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August 8th, 2022

BargainFinder 359: AccurateShooter’s Deals of the Week

AccurateShooter Deals of the Week Weekly Bargain Finder Sale Discount Savings

At the request of our readers, we provide select “Deals of the Week”. Every Sunday afternoon or 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.

NOTE: All listed products are for sale to persons 18 years of age or older. No products are intended for use by minors.

1. Bullet Central — Krieger and Bartlein Pre-Fit Barrels

pre fit barrels
Great quality pre-fit barrels, ready to mount to your rifle

Do you own a Kelbly, BAT, or Impact action and need a new barrel but don’t want the hassle (and cost) of having a smith chamber and headspace the barrel? Consider a Krieger or Bartlein Pre-Fit Barrel from Bullet Central. On BulletCentral.com you’ll find a wide range of barrels in various calibers for multiple action types. Place your order for professionally-chambered, custom-grade barrels that you can install yourself.

2. EuroOptic — Trijicon Riflescope Clearance

eurooptic trijicon scope riflescope sale discount
Trijicon makes excellent optics, now with HUGE discounts

Trijicon scopes are some of the best value riflescopes on the market. They have good glass, are sharp, and very reliable. And now, EuroOptic is offering Trijicon riflescopes at crazy low clearance prices. You can save over $1600 on the Ten Mile 4.5-30x56mm scope and save over $1100 on the Ten Mile 3-18x50mm model. With Trijicon discounts exceeding 60%, this could be the best deal you’ll see on scopes of this quality.

3. MidwayUSA — Caldwell Rock BR Rest + Rear Bag, $109.99

Caldwell Rock rest and rear bag
Good inexpensive system for varminters or sight-in duties

Need a good basic front rest and rear bag to sight-in that hunting rifle? Here’s a solid, functional benchrest set-up at a great price. This Caldwell Rock BR Rest and Bag Combo is great combo deal for just $109.99. This will more than suffice for testing a hunting rifle or basic bench-work. Upgrade the rear bag later. The front rest adjusts for both windage and elevation. This is a very good deal — consider that the Rock BR Rest by itself sells for $135.99 on Amazon.

4. CDNN Sports — Talon Armament Gryphon GAR15, $499.99

AR-15 AR PA-15 Modern sporting rifle sale discount palmetto armory
Get a quality AR-platform .223/5.56 rifle while you can

With the anti-gunners in Congress pushing radical legislation, it may be time to pick up an AR-platform Modern Sporting Rifle before it’s too late. The Democrats in Washington are pushing for a complete ban on modern, mag-fed semi-automatic rifles. But right now, for just $499.99, you can get the Talon Armament Gryphon GAR15 rifle. This features a 16″, 1:7″-twist barrel, with a 15″ M-LOK rail on the handguard, and adjustable T-Force stock. Save hundreds with this deal.

5. Midsouth — Lyman Presses and Reloading Kits on Sale

Lyman Single Stage Victory Press C-Frame Ideal Turret Press reloading kit sale
Big discount on quality Lyman Single Stage Victory Press

Lyman makes excellent single-stage and turret presses. Right now you can save up to 22% on Lyman presses and reloading kits at Midsouth. The versatile Victory Single Stage Press is marked down to $149.99, a $46.00 savings. Lyman’s compact Ideal C-Frame Press is on sale by itself for $98.99 or get a full Ideal C-Frame Reloading Kit with this press, powder measure, primer tool, reloading handbook and more for just $234.99. There is also a deluxe Kit with Lyman 8-station Turret Press for $439.99.

6. CDNN Sports — AR-15 Magazines Starting at $8.99

cdnn ar15 ar-15 MSR magazine mag high-capacity polymer aluminum steel sale
Huge selection of metal and polymer AR mags 5rd to 42rd

The gun-grabbers in Congress intend to ban AR-15s, and you know they want to outlaw full-capacity magazines as well. If you own an AR-platform modern sporting rifle (MSR), you might want to get a good supply of magazines while you still can. CDNN Sports offers a huge selection of AR15 magazines at very attractive prices. Choose metal or polymer with capacities from 5 rounds to 42 rounds. For High Power matches and varmint duties, we like the straight, 20-round mags.

7. Midsouth — 1000 9mm Bullets + 1000 JAG Cases, $239.99

9mm brass bullet reloading sale
Great deal for 9mm reloaders — 1000 bullets and 1000 cases

Here’s a great deal for pistol shooters who handload 9mm Luger ammunition. Midsouth offers a 9mm Loader Pack featuring 1000 124gr FMJ bullets and 1000 JAG brand new brass cases. This is a great deal for anyone who reloads large supplies of 9mm ammo for fun shooting or competition.

8. Amazon — Smart Weigh Gem20 Digital Scale, $24.99

gem 20 powder scale

Great little accurate, repeatable scale at amazing price — Watch the VIDEO!

The Smart Weigh Gem20 scale is an excellent option for those looking to reduce velocity Extreme Spread by weighing powder precisely to the kernel, without having to spend $1000 on a laboratory grade scale. At this low price (under $25 currently), this is also great option as a back-up or travel scale used at the range. Verified purchasers, including the maker of the video above, have praised the scale. Watch the video to see how precise it is — the scale can measure kernel by kernel. Use the “mode” button to select grains. The scale can also weight in grams, ounces, and other modes. Use the tare function to zero with powder pan. This scale ships with two 10g calibration weights.

9. MidwayUSA — Real Avid AR-15 Cleaning Kit with Mat, $28.22

avid AR5 ar-15 cleaning kit mat tool kit sale
Great accessory for AR15s, cleaning kit and mat with diagrams

We can recommend the Real Avid AR-15 Cleaning Kit/Smart Mat for all AR owners. This includes a large, padded, oil-resistant mat with printed AR parts diagram and a built-in parts tray. The tool kit, in zippered pouch, has key tools needed to disassemble and clean your AR. The kit also includes the Real Avid Field Guide. At $28.22, this combo set costs less than the Real Avid Cleaning Kit by itself.

10. Amazon — 12″ x 12″ Splatter Grid Targets, 10 for $10.99

Sight-in 12
Great for hunting rifle Sight-In and easy to estimate group size

This 12″x12″ Splatterburst Target combines splatter shot marking with a grid background, with five aiming points. The bright neon shot circles make it easy to see your shots. And the handy grid lets you quickly estimate your group size. Get a 10-pack for $10.99, or a 25-pack for $19.99 (better deal). This particular target has earned rave reviews — 87% of verified buyers gave this a FIVE-Star rating. One example: “Excellent quality and durability. The adhesive is really strong and the splatter contrast is [great].”

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August 6th, 2022

Saturday at the Movies: 7 Informative Videos from Tactical Hyve

tactical hyve training pistol rifle video sights trigger milrad reticle ar15 self defense

There are many tactical-style video producers on YouTube. Many of these guys, to be honest, aren’t very knowledgeable about firearms, nor are they particularly good shooters. By contrast, videos hosted by Tactical Hyve regularly feature top Action Pistol, PRS and 3-gun competitors as well as military SPECOPS veterans. The vets include SEAL team members who really know their stuff. The Tactical Hyve YouTube channel currently hosts over 560 videos! Here are seven of our favorite Tactical Hyve videos featuring highly-skilled instructors.

