Monday, July 18, 2011

The Good and Bad of the Last Few Months

GOOD:  I was able to snag a Spike's Tactical 5.45x39mm AR upper from AIM Surplus.
BAD:  There's only one company making 5.45mm AR mags, and they're not too good at it.  All the C Products mags that I've tried, right out of the bag, don't work very well.
GOOD:  A little Teflon dry-lube goes a long way toward making the mags work.  Tweaking the feedlips to actually hold the rounds in the magazine seems to help a lot too.  I got 3 mags to work all the way through, with 25 rounds.  The one that was causing a stoppage every 2 or 3 rounds, all the way through the magazine, didn't give me any more trouble.  Things are looking better now.
BAD:  The 4th, and last, magazine that I had with me caused another trademark bolt-over-base malfunction.  I cleared the jam, reinserted the round, and it did the same thing again.  Like a flyer opening up a nice tight group, there's always gotta be one that screws things up.
GOOD:  From a decent, supported position (not bench rest), and practical sights, the upper will keep the shots on an index card at 100 yards with cheap Russian surplus and Silver Bear commercial ammo.  This is on par with M193 from my free-floated M4 upper, and the Spikes 5.45mm still has the plastic handguards and the delta ring and all.

BAD:  Last time I took the Bushmaster ACR out to the indoor range, I fired a shot, and immediately knew that something wasn't right.  I grabbed the charging handle, and pulled it, and the empty shell flipped out.  I discovered that I didn't have the gas plug in the rifle.
GOOD:  I brought the Tantal along, with the new scope mount, and I had enough loaded mags to keep me busy for an hour.
GOOD:  I found the gas plug for the ACR sitting on the bench at home.  Yeah, I'm a dumbass.  Go ahead and laugh, I deserve it.

BAD: When I took my folding stock 10/22 out to the rifle range last weekend, I was getting a lot of stove-pipe and failure-to-eject malfunctions.  That was weird.  I've had my 10/22s squared away for a while.  When I looked it over today, I discovered that the hook had broken off the extractor.  Yeah, that'll do it.
GOOD:  Surprisingly, about half of the shells popped out under the power of the burning powder, so I still got some shooting done.
GOOD:  New 10/22 extractors cost all of $2.50, and I have the tools and knowledge to tune them.  I can borrow one from the other 10/22 anyway.
GOOD:  The 10/22 seems to feed the blunt-nose Winchester 555 hollow points okay, and it shoots 'em good enough to hit the plates, so at least I've got one rimfire that'll work with the damn things.

BAD:  When I went to run some drills with my airsoft Glock, I tried to fill the magazine with gas, and the gas leaked right back out through the bottom of the mag.
GOOD:  Fortunately, the engineers at Marui in Tokyo did a decent job of creating a simple magazine, that's fairly easy to understand and work on.  I took the bottom off the mag, smeared some silicone oil on the seal and o-ring, put it back together, and tightened the gas valve a fraction of a turn.  The magazine started holding gas again, so I was able to work on drawing from a holster, and shooting on the move.

That's more good that bad.  I think I'll count that as an overall win, eh?

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