Affordable Night Vision: ATN’s Aries MK 410

Night vision used to be an unobtainable technology; something more reserved for special forces or elite military units.  Well, time has moved on, and night vision products have become increasingly popular in the civilian sector, especially with hunters.  As time has passed, and new generations of night vision have been developed, the first generation night vision products have become increasingly affordable.  One example of this is ATN’s Aries MK 410.

The Aries MK 410 is a first generation night vision rifle scope that features an illuminated red reticule which can be adjusted for brightness,  5x magnification and dedicated 1/4″ windage and elevation adjustments.  It’s powered by a single CR123A battery and has a 40-60 hour battery life according to ATN, which is quite impressive for a NV scope. 

The MK 410 also sports ATN’s IR450 infrared illuminator which should help that field of view in total darkness while using the scope.  The scope will fit any standard 1913 picatinny rail system.

For being a first generation scope I’m really curious about the exact distance this NV scope will be affective at.  It makes me wonder, will the 5x really be that necessary if this thing can only clearly see 75 yards in total darkness?  I realize this product is aimed at mainly hunters, since many target shooters don’t shoot at night, and hunters at night are going to be closer to their prey. 

Nonetheless, with a less than $600 dollar price tag for what seems to be a solid NV optic, you really can’t go wrong. 

Follow the Jump and Click “Read More” to check out the full specs.

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Kicking off tomorrow is the NRA’s 2010 annual meeting being held in Charlotte SC.  Its going to last throughout the weekend and will host a list of special guests, most notably being Sarah Plain and Glenn Beck.  Also on the agenda is a display of new products by various vendors.  Some of these are:

Armalite SPR mod 1 COP (Continuous Optics Platform) kit.  This forged, one piece, free floating upper for your AR-15 allows you to change the placement of 1913 picatinny rails to suit your preference for your laser, lights, grips or swivel points.  You can also purchase different length rails and bottom pieces to customize your setup even more.

Competitive Edge Gunworks’ CROW .308 Tactical.  Competitive Edge Gunworks  boasts an extraordinary amount of craftsmanship with their line of rifles–some of these masterful features include one piece bolts that are locally manufactured at CEG and Broughton barrels that are chambered to within 20 millionths center to bore.  The stock is a McRee Precision Modular System and it also comes with a 3.5x15x56 Night Force Scope.

IO Inc. STG2000.  This Ak variant was orginally designed and manufactured in Germany.  Now IO Inc has taken it and makes them right here in the USA.  Its chambered in 7.62×39 and features unique handguards (that strongly resemble a Sig556 classic).
If you’re in the Charlotte area this week, it will be the event to go to.  We will keep you updated with pics and specs as we get them.  Feel free to send us your own pics if you go to the show; you can email me at

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XRAIL Shotgun Systems: just keep shooting…

X-Rail for shotguns

Many of us own shotguns, and I always believed that my Remington 700’s ammo capacity was sufficient, until now.  The XRAIL system by RCI will at least double that capacity with its compact version and the full version will triple it.  The XRAIL system is an add-on for shotguns–specifically for Remingtons, Benellis, and FNHs.  RCI plans to add more models to its computability list in the future; I would have to assume that Mossberg shotguns have to next considering how many Mossberg 500 and 590s there are out there.

Most compact models will add 14 more shells to your shotty, and the full version will add a whopping 21.  That ‘s a serious amount of spray going down range.  The system installs extremely easy and is a virtually toolless install.  Loading the XRAIL is also easy–You just fill in your magazine tube until full, rotate the XRAIL, then fill in the tube more, and repeat until all tubes are filled.   When firing, the tubes will automatically rotate to the next sequential tube as the previous tube is empty.

I would have to say, that the XRAIL would be a great addition to a Benelli for bird hunters, or even for 3 gun competitions.  However, the best application I could imagine for it (albeit highly unlikely) would have to be zombies.  The kits start at $699 for the compact version (14 rounds) to $999 for the full version (21 rounds).  Pretty expensive, but the next best thing to having 21 shells for rapid firing would be the AA12 (yes or a Saiga 12, but they’ve been known to have problems), and I don’t see those coming to the civillian market anytime soon, and when they do, I highly doubt they’re going to be under $1,000.

