Monday, June 25, 2012


Each year the OUTBREAK: Omega Shoot gets bigger and bigger. More people, more stages, and more prizes. This year I decided to beat the crowds and arrive at Ahlman's a day early and set up my tent for the night. I pulled in around 5pm and I hadn't beat the crowd! There was already hundreds of people milling about and conducting show and tell. I quickly pitched my tent and began to make the rounds.

There were license plates from all over the country and accents to match. There were encampments that appeared to have been there for weeks! With camo netting, fire pits, and projection screens. Many people were conducting show and tell. There were all sorts of weapon platforms represented but the AR was king. In many cases the gear overshadowed the hardware. Name brands and home spun kit were side-by-side for comparison.
No explaination needed... it's exactly what you think.
I entered the registration building and shook hands with the fine folks at DPMS. I was handed a range bag that was also given to every person who signed up; filled with stickers, knifes and other goodies. I then had a chance to peruse the Giveaway Table. Filled with over 20 Firearms, several AR uppers, optics, gear, and even an American flag guitar signed by Ted Nugent. I was then told that OUTBREAK: Omega 5 would be conducting Minnesota's first Full-Auto Suppressed Shoot with the help of Advanced Armament Corp. (I knew which stage I would be hitting up first)
John Hollister and Myself
As I continued meandering around the vendors' area I saw a familiar face. I didn't want to make an accusation of identity and be wrong about it so I opened with the line, "You look familiar..." After a bit of banter I got a picture with John Hollister from AAC. I then ran into a few of the guys from Mission First Tactical. I can't say enough good things about MFT. The caliber of their people is equal to their gear. The best part about MFT is that they were there the day before and all day of the shoot to talk with you; the end-user.

As the sun set the fires were lit and the parties began to form. Conversation, music, and refreshments were had by all. There were two separate screens showing zombie movies to prepare you for what the next day had in store.
Myself and Brother-in-law ready for the day
The local weathermen had forecasted a 40 percent chance of thunderstorms with temperatures in the low 80's for the day of the shoot. It stayed overcast and hot all day but not unbearable. I had chosen to wear an ATACS-FG Uniform from Predator Intelligence and an M4 Recon Chest Rig from Beez Combat Systems. My weapons of choice were my trusty Bravo Company Machine SBR, Mossberg 500 20GA, and a Smith & Wesson Model 13. I ran the revolver in a Roger's Custom Kydex Appendix Version 5 Holster for part of the day and the rest inside the BCS Chest Rig.

The ranges went HOT at 8am. My first stop was the AAC stage and fired Remington Defense's ACR; which was pretty sweet. We then played with some 300 Blackout and standard AR riles. Then off to enjoy the shooting stages.

With the shoot gaining in populartiy there were more shooters and to help keep the lines down more stages were being operated this year. No one likes standing in lines but what is neat is that you are waiting in line with a bunch of folks that have a myriad of different weapon and gear setups. You get to ask them questions. What becomes apparent really quick are the folks that are use to carrying gear and those who aren't. Some opted for the '3-Gun Cart' while others kept their loadout simple and light. Others were obviously gluttons for punishment and wore every piece of 'tacti-cool' gear they owned along with every firearm they wanted to shoot that day.

One of the most dynamic was the 'Zombie Safari' where you would be driven through the woods on 4x4 and engage targets at varying distances. Most stages consisted of static steel plates that give you instant feedback. I was really looking forward to the shotgun stages that had clay targets flying through the air but unfortunately I was disappointed by their absence.

Another aspect of the shoot that was lacking this year was that there were fewer vendors. I was looking forward to talking to several of the sponsors of the event, but not many showed. The ones that did were very engaged with the public.
Just a few of the guns that were given away
At 5pm the ranges went COLD and the giveways started at 5:30. I unfortunately didn't win anything but I'm happy for those that did. (you bastards) The clouds parted shortly after allowing the sun to finally break through. As the temperature rose the area cleared of shooters and the folks at DPMS started stacking zombies for the bonfire. Until next year my friends; only hits count!

DPMS OUTBREAK: Omega 5 Top Picks List: (for no apparent reason)
Check out OUTBREAK: Omega 4 Coverage Here!

Friday, June 22, 2012

5.56 vs .223 – What You Know May Be Wrong :: LuckyGunner Labs

Lucky Gunner Labs
If you want to really have some fun and wrap your head around a common feature of gun forum/shop lore; you need to read the first post from LuckyGunnerLabs.

LuckyGunner is a large ammunition seller that has strived to bring you information with your ammo purchase. With the introduction of LuckyGunnerLabs I'm sure we will see some quality content.

For their first feature '5.56 vs. .223 - What You Know May Be Wrong' LuckyGunnerLabs has enlisted Andrew from the Vuurwapen Blog. He does a great job of delivering hard facts using data and technical information without getting too complex for me to understand. If you only have time to skim the article; summaries of each section are provided.

Great Read!

