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billt

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  1. Some time ago I purchased a new Primary Arms Gen II Weapon Light. I was extremely satisfied with both it's construction, as well as it's performance. This light is extremely robust in it's manufacture, and very bright. It comes with a very sturdy, built in mounting system, that mounts right up to any standard Picatinny Rail system with 2 thumb screws. The other day I received an E-Mail from Primary Arms, and noticed they now have introduced their new Generation III Model. It was on sale for $69.00 from $89.99, so I immediately ordered one. This light is simply fantastic! The light itself is the same in appearance and construction as the Gen II Model. The difference is it now comes with the new Cree XM-L2 LED bulb that puts out and incredible 750 Lumens, and is one of the brightest in the industry. Up from the 450 Lumens of the Generation II model. Last night I took it outside to test it out, and this weapon light literally turns night into day. They advertise a throw distance of 300 yards, and they're not kidding. I had zero problems completely illuminating a 40 foot tall palm tree at that distance, and even beyond. This light gives total illumination at that distance. To the point a person would have no problem engaging a target at that distance. I can't imagine how blinding it would be to be on the receiving end of this light. Especially at closer ranges. The light comes with a standard push on, push off rear switch. Or it can be had with an optional pressure pad switch that can be mounted in your choice of places. These lights are manufactured in China. With that said, they possess very good quality for the price. Chinese goods have advanced today to the point where we now have both "good China", and "bad China". This is definitely high quality Chinese manufacturing. The anodized coating is very durable, and evenly applied. The light also has a removable mid section that reduces it to 2 cell from 3 cell. (CR-123-A batteries), if you want a smaller profile light. The light is the same brightness, but obviously has a longer run time in the 3 cell configuration. For anyone looking for a good, high quality weapon light, but don't like the idea of paying Surefire prices, I highly recommend this light. Primary Arms is very good to deal with, and you will not be disappointed in this light's quality, or it's performance. I should also mention it comes in Black, as well as Flat Dark Earth. http://www.primaryarms.com/primary-arms-ultimate-weapon-light-gen-iii/p/kt-pawl-2bkgeniii/
  2. The only difference between .223 and 5.56 MM is in the chamber. The 5.56 MM has more freebore to reduce pressure with the hotter loads. Some say the cases are thicker in the web, but on the cases I've sectioned over the years, I've found that isn't always written in stone. Anyway, I've never had any type of pressure related problem firing 5.56 MM in a .223 chambered gun. I don't want to turn this into a .223 vs. 5.56 MM chamber argument, so I'll just say I've never experienced the problem in well over a dozen rifles in over 35+ years of reloading, so I no longer worry about it. I usually choose a load that falls somewhere between the two. I have a Ruger Mini 14 NRA Edition that won't cycle on reduced .223 handloads. So that rifle is my test bed. If I get good reliable functioning for 100 rounds, I call it good to go. As far as accuracy. I've realized a good degree of real world accuracy without segregating .233 / 5.56 MM brass. I've intentionally fired 10 shot groups from my bolt guns off a rest, with the only variable being different cases. Half .223, half 5.56 MM, all from different sources. The difference didn't prove out to be enough to be concerned about. So now I don't segregate. With that said, what I am starting to wonder about is cost. With the higher cost of powder and primers, reloading isn't bringing about the savings it once did. For example the best price currently on Hornady bulk 55 Gr. .223 bullets is $419.00 per 6,000 from Brownell's. That comes to .07 cents per bullet. At 26.5 Gr. of CFE 223 per charge that comes to roughly 2,113 round per 8 pound jug. Or around .09 cents per round at $190.00 a jug, (after tax or else shipping and Haz-Mat fees). On to primers. Let's say you can grab them for $25.00 a thousand. That comes to about 2-1/2 cents a round. Add this all up and you're looking at about 18.5 cents a round not including brass. Or assuming the brass is "free". I've found Everglades Brass to be a really good source for good, clean, once fired brass. http://www.evergladesammo.com/brass/rifle-brass/5-56-military-brass-1000-pieces.html If you purchase 5,000 rounds, they'll let it go for $69.00 a 1,000. Or about .07 cents a round. Factor that in and now you're up to about .26 cents a round. That takes you to $260.00 a thousand. Yes, you can amortize the cost of the brass because you will get several firings out of a case. I didn't factor in time because I'm retired with no kids. So I've got more time than I know what to do with. But if you're married and working with a big family, it takes a lot of time to sort, prep, and clean the brass. Then there is the time to load all of it. Even on a Dillon progressive, that takes considerable time. You can buy reloadable M-193 .223 Ball for around $300.00 a thousand, ($6.00 @ box of 20), ready to shoot....... And still have the once fired brass when your done. So in relative terms, when all is said and done, it's getting to be a "tit for tat" situation as far as cost of doing all of this. I've got a lot invested in reloading equipment and components, so for me I'll continue. But for now I'm finished buying once fired brass, because financially it simply no longer adds up. I'll look for good deals on 55 Gr. Ball ammo, and go from there. As always YMMV.
  3. Yesterday I made the switch from H-335 to Hodgdon CFE 223 powder. My general purpose load of H-335 with the 55 Gr. Hornady FMJBT has been 25.7 Gr. of H-335. I'm seeing that CFE 223 is a tad slower burning. I'm just wondering what you guys are running for charge weight on this powder with the 55 Gr. bullets? According to my new Hornady 9th Edition Reloading Manual, it is showing a max charge of 27.5 Gr. of CFE 223 for the 55 Gr. in 5.56 NATO, and 25.4 Gr. (2-1/10th grain less), for the same combination in .223. I have 2 bolt guns in .223, (A CZ-527 LUX, and a Marlin X-7), as well as 3 Ruger Mini 14's, and countless AR's. I want one load for all. I don't segregate my .223 / 5.56 MM brass either. I've never found any need to. I'm hearing really good things about this powder, and the guy I talked to at Bruno's Shooters Supply where I bought it told me it meters through a powder measure just as nice as H-335 does. He also said he has received really good feedback about CFE 223 in general. I'm hoping that it will burn a bit cleaner than the H-335. Although admittingly, I never found H-335 to be that dirty. I still like the idea of shooting a clean powder. Especially for a general purpose round. Anyway, I just thought that perhaps some of you guys wouldn't mind sharing what loads you've had good luck with using this newer powder. Thanks in advance.
  4. billt

