Mud Testing Service Rifles From InRange TV

The  fellows over at InRange TV  have been posting a series of very popular  mud tests on various service weapons. Most recently a mud test of the fragile AR15 that “everyone” knows can not take even a microscopic speck of dust and has to be cleaned every 3 rounds.    I like to think out regular readers already know how this video is going to turn out since it is one of my pet subjects.

https://www.full30.com/embed/30a1f036a5143172f5da39cf50f46360

I am sure this will still come as a shock to some people who see it.  The truth is the AR15 and its DI system can take a lot more filth and abuse that some of the guns out there with reputations for being unstoppable. Years of military personnel repeating handed down myth and  misinformation over decades combined with the civilian gun communities habit of believing everything a vet  says as if it was gospel that can never be question  and gun media with their own slick ads and and agenda has made this particular BS myth last longer than it should have.

 

Below is the dirty duo’s  mud test of the AK47 . The mythological unstoppable killing machine that is infallible.

https://www.full30.com/embed/753d617d16a9cb6c09526519a0740313
And here is a much enlightening ( for some) video with mud testing some of the other popular service rifles.

https://www.full30.com/embed/9eef6b3a4eb6c8846a4c8dc4b8968bc4
M1 Garand.  mud test .

https://www.full30.com/embed/a9145047584c659d45aacc4e1392d2e3
 

 

You can find all of there videos  following the links below.

https://www.full30.com/channels/inrange

You can also find the other channel Forgotten weapons at the same website www.full30.com

 

 

 

Mag Storage Solutions – Pistol Mag Holder

Last year we reviewed the AR-15 Mag Holder from Mag Storage Solutions. We were lucky enough to be the first to get a review out on the AR-15 Mag Holder. The AR-15 Mag Holder is a great product and functions very well; several of us at Loose Rounds have them. The owner of Mag Storage Solutions (magstoragesolutions.com) reached out to us last week. Mag Storage Solutions stated they had a new prototype magazine holder for us to look at. This time, Mag Storage Solutions has put together a mag holder for Handgun/Pistol magazines. The Pistol Mag Holder is a perfect mate for those who have the AR-15 Mag Holder.  There are approximately 5000 units currently in production. These should be hitting retail markets in the first few weeks of October (2015). I expect the new Pistol Mag Holder to move just as fast as the AR-15 Mag Holder did when released.

Mag Storage Solutions - Pistol Mag Holder
Mag Storage Solutions – Pistol Mag Holder

The Pistol Mag Holder provides a storage solution for mainly full sized handgun magazines. Depending on what magazines you are using, you can store ten (10) Glock or fifteen (15) 1911 magazines. The Pistol Mag Holder is similar in size and shape to the original AR-15 Mag Holder. It can be mounted inside your gun safe, weapons room, or any area where you store and organize your magazines. It also looks very well mounted next to the AR-15 Mag Holder.

Read moreMag Storage Solutions – Pistol Mag Holder

AR15.com 26" Covert Takedown Case

I was looking for a smaller case to put an SBR or broken down AR in. I have owned several AR soft cases and have paid quite a bit of money for them. About a year ago I saw the AR15.com 26″ Covert Takedown Case. For 60.00 dollars it looked like a case worth taking a chance on. Unfortunately it was never in stock. I finally clicked the notify when in stock button and was on the notification list for a long time. To my fortune, when I was notified it was back in stock, it was on sale for 30.00 dollars.  Without hesitation I got one. At this price point it was worth the chance to gamble on the case.  Looking back now, I should have bought two or three of them at that price. This case has many features higher priced cases come with and a little more.

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26″  Covert Takedown Case

Specifications/Features:

Velcro Straps/MOLLE:

One of the main reasons I looked at the ARFCOM case were the eight (8) Velcro straps that come with the case. Pretty much all soft rifle cases come with two (2) Velcro straps. The versatility of having (8) straps, gives you unlimited rifle mounting and accessory mounting options throughout the case, with the three (3) rows of MOLLE loops.

(8) Velcro Straps
(8) Velcro Straps
Adjustable Velcro Strap
Adjustable Velcro Strap

Dimensions:

With the dimensions of  26L x 12W x 4D, there is ample room to place the upper & lower of your 10.3″ to 16″ rifle as well as its mounted accessories and additional accessories, in the case.

AR6720 / 26
AR6720 / 26″ Case
LE6920 / 26
LE6920 / 26″ Case

D-Rings:

The case comes with four (4) D-rings on the back.  These are large and seem to be very secure. The case does not come with a strap, but the addition of the D-rings allows you to mount a shoulder strap, if you want.

