Tag Archives: 308

What is “Cover” in your home and will it Stop a rifle round? Lets find out.

 

 

Today I decided to do a repost  an article  2 parter  older  popular article from our first year.  We have a lot of older great material new readers may not see because it is so buried under  the  constant flow of new articles. With that in mind here is an article from 2012 were I shot up a house for educational purposes. I hope you enjoy if you haven’t read it before and if you have I hope you will enjoy a revisit.

 

I took the time to so a little un scientific testing today of some of the more popular 5.56 rounds used today. It is not a new idea or original to me , but it is worth doing as often as can be pulled off.  It seems to be the one topic about using carbines for home defense that is not as easy to find info on for the new shooters looking to use a AR15 carbine or other  of that type.

I have use of a run down abandoned home on my own property  with some furnishing and appliances still in it. So, I decided to shoot them up for fun, facts and quasi-science.

I used  M855, M193, Hornady TAP  75grain and  the steel cased Hornady 75 grain steel case training round. Rifle was 16 inch barrel carbine with 1/7 twist.  I used cardboard IDPA targets to have an idea of what would happen to a person using cover found in a typical house.

The first test was a refrigerator.  I placed the target ( home owner) on the other side as if the person was taking fire.  I set the target a foot or so away to show any fragmentation without ripping it up too bad and making it harder to see what happened.

I fired from about 5 feet from the “threat” side of the fridge.

Inside it had some typical, if spoiled, food items for authenticity. The fridge is about the normal size for most homes in my opinion.

The first round I fired was M855.  It went into the fridge , started to frag, came apart, the core and jacket then went through the other side and both pieces key holed through the target.  The core also went through the wood I used to prop up the target.

The next was the m193. The 55 grain FMJ did make it through in some pieces, but it did make it on into the target.   The M193 is the  hole in the upper head area. The M855 is the lower keyholed hit. Frags from both can be seen peppering the target.  It is interesting since you will commonly hear how M193 will not penetrate far.

The next round was the Hornady steel case.  I fired the 75 grain round and it went into one side and bulged the opposite side with no shoot through.

Next was the Hornady TAp FPD  75 grain round. This round did better than the steel case.  It made it through both side and into the target. It did however leave most of its jacket in the opposite side skin f the fridge.

Whatever was left did not hit the target and I could not find its impact area. Several more rounds had the same effect.

Next I wanted to show what happens if you hide behind a couch while some one is shooting at you like often happens in Hollywood. I even shot through two walls and a closest door to hit the victim. I used M193 and M855 only since it was clear this is a bad idea after a few rounds.

The rounds went pretty much straight through the thin wooden panel walls and two by four boards. Also the couch did not stop anything.  It seemed in fact the barrier seemed to make the hits more destructive on the target.  Don’t hide behind your couch if you are being shot at. Life is not a movie of video game.

Next I fired all four rounds through two walls and a dryer at the victim.

The picture on the right shows 4 rounds from m193. Interestingly, this time the m193 turned sideways  even through the 1st wall.

Every round tumbled and fragged by the time it was well into the appliance . Most of the projectiles still made it into the target. It did seem the round inside of the dry did cause the  hits to impact lower than they would have if they continued on straight n line of sight.

I was able to get hits after aiming higher. No surprise, the m855 made it to the target the best. Both ball rounds, or what was left of them, went on through another two walls behind the target.

Th TAP did not make it through the dryer.

Next up was a book case with a few books in it. I used soft and hard cover. I did not fill the shelf with books because  I know none of the rounds would have went through.

The only round to make it to the target is the tear from a tumbled m855 round that you can see in the bottom left of the target in the picture. One m855 went off to the side wall.  No other round made it through to the target. They either stopped in the book or zipped of in a different direction or into the unknown. I fired 20 rounds trying to get another hit.

A lot of people do not know the difference between cover and concealment.  Probably because of movies, people seem to think most anything in a house will stop a bullet, even the walls.  This is showing things are not always as secure as you may think.  I would not use any of this as cover if I thought I was going to be shot at. maybe to hide behind, but not to take cover behind.   Unless its a metal or steel wall, you need to think about it.  This also may be a wake up call for those who day dream of zipping off a round during some home invasion fantasy cooked up in their heads.  If you have loved ones in the next room or two over you better think very hard about what you would do when shooting in your house. Even if you thought you had it all worked out.  All of the rounds fired that made it to the target. still went on through at least another wall or two at the least.   SO, be careful what you hide behind and be more careful about who or what may be in the next room or house if you ever have to shoot in your own home. Or, if you shoot by accident. a ND can go a lot further then you think even if you had the gun pointed in what you though would be a safe direction if you did have a ND.    This is of course 556 rounds only and not all of them by any means so keep looking for a round that might be a little better than  the military ammo everyone seems to want to buy for defense. Same goes with handgun ammo or shotguns. This  is not the end all be all test or even slightly scientific, but I show it to you to draw your own conclusions and to keep thinking.

