My new AR-15: Part 3

by Tom Gaylord, a.k.a. B.B. Pelletier

Part 1
Part 2

Before we begin, I have some news about my buddy, Mac. Many of our long time readers know him from the work he’s done on this blog. Mac has been ill for several months and hasn’t been able to go to work for quite a while. He’s getting some medical tests done, but the prognosis doesn’t look real good according to his doctors. Mac and his wife, Elissa, can use your prayers.

Now, on to today’s report.

I was out at the range with my new AR-15 this past Tuesday. For those who aren’t familiar with what I’m doing, this series is about me acquiring a firearm I’m totally unfamiliar with and learning how to use it well. I have to go through the same confusing research on the internet and in magazines as a new airgunner who’s trying to make sense from the conflicting reports he reads about the airguns. Since I’m more familiar with airguns, I thought this unfamiliar firearm would be a way for me to identify with the new airgunner.

Today, the scope of this report expands to include a second rifle — my new Weihrauch HW52 in .22 Hornet. Here’s the situation. This is the fourth .22 Hornet I’ve owned, and my shooting buddy, Otho, has owned about a dozen Hornets in his lifetime. Until now, we’ve been unable to get any of these rifles to shoot. They just will not put even 5 rounds into a group smaller than about 1.5 inches at 100 yards.

Like the AR, I’ve researched the Hornet on the internet and what I found was a lot of people having the same problems we’ve been having. But mixed in with the complaints are a few writers who claim to shoot half-inch groups at the same 100 yards. These guys have given their load data, so it’s been possible (or almost possible — I’ll get to that in a moment) to follow in their footsteps. But in two years, I haven’t been able to get any of my rifles to give me a consistently good group.

You know that my standard for a group is 10 shots — not 5. That’s why I made the remark in yesterday’s report about talking with the guy at the range about group sizes. As I told him, anyone can get lucky and put three bullets close together. Sooner or later it will happen — even with the most inaccurate rifle! I’ve even seen people shoot 10 shots, then circle 3 that are close and call that a group! But to put 10 consecutive shots into a close group is an entirely different matter. A gun that can do that is a gun that can hit where it’s aimed.

So, I was on the range with my HW52 falling block .22 Hornet and a new batch of loads trying, yet again, to put 10 of them into a tight group. This time, however, I made a mistake. I forgot that I’d mounted a new scope on the rifle many weeks ago. After the first fowling shot at a different target, I shot three shots at the 100-yard target and wasn’t able to see the bullet holes. Well, the scope is only 10X, so I can barely see .22 bullet holes at 100 yards anyway. I thought they might have landed on the black lines where they would be impossible to see. But after 3 shots I remembered that the scope was new and I hadn’t boresighted the gun!

Weihrauch 22 Hornet on bench
This was the day I tested my HW52 in .22 Hornet. I was looking for that elusive sub-inch group at 100 yards.

My spotting scope told the whole story. Not wanting to believe my eyes, I walked downrange to look at the target close up. Sure enough, not one bullet had hit the target.

So, a quick bull was placed at the 50-yard berm, and I boresighted the gun (single-shots are often so easy to boresight!).  I proceeded to sight-in with factory ammo. Five shots later, I was close enough to shoot another group of factory ammo at 100 yards. Those five rounds landed in 1.25 inches — a good sign for what was about to happen. I was ready to shoot a real group. But I had only reloaded 10 rounds of the particular load I was interested in, and three had been fired already. So this would have to be a 7-shot group. Oh, well!

Long story short — I had a difficult time believing what happened next. Through the scope that can barely make out the bullet holes, it appeared there were just 2 holes on the target, and one of them was growing slightly larger with every shot. Was I really doing this with a .22 Hornet?

After the final shot I walked downrange again, and this time was rewarded with what I have been seeking since 2009 — a great group with a .22 Hornet. True, it’s only 7 shots instead of 10, but five of those shots have landed in a group measuring 0.296 inches. And all 7 shots made a 0.70-inch group. Compared to all that has gone before — this is real progress!

Want to know what I did that was different? All the research I’ve done has pointed to maximum loads of Lil Gun powder. Everyone says it’s the best for Hornets, but they all specify loads that are compressed. The heaviest load I’ve yet seen was 14 grains of powder — a load I cannot get into a case even when there is no bullet! I’ve tried loads up to 12.5 grains, which is about all the powder I can get into a case and still be able to seat the bullet. Lil Gun generates very low-pressure in a Hornet, making these heavy loads safe; but if you can’t even seat the bullet, it doesn’t make any difference.

