Category Archives: Fine Tuning

These days everyone builds their own AR and for good reason…its a ton of fun, can save you money and gives you good knowledge of how an AR works. One issue that many AR builders run into is finding compatibility issues with the parts they bought. With the popularity of ultra low profile handguards one of the most common issues is gas block incompatibility. Many handguards are so low profile that they can actually come in contact with the gas block itself or accessories attached to the handguard. I recently ran into this issue myself and figured I would share my experience with you.

One of my most recent builds is a DMR style rifle with a BSF Barrels 16″ barrel with a Carbon Fiber Shroud. Because of the carbon fiber shroud (designed to strengthen the barrel, reduce weight and help it vent heat) the gas block seat is .936″ so of course I just ordered any old .936″ low pro gas block. 

Cross Machine Tool 936 low pro gas block on BSF Barrel AERO

Everything installed just fine, I slid the Cross Machine Tool UHPR Mod 2 handguard over the barrel, tightened it all down and … DUN DUN DUUUUN … the gas block was touching the bottom of the handguard. Not just close, literally touching. That’s called “unfreefloating” your barrel. 😂😂 This is something I verify every time I build a rifle as I’ve also seen MLOK screws touching gas blocks as well. Anything coming in contact with the gas block / barrel can and will effect accuracy even at just 100 yards.

Gas Block Touching CMT rail

In a basic beater build you might not care but in a build like this where accuracy is the goal, you have no other choice than to either swap out the gas block or swap out the handguard. Easiest and cheapest is to swap the gas block. Thankfully Cross Machine Tool has just released their new line of J.A.G. (Just A GasBlock) gas blocks which includes a .936 Gas Block specifically designed to fit under their UHPR handguards and many other super low profile handguards.

**One of the only things I actually do like about .936 gas block seats is that the .936″ opening of the gas block is usually big enough to remove without taking off the muzzle device**

936 gas block over dragon muzzle brake

New CMT Gas Block Installed on BSF Barrel Lantac Dragon CMC Trigger

While I had the gas block off I also decided to put a second dimple on the barrel so that the second set screw of the gas block would screw all the way in instead of sticking out just to make sure there was adequate clearance.

Dimpled Barrel for low pro gas block

At this point it was time to reinstall the CMT handguard and check to see how it fit. Flipped it over and definitely good to go! The new Cross Machine Tool JAG .936 Gas Block did the trick and my barrel is now truly Free Floating. 

Handguard not touching low pro gas block 1

Handguard free floating not touching low pro gas block 2

CMT 936 Gas Block Installed

Cross Machine Tool 936 Gas Block Free Float Low Pro Handguard BSF Barrels AERO CMC Lantac Vortex Optics

Only thing left to do now is get this blaster to the range. I’ll have a full review of the BSF Barrels 16″ barrel coming soon. If you’re looking for an affordable low profile gas block you can’t go wrong with the new Cross Machine Tool JAG Gas Blocks.

Ballistic Advantage sneakily introduced a new barrel the other day and man is it sweet. The new barrel is an 18″ .223 Wylde Rifle Length SPR barrel from their Premium Series line of barrels but this one features some of the most aggressive flutes that I’ve seen on any barrel. The fluting not only looks amazing but at the same time makes for a really light weight 18″ barrel. If you’re looking for a great looking barrel that is sure to shoot even better for your next build, check out the new Ballistic Advantage Fluted 18″ Premium SPR Barrel.

Ballistic Advantage Fluted SPR Barrel 1Ballistic Advantage Fluted SPR Barrel 1

Ballistic Advantage Fluted SPR Barrel 1

This .223 Wylde chambered 18 inch barrel is machined from 416 Stainless Steel with a bead blasted finish. Our Premium Series Barrels feature a FailZero Nickel Boron Coated Extended M4 Feed Ramp Extension.

