Friday, September 10, 2010


A friend who is a helicopter officer with one of the larger Texas police departments came by the office today with his new work rifle. It's a semi-auto, short barrel Sig 556 swat rifle with a detachable Gemtech silencer. I didn't ask how long the barrel was, but in looking at pictures on the internet it looked shorter than the 14" military/LE version. It had a special flash hider that had extrusions that mated with the silencer so to install the silencer, it's turn and lock, not screw on.

I'm a big Sig fan, although I don't own one yet. As a Glock loyalist for the past two decades, I just didn't see the need for any other pistol than my Glock. 1911's, H&K p7s and Hi Powers basically went into storage since 1992. Yes, I would shoot them every once in a while but I was so entralled with the Glocks that nothing else really interested me, other than my stable of carry revolvers.

As far as rifles were concerned, I've been pleased with several Colt AR-15/CAR-15 and clones and an exceptionally accurate and reliable MAK-90. After having owned several AR type rifles, several M1 carbines and that AK clone (milled, not stamped please), I always thought that my quirky looking MAK-90 was the best shooting assault rifle I'd shot except for the HK's, which I couldn't afford.

And I've shot pretty much every type of assault rifle that's been in use law enforcement wise except for a Browning BAR (I have seen those shot but never shot one). Thompsons, S&W subs, the MAC series of semi and full auto pistols, Uzi, mini-Uzi and micro Uzi, various H&K guns including the Models 91 and 93 and MP5, various homemade greaseguns that were in police custody, the Ruger Mini-14 and another favorite, the M1 Garand.

The few times I have shot full auto weapons I have been amazed by their power. I've never really aspired to own one, as one needs not only a big wallet but a strong back for all the ammo you go through in a fully auto weapon.

When I began in law enforcement, we were issued a new Universal M1A in .30 caliber. Mine jammed all the time. Numerous trips to the armorer and several private gunsmiths failed to solve the problem. Unexpectedly, a Ruger Mini-14 became available and I moved on. I really like the Mini-14, it's a great shooting gun and I'd take it over an AR any day of the week. Rugers do many things very well, not the least of which being that they are reliable. Like the Glock, with a Ruger, it's a short story: Pull trigger, goes bang.

Rugers also are very durable and are often ugly as hell (I own a horribly ugly but highly reliable and accurate Ruger Security Six in .357). The Security Six has been rarely fired and I picked it up cheap when a divorcing cop buddy needed cash to pay his lawyer. He'd shot the gun a few times and put Pachmayrs on it but had the box and original grips, etc. It's stainless and you could hammer nails all day long with it and it'd probably still shoot dead on. I've shot it a few times and it shoots very well. I know for sure that in 50 years when my kids have kids this gun will be in the same condition (assuming they store it as I have) and will still be shooting. Rugers are armageddon firearms, meaning they are tough and are meant to last and that if treated with a minimum of care, will last lifetimes.

But I digress. A couple of years back, Billy Ray bought a different Sig .223 assault rifle. The folding stock goes to the side, and the gun was large and heavy. The Sig I saw today had a modernized CAR type stock, with a Sig design twist, and looked more like an MP5 than a Sig. The Gemtech my friend bought was awesome and was quite short, probably about 7 inches. He said it worked very well. I can't wait until I can shoot it. He said the action is as loud as the report when suppressed.

Of course, he had everyones favorite sight, the Aimpoint M2 on it, and he also had the "swat" handguard with rails all around. On the bottom rail, next to the handgrip, he had a $47 low end LED light from GT Distributors that I was highly impressed with. Even in the daylight, in an office with blinds open and bright light from our building fixtures, the flashlight shone brightly against the wall. I was pretty damn impressed.

I want one. I don't need a selective fire version. Talk to anyone who has been in actual firefights or served as special forces. Most will tell you they shoot mostly semi-auto to conserve ammo. Most special forces guys tell me they'd take about 200 extra rounds for their rifle and maybe 2 extra mags for their pistol on missions deep behind enemy lines. They shot semi-auto 90% of the time.

But the suppressor does appeal to me. Being able to shoot without hearing protection would be cool, and I know from experience just how quiet a .223 with a good suppressor can be.

I want one.

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