This time, I tried going the other way. I used a load that is so light there was room in the case to seat the bullet without compressing the powder. I used 11.5 grains of Lil Gun powder that probably sent the 40-grain bullet downrange at 2,500 f.p.s. or so. But no problem because all the bullets seemed to go to the same place.

Weihrauch 22 Hornet 100-yard group
Finally, a decent group with a Hornet at 100 yards. There are only 7 bullets in this group, and 5 are in 0.296 inches. All 7 make a 0.70-inch group.

I’m not finished, because I need to return to the range with 10 more loaded rounds and shoot a complete group. But things do look promising. If I were a person who likes 5-shot groups, I’d be finished now, and guess which 5 holes I would pick? Do you think they’re representative of the accuracy of this load in this rifle? I don’t. This is a very good load, but those other two holes show a truer picture of what it can do.

The lesson
I swear what I’m about to tell you is true. The only reason I even tried such a low load in this rifle is because of another experience I once had with a .177 Beeman C1 carbine. I couldn’t get it to group, so I held the gun as loosely as I could — just to see how bad it would get. That was the day I discovered the artillery hold. And now I will add this .22 Hornet experience to the pile. Heck, by the time I’m 90, I might actually know something!

The AR
The title of this report says it’s about my new AR-15, and it is. After finishing with the Hornet, I pulled out the black rifle and shot two groups of a promising load. Do you remember that tight group that I shot in the pouring rain last time?

Group 4 AR-15
This 10-shot group was fired during a pouring rainstorm. It measures 0.835 inches between centers.

I had 20 more .223 rounds loaded with the exact same load, so I fired 2 more groups this day. The wind was virtually still, so it was ideal for shooting. The groups are both good, but not quite as good as the one shot weeks ago.

AR-15 first 100-yard group
Ten shots are in 1.340 inches, but 7 of them are in 0.380 inches. Read on to see what I think is happening.

AR-15 second 100-yard group
Here is the second 100-yard group from the AR. The load is identical to the one that shot the first group. This time, the whole group measures 1.081 inches between centers, and 5 of those shots are in a group measuring 0.336 inches.

So, why are these two groups that were shot on a dead-calm dry day so much larger than the group that was shot in a downpour? I have some thoughts about that.

Thoughts about why my groups aren’t better
When I loaded these cartridges, I noticed that several of the primer pockets were very loose. So loose, in fact, that the primers fell out of two of them. But I continued to load them anyway. Want to know how to make a primer expand to fit an enlarged pocket? Just put more pressure on it. It will expand in diameter as you squash it down farther than it wants to go. Think that might have some affect on the group size? It sure will since the priming compound will be crushed and will ignite at a different rate.

And why were my primer pockets so loose? Didn’t I tell you that my reloads created lower pressure than standard factory ammunition? If you look back, you’ll see that I did tell you that. But I don’t know how many times these cases have been reloaded. You see, all my brass thus far has been stuff I picked up at the range! No way to know how many times it’s been reloaded — if any at all.

But the salient fact in that last paragraph is that I’m using range brass. None of the headstamps on my cartridges are the same — or if they are, it’s only by coincidence! It’s as if I were to build a race car with a junkyard motor and then expect to run it in NASCAR. Or, dump a tin of pellets in a sandbox and pick them back out to use in a 10-meter match! In other words, there are a whole raft of things I’m doing wrong with my reloads, and yet they still give me great results. What would happen if I did everything right?

Does this rifle shoot factory ammo?
At least one reader asked me if my AR could shoot factory ammo in the semiautomatic mode because I’ve been loading these cartridges to a length that prevents their cycling through the magazine. I could care less if the gun does or doesn’t cycle, but the question piqued my curiosity enough to put 10 rounds through the rifle just to see. All 10 cycled through the magazine and action perfectly in the semiauto mode, and they all landed in a 3-inch group at 100 yards. Garbage in, garbage out.

Summary
This is a very long report, but I wrote it for the new airgunner who feels confounded by all the technology, buzzwords and other stuff that doesn’t make any sense the first time around. If you read all the parts of this report, you’ll see that’s exactly how I felt when I got into ARs. And I hope that by watching me struggle around with this rifle, new airgunners will be encouraged that they’re not alone and that things can be worked out in time.

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72 thoughts on “My new AR-15: Part 3

  1. Insatitiable apetite for knowledge about shooting accuracy, all guns (spring, CO2, HPA, blackpowder, smokeless, ram, ssp, msp, PCP, etc), all ammo, triggers, sights, holds, sight pictures, safety, targets, history, valuation, reviews, etc.