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

 

Optic of the week: Trijicon TA01NSN ACOG

The TA01NSN ACOG is a classic at this point.  A compact fixed 4x scope with a bullet drop chart calibrated for M855 out of a carbine barrel.  People assume it is calibrated for a 14.5 inch M4 barrel, but every time Trijicon has given numbers it sounds like the Bullet Drop Chart (BDC) was based around a 16 inch barrel.

The main thing that sets the TA01NSN ACOG apart from the majority of the other models of ACOGs are the iron sights mounted on it.

The iron sights on this ACOG are more for emergency use, for example should you manage to break the ACOG, or for use in heavy rain at close distances, etc.

The front sight is adjustable for windage, the rear sight is not adjustable.  This front sight also has a vial of Tritium in it allowing it to be seen at night.  In the past, there have been people who expressed a concern about this revealing their location.  If this is a concern to you, the sight can be removed, or simply taped over.

I’ve found some of the TA01NSN ACOG iron sights to shoot massively off left or right, so you will want to check it out before you rely on them.

Older ACOGs have 1/3 MOA adjustment that requires a tool like a coin to adjust.  Newer ACOGs have a 1/2 MOA capped turret that is tool less.

The adjustment caps on the TA01NSN are not tethered.  On some other models they are.  When I was zeroing this old ACOG, the O-ring used to seal the elevation knob broke apart.  I notice this O-ring is amber, while ever other O-ring on the ACOGs I own (and on the windage) are orange leading me to believe that this was a replacement done by the previous owner.  You can see the failed amber colored O-ring in the picture above.

I have seen the adjustment cap threads cross threaded or stripped from abuse.  While ACOG scopes are tough, nothing is impervious to user error. & abuse.

ACOG adjustments can be very annoying.  First, don’t try to turn the adjustments to the extremes, that can damage the scope.  Second is that the scope adjustments can hang.  The scope is compact due to a prism and the adjustments rely on the prism moving against a spring.  This means that sometimes when you dial in an adjustment the scope prism won’t actually mode until you smack the scope or fire a couple of shots.  Normally this would be considered very unacceptable in a scope, but in this case it is considered a quirk of the compact tough ACOG.

The center of the TA01NSN crosshair is meant to be zeroed for 100 meters.  Then each hash mark represent a 19 inch width (a mans shoulder width) at the distances of 200 to 500 meters.  The very top of the bottom thicker bar is the 600m mark.

The 4x magnification aids in locating and identifying targets.  When used on a rifle with a fixed front sight base the shadow of the base will appear in the field of view.  Personally I don’t think it seems as bad as it shows in the picture, but I know it really irritates some people.

I took this opportunity to try the Elcan Specter DR in 4x mode and the TA01NSN side by side.  For speed of acquiring a target, or moving from target to target I felt they were the same.  I would say the increased eye relief of the Elcan may make it a far better choice for a .308 or other higher recoiling rifle.  But for shooting 4x on a 5.56 I didn’t feel one offered any significant advantage over the other.

A last point, the ACOG scopes have tritium illumination.  There are some newer models that use batteries.  The idea behind the tritium is to provide battery free illumination of the reticle in low light situations.  I’ve found that often when it is dark enough to use the illumination, I can’t see the target.  Since the half life of Tritium is about 12 years, some of the older ACOGs got gotten very dim.  Trijicon will relamp a scope for a price, but it will likely be more cost effective to sell an old ACOG and just buy a new one.

I really love the old TA01NSN, but now variable 1-X scopes are taking over that nitch.  While the newer 1-X power scopes tend to be larger, heavier, and far less durable than the venerable ACOG, the capability they offer are leading more people to choose that over the ACOG.  If you are primarily expecting to identify and engage man sized targets at 100-600 meters the ACOG is hard to beat.  If you need the fastest speed for up close, or precision sub-MOA shooting, look elsewhere.

Red Rifleman Vol 2: Ongoing Accuracy Testing of the AK47

The AK-47 has been left behind to a certain degree. If we look back on the past 10+ years of civilian small arms development, we can see the AR15 has grown by leaps and bounds while the AK market has had much less evolution.

Sure there have been a few advancements worth noting, such as the gas tube rail mounts and Magpul everything, but by and large the hardcore research and development dollars are sidestepping the AK for the much larger and more lucrative AR15 market.

With the introduction of the .224 Valkyrie, we have developed the standard AR15 into a long range, lightweight semi-auto that can ballistically out-perform the .308 in a 7lb package. That’s just one example of the *many* branches Eugene’s little rifle has moved to.
Compare that development to the AK which has by and large been marginalized by the AR15’s advancements. AK’s just haven’t had the ammunition development, the materials development, or the public attention to advance the platform to the next level.

However… shooters all over the U.S. have made the “standard” AK ubiquitous. Despite its flaws and lack of innovation, many shooters trust this platform with their life. The goal of the Red Rifleman Series has been to explore the AK as is and develop my understanding of the platform further.

Link to Part 1: AK Accuracy @ Thenewrifleman.com

Summary: In part one I created mexican match ammo by pulling commie bullets, adding in Hornady bullets, and re-measuring the powder. Accuracy improved from 8 MOA to 6 MOA with iron sights. Also tested was the Ultimak gas tube which reduced accuracy with mexican match reloads in my AK.
In part two, we are going to get to the baseline of AK accuracy and reliability.

