Tag Archives: SBR

My 9mm AR

There are a couple different style of 9mm AR15s out there.  Used to be as simple as having two variations that were not interchangeable, the Colt pattern and the Olympic pattern.  Now there are other variations, but the majority have somewhat interchangeable parts with the Colt pattern.

In the Colt pattern, you are suppose to use a spacer in the buffer tube.  I finally bought a proper spacer, but previously I had been using a stack of quarters.

Proper spacer on the left, $1.25 on the right.(My old “spacer”)  Looks like the spacer is the same height as 4 quarters, and it has a section to slip into the spring.

My first 9mm AR was a Colt upper on a standard lower using a VM Hytech (sp?) Uzi mag block.  It let me used unmodifed Uzi mags, but I couldn’t use the normal AR15 magazine release.

I sold that Colt upper and picked up a 10.5 inch RRA upper.  That RRA upper had a very heavy barrel and ended up being much heavier than the Colt 16″ barreled upper.  I was not too thrilled about that.  Ended up getting rid of that some time ago.

An old picture of a messy desk and the RRA 9mm Upper.

A little while back I saw a guy selling one of the new Colt 9mm uppers that had a flat top for a good price.  I bought it and also purchased a Hahn Precision top loading mag block.

The top loading mag block allows me to use the standard bolt catch, and mag release with Colt pattern mags.  Installing the top loading mag block requires removing the bolt catch, so it isn’t very quick to install or remove.

So my 9mm AR is a Colt 6991 upper on an old SBR lower.  When using a 9mm upper you need to make sure to be using a compatible hammer in your fire control group.  I use a no-notch hammer.  Notched semi auto hammers will cause the action to lock up and make disassembly the firearm a pain in the ass.

One other change I made was to add a gas tube stub to the front sight base.  On a normal AR15, the gas tube prevents the front cap for the hand guards from rotating.  On a 9mm or .22 AR, there is no gas tube.  Some years back I got from Spikes Tactical some sort predrilled rod sections that you install like a gas tube to prevent your hand guard from rotating.  Not necessary, but a nice little little upgrade.

As shown in the picture, I have a KAC RAS quad on it, and I am running an Aimpoint PRO as the optic.  The Aimpoint PRO is an excellent lower cost option for a hard use optic.  If you shop around you can find them in the $350 range.

I don’t shoot the 9mm AR much, but it is a whole lot of fun.  It is excellent for when you are wanting to shoot steel targets at much closer ranges.

In the end, if I were to start from scratch, I would probably either just buy a factory Colt 9mm carbine or perhaps something like the SIG MPX.

The Ultimate AR15

I’ve been sorting though old photos of mine and I came across a later picture of the first AR15 I built.  Back when I decided to build it, I had decided that I would build the  ultimate AR15  One that would do everything I could possibly need it to do.

Oh boy was I naive.  Mainly about AR addiction.

Around the end of 2004, when the silly Assault Weapons Ban ended started a vast rise in the popularity and customization of the AR15.  I had been reading the AR15.com forums for a little while and decided it was time I build one.

I started with an RRA lower.  At the time they were pretty highly regarded, and it is was pretty much all I could get.  RRA tightened up the openings where the take down pins went so it was rather hard to attach or remove an upper for quite some time.  Eventually the lower wore in and is as loose as an GI gun now.

Standard GI style trigger.  We didn’t have Geissele triggers then, so there was no want for anything better.  Like most people today I didn’t care for the bump on an A2 pistol grip.  Unlike many  who were using Magpul or Tango Down grips at the time, I used an A1 grip for its slightly larger diameter combined with a Magpul winter trigger guard.  Really wanted to be ready if I had to use large gloves in Florida’s harsh winters.

This was before push button quick detach sling swivels were popular.  I don’t know if they even existed back then.  HK sling snaps were often considered the way to go.  I used CQD front and rear sling mounts.  I’m still fond of those, but I tend not to use them any more due to the much greater convenience of QD sling swivels.

I used a CAR stock on the gun.  Started with a reproduction aluminum CAR stock as I thought a metal stock would be better than plastic.  Later switched to a surplus CAR stock.  Not quite sure why, but I am still rather fond of the old CAR stock and I still use them.

Now the upper is really the heart of an AR.  At the time I decided I would go with the best, no expense spared.

