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
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?
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
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
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
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
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.
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
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
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
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.
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.
At the suggestion of my good friend Freddie Blish, I recently sent out a mil spec AR15/M16 bolt to Robar Guns for their NP3 Finish. Though I have known of Robar and their NP3 for decades, I really didn’t know much about the finish other than it was based on electroless nickel. A quick phone call to Freddie got me up to speed. The Cliff Notes version is that the Robar Companies spend most of their resources fulfilling industrial contracts, including plating of critical aircraft components for the military with many of the same finishes seen on their firearms. And Robbie Barrkman is no stranger to custom guns, as he was the original gunsmith for Jeff Cooper at the American Pistol Institute a.k.a. Gunsite.
Freddie highlighted the benefits of the latest iteration of NP3, including extreme corrosion resistance (1000+ hours of salt spray resistance), embedded PTFE in the coating makes it self-lubricating, exceptional abrasion resistance without being excessively hard so as to cause abnormal wear on softer parts that mate up to the coated surface. The coating is also easy to clean, and in most cases fouling will wipe right off the surface. What does this mean? Freddie expects that my bolt will have an enhanced service life and asked me to shoot the gun completely dry to see how long it will run before failure. This is a completely foreign concept to me as I keep my AR/M4 platforms wet with lube as a matter of practice, but I will grit my teeth and do as instructed. Results will be posted here.
I recently attended a Performance Carbine course from Frank Proctor, the founder and head instructor at Way of the Gun. Frank has a background in military special operations as well as competition shooting, and fuses the two schools of thought into a performance based curriculum which dissects technique and challenges traditional thinking. As someone who is both a training junkie and a professional firearms trainer, I enjoy the opportunity to get out and see what others are teaching, as well as being able to just shut up and shoot. Continue reading
I recently swapped out my old truck for a new model. Nothing all that exciting there except that I have had to re-fit all of my weapons and equipment in the new truck. One thing that always drove me crazy about the old truck was the way I mounted my AR style rifle. I had it in a roof rack over the back seat. It was out of the way and secure, but nearly impossible to grab in an emergency. It also stood out like a red dress at a funeral if you looked into the cab of the truck. Because of this I opted to find a more suitable solution for what is, for me personally, required equipment in my truck. Remember, it is not paranoid, it is prepared.
The Liberator easily fits my 16″ AR style rifle with Aimpoint red dot and Surefire X300 Ultra.