This barrel features some of the most aggressive and weight reducing flutes on the market. Coming in at a total weight of 28 oz. We’ve managed to cut almost a pound out of the barrel all while not sacrificing one ounce of accuracy!

http://ballisticadvantage.com/18-inch-223-wylde-spr-fluted-mid-length-ss-premium-barrel.html

If you still think Geissele only makes amazing triggers, you need to start thinking differently about Geissele. They have and still do make some of the best rails on the market but over that past few years they have added things like Armorers Tools, Optic Mounts, Charging Handles and now … the Maritime Bolt Catch. Think of the Maritime Bolt Catch as a bolt catch with a larger surface area and more aggressive texture. What this does that other aftermarket bolt catch’s don’t is it extends the controls closer to the index finger of a left handed shooter so they can manipulate the bolt catch with their index finger without taking their hand off the grip.  

Geissele Automatics Maritime Bolt Catch 1

“The Geissele Maritime Bolt Catch is designed with the warfighter in mind and will work with any lower receiver designed to accept a mil-spec M16/M4 Carbine bolt catch. The increased surface area promotes ease of function when locking back the bolt or releasing the bolt after a magazine change. In addition, the extended controls add an increased functionality for left handed shooters who no longer have to break their grip to manipulate the bolt catch. Left handed shooters can easily reach the controls using the index finger of their left hand making magazine changes and locking the bolt back much more fast and efficient. Aggressive checkering covers the surface of the levers giving the Geissele Maritime Bolt Catch a textured surface that enables positive feedback to the shooters hand when being used with gloves or at night. Manufactured from properly heat treated 8620 steel and manganese phosphate coated, the Geissele Maritime Bolt Catch is intended to serve as an enhanced mil-spec replacement and assist in giving our warfighters overmatch capability with the M16/M4 carbine platform.”

Geissele Automatics Maritime Bolt Catch 1

Whether you’re a lefty or righty, there are benefits to be had here and coming from Geissele you know it will be top notch quality. Thankfully the price is extremely competitive with other aftermarket bolt catch’s with an MSRP of just $29. I’ve ordered a couple to try out and you can too at www.Geissele.com.

A few weeks ago we introduced you guys to the new Stealth Recoil Spring from Armaspec. The Stealth Recoil Spring is a drop-in replacement for your standard AR Buffer and Buffer Spring that will make the action quieter and smoother. The idea is not new but the amazing pricing is! We knew these would be coming out soon but didn’t know where until today. Rainier Arms has the exclusive offering of the SRS-Carbine Stealth Recoil Spring which is equivalent to a 3.3oz buffer and carbine spring. The intro price is just $64.95 which is too good of a deal to pass up. Get yours now at www.RainierArms.com.

Stealth Recoil Spring 6

Stealth Recoil Spring 13

Stealth Recoil Spring 19

The Stealth Recoil Spring™ SRS ™ is a self-contained multi-stage drop-in replacement for your standard buffer and spring. The Stealth Recoil Spring ™ is designed to reduce felt recoil as well as keep the buffer spring from rubbing against the inner wall of the buffer tube. The buffer mass is designed to stay under constant tension against the bolt carrier and the O-ring on the head of the buffer mass prevents metal on metal contact.

 SRS-Carbine at about 3.3oz Equivalent

Armaspec introduced a few new products this year at SHOT Show but the one I know many people are super excited about is the new Stealth Recoil Spring. The Stealth Recoil Spring is a drop-in replacement for your AR15 buffer and buffer spring that eliminates the noise from the spring rubbing on the inside of the buffer tube and helps the rifle function quieter and smoother. They also incorporated a rubber o-ring on the face of the Stealth Recoil Spring that removes any metal on metal contact.

Armaspec Stealth Recoil Spring 4Armaspec Stealth Recoil Spring 1

The Stealth Recoil Spring is a self-contained multi-stage drop-in replacement for your standard buffer and spring. Designed to reduced felt recoil as well as keep the buffer spring from rubbing against the inner wall of the buffer tube. The buffer mass is designed to stay under constant tension against the bolt carrier and the O-ring on the head of the buffer mass prevents metal on metal contact. Pat. Pend.

