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Weapons and Gear Observations from CRS class

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  • #36491
    Profile photo of First Sergeant
    First Sergeant
    Moderator

    As the title says, observations from the CRS class from last weekend.

    Sub-standard AR’s are still an issue. Castle nuts not staked, installed backwards and not slotted for standard AR tools. Magazine wells not to spec.

    Lack of lubrication. How many times do we have to say it?

    Chinese made chest rigs. Had a couple of students running them on Saturday. That night after the cook out, they bought rigs from Max. All of them said that it made a “YUGE” difference on Sunday.

    Slings, Get a good 2 point sling. One that you can adjust the size on the the go. G.I. web slings are out dated.

    Spare parts. At a minimum you need to have at least one LPK for each AR you own. Also a spare BCG per AR.

    Had some Hex-Mags in this class. No issues.

    One students rifle turned into a bolt action towards the end of the day Sunday. When he got home, he did the test on the gas rings that I teach during the course. He found out that his gas rings were shot. That’s why his rifle was short stroking. You have to inspect your weapons and gear to make sure that it is still serviceable.

    Red dots. Had another Vortex crap out. Student had BUIS so he was able to finish the class. That is why you need to be running BUIS on your rifles.

    As noted above this is not the first Vortex that has died at classes. They are good for a rifle that someone is just gonna plink with. They are not worth putting your money into for a hard use fighting rifle. Spare me the tales of how all of yours are just fine. No, they ain’t. Spend the money and get a good RDS.

    Magazines-Had two students that just bought a bunch of magazines from PSA during the sales they were running prior to the election. Both of them had issues with the mags. Double feeds and not dropping free were the two major issues. If you bought some of these mags, you need to be aware of this issue and check your mags.

    This leads to another point about PSA. In the last 8 months or so I have seen a noticeable downward slide in their QA/QC. From their BCG’s with screwed up roll pins to FSB you are able to twist with your hand. And now the magazine issue. Yeah, I know they have a great CS. That’s bullshit. These issues shouldn’t be happening to begin with.

    Some of their business practices have shown me that at his point they car about one thing, money. This comes from the dealings we have had at the shop I work at. We steadily bought complete rifles, uppers, complete lowers, stripped lowers, LPK’s and BCG’s from them. They were always payed on time and we never had an issue. They then stopped taking orders from us and would not return our phone calls. We later found out that they decided we didn’t order enough. They wanted us to buy 250 stripped lowers at a time. If we didn’t, they would no longer do business with us. They are free to do whatever they wish, it’s their company.

    Based on the issues above I will no longer be recommending PSA. No, you wont change my mind. If you are happy with them, drive on. Buyer beware.

    FILO
    Signal out, can you identify.
    Je ne regrette rien...
    Klagt Nicht, Kämpft

    #36501
    Profile photo of Support Side
    ffhounddog
    Participant

    So glad I buy Pmags, lancers, and D&H mags from DSG.

    I bought 30 of the D&H mags from PSA beginning of 2015 but have only used a few. Might have to look at them next year when I get home. Did not buy anything from PSA in 2016….found better deals on what I wanted elsewhere or better items in general.

    Thanks for the update First Sergeant.

    Support Side. Not flattering but better than weak side.

    #36503
    Profile photo of zeerf
    zeerf
    Participant

    That stinks to hear about PSA 2 fold. 1) I was one of the ones that ordered the mags on sale recently (yes double checking my card used every day tell I can void that card and get a replacement due to the other forum post on them recently). And 2) I really thought they where a good QUALITY local(ish) company to support. Thanks for the heads up and will be looking to phase them out of my orders tell if/when we here them change for the better.

    qq regarding the RDS: do Aimpoints work and hold up OK in this department? I do plan on upgrading optics but prob mid 2017 before I have the cash.

    Thanks for the info/updates Fist Sergeant

    #36507
    Profile photo of Roadkill
    Roadkill
    Participant

    Aim points are solid. Trijicon just came out with a new red dot. Anyone have any experience with the new Trijicon? Trijicon usually very high quality.

