All posts tagged Magpul

As a former AR15 hater, I give to you the bringer of salvation

I spent an awful lot of my young adult years watching guys with loads of money show up at gun clubs and firing ranges with their fancy guns and bash anyone that had an AK, SKS or a Mini 14.  I was often ridiculed for owning a Mini 14 because according to most AR15 owners, it couldn’t hit the broad side of a barn at 100yds, but I was hitting 2 inch groups all the time.   These guys would always rave about how accurate the AR15 was and that they never had reliability issues, but I was always watching these guys clear malfunctions or blame magazines or ammo for all of their jams.  I will tell you that I got tired of the mentality and avoided AR15s for a very long time just because I could get the job done with a Sturm Ruger Mini 14 for just about every job I ever need it for.

I did notice that shortly after Pmags started showing up on firing ranges the amount of jamming I saw dropped by 99%.   I don’t know when the last time it was that I watched an M4 or AR15 jam that was  using Magpul Pmags.   These magazines are virtually indestructable.   I’ve seen youtube videos of guys driving trucks over them and they still worked.  I have heard of a few problems with them not dropping free from magwells of some manufacturers, but that’s a minor production issue and not really the magazines fault.   Even if you live in a un gun friendly State, you can still get 10rd magazines.


Keeping a good marking pen handy

I was recently watching the Make Ready with Paul Howe DVD about Tac Rifle Operator, and it’s a good one.  I definitely put this one up with the must get collection with Magpuls Art of the tactical carbine.   I won’t get too into the DVD because I’d rather you buy them, but one point that came up is something I kind of slack off on.   The topic about marking or putting a strike on a gun magazine when it fails was something that should be monitored.   Most people know to rotate gun magazines, but when do you give up on it and toss it?

I was one of those that had a hard time tossing magazines and usually spent the money to replace followers and magazine springs, but some magazines really aren’t worth keeping around.  When the mag wells get bent or they are absurdly worn, don’t get too caught up in keeping it with your primaries.   When gun magazines even something as tough as Magpul pmags are used, they are a step closer to wearing out or breaking, sometimes they don’t completely crap out on you, they just start to have intermittent malfunctions.   One of those that can occur is a worn magazine follower.   Three strikes and your out is a good philosophy, and keeping a good marking pen around to document this is a very good idea.


Have you considered using 20rd mags instead?

I guess it’s from all of the years of reloading and bench shooting that I find 30rd magazines to be annoying to shoot from the bench with.  I consider myself to be a pretty good shot, but you do have to learn how to get into different shooting positions if you really want to get good with a rifle.  I stared out shooting SKS rifles and could get 3-4 inch groups on a good day, but when I tried shooting groups with an AK, I felt like a was standing on a unicycle.   Sometimes having higher capacity magazines means more bulk and drag.

I’ve had my share of owning 75rd drum magazines, but the amount of work that goes into loading those really takes away the fun of shooting them.  It’s kind of like when you were a kid sledding down a big hill, after the 2nd or 3rd time you were so worn out from walking up when the ride down only took 20 seconds.  The gun magazines are magpul pmags in my opinion and I would even consider picking up 10rd pmags for DMR work or bench shooting and 20rd mags for fighting.   I don’t think there is a difference in reliability with any of the various magazine capacities, but getting down on the ground and putting accurate shots on paper with a 30rd can become awkward.  There are positions you can try, but they aren’t for anyone not in good shape.


Improving what you already have

There is nothing wrong with putting some money into the firearms you already own.   For some reason people think that putting a $100 gun stock on an SKS is a waste because you’re spending close to 30% more on your investment.   Well, I am one who  has come to the conclusion that firearms should be customized to the operator.   The good thing about the stock options you have today are many of them are adjustable.   I remember when I was a teenager and many of the rifles that I was shooting were too long for me, now I have trouble getting kids to shoot some of my guns because they are too long.

Guess which firearm is the easiest for me to teach knew shooters that are teenagers and still growing?  You guessed it, the M4 Carbine.   The adjustable stocks are really meant for people that wear body armor, but I have gotten good use out of my Magpul stocks, the PRS AR15 sniper stock also has an adjustable cheek weld which is something that you will learn to appreciate especially if you are not sure about which optics you are going to use on the gun.  The Magpul CTR stock is by far the biggest seller because it is easy to adjust and lock in place.


Magpul DVD review

I am almost all the way through the entire Magpul DVD collection.    After several years of being on the firing range as a student and an instructor, I have often been asked if I know about any good DVDs for training.   I started out watching The Art of the tactical Carbine Volume I over a year ago and finished off Volume II about 6 months ago.   I thought the volume of info and the length of the DVDs to be very well worth the amount of money I spent, I was really impressed with how much time there was.    I would recommend these DVDs to beginners even though I do not think they are novice level training.  There are some basics in this, but the application of advanced basics is in there.

The Magpul Aerial Platform DVD was in my opinion more for the History Channel than it was for the gun owner, but I would get this one last over the other three Volumes.     The Art of the dynamic handgun is by far the best bang for the buck.   Clint Smith has some very well produced DVDS but they were expensive and I thought they could have been more informative.   I give them to family members that are new to firearms, but the Magpul dvds were in my opinion a step up.   I haven’t been to Thunder Ranch, but I intend to do so some day due to it’s great reputation, but I think The folks at Magpul owe me some more defensive training DVDs.


