Folding Stock Adapter Comparison Pt. 4

1.2. 3. 4.
5. 6. 7. 8.

1. Doublestar Ace FSA, 2. SB Tactical BTFA, 3. Sylvan Arms FSA 4. MDT Carbine|Carbine FSA,
5. UTG/Leapers FSA, 6. XLR FSA 7. Law Tactical FSA (and clones) 8. Hera Arms

Hera Arms Side Folding Unit

Ordered on November 15th from https://ballisticdeals.com. It shipped on November 18th and I got email notifications of order and shipment. It arrived on November 23rd and I immediately pulled it out to do some testing. Finish is fantastic, fit is perfect save a tiny bit of play in one direction.

It’s extremely nice and super compact. Obviously made to that quintessentially Teutonic standard which borders on the manufacturing equivalent of pedantry. Germans just make things well. It’s in their DNA.

It would have been nice if the design didn’t need a snugging up mechanism like the MDT design but, alas, the Hera unit doesn’t come with a snugging up mechanism which cost it a point. Still, ever the optimist, I applied 1 layer of masking tape on the flat mating surfaces and that brought all the wiggle to zero and the sound of it closing took on the thud of a bank vault. It wouldn’t have been enough wiggle to notice behind the gun. Interesting note, when XLR Industries later licensed the design they added two set screws that you could back out to snug the thing up. I’ll forgive it in my heart but still deduct the point and I’ll end up adding those set screws because they just make sense even if a layer of masking tape does just as well.

It has a fantastic ball detent does a good hold-open job for extremely light butt stocks but if your butt is made of metal, it’s probably not going to hold it open against a firm shake. It will probably keep the thing from banging you in the head during a hike with the rifle backpack stowed. Even if it’s not super functional it counts as a two way locking design. NOTE: I’m using “locking” very loosely during this whole thing for fairness. Manufacturing quality is very nice. No machining marks, nice anodized finish, no dings. Install is as easy as with the XLR unit and pretty much identical. Spin the adapter onto your chassis, clock it, snug the hell out of the 2 locking screws, install butt, snug castle nut.

It’s super compact too. Upside all other units is visibly the smallest by a good ways. The XLR and MDT units are not a lot bigger but they are a bit bigger. Why does side matter for this? It’s mostly a matter of clearance for your bolt cycling hand. Some of these units I’ve tested (UTG/Leapers, looking your direction) stick out in places that hands will eventually be cycling bolts in. Drag your knuckle at high speed across a folding stock adapter and I bet you’ll howl. So, it matters about size and it matters about where that size is concentrated.

Get your Dark Rey on.

Here’s a little trivia for you: Dark Rey’s light saber actually uses a real Hera Arms SFU as its folding mechanism in whatever Star Something movie has a character named “Dark Rey” whom also uses a thing called a “light saber” (also pedant moment: anyone knowing their physics very well says, “‘Sabre’ implies a tip exists in a fixed location and that’s not how light works.”) It’s true. I looked it up and there are even pictures of it. Cool huh? You can see in the image below the distinctive locking hasp and overall profile and above you can see the actual unit used on the actual light saber from the movie.

This unit, like most of them being tested is not compatible with any AR-15 where the bolt carrier reciprocates through the buffer tube/upper interface. For a bolt action rifle though it’s awesome. Slim, sleek, well made, tough and relatively inexpensive but with all the features one might want and it installs as easily as a child’s finger goes into his nose.

Where did it fall down? No instructions in the box or generally available to a quick Google search. Honestly if you need instructions though, you should not have tools or guns or hands and any of those will just get you into trouble. The rest of us already assume that you’re mechanically inept enough to destroy the Earth with an extravagant gesture. For everyone else, it’s trivially easy to overlook Hera losing 2 points there.

It picked up some point value for the steel locking mechanism, lost some for 6061 aluminum and balanced out at .75 for construction. It lost another full point for no tuning mechanism for the wiggle and for there being wiggle when the bipod is unloaded. It got full pretty much points otherwise and looks like it’ll probably end up either winning for compactness unless the SB Tactical unit is insanely compact. The total score of 14.75 out of 19 places it in a solid 3rd place so far.

