Category Archives: AR-15

Feinstein Distorted Facts About AR-15, NRA Says

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U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein claims that the AR-15 is not “in common use.” Really? READ MORE

feinstein ar15

SOURCE: NRA-ILA

The NRA’s Institute for Legislative Action called into question the California Democrat’s assertions about the weapon and said the rifle has gained popularity in recent years.

The group cited figures from the National Shooting Sports Foundation. The firearms industry trade group calculated that between 1996-2016 more than 16 million AR-15 and AK-pattern rifles have been available for sale in the U.S.

NRA went on to accuse Feinstein of distorting facts in what it described as the senator’s ongoing effort to limit Second Amendment gun rights: “Needless to say, there is nothing ‘reasonable’ or moderate about banning what is literally the most popular class of rifles in America.”

“I’m talking about your statement on ‘common use,’ she told Kavanaugh. “Assault weapons are not in common use.”

“Semi-automatic rifles are widely possessed in the United States,” Kavanaugh rebutted. “There are millions and millions. … That seemed to fit the [definition of] ‘common use’ and not being a dangerous and unusual weapon.”

Judge Kavanaugh: “Semi-automatic rifles are widely possessed in the United States. There are millions and millions. … That seemed to fit the [definition of] ‘common use.'”

Feinstein countered that the numbers of rifles in existence didn’t constitute “common use,” arguing that the term applies to how often the weapons are used.

“Common items are routinely said to be “in use” for a purpose whether or not that involves active manipulation of the item at any given time,” the NRA said.

Feinstein has been a fierce gun-control advocate since her days as on the Board of Supervisors in San Francisco. She was the first person to discover her colleague Harvey Milk on his office floor after he’d been fatally shot, according to the Los Angeles Times. A former supervisor, Dan White, also assassinated then-Mayor George Moscone on that day in November 1978.

Since then, Feinstein has advocated for tough gun reforms:

“I have been a woman on a mission to ban assault weapons,” the senator said, to applause, at a gathering of union members at the California Democratic Party convention this year. “This is not our America, and we need to change it,” she said.

That hasn’t stopped her from owning firearms. Two years before the assassinations, Feinstein was trained to use a .38 five-shot revolver and obtained a concealed-carry permit.

She attempted to reenact the Clinton-era assault weapons ban in the aftermath of several high-profile mass shootings, including the Oct. 1, 2017, shooting in Las Vegas that left 58 people dead and hundreds injured.

The NRA called it ban-revival effort a “125-page firearm prohibition fever dream [that] is perhaps the most far-reaching gun ban ever introduced in Congress.”

During the Kavanaugh hearing, Feinstein asserted that Kavanaugh’s reasoning for dissenting on the District of Columbia’s assault weapons ban was “far outside the mainstream of legal thought and it surpasses the views of [the late Justice Antonin] Scalia, who was obviously a pro-gun justice.

“If the Supreme Court were to adopt your reasoning,” she said to Kavanaugh, ” I fear the number of victims would continue to grow.”

Kavanaugh: “Semi-automatic rifles are widely possessed in the United States. There are millions and millions. … That seemed to fit the [definition of] ‘common use.'”

Here’s the full video:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CcRmapqDakE&feature=youtu.be

 

Trump Says Close To Finalizing Ban On Bump Stocks

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President Donald Trump: “We’re knocking out bump stocks…” READ MORE!

bump stock

SOURCE: Reuters

U.S. President Donald Trump said on Monday his administration is just a few weeks away from finalizing a regulation that would ban so-called bump stocks, devices that allow semi-automatic weapons to fire like machine guns.

“We’re knocking out bump stocks,” Trump said at a White House news conference. “We’re in the final two or three weeks, and I’ll be able to write out bump stocks.”

A year ago in Las Vegas, gunman Stephen Paddock used bump stocks on 12 of his weapons in a mass shooting that killed 58 people and wounded hundreds.

Authorities said his ability to fire hundreds of rounds per minute over the course of 10 minutes from his perch in a 32nd-floor hotel suite was a major factor in the high casualty count.

While machine guns are outlawed in the United States, bump stocks are not.

U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions said in March the Justice Department was proposing a rule that would effectively ban the devices. In February, Trump had signed a memorandum directing the department to make the regulatory change.

The change required a public comment period before taking effect.

“We are now at the final stages of the procedure,” Trump said.

REVIEW: Superlative Arms Short Stroke Retrofit AR15 Piston System

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There’s been much said about AR15 gas system problems. Here’s another solution that really offers something different! READ MORE

superlative arms piston system

Major Pandemic

Over the last decade, piston driven AR systems have gained a lot of attention due to their ability to deliver cooler running reliability similar to the exceedingly reliable piston based AK platform. One of the many advantages of the AK platform has been its piston based operation which isolates operation gas pressures at the front to the gun away from the shooter and bolt and trigger group. This piston based system delivers a cooler and clearer running AK gun which arguably delivers more reliability. Some very bright folks figured out several ways to transfer that piston system over the the AR15 platform thus combining the accuracy of the AR15 platform with the reliability of the AK.

HISTORY
There have been a number of companies offering short and long stroke piston system. Long Stroke systems have the op rod attached to the bolt carrier such as AKs and Tavors. Op rods are not attached to the bolt carrier on short stroke systems. The main compromise between the two is that the Long Stroke system designs are typically heavier but inherently offer an integrated gas design that bleeds off excessive gases. The new Superlative Arms patented system extends this bleed off capability to a low profile Short Stroke system all while still providing gas pressure adjustment.

Let me first point out that Superlative Arms is the co-patent holder of the design offered by Syrac Ordnance and was also its manufacturing partner of the Syrac adjustable gas block and Piston system product line. Superlative could have been offering its own line of adjustable gas blocks and piston systems identical to Syrac’s however they developed their own unique patented gas bleed off design. Superlative’s bleed-off system is offered in both a direct impingement adjustable gas block and also in the co-patented short stroke low profile gas system. Though there are many similarities, Superlative Arms is on the market with their own systems.

superlative arms piston system
The super low profile block fits under virtually any handguard rail.

