Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Odd Couple...

Picture, if you will, two different philosophies. One is the old; a revolver carried in the day when most carry semi-autos. 11 rounds total when most have over two dozen. The other is the new; the latest in semi-automatic versions of the Army's assault rifle; a plastic-clad rifle with the latest in high-tech components.

I shouldn't like the AR-15.

It's ugly. Has no soul. Fires far too small of a round. Complicated. Requires a third hand at times. The rifles it replaced - the M14 and the M1 Garand - were beautiful pieces of art that were also deadly weapons. No one names an AR - you might as well name your vacuum cleaner.

But something happened along the way - I do like it.

Magazines - even the lifeblood pre-bans - are plentiful and cheap. Customization is simple and abundant - I think there may be more parts available for my AR than for my Harley. There's an entire universe out there of companies; some solely devoted to making nothing other than aftermarket parts for the AR-15. I like that. Customization - I prefer the term "individualization" - is good. There many other rifles out there, but this one is mine.

I'm starting to even think about a second AR. Something with a longer barrel and a flattop upper; something that I can put a decent set of optics on and start to work on some long(er) distance shooting. Commonality of ammunition and magazines with the existing Bushmaster, combined with a growing familiarity with the platform, make this a logical step towards becoming more of a rifleman.

I've made no bones about my preference for shooting pistol. I still maintain it's far more likely that I will need to use a pistol in my defense rather than a rifle, so I practice with a pistol more often. I think it's high time I worked on my skills with a rifle, and I'm starting to think that the AR-15 platform (and maybe the big brother AR-10) might just be the way to do it. I'd like to play a little more with the current rifle, get it into a configuration I'm happy with; then I might just look to widen my horizons...

Who knew that a guy who once thought the 1911 was too complicated would fall for the AR-15?

That is all.

17 comments:

agg79 said...

This is sounding more like an "Ode to the AR". I agree that the AR-15 is not as classy as the M1 Garand or the M14, but it did work in the field and it became a staple of most troops for decades. Was not in love with it when I was issued my first M-16, but it does have a few attributes to admire. With the prevalence of spin off models out there, it is easy to pick up parts and supplies. You can never have too many ARs in the closet in case of zombie attack.

Brigid said...

Once you've played with one, it's hard to put it away. I bought my first 4 years ago, and it's little brother arrived only 9 months later.

The hardest part is finding somewhere to shoot it without driving an hour but it's worth it.

Jay G said...

agg79,

Yeah, I'm kinda figuring that the "two is one" mantra might fit here. Then, of course, three is two.... :)

Brigid,

My gun club has a rifle range that goes out to 160 yards.

Once I can repeatedly shoot expert at that distance, I'll worry about finding a new club.

Which, given my shooting prowess, should be about when the sun burns out and we all freeze to death... :)

Hart said...

Remington VR-15.

ASM826 said...

I like the AR-15. I came though the Marines with the M-16A1. It was familiar. When I first handled one, after 20 years away from it, my hands remembered how to disassemble it without thinking. I am an old mil-spec guy. I prefer 1911s to plastic guns, like a beat-up Garand better than a brand new hunting rifle. I just think the AR-15 fits in the category with the rest of them, plastic stock and all. It's been the issue weapon for 40 years. Longer than any other service rifle in our nation's history.

Ross said...

Well, well, well... you want to improve your shootin', Jay? I still haven't read a column about your experience at an APPLESEED SHOOT yet...

Oh, right... you haven't gone, yet! Whatcha waiting for, buddy? Tell ya what - I've got a 10/22 with your name on her for that weekend if you do sign up for one. No more excuses about "well, I need to buy a .22 first" now.

Deal?

Jay G said...

Ross, believe me, when I can dedicate an entire weekend to an Appleseed, you will be the first person I call...

And I'll buy my own 10/22 first. I intend to practice what I learn at the Appleseed...

Wally said...

Jay,
They do get to be addicting. perfect 'drug' - you can get started for as little as $100 for a stripped receiver, and build it in small steps.

One point of advice - the 16" with decent handloads will be more accurate than a 20" with bulk ammo. But don't let this stop you from getting a 20". Or even a 9mm carbine !

Anonymous said...

How would the AR platfrom require a third hand???

Shootin' Buddy

jennifer said...

I named my AR. Her name is Liberty and she sports a jeweled sling.
and we're going to Appleseed next month!

Jay G said...

Shootin' Buddy,

Taking off the @#$%in' handguard, for one...

Stephen said...

Put it this way, once I got an AR, my SKS rarely leaves the safe and my Savage 308 is feeling lonely. But, it will never supplant my lever action 30/30 as my first long arm love.

Stretch said...

You don't need a third hand to remove the front hand guards. Pop over the the "Mid-ell's" site and get a Handguard Removal Tool. It'll save your fingernails and sanity.

I love my Bushy and have left it ALMOST stock. My when-I-win-the-lottery list includes:
Flat top 24" upper w/mil-dot scope for coyotes.
Upper in .450/.500 for wild hogs in Fla.
A .50BMG bolt action upper just to see the usual suspects cry.

Ritchie said...

It's a lumpy piece of machinery, like something you'd find in a pump house or a submarine's engine room.


Must get some more.

Buddy said...

My father is a retired Marine; 'Nam vet who hated the loss of his beloved M14 while there, and spent rest of his tour looking for a Garand to trade for... and SETTLING for a Thompson! He absolutely hated the M16! His oldest (me) never served, and his 2nd son served in the USMCR. He LOVES it! I didn't care for it at first, but now really enjoy playing with it. Have built 5 so far, and currently have an A3 with Colt post-ban HBAR upper for sale so's I can build 'nother... It's an ADDICTION I tell you!

Jim said...

Jay,

2nd the Appleseed. This is worth kicking well up he priority list.


Jim
Sunk New Dawn
Galveston, TX

mcthag said...

One of us.
One of us.
One of us.