New for ’21 BallisticXLR BigX Shooting Bag


The BigX Shooting Bag from BallisticXLR

There’s Game Changers and Shmediums and Fortune Cookies and Dog Boes and wedges and cylinders and all kinds of stuff and what they nearly all have in common is shockingly high weight numbers which PRS shooters have it stuck in their heads as being necessary. It’s not. You can have a shooting bag that’s versatile, big, grippy and lightweight and it doesn’t have to be a bounce monster.

To prove that, we’re launching our own line of shooting bag. These are 10x10x11 inches, shaped like an X and filled with the lightest bag fill available in the world. This quite large bag tips the scales at 1lbs 8oz. Yep, a mighty pound and a half or about exactly the same as a decent steak.

The fill is waterproof. It cannot absorb water so these bags dry super fast even after a full dunking and even if they do get wet, it’s only the cover that will absorb any water so they don’t get much heavier and they dry super quickly. The fill material is composed of 3-4mm polymer spheriods which are irregularly shaped providing fantastic lock-in. These spheriods (not quite a perfect ball, slightly squished and irregularly faceted) are naturally anti-fungal and non-dust generating. The fill is however static-y as hell even after we changed the formulation specifically to reduce the amount of static. It’s not super bad but if it touches hair it’s pretty uncooperative at going anywhere else. Hmm.. little tiny balls and strongly attracted to people’s hair. Wait a second… Did Joe Biden shape shift into a shooting bag? Nah. Couldn’t be.

The bag comes with a shoulder carry strap and a clip strap to use to strap the bag to your gun or to a barricade or whatever else you find it handy for. The valleys of each of the sides of the X are lined with super grippy TrumpHands material which can grab even the slipperiest of surfaces securely allowing you to get kissing close with the greatest of ease.

Did we mention this bad boy is big? It’s also small. And it’s in between. Depends on how you use it. You can get anywhere from 2″ of lift to 11″ of lift. Use it as a toe bag or a fore-end bag or a body pillow or actually rest your head on it. Is this a replacement for all your other bags? Not probably. It’s better at some things than the others, the others are better at other things. It’s another tool in your toolbox, not a be-all end-all solution because we know for a fact that other than nuclear weapons, there are no be-all end-all solutions.

Pricing is $100 shipped to the lower 48 and ordering can be done on our ordering page.

Folding Stock Adapter Comparison Pt. 3

1.2. 3. 4.
5. 6. 7. 8.

1. Doublestar Ace FSA, 2. SB Tactical BTFA, 3. Sylvan Arms FSA 4. MDT Carbine|Carbine FSA,
5. UTG/Leapers FSA, 6. XLR FSA 7. Law Tactical FSA (and clones) 8. Hera Arms SFU

MDT Folding Stock Adapter $149

The speed with which the unit arrived is exemplary of my experiences with MDT. Every single time they surprise me by getting my order to my door several days ahead of when I might expect. It was ordered on the 10th and arrived on the 13th. I got order and ship notices via email with all the information I needed.

Installation was trivially easy and fast. It took only 2 minutes to uninstall the XLR unit and install the MDT unit. Getting it timed into position was not as easy as the XLR because the MDT uses a single screw to snug up the receiver block to the FSA and the act of snugging it up can easily cause the FSA to rotate a bit. It was not the unending bitch to get clocked right that the UTG/Leapers unit was. The XLR system uses 2 screws which avoids the whole issue and I think MDT might make a few friends by adopting that design element. Getting the butt stock installed was trivial and the castle nut locked it up just fine.

Now came the biggest surprise so far. The lockup of the MDT unit was FLAWLESS out of the box and there was no way (or need) to tweak it. It’s just tight as a nun’s cunt right out of the box. That being the case, it occasionally was a little less willing to unlock than the XLR unit. You might notice I’m comparing the XLR and MDT directly a lot. Well, that’s because so far they’re really close and it’s the only comparison so far that seemed remotely fair.

After installation and some snap-open and snap close work, it was outside to bash against a barricade. The MDT unit simply excelled. Pushing, pulling, plopping hard on the ground, high angle where I’m putting my fully body weight down through the stock and into the bipod… all were easily tolerated and no evidence of strain on the unit was evident.

It’s a little longer than the XLR unit, just enough that I had to reset my XLR Tactical butt stock LOP from where it was with the XLR unit. Interestingly, not one has been 100% interchangeable with any other so far though the UTG and XLR units were the closest so far.

