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Q&A 3

This is a LooseRounds.com Q&A session.  If you have a firearms related question please email it to [email protected]. We will post the your questions anonymously and give you our answers.

1.  Sirs,

A friend and I are working up loads for his hunting rifle and during the discussions a question came up that neither of us have seen addressed. When shooting (right-handed) for group from a bench, with the rifle supported by sandbags at the forearm and butstock, what is the best position for the left hand on the rifle?

Is it important to control the forearm laterally with a hand on the forearm? I recently watched a video showing a rifle with a bipod and butstock monopod being fired with the left hand on the monopod controlling vertical sight movement. The bipod controls the lateral movement but maybe not so much during recoil.

We’d like to read your opinions (and reasons) on this question.

Thanks. We enjoy your site.

Howard:  Normally the forend/handguards are on a rest/sandbags/bipod, and the left hand is used to adjust the rear bag/monopod for elevation.

Sometimes for expediences the left hand is put directly under the stock(often as a fist) and clenched or unclenched to hold up the butt of the rifle.
Just resting the front of the rifle on a rest helps steady the rifle a great deal, but when the rear of the rifle is resting on something as well, the rifle is far more stable.  When using something like a competition bench rest all adjustments are done from the front rest.  However for most of us, the front rest we use(bipod, sandbag, wooden block, backpack, enemy cadaver, etc) is not so adjustable.  So we pivot the rifle on the front rest for left and right, and we lift or drop the buttstock for up and down.  Using a rear rest gives that additional stability, and the left hand(for a right handed shooter) is used to control/adjust that rear rest.
2.  I am trying to help new hunters as well as others to select and purchase the right optics for the type of gun as well as the type of hunting or shooting they enjoy doing. The right equipment is a sure way to be a safe and happy hunter.
Shawn:  For medium to large size game:  For deep woods or anything other then open plains something like a 1-5x.  If you are in an area like out west where you have longer distances, something like a 3.5-10x.  Preference for 10x or under so you don’t have to worry about adjusting parallax because you don’t have time to fiddle with it in the field.  No bigger then a 40mm objective lens as long as the optic is clear, because anything much bigger doesn’t really make anything much bright.  Larger just adds weight and size that makes the rifle top heavy.  Stay away from scopes with friction plate elevation or windage adjustments, you want to be able to zero as precisely as you can.  For varmint hunting, I prefer 12-20 magnification scopes with target turrets with positive clicks with a click value of no less then 1/4 MOA.  Has to be adjustable for focusing and objective lens size doesn’t really matter, go as large as you like.  For long range varminting, scope base and ring selection is just as important as the scope.
Howard:  The problem with picking a scope is that there are so many options and personal preferences.  Thicker reticles can be faster to pick up, but may cover a target at longer ranges.  Too much magnification can make it slower to acquire targets.  Adjustments values need to be appropriate for the type of precision necessary for the type of shooting.  I think a decent 3-9 would cover the average deer or hog hunters needs.
Optics are very much a personal preference.  LooseRounds.com always recommends that you always try to buy the highest quality optics you can afford.
3.  does the colt rail gun have a throated barrel?
Shawn:  Yes and a polished feed ramp.
4.  How did the Unertl scope hold up in tropical climate?
Shawn:  The Unertl in the war in Vietnam did tend to fog up at time in the rainy season.  But this isn’t the flaw that it seems to be, John Unertl designed the scope to be very easy to repair and worked on by the end user.  So the Unertl is easily taken apart and can be dried off or wiped dry and cleaned with simple tools.  Even the cross hair was designed to be replaceable by the end user with anything suitable in the event of failure.  With those in mind, you could seal the scope yourself, at the cost of no longer being able to do field expedient disassemble.  Other then that, the Unertl scope was very difficult to break or render unusable.
5.  can i own a krinkov if it has no stock
Howard:  You can own an AK pistol.  For example the Draco and the SLR106-47.  However I do not recommend this setup as they are heavy and awkward.  Shooting them with out a sling for stabilization is also awkward, best used for turning money(ammo) into noise.
6.  Is the Colt 901 an AR10
Howard:  No.  While the 901 is a 308 AR like the AR10s of old.  However now the term AR10 refers specifically to the trademarked Armalite (Eagle) brand .308 rifles.  The Armalites mostly use a M14 style mag.  Often you will see people refer to the lesser DPMS (Panther) .308s as AR10s.  These are not AR10s but a whole different model.  No one with a premium .308 such as a LaRue OBR, Colt 901, KAC EMC or SR25, GAP, LWRC REPR, POF, etc call their .308 variant an AR10.  Only people who have purchased the cheaper DPMS tend to want to call it by a most expensive models trademark.
7.  What ammo does the USMC scout snipers use?
Shawn:  Ammo used in all USMC sniper system is the M118LR.  175 grain Serria hollow point boat tail bullet and Lake City match brass.  Of course, other loads like ball or tracer can be used in specialty or emergencies situations.
8.  Will the Magpul BAD lever work on the Sig 716?
Howard:  No.
9.  Surefire 60 round magazine stripper clip?
Shawn:  The Surefire mags will accept stripper clips when loaded with a stripper clip guide.
Howard:  The Stripper clip guide is often called a “spoon”.

Colt 901 Part 4

In parts 1-3 Shawn has pretty much covered most of I would say.

Previously, I owned an Armalite AR10 model 10A4F and I replaced that with a LMT MWS which I quickly got rid of.

The Armalite was about $1500, and was a nice rifle.  However with its 20 inch barrel, A2 stock, and longer then AR15 action, it make for a long almost awkward rifle.  While it did deliver its guaranteed 1.5 MOA, it was neither the handy battle rifle I would have liked, nor a semi-auto precision rifle.  So I replaced it with a LMT MWS.  The MWS had some very nice features, but I had some issues with mine, and sold it quickly.

Now having tried the Colt 901, I much prefer the Colt over the previous two rifles I owned.  The 901 is surprisingly soft shooting.  That’s not to say that it doesn’t have recoil, but that it is a smooth impulse.  Perhaps the M1 Garand might be a good comparison.  The Armalite I owned was not that pleasant to shoot, and the MWS, while nice, was still a much sharper recoil impulse.  When shooting the 901 off of a Harris bipod, the rifle recoils straight back, making it easy to watch my impacts through the NightForce 2.5-10×24 scope I was using.  When shooting offhand with an Aimpoint T1, the 901 recoiled smoothly up and back, I want to say that the recoil impulse is smoother than shooting a M4 with M855.  I don’t want to make some claim that the rifle has light recoil, but I find it extremely fun and easy to shoot.

I have noticed some people questioning the choice of the Vortex flash hider on the 901.  I know it to be an excellent choice.  16 inch barreled 308s have a good deal of flash and blast depending on ammunition used.  This pronged flash hider helped break up the flash and concussion from the shorter barrel, and makes the rifle much more pleasant for those around the shooter.  While a pronged flash hider will ring(most noticeable when dry firing), it is not noticed when firing the rifle.

The 901 is not light, but in my opinion, it balances well.  The Armalite rifle felt very nose heavy.  The MWS, while similar weight, had most of its weight in its barrel, making the rifle far more awkward then the 901.  The 901 handles very similarly to a MK18/CQBR with Daniel Defense RIS II and a suppressor.  It is not light, but it feels far closer to that of a M4 then the MWS.  I found the 901 easier to shoot well then the MWS.

On a side note, when I tried DAG surplus 308 in the LMT MWS, I could only get 6 inch groups at 100 yards with it.  It got to the point where people were making fun of me with my performance with that rifle.  This same ammo gives me 2.5 inch groups in the 901.  So far, in my limited testing, the 901 seems less ammo sensitive then the MWS.

I spent much of the time shooting the rifle with a Magpul CTR stock, the VLTOR IMOD that came with it works very nicely as well.

The Colt 901 is an awesome rifle, but it is not perfect.  So there are some things you should know before you buy one.

1.  The 901 uses a non-standard height front sight, so it comes with a Troy micro rear sight.  Standard AR15 rear BUIS will not work unless you use a rail mounted front sight on the monolithic top rail.

2.  The area where the trigger pins are on the lower is reinforced.  This means if you replaced the trigger, you will want to use the slightly longer trigger pins that come with the 901s trigger.

3.  5.56 PRI Gasbuster charging handles will not work with the 901 lower.  It is unknown if the BCM gasbusting Gunfighter charging handles will work.

4.  The 901 comes with “Colt Spec” .308 PMags.  These Colt Spec mags have an over insertion prevention tab on them.  I primarily ran the 901 with standard Magpul 308 Pmags and had no issues.  When using the standard PMags, think just like using standard GI mags in an AR15, push into the mag well, then pull to make sure it is seated.  The Colt Spec mags are nice, but not mandatory.  With the upper removed, I found it was a non-issue.

