January 21st, 2018

The Clean AR-15 — How to Maintain Your Modern Sporting Rifle

Barrel cleaning AR15 bolt carrier carbon Jerry Miculek gas key direct impingement

Let’s face it, AR-platform rifles run dirty, at least compared to typical bolt-action rifles. The AR15 works by piping gas from the barrel back into the bolt carrier, causing the bolt to unlock and the carrier to move the bolt backward. The “exhaust gas” from the barrel contains soot and carbon. The carbon will form hard deposits on the bolt. In addition, the carbon can combine with lube on the bolt carrier to make a nasty, paste-like sludge. This can be particularly problematic when the black paste pollutes the ejector and extractor recess.

This Editor has inspected dozens of ARs over the years. Other than mag-related malfunctions, the most common cause of AR cycling problems I found was oily gunk in the extractor and ejector areas. Many AR owners overlook these critical areas. Look at an AR that hasn’t been cleaned properly and you’ll probably find black gunk (and small brass shavings) in the ejector and extractor recesses.

If you want to keep your black rifle running smoothly and reliably, you must clean it regularly and follow the correct maintenance procedures. Here are three videos that explain how to properly disassemble and clean AR-platform rifles.

Take-Down and Full Cleaning of AR15 by Jerry Miculek

Here ace shooter Jerry Miculek takes down and cleans an AR-platform rifle belonging to his daughter Lena. This is a good video because Lena’s rifle was “run hard and packed up dirty” so you can see where carbon and grease build up. This 35-minute video is very thorough. Jerry is one of the nation’s top action carbine shooters, so listen carefully to his advice on cleaning and lubrication.

How to Clean Your AR-Platform Rifle

This is a good basic video that shows the take-down and cleaning procedure for a typical AR15. It uses some fast-motion sequences to speed up the story. Check out this video if you don’t have the time to sit through the Miculek video above.

Cleaning and Lubricating AR15 Bolt Carrier Group

This video offers very specific advice on the bolt carrier group, which receives the dirty gas directly from the barrel. Be sure to check the extractor and ejector recesses. That’s where old lube, brass shavings, and carbon accumulate. Follow the directions in this video for lubrication, and don’t over-lubricate the bolt carrier — that will only capture more carbon.

Permalink - Articles, - Videos, Tactical 1 Comment »
January 14th, 2017

New BAT Tactical Action Debuts at SHOT Show

Bullet Central BAT Machine Bruce Thom tactical action rem clone remington AI magazine

A beefy, new BAT action will debut at SHOT Show 2017. The new BAT TR Tactical action will be showcased by BulletCentral.com at Booth #2963. Notably, Bruce Thom, founder of BAT Machine, will be at the booth on Wednesday, January 18, 2017. Stop by to meet Bruce and learn more about this action.

Designed from the ground up for tactical and PRS shooters, the new TR action features a very stiff, robust body that still fits a Remington 700 inlet. The TR’s bolt is different than on BAT’s benchrest actions, so the TR runs better in dusty conditions and with extended strings of fire. This new action is fully compatible with Accuracy International double-stack magazines.

Bullet Central BAT Machine Bruce Thom tactical action rem clone remington AI magazine

Story idea from EdLongrange. We welcome reader submissions.
Permalink New Product, Tactical 2 Comments »
September 26th, 2013

Colt Offers Precision Bolt-Action Rifles with Cooper Actions

Colt Mfg. Co. (Colt) is bringing out two new bolt-action rifles with actions from Cooper Firearms of Montana. (So maybe we should call these “Colpers” or “Coolts”?) Two different versions of the new Colt M2012 solid-stocked bolt-action rifles have been announced: a .308 Win with a Manners composite stock (MT308T), and a laminated stock version chambered in either .308 Win (LT308G) or .260 Remington (LT260G). All versions feature fluted barrels, detachable box magazines, and single-stage Timney triggers. All new M2012 MTs and LTs ship with signed, numbered, and dated Colt test targets.

These rifles will be pricey for a factory rifle. The M2012MT308T in .308 Winchester carries a $3,195.00 MSRP. That puts you pretty close to the cost of a custom tactical build. The laminated-stock LT versions list for $2,795.00, making those considerably more affordable. So what do you get for your money with a M2012 bolt-action “Coolt”?

The M2012MT308T features a 1:10″-twist, 22″ fluted stainless barrel with factory muzzle brake. All-up weight, even with the lightweight Manners carbon/fiberglass composite stock, is 10.25 pounds. Overall length is 44″, making the rifle fairly compact, good for tactical games and hunting.

The laminated LT models (offered in .308 Win or .260 Rem), weigh just 8.5 pounds, making them nearly two pounds lighter than the Manners-stocked models. We presume the weight saving comes from the use of lighter-contour barrels. The LT308G features a 22″ chrome-moly 1:10″-twist fluted barrel, while the LT260G sports a 22″ chrome-moly 1:8″-twist fluted barrel. This enables the .260 version to shoot popular 138-142 grain 6.5mm match bullets. Again, muzzle brakes come fitted to the laminated guns, just like the composite-stock variant.