The MDT has no mechanism for adding drag to the open/close and if you want it double locking then it’s another $50. Getting to $200 for what is really nothing but a toy for most civilian uses is starting to get excessive especially when UTG manages two-way locking for $15. If MDT would have included that lock-open at the $149 price point, they’d have OWNED this comparison on value for features, and performance.

Given the testing criteria some points were deducted. The steel locking mechanism added .25pts it might not have otherwise gotten but it lost .5pts because it didn’t come with instructions (you have to go online to get them). The choice for steel lockup parts and aluminum body parts, that’s good material selection. That the lockup was SO tight right out of the box actually got it an extra .5pts just for being pimp-tastic on lockup. It’s very difficult to have 2 pieces of anything that don’t actually screw together that lock up that tightly. MDT’s engineering team outdid themselves on that feature. After all was said and done, the MDT unit pulled in 16.75 out of 19 points. That reflects my own personal feelings on the matter pretty well so there’s good inter-observer correlation between my subjective analysis and the objective points-based analysis. There’s a bit about the MDT that’s more admirable from an engineering point of view than with the XLR but, I like the XLR a little more overall right now, not least of which because it comes in 30 bucks cheaper and doesn’t really sacrifice anything over the MDT unit.

Additional Notes on XLR and UTG/Leapers Units

Continuing our testing and evaluation of these folding stock adapters, while we waited for the MDT unit to arrive and almost every other unit to come off back order, the fiddling picked up. So what new do we have to report? Not a lot of news but some refinement of earlier points. It’s surprising really how much you get right on a surface examination and a couple quick function tests. The long testing procedure that’s being done is actually almost unnecessary. Important differences jump out at you and unimportant ones don’t.

XLR Folding Stock Adapter $115

The XLR unit is really fantastic and after stopping worrying about breaking the allen key in my hand, I got a little more twist on the drag screw… which didn’t really help at all. I’ve gotten the lockup tuned to perfectly snug. This XLR unit is fast becoming a favorite. It’s just elegant and smooth in all its design and operation. So far this is looking like the one that I’ll use on all of my buffer-tube equipped bolt action rifles long term but it’s still a bit early to say. The SB Tactical is so small and light that it might have to win… if we could ever get hold of one.

UTG Folding Stock Adapter $15

The UTG/Leapers unit continues to not be my favorite but it also continues to impress me with its strength and surprise me with how good it manages to be for fifteen measly bucks. Then again, thinking back to that install and the fact that it’s actually quite difficult to unlock from either the open or closed position it’s certainly not in first place even if it was free. The question is will it be second to last or not. The jury is still out but I suspect that it will be higher up the ladder than 2nd to last. One thing we can pronounce right here and now: If your budget is insanely tight and you need to fold your rifle stock and it accepts AR-15 buffer tubes, then you could do a shitload worse than the UTG. It is not sexy and sophisticated but it is 100% workable.

Continue to Part 4.

Folding Stock Adapter Comparison Pt. 2

1.2. 3. 4.
5. 6. 7. 8.

1. Doublestar Ace FSA, 2. SB Tactical BTFA, 3. Sylvan Arms FSA 4. MDT Carbine|Carbine FSA,
5. UTG/Leapers FSA, 6. XLR FSA 7. Law Tactical FSA (and clones) 8. Hera Arms SFU

Continuing our series on folding stock adapters, we’ve received and done our testing on the UTG/Leapers unit so let’s dish some dope.

UTG/Leapers AK-47 Folding Stock Adapter – $15 retail

This is the least expensive unit by FAR. 5x cheaper than the next cheapest and ~10x cheaper than the average. Definitely made of aluminum and lacking in pretty much any kind of sophistication. That’s ok. Keeps prices down. It also is not capable of being what it advertises itself to be because AK’s don’t come with buffer tubes. It’s unclear how much we should expect from this thing. The unit was ordered on October 24th and is arrived on November 9th. A single shipping notice was sent when it was shipped. If someone were really smart they’d take this design and make it out of steel with very snug tolerances and burn off some of the pointy parts while they’re at it. I betcha that would be a heck of a unit.

Installation is a bitch. It’s not hard to thread the thing in, and it comes with its own especially slender castle nut but that castle nut is still a little fucker to get cinched down. Pro-tip: Start at the back and snug forward. Seems to be the only way. If you don’t have a standard AR armorers tool or a specialized castle nut tool for AR’s then don’t even try to start the installation. While installing, pre-clock the stock about 20 degrees short of where you want it to come out and then when you’re snugging the castle nut the stock will end up rotating into position. Yeah, shitty but it was the only way I could get it to work.

