American Defense Mount
Aimpoint 30mm 1” Riser
Getting this mount was a lifesaver for my optic. The mount that Aimpoint sends with their sights is not intended to used with BUIS or co witnessing of standard iron sights. Included in the box are the following items the mount itself, a tube of red Loctite, and an Allen wrench for the four screws located on the mount.
The mount on the Aimpoint of course uses a different Allen wrench but as long as you have a standard set of Allen wrench’s you’ll be fine. When I was taking apart the American Defense Mount I assumed that both side of the clamps would come off when I removed the screws. But we all know what happens when you assume something. The left hand side of the mount stay connected to the mount which makes it a breeze to install. As it allows you to center the optic using the edge of the clamp. This also makes it so you don’t need a level or any other special tools to accomplish this task.
I personally laid the mount on its side and set the Aimpoint into it. Lined up the other side of the clamp. At this point I dipped two of the Allen screws into the Loctite and screwed them into the opposite corners and then repeated the process on the other side. Keep in mind not to fully tighten them until you have the Aimpoint centered in the mount by turning back to the vertical position and aligning it until you feel it is set correctly. Its only at this point that I tightened the Allen screws completely.
Once you’ve reached this part all that’s left is to mount it on the rail of your weapon. This step takes very little adjustment at least for the mount I received. First you slide it on to your rail and get it into position. Then while you have the Quick Detach system in the unlocked position you push on it from left to right. This exposes a hex nut on the right side of the mount which you only need to get finger tight. At this point you can stop pushing on the left side and you start to engage the locking bar. The action of the bar is quite smooth compared to other QD systems I have used in the past which I was really impressed with. It moved into the locked position with just a little bit of force and feels as if it was built into the upper receiver of the weapon from the factory.
I have at least to the date of this article put five 30 round magazines through my weapon with this mount on and it has not budge or even gotten the slightest bit loose. Nor have I lost my zero with the Aimpoint that is mounted using this this mount. To be perfectly honest I bought this mount on the recommendation of a friend and had never heard of them prior to this and now I am a huge fan of the products and work after researching them as I have done now.
If your looking for a high quality mount for you Aimpoint you don’t have to look any further then this right here.
SIRT AR Bolt
Having recently received the SIRT AR BOLT, I immediately started wondering if it would work in my AR being that its is heavily modified. More to the point would it work with my drop in trigger kit from CMMG. So I took it out of the package and started to install the bolt. The bolt went in without a hitch but I had to modify it just a hair, which we will get into in just a bit.
Then came putting together the trigger bar kit for the lower rifle. Using all three pieces of the kit I was able to install it and have it operating in roughly ten minutes. I took the smallest of the wedges that comes in the kit and attached it to the activation bar. After that I attached it to the magnetic mount that holds the bar in place. At this point I put the assembled kit into the rifle. It lined up with the activation hole/port but it was not turning the laser on.
Having read the instructions prior to doing any of this I knew I had to lengthen the activation bar. So I disassembled the lower parts kit and to a rough guess as to how far to lengthen it. This part is the only part of this whole kit in which you have to estimate anything. To be perfectly honest it took three try’s to get it just right but was well worth the effort.
After the bar was at the correct length. I had to make sure it lined up while closing the upper receiver. This part was a little tricky due to the nature of my trigger kit I had installed. On a normal Mil Spec trigger kit you will not have this problem at all. But I had to use a small allen wrench to “Help” guide it and hold it vertical while installing. This was the only truly difficult part of the install process.
Again on/in a standard Mil Spec trigger and safety kit you will not have any of these custom install procedures.
Now for the use of the laser I had no problems seeing the laser with a 1x Aim point sight at 100m. But I mostly trained on my 25m zero targets. With the use of a friend standing at the target I fired the laser. He would confirm my hits in the black on the target while marking them with an X on the target. Which was great as I could work on my trigger pull, stance and other shooting techniques using the laser and not wasting ammo and have them confirmed immediately by a ranger master.
This laser would be great for shoot house drills and so on. As you could go Force on Force safely. The laser comes in red and green if you go with the red laser you can purchase Laser reactive targets with leave a mark on the target where the beam hit. To my knowledge they have yet to make one a target for the green laser version yet. Again this allows you to use any environment to train in such as houses, apartments, and office buildings. The most common places in which a scenario would take place.
