Archive for the 'AR-15s' Category



Jerry Miculek On AR-15 Grip And Stance

BY Herschel Smith
6 days, 2 hours ago

Via John Richardson, here is Jerry Miculek on AR-15 grip and stance.

I always watch and listen carefully to Jerry explain anything.  He is an extremely successful competitive shooter.  However, I have never seen him use (or advocate use of) what I’ve called the “aggressive plates forward” stance.  Jerry puts his left leg forward (almost like a modified Weaver stance).  My son Daniel taught me the aggressive plates forward stance which was and is in common use in the USMC.

Also, I see Jerry using the hand-forward C-clamp grip, although not as exaggerated as Chris Costa uses.

Costa_C_Clamp_Grip

I have also seen Travis Haley use a modified version of this grip.  It appears that this grip technique is in common use among competitive shooters, and sometimes when trying to acquire long range stationary or semi-stationary targets.  But this technique isn’t in common use among the U.S. military.

According to my son Daniel, it’s especially not in use when performing room clearing or other close quarters battle, where raising the weapon with a reflex sight (such as an EOTech) is the most important aspect of target acquisition rather being able to sweep from side to side.

I Don’t Need An Assault Rifle To Shoot A Duck!

BY Herschel Smith
2 weeks, 3 days ago

Raw Story:

Minnesota Rep. Rick Nolan (D) on Wednesday defended his call for gun safety laws by joking that his Republican opponent might need a military-style assault rifle to shoot ducks, but he didn’t.

Following the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre, Nolan had told CBS News that an assault weapons ban was just “common sense.”

Nolan’s opponent, Stewart Mills, and the Minnesota Republican Party have pointed to the statement as evidence that the congressman wanted to limit gun rights.

“Stewart, what I said on CBS Face the Nation was that I don’t need an assault rifle to shoot a duck,” he explained at a debate for Minnesota’s 8th District on Tuesday. “And I don’t. Perhaps you do. Maybe you should spend more time at your shooting range.”

“The fact is, right now, you can only have three shells in your gun when you’re shooting ducks,” Nolan continued.

On Face The Nation, Nolan said:

… an assault weapons ban is “common sense legislation.”  “I’m a hunter. Believe in second amendment rights. But you know what? I don’t need an assault weapon to shoot a duck,” Nolan said. “And I think they ought to be banned, and I think we need to put a ban on the amount of shells you can carry in a magazine, and I think we have to strengthen our background checks.”

So I’m doubting that Mr. Nolan is really an avid hunter like he says.  In fact, given the duck hunting with assault rifles, shells in magazines and so forth, I’m concluding that Nolan doesn’t know what the hell he’s talking about.

Thales Australia On New 5.56 mm Ammunition

BY Herschel Smith
2 months ago

Janes:

Thales Australia has disclosed it is developing a new family of high-lethality small arms ammunition, including a 5.56 mm round that the company says outperforms 7.62 mm ammunition at all ranges.

The so-called F9 technology is scalable in calibre, from 4.6 mm up to .50 calibre, and is being developed in collaboration with an undisclosed overseas partner, Graham Evenden, Thales Australia’s Director of Integrated Soldier Systems, told IHS Jane’s on 20 August.

The initial focus is on 5.56 mm ammunition. Trial batches use a projectile developed by the overseas company, low toxicity, optimised propellant from the Thales-operated Mulwala propellant and explosives plant in southern New South Wales, and cases produced at the Thales-owned Benalla munitions facility in northern Victoria.

The design of the 5.56 round involves yawing in flight (even for boat tail ammunition) such that impact tends to fragment the round leaving multiple ballistic tracks through tissue.  UPDATE: This is a correct and functioning link to the paper entitled Small Caliber Lethality: 5.56 mm Performance In Close Quarter Battle.  Warning, this is a PDF supporter by a very slow server.

Color me unpersuaded until I see test results.  But I’m interested, if someone from Thales Australia wants to contact me and give me more detail.