XRAIL Systems currently available:

1. Remington System:  Works on Remington 870, 1187, 1100 12ga shotguns
* Full Version (22 + 1 rounds) recommended barrel length is 26” *
* Compact Version (14 + 1 rounds) recommended barrel length is 22” *

2. Benelli System:  Works on Benelli SBE, SBE2, M1, M2, M2 tactical 12ga shotguns
* Full Version (21 + 1 rounds) recommended barrel length is 24” *
* Compact Version (13 + 1 rounds) recommended barrel length is 20” *

3. FNH System: Works on FNH SLP shotgun
* Full Version (22 + 1 rounds) recommended barrel length is 26” *
* Compact Version (14 + 1 rounds) recommended barrel length is 22” *
* Includes RCI Replacement Magazine Tube

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Trijicon TA33G-H: Adding another option to the growing line of superior optics.

Trijicon TA33G-H ACOG

The Trijicon TA33G-H ACOGs have been out for a little bit and it seems to be growing in popularity.  Trijicon’s latest ACOG shares all the same characteristics of the TA33 series but with a green horseshoe reticule (the G in TA33 is for green, and the H designates the reticule).  Trijicon ACOGS are known for their optical clarity and almost indestructible durability and I have no reason to suspect otherwise with the new TA33G-H.

The horseshoe reticule is relatively new; however, they’re becoming increasingly popular for a combat reticule.  Just like other ACOG reticules it contains a BDC usually set for a standard military 5.56 NATO and 14.5 in barrel (although most models you see in the civilian market are set for a .223 through a 16″ barrel).  The horseshoe reticule function differs from other ACOG reticules for range estimation.  With the horseshoe reticule, the diameter of the circle represents 19″ at 150 yards, the open cut at the bottom of the circle represents 19″ at 300 yards, and each subsequent horizontal line on the BDC represents 19″ at that range (400, 500, then 600).

All ACOGs share a BDC; however, the uniqueness of the ranging aspects from the horseshoe reticule may just prove to be more battle worthy.  The actual circle at 100 yards fits nicely around an average human being’s head (it’ll be a tad bit wider since the full diameter of the circle is 12.6 MOA), where at 200 yards  it fits nicely around the target’s shoulders.  This makes targeting a human (which is what our Armed Forces do with their ACOG mounted weapons) much easier and faster.  On the battlefield I can easily see how the reticule could prove to be highly advantageous for a rapid neutralization the target at medium ranges.  Check out the full specs for the TA33G-H below.

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New X-REST Shooting Rest by Montie Design

Montie Design X-Rest shooting restThe X-REST by Montie Design is available in 4 different variations. The Original, X-Rest lightweight, AR-REST, and the AR-REST Lightweight. I first came across the X-rest while looking for a bi pod adapter for our long term review of the Bushmaster ACR.  I came accross a new Magpul grip that fit directly onto the Magpul hand guard so now all I needed was a portable shooting rest that wasn’t clunky or heavy. The X-REST by Montie Design fit the bill very well.

For people who don’t really care for the shooting rests offered at their local shooting range the X-Rest is an option worth looking at. The AR-Rest placed the rifle stock about 9.5 inches from the top of the shooting surface which allows for proper clearance for high capacity magazines. The AR-REST comes in at only 18.5 ounces. Its perfect as it allows lots of space for my new fore grip and anything else i plan to add in the future.  If you are on the go and need something a bit lighter the AR-REST lightweight comes in at only 12.1 ounces but we think that the lighter weight may increase gun hop when you fire.

It’s more stable than your standard bi pod as the X-REST acts as a Tripod. It deploys quickly after assembled and it’s easy to carry in our range bag.

 Click “Read More” to view images and prices on the 4 variations of the X-REST…

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New Magpul RVG & MVG Grips Released!

The talented team of expert designers at Magpul Industries came up with their next generation grip named the RVG . It Features a durable polymer construction, optimized ergonomics for use with the “thumb break method” and an optional rail section for mounting your favorite MOE gear. 

Designed for use with milspec 1913 Picatinny rail hand guards, the RVG is a basic, light weight, cost-effective vertical fore grip. Shape is ergonomically designed for use as a traditional vertical grip. It has also been optimized for use with the “thumb break method” of shooting as taught by Magpul DynamicsSM.

Includes a custom fitted universal mounting rail and all mounting hardware.  Made in U.S.A. Retails for $24.95.


The MVG is Designed for use with MOE and ACR™ (Adaptive Combat Rifle) Hand Guards, the MVG is a basic, light weight, cost-effective vertical fore grip that attaches directly to these hand guards without any rail needed. Shape is ergonomically designed for use as a traditional vertical grip. It has also been optimized for use with the “thumb break method” of shooting as taught by Magpul Dynamics.SM.

All mounting hardware included.  Made in U.S.A. and Retails for $19.95.

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