5.56 Timeline

Building the rifle Larue won’t sell you – Part 2

Part 1 Here.

Previously I established how there is the demand for a heavier barreled Larue PredatAR rifle. For someone starting new, the Larue Ultimate Upper would probably be the better choice as they could buy it what ever barrel they want. But that isn’t what I want.

I took inventory of what I had on hand:

16 Inch Larue Barrel with matching bolt carrier group (from the UU upper I had)
Magpul CTR stock
New A2 grip
Surefire Flash hider, and Surefire Muzzle Break. At the time I took this photo, I was unsure what I would use.
Geissele SSA trigger. My favorite trigger out there.

So, I needed a PredatAR upper. I had been looking for one for a while, but people tended to want to see the upper for about the same price you could pick up an entire rifle. After some time, I found a great deal on a donor rifle.

Came with all the accessories
The PredatAR is a great rifle as is, but we can make it better.

Let us start with the simple tweaks.

The PredatAR comes with these little proprietary grippy hand guard covers. I will start by removing all of them as I prefer them off.

With them off, you can see how there is a raised rib on the PredatAR handguard. This rib is what, to me, gives it a better profile for handling. Note how the threaded holes have helicoil style inserts. I am glad I am not the guy who has to install all those inserts.

Just how I like it.

Now to focus on the lower. I pulled off most of the parts. I was going to clean the inside of the trigger pocket but I found the previous owner had already done so.

I installed the SSA trigger (Later I decided I’d run a MBT in this Larue lower. I switched that out the following day).

I have this Arms Unlimited knockoff of a Norgon ambi-catch. Not only is the finish and exterior profile inferior to the Norgon, it also binds in a lower. I had thought that maybe the previous lower I had it in was out of spec, but when I found it was binding in the Larue lower, I also tried a Colt and it did not want to play nice with any of them. I think it might be because of how much cant there is in the body of the catch. Note how it tilts inwards instead of being perpendicular to the threaded shaft.

I was also disappointed to find the receiver extension was crooked. Sometime down the road, if I keep the Larue lower, I’ll replace that end plate with one with a QD socket and straighten the tube.

Throwing on the A2 grip and CTR gives the rifle ergonomics that better fit me.

The PredatAR has a chromed bolt carrier. I will use that carrier with the matching bolt for the barrel I am using. I’m going to sell off the old PredatAR barrel and parts. I’ll including the matching bolt with that barrel.

The handguard is held on to the upper by 4 bolts, with Torx heads.

This barrel nut is taken on and off by a 1 1/4 inch wrench. The barrel nut was very lightly torqued. Felt like I could have taken it off with out a wrench.

I decided I would use the newer PredatOBR/UU barrel nut when I reassembled this upper. The wrench for that style barrel nut is pictured on the right. I would end up regretting this choice.

Damnit Mark Larue!
Turns out the newer style barrel nut is longer than a PredatAR nut.
I had to pull the barrel nut off the PredatAR barrel.
I used my torque wrench when reinstalling the set screws on my barrel.
Surefire muzzle devices need to be timed. It can be an annoying process.
Despite needing to be timed, installing the Surefire Muzzle Break was pretty quick and easy.

I ended up installing the Surefire MB556K muzzle break. This has a history of use in both competition and combat. It has been tested and shown to reduce recoil up to 58%, and it double as a mount for the Surefire silencers I have.

I end up with a little heavier rifle, but not one unwieldy or awkward. This would be just as functional with a red dot for rapid fire up close as it would high magnification for shooting tight groups.

I look forward to putting it to good use.

Larue as a military 6.5 Creedmoor rifle?

There is some weird stuff going on with military procurement, but I suppose that is always the case.

Army and USMC have that competition for a replacement for the M4. Those are going to be in a 6.5 or 6.8 caliber. General Dynamics, Sig, and Textron are in the running. We have talked about those in the past.

I think racism is the real reason the Army wants to switch to a lighter skinned weapon.

We had the Knights Armament M110 Sniper Rifle. There was a competition for a replacement for it where HK won and that gave us the M110A1 CSASS.

Despite that, the high speed low guys of the U.S. Army Special Operations Command were still running around with the M110K1 carbine version of the KAC M110.

