Practical and Tactical

talkingguns.net-talkingguns-talking-guns-acme-machine-acme-malone-scopes-acme-machine-scope-optics-bren-mount-1280x853.jpg

Erik WenzelOctober 25, 20198min71900

When I was a child, my grandfather was a pro at passing along words of wisdom. He was full of one off tidbits that were usually off color and good for a laugh. Of all of the wonderful euphemisms and sage advice that he passed along, his favorite by far was, “Son, you get what you pay for.” I have found this to be true in many occasions, but every once in a rare while, I have found exceptions to this rule. The exception that I am going to reveal comes in the form of a new scope manufacturer, Acme Machine.

The world of optics is, much like all technology advancing at a rapid pace. Not 10 years ago, a decent piece of glass for your rifle would set you back a pretty penny. First focal plane? How about you sell a kidney? Illuminated reticle? That liver will suffice in trade! Locking turrets would, for the average guy on a state budget, take a boat load of overtime to attain. Ladies and gentlemen,  those days are long gone. You can have all of those phenomenal perks for the ridiculous price of $339 as of this posting.

Usually when things seem too good to be true, they are. However,  I am proud to say that when it comes to the Acme Machine line of scopes, this was not the case. I had the chance to test a few different variations of the Acme Machine scopes, and honestly they were very good. The glass clarity was quite good, I would put it in the same quality tier as offerings from Vortex, Bushnell and entry level Burris. I was able to put quite a few rounds through it in different lighting conditions, and the scope handled everything from bright daylight to dusk in exemplary form.

 

The first scope that I will cover is the offering in 1-8x. Several things stood out for me as exceptional. The turrets were delightfully tactile, and i was pleasantly surprised with the audible response I received when turning the dials. The most apparent place that companies cut corners usually comes by way of the turrets, and these were crisp. Another pricy feature this scope brings to the table is the ability to lock the illumination turret. In addition, this scope also tracked very well. While performing a box drill at 50 yards this scope was right on the money, with a complete return to zero from whence I started. This was no easy task, as I chose a rifle that has put some optics to the test. My Bren 805 has a very large bolt carrier group, which equates to a very large reciprocating mass. This has, in my experience, changed zero on lesser scopes with ease. The Acme Machine 1-8x however handled it like a boss.

The reticle on the 1-8x was useful. At 1x, being in the first focal plane, I was able to use it in the fashion of a red dot. This made target transitions a breeze, while still providing for the capability to easily take the shots out to 300+ yards. When it’s time to crank up the magnification, the power ring was stiff, but not unusable. The reticle at 8x was a smidge busy, but as was mentioned earlier, it was usable. In the world of Christmas tree reticles and ballistic drop calculators built in, I wish the horse shoe segments were smaller, and the cross hair stadia slimmer. This is one of the very few things about this scope that I would change if given the chance or opportunity.

Alright, so the scope has very good glass, tracks well, is first focal plane, is illuminated, has nice audible and tactile turrets, and has a modest price. Whats the catch you ask? There is a very small list of things that I would change, and they are as follows. At 1X magnification, it is almost as if the scope is showing you a sight picture at .75X instead of true 1X. I found the sight picture to be closer to true 1x at around the 1.5x mark. Not a big deal to me, but when I was practicing both eyes open shooting, I made sure that the power ring was at 1.5X. The second and to me most glaring insufficiency when it came to the scope came by way of the anti reflective coating, or lack there of on the glass. This manifested itself in a few interesting ways. When turning the illumination on, it was almost as if the scope was reflecting light from the diode, and the resulting effect was a large halo around the exterior of the sight picture. The scope also reflected light off of the ocular lens at the back of the scope. Anytime I got a direct light source from about 4 o clock to 7 o clock, I would inevitably catch the light directly in my eye. This was, to me, mildly annoying at worst.

So the question remains, would I pitch the Acme Machine 1-8x to my grandfather as a viable option in the low power variable scope realm? I absolutely would. For me, the few cons are drastically outweighed by the pros. I think that this is an excellent example of technology finally being applied to the firearms market, and I would offer it as a competitive option for a midrange carbine. Long gone are the days of exorbitant prices for decent rifle glass, and I am happy to say good riddance to them and welcome to the era of new exciting options. Acme Machine scopes definitely get a solid nod of approval from me.

