Sunday, March 18, 2018

panic in year eighteen 2 of 2


PANIC IN THE YEAR EIGHTEEN 2

It took many years, but I finally came around to accepting that even though the AR15 is a piece of crap, it is the piece of crap everyone will be using and hence an acceptable choice in some circumstances.  A poor choice, but for the last ten years since the war surplus guns have mostly been sold out, increasingly there are ONLY bad choices.  Spend way too much, buy a new gun increasingly made with substandard quality, or settle for an AR.  All bad choices, pick one.  I’ll return to its worst feature later, but one really good thing about it is the fact that you can easily buy a ghost AR, and beat the gun ban before it starts.

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One frugal way to do this is to buy an 80% lower receiver from www.80percentarms.com.  Alas, as soon as Florida did their ban, they were out of stock.  They claim an eight week waiting period but I image it will in practice be worse.  I know there are other companies selling 80% AR ‘s, but they seemed the cheapest and the most idiot-proof.  Idiot proof is pretty much a requirement for novices, wouldn’t you say?  I was enthusiastic about www.AR15mold.com, but not only are they not THAT cheap, they seem to have a built in Receiver Ruin factor. 

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Both require about $350 to start.  That is around the mold price, for five units.  If you hump up one or two, you end up with rather expensive receivers.  But the aluminum ones you mill out are not all that affordable either.  The jig is only $120, but then you need a $100 router and if you want to be sure you don’t screw up the $70 blank, a $50 drill press.  So in the end either type costs almost the same up front cost.  It would be nice to see those old ones that SportsmansGuide sold, that were about half that price, but I’m having a hard time finding them now ( if my faulty memory is serving, you just needed to drill out the sides rather than mill out the inside ).

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Palmetto State Armory is still selling AR kits, everything but the stripped lower receivers, for an eye popping low amount of $320.  So whatever 80% receiver you used you could almost have a $400 AR.  If you turned that into a bolt gun as I advise, for a thousand bucks you could have two thousand rounds of BRASS ammunition ( I don’t advise steel case ) and the rifle, and be moderately well equipped.  It isn’t as good as the old war surplus where you could get three rifles and two thousand rounds of surplus ammo, or even more if you had to go with the Russian bolt, but, again, pick your bad choice.

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Of course, you are out the extra money for the jigs and power equipment, or the extra pours from AR Mold.  Me, personally, I’d call an extra $250 worth the unregistered part ( find a way to buy without leaving a record.  The ammo and the parts.  Use a pre-paid Visa card from the supermarket and find a way to get the address under another name.  What about slipping the company mail clerk a $20 for each large package?  Hell, he might do it, accepting a package under a pseudonym, if you just take him out to the shooting range.  After all, you aren’t breaking the law, just staying out of the NSA records ).

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But even factoring in the total cost you can still get a decent weapon and some ammo for a grand.  You could even get a parts kit for an AR10 ( $600 after receiver but before extra cost from the jig and tools ) even if the ammo is extra.  And yes, even as cheap as I am and even as much as I dislike the AR, for a grand a ghost gun and ammo is well worth the admission price.  But.  Hey, always a but, or a butt.  A grand, while affordable, is outside my budget.  By choice, as I feel savings and ready cash on hand is more important than more guns, using another caliber.  Even if they are off the books.  Let’s face it, if more than just semi’s are banned, we can either fight now or wait until we get arrested for defending ourselves in our own homes with a butcher knife, as is normal in the UK.  I’d rather not wait until the Muslims take over and I’m killed or a serf. 

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So it just isn’t as important to have an off the books gun as it is to have ammunition to fight with the ones you already own ( if money is really tight, you can always pay $100 for a registered AR lower and get a $425 gun, and have a thousand rounds of ammo with it for $750 total ).  If all guns are outlawed and you keep your unregistered ones hidden, you are still living as a prisoner.  I’m not trying to enflame insurrection here, I’m just saying that will and testicular fortitude are going to be far more important than the gun you own.  Well, that plus ammunition.  Balls, will and ammo. 

