5.56 Timeline

Tools in the Toolbox.

Back when I was in High School I had a teacher that said if you could have one hand tool, it should be a saw.  I thought this was silly, as I though the hammer was the superior choice.

The problem is, if all you have is a hammer, all your problems start to look like nails.  It wasn’t till a long time later that I realized you can join items together with a dovetail cut by a saw, but it is very hard to cut with a hammer.  Still, I would not want to be with out either.


There are a great multitude of shooting styles, techniques, and tactics.  From everything as critical as stances, trigger control, and sight alignment, to all sorts of minutia.  So we naturally try to find the best fit for us, the most useful tool in the set.

It would be so very simple if we could say that there was one stance, one grip, one way to aim, and one tactic that was so very superior to every other option that we could discard everything else.  Sadly it is not so.  Few choose to practice one way, with one technique(tool) and plan to use that in all situations.  Some practice several ways in order to have several tools to handle varied situations or conditions.  Then other people try to learn everything, to own every possible tool for every possible problem.

For example, shooting long range is not done the same way in close quarters battle (CQB).  So, some ignore one and only practice the one that they feel is more applicable to their situation(or worse they only practice the one they feel is easier or more fun).  A person who wants to be prepared for both, most both study and practice both styles of shooting & fighting.

Only training standing might be fun while shooting the pistol, but we also need to practice kneeling, sitting, prone, etc.  Not only should we be able to function in various other positions, we need to be able to adapt and move between them.  This also applied to gear.  Just like how when you pick a vehicle you pick the one that best fits your needs.  A motorcycle wouldn’t be good for hauling cargo and a semi-truck not so good for off-roading.  In a fight, just because you have a firearm, it doesn’t mean that all problems are best solved with that.  Law Enforcement, for example, often tried to solve all issues with what ever was the newest less than lethal options.  Batons, pepper spray, and Tasers are great tools but they are not end-all solutions to every problem.

Don’t try to manage with a single tool, build an appropriate tool box to draw from.

The Colt 901 PART 5 Support Gear

Having the 901 for a while  and testing it,  it was time to start putting together the  gear that would support its use and was a little easier then the old mag in the back pocket nonsense. From previous articles,  you can see Looserounds  really likes the TAG Banshee Plate Carrier.  Since I see no need to have more then one PC, I decided to work up a way to use the same Banshee for  the 901 and my beloved 556 rifles.

I came to the conclusion that I would have enough ammo on the PC for most any need while being able to change it out fast if I did not want to use the 901.  After looking around and mulling it over I decided to go with the Blue Force Gear Tenspeed pouch for SR-25 pattern magazines. Two members of  Looserounds has been using the Tenspeed for a while adn find it to be a very nice low profile and slick pouch. The TenSpeed is elastic like and holds the mags snug but when you take them out, it will snap closed and lay against the PC flat.  The are not the best for a situation if you are going to be sticking mags back in the pouch in a hurry or you need to retain them on then PC under stress, but if you run most your reloads of a belt and the PC acts just as you spares or emergency rig, its great.

I purchased the double mag pouch because I feel that  40 rounds on the carrier and 20 more in the gun is enough for all but travel to Detroit.  More can be added as  you want. I am way to lazy to carry much more then  60 rounds of 762 for long without a team of mules a nap and my favorite blanket, so 60 is enough for me.

The good thing is the pouches for the 762 mags is tight enough that you can use 556 mags in it as well. They are snug still but a little less then if they are made for 556 mags. This is not a bad thing because it allows you to get them out easier, this is something not as easy when using the pouches dedicated for 556 mags. So , if I want, I can take the 901 mags out and stick two USGI 556 mags in the pC and have 90 rounds of 556.

My other choice is to take the 901 mags out, let them tenspeed lay flat and don a chest rig. I will not go into the unlimited amount of choices for 556 chest rigs out there but I will show  my choice.  I decided to use the new USMC and ARMY issue tactical Assault Panel ( TAP).


The good thing with the TAP is that it can be worn as a seperate chest rig or can be attached to the PC by hardware that comes with it. So , you can  just pull it over the PC or you can attach it with the fastex  buckle kit that is issued with it.

