From the Ashes of Blackwater: Academi Precision Rifle I

In the April 2011 issue of S.W.A.T., I wrote about the five-day Carbine Operator Course I had attended at what was then known as Blackwater (later named U.S. Training Center). That article begins, “Blackwater has been at the center of controversy and conspiracy theories ever since Erik Prince founded the company.” More on that later.

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The Crusader: Templar Tactical MK-12 SPR

Certain terms in the gun industry are thrown around all too often. Tactical, sniper, Special Ops, milspec, the list goes on and on. So when I first heard of a new company going by the name Templar Tactical and offering an MK-12, I was skeptical. I only resisted the urge to dismiss them outright because they were being recommended to me by a pair of former Marines—one of whom I know very well and respect (we can forgive him for being a Marine, hooah?).

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Absolut AR: Build Your Own

I love building ARs. Probably like many of you, I like working with my hands, putting things together, and making repairs. Even painting a rifle gives me a little added satisfaction over one that is strictly off-the-shelf. I’m not very artistic, although there is an undeniable form of self-expression associated with building an AR. You

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Effective Firearms Training: Hidden in the Heartland

I first met Steve Fisher at a firearms competition about three years ago. At the time, I was looking for advanced firearms training for competition and self-defense, and several people recommended Fisher’s company—Michigan Defensive Firearms Institute (MDFI). I witnessed his shooting ability first-hand at competitions and was amazed, to say the least. Fisher is a

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Build a 9mm AR: Easy To Assemble, Affordable To Shoot

Carbines chambered for the 9mm Luger cartridge have enjoyed enormous popularity for a long time. They’re found everywhere, from casual shooters and competitors to law enforcement and anti-terrorist agencies. While the HK MP5 is usually considered King of the 9mm carbines, it is expensive and out of reach for most private citizens. Now, with soaring

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Training Alternatives: .22 Long Rifle Conversion Kits

Due to the steep rising costs of—well, everything—many shooters have been forced to invent new ways to come up with more money for fuel and ammunition or cut back on their training. For some, neither of these options is viable. Luckily there is a secret, third option. OK, it’s not really much of a secret.

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Build Your Own FAL Rifle!

The FAL earned the moniker “Right Arm of the Free World” because it was adopted in over 90 countries all over the globe and was manufactured in ten different countries. It saw action in every kind of extreme climate.

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AR-15 Kits: Do’s And Don’ts Of Building Your Own AR

It’s no secret that the AR is the most customizable rifle on the planet. You can look at the rifle rack at any range and see twenty ARs each of which is different in its own way. Until now, you’ve bought your ARs complete (or maybe this is your first AR) and tailored them to your liking.

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