If you need a high speed cost effective method of training this is it in my opinion. Beyond saving money and time with ammo. You wont need a special range house to do your training in. I’d highly recommend this for any tactical unit.
5.11 Taclite Pro Pants
The 5.11 Taclite pants are some of the most unique tactical pants I have owned to date. What sets them apart id have to say is the patented rear slash pockets. They themselves have so many uses its hard to put them all on one page. That’s not even talking about the usefulness of the other pockets located on the pants as well.
I love wearing these pants to the range due to the fact as I am transiting through 5.56 magazines I can easily toss the empties in to the back pockets with out having to fumble with opening a cargo pocket or dump bag. So far I’ve managed to get five magazines into one pocket. In most cases with other tactical pants once you start filling the pockets up it makes it near to impossible to move such as go to the kneeling or prone positions with out some sort of binding or tearing occurring usually in the inside seem in the groin area.
These pants are built so the pockets are sewn on to the outside of the pants not the inside which is what makes the difference in them. Other pants have the pockets located internally which is what causes the binding and tearing of the pants. The fabric is your standard “Rip-Stop” type material. I myself have yet to manage getting a tear in them.
Besides using them for shooting pants I use them while hiking and camping. They are very light weight and breathable. The internal seems do not ride up or chaff the skin at all. Which we all know BDU style pants tend to do.
Both the Knife pocket and Magazine pockets located on the right and left leg respectively, are large enough to accommodate full size pistol mags, knives and for reference my iPhone.
The cargo pockets located at knee height are a little small for my taste as I am used to the classic BDU pocket in which you could hold a kitchen sink in. or the very least a whole MRE. These ones you can hold roughly half that and the Velcro used on them is kind of a pain to get open. That’s also a blessing though as whatever you put in them is safe and secure. When I load them up I don’t get the classic slapping or banging against the knee that you normally get in a BDU style pant.
I had have to say over all I’d give these pants an 8 or 8.5 out of 10 just because the pockets are not all as big as the rear slash pockets.
Troy Rail Cover Full Length
When I ordered these rails I was a little hesitant if Troy’s FDE would match Magpul’s version of FDE. But I went ahead and purchased them anyway. I normally operate my M4/AR-15 with the rails exposed for a better grip on the weapon. But thought because I am in the process of dressing my rifle in FDE I figured I give them a try.
Upon receiving them I was a little concerned that the one clip/locking point on them would not be enough to securely hold them in place while gripping the weapon. So I put all three on and my shooting gloves and headed outside to give the rifle a run through. I normally use my forward grip to hold the weapon while firing but this time I choose to cradle the weapon gripping only by the rail covers.
While doing this I fired three magazines as fast as I could trying to see if I would lose my grip on the weapon or if the locking device would slip allowing the rail to move freely. To my surprise on both accounts neither happened. I was able to maintain proper positive control of the weapon while firing. Also I removed my glove to feel the rail to see how much heat had transferred to the rails and I was truly impressed that they were barely warm.
As this was just the part of what the plan I had come up with to make them fail I then grab the weapon by the rails only. Allowing the full weight of the weapon with a 30rnd magazine loaded in it to hang just by the rails. Again I was surprised when the rails did not give way wiggle or wobble while holding it. I normally use Knight’s Armament quad rail and rail covers to give you an example of what I was expecting from these rails.
I then brought the rifle back inside and began to attach a small ¼ in strip of hook and loop to it so I could mount my Surefire tape switch to the rail. This I though for sure would not stick due to the textured followed by smooth surfaces of the rail. Again I was pleasantly surprised that it took hold just fine. Of Course not believing that it would actually stack secured to the rail I repeatedly removed the tape switch trying to see if the part attached to the rail would peel away. Again I failed in trying to make it fail.
I would and will recommend these rails to anyone who is looking for rails for the rifle or other weapons. As I am now a firm believer in Troy’s quality of product.
5.11 Covert Pants
Having bought these pants about a month ago I have finally gotten used to them. The reason i say that is there is a ton of unique pockets in them. All of the pockets are mounted vertically. Meaning that for example the cargo pockets on the knee/thigh area are split in half vertically. There is a zipper that splits the pocket in half. Which is great while vehicle mounted or in the seated position. This allows you to access the the contents of the pocket without them falling out all over the floor/ground.
Inside the Cargo pocket there is a set of two smaller pockets. What I use them for are things like pistol magazines or my iPhone and wallet. The pocket itself is large enough to fit a SIG P229 E2 with a 17 round magazine inside. Although i would not recommend this pocket for concealed carry of pistols.
