When Givati Rifle and Pistol Club announced that they were going to sponsor another class delivered by Paul Casale of Arlington Rifle and Pistol Club, I was quick to get in on it. A hundred bucks for five hours of advanced rifle/pistol training? That’s a steal. I had a great time at the last class, and I was expecting even better things out of this one.
I try to take a lot of Green Ops clinics, but unfortunately, due to my Sabbath observance, I don’t necessarily get a chance to take a lot of their classes. This year, I was lucky: Green Ops offered their Defensive Pistol II class on a Sunday, and I was able to sign up for it. I think the clinic format is phenomenal, but getting that full 8 hours of class in pushes you just a little harder to improvement. I’ll tell you what I thought of it after the jump!
IWI announced a limited edition release of the Galil ACE in 5.45×39, with 16″ rifle and 8.3″ pistol variants. This is pretty cool, as there are not a lot of new 5.45×39 guns coming on the market these days, and even fewer that AK-74 magazines. They are being directly sold through IWI. There are supposedly only 545 of each model being made, so there is some scarcity involved.
Unfortunately, it’s $1850 (pistol) and $1900 (rifle), which is a little too rich for my taste as an impulse buy, even if they would ship the rifle to MD. On the plus side, 500+ of each means that some will eventually wind up on the secondary market, so maybe I’ll get another bite at the apple…
As you’ve noticed from some of my AARs, I am increasingly relying on reloads to see myself through classes and matches, especially with 9mm. I have a pretty good setup for reloading 9mm – a Dillon 650XL with case feeder and a DAA primer filler. But one thing I was missing was a bullet feeder.
DAA makes a perfectly good bulletfeeder, but it also costs almost $500. After being cooped up at home for so long, I wanted a project, so I decided to build the OpenBulletFeeder by AmmoMike83 as found on Thingiverse. This involved substantial 3D printing and wiring. Since this is a slightly complex project, I thought I would go through how I went about it.
I would estimate that like 95% of the posts I make on this blog are about “action shooting” type things. Carbines, pistols, matches, and so on. Nothing wrong with that; it’s hard for anyone to really do it all if only due to time constraints.
But even if mastery isn’t really going to happen, I do like to branch out into other disciplines if only to attain basic competency. Precision rifle is one of those disciplines, and I got a lot out of the PNTC Intro to Long Range class that I took last year. The Kestrel class that PNTC was offering this past Sunday fit into my schedule, so I decided to see what I could do with that expensive little device.
Whenever I have the chance to take a class with a reputable instructor I’ve never trained with, that’s a priority for me. I think there are a lot of great instructors out there, and getting a different perspective on how to solve a problem with a firearm is pretty valuable to me. I had been hearing good things about Matt Watson over at Tactical Operations Consulting (TOC) for a little while, so when a spot opened in my schedule to take an intermediate carbine class with him, I jumped on it.
Every so often, I go through what I refer to as an “upgrade cycle”, where I make a bunch of similar upgrades to my guns. In this case, it was optics. The sighting system is a major component of every weapon system, especially rifles. As I develop as a shooter, I am starting really understanding what I need to make my guns perform at the level I need them to. I’m also trying to divest out of Chinese optics to the greatest degree I can; sometimes it’s hard, but I’m slowly making progress.
In this case, I decided to replace the optic on my 5.45×39 AR-15. This is a 16″ rifle built on the Adams Arms piston system, with Magpul SL furniture. It’s not a precision rig – the handguard isn’t free-floating – but it’s always worked reliably for me, and the ammo’s cheap even when other ammo isn’t.
After sorting through my options, I found an interesting recommendation from the folks at the BrianEnos forum: the C-More C3 1-6×24 scope. C-More is not well-known for their scope line, but the reviews were quite emphatic that it was about 95% of a Razor Gen II-E for about 2/3 the price. This seemed like a great value proposition, so I decided to buy one and see if it measured up!
Like most casual gun owners, I spent a long time not wanting to spend a lot of money on optics. I think this is typical behavior of gun owners who do a lot of static shooting; we want to throw all that money into cool-looking guns, not on scopes and reflex sights. I mean, there’s lots of cool-looking, cheap reflex sights and scopes with lots of features, right? And glass is glass! How big a deal is it?
And, the same as everyone else, that erroneous line of thinking gets dispelled the second you look through a really good reflex sight or scope. For me, those were the Mepro RDS and the Sig Tango6 3-18×44. They just blew me away compared to the cheaper Chinese optics I had been using, and made me realize there was an actual performance advantage in having that stellar glass and tracking. Combine that with wanting to shoot at a much higher performance level, and you’ve got a recipe for willingness to throw a lot more money into optics.
This leads me to today, where I’ve put down the money on a Vortex Razor Gen III 1-10×24 scope with MOA/BDC reticle. In terms of both street price and MSRP, it’s the most expensive scope I own. On the other hand, it’s also going on the rifle I plan to shoot the most, in a competitive environment, so is it money well-spent? Read on.