TACTICAL HYVE LINKS
– Tactical Hyve Channel | https://www.youtube.com/c/TacticalHyve
– Tactical Hyve Website | https://tacticalhyve.com
– Tactical Hyve Facebook | https://www.facebook.com/tacticalhyve
– Marksmanship Standards | https://go.tacticalhyve.com/marksmanship-standards-guide-1

1. How to Aim a Pistol with Iron Sights or Red Dot

We recommend this video for persons training for a CCW permit, or who are getting started in pistol shooting competition. The video shows proper technique for using iron sights. In addition, it offers some important advice for shooting with Red Dots. Shooting with Red Dot sights can be easier than with iron sights because you only have to put the dot on the target, rather than align front blade with rear notch. But it does take some familiarization to get things right. And persons with astigmatism can have challenges with Red Dot sights.

2. Five Most Common Pistol Shooting Mistakes

In this video, Myles, the founder of Tactical Hyve, talks about the five most common pistol shooting mistakes he sees in classes and how to correct them. Many folks begin pistol shooting without a qualified instructor. Or they try to imitate what they see on TV. This can lead to new pistol shooters forming bad habits. This video helps handgunners correct those bad habits. This popular video has 1.9 million views.

3. Dry-Fire Techniques with Pistol Master Champion J.J. Ricaza

Released on 8/4/22, this is the latest video from the Tactical Hyve YouTube channel. The featured shooter, J.J. Ricaza, a multi-time Steel Challenge champion, is one of the top 10 action pistol shooters in the country. Racaza show how to dry fire like a grandmaster in this video. Dry-firing lets you polish your technique at home, and improve your skills without the cost of live ammunition.

4. Reticle Types Reviewed — MOA and MilRAD

In this video, Billy Leahy, former USCG Precision Marksmanship Instructor, talks about the common optics reticles you’ll encounter. This is a good video to watch if you are shopping for a new scope and are considering a variety of reticle types, both MilRAD (Milliradian) and MOA, SFP and FFP. In this video, Leahy covers the following reticles:

Standard Mil Dot
Leupold TMR
Nightforce Mil-XT
Horus Tremor3
Vortex EBR-7C (MRAD)
Vortex EBR-2C (MRAD)
Vortex EBR-4 (MOA)

5. Use of Tripods for Precision Rifle Competitions

In this video, retired Green Beret and nationally-ranked precision rifle shooter, Scott Satterlee, shares precision rifle tripod shooting tips. This is a “must-watch” video for PRS/NRL shooters who may use tripods in competition. This video can also benefit hunters who might use a tripod in the field.

6. Pistol and Rifle Methods for CROSS-Dominant Shooters

What is “Cross Dominance” and how do you adjust for it? Those questions are answered in this video. If your dominant eye is opposite your dominant hand, then you are cross-dominant. For example, this Editor is right-handed but my LEFT eye is dominant. So I am cross-dominant. This video starts with a simple exercise to determine your dominant eye. Then the video shows how to hold a pistol correctly if you are cross-dominant. Finally, the video shows techniques that benefit cross-dominant rifle shooters.

7. Setting Up an AR-15 for Home Defense

In this video, retired Navy SEAL Mark “Coch” Cochiolo shares how his primary AR for home defense is set up. Coch reviews various optics choices and he also explains how to mount a lamp on your home defense rifle(s). The AR-15 set-ups of ten other tactical experts are revealed in a Tactical Hyve web article. See:

tactical hyve ar15 ar-15 defense rifle

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July 30th, 2022

Saturday at the Movies: How to Clean and Maintain an AR-15

AR15 AR AR-15 MSR black rifle cleaning maintenance bolt lubrication
Scottsdale Gun Club offers an AR-15 Cleaning Clinic on August 25, 2022.

AR-platform rifles can be maintenance-intensive beasts. They need regular inspection, cleaning, and lubrication. But some AR owners make the situation worse by not regularly cleaning important small parts, or by using too MUCH oily/greasy lubricants in the wrong places. A properly maintained and lubricated AR15 can shoot hundreds of rounds (between cleanings) without a problem. If you learn where (and where not) to apply lubricant, you’ll find that your AR will run more reliably and the task of cleaning the bolt, bolt carrier, and upper receiver internals will be less of a burden.

Here we showcase videos that show how to field-strip an AR-15, inspect the key parts, clean components, and lubricate internal parts as needed. Along with these videos, we recommend you read the comprehensive AR-15 Gun Cleaning Clinic article on the Brownells website. This explains in detail important procedures that the videos might only cover in a few seconds.

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 five videos that explain how to properly disassemble and clean AR-platform rifles.

AR15 AR-15 AR bolt carrier cleaning videos

1. How To Clean Your AR-15 | Cleaning and Maintenance Tips

This is a quick 90-second starter video that may help new AR owners. Ricky Lehnhardt of OTIS Technology demonstrates the basics of cleaning and maintaining your AR-15. Lehnhardt does a good job identifying the points that need cleaning on the inside of ARs. However he works very quickly in the video. You may want to pause the video at some points. Also, Lehnhardt employs a cable for pulling patches and brushes through the barrel. Yes this is fast and easy. However, for match AR rifles, we recommend that you instead use a cleaning ROD with fitted bore guide.

2. Take-Down and Full Cleaning of AR-15 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.

3. AR-15 Maintenance: Field-strip, Clean and Lubricate an AR-15

Gunsite Academy instructor and gunsmith Cory Trapp demonstrates the proper way to field-strip, clean, and lubricate an AR-15 carbine. In this 30-minute video, Trapp offers several important technical tips and hints. For example, at 11:05 Trap demonstrates how to determine if your bolt needs new gas rings. Along with cleaning procedures, this video explains how to inspect key components and how to function-test your AR before each shooting session.

4. AR-15 Dissassembly and Cleaning Guide

This video does a good job, with close-ups, showing how to remove the bolt carrier and clean the inside of the upper receiver. Then you can see how to work with various tools to clean the bolt, bolt carrier, and inside of chamber. We also recommend that you inspect the ejector recess and extractor recess. When we’ve inspected ARs that failed to cycle properly, we have often found nasty gunk (mixture of carbon, greasy lube, and brass particles) in these areas.

5. Basic AR-15 Quick and Easy Field Maintenance

In this NSSF-sponsored video, pro shooter Ryan Muller demonstrates basic, quick field maintenance of his AR-15. This would be for a quick cleaning and lubrication of the reciprocating parts. This covers rapid maintenance in the field. For full field-stripping and thorough cleaning, watch the previous videos.



Handy Mat for Cleaning AR Rifles

When working on an AR-15, it’s smart to have a pad that can absorb solvents and cushion your upper and lower. The $22.49 Real Avid Smart Mat is a good choice. This features printed take-down instructions and it has a handy parts tray on the right side. The mat rolls up for convenient storage. Click HERE to learn more.