    I visit this site daily even though I’m busy with work. Many times, like now, it’s at the end of the day (now 12:15PM in my zone).

    Why? I like to shoot. Used to be a hunter but not much anymore. Pests are still open season. Most of my time is spent shooting airguns at targets since I can shoot them in my yard (don’t have to travel to a range), ammo is cheap, noise is minimal, fun is equivalent, accuracy is similar/better to firearms and most importantly it relaxes me. My friends that have discovered that airguns can provide much the same outlet as firearms with much less hassle and at a lessor cost.

    Usually my comments are about specifics in an article. Although the groups shot by B.B. with the .22 hornet are the best I’ve ever seen posted by a shooter that I believe my comments today are about this blog in general.

    What keeps me coming back to this blog is that I learn something everytime I come here. From B.B. and the readers. Thanks to you all.

    B.B. never seems content to rest on his laurels. Even when he gets an accurate gun he’s constantly looking for new fodder for our benefit. He knows the beast is never full!

    The .22 hornet in today’s article is a great example. I dismissed it years ago. He drilled into the nuances and discovered the powder and loading that makes this a potential hollywood star. I wouldn’t have given a .22 hornet the time of day if I was writing a shooting blog like this one (I never would have been hired but should have been fired for this attitude!). I was wrong. Never thought a .22 hornet could group like that at 100 yards. Sorry, didn’t intend to get specific about todays article.

    I’m ashamed to admit that when I find a gun and projectile that works I spend my time perfecting my hold, maybe upgrading to a scope, maybe upgrading to a better scope, probably stretching the distance to test accuracy and looking for any other upgrades like trigger replacements, stock replacements, etc. that this gun has now proven itself worthy of, etc. My blogs would have been 15 part series after I found an accurate group (again, I would have been fired years ago).

    I’ve shot a lot of guns for many years and found myself very prejudiced and of narrow focus about what I defined as a gun worthy of acquisition and testing. This blog has opened my eyes. The primary reason is B.B. He has an “innocent and unbiased awe, enthusiasm and fascination with anything that shoots and as such feels it’s worthy of an unbiased assessment”. This alone has taught me much especially in my recent immersion into airguns.

    The additional dimensions to shooting accurately and safely are also folded into this blog so it’s a complete package.

    What a wonderful community this is.

    kevin

    ps-You took that K10 off the high wall? Sacrilegious.


    • Kevin,

      Yes I took that scope off the High Wall, because the High Wall went bye-bye. Shocking, but true. After seeing what I could do with the AR, I decided that I didn’t have enough time for two fine, accurate rifles, and I traded the High Wall to my shooting buddy, Otho, who now enjoys it as his most accurate rifle.

      As for the Hornet, my opinion was the same as yours, though I didn’t have as much experience as you with the cartridge. But I kept reading these articles where some guys were claiming to get half-inch 100-yard groups. And one of them was a magazine article in Guns, where the writer shot 10-shot groups and got that kind of accuracy. So, when the HW52 came along and showed me it could shoot, I went into a full-court press to make it perform.

      I’m still looking for a great 10-shot group from that rifle, but there is already a second Hornet waiting in the wings. It’s a modern Savage model 40 with an Accu-Trigger and bull barrel. It seems to shoot, but it has an extraction problem I need to solve before I can find out how well.

      Then there is the AR. Now I need to begin the surgical preparation of cases, so I can really let this puppy shine. I can’t wait.

      And then along comes a rifle like the new LGV and reminds me that airguns are my primary interest. Firearms are just there for balance. I tell you, Kevin, life is being good to me. :D

      B.B.


      • BB, On your problems with accuracy in your Hornet rifle. It is a VERY fussy cartridge to load for, but at least you have the perfect platform to develope an accurate load . First make a chamber cast of your single shot rifle. Then seat your bullets so that the ogive of the bullets just touches the lands. If you are using Lil gun powder use a magnum small rifle primer, the primers make a big difference depending on what powder your using in a Hornet. With W680,296, or H110 powder, pistol primers give the best accuracy. I use 2400 and H4227 myself. As you note, slightly slower velocity makes for accuracy in the Hornet. If you need more speed we always have the better .218 Bee and the bigger .22 centerfires.Also note that case capacity varies greatly in Hornet cases ,more so than in any other caliber. And most important,only neck size your cases. The Hornet case has such a taper that your bullets can be cockeyed if your full length resizing them every time. By neck sizing them ,you get them centered in the chamber and looking up the bore right from the start. Sorry to hear that about Mac. This month has been just miserable in so many ways.