*

So, here I am desperately talking myself out of building an AR, which I’ve been fixated on for a couple of months ( once I watched a YouTube video on the lower parts installation, I couldn‘t believe how much easier it was from what I imagined.  In my imagination I was installing hundreds of small springs and doo-dads, and it is only a few parts in actuality ).  You don’t need another gun, Jim.  Get your head out of your ass.  Even in states outlawing semi’s and insisting on voluntarily turning them over, the compliance rate is like in the single digits.  Folks are already breaking the law.  You won’t be alone in fighting back if the need arises ( I don’t expect help, I just don’t want to be the only idiot in the crosshairs ).

*

Then I got even more realistic.  How far are you going to be firing an AR?  Two hundred yards max, as I can’t see crap at 300.  And that two hundred is probably the max.  More likely, I’m at a hundred.  I’ve got plenty of ammunition already for my super deluxe Enfield.  And two hundred yards is sufficient most of the time.  This is open desert but it is rolling hill or built up town.  Defensively I’m good with what I have.  Extra punch and I don’t have to worry about the wind.  What about offensively? 

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Why do I need an AR?  Besides the fact it was unregistered, what have I gained tactically?  If I’m on an ambush, I could just as easily used a real rimfire as a souped up one for double the price.  For defense, since they are close and attacking, I want the full battle rifle round.  If I’m raiding, I can use a 22LR.  Improvised silencer attached, I can plink and run.  No one the wiser.  You can use cheap scopes on them ( sold as full size rifle scopes, but probably only good on a rimfire without recoil ), and you are far more likely to hit, because of that lack of recoil.  I’m much better at a hundred yards with a 22 than I am with the Enfield.

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The sad fact is that the 223 round is NOT all that great.  Combat reports keep mentioning the need for multiple hits to incapacitate.  After the apocalypse, you can trade range for knock down power, which is where the accuracy of the AR comes in really handy.  You can get 300 yard hits easily.  The gun substitutes for some ( some! ) lack of skill.  Then, because it is a weak round, you have time to flee or hide while you give the lack of medical care time to kill him.  Since I’m not very good much past a hundred yards, I’m not sacrificing a whole lot except range using the 22 rather than the 223.  The far lower sound should somewhat help disguise my location and I can still hide or flee.  In the end, either round will kill given enough time.

*

Then I got all excited about the need to order extra rimfire ammo.  Why, I just saved a thousand bucks!  I can go order $250 worth of 22’s ( five thousand rounds for $230 plus shipping at www.SGammo.com ).  I finally talked myself out of that.  I bought an extra thousand rimfire two years ago ( besides the 10k I have store for The Forever Gun ), and my heavy barrel bolt rimfire has a five shot magazine.  That thousand rounds should last a LONG time.  Now I’m down to just needing to order an extra magazine.  Damn, NOT consuming is hard work!

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39 comments:

  1. You actually don't need an AR-15 lower. It's just where the trigger mechanism is located.

    How stupid are those US gun law anyway ? In europe, the load-bearing parts are restricted (the barrel, the receiver, the bolt...). In the US, the trigger housing "IS THE GUN".

    An AR-15 upper is all you need, you can jury-rig it into a rifle just by adding a stock with a rudimentary trigger system. A magazine well is about just as easy to do. Now don't get me wrong, this probably takes about 30 hours of work to do. And with a 10-round magazine, the thing would look like a hunting rifle.
    It doesn't even have to cycle, use it as a straight-pull bolt-action instead.

    In Europe you would have such things all over the place, if you could buy a barrel and a receiver without legal troubles.

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    1. Hmmm-never considered jerry rigging the lower half.

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    2. In Dingoland, every part of the firearm is verboten.

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    3. Well if you're going to do all that what do you even need an upper for?
      I think you are seriously underestimating what's involved with this.

