AR15 Archives -
June 18th, 2020 by AmSJ Staff

Review and photographs by Norman Gray

Since the weight of an AR-15 rifle varies from manufacturer to manufacturer and model to model, it can sometimes be an undesirable element for women who shoot them. A fully accessorized AR-15 can weigh upwards of 10 or more pounds with a fully loaded, high-capacity magazine. This weight can cause the shooter to lean backwards to compensate, and in turn, makes these heavier guns un-enjoyable. If you’re physically fit and do strength training, weight has a reduced affect, but supporting a heavier rifle will eventually affect the shooter causing them to focus more on the weight and less on the target. If you can identify with this, please read on.

The second concern I commonly hear has to do with a heavy trigger pull. This can be just as much a concern as weight. Women, including my wife, have disparaged the heavy trigger pull of an AR-15 as well as some handguns, especially ones with double-action-only triggers. Many old military rifles including AR-15s have what is referred to as a “military trigger,” and on average have an 8- to 10-pound pull.


The original reason for this was so that when the adrenaline was flowing, the shooter would not be able to pull the trigger easily, and experience an unintended discharge. A suggestion would be adding a Timney drop-in trigger. They are easy to install (they drop in using the existing pins) and you have several  trigger-weight options to choose from.

The EOTech 518 and G33 3X Magnifier makes a great pair for your primary sights

Many years ago while walking the floor at the 2015 Shooting Hunting Outdoor Trade, or SHOT, Show I met with the representative from Windham Weaponry. I told them my concerns about women having to deal with heavy ARs and how some companies are starting to employ polymers to reduce the weight of both the upper and lower receivers.
Their rep walked me over to a display and handed me their Windham Weaponry Carbon Fiber “SRC.” I couldn’t help but notice the reduced weight of the rifle. I was impressed and knew this could serve as a great alternative to the heavier aluminum receivers. I had seen some polymer receivers around, but at the time didn’t know of anyone who effectively used it for both upper and lower receivers.



Windham states that this rifle weighs 5.85 pounds without a magazine. Using a postal scale I weighed the rifle with the factory sling and an empty aluminum 30-round magazine; it came to 6.25 pounds. I weighed it again with the sling and 30-round magazine (full); it came to 7.25 pounds. At this weight the R16M4 was still lighter than most AR-15s.
If you were to add Magpul’s all-steel MBUS-Pro sight set, it would raise the weight 3.3 ounces. For this review I added an EOTech model 518 HWS (holographic weapon sight) which uses AA batteries (13.3 ounces) and a G-33 3X magnifier (11.9 ounces). The total weight with a sling, loaded 30-round magazine, sights and magnifier finished at 8.75 pounds. That’s where most AR-15s start stripped. I approached this like I would backpacking: ounces count and can add up quickly.

SRC

This SRC starts with a 16-inch, M4-style, chrome-lined barrel which has a 1-in-9-inch right-hand-twist rate that works well for stabilizing bullets from 55 to 75 grains. It finishes off with an an A2 flash suppressor. The gas block sports a MIL-STD-1913 Picatinny rail for mounting any front sight you choose, as well as has a standard bayonet lug and sling swivel.
A word of caution: use a sight constructed of steel, as the gas block will heat up considerably and possibly melt other sights. The handguards have a double-layered heat shield to protect from the heat and are constructed of plastic. They are easily grasped and can be replaced with a quad rail handguard.



An A2 pistol grip offers your shooting hand a secure grip and, as with most parts, it can be replaced with a grip more suited to your hand size. The six-position telescoping buttstock is easy to adjust; grasp the buttstock trigger bar by the rear-sling loop and squeeze it while moving the stock forward or backward to the desired length of 6.5 to 10.5 inches.

