Tag Archives: ar15

Two Sight Solution?

25 Aug

Phil Bourjaily over at the Gun Nuts blog did a post yesterday on the two sight solution that a number of 3-gun competitors are using. The solution is to mount a red dot sight at a slight angle from the scope. A shooter can use their scope for long range precision shots while allowing a quick close range shot with the red dot by slightly canting the rifle. Dick Metcalf showed a similar setup on an episode of Modern Rifle Adventures.

While I can see the merits of the ‘two sight solution’ in competition, I think it would be a little confusing on a hunting or tactical rifle setup. Although it does make more sense to me than mounting a red dot on top of the scope like in the photo below. What do you think?

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Mossberg Tactical .22: a New AR Style Rifle

3 Aug

Steve over at the Firearm Blog reported today on a new AR style rifle from Mossberg called the Tactical .22, presumably built on their 702 Plinkster action. I would encourage you to visit the Firearm Blog and check it out.

Ruger to Pursue M4 Upper Contract?

29 Jul

During their 2010 Q2 conference call this morning, Ruger CEO Michael Fifer discussed the possibility of government contracts for the Ruger SR-556 AR platform rifle. According to Fifer the Ruger SR-556 program is so new it would likely take years to gain a foothold in the military and police markets. However he did mention the possibility of pursuing a contract to supply replacement M4 uppers to US armed forces. When queried about the caliber of these replacement uppers he stated “I don’t even think the Pentagon knows”. Additional details on their pursuit of an M4 contract, or what the possible specs would be (would it have a piston????), were not discussed.

Fifer talked about the large number of first time gun buyers during the recent boom in gun sales and whether they will become repeat customers. He believes some of these new buyers are likely to purchase a second or third firearm since they had already crossed any perceived barriers when purchasing their first gun.

Fifer does not think the recent favorable Supreme Court decisions in Washington D.C and Chicago will have a large impact in the firearms market. These cities have quickly passed new laws making private firearm ownership nearly impossible, according to Fifer.

When asked whether Ruger would enter the derringer market, Fifer said the derringer market was good but quite small at about 50,000 units annually. A Ruger derringer would be a nice compliment to their SAA revolvers, but don’t expect them to enter such a small market.

Below is the Ruger press release announcing their 2010 Q2 earnings:

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Ruger Reports Q2 Earnings, Declares Dividend
SOUTHPORT, CONNECTICUT–Sturm, Ruger & Company, Inc. (NYSE-RGR), announced today that for the second quarter of 2010, the Company reported net sales of $64.4 million and earnings per share of 43¢, compared with sales of $72.4 million and earnings per share of 46¢ in the second quarter of 2009.

For the six months ended July 3, 2010, net sales were $132.7 million and earnings were 86¢ per share. For the corresponding period in 2009, net sales were $135.9 million and earnings were 76¢ per share.

The Company also announced today that its Board of Directors declared a dividend of 10.0¢ per share for the second quarter, for shareholders of record as of August 13, 2010, payable on August 27, 2010. The amount of the dividend was based on a percentage of Operating Profit after adjustment for certain items, the same approach used by the Company since 2009. Under this approach, the amount of the quarterly dividend fluctuates directly with certain operating results of the Company.

Chief Executive Officer Michael O. Fifer made the following comments related to the Company’s results of 2010:

* New product introductions remain a strong driver of demand and represented $42 million, or 32% of sales, in the first six months of 2010.

* The estimated sell-through of the Company’s products from distributors to retailers in the first half of 2010 increased 1% from the first half of 2009, despite a reduction in National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) background checks of 2% during this period.

* Cash generated from operations during the first half of 2010 was $17.8 million. At the end of the second quarter of 2010, our cash and equivalents totaled $58.7 million. Our current ratio is 4.0 to 1 and we have no debt.

* During the first half of 2010, capital expenditures totaled $12.6 million, much of it related to tooling and equipment for new products. We expect to invest approximately $18 to $20 million for capital expenditures during 2010.

* At the end of the second quarter of 2010, stockholders’ equity was $109 million, which equates to a book value of $5.68 per share, of which $3.05 per share was cash and equivalents.

* For the third consecutive year, a Ruger handgun has been named the Shooting Industry Academy of Excellence “Handgun of the Year”. The Ruger SR9c is the compact version of the SR9 striker-fired pistol, one of the slimmest and most ergonomic 9mm pistols on the market today.