The Mini 14’s real purpose and being realistic

I have been and always will be a Mini 14 enthusiast, I guess I won too many merit badges in gun forum arguments with the AR15 blowhards, and I’ve done plenty of 500yd shooting with my guns to know that they are still viable defensive and target shooting  guns even though there is an obvious limit to how many rounds can be accurately fired.   The M4 is an excellent firearm, but eleminating a few pounds of weight during a trek is going to matter.  I was never a fan of making an AR15 or M4 Carbine too light because in my opinion, the gun needs to handle a firefight and not melt on me and I don’t think this will happen with a Coyote sighting.   Still though, I’ve seen what a Mini 14 with 20rd and 30rd magazines is capable of doing and although it’s not a combat gun but it’s a very good SHTF weapon.

I see all kind of tactical stocks showing  up from Tapco and other companies and I’m not on that level of converting a Mini 14 into, but I still prefer the folding stock standard carbine for self defensive and the Mini 14 Ranch rifle with a 3-9×40 scope.  I’ve had Sightron and Leupolds on mine and have thousands of rounds through them and still get MOA with three shot bursts.  Another issue that I find common amongst many of the tactical shooters is sighting in and shooting off of tables, it’s not that much of a headache if you have a good rest, but it becomes easier if you have gun magazines that is 5rd or 10rds.   The standard Mini 14 magazines are extremely reliable and if you are using it as a traditional ranch gun, this is one of the most balanced semi-autos in existance.


Rotate your ammo and rotate your mags

There are various stages of CCW experience, those that have made the mistakes, those that have witnessed the mistakes and those that are doomed to see both.  Although a gun owner may be observing all of the firearm safetey rules there are still many things to keep in consideration when CCW a firearm.   Even though a gun hasn’t been fired, if it is being carried it will fill up lint or the gun can become dry.  I have carried guns through out the summer months and found out that I’ve rusted out screws or pitted firearms.  Clean your CCW guns for reliability sake, but also for protection.

It is extremely important for you to rotate your carry ammo.  Many reloaders know the importance of having the proper bullet crimp to prevent bullet setback, but this is something that is inevitable going to occur if you keep closing the slide on the same bullet.  Even if you are not shooting up your ammo, rotate the ammo in your gun magazines to make sure you are not slamming the same first round.  Defensive ammo can be expensive and I realize that you aren’t going to want to shoot it all up after a couple times of cleaning  your ammo.  If you rotate just an 8rd magazine full of defensive ammo, you should be able to dissassemble and clean the gun safetly about 24 times with the same magazine.


Ruge 10/22 possible the most fun semi-auto

I’m sure there are plenty of guys out there, or ladies that have a lot of military experience and got to shoot some neat stuff.   Comparing the Ruger 10/22 to being  in fire control on an AC130 Spectre gun ship is comparing apples to oranges.  I will say that I have shot a lot of semi-auto military style weapons and although I have fun shooting them, bringing a wife or friend that lacks the experience or has a fear of recoil can limit the types of firearms you are using.   The first Ruger 10/22 I owned had a pretty long break in period.  I had a lot of issues getting it to reliable cycle, but I had  a lot of  friends that gave me advice on how to tweak these firearms and having a reliable break in period was normal.
A friend suggested that I just fire a lot of ammo through it and eventually it will break in.   Anothe friend said to use some hot ammo like 22lr stingers and it will speed up the process.   I tried both of these, but after about 500rds, I still was annoyed at how many jams I had, I thought it was the gun magazines, but we’ll soon find out.   My other friend suggested I take the gun appart and try to polish it with nylon pads, very similar to what you use to clean dishes.   I took  his advice and spent about 15 minutes polishing the gun, I used a little CLP inside and took it out for another range trip.    I tried shooting some cheap Remington 22LR ammo and the gun functioned almost 100% of the time.   I was probable getting a failure to fire less than every 300rds which for a 22LR rifle, that is not that bad.


Practical and tactical should go hand in hand

Although I am a big fan of battle rifles and prefer to carry a gun bigger than an M4, if I gotta carry ammo on my person and it’s not being carried in the trunk of my car, I’ll gladly take the smaller caliber.    The M1 Garand is a great and powerful weapon, but combat is at a much faster pace and being able to suppress a target with small arms is as important as neutralizing it.  If you are a weekend warrior and are considering taking a Carbine Class, even though your training will take place in the Course, you should do research on gear and accessories before you walk in the door.


I always try to sit in on training courses whenever I can although I wish I had the time to actually take more classes.   I’ve written on several occassions that one of my greatest joys of watching classes is watching all of the gear fall off or fail a student and watching their slow evolution of losing gear along the way.   Theirs nothing wrong with being a tactical accessory junky, but if you have to carry an M4 all day like i’ve had to, you’ll quickly learn that lightweight, means a happy person.  There seems to be a big craze getting tactical gear with the quad rails even though most people don’t need them, and then having to go out and get rail covers, when a simple stock would have lightend the gun by a few pounds.



Tactical gear and clothing

There are a lot of words that get thrown around in the firearm industry that are fairly broad.    Tactical clothing these days may sound like BDUs to one person and 5.11 tactical clothing to another.    Tactical gear can mean anything from a folding stock to a knife, or a $1500 rifle scope.    The word “tactical” doesn’t really tell you what something is going to be used for in the field.    I have some pretty dressed down AR15 rifles that to some people, just look like violent weapons and scare them, while most of us that are familiar with the accessorized M4 Carbine, will find a A2 style AR15 to be  pretty bland.

The so called tactical clothing and concealed carry markets seem to be new markets and these terms get thrown around a lot but don’t really tell us much.  To the trained individual, they can spot a knife in the pocket and 5.11 style pants from a mile away and loads of pockets full of tactical gear and usually that’s a dead giveaway that someone is carrying a firearm.   Think about what purpose your clothing is to serve and adapt to it.   There are more than a few good clothing companies that are making concealed carry friendly apparel.

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