DESIGN
The Superlative Arms or piston system uses their patented bleed-off. Instead of limiting the gas pressure, this system functions more like a pressure regulator which limits the gas delivered to the gas tube or op rod piston and the rest of the excess gas is vented out the front of the gas block. Typical adjustable gas block systems have had some problems due to gas port and adjustment screw erosion from the captive excessive gas temperatures and pressures at the gas port. Many of us have seen this problem manifest themselves in wandering gas settings or even adjustment screw blowouts.

By porting and venting off that excessive high heat pressure the instant the pressure hits the gas block, the Superlative Arms system greatly reduces erosion and pressure based failure problems right at the gas block all while running cooler and cleaner for both their DI and piston systems. This bleed-off design in turn reduced the beating delivered to the adjustment mechanism and op rod.

Some previous short stroke piston systems have experienced problems with gas block durability and retempering of the op rod springs. In order to assure completely problem-free operation Superlative goes the extra mile and makes the piston block from melonited 416 stainless steel and uses a heat treated Inconel steel spring which is impervious to the pressures and heat generated by an AR15 even running in full auto. Superlative has accomplished this design feat all within a very small compact low profile design that is barely larger than most low profile gas block designs.

superlative arms
Unlike other adjustable systems which block gas, Superlative Arms bleeds it off. This results in a longer-lasting, less problematic solution. Unlike other adjustable systems which block gas, Superlative Arms bleeds it off. This results in a longer-lasting, less problematic solution.

INSTALLATION
Superlative Arms Direct Impingement (DI) adjustable bleed-off gas block is a simple swap for people who want to retain a DI based system. Pull off the old gas block, move the gas tube to the new Superlative gas block, reinstall, tune to assure reliable last round lock back and you done. Like all retrofit gas piston systems, the Superlative arms kit install is a bit more involved.

The Superlative Arms retrofit gas piston system includes everything a user would need for conversion of a existing AR15 including the gas block, op rod, op rod spring, and carrier. Any AR15 bolt can be used with their carrier. All the Superlative kits are all essentially the same with the exception of the pistol, carbine, mid, and rifle op rod lengths — just order the appropriate gas rod length specific kit..

First time installation requires some patience and about thirty minutes. Unlike a DI gas block install, the left/right and fore/aft alignment of the gas block is critical to reliable operation. With a stiff fixed op rod responsible for converting the blast inside the gas block to a shove on the carrier, it has to be free from any binding and also precisely the right length from the face of the carrier to the gas block.

superlative arms
An “AK-style” gas piston promises cooler and cleaner operation, and this did indeed deliver both!

The basic process is to install the gas block loosely on the barrel and insert the stripped op rod (minus the spring) into the gas block and tighten down the gas block piston plug. Then the task is to assure the op rod spins freely without binding with the carrier (minus bolt) fully seated in the upper receiver. If you have a fully seated carrier and freely spinning op rod then you can tighten down the gas block. If the carrier does not fully seat or the op rod does not spin freely, the gas block needs to be turned or moved out as appropriate. Of note the gas block should not be slammed right against the shoulder on the barrel — mine both required positioning the gas block off the shoulder of the barrel about 1/32-in.

Once those initial adjustments are made, the op rod is removed and then re-installed with the spring and the plug fully seated then backed out on-half turn. Similarly the carrier is removed and reinstalled complete with a bolt, cam pin, firing pin, and retaining pin. A final installation check is made to assure the carrier fully seats and positive hammer drop is achieved. All that is required now is to adjust the gas pressure in a process similar to any adjustable gas block.

This is a rise and repeat process of assuring the gas block sees just a bit more pressure than is required to offer a last round hold back of the carrier — generally one half turn pressure increase tuning over the lowest setting that will hold the bolt back.

superlative arms di
A more simple solution is one of Superlative Arms Direct Impingement type gas bleed off blocks. Outstanding quality!

FIT, FINISH, FEEL, FEATURES, & FUNCTIONS
If you are familiar with Syrac’s top notch gas block quality then you are already familiar with Superlative’s Manufacturing quality since they have been the manufacturer up to this point. The fit and finish is outstanding and the Ion Bond finish on the carrier and melonite on the block finishes are excellent.

Functionally the system offers a lot of advantages including being able to tune the pressure to just enough to drive the bolt carrier. The result is that there is less recoil, cooler running system, less carbon build up, and greatly reduced gas blowback on SBRs and AR15 pistols.

superlative arms
My two test guns: a Yankee Hill Machine rifle which was a test of the systems low pressure operation. Zero problems. The second build was a conversion of an Aero Precision and Phase 5 Tactical AR15 pistol build. AR15 pistols gas pressure are notoriously high. This was a test of how the Superlative Piston system would handle high pressure systems and it worked flawlessly!

FINAL THOUGHTS
Only a 1000 or so rounds in, I am impressed. Both offer something that is different than anything on the market, and a design which potentially offer greatly expanded durability over traditional AR15 piston systems. I have said many times that an adjustable gas system is the best upgrade any AR owner can make — note due to the low pressure issues I do not recommend any adjustable gas system for 300 Blackout or 7.62×39 AR15 builds.

Find all the parts you need to build your AR at Midsouth Shooters Supply! Click Here to Shop Now!

See more HERE and view all the SPECS

MSRP: $289

Major Pandemic

[Major Pandemic is an editor at large who loves everything about shooting, hunting, the outdoors, and all those lifesaving little survival related products. His goal is simple, tell a good story in the form of a truthful review all while having fun. He contributes content to a wide variety of print and digital magazines and newsletters for companies and manufacturers throughout the industry with content exposure to over 2M readers monthly. Click HERE to learn more.]

Hodgdon Adds 224 Valkyrie to Load Data Site!

