AAR: EAG Tactical Carbine 1. EVTC 19-20 May, 2018

First, this is my first post in a little bit here.  This is reposted from my AAR/Article posted on P&S.  I had a chance to take Brian's EAG Carbine 1 class this past May.  Bottom line: Brian's doing good work, in my humble opinion. 

 

Brian Canova of EAG Tactical.  Photo by Triple Bravo

Personal Equipment:
Carbine: 12.5” AR-15 (Centurion barrel, Noveske lower, Hodge upper receiver and rail).  Kahles K16i 1-6 optic, Surefire DF Scout light, Blue Force Gear (BFG) 2-point sling, Magpul magazines.
Rifle Ammo: MEN 56gr M193 (appx 700 rounds fired)
Pistol: Glock 19 with RMR and X300U in Safariland ALS holster, Magpul magazines.
Pistol Ammo: Speer Lawman 147gr FMJ (Appx 75rds fired)
Support Gear: BFG BeltMinus V2 with BFG, Tactical Tailor, and ATS Tactical pouches. Dark Angel DARK IFAK.  MSA Sordin earpro, Smith Elite eyepro, Petzl Cordex gloves, Hatch knee pads

 

Pat Rogers, despite his warrior size, left incredibly large shoes to fill.  When I found out Brian Canova was carrying EAG Tactical into the future, I didn’t know what to think.  What I found out was that Brian is not resting on what Pat built.  He is heading down his own course, at full speed.  In his own words, he has no interest in being a “Pat Rogers Cover Band,” and that’s a good thing.

Wet ranges happen.  Photo by Jimmy Smith

Things looked less than great as I pulled up to the range, the same range as I’d taken all my previous EAG classes.  It was gray and raining, with much of the range covered in water.  The class of ten students was half of what I expected.  Brian, however, was busy setting up the familiar camouflage EAG/Tango Down targets.

Training Day (TD) 1 began with Brian giving us an overview of his experience as a police officer and how he came into ownership of EAG Tactical.  After student introductions, a safety brief was given.  Every student came prepared, which helped minimize down time.  There was a mix of red dots and low power variable optics.  There were a few oddities, including a STAG left handed upper and a couple of BAD lever copies.  There were a couple SBR’s, and of course a mix of accessories.  All of the guns functioned well, and no one needed to utilize one of the several backup guns on hand.

I was fortunate to check the weather before the class and brought extra snivel gear.  I took some time to add some extra waterproofing to my leather gloves and boots.  The extra protection helped, especially as we began from prone in the water to verify our sights.  My Outdoor Research rain jacket worked perfectly.  However, I didn’t bring rain pants, and I suffered a little bit for that.  While my top stayed nice and dry, my bottom half got pretty soaked.  Staying dry means more energy and focus on learning and executing drills.  It’s not about being tough, it’s about learning the most you can.


Students on the line for a drill.  Photo by Brian Canova

We started with zeroing the rifles at 50 yards.  Most students were well dialed in, but a couple had issues, including one Trijicon MRO that had run out of adjustment.  Morning instruction covered mechanical offset of sights, obtaining a quick sight picture between shots, and reloads.  Drills were conducted with a shot timer which Brian used on individuals and the whole group, providing immediate and objective performance metrics.  The morning ended with a head-to-head competition.  From a low ready, we shot one round, performed a speed reload, and shot a second round.  There were several more competitions throughout the class, and it was a great way to add pressure.  Plus, it was fun.

After lunch, we were back at it.  From 75 yards, we shot from standing, then shot after dropping into prone.  The results from the target and timer were very interesting, and showed that taking extra time to drop into a more stable position isn’t always the right answer.  Various kneeling positions were practiced, again on the timer.  We also worked with shooting under barricades laying on our sides.  In odd positions like this, the more restrictive eye box of the 1-6 scope was a little harder to use than a red dot. With prone and kneeling practiced, we shot several Modified Navy Quals.  From the 50 yard line, with three magazines of five rounds each, five shots were fired from standing, kneeling, then prone, reloading between positions.  With a 24 second time limit, this was a great test of marksmanship, manipulation, and changing positions.  It also helped students learn to speed up their shots with more stable positions so that they could spend more time on the standing shots.

