Saturday, February 20, 2010

Infinite (or nearly so) possibilities.

Hardly anything presents such a challenge to the imagination as a stripped AR lower sitting on the desk in front of you. About the only things I know I won't build on it are a heavy-barrel varminter or a pistol.

Here's what I'm torn between:
  1. Another M4gery; to serve as a backup to my current carbine and a more-or-less permanent home for my rimfire kit.
  2. A 9mm dedicated indoor/pistol range carbine.
  3. A 20" M16A2-style service rifle.
Most likely it'll be the first one, but I can't make up my mind...

47 comments:

Frank W. James said...

How 'good' are the magazines for your rimfire kit?

If they're good, then go .22LR, but if they're 'iffy' as most have been until the intro of the M&P15-22, then go 9mm.

You do need a rifle for Iggle Crk and their pistol caliber only rules.

Me? I step out the back door and I'm going TO today (even in the falling snow) to sight in my new Les Baer .264LBC.

All The Best,
Frank W. James

Jay G said...

Ooh! An AR-based 9mm carbine! One of those would be SWEET...

Andy said...

.22lr isn't considered pistol caliber? I would think it would be fine at any range ( is at mine ). I'm encountering 0 issue with my Black Dog Machine magazines.

Heavy barrel varminter is the more intrigueing concept. I agree on the pistol.

If I wanted to do pistol caliber carbine, I think I'd be more interested in a Beretta CX4 where magazine sharing is possible, unless you know of an upper that would handle your 1911 mags.

John said...

None.

Do a 'small & distant target' precision bullet deliverer, suitable for whatever type of varmits that need an immediate lead lobotomy.

Repeat. Multiple times.

Reload.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

'nunoss' gonna try doin dat agin.

Anonymous said...

FWIW, I went with #1 - I work with M-4s (previously
with M16s), so a spare with .22RF setup is where I landed. The CMMG/B'nells conversion with black dog mags has been working fine so far, FWIW...

TV in WI

Ed Foster said...

Andy: We were getting too much drag with the Black Dog mags (really great company, can't say enough nice thinga about them) using our full length aluminum bolt (yes Virginia, we have a patent on it, anybody who makes a full length AR bolt in rimfire owes Ted Malkowski lots of money).

So we are going to a full length steel bolt, essentially a 9mm with an M261 bolt face, kicked open with a floating chamber. That works like a bear with those wonderful Black Dogs, and as soon as I get the 1911 line up and running by it's self, I can get back to the .22 and .50BMG.

Joseph said...

.458 SOCOM would let you take deer in IN. A EBR for hunting? Aw yeeeaaahhh! I personally think it'd make a bitchin' HD carbine as well.

Ed Foster said...

And Tam, consider the 20" A2 service rifle. They really do shoot a bit better than the flattops (more rigid), and the rear sight thread is longer, giving you an extra 200 yards.

Seriously, it's a weapon that needs to be shot, with and without a sling, several hundred rounds a month, from all positions.

Service rifle is the essential part of our weapons training, what everything else is in support of.

Ed Foster said...

Hmmm... .458 NICE.

chris horton said...

As far as 1911 mags go,MechTech Systems.com has a pretty good system that uses the whole lower part of 1911 45's that fits in a carbine "upper."

It's not clasified as a "gun", so it can be sent right to your home,with many different variations/set-ups. I'm leaning towards one myself.

CIII

Mr. Fixit said...

Curious, why no heavy barrel varmint gun? Just wondering.

Mr Fixit

Anonymous said...

1.)

What could possibly be more fun than shooting all day more or less for free?

And bonus, added to your 10/22, a coupla MKII's, a big box o' mags for them all, and a coupla crates of ammo, and you're set for armageddon, zombocalypse, class war, etc. (yeah, thanks to you I've visited SurvivalBlog a coupla times; shudder)

AT

IZinterrogator said...

I set up one of my rifles as a dedicated home for a .22 conversion kit, then bought a Colt 6940 upper to make it into a 5.56 rifle as needed. If you have the scratch for another upper, that's how I'd do it.

Jim said...

There's always the chance you could swap it off for Garands, M1 Carbines, issue 1911s, or other artifacts representing the weaponry with which we once could actually win the occasional war.

I mean, just among the +infinite+ possibilities. :)

New Jovian Thunderbolt said...

