Author Topic: Falling Out of Love With the AR  (Read 1300 times)

Offline David in MN

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Falling Out of Love With the AR
« on: November 12, 2018, 08:54:54 AM »
I'll start by saying that I love the AR, think everyone should have a few, and it is the modern rifle. The M4 style is awesome. You can aftermarket it to anything you want. And I'll go so far as to say in many competitions it's the #1 choice hands down.

But there are some nagging things. The AR for better or worse was designed for  a 1950s battlefield in East Europe. It's a balance of options (all tools are) and maybe not right for me. The 5.56 might be ideal for a military needing to supply thousands of rounds per day or a marine on patrol carrying a couple hundred but that's not my life. Unlike a modern military my top concern isn't logistics. I don't need massive amounts of ammo.

The range is wrong too. We could argue but the AR has a 200-300 meter sweet spot. I live on 1/3 of an acre. If I needed home defense a shotgun makes more sense. Off the property I'm in the flatland of the midwest where I see for miles. If 2 guys decided to get violent and one showed up on a wheat field with a kitted up AR he'd be in real trouble if the other brought his .300 Winmag elk gun.

I spent last night at a social event and found myself talking to a couple where she is an engineer at Federal and he works for the Anoka Sheriffs. He was very curious about my shotgun expderience (I am at home with it and gave advice on building a police gun) and I was curious about his thoughts. He is building a .308 AR-10 because in his mind if he's out on the farms and needs a gun he wants to hit hard at 500+ meters. He, like me, is dead set that under 50 meters you want a shotgun and beyond that you want a hunting round.

I also have the opinion of my father, a Vietnam vet. He was awarded marksmanship medals with the M14, his favorite gun and had utter disdain for the M16 which he felt was little more than a "spray and pray" gun. I'm not on board with that but I'm not ignoring someone with combat experience who will openly voice that he had more confidence in the .308. And hey, call a spade a spade he was a 170 lb draftee and I'm a ~240 lb weightlifter. We're not remotely the same people.

I'm not trying to hate on the AR. I have some. But I can't shake that it was designed to solve problems I don't have. I don't need a military load, don't need to ship ammo to a battlefield, and never intend on using its optimized range. It wasn't built for me or my needs. As a simple example it does nothing for bear which is realistic for me.

10 years ago I was much simpler in the head. Buy an AR, slap a red dot on, and get training. And it's still not bad advice. I will build an AR with my daughter (have the lower) when she's old enough. It's a great gun and it builds skills. And it's fun and easy to shoot. I've handed mine to women in their 60s with arthritis and assured them it wwould be an easy shooter. But again that's solving a problem I don't have.

I'm curious of this phenomenon. If you had to build a "ground up" rifle for your life would it be an AR?

Offline Alan Georges

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Re: Falling Out of Love With the AR
« Reply #1 on: November 12, 2018, 06:00:43 PM »
David, is it the 5.56 cartridge that bugs you, or the AR platform in general?

This is such a huge question you're batting around, one that has set off holy wars on other, less-civil forums.  But like you, I can see the both the good and the shortcomings of the ubiquitous AR-15.

Offline CarbideAndIron

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Re: Falling Out of Love With the AR
« Reply #2 on: November 13, 2018, 05:09:07 AM »
Those are all reasons I have always wanted a PTR-91. Cheap, durable, good platform, and .308. Only reason I built an AR instead, was because you can build them cheaply, and in increments. I'm cheap, so I would rather fool myself, and nickel and dime a build.

Offline armymars

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Re: Falling Out of Love With the AR
« Reply #3 on: November 13, 2018, 09:14:59 AM »
If someone would just make a modern cock on closing bolt action rifle that would shoot as fast and smooth as the Endfield, now that's a gun I would buy. Grin

Offline Alan Georges

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Re: Falling Out of Love With the AR
« Reply #4 on: November 13, 2018, 06:14:09 PM »
If someone would just make a modern cock on closing bolt action rifle that would shoot as fast and smooth as the Endfield, now that's a gun I would buy. Grin
Second that!  A nice short action, maybe a mid-range cartridge (6.5, 6.8, etc.), a few tacticool flourishes (flash hider especially), and it would be a formidable "hunting rifle."  I could see making do with it.

