MacTech has joined the ranks of the AR owners...


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MacTech
August 4, 2013, 09:20 AM
I have been contemplating picking up an AR for the longest time, but due to the recent panic foolishness, I could never find one in my price range (inexpensive, basic unit)

Until now....

I traded in a couple guns I wouldn't miss, Ruger MkIII and KTP Special 10/22, as i already have better, more accurate and more fun .22's than these two, plus, I want my .22's to be able to reliably feed everything from CB's and shorts to hypers and shot shells, the Ruger semis could only really handle LR length....

Anyway, back on subject

I had put a used S&W M&P 15T on 7 day hold at my toy store, to give me time to think, my biggest problem with the 15T was the quad rails, those things looked like hand-shredders, unless they were covered by rail covers, plus, I like the clean lines of an AR without rails, this thing had too many rails for my tastes

I voraciously read up on the other M&P models while the T sat on hold, for some reason, I was drawn to the Sport model, the lack of forward assist and dust cover were a non issue as I live a good drive away from the closest desert (http://www.desertofmaine.com/), and I'm not about to storm any of the local beaches anyway....

It was a simple, basic design, and had no rails, which I see as good, if I was to add a rail, it would only be a mini rail for a flashlight anyway....

I then discovered the barrel had a special rifling style, a progressive 1/8 twist with 5 lands (5R rifling) and the entire barrel was melonite coated, and I know, from my short experience owning a Glock 21, that Melonite/tennifer is some good stuff

All the info I gathered on the Sport seemed to indicate it was a great starter/basic AR, so I made my mind up, I would get a new Sport instead of the used Tactical, it would be $200 cheaper, and that'd be more money for ammo....

I went to my toy store yesterday, ready to purchase a new Sport.... Only to find out.....

All they had in new stock was the *neutered* Nannystate Version for Massachusetts :banghead::banghead: it was missing some Horribly Dangerous Features, like....
Flash hider (there are better Marvel superheroes anyway, no wonder the Flash is in hiding...)
Bayonet lug (good thing too, I was attacked by a bayonet lug yesterday morning, those things are just plain *vicious*...)
Collapsible Stock (a collapsible stock once bit my sister....)
10 round magazine

Needless to say, as a Mainer, there was no way I was going to buy a neutered AR that was made to comply with the insanely stupid laws of the Peoples Republik of Nannychusets....

It got worse, it turns out that the newest Sport also no longer had the 1/8 twist 5R rifled barrel, it was a standard 6 land 1/9 twist....

So, I guess it wasn't meant to be....before I left, though, I had them check the used rack.....

After a short search, they found a used Sport, with all the abovementiomed "Evil Features", a Magpul rear BUIS, it even had the 1/8 twist 5R barrel! It looked unfired, the charging handle and BCG were dry, no lube, I didn't even notice a case impression on the bolt face

It came with the original box, paperwork, useless cable lock, a Magpul 30 round mag, a Lancer clear 30 round mag and the plastic chamber flag, it was a little more than a new Sport, but I was willing to pay that, because it still had the 5R 1/8 barrel, and all the Scary Features missing on the Neutered Nannychusets edition

So, needless to say, I brought it home with me, as well as 30 rounds of American Eagle ballistic tip varmint ammo, I've only put five rounds down my backyard range, as I didn't have time to hit my gun club, but the gun performed flawlessly, there was absolutely no recoil to speak of, and it didn't even seem that loud either, of course, I had hearing protection on, and I was firing out in the open, rather than in a noise-magnifying shooting hut at the gun club, but the muzzle report wasn't too unpleasant at all

Now all I need is more ammo before I take it to the club to really wring it out

I think I'm going to really enjoy this one...

Pics maybe later, after all, all it is is a bone stock Sport, I did install a GI Websling though, mainly because I had it laying around, unused

So, why, did I, an avowed manual-action guy (the Sport is my only semiauto) decide to get an AR after all this time?

Firstly, as a "thumb in the eye" to the nannystaters and protectionists, if they hadn't put so much effort into demonizing a basic tool as a semiauto sporting rifle, I probably never would have gotten one, until actually shooting one, I was never a fan of the AR or AK platform, even now, I still prefer my bolt and lever actions over semiautos

Secondly, I realized recently that I had no centerfire rifle that shot a rifle cartridge in the collection, the closest thing to it was Dad's old Winchester '92 in 44-40, and that fires a handgun cartridge

Thirdly, I thought it would be prudent to have a firearm that accepts removable magazines that hold over 10 rounds, before acquiring the Sport, my highest capacity rifle was my Marlin 39A levergun, and that was "only a .22"

Finally, I do admit that I enjoy the "Lego" concept of the seperate upper and lower configuration, that I can have multiple calibers and switch between them by simply swapping uppers, I may never use this feature, but it's good to have

Most amusingly, I was going over my Sport with my 11 year old nephew yesterday, showing him how to field strip it, how the BCG comes apart for cleaning, how simple the design is, he was noncommittal, as he's an "old soul" and his taste in firearms runs mainly to single-shots, levers, and bolts, as well as archery, given a choice between shooting a modern semiauto or a humble H&R break barrel single, he'll reach for the single every time....