I think this combo give me the versatility  to go back and forth between two calibers  very easy. This works out well since the 901  is very modular.

Glock Grip

I was sent this email from an avid Glock shooter:


“Just FYI    For some time I was shooting a thousand rounds a month in Glock model 19s.  At some point perhaps two years ago, shooting became painful, the gun would give me a ‘blood blister’ on the end of my lesser finger.  Very bad on my preferred right hand, some but not as much on my left.  The guns I usually practiced with were two ‘Generation 2’ Glocks which had a cut-out at the front bottom of the grip, supposedly to assist in gripping the magazine for removal.  My finger was rubbing against the edge of the cut-out.  Obviously I had changed my grip.  I’d had a slight slack period in my shooting but had still been gun handling, apparently it had happened then. Because of this, my shooting was not as consistent as previously.
I made of point of positioning my hand so that the tip of the abused finger wrapped further around the grip avoiding that little area of concern.  Held thus, my shooting seemed to improve, a little, but looking back, that may have been only because I was shooting more regularly again.  On every shooting session however, I still had some degree of irritation, pain, or blistering, depending upon how much I remembered, or not, to ‘properly’ hold my gun as I had previously.
During todays shooting session, at one point I noticed rather disgustedly, that my finger had bled on the gun.  I taped my finger and continued my practice.  Today also, I was noticing how the last several generations of Glock magazines for the model 19 seemed to be longer that the first ones.  I had used first generation magazines for a very long time.  These were the ‘squeeze to remove’ baseplate rather than the later ones with the spring loaded button.
Later, at home, I compared an old retired magazine to 3 variations of the newer magazines.  Gripping the unloaded gun, I felt pain in my poor damaged finger while one of the newer magazines was in the gun but not while the older one was in place.  My aging but still curious mind soon discovered that with the newer, longer magazines, all grip pressure from that finger was on the cut-out, but because the older magazine was fractionally shorter, my finger rested on the cut-out and the front of the magazine baseplate which took the pressure from my grip so I was not getting cut from the cut-out..
Two years of frustration, poorer shooting and pain to my finger because Glock changed the length of its magazines.
Note that starting with the Generation 3 Glocks the cut-out is no longer present.  But Glock added finger ‘bumps’ to the grip to lock in the position of the shooters fingers.  These jam my longest finger into the trigger guard and it hurts.  So, like many other Glock shooters, I have had to grind the new ‘improvements’ off of my Generation 3 guns.
Authors note:  Some readers may comment and ask why didn’t I notice that the Generation 3 guns didn’t hurt my finger?  Well, 1.  I rarely shoot them, doing almost all my practice with the older guns and 2.  I may have simply thought that I had a better grip those days shooting them.”
Comment:  Glock “perfection” has changed greatly over the years.  Know that mixing new and old parts may cause issues.  Some of the Gen 4 pistols have different recoil springs cuts then other Gen 4s of the same model.  Extractors, locking blocks, and a great number of small parts have changed over the years.  Magazines have changed from non-drop free to full metal lined mags that drop free when the mag catch is depressed.  Like this shooter found, changing parts in your pistols may have unexpected results.

Q&A 3

This is a LooseRounds.com Q&A session.  If you have a firearms related question please email it to QA@LooseRounds.com. We will post the your questions anonymously and give you our answers.

1.  Sirs,

A friend and I are working up loads for his hunting rifle and during the discussions a question came up that neither of us have seen addressed. When shooting (right-handed) for group from a bench, with the rifle supported by sandbags at the forearm and butstock, what is the best position for the left hand on the rifle?

Is it important to control the forearm laterally with a hand on the forearm? I recently watched a video showing a rifle with a bipod and butstock monopod being fired with the left hand on the monopod controlling vertical sight movement. The bipod controls the lateral movement but maybe not so much during recoil.

We’d like to read your opinions (and reasons) on this question.

Thanks. We enjoy your site.

Howard:  Normally the forend/handguards are on a rest/sandbags/bipod, and the left hand is used to adjust the rear bag/monopod for elevation.

