5.56 Timeline

Building the rifle Larue won’t sell you – Part 2

Part 1 Here.

Previously I established how there is the demand for a heavier barreled Larue PredatAR rifle. For someone starting new, the Larue Ultimate Upper would probably be the better choice as they could buy it what ever barrel they want. But that isn’t what I want.

I took inventory of what I had on hand:

16 Inch Larue Barrel with matching bolt carrier group (from the UU upper I had)
Magpul CTR stock
New A2 grip
Surefire Flash hider, and Surefire Muzzle Break. At the time I took this photo, I was unsure what I would use.
Geissele SSA trigger. My favorite trigger out there.

So, I needed a PredatAR upper. I had been looking for one for a while, but people tended to want to see the upper for about the same price you could pick up an entire rifle. After some time, I found a great deal on a donor rifle.

Came with all the accessories
The PredatAR is a great rifle as is, but we can make it better.

Let us start with the simple tweaks.

The PredatAR comes with these little proprietary grippy hand guard covers. I will start by removing all of them as I prefer them off.

With them off, you can see how there is a raised rib on the PredatAR handguard. This rib is what, to me, gives it a better profile for handling. Note how the threaded holes have helicoil style inserts. I am glad I am not the guy who has to install all those inserts.

Just how I like it.

Now to focus on the lower. I pulled off most of the parts. I was going to clean the inside of the trigger pocket but I found the previous owner had already done so.

I installed the SSA trigger (Later I decided I’d run a MBT in this Larue lower. I switched that out the following day).

I have this Arms Unlimited knockoff of a Norgon ambi-catch. Not only is the finish and exterior profile inferior to the Norgon, it also binds in a lower. I had thought that maybe the previous lower I had it in was out of spec, but when I found it was binding in the Larue lower, I also tried a Colt and it did not want to play nice with any of them. I think it might be because of how much cant there is in the body of the catch. Note how it tilts inwards instead of being perpendicular to the threaded shaft.

I was also disappointed to find the receiver extension was crooked. Sometime down the road, if I keep the Larue lower, I’ll replace that end plate with one with a QD socket and straighten the tube.

Throwing on the A2 grip and CTR gives the rifle ergonomics that better fit me.

The PredatAR has a chromed bolt carrier. I will use that carrier with the matching bolt for the barrel I am using. I’m going to sell off the old PredatAR barrel and parts. I’ll including the matching bolt with that barrel.

The handguard is held on to the upper by 4 bolts, with Torx heads.

This barrel nut is taken on and off by a 1 1/4 inch wrench. The barrel nut was very lightly torqued. Felt like I could have taken it off with out a wrench.

I decided I would use the newer PredatOBR/UU barrel nut when I reassembled this upper. The wrench for that style barrel nut is pictured on the right. I would end up regretting this choice.

Damnit Mark Larue!
Turns out the newer style barrel nut is longer than a PredatAR nut.
I had to pull the barrel nut off the PredatAR barrel.
I used my torque wrench when reinstalling the set screws on my barrel.
Surefire muzzle devices need to be timed. It can be an annoying process.
Despite needing to be timed, installing the Surefire Muzzle Break was pretty quick and easy.

I ended up installing the Surefire MB556K muzzle break. This has a history of use in both competition and combat. It has been tested and shown to reduce recoil up to 58%, and it double as a mount for the Surefire silencers I have.

I end up with a little heavier rifle, but not one unwieldy or awkward. This would be just as functional with a red dot for rapid fire up close as it would high magnification for shooting tight groups.

I look forward to putting it to good use.

Larue as a military 6.5 Creedmoor rifle?

There is some weird stuff going on with military procurement, but I suppose that is always the case.

Army and USMC have that competition for a replacement for the M4. Those are going to be in a 6.5 or 6.8 caliber. General Dynamics, Sig, and Textron are in the running. We have talked about those in the past.

I think racism is the real reason the Army wants to switch to a lighter skinned weapon.

We had the Knights Armament M110 Sniper Rifle. There was a competition for a replacement for it where HK won and that gave us the M110A1 CSASS.

Despite that, the high speed low guys of the U.S. Army Special Operations Command were still running around with the M110K1 carbine version of the KAC M110.

AND THEN, since SOCOM adopted 6.5 Creedmoor in 2018, Knights Armament got a contact to provide conversion kits for the M110 to 6.5 Creedmoor. Side note. Have you priced a KAC SR25 upper? Commercial price on a KAC SR25 22″ barreled 6.5 Creedmoor upper is $3,780.

If I understand correctly, it is these USASOC guns that will be upgraded to 6.5 Creedmoor.