Let’s get started:

Accuracy Testing Round 2:

The first round of testing was a success. Reducing the 8 MOA group to 6 MOA is a good start and the primary driver of that was the Mexican match loads I created in Vol 1. Taking what I learned from that experience, I created another set of Mexican Match loads using the same process but instead substituting a new powder… Accurate 2230.

The Commie bullet was tossed aside and replaced with a .310 Hornady V-Max. In the prior session I had 2 MOA increase in accuracy with irons by just replacing the bullet and re-measuring the powder.

Using 27 grains of 2230 I then set a new Hornady .310 V-Max on top and gave it a crimp. I would be comparing the load to Barnal factory ammunition which retailed about 7 dollars a box at a local retail outlet.

The tools I used to evaluate the loads were a GG&G AK-47 Scope Mount, Warne medium height 30mm rings, and a Atibal Verum 1-4x optic. These will be reviewed together in a separate upcoming article. Glass is essential for accuracy development, and while this isn’t a 10x optic, this rifle might not be deserving of that much trouble in the first place.

I decided that a 1-4x optic would fit the bill nicely as it would give me a fighting chance to improve on my 6 MOA grouping from the last session and continue to evaluate my MM reloads.

The optic was sighted in an inch low at 25 yards and I then proceeded to evaluate the accuracy at 100 yards.

4.2 MOA with 7 Dollar off the shelf Barnaul? I’ll take it.
Mexican Match Reloads were 6 MOA even with an optic. Not worth the trouble at this time to continue this method of reloading.

To my suprise, the Grey Polymer Coated Barnaul/Monarch ammunition was a improvement over the laquer coated bullets I tested last time, and they even bested my Mexican Match reloads. Using a statistically significant 10 round group, I was able to acheive 4.2 MOA of accuracy using $7 off the shelf AK fodder.

Compare that to my MM reloads which landed in at 6.2 MOA… which was where I started using only irons. It is no longer worth the trouble to reload the Mexican Match loading if off the shelf ammo outperforms it.

At 4.2 MOA I was quite surprised. This isn’t a national match rifle, but we consider a “fighting” AR15 good if it keeps everything under 2 MOA with factory ammo. Consider that 62 grain Hornady Black factory ammo was capable of 2.15 MOA between my Straight Jacket and Colt HBAR with 10x  glass as perspective.

The performance gap between the AK and Ar15 using factory ammunition is present, but not insurmountable for a practical rifle. The next step would be to develop a variety of loadings for the AK and evaluate which one performs better than the Barnaul. If the AK is able to score 3 MOA groups, I would be incredibly excited to share what, why, when and how. I will continue to pursue this further.

High Glass, Sore Neck:

One of the problems with glass on the AK is that in prone position, a hyper-extension of the neck occurs. This became an uncomfortable problem during the course of the day. Upright and unsuported, the position is quite comfortable… but going prone is problematic for long strings. The logical solution is a higher comb and this can be acheived with aftermarket upgrades or simply Paki-Tape, a picture of your favorite girl, and foam.

Shooting upright was pleasant with the AK equipped with glass, but shooting prone became a sore point and a pain in the neck. We need a higher comb.

I am looking at option number 1… as desirable and affordable as paki-tape may be, I also want a rubber butt-pad to keep the rifle in position better. The steel butt-plate shifted on my shoulder with every shot and it may as well have been coated in teflon. Solving the sore neck problem may be as simple as purchasing an aftermarket MagPul stock.

Reliability:

We all know that AK’s are reliable. Right? Some recent experience with US made AK’s has soured the reputation among our ranks lately… but overall I would say that I am happy with the reliability of the AK. There is plenty of information on the net to make your own opinion of the reliability of the AK, so I don’t have much new to add here unless… let me find it… what do I have here?

Not so fresh from Vietnam… my father in law’s war trophy. Will it blend, I mean shoot!?

Oh yes, a rusty, used, put away wet, AK-47 magazine from Vietnam. This was in Pop “Doc” Schneider’s attic for many years. My father in law mentioned the AK magazine to me many times. He said that it was with his Vietnam stuff “up there somewhere” in the attic. It was a war trophy brought back when he was a young man. When he passed, my mother in law found it amongst his stuff and gave it to me.

As awesome as it would be to mount on a placard, the AK deserves this magazine. This magazine was *possibly* last fired at USGI’s in Vietnam, and years later a world away… it fed my Romanian SAR-1 on US Soil, liberated from commie hands.  Do you hear the eagles and smell the freedom? The whole session the magazine was used exclusively and the rifle functioned 100 percent without issue.

Vietnam magazine sitting next to the Mexican Match loads.

While US made Ar15 magazines are still rocking from that era as well, we all know that a misplaced foot or drop on the feed-lips can render them into malfunction clearance drill practice magazines…
The AK has once again shown us that it’s a tractor in the world of firearms. It’s magazines are not a weak point in the design.
The NAM mag is back in storage and won’t be used too often. Obviously it has value for who it belonged to and where it was from, but my curiosity was too piqued to not let lead fly.

