Archive for the 'AR-15s' Category



5.56X45 Ammunition In The News

BY Herschel Smith
1 week, 4 days ago

Shooting Illustrated:

The simplest, yet most important, difference between the two cartridges is their respective pressure limits. The .223 Rem. cartridge is held to a lower pressure than 5.56 NATO. Some of the testing methods to determine these actual pressures can be confusing, as both cartridges have been tested by the ballistic authorities (read CIP and SAAMI) in the same 5.56 mm chamber, and the resulting data will appear to be nearly equal. However, because of the dimensional variations in the distance between the case mouth and the beginning of the rifling, trying to fire 5.56 NATO ammunition in a .223 Rem. chamber is, simply put, just a bad idea.

The reverse is not true. It is, and always will be, safe to shoot .223 Rem. ammunition in a chamber marked for 5.56 NATO. Commit that idea to memory, and you’ll never get in trouble. The pressures that a 5.56 NATO cartridge can generate are too high for the .223 Rem. chamber, and that is based primarily on the leade dimensions. If you feel that the ability to shoot 5.56 NATO ammunition out of your .223 Rem.-chambered rifle is paramount, take that rifle to a competent gunsmith to have the chamber reamed out to handle 5.56 NATO ammunition.

That chamber dimension for the 5.56 NATO is, in fact, slightly larger than the chamber for the .223 Rem.—in order to have the smoothest feeding and ejection, even with a dirty weapon, to best serve as a battlefield implement—but it is the leade dimension that makes the biggest difference. Leade is defined as the area from the bullet’s resting place before firing to the point where the rifling is engaged. The shorter the leade dimension, the faster the bullet will engage the rifling, and the faster the pressures can rise to a dangerous level.

The most interesting thing about the article is that there is a throw-down in the comments over whether the author is perpetuating the alleged “myth” that 5.56mm cases have thicker walls and therefore less volume, leading to the higher pressure.

John Farnam at Ammoland:

After decades of piously assuring us the 5.56×45 round was “adequate” for military purposes, despite mounting complaints (unsatisfactory range and penetration), dating back to Vietnam, the Pentagon has apparently finally changed its mind.

In spite of a dreary series of failed “wonder bullets” that have, every few years, come forth to “upgrade” the 5.56 round, faith that the 5.56 can ever be “adequate” is fading!

Just as the Marines are buying the HK 416 (M27), a gas-piston AR (in 5.56×45 caliber), to replace aging M4s, Congress and the Army are putting the breaks on that project.

After fifty years of pointless hope that the 5.56×45 round might really be “adequate,” a new, bigger military caliber may now be about to make its debut!

When the AR (in 5.56×45 caliber) first reared its head, and garnered the attention of then Secretary of Defense McNamara, it was slated to gradually replace only the M1 Carbine, never the M1 Garand, later the short-lived M14.

The M1 Carbine, manufactured by the millions during WWII, was originally intended only for rear-area defense and police actions. It was never intended to be a front-line, battle rifle, although it eventually found its way into every corner of the campaign during WWII and Korea.

When I was in Vietnam in 1968, M1 Carbines were still around in large numbers. I saw (and used) plenty of them.

Yet, the AR (in 5.56×45 caliber) somehow eventually became the main, battle rifle of all US Forces, and remains in that status to this day. This, despite continuous misgivings about its adequacy that have been desperately voiced since Vietnam.

Up until now, the Pentagon as assured us that these qualms about adequacy were all in our imaginations!

That is apparently about to change.

Of course, the Pentagon will never admit they’ve been wrong all this time. They’ll simply say “It’s time to move on.”

It was time to move on fifty years ago!

You can color me unimpressed with John’s analysis.  First of all, nothing is going to change because Amerika is flat broke and printing money like there’s no tomorrow.

Second, the only real need for caseless ammunition is so that women can be sent into combat.

Third, there is nothing wrong with the 5.56mmX45.  That’s the real myth here.

The 5.56mm round has killed scores of enemy fighters (hundreds of thousands, perhaps millions) in Vietnam, Africa, Iraq, Afghanistan and South America.  It doesn’t need to be replaced, and it did just fine for my son in Iraq.

There are exceptions, of course.  He once told me of a time when he had to shoot an insurgent with a nine-round burst from his SAW, only to see the fighter keep coming at him.  It took a grenade to stop him.  He also told me that he and other Marines had to continue the fight with insurgents (foreign fighters) who had lost limbs and continued to shoot or fist fight.

Those kinds of fighters are ideologically motivated and doped up on epinephrine and morphine.  They tested them and learned that information after the fact.  It would take a .50 Sasser to bring someone like that down with one shot.