Will these new Cooper-actioned rifles find favor with shooters? We think that depends on how well they shoot. Given the asking prices ($2,795 for Laminated, $3,195.00 for Composite) these rifles are close in price to a gunsmith-built, custom rig with a super-premium barrel. Such a custom should deliver 1/2-MOA or better. Can the M2012 “Coolts” match that? Hard to say…

These new Colt M2012s might be a decent starter platform for an F-TR rifle, but the fore-arm is pretty short (for optimal bipod use) and the shooter might need to retro-fit some kind of raised cheekpiece for prone shooting. It may be that the real market for these rifles will be hunters who want the security of a factory warranty, in a product that is a step-up from a basic Remington 700, Howa, or Savage.

Permalink New Product, News 3 Comments »
September 16th, 2013

GunsAmerica Tests New Ruger American Rimfire Rifle

Recently, we profiled the all-new, bolt-action Ruger American Rimfire™ rifle. It’s modular, affordable (MSRP $329.00), and it will be offered in three rimfire chamberings: .22 LR, .22 WMR, and 17 HMR. Notably, the .22 versions can use all types of Ruger 10/22 magazines — that’s a huge plus for folks who already own a Ruger 10/22. After this new rifle was introduced, readers wondered how well it functions, and how the accuracy compares to the popular .22 LR bolt guns from CZ and Savage.

GunsAmerica Blog Review
GunsAmerica, a leading firearms buy/sell website, managed to get hold of one of these Ruger American Rimfire rifles, chambered in .22 LR. GunsAmerica’s staff put the rifle through its paces at the range, and came away very impressed. The test rifle shot sub-inch groups at 50 yards with Federal Lightning and CCI Stinger ammunition. We expect the rifle would shoot even better with quality, match-grade Lapua or Eley rimfire ammo. CLICK HERE for full GunsAmerica Rifle Review.

Given the smooth-working bolt, crisp 3-lb trigger, and comfortable stock with built-in bedding system, GunsAmerica concludes that this Ruger delivers a lot of performance for the $329.00 price. GunsAmerica’s writers are probably right in predicting that the Ruger American Rifle will be a hot-seller, stealing market share from other low-to-mid-priced rimfire brands (such as CZ):

“With this one new rifle Ruger has propelled itself to the front of the pack of the bolt-action rimfire market[.] While there are other great rimfire bolt guns out there at affordable prices, nobody is going to dispute that the Ruger American Rimfire has leapfrogged the entire market. The rifle is superb, and missing really nothing. These guns are going to fly off the shelves….”

Permalink Gear Review, Hunting/Varminting No Comments »
April 10th, 2013

New Mauser M 12 Rifle to Be Distributed by Blaser USA

Mauser M 12 hunting M12 rifleEarlier this month we ran a story on the new Sauer 101 rifle. It turns out the Sauer 101 will be distributed in the U.S. by Blaser USA. Here’s more good news for hunters — we’ve learned that Blaser will be bringing another new German hunting rifle to the USA — the Mauser M 12. You’ll find specs and photos of the M 12 below. This is a rifle with a great heritage, superb build quality, plus some innovative features.

Both the Mauser M 12 and Sauer 101 rifles should be available at retailers in late April. To learn more, visit these websites: www.Mauser-m12.com and www.Sauer-101.com. For additional information on the Blaser line of products visit www.Blaser-USA.com.

Mauser M 12 hunting M12 rifle

Mauser M 12 Specifications

  • Bolt Features: 6-lug bolt, 60° bolt lift, bolt lugs engage directly in barrel, side bolt release, bolt can be disassembled without tools.
  • Extraction: Dual, spring loaded-ejectors for positive extraction.
  • Trigger: Crisp 950 gram (2.09 lb.) trigger pull.
  • Magazine capacity: 5 + 1 (standard calibers), 4+1 (magnum calibers).
  • Barrel length: 22″ (standard calibers), 24.5″ (magnum calibers).
  • Overall length: 42″ (standard calibers), 44.3″ (magnum calibers).
  • Weight: 6 .75 lb (standard calibers), 7 lb (magnum calibers)
  • Chamberings: .22-250 Rem, .243 Win, 6.5×55 SE, .270 Win, 7×64, .308 Win, .30-06 Springfield, 8×57 IS, 9,3×62 | 7 mm Rem Magnum, .300 Win Magnum, .338 Win Magnum.

Mauser Technical Features Video (Worth Watching!)

Mauser M 12 hunting M12 rifle

Mauser M 12 Hunting Video

Mauser M 12 hunting M12 rifle

Permalink Hunting/Varminting, New Product 4 Comments »
September 28th, 2012

Custom-Crafted Bolt Knobs from Bill Hawk

Looking for a cool extended bolt knob to provide extra leverage and more secure grip while working the action of your rifle? Bolt Knobs by Bill offers a wide array of styles and colors, all hand-crafted with great precision. Bill Hawk’s products range in price from $13.50 to $35, with most metal knobs priced at $30 to $32. The O-Ring style provides excellent comfort and grip. The Tactical style knob is slightly longer and has no o-rings. It is available with or without knurling. Bill also offers a conventional oversized ball in plastic or metal. Click images below to see LARGE PHOTOS.