AND THEN, since SOCOM adopted 6.5 Creedmoor in 2018, Knights Armament got a contact to provide conversion kits for the M110 to 6.5 Creedmoor. Side note. Have you priced a KAC SR25 upper? Commercial price on a KAC SR25 22″ barreled 6.5 Creedmoor upper is $3,780.

If I understand correctly, it is these USASOC guns that will be upgraded to 6.5 Creedmoor.

Now also floating around in service are some of the FN SCAR MK20 Sniper Rifles. I hear those are being phased out. Doesn’t seem like a very illustrious career there to me.

But our story gets even more complicated.

Naval Special Warfare has a competition to replace these FN SCAR MK20 Sniper Support Rifles. As far as I know, a winner has not been selected yet. Larue Tactical is in the running. Scuttlebutt is that they are the forerunner. Mark Larue has hinted a little information on Instagram.

… These were the 3 rifles we took to Camp Atterbury (up in Indiana) for the .mils 6.5CM rifle shootoff back in late June. They handed all competitors scope rings and scopes, and said they weren’t touching our rifles until we proved that all 3 rifles shoot consistently under an moa. It was diabolical on their part. “If you can’t make ‘em shoot, how do you expect us to.” Good stuff. They handed out their brand new Blackhills 6.5CM 140 gr ammo and my 3 rifles rocked it. ML

Mark Larue on Instagram
Mark Larue carefully made sure the stock was not visible in this picture. Probably because it is a CTR and not his RAT stock.

While we’re on the subject … LaRue 17” 6.5CM MRGG-S rifle … 2-stage LaRue full auto trigger – FDE – MLok handguard – Under 9 lb – Five 5-shot groups with all five groups averaging under 1 MOA.
All the boxes checked.

Mark Larue on Instagram

These three rifles, the “Larue MRGG-S” don’t have a whole lot of information out there yet about them.

They look much like the Larue Ultimate Upper but in MLOK instead of Keymod. Larue Tranquillo silencers are also shown. Note that the rifles in the pictures are full auto with Larue triggers meaning that Larue Tactical made a full auto version of the MBT trigger.

The second phone shows that the rifle, with out accessories, it under 9 pounds.

So in the short term, we might end up fielding the HK M110A1, a KAC M110 with 6.5 Creedmoor kit, and a Larue 6.5 Creedmoor rifle.

Then, we might end up with some new M4 replacement that is in a 6.5 or 6.8 cartridge.

Makes a whole lot of sense, right?

Building the rifle Larue won’t sell you. Part 1

That is a bit of a click-bait title, but it is true.

Some time ago, Larue started selling a complete rifle. What was suppose to be the Optimized Sniper Rifle (OSR) got re-branded Optimized Battle Rifle (OBR) and Larue started selling this semi auto precision system. In 5.56 and 308 you could get this precision rifle with a precision heavy barrel and a chassis with built in cant for your optics.

Later, Larue made the PredatAR. Stupid name aside, it was a lightweight rifle with a lightweight barrel.

The PredatAR now had the accessory mounting rail all the way along the sides and bottom of the hand guard. The 20 MOA cant on the upper rail was eliminated and we got an awesome accurate light weight barrel.

IMHO, the PredatAR is an amazing rifle out of the box. I picked one up some years ago, and the upper lives on one of my Colt lowers:

But, as always, we the gun owners decided this was not good enough. We want something else.

The crowd clamored, “why can’t we get the PredatAR chassis with the OBR barrel?”

Eventually Mark Larue relented, and make 500 of them as a special limited run with Chris Costa.

For a premium, you could buy a Costa Edition 5.56. One of 500, numbered as such. These had a 14.5 inch barrel with a pinned Surefire muzzle break.

People clamored for more. Larue Tactical’s answer was the PredatOBR.

This is a take down rifle, with levers on each side of the hand guard and runs about $450 more than a PredatAR. Not quite the sleek and simple PredatAR.

Finally, Larue now offers the Ultimate Upper kit. You can get a chassis in MLOK or Keymod with the barrel of your choice. Choose the length and the caliber. A great deal.

I had an Ultimate Upper with a 16 inch barrel. The Ultimate Uppers are priced awesomely, and very slim and light.

