Brushbeater Discusses AR’s, The Alternatives, And How To Select One

Compact Rifle post2

DSA FAL Para.

Brushbeater gives some good advice about selecting a caliber and weapon type. It is no secret that I am a big fan of the 7.62×51 (.308) and the FAL and M1A (M14) rifles in particular. As much as I would rely on those two rifle types and that caliber, anyone who knows me will also tell you I think everyone needs a quality AR in 5.56 caliber in their gun safe, because it just makes logistical sense. From a Survivalist perspective, the other calibers are generally gimmicks if you are honestly answering the “versatility versus logistics” question in a logical manner. The 5.56 in an AR, and/or 7.62×51 in an FAL or M1A is where it’s at.

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AR carbine (top), or pistol (bottom) in 5.56x45Nato

M1A rifles

M1A Socom with Sage stock (left) M1A Match (right). While the FAL isn’t known for it’s accuracy, the M1A (especially the “Loaded” and “Match” models) are.

The above video was from my M1A Socom shown above, and shot at EVTC. They got it wrong about the ammo however. It was 1970’s era German Ball. This just shows how effective a good flash suppressor can be, even out of a 7.62×51 16″ carbine barrel.

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So You Want A New AR, huh?

Admin Note: I wrote this prior to the contemporary…um…’incident’. But that being said, it’s timely for those just now waking up, those looking to streamline kit, or those simply wanting to read another take on the bewilderment that is the contemporary AR platform. This is NOT a caliber war. Intermediate caliber debates are stupid and get argued by people who don’t know their rear from a hole in the ground about fighting. So if you want to argue why your pet caliber is better than Joe’s pet caliber, there’s whole forums where folks with no experience do that- Go there. Understand?

A Reader’s Question:

Looking to purchase a new ar-15 soon, but am at odds on the caliber. So (many) conflicting opinions on the internet. Could you do an article in the future about the feasibility of each caliber? .223, .308, 6.5 Grendel, 300 ACC Blackout. Considering long term ammo availability as well, that being the primary issue. Thanks.

Parameters Matter

Our first question needs to be what is the purpose of this weapon? Is it going to be a jack of all trades, general purpose home defense rifle? That’s 99.9% of you reading this. Is it going to be an *actual* sporting rifle that you intend to hunt with or is it simply a range toy? If it’s a range toy then what I have to say is going to be irrelevant either way; I’m not wealthy, I can’t afford range toys. Are you buying with the intention that you’re going to need resupply (you should be) at some point or are you planning on going it alone? How do you intend to keep it running? Logistics matter a lot more than what you like best. For sanity’s sake lets look at our options listed above and say that our first rifle is going to be our general purpose, home defense, fight if we have to, carbine. We have .223 (5.56×45), .308 (7.62×51), 6.5 Grendel, and 300 BO. (But, why not 7.62×39??? Because it runs far better in an AK. That’s why.)

300 Blackout

This is, like 6.8 SPC, doomed to be an “also ran” for a lot of reasons. Having shot a good amount of it, the round always seemed like to me an answer in search of a question. “The better mousetrap” I guess. It may have a ballistic advantage in a certain niche, and while I’m NOT a fan out of an AR, it’s interesting out of a bolt gun- but nothing that can’t be done cheaper with more common rounds. Wanting a caliber with the close range ballistics of the 7.62×39, better performance than 5.56 suppressed, and fitting in a standard AR 15 magazine all seems like a worthy notion, but in practice I think it falls flat especially for a Survivalist.

First, it’s not in widespread use. Yeah, sure, such and such or so and so secret squirrel ninjas are rumored to use it (because wikipedia said so), and it’s the hottest thing on the planet this week to the cooler-than-thou range bunny types, but the real story is that it’s a lot of hype for not much gain in any direction, especially if you’re running a standard length barrel unsuppressed (and that’s most all of you). It’s smaller cousin, 5.56, from which it borrows its case is in far more widespread use, every bit as effective at longer ranges (300-600min my experience, and unless you’re explicitly building a rifle to be suppressed-only, you’re not gaining much except for a more expensive ammo budget. Don’t kid yourself into thinking it’s going to be adopted by anyone in large quantity either. The usuals said that about 6.8 too…which went nowhere. In fact, if it did get picked for large scale .gov use the on-the-shelf supply would dry up faster than .22 LR at a prepper convention.

