Material 4X M-Pact Glove Review


Using Material4X M-Pact gloves

I have used different versions of the Mechanix gloves for years and I LOVE them. They make durable, long lasting gloves that can deal with years of hard labor. My hands are essential to my life and to my work. I have had a few hand injuries that could have been lessened had I had gloves on. (Lesson learned!)

I have tried different brands over the years that have gotten worn out with grinding and sawcutting in just a few months. The fingers of other gloves just wear away with all the dust and dirt that comes with prepping floors.

A while back I got a pair of the Material 4X M-Pact gloves from Mechanix. I have been using this pair for about 5 months now and the gloves show very little signs of being worn. If you saw them you would not believe that that they had been used that much.

The gloves are intended for:

· Multipurpose

· Abrasive material handling

· Fabrication

· Construction

· Railroad

· Woodwork

· Maintenance & repair

· Heavy equipment operation

· Towing & transportation

· DIY/Home improvement

Keeping my Hands Safe and Warm

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Luckily, living in Texas, we don’t deal with super cold temperatures but when it has gotten cold my hands have been kept warm and comfortable with these gloves on.

For anyone who has used a grinder for longer than 10 minutes, I can tell you, they heat up QUICK! The gloves protected my hands from the searing hot grinder body. I also noticed a fair amount of vibration reduction on my hands. After a full day of grinding, my hands didn’t feel like they were still grinding, like they have in the past.

Great Knuckle Protection

I am always on my hands and knees on job sites simply because that is where the work is. I have a rolling knee cart that replaced my knee pads a few years back where I typically use my fist to drag myself a few inches. The Mechanix glove has a Thermal Plastic Rubber on the knuckle area that helps keep my knuckles out of harms’ way.

Mechanix Material4X M-Pact glove closure

The gloves have a hook and loop wrist strap that is a very high quality. This isn’t the normal crap catching style you see everywhere else. This keeps the gloves from coming undone while you are working because the hooks aren’t filled with hair and debris. The strap is locking on the palm side of your hand which seems to keep the strap from getting undone better than when it is on the back side.

The Mechanix Material 4X M-Pact gloves are not designed for ultra dexterity but I have combo locks on my trailer and I can turn the dials easily enough to unlock them with the gloves on.

Large Selection

Mechanix makes a very large selection of gloves for just about every application out there.

Overall Thoughts:

The Mechanix Material4X M-Pact gloves are a hard glove to beat when you know your hands are going to be taking a beating on the jobsite.

Leatherman MUT First Impressions

This is my first impressions of the Leatherman MUT (Military Utility Tool). I plan to release my full review later this month, after I have had a chance to use the tool more. I have had the Leatherman MUT for about a week now. I haven’t used it much in the field and it has spent most of the time in its pouch on my person or in the desk next to me.

SPECS of the Leatherman MUT

MUT SPECS

The Leatherman MUT weights in a 11.2 oz. or 317.5 g so it falls on the slightly heftier side of what I normally carry (Leatherman Wave 8oz).  The weight is not that noticeable on my hip.

I did take the 3/8 wrench/ AR front sight tool out of the pouch as I am afraid of losing it. I have been carrying the Leatherman Rail to the range since I got it Christmas 2013 which has the sighting tool on it. I think if maybe there was a way the wrench combo could have been added to the MUT that might have been better. I don’t know yet and I will get back to you on my finding later.

Serrations VS. Straight Edge

The Knife has serrations which I have never been a fan of on the same blade as your straight cutting blade. Since Leatherman was trying to make this the best battle tool they could, I get it, as there are a lot of people out there that like that. It is all about getting the tool to fit your hand and not weight 400 pounds.

A Gunsmiths Point of View

The carbon scraper will be nice when I am cleaning the review guns as they tend to be more worn than my firearms. I took this tool into my gunsmith who agreed that this was designed nicely for taking your guns down.

The pouch is sewn to handle even the heaviest of wear and tear. I will talk more on the webbing and how it adjusts for your belt or molle gear in the next article. 

Overall Thoughts 

I am very happy with this new (to me) Leatherman MUT.  I can see this replacing my Leatherman Wave for everyday carry.

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Howard Leight Impact Sport E-Earmuffs review

I had planned to just review the Howard Leight*1 Impact Sport Electronic Earmuffs but plans changed.

