AR15 + other guns and unneeded assortment of attachments


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SilentStalker
March 17, 2006, 02:36 PM
Some of you may know from some of my post that I have recently been looking for my first AR15 or first weapon of this type actually. In any case the more I look at these guns the more of the stupid attachments I see on them. I mean damn, they look cool as hell and mean as hell, but if I was in the military I don't know that I would want to be lugging around all of that crap on my gun. I feel like it would just slow me down. I mean if I did need it I would be glad I had it but for the most part a lot it seems useless.

Here are some examples, let's say you got a mid-length AR15, used mostly for fairly short range targets, I would say CQC but ideally if you are in a real close quarters combat situation a good knife or shotgun might prove more useful than a AR15. In any case, the range on this AR15 is mostly for fairly close targets. So, my question is, "Since this is a weapon used primarily for semi-close to close targets, then why do I keep seeing these huge optics on them that look like they would be required on a long range rifle to hit something 1500 yards away?" I don't know it just seems kind of dumb to me. In most scenarios a weapon of this type would more likely be used on targets anywhere from 150-400ft., maybe a little more and at that range you should be able to see your target pretty damn well with your eyes, I would hope, so why the huge optics?

Another scenario is the flashlight. It is a nifty little thing to have in the dark especially in CQC but at the same time that flashlight also gives away your position to someone else. In other words if the enemy is in the dark and you are walking around with a flashlight on then you are a nice easy target to spot. Now don't get me wrong they serve there purpose in some situations by allowing you to see people clearly so you don't shoot a team member but again at the same time it gives you away. However, I must say all of this crap looks cool as hell if that is all you want a gun for. It may just be me but a lot of this crap seems like too much garbage for me. So, what are you guys/gals thoughts on what is good to have and what is not?

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Correia
March 17, 2006, 03:12 PM
Let's back up for a second.

How you outfit your weapon is a personal choice. If you don't want to hang stuff on it don't.

Don't for a second ever assume you know more than somebody who does hang stuff on their gun. You may be right, but you are probably wrong.

Big optics? Depends on what you are doing with it. I can hit 500 yard targets with an AR. I can do it with a 16" or 14.5" gun as well. There are people on this board who go to 800 and 1000 with 20" guns. Many of them actually do it with irons in high power competition. So if somebody wants to put a 3-9x scope on their gun, and shoot itty bitty groups why does that hurt you?

Weapon mounted light? If you don't get it, I probably can't explain it to you. You need to identify your target before you can put a hole in it. There is this misconception that you run around the whole time with your light on. That is not how you run a weapon mounted light. Just because you see it on TV doesn't mean that it works that way in real life. Do a search in strategy and tactics about weapon mounted lights. Most professionals use them for good reason. They might even know what they are doing. :)

Shotgun better for CQB? Look, I'm the biggest shotgun fanatic you will ever meet. The shotgun mods can vouch for that. I eat, sleep, live, and breath shooting a shotgun fast. But better for CQB? Nope. Sorry. Every tac team in the country is going to an M4 style (or equiv) weapon for a reason. Do a search on that also.

A knife? Okay... Now on what planet were you trained about CQB? :D John Shirley is the last person I would ever want to engage in a knife fight, but I'm pretty sure John would take a carbine over a kukri.

Let's address some of the other additions that online posters like to complain about:

1. Backup iron sights. Optics break, so have a backup. Doesn't weigh hardly anything. Flip downs don't obscure anything. Where is the issue?

2. Vertical foregrips. Help some of us shoot better. If my split times are .01 faster with a vertical foregrip, good for me. Many of us shoot better with a vertical foregrip. If you shoot fast or with full auto you will learn to appreciate a vertical foregrip.

3. Lasers. Great intimidation tool. Helps if you are shooting from a bad position and can't get a cheek weld or access your optics. Invisible IR lasers are amazing tools when you are using a night vision device.

4. Night vision devices. You can see in the dark. :) Try them sometime. They are awesome.

5. Aimpoint/EOTech/TriPowers. Non-magnifying optics. That is great for you that your grandpa taught you to shoot like a real rifleman and you can hit a rockchuck at 800 yards with your 30-30 and its iron sights, but the vast vast vast majority of shooters shoot better/faster with a dot sight.

6. Suppresors. Awesome. Simply awesome. I've seen people gripe online about them, but I doubt they ever actually have tried one.

7. Dot sights mounted on an angle on a handguard, with a magnifying optic on top. I've seen plenty of posters make fun of these. Tell you what, go challenge a hardcore 3gun competitor with a JP rifle to shoot against you. When he shoots better and faster than you from conversational distance, to 800 yards, you explain to him how his setup is silly.

