Remington’s Done

Put a fork in ’em:

Najavo Nation intends to stop the production of AR-15s but instead focus on the manufacture of hunting rifles. The new owners will also concentrate on defense contracts and equipment supply for law enforcement and the military. The company will also start the development and manufacture of smart guns.

I seriously doubt they’ll be able to produce enough 700’s and 870 expresses to keep them afloat. If they think they can stop making the most popular style of rifle in America and waste their R&D on “smart guns” that will never sell (especially not to the law enforcement or defense communities), while simultaneously overcoming the financial difficulties that have led Remington to dire straights twice already, they’re going to be very disappointed. It never ceases to amaze me how many people seem to think that gun manufacturers can just stop making the guns that people want to buy and somehow still stay viable.

The only thing the Navajo nation brings to the table is that they’ll be immune from nuisance lawsuits (that gunmakers are already supposed to be immune from, but judges keep pretending that law doesn’t mean what it means). Oh…and I’d bet the factory in NY will be gone, so there’s that.

But their kinder, gentler approach to gun manufacture is inevitably going to run Remington even further into the ground. I wonder how many times a company has to declare bankruptcy before investors decide it just isn’t salvageable any more?

Comment on Bearing Arms

I haven’t been blogging much for a long time, but I’m still active on the internet and tend to leave comments on sites where that is allowed. In fact, I rarely even bother to read sites where comments are not allowed, I enjoy speaking with someone, not being spoken at by someone.

At any rate, one of the sites I read regularly is Bearing Arms. An online gun magazine. Most of the time their articles are well written and I agree with them, occasionally, however, they tend to go a little overboard. I generally leave comments both when I find something particularly well written, or when I disagree with them.

The latter occurred a week or so ago when they wrote an article comparing two gun cases and drawing a conclusion from them. This irks me as it is a common tactic of the left: compare two different cases without considering all the involved factors and declaring that the difference in outcome is due solely to the social justice cause of the day rather than the underlying factors.

The interesting thing is that they even decried this practice themselves:

Now, it’s always difficult to look at two cases and see all the nuances between the two. What may look like a racial disparity may have more to do with other factors that don’t show up in brief news reports.

And then proceeded to ignore what they’d just said:

That means it’s up to us to call out situations like this, to raise the question of whether police view armed minorities differently than armed white folks, and if they do then oppose it as vehemently as possible.

I left a comment calling them out for this. 7 days later and my comment is still “pending”. Apparently they don’t like me pointing out the issues with their assumptions. For posterity sake, I’m going to re-post my comment here:

You say it’s up to us to call out situations like this, yet didn’t do even the barest research to find out if the differences in treatment may have been warranted.

I’d call that irresponsible. Your implication is that there was bias involved in the disparity of treatment when it is more plausibly explained by differences in circumstances that you could have found with a 10 second internet search.

1. The police had a “credible tip” that Trevan Young was armed and intended to do harm. Why do you think they stopped him? His gun was hidden away…do you think the cops have x-ray vision? He was charged not for carrying the gun, but for carrying it with the intent to do harm.

Kevin Leko, on the other hand, was never accused of threatening anyone, he was just spotted on the roof with the gun.

2. Young refused to stop, resisted arrest, and disobeyed officer’s orders. He was also charged with resisting arrest and disorderly conduct.

Leko was drunk, but completely complied with police orders and was arrested without incident.

So your talking about one guy with three charges, one of which indicated he intended to do harm, and another guy with one charge and no indication that he was a threat. I would say that it’s completely plausible that this explains the disparity in bond amounts and I’m more than willing to give the judge the benefit of the doubt.

By the way: you do understand that the Police don’t set bond amounts right?

I completely support the gun rights of all Americans and will vehemently oppose any difference in treatment under identical circumstances, but taking two completely different cases and jumping to conclusions doesn’t help anyone…except maybe your click count, so I guess there’s that.

Better than I ever hoped

I know there are only a couple of people still sticking with my blog since I hardly ever post any more, but I had to share something that I’m just amazed by.