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Hodgdon Logo

One of the hottest calibers of 2018, the 224 Valkyrie keeps the hype comings and suppliers are working hard to keep up with customer requests. It continues to impress shooters across the nation, but as it’s popularity gains, more and more people are hungry for better standardized data to build their own ammunition.

Hodgdon Powders, one of the most trusted names in reloading powder, and reloading data, has stepped up to the plate with their amazing reloading web tool, and offered a full menu of reloading data for the 224 Valkyrie. Use this guide to hone your reloads!

Hodgdon Valkyrie Reloading Data

Much to the excitement of our Do-It-Yourself customers, the reloading data comes at a time when there are more component options available than ever. You can find everything you need to load your own 224 Valkyrie right here at Midsouth shooters Supply!

Will this wicked new caliber continue to live up to the hype? Have you started reloading for it yet? Tell us your thoughts in the comments!

REVIEW: Burris XTR II Riflescope 5-25x50mm

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Looking for a super-clear long-range scope with all the bells and whistles? This one delivers all the most-wanted features at a lot lower price than its competition. READ ALL ABOUT IT

burris scope

Major Pandemic

One of the trends I am seeing in the market are optics manufacturers really starting to push themselves again to deliver exponential jumps in quality. The Burris’ premier XTR II lineup at this year’s SHOT show is a great example. The XTR II is Burris’ new flagship optic line. The Burris XTR II 5-25x50m was a must for a top end Devil Dog precision rifle build.

burris xtr ii
Burris XTR high precision self centering 0-40 MOA mounts were used to provide ultimate flexibility and precision.

First off let me say that I was disappointed with how the demise of Devil Dog Arms unfolded, however they still made one of the best quality AR format rifles in the industry complete with premium Black Hole Weaponry barrels and HiperFire Triggers. This Devil Dog .308 has proved to be an exceptionally accurate gun with the capability to easily deliver groups in the 1/2 MOA range — the high power crystal clear capabilities of the XTR II 5-25x50m allowed me to take advantage of that accuracy. The SCR Mil Reticle also allowed a lot of data for on-the-fly windage and elevation compensation adjustments without the need to touch the dial.

The original XTR v1 line of scopes was a huge success for Burris, but customers were asking for even more. Not only did Burris deliver a crystal clear 5-time zoom range on this XTR II 5-25x50mm optic, but they upped the tube thickness by 25-percent over the original. Burris also configured the optic design as a First Focal Plane (FFP) scope. FFP is the hot feature among precision and sniper-style shooters. It, in essence, zooms the reticle along with magnification changes. The result is that whatever holdover you have on the BDC or Mil-dot is the same at any magnification, in this case from 5X all the way through 25X. The big thing is that this design makes elevation and wind holdovers simple and easy without having to think about what magnification you are on. If you have a 5-MPH cross wind on a 300-yard target and that is the second dot down and a quarter mil over based on your zero, then no matter what magnification you are on that same holdover will deliver the same shooting solution. Pretty cool. When comparing this to a standard BDC equipped standard second focal plane scope, the reticle does not zoom, so your hold at the maximum range is not the same at any other magnification level.

XTR II
This XTR II was mounted on a Devil Dog 308 to take advantage of the accuracy potential of the Black Hole Weaponry match barrel.

I choose the SCR (Special Competition Reticle). This is designed to offer the faster-paced long range shooter a significant amount of data including 1/2 Mil-Dot markings, 1/10 Mil-Dot ranging brackets, and an extended illumination reticle. The goal of the design was to provide the shooter with all the data they needed to take the shot quickly and accurately whether they reached for the turrets or used the precision Mil-Dot hold over points in the reticle. Once a shooter knows their bullet drop holds based on Mil-Dot target sizing, they can quickly take a precision shot extremely quickly even at multiple targets at different distances.

First Focal Plane Mil reticle
The Burris XTR II 5-25 optics features a First Focal Plane Mil-based reticle.

FIT, FEEL, FEATURES, & FUNCTIONS
There is a lot to love about this high-tier optic. At around $1400 on the street, it’s priced up there with the premium Japanese and German scopes, but, for the quality it is considerably less expensive than many with similar features at double that price. The glass is unbelievably crisp and clear, and this is what you get in the higher tier.

Burris has everything packed into this optic with the exception of laser ranging including the new style thicker and heavier duty and allegedly brighter 34MM tube, big audible click turrets with MRad adjustments matched to the Mil-Dot reticle (as they should be). And the reticle is even illuminated.

I generally have serious gripes about illuminated reticles because most companies try to deliver sunlight red dot illumination brightness, however in this case Burris delivered perfection. Too many times, manufacturers make illuminated reticles far too bright for the night work they were originally developed for. The illumination on this 5-25x50mm XTR II delivers 11 settings of illumination plus “OFF” positions between each setting so you don’t need to cycle through all the brightness settings just to turn the reticle illumination on or off.

XTR II subtense
The sub-tense of the reticle can be used in a variety of ways according to the shooters needs.

Burris even has a well-thought-out side-focus knob. Then there is the huge magnification range! Normally you would see a 3-10X or 3-14, but here we have a scope that can deliver everything you might need on close targets all the way out to very long distance.

XTR II knobs
The XTR II line feature heavy audible click turrets which make adjustment precise.

FINAL THOUGHTS
This optic has lived on a few builds already but settled on my Devil-Dog-based AR .308 build.

I am not one of those who likes or enjoys figuring out the math on a reticle calibrated for 25X when I need to be at 5X of magnification. For me, simpler is better and I like the FFP concept both in theory and in use. Literally just print out a ballistics card noting all the holdover points for your pet round and you are good to go at any magnification. This is a great optic which deserves to be on a rifle that can match its precision, and that’s the reason I tightened it onto one of my most expensive and accurate AR10 builds.

xtr ii

READ MORE FROM BURRIS

Shop All Burris at Midsouth Shooters Supply

xtr ii specs

Major Pandemic

[Major Pandemic is an editor at large who loves everything about shooting, hunting, the outdoors, and all those lifesaving little survival related products. His goal is simple, tell a good story in the form of a truthful review all while having fun. He contributes content to a wide variety of print and digital magazines and newsletters for companies and manufacturers throughout the industry with content exposure to over 2M readers monthly. Click HERE to learn more.]