For the concealed carry option I would use the larger waist pockets. Now these can take a bit of getting used to. As there is a forward front pocket without a zipper. Then theres a rearward front pocket with a zipper closure. Both are large enough to carry a Colt Commander 1911 size pistol and spare magazine. The zipper pocket allows you to securely carry your items or pistol. Without worrying if its going to fall out or be exposed to prying eyes. In fact when the pocket is closed the forward pocket completely conceals the rearward one. It would take a search or a real set of prying eyes to notice its even there.
The forward front pocket is unique in the fact that on the inside there is two smaller pockets. They are also large enough to carry a magazine in each or a smart phone / PDA type device. One thing i tried doing was putting my pistol in the rearward pocket and then a magazine in the forward one. This makes it difficult to quickly pull the pistol out of the pocket as the fabric gets really stretched and tight around the items.
Another personal learning curve for me was that having the rearward pocket unzipped and open as well as the forward one gets semi confusing. As your hand naturally slides into the rearward pocket while your items are in the forward pocket. The back pockets warrant little remark as they are standard wallet size pockets with a hook and loop closure at the top. The one thing of note about them is that the hook and loop is very secure and you have to pull with a far amount of force to open them. Which for me is a great thing as losing a wallet in this day in age is a game ender as we all know.
The fabric or for a better description canvas type cloth these pants are made of is the highest quality. I’ve been going through my rifle range which includes a prone supported and un supported firing positions and they have certainly handled it just fine. Outside of getting a little mud on them due to the weather theres no sign or wear or and tears in them. After several washes the color is still the same as when I bought them.
Overall Id give these pants top marks on all accounts and highly recommend them to anyone looking for a set of unique versatile pants.
Surefire M962 KIT01
Having assembled this kit out of pieces acquired and purchased while in the Army. I can gladly say it was well worth the effort, time, and money involved. There are so many features to this kit that make it unique find a place to being is hard. So I will start with the most used items in the kit. Besides the main body of the flashlight I’d say the most used are the following the FM13 IR filter with the MN 11 225 lumen lamp. As most of my missions where at night and the majority where centered around the capture of High Value Targets. Having the massive yet invisible to the naked eye IR light illuminating the target made all the difference. Of course that is while a NVD was being used. There is truly nothing better then owning the night.
As with everything there are pro’s and con’s. The only downsides at the time and now that I’m out of the Army. Is the life of the batteries while using the 225 lumen lamp. Second only to the sensitivity of the lamp units themselves. I strongly recommend the greats care be taken when changing lamps and avoiding direct impact to the front of the light. I no longer have the problem of burning out lamps as I did when I first got this light. It seems to me and i havent called SureFire to verify this yet but the high the output of the lamp unit the more sensitive it is. The bottom line in my opinion is if your not raiding a house or objective run the 125 lumen or even a lower lumen lamp. Also i strongly recommend buying some back up lamps and a good supply of batteries.
SureFire makes a very handy battery case which holds six CR123 3V batteries. I kept the case in my utility pouch on my vest as this was my preference. I also made it a habit to change out the batteries before every mission to avoid Murphy’s Law.
Speaking of being mission ready with this light. There are some things to keep in the back of your mind while using it, especially the 225 lumen lamp. The first is when using night vision. Anyone looking at you with their night vision will instantly have their unit shut off as it will overload it. The second is when using the light without a filter of any kind on it. You will cause momentary blindness of anyone on the receiving end of it lasting up to five minutes. So use the light as you use your weapon with situational awareness at all times.
Speaking of a filter, it is strongly recommended that when not using the light to have one of the filters or diffuser on it to keep mud, dirt and other debris from getting on the lens of the light. More importantly it will also help prevent a Negligent Discharge of the white light. When using the pressure pad to operate the light this is a very real concern for the operator and his team.
Overall this is the best weapon light that one can have in my opinion. With the proper care and use it can really change the mission to your favor with just a push of a switch.
Having used this sight for the majority of my Army career I only have praise for it. It withstood such vast climates as Germany in 0 degree winters and Iraq above 130 degrees and everything in between. It took everything a soldier could throw at and then some from impacts to pounding sunlight and other non optic friendly treatments that only war can provide. The batteries seem to last forever in it wether you forget to shut it off or not. The only lens care I ever had to give was a quick wipe with a cotton towel.
