Smokecloud

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About Smokecloud

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  • Location
    Oregon
  • Interests
    Shooting, Shooting and maybe a little shooting. Perhaps fast motorcycles a couple times a year.
  • Real Name
    C E

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  1. I think you will get a lot of different opinions on the receiver question. It can become a Ford vs. Chevy Debate. Obviously there are some Mercedes out there where you expect to get a lot when you pay a lot. I have been using Aero Precision's stuff since they started. Cheaper priced than most, but they were an aviation parts manufacturer with some high dollar equipment that simply got into the gun making business. They used to have a lot more quality control methods that the standard receiver makers. I have probably built in the neighborhood of 40-50 rifles on Aero's receivers and have never had a bad one yet, the machining is top notch. They are a little more plain than some like. These days there are a lot of very high end manufacturers that produce an outstanding product that anyone would be proud to have, but just expect to pay more, sometimes double the amount or more. JP and Seekins Precision are a couple of those top tier manufacturers, I also really like Mega. They also have a lot more cool features on the receivers. for my AR10 build, I decided that I trusted the machining from Aero enough to build a quality rifle on their receivers, but I also wanted to cut costs somewhere, so that I could splurge in other areas like the JP BCG and the Proof Barrel. I am doubting that I would see an accuracy advantage on the receivers as long as everything was in spec. I think I had $270 into the set of Aero Large Frame Receivers. I really wanted a set of Mega's for a long time, but at $600, I decided that the extra $330 went a long ways towards purchasing a high end barrel that I felt would make a greater improvement. I recently helped one of my brothers build an AR10 on Aero receivers with a Criterion barrel in 308 and a JP BCG. He is ecstatic over the build and it has worked very well for him.
  2. I have had a NF NXS 5.5-22x56 for over a decade. Love it. I also picked up a previously owned, but never mounted 3.5-15x50 NXS for a grand last year at a gun show. Love it. I am in the same boat and looking for new glass for a 300 Win Mag that I'm playing with, but I just cant seem to stomach the ever increasing prices for the Nightforce scopes (was looking at NXS 5.5-22x50). I think my next purchase is to try a Vortex Razor HD Gen 1 5-20x50. I am eligible for one of their discounts and Vortex offers a lot better discount than NF does for the same MSRP scope.
  3. I didn't buy a factory rifle, but I will offer that whatever you decide, your decision should really take into consideration that the rifle have the XL gas system. The +2" (longer than standard rifle length) gas port seems to be magic on either the 6.5 CM or the 260 Rem. I know that JP has been selling theirs in that platform for quite a while, you will have to research the others as I am not that familiar with them. I recently received my barrel and gas tube from Proof Research, well, I ordered it from Stocky's Stock, one of their dealers. The Barrel looks great, now I just have to decide on a handguard. I got stalled on my build because I gave into weakness and allowed another rifle to follow me home from a gun show and have been funneling funds into completing it, so my 260 got sidelined for a bit. I'm still hopeful that I will have it complete with glass by the end of the year, but I want to build it right, so I'm not in a hurry.
  4. 25.0 gr of H335 gave me some early pressure signs in one rifle. I settled on 24.5 for a general all purpose plinker and it works fine in all guns. 748 I used to run around 26.0gr for the same velocity and it seemed to run slightly cooler temps.
  5. With any suppressed load, always test the load on paper at some sort of extended distance to verify there is no key holing before you run it through your suppressor. Especially when you start playing with subsonic loads. Baffle strikes are easy to avoid if you just play it safe.
  6. Years ago, I tried Botach, got a killer deal on some good name brand cr123 batteries, ordered 60 of them and receive them just fine. I thought the company was good to go, I ordered a Colt rifle about 6 months later, was charged and after 6 months of battles, never received the rifle. Thank goodness for the power of established credit card companies. I will never order from them again.
