Category Archives: Scattered Shots

Interesting malfunction

 

Saw an AR15 yesterday where the bolt carrier group was stuck mostly to the rear.  It took a while to finally get the rifle apart, then it still took some time to identify the problem.

The issue turned out to be that the forward assist broke.

This makes for an interesting problem.  Now this makes for a good argument to have more then one firearm.  At the range, if you can’t clear the issue, you can still plink or train with the other firearm.  In the fight, you just transition to the other firearm when Immediate and Remedial action don’t work.  It is also a good reason to buy quality parts.  While a fluke like this can happen with any brand, it is less likely to happen when you buy quality.

The rifle this occurred too was home built from Spikes parts.  I have no doubt that Spikes will replace their forward assist.

 

Remington XR-100 thoughts

The Remington XR100 was trotted out a few years ago after big green saw that the .204 ruger was a hit.  The guns heart is actually the old XP100  piston action. A scaled down bolt gun action in a bolt action pistol chambering the .221 fireball. Which the fireball is a wonderful round for varmint hunting and wildcating.  The XP100 was well thought of by serious boltgun-pistol shooters it was ahead of its time in a lot of ways.

The 204 ruger was developed by Hornady and ruger  from the older .222 magnum  round.  If you care and  can not find brass like me when it first came out, you can neck down 222 mag brass the fire form it in your 204 chamber then  full length size. No need for that these days, but it can be done if you get some 222 mag brass really cheap.

The 204 is a 20 caliber round that fires a 32 to 45 grain bullet and velocities that rival the 220 swift but with less barrel burning and pressure.  The 204 compared to the 17 remington has less fouling, less pressure, longer case life and longer range all with better accuracy.  The 204 usually has  around a 4200 fps muzzle velocity  but can be loaded a little hotter wit handloading.  The 17 remington is the closest caliber to compare to the 204 when it comes to terminal effects on varmints. With the 17 you either get a dead animal with not a mark, or immediate disassemble of the target. The 204 is always impressive on the target. Crows look like a grenade went off inside a feathered pillow and the flatter trajectory of the .204 allows dead on aiming to ranges that you would not believe if you are used to 22.250s and .223s.

The XR-100  is  the same action as the xp100 pretty much, but thats where it ends.  The Rifle comes with a laminated stock with a thumbhole grip that feels great in the hand. I was never a thumbhole stock fan but this is nice. The barrel is free floated  and the fore arm has the cooling slots. I have not clue why because it is a single shot bolt action and it would be real work to heat it up enough to really need them.   The stock is  sadly not bedded in any way which is typical for remington in those type stocks. It does not effect the accuracy of the gun in any practical way though.

The gun using my handload of Vit powder and  a 32gr Vmax shoots 1/2 MOA to 3/4 MOA depending on me. One thing I notice is people tend to  think their groups are worse when looking at the results of the 204 on paper. The holes are smaller so the space between holes in the group sometimes makes some people mistakenly think its not shooting up to par.  On the surface it can look so so until they stop and think about the size of the holes and measure the group. A 3/4 MOA 100 group with a 20 cal looks horrible when shown beside a 3/4 MOA group from a 308.

I usually zero the .204  so I can hold dead center of a crow out to 300 yards and they have yet to let me down. That is the real benefit of the round to me more so then its terminal effects. It is easy even for a beginner to use  since they have little experience judging distance and using hold.

The XR100 comes with  the standard remington 700 trigger but it is adjusted to be very very light. Some feel less then 3 ponds and break like a GI Joe action figures thumb. This makes the gun a pleasure to shoot when you out good glass on it and consider its accuracy and trajectory.  Opening the bolt shows the guns  solid no magazine action. The gun is single feed. This is not a big deal for what it was meant for  but some people would want a repeater.

The gun has a  leupold VX-II 6x-18x scope on it. This scope with the target turrets has long been a favorite of mine when it comes to none tactical uses. It is attached with leupold bases and rings.

I have some strange habits when varmint hunting that some find odd but I am always trying to make it easier to hit at long range but not have to carry a lot of stuff with me.  I have other uses for a back pack and if I need something out of the pack to help me usually the time has passed for the shot by the time I get it out and in play.  One of my little tricks is to keep a caldwell rear bag attached to either my belt  or a strap by 550 cord so it can not get lost but it is always there when I need it and has freedom to be adjusted. Since this gun has a thumb hole stock I looped the cord around the hole and kept it with the gun. It worked out a lot better then I imagined. When I move it is always with the gun and I wrap the extra cord around the stock. This is not the kind of rifle you are running around with over mountains or hanging by a 3 point sling so this works nice. And its already with the gun if I see a shot and I need to just grab the gun and get ready fast before the shot passes.

Bag is filled with  foam beads so it weighs nothing but works as great support.

I always try to keep a simple set of bushnell laser range finders with the gun so I can get a fast reading if I am in land I am not used to estimating range  in.

