5.56 Timeline

Adjusting The Remington M700 Trigger ( simple accurizing tips part 2 )

I am  sure this info can be found on other places online, but the way I am going to show you is the simplest and fastest way to adjust the trigger on a M700.  When done correctly this gives a very clean crisp trigger pull on the factory trigger. You can also adjust the trigger to a very light pull within reason. Care needs to be taken on doing this though. A super light or “hair” trigger should not be used on a hunting gun.

I, nor loose rounds take any responsibility for you breaking the trigger, messing it up or shooting your self or friends from negligence after using the information given below.

Here is a rough picture I have drawn to give you something to look at to keep it in perspective. Obviously this is a crap rendering, but you get the idea.


Be sure the gun is unloaded and pointed in a safe direction and in a place safe to be working on the fire arm.

Be sure to remove the sealant from the  adjustment screws.

To adjust trigger.

1.  Engagement screw: with the gun cocked  and safety off, (and unloaded!) turn clockwise until sear releases. Turn counter clockwise for 0.012″ engagement

2. Overtravel screw:  With gun cocked and safety off, turn clockwise until the screw stops. With the trigger depressed. turn  counter clockwise  until sear releases with 0.005″ of over travel.  The gun will dry fire at this point. Once it does, I find this to be just right.

3. Poundage screw:  Turn counter clockwise for less weight of pull. Adjust it to a safe poundage.

The way I always test to make sure it is set to a safe poundage, is I put the gun back together, cock the action then drop it at least two feet onto a hard flooring. I hold the barrel of course so it does not fall over.  Or, you can rap the butt stock on the recoil pad smartly. I prefer to drop it onto the recoil pad from a foot or two.  If the gun dry fires, it is too light, if not, you are good to go as long as its the pull weight you want.   Working the action sharply is a decent test.  IF it is too light, working the bolt fast and sharp will also cause a  firing. Test it thoroughly to make sure you got it a safe weight.  I do not recommend it to be under 3 pounds for something you are going to walk around in the woods hunting with.  A light trigger also takes some getting use to if you do not have experience with them, even just shooting from the bench. S0 be careful.

After you test to make sure its safe, reseal the trigger adjustment screw. Finger nail polish or primer sealer will work for this.  Clear finger nail polish is always what I use. Lightly oil an put it back together. It is as simple as that and will give you a trigger as crisp and light and will give you good service for anything other then pure Benchrest NBRSA competition.


Article submitted by Mark Hatfield.



‘Lifeboat rations’  What the heck is that?


It is exactly what it says.  This is the food supply designed to be kept in lifeboats.  They were never intended to be a complete meal or to provide complete nutrition, they are simply intended to keep you alive until rescued.


There are some substantial advantages to keeping some on hand for emergencies.  These include:


1.  Guaranteed shelf life of five years.

2.  Does not make you thirsty.

3.  Don’t need to drink anything along with eating it.

4.  Does not go bad in extreme temperatures of hot or cold.


The storage conditions apply while the packaging is unbroken, if a package is opened so individual bars are accessible, the storage guarantees no longer apply.


These rations are an excellent choice for hiking, hunting, the ‘’bug out’ bag, and the ‘get home’ bag.  You can just throw some in the trunk of your car and forget about them until needed.


These are not just snack bars or ‘gorp’.  They are U.S. Coast Guard approved and most manufacturers are also internationally approved as well.  To be lifeboat rations they must meet specific standards for nutrition and stability.


They do contain a good bit of sugar so diabetics beware.  They are low protein, high carbohydrate, high sugar.  Some of them taste good enough to use for snacks and are cheaper than many similar sized items sold as snacks.  They may carry a lot more calories however.  For official use, each is offered in packets containing at least 3600 calories.  The basic packet of 3600 calories is said to be enough for 3 days, but that is for lifeboat use, the caloric needs of a hiker would be higher.  They also offer packets of 2400 calories.


The three manufacturers available of which I am aware are: S.O.S., Mainstay, and Datrex.


