US Optics SN-4S Review

SN-4S on SCAR 17s

INTRODUCTION

The 1-4x optic is an optic that is gaining popularity in both tactical applications and competitive venues.  From CQB to medium range engagements, the 1-4x optic is extremely versatile for tactical applications. For 3-gun competitions it provides the competitor a quick option for both his/her close targets to ones out to 400 yards.

With all the hype around Nightforce and Trijicon, I feel that US Optics is sometimes left behind in the quality optics discussion.  US Optics has had contracts with the USMC and many law enforcement agencies, so most hardcore shooters and long range forum regulars know about them—I feel their recognition is far less for Joe the average shooter even though the typical range warrior will know about Trijicon or Nightforce whose prices are similar.

Although I’ve shot with Trijicon’s Accupoint 1.5-4 (I haven’t had a chance yet to try out their newer true 1-4), and I’ve had some experience with Nightforce’s NXS 1-4, I’ve never had the pleasure of shooting with a US Optics scope.   So when Jeff Fertal at US Optics offered us a SN-4S to review, I jumped at the chance.  I’ve only seen their scopes on display, and I was thoroughly pleased with my initial impressions, so finally getting to shoot with one for a couple of months was a real treat.  After using the US Optics (USO for short) SN-4S on an AR-15, Bushmaster ACR, and a FNH SCAR-H, I’m finally ready to give Gunblog.com readers my feedback and introduce them to a quality 1-4x optic that I think has been overlooked by many shooters out there.                                                  click read more to continue the review

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Sig Sauer P250 2SUM Review

P250 2Sum Pack

Many avid shooters have multiple pistols; one for home defense, one for concealed carry, and/or maybe another one they only really use at the range.  When making a pistol purchase, many gun owners (or potential gun owners), will justify the purchase of a new pistol for a specific role like the ones mentioned above.  I fall into this category as well; before purchasing a pistol I’ll usually say to myself, “this will be a great concealed carry weapon,” or “this will be a suitable range/home defense gun.”  Well, what if you could make one purchase to fulfill both roles?

Sig Sauer may have successfully provided an answer to that question by introducing the Sig Sauer P250 2SUM.  The P250 2SUM uses one fire control assembly that can be transferred to any pistol in the Sig Sauer P250 lineup.  The P250 2SUM package itself comes with a full size and sub compact frame with one fire control assembly; allowing the owner to switch between the two frame sizes to suit their handgun’s purpose.  I’ve had the Sig Sauer P250 2SUM for about a month now, and a couple of kits for caliber conversions—as an owner of multiple pistols for different purposes, I was curious about what the P250 2SUM had to offer, and I’m ready to tell GunBlog.com readers if the package deal from Sig Sauer lives up to the hype.

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SureFire EP3 Sonic Defender Review

EP3 Sonic Defender Review

A necessary piece of equipment for all shooters is hearing protection–its a must.  Sometimes, if on extended shooting sessions, I’ll even use double hearing protection (earplugs plus earmuffs).  There is an endless supply of different types of hearing protections, from cheap foamies to super expensive electronic noise canceling headsets with communication equipment connections.  As a frugal shooter, I always try to find the best performance vs. price ratio.  When I saw SureFire’s name on hearing protection, and at an extremely reasonable price point, it caught my attention.  After about 3 months of use while shooting for reviews and just for fun on a variety of different guns, I’m ready to tell you about SureFire’s EP3 Sonic Defender earplugs.

Hearing protection is about as personal to people’s preferences as the guns they shoot.  Some like over the ear, some like ear plugs, some like to use both.  I personally prefer ear plugs, and I wanted a comfortable fit with solid performance.  I had been using the custom fitted ear plugs I received in the military, but they weren’t that comfortable; I would use earmuffs instead but sometimes they could be distracting, and plus they mess up my delicate shooting hairstyle.  I was hoping the SureFire EP3 Sonic Defenders could provide both comfort and performance, and I can honestly say that they do.

Jeff From Gunblog

The SureFire Ep3s are about the size of a quarter, consisting of an outer portion (the black part in the pics) which sets in the ear’s helix (inside the earlobe), and the plug potion, which of course goes down the ear canal.  Instead of just using standard plugs like my military issue EPs, the use of the helix support really adds to the comfort.  Standard ear plugs seemed to shift on me, when talking, or just through a bunch of movement, and it would cause a degradation in performance.  The helix support keeps the plug in place in the canal, which in turn keeps them comfortable, and keeps the plug in place.

The SureFire EP3 Sonic Defenders also have a plug on the outer potion of the earplugs which can be used when extra hearing protection is needed.  When the plugs are out, it makes hearing lower level noises like conversations easier to pick up.  The plugs are quite small though, and getting the plugs in and out while the EP3s are in can prove to be a challenge.  Nevertheless, with the plugs out, the SureFire EP3 will still lower damaging levels of noise and still allow you to hear conversations.  I personally shot with the plugs in; I found I needed the extra hearing protection when shooting a .308 or louder cartridge.  According the SureFire’s website, the EP3 Sonic Defenders will lower sounds above 85db to safe levels, and provides 24db worth of hearing protection.

