Monday, October 20, 2014

NOVESKE Atlanta 3-GUN Championship

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Taming Your 3-gun Rifle

Adjustable gas blocks are the trick.  I go over the benefits and how I tune mine below.

Monday, July 21, 2014

What I've Been Doing

So I've been out of the blogging game for a while. Over the past 6 months I've been extremely busy with work, moved my family 5 hours away for a new job, selling one house, buying another, and then on top of that ended up in the hospital for 5 days. Yeah, blogging and shooting have been way down on the list.

But, one thing I have been doing is trying my best to shoot as often as possible in the Noveske Atlanta 3-Gun challenges. Rob Romero and the rest of the Noveske shooting team have done a great service to those of us in the Southeast by bringing a top notch monthly 3-gun match to Atlanta Georgia. We were severely lacking for matches in this corner of the country. Not only is this a great, fun, and well-run match, but it also counts toward 3-Gun-Nation club points, and allows you to shoot classifier stages and get classified. Other big matches are cropping up in the Southeast as well (like the recent Southeast Regional Championship held in Clinton, SC.)

I shot a really fun Shotgun-only match back in March and placed 3rd overall, and again shot in the monthly 3-gun match in May and finished top 20. Upcoming is the yearly club championship in October, which I am registered for and really looking forward to it.

If you're in the Southeast or specifically Georgia for that matter, you really ought to come out to one of the monthly matches at the Noveske Atlanta 3-Gun. It's one of the best times you can have on two feet.

Here are some videos from the matches I have shot at A3G:

Be safe and see you next time.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

The Smoother The Better

18" barrel with rifle-length gas system

If you're a 3-gunner or someone who is at all interested in tuning your AR-15 to being the smoothest and most accurate rifle possible, then you've probably already thought about the gas system. The Direct Impingement gas system on the Stoner platform rifle is the key to taming your rifle. Simply put, the amount of gas that blows back into the upper receiver forces the bolt carrier backward and onto the receiver extension/buffer assembly. Changing either the 1) gas system length or gas port size 2) Bolt carrier weight or 3) Buffer system weight will affect the felt recoil to the shooter. Careful tuning of this system can turn your rifle into a kitten as far as recoil is concerned, allowing really quick and accurate shooting.

I talked about gas system lengths in this POST a little over a year ago. Check it out if you haven't seen it. I go into detail on the different AR-15 gas lengths and what they do for your rifle.

The one system that I didn't mention much then, because it is relatively unknown to most shooters, is the INTERMEDIATE gas length. This is a gas length that is used in some 18" barrels made by high-end manufacturers such as Noveske, aimed at 3-gun shooters who want super-smooth and flat shooting barrels. You may equate the intermediate length gas system on an 18" barrel to a mid-length gas system on a 16" barrel. But, perhaps, the whole concept can be improved.

Stay tuned for more on this subject in the near future.

Be safe and see you next time.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

If you're not QUAD loading, what are you waiting on?

I moved to TWINS shotgun reloading about a year ago and saw my shotgun reloading get remarkably better almost instantly. I fumbled around practicing QUAD loading at home a little and resigned myself to the fact that my hands were too small and I just wouldn't be able to pull it off.

Boy, was I wrong. Persistence pays off, and practice makes (sometimes) perfect. I picked up a few TACCOM QUALLOAD caddies and started practicing. The great thing about these caddies, are they are extremely lightweight, take up less belt-space than my DUALLOADS, and allow me to drop Twins or Quads, depending on the situation. At this point, I am hitting times about the same for twins and quads, but that's mostly due to some slight fumbling with the quads that I presume will get better with practice.

So I'm soldiering on, on the way to 8 shells-in-3-seconds reloads. So, why again are you weak hand loading?

Be safe and see you next time.

Monday, March 10, 2014


Stay tuned. Here's the first to drop. But the best is yet to come......

Please SUBSCRIBE to the YOUTUBE CHANNEL if you have not already so you don't miss any videos!

Be safe and see you next time.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Is Colt buying LWRC a good thing?

"The Colt PDW": Coming to an FFL near you.....
So news came out last week the Colt was buying out LWRC. I think it is really an interesting development from the nation's largest maker of military firearms and the standard bearer for AR-15's. Why would Colt do such a thing? LWRC is a piston rifle company. Why did LWRC start making DI rifles lately? Hey, wait a minute.............

I believe what this says about Colt is they are upping the ante. Most importantly, they are losing government contracts. Why in the world did they let Remington of all people, beat them for a large M4 contract, and then FN?

Also, Colt's piston design has not really taken off. Maybe its an inferior design. Who knows. But LWRC knows what it's doing when it comes to the piston design. And I think Colt knows that. Slowly but surely, the M4/AR-15 market is gravitating toward piston design. At some point, it's quite legitimate to think that a piston design will supplant the Stoner design as the standard issue rifle. Maybe Colt just stepped to the front of the line if that opportunity arises.

It is interesting to say the least. For one thing, if that PDW pictured above came with a Pony on the side, you'd see credit cards burning holes in pockets everywhere and the NFA would be even more backed up than they are already.

Be safe and see you next time.

