Saturday, February 27, 2010

The ARs I'm not building.

So, as I mentioned, there were two types of AR that I was definitely not going to build on my stripped lower:

The first was a floating-barrel flat-top varminter. The reason for that is because not only do I not currently engage in any varmint hunting, but I'm also not at the rifle range very often, and when I am, shooting bitty groups from a bench just ain't my bag. (This is not to say that I have any particular problem with varmint hunting, but the opportunity just hasn't presented itself.)

The other was an AR pistol, which I personally think is about the most useless thing this side of a kickstand on a tank. Muzzle blast like a flash-bang grenade, the ballistics of a .22 Hornet, and no butt stock? Plus I have to go find a rifle range to shoot it? Where do I sign up for some of that action? No, thanks.

There's actually a third type I will not be building: When I said I was thinking about an "A2-style service rifle", some folks apparently thought I meant a "Service Rifle", which is a perfectly serviceable weapon that has been fruited up with pinhole sight apertures, heavy barrel, an archaic sling, and six pounds of lead weights inserted into every available orifice to make it better suited for target competition. I will not be building one of those. When I shoot from field positions, I generally do it under the assumption that my targets are not going to give me time to unroll my mat, buckle up my coat, sling up, and set up my spotting scope.

24 comments:

Anonymous said...

Are engaging fast zombies or slow zombies?

Pffft, silly person, don't you know that shooting is about hauling gear?

Shootin' Buddy

Ed Foster said...

Standard weight 20 inch barrel, learn to use the sling from position, at least hasty sling, because it really works, practice British prone (rolled over on your left side to get a much higher line of sight over deep grass and intervening cover), and the big loop battlesight shoots almost as accurately as the smaller issue sight, with about the best aquisition time around.

Especially if you get in the habit of touching the tip of your nose to the left side of the charging handle every time the weapon comes to your shoulder. Perfect alignment for instinct shooting.

Muscle memory is everything. Save the small peep for shooting off a rest in countersniper drill.

Tam said...

Oh, I've got no problem with showing up for the occasional High Power competition, but a lot of High Power shooters go mocking the bench rest crowd without noticing that they can be almost as bad.

(...and of course everyone should know how to use a hasty sling.)

Comrade E.B. Misfit said...

By "service rifle", do you mean sort of like a AR15A2 with a 20" barrel, fixed stock and the `80s standard sights?

Neutrino Cannon said...

Everyone says kickstands are useless on tanks until they leave their tank in the wind and have it tip over.

I vote for a Canadian C7A2 clone; full 20" barrel with flat top upper and collapsing stock. Except magpulize all the furniture.

And a barrel profile that's less stupid than the one on the M16A2. Why did they only add weight in front of the gas block? That's never made sense to me.

westofthewest said...

The dedicated .22 upper probably makes the most sense nowadays. Myself, I've been jonesin' for an IDF Carbine clone"for the Mrs."

Grant Cunningham said...

Why not go retro? Do an M16A1, complete with pronged flash hider and non-finger-groove grip.

-=[ Grant ]=-

Tam said...

A1?

LIKES: Reasonable barrel profile for light weight and balance.

DISLIKES: Crappy flimsy handguards.

Besides, if I was doing this gun for "style" the first thing I'd do is trade the lower for a large-ring Oberndorf action. ;)

So what it'll probably wind up being is another 16" carbine, set up pretty much identically to my current one, but primarily serving as a .22LR trainer so's I can shoot it at the nearby range.

Tam said...

"By "service rifle", do you mean sort of like a AR15A2 with a 20" barrel, fixed stock and the `80s standard sights?"

Yes. I was briefly considering a semiauto A2.

Fred said...

"And a barrel profile that's less stupid than the one on the M16A2. Why did they only add weight in front of the gas block? That's never made sense to me."

The exposed portion of the A2 gov't profile barrel was enlarged to make the barrel stronger for bayonet use (remember, the Marines are the ones who came up with the A2 ideas) and kept light under the handguard to cut down on weight, the handguard suitably keeping it strong enough for repeatedly slamming the muzzle end against stuff without bending your barrel.

And now you know, and knowing is half the battle!

BryanP said...

Your tastes change over time. The original AR I built years and years ago was 20" A2 HBAR. I'm planning to replace that upper with a 16" pencil barreled flattop.