RELOADERS CORNER: Gas Port Pressure

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It’s not always possible to separate guns from loads, and there are some important things to know to get the most from your semi-auto. Here’s one! KEEP READING

casing in air

Glen Zediker

I have spent the last couple of segments taking a big step back recollecting my own (early) experiences and education as a handloader. Hope you’re happily indulging me, and hope even more that there’s been some good ideas that have come from it.

I started reloading as a matter of economy, and because I wanted to shoot more. Said then and said again now: if the impetus for reloading is saving money, you really don’t save money! You just get to shoot more for the same cost. Hope that makes sense, and likely you already understand that. Clearly, there are other reasons or focuses that attract folks to handloading, and personalizing ammo performance, improving accuracy, are leading reasons.

I’ve been at least a tad amount (to a lot) biased all along in my department topics toward loading for semi-automatic rifles. That’s been done for a few reasons, and the primary one is that, no question at all, there are specific and important details, a lot of dos and don’ts, in recycling ammo for a self-loader.

This is the reason I’ve been careful to specifically point out the “semi-auto” aspect of any tooling or preparation step. I’d like some feedback from you all with respect to your motivations and applications in handloading. Why do you do it?

Another reason is that, and I know this from much input, as happened with me 45 years ago, my interest in learning to reload came with ownership of a semi-auto that I absolutely loved to shoot! Here of late, my plumber, for a good instance, proudly announced to me outside the local hardware store that he had just purchased his first AR15 and showed me the paper bag full of .223 Rem. cartridges he had just purchased there. A scant few weeks later: “Could you help me get together some tools and show me how to reload?” I did.

Back to the focus, finally (I know) of this topic: what are those differences comparing semi-autos to anything else?

There are a few points, but one of the first, and one of the most important, is component selection. Case, primer, propellant. Propellant first.

AR15 gas port
As .224-caliber bullets get heavier, there’s a tendency toward many using slower-burning propellants. Often, the slower-burning fuels produce lower chamber pressures, which means more velocity potential (that’s true with just about any rifle cartridge). But! Gas port pressure will increase with slower and slower burning propellants. Can’t have it all, and make sure “function” is first on the list. That’s safe and sane function, by the way, not “over-function!”

I’ll assume, pretty safely, that the semi-auto we’re loading up for is an AR15, or some take on that platform. If so, it will have a “direct impingement” gas system. That’s a pretty simple arrangement whereby the gas pressure needed to operate the system, which cycles the action, is bled off from the barrel bore via a port. From there it goes through a manifold and then into a tube, and then back into the bolt carrier via the bolt carrier key. Gas piston operation is more complex, but what’s said here applies there also respecting propellant selection.

So, it’s kind of a wave. The idea is to get the wave to peak at a point where there’s not excessive gas entering the system, but there is sufficient gas entering the system. Mil-spec. 20-inch AR15 calls for 12,500 psi, for what that’s worth. And “piston” guns are nowhere near immune from concerns about port pressure.

The burning rate of the propellant influences the level of gas pressure at the gas port, and this, easy to understand, is referred to as “port pressure.” The original AR15 rifle gas system component specs (20-inch barrel, port located at 12 inches down the barrel) were created to function just fine and dandy with 12,000 PSI port pressure. Much less than that and there might not be enough soon enough to reliably cycle the works. Much more than that and the operating cycle is accelerated.

Port pressure and chamber pressure are totally separate concerns and only related indirectly.

Rule: slower-burning propellants produce more port pressure than faster-burning propellants. As always, “faster” and “slower” are relative rankings within a variety of suitable choices. The answer to why slower-burning propellants produce higher pressure at the gas port comes with understanding a “pressure-time curve.” A PT curve is a way to chart consumption of propellant, which is producing gas, along with the bullet’s progress down the bore. It’s what pressure, at which point. I think of it as a wave that’s building, cresting, and then dissipating. Slower propellants peak farther down the bore, nearer the gas port. Heavier bullets, regardless of propellant used, also produce higher port pressures because they’re moving slower, allowing for a greater build-up about the time the port is passed.

RE15
I put the (very safe) cut-off at H4895 burning rate. I’ll go as slow as RE15, and have with safe success, but its influential differences are noticeable. I can tell you that a 4895 is well within the optimum range to deliver intended port pressure (“a” 4895, mil-contract variety, was actually the early original 5.56 propellant).

To really get a handle on all this you have to picture what’s happening as a bullet goes through the barrel in a semi-auto, and keep (always) in mind just how quickly it’s all happening. Milliseconds, less than a few of them, define “too much” or “not enough.” As the bullet passes the gas port, there’s still pressure building behind it, and there’s more pressure building still with a slower propellant. After the bullet exits the muzzle, the pressure doesn’t just instantly go away. There’s pressure latent in the system (all contained in the gas tube and bolt carrier) that’s operating the action.

The symptoms of excessive port pressure come from the consequence of a harder hit delivered too soon, and what amounts to too much daggone gas getting into and through the “back,” the bolt carrier: the action starts to operate too quickly. The case is still a little bit expanded (under pressure) when the bolt starts to unlock and the extractor tugs on the case rim, plus, the increased rush of gas simply cycles the action too quickly. That creates extraction problems and essentially beats up cases. They’ll often show bent rims, excessively blown case shoulders, stretching, and so on.

Getting gas port pressure under control makes for improved function, better spent case condition, and less wear and stress on the gun hisseff.