Longtime readers may remember many years ago when I blogged about assembling a national match AR for service rifle matches. Well, our house got robbed while on vacation a few years ago, that rifle was one that was stolen. I’ve never gotten it back.

I recently decided to replace it, but the CMP and NRA service rifle rules have changed…because the rifles being used in service have changed. No more the bare-bones A2 style carry-handle rifles with open sights. Now you can use free-floated railed handguards, flattop uppers, collapsible stocks and even optics up to 4.5x.

I started ordering parts and got it put together last week.

(Note: As pictured, the scope mount is on “backward” to try to get it positioned better. I eventually opted to turn it back around so it looks slightly different now)

Click to make bigger.

I was a little worried about the barrel. It was listed as a “contractor over-run” with no brand name and on sale for a ridiculous price. It only had one review but it was a 5 star glowing review. The price was just too good to pass up so I took the chance, understanding that I might be buying a paperweight and may have to spend more money on a new barrel if this one turned out to be a bust. It’s a 20″, HBAR profile, rifle length gas system, 1 in 7″ twist, unthreaded with a target crown. The only thing I would have wanted different is that it has a 5.56 Nato chamber and I would have preferred a Wylde, but otherwise, exactly what I’m looking for in a match barrel.

I put a Nikon 1.5-4.5x scope on, a nickel boron bcg, a Rock River Arms national Match two stage trigger and A2 buttstock with about 2 lbs of weight to counterbalance the heavy barrel. Also a low profile gas block and relatively inexpensive free float M-lok handguard.

I lapped the upper receiver face to make sure the barrel sits square, was extra careful to get the gas tube perfectly aligned. The only real “issue” I had is that by the rules, the front sling swivel has to be between 13 and 13.5 inches forward of the font of the magwell. This placed it exactly below the gas block. There wasn’t enough space between the bottom of the gas block and the handguard to install the M-lok fasteners for the magpul M-lok GI style sling swivel I wanted to use. I ended up getting one of these which mounts slightly behind the gas block but extends forward enough to be in the right spot. Of course, the actual QD sling swivel that came with it is too narrow for a leather National Match sling, so I also had to order an oversized QD sling swivel. Hopefully that will work out. if it doesn’t, I’ll buy an M-lok picatinny rail section to mount there and put a rail mounted sling swivel on.

So, all told including optic, scope mount and Turner NM sling, I ended up coming in at just under $1k.

I was very meticulous when assembling the rifle and was certain my build was good, but as I said I was a little uncertain about the no-name barrel so it was with no little trepidation that I took it to the range yesterday after work to get started on the break-in.

The first hint was that, at 25 yards, firing individual shots and cleaning the barrel between each shot, the last 7 shots or so just made one ragged hole.

The next stage of break-in is three shot groups, cleaning between groups. I switched to 100 yards because I wanted to see if the group with single shots at 25 was a fluke. I only got three groups in before it started getting dark and I had to pack it up, but boy were they some groups. I was also testing the 1/4 moa scope adjustments which placed the three groups far enough from each other to keep them separate.

Three consecutive thee shot groups under an inch. The first was 5/8″, the second was 1/2″ and the third was 15/16″.

That was at 100 yards with the rifle just resting on my range bag…not even a real rest and because the bag is too tall, I didn’t have my butt on the seat of the shooting bench.

Holy crap. I’m thinking if I was shooting from a solid rest, I’ve got a 1/2 moa rifle here. That’s better than my old match rifle that had a more expensive, brand name barrel on it.

Let’s just say my sooper cheap match barrel didn’t disappoint. I’m surely glad I took the chance and didn’t drop $250 or more on a big name barrel.

I’ve still got four more three shot groups to send before break-in is complete, so it may get even more accurate…but I may never know it; I seriously doubt that I’m capable of better than 1/2 moa with any rifle, but I’ll let you know.

Of course every benefit has an associated cost. If the accuracy of this rifle holds up, I’ll have no excuse if I don’t do well in matches.

Oh by the way…this was with hand-loaded 75gr Hornady Match HPBT bullets over 24 grains of Accurate 2520 that chrono at 2650fps. I haven’t even had a chance to “tune” my loads to the rifle, but I honestly doubt that I’ll be able to do better than that. This may already be the sweet spot for this rifle.

