to fit both SCCY pistol models. Whether your SCCY pistol has a black, tan or pink frame, there’s a LaserLyte® trigger guard body to match. Those who have already purchased a black UTA-FR laser for SCCY pistols can e-mail LaserLyte at to receive tan and pink housings at no charge.

Activate the dual-mode Class IIIA laser with a single ergonomic touch for constant-on or pulse modes. Ambidextrous activation enables left- or right-handed shooters to get faster hits on target with improved accuracy. Windage and elevation adjustments enable precise aiming and zeroing at any preferred distance. An auto-off feature deactivates the laser in 6 minutes if it’s accidentally activated, and new batteries can be changed out without removing the laser from the pistol.

All the features of the new Tri-Color laser units come in a custom package that perfectly fit SCCY pistols with a quick and easy installation, allowing shooters and professionals to get on target fast.


  • -Product Number: UTA-FR 2.0
  • -Compatible Firearms: SCCY® CPX-1 and CPX-2 models
  • -Power Output: 650NM, 5MW, Class IIIA
  • -Programmable: Dual mode constant-on and pulse, auto-off in 6 minutes
  • -Batteries: 3 x 392
  • -Battery Life: *Actual usage 5 hours constant-on, 10 hours pulse mode
  • -Weight: .85 ounces/0.024 kg
  • -Material: 14% Glass Filled Nylon and Aircraft Grade 6061 aluminum
  • -Length: 3.40 inches/8.64 cm
  • -Width: .74 inches/ 1.87 cm
  • -Height: 1.25 inches/3.175 cm
  • -MSRP:  $104.95

*Actual Usage suggests 1-minute on, 1-minute off conditions

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SIG Silencers Now Shipping


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Adaptive Tactical’s EX Performance Adjustable Stock for AR15/M4’s is Now Shipping

Nampa, Idaho (May 2015) – Adaptive Tactical, LLC, announced that its EX Performance Adjustable M4-Style Stock for the AR15/M4 Carbine Platform is shipping .

“When we designed the EX Performance Stock we wanted it to be strong yet light, easy to use and to perform flawlessly. We believe we nailed it,” said Gary Cauble, Director of Sales and Marketing for Adaptive Tactical.  

The EX Performance M4 Style Stock for AR15/M4’s is made from high impact polymer that will withstand any abuse. While tough, it’s also lightweight,  weighing in at a trim 8 oz without the removable recoil pad and 12 oz. with the recoil pad. The stock is fully adjustable with a quick adjust lever allowing operators to adjust length on the fly. It also features padding that will tame even the most punishing recoil.


  • Designed for owner installation
  • M4-style stock with adjustable length-of-pull
  • Easy to reach, oversized rapid adjust lever with reinforced locking adjustment pin
  • Integrated QD swivel attachment
  • Compatible with Mil-Spec sized extension tubes
  • Nonslip, removable vented rubber recoil pad
  • Dimensions:  2″ x 6″ x 6 1/4″
  • Weight:  12 oz. with recoil pad (8 oz. without pad)
  • MSRP:  $49.99

Gun owners wanting the latest in AR15/M4 stock technology can purchase the EX Performance Stock online at or call their local gun store.

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Magpul Now Shipping Phone Cases


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Sneak Preview: The Illusive MOE SL Buttstock Commercial Spec


Coming later in the month is our review of  Magpul’s MOE SL buttstock along with our matrix to successfully interpret Magpul’s product availability information.

There’s been a number of reviews on its Mil-Spec counterpart, so we want to take a look at the commercial spec version of Magpul’s latest MOE buttstock. The MOE SL Mil-Spec and Commercial specifications are typical Magpul quality, fit and finish are excellent so we’re excited to bring you our thoughts and a little humor with this project, stay tuned!

