Colt SP-1, AR15

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The Colt, SP-1 is a classic. It has certainly become more desirable as time has went by and no doubt will continue to.  I acquired the AR15 shown for my Dad who carried the Colt 602 version of the M16 in Vietnam and the SP1 is nearly the same gun.  I am not much into “clones” nor do I much  want an AR15 that is not a Colt or have at the least, a majoirty of Colt parts. So the SP1 really hits the nail on the head for me.

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With the help of some very good friends over the years, I have managed to gather all the extras that came with various SP1s during their time of production.  The last pieces I found was this MINT  Colt Japanese made 3X scope.  It has the regular duplex crosshairs and was never used.

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Another friend was kind enough to give me a brand new never used Colt M16  Bayonet  with scabbard. The bayonet is mint as well and in perfect condition. The same friend also gifted me the M16 spring loaded bipod also mint and Colt marked. Both items very hard to get in mint, unused shape and with the colt factory markings.

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Lastly, my personal favorite detail of the AR15 is the chrome slick side Colt bolt carrier group. The BCG in the earlier guns were chrome plated and since the SP1 does not have a forward assist, the carrier is slick on the side with no grove cuts for a forward assist to even bare against.  The majority of SP1s had the more common and now standard BCG with cuts for the FA and with the standard Milspec finish seen every where today.  It was hard to track one down at the time but eventually the effort paid off.  Pictured above is a set of new condition original   1956 web gear . the type used in the Vietnam war.

The SP1 has a chromed lined barrel with 1/12 twist, which fired the M193 FMJ round.  This rifle will shoot groups around 1.5 MOA with quality handloads. I load  the excellent 53 and 55 grain Barnes TSX solid copper hollow points for it in case my Dad or I ever want to use it for something more serious than paper.  I have used it a few times for hunting and plan to try the combo of gun, scope and TSX ammo on a deer later this year unless something more exotic is put in my hands for review purposes.  The lighter bullets will kill deer sized game just fine. Many threads are on AR15.com showing deer and hog kills using 55 weight range bullets and several deer kill threads. At one time I recall a retro AR15 thread about taking deer with the older guns.   So if you have one. or a clone of a M16A1 etc, take that beauty out and let it do what it was meant to do. They are still fine rifles that will serve well.

One last thought before the end.  As good as these are, and they are good and still effective. Do not fall into the trap of nostalgia over common sense or the idiotic “KISS rifle” concepts.  Those guns will work. But the force multipliers and tools on modern guns out class them for serious practical purposes by light years.  So don’t wax all nostalgic and try to use one for very serious work just for the sake of being different or cool.  You can if you have to. but it would not be wise. Have fun with it, hunt with it. admire it. It is still deadly effective and just as reliable. But it is not going to beat a handy carbine with a red dot and weapon light.

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Above is my SP1 Colt AR15 with friend’s Colt SP1 AR15 carbine

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Above, SP1 and Colt M16A1 upper on Colt retro preban lower.  A beautiful pair indeed and not a supermodel anywhere in sight!

Aimpoint T-1 & T-2

The new Aimpoint T-2 is making making its way to the market. TheFirearmBlog posted up a video made by Jonathan Owen comparing the T-1 & T-2.

The T-2 looks like it has some nice little incremental improvements over the T-1, and but at this time I wouldn’t recommend throwing out your T-1 for a T-2. I really like the Aimpoint T-1 and highly recommend it.

The T-1 and T-2 cost more then some may want to pay. Then if your going to use one on an AR15 you generally have to drop about another $100 on a taller mount. If money is tight, look at the Aimpoint PRO. The PRO can be had for under $400, and has all the good features of the more expensive Aimpoints.

CompTac Infidel Holster and Mag Pouch

I am a huge fan of Comp-Tac gear. Over the years I have tried a a variety of holsters and such from many companies and have been impressed with a variety of products from some of them.  While some companies have made one thing great and other stuff crappy Comp-tac has impressed me with everything  I have tried.  Even some of the smaller companies making kydex gear can be hit or miss in my experience.  But I realized this past month, I have never been let down by the Comptac stuff.

I started out buying Comp-tac gear on my own and writing about it here before they contacted me and asked if I would T&E  stuff for them.  Right now my all time two favorite IWB holsters are made by Comp-tac.  When I got the newest bit of gear from Comptac a few weeks ago, I was really surprised with how fast I instantly fell in love with the holster in the box.

