Tag Archives: Rifle

Lucid L5 rifle Scope. Part 1.

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Lucid had sent me one of their new L5 rifle scopes to test out some time ago and I’ve not been able to really get to it.   Now is the time.  The L5 was never meant to be a Combat Optic.  It wasn’t designed for use on an AR-15.  You can see, it’s a bit large for this task.  The L5 is more suited for a long range hunting or target rifle.  It would look natural on a Remington Sendero or the like.   I could see this on an AR-10 as well.  But it’s a lot of scope for the light weight AR-15 here.  But that’s fine.  This AR-15 brings a lot of consistency and accuracy that will let me test the Scope, and not the Gun.  That’s important here.   But you can see, this isn’t making for a real workable configuration for me… It needs something else.  You see, this L5 is a 6-24 power optic.  Sometimes 6X is too much.

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The 45 Degree offset is built into the Daniel Defense tube. All it takes is moving the add-on rail sections, and presto. Right over the bore as you want them. The MBUIS lay flat enough that they do not get in the way, and pop up when needed.  Simple enough. 
I tell you what though – I’d never have considered putting this sort of set up on my rifle… But I gotta face it… with my eyes now… I really do need a magnified optic.  I need something a bit more suited to an AR-15 with magnification… I prefer a 4 power I think.  Lucid is said to be working on just that.   But this is to test the L5 Scope.  

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In the mean time, the L5 will be getting a full evaluation.    Here’s my initial impression:
Let me start off by saying that I can be an optics snob.  I’m not easily impressed and normally any scope under $1200 doesn’t impress me.  There are some exceptions to that… and the L5 is one of them.  

What you are looking for in Glass is Clarity.  Optical Clarity is primary.  Second to that Brightness.  And Third is Color.  Some may argue that, but this is my considered opinion.  I sold high dollar optics along with guns for many years and I learned to see the differences.  The L5 has the clarity.  It has the brightness.  While it transfers color very well, it’s not a Swarovski.  But you are not paying Swarovski dollars either.  It does however, have better “CBC” than other scopes of this type, and ones that cost a whole lot more.  Between this L5 and one that costs almost double – I’d take the L5 in a heartbeat.  That’s the thing about Lucid… if you want something better, you gotta pay double.  Tangibly better – you gotta pay a lot more.  I’ll go ahead and say it – I like this scope a lot better than a Nikon Monarch or a Burris or anything from Bushnell.  Millett or the like, need not apply.

The side parallax focus goes all the way down to 15 yards.   You could put this on a heavy barrel rimfire rifle.   Huh… Maybe I should try it out on my .17 HMR Savage.  (The most accurate rifle I’ve ever had)

Lets talk about that for a second – Parallax in a rifle scope is where your target and your reticle are in two different focal planes.   This comes across as one of the two being out of focus.  The result is that the reticle can swim or move around on the target… making for a less precise shot.  To get the most precision out of your scope, and put that round right where you want it, the Parallax must be focused.  The reticle and target need to be focused sharp together.  Parallax comes into play typically in high power scopes, 12 power or above… which is why most 4-12 or 3-9 scopes don’t have a manually adjustable Parallax.   They are factory focused at about 150 yards.  Rimfire scopes between 35 to 50 yards.  We’re used to seeing the Parallax focus out on the Objective bell.  The L5 has it on a third turret, which has become the standard place for Parallax adjustment.  This makes any adjustment precise and easy to make… without having to come out of your shooting position to do it.   Rule of thumb, set the focus to the range you are shooting.   If you are shooting at 100 yards, set it to 100 yards, and then fine tune it.

The L5 scope is constructed very well.   Very solid, so much so that it reminds me of some very premium optics.  A rifle scope is a precision optical instrument… the internals are always delicate no matter who makes them… so they need to be protected.  A solid built scope like this goes a long way to help that.  The tube body is 30mm, which is ideal and the objective lens is a fat 50mm.  If you want a 50mm Obj, you really need to go 30mm in the tube.  Too many scopes are out there with a 1″ tube, and that’s just too skinny and you don’t get the light.  30/50 is ideal.  I can’t stress that enough.  Some companies are putting out larger, which is a fine, but then you are forced to get very expensive specialized rings and your mounting options become limited.  Pretty much everyone making Rings these days makes a 30mm option.  It’s a common size.  Commonality has it’s advantages.  Going to a 32mm or something like that… you start to loose advantage over cost and flexibility.   The Turrets are tight, but the clicks are distinct and counting 5 up or 4 right – not a problem.  I’m not going to name any other brands, but one brand that has a scope similar to this… the clicks were indistinct and made such adjustments vague.  

