May 14th, 2014

Ammo Failure (Detonation?) in 3-Gun Match — Watch and Wince

AR kaboom detonation over charge ammo 3-GunWhat happens when a round goes off unsafely in an AR? Watch this video and see. At about the 00:40 time-mark the shooter has a malfunction (click no bang), with a round. He then removes the magazine, and clears the chamber (we think). On the next round, at 00:53 you hear a “Bang” and see a big puff of smoke coming out of the upper receiver (see photo at right). This has been called a “detonation” by the video-maker, but we’re not 100% sure what happened. What do you guys think? Watch the video carefully, and state your conclusions in the comment section if you wish.

What Caused this Malfunction? Watch Video…

In any event, the shooter is fortunate his upper did not completely fracture, launching shrapnel into his face or other body parts. This could have turned out much worse. Here are screen-shots from the video, showing details of the gun after the accident, along with the recovered brass case, which separated near the case-head.

AR kaboom detonation over charge ammo 3-Gun

AR kaboom detonation over charge ammo 3-Gun

AR kaboom detonation over charge ammo 3-Gun

AR kaboom detonation over charge ammo 3-Gun

AR kaboom detonation over charge ammo 3-Gun

AR kaboom detonation over charge ammo 3-Gun

Permalink - Videos, Tactical 31 Comments »
May 3rd, 2014

Lyman Releases New AR Reloading Handbook

Lyman AR15 reloading guide handbook bookAR this, AR that… sometimes it seems the gun world has gone AR crazy. There is even a book specifically dedicated to reloading for AR-platform rifles. This may seem superfluous when there are so many other reloading manuals on the market. However, there are some special factors to consider when reloading for ARs and other semi-automatic rifles. Cases should be full-length sized, with adequate shoulder bump and neck clearance (more than you might run with a bolt gun). Cartridge pressures must be appropriate for the AR platform, and you want to select powders that minimize fouling. Also, when loading for an AR you may want to experiment with cannelured bullets and crimping. And of course, rounds must be loaded to mag-length. Lastly, with the advent of the 300 AAC Blackout (and similar cartridges), many AR shooters now are experimenting with heavy 30-cal bullets in subsonic applications. AR owners will experience a “reloading learning curve” when moving from .223 Rem to the more exotic, subsonic 30-caliber cartridges.

These and other concerns are covered in Lyman’s new AR Reloading Handbook. This comprehensive reloading guide provides the AR shooter with reloading data for nearly all popular AR-platform chamberings. In addition to data for the standard .223 Rem, the following cartridges are also covered: 6.8 Rem, 300 AAC Blackout, 7.62×39, 450 Bushmaster, 50 Beowulf and others.

J&G Sales AR 15 Gallery Suppressor

Lyman touts its new book: “Reloaders will appreciate the wealth of AR-specific reloading data [for] all popular brands of bullets and powders. Specialty cast bullet and sub-sonic data further expand the usefulness of the handbook. Interesting articles by well known and popular firearms journalists are also included. These cover such areas as ‘Reloading for Suppressors’ and ‘Cartridge Interchangeability”. Finally all this AR data is presented in a full size, easy-to-use 8 1/2″ x 11″ format.”

Suppressed AR15 photo courtesy J&G Sales Ltd..

Book tip from EdLongrange. We welcome reader submissions.
Permalink Reloading, Tactical 1 Comment »
April 18th, 2014

Cool Integrated Optics Mount for under Ninety Bucks

AR skeletonized Warne AR MountHere’s a cool new optics mount at a very attractive price — just $87.95. Midsouth Shooter’s Supply is now featuring the Warne Skeletonized integrated scope mount for Picatinny Rails. This should work great on flat-top ARs. And for you fashionistas out there, the Warne mount is offered in four different colors: Matte Black, Dark Earth (tan), Ruby Red, and Bold Blue. Tactical shooters will probably pick black or tan sets, while image-conscious 3-Gun competitors might favor the Red or Blue versions.

These Warne integrated ring/mount sets are offered for 1″, 30mm, and 34mm rings. The 1″ and 30mm versions come in all four (4) colors and cost $87.95. The 34mm is offered in Matte Black only for $115.00. You may want to order soon. These are popular. The most popular colors (black and dark earth) could sell out quickly at this price.