Confidential Report On Army Carbine Competition

BY Herschel Smith
2 months ago

Washington Times:

A competing rifle outperformed the Army’s favored M4A1 carbine in key firings during a competition last year before the service abruptly called off the tests and stuck with its gun, according to a new confidential report.

The report also says the Army changed the ammunition midstream to a round “tailored” for the M4A1 rifle. It quoted competing companies as saying the switch was unfair because they did not have enough time to fire the new ammo and redesign their rifles before the tests began.

Exactly how the eight challengers — and the M4 — performed in a shootout to replace the M4, a soldier’s most important personal defense, has been shrouded in secrecy.

But an “official use only report” by the Center for Naval Analyses shows that one of the eight unidentified weapons outperformed the M4 on reliability and on the number of rounds fired before the most common type of failures, or stoppages, occurred, according to data obtained by The Washington Times.

[ ... ]

Sen. Tom Coburn, Oklahoma Republican, fought a long battle with the Army to persuade it to look at other carbines. He said Army National Guardsmen back from the wars told him the gun was unreliable and jammed frequently. All of Mr. Coburn’s work crumbled last year when the inspector general essentially sided with the Army by giving it a justification to cancel the Improved Carbine competition.

The probable takeaway from all of this is that the Army is in a sloppy love affair with Colt, and nothing will ever replace it.  Colt lost the contract for M4s almost two years ago, and due to pressure from various lawyers, government entities (GAO) and others, they reopened the bidding and testing process.

Then it closed, with no selection of a new firearm.  You know what I think about H&K (their attitude to customers, “you suck and we hate you“).  I really don’t care much for who won the competition because I think it was badly framed to begin with.

Phase one has had nothing to do with evaluating test prototypes, but instead has focused on weeding out companies that may not have the production capacity to make thousands of weapons per month. This has become a bitter point of contention that has driven away some companies with credible names in the gun business.

“I’m not going to dump half a million to a million dollars for them never to review my rifle,” said Steve Mayer of Rock River Arms, standing amid his racks of M4-style carbines at Shot Show, the massive small-arms show here that draws gun makers from all over the world.

But you, dear reader, can have whatever you want for the right price.  The government doesn’t (yet) have the authority to tell you not to buy a Rock River Arms AR-15, or LaRue Tactical, or whatever you want.

And let’s try to keep it that way.  Weapons are best vetted and tested in the civilian market anyway.  The Army and Marine Corps uses what they’re given.  We have the right to use what we want.  We are the most picky users who give the best feedback.

If some reader wants to pick at this issue until he gets hold of this report, we would all be interested to read it.

Man Uses AR-15 To Stop Home Invasion

BY Herschel Smith
5 months, 2 weeks ago

ABC11:

VANCE COUNTY, N.C. (WTVD) — A homeowner in Vance County opened fire on a man who kicked in his door Monday morning.

It happened about 9:45 a.m. as the homeowner, Jonathan Haith, was sleeping in his home in the 2200 block of Thomas Lane.

“Somebody was you know knocking on the door at 9:15, 9:30 in the morning,” said Haith. “I wanted to roll over and stay in the air conditioning, and I just ignored it.”

When the door knocks lasting 15 minutes were followed by a boom and a thud, Haith grabbed his AR-15 semi-automatic from under his bed and slowly crept into the hallway.

“I peeked around the corner, saw a tall, slender black gentleman standing over me with a pistol,” said Haith.

When the intruder shot at Haith with a 9mm and missed, he fired back. The bullet pierced the suspect’s stomach and shoulder.

“That was my round,” said Haith. “Evidently, it went through his body and struck the wall.”

Pandemonium followed, and the intruder scurried out. An apparent getaway vehicle spun out of Haith’s yard to pick up the intruder, who had collapsed outside of a day care up the street.

By that time, Haith had dialed 911.

“Once-in-a-lifetime incident that I hope doesn’t happen again,” said Haith.

The Vance County Sheriff’s Office hasn’t officially released any details of the incident.

According to Haith, both the driver and the shooter were taken into custody. He says the intruder who he shot was last listed in critical condition at the hospital.