-Malone


talkingguns.net-talkingguns-talking-guns-arsenal-slr107-arsenal-slr107-ak47-ak-7.62x39-magpul-1280x960.jpeg

Erik WenzelMay 20, 20198min64160


In this wonderful day and age where technology is rapidly advancing, sometimes things get left behind. I have found this especially true in regards to the firearms industry. You want parts for a glock or an AR 15? Buckle your seat-belts because you would be absolutely blown away by the countless hours of scrolling you could do to modify your precious pieces. There are, however, some platforms that are somewhat behind the times. For me it was the AK platform that was the “child left behind”. Extremely short lengths of pull, difficulty mounting modern lights and optics, strange charging operation that requires nothing short of a degree in contortion-ism to accomplish, and that wretched spike grip suitable only to the hands of leprechauns and small children. I found myself wondering if there was a way to bring the AK into the current decade, and I decided that I was going to see if I had the testicular fortitude to take on the task of creating my “perfect” AK.
All projects have to start somewhere, and the base of my project was a bare bones Arsenal 107FR. I acquired the rifle after consulting the inter-webs and several friends who fancy themselves AK connoisseurs. The Arsenal SLR107 is a standard stamped receiver that I was assured would offer great ability to accept customization. After a trip to my local shop I was off to the races. In the attempt to insure that I made the right choice in my base rifle, I began to learn the AK platform. I spent several days on the range, and about 1000 rounds later, I had decided that there were things that I wanted to address.
I found that I was less than impressed with the length of pull and the lack of adjustment therein. I found the stock to be very short and it made me feel extremely cramped behind the rifle. While I had decided that I was going to replace it, I also looked into the option of a folding stock. Being that the AK does not require the use of a buffer tube, it would be nice to be able to have the rifle be utilized while folded, in addition to taking up less room in my gun case or underneath the seat in my truck. While shopping for an item that would fit the bill, I ran across an option that satisfied both my desire to adjust the length of pull and the folding capability. I chose to go with the Magpul Zhukov stock in OD Green. When I purchased the Zhukov, I found it to be an exceptionally easy install and a vast improvement to the original offering.
The next item that I chose really handled two issues with one piece. The main issue was that I had no way to solidly mount an optic. AK iron sights don’t really do it for me. They impede the sight picture with a severely closed-in front sight post, and to me this hampered the rifles capability in a major fashion. With the litany of extremely exceptional optic systems available to us today, I found it unacceptable that the mount on the AK platform was sub-par. What I settled on was a Zenitco B30 and B31 combo. I decided to pair this with a Holosun 403C in a low mount. To be fair, I got this in a trade which involved my old arsenal furniture, but it solved more than a few problems for me. I liked it because this rail is an absolute tank, and I found it to be extremely stable when installed on the rifle. I also liked that it was easy to service the rifle just by undoing two screws and lifting the top rail. If you can find one, I would definitely recommend the B30 rail system, as it greatly increases the capability of the rifle by allowing not only the ability to mount an optic, but a vertical grip as well.
The next thing that I set out to tackle was the grip. The grip is one of the pivotal connections between your body and the rifle. I found the factory offering to be extremely lacking. In my mind’s eye, the standard AK grip closely resembled a tent stake. I admittedly have large hands and the factory grip had to go. I settled on yet another Magpul offering in the MOE AK+ grip. This is totally an AR knockoff grip that I really like. The rubberized coating gives great grip, and I find it to be very comfortable for people of the man-sized hands persuasion.
The last area that I found needing improvement was on the very front end of the rifle. As an AR shooter primarily, I found the recoil impulse of the AK unpleasant. The rifle was equipped with a slant muzzle brake originally, and I found that it did too good of a job. I say this meaning that when I was shooting the rifle it was actually driving the muzzle end of the rifle down. This is usually a good thing, but in this case too much of a good thing was actually uncomfortable. It created a fulcrum effect which in essence drove the stock into my cheek bone. I swapped it out for a Strike Industries J Comp. This addition made the recoil more linear in nature, and while it is absolutely obnoxious for the people around you, who needs fillings right?
The end result is a rifle that I find to be an absolute joy to shoot. It is surprisingly accurate at formidable distance, and honestly it surpassed my expectations. For those of you that are of the opinion that the AK platform isn’t capable of accuracy, think again. I can confirm wholeheartedly that technology can be successfully applied to the AK platform, and if you’re thinking of trying it yourself, I would strongly encourage you to try.

-Malone


talkingguns.net-talking-guns-talkingguns-xtech-xtechtactical-mag47-xtech-mag47.jpg

Architekt JessApril 17, 20191min43890

The XTech Tactical MAG47 is made in the USA, And offers Stainless Steel lugs, Feed-lips and Spring.

