These three weapons would have been the pride of any Rifleman/hunter sportsman of the era and a mark of real taste and a serious shooter in the years before the mid-60s. The M97 shotgun in 16 gauge, a Modle 70 varmint/target with Unertl Target scope and the M67 .22LR. A battery any of the old timers would have used to great effect.
Bellow is another guest post from friend and frequent contributor to Looserounds, The owner of http://www.thenewrifleman.com talks a little about differing levels of accuracy.
A mental roadblock in learning to shoot is comparing yourself to others who have different goals. We see many online who post pictures of their rigs and the fantastic groupings they can achieve with setup x, y, or z. When I was new to the AR15 world the exposure the rifle gets as a 1MOA capable weapon (with the right ammo, barrel, ect) sets up the expectation of how good you should be shooting. Shooting tight groups and shooting for practical accuracy are two very different goals.
Is 1MOA the Gold Standard?
1 MOA is a great grouping and clearly shows the mastery of the rifle and component selection. You take the same rifle and shooter and put them in a competitive environment at short and mid-ranges and the groupings will open up significantly. When your heart is racing, when you have run from station to station, and when you are shooting from un-conventional positions, a 1MOA rifle’s capabilities are lost to the 4-10 MOA shooter. The rifle is still shooting to 1 MOA but the shooter is winded, stressed, and fighting a time limit. He or she won’t be shooting that rifle to its capabilities in such a scenario.
If you are trying to push yourself to get tight groupings inside of 100 yards or less… what is your goal? You don’t need 1MOA at 100 yards to accurately put down a man-sized target. If someone was trying to cause you harm inside of 100 yards there is *no time* for 1MOA techniques. What will come in to play is your muscle memory, your eye quickly acquiring the sights, and your finger snapping off as many shots as necessary. The goal is to put someone down, and at 100 yards or less, fast and sloppy groupings are practical since we can keep shooting until the threat is gone. The beauty of the AR15 is that it is a controllable semi-auto weapon.
Other situations will demand more accuracy and that’s why we also practice shooting supported from conventional and unconventional positions. As a *new* shooter, work to achieve a modest goal of 3-4 MOA groups at 100 yards. Shooting 4 MOA will get hits on a man-sized target at 400 yards. Shooting 3 MOA or better will get you hits on a man-sized target at 500-600 yards. This is all provided that you understand your drop compensation and can dope the wind at the further distances. That skill will come with time and practice as well. If you go to the gun range and look at your fist sized 100 yard groupings in disappointment… stop being disappointed. You are doing well enough to push yourself and your rifle easily to 400 yards with a little practice.
When you hit the range, stop worrying about shooting small groups. Work on practical accuracy. Spend your time working on muscle memory and fast shooting out to 100 yards. Also spend time working a slower approach where you can reduce your group size by shooting from stable conventional and unconventional positions. Don’t worry about the guy with the varmint AR15 next to you and his 1MOA groupings. His goals are likely different then yours. He want’s to shoot woodchucks. You want to learn to defend your self, your family, your country, and your way of life.
1) If you belong to a club that doesn’t allow you to practice defensive shooting… then time to find a new club or get involved with the club to change the bylaws.
2) Getting to a competition will show shortcomings in your current shooting ability. Learning how you suck allows you to work on the skills that suck.
3) Your box stock AR15 will take you very far in your journey to become a rifleman. The human behind the trigger is the bottleneck.
You can get some good deals buying used parts online. I buy a good deal of stuff used on the Equipment Exchange on AR15.com. The problem is that when you buy used you are taking a large risk, and you really need to know what you are purchasing.
Not only are there scammers out there, there are also ignorant sellers who may be selling fakes thinking that they are real.
Recently I purchased a used Colt 733 upper. The C stamp on the upper and the C MP CB on the barrel lets me know that they are Colt parts.
I paid $500 for a complete upper including bolt carrier group. To me, this is an excellent deal as Colt bolt carrier groups often run 2-300 dollars on their own, and often similar uppers with out a BCG will run $4-500.
