June 7, 2012
Those of us who love military rifles have this overwhelming desire to modify them as soon as we get them home. For those who like an older design upgrading them can be somewhat of a challenge.
After reviewing the Golani from Century International I bought it. My first intention was to leave it as is and use the good ol iron sights, no flashlights, scopes etc.
The more I thought about it I realized that a lot of Golani owners probably want these add ons in order to make the Golani a more capable modernized rifle. I made a list of the most common add ons that shooters add to their AR15′s without making it ridiculously heavy and clumsy.
With list in hand I started an internet search for items fitting the criteria I set for the Golani/Galil rifle. Finding a suitable quality rail system wasn’t terribly easy as most systems were plastic or of poor design. I found an excellent rail system made exclusively for the Golani. The rail system is made by UTG from aluminum with a durable black finish. As you can see from the picture it replaces the factory handguard. Rails are on all four sides and come with rubber covers. The top rail extends back to the rear sight. Installation is simple and takes about 15 minutes to complete using the included six hex bolts.
Material:AluminumWeight:13.6 ozPieces:2Rail Type:Picatinny/WeaverNo. of Rails:4Length:11.4 inchWidth:2.3 inchHeight:3.2 inch.
An optic was next but which type? I’ve used many kinds of optics on AR’s from red dots to Trijicon ACOG’s. A scope that has become popular of late is the designated marksman scope. The power range is from 1X4. This allows the shooter to engage targets from CQB range to 500 meters. They also have a long eye relief averaging four inches. This allows the shooter to keep both eyes open using the 1X setting. This prevents a limited field of view when things get up close and personal. Leapers makes just such a scope.
Magnification:1X – 4XTube Diameter:30mmObjective Diameter:28mmField of View @ 100 yards:85.0′ – 24.0′Eye Relief:5.0″ – 4.0″Exit Pupil:11.0mm – 6.0mmClick Value @100 yards:1/2″Length:254mmWeight:14.3 oz Parallax Setting:100 YdsBatteries:CR2032 3V
I would also like to thank the folks at Leapers/UTG for supplying the mount and scope for this test. They were very helpful with my questions concerning optics and materials used in making these two excellent accessories. Leapers was the only company I could find who made a quality rail system for the Galil/Golani. Obviously they keep track of customer needs. Leapers Reticle
The next item I wanted to add was a good quality sling. My criteria includes a sling that is easily adjusted for length, quickly removed, comfortable, adaptable and lastly durable. For anyone who has an AR15, Golani, FN SCAR or whichever you know there are a huge number of slings to choose from. Some are very well made and fit most shooters needs while others are junk that won’t last six months before falling apart. It’s really not a good idea to cut the budget on your sling. You’ll save money in the long run buying quality the first time out.
I scoured the internet for anything new I may have missed since the last time I looked for a new sling. I currently use a Troy single point sling on an AR but this time I wanted one that would also allow single point mounting as well as dual point mounting.
I found what I was looking for at Mounts Plus. I contacted my friend Stephen at Mounts Plus about a new sling and had one in mind. Stephen steered me in the right direction by suggesting the A.R.M.S. company SWAN sling rather than the one I had my eye on. He was right this is a fantastic sling and I’m glad I bought it.
The SWAN (from Mounting Solutions) sling has metal QD (quick disconnect) hooks on both ends. If you look at the picture above you’ll see one of the QD hooks. Note the lighter green nylon piece attached to a small metal ring. The hook is spring loaded. Pulling the nylon piece trips the catch releasing the hook allowing you to remove the sling. Pushing the hook over the connection locks it back in place securely. This feature allows the sling to change from dual mount to single point. The next picture up shows a similar tab halfway up the body of the sling. This tab can be pulled up or down which lengthens or shortens the sling. This allows the user to carry the rifle close to the body.
Another item I wanted was a front rail grip. I decided on the Grip Pod also from Mounts Plus. Now I know what you’re thinking, this thing is ugly and kinda big. I couldn’t agree more and yes it’s not very attractive but in this case function trumps form. The Grip Pod is in use by all branches of the military as well as federal law enforcement agencies. The military version differs from the law enforcement type having steel reinforced legs. The law enforcement version doesn’t have these steel reinforcements. It’s still very strong and darn near impossible to break.
Note in the above picture you’ll see a round button at the top front. This is the button that is pushed to activate the spring ejecting the two legs very quickly. When the user is ready to retract the legs you simply use one hand to pull the legs together and push them up locking them back in place. It also has a heavy screw attaching it to the rail system. This also allows the Grip Pod to be removed or attached easily.
