Every so often on firearms forums I see people talk about how great the L85/SA80 is, and how much of a shame it is that no one sells them in the United States. They then proceed to claim that if someone were to offer a semi-auto version, they could make a fortune off all the guaranteed sales.
To put it bluntly, they are wrong. When I was in the Corps, I got to cross train with the Royal Marines. They got to try out our M16A2s, and we tried their SA80s. We have the better rifle. Most of the appeal of of the SA80 is due to our not being able to buy one. Other then that, it is crude, heavy, bulky. The SA80 is around 11 pounds unloaded with SUSAT optic. While it balances well when shouldered, that is still plenty of extra weight to carry. This rifle isn’t all that good looking too, the design is rude and crude. Mag changes are slow and awkward, more so then other bullpups. If these were to be sold in the U.S., some people would buy them for fun or collection, but most would turn it down due to its weight, poor appearance and controls, and the higher cost of a less common rifle.
While not gun related, I would like to take a moment to thank WordPress for making it so easy to start a blog. The process has been quick and they have good guides to get you started. Changing and editing settings, getting a domain, and all these other little things are handle simply and efficiently. If you are thinking about starting a blog, look into WordPress.com.
Now that the magpul DVDs have been out for a while and it seems everyone has seen them, I have noticed a few common ideas about them people seem to have especially on internet forums. A lot of people I talk to about them seem to miss some of what I think is the real point and value of them. they obviously can not substitute for real hands on training, but they do have some real benefit despite what some say. Mainly I think the point lost on a lot of people is the video really help with weapons handling and manipulation. Even if you are a long time AR15 user, you can learn some pretty good stuff, even if you do not adopt their procedures it gets you thinking ( if you have enough brain) about cleaning up your own sloppy actions.
If you do choose to use their version of each operation its still some good stuff. Its in style now to rag on them and make all the useless and pointless tier 1 jokes in a worn out attempt to be sarcastic, but in doing so, some real chances to learn are lost. I for one have become a lot smoother with my weapons manipulations and have even modified some of what they teach to better fit me. You do not have to do it exactly their way but it is a great starting point for basic manipulations and smoothing your own self out.
Another thing people seem to get the wrong idea bout is speed, or how fast they can put 5-10-20 whatever rounds out. We have seen a lot of guys shooting at ranges who seem to think the point is to get the mag half empty in 3 seconds even if they hit the dirt 5 feet in front of them!! The videos do not demand 1 MOA groups on target, but a balance between speed and accuracy that is good but not slowfire at the NM good. But it seems that because it is so cool to see those two guys dumping rounds on target in seconds people just forget you also need to actually hit with those rounds. The more the offender seems to blaze away at a break neck speed, the worse they were at just plain marksmanship to start with. The idea being forget precise shooting I will just do a mag dump! Few seem to want to train smooth a slow so they never gain the speed that comes through the repeated movements done correctly.
We have a multitude of wonderful options in muzzle devices now for our rifles. However I have been seeing some odd trends that disturb me. First I run into many people running muzzle breaks on short barreled rifle (SBR) variants. These short 5.56 rifles only gain marginal recoil reduction, and the cost of a large increase of flash and blast, almost always annoyingly so. Several of the owners of these short rifles tell me that their rifle is their home defense gun. I do hope that they never need to fire those rifles indoors with out hearing protection. Pronged flash hiders are also coming back into style. These tend to be more effective then closed ended flash hiders, but many will ring like a bell when tapped or as the rifle is discharged. Sometimes prongs can be bent, or they can bloom like a flower. I recommend against pronged flash hiders on full length rifles, and on firearms that are going to be used in think brush. However these pronged flash hiders are an excellent choice for the sub-16 inch .30 cal rifle and for SBRs as they mitigate flash and blast better then many of the enclosed flash hiders. One last note, some flash hiders have sharp edges, points, and/or barbs for use as a impact weapon. I highly recommend against these as standard flash hiders work well in that role, and the expensive specialized ones end up just cutting holes in your range bags and cases.
Got to shoot a Ruger SR556 last Saturday. Recoil was smooth and pleasant, the narrow railed hand guard felt nice in the hand. However when I field stripped it, I found metal shavings under the rear take down pin all the way up under the bolt catch. Bolt carrier tilt was shaving metal from the buffer tube. While shooting the Ruger rifle was nice, it looks like they have not worked out all the kinks yet.
It is funny that WordPress would name the default starting post “Hello World!”. I had been a computer programmer for a few years before I ever wrote a C++ Hello World script. It didn’t compile on the first try. Or the second. Didn’t run either. Fortunately I am better with firearms then I was with computer code.
I am Howard, and I go by the screen name Postal0311, together with my friend Shawn, we have decided to start “Just another WordPress firearm Blog”.
Shawn has this to add:
Hello everyone, welcome to our new blog, Loose Rounds! It will be the gibbering of two friends who live deeply into the world of firearms, gear and any and everything else related to our favorite subject and maybe a few odds and ends for fun. We will be reviewing new guns, optics, pistols,gear and all the stuff that supports them. Two us will be doing this and we think our style will be fairly amusing to others. The blog started from hours of talking about our hobby/lifestyle and we got the crazy idea maybe some one out there would like to read out gibbering.
Between the two of us we feel we have a lot of ground covered on a wide range of topics and can give a pretty balanced review on items. The tone will be fairly casual as if in a conversational manner. All reviews will be done in a way to give as much info as possible, no gunrag half reviews that leave you feeling like all you read was a couple of pages of a add or the authors life. We may also add posts on a variety of things the typical gun owner is interested in like video games,movies and mindset and tactics as well as ideas we have that may or may not make things better or at least get a person thinking on how and what they might truly need, but will be devoted to firearms and all that goes with them. We think the name of the blog, “Loose Rounds” sums up the wide range we will cover.
Sooooo..it should be fun, amusing,insightful,deep,slightly embarrassing ,helpful and sexy. Stay tuned and check back in as often as you feel like to get some good info on tactical arms because we will be writing up some of the most cutting edge and fun stuff we can get our hands on, and that is a pretty wide range between the two of us. So stick around. It will be fun !!