Tag Archives: 5.56

I need someone to explain .300 AAC to me; or, better calibers for your AR

Every time I see someone ask about non-5.56 calibers on the AR-15 platform, there’s a legion of fanboys who start proclaiming that .300 AAC (aka, .300 BLK or Blackout or whatever) is the way to go. Let’s take a look at its capabilities:

  • Subsonic .300AAC? All the ballistics and energy of .45ACP. Somewhat better penetration due to bullet profile, but I don’t get the hype at all. We’ve spent literally decades declaring PCCs and SMGs dead, and now this is the hotness?
  • Supersonic .300AAC? Nearly indistinguishable from 7.62×39 in terms of ballistics, and if you’re OK with .308 bullets in a .311 bore, the bullet selection is the same.

Yes, .300AAC can be a .45 ACP and a 7.62×39 on demand. That’s the best cartridge design of the years 1911 and 1944, all in one gun. That’s not a compelling to me. But, OK… let’s say that is compelling to you. I can use my imagination!

Continue reading I need someone to explain .300 AAC to me; or, better calibers for your AR

Green Ops Defensive Carbine I Clinic AAR (IDF Colt Commando Edition)

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Continuing my tradition of running my guns hard and Israeli-style, I was very happy to kick off the new year with the Green Ops Defensive Carbine I Clinic this past Sunday. This was the third time I’ve taken this particular class, and I can say that each and every time, I’ve learned something new.

This time around, I decided to go with my IDF Colt Commando carbine clone. Yes, that’s right… I went with a plain-old AR-15 for once. Read on for my impressions of the class!

Continue reading Green Ops Defensive Carbine I Clinic AAR (IDF Colt Commando Edition)

Green Ops Defensive Carbine Clinic AAR (Galil Edition)

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Shanah tovah!

So, I have been less active posting to the blog because I’ve been buying less and doing more. This is not a bad state of affairs, but can admittedly be on the boring side of things if you’re the reader of an Israeli firearms blog! (It also didn’t help that IWI hasn’t released any of their new guns yet… so much for release dates.)

One of the things I’ve been doing more of is training. Training is a tough commitment, but I’m in a place in my life where I’m finally in condition to do more of it, and I’ve been trying to make a priority of it. Finding good trainers is hard – most of them seem content to do CCW courses and “your first gun!” classes. There’s nothing wrong with those, but when you want more advanced training, you’re either looking harder or traveling.

I am very pleased to say that Green Ops in northern Virginia is one of those real-deal advanced training providers, and they’re worth every penny you throw their way. I’ve taken a number of courses with them, and this after-action review is for their Defensive Carbine Clinic.

Continue reading Green Ops Defensive Carbine Clinic AAR (Galil Edition)

Running and Gunning with the Tavor

I had the opportunity to take a carbine class with Green Ops recently, and because I am an iconoclast and easily influenced by my friends, I ran it with my stock Tavor. (Not to worry, I had my IDF-style Colt Commando in my trunk as a backup.) This was the first time I had ever really run the Tavor hard, and I’ve got some new feelings about the platform. Optic, for reference, was the Mepro RDS, which worked great and I have no complaints about.

The only big issue I had with the Tavor in class is reloading speed. I’d argue that the problem is not really getting the old magazine out (I’m a mag ripper by temperament), but rather getting the bolt back into battery. The bolt release is just in a really awkward place, so you either wind up hitting it (which is slow and awkward) or racking the CH (which is a touch-slower but less awkward). The X95 seems to have a better design on this front, but it’s still not that hot due to the bolt release being roughly the same concept (albeit moderately improved). I am going to shake down a buddy of mine with an X95 to see how I feel about it.

The factory trigger is also not great for first-round precision due to how heavy it is, but has a really great reset. If I wanted to spend the money on a Geissele pack, this would be a non-issue IMHO. As it is, you’ve got to be a touch slower and more deliberate to make the trigger do what you need it to do. But important thing here: it can do the job.

