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We all deserve to feel safe in our homes. Whether you live in an urban center or rural countryside, you need to think about how you’ll protect your family and property from intruders. For responsible gun owners, there is little else that can provide the safety and security of a home defense tactical shotgun.

Ranking The 10 Best Home Defense Tactical Shotguns of 2020

Ranking The 10 Best Home Defense Tactical Shotguns of 2020We all deserve to feel safe in our homes. Whether you live in an urban center or rural countryside, you need to think about how you’ll protect your family and property from intruders. For responsible gun owners, there is little else that can provide the safety and security of a home defense tactical shotgun. Our list of the 10 Best Home Defense Tactical Shotgun gives you all the details you need to choose a model that meets your needs. Also, be sure to read through our thorough Buyer’s Guide and Frequently Asked Questions sections to make sure you’re making as informed a decision as possible. 1. Benelli Nova Click Here for Best Price The Benelli Nova home defense tactical shotgun offers reliability you can depend on when your life depends on it. The shotgun’s extended magazines and super-fast pump-action place superior firepower in your hands for the maximum in downrange effect. This tactical shotgun offers a modular design. An optional SteadyGrip™ stock can transform it into a turkey gun or you can mount a fully rifled slug barrel for tack-driving accuracy when deer hunting. It also features dual-action bars and a two-lug rotary bolt head that locks up steel to steel inside the barrel, making it rock solid to the core. 2. Stoeger Model P3000 Click Here for Best Price The "Stoeger Model P3000" is a reliable, trusted pump-action shotgun. Its precision-machined, anodized-aluminum receiver with rotary bolt increases this shotgun’s strength and guarantees flawless feeding and extraction. This home defense tactical shotgun boasts a 12-gauge, 3-inch chamber and a rugged, checkered synthetic forend and stock with rubber butt pad that are impervious to inclement weather. It also features an 18.5-inch barrel for perfect balance, integral sling swivel studs to accommodate hands-free transportation and blade front sight for positive target acquisition. 3. TR Imports SE122 Tactical 12GA AR Shotgun, Bronze-SE122TACB Click here for the lowest price This AR style Shotgun is built on the SE122 frame, the SE122 Tactical shares important characteristics, including a strong but sensitive gas system that cycles reliably with a wide range of loads, and an action bar milled from solid steel. This versatile gas system can reliably operate with the full range of commercial 2 3/4 and 3 inch shells. Combining proprietary engineering and renowned Turkish craftsmanship, the new SE122 Tactical may be the most reliable and versatile semi-auto ever produced. This a perfect Shotgun for home defense. 4. Winchester SXP Defender Click here for the lowest price The Winchester SXP Defender is a 20 Gauge tactical shotgun with an 18-inch barrel and a fixed magazine. It’s capable of handling buckshot or rifled slugs efficiently with its fully chrome-plated, fixed cylinder choked barrel for wide constriction. This home defense tactical shotgun boasts non-glare metal surfaces with a tough composite stock and forearm. It also features a five-shot magazine (plus one in the chamber), a positive, deeply grooved forearm for control and stability, and an open choke that provides accuracy when using Foster-type slugs. 5. Remington 870 Express Click Here for Best Price Remington has set the golden standard for pump-action shotguns for more than five decades. The Model 870 Express is rugged and reliable. It is used widely by various law enforcement agencies and has been successfully tested under a vast range of environmental conditions. This home defense tactical shotgun comes with weatherproof matte-black synthetic stocks. The shotgun’s receivers are milled from a solid billet of steel for strength and durability. It also features twin action bars that function to ensure smooth, reliable, non-binding action. 6. H&R Pardner Click here for the lowest price The H&R Pardner home defense tactical shotgun offers an affordable home defense option based on a proven design. With an 18.5-inch cylinder bore barrel and a lightweight, plain-black synthetic stock, it’s easy to maneuver in tight quarters. This tactical shotgun comes in 12-gauge with a five-round capacity. It is chambered for 2.75-inch and 3-inch shells. It also features a grooved forend with sling swivel studs and bead front sights that come already drilled and tapped for scope base. 7. Mossberg 590A1 Click here for the lowest price The Mossberg 590A1 is very similar to the ‘Just-in-Case’ model. Like it’s brother, it is a virtual duplicate of proven military and law enforcement pump-action shotguns. It is rugged, reliable, and thoroughly tested under extreme environmental conditions. This home defense tactical shotgun offers an eight-shot magazine with up to four reloads ready in the weatherproof black synthetic Speedfeed stock. It features a parkerized, 20-inch cylinder-bore barrel and receiver that are topped with ghost-ring sights that help you get on target fast. 8. FN SLP Standard Click here for the lowest price This tactical shotgun is a 12-gauge with a six-shot magazine plus one in the chamber. It has a fixed magazine with a total barrel length of 18 inches. Standard models include an M1913 rail with precision front and rear ghost ring sighting system. The FN SLP Standard home defense tactical shotgun offers the soft-recoil and reliability of a gas-operated auto-loading action. It boasts the Invector choke system to provide accurate performance with rifled slugs when needed. Finally, this tactical shotgun comes with two gas pistons designed to optimize payload delivery. 9. UTAS UTS-15 Click here for the lowest price This tactical shotgun is a bold powerhouse that’ll meet all your home defense needs. It measures just 28.5 inches from butt plate to muzzle to facilitate quick, accurate aiming in close quarters. It’s also capable of firing 2.5-inch, 2.75-inch, or 3-inch magnum shells. The UTAS UTS-15 home defense tactical shotgun comes with dual seven-round magazines that feature automatic alternating or selectable feed, snap-open loading ports, and retractable magazine followers. It also boasts a Picatinny top rail that supports a wide range of modular accessories. 10. KEL-TEC KSG Click here for the lowest price The KEL-TEC KSG home defense tactical shotgun is a 12-gauge with a total barrel length of 18.5 inches. It offers a removable magazine with a total 12+1 capacity. It’s a simple and reliable pump-action that can load from either the left or right tube, with a manual feed side selector lever behind the trigger guard. This tactical shotgun’s pump boasts top and bottom Picatinny rails to mount accessories and optics. It also features a soft rubber butt pad to tame recoil, a KSG receiver made from hardened steel, and a grip and stock assembly constructed with glass reinforced nylon. 11. Mossberg 500 JIC Click here for the lowest price The Mossberg 500 Just-in-Case home defense tactical shotgun is a civilian model that’s virtually identical to proven pump-action shotguns used by military personnel and law enforcement agencies. It comes in a water-resistant, floating, synthetic tube with a shoulder carry strap. This tube’s synthetic seal is factory-tested to be airtight and waterproof to a minimum of 17 PSI or 40 feet. This rugged tactical shotgun has been thoroughly tested in extreme conditions. It offers a six-round capacity, 18.5-inch barrel, and bead front sight. It also comes with a black synthetic pistol-grip stock and forend ( 1 ). Finally, all contents are packaged in a heavy-duty resealable storage pouch. — Buyer’s Guide More than 2 million home burglaries are reported each year in the United States and home without security systems are up to 300% more likely to be broken into ( 2 ). Accordingly, a home defense tactical shotgun can help to deter thieves and burglars that are looking for easy targets. Choosing a tactical shotgun that suits your needs, however, requires careful consideration of a variety of factors. Some shotguns are best used for other purposes that don’t include home defense. To help you choose the proper home defense tactical shotgun, our Buyer’s Guide will focus on these important differentiators: pump-action vs other types, gauge, barrel length, capacity, and safety. Pump-Action vs. Others Pump-action shotguns are fairly easy to use, which makes them a good choice for new users. You simply insert shells into the magazine tube and, once it’s full, the user just needs to rack a shell in the chamber before firing. After firing, you must once again rack to eject the spent shell and load another into the chamber. Pump-actions are super reliable options for home defense because they don’t rely on any mechanical action. Their only pitfall, however, is the fact that second and third shots can only be made as fast as the user can rack the firearm, so beginners should practice this action well before they have to use it for self-defense. There are also three other main types of shotguns: double-barrel, bolt action, and semi-automatic. Double barrel shotguns are great for home defense because they only hold two shots before you need to reload. Many also boast a dual trigger, which offers the possibility of firing both shots at once when panicked. Bolt-action shotguns are great for hunting because many feature rifled barrels that increase accuracy over a long distance. However, the amount of time that you’ll need to actuate the bolt for each shot presents a considerable risk in a home defense