The better option is to teach Soldiers to shoot, uphill and down, at distance, and supplement their ranks with a designated marksman who shoots something larger than the 5.56mm or employ a crew served weapon.  Each weapon system has its purpose, and there isn’t a do-everything gun.  If anyone tells you that, he’s lying.

On the other hand, if they do actually replace the 5.56X45, I’ll just grin and nod and say, “Good.  That’s just more for me.”

AR-15 Cleaning And Maintenance

BY Herschel Smith
2 weeks, 1 day ago

Shooting Illustrated:

I clean my AR-15 gas systems approximately every 1,000 rounds. Direct-impingement gas tubes are easily maintained by inserting a long [purpose-made] pipe cleaner wet with solvent into the tube, then following it up with a fresh pipe cleaner. The portion that extends through the upper receiver is easily cleaned with a couple cotton swabs. Carbon build-up on the inner surface of adjustable gas-block screws can be cleaned off with a wire brush after removing the screw(s). Operating-rod systems with removable gas regulators also benefit from occasional removal of carbon deposits. Follow the manufacturers’ instructions for cleaning them, as they tend to be unique. If your AR-15 has an operating rod that moves through a bushing in the upper receiver, a bit of lubrication on the rod where it passes through the bushing helps to prevent binding.

I guess I haven’t thought much about cleaning the gas system of my guns.  I guess I need to.

Lake County Deputy Shoots Alligator With AR-15, Freeing Girl Trapped In Tree

BY Herschel Smith
1 month, 2 weeks ago

Orlando Sentinel:

With a single shot from his AR-15 rifle, a Lake County deputy sheriff quickly put an end to a large alligator that had a teenage girl trapped in a tree for nearly an hour, authorities said Monday.

Jordan Broderick, 15, was eventually able to climb safely down from the tree, according to a sheriff’s report.

Just after 3 p.m. Friday, the Sheriff’s Office received calls from Michael Henderson of Titusville and other family members, saying that his daughter couldn’t come down from a tree near a boat ramp because a 10-foot alligator sat at the base of the tree hissing at her for more than 30 minutes, the report said.

“My daughter’s stuck in a frickin’ tree and there’s gators surrounding her!” the teenager’s mother said frantically to a 911 operator. “Oh my God! Please hurry! Please hurry!”

Jordan was floating on a raft in the creek near Forest Service Road near Alexandria Springs park when the alligator quickly approached her, authorities said.

That’s when the girl grabbed a large branch hanging over the water and climbed into the tree, according to the report. The alligator then waited in the water at the base of the tree underneath the girl hanging from the branch.

When Deputy Mitch Blackmon arrived, he found the girl in the tree screaming that she was tired from hanging on to the branch, the report said.

“My presence failed to scare the alligator away, and it began encroaching on my area at which time I fired one single 223 round from my Bushmaster AR15 killing the alligator,” Blackmon wrote in his report.

The alligator sank into the water and did not reappear, the report said. A Lake County marine biologist confirmed the alligator had died, according to authorities.

Wait!  I thought the 5.56mm round was worthless (he calls his ammo .223, little difference if he’s correct)?  I thought it was good for nothing except inflicting mass innocent casualties?  I thought no one needed such a thing?

Followup thoughts: I hate to jump on Mr. Michael Henderson after a traumatic event like this one, but where is your AR-15, sir?  What kind of man says this? [My] “daughter couldn’t come down from a tree near a boat ramp because a 10-foot alligator sat at the base of the tree hissing at her for more than 30 minutes.”

No offense, but head to the nearest gun store and spend a little money.

Long Range AR Caliber Options

BY Herschel Smith
2 months ago

Ammoland:

The Valkyrie takes standard .224-inch diameter bullets just like the .223 Remington but handles higher weights. Common loads among those released so far range between 60 and 90-grains, and 90 is the most common so far. Like the 6.5m Creedmoor, the bullets are by definition long for their weight, so the .224 Valkyrie also carries velocity downrange much more efficiently than .223 Remington alternatives. Let’s consider some examples.

[ … ]

A similar phenomenon happens with the .224 Valkyrie. When comparing to the common “long range” version of a .223 Remington cartridge, the 77-grain bullets, it carries velocity down range more efficiently. A Federal Premium .223 Remington loaded with a 77-grain Sierra MatchKing leaves the muzzle at 2,720 feet per second. At 500 yards, it’s still zipping along at 1,674 feet per second. At 1,000 yards, it’s gone subsonic to 1,056 feet per second. The Federal Premium 90-grain .224 Valkyrie has a muzzle velocity of 2,700 fps. At 500 yards, it’s still cooking at 1,994 fps and carries 1,422 fps at 1,000 yards. Depending on your altitude and other conditions, it can remain supersonic past 1,300 yards.