Well they’re comfortable, but how are they against hazardous noise protection?   I used the SureFire EP3s with a .50 BMG, a 12 gauge, a .308, and countless other types of cartridges and I never experienced any type of ringing in the ear afterward.  Even with my military issue ear plugs, a long day at the range would result in some slight hearing distortion after.   The SureFire EP3 Sonic Defenders were as effective as they are comfortable.

SureFire Hearing Protection

You can see from the picture above, that the SureFire EP3 Sonic Defenders are hardly noticeable.  I’ve actually been asked at the range if I was wearing hearing protection.

One thing that should be noted about the SureFire EP3 Sonic Defenders is that they really need be seated correctly (the stem in the canal snugly) and they need to be the correct size to be truly effective.  If I didn’t have one set in correctly, I could notice a dramatic shift in noise reduction ability.  So its imperative that the EP3 Defenders are worn correctly to be effective.

Hearing protection isn’t the most expensive thing on the shooter’s list, but I would mark it as one of the most necessary.  I was surprised with the non traditionally  low price point that SureFire offers their outstanding hearing protection.  I know SureFire does not design its products around price points, but rather quality based on a very demanding market (typically law enforcement and military), so seeing the EP3 Sonic Defenders offered on their website for only 12 bucks is a steal considering how effective they are.  To get the same type of performance, one would almost have to get noise canceling ear muffs which tend to cost anywhere from 60 to over 200 dollars.  So, if you need some dynamic hearing protection, allowing you to hear low level noises and still have hearing protection while shooting, and don’t want to pay a lot (almost nothing), then I would seriously take a look at the SureFire Ep3 Sonic Defender ear plugs.

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Magpul Dynamics Art of the Dynamic Shotgun Review

Travis Haley and Chris Costa

INTRODUCTION

Magpul Dynamics has become the industry leader for firearm instructional videos.  Travis Haley (CEO) and Chris Costa (President) have become celebrities due to their widely popular “Art of…” video series.  Magpul Dynamics’ approach to firearm instruction is as innovative as their sister company’s Magpul Industry’s products.  The harmony of both companies’ innovation and quality have made them a leader in the firearm industry–and in turn, Magpul Dynamics’ videos can almost always be found in any serious shooter’s video collection.

Magpul Dynamics’ ”Art of…”  video series started out with “Art of the Tactical Carbine,” following that up with “Art of the Tactical Carbine II” for a more advanced approach to carbine manipulation techniques and tactics.  Shortly after, Magpul Dynamics produced “Art of the Dynamic Handgun,” which was consistent with all the aspects that made the previous videos, for a lack of a better term, completely awesome.

Well, everyone anticipated that Travis and Chris would produce another film for another common weapon system, the shotgun; and they did.  We’ve watched (and watched, and watched) their latest video, “Art of the Dynamic Shotgun,” and Travis Haley and Chris Costa have done it again—covering the shotgun from a multitude of angles, teaching a variety of innovative techniques, with a top notch production team and a wide range of shooters.

Click “Read More” for the review and some screenshots.

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Bushmaster .308 ORC Review

Bushmaster .308 ORC Carbine Review

Introduction

The AR is America’s favorite carbine; the AR might as well stand for America’s Rifle.  Every time I go to the range, I’m seeing more and more shooters trying out their newly purchased AR.  Decking them out head to toe with optics, lights, grips and whatever else they can fit on the rails, whether if it’s practical or just tacti-cool—the AR is the carbine platform of choice for shooters across the country.  With the continuous popularity of this carbine, we’re seeing an endless variety of accessories, and even a vast selection of versions of the AR platform itself.

Well what about those who want a little more UMPH, or a little bit of a longer reach than what the .223/5.56 NATO in the standard AR-15 is able to deliver?  While keeping the classic profile of the AR-15, Bushmaster has released a .308 version of their popular ORC (Optics Ready Carbine) specifically for those wanting that longer reach and that more powerful punch.

New ORC .308 by Bushmaster

I realize our contributor Josh Silverman did an excellent and thorough review on the DPMS .308 A4 (and almost everything said in that article could be said about DPMS’s sister company’s Bushmaster .308 ORC.  I know it seems that October is quickly turning into AR-10 month at Gunblog.com, but we feel the Bushmaster ORC deserves its own review considering the are a lot of AR-10 shooters that were anticipating Bushmaster releasing the ORC in .308.  I was excited to get this entry level AR-10 expecting it was going to be a good starter .308 rifle, and after doing the review, I’m more anxious to develop/upgrade it to become a superb and more personalized rifle.

Follow the Jump to the Full Review and High Res Images…

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