    Mag Pouches

    http://www.cdnnsports.com/9-40-45-2mag-pouch-nylon.html#.VO5pNGf9nl4 I have 10 of these and the quality is unbelievable for the price. Very sturdy, heavy duty stitching, and fully adjustable tops with quick release locking latches, not Velcro. They will fit most any double stack 12 to 17 round pistol mag. CDNN ships fast, and is excellent to deal with.
  5. http://www.primaryarms.com/Primary_Arms_Ultimate_Weapon_Light_Gen_2_BLACK_p/pawl-2bk.htm I've purchased this Primary Arms Ultimate Weapon Light, and I'm very pleased with it. The light has a 1.500" diameter bezel. What I'm wondering is will a Surefire Filter Cap for a 1.62" bezel fit properly? Most all weapon lights, including Surefire, come with 1", 1-3/8", or 1-1/2" bezels. But the cam operated filter caps Surefire sells come in different sizes other than that. I obviously don't want to invest in a filter cap that doesn't fit. Has anyone used these Surefire caps, and how much leeway do they have size wise? I'm finding this kind of information is hard to come by. Thanks in advance.
  6. http://www.cabelas.com/catalog/product.jsp...MAL%3BIK-230823 Yesterday I stopped by Cabela's because I wanted to take a good look at the Tactical Rifle Cases they have. This case normally sells for $64.99. I got one of those "Employee Price Discount" cards in the mail, and I called to check what kind of discount it would get me on this particular case. The girl on the phone checked and said it would knock the price down to $48.77. I also got a flyer in the mail that said they were going on sale for $49.99 starting 1/3/2013. I was so impressed with the case I bought 2 of them. This case is very large and well made for the price. To compare, one of my LWRC piston AR's came with an Elite Survival Systems Case similar in design to this one, and I think the Cabela's case is much nicer. The Elite Survival Case sells upwards of $100.00. It comes in both black, as well as Digital Camo. They only had the Digital Camo model, which didn't matter because that is what I wanted. The case comes with plenty of Molle attachment points, as well as 2 detachable pouches. They sell extra pouches as well. They come 2 in a pack for $19.95. I bought several of them because they are perfect in size to fit extra magazines in. I have a total of 6 on each case. Each one will easily fit 3, 30 round magazines. It has internal tie downs for your weapon, and 2 pocketed areas front and rear to contain both the muzzle and buttstock, and all zippers are double, and very large and heavy duty. It also comes with a single, detachable shoulder strap, and 2 heavy duty carry handles. One is attached to each side that are joined together with a Velcro strip at the center. The material is lined with a type of plastic material that will go a long way in keeping the contents protected from water. The detachable pouches feature this as well. The built in center pouch comes with the case, and it has 2 zippered access points to seperate compartments. Either one or both of these would easily hold a large handgun. As I mentioned these things are going on sale in a couple of days for just $49.99 each. They are well worth the $64.99 regular price, and are an absolute steal for $49.99. For anyone who needs a really nice case for their AR-15, AK-47, or similar type weapon, but doesn't want to break the bank buying one, I highly recommend this Cabela's case.
