Tag Archives: 5.56

Sig 556 Platform Modernization Project

On the recent Primary & Secondary modcast 187, Matt was discussing his new DSA FAL and the general concept of taking what was an obsolete battle rifle and making it new again. I thought this was a cool idea, and decided to embark on a similar project. I have a number of relatively obsolete guns in my safe, but a fair number of them are in “mil-spec” configuration, and thus I don’t want to alter them. But I do have a Sig 556 SBR and a Sig 556R Gen2 that are basically just old “cool guy” guns from a decade ago, and thus fair game.

I took a long look at them, and what I thought needed to be improved… and did it.

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Green Ops Defensive Carbine I Clinic AAR (Sig Optics Edition)

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My second Green Ops class of the year was another run of the defense carbine I clinic on April 28, 2019. This is probably the fourth or fifth time I’ve taken this class, and every time, I get something new out of it. It’s also interesting to see how Green Ops has been evolving as a company, and how the classes change due to feedback.

Besides my usual goal of improving my somewhat dismal carbine skills, I had two secondary objectives:

  1. Test out my Sig Optics Romeo4M and Juliet4 combo under harder-use conditions.
  2. Get some runs on my AMG Lab Commander shot timer in prep for an upcoming review.

Continue reading Green Ops Defensive Carbine I Clinic AAR (Sig Optics Edition)

IWI Carmel Rifle @ TFB

TheFirearmBlog has an excellent article on the IWI Carmel rifle that was displayed at the LAAD expo in Rio recently.

It looks a lot like what you’d get if you crossed a Tavor with a Galil ACE, and it does look a whole lot like the ARX-100. Height over bore is a little bigger than I’d prefer, and it doesn’t seem to have ambi-ejection, but it appears to be a solid traditional-format carbine. I think it’ll sell well in the US if they can bring it in under $1000.

I’d hazard a guess it’s for export purposes, albeit I do think the IDF would do well to have a non-bullpup rifle available for cheap domestic manufacture in the event that they want to transition off the M16 for political purposes.

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.