Saturday, October 27, 2012
I have a Facebook Page that I do a lot of day to day stuff. You can follow me there, and when I post blog updates, I also let the folks know on Facebook.
RANGER PROOF on FACEBOOK
Just a teaser of some up and coming blog posts:
Diamandback Tactical : Advanced Warrior Fast Attack Plate Carrier... this thing is "Ranger Proof". I've been wearing this rig for over two years, and it is simply indestructable.
War Sport Industries / GPI Custom Gunworks LVOA project... you can read about this so far, on my Facebook Page, or on War Sport Industries, LLC. Stay tuned for details on this project.
Again, apologies for not being very active. This blog will grow, as time permits, and as I collect good, hard data.
Thursday, August 16, 2012
As we all know, namesake is EVERYTHING in this community. I have owned Bushnell products over the years, and have always thought of them as "hunting" optics. So, going into this testing phase, I viewed it with that "slanted" perspective.
When the optic arrived at my house, I first noticed the packaging. The box that it came in was visually stunning, and well made. The optic arrived without any damage what so ever. Once I opened the box, I was immediately impressed with this optic. It is built like a tank! The knobs are large, and have the traditional Bushnell Elite "Tactical" feel, but are twice the size of the other knobs I have used from Bushnell products in the past. I also noticed that the optic has locking turrets. You have to pull up on the elevation knob (out on the windage knob) to make changes to the optic. This is a very nice feature, and is intuitive to the shooter.
The knobs can be zeroed easily in the field, by using a coin in the slot... you can also use a case rim if you don't have a coin. They are scalloped out for this reason.
The clicks are very obvious when you make adjustments... which is important in a precision optic. The shooter can make changes and know where he / she is in the adjustment range without looking at the knob. The clicks are also very perceptible even when wearing gloves.
The parallax adjustment is on the left side of the optic, and is easily adjusted. The parallax adjustment also has quick reference marks (in yards) to give the shooter the ability to get it adjusted quickly.
As you can see in this picture, the "hash" marks were not totally lined up on the elevation turret, which was no big deal. This actually gave me a chance to make the necessary adjustment. I called Bushnell, and explained this, and the Customer Service Rep walked me through the process of resetting the hash marks.
Using a quarter, I removed the silver retainer, and noticed a very nice O-Ring seal. I then lifted the elevation knob off, and saw the inner workings of the turret.
The inner turret mechanism is made out of aluminum, with a nice interface of fine "cogs". The turret was very easy to calibrate, and the hash marks lined up perfectly.
Once I was satisfied with the turret knob calibration, I took the optic outside and gave it a good dunk test.
I left it submerged for several hours... to see if it would leak at all. Bushnell says that it is waterproof, so I decided to find out. I can not in my good conscience, endorse a product that will fail in normal operational boundaries. It is highly feasible that the shooter would have to get his / her rifle wet. I know I swim with mine all the time, during waterborne operations.
I am happy to say, this Bushnell DMR passed with flying colors. No leakage, no fogging, just clarity.
I grabbed my Bushnell Elite 2.5-16 optic for size comparison...
|2.5-16 on top, 3.5-21 on the bottom|
|Knob size... 2.5-16 on left, 3.5-21 on right|
I took my MEGA MA-TEN upper / lower combo, and did a trial fit on it. I knew just what I would use this optic for... my AR-10 project.
With some 34mm LOW rings, it puts the objective bell right where I like it...
Once my MEGA MA-Ten monolithic upper was modified to my specs by GPI Custom Gunworks in Jacksonville, FL... I assembled the rifle, and began testing. This optic was to become part of a "package" that I used in conjunction with other parts, to create a rifle system that is ultra reliable, and won't break the bank.
There are many great choices in optics out there for a precision rifle. However, out of the gate, my rifle system was going to be designed FOR LAW ENFORCEMENT, and the budget constraints that most agencies operate under. I have many "high end" optics to choose from, but when offered the chance to really flog this new piece from Bushnell, I was honored to give it a go.
