Industry News: Volume 1, Number 3
DoubleStar announced the release of their new 1911 pistol. Although DoubleStar is most widely known as a maker of high-quality gun parts for tactical use, the new 1911 pistol features high end parts for discriminating shooters. The pistol features Novak lo-mount sights, front & rear serrations on the slide for a secure grip, frame-integrated Picatinny rail just forward of the trigger guard, and a Grider match grade trigger. Many of the internals, including the grip safety are courtesy of Ed Brown.
The pistol has been matched with Strider grips, the same type and style currently in use with the U.S. Marine Corps. According to Jack Starnes of DoubleStar, the pistol is intended as a combat pistol for self defense. Intended buyers include the military, law enforcement and domestic U.S. firearms markets. Suggested retail price is $1,299. Additional information is available at www.star15.com.
ATK Force-on-Force 9mm Marking Rounds
ATK announced a new marking round for realistic training scenarios. According to ATK, Force-on-Force marker rounds boast superior performance, signature marking and reliable ballistics. Unlike other products on the market, Force-on-Force marker rounds are lead-free and thus safer for indoor use, environmentally friendly and prevent lead contamination. The marking agent has an extended shelf-life and leaves a distinctive mark on target. Force-on-Force 9mm training ammunition also requires no special packaging to preserve the product. Marking agent on clothes never dries out, making quick wipe downs a breeze and machine washes even easier.
Reported muzzle velocity is 325–500fps (100–152m/s), depending upon barrel length and weapon systems. Projectiles reportedly weigh 7 grains and may be fired at a maximum training range of 50 feet (15m). Maximum range for the projectile is reported at 660 feet (200m). Accuracy is reported as 6 inches (15.2cm) at 25 feet (7.6m) when fired from a pistol, and 4 inches (10.2cm) at 25 feet (7.6m) when fired from a rifle.
These rounds were designed to be shot at soft tissue. For the ultimate realism, they are made to hurt. The rounds are available in five colors – Blue, Green, Yellow, White and Red. For more information, contact Randy Clifton at firstname.lastname@example.org or (651) 322-2133, or check out the Force-on-Force Website at www.forceonforce.com.
Ruger SR-556 Semiautomatic Rifle
Ruger has introduced an innovative two-stage piston driven rifle. Deemed the SR-556, the rifle features a unique flat top upper receiver and barrel assembly that is specific to the Ruger SR-556. The upper receiver features a chromed four-position gas regulator to allow use with a sound suppressor. The standard lower receiver is built with Mil-Spec components, and is compatible with AR-15 style magazines, grips, buttstocks, and fire control components.
Taking a cue from the aftermarket AR-15 market, the SR-556 is delivered with top end parts and accessories. The SR-556 features a Hogue pistol grip, three 30-round Magpul PMAG magazines, Troy Industries iron sights, Troy Industries 10 inch quad-rail Picatinny rail hand guards, and Troy Industries rail covers. Suggested retail price is $1,995. Additional information on the Ruger SR-556 is available online at www.ruger.com.
Fabrique Nationale Herstal
FN Herstal announced through FNH USA that the Special Operations Forces (SOF) Combat Assault Rifle (SCAR) weapon system (MK 16 and MK 17) and the Enhanced Grenade Launcher Module (MK 13) began initial fielding with SOF units in early April 2009. Fielding will continue through the winter of 2009.
The MK 16, MK 17, and MK 13 were officially designated as operationally effective, operationally suitable, and sustainable as a result of a 5-week Field User Assessment conducted by operational SOF forces in late 2008. The OE/OS designation resulted in USSOCOM Commander’s decision to commence the fielding of weapons to the force.
The SCAR system consists of two highly adaptable, modular rifle platforms and a grenade launcher. The rifle has been military type designated by the U.S. Department of Defense as the MK 16 MOD 0 5.56mm SCAR-L and the MK 17 MOD 0 7.62mm SCAR-H.
The SCAR platforms are available with three different barrel lengths optimized for conducting operations in close-quarters combat, standard infantry, and longer-range precision fire roles. All SCAR barrels can be easily interchanged by the operator in the field in just minutes to instantly meet the requirements of virtually any mission. The newly designated MK 13 MOD 0 40mm Enhanced Grenade Launcher Module (EGLM) quickly mounts to the underside of either SCAR platform or can be used in a stand-alone platform similar to the M79, providing an additional punch to the individual warfighter’s firepower.
