Mike is an active member and entrepreneur in the firearms industry, current President & CEO of Allstar Tactical, a Firearms Instructor, and a contributor to Personal Defense Network, as well as other blogs and publications.
NY Firearms has teamed up with ihatestickers.com and they’re offering 25% off all firearms-related stickers on their site. They also carry NYFirearms.com stickers in various sizes in colors, and they support the site with the sales from them! Grab some stickers!
That’s right, our first ever Firearms Appreciation Month. What’s that mean? Being the #1 blog and forum in New York, we want to start an annual tradition to help get people involved in the second amendment and firearms. It also means we have some fancy new t-shirts for you guys, tons of great blog posts, and some of our vendors are offering some great discounts on products! I’ll be posting up the specials as they let me know, or they can do it themselves. We’ll also be giving away some gift certificates that some of our vendors have graciously donated to us! Stay tuned for more info!!!
Here’s a sample look at the tshirts. I have some last minute tweaking to do on the designs and then we’ll be sending them to the printers! Let me know what you think. I think they’ll be $10 each, but I need to confirm.
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
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)|
Many people, who ask me about building their own AR-15, always seem unsure about which barrel twist to get for their rifles. Hopefully this mini article will help you guys figure out what is best for your needs.
In general, rifling twist rate determines the optimum weight of the bullet for a given caliber. It also determines the speed of the bullet by preventing any yaw or pitching. Rifling twist is measured in the number of revolutions per inch of barrel. For instance a 1 in 9″ twist means that the bullet made one revolution while traveling 9″ down the barrel.
So, what is the best twist rate? Well the answer nobody wanted is, “It Depends!” 🙂 A good rule of thumb is that the more weight or longer the bullet is, the faster the twist rate has to be in order to stabilize the bullet. Also, in general, lighter/shorter bullets can usually be fired in barrels with faster twist rates, but heavier/longer bullets cannot be fired in barrels where the twist rate will be too slow. Let’s examine this in more deatail as it relates to AR-15’s.
The original M-16 started off with a 1 in 14″ twist rate which is good enough for bullets around 55gr. However, when temperatures dipped below freezing, the density of the air caused the bullets to lose their spin, resulting in much less accuracy. In order to solve this problem, the military adopted a twist rate of 1 in 12″. The SS109/M855, which is 62gr, required a 1 in 10″ rate to stabilize, but the military settled on a 1 in 7″ rate due to the need to fire the heavy and long tracer rounds.
What does this mean for the civilian AR-15 enthusiast? Well, considering most barrel manufacturers produce their barrels in both 1 in 9″ and 1 in 7″, choosing either will not hurt the performance of the rifle for the majority of shooters out there. If you think you will be shooting the heavier grain bullets or tracer rounds, then it is probably safer to pick a 1 in 7″ twist rate barrel.
I hope that this short article on AR-15 barrel twist rates helped clear up some information! Please feel free to leave us some comments or questions if you would like more information!
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
With the boom of the AR-15 in popularity amongst firearms enthusiasts, many people have little to no training in how to use such a firearm in a tactical situation. I have always been interested in tactical training not only because of the cool factor, but it can benefit my shooting, and hone my skills for personal protection.
I stumbled across LMI Inc and their tactical training offerings. Ron Lauinger, owner and instructor at LMI, was extremely helpful over the phone and quickly made my decision for me to give the class a chance. At around $200, the class is very reasonably priced, especially for an 8 hour training class (Try that in the IT world). However, there is a significant expense in ammo needed for the class. I ended up using 750 rounds of .223 ammo which cost me close to $400. Overall, the expense was well worth it.
The class was held at Canandaigua Sportsman’s Club, where many of Ron’s classes are held. The layout at this range is perfect for classes like this and provides a large amount of room to move and shoot.
After a little practice shooting at different distances, and differing body positions, we started really diving into the tactical situations. We learned responding to malfunction and reloading situations as well as a big emphasis on moving while shooting. The concepts are not hard to grasp, but under pressure, it can be very difficult to remember to do certain things. Additionally, we worked with barricades, multiple threats, and working with a partner for room-clearing techniques.
For anyone interested in enhancing their skills and firearms experience, I encourage you to check out the offerings by LMI, Inc. They have a wide range of classes from pistol and rifle training to close quarters combat training. Also, Ron and LMI have recently become sponsors of this site, and are here to help support all of us. I am glad I was able to participate in this class, and I’m looking forward to taking another with LMI.
This past Sunday, I was invited out to Canandaigua Sportsmen’s Club to do some tactical shooting with Ron Lauinger of LMI, Inc. When I arrived there, Ron was already stapling various zombie targets to stands, and he said we would be hunting zombies today! I was already excited.
After chit-chatting with Ron for a while, I already had a good feeling that he knew what he was talking about and I was in for a great learning experience. Once more people started to arrive, and after the range was set up properly, the training began.
I use the term “training” fairly loosely here not because I didn’t think it was an adequate training, but because it was really a bunch of firearms enthusiasts who wanted some extra tactical training. Ron is happy to offer this to fellow enthusiasts on Sundays.
So, I loaded up my Mossberg 500 Tactical with some target loads and head down to the field, where the targets were set up, to meet Ron. At first we talk about some tactical ways to reload, better ways to hold the shotgun, and what to do once the zombies have been shot in the face. We then procede to run through some drills with various scenarios.
What a blast, though. I cannot emphasize enough that within the two hours I spent with Ron and my shotgun, I had learned a great deal both about good ways to handle my firearm, as well as how to manuver tactically with the shotgun.
For anyone in the Rochester, NY or surrounding areas, I would definitely try to contact Ron (who is a current vendor on NY Firearms) and see about coming to his Sunday adventures.
I can’t wait for more tactical firearm training. It is probably one of the best things to learn, especially if you own a firearm for home defense. I will continue to review the various training sessions I go to.
Be safe everyone.