Sunday, September 12, 2010

Hardware geek stuff...

I know I forgot to talk about hardware geek stuff from the Carbine & Pistol class last week...

Handguns: I didn't pay much attention. There was a guy shooting an FNP-9 and one USP that I saw. Maybe a third of the class had 1911s of one type or another and the balance was Glocks with an XD or three. The only really noticeable problem I saw came from a 1st-Gen G22 with vintage "non-drop-free" mags that were causing feeding issues. That and my Para's balkiness with the 115gr Cor-Bon.

Magazines are wear items. If you are actually shooting the gun (and I assume that people who take the time to go to gun school are putting rounds downrange when they're not at school,) don't get married to your well-used 20-year-old mags; when they get worn enough to cause issues, toss 'em.


Carbines: The FNP-9 shooter was running a SCAR and there were two guys shooting 7.62x39 AKs; the rest of the class was shooting ARs of one type or another. One was an Armalite carbine in .308, and the rest were all 5.56 guns. Setups varied from iron-sighted 20" A2 patrol carbines to a shorty borrowed from a local SWAT cop when a shooter's optics went toes up and his irons wouldn't zero.

Carbine gear failures, oddly enough, occurred at both ends of the financial spectrum: There was the guy with the half-fast Y-comp installation who launched his brake into the berm on day one. Shortly after that, his budget Chicom red dot went to join its ancestors in electronic heaven, and he finished the course running his irons. The guy who had to use the borrowed gun had to do so because his EOTech ceased operations late on TD1, and his backup irons, which were decent, name-brand units (Midwest Industries) would not zero on his carbine. I never did hear what the exact problem was, but all the travel in the sights would barely get the thing on paper, so something was messed up. I guess it's better to find that out at class than on the street, but wouldn't it be even better to find it out when you zero your weapon before class?

To be continued...

21 comments:

Carteach0 said...

Electronics, no matter how useful, will fail. Even if only a battery going TU at the wrong moment, they WILL fail.

As much as I enjoy the Eotech on my AR180b, I am comforted by knowing the Armalite mounting system built into the rifle allows my to give that optic a healthy slap in exactly the right way, and knock it clean off the rifle in a few seconds.

My irons are built in, and line up just fine.

Tam said...

"...the Armalite mounting system built into the rifle allows my to give that optic a healthy slap in exactly the right way, and knock it clean off the rifle in a few seconds."

Just so long as it isn't the ground giving it that healthy slap in the right way.

Carteach0 said...

Yup, that is clearly a trade off. I *could* knock it off by accident, although it would leave me still equipped with already sighted in irons. On the third hand, any impact that might take off the Eotech by accident might also kill an optical sight, in which case I would want it off anyway. If it was a bolt on, or used threaded knobs, pulling it off would be anything but fast.

I've practiced a few times, whacking it off and moving to iron sights. It always come back to zero on remounting. Nice set up.

Jonh said...

Could the guy whose MI sights were off have had the wrong mounting? MI shows one model for mounting on a handguard rail, and a taller one for mounting on the gas block. If the problem was elevation (I assume this is part of the "more later" you mention) then this might be it?

The Raving Prophet said...

I can't imagine spending the money and taking the time for a training class (they're expensive, wish I could justify it; maybe in the future), and going to the course without a weapon that has fully dialed in sights. Even though I'd be likely to take an Aimpoint-equipped carbine, I'd make darn sure the irons are zeroed as well.

If you're spending the time and money, come equipped to learn- that goes for more than just college courses.

Tam said...

Carteach0,

"If it was a bolt on, or used threaded knobs, pulling it off would be anything but fast."

That's why throw-lever mounts were invented. :)

Anonymous said...

"cough, cough, LaRue"...

Some of my new to ARs friends have had issues with cheap parts guns having the low (non F marked) front sights mounted on carbine length uppers. Symptom is that you run out of elevation before you get the POI/POA to coincide..

Al T.

Eric said...

Sounds like the guy with the FNP and the SCAR has major FN connections...

