Archive for December, 2016

Sneak Peek – New GGP Carbon Fiber Variable Optic

Saturday, December 31st, 2016

Grey Ghost Precision will soon be releasing their second carbon fiber variable optic. Following in the footsteps of the CF-5 1-5x variable, this scope will be 3-18x. It will be manufactured by Kruger Optical to the specs put together for them by a team of former SFARTAETC and SFAUC instructors, precision competition shooters and hunters.

Visit them at their suite in the Venetian or stop by Booth 31000 at SHOT Show, to see it in person.

Join the #greyghostmafia




2016’s Top Story: TAC-SAC – Get Your Balls Back America

Saturday, December 31st, 2016

Our best performing story for 2016 (actually, for all time) was “TAC-SAC – Get Your Balls Back America”. I suppose it’s an appropriate coda for a year where social media played such an important role, no matter how unbelievable the content.

There’s not a lot that needs to be said about the TAC-AC. Rather, it’s something that you get, once you’ve seen It.  Unfortunately, in this day and age, the TAC-SAC may be offensive to some, so I’ll suggest you not go to the jump unless you’re sure your career won’t be in jeopardy by opening it at work. (more…)

Gunfighter Moment – Inside The M4 Carbine

Saturday, December 31st, 2016

BCM and Vickers Tactical Take You Inside The M4 Carbine. This is pretty cool.

Gunfighter Moment is a weekly feature brought to you by Bravo Company USA. Bravo Company is home of the Gunfighters, and each week they bring us a different trainer to offer some words of wisdom.

The US Army Presents – The Science Behind Why You Should Stop Chugging So Many Energy Drinks

Saturday, December 31st, 2016

The Army posted this article to their website and I thought it was a good share. Any readers drink Energy Drinks? I know some of you guys swear by Rip-Its.

Spc. Kyle Lauth, assigned to Alpha Company, 1st Battalion, 27th Infantry Regiment, sips an energy drink before a dismounted patrol through the Hussainiyah town of the Istaqlal Qada district northeast of Baghdad, Dec. 29, 2008. (Photo Credit: Sgt. 1st Class JB Jaso)

We’ve all seen them before: the cans, small shots and uniquely packaged drinks that promise to give you an energy boost during the most important parts of your day. At first glance, it seems like a great idea: chug it down and get reinvigorated. But, if you go beyond wanting simply to stay alert and you begin to overindulge, you could wind up doing some serious harm to your body.

Energy drinks became the beverage of choice for many service members during the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. The Walter Reed Army Institute of Research analyzed data collected during Operation Enduring Freedom in 2010 and found that nearly 45 percent of deployed service members consumed at least one energy drink daily. Nearly 14 percent reported drinking three or more per day.

Many of the most popular energy drinks are heavily marketed to young people, including military members. The marketing is sexy; the packaging is slick; the flavors are sweet like the fruit drinks that children crave; and the beverages are readily available on military bases and downrange.

But, there are good reasons to avoid overusing energy drinks.


Energy drinks are loaded with caffeine, and too much of it isn’t good for you. Dr. Patricia Deuster, professor and director of the Consortium for Health and Military Performance at the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences, warns service members to avoid consuming more than 200 milligrams of caffeine every four hours.

“If it’s got more than 200 milligrams of caffeine, don’t use it,” Deuster cautions.

Deuster also warns female service members to exercise caution, noting that the amount of caffeine you ingest relative to your body weight can be an issue for women. “Women get a higher concentration [of caffeine], since they tend to be smaller,” she said.

“Doctors don’t know what the effects of [energy drink] ingredients are in larger doses,” Deuster noted. “I don’t think anybody has an answer to the long-term effects question.”

High amounts of caffeine can lead to increased blood pressure, panic attacks, heart palpitations, anxiety, dehydration, insomnia and even bowel irritability when energy drinks are mixed with alcohol.

What is clear, when it comes to energy drinks, is that consumers need to be more aware of what they’re putting in their bodies.


Energy drinks are loaded with sugar. Some cans pack a punch of 27 grams of sugar, two-thirds of the recommended daily maximum for men, and 2 grams more than the maximum doctors recommend for women. Some service members can double or even triple that if they drink more than one energy drink per day.