So I bought a CMMG 16″ M4 upper.

CMMG was pretty highly regarded at the time.  They were being innovative, offering options many other companies didn’t, and they truly had awesome customer service.  They didn’t keep that reputation long.  A 16 inch barrel was chosen due to our laws and it still is an good compromise length for handling and velocity.  I stuck with the standard A2 flash hider.  Later AR uppers I had had Vortex, Phantom, and all many of other muzzle devices.  I tend to find unless you are mounting a muzzle break or a silencer that it isn’t worth the cost of these specialty muzzle devices.

Back then I wouldn’t have considered trying to bench rest an AR15 and shoot sub-MOA.  Wouldn’t have expected to run high power scopes, match ammo, or anything else of that sort.  I was solely familiar with the M16A2 style configuration so the whole carbine config was new to me.

I paid a little more for a chrome bolt carrier.  Chrome bolts weren’t available at the time from CMMG.  (Probably out of stock)  It can be nice to have a chromed or some other fancy finished BCG, but now days I don’t bother with the extra cost.

A Samson quad rail was chosen to free float the barrel.  One with a removable bottom rail was used so that I could easily access the barrel for cleaning, and retained the ability to mount a M203.  (Yea, I wanted a M203 back then)  The Samson rail was well made, but discontinued shortly after I got mine due to some sort of legal issues between Troy and Samson.  Their rail was good and heavy duty, and generally heavy in weight.  While it was a good product, there are so very many better choices now.

A ran a couple different rear sights.  Often I used an A1 detachable carry handle.  Sometimes a standard detachable carry handle.  Later I switched to a Troy rear sight.  The Troy is still an excellent choice.

Used my first Eotech with this rifle, a 512.  Had issues with that one draining batteries when off, and the battery contacts broke.

Wasn’t a bad configuration, but certainly far from the ultimate AR.  I still have the lower, I SBR’d it some time ago.  The upper was sold or traded off for something that would have also been sold or traded off by now.  I don’t miss it.

Thoughts on the Pistol Caliber Carbine

There has been a resurgence in the popularity of the pistol caliber carbine(PCC).  PCC’s can be a whole lot of fun, and still hold a place as a fighting weapon.  Yet these guns are in a sort of odd place.  There are some cheap ones that are hit or miss, some expensive ones that are mostly purchased for the novelty or nostalgia (UZI, MP5), and other oddball options.

Pros:

  • cheap ammo
  • low recoil
  • easy to suppress
  • higher capacity than a pistol
  • easier to shoot than a pistol
  • better sight and optics options than a pistol
 Cons:
  • more expensive than a pistol
  • not concealable like a pistol
  • rifle size and weight with out a rifles performance
  • generally more costly than a pistol

Many people and groups have moved from the SMG and PCC to carbines and Short Barreled Rifles.  Smaller rifles give better terminal ballistics and vastly increased range.

Questions you need to ask are:
  • What price are you willing to pay?
  • What caliber do you want?
  • Do you want something small, or are you will to have something rifle sized? (Barrel Length)
  • Do you want a proper stock, or is the arm brace sufficient?

There are four common configurations of PCCs.

First is a 16 inch barreled rifle with stock.  Be it a .357 level action, or a Hi-Point carbine, these rifles are purchased just like any other rifle.   This is the most common, and the most practical version of the PCC.  Easy to purchase and use.  Only real downside to a rifle sized firearm in a pistol caliber is the barrel length.  Often, pistol cartridges gain little from a 16+ inch barrel, so a standard rifle ends up being larger than what would be ideal.

Face it, a Thompson is more of a rifle than a carbine.

The second common configuration is that of a large pistol.  For example the Tec-9s or semi auto MAC-10s.  These are purchased and sold just like a pistol.   Larger examples can be found in the MP5K and Scorpion EVO 3 pistols.  These are fun, but tend to be the least useful configuration.  They are larger and heavier than a full sized pistol, and can be large enough to make them awkward to shoot.

As cool as this is, it isn’t exactly a practical pistol.

 

Now, there is a better third option.  With the advent of the various forms of arm braces, we see these large pistol firearms gain a great deal of utility with an arm brace.

These arm braces have added a great deal of utility to these huge pistols.