The ability to “lose less speed over distance” is what makes the 6.5mm Creedmoor and .224 Valkyrie perform well at long range.

Tom McHale likes both the 6.5 Creedmoor and the .224 Valkyrie.

I’ll also comment that after making some rather cryptic remarks about the 6.5 Grendel several weeks ago, I’ve both looked out for good, well-reviewed 6.5 Grendel guns, as well as the availability of 6.5 Grendel ammunition.

There aren’t a lot of guns out there, and the ones that manufacturers do make are quite pricey if the barrel is any good.  There are .224 Valkyrie guns everywhere, some for quite good prices.  I’ve also see a fairly good bit of .224 Valkyrie ammunition in stores and online, but absolutely no 6.5 Grendel in local stores.  Not a single box in any gun store, Cabela’s, or anywhere else.

The .224 Valkyrie sends a 90-gr bullet down range as fast as the 6.5 Grendel 90-gr round, and it seems to hold its velocity better at distance.  If so, then the 6.5 Grendel probably won’t ever be anything more than a “wildcat” round and the Valkyrie will become more popular.

M4 Mid-Length Gas System Better And More Reliable Than Carbine-Length Gas System

BY Herschel Smith
2 months, 2 weeks ago

Military Times:

Using a mid-length gas system on an M4A1 carbine extends the life of the weapon system and increases the weapon’s performance over a carbine-length gas system, according to a detailed study by Naval Surface Warfare Center — Crane, obtained by Military Times through a Freedom of Information Act request.

The Navy’s Crane center is responsible for testing, evaluating, procuring and managing the life-cycle of U.S. special operations forces’ weapon systems. So, naturally, they tested the mid-length gas system on M4A1 carbines at the behest of Army Special Operations Command.

This study may not come as a complete shock to civilian shooting aficionados and U.S. special operations forces who customize their M4 variants, but it does offer data to back up what those communities have believed for some time.

For the uninitiated, the crux of the issue comes down to when the M4 carbine first replaced the M16 rifle.

In developing the M4, the M16’s gas system was redesigned, according to Crane. The M16 uses a 20-inch barrel and gas system, but the M4 designs were crunched down to fit a 14.5-inch barrel.

Because of the shorter barrel, the gas port was moved down and the dwell distance — the delay between where the bullet passes the gas tube hole to the point where the bullet exits the barrel — decreased.

That decrease in distance from bolt face to gas port on the M4 resulted in an increased port pressure compared to the M16 of the past.

The M4’s port pressure measured at 17,000 psi, while the M16’s was at 10,000 psi.

Many civilian clones of the M4 utilize longer barrels, but also place mid-length gas systems on their custom-built designs. This customization increases the distance from bolt face to gas port than what would be normal on a standard issue M4.

Crane — located in rural Indiana — switched the carbine length gas system on the M4’s 14.5-inch barrel and upper receiver group with the mid-length gas system. Then the study cohort shot 12,600 rounds of M855A1 5.56mm through both designs for comparison testing.

The mid-length gas systems experienced a total of 30 malfunctions, while the carbine-length gas systems experienced more than double that at 65 malfunctions. Additionally, the carbine-length gas system suffered 13 unserviceable parts, while the mid-length gas system only suffered 9 unserviceable parts.

[Download the full Mid-Length vs. Carbine-Length Gas System report]

The study also found that the mid-length gas system experienced a decrease in bolt speed and a decreased cyclic rate of automatic fire.

The money quote is this: ” … but the M4 designs were crunched down to fit a 14.5-inch barrel.”  And yet it didn’t have to be that way.  My guns are all mid-length gas systems, and yours probably are as well.

As I’ve said, when you modify Stoner’s design you’d better be careful.  He was a good engineer.  Before modifying his design you need to be just as good an engineer as he was.

And it’s stated in the article and almost goes without saying that none of this is a shock to most of the gun community today.  Once again the civilian gun community leads the way and shows the military what to do.

Army Updating Procedures Because Of Misfiring M4s

BY Herschel Smith
2 months, 3 weeks ago

Stars and Stripes:

The Army is updating procedures for use of the M4A1 automatic rifle after a soldier recorded cellphone video of his weapon firing when it shouldn’t have.

The video, recorded in late March, shows the soldier operating a rifle that has been converted from a standard M4, which can fire a maximum three-round burst, to the fully automatic M4A1, according a safety message sent to troops on Tuesday.