If I had to guess why Tam's interest isn't toward a heavy barrelled varmint it'd be because she doesn't have a place to put it through it's paces. Her interest doesn't lie toward dropping woodchucks, and the local range doesn't have a proper 800 yard setup to ring gongs way out by Ft Mudge.

Notice her choices lie toward either social applications of the carbine, or practice for same, or it's a configuration that might tickle her History funny-bone (assuming she has a vietnam era A1, and wants a Panama era A2? Ok it's a shot in the dark...)

Ed Rasimus said...

You can never have too many M4gerys. There are simply too many toys and gadgets to practically hang on only one. By the time you try to hang your ACOG and EOtech, your muliplier and Surefire, your laser and NVG appliance, your forend vertical and some sling fixtures, you've got a fourteen pound rifle. The solution is a wardrobe of various configurations!

A wonderful money pit for the fan.

J.W. said...

Bring it down to Coal Creek on your next visit and I'll open up my mystery box of goodies and you can turn it in to the best 20" monster stomper on the the planet.

Ed Foster said...

All this has got me thinking about what I might/should build for a rifle aimed at serious social intercourse.

I'm not really in love with the collapsible butt stock, being an old fart who was taught to lock the fixed butt under the elbow, against the ribcage.

Nobody will ever disarm you, it's really rigid and accurate for instinct shooting, and, if quickly needed, I doubt I would have to worry about getting having to dismount a HUMVEE or clearing body armor.

In addition, if somebody got hold of the muzzle, I'd have a decent butt to use on him, pivoting under the hinge his hands created and doing serious damage to points between his belt buckle and shin.
So, fixed butt.

Since it's a fighting rifle, a 3/4inch shorter butt, either an A-1 or VietNam style with the rounded rubber butt plate. Faster to the shoulder and better for snap shooting, plus easier to get that muscle memory cheek weld with the tip of the nose just touching the charging handle.

Barrel, I have to be disloyal to the Corp and go with the light profile (Army standard) 20 inch tube. It handles about as well as the civilian carbine barrel, is at least as short and practical in house to house (elbow lock on fixed butt, remember?), and just plain shoots so much quieter that you can practice with it without generating flinchies.

Since I doubt I'll be using a bayonet, I'd go with a rifle length free float tube, possibly with a trick optical sight offset 30 degrees to the right.

I was watching a competition shooter use a setup like that, switching between the open battle sight on his A-2 and some kind of wonder optic by simply rotating the butt, and it really worked well. Perhaps a nice option for changing light conditions.

No other Pickatinnys, bosun whistles, or can openers to clutter up a long,smooth forend, lightly knurned, hard coated, and covered in black Teflon.

One exception might be a laser, mounted on top of the barrel, in front of the front sight.

Using a rifle length barrel with fixed G.I. front sight gives you the room to put something useful there, where it's not in the way.
Also something solid to mount it to.

The bigger hole of a 6.8mm barrel saves a couple of ounces, almost enough to offset the laser.

Along with the A2 rear sight and the 20 inch barrel, it allows you the ability to do good work out to almost half a mile, provided you actually practice occasionally at those distances.

Fred said...

I went with an A2 for my first build, since that's what I carried in Afghanistan.

Took it out to one of the local clubs for their "deer rifle sight in day," had all the old timers looking at me like some young punk, and then made them all think again when I put five rounds into the bull at 100 yards after adjusting for heavier bullets. (I don't hunt, me and a buddy were there simply to check out the range.)

Anyway, I tossed up a couple pictures on my blog if you need some inspiration.

Don Meaker said...

I grew up with an M-16A1, and have always been partial to it. I was happy to swap the M-14 for it, and found it more accurate and more reliable.

Geodkyt said...

If it 'twere me, I would go for a dedicated pistol caliber M4gery, a stock M16A2 config, or a National Match M16A2 config (complete with the approved free float tube that looks like standard handguards).

Anonymous said...

Go for the .458 SOCOM - but, uppers are back ordered 9 mo from Rock River

Jason said...

Go with an A2 style. I already one mid-length carbine, so I decided to go with a 20" with a fixed stock for my second.

The 20" will also be getting wooden stock, grip and handguards once I get the funds allocated to that project, too.

wv: anglowin - What happened in the Mexican War.

David said...

Have you considered an 18" Mk.12 clone? That is what my next AR will be...

Anonymous said...

How about a heavy barrel varmint pistol? :P

The Raving Prophet said...

