August 16th, 2019

Scary Stuff — .300 Blackout Fired in a .223 Rem Barrel

.300 AAC Blackout 300 BLK kaboom accident blowup cartridge failure barrel .223 Rem 5.56
Photos and Facebook post by Tactical Rifle Shooters

Yet another .300 Blackout disaster. Unfortunately, that .300 Blackout cartridge can fit in a .223 Rem chamber. Shooting a .308-caliber bullet in .223 bore is a recipe for disaster.

.300 AAC Blackout 300 BLK kaboom accident blowup cartridge failure barrel .223 Rem 5.56

.300 AAC Blackout 300 BLK kaboom accident blowup cartridge failure barrel .223 Rem 5.56The .300 AAC Blackout aka “300 BLK”, is a compact 30-caliber cartridge designed to work in AR-15 rifles. It has a shorter cartridge case to accommodate the bigger 30-caliber bullet while still fitting in a standard AR-15 magazine. Unfortunately, that’s the danger. A careless shooter can toss a .300 Blackout cartridge in with .223 Rem rounds without noting. And because the case-head size is the same as the .223 Rem (5.56×45) the rifle’s bolt assembly will happily chamber and fire the .300 BLK round. Problem is, that forces a .308 diameter bullet down an undersized .223-caliber bore. Not good!

This images were provided by Tactical Rifle Shooters on Facebook. The message was clear: “Don’t try to run 300 Blackout in your .223/5.56mm. It won’t end well. The problem is identical rifles and identical magazines but different calibers.”

For those who MUST have a .300 Blackout, here are some things you can do:

1. Use different colored magazines for .300 Blackout vs. .223 Rem.
2. Fit all your uppers with caliber-labeled ejection port covers.
3. Mark .223 Rem upper handguards with the caliber in bright paint.
4. Mark all .300 BLK Rounds with heavy black marker.

.300 AAC Blackout 300 BLK kaboom accident blowup cartridge failure barrel .223 Rem 5.56

Comments by Folks Who Viewed these .300 Blackout Disaster Photos:

“The .300 Blackout is simply a badly-designed round. A properly-designed round would have had a feature in the shape that would have prevented cross loading in the first place.” — D. Santiago

“I almost made that mistake… I had a magazine of 300 BLK inserted in my .223/5.56 all night. Fortunately, I never pulled the trigger. Once I realized the mistake, I almost got ill. [After that incident] I no longer own a 300 BLK.” — B. Welch

“Happened to me hog hunting from a helo. Gun exploded in my face.” — B. Hood

“Fire-forming projectiles [is] so wrong in centerfire!” — M. Stres

“Had some dude come into the store the other day wanting .300 Blackout ammo to shoot in his 5.56 AR. It took 15 minutes of explaining for him to understand you got to have a .300 Blackout Upper!” — R. Williams

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, News, Tech Tip 18 Comments »
July 29th, 2019

BargainFinder 201: AccurateShooter’s Deals of the Week

Accurateshooter Bargain Finder Deals of Week

At the request of our readers, we provide select “Deals of the Week”. Every Monday morning we offer our Best Bargain selections. Here are some of the best deals on firearms, hardware, reloading components, optics, and shooting accessories. Be aware that sale prices are subject to change, and once clearance inventory is sold, it’s gone for good. You snooze you lose.

1. Palmetto State Armory — Complete AR Lowers $120-$150

palmetto psa Magpul AR10 AR15 AR lower sale discount

Guys, this is the lowest price we’ve seen for non-blem, name-brand AR-15 platform complete lowers. If you are building an AR for varminting, 3-Gun, or home defense, check out Palmetto’s Going Overboard Sale. Get the MOE FDE Edition for just $119.99. Or for $30 more choose the STR Edition or ACS-L edition, both offered for $149.99. All these models have quality Magpul stocks and grips and include full trigger groups. Use the money you save with these bargain lowers to buy a top-grade barrel for your upper.

2. Brownells — Lapua Scenar-L Bullets

lapua scenar bullets

Lapua Scenar-L match bullets are extremely consistent in weight and base to ogive length. In our experience they shoot great, and they definitely deserve a try-out along with Bergers and Sierras. We’ve seen success in various calibers and even found some barrels prefer them over anything else. If you want to try these excellent Lapua projectiles, right now Brownells is selling Lapua Scenar-L bullets at up to 28% off! These discounted Scenar-Ls are offered in .224, 6mm, 6.5mm, 7mm and .308 (30 Caliber) — all the most popular match calibers.

3. Amazon — Tipton Ultra Gun Vise, $125.99

tipton ultra vise

Cleaning and working on your guns requires a solid platform. Most gun cleaning stands aren’t adjustable enough, or are too flimsy. Not so the Tipton Ultra Gun Vise. Weighing-in at about 10 pounds, this beefy gun vise provides a steady base. The frame is metal for strength. It features stout adjustable jaws, specialized AR holder, and several accessory trays. Threaded feet allow the vise to be leveled on your bench (or the ground). With this system you can work on just about anything including bolt-action rifles, AR-platform rifles, shotguns, pistols, and even compound bows and crossbows. To fit 3″-wide forearms you may have to remove or modify the front pad(s). Our Deals Editor, who owns this gun vise, reports: “this is a phenomenal vise — the best anybody makes — it is well worth the $125.99″.

4. Natchez — Vortex 3-9x40mm Tactical Scope, $189.49

vortex tactical scope

As optics technology advances, scope performance-for-the-price improves too. A good example is Vortex Optics, which offers fine scopes at very reasonable prices. The Vortex 3-9x40mm Tactical has good features and a rock-solid warranty. It’s a lot of scope for $279.99 but now you can grab this versatile Vortex for the crazy low price of $189.49 at Natchez.

5. Bruno Shooters Supply — Berger Bullets at Great Prices

“Berger

Match season is in full swing — so make sure you don’t run short on bullets. One of our go-to sources for reloading components is Bruno Shooters Supply. Bruno’s just recently updated its website, so you should check out the new features. While you’re there, look at Bruno’s selection of Berger bullets advertised at “lowest prices on the internet”. Berger match bullets are in high demand, but Bruno’s is offering great prices on many popular calibers and bullet weights.

6. EuroOptic — 50% Off Minox with Mauser Rifle Purchase

mauser rifle minox scope

The Mauser M18 is a proven hunting rifle offered in many popular hunting calibers/cartridge types. If you’re looking for a fine, affordable hunting rifle definitely consider the M18. And for added incentive, right now you can get 50% off a Minox scope with the purchase of a Mauser M18 rifle from EuroOptic.com. CLICK HERE to get the Mauser coupon which you can redeem with Minox USA after your purchase. This is a great promo that can save you a ton of money.

7. Grizzly — 60″ Padded Rifle Case, $40.97

padded rifle scope

Do you cringe every time you place expensive rifles into old cases that are dirty or damaged? Here’s a great case for long match rifles at a great price. Grizzly is now selling excellent 60″ Bald Eagle rifle cases for just $40.97. These cases are well made, heavily-padded with lots of pockets. They compare favorably to other soft cases costing $65 or more. It can be hard to find quality cases that hold very long rifles. NOTE: Grizzly has other case colors and sizes on sale for a few bucks more.

8. Midsouth — Nosler 6.5 Creedmoor 140gr Ammo, $24.99 per box

padded rifle scope

Nosler 6.5 Creedmoor ammunition features top-of-the-line 140gr ballistic tip bullets (0.509 G1 BC). These B-Tips feature tapered jackets to control expansion and allow good penetration and a deep wound cavity. These are excellent hunting bullets for deer, antelope, and hogs. Nosler used top-quality brass, powders, and primers for its 6.5 Creedmoor B-Tip ammo. These cartridges have a 2550 FPS Muzzle Velocity.