But, but, I can reload for it! Yeah, right, ok. And when you run out of that supply, eventually, where are you going to find new brass? You don’t have time or ability to worry about digging up brass if you’re laying down the pain on a target. Oh, you’ll ream .223 brass that’s everywhere, that’s right. But you’re doing all that while you’re also runnin’ n’ gunnin’ and survivin’ n’ preppin’ like a doomsday master right? Have you reamed 2,000 of them to resupply your team? Can you? No? That’s what I thought. Shaping brass is a major PITA, and there’s no guarantee that it will even work across varied rifle manufacturers or chamber tolerances. The logistics simply don’t support it, and until they do, and I don’t think they ever will, you should avoid it no matter how much the tacticool gunrag crowd tells you not to. Yeah, it kills stuff. So does 5.56. So does 7.62×39. The dead ain’t gonna compliment you on your boutique round.

6.5 Grendel

Now the Grendel is a neat concept and in many ways perfects the concept of the intermediate round. Interestingly enough, Bill Alexander ( I have a close friend who met him bumbling in a gunshop of all places local to Alexander’s facility, and speaks very highly of the encounter) took a similar path that the British did earlier in the .280 British, which was scrapped as the NATO standard in lieu of the 7.62×51, as the US possessed far larger means to produce .30 cal ammo. (And it kept the MIC in business) But the .280 class round excelled at flat trajectory and carried energy at distance, also reflected in the strengths of its newest incarnation. The Grendel is excellent for shooting at longer distances and being lightweight with low recoil, making it a very attractive round for families of smaller statured shooters or recoil sensitive people to be more effective at longer ranges. Overall, I think it’s a great round and a great idea. It’s an excellent intermediate range cartridge and works very well. But I won’t recommend it as a first or only AR-type weapon.

grendel.jpg
Notice the serious lack of meat on the edges of the bolt face? That’s an issue. Whether it’s 7.62×39 or 6.5 Grendel, which share parent cases, this design is NOT optimum for long-term durability.

First, you need special magazines. Like the 6.8, it suffers from needing it’s own due to a unique cartridge taper. This gets expensive and can be complicated, especially for newer shooters. Second, it needs it’s own bolt, which is the same as the 7.62×39 AR bolt face, having much less metal on the lugs. This WILL lead to premature failure compared to the standard AR bolt dimensions, as any 7.62×39 AR shooter will begrudgingly tell you. Ammo itself used to be expensive, but interestingly enough a number of nations are looking at the round as a possible next generation cartridge, including Russia and Serbia. In fact, a 6.5 Grendel AK Vepr was available in the US for a very short time before Molot imports ended up being banned earlier this year. wyEWOWf-660x495Zastava also builds one, and we might see an imported version on our shores along with their Yugo M70 type AKM. As of this writing 6.5 ammo is indeed made by Wolf and is available at many outlets, so stocking up on training ammo is not a problem currently. But that being said, since it’s not (yet) in widespread use, not used by any domestic entity in any measurable quantity, requires specialty magazines, and I don’t foresee a foreign invasion by an army using it, I don’t recommend it as a first or only AR-type weapon.

 

7.62 NATO (308 Winchester)

Unlike the bulk of the gun culture out there, I have combat experience with the SR-25, aka M110 aka SASR. I greatly preferred the M24 when given the option. The M14 EBR was also issued, and I still rather carried the M24. I privately owned a higher-end 7.62×51 AR-10 type weapon for a while, and still prefer a bolt gun. That should tell you what you need to know, but in case it doesn’t, I’ll elaborate.

I don’t think anyone in their right mind questions the power of the 7.62, be it a fighting round or medium game caliber, and in my opinion, it’s the best all around utility cartridge for a Survivalist along with the 12ga, primarily due to it’s commonality and widespread use among…pretty much everyone. I know first hand the destruction both M80 ball and the M118 can deliver on the business end, as well as the freezers I’ve filled growing up with Remington Core-lokt. But I don’t really like it in an AR.