  7. I received my JP heavy carrier and HP bolt yesterday, its amazing how fast I forgot the price when I had BCG in hand. Such a high quality setup. My barrel should be here sometime either the end of this month or beginning of next. I emailed JP to inquire as to their recommendation for installing the PRS and what they suggested. I got a very timely response basically recommending the A2 buffer tube with their heavy Gen II silent captured setup and just run the provided spacer. I am still kicking that around, but I am still leaning on spending the coin to upgrade to the captured system. I have never tried it before and I think this is the rifle that would benefit from that system. I have read enough reviews on the Superlative that I am now considering it, but I'm not there 100% yet. I think it may come down to my decision on the handguard and how accessible the adjustments are. What die sets have you guys found that works best for the 260 in a semi auto platform. I have been looking at the Redding FL size die with one of their nicer bullet seaters. Its been some time since I purchased rifle dies and I feel like i'm out of the loop with options that are available today.
  8. Just an update. I caved in and bought an MRO, this will now be the 3rd one that I have played with. The blue tint is present in all 3 during any fluorescent lighting, that is really my only complaint. The rest of the unit is first class. Oh, don't freak out when you notice that the front lens is crooked, its supposed to be that way, I had to revisit the other two I have played with AFTER a internet search for the issue. I can not recommend enough to make your purchase through Larue Tactical. I have price shopped for months, and anyone that has really looked at them, will recall that the base price does not come with a mount at all and the cheapest I found was $493 with no mount. If you want a mount, start looking in the $544 range for the basic setup. Add $100 if you want any kind of aftermarket mount. I saw a review on Amazon that simply said he wished he had bought his from Larue. Curious, I looked. Huh, $493 WITH one of their quick detach mounts. The only downside is that all of their mounts are lower 1/3 co-witness and I prefer absolute co-witness because that is simply where I have developed my muscle memory for everything on those types of rifles. Its only about 1/10" of an inch, but is noticeable to me. I got over it pretty quick because its on a fun rifle, not something I use seriously. Their mounts are top notch, but surprisingly, so was their customer service. I got the box and opened it and there was so much stuff packed in the box, I immediately checked the invoice to make sure I hadn't been duped into paying more for something........Nope, price was the same, shipping was very reasonable and a care package that was outstanding. Spoke to a friend that orders from them, and he said they have always treated him that way. Now I have finished building two more rifles for my sons, but money won out on the decision for those. I just mounted two of the Sig Romeo 5 red dots. Lighter and smaller than the MRO, same quality dot, but with electronic buttons to turn it on, off and adjust the brightness. Same 8 day light settings and 2 NV settings. Yes, it has a smaller field of view, but my MRO is at the front edge of my receiver, so I have a reduced field of view anyhow and its not as big of a difference. And indoors, the Sigs are crystal clear, no blue tint. That makes 3 of the Romeo 5's I have purchased for about $100 more than the one MRO. I love the MRO for the rifle its on, but the Sigs have a place in my safe too.
  9. I believe you are correct. I had a chance play with the same MRO again on a night shoot. There was no color change with weapon lights, flashlights, and car headlights, optics were clear and I believe that the color issue may be from fluorescent lighting, which is what I was checking it out on the first go round. I bought a Sig Sauer red dot for that AR already, but I have another rifle I am putting together that the MRO may play well with and I am reconsidering it again. The field of view is much larger, like you said on the MRO than most of the others. Now if any of them besides the Eotech, had a 1 MOA dot, I would be really happy.
