Question and Answer

This is a Q&A session.  If you have a firearms related question please email it to We will post the your questions anonymously and give you our answers.

We get a lot of smaller  questions sent to us weekly.  So today I am going to rapid fire answer a few of the easiest to get  the info out to those who want it.

What caliber of ammo was used in the m40 in viet nam?    7.62 NATO  M118 special ball

5.56 green tip vs car door?  Yes, M855 will go through a car door

What ammo for 1:7 twist?   Any ammo is fine for 1/7  despite what you may hear or read otherwise, 1/7 will shoot as low as 40 grain all the way to 90 grain

winchester unertl scope? Winchester did not make Unertl scopes, Unertl is the maker not the model. Winchester did sell scopes but they have another name and were used some in WW1 and 2

Does a colt le6920 have a firing pin spring? No,  the colt 6920 is the closest you can get to a military M4 and is milspec other then  the barrel length and full auto. The 901 does use a firing pin spring.

colt 901 dry or lube?  Lube. all guns need and work better with lube. Always.

does colt rail gun come with night sights? No, the USMC  rail gun does, not the current civilian model. The USMC model will be sold in 2013


How are Super Sniper scope?  SWFA SS scopes are generally considered good for the money.  Their HD line receive excellent reviews.  I owned a side focus 10x and thought it was very good for a cheap scope.  I also owned a 5-20 and thought highly of it.  However SWFA has been criticized for how they have been handling some sales and preorders.

how to modify 25 ammo for better performance?  We highly recommend against modifying factory loaded ammunition for self defense.  Modified ammo can have various issues from poor feeding to blowing out the center of the projectile when fired, and leaving a ring shaped section of the bullet in the neck of the barrel.  As for .25 ACP, often a round that has good penetration is recommended for self defense.  A large part of ammo selection for the .25 is finding what will work reliable in your firearm.  The various 50gr full metal jacket rounds from the major ammunition manufactures are what is often recommended.


A Boy and His AR15 ( My 6940 )

I often post pictures of my Colt 6940  on gun boards or the looserounds facebook page and people ask me about it. They want to know how it shoots what I have on it and why I use what I use. SO , I decided to talk a little about my gun and why it is the way it is.  It is not perfect or anything special but after years of changing and always evolving my shooting style and methods and most importantly my mindeset, I have settled on it the way it is for now.

As can be seen above, there is a varied combination of parts on my carbine. None of them are added just to make it cool and none of the things I added make the gun less functional.  As I have said many times before, I do Not believe in the idiotic KISS theory. By that I mean I do not think adding a light or an optic is adding “useless tacticool crap”.  Of course some people can and do take it too far, but using things on your gun to give you more capability and a edge over the bad guy is common sense.  Somethings are gimmicks and a waste of money that should have been spent on ammo. But optics, lights and slings are never ever a waste of money( unless its crap cheap products). You do need to think carefully about what to add and if you know how to use it. If not, you can learn. But you would do well to make sure you understand it. Even something as simple as a weapon light could do more harm to you then good if you do not know how to use it during a fight. That may seem to not make sense, but you can blind yourself if care is not taken or draw fire towards you and give away your position. SO yeah, fighting with a light is not just as simple as turning it on and shooting.

To start with, I use the magpul CTR stock. This is one of the few magpul products I liek and is worth having. For the most part I do not like or have much use for a lot of Magpuls stuff.  They make some great stuff, but they also make a lot of gimmicks. I like the CTR because it locks, has multiple ways to mount my sling, it is light, thin and comfortable.  big plus is the latch is not easy to hit and let the stock collapse if I have to use it rested on something. The rubber but plate is nice, not to help with recoil but to keep it from sliding off my plate carrier or other nylon gear.

Next is the charging handle and BUIS.  I like the Knights armament 600 meter sight.  I usually use the standard , but I switched to the micro so the mount for a PVS-14 would clear it. The KAC is my 1st choice always. I have used a lot of different models but I will always recommend the KAC.  The charging handle is the BravoCompany  Gunfighter CH.  I use the medium. The large snags everything on my gear and really digs into the body and the small is not much different from the standard latch.  I find the Medium to be the best of both worlds. It is truly more then just an extended handle. It is very tough and the re design was well done, well thought out and bullet proof. Enough has been said about the quality of the gunfighter already and I am sure it is nothing new to anyone.  I do not use a PRI gas buster cause I ain’t got a can and the Badger breaks. Pure and simple. The badger breaks.