The Human Performance Resource Center cautions energy drink users to be aware of the drink’s ingredients. (Photo Credit: Operation Supplement Safety graphic)

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends keeping your intake of added sugars to less than 10 percent of your total daily calories.

Extra sugar can cause your blood sugar to increase, but even the sugar-free versions of energy drinks can lead to weight gain, as research suggests artificial sweeteners may raise blood sugar, too.


Energy drinks have become popular mixers for alcohol, raising other concerns for health experts.

“A lot of the young people mix energy drinks with alcoholic beverages, then you’ve got a wide-awake drunk,” Deuster says.

The CDC warns that when alcoholic beverages are mixed with energy drinks, the caffeine stimulant can mask the effects of the alcohol, which is a depressant. Often, the person drinking might not even realize that he or she is actually drunk.

According to the CDC, that means people who mix alcohol with energy drinks are three times more likely to binge drink than those who don’t mix alcohol with energy drinks. Experts warn motor skills can be affected and some people engage in riskier behaviors while under the influence of alcohol and energy drinks. Additionally, both caffeine and alcohol are diuretics, which can cause dehydration if you’re not careful.

Some companies sell pre-mixed alcoholic energy drinks that have the same sweet or tart flavors as standard energy drinks. As the Army notes, the alcohol content in these beverages can be significantly higher than what’s found in beer.

These energy drinks with alcohol may appeal to underage drinkers because they’re cheaper than hard liquor and they’re marketed with a message that the drinker can last all day or all night long. The sugary nature of the beverages also can lead drinkers to feel like they can imbibe longer than if they were consuming harder alcohol.


Deuster raises concerns about a problem in the military with energy drinks and sleep. The data back up her concerns. While service members may initially use energy drinks to make up for a lack of sleep, they can easily overuse the drinks, leading lead to a harmful cycle. Excess consumption of energy drinks can cause sleep problems and hamper performance.

Dr. Nancy J. Wesensten, from the Center for Military Psychiatry and Neurosciences Research, tells Army Medicine that research on caffeine shows that it can be effective if used properly.

However, Wesensten notes, “because caffeine impairs sleep, individuals should stop all caffeine consumption at least six hours prior to scheduled sleep. Otherwise, sleep could be impaired without the person even being aware of it.”

The CDC reports that service members who drink three or more energy drinks per day were significantly more likely to report sleeping fewer than four hours per night. They were also more likely to report disrupted sleep.

Lack of sleep can impact memory and a service member’s ability to pay attention. Research indicates service members who consumed three or more energy drinks each day also had difficulty staying awake during briefings or on guard duty.

The Army’s Performance Triad offers tips on how to get a better night’s sleep, including controlling light and temperature, and recommends that leaders ensure service members have enough time for quality sleep.


Energy drinks are not regulated as dietary supplements. While the cans have nutrition labels, many do not list supplement information.

One area that’s concerning to Deuster is the ingredient taurine. The chemical compound is an amino acid found in animal tissue. Many energy drink makers purport the ingredient will enhance mental and physical performance, but researchers with the Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center report that little is actually known about taurine’s neuroendocrine effects.


So what should service members look to for a healthy substitute for energy drinks? Deuster keeps it simple: “Good old water.”

Appealing to service members’ frugality, she adds, “If you want to save money, drink water.”

Vasque- Lost 40 Boots

Friday, December 30th, 2016

During last year’s Outdoor Retailer Winter Market I saw these new winter boots from Vasque.

The Lost 40 has changed colors slightly since I saw the prototypes, but they’re available in both Men’s and Women’s versions.

There are two independant laces as well as a pull loop at the rear make them easy to don and doff, even when you’re wearing gloves. They also incorporate IceTrek soles, which offer increased traction, even on ice, and are lined with wool. The wool lining and an Aerogel midsole help keep your feet warm in cold conditions.