Fourth major option is to go with a short barreled rifle.  This is often considered the best way to go, but unlike the previous options you end up with a multitude of various downsides.  There is a long waiting time while the ATF processes your paperwork.  Then you should keep a copy of that paperwork with you(not the original).  Not to mention issues like not being able to lend it to people or limitations on traveling between states, etc.  Despite all of that, I would still recommend going this route if you intend to use a pistol caliber carbine a good bit.  16 inch barrels are rather unnecessary in pistol cartridges, and it is well worth having a functional stock.  That said, the cost and time involvement to get a SBR makes it not right for most.

I personally use a Colt 6991 9mm upper on a SBR lower.

 

Something to Remember Him By. Hognose, AKA Weaponsman, AKA Kevin’s weapon collection being sold

When I first read this, it was like the same gut punch when I learned Kevin had passed.  I am glad his brother and family have given his friends and fans a chance to have something to remember Kevin by, Something tangible,   But. Seeing that large collection of guns,Kevin’s collection of CZ weapons, accumulated over years in support of  his effort of writing a book on the subject of CZ weapons, now being sold off sort of finalizes it for me I guess.  He is gone, Now his guns, being sold off to the four corners, scattered about.  All the stories and memories that went with them lost.   The feeling is certainly something Roy Batty would be familiar with. 

If you knew Kevin or you are a  fan and admire the man, now is a chance to give some of his guns a good home in honor of the man.  I bought a small rimfired rifle from the estate earlier and it will hold a place of honor in my collection until I am gone I’m sure.   Below is the post with all weapons being sold listed and where to buy them.  Now I think i will go mourn Kevin a little more this evening.

It won’t shock you to know that Kevin had a lot of firearms, firearm accessories, knives, bayonets, swords and other military memorabilia.

As we have been cleaning out his house to get it ready for sale this fall, we are selling most of his collection on consignment through Original Bobs Shooting Range & Gun Shops in Seabrook, NH and Salisbury, MA (http://originalbobsshootingrange.com).

There are also two Class 3 firearms that will be made available for sale by MAC Tactical (http://www.mactactical.com/).

This means you have a chance to get something to remember him by. All of these items are for sale NOW or in the near future.  Some of them may be gone already.  Please contact Original Bob’s or MAC Tactical directly if you are interested.  Remember, MAC only has the Class 3’s – everything else is at Original Bob’s.

At the bottom of this post will be a list of his firearms. Original Bob’s has a lot of other items and knows what comes from “The Collection of Kevin O’Brien.”

Now before you ask, yes, I am keeping some of his stuff. But there was never a possibility that I would keep any weapons.  I’m not a “weapons man” myself and I would prefer to see his weapons and related items in the hands of people who would enjoy them.

Some of the other most personal items have been distributed to his closest friends. Just the other day the helicopter chair (remember that?) left Kevin’s house for its new home in the Lakes Region of NH.  It now belongs to a good friend who served with Kev.  Other stuff that honestly holds no sentimental value is going to be sold at an “estate sale” on Saturday, September 9th.  Most of his books are going to team members and friends.

I’m keeping all the airplane parts, all the tools, all the “active” computers, a few oddities (did you know Kevin had a recumbent bike?) and a few practical items. I am keeping his diplomas and other military records, his dress uniform, beret and dog tags.

But that leaves a lot for Weaponsman readers, if you want. And somebody else will buy and enjoy whatever is left!

Here is a list of firearms:

  • Pistol – Astra (Spanish) Model 100 Special pistol w/ Asian markings SN 8862
  • Pistol – Astra Unceta Pocket Pistol SN 294895
  • Pistol – Bauer .25 ACP SN 13141
  • Pistol – Belgian New Model type 1 Melior Pistol w/ holster SN 4028
  • Pistol – Bryco Arms Model J25 pistol w/box SN 536456
  • Pistol – Colt (CMC) M1910/72 .380 Model SN A3166
  • Pistol – Czech “Z” r6.35 mm SN 249700
  • Pistol – Czech (little Tom) .32 Pistol SN 30941
  • Pistol – Czech (Little Tom) 6.25mm (.25 ACP) SN 26854
  • Pistol – Czech 45 Nickel plated & engraved SN 89325
  • Pistol – Czech 75 compact, P-01 cal 9mm Luger SN B798603
  • Pistol – Czech CZ 45m proofed 1946 SN 30200
  • Pistol – Czech Jaga Model Pistol w/holster SN 5550
  • Pistol – Czech Model 1922 9mm SN 16947
  • Pistol – Czech Model 1936 w/holster SN 18615
  • Pistol – Czech Model 27 SN 568818
  • Pistol – Czech Model 50 7.62 cal w/mag SN 678961
  • Pistol – Czech Model 50/70 w/2 mags SN C59705
  • Pistol – Czech Model 52 pistol with holster SN D13662
  • Pistol – Czech Model 70 VZOR .32 ACP SN 652090
  • Pistol – Czech Model 83 SN 2846
  • Pistol – Czech Praga Model 1921 SN 10024
  • Pistol – Czech Type 52 pistol VOZ 77 78 SN EE13370
  • Pistol – Czech vz. 22 w/holster SN 53789
  • Pistol – DWM Luger SN 7433
  • Pistol – DWM Luger (Artillery), Reblued SN 2778
  • Pistol – East German Makarov 9X18 SN BV 1693
  • Pistol – FN Unique FN 1900 Copy Melior Pistol SN 20322
  • Pistol – French SACM 1935A w/mag SN 1135A
  • Pistol – Glock 17 G3 w/ paddle holster SN RXH737
  • Pistol – Italian Rigami Pistol SN 51108
  • Pistol – Nagant M1899? Revolver cut off SN 10195
  • Pistol – Soviet Tokarev Pistol w/ holster SN 3540
  • Pistol – Unknown Afghan double-barrel percussion pistol SN (none)
  • Pistol – USA Intratec Protec-25 ACP pistol with box SN 022114
  • Pistol – Walther Model 8 6.35 pistol SN 715820
  • Pistol – Walther PPK beater SN 864119
  • Pistol – Walther PPK RZM SN 843183
  • Pistol – Double-barrell pin fired SN 5435
  • Rifle – Barnett London V.R. 1869 SN (None)
  • Rifle – Chinese Type 56 carbine (SKS) SN 11363875
  • Rifle – Chinese Type 56 carbine (SKS) SN 14839
  • Rifle – Clayco Sports AKS-47 semi-auto SN 100574
  • Rifle – Czech 7.92 MM Model vz. 24 SN 2431N2(?)
  • Rifle – Czech Brno 7.92mm Moilet vz. 24 SN 3026M3(?)
  • Rifle – Czech Vz. 52/57 Rifle 7.62mm SN G 65221
  • Rifle – FN (A Coruna) Model 1949 SN FR8-05014
  • Rifle – FN (Egyptian contract) Model 1949 .8mm Mauser SN 11507
  • Rifle – FN (Venezuelan) M1949 Venezuelan SN 4955
  • Rifle – H&H Enterprises AR-10 SN 006470
  • Rifle – Johnson Automatics M1941 SN B0542
  • Rifle – Mosin-Nagant M44 Carbine 1955 SN 124738
  • Rifle – Mosin-Nagant Russian 1943 SN 2942746
  • Rifle – NDS (NoDak Spud) Model 601 SN C00794
  • Rifle – NDS (NoDak Spud) NDS-16A1 SN A02615
  • Rifle – NDS (NoDak Spud) NDS-16A1 SN A01669
  • Rifle – NDS (NoDak Spud) NDS-16A1 SN A01512
  • Rifle – Springfield M1 Garand SN 5855309
  • Rifle – Springfiled Model 15 .22 cal SN (None)
  • Rifle – Tokarev SVT-40 SN 3L5170
  • Rifle – Tower V.R. 18?6 (1836?) SN (None)
  • Rifle – Unknown Afghan percussion Enfield carbine SN
  • Rifle – US Carbine Iver Johnson 22 LR SN 1342
  • Rifle – Valmet M62S SN 131700
  • Rifle – Winchester 190 .22 SN B1157752
  • Rifle – ZB Brno Bolt action Rifle SN 2845
  • Rifle – ZB Brno Model 24?? Mauser SN C730 & 434
  • Rifle – HK HK416 conversion setup SN 88-101046
  • Class 3 – Colt M4 Carbine SN LEO98039
  • Class 3 – Kahr Auto Ordnance M1A1 Thompson SBR SN KC6544

 

About Hognose

Former Special Forces 11B2S, later 18B, weapons man. (Also served in intelligence and operations jobs in SF)

Build verses buy your first AR?

