Archive for the 'AR-15s' Category



Army Seeks Patent On Durable Solid Lubricant

BY Herschel Smith
1 month, 1 week ago

Army Times:

What if you never had to clean and lubricate your rifle again?

Army engineers at Picatinny Arsenal believe they’ve cracked the code to make it happen with a new surface applicant, which they said could go into production in 2018.

When rifles and machine guns are fired, byproducts accumulate, leading to what’s known as “fouling.” Buildup of powder residue and moisture can eventually cause the weapon to jam, or lose accuracy, reliability and cyclic rate (rounds per minute). That’s why soldiers have to clean their rifles, generally with a wet lubricant known as CLP (cleaner, lubricant and preservative).

The new material, known as durable solid lubricant, would be applied during manufacturing and coats the weapon’s moving parts. DSL simply prevents material from sticking to the weapon’s surface. Since the fouling buildup only loosely adheres to a DSL surface, any force from the other moving parts or vibrations from firing is enough to knock it loose and keep the rifle clean.

“We see this as a major breakthrough in a technology that hasn’t been able to demonstrate performance like this in the past,” said Adam Foltz, an experimental engineer at Picatinny working on the project.

Christopher Mulligan, a research engineer who has a doctorate in materials science and has worked for Army Research, Development and Engineering Command for 13 years, said the material is a hard coating that drastically reduces friction and corrosion, improving the rifle’s reliability. Explosive byproducts don’t stick to the material, he said. The Army has a patent pending on DSL; he and Foltz didn’t want to go into detail on the technology until the patent is approved.

Testing so far has been limited but encouraging, the two said. A 10,000-round test of an M4A1, for example, produced zero stoppages despite testers never cleaning the gun, Foltz said. “The only time we weren’t shooting was to let the barrel cool.” There have been other tests that, while lab-based, incorporated sand, mud and extreme temperatures.

Not only does DSL make a rifle easier to maintain, but it greatly reduces wear thanks to removal of CPL. The oil mixes with phosphate and hot propellant gas produced by firing, which increases the volume of a buildup that can erode a weapon’s moving parts, Mulligan said. The engineers provided an image depicting test results which they say show parts of a bolt and bolt carrier 50 percent to 90 percent worn after firing 15,000 rounds while treated with CLP. The DSL-coated parts showed wear ranging from 10 percent to less than 5 percent on the same parts over the same use.

In order to keep Dr. Christopher Mulligan employed, it takes a lot of money.  Ph.D. engineers don’t come cheap, and their research time doesn’t either.  Paying an engineer for five or six years to do one thing in hopes that the entire project doesn’t fail for lack of viability is a pricey endeavor, tailor made for endurance rather than sprint.

This is just the kind of thing they would use tax money for, and that brings to mind the following question.  Why is the Army seeking a patent on this?  A patent is an odd thing to attach to this project, and is normally reserved for use when money is at stake.

For something like a secret project involving DARPA, or perhaps some project involving the nuclear assets of the nation I can see the need for secrecy, FOUO and other types of classifications.  But what’s the intent here?  Does the Army intend to sell it, or perhaps prevent some company inside of the states from reverse engineering this and marketing it?

When the national laboratories conduct work and research, normally the results of their work are in the public domain unless it involves secrecy (such as with the nuclear program).  The idea is that if tax money has been used to create the intellectual property, then taxpayers own it.

And it’s not such a bad idea.  So why is the Army seeking a patent on this technology?

What Length AR-15 Barrel?

BY Herschel Smith
2 months ago

Supreme Court To Consider Assault Weapons Ban?

BY Herschel Smith
2 months, 3 weeks ago

Hot Air:

While it’s not a done deal yet, there’s a good chance that we may finally be receiving a final decision from the Supreme Court on the question of so called “assault weapons” bans. Back in December, gun rights activists were largely disappointed when SCOTUS decided they would not hear an appeal to Illinois’ assault weapons ban, allowing a lower court ruling in favor of the law to stand. At the time, I speculated that they were waiting for more lower courts to weigh in on similar challenges around the country to see if there was some sort of consensus or if the states were divided and in need of clarification from above.

