SIG Sauer Academy

Archive for March, 2013

Canipe Correspondence – Retiring My 416

Saturday, March 30th, 2013

My HK416’s Retirement Party

In late 2009, I traded into an HK416 10” upper. With a cold-hammer forged 10.39” (as per HK) barrel widely regarded as the finest production rifle barrels in the world and a gas piston operating system, this gun was my go-to rifle for about 3 ½ years. I knew the back story of US Special Operations units seeking an M4 replacement with enhanced durability and reliability, which led to the development of the 416 between a US Army unit and Heckler and Koch. The platform today enjoys widespread service in many LE and military organizations across the globe. It’s a sad day, that I thought would have come a couple years ago, but it’s time for my 416 to go into the back of the safe. I haven’t been able to kill it, but I want to let it die with dignity. Plus parts are expensive, and I want it to remain functional enough to shoot when I’m bored.

Canipe's 416

I kept a pretty accurate round count out to 50K rounds. After that, I started counting by the hundreds. As of its last firing on the 14th of March at the Fairfax County, VA range facility, it topped 67,000 rounds. About 17,000 of those rounds were suppressed. When I got the upper, they were going for about $5K on the secondary market. I was into mine for about $2K and some change, which I think was a bargain any way you look at it. Is the cost of mine twice as much as a top-end DI upper? Yes. How many barrels and bolts would I have bought in 67,000 rounds in a DI SBR? I don’t know, but I bet it makes the margin close in pretty evenly. My partners and I often took guesses when a bolt would break, or the gas rings on the piston would need replacing, or the extractor would break. I must have some kind of luck, because none of that ever happened, and other than the buffer spring at 40K I never changed an operating part on this rifle. The gun stayed in one pretty consistent configuration for the entire time I owned it save for the hand guard, which I swapped for a prototype from Geissele Automatics early in 2012, and a riser/magnifier mount I got from Wilcox at a trade show last year. I knocked out the firing pin safety the day I got it so I could use a standard Geissele trigger without needing a custom hammer. It’s had the same Sierra Precision SPR grip, LMT stock, and Surefire Mini-Scout all along I think. It’s had a Surefire FH-212A flash hider so I could run the corresponding suppressor on it. The optic has been an Eotech XPS, or the Aimpoint I used whenever the Eotech was back being serviced under warranty (a few times, unfortunately). It’s a boat anchor, too. I don’t remember what it weighs, but with all this crap on it and the older heavy barrel contour, it’s somewhere in the range of my SR-25…

Do You Love Matt's Mom?

Today, I’d be lying if I told you the barrel was in good shape. It’s a solid 4 MOA with 77GR MK262 now, and is experiencing some velocity loss. The accuracy is still within acceptable margins I guess, but compared to the 1 MOA I was getting at the beginning of its life that’s a sizable loss. More unsettling is the velocity loss, but that’s just the name of the game with a very shot-out barrel. It also doesn’t like to run suppressed any longer over the last 500 rounds. I haven’t even bothered to diagnose that one; I’m just chalking that up to being worn out. That might be a good problem to solve on a rainy Saturday in the future. The gun went 17,000 unsuppressed rounds between cleanings, although I lube it like I would a DI gun. Moving metal is moving metal, after all. Cleanings came more frequently as I shot suppressed, blowback from the can made the gun plenty dirty, even with the benefits of the piston keeping fouling out of the breech. I think you can regularly neglect a DI gun as well, as long as it’s well-and frequently-lubed, but the ability to leave the gun alone and just shoot it was a confidence builder all the same. While it was not perfect, I would say I had less than 20 malfunctions with this gun. I can attribute all of them to cheap frangible ammo at one particular event or firing with the can attached in the last 500 rounds. Anything related to the gun isn’t coming to mind right now. A special message to everyone worried about carrier tilt: I am sorry to report my gun did NOT wear a new hole in itself, and you’ll have to fabricate a new fatal flaw in the system.

I’m pretty attached to this rifle, and I’m sad to be shelving it. Seeing how badly I could treat this gun and how long it would last with no parts replacements until necessary has been a long-term project, and gun the gun outlasted my willingness to abuse it. The rifle won the battle of the wills. Sure, it’s expensive and heavy, but I’ll be damned if I could find a way to make it not work within its life cycle…3.35 times in a row. Well played, German engineering well played.

“The highest quality steel is used in this unique manufacturing process producing a barrel that provides superior accuracy for greater than 20,000 rounds with minimal degradation of accuracy and muzzle velocity.”

HK416 10” upper, LMT registered SBR lower
67,000 rounds
1 MOA thru at least 20K rounds, 4 MOA at 67K. I didn’t bench it up very often…
<20 malfunctions, none attributable to the gun itself 400+ hours of arguing the piston-wonder-gun’s virtues, on the internet. 4000+ hours of reading how SOF was dumping it since 2006, on the internet. How’d that work out?

