Top Dog

Every one of your customers and repair jobs involves a firearm and you’re as likely as anyone to be asked for advice on their use. Unless you exclusively repair wall hangers, those firearms will be used. Skillful firearm marksmanship when it counts for something important—be it hunting, defense/tactical, or similar—will likely be done under conditions of varying degrees of stress. Scientific testing has proven formal competition is the only stressor that continues to work over time. Laboratory results reveal novice parachutists on their first day of jumping experience less stress by their third jump than a competitor with a decade of experience during a contest. This has important implications for gun owners that want or need to learn how to shoot well under stress.

Top Dog: The Science of Winning and Losing by Po Bronson and Ashley Merryman shows what it takes to win and reveals what’s truly in the heart of a champion. The joy of victory and the character-building agony of defeat. Testosterone and the neuroscience of mistakes. Why rivals motivate. How home field advantage gets you a raise. What teamwork really requires. It’s about baseball, marksmanship, the SAT, sales contests, and Linux. How before da Vinci and FedEx were innovators, first, they were great competitors.
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SOUM: M16/M4

The Department of Defense reported finding a small number of M16/M4 weapons that potentially could have an unintended discharge while manipulating the selector. TACOM (U.S. Army Tank-automotive & Armaments Command, a major subordinate command of Army Materiel Command) issued a Safety Of Use Message (SOUM #18-004) alerted the field of an unintended discharge on an M4A1 that had been through the Product Improvement Program, occurring after the operator pulled the trigger with the selector switch between the SEMI and AUTO detents (outside of detent). The weapon did not fire when the operator pulled the trigger and instead fired when the selector was moved further. The problem has been thought to be due to a “stack up” of differing tolerances from new parts added in the DOD’s product improvement program. It can also occur with civilian AR-15 firearms. As a result of this incident, an on-going investigation determined that there is the potential for all carbines and rifles noted above to behave in this way.

This potential mechanical problem is uncommon. The Army has converted 259,000 M4s to M4A1s in the past three years with the M4 carbine product improvement program and 881 have been found to exhibit this problem.

TACOM released an updated Function Check (SOUM #18-005) that easily determines if a M16/M4 (or AR-15) exhibits this problem. Begin by ensuring the weapon is clear by observing the chamber, the bolt face, and magazine well. The weapon should always be pointed in a safe direction. Do NOT perform this check with live ammunition. Perform a standard Function Check: Pull the trigger while on Safe (nothing should happen), rotate to Semi and pull the trigger (hammer should fall), hold the trigger down while racking the charging handle (hammer remains cocked) and then release and pull the trigger (hammer should fall.) For military weapons, rotate to Auto or Burst and check the full auto or three-round burst as usual.

If that passes as normal, continue by moving the selector lever to the Semi position then move the selector to a position between Semi and Auto (Burst for non M4A1’s) and squeeze the trigger. For non-full auto firearms, move the selector between settings. The hammer should drop when trigger is pulled and the selector is off Safe. If the hammer drops, repeat by re-cocking the hammer and slightly repositioning selector between settings again. Again, the hammer should drop when the trigger is pulled and the selector is off Safe. If hammer does not drop, move the selector in either direction. If the hammer drops without squeezing the trigger, this is a failure.


These additional steps updating the normal Function Check will readily determine if a particular M16/M4 or other AR-15 firearm is affected. If the Function Check to inspect for this problem is passed, there is absolutely no need to change Immediate Action procedures. The previous Department of Army Immediate Action procedure (“SPORTS”) has been since replaced in 2016 with an improved procedure described in Training Circular 3-22.9, which is a very good training manual, can be distributed without restriction, and is available for free download. References still using SPORTS or other variations are out of date.

First problem, an Immediate Action amendment is completely unnecessary if the Function Check is passed. Confirming correct mechanical function is an administrative action not something to do while engaging targets.

Second problem, SPORTS was replaced as an overly-convoluted and less effective approach than what the new Immediate Action procedure in TC 3-22.9 directs. Taking a tangled “immediate” six-step procedure and adding yet-another step defies the entire point of immediate action.

Third problem, this low percentage mechanical problem only occurs while manipulating the selector. Immediate Action is only necessary after attempting to engage target(s), meaning the weapon was already set to discharge (obviously) and there is no need to manipulate the selector while performing it.

TC 3-22.9, page 8-10

Do not attempt to place the weapon on SAFE (unless otherwise noted). Most stoppages will not allow the weapon to be placed on safe because the sear has been released or the weapon is out of battery. Attempting to place the weapon on SAFE will waste time and potentially damage the weapon.