 

I saw again recently someone suggesting that a first time AR15 buyer build their own AR15 so that they would be better familiar with the parts and operation.  I think a person could learn the parts and operation of a firearm just fine without building one.

By all means build a custom AR if you want too, but I highly recommend buying a good factory built AR15 for your first one.  Having built quite a few ARs myself, and seen many more built, there are all sorts of mistakes a person can make.  I’ve seen incorrectly aligned gas blocks, gas tubes, hammer springs reversed or under the trigger pin (allowing the trigger pin to walk out.  Loose barrel nuts, loose castle nuts (allowing the stock to rotate and or the buffer retainer popping out and jamming the action), and more.  The AR15 is a pretty simple weapon, but simple does not mean that you cannot mess it up.  A factory built gun will generally be assembled correctly and you will have a warranty if there are any issues.

The best thing about the AR family of weapons is the massive amount of aftermarket parts.  It can be overwhelming, and not all of it plays nice together.  With more and more companies producing parts, they are not all interchangeable.  For example, many hand guards now do not fit correctly on various billet uppers due to these aftermarket billet uppers using different dimensions then a milspec upper.

If you buy a complete rifle from a reputable manufacture, you know the parts they choose to use will work.  If you build your own, you will need to do a little research.  Sometimes trying to just buy all the best individual components will leave you with something that won’t work together.  For example, some years back a few companies were making enhanced bolt carriers.  A guy I knew purchased the LMT enhanced bolt carrier since it was supposed to be better than a standard one.  He built a SBR with it, and found it didn’t work (The LMT carrier might not have been the only issue with it, but I’m using as an example).  The LMT enhanced bolt carrier was tuned and built for a 14.5 inch barrel or longer.  This guy just saw that there was an “upgraded” part, bought it, and never realized it wouldn’t work for him.

I could go on with more examples, but if you’re going to get an AR for serious use, or if you are not very familiar with them, it is recommended you buy a factory AR15 from a reputable company.

Best & Worst of 2015

Every year I try to do a list of the stuff we were sent for T&E  or anything else we evaluated and talked about.  This year is a little late but as they say better late than something or other.  Everything listed will have a review or at the least the 1st part of a 2 part review that you can read in addition to the list.

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Fist up is the Colt 6940 Piston carbine.   The ( obviously) piston operated version of the 6940 DI monolithic carbine.  It was more accurate than we thought it would be fore a piston gun and held up to some of the most serious abuse I have ever doled out on a AR15 including multiple 60 round mag full auto mag dumps and has yet to be cleaned or oiled.  In my opinion colt never fails and is always the right answer to any question.

016

Next up is the newly made Inland MFG M1 carbine.  The M1 carbine is much maligned in some places for various and dubious reasons.  Regardless this is a very faithful remake and is a real beauty. It shot great and was as about as accurate as you would want  with decent ammo.  And it just looks great. Part 1 is up and part 2 of the review will be posted shortly.

017

Up next is another Inland gun.  Inlands rep was a little worried  about how I would like this gun knowing I am solid devotee of Colt 1911s as THE M1911 maker.  But it proved to be very reliable and very faithful to the M1911A1 it is a clone of. It looks great and is tough. Another gun I have been merciless with. It is not a 100 percent 1911A1 since it does use the “series 80 “type safety but only  the pedantic and the people who repeat nonesense about that type of safety  would care. It is not a real WW2 relic and is meant to give you the look and feel without the price and it does it job very well.  You are not going to win a bulls eye match or IPSC , but it is plays its role perfectly even if its not a Colt.

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the compTac  pistol and M16 mag pouches.  No they are not flashy or tacos, or made by crye. But I love them.  They snap on over a belt easy and really stay secure. You can adjust the tension and they are lo profile.  I use the pistol pouch every day and the rifle mag almost as often . I really , really like these. Since they clip over instead of needing the belt threaded though, they go one fast and come off fast but they do not fit as snug against your body. I can live with that as they fill my need perfectly most of the time and fit over a larger amount of belts with different widths  than the other type of loop.