Talking Guns was asked to test these new mags out in a few different AK47 platforms to get an idea of their Fit, Form and Function.

In every instance there was not one notable issue, the positive feel when the MAG47 locks into the gun far exceeds the feeling of standard metal magazines.

The feeding was perfect no matter what the speed of shooting. Next time we will run full auto weapons to really stress these mags to the max.

Overall we were very pleased with the XTech MAG47 line, they are tough, durable, and lightweight magazines.

Check us out for more torture testing that we are going to do on this new line of magazines from XTech Tactical.

www.talkingguns.net
www.xtechtactical.com

 


talkingguns.net-talking-guns-talkingguns-pete-francis-hunting.jpg

Pete FrancisJanuary 17, 20194min21800

By Pete Francis

The great thing about the South West is the public land, if you go east you find its mostly private lands and this makes hunting for a beginner like I was pretty hard, as most people don’t want you out in their hunting lands either. The down side is, where you might think an area is not hunted, it most likely has been.

You don’t have to drive far to find a coyote, heck they most likely are living around your area no mater where you live now days in America. All it takes is a good Rifle; AR-15’s are superb for Coyotes, with the .223 you can reach out, or with the modular design you can adapt a host of calibers to suit your needs. I personally like the 6.5 Grendel using the Hornady 123gr Black, it’s a ELD projectile in match grade, so accuracy is great. Sub MOA at 100, and groups no larger than 2” at 200 yards.

I didn’t grow up hunting at all, I ended up meeting a guy on social media, Dan Macdonald and we became really good friends over hunting, fishing and 4wd toys. He showed me the basics, got me lined up with the proper gear and really made it fun to go out and hunt. On our first trip, we went up north from Phoenix, AZ in April, only to find out it had snowed 4” in spring time, and we were defiantly dressed for spring time.

So, come forward 5 years, I have the pleasure to say I went from 3 or 4 coyotes that first year, to 106 coyotes in 2018 season. Hunting year around, although the summers out here a brutal as night time temperatures can stay in the 100+ degree range. Coyote hunting is better suited to Fall, Winter and Spring out this way in my opinion.

Traveling for work in the Pipeline industry, I get to see great expanses of the south west and really helps with finding new areas to hunt, whether it be Arizona, Nevada, or California, its not hard to find a Coyote. Using Lucky Duck Electronic callers with custom sounds from Rick Paillet, and Tony Tebbe, to using Hand Calls from Jason Mccameron at Rowdy Dog Custom Calls, as well as hand calls from Verminator Predator Calls, and Predator University. I have found great success in calling these smart coyotes in.

Some places in the South West allow for night hunting, When I moved up to Henderson, NV , I ended up meeting a gentleman by the name of Rick Arnold, he introduced me to night hunting and night vision. So being able to use some high tech digital night vision like the Accufire Noctis V1, paired with Sniper Hog Lights 66XLR for IR light and red lights really bring the coyote calling to a whole new level. Not only is the guy a phenomenal predator hunter, he is an excellent source of information and really goes out of his way to help people in the sport.

I get asked a lot, “Why do you hunt coyotes?”. Its not just for sport, but more importantly its for conservation. Most Fawns of Deer, Elk, and Antelope fall victim to coyotes. Leading to low population of these animals that is very hard to recover from. As well, we have ranchers who supply beef, and make their hard earned dollar only to take huge losses during calfing season to these predators that are vastly abundant and extremely sharp at what they do.


talkingguns.net-talking-guns-talkingguns-the-option-beret-e1547667361361.jpeg

The OptionJanuary 16, 201911min2600

Every Day Carry Wise Chronicles

Do not get C-Locked

One of the most often questions asked of me is what’s the best firearm to carry? This is a difficult question to answer, as there are many variable to consider.  My stock generic answer and my humble opinion is, you should choose one from a major manufacture, with a positive track record.  It should suit your needs and it should be the right fit for you. You should also find it cool, I’m just saying. Another common question is how do I become, more situational aware? This is an important question and one that is also not always easy to answer. This can also vary person to person through lifestyle and surroundings.  For instance, a person on business in Afghanistan is in a much different situation than a person out in Downtown America. There is a principal that connects these two different people in two different environments and that is the following- The belief and understanding that there are evil people out there and these evil people will do you harm. Without this belief system in place it will be very difficult if not impossible to spot and avoid dangerous situations. This is because you have your head in the cultural sand. It is my belief that this principal is the most important piece of the defensive situational awareness concept. It is the foundation. The PC Culture has brainwashed the populace out there, that the practicing of good situational awareness is wrong, because people could be offended. So these, I listen to the social justice warrior crowd “Sheeple” Put in there ear buds, pull up their hoodie hoods and march into potential oblivion, while they check their twitter posts. But at least they aren’t hurting any body’s feelings. Thumbs up, good job, you f-ing Knuckle Heads.  This is what I call, (Cultural Loss of Consciousness) or (C-LOC).  This is what I believe to be the biggest threat to our families, our communities and ourselves.

