Archive for April, 2011

Last week I purchased a wearable camera aka helmet-cam to record my mountain biking adventures and shooting matches.  I thought this would be very handy for showing a better view of my grip while shooting and I won’t have to ask folks to record me as much.  I had done some research online previously and had decided to go with the Contour HD vholdr 1080P camera.  I had found that I could use my 20% off dividend coupon at REI on this camera, which seemed like a good deal because these are almost always full price.

So, the first question, how does it perform? Very well. I am very pleased with how easy it is to operate the camera when it’s mounted to the side of your head.  The camera makes little beeps to let you know when it’s going on/off or recording start/stop.  The instructions weren’t great, but it’s pretty quick to figure out. I used the video on a 720p setting with 60fps frame rate, check out an example below from last week’s Front Range IDPA match (note that youtube will show the 360p unless you specify otherwise).

Check out the fish-eye affect on the shotgun shells at the end of the video. I dig it.

To be honest, the camera got uncomfortable after awhile, I had it on the whole time I was at the match which was about half of the day.  I mounted it via Velcro cable ties and two scrunchies to my Peltor Tac-Sport electronic hearing protectors. Perhaps another method would be better, it wasn’t too heavy, but I could feel the mount pressing against my head.  Not a deal breaker though, and I’ll probably mount it the same way again, though I may go back and forth between this and ear plugs if it’s going to be a long day. 

Ever since I got my Benelli Super Nova tactical, I’ve been looking for a good sling solution. I’ve spent a lot of time researching options and am happy to have found a good solution.

The biggest challenge with the Benelli is the pistol-grip stock.  I really like the feel and fit of this stock, but it does present obstacles when it comes to sling mounts.  Most of the after-market sling attachments are designed for the M4,M3, etc and won’t work on the SuperNova.  I decided to take advantage of the built-in attachment point that will fit a 1″ wide sling.

The front mount is a quick-disconnect swivel on a barrel and magazine tube clamp made by CDM Gear. I found out about this mount on the excellent rem870 blog.  It has completely lived up to my expectations with superb fit & finish. I debated for some time over the MOD-C mount with a 1″ diameter light, but ended up with the BMT clamp with a section of rail instead.  It cuts down on my light options, but I figure that many times I’ll be using this gun without a light attached and this keeps things nice and clean.

I added the optional sling-swivel kit to the mount that includes the QD socket and a single 1.25″ QD swivel.

The rail section appears very study and should allow for easy mounting and removal of a weapon light while keeping wieght near the muzzle to a minimum.

The fit appears very solid.  The kit came with some small rubber spacer/shims to help protect the barrel, but I found it fit better without them.

The sling is a Viking Tactics / 5.11 padded 2-point sling. I picked this because it was one of the very few options out there in a 1″ diameter.  In retrospect, if I purchased this again I would have gone with the “upgraded model” that has a different pull tab and some elastic to cover the buckles.

I personally prefer a single-point sling attachment so I am using the 1″ IWC 2-to-1 tri-glide that adds a QD swivel into the sling itself.

This sling does have a nice quick-adjustment feature, but it was a challenge to get the adjustment just right for use as both a 2-point and single-point sling. At this point my only complaint is that there is a lot of plastic buckle pieces on each end of the sling and I still don’t have a quick disconnect from the butt-stock attachment point. Noveske just released a QD rear sling mount that should fit this stock; I have one on order and will try that out shortly along with a VCAS sling and see how it compares.

So, how does it all work? Pretty well. To make the sling work in both a single and 2-point method, I’ve had to adjust the sling length so that it extends just enough to cover both cases, it’s a little quirky, but I finally got it just right. In a 2-point configuration, the padding of the sling fits comfortably over the shoulder and the gun has very little movement.  In a single-point, the gun hangs at rest just where you would want it to be, and from either scenario it’s easy to bring the gun up to a firing stance.