This week that question may have been answered. The 4th Circuit, hearing a Maryland case, went the other way, overturning a ban on AR-15 style rifles and expanded capacity magazines. (Baltimore Sun)

In a 2-1 decision applauded by gun rights advocates, a three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit concluded that the semiautomatic weapons and high-capacity magazines banned by Maryland’s Firearm Safety Act “are in common use by law-abiding citizens.” As a result, they don’t fall under the exception to the right to bear arms that applies to “unusual” weapons such as machine guns and hand grenades, the court said.

This apparent contradiction between the 7th Circuit Court’s ruling in Friedman v. City of Highland Park and the 4th’s ruling in Maryland has likely provided enough contrast for the Supremes to take up the question.

If they take it up, I predict they will sustain the constitutionality of such a ban.  First of all, look at the makeup of the court.  It has five outright communists (including Kennedy), a collectivist in conservative dress (Roberts), two more fairly unreliable “conservatives” (Scalia and Alito), and only one true conservative (Clarence Thomas).

Second, they won’t even have to turn to their own proclivities to find their decision.  It’s embedded in Heller itself.

Like most rights, the right secured by the Second Amendment is not unlimited. From Blackstone through the 19th-century cases, commentators and courts rou­tinely explained that the right was not a right to keep and carry any weapon whatsoever in any manner whatsoever and for whatever purpose. See, e.g., Sheldon , in 5 Blume 346; Rawle 123; Pomeroy 152–153; Abbott 333. For exam­ ple, the majority of the 19th-century courts to consider the question held that prohibitions on carrying concealed weapons were lawful under the Second Amendment or state analogues. See, e.g., State v. Chandler, 5 La. Ann., at 489–490; Nunn v. State, 1 Ga., at 251; see generally 2 Kent *340, n. 2; The American Students’ Blackstone 84, n. 11 (G. Chase ed. 1884). Although we do not undertake an exhaustive historical analysis today of the full scope of the Second Amendment, nothing in our opinion should be taken to cast doubt on longstanding prohibitions on the possession of firearms by felons and the mentally ill, or laws forbidding the carrying of firearms in sensitive places such as schools and government buildings, or laws impos­ing conditions and qualifications on the commercial sale of arms. 26 We also recognize another important limitation on the right to keep and carry arms. Miller said, as we have explained, that the sorts of weapons protected were those “in common use at the time.” 307 U. S., at 179. We think that limitation is fairly supported by the historical tradi­tion of prohibiting the carrying of “dangerous and unusual weapons.” See 4 Blackstone 148–149 (1769); 3 B. Wilson, Works of the Honourable James Wilson 79 (1804); J. Dunlap, The New-York Justice 8 (1815); C. Humphreys, A Compendium of the Common Law in Force in Kentucky 482 (1822); 1 W. Russell, A Treatise on Crimes and Indict­ able Misdemeanors 271–272 (1831); H. Stephen, Summary of the Criminal Law 48 (1840); E. Lewis, An Abridgment of the Criminal Law of the United States 64 (1847); F. Wharton, A Treatise on the Criminal Law of the United States 726 (1852). See also State v. Langford , 10 N. C. 381, 383–384 (1824); O’Neill v. State, 16 Ala. 65, 67 (1849); English v. State, 35 Tex. 473, 476 (1871); State v. Lanier, 71 N. C. 288, 289 (1874). It may be objected that if weapons that are most useful in military service—M-16 rifles and the like—may be banned, then the Second Amendment right is completely detached from the prefatory clause …

You can read the rest for yourself.  Scalia isn’t here arguing for the constitutionality of owning M-16s.  He is attempting to answer an objection before it is cast.  He is implicitly accepting the legitimacy of banning M-16s.

I’ve said it before.  While many in the gun community celebrated Heller, I say it was perhaps in the top two sinful abominations leaving the pens of the supreme court, second only to Roe v. Wade.

The seeds of acceptance of an “assault weapons” ban are right there in Heller.  They will support the legitimacy of said bans.  And of course, we won’t listen to them because they jettisoned their own legitimacy long ago.