  7. I had a really good day at the range Tuesday afternoon. A couple weeks ago I ordered 3, 8 pound jugs of WC-844 Ball Powder to work up some .223 / 5.56 MM loads with. Along with it I bought another 2,500 cases from Brassman Brass out of Las Vegas. WC-844 is one of the last really good buys in reloading. It’s not always available because it is generally obtained as a demilled, pull down, military Ball Powder. This stuff goes for around $85.00 for an 8 pound jug, which is really reasonable when compared to the $140.00+ they are getting these days for H-355 which it is very similar to. In fact you can cross reference loading data directly from H-355. The thing about military Ball Powder is that it varies from lot to lot, so it’s always best to start out low and work up. I got up early Tuesday morning and I loaded up 20 rounds starting at 23.5 grains, then 20 more at 24.5 grains, and finally 20 more at 25.3 grains, which I hoped would be my final load I would settle on if everything went good. All loads were with Lake City 55 Grain FMJBT bullets seated to 2.200 O.A.L. and given a good, solid crimp with my Lee Factory Crimp Die. I went to my club range and took along my Bushmaster A-1, M-4, and my Colt 6940 to run my first experimental loads through. All cycled well except for the 23.5 grain starting loads which would not cycle the Colt 6940 reliably. They ran well in the Bushy, kicking the brass out into a nice uniform pile about 6 feet away. This didn’t surprise me with the Colt because I knew from the get go this would probably be too soft of a load. Still, I wanted to play it safe. The 24.5 grain load ran well in both guns, but was still a bit on the soft side. The final 20 rounds that I loaded to 25.3 grains were the best. Zero signs of any over pressure were noted, and the accuracy was very good with all rounds grouping solidly with both weapons, with the Bushy grouping just slightly better. Both weapons were shot with factory irons at 100 yards. The Vltor E-Mod Stocks I had installed a few weeks ago on these guns worked out really well. They are a marked improvement over the factory stocks they supply with these guns. After I got home and cleaned both weapons, I decided on a final “production” load of 25.5 grains kicking it up just a bit. The only disappointment in the whole day was after bringing, and setting up my chronograph, I discovered the 9 volt battery was dead. My fault. I should have checked it before I left. I didn’t. According to the H-335 data, I’m running right around 3,150 FPS give or take. So yesterday I hit the press and cranked out an even 800 rounds on the Dillon. I’m going to order another 16 pounds of this powder as long as it’s available. It’s availability has been spotty in the past. It seems either no one has it, or else everyone does. At present Wideners and Pat’s Reloading has the best price I could find at $85.00 for 8 pounds. If you buy 6, 8 pound jugs they’ll pay the Haz-Mat fee, which makes it an even sweeter deal. I might just do that. Between my wife and I we go through a lot of .223, so the stuff will get shot up in fairly short order. Wideners also has Hornady 55 Grain FMJBT bullets available for $474.00 in a 6,000 bullet case lot with free shipping. That comes to only $7.90 a hundred. I’ve shot Hornady FMJ .22’s before, and they’re good, consistent, accurate bullets. I think it’s wise to stock up on this stuff if yet another buying frenzy starts, which appears to be the case. If you’re looking for good quality components in bulk to load .223 / 5.56 MM check out WC-844. This stuff is very good powder, and you’ll never beat the price the way powder is going up these days. http://www.wideners.com/itemdetail.cfm?ite...dir=278|283|999 http://www.wideners.com/itemdetail.cfm?ite...8|281|1081|1141 http://store.brassmanbrass.com/servlet/-st...on--dsh-/Detail http://www.patsreloading.com/patsrel/ItemD...e=WC844_Surplus
  8. billt

    Handgun picture thread.

