So I went to a 3gun match...


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357wheelgunner
March 25, 2005, 12:49 PM
...and amost every single shooter there had a tricked out AR15 with a verticle foregrip and a surefire light stuck on somewhere. The funniest part was that 90% of them did not even use the verticle grip, just grabbed the shroud close to the magazine area.

What do you guys think? Should people spend their time shooting the gun instead of bolting stuff on, and their money on ammo? Or is it cool to be a tactical mall ninja bullet hoser and spray and miss.....Seriously why does everyone feel the need for things like verticle grips and other gadgets that don't even get used?

In a month or two I am building an AR with my gunsmith buddy and I am gonna leave it as is and get real good with the irons before I even think of bolting a bunch of ninja crap onto it.

Let's hear what the THR guys think of expensive bolt on accessories vs. a stock defensive rifle

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Zak Smith
March 25, 2005, 01:00 PM
False dichotomy.

Most people would be better off keeping their carbine KISS (keep it simple, stupid) and spending time & money on marksmanship and ammunition, however, some of that bolted on stuff comes in useful.

For example, when I tested with a time, a VFG will increase the speed at which I put subsequent rounds on the same target, but increased my target to target transition times compared to grasping the furthest end of the handguard tube. If you need to shoot things in the dark, a weapon mounted light is REAL useful.

I do agree that it's pretty lame for somebody to bolt something on their carbine and then never even attempt to figure out how to use it, and if it gives any benefits.

-z

Vern Humphrey
March 25, 2005, 01:15 PM
Quote:
----------------------------------
If you need to shoot things in the dark, a weapon mounted light is REAL useful.
-------------------------------------

"Tracers work both ways."
-- old Infantry saying.

Nightcrawler
March 25, 2005, 01:33 PM
Vern brings up a good point.

Lights are good for SWAT teams. Not so good for a squad of soldiers sneaking through the bush.

All lights typically used by the military in the field have red lens caps, to lower their signature and preserve your night vision. Even these appear as bright as the sun through a pair of standard night vision goggles.

Now, the ongoing operation in Iraq is different than a traditional battle, but not every war will be like the current one (we seem to forget this every time we get into one).

If you're sneaking through the bush, trying to avoid detection, the absolute last thing you want to do is fire up a bright ol' Krypton bulb on your high speed Surefire.

For home defense, having a bright white light makes more sense, as target identification takes priority over stealth (same for police use). Bear in mind though that mounting a light to your weapon means you must point your weapon at the object to fully illuminate it; a violation of Rule II, at times. Trigger discipline is therefore all the more important.

A better choice than a white light is a night vision device and a suitable weapon-mounted aiming apparatus, but your average joe doesn't have the thousands of dollars to spend on this sort of equipment. (Infra red lasers are hard to find, in any case, though a standard visible laser will also work with NVGs.)

In any case if you're roused out of bed at night, it's a lot easier to switch on a flashlight than to don your NVGs.

So for a defensive rifle (or shotgun), a light has its place. Equally true for law enforcement. For military use, it must be used only very conseravitvely (though in the current conflict, soldiers are engaging in raids much like what police are accustomed to, going into dark places in broad daylight, where a weapon light may come in handy.)

SpookyPistolero
March 25, 2005, 01:51 PM
Man I hate that argument.

Guess what? Not everyone just turns that light on and let's it ride while on the move.

Guess what else? Target identification may not predominate military tactics, but it sure does when you're a civilian.

Just because it's tacticool doesn't mean it's useless. And just because SWAT has X accessory doesn't mean it is useful.

Langenator
March 25, 2005, 01:53 PM
Those super-bright white Surefire lights do have lots of military uses-like searching people and vehicles at checkpoints, and clearing buildings during urban fighting.

And if they put filters on them, troops are more likely to put IR filters on them, since most of our guys have NVGs, and not many of the current bad guys do.

Nightcrawler
March 25, 2005, 02:03 PM
I've done a number of vehicle searches as part of my job. A weapon-mounted light is useless for this task. (If you don't believe me, try to look under the dashboard of a small Japanese pickup with the light mounted on your weapon.) A flashlight is almost always a useful thing to have, it just doesn't necessarily need to be bolted to your weapon. For clearing a building, it will be handy to have, as it is quicker to access than night vision (and more useful when going into a building during daylight).

