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.

Correct position of hard armor plates

I see a lot of pictures on forums of guys wearing their plate carriers with armor in them in ways that barely do them any good all the time. Usually you see the plates setting too low in the front and the back.  As can be seen in this picture you do not really need a huge plate to cover every inch of  your body, but you do need it to cover the most important inside red parts.

Here are a couple of pictures I hope will help people make sure they do not wear their armor wrong and some day have a round slip through or over a plate and cause sever leaking.

 

These pictures came from a poster on www.ar15.com

Review: MARS ITL

The MARS ITL is a reflex sight designed for use on the Tavor rifle.  Some are available for sale in the U.S.  The MARS has an integrated laser that is controlled by a fixed umbilical switch attached to the sight.  When you press and hold the button on the umbilical the dot shuts off and the laser turns on.  Both visible and IR laser models are available.  The optic has 4 brightness settings as well as auto adjusts brightness.  It runs off a single AA battery.

The MARS sight is a poor choice for use on the AR15 family of weapons.  Cowitness is not an option due to the high height of the optic.  While it has a quick detach mount, the mount does not return to zero.  It has a about 1 MOA dot, and this dot alone can be lost in the field of view of the optic.  While it would adjust to ambient lighting condition, it was still dim when on the brightest setting in bright outdoor areas.  The aiming dot shuts off when the laser is used, and the laser is only on when the umbilical button is pressed.  This cord is non-replaceable and too short to run it to useful locations when this optic is mounted on the top rail of a AR15.  Zeroing is easy, but the adjustments are coarse, about 3/4 MOA per click.  The laser and red dot are slaved to each other so they share the same zero.  This makes zeroing easy, however it is often helpful to have different zeros on lasers and optics.

Run time is short, about 200 hours according to the company.  Most people would be better off with a separate laser and optic.  I quickly sold the one I owned and I do not recommend the MARS sight for use on the AR15.  MARS sights tend to run about $400-900 depending if they are visible laser or IR.  Please beware that there are shady individuals selling former military MARS units, and other people trying to sell or trade them for thousands on various gun forums.

Barnes TSX test ( 70 gr) PART 2

Today I tested some more of the barnes triple shock X  bullets ( TSX ). I have wanted to see how the 70 grain bullet would do for a long time now so I put up a windshield  and a stack of soaking wet phone books. I wanted to test for penetration, expansion and for any point of aim point of impact changes after the round went through the auto glass.

I fired several rounds through the glass and into the books but was not able to recover many of the fired shots. Most of the rounds went through the glass and did in fact stay on track with not noticeable deflection. But, a lot of the bullets went through the glass and all of the books. One was found in the next to last book turned sideways. I am not sure it if tumbled through the book but I believe it did. The other I found in the last book setting just as it should have been.

One thing I found impressive was the damage done to the books as the bullets passed through.

As can be seen in the photo, the path of the bullets created wound channels bigger then the bullet diameter. Of course this is desired. One thing to note is the bullets did not deflect hardly at all even while traveling through glass, then the books.

Even though there was several feet between the glass and my target behind the glass, the round traveled as I had hoped. So it can be assumed that if you intended to hit something ( someone) behind auto glass, that you could hold on the target and reasonably expect to hit it. I did angle the glass to imitate glass in a car/truck. Even though, the round did not follow the curve of the glass to any amount I could detect with a dowel rod inserted into the holes.

Now the kind of bad news. If you know anything about the tests done on the TSX and the 70 grain version in particular, you have heard that the tips have been known to collapse inward and then act as a  ball round. Well, this happened to me as well. I figure this is why I was not able to recover many of them.  Although they did not open up the way intended they still preformed very well. I expected them to act  in this way and would have been surprised to see a perfect mushroomed TSX after going trough glass.  Remember that glass is not muscle,skin,blood and bone. So do not be afraid to use this bullet for self defense or hunting. Nothing in a body will act like auto glass. The fact that they did expand slightly is a good thing, but even better is they stayed on track, did not explode or frag into tiny pieces and not penetrate much. They did the opposite of that, and I would want them to work this way if I needed to shoot something inside a vehicle.

Here you can see how they did slightly expand. You can also see how they tucked in to render them a ball round slightly bigger then its original size. You may notice how much longer they are then 75 or 77 grain OTM. The rounds fired are setting they way they would be in a case.  The 70 grain TSX  absolutely requires a 1/7 twist. I am not sure if a 1/8 twist would work because I am too lazy to check right now.

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Here are two more fired bullets to show how they behave with regularity when shot trough the glass.

All of the ammo was handloaded to 556 pressure to try to match the “brown tip” load the military has been supposedly issuing to special forces troops. I have no idea about muzzle velocities or pressure of the “Brown tip” So I played it by ear. I do know the bullet is the same used so that will just have to do.  This load and bullet combo is my current favorite for hunting and other use. I do not want anyone to get the wrong idea about this round/bullet from the pics above and not seeing a perfect mushroom. So I want to point out again that any round fired through glass will never act the same as it will when fired in tissue especially something meant for meat.  If you want to see how it does on game, the hog hunting forum on ar15.com is the place to go. Members there take 250 to 300 pound wild hogs using this bullet regularly and with ease. So don’t mark this bullet of  the list of game  or self defense use based on barrier performance. But try to keep in mind this is what you want when shooting through a car window. The round acts exactly they way it is intended when hitting living tissue and is very, very impressive.

