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Brian Enos's Forums... Maku mozo!


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About Steve133

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    Finally read the FAQs

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    Houston, TX
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    Eric Prehn

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  1. Steve133

    Savage patrol msr-15?

    No problem. Hope my long-winded rambling winds up being useful. One more thing I'll say is that your ultimate goal is to develop a table like the one that you found in the scope manual. There are tons of variables that go into the ballistics of a particular round, so you're probably not going to have the exact same results that they had if you're shooting your particular ammo out of your particular gun. Once you get your chrono, you can use your velocity data and the ballistic coefficient of the projectile (should be available on the manufacturer's website - though it might be the manufacturer of the bullet itself instead of the manufacturer of the complete loaded cartridge) to come with a similar table using a ballistic calculator. There are tons of options for those out there - JBM Ballistics is a decent web-based option; I use the Strelok app for Android (though there's an iOS version now also), and I've also heard good things about Applied Ballistics.
  2. Steve133

    Savage patrol msr-15?

    The Strike Eagle has a BDC reticle, doesn't it? If so, then you can either use a nice, round number for your zero distance and just memorize whatever random ranges your BDC hash marks correspond to, or you could try to find a zero that plays nicely with the BDC reticle. I'd recommend the latter - this is the process that I've used (not the only way to do it or anything, but it works okay-ish): Find ammo that you like for long range (sounds like you've done that) Measure the muzzle velocity. If you don't own or have access to a chronograph, put targets up at two known distances, shoot at each with the same sight picture, and then measure the drop between the two distances, and you can reverse engineer the velocity from that Play around with a ballistic calculator to find a zero distance that results in the bullet drop lining up nicely with your BDC (for example, with my optic and ammo, a 230 yard zero means that the 300, 400, 500, and 600 hashes line up almost perfectly). Still using the calculator, figure out the difference between point of aim and point of impact at a distance that you can shoot at the range (again, for example, I can't set up a target at 230 yards at my range, but I can set one up at 200 yards. I know that a 230 yard zero means that impact is about an inch high with a center-target hold at 200 yards, so I just dial the optic to do that) Iterate if required - there's not a nice solution like that for every single round out there. I'm a mediocre shooter at best, but none of my issues come from mis-zeroed rifles, so there's that. Steel-cased is not an issue, but the only problem is that a lot of steel-cased options (like Wolf) have bullets that are either steel-cored (will destroy steel targets and are not allowed at matches), or, even if they are lead-cored, have a bi-metal jacket (steel washed with copper), which is bad for two reasons: 1. it will erode the chamber and rifling in your barrel faster, and 2. probably still won't be allowed at matches because it's attracted to a magnet, which is the main way that the folks running matches weed out ammo that will destroy their targets. Some manufacturers, like Hornady, make cartridges with copper-jacketed, lead-core bullets in a steel case, and those are fine... but I'd check everything to make sure that the bullet (JUST the projectile, not the casing) doesn't stick to a magnet. If it doesn't, then it's fine. But I think you'll find that most of it will. "Acceptable accuracy" varies by situation. For long-range ammo, you probably want something that groups at 1 MOA (or as close to it as you can get) - about 1" at 100 yards. Cheaper, lighter stuff for close range doesn't need to be as accurate. If I recall correctly, the armorer's standard for accuracy in the M4 is 4 MOA (about 4" at 100 yards), and that would probably be fine to get hits on the targets you're likely to see inside of a couple of hundred yards or so.
  3. Steve133

    3 gun shotgun, buy now or wait?

    I'd recommend using the hotter loads for the break-in process. In fact, I'd probably recommend a slightly hotter load just in general - an 1140 fps load is going to be awfully light to get the gun to cycle reliably even after it's broken in, much less ensuring that it functions well before any break-in. Stoeger recommends 3 dram equivalent or better, which translates into about 1250 fps with the loading that I typically use (1 1/8 oz of #7.5 shot). Lighter loads will cycle, but not with 100% reliability. Like Snausages said, it's an intertia gun; unlike a gas gun, double-barrel, or pump gun, it needs a certain amount of recoil energy to function, so it's going to need slightly stouter loads than other types of shotguns. But, since that recoil energy is going into cycling the action, the actual felt recoil isn't too bad, so don't let that scare you or encourage any buyer's remorse. Your desired birdshot load probably won't run with a stock gun - you might be able to get it to work with the lighter recoil spring or heavier bolt carrier that MOA sells, but I've never messed with those, so I can't say that with certainty. I don't know about the Fiocchi low-recoil slugs, since there are a couple of different varieties and I've heard mixed things about them. The low-recoil 1 ounce Federals run fine for me also, though.
  4. Steve133