However, most of us don't need to clear buildings. I think the original poster was bemoaning those individuals who buy attachments for their weapons for which they have no apparent use, while not focusing on becoming proficient with said weapon.

The only thing I have to add to that is I have to laugh when I see guys that have two pound aluminum rail handguards in place in order to mount a three ounce plastic grip or an eight ounce light.

There has to be a way to mount a weapon light that doesn't require use of full length rail handguards.

Zak Smith
March 25, 2005, 02:12 PM
Even a 12" (full rifle length) Larue FF rail weighs less than 1 pound.

Vern Humphrey
March 25, 2005, 02:26 PM
Given that we have the time and leisure to discuss these things, I'd much rather spend that time setting up tactical situations to meet perceived or likely threats so I don't need to use a light.

For most of us, a home invasion is the most likely scenario, and it's fairly easy to plan an ambush, rather than a search if such a thing happens.

Nightcrawler
March 25, 2005, 02:33 PM
Also, for security concerns, it's probably tactically unsound to keep your home pitch black at night. In any case, it's unsafe, in case you need to egress in a hurry (fire, etc.). And I don't know about you guys, but I've stubbed my toe on the dresser enough times that I now make it a point to keep soft illumination going in the swinging bachelor pad, throughout the night.

Doesn't mean a flashlight isn't useful, it just means that one isn't as critical as some seem to think. But we digress, I think...

Vern Humphrey
March 25, 2005, 02:47 PM
Soft illumination is useful in more ways than one -- for example, instead of a night light in the bedroom, place it in the hall, where it will back-light an intruder.

The idea is to think through the scenario, and set up an ambush, rather than depend on "clearing" the house.

yorec
March 25, 2005, 03:00 PM
I apreciate the tacticool competitors at matches - kinda satisfying to whoop the tar outta them.... Course if one of them beats me, I can find solace in the fact that that guy practices with his weapon in addition to enjoying the "look."

Course, I need all kinds of excuses when shooting for competitive purposes... :o

Ktulu
March 25, 2005, 03:12 PM
I have no problem with someone having an AR with every bell and whistle on it that their little heart desires. Some of those guns look pretty cool. If that sort of thing is your bag, more power to ya.

Me, I have a VFG on my "gaming" gun and I like it a lot. I'm pretty freakin' ok with it too. I couldn't tell you if I'm any better with it than without it but I can tell you I do like it.

Correia
March 25, 2005, 03:18 PM
I love the logic of the first post.

Gee whiz everybody, is it better to practice with a stock gun, or just be an idiot and slap expensive gizmos on an expensive gun?!

How about this.

I'm a hard core 3gunner. My rifle is modified to suit me. I'm willing to bet I shoot thousands of rounds more a year than the average poster here, and the only people I'm aware of who do more than I do are 3gunners who are even more hardcore (or have more disposable income or less kids). And of course the professionals who get tax payer funded ammo. :)

I've got guys in my 3gun matches with whiz bang guns who can't shoot for crap, and I've got guys with 1960's era ARs who will beat the tar out of all comers. On the other hand I've got shooters with top of the line expensive JP rifles who can punch out a happy face in the head area of an IDPA target at 200 yards lightning fast, and I've got shooters with bone stock basic guns who can barely reload under pressure. I can cherry pick either one to prove some predetermined fallacy.

Some of us like vertical foregrips, some of us do not. I do not question the choices of those who can beat the pants off of me. On AR style guns I find that my transitions are faster with a vertical foregrip, and when I shoot a FAL or AK (which I actually do in 3gun all of the time) I hold the magazine. When I hold the mag of an AR I find that I cause malfunctions, because I tend to crank on it during hoser stages.

If somebody is a bozo, and feels the need to dump tons of money into his gear, rather than his practice. Good for me. That is one more person that I will beat come match time.

As for weapon mounted lights, I guess I must be some untrained, tacticool idiot wannabe, because I like them. I think they are a useful tool, and in some cases can be very valuable.