The soldier places his carbine’s selector switch between “semi” and “auto” and squeezes the trigger but it doesn’t fire, until the switch is moved to “auto” and immediately discharges a round, the message says.

The Army’s Tank-automotive and Armaments Command, or TACOM, first warned soldiers about the problem in March and April.

The M4A1, previously used exclusively by Special Operations troops, is now the Army’s primary individual weapon.

Inspectors were able to replicate the malfunction depicted in the soldier’s video in about 10 percent of the weapons they checked, defense industry journal Soldier Systems reported.

Testing also revealed that carbines from a different manufacturer malfunctioned when switched from “safe” to “semi-automatic,” the journal reported.

The latest safety messages concern M4s and M4A1s, as well as M16A2, A3 and A4 rifles. They order personnel to change the way they check functions on the weapons and perform immediate action drills to diagnose weapon stoppages.

Um … what?

What?

There is no reason a shooter should intentionally misplace the selector switch between modes, but then again in the stress of battle anything is possible and this failure mode is entirely plausible.

The genesis of the problem appears to be a feature of the gun not a part of the original specification, and it seems to me that this is a huge, huge problem.

They don’t need to send this problem to armorers.  They need civilian gunsmiths to tackle this and work the problems out, and that should have done that before deploying the modification.

I’m also not clear as to exactly why they need fully automatic anyway.  This gun can never be an effective area suppression weapon.  Not for long anyway.

Good grief.

Making Your AR-15 Work Better

BY Herschel Smith
3 months ago

WRSA sends us an article on Practical AR Enhancements.  Here is an excerpted list of things he discusses.

  1. Chrome-lined barrel
  2. Bolt parts
  3. Buffer spring
  4. Lube
  5. Enhanced (and more modern) BCG finishes / coatings
  6. Optics
  7. Trigger upgrades

This is a good list and I highly recommend that you read the entire article, and it reminds me of the still highly read and very important article, “Making Your M4 Run Like A Gazelle,” based on work by Mike Pannone and written by WeaponsMan.

Mike has very extensive comments on the M4 at Defense Review, which stem initially from a discussion of fouling. We’ll just quote his conclusions from this piece below, and also recommend his article on reliability issues, and his follow-up on diagnosing the root cause. Conclusions from what we suppose you could call the “fouling piece“:

Fouling in the M4 is not the problem. The problem is weak springs (buffer and extractor), as well as light buffer weights (H vs. H2 or H3). With the abovementioned drop-in parts, the M4 is as reliable as any weapon I have ever fired, and I have fired probably every military-issue assault rifle fielded worldwide in the last 60 years as a Special Forces Weapons Sergeant (18B). An additional benefit of the heavier spring/weight combo is that it transmits the energy impulse of the firing cycle to the shoulder over a longer duration, lowering the amount of foot pounds per second and dramatically reducing the perceived recoil. Follow-on shots are easier to make effectively, and much faster, especially at 50 meters and beyond.

I reliably fired 2400 rounds (80 magazines) on a bone dry gun, and I would bet that is a lot more than any soldier or other armed professional will ever come close to firing without any lubrication whatsoever. So, disregard the fouling myth and install a better buffer spring, H2 buffer, enhanced extractor spring and a Crane O-ring (all end user drop-in parts). With normal (read “not excessive”) lubrication and maintenance, properly-built AR-15/M4 type rifles with carbine gas systems will astound you with their reliability and shootability.

via The Big M4 Myth: ‘Fouling caused by the direct impingement gas system makes the M4/M4A1 Carbine unreliable.

DTG writing at American Partisan also discusses AR builds, and we’ve seen some good ones come our way.

But I’ll also say that I’ve seen some very bad ones (when I say “seen,” I mean I’ve witnessed the failures first hand when a friend tried his build).  I’ve seen builds that couldn’t get through a magazine without two or three FTF / FTE.  I think this mainly had to do with mixing and matching of parts with the head space not being properly checked (although we suspected it could have been the choice of gas block location).

Colt, with its reliance of military contracts, had begun to have QA problems by the end of their contract, maybe before.  This is so well known as to go without question.  It doesn’t surprise me that guys were having to make modifications and work their M4s/ARs hard to keep them in working order.

But one thing I get with a completed “system” from a reputable manufacturer is tolerance QA and parts compatibility.  Replacing a BCG is nice, but if you don’t check head space, it might not work right.  Either way, relying on Rock River Arms and Daniel Defense (like I do) means that it works straight out of the box, continues to work, and is highly reliable.