When I got it, the first thing I did was inspect for wear, internal and external.
The upper and barrel exterior both showed wear from use. This was a police trade in, and the wear on it showed that. Wear on the barrel from a rifle rack, wear on the front sight base from some sort of sling or accessory attached there. Wear on the carry handle from a scope mount.
The two spots of bare aluminum on the inside of the carry handle look like the wear marks left from a Trijicon Reflex sight in a carry handle mount.
Next I looked at the bolt carrier group. First I checked to be sure that the parts I got were Colt.
The markings all checked out. A C stamped on the bolt carrier, A MPC on the bolt, and a C on the extractor. The two main wear points on the bolt carrier group that I inspect are the bolt face and the cam pin.
The bolt carrier group was clean, and while the finish has been worn off the bolt face, bolt lugs, and the cam pin neither show excessive wear or pitting. So this bolt carrier group has been used, but not excessively so. More heavily used uppers will have grooves in the cam pin, and pitting on the bolt face.
The most interesting thing about this 733 upper is that it has M4 feedramps.
I was under the impression that the 733 upper was out of production before the M4 feedramp change was made. Turns out I am wrong, there are C stamped Colt C7 type uppers out there with M4 feedramps.
The only problem I had with this upper is that the little C-clip that is the ejection port door retaining ring was missing. Fortunately I have many of those laying around, and I replaced it easily. The seller of this upper even threw in extra items with it, making the deal even sweeter.
I got a good deal on this upper and I am very happy with it. In part two of “Buying a used AR15 upper” I will tell you of a couple of cases that did not work out so well.
I personally teach my two boys about the firearms we have in the home and how they operate. I also teach them about safety and to never touch the firearms, unless Mom and Dad are present. There are several NRA videos (cartoon friendly) that are geared towards children on firearms safety as well. It is unavoidable having worked in Law Enforcement, training and teaching others about firearms and writing for a gun blog, for my children not to see firearms and want to know about them. Children will be more curious about something if you hide it from them. Ignorance is not safety, even if you secure the firearms in your home, this does not protect your children from their friends home.
Several years ago I started to purchase Gun Vaults and other safes to secure my firearms as the boys were getting older. I also let my children touch, manipulate and use the firearms I own under my supervision. This will curb their curiosity at getting into mischief, if they find a firearm at my home or someone else’s. I found my oldest boy just wants to be involved with what Dad is doing. A big plus for me is, he love’s to clean my AR after a long day of shooting. Teaching your children responsible safety around firearms is your duty as a responsible gun owner. I also purchased a .22lr rifle just for my boys to start shooting. (http://looserounds.com/2013/06/17/smith-wesson-mp15-22-moe/) I found they were very curious about “Daddies big guns”, I used while writing for Loose Rounds. Involving your children in shooting and firearms safety at a young age will teach them responsibility and safety with firearms.
The last thing you want, is to have your child find an unsecured firearm and harm himself or another. I have instructed and taken several firearms courses that constantly use the phrase, “Worst Case Scenario”, involving a firearm. The worst case scenario for me, is my child or another child being hurt with a firearm because I failed to properly educate my little ones. Take the time to teach your children and involve them in the firearms you have and enjoy. This will keep your children safe at home as well as someone else’s home, who might not secure their firearms as responsibly as you.
Airsoft and Realistic looking replicas:
Recently there have been several high profile police shootings involving children with airsoft guns or realistic looking toy firearms. While I will not scrutinize these shooting as I was not there, I do understand what the officers may have thought or felt in these incidents. Airsoft and other realistic looking toy guns should be treated as real firearms, especially if persons without knowledge of the toy guns being used, come in contact with you or your kids. I have been involved with other officers in incidents that turned out to be someone with an airsoft or fake gun. Modern firearms can be painted or coated in all sorts of colors. Therefore, law enforcement usually treats all potential firearms as a real threat.