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Customer Care

A few months back I got in contact with Howard Leight about getting some earmuffs to review for shooting but what I didn’t know at the time was that I was going to review the company as well. When I contacted the company, instead of my normal getting bounced around and transferred five times until I talked with the right person, I talked with ONE person. I had the pleasure of talking with Customer Care Rep Laraine from Howard Leight.

Empowered Reps

Normally I have to talk with someone in marketing or another division who handles media requests such as this one. With Howard Leight, I only worked with the customer care rep who the company has empowered to be able help the customer not like a number of other large (non-firearm) corporations.  Most companies keep sending you to the next tier up because all the first tier customer care rep can do is ask you if you have turned the product on and off.

I am not going to get on my soap box and talk about that because I really want to just talk about Howard Leight and how I had such a pleasant experience with them.

skip to Earmuff Review

I called Howard Leight and spoke with Laraine about getting the earmuffs and she was more than willing to help me out with this not just because I am a blogger but because Howard Leight seems to only employ customer care reps who CARE. I know this to be a fact because in the few times I did have to call the company and ask for Laraine I would always be greeted by one the of reps who would try to help me in any way they could before I would ask to speak with Laraine.

Consistency

I have contacted Howard Leight a couple of times since my first contact and have spoken to different customer care reps who were just as helpful and knowledgeable as Laraine.

Lifetime Customer

Howard Leight makes great ear protection but they have also made me a lifetime customer because of how they work with the customer.

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Specs: Impact® SportFolding

  • Sleek, extremely low profile earcup design allows for full clearance of firearm stock
  • Automatic 4 hour shut-off increases battery life
  • AUX jack connects to MP3 players and scanners
  • Automatically shuts off loud impulse noise to a safe 82dB while amplifying conversation and range commands
  • Convenient folding design for easy storage
  • One single power and volume control knob
  • Air Flow Control™ technology
  • Black leatherette headband with sporty hunter green earcups
  • Water resistant
  • Easy access to the external battery compartment
  • 2 AAA batteries included

Source: The Howard Leight website

Impact Sport E-Earmuff Review

For a number of years now I have used the surefire earplugs or my good old non-electronic over the head earmuffs because both offer me what I need for shooting.

The surefire plugs are great if I am going to be just shooting and minimal talking on the range and when I have a rifle stock glued to my face.

My  non-electronic over the head earmuffs offer me noise dampening but they are quick to slide off if I need to make a video or hear what the crew is saying, they are overly bulky and you hear every tap of the buttstock to your earmuff.

Adjustable Volume

The Howard Leight electronic earmuffs give me the best of both worlds. I can adjust the volume when I need to listen or almost turn the sound off when I am firing on the line with the three .30-06 rifles going off. The muffs are low profile so the overly bulkiness is minimized to the point it is comfortable to run and shoot with a rifle or to sit on the bench and shoot long distances.

Long Battery Life

We have been using the muffs for about 5 months now and haven’t had to change the batteries yet.

Increased Range Communication

I like the fact that I can adjust the volume easily when I am shooting from the bench and we have other shooters near us.  The spotter and shooter can almost whisper to each other adjustments without having to listen to everyone on the range. I can also turn the volume all the way up and hear the crew from a distance without anyone having to scream commands.

Overall Thoughts:

The earmuffs will run about $50 but for the safety of your hearing and still being able to hear what is going on around you,  they are well worth the investment.

*1 Howard Leight is owned by Honeywell, An American multinational conglomerate company that produces a variety of commercial and consumer products, engineering services, and aerospace systems for a wide variety of customers, from private consumers to major corporations and governments.
Source: Honeywell’s Wiki page

Bullseye Camera Systems 500 Yard Edition review

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I contacted  Bullseye Camera Systems a few months back to review their Bullseye Camera Systems 500 Yard Edition.

The company was founded in 2012 and I rate it as one of the best new pieces of shooting gear for 2013.

While Panzer was prepping for an elk hunt this past October, we spent day after day at the rifle range to hone his distance shooting skills with his new rifle. Before starting to talk with Bullseye Camera Systems, we were utilizing every binocular, scope and spotting scope we had, to judge each shot taken. Every 10 or so shots we had to walk the 200-300 yards to cover previous shots with stickers to get clean readings.  The back and forth trips down the range kills a good 15% to 50% of your day at the range.

The Bullseye Camera Systems is just that… a target viewing system that sits near your target.

“No more walking back and forth to the target! Spend more time shooting!” – Bullseye Camera System Facebook page.