AR15 AR AR-15 MSR black rifle cleaning maintenance bolt lubrication

Vital Inspections You Should Do After Disassembly

Last but not least, here are recommended inspections you should do every time you do a full field-strip and cleaning of your black rifle:

AR 15 maintenance and inspection

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June 10th, 2022

U.S. House of Representatives Votes for Sweeping Gun Control

House Representatives gun control POKA AR-15 semi-auto rifle ban age 21 18 magazines

Earlier this week, U.S. House of Representatives passed a sweeping gun-control package titled the “Protecting Our Kids Act” (POKA). This radical legislation involves eight new statutes, covered below. Voting primarily on party lines, the Democratic-majority House approved the eight measures that collectively comprise POKA by a 223-204 vote.

NOTE: No part of POKA has become actual Federal law yet — it has only made it through the Democratic-controlled U.S. House of Representatives. For any part of POKA to become law, the provisions must be approved by the U.S. Senate and then signed by President Biden.

Here Are Key Statutory Components of the New POKA Federal Legislation:

1. Anthony Brown’s Raise the Age Act — This raises the lawful age to purchase a semi-automatic rifle from 18 to 21 years old.

2. David Cicilline’s Untraceable Firearms Act — This makes so-called “ghost guns” subject to existing federal firearms regulations.

3. Ted Deutch’s Keep Americans Safe Act — This is a new Full-Capacity Mag ban that would ban the sale, manufacture, and possession of New gun magazines that hold more than 15 rounds.

4. Robin Kelly’s Prevent Gun Trafficking Act — This creates new federal offenses for gun trafficking and straw purchasing.

5. Dina Titus’s End Bump Stock Loophole Act — This carries the Biden Executive orders further, by banning the manufacture, sale, or possession of Civilian bump stocks.

6-8. Gun Storage Regulations — There are three Gun storage proposals which mandate gun storage: Rosa DeLauro’s Ethan’s Law, Elissa Slotkin’s Safe Guns, Safe Kids Act, and Sheila Jackson Lee’s Firearm Safe Storage Act.

According to GunsAmerica Digest: “Only two Democrats — Reps. Jared Golden of Maine and Kurt Schrader of Oregon — voted against [POKA] while five Republicans — Reps. Anthony Gonzalez of Ohio, Fred Upton of Michigan, Brian Fitzpatrick of Pennsylvania, Adam Kinzinger of Illinois, and Chris Jacobs of New York — voted for it.”

The National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF) criticized lawmakers for supporting measures that clearly violated the Second Amendment rights of law-abiding citizens. The NSSF stated that POKA is seriously flawed, and violates the U.S. Constitution:

“This legislation isn’t a serious attempt to find common ground and effective answers. This was nothing short of a partisan effort to advance a radical gun control agenda”, said Mark Oliva, NSSF’s Managing Director of Public Affairs in a message to GunsAmerica.

“Many of the ideas included in this legislative package are unconstitutional, including denying Second Amendment rights to adults under the age of 21″, he continued. “The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit just struck down California’s age-based gun ban as unconstitutional.”

Here is the analysis of the new POKA legislation from the NRA Institute for Legislative Action (NRA-ILA):

Among its many provisions, H.R. 7910 would ban law-abiding 18-20 year old adults from acquiring semi-automatic rifles and shotguns. This unconstitutional legislation would extinguish law-abiding adults’ Second Amendment rights and contends that these individuals are responsible enough to defend their country or vote in an election, but cannot be trusted to follow the law.

H.R. 7910 would generally ban standard-capacity magazines that are overwhelmingly popular with law-abiding Americans for self-defense, as well as redirect federal tax dollars intended for law enforcement and other public safety programs to “buyback” existing lawfully-possessed magazines.

Furthermore, H.R. 7910 includes several “safe storage” mandates that would control how individual Americans keep firearms in their own homes. These provisions are in direct contravention to the U.S. Supreme Court decision in Heller that held mandatory storage provisions that prevent a law-abiding American from having ready access to a firearm for self-defense are unconstitutional.

- – – -

The second bill, H.R. 2377, is a combination of legislative proposals to create ‘red flag orders’ that allow for the confiscation of firearms without due process of law. The legislation would directly empower federal judges to nullify Second Amendment rights on a case-by-case basis and issue orders to seize firearms from the named individuals. It would also provide funding to encourage states and localities to pass and enforce laws allowing judges to issue orders to seize firearms.

H.R. 2377 would strip Second Amendment rights of individuals by confiscating firearms without constitutional due process by allowing courts to issue ex parte (meaning the accused is not present) firearm confiscation orders. A person could be forcibly disarmed of otherwise lawfully-possessed firearms before he or she had so much as an opportunity to contest the accusations – this would represent a clear denial of constitutional due process protections.

Moreover, H.R. 2377 would generally authorize indefinite firearm deprivations, giving courts options to issue orders without a time cap, or choose to allow for indefinite order renewals. This legislation treats the Second Amendment as a second-class, disfavored right and flies in the face of due process, the presumption of innocence and fundamental fairness.

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June 9th, 2022

Gas Gun Reloading Rules — USAMU Tips for ARs, Garands, M1As

Reloading for Service Rifles
SFC Lance Dement as featured in CMP’s First Shot Online.

The U.S. Army Marksmanship Unit (USAMU) has published a great series of reloading “how-to” articles on its Facebook Page. This post covers key factors to consider when loading ammunition for Match Rifles and Service Rifles, with a particular focus on self-loading “gas guns”. Visit the USAMU Facebook Page regularly for other, helpful reloading and marksmanship tips.

We offer some “cardinal rules” to help new gas-gun handloaders with safety and efficiency. These address both Match Rifle and Service Rifle versions of the AR15, M1 Garand, M1A, and M110. However, they can also improve safe reloading for many other auto-loaders such as M1 Carbines, FALs, SIGs, etc. The author distilled these principles many years ago to help focus on the essential aspects of these rifles.

RULE ONE: Service Rifles Are Not Benchrest Rifles
Gas-guns require a relatively loose fit between ammunition and chamber (vs. bolt actions) for safe, smooth operation. Many techniques, such as neck sizing and keeping cartridge headspace quite tight, are popular in the extreme bolt gun accuracy realm. However, they are of little value with Service Rifles, and some could even be hazardous. Before adopting a specialized technique, seriously consider whether it is appropriate and beneficial in a gas-gun.

RULE TWO: Never Compromise Safety to Obtain Accuracy
Example: If choosing a brand of great, but ultra-sensitive match primers offers possibly better accuracy at the risk of slam-fires in your design of rifle, don’t do it! You are issued exactly two eyes and ten fingers (best-case scenario). Risking them trying to squeeze 0.25 MOA better accuracy out of an M1A, etc. simply isn’t worth it.

Reloading for Service Rifles

RULE THREE: Tailor the Precision to Your Individual Skill and Your Rifle’s Potential
This has been addressed here before, but bears repeating for newcomers. If you are struggling to break out of the Marksman Class, or using a CMP M1 “As-Issued,” then laboriously turning the necks of your 600-yard brass is a waste of time. Your scores will improve much faster by practicing or dry-firing. On the other hand, if the reigning champions anxiously check your scores each time you fire an event, a little neck-turning might not be so far-fetched.

Verifying Load Improvements — Accuracy hand-loading involves a wide variety of techniques, ranging from basic to rather precise. Carefully select those which offer a good return on investment for your time and labor. In doubt? Do a classic pilot study. Prepare ammo for at least three or four ten-shot groups with your new technique, vs. the same with your standard ammo. Then, pick a calm day and test the ammo as carefully as possible at its full distance (e.g. 200, 300, or 600 yards) to verify a significant improvement. A little testing can save much labor!