The day wrapped up with shooting steel out to 300 yards.  Many students had trouble getting shots on the orange painted targets against the red clay background at the more distant steel.  Combine the orange targets, red clay, and a red dot as the aiming point with little reference to adjust point of aim corrections, and the variable scopes shined in comparison.  The superior glass and magnification gave a significant advantage on the more distant targets.  Also, being able to turn off the illumination and having a fine black reticle gave good contrast on the targets.  While I didn’t need any aiming corrections, my reticle had plenty of wind and elevation reference points to use if I had needed them.  With training concluded, we washed up and gathered at a local restaurant to wind down, exchange stories, and talk about the day’s lessons.


Student shooting Trijicon 1-8 scoped carbine at the 300 yard range.  Photo by Jimmy Smith

TD2 began with puffy white clouds and impossibly blue skies.  We reconfirmed our sights and discussed pistol transitions.  From then on, any drill where our rifles malfunctioned or ran out of ammo, we were told to transition to the pistol.  The reason was made clear when the timer showed that a pistol transition could be a full second faster than a reload.

Malfunction clearance was covered next.  Double feeds and failures to fire for various reasons were both practiced.  Then came what I called “Malfunctions Round the Fleet.”  In the 16th through 19th centuries, in cases of severe wrongdoings by sailors, the British Royal Navy would administer an equally severe punishment.  The sailor would be taken by small boat to every ship of the fleet where he would be lashed with a whip or cat-o-nine-tails in turn.  This was called “Flogging Round the Fleet.”  Likewise, every student set up some type of malfunction on their rifle then laid it down.  One by one, each student ran up, cleared the malfunction, and fired each of the ten rifles as fast as they could.  This was an excellent timed drill, with added pressure to perform by the audience.  Empty magazines, empty chambers, double feeds, optics that were turned off, BAD levers, a left handed rifle, and of course various triggers, grips, stocks, handguards etc, were sprinkled throughout.  No one knew what to expect.  Safe handling and shooting standards were upheld throughout.


Student clearing set-up malfunction. Photo by Triple Bravo

Next was the midrange competition, back at the 300 yard range from TD1.  Five steel targets were used from 125 to 300 yards, both above and below the shooter.  No one brought precision guns, and all of the barrels were between 10.5” to 16.”  Using training ammo, most guns had 3-5 MOA accuracy.  300 yard shots on steel with a 3-5 MOA gun are not especially hard, but they require solid application of skills to make first round hits.  From standing, each student dropped into prone and attempted to hit each target once, as fast as possible.  Most shooters needed several shots on the more distant, harder to see targets.  Those using red dots completed the drill as fast as 37 seconds.  Using my Kahles 1-6 with the illumination off and set at 4x to balance magnification and field of view for faster transitions, I was able to shoot a clean run (5 shots, 5 hits) in 26 seconds.  The low power optic proved superior again.

Last was Brian’s qualification course.  Using mostly B8 targets, each part of the qual was timed.  Extra shots and shots fired after time expired were penalized 10 points each.  I started off poorly.  From a low ready, Brian had us drop into prone and fire two shots at 75 yards in 5 seconds.  I had difficulties getting down and on target, and I failed to fire before time expired.  Other drills included two shots from a low ready in one second, six shots from low ready in two seconds, shoot-reload-shoot in four and a half seconds, sprinting to the 50 yard line and firing twice, plus another Modified Navy Qual.  I ended the event with a passing score, but I could have performed better.  This drove home that it doesn’t matter how well you perform at your best, but how well you perform when you are not at your best.


Author running to the 50 yard line during the qual.  Photo by Triple Bravo

After the qual, we gathered to debrief.  Brian was up front about wanting criticism on the whole class.  He wanted to know what seemed to work, what didn’t seem to work well, and asked for any ideas for improvement.  He certainly is very motivated to make his classes better.  I had one of the few criticisms of the class, when I said that I thought pacing could have been a little quicker, especially early on.  Indeed, we shot fewer rounds during the weekend than I have ever shot in a 2-day class.  However, after a couple more days to digest the entire class, I’m very happy with the pace that Brian set, as it was used to emphasize lessons backed up with facts from the target and timer.  It wasn’t just wasted with extra repetitions that we students could easily do on our own time.

Many of us had similar takeaways.  Among them were the following:
-The stress that Brian put on owning every shot, as opposed to double taps / hammer pairs with a single sight picture, was a good thing.

-The time difference between taking a slow aimed shot from standing compared to the time it took to transition to prone before shooting.

-Checking gear and mindset prior to each drill.  During the qualification, many of us should have taken greater time to ensure our gear and our minds were ready before the buzzer.  Had I taken a moment or two more to prepare for my 75 yard prone shots at the beginning of the qual, I may have gotten a shot or two off.  Another student didn’t check his gear and dropped into prone without a magazine in his gun on the same drill.