This video demonstrates the Grip Pod in use.
The last item on the list is a flashlight. I chose the Hoyt H-1. This light fits in any 25mm rail mount. It’s powered by two CR-123 batteries and has a run time of 100 minutes at 155 lumens. This model has four modes. I chose to use mode 3 which with one click is a full power beam of 155 lumens. Two clicks and you have a disorienting full power strobe setting. The light comes in a hard plastic black waterproof case.
Not everyone will want all of these additions to their rifle. Customizing any gun is purely a personal preference so I am by no means saying everyone needs to use these items to have the perfect rifle. My intention in this article is to show the owner of this or a similar rifle different options they have available to them. The pros and cons are for the reader to conclude based on their own needs and experiences.
I hope you’ve enjoyed the article and found it useful. Your questions and comments are always welcome! Remember any purchase you make from Mounts Plus by clicking on the ad here on the blog and enter Gunner777 at checkout you get 10% off even on ACOGs etc.
May 10, 2012
(May 10, 1920 – September 25, 2006)
Since my blog has a big emphasis on the 1911 it wouldn’t be right not to celebrate the birthday of the father of the “Modern technique” of pistol shooting John Dean “Jeff” Cooper. Anyone who is a fan of the 1911 probably knows who the Colonel is or has at least heard of him.
These are some of his writings concerning the combat mindset:
Combat Mindset—The Cooper Color Code
The most important means of surviving a lethal confrontation, according to Cooper, is neither the weapon nor the martial skills. The primary tool is the combat mindset, set forth in his book, Principles of Personal Defense. In the chapter on awareness, Cooper presents an adaptation of the Marine Corps system to differentiate states of readiness:
The color code, as originally introduced by Jeff Cooper, had nothing to do with tactical situations or alertness levels, but rather with one’s state of mind. As taught by Cooper, it relates to the degree of peril you are willing to do something about and which allows you to move from one level of mindset to another to enable you to properly handle a given situation. Cooper did not claim to have invented anything in particular with the color code, but he was apparently the first to use it as an indication of mental state.
- White: Unaware and unprepared. If attacked in Condition White, the only thing that may save you is the inadequacy or ineptitude of your attacker. When confronted by something nasty, your reaction will probably be “Oh my God! This can’t be happening to me.”
- Yellow: Relaxed alert. No specific threat situation. Your mindset is that “today could be the day I may have to defend myself”. You are simply aware that the world is a potentially unfriendly place and that you are prepared to defend yourself, if necessary. You use your eyes and ears, and realize that “I may have to shoot today”. You don’t have to be armed in this state, but if you are armed you should be in Condition Yellow. You should always be in Yellow whenever you are in unfamiliar surroundings or among people you don’t know. You can remain in Yellow for long periods, as long as you are able to “Watch your six.” (In aviation 12 o’clock refers to the direction in front of the aircraft’s nose. Six o’clock is the blind spot behind the pilot.) In Yellow, you are “taking in” surrounding information in a relaxed but alert manner, like a continuous 360 degree radar sweep. As Cooper put it, “I might have to shoot.”
- Orange: Specific alert. Something is not quite right and has your attention. Your radar has picked up a specific alert. You shift your primary focus to determine if there is a threat (but you do not drop your six). Your mindset shifts to “I may have to shoot that person today”, focusing on the specific target which has caused the escalation in alert status. In Condition Orange, you set a mental trigger: “If that person does “X”, I will need to stop them”. Your pistol usually remains holstered in this state. Staying in Orange can be a bit of a mental strain, but you can stay in it for as long as you need to. If the threat proves to be nothing, you shift back to Condition Yellow.
- Red: Condition Red is fight. Your mental trigger (established back in Condition Orange) has been tripped. “If ‘X’ happens I will shoot that person”.
The USMC uses condition Black, although it was not originally part of Cooper’s Color Code. Condition Black: Catastrophic breakdown of mental and physical performance. Usually over 175 heartbeats per minute, increased heart rate becomes counter productive. May have stopped thinking correctly. This can happen when going from Condition White or Yellow immediately to Condition Red.
In short, the Color Code helps you “think” in a fight. As the level of danger increases, your willingness to take certain actions increases. If you ever do go to Condition Red, the decision to use lethal force has already been made (your “mental trigger” has been tripped).
The following are some of Cooper’s additional comments on the subject.
