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NICE CANS!SUPPRESSOR SPECIAL

SINCE 1959

UTAS XTR-12
AR-10
PLATFORM
SHOTGUN
.458
WILSONCOMBAT
THE
BARREL BRINGSTHEHAMMER
GUYS
TACTICAL
KINETICS
OFTHOR

GEMTECH
MIST-22
INTEGRALLY

CZ’S
SUPPRESSED
10/22
BARREL
BOLT-ACTION
SUPPRESSOR-READY 300 BLK

12 STANDOUTSUPPRESSORS
OCTOBER 2018 VOLUME 59, NO. 10
GUNWORLD
10 U.S. $4.99
DISPLAY UNTIL :
10/09/18

0 74470 03105 5
© 2018 O.F. Mossberg & Sons

ENGINEERED
TO THE SPECS
OF FREEDOM AND

STAND AND SALUTE THE TACTICAL RIFLES


from Mossberg. As America’s oldest family-owned
and operated firearms manufacturer, we’ve been
building dependable, hardworking shotguns and
rifles since 1919. American built. American strong.
ARM YOURSELF WITH MOSSBERG.


MMR TACTICAL RIFLE 
#65035 – VORTEX STRIKEFIRE II SCOPED COMBO

M O S S B E R G . C O M / ARM YOURSELF

ARM YOURSELF WITH SAFETY Store firearms securely, inaccessible to children and unauthorized users.
CONTENTS

ON THE COVER
GUN: WILSON COMBAT .458 HAM’R WITH
LEUPOLD VX-R 2-7X33 RIFLESCOPE
PHOTO: STEVE WOODS

COLUMNS

06 ......................................................... UP FRONT
10 ............................................................. KIT UP!
12 .............................................................. OPTICS
16 ................................................................. HUNT
20 ............................................. ARTEMIS ARMED
80 ................................................................... EDC
84 ................................................................TRAIN
88 ....................................................... AMMO 411
92 ...................................................CLEARED HOT
96 ............................................CHEWING THE FAT
98 ...................................................DOWN RANGE

GUN WORLD (ISSN 0017-5641) is published monthly in January, February, March,


April, May, June, July, August, September, October, November and December by
Engaged Media Inc., LLC, 17890 Sky Park Circle, Suite 250, Irvine, CA 92614.
Periodical postage paid at Irvine, CA, and additional mailing ofices. POSTMASTER:
Send address changes to GUN WORLD c/o Engaged Media Inc., VSI, Inc., 905 Kent
Street, Liberty, MO 64068. © 2018 by Engaged Media, Inc. All rights reserved.
Reproduction of any material from this issue in whole or in part is strictly prohibited.
GST#855050365RT001. Canadian Post: Publications Mail Agreement Pitney Bowes,
Inc., P.O. Box 25542, London, ON N6C 6B2, Canada.

www.gunworld.com p OCTOBER I 2018

4
GUN WORLD
OCTOBER I 2018

COVER STOry

50
MJOLNIR: HAMMER OF THOR
“Mjolnir,” the Hammer of Thor, is the very deinition of
an unstoppable force. Wilson Combat brings the hammer
of Thor to us in the form of the .458 HAM’R.
By Patrick Sweeney

FEATURES

24
GEMTECH: MISTICAL MIST-22
About the only way a Ruger 10/22 Target Tactical
could get any better is to mount a can on it. The
Gemtech Mist-22 does it one better—it incorporates a
can into the barrel.
By Sean Curtis

32
SUPPRESSOR-READY 300 BLK BOLT-ACTION
Think you’ve heard quiet? Wait until you don’t hear CZ’s
527 Suppressor-Ready 300 BLK.
By Todd Burgreen

42
A TRUE AR-10-BASED SHOTGUN
Historically, AR shotguns resemble an AR cosmetically
but have nothing in common with the AR platform in
design—sort of like putting lipstick on a pig. The UTAS
XTR-12 is an actual AR-10-platform 12-gauge.
By Andy Massimilian

60
THE BARREL GUYS
Producing consistent shot placement is a relationship
that necessitates a relationship among several
components. OEM barrel-maker Tactical Kinetics might
be new, but they get it. We test TK barrels in both 6.5
Grendel and 6.5 Creedmoor.
By Frank Melloni

70
SUPPRESSOR ROUNDUP: 12 STANDOUT CANS
Suppressors are on the verge of mainstream. There are
a lot of them out there, and more and more makers are
throwing their hats into the ring. We pick a dozen
suppressors that stand out from the crowd.
By Robb Manning

www.gunworld.com p OCTOBER I 2018

5
UPFRONT BY ROBB MANNING RMANNING@ENGAGEDMEDIAINC.COM

NICE CANS!
“Hey, babe, nice cans!” I cat-called to the woman as I passed her going in
the opposite direction.
GUN WORLD OCTOBER 2018
Volume 59 • Number 10

EDITORIAL
Robb Manning Editor
Kelly Nomura Executive Managing Editor
Amy Maclean Managing Editor

DESIGN
Julian Aviña Art Director

CONTRIBUTORS
Of course, that woman was my wife, and she was carrying a couple of my Steven Paul Barlow, Brian Berry, Todd Burgreen, Chris Cerino, Michelle Cerino, Sean Curtis, Brad Fitzpatrick,
suppressors from my truck to the firing line at the range. She failed to see Steven K. Ledin, Andy Massimilian, Frank Melloni, Jeff Quinn, Patrick Sweeney

the humor in my comment; and, having her hands full somehow didn’t stop ADVERTISING
Gabe Frimmel Ad Sales Director
her from cuffing me upside the head. (714) 200-1930 gfrimmel@engagedmediainc.com
Casey Clifford Senior Account Executive (714) 200-1982
Mark Pack Senior Account Executive (714) 200-1939
Spencer Redmond Account Executive (919) 771-8919
Cans, also known as suppressors, have hit the gun community in a big way in John Bartulin Account Executive (866) 866-5146 ext. 2746
Eric Gomez Advertising Traffic Coordinator
recent years. It used to be that hardly anyone had ired one, and now, it seems
a good percentage of shooters have either shot one or know someone who has. MARKETING
Michael Chadwick Digital Marketing & Media Coordinator

OPERATIONS
For all the hoopla about suppressors, I’ve found one major problem inherent Manish Kumar Mishra Operations Specialist
Surajpal Singh Bisht Prepress Manager
to all of them: Once you shoot one, you never want to shoot without one. Devender Hasija Newsstand and Circulation Analyst
Shailesh Khandelwal Subscriptions Manager
Alex Mendoza Administrative Assistant
Victoria Van Vlear Intern Program Manager
I’ve known shooters who said they would never buy one—it’s too much of a
hassle to go through the paperwork (which it’s not), or they don’t want the EDITORIAL, PRODUCTION & SALES OFFICE
17890 Sky Park Circle, Suite 250, Irvine, CA 92614
government prying into their business (which it doesn’t). Nevertheless, once (714) 939-9991 • Fax (800) 249-7761
www.gunworld.com
they shoot one, it’s all they can talk about. www.facebook.com/gunworldmagazine
www.facebook.com/eembybeckett
www.instagram.com/gunworldmagazine
It’s a downward spiral: GUN WORLD (ISSN 0017-5641) is published monthly in January, February, March, April, May, June, July, August,
September, October, November and December by Engaged Media Inc., LLC, 17890 Sky Park Circle, Suite 250,
Irvine, CA 92614. Periodical postage paid at Irvine, CA, and additional mailing offices. POSTMASTER: Send address
1. You shoot one. changes to GUN WORLD, c/o Engaged Media Inc, VSI, Inc., 905 Kent Street, Liberty, MO 64068. © 2018 by Engaged
Media, Inc. All rights reserved. Reproduction of any material from this issue in whole or in part is strictly prohibited.
2. You need one. GST#855050365RT001. Canadian Post: Publications Mail Agreement Pitney Bowes, Inc., P.O. Box 25542, London,
ON N6C 6B2, Canada
3. You buy one (but only one).
CUSTOMER SERVICE
4. You get it and you shoot it. Engaged Media, Inc.
17890 Sky Park Circle, Suite 250, Irvine, CA 92614
5. You don’t want to ever shoot without one. Subscriptions, Address Changes, Renewals,
Missing or Damaged Copies
6. Soon, you’re at the dealer, buying another one (or two, or three or four). (800) 764-6278
(239) 653-0225 Foreign Inquiries
subscriptions@engagedmediainc.com
And so, the process continues. customerservice@engagedmediainc.com
Back Issues: www.engagedmediamags.com
Books, merchandise, reprints
(800) 764-6278 • Foreign (239) 653-0225
Does any of this sound familiar to those of you who own suppressors? Letters to editor, new products or to contribute a story or photo: rmanning@engagedmediainc.com
Note that I said suppressors—plural—because I know very few people SUBSCRIPTION RATES
$17.95/1 year, $29.95/2 years. Outside the U.S.: $40.95/1 year, $75.95/2 years. Payable in U.S. funds. Single copy price is $4.99.
who own just one. You either haven’t shot one and don’t own one, or you Please allow 6 to 8 weeks for new subscriptions to begin.
have shot them and own several. Owning just one suppressor is usually
just the temporary time that takes up space between steps 3 and 6 on
that downward spiral.

The funny thing is, once you’re in the suppressor game, you go to the range
... and you hate it when someone is shooting without a can. You start to look
at those people as if they are barbarians.
ENGAGED MEDIA, INC.
Pinaki Bhattacharya CEO
Tom Conradi Group President
Through it all, you learn that suppressors have little in common with what Jason Mulroney Content Director
Nathaniel Phillips HR and Office Management
you see on TV. About the only thing they have in common is that you look cool Syed Nazir Razik Digital Marketing Director
Philip Trinkle Newsstand Sales Director
shooting one. It’s nothing mystical. It’s like a car muffler for your gun or ear
This magazine is purchased by the buyer with the understanding that information presented is from various
protection that you put on your gun instead of on your ears. sources from which there can be no warranty or responsibility by Engaged Media, Inc., as to the legality,
completeness or technical accuracy.

Some people balk at the price, as well as the $200 fee. But think of how GST #855050365RT001
Canada Post: Publications Mail Agreement #40612608
much hearing aids will cost you when you get old and how much it will suck Return undeliverable Canadian addresses to: PITNEY BOWES, INC., P.O. Box 25542,
London, ON N6C 6B2, Canada
to have tinnitus. If that’s not enough, think of your kids and grandkids.

Not only will a suppressor protect their ears, it will also make shooting that
much more fun. GW

www.gunworld.com p OCTOBER I 2018

6
NE XT LE VE L IN MODULARITY AND PERFORM ANCE

SIG

ADAPTABLE 20,000 ROUNDS SIG MATCHLITE ™ TRIGGER


From 6 3/4” 300 BLK to 16” Engineered for unmatched SIG’s new Matchlite™ Duo
5.56 patrol, the MCX VIRTUS reliability, the MCX VIRTUS is Trigger delivers a consistent,
can be configured into 500+ designed to perform beyond accurate 2-stage match system
variations, making it ready for 20,000 rounds without the that breaks at an ultralight
every possible mission need for replacement parts 4.5 lbs

sigsauer.com
KIT UP!

2
3

1 1
MAKE: Slumberjack
MODEL: Pursuit Highlander
(Kryptek Highlander Camouflag
SIZE: One size fits all; total
4
volume: 468 cu. in.
MATERIAL: 600D polyester
MSRP: $90
2
URL: Slumberjack.com MAKE: RailScales
MODEL: Anchor MAKE
The Pursuit is a modern take SPECS: 15/8 oz., 2¼ in. tall MODEL: 3-Can Ammo Crate
based on the military load- MSRP: $129 DIMENSIONS: 13.5 in. (W) x 25.4
bearing vest that filled the narrow URL: RailScales.us in. (L) x 8.5 in. (H) MAKE: Lyman
gap between A.L.I.C.E. gear and MSRP: $45 MODEL: Cyclone Case Dryer
MOLLE gear. It is designed for a The literature reads, ”The most URL: MTMCase-Gard.com MSRP: $70
low-profile and snug fit (“worn, sophisticated and over engineered URL: LymanProducts.com
not carried”) for minimalist vertical grip on the market,” and When we go to the range, we
gear carry of the essentials to that about sums it up. It’s made shoot in bulk. If it’s one caliber, a Thanks to Lyman, you no longer
maintain the wearer’s mobility of 6061 T6 aluminum. Each one large ammo utility box works fine, have to make a choice between
and agility, whether it be stalking takes 46 minutes to machine on a but if we have multiple calibers, letting your brass take days to air
deer, hunting gobblers, fishing, fifth Axis CNC machine (it has 236 it’s best to keep them separate. dry or using your food hydrator
hiking, biking, etc. Four easy- machined faces) and is then given Instead of lugging around different and cutting into your beef jerky
access front pockets zip open a Type 03 hardcoat-anodized ammo cans, this carries three production. The Cyclone Case Dryer
to reveal internal organizers to treatment and an individual boxes at a time. It comes with uses airlow and low heat to dry up
secure keys, handgun mags, serial number. The design and three .50-caliber ammo cans to 1,000 5.56 cases or 2,000 9mm
shotguns shells, pocket guns or machining make it lighter than that fit securely in place. It has cases in fewer than three hours,
whatever. Side panels have PALS most polymer grips. It’s reversible large, comfortable carry handles and the ive separate trays allows
webbing for attaching additional for a 70- or 90-degree grip angle. for transport, tie-down points you to keep different calibers/
gear. The main backpack It has the same honeycomb to secure it while in transit, and makes separate. Our favorite part:
compartment holds a 70-ounce texture found on the popular it’s stackable with other 3-Can It works for gun parts too. If you
hydration reservoir and has a slot and effective RailScales, which Ammo Crates for efficient storage. can it the part in the tray, it will
opening at the top. A separate we’ve found to have 100 percent The three .50-cal. ammo cans dry it. For some people, the knock
compartment holds smaller items, positive grip under any conditions. are the same MTM cans you buy against ultrasonic cleaners is that
such as a packable rain jacket. It works with both KeyMod and separately—O-ring seals for they can leave water in hard-to-
Ten separate straps allow for a M-Lok rail systems: Just insert water-resistant dry storage, a reach places on your gun. But
perfect fit on just about anyone the recoil lug into the grip with comfortable handle, dual latching that’s no longer an issue with this
and tuck away for no snagging. the desired system logo facing system and double padlock tabs. case dryer. Easy to use: Plug it in
The reverse side is padded for you and then attach it to the rail Made in the U.S.A. of tough, and turn the dial to the desired
comfort, with mesh for ventilation. with applicable hardware. rugged polypropylene polymer. time—it does the rest for you.

www.gunworld.com P OCTOBER I 2018

10
6 8

7 MAKE: Meopta
MODEL: MeoNight 1.1
MAKE: Off Grid Tools
MODEL: OGT Survival Axe
SIZE: 11.5 x 5.5 x 1.2 in.; 1.5 lbs.

5
Night Vision Device (without sheath)
INTENSIFIER TUBE: Gen 2+ green MSRP: $40
phosphorus URL: OffGridTools.com
INCLUDES: Remote control, Picatinny
rail, tools, eye cup, grip/handle Boasting 31 features, the OGT
E: 2A Armament OPTIONAL: Quick Release mount, Survival Axe is a 420 stainless steel,
EL: Titanium Regulated Bolt 3x booster, objective adapters full-tang multi-tool that is suitable
er Group, AR15 (56mm, 50mm, 42mm) for just about any chore you come
P: $439 MSRP: $4,500 across in the wild. Features include a
2A-Arms.com URL: MeoptaUSA.com hatchet, hammer, nail puller, pry bar,
four hex sockets that work for eight
If you’ve ever wished you could The MeoNight 1.1 is a non- sizes, glass breaker, seat belt cutter,
MAKE: Winchester Ammunition fine-tune your AR’s gas system— magniied optic designed to be bottle opener, gas valve wrench and
MODEL: WWII Victory Series, .45 on the fly—to whatever ammo used as a handheld monocular or in reciprocal saw blade. The saw blade
Auto 230 GR Ball M1911 you’re shooting, your time has conjunction with a rilescope. When is replaceable and locks securely
MSRP: $25–$30 per box come. No need to break down used with a rilescope, it can be open for use or inside the handle
URL: Winchester.com your rifle to make adjustments, mounted directly to the rilescope’s for storage. The grip is glass-illed
because the gas gate is accessed objective via adaptor or mounted nylon and has a good feel to it. The
Fifteen billion rounds of via the ejection port with the in front of it using Meopta’s Quick unit is suficiently compact to it into
ammunition were manufactured bolt-in battery. A T6 Torx loosens Release NAR mounted to a Picatinny your glove box or backpack, but it
by Winchester and delivered to the lock screw and then adjusts rail. It ships with a remote-control has enough heft at 1.5 pounds for
U.S. troops during World War II. the gas gate to the desired cable that can be mounted to some good hacking. We took the axe
To commemorate this, Winchester setting. Then, you tighten the the stock or grip to adjust image to a dead, 2.5-inch branch, and it
has launched its WWII Victory lock screw. When your ejection brightness—without compromising chopped pretty eficiently, with good
Series Ammo. Each round has pattern is at 3 o’clock, this is the hand grip. The intensiier tube balance. The saw blade tended to
a special head stamp marked optimal gas setting for whatever is Gen 2+ green phosphorus. unlock and open during chopping,
“W.W 45 Auto M1911” and has you’re shooting. Optimize Compared to other Gen 2+ NODs although the blade side is toward
period-correct load specs. It is performance and minimize felt we’ve used, it has excellent optical the inside, so this is not a big deal.
packaged in a collector’s carton recoil by tuning it to your specific clarity. Recoil resistance is rated We also found that with prolonged
and commemorative wood box. setup—barrel length, buffer/ at 500g (the average basic AR15 chopping, the slot for the saw
This limited-edition ammo is about spring, ammo, suppressed, etc. chambered in 5.56 is around 400g). blade near the grip knob became
as bad-ass as it gets ... aside The gas gate can be adjusted It has an auto one-hour shutoff and uncomfortable, so it’s best used with
from your bad-ass grandpa, who from “fully open” to “fully closed” runs on one CR123 battery for a gloves or for short chopping tasks.
actually fought in World War II. and everything in between. 50-hour runtime. Includes a nylon sheath.

www.gunworld.com p OCTOBER I 2018

11
SCOPE-EYE CHRONICLES TEXT AND PHOTOS BY STEVEN K. LEDIN

The elevation lock


button of Leupold’s
VX-6HD 3-18x50
scope sinks after the
first rotation. The
aluminum flip covers
fold flat.

LEUPOLD’S T
he Leupold VX-6HD has all the bells and
whistles you care about and is possibly
the perfect long-range hunting scope. It is
comparatively compact, lightweight, has
locking exposed turrets, a proven Custom
Dial System with a turret matched to your ballistics and a

VX-6HD
motion-activated illuminated reticle.

The 30mm 6x erector assembly in the VX-6HD 3-18x50


allows for an important wide field of view at 3x and
can be increased all the way up to 18x for just about
any possible distance-shooting scenario. Mounted on an

3-18X50
accurate rifle firing a long-range cartridge, there is really
nothing that can’t be done with such a setup on big game
or other targets.

And an eye relief of 3.7 inches at 18 power is enough to


cushion against recoil from stiff cartridges.

THE PERFECT LONG- The optical quality of the scope is amazing. Testing my
sample VX-6HD against an armload of the competition

RANGE HUNTING SCOPE?


outdoors in various light conditions revealed a warm picture
with leading color and contrast, and brightness exceeding
all but the most expensive European examples. The HD

www.gunworld.com P OCTOBER I 2018

12
version is also noticeably brighter than my earlier-model This simple, rubber-
covered button
VX-6 without the HD glass.
controls all the
reticle features.
ARTIFICIAL VS. NATURAL LIGHT CONDITIONS
Your local gun shop or big box store might have a good
selection of the most popular riflescopes on the market
that are available for in-house “fondling.” There might be
a resolution chart and colorful clothing across the room for
comparison-testing of optics.

However, what the average consumer might not recognize


is that the expensive and dificult-to-apply coatings are
designed to perform the best with natural light rather than
artiicial light, and what you see in a store is not what you’ll
see outdoors. The VX-6HD brings to the table amazing optical
quality that excels against the competition in an outdoor
environment and at low light—for which Leupold’s Twilight
Max Light Management System was developed—and not
necessarily the artiicial light on colorful clothing in a store.

While I certainly appreciate optical quality in rilescopes, it


has never been my primary concern. My primary concern is
honesty. “Honesty,” meaning that the complicated and precise
series of lenses and metal that make up a rilescope will work
for me accurately every time and under all conditions.
WHILE I CERTAINLY
THOSE BELLS AND WHISTLES APPRECIATE
The elevation turret on the VX-6HD is Leupold’s CDS-ZL2.
The CDS dial system is my favorite way to shoot long ... OPTICAL QUALITY
and it just keeps getting better. The scope comes with a
coupon for a free replacement Custom Dial System (CDS)
IN RIFLESCOPES, IT
ballistic dial etched with your cartridge and environmental HAS NEVER BEEN MY
PRIMARY CONCERN.
specifications. Simply turn to the yardage your target is at
and shoot. It is as accurate as the information you provide.

The CDS-ZL2 dial on this scope has a protruding silver


The VX-6HD 3-18x50
is an elegant and
precise “hammer” of
MY PRIMARY
button you push to unlock the two-turn elevation dial. The an optic.
CONCERN IS HONESTY
... MEANING THAT
THE COMPLICATED
AND PRECISE SERIES
OF LENSES AND
METAL THAT MAKE
UP A RIFLESCOPE
WILL WORK FOR ME
ACCURATELY EVERY
TIME AND UNDER ALL
CONDITIONS.
www.gunworld.com p OCTOBER I 2018

13
SCOPE-EYE CHRONICLES
manufacturer’s 1,000 G force testing on “The Punisher” recoil
machine is legendary as being among the toughest in the
business. You might be surprised to learn that the level of recoil
testing from most manufacturers does not come close to what
Leupold does, even in Germany.

A magnification throw lever is included, as are the


positionable Alumina flip-back covers, which have the
highest “cool factor” of any covers made. They use magnets
to keep them closed and have three O-ring seals for
protection against the elements. They flip back all the way,
out of the way. They are made only for Leupold scopes, and
once you use them, you’ll be spoiled for life.