-Contrary to my earlier belief, transitioning to a pistol can be done much faster than performing a reload on a carbine.  That saved second or so can mean the difference between a cool war story and tragedy.

-Efficient movement is the key to most drills and situations.  This is a key point in every class I’ve been to, but it’s always good when it’s stressed again in new ways.  Putting effective shots on target sooner is the goal, and moving efficiently, changing positions, or transitioning to a pistol may get those shots off sooner rather than later.

-There were many more lessons learned, and Brian’s use of the timer drove them home effectively.  I was happy to see that he used it as a training tool.  The timer and target don’t lie, and make excellent diagnostic tools.


Jimmy enjoying the wet like only an infantryman can.  Photo by Jimmy Hat

My biggest takeaway is that this is a different EAG.  There were no Moose Cocks anymore except those the students brought with them.  There was no binder of cool, nostalgic pictures.  There was only a single relay and no assistant instructor.  This class was Brian Canova building off Pat’s legacy, his way, playing to his own strengths.  I’m very optimistic about the future of Brian’s EAG Tactical.

"If you can't do something smart, do something right" -Jayne Cobb

 

Joined: 2010.                 Location: NOVA HELL

Original Post

Question. I’ve seen the MEN ammo for good pricing at SG ammo, how well does it perform? I don’t know anyone who has used it in 5.56. 

Mojo/Mark
__________________________
Yo homey, is that my briefcase...?
Vincent from "Collateral"
__________________________
You want the good life, you break your back, you snap your fingers, you snap your neck... Prong/Demon Hunter

Joined: 9/30/09
Location: Northern Nevada (Reno/Sparks)

MOJONIXON posted:

Question. I’ve seen the MEN ammo for good pricing at SG ammo, how well does it perform? I don’t know anyone who has used it in 5.56. 

It's worked great so far for me.  I've only shot about 800 rounds with it, to be fair.  So far I have a couple observations:

1: 30 round boxes are the heat
2: When I finished loading up about 20 magazines worth of ammo, I was surprised how not too dirty my fingers were.
3: During zero, this ammo held under 2 MOA for 5 round groups out of my 12.5" Centurion CHF barrel
4: During shooting on the 300 course during the class, I didn't have a single miss on steel.  That's not a huge deal, but I was one of only a couple shooters who shot the 125-300 round evolutions without a single miss.  I'm not a great shooter, so the ammo must have been doing it's job.  Holds were center mass on all targets, I didn't hold over on even the 300 yard steel. 
5: It did leave some reddish orange residue in the gun.  My guess is that it's debris from the primer sealer, which was the same/similar color. 

I'm happy with it.  It's performed well so far, is considerably cleaner to handle than XM or AE 55gr stuff that I usually shoot. The accuracy seems to be there, I had zero malfunctions with it, it's pretty clean for M193, and it comes in 30 round boxes.  The price is also right in line with commercially available M193 ammo.  I'll be buying more.

"If you can't do something smart, do something right" -Jayne Cobb

 

Joined: 2010.                 Location: NOVA HELL

Thanks. Good to hear. 

Mojo/Mark
__________________________
Yo homey, is that my briefcase...?
Vincent from "Collateral"
__________________________
You want the good life, you break your back, you snap your fingers, you snap your neck... Prong/Demon Hunter

Joined: 9/30/09
Location: Northern Nevada (Reno/Sparks)

Steve.  I keep hearing more and more good news about the Kahles.  It seems like the current champ of LPVOs.   What made you choose it? Thanks.

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IT'S A COLT.  THEY'RE LIKE THE HK OF GUNS.

The Most Reverend Consig

 "I'm always down for good beer and the potential for violence." Fellow LFer. 

There are two types of countries: 1.  Those that use the metric system and 2.  Those who put a man on the moon.

 

 Joined: 28 Nov 2004: 0037hrs        Location: The worst run state in the U.S

John, I’ll be ordering one too as soon as my URG and geissele mount ship (both back ordered). My decision was based on Fisher singing its praises. And it’s lighter than the Razor.

Joined: 30 May 2003                  Location: SE PA

Consigliere posted:

Steve.  I keep hearing more and more good news about the Kahles.  It seems like the current champ of LPVOs.   What made you choose it? Thanks.

Brother, that scope is simply amazing.  I've been through a couple LVPO's over the last 2 years or so.  I've had a Steiner P4Xi, a Trijicon Accupower 1-8, and an Eotech Vudu 1-6 before doing the trade of the century to get the Kahles. 