But since you guys can all outshoot me, I'll just be quiet. :p

yorec
March 25, 2005, 03:54 PM
Yep - and speaking of 3 gun matches - any coming up in your area in the near future, Correia? I'm looking for one - got the itch... ;)

jval
March 25, 2005, 04:40 PM
If home defense is a primary objective, then I would consider the following, not necessarily in this order of importance:

- What can I grab quickly?
- What can I double-tab without time to aim accurately?
- Do I have night sights on my weapon?
- Will I use a hand held flashlight or mounted light?
- What are my rights (in my state)?
- Will I have a round in the chamber, or do I have to cycle it (the cycle sound can be intimidating)?
- If I have more that one weapon, did I grab the one with the external safety?
- Who is in the next bedroom? (wall penatration)
- Do I have an alarm system? (gives you time to get your weapon before intruder gets to your bedroom)
- Most important: Decide on your reaction to an intruder ahead of time. Don't wait for it to happen to decide how you will react.
- Run practice drills with your spouse: e.g., he/she graps the portable phone, locks himself/herself in the bathroon and calls 911 while you grab the weapon and a simple makeshift shield.
- Last but not least, take time to put your pants on!

DMK
March 25, 2005, 06:57 PM
I'm guilty of a Bushnell Red Dot, a compact Streamlight,flip up backup iron sight (BUIS), a collapsable stock and an A2 flash suppressor on my home defense carbine (http://home.mchsi.com/~davidkoch/myarms/ARFnSAR.jpg). However, I've found that these units are light and compact enough that they don't get in the way or throw the balance off. In fact, my carbine is still lighter and much handier than my basic 20" (http://home.mchsi.com/~dmk0210/rifles/hd-A2.jpg) with a lightened barrel.

Most of the time, I practice with the iron sights, viewing through the red dot while it's off. I shoot with the red dot enough just to keep myself familiar with it (which doesn't take much, it's pretty intuitive). In fact, I never fold the iron sights down, just ignore them when using the dot.

Contrary to popular web rumor, you don't have to point your gun all over the place to identify a potential target with a quality weapon light. I can hold my weapon at low ready, touch the momentary switch on the light and clearly see out to 10-15 yards in clear weather just from reflected light. That's plenty good for the intended use of home defense. The light does pop off easily and I can use it in my palm if I need to casually light up something further than that.

Realistically, the most likely scenario for me to fire this rifle on my property is to defend my family or animals against a nocturnal four legged predator. In those cases, the red dot and streamlight are welcome indeed. I like the way the rifle is setup right now. It's easy to use, light and handy, and accurate. I shot this rifle quite a bit in fixed stock, carry handle form before I added the various doodads. I don't think I've lost anything and gained a bit of usefull functionality. If I was to enter in a 3-gun, it's probably the rifle I'd use. I'd surely take the light off though as it would be unnecessary in the day time and I'd want to keep it from getting damaged.

What about the collapsable stock? Well, that's just on there because it looks cool. I had to add it when the AWB ended. I do like it, but it doesn't add any necessary functionality over the Cav Arms C1 stock that was on there previously (http://home.mchsi.com/~dmk0210/rifles/ebr_midlength.jpg).

rwc
March 25, 2005, 07:28 PM
Re - household lighting:

They now make the soft luminescent night-lights (3x3in. greenish light panel) with a light sensor and a variable strength slider switch. Much better, and brighter than the first generation ones you plugged in and left on. They are still softer than any incandescent night-light and don't kill your night vision. Some of the new low-wattage flourescents will give you the same effect in a fixture. I found some at IKEA that work great as a reading light while not being bright enough to keep my wife up.

If you want a dimmer on a ceiling light buy the more expensive, square ones with the the flat slider control and a lit on/off switch below it. Better control and none of the annoying flicker you sometimes get with the old style rotating dimmer switches.

Ambush? What ambush?

