Our friends over at Allstar Tactical have come out with a new options for your “assault rifles” in New York. They have introduced the “SAFEMOD” which permanently locks your magazine in place for your AR15-type rifle. Read the description from their website below:
Introducing our in-house designed SAFEMOD™ mag button. This mag button will modify your AR15 to no longer accept a detachable magazine and permanently affix an AR15 magazine in place. It works by preventing the button from being depressed once the magazine is inserted into the rifle. The SAFEMOD™ is made from aircraft-grade 6061 aluminum alloy and Type II anodized in matte black.
Included with the SAFEMOD™ is a packet of epoxy to make the modification permanent. These are available for the reasonable price of $18, and for a limited time, you can add a second one for just $12 (2 for $30).
Installation is a snap. Just remove your old magazine release button and replace it with ours. Use the two included 18-8 stainless steel set screws and bottom them out into the button. Finally use the included epoxy to backfill in the holes. You now have an AR15 variant rifle that is no longer capable of accepting a detachable magazine.
This seems like it would be a great option for owners to not have to register their rifles or worry about the amount of “Evil Features.” Unfortunately, per their website, they have not received an official letter by the NY State Police.
According to the NY SAFE ACT from the NYS Governor’s website on the SAFE ACT, “Rifles requiring registration are: Semiautomatic rifles capable of receiving a detachable magazines.” According to this definition of the law, but removing the capability of the rifle to receive “a detachable magazines” you no longer have to register the rifle and the banned features do not apply.
Remember, this is our interpretation of the law and we cannot be held responsible for a law enforcement official’s misinterpretation of the law or the legality of this product. We are working diligently to get word from the NYS Troopers that will assure us that this modification does in fact make your rifle legal.
At just $18, or 2 for $30, it’s worth taking a look at as an option for making your rifle legal in New York State. Check it out over on their website here: Allstar Tactical SAFEMOD Mag Button.
Located in Cheektowaga NY, VRI Tactical is a fairly new (3 yrs or so) division of VRI Sharpening owned and run by Brian Benson. Brian is a big, unassuming guy who is always eager to help you out, answer a question, or discuss a piece of gear. Last year Brian attended an MDTS Combative Pistol Skills class in Buffalo, NY. I was immediately impressed with his shooting ability and personable yet non-salesman like nature while interacting with other students in the class. I also noticed his KYDEX® holster and belt pouches as well as the unique belt he was carrying his EDC (Every Day Carry) gear on and running in that class. I asked Brian about the holsters and belt. He humbly mentioned how he crafted the holster in his “shop” the day before the class (apparently no big deal!) but then lit up about the belt since it was his personal design and one of a few T&E models he had prior to full production. After lunch that day, Brian asked my belt size, and a few days later I received version 1.0 of the VRI Tactical EDC Belt in the mail for my personal wear and T&E.
Anyone who carries or has carried a handgun and all the requisite gear associated with carrying a handgun daily knows the importance of a good, firm, durable gun belt. If you don’t, then you probably don’t carry all that often or you don’t carry the handgun for extended amounts of time. For years, and probably even today, there are gun training circles that advocate leather as being the ONLY material a good gun belt should be made out of. Well, as with leather holsters, modern technology, materials, and manufacturing has caught up, and leather is taking a back seat to nylon, canvas, and plastic composites as the new industry standard for every day carry gun belts. Having used leather, nylon, and composite plastic belts, I can say that they all have their pros and cons. For example, I cannot and do not wear my Wilderness belt with dress pants; that is where a good leather belt comes into play. Likewise, I want to keep my leather belt in good shape for formal dress occasions, so I don’t wear that in classes or to the range.
THE VRI TACTICAL BELT SPECS:
The VRI Tactical EDC Belt is an extremely firm 1.5 inch double stitched tactical nylon belt with a one inch FASTEX® male/female buckle. Brian is extremely proud that this belt is made in the USA with USA made materials and deals directly with other companies to secure these materials himself. The VRI Tactical EDC Belt loops around the waistline and overlaps itself, securing back to face via VELCRO® hook and loops. Once comfortable, the 1 inch FASTEX® belt buckle is secured and then drawn tight; this makes for a very secure and comfortable fit.
