I always enjoy training with new instructors. Everyone’s got a different take on subject matter, and even small tweaks to technique can lead to big gains over time. Thus, when I saw that SpartanCore was offering a new vehicle tactics class (“Charon”), I was excited not only to get in some training in and around vehicles, but to also learn more about SpartanCore and the people involved.
I’ll keep this one short but sweet. My readers may recall my review of the NiteScout A3, and some various caveats I had about it. Believe it or not, I still rather enjoy the rifle in its SBR form, and have been trying to figure out how to give it a modern handguard. The handguard that came on the A3 could charitably be described as heavy and obsolete.
When I was looking at pictures online of various MP5 handguards, I was struck by the realization that they looked rather similar to the A3 handguards in how they attached. Rolling the dice, I bought a PTR-9 aluminum handguard to see if I could fit it.
Shockingly, it screwed straight into the retainer. But this left me with a problem: the tube that protects the screw connecting the front sight to the receiver was too long, and so was the screw.
Enter my 3D printer! A bit of OpenSCAD coding and a couple of test runs netted me a tube that fit just right. After a quick run to Home Depot for the correct screw (1/4-20 coarse, 3″ long), I had my handguard adapter all ready to go
The original part was aluminum, so the plastic replacement is not necessarily as robust. But there’s really no weight bearing component to this, and all of the pressure is directed into compressing the layers. Even a tube with somewhat small infill is more than enough to do this job.
I am genuinely stunned that NiteScout didn’t just outfit these guns with MP5 and MP5K handguards right out the gate. It would not surprise me at all if you could put on a MP5K handguard with either no tube or a very short one. But, in any event, I managed to fix this problem on my own. Next stop: Magpul SL grip and safety…
I ran the gun hard last night at SASP practice, and the 3D printed part seemed to hold up just fine. No problems with heat damage were observed. The gun itself isn’t really a Steel Challenge champ (that long, heavy trigger!), but it is super reliable, which is not nothing.
ETA (9/6/2021): The Magpul HK94 safety works quite well with the gun. The SL grip… not so much. Even after shaving down the back of it to be flush with the receiver, the gun still refused to fire when I dropped the hammer. I assume there is some sort of tolerance issue with how the hammer is positioned with regards to the bolt, but have not had time to track it down.
After training with TOC last year in a really well-thought-out carbine class, I had made it a priority this year to try to take another class with them. Thankfully, they scheduled their “Vehicle Ambush Tactics – Pistol” class on a day I could take it, so I signed up ASAP.
I’ve never done any shooting in or around vehicles, so I had almost no expectations walking in. I just wanted to learn some new skills, do a little shooting under stress, and maybe have a bit of fun. I think I accomplished all those goals. Read on for more.
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.
As I’ve progressed as a shooter, I try to tailor the classes that I take to address my particular needs. It’s a little hard to list out my needs, as my shortcomings are myriad, but tightening up my speed while maintaining accuracy is certainly high on my list. When I saw Justified Defensive Concepts’ 2020 schedule, and the Speed Shooting & Shot Calling class on it, I knew I was not going to miss it.
If you want some indication just how much I was not going to miss it, here’s the story. I am writing this AAR from Las Vegas, where I will be attending SHOT Show for the first time. I got home from this class at 11:15 PM on Sunday night – as expected – secured my weapons, went to sleep at 11:30 PM, and woke up at 4:15 AM on Monday to catch a flight to Las Vegas. That is punishing, and I was pretty fatigued on Monday, but I think it was worth it.
In an effort to start off 2020 right, I participated in the unsanctioned Steel Challenge match at the AGC range near Baltimore. I have never shot Steel Challenge before, so this was going to be an interesting experience. I was a little disappointed that it wasn’t going to count towards classification, but in a way, maybe that was for the best.
A spot opened up in the IDPA low light match on Tuesday, and I decided I’d take it (after begging the wife for permission). I’m kinda moving away from IDPA, but a chance to shoot in the dark is an opportunity worth taking.
I had the pleasure of attending the Green Ops Defensive Pistol Clinic this past Sunday. I was looking through my blog to refresh my memory about it, and it turns out that it has been a full year since the last time I took this clinic. This was kind of a surprise! I go to a lot of these clinics, but it seems I’ve branched out quite a bit. It did make me excited to see how it has evolved since then, and I was not disappointed!
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.