A patriot is defined as one who loves and supports his or her country. The term is more than applicable to Steve Troy of Troy Industries and Kyle Lamb of Viking Tactics. Steve spent over 22 years as a Massachusetts state trooper. He also served for 23 years in the United States Air Force Reserves Security Forces. During that time, he not only protected the citizens of Massachusetts but also deployed to the Middle East. In his free time, he started the company that bears his name. In a short 12 years, Troy Industries has become a leader in small arms accessories, with its Battle-branded products setting a new industry standard. In 2011, Steve founded Troy Defense in order to build a complete rifle to compete in the Army’s Improved Carbine solicitation.
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Part of Steve’s success has been surrounding himself with like-minded people, one of those being Kyle Lamb. Kyle served more than 21 years in the U.S. Army, with the majority of that time in the special operations community. During that time, he deployed to a lot of hostile places, including Mogadishu, Somalia, where, as part of Task Force Ranger, he participated in the event that has come to be known as “Black Hawk Down.” This vast operational experience made Kyle a subject matter expert on both tactics and gear.
After retirement, Kyle founded his own company, Viking Tactics (VTAC). Through VTAC, Kyle shares his experience in tactical firearms instruction, leadership seminars and private consulting. In addition, he has developed an extensive line of tactical products and training DVDs, and he has also written two books.
Throughout his career, Kyle has had the opportunity to evaluate the best gear in the worst circumstances and locations in the world. It is these experiences that have enabled him to develop gear that is simple and effective. The combined experiences of Steve and Kyle created a perfect blend of philosophy and products. Their partnership has resulted in the Troy/VTAC BattleRail, several VTAC sling adaptors and the excellent VTAC sling.
By Warriors, For Warriors
The latest collaboration between Steve and Kyle is the Troy Defense SGM Lamb Carbine. The Lamb Carbine represents the best of Troy and VTAC, all in a single package. Troy was kind enough to send Tactical Weapons one of the first pre-production rifles to leave the factory.
The new rifle begins with mil-spec upper and lower receivers. All Troy Defense SGM Lamb Carbines will feature a serial number prefix of “KEL,” Kyle’s initials. The lower receiver features Troy’s ambidextrous safety to suit both right- and left-handed shooters. In fact, I’d go on to admit that the safety is one of the best ambidextrous designs I have used. The paddle on the right side is both shorter and has a lower profile than the standard configuration. For right-handed shooters, this design minimizes interference between the paddle and the trigger finger.
Additional enhancements include the BattleAx grip, triggerguard and stock. The enhanced BattleAx pistol grip is set at a specific angle to improve comfort and reduce strain on the wrist. The surface is textured, with horizontal lines on the front and backstraps while the sides have a diamond pattern. The enhanced trigger-guard’s shape increases the clearance, offering more space when using gloves. The most distinctive feature of the new rifle is the six-position Troy BattleAx CQB stock, which features a wide top profile that provides a comfortable and consistent cheek-weld. The overmolded rubber buttplate is tapered to seat comfortably in the shoulder. The buttplate is hinged to allow access to a large storage compartment.
Troy equipped the Lamb Carbine with a Geissele Super V trigger. Bill Geissele, who founded the company in 2004, has an extensive background in high-power rifle competition. The Geissele Super Select-Fire (SSF) trigger has become the trigger of choice for the U.S. special operations community. The Geissele Super V trigger that came equipped on our test Troy SGM Lamb Carbine had a very clean break that measured 4.75 pounds with a quick and crisp reset. It’s certainly a boon for shooting accurate groups quickly.
The Lamb Carbine is set up with a 16-inch, match-grade, 1-in-7-inch-twist barrel that is chambered in 5.56mm NATO and features Troy’s Medieval flash suppressor. The direct-impingement Lamb Carbine also uses a mid-length gas system. The bolt carrier group is hard chromed and has a properly staked gas key.