    Shotgun Shell Holder Review & Suggestions

    It's not exactly a night and day difference from other brands, but there are two main things that I like: First of all, the design of the shell clips themselves result in nice, smooth release of the shells, with fewer fumbles and "bowed" stacks of shells. The flip side of this is that retention isn't quite as good as some other models, and that might be an issue. I personally have never had a problem with it, but that's just me. Your mileage may vary. Secondly, I really dig the modular design - there are lots of configuration options, and they sell the individual components and hardware to set things up exactly the way you'd like. For me personally, some of those options, like the newer 12-round setup, strike the best balance between minimizing belt real estate occupied while keeping individual groups of shells easy to grab. Plus, they support the sport well and have good customer service. Most of those things are true of a few different manufacturers - it's not like they're the ONLY game in town or anything, but I've basically settled on those.
  5. Steve133

    Shotgun Shell Holder Review & Suggestions

    Not surprised by the lack of feedback out there - I can't recall ever seeing anyone use the DAA caddies at a match... but then again, I wasn't really looking for them, and even if there really is no one using them, that doesn't mean they're a bad product or anything, but maybe folks are just set in their ways using other models. I can, however, personally vouch for the Invictus. I've mostly seen a roughly even split between Invictus, Carbon Arms, and Safariland - I think I like the Invictus the best of those options, but I have a Carbon Arms chest rig that I'm perfectly happy with, and none of my buddies who use Safarilands have ever complained about them.
  6. Steve133

    RHT Holster question

    That all checks out, thanks for passing that along. Like I mentioned earlier, the WRS hood that they use in their level 2 holsters is a standalone component sourced from Bladetech. I wouldn't worry too much about voiding the warranty on the hood - even if you manage to completely destroy the hood, you're probably not going to damage the holster itself, and replacement hoods can be ordered from online shops that sell kydex holster-making equipment for ~$20. Looks like I'll be breaking out the razor blades before next season starts....
  7. Steve133

    RHT Holster question

    I'll echo what others have said (RHT is a small company with good CS, so I'm sure that they'll be pretty responsive to you)... but if you're also looking for a sanity check on that issue, then I can provide that as well. I've been using one of their level 2 holsters for the past year or so, and while the craftmanship on it is great, the WRS hood is a little finicky. Not their fault at all, since it's a standardized aftermarket part that they don't even make (I think it's Bladetech?). And it's not even Bladetech's fault, either - it's just the cost of doing business with a generic component like that. If it works for everything, it's probably not going to work all that great. I've thought about a few modifications to improve it - very carefully contouring the engagement surfaces of the locking mechanism, for example, or changing up my mounting system so that there's less play in the holster itself - but haven't actually done anything with it yet. So far, it's basically just been working on it in training. I don't think there's much to be done about hitting the release faster, but I've been working on getting better at hitting the release while doing something else (running, dumping a long gun, etc.). If you do hear some suggestions back from the RHT folks, I'd be interested in hearing what they tell you, though. Please keep us posted.
  8. Steve133

    advice with first AR15 build

    Can you please elaborate on your issues with the Rise trigger? Not trying to call you out on it at all - quite the contrary, actually. I'm just looking for more information. I don't want to keep recommending them as budget options if they're actually bad, but I'd like to be able to back that up with information that's more substantial than "this one dude on the internet said they suck". I could google it, I'm sure, but I tend to value direct input from people who actually have relevant experience more than that. I'll add one nice-to-have to list that other people have already provided. You can definitely build an AR with minimal general gunsmithing tools, but if I had to pick just one AR-specific item to have, it would be a tool for installing the pivot pin detent. I've got one of these, but there are other options, like this one. For me, at least, that stupid detent is the only really tricky part of the whole build process, and a dedicated tool more than pays for itself in reduced frustration.
  9. Steve133

    AR magwells

    Can confirm that the GB model that Shooters Source carries will work fine with Magpul mags.
  10. Steve133

    advice with first AR15 build

    Spring you probably don't need to mess with. Heavy buffers are generally used to tame the recoil impulse of an overgassed rifle. If you're going with adjustable gas and a lightweight carrier, there's no need for a heavy buffer. No need to go crazy and start going after super-lightweight options either, but I've had good success with a standard carbine buffer and spring. I don't think you're missing anything regarding the relative pricing of the BCGs. Unless you're talking about something really out there, like a titanium model, I've observed that the biggest price differences are between different manufacturers - if the same manufacturer makes both a standard-mass and a low-mass carrier, the price difference isn't that extreme, in my experience. I'm guessing that the in-house Brownell's model is fairly cheap just because it's kind of the equivalent of a generic brand and not one of the big high-speed, low-drag names.
  11. Steve133

