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Archive for the ‘weapons’ Category

Langdon Tactical Beretta PX4 Storm Carry

Thursday, February 15th, 2018

Phoenix, AZ (January 25, 2018) – Langdon Tactical Technology, Inc. announces the launch of the newly refined Beretta PX4 Full-Size as the PX4 Carry 9mm handgun. The PX4 Carry is the full-size version of the well-known Compact Carry, encompassing all of the same features and benefits in a full size package.  “Underrated is an understatement,” says Ernest Langdon, he continued “after shooting 50,000 rounds through the same PX4 Carry in one year, I truly believe this is the most underrated service pistol of modern time.”

The Langdon Tactical PX4 Carry includes AmeriGlo Night Sights, Talon Grips, Beretta Competition Trigger Group, Stealth Levers, Extended Mag Button, Reduced Weight Hammer Spring, and Sniper Gray Cerakote Slide. It is shipping with two 17-round magazines and one 20-round magazine.

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Langdon Tactical Technology specializes in firearms training, customer trigger jobs on Beretta 92/96’s and PX4’s. Langdon is well known for his work on double-action hammer fired pistols and is happy to be offering these services again. For more information, check out www.langdontactical.com.

Q Mini Fix

Wednesday, February 14th, 2018

Q has expanded their firearms offering with the introduction of Mini Fix, seen here nestled between The Fix and Honey Badger. Q founder, Kevin Brittingham, shared some information on this new design with us.

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The Q Mini Fix is a scaled down version of The Fix bolt gun with a receiver that is 1/2″ shorter. Designed to fit M4 magazines, the Mini Fix will be offered in pistol (300 BLK) and rifle (224 Valkyrie) formats.

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The pistol Mini Fix features an 8″ 300 BLK barrel with 1:5 twist and a Q designed Stabilizing Brace built exclusively for this firearm by SB Tactical. The Q Brace is not depicted in any of these photos.

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The pistol has an overall length of 17″ including the mounted Cherry Bomb muzzle brake, which accepts the Trash Panda and Thunder Chicken silencers. There is also a full length top Pic rail and the handguard covers the 8″ barrel. Here are some photos to give you an idea of how long it is.

As you can see, this model with the stock from The Fix weighs 4lbs 11oz, but it will weigh even less once the Q Brace is installed.

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The rifle Mini Fix in 224 Valkyrie will come with a Q match barrel and the folding stock from The Fix.

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As an aside, Brittingham told me that so far, they are seeing the best performance for the .224 when using PRI 6.8 magazines, although they continue to evaluate others. The rifle will ship with what they determine is best.

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Brittingham related that at this point, the final detail they haven’t worked out yet, is whether they’ll incorporate M-Lok or use Q-Sert for attachments. Q-Sert is machined from 17-4 rectangular stock with an anchor at the back and pressed into place. Below is an image which shows two handguard. The top incorporates Q-Sert, while the bottom is constructed to the M-Lok standard.

Both versions are only available in the clear hard coat anodizing seen in the photos. The anodizing will look slightly different with each material so you won’t get a uniform hue across the entire gun, but it’s one of the many features which makes the Mini Fix different from everything else on the market.

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Mini Fix is an adaptable design and a fixed stock and hinge adapter will be available. This way, a pistol owner may register it as an SBR, if desired. Additionally, Brittingham tells me he expects to offer .223 and 6.5 Grendel barrels.

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Because Mini Fix features 80% parts commonality with The Fix, production is already in progress with shipping planned for late 2nd Quarter, 2018.

To pre-order, you’ll need to first make a $100 donation to Special Operations Care Fund and then pay half of the $2699 up front, to Q.

www.liveQordie.com

Accu-Tac introduces the new HD-50 Bipod

Tuesday, February 13th, 2018

For Immediate Release: Debuted at SHOT Show 2018, the Accu-Tac HD-50 (Heavy Duty 50BMG) is the newest product in the AccuTac family of Bipods and was designed specifically for use on 50 BMG caliber rifles. The HD-50 is our most robust bipod which is achieved by making the Arm Lock Lugs larger to withstand the heavy recoil of a 50 BMG. The HD-50 bipod also has the ability to Cant and has a very sturdy throw lever allowing you to adjust the tension and enhance the ability to lock the canting motion in to place. The legs can be extended into nine different height options and its wider center hub delivers more stability and strength to support larger heavy rifles.

