Tactical to Tacticool

Tactical to Tacticool

I’m as much a fan as the next person when it comes to improving a firearm in such a way as to make it more useful and less likely to cause issues; the addition of a light or laser for better target acquisition and perhaps a collapsible stock for transportation purposes are prime examples of increased usefulness. There are other items as well, but these are a few examples.

At some point in time, the marketing departments realized that anything and everything could be made a bit more tactical; thus tacticool was born and the laugh riot has only gained momentum.

For your viewing pleasure I present to you some fine examples of tacticool. Some are real products sold with the description of “tactical,” while others are openly mocking the marketing trend or too humorous not to share.

I hope you have a good laugh heading into the weekend. What are some of the more humorous tacticool images you’ve seen either on the web or in real life?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Magpul CTR Buttstock Review

Magpul CTR Buttstock Review

Magpul’s CTR (Compact/Type Restricted) adjustable drop-in buttstock is a no-nonsense option for your AR15 platform. Although there are no storage compartments, cheek risers, or other extras you might find on other adjustable stocks, the four position, streamline A-frame design allows for light, fast action while preventing snagging and shielding the release latch. Other basic features of the CTR include a supplemental friction lock system that minimizes excessive stock movement as well as an ambidextrous QD sling mount that will accept any push-button sling swivel. A 0.30″ rubber butt-pad comes standard on the Mil-Spec Model to prevent slippage.

There are a few slight differences between the Mil-Spec and Commercial model to keep in mind should you decide to look into purchasing Magpul’s CTR.

Besides the standard differences in measurements between Mil-Spec and Commercial, the primary differences that could make a difference to you in favor of the Commercial Model is that the buffer tube has six positions to adjust to instead of four and the rubber butt-pad is 0.55″ thick instead of 0.30″ thick, which provides a little extra cushioning. These are small differences to be sure, but when customizing your AR15 it’s often the small things that make yours different from the other guy’s. Both models are made in the U.S.A. and will cost you about $80.

I have the Mil-Spec Model and have enjoyed it thoroughly. It was easy to install and is just as easy to use. It’s comfortable against my shoulder so I’m not too concerned about the slightly thicker rubber padding that I’m missing out on. I’m able to get the correct length with only four positions as opposed to six, but I can appreciate how six would be nice. Has anyone else tried one of these out on their rifles?

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Silencers

Silencers

If you live in a state that allows the legal purchase and use of silencers, then it might be time to pay a tax that will bring you far more enjoyment than your April 15 taxes. In spite of Hollywood’s depiction of silencer usage, they are yet one more tool to help prevent hearing loss while enjoying shooting. If you don’t already know a good deal about silencers (and even if you do), continue reading to find out where your hard earned money will be going in the future. 

Personal Experience: My first hands on experience with a silencer was a few range trips back when I had the pleasure to try out my friend’s Ruger Mark III with sub-sonic ammo and a silencer (sadly I don’t recall the brand and model). Before this trip I had always been interested in silencers, but until recently they were illegal to use in Washington State. Silencers in movies are depicted as being “whisper” quiet, and I knew that was not the reality of shooting with a silencer. With my hearing protection on, standing in our lane station, the only sounds I heard were those coming from the slide as the gun ejected and chambered a new round as well as the sound of the casings hitting the concrete floor. It was one of the rare few occasions that my extensive movie viewing pastime didn’t set me up for disappointment.

It’s one thing to say that shooting with a silencer is quiet, but it doesn’t really bring it home like a video does. I did a little digging around YouTube and found this video of a guy shooting a Ruger Mark III with a silencer attached. I don’t know if he’s using sub-sonic ammo or not, but it gives you a pretty good idea of how quiet shooting can be.

 

Need to Know: After shooting with my friend’s silencer, my interest in owning my own went up a good deal. I knew that in addition to the actual cost of a silencer I would have to pay a $200 tax stamp, but I didn’t really know much past that. When you look into buying a silencer there will be two things you need to know (besides state legalities): The caliber and the thread size. Caliber is easy enough since it will be the same as the gun you’re buying it for. The thread size varies, but it’s easy to find out and you can always ask your local shop guy/gal for assistance with that. I found this next video (brought to you by the folks at silencershop.com) to be very helpful and informative relating to silencer attachment.

 

 If you happen to have a silencer or have used one, how was your experience with it? Was it everything you had hoped it would be or were you let down by it?

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Dedicated .22 Upper or Conversion Kit

Dedicated .22 Upper or Conversion Kit

The topic of a dedicated .22 upper receiver vs. a conversion kit for you AR platform might be a little retro, but I have a hard time imagining a gun guy or gal holding their rifle and saying, “This topic is so passé!” By now most everyone has had a chance to make up their own mind on which way they’ll go when spending their money, and if they haven’t they’ve probably thought about it plenty.

I personally went the conversion route several years back and have only found limited success with it. Frustration set in early between the failure to extract and failure to load issues. In a good session I was able to fire five rounds before having an issue, and often times it was fewer rounds than that. I’ve tried several different brands of ammo, but so far that perfect round that my conversion kit likes best eludes me. The upside is that I now know what I’ll be doing on my next range day.

Despite the experience with the conversion kit I have, I still think this is a great way to go. I have fired other people’s converted rifles and they worked great. There are also plenty of stories of people firing several hundred rounds consistently without any hiccups. It’s just a matter of finding the best kit for your rifle and then the right ammo to go with it. With most kits being under $250 it’s hard not to go this route.

