Calibers

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It has been widely reported that the Russian military has adopted the AK12 rifle for its elite forces, but there is very little info available about its other new rifle choice – the AK 103-4.

Deputy Minister of Defence Yuriy Borisov announced on Russian radio on 24 January that the Russian armed forces had selected the AK12, chambered in 5.45×39 mm, and the AK-103-4, chambered in 7.62x39mm, according to IHS Jane’s Defense Weekly.

Without question, the AK12 is the big news. Improved ergonomics is the key feature that sets the AK12 apart from the AK family, according to AK12-maker Kalashnikov Concern, formerly known as Izhmash.

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“The AK-12 assault carbine also has a new ergonomic fire selector control … a person can operate the mechanical controls of the assault rifle with one hand,” Kalashnikov officials maintain. “A soldier can still do everything he needs to do with the weapon: move the safety, pull back the bolt and replace the magazine even if wounded or when using his other hand.”

But the piece of this story that has been driving me crazy is the lack of information or images of the AK103-4.

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I posted a story on Military.com today describing how the U.S. Army recently notified Beretta USA that its new M9A3 includes too many design changes to still be considered an M9.

As you may recall, Beretta submitted the M9A3 Engineering Change Proposal to the Army in December as an alternative to the service’s Modular Handgun System.

Besides its new earth-tone colors, the M9A3 features a  MIL-STD-1913 accessory rail for mounting weapon lights. It also has a much-thinner, Vertec grip for smaller hands and an optional wrap-around grip for those with larger hands.

The M9A3 will also feature a redesigned, over-center safety lever that cants slightly upward to help eliminate accidental safety activation when the slide is racked during malfunction drills, Beretta officials maintain. The new pistol has improved, removable front and rear sights and a threaded barrel for suppressor use. Beretta USA has also increased the magazine capacity from 15 to 17 rounds.

The M9A3 has a lot of new features, but it’s still an M9, according to pistol experts.

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The U.S. Army has included $2 million in its proposed fiscal 2016 budget for the Compact Semi-Automatic Sniper System program.

In June 2014, the Army released a request for proposal to invite gun companies to build compact versions of the service’s 7.62mm M110 Semi-Automatic Sniper System. The CSASS program did not receive any funding in the Army’s approved fiscal 2015 budget.

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LAS VEGAS – Springfield Armory demonstrated its newest compact .45 caliber pistol at SHOT Show 2015.

The new XD MOD 2 .45 follows the introduction of the 9mm and .40 caliber versions of the pistol that were released a few months ago.

It has a redesigned back strap and trigger guard, said Rob Leatham, of Springfield Armory. The MOD 2 .45 also features a nine-round magazine and a fiber-optic front sight.

Designers also moved the serrations around to make it easier to rack the slide, he said.

I have to say it was very comfortable to shoot for a compact .45. The MOD 2 .45 will be available in about six weeks for $593.

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LAS VEGAS – Smith & Wesson showed off its new M&P Performance Center Ported CORE Model on the range at SHOT Show 2015.

CORE stands for Competition Optics Ready Equipment. It’s set up so the shooter can easily mount a red dot optic to the gun without the help of a gunsmith, according to Matt Rice of Smith & Wesson.

It’s still an M&P, but it has several new features. There is a new back-strap checkering for improved grip and a Performance Center trigger with quick, audible reset.

The Ported CORE model also has a ported slide at the end of the muzzle.

“This was a feature that a lot of competition shooters asked for, especially in the .40 calibers … it really helps reduce the muzzle flip,” Rice said.

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LAS VEGAS — Smart rifle-maker TrackingPoint Inc. has teamed with Recon Instruments to sync imagery from its high-tech scope system directly into protective glasses, an official said.

The Austin, Texas-based company showed off the product on Monday at a range north of Las Vegas as part of the opening day of SHOT Show, the biggest small arms show in the world.

“This year, we’ve partnered with Recon and we’re introducing wearable technology,” Anson Gordon, marketing lead for TrackingPoint, said during an interview with Military.com. “It actually streams the heads-up display screen from the system into these wearable glasses. It allows the shooter to shoot around a berm without exposing yourself to oncoming fire.” [click to continue…]

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LAS VEGAS — We had the chance to check out Beretta USA’s new 1301 tactical shotgun at SHOT Show 2015 range day.

It is a sweet little package. The 1301 is a semi-auto 12 gauge specifically designed for military and law enforcement use.

Beretta’s gas-operating system sets the 1301 apart from similar models on the market, according to Earnest Langdon, a consultant for Beretta USA, who was working on the range Monday.

“It cycles and operates 37 percent faster than anything else on the market,” he said.

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