        • Forgot this . If you really want to make that Hornet shoot and all other efforts fail, consider running a chambering reamer for a K-Hornet into that barrel. Then you will have the most perfect small gun.


        • Robert,

          Thanks for that info! I would like to try magnum primers, but getting them right now will be a problem. I have my requests in at the proper places, but until the government stops buying up all the production, I’;m sort of out of luck.

          B.B.


          • BB, Your very welcome. There isn’t anything in ammo around here ,much less primers . Saw a new box of .410 shotshells at the hardware (ONLY! one)the other day and that was all. No primers ,no .22RF , no nuthing….


            • Robert,

              Went shopping with a friend earlier this week to bass pro and sportsmans warehouse. I heard the ammo shelves were bare but actually seeing it was shocking.

              kevin


              • Kevin : Yeah it’s bad,, stunning actually, and despite folks saying that this will cool down and prices and availability will return to normal I doubt that (some RF ammo is backordered until 2014 and some of us will not be able to do internet purchases soon), though I hope I’m wrong. It has me dusting off the archery tackle, and is why I will start to explore the PCP venue more , and only those that I can cast my own bullets for. Even before this crap spun out of control ,my springer and MSP airguns had replaced my .22RF’s for 90% of my small game ,pest,and recreational shooting out to 50 yards.


              • Man that is no lie! I finally stopped by Sportsman’s Warehouse and saw the wide open spaces! He’s done it again….

                /Dave


      • The noise you heard a moment ago was my jaw hitting the floor.

        You traded that gorgeous high wall with the set trigger that could shoot as good as it looked? Sure is tough to keep them all but that high wall would still be in my safe. What a spectacular gun.

        kevin



  2. Well, I am glad you are starting to see progress with the Hornet. Why is everybody so hung up on maximum velocities and energies. If you can’t hit it, what good is it?

    I was just thinking of Mac yesterday. I will indeed pray.


    • RR,

      You know Mac better than most folks, because of the time you spent with us at Roanoke. When I talk to him (soon, I hope), I will tell him you are thinking about him.

      B.B.


  3. B.B.

    I wish Mac the best of luck. I know that he stuck by you during bad times. It can be pretty tough finding a friend like that.

    twotalon


  4. B.B.

    A matter of curiosity…

    The pic of you at the bench indicates that the range you are shooting at has high berms around it. Does the wind get pretty well blocked or does it twist and swirl around in there ?

    twotalon



      • I find the same as you b.b.
        The facility I shoot at has three rifle ranges (two big bore out to 300yds and rimfire/airgun to 100yds) which are all separated by berms.
        At first I though that was great idea (thinking like twotalon). Then one day a fellow on the rimfire range placed flags at 15yd intervals.
        I don’t think any two were blowing in exactly the same direction.


  5. BB,
    Thanks for letting us know about Mac. I will be praying for him.

    I have figured out with airguns that you sometimes have to go against common wisdom to learn something. Try guns other people don’t like. Try pellets that “don’t work”. Try holding a rifle or pistol differently. Sometimes you will everyone was right, and sometimes you will be surprised. I guess my best surprise is that I can shoot light weight powerful springers pretty well. You are not supposed to be able to do that because of the power to weight ratio is too high. I also shoot springers well off of a tripod. I found out that the old Crosman pointed pellet shot better than CPLs in one of my FWB 124D rifles. I found out that for me, the Diana 54 is hold sensitive. I can shoot it much better if I am very careful with support locations and hand pressure. All of these personal findings were contrary to most of what I had read. You just have to try things and be honest about what you find. And, BB, that is one thing I like about you.

    David Enoch


  6. B.B.,

    I’m very sorry to hear about Mac. I don’t know what’s wrong, or how concrete the diagnosis is, but allow me to tell you a short story.

    Back around 1987 I go real sick, and thought I was dying. Trouble was, I’d been through five or six doctors, and none could figure out what was wrong with me. I was so sick that I was unable to work for just over five months. Because of the hard work, dedication, and success that I had with my company, they just paid me my full salary the whole time, instead of me having to apply for disability. Can’t imagine any company doing that for a good employee these days.

    Anyways, the problem started with the first doctor that I saw. He misdiagnosed me, which resulted in me not being correctly treated for about nine months. That then resulted in a multitude of issues, the combination of which meant that subsequent tests were giving conflicting results, causing every doctor to either misread test results because they were confused, or simply order the wrong tests. That went on for way too long.