The VX-6HD 3-18x50 is an elegant “hammer” of a product and


should serve well for more than a lifetime of distance shooting.
It could be the perfect choice for your long-range rile. GW
button unlocks Leupold’s ZL (Zero Lock) feature, and on The silver buttons
unlock the dials and
the turret’s second revolution, the button sinks below the act as a second-turn
circumference of the dial for a visual and tactile reminder indicator on the Leupold
that you’re over a full turn high. The dial includes an
elevation.
VX-6HD
excellent hard-zero stop and is easily resettable. 3-18x50
The windage turret also has a lock to prevent inadvertent
Scope
SPECIFICATIONS
movement. The remarkable precision in these turrets is
apparent when you push the button to unlock the dial and MAGNIFICATION: 3-18x
experience the secure stop when adjusting to just the first OBJECTIVE: 50mm
click. Most competitive scopes reveal slop and a lot of free TUBE DIAMETER: 30mm
play while doing this. WEIGHT: 20.4 oz.
LENGTH: 13.5 in.
FIELD OF VIEW: 38 ft. (low), 7 ft. (high)
The FireDot Duplex reticle is perfect for a hunting gun with EYE RELIEF: 3.7 in. (low), 3.8 in. (high)
a ballistic turret. It has an adjustable, illuminated dot in the Adjustment range (W and E): 75.00 MOA
center of the crosshairs, leaving a clean picture without MSRP: $2,210 (as tested)
having to look through a busy fly swatter of lines meant to URL: Leupold.com
elevate your shot as the CDS dial does, but with a lot more
complexity and a busy picture. The elegant,
threaded Alumina
covers are
An electronic reticle level is also included for longer shots. positionable and
With this feature selected, your illuminated reticle will blink have the most “cool
factor” of any caps
when your scope is more than 1 degree off horizontal. It is on the market.
precise enough to use as a level when mounting your scope.
The VX-6HD’s Motion Sensor Technology illumination control
puts the reticle to sleep after five minutes of inactivity and
resumes immediately when moved.

TESTING, TESTING
The structural integrity of Leupold rilescopes is rarely
questioned—and regularly proven. Battered, years-old scopes
issued to troops are still in service, and the Oregon-based

ABOUT Steven K. Ledin is a former U.S. Navy nuclear gunner’s mate and current
director of a prominent online optics retailer. He’s a CCW and NRA instructor
THE and has been a sponsored competitive shooter and private investigator. He has
AUTHOR hunted (and gotten lost) from Alaska to Africa.

www.gunworld.com P OCTOBER I 2018

14
LAR-15 RRAGE RIFLE DS1850
with RRA Six-Position Tactical CAR
MSRP: $759.99*
HUNT TEXT AND PHOTOS BY BRAD FITZPATRICK

Suppressors are especially appealing when


hunting predators such as coyotes. You not only
reduce the risk of hearing loss, you also increase
the odds of shooting canines on multiple sets
where standard rile ire would scare them away.

THESOUNDSOFSILENCE
WHILE AMERICAN HUNTERS HAVE Pilot Kyle Lange directs
a helicopter toward
a sounder of pigs as

MANAGED TO PRESERVE OUR


the author takes aim.
Suppressors are largely
considered essential
equipment when hunting

SECOND AMENDMENT RIGHTS, hogs from helicopters.

IT’S HIGH TIME WE REEVALUATED


OUR NATIONAL STAND ON
SUPPRESSORS IN THE FIELD.
T
he National Firearms Act of 1934 effectively
restricted the sale of suppressors (also known as
silencers) to individuals.

Currently, owning a suppressor requires filing a


Form 4 application with the ATF, paying a $200 transfer tax per
suppressor and undergoing an extensive background check.

www.gunworld.com p OCTOBER I 2018

16
barrel to accept
public desperately needs to figure out—is that the suppressors
Afterward, applicants must wait months to receive the suppressors. You can
quickly add or remove of Hollywood myth are just that—mythology. Do they reduce
paperwork that allows them to purchase a suppressor. a can (and replace it noise? Of course, they do. But typically, suppressors reduce
with a threaded cap)
as needed. noise levels by about 30 decibels. That’s enough to allow you
This is due largely to the fact that we, as Americans, have
to safely shoot the firearm without hearing protection, but it’s
an incredibly skewed view of what suppressors actually
certainly not silent.
do—and that’s thanks, in large part, to the Hollywood
notion that suppressors are a tool used by secret agents
MINIMIZING HEARING LOSS
and assassins; magical instruments that effectively block
There are lots of good reasons to add a suppressor to your
all sound generated by a firearm (except, of course, that
hunting rile, handgun or shotgun, but the primary one is to reduce
familiar pew! sound movie directors have used for years to
hearing loss. You don’t have to spend much time around gun
portray silencers in action films).
enthusiasts to run into a few who have done permanent damage
to their hearing by iring guns without hearing protection.
Ask the average non-gun owner whose only experience
with suppressed guns comes from the silver screen, and
Hearing loss and associated conditions such as tinnitus (a
they’ll likely balk at the idea of making these instruments
ringing in the ears) are the direct results of repeated exposure
(“instruments of death,” they’ll likely add) more accessible to
to loud noises. Even a single shot from a high-powered
the general firearms enthusiast. They most likely imagine that
rifle that is unsuppressed can cause permanent hearing
crime rates would skyrocket.
loss; and the advent of muzzle brakes—which are great for
reducing recoil and improving accuracy—has exacerbated
Evidence points to the contrary. Crime statistics show that
the problem. There’s nothing inherently wrong with brakes,
very, very few crimes committed since the NFA was enacted
which vent gasses from the sides of the barrel to reduce the
involved the use of silencers. In plain terms: They confuse the
SilencerCo’s Salvo recoil impulse, but they’re very loud. Thankfully, many hunting
dramatic elements of film with real, factual information. effectively reduces firearms with brakes now offer removable brake options.
noise levels on
shotguns—an
But many people would be surprised to find that European especially appealing Suppressors allow you to shoot a firearm without hearing
nations, where gun ownership is less common and more addition to those who
hunt snow geese protection while minimizing the risk of permanent hearing
difficult, have no such laws hamstringing the purchase of
dh ith l S th b k t i ht i ifl th
HUNT

A suppressor is also a logical addition to a firearm when Suppressors don t weight. So, despite the assumption that a suppressed gun
“silence” guns; rather,
shooting in areas of high human density. My favorite running they protect the should weigh far more than an unsuppressed firearm, that’s
path in my hometown of Cincinnati passes near a shooting hearing of hunters and simply not true. Desert Tech’s DTSS .30 weighs just a pound—
shooters—and help
range. On any given day, there might be a half-dozen people the same as Gemtech’s Trek. SilencerCo’s Harvester weighs a
foster better relations
firing centerfire rifles. It’s not particularly irritating to me, but with neighbors who scant 11 ounces.
don’t want to listen to
I’m pro-gun and not particularly offended when my “cone of
unsuppressed gunfire.
silence” is disrupted by the sound of a gunshot. Shown is a Remington With those minimalist masses, you can still get out and hunt the
700 .243 with a high country without rattling your eardrums with every shot.
SilencerCo Harvester.
But for those who live near the area, the constant gunfire Integral suppressors, now offered by Ruger and CZ for their
could be annoying, and that could very easily lead to the rimire guns, are hardly noticeable—until you shoot the gun.
closure of ranges near urban and suburban areas.
There’s good news going forward for hunting with suppressors.
COMMONLY SEEN AND USED The Hearing Protection Act offers hunters hope that truth and
I got my first taste of suppressor hunting in Namibia, Africa’s facts will prevail, and that someday, hunting with suppressors
most-popular hunting destination and a country that supports will be as common as it is overseas. GW
wildlife conservation through hunting. Suppressors aren’t just
available, they’re commonly seen and used frequently. Guides Namibian PH Jacques Strauss of Kowas
there prefer you to use a suppressed gun to protect their Safaris with a springbok he harvested
hearing and that of their staff. with a suppressed rifle. Suppressors are
commonplace in Africa and Europe.

I’ve encountered the same feeling from guides and outfitters


in Spain, Germany and other European countries. I’ve also
seen suppressors on high-volume hog hunts, and they’re
universally used when controlling wild pig populations via
helicopters. No chopper pilot wants to hear the steady roar
of a carbine-length AR just outside the window—especially
when they’re trying to navigate.

SUPPRESSOR HUNTING 101


Simply put, suppressors operate by allowing the gases
generated by the shot to expand into a large chamber with
bafles. That increased volume reduces pressure, which, in turn,
reduces noise. With so many suppressor-ready riles that now
come standard with threaded muzzles, it’s largely a matter of
i i l d i hi h il

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Artemis Armed TEXT AND PHOTOS BY MICHELLE CERINO

HOME,
Eventually, the

HELP YOUR KIDS


author’s son Alex
enjoyed shooting
.22 ARs without
having to double his
hearing protection.

FEEL COMFORTABLE
HOME AT THE RANGE.
ON THE I
’m a competitive shooter, but I didn’t start competing
until I was about 40 years old. By then, my boys were in
their teens, so I never had to really worry about taking
little ones to the range.

The Cerino boys in


However, my youngest son, Alex, who is an excellent shot, still
full cowboy gear,
including cap pistols struggles with the noise, even at 19. Thinking about that inspired

RANGE
me to write this column about bringing kids to the range and
keeping them occupied so they enjoy their time there.

BEFORE THE RANGE


Before Colton (my oldest) turned 3, we didn’t let the boys
play with toy guns. My husband has always been in law

www.gunworld.com p OCTOBER I 2018

20
enforcement, and we wanted to make sure they had a respect
for real guns and firearms safety. Once they understood “real ONLY YOU CAN KNOW
guns versus play guns” and showed an interest, we let them
have their toy guns. Yes, squirt guns, Nerf guns and cap guns WHEN YOUR CHILD
… we went all out.
IS OLD ENOUGH
A great tool for teaching firearms safety to children: Julie
Golob—champion professional shooter, firearms instructor
TO UNDERSTAND
and mother—wrote a great book on the subject: Toys, Tools, FIREARMS SAFETY,
Guns & Rules: A Children’s Book About Gun Safety. Boy, do I
wish that came out 20 years ago, when my boys were little
The author’s son
Colton shot his ACCOMPANY YOU
TO THE RANGE OR
first gun, a Ruger
and I read to them every night. What a great way to start a .22/45, under Chris’s
conversation about guns and firearm safety with children! watchful eyes.

SHOOT A FIREARM.
hearing protection, he became an amazing shot and one of the
most safety-conscience shooters you’ll ever meet.

MORE THAN ONE WAY TO SUPPRESS THE BANG


A great tool for teaching children to shoot is a .22 with a
suppressor. Not only does it suppress sound, it also reduces
recoil. Similar to a muzzle brake, which reduces recoil by
redirecting gasses, a suppressor reduces recoil by trapping
the gasses. A firearm with less recoil and suppressed sound is
perfect for introducing a child to live fire on the range.

While teaching the fundamentals of shooting to a child, it’s


also fun to have interesting targets. A simple online search
of “printable shooting targets” brings up a variety targets
you can download and print on your own. Also, reactive
targets that gong, spin and flip and come in various shapes
and sizes also add a carnival-like atmosphere, making
The NRA Eddie Eagle program is another tool for teaching shooting even more fun.
firearms safety to children. The website, EddieEagle.NRA.org,
has videos, games, songs and downloadable activity books for ON THE RANGE
kids. There are even three different parent guides, which are Whether practicing or competing, many competitive shooters
separated into Pre-K and kindergarten, 1st and 2nd grade, and spend a lot of time on the range, which often means bringing
3rd and 4th grade, just like the activity books. the kids along.

OLD ENOUGH TO SHOOT Get them involved. First and foremost, consider their hearing
Colton shot his first handgun when he was only 4 years old—a and eye protection. Be sure to find sizes specific for children;
Ruger .22/45. Yes, he was big for his age, and obviously, my and, while you’re at it, maybe let them pick out their favorite
husband stood right with him. At 8 years old, he shot his first Reading Julie Golob’s colors, if available.
book to your children
deer; at 10, he joined an air rifle team. He had amazing gun-
is a terrific way to
handling skills and no fear of sound. start a conversation
about firearms
safety.
But, as I mentioned earlier in this article, my youngest
had issues with the sound, so we had to do things a little
differently with him.

Alex always wore double hearing protection—soft foam


earplugs with earmuffs over the top. Although I find them a A suppressed .22
necessity on the range, Alex didn’t like the style that amplified pistol is a great way
to teach a child the
voices and suppressed gunshot noise. He needed all sound fundamentals of
blocked out. With the sound of the bang! suppressed through marksmanship.

www.gunworld.com p OCTOBER I 2018

21
Artemis Armed
The following list contains suggestions for items to pack in
a child’s “range bag”:

• Hearing and eye protection (specific for children)


• Hand wipes—specific for removing lead
• Snacks and drinks
• Julie Golob’s book, Toys, Tools, Guns & Rules: A Children’s
Book About Gun Safety
• Coloring book and crayons (Eddie Eagle activity pages)
• Small toys (find fun, inexpensive toys at garage sales and
surprise the child with something new)
• Wide-brimmed hat for both sun protection and safety
from flying objects (I always found that a fishing-style hat
with straps works well. In addition, they are foldable and
will fit easily inside a range bag.)

Only you can know when your child is old enough to understand
irearms safety, accompany you to the range or shoot a irearm.
Through my experience with my own boys, I know every
child develops differently. As a parent, it’s important for you
Also, children need to understand the importance of keeping Suppressor-ready to understand your child and not pressure them into doing
.22 riles are the way
on their eye and hearing protection at all times (as well as something they aren’t ready for. And on the lip side: For those
to go when teaching
keeping their fingers out of their mouth and washing their children (and new children who are curious about irearms, parents should step in
hands before eating!). shooters).
right away and be available to answer their questions.

KEEP THEM ENTERTAINED Teach your children correctly from the beginning, and
I always carried a bag of stuff to keep my kids entertained your family will enjoy a firearms lifestyle as much as my
when we would visit friends, travel or attend meetings and own family does. GW
appointments. These bags were specific to where we were
going, and I didn’t let them play with the contents of the
bag at home. That helped make them special and kept them
from getting bored with the contents.

The range should be no different. Aside from a chair or a blanket


to sit on, let the child bring along their very own “range bag.”

... CHILDREN NEED


TO UNDERSTAND
THE IMPORTANCE OF
KEEPING ON THEIR
EYE AND HEARING
PROTECTION AT ALL
TIMES ...
Michelle Cerino is both a irearms trainer and the president of Cerino Consulting and
ABOUT THE Training Group, LLC—a irearms training company she built with her husband, Chris,
AUTHOR in 2011. She writes, hunts and competes in major 3-gun matches nationwide.

www.gunworld.com p OCTOBER I 2018

22
STAMP COLLECTOR.

A5 Wicked Wing

browning.com
FEDERAL DUCK STAMP IMAGES USED BY PERMISSION FROM THE USFWS
gun world TEXT AND PHOTOS BY SEAN CURTIS

GEMTECH:
MISTical MIST-22
ABOUT THE ONLY WAY A RUGER 10/22 TARGET TACTICAL COULD GET
ANY BETTER IS TO MOUNT A CAN ON IT. THE GEMTECH MIST-22 DOES
ONE BETTER—IT INCORPORATES A CAN INTO IT.

T
he Ruger 10/22 is an American icon. For many Despite the tactical The black-clad hero methodically assembles his rifle under
appearance, the
reasons, it’s one of the best .22-caliber rifles on cover of darkness, finally screwing something on the muzzle—a
10/22 is definitely at
the market. It’s affordable, economical to operate, home on the range. long tube; the magical piece of equipment that will ensure his
accurate, easy to maintain and durable. It comes escape once he hits his target. With careful aim and breath
in an array of models; nearly every shooter can control, the shooter zeros in on his quarry and begins his slow
find one to suit their needs. trigger press … a “thwip” issues forth from the rifle. The target
drops, and the tension rolls in heavily. Did anyone hear?
So, how could you possibly improve on this legendary rile?
Gemtech had an idea of how: It created the integrally suppressed All in the vicinity are none the wiser. The silent sniper
MIST-22, a replacement barrel for the bull-barreled version of disassembles his deadly device and skulks away into the
the Ruger 10/22. night, unseen, unheard.

We’ve all seen enough action movies to know suppressors Anyone who has had practical experience with suppressors
are where it’s at: knows the tried-and-true thwip sound bite has been used

www.gunworld.com p OCTOBER I 2018

24
for years ... it’s not an accurate depiction. Surprisingly, you First, the rifle had the prerequisite bull barrel (not just any
can’t take an enormous bullet, run it through an extended Ruger 10/22 will accept the Gemtech MIST; it must be a
tube and have it come out the other end whisper-quiet. bull barrel). This 16.12-inch, hammer-forged beast sports a
This is yet another example of the firearms myths often 1:16 RH twist. It also has a recessed crown and a black,
perpetuated by Hollywood. spiral finish on the exterior. The barrel is heavy: When
holding the rifle, the beefy barrel pulls the muzzle down
COMPONENTS noticeably. Literature says the gun weighs 6.88 pounds, but
I had some experience with suppressors—enough to know my scale came in at 7 pounds, 4.8 ounces. Trigger break was
they had limitations—but I was keen to see how quiet a consistent (3.5 pounds).
.22-caliber round could be.
Second, it came with the black Hogue overmolded stock that
Ruger cheerfully sent the 10/22 for my interrogative journey. has a synthetic, rubbery surface, making it great for locking
In particular, I was given a beautiful model. The 10/22 Target the rifle into the shoulder before a shot. The Hogue stock’s
Tactical provided me with a couple of bonus features. rubbery finish feels wonderful, giving a good grip—but it

www.gunworld.com p OCTOBER I 2018

25
gun world

also picks up dirt and debris. This, in conjunction with the An American icon, being an integral suppressor, is an NFA item and required a
the 10/22 has been
matte spiral finish on the barrel, gives an overall impression around since 1964.
bit more paperwork. However, overall, the process wasn’t
of darkness. This isn’t a black that shines when you put light Here, it is shown with difficult. I worked with my FFL dealer, Mike Rister, to navigate
the Gemtech MIST-22
on it, though. No; it eats light. the NFA process; his tutelage was key. There were forms,
integrally suppressed
barrel installed. fingerprint cards, passport photos, copies to make … . Finally,
Just shy of going full ninja, the black is broken up by a everything was submitted in December of 2016. However, I
couple of tasteful Ruger badging elements done in silver. didn’t receive my tax stamp until early September.
The side of the bolt, just behind the charging lever, is The Gemtech MIST-
brushed silver and has RUGER lightly engraved on it. The 22 barrel (top) and In the interim, Liberty Firearms Institute was kind enough to
the standard bull
grip cap at the bottom of the pistol grip reveals Ruger’s barrel of the Target
allow me to shoot the gun with the Gemtech in-house while I
eagle symbol—again, done in silver. Tactical (bottom) waited for my tax stamp to arrive—I just couldn’t leave with it.

It’s tempting to mount some large glass on a .22 in order


to see the holes a little better at any kind of distance. I
stuck with something that seemed like a reasonable, yet
quality, approach: the Burris Droptine 2-7x35, specifically
designed for .22-caliber. With a focus set at 50 yards and
the reticle calibrated for .22 LR, the Burris was the perfect
match for the mission.

MISSION PARAMETERS
The bull barrel the Ruger came with is a beautiful barrel. It
seemed a shame to take it off and replace it, but the benefits
of a quiet shooting experience loomed before me.

I arranged with my local FFL dealer to receive the Ruger and


the 10/22 MIST from Gemtech. The rifle was easy. The barrel,

www.gunworld.com p OCTOBER I 2018

26
My plan was ambitious: I shot six types of ammo with the
original bull barrel, collecting numbers on accuracy, sound
and velocity. I then installed the MIST and repeated the
whole process again.

My head spun with the information this process produced,


but there are some interesting takeaways from combining the
Ruger and Gemtech.

ACCURACY
I shot at a distance of 50 yards, which seemed like a
reasonable range, considering the ballistic characteristics
of a .22 long rifle. I used five five-shot groups to determine
average measurements. I can easily report that the bull barrel
that came on the Ruger 10/22 was more accurate than the
Gemtech (see the performance data sidebar on page 30).
In sum, with the bull barrel, the average group of all the
ammunition was 1.04 inches. Using the Gemtech MIST, the Subtle badging pays
average of all ammunition was 1.81. homage to Ruger’s
storied history. THE RUGER 10/22 IS
Later, when I dismantled the MIST, I was able to understand AN AMERICAN ICON.
why this might be. The original barrel is solid, heavy and lends
the bullet the benefit of its entire length. The MIST is roughly The overall setup on FOR MANY REASONS,
the same length—17 inches—but only about 5.25 inches is
actual barrel used to burn powder and channel the flight of
the Target Tactical is
a moody black with
an occasional flare of
IT’S ONE OF THE BEST
the bullet. The second half is open and shrouded in shields silver. The optic used
is the Burris Droptine, .22-CALIBER RIFLES
that are meant to capture and redirect the gasses that propel
the bullet’s flight.
an affordable line of
quality optics. ON THE MARKET.

www.gunworld.com p OCTOBER I 2018

27
gun world
All in all, this is a marginal difference at 50 feet, and it’s still
The Droptine pulls
easily within the small-game range of a typical target.
in enough light to
be effective until
THE SPEED OF SOUND dusk, maximizing the
shooting day.
I had no illusions about what the Gemtech might accomplish,
but I learned that pairing the barrel with the right ammo will net
the best results. Within the sound-deadened walls of the indoor
shooting range, I ired all the various ammunition through both
barrels. There was a direct correlation between sound and
velocity. The decibel meter, a BAFX3370, placed roughly 2 feet
away, gave me my sound readings. A Caldwell G2 chronograph
measured the light speed of the projectiles. It soon became
obvious that fast meant loud, and slow meant quiet.

The standard velocity rounds such as Winchester rated an


average of 118.3 dB and 1,408 fps in the bull barrel. They were

The trigger control


group includes a
safety, magazine
... THERE ARE SOME
release, bolt catch
and release. INTERESTING
TAKEAWAYS
FROM COMBINING
The Gemtech MIST-
22 makes the gun
lighter and quiet but
THE RUGER AND
loses only minimal
accuracy. GEMTECH.

www.gunworld.com p OCTOBER I 2018

28
Many magazine
options abound for
the 10/22, although
the standard 10
works great and
keeps the weapon
low-profile.

Gemtech had the


new barcodes in
place well before the
ATF approved the
process.

lowered and slowed to an average of 112.1 dB


and 1,325.2 fps, respectively, in the Gemtech.
This is an impressive feat, but the sounds were
still sharp—nothing you would want to spend
a day shooting, despite the reduction in noise
and speed. The best benefits came with the
Gemtech paired with Gemtech ammunition.
The Gemtech ammo averaged in at 100.3 dB
and 988.2 fps.

Just under 100 dB seemed to be the magic comfort


zone where the hearing protection could come off.
Above that, I could hear the sonic crack! of the
bullet. Below that, I only heard the cycling of the
weapon and then the hit on the target. Granted,
the .22 has never had the pop of a .308 or the
force wave of a .50-caliber. But lining up the
scope and squeezing the trigger became even
more recreational without ear muffs, which
are always a compromise between losing your
hearing and enjoying your sport.

WHAT TO MAKE OF IT ALL


Experientially, I learned a great deal
through this process. I only had one failure
to feed, although this was caused by an
aftermarket extended magazine.

