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Collecting Parts


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While the rifle and thread of "Plunging In" was going on,  the thought of a faster-twist barrel became an interest in a new project.  The idea developed in May,  finding parts began in June.

Initially there was difficulty finding critical parts.  Then all needed parts rapidly vanished from online catalogs and listings.

In late June I found an upper receiver at TacticalInc.com,  a vendor previously unknown to me.  It is very nice with "T" markings on top of the rail.  It was assembled,  complete.  Saved some finding of small parts and making things go together.

A free-float tube from Brownells was easy (DPMS 12 inch slotted),  along with a list of other small parts.

Likewise,  a laundry-list of bits & pieces from MidwayUSA.

It was a matter of who had what.  Nobody had everything in stock.  Critical parts were even more difficult to locate or had completely vanished.

In August the barrel I wanted appeared one day in the middle of the day.  I had checked the Rainier site in the morning--  nothing.  Again.  In mid-afternoon I was just bored and poking around aimlessly when there the barrel was!  Rainier - White Oak Armament  1 - 7;  stainless;  mid-length & medium profile;  18 inch.  Filed the order,  had the barrel in hand in a couple of days.

Along the way I discovered that Washguy lives a dozen blocks away.  He was a major help in keeping the project going.  He has the specialty tools to assemble the parts and did that along with the technical familiarity that made it all easy.  Thank you,  Washguy.

I had bought a M-16 BCG from Palmetto State Arsenal in June but then I came across all the hate & discontent about these BCG's and stripped it for the parts;  put the carrier in deep lost storage.  I did find,  download,  print --  advertising copy from several vendors who insist that there is no problem with the M-16 carrier.  I have letters alleged to be from BATFE and Department of Justice saying there is not a problem with the M-16 BCG's.  I read the quoted wording of the NFA and the comment from someone in Illinois about the actions of the regional BATFE Office there.  I talked to a business owner at a gun show who said only Colt has a letter allowing them to put M-16 BCG's in their rifles.  I will quietly not use an M-16 carrier. 

In the time frame around the Labor Day weekend,  plus or minus a week,  another time of aimless poking at web sites,  Joe Bob Outfitters suddenly had my scope!  Vortex Viper,  6.5-20x44 MM,  30 MM tube.  My first 30 Mil tube.  And there was a gun show at Allen,  TX.  On the second day of the show I found a bolt carrier with a good asking price.  Add a quick trip to Cabela's to buy a set of Warne steel QD scope mounts,  it was done.

Color in the pics below is not good.  The rifles are black.  Click on the pics to enlarge them.



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Some of what happens at the shooting range is beyond my understanding.  Group size,  mostly.  Some of it is the kind of bullet and some is the powder,  etc.  But why are the best groups made by different loadings on different days?  Same batches of ammo made at the same time from the same brass,  different powder and different bullets.  One time one loading is the best,  next time the other loading is clearly better.

On Sept 9,  2012,  I was using a borrowed magazine.  I managed to leave all mine at home.  Thank You to the person who saved that day.  The borrowed mag was a 30-round and was too long for comfort.  I was shooting with my wrist on the sandbags and the rifle perched on my fingertips.  Some of the group size relates to this.  On Sept 18,  2012,  the FF tube was settled on the sandbags and the PMag 20-round was clear of the bench top.  Also,  ref to a previous post where the temperature was warm summertime,  on the 18th there was a definite fall chill.  Winds gusting 10 to 15 MPH and air temperature on arrival only 84 degrees F;  86 degrees F when departing,  according to the sensor under the front bumper.  The low temperatures did keep the FF tubes quite cool this time.


Some pics below,  both targets the original DPMS (modified) upper on the dates shown.  Click to enlarge.



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Targets from firing the new upper were disappointing.  Maybe I expected too much.  Maybe the barrel needs some use to season it.  I will do some shooting to increase the number of rounds fired and use up some junk ammo.  Along the way I will try to develop a load or loads that works well with the faster twist.

It is apparent that the heavier bullets do as well in the 1 - 7 as the lighter bullets do in the 1 - 9.  The 75 gr poly-tips that were a disaster in the 1 - 9 last time fed through the 1 - 7 without blinking and made group sizes just like all the other ammo. 

In the pic below,  the 75 gr PMC is factory.  The other two loads are my handloads.  The polytips were fired in two clips with a scope adjust between clips.  The bottom group is my Sierra MK's over Ramshot Tac.  Sequence of shooting was bottom to top.

Click on the pic to enlarge.


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I did a Google search on "M-16 bolt carrier."  It took me into several forums.  There is a real firestorm of commentary.  The BATFE regional office in the upper midwest,  Illinois,  seems to consider the carrier a NFA item on its own and will apparently prosecute given any excuse.  Best not to pull that lions whiskers unless you do not mind spending months or years in federal prison awaiting court action AND have huge amounts of money to throw into the garbage pit defending yourself.  I do not invent or create:  I repeat what seems to be valid info or is a matter of concern.  I do not know how valid any of the info in the firestorm may or may not be.

Otherwise,  look at "Plunging In" elsewhere in this forum.  One of the things reported there (with target pics) is a shooting sequence with a wide range of bullet weights.  The best factory ammo I have found for my rifle is Bitterroot Valley.  This is,  to my best understanding,  reloaded (remanufactured) ammo.  I buy it off the shelf at CTD. 

More shooting,  much more,  is needed on my rifle.  This report covers the first few shots in the new upper and the original upper/rifle has less than a thousand rounds through it.

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the m16 carrier is not illegal in any way, the only differences are slightly different angles in the bottom of the carrier and it's heavier.


that's a picture thread link to our sister forum, showing the differences. I have bought several m16 carriers, also called full auto carriers, legally. no one will sell you nfa parts through a legit business, unless they value money over jail time. hope this  helps.

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  • 3 weeks later...

the m16 carrier is not illegal in any way, the only differences are slightly different angles in the bottom of the carrier and it's heavier.

You have got to love the internet ... sometimes there is as much misinformation on a subject as there is information.

edgecrusher is spot on ... there is NO WAY that ATF can categorize a full-auto rated carrier as an NFA item. The heavier carrier cannot affect the function of the weapon in ANY way except to slow the cyclic rate down, due to extra weight. It is simply heavier at the rear of the bolt carrier due to being bolstered up to sustain the impact of full auto fire ... that's it, end of story. Use your M16 BCG to your hearts content Dusty44 ... I have one in every AR15 I own, except one that came with an old, undercut semi BCG from the factory.  :thumb:

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