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SPECS
– MATERIAL: 6061 T6 Aluminum Alloy
– MIN HEIGHT: 7.0″ – 177.8mm
– MAX HEIGHT: 10.0″ – 254.0mm
– MIN STANCE: 13.5″ – 342.9mm (Legs at 90 degree deployed)
– MAX STANCE: 17.5″ – 444.5mm (Legs at 90 degree deployed)
– CLOSED POSITION WIDTH: 5.5″ – 139.7mm
– CLOSED POSITION LENGTH: 9.0″ – 228.0mm
– WEIGHT : 27.5 oz
– COLOR : FLAT BLACK
– COATING: Type III – Hard Anodize

The Accu-Tac HD-50 bipod will be available soon at all Accu-Tac dealers as well as www.Accu-Tac.com where you can also view our full line of world class bipods, bipod accessories, muzzle brakes and scope rings.. For more information please contact us at info@accu-tac.com.

GAOS 18 – M&P Shield

Thursday, February 8th, 2018

Like I said in the intro, this is a trade show and major manufacturers are in hand, exhibiting their consumer products. Smith & Wesson has their new M&P 380 Shield EZ pistol with its grip safety.

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They’ve got the full range but another model I wanted to point out is the M&P 9 Shield 2.0 with integrated Crimson Trace green or red laser.

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Solid Film Lubricant Pen Available for Small Arms Touch-ups

Tuesday, February 6th, 2018

The Army’s PS magazine announced that touching up weapons where the finish has worn off just got easier. Repairmen can now order a solid film lubricant (SFL) paint pen dispenser with NSN 9150-01-646-0099. The dispenser makes touching up nicks, scratches and shiny spots a snap. The pen costs $33.

Primary Weapons Systems Releases Multiple New Product Lines at SHOT Show

Tuesday, February 6th, 2018

Primary Weapons Systems released multiple new product lines and updates at SHOT Show last month.

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Starting with the MOD 1-M line (replacing the MK1 MOD 1-P line) with M-LOK handguards and Radian Raptor charging handles. Keeping the internals the same, the MK1 MOD 1-M line got a simple facelift. To match that, the MK2 MOD 1-M line also got M-LOK handguards and Radian Raptor charging handles.

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Past the more expected updates, we take a look at the MK1 MOD 2-M line which replaces the MK1 MOD 2 line. The MK1 MOD 2-M line features not just an M-LOK handguard, but their patent pending PicLok handguard. Yes, it offers M-LOK along the entire length of the handguard, but also offers Picatinny in the front quarter of the rail. What sets the PWS MK1 MOD 2-M handguards apart, is the fact that M-LOK accessories direct thread into the handguard, meaning you don’t use the back T-nut of the accessory. This allows the shooter’s rail to truly stay as slim as possible while still offering a variety of mounting options. In addition to the PicLok handguard, the MK1 MOD 2-M line includes the Radian Raptor charging handle and Radian Talon safety selector.

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For PWS customers wanting to do a quick handguard swap, we have good news! Handguards will be available as standalone items, so you can easily swap your current PicMod to PicLok.

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The ALPHA line of rifles, easily differentiated by the FDE anodizing, was designed specifically for military use, but will be available for civilians. A few features of the ALPHA line are the heavier barrel profile, 1:7 barrel twist rate and gas adjustment knob in front of the handguard.

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The last big release from PWS was the new PCC line in 9mm. Using a straight blowback system, taking GLOCK mags and having last round bolt hold open, PWS expects the PCC line to be a popular addition to their current offerings.

The PWS website is currently being rebuilt, but will be live by mid-February. In the meantime, customers can contact sales@primaryweapons.com for questions and purchasing.

Company Information:
Primary Weapons Systems (PWS) was formed in 2008 as a rifle component company and has since grown to be one of the largest firearms manufacturers in the Northwest. PWS initially made firearm accessories and compensators, but quickly moved into firearm manufacturing as they developed their PWS Long-Stroke Piston System which takes the operating system from Kalashnikov’s AK design and merges it with Stoner’s AR platform giving a hybrid rifle to shooters looking for a low-maintenance yet reliable and accurate firearm. PWS manufactures AR-15s in 223 Wylde, 300BLK and 7.62×39 as well as DPMS .308 pattern builds in both .308 Match and 6.5 Creedmoor- all with the long-stroke piston operating system. The PCC line of 9mm products is the only line that varies from the piston system, being a straight blowback system. Also manufactured by Primary Weapons Systems are lightweight buffer tubes, steel body buffers, accessories and a wide selection of compensators for firearms both piston driven and direct impingement.