Offline Chemsoldier

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Re: Falling Out of Love With the AR
« Reply #5 on: November 13, 2018, 08:33:34 PM »
I just see few other niches.  It does most things well for modest size, weight and recoil.  While you can obviously take a lot more of all of those things, to what end?   You already stated you dont need the range capability of a more powerful cartridge.  The terminal ballistics advantage of something else at the distances you are talking about is marginal against unarmored targets, and the most common armor types that stop 5.56 is probably SAPI/ESAPI, which is rated to stop .30-06 AP, so probably heavier than you are slinging from something else.

The shotgun is badass in many situations, but it is inherently low capacity in most of its incarnations.  I am not saying it will not work in most circumstances, but if we were playing "what is most likely to need" we need a door lock and a cell phone, not a firearm of any sort.

Whatever floats your boat man.  I am not gonna look down my nose at whatever you want to use.  I have deliberately started working on my Scout Rifle skills so I can have a non-AR option for distance work, just in case the political winds change.  However, there is no magical brain power that can be applied to make the AR not a good choice for many applications either.

Offline Smurf Hunter

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Re: Falling Out of Love With the AR
« Reply #6 on: November 14, 2018, 11:34:11 AM »
Context is key


Why assume you are outdoors patrolling or responding to some alert?

What if instead you had to go on offense, kick in a door and shoot 3 bad guys quickly?  I'd rather give up terminal ballistics of a heavy deer gun for fast accurate shots. Also not sure a shotgun has enough firepower when you have more than two targets CQB.

I'm not going to suggest my example is likely or your should be a top consideration, but that's where a carbine shines.  Likewise for urban and or vehicle operations.


Offline David in MN

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Re: Falling Out of Love With the AR
« Reply #7 on: November 14, 2018, 12:49:48 PM »
Nothing I disagree with.

Context does matter. I am in no small part a function of the times. I was a teen during the Clinton Ban so when I was old enough and had the money yeah buddy I got an AR. And the media would make you believe it's some kind of magic death ray.

I ran mine in training and competition and I have no problem with it. My 3 year old has her lower (I bought it for her 2nd birthday much to mom's chagrin). It's a great gun to learn and train with. And it really is ideal for some purposes.

I'm not trying to poop on anybody's gun choices. When it comes to running a fast time or being unsure of range it's a good compromise. If Red Dawn happens I'll use mine. It's a good rifle and I think everyone should have a few. But as I've trained in with a longer range bolt gun I've found a new home. I don't think it's an accident that us northern climate people fall in love with big bolt guns. If I'm out hiking in northern MN bears are a realistic concern. Where I live 200 lb mountain lions are a concern.

I'm not saying it's not the best tactical carbine. I think it is. The current M4 blows everything out of the water. The ergos alone are second to none. I'm saying if I had to grab one rifle in my world it would be my .308 scout. And in the deep snows of winter I feel better with a big bolt. With big gloves, with snow in the bolt, with ice everywhere.. yeah, my opinion has changed.

I'm not making a blanket claim for the entire world. I went from a "high speed low drag" competitor to a long range enthusiast. And I've really struggled with the "for what" question. Snowshoeing in northern MN isn't duty patrol in Tikrit. ANd if I'm honest if I was door kicking I'll take an 870. Under 50 yards it's my choice.

I hope I'm not upsetting people. I really like the AR. It just doesn't fit my life as well as a traditional bolt. That could change. It just struck me odd that for the first time in a while when I wanted a rifle it wasn't the AR. It's been a weird thing to go through.