Considering the principles of personal defense, we have long since come up with the Color Code. This has met with surprising success in debriefings throughout the world. The Color Code, as we preach it, runs white, yellow, orange, and red, and is a means of setting one’s mind into the proper condition when exercising lethal violence, and is not as easy as I had thought at first. There is a problem in that some students insist upon confusing the appropriate color with the amount of danger evident in the situation. As I have long taught, you are not in any color state because of the specific amount of danger you may be in, but rather in a mental state which enables you to take a difficult psychological step. Now, however, the government has gone into this and is handing out color codes nationwide based upon the apparent nature of a peril. It has always been difficult to teach the Gunsite Color Code, and now it is more so. We cannot say that the government’s ideas about colors are wrong, but that they are different from what we have long taught here. The problem is this: your combat mind-set is not dictated by the amount of danger to which you are exposed at the time. Your combat mind-set is properly dictated by the state of mind you think appropriate to the situation. You may be in deadly danger at all times, regardless of what the Defense Department tells you. The color code which influences you does depend upon the willingness you have to jump a psychological barrier against taking irrevocable action. That decision is less hard to make since the jihadis have already made it.
He further simplified things in Vol. 13 #7 of his Commentaries.
- “In White you are unprepared and unready to take lethal action. If you are attacked in White you will probably die unless your adversary is totally inept.
- In Yellow you bring yourself to the understanding that your life may be in danger and that you may have to do something about it.
- In Orange you have determined upon a specific adversary and are prepared to take action which may result in his death, but you are not in a lethal mode.
- In Red you are in a lethal mode and will shoot if circumstances warrant.
- I was fortunate enough to attend Gunsite back in the 1980′s when the Colonel was still teachings classes. Believe me it was not only an education in pistol craft but an education in how to survive.
- Check this web page for a complete biography:
- There is a DVD set of the original VHS training videos done in 1987. It’s still relevant and enjoyable to watch and I guarantee you’ll learn something! You can purchase the set from Gun Digest.
April 22, 2012
The Army awarded Remington Arms Company an April 20 contract to make tens of thousands of M4A1 carbines. By outbidding Colt Defense — the original maker of the M4 — Remington may end up being the only winner in what many gun makers have labeled as the Army’s well-intentioned but doomed effort to arm soldiers with a better carbine.
On the upside, the award means that more soldiers will go into combat with the M4A1, a SOF version of the carbine that features a more durable barrel and a full-auto capability. The Army’s decision to dump the three-round burst setting will give soldiers a more consistent trigger and better accuracy.
It’s part of the service’s dual-path strategy to improve the individual carbine. Army weapons officials recently completed phase one of the service’s Improved Carbine Competition and will soon announce which companies proved they have the infrastructure and production capacity to turn out thousands of new weapons. Gun makers that advance to the second and third phases of the competition will have hundreds of thousands of test rounds fired through their prototypes before the Army announces one winner.
Many small-arms firms believe the endeavor is a waste of time since the Army has shown no interest in new calibers or features that would increase modularity. In the end, the winner of the competition will likely lose when the Army conducts a business-case analysis comparing it to the new-and-improved carbine that emerges from the parallel effort known as the M4 Product Improvement Program.
Questions have already started to surface over just how successful the PIP will be since the Army recently canceled a search for an improved bolt and bolt-carrier assembly. Companies such as LWRC International, Remington and Smith & Wesson that competed for the bolt and bolt-carrier assembly portion of the PIP were notified by the Army April 10 that none of the submissions offered enough improvement over the M4′s existing bolt and bolt-carrier assembly. It will be interesting to see if similar efforts to improve components such as the selector-switch assembly and the forward-rail assembly suffer the same fate.
April 21, 2012
Izhmash, the manufacturer of assault rifle AK-47, or Kalashnikov, officially went bankrupt over unpaid debts, according to the Russian Ria Rovosti news agency.
More than 100 million AK-type rifles are estimated to have been built since they were first introduced by inventor Mihail Kalashnikov in 1947.
Izhmash is a unit of the Russian Technologies Corporation, a state holding company with mining, arms and automotive assets.
A court has given the green light to Izmash factory being wound up, following a lawsuit issued by a creditor owed 814,000 rubles ($275,000). The Kalashnikov maker is now in receivership, and an administrator has been appointed by the court.
The bankruptcy is part of the re-organization procedure that was launched last year by Kalashnikov’s parent company, Russian Technologies State Corporation. Its director Maksim Kuzyuk said the bankruptcy procedure would help save the brand and most of the company’s property.
