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Tactical Life March 2021

TACTICAL WEAPONS is the complete source for military, law enforcement and general shooting enthusiasts firepower - past, present and future. Published four times a year, each issue of TACTICAL WEAPONS is packed wiith exclusive guns-of-the-elite reviews on shotguns, combat handguns, battle rifles and long range precision weaponry, SWAT and personal defense tactics, reports from the front lines of GWOT and US Border Patrol, high-tech hardware and much more. TACTICAL WEAPONS is an absolutely essential piece of kit to keep you well armed, well informed and completely ready for duty!

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United States
Athlon Media Group
7 Issues

in this issue

7 min
a matter of inches

Just about every year we welcome a new cartridge into the AR-15 market and although 2020 is a year of firsts, among those firsts would not be a year without a new cartridge introduction. We might not have toilet paper or hand sanitizer, but we will have a more effective way to reach out with the AR-15—you can take that to the bank. This year we welcome the 6mm ARC (Advanced Rifle Cartridge) to the fold and have the Department of Defense and Hornady to thank for it. Through a joint project, this new cartridge takes the 6.5 Grendel and bumps up the velocity while giving it the ability to take more streamlined 6mm projectiles. A thinner bullet traveling at faster speeds can punch through tougher barriers and kill bad guys…

1 min
rise armament ra-902 ar-15 handguard

Your handguard plays more than just a supporting role in your rifle (see what I did there). A good handguard should be lightweight, ergonomic and allow the barrel to vibrate freely when a round is fired. This vibration is commonly referred to as harmonics, and any interference in it will affect accuracy, and typically not in the way you wish. Rise Armament is incredible at making lightweight items that are uncommonly strong, as anybody who has installed one of their triggers knows. The RA-902 handguard is built from the same mindset and workmanship that courses through the company’s veins. It comes in sizes as short as 7.5 inches and as long as 15 inches, and all are clad with 360 degrees of M-LOK slots and 6 QD sling sockets to…

9 min
’80s pdw

Our tale begins at the USAF Armament Laboratory at Eglin Air Force Base in 1968. The war in Vietnam dominated the headlines, while the frenetic race to the moon drove unprecedented advances in technology. Amid this remarkable national milieu, the USAF contracted with Colt to produce a radical new aircrew survival gun called the Individual Multi-Purpose Weapon or IMP-221. The USAF nomenclature was GUU-4/ Chambered for the .221 Fireball/5.56x36mm wildcat cartridge, this novel bullpup design was intended to equip Air Force bomber crews operating over hostile territory. The original specifications demanded a gun less than 13 inches long that weighed less than 1.5 pounds while retaining an effective range of at least 100 meters. While the program itself did not result in a general-issue survival arm, the IMP-221 was the precursor…

7 min
thumb's up or down?

Innovation in the AR market is a bit of an oxymoron. Having tested dozens, maybe hundreds over the years, what’s claimed as innovation is more alteration, improvement, imitation or downright snake oil. Given imitation is the greatest flattery, most AR companies flatter each other a ton. It’s a proven system for sure, with clear and demonstrable improvements over the years. However, little true innovation has occurred, at least until now. Blackwater Worldwide has picked up a line of rifles originally developed by Iron Horse Firearms that is truly different—the TOR, or Thumb Operated Rifle. Iron Horse rifles was started by former infantry Marine Ryan McDonald in 2016. Ryan wanted to be different, and his invention of the TOR fits that bill well. Starting with lower receivers, their proprietary trigger system is…

9 min
courage under fire

“THIS IS VICTOR AVILA FROM ICE! WE ARE SHOT! WE ARE SHOT!” the man screamed at the U.S. Embassy switchboard in Mexico City. “We are at a highway in Mexico; we’ve been shot and attacked on the highway!” The armored blue Chevrolet Suburban driven by Special Agent Jaime Zapata, which included Special Agent Victor Avila, lay shattered on the highway with more than 100 rounds of ammunition critically disabling the vehicle. It was shortly after 2 p.m. on Feb. 15, 2011, and Avila’s partner, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement special agent Jaime J. Zapata, lay dying in the driver’s seat. Victor yelled, “Jaime! Look at me, stay awake. Please don’t die.” The death of Jaime Zapata, the first U.S. law enforcement officer killed in the line of duty in Mexico since 1985,…

6 min
big bore bully

Compact and powerful are words used to describe all sorts of things. Sometimes the things being described live up to the hype and other times, not so much. Hatsan airguns have been around for decades and their products definitely fit that description. Hatsan Arms Company is a Turkish manufacturer that began its legacy in the airgun arena in 1976 when the founder purchased a new air rifle that turned out to be junk. A teenager at the time, he knew he could build a better airgun and soon came up with a design he was able to bring to market. Also known for quality shotguns, this family-owned company is very proud of their 100 percent vertically integrated manufacturing. Every part is produced in-house so quality control can be assured. Today, Hats an…