Offline iam4liberty

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Re: Falling Out of Love With the AR
« Reply #8 on: November 14, 2018, 03:43:42 PM »
I hope I'm not upsetting people. I really like the AR. It just doesn't fit my life as well as a traditional bolt. That could change. It just struck me odd that for the first time in a while when I wanted a rifle it wasn't the AR. It's been a weird thing to go through.

How dare you go and choose preps outside the norm which actually fit your needs!  ;)

Seriously, 20 years ago in the prepper community the 308 battle rifles like the M1A and HK were generally considered the top choices.  Look at works like Boston's Gun Bible and Fred's Guide for the logic.  But this was the time of 5 to15 cent a round 308.  Then it shifted dramatically to the smaller, lighter AR15, AK, and mini-14.  Truth is all of these are great options that, as long as build is done well, will let one control out to 500 yards. So are bolt rifles of the same calibers.

So, choose whichever is your passion and fits the budget.  Both are important for keeping practice up. The worst thing is letting hard earned skills fall off.

All this said, if you put a can on the AR it might rekindle that love a bit.  :)
« Last Edit: November 14, 2018, 03:55:16 PM by iam4liberty »

Offline cmxterra

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Re: Falling Out of Love With the AR
« Reply #9 on: November 14, 2018, 05:21:12 PM »
AR pistol for trunk gun or scout rifle. SCAR 17 for my save the homestead. 300BLK subsonic for home defense.

Offline David in MN

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Re: Falling Out of Love With the AR
« Reply #10 on: November 15, 2018, 11:31:52 AM »
I'm kind of going the other way... I mean besides my .338 Lapua...

My brother in law would joke (and he's an Afghan vet) that at my size I should run a FAL. Not sure about that one. He likes to joke that the military should have a policy where everyone under 6' gets an AR and those over 6' get a FAL. I think it's a clunky big gun but I'll admit for us larger folks you could do worse.

I just kind of fell in love with a .308 bolt. It does some amazing things. It shoots long, it looks benign (when I'm out with it), and I don't think people respect how powerful an fast a mag fed bolt gun can be. It's not a bad compromise.

It's probably not the right choice for everyone but for me it's become a go-to. Honestly it's been a shock to me. After spending years developing my skills dumping thousands of XM193 down range I'm finding that boring "hunting" rifles make more sense. Maybe I'm just getting old.

I'll also point out the American bias on guns. We like putting lead down range. If it fires faster, it's better. Case in point the Thompson (yes I want one because they are beautiful). We're the "shotgun culture" of the world. Point in the right direction and keep sending it until you're safe. We tend *generally* to think of guns as Audie Murphy, not Carlos Hathcock (both heroes). ANd none of us think of my gun virtuoso Frank Pape.

https://www.nytimes.com/2000/03/12/us/frank-pape-celebrated-chicago-police-detective-dies-at-91.html

I think I heard Massad Ayoob on the Gundudes once joke about how there's so many ways to skin this cat. There is no wrong answer unless you go to bear country with a .22. Find what runs for you and run it.

Offline Smurf Hunter

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Re: Falling Out of Love With the AR
« Reply #11 on: November 15, 2018, 02:09:49 PM »
I'm kind of going the other way... I mean besides my .338 Lapua...

My brother in law would joke (and he's an Afghan vet) that at my size I should run a FAL. Not sure about that one. He likes to joke that the military should have a policy where everyone under 6' gets an AR and those over 6' get a FAL. I think it's a clunky big gun but I'll admit for us larger folks you could do worse.

I just kind of fell in love with a .308 bolt. It does some amazing things. It shoots long, it looks benign (when I'm out with it), and I don't think people respect how powerful an fast a mag fed bolt gun can be. It's not a bad compromise.

It's probably not the right choice for everyone but for me it's become a go-to. Honestly it's been a shock to me. After spending years developing my skills dumping thousands of XM193 down range I'm finding that boring "hunting" rifles make more sense. Maybe I'm just getting old.