Yea.  Once in a lifetime.  That’s may be what Mr. Stephen Bayezes thought too, but I guess it’s nice to have the accuracy of a rifle combined with the capability of repeat fire when your life is at stake – once in a lifetime or not.

And I thought those awful “military-style” weapons had no place in the home?

AR Rifles Gain Popularity Among Modern Hunters

BY Herschel Smith
6 months ago

D.S. Pledger:

Traditionalists still might scratch their heads when they see a deer hunter toting an AR-style rifle, but it’s a sight that is becoming more prevalent each fall. I’ll admit to being a little put off by those black rifles initially. In fact, I believe I wrote a column a number of years ago questioning why in the world anyone would use a military-style rifle for any kind of hunting. Times have changed, though. Today they’re becoming mainstream—and for a lot of sound reasons.

Here’s are the facts.  All weapons are “military-style” weapons.  Scoped, bolt action rifles are still used by designated marksmen and military snipers today.  Revolvers were used up through World War II by officers.  1911 pistols are in use today, and in fact the U.S. Marine Corps recently issued a brand new contract for 1911s.  Shotguns were used for room clearing operations in Iraq and Afghanistan, and on and on the list goes.

It’s stupid to object to the civilian ownership of “military-style” weapons, and it always has been stupid.  Every weapon can and has been used by the military for different functions.  Eugene Stoner – God bless him, genius and great man that he was (you guys know what I think about him) – gave us a wonderful shooting platform.  It’s his platform that has evolved and given us so much in the way of a good, reliable, well-functioning, and precise machine.  As an engineer, I admire precision machinery.

But I’m nothing if not agreeable.  I appreciate the honesty and sincerity expressed by Pledger.  This is different than a gun writer who authors articles and reviews for decades observing the subtle changes, sees the encroachment on our rights, and then pens an article that could have been written by the Brady Campaign.  I think y’all know who I’m talking about.  Pledger is moving in the right direction.

I Registered My AR-15

BY Herschel Smith
6 months, 1 week ago

Bob Lonsberry:

Well, Andy, with a handful of minutes to spare, I have complied with your law.

Your hateful, unconstitutional affront to my rights.

After a year of thinking it over, of going back and forth, of deciding where duty and honor called me to be, this is where I am.

I am ashamed to say that fear was one of the factors in my decision. I am a public person, it is well known that I own an AR-15. I wrote a newspaper column about it when I bought it 20 years ago. I have talked about it on the radio, on television and in web broadcasts ever since.

Further, I’ve got a Democrat district attorney – whose election I opposed – and half the cops in town hate me. So if I don’t register today, there’s a good chance I get arrested tomorrow.

And with five kids still at home, I can’t afford to be the test case.

I’d be a felon, I’d lose my job, I’d lose my house, I’d lose my right to vote and own guns.

And you’d win.

But it wasn’t just fear.

It was also something Abraham Lincoln said once, and something I said once.

Not that you would know, care or understand, but long ago Abraham Lincoln said that obedience to law was the American religion, that it should be taught to babies on their mothers’ knees, that it was the duty of every free man.

He said that unjust and immoral laws should be fought but obeyed. He said that citizens of a Republic cannot pick and choose the laws to which they are obedient. He said they must never tolerate unjust and immoral law, but they must tear them down through constitutional and lawful means.

That’s what Lincoln said.

What I said was that I would uphold and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic – and that I would “bear true faith and allegiance to the same.”

I swore a lifetime oath when I enlisted in the armed forces of the United States to defend the Constitution and to live it.

And part of the dilemma of your hateful Safe Act is that it is on both sides of the constitutional line. It violates the Second Amendment, but operates within the structure of legislation and judicial review. I reject it, but I do not yet want to reject the system which produced it and which has yet to nullify it.

So conscience has me here.

But conscience will let me go no further.

You may be emboldened by your victory in this matter, you may be confident of taking control of the state Senate in the fall, but you should be aware you have pushed things as far as they can be pushed.

If you back a dog into a corner, at some point it bites, and if you listen carefully across this state you can hear a growl.