I received the EDC Belt from VRI back in November of 2010 and have been T&E (testing and evaluating) as my primary carry belt for seven+ months. I carry every day; sometimes for a few hours, and sometimes for 8+ hours. The longest I have worn the VRI belt is while instructing classes, which from start to finish average 14-16hrs. Comfort is my number one priority when choosing any piece of EDC gear, and wearing a piece of kit for extended duration is the ultimate test of comfort. The VRI Tactical EDC Belt is extremely comfortable and does not loosen throughout the day, like some nylon belts do during dynamic movement sometimes associated with gun training, riding in cars for extended periods of travel (6+hrs), or during every day about town chores.
Durability and longevity is also important, and so far it has shown zero wear or tear. This was a concern based on experience with other VELCRO hook and loop belts where the VELCRO started to come off and stitching breaks down under stress or introduced to the elements. There are no such issues with the VRI belt, which I have worn in the wet, mud, extreme heat, and humidity.
The next criteria I look for in a new piece of EDC gear is how well it conceals in regard to CCW (carrying a concealed weapon) of my handgun and overall personal defense profile. Some belts look tactical in nature, and to a trained eye or astute observer, they can easily identify you as probably someone to take note of. When conducting my every day activities, I rarely want to be noticed by anyone and attempt to be as low profile as possible, infrequently wearing any NRA gear, MDTS gear, or anything that can associate me with the shooting sports or firearms. The VRI Tactical EDC Belt is lower profile than other gun belts I own; however, it has drawn attention once or twice while traveling when TSA agents asked me to take the belt off at security. It is a carry belt that I wear covered by a shirt or coat, and I have never worn it with a shirt tucked in fearing it will draw undue attention; everyone has their personal preferences.
The final criterion is integration with the rest of my EDC kit; how does it work with my gun holster, magazine pouches, and tertiary gear? Over the years, like everyone, I have come up with a system of easily changing out gear from one outfit/pair of pants to another as the daily activities with work, family, and training evolves. The VRI Tactical EDC Belt’s plastic FASTEX buckle makes for an easy switch over, threading through belt loops, holster loops and integration with other gear. I will be honest; when I first got this belt, I did not like how the male end of the buckle wouldn’t fit through the loops on my Raven Concealment holster, but after speaking with Brian and providing him feedback, he tipped me off to an easy fix for this problem. Simply slide the male end of the buckle off, thread the belt, and slide it back on. No big deal. Now, with minimal amount of practice, it’s a non-issue.
Overall, I think the VRI Tactical EDC Belt is an excellent addition to the current gun belt offerings on the market today. If you are looking for a lower profile every day carry belt that combines comfort, durability, and functionality, check out the VRI Tactical EDC Belt and let me know what you think.
VRI Tactical EDC Belt – $39.95
2725 Harlem Road Cheektowaga, NY 14225
Email firstname.lastname@example.org http://www.vritactical.com
While I’m down here on vacation, I’ve been watching various firearms DVD’s so expect more of these reviews from me! Anyways, I watched this latest one from Personal Defense Network. PDN is one of the premier websites to find personal defense video and training. They offer many DVD installations of various training installments and more. PDN’s managing editor, Rob Pincus, owner of I.C.E. Training, is very well-known in the industry as a professional firearms instructor, author and consultant. PDN has some very talented and nationally known contributors such as Cecil Burch, Mike Janich, Claude Werner, and our own Chris Fry of MDTS.
On this 2011 PDN DVD, we explore Carbine Retention and Combatives as taught by Chris Fry of MDTS Training. Chris is one of our contributors right here on NY Firearms, and nationally know for much of his combatives training content. The content on this DVD is taken directly from his Combative Carbine Skills 3&4 where you get hands-on training of this exact material.
The information on this DVD is great and I recommend it for anyone who train’s fairly often with a carbine platform. It is important, especially for people who are utilizing a carbine platform as their primary home defense firearm. One great benefit of Chris’ approach to training is the focus on defensive tactics from a civilian or citizen standpoint. Another overall comment I can make is that the information is very concise, yet complete, and there are great recaps of information after each chapter.