There’s a huge amount more to talk about on this whole topic, and a good number of ways to get everything working as it should. But. For this, the most a handloader can do, and it’s honestly just about the most influential help, is to stay on the faster side of suitable propellants. Without any doubt at all, there will be rampant disagreement with my advice: no slower than Hodgdon 4895. Most all published data lists propellants from faster to slower, so find H4895 and don’t go below it. That’s conservative, and there are a lot of very high scores shot in NRA High Power Rifle with VARGET and RE-15, but those are edgy, in my experience, and define the very upper (slowness) limit.

m14 gas system
This doesn’t only apply to AR15s. The M1A is VERY sensitive to port pressure, which is also propellant burn rate. It’s a gas-piston gun. Same cut-off on burning rate is advised for these: H4895. I sho learned this the hard way by dang near wrecking my first M1A: bolt stuck back after firing a dose of H4350. That was before I met Sgt. Jim Norris and got the lecture I’me giving you. Thanks Sarge!

That alone doesn’t mean all AR15 architectures will be tamed (carbine-length systems are particularly over-zealous), but it does mean that port pressure will stay lower, an important step.

A caution always about factory ammo: some is loaded for use in bolt-actions (especially hunting ammo(, and might bea very bad choice for your .308 Win. semi-auto. AR15s are actually fairly more flexible in showing clear symptoms, some no doubt due to the buffered operating system and overall mild nature of the .223 Rem. cartridge.

This article is adapted from Glen’s books, Handloading For Competition and Top-Grade Ammo, available at Midsouth HERE. For more information about other books by Glen, visit ZedikerPublishing.com

 

RELOADERS CORNER: Blissful Moderation

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Glen Zediker recollects and reflects on the first advice he ever got on choosing a load: all things in moderation, pressure and velocity included! READ IT ALL

range load
When you just want to load up and go have a go at the range, there’s no need for speed. But! There is a need for enough pressure-power for reliable, clean function. I suggest trying something in the “medium” range for daily use. Your rifle, your barrel, your cases, and your senses will all thank you for reducing the shock by taking “two steps to the left” to find a load. Promise: you will not notice anything at all negative from any lack of “power.”

Glen Zediker

I spend a great amount of space in this department warning, and I hope educating, on the signs, signals, dangers of excessive cartridge pressure. That’s all been and being done because, for the majority, maximizing velocity is an ammo-goal. Hunters, varmint and game, competitive longer-range shooters, usually want the most they can get from bullet flight performance, and also impact strength.

For me, there’s zero doubt that more speed is a better score on a full-length NRA High Power Rifle course. (Side note: it is a fallacy that lighter loads are more accurate. They’re not, or not because they’re lighter. Some of the best perforations I’ve seen are with maxed loads.)

But! I shoot a toned-down load for reduced-distance courses (as well as for the 200-yard events on full-length), and my general-purpose clods-and-cans load is a lower-stress recipe.

I mentioned last time that I had recently fired a good deal of current NATO-spec ammo and was, I guess “impressed” is the right word, with its power level. The stuff I make up for afternoon fun-runs is a good deal less stressed.

I’m not at all recommending a “light” load. Just let’s call it a solid “medium.” Looking over my notes for the past umpteen years, going through my last most current load-data notebook, I saw what was to me an interesting happenstance. I tended to be pretty much right at one-and-one-half grain less than maximum (and about two grains with .308-class rounds).

dirty case
Signs of a load that’s too “light” include, clearly, one that won’t cycle the action reliably on a semi-auto. Another couple, for any action type, include an unusually dirty chamber and sooted-up cartridge case necks and shoulders. A little lighter still and you might see a primer that’s backed out a tad. Those all result from the case not expanding fully to seal the chamber forward and stretch to comply closer to chamber dimensions end to end. A little reduction won’t normally show any of this, and, tip: go a tad toward the faster end of suitable burning rate for general use.

Thats not a light load! It’s “three halves,” three one-half grain drops. That half-grain, and some might recollect my mentioning this a few times in the past, is my always-recommended “come-off” step for any pressure sign (not a tenth or two, but a “full” half grain). Any other over-pressure indicator from that point then signals need to come off another “full” half-grain. So I pretty much come off those two halves from the get go, add another, and, guess what? Never nary a pressure concern.

Slightly faster-burning propellants, in my experience, lend themselves better to the “medium” power level reduction in terms of maintaining accuracy. As always, “faster” and “slower” are values within a small range of propellant rates suitable for a particular cartridge and bullet. And, in following this plan, when needed bump it up to full speed with predicatable results.

For .223 Rem.-class cartridges, a half-grain is worth ballpark 40-50 feet per second, again depending on propellant.

The advantages of a “medium” load are predictable, but here’s my list: plain old easier on the gun, and on the barrel, and on the self. Again (and again) I’m not talking abut a “light” load, just one that’s maybe 95-percent, a solid 150-200 feet per second less than published maximum. Case stress will be reduced, and that’s associated with length trimming frequency and overall “life” before primer pocket enlargement and general stretch-thinning, cracking symptoms retire the brass.

Back to my “story,” which was the interesting happenstance (all this was all brought back to me by the initial outing with my new old AR15 I talked about last edition, and my 16-year-old son asking me if I could teach him how to reload because we ran out of ammo so quickly…): So. When I first learned to reload I was 15. This event coincided with my first AR15 rifle, which was purchased new at a Skaggs drugstore. Right. My mother did not eagerly agree to sponsor a reloading setup, but, being a wise-enough woman, did interpret the math the same way I did: I could shoot a lot more for a lot less if I was doing my own. So, I had a friend, Gary. Most fortunate man to know. Gary, and I see this more clearly each year that passes, knew more about guns and shooting than any 10 people I have since encountered.

We went to Bald Bob’s Sporting Goods in Rifle, Colorado. He chose an RCBS kit for me, a piece at a time. Bob sold RCBS only. Press, dies, scale, meter, case lube, doo-dads, and, of course some propellant and brass and bullets and primers. And a Sierra Bullets loading book. So, back home, and a short time later, there I sat before my new array of green pride-and-joys. After stern lectures about things I was never supposed to do, and at least an equal number of things I was always supposed to do, we got this show flowing downriver.