 

Some More quick mentions that I have not got the chance to write a  review or may not be withing the umbrella of what we do here int he case of my Father’s cross bow.

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The Mathews cross bow my Dad took two deer with this past year, One at 40 yards and one at 55 yards.  Not being a bow guy and not liking anything bow and arrow related  I will not nor ever will be reviewing them but felt this was worth mentioning for those of you who do like them. I was impressed with the distance  enough to mention it here regardless.

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The Leupold  Mark 6.  It is hands down, with no exaggeration or joking , in my opinion the best optic I have used so far. It is everything I would want or need in and optic of this type. I can not expressed how much I love this scope.

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Tug Valley Armament’s ammo is safe and reliable and accurate.  I can get some of the more odd ball stuff I use affordable and have  choice in bullets weights. And it saves me from making 7.7 Jap brass myself.  It is good stuff and all the massive full auto testing done over the summer used this company’s 556 and 308 ammo exclusively.  Having the trust to use a certain ammo brand in machine guns is not something to take lightly.  Give them a call if you need something or just want some 556.

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The Barrett  bors scope system. I had thought it was kind of a gimmick since it came out.  What can I say? Even I am wrong sometimes.  I have had many years of experience with the M82A1 but never with the BORS till this year.  Its very nice with the 50. IF you can afford it..

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The Century ( I know, I know) HK 33 pistol.  This one was converted into a SBR and was purchased with that in mind.  It works great and  no arguing it looks cool.  Its accuracy is about like you would get from a middle of the price range 556 AK. And its ergo is about as meh, as every other HK rifle/carbine. But is just  has a quality you can only say in french.   For a century it worked well and surprised me.   This is more of an honorable mention since a lot of people seem to have hit or miss luck with these and their reliability.   but this one works for the nonce . So keep that in mind.

 

 

WORST!

ATI stg 44

 

Pure garbage.   Then again it might be on the best of list for tomato stake or boat anchor.  So bad I would rather have an M14. Stay away I would not even dream of suggesting some one try to waste precious, precious 22Lr in one of these obamas.

 

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.

26
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

Frank Proctor Way of the Gun Sling

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In looking for a sling for my Colt 733 clone I wanted something that had both modern two point adjustability and an appearance that didn’t look out of place on a quasi retro AR. I hadn’t had much luck finding anything that really suited me until I stumbled across the Way of the Gun sling from Frank Proctor. Liking what I saw, I ordered one in ranger green to try out.

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The sling itself is the absolute definition of minimalist. A basic 1” nylon strap, two buckles, two paracord attachment loops, that’s it.  Total weight of the sling, including the paracord attachment loops, is 1.98 oz.

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Close up of the para cord attachment loop.

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The length adjustment slider. Push forward to lengthen, pull back to shorten.

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The only stitching on the entire sling.

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Comparison photo of the Proctor sling next to a Magpul MS1.  Note the slings opposite function.  On the WOTG sling push the slider forward to lengthen the sling and pull back to shorten, while the Magpul slider pulls back to lengthen and pushes forward to shorten.  Not that either way is good or bad, just something to keep in mind.  Earlier I mentioned the WOTG sling with paracord attachments has a total weight of 1.98 oz, in comparison the Magpul MS1 with two quick disconnects has a total weight of 7.71 oz.  A 5.73 oz difference.

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Comparison of the length adjusters and attachment methods.

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Difference in width between the slings. 1” for the Proctor WOTG sling vs. 1.25” for the Magpul MS1.

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Proctor WOTG sling mounted on my 733.

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Here are a couple of photos of the sling mounted up on other AR’s to show the versatility in mounting it to different weapons.

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I’ve been using the sling for a couple of months now and have been pleased with it.  I’ve found the sling to be simple, lightweight and efficient.  The strap doesn’t bind up or get in the way, and the length adjuster slides smoothly.  It gets the job done with no fuss or drama, which is all I ask in a sling.

My only suggestion for improvement would be to, due to its small size, make the serrations on the sides of the length adjuster more pronounced to give the hand something to really grab/lock onto.

One bit of caution, the strap is thin and the material is flexible, I can see the potential for the sling strap to dig in and become uncomfortable if carrying a heavier weapon slung for long periods of time.  Given I’ve mostly run the sling on a sub 6 lb SBR it’s never been an issue for me, just something to think about.

