One Shot D Archives - Talking Guns

One Shot DNovember 7, 20187min18080
By One Shot D and Erik Wenzel
I’m going to start off by saying that without a doubt, I am an AR15 guy. I am a firm believer that Eugene Stoner must have been touched by a beam of light through a thunderstorm, sent by none other than whatever deity in the sky, and blessed him with the design for the AR platform. The ergonomics can be changed indefinitely, the caliber can be infinitely changed, and best of all they can be assembled with basic tools and items owned by any self respecting person with nothing more than a little practice and a working YouTube account. However, there is a time in every rifle lovers life where an AR15 becomes just another AR15. The love is there, but the mind starts to wander to life outside the safe, what strange and foreign alternatives may be available. For me the fascination turned to, “What can I find that nobody else has? What have I never seen at the range?” After scouring the inter-webs and lurking my favorite haunts also known as the gun shop, I was finally intrigued in…..Bullpups.
If I still have you here by this point in the article, I am going to assume that you are past the phase of laughing so hard you spilled your bourbon, and on to being just a bit interested in why my curiosity strayed the way it did. Long story short it boiled down to a few reasons for me. The first and most prominent one is the dilemma of overall length to projectile velocity. In most cases, when the barrel length decreases, so does the velocity. This effectively neuters the effectiveness of most rifle calibers, and it is extremely noticeable in the 556 loading. Bullpups solve this problem in its entirety. As the action is in the rear of the rifle, it lends itself to maintain a full length barrel, thus retaining all of that precious velocity while attaining overall lengths usually reserved only for SBR or pistol alternatives. This was extremely appealing to me.
Off to the races I went, and my newfound infatuation became a full on affair. For me there were two rifles that captured my attention. The venerable Tavor, and the Kel-tec RDB. While both are bullpups, they are both very different in operation, features, and also in the determining factor of price. While the Tavor was definitely the more proven of the two rifles, the RDB was straight unobtanium, and I liked the ability to have a more versatile adjustable gas system. I also liked the fact that by all accounts, the RDB has a better trigger from the manufacturer, and the idea of spending $1600 on a Tavor and then being forced to spend $250 on a Geiselle trigger was rough on the palate. By this point I can assume that you know which way I went. After making countless offers on gun broker, I was to be the proud owner of a shiny new RDB.
Upon retrieval of my new rifle, there were several things that I noticed right off the bat. Firstly this thing was light.  I mean really light. It’s not that the rifle itself was amazingly light when put on the scale, but it was more about the feel of the rifle when it was shouldered. All of the weight was to the rear, that’s where the action, bolt, steel safety plate, and the majority of the barrel reside. This also happens to be where the rifle contacts the shoulder, leaving a polymer hand guard, and half the barrel and piston system out front. This makes the rifle feel much lighter in the hand, and it is very quick to stop when transitioning the rifle from target to target.
The second thing that I noticed quickly was the versatility of the adjustable gas piston system. Being honest, tuning the system was a little bit of a pain. Do yourself a huge favor and read the manual. When completed successfully, I was very pleased.  The recoil is very mild, and the recoil impulse is different in a very good way. Its almost a two stage affair, and after a brief transition from the AR15 it is very pleasant and easy to manage recoil. The addition of a SilencerCo muzzle brake makes recoil virtually non existent. This set up when tuned properly is very smooth shooting, with extremely low recoil, and very easy to shoot very quickly. I was able to deposit large quantities of brass in neat piles due to the downward ejecting pattern of the rifle, and I found myself ringing steel with near reckless abandon.
I have been nothing short of extremely satisfied with my venture into the bullpup world. I have heard the occasional disparaging comment in regards to Kel-tec as a company or their customer service, but I have not found this to be the case in my sample size of one RDB. What I have found is a very sweet shooting rifle that draws both attention, and complements when I take it to the range. It may not be a Steyr Aug, nor is it an IWI Tavor, but it is in my opinion and experience competitive in every way to either. Also of note is that it is half or better the price of both, and for approximately $700 it should at the very least be given a shot at impressing you the way that it has impressed me.

One Shot DNovember 7, 20182min11790

Something I always run into at public ranges is the lack of weapons safety. I could be like a lot of other people and have the common opinion that these individuals are unsafe because they are “new to the rules of the range”. More times than not however,  I find out this is not the case. I was out shooting at a public range the other day. After witnessing several dangerous functions the shooters were doing, I found myself having a conversation with them to try to find out what their history with weapons were. After several minutes I found that 95 % of the people I spoke with, stated they have been handling weapons for years and quit a few had according to them “ been thru classes” to help them learn gun safety. After I politely made a few suggestions, I found the common response was that they felt they knew enough and didn’t need any guidance. Due to the nature of their unsafe acts and the fact there was no assigned staff to this facility, I moved to a different location. Safety should always be first and foremost in operating a firearm. This will make for a more enjoyable outing for you and those that might be around you.

