Picture(s) A Day – 1 December 2010
So yesterday was my 34th birthday. I thank everyone here for their kind words in the comments on my last post I didn’t do anything really special like a fancy dinner or drinks on the Strip. I figured I’d go down to New Frontier Armory / Infinite Arms and hang out with some friends instead
As I’ve mentioned in a previous post, I’ve decided to sell my PSL and use the funds to purchase an AR-15. I’ve got a few reasons for going over to the “dark side” of the AR-15 / AK-47 world and giving up the sweet looking and great shooting PSL. The first reason is ammunition. You can get 7.62x54R ammo rather cheap right now – if you know where to look Surplus 7.62x54R will cost you about $100 or so for 440 rounds and that’s a real bargain for rifle ammo in that large and powerful of a caliber. But there’s no free lunch here. Surplus ammo is steel jacketed (no shooting on indoor ranges and in some other places), the primers are corrosive (gotta clean that gun good!) and the cases are steel instead of brass so reloading them isn’t something I’d want to try. If you can’t find surplus when you need ammo, you’re looking at spending somewhere between 75¢ and $1.00 per round for commercial ammunition. There’s also a bullet weight restriction on the PSL – you have to shoot <150 grain bullets. Some of the commercial and surplus rounds are 180+ grain and can damage your receiver over time. Any AR-15 I buy will be chambered in 5.56x45mm which just happens to be what the U.S. military and many foreign armed services use. Surplus ammo isn’t really surplus, but it’s available from the same manufacturing plants. 5.45×45 chambered guns can also fire commercial .223 Remington ammo. You know – the kind you find at Wal-Mart
Ammo availability isn’t the only consideration – accessories have factored into this equation too. A semi-automatic rifle is nothing without a magazine. I got two magazines with the PSL and I’d like to have more, but I prefer to buy stuff in person and there’s nowhere around Las Vegas that stocks them. Add in the cost of PSL mags at $25 or so each and it adds up quickly. Quality AR magazines can be had for $14 and less. It doesn’t end at magazines either. Try finding a firing pin, bolt carrier, bolt, stock, forearm, or any other part for a PSL in your city or on the internet and if you can actually find it I’ll guarantee it won’t be wallet friendly.
Still more factors in my decision are the weight and size issues. If I ever have to carry a rifle for any length of time (likely camping, hiking, etc), I’d rather carry the AR-15. The PSL is over four feet long and weighs about 9.5 pounds with its scope, not including a magazine full of ammo. The AR-15 I’m looking at will be about three feet long and weigh somewhere around six pounds empty. 12 to 15 inches in length and 1.5 pounds may not sound like much, but it’s noticeable if you have to carry it. Add in the difference in the weight of the ammo – 0.8 oz per round for 7.62x54R vs. 0.43 oz per round for the 5.56x45mm – and you can carry twice the ammunition for a given payload weight in your pack. Yes, the PSL will pack a bigger punch and is effective at a longer range, but I’ve found most of my shooting occurs within 300 meters against paper and other inanimate objects. Still, even if something really bad happens and I have to use the AR-15 in an antipersonnel role, the 5.56 is still a good round.
One of the great things about an AR-15 is its modularity with the ability to modify the rifle in many different ways and change calibers in under a minute. Of course, that many choices is a good thing, but it can be tough weighing the pros and cons of each choice. The two upper receivers I’m looking at are a standard 16″ with normal hand guards and a normal front sight and the one you see above. A “free float” hand guard like this unit from YHM doesn’t touch the barrel and makes the rifle more accurate than if it were fitted with a standard hand guard. A match grade stainless steel barrel has many different advantages as does the three groove polygonal rifling. Black Hole Weaponry makes the barrel in this upper and they have a great website that has some links to good info about their products. Yes, the upper you see above is more expensive than the standard one, but it should pay off big in accuracy down the road which is why I’m leaning strongly towards purchasing it
I realize I’ve shown a lot of black rifles lately. Let’s change it up with some shotguns
If I had to choose between these four scatter guns and didn’t have to pay for the one I wanted, I’d probably go with the Saiga on the top. Using a box magazine or drum, the Saiga can have anywhere between five and 20 rounds on tap and ready to roll. If someone were paying for the upgrades, I’d have that Saiga reworked to move the trigger forward, add a pistol grip to the underside of the receiver, and add a collapsible stock. After that it’s pretty much an AK-47 chambered in 12 gauge and would be a serious deterrent to anyone with a couple of brain cells. After the Russian gun, I’d say it would be a really tough decision between the Remington 887 Tactical on the bottom and the Benelli M4 second from the top. The Benelli has the factory pistol grip, but the Remington is more modular and customizable. I’d be happy with either one
Now if I were the one paying for one of these shotguns, I’d go for the New England Arms Pardner below the Benelli. I can almost guarantee you it’ll work like a pump action shotgun should and the price would be very tough to beat!
Well, that’s it for now. If the PSL doesn’t sell by tomorrow, it’s going to be up on the wall at NFA/IA on consignment by Saturday. I’m also thinking about selling another couple of guns to fund some accessories for the AR-15. If you want a Ruger 10/22 and you’re in southern Nevada, this is your time to get a smokin’ deal on the PSL, Steyr M95, K-31 or Ruger 10/22 your collection’s been waiting for
Have a great Friday, everyone
2 comments to Picture(s) A Day – 1 December 2010
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