8. Bipods. Ever try to hit a six inch tall animal at 300 yards? Bipods can be your friend.

9. Rail systems. Allow you to hang all of this nifty stuff on your gun.

Do you stick every one of these on your gun? No. You tailor your gun for what you are going to do with it. My varmit rifle is going to look different than my 3gun rifle.

Just because you don't understand how something works, doesn't mean that those of us who do use these things are dumb. Amazingly enough, some of use even know how to shoot pretty good.

SilentStalker
March 17, 2006, 03:25 PM
I don't mean to be rude, but you seem a little confused. I never called anyone that has any of this stuff dumb, if you thought that from reading my post then I am sorry, but I never said anyone was dumb. The point of my post was to get feedback on what people thought was useful and what was garbage. I am looking for valid opinions and answers here, which you gave, but somehow got this misconception that I was calling people dumb for using this equipment. I made no such accusation nor did I claim that I was a better shooter than anyone but after reading your post you give that impression. Again, a comment that I never made. Finally, if you reread my post I made an example of why a flashlight would be useful that matches yours to a degree. However, I did not know the lights were touch on touch off handy so you see I learned something. I hada misconception of the way they were used. Thank you for teaching me something. Now if you think that I was somehow insulting you or anyone else for using this equipment then I apologize as that was not my intent and I really do not see how you got that but anyways I apologize. Again, this was just to get real feedback so I could learn something and I have from your post. Thank you.

Correia
March 17, 2006, 03:30 PM
No offense taken, none meant.

I've just gotten that kind of thing many times online. Where somebody doesn't understand how to use a tool, so they assume those of us who use them are somehow inferior to them. You didn't do that, so I apologize.

How I would go about accesorizing, is this. Figure out what you intend to use the gun for, and then go from there. If your shooting range is limited to a few hundred yards, go with iron sights or a non-magnifying optic. If you intend to use it as a defensive weapon, get a light, and more important, get instruction from a qualified trainer. Foregrip, rails, things like that? Play with your base gun first, and decide what you want after you have a chance to experiment.

Bartholomew Roberts
March 17, 2006, 03:32 PM
If you are using your knife to cut underbrush, then a filet knife probably looks pretty silly to you. Like a lot of things in life, what type of job you want to do helps determine what kind of tools you want to have.

I would venture a guess that a lot of those attachments look stupid to you because you don't have any formal training and don't understand how they are used in specific scenarios.

The best recommendation I can make is to get some formal training. I can type stuff all day long (and I would have to in order to even begin to answer some of your questions); but training can show you real quick why certain tools are used. Correia has already given a very good summary of some of the ins and outs.

To just touch VERY briefly on two questions you raised. On optics, you can't engage what you can't see. I can make hits out to 300yds with irons just fine. On the other hand seeing and identifying targets at 300yds is a bit more challenging. At that range, an E-silhouette is just a vague blur of color to me. I couldn't tell you if a target had a weapon or a TV camera without a magnifying optic. If I am in a situation where plugging newsmen is frowned upon; but being able to shoot badguys with guns first is important, a magnifying optic can be very handy.

As for flashlights, they don't have to be on all the time - and once again, there are many areas, even in military service, where shooting targets you haven't identified is frowned upon. They can also be particularly useful in situations where you cannot avoid being backlit. If there is a lighter background behind me that I cannot avoid moving in front of, I am better off momentarily activating a flashlight - it both allows me to see and momentarily causes the eyes of my opponent to blink and the pupils to constrict.

azredhawk44
March 17, 2006, 03:32 PM
5. Aimpoint/EOTech/TriPowers. Non-magnifying optics. That is great for you that your grandpa taught you to shoot like a real rifleman and you can hit a rockchuck at 800 yards with your 30-30 and its iron sights, but the vast vast vast majority of shooters shoot better/faster with a dot sight.


Good ol' Grandpa!!! LMAO.

ArmedBear
March 17, 2006, 03:48 PM
When I finally do my pending AR-15 builds I want one of them to have mineral water on tap and a lime dispenser. That's why I'll need a lot of rails.

Shooting rockchucks at 800 yards with a red dot makes me thirsty.

ARperson
March 17, 2006, 04:07 PM
I hate all that "claptrap" on the guns for myself. But I realize that each person has his own choices. And the beauty of the AR system allows for such modification.

Actually, I get a kick out of the mockeries some people do to poke fun at all the stuff that can be slapped on an AR. They make for great laughs.

