Showing posts with label armorer. Show all posts
Showing posts with label armorer. Show all posts

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Light Engineering In Darra Adam Khel, Pakistan



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Wednesday, December 10, 2014

From Around The Web

Inspired by my Ballistic Baller on a Budget post TEOTWAWKI Blog talks about their 1k firearms battery. Alexander went with the $550 complete upper and stripped lower build plan as well as a Glock 9mm. I certainly agree on the Glock; if you find one that meets price point I would take it over an SDVE-9, Ruger P85, etc all. As to the AR I'm a touch leery about low end AR's but can certainly see the sentiment.

Incidentally Bayou Renaissance Man has been trying to get some low end AR's working right.
My thoughts on general AR problem solving
-If it is a feeding related issue swap out the magazine. Try a different one and see what happens. IF the old mag, which is usually the culprit has problems just toss it as they are so cheap they are functionally disposable.
-Anything else. First conduct a good and thorough cleaning of the weapon. Next lubricate it heavily (just short of dripping). After that try it with some good known ammo like PMC X-TAC M855 (incidentally available at the excellent price of $359/1k at Lucky Gunner).

The first two should clear up the vast majority of generic AR problems. Beyond that depending on exactly what is wrong if it's a new gun it might have been assembled wrong or (new or used) you might need to swap out specific parts related to the problem.

Communists have taken over the parliament in a state that is part of (formerly East) Germany. Needless to say people tortured and imprisoned by the communists are not thrilled.

Oleg Volk does a good job explaining the terrible law I-594 which the lefties in greater Seattle shoved through.It is so openly written that almost any gun owner is a criminal.

Sunday, November 30, 2014

AR-15 Build vs Buy: Unique AR Platform Characteristics, Quality, Economics, Value and Customization

Commander Zero wrote a post called Stripped Lower Deals that put this into motion. I was going to write a comment but that was not sufficient so it stewed in my head for awhile and turned into a post. In this post I am going to share some ideas about the benefits of building an AR-15 as well as the potential downsides where just buying a rifle turns out better.

Bottom Line Up Front: The unique characteristics of the AR-15 can let an individual looking to maintain privacy yet still own specific weapons, interested in a rifle configuration that is not currently available or looking to secure potential options/ profit do better by starting with a stripped lower than a complete rifle; provided they are able to make reasonable parts choices and stay on (or close to) budget.

Two specific traits of the AR platform make this conversation very different than most other weapons. First as I read someplace online AR's are not so much built as assembled. What I mean is  that assembly does not require lathes, presses, significant mechanical aptitude/ knowledge or fine fitting of components. A person with lower than average mechanical aptitude and a few basic hand tools can put together a totally functional AR-15 at the kitchen table. Sure they will lose a detent pin and a spring, plus there will be a couple tiny scratches by the roll pins but that's about all that will happen. Second the serialized part of the AR which is for all legal purposes the firearm is a small, cheap piece of aluminum. For reference I spent more on the muzzle device for my AR than the (stripped) lower receiver. These two reasons make the discussion very different than with say an AK or M1A.

Now we will talk about the specific areas that will be discussed: Quality, economics, value and customization.

Quality: Quality in an AR comes from using serviceable, or even good parts and putting them together properly. I'm sure there are some total AR guru's out there who do things with fit and small amounts of thoughtfully applied gunsmithing that can make an AR more accurate. However I will submit that unless a total guru or buffoon are putting together a gun the difference is going to be negligible. What I am getting at is that a complete rifle from whoever is not going to perform differently than if the owner put together the lower and slapped the manufacturers upper onto it.

Of course people can totally screw up AR builds. Zero's example of an AR built out of all of the cheapest random parts is manifested in more than a few rifles. Go figure some of them just don't work well. This is my surprised face. Then again companies totally screw up some rifles too, it just happens. An advantage of buying a complete rifle from a reputable company is that if a problem happens they are usually pretty good about making it right. Some guns just have phantom problems and often a company will just give you a new rifle. If your Franken AR has problems fixing them is on your dime, basically you are hosed.

In terms of quality I'd say Project AR is certainly as good as comparable (BCM, Colt, etc) complete rifles.

