Skirmish Rifle Project

 During the Florida Blogshoot, I had the opportunity to shoot Dave of Ammoman‘s Scout Rifle. I was amazed at how much lighter his rifle was, and how little felt recoil there was. I knew right then and there that I would have to build one of my own. In keeping with his ScoutRifle 2.0 theory, I began thinking about what I wanted to do with a new rifle. 

I want something that is going to be more suited to a militia kind of battlespace: 

I need my rifle to be relatively lightweight, right around 8 pounds carried weight. My Oracle is too heavy at 9.3 pounds unloaded with an ACOG on top. 

I want a rifle that had more power, more range, and fires a larger bullet than the 62 grain 5.56mm that my AR15 uses. 

I also want to stay with the AR platform.  

I thought that .308 would be a great caliber. Now since parts are kind of hard to come by these days and it would be difficult to get a lower right now, I decided that instead of building a new rifle from the ground up, I would simply rework my DPMS Oracle:

I reworked it by replacing the 16 inch heavy barrel that came with the rifle with an 18 inch Faxon pencil barrel. Then I added an EDGE 15 inch Carbon Fiber handguard from Brigand Armsan adjustable gas block, a Nitromet gas tube, and a Gemtech compensator. I also replaced the bolt carrier with a low mass bolt carrier  from JP rifles. 

I used the bolt that originally came with the Oracle, because JP rifles didn’t have any bolts in stock. I checked the headspace on the bolt, and it locks up fine with the go/no go checker.

I just finished assembling the rifle. The rifle weighs 7 pounds without the ACOG and 8.1 pounds with it. The balance is right in the center of the mag well. It is 36 inches long and looks great:

Here it is, pictured above my AR15 for comparison. The AR-10 only weighs 3/4 of a pound more than its 5.56mm cousin. I am now (no so) patiently waiting to take it out to the range on Saturday. I need to tune the gas block and get the scope dialed in. 

I know that the pencil barrel won’t do as well with a large amount of fire as the heavy barrel, but this is not a battle rifle. It’s also too heavy to call a scout rifle. I am going to call this a skirmish rifle. 

In all, the modifications cost me right at $1,150. Counting the cost of the original rifle and the ACOG, the total cost for this rifle is right around $3,200. I already know that the rifle is just as easy to carry as my AR-15, and packs a bigger punch. I am hoping it is a tack driver.

Rifle project delayed

 I ordered some of the parts for my rifle project from Brownell’s. I just got a call from them. The truck was in an accident and all of the packages on the truck were destroyed. An entire shipment of guns, gun parts, and ammo. 

Sounds fishy. I think some Fedex employees just made some side cash. At any rate, I have to wait for the parts to be reshipped, so a week’s delay. 

Edited: the shipping company was FedEx. Lasalle, Illinois was the last reported location 

Rifle Project, continued

 So my rifle project continues. A couple of you pointed out that I need to get my handguard at the same time as the barrel, and of course you are correct. After a thorough search, I came up with a few choices. Odin, Faxon, and JP enterprises were all contenders. After looking at what was actually in stock and in keeping with my desire to cut down on weight, I finally bought an Edge Carbon Fiber Handguard from Brigand Arms. Weighing in at only 6.3 ounces, I may have luck in keeping the rifle balanced and low weight. 

I got the rifle length barrel and wanted a full length handguard because I like gripping the rifle near the muzzle. It was tough forking out $400 for a handguard, but I finally just did it. 

Also, it was pointed out that you need to check the headspace on a new barrel/bolt combo. I already own go-no go checkers for that. Now to wait for all of my orders to get here. Hopefully, I can have this thing assembled, tuned, and running before Christmas. 

and yes, Miguel, I was hooked as soon as I picked up Dave’s rifle. 

Rifle project

 During the blogshoot, Dave let me shoot his Scout Rifle 2.0. That rifle was lighter, had less felt recoil, and (once the suppressor was removed) swung better than my own DPMS Oracle. Still, I thought that there were some areas of his rifle where I could change to suit my own needs.  It was at this moment that a project was born. 

Ah, but it is VERY hard to get parts to do a project gun. That means that instead of a new rifle, I am starting a (re)build as a search for a better all around rifle. I am looking to change this into a rifle that has the power of a 308, with the ergonomics, recoil, and ability for rapid follow up shots of an AR15. I want a rifle with less recoil, lower weight, better balance, and better shootability than my Oracle currently has. 

So keeping in mind that I am limited by parts availability, I am starting this project. .

I want:

– Less felt recoil

– A rifle that is at least a pound lighter than my Oracle’s 9.2 pounds.  

Since this will be a complete rebuild of my Oracle, I am beginning with the DPMS lower and upper that I already have.  I am changing the 16 inch heavy barrel that came with the Oracle out for an 18 inch Faxon pencil barrel. From JP enterprises, I am adding an adjustable gas block and an LMOS lightweight bolt carrier. So far, that comes to about $630. 

Once that stuff arrives and gets installed, I need to decide on a handguard and compensator.

Then we will see if we can get this rifle to function. 

Solving the geriatric carry problem

Tam is talking about how the older population has a bit of a problem when it comes to buying guns for self defense: Many smaller automatics are too difficult for arthritic fingers to operate, and the recoil combined with the weaker grip of the elderly results in poor operation of the mini autos. She opines that revolvers are not an option, because a 12 pound trigger is too hard for the older population to operate. I agree, and I found a solution.

