Category Archives: Scattered Shots

Larue Tactical OBR 7.62MM Rifle .. Troubles..

Over the past few weeks, I have been helping a friend determine what the issues are with a rifle. The subject of this article is one of 8 Larue rifles purchased by a local Police SWAT Sniper team for their use. Upon receiving the 8 rifles, they experienced a lot of issues with those rifles. I was told the unit contacted the maker and explained the issues and was supposedly told something to the effect that they need to use another loading. That is, to use a 175-grain match load as opposed to the 168gr match loads they had been using. I did not make the call, nor was I even in the room to hear it. But a trusted source reports that was the guidance given to them by someone at Larue. Supposedly.

Since the switching to 175gr match ammo did not cure the issue, one of the rifles was handed off to my friend who asked me to join him in seeing if maybe it was the end user’s fault as opposed to the gun itself. Below is a reporting of what we saw for ourselves first hand over a two-week period of testing and evaluating one of the 8 rifles.

Below is a picture of the subject of our testing. The rifle was fired with and without the suppressor and with careful noting of the setting of the gas system.

After shooting the rifle, it quickly became apparent that the issues the guns were having were not user error.

About every 3rd round would get stuck in the chamber. The extractor would rip through the rim in its effort to extract and then pick up a fresh round to chamber causing a double feed.

Once the case was removed with the help of a rod, signs of pressure were obvious. Primers would be blown, or nearly blown out of the primer pocket. Even those that cycled and fired normally had signs of pressure. Brand, type and lot of ammo used made no difference.

The Larue caught in the act.

In the picture above, you can see the primer coming out of the case and the rim sheared off by the extractor.

More examples of cases that had to be cleared by a rod.

There was no predicting when it would happen except to know it would be about every 3rd or 4th round. Sometimes 7th or 9th. There was no apparent pattern or sense to it. Changing ammo brands, type or lot made no difference.

In addition to the stuck cases, the ejection pattern of the OBR was odd. Kicking cases out from 13 to 53-degrees with some going a yard away and other barely clearing the shooters firing arm when right-handed.

On the second week, we then noticed this while getting ready to put the suppressor on for another day of testing.

The staking had come loose. Obviously, this allowed the receiver extension to rotate. Not a good way to start the day.

During the 2nd week, the gun was carefully cleaned again and lubed with Slip2000EWL. Same problems. However, I did like how easy it was to clean the Larue BCG thanks to its coating,

Besides the feeding and extracting issues, the gun was every bit as accurate as I expected it to be. Using 168gr Federal Gold Medal or 175gr Gold Medal, the gun was sub-minute. The two groups below are from 100 yards. The shooting was conducted prone with bipod only while firing very rapidly. Well, as rapid as you can shoot when you must have your friend knock every 3rd or 4th case out of the chamber with a rod.

Otherwise, accuracy is exceptional. Just what I would want and expect from a Larue. I have seen many precision bolt guns that would not sustain the same level of accuracy. You can see why the Larue OBR became a favorite of sniper competitions and tactical precision rifle matches.

Thoughts on the suppressor. It was effective enough that I found it comfortable to stand behind the shooter without ear protection while in the wide open. Without the can, the Larue muzzle device was VERY blasty and loud. It is a muzzle brake after all, so that should be no shock. I found the brake to be very effective with recoil.

We did not have the ability to precisely diagnose the issues with the rifle except to know it is beyond simple user influence to fix. Add to that the 7 other guns are behaving the same way and the only conclusion is that they need to go back. I don’t want to hear any comments about “Why didn’t you call Larue?” etc. I do not work for the police agency who purchased these. I did not order them, nor do I even live in the same state as the PD who bought these sniper rifles. I was only there to take a look and to add my opinion on what could be wrong, so our betters could then determine what they wanted to do after that. The rifle’s working or not is not my problem. My tax dollars were not even used to buy them. I am writing about this only for the general interest of others and to show that even the best can turn out something with a problem every so often. So thoroughly test and check your weapon.

I hope to update on these rifles and their fate for those interested as the story continues.