Dedicated .22 uppers are something I haven’t been fortunate enough to try out for myself yet. There is some appeal to having an upper that is designed to shoot a .22 round. The premise being that an upper designed to fire a specific round will be more accurate and have fewer failures. While this sounds valid in theory, the internet has plenty of first hand stories you can find where this isn’t always the case. That being said, it is almost always the case that dissatisfied people are louder than satisfied people, so a grain of gun powder should be applied. While a dedicated upper will cost you more than the conversion kit, a lack of frustration is priceless.

I’ll continue to experiment with the basic CMMG kit I have to see if I can get it working correctly, but in the meantime I would love to hear about your experiences with dedicated uppers and/or conversion kits. What has worked for you and what hasn’t?

 

 

 

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37 mm Havoc Launchers

37 mm Havoc Launchers

One of my favorite parts of basic training was trying out the special weapons, and at the top of that list was the M203 grenade launcher. While it is possible to get one as a civilian (difficult and very expensive), there is an alternative I’ve been looking at for a little while now.

Spike’s Tactical offers two styles of picatinny rail mounted 37 mm flare launchers. One is a 12 inch standard slide breach design; the other is a 9 inch swivel breach design. Both launchers are machined from solid billet material and are composed of 6061 T-6 aircraft grade aluminum and 1018 cold rolled steel. As such, the Havoc 37 mm launchers have a cleaner look to them vs. some of the welded launchers available. With the cost of the 12 inch launcher being just under $300 and 9 inch launcher under $350, these are two well priced launchers.

Sold as is, it is a flare launcher and is not a “destructible device,” meaning that if you fire something lethal through it you’ve committed a felony. However, I’ve read that it is possible (meaning less difficult and expensive than purchasing an M203) to get a flare launcher registered as a destructive device, which would then allow you to put all kinds of fun things through a launcher such as this. Of course, you would want to do your own research to find out if this is possible where you live.

Who else would like to see one of these mounted on their rifle? Do any of you happen to have a 37 mm Havoc launcher? If you do, how do you like it?

 

 

 

 

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Optics Planet OPMOD Spotting Scope Review

Optics Planet OPMOD Spotting Scope Review

The spotting scope is a constant companion to almost all long-range shooters–its kinda tough seeing your shots at long ranges without one.  And like all things in the gun industry, there is a wide range of prices that usually correlate to quality.  Most spotting scopes I’ve seen that are worth using cost upwards to $400 plus.  Optics Planet sent us one of their new limited edition OPMOD spotting scopes to check out and the first thing I did (like many people) is I checked out how much it cost.  So when I saw it was under $200, I was skeptical–was this a gun-show-special optic that would collect dust after realizing that one should just fork out the extra dough for something usable, or was it a deal too good to be true?

We’ll get to the quality of the OPMOD spotting scope in a minute, but I must say you get a lot for $200 with Optics Planet’s Spotting scope.  It comes with a soft case, objective and eyepiece lens covers, a small tripod that has vertical and horizontal movement, and a cleaning cloth.  The spotting scope can be a tight fight in the case, but fits in snug along with the tri-pod which is separated by a padded cloth insert.  The tri-pod itself is suitable, but it’s not the most robust piece of hardware.  I can see a leg  bending if given the right amount of pressure; however, it would take a significant amount of force to do so as if to intentionally bend it.

The OPMOD spotting scope seems to be well constructed.  It has a rubber like coating while maintaining a sturdy and durable feel.  It features a built in sun shade that extends over the objective lens.  Controls are where you would expect them to be with the focus on the right hand side of the housing and the zoom control around the eyepiece.  The OPMOD spotting scope has a 20x-60x magnification rate and it features an adjustable eyepiece so that a user can set the desired eye relief “sweet spot.”

So for the price, material wise you’re getting a good bang for your buck with the OPMOD spotting scope–but the real and most important question is as with any spotting scope, the optical quality.  Considering the price of the OPMOD spotting scope, there’s nothing I can say to ding this thing.  The picture is crystal clear, I would of never guessed that I was looking through $200 dollar glass.  Even on a rainy cloudy day, the light capture was superb.  I was able to distinctly see my grouping at 200 yards at the range and out in the desert I was easily able to see my partner’s shots at 700+ yards in order to give him adjustments.  Honestly, I wanted/expected to say something about the glass since I would of never considering owning a quality spotting scope for under 400 bucks, but the OPMOD’s glass was a surprise–again, if you look through this thing, you’ll never guess it costs under $200.

Picture from approximately 800 yards away at a mountain approx 750 ft high at full 60x zoom

Optics Planet’s OPMOD Spotting Scope definitely surprised me to say the least.  I’ve seen some lower end spotting scopes within the same price range as the OPMOD and I would of never given them a second look.  The OPMOD does seem to reign supreme within the given price range, and it would even give some higher end spotting scopes a run for their money.  Now is it as good as, lets say  a Leupold Gold Ring?  Well, no but we’re talking about a spotting scope that’s 4 or 5 times the price, and not all shooters have the need, or the bank account to justify that type of purchase.  But if you’re a Saturday shooter or a regular range warrior, and budget is a concern, then the OPMOD Spotting Scope would be a perfect choice.  Its durable, easy to operate, and the glass seems to be a few levels above its price point.  For a fraction of the cost of high level spotting scopes, now the average range warrior can finally have a spotting scope worth looking through.

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