HK MR556A1

HK 416 Review

Well the wait is finally over; for all of those people that were waiting patiently (or not so patiently) for the civilian version of the HK416 can finally exhale.  Heckler and Koch are releasing the civilian version of the HK416 dubbed the MR556A1.  After watching the Youtube videos of an operator popping out of water and going full blast on HK416, it being thrown in the sand and still functioning flawlessly, the average range warrior can finally experience that type of durability for himself (or herself), assuming they’ll want to do such things to their $2,900 (estimated) carbine.

I got a chance to shoot the MR556A1 this week and suffice it to say, it was awesome.  Most of us know the HK416 has a proprietary short stroke gas piston system and its civilian equivalent has the same.  One difference between the two besides the obvious fact that there’s no fun button (aka full auto/get sum’ mode) on the MR556A1, is that the MR556A1 does not have a chrome lined barrel.  According to HK engineers, “chrome lining may add to barrel life but it does not contribute significantly to accuracy and can temporarily conceal defects in the barrel profile.”

MR556A1 Review

Besides the known durability, the one aspect of the MR556A1 I liked the most was the safety.  The hammer does not have to be back in order to place the weapon on safe unlike most, if not all, ARs on the market today.

If you don’t have the coin to get a complete MR556A1, HK will be offering upper receiver kits that will fit on any mil spec lower.  No word yet on how much they’ll be, but since its coming from HK, I’m sure it’ll be at least in the high 1,000s.  Also, HK has a 7.62 version in the works that should be released relatively soon named the MR762A1.  Below, you can check out pics, specs,  and a short video of me trying out the MR556A1 at the Media Day Shot Show event.

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hk416 specs

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EoTech EXPS3

eotech exps2 exps3

EoTech showed off their new EXPS3  at Shot Show this week.  The new optic has many similarities of its older brother, the XPS;  the main differences are  an included quick throw mount and its buttons are located on the side as they are with the 516, 556, and 557 models.  For right now reticules are limited to just the normal EoTech 65 MOA circle with 1 MOA dot, and the 2 dot reticule.  Battery life stays the same at approximately 600 hours and the EoTech EXPS3 runs on 1 CR123 lithium battery.  The EXPS3 is fully night vision compatible which is the only difference between the EXPS3 and the EXPS2 (which is not).  I believe color may be another difference; however, this is unconfirmed–I believe the EXPS3 will be available in tan since that is the model I shot with.  The EoTech website lists the only color available as non reflective black.

I’m sure EoTech came out with the new EXPS3 since many customers wanted to add a magnifier behind their XPS; well, with the buttons on the rear of the optic, it can be awkward to make adjustments.  Which is why EoTech probably came out with a “new” model that’s basically an XPS with a quick throw mount and side buttons.

I had the chance to test an EXPS3 with G23 magnifier out at the Shot Show media event and I liked it more than I thought I would.  I was anticipating a “clumsy” type of operation with the transition between  magnified and not magnified, but it was actually a rapid transition.  I would love to see this as a combo deal that could hopefully bring the combined price down.  The EXPS3 has an MSRP of $640 (the EXPS2 is $519), and the G23 is $529 dollars.  Both EXPS models should be available in May.  You can see more pictures of the EXPS with G23 magnifier below and a video of me shooting with the EXPS3 and G23 mounted on a SCAR-16s.


Eotech will be offering a combo deal that does indeed bring the price down.  The EXPS3 with G23 magnifier will cost around $1100 and the EXPS2 with G23 will be $1000.  That’s not a bad deal for a versatile optic. has also secured one for review.  So check back with us; we should be getting it within the next month.

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Viridian X5L and X5L-RS

Light with Green Laser

Viridian, a company known for its green laser sights, are releasing two new green laser/light combos in the next couple of weeks.  The two models, designated the X5L for pistols and X5L-RS for rifles both feature a 154 lumens light, which can also serve as a strobe light that puts out 184 lumens when activated.

The one thing that separates the laser/light combos (besides price) from each other is the X5L-RS is activated by a two button pressure pad.  Both systems can be configured for different combination such as pulsing laser+strobe, steady light+pulsing laser, etc…  The battery life seems impressive by providing 6+ hours of constant laser runtime, 10+ hours of pulsing laser runtime, or 1 full hour of laser+light; all on one CR123A battery.

X5L-RS Review

I actually got to try one out today at the Shot Show Media Range day event; with just the small mount of time I had with it, I walked away quite impressed.  The spec sheet states that the during daylight, the green laser can be visible up to 100 yards.  Well, during high noon in the Nevada desert, I could see the laser just fine at about 25 yards and it was a little less than 1″  in diameter at that range.

Viridian should be releasing these green laser/light combos soon at an MSRP of $359 for the X5L and somewhere in the low 400s for the X5L-RS.  Hopefully can get its hands on one for a while to give you guys a full review.  Check out more pics and video below:

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New Blackhawk Rifle Accessories

Blackhawak AR15 Accessories

I think there’s as many announcements coming the week before Shot Show than there’s going to be the week of Shot Show.

