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Thread: GO SHOOT THE GUN!

  1. #1
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    GO SHOOT THE GUN!

    I just responded to a thread about whether or not to install an o-ring under the extractor in a brand new Colt 6920. I got the impression that the gun hadn't even been fired yet, or if it had it was only fired for a few rounds. I've also been noticing more and more threads about "my first carbine is on the way, what rail/stock/widget should I buy for it first?" This seems out of sequence to me.

    When I first get a new firearm, or finish assembling a new AR, the first order of business is to go shoot it as-is. Even if it's just bench time to check function etc. I don't want to get down some long path of installing rails, and optics, and new triggers, etc. only to find that the gun has problems. Now I have to figure out if the problem is one of my widgets or the factory parts, and if I have to send it back in to the factory I have to strip off all my widgets. GO SHOOT THE GUN to check for function.

    I'm also not sure how people know, right off the bat, that they want (need?) a rail system, a new stock, a new grip... Personally the first thing I change out on any AR is the A2 grip, but that's because I know that the finger groove makes me NUTS. How do I know this? I spent all of TD1 in an EAG class shooting with the A2 grip. But for a lot of guys the A2 works fine, great even. I'm that way with an M4 stock. I see no reason to change it out, and it certainly would be far from the first thing I'd change out. How do I know that the M4 stock works for me? Spent all of TD3 at a Cumberland Tactics class shooting with the M4 stock. GO SHOOT THE GUN and see if any of the stock parts really cause you a problem or not.

    The rail system is a real kicker for me. I see "look at my new carbine" posts of a brand new Colt 6920 where the handguards have been changed out for a rail system ($250+/-), the pistol grip has been changed out ($30+/-) and the stock has been replaced ($100+/-), often with a full set of Troy flipup irons ($250+/-). Now, I ain't going to begrudge anyone the grip, but otherwise that's $600 worth of stuff on that gun that is doing NOTHING to improve your ability to get hits quickly and these changes are often done without ever having fired a shot. Take $450 of that $600, get in touch with G&R Tactical and pick yourself up an Aimpiont C3 in ADM mount for $450, cut down the carry handle that came with the gun into a rear BUIS, stick with the stock FSB, and use part of that $150 you saved to pick yourself up a BFG Victory Sling for $35 or a Boonie Packer for $15, and get out there and GO SHOOT THE GUN.

    This isn't a rant, this is intended and advice. My first AR(s) after the ban sunset I did exactly what I see a lot of other folks doing. I bought an LMT 14.5" upper, had a Gemtech silencer mount permanently installed, had a Larue 12.0 rail and lo-pro gas block installed, got myself a Magpul M93B stock and Tango Down pistol and vert grips, slapped an Aimpoint and Troy rear sight on it... all without ever having fired a shot. And then, just to compound matters, after only getting a few rounds downrange with this beast, I went and "built" a whole 'nother carbine with Daniel Defense in place of the Larue, Vltor in place of the Magpul, Ergo in place of the Tango Down, Eotech in place of the Aimpoint... and months after my initial purchase I still had maybe 500 rounds combined through the pair.

    See, I thought I "needed" all that crap on there. I thought I "needed" a rail system and vert grip. and frankly, I was motivated by a"this looks COOL" mentality as much as anything else. I even carried some of these preconceived notions over to my first two Colt projects (a 6520 and 6933, see "a tale of two carbines" on my website).

    After all of this, and all those thousands of dollars down the drain, guess what I'm shooting these days? A plain old LMT lower, into which I dropped a G&R lower parts kit, installed a MOE stock and Grip, and topped it off with a BCM midlength upper and Aimpoint C3 in ADM mount. I went with the MOE parts because I assembled this rifle from scratch. If I had started with a factory complete gun I'd probably still have the M4 stock on it, although I would have still changed out the grip due to personal lessons learned. I figured out a way to mount a white light on a small section of rail on the handguards, the key to which is that I can take that light off there when I don't need it or don't want the added weight. I put a $15 Boonie Packer sling on it, and secured it in the front with a BFG UWL at the delta ring. The base gun without optic was under $1k, $1500 tops as it sits. and you know what? it does everything my $3k "wonder guns" do but at half the price. Lesson learned. Now whenever I have a match or class or drills night it's that BCM gun that I reach for. Reach PAST all those $3k+ carbines and get the plain 'ole functional boring BCM.