If you read this and your panties are in a real twist because I dared report something I saw happen to a brand you think should have been mentioned in the Bible and you feel the need to insult me or start any ARFCOM general discussion level bullshit in the comments, I can save you the trouble right now and tell you any personal insults or attacks on my honesty or intentions will not be approved and will be deleted.

If you want to comment like an adult instead of a liberal on Election Night 2016, you are always welcome.

Precision Shooting Magazine

PS magazine  has been dead and gone since 2012 and its sister publication The Accurate Rifle even longer.   It was a real shame these magazines and the info they provided are now long gone.   I don’t know what happened to most of the writers who had monthly articles.  No doubt they are floating around somewhere.  Probably in places like Benchrest central  etc.   Most were known competitors in bench rest, high  power/service rifle ,varmint hunters  and small bore and others are professional hunting guides ,  custom gun makers and ballisticians.  A few were just unique guys who did some pretty far out experimentation.   There was a lot of great technical info and shooting historical info  in those magazines. For a long time they were close to a technical journal but as the years passed and most of the generation of fellows who contributed to it and bought it died off, you could see the topics soften for a more general audience.

While looking for something the other day I dug out a large amount of my old subscriptions from years ago and flipped through them for old time sake.    One thing about an issue of PS or TAR was you could count on cover that was art in its own right.  With that in mind I thought I would share some of those covers with visitors of this website since most probably never read or even held and issue of PS.

 

If you enjoy these let me know and I will share more of them.

zine

A LOOK BACK: VINTAGE LYMAN RELOADING TOOLS

As you know I am  big on vintage firearms paraphernalia. I am always on the look at for anything  gun related from days go by. From  back when even simple things were made to a higher quality.   And sometimes as a reminder of a better time in our country.

After a good friends recently passed away I have been helping his family deal with his gun related estate.  One of the things I bought  from the estate for myself was this Lyman tool for handloading.

Like most serious shooters I am also a hanloader.  Nearly everything I learned about precision handloading was taught to me by my mentor who is from an older generation.  Tools like this would have been more familiar to him than to most newer hand loaders.  Having spent so much time with my mentor being taught the finer points of hand loading for precision and bench rest , I acquired big appreciation for things from those years gone by, so I am always on the look out to accumulate and save items from being lost to history as so much of what was known is being lost or dying off   now in the time of ballistic engines and Horus reticles.

The box is a complete tool set to re load 30.06 Springfield.   It has everything you need minus the components for the ammo itself of course.  You still need case ,bullet, primer and powder.    Obviously there are a few things you would need to do before using this.  You would need to set your dies for seating dept and  a few things and you would need a way to measure case over all length to set the bullet with.  I will spare the details so as not to bore the non-reloaders reading.

Box is classic vintage Lyman  graphics and artwork/design.  With helpful descriptions of what each tool  is for.

Above you can see all the tools laid out.   One the right are the dies for things such as decapping fired primers,  the resize die , bullet seater etc.   On the left is the hand tool you use to force the cases into the dies or to set the bullets.   This takes the place of the bench mounted presses you are used to seeing or in the case of hand loaders, using.     I haven’t tried using it yet and likely won’t but I can imagine the effort it takes  by hand compared to the stroke of the arm of a  RCBS  Rockchucker.

This kit would be something you would buy if you wanted to dip your toes in handloading without going whole-hog.  Or if you wanted to reload while away from home. Maybe it was  even meant for the cheapskates who are the equivalent of the modern shoot who buys  NCstar red dots and tapco parts for their AR.    I am not really sure on this account but I do know Lyman has always been a name associated with quality when it comes to  hand loading tools and related items,

I hope you enjoyed this little bit of nostalgia as much as I do.

Gun History and Blogging with Daniel Watters from Loose Rounds – TacticalPay Radio Ep. 17

Brett of TacticalPay Radio recently invited Shawn and I to appear on one of their podcasts. While Shawn was ultimately unable to record the show, I carried the flag for Loose Rounds and The 5.56mm Timeline.

Topics included:
A discussion of the state of the online gun community during the early 1990s;
Online and offline resources for researching historical firearm topics;
The US military’s adoption of the M16; and
The background of the famous 5.56 Timeline

https://www.tacticalpay.com/017-watters/

COLT REALTREE ANACONDA .44 Rem Magnum

In 1996,  Colt came out with what is now a very rare variant of the most excellent Anaconda revolver.    The Anaconda being a larger framed ( for 44mag) version of the  Python .357 magnum  revolver.  This limited edition was made in only 1,500 examples  supposedly and was  truly a “system”.

