FN Herstal SCAR 17s Review

SCAR-H Review

Since the announcement of the SCAR (Special Operations Forces [SOF] Combat Assault Rifle) a few years ago, the 21st century assault rifle has had a huge following.  The SCAR program has been adopted by the U.S. military to supplement their existing needs and to anticipate future demands required from our military’s assault rifles.  The SCAR has received a wide appreciation for those soldiers who were fortunate enough to be issued one, which naturally transferred into a large civilian demand for FN Herstal’s newest assault rifle.

The SCAR 16s (MK 16 SCAR-L MOD 0 being the military version), has had a warm reception in the civilian market.  From the time it’s been available to civilians, shooters have raved about its reliability, out of the box features, accuracy and ease of use.  The only thing the civilian SCAR was lacking was a .308 version.  Since there was an MK 17 SCAR-H available for the military, everyone assumed (and eventually were correct) that the version would transfer over to the civilian sector.

I remember talking to an RSR representative in 2009 about if/when the SCAR 17s would be available; his exact response was, “don’t hold your breath.”  Late last year, those waiting could finally exhale—FNH started shipping out SCAR17s in limited quantities, creating a collective rejoice and extreme demand for those wanting the extended range and “oomph” of the .308 cartridge on the SCAR platform.  Gunblog.com has been privileged enough to have had a FNH SCAR 17s for a few months to review—FN Herstal’s new hard hitting battle rifle was everything we were expecting from anticipation about the performance to expectation about the price.

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Leupold FireDot Reticule

FireDot Review

Leupold has a new reticule available in their VX-R series of optics called the FireDot reticule system.  Essentially, the new FireDot is a reticule with a red dot in the center which is lit in the daytime with fiber optics and at night with a CR-2032 battery to power the LED red dot.  The new FireDot was designed with hunters in mind–giving them a fast, obtainable reticule in any lighting condition, making it easy for them to track targets on the move.

The VX-R scopes feature a push button activation system that is used to turn the illumination system on when needed in low light.  The same button is used to change through the 8 brightness settings with different flashes of the reticule to indicate its lowest and highest settings.  The best part about the new VX-R RedDot reticules and illumination system is that they have incorporated Leupold‘s MST, or Motion Sensor Technology.  After turning on the illuminated reticule, after 5 minutes of no movement, the VX-R’s lit reticule will go into standby mode and be reactivated to its last intensity setting as soon as motion is detected–which  is a great way to preserve battery life and negates the need to keep pressing buttons in the field.

The VX-R’s FireDot reticules are available in different variates:

  • Ballistic FireDot – for extended range shooting with an extra bright center dot, and a BDC.

  • FireDot Circle – for fast moving targets such as pigs, or dangerous game, or turkeys.

  • FireDot Duplex – basically a FireDot reticule incorporated with the traditional Leupold Duplex Reticule

  • FireDot 4 – similar to the FireDot Duplex but with bold/thicker posts at the three, six, and 9 o’clock positions

The only thing I would say is missing is just a traditional mil-dot reticule.  The Leupold VX-R scopes with the FireDot reticule are available now in an assortment of VX-R models.

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Kahr CM9

Kahr CM9 Review

Kahr Arms has a new sub compact 9mm pistol coming out this March dubbed the CM9.  This new concealed carry from Kahr is based on their PM9 and holds the exact same dimensions of its predecessor.  The CM9 has a 3″ barrel, and overall length of 5.3″ and a height of 4 inches.  It weighs only 14 ounces unloaded, has a 6+1 capacity, and at the top of the slide, the new Kahr CM9 measures less than an inch, making it easily concealable.

Kahr CM9 Review

The main difference between the Kahr CM9 and PM9 is that the Kahr CM9 doesn’t feature match grade parts, translating into a less expensive handgun.  Kahr‘s CM9 features a regular rifled barrel rather than the match grade polygonal barrel on the PM series, the slide stop lever is metal-injected-molded instead of machined,  simple engraving markings unlike the roll markings on the PM9, and finally the CM9 has a pinned front sight whereas the PM9 features a drift adjustable front sight.  Basically, the CM9 is a little less refined, and its markings aren’t as pretty, but those subsitutions bring the price down from $786 for the PM, to $565 for the new Kahr CM9.  The Kahr CM9 will start shipping March 20th.

Kahr CM9 Review
CM9 Review

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Centurion 39 Rifle and Centurion 39 Pistol

C39 Pistol Ak-47 Review

Chances are, if you’ve seen an AK in America, it was a WASR by Century Arms.  Due to their low price, they’ve become very popular.  The WASRs are reconstructed AK-47s whose parts are imported from Romania and assembled  in the United States, but now Century Arms is going to be offering 100% American Ak-47s (…oxymoron?).