Once you do manage to get it installed and everything lined up you’ll go to open it and find that it will either be very easy or very much a little pain in the dick. Whilst being a pain in the dick it will bite the absolute hell out of your hand. It’ll do this a number of times before you work out a technique that allows you to open and close the thing and not get bit. For me it’s not easy to have the muzzle resting anywhere but on my toes and the scope pressed against my belly to fold/unfold it. The upside of that is, when it’s closed it’s staying closed and there’s a lot of material involved in the lock-up so it’s looking like that’ll be pretty hard to bust.

Honestly, if some enterprising individual were to look at it and make a couple tiny design improvements like: unlocking cams (so you don’t have to muscle it to unlock it), rounding off all the places that are in line with bolt operation, making the engagement angles wider, making the whole damned thing out of carbon steel… but I digress, they would make an affordable as heck to produce and thence own FSA that would probably own the rifle market just on price.

It’s hard to stress how weird the thing is. It’s cheeeeeeeeeeap and it sweats cheap out of every pore but it’s not the typical kind of cheap that has it breaking on installation. It’s the kind of cheap that says, “I’m ok with the occasional blood blister if it makes the total cost under $20.” Lockup isn’t super solid but it’s not a wiggle-bitch either. 8 strips of masking tape strategically applied to oppose the lockup surfaces took 100% of the wiggle out.

I have to say that for under $20 and 8 little strips of masking tape, it’s pretty darned surprisingly ok. It really is something that I think MOST guys with rifles in chassis stocks that use AR buffer tubes could probably get by with. I certainly would personally and at minimum upgrade to the XLR unit. That said, if $115 is hard for your budget to justify, under $20 sure as shit isn’t so hard, especially when they made the thing pretty robustly. Probably they made it robustly because they care about their name so they went cheap-ish on the materials but not so cheap that they have to violate PayPal and Facebook ToU’s to sell any of them.

Instead of stealing a design that really necessitates steel, they went with aluminum and a design that could deal with being made from aluminum. UTG is one of those outfits I give TONS of well deserved shit to because they aim at the low end of the market and their quality of execution is nearly always below my expectation. The suitability of the stuff they make to at least minimally function isn’t normally the problem. It’s that it only minimally functions on average. This FSA minimally functions. It functions well in the open and closed positions and it accomplishes the transition with, if not no bloodletting, at least a minimum of it and I think guys on an extremely snug budget would be decently served with one. That said, save the money and get the XLR or a Doublestar. The amount better that they are over the cheapest options is pretty worth it, if for no other reason than the reduction in blood blisters the thing will give you.

With all that going for it, the initial score for the UTG unit was 11.5 out of 20. That’s pretty darned good, especially since it lost a high proprotion of the points that it did lose in there being a little wiggle and there being no instructions or tools included.

Continue to Part 3.

Folding Stock Adapter Comparison Pt. 1

1.2. 3. 4.
5. 6. 7. 8.

1. Doublestar Ace FSA, 2. SB Tactical BTFA, 3. Sylvan Arms FSA 4. MDT Carbine|Carbine FSA,
5. UTG/Leapers FSA, 6. XLR FSA 7. Law Tactical FSA (and clones) 8. Hera Arms SFU

Folding stocks are great. They let us collapse the overall length of our rifles for easier transport or carrying. Folding stocks started on guns that were commonly carried by troops like tankers and truck drivers and, most notably, paratroopers. Airplanes and vehicles are confining places. If you’re stuck with a 4ft long gun all the time, you’re going to be bumping into shit and flagging everyone else that happens to live through being around you. Shortening the weapon system made it safer to have a number of armed men all packed like sardines in a can.

Solutio? Folding that butt stock over the side of the rifle is a heck of a good start. It’s an easy way to cut a full foot off of the average rifle or carbine. Of course as soon as you solve any one problem with technology, you end up creating new ones. With folding stocks, the act of folding them over can interfere with the operation of the weapon. When deciding on a weapon and a folding stock mechanism, one should know if they’re going to want to fire while folded and select accordingly.