primaryweapons.com/store

Modular Handgun System – Things Aren’t As Bad As The DOT&E Report Implies

Friday, February 2nd, 2018

A recently issued report from the Department Of Defense’s Director, Operational Test and Evaluation Office (DOT&E), on the Modular Handgun System has been picked up by bloggers and the headlines have been sensational. They’re being shared online at face value, with few people taking time to read the source document. You can read the whole thing here, and I encourage you to do so, but I’ll use extracts throughout this article.

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I’ve spent the past few days going back and forth with DOT&E and PEO Soldier, who manages the program, to clarify information in the report.

From the received responses, apparently the situation is not as dire as the authors of other stories would like their audience to believe.

Background

Each year, the Department Of Defense Operational Test and Evaluation Office (DOT&E) submits an annual report of test and evaluation activities to Congress.

The 2017 report was published on 26 January, 2018 and includes details on numerous test activities in support of Army procurement, including those of the joint Modular Handgun System. MHS consists of militarized versions of a standard (M17) and compact (M18) pistol, manufactured by SIG SAUER and based on their commercial P320 9mm model. the weapon has a common trigger pack and swappable frames to make the switch from M17 to M18.

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The weapon was selected for procurement just a year ago on January 19, 2017. Since then, it has served as a model for fast track acquisition reform.

The procurement announcement was met with displeasure from fans of fellow contender GLOCK who pointed to G19 use by USSOCOM as ample reason to broaden its issues within DoD. The SIG contract award was formally protested by GLOCK, but their effort was not sustained by the Government Accountability Office.

Drop Misfires Background

In August of last year, a blogger demonstrated that the commercially available SIG P320, which the MHS is derived from, would unintentionally discharge if dropped at a certain angle. Almost immediately, the internet began to call into question the safety of the Army’s version of the handgun. SIG analyzed the problem and quickly issued an interesting fix for their commercial gun; a new trigger pack based on the MHS trigger. SIG stated that the Army’s handgun already had a different, lighter trigger than the civilian model and had not demonstrated the same issue. SIG offered a voluntary upgrade to the new trigger for P320 users.

In November, I attended a media round table hosted by PEO Soldier to provide an update on fielding of MHS. One of the topics was unintentional misfires caused by dropping. LTC Steven Power, Product Manager Individual Weapons, Project Manager Soldier Weapons, assured everyone that MHS has not experienced such a failure.

Naturally, when I ran across this statement in the DOT&E report, I wanted clarification, because it went against everything I’d been told.

“During drop testing in which an empty primed cartridge was inserted, the striker struck the primer causing a discharge. SIG SAUER implemented an Engineering Change Proposal (ECP) to correct this deficiency by implementing lightweight components in the trigger group mechanism. This fix may have contributed to the splintering of two triggers during the IOT&E”

DOT&E Report

DoD Drop Testing

Before I get into what I learned about this statement I need to explain how DoD conducts drop testing. The procedure is contained in 4-10 of Test Operations Procedure 03-2-504A “Safety Evaluation of Small Arms and Medium Caliber Weapons” . The actual test is called the 1.5 m (5 foot) drop test which requires that a firearm loaded with a primed, empty, cartridge case be dropped from the height of 1.5 m unto a clean, dry, and level concrete surface at six different angles. The goal is to see if the firearm discharges or if the drop affects the function of the weapon.

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SIG SAUER’s Position

Since I had discussed the drop misfire issue with SIG in the past, I thought I should check with them. They responded by telling me that it was DoD’s report and they’d be the best place to seek out my answers.

Requesting Clarification From DOT&E

Initially, I contacted DOT&E with a list of technical questions. In particular, I wanted to know when and how they identified this malfunction. After some deliberation, DOT&E spokesperson, LTC Michelle L Baldanza offered this statement regarding the technical questions I had posed, “I will have to let the report stand for itself. You are welcome to contact the Army about this.”

What she was telling me was that the information had originated with the Army and all they had done, was collate it into their report. I’d need to go to PEO Soldier for the answers I was seeking.

