The Quest For The Sub 3.0 Second 1-5 Drill

I recently was presented with a challenge that the “stud time” for the VTAC 1-5 Drill had to be under 3.0 seconds.  For the life of me I didn’t remember whether my best time was 2.83, 3.28, 3.82, or hopefully not 8.32 (but those 3 digits were clearly in there somehow…I’m sure of it….).  I always enjoy a new challenge, so I packed up my range gear and hit the range. Continue reading

The Redi-Mag

You can never have too much ammunition. At least, that is the mentality of many users that wish to strap on as much ammunition to their rifle as possible. While I typically like to have my carbine as light as possible, there are legitimate reasons to attach a spare magazine to the gun. I have seen many different ways to accomplish this, and some are better than others. But before we go into the options, let’s look at whether or not you need to have a spare magazine attached to the rifle. Continue reading

S&W M&P 10: A Quick Setup

My latest addition to the rifle pile is this S&W M&P 10.  I have taken great interest in the development of the 7.62/.308 gas guns, and am still trying to figure out what I want to do with one.  This M&P 10 got set up just enough to hit some range time with it.

The rifle is essentially in its stock configuration with the exception of a Vltor E-Mod stock from the parts bin and a Schmidt & Bender Short Dot in an extremely old LaRue mount.  This optic setup is quite interesting for many reasons.  It was likely one of the very first, if not the very first Short Dot in the US outside of the original DoD contract.  You can read about the background of the Short Dot on the Vickers Tactical site.  I was with Larry during the 2002 SHOT Show when he drafted the spec list and was also present during the meeting with Hans Bender when Larry presented the list of requirements.  It was with Larry and Hans Bender’s direct assistance that I was able to purchase one of these optics direct from Schmidt & Bender and mount it with the then-unknown LaRue mount from Austin Precision Products.  The Short Dot presented capabilities relatively unseen at the time, and is still a fine optic today, albeit a heavy one.

After some more range time with this setup, I will have to put some thought into how I want to complete its configuration.  What do you like on your M110/SR-25 type rifles?

The Cold Weather AR.

When the mercury drops into the single digits and stays there, things you don’t normally see freeze will freeze.  Fortunately for most of the United States, this is a rare occurrence, though this season seems to be the exception.  For extreme cold conditions, we have to take special precautions to ensure that our equipment functions.  Our friends in the Northern US, or elevation in  the mountain regions simply call this “Tuesday-another day at the office”. Continue reading

The HK 416. Do you need one?

I was first introduced to the HK416 by Larry Vickers and Ken Hackathorn at SHOT Show about six or seven years ago. Back then, it was known as the “HK M4″ before Colt had the chance to call foul on the name. Since then, probably every fan of the M4 pattern carbine has heard of it, especially since the commercial version, dubbed MR556, has been released. Gun store gossip aside, do you really need one?

Continue reading

And Now With The Other Hand….

Last week I shared a simple drill set for the carbine which helps to isolate and build some core skill sets.  Next up is to perform the same drill set on the support side.  Yes, mirror image of how it would normally be shot.  Why do this?  The amount of exposure from negotiating a right handed corner with the carbine on the right shoulder requires both painful contortion and significant exposure from cover.  Simply shouldering the carbine on the left side would correct all this, yet few shooters are typically able to do this with any level of skill. Continue reading

50 Yard Carbine Drills, Breaking Down Core Skills

When you hit the range, have a plan for the day so that you can get the best bang for your buck (literally).  There is no need to get very elaborate all the time when planning your range session.  Working core skills is rarely considered glamorous or “operator” enough, but the reality is that none of the other ninja stuff matters if your basic skill set is weak or underdeveloped. Continue reading

Centurion Arms CMR Rail Attachments

Molded rail sections. From L: Scout light adapter, long and short Picatinny rails.

I have been using the CMR rail from Centurion Arms for a while on my latest rifle build.  It is an exquisitely well executed tubular forend with a 12:00 rail and threaded helicoils for the attachment of modular rail sections.  My buddy Monty from Centurion had supplied me with a set of the preproduction rail sections a few months ago, and I finally got around to getting them onto the gun.  The rail sections are molded, and screw right onto the tube via the threaded helicoils.  As pictured above, there is a Scout mount adapter as well as a long and short Picatinny rail.  Other adapters, including an X300 mount, are in the works.  Production units of the pictured rail sections should be hitting fairly soon at your favorite Centurion dealer. Continue reading

How I Learned to Love Cleaning AR Barrels…

Ok, I didn’t really learn how to love cleaning AR barrels, but I have learned a few tricks to make it less painful.  The two biggest helpers are the above pictured C.J. Weapon Accessories chamber swabs and the .22 bore snake from Hoppes.  With the help of these two items, much time is saved during cleaning, and I am able to complete routine maintenance in about 10-15 minutes. Continue reading

First Look: 87 Industries Pinned Gas Block Kit

87 Industries Gas Block Kit comes complete with the gas block, set screw, cross pin, gas tube pin, and hex wrench.

Our dedicated followers know that a pinned gas block is cheap insurance that your gas system won’t leak or come apart at the worst possible moment. Popular extended hand guard systems don’t make it easy to check if your set screws or gas block is loose, and a cross pin is the most reliable way to ensure your gas block is snug. However, for end users that don’t have access to custom fixturing or a mill, pinning a gas block on your own build can be a hassle. Enter 87 Industries.