Izhmash, which has 5.3 billion ruble loan debts, registered 2.4 billion rubles of loss in 2011. Its production volume decreased by 45.5 percent last year. A major blow for Izmash came when the Russian Defence Ministry announced that it would not purchase the newly-created rifle the AK-12, which was unveiled in February.
This is an article from a Turkish newspaper. The rumor of the company going under has been swirling since 2009. This time it’s the real deal. Will they re-organize and stay in business? It is Russia so it’s anyone’s guess at this point.
I’ll try to keep everyone up to date as I hear updates.
April 15, 2012
Century Arms is known for giving shooters a good value for the money. The 12 Gauge Coach Gun is no exception. For those of us who grew up in the heyday of the western tv shows and movies you’ll be very familiar with this powerful gun.
For you youngsters out there the name coach gun came from the guard on the stagecoaches of the old west. If you ever wondered why people holler shotgun when they pile into a car that’s where it came from. Most double barrel shotguns were used for hunting and general use with longer barrels but the guard on a stagecoach always used a shotgun with short barrels for easy aiming at targets 360 degrees around the coach.
The Century Coach shotgun is true to the older shotguns of the era with double “Rabbit Ear” hammers as well as a manual safety between the hammers.The Coach Gun also has double triggers. This is by far my favorite configuration for a double barrel shotgun. This model has 20 inch barrels and a thick pad to cushion recoil. There are also sling attachments on the stock and between the barrels.
This shotgun has nicely finished wood with a standard blue finish. Now it’s not a $2000 Browning but for a shotgun of this type and use as a fun gun or home defense gun it’s just right. At $250.00 I don’t worry about an occasional scratch from walking the woods or practicing on the range.
One thing I noticed as soon as I unpacked the shotgun is the barrels are choked down pretty tight. In fact the owner of the gunshop asked me why I got a 20 gauge:-) What this means for the shooter is a tight group of approximately 4 to 5 inches (depending on the load) at 15 yards. This shot spread is fine with me since most of my shooting is done from fairly close range. You can fire any load with this shotgun with the exception of slugs. The manual cautions users not to fire slugs period! The reason of course is the barrels are choked down for a tight grouping with buckshot.
This shotgun also breaks down into three pieces. The front grip is removed by releasing a latch which connects the grip to the barrels.Then the barrels can be removed from the receiver. It’s simple and easy to do which means you can pack the gun into a small space if you take a four wheel drive, boat etc. on a camping or hunting trip and need extra space for all your gear.
Since I received this shotgun from Century I’ve shot it a good deal. I’ve fired everything from birdshot to 00 buck with no malfunctions or problems of any kind. The recoil pad is fairly thick and helps with the recoil when firing 00 buck from these short barrels. In fact after several hundred rounds with 100 of those 00 buck the shotgun is as tight as when I first shot it.
This is just one enjoyable shotgun to shoot clays, swinging targets or what have you. It’s also proven itself reliable and very durable. If you want to own a piece of history at a very reasonable price the Century Coach gun is a good choice!
February 22, 2012
This memo was just released from Hornady—-
The lot number can be found printed on the lower portion of the box label.
If you own any of these Lot numbers or have any questions regarding this recall, please call 800-338-1242. Hornady Manufacturing Company will make all arrangements associated with the return and replacement of this product.
Any other lot numbers or item numbers are not subject to this recall and require no action.
Hornady® Recalls 7 Lots of 500 S&W 300 grain FTX®
Custom™ Pistol Ammo
Grand Island, NE – Hornady® Manufacturing announced the recall of seven lots of 500 S&W 300 gr. FTX® Custom™ pistol ammunition. Hornady ballisticians have determined that some cartridges from Lot numbers 3101327, 3110256, 3110683, 3110695, 3110945, 3111388, 3111885, may exhibit excessive chamber pressures. Use of this product may result in firearm damage and/or personal injury.
Product Recall Details:
Item number 9249
500 S&W 300 grain FTX® Custom™ Pistol Ammunition. These lots were shipped between September 9, 2010, and October 17, 2011.
Included Lot Numbers
January 18, 2012
Springfield Armory announced a new pistol in the XD lineup.This small pistol is a very compact XD in .45 acp. It holds 5+1 rounds in it’s single column magazine.The pistol is also thin with the width right at one inch.Right now it’s only available in .45 acp with other calibers coming down the road.The empty weight is only 29 ounces.
Springfield just added a web page to the XDs over the weekend! Springfield XDs
More updates to come from SHOT!