Ended – SWFA Facebook Sale

For all your Facebook users and SWFA/SuperSniper fans here is a chance to save a few bucks on Super Sniper scopes.

Update April 14th:      The 2000 likes code is now active.

Update April 17th:     The 2500 likes code is active.

Update April 21st:     3000 Likes code is active.

Update April 24th:  Not only has the 4000 Likes code been activated, SWFA has received over 500 likes in the past day.  I intend to get a 1-6x for evaluation should the 5000 code be activated.

 

As of the 26th, SWFA has 5000 likes.  I will be ordering a 1-6x to test out.

On the Krinkov

There is a growing popularity for the short barreled AR and AK.  One of the AK varients that has exploded in popularity is the AKS72U, also known as the Krinkov.  While Krinkov is an incorrect term, it has become the popular name for these AKs.  There are Russian and Bulgarian Krinkov kits and rifles available.  Similar but different are the Yugo M92s and Romanian Dracos which are compariably sized but different models.  You can get one in 7.62×39, 5.45×39, or 5.56 Nato.

I am not going to pull any punches, these guns suck.

The problem is neither that these rifles (or pistol versions) are AKs, nor the short barrel length but the lack practical usefulness of these rifles.  Now don’t get me wrong, if you want one as a fun gun, get it.  But please don’t consider buying something like this for home defense, zombie apocalypse, Terminator uprising, etc.

Why are these rifles not practical?  Several reasons including sight radius, size, weight.  Let me use the AKS74U (or my SLR106UR) as an example.

Sight Radius:  My AK has a sight radius shorter then some pistols.  Not just are the sights close, they are hard to use.  Now this can be negated by optic, but that is additional cost, and if you mount an optic on the side rail you can not fold the stock.

Size:  Often the appeal of the Krinkov type AK is how very small it is.  However for any sort of practical firing you will need to stock unfolded.  With the stock extended, the overall length of the rifle is about 29 inches.  That is almost identical to a M4 with the stock collapsed.  That M4 with its stock collapsed has nearly twice the sight radius and twice the barrel length.  Not to mention a good bit easier to shoot accurately.  The Krinkov small size is only helpful for storage, not for shooting.

Weight:  While the Krinkov is small, it is not light.  A stock rifle is about 6 pounds.  To compare it to the M4 again, is similar weight to a M4 with iron sights and plastic handguard.  Not to mention that this AK starts off weighing almost as much as a larger rifle, it is far harder to mount any sort of useful accessories like optics and lights to it.

Ergonomics:  The AK isn’t know for its ergonomics.  However the Krinkov gets worse.  Aside from the previously mentioned short sight radius, the handguards on these shortened AK get very hot, very fast.  Much faster then on a standard length AK.  Should you decided to run something like an Ultimak optics rail on a Krinkov, you may find your self burning your fingers should you not bring gloves.  The stockless pistol versions of these rifles are heavy enough to make shooting them like a pistol awkward.

The worst for last, lack of modularity.  Now normally this would be a non-issue.  However if you compare the SBR’d AK to its competition, the SBR AR15, the AR15 is by far the better choice.  Should you buy or build a Krinkov, what you have is what you are stuck with.  A SBR AR15 can easily be modified for different calibres, barrel lengths, optics, etc.  The short AK, even with its side rail and optional quad rail, lacks most of the flexibility a short AR has.

The main advantage of something like the Krinkov is that you can fold the stock (for storage, use in a vehicle, transportation, jumping, etc).  However as soon as you unfold that stock, you are just left with an inferior rifle.

Should you choose to run something like this as your primary weapon, here are a few suggestions.  I would recommend employing the weapon system much like how you would have employed a SMG.  If using a left side folding stocked AK, get a railed dust cover or handguard to mount your optic on so it wont interfere with folding the stock.  Have a good sling.  Consider having a smaller mag (like a 20 rounder) for when you are concealing or storing the rifle.  Make sure to pick ammo that will perform well with the reduced velocity from your rifle.  Wear good ear protection due to the increase in flash and blast from the short barrel.  Have fun.

Review: LaRue RISR on an AR15

 

I purchased a used Magpul CTR stock with LaRue RISR and POD installed.  It was interesting to try out the LaRue Reciprocating Inline Stock Riser (RISR) on an AR15.  The RISR is made to give a higher cheekweld on rifles like the LaRue .308 OBR and accommodate the charging handle on the AR series of rifles.

I tried the RISR on a Colt 6920 first.  I found the RISR to be high enough that I could not use the standard iron sights on the 6920.  When I tried another upper with a NightForce 2.5-10×24 in a LT135 high mount.  Even with the scope mounted higher then normal, I found the taller checkweld that the RISR gave made looking through the scope awkward.

Using the RISR gave a little more resistance then charging a normal AR15.  Having an extended charging handle lever would help when using the RISR.

The RISR may be an excellent choice for high mounted optics on the higher rail of a .308 AR.  However for me, the RISR just gets in my way on AR15s.  I have already removed the RISR from my rifle and will be sending it to Shawn so he can try it out.