Archive for the 'AR-15s' Category

Why The AR-15 Was Never Meant To Be In Civilians’ Hands

BY Herschel Smith
4 months ago

The Atlantic:

During the Vietnam war era, as a newly graduated mechanical engineer, I was hired by Colt’s Firearms, the original manufacturer of the M-16, and tasked with M-16 related assignments during my employment.

There was no commercially available civilian version of the AR-15 prior to the U.S. Military’s decision to make it the default military rifle replacing the M-14, and designating it as the M16A1. I have significant personal experience with the issues experienced by the M16A1, which were the result of a combined civilian/military screw-up. [JF note: this screwup was the subject of my original article.]

The AR-15 was developed specifically as a military weapon to replace the M-14. It was probably one of the first major weapons systems to be privately developed following the DOD’s decision to privatize the design and development function. This function had heretofore been carried out by publicly funded government operations, most notably, in the case of military small arms, the Springield Arsenal.

The AR-15 derived from a design by Eugene Stoner. His original design using that architecture and operating system was the AR-10, which used the 7.62mm NATO round. Seen today, it looks like an overgrown AR-15. The Armalite Company tasked two engineers with developing a version of the AR-10 that used the 5.56mm cartridge; these engineers were Jim Sullivan and Bob Fremont.

Only after civilian manufacturers like Colt’s made boatloads of money producing M16A1’s and selling them to the government did someone (I believe it was Colt’s Firearms) decide to make and sell a semi-automatic-only version of the weapon for civilian sale. It was, of course, known as the AR-15.

Small but significant changes were made to the architecture of the lower receiver, primarily slight relocation of pivot pins and redesign of the trigger/hammer components that pivoted on them, so that it would not be possible to acquire, legally or illegally, M16 trigger/hammer and fire selector components and thus easily convert the AR-15 to possess the same full automatic capability as the M16.

Like Eugene Stoner, whose mission was producing better equipment for the military, I do not believe that there is any place in the civilian world for a family of weapons that were born as an assault rifle. I am a staunch supporter of properly equipping our nation’s military but also of effective gun control for weapons available to civilians, to include banning those which are inappropriate outside a military context.

The author of this horrible commentary, James Fallows, cites a letter from a reader with no name whatsoever and with no indication that he has done his job of vetting this information.

One thing that makes me hold it suspect is that he gives a bit too much credit to Jim Sullivan and Robert Fremont, who weren’t the “engineers” in charge of the development of the AR-15.  They were the designers, while Eugene Stoner was still the chief engineer behind the project.

But at any rate, even if this report is really from someone who worked as an engineer with Colt, so what?  His statement that “Like Eugene Stoner, whose mission was producing better equipment for the military, I do not believe that there is any place in the civilian world for a family of weapons that were born as an assault rifle” just like the title of this article which is one of the best examples of overreach I’ve ever seen, is a world too far, and even more than that, is an outright lie.

Eugene Stoner never said that.  If you think he did, prove it.  Or shut up.  I’m waiting.

Texan Takes 416 Pound Feral Hog With AR-15

BY Herschel Smith
4 months, 3 weeks ago

Remember I recommended hunting hogs to save the environment?  In Texas, a man is not only helping the environment, he’s making things safer for himself.  From the Longview News-Journal.

A Union Grove man says he bagged the “big daddy” feral hog that was wreaking havoc on his property — all 416 pounds of him.

The Gregg County Game Warden’s office posted photos on Facebook this week showing Joe Clowers’ kill.

“This pig had been terrorizing his property for years — five or six,” said Game Warden Todd Long. “So every time he went hunting, he took a little extra firepower in case it showed up. Well, this time, it showed up.”

Clowers used a .223-caliber AR rifle to kill the pig.

The hog had preyed on the fawns in the area, and Clowers said he always stayed armed when visiting his deer feeders in case the hog in question charged him.

“My property lays between some populated areas, and I try to maintain an environment like a sanctuary or nursery for the deer to raise fawns,” Clowers said.

“He was the big daddy. I called him the ‘bush beast.’ “

This is a big hog to take down with an AR-15.  I had wondered first of all where he shot him (was it a head shot?), and second, what ammunition he used?

Did he use standard 55 or 62 grain FMJ rounds, did he use 55 grain soft point rounds, or did he use heavier rounds such as the Hornady 75 grain or Sierra Matchking 77 grain?  I suspect there are a lot of folks who would like to know.

I ended up talking to the Upshur County game warden via telephone, and he thought that the hog was taken with a standard round, at which I commented that it must have been with a head shot although I couldn’t tell anything from the pictures.  He agreed and said that he believed it was taken with a head shot.

Congratulations to Mr. Clowers.  Nice shot.  Nice hog.

Jerry Miculek Versus A Bump Fire Stock

BY Herschel Smith
5 months ago

Via reader Pat Hines.