situation. Semi-automatic shotguns give the user the ability to fire follow-up shots faster than any of the other three options, which is why they’re gaining popularity in home defense. Like all firearms, semi-automatic shotguns require regular cleaning and, when compared with pump-action shotguns, they’re much more difficult to clean thoroughly. Gauge and Shell Caliber The gauge of a shotgun refers to the diameter of the inner bore of the barrel. The most common gauges used for home defense are the 12-gauge and 20-gauge. There are also 10, 16, 28, and .410 gauge shotguns out there, but more than 50% of all American-sold shotguns are 12-gauge. When it comes to home defense, 12 and 20-gauge are both great options. The main difference between the two is in recoil. Generally, a 20-gauge shotgun will have less recoil than a 12-gauge, which makes these a better option for individuals with smaller body types. When it comes to shells, you can either shot-shells or slugs. The former offer an outer shell that contains numerous small pellets. These pellets will spread out over a wider path when fired, increasing the odds of hitting your target. In a home defense scenario, slugs can easily punch through walls and continue on to hit unintended targets. They are a great option for deer and elk hunting, but not so much for the confines of a home. This makes shot-shells the ideal ammunition for home defense. Barrel Length Barrel length primarily comes into play when it comes to accuracy. A longer barrel will provide greater accuracy over longer distances. Shotguns with barrels in the 24 to 36-inch range are typically used for hunting in wide-open spaces. Shotguns with shorter barrels tend to spread the shot wider and, as a result, increase the likelihood of hitting targets in tight spaces. A shorter barrel, in the range of 18 to 21 inches, will also make your shotgun easier to maneuver in these types of spaces. This is why many home defense tactical shotguns have shorter barrels. Sights The three most common sights for shotguns are bead sights, rifle sights, and ghost ring sights. All three server unique purposes and it’s really up to the user to decide what he or she prefers. But let’s take a minute to highlight some of the pros and cons of each. Bead sights are typically factory-issue and certainly the most common of the three. The ‘bead’ is located on the front of the shotgun and the user simply lines the bead up with their target to aim. This works great if you have good eyesight or use a magnifier to help with alignment. However, bead sights tend to be very difficult to use in low-light situations. Ghost ring sights are the next step from bead sights. They attach to the rear of the shotgun and give you a thicker sight to align with your target. They are widely regarded as the easiest non-optical sights to use. Some ghost rings are sold in combination with an optical sight, which provides lighting inside the ring to allow for better aiming at night. Rifle sights are the most complete option and generally provide the best accuracy. They generally come with front and rear sights that are both adjustable and they are also compatible with a wide variety of optic accessories that will only improve accuracy further. Stocks For all intents and purposes, we are going to focus this section on the material that shotgun stocks are typically made of. The two major types of stocks we’ll cover are classic grip stocks and pistol grip stocks. Your choice of stock can have a large effect on how comfortable you feel when using your shotgun. Classic grip stocks are most often made from wood and contain a curved grip that aid in holding the shotgun. This grip also helps you keep the gun steady as you rest it against your shoulder and take aim. In general, classic grip stocks are rarely adjustable and can be quite long for the average user. Pistol grip stocks, on the other hand, are quickly becoming more common in both tactical and recreational settings. They are typically made of a durable plastic polymer, which keeps the shotgun lightweight and still durable. Many law enforcement and military personnel like these grips because they allow the user to hold the shotgun with one hand. This keeps the other hand free to load more ammunition. "Frequently Asked Questions" If you’re reading this article, we’re quite sure you don’t take home defense or gun ownership lightly. Safety and proper operation are essential, but it’s also important to know as much as possible about the firearms you’ll be using. This Frequently Asked Questions section will help you expand your knowledge so that you can make the best choice possible for your family and your property. What is a ‘rifled barrel’? A rifled barrel has many helical ( 3 ) grooves inside the barrel’s bore. They are used with sabot slugs. These types of slugs have plastic sabots that make contact with the helical grooves of the bore. As the sabot slug is fired, the grooves cause the slug to spin as it leaves the barrel. Spinning stabilizes the slug and can drastically improve the accuracy of your shots. What’s the difference between ‘birdshot’ and ‘buckshot’? The main difference is the size of the pellets inside the shells. Birdshot (as its name suggests) tends to have smaller pellets that give your shots a much wider range. Buckshot, on the other hand, contains larger pellets that have a narrower range. The catch, though, is that buckshot tends to cause more damage at a farther range. Do I need to purchase optics for my shotgun? The answer is really up to you, but optics are primarily used to help you aim at your target. Fiber optic sights are typically used in daylight settings while tritium sights are primarily used at night. In the case of home defense, however, you may not have a whole lot of time to perfectly aim at your target.  Because of this, an optical sight is not imperative for a shotgun that will primarily be used for home defense. Why do you recommend 12 or 20-gauge shotguns for home defense? The first reason we recommend these two is simply because they are the easiest to find. There are many options out there and many brands that make high-quality shotguns of these gauges. Other gauges, such as .410 and 28, are far too small to be useful for home defense purposes. The ammunition for 16-gauge shotguns can be very hard to find, and 10-gauge shotguns have very powerful recoil, which can cause pain after firing it just a couple times. What is ‘choke’? The term ‘choke’ refers to the constriction at the muzzle end of the gun that tightens the pattern of pellets. In turn, this gives the shooter a more effective range. Shotgun choke is typically measured relative to the bore diameter, but it can only definitively be determined using pattern plates and in relation to a specific cartridge ( 4 ). To elaborate, different chokes will obviously produce different results with common ammunition. There are removable and fixed chokes. Instead of a choke, many tactical shotguns have a cylinder bore, which encourages a wider spread of ammunition. What does it mean when it says a barrel is ‘parkerized’? ‘Parkerizing’ is a term that refers to how metal is finished. It is a method of protecting a steel surface from corrosion and increasing its resistance to wear through the application of a chemical phosphate conversion coating. It is a common technique used on firearms today and is considered much more effective than an earlier chemical conversion coating method known as bluing ( 5 ). Why is a shotgun preferable to a handgun for home defense? Consider this statistic: nearly 75 percent of all bullets fired (from a handgun) by trained police miss their mark ( 6 ). By spreading pellets out over a larger area, a shotgun significantly increases your odds of hitting the target. Furthermore, a shotgun offers much more stopping power than a typical handgun, which means you not only have a better chance of hitting your target, but you also have a higher likelihood of that hit being highly effective. Can you go into more detail on the different gauges? Sure! As we mentioned earlier, there are six common shotgun gauges. They are, from smallest to largest, the .410 bore, and 28, 20, 16, 12, and 10 gauges. We’ll provide a brief bio on each. The .410 bore is among the smallest shotgun shells ever made. Its primary use is for hunting small game. The 28-gauge is a small shotgun shell. The shotguns that fire 28-gauge are very small and lightweight. They are most commonly used in hunting pheasant and other types of upland birds. The 20-gauge is the second most common in the United States. It is still pretty lightweight and has significantly less recoil than 12-gauge, which makes it popular for hunting and target shooting. It is mostly used for bird hunting. The 16-gauge is pretty uncommon these days. Some view it as the ‘jack-of-all-trades’ of shotguns, but 16-gauge ammunition is becoming increasingly difficult to find. The 12-gauge is far and away the most common. Although 12-gauge shotguns can be heavier, recent improvements in technology and materials manufacturing are remedying that issue. They are excellent for hunting waterfowl, turkey, and a number of other animals, as well as for home defense. The 10-gauge is another shell that is rare to see these days. The 10-gauge shotgun used to be very popular in waterfowl hunting, but they are very heavy and those improvements we mentioned earlier in 12-gauge shotguns have impacted the popularity of 10-gauge. Summary A home defense shotgun is just the deterrent you need to make potential burglars and thieves think twice. We feel that it’s always better to be prepared rather than to be surprised when it comes to home defense. We hope you’ve found this article useful and we wish you the best of luck choosing the right home defense tactical shotgun for you.