As for the topic, I try never to criticize another man's toys, wife, or dog. But I might grin...

jefnvk
March 25, 2005, 09:21 PM
Let 'em spend their money how they like, and don't complain that the accessories are getting in their way and handing you a win ;)

Mr. Chitlin
March 25, 2005, 09:41 PM
I have a VFG on my 3 gun rifle (16" Bushy) and use it all of the time. I also practice with it, too.

http://photos.imageevent.com/brobert/ar15/websize/P4150034.JPG

Zak Smith
March 26, 2005, 02:14 AM
Here are some rifles I shoot in 3Gun. I do OK and even win sometimes (http://www.rm3g.com/3-19-05.txt). You can judge for yourself if there is "too much crap" on them--

http://apollo.demigod.org/~zak/DigiCam/RM3GM-2004/small/133_3343_img.jpg (http://apollo.demigod.org/~zak/DigiCam/RM3GM-2004/?medium=133_3343_img.jpg) [ link to LARGER image ] (http://apollo.demigod.org/~zak/DigiCam/RM3GM-2004/?medium=133_3343_img.jpg)

http://apollo.demigod.org/~zak/DigiCam/MSTN-LW17/small/152_5298_img.jpg (http://apollo.demigod.org/~zak/DigiCam/MSTN-LW17/?medium=152_5298_img.jpg) [ link to LARGER image ] (http://apollo.demigod.org/~zak/DigiCam/MSTN-LW17/?medium=152_5298_img.jpg)

http://apollo.demigod.org/~zak/DigiCam/MRP/small/152_5292_img.jpg (http://apollo.demigod.org/~zak/DigiCam/MRP/?medium=152_5292_img.jpg) [ link to LARGER image ] (http://apollo.demigod.org/~zak/DigiCam/MRP/?medium=152_5292_img.jpg)

http://apollo.demigod.org/~zak/DigiCam/Midlength-16/small/135_3597_img.jpg (http://apollo.demigod.org/~zak/DigiCam/Midlength-16/?medium=135_3597_img.jpg) [ link to LARGER image ] (http://apollo.demigod.org/~zak/DigiCam/Midlength-16/?medium=135_3597_img.jpg)
Each one is set up for a particular purpose, and serves that purpose well


What about the collapsable stock? Well, that's just on there because it looks cool. I had to add it when the AWB ended. I do like it, but it doesn't add any necessary functionality over the Cav Arms C1 stock that was on there previously.
Don't think so? Try maneuvering in confined spaces, shooting from the squared-off stance, or having shorter members of the family shoot it.

SinistralRifleman
March 26, 2005, 03:13 AM
357wheelgunner
Senior Member


Join Date: Apr 2004
Location: Rural South
Posts: 107

So I went to a 3gun match...
...and amost every single shooter there had a tricked out AR15 with a verticle foregrip and a surefire light stuck on somewhere. The funniest part was that 90% of them did not even use the verticle grip, just grabbed the shroud close to the magazine area.

What do you guys think? Should people spend their time shooting the gun instead of bolting stuff on, and their money on ammo? Or is it cool to be a tactical mall ninja bullet hoser and spray and miss.....Seriously why does everyone feel the need for things like verticle grips and other gadgets that don't even get used?

In a month or two I am building an AR with my gunsmith buddy and I am gonna leave it as is and get real good with the irons before I even think of bolting a bunch of ninja crap onto it.

Let's hear what the THR guys think of expensive bolt on accessories vs. a stock defensive rifle

How many of the people that shot against you, who you are criticizing scored better than you?

The rifles people use are a reflection of their personal taste and shooting style. Some features are useful for specific circumstances. I like using my vertical grips as monopods for long range shots off barricades, or for better control for off the shoulder shooting around barricades and close in targets. Very seldom do I see someone using something that I can say without a doubt is hindering their performance.

Your stock defensive rifle is fine if you want to shoot in Tactical Iron, or limited (whatever yor club calls it)....half the point of the game to me is to practice with the guns you would use defensively.

Shooting first and foremost is important, then you use equipment to increase your capabilities from there.