The new Centurion 39 Ak-47s‘  completely 100% American made from Ak-47 parts made in the USA, unlike previous AK-47s.  Century Arm‘s new AK-47s feature an improved ergonomic pistol grip, proprietary handguard with picatinny rails, polymer furniture, and will accept all AK-47 magazines.  The Centurion 39 rifle has a longer buttstock to aid in shooting ergonomics, and feature a h igh viz front sight.  The C39 Rifle will also sport a 16.5″ barrel with a 1:10 twist, an overall length of 37.25″,  weighs 8.2 lbs unloaded, and will come with two US made magazines.

The Centurion 39 pistol has the most notable features that differ from a traditional Ak-47.  The pistol version has a “shark fin” front sight which will lessen that height over bore of the C39 pistol.  The other big difference comes at the business end of the Centurion 39 Pistol, the muzzle break.  It sharply resembles an A2 birdcage flash hider of a standard AR-15.  The Century Arms Centurion 39 Pistol features an 11.375″ barrel, weighs 5.4 lbs unloaded, and has an overall length of 21.375 inches and will have both a rear and front sling swivel.  The  C39 Ak-47 pistol comes with two 30 round US made magazines and a gun case.  Expect these two new Century Arms  C39 Ak-47s to be out soon.

C39 Pistol Ak-47

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AAC Ruger 10/22

AAC Ruger 10/22 Review

Advanced Armament Corp (AAC) is thinking outside of their Freedom Group box and engineering some integrally suppressed Rugers.  Starting in a few months, AAC will be selling Ruger 10/22s with  integral suppressors built in the barrel.

The new AAC 10/22 has a built in integral suppressor that can be taken down to clean out the barrel and baffles which are basically one unit (plus a long shroud and a cap).  The best part of the AAC 10/22 is that it keeps the normal 10/22 barrel length and its suppressed–which means only 1 tax stamp.  One of the first things a shooter will do after buying and receiving a suppressor is apply to make it a SBR since that suppressor usually ads at least 5-6 inches to the overall barrel length not to mention the added weight.

Check out pics of the AAC Ruger 10/22 below from the AACBlog.com.

Hopefully AAC will have some of these new 10/22 silent plinkers at their upcoming Annual Silencer Shoot this June.  If  you have the opportunity to go, I would strongly suggest taking that opportunity–the event is going to be held in Memphis Tennessee this year (Beale St., Blues and BBQ!).  Every year these suppressed only shooting events are getting bigger, and this year should be the biggest yet.

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Colt New Agent for 2011

At SHOT SHOW this year, I got a chance to handle the new Colt New Agent.   The New Agent has been out for a while, but this year Colt is expanding the line.  The pocket pistol now comes in three variates–a .45 ACP Single Action, a 9mm Single Action and a .45 ACP double action only.

Each model features a 3″ barrel, a snag free design, a skeletonized aluminum trigger and a compact overall length of only 6 3/4″.  All these features make it an ideal concealed carry pistol.  Along with offering a DAO model, Colt is also offering XS Big Dot Sights on their New Agents for 2011.

The XS Big Dot Sights are my favorite type of sights for my concealed carry pistols.  The big dot is extremely easy to pick up.  For a suitable sight picture, one only needs to “dot the i;”  just align the big dot front sight in the center of the “v” shaped rear sight, which has a white line down the center.

NOTE: Do not hold a gun like this. The XS rep held it like this just for the photo, the gun was unloaded; however, it is still dangerous to hold a firearm like this!!!

At the SHOT SHOW range day, I was able to test out Colt’s 2011  New Agent and I was impressed with it for the 20 or so rounds I got with the pistol.  Recoil wasn’t as bad as I would expect from a .45 coming out of a 3″ inch barrel and the XS Big Dot Sight combined with the minuscule sight radius of the Colt New Agent made getting a good sight picture a breeze.  Check below for a quick video of me trying out the Colt New Agent at the SHOT SHOW range day.

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Review: ZCORR Vapor Barrier Firearm and Ammo Bags

The number one enemy of any firearm or ammunition is corrosion.  Many shooters turn into firearm collectors, and many firearm collectors know the importance of two things–keep moisture out and keep the guns lubed.  ZCORR has been making a product that was designed to do/maintain these two things exceptionally well; so well in fact that their products previously were only available for the United States Marine Core.  Luckily for us, they’ve opened their product line to civilians, and Gunblog.com is ready to tell you about our experiences using the ZCORR Vapor Barrier firearm and ammunition storage bags.

ZCORR Vapor Barrier bags keep moisture out and preserve its contents within by utilizing a Vapor Phase Corrosion Inhibitor (VpCI).  Basically, in a nutshell, there is a layer of VpCI inside of the bag, and over time, the VpCI forms a gas which molecules cling to the metallic contents of the bags forming a protective barrier against corrosives.  Once the bag’s seal is broken so is the VpCI seal around the firearm or ammunition, making it immediately available for use.

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