Some time back in history Law Tactical came out with what is considered by many to be kind of the gold standard of folding stock adapters for AR-15’s. Their system is clever, durable and functional. There’s only 1 way they could have made it any better which would be being able to shoot with the stock folded. Doing that is impossible with the normal operational mechanism of the AR-15 platform. So, it’s a pretty big win for Law Tactical to hit all the other nails so squarely on their heads.

Since Law Tactical came out with their unit criminals in China and the USA have copied the design and produced thousands of poor quality units from inferior materials. At the same time additional players have entered the market with their own, occasionally original, designs. Law Tactical doesn’t go out and whine though. They know that if you want the best, you’ll get their unit and if you don’t, you won’t and there’s nothing they can do to change your mind.

What nobody has done so far is try to break every single one of them and compare and contrast them for appropriateness on bolt action rifles. So here at BallisticXLR, that’s exactly what we’re going to do. We’re looking at the available designs with an eye to how well they’ll work on a bolt action rifle that gets used roughly. We’re looking for function, materials selection, ergonomics, lockup when closed, lockup when open, engagement surface wear-in, accumulated dings/dents, and then if they work on gas guns, we’ll check that all out on a gas gun too.

To look at each of those areas we have formalized a testing regime. Each test is worth 1 point and fractional points are allowed. Beyond those functional points we’ll be looking subjectively at the lot and taking a critical eye to each design. Hopefully at the end we can find a set of criteria that make selecting an adapter easy and we might just inspire someone to make the next coolest thing.

  1. Materials – Steel 1pt, 7075 Al .75pt, 6061 AL .5pt, pot metal .25pt, glass 0pt.
  2. Lock-open Detent – Locks in the open position as well as the closed position.
  3. Surface Pre-test- Inspect surface finish of all surfaces. No wear 1pt, light scratches .75pt, dents .5pt, galling .25pt, breakage 0pt.
  4. Installation – comes with all tools/parts/etc… needed for installation.
  5. Installation – comes with instructions for installation.
  6. Installation – instructions are easily followed and include useful pictures or pictographic representations which are easily identified.
  7. Tuning – Methods exist to close buffer tube interface tolerances to zero. both ends 1pt, 1 end .5pt, none at all 0pt.
  8. Snap Close – 10 snap closures with no dents/dings/breakage/failure to lock
  9. Snap Open – 10 snap opening with no dents/dings/breakage/failure to lock/unlock
  10. Barricade Bash – run prone, 3-step barricade, prone exercise 5x
  11. Wiggle Check – Prone w/ bipod loaded
  12. Wiggle Check – Prone w/ bipod unloaded
  13. Wiggle Check – Prone w/ bipod reverse loaded
  14. Wiggle Check – Torque load
  15. Wiggle Check – Bending load
  16. Wiggle Check – Shear load
  17. Ergonomics – does not invade grip space on bolt gun 1pt, gas gun 1pt
  18. Ergonomics – sharp edges, pinchy parts, etc…
  19. Surface Post-test- Inspect surface finish of all surfaces. No wear 1pt, light scratches .75pt, dents .5pt, galling .25pt, breakage 0pt.
  20. Compactness – Measured by water displacement. Rank order based on number of units in test total. Divide 10 by that number to get the rank order point total. Top gets 1 point. Bottom gets 0 points.

Law Tactical Folding Stock Adapter – $239-269 retail vs. Facebook Knock-off: $58 retail

So far we’ve tested a knock-off of the Law Tactical unit as well as the real thing. The real deal Law Tactical FSA is stupid strong and really works well at everything it does. Guns with really touchy gas systems or that are a bit undergassed may experience cycling issues but that’s easily treated with a change to buffer, spring or gas port. The Law tactical unit is so good that I’m really surprised that they don’t get factory equipped on TONS of AR’s. In fact, the Law Tactical unit is so good that it is the benchmark against which all others will be measured (with the exception of the water displacement test which we won’t know the results of for a while). That being the case, the Law Tactical comes out with an otherwise perfect benchmark score of 19. I have good reason to believe that it will not scrape up the extra point for a perfect 20 because I know some of the other units are a bit smaller.

The first new unit tested was pretty obvious about how it was going to turn out as it was advertised on Facebook at a price point that simply couldn’t be done with good materials. It was purchased just to see how bad something could be and still have thousands of units sold. Well, how bad was it? It broke during installation so it couldn’t have possibly done much worse. Even if it hadn’t broken so early, given where it broke it would have broken very early in the more physical of the remaining tests and would not have scored any of those points. That’s pretty pathetic.

