Archive for the 'AR-15s' Category



The Case For The 20″-Barreled AR-15

BY Herschel Smith
7 hours, 34 minutes ago

American Rifleman:

First, let’s look at the ballistics. The M16’s 20″ barrel has a 200-f.p.s. advantage over the 14.5″-barreled M4 when shooting M855 ammunition. In my testing, using Federal’s XM855 ammunition, a 20″ barrel recorded about a 150-f.p.s. advantage compared with a 16″ barrel, the common length for civilian carbines. For the carbine, that means about a 5 percent loss in velocity. The muzzle energy difference is about 125 ft.-lbs. or 10 percent.

For reliability and durability data we can look to tests conducted by the U.S. military, which give an edge to the M16 over the M4. The main reason lies in the gas system. The “rifle-length” gas system of a 20″ barrel is 5″ longer than the “carbine-length” gas system used on all 14.5″ and many 16″ M4-style carbines. Due to the drop in pressure over this longer distance, the gas port on a rifle can be larger, which results in a larger volume of lower-pressure gas heading back to the action. The extra length of the gas tube also means the velocity of the gas is slower when it reaches the bolt carrier. This means less force and heat on the working components of a rifle’s action. In contrast, the shorter length of a carbine gas system means the bolt is unlocking sooner, while chamber pressure is higher, which results in more stress on bolt lugs and extractors.

While the contemporary M4-style carbines have evolved into a highly reliable platform, it was a process that was not without its teething problems, a path marked by the necessity of innovations such as mid-length gas systems, extra-power extractor springs, modified feed ramps and H (heavy) buffers. The bottom line is that, for the first three decades of its existence, the M16/AR-15 rifle, and its 5.56×45 mm NATO cartridge, were developed and refined around a 20″ barrel. Anything shorter is a compromise.

[ … ]

Soon after it adopted the M16, the Army saw the need for a bolt-closing device, as the rifle’s nonreciprocating charging handle can only be used to pull the bolt to the rear. The XM16E1 added a forward-assist device on the right rear of the upper receiver, and the design was standardized in 1967 as the M16A1. Stoner was clear in his belief that the forward assist had no place on the AR-15 design.

“The rationale was if the weapon was dirty enough or has sand or dirt or mud or something in it and doesn’t close, the first immediate reaction should be to open the bolt and try to find out the cause of it, and not beat it shut and then find out you’ve got a disaster on your hands,” Stoner pointed out to Ezell.

I’ve never used my forward-assist in any rifle, and I have to believe that use of it in the early stages of use (e.g., Vietnam) was because of inferior parts, teething pains, and lack of attention to the machine.  I’ve also never had a single malfunction, whether FTF, FTE, or anything else, and can say that having shot thousands upon thousands of rounds downrange.  We’ve done much better now with better parts and better builds.

Every gun choice is a compromise, and I happen to think that 18″ is a good compromise, while having a short-barreled carbine is good for CQB.

Schmeisser 60-Round AR-15 Magazine

BY Herschel Smith
5 days, 8 hours ago

I just wish folks would learn to make videos without the head-banger music.

Printed AR-15 Magazine Project

BY Herschel Smith
2 weeks, 1 day ago

At Reddit/Firearms.  It’s well worth the couple of minutes it takes to watch the video.

After all, a magazine is just a box, and boxes can be made with a 3D printer.  Prohibition never works.  Never.

AR-15s Tags:

.350 Legend

BY Herschel Smith
2 weeks, 4 days ago

While perusing this piece on new rifles from the SHOT show (most of which I find far too pricey), I ran across an ammunition type I hadn’t seen before, the .350 Legend.  That’s because it’s brand new.

The 2019 SHOT Show saw the release of the latest cartridge from Winchester—the .350 Legend. The new cartridge is a .223 case blown out to have straight walls, making it a perfectly viable choice for those states which require the use of a straight-walled rifle cartridge for deer hunting. The bullet diameter is listed as .357″, and the rimless design will require the cartridge to headspace off the case mouth.