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The holster is the Infidel  IWB, and it is superb. It has become my every day use holster. The holster can gave the tension adjusted and can be attached to the belt, with  belt loops or clips, which is what I chose. The  nice slick holster slides down inside the pants and the clips snap over the belt fast and clean and easy.

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The infidel  really is so easy and slick to use, it reminds me of a pure competition holster meant for speed. Being able to adjust the tension and the nice open top you can get your gun in and out of easy  with out any work is something you don’t always get in a holster of this type believe it or not.  Since it is not as wide as some others.it can be worn with a greater degree of comfort. Some kydex holsters are great and easy to hide but do not always  set very comfortably inside the waste over long periods of time. Not so with the infidel.  Of course the extra bit of kydex protecting your side from the gun rubbing against you is something always great appreciated.  I have been using it non stop for a few weeks now and I love it.   The ease of taking it on and off with the clips is really a selling point to me as well.  If you do consider picking one up. I strongly suggest skipping the belt snap loops and get this option.

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The other thing I got with the holster is the mag pouch for  AR15/M16 mags,. Another top notch product. If you notice it is a scaled up version of the pistol pouch.

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Like the pistol pouch, it is adjustable for  tension to keep the mag in as secure or loose as you want. The clip slides over the belt and  closes over it securing it perfectly especially if you use the Comptac gun belt.  I love the Comptac leather reinforced gun belt so much, I wear it exclusively. The holsters and pouches work so well with the belt,you can clearly tell they were all meant to be used together with top performance in mind.  In fact I love the belt so much I have to be careful or I will get carried away talking about it here.

The pouch will obviously hold 30s as well as 20s and 10 rounders. I used it to run around and shoot with a 40 round Pmag and it held it perfectly. Like anything you do have to make sure your belt and pouch belt clips are the correct size to work together or you may have some wiggle.  For ease I always get the same size in everything so I never had to worry about it  as long as its not something meant just for MOLLE gear.

I have been using this AR mag pouch for a few weeks and it has been everything I hoped it would be.  I do not have the time with it that I have with the pistol mag pouch, but nothing has led me to think It will be a let down. In the coming weeks I will be comparing it to some other brands of kydex mag pouches for comfort, speed and use with a variety of mags so keep checking back for that.

The Infidel holster really is hard to describe just how nice it really is. its always a  tough to really explain holsters in my opinion, Everyone is different and no two bodies are the same. But I truly think this is one of the rare Kydex IWB holsters that would work great for just about everyone. Even being what it is, I have found it so fast and easy to get to, that it is hard for me to justify using anything else even my beloved KirkPatrick leather IWB holster that has traveled all of the country with me for years.  If you are looking for a great holster, really check this one out and give it some serious thought, I promise its unlikely you will be let down by it.

Lastly the video below is me shooting a drill while using the infidel holster.  I am no super fast shooter, But the holster allowed me a great fast, smooth draw that certainly aided me in the run.

The Designated Marksman and the Prepared Civilian Part II

Designated_Marksman_Rifle_2

Last month, we took a look at the DMR concept from an equipment standpoint. Some key points from the last discussion:

  • Glass turns your rifle *as is* from a 0-300 yard gun to a 0-600+ yard gun.
  • Free Floating enhances POI consistency
  • Any rifle with a decent chrome lined barrel can be a DMR
  • Quality ammo makes substantial improvements in any rifle
  • The DMR concept is not tied down to a specific style of rifle
Your DMR doesn't have to be a Mk12. Almost any rifle can be applied to the designated marksman concept provided the shooter has the training to make use of it.
Your DMR doesn’t have to be a Mk12. Almost any rifle can be applied to the designated marksman concept provided the shooter has the training to make use of it.

So it’s not about building a Mk 12 clone, it’s about acknowledging that the rifle you have right now is capable of doing *great* things with the right upgrades and training on your part. So what use is a DMR style rifle in the hands of a civilian?

Versatility

Equipping your rifle with glass, a free float rail, and quality ammo expand your rifles effective range to the edge of the AR15s ballistic capability. As a civilian, learning to use your rifle to the edge of its performance envelope is a good thing, but will their ever be a time when you can use 600 yard capability? We know disasters happen. Hurricane Katrina, the battle for Blair Mountain, the Tulsa Race riots, the Zimmerman / Martin riots, Furgeson, and the L.A. riots are just a few examples of extreme SHTF situations since 1900.