One incident sticks out where a partner of mine almost fired on a 13 year old boy who had a fake gun. The call came out that a male was chasing another male, in a parking lot, with a handgun, around 10pm. It was very dark at this time. When we made contact with the child in question, the child was turning on us while we were yelling for him to drop the gun. I actually remember saying to mayself, This guy has an HK USP, when I hit him with my light. In the child’s mind it was not a real gun. The boy then turn and pointed it at my partner and we were all less than 15 feet from each other. We both had our duty firearms drawn, and I thought this was it. By the grace of God the boy dropped the gun and we both heard the pistol hit the ground. We then discovered it was an airsoft pistol with the orange tip taken off. This incident shook my partner to the point of tears and I had to be restrained from the ignorance of the parents, who clearly did not understand. Teaching your children the dangers and respect of all firearms, even those that look real can avoid these needless tragedies from happening.
TWANGnBANG posted up a class review where he shows some of the Raidon Tactics non-standard shooting position training. I really enjoyed watching this video that I often forget about shooting long arms weak side strong handed, and other variants of things like that.
The class wasn’t exactly called this, but “Intermediate 2 Long Range Shooting” just isn’t descriptive. This class started with some RETs (rapid engagement techniques) that are easy and fast for mil-ing e-types (and people) out to about 600yds. We then went right into the practical portion of the class.
Frankie McRae, head of Raidon Tactics, generously allows me to share everything I want in my videos on their classes (except RETs), and this is no exception. That said, the overriding lesson from the course can be summarized as “use everything you have to build a stable shooting position.” If you can’t relax, then you can’t hold the rifle steady. So, we were challenged to find stuff we had with us to shove under our rifles, wedge into unsupported joints, etc.
Our “graduation” exercise was to shoot an e-type at 500yds while side prone. Our line of sight was under a barrier and over a rise in the ground in front of us, requiring us to lay our rifles sideways in order to use our scopes. It was a really rewarding experience to hear the ring of the steel in spite of being in a very awkward position.
I also show how the H59 Horus reticle in my Bushnell HDMR made aiming much easier. I am sold on the utility of having the grid at my disposal when picking a point of aim.
NASGW – Colt Tactical Rifles. Posted by TacticalLifeVideo
I know I have talked a little bit about the old Colt produced .22LR conversion kit before, but it was not in much detail. I get asked about the conversion units often and they seem to be fairly rare these days. I am not even sure how popular they used to be since commercial .223 and surplus 5.56 use to be so cheap. So anyways, I thought I might talk about it a little more now.
Sorry to say I can not nail down an exact date for when these things first started being produced, but I know I had seen them around for as far back as I can remember and bought one with my first AR15 way back when I was still young and supple. Above is a picture of a conversion kit still in its original plastic blister pack and shot only enough to confirm it works, which is maybe 20 rounds. You can tell by the crappy art that it was from at least the early eighties. Nothing on the paperwork even gives a hint of its starting date of MFG. The instruction with this one show it was made at least until the end of the 80s but I have no idea when they first made them.
The unit came with 1 magazines that holds ten rounds, the conversion bolt, a chamber plug and the instructions along with a manual for the AR15 of the time, a SP-2 sporter ( A2 ).
This is actually one of two that I own. Since it is mint, I do not shoot this one. But, I do have a second one with spare magazines. Since it comes with just one 10 rounder, things move a little slow. Though it would be enough for what I am sure they intended at the time of its release, i.e. teaching a kid or plinking at cans, hunting small game, or like me, a broke college student who could barely afford 22LR and had 30 rounds of 5.56 at anyone time to my name.
As you can see, the second kit is more used and the two mags make shooting it move along a little better. The mags are easy to load and are about as tough as a AK mag. No joke. They are solid hard plastic with metal feed lips etc. Its like a solid block of hard plastic. You can see in the picture the size compared to a standard colt 20 round magazine.
