Tag Archives: AR-15

Sig’s Arm Brace

SIGar15Pistol
I was hanging out at a certain gun store the last couple days, and they have a .223 caliber pistol in stock.  I had to examine this thing closely.  I’ve avoided liking these because I fee the ATF will reverse it’s decision on these things and they well be deemed to be SBR’s at the flick of a Bic pen and then the ATF will ask for all the records of all those that bought these things.   I felt like they were a potential trap.

I made the mistake of handling the bloody thing again and thinking “why not?”  It might legally be a pistol, but it’s a little rifle in all reality.  The fact that you can take this “pistol” and shoulder it and fire it as easily as any SBR, but without dealing with all the SBR red tape is very attractive to me.   Now I’m wanting one.     DANG IT.

 

Charles Daly D-M4EL Carbine.

Charles Daly D-M4EL Carbine.

(For the photos and videos related to this article, check them out as originally published on Old Mad Ogre, HERE)

I have a friend named Bax. He’s a former Jarhead, opinionated, somewhat self-aggrandizing, but smart. He keeps me honest. Around me, it just seems the subject of AR-15 rifles just swirl like radioactive fallout in a breeze. This dust is of my own making, as I nuked the AR-15 platform in one of my articles. While it is true that I do hate the AR-15 for many reasons, I also love it for many others. There are strong points in its favor and I have some AR-15′s for those reasons.

In the middle of yet another AR-15 discussion on WeTheArmed.com, the subject of Charles Daly came up. I dismissed Charles Daly off hand because of previous experiences with CD products that left me disappointed. I generally operate on the Fool Me Once principle, so I had no interest in exploring another CD product.

Bax however, was insistent and somehow got Charles Daly involved. Mr. Kassnar himself, President of Charles Daly stepped up and offered a CD rifle for defense. To clarify, Charles Daly’s Defense division, CDD has the AR line, and it was a CDD rifle that was send to me. A straight forward M-4 clone, no frills. On the CDD web page, it’s the second one from the top.

The Specs. Item No.: CCDM4E16. 5.56mm Nato, 16” Barrel, 1×7 ROT, MSRP $1309.00USD. Flat top, with removable carry handle. Fixed front sight. 6 position collapsible stock. Chrome lined 4150 barrel, M-4 feed ramps, M-4 fore end.

When the rifle came, I was expecting it to be at the Bushmaster/Armalite level, meaning typically Milspec and rough. But I was pleased to see that it was much better than that. I am a critic by nature, and if there is something to criticize, I am inclined to do that. I was batter up at the plate ready to swing and knock this rifle over Bax’s head. I felt deflated. It looked good. It felt good. It didn’t have any “cheap gun” rattles. It didn’t have a grind in the action like cheaper AR rifles do.

In fact, it looked just like a Rock River. I had a Rock River on hand in the exact same set up, so I compared them side to side. It was like I was looking at twins.  However the Charles Daly had an advantage.  The gas key on the bolt carrier is staked securely while the Rock River was not.  This is an important detail for a heavy duty use gun.  Other than that, they were virtually identical. 

Well, not quite.  The CD gun was better looking. The exterior finish was cleaner, blacker, and smoother. It honestly looked better. Felt better to.

I had to shoot it. We had got in some new optical gunsights. One is called the ISM-V from Insight Technologies. It had to be tested out too, so this looked like a good match up. I mounted the optic, gave it a quick bore sight and hit the range.

Because most of the interest in this gun was from online sources, I wanted to break away from normal article tradition, and take some video to post on YouTube.

The first time out with the CDD, I noticed the only real complaint that I could find. The trigger was typical MilSpec. This means it was a touch heavy in the second stage with a little creep and a little grit. Not bad, just completely average. No better and no worse than any other trigger for this type of rifle at this price range. We didn’t have much time, but Marcus, a co-worker and I blasted through a couple mag fulls. The gun shot quite well and was easy to hit with… typical of the AR type. Nothing out of the ordinary and we experienced no jams. And this was just right out of the box. Box to Range. No cleaning or lube.

ROUND COUNT: 150.