Now here’s what I like about the L5 scope.  The L5 Reticle:

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I like a fine crosshair.  This allows for actual precision shooting.  The reticle through the scope is clear and distinct.  It’s not an illuminated reticle… but most are not.  And for most people, illumination is not needed.  I am no Operator anymore and I will not act like one.  I am old and busted and enjoy large breakfasts and comforts that go with that… so I don’t want an illuminated reticle in a precision scope.  Again, this is a precision scope, not a combat scope.   This scope is designed to get me out to long range, and make a good kill-zone shot quickly.   Take a look at that reticle.  It’s quite simple.  To make it even more simple,  this reticle is programed into the STRELOK calculator… an App for you Smart Phone.   I’ve been a fan of the STRELOK calculator for some time.  I used it to zero a .50 BMG and it got me on target with 1 shot.  Second shot confirmed it.  Done.  

I can’t wait to get this out and start putting a whole lotta rounds down range with this.

Again – Anyone wanting a Lucid optic, use the coupon code MyLucidDeal at checkout.

SIDE NOTE:  The Lucid HD7 that I had on this rifle is now on my Son’s AR-15.  He is quite happy about that.  I am afraid that I may not be able to get my HD7 back once this testing is all complete.

Edited:  Edited to correct my comment about Color.

Adjustibility

Adjustable stocks.  It started there.  Length of pull.  Comb height.  That’s all fine and well.  But now user adjustable is going everywhere.  Is this a good thing for the average shooter?
It’s bad enough watching someone who should be more squared away, constantly playing with his stock length and his sling… I’ve watched guys play with their adjustments more than actually pulling the trigger.  More than drilling the Fundamentals.  More than their effort in making an accurate shot.

Now there is this thing:  The Effin-A.   A user adjustable muzzle brake.  Now, the more I think about this… the more I can see the appeal.  Think of all the excuses you can use for poor shots.  What I’m seeing is a whole lot of ammo used testing and tweaking – and that’s good.  That’s a lot of practice going on and I like that.  It certainly has it’s place.  Maybe.  For guns no one else is making a brake for.  (Is there such a thing now days?) Being able to tune the brake to what you want.  If you are a competitive shooter and know your gun better than you know your spouse’s erogenous zones… Maybe this is for you.  Then again, maybe not.

For me… I’ll buy a Battle Comp and have it installed properly and call it good and not have to worry about futzing with the muzzle brake and I can concentrate on my shooting.  Of course, I’m the same guy that set his adjustable stock to how he wanted it a long time ago and has never moved it since.  I don’t like playing around with my weapon like that.  In fact, it annoys me.  My Battle Comp was engineered very well to start with.  In fact, it was engineered pretty much perfectly.  Why would I want to mess with that?

What do you guys think of this?

Since I was 17 years old…

Since I was 17 years old, I’ve consistently said that “They need to build an M1 Carbine that fires 9mm and feeds from a regular pistol magazine.”  I think I’ve said this on just about any gun forum I’ve talked about the M1 Carbine on.

And now, finally, many many years later… Someone has done just that.  Using common and easy to find… and cheap to acquire, Beretta 92 Magazines.  I’d have rather Glock, but barring Glock, Beretta 92 is the next best choice.

I love this idea.  I’m completely jazzed about it.  I’m looking forward to seeing many modifications to these… all manner of custom work.  The thought of one of these in a Paratrooper configuration just makes me weak in the knees.

Some will ask about the Company.  Citadel.  These guys are in the Philippines… state of the art facility.  And have put out some very decent 1911 pistols for very reasonable prices.

I’m unsure of the state of that facility now, giving the disaster that has befallen the Philippines with that Super Hurricane that almost wiped the whole country off the map.  But here’s to hope.

My Rifle.

