5.56 Timeline

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.

Soviet Use Of M16 During Afghanistan War

Over the weekend one of the boys on the Colt AR15 Resource FB page shares some pictures of Soviet military personnel using M16 and M16A1s during the war in Afghanistan. Captions made best guesses on units. Mainly paratrooper and special forces troopers. The guns seen using M60 machine straps as slings oddly enough.

that’s right Kommrade, the M16 is better than the AK

I don’t really know any context about these. There could be many reasons for seeing Russians using them during the war. Interesting none the less.

The Model 31 Remington

When I was young. all of my shotgun use was with the M870 and the M1100/11-87. Always in 12ga. When I was 23 and was working for Brady ( famous already to long time readers) I walked in one morning and Brady had a shotgun apart and was carefully polishing some internal parts and cleaning. I asked what it was and as he was wont to do, he spent the next 3 hours lecturing me on the finest factory pump action shotgun made, how it worked and converted me to a true believer to the 16ga for sporting/hunting use. Once the gun as together, he handed it to me, told me to point the muzzle straight up and hit the bolt release. I did as he said and the action slide open on its own from the weight. The action of the 31 is so slick it almost operates itself. You could say this made an impression on me. After that Day I didn’t rest until I was able to have my own. After a long hunt for a 31 in 16guage with a full choke barrel, Brady himself came through for me. When a relative died and Brady was entrusted with selling off his gun collection for the widow, Brady came across just want I wanted and called me up. I have had it since.

The Remington Model 31 was brought out by Remington to replace the model 17 and a few other older models in 1931. During this time it competed with the much more well known, ( famous) Winchester model 12.

The model 31 suffered from being introduce at one of the lowest points of the great depression. Bad timing for a gun that was a high quality forearms with high production costs. At the time, the 31 cost $48.95. It’s amazing any sold at all during those years.

” Remington discontinued the M31 in 1949 after a total production of 189,243 units of which 21.3 percent were in 16-gauge and 16.5 percent in 20-gauge. During the same period Winchester produced 588,000 M12s. Interestingly, the M31 pulled within 12,000 units of annual production versus the Model 12 in the year it was discontinued.

The M31 was discontinued for the same reason the Winchester M12 was dropped 14 years later — production cost was too high and profit margins too low. The two guns, which represented the pump-action’s pinnacle of design, craftsmanship, function and beauty, were dropped in favor of more easily manufactured and more profitable designs. Remington’s status as a dark horse was to change in 1950 with the introduction of the successor to the M31. The Remington Model 870 would soon leave Winchester and the M12 in the dust. “
– Billy Marable

You can’t argue with the success of the M870. I doubt there is any other shotgun that has had the numbers produced as the 870. I still recommend the 870 to people wanting to buy a do everything working gun. If you have a need for a shotgun, the 870 will make a version for you. But it’s no Model 31 in craftsmanship, quality and smoothness.

The Model 31 is just slick. Slick as snot on the pumphouse door. It’s shorter travel and single action bar makes it feel like it doesn’t have to move 1 inch and when it is moving it feels like its on greased ball bearings. ” It has a lighter stroke than Winchester’s M12 or the Remington’s M870, which replaced it. The stroke on the M31 is the shortest of the three at 3-1/2″ inches compared to 3-3/4″ for the M12 and 3-7/8″ for the M870. “

My Model 31 in 16 Ga. with 2 victims

The action of the Model 31 was used for the basis for the Ithaca Model 37 and the Mossberg 500, Bother cheaper more simplified versions of the 31 action. You can see the family resemblance to the 500 series when looking at the bolt of the Model 31. The Mossberg is simplified and cheaper to produce. Notable differences are the use of a two-piece bolt with separate locking piece as well as a significantly simplified barrel mounting system. Further, the bolt locks into a barrel extension rather than directly to the receiver. Resemblance aside, neither has the smooth action of the Model 31. If only Remington still made them like that…

As you can see mine is well worn and used but still works perfectly. It’s honestly the only shotgun I care to use. I am a fan of the Winchester Model 97 and there are a couple here and there i think are fine, But for actual use int he woods for hunting, All I want is the Model 31, If you had one you’d agree. The 16ga model in particular. Using the same receiver as the 20ga, it is very light and handy. The 26inch barrel is just right and its balance is perfect. The 16 ga. gives me nearly the same performance of the 12 but with none of the recoil. You can shoot it and carry it all day over the mountains and not get tired or beat up. If you run across one in working shape I can’t recommend it enough.

Guns You Had Hopes For But…

I saw this question on one of the gun forums earlier and thought it was an interesting topic. We handle and have tested a lot of guns. A LOT. Some of them I had high hopes for, or at least I wasn’t skeptical about, when going in but turned out to be less than impressive or down right awful.


example above, The KRISS. Is it junk? No. Is it fun to play with a little ? Yeah it’s fun to plink with for about 10 minutes. It works fine but I found the hype around it to be over blown by a factor of 10. You can find the review for it on the site in the archives.

The SCAR -L. It’s just OK. It does nothing better than the M4 in any way. It’s meh-ness did have one benefit. Later when I went to test the SCAR-H, I was surprised by how much I liked it. The H is the one to buy.

The H&K 417. Picture above says it all.

The PTR-91 is much hyped online. Listen. It’s not that great. The accuracy is bad enough it would make me enraged if I had actually had to pay for the gun. Save your money unless you are just one of those guys.

I’m not even going to bother saying anything about this one.

Ergonomics on this pistol feel great. Almost as good as a M1911. But it doesn’t really out do the glock. Hey what can I say?

The Galil., Talk about something I wanted to like. It looks like it would be awesome. It is pretty cool. No doubt. But really it’s just a big heavy as hell AK. Still pretty cool but not anything close to what some people hype it as.

Now, up front this isn’t a gun that I ever cared about. I think it was absurd from the moment I read about the XM8. But I did want to check it out anyway. I was impressed by what a amazing build this is. Otherwise it’s just another 5.56mm carbine that does absolutely better than a M4 except look like it could be in the classic 1980s film ALIENS with Hicks using it to shoot Xenomorphs in their face .

I may follow up with a part 2 later this week just on handguns. Please do let us know what guns you had big hopes for but then let you down once you had them in your hand.