Brian Jensen

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Testing the Meopta M-RAD Sight

Testing the Meopta M-RAD Sight

Meopta’s sight called the M-RAD, or Meopta Rapid Acquisition Dot, reflex sight looks similar to many high-end reflex optics, but what stands out is that it is quite a bit smaller. At first glance, I thought it was a pistol sight but then realized it is a combat rifle setup. The M-RAD weighs 3.07 ounces (or 105 grams), compared to an EoTech XPS that weighs 8 ounces, but it is solidly made of aluminum. The unit is strong, and the reticle itself is surrounded by an aluminum frame for protection from being banged around. Weight is important because after hours or days of carrying a rifle around, you will find that trimming off every ounce you can is a huge benefit. It comes equipped with a picatinny mount that quickly attached with a lever/cam-style mount that was very effective and kept it on tight. It released easily, and seemed to keep zero well. The M-RAD is easy to operate with one simple button, and the system is waterproof and compatible with night vision technology. The extremely useful support package supplied with the sight holds everything, including tools, spare batteries and cleaning supplies for the optic. There are additional spacers to raise the sight higher for a proper sight picture, tools to adjust the sight and even a specially designed screwdriver for opening the battery compartment. Overall, this is a smaller unit that is both rugged and lightweight, and it performs well.

.17 Winchester Super Magnum Rimfire - Savage B-Mag New Gun Review

Glock G30S – Hybrid 10 Round .45ACP Compact – New Gun Review

For years there has been something of a Glock Unicorn. It’s been called a hybrid Glock .45 ACP pistol made from the thin slide of a Glock 36 and the wide body frame of a Glock 30. According to the Internet forum mavens, you end up with a high capacity Glock (10 rounds) with the thinner slide of a the subcompact (and only 6 round) G36, making it lighter and easier to carry. But unlike Unicorns, this wasn’t a myth. People actually did it. They bought two guns and cobbled them together since, just because they could. Glock fanatics have wailed and begged for such a gun to be made in production, but Glock seemed to not hear the call.

Then, at the 2013 SHOT Show, I saw a Unicorn, uh, I mean a Glock 30S – the very gun that consumers wanted. I wanted to know the “why” behind this, and after talking to LAPD Staff, Glock Representatives, and people in the industry I found out how an internet forum phenomenon became a regular production pistol.

LED Flashlights from Leapers/UTG Tactical - Gear Review

LED Flashlights from Leapers/UTG Tactical – Gear Review

In the Law Enforcement Market, the weapon mounted light is pretty much standard. That’s because when you carry a gun for a living you owe it to yourself to have a light ready for things like searches of a dark room, etc, and it’s better to have that light mounted to your gun to keep your off-hand free. Weapon lights have also gained wide acceptance in the civilian world as well, but when you don’t depend on something for survival, it is difficult to spend over $300 for what is really just a flashlight.

What you may not know is that most law enforcement officers buy their own gear, and a lot of them have discovered that the UTG/Leapers lights are good enough. They may not be as bright as a SureFire or Streamlight, but they aren’t that bad either. A lot of LED patents expired in the early 2000s so we now have a host of new lights that don’t use an incandescant bulb but “Light Emitting Diodes” instead, or LEDs. They put out a tremendous amount of light at a fraction of the battery drain. One set of batteries in my new LED light outlasts five sets in my old incandescant light, and they don’t break as easily either. These new lights are now part and parcel of the tactical light world.

Gen 4 Glock 35 - Is it the Best .40 Ever?

Gen 4 Glock 35 – Is it the Best .40 Ever?

The .40 S&W is not just a flash in the pan as some writers called it when it first came out in the late ’80’s. It is the mainstay of American law enforcement, and may even see some favor in our Spec Ops community. In both the law enforcement and civilian market, the Glock is king of the .40 heap. There is not an agency in my county, and likely my state, that doesn’t at least allow for the Glock. Moreover, the gun that seems to go the fastest right now in the gun stores is, you guessed it, the Glock. Is it any wonder why Glock is backordered around one million guns.

TrackingPoint Lock 'n Launch Rifle Technology

TrackingPoint Lock ‘n Launch Rifle Technology

The military contractor game has dried up some since the wars have slowed down so a lot of products that hoped for military trials are now trying to make it in the consumer world of guns and gun toys. Perhaps the most advanced at this year’s SHOT Show was TrackingPoint, a monstrous looking rifle and scope combination that is being marketed as fighter plane lock and launch technology for your deer rifle. Tag, Track, Fire.