I'll also point out the American bias on guns. We like putting lead down range. If it fires faster, it's better. Case in point the Thompson (yes I want one because they are beautiful). We're the "shotgun culture" of the world. Point in the right direction and keep sending it until you're safe. We tend *generally* to think of guns as Audie Murphy, not Carlos Hathcock (both heroes). ANd none of us think of my gun virtuoso Frank Pape.

https://www.nytimes.com/2000/03/12/us/frank-pape-celebrated-chicago-police-detective-dies-at-91.html

I think I heard Massad Ayoob on the Gundudes once joke about how there's so many ways to skin this cat. There is no wrong answer unless you go to bear country with a .22. Find what runs for you and run it.

Actions matter too.  I have a couple .22lr rifles.  A Savage Mark II bolt action,  and a Ruger 10/22 semi-auto (recently voted by to be designated as "assault weapon" on 7/1/19 in WA state, but I digress).

I shoot them completely different.  With the 5 round mag in the savage, I manage my breathing, am careful of my cheek weld and everything else.  On the 10/22, I just get "close enough" and squeeze, squeeze and squeeze again.  In neither case am I really thinking (that click just cost $0.05), it's just the action that persuades how I shoot.  With an AR15, esp. with 30 round magazine it's nearly impossible to shoot only a small volume recreationally.

Offline cmxterra

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Re: Falling Out of Love With the AR
« Reply #12 on: November 15, 2018, 02:57:01 PM »
Speaking of .22  A .22 upper with subsonics and a can is AWESOME. More quiet than a pellet gun.

Offline David in MN

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Re: Falling Out of Love With the AR
« Reply #13 on: November 16, 2018, 01:59:00 PM »
Actions matter too.  I have a couple .22lr rifles.  A Savage Mark II bolt action,  and a Ruger 10/22 semi-auto (recently voted by to be designated as "assault weapon" on 7/1/19 in WA state, but I digress).

I shoot them completely different.  With the 5 round mag in the savage, I manage my breathing, am careful of my cheek weld and everything else.  On the 10/22, I just get "close enough" and squeeze, squeeze and squeeze again.  In neither case am I really thinking (that click just cost $0.05), it's just the action that persuades how I shoot.  With an AR15, esp. with 30 round magazine it's nearly impossible to shoot only a small volume recreationally.

Fair point. It is a bit of a case of apples and oranges when I put the cheapest 55 grain possible in my AR and high end .308 in my bolt gun. My Savage MK II BRJ has only ever seen one load. I am more picky with bolt or single shot platforms than semis. Kind of goes back to the old joke about full auto turning cash into piles of brass.

I brought it up with my brother in law today. He laughed and told me he gets it. In his head going rural a bolt gun is more convenient to carry through rough terrain. Yeah, that makes sense. He then called me a b*tch for not using a .30-06. Funny. I suspect we have a date coming where his .300 Winmag and my .338 Lapua go head to head. He'll probably best me.

He was giving me crap but he saw the arguments on both sides. Of course he just splits the difference and claims his AR-10 is best. But he doesn't use it much cause it's too heavy. He hucked that in and out of deer camp exactly once before going back to a bolt action and then settling on a 20 gauge semi auto dedicated slug gun. We then derailed into one of our normal arguments: Binelli semi-auto vs. pump. He's wrong; the pump is supreme  ;).

That's what has really been amazing. I pick up different guns and realize each solves a different problem. When I started working my scout I wasn't very good but I worked in and now I like it for what it offers. Still have ARs. I just like this setup more. And while I joke with my brother he just grew up in hunting culture with semi shotguns and I grew up rural(er) with cheap pumps.

I appreciate that we're all positive. You never know what platform will speak your language.

Offline David in MN

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Re: Falling Out of Love With the AR
« Reply #14 on: November 23, 2018, 10:00:33 AM »
I spent the other day (Tuesday) packing in the guns for winter. I'm ashamed to admit I hardly clean them anymore but I try to at least get the shotguns spotless because I know I won't shoot them in the cold. I was one of those guys who cleaned every gun once a month but then we had a kid, didn't like the chemicals arounnd the kid, so on and so forth.

