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Archive for the ‘Black Rifle’ Category

Hodge Defense Names O P Tactical Inc As Official East Coast Dealer

Friday, May 6th, 2016

Hodge Defense named O P Tactical Inc. (OPT) of Raleigh, NC as their official dealer for the East Coast. OPT will stock soft goods such as PVC, hats, and shirts; hard goods including parts, uppers, rails, and complete upper receivers are on order. The first products featured on the site are Hodge PVC Patches, Stripped Uppers, and T-Shirts, available now at optactical.com. Hodge promotional items will be available in limited runs.

“We are honored to be part of the Hodge Family, their reputation for excellence precedes them. Jim is a great friend and we are excited to have him as an industry partner.” -Jon Sercan (MSG, Ret.), OPT.

“I’ve been buying from these guys for years, and it’s an honor for me to see our product in their lineup!” -Jim Hodge, Hodge Defense.

OPT is a stocking dealer and distributor of the most reputable brands in the tactical gear industry. OPT focuses on outfitting armed professionals, responsible armed citizens and agencies including Homeland Security, US military, LE, PMC, and private trainers. OPT also has a very loyal following among allied foreign militaries and agencies; military simulation enthusiasts, and collectors are among their frequent customers as well. OPT is a SOF veteran owned business incorporated in the state of North Carolina.

For Hodge items link our New items page
www.optactical.com/newitems

Meet “The Grunt” From EraThr3

Monday, May 2nd, 2016

The Scenario
Last month I spent a few days with Buck Doyle of Follow Through Consulting in Utah courtesy of PROOF Research. During his Scoped Carbine Course we used rifles provided by EraThr3 which featured PROOF Research carbon fiber barrels. They were outfitted with SureFire WarComps and suppressors along with Leupold Mark 6 3-18×44 scopes with the Tremor3 reticle and Mark 6 IMS mounts. Barry Dueck also brought sets of his Rapid Transition Sights for each rifle which offers M16A2-style front and rear sights at a 45 deg offset. I use the RTS on my telescopic sight equipped 7.62 gas gun and they are great for taking those close in shots. At Buck’s course it was no different, and I used them quite often in different scenarios.

We fired Hornady 55 and 75 grain Superformance Match cartridges in 5.56mm during the course, depending on whether the rifle was suppressed or not. During shots out past 500m, we relied solely on the 75 grain rounds. This whole combination allowed participants to effectively engage targets out to 1164 yards. This course and firearm setup really increased my confidence in the ability of 5.56mm to reach out and hit targets past 1000 yards. To be sure, there are better rounds available for those distances and we had to use some pretty serious holds to hit out that far, but it’s just something I’d never done before as I consider targets past 600 yards as beyond the application of the 5.56 round.

A Proof-of-Concept Carbine
EraThr3 provided a new proof-of-concept rifle configuration for the course participants which they plan to place into production as, “The Grunt”. They decided upon the design and built them in a matter of weeks but the upper and lowers were cut specifically for this new gun. You may notice that there is no cutout on the upper for the boltcatch. Instead, they milled material from the reverse of the catch in order to give it enough room for operation. Additionally, the ejection port cover pin is captive so there’s no retaining ring. This is also the first time EraThr3 has incorporated a forward assist on a carbine.

Overall, it’s a very lightweight rifle, but an expensive one. These rifles would retail for over $10k with half of that price going to the glass alone, which also added some heft to these otherwise very lightweight rifles. Of course, we wouldn’t have been hitting targets at those ranges without the optics. I know some are going to say that this is one expensive rifle. Yes, it is. Although many folks won’t be able to afford it, EraThr3 is okay with that.

The Parts
They were very open about the rifle’s components and were more than happy to provide links to the parts where available. Although EraThr3 may substitute some items for production versions of “The Grunt”, the rifles we fired in Utah included the following components:

-16″ Proof Research Carbon Fiber 5.56mm barrel, 1:7 twist.
Surefire WARCOMP 556 Muzzle Device
-New E3 Billet upper receiver, with forward assist, Hidden dust cover rod, and more rigid design than its’ counterpart, “Project Anorexia” released last year.
-New E3 Skeletonized Lower Receiver with improved features such as a matched grip profile, elimination of roll pin, hidden duct cover rod, and more robust lines.
-New E3 14″ M-LOK Handguard with full length skeletonized picatinny top rail.
Titanium Bolt Carrier
Properly Headspaced JP Enhanced Bolt
V7 Lightweight Portdoor
V7 Portdoor Rod
-New Titanium EraThr3 Forward Assist
AXTS Raptor Charging Handle
AXTS Talon Ambi Safety
AR Gold drop in Trigger
-Titanium Takedown pins/mag-catch
Ultra Light Bolt Catch
PWS Enhanced Buffer Tube/ratchet design end plate & castle nut
PWS Mod 2 H2 Buffer at 4.5oz
-Magpul STR Stock & MIAD Grip
Atlas V8 Bipod or FALKOR DEFENSE MANTIS depending on rifle issued
Dueck Defense Rapid Transition Sights