One million rounds expended in fighting? Yup, on Blair mountain. So it is not unprecedented to think that SHTF could go sideways very quickly. In fierce fighting, who wouldn’t want a rifle that is good both up close and out far? Let’s discuss some advantages a DMR style rifle can have to its user:

  • Positive target ID: identifying persons from a distance to judge their intent
  • Overwatch: capability of observing and covering a large area with accurate fire
  • Small target capability: That rabbit looks delicous, if we can hit it
  • Better low light capability: quality optics enhance your low light shooting
  • Quality ammo: accuracy increased with more effective terminal ballistics
  • Can harvest medium sized game from a further distance with above ammo

Glass isn’t the be all, end all since it cant quite compete with a red dot for the majority of close range scenarios, but as Jerry Mikulek can show us, a good 1x variable won’t slow us down that much either. Having an individual skilled in fundamental marksmanship and giving them a rifle which lets them apply their knowledge is a powerful thing. From hunting to defense, a DMR style build with a dedicated and practiced shooter expands the AR15 from a 0-300 to a 0-600+ yard rifle.

While the majority of us will never need to take a 200-300-400-500-600 yard shot, its a skill I want to cultivate and pass down to my kids. History shows us the last 100 years have been interesting, and things can only get more interesting from here. Can a boxer with longer arms reach his shorter armed opponent first? That’s exactly why I want to understand and apply the full potential of my rifle. – The New Rifleman

More Thoughts And Follow Ups From Some Others On The M14

Last weeks post on the M14 and its variety of shortcomings certainly stirred up the ire of its faithful followers. Link to offending article below.

Indeed we had to sleep under the bed with a gun in our hand  in fear of The Old M14 Boys Club coming to take us away.  Surprising to the guns fans, many spoke up with their actual real world experience with the piece confirming the point of the article.

The M14, Not Much For Fighting ( A Case Against The M14 Legend )

Most recent is a sand test video from In Range  TV, testing the M14 against an AR15 and a MAS.  While I have been told  for years and against my own experience the M14 would laugh at a little sand, the video and reality seems to indicate different.

https://www.full30.com/video/6618755f336970e55e6c50c1fe894ff8

The boys tested the same guns earlier in the mud.  The M14 performing exactly as expected for those who know them well.

https://www.full30.com/video/9eef6b3a4eb6c8846a4c8dc4b8968bc4

My personal favorite gun blog, that is not this one, had a few words to add to the heated debate 24 hours after the festivities started with my post.    Over on weaponsman.com, a lively discussion is still on going with more than a handful of real world military users speaking up.

Loose Rounds on the M14

If you are not familiar with weaponsman.com. It is superb and is highly recommended daily reading. Description of the blogs writer and mission statement. “WeaponsMan is a blog about weapons. Primarily ground combat weapons, primarily small arms and man-portable crew-served weapons. The site owner is a former Special Forces weapons man (MOS 18B, before the 18 series, 11B with Skill Qualification Indicator of S), and you can expect any guest columnists to be similarly qualified.”

Some more discussion and viewpoint comes from a fine blog. Everydaymarksman.com. which has as a focus the owners personal quest to becoming a true rifleman and the experiences and epiphanies he has along the way.

https://everydaymarksman.wordpress.com/2015/02/02/lots-of-discussion-on-the-venerable-m14-lately/

Following some of the shrill screaming, rending of clothes and gnashing of teeth has shown many missed the point, or became so angry they did not give any consideration to the post.  Most often seen is the claim the point of the article was to talk up the AR10 or AR15, when that was obviously not the goal to anyone who can comprehend English. Nor was it an attempt to get anyone to hate the gun.  It was a discussion of its shortcomings and the honest assessment that it is far from perfect all powerful or even a decent DMR weapon, and the caliber of the gun was not even discussed. That being the other claim, that some how we were ragging on the 308, though no mention of the effectiveness was even hinted at.

While many love the rifle, nothing will change our minds from the simple truth of it. While it is  better than a tamato stake. it is far from what its blind followers would like to think.

Lastly, I am re sharing the link to some informal shooting of a custom M14 from over a year ago. While not intended to be conclusive proof of anything, it was a fun comparison of some of the classic infantry weapons of yesteryear including the M1903, M1 Garand of course the much beloved( though undeserved ) M14

More 1,000 yard shooting, M1903 , M14 And Even A Colt Commando

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