Custom bolt knobs are made from aluminum stock that has been machined, media blasted, and powder coated for a durable and uniform finish. Choose from dozens of powder-coat colors. Knobs are drilled and tapped to fit 5/16 x 24 threaded bolt handles. A round ball style is available in aluminum, steel, or phenolic (hard plastic with threaded brass insert). This configuration still provides plenty of gripping surface but keeps the overall length of the bolt handle shorter compared to the tactical model.

Bill Hawks tells us that all his products can be customized: “I started selling bolt knobs a few years ago when I began to combine my passion for metal working and my passion for shooting. Of course, there were other manufacturers who already made bolt knobs, but I wanted to offer something a little different by allowing the shooter to tell me what they wanted and do my best to produce it. Hence the ‘custom’ part. Most people are happy with the tactical and O-ring knobs that are featured on my website, but I also make them to customer spec. Length, profile, thread size, and material can all be adjusted at no extra charge in most cases. My emphasis is primarily on offering a service to my fellow shooters.” There is a secure shopping cart on Bill’s website, BoltKnobsbyBill.com, so it’s easy to order. Send any questions regarding Bill’s products, or the ordering process, to: info [at] boltknobsbybill.com .

Permalink Gear Review, Hot Deals 2 Comments »
October 29th, 2011

Savage Plans to Release New-for-2012 Rifles Next Week

Savage Arms will roll out its new 2012 line-up of firearms on November 2, 2011. That’s just a few days away. The initial release will be made via Savage’s Facebook Page.

Right now Savage is being very tight-lipped about the new product line. However, Savage posted a teaser showing a gun case marked “Classified” — challenging Facebook readers to guess what might be unveiled next week. So far, reader guesses include:

  • An AR-type gun in .223 Rem AND 7.62×39.
  • A big boomer in .408 Cheytac, .416 Barrett or 50 BMG.
  • A single-shot Model 12 Target rifle in 6.5×47 LAPUA.
  • A Mini-14 type rifle in 6.5 Grendel.
  • A “Zombie Zapper” for use with Hornady’s Zombie Max ammo.
  • A lightweight survival-type .22 LR rifle.
  • A 300 AAC Blackout bolt-gun.
  • A 17 Hornet Varminter.

What do you guys think? We suspect the “Classified” rifle will be a bolt gun with rails and a detachable magazine, possibly with a collapsible stock. Consumer interest in “tactical”-style rifles is very high right now. We can expect Savage to deliver something that caters to market demand.

Story tip by EdLongrange. We welcome reader submissions.
Permalink New Product, News 8 Comments »
January 9th, 2011

New Rimfire Bolt-Guns from Marlin (.22 LR, .22 WMR, 17 HMR)

Marlin will produce a new line of affordable bolt-action, rimfire rifles in 2011. Dubbed the Marlin XT Series, the new rifles will be offered in 17 HMR, .22 LR, and .22 WMR, all with a variety of barrel and stock configurations. We’re pleased to see the XT line fitted with Marlin’s signature Micro-Groove barrels which have proven quite accurate in Marlin’s rimfire lever guns. Sorry, no prices have yet been announced, but XT rifles will be priced competitively in the “affordable” market segment.

Marlin XT .22 LR

The good news is that Marlin has fitted a new adjustable XT Pro-Fire® trigger system in the entire XT line. This trigger is user-adjustable from 3 pounds to 6 pounds pull weight, with “virtually zero creep” according to Marlin. A 3-lb pull is acceptable on this kind of rifle. The bad news, in our opinion, is that Marlin has fitted its triggers with a Glock-style “trigger safety” insert that must be pulled back before the trigger can be engaged. The “trigger safety” may please Marlin’s lawyers, but we have found such devices annoying at best, and unreliable at worst. In fairness to Marlin, perhaps it has executed the trigger-shoe safety system in a better fashion than some other manufacturers. Let’s hope so.

Marlin XT Trigger

17 HMR Version Available with Laminated Thumbhole Stock
Among the many XT offerings, we think the Model XT-17VLB may be the best option for serious varminters. Chambered for the accurate, 2500 fps 17 HMR cartridge, this rifle features a handsome, ergonomic thumbhole stock. The added effective range of the 17 HMR gives the varminter more options in the field. As with other XTs, the receiver comes drilled, tapped and grooved for mounting scopes.

Marlin XT 17 HMR

Two New XT Youth Models
Among the new XT offering are two new XT Youth Rifles — the first Marlin rifles designed specifically for younger shooters. The XT Youth rifles feature a shorter length of pull, shorter trigger reach, smaller pistol grip and a raised comb, making it easier for young shooters to maintain the proper sight picture.

Marlin XT Youth Rifle

Permalink Hunting/Varminting, New Product 3 Comments »