    That’s when I discovered my current doctor, through my kids pediatrician. When he sent me to have blood-work done, the people at the lab said “Oh, this doctor always gets his test right the first time!”. And he did. Not only did my doctor hit the nail on the head the first time, but he was able to tell me exactly the kinds of things that were throwing the other doctors off. As it turned out, my doctor is a “doctor’s doctor”. In other words, he’s a doctor that other doctors go to. For over two and a half decades, he’s continued to be right when other doctors have failed.

    Moral of the story is, you don’t know how good your doctor is until you’re really sick. And a great doctor doesn’t have to be likeable. I hope that Mac sees other doctors for additional opinions. We will pray for him and his wife. Thanks for letting us know.

    Victor


    • Victor,

      Mac’s been sick for quite a while, gone to a lot of doctors and had lots of pills prescribed. No one really believed the doctors/diagnosis, especially when they said he just had to wait for his symptoms to pass. They were clueless. Getting an appointment with a really good doctor takes time. But Elissa finally got one with a neurologist, and that’s why he was admitted to the hospital and some good medical detective work ensued.

      This is coming as a shock to you because you have not been aware of all his visits to the ER and doctor appointments over the past few years. New symptoms show up every now and then…then they disappear, with new ones showing up later to take their place.

      God is in charge. He is our first, last and only hope. Always has been. Your prayers are essential.

      Thanks,
      Edith


    • Victor, you have had your health trials. I can vouch for something similar myself. My rheumatoid arthritis was misdiagnosed as gout for years, and even when it was diagnosed properly, it took awhile to find the right drug. Perseverance and luck are key.

      Matt61


      • Matt61,

        Yes, I’ve had my trials and tribulations, and I’m still going through them. I’ve been misdiagnosed, mistreated, and mis-about-everything-else by doctors. You really need to question everything, and get second, or third opinions. Experience has taught me that you don’t know how good your doctor is until you’re really sick. A common mistake that people make is that they rate their doctor based on how well they like them. That is very wrong. The best doctors that I’ve had are dead serious, are careful about what they say, and let the science speak to them. I’ve had doctors that i really liked personally, but who were not only incompetent, but also amazingly irresponsible.

        I’m just glad that we have UMC (University Medical Center), which has excellent doctors, and sometimes you get to compare them with lessor doctors. My son was being treated for food poisoning by a new doctor. The infection was so bad that it spread throughout his organs, including his heart. My son who can run marathons had a heart-attack! The infection essentially caused significant fluid build-up, among other things, directly in his heart. When the UMC doctors looked at how he was being treated, they said that the newer doctor prescribed the wrong medicine. I’ve seen plenty of that in my life-time. That’s why I will always keep my doctor in California. He’s never failed me, while so many others have. And you know he is respected when you’re told by the heard nurse that all the hospital staff are extra careful with his patients.

        Victor


  7. BB,

    Sorry to hear about Mac. I have bought two airguns from him at the Roanoke show and I always enjoy visiting with him. We will be praying for Mac; it won’t be the same show if he’s not there.

    Paul in Liberty County


  8. BB,

    hopefully you are re-using that brass I gave you for the Black rifle. Be nice to know that after years of sitting in my ammo storage draw, it’s finally being useful to someone! As for Mac, I will say a Mi Sheberakh at Temple tonight for him (prayer for healing for the ill).

    Fred DPRoNJ


    • Fred,

      That brass is in the on-deck circle. As I said in the report, the brass I have been using up to now is all range brass I picked up.

      Sure be nice to know I’m using good stuff.

      Thanks,

      B.B.



        • Mike,

          I have about 1,000 military cases on which Mac was kind enough to de-swage the primer pockets, so I should be okay for a while. The trouble is, I’m not finding reloadable cases of ANY kind anymore — except for 9mm Luger.

          B.B.


          • Our range is still under a foot of snow. I wonder how busy it will be this year? I know some of the regulars have supplies of ammo. But, the occasional shooters that don’t reload will be in trouble. Ditto for those that don’t normally keep a supply of .22 LR on hand.

            I expect our club’s gun show will be swamped. It was last year.

            Mike


            • If it’s anything like the gun range I’ve seen yesterday, people will be lining up to shoot. This place could be the cause of the ammo shortage all by themselves.