 

Why The AR-15 Is The Greatest Rifle Ever

BY Herschel Smith
2 months, 4 weeks ago

Readers know how I feel about the gun Eugene Stoner built.  Furthermore, readers know that we speak the name Eugene Stoner only in hushed reverence.  But that’s not my article title – it belongs to John Snow at Outdoor Life.

What we’ve seen over that time is the rise of the AR, which has become America’s most popular rifle, as well as the greatest battle rifle of all time.

How did this happen?

Think of the AR as a seed planted in the 1960s, when the military adopted the rifle, known both as the M16 and the XM16E1 initially.

The rifle got off to an inauspicious start in Vietnam. Shoddy construction in the form of barrels and chambers that hadn’t been chrome-lined, poorly made ammo that used the wrong type of powder, and the lack of cleaning equipment and training for the troops who were issued the rifles led to disaster on the battlefield. Rifles malfunctioned, and soldiers and marines died. The grunts and GIs lost faith in the M16, and Colt, which had purchased the manufacturing rights to the rifle from Armalite in 1959, had a public-relations disaster on its hands.

The fallout of that era created a tide of ill will and misinformation—like the myth of the M16’s tumbling bullets—that kept the AR seed dormant for decades while the military slowly modified the platform to address its shortcomings.

We’ve dealt with the issue of bullet flight before, and while the 5.56 mm round doesn’t tumble in flight (that would cause keyholing targets), it does in fact yaw in flight and rock back and forth, even boat tail ammunition.  This occurs at the beginning and close to the end of its flight.  See Small Caliber Lethality: 5.56 mm Performance In Close Quarters Battle, specifically see Figure 4.  This is not a myth.  It’s real, and reproducible.  The bullet also tends to fragment into multiple pieces, causing multiple wound tracks.  For this, see “Terminal Mechanics” on page 5.

The M16A2 made its official debut in 1982 and featured a heavier barrel, a faster twist rate, and a three-round burst mode in lieu of a full-auto setting. Then, in the mid-’90s, models like the M4 and M16A3 were introduced, with flattop receivers with Picatinny rails and adjustable telescoping stocks and shorter barrel lengths.

These evolutions in the platform augmented the AR-15’s excellent ergonomics, and gave the rifles more flexibility and modularity to adapt to different missions. And finally the seed could grow and bloom. What the AR needed for this to happen was a catalyst, and it came from an unlikely source: the 1994 Federal Assault Weapons Ban (AWB), which was signed into law by President Bill Clinton.

The AWB was authored by Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) and prohibited the sale of semi-automatic rifles with detachable magazines that had more than one of the following features: pistol grips, threaded barrels, bayonet lugs, folding or collapsible stocks, flash suppressors, and grenade-launcher mounts. Similar provisions applied to semi-automatic pistols and shotguns. The ban also limited magazines to a 10-round-maximum capacity.

The goal of this was, of course, to kill off these semi-autos in the name of public safety. The “logic” being that these guns—AKs and ARs, in particular—contributed to crime because of their cosmetic and ergonomic features.

At first it did seem that the AWB had taken the legs out from under the AR platform. Major gunmakers backed away from the category and stopped aggressively marketing the rifles to civilians.

“Before the assault weapons ban, ARs were expensive, hard to find, and didn’t work all that well,” says firearms expert Michael Bane. “When it came on, all the big players got scared off, and this opened the market. For that 10-year period [before the AWB expired in 2004], the little guy got the innovative edge because there was no one there to knock them off.”

Into that vacuum stepped entrepreneurs and innovators like Randy Luth, Karl Lewis, and Jack and Teresa Starnes who saw the potential of the AR and started introducing everything from aftermarket parts and accessories to complete rifles.

It was during this period that the AR realized its potential as a modular platform. The adaptation of the Picatinny rail system created new possibilities for accessories.

[ … ]

As a battle rifle, it can engage opposing forces accurately at distances a fighter with an AK couldn’t dream of. Accurized for precision rifle work, it can shoot tight groups at 1,000 yards. For hunters, it can be lightened up and chambered in hard-hitting cartridges for any type of large game.

But most important, the AR has become a bridge for shooters, connecting what used to be disparate communities of firearms owners and uniting them around its modular platform, encouraging people who used to stand toe-to-toe instead to fight side-by-side to protect our rights.