The first problem is defining an industry standard; for the 308 pattern AR, there’s a few out there. The Armalite pattern took a proprietary magazine, the DPMS/Bushmaster yet another, the Rock River took an FAL magazine, etc, etc, with a de-facto industry standard arising with the adoption of the SR-25/M110 type rifle. This led to Magpul making the good quality and inexpensive magazines for it, somewhat resolving one issue, but still, there’s others. Like it’s little brother, the AR10 suffers from varying degrees of quality associated with expense- and if you’re buying “budget”, expect problems. I’ve shot

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Discipline 101. This guy would have severe problems with his rifle should he have needed it. He’s set up a DMR with no flash hider- I hope he knows the amount of dust that kicks up from an effective firing position. Notice the lack of ejection port cover and forward assist? Those were added to the AR design for a reason. In case someone shows up with something like this, at least cover it with duck tape. Don’t go to war with a range toy, Francis. 

enough of them to know and I’m not interested in hearing how your $500 homebuilt runs like a swiss watch. If you’re new to the AR in general, this is a HUGE deal. Malfunctions when it matters not only saps confidence but costs lives. Second, all ARs break stuff in time; if there’s varying degrees of standards, ill fitting parts deadline that weapon and without experience in your fold you’re going to have a heck of a time diagnosing the issue. Big Bore ARs are far less common and not nearly as interchangeable as their 5.56 counterpart. Bolts are a big part of the problem- there’s no one monolithic standard. The new DPMS Gen II makes this even more complicated, blurring the lines between the AR15 and 10 in an attempt to shave weight, using a completely different bolt than anything else on the market. Last, they’re all, to a rifle (again, I’ve got enough experience with them from the bottom end range trash to the Stoner SR-25) finicky about cleanliness. Much more so than the AR-15. In fact, the M110 is widely known among end users for being unreliable- the semi-integral suppressor and extreme close tolerances are the culprits- and keeping a weapon meticulously clean is a challenge on long movements. Trust me, I know. I think LMT has it right with their version that the Brits are using from what I’ve observed, but that’s the only one I can vouch for.

So while I love the 308 round, I don’t love the AR rifles that fire it, and approach with caution if you do. If you’re wanting a semi-auto combat rifle, the FAL, M1A/M14, and G3/PTR-91 types are better options in my experience, in that order. If you just have to have an SR-25 type rifle, don’t cut corners and buy the best quality possible. If standardizing on them as part of a group, buy ones form the same maker to have a known standard between rifles. But you’re walking into SCAR territory in terms of cost when buying quality, and that’s a better weapon all around. Even better still, put the money into a good bolt action rifle with great glass and buy a quality AR15 for everything else. Does this mean they’re all bad? No, it’s just not what you should buy as a first or only AR.

5.56 NATO (.223 Remington)

img_0233Probably the most controversial round ever created among people who talk more than do, the 5.56 since it’s adoption long, long ago either meets scorn or high praise depending on varied levels of experience of the story teller (BS artist). I’ll tell you first hand it always worked fine for me. Fine as in, did it’s job. Nothing more, nothing less.  It did what I expected it to do, every time. The round was designed with certain parameters filling the same void the Kalashnikov did; bigger than a burp gun but playing the same role for the “marching fire” concept that was all the rage post-WWII. A soldier can carry a lot of ammo with not a lot of weight, and the heavier loadings that I favor (69gr Nosler, 77gr OTM, for different purposes) are very effective against a wide variety of targets. Since I’m not bound by any convention anymore (and that works two ways, for all you would-be partisans), I’m not limited to the 62gr green tip- not that it doesn’t work, but a Barnes Varmint grenade or a Nosler BT work dramatically better.

But this ain’t a caliber debate; its a logistics debate. Overwhelmingly the 5.56 is in broad supply, along with the standard magazines and standard dimension parts. Everything about the rifle is a known quantity.  Spare parts, even for top shelf quality, has never been cheaper. The 5.56 AR15 is experiencing a renaissance in the US like few weapons have, and in 20 years it went from being an “army gun carried by the fringe types” in the eyes of the public to being a status symbol along with Ford Trucks and Yeti coolers. It doesn’t make sense not to have one.

