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.
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!
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!
I recently (5/19/2019) had the pleasure of attending the Green Ops Low Light Pistol clinic in Fairfax, VA. This was my second time at this particular class. While I am admittedly a big fan of their other classes, the low light pistol clinic always stands out in my mind as an example of what a “signature” class looks like – it teaches you skills you’re unlikely to acquire or practice elsewhere. We learned a variety of handheld light with pistol techniques, practiced some fundamentals in the dark, and even got a few reps in on our weaponlights. It was a really good time!
On the recent Primary & Secondary modcast 187, Matt was discussing his new DSA FAL and the general concept of taking what was an obsolete battle rifle and making it new again. I thought this was a cool idea, and decided to embark on a similar project. I have a number of relatively obsolete guns in my safe, but a fair number of them are in “mil-spec” configuration, and thus I don’t want to alter them. But I do have a Sig 556 SBR and a Sig 556R Gen2 that are basically just old “cool guy” guns from a decade ago, and thus fair game.
I took a long look at them, and what I thought needed to be improved… and did it.
Not huge news, but it appears that Meprolight has opened a US subsidiary. Their website is at meprolight.us, but it’s not up yet. They are apparently at SHOT Show. Meprolight is owned by SK Group in Israel, which is the same outfit that owns IWI, so I would expect some amount of corporate overlap between the two in the USA.
One of Mepro’s biggest problems in the US with selling their optics is that their warranties are far below the industry standards (which are usually 5 years to transferable lifetime), so I am hoping that their new presence will allow them to improve that.
I am going to lead off with a rather controversial statement, but I think it’s one I can justify: when choosing and configuring a long gun for any specific role that involves dynamic movement, there are four top considerations: reliability, functionality, weight, and cost. I frequently see people ignoring weight, and it drives me crazy.
One of the really neat things about collecting Israeli firearms and accessories is that the Israelis surplused tons of neat stuff. While I haven’t seen any surplus Israeli reflex sights come on the market yet, there are a bunch of Eyal and Nimrod scopes floating around out there. I was recently able to get my hands on an El-Op Eyal scope. The Eyal is a “M16 carry handle”-style scope of the type that was popularized by the old Colt 3x and 4x scopes.
The reflex sight is arguably one of the most important recent developments in small arms technology. I’ve read assertions that first round hit probability is tremendously increased with the proper use of reflex sights, especially on moving targets, and I’m certainly inclined to agree. Aimpoint was the first manufacturer to create such sights, but a company that followed closely behind them was Elbit Systems of Israel, who created the Falcon optical gunsight.
I was able to acquire a Falcon reflex sight recently, and had a chance to put it through its paces. More after the break!