    Well he said "this past week". So I just assumed he just bought them new. Mine were purchased 2 years ago.
  9. billt

    Handgun picture thread.

    When did Sig get away from the blue plastic carrying case, and go to a cardboard box?
  10. billt

    My New DPMS .308 AP4 Carbine

    I went to the range this past week with the new .308 DPMS, and overall had a very good range session. The gun functioned flawlessly. No FTF or FTE's. The gun ate everything it was fed. I tried both DPMS magazines that came with the rifle and both fed 19 rounds each of Magtech 150 Gr. FMJ without a hitch. I then switched to the Mag-Pul P-Mag I had for all the rest of my shooting, because that is the magazine I will be purchasing several extras of. It ran fine with everything I stuffed in it. At 8.25 pounds empty, the gun has very manageable recoil. Much less than a light .308 sporter like my Winchester Model 88 does. It was LOUD! Much louder than any .223 AR-15. Ejection was positive, but it did not damage or ding any of the brass. I don't have any optics on this rifle, and really don't intend to mount any. The standard A-2 sights were pretty close at 100 yards, where all my shooting was from. I had to adjust about 2 inches up and about 2 to 3 inches to the left, and everything after that was well central on the targets. After about 50 rounds I switched to some handloads I had brought that were loaded with 42.0 Gr. of Varget under a Sierra 168 Gr. Matchking bullet. My eyes were getting used to the sights, and using the small aperture shooting off the bench it was not difficult to get groups that could be covered with a drink coaster. For my 59 year old ageing eyes I'll call that good. I switched to some Hornady 168 Gr. A-Max bullets loaded with the same 42.0 Gr. of Varget. They grouped just a bit tighter, but I would of had to have a scope mounted to really establish which was the better load as far as accuracy. After taking a break and BS'ing with some of the guys there I tried some informal offhand shooting on the 200 yards steel plates. It was very easy to achieve steady hits. This rifle is very easy to shoot accurately. Much more so than my Springfield M1-A's are offhand. It being shorter is far less muzzle heavy and less tiresome to shoot from an offhand stance. All in all I ran a total of 220 rounds through the gun. More .308 than I normally would shoot at a single range outing. Before I left I heavily lubed up everything, and after every 30 rounds or so, I gave the bolt and bolt lugs several drops of Mobil 1 to keep everything good and slick. After I got home the gun cleaned up effortlessly. Everyone has their own method of lubricating AR's. For me more is better. I disassembled the bolt carrier group and washed everything in clean Kerosene, then blew everything dry with compressed air. After that the gun was spotless. I then re oiled and greased everything, and the gun was as spotless as before I took it out of the case. I used Bore Tech Eliminator in the barrel, and it cleaned up much easier than I had expected. I didn't get the barrel very hot, and gave it plenty of time to cool off between magazines. It was mostly cloudy and cool out with almost no wind at all. Overall I'm very pleased with this rifle. The gun ran perfectly, shot where it was aimed, and was easy to handle doing it. I wished I hadn't waited so long to get into the .308 AR game. These guns are a lot of fun, and I couldn't be more pleased.
  11. I just picked it up this past week. It had everything I wanted, and the price was right. Removable carry handle with A-2 sights, plus a free floater forend. It came with 2, 20 round mags and the dealer threw in a 20 round Mag-Pul P-Mag which I really like. I'll be picking up a few more. I won't get a chance to crank it up until Monday, weather permitting. This is my first .308 AR. I have a couple of Springfield M1-A's, and I'll be glad to see how this one stacks up. It seems like a nice, solid, well made rifle. Fit, finish, and overall feel look good, and I really like the sights. I'm still not used to the big magazine! When he handed me the Mag-Pul P-Mag I did a double take because I'm so used to .223. This thing looks like it's going to get shot a lot! Does anyone have any ammo recommendations? I've been running 42.0 Gr. of Varget under a 168 Gr. Sierra Matchking in all of my other .308's, and it's more or less been my "go to" round in that caliber because it runs well in all of my rifles. Anyway,I'm looking forward to lighting it up!
  12. billt