Winchester is currently offering five different loads for the new cartridge: a 150-grain Deer Season XP at 2350 fps, a 180-grain Power-Point at 2100 fps, a 160-grain Power Max Bonded at 2225 fps, a very affordable 145-grain FMJ in the USA ammo line at 2350 fps, and a Super Suppressed 265-grain load at 1060 fps.

I had the opportunity to shoot the .350 Legend at SHOT Show’s Industry Day at the Range in a Winchester bolt-action rifle, and it was plenty accurate and pleasant on the shoulder. They had the Deer Season XP load and the USA Full Metal Jacket loads on hand; point of impact between the two was so close at 100 yards that a hunter could easily use the much more affordable FMJ ammunition for off-season practice as well as plinking, and switch to the Deer Season XP for hunting. In Winchester’s comparison to the veteran .30-30 Winchester, the .350 Legend shows to have an energy advantage of 120 ft.-lbs., yet delivers less recoil than the old deer classic.

It would appear that the idea is a straight-walled cartridge that isn’t quite the punch in the shoulder that the .450 Bushmaster is, but still with a lot of power.  I confess that I had thought before about the possibility of a carbine chambered for .357 Magnum.  This is a step up.  For the 150-grain bullet they get 2350 FPS, whereas by comparison, for the 300 Blackout at 125-grains, it’s pushing 2215 FPS.  It’s got the 300 BO beat.  They must have partnered with CMMG, because there’s already a gun for it.

CMMG makes nice-looking, well-functioning guns.

The AR Is Not Direct Gas Impingement

BY Herschel Smith
3 weeks, 1 day ago

I think this is fairly well established, and I’m surprised he’s getting any pushback in the comments.  There is this comment though: “Come on…You know as much as I do that the “recoil impulse” you are showing has wayyy more to do with the Center Mass of the bolt being on the center line of the stock on the ar15, and OFF the centerline on all the other rifles!!!”

Not quite.  It has something to do with the recoil impulse being along the axis of the muzzle and the stock, not CoG.  Still, the observations by Tim Harmsen are useful and, in my opinion, correct.

Reddit Discussion Thread About Barrel Twist Rate

BY Herschel Smith
1 month, 2 weeks ago

Reddit/Firearms:

My 7 twist LWRC keyholes 55gr stuff. So I’d say that’s pretty bad for accuracy. Try a box out of your gun, yourself.

Yes, it’s possible to overstabilize bullets.  As I’ve said before, the 1:7 twist rate was designed for a heavier round in order to stabilize the tracer rounds at 63.7 grains.  It’s not optimal for 55-grain rounds.

If people would read the pages of TCJ, they would know things like this.

Pittsburgh Gun Control Plan And AR-15s

BY Herschel Smith
2 months ago

Paul Muschick:

The reaction to my recent column supporting Pittsburgh’s proposed ban on assault weapons, and calling for a similar ban statewide, was predictable.

There was a passionate and often vile backlash from gun owners who cited the Constitution’s Second Amendment and argued it forbids government from interfering with their right to own firearms.

I was called a traitor, a parasitic person, a shoddy hack, a fool, a Marxist, a leftist reporter, a libtard, a dumb $%& liberal and so on.

Several readers said an AR-15 does not meet the definition of an assault rifle, and that any weapon could be an assault weapon.

They raised a point worth a deeper look. There’s no question that any gun, and countless household objects ranging from knives to hammers, can be used to commit assault. So is it fair and accurate to use the term “assault weapon”? Just what does that mean?

Well, as you’d expect on a topic as touchy as firearms, there are multiple definitions. How expansive the definition is, and whether it includes an AR-15, depends on who is doing the defining.

I used the term because the proposed ordinance in Pittsburgh uses it, and that’s what I was writing about.

