Firearms in America

by Erik  

The information contained on this site provides easy to understand information related to firearms, their use, and operation.

I do my best to provide unbiased information pertaining to different types of firearms, manufacturers, and laws.  Certain sections of this site focus on specific areas and topics related to firearms.  I only post information on topics and items that I can speak intelligently about.  If I am not educated on a specific topic or item then you will not find it here.

Now for the disclaimers; I am not a gunsmith, lawyer, law enforcement officer, or gun control lobbyist.  Nor do I play one on television.  Any information contained on this site contains no warranty or guarantee of any kind.  This site exists for the sole purpose of being useful to those who are less educated about firearms.

Top AR style .308 rifles

by Erik  

When considering long range shooting with a .308 most people think of the Remington 700. Traditional "gas guns" are often associated with weaker tolerances and therefore not optimal for long range shooting. They are called gas guns because they operate using a direct-impingement or piston-driven blow back system. While there are several advantages to using a bolt gun, there are several players who produce some VERY nice gas guns that give the Remington 700 a run for its money.
I've choose my top five AR-10 style rifles that will fit the bill for any accuracy junky who still wants a platform that doubles as a semi-auto. Keep in mind that unless specified, these figures DO NOT include optics, bipods, or any other goodies needed to stretch these rifles out. These guns come with some hefty price tags.

#5 FN Herstal SCAR 17S

Scar 17S
The SCAR17S rings in on the low-end with a MSRP around $2800. The Belgian made gun sports a 16.25" barrel and despite the thin profile, the entire gun still weighs in around 8 pounds. The design and operation of the gun is fantastic and uses a piston driven blow back system. This gun does have a reciprocating charging handle which may be a negative to some. However, it does come with a nice set of iron sights. A great shooter that won't disappoint.

#4 HK MR762

HK MR762
Another European offering, the MR762 is just the overbuilt tank you would expect from HK. The German rifle boasts a 16.5" barrel with a nitride coated bore and an MSRP of around $3500. With a heavy barrel profile this gun weights in just under 10 pounds! The MR762 uses a piston driven blow system similar to the SCAR. With a trigger that is less than desirable and the out-dated iron sights, this rifle will do the job, but has some definite room for improvement in the features department. HK does offer a "long range package" that includes a Leupold 3-9VX-R Patrol 3-9x40mm optic with mount, bipod, and Pelican 1720 hard case. This package brings the MSRP to around $6200.

#3 Knight's Armament SR-25E2

Knight's SR-25E2
A rifle that needs no introduction. Knight's Armament Company (KAC) has been providing some of the world's best rifles to the US military for decades. The SR-25E2 has evolved over the years to to include some updated KAC goodness. The E2 includes a 16" barrel with a QD flash suppressor that will accept a proprietary suppressor. This gun uses the traditional direct impingement system along with some other KAC innovations like the rounded bolt head, ambi-bolt release, and KAC iron sights. With only a 16" barrel this gun weighs in at just over 9 pounds. These are offered in very limited numbers to the civilian market. However, its price is out of this world at around $4600 MSRP


Another US-made offering is the best value on the list with an MSRP of around $3650. A top-notch gun with all the bells and whistles a shooter needs. The R.E.P.R. (Rapid Engagement Precision Rifle), sports a 20" barrel with a piston driven blow back system. It is fully adjustable for different settings like suppressed fire or disabled to allow for bolt-action operation. The R.E.P.R. comes with a Magpul PRS stock, MIAD grip, and Geissele trigger. The 20" barrel is fluted to save weight but the rifle still weighs in at 11.25 pounds. It also includes a non-reciprocating charging handle on the left side of the receiver. The only thing this rifle is missing is the ambi-safety selector. While I rated it number 2, the LWRC is truly the best value of the bunch and a great rifle.

#1 JP Enterprise PSC-12

JP Enterprises is better known as a competition builder. However, they have earned some serious marks for high performance, accuracy, and all around great products. I chose the PSC-12 as the #1 on my list because it truly is a completely custom rifle. The options are virtually endless with everything from the fit to finish being nothing short of a masterpiece. I spec'd a rifle similar to the R.E.P.R selecting a 20" heavy profile barrel, match trigger, and Magpul PRS. I added some other goodies like a bead blasted barrel finish, rounded bolt similar to the KAC, and dual-side charging receiver. The build price was just under $4000 which is phenomenal considering the features and quality.