The MIST had a definitive effect on the gasses


it was dispersing. Higher-velocity ammo got
pushed out of the muzzle better, but slower
stuff had me momentarily wafting in the
vapors. This is an experience that would not
even be an issue outside.

Representatives at Gemtech suggested removing


the tube after every session to keep it from
getting stuck. As I cleaned mine (exceeding that
recommendation), the threads were a bit tight
but inally relented (the MIST captures a lot of
sediment that eventually coats the internals).
After a thorough cleaning of the bafles and
threads, it was ready to shoot again.
gun world

RugeR Performance RESULTS


10/22 Target AMMUNITION WITH STANDARD BARREL
Tactical AMMUNITION Groups @50 Yards Velocity
SPECIFICATIONS Average Smallest Average Slowest Fastest

CALIBER: .22 Long Rile Remington Standard Velocity 0.78 0.53 1,037 1,027 1,049
ACTION TYPE: Semiauto
Armscor 36-grain
BARREL: 16.12-in., hammer-forged, bull barrel/MIST-22
High Velocity Hollow Point 1.02 0.84 1,255 1,226 1,304
MAGAZINE: 10-round, detachable rotary magazine
STOCK: Hogue black, overmolded Winchester 40-grain
WEIGHT: 6.88 lbs. Hyper Velocity Hollow Point 1.37 1.26 1,409 1,390 1,440
OVERALL LENGTH: 34.5 in.
ACCESSORIES: Weaver rail  Federal 40-grain Copper-Plated Solid 0.82 0.56 1,207 1,195 1,220
MSRP: $499
URL: Ruger.com CCI 40-grain Mini-Mag
Copper-Plated Round Nose 1.24 0.8 1,193 1,177 1,243

Gemtech Gemtech 42-grain Silencer Subsonic 1.00 0.88 1,018 998 1,028
Mist-22 Average 1.04 0.81 1,187 1,169 1,214
(Integrally Suppressed Barrel for Ruger 10/22)
NOTES: Groups are measured in inches and are three ive-shot groups at 50 yards. Velocity
CALIBER: .22 LR is measured in feet per second (fps) and from an average of ive shots.
MOUNT: Ruger 10/22 V Block
SOUND VOLUME: 102.3 dB (using subsonic ammunition) AMMUNITION WITH GEMTECH BARREL
LENGTH: 17 in. (full assembly); 11.75 in. Remington Standard Velocity 1.63 1.30 978 960 1,002
(suppressor)
WEIGHT: 1.38 lbs. Armscor 36-grain
DIAMETER: 0.92 in. High Velocity Hollow Point 1.69 1.28 1,193 1,165 1,225
MATERIALS: Aluminum
Winchester 40-grain
FINISH: Black Isonite Hyper Velocity Hollow Point 2.11 1.59 1,325 1,290 1,357
RATED: Full auto
MSRP: $599 Federal 40-grain Copper-Plated Solid 2.13 1.81 1,125 1,104 1,134
URL: Gemtech.com
CCI 40-grain Mini-Mag
CONTACT INFORMATION
Copper-Plated Round Nose 1.60 1.10 1,134 1,112 1,165

GEMTECH Gemtech 42-grain Silencer Subsonic 1.69 1.00 988 976 1,017
Gemtech.com
Average 1.81 1.35 1,124 1,101 1,150
RUGER
NOTES: Groups are measured in inches and are three ive-shot groups at 50 yards. Velocity
Ruger.com
is measured in feet per second (fps) and from an average of ive shots.
ARMSCOR COMPARATIVE SOUND VOLUME With Standard Barrel With Gemtech Barrel
Armscor.com (dB) Average Slowest Fastest Average Slowest Fastest
Remington Standard Velocity 114.4 113.5 114.9 102.4 101.8 102.8
BURRIS
BurrisOptics.com Armscor 36-grain
High Velocity Hollow Point 116.1 112.4 118.3 109.8 108.8 111.1
CCI AMMUNITION
CCI-Ammunition.com Winchester 40-grain
Hyper Velocity Hollow Point 118.3 118.0 118.6 102.1 101.2 103.4
FEDERAL
FederalPremium.com Federal 40-grain Copper-Plated Solid 114.8 108.3 117.1 109.3 107.7 110.0

CCI 40-grain Mini-Mag


LIBERTY FIREARMS INSTITUTE Copper-Plated Round Nose 116.5 115.7 116.9 102.8 98.8 107.7
LibertyRange.com
Gemtech 42-grain Silencer Subsonic 109.7 103.3 114.4 100.3 97.7 101.4
REMINGTON
Remington.com Average 115.0 111.9 116.7 104.5 102.7 106.1
NOTES: The ambient noise was 68.4 dB. Readings are measured from ive
WINCHESTER AMMUNITION consecutive shots.
Winchester.com

www.gunworld.com p OCTOBER I 2018

30
The Burris scope provided a level of performance I have come
to expect from the company—which is to say, excellent. The
optic provided clear images and allowed me to see my hits
at 50 yards with 7x power. It’s a second focal plane scope,
and the Ballistic Plex reticle was simple enough to give me
accurate hits; but it also had three holdover dots, had I felt more
adventurous. Shooting a .22 long rile is a relatively simple
affair, and the uncluttered reticle was a joy to use. It’s a durable
scope: Being banged around from shop to gunsmith table to
range, the scope held established zero and is a heck of a value
at roughly $130 retail.

Adding the MIST-22 changed several things about the 10/22:


First, the gun was nearly 2 pounds lighter. The accuracy
suffered a little but was a fair trade at the distances I shot.
This combination creates a fun, shoot-all-day situation that
Unscrewing the
won’t damage your hearing or wallet.
barrel cover allows
shooters to clean the
I did not feel emboldened to join the CIA as a fixer, but taking internal baffles and
threads.
those hot, sweaty ear muffs off was worth it all. It’s really
hard to emphasize how liberating it is to have your hearing
returned to you, particularly in a situation, such as hunting,
where situational awareness is so important.
The MIST-22 offers
advantages of hearing
I saw prices for the MIST-22 in the $400s online, although its protection, as well as
not broadcasting your
MSRP is $599. The Ruger Target Tactical (as tested) can be location or alerting
found in the $450 to $480 price range. GW prey.

31
gun world TEXT AND PHOTOS BY TODD BURGREEN

CZ 527 AMERICAN
SYNTHETIC
SUPPRESSOR-READY
300 BLACKOUT
YOU THINK YOU’VE HEARD
QUIET? WAIT UNTIL
YOU DON’T HEAR THE
SUPPRESSOR-FRIENDLY
300 BLK IN THIS CLASSIC
MAUSER BOLT-ACTION.

F
ew would argue that the Mauser action is anything
less than a classic. The CZ 527 American Synthetic
Suppressor Ready (527 SR) utilizes the classic Mauser
action while offering modern flair in terms of
caliber options and suppressor adaptability. The
CZ 527 action is a true micro-Mauser, not a standard Mauser
action that has been chopped and re-welded. This makes for
a svelte-handling rifle.

The CZ 527 American SR features an American-style synthetic


stock, sporter proile hammer-forged barrel, single set trigger

www.gunworld.com p OCTOBER I 2018

32
(SST) and a threaded muzzle. CZ has further upped the ante
with interesting chambering options in 300 AAC Blackout (300
BLK), which will be evaluated herein (it also comes in 7.62x39).
Both cartridges are natural candidates for use in conjunction
with the micro-Mauser bolt-action. However, the 300 BLK is a
natural match to a rile intended to accommodate a suppressor.

Credit must be given to CZ for coming up with this for the American
market; there are few major irearms companies offering either
round in a bolt-action rile format, let alone with a 5/8x24 threaded
barrel ready to accommodate mounting a suppressor.

THE CZ 527
AMERICAN
SYNTHETIC
SUPPRESSOR
The CZ 527 American
Suppressor Ready READY (527
SR) UTILIZES
makes for a great-
handling rifle that
can be brought to

THE CLASSIC
bear quickly. Yet, it
sacrifices nothing in
terms of range and

MAUSER ACTION
power due to 300
BLK ballistics and
What role is the CZ 527 SR intended to satisfy? As with the accuracy of the

WHILE OFFERING
most things related to firearms, the answer depends on CZ 527.
the individual situation. Factors such as mindset, personal

MODERN FLAIR
preference, skill level, training, the need to fulfill multiple roles
and even legal requirements all come into play regarding rifle
selection for defense.

The CZ 527 SR, with its Mauser action, is deinitely at home


IN TERMS
in a hunting role. The CZ decision to offer a suppressor-ready
bolt-action 300 BLK opens up multiple roles. The CZ 527
OF CALIBER
Suppressor Ready and 300 BLK were made for each other.
OPTIONS AND
OLD-WORLD GUN MAKING COMBINES
WITH NEW-WORLD IDEAS SUPPRESSOR
CZ-USA is based in Kansas City and is a subsidiary of Ceská
Zbrojovka Uhersky Brod (CZUB) out of the Czech Republic.
CZ’s company history dates back to the mid-1930s. In 1991,
ADAPTABILITY.
The CZ 527 SR has a classic sporter appearance, taking full
it decentralized from government, and in 1992, it privatized to advantage of the CZ micro-Mauser action to create a great-
become one of the first East European corporations to emerge handling, lightweight rifle. Truly a shortened profile, the
from the post-Soviet era to compete in the West. CZ 527’s Mauser action is only 6 inches long and saves at
least 1 pound over a standard Mauser bolt-action. Positive
In 1997, it came full force into the U.S. market and formed functioning was never an issue. CZ has fitted the 527 SR with
CZ-USA. CZ is one of the world’s largest firearms manufacturers, a free-floated, 16.5-inch, hammer-forged barrel with threaded
employing more than 2,000 people and selling its wares in muzzle. CZ barrels are of excellent quality, as is evident by
more than 60 countries. CZ products include handguns, shotguns, test group consistency and ease of cleaning. Sling swivels are
sporting rifles and military weapons. standard features with the CZ 527.

www.gunworld.com p OCTOBER I 2018

33
gun world
The CZ 527 SR rifle is fed from a detachable, five-round
magazine. This particular 300 BLK rifle might surprise some
readers, because the 300 BLK is associated more with AR
platforms. A better mixture of a classic bolt with an American
utilitarian cartridge would be hard to come by.

Anecdotal information compares standard-velocity 300 BLK


115- to 125-grain ammunition as exceeding the ballistics of
SIG Sauer’s SR762- the 7.62x39 and eclipsing 5.56 NATO in both ballistics and
QD suppressor and terminal punch. At 300 meters, the 300 BLK has approximately
proprietary SIG Sauer
Taper-Lok muzzle 17 percent more energy than the 7.62x39. The 300 BLK from
attachment a 9-inch barrel has the same energy at the muzzle as the
M4 with a 14.5-inch barrel chambered in 5.56 NATO and
surpasses it as ranges extend.

Not surprising, considering that AAC is in the suppressor


business, is the ability to choose 300 BLK subsonic loads for
optimal use with a sound suppressor. The ability to access
either supersonic or subsonic factory ammunition offers
great flexibility to the 300 BLK user. Whatever roles the CZ
527 Suppressor Ready is considered for—hunting, personal
defense or sport—it filts the bill.
SIG Sauer’s Taper-
Lok muzzle adapter
mounted on a CZ 527 RANGE TIME
SR threaded muzzle
Ammunition tested with the CZ-USA CZ 527 Suppressor
Ready was Hornady supersonic 125-grain HP, SIG Sauer Elite
125-grain and 220-grain Match subsonic, and Black Hills

CZ’s decision to manufacture a “square


bridge” Mauser with integral scope
bases will aid in its acceptance by
connoisseurs of bolt-action rifles for
whom a scope is standard equipment.

www.gunworld.com p OCTOBER I 2018

34
Ammunition 125- and 220-grain OTM. What distinguishes the
300 BLK is its ability to access standard supersonic rounds ONE CRUCIAL
for typical hunting or long-range engagements superior
to 5.56mm while maintaining the trump card of subsonic
IMPROVEMENT WITH
ammunition for when quiet is needed. THE CZ MAUSER IS
A SIG Sauer Tango6 1-6x24mm optic was mounted via CZ ITS SQUARE BRIDGE
30mm rings. One crucial improvement with the CZ Mauser
is its square bridge design, which allows for an integral
DESIGN, WHICH
scope base. The CZ rings mate up right to the action for ALLOWS FOR AN
solid attachment and help ensure reliable scope zeroes. The
Tango6 offers a 1x illuminated reticle setting for quick target INTEGRAL SCOPE
acquisition at close range with both eyes open. A quick turn of
BASE. THE CZ RINGS
the knob to 6x enables longer precision shots.
MATE UP RIGHT TO
The SIG Sauer Tango6 is loaded with high-end features: an
adjustable, illuminated MOA reticle; extra-low-dispersion
THE ACTION FOR
glass combined with high-transmittance glass for outstanding SOLID ATTACHMENT
light transmission and clarity; and resettable lockable and
zero stop turrets. SIG Sauer offers various power ranges and AND HELP ENSURE
options in the Tango6 model lineup, such as different reticle
RELIABLE SCOPE
ZEROES.
styles, MRAD or MOA turret adjustments, first or second focal
plane, and so on.
The whole package came together when the SIG Sauer
SRD762-QD suppressor was mounted on the CZ 527 SR via

MAUSER BOLT-ACTION the SIG Sauer Taper-Lok mounting system. That is, after all,
the point of a rile chambered in 300 BLK—suppressor use.
The dimensions of the SRD762-QD are a weight of 17 ounces,
Common to most Mauser designs is the external
a length and width of 7 inches and 1.625 inches, respectively,
extractor, which is non-rotating and acts in conjunction
and a sound rating of 140 dB. The SRD762-QD is rated for .300
with the bolt stop-positioned ejector spur to eject used
Win. Mag. usage. The subsonic 300 BLK rounds were “movie-
cases positively. The CZ Mauser bolt retains the bolt
quiet” out of the CZ 527 SR with the SIG suppressor mounted.
head and extractor with the single slotted internal
The SIG Sauer Horseshoe Dot reticle allows for both supersonic
collar of Peter Paul Mauser’s original design.
and subsonic aiming points to be established.
Numerous 300 BLK
The legendary performance and loyal following of the ammunition loads
were used with the The CZ 527 sports a unique, single-set trigger design. This
Mauser action starts with controlled round feeding. CZ 527 SR, including
definitively European feature might surprise U.S. shooters, but
The cartridge is captured and held in place by the standard and
subsonic loads. it proved useful when firing from the bench.
claw extractor as it comes free from the magazine
and is placed into the chamber. However, CZ has
added some improvements: a streamlined bolt sleeve,
single set trigger (SST), two-position safety, a stiffer
tang and a Winchester Model 70-type bolt stop and
blade ejector. The primary extractor cam is at the
base of the bolt handle. The bolt cocks on opening,
and the rear bolt shroud is used as the cocking piece.
The bolt handle is straight and rather short, but the
comfortable, small ball operating end ensures a
smooth and trouble-free cycling action.

A Mauser action is intended to be worked vigorously.


The micro-Mauser is no different—with the added
benefit of its compact size being a shorter pull length
to cycle the action.

www.gunworld.com p OCTOBER I 2018

35
gun world

SIG SAUER SUPPRESSORS


The Taper-Lok Fast-Attach System reduces point-of-impact shift and increases
repeatability by using tapered surfaces to self-center the suppressor during
installation. The design also eliminates tolerance stacking, resulting in some of
the most secure, reliable and accurate rile mounts available.
The SIG Sauer Silencer Division was formally created in 2014, with its major
introduction to the shooting public taking place at the 2015 SHOT Show. SIG All SIG muzzle devices and suppressors are backward-compatible to
Sauer had entered the suppressor market earlier but decided that a formal, traditional 90-degree shouldered firearms found outside the SIG weapon
distinct division (headed by industry veterans Kevin Brittingham, founder of AAC, lineup. Hand pressure is all that is needed to secure or remove the SIG
and Ethan Lessard) would be the better path. Kevin and Ethan’s experience, suppressor. Silencer removal requires 20 percent more force than does
combined with the manufacturing resources of SIG Sauer, has proved to be a wise attachment, preventing any loosening during shooting. The Taper-Lok system
decision: Suppressor use has never been as popular for military, law enforcement contributes to the adaptability of the SIG rile suppressors to more than one
and civilians. The beneits of suppressor use are hard to argue against. platform. By investing in multiple Taper-Lok muzzle devices, the user can
move a suppressor between riles.
The SIG Sauer difference really shines through when we move to discussing
rifle suppressors. Through a revolutionary baffle design and unique Basically, if the bullet diameter is .30 caliber or under, the SRD762-QD
manufacturing processes, SIG Sauer has eliminated the outer tube shell can be used. Of course, make sure to verify with SIG Sauer if any “exotic”
found in other rifle silencers. SIG Sauer utilizes 100 percent circumferential calibers or applications are being contemplated. The limiting factor is
welds combined with wire electronic discharge machining (EDM) the getting the Taper-Lok muzzle device mounted to your barrel. The SIG Sauer
pathway of the projectile. In addition to reducing weight, this tubeless Taper-Lok is not only an ingenious mounting system for the suppressor
design increases volume, thereby lowering pressure and temperature for body, it is also an effective flash hider or muzzle device in its own right.
greater durability and increased signature reduction. Each of these benefits
sets SIG Sauer suppressors apart. Actual sound-reduction differences among most respected suppressors
are small. More important is durability, especially if high-volume firing is
SIG further pushed the envelope by using the best metals and coatings expected. Maintaining zero and accuracy when installed, removed and then
(physical vapor deposition [PVD] inish) combined with a superior mounting reinstalled is paramount.
system—either direct-thread or quick-detach. PVD is more resistant to heat
and is scratch resistant. Inconel 718 (a mixture of stainless steel and nickel Along these same lines, many users will appreciate the lexibility of being
alloy) is used to withstand the punishment of mounting suppressors to short- able to move a suppressor between platforms while still maintaining all
barreled riles and high round counts. Titanium is also offered as an option for the above-listed characteristics. The SIG Sauer suppressors succeed in
users requiring even more weight-shaving from their suppressors. surpassing all expectations, no matter the criteria used to judge—sound
reduction, durability, accuracy and lexibility. This is a credit to their design
For SIG’s rifle suppressors, a Taper-Lok Fast-Attach System was created an the real world experience found in the SIG Sauer Silencer Division team.
enabling quick and simple installation of a muzzle adapter device; th
eliminates the need for shims. The SIG Sauer design optimizes alignmen The SIG Sauer Taper-Lok muzzle device
improving accuracy and greatly reducing point-of-impact (POI) shift, eve that fits to a weapon’s threaded muzzle
allows for other SIG muzzle devices to
after multiple install/removal cycles. The Taper-Lok system allows users be mounted. Tapers on key surfaces
access a variety of muzzle brakes and flash hiders for their rifles, all t provide self-centering for accuracy.
(Photo: SIG Sauer)
while enabling SIG rifle suppressors to attach when needed.

The Taper-Lok mounting method for the The Taper-Lok muzzle


rifle suppressor is an exclusive SIG Sauer mount with one of
feature. This innovative, three-piece system the available muzzle
is built for speed, accuracy and repeatability devices installed
over time. It is a modular design that allows (Photo: SIG Sauer)
for simple and economical changes to your
muzzle configuration. (Photo: SIG Sauer) The SRD762-QD suppressor. Thanks to its quick-
detach feature, it can move seamlessly between
rifles and is adaptable to multiple calibers up to
.300 Win. Mag. (Photo: SIG Sauer)

A variety of muzzle brake


and flash hider options is
available from SIG Sauer.
(Photo: SIG Sauer)

www.gunworld.com p OCTOBER I 2018

36
The CZ 527
Suppressor Ready
300 BLK, equipped
with SIG Sauer’s
Tango6 1-6x optic
and SRD762-QD
suppressor.

THE CZ 527
ACTION IS A
TRUE MICRO-
MAUSER, NOT
A STANDARD
MAUSER
ACTION THAT
HAS BEEN
CHOPPED AND
RE-WELDED.
THIS MAKES
FOR A SVELTE-
HANDLING
RIFLE.
www.gunworld.com p OCTOBER I 2018

37
gun world

TRULY A SHORTENED
PROFILE, THE CZ
527’S MAUSER
Under normal shooting conditions, the trigger can be ACTION IS ONLY
used like any other trigger. When a higher level of
6 INCHES LONG AND
accuracy is desired, the trigger can be “set” for a
lighter pull and super-crisp break. The trigger is set SAVES AT LEAST
by pushing it forward, and it offers a trigger weight
of 2 pounds. However, the normal trigger pull was
1 POUND OVER
a quite-acceptable, crisp 4.5 pounds and was A STANDARD
certainly no detriment during accuracy testing at
the range. The standard trigger is adjustable for
MAUSER
pull weight, creep and overtravel. The set trigger
is adjustable for weight only.
BOLT-ACTION.

300BLACKOUT
RIFLE OF A DIFFERENT SORT The CZ micro-Mauser
action is perfect to
The CZ 527 American Suppressor Ready bolt-action, create a lightweight,
combined with the 300 BLK, makes for a very appealing, great-handling rifle.
Truly a shortened
distinctive combination. There’s no need for a super-
profile, the CZ 527’s
magnum rifle with a mega-zoom scope with a hyper- Mauser action is
complicated reticle. I find it hard to believe that anyone only 6 inches long
The 300 BLK (7.62x35mm) was introduced by Advanced
and saves at least
using the CZ 527 SR 300 BLK is ever undergunned or at 1 pound over a Armament Corporation (AAC) in cooperation with
a disadvantage when hunting deer-sized game or pressed standard Mauser Remington Defense in response to an expressed
bolt-action.
into a defensive posture. I believe it will find a niche for requirement from U.S. Special Operation military forces.
itself in the American market. It will appeal to rifle lovers Literature illuminates its goal with the 300 BLK as being
for its efficiency. the ability to shoot .30-caliber projectiles from the AR
The CZ 527 SR has platform from existing 5.56mm magazines without a
The users already familiar with the 300 BLK cartridge will a threaded barrel reduction in magazine capacity or reliable functioning.
to accommodate
appreciate the performance enhancement offered with the easy adaption to
CZ 527 SR in terms of accuracy and ease of suppression. suppressor use. The .300 Whisper pre-dates the 300 BLK and is
dimensionally very similar. However, prudence dictates
caution of any interchangeability unless clearly noted.
The .300 Whisper is a J.D. Jones-trademarked round
dating back to 1992.

While a whole article can be dedicated to discussing


the differences and similarities of the 300 BLK and
.300 Whisper, in sum, the 300 BLK is a SAAMI standard
cartridge and the .300 Whisper is not.