In all reality, the new UU is a better option. It is cheap (compared to other quality options), you can configure it any number of ways, and it can be set up to use either common Keymod or MLOK accessories.

But I found I prefer the feel and handling of the PredatAR chassis. It may not be the coolest or most modular option out there, but it feels and handles great. If you haven’t handled a PredatAR, DON’T, you might end up wanting one.

For some time now, I have wanted a 16 inch Larue heavy barreled PredatAR. Similar to the Costa edition, but with out the unnecessary extra logo and cost.

Stand by for Part 2. That will explain what I do to get one.

Mexico Drug Cartel Kills 9 US Citizens

The Mexican Cartel has made headlines again. This time with ostensibly typical gang war cross fire. Or is it?

As the story of the killings in Mexico blows up in the American press, President Trump in a series of tweets offered American assistance in bringing the killers to justice. “If Mexico needs or requests help in cleaning out these monsters, the United States stands ready, willing & able to get involved and do the job quickly and effectively.”

In other words, the US is determined to bring these killers to justice. Trump added that, after the rash of violent episodes in recent months, it’s now time for Mexico to address its crime problem.

Trump also appeared to confirm that the family was caught in the crossfire between two feuding drug gangs

Mexico has so far been more than willing to work with the administration on border security. Will it be equally as accommodating when it comes to bringing this group to justice.

* * *

Will this horrific incident finally be enough to convince AMLO that it’s time for Mexico to crack down on armed groups of drug traffickers? In a violent ambush that reportedly took the victims completely by surprise, NBC News reports that nine Americans – a large family of what appear to be Mormon missionaries – were killed during a highway ambush by armed gangsters on Monday. Of the nine Americans killed, six were children, and two were a pair of eight-month-old twins.

There were at least eight survivors from a caravan of families who were traveling in the Mexican border state of Sonora when they were ambushed. A friend of the victims said the family was living in La Mora a the time of the incident,  which is about 75 miles south of the US border.

This family friend named the victims as Christina Marie Langford Johnson, 29, Dawna Langford, 43, Trevor Langford, 11, and Rogan Langford, two-and-a-half. Also slain were Rhonita Miller, 30, Howard Miller, 12, Krystal Miller, 10, and eight-month-old twins, Titus and Tiana Miller. They were all part of a Mormon group living in Mexico, and some were said to be traveling for a wedding.

Another relative of one of the victims, Willie Jessop, a resident of Utah, told reporters that a caravan of several families was traveling together when they were suddenly attacked. Jessop said three of the cars were shot at and one of them was set on fire.

Jessop says he and his family have been trying to mobilize Mexican federal officials to look into the killings. They have also been in contact with the FBI.

“Everyone is in so much shock,” he said. “It’s just unbelievable and there’s just no way to comprehend it.”

Even for a country that’s desensitized to extreme acts of violence, the incidents that have unfolded this year have been a shock for Mexico. Last month, armed thugs forced the government to release the son of “El Chapo”, the former Sinaloa Cartel leader who is now being held in an American Supermax prison.

Local newspapers have described the incident as an “organized crime ambush,” but it’s unclear how exactly these young Mormon families got caught up in something so violent. Some said the attack might have been a case of mistaken identity.

CBS This Morning has more, including video of the aftermath:

This clearly looks like what the media is reporting but there is more to this than meets the eye. This family has a history in Mexico that would suggest this may be a targeted hit.

This seems to be the same family whose patriarch was beaten to death in front of them by cartels 10 years ago. Ahem.. “random”.


Benjamín “Benji” Franklin LeBaron Ray (October 4, 1976 – July 7, 2009) was an anti-crime activist and community leader in a Colonia LeBaron community, Galeana, Chihuahua, Mexico, who had founded the advocacy group SOS Chihuahua (Sociedad Organizada Segura or Secure Organized Society). LeBaron, 32 and a citizen of both Mexico and the United States, was murdered along with his brother-in-law Luis Carlos “Wiso” Widmar Stubbs, 29, on 7 July 2009, by a group of assailants.