I am happy to say, that I have really beat on this glass. It retains it's zero, the reticle subtends perfectly throughout the power range... the glass is brilliant and clear, with little to no chromatic aberrations, and no edge deformation. I have run countless box drills with it, ran the erector to full stop in each direction, and it returns to zero. It swims well, it rides in my case well, and I have verified that it is absolutely solid.
Is it perfect? No. However, I don't believe there is such a thing as the "perfect" optic. If so, we would all use it. Is it an amazing value? You betcha. For the money, even at FULL retail, you can not find anything out there that will come close to it. The list of what you get, is pretty amazing.
I chose the Bushnell G2DMR reticle to use in my test. I like this reticle for LE use, because it's less "BUSY" than the Horus Vision reticles but still allow some holds for windage at distance.
|Bushnell G2DMR Reticle|
I have the Bushnell DMR mounted in a 34mm DLOC mount from Alamo Four Star out of Texas. This combination is simply amazing in it's ability to be removed from the rifle and re-installed... and hold zero. I have done it several times in testing this rifle... and I am going to shoot a video very soon showcasing this.
All in all, I am continuing to run this rig as set up. This optic has proven itself to me, time and time again. It's repeatable, reliable, and affordable. My ONLY gripe on it, is the narrow exit pupil (picky eye relief). On a precision rifle, it's really not a huge deal. I set my rifle up so I can get behind it with my eyes closed, get into position, and the optic lies perfectly in place. It's a wee bit fiddly to set up, due to the narrow eye relief, but once you set the rig up properly, it becomes a moot point.
The field of view at 3.5 power, is wide enough to cover down very well at Law Enforcement call out distances. The 21 power (at full magnification) is perfect for "burning through" vertical blinds in a barricade situation, or allowing the marksman to make calls back to his / her team... (Observation).
I will continue to update this blog post... as I continue to flog the Bushnell Elite DMR. All in all, bottom line up front... I would urge you to consider this optic if cost is important. It is packed with features, and for the money, I would recommend it. Do your homework. There are tons of reviews on this glass out there, and they are showing up more and more on competition rifles at matches. It's short, and powerful... get one and never look back.
Tuesday, August 14, 2012
As stated before... this blog will be used for equipment testing and development. If you have any concerns, or comments, please feel free to leave them. However, if you have any item you would like to see get our attention, please email us at:
or you can "Like" us over on Facebook:
First off, I apologize for not keeping daily entries into this blog. I started this off, knowing that I would be slow to post information due to the nature of this blog. I don't want this to be useless drivel, or a day to day commentary of my life as a Trainer. No, I want this to be an honest assessment of gear that I am using, operationally and in training.
I have a Facebook page, that will cover more day to day stuff... you can find it here:
Ranger Proof's Facebook Page
Please feel free to "Like" it, and you can have a more up close and personal connection to the things that we are doing.
Ok, that's out of the way... let's talk about my project.
For years, I have been trying to wrap my head around a SWS (Sniper Weapons System) that can be more beneficial to the Law Enforcement Sniper. Most LE Snipers are equipped with a 20-24" barreled bolt operated rifle, and a variable powered optic with HIGH magnification. This is fantastic, for it delivers very repeatable accuracy, and is capable of making precision shots, at amazing distances. However, when I look at the natial average for "call outs"... the data does not lie.
So, why do we "need" a rifle that is capable for making surgical hits out to "1000 yards and beyond"? Well, we really don't. So, I started re-training my mindset, and re-thinking the entire load out issue. I wanted a short, deployable SWS, that was suppressed... that would deliver supurb accuracy at reasonable Law Enforcement distances... so, I was also drawn to the AR platform, or "Gas Gun" as it is referred to by some. I knew I wanted to stay with the venerable .308 WIN / 7.62x51 round, because it is HIGHLY effective in the LE SWS role, and there is a TON of data on the rounds already in existence. Plus, I have over 25 years of experience on an AR platform, in one aspect or another.
I had a MEGA MA-TEN upper and lower, that I wanted to build out as a test mule for some ideas that I had kicking around in my head.
