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Old Trooper Gunsmiths LLC


My Blog


Short barrel blues......

Posted on April 29, 2014 at 11:46 AM
     Another "long weekend" another year of qualifications down. 

    On behalf of the U.S. millitary to the American taxpayers: Sorry...

  We blew a lot of ammo this time. At current rate I think I alone burned through $2300 in belt feed alone. Normal qualification (Rifle and pistol) is done with "frangable" bullets. Supposedly they are more "green" than the steel/copper/lead traditional rounds. Alas they cost roughly $2 a bullet.

 And we burred through a lot of ammo....

 I suppose there are worse uses for our tax money...

       So I am thankful that I actually qualified on a carbine that did not have a beer can launcher on the bottom of it. And I qualified. but my days as qualifying as an expert went away with my good eyesight and the M16a2. This 14.5 barrel and ridiculously short sight radius has become my downfall.  A lifetime of gunsmithing and shooting has given me many things. Horribly scratched eyeballs are one of them. And Lucky me, I have a nice scratch right where that front sight post is on that short carbine sight radius.... Makes that front sight post, no matter how hard I try and shift blurry. Usually I can fake it once the red dot optic comes into play. But the old eyes with very thick contacts seem to want to dry a lot quicker than they used to.. Oh well, I still qualified. Great groups, but never where you want them to be..
       So that got me thinking: Why are the short sight radius guns so popular when they are so difficult to shoot?  And my inner cynic is also wondering "How many of these "tacti-dushes" have their nifty $1000 plus optics actually dialed in?" Somehow I think many of them ar a bit off. Especially upon witnessing their "shooting positions".
     What most "tactical" ar shooters, or most modular platform shooters for that matter fail to realize something that I learned early on from the old bastards I learned the most from: Long sight radius is best. The more distance from your rear to front sight, the better. Any wobble can be detected more readily than on a short sight radius gun.
   Way back when my eyes were good and I had plentiful, cheap korean 30.06 to burn I shot an M1 with alarming levels of accuracy. Heck, I surprised myself a few times. The sight radius on an M1 rifle is longer than an ENTIRE M-4 carbine rifle! from flash hider to folded butstock! Any little bit of wobble at the muzzle is detected. Fractions of millimeters of wobble on your sight translates to inches or feet at distance. The biggest "Achilles heel" of the M4 platform is not that the rifle (I use the term loosely) is inaccurate. Hey, that 14.5 tube is doing the best it can! it is that the darn thing is hard to aim. Your front to rear sight distance is the same as a 1860 colt army pistol! You do not even know if your wobbling until you go downrange to look at your target.. 
    This is why my personal Ar-15 is the "wicked red-headed stepchild" of the ar world: the midlength. I have no issues with it. And do a fine job with it's 16inch barrel. that extra 3 inches of sight radius did the trick for my aleing eyes.  If you have some issues with the short "carbine" (sub machine gun)length, give the longer sight radius a try. Heck we can even do a conversion for you to push you sight closer to the muzzle. Using your barrel and upper receiver. We have figured out how to get up to a 20inch sight radius out of a 16inch barrel.
    I know to some of you reading this it sounds like I am making excuses. I am not. My eyes are going bad, It is me, all me. But the short gun dose not help at all!  If I had the option to carry am M14, you betcha I would!

   Until the next,

  Old troopers Actual,


Categories: Rant

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