An aside.

Four-Feet

I have done mostly what most men do,
And pushed it out of my mind;
But I can’t forget, if I wanted to,
Four-Feet trotting behind.

Day after day, the whole day through —
Wherever my road inclined —
Four-feet said, “I am coming with you!”
And trotted along behind.

Now I must go by some other round, —
Which I shall never find —
Somewhere that does not carry the sound
Of Four-Feet trotting behind.

Rudyard Kipling

Carrying is a great responsibility, live up to the challenge.

Duncan Larsen AKA FailureDrill-P099 submitted this article.

Carrying is a great responsibility, live up to the challenge.

During times of great tragedy there is an opportunity to reflect on yourself as a Concealed Carry Weapon (CCW) holder or off Duty Law Enforcement Officer (LEO).  CCW is not just anyone carrying a firearm, it is a state of mind.  You must think about scenarios that might occur around you.  Whether you are an off duty LEO or a private citizen CCW holder, you must mentally prepare for an active shooter scenario.  When I was a LEO, I always carried off duty.  I was not required to do so but I made the decision that I could not live with myself if something happened and I was not armed.  As a CCW holder this has also stayed with me.   Even though you might carry everyday in your own personal capacity, you must ask yourself, am I ready to use deadly force?

I remember as a young officer having a recurrent dream.  This dream was the same for a long time.  I would get into a deadly force encounter and draw my firearm.  I would fire several rounds at my attacker but they would have no effect. The guy would just keep coming at me.  I found later that other officers had this same dream.  When I became a firearms instructor, the head of the firearms division advised me to read two books.  These books were On Killing and On Combat, both by Lt. Col. Dave Grossman.   These books talked a-lot about mental preparation for armed conflict.  In fact I found that the books contained officers talking about the same ongoing dream I had.   This dream let you know that you were subconsciously not mentally or physically prepared for a deadly force encounter.  The solution for this preparation is more realistic training with your duty weapon, off duty weapon or CCW weapon. Training over and over builds muscle memory and things  become second nature.  There is a reason officers cannot remember the exact number of rounds they fired in a deadly force encounter.  Their subconscious took over from their thousands of hours of training and they reacted.  They stopped the threat and did not realize it until it was over. Their reaction became second nature.

As a private CCW holder nothing is different.  You must train, you must think about the what if’s and you must make the decision that you will use deadly force when needed.  If you do not challenge yourself mentally and physically you will fail, you will freeze up when it counts.  At the end of the day you must ask yourself, do I want to be a sheep or do I want to be a sheep dog?

Several years ago there was a shooting in Trolley Square, a popular shopping mall in Salt Lake City Utah.  An off duty officer from Ogden City Police Department was having dinner with his wife in Trolley Square. This day he was carrying an off duty weapon, when a young man came in to the mall and started shooting people.  The attacker killed several men, women and children.  The officer was prepared and ran towards the gunfire.  He engaged the attacker with the only magazine of ammunition he had.  These  rounds pinned the attacker in a shop until officers from SLC SWAT engaged and killed the suspect in a firefight.  How many lives were saved? Who knows, but the officer stopped the suspect from killing anyone else because he was prepared mentally as well as physically.  That day he was just a CCW holder, just like you, and lives were saved.  If you are going to carry your firearm, commit to it mentally and physically.

Duncan

Looserounds is on Facebook

If you like looserounds and you have a facebook account ( who doesn’t ?) go on over to the looserounds facebook page and like us. You can see new pictures and some extra content that is not on the LR website. See cool pictures of gear and links to other places to help you enter contests and get great deals on gear and firearms.  You can share your thoughts , pictures of your guns and gear and ask questions  directly to the LR staff.   It is growing every day and it beats  your sister in law blathering on  about her baby shower or trying to find out how many of your high school  friends got fat !!

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Q&A Session 1

This is the first session of LooseRounds.com Q&A.  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. Aimpoint vs. Eotech?

Howard:  Shawn and I advocate the Aimpoint.  While early Eotechs were a far superior optic to early Aimpoint, modern Aimpoints easily beat Eotechs.  Aimpoints like the PRO, T-1, and Comp M4 have superior battery life over the Eotechs.  An Aimpoint will run for years while an Eotech will run for a month on a single battery.  In a recent drop test by Andrew Tuohy of http://vuurwapenblog.com/ the Aimpoint beat the Eotech.  Eotech has also had issues with battery draining while the optic is off.  Lastly, for a home defense rifle you can leave an Aimpoint on at all times so your rifle is ready to go.  I would not want to have to turn on an optic in a hurry while in an adverse situation.