The Grunt
EraThr3’s Sheri Johnson had this to say about the guns, “These 12 rifles were built with a grip of hand selected parts and accessories, some of which being new to us, and provided just for the event in Utah. As a grassroots, custom rifle manufacturer, we’re not married to a specific line of goods or accessories. Maintaining the ability to reach across the table, work with most everybody in the industry, and configure a handful of rifles for an event like this is what we’re all about. There’s always risk in the unknown, yet that seems to be where we’re most comfortable. There was most definitely plenty of that when we committed to putting on a show in the mountains of Utah. Win, lose, or bust, you can bank on the idea that we’re always out to test the limits, regardless of the venue.”

I asked about how the production version of “The Grunt” will be rolled out and EraThr3 CEO Stirling Becklin related this to SSD, “Our objective with the Grunt is to address those end-users who aspire to have the most refined, yet rugged rifle available, and we acknowledge that this limits our customer base to a small fraction of the industry’s make-up. All the better, and we’re proud to be in a class of our own. The Grunt will be available at two price-points, one with a carbon barrel, Ti parts, etc., and another being a sub $3k model with a more standard bill of materials, including a single-point cut 416R stainless barrel, but maintaining the same level of accuracy and attention to detail.”

What’s Up With Those Colors?
The rifles we used at the course were offered in a variety of vibrant colors and Sheri did play a trick on me, initially pairing me with a pink rifle. She told me that the colors were inspired by a box of crayons and sure enough, she included a pack in each rifle case along with a bag of Skittles.

She said, “Production rifles probably aren’t going to ship with a bag of candy, but you never know how things may just stick.” Turns out, the Gray tone on the rifle I used for the event is kind of their trademark color, and is more likely a standard color than any of the others that showed up on Buck’s range.

But Does It Shoot?
Whenever you write about a gun, people obviously want to know if it can shoot. At least with carbines, generally they all do and in this case, yes, it does. At this point in the game, Stoner-style rifles aren’t exactly rocket science and EraThr3 has already been building them for several years. Virtually no expense was spared. Take one look at the rifle’s components and you see that it’s going to work unless they don’t know how to put them together. Like I already said, EraThr3 does.

No torture tests were run on the guns we shot and we didn’t go downrange and measure shotgroups. This was a course on long range gunfighting, like a service member might encounter in Afghanistan; shooting from one ridgeline to another. Once they were zeroed, hits were the evidence of the weapon’s fidelity. The guns worked well. Rather than the weapon, it was the environment we had to contend with for those hits. Temperature swings and shifting winds tested our ability to compensate and the high altitude of the range location drained our bodies. Despite this, the rifle didn’t let me down.

However, I’ll give it all to you; the good, the bad and the ugly. I did have two ammo related malfunctions. No biggie, I applied immediate action, and went right back to it. But this wasn’t like shooting a typical long range course of fire. Although we used 20 rd PMags, we went through a lot of ammunition, engaging targets both near and far.

Additionally, EraThr3 did an awesome job mounting the SureFire WarComps on the PROOF Barrel blanks. The timing was perfect; threaded right on with no need for crush washers. However, they had to learn a thing or two from SureFire about mounting the WarComp to ensure that it would offer correct alignment for a suppressor. Consequently, not every rifle was equipped with a suppressor during the event lest we risk a baffle strike. This stuff happens, and I’d say it had a lot to do with how quickly they built these rifles.

In the end, neither one of these issues detracted from my experience. My goal for attending this event was to see if I could effectively engage targets past 1000 yards with a 5.56mm rifle and with this combination of rifle, optics and ammunition, I could. Mission accomplished.

What’s Next?
As I understand it, most of the rifles we used on the course are going to put up for sale at a discount to benefit some USMC charities in honor of Buck Doyle’s service. I’ll post details as soon as I get them but I can tell you, they’ll go fast.

EraThr3 on Erathr3
I had a great time in Utah and got to do some really fun shooting. This was also the first time I had met anyone from EraThr3 but I think this note they sent me sums them up best, “Call us boutique, niche, crazy, or whatever else makes it easy to recognize our inability to conform to the masses. Truth is, we’re just a handful of misfits out to make our own luck and do what makes us happy. It’s what started the madness, and is sure to drive us into the future.”

Shout out to DEFCON Group for the images!

Ask SSD – Is This The LMT SURG Candidate?