This video explains the procedure for ordering an M1 Garand from the CMP.

RULE FOUR: Be Your Own Efficiency Expert
Serious Service Rifle shooters generally think of ammunition in terms of thousands of rounds, not “boxes”, or even “hundreds”. Analyze, and WRITE DOWN each step in your reloading process. Count the number of times each case is handled. Then, see if any operations can be dropped or changed without reducing safety or accuracy. Eliminating just two operations saves 2000 steps per 1000 rounds loaded. Conversely, carefully consider any measurable benefits before adding a step to your routine.

RULE FIVE: In Searching for Greater Accuracy with Efficiency, Look for System Changes
For example, instead of marking your 300-yard rounds individually to differentiate them from your 200-yard ammo, would a simple change in primers work? If accuracy is maintained, using brass-colored primers for 200 and silver for 300 provides an indelible indicator and eliminates a step! Similarly, rather than spending hours selecting GI surplus brass for weight and neck uniformity, consider splurging on some known, high-quality imported match brass for your 600-yard loads. Results should be excellent, time is saved, and given limited shooting at 600 yards, brass life should be long.

RULE SIX: Check All Your Primers Before Packaging Your Loaded Ammo
This seems simple and even intuitive. However, many slam-fires (which were much more common when M1s and M1As were the standard) are due, at least in part, to “high” primers. Primers should be seated below flush with the case head. The USAMU has addressed this at length in a previous column, but each round should be checked for properly-seated primers before they are packaged for use.

Reloading for Service Rifles

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June 3rd, 2022

.300 Blackout Round in .223 Rem AR Upper — Instant Disaster

.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.”

Image from Accurate Shooter Forum. Cutaway shows the jammed .30-Cal bullet:
.300 AAC Blackout 300 BLK kaboom accident blowup cartridge failure barrel .223 Rem 5.56

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

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May 12th, 2022

Good Resources for Do-It-Yourself AR-Platform Rifle Projects

AR15 Varmint rifle AR gunsmithing robert whitley
AR15 Varmint rifle AR gunsmithing robert whitley

AR15 construction guideMany of our readers use AR-type rifles for Service Rifle matches, varmint hunting, 3-Gun competition, or defensive use. AR-platform rifles can be configured in a multitude of ways to suit the application. But if you plan to put together your own purpose-built AR rifle, how do you get started?

For AR Do-It-Yourselfers, we suggest reading the late Glen Zediker’s book, the Competitive AR-15 Builders Guide. Following on Zediker’s The Competitive AR15: Ultimate Technical Guide, the 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 Competitive AR-15 Builders’ Guide provides a complete list of the tools you’ll need for the job, and Zediker outlines all the procedures to build an AR-15 from start to finish.

One of our Forum members who purchased the AR-15 Builders Guide confirms it is a great resource: “Much like any of the books Mr. Zediker puts out this one is well thought-out and is a no nonsense approach to AR building. I can not stress how helpful this book is from beginner to expert level.”

Along with assembly methods, this book covers parts selection and preparation, not just hammers and pins. Creedmoor Sports 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.” Other good resources for AR projects is Gunsmithing the AR: The Bench Manual, and the Building Your AR from Scratch DVD.

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March 24th, 2022

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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March 19th, 2022

Saturday at The Movies: AR Platform Set-Up & Maintenance

Brownells tech tip video AR15 ar platform rifle gunsmithing

Do you own or shoot an AR-platform “black rifle”? Then you know these rifles run dirty, and have some unusual maintenance requirements. On the other hand, the AR “Modern Sporting Rifle” is fun and versatile with a vast range of options among buttstocks, barrels, handguards, and grips. You can assemble a simple 16″ barrel .223 Rem rig for home defense, or build a long-barreled 6mm ARC rifle with bag-rider buttstock and high-magnification optic for long range target work. The choice is up to you.

To help with your black rifle journey, here are eight helpful videos from Brownells. These will help ensure your AR rifle cycles reliably and runs longer, with reduced wear. Brownells also explains how to choose the optimal barrel twist rate. CLICK HERE to order AR parts, accessories, and ammo from Brownells.

AR Bolt/Bolt Carrier Lubrication — Smarter Methods

This video shows the proper way to lubricate an AR-15 bolt-carrier assembly. The video identifies the key metal-on-metal friction points where you actually need lubrication: the rails on the underside of the carrier, shiny wear points on top, and just a dab on the cam pin. How much oil/lubricant should you use? The AR-15 is pretty forgiving on that point. Some spots work best with grease, others work best with a lighter oil. Just keep it out of the combustion areas. Those little holes in the carrier are gas vent holes, NOT oil holes!

AR Maintenance — General Cleaning Procedures

Let’s face it, ARs with the original gas system tend to run dirty. You’ll need to regularly clean the bolt carrier and bolt. In addition you should regularly clean the chamber area and the inside of the upper. Also make sure to clean the lower (see video 3:15) and ensure the trigger assembly is properly maintained. This video covers general cleaning and maintenance of AR-platform rifles. We highly recommend that all new AR owners watch this video. NOTE: When cleaning the bolt, don’t forget the extractor recess and ejector recess. The majority of ARs we’ve seen that did not function properly had gunk (lube, carbon, brass shavings) clogging these areas.

AR Barrel Twist Rates — What You Need to Know

AR barrels can be ordered with a variety of twist rates from 1:12″ to 1:7″. Basically, the longer/heavier the bullet you plan to shoot, the faster the twist rate you need. For example, Sierra recommends a 1:7″ twist rate for the 90gr SMK. A 1:12″ could work with the small lightweight bullets up to 55 grains. The 1:9″ barrel will stabilize the light and mid-weight bullets up to about 77 grains. We recommend a 1:8″ or 1:7″ twist rate for the best versatility. You’ll find a detailed discussion of AR twist rates on PewPewTactical.com.

How to Install an AR15 Trigger Assembly

One of the most common AR upgrades done by black rifle owners is swapping out the trigger for a better unit (perhaps a two-stage). Trigger replacements on ARs can be done fairly easily with basic tools. But there are some recommended procedures to ensure the trigger group swap goes easily. You’ll want to have a proper mount to secure the lower, and tools that fit the pin diameters on your lower.

Must-Have Spare Parts for AR-Platform Rifle

With 350,000 views, this is one of the most-watched AR videos on the Brownells YouTube Channel. Brownells Gun Techs Steve and Caleb list key spare parts AR owners should have. Top of the list are bolt gas rings, which wear out through normal use. Also you’ll want a spare extractor spring and pin, because these both can fail. The cotter pin and cam pin can break, but more often they get lost when the Bolt Carrier Group is disassembled for cleaning. Additionally, the large buffer springs wear out with time, so have a spare. Downstairs on the lower receiver, keep spare springs and detents for the pivot and takedown pins. Finally, if you’ve upgraded your trigger, keep the original one as a backup spare.