And like all of my working varmint guns I have a set of harris bipods. This rifle has the BR model which although is not the best all around model, is my favorite if the grass is not too high.  The leupold sunshade is also something to consider when trying to nail crows that are smarter then your mother in law. Depending on the sun position, a little flash is all it takes for a crow to go into counter sniper mode.

The XR100 is a nice target/varmint gun and the 204 is a wonderful killer that can make you look like a better shot then you deserve. If you can find this combo and want a varminter, this is a good choice if the price is right.  I have for years been a 17 remington fan but dumped it as soon as I got to work with the 204 ruger.  Sure it does not have the performance and range as my 243 WCF or the complete familiarity of the 5.56  but it is worth having in every ones arsenal. And as far as varminting goes there is few things coyote sized or smaller it can not take.

Gear Tree/ PC Stand

A lot of people have a ton of tactical gear with no decent way to store it. It is hard to find hangers that will support the weight of plates and mags already loaded plus all the extras.  After seeing a few versions of this handy system me and my Dad put a couple of them together ourselves to hang gear on. It keeps it ready and not tangles up.

The first is the one I keep my TAG  Banshee on.

It holds the Banshee loaded with plates and armor, three 30 round mags and 3  ten round 1911 mags.  Also  it holds my warbelt with x2 ar mags, 1 1911 mag my pistol holster, IFAK and dump ouch and GPO pouch.  On top rests my ACH MICH helmet. When making them if you want it to hold a hat or helmet you have to remember to have the main support be tall enough to hang the head cover on.

The beauty is you can make them as tall and wide as you want. And they are strong enough to hold every bit of gear you own if  the gear has a way to hang off of it.  It does not cost much to make them either since all you need is a few 2x4s and some paint and nails.

Be sure to make the base well enough to keep the stand balanced when loaded down.

The base is the one part  that you can not make too small. But you do not need to make it huge.  Make it big and you can always trim it down. We always just make them a little bigger then we think we will need just to be safe.

The second lacks the helmet stand but holds a full riflemans kit MOLLE II FLC and a Source WXP. This is quite a bit of weight but the stand handles it with ease. This one was made a little smaller but with wider “shoulder” so to keep the weight even across the vest.

On a side not the MOLLE II FLC is an excellent fighting kit that is often over looked.  they can be found in coyote, ACU, Woodland and DCU all over the web at very affordable prices. They are made my gov contractors for the military> They are not  the coolest new stuff but they can take a ton of abuse and hold more then you can stand to carry.  They do not hold armor but can fit over armor carriers just fine and the vest area is  mesh so it is much cooler then a lot of chest rigs. it can also be configures as a chest rig as well as the vest system.  I will do another full article on the FLC later.

The only downside is the gear tree does not easily fit into a closet or hide as well, but it is a safer way to store you armor and it is always ready for you to don in a hurry. Nothing gets tangled and your gear is not laying in a corner getting peed on by the family cat. Another bonus is if airs out and drys faster when wet or sweaty with your manly funk.

Gun Stickers and Decals

I found this company through a fellow shooter a few months ago and admired the quality.  My friend had one on a Pelican rifle case. It was black with a white decal and I though it was provided by the factory it looked so good and professional.  After ordering a Decal from them I set mine up similar to my friends and it is sharp.

The decals can be had in a staggering variety from DogFight Inc.  Not only do they make  logos but they also sell  stickers of firearms profiles. They can be bought in different colors and sizes. If you want to spice up your gear or vehicle  for that unique look, give them a try.

http://www.dogfightink.com/FirearmsLogoDecals.html

Check and recheck your gear.

When ever you buy new gear, or change the setup of your gear, you need to test it out.  It is good to make sure there are no unexpected issues.

For example, today I found that the LaRue POD stock attachment I have interferes with my plate carrier.  Shooting with out the body armor was a non-issue, however with the body armor, getting the stock where I wanted it was not working out.  I also installed an ITW Fast Mag M16 magazine holder on my belt.  While I loved the pouch, I found that its’ rigid body got in the way when I got into the kneeling position.

As always, it is better to find out issues in practice then then find them in the fight.

LaRue XTRAN

The left three cases were fired from a LaRue PredatAR with XTRANs chamber.  The rightmost case came from a standard chamber.

XTRAN chamber left a sprial of carbon on the case.  There is no felt damage to the case.  This spiral of carbon could be wiped off with finger.

Thanks LaRue Tactical

A big thanks to the good folks at LaRue Tactical.  I needed a replacement ring half (to replace one I damaged) and some screws for my mounts.

Despite that I gave alternate info that had no ordering history from LaRue and that I offered to pay, LaRue Tactical still sent me the parts for free.  Their fast shipping allowed me to correct the issue I created quickly.

On that note, I would like to mention one company I was less then impressed with, Daniel Defense.  I asked what size a certain set of screws where that I needed.  They kindly offered to send me some, and then quickly mailed me a bag of the wrong screws.  All of my several attempts to contact them about getting  the correct screws were either ignored or not responded too.