The system comes with:
– Weatherproof camera w/night vision
– 5-hour rechargeable battery
– Router and antenna
– Tripod and connectors
– Secure carrying case
– Bullseye Target Manager Software on a flash drive
Works with any laptop running Windows XP, Vista, Windows 7 or 8.

I know a few “purists” who believe that when it comes to shooting, old school is best and not use any tech. The two “purists” that I showed this system to, both thought this was a great for young and old alike since most people can’t see a .22 caliber hole in a paper at 200+ yards away.

The system is practically no maintenance  other than keeping the batteries charged and periodic free software updates.

During use, twice the system battery lasted longer than the laptop, so we just had to make a quick change of laptops by simply switching the flash drive. No download needed.

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After every shot you make, by hitting the spacebar on the laptop, the Bullseye Target Manager Software takes a still shot of the target. The software then flashes between the two most recent still shots comparing them. 

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The set up is as easy as setting up the tripod, mounting the camera, plugging the two USB cables into the battery pack, connecting the flash drive to your laptop and running the program.

Bullseye Camera Systems has two options:  500 yard or 1000 yard with an upgrade option for 1 mile. Both systems are similar, aside from the antenna which boosts the Wi-Fi range on the camera.

The base systems (without laptops) are $449 for the 500 yard and $549 for the 1000 yard system. Both are more an affordable option than some of the higher end spotting scopes that have clear glass to see at ranges like that.

The software lets you record all the data regarding each individual target; allowing for comparisons between days at the range. You can set different profiles for different shooters so everyone can use the same program to track their shots.  The software has a mark shot button that lets you cover your shots with a colored mark on the screen so you can use a target that has a few holes already in it.

Overall Thoughts:

This system is amazing! The company is still young so I expect to see them really starting to make waves in the next few years as they grow. The long range shooting part of the industry has needed something like this for years and as the tech becomes better and better so will this system.

Battlefield 4 First Impressions

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I preordered Battlefield 4 along with the PS4. I have played about 6 games of this title on the new generation of platform. The only game mode I’ve played is team death match and its pretty straight forward and like all the other games with this same mode.

I first thing I noticed in the upgrade is the crispness and detail in the graphics from what I have personally watched with the PS3 version. The game runs very smooth. Multiple explosions at the same time from different angles works flawlessly together. You won’t find yourself safe in many places. The entire world you play in is destructible. With the right equipment in the hands of the enemy, walls mean nothing.

Besides team death match and one conquest game, I did play around with the Test Range mode. I first saw something similar in the latest Ghost Recon game. You pretty much spawn on an island that has no “live” enemy players and you test your weapon load outs, practice flying helicopters, boats, ground vehicles and stationary weapons. It’s all practice practice practice. Flying in helicopters is no joke. It take some skill or at least an understanding of what needs to be done at the same time for the helicopter to do what you want. Sadly there aren’t any fighter jets you can toy around with in this mode but overall, a great feature to utilize.

Every game has their own different way to rank up your character. In Battlefield you only rank up a particular class when you play in that class and earn points using it. The same goes with vehicles. You have to use the tank or jet, earn points within the vehicle to unlock certain weapons or armor that can be used with the particular type of vehicle. It takes a bit longer because you have to do everything separately but it actually keeps you in the game longer and gives you more things you can achieve before maxing out.

As far as I have played, if you’re familiar with Battlefield it follows the same guidelines with just a better game engine, new maps, guns and vehicles. So far a very good game to play. The realism is awesome. I’ll have a more in depth review as I play more in the upcoming weeks.

Zombie Annihilator ZA-15

Back in April 2012 I was involved in a Zombie shoot in Dallas, TX the grand prize sponsor was American Weapon Systems.
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After seeing the grand prize I contacted them and had a chance to talk with them about doing a test and evaluation of the ZA-15.
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SPECS:

American Weapon Systems Forged Zombie Annihilator® Lower and Upper, Machined from Forged 7075-T6 Aluminum
AWS 16″ Mid-Length LW-50 Stainless Steel Barrel 1:8 Twist Polygonal Rifling, With .223 Wylde Chamber.
AWS Nickel Boron Coated M16 Bolt Carrier
Two Stage Trigger: Geissele
Magpul UBR (utility / battle rifle)
Magpul MIAD (Mission Adaptable) Grip
Magpul MOE Trigger Guard
Surefire 60 round high Cap Mag
Forward Grip: TROY Industries, Modular Combat Grip
Samson Low Profile Gas Block
MechArmor TacOps-1 Charging Handle
A2 Flash Suppressor
Samson FFS & FRS Quick Flip Sights
Samson manufacturing, Evolution series 12.37” Forend

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Old Man Lefty and I had a few chances to take it out to the range and put it through its paces.
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Safe-Zombie-SHTF (S**T HITS THE FAN)
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I buy guns based on need such as a new hunting rifle for larger or smaller game, or based on performance like handling, ease of use, and how it feels to me.