The gun came from the factory with the 8inch barrel,  a Redfield 5 star  pistol optic. rubber grips , base and rings, with the optic and gun finished in Real Tree camo. This was a collaboration between Colt and Realtree (Bill Jordan of Georgia), with design assistance from famed Wildlife Biologist, “Mr. Whitetail” Larry Weishuun.

Beyond the revolver and optic is also came with a colt  belt buckle, Zippo  colt  Anaconda lighter, original Team Colt Realtree heavy duty canvas carry bag and matching bandoleir holster.  It was and  is a heck of a nice kit.     The gun is  rare enough to not be well known even in the gun world.   In fact I have only seen two with my own eyes counting this one.

Even in picture you can see the camo finish is very nice and rare enough for my tastes, pleasing to the eye. And I am not a fan of commercial hunting camo patterns.

While I have this rare animal we will take a look at it in some detail.

The optic is a then top of the line 5 star redfield.  At that period of time,  Redfield was a well thought of and quality maker of weapons optics.  Now the company name is owned by Leupold and  of course that speaks for itself.  But at that time they were a competitor.

The scope of course came with the Redfield flip  up scope covers.

Above you can see the 2x-7x power ring.  The variable power in that  range is very useful for a hunting pistol in my opinion.  I find it is just enough and not too much.    It is clear and as durable as every other Redfield 5 star optic I have used  from that era.

The elevation and windage adjustments are vintage Redfield style.  They did give you some one of a positive adjustment and beat the Leupold friction plate  which I detest.

You can also see the scope rings that hold the optic one.  I  have seen some of these guns with matching camo rings. But I can not offer up any reason why some are, some aren’t beyond speculation.

The base and rings are very sturdy as anything holding a scope to a 44magnum handgun would need to be.

Now moving on to the gun.    First is a very nicely recessed target crowned muzzle.

You can see from the picture that the Anaconda did have the ability to  add iron sights to it though this example did not come with them that I am aware of. I have been told that colt did sell some of the guns without the optic but with irons instead.

Of course the Anaconda has all the inner workings you would recognize from all other colt anacondas and pythons.  Parts not finished in camo are a very nice durable flat matte black. This includes the hammer, trigger, cylinder release etc.

The action of the gun is smooth as glass.  I would also assume that the action on these editions were given some hand care before leaving the factory because it certainly feels like it.

The 8 inch barrel has the roll markings on the left side. Letting you know you have a Colt realtree Anaconda.

The accuracy of the gun is everything you would want it to be.  I am no big bore handgun game hunter so I can’t give much insight into that. I do know an accurate handgun when I see it though.  I don’t need to be Taffin to come to the conclusion either.

Not feeling a need to prove how manly i am or  put up with the recoil of a 44 mag while sitting on the bench concentrating for all I am worth for hours at a time, I used  .44special handloads of a  now deceased friend who was a real genius at casting his own lead bullets for handguns.

At this time these loads are the only  .44spl loads I have access to so i can’t show any other loads. If I get my hands on some more stuff  I will update this post or make a part 2.

I fired from a bench with bags and a rest for the first three groups. And I did cock the hammer for single action firing for accuracy. I am NO wheel gun guy and my short tiny little fingers will forever be incapable of the ability to fire a double action revolver with ease.  So sue me.

 

The last 5 rounds I had, I used for 100 yards.     Since it wasn’t enough to shoot a few warm up  groups and not enough for a full 6 shots I decided to shoot the gun sitting down with  crossed sticks.  I have seen hunting shows and magazine articles of pistol hunters firing from this way in the field so I decided to reproduce it.   I am not sure what is considered a long shot for big bore handgun hunting and I am too lazy to sift through millions of hunting forum opinion posts on what is long and too long and what ranges are ethical shots.  So I apologize if 100 yards is considered a joke for you handgun hunters  or if it is beyond what many feel comfortable taking a field shot on game. I am not hunting and paper rarely complains anyway.   If you are a  HG hunter, do chime in below and I will see what I can to satisfy the testing requirements for you fellows.

