I ran across this series of pictures over at ARFCOM with no real back story other than a local gunsmith posted the pictures. Apparently some worthy had fired the cylinder empty with every round getting stuck in the bore. Cylinder gap likely saved them from a nasty KABOOM. PIctured add proof to my own personal theory about a lot of people who buy 500 S&W revolvers..
Long ago I was at the range and one of the regulars was talking about how he had loaded some .300 Whisper rounds and that they were so super quiet. Everyone was so excited to hear them, that it was suppose to be like shooting a silenced rifle. I was working as a range officer at the time so we arranged for the line to be called hot just for this guy so we could hear him shoot.
A shot was fired. I was so very disappointed because it sounded like any other gunshot.
.300 Whisper was changed slightly, and became the .300 AAC Blackout. Robert Silvers did some brilliant marketing and made it popular.
I have heard and read some really outlandish claims about the .300 BLK. Had someone tell me it makes .308 obsolete. I’ve seen many claims online that a suppressed subsonic .300 is hollywood quiet. I’ve even seen more than one person proclaim that the U.S. Military needs to replace all the rifles, carbines, machine guns, and sniper rifles with .300 Blackout. Claims like that made me even more skeptical about the round.
A more realistic comparison is 7.62×39 Russian or .30-30 Winchester. Both are good rounds, but I don’t see anyone clamoring for the U.S. Military to switch to either of them. .300 BLK does have the advantage of using a wider variety of bullet weights than either of those two other cartridges.
For someone plinking unsuppressed, 7.62×39 is far more available and cheaper. .30-30 has more than proven it self over the years.
It seems to me the best strength of the .300 Blackout is out of short barrels. You can have a subgun sized weapon with better performance than a pistol caliber.
Subsonic .300 BLK provides muzzle energy similar to a .45 ACP. Subsonic .300 BLK is more like a pistol cartridge than a rifle round. But it retains the greater flash and blast of a rifle. With the really short barrels and super sonic ammo, you are talking similar performance to an M1 Carbine firing .30 carbine.
I often see the comment of a short barreled AR15 in .300 BLK as a replacement for the MP5. That makes sense as the MP5 is old, large, heavy, has a worse manual of arms. But if you are looking for the smallest package, a SMG with the mag in the grip would be even smaller than an AR15 style weapon.
I don’t really see the appeal. Certainly not a bad round, but what is the real niche of it?
Also there is a Single Point sight for sale, like what was used on the Son Tay Raid. These sights are not uncommon, but the mounts for them are very rare. This one has a mount that looks like it had never been used.
Seller wants $1300, again a high price, but I’d bet someone will pay it just to get that mount.
I have no affiliation with any of these sellers, and I have no idea when or if this stuff will sell. All sorts of cool stuff is out there, but you just gotta have cash ready and look around if you want it.
Over on arfcom yesterday I ran across a thread with a poll asking members what they thought the biggest advancement has been for AR15s. The thread poster then gave a list of choices for readers to vote on. See above. Sadly most of the option were eye roll inducing or not really even worth mentioning. It did get me thinking about the subject though which is rare for something posted on arfcom GD.
First I want to talk about the choices.
1.Red dot sight. While the use of durable, reliable and simple red dot sights have been a great leap forward in helping average dude with hitting it had to have something else that facillitate that. ore on this later.
2. The accessory rail. Primarily this would be the Knights Armament RIS/RAS. Yes there was other but the KAC rails for the M4/M16 was what really kicked it off because it was the rail the military went with. This allowed for a now unlimited variety of force multiplier to be attached to the rifle. A great contender for the number one spot in my opinion and a good argument could be made that it is. But like the first choice something had to come before.
3.Piston. No. An unneeded “advancement” Colt already developed in the 60s that solved a problem that doesn’t really exist.
4. Too idiotic to even address seriously
5. Polymer magazines like the Pmag, Lancer etc. An advancement to be sure. Have we all given up on USGI spec aluminum though? I don’t know anyone that has. Would the AR be less if they never come along? I don’t think so. I think they fall some where with the red dot sights but I would like to hear your opinion on this one.
5. The arrival of the used car salesman equivalent of gun companies. Is this an advancement? I would submit to you this is actually something that is hurting things. More than one first rate Mfg. has told me that PSA and their like are causing them to offer more and more cheap shit models with cost cutting measures to compete. You may view this as a good thing but I don’t think a world of mainly DPMS “sportical” ARs being sold by every company other than the boutique makers as a good thing.
Now. What do I think is the greatest advance for the AR15? The “flattop” upper receiver and the development of the M1913 rail of course. It wasn’t the first of its kind of course, but it was the one the US standardized and adopted. There was attempted at weaver type rails and the Canadians had a version but once Dick Swan and Colt came up with the current rail everything changed. Slowly at first but then like a snowball rolling down hill. The rail led to being able to mount optics lower. This lead to the Ar15 being better developed for precision use for more than just service rifle competition. The 1913 standard helped with the handguard rails like the KAC and on and on and on. Yeah yeah, the MLOK and KEYMOD and whatever MOD are a big thing now, but not on the top of the receiver it ain’t. The flatop upper has doubled the modularity of the AR15 maybe tripled it or more.
A couple of other factors that spurred development in a big way. 1. The 1994 AWB and its end 2. the GWOT. These two aren’t changes to the gun itself from a technical or mechanical standpoint but they sure did speed that up. I think I will leave that for another day or Howard can tackle that if he wants to add to this.