The irony is that if you look at some military pictures of actual soldiers in actual combat, very few have "bare" ARs. So there must be a useful purpose in many of the attachments. *shrug*

lightweight
March 17, 2006, 06:02 PM
http://i22.photobucket.com/albums/b317/demusn79/th_Im000603.jpg (http://i22.photobucket.com/albums/b317/demusn79/Im000603.jpg)
:)

Zak Smith
March 17, 2006, 06:58 PM
Here is a simple carbine, set up for house duty. VFG set up so the shooter can easily temporarily light the Surefire, or click it set "on". Both can come off in just a few seconds. The Aimpoint is left on 24/7 (it'll still last over a year this way) with the lens caps down, so it's ready to go. The red dot appears on the target focus plane, so there is less visual complexity than iron sights.

http://apollo.demigod.org/~zak/DigiCam/Midlength-16/small/A100_1704_img.jpg (http://apollo.demigod.org/~zak/DigiCam/Midlength-16/?medium=A100_1704_img.jpg) [ link to LARGER image ] (http://apollo.demigod.org/~zak/DigiCam/Midlength-16/?medium=A100_1704_img.jpg)

Correia
March 17, 2006, 08:44 PM
Daniel Defense rail system, Zak?

Zak Smith
March 17, 2006, 08:57 PM
It a LaRue 9.0. That rifle started as a Rock River 16" midlength, SS 1:8". It was too heavy, so I had a local guy turn down the barrel profile to around 0.75" under the handguards. Then I added the rail system and dura-coated the barrel black.

Even if the Aimpoint dies or gets turned off accidentally, looking through it provides a large "ghost ring" which in conjunction with the front sight, are good enough for up to 50 yard hits. Zeroing the BUIS and leaving the BUIS on all the time means you can rezero a 1x dot by co-witnessing them without shooting at all.

Got it pretty dirty during the TR carbine class last year and it ran fine.
http://apollo.demigod.org/~zak/DigiCam/TR-Carbine-2005/thumb/A100_0468_img.jpg (http://apollo.demigod.org/~zak/DigiCam/TR-Carbine-2005/?small=A100_0468_img.jpg) [ link to LARGER image ] (http://apollo.demigod.org/~zak/DigiCam/TR-Carbine-2005/?small=A100_0468_img.jpg)

armymp119
March 17, 2006, 09:50 PM
the only thing I have on my M16A2 is the M203. I am not saying that when I buy a AR15 i will not hang all types of stuff on it but as for my battle rifle its not going to have anything like that. I have to carry enuff crap as it is. Now there are guys in my unit that have flashlights and two different color lasers on it. If it works for them and makes them feel safer go for it! That is just one MPs thinking

Don't Tread On Me
March 18, 2006, 03:33 PM
Some of you may know from some of my post that I have recently been looking for my first AR15 or first weapon of this type actually. In any case the more I look at these guns the more of the stupid attachments I see on them. I mean damn, they look cool as hell and mean as hell, but if I was in the military I don't know that I would want to be lugging around all of that crap on my gun. I feel like it would just slow me down. I mean if I did need it I would be glad I had it but for the most part a lot it seems useless.

I'm with you on that. I like to keep it simple. I see the AR-15 as a "system"..basically, the rifle is really a 0-200 yard platform, designed to be lightweight. Sure, you can engage targets much further out, but the bread and butter is 0-200. If the weapon was intended to weigh 11lbs, Stoner would have never implemented the gas-impingement design. He would have just built the weapon with a piston system. The beauty of the AR's gas system is that it's nothing more than a lightweight tube. The "action" all takes place inside the bolt and carrier. Built-in. Very clever system, but dirty. Same thing with the catridge. It isn't a .308, that's because weight is a consideration. You can carry more .223 than .308. Magazines are also made to be lightweight. He could have easily designed thick steel mags like the AK for it..but instead used thin aluminum ones. It's all part of the "system"...


If I am going to lug around anything over 7lbs, I'm not going to sit there with an AR-15 (which I love), I will ditch it for M1A platform like the SOCOM 16. Like it or not, bigger is better. While in some cases 5.56 produces more damge than .308, overall, over the whole - .308 is a better terminal performance round. Sorry, don't want to start that debate in this thread. Just remarking on the whole weight thing. If you're going to carry a lot, might as well make it something more powerful.


I have a 16" AR-15. It is a pencil barrel lightweight AR (Colt 6520 that I made into an A3). I don't like adding weight. I only added what I actually use or might need. It has an Aimpoint on a Larue mount (just like Zak's), a Troy back up iron sight (just like Zak's), and a pistol grip in the front. I attached mine to the handguards because I don't need freefloating acccurizing on a "go-fast" 200 yard gun. I just need better gripping handling, and to avoid heat. I'm not bashing on guns like his, they are very nice, but personally, I have ZERO use for a weaponlight, in fact, I hate them and see them as doing more harm than good. I don't spend money or add modifications to the M4 stock or other areas like rail systems (although quality rails like his are in most cases lighter than factory handguards). I feel mine are good as-is. I keep it simple. I'll gladly add a rail system IF the benefit is totally clear and well justified. Everyone's needs are different. My AR is not an ounce over 7lbs. It's in the low 6lb range.