BLACKHAWK! is expanding their long gun accessory line to include a new bi-pod, grips, sling adaptors, a couple of different quad rail forends and a few different types of rail covers.

Both of the AR-15 quad rail forends are drop in replacements that can be installed without tools.  The carbine length rails are $205, while the rifle length quad rail forends are $155.  Both sets feature an integrated push-button sling swivel attachment point.   It seems peculiar that the carbine rails are more expensive than the carbine length ones; common sense would tell me it would be the exact opposite–maybe there was a typo on the press release (which you can read at the bottom by clicking “Read More”).

BLACKHAWK! - BHAR15RQuadRailForendweb.jpg BLACKHAWK! - BHAR15CQuadRailForendweb.jpg

BLACKHAWK! is also offering an oversized trigger guard which look like its a tad bit bigger than the Magpul trigger guard I see on a lot of rifles.  The BlackHawk trigger guard is constructed out of 6061 T6 aluminum with a Type III hard-coat anodized finish and is  available only in black for $11.

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The new BLACKHAWK! Rail Mount Vertical Grip seems to be like your standard vertical grip.  its molded from high-performance fiberglass-reinforced polymer. and it can also be mounted to rails that are out-of-spec. The BLACKHAWK! vertical grip also contains an O-ring sealed storage compartment, and is available in Black, Dark Earth, or Olive Drab for $40.

BLACKHAWK! - BHVerticalGripweb.jpg

BLACKHAWK! has also released a wide variety of rail covers.  They have a Low-Profile Rail Cover which covers 5 picatinny rail slots and uses an integral wire loom that can secure electrical wires that some people have on their pressure mounted light switches or lasers.  All of BLACKHAWK! rail covers have a rubbery surface and are available in Black, Dark Earth, or Olive Drap.

AR15 Wire Management

For more pics and  the full press release with all the accessories and prices click on “Read More” to go after the break.

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New Wilson Combat Suppressor

Wilson Combat Titanium Suppressor

Wilson Combat has a special niche in the firearms industry; they know they have top of the line products, and they know their customers will pay top of the line prices for them.  Their fans will claim that Wilson Combat‘s 1911s are second to none, and one would have some difficulty arguing with them.

Well the boutique gun shop is now producing a new suppressor which they’re calling the Whisper.  The new Wilson Combat Whisper suppressors follow the same trend as being expensive; however, just like most products in the gun industry, you get what you pay for and I suspect that the quality will justifies the cost.

As with other products Wilson Combat offers, the Whisper suppressors have  some customization options  available–customers can choose to purchase their new suppressor with Wilson Combat‘s Armor-Tuff coating applied in a choice of 5 different colors (Black, Gray, O.D., F.D.E, or Desert Tan).  The base price for the Wilson Combat Whisper is $1,195, add a custom colored Armor-Tuff coating at $50, and a quick thread muzzle break at $95, a potential owner will need to fork out about $1,340 + that dreaded tax stamp to own one.

Wilson Combat‘s website doesn’t specify how many dB the Whisper brings down the sound of your boomstick, but for the price, I hope it brings it down on the same lines of SureFire‘s suppressors, since the costs are simliar.  The Whisper is available in 4 calibers–5.56 NATO, 7.62 NATO, 6.8, and 9mm.

From the pictures, it looks like the Wilson Combat Whisper Titanium suppressors have a bit of girth to them.  I would suspect the fatter baffles should help muffle sound a bit.  You can see the engraving going around the base of the can, adding a custom look that Wilson Combat is known for.  I’m very interested in how it performs  and I’ll be sure to stop by Wilson Combat‘s booth at Shot next week to take a closer look.   Scroll down for complete specs (minus dB) and pics.

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  • Oversize 1-7/8” Main Tube Diameter Effectively Captures More Propellant Gases for the Ultimate in Tactical Weapon Suppression while Closely Matching the Diameter of Low-Profile Rifle Rail Systems
  • Completely Machined from Lightweight, Quick Cooling, Heat Erosion Resistant and 100% Corrosion-Proof  Virgin Billet Titanium (Ti) in our Shop in Berryville, AR USA
  • Compact (6 5/16″) Overall Length and Lightweight (17.8 oz.) 100% Titanium (Ti) Construction Enable Easy Full-Time Operational Use
  • Short Suppressor Design Adds Only 4.5” Additional Length Over a Standard USGI A2 Flash Hider Equipped Rifle
  • Lightweight, Efficient Titanium (Ti) Monocore Baffle Design Actually Improves Accuracy
  • 100% Welded Construction Eliminates Baffle Displacement or Loosening
  • Thorough Testing Shows No Significant Negative Zero-Shift or Impact on Barrel Harmonics
  • Minimal Back Pressure for Cleaner Semi-Auto Function
  • Comes with Melonite Treated Rapid-Thread Muzzle Brake in 1/2″ x 28 or 5/8″ x 24 Thread Diameter – .740″ Barrel OD Behind Threads Recommended
  • Bead Blasted Titanium (Ti) Gray Finish is Standard with Heat Resistant Armor-Tuff
  • ® Coating in Black, Gray, O.D. Green, Flat Dark Earth & Desert Tan Available as an $50 Option

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