Some smaller things that I think advanced the system in increments. The change over to the then not all that popular but now very useful 1/7 twist and related ammo that followed . At first we got the arguable smaller step up to the 62 grain M855. Meh. Then we got the 69, then 77grain and now 80 and 85 grain bullets. The outstanding accuracy and lethality of the heavier rounds can not be ignored. Of course the ammo was developed for competition at first then as a more accurate round for the MK12 which came about because of the ability to mount optics to the flat top upper.
While not an AR15 but something related, companies finally working out the kinks to get us reliable, durable and accurate SR25 pattern 7.62MM ARs. People forget that while the Stoner SR25 and the “armalite ” ( read eagle arms) AR10 had been around for a while, it wasn’t really until about 09 that we started to see 762 rifles and carbines that you could shoot at a high round count schedule like an M4, be reliable and accurate. And now we have most of them using the SR25 pattern magazine like God and Eugene intended. But that’s a talk for another day.
I’d really like to hear some thoughts and comments about this. What do you think was the biggest advancement. Please don’t count the AR15 itself because of course it was. Some discussion on this would be much appreciated .
If you want to read what the expurts had to say on arfcom. Link below. Though you can save yourself the trouble if you saw the poll image screen shot above on how they voted. Some posters offered up much better possibilities than the original posters nearly joke like selection though.
Previously I posted about the all fucked up Colt AR6951 9mm AR15 I received from the scammer David Smith of “Daves Guns” AKA bulletknife (email@example.com).
Lets recap. The problems are:
Bent charging handle
Loose functioning bolt catch
Incorrectly assembled stock latch
Crooked receiver extension
Cosmetically blemished upper receiver
We all make mistakes, I know I made one buying from David there. But I think a rifle shouldn’t leave the factory with that many mistakes.
I received the rifle on a Friday. I initially noticed the blemish and the binding charging handle. I figured that the charging handle just needed a little break it. I took it to the range the next day and found out that it wouldn’t break in. On the plus side, once a round was chamber, the gun ran great.
So Monday, I call Colt customer service and ask for a RMA. I had to wait on hold for about 15 minutes. When I finally got to talk to someone, they didn’t seem to believe the issues I was explaining. When I told them the S/N, they told me it was manufactured in 2015, and the CS rep was implying there would be no warranty. I told him the gun was new out of the box. He told me I would have to include a receipt and I told him I had one. The call ended with them telling me they would email me a shipping label.
I never got a shipping label.
It got me remembering the other times I contacted Colt over an issue. I had a gun where the taper pin fell out of the gas block. I called up Colt and asked for a replacement. It took a long time for the guy on the phone to understand that I was talking about a taper pin. He kept insisting I was talking about the gas tube pin. Finally when I got my point across he told me that wasn’t possible. Finally he said he would have one mailed out to me. I never got anything.
I also vaguely remember having a similar issue a long time ago, but the specifics escape me.
So after a week of waiting, a smart person would have called Colt back up and raised hell until they got a RMA. Not me, I decided I’m going to fix this stuff my self.
Charging handle was straight forward. Pull the old one, replace it. I borrowed a charging handle from another upper. Right there they would be enough to get the gun functioning. I tried to get a good picture of the bend in this charging handle, but the photos turned out terrible. I’ll try again some other time. But I did find something of note.
Fortunately for me this charging handle is marked with Colt Defense’s CAGE code. So I know it is a real Colt part that is fucked up. Some some substitute. In the past, there have been cases of dealers pulling Colt parts of the rifles and swapping them out with cheaper parts like DPMS. That way they could sell the Colt parts separately. In the past this was easy to catch as Colt marked their bolts and carriers. Now they are no longer marking the carriers with the Colt C.
The charging handle is arched down, so it is possible someone yanked up on while it was in the gun bending it. But the only time I have seen issues like that is when people have kicked open the action on a rifle with a stuck case.
On to the next issue.
The bolt catch was flopping around leading me to believe that there was no spring and detent for it. Fortunately I have spare parts laying around. Spare AR15 parts can be a dangerous issue as they have the chance to spontaneously assemble them selves into additional rifles. Fortunately that has only happened to me a half dozen times or so.
I was surprised to see the detent in there. I was also surprised as how much it kicked my ass trying to get it out. Normally that detent pops right out, and lands somewhere in the carpet where you can’t find it. Instead this one was stuck. I made a fancy technical drawing to show the issue:
First I expected to just be able to push it with a punch and have it pop out. That didn’t work. So I tried a magnet. That didn’t work. I tried seeing if I could glue a stick to it, first with hot glue, then epoxy. That didn’t work. The oiled curved surface would not let anything stick to it. I tried a more powerful magnet, nope. I then decided I would drill it out. The hand drill wouldn’t work as the drill bits were flexing off the curved top of this detent. I tool the lower to a machine shop. I still expected that a good magnet would pull it right out, so I was still surprised when the magnetic chuck still wouldn’t. I was forced to give up on magnets.
I stuck the lower in a milling machine and drive a carbide engraving bit into the detent. Then it popped right out.
Before I had it out, I figured that the spring was too short, or broken. When it finally came out, and was longer than the replacement I had, I was worried that the hole in the lower might have been drilled too deep. I found the M16 TDP, found how deep that hole was suppose to be, and everything appeared to be in spec.
So WTF happened? I dunno. My best guess is that it got over compressed somehow and the spring kinked or binded. I have never heard of this issue before in an AR15.
In any event, the replacement dropped right in, and I had a properly working bolt catch have that.
As for the stock body, I did the lazy thing and just swapped it out for another Colt M4 stock.
This section has rambled on a good bit longer than I expected, so expect a part 3.
The critical problems have been solved. In part 3 I will talk about the merits of the gun.