Economics: This is an interesting discussion. The way to get the cheapest possible AR would be to shop around and find the cheapest individual items. Thus a person could say you can save 60% by building your own. This is not accurate because to compare value we have to talk apples to apples.

Saying "I built a $524 AR so that is a 50% savings over a Colt 6920 LE" is stupid because your budget build is almost surely not in the same league as the Colt. The point I am trying to make is that you need to compare the total cost to build a given quality rifle with the cost to just go out and buy one.

The other problem is people who spend a ton of money buying all sorts of random parts. I regularly see 2K+ AR's up for sale where the guy spent that much or more on parts. These guys read all kinds of stuff and get their roll pins from one guy, their trigger spring from another, etc. They
 really do believe they are building great rifles. In reality they are spending Ferrari money on Fords because they do not have the experience to actually know what matters. These very expensive guns are nowhere near as good as a comparably priced rifle from Daniels Defense or LaRue. Heck, some of them aren't on par with Spikes or S&W.

The 'A La Carte' model of AR building can work in some situations but you definitely have to keep an eye on the bottom line and compare that bottom line to a similar quality complete rifle. Situations exist where you can save money building but there are also others where the numbers do not work. I would say you also have to consider shipping costs as part of the total cost. This makes ordering parts from fewer places advantageous.

Comparing sale items is problematic because it depends a lot on what is on sale today, not yesterday or tomorrow. Looking at normal prices is probably a fair indicator. It is often, though not always, possible to save ten or even twenty percent by getting a stripped lower, LPK, stock and upper vs getting a complete rifle. I did this once. The difference in that particular case was closer to 30% for getting all the parts vs a complete rifle. Exact same parts from the exact same company. Found an acquaintance who put the lower together and I was good to go. That was a good rifle.

Recently with Project AR I probably saved some money. It gets hard to really compare equitably because I upgraded some components and got a less expensive LPK.

Customization: This is really where building makes a lot of sense. The AR is really a grown up male lego set in that a normal guy can pretty much make one into whatever he wants. In general I would say that all other things being equal if you only want to change a superficial thing (furniture, charging handle, etc) there isn't a huge need to go out and build a rifle. On the other hand if you want a configuration not currently available or are otherwise going to change more than a couple things it might make sense to build your own. If you want a different barrel or whatnot the cost of buying all that stuff once then changing it out can get silly fast. When building your own you can avoid duplicate costs for stuff that's going to be thrown into the AR parts bin.

For people with specific tastes who like private party anonymity building is a good option. I say this because while you can (except in panic times and even then if you're willing to pay panic prices) buy AR's PP no problem finding a 16" BCM Middy with a certain barrel twist is going to be really hard. If you get a lower (complete or stripped) then it is easy to build what you want without the high expense of buying a complete rifle you do not want.

Various Thoughts:
Do you want to build a rifle for the fun and learning experience or do you just want to get a gun and be done with it? I wanted to build my rifle to have that experience and am glad I did it. Other people might not be interested in doing that for it's own sake and should probably just buy a rifle. Down the road if / when in the market for another carbine I will probably just do like Max Velocity and buy a Colt 6920 LE. As to other AR configurations I will run the numbers to see which makes the most economic sense.

In Closing:
Depending on your wants, needs and budget there are times when building a rifle makes the most sense. If you choose to build be sure to keep an eye on part quality while simultaneously staying within your budget.

Thoughts?

Sunday, June 30, 2013

Looking For a Yugo/ Zastuva Receiver Cover

Hey Everybody, I'm trying to find a normal (non rail) receiver cover for a Yugo/ Zastuva M70. Can pay cash or trade something for it. If you have one to spare please contact me via email (theotherryan@yahoo.com). If you know where to buy one (a Brick and Mortar store in Iowa obviously wouldn't be helpful) please let me know in the comments section.

Thanks in advance,
-Ryan

Friday, June 21, 2013

Rail Discussion Continued

Well I did a bit more research into the rail issue. Turns out the Troy rail I was looking at is not in production yet. The folks at Troy were real good about responding promptly and giving me good information. It will be available in 'mid summer'. So that is a viable option. However I got to thinking.