There were alternatives to registering my AR-15, but none of them were acceptable to me. I could sell it, but then I wouldn’t have it. I could modify it, but then I would lose the functionality I sought when I bought the gun. I could give it to relatives out of state, but then it wouldn’t be very useful to me when I needed it in a fight.

Which is why I bought my AR-15.

It is a fighting gun. It is, in fact, an assault rifle. I bought it for its intended purpose – near- and medium-range combat.

It is not for hunting, I have guns that do that better. It is not for target shooting, again, I have guns that do that better. It is a not a hobby implement or a status symbol, it is a tool of battle.

And though it’s been a long time since the Army qualified me Expert on this weapon, I think I still get the general idea. And I still want it close at hand.

And if I have to tell you the serial number to do that, at this stage I’m willing to comply. You’ve had the serial numbers of my pistols for a quarter century – another unconstitutional intrusion – and I’ve gotten by. Until freedom truly rings in this country, and a real civil rights movement advances all freedoms, I’ll bow to your power.

But recognize that this is the end.

The fear is that registration leads to confiscation. We shouldn’t fear the consequences of that, Andy, you should. Because when you come for the guns it won’t be the Capitol in the dark of the night, it will be Lexington green in the full light of day. We won’t think of Abraham Lincoln, we’ll think of Charlton Heston.

So we’re clear, Andy, the next step is cold, dead hands.

You ought to pull your head out of your arse long enough to recognize that if you turn up the heat under the pressure cooker it’s apt to blow.

Your arrogance and ignorance have left you blind to the culture and values of the vast majority of your state. You have no idea who we are or what we believe in. All you know to do is to mock us and demean us. Across most of upstate, we don’t have a governor, we have an overseer. You don’t give a damn about us, and the feeling has turned out mutual.

Simply put, we hate you back, Andy.

Me more than most.

My family had been in upstate more than a hundred years when your folks got to Ellis Island, and we’d been downstate some 200 years before that. It doesn’t seem plausible you’re in a position to tell us what New Yorkers value, feel or believe, or to force chains on us our ancestors fought to remove.

And, to be honest, your privileged life doesn’t quite qualify you to expound on American freedoms. I don’t believe you are a veteran, and I don’t believe any blood member of your family has ever served in the U.S. military.

That doesn’t mean anything, of course, unless you happen to be a veteran, in which case it means everything.

You are a tyrant, sir, and you have lost the affection and confidence of people like me.

Which I’m sure means nothing to you.

But you whipped us down on this one. I’ve registered my AR-15. The dog is cowering.

But if you listen you can hear the growl.

And you may yet feel the fang.

I apologize for pasting the entire article, but occasionally my readers don’t go to the links I provide.  In this case you need to read his entire justification for registering his rifle, and I figure that I’ll give him more traffic than he would get at this forum anyway.  Visit his web site and comment using Facebook.

This is an odd commentary, and Bob is clearly conflicted.  He draws his line in the sand, but one gets the feeling that another line has already been crossed, and he backed away from the line.

Bob calls the law an unconstitutional intrusion, which means both that the laws are immoral and lack any compelling justification.  But listen to his reason for acquiescing.

Abraham Lincoln said that obedience to law was the American religion, that it should be taught to babies on their mothers’ knees, that it was the duty of every free man.

He said that unjust and immoral laws should be fought but obeyed. He said that citizens of a Republic cannot pick and choose the laws to which they are obedient. He said they must never tolerate unjust and immoral law, but they must tear them down through constitutional and lawful means.

This is presumably the same Abraham Lincoln who suspended writ of habeas corpus and violated other civil rights, but at any rate, Bob has at the same time called the law immoral and an unconstitutional intrusion (meaning that the law-makers had no legal right to do what they did), and also implied that the recent SAFE act of New York was moral, since Lincoln himself said that we must never tolerate immoral law and Bob is willing to tolerate the SAFE act.

If obedience to the law regardless of its moral justification is the American religion, then the war for independence never really happened.  But we know that it did, and we know that a nation which has such a public religion is doomed.  And a man who can utter such things is in similar jeopardy.

And it will be a cold day in hell before I register my AR-15.

