Category Archives: Reviews

Green Ops Defensive Pistol Clinic I AAR (Maxim 9 Edition)

It’s December, and that typically means I’m trying to get in that last class or two to finish up my training year. I had been debating whether to take the Green Ops Defensive Pistol Clinic I. On one hand, it’s a great class, but on the other hand, I’ve come pretty far with my pistol shooting and I wasn’t sure it was going to be as relevant to me.

I decided that one way to make it relevant was by using a gun I was not at all familiar with: the Silencerco Maxim 9. The Maxim 9 is an integrally suppressed, roller-delayed 9mm pistol, and I wanted to see if it was really up for some harder use… or if it was just a range toy. Read on for my impressions of both the class and the gun.

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The MSP Path to Performance: 1-Day AIWB + 1-Day Red Dot Pistol Course AAR

(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.

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ARPC Advanced Action Shooting Class AAR

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.

Read on for my impressions after the break.

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Green Ops Defensive Pistol Class II AAR

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!

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PNTC Kestrel Class AAR

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.

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C-More C3 1-6×24 LPVO Scope review

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!

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Vortex Razor Gen III 1-10×24 FFP (MOA reticle) LPVO Review

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.

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Kel-Tec SU-16D9 SBR Review

One of my “grail guns” has always been the Kel-Tec SU-16D9 SBR. This is, as grail guns go, a bit of an oddity. It’s cheap. It doesn’t have a sterling reputation. The after-market is almost nil.

But what it does bring to the table is a piston-operated 5.56 carbine that weighs almost exactly 5lbs with optic, muzzle device, and decent stock. I know this is not as impressive as it once was in this era of $2500 4lb titanium/carbon-fiber AR-15s, but for one fifth the price, it’s still a pretty stunning accomplishment.

I have never seen a proper end-user review of the Kel-Tec SU-16D9, so I am very pleased to bring you this one!

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ARPC Intermediate Action Shooting Class AAR

As the DC-MD-VA area slowly opens back up from COVID-19, the number of training classes available has slowly increased. While I try to be cautious and only take outdoor classes, wear my mask, etc., it has been nice to get back into shooting more heavily again.

One class that was supposed to happen in April, but got delayed to June, was the Intermediate Action Shooting Class that Arlington RPC was putting on at AGC for the newer Givati RPC. Having not done a class with the instructor or at AGC, I thought this was a great opportunity to get out of the house and do some shooting.

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Green Ops Private Instruction Impressions

After signing up for the Defensive Pistol II clinic I took recently, I had contacted Green Ops about the possibility of doing some private or semi-private instruction afterwards. I had a new rifle I had built that needed to be put through its paces, and I needed to knock off some rust in preparation for getting back to some multi-gun matches. I offered to share the time with another student to knock some of the cost off, and I think that turned out well.

One of the neat things about private instruction is that it gives you the chance to focus on the things you want to focus on. My fellow student was interested in transitions; I wanted to put a little time into splits and distance shooting. We got everything done plus a bit more!

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