Gary had chosen IMR 4198 for me for a propellant. He said it was clean-burning and economical. Didn’t take much of it. I had some Speer 55-grain full-metal-jacket bullets, some Remington cases to go along with the empties I had saved in a paper bag, and some CCI primers. Now. We looked at the loading tables in the Sierra Manual, and he had me find my cartridge and bullet. (He already knew exactly where we were going, so this was for my benefit.) He pointed out the “maximum” load and the “starting” load, one on the far right and the other on the origin point of the table on the left. He then counted back two places from the far right: 20.5gr. He said, “There. That’s the one. It’s not going to give you any troubles, and it’s adequate for function.”

“That was easy,” I thought.

I have since learned that advice was too good not to share.

If you’re looking for a good load, and you know the propellant is wisely-chosen, going two steps down from the manual-listed maximum should, indeed, be a great place to start, or to stay if you are sans chronograph. Time after time, I have noticed over the many, many years I have now been doing all this, that the “two steps back from max” procedure is safe, sane, and satisfying.

reduced load list
Here’s a page (“the page”) from my now-ancient Sierra manual. Not all manuals agree (not nearly) on max loads, and not all are done in multiple increments, but the essential advice is reducing the max load by two steps, or about one-and-one-half grains of propellant in this case (reduction amounts vary, certainly, based on the cartridge). It’s wise advice from a wise man, and I’m talking about Buddy Gary. I just pass it along because it sho works for me!

I shot about a gozillion rounds of 20.5 grains of 4198 through that SP1. Since it was not a max load, I could also change the bullets without worry, going from one brand to the next at the same weight, of course. I could change cases and even primers. It was a tenth shy of one-and-one-half grains under maximum. I don’t recollect ever grouping that rifle on a paper target. I zeroed it based on preference and I also don’t recollect ever missing anything I aimed at by more than a little bit, and never twice.

This article is adapted from Glen’s books, Handloading For Competition and Top-Grade Ammo, available at Midsouth HERE. For more information about other books by Glen, visit ZedikerPublishing.com

REVIEW: PWS MOD2 MK107 AR15 Pistol

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Designed to replace MP5-style weapons, this “Daiblo” is a sleek and sturdy AR15 pistol. READ ALL ABOUT IT

PWS AR15 pistol

Major Pandemic

While almost every other manufacturer of AR15s is chasing the entry-level price-point customer, Primary Weapons System introduced a $2000 fully-loaded AR15 pistol which sold out immediately! Every inch of this reliable push-rod long-stroke piston-driven AR pistol is dripping with custom and innovative parts.

The market success of the MOD2 MK107 should be proof enough that customers are craving something different, something exclusive, and are more than willing to shell out the cash for feature-loaded AR15s. PWS is regarded by many as one of the top tier of high-tech combat AR platform guns, and has a long history of delivering super premium AR platforms complete with their famed and super reliable piston system.

PWS MOD2 MK107
Feed it good ammo and the accuracy will astound you! Reliability in my test was 100-percent.

CONCEPT
It is important to understand that this AR15 pistol is unlike any other. It’s more than a standard pistol with a cool set of receivers and fancy flash hider. Instead this pistol represents PWS’ latest AR15 platform refinements from its push-rod long-stroke piston-driven MOD1 predecessor. Many consider the PWS piston system as the best on the market. It is in essence a reduced-size AK-47 piston system. PWS modified this design into the AR platform which delivers a push-rod attached to the carrier, a much lighter recoil impulse than other piston systems and a significantly better platform for suppressor use. Disassembly is easy and simple. Break open the upper, removed the charging handle, BCG, and attached long stroke piston, clean the piston and reassemble. Since there is no gas blowback with the piston system, the BCG and upper stay clean and cool even after 1000s of rounds of suppressed shooting.

PWS MOD2 MK107
The gas piston system is a scaled down AK type, and it’s been well proven. Gun stays clean even with a suppressor.

The intent of this pistol was to offer a transitional firearm which could be purchased and shot as a pistol. If the owner wants to have a registered SBR, this configuration delivers a lot of fun shooting during the long wait for an ATF short-barreled-rifle tax stamp. Once a tax stamp is in hand, the rearmost cheek brace and guide rods can be swapped to a Maxim Defense buttstock. Of course some people may elect to just leave it as an AR15 pistol to allow more flexibility in ownership and transportation over state lines.

FEATURES
The MOD2 series adds additional refinements. Additional weight savings is one. A new custom-forged receiver incorporates weight reducing reliefs. Yes I did say “forged.” These are not modified mil-spec receivers, or billet, but rather custom forged upper and lower. For the record, forging does deliver a stronger part.

In the process of strategically lightening the receivers they ended up looking amazingly cool!

PWS MOD2 MK107
Proprietary design forged receivers are lightened and feature full ambi controls.

The lower ambi controls are similar to the Sig MPX with ambi-selector and bolt release in the same position. The lower receiver features an integrated trigger guard, larger flared mag well, and inlets for all the extra ambi-parts. The upper receiver has been trimmed down though reliefs, but also lightened with the omission of the forward assist. Other nice touches are beefing up certain areas to increase strength such as near the barrel extension union on the upper and also adding a captured ejection port door pin.

PWS reduced the number of piston gas pressure adjustment points to just three on the MOD2. To assure the hammer-forged 1-8 twist .223 Wylde barrel’s bark was directed away from the shooter, they attached the PWS CQB brake. I have used this brake on many firearms over the years and personally believe any AR or AK intended to be shot indoors should not be without it. There is magic within that CQB flash hider that I have not found any other muzzle device to deliver.

PWS MOD2 MK107 brake
The PWS QCB muzzle device is amazingly effective, really taking the blast and bark away from the shooter.