18

38
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In terms of quietness, nothing compares to a bolt-action firing
subsonic ammunition with a quality suppressor attached. I Performance
was quite surprised by the accuracy premium offered by the
bolt-action CZ 527 SR combined with SIG Sauer optics.
RESULTS
Ammunition Velocity (fps) Accuracy (inches)
The CZ 527 SR was tested from the bench for accuracy and from Average Average Best
around barricades and other obstacles to get a better appreciation
Black Hills 125-grain OTM 2,210 1.5 1.0
of its handling and performance. The suppressor was mounted at
various times. Steel targets were smacked with ease out to 250 Hornady 125-grain HP 2,335 1.66 1.33
yards, either standing or using ield-expedient rests.
SIG Sauer Elite 125-grain 2,220 1.33 1.25

While by no means rivaling a semiautomatic for fire power, the Black Hills 220-grain OTM 1,010 1.75 1.25
detachable, five-round magazines were handy to recharge the
SIG Sauer Elite 220-grain 995 1.25 0.88
CZ 527 after the last round. As expected from a bolt-action, no
malfunctions were experienced.
NOTES: Velocity was an average of ive shots using an RCBS AmmoMaster
chronograph set up 10 feet in front of the muzzle. Accuracy is averaged
The safety selector was different, compared to U.S.-based riles,
from three ive-shot groups at 100 yards.
with the safety engaged by pushing it forward and releasing it
by moving it rearward. The safety made no audible noise when defense. With nearly 150 rounds ired, recoil was not a factor,
manipulating it—an important consideration for hunting or and I experienced no issues or detriment to accuracy.

URBAN SNIPER
CZ 527 The CZ 527 SR is a rifle that can serve in multiple roles—
American sport, hunting or defense. The 300 BLK chambering is a
Synthetic positive. It offers both performance and flexibility in adapting
Suppressor to a variety of situations.
Ready
SPECIFICATIONS More and more load options are coming on line for the 300
BLK, including premium hunting bullets. The CZ 527 SR can
ACTION: Mauser bolt-action serve in its own right or in combination with a high-capacity
CALIBER: .300 Blackout (tested) and 7.62x39 AR variant chambered in 300 BLK for defensive purposes.
BARREL: 16.25 in.
OVERALL LENGTH: 35 in.
WEIGHT: 5.9 lbs. It would not be unrealistic to imagine the CZ 527 SR in an
SIGHTS: Integrated 16mm scope bases (square- urban sniper role. The suppressibility of the CZ 527 SR, thanks
bridge Mauser) with 1-in. or 30mm rings available to factory subsonic loads, makes it ideal for shooting in a
STOCK: Black polymer, American-style pattern populated environment, which is perfect for law enforcement
CAPACITY: Detachable ive-round magazine
or animal control. Sixty yards out, shots from the CZ 527 SR
MSRP: $748
would be undetectable, except for the subsonic, 220-grain
CONTACT INFORMATION round smacking the target.

CZ-USA A mounted suppressor not only limits noise, it also eliminates


CZ-USA.com The subsonic 300
BLK and a quality muzzle blast signature so as not to give away position. With
suppressor such the ability to attract users from a variety of backgrounds, the
BLACK HILLS AMMUNITION
as the SIG Sauer
Black-Hills.com SRD762-QD make a CZ 527 American Suppressor Ready should prove a popular
potent combination. offering from CZ-USA. GW
ECHO VALLEY TRAINING CENTER
EchoValleyTraining.com

HORNADY MFG. INC.


Hornady.com

SIG SAUER
SIGSauer.com

STONEWALL ARMS
StonewallArms.com

www.gunworld.c p OCTOBER I 2018

40
gun world TEXT AND PHOTOS BY ANDY MASSIMILIAN

UTAS XTR-12
SHOTGUN

www.gunworld.com p OCTOBER I 2018

42
HISTORICALLY, AR SHOTGUNS
I
t’s no secret that the “holy grail” of tactical
shotguns is one that precisely matches the AR-15
in form and function, with identical appearance,

RESEMBLE AN AR COSMETICALLY controls, takedown, manual of arms and, most


importantly, reliability. And, like the actual Holy

BUT HAVE NOTHING IN COMMON Grail, such a shotgun has largely proven elusive to those
in its quest.

WITH THE AR PLATFORM At each SHOT Show (which showcases new products

IN DESIGN— SORT OF LIKE to FFLs and the gun press), new attempts to make
an AR-style shotgun are displayed. Most designs,

PUTTING LIPSTICK ON A PIG.


however, such as the MKA 1919 from EAA, are only
loose renditions of the AR that adapt a tube-fed shotgun
to a plastic housing with an AR-style stock, grip and

THE UTAS XTR-12 IS AN ACTUAL handguard. They are far from satisfying for those who
yearn for a “true AR shotgun” and always come with a

AR-10-PLATFORM 12-GAUGE. much more complicated takedown and cleaning process


than the “real deal.”

www.gunworld.com p OCTOBER I 2018

43
gun world
The XTR-12 bolt Thankfully, other makers were not deterred from designing a
carrier group (left) 12-gauge AR-10 with Turkish irearms maker UTAS, introducing
sits aside one from a
direct-impingement the XTR-12 at the 2016 SHOT Show, with wide distribution
ArmaLite AR-10 starting in 2017. UTAS is no stranger to making shotguns that
(center) and an AR-15
(right). These all lock
expand the envelope in signiicant ways, and its UTS-15 created
using a rotating bolt quite a fanfare when it arrived in 2006. A pump-action bullpup
and cam pin, but the with a glass-reinforced polymer receiver to reduce weight, the
design between the
XTR-12 and the ARs UTS-15 has twin magazine tubes mounted above the barrel, each
is much different holding seven shells. This model is an out-of-the-box design that
otherwise. The face
on the XTR-12 has a started a trend in unorthodox, high-capacity pump shotguns,
spring-loaded shell followed by the Kel-Tec KSG in 2011, the Standard Manufacturing
pickup/extractor
that, along with the
DP-12 in 2015 and, in 2018, the semiauto IWI Tavor TS12.
magazine, is critical
for feeding. Note Unlike the UTS-15, the XTR-12 follows the conventional lines and
that the carrier has
a tappet key (instead mechanics of the AR-10, which is exactly why it is so appealing and
of a gas key), which unique among AR-style shotguns. It’s lower receiver even functions
is driven rearward to
unlock the bolt by a with a DPMS Oracle .308 Win. upper receiver, although UTAS does
piston rod. not recommend that use and instead has promised to market its own
.308 Win. upper. XTR-12 uppers are not sold separately, however.

It’s not as if the industry hasn’t tried to fit a 12-gauge onto an GUN DETAILS
AR-10 platform, but problems in doing so are more significant The XTR-12 is essentially a gas-piston-operated AR-
than they appear. The most critical is reliably feeding the blunt- 10 chambered to accept 2¾-inch and 3-inch shells.
nosed, rimmed shotshell from a box magazine that fits into an Interchangeable parts between the two are the internals, grip
AR-10’s magwell. There’s also the ubiquitous issue with gas- and buttstock, while the charging handle is proprietary. The
operated shotguns of inventing a system that functions using gas system is non-adjustable and uses a short stroke design
a range of gas pressure and gas volume created by a wide via which a piston rod impacts a tappet key on the bolt carrier,
range of shotshell loads. not unlike many AR-15 and AR-10 rifles. The rotating, four-lug
bolt functions similarly to AR rifles but incorporates a “shell
Disassembling the pickup” mounted at 6 o’clock that positions the shell onto the
Mission Arms was a short-lived company that ditched the XTR-12’s BCG is
SAAMI-spec 12-gauge shell completely with an upper receiver the same as on the bolt face as it strips it from the magazine and also functions
AR-10 (top), except as a secondary extractor. The XTR-12’s bolt also lacks the AR’s
that only fed proprietary shells, which used a rebated rim and that the firing pin is
a conical plastic front cap to enable reliable feeding. The retained by a steel plunger-style ejector in favor of a fixed ejector mounted to
pin instead of a the upper receiver, and its bolt carrier is lightweight. Finally,
concept failed for obvious reasons: Ammo cost over $1 a shell,
cotter pin and must
and the unit itself cost about $1,500! be driven out with a
this shotgun’s upper receiver lacks the AR’s signature forward
punch. assist and dust cover.
One of the most promising attempts was made by Rhino Arms, a
now-defunct maker of ultra-accurate, high-quality AR-15s and
AR-10s. Unhappily, this shotgun never made it past prototyping,
because the bolt carrier created undue wear on the buffer
system, and the company was experiencing internal problems.

The magazine
follower and
shape of
the XTR-12
(right) are key
components
that make
this gun feed
shotshells far
better than
earlier designs.
The mag on
the left is from
the supremely
flawed RAAC
1919 shotgun
imported a few
years ago.

www.gunworld.com p OCTOBER I 2018

44
Functioning is identical to the AR-10, with bolt hold-open after Takedown is the
same as on an AR-15.
the last round, a nonreciprocating charging handle and a shell
deflector to protect left-handed shooters. Like the rifle it was
designed to imitate, the XTR-12 offers excellent ergonomics,
along with and bilateral safety levers and magazine-release
buttons. Weighing 7.8 pounds unloaded, this shotgun is lighter
than most AR-10s (especially those with gas piston operation),
which improves its handling.

The standard XTR-12 uses an 18.5-inch barrel with no choke.


Instead, it has external threading to attach an optional
breeching device. A “competition barrel” can be ordered for an
additional $200, or UTAS will upgrade your standard shotgun My sample came with an evenly applied Cerakote finish, the
for $300. The competition barrel includes five internal chokes safety activated smoothly, and the receivers fit together tightly.
(Benelli crio style) and a choke wrench. The magazines have steel bodies with a carefully designed
aluminum follower that positions the shells at a certain angle
The receivers are milled from 7075-T6 aluminum billet held and is key to making the system run. This shotgun comes with
together by two pushpins. My sample XTR-12 has a feature- one five-round mag; a 10-rounder is available.
laden one-piece handguard with a full-length Picatinny rail on
The bolt carrier
the top; partial rails on the sides and bottom; and ive integral group is obviously RANGE TIME
sockets for mounting QD swivels. Newer models use a slightly proprietary, but so is I tested the XTR-12 with the standard barrel and also
the charging handle
different design with M-Lok slots. The receivers and handguard to accommodate the switched to the upgraded competition barrel so I could install
are inished in Cerakote and a choice of ive colors. piston rod. Silencerco’s Salvo 12 suppressor.

There’s a shell
deflector—which
was not needed,
given the ejection
pattern of the ammo
the author used. Not
having a forward
assist, however, is an
oversight he thinks
should be corrected
if this shotgun is put
to tactical use.

www.gunworld.com p OCTOBER I 2018

45
gun world

Function-testing was conducted with light target and field


loads, rifled slugs and magnum buckshot. I also patterned
three buckshot loads using the standard barrel. My sample
shotgun stopped functioning after shooting fewer than 15
buckshot rounds. The cause, according to UTAS-USA’s repair
technicians, was a bent shell pickup on the bolt head, which
prevented the bolt from fully closing. This problem repeated
itself, resulting in two trips back for service.

UTAS-USA was very responsive to making repairs and explained


that they worked with Turkish engineers to make a design
correction to the bolt and lifter. They also mentioned that the
XTR-12 was intended for the 3-gun shooter who would not
be shooting magnum shells. Thus, testing was done with the
expected loads. I requested that my sample be returned with
the competition barrel after the second trip in order to allow
mounting the SilencerCo Salvo 12 suppressor.

The gas system worked well with shells loaded with a minimum A left-side mag what UTAS recommends. Although there were occasional failures
release makes
3-dram-equivalent powder charge—which is consistent with the shotgun to feed with the original barrel, functioning was otherwise good
ambidextrous. Mags using 3-dram, 1 1/8-ounce ield loads ... with a slight preference
fit easily into the well
but do not drop free
in feeding Federal Field and Target load over the Winchester
unless loaded. The Universal. There were three failures to eject from a box of 25
two hexhead screws Remington 2.5-dram-equivalent STS target loads.
on the upper receiver
secure the steel
ejector. I tested several five- and 10-round magazines. Two of
the mags proved defective, but the rest worked well. The
It’s tempting to always standard barrel and original bolt did not reliably chamber the
use a mag that holds first round from the magazine by depressing the bolt catch.
more than ive shells,
Instead, chambering required retracting and releasing the
but you trade off
maneuverability and charging handle. However, this issue did not reappear using
handling with the the competition barrel and new bolt, and the machining
10-round. Shown are
ive- and 10-round within the barrel extension where the bolt lugs lock was
mags (center and visibly neater. Feeding also seemed smoother; however,
bottom, respectively),
and a 30-round AR-15 sometimes a shell would become damaged in front and
mag (top). not completely chamber, leaving me wanting for a forward

www.gunworld.com p OCTOBER I 2018

46
SILENCERCO SALVO 12
Meet The Old West’s
GREATEST
GUNSLINGERS

The Salvo 12 is among the more interesting suppressors made; and, according to the company, it is the
only “commercially viable, modular, hearing-safe shotgun silencer on the market.” (UTAS introduced a
shotgun suppressor a few years ago, but it was never put into serial production.)

The Salvo 12 uses an eccentric design patterned after its Osprey pistol suppressors. Eccentric cans
are intended to allow the use of standard-height sights. On the Salvo, however, you will need rifle-style
sights or a raised optic to get an acceptably unobstructed sight picture.

The Salvo 12 is 12 inches long, weighs 34.5 ounces and is constructed of 12 aluminum sections
secured together with two threaded steel rods. Nine smooth, round rods are evenly spaced around
the circumference of the bore to guide and contain the shotshell’s wad. The Salvo 12 is completely Join Lou Prophet on his
violent days and reckless
disassembled with only an Allen wrench, which is necessary for cleaning (at no more than 1,200-round
nights of gun-blazing,
intervals) or reconfiguring to 10, 8 or 6 inches, using rod kits from SilencerCo. bone-crushing action.

It is direct-thread-mounted to an extended choke and secured by a spanner wrench. SilencerCo sells


adapter chokes in several constrictions to it Saiga/Vepr-, Benelli-, Browning-, Remington-, Mossberg-
and KSG-style threads.

I tested the pattern of the XTR-12 using the Federal Field and Target load with #8 shot using the
improved modified choke alone, as well as with the suppressor attached. The shot pattern with just
the choke was even and at the correct density for an IM choke. Adding the full-length Salvo 12 did not
shift the shot pattern relative to point of aim, but it did widen the spread by 10 to 15 percent. During
firing, neither the choke nor the suppressor worked loose, and there was no discernible increase in
backpressure or change in function of the shotgun.

As you would expect, the XTR-12 with the 12-inch suppressor became muzzle heavy, with completely
different handling dynamics, and would benefit from using a shorter configuration. However, the It’s up to Sheriff Mackey to
muzzle-heavy effect is significantly diminished if you attach the Salvo 12 to a bullpup shotgun, which keep the dregs of humanity
from trying to make a killing.
I believe is its best-matched host weapon. A short-barreled shotgun would be a second choice.

The Salvo 12 proved effective at reducing sound—


exactly the idea behind this unusual accessory.
SilencerCo publishes a 137 dB level for the 12-
inch configuration at the muzzle, which is fairly
good, considering that large-bore weapons are
the most difficult to suppress because the gas is
more difficult to trap inside.

In a lawless hellhole like


Ring Bit, Texas, making it takes
The Salvo 12 comprises multiple baffles and two end guts, grit, gunslinging—
caps that fit together and can be configured into 6-, 8-, and one hell of a woman.
10- and 12-inch lengths.
Available Everywhere Books Are Sold
The Salvo 12 is direct-thread-mounted to an extended
choke and secured by a spanner wrench. ENSINGTONBOOKS.COM

www.gunworld.com p OCTOBER I 2018

47
gun world
assist. Nevertheless, it didn’t happen often, however, making
ammo selection important. Performance RESULTS
00 Buckshot
I patterned three 00 buckshot loads at 25 yards: Federal Ammunition Pattern Results Velocity
Flight Control 3-inch magnum, X-Treme plated 2¾-inch Number of Pellets / Percentage of Pellets (fps)
8-Inch Circle 15-Inch Circle
from Freedom Munitions and Winchester Super-X 2¾-inch. I
counted pellets that shot within an 8-inch inner circle and a
Federal Premium Flight Control 3-in., 12 pellet 7 / 58 10 / 82 1,216
15-inch outer circle. I considered pellets that shot within the
8-inch circle to be effective, center-mass hits. Those landing Freedom Munitions X-Treme 2¾-in., 9 pellet 4 / 43 5 / 59 1,181
in the outer, 15-inch ring were considered non-lethal. It’s not
Winchester Super-X 2¾-in., 9 pellet 4 / 39 5 / 52 1,141
a perfect method, but it does delineate how different loads
shoot different patterns. About four minutes elapsed between
NOTES: Average of six shots at 25 yards, using the standard barrel. The
shots, which allowed partial barrel cooling. Remember that
number of pellets shown next to the percentage is rounded. Velocity is
shotgun barrels usually pattern tightest on a cold barrel. measured 15 feet from the muzzle with an Oehler 35 chronograph.

The Federal Flight Control load scored the tightest pattern, magazine, inserting the shells isn’t a smooth process, so it’s
with an average of 58 percent of the pellets landing in the a good idea to wear gloves to avoid cutting your ingers on the
8-inch circle, compared to 43 and 39 percent for the X-Treme magazine lips when loading.
and Winchester loads, respectively, and a total of 82, 59 and 52
percent on average of their pellets, respectively, within a 15- TRUE-TO-FORM DESIGN
inch circle. This means that on average, 18, 41 and 48 percent The XTR-12 is unquestionably the closest thing you can get to a
of the buckshot pellets landed outside a 15-inch circle. Keep 12-gauge AR, and it comes with all of that design’s ergonomic
those fliers in mind if you use buckshot for defensive purposes Internals are like advantages, easy disassembly for cleaning and plethora of
,and always pattern your defensive shotgun. the AR-15 and are
aftermarket accessories—from grips to stocks. For me, this
interchangeable. The
internal parts are shotgun is best suited for competition and plinking rather
These results also validate the theoretical outcomes of each shot milled from castings, than home defense, for which a forward assist is advisable:
which is the industry
shell’s design. The Federal light control wad is the reason this standard, while the Thrusting a shot shell forward from the magazine into a feed
load shoots tight patterns, while the copper-plated buckshot safety levers are MIM. ramp risks deforming the front edge of the plastic shell,
used in the X-Treme load could be the reason it shot slightly making chambering incomplete without assistance. Plastic
tighter than the unplated shot used in the Winchester shells. shot shells are also susceptible to deformation from careless
handling, leading to the same result. However, the detachable
The XTR-12 handled recoil well, except for the Federal 3-inch magazine makes reloading rapid and switching from buckshot
magnums, for which a more effective recoil pad would have to slugs easy—a real advantage for those who wish to use it
The UTAS XTR-12
been welcome. The 10-round magazines also felt a bit awkward shotgun and for tactical purposes. At an MSRP of $1,099, it’s one of the
when moving and shooting because of their length. They were SilencerCo Salvo 12
pricier Turkish shotguns imported, but it’s also nearly a “true-
make a potent, yet
also dificult to fully load. When loading shells into either quiet, combination. to-form” design for those who want an AR shotgun. GW

UTAS
XTR-12
SPECIFICATIONS

GAUGE: 12; 3-in. chamber


ACTION: Semiauto; gas operated
BARREL:18.5 in.
OA LENGTH: 38–41.5 in.
WEIGHT: 7.8 lbs.
SIGHTS: N/A
STOCKS: Five-position collapsible buttstock
FINISH: Cerakote
CAPACITY: 5+1, 10+1
MSRP: $1,099; ($1,199 with non-black Cerakote)

CONTACT INFORMATION

UTAS
UTAS-USA.com

www.gunworld.com p OCTOBER I 2018

48
All the bullets in the world mean nothing if your concealed carry
handgun fails when you need it most. The XD-S Mod.2 in 9mm
is a less than one-inch wide pinnacle of reliability. 25K rounds
without a stoppage and an integral grip safety for
total peace of mind when carrying.
gun world TEXT AND PHOTOS BY PATRICK SWEENEY

www.gunworld.com p OCTOBER I 2018

50
WILSON COMBAT BRINGS THE HAMMER OF THOR TO US IN THE FORM OF THE .458 HAM’R.

T
he hammer of Thor, “Mjolnir,” was said to have The .458 HAM’R feels He’s done that for decades with 1911s. He has been doing
like the power of
magical powers. No one save Thor could wield it for a number of years now with ARs and shotguns.
Thor’s hammer.
it, because they were neither pure of heart nor He has even put his hand to improving ammunition and
strong enough. It would return to its master designing new calibers.
when called. And it was the very definition of
the “unstoppable force.” And now, he has given us our very own “hammer”—the .458
HAM’R, to be exact.
Hmmm.
THE HEART OF THE HAM’R
Bill Wilson is the kind of guy who does not sit back and look The heart of the .458 HAM’R is a Wilson billet-cut upper and
at something with the idea in mind, Well, that’s good enough; lower receiver set. The upper is a flat top, with a full-length
we’ll leave it alone and go on to something else. No, he is the rail as a place to mount a sight, sights or even more sights. On
very definition of I can improve it. the front end of this, Wilson Combat installs a match-grade,

www.gunworld.com p OCTOBER I 2018

51
gun world

THE HEART OF THE .458


HAM’R IS A WILSON
BILLET-CUT UPPER
AND LOWER RECEIVER
SET. THE UPPER IS
A FLAT TOP, WITH A
FULL-LENGTH RAIL AS
A PLACE TO MOUNT What caliber is this
rifle chambered for?

A SIGHT, SIGHTS OR If you can’t read the


milled-in marking,

EVEN MORE SIGHTS.


you should get your
eyes checked. This
makes it easy to
ON THE FRONT END OF keep track.

THIS, WILSON COMBAT stainless steel barrel with an appropriate barrel extension for
INSTALLS A MATCH- the .458 HAM’R bolt to lock into. (We’ll get to that in just a bit.)

GRADE, STAINLESS The rile sent to me is the Tactical Hunter model, which means
STEEL BARREL WITH AN The Wilson Combat
upper receiver has
it has, like the Ultimate Hunter, a Wilson Combat free-loat

APPROPRIATE BARREL an ejector block


to deflect brass
handguard that is machined for M-Lok attachments. The
handguard is 14.6 inches long—plenty long enough to keep
EXTENSION FOR THE but not a forward
assist. If the round your hands off the hot barrel—to cover the gas block on the

.458 HAM’R BOLT TO doesn’t want to go


in, get it out of there.
mid-length gas system and provide plenty of places to attach
extras ... perhaps too many, but that’s a personal choice. You
LOCK INTO. Don’t pound it into
submission. get to decide how much gear you want to hang on your hammer.

www.gunworld.com p OCTOBER I 2018

52
The handguard top rail aligns perfectly with the rail of the
upper receiver. There should be no surprise at this, because
Wilson Combat machines the receivers and the handguard
in house (and a whole lot of other Wilson products as well).
It might be considered bad social form to attach extras that
cross the joint between the upper and handguard, but when
both parts are machined by the same company, I’m not going
to worry, especially if that company is Wilson Combat. If it
happens to work out that some mount has to cross the joint, I
don’t think it will be an issue.