Conundrum

I really wish someone could explain to me how I can buy a complete upper including barrel on sale for $190.

https://midstatefirearms.com/SALE-16-Melonite-223-Wylde-Upper-with-Slim-Keymod-Rail-keymodsale.htm?categoryId=-1

But I can’t find a 15″ keymod handguard by itself for less than $120.

I’m tempted to buy one of those uppers, take off the handguard and then sell everything else. I bet I could ultimately make a profit.

Richmond 2A Lobby Day

I’ve been a Virginia Citizen’s Defense League member for a LONG time (15 years? 20? I don’t remember) I was an Executive Member for a couple of years before my job requirements made it too difficult. As a VCDL member I’ve attended lobby day on MLK day many times over those years.

This year I decided not to go. I’m ashamed to admit that I bought into the fake media’s hype and was afraid that leftist provocateurs were going to show up and try to make the whole thing something it was never intended to be: a riot.

After it’s all over, I wish I’d gone. I am EXTREMELY proud of my fellow gun owners, how they comported themselves and how the rally went. I’m embarrassed that I ever considered it could be otherwise.

The rally went off without a hitch, tens of thousands of gun rights supporters peaceably assembled and made their voices heard without a single incident. The only arrest was after the rally was over and was for a non-violent offense (wearing a mask in public after several warnings).

And, as has been my unfailing experience with right-wing “protests”…they cleaned up after themselves instead of leaving the place trashed like leftists invariably do.

At any rate, since I don’t have any pictures, I’ll link to a couple of twitter feeds with pictures and videos of the rally. It’s quite inspiring:

A couple of video interviews

lots of pics

Why Virginia is Toast

I pretty much stopped blogging about politics a while back because it got so depressing for me. The downward spiral I see our country in has only been slightly slowed by the Trump presidency and actually has been exacerbated by the Democrats complete abandonment of even the facade of believing in democratic government (and their sanity as well, but that’s another story).

The disgusting precedents they’ve set in resisting Trump and attempting to undo an election just because they didn’t like the outcome do not portend well for the peaceful transfer and exercise of power after future elections. Not only have they proven that they will not allow an administration they don’t approve of to function, but they’ve opened the door for Republicans to retaliate in kind.

I simply don’t see these developments as conducive to a stable, prosperous nation.

With that said, I reach the subject of this post. I’ve been saying for years that Virginia is on an unstoppable trajectory to become the next California with unassailable liberal majorities at all levels of government and no possible path for recovery.

I’m sure everyone is aware of the current controversy surrounding the Democrats finally wresting control of the state legislature from the Republicans, Governor Blackface’s immediate pledge to turn a good majority of the the rural population of the state into instant criminals, and the resulting “2nd Amendment Sanctuary” backlash.

If not, do some googling, I’ll wait…

…back? OK.

So, today I stumbled across this story and one particular thing in it really jumped out at me:

Virginia gun owners in just 43 days have pushed 90% of the state’s counties [containing 40% of the population] to become gun “sanctuaries,”

This is actually an excerpt from another article quoted from the Washington Examiner but the part in brackets was added by the author of the Bongino piece. It’s that part in brackets that really caught my eye:

90% of the area of the state contains only 40% of the population.

Here’s the map of 2nd Amendment Sanctuary status

(Image from and linked to GunrightsWatch.com)

All of that green makes up only 40% of the population. The remaining 60% lives in the urban sprawl of Northern Virginia, the Richmond area and some parts of Hampton Roads.

That’s why Virginia is toast.

The part of the population living in the most dense urban areas of the state can outvote the other 90% of the state every time. It wouldn’t be that big of a deal if the part of the population living in those urban areas were satisfied with living their own lives and leaving the rest of the state alone, but that’s not the way it is. Urban liberals not only accept the government micro-managing every aspect of their lives but actually want it to do so and simply can’t abide knowing that someone else, somewhere else, is not living by their standards…and now these are the people who get to make up the rules for the rest of the state.

