All posts by Howard

How low will they go?

$360 dollar AR15 for sale here.

Prices on guns are at an amazingly low price.  I know that gunshops I have talked to are hurting for sales.  Now is really the best time to buy if there is something you want, and a terrible time to be selling.

To paraphrase a quote, “The problem with being in a golden age is that you don’t know it is a golden age when you are in it.”  Take advantage of this time while it lasts.

Build verses buy your first AR?

 

I saw again recently someone suggesting that a first time AR15 buyer build their own AR15 so that they would be better familiar with the parts and operation.  I think a person could learn the parts and operation of a firearm just fine without building one.

By all means build a custom AR if you want too, but I highly recommend buying a good factory built AR15 for your first one.  Having built quite a few ARs myself, and seen many more built, there are all sorts of mistakes a person can make.  I’ve seen incorrectly aligned gas blocks, gas tubes, hammer springs reversed or under the trigger pin (allowing the trigger pin to walk out.  Loose barrel nuts, loose castle nuts (allowing the stock to rotate and or the buffer retainer popping out and jamming the action), and more.  The AR15 is a pretty simple weapon, but simple does not mean that you cannot mess it up.  A factory built gun will generally be assembled correctly and you will have a warranty if there are any issues.

The best thing about the AR family of weapons is the massive amount of aftermarket parts.  It can be overwhelming, and not all of it plays nice together.  With more and more companies producing parts, they are not all interchangeable.  For example, many hand guards now do not fit correctly on various billet uppers due to these aftermarket billet uppers using different dimensions then a milspec upper.

If you buy a complete rifle from a reputable manufacture, you know the parts they choose to use will work.  If you build your own, you will need to do a little research.  Sometimes trying to just buy all the best individual components will leave you with something that won’t work together.  For example, some years back a few companies were making enhanced bolt carriers.  A guy I knew purchased the LMT enhanced bolt carrier since it was supposed to be better than a standard one.  He built a SBR with it, and found it didn’t work (The LMT carrier might not have been the only issue with it, but I’m using as an example).  The LMT enhanced bolt carrier was tuned and built for a 14.5 inch barrel or longer.  This guy just saw that there was an “upgraded” part, bought it, and never realized it wouldn’t work for him.

I could go on with more examples, but if you’re going to get an AR for serious use, or if you are not very familiar with them, it is recommended you buy a factory AR15 from a reputable company.

Assorted chatter.

I’m never really sure what to say on occasions like Memorial Day.  I think SoldierSystems summed up my thoughts a little more elegantly then I could have said.

I’m happy and upset with the Razer brand.  I’ve long been a fan of Razer mice, so when I was looking for a wireless headset I ended up getting a Razer Man-o-War.  Really awesome headset.  Some time ago I broke one of the pads on it, so I contacted them and asked if I could buy a replacement pads.  They said they didn’t have spare parts, but they would be willing to take my broken headset back, give me full store credit for it, and free shipping on my next order.  I was surprised, and took them up on the offer.  Irritation finally set in when after receiving back my old headset they dragged their feet a couple of weeks before giving me that store credit.  But now all is well and I have a replacement on its way.  I thank Razer for replacing my broken headset, I just wish they would have done it faster, or better yet just sent me a replacement pad.  In the end, for about $12, I have a brand new headset on its way to me.

Gulf Coast Armory

I swung by Gulf Coast Armory to drop some stuff off for Cerakote.  When I was looking at some of the work Jeremy has recently done, this caught my eye.  A cross between the Superman logo and the Autism Society puzzle pieces.  I really love how that piece looks.

Gunner Wade on Silencers

Where the hell was this guy when I was in?

I still run into many people who believe that silencers drastically degrade accuracy and velocity.  Unfortunately this myth is still common in many popular video games, and all too many people believe that to be a fact.  A good deal of the pro gun youth only know firearm info from the games they have played.

It is true that some of the early pistol and submachine gun silencers that relied on wipes, mesh, or large internal volume to keep .22 and 9mm rounds subsonic did reduce velocity and accuracy/precision.  Modern designs don’t do that, and can actually give a small increase in velocity.  I’ve seen some rifles shoot tighter groups when shot suppressed.

GM94 Grenade Launcher

I was pointed to this youtube video about the Russian GM94 43mm grenade launcher.

Now, I don’t know Russian, so I have no clue what they are saying.  My first impression is that it looks like a handy launcher.  Our M203s and M320s are single shots, and the M32 6 shot launcher is somewhat awkward.  This seems like it would be easier to pack and deploy than the M32.  Being able to fire 3 rounds quickly would certainly be handy.