Above is the final 5 rounds fired sitting from crossed sticks.    I feel pretty good about it.   My palm would have covered the group.  I suppose it is even good enough for a head shot on a whitetail deer if one was dumb enough to do it.

You see the kind of accuracy one could expect from this fine bigbore  six-shooter.   I have really enjoyed it as the 44spl loads are soft and pleasant. And accurate.

I will try to  gather up a bigger variety of ammo and shoot it at any requested distances before it has to leave my hands. So if you want to see something post your wishes in the comments.

If you want one of these masterpieces, I can’t offer up an ideas of where to get one or really how much.  A quick  search has shown the examples with all the other goodies go for between 2,500 to 2,800. Maybe one could be had cheaper but that would also mean it is in rough shape.   The owner of this model has never told me the painful amount he gave for it.  However it was a “grail gun” for him and worth the price, As long as I have known him he had talked about wanting one.  He finally found  this one at a local shop and made sure he left home with it.    If  you are happy with the gun you bought the price is always worth it no matter what is was.

 

Let’s See Whitworths Shoot!

In our ongoing tribute to our now deceased friend “Hognose” , owner of weaponsman.com , we repost   his best articles.  Kevin O’Brien   US Army Special Forces  Veteran passed away in April of last year.

 

 

Let’s See Whitworths Shoot!

Last month we had a couple posts on the Sharpshooters of the Civil War, and on the Confederates’ unique Whitworth rifle.

Fred Ray, who’s written an excellent book on the Rebel Sharpshooters, sold us a copy of his book (highly recommended, and it’ll be in the next review roundup), and also linked us to a few videos of modern Whitworth shooters. Fred has forgotten more about this stuff than we’ve ever learned, so you can read what he writes with confidence.

Let’s take them in the inverse order from the way Fred posted them: hardest first. Here is a guy trying to hit a target at 1,300 yards with a Whitworth.

That kind of hit was credibly reported by both Rebel and Yankee observers of the Confederate marksmen. (The English Whitworth rifle was only used by the Confederates).

One of the real problems is seeing the target. While many of the wartime Whitworths were equipped with high-tech (for 1860!) Davidson telescopic sights… …this marksman is shooting over irons. One of the real problems at that range is seeing the target. Since more of you are familiar with more modern rifles, consider that the front sight post of an M16A1 rifle subtends just enough arc to match an E-type silhouette at 175 meters.

Another fact that should be evident is the sheer power of the Whitworth. Look at that thing kick! The recoil is visibly greater than that of an ordinary rifle-musket.

Reproduction Whitworths

The class of the repro field is the long-discontinued Parker-Hale, but they are few and far between. After Parker-Hale went the way of all flesh, there was a EurArms repro which used the Parker-Hale barrels with its own lock and stock. Here, Balázs Némeththe proprietor of CapAndBall.eu has gotten his hands on one of them, and not only fires it, but provides a good run down on its unique and remarkable technology.  “The Whitworth,” he notes, “pushed the limits of aimed fire out to 1½ miles.”

Pedersoli is making a new version of the Whitworth. It is available in Europe, but not exported to North America (yet, we hope). Here is his video rundown on the Pedersoli Whitworth. The Pedersoli has hexagonal rifling, but it’s cold hammer-forged. The rifle also has much simpler sights. He did not have a hex bullet mold, so used a .451″ cylindrical round, and still got quite good accuracy at 50 and 100 meters.

The finish on the Pedersoli rifle is, like many of their premium muzzle-loaders, very good.

His enthusiasm for these rifles, so far ahead of their peers that they seemed ahead of their time, is infectious.

Finally, here’s a special treat. It’s our friend from Cap and Ball again, but here he’s firing an original Civil War vintage American target rifle, of the sort that many sharpshooters mustered in with.

If you go to the Fred Ray post that we linked way, way up there, you’ll also see another one about the Civil War buck-and-ball cartridge — the only loading we’re aware of that has its own statue at Gettysburg. But that’s another story!