The EOTech 518 and G33 3X Magnifier is rock solid on the carbon fiber Picatinny rail

Now we have come to what makes the Windham Weaponry rifle so unique: the carbon-fiber upper and lower receiver. They’re molded to look much like what you’re used to, yet discernibly different, containing more angles than curves. On the upper receiver the Picatinny rail is also made of carbon fiber and offers a strong and secure point to mount optics.
The charging handle, dust cover and forward assist button is metal, mainly because they have moving parts or springs and are high-stress areas. When disassembling a normal upper, you would remove the charging handle by pulling it to the rear until it stops, then lifting straight up and out, allowing the side tabs to clear the cutouts in the upper receiver. With this model, you simply pull straight back and out and reassemble the same way. You must use caution when disassembling or reassembling the upper receiver as the bolt and charging handle will fall out if tipped up, possibly causing damage.
All other areas of the rifle are the same as common models. On the lower receiver the magazine release, bolt catch, safety selector and trigger are metal as well. The markings for the safety selector are icons molded into the receiver; a bullet with an X inside means safe (safety selector pointing forward) and a plain bullet means fire (safety selector point up). The serial number is etched inside of a box under the selector and highlighted with silver, so it’s easy to read. The trigger guard is oversized to allow shooting in cold climates with fingered gloves, and there is room on the rail for backup iron sights, optics and a magnifier, but it’s tight.

I disassembled, inspected, cleaned and lubricated the rifle and headed to the range. It did not disappoint. Oh and do not fear, the rifle comes with a detailed “how to” manual on safety and instruction, disassembly, cleaning, lubrication and re-assembly if this is your first AR15. I had some random leftover ammo from other tests and loaded them into the Windham-original magazine first. I fired all 30 rounds with no stoppages.

I then fired the test ammunition through the chronograph using the factory and Magpul’s 20- and 30-round magazines; again, no stoppages. I also wanted to see how the carbon fiber dissipated heat. With the help of my son we fired 120 rounds through the rifle and I carefully placed my finger on the receiver, and while very warm, it did not burn my finger. It also cooled to the touch relatively fast despite being a direct-gas impingement system, which means the gas from the round is tapped off from the barrel and moved through a gas tube and then back to the bolt to cycle the action.

This Carbon Fiber SRC performed as hoped with all the ammunition and magazines tested. The cooling and heat-dissipation properties of the carbon fiber are noticeably better than their aluminum counterparts, and so is the overall weight with the accessories tested. If you wish to keep the rifle as light as possible, use a 10- or 20-round magazine with iron sights.

The only problem I encountered was that the rear takedown pin will walk out if not pushed all the way in until you hear or feel a click. Other than that, I highly recommend this rifle to any shooter who wants a light and dependable M4-style rifle. The choice is yours in the end on how light your rifle will be, but rest assured, you’re starting out with a rifle whose manufacturer is confident enough to give you a lifetime warranty that is even transferable. Lastly, something I feel is very important: Windham rifles are 100 percent American made in Windham, Maine, just outside Portland. –AmSJ

Posted in Product Reviews Tagged with: , , , ,

April 20th, 2017 by AmSJ Staff

If you haven’t seen the AR-15 Can Cannon soda launcher, you are seriously missing out.
This is a fairly new, innovative, and badass way to fire, launch, or otherwise shoot your favorite (or least favorite) soda! At least one company has made a “Can Cannon” that’s compatible with either an AR-15 or an M16.
Think the idea came from non-lethal weapons, law enforcements uses the shotgun to shoot bean bags at the bad guy when they don’t want to seriously injure them.
Here’s what it looks like in action:
https://www.facebook.com/Sniperandweapons/videos/283286762110239/
XProducts has made one such fun way to abuse your favorite soda called the Can Cannon.
The company says,
“The Can Cannon is a 100% legal soda can launcher for your AR-15/M16 rifle. The Can Cannon is perfect for launching soda cans and other similarly sized objects such as tennis balls, paint cans, t-shirts, or the X Products Grappling Hook”

other possibilities include a net launcher, dog training dummies, lawn darts, and a harpoon! Why says XProducts: “because you can!”

Sources: Snipers & Weapons FB, Craig Raleigh

Posted in Just Plinking Tagged with: ,

March 20th, 2017 by jhines

I know that we all love having fun shooting our AR’s but when its over, its time to get to the business of cleaning. Having a specific tool like the CAT M4 is an invaluable piece to have so you can get into the nooks and crannies of your bolt carrier group.

With this tool you can clean your firing pin and the chamber area where the firing pin sits. It can still be done without this tool, but with a CAT M4 handy it makes your life easier.

Video Transcription
Ok Youtube, I was watching Peter with the Army channel the other day, and he had a tool to help you clean the bolt of your AR-15, and it looked like a quality-made product, so I decided to pick one up, and there’s all their informaton right there on the card, just comes in a little ziplock bag, and then this cardboard. And then in the cardboard, is folded up, is the tool itself, and then instructions on how to use it. Very simple, all the steps you can use to clean it, and then just some literature on the back.