              Matt61


          • At my former range in CA, the only brass one was permitted to pick up was brass one had brought with them. The range staff would sweep up anything left out…

            Haven’t found a (or, more honestly, haven’t applied for membership to a candidate) range here in MI. The “public” ranges tend to charge by the hour (and want more for that hour than the CA range charged for a full-day), and many of the private ranges seem overpriced with limited shooting stages.



  9. Sure hope Mac gets through this.

    Mac, may you and Tom share many more happy road trips and airgun-show boondoggles!

    -Jan


  10. Howdy Mr. B.B., Ms. Edith & the Gang, Yup, tough ta watch someone ya care deeply for struggle through that & know that all ya can offer is thoughts, prayers, hope & faith. Never met the Mac Daddy, but through you, feel I know him. Thoughts, prayers & hope. Thanx ya’ll, have a great weekend, count your blessings & shoot/ride safe.
    Beaz


  11. I too will pray for Mac and his wife. Prayer is a powerful healer.

    On my last trip to the range, I found out that the $14 pellets out-perform the $4 pellets. Should have known this all along, but had to try it. 10% higher scores with my Bronco Target Gun.

    Les



  12. B.B.

    Sorry to hear about Mac. I hope he’ll be fine and I hope God will help doctors to do wonders.

    Next week I’ll receive my new cylinders and test them by pressure, the assemble and test my C62 with them. Report to follow :)

    duskwight


  13. Edit,
    Yes, this is a surprise and a shock. I think of Mac as another Tom – honest, dedicated, and one of the best darn friends you two ever had. I know you and Tom will take good care of that friendship as they are very hard to come by. My prayers are with Mac, too, and his family. The lives that we have – and take for granted so often – seem so fragile at times. If you get a chance to see him give him our airgun collective best.
    -Chuckj


  14. BB,

    Do you think there is any hope of having autofeeding work with accurate rounds for the AR-15? If not I’d guess that there was a design decision to trade off accuracy for less jams.

    Herb

    PS – Best wishes to Mac. Too few guys like Mac in the world and far too many nuts.


    • Herb,

      I do know that accurate round can be fed through the rifle. When I bought it, the forrmer owner gave me 20 of his loads that I shot through the magazine. They were handloads with 77-grain boattail bullets — very similar to what I am shooting now, only I have increased the length to get the bullet closer to the start of the lands. That has taken the accuracy at 50 yards and moved it out to 100 yards. So, yes, it can be an accurate autoloader — just not with the light 55-grain factory bullets.

      B.B.


  15. Impressive. I’m currently working on making my own AR15. Only difference is I have a non-ffl blank receiver I am milling out myself. When I get it done I’ll put all the detents in it, hang all the furniture on it and have an AR15 with no paperwork attached to it. Yes, this is 100% legal to do under ATF rules. The catch is I can never ever sell this gun. It has to be built by me for me and only used by me. That’s no big deal since anyone that knows me knows I don’t easily part with any of my guns. This is kind of my way of standing up and showing the government, namely Diane feinstein and the D.C. gun grabbers the middle finger. Also known as “the last great act of defiance.”


    • John,

      Because I live in Texas, there is no paperwork on my rifle, either! I bought the lower off paper, and of course no paper is required for an upper.:D

      B.B.


  16. Lucky you. The only background check required in Michigan is the background check for a stripped lower receiver since that is the only part considered federally to be the gun. Everything else is simply parts and no background check is needed. But if you mill the lower yourself there is no background check, no serial numbers. Which is partly why I do it the way I am doing it. The other reason is simply because it’s my hobby to work metal. I’m also interested in the 3D printed lowers they have now. I see they have perfected them now so if you have a 3D printer (a bit pricey) you can literally print a working stripped lower with your printer. I just saw one rattle off 300 rounds without breaking apart. That might be something you would like to look into in another blog.
    I have one other AR type project I am working on but it’s not something I want to share yet in case it doesn’t work. If it does work I’ll let you in on it later.



      • Looks like they perfected it now. I was just watching a video where the guy ripped through 5 100 round mags and it had no problems. So I’m giving that a serious look now. The problem was that the lower was snapping by the buffer tube. They made it a bit thicker and it seems to work fine now.



