ASC 10rd Magazines

| April 13, 2020
asc stamped aluminum
Photo Credit: Keith Knoxsville
A Hen and a Drake Green Teal on the truck bed. Not a limit on anything, but a fun morning out.

These ASC 10rd magazines are a great running magazine, they work without issues, and lock the bolt open on empty every time. I have zero feed issues, no fitment issues, and at 10 rounds are perfect for restricted states.

The construction is solid aluminum, and is nicely coated. I’m not sure if its anodized or painted, but it seems to be wearing well, and operates without issues.

asc 10 round
ASC follower

There isn’t a whole lot to say about a 10 round magazine. It’s not a mag you would use in a free state, and not one that any major magazine pouch, belts, or vest or carrier designs for. However, until California wins assault weapon and magazine capacity lawsuits, and thank God we are close, these work, are reliable, and affordable.

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Super Slim A2 Sights

| April 12, 2020
UTG Rear SLim Sight 0
Photo Credit: Keith Knoxsville
A Hen and a Drake Green Teal on the truck bed. Not a limit on anything, but a fun morning out.

UTG Rear SLim Sight 2
UTG Rear SLim Sight

I needed sights for my recent AR15 build, so I decided to try UTGs Super Slim A2 sights. I wanted a reliable, and solidly made fixed sight set. I didn’t want flip ups. I also didn’t want to spend nearly as much on sights as I did a budget AR15 build. After a bunch of reading, researching, and price comparisons, I bought UTGs Super Slim A2 sights.

The Super Slim A2 Sights by UTG were exactly what I was looking for. They are solidly built, mount squarely with included Torx screws, and use standard heights for flat top handguards and uppers.

Adjustable | Tool free windage adjustment
Aperture | With dual aiming apertures
Material | Aluminum
Finish | Matte Black Anodizing
Lug | Square-Shaped Integral Recoil Stop
Mount | Securely Attaches to Picatinny Rail
Includes | T20 Torx wrench, and extra screw
Price | $32.97

UTG Front Slim Sight 0
UTG Front Slim Sight 1

Bonus | Machined forward and rear-forward facing glare reducing serrations
Material | Aluminum
Finish | Matte Black Anodizing
Adjustable | A2 Front Sight Post
Interchangeable | Aftermarket Posts
Lug | Square-Shaped Integral Recoil Stop
Mount | Securely Attaches to any Picatinny Rail
Includes | T20 Torx wrench, and extra screw
Price | $15.97

The Leapers UTG sights are very cleanly machined, well designed, and very sturdy. The tolerances are tight, and they co-witnessed perfectly with a Bushnell TRS-25 red dot sight on a compact .83 inch UTG riser mount.

These fixed sights are as good or better than sights over 2 times more expensive. So it’s no wonder these things are always sold out. An alternative may be the front flip up version by UTG or the rear flip up sight but if you see the fixed sights available, snatch ’em up in a hurry.

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NBS Free Float M-LOK Handguard

| April 12, 2020
NBS M-LOK Handguard
Photo Credit: Keith Knoxsville
A Hen and a Drake Green Teal on the truck bed. Not a limit on anything, but a fun morning out.

NBS M-LOK Handguard

Barrel Nut | Included
Material | 6061-T6 Aluminium
Coating | Type 3 Hard Coat Anodizing
Inner Diameter | 1.35 inches
Installed Weight | 7 inches – 7.3oz, 12 inches – 10.9oz, 15 inches – 12.9oz
MFG Location | Made in the USA
Warranty | Backed by the NBS Limited Lifetime Warranty

Initial Thoughts

The NBS Free Float M-LOK Handguard is an American Made handguard. It features a monolithic rail, and is machined from a 6061-T6 extrusion. The finish is type 3 hard coat anodizing.

The handguard is nice and slim, feels nice in hand. It fit nicely over my low profile gas block, and features 7 sides of versatile M-LOK attachment slots. The handguard also includes a barrel nut, and its non-indexing! It makes it easy to properly torque the nut and even easier to install the handguard over it.

Field Tests

After installing the NBS Free Float M-LOK Handguard, we took our AR-15 to the range. Handling with the 12″ handguard was good. The rail is slim enough to get a good grip on. Instead of blasting a few thousand rounds of ammo through the AR, we dealt with some reload issues. We discovered that our .223 reloads had slight deformations under the shoulder, causing bad chamberings and feeds. The handguard got a beating while we tried to chamber and extract the rounds.

After changing out ammo, we spent time shooting with the NBS Free Float M-LOK Handguard. It worked well, felt good, and never moved on us. Even after the abuse.

