More 1,000 yard shooting, M1903 , M14 And Even A Colt Commando

After my last two  posts about shooting at 1,000 yards with the service A2 and the M4 carbine with SOCOM barrel  of 14.5 inches along with some 800 yard shooting with 16 inch barrel  and T-1, I was talked into to shooting some other rifles under the same, or close to the same way.

So with that in mind, I tried 1K with a made in 1935 M1903 Springfield rifle, US caliber .30,  an LRB  M1A ( M14 ) a  target AR15 to show what you could be done with the seirra 80 grain match HPBT loaded long  and just to see if it could be done, something I never dreamed would make it to 1K. More on that later.

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To talk about the guns used and results not in the order I shot them, I will start off talking about the  80 grain bullets in the 5.56.  The bullet has been a staple for the longer ranges in matches for a while now and to get the performance you want, you have to load them very long. this opens up the case for more room for powder.  Sure they can be seated to magazine length but you restrict powder capacity and lose so much velocity they stop being useful in the way they are meant to be.

I wanted to try to make the 80s look as good as I could so I didn’t try it iron sighted this time. I used a set up a lot more practical for making hits at long range.

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After my sighting shots to confirm I was on paper. I shot 20 rounds of the 80 grain handloads with two misses.  The weather yesterday was  perfect with no wind. I did string the shots and a few other problems but all in all I think this will give a good idea of just how well the 80 grain HPBTs and VLDs can perform.  The gun is not as custom as the more serious long range set ups but it is obviously more then just a rack grade gun.   If you have a A2 with a 1/7 0r 1/8 twist, you can use the 80s in it and it will deliver much improved long range accuracy. The first time I tried this was years ago using a Colt  Match Target HBAR  with the 80s.  So give it a try if thats all you have and you want to see what you can do. It can be done.

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I am going to take this time to show the size of the target with me beside it for scale.   Some may be confused by the point I am trying to make with all this 1K shooting or miss the point,  I am not trying to demonstrate ways to win at Camp Perry nor am I worried about some absurd idea like head shots at 1000 yards.  I am simply showing that hits on a man sized target can be made.  I am not concerned with cones of deviation, muzzle velocity at 1,000 yards ( other then to help me get on target) terminal performance of the different rounds at that range or any other pedantic minutia.  That will have to wait for another time. This series is about what can be done within reason and maybe to instil confidence in the average marksman beyond what something like the apple seed shoots teach.   The details will be addressed at a later time for those more worried about the more technical details.

Moving on, I also fired the M1903 using the seirra 175 grain bullet in handloads.

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The target above shows my hits after a 20 round string of fire after confirming I was on target ( or thought I was close). The gun was made in 1935 and is from the CMP.   It is not worn out but neither is is brand new.  The sights on the ’03  are something I have a love/hate relationship with.  I feel they can be used for precise long range target work under idea lighting and with the use of a sight micrometer to make accurate adjustments, but I feel are  horrible for combat.   But, my lack of time behind the 03  shows on the target even with match 30-06 loads.  A round that otherwise handles 1,000 yards very well.  I think If I had the 03A3 with a rear peep I would have done better.

The M14 did about what I thought it would. its not secret I loathe the M14/M1A but I promise I did give it all I had.   I initially was going to use the 7.62 ball ammo like I did the M855 in the AR15 to make it fair. But since many people know I despise the rifle , I wanted to give it an advantage after it was suggested to me by my spotter.   I even turned down a rack grade  SA M1A with standard  barrel for this custom rifle with SS Krieger barrel.

Knowing how finicky the M14 operating system can be with different loads, I used  the federal 168 gold medal match  ammo.  This seems to be much loved by a lot of people who for some reason think it is a great 1K load. So I figured I would try two in one.

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I marked the 1903 hits in red and the M14 in orange though you can not really tell.   I labeled the hits as “M14”  on the target.  few hits were made and all but one of those was a keyhole hit.  The 168 runs out before 1000 yards despite popular opinion.  You can see the huge gaping oblong holes with light shinning through, that the 308 made from the M14.  I plan on doing this test again with heavier bullets and also with ball ammo.   I want to give it every chance I can since I personally dislike the rifle a great deal. I will also do my best to get a friend who admires the M1A to do the shooting next time.   But, until then, this is what I got for you. Do with it what you will.