Here are some examples, let's say you got a mid-length AR15, used mostly for fairly short range targets, I would say CQC but ideally if you are in a real close quarters combat situation a good knife or shotgun might prove more useful than a AR15.

I doubt that. That's not close quarters combat anymore, that's hand-to-hand combat. I'll be able to use my AR on somoene up to the very moment they are about to make physical contact with me.

In any case, the range on this AR15 is mostly for fairly close targets. So, my question is, "Since this is a weapon used primarily for semi-close to close targets, then why do I keep seeing these huge optics on them that look like they would be required on a long range rifle to hit something 1500 yards away?"

Because the AR *can* do it. If it can do it, people want to do it. It's an accurate rifle. Stock AR's are capable of consistantly producing 2moa with regular military ball with boring regularity. That is really accurate for a military rifle (non modified)...now, add a better barrel, or free float, get a nice trigger, use handloads...and now this military-pattern rifle is shooting 1/2moa. Amazing.

I don't know it just seems kind of dumb to me. In most scenarios a weapon of this type would more likely be used on targets anywhere from 150-400ft., maybe a little more and at that range you should be able to see your target pretty damn well with your eyes, I would hope, so why the huge optics?

Good question. I have a 20" AR that I've set-up as a "designated marksman" rig. While the AR is really only good to 275yards max with 77gr loads...You can still use it on targets further. On this particular rifle, I had zero illusions of keeping it ultra-lightweight, but it isn't a beast either. It isn't an ounce over 9lbs. It's role is different. It isn't a rifle I plan on carrying around all day or for long periods of time. It isn't a "go-fast" gun that I need to swing around quickly, or shoot in 8 different positions. My statemens above question turning what's suppose to be 16" "go-fast" guns into 11lb monsters. That I just don't understand.

Anyhow, it is meant to allow me to engage multiple targets out to 400-500 yards max quickly and with relative accuracy. I use a 4x fixed range-finding optic. I'm not going to shoot tiny varmints, nor go for teeny tiny groups on paper. My target is human-sized. 4x does the job fine. .308 would be better suited, but the lower recoil allows quicker recovery of sight picture and thus, faster follow up shots. If I were less concerned with fast followup shots, recoil and mag capacity..and wanted more range all in an auto-loader- I'd go M1A all the way.

Another scenario is the flashlight. It is a nifty little thing to have in the dark especially in CQC but at the same time that flashlight also gives away your position to someone else. In other words if the enemy is in the dark and you are walking around with a flashlight on then you are a nice easy target to spot. Now don't get me wrong they serve there purpose in some situations by allowing you to see people clearly so you don't shoot a team member but again at the same time it gives you away. However, I must say all of this crap looks cool as hell if that is all you want a gun for. It may just be me but a lot of this crap seems like too much garbage for me. So, what are you guys/gals thoughts on what is good to have and what is not?


That's why I don't like weaponlights. The military doesn't go running around on patrol with lights giving them away. Weapon lights blind the target so their response is hindered, while it illuminates them so you can mow them down better. Weaponlights are championed by the law enforcement world because of how they are used. They are used offensively, with the element of surprise on raids and no-knock entry. This is an ambush or invasion. Lights don't help when you are on defense and it the aggressor who has the element of suprise and the greater situational awareness. Last thing you want to do is show him which hallway you're coming from.

blackhawk2000
March 18, 2006, 04:19 PM
That's why I don't like weaponlights. The military doesn't go running around on patrol with lights giving them away. Weapon lights blind the target so their response is hindered, while it illuminates them so you can mow them down better. Weaponlights are championed by the law enforcement world because of how they are used. They are used offensively, with the element of surprise on raids and no-knock entry. This is an ambush or invasion. Lights don't help when you are on defense and it the aggressor who has the element of suprise and the greater situational awareness. Last thing you want to do is show him which hallway you're coming from.


You obviously have no idea how to properly handle a low light situation.

rocky
March 18, 2006, 04:34 PM
All that gear has a purpose. Just maybe not all at once. I put nothing on my AR that does not actually on for a purpose. Some folks want to look cool and throw all kinds of stuff on em. So what?
It's like most other things, ya really need spinner wheels on your Neon? Or over sized mud tires on your truck?

Don't Tread On Me
March 18, 2006, 05:37 PM
You obviously have no idea how to properly handle a low light situation.


Yeah, thanks for the personal attack towards my opinion.