AR skeletonized Warne AR Mount

AR skeletonized Warne AR Mount

Permalink Hot Deals, New Product, Optics No Comments »
March 26th, 2014

New Modern Shooter Print Magazine and TV Show

ar15 colt modern shooter magazine TVGun Digest will be producing a new quarterly print magazine, called Modern Shooter. It appears that the magazine focuses mostly on AR-platform rifles, AR accessories, and defensive shooting. The new magazine parallels the new Modern Shooter television show, which debuts on the Sportsman Channel next January. Look for Modern Shooter magazine on newsstands in April. The new magazine will also be available in digital format at www.gundigeststore.com.

Each issue of Modern Shooter will focus on a popular firearms category. For example, the premier issue explains how to maintain an AR rifle, and how to “Defend Your Castle” with an AR. This first issue features Richard Mann’s 12 training drills for AR-platform rifles, plus reviews of AR accessories: optics, sights, rails, and adjustable stocks. The premiere edition of Modern Shooter profiles Colt manufacturing, discussing the history of the company. Colt’s new LE6920MP-USA and AR15A4 rifles will be reviewed.

Permalink News, Shooting Skills No Comments »
February 26th, 2014

TECH TIP: Take-Down Procedure for AR Bolt Assembly

Accurate, modular, and supremely versatile, the AR15 is America’s favorite semi-auto rifle. But let’s face it, the AR is a maintenance hog. The AR’s gas tube blows carbon and soot right into the middle of the bolt assembly where it cakes on to the metal. The AR bolt also has many tiny parts, and small recesses, which must be cleaned regularly. This author has seen numerous ARs fail simply because there was gunk (dried lube, carbon, brass shavings) in the ejector slot or extractor spring recess.

AR15 Bolt Disassembly

A Clean AR is a Happy AR — Whether You Run ‘Wet’ or ‘Dry’
There are various schools of thought when it comes to maintaining an AR. Some folks prefer to run their AR “dry” with minimal lube on the lugs and friction surfaces. Other shooters prefer to run their ARs “wet”, with lots of lube. But whatever your preference, you need to clean your AR regularly. And nothing is more important than the AR’s bolt/carrier assembly. Because it is involved in feeding, firing, and extracting, the AR-15 bolt/carrier assembly can be considered the most critical portion of the AR-15 from a maintenance standpoint.

Bolt Take-Down Guide on Top Quark Blog
The editor of the Top Quark Blog has created an excellent illustrated AR15 Bolt Take-Down Guide that shows how to disassemble an AR15 bolt and carrier for regular cleaning. Even if you’re an experienced AR15 shooter, you can learn something from this page (sample at right), and you may want to bookmark it for future reference. The photos are large and clear and there are helpful hints for each step of the process.

The author knows his stuff and offers some important insights. For example, he notes that “Extractor springs in most AR15 bolt assemblies are fairly weak, and this can lead to various extraction-related failures. One of the few high points about Colt assemblies is their usage of higher-strength extractor springs. You can tell the difference by looking at the inner plastic insert. ‘Normal’ springs feature a blue plastic insert, Colt strong springs have a black insert.”

There is one notable oversight on this page — the author doesn’t cover disassembly and cleaning of the ejector assembly. This is actually quite important. A few small brass shavings, combined with carbon and lube in the ejector slot, WILL cause malfunctions. In fact, when this editor is called to diagnose problem ARs, the first things I look at (after swapping magazines) are the ejector recess and the slot for the extractor. Clogged ejectors are responsible for fail-to-ejects and other jams. It is essential that you keep the ejector hole clean. Old, gooey lube residues mixed with carbon and tiny brass shavings in the ejector recess will create all sorts of problems. As shown in the diagram below, it is simple to remove the ejector (#6) and ejector spring (#5), by drifting the ejector retaining pin (#4).

AR15 Bolt Assembly Diagram

Permalink Tech Tip 9 Comments »
August 21st, 2013

Magpul 30-Round AR Magazines for $10.79 at Brownells

Just a “heads-up” for our AR shooters out there. Check this out. For a limited time, Brownells is selling
Magpul 30-Round Polymer AR mags
for just $10.79 each. That’s right — high-quality Magpul PMAG 30s for under eleven bucks. Hard to beat that deal if you are looking for name-brand 30-rounders for your .223/5.56 AR-platform rifle. Click image below to see product info on the Brownells webstore.