What also makes this optic unique is the elven brightness settings one of which is night vision mode. Make it useable in any light setting wether its early morning or middle of the day in the desert the red dot is always visible. I can speak to the fact it never failed to work as long as the battery was changed. Even then it gave you a warning before it couldn’t operate. You could tell the it was time to change the battery by holding your hand in front of the sight and looking at the dots brightness level. It slowly starts to fade as the battery runs down. Only when the battery has no power left will you not see the dot. You will still get several missions worth of operation out of a almost dead battery.
I never saw a broken housing or mounts while i was the unit armorer. They will look beaten beyond use with the kill flash in pieces and still work like they just came out of the box. Now that they come with rubber over molds in black, tan and od green. You can protect it from this sort of damage. Speaking of the Kill Flash works it simply screws into the front of the housing until its flush with the front of it. Making the use of the lens caps is simple and completely user friendly. They can be mounted on the optic via a hole in the the harness. This makes it so when you pull them off the hang down from it. So you never lose them and they don’t tear easy ether as you would think.
One thing i would recommend doing is running a small bit of wire from the battery cap to the turret caps as you can lose them quite easily. That i would have to say be the only down to this optic that i ever encountered. If you have a weapon with a fix carrying handle that is fine as well. Aimpoint makes a handle mount the screws through the handle and puts the sight towards the rear of the rifle.
Since i mentioned the windage and elevation knobs. I never lost my zero once i had it, not to brag but we would challenge each other to see who could hit the center of a dime first the guy with an Aimpoint ir Acog. The winner usually tended to be the soldier with that had an Aimpoint the who time he had been in the unit as opposed to the soldier with the new Acog. Just food for thought. This article may seem one sided but its rare that i feel a piece of equipment is the end all be all. Quite frankly i think this is one of them!!!!!
AP CompML3 2 MOA ACET
Monday,20 February, 2012
Having received my newest Aimpoint Comp C3, I was more then excited to get it on my rifle. I opened it right away and began to attach it to my M4 rifle. Then i noticed that the supplied mounts from Aimpoint sits roughly 1/4 inch up off the rail. Thus not allowing for the co-witnessing of my Iron Sights. I most admit i was a little let down with this dilemma, so i promptly ordered the American Defense 1 inch 30mm riser mount for the Aimpoint. Regardless of this I was still able to take it out and zero the rifle.
While at the range the sight operated flawlessly as one would expect of an Aimpoint sight. It took less the one magazine to have the rifle completely zeroed in. With a few minor adjustments to the windage and elevation knobs. Speaking of the knobs the caps which go over the turrets are held on by rubber straps to the sight. Which if you have ever used an Aimpoint in the service or Law Enforcement you are familiar with the loose cap issue. The only cap which doesn’t have a rubber strap on it is the battery cover.
While I was out in the snow with the mid-day sun over head providing plenty of glare off the ice snow. I had no problems adjusting the brightness settings to accommodate for it. There are 7 daylight and 4 Night Vision Device settings. Thus Allowing you to operate in any and all lighting conditions you could come across. While looking through the sight at whatever setting you have it on the dot is 2 MOA. Which is Aimpoints smallest to date most models prior to this are 4 MOA. The smaller red dot allows for an incredible gain in pin point accuracy while on target.
While firing the weapon and looking down the sight muzzle flash is not an issue with this sight. As the dot is such a bright red that the flash and it are so different you don’t get a “Washout” or “Loss of Sight” issues with it. This how ever may very depending on the ammo you use. I tested and zeroed with “Green Tip” and Army “Ball” ammo only and fire nothing else out of my rifle. So this may very with civilian loads or reloads depending on the amount and type of powder used.
I treat my gear as if it was issued directly to me in the Army. With all the rugged abuse you could expect. To illustrate this I left my rifle with the Aimpoint attached outside while it was snowing overnight night. The next morning I came out picked up the rifle turned on the sight and immediately started firing. As you would expect the sight operated flawlessly. The lenses did not even begin to “Fog” up with the heat of 3 magazines as fast as i could fire them. Steam was bellowing off the rifle as if it was an old water cooled Maxim. Again it had no effect on the the sight what so ever.
It is my opinion that this sight should be considered the replacement for the Aimpoint currently in use in the military today. With the improved optics smaller and more accurate dot and it would just be a matter of remounting the sight on the Mil Spec riser.