I'll use 1,000,000 candle power Surefires as soon as the military changes its doctrine and finds that illuminating your position is a good idea. Handle low light situation? Night vision is the answer. End of story. I think too many people buy into the "tacticool" stuff that doesn't fit their mission. People want to use what law enforcement uses, unfortunately, what LE is doing is quite different.

Weapon lights are fantastic - when you kick down a door and shine that in some unsuspecting crack-dealers face at 12am. Of course, you have the benefit of ballistic armor and another 6 guys bursting in with their weaponlights, all of which are mounted on select fire weapons. Let's not forget about tear gas or flashbangs which may or may not be used prior to entry.

Do you recommend that the crack-dealer use a weapon light on his carbine to improve his "low-light" sitaution against the home invasion by the authorities? Seems kind of silly when you're playing D.

I don't know of a *DEFENSIVE* scenario where a weapon light would be useful. I don't plan on going hunting for the perp in my house during a home invasion. I plan on staying in 1 room, and aiming at the door incase the scumbag tries to make an entry. I'd preferably stay low and out of sight as much as possible. Light or not, he's going to eat lead. If this is a SHTF scenario and you are out and about, a light is a liability, not a useful tool.

DougW
March 18, 2006, 05:39 PM
One of the great things about the AR system is that you can adapt it in any way to have what ever you want on it. I love the vesritility.

blackhawk2000
March 18, 2006, 06:17 PM
Not meant as an attack. Take it how you want, but your poor info may get someone else sued, or killed, or you may kill a loved one. You may get lucky and have a clean shoot without a light. What happens when you shoot your kid, because you didn't ID your target? What happens when you shoot the senile old lady who used to live in your house because you didn't ID your target? What happens when you shoot your neighbors kid, because you shot your coat hanging on the door, because you didn't ID your target? What happens when the million other what if's happen? I thought it was pretty obvious that you didn't go walking around the house in the middle of the night with your light on. I thought it was pretty obvious that you don't hunker down next to the bed, with your light on. Like with every tactic, their is the right way and the wrong way to do things.

KC&97TA
March 18, 2006, 07:32 PM
I'll put a little bit of agreement with the first post, some people put alot of stuff on thier AR-15's. For the most part, the members of this board who have posted pictures of thiers, have been pretty bare, compared to some other forums that are out there. I have a surefire that is for my M-4 clone, but it's sitting on the top shelf for duty with the .45 if needed at night.

for the most part, a good rule is, "if you don't know how to use it, don't put it on your rifle, and if you don't need it, don't put it on your rifle".

Those that are up there in the military or keep up with what we do... or maybe lets just drop the words "grunt and super GI Joes". Are working with lights, and IR lasers. Ah, I came in the Corps in 99, and lights and lasers weren't new then? They just don't show you the 'cool guys' on the nightly news.

For the average civilian that lives in a house, I would recomend a 18" shotgun for CQB. For my circle of friends, who've lived by the M16/AR15, there's no better weapon than an M4.

Zak Smith
March 18, 2006, 07:37 PM
Because the AR *can* do it. If it can do it, people want to do it. It's an accurate rifle. Stock AR's are capable of consistantly producing 2moa with regular military ball with boring regularity
Great points by DTOM. I just wanted to add..

Considering that good 14.5" barrels "can" shoot 1/2 MOA, the difference between a "short range" carbine and a 300-500 yard carbine may be as little as switching from an Aimpoint to an ACOG or M/RT.

-z

Mute
March 18, 2006, 07:43 PM
The need for a light source is a reality for a majority of private citizens if they wish to defend themselves in less than perfectly lighted condition. Night vision is great, but most folks can't dole out four figures for something they might need in less than 1% of their waking lives even though when it's needed, it's badly needed. Absent that equipment some kind of white light source will work quite effectively if you learn to use it properly for any given situation. There is no free lunch. Every good thing will have its own disadvantages. You need to personally access those pros and cons and determine what equipment will best serve your needs.

As for optics on a rifle. I believe everyone should learn to properly use their iron sights, however, I doubt there is a single shooter who shoots better with their irons than they can with a good optical sight.

Bartholomew Roberts
March 18, 2006, 08:35 PM
I'll use 1,000,000 candle power Surefires as soon as the military changes its doctrine and finds that illuminating your position is a good idea. Handle low light situation? Night vision is the answer.

Not if you have to clear an indoor structure in low-light. As for the military, there is already extensive doctrine supporting the use of white light on rifles and carbines in combat operations for both direct-action guys and line infantry.

You seem to have some strong opinions on the use of a longgun mounted white light. I am curious what type of training or experience you have that leads you to these conclusions. I don't ask that condescendingly; it is just that I have done a bit of training myself, including some very brief formal low-light training and have come to an entirely different conclusion so I am curious what different types of experience we are having.