The Chinese unit was found on Facebook. It was ordered on September 5th and arrived on October 24th (~50 days to deliver), mailed from New York City in an envelope littered with Chinese characters. An obvious re-ship despite the ad saying “Made in the USA”. I’d actually stopped expecting it to show up at all and just counted that $58 as a loss. In addition to all the other shady shit going on with this thing, the PayPal transaction showed that the seller was involved in selling “Clothing” which was a lie as their actual market space is a violation of the PayPal ToS.


The locking hasp for the Chinese unit
showing deep dings in the ramp
and the nose busted clean off.

The unit was made of partly what seems to be very light/low density aluminum alloy but all the little parts that go inside it are made of what appears to be pot metal or an even lower grade of aluminum alloy that has all the strength of egg shells from very small birds. If you tried to do something this badly, I don’t think that you could. Since it’s the same size as the Law unit, we’ll assume it won’t do very well on the displacement test either. Both the Law and the fake Law do invade the area behind the web of your thumb when put on a pure carbine tube interface on bolt action rifles like that on my gen 1 MDT LSS chassis but, it does not do that on AR-15’s or bolt action chassis that were meant to take the taller, teardrop shaped fixed stock interface.

Our unit broke at the locking pin that keeps it closed. The nose of that just snapped off the first time it was given a snap close. Prior to snap closing a couple tries at more slowly closing it didn’t work. That was the reason for trying to snap it closed. You can see on the picture above that each of the gentle attempts to close it actually damaged this part. When I followed that up with a snap closing, the poor quality material made its opinion heard. So the Facebook / Chinese Law clone graduates with 2.4 points earned so far out of a possble 19.

XLR Industries Folding Stock Adapter – $115 retail

This was only the third unit to arrive for testing and, boy, we could not have had a better counterpoint to the garbage from China. Nicely made, clearly aluminum but good strong aluminum (I’m betting 7075 but can’t confirm yet). I’ve bashed this thing around really hard trying to get it to break but it just won’t. I’ve done the barricade bashing and live fire range testing and all the other tests. The designer should feel really good about their work. It’s a small unit full of very clever ways to deal with inevitable issues native to folding stocks being put where they maybe weren’t originally intended to go.

There’s just the tiniest amount of audible jiggle in there but I can’t tell where. You can only get an idea that it’s not a single piece by shaking it roughly. The lockup is really tight and is adjustable through a very clever and dead simple adjustment screw. A standard castle nut on the rear holds that side firm. The chassis to adapter interface is rock solid and like the rest of it, clever. Cinching up the adapter to the chassis side and getting it clocked properly is the easiest of any unit tested so far.

The method to add drag to the folding mechanism is simple and easy to use but I wish it’d let me add a little more drag. At some point the screw you snug up for that just doesn’t turn anymore but there’s still not that much drag on the mechanism. The drag helps to keep the thing in the open position when folded but it’s not quite enough to deal with the weight of my XLR Tactical stock and full length buffer tube if I shake the thing vigorously while holding the whole contraption horizontal. It did just fine for a vigorous hike while stowed on a pack frame, in that it didn’t come loose and bang me in the back of the head. On the other side of the coin, it can hold itself open on a hike and still take a flick to make it snap closed, which is neat. This is only possible because there is no need to unlock from the open position. The lack of a ‘real’ lock-open feature still cost it half of that point. It doesn’t have to be a hard lock, just a ball detent that can hold it open.

From a compactness standpoint it’s looking like it should end up as the #2 or #3 smallest (that test is the last test and I’m still waiting for my new graduated cylinder to arrive). Where it really wins is on price. It’s quite a bit cheaper than all but the Ebay/Facebook/ripoff or the UTG (both of whose low prices should ring alarm bells) and it’s right on par with the DoubleStar unit. $115 is not a lot to spend on such a well made gizmo and against the $150 average buy-in for most of the others, it’s a pretty decently low cost option.

From order to delivery took 6 days and notifications came via email the entire time. All in all it got 18.5 of the 19 points it could have so far and it’s fast becoming a personal favorite. Since it doesn’t work with gas guns we’ll ignore gas gun performance. Because it doesn’t work with gas guns we should then assume that the designers were able to use area previously carved out for bolt carriers to cycle though and put it to use doing something useful for a bolt action rifle. Given the tight lockup, I’m glad they only pursued one mission.