D-Rings
(4) D-Rings
D-Ring
D-Ring

Padding:

The case comes with upper and lower Velcro pockets for  the foam padding sheets. The foam sheets are removable and replaceable. The padding is very generous at 3/4 of an inch on both the top and bottom. The foam padding sheet is a three (3) part sheet, a soft foam middle sheet, sandwiched between a top and bottom cardboard type layer, that has a thin foam coating.  This pads the case nicely and creates some rigidity to the case.  The (3) layer foam sheets also help the soft foam to avoid memory prints/indents. Surprisingly, the (3) layer foam sheets appear to be nicer and thicker than on the closed-cell foam on other higher end cases.

Velcro Pocket / Foam Padding
Velcro Pocket / Foam Padding
(3) Layer Foam Pad
(3) Layer Foam Pad

Velco & Zippers:

The case comes with a double sided carry handle that has a loop around Velcro closure. This allow you to secure both sides of the handle together for easier carry and security.  The main compartment of the case  has two (2) large zipper tabs. The zipper teeth are large and function very smoothly.

Zipper / Tab
Zipper / Tab
Carry Handle
Carry Handle

Observations:

The AR15.com 26″ Covert Takedown Case appears to be made very well. The stitching is well done and it appears that it will hold up very well. I was unable to find out any real material specifications on the case.  The case appears to be at least 500 Denier Cordura Nylon Fabric. The older version of the case had a stitched on AR15.com patch, that is no longer offered.  It now has a Velcro loop patch so you can add any patch you would like on the case. I have compared this case to several other soft cases I have and the construction seems to be very close.

26
26″ Covert Takedown Case

Final Thoughts:

The mounting options with the size and (8) Velcro straps makes this case a huge winner in my book. The price point is also a major winner with this case. Even at the full price of 60.00 dollars, you could buy two of these cases for the price of some of the big name brand cases. With what I am going to be using the case for and probably what you will too, I do not see the advantage or need to step up into a higher priced case. There is so much the case can carry with your rifle and accessories, it is only limited to your imagination. As you can see from the pictures, you can place your fully outfitted rifle with magazines and other accessories with no problem. You even have some more room to spare.

Duncan

COLT 6940PISTON PART 2 ACCURACY AND LONG RANGE TESTING

After taking a look at the parts and guts on the Colt 6940 Piston carbine last time, it is now time to show the results of testing the carbine for accuracy and reliability.

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For my accuracy testing of the carbine, I used the Leupold 18x target scope on a Larue SPR mount and my usual bags and test as I am wont to do.  I fired all groups shown at 100 yards and 200 yards using a variety of match factory ammo as well as my own match handloads. I also  fired the gun at 1,000 yards and 500 yards in my typical test to push it as far as possible. Once again for the long range resting, the 18x target scope was used,

To make the job a easier , I did use a SSA trigger int he carbine this time.  The reason for using the SSA trigger instead of the milspec trigger this time, was because there is a reputation of piston guns having a little less accuracy than DI guns.  My thinking was to try my best to eliminate anything I could that may give results that I , or anyone, may be biased to attribute to the piston system. So I used the match SSA trigger and a very secure front rest and sand bag set up from a bench.   I wanted to get every bit of accuracy I could from the carbine.

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Above are the 5 rounds groups fired at 100 and 200 yards.  Due to limited amounts of some of the test ammo, I was only able to use 5 round groups after zeroing the gun and settling in.   While all groups are what I considered great, I did notice small changes in the group size with certain match ammo  from the DI guns to the piston. When using the DI carbines some of those brands shoot better  in about every DI carbine/rifle I have used and other bands are not as tight while it seemed to be the opposite with the piston.  Now, this is a small amount and not worth even talking  about in a practical matter, I only noticed because of firing the ammo through so many guns that I was able to notice the change,  Practically speaking , and from the outlook of field use, It is irrelevant.  You can notice the SSA and the TAP strings vertically at 200 yards and beyond,  I shot these at a later time with a cold clean bore and with a cold dirty bore and hot dirty bore. Those brands of ammo string vertically in the gun after you get to 200 yards.  Again, practically speaking, it is not enough to matter or worry about in a carbine  with a milspec barrel meant for fighting.  It may be just this one gun, or may be those brands are sensitive to a piston operated carbine. I have no idea.  But I present the info to you regardless.

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Above is the target with the boxes of some of the brands tested. Below is a closer picture of the groups for closer inspection.