Stroking Your AR-15 In Erotic Fashion

BY Herschel Smith
6 months, 3 weeks ago

The Raw Story:

It is a sad fact of life that, in this world that the NRA has made, nothing brings out the hot gun lovin’ like a tragic shooting that happens to someone else at a good safe distance.

In the wake of the Sandy Hook shooting, while most American parents were pulling their kids a little bit closer and holding them a little bit tighter, NRA gun nuts reached for the closest AR-15 at hand, and stroked the barrel in an almost erotic fashion while softly murmuring, “Don’t worry baby, I’ll take care of you. Nobody will ever come between us.  I love you.”

Then this writer shows his disapproval for Pat Dollard (I like Pat), Katie Pavlich and Dana Loesch.  Then he gets all effeminate and offended over having his twitter posts blocked.  Goodness.  It got too emotional for me and I had to stop reading.  But I just have one question for this idiot writer.  Who’s he accusing of softly murmuring?

Home Invasion With AR-15, So Why Can’t Law Abiding Citizens Have Them?

BY Herschel Smith
7 months, 2 weeks ago

Southwest Florida Online:

On March 9, 2014 at approximately 22 :29 hours a home invasion robbery took place at 3306 SE 26th St., at the time of the home invasion robbery the residence was occupied by 5 people.

According to accounts of the incident from the occupants of the residence there was a knock on the door. When the door opened three males entered the residence. Two of the males that entered the residence were armed one with a Shotgun and the other with an ARl5 style weapon-

The occupants were order to lay face down on the ground by the gunmen and to remove all their personal belongings from their pockets. Several of the occupants were able to identify one of the gunmen as Timothy Deshon Williams.

The witnesses who identified Timothy have all personally known him from 8 to 14 years. According to witnesses accounts Timothy was carrying the AR 15 Style weapon. Shortly after entering the residence and ordering the occupants to lay face down Timothy shot Leon Anthony Cotton in the right: leg with the ARl5 because he would not get on the ground as instructed.

As a result of the gunshot Leon suffered a broken right femur and has required surgeries to treat and repair his leg.

He’s fortunate to get away with a broken femur.  I don’t answer the door without a firearm, especially in the unlikely event that someone knocks after dark.  These folks should have been armed.

Isn’t it ironic though.  In Connecticut and New York, the bullies in charge would want us to be left comparatively defenseless in the face of such home invasions.  So if the criminals can use them, then why not me?

Hating On The M4 And AR-15

BY Herschel Smith
8 months ago

Rowan Scarborough of The Washington Times has written a lengthy piece on the battle of Wanat (or Want), that I covered in so much detail.  Hating on the M4 plays a prominent role in the article.  Part 1 is here, while part 2 is here.  A sampling of quotes follows.

The warrant officer said he and fellow Special Forces soldiers have a trick to maintain the M4A1 — the commando version: They break the rules and buy off-the-shelf triggers and other components and overhaul the weapon themselves.

“The reliability is not there,” Warrant Officer Kramer said of the standard-issue model. “I would prefer to use something else. If I could grab something else, I would” …

In 2002, an internal report from the Army’s Picatinny Arsenal in New Jersey said the M4A1 was prone to overheating and “catastrophic barrel failure,” according to a copy obtained by The Times …

A former Army historian who chronicled the infamous Battle of Wanat in Afghanistan, where nine U.S. soldiers died after their M4 carbines jammed, tells The Washington Times that his official account was altered by higher-ups to absolve the weapons and senior officers …

But the gun’s supporters have pointed to a single sentence in the official Wanat history issued in 2010 by the Army’s Combat Studies Institute at Fort Leavenworth, Kan. It blamed the gun’s sustained rapid fire that day, not its design, for the malfunctions.

“This, not weapons maintenance deficiencies or inherent weaknesses in weapons design, was the reason a number of weapons jammed during the battle,” the sentence read.

Higher-ups inside Army command edited that sentence into the history, the report’s author says.

“That was not my conclusion,” said Douglas R. Cubbison, a former Army artillery officer and principal Wanat history author. “That was the Combat Studies Institute management that was driven from the chief of staff’s office to modify findings of that report to basically CYA [cover your ass] for the Army. You know how that works.

