I was invited to attend the Superstition Mountain Mystery 3-Gun match in Mesa, Arizona at the request of KE Arms. KE Arms is a manufacturer, distributor, and retailer of all things firearms. This year at Superstition Mountain was a nexus of “new things” that had the potential to be noteworthy in our industry. Namely the first formal national 3-gun competition integrating the “Stealth Division” and the unveiling of a new prototype optic enabled pistol modification by KE Arms.
I have another post discussing the details and specifics of the Stealth Division (which all of the KE Arms provided weapons were compliant with)–I will not duplicate that information here.
Aimpoints and Glocks
The sexy entrant of the week was the forward mounted Aimpoint on the Glock slide. I had never run a pistol with an optic (RMR or otherwise) though I had been considering it for a while now. KE Arms only had two prototypes available for us to use during the match–which meant we had four shooters sharing them. The slide itself had to machined to accommodate the mount (much like the MOS cuts from Glock, though in the front).
I want to be clear, the mount itself was solid and well executed, though not able to co-witness with iron sights. What I found was that I simply do not like an optic on the pistol. I found myself chasing the dot and forgetting the basics. I’m sure with more time on the platform I would get used to it but in the short term I found it distracting. No matter what, I think it is very important for any optic to be able to co-witness the iron sights (as a quick reference).
Also, it is going to take a specialized holster to accommodate the large optic on the top of the pistol and not interfere with the intensity dial. The holsters we had were basically put together overnight (a no small feat), and we did have a couple of issues.
While this modification is not quite ready for prime time, I think it is pretty close and I will be interested to see how it is received in the industry. I think optics are going to become more common place on pistols (just as they have on rifles)–I’m just currently in the category of “grumpy-old-man-throwing-beer-cans-at-the-kids-on-his-lawn” regarding the practice.
Shotgun Optic Mount
Just like with the pistol, I had never run a shotgun with an optic, and always thought a shotgun covered with picatinny rail was just silly. The KE Arms mount is very subtle and doesn’t really add much of any weight to the platform. It was low profile and does not require gunsmithing. Unfortunately you can only get it for the Micro/Beretta 1301 Comp. If they had something for the Mossberg 930, I’d be all over it.
You can find out more information about the mount at: http://www.kearms.com/1301-comp-h1t1-mount
The rifle that I was provided for the match was mostly constructed of KE Arms components. Pretty much everything except the barrel, scope mount, and scope. This rifle was definitely not off the shelf–it had been built out specifically for this match, using a number of components that KE Arms manufacturers.
Honestly my favorite component was the 45 degree selector switch (which can actually also be set to work as a standard 90 degree). This was the first time I really got to run a gun with one installed and I wasn’t initially sure how I was going to like it. It ended up being a pretty good mod. The throw to engage/disengage the safety was obviously much shorter, and thus required less movement to operate (which translates to that coveted savings of time during a match). Of course I negated the positive effects, by always dropping the magazine and clearing the chamber… 🙂
The rifle itself was pretty light–though I didn’t have a scale with me to note the exact weight.
- 45 Degree Selectors can be found at: http://www.kearms.com/selectors-category
- Billet Flared Mag-Well KE-15 Lower: http://www.kearms.com/lower-flared-mag-well
- BMSMIL Battlelink Minimalist Stock: http://www.kearms.com/minimalistic-stock
- KE Arms DMR Trigger: http://www.kearms.com/drop-in-trigger-black
- Delta-S KeyMod Rail System: http://www.kearms.com/rail-delta-s-15
Overall I was duly impressed with a number of the components specifically created by KE Arms (our provided weapons did have a few components from other vendors). And aside from that, the staff is super friendly–we had a ton of fun at the match.
I used to be a big fan of Strike Industries (and you still can’t beat the cost of their components), but I’m thinking of upgrading to KE Arms. I think they are a bit higher quality. I know I am going to add the shotgun mount to my Mossberg 930 JM Pro, and at least the 45 degree selector switch.
If you haven’t explored the acccessories and components that KE Arms offers please check them out: http://www.kearms.com/