Where are they now? -Updated

I’ve been seeing various commentary about how the rights for the AA-12 are going up for sale and it got me thinking about some of the other fad weapons.

AA12

How many sane people thought that the AA12 would ever be considered practical for anything?  Awesomely fun, certainly, but not useful.

I remember seeing people online say how the Barrett M468 would replace the M4.

M468

Most of us figured that was unlikely because the logistical issues of changing calibers for the military.  I never liked the M468 because the ARMS SIRS railed hand guard on it is large, heavy, and obsolete before the M468 came out.  Now it looks like the M468 is discontinued and dead.  It successor the Barrett REC7 switched to a piston design, and is still around but not that common.

What about the Masada?

Masada

I remember when the Masada was announced, and I will admit that I bought into the hype.  It was something interesting and new.  It was amazing to see how much of that interest and popularity faded when Bushmaster got the rights to it.  That certainly says something about what people think about Bushmaster.

The Masada, now called ACR, is still around and purchasable, but you don’t see much fan fare for it.

I’d talk about the XCR rifle but I don’t really know much about it.  The few people I have talked to that owned one loved theirs, but I’d be weary because of how quickly Robinson Arms dropped support for their previous firearm, the M96.  Looking online, it looks like the XCR is still around, but who is buying them?

In the race to replace the M4, two of the big winners have been the HK416 and the FN SCAR.  Both of those appear to have gotten a good fan following and commercial success.

What other modern guns do you know of that didn’t quite make it?

UPDATES:

Some of the commentators tell us that the XCR is going strong in Canada.  All anti-gun laws stem from thought processes far from logical, and the Canadian laws are no different.  Glad to hear that our northern neighbors have options.

KyleNo4mk2 brings up the FN2000.  As far as I know it is still being made.  Now too its credit, it did get a more than a couple military contracts.  Bullpups are sort of a unpopular nitch in the U.S., but the Tavor, FN2000, and AUG seem to be the main contenders for bullpups here.

Franco mentions the XM8.  I avoided it since it was such a failure to start, never even commercially available.  That is a pretty big failure.  I did get to handle one and I liked the charging handle on it.  I am really glad it went nowhere since had it been adopted we might have never seen quad rails take off as it originally had its own funky accessory mounting system.

MR556/HK416 HKParts.net 10.4in barrel conversion kit

HKParts 10.4 barrel

A little while back I came into a couple of cheap MR556 uppers where the barrels had been trashed.  I expected getting a replacement HK barrel wouldn’t be too bad.  That was a mistake.

As I went to shop around for barrels, I found Brownells listed them.  Right now I am unable to find it on their website, but it had a list price of about $800 and was constantly out of stock.

I wasn’t too happy with that price, and even so, couldn’t even get one since Brownells was out of stock.  HK did not respond to my attempts to purchase a barrel from them.

Then I found HKParts.net 10.4 inch aftermarket barrel.  Still very expensive at $589.95 and $49.99 S&H, it is a little cheaper than the unavailable stock MR556 barrel.

Much to my dismay, I found my barrel kit came in pre-rusted for me.  My pictures don’t show it well, but there was rust on the flash hider, crush washer, barrel, gas block, gas block roll pins, and barrel extension.

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Not very impressive for the most expensive barrel I own.  On the plus side, the barrel nut and barrel wrench weren’t rusted.  That counts for something, right?

Anyways, the installation went easily.

Now here is the part I don’t really feel like admitting.

Over two range sessions, using 3 different types of ammo, and 3 different optics, I was only getting 4 inch groups at 25 yards.  I was really not happy.

Well turned out it was user error.  See the HK hand guard has a tang to fit into a notch in the upper receiver.  Since I had just installed this barrel, I had left the hand guard loose so I could quickly remove it.  On each of the 3 optics I used (Aimpoint M4, NF2.5-10X, MK6 3-18), I had the mount run over this tang, and pressure on the hand guards was putting pressure on my scope mounts, throwing off the groups.

Once I finally realized what I had done, I moved the optics back a notch and finally had dime sized groups at 25 yards.  I haven’t any real accuracy testing past that, but it is more reasonable than a 4 inch group.

Ultimately cost can become a major issue with anything HK.  The cost and availability of replacement parts is ridiculous.

20 Years With a Model 590 Mossberg

The Mossberg 590 shotgun has been around a long time and needs no introduction by me.  That is for the best, since this article is not really a historic recounting of the weapon but more of a look back at a shotgun that I and a dear friend have a 20 year history with.