As seen in past posts I do own a few different types of .223/5.56×45 rifles

FN-H FS2000
Kel-Tec SU-16CA
Sig 556 DMR
Sig 556 SWAT
Smith & Wesson M&P-15
I have fired many different AR-15 Platforms from Colt, Daniel Defense, DPMS, STAG, AAC, and BCM.

The Smith & Wesson M&P-15 I own is stock. I have not made any modifications to it, outside of adding a scope.

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The S&W M&P15 is a nice rifle that is well built. It has more felt recoil than the ZA-15.

The stock model M&P15 is boring and if you want a M&P15 you may end up changing quite a few parts just to get it to the point you like it.

The ZA-15 can be customized before it is even shipped to you so you know the rifle you are buying is going to be the rifle you want.

I have met a a few people who believe an AR is an AR is an AR but that simply is not the case. Not all AR-15s are made equally and this becomes very apparent when firing the ZA-15 next to the M&P 15. You can feel the time spent hand assembling the ZA-15 and it is obvious that this is not another factory line gun using the the same stock rifle with the same parts time and time again.

As Built

American Weapon Systems has built a very high quality AR-15 rifle and and you are going to pay for it. Depending on the build you are looking at $2000.

AWS builds the rifle to your spec to insure you get the rifle of your dreams.
The GEARS crew and friends shot about 1000 rounds of .223 and 5.56×45 though this rifle and it preformed exceptionally well under all the conditions we put it through .

The barrel of this rifle is chambered in .223 Wylde which lets you shoot .223 Remington and 5.56×45 rounds through with no problems.

The bolt carrier group is a full auto bolt carrier group which I am a big fan of because it reduces (by the bolt being heavier) the the speed the bolt carrier goes into full battery (the status of a firearm when the action has returned to the normal firing position. Bolt carrier group locked in the lugs of the barrel). The reason I like that is it slows the action down making the extractor have enough time to eject the spent brass reducing the chance of stove piping(the rifle is NOT full auto). A heavier bolt increases your control over your firearm.
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I made this stove piping for the image by putting spent brass in the rifle like that.

Magazines

AWS shipped us the rifle with a Surefire 60 round magazine which is fun to fire and just looks cool.

Zombie!

They have dressed up the rifle with the Zombie killer dust cover and all of the Engraved Biohazard Logo and Zombie Annihilator® painted in neon green so it shows up really well. While this doesn’t make the rifle anymore accurate or function any better it does make the rifle a nice conversation piece out at the range.

Personal Thoughts

I personally do not buy firearms because of aesthetics. I don’t buy a gun just because it was branded with the latest trend, but that being said I am always excited by anything that helps the firearm industry. This is a well built gun and it has a fun factor thrown in that makes taking it to the gun range a exciting way to meet other shooters. Everyone wants to come see the Zombie gun and talk to you.

First I have to say I had no input about what went onto this rifle. They built the rifle and shipped it to me and when I opened it at my gun shop it was the first time I saw and knew what was on this rifle.

APPEARANCE:

This model is engraved with ZOMBIE ANNIHILATOR and a biohazard symbol which makes this a GREAT zombie killer. Without the paint and engraving the rifle looks like a standard AR-15. More than that the gun has a number of features that make this a great gun.

STOCK:

They put the UBR (utility / battle rifle) stock on this rifle which is a bit bulky but has a great feature, the cheek rest, which does not move with the rest of the stock. This lets the shooter have a nice full cheek wield. It comes with a compartment which holds (6-7) .223 rounds. I didn’t want to take all of my EOtechs apart and pull the batteries out but it will hold a few CR123 batteries or a few AA or AAA batteries. The storage compartment in the stock is removable and the door is reversible.