Correia
March 29, 2005, 02:25 PM
Zak, I don't win much, but I do at least make the guys who win worry once in awhile. :p

Nice rifles.

theCZ
March 29, 2005, 06:23 PM
I feel like I can only criticize people's ridiculous accessories in a match if they are shooting horribly or their accessories give them a disadvantage of some sort. Of course, I get a bigger kick out of seeing some guy in production class USPSA beat the pants off someone less experienced in "open" or limited 10. (I shoot production myself)

Correia
March 29, 2005, 06:27 PM
And one of my fondest competiton memorys was beating the heck out of a guy with a tricked out JP, (who had been bragging CONSTANTLY about how with this rifle he was unbeatable) and I beat him with a FAL built out of spare parts. :)

With that said, I've gotten the crap kicked out of me on several occasions by people with nicer guns, so once again, you can't draw any conclusions.

yorec
March 29, 2005, 08:05 PM
...I've got guys with 1960's era ARs who will beat the tar out of all comers. On the other hand I've got shooters with top of the line expensive JP rifles who can punch out a happy face in the head area of an IDPA target at 200 yards lightning fast...

Yer scarin' me Larry!

I'll show with a plain jane AR - only mod is the Hogue grip. I won't place in the top half I'm sure, but I'm gonna have fun whenever I shoot!!

natedog
March 29, 2005, 08:33 PM
Hey DMK, how do you activate the Streamlight? Does it have momentary on/off?

dadman
March 29, 2005, 09:36 PM
Something on the low-tech end, Heavy Metal.
http://www.multigun.com/hmetal.pdf
I've been to only a few 3-Gun matches at my range, and use equipment that could be classified as "Heavy Metal", i.e., cheaper than tacticool AR's. I get beat and am on the lower end of the scores. Fun and learning experience.

Bartholomew Roberts
March 29, 2005, 10:35 PM
My 3-gun blaster...

http://www.ont.com/users/kolya/AR15/AR15_6.jpg

Of course since that pic in September 2002, I've added a Surefire G2 in 1" rings... however since I have such elaborate gear I naturally don't shoot much and have only fired about 1,500rds since February 1st with a mere 2.5k budgeted for April.

Perhaps with enough shooting I will eventually reach the stage of enlightment that .357wheelgunner achieved watching a single match while planning the build of his AR.

SpookyPistolero
March 29, 2005, 10:44 PM
What kind of stock is that? It's the third I've seen and I don't know jack about them.

Zak Smith
March 29, 2005, 11:00 PM
Magpul M93A2

Bartholomew Roberts
March 29, 2005, 11:02 PM
It is a Magpul M93 MSS stock (http://www.bizplaces.com/magpul/). It is about three variants old now. The current production version is the M93B. I am very pleased with mine as it allows me to open it from collapsed to my own preset length with a simple pull.

It also offers a solid stock weld instead of the half on buffer tuber/half off of the traditional collapsing AR stocks. It is as solid as any fixed stock I have ever used and has 11 positions to adjust to. Very useful for when I am breaking in new shooters who are still young. Also useful for getting a little extra length in the prone position.

I would rate it right behind the ACOG as one of the purchases that I was initially reluctant to make; but very glad with the results.

SpookyPistolero
March 29, 2005, 11:08 PM
Ahh, so that's a Magpul. I had heard people talk about them but didn't put two and two together.

Geez, all these wicked looking AR's are driving me nuts.

('It's ok, AK's are so reliable...so cheap to feed...ignore the tacti-lust....be one with the Saiga...) :uhoh:

Ah-hem, I'm fine now. No, really....

Zak Smith
March 29, 2005, 11:13 PM
+1 on what Bartholomew Roberts said about the Magpul stock. You'll notice I have it on virtually ALL my AR15's (and AR10's). The only exception is my JP CTR-02 for no particular reason besides I haven't got around to it yet. That consistent and solid cheek weld is a huge advantage. The stock is very robust, and locks positively in place. For prone shooting or "position" standards, I use P4 or P5. For CQB stages, I use P2 or P3.

-z

SpookyPistolero
March 29, 2005, 11:22 PM
I did notice you have them on all your AR's, Zak. The solid cheek weld is a good selling point for me. I am considering an AR build probably much later this year and that sounds like a worthwhile addition. 'AR' they terribly expensive? (hahaha, sorry, had to write that. It was so organic, and not good)

I have never even seen a three gun match but am itching to get into it after school is over this semester. I have been looking for a place to gain skill at practical rifle shooting which I am crap at. Has anyone ran an AK much in 3-gun? Is it still fun? I'm not looking to win it all, really, just to learn to use what I have.