Next is the grip. I love the tango down battle grip. I have small fingers and the ergonomics of the TD grip just work for me. I do not like the MIAD, or the cheap MOE.  The angle of the new Larue and the Bravo company grips do not do it for me. I feel the TD give me a better position to work the trigger for proper trigger control and it will store two batteries int he bottom.  I  use a Knights ( KAC ) ambi safety. I use this because I bought it before Colt started selling their ambi safety but, I feel no need to switch and have utmost confidence in the KAC product anyway. I use the cut away insert for the right side. I found that a full length safety would often drag on my gloves as I went to fire when indexing my trigger finger along the gun. The cut away solved this nicely and is still easily hit with the thumb.

On the left of the gun you can see I have added a BAD lever , a Norgon ambi  mag release and a KAC  QD socket.  The BAD lever makes reloading very fast. It does not always work with every AR15 on the market ( read cheap ) but it makes thing very fast and give me the ambi feature I feel is important on a fighting gun. I do however , feel there is a whole lot of room for improvemt with this type of add on.  The one reason I truly appreciate it is that I can lock the bolt back without taking my firing hand off the grip. If you have to clear malfunctions, the BAD lever really shows its worth. Downside is that you can become dependent on it like a crutch. You can find yourself trying to hit it on a gun that does not have it during a reload and that can slow you down a second or two. That may be enough to slow you forever. So keep that in mind and train with and without it if you have one.

The Norgon mag release. Nuff said. The ambi feature I love so much and deem valuable for a fighting gun.

The KAC QD socket is there because for right now, the 6940 does not have rear QD sling points.  I and a lot of others feel this is the best place to mount a two point sling on the rail. Personal choice, but it gives you more room with the sling. Since the 6940 has one in front, I can move the sling position to the rear or front depending on my needs. And with QD sling swivels it is easily done in no time at all.

Inside is the geissele ssa trigger. Now I will almost always tell you to use the milspec trigger and for good reason. It is hard to beat for toughness durability and reliability. The gun was meant to work with the standard trigger in it. And You can shoot it with all the precision needed. The AR15 is not  benchrest rifle nor is it a sniper rifle. If you are a competent shooter, you can shoot just as well with stock trigger as any other as long as it is safe and functioning correctly. It is not a hunting rifle. Think of the “match trigger ” in your fighting carbine the same as you would as having a light match trigger in your CCWD side arm. Now, if you are an experienced shooter, with a lot of years behind a gun with proper trigger control that can shoot a standard trigger to your full potential. Then by all means try out a SSA or something like it.  Stay away from the Rock River Arms triggers. To be blunt, they are crap. They are fine for the bench rest range shooters who fire 200 rounds a year. But time and time again, high round count carbine classes have shown that the RRA trigger will fail you. It is just not rugged. If you have one that works, great, but its a matter of time before it stops feeling so sweet and starts feeling like mush. If its a target or varmint rifle, that fine. But do not put it on a duty rifle or fighting rifle. It may cost you dearly one day.

My optics of choice are the Aimpoint T-1 and ACOGS, I mainoly use the T-1 because it is just the best all around work horse sight. I do not even know why aimpoint makes RDS that are not T-1s or something like them. No need for much more!! It is small, light, so tough Larry Vickers dropped it out of a chooper twice and it faired better then the gun it was on, and shot it, ran it over, sunk it, and dragged it on a gravel road for miles.  You can see the video on line. Funny thing was it was suppose to be a Daniel Defense add. I think it sold more T-1s then rifles. Those of us who used the T-1 before the video, knew how great it was before the test.  Batteries last almost long enough for you to collect a social security check and it has NVG settings and of course Larue makes his excellent QD mounts for it. A must have to any optic.  I use the KAC over sized adjustment nob that holds and extra battery inside. Not that it will likely ever be use, but you never know, the battery may be bad.

A neat side bonus is the Larue mount has room inside for a couple more batteries, some blow or anything else you may want to hide.

Up front I use the SureFire scout light with Vampire head. The head lets me switch from white light to IR light for the PVS-14  I can mount on the carbine or use helmet mounted.  To activate it I use the Surefire dual SR07 switch. It is a pressure switch and a on/off button switch combined. It snaps over the rail and is so useful I do not know how I ever lived without it.  The PVS-14 is seen below the light using the rifle picatinny mount.

The PVS14 mounted on the carbine. You can see how snugly the KAC micro BUIS fits under the mount nicely. The T-1 has several night vision setting and makes shooting at night as easy as invading france.  Hits out to as far as 100 yards can be made very easily on a night with moon out and stars. On a dark night the Vampire head makes easy work of hitting targets at night.  The IR flashlight can not bee seen with the naked eye so you need NV. But if the bad guy has NV, you stick out like a turd in vanilla ice cream, so you got to be careful how you use it. Just like a white light.  KNOW YOU EQUIPMENT AND WHEN TO USE IT PROPERLY!!.   Together they are a very effective force multiplier that will allow you to dominate a night fight.