Thursday, April 28th, 2016

Dear SSD,

This carbine showed up on “House of Cards”. Is it the first public view of LMT’s Suppressor Upper Receiver Group candidate fir SOCOM or did someone in the prop department give tge actor a rifle with no barrel?

-Karl

Dear Karl,

We’re going to punt and crowdsource this one. Although, we’re leaning toward “short barrel” rather than “SURG”.

Perhaps a reader has some insight?

-SSD

Sneak Peek – Badger Ordnance Ambidextrous Select Fire Control

Wednesday, April 27th, 2016

If you’re familiar with the Hodge Defense AU Mod 1, this may look familiar.  They use Badger Ordnance’s popular selector lever, but this one is ambidextrous.  You may also notice that it’s cut for full-auto.

It was developed in conjunction with Hodge Defense in order to help inform a government requirement. Hopefully, we’ll see these offered for sale soon.

Feel The SURG – USSOCOM Seeks Suppressor Upper Receiver Group for M4A1 Carbines

Wednesday, April 13th, 2016

On 12 April, USSOCOM’s Directorate of Procurement released a solicitation for the long anticipated Suppressor Upper Receiver Group.

According to the government, “The SURG weapon upgrade of the M4A1 Lower Receiver Group will allow the Warfighter’s weapon to be optimized for continuous suppressed use.” Interestingly, there’s no requirement that the upper feature an integral suppressor, just that it is suppressed.

Vendors have been working on this project for quite sometime as SOCOM has collected data in order to dial in the requirement. As you can imagine, most of the major players have all teamed up which explains the relatively short lead time until submissions are due.

Potential offerers have until July 13th to answer. Specific information requires an account with Fed Biz Opps.

Visit www.fbo.gov.

Daniel Defense Rifle Featured on Cover of ‘Popular Mechanics’ Special Forces Issue

Tuesday, April 12th, 2016

Black Creek, GA – April 12, 2016 – Daniel Defense, engineer and manufacturer of the world’s finest firearms and accessories, is pleased to announce that its MK18 Factory SBR rifle will appear on the cover of the upcoming issue of Popular Mechanics. In the May 2016 “Tough Guys”-themed issue, the magazine highlights “The Future of Special Forces,” and its cover features a model decked out in gear typically used by Special Forces operators, including a conspicuously held DD MK18 rifle.

“This is a major accomplishment for us and our Team,” said Daniel Defense Chief Marketing Officer, Cindy Daniel. “Both in terms of prestige and in exposure of our rifle, and our company, to a whole new audience—one not necessarily part of the tactical or hunting communities.”

Daniel Defense leveraged its extensive media relations to get the MK18 featured on the Popular Mechanics cover in order to reach a “more mainstream” audience. While Daniel Defense rifles and products have been featured in various publications over the years, most of those publications were tactical- and/or hunting/outdoor-themed. Popular Mechanics, part of Hearst Direct Media, promotes itself as “the essential handbook for curious, active people” and operates under the tagline “How Your World Works.” Its circulation is 1.2 million, and the magazine is most popular with men between the ages of 35 and 49.

The DD MK18 rifle features the RIS II Rail System Daniel Defense currently provides to US SOCOM, and a 10.3” Cold Hammer Forged Barrel. It has an MSRP of $1749 and is available directly from Daniel Defense (www.danieldefense.com) or authorized retailers. Along with the DD MK18, several other best-selling tactical products are featured on the PM cover and within the issue, including a SureFire SOCOM Series 5.56mm suppressor, a Tactical Night Vision Company Tactical Application Pressure Switch (TNVC TAPS), and an Insight ATPIAL-C (AN/PEQ-15) Advanced Target Pointer/Illuminator Aiming Laser.

The May 2016 Popular Mechanics issue hits newsstands the week of April 11, 2016. To learn more about the magazine or to read highlighted stories, visit: www.popularmechanics.com.

Hodge Defense Becomes Marisol Defense

Friday, April 1st, 2016

During a recent not-so-hostile takeover, Hodge Defense Systems became Marisol Defense. Already, logo items are starting to show up.  Oddly enough, everyone now wants a ‘Marisol’ as demand for Hodge guns wanes.  

More details soon.

Announcing Patriot Weaponry

Monday, March 21st, 2016

Adam Mattis, President of R3 Strategic Consultancy is proud to announce the launch of a new AR manufacturer owned by US Army Veteran, Kody Karch. Patriot Weaponry aim to stand out in a sea of black-gun makers by producing what they dub to be the “Ferrari of ARs.” In partnership with Proof Research, Kody builds each weapon to the customers taste utilizing the finest in carbon fiber, titanium, and precision modified components. Give them a look!

Patriot Weaponry – Launch from R3 Strategic on Vimeo.