Wrapping Up:

So we see the AK continues to improve in performance from my perception. Areas of improvement are 1) Continued research into AK accuracy via load improvement. 2) Ergonomic improvements to allow comfortable use of a 4x optic and mount. 3) Improvement of trigger pull. 4) Purchase of 20 round magazines for better prone shooting.

The AK continues to demonstrate to me that it is a reliable, versatile self defense firearm. While my overall opinion that the AR15 is a superior weapon has not changed, my exploration of the AK is meant to have value to the shooters who still prefer the AK platform of which there are many.

We must all be as ready and prepared as we can be for whatever the future may bring. Every man must develop himself into a rifleman and explore his or her potential, and understand the capability of his or her choice of weapon. There will be no gun left behind if things get hot, and every gun should be dialed and ready.

Thanks for reading!

Sincerely:
Lothaen!

Hornady Superformance in Semi Autos

2016-09-11-13-49-00 2016-09-11-13-50-23

Went to the range, the guy to the left of me was shooting Hornady Superformance ammo in his .308 AR.

I’ve seen this issue every time I have seen someone shoot Hornady Superformance ammo in .308 ARs.  That is not to say that it might not work in yours, but I would recommend against using it in semi-autos.

Leupold MK8 CQBSS, the best rifle optic?

Is the CQBSS the ultimate rifle scope?  No, but it is damned awesome.

2016-07-22 18.38.26

Ever since the Leupold MK8 1-8X CQBSS came out, I have been reading people sing praises of it online.

So why would someone want something like the CQBSS?

The concept is to have a single optic with the speed of a reflex sight at low magnification and the clarity, tracking, and capabilities of a sniper scope for medium to longer ranges.  This flexibility of being able to quickly switch from 1X to 8X magnification to give you the option to use the magnification best suited for the distance your shooting.  It is nice to have an optic with the intent to be able to do room clearing out to 800m shots.

Now there are a couple main versions of this scope.  One style has a Horus reticle with a 5 MOA donut that is bright for use like a reflex sight.  This version is the most expensive, and you tend not to see anyone mention what the battery life is.  The other style does not have a daylight visible illumination, and is offered in the TMR, Mildot, and CMR-W reticles.  The scope referenced here is a TMR reticle MK8.

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At 1X magnification, the TMR reticle gives you a nice clean simple crosshair you can quickly get on target.

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At 8X magnification, you have Leupold TMR reticle allowing for ranging the target in mils and holding over necessary adjustments.  Note the range finding marks below the center of the crosshair for estimating range of man or vehicle at 700-1200m.

So why wouldn’t you want a CQBSS?  First is cost, list price runs from $3,899.99 to $4,939.99.  The second is that no matter how awesome it is, it is still only an 8X magnification scope.  Many people who might want to shoot groups or shoot out to longer ranges may find them selves wanting more magnification.

The CQBSS shows up what the future of scopes is going to look like.  Just as the low magnification optics like the ACOG feel right as home on the AR15, these variable optics just feel right on the growing number of semi auto .308 rifles.  However consider these the first generation of the future combat/battle rifle optics.

The Accuracy International AE

Submitted by  “G”  a professional sniper and lifelong friend of the Loose Rounds site owners. “G”  will be writing some articles for Loose Rounds in the coming months.

In the by-gone days of 2004 I was hip deep in the word of tactical shooting.  I had been on my departments SWAT Team as a Sniper for a couple years but have been obsessed with sniping since the late 1990’s, when my father was a LEO sniper for the same department.  I read anything I could about the subject, been to a couple schools, and with any free time I had was practicing.

I had been around the typical M700 and other typical sporting rifles my entire life.  I was issued a Remington PSS and had no problems with it but I wanted my own personal “tactical”
rifle.  I looked at companies like Robar, McMillan, HS Precision and others, but when I visited the Accuracy International web site I found what I wanted.  The Accuracy International AW series was way out of my means at the time but the AE, now known as the AE MK1, was just inside reach.  From what the site said it was the same as the AW series without certain benefits and was gear toward the LE community.  It featured a 24″ 1:12 twist barrel, 3.5 lbs trigger, and a very distinctive look.  So off to a local FFL dealer.

Accuracy International AE 7.62x51
Accuracy International AE 7.62×51

Once this British beauty arrived in this my hands I knew I had made a good choice of rifle. It wasn’t setup for the Parker Hale bipod, which I didn’t like anyway, instead a simple sling swivel attachment for a Harris bipod was attached to the bottom of the chassis system.  Its safety was “safe” and “fire” only, instead of the three position safety on the AW series.  Of course it is chambered in  7.62 X 51 (308 Win),  had an overall length of 44″ and weighed around 13 lbs.

7.52x51mm
7.52x51mm

The LOP was adjustable with spacers which came with the rifle.  It was set up with a 0 MOA rail already on the receiver for mounting scopes. The AE came with one 5 round magazine, the Mk1 is not able to use the AI 10 round magazines.  The chassis had four sling mounts, two on each side.  Now a days the Accuracy International chassis system is available for a variety of rifles but then it was AI only.  The stock simply screwed onto the chassis system and its only function was to provide something to hold onto. The bolt handle had a distinctive angle and appearance that even for a left hander, like me, provided easy and smooth manipulation.