My rail covers  are simply Larue tactical index clips. You can use as many or as little as you like and customize them around accessories. They even have clips the will help you route wires around the gun and secure them tightly.  They are slimmer than panels and weigh slightly less. Weight can be a factor even with panels in certain environments and times. It is not a big deal for me, but I always make a effort to save a few ounces  if I can, even if its not a top priority.

After years of suffering 3 point and single point sling fiascoes, I settled on the one sling that made me forsake all others. The Blue Force Gear Vickers Combat Applications SLing. ( VCAS).  It is everything I ever wanted in a sling. I hate 3 points and I hate having single points hit me in the nuts.  The VCAS is tough, comfortable and easy to adjust in a hurry.  I add QD sling swivels so I can take it on and off in a hurry or move the sling to the front, rear or to the other side if need be. I like it. it would take something awfully special to make me stop using it and switch.

Now this is not my only AR by far, but is  the one I reach for first and the one I will depend on for everything.  I have no need for a middy, and I am sold on monolithic upper. I have not seen a more accurate factory  rack grade fighting rifle. The Colt Chromed lined 4150 1/7 barrel is always my choice.  After close to 10 million AR15s  on one side of that number or the other, I feel they know how to make a AR15. With that in mind, colt has never failed me and got my Dad home from Vietnam.  I find the 16 inch barrel to feel my needs and I do not need a rifle shorter.  Plus if used in home defense inside, I do not want to blow out my ears with a 10.5 inch barrel. Nor do I want to explain why I used a NFA rifle or risk losing it forever to some police locker.

For magazines, I use about any quality mag, USGI, Pmags and lately the new Lancer mags, the advanced warfighter mags.  I found the HK mags to be pure hype with not real performance gain to justify the price.  Just like every other HK product I have tried  I do like the surefire 60 round mags. The two sent to me have held up well despite all my abuse and have not failed me. They have limited uses, in some cases but I think they are worth having. I would suggest buying at least one before the election, no matter how it will turn out.If things go wrong, you may never get one for the current price again.

SO that is my carbine, It is not set in stone, but what you see is pretty much how it stays. Optics will be swapped for certain roles and some times it will have a small bipod or VFG. but the items on it in the pictures are the serious fighting upgrades that always stay  on it unless a much better and proven part comes along to replace it. They may do the same but be tougher or  better ergo wise. But the purpose they fill would be the same.

Steps of the Draw for Personal Defense.

When it comes to drawing your firearm for defensive shooting, there are a lot of techniques being taught.  Some people want no steps, while others want long complicated steps in presenting the firearm.  I have always been middle of the road when it comes to the steps of the draw. The main goal in the draw should be using the most efficient movement to get the firearm into the fight.  I have always used a six (6) step method to teaching the draw. The benefit of using these key steps is consistency in the draw for Duty Carry or Concealed Carry.

1.) Grip

2.) Clear

3.) Lock

4.) Grab

5.) Punch

6.) Trigger Press

In each step there are several things going on that you need to incorporate.  It is important to remember, depending on the encounter, you may not complete all six (6) steps. Most deadly force encounters (shootings) happen in low light, at extremely close distances, from three (3) to seven (7) feet. Incorporating these steps in the draw will address close range as well as longer range engagements. I will discuss the importance of each step.

The Draw:

Grip – This first step is critical as it sets the entire tone of the engagement.  The outcome could be won or lost right here.  Several things are going on at the same time: Support hand is clearing clothing and comes to the center of the chest (Grab position). Gun hand breaks holster retention and acquires a positive, high in the web of hand grip, with trigger finger indexed along the side. Movement should also start happening at the same time, (i.e. stepping off line or back).

Clear – Keeping the support hand on your chest, clear the firearm from all gear and clothing. This is the time that you will be taking the safety off of a firearm that has a safety (i.e. 1911, HK USP, Berretta). Continue your movement off line.

Lock – Bring the firearm up presenting the firearm towards the threat. This is a close quarters encounter shooting position (arms length). It is important to keep your support hand on your chest incase you have to fire.  This will help you avoid putting rounds through your own hand.  If you are not shooting from this position quickly transition to Grab.

Grab – Push the firearm forward and towards the center of your body. At the same time come underneath the trigger guard with the support hand and acquire a high ready two handed grip. The firearm should be high enough that your peripheral vision should start to pick up the front sight. Having the firearm in this position of the draw is critical to set you up for the next step.

Punch/Sights – From the Grab position push the firearm towards the threat while acquiring your sights. This should be a straight forward motion like a punch. Pushing the firearm straight out will avoid fishing or bowling of the firearm and sights. This straight motion from the Grab will help you pick up the sights faster. At this point your movement (stepping off line) should be ending, as you are preparing to fire.