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After seeing the results of the groups and being pleased with the accuracy , I determined it was worthwhile for long range testing.  With the guns potential in mind, I and my friend loaded up and went to the mountain top strip job for the long range testing 3 weeks ago. Weather was mid with slight winds.  Being on top of the mountain, it is hard to catch a windless day.  The wind without fail travels right to left and can be seen on target as can be seen in almost all long range test targets from me.

I used a cardboard target with two orange panels to make target ID easy and to give me a better aiming point.  Readers will notice I have used as variety of different target types and styles for long range testing,  This is an ongoing project of mine to determine the best target and color combination to make long range testing as easy as possible to center the target in the optic for precise aiming,  This system worked well on a sunny day, but the color or the paper was not much help late on when the sun was not shinning on it directly.

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The shots fired at 500 yards , I circled with a sharpie. The 1,000 yard shots  I drew a square around them. The one hole with a star like squiggle drawn around it, is a hit that I am not sure is a 500 round or 1,000 yard shot. I thought it was a 1K shot but later I thought maybe I intended to mark it when I fired the 500 yard group.  So I marked it as a 500 shot to not give myself the benefit of the doubt  and make a note of it.  I feel it is more honest in this case to just call it as a 500 yard hit.   On top of that, the 1,000 yard string obviously shifted to the bottom left corner and I feel it was unlikely that one of the 1K shots hit that far right and high.

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The first fired 10 rounds at  500 yards using the Black Hills 77 grain MK 262 MOD 1 ammo.  Five hundred yards is not a serious challenge for a quality carbine. Especially off of a bench rest and bags with an 18x optic.  As per my usual method, I fired 10 rounds on a steel target gong to confirm my zero. I think fine tuned on a few skeet I lay around the target to make sure it is refined, then fire my “record group” of 10 rounds.  As you can see I missed the target completely on one shot and of course the specially marked hit that may or may not be a shot at 500 yards. So NOT giving myself the benefit.  8 out of 10 rounds on target at 500 yrds.   But, this is a very good group.  The wind showed me some mercy while I fired the 10 shots and it shows.  Once again, you can see the vertical stringing sneaking into the group.

Last I fired 20 rounds at 1,000 yards with 6 hits and then the hit in question that may have been a seventh round hit,  Once again, not giving my self the benefit, I toss this shot out since it is in doubt, I give a count of 6 hits. The wind at that distance carried the shots further to left and I used several minutes to get me on the target this much.   For the 1,000 yard group,I switched to my personal hand loads,  It is a pet load that out performs factory ammo and is hot enough I do not share the load data.  Now, whether it shoots better at this range or I just have more confidence in it, I have no idea really. But confidence is a huge factor, so I stick with it since it has always performed well for me.   It takes extreme effort to get a 16 inch barreled carbine on target at 1K.  Using a 20 or 18 inch barrel or better yet, a 24 inch barrel 556 gun is like heaven compared to the gymnastic it takes to get a carbine on but it can be done.  Once again, I show it, just to show what a person can do with an M4.

The  6940Piston has some benefits in the long range testing in the fact that it comes with the SOCOM profile heavy barrel that is a big help. If the piston does disrupt the barrel from its extra movement and vibrations, then the heavy SOCOM barrel meant for harsher full auto firing schedule, helps cut this down possibly.

Last we come to the reason that the piston M4 carbine is supposed to exist. More reliability and especially in hard use with little cleaning, And of course in a military context, full auto fire with little cleaning and lube.

Last week friend of Looseournds.com and my neighbor , Tug Valley Armaments brought his full auto guns out for us to do some hard testing of the Piston Colt.  Since getting the gun in the mail from Colt. I have rnot cleaned or lubed the gun.  After 784 rounds of no cleaning and no lube, It was time.  We put the upper on the full auto lower and fired up a few 40 round Pmags to get it so hot, it took glove to even hold it by the  KAC vertical fore grip.  I stuck a full surefire 60 round mag in the bone dry, very dirty gun with zero lube on it and held the trigger down until empty.

The gun went through the magazine without issue. Let me tell you it was hot before I fired the mag, and it was smoking after., We got the carbine dangerous hot.

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You can see the barrel of the carbine smoking from the heat of the 60 round mag dump after not taking a break after also firing through five Magpul 40 round Pmags and various USGI 30 rounders.  There was no problem form the gun. It ran wonderfully.  I cannot make any dubious claims of the BCG being cooler because it was a piston though since by the time I stopped shooting even the receiver extension was hot to touch.