Got to looking at replacing the gas block and putting on a real rail. The issue now is that I have a full gas block/ front sight post and a pinned// welded muzzle device. The only way's to replace the gas block are to cut it off and put on a 2 piece gas block or cut off the muzzle device. Since it's a Battle Comp cutting is a no go. Honestly I messed up and should have done this to begin with. So that leaves the Gas Block. Did some research and it looks like cutting off the front sight portion to essentially make your own low profile gas block is not too difficult and is done pretty often. Honestly the worst case is I end up cutting off the gas block and replace it with a 2 piece which was  the better of the initial options anyway. Going to sleep on it but plan to do that and put a standard VTAC rail on it. The only question is 11' or 13".

Cost will be cheaper if I get a basic front BUIS (which I do not plan to do) about the same if I go with a fixed troy front sight with trijicon or $40 more of I get a folding one with Trijicon. I definitely made a mistake and should have done this earlier, it's the setup I want. The mistake based on my ignorance about this stuff will probably cost me $100 or so, not the end of the world.

Anyway I'll sleep on it then baring new information pull the trigger on the order pretty soon.

Thoughts?

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Project AR Completion: AR-15 Rail Questions

So I'm looking for a free floating drop in rail to finally finish Project AR. Looking for a free floating drop in rail for a mid length AR with the existing standard front sight post. Do not like or need a full quad rail, in fact I prefer the ones with a full top rail where you can bolt (or otherwise attach) small sections of rail to fit needed accessories.

The first and most obvious answer is the Troy Delta Rail. Another option that came to my attention recently was the Samson Evolution, though installation while not a full on gunsmith task will be more problematic than the Troy. After watching the installation video for the Samson I am leaning hard towards the Troy.

If there are any other options that meet my rather complicated criteria (mid length, free floating, compatible with existing front sight post/ gas block, not a huge quad rail) please enlighten me. Also if you have first hand experience with either of the two models mentioned please share it with me.

Edited to include: Little problem. The Troy rail that would be prefect, though listed in their catalog and having a 'buy now' button, actually do not exist yet. They are currently being engineered.

-Ryan

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Running a Glock With a Broken Trigger Spring

Interesting stuff. I shoot that way already to minimize finger fudgery pulling the gun off targer. Good stuff to know all the same.


Home Brewed AK-47's

An AK made out of a shovel. Warning for our more conservative readers the Chive, which is the site I found this on, has pictures of girls in bikini's and other Maxim/ FHM type stuff. If you start clicking around links on the site you may see that stuff.

Build This AK.

If you socked away an AK parts kit, or 5, an all of a sudden want to turn them into rifles this could be a good way to go about it. Seems like something a moderately handy person with some basic equipment could do.

Letter Re: Checking Your Handguns for Feeding Problems: Round Nose Versus Hollow Points

This chain Checking Your Handguns for Feeding Problems: Round Nose Versus Hollow Points, re, re has gone on long enough and got off track enough that I have to weigh in. In no way am I disparaging Jim Rawles or his excellent blog. Jim has been a friend to me and this blog. I read his excellent blog daily. When you accept guest posts inevitably some will be a bit off track. 

To briefly recap a guy has a pair of Taurus pistols (a .45 Millemium Pro and a  TCP .380)and prudently, though a bit late, decides to actually try shooting his chosen defensive ammo out of them. Go figure both of them failed to feed multiple times within a few rounds.

The first reply is from one guy who goes into the history of care and feeding on 1911's (don't worry we will get there in a minute) and rambled about how hollow point ammunition is just a marketing gimmick. The second reply is from some guy who suggests using a dremel to polish the feed ramp of your pistol to improve feeding.

Onto my thoughts in no particular order:

1) Go figure a couple of new unproven designs by a notoriously mediocre company with spotty quality control had issues. Taurus revolvers are generally servicable but newly designed auto's probably aren't a good idea. (Though I have heard good things about their 1911's) Seriously this is like Lou Gehrig dying of Lou Gehrig's disease, how the hell did he not see it coming.

Weapons you are going to use to defend yourself and family (vs hunting, plinking, fun, etc) absolutely need to be built to a professional standard. They need to be able to be shot a lot and feed anything. Glock, Sig, HK, Smith and Wesson (M&P and revolvers), Springfield (specifically the XD), Beretta and Ruger all build guns to a professional standard. It would be an uphill battle to convince me there is a Taurus (specifically their automatics) or a Kel Tech that meets such a standard.

