ar15 Archives - Talking Guns

Jason McdonaldJanuary 29, 20201min186630

United States Tactical – Elite Retention Systems

Effortless, hands-free carry of weapon lessens fatigue and relieves pressure Twelve safe locking muzzle positions.

Quick-draw long gun in an instant Carries all long guns – shot guns, bolt action, semi automatic, and belt fed Three-piece set adds the Elite Retention System to your existing LBE Ambidextrous Protects gun and optics.

All trigger guards are covered Injection-molded resin designed to be durable and UV resistant.


Audio by Jim Sanford

Video Editing by Jason Mcdonald


#talkingguns #UnitedStates #UnitedStatestactical #retention

Mr 9mm SMGJanuary 26, 201912min173352

The Radian Weapons Model 1 – Perfection?

While we are living in uncertain times in terms of gun laws, we are also living in an amazing time to be a firearms consumer. The market is flooded with AR-15s in every price range you can imagine, some with features that were unheard of during the Clinton Era ban. Want a milspec rifle? I can name you ten companies that could fill the role and be exceptionally reliable. Want something better than milspec? There are manufacturers out there right now selling rifles that would make the 18 year old version of me living during the federal assault weapons ban weep tears of joy. But which one? What do I want in a rifle that with a price tag often doubling milspec offerings? I want perfection or as close to it as I can get.

On to the topic at hand, The Radian Weapons Model 1.  At a glance at the website you’ll notice two things. Firstly you’ll notice the price tag, $2,555.00 and your eyes might burst out of your head.  But stay with me, after the sticker shock you’ll take a glance at the rifle and say to yourself “Wow.. With that rifle in my safe I’d be upper class within the hour”. The billet lower will catch your eye, you’ll wonder why your lower doesn’t look like that. Why does it look like the rifle is made of one solid piece of aluminum? You know it doesn’t matter what your rifle looks like, you tell yourself this over and over, but it catches your eye the same way a Lamborghini in a showroom does. That’s what first attracts you to the rifle, it’s the first thing you see, before any features. If grading solely based on aesthetics, The Radian just changed the bell curve. The rifle is cerakoted as one piece so there is no shade mismatch between the upper and lower receiver and speaking to the manufacturer, they will not sell one that does not meet this standard.  The lines on the rifle flow beautifully, are you looking at a work or art or a machine that would fit inside a collectors safe just as easily as it could a weapons locker in the military? Can you have form and function as opposed to one over the other? Keep reading.

When I decided on which Radian I wanted there were multiple options. What color? What caliber? Did I want a .300 blackout pistol or SBR? A 5.56 16 inch? 14.5? What color? In the end I decided on the 14.5 inch carbine in  .223 Wylde/5.56 in Radian brown with a pinned and welded Silencerco ASR flash hider. For me 14.5 is the sweet spot in terms of carbine length and I’m not one to frequently switch muzzle devices so being pinned is a non issue.

When I first mated the upper and lower together the first thing I noticed was the mated receivers had zero play. The rifle felt like one solid piece. One of my biggest pet peeves in rifles is slop between the receivers. While not directly impacting the function of the rifle, it’s 2019 and there is no excuse for excessive receiver slop. While the upper and lower are fit snuggly there is no issue pushing the take down pins with zero tools and little effort. So how does the rifle come from the factory? Let’s take a look.

Starting from the rear, Radians ship with a Magpul CTR stock and Magpul pistol grip. While there is nothing wrong with the CTR, I favor the B5 systems sopmod stock on my rifles. I switched mine out with the B5 and this is the only change I’ve made from the Radians factory parts.  The castle nut is staked well and secure, attaching the fluted receiver extension tube to the reciever.