Last is something I did on the request of my friend who took the pictures and spotted for me. It was his gun and I never expected anything but a waste of time and utter failure along with a pile of empty brass with nothing to show for it.

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The last gun I used, was indeed that 11.5 inch barrel Colt Commando.  I really was not going to talk about this and we spent a while discussing  if it should even be talked about on the website.  But since my partner and co owner of looseorunds has experience making extreme range ( for the gun) hits with a  MK 18  I decided to write about it.

the hits of the sub carbine where made with match hornady 68 grain bullets.  I fired over 90 rounds to get on paper.  The hits are marked with a star like shape around the holes.  Most are at the bottom of the target, with one very, very , very lucky random hit dead center of the torso.  Likely a freak accident or me yanking the trigger or a bird flew by , or whatever. Certainly not from any skill from me.

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The red star cannot be made out, but by clicking on the picture it will enlarge and you can see the light through the hole.  All rounds did not strike the target straight on of course and the amount of holder over and sight fiddle work is so beyond reason I am not even sure exactly what the hold ended up being.  At the end it seemed like I was holding 30 or 40 feet over the target to see if I could artillery a round on.   After 90 rounds I suppose statistically you have to make something connect?  I doubt I could repeat it. The conditions and weather seemed to want to see if happen as well. I have never had better luck. Below is a picture of me getting ready to foolishly attempt to use a 11.5 inch barrel carbine.

I really can not stress enough how  very lucky this was.  It was very little skill and probably would have had the same results if I had fired a 100 round burst from full auto at the target. I fully expected it to be a waste of time, and truly it is.  I am sure a couple of those hits were even base forward. All the holes showed unstable bullets as expected and to add to that it was clear they barely made it through the thin card board.   The barely hit with enough force to kick up dust from the misses allowing us to spot where they impacted.   In another  century of shooting I am sure this would never happen again.

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One other point I would like to mention is this is the first time I have tried the Leupold Mark AR  scope at a range beyond 200 yards.  This is the Mildot with Mil turrets model  with the illuminated center “dot”   it was repeatable and held up well.  I did run out of elevation using this scope since I did not have a canted base or enough elevation adjustment in its 1 inch tune to get out close to 1,000 yards, but it was not meant for that. It does have a BDC turret  that matches common laods to around 600 meters. I was able to work it by running it almost out then using a few mildots as hold. I ended up swapping it out for my regular lang range Leupold target scope for the  precision I needed.   For the money, I think these are really neat optics though for anyone who wants a good solid scope for varmint or closer range AR15 work.   I’m sure leupold probably can supply turrets with a BDC for MK 262 or any other standard load you may want. But I am not sure.  I would not expect to use it for long range sniper work though. Keep in mind its price and what it was intended for.

If you have any question about this  feel free to email us and I will answer whatever you ask to the best I can. I will also have a follow up post to this one in a while to fill in the more detailed technical questions for those who want the nitty gritty.

Daniel Defense Omega X Rail 12.0 FSP

I recently purchased and mounted a Daniel Defense Omega X Rail 12.0 FSP on a Colt LE6920. There were several reasons I decided to go with this rail system. I have traditionally been a carbine length rail guy but  I have been looking for a long time at extended rails.

Daniel Defense Omega X Rail 12.0 FSP
Daniel Defense Omega X Rail 12.0 FSP

There are several high quality free-float rail systems on the market and choosing is hard. I had to look at several areas of my shooting grip and needs. I really did not what to choose a rail that would require me to ditch my front sight. I really like the standard F marked Front Sight Base (FSB). This made narrowing the rail system down to one that would allow the standard Front Sight Post (FSP) to be used.  I also wanted QD points built into the rails. Quickly I narrowed down the choice to either the Omega X Rail 12.0 FSP or Centurion C4 12.0 FSP rail.  Next I looked at the width of the rails.  I was familiar with the drop in Omega 7″ rail and knew the width of the Omega’s was 1.90″ and the Centurion C4’s were just over 2″ at 2.1″ . The rail height was about the same on both rails. I was able to get a good deal on the Omega X Rail 12.0 FSP and jumped on it.