Every time I think about building up a 9mm carbine, I stop and ask myself "If I'm going to have something rifle sized, why not make it shoot a rifle round?"

A 20" KISS rifle always has something nice about it, but much just depends on what you'd like to build. I have 3 ARs (16" M4gery, 18" SPR, 20" A3 KISS), and I still have a Rock River LPK downstairs that's tempting me to pick up a stripped lower and build it up.

Kristopher said...

Put a .50 BMG upper on it.

Alarm the neighbors.

Anonymous said...

The 20" M16A2 with a heavy fast twist bbl.,NM sights and a two stage trigger version would be a good rifle to have.

Anonymous said...

Don I was fortunate enough to carry a specially tuned M14 with a glass bedded camo stock and stainless bbl topped off by a Redfield Leatherwood ART-1 scope while in the 1/187INF at Ft.Cambell

State of the art sniping rig during the Vietnam war the old XM-21 would still shoot moa with no change in zero even after removing the scope every time the rifle was put in the arms room.That was in 89 and in Dec. of that year we turned all M21's into DPDO and were issued the M24.I really missed that rifle.

Turk Turon said...

How about a CMP-compliant target rifle? I bought one during the "ban", and, ya know what? I actually like it. After the ban expired I bought a "normal" upper, but I still shoot the CMP version now and then.

Steve said...

How about an M4 and also a 9mm upper?

LM said...

I'd go for a .40 S&W upper, SBR if legal in your area. Main reason is ammo availability, .40 is more plentiful and cheaper than 9mm locally right now, and it is only growing in popularity

benEzra said...

Hmmm. I'd lean toward a .22LR or 9mm upper, I think. Although you could be really different and go with the 5.7x28mm upper that takes FN PS90 magazines, and then have to stock up on a whole new caliber...

Pathfinder said...

Go for the M4gery - remember, two is one, one is none.

Then get an alternate caliber (.22, 9mm, whatever) upper to have some fun with until the lower is needed elsewhere.

Will said...

Now that there is someone making good 7.62x39 mags for the AR, why not one of that caliber? Ammo is cheaper than 6.5 or 6.8, IIRC.

D.W. Drang said...

Don't listen to us, build what you want, you will anyway...
(Buy two or three ,more lowers and then...)

At the fun show today I saw a set of pink AR furniture and told Mrs. Drang "Look! Now I can build you that AR15!" And she said "Not pink, silly, purple."

Sigh. Where am I gonna find purple Ar15 furniture?

B_L said...

A4gery! All the 20" goodness of an A2 with the bonus of easy optical switcheroos if/when you feel like it.

Or you could go retro...

Triangular handguards and pencil-barrels make you feel like Chuck Norris.

jetfxr69 said...

DWD, Cav Arms used to make/sell purple. A quick google search on "purple ar 15 furniture" brings up several discussions. Most are people like you, LOOKING. But, there is a link to CCA (hey! another circular Tam link!) that's got them "blowing them out" back in 2008. Might be worth a call to see if they still have one set of purple available.

theirritablearchitect said...

One can never have too many M4geries.

Fiftycal said...

Why not a 458 SOCOM pistol? With a 12 in barrel, 500 gr subsonic bullet and a suppressor, you could sneak up on feral hogs or zombies easily.

Anonymous said...

Pay the tax stamp and build an SBR.
Double dog dare ya!

Then I can read what you did and build mine.

Gerry

Geodkyt said...

Drang:

Krylon Fusion paint.

Works on plastic.

Geodkyt said...

LInk to an example (on a Crosman):

http://excelsatnothing.blogspot.com/2010/01/how-to-pimp-your-pellet-gun.html

Word Verification: rexhg

King Mercury? But I thought Freddy was dead. . .

Tam said...

That would've been "reginahg".

Dr. StrangeGun said...

Doc Strangegun thinks a 20" A1 style in 9mm would be pretty darned cool...

20" 9x23 would be even cooler, but a 20" 9x19mm barrel would be enough of a headache to source all by itself.

Kristopher said...

I suggested a few years ago 7.62x45 ... but you'd need to enlarge the upper's ejection port to handle that awesome Czech cartridge.

Cartridge commonality with completely off the wall coldwar designs is important.

Dr. StrangeGun said...

Doc has another odd idea... for a new style of shotgun shell specifically for magazine fed platforms... make it 1 AR mag width, rebate the rim, and come up with a tapered convex crimp that would approximate somewhat a bullet nose to aid in feeding...