Archive for the ‘Accessories’ Category

After deciding to add a scope to my AR, I had to get it zeroed in and see how it worked.  With the local ranges being closed until May and living in an urban area, I had to find another place to go shooting.  My dad’s was the only logical choice.  His backyard is where I did all my shooting when I started this blog and its the place that inspired the name as well.

20140315_170805I took my AR, my SKS, and my SR22, as well as enough ammo to last all evening.  The weather stayed decent most of the time and the only time it caused a problem was when the wind blew the target around.  We ended up shooting for an hour or two and managed to get the AR zeroed in as I had hoped.

I set up my AR using the CMMG 22lr conversion kit so that I could get the scope sighted in relatively close before making more adjustments with the more expensive .223 ammo.  It worked pretty well and everything was going pretty good for a while.  Unfortunately at some point my Millet Tactical scope mount came loose and we spent several minutes and a dozen or so rounds before realizing it.  We then had to undo all the changes we made and it was a mess.  It took about 40 rounds to get it set up because of that mount not being tight.

When we finally got it close I switched over to the .223 and zeroed it in a little closer.  I had assumed that at 50 yards 22lr and .223 would have hit the target closer together but they were about 1.5″ apart.  The .223 was hitting that much higher.  I spent about half an hour going back and forth between 22lr and .223 to find a decent middle ground so the scope will be close for both of them.  I’ve got it set up now so that at 50 yards the 22lr is about 1/2″ low and the .223 is about 1″ high.  For now that’s good enough but once the other ranges open up and I can shoot out to 100 yards or more I’ll probably focus more on just the .223 zero.  I’ll probably zero the iron sights for the 22lr at a range of like 40-50 yards or so.

SKS TargetThe highlight of the day though was shooting the SKS.  It always is.  For a gun with no attachments and few tactical applications, the “peasant rifle” is always a blast to shoot.  Everything about the gun is perfect to me.  While I would love to have a scope on it, its incredibly accurate using just the iron sights.  My dad, his friend, and myself, all shot the rifle from a resting position and we were hitting pretty close to center.  My first two shots were just a hair below the bullseye and all our following shots were equally spaced along the outside of the center area.  If it had been a 6″ plate we would have hit all around the edges and everywhere in between.  I took a picture after the first few shots but after that we let loose with it.  I think with a good bit of practice I could be deadly with it even out to 100 yards.

Overall we had a good time.  My guns are still shooting good and my skills have only deteriorated slightly.  I look forward to many more trips to the range like this.

I was talking to a friend the other day about whether or not I should sell my AR.  He was against the idea and told me if I wasn’t enjoying shooting it anymore that maybe I should change it up a little.  He suggested I reconfigure it with different attachments or come up with some challenges to make it more interesting.  I agreed to give that a shot before giving up on ol’ Frankenstein.

20140314_203021The next day a co-worker asked me if I knew anyone who would be interested in a rifle scope or two.  He was going through the attic at his dad’s and they came across 3 brand new Tasco scopes from 1984.  The good Tascos that were made in Japan and not the more inexpensive ones they sell now.  His dad was, and still is, addicted to auctions and estate sales, so they’re always coming across stuff they can’t remember buying.  I said I might be interested and he offered to let me try one out for a while and then we could discuss a price if I decided to keep it.

He brought it to me today and right after work I went home and immediately began the changeover.  I had assumed the rings from my red dot scope would work on the Tasco scope, but I was wrong; they were way too big.  I ran back to town real quick and bought a scope mount made by Millet Tactical.  It was way more expensive than just some basic rings but it definitely looks like its built better and is more reliable.

AR15_Mar14_2014The scope went on really easy and its all set up.  Now I just need some good weather and a place to do some distance shooting (the outdoor ranges in my area are closed until May).  I’m not 100% sure I like the way it looks but that might just be because I’m not good with change.  I’ve had that red dot sight on the rifle for a while now and I had really grown fond of it.  Now, to me at least, Frankenstein looks like the monster it was named after.

What do you think?  Does it look good?  Should I get a different mount?  Paint the mount?  Paint the scope?  Let me know in the comments below because I really need some outside input on this.

Mini14_Mar14_2014P.S. – The Mini-14 is now rocking the red dot and looking oh so sexy.  I do think it will be staying that way for now.  Besides making it looks more appealing it’ll almost certainly improve my accuracy.  I think the Mini-14 would look much better with a long scope than the AR, the trick is just finding a good way to mount it without having to modify the rifle.

Over at Gunmart Blog, they’ve always been good to me.  From pretty early on they started linking to posts of mine in their Daily Firearms News updates.  I think they played a huge part in getting my search rank up to where it is now.  In fact, they’ve referred 953 (as of this post) views to my blog since I started, making them second only to Google Search.

When I heard that they had launched a new website specifically for their “Daily Firearm News” I had to spread the word.  The website is called The Gun Feed.  Over on the new website they will be providing links to firearm news, articles, videos, reviews, and more, from every part of the web.

Go give it a look.  I’m sure you’ll find something over there worth reading or watching.

I, like many of you, have gun parts and accessories in every part of my life.  Today I found an unexpected use for the SKS bayonet that I’ve had laying in my car’s back seat for weeks.