    RS/CTT Nov 16
    HEAT1 Aug18

    #36510
    Profile photo of WTL
    veritas556
    Participant

    Each comes in slightly different configs but your 3 choices are basically:

    Eotech: Most useful reticle of the bunch.
    Aimpoint: Micro and Pro (though not sure the point of the Pro – red dot in mid-scope body?)
    Trijicon MRO – have it, love it. Better field of view than AP Micro

    #36512
    Profile photo of Harris
    Harris
    Participant

    First Sergeant,

    Any observations on how non ARs performed?

    #36513
    Profile photo of wheelsee
    wheelsee
    Participant

    Each comes in slightly different configs but your 3 choices are basically:

    Eotech: Most useful reticle of the bunch.
    Aimpoint: Micro and Pro (though not sure the point of the Pro – red dot in mid-scope body?)
    Trijicon MRO – have it, love it. Better field of view than AP Micro

    Veritas,

    in your experience, which would be better for old tired eyes, with glasses?? I can tell if its human at 400 yards but no PID (heck even with my glasses, I can’t PID someone at 400 yds, and no, new glasses won’t help, just a deterioration of a medical issue that won’t get better without transplants).

    Which is heavier - a soldier's pack or a slave's chains? Napoleon

    Strength, Honor. Maximus (Gladiator)

    If you tolerate evil, you yourself are evil.
    Col Hugo Martinez, Commander Search Bloc

    William, in The Republic - CRS/CTT 2017, HEAT 2/CQB/FonF 2018, DCH 2018

    #36516
    Profile photo of Robert
    Robert
    Participant

    The new Trijicon MRO’s are very nice, a little wider filed of view than a PRO.

    Currently PROs are backed up at Aimpoint “16-20 WEEKS” so keep that in mind when optics shopping.

    MROs are pretty available currently.

    www.jrhenterprises.com
    RMP, TC3, NODF, CRCD 6/14, CP 9/14. NODF, Land Nav, 6/15. Rifleman Challenge 9/15- Vanguard. FOFtactics 3/16, 10/16, 11/16, 6/17,11/17 CTT, 6/15, 11/16, , LRMC-1 9/17 GA Mobile CTT and DA 10/16, GA mobile DCH 3/18, HEAT1 3/18 Alum weekend 8/18, Opfor CLC 10/18, DA 11/18 CQBC 12/18

    #36520
    Profile photo of SeanT
    SeanT
    Moderator

    I have old tired eyes with glasses. I currently use the Eotech and as mentioned the reticle (for me) is the best. The 65 MOA ring really helps acquire and the 1 MOA is precise for what I need. This rifle is not for DM use.
    I also have a 1 to 4X ffp reticle scope which is pretty good but the illuminated reticle at 1X is ‘supposed’ to be effective as a red dot but under stress it isn’t that great and the freaking thing with the mount is over a pound. Screw humping that around all day.
    I have had the opportunity to dry fire a rifle that had the Trijicon MRO and I liked it.. the wider field of view and the wide range of dot brightness was good. It can also be used with a tip over magnifier if you need magnification.

    At force on force, the guy with the 4X Acog was able to use that magnification to advantage. Binos with the goggle eye pro and glasses was the suck.

    The next optic I buy will be the MRO but it has to wait… I am spending the $$ on the December handgun class instead. I need the training more than I need another piece of gear.

    #36521
    Profile photo of Thomas
    Thomas
    Participant

    Wheelsee, I have aimpoints and they work very well. My sight isssue is up close so my perspective may be skewed.

    The eotech has a great reticle but durability has been questioned.

    Have you considered going to an Acog instead of an rds?

    #36529
    Profile photo of wheelsee
    wheelsee
    Participant

    W

    Have you considered going to an Acog instead of an rds?

    No. Am currently using a Burris MTAC 1-4 with decent results. Kinda splitting both worlds. I’m also in the boat of outfitting 3 rifles (family).