And it’s only going to get worse. As the liberal government starts encouraging illegal immigrants to come to Virginia, starts raising taxes on the successful to fund their utopian redistribution schemes, clamps down on the freedoms of normal Americans two things are going to happen: the numbers of liberals are going to continue to increase, while at the same time conservatives and successful business owners are going to flee. It’s not going to happen overnight, but I believe at this point it’s inevitable. Virginia’s economy is going to begin a long, slow decline that may never end. Unfortunately, Virginia doesn’t have a Hollywood or Silicon Valley full of liberal billionaires to prop up the utopian liberal fantasies like California so the end is pretty much a foregone conclusion. I don’t believe the masses of drones in Northern Virginia who survive by sucking off the teat of the American Taxpayers is nearly enough to keep the economy afloat in the face of dedicated liberal economic destruction.

So the question just becomes: Will the decline be slow enough that I can bide my time and wait until retirement before evacuating? Or should I start looking for a job in Free America now?

I really like my job and the company I work for so I’m in “wait and see” mode right now. Maybe Governor Blackface and his merry crew of utopians will see the light and slow down enough for me to make a graceful exit a few years down the road rather than having to abandon ship before I’m really ready to.

As with all other things…time will tell.

AR-308 Part 5

Previous posts in the series:
Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4

OK…the rifle is together. If I’d bought one off the shelf, that’s pretty much what I would have gotten. There are still a few odds and ends to add, like a magazine, a scope, a bipod, etc…but those wouldn’t have come with an off the shelf rifle and I’d still have to buy them anyway…so for an apples to apples comparison, what’s the tally so far?

$565. Excellent.

But we still have some loose ends to tie up. There are two components that, although not technically necessary for shooting the rifle, they really make it work better: A magazine, and some sort of sighting system.

I ordered a 10 round Magpul LR-308 Pmag from Midway USA for $18.

The sighting system was a little more complicated. I knew I wanted a scope because I want this rifle to be a tack driver at range. I’d love to be able to shoot it well at 500 or 1000 yards so I wanted something that would work for long range…variable power and a high zoom level.

Another thing I like is Mil-dot reticles. I like the fact that a mil-dot reticle can be used to estimate range. The down-side of that with a variable power scope, however, is that if the reticle is in the second focal plane, you have to adjust your calculations by the zoom level of the scope at the time…that really complicates the math. With a first focal plane scope, the reticle zooms along with the background, so the perspective stays the same, regardless of the zoom level of the scope. That makes the math (relatively) easy.

Adjustable Objective is a must for me. I don’t like having to worry about compensating for parallax. And a large diameter objective means more light, better view.

But, I didn’t want to spend $1000 or $2000 either. After reading review after review and finding scopes that were close, but was missing one or another feature I was looking for, I ended up finding a Vector Optics Counterpunch at Optics Planet for $200. Vector Optics gets mixed reviews, but, again, for the price, I figured it would do for now and I can upgrade in a year or so if needed.

Finally, just a couple of optional accoutrements I ordered from Amazon.

Bipod $38
2 point Sling $10
GrovTec QD bases $8 (needed to add QD sling swivels to the Luth-AR stock)
M-loc QD sling base $12
QD Sling Swivels $9

And that completed the build. I now have a fully operational rifle, customized exactly how I wanted it.

Total cost: $852

A little over my original budget, but very good nonetheless.

I have to admit that I did splurge and break the bank a bit. On the first range trip, the cheap-o FCG I had in there left, um, a lot to be desired. Very gritty, heavy pull and the pins walked loose, causing the rifle to malfunction. This won’t do at all. I could clean up the trigger, reduce the pull and make it smoother, but I’d still have to worry about the pins walking.

Considering I’m hoping this rifle will be a tack driver, I decided that skimping on the trigger isn’t a good idea. I decided I wanted a good match style 2 stage trigger. I was going to buy a Jewell like I had on my National Match AR-15, but alas, they don’t appear to make them anymore.

That’s a right shame…I loved that trigger. Completely adjustable and smooth as glass. I was really disappointed when I checked their web site and they don’t list them any more.