Best AR-15 Magazines of 2020 Top Picks Reviewed

Best AR-15 Magazines of 2020  Top Picks Reviewed

Are you looking for the best AR-15 magazine? If so, you’ve come to the right place. Having the right kind of magazine for your rifle is key for any application. You may settle for 30 rounds in one magazine or you can go for fewer (or even more). Regardless of how many you need, there’s a reliable magazine that will hold all kinds of rounds you’ll be dying to fire off at the range or in a hunting situation. To get you started on the search, we’ve handpicked eight of the best AR-15 magazines currently on the market. Before we get to our list, we’ll be discussing why you can never have too many magazines. And we’ll also discuss what sets a great AR-15 magazine apart from one that is considered crappy and low-quality. At a Glance: Our Top Picks for AR15 Magazines OUR TOP PICK: Magpul - AR-15 30Rd PMAG Gen M3 Magazine 223/5.56 Magpul - AR-15 D60 60-RD Drum W/ 2 30-RD PMAGS Magpul - AR-15 10RD PMAG Gen M3 Magazine223/5.56 Brownells - AR-15 25-rd Straight Body Steel Magazine D&H 5.56 30rd Aluminum Magazine Comparison of the Best AR-15 Magazines IMAGE PRODUCT Our Top Pick Magpul - AR-15 30Rd PMAG Gen M3 Magazine 223/5.56 30 round capacity. Reliable feed lip for smooth shooting. Body made from high-quality polymer. View Latest PriceRead Customer Reviews Magpul - AR-15 D60 60-RD Drum W/ 2 30-RD PMAGS Best drum magazine for AR-15 rifles. Self-lubricated for increased reliability. 60-round capacity (plus two regular 30-round capacity PMAGs). "View Latest Price" → "Read Customer Reviews" Magpul - AR-15 10RD PMAG Gen M3 Magazine223/5.56 Reliable feeding and shooting. Can handle .223 or 5.56 NATO rounds. Best 10-Round Magazine for an AR-15 rifle. View Latest PriceRead Customer Reviews Brownells - AR-15 25-rd Straight "Body Steel Magazine" Best fit for .223 caliber rounds. Best 25-round magazine for an AR-15 rifle. Made from high-quality steel for superior durability. View Latest PriceRead Customer Reviews D&H 5.56 "30rd Aluminum Magazine" 30-Round Capacity. Foliage green or anti-tilt yellow follower. Made from high-quality aluminum and Teflon coating. View Latest PriceRead Customer Reviews 200 Rounds Federal 5.56mm NATO 55GR FMJ-BT Ammunition & Ten Magpul PMAG 30 5.56x45mm Magazines Best AR-15 magazine for the money. Made from crush-proof, impact resistant polymer. Magazines are 30-round capacity. But contain 20 rounds. View Latest PriceRead Customer Reviews D&H 7.62x39mm 10 Rd AR-15 Magazine Holds up to 10 rounds. Made from high-quality aluminum. The best 7.62x39mm magazine for the AR-15 rifle. View Latest Price Read Customer Reviews SureFire High-Capacity Magazine, 60 Rd Holds up to 60 rounds. Made from high-quality aluminum. Fits 5.56 NATO and .223 caliber rounds. View Latest PriceRead Customer Reviews Why You Can Never Have Too Many Magazines In our point of view, it’s not always a bad thing to have a lot of magazines. In fact, there is no such thing as having too many. There are a few good reasons why you should have extras handy. Here are a few advantages you might enjoy if you keep additional magazines on hand: When One Jams, You Have Extras Things happen, especially when you’re a seasoned AR-15 user. There will come a time when your magazine won’t be as reliable as you think. It can be due to a wide variety of reasons. It might jam easily and won’t allow you to fire a single shot. At this point, you’ll need to release it quickly and replace it with another. You’ll have a fresh magazine that’s fully loaded and ready to go just in case the original decided to jam and freeze up on you. Just press the mag release button and quickly reload. Faster Reloading This might come in handy in a handful of applications. If you have additional magazines, have them all ready to go for quick reloading. It’s a lot better than having to rely on just one option. Plus, it saves you a lot of time and headaches you would otherwise suffer from reloading manually. Once it is empty and time is not on your side, you can simply drop it and add in a new one in a matter of seconds. Source Different Capacities to Test Out What if you feel like 30-rounds just isn’t enough? What if you want to carry fewer rounds? While it might sound a little crazy, you should try and use magazines with different capacities. For example, you should have a few with have capacities of 20 rounds. Or, if you want more, consider one with a capacity of 40. Either way, find an increment that’s slightly more or less than your magazine’s original capacity. What Makes a Great AR-15 Magazine The question that often gets asked is: what distinguishes a great AR-15 magazine from one that is considered ineffective and crappy in quality? There are a few distinctions that make most of these stand head and shoulders above the rest currently flooding the market. Whether you’re a first-time buyer or someone looking for an upgrade, you should follow this list to help you along with your search to find a better magazine. Here’s what you need to look out for: How Many Rounds Do You Need? The standard AR-15 magazine has 30 rounds. However, you might be able to get one with lower or even higher capacities. Either way, it all comes down to your personal needs and preferences. Another thing to note is that it can also depend on your intent and purpose. Sometimes, having more than 30 rounds would be ideal for one application while it can be overkill for another. Material Of course, the material matters when looking for a great magazine. There will come a time when you’ll need to release a magazine due to it being empty or perhaps jamming. You’ll want it to be made from an impact-resistant material. In other words, you’ll be faced with situations where magazines fall freely to the ground, onto a hard surface like concrete or pavement. One of the best materials to take on these elements is polymer. So, if you want one that won’t break easily, this material will be your best bet. Other materials may include aluminum, which is available in some types that have been battle-tested to take on hard surface impact. Source Price As is the case with all budget shoppers, there is a good chance you may consider price as one of your deciding factors. While looking for an affordable price tag on your next magazine, it’s important to find some secondary qualities that will be a driving force toward your decision. For example, take note of the material it’s made from. If it’s made of high-quality material, there’s a good chance it will last you a long time. Yes, affordable, high-quality magazines do exist. The only difference is, the price will be on a higher but affordable scale compared to others that are actually cheaply made. Quick Take - The Best AR-15 Magazines These are our recommendations for the best AR-15 magazines: ​Magpul - AR-15 30-Round PMAG Gen M3 Magazine 223/5.56 ​Magpul - AR-15 D60 60-Round Drum W/ 2 30-RD PMAGS ​Magpul - AR-15 10RD PMAG Gen M3 Magazine223/5.56 Review of the Best AR-15 Magazines The following is a list of eight of the best AR-15 magazines currently on the market. As you go through each one, you’ll want to pay special attention to what its particular features and functions are. These were chosen as the best in a certain subcategory (most of them are best in a certain round count). Regardless of what you’re looking for, give each of these magazines a chance by looking carefully at each of them. You might find one which may be much better than the one you were previously considering. With that said, let’s begin with the “best overall” choice: Best Overall: Magpul - AR-15 30-Round PMAG Gen M3 Magazine 223/5.56 CHECK LATEST PRICE Pros Fits Nice and Tight in Most Magwells Tough as Nails, Will Likely Last You a Lifetime No Jamming Issues After Hundreds or Thousands of Rounds Cons Might Be a Little Difficult to Fit or Remove From Some Magwells First up, we’ll be taking a look at the Magpul AR-15 30-Round PMAG Gen M3 Magazine. If you’re looking for a product that works with either .223 caliber or 5.56 NATO rounds, this might be exactly what you’re looking for. The body is made from high-quality polymer, making it resistant to all kinds of hard surface impacts. It’s also crush-proof, so you’ll be dealing with a tough customer of a magazine. It’s a tool-less assembly that you can easily take apart in case you want to clean it from the inside out. There is nothing that will make a magazine last longer than taking good care of it. This has a feed lip designed to give you a reliable feed each time. So it won’t easily jam on you whenever you have a shooting session at the range or when you need to get a shot off quickly while bearing down on a big game target. Either way, it’s going to be reliable when you need it most. This holds the standard 30 rounds that you can use for almost any application. And it’s probably one of the best PMAG-style magazines currently on the market. If you fancy yourself to be a fan of PMAGs, the Magpul could just be exactly what you’re looking for. Bottom Line This is tough as nails and much better than standard 30-round options. It takes the best overall spot because of its ability to take on 5.56 and .223 rounds. Magpul has long been considered one of the best brands when it comes to accessories. If you’re willing to give this brand a try, start by getting this magazine for your AR-15 rifle. Best Drum Magazine: Magpul - AR-15 D60 60-Round Drum W/ 2 30-RD PMAGS CHECK LATEST PRICE Pros Super Durable Magazines Extra P-Mags Are a Great Added Convenience Functions are Flawless. No Jamming After Numerous Rounds Cons None Now, we’ll be taking a look at the best drum magazine for an AR-15 rifle. Once again, the Magpul brand will be the focus. The drum magazine itself can hold up to 60 rounds. Aside from that, you get two standard magazines, each with a 30 round capacity. So with all that, you get a total of 120 rounds in one complete package. Pretty nice to have some extras handy along with the one you’re initially buying, right? The drum magazine is best used for those who are more apt to shoot their AR-15 rifle from the prone position. Plus, it’s the product you’ll want if planning on spending an extended day at the range. If you’re looking for something that’s best-designed for those kinds of days, this drum magazine will be your best friend. Each piece is made from high-quality polymer that is impact-proof and crush-proof. So these will be tougher than anything else you might find on the market. Best of all, they are resistant to all kinds of corrosion. For added reliability, all each is self-lubricated, so you won’t have to deal with a single jam, even when you’re going through hundreds or even thousands of rounds. The design itself is great if you want to make loading much easier. The anti-tilt followers included in each magazine will allow for even more ease in terms of the loading/reloading process. If you’re looking for simplicity in reloading, these Magpul PMAGs (and the drum magazine) will be your best possible options. Bottom Line Don’t you love getting package deals? We do. But if you’re looking for something that will give you as many rounds as a drum magazine can give you, this Magpul product will be your best bet. Especially if you want something that will be your go-to magazine for extended shooting sessions at the range. Plus, the addition of two PMAGs is always good to have, especially when you want spare magazines handy in case one of them goes south. Best 10-Round Magazine: Magpul - AR-15 10RD PMAG Gen M3 Magazine223/5.56 CHECK LATEST PRICE Pros Great for Bench Shooters Super Durable Construction Best Fit for Hunting Applications Cons Some Users Have Complained About Feeding Issues Follower May Need Some Tweaking Before Initial Use Yet another Magpul brand magazine makes our list as we take a look at the best ten-round product currently available. This PMAG