Archive for the ‘AR-15’ 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.

Difficult Decisions

Posted: March 11, 2014 in AR-15, Guns
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,

It’s been a while since I posted so I figured it was time to bring up something I’ve been thinking about for a while now.  I’m the kind of person who gets very attached to his things.  I love my material possessions, and while I know I could live without most of them, if I have the choice, I will continue to live with them.  That said, I’ve run in to a problem that I need some suggestions on.

Black and White AR15I’m thinking of selling my AR-15.  I love the thing like its a member of my family, but I hate shooting it with .223/5.56.  Its too loud and it kicks more than I would like.  Its just too light and the noise drives me (and everyone around me at the range) insane.  Shooting it with the .22lr conversion kit is a dream, but with the money my AR would bring I could buy an AR dedicated to 22lr and still have lots of money left.

Norinco SKS

Besides, the SKS I got from my friend has quickly become my favorite rifle.  The thing is incredible to shoot.  Smooth trigger pull, no kick, and really quiet.  So maybe I’ve just spoiled myself too much to enjoy the AR lately.  That said, there are lots of firearms out there that I would love to own, but its hard to buy guns without money.  I could probably turn the AR into 2 other guns and some ammo, but should I?  Could I?

How do you lose your attachment to a firearm which you’ve built with your own two hands?  How do you give up such a thing without it leaving a deep pain?  The money certainly helps the healing, but there’s something to be said for having that emotional connection.  And once its gone, its gone for good.

Give me some advice.  Let me know what to do.  Keep it and accept that I’ll not be buying another gun for a few years, or sell it, mourn its loss, and buy something different?

My resolution for the new year was to get out and do some more shooting this year and I started out strong.  I spent the first Saturday of 2014 out at the Hite Hollow range near Staunton, Va.  My neighbor had a new pistol to shoot so we loaded everything up and headed out.

I was very surprised at how well I did.  Considering I hadn’t shot any of my rifles in months, I was lucky I could even hit the target.  I really don’t like to let skills sit idle for that long, but I guess it was ok this time.  I managed some pretty tight groups with my two 22 pistols and was hitting extremely accurate with my AR at 50 yards with both 22lr and .223.

The only gun I shot poorly was my neighbor’s pistol.  I don’t think that’s a personal failure either as the gun is nearly the size of my head and I could barely wrap my hand around the grip.  At about 7 yards I was hitting the target close enough to be considered deadly, but the time and effort involved in lining each shot up would definitely have cost me dearly in a real-world situation.  I will definitely need more practice with a gun this size if I intend to ever use one, but for now I think I’ve decided that a 45 just might not be for me.

My SKS, as I expected, was the most fun to shoot.  There’s just something about the 7.62 round being fired from a gun with some wood on it that I really enjoy.  I would love to try shooting an AK47, but I’ll settle with the SKS for now.  It doesn’t kick, its very accurate (even with open sights), and it just looks so cool.  I used to consider my AR to be my #1 choice if things got bad, just because it can shoot two types of ammo.  I think I might be starting to change my mind.  After all, that Bayonet will be very handy when the zombies come . . .


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  **

It was beautiful outside today.  Its hard to believe that just earlier this week, we received between 15 and 20 inches of snow.  Today it was 65 out and the sun was shining.  Unfortunately there are still areas that are covered with snow, and those that aren’t, are just big mud holes.  Shooting wasn’t really an option.

As I mentioned in a post the other day I was waiting for a warm day to paint my rifle’s handguard.  Today I did it.  I went to the store and bought myself some Krylon Fusion gloss white paint, came home, disassembled my rifle, and started painting.  I enjoyed every minute of it.

The paint says on the can that it dries in 15 minutes or less and that is no lie.  Each coat I put on was dry to the touch in less than 5 minutes.  I painted my handguard, two of my 22lr magazines, and my pistol grip in less than 20 minutes.  I reassembled my rifle, sat back, and admired the results.  I am very pleased with how this turned out.

Black and White AR15

25 and 10 round 22lr magazines

25 and 10 round 22lr magazines

Paint blends in perfect with all that snow

Paint blends in perfect with all that snow!

Sitting on the fence post to dry

Sitting on the fence post to dry

So what do you think?  Did I do a good job? Or does it look stupid?  You can say whatever you want about it, I love it.  And I don’t see that changing.  But I always like to hear what people think about my guns.

I placed my rifle case up on the counter and unzipped it.  From it I removed the AR15 that I was custom building for myself.  I handed it to the guy across the counter and asked him to tighten the barrel nut for me.  He said, “No problem,” and took it to the back room.

“That’s an interesting choice of colors,” commented one of the other customers, sounding irritated.

“Yea,” I answered, “I’ve always liked the way black and white go together.”

He then kinda rolled his eyes and went back to whatever it was he was doing when I came in.

The above story is from this past September.  It was my first encounter with a subject that I knew would be controversial.  My rifle (if you haven’t seen it click here) is painted black and white, and I chose the color scheme simply because I liked it.  I wasn’t going for “winter camo” or anything like that.  Just going for a black rifle with a white grip and magazine.

I was really nervous about painting it from the start, primarily because of everyone else’s opinion.  I eventually gave in and decided, this is my rifle and I will make it however the heck I feel.  And I did.  Since its completion, I’ve had many comments on it.  Mostly about its features and accessories, what “brand” it is, etc.  But some of them have indeed been about why I chose to paint it white.

I always tell them the same thing, “I just wanted it to be different, unique in some way.”  They usually drop it if they don’t agree with painting an EBR (evil black rifle) any color besides camouflage.  But the ones who think its neat sometimes talk more about it, or talk more about colorful rifles they’ve seen in the past.

I can understand some peoples’ attitudes about “colorful” guns.  Makes them look like toys, cops might not realize the weapons are a real threat, etc.  There’s an article over on The Firearm Blog where it discusses and shows the colorful guns that were seen at SHOT Show.  Some of the comments left by viewers are below:

  • “Is dangerous and stupid paint a firearm like a toy. OK for camo, but a big no for toy’s color.”
  • “Makes them look kinda like toys, which isn’t too great an idea”
  • “Your car isn’t a toy and can kill people, better keep it functional black ONLY”
  • “it not stupid to paint firearm, All 5 of my guns are all pink I do not see them as a toy ok”







Its very easy to see the differing opinions on the subject just from the comments left on that one page.  I’m certain if I searched through some forums I could find some even more expressive thoughts on the matter.  But I don’t need or care to.

I am of the opinion that anyone can paint anything they own any color they want.  Be it their house, their car, their wallet, or even their own body.  As long as its not offensive, go for it.  Personally, I wish more people painted their Dodge Neons in brighter colors.  I mean, neon colors are usually bright right?  Well why are all the Dodge Neons dull colors . . ?

Anyway, back to the point.  My rifle’s appearance is an expression of my personality and its function.  I don’t hunt with my rifle.  If I did, it would probably be a camo of some sort.  All I do is shoot paper.  I don’t see how I’m hurting anyone by having a “colorful” rifle.

What are your thoughts?  Anyone think its blasphemy to paint a rifle anything unique?  Or is your rifle rainbow skinned?  Personally I could really go for something like THIS.  Let me know what your thoughts are in the comments below.