This is my person AR-15.  I’m not done tweaking it yet.  I’m going to shoot some Olive Drab Green on it, a little brown on it, and some MagPull Flat Dark Earth… But I’m in no hurry to do so.  I’ll select color and pattern after I move to NC.  Get the local colors there.  Going all FDE isn’t going to do me a bit of good out there.  And I’m not going to do it in anything fancy like Ceramic empregnated polymer or epoxy based resins or teflon infused bone.  None of that.  Krylon.  Spray on, rattle can, Krylon.  Why?  To remind me… that this rifle is a Tool and not a Precious Keepsake.  The wear on the Krylon will be viewed as Training Badges.  Scars gained in activities that develop and teach skills.
Also, I’m going to order a drop in trigger for it – because, to be honest, the trigger is Meh.  I was going to order a popular now trigger that starts with a G and no one can pronounce the name the same way twice.  But instead, I’m going to order one from “Black Rain”.  They have a solid adjustable unit that lets you tune it.  I like that.
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Instead of taking the time to order put parts together, I just started out with an off the shelf rifle.  I selected a Daniel Defense DDM4V7 Light Weight.  Then Joe at Crusader Weaponry installed the BattleComp muzzle brake and hit the Bolt Carrier Group with a Permanent treatment of Crusader Weaponry’s SLIPSTREAM lubricant.  Makes the gun run slick and snot, and it feels like a .22LR when shooting.

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Here you can see the BCG better.  The Slipstream gives it a satin grey finish… nothing flashy or “pimped out” about it.  It’s just slick.  If you hand cycle it slowly, you can actually feel the bolt lock and unlock within the action.    On top of the rifle is the Lucid HD7 Gen 3 FDE optic.  Backing it up is a set of MagPul flip up sights… which is kinda pointless as the Lucid is bullet proof and the batteries last forever.

I’ve thought about putting an upgraded optic on it… something “Better”.  But looking at the so called better options… I’m really not seeing any Red Dots that qualify as tangibly better. I’d have to go all the way up to the Trijicon SRS… and those suckers retail for over 900 bucks, for only some sort of perceived “Betterness”.  Yeah, I’d rather spend all that extra coin on ammo.

If I do switch off this optic… it would only be for something that was magnified  Perhaps in a 1-4 variable.  But to be honest, nothing as really sold me to justify the swap.  Vortex has a PST 1-4 something or other that looks cool, but has huge unprotected turrets that can easily get spun unintentionally.    Forget that.   Yeah, I’m happy with the Lucid HD7′s.   They define “Bang for the buck” value.

The AR rush

The hottest gun selling now is of course, the AR.  We’ve sold hundreds of every kind, as many as we could get our hands on.  People have been buying them like crazy.  We are now completely sold out.  And we sold over 620 magazines… after limiting people to 3 each.  This is the craziest gun buying rush I’ve ever seen.  And the demand is not easing off.

If these sales were because of a spike in popularity… because of Christmas as everyone wants an AR because they are fun to shoot, and awesome to have… This would be great.  This would be a season to remember.  I’d be loving this.  But that’s not what’s been happening.  People are buying rifles like this because they are afraid of a possible ban and they are afraid of the Government.  That puts a sour taste in my mouth for all this.

This is not just here locally… this is Nation Wide.  I even had reporters call me at work and home.  Here’s one report.

As I said in the article, normally I’d be selling deer rifles, shotguns, and the like.  Now it’s all Concealed Carry type guns and fighting rifles.  All AR’s and AK’s are gone and all full capacity magazines.  This isn’t what normally flies this time of year.

 

Rethinking the AR-15 for Home Defense.

I’ve totally sidelined all my “Combat Rifles” for Home Defense use.  Specifically the 5.56mm guns.  See, the AR-15 does great for Home Defense in many aspects.  They are easy to use, have precision accuracy, and have a great capacity.  They should be perfect for Home Defense, right?
Not really.
The AR-15 has one dramatic problem.  They are hella loud.  The High pressure, Supersonic Crack, of the AR-15′s Report is severely damaging to human ears.  Even Ogre ears.
Last time I took one of my boys out shooting, I provided him with Ear Pro and Eye Pro.  We were having fun shooting, and he’s a good Shooter.  Well he loaded up an AR-15 and forgot to put his Ear Pro back in after taking them out for some unknown reason.  (No, that’s his reason… “I don’t know”.) I wasn’t looking as I was loading a magazine and normally he is a cautious shooter and does it right.  Well, he cracked off a shot.  Now, we were outside, well away from structures that would reflect sound waves.  But the rifle was still so loud that it hurt his ears pretty badly.  2 Weeks later, he still had signs that his hearing took some damage.  Unfortunately with Hearing, there is nothing you can do.  What’s done is done.

Imagine how this could have gone down if we were in an Indoor shooting range.  He could have been made deaf from the AR’s blast.