I had been working with Lee at GPI Custom Gunworks in Jacksonville, FL for a while... doing some heavy duty testing on his SAR-15 platform... (I will do a feature on this rifle as well). I approached Lee with my idea of a LE SWS and he was very interested in it. So, the machine work began. The first thing we did, is modify the upper for a left side charging handle. This is important to me, as a right handed shooter... for the following reasons.
1. I can work the bolt with my reaction side hand, without ever coming up off of my glass.
2. My trigger / firing hand (right hand) never leaves my index mark... I can stay on the trigger.
3. I can rack out the current round (in a magazine change) which allows me to change rounds, all without coming up off of glass.
4. I can cycle the action when using sub-sonic ammo, without coming up off of glass.
The rifle still has a traditional charging handle, but the left side charger allows me to manipulate the bolt carrier, with my reaction side hand. A very nice feature when proned out behind the rifle. The barrel that I used out of the gate, was a previous barrel from another rifle. This is a JP Enterprises 1:10 twist Cryogenic Super Match. The barrel is 18" long and has a light contour. I originally put the rifle together with a standard, low profile gas block and a standard AR-10 buffer... but found out quickly that the rifle was WAY overgassed. So, I ordered a JP Enterprises JPGS-S adjustable gas block. While I was at it, I ordered a heavy rifle buffer from Clint at www.heavybuffers.com along with the spring that he recommended. Once I got everything situated, I was able to get the gas system in check, and the rifle ran extremely well, and the recoil pulse is VERY soft.
Another issue that I addressed, is that the VAST majority of the AR platform rifles in this caliber are not designed from the ground up as a true "precision" rig. Most are adapted from battle style rifles... so I had some design ideas. First, I wanted to modify the mag well. I will not address this in this forum just yet... this will be done during a video review. I also wanted the overall platform to be as short / compact as possible, yet still allow the shooter to do his / her mission. Having ONE weapon platform, to exit his / her patrol car and move to the fixed firing site... yet still be able to perform multiple roles. Using the .308 / 7.62x51 as an "entry" weapon, is a wee bit overkill, but... let's just say the Sniper is deploying at a school, or a mall, or (insert location here) and has to engage an Active Shooter threat. He or She may have to move some distance with this rifle, and engage at a moments notice. Having an auto loading system, in a format that "most" Law Enforcement Officers are comfortable with (the AR platform) is a force multiplier over the traditional bolt operated rifle.
My endstate is this: One rifle, that will serve multiple roles, providing rock solid, Swiss Watch reliability... with SUB-MOA accuracy out to 300 yards, with Minute of Man accuracy out to 600 yards and beyond. Why at such extreme distances for Law Enforcement? Well, data does not lie... and it's a fact that extreme distance does not normally come into play in a Law Enforcement setting. Due to a plethora of legal restraints, it is ALWAYS beneficial for the LE Sniper to "close" the distance and move in. However, Murphy and I are very close. There may be a time where a LE Sniper is called to make an open air engagement on a non barricaded subject, non hostage taker, single threat... out past the "normal" limits. Posititve Identification, Backstop, and all other criteria withstanding... it is absolutely sound logic to think that the LE Sniper "can" make a shot out to 300, 400 and 500 yards or beyond. So, the rifle has to be accurate. I've never trained with a LE Sniper that did NOT have a rifle capable of this. Even the old, hand me down Remingtons and Savages are fully capable, given that the shooter / glass is capable... more of my thoughts on "glass" at a later date.
I also want the SWS to be suppressed. Not for the cool factor, but for hearing management. I have suffered traumatic hearing loss on deployments, and I tell you, I value what little hearing I have left. Shooting from confined spaces, hides, as well as the ability to work well in the counter sniper role, makes a suppressor a MUST have on a precision rifle. I am fortunate enough to be able to work with Mr. Byron Peterson of Delta P Design on this project. He is a wealth of knowledge for me on suppressor technology.The suppressor that I am using on this rifle is the Brevis 7.62 Compact suppressor and it is working supurbly. Why Delta P? Well... frankly... I really like Byron, and I really love his suppressors. He thinks outside of the box, he listens to me, and my input as a "shooter" or a "user"... In fact, Byron tells me "I'm the Race Car Mechanic, you are the Driver". This company is completly devoted to providing the most excellent product for the men and women who have to depend on his gear with their lives. As you can see, his suppressors are HIGHLY accurate.
Click here for video overview
This rifle shoots amazingly well. I have run several loads through it, and it does seem to like the NATO M118LR round... this is a 175 grain Sierra Match King, loaded in Lake City 7.62x51 brass, at a COAL of 2.815. The velocity I get out of this configuration averages out to be 2640 FPS (at seven yards) with my Chrony. Here is a five round group that I shot off the bipods (from a table... not prone) at 100 yards with M118LR.
Here is a group I shot (top five round group) and then let my son shoot. He had NEVER fired this weapon before, and I told him to aim at my group as a reference. He fired the bottom five, after I adjusted a wee bit of elevation out of the optic.
|My son behind the rifle... he wore eye pro when he actually fired. I was runing dry fire drills with him here.|
Wednesday, July 25, 2012
For my followers... understand that I am just getting this blog up and running. I have several projects in the works right now, that will all hit at one time. Juggling training at work, along with pictures and video is proving to be somewhat difficult...
I am working on a special AR-10 project, that I am helping design for Law Enforcement to be used as a Sniper Weapon System (SWS). This project is really coming along well. I ran into some over-gassing issues, due to the fact that I am running a suppressor on it. My heavy buffer from SLASH'S HEAVY BUFFERS along with my JP Enterprises adjustable gas block which will take care of my issue.
So far, this rifle (even OVER gassed) shoots better than I ever could have expected. I will debut this rifle as soon as I get the gas system tuned, and stable.
I started a thread on Sniper's Hide to showcase this project... but, I will be updating this blog from here on out. Click on the link to read the thread.
|Me, shooting it from bipods at 100 yards off a wooden bench. They won't allow prone shooting at this range...|
|Group that I typed about in the text above...|
|My SWS with the Alamo Four Star DCLW Tripod / Brevis Suppressor|
So, stay tuned folks... I will update this blog post as I gain some information. This is going to be a living / breathing blog thread, as this project takes off...
DMack out. (for now)
Thursday, July 19, 2012
I also am aware that this BLOG just recently came into existence. I've been toying with the idea for quite some time now, and finally decided to undertake this project. This is something that I do not take lightly. I have worked very diligently to establish a high level of credibility within my circles, as someone who will not blow smoke up someone's skirt, in regards to product reliablity. This, I take pride in.
So, here is what I can promise you. IF a certain product makes it to my BLOG, then you can bet that I have used it, much more than just putting my hands on it. I've "tried" to "break" it. We used to have a saying... "If I use it, I will try to break it. If I can't break it, I will try to STEAL it." So, there you have it.
I have a youtube channel, under "Ranger Proof"... and will be posting videos to this blog from that channel. Here's a sneak peak into what you will be seeing very soon.
Diamondback Tactical... Advanced Warrior Fast Attack Plate Carrier (AW-FAPC). I have been using this carrier for the past two years at work, and I have NOT been able to break it. I swim with it, rappel with it, use it on live fire ranges, SIMUNITION shoot house, etc...
US Optics SN3 TPAL with EREK... I have a 3.2-17 as well as a 1.8-10 from US Optics. I can assure you, these optics are good to go. I also use the US Optics Field Observation Scope, so expect that to be featured as well.
Bushnell Elite HDMR 3.5-21 with G2DMR reticle. I am currently using this optic on my GPI Modded MEGA Monolithic SAR-TEN... this optic continues to suprise me.
Bushnell Elite 1-6.5 with BTR-2 reticle. I'm using this optic on my GPI SAR-15 test mule...
MARZ Tactical products, belt, pouches, etc... I have some goodies from MARZ Tactical that I really want to showcase.
There are other products in que as well... first and foremost, I will start my write up on the GPI Custom Gunworks SAR-15.
Stay tuned, it will be worth your wait.
Yesterday, I had the distinct honor of being invited to ride with Lee Firpo from GPI Custom Gunworks, to deliver some patrol rifles to the Okaloosa County Airport Police Department. I have been doing some in depth consulting, research and development, and all around "Ranger Proof" testing for GPI over the past few months, so it was a natural fit for me to attend this delivery.
I know the Chief of Police there, pretty well, and have worked with him closely in the past. Okaloosa Airport Police is a new Agency, located in the panhandle of Florida. This agency is in a unique position, being located at Eglin AFB, and surrounded by very strategic areas.
Chief Tennyson is a very forward thinking leader, with a long career in Law Enforcement, and a strong background in SWAT and Special Operations (Law Enforcement). The Okaloosa County Airport Police Department is very fortunate to have a Chief of his stature, and I have no doubt that Chief Tennyson will take this agency to the next level. You can read about Chief Tennyson being chosen and sworn in HERE.
The Chief spoke with me based on my background with him, and asked me about outfitting his department with some high quality patrol rifles, without coming in outside of budget constraints. I immediately spoke with him about my involvement with GPI Custom Gunworks in Jacksonville, FL and put him in touch with the company's President, Lee Firpo.
Lee and I sat down, and discussed what the Airport Police would need in a rifle, and I felt their SAR would fit the bill. I leaned towards a 12.5" barrel, due to the fact that they would be working in close quarters, confined space, but have the potential of having to place accurate fire on target at distances beyond close quarters considerations.
I had been testing the GPI SAR-15 for a while (FULL review coming very, very soon), running various barrels in the rifle, giving accuracy tests, inputs, and advice, and I had my SAR configured with a 12.5" barrel.
So, an order was placed, and the GPI SAR Patrol Rifle was born. This rifle is simply, top shelf. As stated, a FULL review will be coming very soon, as soon as I get some supporting video and pictures to add to the text.
Needless to say, the GPI SAR has already been deemed "Ranger Proof" by me, therefore, I have no reservations about posting about this.
The specs on the GPI Patrol Rifle are as follows:
Upper is CNC Machined from Billet 7075, and is held to very exacting tolerances.
The lower is CNC Machined from Billet 7075 as well. It is a modified lower, produced by Core-15 in Ocala, FL. However, this lower is spec'd to GPI specifications, and soon, VERY soon, GPI will be producing their very OWN lower. This too, will have a detailed review upon receipt of this lower.
The barrel is done in house, by GPI. It is machined from a Montana Rifle Company blank, profiled, chambered and throated by GPI CNC Machines. These are chambered in the Wylde chamber, so you can fire both 5.56 NATO pressure as well as .223 Remington. The rate of twist is 1:8 which stabilizes a multitude of commercially avaliable bullets. I can attest to the accuracy of these rifles, which will be included in my full GPI SAR review.
Internals are all MILSPEC Lower Parts Kit. The trigger is a MILSPEC unit, since these rifles will be used in a Law Enforcement DUTY capacity.
The bolt carrier is MICRO-Slicked for enhanced wear and lubricity.
This rifle also comes with GPI Rails, fully floated, to allow attachment of any tactical accessory that the shooter may want to add.
The pistol grip is made by ERGO, a very popular choice in pistol grips.
The buffer tube (Lower Receiver Extension) is MILSPEC and installed correctly, with a staked castle nut. Buffer and Spring are standard carbine fare.
GPI makes a very nice Compensator, but since these rifles are built for duty use, we opted to use a standard A2 "bird cage" style flash hider. These are found on rifles around the world, and they do really work well. The GPI Comp is a nice addition to the SAR rifles, I too, will be adding a review on them soon.
Flip up sights are included on these GPI Patrol Rifles. They are the ARMS style, which I personally like, due to the nice sight picture that they produce. They are a polymer style sight, that fit very nicely on the rails, and provide a low profile signature.
Dollar for Dollar, the Patrol Rifle Package from GPI is hard to beat.
Here is a picture of Lee showing the rifle to Chief Tennyson:
Happy with the results, Chief Tennyson and Lee Firpo pose for a picture:
These are Short Barreled Rifles (SBR's) in the eyes of BATFE... but, since they are transferred to a Law Enforcement Agency for duty use, there is no "Stamp" involved. Here, Chief Tennyson makes it official... signing over the BATFE paperwork:
I took the opportunity to show off my GPI / MEGA SAR-TEN (don't worry, I am working on a post on this rifle currently... stay tuned).