Accuracy International AE
Accuracy International AE

I managed to top the rifle with a 6.5-20 MK IV Leupold, it has since been refitted with a 4-14 MK IV. The next step was to find a round for this beast to fire.  I had picked up a couple boxes of Hornady 30 caliber 178 gr AMAX.

AE w/ Leopuld Mounted
AE w/ Leupold Mounted

After doing some load development I found a load that the rifle liked.

-Federal Premium Brass trimmed to 2.005

-CCI LR Primer.  Primer pocket and flash hole uniformed.

-43.0grs of IMR 4064

-178 gr Hornady AMAX and Hornady HPBT seated to magazine length.

10 round group fired from 100 yards
10 round group fired from 100 yards

The AE is comfortable shooting from the bench or prone position.  It does become slightly awkward but not undoable from field shooting positions, as found out by yours truly and Loose Rounds owner Shawn.  The information provided with the AE from Accuracy International stated that the AE model was a 600 yard gun.  We came to find that the rifle was very capable of consistent hits out to 1000 yards.  Many a day was spent with this rifle busting skeet and ringing steel at 800 yards and it may be just me being bias, but this rifle made it seem easy to do so.  I have saved many targets from this rifle that was a testament to its accuracy but through the years they have disappeared.

Over the years I have owned and shot other very accurate rifles but this little 600 yard British rifle will always be my favorite.

“G”

SCAR-H Review & Long Range Test

Since the SCAR-L and SCAR-H came on the scene and touted as the next best thing  I was skeptical to say the least.  Even now after using them both enough to get to know them, I find the 556  SCAR  neato, but  nothing about it justifies the hype that preceded it.  The H on the other hand I think has some real potential.  Recently we finally got around to testing one out in a manner that I felt gave me something  to say about it.

The SCARH has seemingly taken on the role of battle carbine and as a “sniper support “rifle and after a lot of shooting I think this is its most useful role.  We fired it for group and at longer ranges to see how it would do.   And I was well pleased with what it showed me.

Normally I would put my usual 18x leupold target optic on it for long range testing and firing for group but the owner assured me the Elcan 6x optic pictured on the gun would be enough.  For long range shooting on man sized steel gongs it certainly is.  For group shooting it limited me to 100 yards.  I could have shot further but I feel trying to small groups with smaller power can be rough when eyes get tired  and the strings stretch on and on. With that in mind I didn’t feel it fair to the gun to shoot 200-300 yard groups with the 6x.   And I am not going to lie., the thing has a reputation for  narfing up optics. Or so I am told, so it did not take much to convince me to stick to the Elcan.  With all that in mind  lets take a looky-poo at what it did.

 

Above is the typical average group for the day.  Fired with 168 grain Federal Gold Medal Match ammo which I was told the Elcan was calibrated for .  Group was a 10 round string with the flyer being the first round fired. This is a common flyer for a lot of semi auto guns due to the difference between the bolt closing and locking up under recoil as opposed to by hand with less force.  Certainly only the most hardened keyboard marksman would complain about it too much in this case, but the first round flyer on a hand chambered round always was a little off from the main group. I do feel this group is representative over all  so I am not going to post all of them up.

After some general drills and plinking I moved it off to long range.  I used my usual man sized steel gong  roughly shaped like a small man from belt to head.  The wind was blowing like a democrat running for president and combined with the 168 grain ammo NOT being 175 or heavier, I chose to put the target out to only 750 yards.

 

No real reason that I didn’t set it at 800 other than the simple reason I couldn’t find a flat enough spot to set the target.  750-800 yards is what I consider the far end of what a 168 grain 308 round can do from a  barrel length around that of a SCAR especially. Really  its a pretty good rule of thumb in my opinion that making hits past 800 with the 168s starts to become problematic with anything less than a 26 inch barrel.

 

With a little wind reading, the elcan 6x put the hits right on the steel using the BDC stadia for the appropriate range.  Very few rounds missed and that was due to 35 to 45 mph winds moving full value to 3/4 value all day.  One thing we noticed was the light profile barrel did not to seem to have any problems with POI shift as it heated up a bit.  The PWS muzzle device made fast follow up shots very easy. The grass muted any chance for a dust signature in this case so i can’t speak to that.  I was very impressed with the ease of making hits with the Elcan though  it is was a little crowded for my personal tastes.  That’s not a gripe. I spent most of my life, and 99 percent of my long range shooting life during the time of the mildot being the most complicated thing out there.

Towards the end of the long range shooting,  with  the strong wing I attempted to hit the steel rapid fire 20 out of 20 without waiting for lulls in the wind. I managed 19 out of 20  on target in about 35 seconds. That is a very good run in  high wind using  a short barrel and the 168 grain round I have so little taste for use in  serious long range shooting .  I was especially pleased with its performance considering the size of the target. I am barely 5’9  and as you can see the gong is not really as big as a normal man.