To do this right and to give this gun a fair shake, I had to give it a cleaning and while doing so, examine the internal parts. The internals looked as good as the externals. No shortcuts, no hidden problems or skeletons. Just good quality parts that were built right.

I cleaned the weapon using a new CLP product branded by Smith & Wesson, made sure every part was properly lubed, and reassembled it. This was the only cleaning I did on the gun until the completion of the evaluation. However I did lube it along the way, using Tetra Gun Oil on the bolt and bolt carrier. That was it.

ROUND COUNT: 560

Not wanting to review the optic and focus just on the gun, all subsequent shooting was done with the gun’s carry handle attached and just used the iron sights. However it must be said that this ISM-V is a great choice for a combat red dot type sight. It co-witnessed with the front sight perfectly and allowed you to use the optic as a ghost ring sight for fast close range shooting.

Extending the shooting range further and you can use the optic as advertised. The accuracy was exceptional. Very consistent. As was the ejection. Unlike most AR-s, the CDD spit out all the brass in about a 4 foot area. Better than the typical 8 foot area of most AR builds.

ROUND COUNT: 880… no video.

One of the things I am interested in when it comes to weapon, is can they actually be applied to work.  I have to tell you… yes.  Since I don’t have a supply of Iraqi Insurgents to deal with, I have to find an alternative.  We do have coyotes out here and I was able to test the CDD rifle on a couple of them.  From the back of the truck into firing position, the CDD performed well.  From spotting 3 coyotes, I was able to put 2 of them down cleanly and quickly.

I did have one failure with the rifle, and I’m going to take that on the chin and admit it was Operator Error. I didn’t have the magazine seated properly, so when the weapon fired the first round, the magazine fell so it couldn’t feed the next one. That was my fault, and not the weapon’s. That being said, the functioning of the gun has been flawless. Again, this is something I was not expecting and was even hoping it would be otherwise.

When I benched the rifle, it was a very cold day. Not quite warm enough to keep me from shivering slightly. But it was still accurate enough to shoot under an inch. Open sights on a frosty, foggy day when I couldn’t even see the target clearly through the fog – I’ll take that accuracy happily. I bet on a warm clear day, that group could have been shrunk by half.

ROUND COUNT:  1000

I’m giving this rifle a 9 out of 10. It loses points for the trigger, but everything else was solid.

Next time, Bax.  You are buying the ammo.

For article discussion relating to this rifle, see the thread on WTA.

Thank you to Mr. Kassnar of Charles Daly. 

My Rifle.

This is my person AR-15.  I’m not done tweaking it yet.  I’m going to shoot some Olive Drab Green on it, a little brown on it, and some MagPull Flat Dark Earth… But I’m in no hurry to do so.  I’ll select color and pattern after I move to NC.  Get the local colors there.  Going all FDE isn’t going to do me a bit of good out there.  And I’m not going to do it in anything fancy like Ceramic empregnated polymer or epoxy based resins or teflon infused bone.  None of that.  Krylon.  Spray on, rattle can, Krylon.  Why?  To remind me… that this rifle is a Tool and not a Precious Keepsake.  The wear on the Krylon will be viewed as Training Badges.  Scars gained in activities that develop and teach skills.
Also, I’m going to order a drop in trigger for it – because, to be honest, the trigger is Meh.  I was going to order a popular now trigger that starts with a G and no one can pronounce the name the same way twice.  But instead, I’m going to order one from “Black Rain”.  They have a solid adjustable unit that lets you tune it.  I like that.
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Instead of taking the time to order put parts together, I just started out with an off the shelf rifle.  I selected a Daniel Defense DDM4V7 Light Weight.  Then Joe at Crusader Weaponry installed the BattleComp muzzle brake and hit the Bolt Carrier Group with a Permanent treatment of Crusader Weaponry’s SLIPSTREAM lubricant.  Makes the gun run slick and snot, and it feels like a .22LR when shooting.

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Here you can see the BCG better.  The Slipstream gives it a satin grey finish… nothing flashy or “pimped out” about it.  It’s just slick.  If you hand cycle it slowly, you can actually feel the bolt lock and unlock within the action.    On top of the rifle is the Lucid HD7 Gen 3 FDE optic.  Backing it up is a set of MagPul flip up sights… which is kinda pointless as the Lucid is bullet proof and the batteries last forever.