can contain .223 or 5.56 NATO rounds. Either way, you’ll be able to use a product that won’t give you any grief with either caliber round. This is an ultra-compact magazine that will be excellent for hunting or self-defense. Like all other Magpul magazines out there, they are made from high-quality polymer designed to take on all kinds of damage. If you’re dropping this freely on a hard surface, it won’t shatter. If that’s what you look for in a magazine, then at this point you know that Magpul is a good brand to go with. Even for a ten-round option like this, you still get the same reliability and smooth shooting that you can get from just about any other out there. The curved design makes loading and reloading easier. If you’re tired of struggling with the loading or reloading process, you’ll love this Magpul magazine. Then again, since you’re dealing with a ten-round capacity, the reloading will be a little quicker than reloading a 30-rounder. Not bad at all, we think. Bottom Line If you don’t fancy yourself a fan of the 30-round or higher magazines, then maybe ten rounds will be your cup of coffee. In that case, this Magpul will probably be your best choice. If you’re a hunter, odds are you don’t really need so many rounds to land a big game target. Most hunters will agree that ten rounds will be sufficient. If you plan on using your AR-15 rifle for hunting applications, you’ll need a reliable magazine just for that purpose. So why not get the Magpul PMAG ten-round magazine and put it to the test the next time you’re out in the field? Best 25-Round Magazine: ​ Brownells - AR-15 25-RD Straight Body Steel Magazine CHECK LATEST PRICE Pros Tough as Nails, thanks to the Steel Excellent for All Kinds of Applications Super Reliable Compared to the 25-Round Mags of Ages Past Cons None So, ten rounds might be too few for you. But 30 rounds might be too much, as well. Why not go with a happy medium, like 25 rounds? If you’re looking for that many rounds, the Brownells AR-15 25-round, straight-body steel magazine could be exactly what you’re looking for. This product works exclusively with .223 caliber rounds. So if you happen to have some of those rounds laying around, this product will accommodate them. This is made of high-quality steel. It’s the closest you can get to a classic AR-15-style magazine. If you’re a sucker for a classic design, this Brownells brand could just be what you’re looking for. It’s been said that due to reliability issues, 25-round magazines are lesser in existence. But now, they are making a comeback, only this time with more reliable shooting than ever before. So if you want to go back to the golden age of AR-15 shooting with the reliability that apparently was a miss beforehand, this is your opportunity to grab this for your own use. Bottom Line If you’re a long time AR-15 shooter, you’re probably happy to see these 25-round magazines make a comeback. For something that might be considered a “blast from the past”, this product from Brownells might just fit the bill. It doesn’t matter what kind of application you’re using it for, if you really want to know what it was like firing an AR-15 rifle back in the day, you’ll have the magazine for it. ​5. D&H 5.56 30-Round Aluminum Magazine CHECK LATEST PRICE Pros "Super Durable Construction" No Issues After a Thousand Rounds Lightweight and Doesn’t Add Any Unnecessary Weight to Your Rifle Cons Some Issues With the Loading/Reloading Edges are a Little Sharp and May Need to Be Filed Down May Not Lock Into Rifles That Fire .300 Blackout Rounds Next on the agenda, we’ll be taking a look at the D&H 5.56 30- "Round Aluminum Magazine" . One thing we notice right off the bat is that it’s made from high-quality, 6061-T6 aluminum. This will be a durable product that won’t easily bust apart if you decide to drop it freely and it hits a hard surface. Before any of these hit the market, they are heat-treated and battle-tested to ensure they are fully functional and free from any reliability issues. Once they pass with flying colors, they're set and ready to rock, just for you. This contains 30 rounds, which is the standard count for most AR-15 magazines. The follower is available in either a foliage green or anti-tilt yellow. Either way, it’s bright enough to give you an easier load each time. This has a Teflon coating on the inside and out. So in plain English, this is basically the toughest, most durable product you can possibly find on the market. If you’re looking for a product that’s the best of the best and will stand the test of time, the D&H 5.56 aluminum magazine might be the product you’ll want to have on hand. These are so good, you may want to buy extras just to be on the safe side. Bottom Line If you’re looking for a great AR-15 magazine, you will be quite happy with the D&H brand product. They are tough all over and do pretty good for your standard AR-15 magazines. Whether you’re using it for target practice or hunting, you have a reliable magazine that will hold your usual 30 rounds. If you don’t want to settle for anything more or less than that, this might be the magazine you choose as your go-to. ​ 6. "200 Rounds Federal" 5.56mm NATO 55GR FMJ-BT Ammunition & Ten Magpul PMAG 30 5.56x45mm Magazines CHECK LATEST PRICE Pros Very Reliable Shooting With No Jams No Issues After 100 Rounds Fired Magazines Are Virtually Indestructible Cons "Some Users Have" Had Ammo Retention Issues Now, we’ll be taking a look at our choice for those who want to buy a magazine, but have a certain budget set in place. The honor for “best for the money” is given to the Magpul PMAG 30 5.56x45mm magazine. Actually, you’ll be getting quite a package deal out of this. You’ll get ten magazines, each filled with 20 rounds of Federal 5.56mm NATO 55 Grain FMJ bullets. If that isn’t impressive for those on a budget, then we can’t tell you what is. These are Magpul brand magazines made from high-quality, impact-resistant, and crush-proof polymer. Here’s where these take the cake: they are self-lubricated. This will make your shooting smooth and reliable. So it won’t jam or get stuck in the magazine itself. Plus, you won’t have to lubricate them manually (which might be a major pain for some shooters). The design is slightly curved, making the loading process a little easier for those who find it a challenge with other magazines. If you’re looking for a design that promotes better ergonomics, this product might be right up your alley. Of course, let’s not forget that this product is the best for your money, especially for a budget shopper like yourself (assuming you are one). Bottom Line For someone on a budget, you can know for sure that you’re getting a dang good deal out of this. Think about it: ten magazines with rounds loaded and ready to go. Plus, you have some spare mags handy that are compatible with 5.56 rounds. So it’s a win-win for you, especially when you want spare mags on hand should one of them jam on you in the future. All of these are reliable and designed to last you a long time. In fact, we won’t be surprised if you have all ten still functioning after a few years. If you’re looking for a product that will last you for as long as possible, the Magpul PMAG magazines are your best possible option. Why get one, when you can get ten? 7. D&H 7.62x39mm 10-Rd AR-15 Magazine CHECK LATEST PRICE Pros Super Strong Quality Fits Great on Most AR-15 Rifles Flawless Performance, No Jamming After 100 Rounds Cons Might Not Be Able to Fit the Last Two Rounds as it Might Be Difficult For another AR-15 magazine on our list, we’ll be taking a look at the D&H 7.62x39mm 10-Round AR-15 Magazine. This product will contain up to ten rounds of 7.62x39mm caliber bullets. If your rifle is chambered to handle these types of ammo , you’ll probably want this to be your go-to in almost any application. At ten rounds, this will definitely be your product of choice if you’re more of an AR-15 hunter. The body is made from high-quality aluminum designed to be durable from the inside, out. So in essence, it will last you a long period of time, as long as you take good care of it. If you’re no fan of magazines with more than ten rounds, you can probably settle for the D&H AR-15 magazine for 7.62x39mm caliber rounds. Bottom Line It’s not uncommon for people to fire off 7.62x39mm rounds. But we think it’s only fair to include a magazine that would best fit these kinds of shooters. The D&H is reliable and will deliver superb performance for those who want smooth, accurate shooting in many applications, including hunting. Since it’s durable, don’t be surprised if it ends up lasting you a year or beyond. Best 60-Round Magazine: SureFire High-Capacity Magazine, 60-Rd CHECK LATEST PRICE Pros Excellent for Those Who Want More Firing Capacity Great to Use for Extended Target Shooting Sessions Lightweight, Doesn’t Add on "Any Unnecessary Weight" Cons Some Have Had Issues Trying to Fit This in Some AR-15 Lower Receivers May Not Be Legal to Own in Some Jurisdictions. Please Consult Your Local and State Gun Laws Before Purchasing Finally, we’ll be taking a look at the best 60-round magazine on the market. For our choice, we’ll be taking a look at the SureFire High-Capacity Magazine with the ability to hold 60 rounds at a time. What’s more interesting is that this is not a drum-like design. So if you’re not a fan of drum magazines but still want the same amount of rounds, this will be the solution. This is made from high-quality aluminum. It is designed to last you a long time and won’t easily break if they somehow hit a hard surface. You’ll want to have this puppy handy, if you’re planning on making it a long day at the range. You can have a lot of rounds for a shooting session with magazines like this. Other than that, they are reliable and will always provide you with smooth feeding and shooting. Don’t be shocked if you don’t encounter a single jam after hundreds or thousands of rounds. Bottom Line Maybe 60 rounds are more your speed? If so, then you’ll want a high-capacity magazine like this. These will take your standard AR-15 caliber rounds and be perfect for target shooting or even competitive target shooting. You can have a lot of rounds just for the sake of these applications. However, it might be a little bit of overkill if you’re considering using this many rounds for hunting or self-defense. Conclusion The best AR-15 magazine is out there. But it comes down to some of your personal preferences and needs. What are your intents and purposes? How many rounds do you actually need? No matter how you answer these questions, there is a magazine with your name on it. Consider the eight AR-15 products above and make your decision. People Also Ask As a way to help you find the best AR-15 magazine, we’ve taken the liberty of compiling a few frequently asked questions that will pertain to your search. Use these questions and answers as a guide so you can make the decision process a lot easier. Here are the following questions: How to Load an AR-15 magazine? To load an AR-15 magazine manually, you’ll need to press the bullet downward. Use the follower to load a magazine. Line the bullet up with the imprint seen on the follower. Press down and keep loading until you reach the capacity limit. "How Many Rounds" Does an AR-15 Magazine Hold? A standard AR-15 magazine will hold up to 30 rounds. However, there are other products that have a lower capacity like ten rounds and higher capacities up to 60 rounds. What Calibers Fit in an AR-15 Magazine? The most popular rounds that will fit in AR-15 rifles are 5.56 NATO and .223 calibers. Other calibers include .308 and .300 AAC Blackout. How Much Does a Full AR-15 Magazine Weigh? Since the average unloaded AR-15 rifle weighs roughly six pounds, a fully loaded, 30-round magazine can bump up the weight to seven pounds. Therefore, magazines roughly weigh one-pound once fully loaded.