Wolfwood said...

...although it sounds like his gear worked pretty FN well

Anonymous said...

There's enough various front and rear sight heights that I can forgive someone for getting it wrong.

Not sighting it in before taking it to a carbine class, now that is not forgiveable.

I've got my AK set up with a Kobra on a throw lever, but my backup sights (stock front sight, Magpul rear MBUS mounted on stock trunnion) are ready to go.

Anonymous said...

"Sounds like the guy with the FNP and the SCAR has major FN connections..."

A pilot from the northside burbs of Indianapolis?

Hmmm, maybe he flew to South Cackalacky and picked them up?

So, you going to tell about the freaky thing that happened to my Colt 6920?

Shootin' Buddy

Anonymous said...

"about the freaky thing that happened"

Dude, it's you. You have superpowers unknown to mortal men to mysteriously make anvils fail and sledgehammers disintegrate on impact.

Al T.

Anonymous said...

So have gone Aimpoint.

Standard Mischief said...

>...don't get married to your well-used 20-year-old mags; when they get worn enough to cause issues, toss 'em.

or you know, engrave "for stoppage drills" on them and keep them for practice and spare parts.

Speaking of which, why don't magazine makers stamp serial numbers; starting with 000 and go only as high as 999 before looping around again? It would be unlikely that you would ever get two that matched, and if you did, you would only have to mark one of them different.

Bubblehead Les. said...

I heard that some hunting camps up Alaska Way will not allow you into the Bush if you don't re-zero your weapon before you leave camp. Something about the Guides not wanting to get chomped on by a Grizzly if you miss your shot. And with the condition of the roads and what passes for Airline Baggage Handling nowadays, plus the price of ammo, I'm a little surprised that time wasn't made at the class you took to get a "function check/sighting in" on the morning of the first day. Or did I miss something?

Tam said...

"I'm a little surprised that time wasn't made at the class you took to get a "function check/sighting in" on the morning of the first day."

Day one started with pistols until lunch, and then the first thing we did after lunch was confirm zeroes on carbines.

Anonymous said...

Bubblehead, Africa too. One, airline baggage handling can damage stuff and, two, when you make a radical shift in climate, zero can shift. It also lets the guide get a look at your skills before heading off into the bush.

Anonymous said...

Taking an extra rifle isn't a bad idea either.

I had my full-size, iron-sighted AR go down, before firing a shot, at a three gun match some years ago.

I had to borrow an AR carbine with a red dot. Luckily my ammo shot to just about the same point of aim as the stuff the borrowed gun was sighted-in for.

I remember thinking about taking a second rifle along and saying,
"More stuff to haul," and "I won't need it."
Murphy heard that.

perlhaqr said...

Sounds like roughly the distribution of handguns we had at the class I took, too. ~16 people, maybe a third of them with 1911s of some flavor (plus the instructor, Randy Cain), one guy with some oddball semiauto that caused him endless grief, one guy with an XD, and the rest (including myself) with Glocks.

I was situated in a group of .45 ACP shooters and one .40 S&W feller on my end of the line. I got pretty good at distinguishing my 10mm brass from the .40 stuff at 6 feet away by the end of class.

FWIW, I was running Precision Delta brand reloads through my G20, and except for when we were doing malf practice and intentionally set things up to break, I didn't have a single issue over the course of ~600 rounds fired. I would definitely recommend their ammo.

Firehand said...

I took Tam's advice a while back and got a silver and a black marker for numbering damn near every magazine I own; it do make keeping track of things easier.

And yeah, magazines to wear out/get damaged/etc., but the cost of good 1911 mags... hurts to have to toss one.

George said...

Firehand ... probably we've all had that question to answer. I had one speedloader for my M66 that I could never seem to work right. My standard was one slap of the loader into the cylinder. It looked the same as the others ... didn't do much accurate measuring, I admit ... but it just didn't seem to work.

So ... even given the rarity (and cost) up here, it was tossed.

Regards.