    GO SHOOT THE GUN, and figure out what YOU want or need to do to improve it.




    In fact, I liked it so much I outfitted another 6933 almost identically. that Redimag and BAD are coming off shortly. If I had this one to do over again it would still have the M4 stock and MOE pistol grip on it in place of the CTR and MIAD.
    Last edited by rob_s; 03-29-09 at 08:35.

  2. #2
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    Agree with the above. Also, when it comes to accessories, try someone else's gun that already has the parts on it. It may save you $100's of dollars.
    Praise be to the LORD my Rock, who trains my hands for war, my fingers for battle. Psalm 144:1

    Owner of MI-TAC, LLC .

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  3. #3
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    Rob,

    I agree to a certain point. I would say that this advice REALLY applies to "newbies" that have very little to no AR experience who get caught up in the customization black hole. Even more importantly when people need to think before they start adding buffers, springs, etc...without having fired a shot to know whether or not their weapon even functions.



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  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Iraqgunz View Post
    Rob,

    I agree to a certain point. I would say that this advice REALLY applies to "newbies" that have very little to no AR experience who get caught up in the customization black hole. Even more importantly when people need to think before they start adding buffers, springs, etc...without having fired a shot to know whether or not their weapon even functions.
    Exactly.

    Obviously if someone's been shooting ARs continuously for the last 15 years, kept up with all the latest and greatest the whole time, owns 25 carbines, shoots thousands of rounds/year, etc. they're going to know what parts work for them, or what new parts they're looking to try based on past experience.

    But, even in that case, when dealing with a factory built gun I'd prefer to shoot it at least once to make sure it works as-is before I start going nuts swapping parts in and out.

  5. #5
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    The problem is that a lot of new buyers think that somehow a bare bones combat rifle is somehow inadequate. Iron sights and no rail accessories have done a pretty good job of putting down the enemy for a long time. At least get used to the weapon in its original state before you start adding toys.

    That being said, a good Aimpoint or EoTech is a nice addition faster target aquisition. Any combat advantage you can gain from the addition of toys is good......but in the grande scheme of things the better combat advantages are using cover and concealment properly, using movement, and firing quickly and accurately.
    America is NOT a Democracy......nor should we ever want it to be:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DioQooFIcgE

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by rob_s View Post
    Take $450 of that $600, get in touch with G&R Tactical and pick yourself up an Aimpiont C3 in ADM mount for $450, cut down the carry handle that came with the gun into a rear BUIS, stick with the stock FSB, and use part of that $150 you saved to pick yourself up a BFG Victory Sling for $35 or a Boonie Packer for $15, and get out there and GO SHOOT THE GUN.
    I'm sure you meant to say "GO SHOOT THE GUN" at the beginning of this paragraph, right?

  7. #7
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    Good post Rob...
    What sort of surprises me is how many people are wanting to modify the internals before ever shooting it lately On the one hand it's good that folks are more concerned with how the gun is going to function than how it looks, but without without understanding what & why, it's a lot riskier.

    This is just the evolution of things lately...the same guys who were buying a DPMS and dragging it down the tacky aisle at TAPCO are now buying a rifle and then reading the forums and going "oh crap I need to change out this and that to have a reliable gun..." without even understanding what they're doing. I think this is one of the unintended consequences of the Chart culture, as the pendulum swings too far in that direction. It'll come back towards the middle and hopefully we'll achieve some balance.


    OH, and before someone else says it....dibs on the LW redimag and BAD off the SBR
    --Josh H.
    Zombies seek out and eat brains. Don't worry; you'll be safe if they attack.

  8. #8
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    I was that way about VFGs. A lot of rounds and a class later, they are all sitting in a box. I'm sure someone has a use for them, but at this point I don't. Still happy about the rail, as I've changed my light setup several different times, and I like options. Still happy about the red dot, as I know how to shoot irons...I'm just not as good with them.

    As far as Magpul addiction goes...I'm prepared to admit that I don't gain much/any benefit, but I like it. If you understand what/why you're using something I don't see a problem. My reason for CTRs and all that jazz is that I think they're f-ing cool...and don't detract anything.

    More than people adding rails, I see people doing arbitrary(and potentially less reliable) things like putting H2/H3 buffers in their 16" guns before shooting a single shot.

  9. #9
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    Thank, you rob. This should be stickied.

  10. #10
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    +1 for a sticky.

    Pragmatic advice is a rarity nowadays.

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