I'm not saying you have to spend a ton of money on a gun. We all have competing priorities and budgets. If you aren't willing to save another C note for a Glock/ M&P get a basic gun like a good used revolver instead of some POS automatic.

2) To further elaborate a fighting pistol needs to feed all ammunition put into it. We can break feeding issues down by broad gun type. In order older guns, pieces of junk and 1911's.

2A) Older guns. The older military surplus and pattern guns (WWII through the 1970's give or take) were designed to shoot ball ammo either FMJ or strait up lead round nose. I do not fault these guns for that. It was the ammunition used at the time so it just makes sense. With these guns IMO you have two valid options. The first is to just shoot ball ammo. A good friend of this blog (though lately absent) who is big into surplus guns and has quite an enviable collection does this. He often swaps through various high power's of different makes and it would be cost prohibitive and impractical to test and keep track of which gun feeds what ammo. So he just shoots ball in them. I'm not in love with this option but for some folks it makes sense.

The other option is to get your gun worked over by a qualified gunsmith who specializes in your particular type of gun. Send your high power to a high power guy, your older surplus 1911 to a 1911 guy, etc. This can be cost prohibitive. Unless there is some compelling reason you want to carry that particular gun it might be better to buy a modern pistol of professional grade.

2B) Pieces of Junk. Yes, I am saying that currently produced pistols which do not reliably feed modern defensive ammunition are pieces of junk. Do not buy a piece of junk for defensive purposes. Expecting a piece of junk to work when you need it is just not realistic. You wouldn't get upset when $10 Soldiers Choice scotch doesn't taste like Ballantine's let alone Glenlivet. Why should guns be any different? I am on the record as being in favor of quality used guns instead of new lower quality guns.

2C) 1911's. We addressed the older milsurp type 1911's already, as to the rest. At the risk of offending somebody here is my observation on 1911's. Two types of 1911's actually work reliably. The first are basic Mil Spec type guns from quality manufacturers specifically Springfield and Colt. These guns will shoot all day long with the accuracy you would expect from a service weapon (good but not amazing). The second are really high end custom guns like Ed Brown and Wilson Combat or the high end Colt's. These guns work well but they cost as much as a decent used car. Probably outside most peoples budget for a carry gun. If you can afford it without shorting yourself elsewhere then rock on.

The problems with 1911's come, in my not so humble opinion, from fly by night custom 'Bob's Mom's basement' makers and lower end "target guns". Bob sucks as an armorer and certainly is not a craftsmen. He slaps together a bunch of different brand parts without a clue what he is doing. There are issues with fitting and stacking tolerances. As to the lower end "target guns". Modern manufacturing technology makes it easy to crank down tolerances which makes guns more accurate but at the expense of reliability. Tight tolerances without serious quality control and craftsmen level fitting make for an unreliable gun. There is a reason AK's and those old WWII 1911's (with ball ammo they are designed for) will run all day long dirty as can be, they have fairly loose tolerances.

3) Good on this guy for actually testing his gun with the defensive ammunition he carries. I think far too few people actually do this and it is important. We could debate round count here. I've seen some folks say you need to shoot 500 rounds of carry ammo to know it is reliable. Honestly I am not doing that unless someone else foots the bill. Typically I shoot about 50 rounds. Since the only centerfire semi automatic pistols we own are Glock's there are never any issues, this is just a check.

4) To support #2 I do not carry super expensive all brass hollow points like the new Cor Bon stuff. I carry 115gr JHP Federal Classic Personal Defense. Awhile back I got a case of the stuff from Lucky Gunner for like .35 cents a round. They have it in stock now but given the state of things prices are considerably higher. They will come back down in due time at which point I will buy another case.

5) I am strongly against any home gunsmith work (not to be confused with basic armorer tasks like swapping out a simple drop in part) on defensive weapons unless you have some training and genuinely know what you are doing. By all means explore and try new things. Just do it with plinking/ fun, hunting or sporting guns. If your home repair/ work on a clay shooting shotgun or deer rifle fails worst case your day at the range or hunt is ruined. In the grand scheme of things neither of those are a huge deal. On the other hand if defensive weapons fail you and your family could end up dead.

