Category Archives: Scattered Shots

Broken E-mail

It turns out I broke our email service 3 days ago.  So if you sent an email to any of us at a @LooseRounds.com account since Monday the 2nd, we haven’t gotten it.

Our email should be back up in 24 hours.  If you don’t hear back from us then, please resend your email.

I wonder what else I broke and haven’t found out yet.

Thoughts on the IAR, Part 1

USMC M27 IAR
CAMP HANSEN — Lance Cpl. Zachary A. Whitman, a shooter with the III Marine Expeditionary Force detachment, familiarizes himself with the M27 Infantry Automatic Rifle in preparation for the Australian Army Skill at Arms Meeting 2012. AASAM is a multilateral, multinational event allowing Marines to exchange skills tactics, techniques and procedures with members of the Australian Army as well as other international militaries in friendly competition. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Sgt. Brandon L. Saunders/released)

Image taken from Wikipedia.

Thoughts on the IAR, Part 1

For a variety of reasons I’ve been thinking a good bit about the USMC’s M27 IAR and the concept of the automatic rifle.

Generally my first thought is annoyance that the USMC wouldn’t buy anything cool until after I got out.

While I was in, along with having the M249 SAW, we also heard and believed that the USMC needed rifles.  It was often said that we used rifles because of the greater accuracy, reliability, and lethality.  I found it funny when we got to Iraq and the SAW gunners were issued PARA barrels (13.7 inch long according to FN).  It made the SAW shorter than a M16.  Even funnier is how we were told we needed 20 inched barreled rifles for fighting, yet the 16.5 inch barrel on the IAR is apparently good enough.

The M249 was a good light machine gun, but a fair automatic rifle.  When you could stay in a stationary emplacement and lay down a wall of lead it was a whole lot of fun.  Carrying it around and trying to engage rapidly was not so great.  I think the biggest issue is that we generally did not have as much trigger time and confidence in the SAW.  Guys graduated Bootcamp thinking they knew how to use the M16.  Handing them a SAW was giving them a weapon there were not familiar or proficient with.  Not to mention that the SAW was usually given to the new boots who didn’t know how to employ it well.

So the question becomes, does the increased portability and identical handling and controls to the M4/M16 make it worth giving up the capability of massive volume of fire of the belt fed.

Novice shooters and shotguns

Not to long ago I was working at an event geared toward helping people who have little to no firearm knowledge or experience.

Looking back at, and most of the other similar events I have been at I noticed at how much new shooters tended to prefer the shotgun.

Before they ever fire the shotgun, often the various people running or helping at these events will explain how you don’t need to aim, that the sound of racking a shotgun will scare off any intruder, and how the massive power of the shotgun can blast a grown man across a room.  Then these novices proceed to fire a couple shots of birdshot at close ranges absolutely shredding these paper targets.  When they go to try a rifle or pistol, it is fired at far longer ranges with no feedback as to hits or misses.

Now don’t get me wrong, the shotgun is a devastating effective weapon with the right ammunition and it may be the right choice as a home weapon for many of these novices.  That said I think the combination of bad advice along with firing these very light loads at very close paper targets gives a false sense of effectiveness.  I also think that new shooter when firing any weapon should be given some sort of reactive target(be it steel swingers, clay pigeons, balloons, shoot and see targets, etc) so they can see that they are hitting the target.  That way they can also receive coaching if they are missing.  A new shooting firing at a paper target at 25+ yards often has no idea if they are hitting or not, and will receive no help to correct problems if they are missing.

I remember one church group I was the Range Officer for; the minister showed off to his congregation his pistol grip only shotgun and explain how it was perfect for home defense and you don’t even need to aim it.  He then proceeded to fire a shot from the hip that impacted about 10 feet above his target.

When there are people new to shooting, we need to prepare them for success, not failure.

ACOG EREK

2016-10-23-15-10-34

I managed to purchase for my self an ACOG EREK cantilever adapter.

Now to be honest, I’m not exactly sure what EREK stands for.  I’m guessing something like Eye Relief Extension Kit.

So why did I buy it?  Because I wanted one.  Some time back, I saw some pictures of the USMC trying a cantilever mount for the ACOG on the M16A4.  Since them I have wanted to give it a try.

When you read about people complaining about the ACOG, the first complaint is always price, the second tends to be about the short unforgiving eye relief.  Once you take that short eye relief of the ACOG and have to mount a BUIS behind it, combined with a fixed stock, it can be annoying.  Personally, not only have I gotten used to it, I am rather fond of the ACOG mounted forward as I shoot nose to the charging handle.

So at some point the USMC had some adapters made up that moved the ACOG back and over the Knights 2-600m rear sight.  This makes the ACOG easier to use with the A2 fixed stock.  Now I tried to find pictures of it in use again, but I was unable too.  My guess is that the USMC tested it and for what ever reason decided not to use them.

