Category Archives: Reviews

Federal Syntech 130gr “PCC” 9mm Ammo Review

I was recently contacted by the TargetBarn company – an online ammo and targets retailer – and asked to do an ammo review for them. I was humbled by this opportunity, and we spent a couple exchanges deciding what ammo made sense for this and what protocols I’d utilize for such a review. Obviously, reviewing some bulk blaster 115gr was not going to be terribly interesting to anyone involved (including my readership), and I lack the facilities and time to do proper gel testing on JHPs and similar self-defense ammunition.

We landed on Federal Syntech 130gr “PCC” 9mm ammo. Did you know Federal made PCC-specific ammo? I did not before encountering this ammunition! I am broadly familiar with the “regular” Syntech ammunition, having successfully shot about half a case of the 150gr 9mm variety in competition and classes, but have never used this stuff before. I felt that that made it a good candidate for a review.

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Modern Samurai Project 2-Day RDS Pistol Course TD2 Thoughts

Six months ago, I took a Modern Samurai Project red dot pistol class – really only a single day of it – and it totally blew my mind. I have been shooting red dot-equipped pistols almost exclusively ever since. I immediately signed up for the next class when it became available, which I took this past Sunday. This class was hosted by Green Ops.

Since I was only able to take one-day of the class (as I am Sabbath observant and can’t shoot on Saturdays), I will refrain from calling this an AAR and instead just call them “thoughts”. Read on for what I thought!

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Sig Optics Whiskey5 1-5×24 Review

As part of my Sig 556 platform modernization project, I wanted to replace the old Nikon P-223 3x scope I had on my Sig 556 SBR with a more modern LPVO. I selected the Sig Optics Whiskey5 1-5x based on a careful analysis of my gun’s use and requirements. The review focuses not just on the optic itself, but how it fit those requirements.

Read on after the break!

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Green Ops Defensive Carbine Clinic I AAR (Sig Edition)

I talk a lot about pistol skills on this blog. There’s a reason for that; when it comes to actually shooting stuff, pistols are the hardest of your options to use at anything beyond about 15yds. Pistol skills also tend to go away the fastest.

But… that is not the same thing as “you can neglect your other weapon skills”. Don’t shoot enough rifle or shotgun, and your skills in that arena will degrade just as surely, if not as quickly. The realization that I had not been doing enough carbine work lately inspired me to sign up for the Green Ops Defensive Carbine Clinic I even though I was already doing another class this month. What did I think? Read on.

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Green Ops Advanced Covert Carry Skills Impressions (TD2)

A topic that gets precious little coverage on this blog is concealed carry. I live in MD; there’s functionally no concealed carry for average people here unless you meet some very specific criteria. This is compounded by having a job where concealed carry is not a viable option. Thus, I have the gear, but the topic is essentially theoretical to me.

When I was invited to the second day of Green Op’s Advanced Covert Carry Skills course, I was a little apprehensive. I mean, I always enjoy learning from Mike Green, who is one of the best instructors out there, and hard shooting is good shooting. The timing of the course, however, was very awkward (literally the day before Succot began in the evening) and I’m always nervous about going into day two of a course and then trying to play catch up. But they wanted me to come, and I really wanted to see Mike, so I gave in.

I can say with emphasis that I’m glad I did.

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Green Ops Defensive Pistol Clinic II AAR

One constant refrain I’ve had for at least a year is “where are my advanced Sunday classes?” In what I assume is part of a concerted effort to get me to shut up, Green Ops finally relented and offered a Defensive Pistol II clinic this past Sunday night. My inside information is that they will be offering more of these advanced clinics next year, and even a proper Sunday all-day class! (Readers: the moral of this story is that if you want something from trainers, step number one is to simply ask politely for it! You might even get it!)

This was my first time shooting a level II with Green Ops, and you can read on for what I thought of it!

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Shadow Hawk Defense Close Quarter Battle / Room Clearing Class AAR

As I’ve become a somewhat better shooter over the past year and a half, I’ve tried to fit more and more “skills classes” into my training regimen beyond the usual carbine and pistol classes. This has included some competition-oriented classes, but also stuff like Greg Ellifritz’s knife course.

The newest addition to my skill set – even in its most basic form – is room-clearing technique. Most of my training life really revolves around drawing from a holster really fast and then shooting stuff real quick. That’s a paradigm that’s worth being good at, to be sure. But what about a situation where the threat is in an unknown position? The problem is significantly different, which is why Shadow Hawk Defense started offering their CQB / Room Clearing class. Read on for more!

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Green Ops Practical Pistol/Competition Skills Clinic AAR

Despite my inability to hit a USPSA match for the past few months, I still consider myself a competition guy when people ask me about what kind of shooter I am. I enjoy the “defensive practitioner” side of shooting, but I know in my heart that I’m a boring guy who does boring things in safe places, and am rather unlikely to put those defensive skills to intended use. Don’t get me wrong, I still think they’re important – because sometimes safe places become not-so-safe, and boring things becoming dangerous –  but shooting a USPSA match is the activity I’m most likely to be using a gun in.

Because of that, I put a heavy priority on hitting competition-oriented classes when they’ve available to me. I think you can get a lot out of them; the JDC speed shooting class brought my splits down to ~.25, which isn’t going to put me in GM class anytime soon, but it’s enough that I don’t feel as totally outclassed as I used to. Given those results, I was eager to see how the Green Ops Practical Pistol/Competition class this past Sunday would give me some improvement as well!

More after the break!
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First Impressions of the Kestrel 2700

As mentioned in a previous post, I’ve got a pre-release Kestrel 2700 that I’ve been beta-testing.  I have messed around with it enough that I think I can give some useful opinions now. I am going to assume that the known bugs are getting worked out before release.

I’ll put this out up front: I was skeptical about why anyone would buy the 2700, but after having used the product, I think I see where the value is.

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JDC Speed Shooting & Shot Calling AAR

In an effort to make up for my lack of a June class, I took a second training class in July. This was the “Speed Shooting & Shot Calling” class from Justified Defensive Concepts, a new instructional outfit in the area founded by some guys with a solid rep from their previous instructional endeavors. The premise of the class is right in the name: shoot faster, and call your shots better. While I’ve been slacking a bit with my competition shooting lately, these are pretty good “life skills” for a shooter, so I was really excited to see what it was about. This was also my first class with JDC, so that was pretty cool, too.

Did I like it? Are my splits a little faster than .4 now? More after the break.

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