Anyway, I pulled out Dahlia (yes I name my guns and an AR being a black rifle just fits as Dahlia [yes, the .338 is Valkyrie]) and I did some dry fire drills. Many of my instinct were firmed. In a head to head between my AR, .308 bolt action, and 870 I wasn't surprised.

In close action drills the shotgun is the winner. To go from carry to fire to follow up it just wins. I put it into use very quick. I'm sticking with the belief that in close it's my go-to. Here's the odd part... I get the .308 on long range faster than my AR. So it's not in my head. If I'm on your 6 and that first shot needs to count you want me carrying the bolt gun. Clunky safety and all.

But the big takeaway is that I need to rebuild Dahlia. She was a great gun when I was 28 and competing. Now I'm 38 and the eyes and arthritis... I really noticed how spoiled I am with the Savage accutrigger. Dahlia needs a better trigger. And she needs an optic. I put the POS Bushnell red dot on when I was poor and 20/15. Now I'm starting to look at the "designated marksman" type scopes which are oddly similar to my scout scope which I have been loving.

We (brother in law, father in law, and wife) talked about it over Thanksgiving. Their feelings:

BIL: "I couldn't fault a guy with a .308 scout in rural MN."
FIL: "I'm in my 70s. I like the AR."
Wife: "You're a big dumb redneck. You grew up throwing an 870 in the back of a pickup with no seat belts. 30 years with a shotgun and you're surprised it moves quick for you?"

All true. ANd she's right. If I only got one gun it would be an 870 (no hate on Mossberg but you use for that long you get hooked). But my philosophy of use hasn't changed. Under 50 yards the shotgun is supreme. Packing a rifle to go rural the scout gets my nod. If Red Dawn happens I want an AR.

Maybe the real problem is that I always used shotguns and ARs so when I got into longer range slower fire platforms I just got the "oh, that's what I've been missing" bug. And maybe I have a bias to higher power rather than rate of fire. But that kind of fits in my life.

The brother in law put it best. His advice: in Red Dawn the Mrs. gets the AR and you carry a shotgun with a bolt gun on the other shoulder. You're <50<400 and she's in between. We laughed.

Offline Smurf Hunter

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Re: Falling Out of Love With the AR
« Reply #15 on: November 26, 2018, 02:40:11 PM »
Product marketing aside, for your context what makes a scout a "scout"?  Magazine fed bolt gun in .30 cal?  Could I take a lower end Savage model 10/11, convert to box magazine and be good to go, or are you more of the Jeff Cooper school where you mount a high eye relief scope forward of the action?  (I've thought since it's fed from a detachable magazine, you don't also need to support feeding via stripper clips - who would pack along both?)


Offline David in MN

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Re: Falling Out of Love With the AR
« Reply #16 on: November 26, 2018, 07:01:04 PM »
Product marketing aside, for your context what makes a scout a "scout"?  Magazine fed bolt gun in .30 cal?  Could I take a lower end Savage model 10/11, convert to box magazine and be good to go, or are you more of the Jeff Cooper school where you mount a high eye relief scope forward of the action?  (I've thought since it's fed from a detachable magazine, you don't also need to support feeding via stripper clips - who would pack along both?)

I want a mag fed bolt .308 (or similar gun). I run a 4x forward mounted long relief scope and I find ***for me*** I'm on it real quick. If for you a higher or lower magnification works and a different position works, well, that sounds good. I'm not uptight. If you run a 6 power designated marksman scope well (and I might get there too) rock on.

What I really like about the scout design is the compactness. I use 5 round mags. Yup, I like the small mags. And the .308 doesn't suffer shorter barrels like other calibers. So I get a rifle with an effective shorter (not SBR) barrel and less sticking out the bottom. What I like about the scout is what I like about the shotgun: easy carry.