When I teach Active Aggressor Training or Situational Awareness type training I recommend two books, Sheep No More: The Art of Awareness and Attack Survival by Jonathan Gilliam and The Survivors Club, by Ben Sherwood. These books are honest, powerful and educational reads and are must haves in your Every Day Carry Wisdom toolbox.

One story in Survivors club, which always stood out to me, was that of a woman who was alone in a sparsely occupied building late at night and was waiting for the elevator. When the elevator door opened, she saw a male inside and he immediately made her feel uncomfortable. She knew something wasn’t right and she was scared. She also felt that it would be rude to not get on the elevator, that the man inside might be offended. Against all her better instincts she got on that elevator, and was raped and nearly killed. For the grace of God she lived to tell, but a hard lesson was learned. Humans are part of the animal kingdom and we are supplied with some similar protective instincts. These instincts are very effective, but only if we don’t ignore them. When Peter Parker gets his Spidey Sense tingling, He doesn’t just sit there drinking his coffee with Mary Jane, thinking to himself,” Isn’t that interesting. No, “he jumps up, throws some cash and cab fare on the table, gets that suit on and gets ready to kick some Doc Oc  Ass. Sure Mary Jane gets pissed, but that’s life, she will get over it or she won’t. Don’t get on the elevator, Offend the F out of who you have to, to feel safe. Spiderman knows when you sense danger; some danger may be coming, and DO NOT IGNORE IT! Retrain the brain that it is ok to offend people. It is ok to be rude, especially if your safety is involved. I’m from New Jersey, I offend at least seven people a day, here in Tennessee, and sometimes I’m not even trying to. Rudeness saves lives. I realize that being from New Jersey I have an advantage, I myself can’t be offended and I do  not care,  if I offend others, if it is warranted. This is skill that is cultivated all through our formative years. It is a necessary Jersey survival tool that all responsible Jersey Parents should teach their kids. We are nice until its time not to be nice. I call it “Tactical Rudeness”. Trust me, it works like a charm. I may be on to something, note to self, and pitch “Tactical Rudeness Training Seminars to Brian.  I think It’s time to take this concept NATIONWIDE.  The point is leaving Mary Jane at the table may be rude and Mary Jane may be offended, but there are lives in danger, and proper etiquette has to be tossed to the side when it’s time to get down to business. If Spiderman can offend MJ, and be alright with it, than you can offend some creepy stranger on the street. This may Offensive to some people, but, I say, F the creepy stranger on the street, you and your families lives are more important than some strangers soft assed feelings.  Mary Jane always forgives Spiderman. Spiderman recognizes danger. Then Spiderman reacts to that danger. Be like Spiderman.

C-Loc, (Cultural Loss of Consciousness) is a take on the term generally used in aerospace physiology called G-Loc, (Gravitational Loss of Consciousness) where pilots lose consciousness due to exposure to sustained and excessive G Forces. C-LOC is caused by a sustained exposure to political correctness and the weakening of our entire culture.

We are on the beginning of a journey ladies and gentleman. The Option, Talkingguns and all of you reading this, all the visitors to this site, are on this new journey together. I want to be a guide to show you a path and perhaps a different way of viewing the culture and the world around you. I hope to get you to start looking at how your Every Day Carry Wisdom fits into your piece of everyday lifestyle. My Mission is to assist you on further developing your Personal Incident Preparedness Lifestyle for how you live.  I’ve been given a voice. Perhaps my voice is small but with that voice I want to do what I can to prevent the totally preventable, to awaken people to the danger of the SHEEPLE/ VICTIM mentality. Forget the crowd, the crowd doesn’t care about you and your family, sometimes you have to stand alone. Remember taking personal security advice from Sheeple one of the crowd culture, is like taking advice from a vegan on how to grill a streak.  Be rude when needed, hurt feelings, offend people, trust me, these concepts help save lives. It may be difficult, but nothing of importance is ever easy. But, I believe Tactical Rudeness is the key to breaking the C-LOC.  Spread the word. It’s your duty. Be careful and God Bless.