 

I would very much like to  test for myself how the SCAR H does with 175gr match ammo or something else more tuned for longer ranges.  The rest of the time at this range was spent hitting the gong as if it was no further away than 200 yards  once the wind stayed blowing in a  steady direction.   .  At 750 the H shot about as good as the 901  with the 901 grouping better when accuracy tested. One caveat being the 901 did have the 18x though so keep that in mind.  I do have a gut feeling the 901 will have the advantage at the extreme long range since it has a barrel free floated and not piston operated.

 

Now comes the part with  the down sides.  That Elcan 6x while very clear and very useful is VERY heavy.  It makes a fairly light handy 762 battle carbine into a very fat chick.  With the gun loaded and with other mission required additions such as a light or PEQ etc, this thing turns into a brute. I am not afraid of rifles that have some weight if the weight has a good reason, but the optic on this one really makes it tough to say I would every really buy one myself for constant use.

Speaking of the optic, the charging handle.  Or as I think of it, the SCAR H knuckle skinner.   When the charging handle is on the left side, which is the best side for righties, you do not have much choice of places to mount any optics if it sticks out over the side of the rifles top rail any at all.  Hand position is critical as well since you can stop the gun or take a knock from the handle as it operates. Same thing if the CH touches anything around you when in use. I am not a fan of it nor will I ever be. I have read and heard all the reasons why it was given this feature, but I still think it just sucks.

I had some problems with the factory safeties. I could not use the right side of the ambi safety in any way that was useful and I struggled to quickly and smoothly use the left handed full sized lever.  This is something easily fixed now a days and its a good thing.  If I was to buy a SCAR H I would have to order a replacement ambi safety before I even got home with it.

The trigger was the superb Super SCAR Trigger ’nuff said.  It did not have the factory trigger in it so I can’t really give any opinion on that.  I would highly recommend that super scar trigger though to anyone buying one of these guns.

As hideous as some find the butt stock and as much fun as it is to joke about it,  there was no trouble from it.  The stock was comfortable and  easy enough to adjust.  For average guy in the US use I don’t see it being any real issue though I do understand it has had some problems in the past in combat.

I heard so much hyperbole over how the PWS muzzle device was so loud that it would cause dead bodies to rise from the bottom of lakes and make  instant rain storms.  It wasn’t that loud and it wasn’t that blasty in my opinion.  It did however work great. Same as the L model. But it’s much appreciated on the 762 model.  Rapid fire off hand, prone  or any strange position I tried was like shooting a 556 gun. Maybe even less.  I do find  I would like to see how it feels without it. The Colt 901 has very pleasant recoil with no recoil dampening muzzle brake at all but the HK417 has  recoil I find to be way too much considering what it is. So I would like to see how the piston SCAR feels with no brake compared to the piston 417. I stood beside it and over it while some one shot it prone and walked all around it during firing with nothing more than foam plugs in. It’s not that bad at all. Or I am well on my way to deafness.  Other shooter remarked it was not as bad as it has been made out to be.   Unrelated, the SCAR H and the L  vents a hell of a lot of gas out onto the barrel in front of the gas block and even onto the brake.  I would like to see what kind of flash is produced at night when the gun is suppressed and from a position directly in front of it.

Unlike the HK 417/Mr762 which I loathe, the SCARH never failed us during use. I found it shot more accurate and  was much more pleasant to shoot recoil wise.   I know I have brought it up many times but that HK 417 really surprised me by how much recoil it has.  In the review of the HK you can even see the bruising it caused another shooter from its recoil. The SCARH and Colt 901 are as pleasant to shoot as a 556 gun to me. Not so for that HK417.   The SCAR was as reliable as the 901 though I did not shoot quite as much through the SCARH as I did the Colt 901s.

One last complaint about the H is the rail space. There is not a lot of it on the gun for positioning extras you may have much need for or just simply  want.  There are of course fixes for that and other models with longer rails but the SCARH tested was the configuration it first came out as and is a product of the time period it was designed.

I was impressed  with the guns accuracy and performance.  I would certainly own one  and set it up in the sniper support role.  Oddly there are as many things I don’t like about it as there are things I do like. But I feel it has a couple of roles that it excels best at.  As a combat carbine, I think in its stock form it leaves a lot to be desired and the 762  pattern ARs are superior in most ways. If I wanted to use a 762 carbine like  I would a 556 carbine, I would hands down go with something like the Colt 901 ( which is my first pick) the KAC EMC carbine or whatever they call it this month, or even the LMT MWS god forbid.  If I wanted a piston operated 762 DMR or sniper support rifle/carbine., I would absolutely use the SCAR H especially when it is dressed with its longer rail and the current upgrades.

This review with some time with the SCARH is late enough that it’s not changing anyone’s mind about buying one at this point,  but I would suggest making sure you know exactly what you want out of  it and what you may need to change on the H if you are thinking about getting one. I certainly would get one if I had use for it even in its standard  guise.

 

 

Musings on Sniper ARs.