Additionally, Chris goes over some great information about gear choices and it’s relation to carbine retention and combatives. I think there’s so much focus on picking equipment and arguing on the internet over whats better than what, and it’s refreshing to see suggestions for gear based on a very real situation. As I said above, I would absolutely recommend this DVD to anyone who is into firearms, defense, and carbine practical usage as a whole. I was very impressed with the quality of the video, and I look forward to watching the Combat Focus Shooting one from PDN next!
DVD Topics of Instruction
4. C.O.R.R. Drills
5. Additions to C.O.R.R.
6. Direct Action Combatives
7. Direct Action Combatives Drills
8. Retention Drills
9. Alternative Strikes and Fending
10. Integrating Response with a Handgun
11. Retention of a Secondary Tool
Additionally, Jim Emmick of Firearms Training of Western NY, who is one of our sponsors and regular contributors, has written a review of the DVD as well. You can view that here: Thread: Personal Defense Network DVD titled “Carbine Combatives and Retention”
We all like to get out and train, whether it be fitness, firearms and especially “tactical” training. However, very few people ever train to defend their home and family, let alone train with their family members. Enter Modern Defensive Training Systems’ Home and Family Defense Skills training class. According to the description by MDTS, the Home & Family Defense Skills course provides the home defender with immediately accessible knowledge, skills, and information to properly prepare an effective home defense. Even better, I had my wonderful wife, Erica, to take the class with me.
One of the most important aspects of this class was understanding that a proper mindset is needed to overcome any potential assailants that may try to cause harm to you or your family. In fact, one may argue that mindset is one of the most important components to making a successful attempt in defending yourself. The class includes force-on-force training with airsoft training handguns, working from cover, and low-light techniques to provide students with realistic feedback and validation of the skills taught in the class.
Some of the initial topics were discussion the mindset of home invaders and the difference between them and burglars. In addition the importance of your mindset was presented in a way that makes you think twice about how you go about your daily activities.
Then we discussed various modifications to your house and lifestyle to mitigate and deter any possible attacks. Everything from security systems and door locks to windows, garage doors and more. In addition, being aware of your surroundings was a pretty common topic throughout the discussion.
We also discussed response planning and team (aka your family) tactics, and communication both with your family as well as with emergency services. Without much training for some of the participants, including my wife, we went right into some force-on-force to illustrate several important points. These included use of flashlights to disorient your attacker, use of barricades and cover/concealment, as well as moving to saferooms with your family.
Not only was the force-on-force training an excellent way to learn and practice training, there was some great bonding between my wife and I as we worked together to solve some very real problems of defense in the home.
The final block of the day included learning to escape restraints and then it followed into a final team exercise where we had to work as a team to escape restraints, move as a team to the “safe room” and then contact authorities. It was a great exercise and really solidified all of the previous training throughout the day.
It is very hard to convey the type of emotion involved in attending a training course like this. I know that when we left the class, we spent the entire ride home talking about various changes to our house, more things we need to pay attention to, and everything else we felt we should work on to better our mindset and preparedness. This course is highly recommended, especially for people with families and a big desire to protect themselves. This is probably one of the best classes I have taken, and had the most useful knowledge over many of my other training classes. I cannot speak for my wife, but I believe she enjoyed it, because she cannot stop talking about everything we learned there!
Home Defense Mindset & Family Preparation
Mindset of Home Invaders vs. Burglar
Layering Security Measures for Home Protection
Common Home & Apartment Vulnerabilities- Security Systems, Locks, Doors & Windows
Response Planning, Individual & Team Tactics (Spouse, Children)
Communicating with Family + Contacting Authorities
Firearm & Support Equipment Selection and Ready Access
Safe Rooms, Cover, Concealment & Zones of Fire
Structure Cornering, Clearing, Holding & Barricading Tactics
Challenging & Controlling Unknown Subjects
Low/No Light Considerations and Tactics
Force-On-Force Drills & Scenarios
Contacting Modern Defensive Training Sytems
Recently, I had the opportunity to take the Utah Pistol Permit Class with Rochester Personal Defense. The class and process was great! It was informative and I even learned some things that I hadn’t known. First they went over all the safety information and everything you needed to know to qualify for the necessary safety training to obtain your Utah Permit.