Permalink Hot Deals No Comments »
April 13th, 2012

Lothar Walther Offers Finished Garand and AR15 Barrels

Lothar walther logoLothar Walther has some new “pre-fit” barrel offerings that should interest Garand and AR shooters. Garand Match competitors and vintage military rifle shooters will be pleased that LW is now offering “finished” Garand barrels, pre-chambered in your choice of six (6) different chamberings: .270 Win, 7×64, .308 Win,.30-06, 8x57IS and 9.3×62. These are all four-groove barrels with 24″ length. Twist rates along with land/groove diameters are listed on the Lothar Walther website. NOTE: Though these barrels come pre-chambered, you’ll still need a competent gunsmith for final fitting and headspacing.

Finished M1 Garand Barrel
Garand Finished Barrels

AR15 Barrels — Multiple Contour Options
For AR15 shooters, Lothar Walther now offers a wide variety of pre-chambered AR15 barrels, set up for either .222 Rem and .223 Rem. With the .223 Rem barrels you have a choice of either standard .223 Rem OR .223 Wylde chambers. You can select either stainless steel or what LW calls “special rifle steel”. For most of these contours, other calibers/chamberings (.204 Ruger, .17 Rem., .30/.221 Fireball, 6.5 CSS, 6.8 SPC) are available on request. Extra charges may apply. Gunsmith required for attachment of barrel extension, drilling of gas port, and attachment of gas block, and (optional) front sight.

Contour 6000:16
Contour 6100:20
Contour 6100:24
Contour 6200:24
Contour 6200:26
Contour 6300-1675-MU

North American customers can order these “finished” Garand and AR15 barrels by contacting:

Lothar Walther Precision Tools
3425 Hutchinson Rd.
Cumming, GA 30040
Phone: 770-889-9998
E-Mail: lotharwalther [at] mindspring.com

Product tip from EdLongrange. We welcome reader submissions.
Permalink Gunsmithing, New Product No Comments »
March 14th, 2012

Buy Nikon P-22, P-223, or M-233 Scope — Get Free Scope Mount

From March 15 through April 22, 2012, Nikon will give a free scope mount to purchasers of select-model AR scopes. Yep, if you buy a qualifying Nikon AR riflescope, you’ll receive the corresponding AR mount (retail value up to $99.95) for free. Included in the offer are Nikon’s P-22, P-223, and M-223 riflescopes. Nikon’s M-223 and P-223 scopes are built specifically for the .223 Remington cartridge. With BDC (bullet drop compensating) or Nikoplex reticles, they are designed to give AR shooters a high quality optic with fast sighting speed. The P-22 is the rimfire-optimized variant designed for the .22LR cartridge.

Nikon AR Scope Mount P series

Choose Two-Piece or One-Piece AR-specific Scope Mounts
Nikon has developed two types of AR scope mounts for AR platform rifles. The new P-Series mount (shown above) is a two-piece design that can mount a P-22 or P-223 scope to almost any AR platform rifle. The M-223XR mount is a one-piece design made for the M-223 riflescope. The angled-base M-223XR offers +20 MOA of built-in elevation for long-range shooting.

The P-Series mount is available with the purchase of the following P-223 or P-22 scopes:
P-223 3×32 Carbine Reticle (#8496) | P-223 3-9×40 BDC 600 (#8497) | P-22 2-7×32 (#8498, #8499)

The M-223XR mount is available with the purchase of any of the following M-223 scopes:
M-223 1-4×20 (#8485) | M-223 2-8×32 (#8486, #8487) | M-223 3-12×42 (#8488, #8489)

To learn more about Nikon’s free scope mount promotion, visit NikonPromo.com after March 15, 2012. NOTE: Offer excludes Nikon M-223 2.5-10×40 Laser IRT (#8491); and M-223 4-16×42 (#8492, #8493).

Permalink Hot Deals, Optics 1 Comment »
January 14th, 2011

Creedmoor Sports Has First-Ever Micro-Sight for Service Rifles

The new Micro-Sight was developed by scientists at Idaho National Laboratory (INL). This revolutionary optical insert for iron sights allows you to see BOTH the target and your front sight in sharp focus. The Micro-Sight employs Phased Zone Plate technology to improve focus of both close and distant objects.

