Long Guns (non-AR) Page 1 Page 2 Page 3
TO VIEW FULL SIZE IMAGES: USERNAME and PASSWORD are both "mm"
Badger Ordnance Tactical Bolt Knob
3/28/09 - Badger Ordnance is well known as a manufacturer of precision and tactical rifle accessories, and one of those products is the Tactical Bolt Knob for bolt action rifles.
The Tactical Bolt Knob is an oversized bolt knob that allows fast,
easy access to the bolt, even with gloved hands. It provides extra size
and length which gives the shooter better control of the bolt and extra
leverage for tight or stuck rounds. The added length also provides clearance
to the scope bell for the fingers, which were precariously close with
the stock bolt knob.
I've been contemplating one of these for a while, and just never got around to it. I'm a lefty shooting a right-handed Remington 700PSS in Accuracy International AICS stock, and I cycle the bolt with my right hand. The stock bolt knob is small and not very comfortable to grip. I also had to be careful of my fingers when cycling the bolt quickly, to ensure they didn't scrape the eyepiece of the scope.
I sent off my bolt to Badger for installation as I didn't trust myself to do it. Installing it requires that the stock bolt knob be cut down to form a round end that can be threaded, and the Badger Tactical Bolt Knob screwed on and secured. If done carefully, the bolt does not need refinishing.
The bolt knob was installed very neatly to the bolt handle, and when I put the bolt back in the rifle, the knob really improved the look of the whole rifle (in my opinion). More importantly, it made it easier for me to cycle the bolt. It's not too long nor short, and I prefer its smooth surface to the checkered one on the stock bolt knob. It's definitely a worthwhile modification to any Remington 700 bolt.
VLTOR M1A/M14 Modstock and CAS-14/Cluster Rail Handguard
10/15/06 - The M14/M1A Modstock (model M1S) from Vltor Weapons Systems is a drop-in replacement stock for the M1A. It offers adjustable length of pull and stock height, plus a pistol-grip configuration.
The M14 Modstock is a modified military/G.I. fiberglass stock, which
Vltor modifies and refinishes in black, foliage green or FDE (Flat Dark
Earth - shown here). Vltor cuts off the rear portion of the stock, and
installs a machined aluminum adaptor. The adaptor comes standard with
a TangoDown Battlegrip attached, but any standard AR-15 grip may be
substituted, as long as it does not have a curved backstrap extension
(the contour is different above the grip). On each side of the adaptor
are female QD sling cups, for attaching a QD sling swivel. A 1-1/4"
QD swivel is included. Vltor now puts a laser-engraved UID code and
serial number below the swivel cup on the right side of the adaptor.
CAS-14/Cluster Rail Handguard - Vltor debuted their CAS-14 handguard/rail system for the M14/M1A back at the 2004 SHOT show. It's similar in look to their CAS-V handguard for the M4. It has become the standard offering on the Springfield Armory SOCOM II rifle. Springfield is the exclusive seller of the CAS-14 handguard, also designated the 'Cluster Rail'. The only way to get one is to send your rifle in to Springfield Armory to get one installed. You cannot purchase it from Vltor. The Cluster rail comes in two versions - a standard rail and extended rail. The standard rail ends right before the receiver, while the extended one shown here, extends all the way over the ejection port to the rear. The extended Cluster rail provides more mounting options for optics.
The Cluster rail has two major components, the upper rail/handguard,
and the lower handguard. The lower handguard attaches and detaches in
a couple of seconds with one hand by pulling back on two spring loaded
catches on each side of the lower handguard and swinging it down. At
the front of the lower handguard are two hooks which interface with
pins at the front of the top rail. The side rails are part of the upper
rail, so it the Cluster can be used without the lower handguard. The
Cluster is made of aluminum and well vented. The rails are riveted onto
the handguards. Threaded inserts at the 4:30 and 7:30 positions on the
lower handguard are for attaching rails at those angles.