UTG/Leapers AK-47 Folding Stock Adapter – $15 retail

Well, this is the least expensive unit by FAR. 5x cheaper than the next cheapest and ~10x cheaper than the average. Definitely made of aluminum and lacking in pretty much any kind of sophistication. That’s ok. Keeps prices down. It also is not capable of being what it advertises itself to be because it is obviously for AR-15 pattern interfaces, not AK-47 interfaces. It’s unclear how much we should expect from this thing but we’ll keep an open mind and report back next week. The unit was ordered on October 24th and is set to arrive on November 9th. A single shipping notice was sent when it was shipped. If someone were really smart they’d take this design and make it out of steel with very snug tolerances. I betcha that would be a heck of a unit.

Continue to part 2.
Continue to part 3.
Continue to Part 4.

The Cultures of the Various Gun Forums

Every gun forum has it’s own culture but how do you explain to someone what any one is like versus any other one? I think I have a solution:
CalGuns.net: Is like an alcoholic 68 year old vietnam vet that got a dishonorable discharge after 2 days in country and never advanced his station in life any further than that. He’s an expert, you’re an idiot and if you don’t think exactly what he thinks then you’re not allowed to talk.
AR15.com: Is like a belligerent 17 year old boy with a foot fetish who claims to be an expert on everything but has never actually learned anything.
LongRangeHunting.com: Is like a sophisticated 35 year old woman in smart high heels and the kind of dress that tells you you can’t afford to even buy her a drink but, it turns out she likes Coors and is perfectly happy to accept a free one.
TheHighRoad.org: Is like an illiterate elderly rancher with advanced cirrhosis of the liver. It’s his way or the highway and no trespassing is allowed despite all the signs saying the exact opposite that are posted around the property.
SnipersHide.com: Is like Jack Nicholson. It runs up and laughs in your face in a very threatening and engaging way before suddenly clearly explaining the quantum chromo-dynamic model of the universe. Occasionally it bites you very hard and suddenly on the cheek for seemingly no reason and after a while you learn when to duck.
TheFiringLine.com: Is like a 5th grade classroom with a 3rd grader doing the teaching. Nobody is giving correct answers but since nobody is asking intelligent questions so it’s kind of a wash.
AccurateShooter.com: Is like a well read and unsociable special forces instructor. He recognizes expertise when he sees it yet he won’t hesitate to tell you you’re wrong but he also won’t waste a lot of time trying to convince you that you’re wrong if you won’t. He finds it more entertaining and a lot less hassle when you either take his word for it, reason it out for yourself or find out the hard way.

Deathstroke Lives

Project Deathstroke. A Howa 1500 in a Postman Precision Rifle chassis. It’s wearing a Columbia River Arms 8 twist barrel that previously had 1800 rounds of .243AI snot rockets put through it before being set back and re-chambered. It’s got a Timney trigger, PTG bottom metal, Accurate Mag magazine, EGW rail and UTG soft pistol grip all held up by a Harris 6-9″ notched leg bipod. The optic in the picture is a Nikon P-223 but I think that will be replaced today by a US Optics SN3 3.8-22×44 in Seekins rings. Headspace is set at zero just like Project Deadpool and they’re identically chambered so they’ll be able to share ammo without buggering up my brass. See below for pictures of the progress of this rifle.

Stock painting

Deathstroke character paint job inspiration.

Postman Precision Rifle Chassis

Mockup with original .308Win barrel before painting.

Bare stock.

 

Triggercam Goes To A Match

It doesn’t get much more telling than seeing it on video. This was taken through my US Optics 3.8-22x58mm with CaPRC reticle. Watch for some language. It’s a match and I don’t hear well so there’s entirely likely to be some I don’t know about.

TriggerCam came through with great results. I even played with the zoom on the scope and that turned out great. Battery life wasn’t bad. The match has 8 stages and I managed to get video of 5 stages from an 80% full battery before shutting it down at 17% and proceeding without it for the rest of the day. As it turns out, I did better with the TriggerCam on the gun than without it. Something about being recorded made me try harder I guess.