And for that reason, you should own one in 5.56 for your first AR. It is not the best of any world (no intermediate cartridge is), but it works and it’s what you’ll find in many people’s hands when need be. It’s not my own favorite round by any means but I know it works from experience. For that matter all of them discussed here work, it’s just a matter of how the logistics figure into the equation long-term. And that answer for the AR-15 is 5.56, period. The design is not going away anytime in the foreseeable future and adding one to your arsenal in its basic form is a logical move. Keep it simple and you’ll keep it effective. Avoid gimmicks, buy quality and train often.

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JCD

American by BIRTH, Infidel by CHOICE

 

 

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And……..Fail

I’m just gonna leave this here……..

Yup, that’s generally their M.O.. Whether it’s “Field Training” (don’t forget to bring the huge gas grill into the woods, cuz….gotta eat well…..)  or “Operations” (We’re a “Cunsteetooshunal Moolisha”, without the “Constitutional Compliance and Authority” part), they’re a “Soup sandwich without the bread”. Sad that……

JCD

American by BIRTH, Infidel by CHOICE

An Interview With Distributed Security, Inc.

Here is a company that has a lot to offer people of the preparedness mindset. Randy Bartlett is a personal friend of mine and as squared away as a trainer can get. I can guarantee you won’t hear Randy or any of his cohorts bitchin’ in a class (turning precious training time into a rant) about “Alumni not advertising some business gimmick enough”, or that “People should be taking my “awesome” classes but aren’t because they aren’t “warrior” enough.”, or better yet, you won’t be told on a forum to “Fuck your advice, I know what I’m doing” by any of DSI’s people. Last but not least, DSI won’t try to lead you to believe they are training a “high speed” group that they obviously are not, with the hope that they can garner students due to the “cool” factor. When those things become a common theme for students of a specific trainer, why would anyone recommend that you take classes from him?

H/T WRSA

 ______________________________________________________________________________  Q&A With The DSI Team

Western Rifle Shooters Association

Online Q&A

What is Distributed Security, Inc?

Distributed Security, Inc. is a private defense group. We train and mobilize individuals, businesses, churches and schools to defend life and property. We offer integrated on-lineon-site and on-range training packages for our members, students and tailored engagements for our clients. http://www.distributedsecurity.com

Who are the DSI instructors?

Ron Danielowski, Bill Tallen, Randy Bartlett and Chuck Gbur make up our corporate training cadre. They work with a growing number of independent instructors certified to teach our curricula. It’s one thing to have some firearms background and want to turn that into a side business. It’s quite another to have the expertise, knowledge AND ability to transfer that knowledge effectively. Our curriculum is designed by these same people and now encompasses 7 print manuals, 30+ on-range formats, 60+ on-line courses, 4 on-line training plans, and thousands of pages of on-line training resources. Check out theirindividual bios herehttps://distributedsecurity.com/about-pulse-o2da/certified-training-instructors.html

Why did you start DSI?

Ron Danielowski and Mike Smock started DSI in 2010 to address a growing need for firearms training resulting from increasing polarization in the US and throughout the world. They saw two gaps they could fill in the firearms training industry:

1. Beyond the NRA. A need for reality based training solutions for individuals and teams that pick up where the standard NRA offerings leave off.

2. Distributed security. They saw a clear need for individuals to assume more control over the immediate defense of their home, businesses, churches and schools.

What types of training is offered by your team?

We offer on-line, on-range, on-site and instructor certification training. https://distributedsecurity.com/offerings/training-home.html#

1. On-line pre-course and post-course training supports all our on-range and on-site training courses, reducing the amount of classroom time in those courses, and providing guidance for sustaining and developing your skills through directed practice.

2. On-range training provides instruction in combative handgun, rifle, shotgun, individual tactics, team tactics, and unit tactics. Students can also benefit from various hands-on medical training and tactical communications courses that may be needed to save their own lives or those around them.

3. On-site training is conducted at your own venue and nearby training facilities that meet our requirements, tailoring our training packages to your specific needs and applications.

