This gem bought to you by AR15.com, a giant forum that sometimes talks about guns.
The 5.56 round is practically harmless unless it fragments. Reliable fragmentation velocity is about 2600 fps. Your barrel has a muzzle velocity under 1900 fps, which means its effective range is zero meters. You could shoot someone with it point blank in the chest and they’d likely be fine, unless you happened to get lucky and strike the spinal cord. If you had used an 11″ barrel, you would probably OK for 30 yards or less…or if you had used a .300 blackout, you’d be fine with that barrel length.
I can’t say exactly when I came up with the idea of this, but I recall a couple of things spurring it on.
There was a thread on a gun forum about discrete ways to move firearms to and from the range. One person was talking about packing their firearms in a bucket. They could put the ammo, paper targets, the firearm, and anything else they needed in an innocent looking bucket and head to the range. I thought that was a really cool idea. I also was enthralled with Polish mini-Beryl and the SIG 552 Commando at that time.
I started to really like the idea of a very short barreled 5.56 that had a folding stock. Back when I was doing thing, the side folding options for the AR were pretty rare and or unreliable. And pistols braces were not a thing, so it was not something that could easily be done.
So did I want?
A very compact 5.56 weapon system
A right side folding stock
Ability to mount optics
Ability to mount a silencer
Right side folding stock
How did I justify it?
Well, first, I wanted it. That was enough justification. As for performance out of a short barrel. All sorts of groups around the world have fielded very short barreled rifles, From the AK74SU, G36C, Mini-Beryl, etc. There are many sub 9 inch barreled 5.56 and similar weapons out there doing serious work. Are they ideal? No, but they do get the job done. I wanted something that could be small, and discretely packed away.
I looked at options. The SIG 552 was nearly unavailable, and if one could be found it was stupidly expensive. In hind sight, had I just sprung for one, I would probably still have it and it would be a cherished part of my collection.
I saw that there were 5.56 AK rifles available. I also saw that we had all sorts of new options for upgrading AKs. Railed top covers, quad rail hand guards, etc.
I saw people were making aftermarket right side folding stocks. Why a right side stock? Because the right side is the RIGHT side. Only godless commies or euro weenies would make a stock that folds to the left.
I look at the option of buying a SIG 556P, going though the SBR process, then installing a Samson quad rail and an ACE side folding stock. But I was hearing a good bit of bad reviews on the SIG 556 line.
After some thought and researched, I looked into options like it being 7.62×39 or 5.45×39. I finally settled that I would use the AK platform. I would, over time, have a Kreb’s quad rail. I’d use a Tango Down front grip, and have a light mounted on the left side. The barrel would be slightly extended and threaded for use for a silencer. I’d have something like SIG diopter sights installed. At this time it was not uncommon to have HK diopters welded to an AK. Down the road, I might add a M16 mag well and use AR mags. I also liked the idea of using a rail mount on the AK rail to add my favorite optic, the ACOG.
What could go wrong?
I picked up an Arsenal SLR106UR rifle.
I decided I’d settle for a left side folding stock, as this style folding stock is pretty great. When open, it is like having a fixed stock.
I went with the rifle, as I read all these people say you could cut down the barrel and it would just work. I wanted to have the barrel cut down a little long, and threaded for mounting a modern western silencer like my Surefire 556K.
I had a local dealer SBR it. When I chopped the barrel it didn’t run right afterwards. I ended up having to send it off to have the gas port worked on.
The Arsenal finish was especially bad. It seemed to come off when I looked at wrong.
I tried a few different front hand guards.
An Ultimak worked, but got very hot fast. It would burn my fingers.
A bought a rarer set of machined delrin hand guards. I was going to run this bottom with the Ultimak top, but I realized it would take massive amounts of fitting to get this to work, so I got rid of them with out ever using them.
Eventually I ended up using the Kreb’s quad rail I planned to get from the beginning.
I had issues with excessive windage preventing zeroing. Reliability was just not there. It looked cool and was fun to play with, but it felt heavy for the size and just not very good.
I tried different different set ups, never got anywhere near the performance I would consider acceptable.
I had even picked up two different AR15 magwells for the AK. Either would have required modifications to the receiver, but had that work been done, I would have been able to switch between using AK mags or M16 mags. Had it been working well, I would have had that modification done.
In the end, I parted out the accessories and sold the gun at a loss. Put a lot of time and effort trying to get an end result with out realizing that what I was starting with was never really going to do what I wanted.
I’m not saying a “Krinkov” style AK is bad, it just wasn’t what I wanted to begin with. It wasn’t as light or compact as I wanted. Mounting a suppressor didn’t work out. Optics mounting never worked out the way I wanted. It just kept slipping father and farther away from my initial goal.
Don’t make the mistake I did. Don’t sick money into a nebulous project with out knowing if you can get the result you want in the end.
I did learn that I like the idea of a 5.56 AK. So the only AK I own is a 5.56 AK.
Anyways, thought I’d share that gun project of mine that didn’t work out. At least I learned from it.