Any rifle that can boast this series of accomplishments deserves to be called the greatest, no question about it.

The author then gives us the personal perspectives of a number of people, including Kyle Lamb.

Kyle Lamb doesn’t have any patience for the haters. After more than two decades in the Army, most of it spent in special operations with Delta Force, he’s seen enough combat and has headed up enough training to know exactly what the modern-day descendants of the original M16 can do.

“People hate this gun. Even people on our side,” Lamb says. “But it is the most modular and accurate battle rifle we’ve ever had on the planet. The AK? It’s great too—unless you’re actually trying to hit somebody.”

Lamb’s military career, which started in 1986, coincided with the evolutionary refinement of the M16. This isn’t surprising, given that Lamb and his fellow soldiers in the special operations community were key players in perfecting the platform.

After Lamb joined Delta Force and started shooting every day, he learned how to get more out of the M16 and saw where it needed improvement.

In combat Lamb and his colleagues discovered one shortcoming was the sights.

“We showed up in Somalia with Aimpoints with big red dots. The dots were bigger than the dudes we were shooting at,” Lamb says. “So we got into better sights. Guys started adding regular hunting scopes to the rifles and making shots out to 400 yards.”

The tactical evolution of the platform progressed quickly from there. Lamb and other Delta Force soldiers upgraded internal components like extractors for greater reliability. They added free-float handguards to improve accuracy. They slapped on Picatinny rails to mount other accessories. The AR platform became lethal for everything from long-range engagements to close-quarters battle.

And don’t forget the 600 meter shots Travis Haley made in Al Najaf.  I’m sure there are a lot of M1 aficionados who would argue with the conclusions of the article, but the AR-15 platform has proven to be one that has killed hundreds of thousands of enemy fighters in Vietnam, Afghanistan and Iraq, from field shots to CQB.

David Petzal Gets An AR-15

BY Herschel Smith
2 months, 4 weeks ago

Field & Stream writes this about the recent SHOT show.

Range Day is the Monday prior to the Show’s opening when manufacturers demonstrate their wares. People like me are bussed out to handle the goodies. This year, Range Day sounded like the Battle of Dak To, or perhaps Fallujah, with the distinctive pop-pop-pop of full-auto fire, which was extremely popular amongst all the SEAL wannabes. Indeed, this was symbolic of the whole show, which has now become so heavily militarized that you have to look fairly hard for something designed to kill animals instead of people.

It’s David Petzal.  Is anyone really surprised?  Just a few days later, David writes to tell us why he finally got an AR-15.

I also liked that the DMR is a 7.62 and not a 5.56—as the former easily outranges the latter—and that it is a gas-piston rifle, and not a direct-­impingement rifle. This keeps all the dirt and heat up front in the gas system rather than letting it pour back into the action in order to cycle the bolt.

The 18-inch medium barrel is chrome lined, which means you’ll probably never wear it out, and the match-grade trigger is a two-stage Geissele that breaks at 61⁄2 pounds. The buttstock is a Magpul PRS, and the grip is a MIAD. There is no carrying handle, just an endless Picatinny rail (four of them, actually) and excellent quick-detachable iron sights. Twenty-round Magpul PMag magazines are standard.

The weight…ah, the weight: My rifle, with a scope in high Leupold Mark 4 rings, a flash suppressor (highly recommended), and a vertical fore-end grip, weighs 131⁄2 pounds. This means I will not take it hunting, but then it is not a hunting rifle. It does mean that the DMR has hardly any kick, holds steady, and can put down aimed, controlled fire at the range very rapidly.

Finally, it is not compliant with California, Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Jersey, or New York restrictions. I take considerable satisfaction in that.

[ … ]

The 716 DMR is not a cheap gun at $2,970. But I’ve found that long after you’ve forgotten how much you spent, you can delight in the performance of what your money bought. I waited a long time to join the 21st century, but I went about it the right way.

Uh huh.  So you did it right, did you?  Well, you know what David?  Your rifle cost you a lot of money.  And it can shoot too, with sub-MOA accuracy.  That’s great.

But 1 – 1.5 MOA guns can shoot to, and can take down animals and tyrants.  And I take great pleasure in knowing that most of my guns would be illegal in California too.