2.  Will the Colt 901 take any 5.56 upper?

Shawn:  The Colt 901 will accept any 5.56/6.5/6.8/300BLK/etc upper receiver that has a small front pivot pin hole(Sorry, no old SP1 uppers will work with out an adapter).  You will need to use a mag well adapter and change out the buffer and buffer spring.

3.  Aimpoint PRO vs. Eotech.

Howard:  Ignoring the vs. Eotech part that was previously covered, the Aimpoint PRO is an great economical choice for a AR15.  Running about $400 new, it comes as a complete package ready to mount onto an AR15.  At 3/4 max brightness it will run about 3 years continuously.  You can leave this on next to your bed, or in your patrol car and know that it will be ready to go when you need it.  You can quickly adjust the brightness to be appropriated for the ambient lighting condition.  While it runs off a less common battery, you get so much longer life out of each battery it would end up costing you less then if you use an AA battery model Eotech.

4.  What is the lightest bullet for the 1 in 7 twist.

Shawn:  You can go as low as a 40 grain ballistic tip as long as it is a .224 bullet and not .223 hornet diameter, because the hornet diameter bullets have a light jacket designed to explode at a lower velocity.  Hornet bullets will not stand up to the faster twist and higher velocity.  Any quality 40 grain load will shoot just as well as any quality 55 or 62 grain load accuracy wise.  These lightweight bullets are not over stabilized and will not blow apart in flight.  That myth is from the days where people used the older light jacket hornet bullets in the new higher capacity .22 caliber cases like the .223 and 22-250.

Range Report: S&W M&P15 QC

The S&W M&P15 has become very popular due to its low cost and availability.  My personal experience with owning one was that my M&P15R had an incorrectly cut upper that would not hold the ejection port door closed, the stock was not installed correctly and was crooked, and the fire control group was defective and would double.  S&W replaced the lower on my rifle, and I did not bother to have them work on the upper.

Often at the range I have seen people have minor issues with M&P15s.  The new low cost model (around $700) came with a near useless rear sight.  This cheap copy of the detachable carry handle often would not index correctly.  Last Sunday, I saw this issue.  This new, out of the box, M&P15 came with a broken bolt catch.  While I have no doubt that S&W will fix this, I have been less then impressed by S&W quality control on their rifles.

Testing The Colt LE901-16S Part II Accuracy Testing

Part two of my review of the Colt LE901 will be the results of  my shooting of the gun, its accuracy, performance and handling. I shot the rifle with all of the more popular match ammo and with handloads. I also took the gun out past what the company reasonably expected it to be fired at.  I expected the gun to perform well with its accuracy since it is in essence a larger 6940. The 6940 with its free floated barrel and unique barrel nut has been a very impressive performer.  The results still surprised me a little bit and shocked me with what it did at 1000 yards and beyond.

 

The 1st set up groups were shot using  168 grain federal match, M118LR, Black Hills 175 match. This was the first shooting from the gun after I got it. I placed a Leupold 18x target scope in larue mounts on the upper and got a rough zero then proceeded to shoot for groups.  The groups were shot at 100 yards on a calm day using  bipods and a small rear sandbag rest.  I considered this to be outstanding accuracy from a chrome-lined military 16 inch barrel. The 901 is pretty much a battle rifle, and to expect this accuracy from a battle rifle is not always reasonable. Some battle rifles will give good performance but  2-3 MOA is usually considered  fine for such weapons.

Above picture represents the rifle setup used for all accuracy testing.


The next set of  testing of accuracy was long range. I started out shooting the rifle with the common Federal Gold Medal 168 grain loading. I  used steel gongs at 600 yards the size of a man’s chest and a steel shaped groundhog.  With only 16 inches of barrel, velocity did fall off as expected causing me to need more adjustment on the optics compared to my normal 26-inch bolt-action. Some people seem to think shorter barrel means less accuracy but this is simply not true. You lose velocity but not accuracy. A quality barrel will always shoot and the shorter it gets, the stiffer it becomes and usually will gain a slight edge in accuracy with the shorter stiffness.

Posing beside the target for scale,the T-1 was not used for the 600 yards shot and was installed afterwards.

The groundhog target can be seen over the authors left shoulder. Hits were made easily once the scope was adjusted. Military ball ammo could be used to make repeated hits out to 600 yards though not with the reliability of the match ammo.