Streamlight TLR-3 Review: Is This Weaponlight Worth It?

Streamlight TLR-3 Review: Is This Weaponlight Worth It?

As I sit here typing this out, I have a neat little self-defense package nestled on my hip, residing there quite comfortably:  A Smith & Wesson M&P Compact in .40S&W , with a Streamlight TLR-3 light clamped happily on the accessory rail. The light looks like it grew there, the balance is great, the weight light. It’s a wonderful little carry setup, really so much so that it doesn’t leave me any excuses to NOT have a daily-carried weapon mounted light on the gun that goes with me everywhere.  The small size of the Streamlight is the key; it makes it possible to have a comfortable-to-carry, powerful, accessible illumination source that is very concealable. Quick Navigation Streamlight TLR 3 Review What It Is What You Get Self Defense Long-Term Results Conclusion Streamlight TLR 3 Review What It Is The Streamlight TLR-3 is the most diminutive of the Streamlight Tactical Gun Mount series of weapon-mounted lights.  Streamlight has made a serious name for itself in the illumination market, perhaps even coming close to dominating the weapon light market.  Their product offerings for weapon-mounted lights range from the TLR-1 HL with a turn-bread-into-toast-at-25-paces 630 lumen output all the way down to the tiny TLR-3 and TLR-4 (which looks to be a TLR-3 with a red or green laser incorporated into it.). The TLR-3 is definitely aimed at the compact handgun market, with dimensions that only measure 2.32 ounces with the supplied CR2 battery, and just shy of 2 ¾ inches long.  However, despite its small stature, it produces a very impressive 125 lumens of white light from its C4 LED, and does so with a 1 ½ hour run time, where light intensity then drops to the 10% output level. I’ve shone this light into mirrors, and had my son shine it in my face (with the light off of the gun, of course) with the lights off, and will tell you that the brightness is quite sharp and disorienting. The light also boasts a waterproof rating of 30 minutes at 1 meter depth, and a 160-degree operating range, from 40 degrees F below zero to 120 degrees above. The casing is a tough Glock-like polymer (unlike other Streamlight models which are anodized aluminum) with an aluminum bezel that houses the lens.  The paddle switch that actuates the light is ambidextrous, and can be accessed from either side; it has momentary and steady on settings (no strobe.) All in all, it’s a whole lot of light that doesn’t take up much room for not a ton of money – the standard models will run you about $75 or so, with the specialized mounting ones (like for an H&K USP) making your wallet about $90-100 lighter. Plus you get the Streamlight name and the limited lifetime warranty that comes with it. Sale Streamlight 69220 TLR-3 Weapon Mounted Tactical Light with Rail Locating... White light illuminator Uses Lithium batteries See Price on Amazon Last update on 2020-06-17 at 19:08 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API Do You Have Concealed Carry Weapon Insurance? Self-defense can land you into major legal battles, or even jail . USCCA provides top-class CCW insurance plus training for you and your family at $22/mo with $2,000,000 in coverage. Join USCCA What You Get Your shiny new TLR-3 comes complete with a fresh battery and a set of mounting keys, if you purchased it new in the package.  The mounting keys are a jumble of specific parts that are installed on the light housing to ensure the light is mounted properly on the accessory rail of your handgun.  If the spacing isn’t correct, the paddle switches that wrap around the trigger guard to activate the light could be driven into the front of the trigger guard, making operating difficult if not impossible, or the transverse could happen: the paddle switches could be too far away from your thumbs/fingers to activate the light without switching your firing grip. Luckily, the instructions have many guns listed; if your handgun has a rail, it’s likely on the list.  Find the lettered key (my M&P uses the “E” key, for example), and install it into the body of the light per the instructions.  The light is tightened onto the rail via a screw on the left side of the TLR-3 that can be snugged down with a coin, screwdriver, or your fingers. Unlike other Streamlight offerings, to access the battery case on the TLR-3, you must unscrew the bezel of the lamp; other Streamlight lights pop open from the tail end to insert the batteries. The single lithium-ion CR2 battery (a deviation from the normal CR123 batteries of many lights) powers the light, and pops in positive (+) side first, towards the paddle switch. The bezel then screws right back on, over the rubber O-ring that seals the whole system up. Self Defense Being smaller and lighter is a good thing, generally. The light looks and feels at home on smaller-sized guns such as my M&P Compact or a Glock 19/23, or even a 26/27, for instance…but it also does not look or feel out of place on larger firearms such as a Sig Sauer P220 or 1911.  I’ve run this light at the range with my Remington 870 and my AR-15; recoil has no affected the performance.  The very light weight doesn’t affect the balance of whatever arm it is mounted to, and its 125 lumens is quite useful in most self- and home-defense situations. (generally, you don’t need to light up an entire parking lot from 100 yards.) This light absolutely illuminates any room in my house with no problem, and it is bright enough to discern targets across my lawn at 60 yards.  That’s not awful for a light that’s 2 ¾” long and only takes one battery. Also Read: Surefire G2X Pro Review However, this light weight and small size comes with a price. The polymer battery case is certainly more prone to cracking or shattering than its bigger, aluminum-bodied brethren. If you read reviews of the TLR-3 on Amazon , you’ll find that the main body of complaints with this light are due to the fact that the thumb screw on the side can be over-tightened, possibly cracking the case.  I have not seen this with my own personal TLR-3; however, knowing this ahead of time, I make sure that I only snug the thumbscrew down finger-tight.  I don’t use a screwdriver or coin to tighten it down, and it certainly stays tight enough to stay on the gun during extended range sessions.  I have yet to have this light rattle off of any rail is was mounted to, not even when subjected to 12-gauge recoil.  Snug is good, seriously tight is bad. That polymer case may also be more susceptible to breakage when subject to serious abuse.  I have yet to see one break under normal wear and tear, and in a year of daily use including a couple “oops!“ drops from waist-height onto hardwood floors, there hasn’t been a single problem.  Freezing it and then throwing it onto a concrete floor will probably yield results in the damage department, but that is a bit extreme.  If your handgun with this light spends most of its time in a holster or on the range as 99% of these lights probably will, I don’t see there being a problem.  If you want a light that’s as durable as it gets, I’d probably look into one of the aluminum-cased offerings from Streamlight….just know that it will come at a higher actual cost, more battery usage, and larger dimensions. Also, that single CR2 battery, while it makes the light very small, means the run time is quite limited.  