Gunfighter Moment – Kyle Defoor

Saturday, March 30th, 2013

Prove yourself to me
Your xx years carrying a gun means nothing as far as your experience level. Especially when that gun rarely came out to train. I’d take a guy who’s trained with me for two weeks the right way over a guy who is big behind the job title and never trained the right way for 20 years.

Show your skills to me
Display your speed and accuracy with a pro timer and a small target. That FBI Q bullshit is for people with their head in the clouds looking for rainbows and unicorns.

Kill and bury your pride and ego
None of us can get all the answers all the time and being arrogant because of the unit you’re from or because of the gun you carry will only hurt you. At any given time, there’s a 20 year old from the 101st that has way more combat time, more kills, and more sack than you….pretty soon there’ll be women too.

Use your skills
If you’re going to talk the talk, then walk the walk. Training like mad, talking shit, and pretending to be a warrior means dick when you aren’t or haven’t put it to use. If that’s the case, there’s a housewife in Indiana who shot a burglar who has more gun fighting time than you, and she can actually talk about it with cred. Show others what you’ve learned if it will help them.

“The truth belongs to everyone, only lies belong to the individual”
(Kier,Potynsky 2009)

-Kyle Defoor
(SEAL Assaulter & Sniper)

Kyle Defoor is one of the world’s most committed and passionate shooting instructors. Literally growing up with a gun in hand he took his talents into the military where he was combat decorated as a SEAL assaulter and sniper. Kyle helped to create and define modern training while along the way personally teaching thousands of military personal and civilians from around the globe. His shooting prowess led to appearances on multiple TV shows including Shooting Gallery, Tactical Arms, and Tactical Impact, and guest appearances on History Channel. Kyle’s outdoor athletic lifestyle includes shooting, ultra running, stand-up paddle surfing and climbing. He now serves as the brand ambassador for Mission Ready Equipment and runs his own company which offers tactical training, wilderness navigation, TV and film consulting, and motivational speaking.

Gunfighter Moment is a weekly feature brought to you by Alias Training & Security Services. Each week Alias brings us a different Trainer and in turn they offer some words of wisdom.

Leatherman Raptor Emergency Medical Multitool Available for Pre-Order from NAR

Saturday, March 30th, 2013

We broke the story on the Leatherman Raptor Emergency Medical Multitool during last year’s SOMA Conference. Designed specifically for use by medical personnel, the Raptor is a compact, folding shear.

Leatherman Raptor Emergency Medical Multitool

Now, it’s available for pre-order from North American Rescue.

Mohawk Helmet Cover from Agilite

Saturday, March 30th, 2013

Agilite’s Mohawk helmet cover is individually sized to fit either the Ops-Core FAST Maritime, FAST Ballistic or FAST Bump helmets and its built-in retention system allows you to secure NVG counter-weights, cables and other helmet attachments. The Mohawk’s central mesh also allows for an unobstructed air flow through bump helmet vents. The snug fit means no-flap during helicopter ops or free fall and it helps enforce noise discipline, especially when wet.

Agilite Mohawk

The Mohawk features aerodynamic, snag-free sides and is composed of lightweight, hard-wearing mil-spec materials. It is currently available in Ops-Core helmet cuts and will be available in ACH/MICH and IDF Light Helmet versions soon.

Line of Fire Gloves Featured in GI Joe 2

Friday, March 29th, 2013

LOF Gloves

Hoppy Easter from US Elite

Friday, March 29th, 2013


Happy Easter from US Elite! Get 10% off any purchase this weekend. Use coupon code HOPPYEASTER during checkout. Sales ends Midnight Sunday. Lots of new & cool products added to the site recently, so get shopping! Fill those Easter baskets with some cool kit!

Army Charging Ahead With M4 PIP

Friday, March 29th, 2013

If the recent testimony by Ms. Lynne M. Halbrooks, Principal Deputy Inspector General, Department of Defense Inspector General before the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform discussing issues with the US Army’s Individual Carbine program wasn’t enough to make you question the future of that program, the Army has released or updated several solicitation actions within the last week regarding the M4 Carbine Product Improvement Program including work on an improved bolt, heavy replacement barrel and Fire Control Selector Assembly.

The Dual Path strategy hedges the Army’s bets on a new rifle by improving the carbines they’ve already invested in while simultaneously searching for a replacement.

Recent FBO postings include:
M4 Product Improvement Program (PIP)-Bolt
M4 Replacement Barrel and Front Sight Assembly ( Heavy Variant )
M4 Carbine Product Improvement Program (PIP) Fire Control Selector Assembly

Easter Weekend Sale at Extreme Outfitters

Friday, March 29th, 2013

EO Sale

Friday through Monday save big on the Garmont T4 Light Assault Hiker, Exclusive Inov8 ROCLITE 295 Tactical, TAS T-1 Sleeping Bag, and TAS T-6 Full Sleeping System.

Extreme Outfitters also asked us to wish everyone a safe and Happy Easter Holiday!