16 Jan 12

Today was “Range Day.” The 2012 SHOT Show officially starts tomorrow morning at the Sands Exposition Center here in Las Vegas, NV.

Range Day, graciously hosted by the local Desert Sportsmen’s Club Range, is sponsored by my good friend Mark LaRue of LaRue Tactical, who benevolently, and generously, fed us all too!

Everyone, it seems, is now making an AR in 308! Few employ a gas-piston. Nearly all use the original Stoner System. Nearly all wisely use Magpul’s 20rnd magazines, which run well, are reasonably priced, and generally available. Those using scarce and expensive proprietary magazines, like FN’s SCAR, are thus a good deal less lovable.

I had the opportunity to shoot several bursts through US Ordnance’s M60 Machinegun, now in the “E6″ version. Like its predecessor (that I shot last year), the “E4,” the E6 features many user-friendly modifications. Of most importance, the folks at US Ordinance have taken this problem-prone system and made it reliable, and they deserve much credit for that. The copy I shot had an Aimpoint T1, and, under burst-fire, it works just fine, as you can stay in the sight while shooting.

I also had the opportunity to shoot an AR with Trijicon’s new SRS “sealed reflex” zero-magnification optic. Slightly bigger than an Aimpoint T1, but runs pretty much the same way. Nice unit, in the same league with Aimpoint and EOTech.

My old friend, Hans Vang, had several of his “Vang-Comp” shotguns on display, and I shot all of them! There was a Remington 870, Mossberg 590, Remington 11-87, and Mossberg 930. With the Vang-Comp treatment, all will shoot 00 buckshot effectively out to at least 35m, instead of 20m with factory barrels. Slugs are unaffected.

There were many bolt-action, and autoloading, “sniper” rifles on display, in 308, 338 Lapua, and 50BMG. Much interest, apparently, in long-range, precision rifle shooting! Many had suppressors. Suppressed 50BMG rifles are actually pretty quiet!

Tomorrow, at the Show, I’ll be looking at more new things of interest to serious Operators.