One observation we did not expect is that the gun on full auto  would not run with the full auto lowers carbine buffer.  We slapped the upper on the Class III lower and left the buffer it had in it in place. I went to auto and it was semi auto only.  After thinking about it a second, we put the H2 buffer that comes standard in the  6940Piston, in the NFA lower and the gun ran perfectly. Just more reason why I have always appreciated Colt giving at least the H buffer in their carbines and heavier buffers based on what the  gun was intended to do.

The piston 6940 is a superb piston AR15 carbine. If you are the type who thinks he has to have a piston to kill the commie invasion, I can not see you being let down by this gun or find any complaints.  If you just want a great gun and you like this one and do not have any strong thoughts on the piston vs DI, you are gonna love this gun.  If you are a DI die hard guy like me?  You are still going to really like this gun.   I won’t be switching to piston nor do I feel the need to, but I am impressed by this gun. I think the DI does edge it out in accuracy with match ammo, but in practical field use it is not really a factor.   Since I used match ammo for the testing in the part, I will be using milspec issue ammo testing in the next part  to see how it does and  possibly a direct shoot off  between the 6940 Piston and the standard 6940 DI gun.  So, if you are interested check back for that info.

Does an M14 Really Turn Cover Into Concealment?

By Andrew Betts

M14

If you spend enough time at an outdoor range, especially on the weekdays when the retirees are there in force, you are certain to hear someone opine that they prefer the M14 to the AR/M16/M4 because it “turns cover into concealment”. This is usually in conjunction with their opinion that the DoD made a terrible error in moving to the 5.56x45mm, rather than the much more manly 7.62x51mm. No one can claim that the 7.62mm NATO does not have more power. The cartridge contains significantly more powder and it launches a heavier bullet at only moderately lower velocity. Is that extra power actually useful for penetrating cover, though? Does it really “turn cover into concealment”?

To answer that, we took a look at a few real world objects of varying composition. The question is not whether the 7.62mm penetrates more deeply than the 5.56mm. It is widely known that 7.62mm will penetrate more deeply in some materials such as wood, while 5.56mm can often penetrate steel plate at close range better. M193 55 gr FMJ can even defeat Level III armor plates that are rated for multiple 7.62x51mm M80 147 gr FMJ (https://youtu.be/QrWtgyFQ8LU). The claim that the old guys are making is that the M14 can kill a man who is hiding behind an object that would stop a 5.56mm. In other words, does a small difference in penetration depth really translate to a difference in whether a specific object will act as cover or not? If the cartridges are compared in terms of go/no-go, will the M14 really “turn cover into concealment”?

For the first test, we will consider concrete barriers. There are a variety of concrete walls, block walls, and other concrete barriers in the urban landscape that a person might take cover behind. The concrete varies somewhat in the ratios of the ingredients but all are composed of cement, sand, and sometimes larger aggregate. Regardless of the recipe, concrete has high compressive strength and low tensile strength. That means that it works very well for applications such as load bearing walls, but not so well for a second story floor. It resists being crushed but when bent, it cracks easily. That also means that it works pretty well to stop a bullet, but it is destroyed in the process. We tested two kinds of concrete. The first is a concrete block common to privacy fences, with lots of small aggregate and air voids.

The second is a concrete paver. While not as sturdy as a poured concrete wall, the paver is made from mostly cement and sand, with little aggregate and no air voids.

In both tests, neither round was completely stopped by the concrete barrier. While the 7.62mm did look more impressive, the 5.56mm also made it through and neither cartridge seemed to retain much ability to wound on the other side of the wall. That is to say, both would likely cause a painful wound but neither were likely to penetrate deeply enough to have a high probability of causing incapacitation. A bad guy on the other side of either of those barriers would have an awfully bad day to be sure, but he would likely have the opportunity to make your own day much shorter. To sum up, it is a very close race with little practical difference between the two cartridges.

Of course, an 8” thick, poured concrete wall with rebar reinforcement is likely to stop both rounds cold, but it is also outside our ability to test. There are almost infinite variations on the thickness and composition of concrete structures and some will certainly stop both cartridges while others will not stop either cartridge, as seen in the above tests. It would take substantial resources to conclusively identify exactly what sort of barriers could be penetrated by which cartridge and at what distance. For our more general and limited testing, the conclusion is that both cartridges can penetrate some concrete barriers. There may very well be a special Goldilocks barrier that is just thick enough to stop the 5.56mm but not the 7.62mm. From what we can see of this testing, it seems likely that such a barrier would also bleed so much energy from the 7.62mm as to render it nearly harmless, though. Both cartridges failed to fully penetrate a single water jug in this test so if the thickness of the concrete were increased to that magical point where 5.56mm was stopped but 7.62mm passed through, the 7.62mm would be even less energetic than was seen in this testing, which means a very minor wound.