This means either buy guns that work reliably which can be repaired using drop in parts (the way to go) or if that does not work or the problem is too serious take your defensive weapons to a legitimate gunsmith who is competent, or even specializes, in that particular weapon.

6. In conclusion- Buy modern professional grade guns for defensive use. If they break take them to a legitimate gunsmith to be fixed.


Thoughts?


Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Guns Aren't Going Away

Every now and then some gun grabber or gun grabber group starts talking about how all the guns are just magically going away. Typically the mechanism is some sort of confiscation. I find that unlikely on a wide scale but it doesn't matter. We could also certainly debate what that world would look like, personally I think it would be a very bad place, however that is not the point.

There are so many reasons any sort of gun confiscations scheme wouldn't work. You can purchase a piece of metal and with basic tools turn it into an AR-15 lower receiver (considered the gun) without any records (especially if you pay cash).

Folks came up with a new version of the Liberator using a 3d printer.  As AM noted recently it would be difficult to overestimate what a skilled machinist with access to the normal tools of his trade could do. 
For someone who builds complicated, precise tools and components for a living guns would not be magically different.  Barrels, stocks, parts and even basic guns like the old school Liberator, Sten and such would certainly be realistic.

Of course there are the usual variety of Zip guns typically just seen in correctional facilities and places with serious anti gun laws like Britain.

The point is that I am not particularly worried about being able to get my hands on a gun if one is needed. Of course I do not recommend relying on plans like this. Right now all manner of guns can be purchased by normal folks. Many basic guns are quite affordable. Picking up a few for a rainy day if you can afford it would be a good idea.

Saturday, May 4, 2013

Glock 3.5lb Connector Installation

Today I put a 3.5lb connector in my EDC Glock. Also put in a stainless steel guide rod. Don't remember who made them but these parts are pretty standard so it doesn't matter too much.

Here is the video I used to do it.

Granted it's possible to do this with a reference book (which you should have for a backup) but videos tend to work better. 

This combo is pretty awesome. Really it's becoming standard for me. The cost is around $40 once you figure in shipping so it's an easy decision to make. Night sights are also excellent but cost a bit more in the range of $100. I can use another set of those.

Anyway I wanted to share that all with you.

Friday, April 19, 2013

Range Report: Burris MTAC, Retesting Problems and Glock 19 Fun

Got out to the range today. It can get a little busy on the weekends and for the kind of stuff I have been doing (typically zeroing) doesn't work real well. However I got off work surprisingly early today and figured it would be an awesome time to go shooting. Since I had a little bit of range ammo lying around plus time to kill so why not?

On the way I stopped by the local shop for some targets and they had a single box of 9mm ball. Grabbed it and upgraded the Glock fun time. They also had some Tula .223 and I grabbed 3 boxes to replace what I planned to shoot today. That will be next time's range ammo. 

Got out there and the place was very quiet.  Not sure if it's an off day or whatever. The Rangemaster said he doesn't think anybody has ammo to go shooting. Probably has a point there. I can see that angle. Personally I went there very lightly loaded with just 60 rounds of .223 and 75 rounds of 9mm (would have been 25 except for the gun store find). My primary goal was to test fire 1 gun and confirm the zero on Project AR, just tossed some 9mm in for fun.

I'm just loving the Burris MTAC. Being able to run what amounts to a red dot (very close to probably 1.1ish)  for close stuff then zoom to 4x for longer shots is awesome. After some refinement the zero is solid. It's hitting well inside angle of mans chest at 400m. Strongly suspect the reason it's not angle of shoe box is the schmuck behind the gun.

Another gun had issues last time.  For background I swapped out a part on it some time back thinking I knew what I was doing. Turns out I didn't have a clue; the classic you don't know what you don't know scenario. Anyway I pretty easily figured out the problem at home and aside from a couple scratches on the inside of the gun it was no worse for wear. So I took it out to confirm the issue was figured out. Anyway I took it out today and everything was good. Gun runs like a champ. Learned a little lesson to make entirely sure I know what I'm doing before screwing around with a gun. All's well that ends well I guess.