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Colt LE6920 w/ DD Omega X 12.0 FSP / Surefire X300 / Aimpoint T1

Daniel Defense Rail Dimensions:

DD rails

More Rail Dimensions (width” x height”)

DD New: DDM4: 1.9″ x 2.165″

DD Omega: 1.9″ x 2.42″

DD M4: 1.94″ x 2.42″

DD Lite II: 2.06″ x 2.42″

DD RIS II: 2.23″ x 2.22″

LaRue: 2.0″ x 2.22″

Centurion C4: 2.1″ x 2.38″

KAC RAS: 2.2″ x 2.3″

Troy TRX: 2.2″ x 2.44″

Installation:

Unlike the Centurion Arms C4 rails, the Daniel Defense Omega X rails have a proprietary barrel nut and removal of the A2 flash hider, FSB, gas system and barrel nut are required. If you do not have the tools or are unwilling to have this done, look into getting the Centurion C4 rail.  The Centurion can be installed very easily without removal of most of the above mentioned parts.

Remove FSP, Gas Tube and Flash Hider and factory barrel nut, replace with Daniel Defense proprietary barrel nut
Remove FSB, Gas Tube, Flash Hider and factory barrel nut, replace with Daniel Defense proprietary barrel nut
Replace FSP, Gas Tube and Flash Hider.
Re-install FSB, Gas Tube and Flash Hider.
Install the DD upper rail on barrel nut, using carry handle to align properly
Install the DD upper rail on barrel nut, using carry handle to align properly
Install the DD lower rail on barrel nut and secure it to the upper rail with the (6) rail screws. Tighten down the (4) Allen head screws on barrel nut
Install the DD lower rail on barrel nut and secure it to the upper rail with the (6) rail screws. Tighten down the (4) Allen head screws on barrel nut
Check alignment on front of Daniel Defense Omega X 12.0 FSP Rail
Check alignment on front of Daniel Defense Omega X 12.0 FSP Rail
Check alignment of receiver and Daniel Defense Omega X FSP Rail
Check alignment of receiver and Daniel Defense Omega X FSP Rail
Check alignment of top of receiver and  Daniel Defense Omega X FSP Rail
Check alignment of top of receiver and Daniel Defense Omega X FSP Rail

My Grip:

When looking at my grip, I have always used my support hand to grip far forward with some of my fingers under the FSB. This had always been very natural for me and something I have always done. The lack of extended rail was the only thing limiting me from gripping right under the FSP. I also have a tendency to roll my thumb over the top rail or extend it forward along the side of the FSP. As I fire rounds, the FSP and barrel heat up and I naturally have to move back on the rail.

My Grip on Colt 6920 w/KAC RAS Rail
My Grip on Colt 6920 w/KAC RAS Rail

With the extended rail of the Omega X Rail 12.0 FSP, I can grip right at the FSP. This gives me consistency on my grip and facilitates my natural tendency to grip in this area. The extremely thin profile on the Omega X Rail 12.0 FSP gives me a positive grip around the rail. The Omega X Rail 12.0 FSP allows me to move my light in front of the FSP at the 12 o’clock position. This set up puts the light switch right next to my thumb. Once again allowing me to quickly operate the momentary on switch at my natural grip location. The light at this position also eliminates barrel shadow on the right or left side of your view, depending on whether the light is mounted on the right or left side of the rail.

Grip on Colt LE6920 w/Omega X Rail 12.0 FSP using Streamlight TLR-1
Grip w/Omega X Rail 12.0 FSP / Streamlight TLR-1 / Aimpont ML2

Another benefit for me, is consistency in my support hand grip with the carbine and handgun. As this is my go to defensive rifle, the Omega X Rail 12.0 FSP allows my support hand grip to very closely match the distance and grip when using a handgun. Now shooting a rifle and handgun are very different, but consistent muscle memory placement while presenting the rifle or handgun towards a threat will benefit from this. I feel this is one reason I have a natural tendency to grip a carbine farther out, (under the FSP), like I was holding  a handgun.