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    4. I believe the concern was just in unregistered weapons.

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    5. It turns out it's economical too. When I look at this page : https://www.atlanticfirearms.com/ar15-uppers.html I see a 16" heavy barrel for 75 USD.
      At Brownells they have an upper receiver for 47.99 USD. If I find a bolt carrier group for 117 USD, It would cost me 240 dollars to have the core of a straight-pull rifle. All new.
      Just add a stock (=piece of wood) and a trigger (=piece of metal and some springs.

      I have spent about 15 minutes to find these prices, I'm sure that used parts could be had for less.

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    6. https://diamondbackfirearms.com
      Bolt carrier group, second-hand, $49.99
      Stripped upper $39.99
      They have a stainless steel barrel for $83.99

      These are all the parts I can't possibly jury-rig myself.

      5,56x45 rifle for $174.

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    7. I think we're all so spoiled with low prices on the AR we have no concept of jury-rigging/making do/ghost gunning it.

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    8. You can get the whole thing at rural king and elsewhere for $400. You can also get a pair of shoes at walmart for $20. After you've through a few pairs you start to catch on. My barrel came from Black Rain and it cost almost $300, currently has about 2000rds through it and I expect it to do 10k with no problems. Try that with a $84 barrel.

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    9. Okay, not to trivialize buying quality. If your $300 barrel delivers 1moa rather than 2, it is worth the money. My question is, does the $84 suck in accuracy, or just in longevity? If longevity only, and everyone love the AR because it is so easy to change the barrel, wouldn't two $84 barrels deliver the same performance? Do you need the extra accuracy? If used short ranges, say. To be clear, I view the $400 AR's as I would as Commander Zero described-a better choice than a war surplus rifle, at the same price. For extreme low budget preppers.

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    10. Ghostsniper, you are right if we're talking about regular rifles or weapons of critical importance (like the only long-range, accurate weapon in the arsenal).

      A 84 dollar barrel is meant to shoot 100 shots to zero it/ get familiar with the weapon and then 200 shots fired in anger (over the course of some years).

      If we're in for permanent shooting then after a while I'm bound to come across better barrels eventually (if I survive 20 engagements...). The cheapo rifle then goes to the reserve / hidden etc. for the grand-grandson to use when the genetically engineered superfoes are unleashed in 2101.

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    11. I don't know the lifespan of crappy barrels. But I also think in general, most people don't have enough ammo to burn out a barrel anyway.

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    12. Traditionally, burning out a barrel was never a concern, unless you were talking about hyper-velocity rounds such as the .220 Swift (Which is why you never see rifles chambered in this round anymore). But these days who knows? I’d imagine as with everything else, the quality of the steel is not on par with the older barrels, but I honestly don’t know for certain that this is the case?

      Elko Minion

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    13. Perhaps the biggest problem is using the corrosive steel case rounds.

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  2. In my mind, it is much better to buy a factory produced complete gun from a private party that does not know you.
    Effectively you then have a so called ghost gun without paperwork in your name. The lower end AR's are really crap and still are not piston actuated. If you're so confident that you can't maintain trigger discipline to the point that you'd want to block the only real advantage an AR has of being semi auto... Then just buy a magazine fed bolt gun in that caliber, which will be even more accurate. For less cash ! Also bought second hand.
    Personally I want the capability to spray and pray !!
    Not much sense in conservation of ammo if you're about to be over run eh ?

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    1. I look at the best advantage of the AR being commonality, not semi-auto. But while a nice feature not necessary. So off book sales are fine. The ghost gun advantage comes into being in states not allowing private sales, like, now NV. We had plenty of warning, but then prices shot up. Prior to the law passing, I never really found anything I wanted-the only advantage being off record. I was even considering the AR back then, after the last ban scare. Never pulled the trigger because it just seemed not important enough. Ammo was more so. But, again, just a slew of bad choices to pick from.