The Stealth Recoil Spring comes in 5 variations.
– SRS-Carbine at about 3.3oz equivalent
– SRS-H at around 3.8oz equivalent
– SRS-H2 at around 4.7oz equivalent
– SRS-9 at around 5.3oz equivalent
– SRS-H3 at around 5.6oz equivalent

Another awesome thing about the new Stealth Recoil Spring is the price. Armaspec has kept the price to a very affordable $79. At that price, if they work as advertised, I’ll be using these in many builds going forward. These are showing out of stock now but sounds like they should be available for purchase very soon at www.Armaspec.com.

I’ve been known to tinker and tweak my guns until I get them running perfect. One of the AR’s I’ve done this the most on is my Quarter Circle 10 9mm. The blowback operation of these 9mm guns creates a ton of energy and gets the BCG moving at a very high rate creating a lot more felt recoil than you would ever guess and can also lead to beating up and breaking parts like bolt catches, etc. I’ve mostly been swapping around different springs and buffers going heavier and heavier.

QuarterCircle10 9mm Buffer Setup

KAK Industry just rolled out a brand new 9mm Configurable Buffer Kit that lets you swap out weights inside the buffer to adjust the overall weight of the buffer in stages up to 10 ounces.

KAK Industry 9mm Configurable Buffer Kit

This new KAK 9mm Configurable Buffer Kit would have really come in handy while I was trying to figure out the perfect buffer weight to get my build running like a sewing machine. It is also perfect for making adjustments for Suppressed, UnSuppressed, Subsonic Rounds, Full Auto, etc. If you’re tweaking your AR9, you definitely need to check out this new 9mm Configurable Buffer Kit from KAK Industry.

The guys at Fortis Manufacturing never stop! They are always looking at unique and innovative ways to improve or redesign parts for the AR. Their new LA Stock or Lever Action Stock is an all aluminum collapsible stock that can be adjusted using the handle that looks and moves much like a Lever Action rifle. Once you’ve adjusted the stock you use the Lever Action to clamp down on the buffer tube making for a stock with absolutely zero wobble. So far we just have computer generated photos which you can see below. I’ll be sure to update this article as more details and pictures become available.

fortis-la-stock

When designing our newest line to our Fortis family of products, we spent a lot of time thinking about the over all design and function of our buttstock. Lightweight? Of course, we helped start the change in the industry with our lightweight designs – but we also like our products to be robust and withstand the abuse we throw at it. Form as well as function each and every product we introduce – that’s Fortis.

fortis-la-stock-1

fortis-la-stock-1

Introducing our newest part – our aluminum butt stock, the Fortis LA™. It’s an all aluminum Lever Action (LA) stock that utilizes mil-spec buffer tubes. That’s right – slip off the plastic stock and upgrade your rifle immediately. The lever action is what clamps down onto the buffer tube so there’s no rattle or movement and our patent pending design is is one of a kind.

fortis-la-stock-3

fortis-la-stock-4

Features:
–  Material: Aircraft Grade 6061-T6 Aluminum
–  Finish: Military Specification Type III Hard Coat Anodized
–  Fits standard milspec buffer tubes (not included)
–  Lever action tightens onto the buffer tube for robust grip and no rattle
–  Weight – TBD – but you won’t be disappointed
–  Made in the USA!

Keep an eye here on AR15NEWS for additional updates regarding the new Fortis LA Stock. You can also head on over to www.FortisMfg.com and sign up to be notified when the LA Stock in available for purchase.

Travis and Nate of Haley Strategic Partners have started a 6 part video series called “Tricking Your Stick with Nate and Trav”. Each video focuses on a different part of your rifle and shows you tips on “Tricking Your Stick”. So far they have release the first 5 videos which you can see below. Video 1 focuses on the Buttstock, Video 2 focuses on the Pistol Grip, Video 3 focuses on the Foregrip, Video 4 focuses on the Trigger and Video 5 focuses on the Weapon Light and Video 6 focuses on Optics. Big thanks to guys like Travis and Nate for sharing some knowledge.