    Which is heavier - a soldier's pack or a slave's chains? Napoleon

    Strength, Honor. Maximus (Gladiator)

    If you tolerate evil, you yourself are evil.
    Col Hugo Martinez, Commander Search Bloc

    William, in The Republic - CRS/CTT 2017, HEAT 2/CQB/FonF 2018, DCH 2018

    #36535
    Profile photo of RampantRaptor
    rampantraptor
    Participant

    If PSA is no longer recommended, what brand would you recommend as an entry-level AR? I’ve been putting together my AR as a mostly-PSA build, my brother and cousin jumped on the AR bandwagon and bought Aero Precision stripped lowers just to get their foot in the door before the election (all of us down here in Baltimore were expecting a Trump loss and spike in prices), I was telling them to buy PSA parts to get the rest of the build together.

    Conversely, are there any manufacturers you noticed during training (outside of PSA) that were having issues and we should avoid?

    #RaqqaSummer2017
    - - -
    Jîn, Jiyan, Azadî

    #36542
    Profile photo of Short Stroke
    Short Stroke
    Participant

    Anyone recommend a specific LPK package? Not from PSA, I guess.

    Danny from VA

    #36543
    Profile photo of Aerohawk
    Aerohawk
    Participant

    I have a stock S&W m&p 15 and it runs flawlessly, I have had over a thousands rounds through it before cleaning with no issues. I have even run it recently suppressed with no isssues. At 800 or so I think it is a good bargain.

    2017 Texas R/S CTT
    2017 Texas FoF/ CQB

    #36566
    Profile photo of JeffSags
    JeffSags
    Participant

    If PSA is no longer recommended, what brand would you recommend as an entry-level AR? I’ve been putting together my AR as a mostly-PSA build, my brother and cousin jumped on the AR bandwagon and bought Aero Precision stripped lowers just to get their foot in the door before the election (all of us down here in Baltimore were expecting a Trump loss and spike in prices), I was telling them to buy PSA parts to get the rest of the build together.

    Conversely, are there any manufacturers you noticed during training (outside of PSA) that were having issues and we should avoid?

    Not sure “entry level” is the best term. As First Sergeant, you want quality. I’d recommend BCM.

    CRCD AUG 13, CRCD MAR 14, CP AUG 14, CR MAR 15, Shivworks ECQC, MVT RIFLEMAN, CTT AUG 16, CQBC

    #36571
    Profile photo of Trailman
    trailman
    Participant

    Greaaat. I have 20 mags coming in next week.

    CRM, CTT 1501, CP11/15, CTT5/16, FoF, DCH, CLC Opfor, Team Minion

    Just remember, Anne Frank was a criminal because the government made her one and she died because she broke the law.

    #36572
    Profile photo of Max Velocity
    Max
    Keymaster

    My PSA loaner rifle is running sweet in MO this weekend, as ever. I use it for demos and pass it around when people have issues with their expensive frankenguns. Not sure what the deal is. I did buy these maybe 3 years ago. Every student who has used one of my loaners has never had an issue.

    :scratch:

    #36574
    Profile photo of RampantRaptor
    rampantraptor
    Participant

    I guess that wasn’t worded well, I meant which is the best bang for the buck if PSA is skimping on quality, they were the go-to for folks trying to build a solid milspec AR without breaking the bank. I was looking at BCM when I started my build too but the prices were out the roof compared to PSA, and most of what they sell is assembled rifles, not parts, which is a bit of a pain when trying to get in the game in a commie state like Maryland that has funky restrictions.

    I’m almost finished with my build, just asking so my brother and cousin can get a rifle together that isn’t just a range queen.

    #RaqqaSummer2017
    - - -
    Jîn, Jiyan, Azadî

    #36580
    Profile photo of WTL
    veritas556
    Participant

    @shortstroke CMMG – milspec quality and stripped down versions for those wanting different trigger or grip.

    https://www.cmmginc.com/product-category/parts-and-accessories/lower-parts-kits/

    #36581
    Profile photo of WTL
    veritas556
    Participant

    @Raptor I’ve built a dozen ARs – what parts specifically are you shopping? Aero receiver/lowers are top notch – they manufacture them for many other premium names.