However, once I told him that they make a crossbow upper for the AR, his eyes got huge, he got a big grin on his face, and said "you *GOTTA* get one of those! That is SO COOL!

I wonder what he'll think when I let him try the Sport, he currently dislikes AR's, they're "too loud" (he has only encountered AR's at the club, being shot inside the shooting hut which efficiently amplifies all firing sounds anyway) and he's under the impression that they have a huge recoil....

Just wait until I show him what it did to one of my old hard drives I had set on an old steel wheel from one of my previous cars....

.22LR only dented it.... The AmEagle varmint round punched a clean hole right through the rim, punched through like it wasn't even there....(yes, the rim was angled to prevent ricochets, don't worry)

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arizona98tj
August 4, 2013, 12:21 PM
Congrats on joining the family of AR owners.

Your finding a Sport with the melonite 5R barrel was nice. Sounds like it hadn't been fired yet either....even better! :cool:

One word of advice....don't turn it into a crap magnet by attaching every accessory that just happens to have a picatinny rail on it. :D

Enjoy your new found Lego project. ;)

ID-shooting
August 4, 2013, 12:27 PM
PICS!

Like you, I prefer my AR rifles plain. Although I like the dust cover (I live on the edge of the desert) and a forward assist just for piece-of-mind. No rails, plain had guards, original M-4 stock. I never say the need to take a lightweight rifle and add enough stuff to it to make it heavier than a Garand.

MacTech
August 4, 2013, 12:35 PM
Don't worry, I have no plans to "Mall Ninja" the gun out, I'm no Gecko45.....

My personal opinion is that "tacti cooling" a gun is foolish, and does nothing to enhance reliability, or functionality, the only accessories I would even contemplate adding would be some form of optic/red dot and a weapon light, nothing more, and that'd only be after I spent some serious trigger time with it....

The only drawback to me getting a new gun, and it happens every time, is I start contemplating what other guns in my collection I could get rid of, which guns the new one "replaces"

Thankfully, the only gun this one would replace would be my H&R .22WMR Sportster, and that's not worth even trading in, as I'd get less than $100 for it

So now, the collection has NO tradable fodder in it, every gun in it is there because I like it and have no intent of ever selling, it's entirely possible, that with the addition of the Sport, that I have achieved satisfaction with the collection....

....yeah, bloody likely, not ;)

ID-shooting
August 4, 2013, 12:40 PM
I put a Nikon P223 3x on my M-4 and really like it. Compact size, found the 223 reticle to be well marked for the intended ranges. Doesn't add too much to the rifle although they could have made the knobs a little smaller.

chicharrones
August 4, 2013, 12:54 PM
So, why, did I, an avowed manual-action guy (the Sport is my only semiauto) decide to get an AR after all this time?

Firstly, as a "thumb in the eye" to the nannystaters and protectionists, if they hadn't put so much effort into demonizing a basic tool as a semiauto sporting rifle, I probably never would have gotten one, until actually shooting one, I was never a fan of the AR or AK platform, even now, I still prefer my bolt and lever actions over semiautos.

That's pretty much why I finally bought one. Just because some politicians in some states restrict them or might say you can't have one. Well, don't tell me I can't have it and I won't get it. Juvenile on my part I suppose. :evil:

MacTech
August 12, 2013, 08:49 PM
I've had some more time to play with the Sport, and I'm really starting to warm to the AR platform as a whole as well....

I love the overall simplicity of the design, the ease of field stripping, the modularity, this is the first gun I have owned with easily replaceable firing pins, actually, I lie, my 1980 vintage Marlin 39a lever has an exceptionally easy to replace firing pin, take the bolt out, tip it upside down, and the pin falls into your hand...

Most of the rest of the collection would require a more elaborate tear down for part replacement, but the AR? It's dead easy....

The .223 / 5.56 cartridge has more power than I expected as well, not only can I punch clean holes through an old 14" steel automotive rim, but I acquired a scrap piece of Lexan from work, about 2" thick, it was from a supermarket scanner/scale combo, I wasn't sure if it was truly "bulletproof" or whether it was plain old plexiglass/Lexan, so I set it up on the target stand and tried a few rounds....

My first shot with 5.56 Winchester 55Gn FMJ blew the upper corner clean off....
I let my nephew Logan take the second shot with a .223 Federal 55Gn Varmint, that round blew the remaining Lexan clear in half, you could see the shockwave captured in the Lexan....

...clearly, the Lexan was not .223 or 5.56-proof....

Logan took his fragment back home with him, and I put my fragment back on the stand, and tried some lower power cartridges...

.22LR left a faint lead smear (Federal Automatch 40Gn SP)
.22 Mag left a small surface crater about the diameter of a .45 caliber bullet (Winchester Varmint HE 34Gn HP), but did not go more than 1/8" deep, it too bounced off, the Lexan easily withstood .22 rimfire, as expected

justice06rr
August 14, 2013, 02:30 AM
Congrats. The Sport is a very good starter AR15 and is priced well. I think it was a smart move to get the older one with the 1/8 5R rifling. My newer Sport had the 1:9, but it didn't really matter to me.

