Deer Lodge Gun Show

Still a buncha 10/22 Steel Lip magazines, and $10 Magpuls availalable. Retail is for suckers.
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The Deer Lodge gun show was today. Drove out there with a buddy and looked around. Surprisingly, I ran into someone I recognized who was, I think, more surprised to see me than I was to see them. Either a ruptured appendix isn’t as debilitating as everyone thinks or..well…

Saw a few interesting things at the show. Most notably a Valmet in 7.62×39, a couple PTR’s, and a bunch of 870’s in various condition hovering in the $200-225 range.

There were a buncha AR’s floating around but, short of another Obama/Hillary panic, I think AR’s have gotten to be taken for granted…there are so many out there now that we’re only surprised if we don’t see a dozen of them on a dealers table. But…us old timers…we can remember some days when you could not get your hands on an AR for love nor money. Happened before, will happen again. I truly do think this window we are in will be the Golden Age of buying an AR…. a time when you could have one for less than the cost of a new Glock…but that window will, I think, start closing as supply starts to dwindle and demand slowly inches up.

Good trip, nice time, mediocre show, but always nice to go and always nice to run into folks you meow.

 

DMR range time

Pmags….still got some.
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A mixed bag.

Headed to the range to sight in the rifle I put together. (I won’t say ‘built’ because all I did was match up an already-assembled upper with an I-put-it-together-lower… that ain’t ‘building’.)

The IOR brand of scopes are fine scopes, and I like them alot. BUT…they can be pretty involved when it comes to zeroing. Since the M2 has a a BDC I needed to zero it at 100 yards and then reset the turrets.

20170607_164100See the top of the turrets and how it has three screws? You loosen the two outer screws (Never the middle screw. Thats trouble.) Notice the two rows of knurling around the turret? Hold the bottom row stationary and turn the top row to adjust point of impact. When thats done, tighten the two screws.

I really need a spotting scope because there was a lot of fire-a-round, walk-100-yards, check-target, walk-back-100-yards, repeat. Got it pretty much where I want it at 100 yards, now I need to fine tune it by making up some quality reloads and not the slapdash stuff I put together last night using assorted brass.

Oh, and this thing really needs a different trigger in a major way. I can sort live with the stock for now, but that trigger was horrible. If anyone wants to recommend a trigger that is better than your average rack AR but no so touchy you’d be scared carry it around in the zombie apocalypse….lemme know.

Headed to the 300 yard range, dialed the BDC to ‘3’ and started busting rocks. Elevation was pretty close to spot on but I need to work on the windage a tad. Again, when I’ve got some really good quality reloads made up, thats when I’ll start working on it again.

No failures of any kind. I need to seat the 62 gr. bullets a tad deeper in the case. Used the RCBS AR dies with the taper crimp. I really need to sit down with the case trimmer and uniform up some brass.

All in all, promising, but still just a .223.

DMR

For a while I’ve had a bit of an irrational urge to build up my version of a ‘Designated Marksman’-type rifle. Basically, an accurate AR that isn’t so trick you cant carry it afield, but not so spartan that you cant hit stuff out to several hundred yards (which, really, is about as good as the .223 is going to get in my opinion.)

For a number of years, I’ve had an IOR M2 scope sitting around here gathering dust. It has an illuminated reticle, BDC out to around 600 yards, very nice adjustments, steel tube, German glass, and is hell-for-stout. Have it sitting in ARMS QD rings. But…all dressed up and nowhere to go.

20170530_190128I found it in a pawn shop years ago for around $300. Having had very favorable experience with my IOR 10×56 scope, I figured this one would be a good scope to have for the money. It’s got a BDC calibrated for 62 gr., illuminated rangefinding reticle, and I just happen to have an ARMS QD mount sitting around. Now…what to put it on.

Also sitting around gathering dust are a stack of these:

20170530_190253No better time than the present. Again, these are purchases from years ago that have just been sitting around. A stripped lower (not to be confused with a low stripper) is fairly worthless without the innards…so:

20170530_190350Stag had a sale on these a year or two ago and I picked some up. I figured I could bide my time and wait for the sales to put together the parts I needed to cobble together a fun AR. Need a milspec buffer tube while I’m at it. Ordered these a month ago and Stag finally got the bloody things here today. Booooo Stag!