The 590 pictured above was purchased 20 years ago, almost to the day.  My friend bought it during the summer of our sophomore year in college.  For some reason the look of the gun really appealed to us both. Much like today, guns like this really  worried liberals of the time,  thinking things like bayonet lugs endangered western civilization, it was a real plus to have a shotgun that didn’t look like the Clinton approved  “duck gun” fudds would use.

We used this thing hard, I mean really hard. We treated it about as rough as you could treat one without destructive testing.  It took a trip into a swift moving river that filled it with sand and silt.  It fired slugs and buck and the “Dragon’s Breathe” novelty rounds that could be bought at the time.   It was even used as a crutch on a muddy mountain side one day, after I fell and hurt my leg.   It has a lot of memories.   That something like this could have such good memories and sentimental attachment is something no liberal , gun banner could ever understand.

Things have changed for all of us in the last 20 years.  My friend and I have moved on to more flashy shotguns like the Bennelli M4 and the Saiga, as well as an assortment of 870s and more than a few retro M1897 Winchesters.    But now that we have hit the 20 year mark, we decided to drag it out and take a serious look at something we never gave much serious thought to at the time.

We got the old 590 out for a day of shooting and testing to see what it had in it.  We fired it with slugs,  00 Buck and some regular hunting loads just for fun.  You can see the results of  the loads intended for a shotgun like this below.

Pictured above is a group of slugs fired at the target from about 60 yards.  The bright orange square being te aiming point.  The gun was fired from a rest using the factory bead front sight.  The ammo was federal police slugs.   Noteworthy is the 3 shot group clustered very tightly together at the far left.   Not bad for a smooth bore!

A close up look  shows just how tight those 3 shots grouped.  The shot to the far right was a (called) flyer. With a red dot or some more precises method of aiming and zeroing, the combo of this slug and the gun would easily make a head shot on an adult male.

The above picture shows the pattern of three rounds of OO Buck at 25 yards.  The gun, the ammo or the shooter seem to shoot a bit high and to the left.  I don’t have answer for you  otherwise because I had no desire to pound myself with buck and slugs. I have always found the recoil of that 590 less than pleasant so I could not think of a compelling reason to punish myself with it again.

Above is another three rounds of buck fired at 15 yards.  All pellets easily printed inside the red.  The red sticker was used as it was very close to the chest that covered all vital organs.  At this range, few things on this earth could have survived.

Last is three rounds of the buck at 7 yards.  No surprises here. The close pattern of the buck would be almost the same as three slugs. The pellets did spread enough to make wounds bigger than a solid slug though and without a doubt would cause massive destruction at such close range.

I went on to shoot the normal hunting loadings of 6, 4 and 9 1/2 shot and worked over the old car left on the range and various skeet.   The gun has always functioned well. It  has proven that over the  years for  various LE and Government agencies in shootout all over the globe.  The Mossberg 500 action is a more simple version of the excellent Remington Model 31  action, a shotgun I have the highest regard for and has spawned other well loved shotguns like the Ithaca M37.

The shotgun itself is the classic 590 from the time period. As you can see in the pictures our use and time have been rough on it, but other than cosmetics, it has had no effect. It does have the evil bayonet lug that has scared so many over the years. Sorry to say neither of us remembered to bring a M7 bayonet to mount on it for pictures.    My friend, the owner, did have a side sling swivel mounted as he is an evil lefty and needed it.

The brand and type that side sling swivel has been lost to time and memory but it works fine  and has stood up to the same abuses the gun has.

 

This M590 has been in our lives a long time. I can’t even begin to tell you all the things this gun as seen and been subjected to. It has been sidelined into my friend’s safe for a long time now but there was some talk on testing day of maybe a rail mounted to the receiver for mounting of an RMR.  Maybe in the future it will have been updated with more modern sighting and some other little upgrades.  But probably not.  Likely it will go on being our whipping boy.     It is a classic though and we always have a spot for it in our hearts.

 

 

 

 

 

Quick Easy Link To Write Your Reps

No need for me to  tell everyone what you already know.   Once again it is time to put in maximum effort to remind elected officials that we will not bend on the 2nd amendment.

Below is a link to the NRA page that  makes it easy for you to send a letter to all of your various representatives.  Just fill out your name and address and it will automatically set it up for you. All you have to do it write what is on your mind.

 

If you are not a NRA member. it’s OK.  It will still work fine. Though you need to take care of that non-member status.

 

DO IT.

 

http://nraila-letter.org/default.aspx