9. Amazon — Frankford Arsenal Rotary Tumbler Lite, $99.99

Frankford Arsenal Rotary Tumbler Lite

Lots of people love wet-tumbling their brass in stainless pins but not everyone want to do it in a giant unit. We found a sweet deal on the Frankford Arsenal Rotary Tumbler Lite. Amazon has this unit on sale for $99.99. This tumbler is small enough to fit on a counter but still big enough to hold 300 pieces of .223 Rem brass. For folks on a limited budget who want to get started with wet tumbling, this is a solid choice.

10. Amazon – Proster Wind Meter, $16.99

Proster Wind Meter

This Proster wind meter is a great bargain. The previous model had a very impressive 4.2 star overall rating (with 300+ reviews), and the latest version has some improvements (including a square base so it can stand). Now on sale for just $16.99, this is a very useful tool for a bargain basement price. To provide reliable wind inputs for ballistics calculations, you really do need a Wind Meter. And unlike a costly Kestrel, with this budget wind meter, you won’t feel too bad if it gets lost or misplaced.

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Hot Deals, Optics, Reloading, Tactical 2 Comments »
July 27th, 2019

SCATT MX-02 Training System Works for Centerfire Shooters

SCATT MX-02 training digital camera sensor target

The SCATT MX-02 is an electronic shooter training system that is capable of operating outdoors with live, centerfire ammunition, at distances from 25 yards to 600 yards. Tony Chow tested this product for AccurateShooter.com. As fitted to his AR-15 Service Rifle, Tony concludes this is a very useful tool that can help High Power competitors refine their technique and shoot higher scores. CLICK HERE for MX-02 3000-word Review.

How the SCATT MX-02 Works
The SCATT sensor mounted on the end of the barrel has a digital camera that recognizes the black bullseye in the target, even in broad daylight outdoors. Using the bullseye as a reference, the SCATT software tracks the movement of the muzzle relative to the center of the target. The unit can plot these movements as a continuous trace, which appears on a monitor as a squiggly, colored line. By sensing the exact moment of shot release, the SCATT can also interpolate relative shot placement (for a single shot or series of shots) — but this is not the same as an electronic target which actually records the exact shot impact location on the target.

SCATT MX-02 training digital camera sensor target

Some time ago, we reviewed this product from the perspective of a smallbore competitive shooter. (Read Previous Review.) Here we test SCATT MX-02 again, this time on an AR-15 service rifle, in order to assess its suitability for the High Power competition community.

We put the MX-02 through its paces in all three High Power shooting positions and in various environmental conditions. We wanted to find out whether the system can reliably operate in the harsher outdoor settings and withstand the recoil of a centerfire rifle. We also wanted to assess whether it provides added values for High Power shooters over older generation of electronic trainers such as SCATT’s own venerable WS-01.

On both counts, we came away impressed. The SCATT MX-02 stood up to centerfire recoil after hundreds of shots and was able to consistently recognize the often less-than-pristine High Power target faces. Both indoors and outdoors, the MX-02 acts as SCATT should and dutifully captures useful aiming traces and other data. It does that even during outdoor live-fire sessions, where shooter performance often differs from indoor dry-firing due to the sensation of recoil and environmental factors.

SCATT Rapid Fire Results (paper target on left, screen on right).
Scatt MX-02 shooting trainer camera

In particular, SCATT MX-02 allows shooters to effectively troubleshoot and improve their rapid-fire performance, a service that no previous-generation trainers are capable of providing. The unit isn’t perfect — the SCATT MX-02 had some mounting issues with small-diameter barrels, but a cardboard shim provided a quick and effective solution.


CLICK HERE for Full SCATT MX-02 Review »

Overall, performance was impressive. In most realistic training conditions that High Power shooters experience, the system performed well. We can certainly recommend SCATT MX-02 as an extremely valuable tool for High Power competitors looking to take their performance to the next level.

For more information or to order SCATT products, including the MX-02, visit ScattUSA.com or call toll-free: 1-855-57-SCATT (72288).

Permalink Competition, Gear Review, Shooting Skills No Comments »
July 22nd, 2019

Bargain-Finder 200: AccurateShooter’s Deals of the Week

Accurateshooter Bargain Finder Deals of Week

At the request of our readers, we provide select “Deals of the Week”. Every Monday morning we offer our Best Bargain selections. Here are some of the best deals on firearms, hardware, reloading components, optics, and shooting accessories. Be aware that sale prices are subject to change, and once clearance inventory is sold, it’s gone for good. You snooze you lose.

This week we celebrate a special milestone — our 200th Bargain-Finder Deals of the Week! That works out to 3.8 YEARS of bargains, promos, and discounts. To mark our 200th Week of Hot Deals, we are doubling the number of deals listed, for a total of TWENTY deals — all under $200.00.

TWENTY Deals for $200 or Less…

Frankford Arsenal’s new Intellidropper powder scale/dispenser has been a huge hit. It is FAST, and you could program your loads with a smart-phone App. Get it now for $199.99 from Midsouth.

Hodgdon H4350 Varget powder valley sale

Hodgdon Varget and H4350 remain two of the most popular powders for a wide variety of cartridges. The big 8-lb jugs of Varget and H4350 have been hard to find, but Powder Valley has both in stock, at $194.50 per jug for H4350 and $194.50 for Varget.

CCI Blazer Brass Ammo

We like CCI Blazer Brass ammo and here’s a great deal from Brownells.com. Get 1000 rounds of CCI Blazer Brass 9mm pistol ammo for just $194.99. This brass is reloadable.

CCI Blazer Brass Ammo

This MTM ammo crate has been very popular with our readers. It ships with four (4) rugged, lockable ammo boxes, all of which fit together in a convenient, stackable carry crate. This is on sale now at Amazon for $22.99.

Lyman Ideal Brass Smith C-frame Reloading Press

Lyman’s Ideal compact press works great as a second, lighter-duty press. For loading at the range, it can easily be mounted to a bench. This cast-iron press is stronger than other small presses in its class. The Lyman Ideal C-Frame press costs just $79.99 at Midsouth. With good leverage in a compact size, this is a great press for the price.

Nikon laser rangefinder 1000i prostaff eurooptic

The new Nikon Prostaff 1000i Laser Rangefinder features ID (incline/decline) technology with both horizontal distance and actual distance display modes. Choose single or continuous measurement (up to 8 seconds). Rated to 1000 yards on reflective objects, the PROSTAFF 1000i is a good, affordable option for hunters.

The Lyman BoreCam is an electro-optical borescope with a digital display. Our Forum members really like the BoreCam (although some wish the digital view-screen was larger). Midsouth now has the Lyman BoreCam for $199.99.

Here’s a quality AR15 lower, with nice FDE-color Magpul stock, at a very attractive price — just $159.99 at Palmetto State Armory (PSA). The adjustable stock is nice and PSA is one of the leading “Black Rifle” operations in the country.

Shooting Mat

Good mat, great price — $24.99. This NcStar Vism shooting mat has decent padding, and reinforced areas for elbows and knees. Full dimensions are: 69″ Long x 35″ Wide. When you’re done simply roll it up into a compact 19.50″ W x 8.50″ H package.

hornady 17 hmr rimfire ammunition ammo

Varminters take note — here’s a great deal on a 500-round “brick” of Hornady-brand 17 HMR rimfire ammo. This reliable, accurate ammo is ultra-effective on small varmints out to 200 yards. Save now with this Midsouth special, 500 rounds for $89.99. That’s just $0.18/round.

Nikon scope sale refurbished

You won’t find a better deal on Nikons anywhere. These are Nikon-certified, factory-refurbished Nikon scopes at deep discounts. Save up to 43% off retail. NOTE: all Nikon refurbs have been refurbished to factory specs by Nikon, Inc. and are covered by a 90-day warranty.

