The AR15 is not a new magical weapon platform. Though the industry may want you to think there have been huge improvements and groundbreaking advancements every year at SHOT, that is simply not the case. Aside from fancy materials and making the magazine release or slide stop accessible from 12 new locations, nothing really new is happening.
Pretty much anyone can assemble one in their garage is about an hour with some basic tools.
The equation has long been figured out when it comes to the gas system length, gas port size, and buffer weight necessary for a reliable gun with very low felt recoil. While new muzzle brakes seem to come out every few months with a new look, companies are still just burrowing port angles from others or muzzle brake types seen on old Russian AK’s (or more obscure weapons). Continue reading
You always hear quite a bit about how rifles with mid-length gas systems shoot “softer” than the carbine length brethren. I bought one of my favorite rifles more because of the basic layout, and I like the dude that came up with the concept of the rifle, Kyle Lamb. It is a 16 inch Smith and Wesson VTAC 2. It came factory with a mid-length gas tube. I changed out the brake for a Surefire brake, and then I just added ammo. The rifle has always shot like a dream. Dot travel is minimal. I can hammer quick splits into discreet targets at will. Continue reading
The HK416D is the ultimate in the cool guy kit. I have been issued one for two years now. I was dead set against the 416 when we were looking. I was on the selection committee, and shooting the carbine was what won me over. Continue reading
If you have more than a couple rounds down the barrel of the AR15 platform, you should know the system works but isn’t necessarily the cleanest. For anyone who actually shoots their gun instead of keeping it clean and pretty, the cleaning of the bolt carrier group in particular is always a fan favorite. Your choices are to soak it in solvent of some type of spend a good amount of time with a scraper of some type trying to break through the layer of fossilized carbon built up around the gas rings on the bolt. This is where aftermarket finishes and treatments have come into play in recent years in an effort to battle the carbon buildup. I have never been a fan of the flashy silver bolt carriers shining through the ejection port of a AR. I made a habit of writing them off as flash as my AR’s had always run just fine without them. Continue reading
I seem to keep learning the same lesson, over and over again. Buy once, cry once. The lower light is a Streamlight 600 lumen. I picked it up at a bargain of $50. I liked it a lot, and at the time my Surefire’s were all 200 lumen. After a little bit of T&E, I mounted it on my issued HK416D. I trained and used it at work for about a year without issue. Continue reading
These Aimpoints are over a decade old and have been treated in the worst ways. Despite their external appearance, they still hold zero and work like new.
Loyal readers of MSW and the old 10-8 Forums know that Hilton and I have been longtime fans of Aimpoint red dot sights. Having seen all kinds of optics show up in classes and on the range, along with how they perform through training cycles consisting of fairly high round counts, Aimpoint really has set themselves apart from the rest in terms of reliability and durability. Continue reading
Cantilever mounts allow Red Dot Optics to be mounted far enough forward so that a magnifier can be mounted with proper eye relief.
A few weeks ago, a reader emailed to ask for an article regarding preferred Aimpoint mounting locations on carbines. I have always done what just seemed right to me and had never put much thought into it. But apparently there was some method behind my madness, so here are my thoughts on the topic. Note that much of this is based on personal preference, so you may want to adjust to your needs.
The first point of consideration is whether I am mounting a full size Comp M68 or a Micro. The Micro is an excellent evolution of the sight and offers outstanding battery life, durability, in a lighter and more compact package than the M68. However, the viewing window is indeed smaller which, to me, changes some things as to how my eye picks up the dot when I mount the rifle.
So, I am a self admitted muzzle brake newb here. I’ve only been fooling with them for about a year now, so I am most definitely the new guy on the block. I’ve always been a fan of the A2 style flash hider, if for nothing else as to not be annoying to my fellow shooters as there are brakes out there that are down right annoying. Continue reading
I was recently introduced to the product line of Diamondhead USA by a teammate. I was really drawn to the VRS-T rail so I decided to set up one of my older 14.5” Colt uppers with a 13.5″ model and try it out. The rebuild also included their T-Brake and Diamondhead folding sight set. I was initially drawn to the VRS-T rail due to its triangular shape, which reminded me of my old M16A1. The rail is pretty slim and the scalloped cuts on the sides give a very comfortable and secure grip without being too aggressive to hands or gloves. The T-Brake was added at their suggestion. I’m not normally a muzzle brake or compensator fan but, I figured there was no harm in giving it a try. Installation of the rail was pretty straight forward although it does require a bit of skill and planning to do it yourself. The rail mounts to a proprietary barrel nut and also requires removal of the delta ring. Depending on length, you may also need a low profile gas block or cutting of your front sight base. The T-Brake installed easily and comes pre-drilled for pinning if that is needed for your situation. It is long enough that it will bring a 14.5” barrel over 16”. The profile is triangular and blends nicely with the VRS-T rail, making it aesthetically pleasing, if you are concerned by that kind of stuff. Continue reading
People are often prone to advocate that we should do everything in training exactly as we would do it “for real.” And in the vast majority of instances, I believe their argument has merit. However, we need to adjust our behavior sometimes based on safety concerns, range limitations, and other less than real factors, such as training ammunition. Frangible ammunition has been discussed here in the past but I am here to give you another example of how we need to be attentive at the range. The photo above shows a comparison photo of the front portion of a frangible round that was recovered from a shooter’s AR style rifle. Yes, the rifle type is important here. Continue reading
Bushmaster . 308 ORC MOE Carbine. Nikon 1-4 Scope with Nikon P Series Mount. Magpul M3 PMags, Vltor Scout Mount with Surefire G2 Light, HST Sling, MDFA Kydex FDE .308 Mag Pouch.
Having been a long time user (37 years) of the M-16/AR-15 family in 5.56, I decided that it was time I tried one in the caliber that the weapon was originally designed for .308. I’m a proponent of 30 caliber weapons and the .308 and 30-06 are my favorites. While the 5.56/.223 work well within certain situations, I wanted a more versatile caliber, with the ability to penetrate barriers as well as one that has more effect on target in a defensive situation. We also have large animals here in Maine and the 5.56 is somewhat lacking in it’s ability to address those situations.(Ever have to shoot an injured Moose?) Continue reading
Last week, I was out at the SIG Academy teaching a class when one of my friends who is one of their engineers showed up with all kinds of cool stuff.
One of these items was a suppressed SIG MCX in 300 Blackout. I didn’t have a lot of time due to teaching, but I ran enough ammo through it to say without a doubt…….wow. Continue reading
“Sorry folks, the park is closed….Moose out front should have told you” John Candy-“National Lampoons Vacation”.
The words of John Candy’s character kind of sum up my advice on the most of the “should I do XYZ for my home defense gun”. The fact is I only give advice on suppressors for home defense because there are thousands of variables. I can’t say with any kind of authority what might be right for your situation. Using suppressors doesn’t seem to be a one sized fits all. Juries and prosecutors might view a suppressed rifle in a deadly force incident one way in one location, and another way some place else. What I can do is give some things to think about, and the individual can decide for themselves based upon their situation and their needs. Continue reading
The Contents of the Borka MG17
While not nearly as sexy as a new rifle, pistol, optic, or other fancy accessory, tools are a very necessary part of any shooting sport. This is especially true of sports requiring scopes and all the mounting options that accompany them. Usually along with any number of required items that I dump into my bag for the day, is a good tool kit which has a tendency to be much bigger then it probably needs to be. Continue reading
I like painted guns. I like to use my guns. A good combination? Depends on the paint. Continue reading