I’ve thought about putting an upgraded optic on it… something “Better”.  But looking at the so called better options… I’m really not seeing any Red Dots that qualify as tangibly better. I’d have to go all the way up to the Trijicon SRS… and those suckers retail for over 900 bucks, for only some sort of perceived “Betterness”.  Yeah, I’d rather spend all that extra coin on ammo.

If I do switch off this optic… it would only be for something that was magnified  Perhaps in a 1-4 variable.  But to be honest, nothing as really sold me to justify the swap.  Vortex has a PST 1-4 something or other that looks cool, but has huge unprotected turrets that can easily get spun unintentionally.    Forget that.   Yeah, I’m happy with the Lucid HD7′s.   They define “Bang for the buck” value.

The AR rush

The hottest gun selling now is of course, the AR.  We’ve sold hundreds of every kind, as many as we could get our hands on.  People have been buying them like crazy.  We are now completely sold out.  And we sold over 620 magazines… after limiting people to 3 each.  This is the craziest gun buying rush I’ve ever seen.  And the demand is not easing off.

If these sales were because of a spike in popularity… because of Christmas as everyone wants an AR because they are fun to shoot, and awesome to have… This would be great.  This would be a season to remember.  I’d be loving this.  But that’s not what’s been happening.  People are buying rifles like this because they are afraid of a possible ban and they are afraid of the Government.  That puts a sour taste in my mouth for all this.

This is not just here locally… this is Nation Wide.  I even had reporters call me at work and home.  Here’s one report.

As I said in the article, normally I’d be selling deer rifles, shotguns, and the like.  Now it’s all Concealed Carry type guns and fighting rifles.  All AR’s and AK’s are gone and all full capacity magazines.  This isn’t what normally flies this time of year.

 

Crazy Gun Sales

I’ve never seen gun-sales like today. It’s been busy since Black Friday, and really busy all week. But I’ve never seen it like today. We broke records. We completely sold out of all AR rifles. They are gone. Done.
We have more on order, but I don’t think we will ever have the AR stockpile like we had before… They are going to trickle in and be sold before they hit the shelves.
All of our 5.56mm/.223 ammo in 50 round packs or larger is all gone as well.
I still have .223 Remington in 20 round boxes… your Varmageddon, V-Max and Ballistic Silvertips, and that’s it.
I’ve never seen anything like this.

Edit:  To give you guys an idea of the volume I’m talking about… When it comes to inventory, Basin Sports is one of the biggest new gun dealers not just in the state of Utah, but in the western states.  We had one hell of an inventory of tactical rifles.  Yeah… they are all gone now.

Getting Caught Up.

When it comes to AR’s, don’t get caught up in the little things.  It’s not about what you have on or in your AR.  It’s about what you can do with it.
Imagine a simple tool belt, much like what any Handi-Man might have.  A Hammer, Screw Drivers, a Saw, a Measuring Tape and a Pencil.  It doesn’t matter what company these tools came from.  You give them to a skilled man, he can build you whatever you need.  A Shed, a Dog House… a set of cabinets. Fix a shelf.  He will get the job done.
Give that same tool belt to one with no skills, and you will be lucky to get a Bird House out of him.  He is not competent enough to take on the big projects.  The quality of the tools, the perfection of the craftsmanship is lost on him.  Even if he payed high dollars for the very best tools available.

What’s important about the Tools themselves… and we all get caught up in the tools… is that they work. You can argue Craftsman, Snap-On, or Stanley… The Contractor’s Client doesn’t care a bit about that.  His concern is only the results.

When you seek to dress out your AR, make sure you are not just dressing it up.  Putting on Bling for looks or to impress your friends is meaningless.  Instead only worry about what you really need to get the job done.  To know what you really need, you need to use some thought.  Not just looking through a catalog or browsing the shelves at your LGS.  Buy what’s going to help you use the tool.  The AR-15 is just that, the simple tool.  You can enhance it with some upgrades.  Grips that allow your hand to fit better for better control… Stocks that fit you better… Optics that allow you to line up your target faster and more precisely.

