Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Gun Fun

I've been looking into building my own AR15 for a little while now. Yes I said building. While some may doubt the stopping power of the military's current rifle, the engineering behind it is quite astonishing. With only some simple tools you probably have in the basement, you can turn a pile of parts into a safe, functional, and accurate rifle. I may make it a male bonding activity with my dad and brother.

This isn't something you can do with a typical rifle, I assure you. Most require a qualified gunsmith to do the final assembly. Installing a barrel on most designs is especially tricky and when done improperly you can have too much or too little headspace. That means the gun can blow up in your face. Not so with the AR. As long as a few parts are in spec, you'll be fine.

Now for those of you worried that gangbangers will be building assault rifles in their parents garages, don't worry. The first part you need is the lower receiver. (I explained this to Amybear as the gun's skeleton.) Where the state and federal governments are concerned, the lower receiver is the firearm and you need to go through all the relevant background checks just to buy the darn thing. So unless they can forge and mill their own receivers in their parents garage, you're safe.

The other great thing about ARs is that learning about it often constitutes work for me. Being a gun nut that works for the Army has a great symbiosis to it. Some great sites I found on the gun today? Ammo Oracle is one. It contains all you really need to know about 5.56 NATO and .223 Remington. B&T Ammo Labs also has some good information on terminal ballistic effects.

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