The M14 Modstock was a breeze to install. The original stock was removed the usual way and the barreled receiver dropped into the new stock. No modifications were necessary. The stock had a non-glare textured finish which was colour-matched to the Vltor carbine modstock and TangoDown battlegrip. As shown in the photo below on the left, the Vltor M14 Modstock can be used without the Cluster rail as a replacement for the standard stock. When used with the Cluster rail, the lower handguard can be removed when not needed to lighten the rifle. If magnified optics are to be used, I'd recommend the extended Cluster rail for a continuous rail on top of the receiver, and the ability to use a one-piece mount like the LaRue SPR-S shown here with IOR Valdada scope (the Mk11 non-cantilevered mount would have been better with this particular scope as the SPR-S does not place it far back enough). I've since switched to separate LaRue LT123 rings to get better eye relief on the IOR.
VLTOR CASV-14 M1A/M14 Rail System
5/11/12 - The CASV-14 from from Vltor Weapons Systems is a drop-in rail system for the M1A/M14 rifle. It's a lighter, slimmer version of the Cluster Rail that Vltor developed for Springfield Armory's SOCOM rifles.
Background - The CAS-14 Cluster Rail Handguard featured previously (above) was developed by Vltor for Springfield Armory for use on their SOCOM series of M1A rifles over six years ago. It was only available on Springfield Armory rifles; not separately. Now, with the demand from the M14/M1A community, Vltor has developed an improved rail system for the M14/M1A rifle series by making the rail system lighter, slimmer and more versatile for the end-user. The end result is the CASV-14 rail system.
Description - The original Cluster Rail System developed for Springfield Armory, featured a removable Lower Handguard, mated to the upper rail assembly. The CASV-14 is strictly an upper rail system - it does not have means to mount a lower handguard system. It comes in the 'extended length' version, which extends the top Picatinny rail all the way back to the rifle's stripper clip guide. The rail system allows the barrel to semi-free float underneath the barrel shroud.
The upper rail assembly fits on most M14/M1A platform, but with the exception of some “Heavy Barrel” systems; such as National Match models, M21 platforms and/or any heavy barreled system. For the CASV-14 to mount securely onto the weapons barrel, access to the OpRod guide is mandatory. In other words, the OpRod guide has to be fully exposed (front and back) for the CASV-14 to mount around the OpRod Guide.
The CASV-14 offers multiple rail mounting points for Picatinny Rails available separately, and ambidextrous mounting points in two locations which accept the Quick Detachable Push-Button Sling Swivel .
There are three secured mounting points for the CASV-14 to the M14/M1A platform; one point is to the aforementioned stripper clip guide, the second being to the rear of the barrel, and the third mounting point is around the weapons Operation Rod (OpRod) Guide. From the OpRod Guide forward, the handguard chassis does not contact the barrel’s surface. A U-shaped bracket is installed around the op rod guide, which is tightened to the upper handguard. At the rear of the barrel, a clamping mechanism secures the handguard to the upper handguard clip grooves on the barrel. The extended top rail has a third attach point. The stripper clip guide on top of the receiver is removed, and replaced with a rail attachment block. This is done by knocking out the roll pin and sliding the guide out of the dovetail, and replacing it with the new block. The top rail interfaces with this block with two screws. One screw has scallops on its head to prevent it from loosening, as it 'overlaps' the second screw. A channel runs the length of the center of the top rail so that the iron sights can be used when an optic is not installed.
Here are some of the specs/features of the CASV-14:
Notes/Observations - The CASV-14 was pretty simple to install - the only difficulty I had was installing the Stripper Clip Guide mount into the dovetail. It was tight and required a couple of good whacks with a plastic mallet. The roll pin was also a bit fussy to get started.
While the Cluster Rail System for the Springfield SOCOM M1As addes utility to the rifle, it also added weight and bulk. A bit too much, with the lower rail installed, especially (in my opinion). The new CASV-14 is a much more streamlined package, making the rifle 'livlier' in the hands, without the bulk of the Cluster rail. As seen in the photos above comparing the CASV-14 and Cluster upper rail side by side, you can see the difference in width. The CASV-14 is also better ventilated, with more slots (also making it lighter). The CASV-14 offers modular rail mounting positions on the side, vs. the fixed side rails on the Cluster. You can still mount lights, lasers or the Vltor bipod legs to the CASV-14 using side rails. The only difference is not being able to use a vertical grip, or bottom-mounted bipod. It's a small sacrifice for the weight savings and more streamlined package.
