Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Radetec's Display on the the Beretta - Part 3

After playing with the Smith & Wesson M&P 40 full size with the LED Display, time to evaluate the Radetec SpeedShot on the Beretta 92fs with the Digital Numeric Display.

When gripping the Beretta 92fs, the Radetec SpeedShot Digital Numeric Display is a bit larger than the LED Display on the Smith & Wesson M&P 40.  It would be nice if display on the Digital Numeric version were higher as the display caused the grip to feel a bit low.  However, this was not enough to affect trigger feel or pull. There was no issue holstering this model as well.

I ran a series of full and partial magazines through the gun and it seemd to function well except for one double feed. However, the double feed seemed to be due to the ammunition and not the Radetec SpeedShot.

The Radetec SpeedShot were visible in full sunlight with no issues. It was easy to see the warning function as the rounds were expended from the magazine and I was able to easily drop and change magazines without needing to run dry or use the slide stop/magazine release. As mentioned in previous posts, it is truly an edge knowing your round count for any situation.

Just as in the last set of tests, others at the range also tried this unit and the opinion on the Radetec SpeedShot was just as widely mixed. People who were not as enthusiastic about firearm technology felt the displays were distracting or did not grasp the tactical importance of the speed shot. While others who tested Radetec SpeedShot found them a totally worthwhile upgrade for both training and day-to-day use.  This did not seem to matter which Radetec SpeedShot display they were using. However, several folks from both camps wanted to see Radetec SpeedShot for Glocks (in the Digital Numeric Display version) before making a purchase.

The Beretta speed shot with the numeric display felt more appealing to me as you could determine the number of rounds left in the weapon at any time merely by gripping the gun or by depressing the button on the front of the grip and displaying the count. The momentary display of each change in count with the weapon discharge worked timely and accurately showing the count then going dark so it would not betray your position if moving after shooting at night.  The light sensor adjusted the contrast of the display up-down depending on dim or bright light.

Hopefully a Radetec SpeedShot with the Digital Numeric Display can be tested for the Smith & Wesson M&P 40 can be obtained and tested.  Really hope to get a testing version for the Glock as well.

In the mean time, I am looking forward to continuing the testing with multiple users and different conditions for both models. Thanks again Radetec for providing the SpeedShot units to test!

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Radetec's LED on the M&P - Part 2

I have had the Radetec SpeedShot’s for a couple of weeks now.  One is a LED display for my Smith & Wesson M&P 40 full size and one is a digital numeric display for my Beretta 92fs.  I decided to play with the Smith & Wesson M&P 40 with a LED Display first.

First thing I noticed is that when gripping the Smith & Wesson M&P, the display section of the Radetec SpeedShot touched my hand but did not affect my firing grip. The LED display on this model is smaller than on the grips for the Digital Numeric Display on the Beretta 92fs.  There was no issue holstering with this model.

While at the range, I ran a series of full and partial magazines through the gun. The firing functioned well with no mishaps.

The Radetec SpeedShot was visible in full sunlight.  I ran 200-300 rounds through the system for pistol exercises and a range qualification. It was easy to see the warning function as the rounds were expended from the magazine and I was able to easily drop and change magazines without needing to run dry or use the slide stop/magazine release.  It is truly an edge knowing your round count for any situation.

Others at the range tried the Radetec SpeedShot and the opinions were mixed by a wide margin. People who were not as enthusiastic about firearm technology felt the displays were distracting or did not grasp the tactical importance of the Radetec SpeedShot for any reason. While others who tested the LED Display found it a totally worthwhile upgrade for both training and day-to-day use.

The testing went great.  Now I just have to test out the Beretta 92fs with the Digital Numeric Display.  In the mean time, will keep testing this model out with a variety of multiple users who are both professionals and non-professionals to see how they like it.  Thank You Radetec.  It is so great to see what I had envisioned years ago finally come to life.

In the mean time, let the testing continue.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

the Radetec SpeedShot - Part 1

My Evaluation of the Radetec SpeedShot performance and Training System.

While at the Shot Show in Las Vegas Nevada, I had the good fortune of meeting up with the folks over at Radetec.  A few weeks later, they called and asked if I would evaluate their SpeedShot as I had more than 20 years of experience working with this concept.  New toy, of course I would try it out.

When the SpeedShot by Radetec arrived, they had sent two.  One of the SpeedShot’s fit for my Beretta 92fs and one for my Smith & Wesson M&P 40 full size.  They were both easy to install.

The model of Speed Shot for the Beretta 92fs featured a digital numeric display.

The model for the Smith & Wesson M&P 40 featured an LED display changing color as the round count dropped.