Sling mount specs:

Front/Rear – Reversible QD swivel sling mounts fit up to 1.5″ push-button swivels (swivel not included)
Bottom – 1.25″ sling loop
[Found on the Magpul website]

FELT RECOIL:

The felt recoil is low and of the few people outside of the GEARS crew that shot it only one person disagreed, but everyone has their own opinion. Old man lefty made the comment that it had lower recoil than the Kel -Tec SU-16CA. Gun Bunny made an observation that you can hear the buffer tube (action) spring when the rifle is fired. This did not affect the rifle but it was a curious thing to hear.

MAGAZINES:

The magazine they sent with the rifle was the 60 Round surefire magazine. Since we are out of Texas this magazine is legal (if you want your rifle to come with this magazine please check with your local laws). The magazine had no problems and functioned perfectly. Since I am not a competition or tactical shooter I do not have any comments about using this magazine in a competition or in a tactical situation. I fired 60 rounds in as fast as I could pull the trigger and the rifle shot normally. I did like having the 60 rounds to sit and shoot without having to reload or change mags.
Reloading took me 120 seconds to pull each round out of my loose .223 ammo box and hand load. All 60 rounds fed with about the same (felt) spring tension as the 1st round loaded. I did not use a maglula (speed loader) with this magazine because I do not have one at this time.

FIELD STRIPPING:

Since this a a standard AR-15 there are not any special things that have to be down to field strip this rifle.

ACCURACY:

From 25 –50 yards the rifle held tight groupings with 10+ shots in a quarter size hole. I did not test it at any longer ranges.

SIGHTS:

The Samson FFS & FRS Quick Flip Sights are spring loaded which makes popping them up fast and easy from the rifle hanging on your side from a sling.
The sights were on target when I got the rifle so I didn’t need to adjust them. They are an all metal construction so they are solid when you are walking around with the rifle from a sling and they fold so you are not getting the sights caught on your gear.

RAILS:

The standard ZA-15 comes with 18′” rail on the top (2) 1 3/4” on the left and right sides and one 4 3/4” rail on the bottom that has the TROY Industries, Modular Combat Grip.

WEIGHT:

The weight is around 11-12 pounds (unloaded) which is on the heavy end of the mid length 16” barrel AR-15’s weight. (for comparison my M&P15 comes in at just under 7 pounds with a 16” barrel). The rifle uses a heavy barrel for improved accuracy. I wouldn’t want to be firing from an unsupported or standing position all day with this rifle but with support this rifle is an okay weight.

CASE:

AWS sent the rifle in a SFR 5013 Double Rifle Case which is a TSA approved case. By shipping in this case it protected that rifle better than the normal cardboard box and packing peanuts.

Fore-Grip:

The TROY Industries, Modular Combat Grip AWS put on the rifle is nice. It unscrews so you can change the size for your shooting preference.

TRIGGER:

The Two Stage Geissele Trigger has a nice clean break when fired and one of the most smooth and clean triggers I have ever had.

Charging Handle:

The MechArmor TacOps-1 Charging Handle has a charging handle latch on the right and left side of the handle making it easier to charge the firearm left or right hands and while the rifle is in different positions.

HAND GRIP:

I liked the Magpul MIAD hand grip because you can change the back and front straps. This allows you to find the most comfortable grip for shooting and reduce hand fatigue from shooting all day.

DUST COVER:

This made most of the people I showed this to at the range smile.

NiB-X NICKEL BORON:

While I did not have any issues with it, I would like to do more testing with the nickel boron before I make any more comments about how good or bad it is. Two different shooters and gun smiths I respect both have completely different takes on Nickel Boron so I need to test more for myself and my own understanding before I would recommend it.

PROS:

 

  • Fun to shoot
  • Low Recoil
  • Easy to shoot
  • Easy to clean
  • Stock is adjustable for different shooters
  • Candy cane breaking trigger pull (clean snap)
  • Draws attention when at the range
  • CONS:

    Weight is heavier than I like.

    OVERALL THOUGHTS & COMMENTS ON THIS RIFLE:

    Overall I loved this rifle and would love to own this rifle.

    The price is high but when you put all the parts together into one rifle the price is reasonable.

    Great gun, fun to shoot and worth the price for the time and care American Weapon Systems puts into each gun.

    While AR-15s and AK-47s are two of the most copied designs of guns that doesn’t mean they are all the same. American Weapon Systems is not a mass producer of AR-15s which lets them devote the time to customizing rifles to their clients wants and needs.