Durability is there. I am not gentle with my kit and the match is pretty fast moving. I handled my rifle case roughly, the day was pretty darned hot and I switched back and forth from free recoil to heavily loading the bipod. The unit never got in the way of fiddling with my scopes assorted knobs and turrets. Weight is around a pound but I didn’t measure it. It’s not ultra light. You can feel that there’s good quality glass and plenty of battery in there.

http://triggercam.co if you’re interested in this cool new piece of kit.

 

New Chassis Stock For Howa 1500 Means New Rifle

I got one of these chassis when I was in South Africa so I had to run right out and buy a rifle for it. So I picked up a new Howa 1500 in .308win and have a barrel being cut for it now in 6XC. For the moment it’s wearing a Nikon P-223 optic but I also have an SWFA 16×42 and a Primary Arms 4-16x SFP that could work until I can save enough moolah to put down for another US Optics ERGO scope.

Adjustable LoP, butt pad height, cheek rest, pistol grip distance from trigger, aluminum construction.

Comes with a super cool bubble level that you can actually see without moving your head.

I already have a Deadpool rifle so this one will be painted in Deathlock paint scheme. Action/bolt, scope rings and bottom metal in orange. A few little nicknacks in silver and everything else in flat black.

Here it is mocked up with the pencil weight .308win barrel still on it and a Nikon P-223 optic in Warne rings (which I hate).

 

Project update:

I painted the stock with the Deathstroke colors. Yes the picture sucks. I’ll take a better one later.

Triggercam Scope Camera

Do you have $500 laying around that you’re looking for a good use for? Boy do I have one. The new Triggercam scope camera. This is one hell of a cool piece of kit. If you’re a guide or a rifle shooting instructor you’re wasting your time not having one of these. If you’re a competitive rifle shooter and your discipline requires a rifle scope, you’d be a fool to not have one of these on your match rifle. I came across this slick little gizmo during a recent trip to South Africa and I gotta say, it’s pretty damned sweet.

Apparently it was created in South Africa though it sports a US patent so don’t expect to see a lot of competitors anytime soon. A friend of mine who lives in South Africa introduced me to Triggercam while I was there and I couldn’t be stopped. It was very much “a take my money” moment. For someone like me that competes, provides live fire instruction/training and who produces how-to videos for shooters there’s no end of real need for such a thing.

I used to make a lot of how-to videos but found them to suffer from the lack of the point of view that viewers might actually be interested in, the through the reticle shot. How do you teach mirage reading without a view through an optic? How can you show dynamic wind correcting hold-off without being able to see the mirage and react to it whilst getting it on video? If you’re using one of those horrid phone-scope dealie boppers then the simple answer is that you don’t. You can’t see mirage well enough on a phone display to use it for instructive purposes even if it does get recorded on the video because you can’t react to what you can’t see.

My website even has a blog section called Through the Reticle which was meant to show this exact sort of thing but to date never has because I hadn’t found a solution this good to the video quality issue. I really couldn’t get past the fact that my phone’s low resolution screen would be the thing I’m looking through when trying to hit a long range target on film. I own expensive optics with top end glass. Why handicap my eye with an iffy phone video. That’s for the people that watch my videos on their phones rather than on a large desktop display like they should, not for me while I’m shooting.

I’ve never really bothered with any through the reticle shots of live action till now because the phone scope things that exist never seemed to fit the phone that I have and the video was of such poor quality that it was pointless anyway so, I gave up on that. At least I gave up until RIGHT BLOODY NOW.

I’ve already put it on every scope I own and it fit even the massive ocular bells on my US Optics ERGO scopes. Getting it on Nikon P-223, Leupold VX-series, SWFA SS series and various Weaver/Nikon/Pentax target scopes has been a non-issue. The only real issue you might get into is some scopes like Nightforce have the whole ocular bell spin to change magnification which won’t really help if you plan to zoom in and out while recording video. In matches I almost never adjust magnification. Instead I set it at a useful level like 12-14x and just leave it there. So even if I used Nightforce (which I don’t because I’m an unabashed fanboy of USO Ergo scopes) it wouldn’t be a problem.

I’ve approached Triggercam about bringing their product to the USA and they assure me that they’re racing to do so at top speed. Stay tuned! I’ll be posting some “Through the Reticle” articles a lot more often now and the video will be HD and of decent quality so you can see what I’m looking to enable you to see. This is a very exciting time!

For more information, http://triggercam.co

Here’s a little sample video from a match I recently took Triggercam to: