More Random Interesting Things

Today I decided to do another post about things I have run across or  crosses my mind. Like the first time  I did this it will be images I found interesting or noteworthy.

First off is a first.  Serial number 1 Colt model of 1911.   It doesn’t get any more historic than that.

On that note, here is a colt recently shown by RIA.   A great example of the gunmaker and engravers art.

This is an interesting picture I ran across on a facebook page about the Vietnam war.   A soldier that is a radio operator who seems to not have liked to the idea of not carrying anything.   But the part that sticks out is the “sniper rifle”.  I don’t think it is a Model 70 based on the shape of the stock and rear sight.  It may be a M700.   An optic has been mounted to the gun by some one.  In this case the optic appears to be the m84 optic originally put on the sniper variants of the M1 Garand.   Some did end up being used on M14s during the war when sniper rifles were urgently needed.

More on sniper stuff is this SOF cover of a kinda well known image.  Taken during the invasion of Iraq, it’s a USMC sniper team.  I have always liked this picture.  It really gives us a look back on how much has changed since then.  Changes in guns and gear  has been rapid since things started in 2001.

Seems the russians have a  interesting way of training prospective snipers.


Jerry “Mad Dog” Shriver, MIA in during the Vietnam war while on a cross border top secret operation.   I think everyone who would come to a site like this has heard of him.  A few months ago on one of the militaria collectors forum shared something he was able to secure from Green Beret Shriver’s mother.

The dress uniform  may or may not have been worn by the legend. It was used at  the funeral service for Shriver. An empty casket as real life action hero’s body  has never been recovered to date.

Above is the picture of  1 carbine owned by another legend. The gun was owned my Audie Murphy and given to a friend. the mags are still taped up  the way Murphy had them with  the same ammo it came with when gifted to his friend.

Last is a bit of humor I ran across that gave me a good laugh.

Optic of the Week: ARMS 40 Std A2

Disclosure:  I don’t mean this as a proper review as this was broken and missing parts when I received it.

The ARMS 40 Std A2 rear sight is an older designed BUIS that is spring loaded to flip up and does not lock.  Windage adjustments are .75 MOA.

A few years ago now, I received a disassembled ARMS 40 rear sight.  It was missing the aperture and was reassembled incorrectly.  I had tried contacting them about purchasing the missing parts or sending it in to be rebuild.  If I recalled correctly they never responded to me.

I thought that it would be easy to get an A2 aperture to drop in it and get it operational.  Oh boy was I wrong.

Each time I ordered some part or accessory I needed, I tried to order an A2 aperture to go along with it.  Every time until now the A2 apertures were out of stock.  EVERY TIME!

I even tried to get one from White Oak Armament, they discontinued carrying the standard A2 rear sight aperture.  WTF?  I guess A2 sights are truly dead.

Finally I made an order from MidwayUSA and they had only had a couple DPMS A2 apertures left.  So I got one.

That aperture installed just like how you would install one into a carry handle.  Now I am able to use the sight.

To install one of the ARMS 40 series sights, you unscrew a nut.  This nut has a wide slot on it so that you can use a screw to remove it.  It is suppose to be secured with a wire tether to the sight, but this old abused sight lacks that.  The base of the sight is slid onto the rail, the cross bolt inserted and then locked in place with the nut.


On the right rear of the sight is the latch that securely holds the sight down.  It is quick and easy to release the sight and the sight springs up.  You can also easily secure the sight down one handed.

The sight springs up.  It is suppose to lean slightly backwards so that if the weapon is dropped the sight folds.  It does not lock with the intent to hold to prevent damage.  Mine seems to lean a little forward.  Letting it spring up on its own makes noise, but I wouldn’t call it loud.

The sight is notched so that if it is pushed down it has clearance for the latch so that nothing is damaged.

With the A2 aperture this sight provides the same sight picture of any other A2 sight.  The first ARMS 40 models had a cut down peep to make the sight shorter.  They also offer the ARMS 40 STD A2 that has a standard A2 aperture like this one.

I had initially intended to fix this sight and then sell it.  But I think I found a home for it.

I remember a short time back in the day when flat top uppers were first getting popular that the ARMS 40 was considered the best BUIS out there.  But that quickly changed.  MSRP is $136, so there are cheaper excellent options.  The tall height of this sight prevented many optics from fitting over it.  I found I couldn’t put an ACOG or several of my standard scopes over this BUIS when it was mounted to an AR15.  ARMS later made the ARMS40L a low profile version of this sight.

I’d still love to have one of the low profile ARMS 40L-P models, but I’m not going to spend the cash for one.

This was a good rear sight, but when options like the Troy flip up sights came out, these seemed to be quickly forgotten.  Locking sights were perceived as being more durable.  Not to mention many of the good alternatives were cheaper.

Now, the ARMS 40 series is an expensive obsolete relic.

Optic of the week: HK Diopter BUIS

Ok, I’m phoning it in this week.  I found these old HK BUIS I thought I sold long ago, and I found that the old article on them has all the images missing.

On the HK416/MR556 and their .308 rifles as well the optics rail is higher than the rail on a standard flat top AR15.  Because of this HK fixed iron sights are lower than standard height AR15 sights so they can not compatible to use together.  Not that you would want too.

Under the 200m aperture of the drum, there will be 1 or 2 dots.  If there is a single dot (like this one) the sight is calibrated for a 10.4 inch barrel.  If there are 2 dots, it is the model for the 14.5 and 16.5 inch barrels.

HK Front sights are not adjustable, all zeroing adjustment is done on the rear sight.

The drum apertures are different sizes and set for 100 to 400 meters.  The 100m opening is much larger than the other ones to make it easier to use for close quarters use.

Windage is adjusted by loosing the screw on the top of the sight, and turning the screw on the right side of the sight.  1 full turn will move your point of impact 6 inches at 100m.  Tighten the top screw to lock the sight back in place.

Inside the drum there are two tabs.  Compressing both tabs inwards allows for the drum to turn adjusting the elevation of the rear sight.  You need to turn the elevation drum in 1/4 turn increments for 1.5 inch adjustment at 100m.  If you don’t have the proper sight adjustment tool, you can make adjustments using a pair of needle nose pliers.

Zeroing these sights can be annoying.

They are nice sights, and if you are more familiar with HK style sights than AR sights, it is nice to have this option.  However you can get good AR sights for cheaper that will have a finer and easier adjustments.

Quick look at the BCM KMR handguard

(The shine is from some oil on the hand guard)

I’ve heard a good bit of good stuff about the BCM KMR rails so I finally got to handle one today.  I’m pretty impressed, it is very nice.  It is very light, and very slim.

I’d highly recommend it, and you can get it in either Keymod or M-LOK flavors.

There are a couple little aspects of it I didn’t expect, for example:

For example, the KMR sides are longer than the top and bottom.  So in this case these sides are long enough to prevent mounting anything to this QD muzzle device.

Bravo Companies handguard has a great mounting system where the bolt it on the top of the rail making for a smaller mounting area than the majority of hand guards where the bolt up is on the bottom.  This rail also has an anti rotation device which has a couple of tabs that interface with the upper receiver.  But these tabs can interfere with optics mounts.  For example the optic in this picture had to be moved back a notch in order to clear these anti rotation tabs.


So far I am really impressed with this hand guard, I think it is very nice.  I love how light and small profile it is.  In the case of this particular upper it feels so light and small it is like a toy.


Optic of the week: Leupold MK4 3.5-10X40

Long ago when I used to read about firearms, when the term “sniper scope” was said, is was probably referring to the Leupold MK4 series.

I was going to write some history, but instead I am going to quote, Dyspeptic Gunsmith who summed it up nicely.

40+ years ago, many consumer-grade were notoriously unreliable.

Oh, they’d claim to be water-sealed, but you’d dunk them in the bathroom sink and see a steady stream of bubbles come out of them. You’d put them on a heavier-recoiling magnum and you could see the zero walk all over the place – I even had a scope in the early 80’s, which, when mounted on a “mountain rifle light” ’06, had the reticle obviously come loose inside the scope.

There were all manner of issues with the less expensive scopes 40+ years ago.

Leupold commanded a premium because of their no-BS warranty – and quality. Being able to send a Leupold back to the factory and they’d fix it – for nothing other than the shipping cost to send it to them – was a huge reason why so many people who could afford the price chose Leupold as their scope of choice (modulo the specialized scopes like the Unertls). The European scopes were ferociously priced out of the range of most shooters in the US, and they were both rare in the market and difficult to support.

I remember reading one guide saying to buy WWII surplus scopes because they were build better than anything available on the commercial market.  I doubt anyone sane would agree with that statement now.  The glass coatings on the cheapest of Chinese scopes now outclass anything available then.

But back to the topic at hand.

Leupold offers a massive variety of scopes and variations of their scopes.  Different reticles, turret options, finishes, etc.  I don’t know if anyone offers any where near as many different options as Leupold does.  This also means many different versions of the same scope.

Cheaper 3-9x were often seen on hunting rifles, the higher end MK14 3.5-10x was seen commonly on competition and police sniper Remington 700s.  An illuminated version of this scope was used on the M110 sniper rifle.

Rule of thumb back then was that you wanted the 1x time the distance in hundreds of yards for the amount of magnification you would use.  So it was figured a 10x scope was what you needed for 1000 yards.  I recall seeing the Leopold 3.5-10x, 4.5-14x, and the 6.5-20x as the most common scopes among “serious” shooters for a long time.  Slowly other brands took over that market share, Nightforce being one of the major ones.  You could get the scope with a fine duplex reticle and target turrets or coarse adjustments with a mildot.

For example, on this particular scope the elevation are 1 MOA clicks and 1/2 MOA windage clicks.  The idea behind the coarse elevation clicks is to allow a sniper to very quickly adjust for distance.  Elevation knobs are also marked for bullet drop.  This one is marked 168 grain .308.  You can have Leupold make you a custom marked turret.  Some of these scopes that were used by the military have a BDC cap for M118LR out of a 20 inch barrel.

I’m going to omit going into the specs and stats of this scope as it is no longer in production to sell to the public.  Due to continued demand from law enforcement and military, Leupold will make these if they special order them.  Apparently Leupold would prefer if you switched to one of their newer and improved designs, but enough agencies out there want these classics.

This can be a good deal for you.  If you keep your eyes out you may find used Leupolds for sale by people have to have upgraded to newer scopes.  These older scopes have plenty of life left in them.