Quintin Likely
March 18, 2006, 09:39 PM
I had a chance to play with an Aimpoint on a RRA carbine a few weeks ago. It's a neat little optic, really fast and easy to use. I'd like a similar setup myself one of these days, just 'cause it was fun. But I also know what iron sights can do in the hands of someone who knows how to use 'em. I think the best answer was provided earlier, outfit the rifle to your needs and roll with it. Doesn't matter what anyone else thinks, it is your rifle, after all.

f4t9r
March 18, 2006, 10:24 PM
Lots of options is what I love about the AR.
Got one with bare bones and another that i plan on decking out with all kinds of stuff.

dawgtraxx
March 18, 2006, 10:53 PM
HERE YA GO

greg700
March 18, 2006, 11:41 PM
A lot of people certainly go overboard with the accessories.

However, certain accessories have been proven time and again to be helpful when the chips are down. CCO's come to mind.

The military does use white lights mounted on their weapons. But the neat thing about them is that they can be turned off. That way they don't give away your location when you are on patrol, but you can see what you are doing when you are conducting a raid on a dark building, or clearing a kill zone. Weapons lights are particularly usefull to homeowners who need to be able to quickly identify whether an intruder is a threat or not.

You are right about it being silly to mount a 1000 yard scope on a close quarters weapon, but you also have to play the hand you are delt. If you have an m-4 type weapon and you want to shoot longer distances then a scope may be entirely appropriate even though you don't have the optimal platform for extended ranges. ACOGS, incidentally, make reasonable reflex sights and can be used effectively for close quarters, while the reverse is not true for any dedicated CCO's. A person with an m-4 and an ACOG may have simply decided to compromise.

Rob96
March 19, 2006, 04:38 AM
I think one of the best combos to come down the pike, is a carbine with 1x-4x scope. Keep it on low for close in, and you can ramp it up for 2- 300 yd shots. I believe this was the concept of the recce carbines NSWG had in mind.

lightweight
March 19, 2006, 05:05 AM
My last optic purchace,Nikon 1.5-4x.Love it!:)
http://i22.photobucket.com/albums/b317/demusn79/th_IM000623.jpg (http://i22.photobucket.com/albums/b317/demusn79/IM000623.jpg)

Thin Black Line
March 19, 2006, 08:04 AM
SS,

I was in Iraq for a year and many soldiers would appreciate the rig that
ZS had posted in his picture --minus the large flashlight (a G2 or a
little Streamlight would work fine). I kept a small pressure switch light
on my Mossberg 12g. We typically didn't run around with the "light on" to
give away our position, but it was certainly needed to id a target to avoid
shooting a friendly when it's pitch black out. People here in the USA take
an artificially lit environment for granted. Check out the lighting in your
subdivision next time there's a power outage.

Personally, I would stick with a the fixed carry handle rear site (A1 or
A2) and co-witness a dot (Aimpoint or Trij) either from a foreend rail
or a quality handle mount that sets the optic over the forend. If you're
going to use irons as a back-up, then they're ready to go without being
flipped up. Most people prefer the vertical fore-grip once they've used
them. Lasers are nice for lo/no-lite (and for when you don't want to
turn on a flashlight) and are absolutely SURE of your target. But, quite
frankly, unless you're getting a $500 military laser, most of them will
not last outside of your safe and the occasional trip to the range. It
may work on day 1 of SHTF (which may be enough), but not by day 3
when it's been knocked around a bit. That said, I even have a cheap
laser on mine, but I'm under no illusion that it's fragile and train with
my irons and trij. I wouldn't even bother taking the cheap laser on a
deployment since it would probably be broken before I got on a C-130.

Think quality, durability, and speed to use it when you need it.

444
March 19, 2006, 09:33 AM
Some good stuff already posted here. Especially the point about the people who are really using these weapons in harms way usually arn't using a bare bones, stripped down rifle: they have white lights, they have optics, they have lasers. One must assume that they find them useful and worth lugging around, and again, they are actually lugging them around unlike most of us commenting on the weight of the weapon.
Weight seems to be the big issue. I regularly read comments like, "You are taking what was supposed to be a lightweight carbine and making it as heavy as an M14 (or something to that effect), if I was going to carry something that heavy, I would just carry an M14"
Ok, first of all, who said it is supposed to be a lightweight carbine and who defines what weight is light ? Second, if you put on an optic, and a white light, a vertical foregrip etc and it weighs as much as an M14 you are still way ahead of the game. Because the M14 doesn't have an optic or a white light, or any of the other stuff. With one, you have a short carbine with some very useful accessories and with the other you have a long bare bones rifle with a tiny peep sight which is very useful on a range in daylight and less useful inside a building in the dark. And, I would much rather fight in close quarters with a short carbine than a big long battle rifle regardless of weight. Lastly, who says that if you really need a weapon, that you will have a selection of them to choose from ? Making the statement, "If I was going to carry something that heavy, I would just take an M14 (or whatever)" assumes that you have that choice. You have a golf bag there with all your clubs in it. In reality you run what you brung. That one rifle or carbine has to do it all. Obviously, no one weapon will do it all, so you have to make it do what you believe your primary mission is very well and other stuff OK.