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  3. For those that may not know SG ammo,listed above, They are a very nice outfit. The prices are generally good and the service is outstanding!

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  4. I was interested in what .22lr you're currently running. I spent a good part of yesterday reading your writings (we're talking from as far back as 2012). A heavy barrelled 5 round bolt action? Please do a blog post on it (and .22lr) again.

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    1. Not sure about a post, but it is a Savage MkII. $220. No iron sites. Looks like a free float. Idiocy or brilliance, we'll soon see. The other two are a Cricket and a generic Wal-Mart tube fed. The Wally one rusted easily. And too much plastic. Which is why I eagerly spent so much extra on the other two-I don't know if I wasted $100 on the Wally or not, but it sure feels like it. I really need to get out shooting one of these days. It's been too long.

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    2. "I really need to get out shooting one of these days. It's been too long."
      ===================

      Jeez, with that kind of thing right there maybe you should just get a slingshot and be done with it. heh

      For the best ammo prices check here first, they give the price per round. https://ammoseek.com/

      Spud, above, has the most truthful words pertaining to the AR I have seen on this board, other than my own.

      I put about 150 rds thru an AR today another 50 or so thru a shotgun and then about 45 mins on the crossbow. Tomorrow I'm gonna work the Marlin 60 .22 and a couple pistols. Something about the smell of burnt gunpowder does it for me. And I like trying to get holes as close to the middle as possible. Middle of the forehead that is.

      FWIW, the barrel of any gun is where the rubber hits the rode. A $200 gun with a 50 cent barrel is a 50 cent gun, but a $100 gun with a $500 barrel is priceless. The barrel on my self made AR cost about $300 and it's accurate out to 600 yds. That means I can hit a person size silhoutte at 600 yds.

      Currently I am considering my options pertaining to the gas system. I can convert my current AR to piston for about $300 - new gas block, piston, bolt. Or create a whole new upper with all the piston items for about $650. In addition I'm also considering a quick transfer system where I can take one upper off and install a 2nd one in about a minute.

      Thing is, I haven't seen exhorbitant fouling with my AR even though scientifically it will exist if fired enough without cleaning. However, I have also read that a stock AR can overheat quickly because the gases are dumped directly into the upper but that can't happen with the piston version, so there's that.

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    3. You think I'm bad past 100 yards with gunpowder, you should see me within the range of a slingshot :)

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  5. I would not concern myself at all about the lethality challenges of the .223. If you are concerned about it, don't bring it out until you are certain whoever is attacking you has been hungry for a while. Hungry people are weak and easy to stop. You'll also need to figure out when the majority of the alcohol and prescription/street drugs have been consumed. With no way to numb the pain, they'll also be easier to stop.
    Peace out

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    1. What about all those Ethiopians that still needed multiple shots? 1898 plinking rounds didn't drop the skinnies, we started looking for a more powerful round. 1998 we couldn't drop them so we turned the plinker into a carbine. That'll do the trick! ps-I might be off a year or two on the Philippine campaign.

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    2. 有三点水的洋人March 21, 2018 at 10:13 PM

      Supposedly, they were hopped up on khat. Mark Boden wrote about the marginal effectiveness of 7.62 AP on one old skinny.

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    3. The AK was designed after the round. Which they worked on for two or three years ( the round ). The M16? ps-I think I deleted another one of your comments. Sorry. I saw the Ornamental squiggly lines then the English sounded off and I thought it was a Spam.

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  6. That 5000 rounds for $230 sounds like a heck of a deal to me. Unfortunately, I live in Kalifornia, and as of the 1st of the year, we no longer have online ammo sales.

    If you’re self admitted range is 100 yards, and you’re not looking for the one shot, one kill scenario, then the .22 seems good enough. An upgrade to a match barrel at some point would really help, but I doubt that it’s necessary. I recall Vladimir mentioning that the .22 subsonics are virtually silent out of a 24” or longer barrel. That would be even better.