SureFire M69 Rail for Rem 870
11/5/06 - SureFire produces Picatinny Rails/handguards for various weapons, and one of them is the M69 for the Remington 870 shotgun. The shotgun is generally a close-quarters weapon, and still very much in use today, even with the police carbine becoming more popular. When used indoors or under low light conditions, it is imperative to have a weapon-mounted light for identification/verification of the threat or target.
The SureFire 618FA dedicated forend and variants is the accepted standard for shotgun lights, as it integrates the light into a replacement fore-end with different switch options. The 618FA has a rocker constant-on switch on the left side and momentary-on pressure pad switch on the right side. While the 618FA is an excellent product, I found that the switch setup wasn't optimal for me as I'm left handed, and SureFire doesn't offer a mirror image model for lefties. Enter the M69 fore-end, which gives the user the ability to configure it however they want to.
The M69 is constructed of hard-anodized machined aluminum, and provides 6" of Picatinny rail on the sides and bottom. Width is about 2.1". It's a very lightweight forend, with lightening holes and scallops machined throughout, and of very nice quality. The M69 is a direct replacement for the stock fore-end, and installs on the fore-end tube by unscrewing the tube nut, sliding off the standard fore-end, and replacing it with the M69.
It goes without saying that rail panels are needed for use with the M69 - the exposed rails are too sharp to use uncovered. The M96 can be set up in any configuration the user chooses. I experimented with some different combinations, shown here. The X200 turns out to work quite well on the M69, and more than adequate for the distances a shotgun is normally used for. The X200B with its wider beam would probably be a better choice than the X200A. With the X200 mounted on the weak side, I could activate it with my thumb, either momentarily or constant-on. I also tried using the TangoDown vertical grip, and also liked that configuration. The X200 would have to be mounted on the opposite side, in that case.
Going back and forth between a 'conventional' grip and vertical grip, I'm beginning to like the vertical grip. While natural 'pointability' of the weapon isn't as good with the vertical grip, it provides a secure hold on the fore-end of the shotgun, either while using the push-pull method when firing or pumping the action. Whether one prefers a more conventional grip than a vertical grip on a shotgun is entirely up to personal preference; but the M69 gives you the option. Another plus is its very reasonable price. Definitely worth considering for the 870.
Cavalry Arms SST-870 (no longer available)
The Cavalry Arms SST-870
is a stock and pistol grip adapter made for the Remington 870 shotgun
(the SST-590 is made for the Mossberg). An alternative to folding shotgun
stocks which are useless when folded and non-adjustable when deployed,
the SST-870 enables the user to have a collapsible stock with adjustable
length of pull to accomodate different sized shooters, positions, styles,
and body armour. It will accept any AR15 type buffer tube or stock (retractable
or fixed), and any AR15 type pistol grip. It is machined out of T6 aluminum
and mil-spec type III hard anodized for durability. The mil-std 1913
rail on top is bolted onto the adapter. Since the stock is now 'straight
line', raising the cheek weld up, the SST870 is designed with the use
of optics in mind. Iron sights on the shotgun can no longer be used
in this configuration. Machining and finish were very nice, and after
removing the standard stock from my 870, the SST870 bolted right on
with the supplied bolt. No fitting was necessary - a perfect fit. The
adapter also incorporates QR sling swivel attach points on each side,
which I'm going to attach a single-point sling to.
9/22/04 - Went out to the range. After sighting it in with slugs, I
proceeded to put 1 oz slugs and 00 buck through the shotgun. The Magpul
stock work very well - the wider butt making the recoil less painful
on the shoulder. I definitely like the adjustable length of pull on
this shotgun, and I found it easy to handle. The Hakko sight also worked
well and target acquisition was very fast with the dot/circle reticle.