Creedmoor Sports Micro-Sight

Creedmoor Sports Micro-SightCreedmoor Sports Now Selling Production Micro-Sight
This summer we reported that the Micro-Sight was in development. Now Creedmoor Sports has the first-ever production Micro-Sight, a special hood for AR and service rifle rear sights. The Micro-Sight hood sold by Creedmoor replaces a standard AR-15 hood (1/4-32 threads) as found in most NM AR-15 rear sights. The Micro-Sight element is positioned in the center of the hood, where it is shielded from moisture and impacts. Licensed by INL, the new Micro-Sight for ARs will be followed in the spring by inserts for popular rear match sights. The new SR Micro-Sight insert for ARs, item MS-1, costs $139.95. Order soon — Creedmoor has sold nearly 100 sights in just two days! Click HERE or call 800-273-3366 to order.

Creedmoor Micro-Sight

The Micro-Sight really works, and it makes a huge difference, particular for “older eyes” that have trouble focusing on both the target and the front sight. For the first time you’ll have a sight picture where the front sight and the target are both in focus. Creedmoor’s Dennis DeMille, a former National Service Rifle Champion, tells us: “This is one of the most game-changing products to come out in years!”

WATCH the VIDEO below to see the Micro-Sight in Use and to learn how it works…

YouTube Preview Image

Disclosure: Creedmoor Sports Advertises with AccurateShooter.com

Permalink Gear Review, New Product, Optics 4 Comments »
December 7th, 2010

New Geissele Trigger for ARs — Exclusively at MidwayUSA

Geiselle super-dynamic triggersGeissele triggers are highly regarded by high power and service rifle AR shooters. Now there is a new line of moderately-priced Geissele triggers, sold exclusively by MidwayUSA. Geissele will produce three types of Super-Dynamic triggers for MidwayUSA: Combat, Enhanced, and 3-Gun. These will all boast tool steel hammers and precise, Wire-EDM-cut sear surfaces. The 3-Gun model has a special “short reset” feature to allow quicker shot strings in competition. Unless you’re “running and gunning”, however, you’ll probably prefer the “Enhanced trigger”, which features a 2.2-lb first stage, a 1.2-lb second stage and crisper break.

Geissele super-dynamic triggersGeissele’s Super-Dynamic triggers feature a straight vertical trigger bow, preferred by many competitors. Geissele claims its HI-SPEED hammer cuts lock time by 50% compared to standard AR hammers.

The Combat Trigger features a 2.5 to 3-lb first stage and a 2-lb second stage. Normal price: $209.99.

The Enhanced Trigger has a 2.2-lb first stage, a 1.2-lb second stage and crisper break. Normal price: $224.99.

The 3-Gun Trigger was designed with input from competitive multi-gun shooters and features a “hybrid” 3.5-lb pull and shorter reset for rapid target engagement. Normal Price: $234.99.

ON SALE Through December 31, 2010
These three Geissele triggers are all marked down this month. The Combat trigger is reduced $21.00 to $188.99. The Enhanced trigger is discounted $25.00 to $199.99, and the 3-Gun trigger is marked down $25.00 to $209.99.

Disclosure: MidwayUSA has been a long-term advertiser with this site.
Permalink Gunsmithing, New Product 1 Comment »
November 4th, 2010

New AR-15 Assembly Guide for Home Builders

AR15 construction guideThe Competitive AR-15 Builders Guide, a new book by Glen Zedicker, is now available. Following Zedicker’s New AR-15 Competitive Rifle (2008), the new Builders Guide provides step-by-step instructions that will help non-professional, “home builders” assemble a competitive match or varmint rifle. This book isn’t for everyone — you need some basic gun assembly experience and an aptitude for tools. But the new Zedicker Builders’ Guide. provides a complete list of the tools you’ll need for the job, and Zedicker outline all the procedures to build a AR15 from start to finish.

Along with assembly methods, this book covers parts selection and preparation, not just hammers and pins. Creedmoor Sports, which sells the book for $31.00, explains: “Knowing how to get what you want, and be happy with the result, is truly the focus of this book. Doing it yourself gives you a huge advantage. The build will honestly have been done right, and you’ll know it! Little problems will have been fixed, function and performance enhancements will have been made, and the result is you’ll have a custom-grade rifle without paying custom-builder prices.”