Why?  I don’t know.  Perhaps raising the ACOG up make it more unacceptable to damage or abuse changing the zero.  It might not have been worth the cost.  Or someone might have come to their senses and said use the M4 instead.  In any event, I have one to use now, and it is rather nice.  It lifts the ACOG up enough that the charging handle is easily accessible, and moves the ACOG far enough back that you don’t need to crane your head forward for nose to the charging handle.

 

2016-10-23-15-10-45

 

Two M231 Port Firing Weapons Or How Bad Can You Want Something Complete?

About 10 years ago the ARFCOM  retro forum had not become the price driving monster it would end up.  During that time it was still still possible to find some pretty rare parts on ebay and various places.  Some of those parts could be made into a full weapon minus the lower of course.  That is the goal for most of the retro builders. Ideally they want all original parts they can get to finish the gun. A lot of people manage to piece together a gun by finding all the correct parts. Obviously I am leaving out the full auto lower, but when I say all, I mean everything but that lower and whatever other parts that would risk crossing the absurd rules.

What really sticks in the craw for a lot of people, is getting 90% there. Ewww that has to burn!   You get something super rare and cool and you just can not wait to post pics of it all over place at the gun prom!  But. You just can’t. Get. It. All!    So what do you do?  Give up?  Sell it all off to some other guy who still has a hope of  finishing it up?

Nope. You go online and find some one who knows a guy who knows a guy and just have the parts you need made from scratch of course!.

oijoijSo now we come down to the “rest of the story”.    The two guns shown are of course Colt M231 post firing weapons.  An oddball from a period of time where the military wanted to  have something to fire from the side holes of a Bradley.  You can look up the details yourself but it basically a M16  simplified down and with a really high cyclic rate meant to be used from the Bradley.  There are a few variants of it but one in particular more or less stands as the standard model as far as looks and recognition goes.   A guy who ended up becoming a dear friend came on the retro forum one day after ending up with a hand full of M231 parts from some auction and wanted to finish it up as it was not something being done at the time. He was really stuck on a couple of parts that seemed to be impossible to find and was out of options or ideas.    I happened to wonder into that thread and after seeing the  almost finished weapon, really got hot to see it completed.

I contacted my friend who is a skilled machinist about the possibility of making that part for  the arfcommer.   After some emails and back and forth the project was on its way.

The major hold up for the arfcom retro guy was the gas block  that was also that part that hooked into the vehicle.  No one could find measurements or  even a picture to show it from all angles and sides.  Some found some specs some where and I sent it on to my machinist friend.   Just using pictures found online that no one took for the purposed of making a copy of it and eye balling it, my friend came up with a plan.  Below is a picture of a real one and the fake one made up by my friend, who has made an appearance on this website a few times over the years.

sdfsdfEveryone has heard of the 10 foot rule or some version of it.   Well most will agree that if you have never handled a M231 yourself and even if you did you likely never cared, this copy would most likely pass the 10 inch  test for anyone other than people very , very familiar with it

You can see the places where the fake , faked it.   Mostly this is a result of making a copy from pictures.

m231a

In this case, the length of the barrel gives it away. The real M231 upper has a slightly shorter barrel. The longer 16 inch barrel is used as the variant with stock, makes for a legal carbine. Real M231 upper with shorter than 16 inch barrel is a “Pistol” so as not to have to get into NFA laws.

The machining to make that gas block took a few months and trial and error.  Some experimenting had to be done with the gas system and gas tube.  A gas tube had to be cut down by the machinist and a one of a kind gas system made.  We tested fired it one night  and it was feeling of real accomplishment.

oipoipoipoi

The gas block above is pictured in the white.  The machine shop my friend worked at did not have an ability to park’ it and the owner received and and sent it off to be finished in the appropriate shade  for retro looks.

it was a lot of effort to pull this off. I did not mention that I and my friend live in Ky and the owner close to the other end of the country so much phone calls and emails , shipping and a lot of effort by guys on Arfcom retro forum went into getting this thing together. It tunred out pretty good I have to say.

Of course it was all kind of a waste because a month or two after it was all completely a real completely M231 came up for auction on gun broker and the owner of the M231 bought the complete upper.  If he had only waited !    It was all worth it regardless. things were learned, some one worked on something at work he was not supposed to. life long friends were made and some esoteric M16  retro parts skyrocketed on ebay ever after. Good times had by all.

Bellow I am posting some more picture of the oddities M231 parts. Most are the major parts that are a hang up for any one pondering putting one together.  At the time, I recall some other machinist was making copies of some of these parts.

"Test your gear" -or- "How Larue Tactical made me look bad"

All of us are human, we can all make mistakes.  This goes doubly true for firearm companies.

A friend of mine purchased a Larue rifle on my recommendation.  Much to our dismay, it did not function out of the box.  (My punishment for highly recommending anything)  It was short stroking.  Closer inspection showed that one of the socket head hex screws on the boltcarrier key appears crooked.  Most likely the head has broken off the bolt shaft allowing the Bolt Carrier Key to become just loose enough to cause the gun to short stroke.  Larue Tactical is already replacing the BCG.

If you buy quality, you are less likely to have issues, but there is always the chance of problems.  Test your gear.

Larue