 

REMEMBERING KEVIN O’BRIEN

We are coming up  on the 1 year  point of the passing of our friend Kevin, also known as “Hognose” the owner and writer of weaponsman.com.

If you have not been to his website which is now preserved as is by his brother as a monument to Kevin, you are missing out on what was honestly the best gun culture blog on the internet.  I will let Kevin’s own words on his website speak for themselves below.

The Best of WeaponsMan Gun Tech

http://weaponsman.com/?page_id=11760

 

Since his passing he has been sorely missed by his family and many friends and readers.    You will have noticed that we often repost a lot of Kevin’s technical articles in an attempt to save them in case something happens to the weaponsman website and to help others discover his writing,

After Kevin died, his brother  had to sell Kevin’s collection and take care of his estate.  When he announced this sad fact of life, he made a post about it on his brother’s website with a list of the many fine firearms Kevin owned.   I was very keen to buy one of Kevin’s guns as something to remember him by and to keep in his honor.

I had just at the time spent a large amount of a few pistols so I was not able to buy  some of the highly desirable pieces like the Johnson rifle.  I was able to buy an old vintage .22 rimfire bolt action rifle.

It is a Springfield single shot from a time before series numbers.

It is in pretty rough shape with several parts missing.  I have been looking online  for the parts needed to restore it to shooting condition.

Much of the parts are missing and it has a pretty tricked out tack to act as a means to keep the bolt knob down.

The rifle was clearly sold as a cheap offering likely for boys. It was made with no buttplate. I know because it has none and has no holes for where the screw to hold one would be.

 

I don’t know the back ground story of how Kevin got the gun or how long he had it. I liked to think he owned it as a boy and imagine him running around the New England woods shooting chipmunks and cans imagining his future  self shooting commie  as the Army Green Beret he became when he grew up.

I hope the gun will get restored by me soon but if not thats ok. I didn’t buy it for that.   I bought it to honor a man I much admired.  And it is one of the most valuable guns in my safe.

If any of you purchased one of Kevin’s  guns from his estate, please let me know and share with the rest of us.

About Hognose

Former Special Forces 11B2S, later 18B, weapons man. (Also served in intelligence and operations jobs in SF).

A CALL TO ARMS

Today I am sharing  a rallying cry from  “Miama_JBT”     a member of ar15.com,  mod there and a FL police officer who  has worked hard and sacrificed much to  protect the  rights of  all gun owners.    As we watch state after state   make attempts to pass unconstitutional gun bans and restrictions  and the media make antigun darlings of  teens not even legally able to vote things are inching closer to what the left has wanted for decades.  It is time to do more than bitch online to each other , make jokes  or wait for the NRA  or even more  laughable, the GOP, to stand up for your civil right.  No more excuses unless you simply are willing to  make you into a monster then  make you into a felon with their “laws.”  

 

The 2nd Amendment is a very simple premise. It is 27 words.

A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.

Seems simple enough, right? Well, the current events across the country on the local, state, and federal level say that such a simple statement is very hard to understand by a number of elected officials and unelected bureaucrats. But what does that have to do with gun owners losing?

Real simple. THEY DON’T FIGHT FOR THEIR RIGHTS. Gun Owners as a whole do not fight for the 2nd Amendment. Instead they want someone else to do it for them. Across the web and society all I see are gun owners making statements of anger at government, at the NRA, etc… yet I don’t see Gun Owners attending rallies at their Capitols. I don’t see them beating down the doors of their elected officials. I don’t see them attending Republican Party meetings and Raising Cain about the sudden turncoat actions by the GOP. I don’t see any of that.

Instead, what I see are people that want someone else to do the heavy lifting for them. They want someone else to do the fighting. I’ve spent a good portion of this decade burning my vacation time to fight for the 2nd Amendment in Florida. What do I see at the Capitol? Marion Hammer of the NRA, Eric Friday of Florida Carry, and maybe if I’m lucky, someone from one of the Libertarian groups in Florida. That’s it.

I don’t see anyone meeting with their elected Representatives or Senators. I don’t see them scheduling face to face meetings with the Speaker of the House, the Senate President, the Majority Whip, or the Governor. I don’t see Gun Owners speaking at Committee Meetings when Pro and Anti gun bills are in discussion.

