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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Developed in the USSR in the 1970’s by Vladimir Simonov, the APS was created in response to the ever increasing threat from enemy Frogmen or Combat Divers.  It is a fully-automatic, gas operated rifle that was designed to be effective underwater, and to a lesser degree, above water as well.

Up until that time, a knife was the only source of defence against enemy divers.  The SPP-1 Underwater Pistol was adopted in 1971, but proved only useful in close combat and was poor at engaging targets at a distance.

The APS was adopted in 1975 and was the primary weapon of Soviet Combat Divers.  It fired 5 inch steel darts through a smooth bore and delivered these darts in full-auto with very effective ballistics.  The APS magazine held 26 darts fitted into a casing similar  to the 55.6x45mm, though the caliber of the rifle is officially listed as 55.6×39 MPS.

Issues arose because of the very limited above-water life span that the APS had.  In the water the APS could fire roughly 2000 rounds before major malfunction. Above water that figure dropped to as low as 180.  While this bore little issue with Soviet Combat Divers, it was a major complaint of  the Spetznaz soldiers who fought in both environments.  This drove research to develop a rifle that carried with it the same reliability and functionality either in or out of the water.

The APS remained in service up until 2000 when it was replaced by the ASM-DT which solved many of the problems with its ability to fire and carry two different calibers simultaneously; one for the water, and one for land.  The ASM-DT provided the modularity and effectiveness that the special forces needed while at the same time providing the same characteristics with the Combat Divers.


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Please understand that I do not encourage or enjoy the use or carrying of weapons and I urge you to consult and follow all [Federal/State/Provincial/Municipal] laws and regulations before you even consider the responsibility.

The historic Ninja, more accurately Shinobi, Shinobi-no-mono, or Kusa were masters of many different skills.  Most notably escape and evasion.  Escaping hostile situations was a small part of a Shinobi’s skill set though, rather escaping anyones awareness was the greatest feats a Ninja could achieve. So much so, there is much debate regarding the true history of those who later came to be referred to broadly as Ninja.

Why this interests me is in part their ability to utilize common items and hide within them lethal weapons.  This, perhaps amongst any other martial system sets the Ninja apart.  Their ability to create and master a myriad of weapons that although were devastating, were hidden in plain sight.

From the article below, it seems that the Shinobi did not possess this quality alone.  We may have to give a tip of our hats to acknowledge one of the first masters of silent warfare. For more examples of more modern hidden weapons follow the link provided:






A case that inconspicuously unfolds into a pistol; a Zippo lighter that carries something a bit hotter than a flame; a whip-gun that ‘cracks’ twice.

The second and more poignant aspect that I have adopted is the versatility of their tools.  When setting out on long expeditions which must be conducted above the suspicion of those around you and perhaps unsupported, you cannot storm off into battle with rifles slung, and swords-a-ready.  This forced the Shinobi to become not only ingenious in their problem solving, but extremely creative in their design.  The result of these two characteristics were tools that could solve many problems in many different situations.  Swords that were ladders.  Ropes that were employed not only to climb but also disable, secure, and kill.

The famously recognized ninja star which is always viewed being thrown, is actually only the exhibition of one set of techniques utilized with a specific type of Shuriken.  The idea being that any technique should be performed with a myriad of tools in your hands and you should not be hindered by your equipment.  Perhaps not in every specific case, but for a large amount, you can do a hip throw bare-handed, or with the aid of a staff or Yari, or maybe with a rifle.  Perhaps that machine you carry is more than for punching holes and being used as a blunt instrument and can instead assist you in performing much more effective movements.

Multiple styles of Shuriken [Ninja Stars] and Bo-Shurkien [ Throwing Spikes] over GM Masaaki Hatsumi’s shoulder in the background of this photo.stars

The Shinobi Nawa, or Ninja Rope: Consisted of a long piece of rope with an iron ring on one end, and a blade on the opposite.  It can be thrown using the ring as a counter weight, or used in an altercation to tie up your enemy


The lesson to be taken then is not all is that it appears to be.  As such we should seek to employ things for as many purposes as we can that are beyond their common usage.  In this way, we may begin to select our gear perhaps not by its one greatest quality, but because it serves the greatest amount of purposes very well.  The Ninjato [ A shorter, straight sword used to parry and poke in and around the larger, more curved swords of the Samurai] utilized by Ninjas were not the best quality and did not have the sharpest blades, but they developed a method and a tool to deal with adversaries who were better equipped and usually in larger numbers.  Their needs drove their selection of tools and training and there was no disillusionment about the fact that their survival depended on these choices.

Masaaki Hatsumi, the 34th Grandmaster of the Togakure-Ryu demonstrates that a mask serves not only to intimidate opponents, but also to strike at them and block with as well.  Tools like this mask aided in developing the image of Ninjas as Oni or Demon warriors.


Know your task, and plan accordingly.

– Adam

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Finally, something at Tiffany’s for me.

This collection of fine pistols from Tiffany & Co. were designed to demonstrate the elegance and power of American Industry by creating such beautiful works of art using methods that were unachievable by others at the time.


Tiffany & Co. formerly made decorative swords for Officers during the Civil War and Mexican-American war, but shifted into pistols in the 1880’s.



They produced 50 firearms up until 1911 after New York enacted strict gun control laws. These particular set of pistols are housed at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York.



Pierre Terjanian, the head of the Arms and Armor department tells us that; “These are very important objects. They showed that objects may have a function, but their symbolic meaning can be greater.”







How important is the look or aesthetic quality of a firearm to you? Do you own any ‘Safe Queens’ or are your firearms simply tools.

I sold the only ‘Safe Queen’ that I had because I felt it was taking up too much space and I wasn’t shooting it.

So what do you choose? The Lamborghini or the Jeep ? The Glock or the Nighthawk.

Singing Bird Pistols | Valued over $2 million

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A security guard in Florida responds perfectly to the approach of three armed gunmen. Notice how he steps offline and immediately engages the three suspects from behind the cover of his post.


“Under pressure, you don’t rise to the occasion, you sink to the level of your training.”

Are you confident that your own training would prepare you to respond so calmly and effectively? Or does your firearm training focus on the competitive side of shooting? If so, where does your skill set fall when viewed from a tactical perspective, should you ever need it?

The ability to put effective hits on any target is only a fraction of the equation when it comes to performing in the heat of competition, or an armed engagement.  Like a concealed weapon, the value of our training is based upon our ability to access it in a crisis situation, whether against the clock for high score, or against others who mean to do you harm.

Optimal performance, regardless of arena, relies heavily on the mindset of the participant.  In the provided video, the guard obviously possessed an attitude of readiness, and as such, was able to fall back upon his skills in order to perform effectively in this violent altercation.

This guard, if perhaps able to gain a greater view of the impending threat, may have had the opportunity to end the confrontation non-violently.  His stimulus in this instance though, was three men rushing into an establishment which was obviously a high risk business given the guard was even there.  With very little time and distance, the guard was up, gun drawn, and making effective hits within a very small window.



This is an excellent display of technique performed under pressure and at crisis speed.  We should aim to examine the video not just for the glorification of violence, but to draw from it poignant lessons that may be applicable not just in these types of encounters, but in every day life.


– Adam


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