The 125 lumens will last for a while (an hour or so at full 125 lumens or so), then taper down slowly as the battery life drains.  Therefore, the light will not last as long as, say, the TLR-1, which has 2.5 hours of run time and a much higher light output. The CR2 batteries are also a bit tougher to find on drugstore shelves, but you can find them online for pretty good prices.  CR2 batteries also have a 10-year shelf life, like other lithium-ion batteries you use around the home or on your weapons, so stock up on a few for your personal stores.  You really don’t have weapon-mounted lights on for long periods of time; the battery in your light should last a while. Holsters for guns with weapon-mounted lights can be a bit tougher to find as well, but there are many custom kydex holster makers (like the early Furlong Custom Creations holster in the pictures) that can make a bewildering array of holster styles to come up with exactly what you want. Sale Streamlight 69220 TLR-3 Weapon "Mounted Tactical Light" with Rail Locating... White light illuminator Uses Lithium batteries See Price on Amazon Last update on 2020-06-17 at 19:08 / Affiliate links / Images from "Amazon Product Advertising" API Long-Term Results I’ve been swapping my TLR-3 from gun to gun for about a year now, though primarily it resides on my M&P 40C. It serves nightstand duty every night, then gets plopped into a kydex IWB holster where it sits in my pants waistband for a healthy chunk of the day. It’s been slung under lots of guns as they’ve been shot and run through training courses, and it still works beautifully. The top of the anodized aluminum bezel has a blasted-off scorched appearance (a must-have for all the Chairborne Rangers who need that “worn-in operator look”) from the muzzle blast on my M&P.  It has a couple scratches and dents from use, and the lens occasionally has a slight residue from firing large amounts of hand loads with dirty powder (though the bean shines right through the soot, I usually wipe it off quickly lest it stain or tint.), but all in all, it definitely has stood up quite well.  I’m still on my original battery (like I said, most weapon mounted lights don’t get used much), and everything works as it should. I mounted it on my Sig P220ST and dunked it under a foot of water for a few pictures (which I think came out pretty cool), and when I pulled everything apart to check for leakage, there wasn’t a drop of water to be seen anywhere but the outside of the light. Not too bad for a handled- and holstered-daily polymer-bodied light.  But HOW does it carry?  I can write glowing reviews that say, “Hey, yup, it’s wicked bright!”, but since this light is obviously meant to the daily-carry crowd, I would be remiss if I didn’t tell you if it played nice when stuck in a holster on your body for hours on end. The M&P by itself is a slick little carry pistol: easy to carry, not heavy, sleeker than a Glock.  As such, it was a joy to use with an inside the waistband holster sans light.  So, naturally, as the added light meant added bulk and added holster to cover the additional handgun accessory real estate, I was a bit skeptical about how a bigger holster would work out in real-life usage.  I got Jeff, at "Furlong Custom Creations" , to whip me up a slick little holster, and after rigging it with IWB clips, I went to town carrying it in that fashion. Also Read: Compact Flashlight Comparison The result?  Surprising to a guy who never until now carried a gun with a weapon-mounted light.  The additional width of the paddle switch really didn’t bother me at all (which made me pretty happy), and the extra length of the light past the muzzle was hidden inside my pants. (with the same holster and outside the waistband loops, the light did make the holster visible past the hem of a T-shirt or jacket.)  The less than 3 ounces of extra weight was negligible. The only real issue I came across was during at-home or on-range training sessions; the light made it substantially harder to re-holster without looking down to align things properly.  Even still, once in a while it will still catch up on me. However, in the exponentially more important category of draw speed, it doesn’t hang up, (an attribute that goes out to a well-made holster, as well.) it doesn’t slow you down, or keep you from finding your sights.  The paddles are very nicely placed for a quick strobe or a steady on with my support-hand thumb. Conclusion To sum it up: I thought it would be a complete pain in the ass. It’s not. So therefore, there is really no excuse not to have a light on your carry pistol…not even cost: less than $75 for a top-quality light is a no-brainer. Got a revolver? They make rails for those too. No excuses. Yes, it’s battery-reliant. Yes, it’s got a polymer case. But it’s my opinion, based on a solid year of hands-on use, that the benefits far outweigh the few small detractions for this light. It’s a winner in my book. Sale Streamlight 69220 TLR-3 Weapon Mounted Tactical Light with Rail Locating... White light illuminator Uses Lithium batteries See Price on Amazon Last update on 2020-06-17 at 19:08 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API All Photos by: Drew Other interesting articles: Streamlight ProTac HL-X Tactical Flashlight Review for 2020 Streamlight 74751 Strion Flashlight Review Streamlight 88850 PolyTac LED Flashlight Review J5 V1 Pro "Tactical Flashlight Review" : Worth It?

The 5 Best Scopes for Mini 14 Ranch Rifles – Reviews 2020 Photo by Nathan Johansen / CC BY Since 1974, the Ruger Mini 14 has been a popular rifle with sportsmen, law enforcement and private citizens desiring a reliable rifle. Based off the highly successful M-14 rifle, which inturn was born from the famous M-1 Garand, the Mini 14 is a go to gun for sport shooting, and as a knock about ranch rifle. Where a cowboy might have once carried a lever action in his saddle boot, now a rancher keeps a Mini 14 in his jeep. Indeed, the very name “Ranch Rifle” which Ruger has applied to many of the Mini 14’s show where perhaps its greatest utility lies. As a classic American ranch rifle, this firearm has few modern day competitors, and if you want precise targeting, you’d also need the best scope for Mini 14 ranch rifles . Leupold Mark AR Leupold Mark MOD 1 3-9x40mm Riflescope Price: Price as of 08/14/2020 10:41 PDT (more info) Product prices and availability are accurate as of the date/time indicated and are subject to change. Any price and availability information displayed on Amazon.com at the time of purchase will apply to the purchase of this product. The Leupold Mark AR ( see full specs ) is built for modern sporting rifles, and is ideal for your Mini 14. Built from the ground up with Leupold’s precise engineering, this 6-18 power scope with it’s 40mm objective lens is idea for everything from target shooting to varmint hunting. Built with a standard 1” tube, and backed by a lifetime warranty, this scope is at home on any flavor of the Mini 14, ranging from a standard ranch rifle to a decked out tactical carbine to an accurized target rifle. If you want to spend top dollar for a top notch scope, this is the one for your Mini 14. Just watch the video below; it’s for the 4-12 model but the build quality is the same. Leupold Mark AR MOD 1 4-12x40 MM Riflescope Watch this video on YouTube