One Shot DOctober 26, 20187min21840
By One Shot D and Erik Wenzel
There was a time in the not so distant past where AR15 platform pistols were looked on with nothing short of disdain. They were the subject of ridicule and relegated to nothing more than a range toy. They were said to ineffective, useless, and complete nonsense. Those days are over now. Gentlemen the age of the braced AR15 platform pistol is upon us, and it’s here in a major way.
So what changed? Why has the trend began to swing to the complete opposite side of the pendulum?  People could make a strong argument for the renewed interest of pistol pattern platforms being due to new chamberings in cool guy calibers; .50 Beowulf, .458 SOCOM, .450 bushmaster, and 300 blackout ring the immediate obvious bells. Others could make a case for the myriad of new stabilizing braces that are available to the market. I align with the latter and for good reason. Simply put a pistol brace on an AR15 platform makes it a completely different animal, and I have two contenders for the best braces available as of the time of this writing.
The two braces that I am going to outline for consideration today are going to be the Sig brace SBA3 and the Gearhead Works Tailhook Mod 2.  As we move forward with the article, lets assume that everyone is aware of the white letter the BATFE published outlining their opinion on the definitions of use in regard to the occasional shouldering of the braces “from time to time, as necessary.” and look at both the intended use of the pistol braces and the “time to time” use. Up first in the Tailhook Mod 2.
The Tailhook Mod 2 is, in my personal opinion, the more sturdy of the two. I’m going to spare you the details of weight, positions available, and total extended length, as I am a firm believer in everyone’s ability to complete a google search, but I will tell you about the feel of the brace. When used strictly as a stabilizer, there is an arm that releases via a button on the side of the brace next to the length adjustment which bottoms out making a contoured 90 degree angle. This arm is then placed under the forearm of the person operating the pistol and used as a means to counterbalance the weight of the pistol. I have found this method of operation to be extremely stable and serviceable. When shouldered, the brace is extremely stable and very easy to adjust. I was easily able to find a length of pull that accommodated both a correct cheek weld and eye relief. I found the brace to be a smidgen on the heavy side, and with a shorter barrel and rail length up front the brace lent itself to a little rear heavy on the balance. When that weight placed on the shoulder however, it had the pleasant effect of making the pistol easy to swing and more importantly easy to stop when on target.
The SBA3 is different in some aspects and similar in others. The big differences are in the composition of the brace material, and the weight. The SBA3 is made of a sturdy rubber composition as opposed to the Tailhooks solid polymer. When used strictly as a brace, there is a strap that is intended to tighten around the forearm of the operator when the hand is placed in the brace. Being lighter weight, this brace has the opposite effect in regards to the balance point of the pistol. It tends to lend itself towards a forward balance point and without it shouldered, all the weight feels like its on the end of the barrel. On the other hand, when shouldered it feels strikingly similar to a traditional carbine stock. The biggest differences with the SBA3 and the Tailhook Mod2 is in the attachment of the brace to the actual pistol itself. The SBA3 uses a standard carbine buffer tube, and has another position of adjustment. I found this to be advantageous when finding the perfect fine adjustments to my eye relief and cheek weld. Another advantage comes if and when the owner of the pistol chooses to pony up the bacon to Uncle Sam and register their pistol as an SBR. This simply requires $200 and a wait of up to 9 months, and when your stamp is safely in place, affixing your choice of carbine stock.  I find this to be an interesting capability, and something that I may consider doing in the future.
So which one is better? Quite simply put, I am going to take the easy answer and say, “Depends on what you want to use it for.”  For me as it sits today, I have the Tailhook Mod 2 on a 300 blackout pistol with an 8.5” heavy contour barrel. I find it to be very capable at balancing the weight of the stocky barrel up front, and it makes for a very compact and well balanced pistol. Conversely, I have an SBA3 on an 11.5” 556 pistol. I find that paired with the thinner contour of the barrel, and the skeletonized forend the SBA3 is sufficiently heavy to balance the pistol while refraining from adding to the overall weight. In summary, both braces are different in their characteristics, but you’d be hard pressed to find a better alternative to complete your AR15 Pistol.

One Shot DSeptember 22, 20181min13300

On my off time I teach kids how to competition shoot. Parents always ask what kind of firearm they should purchase to help their child be a better competition shooter. It’s not the firearm that makes a person a good or great competition shooter. It’s the person and the training. I am and always will be a huge advocate of talking parents into letting their kids try different models and brands so we can figure out what works best for them. Then once we figure out what they are comfortable with, we build on that. Everyone is different and handles firearms in different ways. The same is said for adults. There is not a “one type fits all”. There are several rental ranges out there that are in place for this purpose. In the long run you will be glad you tried a rental before you spend all that money on something you hate.

One Shot DSeptember 4, 20182min14260

I went shooting with a friend the other day. When we got into some training drills I was reminded that old drills still need to be used once in awhile. He set up a drill I have not used in almost 20 years. Once he set this course up and we were shooting it, I realized the value in using drills I used to consider obsolete. There is always room for improvement. A fatal move is thinking you know everything and can’t learn anything new. There is always a way to do something better. If your open minded enough to accept that, then you will gain something from every school you go to. I constantly look for new schools to go to. A few months ago I went to another NRA school. A lot of the stuff they were teaching was years behind the times but I still managed to get something out of the class. Never stop training .