The Remington 7188 was a variant of the M1100 pattern shotgun but produced for combat operations. Unlike the average sporting use shotgun, the 7188 was made to be full auto with a cyclic rate of 480 rounds a minute and was gas operated unlike the 11-48.
Production began around 1967 and the guns were sent to Vietnam where they were most famously used by the Navy SEALS. Several autobiographies mention the use of the 7188 and the user’s opinion on it. Like most people, it didn’t take long for the end users to stop being impressed with the amount of lead that could be slung compared to the amount of time it took to reload the shotgun once fired empty.
At least a few were fitted with the “duck bill spreader”, A type of muzzle device , or choke that dispersed the shot in a horizontal pattern rather than cone shaped from the muzzle. Reportedly the duck bill used with #4 buck was the magic combination to put a man down near instantly.
First developed specifically for use by US Navy SEALs in Vietnam, the first example of the Remington 7188, the Mk 1, appeared in 1967, and was perhaps the most destructive close combat weapon produced to that date. Developed from the Remington 1100, the Model 7188 was a fully-automatic version of that weapon, with some other modifications requested by the SEALs. Though these weapons were never large in number, the Mk 1 version was the most common of them; it had a perforated barrel shroud, extended tubular magazine, bayonet mount, and adjustable rifle sights. The Mk 2 was identical, but used a ventilated barrel rib and front bead sight of a standard shotgun. The Mk 3 was also identical to the Mk 1 but did not have the perforated barrel shroud. The Mk 4 was a Mk 3 with standard shotgun-style sights. The Mk 5 was also similar to the Mk 1, but did not have an extended magazine, and also did not have the perforated barrel shroud. The Mk 6 was identical to the Mk 5, but had standard shotgun-style sights.
While the SEALs liked the fantastic destructive power of the Model 7188 (especially with the custom loads they tended to use), they found the Model 7188 had one big problem: it was highly-sensitive to dirt and fouling, and this made it quite unsuited for general use in Vietnam. In addition, the enormous recoil of a full-auto burst (even at the low cyclic rate of the Model 7188) was difficult to control, and even with an extended magazine, the ammunition supply was thought to be too small by many SEALs. There were never more than a couple of dozen of each Mark of the Model 7188 made, and they were withdrawn from service within a few years, a weapon experiment that ultimately failed. Some were converted back to semiautomatic fire; though this essentially turned them back into Remington 1100s (albeit, with unique markings and an unusual selector lever), they were designated Model 7180s.
It had an extended magazine, perforated barrel shroud, bayonet mount and adjustable rifle sights. This is the most common version.
This was identical to the Mk 1, but had a ventilated barrel rib and front bead sights of a standard shotgun.
It was identical to the Mk 1, but lacked the perforated barrel shroud.
This was a Mk 3 with standard shotgun sights.
This was a Mk 1 with no perforated barrel ribs and lacked an extended magazine.
This was a Mk 5 with standard shotgun sights.
The shotgun has a lot of appeal to some people but the truth is it has very distinct and limited roles, even more so when in an environment like the jungles of Vietnam. Full auto shotgun even less useful. The 7188 was an interesting footnote in a time of “space age” advancement in weapons technology and theory. Of course some people never let any idea go to waste and so we see fullauto shotguns still coming out from time to time. Either way you come down on the shotgun as infantry weapon argument, I think we can all agree that a limited 8 round magazine with reload speed comparable to a Colt peacemaker is not something you would want to be stuck with if going against 20 people with AKs.
I was perusing a gun forum and stumbled across someone asking this question.
There were all sorts of answers. From people saying the old CAR stock is all you need, to people saying your stock choice depends on your optic choice. Various blanket answers like “LMT SOPMOD” or “Magpul CTR”.
Wasn’t that long ago there was only a handful of option. Now it seems like every company makes their own stocks, grips, hand guards, and the like.
At this point, it is more a matter of person preference than anything else.
Let’s take a quick look at a couple.
This is the classic “CAR” stock. Light and compact, it is my favorite collapsible stock. You could argue that it does everything you need, but it lacks many modern conveniences such as QD sling sockets or a bottom sling mount.
The M4 stock, aka a “waffle” stock moves adds a sling mount to the bottom, allowing for more traditional sling usage.
Back in the early 80s, if not even earlier, there were various designs for an improved cheekweld stock. This pretty much got finalized with the NSWC SOPMOD stock. This stock is now made by a few companies, and many other companies offer stocks with sloping sides for “improved cheekweld”. On many of these, that gives some storage space. This B5 stock, like the later LMT SOPMODs, have a QD socket in them.
Some figured that a couple of battery compartments are not enough, so they added even more storage space. Put in a cleaning kit, or extra CLP. Maybe even jam a “fun sized” Snickers bar in there. Just note that some designs, like the VLTOR stocks, can grab beards and pluck hairs.
