View Full Version : Generic gun question
Mike thanks for taking the time to answer questions in the SME forum. I just have a simple 2 part question, I think both have been asked of most the SME's.
1) What specific considerations do you take in regard to carbine setup?
2) What current production sidearms do you consider fit for duty, and things you may change or not change in their setup.
My overall take on the Stoner platform is relatively simple based on the assumption that all parts are properly fabricated and installed. A good quality barrel that is free-floated, has a properly headspaced bolt and a good quality trigger is the rifle. The rest is operator/personal preference. My preferences are the following for a combat focused rifle:
• 16” cold hammer forged chrome lined medium to medium-light weight barrel with Surefire FH556-212A (great flash suppression and it takes my SF can)
• Mid-length D/I gas system
o (I don’t exclude piston guns but weight and accuracy strongly favor a D/I gun. I own and shoot several brands of piston guns frequently and especially favor them on 8.5”-10.5” SBR’s with suppressor. That said I have never experienced nor witnessed substantial unreliability with properly built and minimally maintained D/I guns that would make me go 100% to the piston design. I have and use several and like and prefer them for the task I have for each.)
• 9” or longer free float tube with removable rail sections
• Geissele trigger
• Collapsible VLTOR stock with H2 buffer or VLTOR A-5 kit
• Extractor O-ring unless it has a documented 4 or 5 coil extra power CS extractor spring
• Coated carrier (Ion Bond, Nickel boron, Chrome, NP3, Ceramic etc.)
o Iron sights- No real preference other than they have to be folding and zero properly.
o 1X sight- EOTech
o Magnification- I like no more than 1.5X as the base. My two favorites are Accupoint 1.25-4x with triangle(leans towards speed) or the Leupold 1.5-5 w/illuminated CMR reticle (leans towards precision)
• Two point adjustable sling mounted at front of forend with non-rotating pushbutton mount
• Minimum 110 lumen light
• Tango down BG17 pistol grip
• Magazines-I don’t care if they are metal or not but they must be reliable under adverse conditions and must drop free, no exceptions. The grading criteria are reliability, durability and a distant last is weight. These three types have all worked extremely well for me.
o Aluminum GI with CS spring and Magpul follower
o Tango Down MkII ARC (prefer clear)
o Lancer L5AWM (prefer clear)
When I work with a department, agency or military unit I shoot what they do in the caliber they do so I have a stable of training guns I use. I am a 1911 aficionado but they lack magazine capacity unless you go with a hi-cap frame and then they get very big and bulky. They are a great fighting handgun but are probably the most expensive and relatively speaking most complex and finicky design. For that reason I really don’t put them on this list unless you are looking at a moderately customized one. Simplicity, size, weight, accuracy, shootability and historic data really favor the Glock 17/22/19/23. That said I have no real affinity for the 26/27 because I can conceal a 19/23 just as well and shoot it a hell of a lot better. The 40S&W models are more prone to parts breakage and reliability issues relative to the 9mm variants especially when using a dedicated light. This is due to frame flex but they still perform exceptionally well. The others I own, shoot and look at very favorably for duty carry are the XD and XD/M series, M&P’s, Sig 226/229 and the CZ SP01/P01/06/P07. I have been shooting the P07 in 9mm quite a bit lately and am very impressed with it. It is available at $423 from the CZ Custom shop which makes it a steal.
*For the sake of brevity please consider any reference to 40S&W to include .357Sig as well. For me all duty type guns must have a railed dustcover and I prefer 9mm or 40S&W over 45ACP for capacity.
On the striker fired guns that don’t have them, I favor a frame mounted safety for duty use like the M&P and XD45. For the Glock I would like to see a high quality metal magazine and metal magazine release.
Aside from Glock and 1911 the others are in no specific order.
Full size duty:
XD and XD/M in 9 and 40
SP01 (with de-cocker)
Good quality tuned 1911 ( not “out of the box”)
XD compact in 9/40/45
CZ P01/06 and 07
M&P Compact 9/40/45
Good quality tuned lightweight CCO 1911 (not “out of the box”)
May I ask why you prefer the CZ P01/07 over the 75/85.
Size and weight for a carry gun were the biggest factors. Reliability and accuracy (taking into account the shorter sight radius) are great for both. Hitting a 5"x5" plate at 20m is not a problem with my P07.
Do you have any comment over a somewhat common disdain for the XD/XDM series among some people in the tactical community?
For the record I have only very minimal first person experience with the the XDs, but have steered others looking for a polymer pistol towards the S&W M&P or Glock lineups based on what others have said. I have plenty of encouraging firsthand experience with many of the other brands that you've listed and feel less in the dark on those.
