The MI-T556 is a Fully Ambidextrous Rifle.

There are a lot of rifles that are accurate; some of them could be considered hard use and others – not so much.

AXTS Weapons is an Oregon based rifle and rifle accessory manufacturing company that most will recognize as the makers of the popular Raptor Charging Handle. If you have not heard, AXTS does more than make the best charging handle on the market, they also make an amazing rifle that manages to be hard use as well as accurate.  The AXTS MI-T556.


To me, accuracy is minute of man at the calibers (terminal ballistic) max effective range.   I won’t attempt to debate, prove or disprove any arguments on the 5.56’s capability. I will say that I have personally seen the 5.56 perform adequately at ranges just beyond 500 yards.  I say that to say that I want a rifle that goes as far as possible.


The MI-T556 Dressed for Distance.

Legend has it; the MI-T556 won a bet against a famous instructor after it hit 4 out 5 shots on a 10×10 plate at 1,450 yards. The first shot missed, hold was established, and the rest rang steel with the 77gr ammo. What is the bullet’s effectiveness at that distance? I don’t know, but I’m not going to stand out there and find out.

Below, you will find a video of the MI-T556 getting hits at 1,200 yards.

Shipping with the MI-T556 will be targets showing .5 MOA with 55, 62, and 77-grain ammunition.

The MI-T556 that I have has proven to be the most accurate rifle I have in the safe.

Hard Use.

I measure this by one question, would I deploy with the rifle?  The AXTS MI-T556 is as hard use at it gets. Eric Anderson of AXTS set out to prove this in an unusual manner.  He has taken the rifle to high round count classes taught by numerous high level instructors who push their students hard and their rifles even harder.


The Author Teaching with an AXTS MI-T556 LE Carbine Vitals Course for the Ohio Tactical Officers Association.

In every class, the MI-T556 shined as a rifle that has achieved both precision and reliability. Checkout the AXTS Weapons Facebook page to see all the after action reviews and photos from the classes.

If I were to be called back to active duty, which could happen, as I am a member of the Fleet Marine Force Reserve and obligated for beyond the next decade, the MI-T556 would be my rifle of choice.  Unfortunately I doubt I could sneak it there because its sex appeal would definitely make it stand out from the all the other rifles on the rack.

I will continue to run the MI-T556 hard and try to get it to fail and then determine where that failure point is.  At this point, I have not been successful in this endeavor.


The Owner and Man Behind the Product and Vision of AXTS.

Consistency in Manufacturing

AXTS chose to not spare any expense when it came to machining equipment. The aviation and aerospace machines they build the MI-T556 with surpass the typical equipment used in firearms manufacturing.

The most important part of any organization is its people.  The owner and management team are good solid people and are quickly becoming leaders in the industry.  One of the faces of the company, Eric Anderson, is known well in circles all around the industry as a trusted friend, mentor and patriot.  I trust the AXTS team and would trust my life to the products they sweat and bleed to produce.


Final Thoughts

At $2,895 the AXTS MI-T556 is not the rifle for everyone, but if you are not running a Raptor Charging Handle or Talon Safety yet, you should check them out for your current or next build. Additionally, the AXTS Black Nitride Bolt Carrier Group is a heck of a good deal on a great BCG.  -Daniel Shaw

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Instructor Zero and Daniel Shaw got the chance to take a first look and shoot the new Glock 43 single stack 9mm just prior to the 2015 NRA Annual Meetings and Exhibits.


He wasn’t wearing his sunglasses.

I walked into the Glock 43 launch event and found myself being greeted by a familiar face. The kind Italian gentleman presented me with kisses to cheeks, a smile and a handshake. I complimented him on his shoes; he complimented me on my beard. After getting the formalities out of the way, we stepped to the door to a training room and were called in.

A representative from Glock moved to front and center and began to explain how the Glock 43 was born and then developed into the firearm that many have been asking for.


The Glock 43 is too slim for standard Glock 9mm sights, but it was pleasing to hear that it requires sights with the same specifications as the Glock 42. There is already a large variety of sight choices available for the Glock 43 at launch.


Glock 43 Data Sheet

The 42 sights fit, but the holsters, at least the form fitted ones, do not. How do I know? I was carrying my ATEI modified Glock 42 at the event and had to try it.

Once the brief was complete, Zero and I were led into the range and took positions in shooting stalls where 3 filled magazines and Glock 43’s were waiting.   I fired one mag (6 rounds) in a slow fire to gauge accuracy and came up with a 1 inch group (25.4mm). I then fired the next mag, still aiming at high center chest, but at a much more rapid rate to check my control of the handgun. With a slightly larger group, I found the gun very controllable for a gun in its class.

Relative to the Glock 17 I shoot most often, I would say the 43 is a bit snappy with substantial muzzle flip that makes it challenging to fire quickly with a high level of accuracy.   Obviously, that is a completely unfair comparison. Fair comparisons would be putting the Glock 43 against the Smith and Wesson M&P Shield or the Springfield Armory XDS 9mm. I have used them both on many occasions and have owned the former and used it in high round count classes.

To me, the trigger on the 43 beats both the XDS and the Shield with its positive reset and standard Glock trigger feel, but with a shorter trigger reach that my big hands liked and my wife’s little hands loved.

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Yes I was filling mags for Zero being a good gun caddy.

The recoil feels very similar to the XDS and Shield. Without having all three guns in the same place I can’t present a completely fair comparison, but at first glance, or in this case shoot, I would have to say that the recoil feels less punishing than the XDS, but there may be slightly more muzzle jump from the 43 than I have experienced with the Shield. That being said, I found it more comfortable to shoot than the Shield and my wife who has carried a shield for a while, found the same.

