5.56 Timeline

So much for Black Dog Machine .22 Mags

Shawn has long ranted and called BDM products junk. Mine worked, so I was happy with them.

But I hadn’t used my BDM .22 mags for a while. I went to pull them out of storage and I found they all had cracked. One failed catastrophically, and all the other have bad cracks propagating through them.

I paid $35 each for these. I never abused them. What a bad deal.

Put me firmly in the “Don’t buy Black Dog Machine magazines” camp.

Quick Reminder, Gooseneck Mounts Exist

For those of you that still have ARs with fixed iron sights, don’t forget that there is such a thing as a gooseneck mount.

There are a great many surplus gooseneck mounts out there. Some can be purchased for less than $10 shipped to you. I got the one pictured above for $8 shipped to me.

There are a few different heights, not all allow for using of iron sights, but they will let you mount a full sized reflex sight such an an Aimpoint, or Eotech (don’t use an Eotech).

Might not hurt to have one around.

OPTIC OF THE WEEK: Mark AR MOD 1 1.5-4x20mm

The Leupold MK AR 1x4x is a pretty nifty optic. With the increase in popularity of the variable power carbine optic and the increase in price that comes along with that popularity. The 1x-4x is no frills alternative that is still handy and versatile without the $1,800+ price.

opitc in a larue SPR mount on Colt 901

The scope has a 1 inch tube which is still the most common for most end users. It’s rapidly becoming passe, but it keeps the price down and few of the targeted market does not need a 30MM tube.

The adjustment turrets are Mils. instead of the MOA clicks. In addition, the elevation has markings to of a BDC to match common rounds used. Most come with the BDC for 55 grain M193 loads but you can order different ones from Leupold and swap them out. Not just in 5.56MM but also 309/7.62. The turrets have set screws that all you to reset the turret to 0 once you have it…zeroed. Which I clearly have not done yet.

The left side has the battery cap and control for the Firedot.

The reticle is a crosshair with a larger outer ring for use on lower power. The firedot lights up in the center of the crosshairs.

The reticle has carious marks for holdover etc. Armlist shows a diagram showing holds for M855 and a 175gr math load for .308. I have tried it and can confirm it is accurate.

best I could do

The power ring could be a little bigger, It is hard to grab and adjust in a hurry or with gloves.

The MK AR1-4x is usually seen on 556 carbines or rifles. The 1.5x with dot is meant to make it work as a RDS but it just can’t. We have not hit the point where we can have a true RDS then Variable magnification both in one optic yet. I do like this optic for “battle carbine” use. The combination works as a some what DMR.

Brownells 20 Round Mags

No, LooseRounds has not been bought by Brownells. Not yet anyway, ( Call me Pete..)

Their new retro line of guns, parts and mags has been a big hit lately. The guns have honestly been a little hit or miss. I have heard has many people having issues as I have heard of people singing praises. I haven’t gotten my hands on on a Brownells A1 yet though ( call me Pete) so I can’t give you any opinion on those. I did get twenty five of the 20 round mags and a waffle mag a few months ago however.

I really like it

To cut to the chase on the waffle mag, I really like it. It’s really nice and about the only way to get one at a price that isn’t insane. I have used it a lot and it hasn’t let me down. I can recommend. And it looks cool in a SP-1.

The standard USGI 20 round mags.

I really like 20s. I have about as many Colt 20s as most people have regular 30s. The Brownells mags have worked well. It’s hard to find any decent quality 20 rounder that doesn’t. They do have one thing I am not crazy about.

All of the edges on the mags are as sharp enough to shave with. They wear pouches and the old cotton bandoleers at an alarming speed. Sure, few people will care. But it is what it is. None of the old 20s from the War are like this and neither are any of the Colt or other brand USGI 20s. It’s a little thing but often find the little things will tip you off to some of the big things.

One of the best things about the mags is the price. If you like 20 rounders now is the time to go crazy stocking up.

Unlike Howard, I have enough to fill up two BAR belts and a couple of the 7 pocket Vietnam era bandoleers. At least I have one thing going for me.

Because I am a weirdo, I keep all the loaded 20s in the bandoleers sealed up in the water proof surrender propaganda bags. If you haven’t seen these before, they are clear plastic with Vietnamese printed on them encouraging communists to “rally to the RVN government.” The idea was the GI or ARVN would carry his mags in the water proof protective bags, then when he needed to reload,m he would take the mag out, discard the bag on the ground. Then, when Anh was back in the area he would look down and see the bags on the ground and they would convince him to defect to the South VN side in the open arms program. Don’t roll your eyes. VC defectors did show up with these propaganda bags in their hands to get safe passage.

Those original bags can still be bought. Our pal Trey, who owns mooremilitaria.com will sell you as many as you want. AS well as bandoleers, original ore cleaner and about anything else Vietnam related you want.


2 for 1 yankee dollar ! Original war dated! Never used! What else do you want?

NOT a Brownells retro rifle, The real thing

OPTIC OF THE WEEK : Leupold VX-II 6x-18x

This scope has been one of my favorites for a long time. The Vari-X II then as the VX-II, have been general purpose target optics of mine for at least 20 years. The 6x-18x being the one I found to be the most useful.

The VXII has the 40mm objective lens that is adjustable for range/focus/parallax. It has the inside threading to accept a sunshade which as you can see, I have installed.

The windage and elevation adjustments are in 1/4 MOA clicks and comes standard with a thinner turret and caps the screw on over them.

I have replaced them with the over sized turrets that are not covered so that Ic an quickly adjust them without having to remove cap. Very handy when making adjustments when hunting crow. The turrets have three small set screw that can be loosened to allow the turret to be reset at 0 when. One full revolution of the turret is 60 clicks of 1/4″ per. 144 clicks up will give a 1,000 yard zero from a .308 using 175gr Federal gold medal Match from a 100 yard zero.

The power ring is small with a slightly larger bump for adjusting power. It’s not big by modern standards and I am sure many would complain. But this is not a tactical optic. Of course the power goes from 6x-18x naturally.

I was not able to get a satisfactory picture of the reticle. The optic uses a plain duplex cross hair with fine main crosshairs. Like every Leupold, the glass is very clear and sharp. eye relief is generous and not picky at all. I have used these model optics for most of my long range shooting career before moving to NF and more specialized tactical leupolds. Even so I have spent more time behind one of these on live game since I have been using the VX and vari-x models for over 20 years.

And because I know you will ask. The Optic is currently mounted to my Pre-64 Winchester model 70 heavy varmint. Gun is chambered in .243 WCF with heavy target barrel.