5.  The quad rail on the 901 is tall and narrow.  I think that rail panels might not be a good choice for this rifle, but it does work well with ladder covers.  I think that LaRue index clips were a little too slick for the 901.  A Knights handstop and VFGs work well on the 901, but are lower from the bore then I am used too.(I mainly use the Daniel Defense RIS II rail).

6.  The 901 is nose heavy, however it is not too different then a M4 with accessories, or a SBR with suppressor.  I find it better balanced then many of the other .308 variants I have owned or used.

Please don’t read this list the wrong way, I HIGHLY recommend the 901.  It is good to know these sort of things before you buy the rifle.

What I am looking forward to most is having an SBR 901.  I am excited about having a 308 upper, and a short 5.56 upper in the same case, with a single .30 cal can I could run on both uppers.

Q&A 2

This is the second session of LooseRounds.com Q&A.  If you have a firearms related question please email it to [email protected]. We will post the your questions anonymously and give you our answers.

Shawn and I thank Catherine Kim for the article she submitted and to thank Duncan Larsen for the articles he has submitted and for his help on our Facebook page.  We also appreciate the work CJ does as an editor on LooseRounds.com, he keeps us from looking as illiterate as we are.  Thanks also to Adam O’quinn for taking the 901 in action shots.

 

1.  How are the Surefire 60 round mags?

Howard:  Both Shawn and I own Surefire 60 round mags and we like them very much.  While we haven’t torture tested them, or run them very heavily, they appear to be good mags.  We recommend them, but be sure to test each mag before you rely on them.

2.  ar15 bolt face ring

Howard: Well that is not much of a question.  Normal wear on the bolt face may leave little pits, and a ring corresponding to the primer on the round.  If any pits extend into the firing pin channel, replace the bolt.

ARMY TM 9-1005-319-23&P and AIR FORCE TO 11W3-5-5-42 page 3-22 explain:

(a) Bolt faces with a cluster of pits which are touching or tightly grouped, covering an area measuring approximately 1,8 Inch across, will be rejected and replaced.

(b) Bolts which contain individual pits or a scattered pattern will not be cause for rejection.

(c) Bolts that contain pits extending Into the firing pin hole will not be rejected unless firing pin hole gaging check determines excess wear.

(d) Rings on the bolt face (machine tool marks), grooves, or ridges less than approximately 0.010 inch will not be cause for rejection.

3.  Winchester Model 70 used in Vietnam?

Shawn:  There were two types, one was the heavy barrel national match that had a target stock and a heavy barrel with a sporter stock.  The sporter stock model started off as sporters and then the Rifle Team Equipment (RTE) armorers added match heavy barrels.  Both were glass bedded and free floated by the RTE armors.

4.  Duty holster for 1911 with light

Shawn:  LooseRounds uses a Dark Star Gear holster kydex that can be used for IWB or outside carry.  Found it to be best of its type tested so far.

5.  scar 17 vs sig 716

Howard:  Right now you can get more parts and accessories for the Sig, such as cheap quality Magpul mags.  However as for company quality control and function out of the box, I would trust FN more then Sig.

6.  What cheap asian are good?

Howard:  Well, the following are optics and accessories are junk.  UTG, NcStar, Leapers, Counter Sniper.  Some of Tapco stuff is good, but much of it is junk.  ATI is similar with mixed quality items and plenty of junk.

The COLT LE901 Part III Shooting and Handling

Since I have already written about the 901’s accuracy and long range precision, I wanted to talk about how the rifle handles, how it feels in recoil and in rapid fire and how it works out while wearing gear.

The first thing is how the gun feels in rapid-fire drills and “running and gunning.”  The 901 is in .308 winchester, a round that does not let you control the gun like a 5.56 will.  The carbine does not come with a muzzle brake, and a lot of people seem to worry it will be hard to control without real effort. The 901s recoil to me, feels very close to a light weight 6.8 carbine or a 7.62×39 AK with a underfolder stock. It is not bad at all.

As you can see in the action shot above. The recoil of the gun is very light for a 308. The gun is still on target while a case is in the air. My stance is not any kind of aggressive combat stance in that picture since I was shooting casually to see how easy the recoil would be.