    #36582
    Profile photo of WTL
    veritas556
    Participant

    @wheelsee My eyes aren’t that tired yet so I can’t give you a rec. If my eyes were failing I’d go with a magnified optic or perhaps a red dot with magnifier.

    #36583
    Profile photo of First Sergeant
    First Sergeant
    Moderator

    Stay with me, this is going to take a little bit to answer all of the questions.

    RDS-My recommendation is the new Trijicon MRO. Hands down one of the best out there. Better field of view.

    Trijicon and Aimpoint are both good to go.

    While there are some out there that still like the Eotech, I wouldn’t trust them. Not after the lawsuit that proved they were knowingly shipping sub-standard products. They knew it and didn’t give a damn. I posted all of the information about it here on the forum.

    Red dots are good out to about 150 meters. After that you start running into the dot being larger than the target. You have to figure out what your engagement distances are probably going to be and then decide if a RDS or a magnified optic is best for you. I know the Eotech magnifier works with the MRO. You can flip it out if the way when not needed.

    I can’t recommend an “entry level” AR as they don’t exist. PSA was the last on the list of AR’s that I had recommended for people to buy.

    Several people have had good luck with PSA. The MVT rental rifles, as Max mentioned above, are PSA’s. Never had an issue with them. There are members of the forum that swear by them. But based on what is coming out of their factory now and the other stuff mentioned above, no way.

    Anyone recommend a specific LPK package? Not from PSA, I guess.

    In no particular order, Colt, Daniel Defense, BCM. You may have to shop around to find them in stock. Before the election LPK’s started drying up so it may take a little bit for them to come back in stock.

    If you have PSA parts go ahead and use them. Don’t just take them and throw them in the trash. Just be aware that you might have some issues.

    I have a stock S&W m&p 15 and it runs flawlessly, I have had over a thousands rounds through it before cleaning with no issues. I have even run it recently suppressed with no isssues. At 800 or so I think it is a good bargain.

    Glad yours works. It is not a company that I recommend. You can buy a BCM for the same price. You can find Colt’s cheaper.

    For you guys in restricted states, your gonna have to roll the dice. The companies that I recommend are Colt, BCM, LMT, Daniel Defense, Larue and Noveske. Most, if not all, sell LPK’s, BCG’s, uppers and lowers. If the company is not on this list, stay away from it. Parts included.

    The way things are now, you can buy a complete rifle cheaper than you can put one together from parts that you buy.

    First Sergeant,

    Any observations on how non ARs performed?

    All AR’s in the class.

    I want to make sure you have the best possible rifle in your hands in case you ever have to use it when lead starts flying. I am very particular when I recommend something. It is based of off experience, classes taken, classes taught, talking with others that I know and trust and studying. If something changes, I will let you know. Just like with PSA.

    Just like with all gear, you can find something cheaper. It may work with no issues. But it will fail you faster than if you spend the money up front and do it right. Buy once, cry once. Buy cheap, buy twice.

    How much is your life worth?
    How much is your families life worth?

    FILO
    Signal out, can you identify.
    Je ne regrette rien...
    Klagt Nicht, Kämpft

    #36586
    Profile photo of First Sergeant
    First Sergeant
    Moderator

    For those of you relatively new to the forum, check out this post for info about why I recommend the AR manufacturer’s that I do.

    AR Manufacturers Parts 1, 1.5 and 2

    For info on the issues with Eotech, read this one.

    EOtech/L3 Lawsuit

    FILO
    Signal out, can you identify.
    Je ne regrette rien...
    Klagt Nicht, Kämpft

    #36587
    Profile photo of Joe (G.W.N.S.)
    Joe (G.W.N.S.)
    Moderator

    Magazines-Had two students that just bought a bunch of magazines from PSA during the sales they were running prior to the election. Both of them had issues with the mags. Double feeds and not dropping free were the two major issues. If you bought some of these mags, you need to be aware of this issue and check your mags.

    Never ever use magazines for a training course (or real life and death situations) without using/testing them.

    I don’t care who manufactured them!

    Also all of your magazines should be numbered (location is up to you) so you can identify magazines with problems.