PEO Soldier Responds

I approached PEO Soldier about this statement, asking how and when it had occurred. They did not provide details on any test failures but rather provided the statement below, which seems to refute the DOT&E report.

When tested in accordance with the TOP 03-2-504A, the weapon passed in all drop orientations.

PEO Soldier

Even then, despite several requests, they refused to provide a date when the 1.5 m TOP drop test protocol was accomplished. It should have initially been accomplished during source selection, while the Army evaluated the vendors’ candidate pistols and I was able to verify this information from other Army sources who were not authorized to speak publicly about the topic.

Splintered Triggers

The DOT&E report mentioned two “splintered” triggers. Of course, this became a central theme to call the program into question. I asked about the issue. The triggers still worked. PEO Soldier related that they “did not remain smooth and comfortable to fire,” saying it was an isolated issue, and not the result of a design flaw or on-going manufacturing problem. To put it into perspective, they’ve only encountered this issue in two pistols, out of approximately 10,000 purchased to date. It’s so rare, it shouldn’t have found its way into a report intended to discuss major issues.

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Ammunition / Reliability Issues

MHS includes four 9mm cartridges, manufactured by Winchester, but there are two primary rounds. The XM1153 Jacketed Hollow Point (referenced above) also referred to as a “special purpose”‘and the XM1152 Ball.

Additionally, there are two reliability factors, Mean Rounds Between Failure and Mean Rounds Between Stoppage. Both MRBF and MRBS were measured during Product Verification Testing as well as Initial Operational Test & Evaluation.

MHS was tested for MRBF and MRBS in both M17 and M18 configurations with JHP as well as Ball ammunition.

According to the DOT&E report, the MRBF reliability requirement for MHS is 5,000 MRBF for a 98 percent probability of completing a 96-hour mission without a failure. The MRBS reliability requirement is 2,000 MRBS for a 95 percent probability of completing a 96-hour mission without a stoppage.

During PVT which is an early test, the XM17 and XM18, with special purpose munition, met its requirement for both MRBF and MRBS:

– The XM17 demonstrated 8,929 MRBF (99 percent probability)
– The XM18 demonstrated 8,333 MRBF (99 percent probability)
– The XM17 demonstrated 1,923 MRBS (95 percent probability)
– The XM18 demonstrated 2,155 MRBS (96 percent probability)

During PVT, the XM17 with ball ammunition met its requirement for MRBF but not its requirement for MRBS. The XM18 with ball ammunition did not meet its MRBF or MRBS requirement.

– The XM17 demonstrated 6,944 MRBF (99 percent probability)
– The XM18 demonstrated 3,906 MRBF (98 percent probability)
– The XM17 demonstrated 343 MRBS (75 percent probability)
– The XM18 demonstrated 197 MRBS (61 percent probability)

Obviously, there’s a difference in how reliable the weapon is, based on the ammo used, and pistol configuration. Consequently, the Army decided to investigate the Ball ammo issues and moved to the next phase of testing solely with the JHP cartridge, which they consider is their “go-to-war” ammunition.

During IOT&E, 60 of 120 stoppages for the XM17 and 63 of 85 stoppages for the XM18 were failure of the slide lock to the rear at the last round. At least some of these stoppages were the result of poor grip. Additionally, 60% of these stoppages (75 of 123) were experienced by just eight shooters out of the 132 who participated in the IOT&E. Based on information from the Army Marksmanship Unit which is cited in the DOT&E report, it appears that the majority of those stoppages were caused by shooters disengaging the slide catch with their thumbs.

Once the Army understood it’s a software and not a hardware problem, they began to modify Marksmanship Training to ensure that Soldiers do not unintentionally engage the slide catch lever when firing the MHS. It’s a simpler solution than redesigning weapon parts.

In fact, the MRBS demonstrated during IOT&E is significantly increased if this stoppage is eliminated:

– The XM17 demonstrated 708 MRBS (87 percent probability).
– The XM18 demonstrated 950 MRBS (90 percent probability).

The weapon is capable of meeting the standard, given the right shooters.

Although they have a Conditional Material Release for both types of ammo and have been firing them since November, PEO reminded me that MHS meets, or exceeds, all operational requirements, including MRBS, with the XM1153 jacketed hollow point ammunition for which it is optimized.

While I take issue with how some things are presented, overall, the Army agrees with the findings in the report.

