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The Sig Sauer MCX was born as rifle caliber replacement for the Heckler & Koch MP5SD submachine gun. Why? Well, because they could. Submachine guns developed prior to the MCX were hamstrung by technology and materials that limited their reliable operation to pistol cartridge pressure levels. But, rifle power performance in a compact form factor is what we’ve come to expect as desktop computers are replaced by phones the size of a candy bar.

Ditching the handgun cartridge and running more powerful rifle ammunition called for an updated operating system. The MP5′s roller lock, delayed blowback system is fine for pistol caliber loads, but these systems struggle to deal with the higher pressures of rifle caliber loads. While the MP5 is arguably one of the most reliable guns on the planet, you can look at the HK G3 for a hint of how the higher chamber pressure of a rifle round affect roller lock, delayed blowback systems. In a blowback system, the brass case is still filled with chamber gasses at the beginning stage of extraction. HK had to use a fluted chamber in the G3 so the brass has room to expand and contract in order to provide reliable extraction. (Even so, torn cases are not unheard of in the G3.)

In a Stoner system, the gasses are vented through the gas port and the chamber pressure is much lower by the time extraction happens. So Sig Sauer decided that the rotating, locking bolt, as we’ve become used to on the Stoner AR action, is needed to provide reliable extraction and safely contain the chamber pressures of rifle cartridges.

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The Knights Armament SOF Light Individual Carbine Kalashnikov (SLICK) was one of KAC’s entries for the Special Operations Command combat assault rifle program (SCAR). It didn’t win, but there is some very interesting engineering going on in the rifle and KAC shared some details of the stillborn rifle in this a video shared on their KnightsArmCo YouTube channel that also looks at their more conventional entry SR15-based entry and the FN SCAR that SOF ultimately adopted.

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SilencerCo says their new Wizard Staff is the quietest .22LR suppressor ever made. This is the first commercial use of Mithril as a baffle material and we are eager to hear about its durability. The Wizard Staff will retail for $22,000 Silver Shekels when it is released to retailers later this quarter.

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SilencerCo just shared this video describing the steps involved in buying a silencer. They claim they found the video locked in an unearthed 50′s era time-capsule, but I doubt it. I’m pretty sure the ATF hadn’t adopted computers until 2003 when they bought their first IBM PC/AT off Craigslist. Have a great weekend, folks!

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 Larry Vickers’ TacTV traveled to Russia and got a look at the training that goes on in the top tier of Russia’s federal security and law enforcement service, the FSB.

It’s interesting to hear Vickers talk about how dangerous and risky the drills are, then walk off the platform by saying, “but, it’s Russia.” At the end of the video, he stresses the training he’s depicting is the final stage in a progression of training for very high level operators. This mitigates the disdain for this type of training that’s reserved for the skinny-tie-and-pony-tail crowd and the seeming irresponsibility of running open enrollment (and un-vetted) students through drills in which a lapse can have deadly consequences.

Sure it’s dangerous, there’s even what looks like an AD  an unaimed warning shot fired into the ground during the scuffling. But, the fact that training just goes on is an eye-opening look at the differences between training mentalities. Can you imagine any class in the US just rolling on after a student has an AD or fires an unaimed shot? In reality, this portion of the video shows us a key component of high value, scar-free training. Train like you fight. Don’t stop and have a safety freak out. A shot was fired with a muzzle pointed in a safe direction, no one was injured, shit happened and the threat persists: carry on.

Of course, like Vickers says, this is a top tier unit and a discharge like this occurring at lower levels of training should evoke the stop everything/safety stand down response.

It also tells me that I would want anyone performing these drills to run them with sim guns about 100 times without a flaw before running it with live rounds. In fact, I see little benefit (little, not zero) from running these drills with live rounds. The potential for injury is way too high to justify the last 5% of realism in training that comes from the noise and violence of live rounds.

What do you think? Are Americans too risk averse with our training or are there just too many knuckleheads out there to even consider putting folks downrange with live rounds in play?

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The only way this video could have been made better is with the addition of Kryptek Yeti.

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October 23 of this year marked the 30th anniversary of the terror attack on the U.S. Marine barracks in Beirut, Lebanon. It was the largest nonnuclear explosion in history. Thirty years later, it still is. The NRA Life of Duty Frontlines team returned to Beirut to remember, and to honor, those whose lives were lost.

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The ATF posted a series of videos yesterday accompanying the release of their report on 3D-printed pistol technology.

“The bottom line is, the penetration results demonstrated that the Liberator is a lethal weapon,” Earl Griffith, chief of ATF’s firearms technology branch, explained to reporters at ATF headquarters in Washington on Wednesday. “The .380 bullets fired from the Liberator penetrate sufficiently to reach vital organs and perforate the skull.”

It looks like the 3D-printed gun made from Visijet material blew up before the bullet even left the chamber, as seen in the video above. Another video on the ATF’s Youtube channel, below, shows a Liberator made from ABS material successfully firing a presumably vital-organ-reaching, skull-perforating shot.

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NRA Life of Duty Correspondent Chuck Holton and the Frontlines team ride through Somalia’s war-torn streets alongside former U.S. Army Rangers Keni Thomas and Jeff Struecker, reliving a scene of intense personal tragedy, sacrifice and heroism.

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The precision guided rifle company has made a splash in the hunting market, but they have yet to really show if and how they are planning to bring their game-changing technology to the military/tactical market. Well, here’s a teaser of things to come from TrackingPoint.

The system has the ability to make nearly anyone a 1,000-yard marksman in the right conditions, and presents the possibility of a one-man sniper team.

Before anyone goes off on the “batteries will fail” or “technology like this will never be reliable” rantpath, just look at the vast amount of electronic gear our troops are already deploying with. Night vision, GPS, communications … these are all examples of electronics that were made to work on the battlefield.

TrackingPoint will be no different. The issues this system faces are cost, night vision compatibility and wind detection technology. If any two of those three issues are addressed, I can see TrackingPoint’s tech, or that of it’s competitors, taking it’s place on the battlefield.

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