“Other soldiers have informally told me of similar problems they had with the M4 at high rates of fire,” said Mr. Cubbison, who is now curator of the Wyoming Veterans Memorial Museum …

Higher-ups made other changes, such as removing much of the historian’s criticism of senior officers for not better preparing the outpost for an attack.

I have a copy of the (I believe unedited version) Cubbison report.  I agreed not to divulge the contents of the report except to comment on the content (rather than reproduce the content).

There were indeed many problems associated with Wanat, such as ensconcing a unit too small to defend the location, Taliban massing of forces (to approximately a Battalion size force), something I had tracked and discussed at length.  There was also the lack of logistical support, lack of (or untimely) CAS, lack of heavier weaponry, and delay of more than one year in setting up the FOB, allowing the enemy to make careful plans for his attack.

I scoured my e-mail thinking that I had exchanged mail with Mr. Cubbison, but I couldn’t find any.  In any case, I found Cubbison’s writing to be clear, well crafted, and well researched.  He is a good historian.  But on the issue of the M4 I disagree with Mr. Cubbison (although I will stipulated that it is extremely bad form to change the prose of another author just because it is uncomfortable to read it).

I’ve heard it all before, this idea that the gas-operated rotating bolt system allows the AK to cool better than the direct impingement system that Eugene Stoner designed.  This isn’t the whole story.  The AK-47 is also a less accurate design, is prone to malfunctions in the field (according to first hand reports I trust), is heavier and fires heavier ammunition, and as one crusty old Marine general said, plenty of Marines have survived a shot by 7.62 X 39.

Any weapon system has its advantages and disadvantages.  Give Soldiers an M14 and they will complain that it’s too heavy (like they did in the jungles of Vietnam).  They will complain that its ammunition is too heavy and they can’t carry as much (and they will be right, considering that kit is now around 80 pounds without ruck, 120-130 pounds for a couple of nights out in the field).

Does this mean that they shouldn’t carry an M14, Remington 700 or Winchester Model 70 for long range shooting?  No.  Should a DM (designated marksman) with the unit be prepared to shoot DM rifles?  Yes.

But shooting uphill should also be taught at the ranges (the report correctly notes the difficulties associated with being in a valley), and fire control should be taught and emphasized for a multitude of reasons.  As my son put it to me, “shooting 500 rounds in 30 minutes means that you’re shooting at everything, and at nothing.  And it also means that you’re making yourself a target.”

Compare the high rate of fire with one lesson learned from this Marine Corps engagement in Afghanistan when faced with massing of troops.

Fire Discipline: Engagements have lasted from two to forty hours of sustained combat.  Marines must be careful to conserve rounds because there may not be any way to replenish their ammunition and it is not practical or recommended to carry an excessive number of magazines.  Marines took a few moments to apply the fundamentals of marksmanship and this greatly improved the ratio of shots fired to enemy fighters killed.  Crew Served Weapons do not always need to be fired at the rapid rate.  Good application of shoulder pressure will tighten beaten zones and lead to effective suppression. Talking guns will help conserve ammunition.

Finally, Travis Haley has shown what can be accomplished with precision fire using a scoped AR-15 with a 20″ barrel.

The Eugene Stoner design is well-suited for CQB and up to 400 meters, firing with low recoil (thus allowing quick target reacquisition), and carrying large quantities of ammunition.  It is also known for the projectile’s yaw in flight and significant tissue damage.

Ridiculous counterinsurgency strategy and stupid flag and staff officers are responsible for the failures at Wanat.  Cubbison’s study is correct about that.  But the M4 (and AR-15) still stands out as a superior weapon system for all but extreme distance shooting.

As one last comment (and this one is perhaps the most interesting to me), take note of the post date of my article on Cubbison (it was four and a half years ago).  The Washington Times is just now getting around to writing about this, or perhaps just learning about the Cubbison study.

Main stream media really should pay more attention to blogs.  It makes them look very out of touch and slow to respond when they are so unaware of things going on with their competitors.


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