Now also floating around in service are some of the FN SCAR MK20 Sniper Rifles. I hear those are being phased out. Doesn’t seem like a very illustrious career there to me.

But our story gets even more complicated.

Naval Special Warfare has a competition to replace these FN SCAR MK20 Sniper Support Rifles. As far as I know, a winner has not been selected yet. Larue Tactical is in the running. Scuttlebutt is that they are the forerunner. Mark Larue has hinted a little information on Instagram.

… These were the 3 rifles we took to Camp Atterbury (up in Indiana) for the .mils 6.5CM rifle shootoff back in late June. They handed all competitors scope rings and scopes, and said they weren’t touching our rifles until we proved that all 3 rifles shoot consistently under an moa. It was diabolical on their part. “If you can’t make ‘em shoot, how do you expect us to.” Good stuff. They handed out their brand new Blackhills 6.5CM 140 gr ammo and my 3 rifles rocked it. ML

Mark Larue on Instagram
Mark Larue carefully made sure the stock was not visible in this picture. Probably because it is a CTR and not his RAT stock.

While we’re on the subject … LaRue 17” 6.5CM MRGG-S rifle … 2-stage LaRue full auto trigger – FDE – MLok handguard – Under 9 lb – Five 5-shot groups with all five groups averaging under 1 MOA.
All the boxes checked.

Mark Larue on Instagram

These three rifles, the “Larue MRGG-S” don’t have a whole lot of information out there yet about them.

They look much like the Larue Ultimate Upper but in MLOK instead of Keymod. Larue Tranquillo silencers are also shown. Note that the rifles in the pictures are full auto with Larue triggers meaning that Larue Tactical made a full auto version of the MBT trigger.

The second phone shows that the rifle, with out accessories, it under 9 pounds.

So in the short term, we might end up fielding the HK M110A1, a KAC M110 with 6.5 Creedmoor kit, and a Larue 6.5 Creedmoor rifle.

Then, we might end up with some new M4 replacement that is in a 6.5 or 6.8 cartridge.

Makes a whole lot of sense, right?

Story Time ( How to Get Faceshot)

Back in 2009-2010 I was shooting some of the The Tula Branded ammo. This is the steel cased .223 stuff they started selling under their own name. I was about 50 yards away from steel falling plates and gong targets when this happened.

A 55 grain bullet from the Tula came straight back and hit me in the face. Right on my left cheek bone. I knew I was in trouble immediately as you can imagine. Now yes, the targets were not cratered, they are the proper steel and all of that. but sometimes things happen. I think the lower velocity of the junk ammo did not move the targets enough to deflect nor cause the bullet to fragment.

I felt thae blood pouring down my face mixed with the pain but got a bandage on it quick. It was about 200 yards walk back to my home to be able to look in a mirror. Boy did I dread that. It felt like, and I was positive a big flap of skin was hanging down and I was in for some serious ER time. Luckily that wasn’t the case. Picking tiny bits of metal out of the wound was no fun though.

This wasn’t the first or even the tenth time I had taken a ricochet to my body or even my head. I shoot A LOT, and when you shoot a lot over decades,you sometimes have things happen. I have taken a AK slug to the ribs, a 00 buck round to my front chest, a .45 ACP round took off the top of my right ear, jacket from a 10mm round in the neck and scalp, a 5.45 round to the thigh a lead 32 to the chest and more than I can recall off the top of my head. These fired from me or some one else while at the range at a variety of targets. I know this seems like a lot and it is. But if you knew how much I shoot every year for 30 plus years, you would see that statistically it’s not so much. Or probably I am just really unlucky. Howard has been shot in a war, I get hit by ricochets and stray rounds by chance. No matter how careful we are these things can happen.

This is why you got to protect those eyes. Some bullet proof underwear seems like a good idea too.

Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office Vs. Adam Arms Part 2

Remember a few weeks go when I talked about the Pinellas County cops unwisely buying Adam Arms junk AR15s? Well, Update to that.


PINELLAS COUNTY, Fla. — The Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office is suing a local gun manufacturer, claiming hundreds of AR-15 rifles purchased for deputies aren’t reliable enough to do the job.

The sheriff initially asked for a refund, but that didn’t happen, so now he’s taking this firearm feud to court.

“I don’t relish having to go through the lawsuit process, but if we have to, we will,” Gualtieri said last month.

The sheriff promised he would sue Odessa-based Adams Arms if the gun manufacturer didn’t give them a refund for more than 300 AR-15s, which the department had purchased since 2014.

This week the sheriff made good on that threat.

“I’m not going to have deputy sheriffs out there. They’re supposed to have guns to protect themselves…(but some of the guns) don’t shoot and are incapable of being fixed in the field,” the sheriff said.