I settled on a Geissele G2S. Not adjustable, but pre-set for a 2.5lb takeup and a 2lb release for a total pull weight of 4.5 lbs. I prefer more on the takeup and less on the release, but that’s the closest I could get to what I want. I had my Jewell adjusted for a 4lb takeup and a 1lb release to meet the minimum 5lb pull needed for matches.

I could have gone cheaper…Rock River makes a similar 2 stage match trigger for half the price, but from what I’ve heard, it’s half the quality as well. The Geissele was $165 at Optics Planet, but after shooting it, I’d have to say, worth the price.

So I ended up at a little over $1000 all in. Sigh. It’s only money, I can make more…

Anyway…I took it back to the range with the upgraded trigger today. It ran like a clock, everything was perfect.

So, what’s the verdict?

I think it’ll do.

100 yards on a standard sight-in target with 1″ squares. That’s a 3 shot group right at 1″.

This was from the bipod with cheap Remington Core-Lokt 150 grain ammo. I got 1″ groups or close to it consistently after dialing the scope in with cheap ammo and a not entirely stable rest. I really can’t wait to see what it’ll do with some match grade ammo. I’m pretty confident that it will do sub-moa.

Mission accomplished. The only question is: how long will the cheap scope hold up? Time will tell.

Final Post in the series.

AR-308 Part 4

Previous posts in the series:
Part 1
Part 2
Part 3

So, we’ve got all the parts for the basic rifle, now we just need to put it together.

I’m not going to go through the whole assembly process as it’s no different than the standard AR-15 assembly I’ve covered that at least twice here on this blog; also, you can find the process everywhere on the internet and youtube.

What I do want to talk about, however, are the oddities I discovered while assembling. This is related to the weird configuration of the Diamondback lower. As I mentioned in previous posts in the series, the Diamondback DB-10 upper receiver was configured to take DPMS parts, so I assumed I needed DPMS parts for the lower as well. Silly me.

The first clue that something strange was going on was the magazine release. I installed the spring and release, started screwing the button onto the shaft, pressed the button and screwed the shaft into the button until the top of the shaft was flush with the face of the button, released it and…the button wasn’t seated in the receiver. Hmm. Looked like the shaft just wasn’t screwed in far enough.

I pushed the button back in (after lining it up with the hole in the receiver) and screwed the shaft in as far as I could get it to go. that did the trick, the mag release fit now and seemed to operate just fine, but the shaft was sticking out past the face of the button by about 1/8″. It was painful to press the magazine release because the protruding shaft would dig into my finger.

Long story short, I ended up using my dremel tool to cut the extra 1/8″ off of the shaft.

The next thing that hinted something wasn’t right was the bolt catch pin. On AR-15’s and Armalite AR-10’s, the bolt catch is held in place with a roll pin. In my DPMS lower parts kit, the bolt catch pin was threaded on the end. Hmm. Can’t screw a threaded pin into a receiver without a threaded receptacle.

I dug into my spare parts bin and used a standard AR-15 roll pin to install the bolt catch. It seemed to fit fine.

Everything else went uneventfully…but after it was all together, the bolt catch wouldn’t catch the bolt.

After getting a magazine and trying it, the bolt would lock open on an empty magazine, but no matter what I tried or how I manipulated the bolt catch, I could not get the bolt to lock back without a magazine inserted.

In trying to figure this out, I e-mailed Diamondback and explained my issue. They replied very quickly, but told me that a DPMS parts kit should work.

I did some more research and ended up stumbling across a comment from a person who said they used an Armalite A series LPK with their Diamondback DB-10 lower and it worked fine.

I decided to take a chance and ordered a bolt catch from Armalite for $23. It took a week or so to get it, but after installing the Armalite catch, everything worked as it should. I’m guessing that had I also purchased an Armalite magazine release and Armalite takedown/pivot pins, they would have worked as well.

At any rate, with a little trial and error, it went together.

So, if by some chance you ever purchase a Diamondback DB-10 upper and lower set, just know that the upper takes DPMS parts and the lower takes Armalite A series parts…just to keep things interesting.

Still some finishing touches…more to come…

Next post in the series.