I realize that a forward scope and mag feeding are counter-intuitive. But don't get bogged down there. The forward scope is on target fast. That's what I always loved about red dots on ARs. but for a magnified 500 yard shot the scout setup is ***for me*** kinda cool.

I'm no purist. If it works for you it works. My borther in law, a great shot, DETESTS the forward mounted scope. If he grabs his Tikka hunting gun he's good to go.

That's the nut we're all trying to crack. What's the right gun for me right now ? I'm not prescribing anything. I do think Cooper was on track for something. I'll admit I disagree with the Ching Sling because I like the simplicity of a traditional sling. And the bulk of the Ching flies in the face of my desired "super compact" .308 scout. And that sling gets hung up in brush which fails what I think the gun should be. I'm no acolyte.

I guess if you forced me to admit it the "scout rifle" would be a small bolt gun with a scope and sling that works for you. If that means a .30-06 with a 20" barrel and some daisy chained rubber bands; well, that's you.

We all live in different climates and face different predators. And we are all built different. Beyond the size and strength we all have different eyes. Between my eyes and your eyes could be an ocean.

When we get to "that one rifle" there's a million right answers. That's this thread. It's me going from a competitive rifle to a practical rifle. That has a lot of variables in it.

Offline Alan Georges

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Re: Falling Out of Love With the AR
« Reply #17 on: November 26, 2018, 09:04:47 PM »
It's a funny thing David, but I'm just the opposite: can't get used to a forward mounted scope, but love a Ching sling.  OTOH, I've never had to wrestle with a leather Ching sling, just the nylon webbing ones (https://www.thewilderness.com/ching-sling/).  They stay out of the way fairly well.

I keep coming back to this idea of a short action bolt rifle in whatever 6.8 the military standardizes on in the next couple of years, with a flash hider, 4x fixed scope, buis of some sort, and a Ching sling.  Using a detachable .mil mag would be a ideal, and leave lots of options open.  It's a good thing I'm not in a hurry, because it's going to take the DoD ~5 years to figure out what they want to do in 6.8.

Offline David in MN

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Re: Falling Out of Love With the AR
« Reply #18 on: November 27, 2018, 10:36:53 AM »
It's a funny thing David, but I'm just the opposite: can't get used to a forward mounted scope, but love a Ching sling.  OTOH, I've never had to wrestle with a leather Ching sling, just the nylon webbing ones (https://www.thewilderness.com/ching-sling/).  They stay out of the way fairly well.

I keep coming back to this idea of a short action bolt rifle in whatever 6.8 the military standardizes on in the next couple of years, with a flash hider, 4x fixed scope, buis of some sort, and a Ching sling.  Using a detachable .mil mag would be a ideal, and leave lots of options open.  It's a good thing I'm not in a hurry, because it's going to take the DoD ~5 years to figure out what they want to do in 6.8.

Too funny. Different strokes and all. But I get it. Some setups just feel "right". I love the rifle idea. I should mention my fondness for Magpul plastic magazines. Metal GI mags kinda suck in winter. You can make good cases for both, though.

Offline armymars

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Re: Falling Out of Love With the AR
« Reply #19 on: November 27, 2018, 12:54:06 PM »
Like I said earlier, cock on closing and as smooth as a Endfield. Please.

Offline Smurf Hunter

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Re: Falling Out of Love With the AR
« Reply #20 on: November 27, 2018, 02:44:50 PM »
Like I said earlier, cock on closing and as smooth as a Endfield. Please.

https://thefiringline.com/forums/showthread.php?t=359622

I was curious and skimmed the above.  Sounds like one of the big motivations for COC is that the opening stroke effort is 100% spent on extraction of the spent brass.  In the late Victorian Era when the .303 came about, it was black powder and more prone to foul the chamber compared to modern ammo.  So in that context COC has a lot of merit.
If cycling speed was the most important factor, I'm guessing a lighter pressure load should be faster to extract compared to a hot one.