I heard Correia does frequently, probably a good sign.

Zak Smith
March 29, 2005, 11:25 PM
A few months ago, we ran an annual "AR vs AK" match where you shot the match with your AR15, and then reshot it with your AK.

On the CQB and short stages, they were close with no clear winner. On the medium and longer range stages (300 yards), the AK had a big disadvantage due poor sights.

-z

SpookyPistolero
March 29, 2005, 11:35 PM
Yeah, I don't have a lot of faith in the sight setup. Have you ever seen or used the Krebs AR-type rear sight that attaches to the dust cover?

I have a pipe dream of putting a dustcover with a set-screw, along with the Krebs sight, and then taking off the old rear sight, and replacing that with one of the mounts they make to replace the rear sight leaf.

Seems that you'd have a great setup if you could get that to work. Most reports that I've heard from people say there was little to no loss of zero after removal of the dust cover when using that sight.

It may be like trying to put a Porsche engine in a Yugo, but at least it would be a fun project.

Zak Smith
March 29, 2005, 11:39 PM
If you are not limited to iron sights, mount a DoctorSight on one of those "scout" rails from Ultimak. Should rock.

Archie
March 29, 2005, 11:46 PM
What are the target range(s) for the 'rifle' portion of a three gun match? How many shots per stage, as a rough average?

I'm wondering if a Garand is possible, or does the 'twenty-five round burst' rule eliminate that rifle out of hand?

I've shot cowboy three gun; the 'long' portions were usually under one hundred yards. The one or two other three gun matches were similarly close for the 'long gun' portion. Both of those matches were friendly to less than twenty round magazine capacities. I'm just wondering what the rest of the world is like.

SpookyPistolero
March 29, 2005, 11:51 PM
Wowza. Had to do a search to find them, I think the cheapest cost more than my rifle. But then what good optics don't end up with that price tag. Any idea what the difference, other than about $400, is between the standard and law enforcement model?

Either way, a good red dot on an Ultimak would probably solve most problems.

Zak Smith
March 29, 2005, 11:52 PM
It really depends on the guys running the match, and the berms available at the host range. At RM3G (the big one at the NRAWC in Raton NM) rifle stages are typically 30-45 required rounds, with rifle shots from contact distance to 325 yards. At Pueblo, we shoot to 400 yards. Many ranges are limited to 100 yards.

You can read the match reports I posted here in the Competition forum to get an idea of what they are like. (Search for my name in the Competition forum.)

The garand would put you at a disadvantage against M1As, AKs, or AR15s similar to shooting a 8-round 1911 against 14-20 round "Limited" pistols. You have to plan to shoot targets in groups of 4, and plan your reloads well. That said, you'll have a hoot and get style points.

-z

Zak Smith
March 29, 2005, 11:53 PM
I believe the LE model of the DoctorSight is "more" water resistant.

There's also the J-Point from JP Enterprises.

Bartholomew Roberts
March 30, 2005, 12:19 AM
What are the target range(s) for the 'rifle' portion of a three gun match? How many shots per stage, as a rough average?

Longest range I've shot during a match was about 250yds. The matches I have shot have mostly been non-semi friendly and a competent pump/bolt/lever rifle can compete well in them. Round counts are in the 20-40 range.

However, it depends a LOT on the match director. It is real easy to set up matches where a certain type of rifle will dominate.

I'm wondering if a Garand is possible, or does the 'twenty-five round burst' rule eliminate that rifle out of hand?

Garands have done well in the matches I've shot; but you have to know how to run them (I don't).

I've shot cowboy three gun; the 'long' portions were usually under one hundred yards. The one or two other three gun matches were similarly close for the 'long gun' portion. Both of those matches were friendly to less than twenty round magazine capacities. I'm just wondering what the rest of the world is like.

There was a shoot locally at Tac-Pro Shooting Center and there was a father-son team that used the same rig they used for Cowboy Action Shooting and fnished in the top five. Didn't get to witness the action firsthand myself; but the owner related the action to me. The father used a side by side 12ga and the son used a .22LR lever.

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