This is a LooseRounds.com Q&A session. If you have a firearms related question please email it to QA@LooseRounds.com. We will post the your questions anonymously and give you our answers.
1. What is the most accurate and lethal round in 5.56mm at 200 yards and under?
Shawn: According to Dr. Roberts that would be the 55gr Triple Shock X loaded by Black Hills.
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3. Is the forward assist on the ar15 worth having?
Howard: Most of the time, it is not of much use. However it can be handy for closing the action quietly when hunting, or forcing a round close in an emergency situation. Under normal use, you should never need it. However there is the occasional time is it well worth its weight.
Shawn: It is definitely worth it being on the gun. It is never a good idea to force a round into the chamber that doesn’t want to go under its own power, it is always better to eject a round. It is handy for silent brass checks at night or if you have a weak spring. I have never heard of it causing a problem in a properly built mil-spec gun.
Duncan- While the forward assist it not something that is going to be used often, I have always subscribed to the theory that, I would rather have something and not need it, than not have it and need it. I have never found myself in a situation where using the forward assist was really needed. For military applications I’m sure there are countless situation where it has been needed. Remember if you are plinker on the weekend, sure there is not need. If you are a Military in harm’s way it is probably something you would not want to be without. As for LE, anytime your rifle has a malfunction, it is an immediate transition to you sidearm and fix it later when you have time and cover.
4. Have you had any issues with the 10.5 SBR.
Howard: Having owned a few AR15 Short Barreled Rifle (SBR) uppers and worked with some more, I can say with confidence that a quality 10/10.3/10.5 inch barrel can run reliability and accurately. Now you can even get sub-10 inch barreled rifles that will run great. For 5.56, I would not recommend less then a 10 inch barrel due to the muzzle velocity, flash and blast, and how hard they are on suppressors. I have found that the standard gas SBR AR15s tend to run better as SBRs then the pistons, especially when suppressed. Many of the the piston guns tend to need to be adjusted to run suppressed and can be louder then a DI gun due to gas venting ports. I personally owned a LMT 10.5 inch upper that while it ran well, it has a 10MOA point of impact shift when suppressed. Since then, most of my SBR uppers have been cut down barrels worked on by ADCO Firearms to eliminate issues like this. Daniel Defense makes some very handy 10.3 inch barrels, but Shawn and I have found the Daniel Defense hammer forged barrels to not be as accurate as we would like.
To sum it up, SBRs run great if you buy a good one.
5. Is there any accelerated wear from shooting steel cased ammo?
Howard: Steel cased ammo can wear extractors faster in guns like the AR15 and 1911. However by the time you wear one out, you would have saved more then enough money to replace it. While I would not recommend steel cased ammo in a match barrel, if you use military type rifles and clean them properly, steel cased ammo will give you no issues.
6.Question: What should I be looking at for an emergency backup firearm in my patrol car.
Duncan– There are several things to think about when looking at backups in your vehicle. Training is key no matter what you choose. Remember; Train like you fight, Fight like you train. An ankle holster with a back up is always a good option, a reliable lite-weight snub nose was always my favorite on my person. For your vehicle, I preferred a full or mid size duty pistol that carried my same duty load. Mounted to your dash or next to your console, where you can quickly access it, in-case of an ambush or driver exiting quickly before you get your seatbelt off. With a full duty load you can return effective fire and bunch through your windshield if needed. I can’t stress training with them in your vehicle as much as possible, so it become second nature. I would do both if you can.
We asked Catherine Kim to answer a few questions we have received from email and facebook.
Q: My wife wants a pistol to carry, what handgun do you think would be a good choice for her? Caliber and type of handgun?
Catherine: Take her to the range and rent/test various guns. Help her find something that is light to carry, comfortable to shoot, reliable, yet still has the stopping power necessary in a defensive situation. That’s what brought me to decide on the Sig P226, but there are many good new female friendly guns. The Glock 19 is very simple to use and reliable, the Smith and Wesson M&P pistols come with 3 different sized backstraps for perfect hand fit, the S&W Airweight is a super light revolver, Ruger, Kel Tec and Kahr all make sub compact carry models, etc. Nothing beats actually shooting the gun before buying it.
Q: What kind of chest rig or LBE for a women?
Catherine: The style will depend on your body build. Try visiting the Women’s Tactical Association at http://womenstactical.ning.com/ and ask around. Eagle and LBT(Londong bridge trading) make various sized plate carriers and chest rigs
Q: Who makes body armor for women?
Catherine: Savvy manufactures women’s body armor- http://www.savvyarmor.com/.
Q: Holster for CCW for woman?
Catherine: Well first decide if you want OWB(outer wasitband) or IWB(inside waistand). Kydex seems to be the popular choice these days(Raven, Bravo, Shadow Concealment). For IWB I dont think you can beat Crossbreed Holsters.
Q: Molle back pack for women?
Catherine: Yes, there are many companies that manufacture molle packs that fit women. Personally, I use Eberlestock for backpacking and hunting. I like the durability, frame, and the fitment. If you are going to spend the money for high quality packs, I recommend visiting a local gun or hunting store and trying it on. For my bug out bag, I have an inexpensive Molle pack I bought at the local Gun Show. There are many vendors that sell cheaper brands that are still comfortable. Once again, make sure you try it on. Look into Eberlestock, Granite gear, Mystery Ranch, and 5.11 tactical