Tag Archives: AR-15

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.

 

I like my AR again.

My AR has been bugging the hell out of me.  The thing was heavy as hell.  No, seriously, we’re talking at AR-15 Carbine that weighed more than a Springfield M1A National Match or a SOCOM II.  It just weighed a friggen ton.

Here’s what it looks like now.

Much better.

The parts I took off were really not all that heavy to be honest.  The Surefire Rails, Weapon Light Mount and Light, the Rail Covers, Tango Down VFG, and the VLTOR Stock.  It’s just that the MOE stuff with a Pistol type Weapon Light are much lighter.  The problem though really stems from the fact that my AR has Rhinemetal 120mm barrel on it off an M1 Abrams.  Or so it feels like that.  Even stripped, it was still a touch heavier than an M1A Standard Synthetic.   My Take Offs on a normal gun would be just fine.  But that’s not the AR I have.  Mine is a freaking Tank.

Anyone want the goodies I took off the gun?

Not shown is the VLTOR stock.

The Surefire Rails are “Mid-Length”, not Carbine or Rifle.  Who wants to make an offer on the parts?  I take Cash in Person or PayPal and I’ll ship it to you.  I’d like to start the bidding at a hundred bucks.

You need a good AR.

Crusader Weaponry can build you the best AR you’ll ever own – for not much more than the cost of a production AR with the features you want.

Go to CrusaderWeaponry.com.  Hit the Contact Page.  Send Joe a message and tell him you want the best damn rifle ever made… Pick your Caliber.  Pick your Configuration – you tell us how you want your AR.  Pick your Finish.  And Joe will give you the quote.  It’s easy.  To make it easier, we have an Installment Plan.  Tell Joe you want to set up your Crusader Account.  You pay what you can when you can… We’ll help you get the gun you want.  Even if it takes you a year to pay for it – We’ll work with you.

We also do custom Glocks and Shotguns.  This OD Green 870 is Available.  749.99 gets it shipped to your Dealer or if you are in Utah, you can pick it up.   This is one seriously badass Shotgun.  A local fellow got one of these guns, in Coyote Tan.  He brought it out to the Range.  Firing it – holy crap – it’s so smooth and can cycle so fast it was like I was running a Semi.  Amazing.

Time to get Serious.  Time to get a Crusader.

If you already have an AR that isn’t a Crusader.  You can still get SLIPSTREAM.  You will be amazed at the difference.   At the last Crusader Tactical Carbine course, some guns were running Slipstream and some were not.  The Slipstreamed guns had no problems.  The others… Hell, even an AK jammed out here in our dusty dirty gritty hot as hell training location.  Slipstream made all the difference.

An all Titanium AR.


I was asked if Crusader could do this. WHY? Crusader builds serious use guns. Titanium would be as much as an advantage in a fighting gun as Spinners would be on the Hubs of Police Cars. Besides, Titanium has some problems. Galling and Cold Welding being among them. The rifle according the Nemo’s site is almost 9 pounds. So instead of getting one of these, how about an armory full of Broadswords?
From the video, the guy says it is “Wildly impractical for the End User.”
Hey, if they want to known for making expensive useless crap… They just unlocked that achievement. Using Titanium just to say “It’s Titanium” is rather asinine. Titanium isn’t Magic. But that’s fine for them. Crusader will remain known for making seriously excellent guns and lubricants.

Bi-polar guns

Guys, don’t let your guns get bi-polar… Your AR doesn’t need everything out of the MAKO and Blackhawk catalogues to be cool or effective.
Here is a rule of thumb for you.  If you have a VFG or an AFG on your rifle, you don’t need a bi-pod.  The reverse is also true.  If you put a 4-16 Nikon Monarch on your gun, you don’t need to try to put flip up iron sights on it. 
AR builds tend to fall into three classes.  Short, Intermediate, and Long Range/Precision.
I’ll post more about these three build types tonight or tomorrow…

Is the Glock “America’s Gun”?

NPR has an interesting story. “How the Glock became America’s Weapon of Choice.”  Granted, it’s my Choice, but is it America’s Gun?  As far has handguns go, it is very popular with Law Enforcement on the Municipal level.  But on the Fed level, it’s the SIG.  In civilian sales, we have the XD and the Beretta 92FS, which has had a large resurgence in sales.  Huh, and there isn’t even a new Lethal Weapon movie out.  But if I had to pick one gun as “America’s Handgun” it would have to be the 1911.  Because that’s what most guys that come to the gun counter look at the most.  Even if they come in to buy something else, their eyes and their hearts linger on the 1911.   As does my own.  I love the 1911, but I don’t I am packing it as a carry gun less and less all the time.  I’ve only carried one three times that I remember this year… Of course this year is only 24 days in, but the entire rest of the time it’s been my Glock. There is something about the 1911.  It’s organic, beautiful, powerful,timeless and elegant… things the Glock is not.  But the spirit of the genius that went into the 1911… is found in the Glock.  The simplicity is actually stunningly brilliant.  Using a Striker system with the safety built into a transparent system for the user, it’s the easiest handgun to learn.  Or was, when it came out.  The Glock has been copied by so many other maker’s now, it’s silly.  Just like the 1911.
However the question NPR asked, was is the Glock America’s Weapon of Choice.
The answer is no.  Not even close.
The weapon of choice is AR-15.  The rifle that outsells ever other type.  The rifle that people who had never owned a gun before, snapped up after Obama became president.  The rifle used by our Military, Law Enforcement, and Sport shooters more and more every day.  Because while Handguns are popular, America is a Nation of Riflemen.
This is demonstrated in Ammunition Sales.  Just restocking ammo, we are constantly restocking .223/5.56mm.  More than any other caliber.  More than 9mm, .45, or the others.
The AR-15 is accurate, low recoil, cheap to shoot, and potent enough to be useful on anything up to deer sized creatures. (Even if that’s ethically  questionable)

You know, I really do like my Glock.  I like it the more I carry it and shoot it.  I’ve seen the M&P making serious inroads on the Glock… and the new Gen 4 Glock series has left me feeling luke warm on it… I certainly prefer the Gen 3.  But that’s just me.