Checking Headspace on ARs

In this Tech Tip, Brownells gun tech Steve Ostrem walks users step-by-step through the process of checking headspace on their AR-15 rifles, both new and used. It is very important to have proper headspace to ensure proper feeding and extraction, and to ensure good brass longevity (with less risk of dangerous case separation). Starting at 2:10, this video explains how to check headspace with go/no-go gauges and maximum headspace gauge. Ostrem notes: “If you have an AR that closes on a no-go gauge, we recommend taking it to a gunsmith before heading to the range.”

brownells AR AR15 headspace video go gauge
Excessive headspace in AR platform rifles can lead to dangerous case separation.

Setting Up Gas Tube Systems

This Tech Tip examines AR-platform gas systems, and shows how to select the proper length gas tube, and how to configure multiple tube systems if you change your barrel to different lengths. This is worth watching for anyone re-barreling an AR.

Barrel Gas Block Alignment — Key to Reliable Cycling

In this video, Brownells gun tech Steve Ostrem explains surefire methods to align your gas block. The most common problem with AR builds is poor cycling, commonly caused by misalignment between the gas block and the barrel’s gas port.

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March 9th, 2022

New Resource: AR-15 Setup, Maintenance and Repair

AR-15 gunsmithing maintenance setup repair book patrick sweeney

AR owners know that their black rifles require regular cleaning and maintenance. And this modular platform allows many options for stocks, fore-arms, and optics mounting. That ability to customize is one of the AR’s major attractions, but customization requires solid understanding of the AR’s design and components.

To help AR owners optimize their rifles and maintain their rifles properly, Gun Digest Media has just released a new, 320-page illustrated book: AR-15 Setup, Maintenance and Repair. Authored by Patrick Sweeney, this book is a “one-stop guide to repairing, maintaining and modifying America’s favorite rifle.” The MSRP for the book is $35.99 from Gun Digest, but it is available on Amazon for $30.11* in paperback. Digital editions are offered by GunDigest for $31.99.

If you need to disassemble and maintain your AR rifle, swap barrels or handguards, add optics, or customize the stock, Gun Digest’s AR-15 Setup, Maintenance and Repair book tells you what you need to know. From field-stripping to barrel mounting and trigger installations, the book covers a wide range of topics. The book provides step-by-step instructions for set-up and maintenance, with hundreds of detailed photos. The book also includes AR gunsmithing chapters with reviews of recommended tools.

Author Patrick Sweeney is a certified master gunsmith and armorer instructor for police departments. Sweeney has also authored the notable 4-volume Gunsmithing the AR-15 series (Vol. 1, Vol. 2, Vol. 3, and Vol. 4) and 20+ other titles for Gun Digest Books.

Whether you want to learn about disassembling your AR for regular maintenance, field-stripping, swapping out parts, adding optics or customizing a stock, AR-15 Setup, Maintenance and Repair guides you through everything you need to know to keep your AR-platform rifle running well. There are also tips on how to improve accuracy, and maintain your bolt carrier group properly.

• Hundreds of detailed photos
• Step-by-step maintenance & repair
• Accessories & modifications
• Tips, tools & techniques

Authored by Patrick Sweeney
Published by Gun Digest Books
ISBN-13: 978-1951115470
320 pages, softcover, 8 ¼ x 10 7/8 inches

Editor’s NOTE: The key to keeping an AR running reliably is proper lubrication (in the RIGHT places), and regular cleaning of the bolt carrier and bolt, including ejector recess and extractor recess. The majority of non-functioning ARs we’ve seen had gunk, lube, carbon, and brass shavings in those recesses.

Other AR Books by Patrick Sweeney
AR-15 gunsmithing maintenance setup repair book patrick sweeney

Bonus Video — AR15 Maintenance with Jerry Miculek


In this helpful video, legendary shooting Jerry Miculek explains how he cleans and maintains his AR-platform rifles. Miculek shoots ARs in three-gun competitions.


* There are other Amazon third-party sellers offering the book starting at $25.48 plus $3.99 shipping.

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December 31st, 2021

Mantis Blackbeard — AR15 Dry Firing System Resets Trigger

Mantis blackbeard ar15 ar ar-15 trigger reset dry firing system magazine blot carrier

Do you use an AR15 for service rifle, 3-Gun, or tactical competitions? Then you should consider dry-fire training. Many top competitors spend an hour (or more) dry-firing for every minute they shoot live cartridges in competition. The allows effective training without spending a fortune on live ammunition (which can run $1.00 per round or more).

There is a handy new system that resets the trigger on AR-platform rifles — the Mantis Blackbeard (see videos below). This permits you to make multiple successive shots without having to alter your grip and manually recycle the charging handle. This two-part system employs a replacement bolt carrier/bolt and replacement magazine. With these two components installed, your AR can automatically reset the trigger instantly after you pull the trigger. It works, it’s effective, and it’s affordable at $219.00 MSRP.

The Blackbeard system is used by the U.S. Marine Corps and U.S. Army (including Special Forces), so you know it works. During training the Mantis Blackbeard allows unlimited, repetitive Dry Firing without resetting the charging handle. That eliminates a tedious task that requires altering your hold on the rifle.

No Gun Modifications
Same Trigger Weight, Break, and Reset
Installs in under a minute
Up to 10 shots per second
Up to 100,000 Shots per Charge
Save on Ammunition Costs

In the video below Top Shot Champion Dustin Ellermann shows how to use the Mantis Blackbeard. He vividly demonstrates the clear advantage of the Blackbeard compared to manually pulling the charging handle over and over (See 00:02 – 00:20 time).

Dustin Ellermann Review of Mantis Blackbeard Trigger Reset System

Mantis blackbeard ar15 ar ar-15 trigger reset dry firing system magazine blot carrier

This next video, from the manufacturer Mantis, shows how to install the Mantis Blackbeard, how to set the zero, and how to operate the unit with your AR-platform rifle.

The easy-to-install-Mantis Blackbeard replaces your bolt carrier and magazine in less than a minute, allowing easy training transitions. The magazine battery pack is good for 100,000 shots per charge and the Blackbeard is rated to reset as quickly as 10 shots per second, allowing rapid fire training for 3-Gun and tactical competitions.

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December 31st, 2021

3D Cutaway Animations Reveal How AR15 Rifles Work

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

Americans love AR-platform rifles. However, they can be maintenance-intensive, as hot gasses are directed right back into the action to operate the bolt. Because ARs have a somewhat unique (and dirty) semi-auto operating system, we think all AR owners should learn how their rifles operate — from the inside out. This feature provides an “inside look” at the AR, with X-Ray and Cutaway views created through advanced 3D computer modeling.

AR15 Functions Revealed with 3D Computer Animation

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

How AR-Platform Rifles Work — General Introduction
To help reader understand the general operation of AR-type rifles, this video shows the control functions of an AR and how the upper and lower sections work together.

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

Here is an excellent “cutaway” animation by Thomas Schwenke that shows how an AR-15 functions — how the entire loading cycle works from start to finish.

AR platform rifles are semi-automatics 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.