All in all if you’re looking for a lightweight minimalist sling that won’t get in the way, a sling that can easily be switched between weapons that don’t have provisions for quick disconnects, or a sling that gives modern two point quick adjustable function with an old look the Frank Proctor Way of the Gun sling is a solid choice.

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Federal Fusion Ammo Testing

Fusion
By Andrew Betts

Federal’s Fusion line may very well be the best kept secret in defensive rifle ammunition. It is a bonded soft point (okay, technically it is plated but the result is essentially the same) that bears a strong similarity to the Gold Dot line from Speer. That might seem odd at first glance, but both companies are owned by ATK. The Fusion line appears to be aimed at the hunting market based on the design of the packaging and promotional materials and indeed, it looks as though it would make an excellent load for deer and similar sized animals. It is gaining popularity as a home defense and emergency preparedness load though, and for good reason.

The .223 Rem version of Fusion comes in two flavors: original and MSR. The MSR version features annealed cases, sealed primers, and a slightly higher muzzle velocity out of most rifles but but both use the same bullet. Because this ammunition might be used in a wide variety of situations, we wanted to see how it could perform at the edges of its design limits. To do that, we tested the projectiles with two different hand loads designed for higher than factory velocity and very low velocity and we fired them from 16” and 11.5” barrels.

The results were nothing short of phenomenal. The higher velocity bullet impacted at well over 3,000 fps and produced excellent expansion, fragmentation, and ideal penetration. As expected, the lower velocity projectile retained more weight and penetrated more deeply. What was really remarkable was that this load, which approximates the impact velocity of the full power load at 475 yards, was still able to produce substantial expansion and it did so almost immediately on impact, with a neck length of about half an inch. This performance is truly incredible for such a low velocity.

There is already a wide array of quality defensive choices for ammunition in .223 Rem and 5.56x45mm but until fairly recently, there were not many well designed defense loads for the 7.62x39mm. Recently, that has begun to change and it was a pleasant surprise to see Federal offer a Fusion load in 7.62x39mm. This is a very capable cartridge for hunting and defense, with a lot to offer and it really shines with the benefit of modern technology.

Just as with the .223 load, the 7.62x39mm began to expand almost instantly on impact. It penetrated to 15” which is absolutely ideal for defensive use. It also produced huge expansion and a devastating wound channel. It is rarely wise to proclaim one particularly load to be “best” but if terminal performance is the priority, there exists no better ammunition in 7.62x39mm for defense.There may be better choices for other applications, but for defense against human beings, this is the best load available. That it is also more affordable than other premium ammo is a bonus.

Soft points in general and bonded soft points in particular tend to be very good at barrier performance. To be clear, just about any bullet can pass through a windshield, car door, wooden board, or piece of gypsum. Some bullets may not be able to expand and/or fragment as designed if they strike tissue after passing through the obstacle, though. The ability to perform nearly as well after passing through a barrier is referred to as “barrier blind”. It is an important feature to many shooters since bad guys have this funny quirk where they don’t like being shot and tend to get behind stuff. Auto glass is one of the toughest materials on a bullet because glass is much harder than wood or metal so we fired both the .223 Rem and the 7.62x39mm Fusion through a windshield to test its barrier performance.

Penetration was reduced a bit, which is to be expected, but the bullets still expanded as designed. It is not really a quantifiable measure, but the high speed video really gives an impressive illustration of just how incredible both these rifle rounds are. Both performed as well as anyone could reasonably ask in some very difficult circumstances. Whether close or long range, whether with a carbine or SBR, and even if one has to shoot through intermediate obstacles, the Federal Fusion will get the job done. What is more impressive is that it is not marketed as go fast, door kicking ninja ammo. It is just quality ammunition at a decent price.

Absurdity

I recently picked up a 14.5″ AR upper and, as I wanted to be able to run it on one of my non SBR lowers, I had to have an extended flash hider pinned/welded on to meet minimum barrel length laws.

After picking it up from the from the smith and placing the two flash hiders next to each other, the absurdity of it all struck me.

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That this tiny bit of difference would make all the difference between being completely legal or getting to spend time in a federal “pound me in the ass” prison, to quote the cinema classic Office Space.

But hey, if you can’t count on the government for arbitrary regulation, who can you count on??