I’ll also say a few words about two more things.  First of all, there has been a proliferation of articles on the Army and Marine Corps jettisoning the 5.56mm round in favor of 6.5 Creedmoor, the 7.62mm round for the .300 Win Mag (for DM guns), and a host of other changes.  Some of this will happen (e.g., the MC adoption of the 300 Win Mag), and some will not.  For a whole host of reasons that would take too long to explain, I think it’s highly unlikely that the entire Army or MC adopts 6.5 Creedmoor and throws away the 5.56mm round.  Some of that is just hype and propaganda for the purpose of attention and money.

On the other hand, I’ve never recommended that anyone make the 5.56mm round their only choice of caliber, and everyone should have a bigger bore gun.  If the Army or MC does use 5.56mm less, that’s good for me because it means less competition for ammunition and [hopefully] cheaper prices.  Regular readers know that I’ll never jettison my 5.56mm guns.  They’re too good, too reliable, too pleasant to shoot, and too easy on regaining sight picture from low recoil for me to consider anything else for CQB up to several hundred yards.  If your AR isn’t as reliable as mine are (I’ve never had a FTF / FTE in tens of thousands of rounds and wouldn’t know how to work a forward assist if I had to because I’ve never had to), you need new ARs or you need to work them as described above.  Don’t go budget or “rack” AR.  Spend a little more and get something with good QA and reliable.

Finally, I’ve noted before (comments section) that I don’t like piston guns or dicking around with Stoner’s design.

(1) Piston-device for AR pattern rifles: A stupid, unnecessary, additional failure mode for a gun that does nothing but add weight to the front end of the gun, virtually ensuring that after eight hours of room clearing ops and CQB, the shooter can no longer hold the weapon upright because of the stupidity of the design.

(2) AK pattern guns: A rifle design for conscripts who don’t give a shit about their equipment and refuse to clean it or care for it, that doesn’t shoot very accurately (minute of man rather than minute of angle).

(3) AR pattern guns: Guns made by engineers, for engineers, machinists, gunsmiths, mechanics and professional soldiers who care about precision, fine machines and accuracy (and don’t want to listen to the constant rattling of the poorly made AKs when they shoot them).

(4) Genesis chapter 2: Man is fallen, and it affects the entire universe.

(5) Second law of thermodynamics (based on number 4 above): Entropy always increases. Things get dirty and break. That means pistons in AKs too. People who refuse to acknowledge the 2nd Law also refuse to care for their guns, refuse to clean them, refuse to change parts, and throw their guns around like they are shovels.

Anyone who thinks that a machine can be made that doesn’t break or doesn’t corrode or doesn’t rust or doesn’t need to be maintained, coated, cleaned and replaced is an idiot who doesn’t believe in science. This includes conscripts who want a gun that they don’t need to work on.

Like my son tells me, if you work it, the AR is an exquisite weapon based on an exquisite design.

I’ve got many AR run-to-break and stress test videos linked, but I don’t need to see any of them.  My guns have never failed me.  I also don’t believe in throwing my guns around and abusing them.  I’m a thinking man.  I believe in entropy.

On one occasion a seller was putting a gun back in it’s case for me, and I asked him to use Rem Oil and spray it down.  “It’s Aluminum – it doesn’t rust,” he said.  I replied, “True enough, but Aluminum does corrode, which is a different failure mode, and my hands and your hands have salts on them.  Now, spray the gun down before you box it back up.”

Because I believe in thermodynamics.  Machines don’t run forever without breaking or needing maintenance, and if this fact causes you to conclude that the AR (or any other machine) isn’t any good, then you need to go back and read Genesis Chapter 2.

Wait, Defense Secretary Mattis Put Bob Scales In Charge Of WHAT?

BY Herschel Smith
3 months, 2 weeks ago

Military.com:

The lead man tasked by Defense Secretary Jim Mattis with transforming everything infantry and close combat on Tuesday challenged industry and government leaders to put a leap-ahead rifle in his boss’ hands in less than two years — or else.

Retired Army Maj. Gen. Bob Scales was a keynote speaker at the annual National Defense Industry Association Armament Systems forum here, and he didn’t waste any time launching into a takedown of key components that equip the close combat infantryman.

Scales recounted how he’d spoken at the conference three years ago, pushing industry and government procurement officials to create an intermediate caliber rifle with a piston action, polymer ammunition casing, a suppressor and digital fire controls.

“Now, in 2018, does any of that sound familiar?” he asked.

Scales is the chairman of the Department of Defense’s recently created “Close Combat Lethality Task Force.” The task force formed at Mattis’ direction and has $2.5 billion to fundamentally transform all things close combat for Army and Marine infantry and Special Operations troops.