I realize that this post and my method for comparing the Glock 43 to the XDS and Shield are…less than scientific. Until my 43 arrives for testing, it’s the best I can do to get what i know to you.


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That time when you get your rifle stuck in ice and shoot it free with a shotgun…  We can always guarantee Rob Ski to give us an honest assessment on SIG’s newest rifle product, the SIG 556Xi in 7.62×39.

Rob runs the AK Operators Union, Local 47/74.  He is a professional Soldier and hails originally from Poland.



A special guest contributor from the Swedish Forces wrote an overview of their service weapon, the AK5c.

The Swedish AK5C

Well, you know the FN FNC? The Swedes have their own modern version known as the AK5 C the C stand for Cesar, it’s a licensed built and standard issue weapon for the Swedish Armed Forces. I’m a Swede, soldier, photographer and gun nut so please bear with my English while I’ll write about this weapon system.


Short History

The AK5 which means Automatic Carbine was adopted in the later 80’s, replacing the old AK4 (HK G3A3) the AK5 is a licensed built FN FNC by Bofors modified for the Swedish climate and specs. The two first versions Adam and Bertil was in service until somewhere in the 2006/7 where it was replaced by the now issued and modernized Cesar and David, the David being a shorter barreled version.

AK5B above and AK5A below. Not my picture so copyright goes to Henrik Svensk

The Features

Well, Imagine having magazine compatibility with the STANAG magazine (AR-15 rifle platform) but the somewhat same operation and reliability of the famous Kalashnikov rifles?  Well here it is, today, there are lots of manufacturers that can use a long stroke piston and AR-15 magazines in their weapons, but the FNC was designed in the late 70’s so this was somewhat new.


The gun itself operates very similar to the Kalash, using a rotating bolt and a long stroke gas piston system, the gun could be fired a lot before needing actual cleaning unlike the M16. Now using M16 mags giving it compatibility with other NATO countries that uses STANAG 5.56 magazines. Instead of having a big chunky Kalash safety, the AK5 has a more and ergonomic style selector resembling the G3 and MP5 series.
AK5C left side fire selector, and bolt catch

AK5: Old versus New

The main difference is that it of course has M1913 rail systems, ambidextrous safety and missing of a burst fire function (only semi and full auto), the sliding stock is also new and it’s still fold able as all other versions, also in the new C and D versions, a bolt-catch was installed.

All the new features and touch ups makes the system more modern in all ways, and in my humble opinion the FNC was a gun before it’s time.


AK5 Technical Data

Caliber: 5.56×45 Nato using STANAG Magazines.

Weight: 5 kg loaded and with red dot.

Barrel length: 350 mm (13.8 inches)

Combat effective range: 400 meters.

Rate of fire: 650 rounds per minutes.


Personal Experiences and Thoughts

As compared to other weapons, 5kg is quite heavy, for a gun in 5.56, but since the gun was designed to fire rifle grenades it needed a rugged construction, otherwise the ak5 is quite ok.
The safety is very easy to operate, it moves easily  without needing to change grip of the gun.
The bolt catch is a nice addition but since the old A and B versions did not have bolt catch function, using the old steel issued mags the gun will not lock up when the last shot is fired, the new “plastic” mags solves that problems but they are arguably the worst magazines, being wider and bigger inserting the plastic mags into the magwell is harder than the steel ones, and no the FNC does not have a flared magwell like the M16, which is kind of a downer, the plastic mags is also less reliable and more sensitive to sand/dirt, using a non issued mag, Magpul Pmag Gen 3 for example, its more reliable, sturdier and the bolt catch actually works, but the if the officers catch you using it they will do insane back flips of anger, hate and discontent.



The mag release and bolt catch is located in the same positions as the M16/AR 15 system and they’re not ambidextrous, so AR operations would still be able to operate this system without much re-training, the charging handle though is like a Kalash, it moves with the bolt and BCG and is located on the right side of the gun, the dust cover is spring loaded and will always keep dirt out of your gun.


The flash hider is just terrible, we could at least had a flash hider and comp hybrid… the rails are quite ok, no need for fancy stuff, and if needed an M203 40mm can be mounted under the gun.  The Aimpoint CS which is the issued red dot has lots of points to improve, in my opinion, but the kill flash and see trough covers are nice!


In arctic climate it performs good, just keep you gun dry when it’s colder than -30c and your gun should not freeze, walking in and out of -30c to +15c and back out could still make your gun sweat and freeze,(even at warmer temperatures)  and that happens to basically every gun.
Overall, the AK5 does not have the same reliability as the famous Kalash weapons, but it still jams less than an AR-15 direct impingement system and in my time using it from mid 2010, I had less than 50 jams, and if I remember correctly 4 were operator error and 2 were from a mag mixed with sand… but in the end, I guess it depends on how much your weapon is worn, many ak5s are all too worn and as as result more jams are popping up.




Only dust, nothing that will interfere with the gun. my rifle, also tape on steel mags, I prefer the steel ones.


Summary: The AK5C is still a good carbine, rugged for harsh use and a reliable gun when used correctly, a skilled operator can go pretty far with it, and even though it’s been upgraded to modern standards , the renovated guns are still wearing out.


Me, at the range 2012 I think, a borrowed Ak, with tape for marking that it’s just been maintained from the armory


Mates from the platoon, practicing CQB with BFA and blanks




Unloading procedure,thumb in magwell then dry firing




Medic going to take care of wounded during exercise







CQB Training, mount for aimpoint magnifier seen on top rail, it’s issued.


This gun has so many features that it puts 99% of it’s competitors to shame.  Check out MAC’s thorough review on the lefty-friendly Beretta ARX-100.