  17. I’m so sorry to hear of Mac’s condition. Positive thoughts being sent from Western Canada. I have enjoyed a number of blogs he wrote. Especially the ones he wrote when standing in for you, when you had your trials and tribulations. This brings me to an experience I had over 40 years ago. When I was 19, I injured my back to the extent it left me a paraplegic. You can imagine a teenager with a whole life ahead, now looking at life in a wheelchair. What really kept me going, and not quitting, were my family and my friends. They visited me almost every day for 6 months. There was a young man in the bed next to me, Charlie, who had a car accident that left him a quadriplegic. His injury was much more devastating then mine, but it was not something I could see at the time. The main difference was his friends had abandoned him. He often told me how lucky I was, that I had friends who cared enough to be there when I needed them. We left the hospital together, and I never saw him again. He had strong family ties, and I often hoped this saw him through. I still see my good friends, and we have many memories of good times shared before and after my accident.
    What I am trying to say, when you face your darkest hours, faith can see you through to a certain extent. However, when you are flat on your back, facing an uncertain future, there is nothing more comforting then to know you have someone who cares enough just to be there. If you can’t be there in person, then a phone call now and then will work wonders too. Doctors can cure a lot these days, but there is still that intangible spark that makes life worth living. The thought we are not alone in our hours of greatest need.
    Caio Titus



  18. Today’s weather here in the Denver area has canceled FedEx home deliveries. :-( A bolt action s410 was supposed to be here today….

    Tempering that though, was when I stuck my head out the door before bed to look at the snow one last time last night and saw a long cardboard tube leaning on the wall under the roof. The UPS person had left me a Rice, 44″ long .58 cal. swamped barrel from Buckeye Barrels to go with my nice piece of wood!

    Now I guess the decision is, to make my own lock and use nothing but hand tools for the entire project, or buy a kit and just shape the lock plate to my liking. Or, buy a completed lock, use power tools and actually get this done sometime this decade…

    Anyone out there have a favorite “browning” solution? I’m after a mid to late 1700′s look.

    /Dave




    • Thanks, Mike. Looks like a good place to research. Forums are a great source of info as long as there isn’t the “that’s MY secret!” attitude. I run into that with some of my other hobbies and it really ticks me off. I understand making a living, but all else considered, it’s just a hobby to have fun and relax with…That’s why I come here first to ask. Lots of knowledge here about anything under the sun and a lot that’s not! And no attitude!

      I may end up going with power tools to rough it out and hand tools to finish. Gunmakers of old would have embraced the fastest, best tech available to stay competitive. I’m not interested in making a living doing this, just doing it for me. That’s kind of why I have the question in the first place. Might be kind of neat to be able to say I did it all. With the exception of making the barrel… Thanks again for the link!

      /Dave


  19. I have been looking at your blog recently and I was wondering what you use to measure your group sizes? It obviously isn’t a standard old ruler with the measurements you take? Also where can you buy them and for how much?


  20. Hi B.B.

    I’m not sure how to get in touch with you other than to answer in this blog. I’ve been air gunning since Christmas 1954 when I was just 4-years and 10-months old. Anyway, I really have enjoyed your information, test reports, and comments on air guns. I used a Daisy CO2 gun along the way and bought a BSA Meteor in 1972. But mostly I’ve been a Powder Burner! About a year ago, I bought a TX 200 (on your recommendation) and since then, have sort-of gone pellet gun crazy. I’ve picked up several more high quality guns, all springer’s so far.

    I would like to communicate with you about a method I stumbled on to settle down any spring gun and improve accuracy too! How would I get your e-mail address (outside of this site) so I can send you Pic’s and an explanation and maybe have you try it on one of your guns?

    It’s worked on every one of mine so far! Cost’s less than $5.00.

    Mike



    • That seems very interesting! How about you do a guest blog on it?
      Accuracy helper for springers (you could call it the AHS) for less than 5$!!! I’m in.

      J-F



      • B.B. and guys interested in a method I used to smooth out spring guns.

        I was going to e-mail B.B. with a step by step explanation and pictures of what I’m doing! I was also considering a “guest blog!” However, to send pictures I needed a gun to work with. All mine already had my “method” installed.

        So I chose my least expensive gun (a Beeman Sportsman 1000 bought at a Big Box Store for $99.00) and took it apart and removed my “Method” to take pictures of me installing it from “scratch!”.

        What I found was deterioration of the material I was using. Ah, that explains why it worked like a “House Afire” for a couple of months, then would begin to change, and I get deteriorating accuracy.

        So here is where I’m at at this point. The principal works wonderfully (for a while), but I need to find an adhesive that can stand up to a spring guns recoil and vibration. It may cost a bit more than the $5.00 it was costing me now “when” I find that material that works permanently! “BUT I’M ON IT GUYS!” When I find it, you’ll be the first to know! I’m actually glad I posted this because it made me take apart a gun and look inside, and showed me why my problems began to show up.
        I got some good education.