The barrel has an SLR Rifleworks adjustable gas block


installed, so you can dial the gas flow for your chosen load,
whether factory or handload and for suppressed or bare.
The muzzle is threaded for a muzzle brake, flash hider or
suppressor mount and comes with a thread protector for
those times you won’t be using an extra gizmo. Peering up Subdued muzzle chambered and extracted a few rounds to get a feel for the
into the receiver, the lower locking lugs of the barrel extension reports, thumping
process. The feeding was smooth, and the extracted rounds
recoil, cigar-shaped
have been reduced in size to create a feed ramp for the empties being hurled did not show signs of having been tortured in the process.
blunt cartridges that will be sliding by on a regular basis. I to the side. Combine
that with a hefty
thwack! on the other The Tactical Hunter has a Rogers Super-Stoc on the receiver
end, and you have extension (aka buffer tube). This allows you to adjust the

WILSON COMBAT
the .458 HAM’R.
Man—this is fun! length of pull to whatever suits your arm length and amount
of clothing while hunting. And the Super-Stoc has a locking
lever so you can clamp the slider down tight. It will then be as

WHISPER SUPPRESSOR
rigid as a fixed stock, with no wobble or vibration.

The Ultimate Hunter uses a fixed stock and a carbon-fiber


receiver extension. This means you can’t adjust length of
Wilson Combat Whisper suppressors are titanium pull, but it does mean that the Ultimate Hunter is 7 ounces
constructions and are available for calibers from .22 lighter as a result. I don’t want to sound ungrateful, but taking
LR to .458. The main tube is larger in diameter than 6 percent of the weight off a rifle as hard-hitting as this might
is customary with other suppressor makers in order to be too much of a good thing.
gain more volume and keep the overall length down.
Where many other centerfire suppressors for the big- The billet-cut Wilson Combat lower has a BCM pistol grip with
bores can be 8 or 9 inches long, the Whisper is only a a Wilson Combat Starburst pattern in the nonslip traction
smidge over 6½. panels, along with a hinged storage compartment. Above is
the selector/safety, which, on the Tactical Hunter, is a right-
The baffle stack is 100 percent welded (no tack welds The Rogers Super-
Stoc is adjustable handed one. This being Wilson Combat, you can change many
here), and each comes with a Melonite-treated muzzle and can be locked of the details—as long as it is something Wilson makes or
brake as a suppressor mount. A muzzle brake on a 5.56 in place once set, so
can obtain. Me, I don’t worry too much about ambi selectors,
it won’t wobble or
is a competition device, but on the .458 HAM’R, it is an wriggle. because I don’t shoot left-handed.
essential extra. Even if you weren’t using a suppressor,
having the brake on would be a good idea.

In shooting the .458 HAM’R suppressed, there was still


the supersonic crack!, but the report was muffled to
a great degree. Should you be out culling hogs, the
Whisper is going to get you more opportunities than
non-suppressed would, and the whole idea is to get as
many as you can.

You can have yours in bead-blast titanium or one of the


five Armor-tuff colors available.

www.gunworld.com p OCTO I 2018

53
Inside the lower receiver there is a Wilson Combat tactical Because the 5.56 has a pressure limit of 55,000 psi, you can
trigger unit M2, set for a 4-pound trigger pull. This is a two- see that the .458 SOCOM was a compromise to get such a
stage match trigger, and because it is a modular design, you big bullet into such a compact package.
can pull it out for cleaning—and you don’t have to worry
about losing parts. It is a self-contained unit. The only extra What Bill Wilson did was simply move the idea from the M4/
parts that come with it are the standard lower receiver pins AR-15 package to a modiied AR-10 package. This gave a
that hold it in. If you have an aerosol cleaner, you don’t even much larger amount of steel to support case thrust (that is the
have to remove it. Just hose it clean, scrub what you can, load put onto the locking lugs) and on the barrel extension. As
wipe it off, lube, and forget it. a result, the .458 HAM’R uses an AR-10-sized bolt and carrier,
which has been shortened by ¾ inch (and the carrier of which
The upper and lower receiver, handguard and barrel are is given an NP3 coating). You are not going to mix this up with
given a Wilson Combat Armor-Tuff finish in green or black as your AR-15 bolt and carrier. By doing this, he could set the
standard. If you want other colors or a camo finish, this can be pressure ceiling for the .458 HAM’R at 46,000 psi.
arranged, but you have to let Wilson Combat know what you
want when you order your Tactical Hunter. Now, using a .458 HAM’R in a .458 SOCOM would be a very
bad thing. To prevent this, Bill set the case shoulder .040
THE .458 HAM’R CARTRIDGE inch farther forward on the .458 HAM’R than it is on the
Now, all of this is one heck of a nice rile. But why is it a SOCOM. This would preclude the bolt closing on a HAM’R
“hammer”? Simple: It is chambered for a massive bullet of .458 in a SOCOM chamber. However, we all know someone who
inch in diameter. won’t take a clue, let alone buy one. If you are shooting a
.458 SOCOM and the bolt won’t close, stop. Find out why.
“Oh, you mean the .458 SOCOM. So, what?” Don’t just pound on the forward assist.

No, not the SOCOM. What Bill Wilson did was take the SOCOM
and make it better. The .458 SOCOM was made from .50 AE The Meopta scope in
its Geissele mount,
brass, with rims turned to a .473-inch diameter. The idea was ready for the jolt of
to make it as compatible as possible with the M4/AR-15. Given .458 HAM’R loads
the limits on bolt strength and barrel extension diameter, the
upper pressure limit for the .458 SOCOM was set at 35,000 psi.

www.gunworld.com p OCTOBER I 2018

54
That explains the “hammer,” but you might wonder why it’s
spelled “HAM’R.” Bill Wilson loves this thing for hog hunting.
Hogs …”HAM”-’R.

AR-10/AR-15 HYBRID
But wait—there’s a problem: The AR-10 uses a large,
designed for slaying
.30-caliber magazine. The current (and best) design is the
It should be obvious to anyone who thinks about it for a nano- hogs. M-110, exemplified by the Magpul and Lancer .30-caliber
second, but you do not want to ever mix .458 HAM’R in with magazines. The .458 HAM’R (or a .458 SOCOM) round would
your .458 SOCOM ammo supply. Should you happen to own one be swimming around in that magazine, and the feed lips
or more of each, you must keep the ammo separate. would have no hope of holding them properly.

55
The handguard has
M-Lok slots, and the
muzzle end of the
barrel is threaded for
a flash hider, brake or
suppressor mount.

NOW, ALL OF
THIS IS ONE The BCM pistol grip,
with the Wilson
Combat starburst

HECK OF A NICE pattern

RIFLE. BUT
WHY IS IT A
“HAMMER”? So, Bill and the crew made the .458 HAM’R receiver set as

SIMPLE: IT IS
a “hybrid”-length AR-10 upper and lower, which gives it an
AR-15-sized magazine well (and also houses the shortened
BCG). (Ever have one of those moments when you just want

CHAMBERED to slap yourself on the forehead and say, Why didn’t I think of
that? Yep, that was me when I realized just what Bill and the

FOR A MASSIVE crew had done.)

BULLET OF So, we have a compact AR-10 (more or less) rile with an AR-15
magazine well, chambered in a high-intensity .45-caliber cartridge.

.458 INCH IN
Just what do we get with this?

Wilson Combat offers four loadings for the .458 HAM’R: a

DIAMETER.
The storage
compartment in the 250-grain Hornady MFX bullet, 300-grain Nosler BT, 300-grain
BSM pistol grip
X-treme RNFP and a 300-grain Barnes TTSX. The “slow” one
is the Nosler boat-tail, at a mere 1,975 fps. The fast one is the
Barnes, at a listed 2,100 fps. To compare, the .458 SOCOM
lists a 300-grain bullet at 1,900 fps, which, to be fair, some
loads do actually deliver. But that is the top end of the loads,
and you are getting that in an M4-sized package.

PREPARE YOURSELF FOR RECOIL


The .458 HAM’R promises 2,100 fps, and you know what?
It does that. Of course, given the light weight of the Tactical
Hunter or the Ultimate Hunter, that can, perhaps, be another
example of too much of a good thing.

In the interests of scientific inquiry, as well as letting the


readers know, I fired exactly one round of the .458 HAM’R

TOBER I 2018
out of the Tactical Hunter without the muzzle brake. One was
enough. I then went up to the club workshop and installed the
muzzle brake, which is also the mount for the Wilson Combat
suppressor. Now, if you are hunting, and the guide (or your
hunting partner) is not keen on you using a muzzle brake,
you have two choices: Shoot it bare, or shoot it suppressed.
Because the intent of this rifle is a hog-hammering tool,
suppressed is your best option, and I suggest you exercise it.
A representative Why are the
The rile arrived, as they all do, with the Wilson Combat dog tag group from the .458 magazines seven- or
HAM’R ... provided nine-shot? Because
inventory tag, with the model and serial number on it. Cool. It the .458 HAM’R fits
you can do your part
also arrived without sights. If you wish, you can order a Leupold on the back end of single-stack in the
VX-R 2-7x33 scope in a Wilson 30mm Ultralight mount for an the rifle AR-15 magazines
from Lancer.
additional $590, but I have plenty of optics and mounts on hand.

57
gun world

Performance
RESULTS
Ammunition Velocity ES SD Average Group
(fps) (inches)

WC TTSC Barnes 300-grain 2,116 44 18.9 1.75

WC X-treme RNFP 300-grain 2,052 32 15.0 2.10

NOTES: Accuracy results are the average of five five-shot groups over a
I grabbed a suitable optic, a Meopta 1-4x22 in a Geissele
Sinclair shooting rest at 100 yards. ES = Extreme Spread; SD = Standard
mount, and bolted it on. Having test-fired the Tactical Deviation. Velocity is the average of 10 shots measured by a Labradar
Hunter without sights or a muzzle brake (one shot, chrono programmed to measure velocity 15 feet from the muzzle.
remember?), I wasn’t at all worried that the scope and
mount would be “too heavy.”
it took the full afternoon to produce the accuracy results.
Were I to have hurried, the last groups of the second load
After that, it was fun work. I did my due diligence in chrono
would have been sorry, indeed. It is considerable work to
work and clocked the two loads I had received—the 300 TTSX
bench-test a caliber such as this; and, in addition to not
and the 300 RNFP. The TTSX is a solid-copper hollowpoint
being fun, it would not tell us what we wanted to know—
with a blue polymer insert in the tip to initiate expansion (as
that the .458 HAM’R is an accurate cartridge and the Tactical
if a .458-inch-diameter bullet needs to expand!). If you want
Hunter is an accurate rifle.
penetration, you opt for the 300-grain X-treme round-nose,
flat-point bullet. This is going to drill a hole through pretty
Oh, you won’t see it setting any benchrest records. There’s
much anything you care to shoot with it.
too much recoil for that. But when I can sit at the bench, with
a 4X scope, and blame the fifth shot in a group—at just over
Having done my chrono work, I sat down at the bench and
an inch from the rest of the cluster—as my mistake, that’s
proceeded to spend the afternoon shooting groups. And yes,
an accurate rifle.

Wilson One reloading tip: When you go to reload, get the case gauge
from Wilson Combat so your brass will be the correct length,
Combat Use the included
shim—or other flat the shoulder properly placed for long brass life and to preclude
Tactical washers—to get the
muzzle brake properly use in a .458 SOCOM.
HunteR .458 timed.

HAM’R Unlike Mjolnir, you don’t have to have the strength of Thor to
wield this hammer. You do, however, have to be “pure enough
SPECIFICATIONS of heart” to pass the NICS check. But that shouldn’t be a
problem. Get your hammer—get your HAM’R. GW
TYPE: Hammer-ired, self-loading rile
CALIBER: .458 HAM’R
CAPACITY: Seven or nine rounds
BARREL: 18 in., luted
OVERALL LENGTH: 37.5 in. (stock extended)
WEIGHT: 7 lbs., 11 oz.
FINISH: Wilson Combat Armor-Tuff
GRIPS: BCM with WC Starburst pattern
SIGHTS: N/A (optics optional)
TRIGGER: WC TTU-M2; 4 lbs.
MSRP: $2,905 (base price)

CONTACT INFORMATION

Wilson Combat
WilsonCombat.com
Each Wilson combat
rifle comes with its
Meopta USA
MeoptaSportsOptics.com own dog tag, marked
with model and serial
number.

www.gunworld.com p OCTOBER I 2018

58
*

LEARN MORE AT CRIMSONTRACE.COM


*EXCLUDES FACTORY INSTALLED PRODUCTS. OTHER RULES AND RESTRICTIONS MAY APPLY.
gun world TEXT AND PHOTOS BY FRANK MELLONI

I
will never forget the first time I was called upon to

TACTICAL KINETICS— accuracy-test equipment. Back in my early days of


instruction, a new rifle shooter reached out to me for
help with a Savage 110BA in 300 Win. Mag. that he just
couldn’t get “on paper.” He explained to me that he had

THE
checked his scope mount, was shooting “the good stuff” and
had an uber-expensive bipod.

When range day came, he further expressed his concerns. I

BARREL
listened to all the things he’d done to his rile to get it to group,
but never once did he mention the use of different ammo—and,
of course, not a single reading or lesson on marksmanship.

Setting him up on the bench, I inserted a magazine

GUYS
PRODUCING CONSISTENT SHOT PLACEMENT
incompletely without letting him know it wasn’t in all the
way. I let him close a bolt (unbeknownst to him—on an empty
chamber) and told him to send one. Sitting back, I watched
him yank the trigger and flinch so hard that his butt literally
slipped off the stool. That day he learned more than just
the core fundamentals of marksmanship; he learned that
NECESSITATES A RELATIONSHIP AMONG accuracy comes from a sum of many components.

SEVERAL COMPONENTS. OEM BARREL- There might be no other factor in the world of firearms to

MAKER TACTICAL KINETICS MIGHT BE NEW, cause more confusion and frustration than accuracy. Lack of
accuracy is often blamed on a multitude of factors, such as the
BUT THEY GET IT. WE TEST TK BARRELS IN quality of ammunition, the choice of projectile and the barrel.
The truth is that it’s the relationship among all these things—
BOTH 6.5 GRENDEL AND 6.5 CREEDMOOR. and more—that will produce consistent shot placement.

www.gunworld.com p OCTOBER I 2018

60
DARK STORM INDUSTRIES DS-10
Opening its doors shortly before the New York State SAFE
act (an extremely unpopular set of laws attacking law-
abiding gun owners), Dark Storm Industries (DSI) is at the
forefront of building compliant riles, offering AR-style riles
in both ixed magazine and featureless conigurations.

With the enormous interest in these rifles over the past


eight years, Dark Storm quickly expanded to a larger
facility that houses a range and a full machine shop,
complete with CNC technology. Here is where its latest
creation—the DS-10—was born.
MEET THE NEW GUYS Few will understand
the similarities The DS-10 is built on the company’s own billet 7075
Nobody understands this more than Tactical Kinetics (TK).
between a banjo and
Hitting the firearms industry just five years ago, this company a rile barrel, but once aluminum upper and lower receiver set. The upper is
has found its way into making OEM barrels for many of the you do, you can get complete with forward assist, brass deflector, dust cover,
the proper “tune”
biggest names in the industry. We were lucky enough to get out of your barrel by Phos-Chrome BCG and a DSI Spec Ops Gen 2 charging
a little time with Vice President Jeff Kaplan at the Big 3 East building or buying the handle. The lower is compatible with the Thordsen-
correct ammo. You
Media Event of 2017. Sitting down, we asked him flat out, compliant stock, features a 90-degree ambidextrous
cannot judge a barrel
“What makes your product better?” His reply was detailed— without trying several safety selector and a MIL-SPEC trigger group.
ammunition types.
but surprisingly simple:
Because it doesn’t have anything special on the barrel,
“Great care is taken to ensure the stability in our manufacturing such as a bayonet lug, it is New York compliant and still
processes, such that the last barrel that comes off the line maintains the removable magazine feature. The DS-10 is
shoots as well as the first, and that the tolerances we use on patterned after Stoner’s original design and comes in its
all our barrels are fractions of industry standards. Certainly, original 7.62 NATO chambering or the 6.5 Creedmoor, as
we offer a premium barrel that is machine-lapped but have used for this test.
found our value proposition lies in producing a barrel that
performs at an 80- to 90-percent performance accuracy to The DS-10 comes in many different trim options, including
that of a cut-rifled and hand-lapped match-grade barrel, but a fixed-magazine version that allows for muzzle brakes,
at around 25 percent of the price of that same match barrel.” collapsible stocks and anything else Americans are used
to having available to them. All DSI firearms come in
We found this to be a perfectly plausible answer, because standard configurations as well, should you live in a state
an experienced machine shop can get that right with little that doesn’t have firearms restrictions.
to no tweaking, thereby reducing waste and maximizing
output. TK’s approach puts greater focus on making an overall
higher-quality product rather than just reserving its best for a these barrels that are superior to manufacturers that take
“signature series” line. As stated, its barrels are button rifled, shortcuts. Many low-end manufacturers remove the reaming
as opposed to the more labor-intensive method of “cutting” or process to reduce cost at the expense of accuracy.”
hammer forging. Naturally, our follow-up questions revolved
around our concerns with using this process. Jeff assuaged This was enough for me to get interested, so I inquired about
our anxiety quickly with his explanation: some test products. I was informed that back at TK’s shop,
both barrels in a 24-inch length were available and that
“As you will see from the accuracy of our Grendel and they had a claim of inaccuracy floating around them. As
Creedmoor offerings, button rifling can produce a very accurate you can imagine, the hair on the back of my neck stands up
barrel. The bad reputation is created by manufacturers that do when I hear that word. That diagnosis is almost always the
not follow the proper care in the rifling process. It is critical product of ignorance, poor marksmanship or, in most cases,
that manufacturers avoid using worn buttons and improper a combination of both. I have yet to find a rifle that will fire
lubrication. Ideally, coated buttons with lower friction, proper all types of available ammunition to acceptable standards
stress-relieving after buttoning and a reaming process to and have met few people capable of shooting to the accuracy
control pre-button sizing are included in the production of potential of their firearms.

www.gunworld.com p OCTOBER I 2018

61
gun world
BIG-BOY CALIBERS Minimizing shooter
error is critical for
The 6.5 Creedmoor and 6.5 Grendel have been making accuracy testing. The
waves in the firearms community, mostly for their accuracy author installed this
Rise Armament RA-
and ballistic superiority. However, utilizing these cartridges 535 Trigger to give
properly involves a lot more than just slapping on an upper him a crisp trigger
and grabbing the first available round of ammunition off the break.

shelf on the way to the range. With the wide array of options
available, these cartridges are best suited for knowledgeable,
skilled shooters willing to do the work of finding appropriately
matched ammunition or building it themselves. In other
words, it’s not a quick fix for bad shooting.

MAIL CALL would now be a good time to utilize the Rise Armament RA-535
Tactical Kinetics graciously supplied me with the Grendel APT trigger I had just received.
barrel already built into an upper and head-spaced with a
BCG. I put it on my test lower that consists of a Tac-Star AMRS With riles in hand, all that was needed was optics and ammo. I it
adjustable stock and a Geissele SSP trigger. I was on my own If you don’t wanna the Creedmoor with the new TANGO6 5-30x56mm from SIG Sauer
buy it, ya gotta build Optics and the Grendel with a Nikon Black X1000 6-24x55mm.
to get the Creedmoor built into a functioning firearm. it. In addition to
some of the most
consistent ammo Although both of these cartridges were originally intended for
I live on Long Island and am just a stone’s throw away from around, the author
Dark Storm Industries, a local AR-15 manufacturer. I turned made sure to include a very specific firearm, their explosive popularity led to the
the barrel over to them to get it ready for the “prom.” Utilizing
a round of hand loads development of many different length and twist rate barrels,
in his test. This is the
a known accurate design, the DS-10, they replaced their barrel not to mention altogether different platforms than those
only way to get the
with the Tactical Kinetics barrel and sent me on my way (after complete accuracy originally intended by their inventors. This, in turn, led to a
profile of any given multitude of different factory-loaded ammunition, as well as
an NICS check, of course). Back at my workshop, I decided it firearm.
many new projectiles in 6.5mm.

Which components are the best? Who makes “the good


stuff”? Well, that all depends, and answering these questions
is exactly what I intend to do.

NEEDED: ALL THE AMMO!


I requested rounds from several manufactures and was sent
the following for my experiment:

Federal Gold Metal 130-grain Berger OTM 6.5 Grendel


Federal American Eagle 120-grain OTM 6.5 Grendel
Federal American Eagle 90-grain TNT JHP 6.5 Grendel
Hornady BLACK 123-grain ELD Match 6.5 Grendel
Hornady Custom 123-grain SST 6.5 Grendel

Federal Trophy 120-grain Copper 6.5 Creedmoor


Federal American Eagle 140-grain OTM 6.5 Creedmoor
Hornady MATCH 147-grain ELD Match 6.5 Creedmoor
Hornady MATCH 120-grain ELD Match 6.5 Creedmoor
Copper Creek 140-grain Berger VLD Hunting 6.5 Creedmoor
Copper Creek 142-grain Sierra Match King VLD Hunting
6.5 Creedmoor
Copper Creek 123-grain ELD Match 6.5 Creedmoor
The Grendel barrel SIG 140-grain OTM Match Rifle 6.5 Creedmoor
came threaded in
5/8x24, making it
able to readily accept In addition, I built a set of handloads for both the Grendel and
.30-caliber muzzle the Creedmoor, working through the entire powder scale in
devices such as
this HD SMC from 0.3-grain increments. I do this to illustrate a point in matching
Hardened Arms. ammo to a rifle. Here, we see that just one-third of a grain in

www.gunworld.com p OCTOBER I 2018

62
THE SIG 140-GRAIN
OTM MATCH NIKON BLACKX10006-24X50MM SF
AMMO PRODUCED With precision shooting now a reality for any budget,

OUTSTANDING Nikon has thrown its long-awaited hat into the ring with
the BLACK X1000 series of rifle scopes. Nikon has been

ACCURACY AT LONG in the glass business for more than 100 years, making
some of the finest glass the world has ever seen in the
RANGE WITH MY BEST company’s cameras, binoculars and sports optics.