Next, they took you through everything necessary to send to the Utah permit office. Included in the cost of the class is your passport-style phone, finger prints, and the pre-addressed envelope. After attending the course, all you have to do it send in your paperwork, a copy of your license, and a check and you’ll be receiving your Utah non-resident permit in no time!
The following states currently honor the Utah Non-resident permit: Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Delaware, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Louisiana, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, Wyoming.
Note: New York State DOES NOT recognize the Utah permit.
If you want to own a handgun or carry one in New York State, you must obtain a New York State permit.
For more information on their Utah Permit Class and other offerings, check out their website at www.safeinrochester.com
There exist numerous methods for concealed carry of handguns and with each method come a number of manufacturers, materials and types of of holsters. I am a fan of very few methods of carry for personal protection and admittedly NOT a fan of ankle carry for a primary handgun. Unfortunately, things don’t always go the way we want and the time comes when we have to explore options outside our comfort zone or personal preferences i.e. ankle carry/CCW.
In 2009 I had the opportunity to meet and train with a couple guys from Alessi Holsters located in Cheektowaga, NY. Anyone who carries a handgun on the job or off has probably at one time or another heard of Alessi and their reputation in the industry is well earned. Founded in 1974, Alessi holsters was primarily know for producing custom hand crafted holsters for the US Government and several foreign military agencies. In recent years Alessi has opened up production to citizens, undercover LE and security professionals who carry a gun every day.
One of the guys from Alessi approached me and showed me his Alessi ankle rig commenting on how I was pocket carrying my Smith & Wesson 642 backup. As stated above, I was not a fan of ankle carry due to the difficulties associated with accessing the handgun from that location and comfort issues I had experienced with previous ankle holsters I had evaluated for my personal use. Upon seeing the Alessi rig I immediately saw the difference in design quality, durability and comfort. Jeff allowed me to use his Alessi ankle holster for the remainder of that day during the class consisting of approximately 7 hrs on my feet shooting and moving. I will admit that I forgot I had that ankle rig on. The holster was so comfortable that I didn’t want to give it back and, if I recall correctly, I offered to buy his from him right there on the spot. Upon returning home that night I got online and purchased an Alessi ankle holster via the Alessiholsters.com web store for my SW642. Over the last year and a half I have found myself presented with several occasions where carrying my full size guns was a no go such as weddings, formal meetings and other such events. The Alessi ankle rig has been with me each time.
I received my holster in just less than 3 weeks and immediately started utilizing it for my backup gun. Made of russet leather and felt this holster is extremely durable and most importantly to me, comfortable. If a holster is not comfortable for 8+ hrs of extended wear I won’t wear it. It measures 5.25 inches in height and under 2 inches at its thickest point (cylinder). The 2 inch wide wrap around secures via Velcro and is extremely robust and secure. When I first received it I did a little jog test on the treadmill for about half a mile with no shifting or retention problems. Since that time I have had occasion to sprint short distances and grapple in combatives classes while wearing this holster with similar results; retention is excellent.
Ankle Carry Considerations:
The Alessi ankle holster has changed my opinion of ankle carry as an option when circumstances dictate non-traditional primary carry. I now appreciate the positive reviews and recommendations for this holster I’ve received from LE undercover officer friends and Federal Agents I have had the pleasure of interacting and training with. To top things off Alessi offers a (3) day return policy and free lifetime holster repair for common wear damage. I will continue to utilize my Alessi ankle holster and if you are in the market I encourage you to check them out, you won’t be disappointed.
Alessi Ankle Rig: $165 + Shipping
Contact Alessi Holsters: http://www.alessigunholsters.com/
Review by EvilRP
I recently took the opportunity to train in Camden, TN with Tactical Response in their Fighting Rifle classes. I took down a rifle with the new trigger from Allstar Tactical for evaluation. The trigger itself appears to be very well manufactured and has a competition trigger feel with a smooth comfortable trigger face and modernized design. The trigger breaks crisp @ a bit over 6lbs and almost zero creep.