Trigger Press – Once you have your sights on target, move your trigger finger from indexing to the trigger. All of the steps mean nothing if you mash the trigger and don’t get the rounds to hit. Use good trigger fundamentals and press.

These steps are a guide to help you in your training. All of the steps should be used in one fluid motion when presenting the firearm from the holster. The only time you should think about the steps is when you are going to shoot from one of the Lock, Grab or during the Punch steps.  Mix it up during your training. I had a fellow officer who would regularly train firing from the Lock position through the Punch, while moving off line, from close quarters.

Close Quarters Encounter:

Lock – If you have to fire from this position, slightly cant the firearm away from your body, rock back a little to make sure your rounds are contacting center mass. Canting the firearms slightly will ensure the slide cycles properly, especially if multipule rounds are needed.


I feel, in the civilian Concealed Carry field, not enough attention is focused on close quarters encounters. Remembering the important steps in the draw, Lock, Grip and Punch are important fundamentals.  You are more likely to be stabbed than in a gun fight and that means close range. The steps will help you identify shooting skills you may need in protection of your family at home. In your house you will more than likely be at very close range to a suspect. Use the high ready Grab to move in your house or pull it back to Lock if you have to push someone away and then shoot.


Bore obstruction and web raffles.


A couple of weeks back one of shooters at our range left a .30 cal brass rod in the bore of their rifle and fired.  Later the rod was found near the 100 yard line.


When the shooter fired his rifle, the increased recoil caused his rifle scope to hit him and cut him.  The rod ended up shorter by 6 inches.  .30 cal at one end and .338 on the other.  The silver you see on the rod is some of the rifling that was stripped out of the bore of the rifle.

As always, it is a good idea not to fire your firearms with any bore obstructions.


I see a great many cheap optic break at the range, or brought to the range broken.  In trying to help someone take off a seized cap on a Tasco scope, the whole turret came off.  Nikon scopes have great glass, but I have also seen several of them fail on the range during zeroing.  The cheap holosights(also popularized by many current video games) is one of the worst.  Not only do they break easily, people have issue trying to zero them, or even getting them bright enough to work in the Florida sun.  If your going to buy a cheap optic for plinking, I would recommend looking at the BSA as they tend to work, or Primary Arms.  However I would not recommend either of those a fighting firearm.


From around the web:

The Michael Gingher Foundation is having a drawing for a Springfield M1A Loaded Model.  Money is going to help students perusing gunsmithing education.

Team Ranstad is having another large raffle, info can be found here.

I have purchased tickets for both of these.

Weird Sh-t Happens

Article submitted by Mark Hatfield.


Weird Sh-t Happens
Flashlight on Fire
Last week, while serving as a Range Safety Officer at an outdoor range, I heard someone yell ‘Fire’ and it clearly had nothing to do with shooting.  I was nearby and saw a flashlight which was mounted on a rifle, the flashlight was on fire.  The flames were 3-4 inches high.  I’m told initially the flames wee 1 1/2 to 2 feet high.  It quickly went out but if by itself or our efforts is not clear.   The plastic case of the light was damaged and did not burn significantly before it was over.  The end cap had come off, one of the batteries was blackened, the other was not.  A couple minutes later, as the owner attempted to remove the batteries, it flared up again with a mini-explosion which burned his arm.  He thought that his face had flame or chemical burns but luckily only his eyebrows and hair were singed.  He was thankful to still be wearing his eye protection.
The event appeared to have been caused by defective batteries.  The owner was thankful that it had not occurred while the gun was at home in his safe, or worse, while in the trunk of his car on the ride home.
The batteries had come with the light when purchased.  I do not have the identity of either.  I have read of spontaneous fires from bad cell phone batteries and some other batteries.  I experienced a spontaneous fire many years ago due to dry chemicals from a high school science lab trash can mixing with other materials when dumped into a second trash can.
Perhaps this fire could have been avoided by using better quality batteries.  I doubt the makers of the light would have included these if they knew of a potential problem, or would they?  Could they both have been from the same manufacturer?  Some foreign manufacturers have very low standards.  The light did not appear to be one of the better quality brands.  Perhaps it’s better to spend a little more money for better quality when purchasing your gear.
What if instead of being mounted on a rifle, this light had been in his pocket?  Or your pocket, or hand?
Howard:  It is a known issue that cheap or Chinese lithium batteries can explode.  This is one of the good reasons why you should buy quality batteries.  While I was in the service, I had to guard a building which had caught fire due to improper storage of lithium radio batteries.  So I was tasked with standing near the fire and telling other people not to stand near the fire, everything tasted funny for a couple of weeks afterwards.  Buy good batteries, store & dispose of them properly and you will avoid this issue.