4. DSI Certified Firearms Instructor (CFI) certification is designed to teach qualified candidates on the same tactics and methodology we use for our own students. Once an instructor is DSI certified, they have access to all the training curriculum and tools needed to train their own students at their own location. DSI engages with CFI’s on an ongoing basis and supports them through continued training every year.

We use Reality Based Training (RBT) to teach individual, small team, and unit tactics in a force-on-force environment with live role players and non-lethal training firearms and ammunition. Whether in our own training areas or at your location, this method tests firearms, tactics, and decision-making skills in high-stress, realistic scenarios

We also offer vulnerability assessments for clients and partners worldwide. These engagements are tailored to fit the specific needs of enterprises and organizations confronted with threats to personnel and assets.

Where does DSI offer training?

Our combative handgun/rifle/shotgun courses are put on by our CFI’s at their locations. Currently, we have CFI’s in Iowa, Nebraska, Kansas, Ohio, Illinois and New York. Our reality-based training facilities are conducted at facilities in Mt Carrol, IL and Davenport IA. Tactical medicine and communications courses are integrated in those live courses, as well as stand-alone courses in Ohio.

What is the Defender 300 concept?

We’re using the new SEC crowdfunding regulations to build a cadre of 300 highly experienced gun owners who understand the importance of investing in advanced training that sharpens their existing skills while introducing new skill sets, tactics and techniques.

The reason we’re using a “Reg CF” offering is that it allows us to share potential financial returns or profits with those who invest and become Defender 300 members. Our Ref CF offering is not just an investment, but also a commitment to the security of your community.

The modest financial investment you make can return many times over, both financially, and in the peace of mind that comes with the confidence that your community is safe and secure. Accepted members receive:

1. SWAT caliber training – Individual/team training courses, plans, resources.

2. Advanced Training Plan – Online 12-month detailed level training plan.

3. Lifetime Membership – Advanced-Level Online Defense Academy

4. Training Discounts – Individual and team tactics courses.

5. Referral Commissions – Student or client referrals.

6. Resources – For creating a community distributed security network.

7. SWAG – Vinyl morale patch and window decal

Click here for more info: https://distributedsecurity.com/defender-300-program-details.html?a_id=388

How does DSI differ from other training organizations in the space?

Two things set us apart:

  1. Integrated training ladder – We have the on-line, on-range and on-site ability to move a new gun owner all the way up to SWAT-level proficiency in 12 months through integrated training approach.
  2. Private defense networks – We designed these private networks to support businesses, churches and schools in your community.

Walk us through how an awakened American might interact with DSI for his family’s safety?

Let us assume this awakened American is an experienced gun owner and decides to further their tactical training. This is how he/she would interact with us:

1. Start by getting an Advanced membership in our online Defense Academy – or – become an investor in the Defender300.

2. Next, invite in other family members, friends, and neighbors to start training via a Basic membership. (If you’re a Defender 300 member you get a share of our revenue and commissions on referrals).

3. Last, start training. Move up our training ladder from individual, to team, then unit tactics offerings.

What does DSI offer to that same awakened American for the organizations (schools, churches, businesses) to which he/she belongs?

Awakened Americans can establish their own on-line security cadres for their local businesses, churches or schools using our on-line Team memberships. Their local businesses, schools and churches can engage our on-site turnkey offerings or have us custom tailor a solution. All of our offerings have been designed to distribute security down to the private citizen.

What is the most important attribute that a DSI student can bring to a class?

The most important attribute a student, member or client can bring is a desire to train.

What is the most important skill that a DSI student learns?

How to win the fight of their life by integrating techniques – gun handling skills – with tactics and decision making appropriate to the actual conditions of modern life in America.

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JCD

American by BIRTH, Infidel by CHOICE

Two Shooters? Here’s A Valid Analysis

I’m not going to get into what a number of experienced Infantry Vets believed they heard in the video footage concerning the type of weapon, but this is a reasonable reason to believe that there was more than one shooter present. If there was more than one shooter, the theory behind what was used and by whom comes into play. After watching this, the only thing you’ll believe is a conspiracy, is the “Lone Wolf Geriatric Millionaire” theory.

H/T to DTG

JCD

American by BIRTH, Infidel by CHOICE

Sparks Nails It.

Thousands of Vets would heed the call. The inexperienced and Korny Kernals need not apply for this task. It is real not a fantasy photo op with a cigar and your AR.

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Dear President Trump

Dear President Trump:

I’m writing you this public letter to provide a solution that would prevent further violent incidents such as the recent Las Vegas shooting and out-of-control protests that have occurred across the country. This solution would require neither you nor congress to pass any further laws. This solution would also limit the infringement of civil liberties against the citizenry, and help the veterans in this country who are facing financial difficulty, joblessness, and potential homelessness. But before I do that, let me detail how the Las Vegas shooting could have turned out if this solution was previously implemented.

My former employer, BBN/Raytheon, has developed a gunfire detection and tracking system called Boomerang (http://www.raytheon.com/capabilities/products/boomerang/). It enables the user to locate the source of small arms fire. From there, a skilled observer such as a veteran trained and experienced as a Calvary Scout or Fire Support Specialist would be able to identify the exact location of the shooter, at which a point a counter-sniper team would be able to suppress the shooter’s (or shooters’) activity long enough for he or she to be either apprehended or otherwise neutralized. This is not fantasy or science fiction. The technology is in place here and now, and the United States military has trained thousands, if not millions, of men and women to do this exact job function, and gave them plenty of experience doing it. Many of us would be more than happy to go back to doing it to help preserve the Republic.

As you may be aware, Mr. President, you have the authority under 10 USC 333 to call forth the militia to suppress domestic violence. Here is the relevant statue as pulled from https://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/USCODE-2011-title10/pdf/USCODE-2011-title10-subtitleA-partI.pdf:

§ 333. Interference with State and Federal law
The President, by using the militia or the armed forces, or both, or by any other means, shall take such measures as he considers necessary to suppress, in a State, any insurrection, domestic violence, unlawful combination, or conspiracy, if it—
(1) so hinders the execution of the laws of that State, and of the United States within the State, that any part or class of its people is deprived of a right, privilege, immunity, or protection named in the Constitution and secured by law, and the constituted authorities of that State are unable, fail, or refuse to protect that right, privilege, or immunity, or to give that protection; or
(2) opposes or obstructs the execution of the laws of the United States or impedes the course of justice under those laws.

I should also point out, Mr. President, of the different types of militia you have access to in order to preserve domestic tranquility, as detailed under 10 USC 311:

§ 311. Militia: composition and classes
(a) The militia of the United States consists of all able-bodied males at least 17 years of age and, except as provided in section 313 of title 32, under 45 years of age who are, or who have made a declaration of intention to become, citizens of the United States and of female citizens of the United States who are members of the National Guard.
(b) The classes of the militia are—
(1) the organized militia, which consists of the National Guard and the Naval Militia; and
(2) the unorganized militia, which consists of the members of the militia who are not members of the National Guard or the Naval Militia.

Please pay particular attention to section (a) and section (b,2). With the National Guard (organized militia) engaged in federal missions outside the United States, they are often unable to engage in domestic support missions. However, you have at your call thousands, possibly millions, of trained and experienced veterans who are now members of the unorganized militia. Many of us could use, and would appreciate, a decent job and a stable place to live. Most, if not all, of us would be happy and honored to continue serving our country and protecting the republic in its time of dire need. Quite a few of us are already self-equipped to various degrees, and would require minimum logistics support to become operationally effective.

All you have to do, Mr. President, is declare a state of emergency and act as Commander in Chief to call forth the unorganized militia, specifically those experienced defenders of the republic who have honed their skills on the field of battle. Most of us would be honored to serve again, and would faithfully, expediently, and efficiently defend the republic and the Constitution against all enemies, foreign and domestic. No more laws need be passed. No more infringements against citizens’ constitutional rights. Just one simple declaration, and we’ll do the rest.

Sincerely and Respectfully,
Just Another Veteran

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Well said Sparks!

JCD

American by BIRTH, Infidel by CHOICE