I took the time to make sure the rifle was sighted at my home range before going to the class and found the trigger very nice off my bench for the 30 or so rounds I sent downrange to verify consistent zero. After cleaning the rifle up I cased her up and off to Camden,TN.
The Tactical Response classes are round count intensive with a touch over 1500rnds in two days. The trigger performed perfectly, allowing me accurate fire and fast follow up in a combat style shooting atmosphere. One thing I really began to appreciate the trigger for was the smooth (maybe a touch wider than usual) trigger shoe face. After the first 700rnds several people not wearing gloves began to develop a sore spot on their trigger fingers along with fatigue in their hands. The trigger from Allstar offered me a much more comfortable purchase on the trigger itself and the minimal amount of movement and rapid reset curbed both fatigue and any type of blistering.
The second day the trigger was put into one of my light weight carbines as the rifle the fine people at Allstar sent me with was a bit heavy. It worked flawlessly in my carbine as well, rounding out with a touch under 1k rounds that day. I had several very fast very high round evolutions and the trigger was fantastic. I found the trigger really lent itself to rapid follow up shots with a clean fast reset.
Having had numerous trigger designs from several manufacturers I feel this trigger is well worth the cost. It offers a combination of single and double stage attributes that give it a distinct advantage over many. This single stage trigger offers an excellent break and fast reset two things that are greatly appreciated by competition shooters looking to squeeze every bit of accuracy out of their weapons. It also offers the reliability and safety that combat style shooters need, giving it a “best of both worlds” feel. As I understand it, there is a possibility that Allstar can lighten the trigger pull for a nominal fee which would make this a great three gun trigger if combat style shooting/training isn’t your thing.
After returning home I took the time to put the lower assembly from Allstar onto a Compass Lake Engineering NM A2 upper I have used for competitions like CMP. This upper will shoot far better than I can and really gave me the chance to see how the trigger would be on a true competition setup. My results were outstanding at 100yrds for a single stage battle trigger. The trigger consistently allowed me to hold groups of 5 rounds in a two inch or less group with irons off a bench with standard 62gr M855 ammunition.
I can honestly say I will be investing in a couple of these for my own personal weapons. I can’t thank Mike at Allstar enough for letting me try out their new trigger, it was fantastic and I’m looking forward to putting them in my own rifles.
I’ve had the opportunity to attend Combative Carbine Skills 1&2 twice now, so I feel I can accurately review this class. First off, Modern Defensive Training Systems (MDTS) is run by Chris Fry, a well-versed training instructor as well as a great contributor to our forums, here at NY Firearms.Chris does not claim to be some crazy military, special forces, and he is especially not a ninja. With this said, he has had many years and several thousands of hours training, which can easily be seen in the way he carries himself and speaks to the class. He is always more than willing to help students throughout the class and is very knowledgeable in what he teaches.
To quote the course description from MDTS, Combative Carbine Skills series “emphasizes three critical elements of defensive shooting: Mindset, Skill-At-Arms, and Tactics.” CCS 1&2 begins the series with the fundamentals needed to operate the carbine in a combative and defensive manner. What I love, personally, is the focus on the class from a citizen perspective, which 90% of us who take these classes will be using the training for.
The first hour of the day was classroom-based training, which went over firearms safety, range safety, some carbine history and zeroing, accessories and rifle modifications, as well as some initial administrative firearms handling and platforms. Once the initial classroom training was complete, we moved out to the range and jumped right into zeroing our rifles.
Once all of the rifles were zeroed, training began. Without divulging too much of the course, there was a great deal of information thrown at the attendees. Personally, I enjoy “drinking from the firehose” as they say, but I can see how some people may not like that approach. However, most everyone rose to the occasion and stepped up their game to learn.
I also noticed that there were several people attending the class who had just bought their AR-15 or similar carbine, and by the end of the class they were engaging targets out to 75 yards, and clearing complicated “triple feed” malfunctions. Considering how some of the newer shooters were picking up the information, I have to say that speaks louder than I can about Chris’ proficiency as a trainer.