One thing though - make sure ALL SST hardware is locktited - a couple
of the rail bolts came loose (my fault for not loctiting them).
Top rail is attached by screws
Attaches to the 870 after removing the standard stock
Vltor closed tube showing knurled cap
Closed end of tube
Vltor tube on SST-870
Vltor standard modstock
Side saddle and Surefire forend
Mesa Tactical Weapons Accessories
3/6/06 - Costa Mesa (California) based Mesa Tactical was formed in 2003 with the goal of providing high quality tactical accessories and gear to military, law enforcement, and civilian shooters alike. One of the first items of a complete system for the tactical shotgun they plan to offer is their M4 Stock and Rail Adapter kits for the Remington 870 and Mossberg 500 and Winchester 1300, which will convert either shotgun to an AR/M4-style collapsible stock with Picatinny rail for optics. Yes, the Cavarms SST-870 (seen above) and the Mesa adapter serve essentially the same purpose. But just like there are many stocks and grips available for the AR15, the more options and alternatives we consumers have to choose from, the better.
Various kits are available, ranging from just the stock adapter and rail, to full stock and rail kits (shown here, which includes everything). The Mesa high tube adapter places the stock tube approximately in line with the bore, which dictates the use of optics (unless you have very high AR-style irons). It's made of hard-anodized cast T6 aluminum, with a matte medium grey finish. It will accept all AR-15 grips, with the Hogue overmolded rubber grip included in some of the kits. Note that grips with a duckbill will over hang the front, and may need to be ground off (like I did with the TangoDown grip on the SST-870). All edges are rounded and smoothed off. On the top and sides of the adapter are mount/interface points. The Pic rail attaches to the top point, with two screws going into helicoil inserts. Side rails or accessories like the shotshell carriers attach to the points on the sides. The large holes accept a standard push-button QR sling swivel. Unused mount points can be covered by polypropylene plugs to protect them from debris.
Two lengths of rails are available - receiver length and short. The receiver length rail is recommended for the top for optimum mounting of optics, and the shorter one for the sides. The front of the rails are supported by a polyurethane spacer, or saddle, as they call it. Use of a rail and optics is mandatory with the high tube adapter as the cheek weld is too high to standard sights. For those who want a collapsible stock and pistol grip, but do not necessarily want optics, Mesa Tactical also offers their Low Tube stock adapter seen below.
Also seen below are various shotshell carriers. Both attach to the mount points on either side of the adapter. The 6-shell carrier mounts on the left, and the 4-shell on the right. Shells can be inserted from above or below. Instead of using elastic for retention, the SureShell carriers use an innovative rubber retention system that provides just the right tension. Shells will not fall out, but are easy to insert and extract. The shell carriers are made from aluminum, not plastic.
Mesa Tactical also offers shell carriers to fit on Remington, Mossberg and Benelli shotguns without stock adapters. These shell carriers mount directly to the side of the receiver by replacing the trigger pins. An optic mount is also offered, which mounts on both high and low tube adapters.
9/3/07 - Saddle Mount SureShell Carrier and Picatinny rail for the Rem 870 - The Mesa Tactical Saddle Rail comprises of a machined aluminum bracket that wraps around the shotgun receiver. There is a 1913 Picatinny rail at the top for mounting of optics, and their excellent SureShell shell carrier on the side. The Saddle mount attaches via internally threaded steel pins, that replace the receiver pins on the 870 and to which the saddle bolts securely. This particular one has a 6-shell SureShell mounted to it. I like the position of the 1913 rail with this setup vs. the rail extending from my high-tube adapter as it puts the optic further forward. I sighted in the 870 at the range with slugs and put it through some drills. The Docter optic, mounted on the rail wa at just the right height. The Magpul M93 stock did give my shoulder a beating, though, due to the lack of rubber buttpad. Even using the push-pull method, it was still harsh shooting 3" magnum slugs. It really made me consider installing one of Mesa's Enidine buffers on this 870 for future sessions. The SureShell carrier just works better than any other I've tried. Slightly heavier but more durable than elastic loops or plastic, it provides secure retention of shotshells with easy insertion and extraction.