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Competition Ready...Out of the Box: Colt CRP-18

Quick heads up guys, I'm going to be doing an exhaustive review for the Youtube channel and blog on the Colt CRP-18 in the next month or so. This is Colt Competition's completely customized and ready-to-go AR-15 rifle meant for serious 3-gunners. Did I mention it is completely bomber? These are popping up on the 3 Gun Nation circuit everywhere, and you've probably seen the Colt Pro's like Clint Upchurch shooting them.

Clint Upchurch of Team Colt

I'll keep all the juicy details to myself at least for now; stay tuned to the Youtube channel and please subscribe if you haven't already so you'll know when I post the reviews. I can't wait to get my hands on this monster and try it out! Check it out HERE at Strong-side Tactical.

Be safe and see you next time.

Monday, January 6, 2014

Building vs. Buying New? What Should I Do?

I can't tell you how many times I've either been asked or read on message boards for advice on building an AR-15 for the first time versus buying a complete rifle. People catch the Black Rifle Plague and just don't know what to do with themselves. Part of the appeal of this weapon system is how easy it is to plug and play parts. They're literally Legos for guys.

There's a catch, though. It's quite a complicated system for the unacquainted. I have to admit, as someone who has been around and used guns my entire life, the AR platform was completely foreign to me when I first started researching my first build. I had the same questions that I now get asked repeatedly. "How hard is it to build?" "What are the best parts?" "Where do I buy from?" "What tools do I need?"

Several years of experience with the platform has now led me to this conclusion: Buy your first AR-15 rifle as a complete rifle from a reputable tier-one manufacturer. There are several reasons I've gravitated toward this stance: (considering I built my first AR!)

Myth: You save a lot of money building an AR. I have found this to be unequivocally false. In fact, I would bet anything that you MIGHT save less than $100 if you're lucky. People tend to find more and more goodies that they want to bolt onto their AR build. The pennies continue to add up. Before you know it, that simple M4 clone that you started building is now more expensive than a Colt LE6920. AR manufacturers actually trim most of the assembly cost from the rifle, so when you buy a mil-spec quality and inspected AR-15 from someone like Colt or LMT,  every penny spent is justified. You get a simple, effective weapon to learn on, and THEN figure out what aftermarket goodies you need. Buying accessories in the reverse order is just dumb and expensive.

Myth: I can build a better AR that I can buy off the shelf. That might be true. But chances are, you don't have the right equipment and tools at home to correctly spec your weapon, make sure the barrel is installed and torqued correctly, stake the castle nut properly, insure the gas block is pinned or screwed into position and the gas port is aligned properly, not to mention the quality control on the parts themselves. Companies such as Colt have made their brand by supplying these rifles to our military. Their quality control is the standard. I trust them to build a rifle a lot more than I trust myself!

Myth: I can't find the exact rifle I want with the accessories I want, so I'll just build it. Are you really sure you NEED those accessories, or did you just read it on an internet website? I'm as guilty as anyone for seeing new products drop and feverishly throwing down my hard earned cash on something that eventually ended up on the Equipment Exchange. Take it from someone who's been there, done that: Save your money on all the crap; buy some ammo and a sling and go out and shoot the rifle. Forget bipods, grips, stocks, quad rails and all the other cool stuff. You bought it to shoot it, so spend your money on shooting it.

Myth: I'm good with tools, so this has to be really easy. Everyone's different, so this actually might be true. But my guess is that if you are good at building AR's and have all the right tools, you're probably not reading this blog. The first time I built an AR, looking back now I see mistake after mistake that I made. Poor choices in parts and little knowledge in the correct ways to install parts led to a build that I have since had to completely overhaul. And that cost me twice as much money. Looking back now, I should have bought that Colt and never looked back. It also takes time to collect parts and build the rifle. As popular as these rifles are, many websites are out of stock on many of the most sought after parts. So your build can end up taking months to complete. Buying a complete rifle avoids all that hassle.

Myth: I will feel like I accomplished something if I build it myself. I did too, and it lasted about 30 seconds. Then all I wanted to do was shoot it. I can promise you this: You will feel the same. All you ever want to do is shoot the thing. I feel no different about any of the rifles I have built versus the ones I have purchased assembled at the factory. Sure, I can build and troubleshoot a rifle, which are nice skills to have. But the ultimate goal here is a reliable, high-quality rifle. Like I said above, I recommend buying a complete tier-one manufactured rifle for your first AR.

Truth: Building your rifle gives you knowledge on how to field-strip and troubleshoot. This is an essential skill to anyone owning an AR. Should your life depend on this rifle, leave it to Mr. Murphy to show up just when you need the rifle. In an emergency, troubleshooting a malfunctioning rifle is vitally important. Building a rifle from the ground up does give you an intimate knowledge in how the rifle works and which parts are prone to breakage and failure. I believe this is a skill that comes with experience with the platform and a LOT of research and collaboration with other shooters. Therefore, I think building is good for a seasoned shooter who is already somewhat familiar with their rifles, and who already owns a quality mil-spec rifle.

This is the quality rifle we should be striving for. (

In conclusion, my thoughts on this issue have really took a 180 in the past few years. Looking back now, I realize building my first AR was a less than optimal decision and I've paid the price (literally) for that at least two-fold. Hopefully my experience will help guide you in your choice for your first AR. One thing is for sure, though: Once you get one, it won't be your last!

Be safe and see you next time.