Grip consistency compared to handgun
Grip consistency compared to handgun
Grip consistency compared to carbine
Grip consistency compared to carbine

Conclusion:

The Daniel Defense Omega X Rail 12.0 FSP is definitely a quality upgrade for me. The benefits for my particular shooting grip and weapon manipulation is a big plus.  If you have a similar shooting grip style, the Omega X Rail 12.0 FSP or another quality FSP rail, like the Centurion Arms C4 12.0 FSP, might be for you. An extended rail gives you much more flexibility with, weapon handling and accessory choices for those of you who like to extend your grip at or past the FSP.

Duncan

Reproduction Redfield USMC M40 Sniper Rifle Optic and Redfield Base And Rings

A few years ago. Remington released and exact replica of the Vietnam War era   USMC issued M40 sniper rifle.  The rifles were a limited run and came with a unique serial number along with  the prefix “SSA” for the Scout Sniper Association ” and a  SSA challenge coin.   The rifles are as close as could be made to the originals of the time but it was a very limited run.  As great as they are, the problem was, the M40 was a system, like all other sniper rifles, and the system included a set of Redfield Junior rings and base made and fitted for the rifle and a Redfield variable Accu-Tack  3x-9x optic anodized in a green finish with a  ranging capability.  I don’t suppose I need to explain the rarity and value  of these original very limited USMC spec optics.  They were made for the Marines and very, very few survived the Vietnam war. The truth is, those scopes were  not that good and they had a very high attrition rate in the humid jungle war of VN.   The survivors ( marked USMC) are few and far between and cost more then most could or would pay.  That is not even taking into account the base and rings.   This left a crappy void for the new made excellent M40s  Remington had just sold.  Sure some people got some vintage 3x-9x Redfields in black or satin and either painted them or what have you, and some slapped on whatever was close to looking like the original optics. Some even managed to find green optics.   But it was not the same.

Now that the new M40s are not being made and the   mad dash to get one has faded, Leupold has stepped up to fill the want. I find it odd they have done this after so much time has passed since the repro’s came out.  I think it is partly due to some many people making clones of the early M40s. A long running thread on snipershide.com shows the amount of desire to have a clone of the USMC first general issue standard sniper rifle.    SInce Leupold now owns the name Redfield and all its older product rights ( I assume)  Leupold has put out a scope that does a fine job filling in for the original for those who would never be able to get one.

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The scope is a 3x-9x just like the original, and it says Redfield on it.  The scope is anodized in a nice green that while not exact to the original, is very close.  Of course there are some changes. One big one is, the new scope has a Mildot cross hair.  To this, I say.. ugh.. But , its not really bad.  Most people would get more use out of the Mildot over the older Accu Track range finding ladder that was actually a joke.  It is certainly not authentic, but, it is useful.  There are companies that can swap the reticle to the original for you if you want it bad enough, but I would not bother.  Another big change is the elevation and windage adjustments. The new optic has the same adjustments as every other Leupold in the VarX 1 or 2 line.  The friction plate that I personally find to be a real pain and had to use if you need a repeatable adjustment. So its more of a zero and leave it, then just hold off affair.   I doubt many who will buy this scope for the limited SSA M40 or a clone will be shooting it that much anyway even If I would use it a lot.

Other then all that its very sweet. It looks great and it sure beats the alternatives for scoping a authentic M40 or clone etc.  The lines are almost the same and it even has the little nub to make turning the power ring easy.

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The color really sets it off and makes me personally feel like there is finally a way to have a correct looking M40 from the time period.

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Sadly, it does not come marked “USMC” or any such thing, but I doubt few can not live with that little detail. Though who knows? Some people would complain about anything.  The optic is a Leupold, and that means quality, clarity, durability and a lifetime unconditional warranty that is good even if you are not the original owner.    the optic zeroed with little trouble and held it zero. This is not as simple as you would think, because few know the M40 kicks like a pissed off mule. Its light weight and wood stock with metal butt pad are not a pleasant combination for long term shooting of full power 308 loads.

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The next important addition is the base and rings. A person with a desire for the real thing wants and needs more then the gun and optic.  The devil is in the details. To this, Badger Ordnance has made a repro base and rings for the M40.  The base/rings are a copy of the original Redfield junior base and rings.  The originals were numbered to the gun they were to go on, and fitted precisely to the top of the action. Obviously these are not made that way and to expect that is crazy. But they are a faithful copy and they are made by the superb Badger. Badger’s quality is second to none and always highest quality.  The hardware made by Badger has never failed me.  The base and rings complete and otherwise virtually  impossible to complete system.