My mother is a 72 year old widow who owns a concealed weapons permit. She  used to carry a lightweight semi-auto. The problem was that, as she got older, it was more and more difficult for her to work the slide. She just didn’t have the grip strength to work the slide. To help with this, I bought her a lightweight Smith and Wesson J frame in .38 Special, just like this one.

Tam is correct, her 72 year old arthritic fingers had trouble with the 12 pound trigger pull, so I took it to a gunsmith and had the trigger lightened up to about 7 pounds. There are those who will tell you that it is unwise to lower your trigger pull from a legal standpoint.

Perhaps if you are a 25 year old weightlifter, having a light pull would be a problem, bur a 7 pound pull is not one that a 72 year old woman who weighs 90 pounds is going to find overly low.

Gun training DERP

Here is a video from a police training site. There are so many testosterone laden idiots passing themselves off as firearms training experts, it simply makes me want to shake my head in disbelief. Is this REALLY what constitutes advanced police firearms training?

Why in the world would you ever need to train for an environment where you are in a gunfight with a disassembled pistol, a disabled arm, and wearing a gas mask? Seriously? This is simply pure stupidity, not to mention the multiple range safety violations.

My long review of the MTAC holster system

Nearly three weeks ago, I announced that I would be buying an MTAC holster from Comp-Tac so that I could carry my new M&P handguns with a tucked in shirt. To go with the holster, I bought a list of products, and I have spent the last three weeks putting them through their paces. I bought an MTAC holster, several Kydex bodies, a belt, a magazine pouch, and a few odds and ends like c clips, etc. I tried them all out with three different handguns: an M&P40, an M&P45, and the M&P Shield.

First, the holster. It cost $85, and comes with one Kydex body and your choice of two belt clips. I wore this holster while performing daily activities with a tucked in dress shirt, a tucked in polo shirt, and an untucked t-shirt. I hwas pretty happy with the way that handguns disappeared under a dress shirt. All that is visible is the two small plastic clips that hook over the belt, and they blend in with the belt, as long as you get clips that are the same color as the belt. I tried wearing it with a tucked in Polo shirt, but I was printing too badly to make that one work.

I was holding seminars in front of a crowd, and afterwards I asked several attendees who also carry (one was a SWAT medic) if they had noticed any printing, and they did not. If fellow gunnies (men and women) who were staring at me all day didn’t notice, then I call that a concealed success. Here is a picture of the holster, containing an M&P40, in place on my waist:

The holster has a slight forward cant, and it was very comfortable for all day wear. The body shield prevented even my M&P45 from digging in, and when I was carrying the Shield. At the range, my draw was still quick enough, and the shirt wasn’t that difficult to clear out of the way.

There are spare clips available for the holster, and being attached to the holster with a single Allen screw, they are easily changed out. Each holster requires two of them. They even include the wrench with your order (along with instructions and a pack of Smarties). If you are going to use the regular clips and wear belts of different colors (brown, black, etc.), I would suggest getting clips in different colors, to aid in making this system blend into your wardrobe. There is also a C clip available (which I also bought), but I didn’t see where those were any better than the standard clips. They are the same price as the regular ones, so it doesn’t matter which ones you get. The C clips are available in black and brown, and the regular ones are available in four different colors.

I wanted to see if I could get the clips to disappear, so I bought a Kydex reinforced belt with a Velcro lining, and I got some V clips to use with it. The belt was $105, and the clips were the standard $8.50 each. The belt is pretty stiff, so you have to play with it a bit to get it to work. The V clips eliminate any chance of seeing the system, as they attach by the Velcro to the side of the belt against your body, thereby invisibly securing the holster to the belt. The only complaint that I have is that the sizing information is wrong. The instructions say to measure the belt that you currently wear and subtract two inches. Don’t. I did this and wound up with a belt that was too small.

The spare Kydex bodies enable you to own one holster and fit it to several handguns. At only $38, it allows one holster to fit several weapons at a fraction of the cost. I bought two spares, so that I had bodies for each of my M&P pistols: the M&P40, the M&P45, and the M&P Shield. They were fairly easy to change out (one of the nuts on the body for the M&P45 had to be grabbed with a pair of long nosed plyers- it was free spinning) and it took just a couple of minutes to do so. I like the concept, but changing the bodies out is just bothersome enough that it is not something that I would want to do on a daily basis. Still, it isn’t that difficult.

My only real complaint with the MTAC system is with the magazine pouch. It was $38.50, and when I tried to wear it, it tended to tilt forward to the horizontal position, because it is attached to the belt with only one clip. I only used it for a single day. I didn’t like it, and I will have to find something else.

So, what is the bottom line? You can spend $189 and get the holster, two bodies, and a spare set of clips (black and brown) and have a good tuckable holster that fits three handguns.Cost effective, I think. I also like the holster. If you decide to get the belt with the Velcro lining (which is what I recommend), you can order the holster with the Vclips already installed, and with the two spare bodies and the belt, the total cost will be $276.

An M60?

The Chicago police are claiming that someone turned in an M-60 during their last gun ‘buyback.’ Are they kidding? Anyone have any more on this? I am not sure that I believe it.

Even so, this proves how futile gun control really is. It is illegal to own any firearm in Illinois, especially a belt-fed full auto. It isn’t like they can claim it was brought in from another state where gun controls are more lax- machine guns are heavily regulated, and extremely expensive. The last time I saw a transferable M60 for sale, it was selling for six figures.

If this story is true, then the gun HAD to have been stolen.