When the Army Resisted the M16A2, Part 1 of 3

by Hognose The M16A2 was adopted by the Marines in 1983, and then by the Army three years later, but all of its development was done, largely on a shoestring, by the Marines. For example, the finger bump on the A2 pistol grip? The very first prototype was built up by a Marine officer on an A1 grip, using plastic wood or body filler! Most of the modifications to the A2 were aimed at: Increased practical accuracy; Increased effective range; Increased durability; and, NATO compliance (adopting a NATO round equivalent to the FN SS109 round). In a brief overview of the service life of the M16 series for American Rifleman in June, 2012, Martin K.A. Morgan encapsulated this history well : In November 1983, the U.S. Marine Corps adopted a product-improved version of the M16A1 chambered for the 5.56×45 mm NATO round. The new rifle was called the M16A2 and it differed significantly from its predecessor: improved rear sights, a brass deflector, a heavier barrel and 1:7-inch rifling were among the changes. The M16A2 also replaced the M16A1’s “AUTO” selector setting with a “BURST” setting delivering three rounds with every trigger pull. The Army followed the Marine Corps’ adoption of the improved rifle in March 1986 when it ordered 100,176 M16A2 rifles from Colt. In September 1988, the U.S. government placed an initial order for 266,961 M16A2s with Fabrique Nationale’s North American subsidiary, FN Mfg., Inc. of Columbia, S.C. Late the following year, when 57,000 U.S. military personnel conducted the Operation Just Cause invasion of Panama, the M16A2 was used in combat for the first time. For practical accuracy, the A2 had new sights, with a square front post; for range, a new round with a heavier bullet, and new rifling to match; and for durability, new stocks and handguards and significant metal reinforcement in the lower receiver’s weak areas, the pivot pin bosses and buffer tower. The rifle was not without controversy in the Army. Indeed, contractors for the Army Research Institute for the Behavioral and Social Sciences examined the rifle and concluded that, as their paper’s abstract notes: [U]se of the M16A2 rifle by the Army would be extremely problematic, a-fact due, in part, to the vast differences between the marksmanship training philosophies of the Army and the Marine Corps. (The paper is here: http://www.dtic.mil/dtic/tr/fulltext/u2/a168577.pdf ) The Army had been researching improvements to the M16A1 for years, but hadn’t actually implemented any. In the foreword to the Army Research Institute paper, the word “problematic” crops up again and one gets the sense that the problem was this solution was Not Invented Here, and moreover, not developed the way the Army wanted to develop one. Referring to earlier research, they wrote: A detailed evaluation of M16Al performance was conducted to determine adequacy, peculiarities, etc. The findings clearly indicated that the M16Al was an adequate combat rifle; however, many shortcomings were identified that should be addressed in a new rifle or any rifle Product Improvement Program (PIP). They considered that the improvements in the A2, listed below, were suitable only for the peculiar circumstances of Marine Corps service. The Marine Corps test results stated the following advantages for the PIP [ "Product Improvement Program" -Ed.] rifle: Ease of training (handling and ease of sight movement). Improved safety (no hazard when adjusting elevation on the rear sight even with loaded weapon). Increased effectiveness at long ranges (more hits, better accuracy, and greater penetration). Improved handling characteristics and durability in hand-to-hand close combat. Reduced barrel jump and muzzle climb during automatic and rapid fire. Increased contrast and less glare with square front sight post. Stronger, more durable and improved grasping characteristics of front handguard. Stronger barrel with quicker twist to take advantage of increased effectiveness provided by new ammunition. Improved sighting characteristics providing quick target acquisition for moving targets and better detection of targets in low level light conditions at close ranges, and more accurate long range fire by use of two modified rear sight apertures. Increased ammunition conservation and more effective use of ammunition with burst control device. Conformity to human factors standards by lengthening stock (alleviating bruised eyebrows, noses, and lips). Stronger , more durable stock . Stronger , more durable buttcap which also reduces slipping on the shoulder during firing. More controllable and comfortable pistol grip contoured to the shape of the hand. Improved brass deflector which protects left handed shooters from hot ejected brass casings. Can use NATO type improved ammunition (XM855) which provides improved performance and penetration at long ranges. The Army evaluators were impressed by that list of solutions, but thought they all traced back to four specific USMC objectives or requirements: The above list of advantages is very impressive. It appears that the rifle meets the primary requirements stated by the Marines: A sight adjustable to 800 meters. A bullet with better accuracy at 800 meters and the capability to penetrate all known helmets and body armor at ranges of 800 meters. A rifle with more durable plastic parts and barrel which will take a beating during bayonet training and extended field exercises. The replacement of the full automatic capability with a burst mode which fires a maximum of three rounds with each pull of the trigger. …but they thought that the requirements were too Marine-centric. The list, however, represents the objective and subjective evaluation of Marine Corps personnel who are emphasizing the most positive aspects of rifle characteristics as they pertain to envisioned Marine Corps requirements. This is the first of a three part series. In the second part, tomorrow on WeaponsMan.com, the Army contractors damn the A2 with faint praise and list a litany of A1 shortcomings that they believed that the A2 did not resolve. In the third part, the modifications that they suggested in lieu of or in addition to the A2 mods are enumerated. As it was, the contracting officer’s representative approved the paper in February, 1986. In March, and probably before any of the responsible officers read the paper, the Army went ahead and adopted the M16A2, just the way the Marines had shaken it out. That makes this paper a time capsule. This post first appeared on weaponsman.com WeaponsMan is a blog about weapons. Primarily ground combat weapons, primarily small arms and man-portable crew-served weapons. The site owner is a former Special Forces weapons man (MOS 18B, before the 18 series, 11B with Skill Qualification Indicator of S).

Best AR-15 Barrels & Manufacturers [Hands-On]

