Friday, February 10, 2012

AR-15 (re)Build - Final Test

 It was a good week at the Haus of Schu.  I managed to sell the crappy Troy Claymore "compensator"... and I use that term loosely.  Don't get me wrong.  I've said it before; if I kicked in doors for a living, the Claymore would be perfect.  I don't do that, though.  I shoot paper targets that don't shoot back.

So after selling the Claymore, I ordered a Yankee Hill Machine Phantom 5M1 compensator.  It arrived Thursday of this week.  I installed it, with the help of my lovely bride. 

Here is the new comp, installed on the end of the Yankee Hill Machine 1:7 twist barrel:
It was my intent to hit the range bright and early Friday morning to burn a few rounds with a friend of mine.  Unfortunately, Mother Nature had other plans.  It rained all night Thursday and most of the morning Friday.  I texted my shooting buddy around 0545 to tell him to grab another cup of coffee, that we would shoot in about a week.  I will be heading to his place this Sunday to watch him start a new batch of home brewed beer.

This morning I also had a doctor's appointment.  In November I had knee surgery.  In January, I injured my knee again.  At least I thought I did.  I had some pretty bad bruising on the inside of my thigh after catching my toe on the carpet whilst turning.  Doc said that I didn't hurt my knee.  Instead I tore my groin muscle.  That would explain the pain and bruising.  Nothing major though.

After that, Momma and I were gonna drop daughter off at the mall for an afternoon with her buds.  We stopped to eat lunch, and in the parking lot was a baby Muscovie duck.  Poor little critter was blind and couldn't find momma.  So we took it to the Texas Wildlife Rehabilition Center in the west Houston area.  Yeah.  Tough guy with guns helps rescue duckling.

By this time, the rain had stopped.  I didn't have much time, what with the ducky taking so much time.  So, after dropping daughter off at the mall, Momma and I headed home to pick up the AR to do a little shooting.  And I mean a little.  I checked into the range at 1455 and left at 1545.  Less than an hour. 

After getting the C-More zeroed at thirty-five yards, I moved to targets at fifty yards.  This little AR does a fine job.  With no magnification on the optics, double taps still came easy.  Below are two targets shot in quick succession while standing.
Overall accuracy was fine.  These rounds were shot as quickly as possible.  The compensator really does work.  Recoil feels like shooting a .22LR.  The noise, however, is NOT like a .22.  Still not as bad as I thought.

I really cannot wait for the next carbine match in the Austin area.  I also found out today that the range where I have membership will be putting on 3gun matches soon.  Look for the first of my 3gun match reports within the next two months.

In other firearm related news, some goodies came in the mail this week.  Monday I received the parts I ordered from Dawson Precision.  I purchased the "EDGE" trigger kit, four basepads, and a Dawson ICE magwell for my Glock 34.
Here are the goods:
Not sure if this will become my go-to pistol for IPSC / IDPA, but I am seriously considering it.  Ammunition is a lot cheaper, recoil is easier to manage, plus it's just plain fun to shoot.  It doesn't look too bad either.
Nor does it shoot poorly.  Seventeen rounds at twelve yards, as fast as I can pull the trigger.  With control, of course.

Next week will be the first IPSC match I will shoot with the Glock 34.  I have a carbine match tentatively scheduled for mid April.  Looking forward to that with great anticipation.  Wish we had something like that locally, outside of the 3gun matches offered around the area.

Until then, stay safe.

Friday, February 3, 2012

AR-15 (re)Build Range Report

Two posts in a week's time? Amazing.

I took the Bushmaster/Yankee Hill mutt out to the range this morning to see how it would perform. Last night I used my Laserlyte to help me sight the C-More sight so that I could save a few bullets at the range.

We got the range early, about 0800. It wasn't crowded at all, but that was in part due to the fact that the weather was dreadful. The range was pretty soaked, too.

After getting all setup at the thirty-five yard range, I fired the first shot. The recoil was so much more than I expected. My first thought was that I had set the gas block incorrectly. I rolled the rifle to check if the bolt was closed, and it was. So, I lined up for the second shot. The rifle barked, so I knew the gas block was set properly. But the recoil (and muzzle rise) was far worse than it was when I had the old Bushmaster barrel installed. The shots were falling relatively close to my aim point, so I decided to fire a five shot group and survey the results before trying to move the optics.

The third shot went off, and the fourth. But something wasn't right. The recoil was too much, and the muzzle rise so high that the target was out of my line of sight briefly. What could it be? It was the Troy Claymore muzzle brake. And I use the term "muzzle brake" loosely.

I packed up my gear and headed home. I was a little irritated because I wanted a different muzzle brake to begin with, but the shop that I purchased all of my parts at was out of stock at the time. Well, they had one in stock, but I was told that they had already sold it through the internet business they have. The guys there were more than happy to make a recommendation. They brought out several for me to see, but having no prior expertise in this area, I asked their advice. With their advise, I chose the Claymore.

It looks mean on the end of the barrel. The price was right (about fifty-five bucks). But it didn't do what it claimed it was supposed to do. So, I drove up to the shop (Primary Arms http:\\ to see if they would work with me in getting another compensator. One that would work.

Now, I know that this comp was already installed on my rifle. I had placed four rounds through it. But it truly did not live up to the recommendation. So I had hoped that we would be able to work a pro-rated deal out for store credit or something. No dice. The fella behind the counter told me that I might consider installing it on a different rifle. He was really sorry, but since it was installed already, there wasn't anything he could do for me. "Not even for store credit? I don't even need a full refund. Just a little help towards something else." "Yeah, geeeezzz.... sorry", was the response.

As I was walking out the door, he made one final suggestion. I could check around and find what I wanted and he would get pricing for me.

So, I got home and contacted them via their website. I let them know I was displeased with the service.

Surprisingly, I got a phone call. They wanted to talk about what they could do to help me out. I was really pleasantly surprised.

Everything was going along swimmingly until I was told that the only reason they were doing this was so I wouldn't "run around telling all my friends". They also let me know that they would never do this again, that this was a one time "deal".

The general attitude really rubbed me the wrong way. I've dealt with a lot of retail establishments in my short forty-three years. This is the first time I have ever heard this.

Not wanting to put this company in a bind, I decided to cut my losses.

It's sad, to me anyway, that they were so anxious to take my money, but so unwilling to help afterwards. Then, when they decided to help, it was begrudgingly.

So, I am still in the market for a compensator. If you have recommendations, I would be glad to hear them. I will more than likely eat this one, although I will try and sell it. I just don't expect much of a response. There's probably a reason they had this one in stock in the first place.

What saddens me more is that this place was so close. Less than fifteen minutes away. But, I can't do business with a place that makes recommendations and then doesn't back them up. I also don't want to feel like I am causing financial problems with said establishment.

I let them know that, and they did reply. I really don't think they took the time to read my entire reply, but that's okay. If I can get out of any future problems and only lose fifty-five smackers, I'll take it. Next time I will do far more research. Live and learn.

I will post another range report later on. I may as well shoot the rifle with the current compensator on it.

Until then, be safe.