To me what stands out the most about the Model 1 is the ADAC (Ambidextrous Dual Action Catch) lower receiver. The controls on it do not feel like an after thought like some rifles advertised as being ambi. This was designed to be a true ambi rifle. The safety selector is Radians own Talon system ambi safety, featuring a user adjustable 45/90 degree throw. While I was skeptical at first regarding the 45 degree selector, I’ve grown to love them. The throw of the 45 degree safety is faster and natural. If you’re more of a purist the Talon can be configured into a traditional orientation. The bolt release is of course also ambidextrous and actuating it from either side is natural. All Radian rifles ship with the ATC gold trigger with black bow. This is a match grade trigger that makes shooting fast a breaze and shooting accurately just as easy. Certainly a very smooth trigger with a short reset, comparable with Geissele offerings I own. If I had any complaints about the trigger is I would prefer the reset be a little more tactile, but I’d be splitting hairs at this point. The flared magwell makes reloading fast and simple, even under night vision. If you’ve ever tried to reload a rifle under nods you’ll understand what I’m saying.  One of the most stand out features of the ADAC lower is the option to lock the bolt open by pressing and holding the mag release while pulling the charging handle back. It’s engineering like this that truly takes rifles beyond milspec. It’s hard to appreciate it without trying it first hand, but it is one of those features where I never thought I’d care about it until using it.

Moving onto the upper, it’s 7075-T6 machined billet with a proprietary Mlok full length rail. Sitting inside is a Match Grade 416R Stainless Steel Barrel with polished crown and feed ramps. While there is a sub moa guarantee from Radian using Black Hills match ammo, I rarely shoot 5.56 guns for accuracy and admittedly I’m not a consistent sub moa shooter. While I’ve achieved sub moa results with the Radian, it’s not something I’ve spent much time on.  The BCG is black nitride coated with a properly staked gas key which for some reason some manufacturers find difficult. The charging handle is the Radian Raptor which the company is most known for  I’ve been running them in my rifles for years, starting when the company was called AXTS. They feature oversized latches easy to use with gloves while providing clearance for optics/mounts, ambidextrous actuation and oversized sturdy pins. The M-Lok rail is sturdy and runs nearly the length of the barrel while providing multiple options for mounting accessories.

But. . How does it shoot? Is it reliable?

In the time I’ve owned the rifle I’ve fired roughly 3500 rounds  Out of those 3500 rounds I experienced one single malfunction, a light primer strike using brass cased Wolf Gold. I’ve yet to repeat the malfunction. During the test phase I shot every ammo I could, ranging from steel cased wolf to M855a1 and all cycled fine. The rifle was never cleaned during the 3500 rounds and only oiled with CLP around the 1k mark because I don’t like shooting dry when I don’t need to.  While accuracy was tested on the rifle, the majority of my shooting is within 100 yards, rarely prone and rarely stationary. While I’m certainly far from a tier one operator, target transition is fast and follow up shots are extremely quick. Why are the follow up shots quick? This is the softest shooting 5.56 rifle I’ve ever owned. The gun is extremely flat shooting.

When I first decided to actually review this rifle I was worried people would perceive this as a fluff piece like found in print gun rags through the years, I wanted to find something I could hate on this rifle, something to make it seem more credible. There’s nothing I hate about it, I looked up and down and there’s maybe a couple things I’d like to see them work on.

What would I change?

  • I’d like to see a reduction in weight. At 6.9 lbs the rifle isn’t what I would call extremely heavy, but after adding an optic, a light, an IR laser and illuminator and a hand stop it starts to pack on the pounds.
  • It’d be nice to have QD sockets built into the rail. I know it’s a minor complaint and people run their slings in different positions, it’s just something I like seeing when purchasing a rifle.
  • Include back up iron sights. People have different sight preferences, but my ideal rifle comes ready to fire out if the box. Would it add to the cost? Yes, but it’s nice to have something ready to go upon purchase.

Final thoughts.

The Radian offers a superior set of features over milspec offerings. I’d trust my life on it without question  That said, is it the perfect rifle? Well I’ll leave you with some wisdom from a manager at work regarding performance reviews. “I’ve yet to see anyone walk on water, until I do there is always something to be improved on”  Does the Model 1 walk on water? Not quite, but it’s as close to it as I’ve seen. Is it for you? That depends, there are many great milspec offerings out there that will serve you well. Do you want to go beyond that? Then this very well could be for you, I know it is for me.


One Shot DOctober 26, 20187min20220
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.