Category Archives: Research

The Saga of How I Fixed My AR-9 SBR

I’m going to record my AR-9 trouble-shooting process in this blog post so that maybe someone else can glean some insight into all the things that can possibly go wrong, and how to fix them… because I lived through them.

I bought a DDLES “Glock mag” AR lower from Gunbroker once upon a time because that was the hotness like five years ago, and hard to get hold of. It was a smoking deal; based on the person’s other sales item and lack of engraving on the lower, I suspect they had an illegal SBR they were parting out in an attempt to make it go away. I dutifully filed a Form 1 on it, waited G-d only knows how long, and bought a cheapo PSA upper to put on it – I think it was 10.5″, whatever it took to get it across the magic 29″ OAL floor we have in MD.

It was a terrible performer right out the gate. It didn’t eject right. It didn’t cycle reliably. It tore cartridges in half. But, last night, after months of work, I got it working. How? Read on.

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Sig 556 Platform Modernization Project

On the recent Primary & Secondary modcast 187, Matt was discussing his new DSA FAL and the general concept of taking what was an obsolete battle rifle and making it new again. I thought this was a cool idea, and decided to embark on a similar project. I have a number of relatively obsolete guns in my safe, but a fair number of them are in “mil-spec” configuration, and thus I don’t want to alter them. But I do have a Sig 556 SBR and a Sig 556R Gen2 that are basically just old “cool guy” guns from a decade ago, and thus fair game.

I took a long look at them, and what I thought needed to be improved… and did it.

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Running and Gunning with the Tavor

I had the opportunity to take a carbine class with Green Ops recently, and because I am an iconoclast and easily influenced by my friends, I ran it with my stock Tavor. (Not to worry, I had my IDF-style Colt Commando in my trunk as a backup.) This was the first time I had ever really run the Tavor hard, and I’ve got some new feelings about the platform. Optic, for reference, was the Mepro RDS, which worked great and I have no complaints about.

The only big issue I had with the Tavor in class is reloading speed. I’d argue that the problem is not really getting the old magazine out (I’m a mag ripper by temperament), but rather getting the bolt back into battery. The bolt release is just in a really awkward place, so you either wind up hitting it (which is slow and awkward) or racking the CH (which is a touch-slower but less awkward). The X95 seems to have a better design on this front, but it’s still not that hot due to the bolt release being roughly the same concept (albeit moderately improved). I am going to shake down a buddy of mine with an X95 to see how I feel about it.

The factory trigger is also not great for first-round precision due to how heavy it is, but has a really great reset. If I wanted to spend the money on a Geissele pack, this would be a non-issue IMHO. As it is, you’ve got to be a touch slower and more deliberate to make the trigger do what you need it to do. But important thing here: it can do the job.

Switching shoulders during a barricade drill was not a problem due to the case deflector. Yeah, brass flying in front of your face is a theoretically bit unsettling, but if it doesn’t hit you, who cares? I was so totally focused on the drill I barely even noticed.

I did not love the full-length trigger guard. My rifle was slung a little too low, and I could not see the pistol grip. Ordinarily, this would not be a big problem, but I had to be exceedingly careful to not accidentally grab the trigger. In a gun with a traditional trigger guard, I would not have had this concern quite as much.

Finally, I did not love the sling situation on the Tavor. I prefer running the Magpul single point slings when I need to shoot dynamically, and the Tavor is not set up for that out of the box. The GHW Flex Swivel apparently does a reasonable job of providing a way to do this, but they were out of stock everywhere when I was looking for it last month.

Now, all of this said, the gun ran with utter reliability, on a diet of cheap steel-cased ammo to boot. No failures, no stoppages, no failures to lock back, etc. This was true of the other Tavor in the class as well. Really, the only problem was that I ran slower, and I think further practice doing reloads would have alleviated that to some degree. The problem, of course, is that practicing reloads on traditional-format guns that take AR mags makes me faster on all those guns… practicing on a Tavor just makes me faster on a Tavor. Not a problem if you’re a grunt in the IDF, but if you’re an enthusiast in the US, it’s something of a conundrum.

 

FAB Defense KPOS G2 Follow-Up Thoughts

I’ve been shooting the FAB Defense KPOS G2 a little further on my Glock 17 lately, and I have some follow-up thoughts and findings.

First: it’s not compatible with iron sights that go forward of the rear sight cut, to include many, many of the fiber optic sights out there such as the Tru-Glo TFX. I have not tried it with suppressor sights.

Second: I tried using my Tactical Solutions TSG-22 22lr conversion with it. The conversion sits slide sits low enough that I would be VERY concerned about striking the “compensator shroud”. You could, in theory, remove the shroud to make it work correctly, which might be a viable alternative in some setups. The charging handle mechanism is also a little suspect with it, but it does seem to work. I might experiment with this more later on if I have time.

Third: an extended magazine release helps a lot with this setup. I highly recommend one.

Fourth: it seems like your gun gets very dirty VERY quickly in this enclosure. My front night sight was blacked out after a few magazines of shooting..

Finally: I am still concerned about this gun’s ability to retain a true zero due to the slight up-down movement that you can get with the flexing of the frame. My groups are larger than I would have expected, albeit this is when shooting at 25yds with trash ammo. Now, the truth is, since the front of the gun is latched in pretty good, it might look worse than it is, since the back is going to show a larger flexing due to variance. Still, it’s not what i would call a precision weapon compared to a “real” rifle. It does seem to more-or-less hold zero between taking the gun in and out of the chassis, though.

How to Fix Compensator Problems on Your Glock

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The compensator in question.

So, in an effort to align content with my current activities, I’d like to talk about my recent experience with putting a compensator on my Polymer80 940C not-a-Glock build, hereon described as my Compact Fauxland Special (CFS). It was built with a Brownells slide with RMR cut, LWD frame parts kit, BCA threaded barrel, Glock slide parts kit, and a TLR-2. After a bit of lube, it was fully-functional and reliable.

I decided to get clever and add a TBRCi stubby compensator to my CFS… and that it where my problems all began.

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The IMI Magen-1

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So, today, I’ve got something VERY special for you. Courtesy of reader Marcin at POLARMS, I am pleased to show you pictures of a true unicorn: an IMI Magen-1. The Magen-1 has been a real mystery to me. There is a single reference to it online, with basically no useful information other than “it’s 9mm”. Well, now we’ve got pictures, and they tell a lot more of the story. More after the break!

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The Jericho B Revealed

jericho b

I’ve previously referenced the Jericho B as being a bit of a mystery, but thanks to Marcin at POLARMS (which is, well, in Poland), I am very pleased to present to you pictures of the production – or possibly pre-production! – version. As I had previously guessed, the “transitional” Barak is VERY similar to this gun – it just has a different slide design in front.

You can find his photos after the jump.

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