I have had the exact opposite responses and I have two XD's which are extremely accurate and reliable. They are probably a bit more bulky and some have complained of a high bore axis but even my 45 shoots extremly well. I can give you a read on it from the 3 M&P's (9, 40, 45C) and 2 XD's (both 45's) I have. The XD's (stock) have been much more accurate than all of my M&P's. The closest in accuracy was the 45C and because of the difference in sight radius and the reports of extremely good accuracy in the fullsize S&W45's from others I expect the difference is minimal. Apex Specialties is working with Bar-Sto on a replacement barrel for the M&P line so that should say something. I have put a KKM in my 40 and a Storm Lake in my 9 in place of my stock barrels and have had much better results. With a good barrel and an Apex trigger kit the M&P is extremely nice as is any of the XD's with trigger jobs. I like the frame mounted safety on th M&P and my XD45 and would really like to see that as an option on all the striker fired guns used for everything but sport so you can put a lighter trigger on them and still get institutional dept/agency authorization.
For ergonomics I like the M&P better than any other polymer auto (P07 is second). I do a drill at 10m on a plate rack where you start with 1 in the chamber and 1 in the magazine with 2 reloads, one of 2 rds and your final magazine full for make-up shots if necessary. You draw and shoot 2 plates>emergency reload shoot 2 plates>emergency reload shoot 2 plates. The goal is sub-six seconds. It is pretty much impossible if you don't shoot it clean because the drill as constructed does not allow you to shoot plates you missed until you have taken one shot at every plate. The only pistol I have been able to do it around 50% of the time is my M&P9 with Apex trigger. I don't shoot it repetatively, I use it as a test and do it randomly but had to adjust the times when shooting other guns. (Clarification: initially I did do it repetatively to figure out if it was attainable. From that point since I know it's possible but difficult, I use it as a test. Times are varied per pistol type.)
For reliability and durability the M&P's have been amongst the best performing pistols I have ever owned. I shot the 9 and 40 hard for about 18 months.
M&P9 (20,000+ rds)
M&P40 (15,000+ rds)
M&P45C (1100 rds)
XD45 (5000+ rds)
XD45 (200rds; just a deal I couldn't pass up so I got 2)
I hope that wasn't TMI but the context gives some basis to my comments.
Mike, may I add why do you prefer the use of a EoTech?
It's fairly common among the well-regarded instructor community, and even this forum, to criticize Eotechs and instead push other optics, mostly Aimpoint. The only other major SME instructors I know of that uses an EoTech are Kyle Lamb and Kyle Defoor.
Do you believe that the battery problems aren't that big of an issue? Battery life? Durability? I'm interested in any input.
Thank you for your time.
Why EOTechís- It is the fastest short range sight due to window size and the reticle design which lends itself to short range offset. I know Kyle L. uses it for the same reasons and I assume Kyle D. does as well. I only promote what I use or something I have used extensively. I prefer EOTech but there are plenty of Aimpoint, Leupold, Trijicon, and a Horus in the shed. I am starting to use more magnified optics and have found that they really shine after 100m but under are noticeably slower.
Battery box-I saw the issues on my 556, 553's SOCOM bought as well as some of the 552's the Marines I was embedded with in '05 had. I came up with a battlefield fix for the Marines using a yellow foam ear plug (not the squishy kind but the military cylindrical yellow foamies). I remove the grommet and contact pad and then cut the earplug in half. I used glue to attach the contact pad to the Ĺ ear plug then put it back in the battery box and the grommet on top. All I am doing is reducing the size of the battery box. The battery box problem is that the spring in the grommet is to conduct electricity, not to give strong spring tension. Strong CS springs wonít conduct electricity at those low levels well enough to use. The grommet is supposed to give the appropriate tension but can lose contact since the batteries are parallel to the axis of recoil. I did this for many Marines and never had one come back and say it didnít work. I actually ran into one of them in San Diego and he said he still uses the same battery box, even switching it out on a new sight he was issued.
Battery life- I change batteries and am extremely diligent about my optics so I donít really find that an issue.
Durability- My sights have been phenomenally durable and I still own and use the first N battery version Bushnell made among all the others.
The New XPS3-0 sight with the transverse mounted battery is my favorite 1X sight by far. The battery life is very good for a single 123 battery and the battery box issues are nonexistent. I also prefer the NV setting which works like a sleep mode and doesnít use much battery life at all.
Do you have a specific brand of AR that you prefer over others such as Noveske or Colt to build off of?
On the standard design (mil-spec type) nothing in particular as long as the lower and upper match with no noticeable gap or excessive play between them. I'm finicky about that and would rather not use an accuwedge if I can avoid it. Pin holes need to be properly spaced and not oversized. Both upper/lower must be made from properly fabricated and machined 7075 T6 that is Type III hardcoat anodized. Other than that it's all about the components. This is so common nowadays that pretty much any upper /lower of 7075 T6 that matches up properly is good for a build. To give you an idea what I mean, I have some Charles Daly lowers I bought for $69ea. that are as well manufactured as anything out there.
Remember there are only a handful of people that make uppers and lowers in quantity. And many of the rifles we all have are not rollstamped with the actual manufacturers name, just the company that built the rifle.
I have to say, looking at the 2 Larue rifles on the floor by my computer (7.62 OBR and 5.56 PredatAR) his components are proprietary but hard to beat. Both rifles shoot as beautiful as they look! Big props to Mark and the LT crew.
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