After LeBaron’s death, the movement has operated without a single figurehead. Mexico has strict gun control laws but began to train and supervise armed citizen’s patrols among the Chihuahua religious enclaves. This would be an extension of an existing program that trains members of remote Mexican indigenous tribes to man such patrols. SOS Chihuahua’s media contact, Karyn Longhurst of Nuevo Casas Grandes, Chihuahua, said the group desires rapid response to kidnappings (presently the police must await a police report’s being filed), the forfeiture of the assets of convicted kidnappers, mechanisms for reparations to victims, tightening of judicial and sentencing loopholes used by those suspected or convicted of kidnapping, increased prosecutions and punishments for those aiding and abetting kidnapping, including through official corruption

Benjamin was killed on July 7, 2009 by a local drug cartel. Benjamin was captured and beaten by the cartel, which included 10 men, all armed, in front of his family. They terrorized the wife and children and took him outside. When one of his brothers-in-law, Luis Widmar, heard the commotion, he ran to help Benjamin. They were both taken by the cartel and were later found beaten and shot to death outside of town.

Draw your own conclusions.

Trump’s offers of “help” are not going anywhere We all know that. Mexico is a narco state apparently and no Mex politician is going to cross the cartels, especially after the cartels over powered the Mex government a couple weeks ago with El Chapo’s son. Never mind they are likely on the payroll of one cartel or another anyway. The money from the drug biz runs deep on both side of the border.

I have to be that guy that says it . If you go to a place like Mexico lousy with cartel violence, you are partly to blame for whatever happens to you. You aren’t even 100 percent safe in this country. Going to a place like Mexico where large portions are evidently controlled by drug lords is dancing in a mine field.

Now a question will be, how much more cultural enrichment and diversity will the Democrat party keep pushing for? This happens on a bordering country and it is only a matter of time before the violence ramps up and crosses the border while the neo-cons yell “but Israel!” and democrats yell ” but the Kurds!”


The NYPOST has some new info that has taken a turn for the strange.

The nine women and children slaughtered in Mexico on Monday were part of a Mormon community with ties to the alleged sex-cult Nxivm.

see also

Death toll climbs in Mexican cartel shootout as more US citizens ID’d

The outpost Mormon community in Mexico is where underlings of Nxivm leader Keith Raniere recruited young women to work as nannies in an upstate New York compound run by the accused cult — suggesting at least in part that the jobs would get the girls away from their home region’s drug violence, according a man hired by Raniere to produce a documentary about the group.

The three moms and six kids killed in Monday’s violence in the northern town of Sonora are believed to have been the victims of a drug cartel, which may have mistaken the group’s caravan of three SUVs for rivals, Mexican authorities said Tuesday.

The filmmaker working with Raniere at the time, Mark Vicente, told the online magazine Slate  that the documentary ultimately became a recruiting video for Nxivm, which purported to be a self-help group but morphed into what the feds called a cult that sexually, physically and emotionally abused its mainly female followers.

The film included an interview with Julian LeBaron, who identified himself as the cousin of one of the moms killed Monday and who is a leader of the Mexico Mormon community.  LeBaron’s brother was kidnapped by a local drug cartel in 2009, and the family defiantly refused to pay a ransom. The cartel eventually released the abducted man.


The .220 Russian

Back in the 50s’ and 60s the USSR decided to come out with a new round for the running deer competition. This competition was a pretty big deal in the shooting world at that time. Taken seriously enough that some AMU members would compete in it. One even showing up with an M14/optic combo that would help develop the XM21.

The round was intended to be used for medium and small game and to be very accurate. The Russians did what they do and used the 7.62×39 case for this new round.

3.5 g (54 gr) SP2,993.4 ft/s (912.4 m/s)1,074.6 ft⋅lbf (1,457.0 J)

The round turned out to be successful enough that it was used by Finland and ammo was made by Sako and Lapua.

The 220 Russian isn’t heard of much anymore because it gave birth to something that took the case and turned it into something so good that accuracy records would be set with it for years to come. This happened when a couple of Bench Rest shooters named, Pindel and Palmisano decided to neck up the 220 rusisan case to .22 and 6mm, change the shoulder angle and fire form the case walls into the .22PPC & 6MMPPC ( Pindel & Palmisano Cartridge). These two wildcat rounds dominated the BR world for decades and still are. Dozens of variations of these have since spun off in a seemgly endless parade.