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December 8th, 2021

The Tack-Driving AR — Secrets to AR Platform Accuracy

AR-X AR15 Upper

One Shooters’ Forum member 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 detailed answer to this question, based on his experience building/testing scores 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

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November 5th, 2021

New Brownells AR Build Resource Site with How-To Videos

Brownells AR15 AR builder online how to build guide videos upper lower trigger

In the face of growing online censorship across many popular social media sites (such as YouTube), Brownells has launched a new online resource to help customers build their own AR-15 rifles at home. Hosted at Brownells.com/HowToBuild, the new web page features step-by-step, interactive videos. Featuring Brownells Gun Tech Caleb Savant, the videos show the AR-15 build process with easy-to-follow directions and expert advice. There are currently four AR Build videos: Introduction, How to Build Your Lower, How to Build Your Upper, and Troubleshooting Guide. See all videos at: Brownells.com/HowToBuild.

Access New Brownells AR Builder Video Resource Page »

Each of the videos have an easy search button on the upper left-hand corner, allowing viewers to navigate to specific parts of the video. This will help viewers access key parts of each video and find the information they need. For example, the Lower Video has specific sections on trigger and buttstock installation. There is also a video on how to properly test fire and troubleshoot an AR-15 once it’s built.

Brownells AR15 AR builder online how to build guide videos upper lower trigger

In addition to the instructional videos, Brownells’ AR Builder Site also provides links to all the parts, tools, and accessories required to build an AR-15 rifle. There are specific links to uppers, lowers, triggers, grips, buttstocks, bolt carrier groups, handguards, barrels, gas blocks, muzzle brakes and more.

Brownells AR15 AR builder online how to build guide videos upper lower trigger
Brownells AR15 AR builder online how to build guide videos upper lower trigger

“Several social media platforms have banned videos and other content showing how to build firearms,” said Brownells V.P. of Marketing Ryan Repp. “Because of Brownells’ long-time support of the Second Amendment and individual freedom, it made sense for us to create a professionally-produced video and resource center to assist rifle builders of all skill levels make the rifle of their dreams in the comfort of their own home or workshop.”

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August 21st, 2021

Berger Safety Notice for Four Lots of .223 Rem Ammo

Berger .223 Rem ammunition recall safety notice

Berger Issues Safety Notice for .223 Remington 77 grain OTM Tactical Ammunition
Berger’s Load Development Team has determined that some .223 Remington 77 grain OTM Tactical (Product # 65-23030) cartridges from Lot # P002745, P002745-1, P002745-2, and P002745-3 may cause function/ignition issues with AR-style gas operating platforms. Bolt action rifles are NOT affected.

Berger Ammunition Lots # P002745, P002745-1, P002745-2, and P002745-3 .223 Remington 77 Grain OTM Tactical ammunition, Item #65-23030 was shipped to retailers on April 2nd, 2021 to April 22nd, 2021.

If you own Berger ammunition from Lot # P002745, P002745-1, P002745-2, and/or P002745-3 or have questions regarding this notice, please contact Berger Customer Support at 660-460-2802 or support@capstonepg.com to arrange replacement of the product.

EDITOR: Once again, if you are running this ammo in a bolt-action rifle, there should be no issues according to Berger. If you had intended to use the ammunition in an AR-platform rifle, contact Berger for further information.

Recall is for Berger 77gr .223 Rem Ammunition when used in AR-Platform Rifles
Berger .223 Rem ammunition recall safety notice

Story notice from ELR Researcher. We welcome reader submissions.
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August 10th, 2021

How to Clean Your AR15 — Black Rifle Maintenance Videos

AR15 AR AR-15 MSR black rifle cleaning maintenance bolt lubrication
Scottsdale Gun Club offers an AR-15 Cleaning Clinic on 10/22/21.

AR-platform rifles can be maintenance-intensive beasts. They need regular inspection, cleaning, and lubrication. But some AR owners make the situation worse by not regularly cleaning important small parts, or by using too MUCH oily/greasy lubricants in the wrong places. A properly maintained and lubricated AR15 can shoot hundreds of rounds (between cleanings) without a problem. If you learn where (and where not) to apply lubricant, you’ll find that your AR will run more reliably and the task of cleaning the bolt, bolt carrier, and upper receiver internals will be less of a burden.

Here we showcase videos that show how to field-strip an AR-15, inspect the key parts, clean components, and lubricate internal parts as needed. Along with these videos, we recommend you read a comprehensive AR-15 Gun Cleaning Clinic article on the Brownells website. This explains in detail important procedures that the videos might only cover in a few seconds.

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 five videos that explain how to properly disassemble and clean AR-platform rifles.

AR15 AR-15 AR bolt carrier cleaning videos

1. How To Clean Your AR-15 | Cleaning and Maintenance Tips

This is a quick 90-second starter video that may help new AR owners. Ricky Lehnhardt of OTIS Technology demonstrates the basics of cleaning and maintaining your AR-15. Lehnhardt does a good job identifying the points that need cleaning on the inside of ARs. However he works very quickly in the video. You may want to pause the video at some points. Also, Lehnhardt employs a cable for pulling patches and brushes through the barrel. Yes this is fast and easy. However, for match AR rifles, we recommend that you instead use a cleaning ROD with fitted bore guide.

2. Take-Down and Full Cleaning of AR-15 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.

3. AR-15 Maintenance: Field-strip, Clean and Lubricate an AR-15

Gunsite Academy instructor and gunsmith Cory Trapp demonstrates the proper way to field-strip, clean, and lubricate an AR-15 carbine. In this 30-minute video, Trapp offers several important technical tips and hints. For example, at 11:05 Trap demonstrates how to determine if your bolt needs new gas rings. Along with cleaning procedures, this video explains how to inspect key components and how to function-test your AR before each shooting session.

4. AR-15 Dissassembly and Cleaning Guide

This video does a good job, with close-ups, showing how to remove the bolt carrier and clean the inside of the upper receiver. Then you can see how to work with various tools to clean the bolt, bolt carrier, and inside of chamber. We also recommend that you inspect the ejector recess and extractor recess. When we’ve inspected ARs that failed to cycle properly, we have often found nasty gunk (mixture of carbon, greasy lube, and brass particles) in these areas.

5. Basic AR-15 Quick and Easy Field Maintenance

In this NSSF-sponsored video, pro shooter Ryan Muller demonstrates basic, quick field maintenance of his AR-15. This would be for a quick cleaning and lubrication of the reciprocating parts. This covers rapid maintenance in the field. For full field-stripping and thorough cleaning, watch the previous videos.



Handy Mat for Cleaning AR Rifles

When working on an AR-15, it’s smart to have a pad that can absorb solvents and cushion your upper and lower. The $24.99 Real Avid Smart Mat is a good choice. This features printed take-down instructions and it has a handy parts tray on the right side. The mat rolls up for convenient storage. Click HERE to learn more.