VIDEO 1 of 6 The Buttstock

VIDEO 2 of 6 Pistol Grips

VIDEO 3 of 6 The Foregrip

VIDEO 4 of 6 Triggers

VIDEO 5 of 6 – Weapon Lights

VIDEO 6 of 6 – Optics

I personally run exclusively CMC and Geissele/ALG triggers in my guns. Not because I have to but because they are awesome and I choose to use them. However, this new “Saber” from James Madison Tactical is intriguing purely because of the price point. The Saber is a single stage drop-in trigger with a 3.5-4.0 pound pull weight. Rainier Arms has secured the first run of these triggers at an introductory price of $89.95. I personally have not used one of these triggers but if I wanted to upgrade my stock trigger and couldn’t afford a CMC or Geissele this is something I would consider. 

jmt-saber-single-stage-drop-in-trigger-jmt-ditrigg-by-jmt-77f

With a fast reset, a smoother, crisper, lighter trigger pull, The single-stage trigger group is easy to install.

Features:
–  Single-stage
–  3.5- 4.0 lb. pull weight
–  Quick reset for faster response time between shots
–  Lightened trigger pull with super-crisp release to improve accuracy
–  Curved skeleton trigger function and comfort
–  Self-contained design makes it easy and quick to install with no fine-tuning needed
–  Quality 17-4 Stainless steel hammer, trigger and disconnect
–  Precision CNC and EDM machined from high-grade 6061-T6 aluminum and 17-4 ph SS
–  Contained in JMT’s signature metallic silver anodized aluminum housing
–  Note: The set screw should not be tampered with. Any attempts to modify the trigger will void the warranty.

You can get in on the intro pricing now at www.RainierArms.com.

**Press Release**

(Cincinnati, OH) – Faxon Firearms, incessant innovators in the firearms industry, is pleased to announce the release of factory matched bolts and barrels for all its 5.56 NATO and 300 Blackout Barrels.

Available for order today, anytime a customer orders a bolt and/or carrier with a barrel, the Faxon factory will precision match the bolt to the barrel using custom hardened gauging. As a set, the bolt and barrel are then matching laser engraved as a set for easy identification.

Faxon Firearms Headspace Matched Bolt and Barrel

Matching our famous barrels, Faxon’s bolts are made using only state-of- the-art machining and materials. Bolts are machined from 9310 tool steel, which is stronger than “mil-spec” C158. The extractor is S7 with latest-spec extractor spring system including spring, “Crane” o-ring, and silicone insert. Bolt carriers available as optional add-ons include the ultra-lightweight GUNNER series and the standard “M16” carrier.

“For customers who do not have a set of headspace gauges or a gunsmith available, the factory-matched bolt/carrier and barrel removes all the guesswork from putting together an AR-15,” said Nathanial Schueth, Director of Sales & Product Development. “Further, the laser-engraving ensures that no bolt and barrel are mixed up between rifles.” There is no charge for the factory-matching, laser-engraved serialized bolt and barrel service. Orders only apply to in-stock barrels and bolts, with lead times generally only a week after order. Dealers and OEMs are encouraged to explore the service as well.

Bolt Specifications:

Bolt:
-9310 Tool Steel Construction (Stronger than C158)
-Full MIL-SPEC Heat Treatment
-Shot Peened to MIL-SPEC
-Magnetic Particle Inspection (MPI)
-Back of Lugs Chamfered for Reliability
-Spring, Insert, & "Crane" O-Ring Installed
-QPQ – Salt Bath Nitrided

Extractor:
-S7 Tool Steel Construction
-Fully Heat Treated
-Shot Peened Per MIL-SPEC
-QPQ – Salt Bath Nitrided

About Faxon Firearms: Faxon Firearms is a leader in constant evolution in the firearms marketplace. Faxon focuses on US-made quality and innovation. From the ARAK platform, GUNNER & FLAME barrels, MuzzLok (crush-washer free) muzzle devices, and now with factory headspaced bolts and barrels, Faxon offers quality complete rifle systems and components. New dealers are welcome.

