The Loudener? Sledge Hammer did it first.

So Snake Hound Machine will be offering a muzzle device appropriately called the Loudener:

Quote: “…but more importantly what it does is increases the amount of muzzle blast and concussion that comes out of your gun.”

Okay then. Putting aside for a moment why someone would want to do that, Sledge Hammer did it first.

At least SHM didn’t angle the vents back towards the shooter like Tromix did.  Watch the shooter’s hat in this clip and then watch it again to note the amount of burning debris flying back.

It strikes me as odd that SHM isn’t marketing it primarily as a muzzle brake, instead choosing to promote the increased noise and concussion.  In RECOIL magazine’s online article, Owen of SHM says the ‘demoralizing effect of live fire is important’ and that it is potentially useful to be ‘louder’.  Perhaps I’m not Operator enough to understand, but I would think the demoralizing effect of live fire would hinge on an opponent’s understanding of the potential to leak precious vital fluids.  Since the claim that the Loudener is increasing muzzle blast and concussion is only accurate when witnessed from the perspective of the shooter [after all, the device does not create any additional energy].  If one accepts that increased noise is ‘demoralizing’, I have to wonder why someone would use this to demoralize themselves and/or their own team.

 

If you really want a sense of accomplishment…

…successfully bathe a cat without bleeding.

Range Report (M&P FSS follow up)

Just a quick, yet well overdue follow up to my last range report.  I finally had a chance to shoot the Apex poly-FSS equipped M&P 9L on paper.  After a few warm up shots, I shot this group free hand (beware of cr@ppy cell phone pic):

10 shot group at 10 yards with M&P 9L w/ Apex polymer FSS trigger kit

10 shot group at 10 yards with M&P 9L w/ Apex polymer FSS trigger kit using Federal 115 gr FMJ RN

The orange spot is a 1 1/2″ target spot with the group being about the width of my thumb with slight vertical stringing.  I’m pretty sure the stringing is my fault as I adjusted my grip while shooting this group; the fact that it is off center I attribute to the rear sight placement.  In order to change out the factory sear block for the Apex one, the rear sight must be moved out of the way*.  Obviously I did not restore it to the exact same spot.

Time for some math.  Or I could just use Brownells sight correction calculator

  • Distance between front and rear sight faces: 7.25″
  • Distance to target: 360″
  • Amount of correction desired: 1″ (to the left)

Therefore, I need to move the rear sight:  0.020 inches to the left

Now where did I put my caliper?

As for the trigger, I’m still very happy.  Of note is that I originally reported the pull weight at 4 lbs 10 oz, but using the Lyman digital trigger pull scale borrowed from a range employee I measured it again at 5 lbs even.  I’m not sure which scale is more accurate but I am careful to keep my technique consistent.  Out of curiosity, I will swap the carry weight trigger spring for the competition weight spring before my next range trip to see how much difference it makes in pull weight and subjective feel.

Either way the trigger feel is fantastic and my personal metric of ‘do I shoot it better after the mod?’ tells me that this was definitely a worthwhile upgrade and it made the M&P’s easier for me to shoot accurately.

FTC notice: TANSTAAFL. I bought it. Bugg3r off.

*some might consider this a design flaw, although it may very well be to avoid a patent infringement. ,:/

Range Report: +1 New Shooter

As mentioned Friday, I had the privilege of introducing another person to the joy of responsible firearms use this past weekend.

The old saying that you never get a second chance at a first impression holds true and I try to stack the odds in favor of a positive experience when bringing in new shooters.  Things like using ear plugs and electronic muffs for indoor shooting, larger high contrast ‘positive feedback’ targets, shorter distances and light recoiling, accurate firearms (.22 rimfire) all make the experience easier.  I assume up front that I will cover all the costs associated. [Hey, the first one's free. *wink*]  I also try to avoid crowds (unable to do that this time), using unfamiliar jargon, overly technical details, politics, and targets that represent other people or animals.  My goal is simply to introduce my hobby to the person.  Afterwards, if they want more info, I can always elaborate.

We met at a local indoor range on Saturday afternoon and it was packed!  While we waited for a lane, I covered Cooper’s rules of safety and the basics of grip, stance and sight alignment.  Thankfully, a range employee found a quiet area for us to use during the instruction.  Trying to explain anything on a live range even with electronic hearing protection is, um, difficult.

The dreaded flinch is something we all have to overcome; preventing it in the first place is something to strive for.  Public ranges present more of a challenge with new shooters due to the noise from the other patrons.  Some of the benefits of using a rimfire are lost when the guy in the next lane is firing a .40 S&W, .357 mag, shotgun, etc.  When timing allows, I prefer to instruct new shooters using a pellet gun in the backyard before going to a gun range or better yet out to the country.

My student was a quick study and quickly understood the safety and sight alignment concepts; grip, stance and trigger press were, of course, unfamiliar and required a bit more explanation.  However, once we had the chance to shoot, he took to it like a duck to water.