Sometimes for expediences the left hand is put directly under the stock(often as a fist) and clenched or unclenched to hold up the butt of the rifle.
Just resting the front of the rifle on a rest helps steady the rifle a great deal, but when the rear of the rifle is resting on something as well, the rifle is far more stable.  When using something like a competition bench rest all adjustments are done from the front rest.  However for most of us, the front rest we use(bipod, sandbag, wooden block, backpack, enemy cadaver, etc) is not so adjustable.  So we pivot the rifle on the front rest for left and right, and we lift or drop the buttstock for up and down.  Using a rear rest gives that additional stability, and the left hand(for a right handed shooter) is used to control/adjust that rear rest.
2.  I am trying to help new hunters as well as others to select and purchase the right optics for the type of gun as well as the type of hunting or shooting they enjoy doing. The right equipment is a sure way to be a safe and happy hunter.
Shawn:  For medium to large size game:  For deep woods or anything other then open plains something like a 1-5x.  If you are in an area like out west where you have longer distances, something like a 3.5-10x.  Preference for 10x or under so you don’t have to worry about adjusting parallax because you don’t have time to fiddle with it in the field.  No bigger then a 40mm objective lens as long as the optic is clear, because anything much bigger doesn’t really make anything much bright.  Larger just adds weight and size that makes the rifle top heavy.  Stay away from scopes with friction plate elevation or windage adjustments, you want to be able to zero as precisely as you can.  For varmint hunting, I prefer 12-20 magnification scopes with target turrets with positive clicks with a click value of no less then 1/4 MOA.  Has to be adjustable for focusing and objective lens size doesn’t really matter, go as large as you like.  For long range varminting, scope base and ring selection is just as important as the scope.
Howard:  The problem with picking a scope is that there are so many options and personal preferences.  Thicker reticles can be faster to pick up, but may cover a target at longer ranges.  Too much magnification can make it slower to acquire targets.  Adjustments values need to be appropriate for the type of precision necessary for the type of shooting.  I think a decent 3-9 would cover the average deer or hog hunters needs.
Optics are very much a personal preference.  LooseRounds.com always recommends that you always try to buy the highest quality optics you can afford.
3.  does the colt rail gun have a throated barrel?
Shawn:  Yes and a polished feed ramp.
4.  How did the Unertl scope hold up in tropical climate?
Shawn:  The Unertl in the war in Vietnam did tend to fog up at time in the rainy season.  But this isn’t the flaw that it seems to be, John Unertl designed the scope to be very easy to repair and worked on by the end user.  So the Unertl is easily taken apart and can be dried off or wiped dry and cleaned with simple tools.  Even the cross hair was designed to be replaceable by the end user with anything suitable in the event of failure.  With those in mind, you could seal the scope yourself, at the cost of no longer being able to do field expedient disassemble.  Other then that, the Unertl scope was very difficult to break or render unusable.
5.  can i own a krinkov if it has no stock
Howard:  You can own an AK pistol.  For example the Draco and the SLR106-47.  However I do not recommend this setup as they are heavy and awkward.  Shooting them with out a sling for stabilization is also awkward, best used for turning money(ammo) into noise.
6.  Is the Colt 901 an AR10
Howard:  No.  While the 901 is a 308 AR like the AR10s of old.  However now the term AR10 refers specifically to the trademarked Armalite (Eagle) brand .308 rifles.  The Armalites mostly use a M14 style mag.  Often you will see people refer to the lesser DPMS (Panther) .308s as AR10s.  These are not AR10s but a whole different model.  No one with a premium .308 such as a LaRue OBR, Colt 901, KAC EMC or SR25, GAP, LWRC REPR, POF, etc call their .308 variant an AR10.  Only people who have purchased the cheaper DPMS tend to want to call it by a most expensive models trademark.
7.  What ammo does the USMC scout snipers use?
Shawn:  Ammo used in all USMC sniper system is the M118LR.  175 grain Serria hollow point boat tail bullet and Lake City match brass.  Of course, other loads like ball or tracer can be used in specialty or emergencies situations.
8.  Will the Magpul BAD lever work on the Sig 716?
Howard:  No.
9.  Surefire 60 round magazine stripper clip?
Shawn:  The Surefire mags will accept stripper clips when loaded with a stripper clip guide.
Howard:  The Stripper clip guide is often called a “spoon”.