Surrounding the barrel and gas system is a 15-inch Troy/VTAC free-floating Alpha Rail that features the signature elongated cooling slots. An additional series of holes is drilled along the sides of the top rail. Finally, Troy sets up each carbine with its excellent folding BattleSights with the Diamond Di-Optic rear sight. The large aperture is set up for 0 to 200 meters while the smaller diamond is calibrated for 300 to 600 meters. Hash marks at 3, 6, 9 and 12 o’clock make it easier to quickly line the rear sight up with the front sight post.
Troy includes a number of accessories with the Lamb Carbine. These include a Troy/VTAC sling, QD swivels, a set of quick-attach rails and a low-profile QD sling attachment. The VTAC sling is the flagship of Viking Tactics’ line of accessories. The length can be quickly and easily adjusted by simply pulling a tab or releasing a buckle. In addition, three Troy 30-round BattleMags are included with each rifle. I have been using Troy magazines exclusively for the past year and found them to be reliable and durable. The reinforced feed lips do not require a dust cover for protection, and the anti-tilt follower ensures positive feeding.
The Lamb’s Chops
I installed a Leupold 2.5-8x36mm Mark 4 M2 tactical scope in a LaRue SPR mount for the 100-yard accuracy testing. The TMR reticle and brilliant light-gathering capabilities make the Mark 4 series of scopes the choice of both military and law enforcement units. I have found this particular scope to be extremely versatile, and it has become my go-to glass for any AR evaluation.
Over the years, Hornady’s Tactical Application Police, or TAP, ammunition has become the ammunition of choice for the law enforcement community. Hornady loads TAP ammunition to the highest standards for enhanced reliability, consistent performance and low muzzle signature. The TAP line offers several different loads for different mission parameters. These same parameters can be applied to hunting and sporting uses. We tested the 40-grain TAP Urban load, the 55-grain TAP Urban load and the 62-grain barrier load.
The 40-grain load is designed for immediate rapid expansion and complete fragmentation with 7 inches of penetration. This makes it ideal for environments where overpenetration is a concern. This load averaged 3,451 fps and produced a 0.97-inch group at 100 yards. The 55-grain load is a general-purpose law enforcement round that combines effective terminal ballistics with mid-range barrier-penetration capabilities. The 55-grain TAP Urban averaged 2,811 fps and produced a 0.79-inch group. The 62-grain load provides significant penetration as well as effective terminal ballistics. The 62-grain load averaged 2,738 fps and produced a group that measured 0.81 inches.
Next we removed the Leupold scope and ran drills using the iron sights. I had forgotten how much fun, and how accurate, iron sights could be. The diamond shape of the rear sight aperture was significantly easier to use than a traditional round aperture. The only thing that would make the sights better is a tritium front post, and luckily that is available as an option.
Our overall impression of the Lamb Carbine was very positive. It’s ideal for general sporting use, 3-Gun or law enforcement.
Troy Defense also offers another signature rifle done in collaboration with Frank Proctor. Like Lamb, Proctor served with distinction in the U.S. Special Forces, during which time he deployed to both Iraq and Afghanistan. He also served as an instructor for Special Forces units and has competed in multiple disciplines. He now runs his own company, Way of the Gun, offering courses for both civilian and law enforcement/military personnel.
The Proctor Carbine is similar to the Lamb Carbine but features a 14.5-inch barrel with Troy’s new Competition Muzzle Device (CMD), a combination muzzle brake and flash suppressor. Spiral cuts separate the three prongs while a blast chamber utilizes side ports to stabilize the rifle.
Surrounding the barrel is Troy’s 13-inch Alpha Rail with round cooling holes. The rear BattleSight features a round aperture while the folding M4 front BattleSight has a tritium insert. The Proctor Carbine is equipped with a match-grade CMC trigger. Accessories include a Way of the Gun Proctor sling and three Troy BattleMags.
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In a very short time, Troy Defense has grown from an accessory company to a full-blown firearms manufacturer. It has also partnered with two well-respected veterans and trainers to produce truly exceptional rifles. While I was only able to evaluate the Lamb Carbine, I have no doubt that the Proctor Carbine is equally impressive.
For More Information
- Troy Defense: troydefense.com; 413-788-4214
- Viking Tactics: vikingtactics.com; 910-987-5983
- Way of the Gun: wayofthegun.us