20170530_190155Ok, we have the lower put together. What do we put on top of it?

Stag had a bit of a sale a few weeks ago and they had an upper that looked very much like what I was after.Stag 15 DM-VRS-X Upper Half. On sale for $320. With bolt carrier group. And charging handle.  Ok, sure.

20170530_190559Alright, let’s grab a screwdriver, punch, and brass hammer and get this thing cobbled together.

20170530_190822

“I call her ‘Vera’.” – J. Cobb

I  need to save my pennies and pick up a Magpul PRS stock, and a nice trigger. Once that’s done all I need is some quality brass and bullets and it’ll be time to play. But, I just put the A2 stock on there because I had one laying around and I really want to be able to go out to the range and play a bit.

Purpose? I have no idea. In my opinion, the .223 is a bit light for anything out past 400 yards or so…too light a bullet to buck the wind, and a bit light in the mass department. Sure, I don’t want to get hit with one but it’s not my first choice for shooting out there. No problem with it at intermediate ranges. I suppose this thing would shine for that situation where you want something you can use within normal conflict distance out to something a little longer range.

Realistically, though..this will most like be a range gun with some infrequent gopher shooting thrown in for practical challenge. But..it’ll be interesting to see how it turns out.

The barrel is a 1:9 20″. It’s what was available. A 1:7 would, I am told, be a better choice since it would be more optimal for the heavier 69-75 gr. bullets. Well. ya take what ya can get.

I’ve some Lapua .223 brass floating around, and about half a keg of Varget, so I’ll load up some Win 62 grainers and go break this thing in…if I ever have some free time.

Note that this isn’t really ‘building’ an AR15 any more than putting together an Ikea dresser is ‘building’ furniture. Any idiot can buy the off the shelf parts and assemble on of these…clearly, an idiot has. This kind of modularity is one of the AR-series great strengths. There’s enough aftermarket crap out there that you can tweak it into exactly what you want. As i said, all I’ve got left to do is a Magpul PRS stock and a trigger.

I’ll let you know how it shoots.

 

Subsonic stuff

Still a few bundles left.
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Well, in typical Montana fashion it dropped 2″ of snow the other day, and then today it was dang near 75 degrees. No point even trying to make sense of it…it’s Montana. Just roll with it.

Off to the range.

20170519_165345So I’ve been keeping track of what the supressed .22 likes and doesnt like. So far the best thing I’ve found has been Remington Subsonics. I’ve tried CCI Quiet, CB Longs, and American Eagle Suppresor…and they are positively anemic. In fact, the CCI Quiet didnt even make it to the backstop. I genuinely believe a steel ball bearing out of a slignshot would  have had a better trajectory.  When the thing finally does make it to the backstop, I measure for five-shot group.

20170519_172357Interestingly, just regular CCI ‘Standard’ velocity stuff does pretty well. But, so far, the nod goes to the Rem SS. I need to grab a few boxes of Eley and other premium .22 ammo and see how it performs. But, thus far, it looks like at some point I’m going to want to lay in a few cases of the Rem.

Range day

Nineteen bundles of 10/22 mags left. All the cool kids are doing it.
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Well, a fairly abbreviated range day anyway. There was a competition going on so all the ranges I normally like to use were full up. But, I dumped a couple magazines of ball through the new-to-me P95DC.

20170514_102305Good enough for the girls I go with. I’ll drift the sight a tad to center things a bit, but all in all I can live with that. I was packing for the range and discovered that while I have plenty of end-of-the-world 9mm ammo stashed away, my supply of go-to-the-range 9mm ammo is pretty thin. I need to crank up the RL 1050 and spit out a couple thousand rounds of ammo.

The P96DC shot well with one failure to extract as a result of a decidedly weak reload. Otherwise, it chugged along happily. Good little gun. These things were dirt cheap for Ruger to produce…it’s one of the very, very few polymer pistols that doesn’t use metal inserts for the rails to ride on. This is one of the reasons the manufacturing costs were low. The rest of the parts are Rugers usual castings, which also are cheap to make, and the whole gun only has about three dozen parts.