Imagine in an emergency situation in the home… Bad Guy makes a threat.  You suddenly grab your AR and let him have it.  5, 6, 12 rounds into the Goblin.  Inside your house.  Now you and your wife and all your kids are all completely deaf thanks to the AR-15 and thanks to the Pain In The Ass and Expensive Restrictions on Suppressors.  Sure, the Goblin is no longer a threat… but now all of you are going to suffer from this the rest of your lives.
Sure, a Home Defense Shotgun is Loud – but it’s not that sharp, eardrum shattering crack of a 5.56mm Carbine.  Hell, even my .45-70 Thumper isn’t that loud.  Even pistol caliber carbines are a great option compared to the AR-15.
Another bad choice for HD duty is the .357 Magnum.  An ungodly loud handgun that is unpleasant to fire with earpro in an indoor range… Devastating to your hearing when fired indoors unprotected.

The best weapon ever invented for Home Defense remains the Tactical Shotgun.  Probably the most effective and least damaging to one’s hearing for weapons running Un-Suppressed.   And you can get a good shotgun for a few hundred bucks.  Or you could use that Thousand Dollar AR, with that 800 Dollar Can and that 200 Dollar Tax Stamp… Couple Hundred bucks vs A Couple Grand.  You chose.  But ask yourself this… Is that 2 Grand worth of rifle going to do a better job of home defense than the Shotgun?

 

Zero Distance

I think I am going to Re-Zero all of my Long Range Arms for 300 Yards. Take your favorite Killing Guns, get out your favorite Ballistic Calculator and really look at your Trajectories. Between your 0 yard and your normal 100 or 200 yard zero range, look at the highest point in the arc to that range. Now change your zero range and push it out to 300 yards. Really not much effective difference there is it? Now take a look at the trajectory between your zero to 400 yards at both 100 or 200 compared to a 300 yard zero. Here’s what I’m seeing. I hold on the Kill Zone regardless of range. No more of this “Hold on the top of it’s back” BS. At most, even with a gun that drops a lot, such as a .308 or .30-06, I might hold at the top of the kill zone – but I’m still aiming for Kill Zone and hitting in Kill Zone. This works out especially well with the Magnums and their flatter trajectories. The old stand by of 100 yard zeroes is still needed for some guns, but for your Hunting guns, it doesn’t make any sense. And that wild ass guess of “Two Inches High at 100″ is starting to kinda do the same thing, but without actually knowing what your gun is doing. So next time I go out to zero, I’ll start at 100 to know where I am at, then push it out and actually zero at 300.

The One Rifle.

On YouTube I watched a video by a fellow named James Yeager about how there is no such thing as One Rifle for everything.  He calls it a myth. 
I call Bullshit on that.
History is full of instances where a man has just one rifle and did everything with it, just fine.  Survived to tell the tale.  James Yeager is free to express his own opinions, but he is not free to his own Facts.  US History, be it Frontier History, Western Expansion, Wild West, Military History… what ever kind of history you want to call it.  Only in our Modern Email Era do we enjoy having more than one rifle for different purposes. 
In this Modern Era, the late Colonel Jeff Cooper considered a One Rifle concept and called it the “Scout”.  His Scout Rifle Concept is a proven winner.  Steyr manufactured their Scout with Jeff’s blessing and assistance.  And it pretty much did what was promised.  Now Ruger and Savage are making Factory Scout Rifles with pretty good success.
Any one of these would make for a fine “One Rifle” solution. 
Historically, the One Rifle has been a Winchester Lever Action in .30-30, .32 Special or the like.  Today a good solid and smooth cycling Lever Action is truly a thing of joy.  There are few things you can’t do with a .30-30.  I’ve even killed an Elk with one at 200 yards, and I’m sure I’m not the only person in history to have done so.
Today’s Rifleman though is packing an AR.  The Black Rifle has gone mainstream… and for many new shooters, the AR is The One.  The AR-15 might be kind of light for a One Rifle, but an AR-10 type rifle gives you some considerable advantages in terminal performance on big game.
After some consideration, I’m thinking a new One Rifle is more than doable.    Let’s do that AR platform in .308.  Let’s hit it with a light weight, 16″ True Polygonal Rifled Barrel, and let’s give it some lightweight furniture with an adjustable stock.   Simple, Clean, and effective in most any situation.  Give it an adjustable 1-4 power optic.  Give it a tough finish, resistant to abrasion and corrosion. 
Contact CrusaderWeaponry.com to order you a Crusader One Rifle.