Saturday, June 04, 2011
Ballseye's Gun Shots 138: Range Report AK-47 and Stag Arms AR-15
After taking our civil service test together earlier today, Brendan and I headed home and cleaned a couple of rifles. I cleaned my Romanian AK-47 and he went at his new Stag Arms AR-15 (piston model, its first cleaning prior to its first shooting). Once the jobs were done, we headed out to the Long Island Shooting Range of Brookhaven. It is a fair drive for us, about 47 miles, and we were leaving late in the day for it. I guess we departed home at about 1PM and wound up at the range just a few minutes or so before 2PM. We checked in at the main office, then headed over to the rifle/pistol range. Luckily for us, we arrived at a cease fire and as soon as we were assigned our shooting points. The place was packed, apparently Long Island Firearms had some type of competitive event going on but we got to benches right next to one another. As quickly as we could we got targets set up at the 50 yard line.
Brendan had 3 rifles with him but left 2 in the car for some reason. He wanted to sight in the AR and who could blame him for putting all his efforts into it. Right off he was having some trouble. The rifle came with a red dot sight but also with the high front sight of a typical AR. Well, the thing was the front sight was obviously in the way of the red dot. Screw the dealer who sold him the rifle set up like that. The dealer charged one frigging hell of a premium for extras on the rifle, but had removed the normal rear sight, and the thing is not going to be reliable to sight in in its current configuration. Brendan stuck with it though and got it pretty well on target but the front sight was still a problem.
If the dealer was local, and not in Syracuse, NY (Brendan got the AR at the big gun show up there), I would bring it to him and ask him to make it good with the intended rear sight and removal of the red dot. If he would not do it, well I would want to shove the hot barrel right up his arse - figuratively speaking, of course. My guess is he would not want to make good because he seemed like the stereotypical pompous
asshole gun store guru while up at the show. At any rate, I would give him a good piece of my mind. I think gun dealers like him - who take advantage of those to whom they sell - ought to be flogged. He spent an awful lot of time, on the hard sell, telling my son how great the red dot sight was and how wonderful the AR was in that configuration and how much work he did on it to add this or that to it. He was essentially full of crap when it came to the sights, in my opinion.
I do not tinker much with guns but I suspect we will have to inquire with the manufacturer to find out about either removing the front sight or getting a rear sight to go with it and just taking off the red dot sight. I am pretty sure the front sight, on it now, would go with a model that had a carry handle attached which Brendan's does not. I guess the manufacturer will be able to help us. Maybe, before I call them, I should call the dealer in Syracuse and see what he says. I'll have to wait till I cool down some though. Brendan was somewhat disappointed but not as much as was I; he sees the better side of such things more than do I but then again he has not dealt with nearly as many scoundrels as have I in his still young lifetime. Oh well, we will address it later.
The rifle itself functioned very well except for what I am hoping were minor glitches. One was that we could not load mags into it when the action was closed. I thought we had been able to this before, in fact I swore I had done it with ARs before, so I don't quite understand why it would not accept mags that way. There was also a problem with the trigger not resetting after several shots while shooting one particular type of ammo - Prvi Partizan 62 grain FMJ. I was thinking it had to do with shell casing tolerances and fouling or otherwise with light loads in some of the cartridges. After several shots with the Prvi Partizan he switched to PMC X-Tac 62 gr. and it started to function flawlessly again - even when he went back to shooting the Prvi Partizan ammo. My guess is something to do with fouling and I will have him give it a better cleaning when he gets to it this time around, especially in the chamber. I will also make sure he pays attention to where he applies oil. Time will tell if the problem is something other than that it was not quite clean enough.
I was to Brendan's right, at the next bench over. I asked him to switch places with me because his shell casings were coming right at my head. Regardless of which side I chose, the muzzle blast from his AR pretty much roasted my face. One of the other doo-dads on his AR is a muzzle break. It is ported both left and right and the shooter on either side of him sure would soon realize such. It was like a hot desert dust devil hitting me in my face after each of his shots (I am happy I was wearing shooting glasses with side panels because at one point it blew a large pea sized chunk of gravel out of one of his sandbags right at my face and hit the glasses). The sound of the AR-15 also was much louder than usual, for us behind or next to it, because it was directed sideways and not forward. The muzzle break on the AR-15 sure did its job though, there was little noticeable recoil. Watch the videos and note the difference between him shooting the AR-15 and the AK-47 which does not have a muzzle break.
I shot the AK, the SKS and the AR-15 too. I have to say that the AR was pretty light on recoil.When I went back to the AK and the SKS, it almost seemed as if the recoil had tripled or quadrupled with them over that of the AR and neither of those has a great amount of recoil at that.
As for the SKS and AK, I will be needing to adjust the front sights on both (I have known that about the SKS for awhile but just have been lazy about it). The SKS was shooting consistently off to the right and the AK off to the left. In fact, I had a three shot group with all shots just about touching with the AK-47. Brendan fired at the same target and his group was right in their with mine and made it a 6 shot group all now touching one another. I guess I will need to learn how to adjust both the fronts sights of the SKS and the AR. Something tells me that the procedure may be quite similar. Brendan has a front sight adjustment tool for the AK, hopefully it also will fit the SKS.
We only stayed at the range for about 2 hours. There was one more shooting session to go before the range closed but we opted to take off early. I had wanted to stay but left it up to Brendan. Anyway we had to get home to install a new AC in the master bedroom's window. The old one crapped out (right after I paid for a new vacuum cleaner because the old vacuum was also on its last legs and almost electrocuted me last weekend). When my money decides to fall though the hole, at the bottom of my pocket, it seems to do it all at once.
Now that we have been home a while and the AC has been installed, I am sort of happy we left before the last session. My buddy Arthur I. Tis is with me right now and has a strong grip on my right shoulder. I guess the little recoil of the SKS and the AK was more than enough to make him comfortable in visiting me once again but his visit is sure making me feel miserable. I think a shot or two of Potato Vodka and maybe an Aleve are in order right about now. Arthur cannot stand that combo very well but I rather enjoy it, or similar, whenever he is around. With that thought fresh in my noggin, allow me to say - later 4 U, and that rifle cleaning will have to be delayed until tomorrow since booze and guns don't mix.
All the best,