The rifle he described in his opening remarks is handled under the Next Generation Squad Weapon project, headed by the Army.

But there, too, are problems, he noted.

The NGSW program was aimed at making a rifle or carbine to replace the flawed M16/M4 system, which Scales has railed against since his own experience with early versions of the M16 in Vietnam.

But an incredulous Scales told the audience that developers on the NGSW are now prioritizing the light machine gun in a program called the Next Generation Squad Automatic Rifle to replace the Squad Automatic Weapon, with the rifle or carbine to come later.

“It’s the Next Generation rifle or carbine, damn it,” Scales said.

The change in focus means that under current schedules, the rifle/carbine won’t be ready until 2024.

That is not acceptable, Scales said. To either him or his boss.

“Let me tell you something, folks. It’s not working,” Scales said. “Make the rifle by 2020. My God, folks, it’s a nine-pound piece of steel. The cost isn’t as much as a lug nut on a B-1 bomber.”

I confess I didn’t know this.  Scales is an imbecile.  Mattis is an imbecile for putting Scales in charge of anything except taking out the trash.  Scales isn’t qualified as a gunsmith, engineer or mechanic to order decisions on cartridge size, type, caliber, or anything else, much less to order that it be a pistol gun rather than DI.

Good Lord.  What an idiot.

So, Scales, here are some questions for you to ponder as your play Napoleon with the would-be weapons makers.  Are you prepared to change not only weapons, but training and doctrine?  You see, the notion of a light, small caliber, automatic gun with high projectile velocity, line of recoil along the axis of the gun, and quick sight-picture recovery, is necessary for the doctrines on which the current militaries of the entire world are built.

They are aided by snipers and DMs carrying larger caliber guns.  So where is the money coming from to change everything?  Why do you want a piston system?  Who told you it is better?  Do you know more than my friend the training NCO in the Army, who told me this?

The Marines have established in their 24-72 hour protracted, static, fire fights in Southern Afghanistan, that three 30 round magazines will do the job, if you have NCO directed, well aimed and properly spotted fire. Shoot from cover, control your security and do not allow an element to maneuver unobserved on your position. Maintain indirect fire back-up for surprises and to exploit enemy error’s. It sounds basic but we (Army) do not routinely practice this doctrine. So we kill and maim our troops because of and regardless of, the grain count of our issue rounds. As you point out.

My friend goes on to explain that the gun isn’t the problem – it’s the shooter.  It’s almost always the shooter.  Hey Scales, do you know more than my buddy does about what’s happened in any theater of conflict in the past 40 years?

Hey Scales, tell me all about the caseless cartridge you want so badly?  I want to hear the engineering aspects of this thing.  I also want to know all about how easy you think it is to keep recoil down while giving the shooter better ballistic coefficient, less weight, more reliability, a cleaner weapon, and instant recovery of sight picture?

Where did you get your engineering degree to insult design engineers like that, you insufferable old fart?  If it’s so easy, why don’t you do it?

What do you know about the cost of a bolt on a B-1?  Why did you use that analogy?  As for this gun, it’s a nine pound piece of steel.  Steel?  Is that what it is, Scales?  Steel?  None of it is polymer or aluminum?  And it’s nine pounds?  Nine pounds?  I own a 6.09 pound AR, and you’re going to put a 9 pound gun in a woman’s hands to carry?

Hey, speaking of that, how much of this has to do with trying to reduce weight for women in combat?  Or are you trying to reduce weight?  Nine pounds isn’t a weight reduction.

How much has changed since you saw the gun in action in Vietnam, Scales?  Is it the same gun, or not?  Have you shot one lately?  Field stripped it and cleaned it?  Are BCGs even made of the same material these days, Scales?

You moron.  The fact that Mattis put you in charge of this effort makes me laugh and sad at the same time.  This is a living example of the Dunning-Kruger effect.   Without metacognition, low-ability people cannot objectively evaluate their actual competence or incompetence.

You’re an incompetent dumbass.

Prior:

USMC M38 DMR Not Ready For Battle

Scales Traffics In Half Century Old Rhetoric On Stoner Design

Problems And Solutions In Rifle Caliber And Training

Blaming The Gun For The Battle Losses

USMC M38 DMR Not Ready For Battle

BY Herschel Smith
3 months, 3 weeks ago

TFB:

Despite the document’s overall upbeat tone, it does not present a picture of a system “ready to field”. The optic chosen for the test was the Leupold Mark 4 2.5-8x36mm variable power scope, part number 60150, one mounted to all 9 weapons via a LaRue mount. This particular opticis a strange choice, being a virtual antique by today’s standards (the optics themselves are leftovers from the Mk. 12 SPR program of the early 2000s), and having a mix of mil reticle and MOA adjustments. This latter feature means that an operator cannot make adjustments in the same increments as what is shown on the reticle.