    Another option that sort of intrigues me is one of those new fangled super air rifles, that fires the large caliber pellets, and takes down deer and boar sized game. That’s probably more expensive than a .22lr though, by the time you get the rifle and the air pump. You would also want to have a way to replace the seals in both. But here in the US you can buy them through the mail without any paper trail. Other countries might allow for an easier purchase of these guns over a firearm, but I know that in many cases they go by feet per second.

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    1. Yeh, those super ninja air guns are NOT cheap. See where you're going, though.

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  7. get a part time job ya lazy bum.

    you can wash dishes and get free food- just like the plates

    mcdonalds is locking for people with your qualifications.

    work and save money for a ar-15

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    1. I could have stayed in the military and gotten retirement, too. No thanks. At some point you need to trade the money in for the last vestiges of your soul, before it's too late. I already worked two jobs ( a few times three ) for 25 years. Enough. The toys aren't important enough.

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  8. I would recommend to minions to stay with a single (or limited selection) of common caliber guns. If you are one who has a gun or few and it's caliber is suitable for your intended uses then I would make purchases of any other guns in those calibers so your ammo cabinet doesn't end up looking like a spice rack with all different calibers and getting hickledy pickledy trying to stock and buy. Some calibers are cute but unpractical. Stay with mainline common calibers in use by l.e.o./military as much as possible. (Trade-barter potential) If you have a major quality brand/type of firearm just buy duplicate (back-up/deep stash) model so you have commonality in ammo,mags,etc. The lastest offering from firearm manufacturers may seem neat and glossy but consider it's actual practicality and logistics support during the collapse or when you are now behind the lines in a pitched conflict for years and years on end. Jim, stick with what you have, buy duplicates if so desired. Keep it simple, your in the rear with the gear, mentoring minions, not running infantry operations in the hills around town.

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    1. I tried running infantry ops in the hills I'd have a damn fart attack. Leaving it to the young bucks. I'm thinking a few too many bike rides in the extreme cold and my lungs are way sub-par ( never got run over and the bike riding might still kill me early ). I can still be a stubborn SOB and recognize my limitations.

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  9. I bought a sks at a estate sale for 150 bucks. Can hit a paper plate at 150 meters so I think that is good for my wooded land. I think everyone should buy a Taurus pt 111 shoots every kind of ammo I throw at it and was 200 bucks on sale. Comes with two 12 round Mag's. Along with my model 60 22 rifle I think I have all the guns I need. And for under 500 bucks.






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    1. Your SKS sounds like a tack driver compared to those I used to own. But, you know, Chinese.

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  10. This is for the guy who said you were a lazy bum and could go to Micky D's and make money for a AR. I'm 60 I have 2 certifications that in my state are worth over 100,000 a year. But I choose to work part time for 40/50K a year. Some of us have figured out we don't need no freacking AR or Flir scope. I figure with my shotguns and rifles I'm good. My time and serenity are worth more than the money. (Turned down $3000. A WEEK last year to stay home and work this job.) So you can call us lazy but we have worked our 85 hour weeks and we now choose to live with in our means not work our selves to death for every new toy.

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    1. Perhaps he was trying to be funny, but McDonald's was a poor choice. They should be automated within three years and bankrupt in four. Perhaps in ten you'll see vending machines with their brand name, selling microwave meals.

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    2. Back before I was laid off from my electronics job near the bay area, you never saw white kids working at those places anymore. All hispanics, with the occasional curry eater thrown in for good measure. I actually applied at a McDonalds many years ago when I was a kid. The dude running this particular franchise was a rug pilot. Right off it was clear that he did not care for my infidel ass, and I knew that he wasn’t going to hire me.

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    3. Those vending machines will be hypersolar powered and the food will be hot and that Big Mac will cost $19.95.

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    4. GS-$19.95 is a bargain, considering how hard it is to get SoyLent Green to taste good.

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