I actually owned a third kit before these two and one of my best friends owned a kit as well. All of them work great. I have never had a problem out of them. I remember my friend had a miss feed a time or two but once was from too low powered ammo and the other from a little too much heavy lube. They work great and are very simple. The bolt is hardened steel and a file would not make a mark I would rate its hardness just below Chinese algebra.
I did recently buy one of the 30 round mags made by Black Dog Machine and had high hopes only to find out the mag is a POS and BDM would not return my emails about their garbage product. So, you won’t be seeing it in this post.
In this picture above, you can see the little metal nub at the chamber end. That is where the charging handle catches to worth the “bolt” and chamber a round or to chamber check or for whatever other reason you may need. It seems like its not enough and it probably isn’t but it is just a 22 and no one is going to be beating on it to clear a malfunction to save their life. Its also as hard as wood pecker lips and I have never seen or even heard of one breaking. As a side note, many years ago DPMS copied this kit and sold one. No surprise there.. The end tab is just what you think it is. The bolt rides on the two rails and it tracks very smoothly. You do feel the fouling of the rimfire after enough rounds but the springs and rails keep it moving great. Its easy to clean and maintain though colt does say absolutely not to take it apart. There really is not need to take it apart anyway. Its just so simple you see everything you need to clean and lube anyway. Brake parts cleaner and oil is all it really needs. I knew another guy who is one of those types who just HAS to take something apart. especially if the factory says not to. He caused a few problems to the one he had but it still worked.
The magazine does not have a bolt hold open, but its not really needed. I suppose if you are super into training with a rimfire to simulate what you do with a 556 thats a down side, but with only 10 round mags and the kit being a rare item these days, I don’t care. I am not much on using a 22 for training anyway. But that is just me. You can see the steel feed lips. The mag has the ejector on it on the rear left of the magazine. It works well and the steel is hard enough. The plastic nub in front keeps the magazine from going into the gun too far. You can see a screw on the side of the mag, but it is not for taking it apart. the mags have never failed me and as I said, they are very tough. Though 10 rounds is boring for serious dirt shooter and tin can killers.
I find it interesting the mags are marked “for M16/AR15″. I do not know if the military ever bought any to supplement the kits they used at the time, but it looks at least like colt hoped they would. Or, since people could buy a real M16 for just a few hundred more then a semi auto gun at the time, they just marked it for those who may not have known the AR15 and the M16 are the same gun. Whatever the reason, its neat.
Here is the kit beside its intended home. The gun is older then the kit by a lot, but the SP-1 and SP2 is what the kits probably saw the most use in. As far as accuracy, its not too bad in the older gun with a 1/12 twist. Its good enough to hit a rabbit or squirrel out to around 20 yards. I find with good ammo, skeet are easy to hit out to 100 yards and sometimes 200 with really good ammo and some hold over. Its not MOA by no means and its less accurate in a barrel with a 1/7 twist, but its still a rabbit killer out to 100 and a ground hog killer to 150 yards or so when you get use to your hold over. I have not shot it much beyond 150 yards in a barrel with a 1/7 twist.
Back in the late 90s and friend and I did try it in a Colt Accurized Rifle with a 24 inch SS barrel and a 1/9 twist. It was was accurate enough to hit a old stop sign out to 250 yards with a 18x scope on it adjusted for such or course, If I recall, it would have been enough to keep it on a coyote sized animal 80 percent of the time. Thats not bad considering what the thing is really meant for.
it will work with some of the hotter standard velocity ammo, but they work best with the high velocity ammo. Using proper ammo, the kits have never failed me. If you can buy one for a decent price I would go for it. I know that there are very few spare mags floating around. Colt did sell them but not many. If you do get a kit, it will be just with one mag. If you are offered the kit but no mag, I would pass. Its very, very hard to find a loan magazine for sale. I would not even bother with trying to get a BDM magazine for it without expecting to have to send it back. Some guys claim their BDM mag worked, but mine did not and since they would not even return any email I sent trying to get some help I would never recommend buying a kit with no mag and plan on using the BDM mag.