The legislation proposed in Pittsburgh defines an assault weapon as: “A selective-fire firearm capable of fully automatic, semiautomatic or burst fire at the option of the user or a firearm that has the ability to accept a large capacity magazine.”

The definition lists 36 specific “semiautomatic firearms” including “Colt AR-15.”

You can find the complete definition in the proposed ordinance on Pittsburgh’s website, pittsburghpa.gov. Look under “city info” and then “press releases” for the one titled, “Leaders Forward Package of Common Sense Gun Safety Measures.”

In April, a federal judge upheld Massachusetts’ law, ruling that assault weapons and large-capacity magazines are not protected by the Second Amendment.

“The AR-15 and its analogs, along with large capacity magazines, are simply not weapons within the original meaning of the individual constitutional right to ‘bear arms,’” U.S. District Judge William Young said in his opinion, according to the Associated Press.

Plenty of people disagree with that, so that debate never will end. Neither will the debate over what an assault weapon is, and whether to ban them.

As I said in last week’s column, bans won’t prevent all mass shootings, but they could make them harder to commit and minimize the damage.

I can live with being called a traitor, a hack and a parasite for suggesting that.

The above is just excerpts from the commentary.

It’s a silly law, almost as silly as this commentary.  The formal definition of assault weapon is as follows:

Assault rifles are short, compact, selective-fire weapons that fire a cartridge intermediate in power between submachinegun and rifle cartridges … Assault rifles have mild recoil characteristics and, because of this, are capable of delivering effective full-automatic fire at ranges up to 300 meters.

The law contradicts itself in its very definition, from first calling it a “selective fire” weapon (which by definition excludes semi-automatic firearms), and then rolling in semi-automatic weapons.

But it’s important not to get too wrapped up in definitions because most readers, as do I, believe that citizens should be armed at least as well as the military.  So let’s don’t worry about what we call it.

Paul commits a formal logical fallacy, to wit, he assumes the accuracy of an opinion based on who believes it, or in other words, the genetic fallacy.  Judges in Nazi Germany believed it was right to send Jews and Christians to the gas chambers too.  The fact that a tyrant believes something is no more proof of its righteousness than my dogs opinion.

Moreover, he’s trafficking in myth-making.  The notion that a ban will make shootings “harder to commit” and “minimize the damage” is just something he made up.  There is no proof of this assertion, and criminals will find a way to perpetrate horrible things regardless of the obstacles in their way.  Some of the worst mass casualties in American history as from explosions intentionally done by the perpetrator (consider Andrew Kehoe and the Bath Consolidated School in Michigan in 1927).

Furthermore, we know that one underreported method to obtain weapons illegally is by targeting LEOs, a tactic frequently employed in Brazil.  The notion that only the LEOs will have access to these weapons is patently false.  Only LEOs and criminals will have access.  The use of such weapons for an individual redounds to self defense, something we know has been employed numerous times with semi-automatic weapons and standard capacity magazines.

There is also the false idea pervading these discussions that a bolt action rifle from a standoff location cannot be used to effect the same casualties, something Charles Whitman proved wrong, and something we know to be wrong from the history of warfare.

Before I close, I want to complain about one more thing.  A pet peeve of mine when people use the word “analog” when they really should have used the word “analogue.”  The two words don’t mean the same thing.  So much for the idiot, U.S. District Judge William Young.

For One Colorado Rancher, An AR-15 Is A Tool To Protect His Herd

BY Herschel Smith
2 months ago

KUNC.org:

That day, Scott had laid out some of his guns on the kitchen table. He isn’t sure how many he owns.

“I’d have to count them all,” he said with a chuckle. “Twenty-five to 30 I’m guessing. Just off the top of my head.”

Scott goes through his collection of firearms, some family heirlooms, some purchased, from hunting rifles to handguns, describing how they work and what kind of ammunition they take.