Although I do add a few 'tactical' touches to some of my guns. A basic quadrail for adding a flashlight and a vertical foregrip. Also a better stock like Magpul is always a good addition.

But if you like to keep yours simple, its all good.

happy shooting!

MistWolf
August 14, 2013, 03:00 AM
The S&W Sport in the configuration you got is one of the better values in the AR world. Too bad they've since diluted it. Welcome to the world of ARs. Your plan to keep the rifle simple is a good one. I would suggest adding a sling to your short but well thought out list of goodies. I'd also suggest getting a CMMG 22 rimfire conversion kit. You'll need it, after letting your nephew shoot your new AR

MacTech
August 14, 2013, 09:19 AM
As far as accessories go, I'm both taking it slow and keeping it simple, I can't see needing anything more than a flashlight, for HD use, and a red dot co-witnessed with the irons, maybe an upgraded rear iron sight, as the stock Magpul MBUIS is a little plasticky for my taste, maybe the MBUIS Pro would be better, it is all metal construction...

As far as red dots go, there's still a part of me that is screaming "battery powered and electronic sights are stupid", the traditionalist in me sees the RDS as nothing more than a failure point, either the batteries or the electronics, maybe a small 1x-4x scope would be better, no electronics to fail

I also can't see the logic of an ACOG or Aimpoint, or Trijicon reflex on an entry level AR, sure I'd love to own one, but the price is just too excessive, way out of budget

Then again, if I save towards it and just get good with the irons in the interim.....

Oh, and Logan's official verdict on the AR?
"Meh, I still like single shots better"

That said, the last few times we went shooting, he has wanted to shoot the AR, he may be warming to it without realizing it....

...wait till I tell him that, for now, you can order uppers through the mail and have them shipped to your door, no FFL transfer required....

Oh and just for fun, after he shot the AR the first time, I showed him a YouTube vid of "crazy Uncle Joe's" Buy a Shotgun recommendation, he had never seen it before, when CUJ described the AR as "harder to aim, harder to use, it has more recoil, and you don't need 30 rounds" Logan burst out laughing....
"This guy's an idiot, the AR is NOT harder to use.......it scares me that this guy is in office and can make laws..."

MistWolf
August 14, 2013, 11:45 AM
I'm a batteryphobe. Nothing goes on my rifle that needs batteries because they fail at the most inopportune times. But I finally gave the Aimpoint H1 Micro a chance and found it's battery life to be amazing. The has been left turned on since I bought it over a year and a half ago on a usable setting and the battery, which came with the sight, is still going strong. Battery life for Aimpoints is measured in years with the dot left turned on, 24/7, 365 days a year. Target acquisition is fast and the sight is easy to use. They are lightweight and rugged. In short, they are worth the price of admission.

Aimpoints are so rugged and reliable, you won't need iron sights. The MBUS sights are good, economical back ups and will serve as primary sights well enough until you can get an Aimpoint. Metal sights are more rugged but cost twice as much and I feel they hold zero better.

You'll also want to add a two point sling. The sling to a rifle is what a holster is to a handgun

MacTech
August 18, 2013, 09:08 PM
Ok, long story short, I have a very mild case of astigmatism, and am slightly nearsighted, very weak prescription glasses needed....

I tried a Bushnell TRS-25, without glasses, the dot was about a 7MOA blotch, with glasses the dot sharpened up, but still had a faint fuzzy fringe, the parallax was also maddening, the dot would "wander" if my head alignment wasn't perfect each time

I actually shot better with the irons, even just the plain irons, cowitness didn't change the group size at all, and dot alone, the groups opened up majorly

Would a holographic sight like the EoTech have the same astigmatism issues?

Looks like I'll be limited to a 1x optical sight, or perhaps a 1x to 4x zoom, ideally one that could cowitness with the irons, or at least have quick detach mounts....

I'll stay with irons for now, there's no reason to rush this....

MacTech
August 22, 2013, 08:23 PM
I think I'm almost done with modifying my Sport, KTP had a used 2012 manufactured Eotech 512 for a decent price, so with some strategic trades, I got it for a mere $20 out of pocket

I just got back from a quick range trip and I'm sold on the Eotech, once sighted in at 50y, I could shoot 3/4" groups with 55Gn PMC Brass, and touching holes with WWB 55Gn FMJ

I love that 1 MOA center dot, and the ring makes it easy to get pointing in the right direction, the wide window doesn't restrict my FOV like the Bushnell TRS-25 did, and I still can't quite wrap my head around the concept that head position with an EOtech is largely irrelavent once sighted in...

I admit it, my initial impression about EOtechs was dead wrong, they are great sights (even though I still can't completely trust a battery powered sight....)

The last thing I need to add to the AR is a weapon light, once I have a light mounted, the only additional upgrades will be ammo, mags, and trigger time

Oh, and another advantage I'm finding of the .223/5.56? Free brass!, every time I've hit the range, I find a decent amount of .223/5.56 brass, which comes home with me, gets tumbled, and set aside for when I finally pick up reloading stuff for the two calibers

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