Guys, don’t ask me what you need.  Ask yourself.  Go to the range, shoot and move, take a Tactical Carbine Course and see for yourself what it is that you need for you and your gun.

Must Have Upgrades to your AR

Everyone is now getting into the AR Platform.  Either in the .308 size, which we can call the Heavy, and the AR-15′s classic .223/5.56mm size, which we will just call it an “AR”.    We’ve seen people from all walks of life coming in and buying their first AR type rifle.  They’ll come in and look at all the variety and it can be bewildering.  Really when you ask the guy at a well stocked gun counter to look at an AR, that’s like saying you want to look at a “Truck”.  It really doesn’t help the guy – or you – out at all.  Tell him what kind of an AR you want.  “Varminting”.  “Tactical”.  “Basic”.  Give the guy something to work with.   He wants to help you get what you want.  It can be frustrating and a huge waste of time if he hands you a dozen different AR’s and you say no to everything because your wasting his time letting him show you Tactical configurations when you are wanting a Varminting type rifle.  I’ve heard at another gun store the clerk getting fed up and saying “Why don’t you come back when you know what you want?”  That’s a failure from both parties if that happens.  You are the customer, you have the money, you have the control here… so try to guide that clerk and help him.  Most Gun Counters are staffed with guys that either don’t know any more than you do about guns and are just Helpful Sales Staff, or they are dedicated Gunnies that don’t have those Sales Skills.   Very few Gun Stores are staffed with Guys that know how to help a customer and know their way around Firearms.

So you get that cool AR that you want.  What do you need with it?  We can start at the front or back, where do you want to go first?  Front?  Okay…  At the Muzzle, most AR’s are coming with a standard Flash Hider.  This is a device that defuses the muzzle flash and reduces the light that is emitted when you shoot at night.  This is a good thing on a military gun.  Not all that helpful on most AR’s though.  But it looks “MilSpec”.  Many milspec looking flash hiders will help reduce muzzle climb a bit, but mostly they just make the gun louder and “Look Cool”.  There are a lot of different options out there, but I like to go with a Compensator or Muzzle Brake type device.  This is going to redirect the muzzle blast in such a way as to pull the rifle forward for the net result that you feel less recoil.  This is going help you keep your sights on target.   On a tactical gun, where you are buzzing off multiple shots, it helps you keep all those rounds in the kill zone.  On a Varminter, it lets you keep your target in your scope so you can see your hit, even at long range or if your scope is at high magnification.   Either style gun you go with, this is a good thing.

For this, I suggest a BATTLECOMP unit.  They are compact, light, simple, and is designed by a NASA Engineer.  You know those guys… they used Rocket Powered Sky Cranes to lower a Robot down to the surface of Mars.  What more pedigree do you need when it comes to expertise in Vectored Thrust?

Moving back into the action, the heart of the rifle is BCG.  The Bolt Carrier Group.  Really it isn’t so much who’s BCG you use, but how you treat it.  The very best thing you can use for your BCG, is SLIPSTREAM.  Here is a very long thread about Slipstream with lots of people’s impressions after using it.  You can order it from Amazon.com, and if you throw in a couple UPRISING books, then you’ll even get that Free Shipping.  There you go.  What makes Slipstream an Essential addition to the gun is that it makes that BCG so slick, that it increases reliability in all conditions.  Especially in extreme conditions such as with heat and dirt.   You can use it just like a regular oil, and use it generously.  The more you use it, eventually the less you’ll need as the nano particles will embed and become permanent.

Under the BCG is the trigger mechanism, again, Slipstream, but under that is the pistol grip.  Most AR’s are coming with the standard A2 Pistol Grip.  This grip is one of the very worst ever conceived by man. Or in this case, conceived by a very effeminate she-man with tiny girly hands that drinks while holding a pinky up.  This grip should not be on any AR of any type, no matter what.  Ever.  The grip is a more personal thing here.  I can’t tell you specifically which one to get.  But get one.   Magpul has two out, the MOE and the MIAD.  And now there is a rubber coated MOE version as well, so I guess three.  Get the MIAD if you are going to bother.  You can set it up to fit you best.  There is also the ERGO grip, which I like.  And the Hogue grip, which is also a very good grip.  Other companies out there are making grips, and there are some good ones.  Tapco, Mako, US Palm, Tango Down, etc… pic one and get rid of that crappy A2 grip.