500-YARD GROUP, Having control over this most critical (and expensive)

MEASURING JUST component of a firearms optic gives Nikon an edge when


it comes to offering a low-priced, long-range optic.
2.121 INCHES Because it is manufactured of Nikon glass, there is no
quality sacrifice in this most critical of components.
charge weight can be the difference between a ¼-inch group
and a 2-inch group. That being said, some factory ammo
The BLACK X line debuted at the 2017 SHOT Show, with
varies one full grain from round to round in the same box, so
the MRAD version available in both 6-24x and 4-16x.
this would also act as a control in my experiment.
Both of these scopes work well for distances out to 1,000
yards. However, the 4-16x is better suited for a hunting or
RANGE DAY #1: UP CLOSE AND PERSONAL DMR (designated marksman rifle), because the 4x setting
I packed up my gear, including 33 different rounds of ammo,
gives a greater field of view for the closer shots.
and headed to the pinnacle of firearms freedom—eastern
Long Island. Maybe not so much, but 100 miles away from
Farther into 2017, Nikon released its MOA model. Both
New York City might as well be another country. I found a day
options come in at an attractive MSRP of just $649, and
when the wind was below 5 mph to avoid interference with
its newest version, the BLACK FX1000 FFP MRAD, is just
bullet flight and went to work.
a hair over that, at $799 MSRP. All options include an
illuminated reticle, side parallax focus and a generous
I cradled the riles in a Caldwell rest supported with a rear bag.
30mm tube for ample light transmission and adjustability.
I alternated cleaning and shooting to break in the barrels for
approximately 20 rounds each and then ired ive three-shot
The MRAD version, with its 17 mils of adjustment, got me
groups with every single round listed on the facing page. In the
out to 1,040 yards without having to compromise a 100-
process, I alternated riles to ensure they didn’t get hot. However,
yard zero. This was largely due to the new Nikon Cantilever
on this 23-degree day, there was little chance of that happening.
mount that gave me an extra 20 MOA to work with.

Some produced amazing accuracy; some were worthless.


Within the same brand, I found rounds that grouped so small, I
could barely measure them, as well as some that couldn’t keep From a production standpoint, factory ammo is amazing. It
three on the paper. I found loads with heavier-grain bullets that is built to be safe and more than reasonably accurate in an
showed no pressure signs and lighter-grain loads that actually array of firearms. With the advancements in components and
pierced primers. Nothing spelled out certain accuracy—not manufacturing processes, the accuracy gain from handloading
brand, bullet weight or even dollar amount. Cheap ammo shot is debatable; some even consider it negligible. There isn’t
great, and expensive ammo shot poorly. Match ammo wouldn’t a solid criterion for the “good stuff.” There can only be the
group, and hunting ammo could shoot the legs off a lea. It was “right stuff.” So, if you are not the type to spend the time on
pure chaos—and I loved every minute of it! My point was being the reloading bench building ammo, spend your time on the
proved on the biggest scale to date. range with a box of every, single type of ammo you can find
and conduct the same experiment to see what is missing from
THE “GOOD STUFF”? your accuracy equation.
When you pick up factory ammo, there are many variables.
Each brand and type has its own certain amount and type HANDLOADS
of powder, a certain primer, a certain case and a certain Both Grendel and Creedmoor have a very small group of
projectile seated into the case at a certain depth. Each one of components that are frequently called upon for building an
these factors affects accuracy in any given firearm. So, does accurate round. I picked the most common and built some
that mean factory ammo is junk? No! of my own ammo. For the Grendel, I selected IMR XBR 8208

www.gunworld.com p OCTOBER I 2018

63
gun world
powder and the Hornady 123-grain ELD MATCH. For the
Creedmoor, the go-to powder is Hodgdon 4350, so that was
an easy choice. The new 147-grain Hornady ELD MATCH is SIG OPTICS TANGO6 5-30X56MM
getting great reviews, so I went with those.
The line of Electro Optics from SIG Sauer is everything
My wife and I prep our brass cases to be identical. We start a long-range precision shooter is looking for. “Electro
with quality brass from the same manufacturer, cut primer Optics” are a hybrid of conventional glass and turret
pockets to be uniform, remove burrs from the flash hole to systems coupled with revolutionary electronic features.
ensure there is the same flame transfer and trim each case to SIG’s new LevelPlex system gives the shooter a visual
within .001 inch of each other. When it’s all done, we weigh indicator inside the reticle when it is as little as a half-
degree canted. According to SIG, this is six times more
Clear glass can still accurate than a bubble level.
be affordable. Nikon
proves this with
its newest optic, In addition, I found that the HD glass and beefy 34mm tube
the Black X1000. delivered exceptional light transmission all the way out to
The author used
the MOA version
1,000 yards. The turrets match the reticle to ease dial-in
of Nikon’s second and provide rapid-ire solutions. Each reticle utilizes the
focal plane model MOTAC system that turns the illumination on when it senses
on the Grendel. The
6-24x magnification motion and off again when it doesn’t for six minutes.
was very helpful
in maintaining a
consistent point My model was first focal plane, allowing me to range
of aim. and adjust at any magnification level. Depending on
the model, the standard turrets offer 12 MRAD—or 30
MOA—of adjustment per revolution, giving you more
The SIG TANGO6
gave a clear sight
than enough come-up for nearly any centerfire rifle past
picture for the its effective range. The new optic also includes an offer
ammo test and was for a free, custom ballistic turret that SIG will make for
instrumental in the
author’s long-range your specific rifle and round. Either turret will be part of
work. He enjoyed the the LockDown system that locks it in place when it is not
LevelPlex system,
which kept rifle cant being adjusted, keeping it from getting jarred through
at bay during the movement or recoil.
experiments.

The DS-10 from Dark


Storm Industries
gives shooters
“behind enemy
lines” an accurate,
comfortable way
to enjoy America’s
favorite platform.
This was the platform
for the author’s
Creedmoor test.

www.gunworld.com p OCTOBER I 2018

64
“ ... BUTTON RIFLING
CAN PRODUCE A
VERY ACCURATE
BARREL. THE
BAD REPUTATION
IS CREATED BY
MANUFACTURERS
THAT DO NOT
FOLLOW THE
PROPER CARE IN THE
each case and ensure they are no more than 1 grain apart The 11-degree
target crown on the
from each other in weight. This process creates identical Creedmoor barrel
rounds, taking round-to-round deviation out of the accuracy
equation. This just leaves the rifle and the shooter.
provides the optimal
liftoff surface for
the projectile while
RIFLING PROCESS.”
protecting the rifling should see groups tighten up to a certain point and then start to
I ired all 20 of these different sets of ammo looking for one during use, transport open up again. The point at which the group is the tightest is a
and cleaning.
thing and one thing only: a node. A barrel is like a banjo string: It node. I hit a node with my Grendel at 24.6 grains, giving me a
vibrates when plucked (ired), creating a node. Each round, with group measuring just .940 inch—not bad for a standard-grade
its different charge weight, creates a different harmonic, and one barrel. The Creedmoor hit a node at 36.1 grains, giving me an
will simply produce better accuracy than the other. When going amazing group, at just .156 inch. This is outstanding performance
through an array of powder charges, a properly functioning barrel for the new guys and proves that the barrels function as expected.
gun world

The author has always been a


fan of this combo for Grendel. He
was able to get it inside of MOA,
because this group measures
just .940 inch. Just like its bigger
brother the Creedmoor, the 6.5
Grendel is very sensitive to
charge weights.

SIG Sauer’s 140-grain


RANGE DAY #2: STRETCH IT OUT 6.5 Creedmoor load
One hundred-yard testing doesn’t always tell the entire story, played such a good
especially with long bullets, because they usually need some short game that the
author decided to
time to “go to sleep.” This phrase refers to the light time a stretch it out. He was
projectile needs to work off the pitch and yaw to completely amazed to see this
tiny group of less than
stabilize and spin without wobbling. In addition, a lousy barrel 2.25 inches at 500
might do well at close range but completely fall apart when yards. That is under ½
MOA, even after a bit
used at traditional rile distances.
of wind delection. The
absence of vertical
I tested my best factory loads at 500 and 1,000 yards. I displacement speaks
to the ammunition’s
found great results with the rounds intended for long-range consistent velocity.
shooting: Hornady 147s and the SIG 140s. The SIG 140-grain
OTM match ammo produced outstanding accuracy at long

range with my best 500-yard group, measuring just 2.121


The Hornady ELD inches. However, the Hornady 147-grain ELD Match round
Match 147-grain produced very similar performance. At 1,000 yards, I noticed
factory ammo gave
great results, so the Hornady 147s had about 40 inches less drop than the SIG
the author built his 140s, largely due to flying close to 250 fps faster. Both rounds
handloads with the
delivered outstanding accuracy at this distance as well.
same bullet. This
three-shot group was
fired at 100 yards WRAPPING IT UP
and measured just
.156 inch. One-third My work on these barrels was very conclusive. I found ammo that
of a grain of H4350 performed and ammo that didn’t, and it was completely independent
either way, and the
group opens up to of brand or even projectile weight. This is characteristic of every
almost 1 inch. barrel on the market. In my opinion, the new guys at TK built some

www.gunworld.com p OCTOBER I 2018

66
The Grendel shot really nice “standard-grade” barrels, especially with the consistent
loads in the 123- to
sub-MOA groups out to 1,000 yards and the 100-yard “bug hole” I
130-grain weight
range the best. Here, was able to produce with handloads.
Hornady 123 SST
rounds are compared
to Federal’s match The folks at Tactical Kinetics left us with these words of
130 Berger rounds. wisdom regarding that match-winning build: “Barrel accuracy
Both gave excellent
results; however, and rifle accuracy are not synonymous. Proper care must be
notice that the hunting taken to ensure an accurate platform to mount a quality barrel
bullet edges out over

I FIRED ALL
the match round. This
contradicts popular
belief.

20 OF THESE
DIFFERENT
SETS OF AMMO
LOOKING FOR
The Creedmoor found
its best accuracy ONE THING AND
with bullets weighing
140 grains or more.
This was consistent ONE THING
ONLY: A NODE.
with both Hornady
ammo and Federal
ammo.

A LIST OF
THE XPR HAS
E AS ITS
S IMPRESSIV
FEATURES A THE
NEAGE. FROM
O R IE D W IN CHESTER® LI B A R REL
ST ECISION
N ED M U ZZ LE OF THE PR TO TH E
CROW TRIGGER
P B R EA K O F THE M.O.A. A CT LY
TO THE CRIS PAD, WE KNO
W EX
TA M IN G IN FLEX RECOIL ACC U RATE AND,
RECO IL A RELIABLE ,
M A K E .
WHAT IT TAK
ES TO CTION RIFLE
K LY, IN CR ED IBLE BOLT-A
QUITE FRAN

GUNS.COM
WINCHESTER OLIN CORPOR
ATION.
STERED TR ADEMARK OF
WINCHES TER IS A REGI
gun world
to in order to realize the results. Barrel selection should be
considered—keeping in mind vibration frequency, thermal
properties and ideal chambering for the ammunition to be
Performance
utilized—in order to best improve accuracy within a rifle.
RESULTS
At TK, we are taking steps to look at all aspects of a rifle
6.5 CREEDMOOR 24-INCH 1:8 Best Worst Average
to ind the largest inluencers to overall accuracy. Look for more (inches)
information about component/accuracy relationship in the future.”
SIG Sauer 140-grain match 1.48 1.68 1.56
I certainly agree with that statement and would highly
Copper Creek 142-grain SMK 1.70 2.15 1.87
recommend Tactical Kinetics to outfit any series of rifles you
might be building for your team, department or unit. Copper Creek 123-grain ELD-M 0.42 0.97 0.62

Copper Creek Berger 140-grain VLD Hunter 0.49 1.20 0.95

BarrelS Hornady Match ELD-M, 147 grains 0.64 0.87 0.71


SPECIFICATIONS
Hornady Match ELD-M, 120 grains 0.88 1.12 1.01
CALIBER: 6.5 Creedmoor
Federal American Eagle 140-grain OTM 0.82 1.43 1.14
MANUFACTURER: Tactical Kinetics
MODEL NUMBER: TK1598 HANDLOAD: 36.1 grains H4350 with 147-grain Hornady Match ELD-M 0.156*
LENGTH: 24 in.
MATERIAL: CrMoV (chromoly vanadium) 6.5 GRENDEL 24-INCH 1:8 Best Worst Average
RIFLING PROCESS: Button (inches)
FINISH: Black nitride
MSRP: $275 Hornady 123-grain SST 0.62 0.97 0.78

Federal 130-grain Berger OTM 1.14 2.13 1.80


CALIBER: 6.5 Grendel
MANUFACTURER: Tactical Kinetics Federal American Eagle 120-grain OTM 2.87 3.24 3.04
MODEL NUMBER: TK1597
LENGTH: 24 in. Hornady Black 123-grain ELD Match 1.75 2.17 1.96
MATERIAL: CrMoV (chromoly vanadium)
RIFLING PROCESS: Button HANDLOAD: 24.6 grains IMR 8208 with 123-grain Hornady Match ELD-M .941*
FINISH: Black nitride
MSRP: $250
NOTES: Results of five three-round groups in each round. Guns had 20
rounds fired through them, followed by a light cleaning before testing.
AVAILABLE CALIBERS: 5.56 NATO, .223 Wylde, 6.5 Grendel, All shot at 100 yards in calm conditions with front and rear support.
6.5 Creedmoor, 9mm Luger, .45 ACP, 9x39, 7.62x39,
7.62x51, .458 SOCOM
*Handload group was only one group per .3-grain increment through
powder spectrum.
CONTACT INFORMATION

TACTICAL KINETICS About the author: Frank Melloni is a former competitor on


TacticalKinetics.com
The History Channel’s Top Shot. He is the CEO of Renaissance
COPPER CREEK CARTRIDGE CO. Firearms Instruction, a firearms academy dedicated to all
CopperCreekAmmo.com aspects of shooting, with a primary focus on rifle marksmanship.
DARK STORM INDUSTRIES Frank can be found actively competing, hunting and enjoying the
Dark-Storm.com lifestyle that is available to today’s gun owner. GW
Be sure to try smaller,
FEDERAL PREMIUM AMMUNITION boutique ammos,
FederalPremium.com because their small-
batch products are
HARDENED ARMS amazingly consistent.
HardenedArms.com Here, the author
used some different
HORNADY AMMUNITION Copper Creek rounds.
Hornady.com Its factory loading
of the 123 ELD
NIKON SPORT OPTICS Match outperformed
NikonSportsOptics.com Hornady’s loading of its
own bullet! It goes to
RISE ARMAMENT prove that a change in
RiseArmament.com charge weight, powder
type or even primer can
SIG SAUER make all the difference.
SIGSauer.com (Photo: Copper Creek
Cartridge Co.)

www.gunworld.com p OCTOBER I 2018

68
gun world TEXT AND PHOTOS BY ROBB MANNING

CANS,CANS,
CANS S
uppressors (aka “silencers”) are most accurately described
as a car mufler for your gun. It doesn’t really make your
irearm silent, as in a Hollywood movie (which is why the term,
“silencer,” is currently eschewed by the gun community), but
it mufles (or suppresses) it to hearing-safe levels.

To put this into perspective: A good percentage of shooter hearing


protection reduces noise levels to around 22 to 25 dB, and the good stuff

—SUPPRESSOR ROUNDUP reduces it by 30 dB. Most of the suppressors on the market reduce sound
by a minimum of 30 dB (depending on caliber), with some at up to 40 dB or
more. Think of a suppressor as hearing protection you “wear” on your gun.

SUPPRESSORS ARE ON THE VERGE OF MAINSTREAM—THERE Based on previous suppressor experience, as well as the testing I’ve done

ARE TONS ON THE MARKET, WITH MORE AND MORE MAKERS for this article, I’ve found very little difference in sound reduction between
makes/models of suppressors when used off a similar host irearm with
THROWING THEIR HATS IN THE RING. WE PICK A DOZEN THAT the same ammo. It’s generally not discernable to the human ear; and if it
STAND OUT FROM THE CROWD. is, it’s not enough to make a difference for practical purposes.

www.gunworld.com p OCTOBER I 2018

70
The main difference among the different brands is in smaller calibers. The benefit is that the larger suppressor size
quality, durability/ruggedness and features. “Quality” includes means it has more volume and can often (but not always) be
construction and materials; “ruggedness” is how it’s going to quieter, despite the larger exit hole.
take rough handling; “durability” is how it’s going to hold up
over time and with high round counts. “Features” can include It is important to check with the manufacturer, however—just
light weight, user serviceability, ease of disassembly, full- because a bullet will fit through the hole in the suppressor
auto-rated, mounting options, etc. doesn’t mean it’s safe to shoot. For example, some cans are
rated for .308 Winchester, and although a .30-06 bullet would
One factor to consider is lexibility across various calibers. fit, it would not be safe.
Generally speaking (conirm this with the manufacturer),
suppressors will work with cartridges of smaller calibers. For RIFLE SUPPRESSORS
example, a .45 ACP-caliber suppressor will work with pistol (Ammo used for the Dead Air Armament Wolverine PBS-1 is WOLF
calibers down to 9mm. If you’re going to be using your suppressor WPA Polyformance 7.62x39 123-grain FMJ. The rest of the rile
with multiple calibers, it’s best to start with the .45 suppressor, suppressors were tested with American Eagle 62-grain FMJ.)
because the 9mm can would limit you to only those calibers. Take
this into consideration when buying your irst can. NOTES: I used a BAFX Digital Sound Level Meter, model
BAFX3370. I tried to make the testing as uniform as possible.
If you want to be more caliber-specific as you buy more For rifles, the sound meter was held about 2 feet to the side
cans, go for it. The only downside is that the larger-caliber of the muzzle. All numbers are rounded to the nearest whole
suppressor will be larger in size than one that’s made for number. Accuracy: +/-1.5 dB.
gun wor

DANIEL DEFENSE
DEAD AIR DDWAVE 7.62 QD
ARMAMENT
WOLVERINE PBS-1 CALIBER: 5.56 NATO through
.300 Win. Mag.
MOUNT: Quick-detach (tested);
CALIBER: Multi—up to
direct thread
7.62x54R
REDUCTION TO: 130 dB (AR-15,
MOUNT: Direct thread
16-in. barrel, 5.56)
REDUCTION TO: 140 dB
LENGTH: 7.6 in. (with coupling)
(Wolf 123-grain FMJ;
WEIGHT: 17.2 oz.
Kalashnikov pistol, 11.5-
DIAMETER: 1.5-in. tube (1.59 in.
in. barrel)
at ribs, 1.68 in. at collar)
LENGTH: 7.4 in. with thread
MATERIALS: Inconel (nickel-
adaptor
based superalloy) for baffle/
WEIGHT: 19.8–24.4 oz.
tube; stainless steel and
(depending on mount)
titanium
DIAMETER: 1.5-in. tube;
FINISH: Cerakote
1.93-in. outside diameter
RATED: Full auto; minimum
MATERIALS: Stellite and
barrel length: 10.3 in. (5.56
stainless steel
NATO), 16 in. (7.62x51 NATO)
FINISH: Cerakote body w/
ACCESSORIES: DDWave Muzzle
nitride parts
Brake (5/8x24 TPI and 1/2x28
RATED: Full auto; no
TPI)
minimum barrel length
MSRP: $1,157
ACCESSORIES: Thread inserts
URL: DanielDefense.com
($89); (9 models for
various rifle platforms)
MSRP: $1,099
URL: DeadAirSilencers.com

The Wave is a major innovation


in the manufacturing process.
It uses a one-piece, 3D-printed
Taking visual design cues from the Soviet PBS-1 suppressor, the baffle/tube for increased
Wolverine is sure to hit the “nostalgia button” with any fan of durability and strength,
Com Bloc firearms. It uses a collar to engage the locking pins making welds obsolete. The
found on the front sight post of most Kalashnikovs (including blast chamber of a suppressor
clones, pistols and 5.45x39 chamberings). With 11 thread inserts takes the brunt of the muzzle
to choose from, the Wolverine will work on almost all Com Bloc blast, and this one has been
firearms, including those chambered in 7.62x54r, and non- reinforced to maximize
Com Bloc firearms with thread pitch 1/2x28 and 5/8x24, which life cycle. The Wave uses a
includes the AR-15 and AR-10. To reduce bullet strike, it uses a cascading baffle geometry for
generous exit hole to compensate for the loose tolerances the AK sound reduction. The Acme
is famous for. It also uses the same end cap as the Sandman-L, thread quick-clamping system
so if there is a bullet strike, there’s no need to return it to factory. locks the suppressor securely
Just replace it. It can also be swapped to reduce exit hole size for to the muzzle device and
other platforms with tighter tolerances. prevents carbon lock for easy
removal every time.

www.gunworld.com p OCTOBER I 2018

72
SILENCERCO OMEGA YANKEE HILL MACHINE
PHANTOM .30 LTA
CALIBER: .22 Hornet to .300 Win (Light Tactical Aggressive model)
MOUNT: Quick detach; direct th
mount included
REDUCTION TO: 130 dB (AR-15, 1 CALIBER: Up to .308 Win.
barrel, 5.56) MOUNT: QD flash hider
LENGTH: 7.09 in. REDUCTION TO: 129 dB (AR-15, 16-in.
WEIGHT: 14 oz. barrel, 5.56)
DIAMETER: 1.56 in. LENGTH: 7.625 in.
MATERIALS: Titanium tube, Stelli WEIGHT: 20 oz.
baffle, stainless steel AMETER: 1.5 in.
FINISH: Cerakote ATERIALS: 300 series stainless steel;
RATED: Full auto; minimum bar eat-treated Inconel 718
(300 BLK), 10 in. (5.56 NATO), NISH: Matte black
(7.62x51 NATO), 20 in. (Magnu ATED: Semiauto; minimum barrel
ACCESSORIES: Numerous brakes, ngth: 8 in. (300 BLK), 10.5 (5.56,
hiders, front cap, etc. 08)
MSRP: $1,130 CESSORIES: Fast-attach flash hiders
URL: SilencerCo.com SRP: $790
RL: YHM.net

SilencerCo has been making


suppressors since 2008 and h his was my first rifle suppressor,
grown into one of the largest nd it’s a great can at a good price.
suppressor companies in the ough and durable, it’s made of a
This means that its accessori ainless steel tube and Inconel 718
product support are vast. The affles. It eliminates 99 percent
300 is the culmination of sev muzzle flash and reduces noise
earlier designs. SilencerCo bo y up to 79 dB. The Phantom flash
for full-auto-rated titanium .3 der supports the suppressor in
cans, it’s the lightest, shortes wo places, keeping it aligned with
direct thread) and quietest (u e rifle bore, even when it is not
QD ASR mount) can on the ma lly tightened. The flash hider is
The included anchor brake re so designed to scrape carbon from
recoil and can be swapped fo e mount of the suppressor during
front cap to reduce length an emoval. The LTA model (aggressive
blast. It’s fully welded, and d eth on the end cap) has been
its light weight, it’s incredibly g scontinued, but the LT model
Another bonus to suppressors is without the teeth) is in production.
reduced perceived recoil. SilencerCo he LT has the same exact specs but
states that this one reduces it by 20 better without the “aggressive”
to 15 percent, depending on caliber. eth. The LTA looks cool, but in
The Omega’s light weight makes it ndsight, I should not have gotten
easy to maneuver from target to target e Aggressive model, because when
and also makes it great for young id into a soft-sided gun case, it
shooters. This very can was mounted nags and tears up the material.
on a Wilson Combat 6.8 SPC AR with
which my son took his first buck.

www.gunworld.com p OCTOBER I 2018

73
gun world
HANDGUN SUPPRESSORS
REBEL SILENCERS (All handgun suppressors were tested using Super Vel 9mm “Hush
SOS-556 Puppy” 147-grain FMJ Subsonic ammunition, traveling at 900 fps. I
don’t recall ever using quieter handgun ammunition than this.)