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CRKT Yukanto A James Williams Design With A Point


If you favor knife designs heavily influenced by Samurai feudal art form, James Williams and Columbia River Knife and Tool are for you. James Williams’ collaborations with CRKT have resulted in some fabulously successful offerings that include the Sakimori, Hissatsu, Shibu and more recently the Yukanto a formidable CQB tactical fixed blade…


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SilencerCo has decided to take the show on the road! We’re touring the country and teaming up with local dealers to give all who attend the chance to shoot suppressed.  And what’s even better?  It’s completely free.

Attendees will have a chance to shoot:

• Rimfire, Pistol, Rifle, and Shotgun Silencers
• Long-Range Rifles
• Submachine Guns
• Short-Barreled Rifles
• Shotguns

SilencerCo instructors will be on-hand to provide assistance and answer any questions you might have.  While you’re there, you’ll also have the opportunity to set up your own SilencerCo EasyTrust™ – the simplest way to purchase and transfer NFA items.

Come see what all the noise is about at your local Quiet Riot Tour stop.  Click the image to find out when we’ll be in a town near you!

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Aimpoint Announces Its New MICRO H-2 Hunting Sight

200183_200185_Micro_H-2_RFChantilly, VA – May 11, 2015 – Aimpoint has announced the addition of the new Micro H-2 sight to the company’s commercial product line. The Micro H-2 will be available for shipment in August 2015, and will be offered alongside the company’s existing Micro H-1 product.

The H-2 includes a number of changes: a new sight housing,which allows the addition of front and rear protective flip covers, additional physical protection for the sight’s adjustment turrets, and increased ruggedness for the sight’s internal electronic components.

The most significant developments in the Micro H-2 however, are the advanced optical lenses that allow for even better light transmission and provide a noticeable increase in the clarity and performance properties of the sight. This ensures a more distinct and clearer dot in all conditions and situations.

“The Aimpoint Micro has become the worldwide standard for compact reflex sights” says Matt Swenson, Vice President of Sales. “With the sight’s new design, the Micro H-2 takes the level of performance available from a compact sight to an entirely new level.”

The Micro H-2 can be mounted on nearly any rifle, shotgun, handgun or crossbow, and can be used with most existing mounts that fit the Micro H-1 including the Blaser saddle mount.  The sight can also be mounted to a larger magnified scope with a 30mm or 34mm scope adapter giving the hunter ability to hunt at both short and long distances while providing faster target acquisition. The Micro H-2 can operate for up to five years of constant-on use, using just one CR-2032 battery, and is waterproof.

For more information on Aimpoint or the company’s products, visit our website at or contact:

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The folks at Optics Planet are working to help our veterans and their families, and they’d like your help by being part of their Gear Up for a Cause campaign.

Gear Up for a Cause allows you to support veterans who have served our country and defended our freedom by purchasing from! All donations will be made to Fisher House Foundation, a charity organization supporting military families, with the highest Charity Navigator rating (4 out of 4 stars) for 11 consecutive years. From 5/1/2015 through 6/30/2015, will donate 1.25% of the net proceeds of all sales from the following participating brands – EOTech, Crimson Trace, Vortex, Streamlight, ATN, Nikon, Trijicon, Burris, Bushnell,Leupold, and OPMOD. In addition, will donate 0.25% of the net proceeds of all sales for non-participating brands. As part of this campaign, will make a minimum donation of $10,000 and a maximum donation of $40,000.

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Subsonic Ammunition

300BKTGIF readers! It looks like we’ve made it through another week and look forward to a nice weekend. Weather here at the bat cave has been excellent and this weekend looks to be just dandy. BTW, Happy Mother’s Day to all of my mom readers. You deserve it but always bear in mind that motherhood is about the journey and not just the event.

This Friday’s shoot-the-shit topic is subsonic ammunition, but if you’d like to change the subject to how great Fox News’ Andrea Tantaros or Kimberly Guilfoyle would look in OCP thongs I’m up for that as well. As with all shoot-the-shits, you a free to make any unsupported statements or claims, use profanity, change subjects and insult anyone or anything.