 

I heard that H&K won the Army compact semi-auto sniper competition.  That surprised me as I thought Knights Armament Corp. would be a sure win.  It will be interesting to see how the HK rifle turns out and how many actually get purchased.

I find it interesting that the Army moved away from a 20 inch barreled .308 to having a 16 inch barreled .308 carbine.  That got me thinking about the other Sniper type ARs that have been used recently in our military.  You see that the 18inch barreled MK12 rifles mostly phased out of service.  There also is no mention about other sniper M16 variants in the military being currently used (like the SAM-R, or the SDM-R).

 

I know the Army and Marines have both field the MK12 sniper rifle.  I also hear that very few are still in use.  One main thing said is that no replacement parts or service was set aside for them, so when they were shot out, there was no replacement.

 

The USMC adopted a 16.5 inch barreled 5.56 HK carbine for use as an Automatic Rifle.  When it was adopted I wondered if the USMC just really wanted a heavy barreled carbine but didn’t want to buy M4A1 Carbines.  Almost immediately after fielding the USMC made claims that these carbines were very accurate and that they would fill the Corps requirements for a Designated Marksman rifle.

 

There is plenty out there saying that the USMC likes the idea of the M27 IAR as a DMR rifle, for example this article from Marines.mil.

 

The Corps seems feel that a 3.5X scope on a 16.5 inch automatic rifle barrel firing M855 meets their needs as a DMR.  So this makes for an interesting question.  Is it that the USMC doesn’t need a match rifle firing match ammo with higher magnification, or is it that the individual Marines in combat situations cannot make better use of a more precision rifle?

 

Most likely it is that Marine Infantry would not effectively use a sniper rifle.  When people think about snipers they often think about the shooting skills and then next the stalking and hiding skills.  What isn’t often though about is the different in mentality, and the much greater training in spotting targets and observation fields of fire.

 

The Marine Corps Times isn’t a very reliable source of information, a little less so than National Enquirer, but they had an article with an interesting comment:

“You’d be shocked at how bad Marines are at guessing, like 700 meters for a target that was at 275 meters,” she said. “Range estimation comes into everything we do, whether it’s call for fire, small-arms marksmanship or setting a cordon for an [improvised explosive device]; it can be taught, but it’s a very perishable skill.”

Inland MFG M1 Carbine Part 2 Accuracy Testing

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This is the final part in the T&E of the Inland MFG M1 Carbine.  In case you have no read the pr4evious posts, I examined the gun closely with plenty of close up pictures and tested the carbine for reliability in mud, snow, water and ice.  Now at last is the accuracy portion of the review.

I fired the gun with a few different loads but no match ammo since I could not get my  hands on any  in an amount that would have mattered. I tested the gun using ball, which is what I think most buyers will be using and a federal soft point rounds that for some reason I marked as a hollow point on the record targets  I have no idea why I marked it incorrectly as HPs unless it is just out of habit.    Rest assured the  target groups marked as “HP” is a mistake and I actually fired the Federal jacketed soft point load.

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First I fired the traditional  25 yard group for establishing a zero. I used five rounds of ball.

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I then moved out to 50 yards and  75 yards.  This 50 yard  10 round group is with the mentioned Fed SOFT POINT load. The carbine really shot well with this load.  I believe this load is the ammo that was used by the PD in the town over in WV across the river from me. The ammo was provided by a police officer and came from the department so it may well be the load Federal intended as a LE or home defense load. It does shoot well in the carbine despite the ammo I used being at least 10 years old that I know of.

The next two pictures are of another 50 yard group and a group fired at 75 yards  with the same ammo.  I did not fire a 100 yard group due to the fact that my eyes have a hard time with the iron sights on M1 carbines   for some reason.  I can shoot them just fine for general use, but I really struggle with them when it gets down to taking precise shots in an attempt to fire groups for accuracy testing  I have never done well with them  and felt it unfair to shoot much further and not know if it was me or the gun.  However 75 yards is close to 100 enough to get some kind of idea of what it may do.

I did fire the gun past these shorter distances.  I set up the steel target at 300 yards while shooting it when it first arrives.  My Dad was with us and before shooting I announced i was going to take some shots at 300 yards with the gun.  Everyone chuckled and said “yeah right”. i then asked them if they wanted to bet 20 bucks on me being able to do it.   Fortunately for them, they would not take the bet because I found it very easy to hit a roughly man sized target , ( head to belt buckle) at 300 yards with the carbine.

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The target  is a little hard to see in this picture. But it is in the center of the road.  I used a home made tripod to get over the grass but none of the shots used a sand bag or laying prone.  I then stood up and made a few hits off hand.  The carbine is capable for shots most modern rifle shooters can not make with  308 rifles or more sad to say.

The Inland Carbine is a handy well made and faithful reproduction of the original. It is much nicer and better made than its competition out there making some really rough looking M1 carbines.  You can also get the M1A1 paratrooper version of the carbine and a cut down “Advisor” model like used by US troops in Vietnam.