Next, we will consider one of the few components on a motor vehicle that actually has a good chance of stopping a bullet: a brake rotor. Other than the drive train, the brake rotors (or drums) are one of a very few places where there is actually enough thick metal to have a reasonably good chance of stopping a bullet. Frame rails will usually stop handgun rounds but are unlikely to stop any rifle round and it is common knowledge that the body does next to nothing to stop a bullet. Conversely, the engine and transmission should stop nearly any man portable weapon short of an AT-4. Will the brake rotor be just thick enough to stop one cartridge, but not the other?

In this case, several rounds of both the 5.56mm and the 7.62mm were stopped. It is true that the 7.62mm looked to be a bit closer to getting through, based on the slight cracks on the back side of the disc, but the bottom line is that a person hiding behind that object would not have acquired any extra face holes from either cartridge.

Wood is one of the materials which 7.62mm is said to penetrate much more deeply than 5.56mm so we compared the two cartridges’ ability to penetrate a modest sized log.

On the one hand, the 7.62mm penetrated almost twice as much wood as the 5.56mm. On the other hand, both were stopped and you would need to find a log that was more than 2 ½” thick but less than 4” thick to be able to stop the 5.56mm but not the 7.62mm. Aside from the obvious problem that few people would consider a 4” stick to be “cover”, the difference here underscores something we have long suspected. It is true that 7.62mm can penetrate more deeply, but the difference is unlikely to make any substantive real world difference. That is to say, there are very few objects that are just thick enough to stop a 5.56mm but not thick enough to stop a 7.62mm. Most objects are either thick enough to stop both or thin enough to stop neither.

We did find one material that was soft enough to underscore the difference in a very definitive way: water. This is a test using a 55 gallon plastic drum filled with water as the barrier.

Finally, here is an object that very clearly stopped one bullet but not the other. If your target is taking cover behind a 55 gallon plastic drum full of water, 7.62x51mm can punch through it, while 5.56mm will probably be stopped. In the high speed video, it seems that the 7.62mm was not really moving along that quickly after passing through the barrel, though. It is possible that it would not be capable of doing much wounding after getting through the barrel, but we did not test for that, so the nod has to go to the 7.62mm for getting through.

It is also worth noting here that projectile construction could make a significant difference in any of these tests. If the rounds were changed to bonded soft points, it is possible that both rounds would have made it through the water. If the 7.62mm were a Hornady 155 gr AMAX, it is unlikely it would get through the barrel. There are a wide variety of bullet weights and designs available for both cartridges and some of them will substantially change the performance on these objects. We chose M80 and M855 because they are the commonly issued FMJ ammunition for their respective rifles. We chose a 16” barreled AR15 because it is a good compromise length and we did not have the time to test 11.5”, 14.5”, and 20” barrels. We also did not test at greater distance, where the 7.62mm is likely to have a larger advantage because hauling the test materials 200 yards down range is difficult, bothersome, and disruptive to other shooters. There are a variety of conditions that were not tested and those conditions could give more of an edge to one or the other cartridge.

Overall, most of the tests showed very little difference between the two cartridges. In every test but the water barrel, either both penetrated the test object or both were stopped. Ultimately, it does not appear that there is any evidence to support the unilateral claim that 7.62x51mm “turns cover into concealment”. There may be some very specific circumstances where this is true, but they appear to be the exception, rather than the rule. To be sure, this concept deserves quite a lot more testing. It would be nice to see the differences at range and through a variety of other materials such as live wood and poured concrete. Some day we may continue testing. It seems that the M14 is likely to develop a real, substantive advantage as range
increases because the greater mass and higher ballistic coefficient can carry more energy further down range. On the other hand, this sort of testing only compares a single round of one cartridge to a single round of the other but 7.62mm weighs twice as much and that means a person is likely to have twice as much 5.56mm. In that light, one round of 5.56mm may be just about as good as one round of 7.62mm but two rounds of 5.56mm are far better than one round of 7.62 in nearly any circumstance. The real take-away here is that nothing in the world of firearms and projectiles is nearly as simple as “A is better than B” and it appears that the statement “The M14 turns cover into concealment,” is more often false than it is true.

Related  further reading of 762 penetration

7.62 NATO, Turning cover into concealment since…. well, not as often as you may think.