So, figured I’d give it a shot. I literally just got this in the mail, and I haven’t cleaned my bolt in a while. As you can see, it -if it’ll focus in on there- you can tell there’s quite a bit of carbon build-up, and it’s fairly dirty in there as well. Not that it’s going to show up too well. But I thought I’d give this thing a try, and just kinda going step-by-step on it.

The first part’s gonna be to clean the carbon off here. So as you can see, hopefully, this part is beveled and polished just to fit just the specifications of your bolt, so you just slide it in there, and then twist, is what they’re saying. Then off comes the dirt. And it seems to be working pretty good. I mean it’s– I guess this wasn’t quite as dirty as I thought it was. It’s not getting in there as tight. Actually, yeah, it smooths that right up. I mean there’s not a whole lot– you’re gonna see the dirt that’s on there. But it loosened up there.

Now I will say that this has been– the last time I cleaned this, I took a little pick and scraped that, because it had built up so bad. I’d never even paid attention to it, which is my fault for not cleaning it that well, but that tool does a pretty good job.

And now the flat part sticks in there, and you’re supposed to just kinda turn it a little bit, loosen up the dirt, and you can see– that’s gonna be a lot dirtier, because cleaning in there is something I’ve never done. You’re supposed to just clean in there a little bit, and then you can either– you’re supposed to thread this through (if I can do it) there we go, you thread that through and then fold it over to where it holds on, and then do it again. That fits in there snug. Wow. Can you tell there’s some dirt in there? Another option you can do is just fold it over the top and do the same thing. I guess the reason you don’t fold it over the top is so you don’t lose it once it’s in there. But yeah, definitely got some more work to do on cleaning that.

And the other piece is that little cross-shaped cutout. You just stick your firing pin there, as you can tell, it’s got some dirt on it. But it’s supposed to clean right around in here, so you just stick it through that hole, it kinda fits in that recess, and then you just turn it. And actually, it’s getting off quite a bit. Just pull down and spin is all I’m doing, and as you can see there’s quite a bit of junk on that– I don’t think it’s a blade, just that kinda sharp edge that gets right up against it there. Get a new square here… I know this isn’t the best review, but that’s probably the cleanest this thing’s been since I bought it. I mean I guess you could get a little pick and scrape in there, but without having a pick, that works pretty good. I’m pretty impressed at how that scrubs that metal, because it has the perfect tolerances, just to clean that metal just perfectly to where it won’t scrape the metal and remove any metal, but it cleans off all that carbon. So yeah I think it’s a pretty good little product.

And of course, also if you have any little screwdriver bits, it allows you to use that as a screwdriver bit right here. So. But yeah, it’s a CAT M4 cleaning tool. Made in the USA. Yeah, if you’re looking for someone to clean your AR bolt, they also make one for the 762 bolts. Anything that fits in a standard AR-15 bolt like a 6.8 SPC bolt will work in here too. If you need to go to the larger bolt carrier, like te AR-10 bolt carrier, they do have a tool for cleaning the larger AR-10 bolts as well. So just something to check out if you’re interested.

Alright, I’m gonna finish cleaning this and put it all back together.


Sources: The Peruano57 Youtube, Army Channel

Posted in Gear Tagged with: , ,

March 19th, 2017 by jhines

Razorback 22LR Beltfed Conversion for the AR15 rifle – Credits go to LSM1213
Tired of stacking up old magazines on your plinker? Lakeside Guns has the solution for you — a beltfed .22 LR. Correct, the Lakeside Machine has a clever transformation for AR-15 style rifles, called the Razorback. This altered upper receiver allows you go through rimfire ammunition by means of a belt. Maybe best of all, it requires no alteration to the lower receiver to slap one on. In general, the Razorback gives off an impression of being for the most part a novelty but be that as it may, what the hell, it would so cool to bring one at the range.

This is a Razorback Beltfed 22 rimfire conversion for the AR15 rifles. No modifications to your lower and totally reversible back to centerfire. Lakeside Machine LLC is the worlds only maker of beltfed rimfires. Compare price and simply the total cool factor of this conversion……simply the BEST value in rimfire out there today!!

