All posts by Howard

Range Report: S&W M&P15 QC

The S&W M&P15 has become very popular due to its low cost and availability.  My personal experience with owning one was that my M&P15R had an incorrectly cut upper that would not hold the ejection port door closed, the stock was not installed correctly and was crooked, and the fire control group was defective and would double.  S&W replaced the lower on my rifle, and I did not bother to have them work on the upper.

Often at the range I have seen people have minor issues with M&P15s.  The new low cost model (around $700) came with a near useless rear sight.  This cheap copy of the detachable carry handle often would not index correctly.  Last Sunday, I saw this issue.  This new, out of the box, M&P15 came with a broken bolt catch.  While I have no doubt that S&W will fix this, I have been less then impressed by S&W quality control on their rifles.

ARMS 41

The ARMS 41 is a clamp on flip up sight for the AR15.  It is available with and without a bayonet lug.

Installation is easy.  ARMS also includes a spacer in case you are not using a standard handguard.  When up, the 41 has the same profile as an standard fixed front sight base.  To fold it down, you push down on the angled support next to the front sight post.  It uses standard AR15/M16 front sight posts, so you can insert a match or night sight.

The finish is a light grey.  While I have read reports online of people having the finish wear off quickly, I had no such issues with mine.  While there are reasons why ARMS is not popular, the ARMS 41 is a solid product.

Range Report

A Keltec PMR-30 with somewhere between 5000-7000 rounds through it with out cleaning was found to have a broken slide retaining pin.  The owner found the headed side of the pin walking out when firing.  The other half of the pin remained captive and the pistol functioned perfectly otherwise.  I would write this up as a fluke, just a bad pin.  I am going to follow up with the owner and see how Keltec treats him and handles this broken part.

While you might not need to clean your firearms, you should at least be checking any serious use firearm regularly for abnormal wear, cracks, and damage.

One shooter had the new XS offset sights.  I found them to be far too low and unusable for me.  The owner of them initially indicated his displeasure of how long he had to wait to get them, and then at their layout.  Later in the day he stated that by using a modified sight picture, he was able to use them to his satisfaction.  Despite his change of heart, I feel that they are way to low, unusable, and I recommend against them.

I find the Thorntail offset Scout light mount to be ideal.  I highly recommend this product and will be buying another for my self.

Q&A

Shawn and I are starting a Q&A section to LooseRounds.com.  Do you have a firearms related question, if so send it to QA@LooseRounds.com.  Once a week Shawn and I will put up a post listing questions, and giving the answers.  We will not post who asked the question, so you will remain anonymous.

However, We will not answer every question.  Please do not ask us to identify and/or appraise your firearms.

Comment from Catherine Kim

Catherine Kim submitted this:

Growing up in a beach city in Southern California, firearms were not a common household item. In school I was taught the NRA was “bad.” I had not seen or touched a gun until my mid-twenties. Because of the media, I associated guns with violence. Why do we need guns? Won’t the police protect me? Aren’t guns for criminals? In an idealistic world of course I want to believe there are no needs for weapons, but as my family members and I were put through dangerous situations I became realistic. I have to be my own protector.

We reach an age where we want to try different things and venture out. I’m a strong believer you can’t be judgmental unless you truly try to understand from both sides of the view. So after celebrating New Years in Las Vegas, I decided to go to the gun range. My first firearm was a M249 SAW… a machine gun. My heart was pumping with anxiety. I had never heard a gunshot before. It was loud and the room was cold. Will I do this right? Will I hurt others or myself? I quickly learned it wasn’t that bad at all. Actually it was exhilarating and fun. From that moment the inner firearm fanatic grew. I’ve learned there’s a whole other world to shooting whether for target practice or hunting. It’s not just for the “bad” people. It’s opened an exciting realm full of adventure.

Today, I have several firearms and although I have expanded my knowledge, I am still constantly learning something new. I love shooting guns and my bow. Sometimes you just need to conquer your fears and then you will realize that it’s not bad at all. You only fear what you don’t know. I encourage my friends (especially females) to try it. Go to the range with someone that is knowledgeable and have a good time. I think what most people will realize is it’s a lot of fun and with the proper training you can make it into a hobby you truly love. Now, I am the protector of my house and a proud member of NRA.

 

Dead batteries, LaRue, and M4 zeroing.

I went on a trip to Michigan recently.  During this trip I ended up using my hand held light for 40 minutes one night.  It still boggles my mind that some people feel it is not necessary to carry a flash light, however that is beside the point.  This use drained the battery in my light, so in the morning I went to replace the battery.  Turns out both Panasonic brand batteries I bought with me as backups were dead.

So from now on I am going to check my spare batteries before I pack them.

LaRue has announced an upcoming price increase.  At the 1st of next month prices will jump 7.5 to 12.5%.  While I understand that prices will change, and that change is normally upwards, it saddens me to hear of this.  I already know to many people who have bought far inferior gear just to save a few dollars.  I hope that this increase in price won’t discourage new buyers from buying LaRue products.  If you were planning a purchase from LaRue, might as well try and get it in before the price increase.

Yards vs. Meters.  Turns out there really is a difference.  In the USMC we often used the two terms interchangeably.  However yards are not the same as meters.  Currently the Army uses a 300 meter zero on their M4 carbines. This is accomplished by firing point of aim (POA) point of impact (POI) at 25 meters with M855 ammunition.   This puts the round about 7 inches over POA at 175 meters, and 7 inches low at 350 meters.

Zeroing at 300 yards with the same ammo gives you a max hight of 5 inches over the point of aim (at around 175 yards), then the round drops to 5 inches below point of aim at 350 yards.  However at 350 meters the round is about 9 inches below point of aim.  I have not double checked the numbers yet, but it looks to me that the distance numbers on the detachable 6/3 carry handle for the M4 are a better match if you are shooting in yards instead of meters.

For many civilians, the 300 yard zero may be more practical then the 300 meter zero due to the flatter flight path under 300 yards.  Most ranges are measured out in yards, so a reduced 300 yard zero could be had by having your impacts 1/2 inch low at 25 yards or 1 inch high at 50 yards using your 300 yard sight setting.  As always, when possible confirm your zero at distance.

One last thing, please don’t try to get a 300 METER zero by shooting at 25 YARDs.  This is closer to a 350 meter zero, and puts your rounds about 10 inches high at 200 meters.  If you want a 300 meter zero on the M4, shoot at 25 meters.