 

The Fuerst Option Safety Suggestion- One especially for the ladies, if you’re out on a first date, or blind date or you just meet someone while you are out.  Upon your introductions request to see the gentleman’s driver’s license and take a picture on your phone and send it to two trusted friends. Pre plan this and make it show and be obvious and tell the gentleman and what you’re doing. If he is a good guy, he will gladly do it, and probably think it’s a smart idea. If he has a problem with it, or refuses, he is not a good guy, so leave the date immediately, right after you take his picture of his face and send that. This should make the guy in question; think twice about doing anything creepy, his picture is out there. This just helps to further ensure you get home safely. It’s the practice of Tactical Rudeness. If you find a love connection, with a good guy, you’ll have a fun story to tell.  You can give this advice to daughters, sisters and friends.  Be Safe out there.

 

 

 

 


talkingguns.net-strategic-ops-group-ak74-5.45x39mm-architekt-jess.jpeg

Architekt JessJanuary 10, 20197min86601

If you’re anything like me, you came up in an All-American family that hated anything those commie scum over the pond would produce, from trade-goods, to guns, to foreign policy. You were accustomed to the bad guys in every 80’s and 90’s action movie being a generally terrible human, sporting some kind of AK variant. Then, if you took the next step and joined the military, you would notice the enemy killing your brothers and sisters with these same weapons. AK’s are cheap to buy, cheap to fire, mass-produced, and function nearly anywhere, making them obvious choices for warfare. Lets just say there was no love lost on AK’s in the eyes of myself, and many of the people I came up with in the Marines.

 

Fast forward a few years out of the Marines, the “All-or-Nothing” Marine mindset starts to fade and I start to get curious as to why these weapons are so widely used. What really makes them so popular when so many newer weapon systems have been developed since the inception of the AK? I also start to think that if we ever get invaded on our own turf, it might be a good idea to have a weapon chambered in the enemy’s rounds on hand, as well as a lot of practice functioning and manipulating such a weapon. So I called up a good friend of mine, Brian Kovacs and told him I was on the hunt for a AK-47, I didn’t know what was quality and what wasn’t at that point but I knew he did and I trust his judgement. He agrees to keep an eye out for a quality one, but then says to me, “47’s are great, but have you ever heard of a AK-74?”. That conversation was the start of a serious love affair (Not just with Brian, but also these weapons) and ultimately led to the collection of my (Closet) favorite weapon, the AK-74.

 

Sparing you all the weapon specs you can find in a quick google search, I’ll get into a little bit of its history, and why I love this weapon. It was the next evolution of the AKM and what many call Mikhail’s answer to the M16. It was fielded in the Afghan War by Soviet Special Forces initially, and once Americans started to hear rumors of a Russian AK with “poisoned” bullets that could hit nearly anywhere and still kill, the race was on to get a hold of one. The AK-74 uses smaller 5.45x39mm rounds, with a higher velocity, with less recoil and more speed. This means lighter combat loads with more rounds per soldier, more penetrating power, and more accurate automatic fire capabilities. All while keeping the rugged reliability of the AK platform. All these reasons are why I had to try it out, plus the rounds look absolutely wicked, I mean come on.

 

As soon as I fired the first round I was blown away (right?!). The recoil was less -or at least felt less- than nearly any AR platform weapons that I had fired. Muzzle-rise is non-existent, and the factory trigger surprised me, not only on the first shot, but the following shots as well. The weapon breakdown is that of any AK, super simple, and tool-less, which I find an amazing feat in itself. The shots were surprisingly accurate, even standing, walking the shots out from 50m to 100, then 200 and so on. I could not believe I had just been given a Commie weapon that felt this great to fire and was basically an “Out-of-the-Box” example. I was amazed, and instantly fell in love. It felt so damn dirty to love a gun produced from the enemy so much, but I did, and I do. I hand refinished the wood, sanding it, restaining it, and sealing it over the next week. I cleaned it meticulously and went on the hunt for heaps of ammo for it… I knew I would keep this weapon, it made the cut.

 

My time in the military had produced a short list of “Must haves” in a weapon. High on that list is the trust that the weapon will fire every time you pull the trigger. Reliability, it seems, starts to outweigh things you thought would be more important like accuracy over 500m, a staple in the Marine mindset through training. Other things like worldwide access to ammo, parts, and ease of maintenance, especially when short on tools or time are also pressing concerns. This is one of those weapons that checks all the big boxes, and most of the little ones. If you ever find yourself in the market for an AK, I’d suggest you start with one of these weapons, but only if you’re OK with falling in love with the enemy.