That brings us to the Glock 19. Not sure why but I was in the groove today. Shot pretty well which was cool. The more I use those new sights the more I like them. Very fast onto target for quick shots yet capable of precision shots. Had this feeling that taking Tam's advice would not lead me astray.

In conclusion shooting is fun and the Burris MTAC rocks. 







Monday, April 15, 2013

What Did You Do To Prepare This Week?

I'm still working on cleaning up a gun. Slowly but surely just soaking with WD-40, wiping and repeating every day or so is getting the last couple rough spots cleaned up. Ordered a more robust solar setup which is something that has been on the list for awhile now. Will write more about it down the road sometime. Put some seedlings into containers in the garden. The beans seem to be thriving, unsure about the lettuce and spinach as of now.

Other than that not a ton going on here. What did you do to prepare this week?

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Rust/ Blueing Question

It looks like I'm going to have a little bit of a project this weekend. Heard the thing to do for rust is to get the finest steel wool you can find, use lots of oil and gently rub the surface in question.Would appreciate any input on the matter.

For background there are two finishes that need some love. One is Project 870 (a plane Jane 870 Express) and the other is blued steel. Probably going to touch up the 870 with some spray paint once it's taken care of. If the blued steel comes out OK I would like to leave it as is and keep the surface well lubed.

Thoughts and advice would be great. Thanks

Saturday, March 9, 2013

RE: Parts and Springs

In my recent post on Standardization of Weapons I received a comment that was worth replying to on the main page. 

"Been through several Gun and Ammo buying panics and shortages. Learned my lesson and have ample supplies that will last me for my remaining years.

Common calibers are still a good bet. 30-06 is the most popular hunting round and will be easier to obtain than some oddball caliber. Also having reloading equipment is vital. And tools and spare parts for your chosen arsenal. How many of you Glock whizzes can gunsmith your guns? Most of us old farts with our 1911's can replace most parts and have the tools and spares ready. I bet most Glock shooters do not have even the simple punches needed to fix their guns.

Have tools for your AR? How about the Shotgun, can you remove an 870 forend without damage? Know how to clean and repair mags? Have extra springs?

Have reloading manuals, and more reloading manuals. Know which powders can be used in multiple platforms?

Lastly how about bullet casting tools?

It's more than just the guns."


Ryan replies: I would bet a very high percentage of gun owners do not have basic manuals let alone tools or spare parts.

As discussed earlier I agree about common calibers. It helps that Glocks do not break very often. Have got punches, a modest stash of parts and a good reference book for the Glocks. Am doing OK on AR spare parts. Could use a good M16/AR reference manual but that will be taken care of in the near future.

In time I would like to stash some spare parts for our ancillary guns. Maybe I should start doing some analysis on that.



Haven't taken the forend off an 870 yet, though I will be doing that in the near future to rattle can a gun with a rough finish. Got some spare parts and springs. Can clean mags but haven't really every felt the need to. Do keep a few springs but mostly went long on the mags themselves.

At this time I do not reload. The ability to store components and flex them to whatever you need the most has some allure and I would like to be able to shoot cheaper so eventually I will start reloading. Just haven't gotten around to it yet.Honestly I don't consider it super important. Seeing as I cannot make quality smokeless powder or primers reloading only goes as far as stored supplies or what you can buy anyway. To me it's sort of like saying you have food security because instead of buying canned chili you make your own from canned beans, canned tomatoes, frozen meat and the packet of chili powder that all come from the same store that sells the chili.

I do agree it is more than guns but the streamlining of a well though out battery sure helps. Stocking spare parts for 5 types of pistols, 3 makes of shotguns and a bunch of rifles would be a headache for sure. 




Sunday, January 20, 2013

What Did You Do To Prepare This Week?

Earlier this week I went shooting testing a variety of things and working on the zero on my rifle. At Good Will I picked up a pair of line new USGI desert boots with the rippled vibram sole. They are a half size too big but you can never have too many boots and the price of $15 was right. An AR-15 stripped lower receiver came to live with us. Picked up a hundred rounds of American Eagle 9mm FMJ and 100 rounds of excellent CCI Velocitor .22lr that has been totally unavailable for a couple of weeks. Also grabbed a few little things, some OTC meds and packets of instant coffee for my BOB.

All in all a darn good week here. Pretty 2A oriented but that is to be expected these days.

