Big 3 East 2013

    The Big 3 East in Florida is an expansion of the original Big 3 event held at Kansas every Fall.  Both events were started by writers for writers. The Big 3 stands for Tactical gun, Tactical gear and Tactical training. All the companies and writers were handpicked and by invitations only. The Big 3 East event in Florida was organized by Dillard (CJ) Johnson, a highly decorated retired US Army vet and former PMC. Special thanks to WPA (Wolf Performance Ammunition) for providing the ammo, Action Target providing the steel targets and Revision Military providing the eye protections for the event.


    Tim Harmsen from the Military Arms Channel (MAC) was one of the invited writers at the Big 3 East event. MAC is well know for their video reviews. I will feature two of MAC’s videos in this report.  



    Alexander Arms was the first presenter. Bill Alexander introduced their new line of ultra lightweight AR-15 carbines in the 5.56mm and 300 Blackout calibers. Both feature fluted stainless steel barrels and modular hand handguards constructed from G10 composite material. Also, the Alexander Arms Ion-bond coated adjustable single-stage match trigger is now available in the standard curve shape trigger, in additional to the original blade style with lightening holes. Alexander Arms is also working on a large caliber semi-automatic platform that will be unveil at the NRA show later this year.



    RS Regulate displayed their new AK-300 modular optic mounts for the AKM platform. Besides of the new streamlined locking lever and the high quality CNC works, the AK-300 mounts all use a high-strength titanium alloy bolt to hold everything together. The system is fully adjustable to accommodate just about all variants of the AKM and AK74 pattern rifles, plus the PSL, Saiga and Vepr rifles. In additional to the 30mm ring base and Micro T1 base, there’s also the AKOG base that allows low over-bore mounting of the Trijicon ACOG and Compact ACOG, the Browe BCO, the ELCAN Specter OS 3.0, the Burris AR-332 and AR-536 prism sights on the AK platform.


    Another product from RS Regulate was their new BM-1 flashlight mount. It took over 2-years of R&D to make sure the clamp-on mount doesn’t affect the barrel hormonic or causing point of impact shift. This lightweight 4-slot picatinny mount should also works on AR-15 with lightweight pencil profile barrel in .625 diameter.



    Hi-Lux Leatherwood presented couple of new models in their CMR series of 1-4x24mm tactical scope. Those are the feature packed CMR4 for the 5.56mm and 7.62mm calibers, the CMR-AK762 and CMR4-AK762 with reticles made specifically for the 7.62x39mm and the 300 Blackout/300 Whisper.



    James from WPA (Wolf Performance Ammunition) clarified the cause of the current ammo price surge. He said on the supplier side, their cost went up an average of 5-10% (depends on the calibers) due to the demand plus another 5-10% from their distributors. The rest of price increase or price gouging are from your local and on-line retailers.



    WPAA (Wolf Performance Arms) is the sister company of WPA and a major importer of the Russian made Saiga and Vepr shotguns and rifles in the US. WPAA is now offering new muzzle devices and a polymer collapsible stock for the Saiga pattern shotgun. The stock features a thick recoil pad and a second large rotating locking mechanism that helps to keep the stock in position under heavy recoil.



    Marc Krebs of Krebs Custom is holding his new lightweight custom AK carbine that weights only 7.5 pounds and it comes with the new Krebs Keymod extended AK handguard and the Krebs 4-prong AK flashhider. On the table is the new Krebs DMR built from the Vepr hunting rifle in 7.62x54R. The accuracy of the Krebs DMR is around 1.5-inch at 100 yard with good ammo, which is more accurate than the SVD.


    Marc Krebs always brought serveral Class III weapons for everyone to enjoy and this time he had a PKM belt-fed GPMG. Here’s a Military Arms Channel video featuring Tim and Dave on a closer look of the PKM.



    Copyright Laura Burgess Marketing

    Ashley from LBM is wearing a Revision Batlskin helmet, which I nicknamed it the “Master Chief” helmet. She is also holding the Krebs Custom DMR with the RS Regulate AK-300 optic mounting system and the Vltor ModPod bipod in the folded position.



    Brian from Savvy Sniper is demoing his custom quad sling that’s capable of quick change from a 2-point to single-point configuration. We used the Savvy Sniper slings through out the event on various different type of weapons. The standard carbine model worked very well on the new IWI Tavor due to its quick adjustably from the use of a patterned adjustment control loop design.



    Huntertown Arms brought their suppressors and explained to us that suppressor should be more affordable since it’s essentially a muffler for the muzzle. The basic design and manufacturing technology are decades old. The Huntertown Arms .22LR models, which will work for .17 HMR, .22 WMR and 5.7×28, have a starting price of just $195. The 5.56mm model is $499 and for the 7.62mm caliber is $599. They also offer a $449 replacement stainless barrel for the Ruger 10/22 with an integral .22LR suppressor.






    Sccy Industries is a local Florida company that makes CCW size 9mm pistol with affordable price. Their latest Gen 2 model has improved functionality with Eastern European made ammo that uses harder primer. The Sccy pistol retail for $299 to $339 depends on the features and finish and comes with two 10-rd magazine. Gunslinger Customs in Georgia produces regular and CCW holster for the Sccy pistol.


    Definitive Arms showncased their $349 conversion for 5.56mm caliber AK to use regular AR15 magazine, like the popular Magpul Pmag and the USGI aluminum magazine. It took me a bit to get used to the AR style control on an AK platform. Here’s a MAC video on how the system works: AR Mags in an AK?



    Copyright Military Arms Channel

    Ron DeSantis, the United State Representative for the 6th Congressional District in Florida, stopped by and let us know his firm stand on protecting the 2nd Amendment and his support for veterans. The congressmen is a former naval JAG officer.


    Afterward, Representative DeSantis had some range time with both the IWI Tavor and the locally built Sccy pistol.



    IWI US‘ Michael Kassnar, who spent years to bring the Tavor to the US Market. The IWI Tavor bullpups were definitely the highlight of this Big 3 East event.


    Everyone at the event had the chance to shot all the current Tavor models. No issue at all with the steel case rounds from WPA. I did noticed that the hotter brass case mil-spec ammo ejects the spent case toward the front quarter, which clears the shooter to do weak-side firing.  While the steel cases were ejected more toward the side and few a little toward the rear quarter. I recommend use the higher pressure ammo if you are planning to do weak-side shooting with the Tavor. Again, the Savvy Sniper carbine sling works great on the Tavor.


    Open range for the rest of the day…



    Our target vehicle down range before we let loose the PKM on it.



    Big thanks to CJ for putting this event together. Please check out his upcoming book: Carnivore: A Memoir by One of the Deadliest American Soldiers of All Time. The book covers his combat tours in the sandbox and the stories of how 2400+ confirmed kills, including 121 as a sniper, were credited to him.



    Writer and gear editor with articles published in major gun publications. A five year combat veteran of the US Marine Corps, Tim is also part of Point & Shoot Media Works, a producer of photography, video and web media for the firearms and shooting sport industry. Tim’s direct contact: Tyan.TFB -at-