    Vortex PST II vs Steiner P4Xi vs Burris XTR II

    My vote would be the Viper. I've heard nothing but good things about them from people that I trust. Any of the options that you're considering would probably get the job done, but all of them give up something to the ideal "top-tier" optics that are the most popular... and from all that I've read and hear, the Viper is the one that gives up the least. If price is a substantial concern, then I totally get it. Go with whatever's cheapest. But good glass is not cheap; if you've decided on a general performance tier of optic and can afford all of the specific models in that tier without substantial hardship, it's probably counterproductive to think too much about the price differences between individual models. In that way lies madness. I'd think of it more this way: you're looking at a bunch of solidly mid-tier optics, and you're already committed to spending $150-$200 more than an entry-level optic like a Strike Eagle or a Primary Arms. To get anything substantially better than the options you're considering, you'd have to go to the top tier (Razor, Mk. 6, etc.), and I've never seen any of those go for less than $900, and $1200-2000 is typical. When viewed in that light, the $150 isn't all that much.
  12. Steve133

    advice with first AR15 build

    Since there was some discussion about adjustable gas blocks earlier, I'll add that if you almost certainly want one if you're getting a lightweight BCG. Everything will still work with a nonadjustable block and the lightweight BCG, but you can't really get the benefits that Tortoise was talking about without being able to fiddle with the gas system. I've used the larger version of the Miculek comp on a .308 - it works fine. It's not the absolute best performer out there, but it's really solid from a price/performance standpoint. I've seen the entry-level Rise Armament triggers that Tortoise was talking about go on sale for as little as $75-$80, so it might be worth it to wait for a sale. I've got one that seems to work okay - haven't really shot the build that it's in much, so I can't speak to the longevity of it. If you want to get closer to $200, I'm actually a fan of the Elftmann ELF SE, which is normally in the ballpark of $160. For $190-200, you could also go with one of the Hiperfire Hipertouch models, which are also very nice. There are PLENTY other options in that price range, but that's what I have personal experience with. Lots of things in a rifle build come down to personal preference, but that's especially true of the trigger. If you have any range buddies that have ARs with nice triggers, it might be worth asking to try some of them out. If there's a local shop that sells a lot of AR parts, they might have some demo units set up, but that's kind of rare to find. If you can't try before you buy, it's not the end of the world, either, but it's always helped me gain a little more confidence when buying new stuff....
  13. Steve133

    Safariland GLS retention device

    Nice! If you could post the results, that would be awesome. I'd be very interested to see how that turns out.
  14. Steve133

    Safariland GLS retention device

    I've never done that or seen that done, but I've thought about it a lot, actually. I don't know for sure about Red Hill, but I know that Weber Tactical quit making retention holsters for Open guns - apparently, each one was a completely custom one-off that required too much time and effort to be commercially viable, and that makes sense. I don't have a lot of details, but I'm guessing that the incorporation of a retention mechanism was the difficult part. It seems like you could work around that with a modular approach - have a "core" section with the locking mechanism that interfaces with a kydex shell molded for a particular gun. G-Code does something with a vaguely similar concept, I think - a "core" holster built for the slide profile for a particular holster, which is then mated to different bottom halves in order to accommodate different lights and whatnot without having to have entirely different holsters. It seems like GLS, or something like GLS, would be the logical choice for an active retention mechanism in that system, which I guess is why every race holster ever for USPSA uses a roughly similar one. A hood creates problems with clearance for an optics mount, and the ejection port lock that the Safariland ALS uses has linkages to the release lever that would also probably interfere with the mount. Hood and ALS systems would also be difficult to implement in a modular setup. The only potential drawback would be issues with slings that's already been mentioned, but I think that that issue is generally overstated - like you said, it's not an issue if you sling muzzle-up, and I'd argue that extended periods of running around with a slung long gun and a holstered pistol are rare enough that it's illogical to make that the main deciding factor in your equipment selection anyway. You could probably design something that bypasses all of the issues with the GLS anyway if you were starting completely from scratch, but I think that hacking up a GLS holster and possibly attaching it to something else is probably a good enough solution for the shadetree holster maker. I have a discount code from Safariland that I picked up from a prize table - I'd been thinking of using it to order a handful of GLS holsters to mess around with, and I might have to do that now....
  15. Steve133

    Angstadt Arms Mag Release Dimensions?

    Pretty close is all I need. Thanks again! Currently stuck at work, but I'll check that against the PSA lower once I get home.