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Together, these  parts make up a copy of the USMC Sniper rifle general issued during the VN war, provided complete by Remington Arms to the USMC for standard adoption for the war and future use.  It was not the best of its day and it showed that the system needed serious development in thew years to come, but it was really the first and it served its purpose of the time.  Having these three companies making the items to allow people to have a piece of history is a great thing.

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Above  shows the rifle with the base, rings and optics along with boxes the parts come in.  It is a very handsome system and satisfies the nostalgia for such things.

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For a short over view of the M40s history, you can read about it in the link below.

http://looserounds.com/2012/07/11/the-usmc-m40-sniper/

A Different Look At Rifle Optics

This post about optics comes to us from Brian   a guest writer and owner of TheNewrifleman.com, where he details his experiences of becoming a well rounded proficient rifleman and getting the most from his AR15.

As times change optics become more pertinent to the rifleman as offering the quintessential advantage in target identification and allowing fast, accurate shooting. The AR15 community has really come to appreciate red dot sights and with good reason. They are fast and are affordable. I want to discuss some features of magnification that don’t often get discussed or that aren’t well understood. There is more to a magnified optic than just a bit of zoom.

I See You: The Advantages of Magnification

Lets discuss the obvious first. The hardest part of engaging distant targets is that they are hard to see.  I strain my eyes when trying to focus on targets at 300, and 400 yards and I am shooting man-sized white steel in perfect conditions. It is still hard to see the white target in perfect conditions.  If you want to compete or practice at longer range the advantages of even minimal magnification should be apparent.

How easy will it be to ID a threat in a SHTF scenario when the threat is trying not to be seen?

Lets jump to another point of optics that isn’t always discussed: we don’t often discuss the role optics play in a dark environment.

Magnified optics gather light into a focused beam which then funnels it into the pupil. At night your pupil will open up in diameter to let more light in. Let’s look at the specifications of a 4×32 ACOG: 32mm objective lens and it funnels light into a 8mm exit pupil. In the dark your pupil will dilate to 4 – 9mm wide depending on age. At night the wide “eye” of the scope will funnel light into your pupil with max brightness when your eye is dilated to the dark environment.

So how do we put this feature into a quantifiable data? Well, there are actually calculators available to explore the subject. Below is a chart I put together with the low light performance calculator at www.scopecalc.com
The chart allows us to quantify how much brighter the image will seem when viewed through the lens of a scope. The numbers above each ACOG represent how much brighter the image will seem to be based on a maximum dilated pupil of a 30-year-old male (6.9mm estimate).

Acog Chart

As we can see the smallest obj 1.5x ACOG gives a 1.374x increase in perceived light while the 4x model gives a 3.107x increase in perceived light. If we balance this with our use and application of the rifle we can better choose an upgrade based on our needs. My SHTF rifle would benefit from a bit of zoom and perceived brightness at night. My home defense rifle would not need these advantages. It isn’t night vision, but it is an advantage we often neglect to think about.

An interesting side note is that the 1-4x variables, by nature of their design, have a peak brightness that occurs at the higher end of the magnification spectrum. As you adjust the magnification of a variable optic the exit pupil diameter shrinks. At 1x the Nightforce 1-4x NXS has a 16mm exit pupil and a 6mm exit at 4x. A 30-year-old male at max dark sensitivity can only let 6.9mm (est) of that light in through his pupil. The Nightforce and its 24mm objective will most efficiently funnel all the light it has gathered at somewhere around 3.5x.

If you want some basic night adapted advantage without night vision, certain magnified optics can give you the edge you are looking for. It is important to balance the features you want with your desired purpose. With a fixed power vs a variable, you are looking at different design elements that give the 3×35 and 4×32 ACOGs an advantage in low light over the variables.

What other features do magnified optics offer?

Target ID and Ranging

Of particular importance is the ability to identify a target at a distance. Not a concern for a home defense setup, but a big factor in a SHTF setup. Here we combine two pieces of equipment: the optic can be used in a manner like binoculars to look at your environment… depending on magnification. Furthermore ranging a target is possible with a basic understanding of your optics reticule. The versatility of variables in multiple settings might be your ticket for a SHTF rifle depending on your goals.