The Competitive AR-15 Builders Guide is not yet available from Amazon.com or most large book vendors. However, Creedmoor Sports has plenty of copies in stock (item BK Builder, $31.00 on sale). To order, visit www.creedmoorsports.com or call 1-800-CREEDMOOR.

Permalink Gunsmithing 2 Comments »
June 9th, 2010

Magpul Invents New Quad-Stack Magazine for ARs

Magpul 4-stack AR magazineHere’s an item that should interest 3-Gun and Multi-Gun competitors using AR rifles. Magpul Industries has filed for a patent on a new “quad-stack” magazine that may hold as many as 60 rounds, yet feed through a normal AR15 mag well. (In Multi-Gun matches, ultra-high-capacity magazines can provide a competitive edge in high-round-count stages.) While Magpul is renowned for its innovative engineering, we wonder if this new mag design was inspired, at least in part, by the Russians. Earlier this year, the Izhmash OJSC factory in Russia revealed a quad-stack 60-round magazine for the new AK-200 rifle, successor to the AK-47.

An explanation of how Magpul’s new quad-stack AR magazine works is found on The Firearm Blog, which reports: “The design is quite straight forward. A central partition separates two dual staggered round stacks. Two springs are used, a lower stronger spring and a weaker top spring[.]”

In the frame below, click-drag on the right-side scroll bar to view numerous technical illustrations included in Magpul’s 12-page patent application. You can also navigate by clicking the page arrows (at bottom of frame) or by clicking “tile mode”. Use the plus/minus controls to zoom in or out.

Permalink - Articles, New Product 1 Comment »
May 12th, 2010

National Match Air Rifle Update from CMP

National Match Air RifleCMP efforts to develop the new National Match Air Rifle (NMAR) shooting discipline continue to advance. The CMP has created a new 30-shot NMAR Sporter-Garand Course especially for new and recreation-oriented shooters (as well as cross-over military rifle shooters). A special NMAR webpage is now posted on the CMP website to provide a handy, complete source of updated information. A revised edition of the CMP Guide to National Match Air Rifle with the latest rule changes was recently released and can be downloaded from the CMP website. The National Matches Air Gun Events Program featuring a month of daily NMAR opportunities during the National Matches has also just been released.

National Match Air RifleGeneral Information for NMAR Competitors
Download the CMP Guide to National Match Air Rifle (PDF) for additional details. This 20-page booklet contains NMAR Rules, Courses of Fire, Firing Procedures and Range Commands, Safety Definitions and Regulations, and Range Officer Commands along with information on how to get started in NMAR and how clubs can run NMAR Matches.

A new Sporter-Garand Course has been added. This course of fire closely duplicates the popular 30-shot John C. Garand Course that is fired outdoors (with as-issued military rifles). The Sporter-Garand Course is fired with Sporter Class rifles only. All three stages of this course are fired on the AR-SR (200-yard reduced) target. This new course is designed expressly for new and inexperienced shooters and for Military Rifle shooters who want a rifle event that duplicates what they will shoot outdoors.

NMAR Rules and Guide Updated
A few rule changes were recently adopted after experiences from earlier NMAR matches were evaluated. The latest NMAR rules that are listed in the CMP Guide to National Match Air Rifle (PDF), on the CMP website. Front sight inserts in Sporter Class rifles can now be either posts or rings (apertures). It turned out that so many shooters, especially juniors, were coming to NMAR matches with aperture experience only so the change was adopted.

Permalink Competition, Shooting Skills No Comments »
February 18th, 2010

CMMG .22LR Conversion Kit for ARs on SALE at CDNN

A reliable 22LR conversion kit for an AR-platform rifle lets you train with inexpensive ammo. That’s a big advantage for 3-gun competitors who must engage multiple targets rapidly, often at relatively short distances. Multi-gun competition is a speed game, requiring plenty of practice to “run with the big dogs”. It’s not unusual for elite 3-gun shooters to put hundreds of rifle rounds down range every week. Service Rifle shooters can also benefit from cross-training with an AR equipped to shoot .22LR rimfire rounds. With a good .22LR conversion kit, Service Rifle shooters can practice their positions and gun-handling at minimal expense. In the winter, if you have a .22LR conversion for your AR, you can train at the many indoor ranges that allow rimfire rifles, but not centerfire rifles.