Subsonic ammunition is ammunition that has been loaded to have a muzzle velocity of less than 1100 feet per second. It is generally used in conjunction with a suppressed weapon; however, as cool as subsonic ammo is it has a very specialized and limited use.

Throughout the year, I get several questions on the subject that revolve around effective range and projectile weight, so I’ll start by providing some background that’s important for you to have if you want to maximize the effectiveness of this type of ammunition. I’ll begin with air.

Air is very much like a fluid from a physics point of view. Have you ever been in a swimming pool and noticed that as you swim, or frolic, in the water you encounter pockets of colder and denser water? The same holds true for air. Sound propagation is influenced by these layers; a perfect example is sonar. Submarines are able to use these thermoclines to avoid detection. The sound  or ping emitted by a sonar transducer reacts differently as it encounters these layers. The same holds true for a projectile moving through the air. If a projectile moving faster than 1100 feet per second encounters an air mass where sound propagates at 960 feet per second you will hear a sonic crack, sounding very much like a firecracker. If a projectile passes through air that propagates sounds at  1000 feet per second, at 960 feet per second, you’ll hear nothing. So, air temperature and humidity influence the acoustic characteristics of a subsonic projectile along its flight path.

Another characteristic of subsonic ammunition is best understood by discussing kinetic energy. Kinetic energy is calculated using the following equation…


Longhand this is what the equation is saying. Kinetic energy “k” is equal to mass times velocity squared quantity divided by 2. What does all this mean?

Without actually crunching numbers we can simply evaluate the equation, which tells us that velocity has the greatest impact on kinetic energy for any given value of  mass. Why is that? Because velocity is raised to the power of two, or squared; therefore, if we reduce the velocity of a bullet we decrease its kinetic energy, and this is the reason subsonic ammunition will generally have a much heavier bullet. A more specific example follows.

A .308, for example, is normally loaded  to a muzzle velocity of 2600 fps. In order to make it subsonic, we decrease the load from 2600 fps to say 1000 fps and in the process greatly reducing its kinetic energy. To compensate for the loss in velocity, manufacturers will top it off with a 220 or 240 grain bullet instead of a 168 grain or 175 grain projectile. It still has a lower kinetic energy overall because mass has less of an impact on kinetic energy than velocity – mass is not raised to a power.

The heavier bullets when combined with the lower velocity means that as range to the target increases, more energy is dissipated faster, and for that reason subsonic ammunition has a very limited range. For rifle calibers, 250 yards is usually max. and claims of 900 yard shots with subsonic ammunition can be generally classified as bull shit.

Subsonic ammunition is ideally suited for use in handguns and bolt action rifles. This ammo will not cycle the action of a semiautomatic rifle reliably, if at all. However, in a bolt action rifle the only thing the shooter will hear is the sound of the hammer striking the firing pin.

To summarize, subsonic ammunition will exhibit the following properties.

  1. in flight acoustic signature will vary with atmospheric conditions. If the bullet velocity exceeds the sound propagation velocity along its flight path, you will hear a sonic crack similar to that of a firecracker. The best loads in my experience are 960 fps up to 1000 fps. When working with your loads be alert to chamber pressure limitations.
  2. Subsonic ammunition will not reliably cycle the action of a semiautomatic rifle; therefore, use should be limited to  pistols and bolt action rifles for best results. Using subsonic ammunition in carbines like the M4, SCAR, etc., means you’ll have to manually charge the weapon.
  3. Subsonic ammunition with its heavier bullets perform extremely well at ranges not exceeding 250 yards and 150 yards optimally. Forget 1000 yard shots with a subsonic load.

Have a great weekend everyone and Mother’s Day!

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Medal of Honor Warfighter – Weapon Balance

Larry Vickers crew shot a very cool video that reveals the development processes that go into game design. A huge amount of effort goes into establishing a balance between realism and gaming fun. Check it out…

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Readers in the VA Beach area will want to visit the Colonial Shooting Academy on 16 May and 17 May for a chance to win a Glock 19. CSA is celebrating their one year anniversary so join in on the fun and check their facility out.