This is a VERY good tool with precise, adjustable depth control. In his product review, Jim See said: “The Frankford Arsenal perfect Hand-Priming Tool is legit — built heavy and strong. The [primer] seating depth adjustment is simple and accurate. Easy to operate.”

If you need an inexpensive front rest for field shooting and varminting, or as a back-up rest when shooting with friends, it’s hard to beat these Caldwell for the price — just $99.99 at Amazon. For under $100 you get a stable, durable rest. For just $9.58 more add a set of rubber foot pads.

USB 24000 mah battery charging

Here is an affordable 24000mAh portable charge that has a VERY important feature — an LED read-out that display charge status and flow in/out. Priced at $30.99 on Amazon, this a good choice to charge your mobile devices and LabRadar.

Taurus pistol G2c 9mm

Palmetto State Armory is selling the sub-compact Taurus 9mm with black frame for just $199.99 with FREE Shipping. This little gun has a comfortable grip and solid owner reviews. Despite its small size, the G2c has a 12-round magazine. We like the fact it has a left-side manual safety (unlike the Glock).

Amazon guitar rifle case discrete

Fool would-be thieves with this guitar case gun carrier. This will hold a long gun up to 45″ overall. A carbine will easily fit inside, and a larger rifle will fit with stock separated from barreled action. This discrete carry case has wheels for transport and twin locking points.

case prep and trim sale

Here’s a great combo deal. Graf’s is offering the Frankford Arsenal Case Prep & Trim PLUS the EZ Tumbler for only $179.99. That’s an amazing deal considering you could pay $199.99 or more for the Prep & Trim unit by itself, and the EZ Tumbler is regularly $50 or more.

amazon kids youth ear muffs protection hearing

When you’re at the shooting range — don’t forget the kids! These Amazon Basics ear muffs are sized for young girls and boys, and provide 20 dB NRR. We do recommend doubling up with plugs under muffs but these are a nice option, and very affordable at just $9.99 on Amazon.

Sight-in 12

This 12″x12″ Splatterburst Target combines splatter shot marking with a grid background. The bright neon shot circles make it easy to see shots. And the handy grid lets you quickly estimate group size. Get a 10-pack for $9.99, or a 25-pack for $17.99. This target has earned 87% FIVE-Star ratings.

Motorola Amazon Walkie Talkie Radio

Walkie-Talkies are “must-have” items for long-range shooting. The 22-CH Motorola T100 Two-Way Radio is an Amazon Best Seller in Handheld Radios. Priced at just $29.00 with Free Shipping, this set is a bargain.

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Handguns, Hot Deals, Optics, Reloading 3 Comments »
July 8th, 2019

X-Ray Views Show How Rem 700 and AR Actions Work

3d firearms modeling gun CGI software encylopedia gun disassembly

Ever wish you could look inside your rifle, to see how the trigger and fire-control system work? Well now that is possible with the magic of 3D computer graphics. Modern software allows detailed “cutaway” side-views (see below), as well as 3D views with 360° rotation. The software can also provide X-Ray-type views into the gun’s internals — as you can see above. And computer animation can show the complete firing process from trigger pull to chambering of the next round.

Rem 700 Cutaway View from Right Side
3d firearms modeling gun CGI software encylopedia gun disassembly

This article covers two different animations — a bolt-action, and a self-loading “gas gun”. The first video features the popular Rem 700 action, probably the most successful American bolt-action ever created. The second video offers a lengthy exploration of the AR15/M16 platform.

READERS — Take the time to watch these videos! The Rem 700 animation is really outstanding! EVERY bolt-action shooter should watch this video all the way through.

Cutaway 3D Animation of Rem 700 Action — Watch Video

The Model 700 series of bolt-action rifles have been manufactured by Remington Arms since 1962. All are based on basically the same centerfire bolt action. They are typically sold with an internal magazine depending on caliber, some of which have a floor-plate for quick-unloading, and some of which are “blind” (no floor-plate). The rifle can also be ordered with a detachable box magazine. The Model 700 is a development of the Remington 721 and 722 series of rifles, which were introduced in 1948.

3d firearms modeling gun CGI software encylopedia gun disassembly

The Rem 700 is a manually-operated bolt action with forward, dual opposed lugs. It features “Cock On Opening”, meaning the upward rotation of the bolt when the rifle is opened cocks the firing pin. A cam mechanism pushes the firing pin’s cocking piece backward. The bolt face is recessed, fully enclosing the base of the cartridge. The extractor is a C-clip sitting within the bolt face. The ejector is a plunger on the bolt face actuated by a coil spring. The bolt is of 3-piece construction, brazed together (head, body. and bolt handle). The receiver is milled from round cross-section steel.

3d firearms modeling gun CGI software encylopedia gun disassemblyThis video was made with the help of the World of Guns: Gun Disassembly interactive encyclopedia with 3D rendering. This remarkable web-based software allows users to view the inner workings of hundreds of different rifles and pistols — everything from a .22 LR Ruger to a .55-caliber Boys Anti-Tank rifle. There are also 25,000+ parts diagrams. This is a remarkable technical resource. SEE MORE HERE.

Cutaway 3D Animation of AR15/M16 Action — Watch Video

The AR platform rifles are a semi-automatic version of the M16. These feature distinctive upper and lower receivers which can be readily separated via front and rear pins. The upper includes the barrel, handguard, forward gas tube, and bolt assembly, while the lower contains grip, trigger group, fire selector, and mag well. In addition the lower is attached to the stock which encloses the buffer assembly.

3d firearms modeling gun CGI software encylopedia gun disassembly

The original ArmaLite AR-15 was a select-fire, air-cooled, gas-operated, magazine-fed rifle designed by American gun manufacturer ArmaLite in 1956. It was based on Armalite’s AR-10 rifle chambered for the 7.62×51 NATO (.308 Win). In 1959, ArmaLite sold its rights to the AR-10 and AR-15 to Colt. Some key modifications were made — most notably, the charging handle was re-located from under the carrying handle to the rear of the receiver. The redesigned rifle was adopted by the U.S. military as the M16 carbine, which went into production in March 1964.

These videos found by Boyd Allen. We welcome reader submissions.

Permalink - Videos, Gunsmithing, Tactical, Tech Tip No Comments »
July 4th, 2019

Big Sale Through Monday July 8th on AR Parts and Accessories

Palmetto State Armory AR16 AR lower geissele trigger vortex optics discount 4th july fourth sale

The fireworks are over, and folks are returning to their jobs, but many Fourth of July Sales are still running through the weekend. We found some great deals at Palmetto State Armory (PSA). If you’re a black rifle fan, or a pistol shooter, you should definitely check out these deals. Many high-quality products are deeply discounted, including Vortex Optics, Geissele triggers, and Smith & Wesson pistols. You’ll also find great deals on AR components — stripped lowers, complete lowers, and complete uppers.

Here are a few deals we found on the PSA website. There are hundreds of other items on sale. The super-low prices for PSA’s 4th of July Sale are good through 11:59 PM EST on Monday, July 8, 2019. If you see a deal that appeals, grab it before the prices go back up Tuesday morning.

Palmetto State Armory AR16 AR lower geissele trigger vortex optics discount 4th july fourth sale

In this video, Bill Geissele explains how to install a Geissele SSA Trigger:

Permalink Handguns, Hot Deals, Optics, Tactical No Comments »
June 10th, 2019

Bargain Finder 194: AccurateShooter’s Deals of the Week

Accurateshooter Bargain Finder Deals of Week

At the request of our readers, we provide select “Deals of the Week”. Every Monday morning we offer our Best Bargain selections. Here are some of the best deals on firearms, hardware, reloading components, optics, and shooting accessories. Be aware that sale prices are subject to change, and once clearance inventory is sold, it’s gone for good. You snooze you lose.

