5.56 Timeline

Belt Fed Colt CAR15 HBAR M2

Here is a neat piece of M16 history up for auction. Thanks to Alex over at the AR15 resource facebook page I can bring this to your attention in case you want to place a bid.

Description: This is an exceptionally rare piece of Colt history, with less than 20 having been made. Colt developed these rifles during their experimentation with the new CAR-15 system, during which they focused on seven different versions. Ultimately, the HBAR M2 was discarded, but before production was discontinued, less than twenty were produced. This gun is pictured on pages 175 and 176 of “The Black Rifle” by Stevens Ezell, and close examination of both the photos and the gun confirms that this is the actual item pictured in the book, despite not being listed by serial number. This example has the early second type three prong flash suppressor, heavy barrel, modified M2 bipod, fitted with one of the early round interchangeable handguards from Colt’s first offering, carryhandle sights, early A1 style pistol grip, and buttstock with rotatable sling swivel and cupped rubber buttplate. Colt then added a very clever belt feed mechanism, that sits in the magazine well when the rifle is opened and locks in when the rifle is closed. The vertical actuator attaches to a special cut in the bolt carrier group to actuate, and a slot was added on the right side, where a feed chute would feed spent links into a separate compartment of the feed box. This rifle is accompanied by three drum magazines and a link of 25 dummy cartridges. One drum magazine has the removable top attaching section, other two do not have this piece and are filled with links. There is also an additional pin equipped with a pull ring. CONDITION: Very fine overall, retaining the vast majority of its finish with some markings from usage. Bolt face is excellent, bore is excellent, mechanics are crisp. As to be expected of an early experimental gun, some of the work is a little crude, but still well executed. This lot is also accompanied by a copy of “The Black Rifle” by Stevens and Ezell, as well as a printout of the Bob Miller Estate sale, where this gun was number 32. PROVENANCE: Bob Miller Estate. If you are a collector of rare firearms, belt fed machine guns, or even Colts, this is a collector’s prize. THIS IS A NATIONAL FIREARMS ACT ITEM AND REQUIRES BATF APPROVAL PRIOR TO TRANSFER. THIS ITEM IS FULLY TRANSFERABLE ON AN ATF FORM 3 OR FORM 4. EWAccessories: Ammo links, three total magazinesBarrel Length: 21 – 3/4″Caliber/Bore: 5.56mm NATOFFL Status: NFAManufacturer: Colt FireamsModel: AR-15Paperwork: Copy of “The Black Rifle” and a copy of Bob Miller Estate sale paperwork.Serial Number: 018954

You can bid on it now if you have thousands of dollars burning a hole in your wallet.


I don’t get railed forearms on Shotguns

It just doesn’t make sense to me.

Now I love the Picatinny rail, but replacing a shotguns pump grip with a rail seems silly to me.

First I ask, what are you doing where you need all that rail space? Are there people mounting lights, lasers, VFGs, bipods, range finders, etc on their shotguns? I’m sure someone is doing that, but all the shotguns I’ve seen with tri-rail pump might have a light, or a vertical forward grip. But not much. Certainly not enough to warrant a tri-rail.

Now I haven’t used the Ergo rail that is pictured above. Nor have I used most of the tri-rails on the market. But I no know most cheap rail systems I have used have sharp edges. Part of the reason detractors of rails have often called them “cheese graters”. I can’t imagine that any of these rails are pleasant to hold under a shotguns recoil. But I may be wrong. I dunno. I just can’t imagine it.

It seems to me that a light on a shotgun would be better mounted to the barrel/mag tube.

Image from an expired ebay auction for a ” CDM MOD-C – Shotgun Flashlight Mount

That seems more practical to me. You are not having to rack the light each time you are pumping the action.

I’ve seen people use a vertical forward grip on a pump shotgun. I’ve fired a Keltec KSG with one. Felt awkward to me, but I’m not going to tell someone not to do it. I think that if you wanted a VFG on a shotgun pump, you could screw one right into the existing pump and not have to have all that aluminium rail. Or attach a small section of picatinny rail to the standard pump and attach the grip to that.

Do you really need more rail than that for a light?

Even this thing doesn’t have a tri-rail pump:

Something from Black Aces Tactical. They send out emails with stuff like this all the time. Like almost every week.

Do any of you use a tri-railed shotgun? How do you like it?

Where are they now? – Redi-Mag edition

The name of the picture above is, “CarbinePerfection001.jpg”. Among the many accessories this gun wears, is a Redi-Mag.

What’s a Redi-Mag? It is a magazine holder that you clamp to the side of your gun. It is like having a second mag well. When you drop the first mag, you then use the mag on the left side of the gun to reload.

There are several version of the Redi-Mag, and there was apparently enough demand that Blue Force Gear offered a modified version of it (now discontinued). Older models have been discontinued and replaced with a lighter machined aluminum version. Most Redi-Mag mag holders had a lever to release the magazine in the Redi-Mag, but there was a model that was slaved to the rifle magazine release. When you would need to reload, you would grab the mag in the Redi-Mag with your left hand, hit the mag release to button to drop the mag in the gun and release the mag in the Redi-Mag. Then you would reload as normal.

Never been done before, right?

Oh wait, it pretty much fills the same niche as a mag coupler. Unlike a mag coupler, you jettison the spent mag, and have the option of putting a replacement magazine in the now empty Redi-Mag.

Now let’s take a trip back in time.

It is 2008ish. Most all commercial AR15s come with heavy barrels. We are installing heavy quad-rails, lights, lasers, vertical forward grips, and optics. Our guns have a huge increase in performance than the older slick iron sighted rifles, but our guns have massively grown in weight and bulk. Instead of carrying a 6-7 pound rifle or carbine, we are carrying 9+ pound railed mess of tactical gear. A great increase of capability at the cost of weight.

So the idea of slapping on a half pound accessory that is suppose to make you faster was not exactly disliked. Then adding another pound of loaded magazine was not considered terrible.

Especially when you had folks like Tarvis Haley and Larry Vickers pushing the product.

Look at that gun above. Two optics, light, laser, silencer, redimag, you have one heavy gun there.

The Redi-Mag was most often recommend for police officers. The idea being that often when they grabbed their patrol carbine they did not grab extra ammo, or a chest rig, etc. Having a Redi-Mag meant that they would have a reload right there on the rifle. Sort of like a side saddle on a shotgun.

So where are all these Redi-Mags?

I was noticing that I haven’t seen a rifle with a Redimag for a long time now.

I guess people don’t want to spend 100-200 dollars to slap a pound and a half on the side of their rifle now.

Nowadays more rifles are coming with lighter weight barrels, light weight free float tubes, and our optics have gotten smaller and lighter. We don’t want another pound a half on our guns slowing down how fast we can swing them from target to target.

Would you use a Redi-Mag now? Comment below.

3D Printed AR15

Some interesting stuff from a guy in Switzerland who has made his own 3D printed AR15. If you are into the 3d printing technology for gun stuff this is worth your time.

I couldn’t help but build an Ar15 toy on my new 3D printer with Cineam4D software.

The 3D printed M4A1 AR15 CQBR consists of over 64 3D print parts carefully developed and tested. The result is stunning. Features of the model are the same as the original.

You can see the result here in the video