But I don’t begrudge anyone their $400 Ruger rifle that will shoot 1.5 MOA, or their $3000 Weatherby that will shoot .75 MOA.  Honestly, for many people, there isn’t much difference between them.  And I advocate enjoying shooting for hunting, for target, for so-called “plinking,” and if need be for killing tyrants.

But I do have a confession to make.  If I never shoot anything, never hit an animal, never hit the target, never succeed at any contests, I still love to shoot.  I love it for the pure engineering behind it.  I love the explosion.  I love the idea of a projectile, and I love thinking about Newton’s laws.  I love the moving parts, I love disassembling them.  I just love the mechanics behind guns.  I love the machine.  God help me!  I do love it so!

There.  I’ve said it, and I feel better now.  And see David, I’m not an AR-15 snob.  In fact, I advocate that everyone enjoy shooting.  I usually have a smile on my face when I’m shooting, and I get jazzed when I go shooting with friends and family.  With Daniel it was a little different, sort of like a hard job when you have to shoot >> 1000 rounds a day for two years under duress.  But that’s a little different.  Daniel still likes shooting too.

For heaven’s sake, David, you don’t need to be so puckered.  Smile a little.  Be an advocate for others to enjoy the same passion you’ve been able to have your whole life.  Don’t be jealous and petty and selfish.  And don’t … I repeat … don’t, be an AR-15 snob.

California Sheriff Loses AR-15, Placing It On Top Of Car And Driving Off

BY Herschel Smith
3 months ago

Via Uncle, Twitter.  An Orange County Sheriff’s Deputy loses his patrol rifle.  “The Deputy set the rifle, inside its case, on the trunk of his vehicle and inadvertently drove away.”

I guess inadvertently driving off is sort of like inadvertent discharges.  It’s all okay because its inadvertent.  Gosh, I hate it when that happens to me.  I do it all the time.  I remember the last time I did that.  The gun shop replaced it for free, and we all laughed and laughed and laughed.

One interesting question over Twitter is “Why is it called a patrol rifle when law enforcement has one, and an assault rifle if a civilian has one?”

Because shut up, says law enforcement.

Field Stripping And Cleaning An AR-15

BY Herschel Smith
3 months, 2 weeks ago

Josh Horwitz On Pistol Grips

BY Herschel Smith
4 months, 1 week ago

Boston Globe:

One of the features described in the legal bans as “military,” and by the gun industry as “cosmetic,” is a pistol grip on rifles — a handle beneath the trigger. This makes it easier to hold the rifle steady while firing repeatedly, a desired feature to shooting enthusiasts.

But Horwitz, of the gun-control coalition, sees the feature differently.

“Traditional hunting rifles are very accurate on the first shot,” he said, which is usually all one gets when hunting game. “The pistol grip allows the same accuracy on rounds two to 100, a very helpful addition when the shooter is aiming at people.”

You never knew that Howwitz was a tactical expert, did you?  Well, to be precise, the design of the AR-15/M-16/M-4 (or in other words, the Stoner family of arms) places the recoil along the axis of the firearm, as opposed to there being a couple about the firing hand because of the off-axis recoil and the buttstock being lower than the axis of recoil.

The pistol grip is a function of the rifle design, not vice versa or for some unrelated reason.  In other words, one couldn’t hold and shoot the firearm without it because the hand would be turned 90 degrees.  Round 1 versus rounds 2 to 100 is irrelevant, and Josh doesn’t know what he’s talking about.

As for forend grip, if that’s what he’s referring to, some folks would dispute the notion that holding a forend grip (as opposed to using it as a point of reference and a spring loaded bipod) assists the shooter at all.  Specifically, the thumb-over-bore grip or otherwise termed the C-clamp grip has become popular among some shooters.  It started in the gaming community, was adopted by some special operations guys, and is now commonly seen at ranges, and certainly in training videos by folks like Chris Costa and Travis Haley.

Costa_C_Clamp_Grip

In this picture, Chris Costa is using a reflex sight and a flip-to-side magnifier like I do, although not the reflex sight I use (EOTech), along with (what looks like) a Surefire M600 tactical light system.  My forend grip isn’t as high as his.