1. Stocky’s Stocks — LRC Stocks with AccuBlock Now $188.88

stockys stocks LRC long range composite accublock

There’s a great sale going on this week at Stocky’s Stocks. This sale covers many different LRC (Long Range Composite) stock styles, all with the built-in AccuBlock System. Chose a high-comb benchrest style LRC stock, a hunter-style MRC stock, or the new LRC thumbhole stock. All are now just $188.88, even with premium finishes, such as Kryptec Camo. The Stocky’s LRC series with AccuBlock Bedding System is a terrific choice for a varmint rifle, and you won’t find a better value anywhere.

2. Bruno’s — Huge Sale on Barrels, Bullets, Brass, Actions & More

Bruno Bruno's Sale Barrels powder

There’s a big SALE going on right now at Bruno Shooters Supply. Save $20 on Krieger Barrels for starters, then you can also save on bullets, brass, powder, and loaded ammo. In addition, high-end BAT actions and Flavio triggers are on sale. Rimfire shooters will find some excellent ammo deals, and ALL Hornady products are discounted. But you MUST ACT SOON! This SALE ENDS Monday evening, June 10, 2019 at 11:59 PM Arizona Time. Discounts apply to items in-stock ONLY.

3. EuroOptic — Great Sale on Vortex Strike Eagles

Vortex Razor Viper $150 off sale Strike Eagle SFP scope optics illuminated reticle

Need a good basic optic for your hunting or varmint rifle? Have a tight budget but still need good glass and adjustable parallax? Then check out these Vortex Strike Eagles. Save $140-$150 now at EuroOptic.com. Sale price is just $349.99 for the 4-24x50mm and $309.99 for the 3-18x44mm. EuroOptic’s Jason says these scope are a “killer value” with “target turrets, parallax adjustment close enough for rimfire, and good zoom range”. These Strike Eagles are also fairly short and light-weight, so they are good for hunters. Both these Second Focal Plane scopes offer 1/4-MOA clicks and nice EBR-4 illuminated reticles.

4. Midsouth — MTM Shooting Range Box, $39.20

MTM Shooting Range Box case travel Midsouth Amazon sale discount

The MTM Shooting Range Box employs a two-piece design. The removable top storage compartment holds oils, solvents, brushes, patches, and small accessories. Unlatch the top box to reveal a large, deep storage area that will hold tools, earmuffs, ammo boxes, and other larger items. With 18 compartments, MTM Shooting Range Boxes are big enough to hold pretty much everything you need at the range (except shooting rests). Plus there are cradles so you can do gun maintenance at the range. This MTM Range Box is also offered through Amazon.com for $39.20 with free shipping.

5. Graf’s — 10% Off All Forster Products

forster Graf graf's discount 10% sale Reloading dies presses
forster Graf graf's discount 10% sale Reloading dies presses

Forster makes GREAT products. Our staff own and use Forster presses, dies, case trimmers, primer tools, chamber/deburring tools, and more. And Forster has outstanding customer service. And did you know that Forster will custom-hone your full-length dies for a modest fee? Right how you can save 10% on ALL in-stock Forster products at Graf & Sons. But folks, don’t delay — this 10% Off Forster Deal expires June 12, 2019 at 11:59 pm CT.

6. Palmetto State Armory — Smith & Wesson 15-22 Rifle, $299.99

Palmetto Armory Smith Wesson 15-22 AR rimfire .22 LR rifle sale discount

Here’s a fun .22 LR rifle with the style and ergonomics of an AR15. Smith & Wesson’s M&P 15-22 Sport features a 10-inch M-LOK handguard, and nicely-designed Magpul MBUS® front and rear folding sights. The buttstock is a classic AR-style unit that easily adjusts for Length of Pull. The upper boasts an integrated Picatinny-style rail for optics and other accessories. NOTE: S&W 15-22 owners love this little rimfire — it has earned dozens of 5-star reviews from actual buyers.

7. Graf’s — Buy 8-lb keg of select powder, get FREE 1-pounder

hodgdon IMR powder sale

Save on powder — right now at Graf & Sons, if you buy an 8-lb keg of select Hodgdon or IMR powders, you get a FREE one-pound or 14-ounce container of the same powder. This deal works with fourteen (14) popular Hodgdon and IMR powders for rifles, pistols, and shotguns. So if you’re running low and need to stock up on your favorite powders, here’s your chance to cash in on some savings. That free one-pounder can be worth up to $32.00. CLICK HERE for POWDER DEAL.

8. SIG Sauer — Buy P226 Pistol, Get FREE X-5 Air Pistol

Sig Sauer father's day promotion free air pistol

Here’s a cool deal for Father’s Day. Buy any new SIG Sauer P226 pistol now through June 30, 2019 and get a SIG STORE Rewards Coupon for a free X-FIVE Air Pistol. This 2 for 1 Father’s Day Promotion offer runs from 06/01/2019 until 06/30/2019. To claim your free X-FIVE visit Sigsauer.rebateaccess.com, follow the instructions to complete the form, and upload or mail your receipt. Once validated you will receive a promo code that can be redeemed at Sigsauer.com for an X-FIVE Air Pistol.

9. Amazon – Proster Wind Meter, $16.99

Proster Wind Meter

Wish you had a modern impeller-style wind meter but only shoot a couple matches a year and can’t justify spending $150 (or more) on one? This Proster wind meter has a very impressive 4.5 star overall rating (with hundreds of reviews), so buy with confidence. Now on sale for just $16.99, this is a very useful tool for a bargain basement price. Get this affordable Wind Meter to ensure you have reliable wind readings for ballistics calculations. And unlike a costly Kestrel, with this low-priced wind meter, you won’t feel too bad if it gets lost or misplaced some time.

Permalink Optics, Reloading, Tactical No Comments »
June 9th, 2019

Ammo Reference Book Covers 200+ Cartridge Types

Ammunition Ammo Factory commerical hunting load data ballistics hunt Bob Forker

Do you use factory ammo in your hunting rifles? Perhaps you buy bulk centerfire ammo for your AR15 or varmint rifle. Then this book is for you.

If you ever shoot factory ammo, you should consider getting Ammo & Ballistics 6. This resource book lists over 2,600 different loads for 200+ cartridge types from 17 Mach 2 up to .700 Nitro Express, including the most popular centerfire and rimfire cartridges (both rifle and handgun). In this updated-for-2017 Sixth Edition, there are over 3,000 tables covering virtually every caliber and every load for all commercially-loaded hunting ammunition sold in the USA. Tables include velocity, energy, wind drift, bullet drop, and ballistic coefficients up to 1,000 yards.

Ammunition Ammo Factory commerical hunting load data ballistics hunt Bob Forker

Ammo & Ballistics 6 helps you select ammo for a hunt — quickly compare the velocity and knock-down power of various commercial ammo. This book can help you choose a caliber/chambering for your next hunting rig.

Verified Book Purchaser Reviews
“Outstanding reference guide for shooters and ballistic enthusiasts alike. Has data on velocity, energy delivered, Taylor KO index, windage and elevation on numerous loadings for hundreds of [cartridge types]. Each cartridge has all dimensions labeled (i.e rim, case length, neck, etc.), and has an informative description of the cartridges history/relevance.” — S. Step, 2017

“Great heaps of data! This volume has pages and pages of new data for .22LR like the hot Velocitor, and also on the .22 WMR from 30 grains up into the 50s. Most importantly there is lots of range data, drop, windage, kinetic energy, etc. — Terrific reference guide….” — E. Svanoe

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May 28th, 2019

AR Feed Failure — What Is Your Diagnosis?