Up on top of the gun, you need sights.  Depending on your configuration, you may need a set of Iron Sights for the front and rear.  If that’s the case, the set to get is from Diamondhead.  If you are going to run just irons on a gun that doesn’t come with them, these really are the only option.  But a set of Diamondheads even as a back up is absolutely the way to go.  Don’t think that if you are going to use Irons as a backup to your Optic, that you can cheap out on them.  If you are in a situation where you really need your Back Up Sights – you probably are going to want some accuracy with them as this is probably a very critical situation.  Don’t cheap out here and get the cheap Magpul flip ups… Popular and Good are too different things.  Don’t make me mention Lady Gaga.  Yes, I just said that the Magpul flip up sights are the Lady Gaga of rifle sights.  We don’t like plastic sights on our Glocks, why would we actually want them on our Rifles?  MapPuls are good because they are cheap and light, and that’s it.  They are place holders until you get your Diamondheads.   The Diamonheads are excellent because they actually let you be more precise with your Sight Alignment.  This means better accuracy.  Tighter groups.  And I think they even help you get that sight picture a little faster than standard Peep Sights.

Red Dot or Magnified Optic?  For a simple low cost Red Dot, there is only one option worth spending your money on.  Lucid HD7.  You can pick them up for 200 bucks, and it’s money very well spent.  If you can’t afford the Lucid, don’t buy something cheaper to hold you over… just save your money and run Iron Sights for awhile.  That will get you your Lucid quicker.  If you want something higher end, there are the optics from EOTech and Aimpoint.  Which ever one you like the best is fine.  The Military uses both for a reason.  Tough and Reliable.  Going up from that, there is Trijicon.  They have the SRS which I am quite fond of.  Up from this, we can look at the magnified optics, and again, Trijicon is the Cat’s Meow.  Higher end than that, and you have Elcan, which we at Crusader Weaponry put on our Broadsword rifle for Demo purposes.
Then there are the 1-4 variables.  Burris makes a few good ones.  They make some half decent fixed 3 or 5 power units, but I really like their 1-4′s… but the one to get is Trijicon if you can splurge for it. Really, which optic to pick really comes down to what kind of shooting your are doing, your eyes, and your style.  This is a more personal option here.

The stock.  There is nothing wrong with the standard A2 or M4 style stocks.  But the Magpul MOE and CTR stocks are becoming very common now days.  And adjustable stock can be a good thing, but too many guys are stroking their buffer tubes like a 14 year old boy with a playboy.  Don’t do that.  Set it to a length that fits you and leave it the hell alone until you have a reason to adjust it.  It’s not a toy.  It’s a freaking Rifle Stock.  If you are spending time playing with your stock, you are wasting time that could be better spent, I don’t know… reloading magazines or sharpening your Becker BK9 Combat Bowie knife.
Some stocks have storage compartments.  These should only be for 1 thing.  Batteries for your Optic.  Don’t keep anything else in there.  Everything else can be kept in your pack or vest or LBE, glove box, wherever.  But not on your gun.  I’m not even sure I like storage at all on my AR’s anymore.
My choice for a stock?  Just a basic Magpul MOE stock is good.  It looks sharp, it’s light, and it’s simple.

What do you guys think are Essentials for an AR.

Rethinking the AR-15 for Home Defense.