The TrackingPoint system looks like a big huge rangefinder scope but it is actually an entire weapon system. You buy the rifle and electromechanical optics computer as a package, tuned to the ammo that comes with the gun. At first blush it felt more like the stuff of science fiction than that destined for the hunting camp, but TrackingPoint was the talk of SHOT Show 2013 for sure. The concept of this device is simple. Rifle accuracy and rifle ballistics have outpaced shooter ability for decades now, and most cartridges are generally not able to be shot at their effective distances because of potential shooter error. First shot hits at ranges of further than 600-800 yards are in the single digits for success percentages in human trials, even with ballistic computers, and if you think about it, there should be a technology that can make this better. From idea to finished working product, TrackingPoint is this technology.

Cabot Precision 1911s - Lefty Too! - SHOT Show 2013

Cabot Precision 1911s – Lefty Too! – SHOT Show 2013

I saw something incredible today when I met Cabot Guns CEO Robert A. Bianchin. His company may not be a household name among gun enthusiasts, yet, but this niche manufacturer builds some of the finest 1911s I have ever held.

These are not old-school 1911s you shoot every weekend, or toss into the back of your trunk irreverently. They’d handle it and be utterly reliable, but you just wouldn’t do that to these handguns.

These are, as Bianchin put it, a functioning piece of precision art. These 1911s are developed and made by engineers, to critical tolerances, using standards typically reserved for the aerospace industry or in a nuclear lab…I’m not kidding. They are also utterly reliable.

Five New Pistols from Para-USA - SHOT Show 2013

Five New Pistols from Para-USA – SHOT Show 2013

If you know innovative 1911s, then you know Para USA, formerly Para Ordnance. It has taken the 1911 places where it has never been before, including double-stack, high-capacity magazines and even gave it an innovative Light Double Action trigger.

A few years ago the Canadian-based company moved operations to Charlotte, North Carolina, and at the SHOT Show I saw five new pistols it is introducing. Here’s a look at what Para USA will be rolling out, and they range from a concealed-carry version to a hunter’s version.

Versa Carry Inside Waist Band Holsters - SHOT Show 2013

Versa Carry Inside Waist Band Holsters – SHOT Show 2013

Inside-the-waistband carry, or IWB, is considered one of the most discreet concealed-carry methods, making a T-shirt and shorts possible while carrying in places like my sunny Southern California. Even larger weapons can disappear on your body when quietly tucked into your waistband.

Versa Carry has been coming up with a lot of innovative ideas on ways to secure a handgun inside the waistband, and its latest is a small J-frame revolver setup.

Taurus PT111 & PT140 Gen. 2 Concealed Carry Pistols  - SHOT Show 2013

Taurus PT111 & PT140 Gen. 2 Concealed Carry Pistols – SHOT Show 2013

Taurus has always been renowned for its top-notch warranty. Basically, the gun is guaranteed for life, and the warranty goes with the gun from owner to owner.

This year, instead of heading off in some radical new direction, Taurus refined an old favorite. The PT111 has long been known for its small size and respectable firepower, so Taurus decided to push the envelope by reworking its striker-fired PT111 9 mm into the PT111 Millennium G2, part of its “Carry On” series for the concealed carry (CCW) market. The PT140 was also reworked into a similar PT140 Millennium G2 in .40 S&W. If you take a look at the gun pictures, it is head and shoulders better looking than the original Millennium guns, and we hope to get one in to test in hand. Taurus seems to have a new focus on making fewer different guns better, and this gun could be a pleasant surprise at an affordable price.

Mossberg Flex MVP Patrol Rifle Takes AR-15 Mags - SHOT Show 2013

Mossberg Flex MVP Patrol Rifle Takes AR-15 Mags – SHOT Show 2013

Mossberg has added to their MVP bolt action rifle series by expanding their Flex line of innovative modular construction. If you didn’t see the Flex Shotgun last year, the design is unique, because it utilizes a completely tool-less system. You pop out the removal lug and pop it back in. There are no parts to lose and no parts to booger with a screwdriver. The Flex system is brilliant and has nothing by great reviews.

The Mossberg MVP rifle series is meant to be a ton of gun for the money, and that succeed at exactly that. This new MVP Patrol rifle is one of those
guns that is purely aimed strait at people needing a patrol-style bolt rifle meant to put meaningful hits downrange, at a reasonable and affordable price. You may not be in law enforcement, but this rifle is light, carries well, and comes with features you’d expect to see in a much higher priced gun.