If you like WW2 weapons and history and want a carbine that you can shoot heavily without any guilt, or just want a small handy “trunk gun” this would be a good choice. I would certainly pick it over a SKS or nagant.   The rifle comes with the 15 round mag but obviously will take the 30 round magazines.   The M1 could be the answer for those people in certain states that governments that have been confusing their role with those of communist states.  Or for those who want something not as scary and evil looking as an evil black rifle.

Over all I am very impressed with it. I admit that everyone who was with me during the first testing had major doubts and rolled their eyes at it when I said I was going to do some of the stuff with it I ended up  doing, but they became believers. A lot of preconceived biases got busted by this gun.  it certainly impressed me.  This Inland M1 will perform above and beyond for you within its envelope and a little beyond.

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Long Range Data Made Easy

When I and my friends first started our long range shooting career we learned to have handy little cheats with us for faster hits.  This is certainly nothing new and it continues to this day in a different form.   Before there was hand held computers and all manner of technology to help  make the long range hits, there was writing stuff down.  We had an assortment of little charts and such with each rifle with data for each one.   Over time  my ideas and views on effective field marksmanship at long range changed.    I came to think of effective  long range hits in the way I do now i.e.  a man’s chest or from belt buckle to crown.

With that in mind and the fact that   308 Winchester loads with a 24-26 inch rifle using 175 and 168 HPBT  are very close to a certain point , and  77 grain  5.56 match ammo in a 20 inch barrel is  very , very close to the 175gr  308 load, it was easy to work with all three and keep the info in my head.

Early on my partner and I developed a chart for the 175 grain HPBT match load. seen below.

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The chat starts with a 100 yard zero and goes out to 1,000 yards in 25 yard increments using 1/4 MOA value adjustments.  The chart was made using  a 26 inch barrel.  The thing that is so useful with this chart and the reason we still use it to this day is that it can also be used to get you on to a man sized target using the 175gr and 168 gr 308 load and the 5.56mm with 20 inch barrel using 77 grain match.   It is not perfect with the other loads and will not be perfect. But you will get on target very quickly using this chart.   It is also useful for  556 loads using 75 grain and 69 grain match loads  . Now you have to use come common sense here when using it in some cases. For instance , if you are using  77 grain match ammo, the chart will not match up to you 16inch carbine barrel. But, it will be close and, very close within the shorter range  DOPE.    You can tweak it as you see fit to match your gun and load. Or you can use it like we do and leave it as is and after using it you will know how your rifle/optic works with it.  I feel in this way it is the most useful but if you can use this as a “get you on target ” starting point, then refine it, all the better.   As I said above. with a 26 inch barreled 308 with 175 grain ammo, you can use this chart to get on a man sized target  from 100 to 1.000.

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The next chart shown above may or may not be well known to you  by now if you are a long range shooter and  have used the Mil-dot  optics that are  very common.   I will be honest and tell you up front I never bothered, nor had any desire to learn  the  formula and all that stuff to use the mildots for ranging.  I found this chart to be a lot faster and handier and it did not require me to use the dreaded math.  The most work my Mildots do ( yes I do still use them) is for hold off/hold over points.   I was always reasonably good at judging range by eye or smart enough to bring a dedicated range finder.  This chart however, is very handy if you still want to use them the way they were intended but without all that brain work.  I would advise printing this out and laminating it and keeping it with your data book regardless of how much you intend to use it.

Another  chart not unique to me or the buys, but handy anyway.  The M118 data is not as handy as it once was. The M118 load was not all that great even in its day. But the charts still have use if you have a supply you use or they match a load you may be using.

The moving target lead  leads are particularly useful help when learning.

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The next chart  was made to convert yards and meters.  We had some WW2 range finders that read in meters but we always think and work in yards.  It made things a bit easier for us.

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This illustration for judging wind is a photocopy from Maj. John Plaster’s  excellent  long range and sniping manual “The Ultimate Sniper”.  It is just as handy now as it has ever been  if you do not have all the tech to figure it out for you or want to learn it the old traditional way like we did.

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And last another chart for  Lake City  M118 match loads in MOA  and 1/4 MOA value adjustments.  It is pretty much ancient info by now.  But it does illustrate for you how useful the first chart made by us for our use that  I posted. You can see how close the data matches.

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This info is very useful if you are learning to shoot longer ranges.  Especially if you do not have the money to start buying up the mini computers that are becoming standard now a days.  The come up charts WILL get you on target and depending on your gun and load, it may put you on a near dead zero.  Not accounting for reading wind, the first chart always will produce a first round hit for us and it has been shown to and given to many new budding LR shooters to help them get on target at ranges beyond 600 yards when they had no idea  how to get on target otherwise.

Keep in mind your gun and optic may run out of adjustment for these ranges given in the chart if you do not have a long range base and optic.  A standard optic for general hunting or use under 400 yards will most likely not let you come up enough to get on. So you have to start out with at the very least something like the Leupold long range canted base.

Print these out and laminate them and try them out if you have always wanted to try long range but did not really know how to start.  If you have no real interest in precision rifles and long range, print them out anyway and use them for your AR15 and use it to test your black rifle for longer ranges. With the help these provide you will most likely surprise yourself with what you can do and how easy it is. when some one else has done the work for you!