J.W. said...

Like I said, bring it to Coal Creek on your next visit and I'll pour some parts on you to turn it in to a zombie stomper. No felt soled shoes needed.

mcthag said...

You could go with an Izzyfied A1. They have replaced a large portion (maybe even all) of the triangular handguards with A2 handguards.

How much assembly are you doing? Are you planning on buying a complete upper or are you piecing it together?

Here are a couple of links to pics of my A-nothing clone with my spare pair of A2 grips on it just to show it's easy to do. AR's are like Lego, all the parts swap.

http://inlinethumb32.webshots.com/46879/2787502120041331668S600x600Q85.jpg

http://inlinethumb02.webshots.com/46401/2558342230041331668S600x600Q85.jpg

Anonymous said...

"I've got no problem with showing up for the occasional High Power competition, but a lot of High Power shooters go mocking the bench rest crowd without noticing that they can be almost as bad"

All too true.

But I highly recommend a few years of "XTC" competition.

Nothing better to turn you into a true rifleman (or weed you out).

Tam said...

"Nothing better to turn you into a true rifleman (or weed you out)."

It will definitely see how good you are at KD shooting under certain formalized conditions. And like bullseye handgun competition, it will teach breathing, sight alignment, and trigger control. These are certainly valuable skills to have should one ever decide to learn how to fight with a gun.

Anonymous said...

"it will teach breathing, sight alignment, and trigger control"

Ding, Ding, Ding. We have a winner!


There's the big three, a few additional benefits:

Got zeros? (for various distances)?

Got any idea how how far a given wind condition moves a rifle bullet? (at various distances)?


Ban the carts, spotting scopes, shooting jackets, gloves and all the rest - the same people will still win the national matches...

Because they want it the most, and worked at it the hardest...

Will said...

IIRC, the stated reason for the thicker barrel ahead of the handguards was because troops were bending the original ones using them as prybars. Perhaps related, they also used the open fingered flashhider as wire and banded cutters.

Tam said...

"Ban the carts, spotting scopes, shooting jackets, gloves and all the rest - the same people will still win the national matches...

Because they want it the most, and worked at it the hardest...
"

Of course they will, and nowhere have I implied they wouldn't.

However, like all people, I only have a limited amount of time to spend at the range. How much of that finite time do I need to spend on sitting @ 300 and how much of that do I need to spend shooting surprise or moving or partially-obscured targets @ 0-100, perhaps while on the move myself or shooting from behind cover?

And how much time do I need to spend with a carbine vs. a pistol?

ASM826 said...

You've nailed my feelings about the AR pistol exactly. I have a range I get to shoot at regularly, and I still can't bring myself to want one.

If I had an stripped lower and enough money to make a build, I would build a 16" carbine with a flattop upper. It would take me longer to figure out what sort of scope or glass I wanted to put on it.

alath said...

I still like those 1907 style slings, and frequently put them on guns that don't have to meet the Service Rifle rules. I just like 'em.

They probably make new-fangled stuff that's better in every possible way, but I guess I'll just stay stuck in the mud here while you youngsters run off and have your fun.

Tam said...

"I still like those 1907 style slings..."

I have them on my '03 and my Garand; not as useful for the housegun, though.

Geodkyt said...

mcthag said...
You could go with an Izzyfied A1. They have replaced a large portion (maybe even all) of the triangular handguards with A2 handguards.

How much assembly are you doing? Are you planning on buying a complete upper or are you piecing it together?

Here are a couple of links to pics of my A-nothing clone with my spare pair of A2 grips on it just to show it's easy to do. AR's are like Lego, all the parts swap.


"Izzyfy"?

Heck, by the early 1990's, the M16A1s still in service started getting Izzyified", because the armorer's just used the parts they had in stock.

The last M16A1 I was ever issued had a full 'A2 furniture on a 1972 marked receiver. . .

Cybrludite said...

The other reason for the thin barrel under the handguards on the A2 was so that the M203 would still clip in place.

mcthag said...

For more pics. http://www.ar15.com/forums/topic.html?b=3&f=123&t=457376

I call it Izzyfied because the retro section on arfcom calls A1's with updated furniture Izzy clones.

The first M16A2 I ever handled was a reworked Hydramatic M16A1 in '87.