AR15 AR AR-15 MSR black rifle cleaning maintenance bolt lubrication

Vital Inspections You Should Do After Disassembly

Last but not least, here are recommended inspections you should do every time you do a full field-strip and cleaning of your black rifle:

AR 15 maintenance and inspection

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July 3rd, 2021

Saturday at the Movies with Miculek

Jerry Miculek Saturday Movies Videos revolver pistol

About Jerry Miculek… The Man, The Myth, The Legend

The video above begins: “My name is Jerry Miculek. Guns are what I do.” Jerry Miculek is a true legend in the firearms community. Acknowledged as the best wheelgun speed-shooter in history, Jerry is also an accomplished rifle and shotgun shooter with many class victories in 3-Gun competition. He also has been a prolific YouTube Video creator. For this Saturday at the Movies story, we are featuring five notable Jerry Miculek videos. You will find over 200 more informative and entertaining videos on the Jerry Miculek Pro Shooter YouTube channel

1. Shooting Twin Double-Barreled M1911 Pistols Simultaneously

Here Jerry shoots two, double-barrel .45 ACP 1911 pistols (AF2011) at the same time, one in each hand. Jerry was the first-ever person to accomplished this 4-barrel feat with twin handguns. Employing the dual double-barreled pistols, Jerry send 20 rounds downrange in under 1.5 seconds. This amazing sequence is captured with hi-speed cameras for vivid slow-motion playback. There are some spectacular close-ups as the bullets leave the muzzles. Worth watching!

2. Take-Down and Full Cleaning of AR-15

If you want to keep your black rifle running smoothly and reliably, you must clean it regularly and follow the correct maintenance procedures. In this video, 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.

3. Jerry Reviews Magnetospeed T1000 Target Impact Indicator

MagnetoSpeed makes more than barrel-mounted chronographs. The T1000 is a target hit indicator that illuminates a super-bright red light when you hit a steel target. The T1000 was designed to be mounted to the back side of AR500 steel targets. In this video Jerry tests the MagnetoSpeed T1000 indicator light system. We like the T1000, especially for longer ranges where impacts on plates may not be easily visible. And you never have to paint your steel targets again to show impacts!

4. Shooting 240 Yards with 85-Year-Old K-22 Rimfire Revolver

Jerry Miculek is probably the greatest (certainly speediest) revolver shooter in history. He has set multiple world records with Smith & Wesson wheelguns. Here he tests a true classic — an 85-year-old S&W model K-22 revolver chambered for the .22 LR rimfire cartridge. Jerry uses this handsome classic blued revolver to hit targets at 240 yards!

5. 80,000 Philippine M1 Garands in One Place

Last year Jerry Miculek recently the CMP where he looked at the vast inventory of military rifles, including 80,000+ M1 Garands recently received from the Philippines. CMP tech staff showed Jerry some rare Garands that had never been issued. If you’re interested in classic military arms, you should definitely watch Jerry’s video. Gina Johnson, CMP’s general manager, told Guns.com that: “We have roughly 86,000 rifles from the Philippines and roughly 13,000 rifles from Turkey in our possession”.

Along with the 80,000+ Philippines Garands, the CMP received 13,000 from Turkey. The arrival of these 99,000 M1 Garands is great news for rifle collectors. Garands have been in short supply in recent years. Garands were getting harder to acquire from the CMP. In fact, over the past two years, many common Garand varients have been “sold out” on the CMP site.

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June 22nd, 2021

AR Platform Video Series from Brownells — Watch and Learn

Brownelss tech tip video AR15 ar platform rifle gunsmithing

Do you own or shoot an AR-platform “black rifle”? Then you know these rifles run dirty, and have some unusual maintenance requirements. On the other hand, the AR “Modern Sporting Rifle” is fun and versatile with a vast range of options among buttstocks, barrels, handguards, and grips. You can assemble a simple 16″ barrel .223 Rem rig for home defense, or build a long-barreled 6mm ARC rifle with bag-rider buttstock and high-magnification optic for long range target work. The choice is up to you.

To help with your black rifle journey, here are four helpful videos from Brownells. These will help ensure your AR rifle cycles reliably and runs longer, with reduced wear. Brownells also explains how to choose the optimal barrel twist rate. CLICK HERE to order AR parts, accessories, and ammo from Brownells.

AR Bolt/Bolt Carrier Lubrication — Smarter Methods

This video shows the proper way to lubricate an AR-15 bolt-carrier assembly. The video identifies the key metal-on-metal friction points where you actually need lubrication: the rails on the underside of the carrier, shiny wear points on top, and just a dab on the cam pin. How much oil/lubricant should you use? The AR-15 is pretty forgiving on that point. Some spots work best with grease, others work best with a lighter oil. Just keep it out of the combustion areas. Those little holes in the carrier are gas vent holes, NOT oil holes!

AR Barrel Twist Rates — What You Need to Know

AR barrels can be ordered with a variety of twist rates from 1:12″ to 1:7″. Basically, the longer/heavier the bullet you plan to shoot, the faster the twist rate you need. For example, Sierra recommends a 1:7″ twist rate for the 90gr SMK. A 1:12″ could work with the small lightweight bullets up to 55 grains. The 1:9″ barrel will stabilize the light and mid-weight bullets up to about 77 grains. We recommend a 1:8″ or 1:7″ twist rate for the best versatility. You’ll find a detailed discussion of AR twist rates on PewPewTactical.com.

Barrel Gas Block Alignment — Key to Reliable Cycling

In this Tech Tip, Brownells gun tech Steve Ostrem explains surefire methods to align your gas block. The most common problem with AR builds is poor cycling, commonly caused by misalignment between the gas block and the barrel’s gas port.

Setting Up Gas Tube Systems

This Tech Tip examines AR-platform gas systems, and shows how to select the proper length gas tube, and how to configure multiple tube systems if you change your barrel to different lengths. This is worth watching for anyone re-barreling an AR.

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May 7th, 2021

Trigger Options for AR-Platform Rifles — Standard and Modular

AR15 AR10 Trigger Geissele Timney Elftmann 2-stage ALG Defense modularTrigger images from PrimaryArms.com, which sells all the triggers reviewed here: Geissele, Elftmann, Timney, and ALG Defense.

Are you thinking of upgrading the trigger system for your AR-platform rifle? There are dozens of options available, from $45 up to $350. Thankfully, Brownells has created video reviews of some of the more popular AR trigger options from Timney, Geissele, and ALG Defense. And we included a video review of the highly-regarded Elftmann Match Trigger. If you want the best solution for Service Rifle competition, you might favor the Geissele. For ease of installation, it’s hard to beat the Timney, a “drop-in” module. Like the Timney, the super-smooth Elftmann is a drop-in module. At $249.99 from Brownells it’s pricey, but it is one of the best AR triggers out there. If you’re on a tight budget, the best “bang for your buck” may be the “Perfected Mil-Spec” ALG trigger at $49.00.

Multiple AR Triggers, including Elftmann and Geissele, Reviewed

Though pricey ($249.00 at PrimaryArms.com), we really like the Elftmann AR trigger. It combines the best of both worlds — the precision and smoothness of the Geissele with the Timney’s ease of installation. This single stage trigger is user-adjustable from 2.75 to 4 pounds pull weight. It is offered with either straight or curved trigger blade. Primary Arms says: “The amazingly short take-up, glass-rod crisp break and [near-zero] over-travel can be compared to the finest custom 1911 triggers.”

Geissele Enhanced Two-Stage Trigger

Geissele makes a variety of quality AR trigger sets both single-stage and two-stage. Many High Power competitors like the two-stage Geissele trigger. This delivers a repeatable, controlled pull through the first stage with a very clean break in the second stage. The Super Dynamic Enhanced Trigger, shown above, features a distinctive, trigger blade. Reviewer Thomas Conroy says: “The flat surface is very easy to press against. Both stages are light and very distinct.”