Critical Observations

We really couldn’t find any issues that we had with the NBS. Its manufactured well, has a nice finish, it did its job, did not move, and was more than we expected from a budget handguard.

Conclusion

The NBS Free Float M-LOK Handguard is a great value, backed by a lifetime warranty, Made in America, and uses a non-indexing barrel nut. It is equal or superior in quality to handguards that are 2 or 3 times the price. It looks great, and works with nearly any AR15 build budget. We’d recommend the NBS Free Float M-LOK Handguard for any AR build.

Available in 4″, 7″, 12″ and 15″ lengths.
4″ Price: $49.95
7″ Price: $59.95
12″ Price: $64.95
15″ Price: $64.95

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Fat Comp 2

| April 12, 2020
Strike Industries Fat Comp 2
Photo Credit: Keith Knoxsville
A Hen and a Drake Green Teal on the truck bed. Not a limit on anything, but a fun morning out.
Length | 2 inches
Weight | 7.8oz
Outer Diameter | 1.5 inches
Inner Diameter | 0.254 inches
Thread Pitch | 1/2x28
Caliber | .223/5.56
Recoil Reduction | 34%
Price | $35.00

The Fat Comp 2 by Strike Industries, is 1 of 4 compensators in the Fat Comp line of compensators.

They are meant to work with Strike Industries Cobra Dummy Suppressors, and will fit inside most free float handguard rail systems, as well as directly attach to any AR barrel with a 1/2″x28 thread pitch. They are machined from steel, and feature a mate black finish.

First impressions were good. It’s matte finish is nice, and the quality of the machined steel is very good. Installation onto my AR barrel was straight forward, and the fitment very good. The price of a Fat Comp, is a fraction of other higher priced compensators for very comparable performance. I also managed to achieve the look I wanted.

The Fat Comp reduces recoil by 34% in addition to controlling muzzle flip. If you are interested in reading about the performance data, check out the article at the truth about guns.

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Reloading Ammo

| April 11, 2020
Photo Credit: Keith Knoxsville
A Hen and a Drake Green Teal on the truck bed. Not a limit on anything, but a fun morning out.

Why should you be reloading ammo? There are a few reasons to be reloading ammo, and if you can afford the upfront costs, you should look into it.

Reason #1: Cost Savings
If you are looking to save money, it will take some volume before you really benefit, but you’ll be able to develop and load high end rounds for cheaper than you could buy them. Range finds, and buying things in bulk or on sale can make reloading ammo more cost effective than store bought ammo. However, cost shouldn’t be the only focus of reloading.

Reason #2: Precision Ammunition
You can produce more accurate, and consistent ammunition, versus off the shelf ammunition.

Reason #3: Availability
You can produce a specialty round that isn’t commonly available, or create a round that is in low supply at retailers

Reason #4: Freedom
If you live in California, you can avoid the ammo background checks and fees. (This is a big perk for me in California, where legislators and idiots are constantly trying to take away or infringe 2A rights). Background checks add to the cost of ammunition, and upfront fees to buy ammo from a store you aren’t on record already is an egregious 20 dollars.

My Big Game Hunting Round. Used for examples below.
I experimented with powders, seating depth, and settled on a load for my 270. It’s a 140g Barnes TSX, doing 3100+ fps and around 3000FPE at the muzzle. It doesn’t recoil badly, isn’t even the hottest load I could run, and is producing accurate results. When I put a highend name brand round with similar ballistics through a chronograph, it performed over 300fps slower than advertised. So even when you pay for a premium round, you may not be getting ammo that is nearly as good as you could create.

Equipment Cost Breakdown(All Available in one stop at Brownells)

Equipment Cost Link
Lyman Press $89.99 Buy It Here
#3 Shell Holder $5.98 Buy It Here
Priming Unit $11.99 Buy It Here
Powder Funnel Free I designed and 3d Printed my own.
Powder Scale $29.99 Buy It Here
Digital Caliper $38.99 Buy It Here
Dies Set 2 Piece $40.00 Buy It Here
Total $216.94

I bought stuff on sale, price shopped a couple other places, even 3D printed stuff, and got all of the above for $172.65.