Both sets of grips were comparable in size to the OEM parts and the quality of the polymer and rubber on them felt solid with good workmanship. Any visible electronics on the underside of the grips was covered with a black material for protection and insulation. The batteries in the units had soldered contacts to eliminate chance of failure if the gun was dropped or suffered an impact.

The installation on both was very straight forward and went smoothly.

Installing the followers in my existing S&W magazines was simple. I did notice the capacity in my Smith & Wesson M&P dropped by one round as result of the new follower being larger than the OEM but for me, that is an acceptable exchange for the feature of being able to have indication when your gun is about to run dry. The blue polymer followers seemed robust with high quality magnets to function with the system.

A magazine for my Beretta 92fs came with those grips but the follower in that magazine was swapped into an existing 15 round magazine for testing. The magnets do stick to the inside of the magazines but do not seem to affect the function of the magazine.

Now it’s time for the evaluation.  Will post more soon.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Next Generation of the LRI - Random Thoughts

So… what would the next generation of the last round indicator or round counter look like.  What would be the best thing?  There are a few trains of thought. Either keep-it-simple and make it non-battery powered, make it a tactile thing, make it a visual indicator, or make it a wiz bang electronic thing.

A true last round indicator, the next generation, would probably be a tactile last round indication. To make it tactile you have to feel it in your hands somewhere.  Either on the grip or in the trigger pull.  And that would just tell you that you are down to your last round.

An indicator that affects the trigger pull… well that may have some pros or cons.  Hard to say.  Anything that affects a trigger pull could be kind of a hard thing to deal with in a liability sense.  Something that could make a trigger pull a little harder?  Maybe when you need it on your last round that’s theoretically when it’s going to pop up.  Would that make you think and stop and not shoot that last round?  Who knows?  What do you want to feel if you’re pulling your trigger?  Do you want to make it feel harder?  Do you want to make it feel gritty?  Do you want to make it go to two stages?  Maybe two stages would be the deal but then you really have to have some mechanics that would make the springs change or something in the geometry change to make it actually go and say “Ok my single stage trigger now goes to two stages and oh that means I’m down to my last round”.   What’s really noticeable?  That would need to have some research.  And then you still want to have the mechanics stay simple in order to be a tactile last round indicator.  So that the thought on that.  The tactile last round indicator needs to be something you can feel. 

You don’t have a lot of motion on your hand unless something like pops out somewhat on the grip so it kind of makes it fall to the trigger.  Another tactile thing which is not necessarily something you would feel but something you would see would be something that pops up and blocks your site.  But you’re not always going to be looking at your sites. That was something we thought about in the first generation.  Something purely mechanical in the sense would be something that would block the sites or pop up and pop down when you replaced the magazine or something and be noticeable that way.  No it seems like the better execution and design would be something that actually you could feel.  And being that your trigger finger does a lot of motion it would probably be something that your trigger finger would feel.  That’s the thoughts on the tactile last round indicator as far as the next generation. 

As far as the next generation electronic last round indicator it would be a little more applicable to maybe a rifle sense or it would be a red dot pistol.  It would be something that would have to be electronic and so small that it would fit with an RDS Site/Red Dot Site.  And it would have to be something that would be added to the dot site that would actually project either a blinking dot on the screen or it would project a number count on the screen.  The blinking dot might be easy to execute with small LEDs or something that you could see on the screen.  But the numbers would be a lot more challenging and a lot more interesting to have something that could either count the rounds you’ve just shot or count down on the rounds you’ve just shot.  But that not only entails adding a numeric display or a LED display into somewhere that would be projected on the screen of your site.  It would entail the use of a sensor as well in your magazine.  Something that would be magnetic or somehow register each firing of the weapon.  Something to that effect.

Hard to say how dependable that would be.  One that would count each shot would be very dependable as far as saying how many is shot.  One that would be tailored to count down how many rounds you have might not be as good.  Maybe a combination of the two.  Something that would count the shots that you fire and then you could make a setting knowing that you load fifteen (15) rounds in each magazine, when the sixteenth round comes up, which would be in the stove pipe, (fifteen (15) plus one(1)) .  Maybe that could be something that could be worked in. but it would be a little more complicated to do.

So interesting thoughts.  There are some things to overcome on what would be the next generation.  Weather it would be a tactile one or be an electronic one.  Each has its own advantages and it would be interesting to be able to do both. 

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

My M&P.

I work for a small department and really wish there where more holsters were available for my M&P.  Good thing is, Bianchi is coming out with prototypes for S&W and Glocks with RMRs and mounted lights. Got to handle one briefly at the end of the SHOT show before the reps boxed it up & haggled over which one was taking it home.  It was REALLY Nice and can't wait till they are available for all.