        Now I now know how Thomas Edison felt when he was trying to develop the light bulb! I’m at failure number one! How many did Edison have before he finally succeeded?



  21. This question was emailed to me at the wrong address, so I am posting it here.

    Vasos Eliades send me a photo of his piston with metric measurements and asked me where he could buy one like it.

    Vasos, I can’t tell what gun that piston comes from, with just the photo. But Pyramyd Air has a huge parts department and maybe they can help you. They will need the model number of the airgun you are trying to match.

    B.B.


  22. What a nasty shock to hear about Mac. I still remember that he was nice enough to reply directly to me once on the blog. We will be serene about the future while hoping and praying for the very best. You never know about these hospital visits. My Dad is gobbling up rehab at the hospital and is pain-free after getting titanium pins in his legs. He has also pronounced himself a new man who will cut down on drinking and involve himself more in the community.

    B.B., what possessed you and your friend to keep trying with the .22 Hornet after such bad luck? Are you gluttons for punishment or, as one post seemed to suggest, taken by the challenge of the thing? It sounds like the quest for velocity was holding up the show as it does with airgunning. As I might have mentioned, my only exposure to the .22 Hornet was a movie and book from long ago. A young kid equipped with a .22 Hornet hooks up with a hunter on some expedition out in the desert. Once they’re isolated, the guy starts hunting him. I guess it’s like the old story The Most Dangerous Game. What finally turns the tide is one of those high-powered slingshots which just goes to show it’s the man and not the weapon.

    Mike, your gun club sounds like the place for me. So do any of your Mausers have the original military sights with the teeny tiny V notch in the bottom of the big square notch? I’m interested in seeing how accurate that can be. Also, do you have a way to adjust windage on your front sight? My front sight is drifted way left, and I’m not optimistic that this setting will be zeroed for me.

    Matt61


    • Matt,

      Several gun writers were reporting small groups with the Hornet. Yet most folks said it couldn’t shoot. I wanted to be in the group that knew it could shoot, and it took a lot of time to get there.

      B.B.



  23. I didn’t have time to read the blog (partly because my wife broke my smartphone) and I was looking at some of the messages coming in and just came by to read the blog and most of your comments.
    I’m really sorry about what Mac, his wife, family and friends are going thru. I’m hoping for the best for him and I hope he can pull thru just like Tom did when he was sick.
    Being sick sucks big time.

    J-F


  24. Lord we pray to You to watch over Mac and Elissa and guide the doctors providing his care and bring peace and comfort to both of them.
    Bruce


  25. Kinetic Pulse.

    FPE is relatively new to me.

    Understanding momentum, kinetic energy and wound channel was taught to me at a very young age. I remember going to the scheutzenfest shoots with my grandfather at a young age when they were held at the Coors (yes Coors beer family) shooting range in Golden, Colorado. Only a few miles away was a clay mining operation that had been closed for years. Bentonite clay is a naturally occuring phenomenon in our foothills of the rocky mountains here in Colorado.

    In high concentration it has the ability to expand up to 50 times when wet vs. dry. When a building foundation is surrounded by bentonite clay and this clay is allowed to get wet (improper drainage around the foundation) it will crush a house. We’ve had many houses condemned and demolished that were built on these “hot soils”. We’ve learned since those houses were built to require more extensive soils tests, overexcavate and burden developments with proper drainage to minimize these catastrophies.

    In the early 60′s I shot with my grandfather in the abandoned clay pits. He knew the Foss family and I think they owned them or knew who owned them. Before big game season, after a big rain or wet snow we went to the clay pits and shot centerfires.

    Inspecting the craters that resulted from our shots into the clay walls taught me about momentum, kinetic energy and wound channels. A bullet impact from a 30-30 winchester looks very different from a 300 weatherby on a clay wall!

    That clay pit is now a nationally recognized golf course called Fossil Trace. Designed by Jim Engh. I met Jim when he was doing the Sanctuary golf course design years ago that was the golf course design that propelled him into the international golf course design spotlight. The Sanctuary golf course is the most exclusive golf course in the world and it’s located here in Colorado. It is private. Has only two members. The husband and wife that started Re/Max. Leo Bradley married the lady who’s family owned the clay pit land in Golden. Leo Bradley acts like money but he married it. I digress.

    Not much in recent print that impresses me on the subject but I came across this interesting read about Kinetic Pulse that is intriguing:

    http://www.kineticpulse.com/apache2-default/

    kevin


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