Consumable Cost Breakdown

Consumables Cost Link
RE 22 Powder 1 lbs (120 rds) $28.00 Buy It Here
Bullets(50) $28.00
Primers(1000) $33.99 Buy It Here
Primers(100) $3.99 Can be bought in smaller 100ct amounts

 

My Specific Example Ammo Reloading Costs
$0.24 powder, $0.56 Copper 140g Bullet, $0.04 Primer, 270 Cartridge(I have a bunch that I’ve saved)
Box of 20 = $16.80 or 84 cents per round

Compare the above to Lead Free commercial round: Hornady Superformance GMX 130g
Box of 20 = $29.99 or $1.50 per round

So for a ‘specialty’ lead free hunting round, my reloaded ammo cost a little more than half that of a commercially available round, but I can be assured of performance, and quality.

My example focused mostly on a centerfire hunting round, that uses premium bullets and a magnum rifle powder, and not bulk shooting rounds. For bulk reloading it’d be wise to read what you can about a turret press, which is faster at creating bulk ammunition, than a single stage press would be. Reloading ammo in smaller calibers like 5.56/223 could be much cheaper, based on powders, and the use of copper jacketed lead bullets.

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Featureless AR15 Build

| April 2, 2020
Ca Legal AR15
Photo Credit: Keith Knoxsville
A Hen and a Drake Green Teal on the truck bed. Not a limit on anything, but a fun morning out.

Legally own an evil AR, even if you live in California, just build it featureless! The general rule is no features, no problems. Hence the name featureless. Or you can register your AR for 20 bucks, and be on a DOJ list forever. Or you can refuse to comply, and risk becoming a felon.

None of this is news, but for all the FTGBs(first time gun buyers/builders) out there, this is meant to be a simple breakdown on how to build a featureless, CA legal, rifle on the AR platform in California.

First question that you may have, “But what if I have a bullet button?” The rules keep changing to match the engineering of firearms. Even the idiot politicians and anti-gun lobby manage to trail behind the tech as it changes. Basically, unless you detach the upper from the lower, (IE: disassembly) you are non-compliant. There are workarounds, but why roll the dice with a law enforcement officer within a narrow margin of the law, and/or constantly wearing down your takedown pins.

Keep in mind, these are guidelines, that at the time of writing April 1 2020, are accurate to the best of my knowledge. They are guidelines, and not legal advice. You do what you are going to do at your own risk.

So what the featureless rules mean, is get rid of the following:

  • Pistol Grip, Thumbhole Stock
  • Folding/Telescoping Stock
  • Grenade Launcher or Flare Launcher
  • Flash Suppressor
  • Forward Pistol Grip

What to replace:

  • Pistol Grip, Thumbhole Stock This, I must admit is the worst, most stupid part of the rules. If you can’t wrap your thumb around you grip, at an angle under the receiver at the trigger line, California lawmakers are somehow happy. The fin-grip or featureless grip, is the awful alternative. It prevents the safety from being easily accessed via the shooting hand thumb, and creates an awkward feel. What does help is an ambidextrous safety selector, like this one here. Also, when Freedom Week 2 rolls around in California, SHTF and there is complete unrest, or boogaloo, 20 seconds with a standard screwdriver and you can swap that featureless grip with a more ergonomic one.
  • Folding/Telescoping Stock Fixed Stock, because you aren’t getting any taller, nor your arms any longer. Get a fixed stock, or fix/pin an adjustable stock to your length of pull.
  • Grenade Launcher or Flare Launcher These are fun for D-bags to use in Call of Duty, but you should stick to Call of Duty if you think you have a practical situation for these. Don’t take that the wrong way, I love COD, but I think we all know who we are talking about.
  • Flash Suppressor You probably aren’t waging an all night battle. So reducing the chance of temporary blindness isn’t the end all for you. Get a muzzle brake, or a compensator. Trade out that marginal flash suppressor for something that will help you maintain control and increase your accuracy, whilst also decreasing your felt recoil. If you ‘need’ some form of stealth, go through the ATF process, get a suppressor, and run subsonic 300 Blackout.
  • Forward Pistol Grip I like a more modern m-lok handguard that’s easy to grip anywhere. If I need more positive contact, I’ll add a completely legal angled foregrip/handstop(AKA ‘commando foregrip’ for you COD couch ninjas).

So skip the CA DOJ BS of registering. Unless you trust they’ll take you off a list later, should you ever get to completely exercise your Second Amendment rights, in the Golden State ever again.

When you are looking for parts check out those who support our rights, even in California, where its tough. (Some links are affiliate others are just because they are great, and may not have an affiliate program). Support them because they are great companies, support our 2A rights, and some are largely veteran owned or operated.

Brownell’s
Palmetto State Armory
Aero Precision USA
Midway USA
AR15 Discounts
AR15 Handguard

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