Wilson Combat .300 BLK Uppers

Wilson Combat is the next manufacturer to jump on the rapidly growing .300 BLK bandwagon.  The .300 BLK (7.62x35mm) is the best .30 cal AR solution to date.  The Advanced Armament Comapny Blackout round (AAC .300 BLK) offers more energy from a 9″ barrel than a 5.56 with a 16″ barrel; also, when using a 16″ barrel, such as the Wilson Combat .300 BLK Upper, the .300 BLK offers 23% more energy over a 5.56.  The best part about all these benefits over a 5.56 is that the .300 BLK can use standard AR lowers and magazines–so there’s no need to completely buy/rebuild a current platform for current AR owners.

Complete Upper Assembly, 300 Blackout, Lightweight, 16

The Wilson Combat .300 BLK upper features a fluted barrel with a 1:8 twist, their new Wilson Combat TRIM rail, and sports dual m4 feedramps.  The gas system is carbine length and the muzzle threads are 5/8″x24.  Wilson Combat is offering a recon and lightweight version which have 16.5″ barrels and a SBR version that has a barrel measuring in at 11.3 inches.

Complete Upper Assembly, 300 Blackout, SBR, 11.3

Surprisingly, Wilson Combat is offering every version of their .300 BLK uppers for only $1,025, which is a damn good deal.  The only drawback right now to the .300 BLK is the availability of ammo since it’s  so new.  Expect that to change soon though–I talked to AAC at SHOT SHOW this year and they should have the AAC .300 Blackout round approved by SAAMI (Sporting Arms and Ammunition Manufactures’ Institute) which will standardize the .300 BLK round and speed up production.


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SureFire Mini-Monster


SureFire has a nasty looking new suppressor coming out called the Mini-Monster. The SureFire Mini suppressor line is SureFire’s new flagship 5.56 suppressors, and the monster is the newest model in that line.  The SureFire Minies are only 5 inches and weigh 14 ounces while maintaing little or no zero shift and typically improving group sizes according to SureFire.  SureFire has also included a new and larger lockring to the Mini suppressors making it easier to remove and attach.  The Mini-Monster shares all those characteristics with the Mini but with one obvious and striking added feature.

At the request of many military personal downrange; SureFire added the aggressive toothed crown to create the new Mini-Monster suppressor. The Mini-Monster’s intimidating cap can be used as a breaker device to smash through glass or use it as a “non-lethal impact device” as said by a SureFire representative at the Media Day at SHOT 2011.  If anything, I think it gives it a very unique and aggressive look, and the Mini-Monster definitely stands out now compared to all of the other suppressors out there.

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New FNH FNAR Match Rifle

FNH is releasing their popular .308 FNAR rifle in a match version.  The new FNH FNAR Match has some obvious improvements starting off with the stock.  The McMillan stock really compliments the .308 semi auto rifle and seems to add to its accuracy along with its 20″ hammer forged fluted barrel.  FNH is boasting and guaranteeing out of the box sub MOA accuracy for the Match FNAR all while keeping the price tag under $2,000.  The FNH Match FNAR features ambidextrous controls, a detachable magazine with capacities from 5 to 20 rounds, and a picatinny rail for mounting optics.

All in all the FNAR Match seems like a superb rifle, especially for the cost.  Considering that the main competitor in its class would have to be a Springfield Match M1A–add in an adjustable McMillan stock and that price tag well exceeds the <$2,000 dollar price of the FNH Match FNAR.  Personally, I think the McMillan fiberglass stock is a perfect fit for the FNAR; it’s a definite improvement over the normal FNAR stock, which I wasn’t too big of a fan of.

Also, since FNH added the McMillan Stock (which does not  have a pistol grip as with the normal FNAR stock) and is offering magazine capacities under 10 rounds, that means California residents and gun enthusiasts should be happy being that they’ll be able to own one.  So not only did FNH cater to semi-auto rifle shooters hungry for bolt action like precision, they’re also opening their sales to one of the biggest and most restricted firearms market, California.

(Photo Courtesy of T.A.G.)

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Winchester PDX1 Defender .223 Ammo

Winchester PDX1 .223 ammo reviewThe trend with gun sales have shifted more towards personal defense and ammo manufacturer such as Winchester are taking notice.  Due to their success of their PDX1 .410 and 12 gauge ammunition, they’re expanding the line to include centerfire handgun calibers and the .223 cartridge.

A lot of the new gun owners of the 2008-09 massive firearms purchases are carbine owners, more specifically, AR15 owners.  Although an AR15 wouldn’t be my first choice as home defense weapon (unless I lived on a ranch with virtually no neighbors); some owners do use it for home defense so the PDX1 .223 would be the round to use.  I could see the PDX1 also attracting LEOs; especially since many departments are adding more AR15 type carbines to their patrol units.

The new .223 PDX1 Defender round is designed for maximum expansion upon impact just as any other hollow tip.  According to my short talk with Winchester regarding the new PDX1 Defender, the new Winchester .223 addition is a 60 grain bullet, has 2750 fps of muzzle velocity and a .208 ballistic coefficient.

Winchester’s has also expanded their centerfire handgun ammo PDX1 line.  They will be adding the .357 sig and .357 magnum to their PDX1 handgun ammo lineup.  The .357 will be a 125 grain hollowpoint with a muzzle velocity of 1350 for the sig and 1325 for the magnum.  Also, the PDX1 .45 and .410 shotshells will now be offered as  a combo pack for those owners of the Taurus Judge and future owners of the new Smith and Wesson Governor.

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Nighthawk Custom Lady Hawk by Richard Henie

Nighthawk Custom Lady Hawk

At SHOT this year, I was lucky enough to meet a living legend in the industry, Richard Heinie.  If that last name sounds familiar, it should; Richard Heinie is a renowned gunsmith responsible for some of the best gun sights ever created.  Many pistol shooters swear by his sights, and Nighthawk Custom swears by his designs that they implement on almost every 1911 they produce, such as their new “Lady Hawk” that they’ll be releasing this year.

Craig Gholson (CEO of Nighthawk Custom), Chris Costa (Magpul Dynamics President), and Richard Heinie (industry legend and Nighthawk Custom Consultant) @ SHOT 2011

First off, it was real treat being able to spend the limited amount of time with Richard talking about his various projects.  The project he seemed most proud of, and with good reason, was the Nighthawk Custom Lady Hawk.  The Lady Hawk was a real beauty of a 1911, I mean all 1911s are beautiful in their own right, but some of the features on the Lady Hawk really stand out.  As the name implies, the Lady Hawk is tailored towards women shooters (a demographic that is growing as fast as the industry itself).

Ironically, the main design feature Nighthawk Custom Lady Hawk was inspired by Richard Heinie‘s own shooting ergonomics.  The new 1911 brainchild of Heinie features a slimmed down and shortened grip making it a little easier for smaller hands to handle.   The Nighthawk Custom Lady Hawk also features Heinie’s Logo on the rear of the rear of the slide, match everything, a handsome skeletal trigger, and of course some Heinie night sights.  The one feature that blew me away though would have to be the barrel–it’s custom fluted to not only make it look cool, but stay cool.  Even though I’m sporting a pair of banana hands, I would still love to get my grips around this pistol.

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