Archive for the 'AR-15s' Category



The Reliability Of The Eugene Stoner Design

BY Herschel Smith
6 days, 20 hours ago

BBC:

Things were just starting to improve when the firm was hit by Western sanctions.

With Russian military stores full of the famously durable Kalashnikovs, and dwindling orders from abroad, the company had turned its attention to civilian firearms markets.

In January it finally secured a foothold in the biggest of them, sealing a lucrative deal to supply up to 200,000 rifles a year in the US.

But in July, Kalashnikov was placed on a US list of eight arms manufacturers sanctioned for Russia’s role in fomenting the crisis in Ukraine. The deal was halted with under half the initial order delivered. It was added to an EU list in September.

“Of course I was upset, because I didn’t understand why we’d been sanctioned,” Kalashnikov director Alexei Krivoruchko told the BBC, arguing that the firm was no longer wholly state-owned since he and another Russian businessman had invested in a 49% stake.

Also, he points out, it primarily produces firearms for the civilian market.

“The US was a key market for us, one that we planned to develop,” Mr Krivoruchko says. “It’s a big loss, there’s no point saying otherwise.”

There are now some 200 models of Kalashnikov, still produced at the original factory in Izhevsk, two hours’ flight east of Moscow.

So let me explain it to you Mr. Krivoruchko.  Your government did indeed foment big trouble in the Ukraine, but that has nothing to do with the sanctions.  You see, you’re a Russian capitalist businessman, while our President, Mr. Obama, is an American communist and doesn’t want his people to have guns.  Do you understand now?

Readers have known for a long time that I am no fan of the Kalashnikov design.  I hate to hear and feel the clank … clank … clank … rattle … rattle … rattle … when I shoot an AK.  And I don’t like to miss.  But it’s much more reliable than the Eugene Stoner design, you say.  Wrong.  I know all about the presumed failures of the M4 at Wanat and Kamdesh, and I still claim (like I did at the time) that the failure there had to do with ensconcing too small a force without good force protection, control over the terrain, good air support, and a clear mission.

I have never had a single failure with my AR-15, and for those of you still unconvinced, Uncle sends us to Gun Nuts Media, who gives us this.

KAC SR-15 MOD2 Sand Dump Test AFTER 15,000 rounds without cleaning… from Ballistic Radio on Vimeo.

And thus we speak the name of Eugene Stoner with hushed reverence around these parts.  And if you own an AR-15, it’s likely that you’re much happier with your rifle than German Soldiers are with the H&K G36.  Then again, you know how I feel about H&K.

Opinions On Single Point Slings

BY Herschel Smith
2 weeks, 6 days ago

Mountain Guerrilla:

Single-points have been popular for a long time, and I’ve been a fan. I ran one for a long time. I think the biggest selling point for single-point slings, for most people, is the cool-guy CDI (chicks dig it) factor. Guys see Chris Costa, or Travis Haley, or Kyle Defoor running them, and want one. The reality is, I HATE single-point slings. Every time I drop the gun, whether to transition to my sidearm (doesn’t happen nearly as often as a lot of training courses make it seem like does), or to go hands-on with someone, the f****** rifle nails me in the nuts.

Kyle Lamb, American Rifleman, December 2014:

A general-purpose AR just isn’t complete without a sling.  If you plan to carry a rifle or stabilize it while shooting, you must have a sling.  I use a quick-adjust, two-point type, the VTAC sling.  It allows the user to carry the carbine muzzle down as well as quickly cinch the rifle tight to his chest or loosen it for shooting or transitioning.  The sling can be slightly tightened while building a shooting position to greatly increase stability.  If you choose to use a single-point or three-point sling you will lose the ability to also have the built-in shooting aid.  The single-point lets the rifle dangle, merely there in case you have to transition to your side arm.  I find that less-secure configuration may also allow it to crack you in the family jewels or on the knees, depending on the adjustment.

My son Daniel and the rest of his company threw away or modified the mandated MC-issue three point slings to make them whatever the Marine wanted (even braiding 550 cord to make their own slings), in most cases a single point sling.  At the time they were preparing for Fallujah and a lot of CQB and room clearing, and needed the ability to raise the weapon and engage the sight picture via a “reflex sight” very quickly and efficiently.  Up and down and side to side and use of hands was very important.

The NRA claims the AR-15 is not a military weapon. Nonsense!

BY Herschel Smith
1 month, 1 week ago

News and views from the North:

The Second Amendment had been obsolete and inconsequential for more than a century. But in the last half a century, the Second Amendment is viewed as a sacrosanct document by the National Rifle Association leaders and gun advocates. Many regard it as their 11th Commandment.

[ ... ]

The NRA leadership say it does not tolerate “infringing.” However, the federal government in the 1930s, passed the National Firearms acts with the assistance of ( hard to believe) the NRA. These laws “infringed” upon the Second Amendment and the right of the people to have submachine and military type arms. Who is to decide what are military guns — the NRA or the U.S. government? The NRA claims the AR-15 is not a military weapon. Nonsense!

We must step back, and realize that we are quite fortunate that our rights are being “infringed” upon. What kind of world would it be if we did not have laws to control our right to travel, to drive a car, to drink liquor, or smoke tobacco, or the right of freedom of speech in a crowded theater?

Gun rights also need to be “infringed.” It’s hard to find one right that isn’t. We want and need our rights to be infringed for the security and safety of ourselves and our children.

The writer is a resident of Sandy Hook who apparently wants his freedoms to be curtailed, and since he must endure this for the sake of his sense of security, he wants you to endure it too.

I agree with him.  It’s ridiculous to define the AR-15 in such a way as to conclude it’s not a military weapon, if only they would give us selective fire capabilities, huh?  But as for what defines a military weapon, he wants to know who gets to decide?  Well, I can answer that question so that we won’t sit around and squabble over trivialities.  I get to decide.  Anything that has ever been or could ever be used in the course of fighting is a military weapon.  That means bolt action guns (the Army and Marine Corps still use bolties for sniping), shotguns (the Marine Corps used shotguns for room clearing in Now Zad, Afghanistan), cross bows, long bows, clubs, knives, handguns of all sorts (and I hate that I can’t find any examples of revolvers used recently in OIF and OEF, but I do like me some good revolvers), slingshots, and fists.

As for the fact that some kids were shot at Sandy Hook, that’s really too bad.  I didn’t perpetrate the crime, and I am in no way responsible.  If you want to move to a place that’s even more controlling than the U.S., I would suggest China.  I don’t know how long that will last.

Jerry Miculek On AR-15 Grip And Stance

BY Herschel Smith
1 month, 4 weeks 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 months, 1 week 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
3 months, 3 weeks 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
3 months, 4 weeks 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
7 months, 1 week 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
7 months, 3 weeks 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
8 months 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.


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