AR AR15 mag magazine magpul jam misfeed short-stroking jam cartridge

Posting on the 6.5 Creedmoor Group Facebook Page, Russel T. complained that his AR magazine doesn’t like to feed that last few rounds. Russell asked: “Full magazine, no problem cycling. But with five (5) or less in the magazine… this happens. What can cause this?”

It sure looks like he could use a new magazine spring, but there may be buffer-related problems as well. Or maybe a gas system issue. What’s your call? Here are some responses posted by Facebook folks:

“Weak mag spring.” — Josh N.

“Weak mag spring or too heavy of a buffer spring.” — Justin G.

“Try a different mag, if it still jams it’s probably a gas problem, if not chuck the bad mag.” — Otto G.

“Weak mag spring or literally anything that would cause the Bolt Carrier Group to short cycle.” — Reggie W.

“I’ve had the same issue with my 300 BLK when my buffer tube came apart. It would still cycle cheap rounds fine but [not] the Hornadys. Took it apart and found the buffer tube was in pieces.” — Hunter R.

“Could be a weak mag spring or buffer spring, both at the same time.” — John S.

“As mentioned it could be a list of things. However, bolt velocity is too fast/hard and the usual (but not always) culprit is over-gassing.” — Bill F.

“Short cycle — clean and LUBRICATE the weapon.” — Mark H.

“Look to see where the brass is ejecting. That will tell if it’s an over or under gas issue. If that’s ok then look at the mag spring. See Diagram” — Teddy G.

AR AR15 mag magazine magpul jam misfeed short-stroking jam cartridge

“Weak magazine spring, I tossed four brand new ‘bargain mags’ [due to] that very problem.” — John V.E.

“May not be a weak spring or bad mag. Check out a Tubb Precision flatware spring. I swapped mine in a new rifle and solved the problem of short stroking and double feeds.” — Anthony T.

“It might be the follower as well, some designs will dip in the front/rear as rounds are expended. It’s the reason why we didn’t use some service mags with the green followers.” — Chris J.

“Weak spring… time for a new magazine…or add a 5-round block and make it a 25-round magazine. But I’m positive it’s a weak spring, which means it’s just a matter of time for failure.” — Steve M.

“Without the weapon in hand I would hate to guess….
Start with the simple stuff and go from there. Trying to diagnose a problem from a photo is just like when your wife or girlfriend tells you the car won’t start. LOL.” — Mark T.

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Gunsmithing, Tactical, Tech Tip 4 Comments »
May 23rd, 2019

AR-Platform Rifle Cleaning Advice

AR15 cleaning procedure

AR-platform rifles run dirty — very dirty. The gas system blows carbon and powder residues back into the action and into the bolt carrier group. That’s why you need to clean your ARs regularly, and you have to pay special attention to the nooks and crannies in the bolt and bolt carrer. The majority of AR failures we’ve witnessed have been from a combination of lube, carbon, and tiny brass shavings that collected in the ejector recess and the extractor spring recess. After that, plain carbon build-up on the bolt can be a gun-stopper too. And you need to keep the barrel extension clean too.

If you’re new to the (dirty) world of ARs, here are two helpful videos from the folks who make Froglube. That line of cleaners/lubes is pretty good stuff, though not our first choice for all AR lubrication and cleaning chores. But these videos do provide many helpful tips. They show the disassembly process and highlight the “problem areas” to which you must pay special attention.

How to Clean Your AR-15 Bolt Carrier Assembly

How to Clean Your AR-15 Lower Receiver Assembly

NOTE: Froglube also makes a video showing AR upper, chamber, and barrel cleaning. There are practices shown there that we do NOT recommend. Nor do we recommend Froglube products for bore cleaning. We think there are more effective cleaning products.

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May 10th, 2019

Fundamentals — Sight Alignment and Trigger Control

Marksmanship Fundamentals iron sights USAMU

This video from the U.S. Army Marksmanship Unit focuses on two key fundamentals of marksmanship: 1) Sight Alignment; and 2) Trigger Squeeze. This video can assist any Service Rifle or metallic sights shooter. The USAMU instructor explains: “You’ve probably heard a lot about fundamentals — Breathe, Relax, Aim, Squeeze… Well that gives a shooter a lot to think about. Here we teach two main firing tasks: 1) align the sights, and 2) squeeze the trigger without moving the rifle. This allows the shooter a much more simplified format.”

The following tips are transcribed from the video:

Task One: Sight Alignment
Sight alignment is the process of putting the tip of the front sight post, the rear aperture, and the shooter’s eyeball all on the same plane. It’s very important to maintain the tip of the front sight post centered in the rear aperture. Just .002″ of deviation can cause a miss at 300 meters. Allow your eye to do its job. While firing, the focus should remain on the tip of the front sight.

Task Two: Trigger Control
Your second firing task is [to] fire the rifle without moving it. This is done through proper trigger control. You’ve probably heard a lot of words about trigger control — “surprise break”, “snatch”, “pull”, “squeeze”… well we teach one thing here: “smooth”. No matter the speed at which I engage the trigger, it’s always going to be smooth. Imagine trying to pull the trigger straight through the rear of the buttstock, holding it to the rear while the gun recoils. It’s important to constantly engage the trigger, never letting your trigger finger disengage from the trigger while firing. This is achieved through natural trigger finger placement.

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April 28th, 2019

Zediker Examines Long Range Shooting with AR-Platform Rifles

AR15 ar-15 long range

Looking to shoot an AR-platform rifle out past 500 yards? Then you should read two articles by AR guru Glen Zediker. Author of The New Competitive AR-15 and The Competitive AR15 Builders Guide, Zediker is an expert when it comes to AR-platform rifles. Glen believes ARs have excellent long-range capability, provided they are built to high standards, with good barrels. Glen says: “a properly configured AR-15 is easily capable of good performance at 500+ yards. Good performance means it can hit a 1-foot-square target all the time. Competitive shooters can cut that standard in nearly half (the X-Ring on an MR1 600-yard NRA High Power Rifle target is 6 inches, and high X-counts are commonplace among more skilled shooters).”

Published in the Cheaper than Dirt Shooter’s Log, Zediker’s articles first cover the history of the AR-15, and then explain how AR-platform accuracy can be optimized. Part One reviews the AR’s development as an accurate firearm, tracing its evolution from a Vietnam-era combat weapon to what is now a favored target rifle of High Power competitors. READ PART ONE.

Long Range AR AR-15 Glen Zediker Cheaper than dirt

Part Two discusses the specifics that make an AR accurate at 500 yards and beyond. Zediker talks about barrel configuration (profile and twist rate), bullet selection, floating handguards, and proper mounting of optics or iron sights. READ PART TWO.

Long Rang AR AR-15 Glen Zediker Cheaper than dirt

Here are some highlights from Long-Range AR-15 Part TWO:

Barrel Twist Rate
To stabilize anything longer than a 68- or 69-grain bullet, the barrel twist rate must be — at minimum– 1-in-8. Twist rates reflect how far the bullet travels along the lands or rifling to make one complete revolution. So, 1-in-8 (or 1-8, 1:8) means “one turn in eight inches.” I think it’s better to go a little faster in twist. There is nothing wrong with a 1:7 twist. The 90-grain bullets require a 1:6.5, and that is getting on the quick side. If you want to shoot Sierra 77s or equivalent, and certainly anything longer, 1:8 is necessary. By the way, it is bullet length, not weight, which constitutes the necessary twist rate to launch a stable bullet.

Optics Mounting
Correct optical sight positioning can be a challenge. With a flattop upper, I need a good inch additional forward extension at the muzzle side of the upper for the sight mount bases to avoid holding my head “back” to get the optimal view through the scope. A longer rail piece is necessary for my builds as a result.

Buttstock Length and Adjustment
An adjustable buttstock is valuable, and even more valuable if it’s well-designed. Mostly, a standard stock is too short, and the cheek area sits too low. Adding length helps a lot by itself. There are assemblies that replace the standard buttplate to allow for length and, usually, height and rotation adjustments for the buttpad. An elevation-adjustable cheekpiece is a big help to attain a solid position.