[ … ]

Reportedly, the reason for choosing this optic (the 3-9 version of which is slated for use with the M38 which descended from this test) was simply that they existed in inventory at the USMC logistics base in Albany, left over from 2000s-era Mk. 12 SPRs. This raises the question of exactly what logistical pipeline the M38 will depend on for replacements. If the Leupold scope cannot be procured somehow, then the M38 as a system is unsustainable at the start.

The appendices of the document indicate that the rifle system is far from optimally reliable when equipped with the tester-preferred KAC sound suppressor. Guns in the “Bravo” test group, all of which were equipped with that suppressor, experienced bolt over base malfunctions indicating an extremely high cyclic rate and marginal weapon reliability in the suppressed configuration.

I looked up the Leupold Mark 4 2.5-8x36mm variable power scope and surprisingly found that it had been discontinued and was unavailable.  From an engineering standpoint, it’s nonsense to assert that the entire system is unsustainable if the scope cannot be procured.  The author goes on to explain that the specification cannot be changed, and that the scope is an integral part of the specification.

This is one reason why our military loses wars.  Logistically speaking, it’s a beast.  Only the brass can override specifications, and then only after being studied, presumably at Quantico.  Again, this is nonsense given that there are so many good options for scopes.  My son had better scopes when he was in the Marine Corps as a SAW gunner and DM in the infantry.

The real problem comes eventually, and it is the H&K gun itself.  You mean that H&K is overpriced trash?  Why yes, I think that’s what we’re saying.  You mean that it’s best not to dick around with the Stoner design because modifications means changes in design performance and unintended consequences?  Why yes, I think that’s what we’re saying.  You mean that there is no real need for a piston gun rather than the DI design Stoner built?  Why yes, I think that’s what we’re saying.

A commenter says this after the issue of the battle of Wanat is brought up.

You mean Wanat where the worst possible tactical decision was made to place a base there combined with the worst possible rules of engagement resulted in a situation where the US Army won the battle anyway while inflicting disproportionately higher casualties on the attacking force?

Perhaps the commenter has read my multiple analyses of the battle of Wanat.  As s brief reminder, the big Army’s idiotic notion of COIN meant that the brass negotiated with the tribes for more than one year on the location of the COP, leaving time for the Haqqani forces to deploy to near Battalion size strength, left OP Topside poorly manned (where the vast majority of casualties at Wanat were taken either at Topside or trying to relieve Topside), deployed men in low terrain and thus didn’t control the high ground, left men without CAS, and deployed in a location not amenable to the logistics chain.  And the kill ratio still favored US forces by a wide margin.

Remember what one military reader told me about this battle.

The platoon in Wanat sacrificed control of the key terrain in the area in order to locate closer to the population. This was a significant risk, and I don’t see any indication that they attempted to sufficiently mitigate that risk. I can empathize a little bit – I was the first Marine on deck at Camp Blessing back when it was still Firebase Catamount, in late 2003. I took responsibility for the camp’s security from a platoon from the 10th Mountain Div, and established a perimeter defense around it. Looking back, I don’t think I adequately controlled the key terrain around the camp. The platoon that replaced me took some steps to correct that, and I think it played a significant role when they were attacked on March 22nd of 2004. COIN theorists love to say that the population is the key terrain, but I think Wanat shows that ignoring the existing natural terrain in favor of the population is a risky proposition, especially in Afghanistan.

Robert Scales will still blame the rifle for the battle because he’s invested in the outcome of the decision.  But the gun was a Colt, and we are all aware that Colt had begun to suffer QA problems by this point because of reliance on military contracts.  When you don’t field your gun to civilians en masse, you are insulated from problems with the system.

Colt was low bidder.  If the gun had been a Rock River Arms, Daniel Defense or FN, the guns would have worked until the barrels melted.  Presumably Scales would still have blamed the gun.

I suppose that the USMC fever dream of a 6.5 Creedmoor rifle or some other new gun won’t happen if they’re having trouble with fielding new scopes to their DMs.

The Allure Of The AR-15

BY Herschel Smith
4 months, 1 week ago

Abigail Hauslohner at The Washington Post:

Fabian Rodriguez was cradling his new rifle when he stopped at one of the gun-show booths to purchase a $5 chicken fajita MRE.

The “Meal Ready to Eat” is a mainstay for troops on combat missions. But Rodriguez, a 28-year-old San Antonio native who sells auto paint for a living, wasn’t going anywhere that would require one.

Fabian Rodriguez, 28, tries out his new AR-15 rifle at a shooting range in San Antonio.

“I like them,” he said. “Well, I like watching reviews of them. That’s something people do online, like, open them up and do taste tests.”

Rodriguez, who wears his handlebar mustache slicked into points and never leaves home without his cowboy boots, had come to the gun show to buy his first AR-15, a variant model of the M-16 and M-4 assault rifles that are used by the military, and currently the most popular rifle on the market.

[ … ]

The expanse of tables before him display AR-15s, AK-47s and every other sort of assault-style rifle; hefty shotguns and sleek, modern hunting rifles; handguns that range from high caliber Smith & Wessons to tiny Derringer guns that fit in the palm of your hand.

He makes his way past boxes of ammunition, T-shirts that say things like “CNN IS FAKE NEWS,” and a $1,900 Magnum Desert Eagle that he immediately recognizes as the gun Angelina Jolie carried in the movie “Tomb Raider.” “That specific one she used in the movie was 50-caliber, which is humongous,” he says.

He finds a strap for his AR, and a quick-disconnect for the strap. He inquires about left-handed adjustments and revisits the table where yesterday he purchased an AR-15 magazine engraved with the “Don’t tread on me” snake logo, just like the one pictured on the worn leather wallet that he is now again removing from his pocket.

“Can I still get that discount if I bought one yesterday?” he asks the vendor.

“Yeah, the two for $35?”

Rodriguez nods.

“I remember you,” the vendor adds, as Rodriguez hands him the cash for another magazine, this one engraved with the words, “You can’t protect the First without the Second.

[ … ]

The NSSF, an association of gun manufacturers and sellers — which several years ago started calling ARs “modern sporting rifles” — likes to hype the idea of the AR’s versatility as the key to its appeal: a gun for hunting, home security and whatever else you might need.

David Chipman, who used to carry an AR-15 for his job as a special agent with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, thinks there’s more to it.

“I would compare it to the same reason Americans might want a muscle car or enjoy a muscle car: It’s American-made, it has outsized power,” said Chipman, who left ATF after a 25-year career and now serves as a senior policy adviser to the gun-control advocacy group Giffords.

There’s a sort of “X-Game-type sensibility” to it, he said, a fixture of “American culture that I see most often with men.”

Rodriguez encounters plenty of skeptics in addition to his mother who ask him why anyone would need so many guns, particularly a semiautomatic rifle like an AR-15 — a gun that can fire 45 high-velocity rounds per minute, bullets that travel so fast that their shock waves mimic an explosion as they enter a body.

His honest answer: He doesn’t need them.

He wants them because he enjoys them, and the Constitution gives him the right to have them.

“I know I don’t need it,” he says of the AR-15. “The revolver, statistically speaking, is more than enough to defend myself.”

But it’s frustrating when people ask him this, because that’s not the point.

The point is that the Second Amendment protects his right to bear arms, whatever and however many he wants, as a guard against tyranny.

Hmm … there’s nothing comparable to getting an “authority” like a former ATF agent to say that there’s some mystique about the gun, alluring, tempting, tantalizing, beckoning people who otherwise wouldn’t want them to come, come, come to me, dear soul, and shoot me.  I can make your life complete.

Good God, what claptrap.  It’s as if Abigail has gone on a quest to hunt the snark, to find the great unwashed dirt people who eat beef, wear cowboy boots and hats, work an hourly job, get their hands dirty, run tooling equipment, run horses and cattle, drive trucks, and so on the list could go.  She’s heard that such people exist, but never actually met one inside the beltway.

Ooo … an expanse of tables with guns and ammo, tee shirts, and stupid bumper stickers.  And the allure and beckon of guns and money exchanging hands.  It’s as if there is actually private enterprise going on in America.

Give me a call, honey.  I can take you up to where they make corn liquor and don’t take kindly to FedGov sticking their nose around.  And you can shoot an AR-15 too.  Wouldn’t you enjoy that?  It’s the next logical step for you.

Seriously, gun owners know the first rule of gun club, which is that you don’t talk about gun club to the MSM.  That’s why gun data on ownership is so crappy.  Most gun owners aren’t going to talk, or if they do, they aren’t going to tell the truth.  Every now and then a MSM writer finds a gullible dunce like this to follow around.

Remember folks, the first rule of gun club is that you don’t talk about gun club to the MSM.  You only talk about gun club to make other gun owners among the potential recruits.


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