Read more in the January 2019 issue.

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McMillan Adjustable A6

Gale McMillan began producing stocks in 1973 for himself to compete in Benchrest events. His fellow competitors began asking him to make stocks for their rifles, which led to starting his own company. Since then, McMillan has branched into a number of product lines. McMillan Fiberglass Stocks manufactures custom rifle stocks and accessories with product areas including Tactical, Competition, Benchrest, Hunting & Sport, and Ultralight. Customers include individual shooters, military, law enforcement, custom gunsmiths, and OEM rifle manufacturers.
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Military Hardware Books

While it’s unlikely you’ll see serious military hardware in your shop, a study of their history is interesting and showcases the development of small arms. Here are some recent titles from Osprey Publishing.
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Tormach CNC

Tormach, Inc. is a supplier of affordable CNC Milling Machines and recently released their new 1100M and 770M CNC mills. These new M-series machines represent a ground-up redesign including over two years of upgrades resulting in higher power and faster performance than the company’s previous 1100 and 770 mills. Tormach exhibited these new machines for the first time at the International Manufacturing Technology Show held September 2018.
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Lone Wolf Distributors

Lone Wolf Distributors are offering three connectors for Glock handguns at a 50% savings over retail. The release of their newest Target (321-1) connector led to the creation of the Ultimate Connector Kit. This kit includes three 3.5 pound connectors (342 Original, 721 Classic, and 342-1 Target) and a six-pound trigger spring. Retail price for all three would be $58 but Lone Wolf sells them in a package for $28.92. The idea is to have three options for the optimum trigger in your project.

The 342 Original connector is an upgrade from Glock’s 3.5# connectors with hundreds of thousands of units sold. Feedback from shooters led to the creation of the 342-1 Target connector. For those preferring it, the 721 Classic connector is an upgraded version of Glock’s original “long minus” connector. Pair any of these connectors with the 6# trigger spring and trigger pull is improved. These fit all Glock Gen2 through Gen5 pistols except for G42/43. For the G42/43, Lone Wolf offers a 3.5# G42/43 connector.

TimberWolf Frame

The TimberWolf can be a direct replacement for Gen3 Glock frames or used as the foundation of a custom-built Glock. Included features and upgrades include a choice of two quick-change backstraps, rounded trigger guard, extended beaver tail, round mag catch, improved checkering, higher grip angle, and improved rail system.

The TimberWolf frame is the smallest, sculpted grip available for the Glock and works with Gen3 models. The Compact covers 19/23/32 and FullSize covers 17/22/34/35/17L/24/37. The TimberWolf frame includes the basic parts unique to it and all remaining parts are standard “fit and function.”

A new redesigned TimberWolf frame is compatible with Gen3, 4, 5 slides, provides 16 different grip configurations in full and compact sizes, choice of grip textures, and no finger grooves.

For more information contact Lone Wolf Distributors at or 208/448-0600.

New Timney Triggers

Timney’s new Calvin Elite replacement trigger for the 10/22 platform features a one-piece complete trigger assembly of CNC machined 6061-T6 aircraft grade billet aluminum. The trigger, sear, and hammer are wire EDM cut and heat-treated steel for extended durability. This is a self-contained unit ready to install by pushing out the two action pins and replacing the complete factory trigger assembly. The unit features a Timney-designed extended magazine release that can be operated by one finger for ease and accessibility as well as an auto bolt release.

The trigger pull is set between 1.5-2 pounds from the factory with no creep. The Calvin Elite comes with four different shoes that include curved, flat, heeled, and knurled shapes. All necessary tools for fitting and adjusting shoes are included. One key feature of the trigger is the shoes are fully-adjustable for a custom fit for every user and application. The shoes are adjustable for length of pull, cast, and height for custom comfort and positive contact.


The Timney replacement trigger for the SIG MPX is the latest in the Timney lineage of AR-style, semi-automatic, replacement triggers. Offered in curved and straight shoe trigger options, the trigger, hammer, and bridge are constructed of heat-treated steel. The housing is machined 6061, T6 anodized alloy and the trigger is factory calibrated for a pull weight of four pounds with a two-pound first stage and two-pound second stage for the two-stage model.

Timney’s MPX trigger is a self-contained, 100% drop-in unit ready to install in your rifle for a smooth trigger pull with no gunsmithing, fitting, or adjusting required. Visit or call 866/484-6639 for more information.

Read more in the August 2018 issue.

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