Reality (something not often dealt with on this board) seems to indicate that the rifle or carbine will be used at relatively short range for defensive or military purposes. Why ? First of all, beyond a couple hundred yards the enemy is not as much of a threat. As civilians, we have very few reasons to shoot at another person from long range. Second, unless the guy is standing out in the middle of a freshly mowed field, he will be hard to see past a couple hundred yards: if he is a threat he will probably be using cover and concealment, wearing clothes that blend into the background, and doing his best to not provide you with an easy shot. People doing these things are hard to see. Third, in many environments it is hard to see more than a couple hundred yards. For example, if I was defending my own home against the hordes, I can't see more than maybe 100 yards: buildings and walls block my vision further than that. Woods, jungle, rolling terrain etc. provide the same problem. This isn't to say that it is impossible to find a place in the woods where you can see further than that, it just isn't the norm. You set your rifle up for the norm and hope for the best when something that is out of the norm presents itself. When ranges are short, speed becomes a huge factor. You need a sighting system that is as fast as possible. You also need a sighting system that works in low light or preferably, no light. Iron sights not the best choice for these purposes. A dot optic has proven to be the choice for low light and the laser with night vision gear the best for no light.


This brings us to optics. First of all, most of this discussion assumes that we are using this carbine or rifle for defensive or military use. There are plenty of people who are varmint hunters or paper punchers that use AR15s and big optics are exactly what the doctor ordered for them. But, for defensive purposes, optics also have their place. On the range, you can set up a silhouette at 200 yards and it is very easy to see. You should be able to place your shots into the "A" zone pretty consistently at 200 yards with iron sights. But enemies usually don't present themselves like this. Now imagine a man at 200 yards that is behind cover and the only thing visible is what he has to expose to fire. His head, shoulder, one arm and one hand. This target is much smaller, much harder to see, and much harder to hit. Do you think an optic might help here ?

NMshooter
March 19, 2006, 11:32 AM
One of the best gun related inventions ever was the Picatinny rail.

Shortly followed by various throw lever mounts for stuff.

The ability to change your mind, and quickly reconfigure your weapon, is incredible. In the past when you decided to scope a rifle you no longer had access to iron sights. Most sporting rifles do not come with them, since mounting a scope blocks them. Attaching a flashlight was a semi permanent job, and if it broke or the batteries died you had a weight on your weapon that required tools to remove.

My carbine is not pretty, with a walnut stock and polished blue finish, it is a tool like the other ones I can throw in the back of my truck and get some real use out of.

Pretty rifles have their place, but so do the useful tools.

Don't Tread On Me
March 19, 2006, 02:02 PM
Weaponlights,

Note: I never said weaponlights offer no use at all, just no use for me, and I'm on defense. If I had to kick doors down for a living, I would have a weapon light.

I don't use a weapon light because I don't need it, and it adds weight and bulk. Here's why I don't need it:

Home defense scenario. My home is 2,600sq/ft. Aside from double pane hurricane windows whch would require smashing, there are 3 ways in. Side garage door, front door, back door. Back door is most vulnerable, but it too would need it's glass broken. If I am alerted in time, I will grab either my pistol or my AR. If AR, I won't even have time to turn on my Aimpoint (I leave it off despite the 50,000 hr battery life)...There's even an AK in my safe I can grab (safe stays open when I am home, safe is in my bedroom). I'm going to stay in the bedroom with a weapon calling the police. If they come through the door, I will empty my magazine at them. I don't need a weaponlight to aim at the door or to guarantee hits. (There's also enough ambient light from electronics that it is not a 100% pitch black scenario, although that isn't a substitute for light, I know in my environment I can direct fire at the target successfully) I won't hunt for the thug in my living room. He/they can have my electronics, that's what insurance is for. Florida law protects me in this situation if my "target identification" isn't exactly perfect. I doubt that though, because who the hell is going to physically force their way into my home by either breaking a door, window, or tearing into a lock..then proceed to go throughout my home till they get to my door? A senile person isn't going to do that. A drunk person isn't going to do that. If it is someone out of their mind due to drugs or whatnot, then they deserve to be shot because whatever the motivation (motivation is not MY problem), they are committing a a felony.