The Company filed its Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q for the second quarter of 2010. The financial statements included in this Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q are attached to this press release.

The Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q is available on the SEC website at www.sec.gov and the Ruger website at www.ruger.com/corporate/. Investors are urged to read the complete Form 10-Q to ensure that they have adequate information to make informed investment judgments.

About Sturm, Ruger
Sturm, Ruger was founded in 1949 and is one of the nation’s leading manufacturers of high-quality firearms for the commercial sporting market. Sturm, Ruger is headquartered in Southport, CT, with manufacturing facilities located in Newport, NH and Prescott, AZ.

Drooling Over the Barrett REC7 AR Rifle

27 Jul

I’ve been drooling over the Barrett REC7 in 6.8SPC lately. I don’t know whether it’s because of the rifle itself or the fantastic job Barrett is doing in marketing it. In any case, I want one!

The REC7, previously known as the Barrett M468, is a piston driven M4 style AR. It’s available in either 5.56 or 6.8SPC. MSRP is in the $2,500 range. Here is some info from Barrett’s web site on the REC7:

Cool under pressure.

Under the familiar exterior lies an evolutionary design that few can match. REC7 rifles are made for those who value quality, dependability and performance . . . and for those who don’t have the option to fail.

The REC7’s operating system was designed to be soldier-proof, the highest accolade as to which a firearm design can aspire. A minimal number of parts and a clean-running piston system add up to a low-maintenance design with increased reliability. The piston operated system keeps heat and fouling out of the receiver, which means less time cleaning and more time putting bullets where they need to go. Cooler parts last longer, cooler guns run longer. REC7 was made to run hard.

The 17-4 stainless piston transferring energy to the bolt carrier is the most robust in the industry. Its hardened one piece piston is superior to multi-component designs. The bolt carrier, machined from a monolithic block of 8620 steel features an integral piston strike face — no separate gas key to shoot loose and another industry first.

The REC7 gas block is chrome lined and the gas regulator is nitrided for added durability, with a 1913 rail machined into the hardened billet gas block. Operators can configure the REC7 with iron sights or run slick for use with optics. The gas regulator position is firmly held in place with a substantial detent that cannot get knocked out of position with hard use.

The REC7’s forged 7075 aluminum upper and lower receivers are Type 3 hardcoat anodized. The mil-spec lower receiver houses an ultra-dependable single stage trigger. The upper receiver supports a free-floated, 16-inch, hammer-forged, chrome-lined barrel with M4 feed ramps. The A2 style flash hider reduces muzzle flash and acts as a standard interface for accessories and support gear.

No matter what your mission, the REC7 can get the job done. Whether that mission means putting venison on the table, taking home a trophy at the local rifle match, serving a high-risk warrant, or jumping out of a C-130 at zero dark thirty — REC7 has you covered.

USNI Proceedings Takes Aim at M4 Myths

26 Jul
Bartholomew over at The Firing Line Forum did an excellent job of summarizing an article in the current US Naval Institute Proceedings magazine. I think you’ll find the article and the summary below quite interesting. Many thanks to Bartholomew for letting me re-post his information!
The July 2010 article of the USNI Proceedings magazine includes an extremely interesting article by Kirk Ross (a previous USNI award winner for his historical writing of battles in Afghanistan) called “What really happened at Wanat?”.

Wanat by itself has been a rich source of discussion in Internet gun forums, so I was interested in seeing what new information the author brought to illuminate that battle. I was surprised to find that rather than just address Wanat, the author ended up challenging all kinds of currently held ideas on the M4 and the history behind it.

Here is a short summary of some of the key points I found interesting:

1. In 2006, the Center for Naval Analyses conducted a survey of Afghanistan and Iraq combat veterans (at least 5 engagements) and found the following results:

A. Despite studies by NSWC Crane in the 1990s and the two more recent Extreme Dust Test studies indicating that generously lubricated weapons perform better even in dust, the CNA survey found that soldiers using dry lubes decreased the probability of a stoppage by half.
B. Ironically, the more times a soldier cleaned his weapon during the day, the more likely he was to experience a stoppage.
C. Magazines were the number one complaint cited by the CNA survey participants.
D. Over 1/3 of survey participants had not been issued a cleaning kit for their rifle (these are combat veterans with at least five engagements!)
E. Accessories ziptied, corded or duct taped to an M4 increased stoppages by 2-3 times and more accessories = more stoppages regardless of how they were attached.
F. Soldiers using rebuilt M4s (apparently not a small number) were 3.5 times more likely to have a stoppage.
G. Based on the survey, CNA concluded that stoppages during engagements happened between 6.75-2.37% of the time or less with the M4. Large-impact stoppages (unable to engage the target for a significant portion of the fight) happened between 1.21-0.42%

2. The author also goes into some detail on the infamous Extreme Dust Test pitting the M4 against the SCAR, HK416 and XM8. Some of the new details from that test that I was previously unaware of:

A. The M4s chosen for that test were drawn from Army inventory and competed against brand new rifles from the manufacturers.