    Springfield Loaded 1911 - Parkerized

    Parkerizing itself offers very little in the way of rust protection. What it is designed to do is trap and hold the oil within the pores of the Parkerizing itself up close to the metal. Generally what I do is oil very heavily, then let the weapon sit overnight, or even for a couple of days. After that I ten blot up as much of it as possible with a dry paper towel. If oiled correctly Parkerizing can be a very good finish that protects well against moisture and rust. If left dry it's ability to protect is greatly hampered. Some guys will coat the gun with Vaseline or Cosmoline, then heat the whole gun in the oven under very low temperature. That is a bit extreme, but I heard it really does work well. Besides, I think If I used my wife's new range for that, it wouldn't go over too well!
  13. I picked this one up the other day. I was actually going there to look at a Parkerized Springfield Mil-Spec 1911 Standard Model he had in stock. But after handling it and giving it a good once over it just didn't light my fire for some reason. It was a really nice pistol and all, but when I saw this Loaded Model my attention shifted to it. It had the nicer Cocobolo grips, ambidextrous safety, along with the Novak style Trijicon Night Sights. All and all a much nicer package for not much more money, so I decided to go with it. This gun is very similar to my Range Officer, but better suited for carry with the Novak Night Sights. I gave it a good cleaning when I got it home, and as you can see from the photographs, I also gave the Parkerizing a good oil soaking. I absolutely love Springfield 1911's. They really put a nice weapon together. The thing that really got me was the case it came in. This thing is built with every bit as much quality as a Storm or Pelican Model of the same size. It has all die cut high density foam for the pistol, holster, magazine holder, cleaning rod, as well as 3 cut outs for extra magazines. It also has 2 holes that will accommodate a couple of nice size locks. About the only thing I noticed was that it had no O-Ring in the cutout along the edge. That isn't a problem because the local NAPA Auto Parts store by me has 5 MM O-Ring cord in 6' lengths for a couple of bucks. I'm going to pick up some and fit the case with an O-ring. I'm really surprised how they can offer such a nice case with the weapon. The older style blue cases my other Springfield 1911's came in are nice as well, but this one is much better. A similar Storm or Pelican Model in the same size is close to, if not over $100.00. I'm going to the range tomorrow, so I'll light it up then. If it shoots as well as my other Springfield's I'll be happy.
  14. Here are a couple of my plain Jane Bushmasters I dolled up a bit with some new handguards from Midwest Industries, and a Vltor E-Mod Stock. The M-4 is a A-1 Model, and the rifle is a 20" A-2. Both have the non removable carry handle. The Midwest Industries Handguards are really nice. Being a machinist, I don't see how they can make them for the price they charge. When I opened the box I was greeted with flawless machining, and an all but perfect fit. While you don't really need it, I purchased the Tapco AR-15 Handguard Removal Tool. For $15.00 it was well worth it. It gives you plenty of leverage, and makes changing out the handguards a much easier job. The Tapco wrench is heavily rubber coated, and you will not mar the finish on your gun. These handguards were perfectly machined, and while it was a very close fit, they went right on and were nice and tight and exhibited no movement after they were installed. They really are a nice improvement over the plastic factory handguards. As you can see, they also allow for much better cooling of the barrel and gas tube as well. I really like the Vltor E-Mod Stock also. It adds a little extra weight to the weapon which helps it balance better, and it also give you almost a full inch added to the overall length of pull when compared to the factory stock supplied with the weapon. I have long arms so that really helped with stock fit and cheek weld. The picture below shows both guns before I installed the upgraded stock and handguards. (The A-2 is in the middle, and the M-4 is to the right of it). A really nice inexpensive improvement that was well worth it. For anyone looking for AR-15 stocks and forends, check out Man Venture Outpost www.manventureoutpost.com They have really good prices, along with good service, and very fast shipping. I ordered the items on Thursday afternoon, and they were delivered Saturday morning Fed Ex Ground. That is from Arlington, Texas to Phoenix, Arizona. They sent an E-Mail confirming shipping within a couple hours. Good people to deal with. They have a really good selection as well.
  15. billt

    Handgun picture thread.

    Looks just like mine! Bill T.