S.O.S.:  This is my favorite.  I find them appealing enough to occasionally eat as snacks.  The standard packet contains 9 bars of 400 calories each. Each bar is individually wrapped but not sealed.  The packet can be slightly difficult to open with bare hands, the individual wrappers often have a ‘greasy’ feel.  I usually open one end of the bars wrapper and squeeze the bar up to the top.  People to whom I have offered these find the taste either appealing or neutral.


Mainstay:  It has been 5 years since I have tried Mainstay.  Each packet contains 9 cubes, again 400 calories each.  The cubes were not separate but part of a larger block and not individually wrapped.  I do not recall how easily or not the packet opened.  The ration reminded me of dense, crumbly, fine grained corn bread but with a strong lemon flavor.  I do not like these but I do not like lemon, no lemon pies, lemon cakes, etc., however my niece loved them and so did others of her associates.


Datrex:  Just tried these this week.  Each packet contains 18 individually wrapped and sealed flat squares. The packet opened well enough but the individual bar wrappers were a bear to open with my bare hands.  The bars are soft and the effort to open the individual wrapper caused them to crumble, then some of it would be lost while trying to get it out of the wrapper.  If my hands were tired, weak, sweaty, or wet, I would never be able to open them without the point of a knife or other implement.  The taste is neither pleasant nor unpleasant, it was just…stuff.  I will not buy these again.  However, as I have a case of them, I have decided that in the event of very bad times, this is what I will hand out to others if requested.  Did occur to me, one could crumple the stuff into a bowl, add milk and eat it as a cereal.


When shopping for these, prices vary TREMENDOUSLY.  Some places actually charge twice what others do.  On top of that, these things are heavy so shipping cost is easily the same as the price of the product.  The manufacturer of the S.O.S. rations is only 3 or 4 hours away from me but does not sell retail, nor are there any nearby retailers.  My most recent purchase was from a company the furthest you could get from me in the continental U.S., essentially from one ‘corner’ of the country to the farthest other ‘corner’.  Look very carefully at the shipping costs, it is often cheaper to pay a higher price for the rations if the shipping rate is reduced, than to buy at a low sale price and pay full shipping.


As said, I keep some in my car.  I take them when hiking or hunting, and keep some in the house for emergencies. If you are thinking of long term food supply for bad times obviously you will want more than just these, but they are a good item for part of your emergency planning.

My Favorite Mags of the Year

A lot of magazines for the Ar15/M16 family was sent to loose rounds  this ( our first ) year for testing.   In trying out new guns, I used a lot of mags from as many different mfgs as I could get my sweaty little hands on.  The usual crew was of course tested, like the Pmag, the USGI mags as well.    Below as my three favorite mags tested this year.

The top three in my opinion are the Tango Down ARC mag, the Lancer advanced warfighter and the surefire 60 round mag.

The Tango Down and the  Lancer are tied for my all time favorite.   IF I had to pick one it would be the lancer.  I tried to  make them both stop working in ways that stopped just short of destroying them. I tossed the both off of a 50 foot cliff loaded and they still worked perfectly.  I Left them soak in muddy silty water, froze them and poured dirt into them.  I even stomped on them and ran over them in my jeep.   These are tough mags.  I love the metal feed lips of the lancer and really feel it is the best mag on the market right now and like it more then the Pamg,  I have not tried the new generation of Pmags yet. But I doubt I will change my mind about the lancer.  I am sure that will stick in some peoples craw but,  too bad.   I know what I saw.

The surefire 60 is  my third favorite. I tried really hard to causer it to stop working, I did not  toss it off a cliff or run over it because I know it will not take the same level of abuse. But, I am not sure it was meant or expected to.  I see the sure fire 60 as a specialty mag for matches or breaking and ambush or what have you. I think anyone who gets one for fighting would still treat it gently  as the some what specialty tool it is.  Now, thats not to say I was not rough on it. I was. I could not get a malfunction from doing stuff I think of as likely abuse.  I poured dirt a pebbles in it, water soaking, pressure on it etc. You can read my test of it earlier this year on this site.   I think most people using it to fight with will likely just have the one, and keep it in the gun and keep up with it and be slightly more gentle with it when not in use.