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April 16th, 2019

Get S&W Pistol and AR15 Complete Lower for $379.99

Palmetto State Armory S&W Shield 9mm pistol AR15 AR AR-15 complete lower assembly

With this insanely good deal from Palmetto State Armory, you can get a pistol AND half an AR rifle for just $379.99 with FREE shipping. The deal is for a PSA AR-15 complete lower with Magpul stock PLUS a M&P Shield compact 9mm Pistol. This is an incredible deal. As Ammoland.com notes: “Compare that price [for pistol plus AR lower] to $430.00 for just the S&W M&P Shield 9mm Handgun elsewhere online.”

Smith & Wesson’s M&P Shield is a concealable, striker-fired polymer pistol with 3.1″ barrel. Overall legnth is 6.1 inches and unloaded weight is just 19 ounces. The Double-action-only (DAO) trigger break consistently at about 6.5 pounds.

The PSA AR-15 Complete Lower is the Magpul MOE Edition that features a quick-adjusting Magpul stock. This PSA lower will accept all AR15 magazines, however, no magazines are included. This quality, reliable lower assembly is reviewed in this video:

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March 5th, 2019

When ARs Fail — Busted Bolt Incident

AR15 AR-15 Bolt failure Broken AR Bolt Police Department

Our friend Dennis Santiago was recently conducting training for a Southern California Police Department. During a training session one of the unit’s AR15s stopped functioning. The problem — the bolt in the AR rifle broke in half. Dennis states: “They ran the gun dry, broke for lunch, shot it again. They don’t like that. I personally like to flood the bolt wet with lube on training days. It prevents stuff like this. Given that, it’s a simple remove-and-replace fix.”

AR15 AR-15 Bolt failure Broken AR Bolt Police Department

Here are some of the more interesting comments about this parts failure — an AR bolt that literally sheared in half:

“If I was a betting man [the steel] wasn’t made by Carpenter Steel. They are one of the few companies that use the correct [milspec-steel, C-158] called out on the drawing which they coincidentally developed. Most of the other companies that make [AR Bolts] use different steel with the same heat treat specification as what is called out which gives them the potential of being a little on the brittle side at the upper end of the tolerance. When it comes to the AR platform, bolts are probably the only part of the entire gun where I must admit to being a little bit of a brand snob.” David O’N.

[Editor’s Note: Actually Carpenter Steel does not make AR bolts. They are a steel supplier, and yes Carpenter did develop the original C-158 steel for AR bolts. Here is a contrary view, claiming that AISI 9310 Steel is actually stronger than milspec Carpenter C-158: 9310 Steel for AR Bolts.]

“Dry bolt and carrier shouldn’t cause that. Looks like a big pressure spike. What kind of ammo…?” Guy G.
Reply from Dennis: “55gr factory ammo.Piles of it.

“Is that the new two-piece bolt everyone’s been talking about LOL?” — Darren R.

“Let me guess…the PD called you in cause they didn’t know why it stopped going ‘pew pew’?” — Jim O.
Reply from Dennis: “I was there today for qualifications. It broke during the rifle phase. Simple enough to fish the bolt parts out of the action. The training didn’t miss a beat. I have an armory full of the things.”

Permalink Gunsmithing, Tactical, Tech Tip 14 Comments »
January 20th, 2019

The .20 Practical AR — Wicked Accuracy, Low Recoil

20 Practical AR uppers

The new .224 Valkyrie for AR15-platform rifles has garnered lots of attention lately. That new cartridge has gotten people thinking about the options for an AR shooter beyond the venerable .223 Remington (and 5.56x39mm NATO). While the .224 Valkyrie is good for shooting long heavy bullets (such as Sierra’s new 95gr SMK), there is a simpler, cheaper option for folks who favor “fast and light” — smaller, lower-mass bullets traveling at very high velocities. That option is the 20 Practical, which is simply a .223 Remington necked down to 20 caliber. This little cartridge can launch 40-grainers at over 3900 fps. That’s bookin’. This makes the 20 Practical a great choice for an AR-based varmint rifle.

20 Practical20 Practical Ultimate Varminter
A decade ago, as a “proof-of-concept”, AccurateShooter.com created a 20 Practical AR15 Ultimate Varminter with a custom 20-caliber upper from Robert Whitley of AR-X Enterprises, LLC. That project rifle was ultra-accurate — every 5-shot group out of the gun was less than the size of a dime. That gun was auctioned off, but Robert Whitley continues to produce custom 20 Practical AR15 uppers. (The 20 Practical cartridge is simply the .223 Rem necked down to 20 caliber — you can use standard .223 brass and load with standard.223 Rem dies. Just swap in a smaller expander and use smaller neck bushings.)

Robert reports that the accuracy of the first 20 Practical AR15 was no fluke. After building six (6) more 20 Practical uppers, he tested them for accuracy and they all shot great. These uppers feature DPMS low-pro receivers with side charging handles. They are fitted with PacNor 1:11″ twist, three-groove stainless barrels.

20 Practical AR uppers

Robert reports: “We have been making more 20 Practical AR15 uppers and I have to say I am astounded by the accuracy of these things. For shooting little tiny groups out of an AR15 with bullets going 3500+ fps, it’s hard to beat the 20 Practical. Today I test-fired six more uppers, all with 11-twist barrels. Three of the uppers had 24″ barrels, two had 20″ barrels, and one had an 18″ barrel (we call it ‘Stubby’).

20 Practical Reamer print

In four of these uppers I shot re-sized Winchester brass using 25.3 grains of WC844 powder with Berger 40gr BTHP bullets loaded at 2.225″ OAL (about .015″ off the lands). WC844 is inexpensive military surplus powder that is nearly identical to H335. I tried three different primers and the choice did not seem to matter (CCI BR4, Rem 7 1/2s and Win Small Rifle — the old silver ones). All these four uppers shot great. Here is an animated GIF with targets from uppers #6, 10, and 11. All groups are mag-fed, 5-shot groups shot at 100 yards using a front rest and rear bag.”

Targets Shot with Three Different 20 Practical AR Uppers

20 Practical AR uppers

For more information visit www.6mmAR.com, or contact Robert Whitley via email: rcw3 [at] erols.com.

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December 28th, 2018

AR15 3D Animation — See How an AR Really Works

ar-15 AR15 3D animation video youtube cutaway 5.56 AR .233 Rem

Ever wondered how the parts inside an AR15 work together? Just exactly how does the reciprocating bolt carrier feed rounds from the magazine? How do the elements in the trigger group work and reset after each shot? How does the gas system bleed gas from the barrel and operate the bolt carrier? These and other questions are answered in this eye-opening video from 45Snipers. Using “cutaway” 3D computer animation, this 5-minute video shows all features of an AR15 inside and out. This fascinating firearms animation allows the viewer to look inside the upper and lower receivers, into the bolt carrier, chamber, barrel, and magazine.

This video starts off slow and has annoying background music, but it is well worth watching if you own or shoot any AR-platform rifle. It illustrates all the key operations during the charging, loading, firing, and ejection processes. The cutaway animation shows how rounds are stripped from the magazine and then chambered. It then shows how every part of the trigger group works, and how the firing pin strikes the primer. You can even watch the bullet move down the barrel before the empty shell casing is removed from the chamber and tossed out the ejection port. Here are sample frames from the video:

ar-15 AR15 3D animation video youtube cutaway 5.56 AR .233 Rem

ar-15 AR15 3D animation video youtube cutaway 5.56 AR .233 Rem

Video find by Grant Ubl. We welcome reader submissions.
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December 18th, 2018

224 Valkyrie Video Showcase — Field Tests and Reloading Info

Valkyrie Video .224 224 Valk Gavin Gear Reloader

The .224 Valkyrie is the “trendy” cartridge now for AR shooters looking for better long-range performance than the standard .223 Rem (5.56×45) can provide. With the right bullets and load, the .224 Valkyrie offers significantly less drop and drift at long range. The .224 Valkyrie is basically a 6.8 SPC case necked down to .22-caliber. You can use your existing AR15 lower, but you will need a dedicated .224 Valkyrie upper, or at the minimum a new barrel, modified bolt with proper bolt face, and 6.8-compliant mags.