I got to play a little with Romper's Kahles 1-6 at FOP2 while I was using my Vudu.  The clarity, glass quality, weight, reticle, was pretty much exactly what I wanted.  Also, the capped turrets with room for a spare battery inside was a slick benefit.  The fact that Swarovski backs the product up (I've already had excellent help replacing a slightly damaged battery cover) is icing on the cake.

I should have listened to Yeti from the start.  He probably has more time on various LVPO's than anyone willing to spill the beans on their findings.  Yeah, the Kahles costs a lot, and I'm not sure that it's $600+ better than the new, lighter, Razor...but I'm not outfitting a fleet of guns, just this particular one.  Bottom line is that the Kahles has all the right features: reticle, light weight, capped turrets, bright illumination, excellent service from the company, and durability.  Hope that's helpful. 

"If you can't do something smart, do something right" -Jayne Cobb

 

Joined: 2010.                 Location: NOVA HELL

Thanks for the info brother.

-------------------------

IT'S A COLT.  THEY'RE LIKE THE HK OF GUNS.

The Most Reverend Consig

 "I'm always down for good beer and the potential for violence." Fellow LFer. 

There are two types of countries: 1.  Those that use the metric system and 2.  Those who put a man on the moon.

 

 Joined: 28 Nov 2004: 0037hrs        Location: The worst run state in the U.S

hile posted:

Steve - Eurooptic has (or had) Demo K16i for $200 less. Any reason _not_ to go with the demo over NIB?

Depends on if the reticle is the one that fits your needs.  At this price point, $200 is worth getting the reticle you want, in my opinion.

EuroOptic is legit.  Great people, that's where I got mine, and supplies several other good guys.

"If you can't do something smart, do something right" -Jayne Cobb

 

Joined: 2010.                 Location: NOVA HELL

Does Kahles offer a goodguy discount at all? It ends up being an $800 difference compared to the Razor E model after their discount which becomes a bit much when I can almost outfit a second rifle with another Razor for not much more at that point.

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Joined: 9/1/12

shadow93 posted:

Does Kahles offer a goodguy discount at all? It ends up being an $800 difference compared to the Razor E model after their discount which becomes a bit much when I can almost outfit a second rifle with another Razor for not much more at that point.

EuroOptic does a good guy discount.  Some models are also available from DSG Arms, which has a good guy discount program.  To the best of my knowledge, Kahles does as well, but requires an authorization on agency letterhead from a supervisor of some sort, explaining that it will be used in an official capacity. 

"If you can't do something smart, do something right" -Jayne Cobb

 

Joined: 2010.                 Location: NOVA HELL

StevethePirate posted:
shadow93 posted:

Does Kahles offer a goodguy discount at all? It ends up being an $800 difference compared to the Razor E model after their discount which becomes a bit much when I can almost outfit a second rifle with another Razor for not much more at that point.

EuroOptic does a good guy discount.  Some models are also available from DSG Arms, which has a good guy discount program.  To the best of my knowledge, Kahles does as well, but requires an authorization on agency letterhead from a supervisor of some sort, explaining that it will be used in an official capacity. 

The Kahles thing isn't as big of a pain as it sounds and is better than the EuroOptic deal

 

Re: the inquiry about MEN...it's very nice ammo for the $.  Pretty much my go-to now for non-match burner ammo and prints about half the size of my old standby Fed XM193.  Reasonably clean, reliable and charged (not anemic like some training ammo).

"Pain, we endure...faulty weaponry, we do not."

pointblank4445 posted:
StevethePirate posted:
shadow93 posted:

Does Kahles offer a goodguy discount at all? It ends up being an $800 difference compared to the Razor E model after their discount which becomes a bit much when I can almost outfit a second rifle with another Razor for not much more at that point.

EuroOptic does a good guy discount.  Some models are also available from DSG Arms, which has a good guy discount program.  To the best of my knowledge, Kahles does as well, but requires an authorization on agency letterhead from a supervisor of some sort, explaining that it will be used in an official capacity. 

The Kahles thing isn't as big of a pain as it sounds and is better than the EuroOptic deal

 

Re: the inquiry about MEN...it's very nice ammo for the $.  Pretty much my go-to now for non-match burner ammo and prints about half the size of my old standby Fed XM193.  Reasonably clean, reliable and charged (not anemic like some training ammo).

Can anyone provide contact info for the Kahles program?

"Hold my beer and watch this"

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