What did you do to prepare this week?

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Range Report- Project AR, New Night Sights and Other Fun

Went to the range today. The way things came together today was the day to go and pleasantly the weather cooperated. It has been quite cold for the last several days with daytime highs in the low 30's or so. Sure I would have gone shooting in colder temps but today was nice enough that I ended up in just a t shirt. As this is Arizona of course it was clear and sunny.

Had a bit of anxiety about taking out the new lower since a complete buffoon I put it together. Project AR has been shot before but on a different lower.  Pleased to report that the new lower receiver works just fine. So Project AR is now a complete rifle which is good. Still want to free float the barrel and put an IR laser on it but those things will wait indefinitely on funds.

The first order of business was getting the zero on Project AR up to standard. It was almost perfect at 25 meters but when I went back to 50 to confirm things needed work for sure. Was shooting way high (which is why a zero that is level at 50 and 200 is far better than 25/250) and a bit to the left but pretty much got it figured out. Eventually I ran out of ammo and motivation/ energy at about the same time. Probably went from a 70% solution to a 90% solution which is meaningful progress.

Pistol shooting pretty much sucked. My grouping was like an 8 inch shotgun blast at 10 meters which leaves something to desire. Sort of expected as my consistency in pistol shooting over the last 4 years has seriously left something to be desired. Over the course of a hundred rounds or so things improved noticeably to a tight shotgun blast which is something. In any case it was a reminder that I need to make consistent bi weekly or at least monthly range trips and be better about dry fire practice.

Not sure exactly how I feel about the new night sights on my EDC Glock 19. Will stick with them for a few range sessions and try them at night if I can do so conveniently. In awhile I may switch back to the 3 dot ones that I am used to.

The 'if I have time' piece of this trip was my Christmas present which was a CMMG .22 conversion kit for the AR. I had some time waiting for the range to go cold to check my targets and figured why not. Loaded up the mag, replaced the standard BCG with the CMMG bolt and gave it a shot. It fed the bulk pack (Remington IIRC) ammo without a hitch. Once I figured out the hold over it was quite accurate. Definitely not sufficient for competitive marksmanship but it seems just fine for training, plinking or putting a rabbit into the pot. I will fiddle with it some more and get back to you with a review down the road aways.

I realized while trying to stuff guns into a cheap plastic case that came with a rifle that I can really use a nice double rifle case. Also some sort of a legit range bag (vs the random duffel I have) with little useful compartments and mag pouches would be very helpful.

So aside from my mediocre pistol marksmanship everything was good. As always shooting is fun.





Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Happiness is a Brownells Box at Your Door


I ordered 10 more PMAGs and some various spare parts from Brownells on the 17th of December and it showed up at my door this evening. In the time it took for them to ship the price I could get for them has multiplies 3-4 times. However those are just paper gains because I am not selling them.

We did not need them but I wanted more PMAGs. Wish I would have ordered 4 more so we would have a nice even number. I'll tack them onto my next order and if they show up that is nice and if not oh well. Honestly we are above ratio (20 per gun) so they aren't needed but I like PMAGs and want the option to continue using them. Spare parts were to replace some taken from inventory to finish (after me losing/ breaking a couple things in my AR-15 lower receiver build) and fill some holes we had.

5 Lessons from the Panic in 2012 at Teotwawki Blog was worth reading and thinking about. All in all if things get ugly we are not in a bad spot. Mostly this is because we were not in a bad spot before this whole current mess. The vast majority of this preparation was done over a few years at normal prices and deals when I could find them. We have picked up a few things including this order but they were really just rounding things out. This mag order was icing on the cake so to speak.

Also I knew what our shortages were and acted upon them. Not perfectly.  The day those mags were ordered I SHOULD have purchased an AR-15 stripped lower for a pistol build when prices were sane. Don't have a great reason why, this just didn't happen. If something sticks I will really regret that mistake. Beyond that anything I would want (a complete AR pistol to go with that lower or a PTR-91) would have been cost prohibitive for us.

The only thing that really came to mind except the stuff covered in Alexanders post is the benefit of having some money lying around. We have been able to surge on some things because at little to no notice there was money to do so. If we had no money that would not have happened. 