I remember the Magpul CTR was considered a pretty big deal when it came out. It had a second lock that would eliminate all slop and wobble making it lock up like a fixed stock. All the advantages of a fixed stock, in a collapsible stock. I didn’t like it at first until I learned about the extended rubber buttpads. Now I really like it. But all of mine have worn and have plenty of slop like the old CAR and M4 stocks. If a person didn’t need the QD socket, I would suggest getting the MOE stock, which is the same profile minus the QD socket and extra friction lock.
For the bench rest or space-gun shooter, there are all manner of stocks that are extremely adjustable. While these designs vary, many of them have so much adjustment they can be custom adjusted to suit a particular shooters individual needs.
But, we shouldn’t forget fixed stocks.
There are the old M16, M16A1 stocks. The slightly longer (about 5/8 inch IIRC) A2 stock. Rarer odd ball options like the CS stock. If a person wants a fixed stock, they can find them in several lengths. “Entry” fixed stocks tend to be the shortest, and there are extensions available for those freaks out there that think an A2 stock is too short.
You can get fixed stocks like the Magpul PRS or the LMT DMR stock that are adjustable for length, cheek height and are designed to ride a rear bag.
There there are all sorts of other options like the non-stock braces, or stocks designed for non-AR weapon systems. Now that we can shoulder braces, there are some people who prefer these braces over standard stocks. That seems odd to me, but it is an option. There are shorter stocks, side folders, etc that will work with alternative recoil systems.
Some people highly recommend fixed stocks for precision rifles. Sometimes it is for the extra weight to reduce recoil, but often the argument is that wobble in the adjustable stock would adverse effect precision shooting. Personally, I’d rather have a collapsible stock as I prefer different length for different shooting positions and I like being able to reduce the length of the weapon for storage.
I think it really comes down to picking a stock that supports the sling and shooting positions you want to do and allows you to be repeatable in your head position.
And that isn’t even broaching in on the weird options like stocks made for visor use.
InRangeTV did a mud rest on the HK416/MR556 and the rifle did not do very well. So this video it making it rounds on the gun forums and making some waves.
I’ve already seen people online say how the test is a fluke, means nothing, is unfair, etc. That a MR556 upper is not meant to be abused and its’ performance can not reflect the uber-reliability of a HK416. That mud doesn’t exist in real life shooting conditions. That if a shooter gets their weapon muddy they are negligent and deserve to die in a gun fight. Etc.
It is kinda interesting that InRangeTV has done this test with several direct impingement AR15s and they fared better. Tests like this often come down to the grit in the mud.
I’ve owned a few piston uppers for the AR15, LWRC and HK, and I don’t get how adding more moving parts, springs, and etc is suppose to make a gun more reliable. People claim pistons guns are cleaner, but you just end up having to scrape the carbon off the piston with a scraper tool. The same amount of crud, just in different locations.
InRangeTV speculates that the gases being blow into the receiver and bolt carrier help blow out contaminants from the standard AR15 action helping increase reliability in these mud test. What detractors of the AR15 often refer to as “shitting where it eats”.
I’m not saying pistons guns are bad. Personally, I decided if I wanted a piston gun, I’d rather buy a gun designed from the ground up for use with a piston. A SCAR, SIG, AK, etc. I own an AK and a Sig MCX. I wouldn’t say no to a SCAR, B&T APC rifle, etc.
Ultimately tests like this one can be very random. Success or failure can come down to if a little piece of grit manages to get into an area where it will prevent function. Some guns, like the AK, tend to fail tests with larger grit because the opening for the safety and bolt handle allow for larger chunks of rocks, grit, and debris to get into places where it can stop the functioning of the gun. The AR has less openings for large grit to get in. But small grit in liquid can settle into places that cause problems.
I remember seeing one of my fellow recruits in boot camp being unable to open the action on his issue M16A2 after we went though a portion of the crucible. In this event, we were having to submerse our selves completely in muddy water to pass though various obstacles. I had my buttpack completely fill with mud and it felt like it weight a ton and I got to overhear the instructors point me out make fun of me because of it. In the case of the other recruit, there was so much silt mud sediment that was carried in the watery mud he crawled though that it filled his receiver extension behind the buffer. After he exited the muddy water, the liquid drained from his rifle, leaving the buffer tube full of dirt. This preventing the action from being able to be opened. He ended up having to field strip his rifle, and use a cleaning rod to break up all the sediment that was in his buffer tube.
I don’t really mean to defend HK, and I sure plan to reference this video when I tease HK fans. But I have one last rebuttal for them. I saw several people try and defend the HK416 by saying, “but it is used by militaries around the world because it is the best”. Let me remind them that many counties want M4 Carbines and similar, but many of these countries don’t want to be buying weapons from us Ugly Americans. Prior to the HK416/417, most of these groups bought the Canadian C7/C8 firearms so that they could have ARs with out buying American guns. Then they bought HKs. Now, years after HK AR pattern rifles, we see some of these groups buy stuff like the SIG516 or SIG MCX. They can have their cake, with out it being American.