Pickup some Trail Boss powder for subsonic performance in your AR platforms. I recently purchased the pictured 5lb Trail Boss keg for $119, to reload 300AAC and other rifle calibers to be used suppressed. Due to the "donut shaped" flake design of this powder, 5lbs will go a long way in rifle loads. The YouTube video below illustrates different suppressed high powered rifle sound levels you can achieve in AR single shot mode. As the video highlights, the lower pressures will not cycle your bolt. Any bullet rated less than the speed of sound results in the bullet not making the normal crack-bang noise that occurs when the bullet travels past a speed of 1050 fps. Trail Boss allows you to reach your desired fps at muzzle, for a much lower sonic signature. If you're like others that are waiting for a Form 4 approval, continue to stock up on threaded barrels, powder and reloading supplies that you'll need when your suppressor arrives.
Use Brownells AR-15 Builder Tool to check options and to price out your next AR-15 build. This tool takes the guess work out of parts availability, costs and options. If you're building your first AR-15 or an experienced builder this is a valuable tool that allows you to save your parts list and to compare a wide range of AR-15 components that are currently on the market. This tool allows users to visualize their AR build while compiling an itemized parts lists while creating your weapon. The picture below details the most beneficial features of the AR-15 Builder Tool such as the picture of the weapon you are building, parts comparison bar along the top of the tool, and the itemized parts list with prices and availability. The tool allows users to start building an itemized AR-15 with a "Start Here" drop down menu that features the following options:
1. Build a NEW gun from scratch using the drop-down menus.
2. Build a replica of an EXISTING gun and see how new upgrades will look.
3. Select a PREMADE gun from a list of COMPLETE RECEIVERS.
4. Browse guns you've created and saved for update or comparison.
Pictured is a comparison between a $33 M9 bayonet and a more expensive Ontario Knife Company M9 bayonet. For those looking for a less expensive alternative take at look at the bayonet being sold by Szco. I purchased this bayonet from amazon.com based on reviews and was not disappointed. I also included a picture of the bayonet attached to a mid-length AR-15. Based on your budget either bayonet is a must have addition to your kit as a fighting knife.
If you're looking for an inexpensive way to soften the recoil on your AR-15 carbine try replacing your standard carbine buffer which weighs 2.95oz with a heavier buffer. To increase buffer weight manufactures replace one or several of the buffer's steel weights with tungsten resulting in the following heavy buffer configurations; H Buffer 3.8oz, H2 Buffer 4.6oz and H3 Buffer 5.4oz. For example, an H2 Heavy Buffer contains two tungsten weights and one steel weight. Although I have not experienced reliability issues, many comment that increased weight allows for more reliable function in rifles with shorter gas systems due to slowing down the cycling of the rifle. Pictured below are the following buffers; Standard Carbine Buffer 2.95oz, UTG H2 Buffer 4.60oz, Rock River Arms 9mm Heavy Buffer 5.55oz.
The following mounting and zeroing procedures for the MATECH Backup Iron Sight (BUIS), PN 12996812, NSN 1005-01-484-8000 are included with the sight and are provided for reference due to the number of used sights being resold without the original documents.
Mounting Instructions: Backup Iron Sight (BUIS):The BUIS must be mounted in the rearmost slot on the upper receiver for the range adjustments and the zeroing procedures to be correct. Using the Locking Bar, PN 12996823, NSN 5305-01-484-7999, and the Recoil Screw, PN 12996824, NSN 5305-01-484-7075, align the Recoil Screw in the rearmost slot with the range scale facing rearward. Make sure the BUIS is flat on the receiver rail with the angled edge under the upper receiver rail. Tighten the screw until the BUIS doesn't slide forward or rearward by hand force, then tighten an additional 1/4 turn. Do not over tighten. The Recoil Screw has a locking patch on the threads so it must be replaced if removed.
To zero the M4/M4A1 Carbine, turn the range knob until the line on the sight cam on the left side is aligned with the 300 meter mark. Use the 25-meter zero target for the M4 Carbine and center your rounds by adjusting the weapon front sight post and the BUIS windage adjustment knob.