Starting at about 5 yards, my student put the first 10 rounds into about a 5 inch group using my Ruger 22/45 with a fiber optic front sight.  Pretty good for a first go!  We worked a bit on grip and trigger press for another magazine or two and soon moved a fresh target out to 7 yards in order to force more focus onto the front sight.  He did very well again and kept the group at about the same size or smaller at that distance.

After a hundred rounds or so of .22, I asked if he’d like to try something else.  He gladly accepted the chance to shoot a few rounds of 9mm* and .38 special.  Again he shot well and enjoyed every moment of it.  We finished up with a magazine or two of .22 to reinforce good habits and called it a day.

As we were leaving he asked if he could reimburse me for the expense.  I thanked him for offering but declined stating that I found it rewarding that he had a good time and that was enough.  When he pressed a bit, I responded that if he really wanted to, the best remuneration he could give me would be to join the NRA**.  He responded with a half-joking, “Well, I don’t want to be on any lists.”  Smiling, I half-joked back saying, “I don’t understand. You’re already on the lists.” [He has a job requiring federal security clearance and at least two hobbies requiring federal licenses.]  He agreed to consider it. We talked a bit more and parted as friends, agreeing we both want more range time.

*M&P with polymer FSS trigger – brief report tomorrow

**Yes, I did say I try to avoid politics with new shooters but I also want to keep being able to exercise my rights and enjoy my favorite past time.  Remember: If each member just brought in one more, the membership would double.

 

106 Days: R-Guns BCGs Arrive

Nickel boron plated bolt carrier groups from R-Guns

Nickel boron plated bolt carrier groups from R-Guns

I have to say that after having read one particular account of R-Guns customer service I was concerned, but here they are without a hitch.  I ordered them in February and they didn’t charge my card until the day they shipped via UPS.

Bringing One More to Our Side

Sometime this weekend I will have the honor of introducing another soul (a bonafide NASA engineer, no less) to the joys of shooting. All I had to do was offer and he accepted saying that he’s been interested in learning about firearms for a long time but hasn’t had someone to introduce him to the sport.

So, who have you offered to take to the range lately?

This is my Blaster. There are many like it…

…but this one is mine.

The Blaster: A TacSol AR-22T upper with 15" AP Customs Tactical handguard

The Blaster: A TacSol AR-22T upper with 15″ AP Custom Tactical handguard

Well, there may not be any like it.  Looking at it completed assembled, my first thought was, “That looks like something out of Star Wars.”  But now you know why I asked if 15 inches is too long: It’s installed on a Tactical Solutions AR-22T dedicated .22 rimfire upper. Ordinarily a 15″ handguard on a 16.5″ barrel is not a problem (although they are most often used on 3-gun type rifles with 18″+ barrels).  However, because the rimfire barrel is recessed into the receiver by over an inch, I knew the barrel wouldn’t be too much longer than the handguard.

The yellow line indicates where the barrel begins.

The yellow line indicates where the barrel begins.

What I didn’t account for is the gap between the receiver and the back of the tube.  That left all of 1/16 of an inch of barrel to extend past the end of the handguard.

Technically the barrel extends past the handguard

Technically the barrel is longer

Obviously, there won’t be any trouble finding a place to mount iron sights on top of that which was the reason for adding the rail to begin with.  The plan is also to add a bipod stud as well and the handguard does have a row of vents along the bottom for adding accessories.  One of the two included APC add-on rail sections could be used for that purpose. They are rock solid when mounted and offer impressive flexibility of mounting locations [@1:30, 3, 6, 9 or 10:30 o'clock any where along the length].

Two 2 inch add-on rail sections are included with AP Customs Tactical Handguard

Two 2 inch add-on rail sections are included with AP Custom Tactical Handguard

However, the idea of adding a rail only to have to add a bipod stud adapter to then attach a bipod just irks me.  AP Custom will be introducing a simple, low profile bipod stud accessory but it hasn’t been released for sale at this time.  [BTW, they recently released a lo-pro QD socket that I want to try too.]  I did try IWC’s excellent V-2 Mount-n-Slot for MagPul MOE forends but while serviceable, it’s not an exact fit; MagPul vents are narrower and the surfaces around them are flat rather than curved like those of a free float tube.  This leaves a very slight amount of play when MOE accessories are mounted to an APC tube (unless you really want to wrench them down; I didn’t).

Vent size comparison: AP Customs carbon fiber handguard (top) to MagPul MOE (bottom); IWC V2 Mount-N-Slot on MOE

Vent size comparison: AP Customs carbon fiber handguard (above) to MagPul MOE (below); IWC V2 Mount-N-Slot on MOE

That didn’t keep me from doing a mock up of what it would be like with a bipod mounted though.

Shooting from within the rough.

In the jungle, the quiet jungle…

So now all it needs are the iron sights that led to this whole undertaking.  Well, they’re backordered.  But I’m sure that they’ll be along shortly; this panic buying stuff is tapering off, right? *sigh*

Until then, I’ll still be having a great time with the ‘Blaster’.  The TacSol upper is not only accurate and fun but it’s also an excellent training tool (inexpensive to shoot and great for introducing new shooters to the AR platform). Adding the AP Custom handguard and (eventually) aperture sights only makes it better.

Just one more pic.

And just one more pic.

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