I think some field experiments are in order.

Offline David in MN

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Re: Falling Out of Love With the AR
« Reply #21 on: November 27, 2018, 03:04:04 PM »
Like I said earlier, cock on closing and as smooth as a Endfield. Please.

I've witnessed a "mad minute" drill. It's terrifying how good those guys were with a hunting rifle and often shooting with the middle finger. I have no idea why this concept  was never modernized. I think the record stands at something like 36 shots in a minute. I know untrained guys who couldn't do that with a 40 round mag and modern gun.

One gun could be a hunter, a counter-sniper, and do volley fire? I'm not saying you're wrong...

Offline iam4liberty

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Re: Falling Out of Love With the AR
« Reply #22 on: November 27, 2018, 03:04:54 PM »
Like I said earlier, cock on closing and as smooth as a Endfield. Please.

15 years ago i bought a 308 Ishapore for $100. Wish i would have bought a dozen.  A lot of scout rifles have been made out of those. 

Offline armymars

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Re: Falling Out of Love With the AR
« Reply #23 on: November 28, 2018, 09:26:37 AM »
I'm green with envy. Or maybe it was that left over fish I ate.  :-X

Offline The Professor

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Re: Falling Out of Love With the AR
« Reply #24 on: November 28, 2018, 07:37:59 PM »
I haven't read through the entire thread, but let me toss in a few opinions.

I view the AR15 as a General Purpose rifle.  It does very few things well enough to outperform specialty firearms.   The shotgun, for example, is not my personal choice for home defense.  I may have to carry a grandchild to a safe room. . .a shotgun would be problematic.  I may have to use the phone. . .same situation.  God forbid that I have to drag a wounded family member to cover.  A handgun capable of being used one-handed  (in other situations, as well, such as opening or closing a door) is my preferred weapon for this.

An AR Pistol will work here, as well.  No, even in shortened form it's not a convenient as a 1911 or Glock, but it can hold a 60-rd magazine and with the right ammo chosen to reduce penetration through the walls. . .?  Hell, go NFA, chamber it in .300 BLK with a 7.5" bbl and suppressor and you can have 60 rds of 220-grain bullets that won't deafen you when you pull the trigger.

Want to shoot something at 500+ meters?  A few years ago I posted my "Ultimate" GP Survival Rifle build.  With Black Hills 77-gr rounds I could hit a 12" gong at 800m consistently.  I was working on some 75-grain A-Max-based handloads and got that FrankenRifle to shoot under 0.4 MOA.   I did have problems, IIRC, with feeding due to the OAL.  But, I moved and haven't had a chance to pick up on the experiment since.

Wanna go farther?  Get an upper in 6.5 Grendel or .224 Valkyrie.  The 1k'ers are shooting sub-MOA with supersonic velocities out to 1200m and 1300m, respectively, all the time and can take down the largest of North American animals.

As a "Minute-Man" gun?  Hard to beat.  It's light enough to be carried a long time.  Ditto the ammo.  Even if it's in the 20" barrel form, an average person can carry it.  Your engagement sphere, with inexpensive mil-spec ammo can reach out to 350m with basic firearms training.  Slap a low-power scope on it and watch your hit ratio climb (train on iron sights, first).  Moreover, there are so many milspec and better parts that if something breaks or wears out, it should be relatively easy to buy, barter or. . .<ahem>. . .acquire replacements.

You see, I look at the AR platform as being the ultimate adaptable firearm on the planet, currently.  All it takes is a little research, some money (sometimes a lot, sometimes not so much), and practice.