Has it always been a love story? No…I had a first generation P85 way back that was wildly inaccurate. Couldn’t hit the side of a barn if you were standing in it. But, as I understand it, the early guns had two-piece barrels of questionable quality. Ruger polished the P85 up in a hurry and re-ran it as the P89, which did better but was still a brick with a trigger. The guns were extremely overbuilt for a 9mm. Thats all well and good for end-of-the-world durability, but they felt like the handle on a gas pump.

Further refinement begat the P9x series of guns. And, to me, the P95DC with the textured grip and light rail were the pinacle of the the P series. The P95 was still a ’90’s design with it’s double/single-action, ring hammer, and styling. Glock ran the table and hammered autos went the way of tail fins and leisure suits. But…there’s a key for every lock, and for every gun there is a following. Some folks still like the DA/SA hammered autos. I certainly love me some HiPower, and a buddy of mine is practically a walking shrine to the CZ75. No doubt the Ruger P-series has it’s fan base as well, although it is certainly a quiet group.

One of the things I like about the Glock is that it is a gun that I can get wet, dirty, and drop without feeling the remorse I would feel if a similar event befell my 1911 or HiPower. The Ruger is an even hardier animal. I suspect that it’s ‘Isoplast’ frame is a little less forgiving of impact than Glock’s polymer blend, but I have no problem thinking that it would withstand the kind of trauma that would destroy the person holding it.

Anyway, its always nice to get out to the range and make some noise. This P95DC will get cleaned, lubed up, thrown back in it’s case with a couple loaded mags, and go off to the Deep Sleep.

10/22 mag page

Here.

If you look at the horizontal menu bar across the screen you’ll see “10/22 Mags” listed there. That’s the page for details on getting yourself the bundle of a dozen Butler Creek 10/22 nags for $110 while I still have some. Twenty bundles left.

Tomorrow promises to be a Rugerific day…Im going to test shoot the ‘new’ P95DC (function test, really), play with some 10/22’s, and possible, maybe, perhaps toy around with the pseudo-DM AR I’ve been cobbling together.

Remington gets into the non-NFA shotgun game

Remington Arms is bringing its newest firearm — the pistol grip 870 Tac-14 — out to meet the public for the first time this week.

While visiting Remington’s Huntsville, Alabama factory on Wednesday, Senior Product Manager Daniel Cox gave Guns.com a peek at the new gun, set to be unveiled at the National Rifle Association’s Annual Meeting in Atlanta on Friday.

At 26.25 inches overall and with a Raptor Shockwave pistol grip, the 12-gauge’s 14-inch cylinder bore barrel is not a National Firearms Act regulated item as it is a “firearm” and not an SBS or AOW, thus no tax stamp is required under federal law, though state and local laws may apply.

While I’m still not 100% sure there’s a niche in a person’s personal armory to be filled by this thing (other than ‘fun gun’), I’ll probably still get one or two anyway. I like the idea of tweaking ATFE’s nose by following the letter of the law.

I am still waiting for my vendors to get the Mossberg Shockwave in stock so I can get one to play with. As I said, questionable utility but looks like a fun gun to play with.

Multiple purchase dispositions

A couple years back I touched on what exactly (in Montana) happens when you fill out the ‘yellow sheet’ 4473 form when you buy a gun. Succinctly, nothing happens. Your name isn’t added to a big .gov file somewhere with a list of what you bought. Doesn’t happen here. (In your state, it may be different.)

But…there is a scenario where .gov does get all that info.

Remember this? Well, a guy came in and bought five of those from me last week. Three on a Monday, and two on a Wednesday. So, he bought more than one handgun within five business days from the same dealer….that gets a special form sent, within 24 hours, to the fedgoons.

It’s called the 3310.4 Report of Multiple Sale or Other Disposition of Pistols and Revolvers form. It asks for the info off the 4473 and also includes the specifics of what was purchased. This form then has to be transmitted to ATFE and your local CLEO within 24 hours. The gal at the sheriff’s office told me they’ve never had anyone come and ask about the forms. ATFE, on the other hand, takes a more pro-active role.

SO, in case you didnt know, next time you feel like buying a six-pack of handguns from one source, try not to do it within five business days of each other. Or, better yet, buy them in a private sale.

This has been a public service announcement.