Sources: Lakeside Guns Youtube

Posted in AR15 Tagged with: , ,

March 16th, 2017 by jhines

A gun specialist and a trauma specialist gives us an answer by reproducing a scene from the 1986 war film, Platoon. With the assistance of a fast camera, we will get a good idea on the degree of harm. The M16 slug 5.56 (.223) is known for its “tumble” which is essentially what causes the harm.

Nonetheless, while most lead center slugs do this after they enter the tissue, the M16’s speed also adds to the injuries. From a distance of 30 feet, what will happen to the ballistic gel mannequin? What will be the impact to the imperative organs? Let’s see!



Video Transription
Paul Dalby is a weapon’s expert with more than 30 years’ experience testing firearms and explosives.

“What I’m holding here is the iconic M16 Assault Rifle. This particular example being a Vietnam veteran. It’s a 5.56 caliber weapon, fed from a 20-round box magazine. It’s accurate to 500 meters, and fires at a rate of 700 rounds per minute.”

To show the damage caused by a single M16 bullet to the human body, Paul will fire into a block of Ballistic gel that has the same density as human tissue. A high-speed camera shows the extent of the damage caused by the bullet.

Adam Brooks is a trauma surgeon and expert in ballistic injuries. He’s treated similar wounds on the battlefield and will be examining the extent of the bullet’s impact.

“This Ballistic Gel is very much like incising tissues of the body, and I’ll try and cut along the track of this round, so we can get an idea of the damage that it’s done. So here’s the entry of the bullet, for the first five or six centimeters, very little in the way of destruction or damage to tissues, but then as the round slows down and turns on its side in the tissue, we get this cavitation effect. All the energy’s dumped into the body, and you get tearing and huge amount of trauma to tissues. And then finally, you can see how the round has twisted, turned on its axis to the point where it’s pointing backwards here and come to rest, still within the body.”

If just a single shot from an M16 rifle causes such devastation to a human body, what will be the effect of tree direct hits to the chest?

To recreate the scene from Platoon, this Ballistic gel mannequin will represent Sargent Elias. Inside are representations of the vital organs: The heart and lungs, liver, and kidneys. Paul will be firing in semiautomatic mode from a distance of 30 feet. The same shooting distance as in the movie.

“Weapon clear.”

Every one of Paul’s bullets hit their mark, but have they missed the vital organs, as they did in Platoon?

“He’s been hit low down, just taking the edge of the kidney out, and that’s going to bleed, you can see the blood around the model. He’s got two other injuries, here and here. Both of which have caught the edge of the right lung. Although the lung has been deflated a little bit, it’s not an immediately life-threatening injury.”

So Elias could have survived Barns’ assault, to later reappear from the jungle, only to meet his maker at the hands of enemy fire. But after surviving three bullets to the chest, would Elias really have been able to run into the clearing?

“Elias could have got up and run, for a period of time.”

Sources: Smithsonian Channel, Paul Dalby, Adam Brookes


Posted in Hollywood and Pop Culture Tagged with: , , , ,

March 15th, 2017 by jhines

This AR-15 with a two-inch barrel takes it to another level and is just insane.

AR-15 style rifles sporting shorter length barrels are high in demand these days. But how short is just too short on a registered short barreled rifle (SBR)?

Well, try this one. Yes, that barrel is actually only two inches long. When firing the 5.56x45mm/.223 caliber cartridges, the tips of the bullets protrude out of the barrel. This can be witnessed in the video before each shot is taken.

Is a 2″ barrel a good idea on an AR-15 rifle? Maybe not, but it does still shoot. Would you take a chance and shoot this ultra short-barreled AR-15?


Sources: High Caliber ConversionsLLC Youtube, Eric Nestor

Posted in AR15 Tagged with: ,

March 1st, 2017 by AmSJ Staff

The past few years have been explosive for awesome new parts for ARs. Most of the time it’s small details that add up, but sometimes you get one that really shakes things up and gets you to your core.

Enter: Dead Foot Arms MODIFIED CYCLE SYSTEM Folding AR Stock. The first of its kind to be capable of firing even while the stock is folded. Something the AK could do that the AR couldn’t is now AR-capable and ready to roll.

This new stock was displayed at SHOT Show 2016. What do you think? Have you seen it? Isn’t it cool?

Here’s a video to say even more about it.

Posted in Media Releases Tagged with: , , ,