What do I see? I see 7,000 fellow gun owners going to the Tampa Gun Show on Saturday alone to buy more stuff to horde instead of going to the Capitol or their elected officials offices. I see people complain that the NRA isn’t doing anything. I see gun owners claim that the GOP betrayed them. But when I ask these people what do they do, let alone if they know their elected officials. I get blank stares and gaping mouths in return.

Paying a yearly membership to the NRA doesn’t do much. It just gives them a member due. The NRA is only 5 million in the USA as a whole and only 300,000 in Florida. There are 1.8 million active CCW permits in Florida. That means there are six times more people that carry guns in Florida that are NRA members. But even then, the NRA is just one organization. They have their own goals and their own mission. But people believe that the NRA is a like their parents and will keep all the bad meanies away from their guns.

Far from the truth. The NRA backs Gun Violence Restraining Orders that violated the 4th Amendment. Marion Hammer, Chris Cox, Wayne LaPierre, and now another NRA lobbyist by the name of Rick Armitage have all stated at one point or another since October 2017 that they support the ban on bump stocks and similar devices.

Yet people either blindly support them or outright hate them. But I can tell you they don’t take any action to correct the issues within the NRA. Issues that can be solved by voting in strong Pro 2nd Amendment Gun Owners to the Board of Directors.

Folks like Tim Knight and Adam Kraut.

Gun Owners do the same with their elected officials. They don’t question their elected officials. They blindly pull the lever and vote for any candidate that has an (R) by their name on the belief that such a person if Pro Gun. And that if we’re lucky. A good portion of gun owners don’t even vote. You know it, I know it, and the politicians know it.

Just as a quick recap for history. The following Republicans Governors have passed gun control.

    • Ronald Reagan banned open carry and made a waiting period mandatory in California.
    • Mitt Romney signed the assault weapon ban into law in Massachusetts.
    • George Pataki signed the assault weapon ban into law in New York.
    • George Deukmejian signed the first of many assault weapon bans into law in California.
    • Arnold Schwarzenegger signed the ban on .50 BMG caliber firearms in California.
    • Rick Scott signed the ban on Bump Stocks, pushed Gun Violence Restraining Orders, and prohibits anyone under 21 from buying a firearm in Florida.

But gun owners don’t raise the issue until it is too late. Even with President Trump. They elected him into office with the belief that they don’t have to fight for their rights now. Someone else will do it for them!

The common excuse I hear from gun owners is “it’s too far away“, “I can’t afford it“, “that’s why I’m a member of XYZ group“, “why vote, my voice is outnumbered“, “it’s too hard, we don’t have the numbers“, “I don’t want to be on a list/registry“, etc…

The majority of Gun Owners are much like Homer Simpson.

I write this to raise awareness and stir the masses. We only have ourselves to look at for these failures and assaults and on the 2nd Amendment. I personally burn my vacation and sick time from work to fight for the 2nd Amendment. I put myself out there and at the same time put my own marriage on the side to fight.


Me speaking in support of Stand Your Ground.


Me speaking in support of ending gun free zones.


Me speaking against the passage of SB 7026 in the Florida Senate.


Me speaking to fellow gun owners willing to rally at the Florida Capitol.

I put my career on the line when I speak up for gun owners at the Capitol. I put myself on lists when I enter public comments on websites like the Federal Registrar’s public comments for BATFE’s revisal of Bump Stocks or when I email or write to any elected official in Florida due to our public disclosure laws.

I’m not afraid. Our Founding Fathers put their wealth, property, lives, and most importantly their honor on the line to fight for our independence from oppressive government. Many lost their wealth and some lost their lives. But they saw the sacred duty that they swore to and fought for liberty.

I ask that you, my fellow gun owner, stop being the sunshine patriot and instead bear the true duty that is needed. Stand up and fight for your rights and those of your fellow man. Do not make boisterous statements of “from my cold dead hands” without actually fighting.

Stand up and take notice! Stop relying on others and do the task that is needed. Go to your elected officials. Meet with them, make your voice heard. I’m just one man, but if I knew I had an army of fellow gun owners independently doing the same as I.

WE WOULD BE AN ARMY

Reach down and find the pair that our Founding Fathers had. MAKE YOUR VOICES HEARD!