Open rolling hills with 500-600 yard open swaths of land would dictate the necessity of magnification for assistance in target ID. Dense woodlands with no more than 100 yards of visibility might dictate irons or red dots, no magnification needed. A variable could cover both situations. Any upgrade to your rifle is an investment, so think about the scenarios you are likely to encounter. Quality magnified optics are pricey, but they offer distinct advantages depending on your intended usage.

The Weight of Glass

Another point of consideration is that glass is dense and heavy. Currently red dot’s are getting smaller and smaller while the ever popular variables seem to go the opposite direction. The variables bring with them heavy glass and heavy mounts.

I owned a Vortex optics Viper PST and it was a really great mid range 1-4x variable.  My time at the range with it was educational and eye-opening. Crystal clear glass, easy identification of targets, and smacking all the steel my range had from 200 to 500 yards was MUCH easier. I ended up ditching it due to weight.

It was 23.3 ounces with scope and ADM mount…. 1.4 lbs  For comparison the Aimpoint CompM4 is 11.8 oz with mount. Your specific platform may get away with extra weight, but I didn’t like the weight of the Vortex plus the mount. My rifle felt like it was going to capsize. For someone who hasn’t purchased any optics yet, really look at the weight of the optic + mount. Right now variables are hot sellers. They are affordable and versatile but consider the overall package. The variable I chose ended up on the EE because I underestimated the weight of my setup.

Wrapping up:

Hopefully I have discussed a few points that are not always thought of front and center when considering magnification. Red dot’s have plenty of advantages, but we should always be investing in upgrades that will help us accomplish our shooting goals with more efficiency. Hitting the target is the ultimate goal and nothing is cheating if it gives you an advantage. Currently I am looking at ACOGs. The light weight and boost in target ID will better suit my goals with my rifle.

Acog Chart

Variable Chart

Tavor X95 Review

This review is from forum member Esquire form over on Lightfighter.  It was brought to our attention via guest writer  Josh Berry.

Thanks to Esquire for his work and permission to allow us to reprint it here and also thanks to Josh for  making it happen.

Esquire has given us this wonderful review on the X95. Esquire is issued the IWI X95 so this is a rare and unique opportunity for us to have someone with hands on experience with this rifle to offer a great in depth review.

This is his experience with the rifle and he will also have another review coming soon that will be hosted here about a new configuration he carries so stay tuned for that.

From Esquire.

I have wanted to write this post for quite some time and am finally just getting around to it.  I was very excited last year when I began to see the IWI Tavor make it to the US, I have always been interested in new weapons technology and was excited to get some hands on time with the weapon that has been phasing out the M4/M16 family rifles in Israel in the IDF.  Fast forward 1 year, and I currently am carrying  the X95 micro Tavor as my issued weapon and never got a chance to even get my hands on the full size counter part in the US before leaving for the middle east but .  Now for the review.

Reliability: 5/10

Comfort and Ergonomics: 2/10

Craftsmanship: 2/10

Accuracy: 6/10

Overal rating: 4/10

Reliability: I have found that GENERALLY for the most part my Tavor will go bang when I need it to.  However, it gets really really dirty, really really fast.  The design of the bolt carrier group I think is a absolute failure and that there are a lot of areas that seem to accumulate lots of carbon during fairly short range visits and are almost impossible to clean appropriately.  I have found that my Tavor with various ammunition is extremely sensitive to fouling and will begin to malfunction very quickly.  After about 200 rounds or so I will begin to experience failures multiple times per magazine ranging from double feeds to failure to extract and culminating in short stroking.  This is a HUGE negative and something that even with almost daily cleaning has left me skeptical of my weapon. I was unable to take any internal photos at this time but will post some later to highlight the areas I am the most concerned with.