I’ve totally sidelined all my “Combat Rifles” for Home Defense use.  Specifically the 5.56mm guns.  See, the AR-15 does great for Home Defense in many aspects.  They are easy to use, have precision accuracy, and have a great capacity.  They should be perfect for Home Defense, right?
Not really.
The AR-15 has one dramatic problem.  They are hella loud.  The High pressure, Supersonic Crack, of the AR-15′s Report is severely damaging to human ears.  Even Ogre ears.
Last time I took one of my boys out shooting, I provided him with Ear Pro and Eye Pro.  We were having fun shooting, and he’s a good Shooter.  Well he loaded up an AR-15 and forgot to put his Ear Pro back in after taking them out for some unknown reason.  (No, that’s his reason… “I don’t know”.) I wasn’t looking as I was loading a magazine and normally he is a cautious shooter and does it right.  Well, he cracked off a shot.  Now, we were outside, well away from structures that would reflect sound waves.  But the rifle was still so loud that it hurt his ears pretty badly.  2 Weeks later, he still had signs that his hearing took some damage.  Unfortunately with Hearing, there is nothing you can do.  What’s done is done.

Imagine how this could have gone down if we were in an Indoor shooting range.  He could have been made deaf from the AR’s blast.

Imagine in an emergency situation in the home… Bad Guy makes a threat.  You suddenly grab your AR and let him have it.  5, 6, 12 rounds into the Goblin.  Inside your house.  Now you and your wife and all your kids are all completely deaf thanks to the AR-15 and thanks to the Pain In The Ass and Expensive Restrictions on Suppressors.  Sure, the Goblin is no longer a threat… but now all of you are going to suffer from this the rest of your lives.
Sure, a Home Defense Shotgun is Loud – but it’s not that sharp, eardrum shattering crack of a 5.56mm Carbine.  Hell, even my .45-70 Thumper isn’t that loud.  Even pistol caliber carbines are a great option compared to the AR-15.
Another bad choice for HD duty is the .357 Magnum.  An ungodly loud handgun that is unpleasant to fire with earpro in an indoor range… Devastating to your hearing when fired indoors unprotected.

The best weapon ever invented for Home Defense remains the Tactical Shotgun.  Probably the most effective and least damaging to one’s hearing for weapons running Un-Suppressed.   And you can get a good shotgun for a few hundred bucks.  Or you could use that Thousand Dollar AR, with that 800 Dollar Can and that 200 Dollar Tax Stamp… Couple Hundred bucks vs A Couple Grand.  You chose.  But ask yourself this… Is that 2 Grand worth of rifle going to do a better job of home defense than the Shotgun?

 

AR-15, Ergo Grip

On my Facebook page, I have a picture of me hold my AR-15 rifle.  Here it is:

The most common question that I’ve been getting isn’t about the gun, the sights, the sling or stock… or the “Man, looks like you lost some weight!”  No, the question has been hitting me up the most is about the pistol grip.    Yes, it’s a simple hardened rubber grip from Ergo Grip.   Nothing fancy.  No storage in the hollow cavity.  Just a simple grip.

“But why?”

Because I like it.  I don’t need my pistol grip to be a Modular System.  I don’t need it to do anything.  I just want a good feeling pistol grip to hold on to when I’m shooting my rifle.  Because that’s what it’s for. No, it’s not MagPul and I know MP now has a new Rubber Coated MOE grip… and its fine.  I just like the Ergo better.  And it’s 10 bucks less.

This also comes as a change of ideology with me.  I used to be a big fan of “On Gun Storage” for things like spare batteries and maybe a small bottle of gun oil.  (Not that I need it since I use Slipstream) or maybe even a spare firing pin or whatever.  I’m not anymore.  Most guys like me, Gear Whores, will wear more than enough pouches and bags and even pouches for bags… that we can carry more than enough stuff so we don’t have to put it in our gun so we don’t lose it.  I’m at the point now where I don’t want anything on my gun that I don’t absolutely have to have.  If the batteries are not connected to anything vital, I don’t want them in my gun.  That goes for other spare parts.  I can keep that stuff in a pouch and leave my gun lighter and easier to use.  Especially if I’m rocking a Single Point Sling.  I don’t need the extra weight cutting into my neck.

Back to the grip.  The main reason I’m not using a standard A1 style pistol grip is that they are too small for my hands.  When I grab the grip, my finger goes all the way around the trigger and I can touch the receiver.  I need more space at the backstrap to put my finger tip on the trigger where I want it.  The Ergo grip does just that and feels good in the hand.  I can shoot more comfortably with it in different positions, because it feels like I have better control of the weapon.  This is what it’s all about.