And then, the gun that scares everybody in the world,” Scott said as he unzipped a soft black case. “This is [an] AR-15 … And it’s a semi-automatic … I’m just as proud of that gun or this AR as, say, somebody on the Front Range that owns a GTO or a Mustang, a classic car.”

The AR-15 is a widely owned, semi-automatic rifle.

For many, it has a distinctively threatening look, from the color (black), to its pistol grip. While the AR-15 has been used in recent mass shootings, it accounts for a small percentage of firearm murders.

But when Scott hears people say things like, ‘Why would anybody have one except to kill people?” he has an answer:

“This is our No.1 defense against predators for our cattle,” he explained.

[ … ]

The cows need to be protected from predators, especially during calving season when coyotes and mountain lions are drawn into the barn by the scent of afterbirth.

The AR-15 is what Scott grabs on a winter night when he needs to stop a coyote before it eats one of the cows or newborns.

“For me, it’s the way its held,” he explained. “I’m more accurate with it, especially at night … I can hit coyotes, especially when they’re running.”

JJ prefers a .30-06, a traditional hunting rifle, because, Scott says, it has more “knock-down power.”

“[A] tool. I don’t look at it as a gun-gun,” Scott said. “I know some people are afraid of ’em. Some people are obsessed with them. I myself, I just see ’em as a gun.”

“We use ours more towards protecting our livestock,” he said. “We do hunt as a family and harvest the meat to feed our family, but it’s more like a tool than it is a weapon.”

[ … ]

Scott feels that if his guns were taken away or heavily restricted, his way of life would somehow change. But guns, of course, affect communities in different ways, especially in the context of gun violence.

He agrees that there should be some restrictions on guns to reduce gun violence. Instead of more regulations, he would prefer to “fine tune” existing regulations like background checks.

“The problem that we face as Americans today is too many people have just drawn the line,” said Scott. “They’re 100 percent anti-gun or 100 percent ‘Oh NRA, yeah, yeah, yeah.’ I’m in the middle there. I’m not pro-rally NRA, [though] I am an NRA member. On the other hand, [they’re] saying all guns are bad. And that’s not true.”

I have to say, Scott, that I don’t see you or this author as an ally at all.  First of all, while you have an answer for why you need a semiautomatic rifle, so do I, regardless of the fact that I’m not in the bush protecting my herd.

You see, there are threats wherever you live, some four-legged, some two-legged.  And I am suspecting that the author wouldn’t give me so much credence as [s]he did you.

Next, while you had me with your story about protecting your herd with AR-15s, which I do see as the perfect weapon for this, I’m not with you at all on the need for fine-tuning background checks.

You’re just engaging in myth-making, the same myth-making in which the progressives traffic.  That more scrutiny will make anyone safer.

We have a word for you.  It’s called Fudd.  You and your ilk assist the controllers rather than hinder their plans.  And you will have a target on your back just like all other AR-15 owners, regardless of the fact that you need one to defend your herd.  There will be no exceptions, and increased scrutiny is only the first of many steps they intend to take.

You’ll learn soon enough.

New Jersey Magazine Ban

BY Herschel Smith
2 months ago

Via WiscoDave, this unfortunate view:

A new magazine capacity restriction goes into effect today in New Jersey. The internet is on fire with cries of people, including many gun owners not in New Jersey, criticizing the law as unjust, unconstitutional, meaningless, unfair and worse. What is missing is much real practical advice for New Jersey Gun Owners. What should they do now? What should they do with magazines that have a capacity of over 10 rounds?

Unfortunately, while the law may eventually be found unjust and overturned, today it is the law. Second Amendment Organization is a staunch advocate of Gun Rights, but those rights are defined by our laws. We believe it is imperative that Responsible Gun Owners follow the law. In this case, that means the New Jersey Gun Owners should comply with the law… and fight it! Part of fighting it involved educating people about why these types of laws have little or no effect in regard to saving lives and why people might want or need large capacity magazines in the first place. 2AO is staunchly against magazine capacity restrictions, as stated in this set of Position Statements. Recommending that New Jersey residents comply with the law is not “compromise,” it is accepting the current reality.