CALIBER: 5.56, .22 LR, .22 NOTES: For handguns, the BAFX Sound Meter was held approximately 1
Mag., .17 HMR, 5.7x28 foot from the ejection port.
MOUNT: Direct thread,
1/2x28 TPI
REDUCTION TO: 132 dB AR-15,
16-in. barrel, 5.56)
ALPHA DOG ALPHA-9
LENGTH: 8 in.
WEIGHT: 21 oz.
CALIBER: 9mm Luger (also in .40 S&W and .45 ACP)
DIAMETER: 1.5 in.
MOUNT: Direct thread; piston
MATERIALS: 17-4 stainless
REDUCTION TO: 124 dB (testing done with CZ P-09 Tactical)
steel
LENGTH: 7.5 in.
FINISH: Cerakote
WEIGHT: 10.2 oz.
RATED: light bump ire; 10-in.
DIAMETER: 1.25 in.
minimum- length barrel
MATERIALS: Aluminum—7075-T6 (baffle), 6005-T6 (body), 6061-T6 (end
for 5.56
caps)
MSRP: $299
FINISH: Black hard-coat anodizing; Teflon coating
URL: RebelSilencers.com
RATED: Semiauto only
ACCESSORIES: Pistons ($80 each)
MSRP: $775 (includes one piston)
URL: AlphaDogSilencers.com

Designed to be inexpensive,
its modularity is the star
feature. It’s tubeless, with
five baffles that are each a
separate, threaded section
that screws onto the blast
chamber (the serialized
part), as well as a front cap.
To clean, just unscrew the
seven parts. If you get a
baffle strike, replacement
baffles can be mailed
directly to you. Reduce the
number of baffles for a
shorter can (at the expense
of sound-reduction loss).
I was concerned that the
threaded sections might
loosen while shooting,
but this didn’t happen—
although round count
was minimum. It carries
a lifetime warranty. This
model has been replaced
with the Alliance ($250),
which is a flush mount and
uses 7075 aluminum.

p OCTOBER I 2018

74
There are a lot of suppressors on the
market, and a few companies have
tried to separate themselves from
the rest with some unique features.
Alpha Dog is one of those companies.
For starters, the Alpha Series has an
integral accessory rail machined into
the body, which can be indexed at the
12 o’clock for a red-dot sight or at the
6 o’clock for lights and lasers (this
prevents the light or laser from being
obscured, as it would be if it were
mounted behind the can). Indexing is
as simple as pulling the suppressor
out from the host gun, rotating it and
releasing. The other unique feature:
The split rail has built-in iron sights,
so when indexed at the 12, there is no
need for elevated sights on the host
pistol. The Alpha Dog is made using a
proprietary “canine,” V-shaped baffle
system that channels gasses away
from bullet trajectory. It can be fired
wet or dry.

www.gunworld.com p OCTOBER I 2018

75
gun world
The SRD9 is feature-rich and packed
SILENCERCO OSPREY .45 SIG SAUER SRD9 with innovation. It’s user-serviceable for
maintenance, with interchangeable bafles
that make assembly a piece of cake—there
CALIBER: 9mm to .45 ACP, .300 CALIBER: 9mm Luger is no need to remember the order in which
BLK Subsonic MOUNT: Direct thread; the bafles need to be reassembled. Impact
MOUNT: Piston piston shift is minimal, but SIG addresses this with an
REDUCTION TO: 12 REDUCTION TO: 126 dB adjustable point of impact featuring 21 points
done with a Be (testing done with a SIG of adjustment. To adjust, with the suppressor
LENGTH: 8.06 in. Sauer P320 Tactical) mounted on the unloaded host, pull the
WEIGHT: 11.1 oz. LENGTH: 7.2 in. suppressor forward from the gun and rotate
DIAMETER: 1.3 x WEIGHT: 9 oz. using the 15-degree increments. Then, release,
MATERIALS: Alum DIAMETER: 1.38 in. and it will snap into place. SIG uses only
stainless steel MATERIALS: Titanium (grade premium materials: The bafles are 100 percent
FINISH: Cerakote 9) tube, 17-4PH stainless 17.4PH stainless steel for durability, and the
RATED: Semiauto steel baffles tube is grade 9 titanium for toughness and light
ACCESSORIES: Co FINISH: PVD weight. The whole unit weighs an impressive
with disassemb RATED: Full auto 9 ounces (as a comparison, most weapons
a recoil booste ACCESSORIES: Boosters, fixed lights weigh around 4 or 4.5 ounces). SIG Sauer
barrels. Sold s barrel spacers; other pistol barrels use a European M13.5x1mm LH
pistons ($85), f pistons ($69 each) threading, which screws on backward from
spacer ($59), t MSRP: $775 American barrels (forget the “righty-tighty,
barrels ($220, URL: SIGSauer.com lefty-loosey” saying), and the SRD9 ships
models) with a pistol threaded for such. However, SIG
MSRP: $918 smartly includes the more-common 1/2x28 tpi
URL: SilencerCo piston. Additional pistons with various thread
pitches are available.

The Osprey is t
polygonal cente
suppressor on t
Coupled with th
RIMFIRE SUPPRESSORS
Rimire cans provide the best bang for the
bafle, this allow
buck if you want to shoot suppressed and get
internal volume
the maximum results. Unlike rile and pistol
sound perform
suppressors (which are only that quiet in
because the bul
Hollywood movies), rimire cans really are that
is below the bor
quiet, especially on bolt-actions. With a bolt-
shooter’s line of
action as a host, it’s as close to a true “silencer”
impeded. A cam
as you’re going to get. However, unlike pistol
system allows th
and rile cans, rimire cans need to be cleaned
to be indexed fo
regularly, because rimire ammo is as dirty as
alignment. Silen
the producers of said Hollywood movies. One
12 piston mode
thing to note: If you do disassemble a rimire
most handguns
suppressor that’s been ired, it’s recommended
plus a ixed bar
that you clean it before reassembly.
for ixed (non-til
handguns and p
(Ammunition used was CCI Suppressor .22 LR
carbines. For tho
Subsonic Hollow Point; and with the exception
a handgun with
of the Ruger integrally suppressed barrel, all
barrel—no swe
other rimire suppressors were tested with a
makes threade
Ruger Mark IV 22/45 pistol as a host.)
various popular

g CTOBER I 2018

76
RUGER 1022TD SILENT-SR ISB RUGER SILENT-SR 22
(Integrally Suppressed Barrel) (Model 19001) (Model 19000)

CALIBER: .22 LR LR, .22 WMR, .17 HMR, 5.7x


MOUNT: Integrally suppress ct thread 1/2-28
10/22 Takedown O: 108 dB
REDUCTION TO: 104 dB 7 in.
LENGTH: 16.2-in. barrel (10 oz.
effective barrel) .06 in.
WEIGHT: 2.6 lbs. Titanium tube; aluminum rear
MATERIALS: 17.4 stainless s ess steel mount, bafles and fr
front cap and barrel; alum akote
FINISH: Cerakote auto (.22 LR only)
RATED: Semiautomatic
ACCESSORIES: Works with Ru com
Takedown, 10/22 Takedow
22 Charger Takedown Pis
MSRP: $629
URL: Ruger.com

he largest gun maker in the


it doesn’t get any more main
r. So, when Ruger first anno
s jumping into the suppresso
If you own or are thinking as a sign of how far suppres
buying a Ruger 10/22 Tak has come. This one is made
this is a great suppressor materials and offers outstand
easily—just like installin ce. It’s not as “flashy” as th
your TD rifle came with— TD suppressor. Even so, it of
to clean and maintain. Us ersatility, because it can be
supplied tool (or a 5/32-in mfire LR host—rifle or pisto
wrench), loosen the ISB t 22 is easy to disassemble an
screw located at the muz the baffles conveniently sna
the screw head and pull i o reassemble, sealing in foul
entire baffle stack will fo ube and end caps. This supp
apart each of the seven the same tradition of Ruger
them, snap them back tog n that it offers excellent qua
them into the barrel sleev ce at a reasonable price.
the screw, and you are do
barrel sleeve is made of a
and is purely cosmetic. T
is that the overall rifle len
change when you swap this ISB
assembly for the standard 10/22 TD
barrel assembly. You get suppression
without additional length. The
downside? Because there are only
10.62 inches of effective barrel
length, there will be some velocity
loss. Nevertheless, it’s a small price
to pay for this type of convenience.

www.gunworld.com p OCTOBER I 2018

77
gun world

REBEL SILENCERS SILENCERCO


SOS-22 SPARROW 22
CALIBER: .22 LR, .22 Mag, CALIBER: .22 (LR, WMR, MAG,
.17 HMR HORNET), .17 (WSM, HMR),
MOUNT: 1/2x28 (removable 5.7x28mm
thread insert) MOUNT: Direct thread
REDUCTION TO: 110 dB (1/2x28) and/or rimfire
LENGTH: 3–8 in. adaptors ($42)
WEIGHT: 6 oz. (in 8-in. REDUCTION TO: 109 dB
configuration) TH: 5.08 in.
DIAMETER: 1.125 in. HT: 6.5 oz.
MATERIALS: 7075 aluminum, ETER: 1.06 in.
17-4 stainless steel RIALS: Stainless steel
FINISH: Matte black H: Black oxide
Cerakote D: Full auto (.22 LR only)
RATED: Semiauto; light P: $539
bump fire SilencerCo.com
MSRP: $200
URL: RebelSilencers.com

was the irst


pressor I ever ired—
Like it’s big brother, the I was hooked. On an
SOS-22 is a tubeless, W M&P22 SBR, and with
modular design that’s sonic ammo, it sounded
made to be inexpensive— a stapler as the action
and, at $200, Rebel ed. When mounted on
Silencers has succeeded. 2 bolt-action, it’s so
The SOS-22 consists t that I can hear the
of three bafles, each g pin spring, followed
of which is a separate, light thwack! as the
threaded section that et hits the paper target
screws onto the blast ards downrange. It’s
chamber (the serialized r-serviceable—this is
part), as well as a front ortant, considering that
cap. The blast chamber or rimire ammo, which
plus one bafle is hearing- otoriously dirty. Two half
safe and adds only 3 s serve as a sheath for
inches in length to the onolithic core, and the
irearm. The performance le thing slides out of the
is enough for experienced , making it very simple
suppressor owners, but the ean. Seven adaptors
price is right for those just w it to be used with a
getting into suppressors. titude of irearms (both
s and handguns). GW

OCTOBER I 2018

78
HOGUEINC.COM 1-800-438-4747
GRIPS P.O. BOX 91360, HENDERSON, NV 89009
EVERYDAY CARRY TEXT AND PHOTOS BY STEVEN PAUL BARLOW

An ankle holster can be


a good option in special
circumstances or when
other carry methods
aren’t as practical.
Shown (from left) are
the DeSantis Apache,
Uncle Mike’s, Bugbite
and DeSantis Die Hard.

ANOTHER I
would never forgive myself if a loved one were attacked
and I could not prevent it because all my guns were
locked up at home.

For that reason, I believe in carrying when I can; not when it’s
merely convenient. But occasionally, my favorite carry method—inside
the waistband (IWB)—isn’t practical. It’s good to have other options.

ANGLE ON
Consequently, I decided to take a second, harder look at ankle holsters.

ANKLE RIG BIAS


I haven’t worn an ankle holster regularly for a number of reasons:
You have to bend to get to your gun—a bad move if your attacker
is right on top of you. And it’s harder to draw on the move if you’re

ANKLES
racing to cover. You have to wear pants with suficiently loose
pantlegs to conceal the gun and access it reasonably well. If you
are apt to walk through deep snow ( a curse for us in the Northeast),
your gun will get wet. If you need to run or walk very far, an ankle
holster can feel as if you have an anchor chained to your leg.

Nevertheless, to give ankle carry another chance, I selected four

ON SECOND LOOK, THERE IS holsters to try.

SOME MERIT TO HAVING ANKLE DESANTIS APACHE ANKLE RIG


The DeSantis Gunhide Apache Ankle Rig is an American-made nylon

CARRY AS AN OPTION. holster sewn to a nylon strap that’s wide enough to prevent the
handgun from rocking back and forth like a pendulum as you walk.

www.gunworld.com p OCTOBER I 2018

80
The DeSantis Die Hard Ankle Rig, shown at the top helps keep the holster in place. There’s also a
here with a Glock G26, is a quality leather
holster with a comfortable neoprene band pocket for a spare magazine.
that should provide years of service. No; I
wouldn’t be wearing this with short pants.
UNCLE MIKE’S TACTICAL ANKLE HOLSTER
This holster features a contoured strap, adjustable retention
strap with thumb break and a removable, above-the-calf strap,
all secured with hook-and-loop fasteners. Mine was designed

The Uncle Mike’s


The version I chose—for small autos—had an adjustable retention Tactical Ankle Holster,
show here with a
strap with thumb break. The rig is secured by hook-and-loop Smith & Wesson Model
60 revolver, features a
fasteners, and it stayed put when I walked around. There is an removable calf strap
attachment ring for an optional calf strap. The wide strap is lined with that helps keep the
holster in place.
sheepskin and was very comfortable with the Ruger LCP I carried in it.

DESANTIS DIE HARD ANKLE RIG


This holster is top quality. Like the Apache rig, it features a wide
nylon strap with sheepskin lining. It is secured with hook-and-
loop fasteners and an attachment point for an optional calf strap. WHAT’S THE VERDICT?
The holster, itself, is leather with a coated exterior for durability Predictably, in actual use, I found that a small, flat, lightweight
and a smooth leather lining to protect the finish of the gun. pocket pistol (such as the Ruger LCP) carried most comfortably
without me feeling that my movement was hampered. The other
The model I tested, molded specifically for a subcompact Glock guns I tried—the S&W Model 60, Harpers Ferry Armory A.H. .357
(models G26, G27, G33), also had a leather retention strap with Mag. and Glock G26—are probably about as big as I would go
thumb break. The gun was a perfect fit; there was no movement in an ankle holster.
The DeSantis Apache
of the gun inside the holster. I didn’t feel I needed the calf strap
Ankle Rig (left), shown
here with a Ruger
I still prefer a mid-sized gun that I shoot better as a primary
LCP, features a wide, weapon carried in an IWB holster. However, a comfortable ankle
stable, elastic band
and a sheepskin lining holster can be a good thing to have in these instances:
that’s very comfortable
against the leg.
When carrying a backup weapon. Let’s face it: You only have so
The Bugbite Ankle much room around your waistband. Putting your primary and backup
Holster (below and
right), shown here with weapon on the waistband might necessitate a belt and suspenders
a Harpers Ferry Armory
A.H. .357 Mag. revolver,
(and a steel cable attached to a crane) to keep your pants up.
unzips at the bottom for
ease in taking it on and
off. It has an adjustable Instead of a pocket holster. The
strap at the top. This advantage of an ankle holster over a
holster covers the calf
almost completely, pocket holster is that you can access
is very stable and
The Bugbite differs from the others in that instead of a strap, your gun with either hand—difficult
comfortable, and will
it consists of an elasticized fabric sleeve that covers nearly accept a wide range of to impossible with pocket carry. You
irearms in its pouch-
the whole calf. That distributes the weight, making the h l t type holster. won’t always be wearing tactical
extremely comfortable to wear. There was no shifting of the pants with cargo pockets, and pocket
holster and the handgun was stable—no rocking motion. space is limited with typical business
attire. When one pocket is devoted to a
Another advantage of the Bugbite is that it uses a handgun, you must cram everything else
stretchy pouch to hold the handgun, making it suitable (keys, cell phone, wallet, pocket knife, tactical pen, flashlight,
for many different handguns. I tried it with a Ruger LCP, pepper spray, spare pistol magazine, business cards, etc., etc.)
Glock G26, Harpers Ferry Armory A.H. .357 Magnum, into the rest.
and Smith & Wesson Model 60 revolver. All rode very
well in this rig. When the dress code limits your options. You’re in the
office, and you take your sport jacket off. Uh, oh. Where’s your
A zipper at the bottom makes it easier to take th gun? A belt holster or shoulder holster is out of the question. If
holster on and off. An adjustable hook-and-loop st you take the gun off, where are you going to put it? Your desk,

www.gunworld.com p OCTOBER I 2018

81
EVERYDAY CARRY
your briefcase, your car? These are not great options, because
you give up immediate control of, and access to, your gun. Yes,
there are tuckable IWB holsters, but they still leave the attaching
clip or belt loops exposed, and your pistol bulging under the
shirt might be apparent. You can opt for a pocket holster, which,
as mentioned earlier, takes up valuable pocket space and limits
access to one hand.

When traveling by car or otherwise seated. Sitting in a car


has an impact on your carry choices. A firearm on the belt can
be uncomfortable when sitting in a vehicle, and the seat belt can
interfere with access to it. Drawing from a pocket holster while
seated can be difficult too.

IT TAKES PRACTICE
Wearing an ankle holster takes an adjustment. And you must
practice either the lunging draw or getting into a kneeling
position to draw and fire. At the very least, ankle carry can give
you a leg up—pun intended—against an attacker, as compared
to if you carried no gun at all. GW

CONTACT INFORMATION

BUGBITE HOLSTERS
BugbiteHolsters.com

DESANTIS GUNHIDE
DeSantisHolster.com

Going to a kneeling UNCLE MIKE’S


position is another UncleMikes.com
option that allows you
to draw your weapon
as you assume a
relatively stable
shooting position. … YOU MUST
PRACTICE EITHER
THE LUNGING
DRAW OR
GETTING INTO
Lunging forward with
the leg that carries the
holster is perhaps the
A KNEELING
easiest way to access
a handgun from an
ankle rig; and you can POSITION TO
DRAW AND FIRE.
push off to stay on the
move to avoid being
an easy target.

ABOUT Steven Paul Barlow is a retired sergeant/station commander and former firearms
instructor with the New York State Police. He has been writing on outdoor topics
THE for more than 30 years and has served as the editor for a number of Engaged
AUTHOR Media special publications, including Gunslingers.

www.gunworld.com p OCTOBER I 2018

82
TRAIN TEXT AND PHOTOS BY CHRIS CERINO

A heavy-barreled .22 long rifle such as the


Ruger Precision Rimfire is a perfect bolt-action
to host a lightweight .308 Win. suppressor. The
silence is “deafening,” and it’s an excellent
training gun for bolt-action skills.

ENJOY A
bsent the correct-velocity ammunition, silencers
are anything but silent.

Back in the day, when Agent 007 screwed his


“silencer” on his little Walther PPK .380, it likely
was a “silent” combination. Movies such as the James Bond
franchise earned sound suppressors the misnomer of “silencer.”

Most accurately called “sound suppressors,” they are really

THE
just mufflers for your gun. As a less-noisy lawn mower is
more pleasant to cut grass with, so is shooting a less-abusive
firearm. Hence, their popularity.

GETTING THE GIGGLES


Recreational shooting is so much more civilized when done
suppressed. Most shooters who have never experienced
suppressors generally giggle when they get a chance to shoot

SILENCE
one for the first time.

“Giggle” is exactly what happens. Most giggles happen with


.22-caliber and pistol-caliber rounds, because they are truly
quiet and pleasant to shoot. New shooters will often remark
at the sound of a gun’s action and the thump! of the bullet
hitting the backstop. The overall consensus is that it’s fun
to shoot suppressed.

FOR MAXIMUM “GIGGLE FACTOR,” SHOOT SUPPRESSED. Removing the bang! for new shooters is a big deal, because
BUT BE WARNED—YOU’LL BE HOOKED! muzzle blast and noise are two of the three biggest deterrents
to new or beginning shooters. That’s why trainers or proponents
of the shooting sports recommend starting with a .22 long rile.

www.gunworld.com p OCTOBER I 2018

84
Out of riles, especially closed-action guns (such as bolt-
actions), the .22-caliber is so quiet and pleasant that, depending
on the location, you almost don’t need hearing protection.
However, when shooting .22-caliber handguns, the diminutive
.22 becomes as loud and unpleasant as any popular handgun
caliber. It can all be changed with a mufler—er, uh, suppressor. A lightweight
rifle such as the
Thompson Center
CALLING YOUR SHOT Compass in 6.5
Hitting your target requires you to see the sights and sight Creedmoor will
picture at the moment the gun fires. Furthermore, you benefit a timid
shooter greatly with
actually have to see the sights lift in recoil and settle after noise and recoil
recoil. Then, and only then, can you “call your shot.” Half the reduction. Look how
that muzzle blast is
fun of shooting is hitting your target. Whether it’s a pop can, contained and sent
golf ball, steel spinner or paper bullseye, people love to see downrange. Recoil
is minimal.
results. So, placing a suppressor on a gun seriously reduces
the urge to blink or flinch due to blast pressure and noise.

MOST
LESS IS MORE
The third deterrent to new shooters is recoil. Folks either
revere recoil or abhor it.

ACCURATELY
CALLED “SOUND
SUPPRESSORS,”
THEY ARE
REALLY JUST
MUFFLERS FOR
YOUR GUN.
pull the gun away from the shooter’s shoulder. Just as the
ports on a muzzle brake redirect gasses and repurpose them
to reduce recoil, so do the baffles of a suppressor.

Shooting high-powered rifles such as the .338 Lapua is


a daunting task. Granted, I’m no novice, and I can, with
knowledge and preparation, control myself and make good
shots. But shooting precise shots with the .338 (or even the
.308 for that matter) is a whole lot easier when there’s an
“Hey, honey, feel this one!” That’s usually the last time they Many rimfire pistols efficient suppressor on the gun.
such as this Ruger
fall for that line.
22/45 come threaded
and ready to host a New shooters, as well as seasoned shooters, perform better
With a .22 rile or handgun, recoil is seldom, if ever, a problem. suppressor. A light, when the adverse effects of muzzle blast and recoil are reduced.
little muffler on one
Add a suppressor, and it’s non-existent. You see, a suppressor of these guns is more
not only reduces sound, it also reduces recoil. We get less blast fun than shooting THE PROOF IS IN THE PERFORMANCE
air soft. Slapping
pressure, less sound and less recoil when we shoot suppressed. steel targets, James When we ran a long-range hunting class in Texas, we
Bond style, makes had suppressors on over half the guns. The performance
everyone giggle.
Suppressors act as a huge and efficient muzzle brake. Gasses increase from the shooters firing long guns with suppressors
exiting the barrel are trapped in the suppressor’s baffles and mounted was remarkable. Students opted not to shoot the

www.gunworld.com p OCTOBER I 2018

85
TRAIN

unsuppressed .338 Lapua rifle—and not because of recoil, Using suppressors for on my rifles chambered in .223 and 300 blackout. Titanium
heavy calibers, such
but because the muzzle blast is remarkable. Shooters also is expensive, but it’s light. Getting a really good and efficient
as .308 Win. and the
preferred firing the suppressed AR10s in .308 Win. over the stout .338 Lapua, suppressor costs money. Conversely, buying suppressors for
benefit a shooter four different calibers would be expensive. Even if you bought
diminutive AR15s, which were unsuppressed. Flinch rates
greatly in muzzle blast
and misses went way up when suppressors were not on and recoil reduction. cheap or simply inexpensive suppressors, you’d have $800 in
guns. The proof is in performance. Suppressors are as tax stamps alone.
varied as the guns you
can put them on.
I can already imagine someone reading this, thinking that it’s Buy once and cry once! Choose wisely, and you’ll not
too much to pay for too little result. regret your decision.