XS Sight Systems
XS Sight Systems released the CSAT Combat Sight to provide a one-sight solution for shooting near and far. When engaging up-close targets with open sights on AR/M4 rifles, guessing and holding high has been the standard procedure, because the height of the sights above the barrel causes bullets to impact as much as 2.5 inches below point of aim at close quarter engagement distances. The XS CSAT Combat Sight incorporates a square notch above the aperture, allowing shooters to hold dead-on when the threat is only feet away. The aperture permits accurate shooting at extended ranges.
The CSAT Combat Sight was designed by Master Sergeant (Retired) Paul Howe. Howe is the lead instructor for Combat Shooting and Tactics (CSAT), the Senior Manager with Triple Canopy Law Enforcement Training. Howe spent 10 years with U.S. Military Special Operations as an Assault Team Leader, Sniper and Senior Instructor. According to Richard Mann, Contributing Editor of NRA’s Shooting Illustrated magazine, “The XS CSAT Combat Sight is an effective, simple and practical solution to a very real tactical problem.” Suggested retail price is $35. Additional information is available at www.xssights.com.
U.S. Firearms Sales on the Rise
Firearm sales continued to surge in the United States. The increase in firearms sales follows recent comments by several high-profile members of the Obama administration about re-imposing permanently and expanding the ban on modern sporting rifles. “Americans concerned about their ability to purchase many types of home defense, hunting and target shooting firearms in the future are continuing to purchase these products in record numbers today,” said Steve Sanetti, President of the U.S. based National Shooting Sports Foundation.
Data from the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) show background checks on the sale of firearms jumped 29.2 percent in March 2009 when compared to March 2008. Firearm sales were up 27.1 percent for the first quarter of 2009 over the same quarter last year.
The increase follows a 23% rise in February 2009, a 28% rise in January 2009, a 24% rise in December 2008 and a 42% jump in November 2008, when a record 1,529,635 background checks were performed.
FBI background checks are required under U.S. Federal law for all individuals purchasing firearms from federally licensed retailers. These checks serve as a strong indicator of actual sales. Correspondingly, ammunition manufacturers are reporting record sales across the country as demand continues to outpace supply.
Smith & Wesson
Smith & Wesson Corp. announced that the Detroit Police Department and the Milwaukee Police Department will equip its forces with Smith & Wesson Military & Police (M&P) Series pistols and M&P Series tactical rifles. The orders mark a conversion of the entire Detroit Police Department to Smith & Wesson firearms.
The Detroit Police Department has placed an order for 5,000 Smith & Wesson M&P40 polymer pistols, chambered in .40 S&W, while the Milwaukee Police Department plans to purchase 2,000 Smith & Wesson M&P40 polymer pistols, chambered in .40 S&W. The pistols will be issued to each officer of the Department and will replace currently issued, non-Smith & Wesson firearms supplied by a European-based manufacturer.
The Detroit Police Department has also placed an order for 350 M&P15 tactical rifles. While reviewing new patrol rifles during the test and evaluation process, the Detroit Police Department compared the M&P15 against a broad range of competitive semiautomatic rifles.
Detroit Chief of Police, James R. Barren, Ph.D., said, “Converting our department to a completely new brand of firearms was a significant decision that required a great deal of evaluation by our officers. The Smith & Wesson M&P40 and the M&P15 merited a review, based upon their selection by a number of other law enforcement agencies recently. Both of these firearms were thoroughly tested and found to meet or exceed all of our requirements. The pistols allow each officer to customize the fit and feel of the sidearm and that translates into a safer and more efficient environment on the job. We were also impressed with the level of customer service that Smith & Wesson can deliver, along with the warranty that stands behind both the M&P40 pistols and the M&P15 tactical rifles.”
The Milwaukee Police Department will also equip its entire 2,000-officer force with Smith & Wesson Military & Police (M&P) Series pistols. The conversion comes on the heels of the Milwaukee Police Department’s announcement in the Fall of 2008 that it selected the M&P Series tactical rifles to equip its patrol vehicles.
Milwaukee Chief of Police, Edward Flynn, said, “Converting a department to a completely new brand of firearms is a significant decision that requires careful evaluation by our armorers and officers. We reviewed the Smith & Wesson M&P firearms based upon their reputation for reliability and durability, as well as their recent selection by a number of other police departments throughout the United States. Both firearms were thoroughly tested and were found to meet all of our requirements. The M&P40 pistols have been designed especially for professional use and incorporate a number of unique features. Particularly, they allow each officer to customize the fit and feel of the sidearm. That flexibility means we can provide a safer and more efficient environment while on the job.”