As I said above, this is the second time I have had the chance to take this class from MDTS, which has joined my resume of several other carbine training classes, and I have to say that I would highly recommend anyone with carbine rifles to give this class a shot (no pun intended). From the basic fundamentals to some advanced weapon malfunction clearing, the class provides a great deal of valuable information to the average shooter.
Combative Carbine Skills 1&2 Course Details
The MDTS Combative Carbine Skills curriculm is designed for the new rifle owner, individuals who have owned a rifle but never attended formal training as well as the seasoned operator. A solid grounding in safety and fundamentals of gun handling is presented with a heavy emphasis on the students ability to manipulate the carbine platform while mult-tasking or under stress. This is a fast paced, challenging course. Course content will include but is not limited to:
CCS1 Firearm Safety/Range Safety
History & Zero
Modifications & Sling Options
Personal Equipment Selection & Placement
Carry & Carbine Ready Positions
Shooting Response Theory
After Action Assessment Concept
Bilateral Weapon Operation
Transition to Handgun
Combative Shooting Positions
Vertical and Lateral Displacement
Multiple Target Engagement
Fundamental Use of Cover & Concealment and more…
A serviceable carbine to include M4, AR15, AK47 or pistol caliber rifle, a minimum of 3 magazines, 500+ rounds rifle – NO GREEN TIP OR AP AMMUNITION, 50 rounds pistol, eye and ear protection, pistol and minimum of 2 magazines (if you own a pistol), appropriate clothing for weather, water, hat with brim, optional equipment- sling, gloves & knee pads.
*A pistol is not required to attend this course
Additional Equipment Considerations:
Weapon mounted illumination tool, knee & elbow protection, note taking materials, lunch for full day class
I recently attended the Northeast Shooter’s Summit in Pelham, NH. This is an event featuring several instructors teaching various training blocks. Here’s a wrap up of Day 1.
The first event for my relay was presented by Southnarc of ShivWorks. The block was entitled “Confined Space Shooting” and covered the physical mechanics required to defend yourself with a handgun in small spaces and at close proximity to both threats and innocents. The first part was the basic steps of drawing from a holster. While the pistol draw is something most shooters have a pretty good handle on, Southnarc has some very targeted specifics that keep the gun very close to the body and enable rounds to be accurately fired as early as possible. The focus here was being able to access your handgun while minimizing the opportunities for an opponent to interfere with the draw. We practiced each step of the draw and fired from both the compressed ready and extended positions. We covered the “nose over toes” stance that I’m familiar with and conducted several drills. One very enlightening drill was where we practiced engaging a target while surrounded by innocent bystanders, literally shoulder to shoulder. The mechanics of Southnarc’s draw stroke proved effective here as we were able to draw and fire in these very tight confines without sweeping any of the bystanders with our muzzles. Southnarc is very attentive during these drills, always right there to intervene if there is any hint of a safety issue as well as offering corrections. The session concluded with an overview of how to both shoot from, and properly exit a vehicle. The mechanics of this are way more complicated than you would think. Being able to exit a car without sweeping yourself or any of your (presumably friendly) passengers with your muzzle requires lots of forethought.
The entire Confined space block was very educational. Most of the techniques were small tweaks to what I’ve already learned in various other courses, but these small changes have big results. The only downside of this session was that I managed to slam my holster hard on the seatbelt latch when entering the car and I broke one of the screws. Having a pinwheeling holster isn’t conducive to range safety. Thanks to Chris for stealing a screw from one of his spare holsters and getting me back online!
The next block was presented by Chris Fry of MDTS Training, and I had the pleasure of assisting him. The class was based around dealing with carbine malfunctions. We started with a diagnostic test that shows basic gun handling at very close range. We then covered what to do when your carbine stops functioning at various ranges from contact distance to 25 yards. This included muzzle strikes as well as both one and two handed pistol transitions. Finally Chris described and demonstrated all the common (and a few not so common) carbine malfunctions as well as his simple system to handle them without some of the problems of more traditional methods (like SPORTS). The culmination of this block is an exercise where students get a chance to handle multiple malfunctions under some induced pressure.