Noveske and Spike's Tactical currently do not have an offering in .308. Noveske has entered heavily into the .300 Blackout scene and Spike's seems to be testing the waters with some AK parts. I feel both of these companies would produce a great gun chambered in .308.

At the end of the day these are all fantastic rifles that while similar, all have different features and characteristics which set them apart from each other. While the LWRC comes with a great stock and trigger, the weight makes it a more difficult to transport. In contrast, some may argue the shorter barrels on the HK, KAC, and FN limit the accuracy at maximum distances. It's interesting to see the use of piston systems in 3 of the 5 guns listed, while KAC and JPE chose to stick with the the DI system.

If you are looking for a accurate gas gun as an alternative to a bolt gun, any of these will do the job. It's simply a matter of matching the features to your budget.

Gun powder coming back

by Erik  

Every few months there is a gun show right down the street from my neighborhood. I've been shelling out the $7 entry fee in hopes of finding a of stash pistol powder or anything specific I might need/want to try for loading rifle rounds. I have several online sources that I frequent as well.

From what I've seen in the last month I can confidently say gun powder is on its way back. A few months ago, I posted that rifle powder was starting to become available quite frequently. By frequently I mean that it didn't sell out in a day or two and suppliers seemed to be getting new inventory once or twice a month.
Last weekend was the first time in roughly 2 years that I have seen Winchester 231 in a tangible form. One vendor had several pistol powders including Unique, Bullseye, BE-86, Trailboss, and a few others. Although, he wanted $40/pound for it so out of curiosity I picked up the BE-86 to test some suppressed 9mm loads.
Another vendor had some IMR4227 for $27 a pound which is a fair price so I picked up 2 pounds for testing with some 300 Blackout loads. Primers and bullets are plentiful so now is the time to start reloading or if you have taken a break, welcome back! Hopefully in the next month I'll have some test results of the BE-86. From my research, it seems to be an updated version of Unique. Alliant has load data for several calibers and BE-86 is boasted as a cleaner burning powder with less muzzle flash.

SHOOTING VIDEO: Camera and audio equipment

by Erik  

I've had several questions in the last few weeks about the setup I use for recording videos. I did a lot of research before I started publishing videos on youtube and here is what I settled one.


When shooting demonstration videos (reloading, gunsmithing, etc) I almost always use a DSLR camera. I only use Canon (I will explain the reason why later) and I own several of the DSLR bodies. I have (2) each of the T2i and 7D for a total of 4 DSLR bodies. There isn't a huge difference between the two models when it comes to video. I use the 7Ds because they have a higher burst rate when taking photos. The 7D also has weather sealing so I can use them in the rain or leave them in the garage overnight without worrying about moisture affecting them. The 7D also allows me to film for longer durations without the sensor "overheating." Neither of these DSLRs have auto-focus continuously applied during video recording. That really sucks if you are trying to record motion and distance; IE- me running through a shooting course.


For videos shot outdoors or where I am constantly moving around I use a Canon Vixia HF G10. This is a traditional "camcorder" that does not have the picture quality of the DSLRs. It is still 1080 HD but significant less megapixels. You cannot change out the lenses like a DLSR but it does look great outdoors nonetheless. I can record for much longer durations on this camera which is great for working outdoors when I am trying to catch something on camera that is difficult or takes multiple tries.
Audio is one of the most overlooked aspects of video production on youtube. There are a lot of channels out there using a decent camera, but then rely on the on-camera mic. The on-camera mic is usually meant to sync audio from a dedicated audio source. I record most of my videos with a Zoom H4N
and Azden SGM-1X
shotgun mic -OR- a Sennheiser EW G3
wireless lavalier mic.
In my video editing software (Sony Vegas Pro 12
) I take the external recording from the Zoom device and sync up the audio captured from the camera mic. Then I mute the camera mic in and use only the external audio. This makes an ASTONISHING difference. All of the shooting I do at indoor ranges uses the external mic source because the camera mic pics up all the room noise which sounds awful. It also doesn't do well recording very loud noises like gun fire.

Why Canon?

When I first started with DLSRs, Canon was blowing away Nikon in terms of video. I think Canon still has the edge (thanks to Magic Lantern) but Nikon has significantly improved their video. Magic Lantern is an open-source software that is NOT produced by Canon, but by Canon enthusiasts. It provides a level of granular controls that simply aren't found on consumer grade or even the cheaper professional cameras.
I spent a SIGNIFICANT amount of time and money to get the point I felt was acceptable. In the future I will shoot some videos that show the difference between the audio and other things such as lighting or camera lenses.

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