Timney Drop-In Trigger Module

This trigger module is available for both the AR15 and the AR10 platform (see above video). Timney triggers are easy to install and come with multiple pin size and pull-weight options. Reviewer Thomas Conroy confirms that the single-stage Timney “breaks cleanly and crisply. This trigger is modular, meaning that the trigger, sear, hammer, and spring are all encased in a bright, shiny yellow aluminum housing.”

ALG Defense Trigger — Higher-Quality Basic AR Trigger

ALG AR15 AR trigger brownellsAccording to Thomas Conroy, ALG triggers “are the perfected version of the standard, non-adjustable mil-spec original trigger. They have the same geometry, but are made to higher quality standards, and come with … hardened and smoothed-out sear contact surface to eliminate all grittiness.” These are also offered in a nickel-boron coated version. Available for under $56.00, the ALG is a well-made, low-cost option for shooters who want a better factory-type trigger system.

For More Information about These Triggers
Learn more about Geissele, Timney and ALG triggers, plus two more AR trigger options (CMMG and Rock River Arms) in a Trigger Comparison Review by Thomas Conroy on Ammoland.com.

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May 2nd, 2021

Sunday GunDay: World’s Lightest AR Rifle — 3.8-Lb OIP Gen 2

GunsAmerica Battle Arms Battlearms AR15 AR OIP Gen 2 light weight

One of the most radical black rifles ever created wowed the crowd at the SHOT Show Range Day back in 2019. At the Boulder Rifle & Pistol Club outside Las Vegas, Battle Arms Development showcased a true “UltraLight AR”. With Titanium and carbon fiber components, the Battle Arms OIP Gen 2 AR-platform rifle weighs just 3.8 pounds unloaded. Compare that to 7.5 pounds (or more) for a typical AR-15.

Battle Arms Battlearms AR15 AR OIP Gen 2 light weight
Battle Arms Battlearms AR15 AR OIP Gen 2 light weight

Battle Arms 3.8-Lb Titanium/Carbon OIP 2 — World’s Lightest AR

At the Boulder City Range GunsAmerica Digest Managing Editor True Pearce talked with one of the Battle Arms gun designers who helped created this unique rifle, claimed to be the world’s lightest AR (yes it is lighter than ARs with polymer lowers). READ GunsAmerica Battle Arms OIP 2 Review HERE.

In the video below, True Pearce shows the key features of the $3290.00 Battle Arms OIP 2. Then he tests its function shooting offhand at steel targets. Despite its low mass, and exotic components, the Battle Arms OIP 2 AR carbine performed flawlessly.

The video above features the Battle Arms OIP GEN 2 AR that weighs just 3.8 pounds. To save weight, this carbine features a carbon fiber handguard and various titanium parts including a Titanium muzzle brake. Look carefully at how even small controls have been modified to save ounces.

GunsAmerica reported: “Battle Arms has done a lot of work to find all the ounces that can be spared to make this gun as light as possible.” Even at just 3.8 pounds, the gun is very controllable during rapid fire. Despite a steep $3290.00 MSRP, the first run of Battle Arms’ sub-4-lb GEN 2 OIP sold out. That proves that “light is right”, as least in the AR carbine market.

2019 shot show Battle Arms development 0.I.D. Gen 2 AR chassis system rifles
Battle Arms Battlearms AR15 AR OIP Gen 2 light weight
Battle Arms Battlearms AR15 AR OIP Gen 2 light weight

Pew-Pew Tactical Review of Battle Arms OIP 2

GunsAmerica Battle Arms Battlearms AR15 AR OIP Gen 2 light weight

The team at Pew-Pew Tactical also field-tested the Battle Arms OIP Gen 2 rifle. The reviewers were impressed, finding that felt recoil was very manageable, even given the rifle’s very low 3.8-lb weight:

Pew-Pew Tactical Battle Arms OIP Gen 2 Review

The Concept Behind the OIP — Why Go Ultra-Light

Recoil Magazine featured an earlier model OIP rifle back in 2016 (Issue 21). This design was later refined into the current OIP Gen 2 version. Recoil’s writers explained the concept behind this unique design:

Battle Arms OIP Rifle — How Low Can You Go…

“The OIP had its genesis as a simple idea to build a lightweight gun that just plain worked. Dave Lake and Matt Babb of Bentwood Gunsmithing spent years perfecting the concept, incorporating the latest components where they existed and working with companies to customize parts that didn’t. They wanted a well-balanced gun with an optimized operating system and literally no excess — to be as light as humanly possible.

Bentwood didn’t want to utilize polymer receivers and worked with Battle Arms Development to develop a super lightweight receiver set with intricate machining to shave as much weight as they could. They investigated some more exotic material choices, but found them to be prohibitively expensive.”
— Source: RecoilWeb.com

Battle Arms OIP 2 Owner’s Review on TFB

Last year, The Firearm Blog (TFB) published an extensive review of the Battle Arms OIP 2. TFB writer/tester Rusty S. had purchased this OIP 2 rig with his own funds — making a serious $3290.00 investment.

After using the rifle in the field, Rusty concluded: “Objectively, the Battle Arms Development OIP 2 is a very well put together, reasonably accurate and very lightweight rifle. It has proven to be reliable, durable, and soft shooting despite its lightweight configuration. Subjectively, the OIP 2 has proven to be the rifle I most often bring with me into the backcountry with the exception of during deer and elk hunting season. It’s nice to have a 500-yard-capable rifle with me that weighs so little. All that being said, the amount that the OIP2 will lighten one’s wallet by will be a real sticking point for most prospective buyers.” Rusty added: “At this price point, I would appreciate some sort of ultra lightweight flip-up iron sights. I also don’t think the rear of the buttstock is as ergonomically optimal as it could be.”

GunsAmerica Battle Arms Battlearms AR15 AR OIP Gen 2 light weight

Product Description from Battle Arms
[The Battle Arms OIP 2 is] the lightest, purpose-built, no compromise, production ultralight survival carbine[.] It took years in R&D, engineering and multiple U.S. Patents to create the most robust and reliable lightweight AR platform on the market. Building something that is not only lightweight but all the while not sacrificing strength and performance is the ultimate secret of the Battlearms OIP.

Every component, shy of a few detents and springs, are custom built and designed to work together as a complete system. No, you will not find a parts gun here….The OIP utilizes a patented OIP buffer system in conjunction with a lightweight titanium bolt carrier with ArmorTi finish for durability. It is balanced with a custom mid-length gas system and a specially designed titanium THUMPER compensator.

New in Gen 2 is the user-configurable M-LOK carbon fiber handguard and a carbon-fiber pistol grip that weighs barely one ounce. A new titanium billet CNC-machined bolt catch and a lightweight single-side Clutch charging handle are just a couple more of the new upgrades to the OIP. The rifle was designed to be an optics-ready carbine, providing a single stretch of Picatinny rail in the optimal spot for a red dot sight while eliminating the unnecessary weight of the rail elsewhere. The patented, lightweight 7075-T6 billet aluminum receivers are not simply skeletonized and hollowed out but is carefully engineered with structural consideration. The technology and engineering that foes into the OIP® Ultralight Rifle bring forth the next evolution of the AR platform.

Want to learn more? Check out this review of the Battle Arms OIP 2 Carbine on DefenseReview.com.

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