During a great lunch provided by the club, we enjoyed a lecture from Andy Langlois about Dealing with First Responders. Some good insights into what will be going through an officer’s mind if they are responding to a defensive shooting. Biggest takeaway from that, when an Officer says “DROP THE GUN!”, do it … now.
After lunch we had an overview of some of the many hardware options available for the AR platform. There are a lot of them.
After this I assisted Chris again with his carbine block for the 2nd relay of shooters, this meant I had to miss the block on Tactical Medicine, but I will be looking for more opportunities in that area.
Overall, it was a great day of training. The blocks of instructions were somewhat compressed, but there is a lot of information to be learned, and the opportunity to train with many instructors is a welcome one.
Thanks to the organizers and all the help from Pelham Fish and Game Club, which, incidentally, is a beautiful club.
Stag Arms is quickly becoming widely known as a great manufacturer of reasonably priced, quality AR-15 rifles. They are also very well known for making left-handed models of their AR-15’s. When I heard they were going to be releasing a Gas Piston rifle, I needed to get my hands on one to review. Well, thanks to Allstar Tactical, one of our site sponsors, I was able to borrow a Model 8 rifle to check out and review.
The direct gas system of a typical AR-15 rifle has worked well for decades, but it has is drawbacks with reliability and cleaning. The gas tube can become clogged from carbon buildup, especially when used with lower quality ammunition. Many manufacturers have answered this call with a gas piston system, which is exactly what it describes; the action moves based on the gas transferring its energy to a piston, which, in turn, moves the bolt rearward.
There are several other manufacturers of Gas Piston AR-15 rifles, but many of them are fairly pricey and extend upwards of $2000. The Stag Arms Model 8, with it’s MSRP of $1145, comes in a great price-point, and definitely competes very well in the market.
The gas-piston system on the Model 8 is actually quite simple. Gas bleeds off through a hole in the barrel, through the regulator, actuating the piston which pushes the bolt carrier back, cycling the action. There is a spring in the forward section of the piston system which keeps the piston in the forward position until the rifle is fired. The regulator also has two positions, ON and OFF. The ON position allows the rifle to function normally, while the OFF position will allow the rifle to fire, but will not cycle the action. This system is considered a short-stroke gas piston system.
Besides the enhancement of the gas-piston system, the Stag Model 8 is everything you would expect in an AR-15 rifle. From standard carbine handguards to a forward assist A3 upper receiver, this rifle is ready to go right out of the box. Another great benefit of this rifle for us NY residents is that it can be ordered right from the factory as a NY-compliant AR-15 rifle. In fact, the one that Allstar Tactical lent us was already NY-compliant. The benefit of this is that there is no extra costs for pinning the stock or the muzzle brake.
Another great feature for the Model 8 is that it comes with a pair of $200 flip-up iron sights from Midwest Industries. Midwest industries is highly regarded for their Back Up Iron Sights (BUIS) and other AR-15 accessories. Including these with the rifle only makes the price-point of the Model 8 that much more attractive!
We tested the rifle with 55gr Armscor 5.56 surplus Ammo, also donated by Allstar Tactical, and found that every round fired flawlessly. No failure-to-feed’s, no failure-to-eject’s, and certainly no jams of any sort. I was also very surprised at the accuracy of the rifle, even when using surplus ammunition. I was able to average 3-4″ groups at 50 yrds using iron sights, and I’m not that great of a shot!