The county tax payers should sue the Sheriff themselves. For wasting their money on junk and not doing proper research on what companies make quality guns. There is some blame to go on them.

Gualtieri says he originally liked the idea of purchasing the Adams Arms AR-15‘s because the company is local, it uses a piston rather than gas technology for a firing mechanism and the price was right. Gualtieri, let that be a lesson for you. Don’t think. You obviously don’t know shit about guns Top. Man.

But, the sheriff says problems started to surface almost immediately: Trigger troubles; weapons switching from semi-automatic to fully automatic on their own. 

And most recently, he said an incident on the gun range saw a weapon failing to fire at all.

“The thing was in essence, useless. It was like a stick or a club,” Gualtieri said. “There’s nothing you could do. It wasn’t gonna fire a bullet and that’s a problem.”

Adams Arms CEO Jason East tells 10News the incidents cited by the sheriff’s office were isolated and not necessarily their fault. Haw! of course not.

East says some of the trigger issues were traced back to deputies who had purchased after-market ammunition clips made for another manufacturer’s AR-15s.

….what? This guy makes guns. Weapons. That they sell to people as if they know what they are talking about. Adam Arms ladies and Gents. Gun’s so good you can’t use other brand AR15 mags in.

As for the weapon that didn’t fire, East says the part that caused that problem wasn’t manufactured by them. BUT YOU USED IT ON YOUR PRODUCT!

Still, he says, they took the weapon apart, made an adjustment by essentially tightening a screw and then the weapon worked correctly. Again. What?

“Requesting a refund on rifles that have served the department dutifully is not something we would entertain at this time,” East said when asked about the sheriff’s demands.

The sheriff’s office has since replaced the 300 AR-15’s by using one of the department’s other suppliers. Although the lawsuit only specifies an amount greater than $15,000, Gualtieri has already said the rifles are worth about $300,000.

The sheriff is demanding attorney’s fees plus the cost of ammunition and re-fitting the new weapons. He says taxpayers wouldn’t have been left with expenses had the Adams Arms weapons worked to their satisfaction.

According to the lawsuit, Adams Arms said it says it’s working on a rigorous process to inspect, test and verify all of the firearms they provided the sheriff’s office over the last few years. Yea. I bet..

East didn’t comment further about the allegations but said the company is disappointed by the sheriff’s decision to file suit. Unreal.

Dummies buying junk from dummies whow make junk.

Building the rifle Larue won’t sell you. Part 1

That is a bit of a click-bait title, but it is true.

Some time ago, Larue started selling a complete rifle. What was suppose to be the Optimized Sniper Rifle (OSR) got re-branded Optimized Battle Rifle (OBR) and Larue started selling this semi auto precision system. In 5.56 and 308 you could get this precision rifle with a precision heavy barrel and a chassis with built in cant for your optics.

Later, Larue made the PredatAR. Stupid name aside, it was a lightweight rifle with a lightweight barrel.

The PredatAR now had the accessory mounting rail all the way along the sides and bottom of the hand guard. The 20 MOA cant on the upper rail was eliminated and we got an awesome accurate light weight barrel.

IMHO, the PredatAR is an amazing rifle out of the box. I picked one up some years ago, and the upper lives on one of my Colt lowers:

But, as always, we the gun owners decided this was not good enough. We want something else.

The crowd clamored, “why can’t we get the PredatAR chassis with the OBR barrel?”

Eventually Mark Larue relented, and make 500 of them as a special limited run with Chris Costa.

For a premium, you could buy a Costa Edition 5.56. One of 500, numbered as such. These had a 14.5 inch barrel with a pinned Surefire muzzle break.

People clamored for more. Larue Tactical’s answer was the PredatOBR.

This is a take down rifle, with levers on each side of the hand guard and runs about $450 more than a PredatAR. Not quite the sleek and simple PredatAR.

Finally, Larue now offers the Ultimate Upper kit. You can get a chassis in MLOK or Keymod with the barrel of your choice. Choose the length and the caliber. A great deal.

I had an Ultimate Upper with a 16 inch barrel. The Ultimate Uppers are priced awesomely, and very slim and light.

In all reality, the new UU is a better option. It is cheap (compared to other quality options), you can configure it any number of ways, and it can be set up to use either common Keymod or MLOK accessories.

But I found I prefer the feel and handling of the PredatAR chassis. It may not be the coolest or most modular option out there, but it feels and handles great. If you haven’t handled a PredatAR, DON’T, you might end up wanting one.

For some time now, I have wanted a 16 inch Larue heavy barreled PredatAR. Similar to the Costa edition, but with out the unnecessary extra logo and cost.

Stand by for Part 2. That will explain what I do to get one.