We are having a CELEBRATION!

and YOU are invited!

May 16 and 17!

757-227-9130 | | 5070 Virginia Beach Blvd.

  • Both days we will give away one Glock 19 and 50 Colonial Shooting Academy T-shirts!
  • Members receive one free raffle ticket for a Glock drawing on both days.
  • You must be present to claim your ticket.
  • Non members and members can buy raffle tickets for $5.00.
  • Proceeds support the Virginia Beach Law Enforcement Memorial.
  • Tickets are on sale now at our counter!
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Adams Arms Introduces The Patrol Battle Rifle Small Frame .308


The Patrol Battle Rifle (PBR) is the latest addition to the Adams Arms small frame .308 rifles. This is an upgraded version of the small frame short-stroke piston AR-style rifle, this model includes the Samson Extended Evolution Rail, Magpul K2 Grip, and an enhanced sopmod-style buttstock. Over 50% of the rifle is reciprocal to standard AR-15 parts and accessories.


BARREL: 16 Inches
OA LENGTH: 33.75 inches
WEIGHT: 9.15 pounds
STOCK: Collapsible
SIGHTS: Optional
FINISH: Hardcoat anodized black

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Arsenal Inc. Is Releasing A Very Limited Quantity Of The SA RPK 5S


Arsenal Inc. is releasing an extremely limited quantity of the SARPK 5S. The collectors’ rifle has not been available for several years.

SA RPK-5 S (Ban Style) is US made, 5.56, milled receiver, RPK heavy barrel, 14mm muzzle threads, pinned muzzle nut, folding bipod, cleaning rod inside bipod, no bayonet lug, blond wood furniture, paddle style buttstock, scope rail option


  • SKU: SA RPK-51
  • caliber: 5.56 x 45 mm
  • total length: 1025 mm
  • barrel length: 590 mm
  • twist rate: 1 in 178 mm
  • weight w/o magazine: 4.86 kg
  • muzzle velocity: 930 m/s
  • effective range: 1000 m
  • maximum range: 2000 m
  • rate of Fire: 50 rds/min (practical)
  • MSRP: $2500
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Generals Dunford and Selva To Lead The Joint’s Chiefs


President Obama tapped  Marine Corps Commandant Gen. Joseph Dunford to become the next chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. The President also named Air Force Gen. Paul Selva, the chief of U.S. Transportation Command, to serve as the next vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs. The nominations still need to be approved by Congress but both men are expected to sail through the process.

We congratulate General Dunford and Selva on their appointment and wish them success as they steer the Joint Services through some very challenging time. On a lighter note, troops can expect DoD directives that are less verbose and more richly illustrated than in prior years.

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Cobb County GA Selects Bergara Rifles For Their S.W.A.T.


Bergara USA, a division of BPI Outdoors, announced today that it has obtained a contract to supply tactical rifles to the Cobb County Police Department S.W.A.T. unit.  Cobb is an Atlanta metro county that includes a large percentage of the city’s north western suburbs.  According to company officials, the rifle is based on its “Heavy Tactical” model and includes various customized features and components.   The rifles are also equipped with the Dead Air Keymount™ combination muzzle brake and suppressor mount, specially designed for the attachment of the Dead Air™ Sandman™ suppressor, also manufactured by BPI Outdoors.

The Bergara “Cobb S.W.A.T. Rifle” features are as follows:

  • Barrel:                                   Bergara 416 SS in .308 1:10 Twist with # 6 Contour
  • Action:                                  Bergara Premium
  • Stock:                                    Accuracy International AX
  • Trigger:                                 Timney 517
  • Muzzle Brake:                        Dead Air Keymount
  • Scope:                                   Nightforce NXS 5.5-22×50
  • Mounts:                                 Nightforce Ultralight Rings

For more information on Bergara USA, visit

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