Primaloft, Inc To Introduce Primaloft Black Insulation at Outdoor Retailer Winter Market 2017

Friday, December 30th, 2016

LATHAM, N.Y. (December, 2016) – PrimaLoft, Inc., the world leader in providing comfort solutions with high-performance insulations and fabrics, will introduce PrimaLoft® Black Insulation ThermoPlume, the industry’s highest-performing blowable synthetic insulation with the look and feel of natural down, at Outdoor Retailer Winter Market 2017. PrimaLoft® Black Insulation ThermoPlume features a unique blend of water-resistant PrimaLoft® fibers that deliver insulating loft, wet weather protection and compressibility. Black ThermoPlume is manufactured with small, silky tufts of fiber plumes that collectively form a loose fill insulation, replicating the lightweight warmth, softness and compressibility of natural goose down. Its construction allows for it to be blown through traditional down-blowing manufacturing equipment, simplifying the manufacturing process for brands enabling product designers the freedom to create innovative garments combining the look and feel of down with the water-resistant performance of a synthetic. Respected brands, such as Montane, are among the first to adopt this technology for fall ’17. In addition to PrimaLoft® Black Insulation ThermoPlume, the brand will showcase an expanded presence for the company’s range of Active and Eco products, most notably, PrimaLoft® Gold Insulation Active and PrimaLoft® Gold Insulation Eco, at Outdoor Retailer Winter Market, booth #40043.

“PrimaLoft® Black Insulation ThermoPlume is not only the highest performing blowable synthetic insulation, but also fills a growing demand for innovation from designers, brands and consumers looking to move away from down, without sacrificing performance,” said Mike Joyce, president and CEO of PrimaLoft, Inc. “Providing a blowable, high-performing synthetic that acts as a true replacement for down allows brands to replicate the design aesthetic and the manufacturing process of a down garment. This helps to simplify the supply chain, combat the volatility of down prices and provides piece of mind when it comes to the ethical sourcing of materials.”

PrimaLoft® Black Insulation ThermoPlume delivers thermal properties equivalent to 550 fill power down in construction, while a water-resistant proprietary finish ensures warmth even in wet conditions.

Montane, a leading engineer of innovative extreme sports clothing and equipment, features PrimaLoft® Black Insulation ThermoPlume in its new Men’s Icarus and Women’s Phoenix Jackets for fall ’17, with streamlined designs ideal for both layering and standalone use.

“The new all-synthetic ThermoPlume from PrimaLoft® enabled our designers to leverage the benefits of synthetic down through the same efficient production methods as natural down for our fall winter 2017 range,” said Lottie Watkinson, design manager at Montane. “Mimicking natural down more closely than ever before, but with all the wet weather performance advantages of PrimaLoft®, our design team has worked to harness its innovative properties to bring consumers cutting edge, down centric styles. The packability and thermal efficiency of ThermoPlume lends itself to our technical yet versatile fall winter 2017 insulation portfolio in our new Icarus and Phoenix Jackets.”

Rogue Stash Tag

Friday, December 30th, 2016

Rogue Dynamics has introduced the Rogue Stash Tag, a keytag design with hidden compartment they shared with their friends at GRYlife.

Its Velcro shell allows the user to attach morale patches or other identifiers. It also sports a hidden compartment to store a wide variety of items. While the guys have carried all kinds of cool guy stuff in there, I like the idea of a backup $100 bill.

Available in Black or Grey from Rogue Dynamics or in Grey from GRYlife.

82nd Abn Div Small Arms Master Gunner on New 25m M16/M4 Zero Target

Friday, December 30th, 2016

Recently, we told you about the 82nd Abn Div Small Arms Master Gunner Facebook page. This is the type of stuff they have going on over there and I’m very impressed. This example came from this week’s “Walk through Wednesday” and is definitely worth reading and the page is a must follow.

We have a guest post for Walk through Wednesday. Mike Lewis was the 82nd Airborne Small Arms Master Gunner before me. He worked with Ash Hess, John Brady, and Paul Meacham on developing the new zero target that will be discussed today….