  10. Thank you to both replies, there is a wealth of information between the two posts. I have been reading everything I can get on the topic and have found issues regarding LW carriers and figured I was back at the decision for the standard weight, but notice that JP only offers an extra heavy version, so that is probably what I will set my sights on, really that is what I have done with most of my builds. I usually favor the heavy route for several reasons. I looked at the superlative and may consider that for a SBR build sometime, but i'm not crazy about venting gas out of the block since I will more likely than not, have it covered with a handguard, which will soot up stuff at some point. I'm thinking about just sticking with JP for one of their adjustable blocks, any other brands I should consider? I have ran Seekins on a couple of the small builds, they seemed to work fine. I may run a suppressor on the 260 at some point, which always requires a drastic gas change. Looking at the price of new brass, Lapua runs just short of a buck per case, so its not very appealing. Norma would be my 2nd choice, but I haven't checked to see if they even make brass for the 260. I would only consider those for trying to squeeze the most out of the package. It's nice to hear that the 260 is not that finicky, some of those calibers are very hard to nail the perfect load on. I will check out the Prime Ammo, what brass do they use? If I go with the JP contained buffer spring system, should I stick with a standard carbine buffer tube, or opt for the full length version? I see it comes with a spacer that should make it a wash. I'm looking at the Magpul or equivalent stock that is adjustable for cheek weld. I have found several articles and other write up's on the pressure problems of running the heavier bullets with the slower powders, it makes sense with the med burn rate powders, but seems like almost a non-issue with the +2 gas system if I run an adjustable gas block. This will be a slow build, but please keep the tips coming.
  11. I will look into the Superlative block, thanks for the suggestion. I originally looked at the JP stuff, I have run it from time to time and its always top notch, they have been the measuring stick for a long time and were just about the only game in town for builds like this. With a little pushing from friends and simply wanting to try something different, I decided to go with the Proof barrel. I didn't need a forward assist on the upper receiver, but its there. I keep looking at the Aero Carriers because the cuts work with the forward assist. I recently emailed them and asked if they sell just the carrier, they replied no. I will probably just end up buying a JP carrier, but will have to consider the LW vs the standard weight. I am looking at using a Hyperfire trigger, I believe its the only way to get a good trigger in an AR10 package that will pull under 3lbs. My brother has been running one for 2 years now in one of his builds and its just under 2 3/4 and is amazingly better feeling than any of my other various triggers. What kind of brass has given you best the combination of case life and quality? I'm not sure how destructive this sort of setup will be on brass, so I'm not sure if I want to pony up for Lapua, or get something more reasonably priced because its short lived anyhow. I have an M1a that pretty much wrecks the brass in 4 firings for comparison.
  12. Order a 300blk Jig, just google it and pick one you like. I found one that did everything I needed for about $14. I bought a little miniature chop saw from harbor freight for about $30 on sale. Mount the jig in the chopsaw, it holds the case where it needs to be cut, which is just below the shoulder. You can play with the length to reduce how much trimming you have to do afterwards. Now you have a pile of straight walled cases, lube them and run them through a full length size die, it will form the shoulder the same time it sizes the rest of the case and deprimes. Now you trim to length, the rest is the same as any other rifle case.
  13. I have had a set of Aero Precision AR10 receivers for about 2 years now just sitting on the shelf from a political panic buy. I have a few different builds going on already, but I kept looking at starting that gun. I have been watching the threads here for sometime regarding a couple of 6.5 CM builds. I finally narrowed my decision down to either 6.5 CM or 260 Remington. I have had a couple of long phone calls with friends on the matter and decided that the comparison was a wash. More factory ammo available for the CM, but I will probably never buy more than a box or two of factory ammo, since I reload pretty much everything I shoot for. It was almost down to a coin flip because of the differences and pros vs cons of both. I decided that the 260's case profile looks like it would probably feed better in a semi-auto platform, plus with the buckets of 308 brass laying around, in a pinch, I could probably make my own brass if things dried up again. I decided to swing to the 260 side, but just barely. I'm looking at this build as a long range toy and to use on occasional match stages as a bonus gun, or for whatever. I don't care if its heavy, I'm not building it to run and gun with, most likely as a bench gun or shooting from stationary positions. It would also be nice as a trainer for my boys, as it will be very low on recoil. To make the decision permanent and end 6 months of fretting and 2nd guessing, I ordered a barrel. I opted for a 24" all steel barrel from Proof Research. It came with a 16 week wait, sooo, sometime in maybe February. Those barrels are head spaced off of the JP HP bolt, so I ordered one of those as well. Has anyone here built one of these? I have built over 100 small frame AR's but have only worked on a few of the large frame's and this will be my first ground up build of an AR10. So far, everything I have is DPMS pattern parts. I was glad that I waited to order the barrel, because even though it was not advertised, I'm told that mine will be there newest version where they have moved the gas port an extra 2 inches out (plus 2 version). I have to chose a bolt carrier, but hate to pony up for the JP. The JP/HP bolt was already over $200 and I'm not real excited about having $450 into a complete BCG. Is there a better similar carrier for better price? I will need to find the XL length gas tube and chose a gas block. I want to put an adjustable gas block on this rifle, does anyone have a favorite that they prefer for this type of setup?