For more information on Faxon Firearms, visit www.faxonfirearms.com.

The other day I took some time to start sighting in my new 20″ .308 upper I just built for my FALKOR Defense rifle. Shot this awesome 100yd 3-shot sub-1/2-MOA ( .4935″ ) group with a 20″ Criterion Barrels match barrel. I realize it is just a 3-shot group but I’m very impressed so far. I was shooing some PNW Arms 175gr “Sniper” Match 7.62×51 ammunition. I had a few other really nice groups but this was my last and tightest group of the day. I only have room for a 100yd range on my property but my buddy has a 500yd gong that I think I need to ring with this baby.

Criterion Barrels 308 20 inch match barrel 1

Criterion Barrels 308 20 inch match barrel 4

Criterion Barrels 308 20 inch match barrel 2

Criterion Barrels 308 20 inch match barrel 3

This is a FALKOR Defense .308 ambi rifle with a CriterionBarrels 20″ .308 match barrel, Bravo Company USA charging handle and muzzle brake, Geissele SD-E trigger, Battle Arms short throw ambi safety, SLR Rifleworks 15″ Helix MLOK rail and Sentry adjustable gas block, ATLAS bipod, Magpul UBR stock, grip and mags, Rainier Arms UltraMatch .308 Nitride BCG with a KAK Industry dual ejector Bolt and a Vortex Optics Viper PST 4-16 FFP scope in the new Geissele Super Precision scope mount, MK Machining throw lever and scope level.

New Frontier Armory is always pumping out awesome new products so it was no surprise to see their new Extra Heavy Blowback 8-Ounce Buffer pop up on their Facebook page. You might be asking…”What is a Blowback Buffer and why does it need to weigh a whopping 8-ounces?”. Well, it all has to do with Pistol Caliber AR’s. 

Instead of using a gas system like a Direct Impingement AR to cycle the weapon, most Pistol Caliber AR’s (9mm, .40, .357 Sig, .45, etc) all use Blowback Operation. With a Blowback system their is a ton of energy throwing that BCG back and unless you do something to slow it down, it creates more felt recoil and it can tear things apart or cause excess wear. With Blowback ARs there is no Gas Block to adjust so your only option is to adjust the buffer weight. In comes the Extra Heavy 8-ounce Blowback Buffer from New Frontier Armory. 

8-Oz-Buffer-02

In my personal 9mm build I am running a 5.3 ounce H3 buffer. There is still more felt recoil than there needs to be but there aren’t too many buffer options out there that weigh more than the H3 buffer. NFA’s 8oz Blowback Buffer is made of solid Stainless Steel with an overall length of 4″ and would be a great next step in slowing down the BCG so its not slamming back so hard. It’s priced right too at just $39.99.

So, if you’re looking to smooth out your Pistol Caliber AR, the The New Frontier Armory Extra Heavy 8oz Blowback Buffer is definitely an option to look into. You can check them out at www.NewFrontierArmory.com.

Earlier today, Geissele Automatics quietly introduced a new product. The Super 42 Spring and Buffer utilizes 3 separate wires to form the spring which is stronger, more durable and quieter than a traditional AR buffer spring. The buffer comes as an H1 buffer but can be easily upgraded to an H2 or H3 buffer by purchasing the additional Tungsten weights and adding them to the buffer. Technical information and pictures listed below. 

Geissele Super 42 Buffer and Spring

The Geissele Super 42 Spring was designed to improve the function and reliability of your AR-15 pattern rifle. Its unique spring design uses three independent strands of wire, just like the German MG42 Machine Gun. This concept acts as a harmonic damper and energy absorber by allowing the springs to flex separately from each other. This flex helps displace excess energy which decreases the chance of spring failure and assists with making your AR-15 more reliable.