So, great accuracy and ridiculous reliability combined with an MSRP under $1150 produces the Stag Arms Model 8 Gas Piston rifle, an AR-15 for the masses. Manufactured in the USA (Connecticut), the Model 8 also comes in a hard plastic case, and carries Stag Arms’ standard warranty. I would have to say that I definitely recommend this rifle to anyone looking for a gas-piston AR-15 and doesn’t want to break the bank!
|Caliber:||5.56 NATO Chamber|
|Upper:||Forged and Mil-Spec|
|Sights:||Midwest Industries Front & Rear Flip Up|
|Barrel:||16″ Chrome-Lined, 1:9″ Twist|
|Stock:||6 Position Collapsible (Pinned for NYS)|
Crossbreed Holsters – SuperTuck Deluxe
By Chris Fry
Several months ago I noticed a different holster design a student in a class was utilizing. Brofro is a member of a couple N.Y. based firearm forums and a good guy and shooter so I approached him and inquired about his holsters unique design and how much leather there was for the sweat guard. He told me the holster was the SuperTuck from Crossbreed Holsters out of Missouri and commented on how comfortable it was. In retrospect, I realized I had seen advertisements for Crossbreed in gun-rags such as S.W.A.T. and on a couple internet forums. The next day I got on the Crossbreed website and ordered one of the SuperTuck Deluxe inside the waistband holsters for my Glock 19 every day carry handgun.
Read the rest of the review here:
After Action Report – Combat Focus Shooting Course
Instructor- Rob Pincus, I.C.E .Training
Date – January 30+31, 2010
Location- Oneida, N.Y.
Review by- Chris Fry
On January 30+31 MDTS had the good fortune to co-host a Combat Focus Shooting course from I.C.E. Training taught by Rob Pincus. Rob is the developer of the Combat Focus Shooting system. For those who don’t know who Rob is, he is former Military, former Law Enforcement and the former director of operations for Valhalla Shooting Center in Colorado. Rob is currently the host of the NRA’s Personal Firearm Defense DVD series, host of the “The Best Defense” and “SWAT Magazine TV” shows on the outdoor channel and current director of I.C.E. Training.
The Combat Focus Shooting course is the first of several training classes M.D.T.S., AR15.com and the New York State Rifle & Pistol Association have teamed up to bring to NY in 2010 and 2011. This “Tactical and Practical” training series is an effort to introduce New York state shooters to some of the best and most progressive training available on the market today at an affordable price.
I recently picked up this book to get me by through the long nights when our newborn cannot sleep, and found myself not being able to put it down! The book is Tactical Pistol Shooting by Erik Lawrence. Despite some simple editing errors in the book, it was very informative, had accurate and helpful pictures, and was an easy read.
“Mastering the basics is the only way to shoot faster or more accurately, and this goal can be achieved only with proper instruction and critiques. This consolidated, easy-to-read handbook provides a base knowledge that offers laymen and/or professional operators the references to learn/maintain their skills with their pistol, thus raising their level of competence. Whether you carry a pistol for a living or for defense, this book will help you attain the level of training desired.”
The book address concepts like mindset, body mechanics, fundamentals, tactical reloading, and even shooting while wounded. There were many times where it made me go “Well, what if this happened to me??” Additionally it gives you some drills to work on your skills, and even includes a progress worksheet. Unfortunately for Jeff (darkvibe), the entire book is written for the right hand dominant shooter, but it does have a small chapter towards the end for some information on left hand shooting.
The book is concise and to the point, and it gives the feeling of being written by an author with years of real-world experience. Many shooting books and guides are very much like textbooks, and teach great theories but do not offer practical applications to the concepts taught. This is not the case with Lawrence’s book.
After finishing this book I feel I have a much better grasp of the concepts and something to work on at the Tuesday night defensive pistol shoots with Rochester Personal Defense. I would definitely recommend this book to someone who wants to refine their skills or learn some new ones.
Title: Tactical Pistol Shooting, 2nd Edition
Author: Erik Lawrence & Mike Pannone
Price: US $24.99
Last fall I was admiring knives at the Rochester gun show when I ran across this small knife. I passed on it so I could do a little research on the internet having never owned an Emerson knife before. It got a lot of praise so I decided to pick it up the next day. The next weekend I was at the Syracuse gun show and got to see how Chris Fry has his La Griffe set up for carry. Chris got rid of the neck chain and rigged his kydex sheath up for belt carry, a much more accessible location. I wanted to write a review of the knife but knowing that my defensive knife knowledge is limited I sought out someone who could write an intelligent review of it. Chris Fry of MDTS Training was kind enough to do just that. You can read the review on Chris’ website here.