I was running errands, trying to gather things we need for the apartment this weekend and I stopped at Best Buy (where I picked up our cable modem).  In the spot beside me was a young JMU student who was trying to squeeze her arm in the small opening left in her window.  I knew right away that she had locked her keys in the van because I’ve been around a lot of people who do that.

Being the kind, people loving person that I am, I watched her struggle for 3 or 4 minutes; then I offered to help her.  She gladly accepted and I began looking for things we could use to unlock the door.  The only thing I had available that I thought might work was the bayonet.  I offered it to her and she didn’t even question what it was.

Using the bayonet she reached inside and maneuvered it so that she could flip the little lock tab.  Once it clicked I pulled on the handle and opened the door.  Viola, it was open.  Of course the alarm started going off and people started looking, but once she got the keys from the bag in the back seat into the switch, the alarm stopped.

So there you have it.  When someone asks what you need a bayonet for, tell them its in case someone locks their keys in their car.  If that answer doesn’t satisfy them, just remind them that melee weapons are the way to go when the zombies roll up on us.

As some of you may already know, I own a 22lr conversion kit for my AR15.  When I bought the kit it came with one 25 round magazine and I went ahead and bought a spare.  With the 25 round magazines however, I found it difficult to use the bipod; the magazine rested on the table rather than the butt of the rifle.  Sometimes I had to extend the legs on the bipod just to achieve proper sight alignment.  I wanted something shorter that was still compatible with my conversion kit.

Black Dog Machine MagazineThe Black Dog Machine 22lr X-Form magazine was the solution.  It came in several different capacities and colors, but I opted for the shortest they had (10 rounds) in black since I planned to paint it anyway.  It was reasonably priced (in a time when gun parts and accessories are hard to come by) and it shipped much faster than I expected.

At first glance it isn’t all that impressive.  Its very lightweight (the magazines by CMMG were weighted) and made of pretty thin plastic.  But that is far overshadowed by its exceptional performance.

Loading the CMMG mags is a pain.  It takes forever to drop 25 22lr rounds in them and the spring is extremely firm.  With the Black Dog magazine, that is not an issue.  The spring, while firm, is easy to depress enough to load.  Even loading the magazine to full capacity is easy and there’s hardly any resistance.  You would expect a light spring to not feed properly, but I’ve yet to have a fail to feed (granted 22lr rounds aren’t as large as other calibers).

(2) AR15 22lr MagsAnother pleasant surprise was that the bolt catch worked.  According to the website and some information I found online, the Black Dog magazines didn’t hold open the chamber when using the CMMG conversion kit after firing the last round.  This information was wrong in my case; it works very well.  It even locks into the receiver better than my CMMG mags which occassionally require extra effort to fully insert.

Overall I think its a fantastic product.  The 10 round capacity is much better for my needs.  1) It keeps me from blasting through as much ammo.  2) It let’s me use my bipod without the magazine interfering.  25 and 30 round mags are great and I very much enjoy the ones I have, but for target practice and general use, a smaller capacity magazine will do the job for me most times.

If you’re looking for a magazine that will work with your CMMG 22lr conversion kit, definitely consider one by Black Dog.  You will not be disappointed.  My only regret is buying just one . . .

**  Updated on 4/9/13 – Added pictures and links  **

I’ve been meaning to talk about these things since Christmas but I kept forgetting about it.  Today I came across them again over at The Sportsmans Guide and it triggered my memory.  Since The Guide has them back in stock once again, I’ll give a brief little review so you know whether or not you’d like to get any for yourself.

(2) 20-round AR15 magazines coupled together

While I haven’t put a considerable amount of ammunition through them, I can tell they are well built.  They’re quality magazines that haven’t failed to feed yet.  They’re easy to load and even work pretty well with stripper clips.  They come with couplers that hold two of them together.  Swapping mags becomes as simple as dropping the two down and sliding them either left or right to insert the second.

The magazines are lightweight and can actually fit in my front shirt pocket.  Even when coupled together they take up only slightly more room than a 30-round mag.  The difference being that when linked together these are wider than a 30-round mag is so they don’t fit in most magazine pouches.

Using two 20-round magazines gives you 40 round capacity for only a slight amount of extra work.  In addition, should 30-round mags ever get banned, these fall in with slightly lower capacity.  Doubt that would help considering they want us using only 5 or 6 rounds, but hey, smaller magazines are easier to hide . . .

Regardless of where you stand on the magazine ban-wagon, for $30 (less if you’re a member) you can get 120 rounds of magazine capacity.  That’s really hard to beat considering most 30-round mags are going for around $30 each!  This deal probably wont be available long, so grab them while you can.  I can assure you that you wont be disappointed.

Of course if you want to go big then you can always buy this instead . . .

I’ve been promising to have more videos soon, and this is just to let everyone know I’m still working toward that.  I’ve created a new youtube account as well as a new email address for my blog.  This will help me keep personal emails and blog related emails separate.

The new youtube account is BackyardShooterBlog.  I’ve brought over most of the shooting videos I had on my other page.  Right now there are four total.  The newest is featured below.  You can watch it here or over on the youtube page, or not at all, its your choice.

Please forgive my appearance.  I was rather shaggy.  The next day I shaved my beard and buzzed off 90% of my hair.  Back to my normal look.  As I mention in the description of the video, this was a test of both my new camcorder as well as my new 10 round Black Dog Machine magazine.  I hope to get a review of the magazine up in the next few days so watch for that.

**  Updated on 3/21/13  **