The bolt carrier group is PWS’ own anti-tilt piston design finished in a lithium embedded salt nitro treatment (Nitromet). Trigger group is a tuned ALG NiBo which feels extremely good for a duty trigger. The PicMod handguard is yet another PWS innovation which delivers standard picatinny rails which are also KeyMod compatible.

PWS maxim defense adjustable cheek rest
The Maxim Defense Adjustable Cheek Rest gives a solid cheek weld and is easily adjusted, collapsed, and extended via a lower paddle latch.

The most noticeable accessory is the Maxim Defense Adjustable Cheek Rest which delivers a solid cheek weld in a variety of shooting positions. The cheek rest is easily adjusted, collapsed, and extended via a lower paddle latch. The cheek rest can be easily swapped out with an arm brace accessory, or with prior ATF SBR registration, a buttstock using the same paddle latch. PWS has officially switched from Magpul to Bravo Company furniture, and the angle of the Bravo Company grip is excellent for a compact shooting format.

THE EXTRAS
Included is an exceptionally well-made Crossfire soft case capable of accommodating many accessories, 1 Lancer 30-round (depending on state) magazine, BCM Keymod Quick Detachable Sling Mount, a set of Keymod RailScales, $50 gift card to PrimaryWeapons.com, $70 discount card off a Vertx backpack which is sized to fit this pistol, a PWS patch, brochures and manuals. In total, about $300 worth of accessories and coupons is a well appreciated package that lets PWS customers feel the love on a firearm of this caliber.

SHOOTING
With the MOD2 version, PWS did drop factory sights off the installed equipment list, so some type of optic is needed. I elected for the brand new Vortex 1x Prismatic Sparc. This true 1X optic features a button changeable red or green illuminated double-circle dot reticle. It’s freaky fast to get on target, runs on 1 AAA battery, has an etched reticle reticle that is visible even if the battery is dead or removed, a swappable MOA or 5.56 BDC turret, and enormous field of view and stunning clarity.

Vortex 1x Prismatic Sparc
Vortex 1x Prismatic Sparc optic is an outstanding choice.

Due to the fun involved of shooting this setup, I went far beyond my typical 400-round testing and had not one single issue with any ammo tested. Switching to a 1-6 Lucid scope, the PWS MOD2 MK107 AR15 pistol is more than capable of 1-inch 100-yard groups with Federal Gold Match or Hornady Match ammo, but back with the Vortex mounted it was fun to bang away on 6-inch steel all the way out to 400 yards. I found the Vortex Sparc BDC turret settings put me on the target and offered accurate holdovers at the extended ranges.

CARRY
This is a pistol… So based on your local, you should be able to carry it concealed inside a pack just like you would your Glock if you have your concealed carry license. As mentioned, PWS includes a discount for a  Vertx pack which will enclose the entire pistol, but I did had a Sneaky Bags 27-in. SPYDER case which has the look of a tennis racket bag. The SPYDER was a perfect single-sling pack for the fully assembled PWS pistol with 20-round magazine loaded plus offered a ton of storage. Most importantly, this clandestine concealed carry “Sneaky” setup allowed a very fast presentation.

PWS case
A well-made Crossfire soft case is included, and it has plenty of room for accessories. I prefer a much smaller package, so choose a SPYDER bag.

FINAL THOUGHTS
Where the budget AR15 rifle market is softening, the short-barreled PDW AR15 pistol and SBR market is blazing hot. There has been so much un-needed attention to the AR pistol segment from the “Arm Brace ATF re-clarifications,” I am sure some dealers are throwing their hands up on whether to carry AR15 pistols at all. PWS has side-stepped all that with the Maxim EXO adjustable cheek rest while clearly laying out two options for owners — buy and shoot now as a pistol and/or register as an SBR.

PWS pistol

This pistol is targeted toward those who want all the benefits of an SBR without the headaches of going through the long wait and registration process…and want the best AR in the process. The PWS MOD2 MK107 AR15 pistol is an ideal PDW firearm for personal protection without legal headaches and oversight that a rifle or registered SBR might bring. After all it is “just a pistol!”

READ FULL SPECS HERE

SOURCES
Primary Weapon Systems
Vertx
Crossfire
Bravo Company
Vortex Optics
Sneaky Bags

Major Pandemic

[Major Pandemic is an editor at large who loves everything about shooting, hunting, the outdoors, and all those lifesaving little survival related products. His goal is simple, tell a good story in the form of a truthful review all while having fun. He contributes content to a wide variety of print and digital magazines and newsletters for companies and manufacturers throughout the industry with content exposure to over 2M readers monthly. Click HERE to learn more.]

 

Fired FBI Director James Comey Pushes Gun Control, Bashes NRA

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Comey advocates for stricter gun laws and delivers harsh criticism for NRA in a UK address. READ MORE

james comey

 

SOURCE: NRA-ILA

Fired FBI Director James Comey’s self-aggrandizement tour continued apace last week. Momentarily turning his attention from attacking President Trump, Comey used the occasion of a trip to the largely-disarmed United Kingdom as an opportunity to advocate for stricter U.S. gun laws and to level barbs at NRA.

In an interview with the UK’s iNews published last Tuesday, Comey appeared to express his support for ongoing efforts to restrict young adults ages 18-20 from acquiring firearms and for a ban on commonly-owned semi-automatic firearms. Comey told the media outlet:

“Surely there are things we can agree upon that relate to who’s able to buy a weapon, what kind of weapon and at what age, what the capabilities of the weapon are, how many rounds does it hold, and things like that, that in no way threaten the rights under the US constitution of people to keep and bear arms.”

Comey’s statement on gun control is puzzling. Legislation that extinguishes young adults’ ability to exercise their Second Amendment rights is by its very nature a threat to, “the rights under the US constitution [sic] of people to keep and bear arms.” Moreover, so is a ban on commonly-owned semi-automatic firearms. That’s not just NRA’s position; that’s the position of the U.S. Supreme Court, which affirmed an individual right to keep and bear arms in the District of Columbia v. Heller case.