Comfort and Ergonomics:  I have found the X95 to be very uncomfortable to carry daily.  I eat, sleep, and shower with this weapon and am not very pleased with my sling mounting options,  I have to resort to the Israeli method of tying paracord loops through the different holes and mounting points molded into the body.  My only real option is a two point sling mounted through the hole in the stock portion of the body and a sling mount on the left side.  What bothers me the most about this set up is even with my sling tightened as far down as it will go I find it too long for my liking and it seems that in hands free maneuvers my barrel will no matter what find its way to getting stuck inside my knee pad making it impossible for me to run due to the height it hangs at.  The second negative is the sling loop is plastic and I have seem a very large number of them break clean off the weapon after very little abuse.  I found the X95 to be rather uncomfortable to shoot in the prone, I really miss having the adjustable stock of an M4 and just can’t seem to get comfortable.  The extremely short front end leaves no room for your hands and the charging handle will end up in the center of your palm unless you use a palm up supporting position (which the Israelis do teach) but if you are one that is used to a thumb over bore grip or a more aggressive grip you will find the X95 extremely uncomfortable.  I also have found that the positioning of the bolt catch on the bottom of the gun to the rear renders it useless in the prone as you essentially have to rest your hand on it causing it to not function.   In the standing position the rifle shoulders fine and didn’t seem to bother me too much but I will say that in day to day use it is noticeably more heavy than my previous M4 with a similar optic.  The last item on my comfort list is the trigger, it is a very heavy and awkward trigger pull leaving much to be desired.

Craftsmanship:  I will be brief and just say that I am simply disappointed in the final product from IWI.  The back up irons are plastic (depending on variation the rear may be metal) and not only is my front sight snapped clean off (plastic with no kind of metal internal support or strengthening) but the front BUIS also does not seem to lay truly flat with the rail when folded if present.  The bottom rail of the hand guard is not very stable and with a vertical grip mounted to it play in the rail and bottom of the weapon are very noticeable.

Accuracy:  In zeroing this rifle on a 25m target I was getting sub 1 CM 5 shot groups and have been able to comfortably touch at 300 meters so I will say I was quite surprised with what I was able to achieve with the 13″ bbl.

Final thoughts, I really wish I carried an M4 but shall make the best of my time with the X95 and hope to see in the future IWI re think some of their design features and improve this system to better equip the IDF soldiers carrying and working with it daily.  Below are a few pics I snapped quickly of my weapon to highlight some of what I wrote about.

cusy i296 lfj9 rht1 us0m

News from the range.

Many people prefer to shoot on private property alone for a variety of good reasons.  However when you go to the public ranges, you can see all sorts of interesting gear and meet a variety of interesting people.

Accuracy International AW50

I got to fire an Accuracy International AW50.  This sniper system came with S&B 3-12X scope, 10 mags, 3 muzzle breaks, and a hard case that could be parachute dropped.  The most interesting things about it were its hydraulic recoil reduction system, and the muzzle break.  The combination of break and hydraulic buffers makes the rifle very pleasant to shoot, and makes it easier to spot your own impacts.  The large muzzle break was similar to the JP recoil eliminator break.  It send the blast from the .50 out to the sides, so unlike most .50 BMGs where being behind the shooter is the only good place to be, it wasn’t bad being alongside the shooter(You still don’t want to be in line with the muzzle).  I really want one now.

I often talk about problem and broken guns here.  Usually it is pretty apparent when someone has an issue with a firearm.  For example, a when someone dropped a .22 Long Rifle into a .22 Hornet, it looks sort of like this:

.22 LR in .22 Hornet

It can be hard to get someone to believe that their firearm is broken, when it still is working reliably.  One of our regulars was talking to me about his Glock, and had it apart while we were discussing 9mm conversions for .40 cal Glocks.  Looking it it, I noticed that the extractor had broken, but I had a hard time convincing him of that because his pistol was still running well.  Finally I managed to get him to buy a new ejector.  This picture shows the new and old broken ejectors side by side.

Broken Glock G22 ejector

This last photo is an interesting issue where a MGI 7.62×39 bolt and firing pin were piercing primers.  The firing pin was occasionally cutting a clean hole in the primer.  I told the owner to contact MGI.  It will be interesting to hear about what they tell him.

MGI 7.62x39 piercing primers

As for interesting people, some of the guys I had seen out that and talked to turned out to be the guys from NFA Review.  I have previously seen some of their videos and rather liked them.  Also it is on of their suppressors reviews is what helped a family member of mine pick the Silencer Co Octane 9.  I find it interesting that the Octane 9 is easier to clean then the AAC Trident.

Here is one of my favorite videos of theirs: