What’s the Deal with Magpul’s New Color: Sand?

sand

For some time now, Magpul has apparently been moving away from some of their previous popular colors (OD Green, Flat Dark Earth, Foliage) and has been returning to basic black. This is especially the case for their pmags. Recently, the company has released a new color for their AR and AK furniture called “Sand”.

At first glance, this color repulses me. It is almost white. I only see it blending in to the environment in a sandy desert, or maybe in a snow covered region (standing next to the Yeti).

But as I read about this new product, I can see some reasons for this seemingly strange addition:

1.Strength. Magpul is saying that this color allows the polymer to actually be stronger than the original black. This is especially true in extremely cold temps where the material tends to become brittle. Apparently, the previous non-black colors were even weaker.

2. RIT Dye. The company is purposefully putting out a product that they know will be modified. Water-based dyes absorb well into the light material and stay. Works well with spray paint too. Other that making the polymer completely white, Magpul has provided the perfect canvas for the tactical artist in all of us to paint our masterpiece upon. There are many camo design ideas out there on the net for the world to see already.

3. Lower IR Signature. Now, some of us may not care about this one, but I’ll wager there are quite a few in the military who do. Apparently the color and material combo on this product does something to keep it from showing up on infra red as much. Can we say, “Special Ops”?

In Conclusion, I don’t know that I’ll be rushing out to order any of these in the near future. But I guess I can see why Magpul made the addition.

Photo Credit

My New M4 Profile Barrel

 

m4

I decided that I’d had enough. I wasn’t satisfied with the barrel on my AR-15. I thought I could live with the police-style barrel with the mid length gas tube that came with the rifle. It was very accurate because of the thick metal walls (like a bull barrel), and there was very little recoil. But after a lot of time holding it out away from my body, I realized, it was way too heavy. My back muscles were aching.

The picture below shows why. The top pic is my old barrel. With the hand guard removed you can see that the metal actually widens as it goes back from the flash suppressor to the chamber area.

m4The bottom picture is my new M4 profile barrel. Compared to the old one, the new barrel has a lot of diameter cut out along the way. This not only allows for a grenade launcher (if I so choose), but also cuts down on weight. In addition it’s a carbine length gas system. This puts the minimal weight of the A-post closer to the center of the rifle, again causing it to feel lighter and more balanced.

This change came about when I talked to my “supplier” and we came up with a deal. It was pretty much an even swap. I gave him my heavy barrel (with upper and bolt carrier assembly) so he could set it up on something a little more sniper-ish with a scope. I took his M4 barrel, upper and bolt to make my rig lighter. The results: Love it. I couldn’t be more happy with the feel and balance. No more over-travel. It feels much more balanced in my hands.

The new barrel on the M4 is melonite (instead of chrome). I don’t have much experience with that, so we’ll have to see how it does down the road. I’m probably going to change out the hand guard to match with the other OD Magpul furniture, but the CAR hand guard will work for now. Next, we’ll see how she shoots.

Bushnell TRS-25 Micro Dot: Best Cheap Reflex Sight

trs-25

After getting my AR-15, I had been looking for an optic to mount on the top. I wanted a reflex sight that didn’t break the bank. I like Eotechs, but the funds weren’t exactly there.

To say I did some research before buying is an understatement. We are talking days here.

What kept coming up were the favorable reviews and word of mouth about the Bushnell TRS-25. It was said to be reliable, durable, had a long battery life, and was inexpensive, below $100.

I paid attention to the  reviews on Amazon (over 1500) that rated it at 4.4 out of 5. I also appreciate the review Luke at Triangle Tactical wrote for the sight. That is actually what finally sold me.

Once I made the purchase, everything I found in my research  turned out to be right on. The TRS-25 isn’t the best red dot on the market, but I would argue that it might be the best one out there for under $100.

The name says it all. The inside of the tube is 25 mm in diameter. This may be a little small if only using the dominant eye, but I actually bought it to use with both eyes open. Keeping the weak eye open while acquiring the target really opens up your field of view. Don’t worry, the dominant eye still takes over.

There is no magnification. Once you start looking for that, the price shoots up a good bit.

It uses a CR2032 battery (size of a quarter), and has not shown any signs of dimming in the 6 months I’ve had it. Supposedly it can keep going for a year left on at about half power. We’ll see about that.

There are 11 power settings that are controlled by twisting the larger dial on the upper side of the tube. This obviously changes the brightness settings. “0” is off.

I personally think 11 choices are a bit much, and would probably have gone with half that many, but it is nice on the upper power settings to be able to keep going and be right back at the off position.

As far as the brightness, 10 is about right for me outside on a sunny day. 3 works great inside, and one is perfect at night.

If you want to cowitness with your iron sights, you’ll need a medium riser. This means that if the scope goes out, you can flip your backup sights up and look right through the tube, ready to go. In fact the little red dot lines up perfectly through the middle of my peep sight, and sits right on the top of the front post.

I went with a cheap $10 medium riser from UTG. Despite the bad rap this riser has gotten in some reviews, I’ve had no trouble with it whatsoever. To the credit of both the riser and scope, I have accidentally beaten it against walls, and the dot stays zeroed.

Speaking of zeroing, it was quite easy. The elevation and windage caps unscrew and allow you to use a screwdriver or coin to adjust. the clicks were identifiable, but not too tight for me. In fact the red dot wasn’t too far out of zero right out of the box.

The front lens is a reflective orange color, and there is a slight green tinge looking through from the back, but that hasn’t bothered me at all.

About the only thing that I have to complain about is the Bikini lens covers. I either have to pull them down around the base, or put them in a pocket. I don’t like either option. I mostly go the pocket route.

For the price, I would highly recommend this little red dot. It’s no Eotech, or Aimpoint, but neither is it $500, or more. If you are looking for a cheap, but reliable alternative, buy the Bushnell TRS-25.

Magpul’s New Drum Magazine

 

magpul drum

I’ve mentioned this before, but I just love Magpul products. Everything they make is well thought out, insanely simple to use, extremely practical, yet surprisingly affordable. Each item is made with high quality materials, making the product itself feel solid.

Magpul’s newest gadget – a 60 round drum magazine – is already creating a buzz (since being announced at SHOT SHOW) and it won’t even be released to the public until this summer. They’re calling it the D-60, and it will run for $130.

This new magazine was not only made for the civilian AR-15 and military M4 platforms, but for you operators out there, it’s also compatible with NATO firearms like the HK416, MR556, SCAR MK16, and M27 IAR.

Some of the other features include: A shorter profile than a regular 30 round magazine, a rear window for instantly checking capacity, and a paint pen dot matrix for marking.

Many high-capacity, drum-type magazines made by other companies have a tendency to jam. I’m interested to see if Magpul has hit a home run with a drum that functions correctly without “extra care”.

When the D-60 is released this summer, we’ll see if it meets the current hype.

Photo Credit

Give Your Springs a Break

give your springs a break

Today I decided to give the springs in all of my mags a break.

The Manufacturers say that the springs can be under tension indefinitely, but I like to take the rounds out regularly anyway. I usually do each mag individually, but today I went for broke and did them all.

After everything was out on the kitchen table (with my wife’s beautiful table cloth), I realized it was a semi-cool pic. So I posted.