Daniel Defense Lays Off Large Percentage Of Work Force

BY Herschel Smith
5 months, 1 week ago

Reader David Dietz sends this from Recoil.

Amid ongoing reports of deteriorating sales in the black rifle market, firearms manufacturer Daniel Defense laid off an undisclosed number of employees. According to conversations with those affected and social media posts, on Friday, Sept. 29 and Monday, Oct. 2., the firearms manufacturer eliminated approximately 100 full-time positions.

A former employee of Daniel Defense affected by the layoffs said, “This was very unexpected. All of us were handed a blanket packet that explained everything. The paperwork didn’t even have my name on it. All they said about my job was that my position was being eliminated. There was no severance package, we were just fired.”

The scope of the layoff is unknown, but firsthand sources including current and recently laid off employees speaking under the condition of anonymity said anywhere from a third to a half of the company’s workforce was affected.

Speaking about the terms of employment at Daniel Defense and the layoff, one laid off employee said, “We all had to sign a non-compete. I think the non-compete I signed was for 2 years. The outgoing talk and paperwork didn’t specify the non-compete being lifted. It’s unfortunate for a lot of people who don’t have skills outside of the industry.”

According to former employees, Daniel Defense’s post-termination non-compete clause is contained in a standard employment agreement employees sign as they are brought aboard. It is used to protect the employer’s interests by preventing employees from working for a competing company for a certain amount of time, stipulated in the non-compete clause.

When asked about the existence of a post-termination non-compete agreement, the terms, and whether it will be enforced, officials from Daniel Defense refused the opportunity to comment.

Well, Daniel Defense has a right to force employees to sign non-compete agreements as a condition of employment.  But this is a shame for the former employees of Daniel Defense, who only know how to do one thing.  Hopefully they can keep their machinist skills up-to-date enough to return to the workforce when the agreement has been fulfilled.

On the other hand, one has to question the wisdom of Daniel Defense.  If they were prepared to throw good money after Super Bowl commercials (and apparently they were), and if their rifles are almost priced out of the market, and they are, then it seems wise to cut costs and MSRP, tighten the belt, and even cut employee salaries in an attempt to stay afloat.

This way (with the history of the non-compete agreement preventing employees from seeking other similar gainful employment), it would seem to me hard to hire good employees in the future.

Army Kills Plan To Replace M4

BY Herschel Smith
5 months, 3 weeks ago

Popular Mechanics:

The Army’s program to replace the M4 carbine with a larger, harder-hitting rifle is dead, canceled after just under two months. But now that the Interim Combat Service Rifle is dead, what’s next?

The Interim Combat Service Rifle was proposed as a means of countering the new generation of cheap, highly effective body armors likely to be worn by America’s enemies . Countries such as Russia are now issuing body armors that can allegedly stop a .30-06 armor piercing bullet. Experts inside and outside the Army believed that the Army’s current issue 5.56-millimeter bullet would not be able to penetrate new armor, and that a larger, heavier bullet that transfers more energy to the target is necessary. Like everything else in the domain of military weapons, it’s an arms race between measure and countermeasure.

Seriously folks, who shoots armor piercing .30-06?  No, really.  This isn’t rhetorical.  What army shoots the Springfield round?  And how much body armor would be necessary to stop an armor piercing .30-06?  Think through this for a moment.  They would be like the Pillsbury dough boy, just with York 45 pound steel plates attached to their front and back.  They wouldn’t be able to move, much less fight.

The M4 doesn’t need to be replaced.  Via TCJ, there are good suggestions for making your AR run like a gazelle.  Do it.  Aim for heads and hips.  Make sure you have other kinds of weapons such as .308 or 6.5mm Creedmoor, and remember that when you get something, you always give up something.  Weapon selection is always a balancing act.  Also, for the Army in particular, learn to shoot before considering replacement of your rifle system.

Finally, you do realize that even the arms manufacturers who gave us the AK-47 no longer shoot the 7.62X39, right?  All of those rifles have been replaced by the 5.45X39.  No major land army on earth now shoots the larger bore cartridges except as DM and sniper rifles.

Field Expedient Zeroing Of Your AR-15

BY Herschel Smith
5 months, 3 weeks ago

Via SOFREP, I had missed this tip by John Lovell.  I like John and not only does he make useful videos, he seems to be a genuinely nice guy, unlike some of the trainers out there.  At any rate, he makes use of height-over-bore to show you how to zero your carbine when you don’t have access to a 100 yard rifle range at that particular time.

Defensive Use Of An AR-15

BY Herschel Smith
6 months ago

Dean Weingarten at Ammoland.

On May 6th, 2017, an armed man was sitting on his front porch in the 400 block of Glenburnie Drive in Houston, Texas. He had a concealed carry permit. His brother says that he goes to the range often. He was on his porch and had another firearm with him. An AR-15 type rifle.