    This goes for any magazine fed firearm.

    #36588
    Profile photo of First Sergeant
    First Sergeant
    Moderator

    Never ever use magazines for a training course (or real life and death situations) without using/testing them.

    I don’t care who manufactured them!

    Also all of your magazines should be numbered (location is up to you) so you can identify magazines with problems.

    This goes for any magazine fed firearm.

    And we have a winner.

    FILO
    Signal out, can you identify.
    Je ne regrette rien...
    Klagt Nicht, Kämpft

    #36590
    Profile photo of RampantRaptor
    rampantraptor
    Participant

    Thanks for the breakdown!

    Good to hear that Aero Precision is solid, my brother and cousin were looking at Anderson lowers but they had all sold out. Wasn’t sure about them one way or the other so I was worried they might be starting off on the wrong foot.

    Now our friend’s dad is helping us with our builds. I knew he knew a thing about working with guns, I didn’t realize how much he knew until we actually met up at his place and started talking. Apparently all the Maryland gun dealers know each other, it’s like a small club. Me and my brother are planning on going to a gun show with him tomorrow and I intend to absorb as much knowledge from him as possible. He has spare parts out the ass, he’s got a buddy who he says should be able to get me an HBAR barrel, after we get that he says we should be able to get the rest of it put together in a day with what he has (literally) lying around. I’ve only been to the gun show in Timonium, apparently this one is bigger so I can take notes on prices for parts and see what’s available.

    @veritas556: It’s kind of hard to say which parts in particular to ask about because my brother and cousin still haven’t gotten their stripped lowers in yet and I don’t know what our friend’s dad has to spare and what they’ll have to buy themselves.

    With the specter of gun bans out of the way, hopefully with any future ARs we can just save up for assembled rifles outright rather than buying a lower to get ourselves “locked in” and trying to work from there.

    #RaqqaSummer2017
    - - -
    Jîn, Jiyan, Azadî

    #36592
    Profile photo of First Sergeant
    First Sergeant
    Moderator

    Who said Aero was good to go?

    FILO
    Signal out, can you identify.
    Je ne regrette rien...
    Klagt Nicht, Kämpft

    #36596
    Profile photo of riflemaniv
    riflemaniv
    Participant

    Any opinion on Spike’s Tactical? I have a lower/LPK that has been going strong for 5k+ rounds now/so far. They seem to have a decent reputation.

    CTT1504, NODF 1504, CP 1610

    #36602
    Profile photo of WTL
    veritas556
    Participant

    Something many people don’t know (apparently) about the gun industry goes for the auto and food industry among others – there are relatively few suppliers for all the “parts” in these industries. For upper and lower receivers, one company forges (unless billet), another finishes (CNC) and yet another (like BCM) assembles and sells. Most “Manusemblers” are pretty mum on who their suppliers are – particularly those who sell finished weapons. Yes, some make or finish certain components of their builds so I call them Manusemblers.

    As for Aero Precision – it’s well known they white label lowers for dozens of brands and are very well regarded in the industry for uppers/lowers – YMMV on their other offerings. Plus, I’ll throw my personal exp. with them to vouch – 7 perfectly fit/functioning rifles.

    Really, what you’re buying from a Manusembler like BCM is QC – and that is a premium worth paying for. Flame away… :rose:

    #36603
    Profile photo of MVT Gear OEM
    MVT Gear OEM
    Participant

    I work with nylon, not metal, so what do I know? This thread is great for guys like me who don’t know any better. I am all for buy a complete rifle from a top of the line manufacturer. It is useful to hear which are good, and which are not so much.

    Personal Experience:
    DPMS Orical, bone stock, 8,000+ round of steel cased ammo, Still flawless and going strong. (I do not recommend DPMS)

    Appleseed KD framkengun on a 80% lower, 4,000+ rounds, under 1 MOA, flawless. (I do not recommend 80% lowers nor frankenguns)

    BCM Complete AR, sold the darn thing when it refused to eat any kind of ammo. Yes, I had it checked out first. (I highly recommended BCM) :unsure:

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