Complete Conversion Kit for $189.99 from CDNN
CDNN Investments in Texas is offering a good deal on the CMMG .22lr Stainless Conversion Kit for AR15-type rifles. This includes a stainless bolt and bolt carrier assembly and two (2) 25-round magazines or two (2) 10-round mags. The CMMG Kit uses your existing fire control (trigger) group and requires no internal gunsmithing. Just drop it in and shoot. While supplies last, the CMMG Conversion Kit with magazine(s) is priced at $189.99. NOTE: CDNN is offering 2 mags with this package as a “limited time offer”. (MidwayUSA also has this Kit, with one mag, for $199.99.)

.22LR Rimfire conversion AR15 AR-15

CMMG .22LR Kit Is Reliable and Affordable
The CMMG conversion is widely used and has proved quite reliable, both with the 10-round and 25-round magazines. It is recommended by Brownells, though some Brownells customers have said the kits required some minor fitting or polishing. (This may be more of an issue with “off-brand” uppers — Colt AR owners reported no issues.) In the video below you see an AR15 being fired with the CMMG .22LR conversion in place. Then the CMMG bolt is exchanged for the original .223 Rem bolt assembly and the gun is shot in centerfire mode.

YouTube Preview Image

In the second video below you’ll see the CMMG conversion shot with two full (or nearly full) 25-round magazines, in rapid fire. There are no malfunctions.

YouTube Preview Image
Permalink Competition, Hot Deals, New Product 2 Comments »
January 31st, 2010

Front and Rear Bag-Riders For the New AR Benchrest Game

The IBS recently announced that it would allow AR-platform rifles to compete in local IBS benchrest matches in their own class. If you plan to campaign your AR in this new class, you should definitely add a 3″-wide front sled and some kind of rear bag-rider to your gun. Without a flat fore-arm “sled” and rear bag-rider, ARs tend to be very wobbly, and the standard rear stock (with sling loop in place) is terrible in a rear sandbag.

Robert Whitley’s AR-X Enterprises has just what you need to improve your AR’s bench behavior. AR-X sells precisely-fitted Delrin bag-riders, crafted expressly for ARs by Evolution Gun Works (EGW). The 3″-wide front bag rider (aka “sled”) features a “twin rail” design and attaches to a tubular fore-arm via a swivel stud. The rear bag-rider mates to the bottom of a standard AR stock and attaches via the rear sling swivel anchor. This provides a smooth, straight surface to ride the bags.

These Delrin EGW bag-rider units were originally designed and prototyped for AccurateShooter.com’s 20 Practical AR project rifle. We tried many different designs, and the final production versions really work — as you can see in the video above. The AR bag-riders cost $40 front and $40 rear, or $75.00 for the set of two. To order, visit 6mmAR.com, or email Robert Whitley: rcw3 [at] erols.com .

Permalink - Videos, Competition, New Product 2 Comments »
December 18th, 2009

Remington/Bushmaster ACR Debuts in Black Livery

What may be the very first production, civilian Bushmaster Adaptive Combat Rifle (ACR) was presented to Florida shooter J. James, who was the winner of an Advanced Armament Corp. (AAC) silent auction for the rifle (with AAC silencer). AAC was recently acquired by Remington Arms Co. as a Cerberus Freedom group company, along with Bushmaster. That’s how AAC got its hands on the first civilian ACR. The upper receiver is stamped S/N GR00100 and “MODEL – BACR”. Interestingly, the rifle is also stamped “CALIBER – MULTI”. Everybody has been clamoring for photos of the actual production version of the ACR. Well, here they are.

ACR Rifle Bushmaster

James had the weapon professionally photographed, and posted the images on Photobucket.com and AR15.com.

ACR Rifle Bushmaster

ACR Rifle Bushmaster

Links to other photos:
Left Side | Right Side | Grip | Stocks | Gas Block | Lower with Fixed Stock | Lower and Fire Control Group | Barrel with Piston Kit

The new ACR features a 16″ barrel with m4 profile. A 4th Generation rail system offers removable Picatinny rails. James’ gun came with two (2) stocks, both the new-style, spring-lock folder and the fixed stock. The charging handle is ambi-dextrous and can be flipped left or right, as well as up and down. James reports that the ACR exhibits good fit and function. He says the trigger is “100% better than the SCAR” and is very crisp.