Compared to the stock spring, The Geissele Super 42 Spring has a decreased tendency to lose length and force over a given round count. As an added bonus, it removes the annoying spring reverberations (twang) heard and felt by the shooter through the buttstock. The Super 42 Spring has a 15% stronger average return force than the standard buffer spring. This will assist in stripping rounds out of the magazine when operating with a dirty weapon or when using steel-case ammo.

You can purchase the new Geissele Super 42 Spring and Buffer at www.Geissele.com.

Magpul recently released info on the new PRS (Precision Rifle Stock) Gen2 that will be released later this summer. Its always nice to see new models of very popular products come out but it also means its time to look for some good deals on the Gen1 parts if you like them. Personally I love the PRS Gen1 stock and have a couple myself and now I might have to stockpile a few of them for future builds because I just got an email from Rainier Arms letting me know they have all of their Magpul PRS Gen1 stocks for both AR-15 and AR-10 on sale. When you go to the site it shows the usual $242.25 price but if you add it to your cart the price drops down to just $193.80 for an AR-15 or AR-10 version. That’s a smoking deal for an awesome stock. I just ordered an AR-10 version for one of my rifles and most likely will snag another couple AR-15 models for future use. Just passing along the savings to my friends.

Magpul PRS Stock AR-15

Magpul PRS Stock AR-10

Magpul PRS Stock AR15 AR10 StickmanPhoto courtesy of Stickman

At SHOT Show 2016, Agency Arms announced a partnership between themselves and PWS (Primary Weapon Systems) to offer the Agency Arms Project CLASSIFIED DI rifle. I got permission to share the following photos that as far as I know have not been fully published yet. Aaron Cowan of Sage Dynamics and Agency Arms said this regarding the new rifle…

“Everybody knows there’s ARs all over the place. Why would you choose one brand over another brand? Quality is quality. But there are features on the AR platform that can be improved and when people get together and start thinking about them they find new ways to do things that some people just didn’t think of before. Some times its a little fix, some times its something potentially revolutionary. Not gonna use the word game changer but what I will say is this rifle brings a lot of value added products to the platform that are gonna be something that you might prefer in a rifle system if you’re looking for a new one.” – Aaron Cowan, Sage Dynamics

Agency Arms Project Classified Rifle 1Agency Arms Project Classified Rifle 2Agency Arms Project Classified Rifle 3

Agency Arms Project Classified Rifle 4

Agency Arms Project Classified Rifle 6

– The upper and lower receiver appear to be billet but it is a lightened forged receiver set.
– 14.5″ 416 Stainless Lithium Isolated Barrel
– Chambered in .223 Wylde with a 1:8 Twist, Medium Weight Profile
– Midlength Gas System
– Ambidextrous controls with ambi mag release, bolt release, short throw ambi safety and charging handle
– CLASSIFIED 13.4″ Rail
– Rail up front features both picatinny and keymod.
– Has a ratcheting castle nut. Can be removed without tools.
– H2 Buffer
– Magpul stock, grip and MBUS PRO sights.
– Will ship with rail scales polymer rail covers
– Dead Air Pyro comp and Flash Hider suppressor mount. Mount is pinned for 16″ OAL.
– ALG Defense ACT Trigger.

The photo below shows a 4 position adjustable DI carrier that allows for suppressed / unsuppressed use or when running different ammunition loads. This rifle is one of the few DI platforms designed from the ground up for suppressed use.

Agency Arms Project Classified Rifle 5

Pre-orders are available and existing Agents have the ability to match their Agent number to their rifle serial number. 

Also included:
Grey Ghost rifle case
G-Code Scorpion Belt pouch
Two ETS clear magazines
RailScales Panels

MSRP $2900

www.agencyarms.com