Lights - You need a couple of different lights, one is a weapon light (which your unit might already have) and the others are personal lights.
For a personal light, I’d use a headlamp that is red-light capable… you can use it hands-free to treat a casualty (blue light is best for finding blood), set a charge, work on a gun, program a radio, flip it over to white light for walking around the FOB, reading mail in the shitter or searching a building.
I used to carry around a Petzl Tikka back in 2003-2004, but other lights have come out that I like better. One of my units issued a Princeton Tec Quad Tactical and I’m pretty much sold on it. The Petzl had a little plastic clip that you needed to press down to open the battery compartment. Difficult with bare hands, impossible with gloves.
Once the battery compartment is open, there is a little ribbon that is supposed to make your life easier by ejecting the old batteries. Bad part about that, it also hinders your ability to place new batteries into the battery compartment. You press the batteries into the compartment, the ribbon is depressed and the battery cover wants to close, whether it’s the first battery or the last one. Fuck that noise.
The Quad opens all the way with a slotted thumb-screw. There is no problem reaching the ends of the batteries to pull out old ones and there’s no ribbon to fuck with you while putting new batteries in. The slot is perfect for using a coin to open, gloves or not.
The reason I make a big deal about how to replace batteries in the headlamp: you usually have to do it in the dark.
Another nice thing about the Quad, it tilts 90 degrees at it’s limits. That means I can look down to a piece of equipment or pouch that mounted on my chest. I couldn’t do that with a Tikka
The worst headlamp you can get is the cheap wal-mart knock-off that requires you to click through a bunch of white-light settings to get to the red light setting. Guess why.
Weaponlight - Whatever light you choose for your gun, make sure it’s shock-proof or uses an LED. LED lights are great because they’re pretty shock-resistant and don’t need to be replaced like bulbs do.
The bad thing about LED lights is the brightness of most of them don’t throw a very bright light beam for a very long distance. The LED lights that can do this are usually expensive.
My opinion? cry once and fork out the cash for a quality light. The industry standard is around 65 lumens minimum for a good weaponlight. An alternative is to probably beat some sense into your Supply weenie.
I’ve used everything from a gen 1 Surefire P6 on a scope ring all the way up to an Insight M3 over a span of almost two decades.
I have settled on two choices: the Surefire M300 or the Surefire L400 with a Vampire infrared head on it. I use the M300 for urban environments and the L400 in rural environments. I like the Vampire head outdoors where I’ll probably need to assist my night vision goggles with that infrared light source.
I use the M300 more these days, it provides enough light without being overkill, it’s small and uses only one battery. An integrated mount means I worry less about my light falling off the gun, which does happen.
A note about pig-tail switches/ tape-switches.
I try not to use a tape-switch for white lights and here’s why: accidental discharges aren’t just for weapons. The usual suspect: if you get stressed and flex your fingers on the tapeswitch, the light turns on whether you meant it or not.
Unwanted effect: everyone has eyeballs, not everyone has night vision goggles. I have an increased chance of being compromised with a white light.
Additionally, I’ve found that the little “clickie” button switch on flashlights are more positive to engage and good majority have a raised guard around them to protect the switch. It takes a more purposeful action to turn it on and that’s a good thing, you need to think about it before you do it.
Another point; If I use the tape-switch for lasers and a clickie switch for lights I can tell them apart in the dark or without looking at them.
Lastly, if I do need to use the weaponlight to illuminate an entire room, it’s easier to simply click it all the way on and aim at the ceiling. While it’s not something you need to do a lot, it’s not even an option with a tape-switch… you have to lean on the switch the entire time.
Conclusion: I put the fucking tape-switch on the laser.
Note; if you use a pigtail switch for something that’s mission-critical, carry a spare. Door handles and other waist-level snags rip these out of lasers and lights like it’s cool.
Lights for searching: You really shouldn’t use the high-output lights on your weapon to do in-depth searches.
Here’s why: most incandescent weapon lights are meant to be used for short bursts, not extended periods… the bulbs are usually halogen or xenon and they get hot quick too, this leads to premature failure.
Another reason is that your head needs to go where your light goes… and some places where you need to look are really hard to put a weaponlight on.
My headlamp is too weak to throw a light very far and my weaponlight is attached to 8 pounds of “fuck you bad guy” and I can’t really use it to look behind a bookcase.
With this in mind, I pack a high-powered LED light for searches. My favorite is a Surefire L4 Lumamax.
The last type of personal light is the ubiquitous LED keychain light. They are super-useful, come in a million colors and are cheap as fuck.
The best use I’ve found for these are for for looking inside of large bags that I carry very specific equipment. I usually just safety pin one or two of these inside of large bags in case I don’t have a light handy.
Watching Jormungand: Perfect Order just reminded me of how much I love guns. I love them so much! Yep, that’s the same WE M4A1 Gas Blowback rifle from THIS post. Changes include the Daniel Defense 12" RIS II in FDE, Element replica AN/PEQ-16A, Element replica M3X Tactical Illuminator, front and rear flip-up sights. Still need to install that NPAS kit I got a while ago, just gotta work up the nerve.
Painting’s done. I’m not thrilled with the gloss on the new paint I got (the lighter, brighter green). It’s a nice color, but it’s just a little bit glossier than the ultra-flat finish of the other paint, and it stands out. It’s also taking way longer to dry, it’s still a little tacky ~5 hours after application, while all the other paint is bone dry.
I like the color a lot though, I definitely got the darker, greener overall color scheme I wanted, but that gloss is disappointing. Hopefully I can find a similar shade from Krylon or Aervoe’ camo line.
Hopefully the gloss will fade as it gets beat up with use.
There are two Carbines I’d love to own. Talkin’ real steel this time.
I would love to have a BCM AR15 in a SOPMOD Block II Configuration. I hear only good things about BCM, so I figured for one of my first rifles I’d get it from them. As far as AR-15’s go.
A Saiga Mk 3 or an Arsenal SGL31-61 in 5.45x39. Simply because I am an AK guy. I mean I finally warmed up to the AR/M4/M16 platforms but my first admiration to fire arms was of course an AK.
I like both platforms don’t get me wrong. Properly made AK’s are quite accurate and very controllable, as well as very rugged. They are as well gaining ground in modularity to keep up with current standards. Which is cool too. Though, it is why I started liking the AR-15’s as well.
I miss when this was in working condition. My King Arms M4A1 fully licensed by Colt AEG in a SOPMOD Block II configuration.
Madbull Daniel Defense RIS II in FDE VFC M3X Element Dual Switch Element PEQ15 G&P Tango Down Q&D Vertical Grip G&P 553 Holo VFC M4 CQBR Flashhider (the M4QD NT4 Suppressor is not shown) 380 FPS at 850 rpm on a 9.6 volt battery
Stopped working because the tech guys I had rewire this to the rear in the Crane stock used wiring that was cheap and shitty. The copper wiring eroded on the inside (the protective layer was clear so I saw it clear as day)