Hurricane disaster scenario. In this situation (which can happen) I must defend my property from looters. I can do this at night or during the day without a weaponlight. Again, I am on defense. I know my land, I know my house, I know my neighborhood. Depending on the condition of the home, I'll choose where in my home I will station myself. I have family in the area, and being that I live on the highest ground, they will bring their arms too and if need be, we can run shifts. People who aren't up to no good have the common sense not to go around to people's houses and start sneaking around or breaking in, especially at night.

Riot scenario: Mass outbreak of some riot/looting for w/e reason you can think of. This can happen at night or day. I'm assuming there would be mass vandalism, arson, breaking and entering, and assault and battery of anyone caught outside. These things don't happen often in neighborhoods, mostly in commercial property areas, but say it poors into my 'hood', I will be ready, and do not need a weaponlight to protect myself or my home. Fortunately, riots only run a finite amount of time. I can stay up and alert the whole time.

Those are the 3 big reasons. Now, If I were a police officer, or I put it in my head that when something goes wrong, I need to clear a room, search for a perp, or I make the decision that I will commence with an offensive move...then a weaponlight will come in handy. That I do not deny. At that point in time YOU are actively seeking ENGAGEMENT, so who cares what the light does as far as giving away your position. It will help because you'll be illuminating your target for quicker "resolution" of the situation.

The people who are defending the use of weaponlights said it themselves in this thread "if you have to clear an indoor structure in low-light." ...why would I need to clear an indoor structure? Not part of my defensive plan.

Euclidean
March 19, 2006, 02:10 PM
Once I set the money aside and decide what I want, I personally am investing in a light with mount, a good 3 point sling, and a non magnifying optic for my AR. It's part of the whole reason I wanted to get into the rifle is that it readily accepts these 3 accessories, and I think it's what will make the rifle a complete weapon system versus a slugthrower.

Heck even if I decide not to get the optic, since I have a flat top, I have my choice of any iron sights I want.

At a bare minimum a defensive rifle should have a good sling. A sling is an integral part of the rifle, or it should be. I don't see why an optic is the end of the world either.

I can understand not wanting a weapon light, heck I don't want one they're expensive and not really practical for a lot of us, but it's perfectly affordable and useful to get a mount that you can put something like a Surefire G2 in. If nothing else that's one more bright flashlight you have handy in case you need a light but not the rifle for some reason.

Deer Hunter
March 19, 2006, 02:13 PM
5. Aimpoint/EOTech/TriPowers. Non-magnifying optics. That is great for you that your grandpa taught you to shoot like a real rifleman and you can hit a rockchuck at 800 yards with your 30-30 and its iron sights, but the vast vast vast majority of shooters shoot better/faster with a dot sight.
Funny, because that's how I learned to shoot! :neener:

It's nice to have options, and that's what these weapon systems are all about. Having the option to make your gun adapt to various situations is a great tool in a combat situation. You don't see the need, that's fine. We'll respect that, but in return respect those who do add ten pounds of tactical accessories to their weapon.

yahkohb
March 19, 2006, 06:40 PM
+1. it really depends on what you are using the rifle for. Figure that out then build the weapon for that. That is my (utilitarian) approach.

My M4gery is intended to be a general purpose defensive weapon. That means HD and SHTF duty. So it's set up with a quad rail, VFG, ACOG, BUIS, and single-point sling. The VFG (not actually on there in the picture) gives me better control of the weapon during rapid fire, the FF rail gives me a place to attach the VFG, the ACOG gives me increased precision and faster target identification/acquisition with no batteries to replace or switches to manipulate, the BUIS gives me a back up, and the sling is, well, fairly obvious. I may still put a light on it. I don't have anything else on it because I don't believe it needs anything else on it. Anything else would be a waste of money and weight for the intended purpose of this weapon. Now some might (and some do) argue that the odds of having to use such a weapon are so low, why bother with all the extras. My response is that in a life-or-death situation I want the best tool for the job. Others argue that since they used to walk 5 miles uphill both ways to the range in 2 feet of snow to shoot a plain rifle through iron sights that iron sights on a plain rifle are good enough. I don't assume that just because something has been around in it's current form for a couple decades that it's current form is necessarily the best form for every possible application.

Having written all that, contrast my carbine with my A2 rifle. It's a range plinker. Nothing more, nothing less. Hence it is totally stock. Its stock form is great for its role.

http://i8.photobucket.com/albums/a31/yahkohb/4.jpg

nvshooter
March 19, 2006, 07:53 PM
I feel like I've been bitch-slapped by your first response-- and I didn't start the thread. Thanks; good post.

I have just a simple, little, 3-9X NcStar scope on my CAR, and it's way to high above the bore...

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