Guest Blogging at Gears of Guns

In case you missed it; Atticus from Gears of Guns had some guest posts from fellow bloggers and myself. Check 'em out!

Monday, June 18, 2012

Father's Day Paintball

End of a Long day of Paintball sporting a Monderno patch
For Father's Day all of the ladies thought it would be nice to get the men out of the house and send them to our local paintball field. I love paintball but I've never really had a chance to play much. Except for yesterday the last time I played was in 2005. What I'm trying to say is that I got shot... a lot.

We went through a ton of balls  and air but didn't bring nearly enough water or food. At the end of the day our asses were dragging. The photo above was shot as we were loading up the truck to leave. The look on my face is a combination of soreness, heat exhaustion and a splitting headache. We still had a great day.

Did you guys do anything fun for Father's Day?

Friday, June 15, 2012

Smith & Wesson Shield vs. Beretta Nano :: Photo Comparison

Here's a quick look at two popular carry guns. The Beretta Nano and the Smith & Wesson M&P Shield. This particular Shield is chambered in .40S&W. I have yet to see a .40S&W Nano in the wild.

More Comparisons:

In Other News :: 6/9/2012 - 6/15/2012

In an attempt to keep your insatiable appetites for industry knowledge met; we have created "In Other News" (ION). It will publish each week as a list of links to things that I shared via Facebook or Twitter, but did not post to Enjoy!
Good Read
New Products

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Leupold HAMR vs. Trijicon ACOG :: Photo Comparison

The Trijicon ACOG is renowned for its accuracy and durability but it appears there's a new kid on the block; the Leupold HAMR. We will be comparing the TA31RCO and the Mark 4 HAMR both fixed four power scopes.
Size/Weight - Winner: Leupold HAMR
The HAMR (5.5") is nearly two inches shorter than the ACOG (7.2") when it has an Anti-Reflective Device (ARD) attached. Without the ARD the HAMR is still shorter. Being shorter; the HAMR is also lighter being 13.1oz compared to the ACOG's 16.2oz. Three ounces may not seem like alot but ask anyone who has had to do any lengthy dismounted patrol; you begin looking at your weapon and thinking about what you can get rid of or change to lighten it.
Power Source - Winner: Trijicon ACOG

The HAMR is powered via a standard CR2032 I'm unsure of run time which will always vary depending on usage and power setting. The ACOG is powered by two different sources. The first is the fiber optic rod that is position on the top of the optic. The fiber optic will keep the reticule illuminated with ambient light. The second source is Tritium also known as Hydrogen-3. Being radioactive as it decays it gives off a glow that is visible in the dark and illuminates the reticule in the absence of light. Due to Tritium's nature its importation is restricted into several countries which has prompted Trijicon to develop the battery powered ACOG LED.
Trijicon ACOG Reticule
Reticle - Winner: TIE
Both optics utilize a 'Bullet Drop Compensator' that is useful during long engagements. Many folks complain that the markings in the ACOG are too small; while the HAMR is more defined but just as precise.
Leupold HAMR Reticule

Field of View/Eye Relief - Winner: Leupold HAMR
The FOV between the two optics are very similar. The ACOG boasts 36.8' at 100yds while the HAMR provides 32' at 100yds. With the exit pupil being 8mm with a 32mm objective lens you can see where the ACOG has a light advantage. The HAMR has a 6mm exit pupil with a 24mm objective lens.

The HAMR really shines when it comes to eye relief. Anyone who has used an ACOG immediately notices the low eye relief that it offers. The ACOG as a 1.5" eye relief compared to the HAMR's generous 2.71". What is eye relief and why is it important? It is the distance between the ocular lens and your eye that provides you with the proper viewing angle to achieve the correct sight image. If you have a longer eye relief this allows for more mounting options and a bit more room to achieve the correct sight image.

Secondary Optic: TIE
Both the HAMR and ACOG offer an option to mount a Mini Red dot (MRD) to the main optic. Leupold manufactures the DeltaPoint that connects to the HAMR via the built-in, proprietary mount near the front of the scope; above the objective lens. Trijicon manufactures the RMR (Ruggedized Miniature Reflex) that mounts above the ocular lens at the rear of the scope.

I've owned an ACOG for several years and sold it too a buddy that was headed for Afghanistan. I would really like to replace it with a HAMR. Both are similarly priced so I will be saving my pennies for a while.

Related Posts:

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

My Summer (Lightweight) EDC

Phone not pictured because it's taking the picture...
Monderno and Gunmart Blog both shared their 'Summer EDC' a few days ago and thought I would do the same. I'm sure you could care less what I carry with me everyday but I thought it would be an interesting exercise. Who knows; maybe you and I carry some of the same stuff.

With warmer weather here in Wisconsin I have stopped carrying my S&W Model 13 in a Roger's Custom Kydex Appendix Carry Holster (review coming soon) for the most part. With my limited pistol selection my back-up gun has become my primary carry; out of necessity for something light weight when wearing shorts and a t-shirt. When I am afforded the chance to dawn a wind breaker or hoodie the Model 13 gets straped right back on with an Ares Gear Ranger Belt.