Three men attacked him in a drive-by shooting at about 2:15 a.m. He fired back, hitting all three. They car they were in crashed, and all three left the vehicle to continue the attack.

The homeowner kept up his defense, shooting back and hitting all three men again. Two died, one at the scene, one at the hospital. One of them was in critical condition.

Over 40 shots were fired, but the home defender was not hit. Not once.

Those who wish a disarmed population tell us that AR-15 rifles and other modern sporting rifles are not useful for self-defense.

Here is the report.  No one actually believes that use of an AR-15 is unnecessary or ineffective for self defense.  They’re lying if they say that (unless the conversation is buried in details of long range threats where you need something like an AR-10).  When a person says that, he means that he doesn’t believe that you should have access to AR-15s and that only the state has a righteous monopoly on the use of force, even if you’re defending your life or the lives of loved ones.

Just as we saw in the case of Mr. Stephen Bayazes, who killed one home invader and sent two others to the hospital, he found a reliable semiautomatic rifle with a standard capacity magazine an indispensable tool of self defense.

In another episode of semiautomatic rifle use, an attacker in Hawaii found that no one was capable of effecting self defense.

Hawaii police officers are continuing their search for a suspect who fired an assault rifle at a group of people standing outside a club in Waikiki, killing one and seriously injuring others.

Hawaii News Now reports ( ) the shooting happened Saturday morning near Club Alley Cat. Police say a man fired about 10 rounds at the group. A 22-year-old man was taken to the hospital in critical condition and later died. Two other victims, a 27-year-old man and a 31-year-old man, were taken to a hospital in serious condition.

No arrests have been made at this time. Police say the suspect fled in a black sport utility vehicle.

The report says “assault rifle,” and of course it wasn’t a legitimate assault rifle with select fire, and perhaps it was an AK design rather than an AR design.  Who knows, certainly not the reporter?  Either way, the people he attacked didn’t even have a pistol for self defense, or if they did, it was being carried legally.  Not in Hawaii.

Hey, how’s that gun control stuff working out for you, Hawaiians?

Diamondback Firearms Fields A New AR In 6.5 Creedmoor

BY Herschel Smith
6 months, 3 weeks ago has the scoop.  I haven’t seen any reviews of the gun yet.  I’d like to see some serious, critical work to vet this gun and others made by Diamondback.

But the great thing is that their rifles – including this 6.5 Creedmoor AR – are less than $1300.  That’s right.  An AR 6.5 Creedmoor < $1300.  Competition is a wonderful thing.  Diamondback is selling their rifles for under $1300, and that includes their rifles that handle larger cartridges than the 5.56mm (e.g., 6.5 Creedmoor and .308, which are both still short-action rounds).

If you are a firearms manufacturer who fabricates ARs, you seriously need to recalibrate.  You need to ask yourselves if you really want to be in the business of manufacturing ARs if your MSRP is significantly more than $1300.  This is the sweet spot.  Because if a prospective buyer can buy yours for more, or a Diamondback for less, he must ask himself whether it’s wise to throw away his money like that in order to have yours.  The calculus is simple, and you absolutely must begin to match the cost of the least expensive manufacturer, or if you don’t, you’ll have to find a niche market because of some features or quality you have that others don’t.  Where do you think the real financial margin is in this calculus?

Diamondback Firearms can be found here.

AR-15 Meltdown, Continued

BY Herschel Smith
6 months, 4 weeks ago

California Gun Store Owner Holds Cardboard Cutout AR-15 For Advertising, People Call The Police

BY Herschel Smith
8 months, 2 weeks ago

CNS News:

A California gun store owner was reprimanded by the cops after waving an AR-15 cardboard cutout outside of his business to draw in customers, according to a report by ABC10 News in Oceanside, Calif.

Brendan Vona Marine veteran, started waving the large, cardboard sign in front of his store, “Firearms Unknown,” last fall during Black Friday shopping. The store told today that it uses the sign “on a regular basis.”

According to ABC 10, some people assumed the over-sized gun-sign was real, prompting complaints and even a visit from the local police.

A local woman told ABC 10 that she believed the sign was over the top.

“It looks like a machine gun, it is pretty aggressive,” she said. “I think he’s doing too much, but then again, they do have the freedom to do that.”

“A couple people just going by, flipping me the bird,” said Von, the store owner.  “Either scolding me or yelling some type of obscenity.”

“It kind of frustrated me that somebody would call [the police] and make a false statement like that, knowing that it is a cardboard sign that is very flimsy,” he said.

According to the ABC report, Von said the police asked him to stop or change the sign and after he refused, the police left.

The sad part about this isn’t so much the woman to whom we have to say, “Get thee to thy fainting couch.”  I would expect this from California.

The sad part is that the LEOs would actually ask him to stop.  When he refused, they had no recourse except to leave, since demanding what they did was illegal.

Then again, I confess that I’ve come to expect this from LEOs too.

How sad.

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