Hello, shooters. I’m SFC (Retired) Mike Lewis and previously served in the 82nd Airborne Division SAMG position. Today’s Walkthrough Wednesday is on the new 25m M16/M4 zero target and zeroing. It is quite a bit different from the zero targets you’ve previously seen on Army ranges, for multiple reasons to be discussed below. It’s also a more useful multipurpose target. This is designed for zeroing the M16/M4 series weapon, use as a scoring target for conducting short-range marksmanship (SRM) training, and use as a scoring target for use in pistol training. It was designed in a collaborative effort between myself, SFC Ash Hess at the Maneuver Center of Excellence (MCoE), SFC Paul Meacham at the 101st Airborne Division (AASLT), and SSG John Brady at the 10th Mountain Division (LI).

The first and biggest change is the pattern of the target itself. We did away with the silhouette previously used for decades. The silhouette was inserted years ago as a training tool to overcome the human predisposition against shooting other humans. However, zeroing isn’t training; it’s mechanically aligning the sights with the trajectory of the round at a given point. When zeroing the key is proper marksmanship through use of the Shot Process and Functional Elements, producing tight shot groups. Therefore, we should use the target that gives the best possible way to find the center of visible mass (CoVM) in order to use proper aiming then aligning the point of aim and point of impact. The silhouette doesn’t present that. A bullseye-style target was selected, but a circle is difficult for the human eye to find the exact center of; it is easy to find the center of a diamond, so one was overlaid on the circular bull.

There are two dotted rings on the zero target at CoVM, a 4 MOA circle and the legacy 4 cm circle. Using the 4 cm circle gives one a “minute of man” zero at 300 meters and is less than optimal. Shooters should easily be able to print 4 MOA groups on demand. The goal is zeroing within the 4 MOA circle, the tighter the group, the better for a precise zero.

The grid you’re used to has been changed. It was set up to work with the iron sights, and the grid was harder to use for optics that have a .5 minute of angle (MOA) adjustment (CCO or most RCOs) or a .333 MOA adjustment (some RCOs). The grid is now a 1 MOA grid making it much easier in zeroing the optic that has become the primary sighting systems. The odd adjustments of the irons require more math and understanding of the different sight radius of the M4 and M16.

There is a table at the bottom of the target showing adjustment values for each sighting system. Noticeably missing are the numbers formerly placed on the margins of the adjustment grid. The reason is knowing your equipment. You should know whether you have a .333 or .5 MOA adjustment value (optics) and be able to do the math of counting and multiplying by 2 or 3. It’s simple. You should also know your adjustment on the M4 irons are .75 MOA windage (rear) and approximately 1.75 MOA elevation (front) per click. The old target was made for the least common denominator, not knowledge of the weapon and its use.

Now that we’ve covered the target itself, let’s talk ballistics. A POA/POI zero at 25 meters does not a 300 meter zero make. The trajectory of the round crosses the sight plane at 36 meters as it would at 300. This is the reason the Marine Corps uses 36 in zeroing. The Army uses 25 as we know. To achieve a 300 meter zero at 25 one of two things must happen, either a ballistic offset or a mechanical offset must be used. Some of us remember the carrying handle iron sights being used on the M16 and M4. We remember that zeroing at 25 meters required adjusting the elevation wheel on the rear sight one click and then moving it one click back after zeroing; this is the mechanical offset. That method isn’t available on the backup iron sight or the optics currently in use, necessitating a calibrated ballistic offset. For a 300 meter zero achieved at 25 meters, the offset is .3 inches, or about 1 MOA low. This adjustment must be made for a 300 meter zero obtained on a 25-meter range and should be confirmed and refined at true distance (300 meters).

Any error in using the offset is amplified when using a bullet drop compensator (BDC) as in the reticle pattern of the RCO. Although the manufacturer specified the RCO is designed to be zeroed at 100, the Army’s doctrine states using a 25 meter zero for 300 is the method. Not using the previously described offset makes the entire BDC calibration invalid. My preferred method of zeroing the RCO is placing the tip of the chevron (the 100-meter aiming point) on the point of aim (CoVM) and using a point of impact 1.4 inches (about 5.5 MOA) low for a 100 meter zero. Again, this should be confirmed and refined at true distance (100 meters in this case).

Any aiming or other error in the shot process degrades the ability to achieve a precise zero. This has a detrimental impact on accuracy of your shots and lethality as a Paratrooper. Do some dry fire drills. Get out there and work your zero.