  14. http://castboolits.gunloads.com/showthread.php?138216-7-8-ounce-lee-slug-load-suggestions Start here. There are several other threads that are on topic. Those guys helped me a lot when I was sorting out my Lyman slugs.
  15. I have not found enough inconsistencies with smaller calibers, especially if you have quality brass. I did buy one about 10-12 years ago for my 50bmg though. Bullet run out was so bad that I could roll the loaded round across a table and you could see the tip of the bullet moving up and down by almost 1/8" on some rounds. Some of those were by manufacturers as well as my reloads. I bought my concentricity gauge from a well known gentleman over on the 50bmg forum "Biggerhammer" George used to make them. The construction was very nice, but had a cheaper gauge on it that is easily replaced, however the one on it has performed very well. I learned some new reloading techniques from some of the more knowledgeable guys over there on getting my run out down to reasonable levels. Make sure your expander ball is a little loose, so it self centers when you draw it back out, this will prevent the necks from pulling to the side. When full length sizing, run the ram all the way in, then back out enough that you can turn the case, but not engage the expander ball, then turn the case 180 and size the neck a 2nd time before engaging the expander ball on withdrawal. When seating bullets, do you best to ensure that the bullet is sitting as perfect as it can on the neck, so that its straight up, not cocked to the side. If the bullet is leaning even a little bit, it will stress the neck and push it off center as the bullet straightens out as it goes into the seating die. Also only seat the bullet about 1/3 of the way, lower the ram, turn the loaded case about 1/3 and seat the bullet the 2/3 of the way, withdrawal, turn it 1/3 again and finish seating. You really want your run-out to be under .010 for anything that is being shot at all, but you need it closer to .002 or less for distance shooting. I started out with 3 brands of loaded ammo before I was setup to reload this caliber. One was from Talon and one was from another outfit that I can't remember the name of. I was getting 18" groups at 100 yards from a $4k rifle. I bought some match grade ammo from HSM with brand new Winchester cases and 750gr AMAX bullets, I managed to get my groups down to 6" at 100 yards, but I was ready to throw it in the garbage. When I started reloading for it, I remained in the 6-10" range until I figured out that bullet run-out was the problem. I finally got one that was bad enough that it wouldn't chamber. I felt stupid for not seeing it earlier, but in all the years I had reloaded, run-out was something I had never experienced a problem with. I was using mostly 1x fired Lake City cases that I was performing a match prep on. Once I started using the new loading techniques on the cases, I got my run-out problem resolved, my groups went down to 2" at 100 yards. I was using all crap components, pulled 700gr AP bullets, Pull down IMR 5010 powder and said cases. I took the better part of a day and weight sorted all the bullets I had, then weight sorted all the prepped cases and numbered them. I loaded them and shot them by the numbers and managed to start shooting 3/4" groups at 100 yards. I know this 50bmg story is a little off topic, but it taught me a few things along the way that brought a new level of recognition to my "smaller" caliber reloading. I have never bought another concentricity gauge, but I have checked some of the smaller calibers on the big gauge. They don't fit real well, but I am able to make it work.