Valkyrie fans say this efficient cartridge offers performance rivaling a 22-250 in a smaller case. The Social Regressive YouTube channel explains: “There are two key reasons why the 224 Valkyrie is unique and desirable. First, it is specifically designed to fit the limitations of the AR-15 platform. It does so even when loaded with gigantic bullets, like the 90-grain SMK that Federal announced. The .22-250 Rem is too long and too fat to work in the AR-15 platform; it needs an AR-10 bolt and magazine.”

Valkyrie Video Fest — Five Informative Videos

Here are five videos featuring the .224 Valkyrie cartridge and rifle options. We think the two applications that make most sense for this new cartridge are: 1) PRS Gas Gun matches (Open Class) — you get 6.5 Creedmoor ballistic performance with much less recoil for faster shot transitions; and 2) Long-Range (400+ yards) varminting — you get performance similar to a 22-250 in a cartridge that works with your existing AR15 lower. That will really help with those long shots on P-dogs.

In this video Gavin Gear test the .224 Valkyrie cartridge in both AR and bolt-action rifles. Using a drone to capture images of shots on target, Gavin produces some impressively small groups at 600 yards. This shows that the .224 Valkyrie has serious accuracy potential when the load is right.

In this 37-minute video on the “IraqVeteran8888″ channel, Chad tests a .224 Valkyrie rifle with various ammo, including 90gr handloads. The test addresses the pros and cons of this new cartridge, explaining the need to have realistic expectations, and a barrel with twist rate suitable for your bullet choices. This is a long video, but worth watching if you are contemplating building or buying a .224 Valkyrie.

This follow-up IraqVet888 video focuses on reloading for the .224 Valkyrie. Chad addresses a multitude of issues including: powder selection, bullet options, brass longevity and primer pocket uniforming. If you own a .224 Valkyrie and hand-load for the rifle, you should watch this video.

Here Gavin Gear tests Starline’s new .224 Valkyrie brass, seeing how well it stands up to repeated firings. Gavin checked for primer pocket stretching and found that 50% of the cases went 8 or more firings before the primer pockets grew too much. However a few cases did need to be retired after four firings. Gavin notes: “Brass longevity is one of the key considerations for loading 224 Valkyrie, so I thought I would put my Starline 224 Valkyrie cases to the test! Be sure to read the full Brass Test article for more insights.

The .224 Valkyrie has been marketed as a low-recoil round that can stay supersonic to 1300 yards and beyond (with 90gr Sierra MatchKings). Here a Sniper’s Hide duo shots an AR-platform .224 Valkyrie at distances out to 1550+ yards. To be honest, the accuracy wasn’t that impressive. However this test confirms that the .224 Valkyrie does launch the long, heavy projectiles at high enough velocities to prove superior to the standard .223 Rem. Frank Galli (aka “Lowlight”) teams up with Brian Whalen of Colorado Precision Rifle at the Blue Steel Ranch in New Mexico.

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December 15th, 2018

The Ultra-Accurate AR — Secrets of AR Accuracy Revealed

AR-X AR15 Upper

In our Shooters’ Forum, one member recently asked: “What makes an AR accurate? What parts on an AR can really affect accuracy — such as free-floating handguards, barrels, bolts, bolt carriers?” He wanted an honest, well-informed answer, not just sales pitches. Robert Whitley posted a very comprehensive answer to this question, based on his experience building and testing dozens of AR-platform rifles. Robert runs AR-X Enterprises, which produces match-grade uppers for High Power competitors, tactical shooters, and varminters.

AR-X AR15 Upper

Building an Accurate AR — What is Most Important

by Robert Whitley
There are a lot of things that can be done to an AR to enhance consistent accuracy, and I use the words “consistent accuracy” because consistency is a part of it (i.e. plenty of guns will give a couple great 5-shot groups, but won’t do a very good 10- or 20-shot groups, and some guns will shoot great one day and not so good on others).

Here are 14 key things we think are important to accuracy.

1. Great Barrel: You’ll want a premium match-grade barrel, well-machined with a good crown and a match-type chambering, true to the bore and well cut. The extension threads must also be cut true to the bore, with everything true and in proper alignment.

2. Rigid Upper: A rigid, heavy-walled upper receiver aids accuracy. The typical AR upper receiver was made for a lightweight carry rifle and they stripped all the metal they could off it to make it light to carry (which is advantageous for the military). The net result are upper receivers that are so thin you can flex them with your bare hands. These flexible uppers are “strong enough” for general use, but they are not ideal for accuracy. Accuracy improves with a more rigid upper receiver.

3. True Receiver Face: We’ve found that truing the receiver face is valuable. Some may argue this point but it is always best to keep everything related to the barrel and the bore in complete alignment with the bore (i.e. barrel extension, bolt, upper receiver, carrier, etc.).

4. Barrel Extension: You should Loctite or glue the barrel extension into the upper receiver. This holds it in place all the way front to back in the upper receiver. Otherwise if there is any play (and there typically is) it just hangs on the face of the upper receiver completely dependent on the face of the upper receiver as the sole source of support for the barrel as opposed to being made more an integral part of the upper receiver by being glued-in.

AR-X AR15 Upper5. Gas Block: You want a gas block that does not impose pointed stress on the barrel. Clamp-on types that grab all the way around the barrel are excellent. The blocks that are pinned on with tapered pins that wedge against the barrel or the slip on type of block with set screws that push up from underneath (or directly on the barrel) can deform the bore inside of the barrel and can wreck the accuracy of an otherwise great barrel.

6. Free-Float Handguard: A rigid, free-float handguard (and I emphasize the word rigid) really makes a difference. There are many types of free-float handguards and a free-float handguard is, in and of itself, a huge improvement over a non-free-float set up, but best is a rigid set-up. Some of the ones on the market are small diameter, thin and/or flexible and if you are shooting off any type of rest, bipod, front bag, etc., a rigid fore-end is best since ARs want to jump, bounce and twist when you let a shot go, as the carrier starts to begin its cycle before the bullet exits the bore.

Robert Whitley AR Accurate accuracy aR15 barrel trigger MSR gunsmithing

7. Barrel Contour: You want some meat on the barrel. Between the upper receiver and the gas block don’t go real thin with a barrel (we like 1″ diameter if it’s workable weight-wise). When you touch off a round and the bullet passes the gas port, the gas system immediately starts pressuring up with a gas impulse that provides vibrations and stress on the barrel, especially between the gas block back to the receiver. A heavier barrel here dampens that. Staying a little heavier with barrel contour through the gas block area and out to the muzzle is good for the same reasons. ARs have a lot going on when you touch off a round and the gas system pressures up and the carrier starts moving (all before the bullet exits the bore) so the more things are made heavier and rigid to counteract that the better — within reason (I’m not advocating a 12-lb barrel).

8. Gas Tube Routing Clearance: You want a gas tube that runs freely through the barrel nut, through the front of the upper receiver, and through the gas key in the carrier. Ensure the gas tube is not impinged by any of them, so that it does not load the carrier in a stressed orientation. You don’t want the gas tube bound up so that when the gas tube pressures up it immediately wants to transmit more force and impulse to the barrel than would normally occur. We sometimes spend a lot of time moving the gas block with gas tube on and off new build uppers and tweaking gas tubes to get proper clearance and alignment. Most gas tubes do need a little “tweaking” to get them right — factory tubes may work OK but they typically do not function optimally without hand-fitting.