Okay Rob, but what happens when it proves impossible to overturn that restriction?  Then what?  What do you answer to God when you’re incapable of properly defending your family because the criminals bust through your front door carrying standard capacity magazines while you have none?  It’s happened, you know.

This is the only amusing thing from this whole abomination.

Former New York City Police Commissioner Bernard Kerik said New Jersey’s newly implemented high capacity magazine ban endangers the lives of officers by also limiting their magazine size when they are off duty.

This week, Breitbart News reported that December 11, 2018, was the effective date for a New Jersey “high capacity” magazine ban that makes it a fourth-degree felony to possess a magazine holding more than ten rounds, even if that magazine was legally acquired.

Kerik is now tweeting a letter from the Bergen County prosecutor that says the ban also applies to off-duty officers …

Of course, he doesn’t answer how the ban can “endanger” the lives of cops while it has no affect on the more ordinary among us.  Nor does anyone say how they are going to enforce this ban.

Then there is also this.

We at 2AO would respect the intention and actions of anyone actually performing true civil disobedience. A group or individual heading to a gun range in New Jersey this afternoon with standard magazines of a capacity greater than 10 rounds and publicly, proudly and overtly using them as a public act of protest, for example. Obviously, those persons would be risking arrest but they would also obviously be following in the footsteps of other great Civil Rights Protesters. Sneakily keeping magazines with a capacity greater than 10 rounds in your home and hoping you never get caught is not Civil Disobedience, it’s just being a criminal.

I think Rob is tilting at windmills and [Sneakily] forcing a distinction without a difference.

David Codrea has thoughts as well.

This Is Why The U.S. Military Uses 5.56mm Ammunition Instead Of 7.62mm Ammunition

BY Herschel Smith
2 months, 1 week ago

We Are The Mighty:

In the wake of World War II, the United States of America commanded over 30,000 overseas bases, marshaled over half of the world’s manufacturing capacity, and owned two thirds of the world’s gold stock. In 1949, the Greatest Generation proposed a strategic solution: The North Atlantic Treaty Organization.

N.A.T.O. was created in response to failing relations between the U.S. and the Soviet Union, especially in the case of the reconstruction of Germany. The countries of Belgium, Canada, Denmark, France, Great Britain, Iceland, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, and Portugal banded together with the United States as its chief architect.

[ … ]

Under the persuasive guidance of the United States, N.A.T.O. slowly standardized armaments best suited for American designs than those resembling the Soviet 7.62mm. Who else could argue the case to finance, produce, and export on a scale to rival the Russians? By the 1980s, the 5.56x45mm was adopted as the standard.

From the sands of the Middle East to the deep jungles of South America, the 5.56mm played an integral role in shaping modern warfare. Decades of proxy wars and economic down turn brought the Soviet Union to its knees. Mikhail Gorbachev, President and leader of the Soviet Union, resigned and declared his office extinct on Dec. 25, 1991.

America had triumphed.

The 5.56mm never got the chance to sing in the halls of the Kremlin, but it was the round that destroyed an empire.

His point is that the 5.56mm can be mass-produced for relatively cheap, and thus mass quantities can be made available.

True enough, what’s so for the U.S. military is so for anyone else.  You can buy more, shoot more, carry more, and store more 5.56mm than you can 7.62mm.

I don’t go a day without seeing another article on how the U.S. military is going to a caseless 6.8mm round and thus the 5.56mm round is dead.  I’ll believe it when I see it.

And rarely is the issue of body armor and the penetration capabilities of the bullet determinative for the outcome of conflicts.

Buy what you want, shoot what you want, and don’t limit yourself to any one cartridge for a all purposes.  And remember: heads and hips.


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