I doubt very many of us have any experience deploying thermobaric grenades, but I certainly would love too.  They are suppose to be more reliable and effective then fragmentation grenades for incapacitating or kill in their effective radius.  We have been fielding thermobaric rounds in our SMAWs, and even have one for the 40mm launchers (XM1060).

In the end, this video above is worth the watch just for its cutting edge computer graphics.

Lesser known instructors.

Article submitted by Mark Hatfield.
Update:
I want to apologize to Doc Kibbey.   In my article regarding him I wrote that he did an event using Airsoft equipment.  That is not correct.  Doc was using and demonstrating UTM Non Lethal Training Ammunition and conversions.  It was very interesting.  This equipment allows the user to easily convert their own actual firearm to one used against masked and padded training partners.  This allows a greater degree of realism in training over other methods. It seemed a little pricey to me for use by the average guy but does have benefits over that of other gear for this purpose.  It might be very good for police and military use.  After practice, the guns can be quickly return to their regular configuration.  All safety precautions apply here as with any similar mode of training.  UTM.
The last few years I have had the opportunity to attend a goodly number of firearms and related courses. Some of these I have written about, and there were many more of which I should have written about but alas I am under no requirement to do so and am getting lazier in my old age.
While studying under ‘big name’ nationally recognized instructors is great, sometimes there are others who are worth being given ‘a shot’, so to speak.  A problem currently, is that the ‘market’ is flooded with instructors and ‘wanna be’ instructors.  I witnessed one who was especially bad and what was worse was that his students were so new that they didn’t know he was bad.  For those who have not seen this short article it is elsewhere on this webpage.  Many of these ‘teachers’, new to the task, may often have been former military or law enforcement.  What they are teaching may not really be relevant to the average guy.  The class might be lots of fun, you learn new and interesting things, but they are things which may not apply to you, things which may never be useful to you.  Or the methods taught may work only with specific equipment or only if you take them to a high level of skill.  The teachers may be knowledgeable and skilled at their art but that does not automatically mean that they are good at transferring that knowledge to you.  Remember the difference between the pro athlete and the coach.  The pro might or might not make a good coach.  The coach played that sport, maybe not at a pro level, but can bring others to that level.
Today I want to mention C.R. Williams and ‘Doc’ Kibbey.
C.R., I have seen off and on for several years when attending classes by the big boys.  I have never attended any classes taught by him but have attended a ‘training group’ weekend which he organized and orchestrated.  He has written four books, the first three of which have been consolidated into one.  I have purchased these and find them to be quite similar to what I might have written.  One of the things which I respect about C.R. is that he teaches only what he knows and is confident of.  This is in contrast to some in the business. who try to determine what paying customers want, then try to learn enough about it to claim to teach it.
C.R. is located in Alabama but sometimes travels.  His business is In Shadow In Light.  (www.inshadowinlight.com)     His books are:  ‘Gunfighting, and other Thoughts about doing Violence’  (vol. 1-3 combined), and number 4, ‘Facing the Active Shooter’.  This last one is updated annually.  The books are worth buying.
Pierce Kibbey, I’ve only met recently, it was at an event given by C.R.  ‘Doc’ (a title we once both shared) organized scenarios using Airsoft equipment  For those not familiar, Airsoft guns use air powered plastic pellets so that (while wearing suitable protective gear) participants can simulate actual defensive situations against other participants.    While the situations we did were well thought, what especially impressed me was his insistence on debriefings of the participants:  ‘What did you see, What did you hear, At what point did you decide to…?, etc.  Previously, ‘Doc’ Kibbey and I spend a couple hours one evening comparing our military experiences and discussing how we got to where we are.
Kibbey has a business called PRACTICs, which is located in central Florida (www.practicsinc.com).  He offers more than just another ‘how to shoot the gun’ training.  Simply participating in scenarios organized by Doc Kibbey was enough to show me that he is not simply a teacher but a teacher who thinks, there is a difference.
C.R. in Alabama, Doc in Florida, both are worth looking into and more than just a little consideration.

RPRs, Cerakote, and Podcasts

 

IGroup from RPG

I think the Ruger Precision Rifle will be a keeper.  I think this is good start.

Burnt Bronze Cerakote PredatAR

Had my friend Jeremy Paynter over at Gulf Coast Armory Cerakote my PredatAR upper burnt bronze to match my FDE anodized Colt lower.  I took a few pictures but they didn’t really turn out well and do the job justice.  Once I get a better picture I’ll post up a hi-res one.

Also Shawn and I recorded the first episode of the Loose Rounds podcast.  Once I figure out how we are going to handle hosting and the like, I’ll have it up so you all can listen to us mangle the English language.  If you have any questions you would like us to discuss in the future, reply to this post or put them on our Facebook page.