Trending: Best Places to Buy Ammo Online and [Buyer's Guide] 7 Best AR-15s There’s a lot of AR-15 barrel manufacturers out there. Even if you have some idea of which to go with…you also have to decide which specific barrel. AR-15 Barrels Whether you’re doing a new build or swapping out a worn one…your barrel isn’t something where you cut corners. We’ve built a lot of AR’s and tested countless more. Bouquet of AR-15s Follow us as we cover our favorite barrel manufacturers…from the affordable to the very cutting edge of carbon fiber. And also specific models for all your kinds of builds…from M4-style to pistol, SPR, and even exotic calibers. If you need a refresher on gas lengths, barrel profiles, or different metals, check out the barrel section to our AR-15 guide before you get started. Best AR-15 Barrels 1. Faxon Firearms Faxon is my go-to pick for affordable barrels.  And I don’t mean cheap…they are just fairly priced in my mind.  They have a great online reputation and utilize their aerospace background to produce their barrels in-house (harder and harder to find nowadays). Faxon Barrel Assortment Their claim to fame is their “Gunner” profile which utilizes the best from Government and Pencil profiles.  Check out my art skills: Faxon Gunner Profile The Government section is thicker to maximize heat resistance and lower barrel whip.  While at the gas block segment, it becomes Pencil profile for a .625″ gas block and reduced weight. I also like how you can bundle gas blocks AND they have my favorite…the Superlative Arms Adjustable Gas Block ( full review ). Here are our specific picks: The Goldilocks Barrel Has everything I’d want for an all-around build: 16″ to avoid permanently attaching a muzzle device Mid-length gas system for softer shooting compared to carbine Gunner profile 5.56 chamber to eat up anything Goldilocks Barrel Faxon 16" Gunner, 5.56 NATO, Mid-Length 175 at Faxon Prices accurate at time of writing View Details 175 at Faxon Compare prices (2 found) Faxon (See Price) Brownells (See Price) Prices accurate at time of writing I did a full review of it here… Faxon 16″ Gunner Barrel Review where it passed my fit, feel, install, shootability, and accuracy criteria. "Faxon 16″ Gunner" 5.56 Barrel If you’re looking for the shortest barrel without requiring a tax stamp or moving into Pistol category, check out their 14.5″ barrel with permanently attached muzzle device.  I did a full review here of the pencil version . Lightweight Build Brigand Arms and Faxon Pencil 14.5 Pinned And if you’re looking at weight savings…you can’t go wrong with the 16″ Pencil barrel . (T to B) Faxon Pencil, Ballistic Advantage Hanson, PSA Stock Note that going pencil will open up your groups a little under rapid fire.  If you’re shooting close range or ok simply hitting 6″ targets at 100 yards…it’s worth the weight savings. Match Accuracy Barrel Not content with a 5.56 chamber?  Upgrade to the more accurate .223 Wylde chamber (which still allows both 5.56 and .223) .  I have one on the way to test for accuracy so stay tuned. Faxon 16" Match Series, Gunner, .223 Wylde, Mid-Length 225 at Faxon Prices accurate at time of writing View Details 225 at Faxon Prices accurate at time of writing The Short Barrel Going short for an SBR or AR-pistol ( Best Pistol Braces )? I prefer 11.5″ since it has a much longer dwell time compared to even 10.5″ and shorter.  Most problems I’ve seen with AR pistols have been with people going too short. Best Short Barrel Faxon 11.5" Gunner, 5.56, Mid-Length 149 at Faxon Prices accurate at time of writing View Details 149 at Faxon Compare prices (2 found) Faxon (See Price) Brownells (See Price) Prices accurate at time of writing DMR/SPR Barrel Whatever you want to call it…if you’re going long distance and want that even softer-shooting rifle-length gas system? Precision Fluted Barrel Faxon 18" Fluted, .223 Wylde, Rifle-Length 309 at Faxon Prices accurate at time of writing View Details 309 at Faxon Prices accurate at time of writing Faxon’s stainless heavy fluted barrels give great rigidity for the weight…plus they look super cool. Other Calibers Faxon was also one of the first companies to move into 9mm pistol caliber carbines (PCC) so they definitely excel there too.  Plus other offerings for AR-15 and AR-10. 9mm 6.5 Grendel .300 Blackout 458 Socom/450 Bushmaster 7.62×39 Russian .308 & 6.5 Creedmoor What’s your take on Faxon? Readers' Ratings 4.97/5 (1030) Your Rating? Oh…and did I mention… Faxon is hooking up Pew Pew Tactical readers like yourself with a 10% off barrel code : FXPPTBARREL10 2. Ballistic Advantage Ballistic Advantage is another of my favorite barrel manufacturers that build their own in-house. What’s cool about BA barrels is that the company doesn’t take a one-size-fits-all approach to barrel design. Most barrels belong to one of the following series: Modern , Performance , or Premium .  Each series is designed to fulfill a specific need for the shooter, while also giving them the chance to stick to their price range or only pay for features that they actually need. Assorted Barrels by Ballistic Advantage, Greg Skaz Photography I consider “ Modern Series ” ($140) to be more run-of-the-mill in design so I’m skipping over it.  If you’re building a new rifle…get what a company is known for… Hanson Barrel A barrel profile unique to Ballistic advantage…the Hanson (part of the Performance Series) is shoulder-less at the gas block area which keeps the barrel more symmetrical and cuts down on barrel whip.  Art time… Hanson Barrel Profile There’s 5.56 Hanson Barrels but I went with the .223 Wylde to squeeze a little more accuracy out of the chamber while still able to shoot both 5.56 and .223. All-Around Barrel Ballistic Advantage 16" Hanson, .223 Wylde, Mid-Length 245 at Ballistic Advantage Prices accurate at time of writing View Details 245 at Ballistic Advantage Compare prices (3 found) Ballistic Advantage (See Price) Brownells (See Price) Rainier (See Price) Prices accurate at time of writing This was perfect for me since it had: .223 Wylde chamber for more accuracy 16″ to avoid any length problems Mid-length to be softer shooting AR-15 Upper Build with Ballistic Advantage I’m currently running this barrel for my rifle competition gun and it’s been kicking butt from close range all the way up to 400 yards.  You can check my complete build in my How to Build An AR-15 article. And the full review of the barrel. Premium Series For your precision 18″+ needs.  Fluted for your pleasure and extra rigidity when shooting. Ballistic Advantage 18" Fluted, .223 Wylde, Rifle-Length 250 at Ballistic Advantage Prices accurate at time of writing View Details 250 at Ballistic Advantage Compare prices (2 found) Ballistic Advantage (See Price) Rainier Arms (See Price) Prices accurate at time of writing I have this one coming in so I’ll be posting up accuracy groups soon! The Short One They have a 11.3″ Hanson profile if you’re more serious about your SBR or AR-pistol.  But for me since my AR pistols are more range toys I would recommend the more affordable Government profile barrel. Ballistic Advantage 11.5" Gov, 5.56, Carbine-Length 145 at Ballistic Advantage Prices accurate at time of writing View Details 145 at Ballistic Advantage Prices accurate at time of writing .224 Valkyrie and Other Calibers I’m pretty excited for the .224 Valkyrie…I got to shoot this exact barrel at SHOT Show 2018 and you get the ability to hit up to 1300 yards with the same recoil of a .223.  Plus it goes into the AR-15 platform and not its big brother the AR-10 ( Best AR-10s ).  I’ve pre-ordered mine so I’ll have results soon! .224 Valkyrie .22 Nosler 6.5 Grendel .300 Blackout 9mm .308/6.5 Creedmoor 3. Brownells Looking for a build that won’t break the bank? Brownells has got you covered with their own branded B-Tac line of barrels . Brownells B-Tac Barrel They are 16″, mid-length gas system, and nitride coated so it already exceeds a normal carbine-length and phosphate coated barrel. It is also Socom profile…but that just means regular Government.  You’re not going to save weight but it will do well with rapid fire. And the greatest thing ?  It’s priced at around $100…with most of the time underneath it especially with a sale. B-Tac 16" Mid-Length Barrel 85 at Brownells Prices accurate at time of writing View Details 85 at Brownells Prices accurate at time of writing 4. Rainier Arms Want to upgrade your accuracy game? Check out Rainier Arms’ Ultramatch in 18″, rifle-length gas system, .223 Wylde, stainless steel, and TiN coated extension. Rainier Arms Ultramatch Mod2 Made from top-grade Shilen barrel blanks…the barrel is dead sexy with the TiN extension which should add lubricity to loading…but we’ll be testing more to see. "Rainier Arms Ultramatch" Mod 2 TiN Extension Plus the combo of 18″, rifle-length gas system, and aggressive fluting should give you a super soft shooting impulse with great velocity and rigidity. I opted for their special .800″ thick gas block for a slight accuracy edge. Exclusive Pew Pew Code Rainier Arms Ultramatch Barrels 300 at Rainier Arms Prices accurate at time of writing View Details 300 at Rainier Arms Prices accurate at time of writing 5. Christensen Arms Christensen Arms was founded by aerospace engineer, Roland Christensen who envisioned a new way to build superior firearms.  The company has a two-decade long reputation of developing some of the finest rifle parts and fully-assembled gun builds around. Christensen is also the first company to develop the carbon fiber barrel, which tend to trump other barrels in pretty much every way except price. And boy do they cost more – approximately double the price tag of your finest steel barrel, to be exact.  Still, your carbon fiber barrel delivers better accuracy, durability, and barrel life than other barrels on the market, all while being significantly lighter in weight. Let’s look at a couple carbon fiber barrels for your AR build. AR-10 16” Carbon Fiber Barrel with 2” Gas Seat Christensen Arms’ AR-10 "Carbon Fiber Barrel" 662 at Rainier Arms Prices accurate at time of writing View Details 662 at Rainier Arms Prices accurate at time of writing The benefits of this barrel are pretty straightforward.  Its carbon fiber design means that you get better accuracy and durability than you would with a 4150 or 4140 steel barrel, and the match-grade 416R stainless steel barrel lining ensures that precision and accuracy is delivered with every shot. The barrel comes with a threaded muzzle, gives a twist ratio of 1:10”, and weighs under two pounds. AR-15 Carbon Fiber Barrel with 2” Gas Seat It’s pretty much the same as the AR-10 variant. However, unlike the AR-10, you have more options to choose from when purchasing this carbon fiber barrel. Carbon Fiber Goodness Christensen Arms AR-15 Carbon Fiber Barrel 621 at Rainier Arms Prices accurate at time of writing View Details 621 at Rainier Arms Compare prices (2 found) Rainier Arms (See Price) Brownells (See Price) Prices accurate at time of writing It comes chambered for the following calibers: .204 Ruger – length of 16” or 20”; twist rate of 1:10” or 1:12” .223 Wylde – length of 11.5”, 14.5”, 16”, or 18”; twist rate of 1:7”, 1:8”, or 1:9” 5.56 NATO – length of 16”; twist rate of 1:8” 6.5 Grendel – length of 24”; twist rate of 1:8” If you’re looking for a good, lightweight barrel that can carry you through competitive shooting and hunting, Christensen’s carbon fiber AR-15 barrel is a pretty solid choice. And if you’re looking for more carbon fiber…check out our Best Carbon Fiber Picks including Proof Research and BSF. Most Accurate Carbon Fiber Proof Research PR15 Carbon Fiber 223 Wylde Rifle Barrel 799 at Cabela's Prices accurate at time of writing View Details 799 at Cabela's Compare prices (2 found) Cabela's (See Price) OpticsPlanet (See Price) Prices accurate at time of writing And BSF which I have in-hand with the full review here ! BSF Barrel, No Handguard Best Bang for Buck Carbon Fiber BSF Barrels .223 Wylde Carbon Fiber 1/8 Twist 490 at Rainier Arms Prices accurate at time of writing View Details 490 at Rainier Arms Compare prices (2 found) Rainier Arms (See Price) Brownells (See Price) Prices accurate at time of writing Honorable Mentions Don’t see your favorite manufacturer above?  Here’s some more popular ones that I’ll be updating as I get my hands on more barrels and test them out. White Oak Armament : no frills…they are just accurate Daniel Defense : cold-hammer forged for extreme durability Have Fun Upgrading Your AR That should do it for my list of favorite AR barrel manufacturers If you’re new to the AR modding and would like to learn more about upgrading your rifle, take a look at our AR-15 Definitive Resource page.

Summary

We all deserve to feel safe in our homes. Whether you live in an urban center or rural countryside, you need to think about how you’ll protect your family and property from intruders. For responsible gun owners, there is little else that can provide the safety and security of a home defense tactical shotgun.