After a little warm up with the 901 to see how it felt I started out with some triple and double tap drills at 20 yards with the weapon using my T-1 red dot.  During rapid fire I was able to keep the majority of the double and triple tap shots in the  CNS area.  Notice the shots in the face and high chest area of the target above.  All shots fired were full-power M80 ball surplus. The gun was very easy to control.  If I had slowed down, the shots would obviously tighten. I have to say, a vertical fore grip does give even more control and allows for some very rapid handling of the 901 and improves follow-up shots. This is not a real revelation but the VFG has fallen out of favor lately.  The slightly increased recoil of the 901, while not serious, does make a VFG handy.

Fast and easy reloading is accomplished just like any other AR.  Thanks to the ambi controls of the 901, this is sped up nicely. Ambi controls, while not something you have to have, are a nice feature.  Looserounds believes ambi controls are going to eventually be standard on every serious fighting rifle.

The 901 balances very well. A lot of people will complain about the gun weighing 9 pounds and more with gear added but the balance of the gun is so nice you do not notice the weight. I worked with the gun all day while shooting several times and never felt tired or like the gun was dragging me down.

Others who have shot it feel the gun is very controllable and balanced. Most have been surprised by how smooth the recoil of the carbine is.

The Colt is very fast to the shoulder form low ready making fast hits on multiple targets as slick as satan’s lawyer. The vortex flash hider tames the muzzle blast just like you expect the well-respected FH to do.

I tested the Colt while wearing my plate carrier to see how everything felt. I did not expect any surprises or let downs and I was right. The 901 is like any 556.

Firing the slayer while wearing plate carrier in non-standard and standard positions was typically easy and handling was slick.  I swapped out the factory stock for a Magpul CTR to see if a lighter stock made felt recoil more noticeable but I could tell no change.

The lower with 556 uppers used was also something with no surprises. After firing multiple surefire 60 round mags and a variety of other magazines through the upper/lower I found the gun had heated to the point gloves were needed. The T-1 mount was too hot to the touch yet the gun worked just like it was intended.

After high round count shooting and testing the rifle with normal drills, I took the gun  for a little urban use to see how it handled indoors in a more cramped situation. Even while wearing your gear and making way through small rooms and  hall ways, the 901 did great. The 308 round  is not a great choice for home defense if you are worried about over-penetration but it has appeal to a lot of people when it comes to knocking through some types of walls and structures in a more violent urban environment.


As of this writing I have over 2200 rounds through the 901. I did not clean it when I  got it and I did not clean it between shooting for groups.  I did not even put lube on the BCG until it burned away. In all that time not one malfunction appeared. The gun did not run sluggish or gritty. The only thing I noticed was the sludge from carbon and oil ruined my Tshirt. I have taken the gun apart and noticed very little wear on the parts you expect to see wear on. This is not a big deal because most quality ARs will hold up this well, but this is a new system not yet as proven as the M4 or M16 series so I think it is important to take note of how reliable it has been. Even though I have gotten it hot enough to feel through gloves. After leaving the  lower as dirty as it was, the 556 uppers were tested and ran like a swiss watch. Most of the ammo fired through the gun was federal gold medal and M80 ball with other match ammo brands used. The federal and M80 being the most used by far. The only ammo not tried yet was the cheaper Russian brands.

After all of the harsh firing schedule abuse I could manage, the rifle still shot well enough for “recce” or DMR work and not break a sweat.

The 901 is showing itself to be one of the truly most versatile Ar type rifles we have seen in a long time. It is not a dedicated sniper or CQB gun, but if used in those roles it can be employed effectively.

In the next parts there will be some reports on how it is doing with a wider variety of optics and ammo while in Florida heat and humidity while Loosrerounds testes it further and if we are lucky we will try it out on wild hogs. Fingers crossed we can pull off a successful hog hunt.

A Quick Look At a Few New Products

LooseRounds has some pictures of a few new guns that are not easy to find.

First the Colt 6920 with FDE anodizing.

The carbine comes with Magpul MOE furniture in FDE, mags and the  MBUS. The finish color looks better not under high-powered digital camera flash.

Next a few shots of the Daniel Defense new rail and  Front Sight Base and the DD “MK18” Clone.

No bayonet lug on the DD. I am sure this will rankle some nerves, but we need to move on from worrying about a useless feature for a 16 inch barrel.  Worry about marksmanship, not bayonet lugs and you will live longer.

The new DD  flash hider. Not sure what it does different then a standard A2 hider.

The new rail profile.

The DD MK18 clone.

Also got a look at the colt competition rifle.

The colt competition has a FF smooth tubular rail with cooling vents, and a different barrel fluting and gas block.

The colt rifle pictured came with a surefire brake.