 

Okay Industries “Surefeed” Magazines

Okay Industries has been around for along time.   Most people familiar with them know them from the surplus magazines sold at gun shows or stores.   They are a major supplier of M16/M4 magazines for the military.  In my opinion, they make the best milspec USGI aluminum standard mag.   I have used them over many many years and have never had one have even the smallest issue.   My friend and myself spent many hours driving mile and miles to find USGI mags after the ’94AWB became law and the Colt and Okay magazines were much sought after by us

One thing many people don’t know is that they likely already have an Okay ind, mag.     Okay was and probably still is the company that manufactures the Colt factory magazines in 30 and 20 round versions.  Years ago, colt rifle manuals fine print about reliability and warranty lawyer speak  always had the statement that Colt only garauntees their rifles to work completely reliable when using Colt and Okay Industry brand AR-15/M16/M4 magazines.   Why OKay? Because they made both.   Anyone in the military that carried a rifle/carbine as their primary job has probably seen plenty of the Okay brand mags.    Other than being issued some,  buying Colt magazines or surplus Okay mags on the civilian market, until recently it has not really been easy to buy brand new Okay brand mags.    Then recently, Okay has started finally selling their excellent USGI mags on the civilian market for everyone not in a communist state to purchase.  Rejoice!  The “Surefeed”  Okay magazines were born.

The mags come in the typical ziploc type plastic bag with nice backing with information and  instruction about the magazines.

The backs give the pertinent info  buyers may want to know abotu the specs of the magazines.

Not very often do you see a company care enough to include info like that in  plastic baggies for magazines.

The side of the mag bodies are marked with  the logo and you can see the milspec finish.

The mags being milspec, are up to the current specs and have the up to date tan follower to aid reliability  and to better feed the M855A1 service round.  The follower is the now standard anti-tilt type . The spring is stainless steel and made to the current milspec as well as he hard coat anodized finish.

The floorplates are marked with the new  logo and markings. A little different than the older Okay Industries markings but no change in quality.  I don’t know if this is the new logo for all mags or just the ones to be sold on the civilian market, I wouldn’t doubt  if it is just as change for marketing for non military buyers with the old markings and name still used for gov. contract magazines.  Either way  the important thing is that if you want to buy new, never used Okay mags you can.  I  paid $11 yankee green backs for these, A great deal as we have been living the salad days since obama left the throne. My advice is to buy  them in bulk and buy them often while the price is still down.

 

I tried these mags in  several ARs and they worked as expected.  All of my ARs are Colt which of course  has the magwells made to proper mil spec so its no shock the mags that are made to work  within that spec do.     I fired the mags, loaded them with stripper clips, loaded the mags with the lula loader and  they are living up to opinion I have of the older USGI surplus Okay mags I have.

I would not bother with a review of a plain old USGI magazine  normally but the Okay brand mags are a bit of an exception for me. I have always held a very high opinion of them and  always carefully horded the surplus examples I accumulated over the years.  Seeing them finally  brought  to the wider civilian market  was something I was very happen to see.,

The following branded USGI mags are the ones I stick with to ensure reliability.   I will save arguments over if they are all actually made by the same company for another time. I offer the list only as a way to reference the  USGI  I personally trust for 30 rounders.

  1. Colt
  2. Okay
  3. C Products
  4. NHMTG
  5. Adventure line

I do  often use and trust  the surefire 60 round magazines as well.

For completeness  non aluminum mags I use and trust are below.

  1. Lancer AWM ( the finest magazine on the market in my opinion)
  2. P-mag
  3.  DD  32 round magazines.

I also like the Pmag 40 round magazines.   That is  pretty much my short list of mags I use and trust  in the 30 rounds plus.     As for 20 rounders I have found most surplus military 20 round mags in good shape are reliable as well as the Pmag 20s and Pmag 10 rounders.

 

 

 

Vintage Marbles Cleaning Kit

Gather around children and I will show you something from a world long past.  During it’s day it was one of the best of it’s type.   Sold in a metal container that had a place for all its items.   A place for everything and everything in it’s place . It was made in a time when things were meant to last and look good. To give you a little pride of ownership.