Our standard SHTF longarms  have changed a little.  The Frankenrifle to which I alluded earlier has been relegated to Search and Rescue or INCH purposes.  We've settled on SBR'd and Suppressed AR's in .300 BLK-chambered gun with Lawman side-folding adapters.  Looking at our area and the changing times, we wanted something smaller and lighter with a lower sound signature.  I have difficulty believing that I'll have to worry about shots being taken out past 300m or 350m, especially in the woodlands surrounding me or in an urban area.  But, I do see the need at engaging multiple targets under 50m in short periods of time, especially early on in a Get-home or early bug out scenario.  They also give us a smaller package to carry if we deem it necessary to be armed at all times.  With the suppressors on, they're about the length of a standard carbine.  Remove the suppressor and put on one of the "Blast Mitigation Devices," get the Knights Armament Hook, fold the stock and you have a VERY compact weapon with 30 (or more) round capacity that, with the right ammo, has a reduced signature (to the shooter) that is quickly brought into action with plenty of incapacitation potential (Supersonic, go for the 110-grain Barnes Tac-TX which is a proven fast-stopper on deer and large hogs).

Now, here's the fun part.  Those NFA Registered SBR lowers?  I can slap on any upper in any caliber and it will still work.  In fact, we specifically went with 10.5" 5.56x45 Noveske Switchblock uppers that have the same suppressor mount as the .300 BLK uppers. If we have problems locating .300 BLK ammo in an extended scenario, all we have to do is pull two pins, swap the top, and we can use .223 or 5.56x45 ammo.  We can even use the same 762SDN-6 suppressors, albeit with a lower sound reduction.

Great to use in vehicles, when evacuating on foot, doing stuff around the homestead or in more "social" situations.

Adaptability is the keyword for the AR.

Now, that doesn't mean that I'm not open to other options.  We originally went with AR Pistols in the same configuration. But, when travelling across state lines, I didn't (and don't) want some cops ignorance and shock at seeing a "black rifle" in my trunk if pulled over and my vehicle searched.  So, we take our Mossberg MVP Patrol rifles when we go out of the state.  They're fitted with the same scope as the Franken Rifle  (1-4x24), the same flash suppressor as the compact rifles (AAC 51T flash suppressor) so we can use the suppressors or Blast Mitigation Device.  They take the same AR mags and 223/5.56 ammo and work great.

Now, we did do nearby tactical shoots with the MVP's and there is a NOTICEABLE difference in time.  But, we don't have to change anything except the rifles when we travel out of state.

The MVP also comes in .308 (I have only one) and accepts the M14 mags as well as the Magpul .308 mags (I prefer the m14 mags, they seem to feed smoother) in about the same size.

So, for us (<--Keywords), the AR does most of what we want and/or need.  We just have to have the right configuration and some time behind the weapons for competency.

And that's just for the -15 version.  Want a .308?  That's a whole 'nother post.

Just some thoughts, worth exactly what you paid for them.

The Professor

Offline David in MN

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Re: Falling Out of Love With the AR
« Reply #25 on: November 29, 2018, 09:41:32 AM »
All good points. I should clarify that I keep handguns in pistol boxes on both levels for emergency. The shotgun is more like a neighborhood event. But I like your philosophy of selecting based on range. There's a reason we call it a "riot shotgun".

I also agree that the AR is incredibly adaptable and training crosses over. Lots of benefit there. Maybe not as adaptable as a shotgun that goes from a bird gun to a slug with a one pump changeover but that's digressing. Yes, with one lower and several uppers you can customize to just about any task. That's cool.

I also agree on the philosophy of use in terms of firepower. I would feel different if I drove through downtown every day. I get it. Going through a violent protest is much less likely for me than a guy with that commute.

Also agree that there is a lot of "for me" in this discussion. That's not a bad thing.

Offline Smurf Hunter

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Re: Falling Out of Love With the AR
« Reply #26 on: November 30, 2018, 02:26:54 PM »
In a legal/regulatory context the AR pattern has a lot of benefit when switching uppers as Prof mentions.

Though being practical, Once you get into mid grade uppers/BCG and add optics/sights, you're looking at $500 at least.
Maybe rather than 3 different uppers for a budget of $1500-2000, I could just get 3 additional long guns.  Maybe a .357 lever gun, .308 scout bolt gun, pump shotgun.