Switching shoulders during a barricade drill was not a problem due to the case deflector. Yeah, brass flying in front of your face is a theoretically bit unsettling, but if it doesn’t hit you, who cares? I was so totally focused on the drill I barely even noticed.

I did not love the full-length trigger guard. My rifle was slung a little too low, and I could not see the pistol grip. Ordinarily, this would not be a big problem, but I had to be exceedingly careful to not accidentally grab the trigger. In a gun with a traditional trigger guard, I would not have had this concern quite as much.

Finally, I did not love the sling situation on the Tavor. I prefer running the Magpul single point slings when I need to shoot dynamically, and the Tavor is not set up for that out of the box. The GHW Flex Swivel apparently does a reasonable job of providing a way to do this, but they were out of stock everywhere when I was looking for it last month.

Now, all of this said, the gun ran with utter reliability, on a diet of cheap steel-cased ammo to boot. No failures, no stoppages, no failures to lock back, etc. This was true of the other Tavor in the class as well. Really, the only problem was that I ran slower, and I think further practice doing reloads would have alleviated that to some degree. The problem, of course, is that practicing reloads on traditional-format guns that take AR mags makes me faster on all those guns… practicing on a Tavor just makes me faster on a Tavor. Not a problem if you’re a grunt in the IDF, but if you’re an enthusiast in the US, it’s something of a conundrum.

 

The El-Op Eyal Scope

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One of the really neat things about collecting Israeli firearms and accessories is that the Israelis surplused tons of neat stuff. While I haven’t seen any surplus Israeli reflex sights come on the market yet, there are a bunch of Eyal and Nimrod scopes floating around out there. I was recently able to get my hands on an El-Op Eyal scope. The Eyal is a “M16 carry handle”-style scope of the type that was popularized by the old Colt 3x and 4x scopes.

I’d like to share my thoughts about it!

Continue reading The El-Op Eyal Scope

X95s now shipping to distributors

According to a Facebook post by IWI-US, the X95 is now shipping to distributors.

We are pleased to announce that the first black X95 carbines with 16.5″ barrels started shipping today to our wholesale…

Posted by IWI US on Tuesday, March 29, 2016

This is pretty fast work by IWI-US standards! They’ve also recently announced that they’ve manufactured 50k standard Tavors for the US market, which is also quite an accomplishment.

Unfortunately, I probably won’t have an X95 soon due to MD’s ban on rifles with an OAL of less than 29″, not to mention being out of space in my gun safe and having a five year old about to enter Jewish day school (tuition!). Still, if I can find a friend with one, I’ll try to get a review together.

A New Israeli AK

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(photo from Guns, Holsters, and Gear)

The newest AK on the market is the “Alfa” from CAA and was revealed at SHOT 2016. GHG has an amazing article on it. It appears to be a CAA design, and has some rather radical changes from the standard AK design. It was supposedly designed with IDF personnel input, which makes sense – you can see how the stock is now inline and higher for compatibility with AR optics, and all the controls seem to be ambidextrous. It looks like a two-piece receiver design, ala the M+M M10X, but you can see that the recoil spring is still behind the bolt (unlike the Sig 556 or M10X, where it’s up front by the piston).

My only quibble is that the weight is on the heavy side – 7.7lbs. This makes me suspect it’s a chassis on top of a traditional steel AK receiver, rather than a truly re-engineered steel-reinforced polymer receiver like the SCAR-16S (7.25lbs). But it’s still lighter than a Sig 556 Classic (8.2lbs), albeit not quite as svelte as the Galil ACE (7.5lbs). Some of that additional weight might be from the huge AK-74-esque muzzle attachment, too.

There’s also a Galil-mag 5.56×45 version, which is a bit of an odd choice. As evinced by the popularity of the Zastava M85NP, the AK market prefers AR magazines when it comes to 5.56×45, and the gun itself clearly has a chassis that would lend itself to modification for AR mag use.

In any event, it’ll make an interesting competitor to the ACE, and is another Israeli rifle for “the list”.