The surefire still has a ways to go before its gotten the same confidence of Pmags, but nothing beats having 60 rounds in the gun ready to go, without causing the gun to feel a lot heavier or un balanced. For that, it makes my list and I feel its worth its price easily.  I have not tried the 100 round mag yet, but will be soon.    I feel these are way better options then the Beta Cmag. The Cmag is a toy for people with NFA stuff or goofing, they are just not tough enough for real use. And I have seen the problems first hand.

The Pmag will probably remain every ones darling for a while to come. But I feel right now, the new lancers are a much better mag. and you should give  one or two a serious look.   The Tango Down suffers from a couple of problems but nothing that can not be over looked,  It is a very tough mag and is in use by some big names.  I do not use that as a guide since a couple of the big names are pretty much shills in my opinion, but it does matter to some people.  The follower on the TD is a real work of art. I feel confident in  saying the TD would also be a great choice if you are looking for a upgrade from the Pmag.

New Use For Old Tech

Everyone  has or at least has seen the old style bandoleers  the Military sends off ammo in. Usually cotton cloth or something like that.  Older ones had seven pockets and held two stripper clips of 10 rounds in each with a card board box keeping it secured in the pocket.  The newer  ones are 4 pocket and hold three ten round strippers  for 30 rounds each.

A dividing string can be removed to allow you to use the pockets to hold 1 thirty round  mag in each pocket. Just like the Vietnam era type would hold seven  20 round M16 magazines.

While looking at the new issue bandoleer  recently, I noticed it would hold SR-25 pattern magazines in each pocket with the white thread  removed.

This gives you a great way to have 80 rounds of 308 ready to go.  You can stick it in a pack or put a few in a 50 cal. ammo can and store it ready to grab and go or just have it ready to snatch up and throw over your shoulder and run out to do whatever it is you intend to do with a 308 rifle that takes SR25 pattern mags.

There is still no where the amount of  gear made for the 308 mags with the massive selection of gear made for 556 mags.   If you have a rifle that takes this type or size mags, this is a very cheap and passingly durable piece of old school gear that can be put into service.  Bandoleers filled with ammo and mags served as extra ammo carriers for our infantry through several wars and its still not a bad idea.  It is not the best for combat reloads or emergency reloading, but its still a pretty good way to have spare mags bandoleer and ammo  on your person or in a assault 3 day pack.

“What is “Cover” in the Home? Part 2


Last time I fired a variety of the more popular 556 rounds commonly stockpiled by shooter and one of the most popular defense loads through a variety of things inside of a house to see what happens. The idea was to maybe get and idea what could go wrong if you had to fight inside a house or take cover behind things or you are just worried about over penetration. Just like I said last time ( though some of the more illiterate seemed to not have read)  this is not a scientific test and I make no claims it is.  But it is something to help you think. I hope.

This is the next part to what may be a series of at least 5 “test.”  I am going to show the results of what happened when I fired  5.45 from a AK74 type rifle, 7.62×39 from AK47 type.some ballistic tip rounds from a  5.56 AR15 carbine and  ball and Ranger T  HPs from a  45 ACP.

The first rounds I fired are the 5.45. The ammo is the standard round  as used by the Russian Mil. A lot of people like it because it is cheap and they feel it more deadly then a 5.56 in ball ammo form. Or at least the same if just cheaper.

The rounds punched a nice entry hole going in. But, one the got to the opposite side,they keyholed. You can see they stayed pretty much intact. Look how lean the holes are in the picture below.

They went on through the target, and the wood board behind holding it up and struck a cooking pot behind and stopping.

  The light makes it look like  a hole but it is not.   It did seem in one out of 20 rounds to  have fragged.  With the core some how bouncing off the pot and coming back to stick in the back side of the cardboard target.

You can see the core on the far left. This is the only evidence of fragmentation from the 5.45 I could find all day.

Next I fired some of the ballistic tip 5.56  to see how it would compare to the m193 , m855 and TAP used the last time.

A lot of people will say that ballistic tip will not over penetrate and like to keep it as a home defense round.