To zero M16A4 Rifle, turn the knob until the line on the sight cam on the left side is aligned with the white line between the 300 and 400 marks. This mark is a half notch location, so it's more difficult to align. Use the 25-meter zero target for the M16A2/M16A4 Rifle and center your rounds by adjusting the weapon front sight post and the BUIS windage adjustment knob.
**25 Meter Zeroing Targets can be accessed by downloading a copy of FM 3-22.9 Rifle Marksmanship M16-/M4 - Series Weapons from the Official Department of the Army Publications and Forms website located at: http://armypubs.army.mil/. The M16 and M4 zeroing targets are designed for the unique sight adjustments required for each weapon system.
To engage targets out to 600m purchase USGI Backup Iron Sights (BUIS) that incorporate elevation knobs that can be quickly adjusted from 200 to 600 meters. Most rear backup sights allow for windage adjustments only, requiring the weapon's front sight post to be moved up and down to adjust for elevation during zeroing for 300M. A rear BUIS with elevation knobs provides the flexibility to engage targets out to 600 meters and is essential when optics are rendered useless. Pictured is a side by comparison between a Magpul Gen 2 MBUS (no elevation knob), and two USGI BUIS systems the Matech BUIS and Knights Armament Company (KAC) 600M USMC Micro Rear Sight assembly. Both USGI BUIS are military issue for use on both the M4 and M16 rifles. Although the USGI sights are pricey the ability to adjust elevation is well worth the cost. All three of the pictured sights are designed to be used with ARs that incorporate the standard "F" marked A2 front sight tower designed for uppers that use a Picatinny rail system. If your AR has a front gas block (optics only) you'll need to purchase a matching front BUIS designed for the same height.
Attached are pictures of an example of how to mount a flashlight onto an AR-15 forearm guard Picatinny rail system. Mounting a light to the left of the front sight allows for easy access to the switch located on the end of the light. Also, included below are two light mounts reflecting a high cost and a low cost option. When purchasing a light mount ensure the flashlight's diameter fits within the mounts capability. Pictured is a Viking Tactics mount with a lower end light.
The attached picture compares an A2 upper receiver (no M4 feedramp grooves) against an A4 upper receiver (with M4 feedramp grooves). The upper receiver feedramp grooves where added to the A3 and A4 Upper Receivers to assist cartridges being loaded from the magazine to the chamber. Notice in the A4 upper picture how the two grooves in the bottom of the barrel extension, extend into the upper receiver. The addition of the upper receiver feedramp grooves compensates for the carbine gas system's faster cyclic rate which is greater than the standard gas system in the M16A1/A2.
When buying AR barrels or upper assemblies ensure the barrel used has a steel rating of at least 4140 as outlined by the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) steel grades table. The first two numbers 41xx reflects the material is an alloy consisting of chromium and molybdenum, or better known as chrome-moly steel. The second set of numbers in the 4140 reflects the carbon content of the barrel. The more carbon the harder the barrel. Most military applications require barrels to rate at least 4150 for increased durability during full auto fire. If you have the funds, purchase a barrel that includes the addition of "Vanadium" in the alloy which is usually marked as CMV, or stated as chrome-moly vanadium. Vanadium increased hardness and provides additional thermal erosion resistance required for sustained full auto fire. Cheaper barrels or uppers on the market are likely to exclude the better quality steel to keep costs low. Be aware of what you're purchasing. Use this information as a way to start the discussion when conduction your next AR build. Below is a quality upper assembly being sold by JSE Surplus that provides an example of a CMV barrel, and is being offered at a great price. Pick one up soon, these prices are not going to last long.
If you own an AR-15 you should consider purchasing Wheeler's Delta Series AR Armorer’s Professional Kit. This kit contains the most important tools a gunsmith or an armorer needs to complete a full rifle build, make repairs or perform maintenance on AR-15/M16 platform rifles. All of the kit's components are well made and relevant to servicing your AR needs. I purchased my onsale at Amazon.com, see this sites Amazon page. The following is a general description of the kit. Each of these Delta Series tools is designed with application specific features to perform specific functions with precision and ease. Each tool is constructed of the highest quality materials to deliver the best performance at a great value. This all-inclusive 19 piece Armorer’s Kit has some of the most innovative AR-15 tools on the market today, making it the most advanced kit out there. All of the tools fit inside the durable carry case for convenient storage and transport.