B. Six of the ten M4s chosen in the test did not meet the minimum military requirement for cyclic rate of fire (i.e., they were undergassed – not a great thing when the test involves lots of foreign debris).

C. Colt alleges that the ATEC testers were unfamiliar with the M16’s 3-round burst cam and counted 1 and 2 round bursts resulting from the funky camming mechanism as “stoppages” during the course of the test.

D. After this test, Colt conducted a DoD certified testing facility, Stork East-West Technology Corporation, to repeat the Extreme Dust Test with the above factors corrected and MilSpec 810F followed (Colt alleges this was not followed in the first test). In that test, the M4 suffered 111 stoppages over 60,000 rounds.

3. Colt takes off the gloves and flat out calls the writers at Army Times shills for H&K – “Numerous media outlets have blamed the M4 for the death of Soldiers at Wanat, or continue to deride the weapon in favor of the commercial off-the-shelf products of Colt competitors-part of what Colt alleges to be a “concerted media campaign” led by writers at Army Times, Military.com, and others to promote the products of German firearms manufacturer Heckler & Koch.”

4. Gas pistons – The Army has dismissed gas piston ARs as offering no significant increase in reliability (compared to the 20″ rifle) repeatedly. Colt started offering the Army a gas piston option (the Model 703) as early as the late 1960s. Every comparative assessment since then has reached the same conclusion.

A. “A December 2005 study conducted by the 10th Special Forces Group (Airborne), for example, which evaluated the HK416 and Colt’s Close Quarters Battle-Receiver (CQB-R), concluded that CQB-R “out performed the HK416 in mechanical reliability.”32 Other reports have rendered similar conclusions about other possible M4 replacements, including the XM8. The Army’s own April 2008 Small Arms Capabilities-Based Assessment, carried out to support “a small arms acquisition strategy through 2015,” did not fault the M4 carbine, but instead called for improvements in ammunition, sights, and optics.33″

5. Everybody agrees the M16 magazine is a problem.

6. Widespread agreement that full-auto and exceeding the 12-15rpm sustained rate of fire seriously degrades reliability.

Overall, regardless of whether you like or hate the M4, there is a lot of information in this article challenging how you think about it. It challenges the wisdom of the gas-piston conversion, it challenges the “latest & greatest” wisdom on weapon maintenance (lots of wet lube) in a dust environment. It challenges the perceived reliability problems of the M4. I’ve got some thoughts about some of the conclusions; but I am still digesting the article at this point.

Why doesn’t Winchester or Springfield make an AR-15?

19 Jul

Today’s post is a rant of sorts…..

The popularity of the AR rifle seems to be increasing across the board. Go to a gun shop or the range on any given day and you’ll probably see more AR platform rifles than any other single type of rifle.

In recent years Remington, Smith & Wesson and Ruger have all developed successful AR rifle product lines. Even Taurus announced an AR in mid-2009 (pictured below, although I have not seen much discussion of it since).

So why don’t companies like Winchester or Springfield or Savage make an AR? Granted we already have an abundance of new and existing AR makers on the market, but imagine how wildly popular ‘black rifles’ from these manufacturers would be? It would seem easy (from my perspective sitting at a computer!) for any of these companies to either manufacture or source the parts needed to make top quality AR’s ‘worthy’ of their brand.

A National Match AR would fit perfectly into Springfield’s product line, right alongside their National Match M1A’s and match grade 1911’s. Savage has their Law Enforcement line of bolt action rifles that would be nicely complemented with an accurate AR.

As I’ve blogged before, I’m a Winchester fan and would be one of the first in line for a Winchester branded AR. Their parent company FN is under a contractual agreement to not sell AR rifles or parts to the public (I believe I have this stated correctly) so perhaps that contractual restriction also applies to Winchester.

Hopefully I’ll be pleasantly surprised to find that all these manufacturers are planning their own AR behind closed doors…  but I’m not holding my breath!