10 June 13

At an Urban Rifle Course here in WA last weekend, I had, as is commonplace, an assortment of ARs in 5.56×45, and one AK in 7.62×39. My students were, as usual, a mix of cops, doctors, lawyers, and business professionals.

After several decades of doing these courses, I’m noticing at least three trends, all positive:

1) My students’ rifles were all equipped with zero-magnification, red-dot optics, most mounted on P-rails at the “half-way” point, between the rear and front BUIS. Mostly Aimpoint T1/H1s

2) All had co-witnessed BUIS

3) All rifles, including ARs, ran with scarcely a single hiccup for the duration of the Course.

As little as ten years ago, ARs were not running nearly so well! ARs excessively choking due to tight chambers, magazine issues, etc was a common occurrence. Many students were attracted to other systems as a result.

Today, most of my students are using P-Mags, mated with mil-spec ARs from good manufacturers, like BCM, LMT, Doublestar, Daniel Defense, LaRue, DSA, RRA, S&W, STS et al The result is that most stoppages have now been eliminated. A good AR, with good magazines, will run and run!

Red-dot optics on serious rifles represent a great boon to mankind! In fact, I may have to make my UR Qualification Test more time-restrictive, as it has become, for many students, too easy! With iron sights, it is still adequately challenging, but red-dots provide a significant speed advantage!

The illuminated aiming “dot,” with both the Aimpoint and EOTech, is in the “infinite focal-plane.” That is, when you are focused on the target, the dot will be in focus too. You no longer have to “accommodate,” or refocus from the target to the front iron-sight prior to pressing the trigger. It all stays sharply in focus during the entire cycle!

Still, co-witnessed BUIS are a requirement, in my opinion, and we have to shoot with them now and then, lest we forget!

Sometimes, I am guilty of excessive skepticism with regard to new technologies being applied to our Art. There is still a lot of silly junk being marketed to the naive, but the foregoing represents, I believe, a genuine advancement.

“When facts change, I change my mind. What do you do, sir?”

John Maynard Keynes