“The DOT&E report accurately conveys the test results.  It is normal and expected during testing to find opportunities to improve a system.  The testing determined that the MHS had a lower Mean Rounds Between Stoppage (MRBS) with ball ammunition than it has with the “go-to-war” jacketed hollow point round for which the system is optimized.  In July 2017, the Army formed a Tiger Team to perform a detailed root cause analysis of the ball ammunition issues.   Their analysis has resulted in a number of modifications expected to enhance MHS performance and reliability with ball ammunition.”

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Much has been made on other websites about the pistol’s performance with the XM1152 Ball ammunition. Which, by the way, is a new cartridge, unique to this weapon. The truth is, it is safe to operate with both.

However, this isn’t good enough for the Army as they continue to consider performance improvements. PEO Soldier spokeswoman Ms Dawson explained, “It is simply not meeting its reliability requirements with the ball ammunition and has experienced stoppages and issues with “double ejections”.  Double ejections? I’m intrigued.

Double Ejections

Aside from the drop testing issue, I had hoped to get to the heart of “double ejections”. It’s referenced early in the DOT&E report.

“Both the XM17 and XM18 pistols experienced double-ejections where an unspent ball round was ejected along with a spent round.”

DOT&E Report

Until this week, I’d never heard the term used. PEO Soldier echoed the DOT&E definition.

“A double ejection is when a live unfired round is ejected along with the casing from the round that was just fired.”

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Semi-Auto pistol’s don’t work that way, it’s a physical impossibility. So, I asked both DOT&E and PEO Soldier to further describe the malfunction in case it has a more commonly used name. Neither organization would. And yet, they’ve used it; over and over. PEO Soldier even set up a Tiger Team to get to the root cause of it. Reporters have parroted it as it were a common term. I even approached several individuals with extensive experience in Army pistol marksmanship and they were also unfamiliar with the term. Since nobody knows what it is, I’m not sure how they’re going to fix it. But whatever it is, the weapon is performing while using the JHP ammo.

In Summary

What we’ve learned:
-MHS is safe and passes drop standards
-MHS is reliable
-The trigger works
-Stoppages can be mitigated with training
-It introduces a jacketed hollow point ammunition capability
-The Army is working to improve its performance with Ball ammunition
-No one knows what a “double ejection” is except PEO Soldier, and they’re not telling

But this is the most important at part of this whole story. The Army is very confidant in MHS. In fact, PEO Soldier spokeswoman, Ms Debi Dawson released this statement:

Testing was conducted with warfighters from all Services, and their feedback about the MHS has been overwhelmingly positive.  The MHS meets, or exceeds, all safety and operational requirements with XM1153 jacketed hollow point ammunition for which it is optimized. The test results published in the Director of Operational Testing and Evaluation (DOT&E) report are being used to make the MHS even better.

PEO Soldier

Unfortunately, there are some pieces of data in the report which seem to be given greater importance than they should be, once put into perspective. In another case, testing which is claimed to have taken place hasn’t been accounted for, and refuted in other statements.

Greater care should be taken when providing input to these annual reports. They are used by Congress to monitor key programs. Additionally, the data has been used to undermine confidence in a program that is doing very well, as new unit after new unit is equipped with this improved capability.

Conclusion 

There’s a reason DoD tests. Every program finds unanticipated issues which must be fixed in order to field the piece of equipment across the force. Some come up years after a system enters service. If you read through the entire 2017 DOT&E Annual Report, you’ll find issues of every type, arising for every program showcased in the document. While much has been made online about MHS, when you break it down, it’s not as bad as it’s been made out to be, if you know what questions to ask.

SHOT Show 18 – SMAW Mod 2 by ADS

Wednesday, January 31st, 2018

The ADS booth contained numerous technologies, including the Mark 153, Shoulder-launched, Multi-purpose Assault Weapon Mod 2.

Weighing in at 16 pounds, the system consisted of the MK153 Mod 0 rocket launcher, MK3 high explosive, dual purpose (HEDP) encased rocket, MK4 practice rocket and the MF 217, 9mm spotting cartridge. Additionally, there are High Explosive Anti-Armor (HEAA) and Follow-Through Grenade (FTG) warheads. The 80s-era 9mm spotting rifle has been replaced with a Modular Ballistic Sight (MBS).

SMAW Mod 2 is manufactured in Lynchburg, VA by Wegmann, USA. The MBS electronics are by L-3. ADS is the System Integrator.