The next step tried with the 901 was 1000 yards. For this test I used the popular 168 grain load and my own handlaods of Berger 175 grain Berger VLD bullets with Varget.  I set up the target at 1000 yards and got to work. Because of no cant on the base or the upper I ran out of elevation on the optic. The optic was the Leupold 18x with a 1 inch tube. It is a target varmint scope and not suited to true long range work unless a canter base is used.  Not being able to zero and hold point of aim/point of impact, I had to hold off.  This made wind correction difficult.  It did not take long to become frustrated trying to determine hits on target with using hold off. So I settled on using the steel gong I used to get the rough zero at the distance by putting it a foot behind the paper target. In doing this, I was able to hear the steel ring when I was enough on paper to record a hit. With the wind blowing 8-12 MPH on the day trying to watch the dust from misses was not going to work. The gong behind the target worked well.

Because of the distance and the length of the barrel, the 168 grain load was a no go. I tried but the rounds just could not make it. The 168 has trouble staying super sonic even in a 26 inch barrel at 1000 yards, and in a 16 inch barrel, it was pointless though I did try. A lot of people seem to think the accurate 168 load is the standard but it simply is not. The 175 grain loadings for long range are better in every way and have been in use for sniping for years now in its M118LR form.

Once I fired at 1000 yards and saw the 901s performance I tried my luck at 1200 yards. So I moved back another 200 yards and tried again. The group at 1,200 may not seem like much, but in a carbine  not meant  for this work, it is impressive.  The groups are marked in the picture circled in different color to indicate which groups was shot at the different distances. Blue for 1000 yards and green for 1,200.   The 1000 yard groups does not seem as impressive as it really is at first glance. Wind was catching me and taking the shots off to the left. Since I could not see the hits I used the same hold through the whole string of shots, but if you move the holes over to the right, you will see the most of them would have fallen in the bad guys chest and would have been lethal. The position of the group is my fault , not the fault of the rifle. The 1,200 yard group is better than at first seems as well. It may not be sniping precision but it is enough to make hits at the range or at least provide effective covering fire.  It is surely good enough to disable a vehicle form the distance, or any other machine that needs stopped, or even to direct fire for a machine gun team? Who knows, the possibilities are what you make them.

After this testing I shot the rifle in the usual fashion using tactical drills and IDPA target, Q targets, clay pigeons and steel gongs. Most of this general purpose was done with ball ammo and some match thrown in. After over 1,200 rounds at that point I had not cleaned or lubed the 901. It worked as flawless as it did when I took it out of the box. At times I heated the gun up so much I needed gloves to continue to fire it and even the mount that held the T-1 to the upper was too hot to the touch for bare skin. At no point did the gun have a problem or feel sluggish.  After totaling up those rounds fired with no cleaning I decided to test its accuracy again.  I would test it dirty and if it did not do well I would clean the barrel and try again, showing the effect of fowling if it was drastic.

I used the same optics and mounts as before but for the next test I used a dedicated Benchrest competition style front rest that weighs about 35 pounds, with a sandbag on the rest and a rear bag.  To get all I could from the gun I concentrated and used all my effort to shot the best groups I could. Most groups took longer then 10 minutes for 5 rounds. It is hard work to shoot small groups and total effort when using a milspec trigger and a semi auto. Shooting a semi auto is a different animal then shooting small groups off a bench with a dedicated bolt gun with a target stock and has different needs you have to be aware of.

This set of targets were shot first while the gun was dirty with over 1200 rounds of fouling. I decided there was no need to clean after getting these result.  They are slightly better then the original test for accuracy so I felt cleaning would not help or hurt much. If anything the gun shot slightly better, perhaps do to some break in. After years of experience I have come to the conclusion that barrel break-in is a waste of time.  I can not think of any good reason why the gun did better and I surely never used the conventional “wisdom” of 1 shot, clean, repeat etc etc.

The 10 rounds group of Black Hills 175 grain was shot last and is very impressive to me. I have seen few factory bolt guns that would shoot this well and I do not recall ever seeing a factory M1A or M14 that would do as well.

Here is a picture of all the groups side by side.

The gun now has close to 2000 rounds though it still with no cleaning. I am able to make head shots out to 300 yards with it and stay within the CNS or “A” zone of the badguy targets if the wind is not too bad and I do my part.  If not, head shots are still easy.  I have lubed the BCG since it was bone dry, and have created a nice black slurry that has not done anything negative except ruin my t-shirts.

In Part 3 I will talk about shooting the gun in a more “run and gun”manner, how it feels, what the recoil is like and how I set it up for comfort and shooting it wearing gear.