BCS Tactical Shotgun Scabbard
7/20/05 - The Beez Combat Systems (BCS) Tactical Shotgun Scabbard is designed to carry and protect a shotgun on the user's back. Targeted at individuals that need to carry a shotgun as a secondary weapon or breaching tool, or those who rappel or engage in activities that require more security and stability than a sling will allow. It's constructed completely of 1000D cordura fabric and mil-spec materials, and double stitched throughout.
The scabbard has a main compartment, 28" long from the top of
the opening to the bottom, and 10" wide at the top, tapering to
5.5" at the bottom. It will accomodate shotguns with barrels from
about 14" to 20". It is fully padded with closed-cell foam.
A retention strap secures the shotgun in the compartment by putting
tension on the opening of the main compartment.
I was able to fit my either my Benelli M3 Super 90 or my Remington 870 with SureFire forearm in the scabbard. The 'slicker' the shotgun, the easier it is to insert and remove. I'd refrain from putting shotgun with too many accessories in it, as they might hang up. A side saddle/shell holder isn't a problem - I have one on my Benelli. I wouldn't recommend using a sling with the scabbard.
The scabbard is worn on the back like a pack, and the straps can be adjusted to accomodate armour or vests. At first, I was quite skeptical about shotgun scabbards, (never having used one) as the stock looked like it would keep bashing me on the back of the head and they looked difficult to draw the weapon from and impossible to re-insert while wearing. The stock, however, pretty much stays clear of the back of your head, due to the curvature of your back and the waist belt keeping the stock pointing slightly rearwards. The only time it'll get in the way is if you go prone and stick your head up. I ran around, jumped, got into standard firing positions, and didn't get whacked on the back of my head. I was having a difficult time drawing the shotgun out of the scabbard at first, and couldn't insert it, even with both hands. It kept hanging up on the retention strap. Beez said that the retention strap wasn't normally needed for most activities, as the shotgun is kept secure by the tendency of the scabbard to bend to match the curvature of your back, keeping the shotgun snug in the compartment. I undid the retention strap from the loop on the front panel and found that I was then able to quite easily draw a shotgun from the scabbard and replace it with a bit of practice. I found that even without the retention strap, the shotgun is very secure while running or jumping - it just goes farther down into the bottom when bounced around. If you're going to go upside down, though, use the retention strap.
A one-handed draw is possible with a shotgun. Replacing it isn't too difficult once you've done it a few times, but I required both hands to do it. I found that grabbing a top corner of the scabbard with one hand and guiding the end of the barrel into the opening of the compartment helped. It's imperative that the shotgun is on 'safe' and that the user is aware of which part of the shotgun he's grabbing, and where the muzzle is pointing during draw and inserting the shotgun. Once the shotgun is started in the compartment, it can be shoved down the rest of the way by pushing down on the stock. With practice, it gets easier. Bear in mind that when worn over bulky gear, the scabbard and shotgun are farther out from your back and harder to reach. Tipping it forward with your other hand at the bottom helps the strong hand get a hold of the stock.
I'll update this writeup when I get a chance to use it at the range.
Details of scabbard
870 with standard stock and 18" barrel, secured with retention strap
Benelli in scabbard and retention strap out of the way
Side and rear views
Drawing the shotgun
ATTENTION! PLEASE DO NOT LINK DIRECTLY TO MY IMAGES
IT RESULTS IN MY BANDWIDTH ALLOCATIONS BEING EXCEEDED,
AND MY PAGES GO DOWN. THANKS!
/ . PLEASE OBSERVE AND RESPECT OUR COPYRIGHT! . /
©opyright by MilitaryMorons.com. All Rights Reserved. Reproduction, Duplication, Distribution Strictly Prohibited.
Unless mentioned otherwise, content and images are the property of militarymorons.com and are not in the public domain.
They are not to be used without permission. Please Contact me for permission to use any images or content herein.