Some operators don’t even run a forend grip if the mission exclusively involves rapid target acquisition.  As for the main pistol grip, aside from the idea that it is necessary given the weapon design, there is no evidence that use of a pistol grip ipso facto ensures better accuracy or precision on any particular sequences of rounds (on the other hand, the recoil being directed along an axis is intended to aid in rapid target re-acquisition, but Josh didn’t say that).  So again, Josh Horwitz doesn’t know what he’s talking about.  But you knew that already.

Practice, test, be an engineer and mechanic.  Use whatever weapon design and particular set of additions to your weapon that works best for you.  They’ll never get our ARs.  The modularity of the AR-15 is one of its best features.  Josh Horwitz can trust the police to protect him.  As for you, trust God, and use your guns.

Officer Accidentally Fires Rifle Into 121st Precinct Ceiling

BY Herschel Smith
5 months, 1 week ago

silive.com:

STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. – An NYPD officer accidentally fired an AR-15 rifle inside the 121st Precinct stationhouse after a weapons bust last week, the Advance has learned.

The officer was vouchering the weapon into evidence Tuesday night, a law enforcement source said, when it discharged, firing a shot into the ceiling of the Graniteville stationhouse.

The blast sent a spray of concrete into the officer’s face, resulting in a trip to the hospital for evaluation, the source said.

Any NYPD spokesman confirmed the incident took place but declined comment further, citing an Internal Affairs Bureau investigation.

The weapon came from a stash confiscated from the New Springville home of Anthony Romano, 34, the source said.

Or in other words, with a round chambered, he chose to pull the trigger with the rifle pointed in an unsafe direction.  Gosh I hate it when that happens to me.  I remember the last time I accidentally shot up a police precinct.  We all laughed and laughed and laughed.  I’m glad they were all cool and didn’t cause me a hassle about it.

Note To EOTech

BY Herschel Smith
7 months ago

Soldier Systems:

Over the past few weeks, three separate issues have come to our attention regarding EOTech’s line of Holographic Weapon Sights (HWS). While we initially thought they weren’t related as they came up one by one, we realized they were all connected once we had looked into all three. Consequently, we believe they should be presented together, along with the source documentation.

Although it’s the last one we uncovered, we’ll begin with the most glaring piece of information. On 14 September, the SOF Weapons Program Management Office at NSWC Crane released a Safety of Use Message regarding issues with EOTech’s Enhanced Combat Optical Sights (ECOS), which is how they refer to HWS. This certainly caught our attention as the PMO is responsible for USSOCOM weapons. That message ultimately serves as the linchpin, tying together the other two issues we’ll soon address.

This critical bit of information would have been a stand-alone article, but it added credence to the others and offered coherence to some otherwise inexplicable issues. It also allowed us to concentrate on the facts presented in the various documentation. We will introduce the other issues after you get a chance to read the SOUM, which was obtained by Soldier Systems Daily. The Message has no date-time-group but was transmitted via official email traffic to SOF units on 14 September, 2015 and there are no markings limiting distribution.

Click to view PDF

While there is a great deal of information in the SOUM, two glaring issues stick out. The first is the reliability of the HWS in extreme temperatures, referred to as “Thermal Drift”. The PMO has noted a +/- 4 MOA shift at -40 Deg F and 122 Deg F. Second, is the concern over the claim by EOTech that their HWS are parallax free which was the subject of a previous Safety of Use Message from the same office issued 16 March, 2015. In this case they noted between 4 and 6 MOA parallax error depending on temperature conditions. Despite the PMO working with EOTech to rectify the issues, they still have not been resolved.

Listen to me, EOTech.  Just like we have noted with Remington and the Walker Fire Control System, it would have been better, cheaper and easier for Remington had they noted the problems up front, fixed them, recalled the parts, or refunded the clients.  Instead, the lawyers and corporate executives got involved and things went down hill.  Now, Remington is a shell of what it once was.  And for good reason.  I’ll be surprised if they survive except for government contracts.

Fix the problem.  Come clean about it, explain it, recall it, refund the parts, or do whatever you have to do.  Otherwise, you will lose market share, and permanently so.  You’ve been warned.

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