9. Gas Port Tuning: You want to avoid over-porting the gas port. Being over-gassed makes the gas system pressure up earlier and more aggressively. This causes more impulse, and increases forces and vibration affecting the top end and the barrel. Tune the gas port to give the amount of pressure needed to function properly and adequately but no more.

10. Front/Back Bolt Play: If accuracy is the game, don’t leave a lot of front/back bolt play (keep it .003″ but no more than .005″). We’ve seen factory rifles run .012″ to .015″ play, which is OK if you need to leave room for dirt and grime in a military application. However, that amount of play is not ideal for a high-accuracy AR build. A lot of front/back bolt play allows rounds to be hammered into the chamber and actually re-formed in a non-consistent way, as they are loaded into the chamber.

11. Component Quality: Use good parts from a reputable source and be wary of “gun show specials”. All parts are NOT the same. Some are good, some are not so good, and some aftermarket parts are simply bad. Don’t be afraid to use mil-spec-type carriers; by and large they are excellent for an accuracy build. Also, remember that just because a carrier says “National Match” or something else on it does not necessarily mean it’s any better. Be wary of chrome-plated parts as the chrome plating can change the parts dimensionally and can also make it hard to do hand-fitting for fit and function.

AR-X AR15 Upper

12. Upper to Lower Fit: A good upper/lower fit is helpful. For quick and dirty fit enhancement, an Accu-Wedge in the rear helps a lot. The ultimate solution is to bed the upper to a specific lower so that the upper and lower, when together, are more like one integral unit. For the upper receivers we produce, we try to get the specs as close as we can, but still fit the various lowers in the market place.

13. Muzzle Attachments: Don’t screw up the muzzle (literally). Leave as much metal on the barrel at the muzzle as you can. People like to thread the muzzle for a flash hider, suppressor, muzzle brake, or some other attachment, but if you really want accuracy, leave as much metal as you can there. And, if you have something that screws on, set it up so that it can be put on and have it stay there without putting a lot of torque and stress on it right where the bullet exits the bore. If you are going to thread the end of the barrel, make it concentric with the bore and make sure what you screw on there is as well. For all muzzle attachments, also ensure that the holes through which the bullet passes through are dead true to the bore. Many aftermarket screw-on things are not so good that way. Anything that vents gas should vent symmetrically (i.e. if it vents left, it should vent equally right, and likewise, if it vents up, it should vent down equally). Uneven venting of gas can wreck accuracy.

14. Quality Ammunition: Ammo is a whole story by itself, but loads that are too hot typically shoot poorly in an AR-15. If you want accuracy out of an AR-15, avoid overly hot loads. Shown below are test groups shot with four (4) different uppers, all with moderate loads. These four uppers all pretty much had the same features and things done to them as explained in this article, and they all shot great.

AR-X AR15 Upper

Robert Whitley
www.6mmAR.com

Permalink - Articles, Gunsmithing, Tactical 6 Comments »
November 24th, 2018

Out-of-Battery BANG! When Round Fires Before Bolt Fully Closed

out of battery kaboom bohica 50 bmg ar15

As posted in the Calguns.net a few years back, there was a nasty out-of-battery firing incident involving a BOHICA Arms .510 DTC AR15 upper. The cause of the out-of-battery firing is not certain but it appears that the ammo was not sized properly and the firing pin may have been stuck in the extended position. As a result, the round went off before the bolt was closed with the lugs seated. In the process, the bolt handle broke off, as the bolt retracted violently, actually ending up outside the bolt raceway.

out of battery kaboom bohica 50 bmg ar15

The shooter was badly injured, with broken bones and ligament damage to his left hand and tissue damage to his right hand. The shooter was holding the rifle with his left hand near the front of the chamber where a gas vent was located. Gas and shrapnel existed the vent hole causing the severe injuries to the left hand.

From range reports, it appears that the shooter had been struggling to chamber previous rounds, and was having trouble closing the bolt. After talking with one of the rangemasters, a poster on AR15.com reported: “The guy was using new reloads that weren’t exactly fitting well into his chamber. [The shooter] was slamming the bolt handle with his palm trying to get the cases to lock in. The guy was also slamming the bolt forward full force from the rearmost position back and forth trying to ram the cases into chamber in an attempt to squeeze the rounds in so the bolt could close. Finally, on one of the attempts … the possibly stuck firing pin rams into the primer and explodes the round when he slams the bolt forward (zero lug engagement hence the KB) and shooter puts himself into a world of hurt.”

Lessons Learned — Don’t Try to Force Oversize Ammo into a Chamber
By all reports, the shooter’s ammo wasn’t fitting his chamber properly. In an effort to force the ammo into the chamber, he worked the bolt with excessive force. That MAY have caused the firing pin to extend or the hammer to fall without the trigger being pulled. One theory is that the trigger system may have been modified, allowing the hammer to fall from the force of slamming the bolt forward. Others have speculated that the firing pin may have failed to retract because the bolt handle was over-torqued — a safety issue listed in the BOHICA manual.

out of battery kaboom bohica 50 bmg ar15

Whatever caused the out-of-battery firing, it appears that improperly-sized ammo (or a poorly-cut chamber) was the root cause of the problems. If you go to a range and find your bolt does not close easily over the ammo — STOP SHOOTING — don’t try to force the issue. Disaster may result. To paraphrase Johnnie Cochran: “If the ammo doesn’t fit, it’s time to quit”.

Photos by Wildcard, originally posted on Calguns.net.

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Shooting Skills, Tech Tip 1 Comment »
November 18th, 2018

Out-of-Control Gun Lust — “I May Need an Intervention!”

Hoarding AccurateShooter Forum AR

Forum member Kevin (aka “N10Sivern”), revealed he needs some help with a compulsion — a compulsion to keep buying more and more guns and ammo. Particularly ARs, all shapes and sizes of ARs. Way too many ARs. You could say he has an ARdiction….

In a Forum Thread, Kevin posted: “I may need an intervention. Trying to clean my office and pulled this stuff out. I’m missing an AR10 lower somewhere and an AR15 upper. I’ll find them before the day is done. I have a big box full of parts as well, and 4 barrels still in the cardboard tubes. Sigh. This is gonna be a lot of Cerakoting for me.”

Another Forum member said: “For the love of God, man. Delete this thread lest you be accused of hoarding!”

Kevin replied: “I guess I am hoarding a little. But it’s good hoarding right?”

And then he posted this “Mail Call” photo:

Hoarding AccurateShooter Forum AR

Kevin’s caption: “It only gets worse. Mail Call today: 20″ .308 Ballistics Advantage barrel, 26″ Savage 25-06 barrel, 700 pieces of .38 special, 300 pieces of .357 magnum, 500 pieces .308 Win, gas tube, Hornady Modified Case Gauge. I have more crap on the way too.”

Forum Member’s Chime In…
Kevin’s “Need Intervention” post drew plenty of comments from other Forum Members:

“God! It is so refreshing to see that my illness is widespread with little hope (or desire) for a cure. I smiled reading each post.” — Gary0529

“You know you have a problem when you open a drawer and find components you forgot you bought.” — JoshB

“It’s not hoarding if you intend to use it. Says he who has 12,000 primers.” — Uthink

“I guess I’ll go ahead and volunteer to help you with your obviously much needed intervention… send me the pictured items and then you’ll no longer have to deal with those nasty temptations. Just think about it, you’ll have less clutter in your office plus you’ll not have to fret over the need for any cerakoting either. I’m just one human being volunteering to help out another fellow human being who needs help!” — PikesPG

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Tactical 5 Comments »