A few items may be added or subtracted off the list depending on the day's activities:

GUN: Ruger LCP with LaserLyte CK-AMF + One Reload
HOLSTER: VersaCarry or Uncle Mike's Pocket Holster
MULTI-TOOL: Leatherman Skeletool
LIGHT: Surefire Backup and Streamlight MicroStream
PHONE: Samsung Nexus S
ETC: Wallet, Para cord Key Chain + Keys

Do you change up your EDC depending on the season or do you just stick with 'ol' faithful' all year round?

FNH FNS Hits the Shelves!

Last year we found out that FNH would be making a striker fired version of their popular FNX pistol. Now we have an FNS in our hands. The Western Shooting Journal also has a look at the prototype of the competition version in the hands of Dave Sevigny.

All of the controls are ambidextrous along with interchangeable back straps the FNS is southpaw friendly. The trigger is difficult to explain; it doesn't feel like a Glock, S&W, or Ruger trigger but is favorable. The safety seems to be too small but is manageable. Overall, if you are looking for a new striker fired polymer 'wunder-gun' the FNS should make your list.

Related Posts:

Monday, June 11, 2012

Smith & Wesson SD9 VE Hits the Shelves!

Last week Smith & Wesson announced the SD9 VE (also available in .40S&W) This 'new' pistol will replace both the SD9/40 and Sigma SW9/40 VE pistols as they are discontinued effective immediately. I only wish they could have thought of a more original name. They just combined the two previous model names into one...

The SD9 VE is essentially a SD9 with a few changes. The slides of the SD9 VE will be stainless steel making them a two-tone gun. The sights are polymer 3-dot instead of steel sights with a front Tritium sight.

Related Posts:

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

CrimsonTrace 1911 LightGuard Hits the Shelves!

I snapped some pics of CrimsonTrace's New LightGuard for the 1911. This is a nice light for around $150. I only had one issue with it; when I would gain a sure firing grip on the pistol I would only partially activate the pressure switch causing the light to flicker. The light is still amazingly bright for such a small package. Below are some pics of the LightGuard mounted on a Kimber Ultra Carry II outfitted with a CrimsonTrace LaserGrip.

Gunmart Blog has a closeup look at the LightGuard as well!

Related Posts:

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Squib Loads :: Know What They Are and How to Spot Them

What is a 'squib load'? It is when there is not enough energy behind the projectile to propel it through the barrel. Because of this the bullet will become an obstruction in the barrel. If you do not recognize the squib for what it is and fire another round you will force a catastrophic failure of the weapon a.k.a. KABOOM!

Spotting a squib load is all about being aware and knowing what your firearm is suppose to do. Generally a squib load will emit a small pop with a bit of smoke. Don't 'tap, rack, bang' here; you will be sorry... No particular firearm is more susceptible to a squib than another because it's not the gun's fault. The ammunition you put into the firearms is at fault.

Ruger LCP KABOOM! - Due to squib load

H/T: Gunmart Blog

The 9mm vs. 45ACP Debate :: Paul Gomez (R.I.P.)

As I was preparing this post last night I was monitoring The Facebooks and saw this:
Click to Enlarge
Paul Gomez will be missed and our condolences go out to his family. In memory of Paul here is a video he posted in March on the 9mm vs. 45ACP Debate.

H/T: Jerking the Trigger

Monday, June 4, 2012

Ruger 22/45 LITE Hits the Shelves!

A month and half ago Ruger announced the introduction of the 22/45 LITE. Today we get a chance to handle one for the first time.

The first thing I noticed was how light weight this pistol is. At only 22.8 oz. it almost feels like it wants to float away from you! The 'slide serrations' are bold and complement the aesthetics of the pistol. They look so effective that I even tried to rack it using them knowing that it wouldn't do a damn thing.

I'm not a huge fan of 'gold' but this is one sharp looking plinker!

Related Posts:

Friday, June 1, 2012

MechArmor TacOps-1 Charging Handle Price Drop!

Effective June 1, 2012 the price of MechArmor Defense's TacOps-1 Charging Handle will have a new price:


The best part... It's still all American Made and has no down grade in features. If you haven't heard of the TacOps-1 you need to pull your head out of the sand and get your hands on one! You can check out my full review: Mech Armor Defense TacOps-1 Ambidextrous Charging Handle :: REVIEW

Press Release:

We are excited to finally be able to say, that after three years of diligent work and
searching, we have finally been able to cut the manufacturing cost of our TacOps-1!

The issue hasn’t been only about lowering our costs of production, anyone can easily do that by moving it all offshore. Our hard heads fought to do so without lowering the material or process qualities, AND keep it made in the USA; both of which are increasingly difficult to do here anymore. However, since Van and I are old school soldiers who don’t take no for an answer, we have recently prevailed; the new retail cost is $67.95!
Related Posts: E-mail Updates

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