Anyway those are my thoughts on that. Hope you are doing well filling whatever shortages you may have.

 

Sunday, December 9, 2012

What Did You Do To Prepare This Week?

Think I missed this one last week but oh well. Been tweeking my EDG/ GHB. Added a bit more food.

This week a lot happened. We got the Sentry Safe Home Defender which is pretty sweet. Along those lines I put together some "bump in the night' pants with 2x rifle and pistol mags, a holster and an IFAK. They sit next to some soft body armor by the safe.

Also built the lower receiver for Project AR Upgrade so it doesn't have to mooch half of my other rifle anymore. Pretty psyched about that.

Also put some key electronics into a Faraday Cage which came, along with another ECWS sleep system, from Old Grouchs Military Surplus. I don't worry too much about the specific effects of various Black Swan type events but having a few key items protected from a variety of things including an EMP for a nominal cost seems smart.

Today we went and did the big shopping trip to finish stocking the pantry. Some extra cereal, spices, lots of dry pasta and sauce, extra PB and J and such. Since we move fairly often it doesn't makes sense to go too deep in this stuff but some sure seems smart.

Also filled up a 5 gallon gas can. Got to order some more of those tomorrow or whenever I get around to it.

Of course there was plenty of lifting weights, running and general fitness awesomeness.

Anyway that is what happened here this week. Hope you have been up to some good stuff too.

What did you do to prepare this week?

Saturday, December 8, 2012

AR-15 Lower Receiver Build

So to start out I had a stripped lower reciever, a DMPS lower parts kit, a Brownells receiver extension AKA buffer tube and stock, some punches and a little hammer. The Glock tools were tossed into the order as they are a nice thing to have. I hopped onto the AR-15.com build guide and got started. It was helpful to have it open in two tabs so one could stay on the picture with the part diagram instead of scrolling back and forth.

Yes that is a tiny hand with a toy truck in the photo. I was getting set up right about his bedtime.

We will start with the Bad, then move onto the Ugly and close with the Good.

The Bad:

Lets just say I am not mechanically inclined. Tiny little pieces that have to go together in specific ways aren't my thing. Imagine if Homer Simpson and the Keystone Kops tried to build an AR-15 lower receiver.

Things got rolling and were going OK until the #*$%)#* #*%$))#*ing Pivot Pin Detent and Spring. Those suckers went flying off to the abyss of our home. After some looking and harsh words I decided to grab the other parts (there are two of each piece) and just keep going. That #*$)(@#ing spring bent but I had a second one. It would probably still work but the idea of using a knowingly flawed part did not appeal to me. That front pivot pin detent and spring are probably the hardest part of the whole lower build. I kept going on figuring this part could be figured out later. About half the parts need to be taken out then put back in but nothing was particularly difficult and I kept a decent pace.

Once I got to the end of the lower build I had to have that other Detent Pin and Spring. Realizing I had some spare parts lying around I decided to see if these parts were on inventory so things could get finished up. Thankfully I had the parts. Getting the rear detent pin in, the buffer retainer compressed and the stock screwed on was kind of awkward. Anyway it got done.

Doing a functions check the trigger was not rebounding properly/ reliably. I then pulled out another lower to take a look. The trigger spring was not properly in place. To take it out I pretty much had to pull the whole thing apart but since I was a bit ahead on the learning curve it was only a 10 minute thing.

All in all it is done and took about 2.5 hours. During that time I ruined/ lost about $3 in parts. I suspect another build would take an hour and not have any lost/ damaged parts.

The Ugly: The implications of lost or damaged parts are significant in some sort of worst case scenario. Folks who plan to build or fully disassemble weapons would be well advised to have some of those little parts on hand. Had this been a worst case scenario and I didn't have the spare parts my AR-15 would be nonfunctional for the want of $3 in parts which would be like really really bad.

Getting into my spare parts I saw we have a less AR-15 spare parts than I thought. Will address this shortage at some point.

The Good:

I know more about the function of the AR-15 than I did before. While the building wasn't fun I am pleased to have done this. Also I learned a new skill. Getting to the level where I am a competent Armorer (able to restore the gun to factory specs) on all of our core weapons and some common other ones is something I want to do.  Also now I have to go to the range to do a test fire which is a good excuse reason to go shooting.

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