Yes, suppressors cost money, and the $200 tax stamp, coupled Final word: Go find someone with a suppressed gun. Any
with the six-month waiting period, doesn’t help. However, caliber. Any type. You’ll see what I’m talking about (and you
there’s a reason there are so many suppressor companies might even giggle a little).
these days. Suppressors are like tattoos: After you get one,
you want another. The feds aren’t likely to drop that big, fat, money-making $200
tax stamp any time soon. So, get online or out to a local shop
Nevertheless, with the hard realities of cost out of the way, and buy your first “silencer” now. You’ll have all winter to wait
let me give you some advice: On a stout-barreled .22, I can for the paperwork, and your spring will be the best one yet.
run my titanium .308 suppressor. I also use that .308 muffler Enjoy the ... silence! GW

Chris Cerino is a 25-year law enforcement and training professional. He competes in


ABOUT THE shooting sports to validate his skills. Chris writes on the topic of training and can be
AUTHOR seen on a variety of TV shows.

www.gunworld.com P OCTOBER I 2018

86
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dillonprecision.com Pictured with optional accessories.


AMMO 411 TEXT AND PHOTOS BY PATRICK SWEENEY

MAXIMIZING
YOUR
SHOOTING
DOLLAR
BUYIT IN BULK,STASH
W
henever someone says, “It’s too expensive

IT ON THE SHELVES,
to shoot,” I think of a former neighbor. He
was an engineer who raced cars. He raced
in two classes and figured that if he was
careful, he could get through a season on
two sets of tires each—about $9,000. Adjusted for inflation,

AND LOAD IT WHEN


that’s about $13,500.

That was just tires. It didn’t include travel, entry fees, fuel or
oil. He was going to do the engine work himself.

YOU NEED IT.


Let’s assume you want to be the heavy hitter in GSSF and IDPA
matches in your area. You have a Glock (or something else
suitable for IDPA), the magazines, holster, etc. The equivalent tire
cash gets you 90,000 rounds of factory 9mm. Per year. Yowza!

www.gunworld.com p OCTOBER I 2018

88
Here is your path
to being a good
shooter—for as
little as 8.5 cents
per shot.

RELOADING ALSO
ALLOWS YOU TO TUNE YOUR
AMMO TO YOUR HANDGUN. FIND THE BULLET/
POWDER COMBO THAT IS MOST ACCURATE IN
YOUR HANDGUN, AND YOU HAVE A LEG UP ON
THE REST OF THE COMPETITION.
www.gunworld.com p OCTOBER I 2018

89
AMMO 411
When I was heavy into competition, I shot about 35,000
rounds a year, got good, got famous and became a gun writer. SIXTY THOUSAND
In factory 9mm, that’s $5,250. How much ammo does that
much cash put into reloading get you? ROUNDS PER YEAR?
WHAT WILL RELOADING COST? THAT’S WHAT THE
A Dillon 550B or a Hornady LnL press, plus dies, brass cleaner
PROS SHOOT. IF YOU
HAD 60,000 ROUNDS
and the tools to load 9mm, set you back about $600 or so.
That’s the irst year, because you only need to buy the press and
dies, etc., once. Brass? You just scrounge 9mm brass at the gun
club until you have enough. There’s always some to be found. TO SHOOT, YOU’D BE
OK. How much does it then cost to reload ammo? First lesson:
HARD PRESSED TO
Buy in bulk. The cost of 100 primers versus the cost per 100 of FIND THE TIME TO
buying 1,000—or 5,000—matters. Ditto for powder and bullets.
SHOOT IT ALL AND
The last time I bought bullets, I bought them from a caster who
has since retired. I bought 50,000 150-grain lead flat-points
GET MEANINGFUL
for 9mm/.38 Super. I met him at a match to save shipping.
He brought my bullets and the bullets for a bunch of other
PRACTICE WITH IT.
shooters in his Ford F450 Duallie Crewcab. I schlepped mine 9mm practice clones of my competition guns. Reloading
home in my Ranger. also allows you to tune your ammo to your handgun. Find the
bullet/powder combo that is most accurate in your handgun,
Buy in bulk, stash it on the shelves, and load it when you need and you have a leg up on the rest of the competition.
it. Do not just buy 100 of anything, unless it is a pure and
simple T&E effort (“Hmm, does my pistol like these bullets?”). With reloading, the $5,250 per year (refer back to the first
Buy 100 and find out. If it does, order 10,000. If it doesn’t, and paragraph on this page) will net you more than 60,000 rounds
you have 10,000 on hand, you are in trouble. per year. We aren’t counting the investment of the press,
because that will be amortized over the life of your shooting
Primers by the thousand per carton run about $30. A 5,000 career. And the brass cost is minimal, because 9mm can be
sleeve will be less per thousand. An 8-pound bottle of WW- found on every range. You just have to pick it up and clean it.
231 will run $185. When bought online, primers and powder
will also cost you the accursed hazmat fee. That’s generally Sixty thousand rounds per year? That’s what the pros shoot. If
$30 per order, no matter how large or small. So, buy in bulk you had 60,000 rounds to shoot, you’d be hard pressed to find
to spread that $30 cost across as much product as possible. the time to shoot it all and get meaningful practice with it. If
you went to practice at the gun club every single Saturday of
GET A LEG UP the year without fail, 60,000 rounds a year means more than
Bullets are hard on the wallet because of weight; and, 1,100 rounds of practice on each of those days.
shooting a Glock, you can’t use just lead. You have to use
coated bullets, and those run you $41 per 1,000. I’m here to tell you that’s too much shooting for one day’s
practice. You’d be better off with meaningful practice of about
Adjusting the number to the per-1,000 rate, you end up with 200 rounds’ worth. At that pace, your practice ammo will only
9mm ammo for practice and match use, costing you about cost you $850 for the year—one-tenth of my neighbor’s tire
$85 per 1,000 rounds; plus about five or six hours of loading costs 20 years ago.
time per 1,000.
Still think shooting is too expensive? We all know people who
Just to make you jealous (or point out how old I am), I once spend more than that on their cell phone plan.
calculated that I could load lead-bullet 9mm practice ammo
for just over $40 per 1,000. That’s when I started building Reload. Practice. Get good. Win. It’s a simple process. GW

ABOUT Patrick Sweeney has been a decades-long reloader, competition shooter,


gunsmith and firearms writer. He is also a state-certified law enforcement
THE firearms instructor, a court-recognized expert witness—and winner of much
AUTHOR more than his fair share of loot and glory.

www.gunworld.com p OCTOBER I 2018

90
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CLEARED HOT TEXT AND PHOTOS BY BRIAN BERRY

W
hile in the military, I never gave much
thought to my daily attire, simply because
it was dictated what I would wear.

I’m sure a lot of thought and testing went


into how my clothes would hold up, not just as the result of
everyday wear and tear but also to the rigors of field exercises
and even during tactical engagements—from materials that
could withstand countless bumps and scrapes to reinforced
areas that took a lot of abuse. The military uniform, for the
most part, is designed with a fight in mind.

Now that I am retired, I tend to choose my everyday clothing


with the same things in mind. My likelihood of getting into
a fight or ending up rolling around on the ground have been
substantially reduced. Even so, I want to be ready.

COMFORT AND FUNCTION


I don’t wear “skinny jeans” and prefer to have clothing that
allows me more freedom of movement. I carry concealed when
out and about and want to make sure I can get to my weapons,
should the need arise.

There is a happy medium for what clothes to wear and still be


able to fight—but not have your clothes work against you in
a fight. Something too tight restricts the ability to retrieve a
concealed firearm, knife or other weapon you might have on
you. It also reduces your ability to move quickly. In contrast,
clothing that is too loose gives an attacker something to grab
hold of to control you. Loose jackets, shirts, ties and heavy
necklaces are all items that could be used against you in a
fight. Anyone familiar with Jiu-jitsu knows of the cross-collar

DRESSING
Berne Apparel’s Echo
One-One Jacket provides choke (aka “X Choke”). And while this doesn’t take extremely
tearaway pockets loose clothes to execute, clothing that is harder to grab makes
that can house your
concealed-carry weapon attacks such as this more difficult.
and provide quick and
easy access. Great for CHECK THE FIT

UPFORA
cooler climates, it allows
the user protection from If you are a concealed carrier who uses an ankle holster, you
the elements, as well as know that you have to make sure you have plenty of room to
from bad guys. (Photo:
Berne Apparel)
raise your pantleg to get to your firearm—more, if you need to
do it quickly. Loose pants are good for an inside-the-waistband

THROWDOWN
(IWB) holster, but without a good belt to hold your pants up with
the weight of a handgun, you could end up exposing more than
your Second Amendment rights!

There are a lot of companies out there that are making clothing

CLOTHING THAT LETS YOU GET specifically for people who carry concealed. Look for durability,
wearability and the accessibility of your weapon when choosing
your attire. How you look will be less important than how you

TO YOUR WEAPONS EASILY can move when a fight happens.

DRESS FOR WORK, NOT FOR WAR

AND QUICKLY
I’ve been a 5.11 fan for quite a while and have several pairs
of 5.11 pants, some polo shirts and one of the company’s
lightweight jackets. They are functional and can take a beating

www.gunworld.com p OCTOBER I 2018

92
(and they have) while still being stylish. The extra pockets on The 5.11 Apex boot
is a bit more on the
5.11’s tactical pant line can hold myriad items, including extra tactical side. It also
magazines, flashlights and phones. features a waterproof
membrane and side
pockets for small
As stylish as they are, you still might look like a military contractor firearms or knives.
on your way to Iraq when you wear too much. That being said, 5.11
does offer clothing with a less-tactical look while still keeping the
functionality and toughness this company is known for.

Its new line of pants includes Defender-Flex pants and jeans


($70) in a wide variety of colors and for both men and women. I DON’T WEAR
These pants provide comfort, range of motion and performance
without looking as if you are about to engage ISIS. “SKINNY” JEANS
While I am no longer as flexible as I used to be, I could still give
AND PREFER TO
someone a kick in the chest while wearing these pants. Made HAVE CLOTHING
for everyday wear, they provide enough flexibility so that you
are not restricted during a scuffle. The straight-leg versions THAT ALLOWS ME
(yes, there is a “skinny” version) provide enough room at the
ankle to retrieve a firearm in an ankle holster. The 5.11 Defender MORE FREEDOM OF
FOOTWEAR
Flex pant, like the
jeans, is comfortable
and provides plenty
MOVEMENT. I CARRY
Footwear is just as important as the rest of your attire. Being
of flex. It is good for
everyday wear, as well CONCEALED WHEN
able to keep firm footing and possibly use your feet in a violent
exchange both require forethought.
as business casual,
while still being ready OUT AND ABOUT AND
WANT TO MAKE SURE
for confrontation.

5.11 introduced a new boot at this year’s SHOT Show. Called


the Apex ($70), it has a waterproof membrane lining and I CAN GET TO MY
Kevlar-reinforced heel. While this is more of a tactical boot, it
could still be worn for everyday use. One of the neat features is WEAPONS, SHOULD
THE NEED ARISE.

BELTSELECTION
In addition to picking the right clothing for a ight,
make sure you have a belt that will not only hold
The 5.11 Defender
Flex jean is your irearm up but will also keep the holster in
comfortable and place when the gun is drawn. The last thing you
rugged, as well as
want when drawing a irearm for real is to be
flexible in a fight.
It offers plenty of pointing a gun that is still in the holster.
pockets for your EDC.

Dozens of companies make solid belts designed


for concealed carry. My everyday belt is from
VersaCarry. It is the Double Ply Heavy Duty belt
and can be purchased for less than $40. 5.11’s
Berne Apparel’s Arc Leather Belt (less than $50) in 4mm thickness
Adder System comes will easily support your irearm. I have seen thick
in both male and
female versions and leather belts priced at nearly $200, but I don’t think
is flexible enough they provide any more support than what I have for
for just about any
occasion. (Photo:
a quarter of the price.
Berne Apparel)

www.gunworld.com p OCTOBER I 2018

93
CLEARED HOT
5.11’s Cascadia of knives. I have a similar one from Carhartt, but the added
lightweight vests are feature of the pocket access from Berne makes it a winner.
an option when the
weather is too cool
for just a shirt and too TRAIN WITH ALL YOUR TOOLS
warm for a jacket. No
sleeves allow even If you are going to carry concealed and want to protect yourself
greater flexibility, or your loved ones in a fight, you should train with the firearm
while the reach-
through pockets offer
you carry and in the clothes you will be wearing. Finding out
easy access to a that your gun gets tangled in your clothing when you are
weapon. One of these drawing is not something you want to happen when lives are
vests is shown here
with the Safariland on the line. That high kick at the dojo in your gi will be a lot
17T holster. harder on the street in your skinny jeans. GW

CONTACT INFORMATION

5.11
511Tactical.com

ALIEN GEAR
the built-in pocket that can hold a knife but is also big enough AlienGearHolsters.com
to hold a small firearm such as the Glock G43. Although there is
BERNE APPAREL
no retention device, it uses friction for a fairly solid hold. I would BerneDirect.com
hate to be on the receiving end of a kick from this solid boot.
GLOCK
US.Glock.com
KEEPING OUT THE WIND SAFARILAND
Also new from 5.11 is its line of Cascadia lightweight jackets Safariland.com
and vests ($79 and $69, respectively). These are great for mild
VERSACARRY
weather and also include some features that make them perfect VersaCarry.com
for the concealed carrier. The hand pockets, with YKK-branded
zip closures and an internal pass-through, allow for easy access

HOLSTER SELECTION
to a concealed firearm, enabling the user to be prepared without
having to brandish. It will also keep the wind and rain out and
allows plenty of flex in the event of an assault during which you
might have to fight off an attacker.

WORKWEAR WITH AN EXTRA PURPOSE Picking the right holster is extremely important. You
In 2015, Berne Apparel took its expertise in the work clothing want to make sure that in the event you get into
market and applied it to concealed-carry apparel. Berne a close contact ight, the gun will remain in the
developed a U.S.-patented concealed weapon storage pocket holster until needed. It is also important that the
system called the Echo One-One Jacket ($110). It has an exterior holster is designed for the gun. Generic holsters
cargo pocket system designed to look and function like existing allow too much room for a gun to move around.
outerwear pockets. The exterior layer of the pocket system is
pleated to minimize printing. The inside of the pocket contains a Depending on your needs, Safariland has two
MOLLE panel to accept Velcro-backed or MOLLE holsters. excellent choices. If you everyday carry with a
light on your irearm, the 557 will it the irearm;
To access your weapon, the cargo pocket flap was designed and when attached to your belt, it hugs your body
to function as a pull tab. While this is not a coat for the to reduce printing. For an even more concealable
summer, it would be good for fall and winter in most places. choice, the 17T can it inside your waistband while
The added thickness for warmth could also protect the wearer being attached securely to your belt.
from blows from a fist or a slashing from all but the sharpest

Brian Berry is a retired Army Special Forces Command sergeant major. He is a


about former Special Forces weapons sergeant and has multiple combat tours under his

the belt. Brian is the co-founder of Spartan Defensive Concepts, at which he teaches
concealed carry and defensive marksmanship courses. Brian retired in 2014 and is
author now a consultant currently working for the Special Operations community.

www.gunworld.com p OCTOBER I 2018

94
STAY INFORMED WITH THE
LATEST FEATURE ARTICLES, PICS, VIDEOS,
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ONLINE VISIT US AT
www.gunworld.com
Chewing the Fat TEXT BY JEFF QUINN ILLUSTRATION BY TRIS MAST

HUNTING WILD
good success. Hunting whitetail deer in this area usually
requires getting into the woods long before irst light, sitting
still in a stand and trying to keep one’s hands from freezing to
the stock of the rile while waiting hours for a deer to show up.

BOAR WITH Wild boar can be very successfully hunted on foot during
normal 9-to-5 business hours, and they tend to hole up until the
hunter gets pretty close. They then dart from cover as if shot
out of a cannon, giving the hunter a chance to be within range

COUSIN MELVIN of a fast-moving hog.

My irst experience hunting Russian boar was several years


ago while testing a new hunting rile. No large game was in
season at the time, so I went to east Tennessee to a hunting

I
love hog hunting. It is probably my favorite type of
hunting. I am not referring to shooting feral hogs
descended from domestic hogs that escaped captivity A area that comprised a couple of thousand acres of timber on
steep hills—prime habitat for hogs. This was all private land
and reproduced in the wild. I am talking about hunting
Russian boar in east Tennessee. MEMORABLE and was well managed for wild hogs. Having a hunting lodge
close by, and offering guide services, it made for some very
good hunting, so I loaded up and headed for east Tennessee
A BREED UNTO ITSELF
The Russian boar is a different breed of animal. It is related
EAST with my cousin Melvin, who came along to hunt as well.

to domestic hogs, I suppose, but built differently and with


a different temperament. It is tough to hunt and tough to TENNESSEE MELVIN, DWAYNE? WHATEVER
Melvin and I have always been close. We are irst cousins on both

MOUNTAIN
kill. Broad at the shoulders and narrow at the hips, carrying sides of the family. It sounds like inbreeding, but it’s not. His mother
impressive tusks and a low tolerance for people invading its was my father’s sister, and his father was my mother’s brother—
territory, it will put up a ight if cornered. sort of an “I’ll marry your sister if you’ll marry mine” kind of thing.

I used to raise domestic hogs in my younger days; mostly


Durocs. Durocs are famous for having good-sized hams on
HUNT Anyway, we grew up more like brothers than cousins.

His full name was Melvin Dwayne Kent, and most folks just
them. They are muscular hogs with big, round butts, which knew him as “Dwayne.” He let me get away with calling him
produce the inest cured country hams in the world. They are “Melvin,” but few others could. Melvin was 10 years older than
the Latin woman version of “porkness.” me, and I reminded him of that as often as I could. Still, we
spent a lot of time together, mostly riding motorcycles all over
A Russian boar is pretty much the opposite of this. It has a long, the United States and often hunting together. This time, we
slim build and can move out as fast as a jackrabbit. decided to pursue some Russian boar, so off we went.
Arriving at the lodge really late, no one could be found, so we set up our gear in an empty cabin and
crawled into a couple of empty bunks for the night. The next morning, the guides showed up and offered
to take us on a hunt after breakfast. We declined, preferring to hunt on our own.

Asking one of the guides where would be the most likely place to ind some quality hogs, he pointed across the
valley to a tall mountain top, stating that the hogs should be in that area, so Melvin and I headed in that direction.

SLOW GOING
Starting at the base of the mountain, the going was rough. It was mostly heavy timber growing out of a
limestone bluff and covered with wet leaves. Taking a step forward usually resulted in sliding back two,
but we progressed slowly for most of the morning.

On the way up the mountain, I would often stop to let my older cousin rest. I would even gasp for air
and hang onto a tree trunk, just so he wouldn’t feel badly about being out of breath. I am just a nice guy
like that; I did a great job of wheezing and holding my chest (it came almost naturally at that altitude).

Getting near the top, I felt as if I should have planted a lag, claiming the area where surely no other human
being had ever set foot—no sane one, anyway. But having neither a lag nor a way to bore a hole into limestone,
I scrapped that idea and proceeded to do my best imitation of a man experiencing total cardiac arrest.

Proceeding along an old fence row, I jumped a hog out of a wallow. I think he was as surprised as I was, and
both the boar and I leapt into the air and took off running ... in opposite directions. I informed Cousin Melvin
that I chose to wait for a better hog, so the hunt continued for the rest of the morning—without success.

A JADED BOAR
Heading down the mountainside, we arrived back at camp to regroup, at which time the amused guide
informed us that the hogs come off the mountain late in the afternoon to get water, and they could now
be found near a creek in the bottoms. I could have put that information to good use earlier in the day and
saved the trouble of conquering that mountain.
AD INDEX
AMERICAN TACTICAL IMPORTS...........83
Hunting near the creek, we both scored on a couple of nice hogs. While gutting the animals, another boar
ARMSCOR .............................................99
approached. It had smelled blood and was rather angry about the whole situation. He irst sniffed one of
BEAR AND SON CUTLERY .....................29
the carcasses and then turned his attention to me.
BRAVO COMPANY ............................... 8-9
BROWNING ......................................23, 67
I drew a Ruger Blackhawk .45 from its holster and proceeded to ire off a volley of 300-grain Cor-Bon CHIAPPA FIREARMS .............................57
softpoints in the direction of the boar. By this time, a guide had arrived. He had heard the earlier shooting CRIMSON TRACE CORP. .......................59
and was watching the ordeal unfold. I thought I had missed that boar, but the guide said that each shot CZ-USA ..................................................65
was a solid hit. However, the boar didn’t seem to be impressed that I had placed four bullets into his chest. DILLON PRECISION ...............................87
FOBUS U.S.A. ........................................79
I had one shot left (I was saving that one for myself), but the boar inally did me a huge favor and fell over FRANKLIN ARMORY..............................69
dead. The bullets had fully penetrated his chest, but he had been a tough bugger. GTUL ......................................................77
HKS PRODUCTS, INC.............................79
HOGUE GRIPS ........................................79
I have since hunted Russian boar a few more times, and each hunt was rewarding. But none was as
KENSINGTON PUBLISHING CORP. ........47
memorable as that hunt in the mountains of east Tennessee with Cousin Melvin. GW
LES BAER CUSTOM,INC. .......................39
O.F. MOSSBERG FIREARMS ................... 2
RANGERPROOF SWAG ..........................55
ABOUT THE REDDING RELOADING EQUIPMENT ......75
AUTHOR RIO GRANDE CUSTOM GRIPS, LLC .......97
ROCK RIVER ARMS ...............................15
Jeff Quinn is a full-time writer/reviewer on Gunblast. SIG SAUER .............................................. 7
com, an online gun magazine started in 2000. He has also SPRINGFIELD ARMORY ........................49
written for the Gun Digest Annual and enjoys living life in STURM, RUGER & COMPANY, INC. .....100
the woods of Tennessee, where he raises Longhorn cattle TAURUS INTERNATIONAL .....................31
… and his grandkids. TRUGLO .................................................19
VISTA OUTDOOR ...................................... 3
WILSON COMBAT ..................................41

www.gunworld.com p OCTOBER I 2018

97
DOWN RANGE PHOTO BY ROBB MANNING

The new FN 509


Tactical, with
Gemtech GM-9
suppressor

www.gunworld.com P OCTOBER I 2018

98
Take a deep breath. This is real. The XT 22 Magnum
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