Permalink News 3 Comments »
October 7th, 2009

NSSF Explains Hunting Role of AR15 in Video

The National Shooting Sports Foundation’s educational campaign on modern sporting rifles has created a new video that explains how (and why) AR-platform rifles are suited for hunting, varminting, and other sporting uses. The campaign is designed to reach a wide audience in the hunting and target shooting community, with emphasis placed on educating sportsmen whose preference for traditional-looking firearms can lead them to misunderstand AR-15-platform rifles and to even describe them as “assault weapons”. This can inadvertently lend support to elected officials and organizations who want to ban these rifles.

YouTube Preview Image

NSSF President Steve Sanetti writes, “We ask everyone who values their gun ownership rights to correct misunderstandings about the use and operation of these modern sporting rifles. If we let misinformation go unchecked, we only assist those who would ban ownership of these and other types of semi-automatic firearms, like your duck-hunting shotgun. We can’t let that happen.”

Permalink - Videos, Hunting/Varminting No Comments »
September 22nd, 2009

Ruger Reveals New SR-22 — Rimfire AR Look-alike

Ruger has just announced the new SR-22, which is a Ruger 10/22 shamelessly tarted up to look like an AR-15. For tactical and 3-gun competitors needing a practice weapon that shares the ergonomics of their AR15 match gun, the SR-22 makes sense. Otherwise, frankly, we lament the addition of the wobbly and poorly-designed AR-style collapsible stock to a firearm that works just fine with a conventional stock. We do like the integrated Picatinny-style rail on top of the action. This allows you to easily mount Red Dot sights or other optics. But does anyone really need rails on the forearm or a Mini-14 flash suppressor on a 22LR? No, but these features will probably sell more rifles. Anything that looks “tacticool” these days seems to sell well.

Ruger SR-22

CLICK HERE for SR-22 Specifications Sheet

MSRP for the new SR-22 is $625.00 and we expect street price to be about $575.00. That’s more than twice the price of a standard 10/22 that, frankly, performs pretty well once you’ve upgraded the trigger. Is it worth paying double to get a pistol grip, AR-style buttstock, and Picatinny scope rail? Ruger is banking on the fact that AR devotees will say yes and shell out big bucks for the SR-22.

AR Egonomics with 10/22 Economy and Simplicity
According to Ruger, the “SR-22 Rifle allows shooters to use economical .22 LR ammunition, while still enjoying the look and feel of an ‘AR’. [The gun] faithfully replicates the AR-platform dimensions between the sighting plane, buttstock height, and grip. Like the 10/22, the AR-style SR-22 Rifle also has an extensive array of accessories available, allowing shooters to select a custom configuration that best suits their tastes and needs.”

Ruger SR-22

The SR-22 uses standard SR-22 rotary magazines. Indeed, at its heart, the SR-22 is pretty ordinary. It features a standard 10/22 action inside an aluminum Nordic Components chassis that provides the rail mount, buttstock mount, and AR-style grip mount. The SR-22 ships with a six-position, telescoping M4-style buttstock (on a Mil-Spec diameter tube), plus a Hogue pistol grip. Buttstocks and grips may be swapped out for any AR-style compatible option. The wobbly, collapsible buttstock is the first thing this editor would toss on the SR-22.

Interestingly, the round handguard/float tube is secured with a standard-thread AR-style barrel nut, and the handguard is drilled and tapped for rails at the 3, 6, 9 and 12 o’ clock positions. Picatinny handguard rails are available from Ruger so you can add rail-mounted gizmos to your heart’s content. There is a barrel support V-block in the handguard so you can easily swap barrels or install after-market 10/22 barrels. The SR-22’s 16-1/8″ barrel is capped with an Mini-14 flash suppressor mounted with AR-spec ½”-28 thread.

YouTube Preview Image
Permalink New Product 7 Comments »
August 25th, 2009

AR-Platform Digital Magazine to Launch in Fall

As if there isn’t enough coverage given to AR-platform rifles already, Grand View Media Group announced it will roll out an AR-specific digital magazine later this year. The new AR Guns & Hunting “E-Zine” covers “gear and tactics” for AR sporting and hunting applications. Its creators intend AR Guns & Hunting to be much more than a conventional print mag re-packaged for the web. According to Grand View, AR Guns & Hunting will provide interactive content and a true “multimedia experience”. You’ll also find gear reviews, tactical news, and first-person hunting accounts.