In Heller, the late Justice Antonin Scalia explained that the Second Amendment protects the ownership of firearms, “of the kind in common use at the time.” The AR-15, the favorite target of current gun ban legislation, is America’s most popular rifle. Moreover, Scalia Joined Justice Thomas to dissent from a denial of certiorari in the case of Friedman v. Highland Park, which concerned a ban on commonly-owned semi-automatic firearms. In the dissent, Thomas wrote:

“The overwhelming majority of citizens who own and use such rifles do so for lawful purposes, including self-defense and target shooting. Under our precedents, that is all that is needed for citizens to have a right under the Second Amendment to keep such weapons.”

Addressing NRA, Comey stated, “One of the worst things that goes on in the US is the current voice of the National Rifle Association, because it sells fear in the wake of any incident.” The former FBI director went on to add:

“[NRA’s] constant argument is: ‘It’s a slippery slope. If we restrict a particular kind of weapon or raise the age of purchase, it means the end of gun ownership in the US.’ And that argument is a lie… There’s no slippery slope in America when it comes to guns. It’s a concrete staircase, which is our constitution…. We just have to decide should we go up a stair or down a stair.”

While Comey might liken U.S. gun laws to a, “concrete staircase,” it’s unlikely many gun owners in jurisdictions such as California, New Jersey, and New York feel confident in their footing. For them the slippery slope of gun control is an everyday reality. Faced with a federal judiciary that is often unwilling to honor the rulings of the Supreme Court, as Justice Thomas has pointed out on numerous occasions, the Second Amendment offers these Americans little security.

Moreover, the slippery slope isn’t pro-gun fear mongering, it’s gun control advocates’ stated policy. In a 1976 New Yorker interview, National Council to Control Handguns (precursor to the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence) Chairman Nelson T. Shields stated:

“I’m convinced that we have to have federal legislation to build on. We’re going to have to take one step at a time, and the first step is necessarily—given the political realities — going to be very modest… So then we’ll have to start working again to strengthen that law and then again to strengthen the next law, and maybe again and again. Right now, though, we’d be satisfied not with half a loaf but with a slice. Our ultimate goal — total control of handguns in the United States — is going to take time.”

Moreover, the character of recent gun control efforts has made Comey’s position untenable. In March, John Paul Stevens took to the opinion page of the New York Times to call for the repeal of the Second Amendment. In recent years, the New York Times and the Boston Globe have run pieces calling for firearms confiscation. On the 2016 campaign trail, Hillary Clinton lamented the Heller decision, refused to acknowledge that the Second Amendment protects an individual right to keep and bear arms, and endorsed Australia’s confiscatory gun control measures. Anti-gun protests are replete with calls to disarm citizens.

An exchange that appears near the end of the iNews item might reveal the most about Comey. The fired FBI director explained that he chose not to carry a firearm while at the FBI, stating, “I was surrounded by armed people all day long. If I wasn’t safe in the hands of the FBI, then our country was really in trouble.” Here Comey admitted that despite being one of the nation’s highest ranking law enforcement officials, he was unwilling to concern himself with any personal responsibility for his own safety and the safety of those around him.

Government Admits AR-15s Are Not ‘Weapons of War’

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State Department and Department of Justice offer definitions of “military equipment,” and it’s NOT an AR-15… READ MORE

ar15

SOURCE: Breitbart
AWR Hawkins

In its settlement with Cody Wilson’s Defense Distributed the government admitted that semi-automatic firearms below .50 caliber are not weapons of war.

On July 10, 2018, Breitbart News reported that the Second Amendment Foundation (SAF) brought a suit against the State Department on Wilson’s behalf. The suit was filed in 2015 and was the result of State Department action to force Wilson to quit sharing 3-D gun files online.

Wilson and SAF fought the suit on First Amendment grounds and secured a settlement with the State Department and the Department of Justice, the latter of which finalizes the settlement.

The amended regulations proposed in the settlement show the government will no longer look at semi-automatic firearms below .50 caliber as “military equipment” or weapons of war.

In offering a definition of “military equipment” the settlement says:

“The phrase ‘Military Equipment’ means (1) Drums and other magazines for firearms to 50 caliber (12.7mm) inclusive with a capacity greater than 50 rounds, regardless of the jurisdiction of the firearm, and specially designed parts and components therefor; (2) Parts and components specifically designed for conversion of a semi-automatic firearm to a fully automatic firearm; (3) Accessories or attachments specifically designed to automatically stabilize aim (other than gun rests) or for automatic targeting, and specifically designed parts and components therefor.”

Attorneys in the case expounded on the amended regulations by pointing out that the settlement “expressly acknowledges that non-automatic firearms up to .50 caliber widely available in retail outlets in the United States and abroad [a scope that includes AR-15 and other assault-style rifles], are not inherently military.”

Second Amendment Foundation founder and executive vice president Alan Gottlieb spoke to Breitbart News about the settlement, saying:

“Not only is this a First Amendment victory for free speech, it also is a devastating blow to the gun prohibition lobby. For years, anti-gunners have contended that modern semi-automatic sport-utility rifles are so-called “weapons of war,” and with this settlement, the government has acknowledged they are nothing of the sort.”

The federal government now saying semi-automatic firearms below .50 caliber are not inherently military means that they are admitting that rifles like the AR-15 are civilian in nature. This makes perfect sense, as they existed years before the military adopted the fully automatic version.

Gottlieb added, “Gun rights organizations like the Second Amendment Foundation will now be able to use this government admission in debate and courtrooms from New York to California.”

AWR Hawkins is an award-winning Second Amendment columnist for Breitbart News, the host of the Breitbart podcast Bullets with AWR Hawkins, and the writer/curator of Down Range with AWR Hawkins, a weekly newsletter focused on all things Second Amendment, also for Breitbart News. He is the political analyst for Armed American Radio. Follow him on Twitter: @AWRHawkins. Reach him directly at awrhawkins@breitbart.com. Sign up to get Down Range at breitbart.com/downrange.