They offer a Pinned Gas Block Kit which is set up so that the end user can install a pinned gas block with nothing more than a vise and a drill press. The owner tells me that it can even be done with a steady hand and a hand drill in a pinch. The kit includes a drill bit, tapered cross pin that eliminates the need for reaming, Loctite 262, set screw to hold the block in place during drilling, and allen head wrench. The gas block is made of very tough 17-4 Stainless finished with black oxide. The block works with .750″ diameter barrels.

I will be installing one of these with a drill press on a future build, so stay tuned.

The Sling Bungee

A properly managed sling eliminates snag hazards in confined spaces.

If you have ever deployed a long gun from inside a vehicle, you’ve probably figured out that the sling is quite the headache.  It’ll get wrapped around your legs, the steering column, the shifter, seat belts, the list goes on.  It is a simple matter to manage the sling with a bungee cord wrapped around your stock.  I have seen folks use masking tape or rubber bands to allow a quick tear away option, but the addition of about 8″ of shock cord from Supply Captain provides a permanent solution that is always with your rifle. Continue reading

Training with Frank Proctor

I had the distinct pleasure of traveling to the Way Of The Gun training facility recently to train with Frank Proctor.  Frank operates his facility out of Eastaboga, Alabama, which is near Talladega, Alabama for those of you that follow racing.  Frank’s facility is still pretty spartan, as it appears that construction and additions are a daily event.  But, the layout is pretty ingenious as he offers a training area and a public range area to the local community.  Frank is going to have a world class training facility. Continue reading

Building and Training with my new Centurion Arms CMR

 

 

After receiving my new CMR rails from Centurion Arms, I was dying to run the new tube on something.  I had a few parts lying around from Palmetto State Armory – a 16″ M4 profile upper and a complete bolt group – so it seemed like they were all meant to go together.   Continue reading

Picture of the Day – “Caution – Wet Paint”

A little painting going on in the Jones household this week.  The top rifle is new and was in need of a coat of paint.  The bottom rifle was painted seven or eight years ago and I grew tired of the pattern.  The old pattern had a Field Drab base with Marine Corps Green and Black.

Both rifles were properly degreased and base coated with Aervoe 977- Sand.  The bottom rifle was then painted with Aervoe 992- Marine Corps Green to see if I liked the color.  It was a bit dark for what I wanted, so I painted the top rifle with Aervoe 979- Forest Green.  Both rifles were then finished with Aervoe 999 Earth Brown.  The optic on the top rifle is a temporary Aimpoint on it.  When the new Aimpoint comes in, I’ll get it painted as well.

Enjoy!

Photo of the Day: PSA/Centurion Arms CMR Build

Pictured above is a recent build using an upper purchased from Palmetto State Armory, who frequently offers insane deals on high quality upper receivers. Their private labelled house brand uppers include button rifled and cold hammer forged barrels, milspec uppers, and optional mil spec M16 bolt groups. The prices are extremely aggressive and their daily deals are always difficult to resist. After I disassembled the upper, I sent off the barrel to ar15barrels.com, who cut the barrel down to 14.7-inches and pinned/welded an A2 flash hider to make the minimum 16-inch non-NFA length. Note that I sent the barrel with the barrel nut I intended to use, as once the muzzle device is pinned and welded on, the gas block and barrel nut cannot be installed after the fact. Randall at ar15barrels.com turned the barrel around in days and within about a week I had my barrel back. He offers barrel contouring, cutting, gas port adjusting, and other machining services at very reasonable prices.

The bolt used in the above build was coated with NP3 by Robar Guns. As seen in my previous post, NP3 offers abrasion resistance, built in lubricity, and excellent corrosion resistance that is far and above the standard phosphate finish. To top it off, I finished the build with the excellent CMR rail from Centurion Arms, which offers light weight, and an extremely ergonomic and narrow diameter rail. I have several builds with this rail and I have to say it’s my favorite rail system so far. Other accessories include TangoDown’s vertical fore grip and BattleGrip, SureFire X300, Aimpoint PRO in a LaRue mount, Troy Industries flip up sights, and Viking Tactics sling.