AR Guns and Hunting

For those interested in this new web resource for AR platform shooters, AR Guns & Hunting is currently offering FREE digital subscriptions. Just supply a valid email address to get access to the content. Grand View Media plans to distribute the first editions via direct email to subscribers. (Hmmm, you may want to check the privacy policy before you sign up.)

Editor: While we applaud any effort to expand the information available to shooters, we’ll withhold judgment until AR Guns & Hunting actually launches. It may be more flash than substance, created mostly to exploit the current market craze for black rifles and accessories. We also are not big fans of “digital edition” formatting — where you flip pages as with a paper magazine. It seems cool at first but then you realize the pages are slow to load, and you don’t have the flexibility of a “normal” web page with vertical scrolling, outbound web-links, and Google searchability.

The web is truly a different medium than print. Forcing readers into a “print magazine experience” is a bit like taking the wings off an airplane so passengers can experience bus travel.

Permalink News 1 Comment »
May 26th, 2009

New .224 Cartridge for AR Match Rifles

Robert Whitley has a new .224 version of the 6.5 Grendel cartridge. The goal was to create a low-recoil but high-BC round to use in AR-platform match rifles. Based on the performance Whitley is getting, we think this wildcat would also be an excellent bolt-gun round.

Whitley tells us: “I have recently been working on another 6.5 Grendel progeny I have made up and call the ‘.224 AR Mag’, which is the 6.5 Grendel case necked down to accept .224″ bullets. I am very impressed by this cartridge and Berger Bullets’ .224″ heavy, high-BC bullet offerings are just beautiful (dimensionally and otherwise) for use with the cartridge. I also have reloading dies for the .224 AR Mag and I am going to make up a page on my website for the sale of AR-15 uppers chambered in the .224 AR Mag.

Whitley 224 AR cartridge

Above you can see the new 224 AR Mag cartridge (right) next to a .223 Rem (left) and a Berger 82 gr BT bullet (right) next to a Sierra 77 gr BTHP bullet (left bullet). The Berger bullet has a good bit higher BC than the Sierra 77 BTHP (.432 BC for the Berger vs. .362 BC for the Sierra). In the 224 AR Mag, the Berger 82 gr BT bullet sits at 2.260″ OAL (.010″ off the lands and a perfect magazine length) with the junction of the boat tail and bearing surface just ahead of the neck and shoulder of the case. You cannot properly load the 82s to mag length in a .223 Rem because the case is so long the bearing surface of the bullet starts to disappear into the mouth of the case, and at magazine length the Sierra 77s sit so far back in the .223 Rem case they hog valuable powder capacity.

Whitley 224 AR cartridge

The .224 AR Mag has a powder capacity of 36 grains of H2O vs. about 29.5 grains of water weight capacity for the .223 Rem. That’s a major difference in powder capacity. In addition you have bullets like the .224 Berger 90gr VLD and 90gr BT bullets that have BCs of .552 and .525 that can be driven very effectively and fast by the .224 AR Mag because of its case capacity. Bear in mind the brass is all Lapua small primer brass as well — what’s not to like?

I have done chrono testing of the cartridge with Varget and RL-15, using the Berger 82 gr BT and the Berger 90 gr BT bullets. This cartridge really can spit them out fast! (See load data below).” NOTE: Whitley could drive both bullets about 100 fps faster using 28.0 grains of Varget or RL15, but those loads approached max practical pressure. Start low and work up.

Berger 82gr BT
27.0 grains Varget w/ Berger 82gr BT, MV = 2865 fps, ES = 29, SD = 14
27.0 grains RL-15 w/ Berger 82gr BT, MV = 2920 fps, ES = 15, SD = 7

Berger 90gr BT
27.0 grains Varget w/ Berger 90gr BT, MV = 2792 fps, ES = 26, SD = 12
27.0 grains RL-15 w/ Berger 90gr BT, MV = 2857 fps, ES = 12, SD = 6

CLICK HERE for Load Specs and Chron Testing Results (.pdf file).

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, New Product 7 Comments »