(lead photo credit: David Simerly of DNA Guns took this shot, and it’s awesome, like every other photo he takes)
One thing you never have seen on this blog previously is a review of a two day class. Two day classes are almost universally held on Saturdays and Sundays, and given my Sabbath observance, I can pretty much never attend.
But as bad as 2020 has been, I did get one very special treat: a two-day Modern Samurai Project class held on Tuesday and Wednesday. I immediately jumped on it, and told my employer I’d be on PTO (and don’t bother me!). Read on for my impressions of the class.
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!