I am a known fancier of vintage  target gun,. gun  and shooting accessories and various  related  paraphernalia.  One of those items that falls within my interest is the older vintage cleaning tools.  In particular the Marbles brand cleaning kits.   Anytime I get a chance to  buy one I will.    They are a treasure in my opinion.  They are well made  and I love the tin they rod and various items it contains.   They  were considered pretty highly in the day and the USMC even provided a Marbles cleaning rod as  the cleaning kit with m40/M40A1 rifles for a time.   So lets have a look.

Getting a complete kit in good shape with all or most of its accessories is already hard enough.  getting one with the cardboard outer wrap is almost a miracle.  Luckily a miracle happened for me.

Below is a picture of the kit with the outer wrap as it would have been sold.

 

Taking out out of the slip cover you see the  tin  that holds the rod and other parts.

For something that was made to be sold in general stores or sears and gun stores, the metal box is impressive.  There is  no  way something like it would even be sold as a mass market item now a days.  Maybe a reissue to cash in on an anniversary maybe, but  that is it.

Opening it up and first thing you see is another miracle.  Maybe one even bigger than the slip case.  The little paper sheet giving a few tips about the kit , why it does not come with brushes and how to apply the gun bluing on the back side.

As you can see , the kit contains  a rod that will work on 22 caliber rifles up to 10 ga shotguns.  It has a clever rotating tip that allows the brush and patches to follow the lands and grooves.  You can see the  adapter for shotgun brushes and mops and as well as a loop jag. The rod itself is  a sectional rod.  Not idea for cleaning a rifle bore especially if it is a precision barrel. As I have mentioned before a sectional rod will  wear the  bore and scratch it at the sectioned breaks.  The gap between each section will also retain small particles or dirt, sand  or other things that will scratch the bore as you move it  to the muzzle and back to the chamber.  It is  best to use a coated single, solid rod with a bore guide.   But back then, few people knew or cared about such things and others likely couldn’t afford or find a solid rod.     All that aside, the Marbles rod is well made . It has an attractive wooden handle  pinned to the rod that is sturdy enough.  As I said above the end of the road that the brush or jag attaches to  rotates easily and freely to allow brushes and patches to follow the groves of the bore.

To the upper right you can see the Marbles brand oil and bottle. Something  very hard to find.  The oil is advertised as an all purpose type and it smells like no other weapon lube I have  encountered.

To the left is the small bottle of blueing . I have a few other Marbles kits that are not complete, but the all did come with a bottle of the blueing.   Out of curiosity I have tried it on  some of my training guns with worn finish and to my surprise it does work and it works great.  It was pretty impressive how well it worked to me.   It is way more effective and better looking than anything you can buy  now.

Beside the blue in the tin you can see the box of cotton flannel Marbles cleaning patches.   The box is still full with the original patches.

The box has the Marbles logo and artwork. Clearly from  a time when companies had more pride in the art design of their products.

To give an idea just how old this stuff is,  take a look at the printing on something as small as this box.

The inside lid of the tin has various tips and info.  It looks very well done.  Also of course it has the company logo and info about various things.  For those new to guns and maybe buying their first cleaning kit,  it gives instructions on how to clean the bore of  your rifle or shotgun, pistol etc.  Not my preferred method but..    It also has  tips for cold and hot weather.

The lid folds down and secures nicely.  It makes a nice compact  little rig.

One of the trickest parts of the kit is the insert inside of the tin box. It can be removed if you want  to do away with it.   If you do remove the fitted insert you could store considerable more items in the box if you need to.     Leaving it  in place gives you a fitted insert with  sections made exactly for each cleaning item and secure them with metal tabs made as part of the insert.   They are strong and sturdy and with a little effort can be squeezed to hold tightly against the various parts.  It holds it all secure and keeps the rod etc from rolling around inside it or coming loose when moving it around.

 

These old vintage  cleaning kits are real beauties from a time long past.  It may be silly to use the word craftsmanship for a mass market item but I can not help but use it.   It is well made and clearly was meant to be something that you used for many years once you bought it.  Not  use once and toss away  chinese made walmart junk  you will see in modern times from the likes of Hoppes and outers.

A nice relic from  days gone by.