Hole by the paster is a perfectly cut hole left by a 55 grain ballistic tip fired through a fridge. This was pretty normal I found. Other damage was parts of metal from the fridge skin.   This surprised me enough to  fire the BT  through an outside window that was double pane into another target 10 yards behind the glass.

  The large hole in the target in the upper left  and bottom are from the ballistic tip 5.56 fired through a double window.  The glass deflected it a few inches from center line where I aimed. Rounds continued on through the  double 2 x 4 door frame it rested against before splattering on the wall behind.  Middle hole in target is from 45 ACP ranger T hollow point fired through same glass.  45 stopped inside the double 2x4s behind target with almost not real deflection.

I also fired the 45 ACp  through the fridge. HPs and ball.

  HPs and ball went through fridge and target. Punches through wood prop, then went deep into stove behind the target.  HPs no doubt caved in on itself and turned effectively into ball.

   I also fired from and outside wall, through a TV entertainment center stand at a target “hiding” behind and through  3 walls to see what would happen.  I used the HPs in every case since I had a pretty good idea what ball would do. I thought anyway.

TV center.

and exit hole after going through wall and 3 layers of the stand.

Below is target after 45 ACP was fired through  3 inside walls and one closet wooden door.

  Exit holes are seen in wall and one of the hits on the target paper. All shots continued on  through cabinet and another wall. This was all done with HP ammo.

Next is from the  much vaunted 7.62×39  ball ammo.  I expected the rounds to go through the fridge destroying it and deep penetration into the stove behind.

  This is what was left of the only round of 30 fired of the M43 round that made it through the fridge.  I fired from 5 feet from the fridge. One made it through and was badly fragged. It did not go through the wooden backer. No other round got through or even bulged the back side of the fridge much to my surprise.   The ‘x39  would go through walls but keyholed and had limited penetration once  it did.   None made it through the book case or dryer either.  GLass deflected the M43 so much I could not get one on the IDPA target so I am not sure what it would have looked like. I ran out of the ammo I brought before I could land a hit. Did not matter since I ran out of glass anyway.

The book case defeated all other rounds just as I expected.

  More holes on one side, but not more exits. Books remain undefeated.  Though all rounds tried would penetrate sometimes up to 10 inches of books alone. When shot through case and books stacked tight, few things seem to have the power. Am going to try a  308 round next on the bookcase.

I am not going to bother showing all the pictures of the dryer since nothing made it clean though.  The 5.45  made it into the dryer but not out the other side. The balistic tipped 556 came closest to a through and through. The 45 ACP did not punch clean through but made some impressive damage before coming to rest on the far side guts on the dryer.  Internal exit holes from the 45 ACP can be seen below. The ranger T tore large gouges through the dryers insides. Does not mean anything, but it is something to ponder.

  All shots fired into dryer first passed through two walls and a bathroom door before hitting the metal of the dryer.

You can see the shredded remains of the rifle rounds laying in bottom of the dryer in the picture.

Once again I was surprised by the results of this very unscientific test. Things I thought that would be stopped were not, and things I thought would penetrate deep did not do much.  Maybe if I did it all again it would be the opposite of this. Who knows?  One thing is becoming pretty clear to anyone who wants to pay attention. Nothing can be depended upon to be “safe” or “safer” from over penetration when talking about being used inside a home.  DO NOT assume your pet HD load or round is going to work like we are told it will be ammo companies.  The only thing you can depend upon is that the worst possible thing that can happen, is likely to happen if you take it for granted and maybe even if you do your best. You just can not know.  the best policy is to do your best not to have to zip off a round in your house if anyone else is inside you do not want hurt.  The best choice in a perfect world is to call the cops and  barricade your self in  a safe room or get out of the house.  We do not live in a perfect world though. So , spend as much time thinking about this as you can if you seriously think you may one dark night need to shoot inside your home. Or re think where you may point your muzzle when loading/unloading your weapon.  Draw your own conclusions because I am not going to make any claims about firearms ammo  doing anything for a fact when it hits anything other then air.