This SAR-TEN is a rifle platform that I am developing to be used as a Law Enforcement SWS (Sniper Weapon System). So far, it is performing WELL beyond my expectations.
Here I am, showing the Chief a five round group I fired from 100 yards with M118LR... this will also be spoken about in depth in my review of this SWS.
As you can see... GPI is moving forward in the industry, and are producing some VERY high quality rifles. You can expect to see more on the subject from me in the near future. Thank you all for your patience as I get this blog up and running. In the end, GPI provided a very valuable service to the Okaloosa County Airport Police Department, and I would love to welcome them to the GPI family.
These Patrol Rifles were hand inspected by me personally, and I have zero reservations stamping them "Ranger Proof".
Tuesday, July 17, 2012
I started my PWS MK114 thread on "the Hide", as it is affectionately called... back on 03 DEC 10. You can read the thread in it's entirety HERE so, I won't go into much detail. I will say this... I started out my review on the Primary Weapons Systems (PWS) with a little hesitation. My thought process was... "Well, I've been running an AR type rifle in one form or another, for over 20 years. Never NEEDED a PISTON driven AR." Well, that was until I started running this rifle, and running it HARD. (click on pictures to enlarge them)
I have a very unique job, that allows me to train with some of the best SWAT Teams in the State of Florida. This is also a unique position, in that we teach Weaponcraft, but... I am not "issued" weapons. Everything I use on the job, is my own personal kit. So, being that I train Law Enforcement, and we train very hard... I get a unique perspective on what works, and what does not work.
As you read through my thread there on The Hide, you can see how my thought process on the Long Stroke Piston System of the PWS MK1 series rifles... well, it changed. I became a fan. I loyal fan. Not because of kickbacks, or perks, or recognition... but, because I found that this rifle ran, and ran well. It was so reliable, even with little to NO maintenance on it what so ever. The accuracy was also MORE than acceptable for what I was using it for. In fact, it shot well enough to be used as a perimeter / SPR type rifle. In fact, this rifle has had over 23k rounds through it, since I started shooting it back in DEC 10. I was able to turn this group with it, at 100 yards using Black Hills 77 Grain OTM. As you can see in the target, it still shoots sub one inch, even with such a high round count. The optic I was using is the Bushnell Elite 1-6.5 with the BTR reticle. I am using a Geissele SSA trigger in the MK114.
An thus... my love affair with the PWS MK series rifles began. Not only did I become a fan of the rifles, but of the company as well. I made some life long friends with the company, got the honor of attending SHOT with them for SHOT Show 2012, and through my feedback, hopefully helped create a better product for the end user.
|Me, with my PWS MK214|
My PWS MK114 rifle has been a dream to run, has never given me a moments issue... outside of the extractor claw breaking early on. I wrote extensively on this weapon, on the Hide. So, I won't take up much space here in reference to it.
However, as I continue to shoot it, I have moved on from testing reliability, to using it as a test bed for other things... slings, triggers, stocks, handgrips, optics, etc.
I just got this BLOG started today, so content will be forthcoming. I have been writing a lot on the forum located at www.snipershide.com and I am forever grateful for Frank (LowLight) allowing me to post my findings on the PWS MK1 and MK2 series rifles.
However, I decided that I needed my own space to work, and to be able to more tightly control my content and overall feel. Now, I'm here. Same me, same no nonsense review ethic... same DETAILED information, just different look and interface.
As I move into this project, it will gain momentum. One thing I can promise you... as a very HARD USE guy, if I give my stamp of approval, and call a piece of gear "Ranger Proof"... you can take it to the bank that I have put it through the ringer, and would trust my life with it.
After all, I am in the business of training the Men and Women of Law Enforcement... those that serve and protect, and go into harm's way in the wee hours of the morning, or the middle of the day... they have to depend on the gear that they carry and use.
So, as I start adding things, this blog may take on a new look, shape, format... as I find out more about the blogging way of doing things. Bear with me... be patient, it will be worth your wait.