A Great Round "If" We Had a Rifle Designed to Shoot It!

We have discussed doing a video on the M855A1 cartridge for quite some time. Looking over all the information it seemed to make more sense to do it in a blog article where it could be articulated better. There are several issues with the new M855A1, none of which are based on the performance of the ammunition. Problems are caused by the pressure it is loaded in and the projectile type, which significantly decreases bolt and barrel life of any firearm it is put into.
Picture
Shown above is a comparison of the M855, M856 Tracer, early M855A1 and the issue M855A1. The difference between the early and issue M855A1 projectile is the plug under the penetrator. Early projectiles used a tin/bismuth alloy. It was found there was not enough mass to it to properly stabilize in the arctic environment so they switched over to copper. Lead has more mass to it than either the tin/bismuth or copper alloy for the same weight. You have to have more copper to get the same weight. You will notice that the M855A1 projectile is just slightly longer.

 
 
Brownells Part Numbers and Product Links:

TOOLS:
230-112-105 Roll Pin Punch Set https://goo.gl/tJWK3B
100-011-315 Geissele Reaction Rod https://goo.gl/M6ityv
018-150-050 1/2 Square Torque Wrench https://goo.gl/gjt6Ur
080-216-014 Barrel Nut Alignment Gauge https://goo.gl/7eKQRB
080-216-011 Pivot Pin Installation Tool  https://goo.gl/PjPuJB
080-685-000 Roll Pin Holder Set https://goo.gl/aMFDY4
080-216-012 Bolt Catch Pin Punch  https://goo.gl/v1KNBZ
851-000-068 Smith Enterprise Armorer Wrench https://goo.gl/heUGuQ

Build Products Used:
100-021-012 AR15 20 A1 Rifle Barrel 1/7 Assy https://goo.gl/Ph99gW
078-101-154 A1 Flash Hider  https://goo.gl/FY7LRK
100-003-639 Bushmaster Lower Parts Kit  https://goo.gl/sTjr3o
430-00-522 Charging Handle  https://goo.gl/E1iMsD
231-000-063 Tear Drop Forward Assist  https://goo.gl/MMzRPh
100-024-755 Luth AR15 A1 Rear Sight Assy  https://goo.gl/QmYogP
430-000-523 Ejection Port Cover Assy  https://goo.gl/cDJZ8D
100-010-658 AR15 Gas Tube  https://goo.gl/Z3D8oZ
078-000-358 Rifle Buffer & Receiver Extension Assy https://goo.gl/xsA8h4
080-001-303 A1 Retro Upper  https://goo.gl/K6XGKz
080-001-304 A1 Blemished Lower  https://goo.gl/YB8yn6
078-000-353 Retro Black Furniture  https://goo.gl/S1h5ye
078-000-347 Retro Pistol Grip Black  https://goo.gl/jyBgd4
078-000-344 Retro Triangular Handguards  https://goo.gl/Uhx2ZH
078-000-350 Retro Black A1 Stock  https://goo.gl/nwWo5g



 
 
Brownells Part Numbers and Product Links:

TOOLS:
080-216-011 Pivot Pin Installation Tool  https://goo.gl/PjPuJB
080-685-000 Roll Pin Holder Set https://goo.gl/aMFDY4
080-216-012 Bolt Catch Pin Punch  https://goo.gl/v1KNBZ
851-000-068 Smith Enterprise Armorer Wrench https://goo.gl/heUGuQ

Build Products Used:
100-021-012 AR15 20 A1 Rifle Barrel 1/7 Assy https://goo.gl/Ph99gW
078-101-154 A1 Flash Hider  https://goo.gl/FY7LRK
100-003-639 Bushmaster Lower Parts Kit  https://goo.gl/sTjr3o
430-00-522 Charging Handle  https://goo.gl/E1iMsD
231-000-063 Tear Drop Forward Assist  https://goo.gl/MMzRPh
100-024-755 Luth AR15 A1 Rear Sight Assy  https://goo.gl/QmYogP
430-000-523 Ejection Port Cover Assy  https://goo.gl/cDJZ8D
100-010-658 AR15 Gas Tube  https://goo.gl/Z3D8oZ
078-000-358 Rifle Buffer & Receiver Extension Assy https://goo.gl/xsA8h4
080-001-303 A1 Retro Upper  https://goo.gl/K6XGKz
080-001-304 A1 Blemished Lower  https://goo.gl/YB8yn6
078-000-353 Retro Black Furniture  https://goo.gl/S1h5ye
078-000-347 Retro Pistol Grip Black  https://goo.gl/jyBgd4
078-000-344 Retro Triangular Handguards  https://goo.gl/Uhx2ZH
078-000-350 Retro Black A1 Stock  https://goo.gl/nwWo5g

All parts are from Brownells https://goo.gl/MZ466Z



 
 
I have been asked on multiple occasions whether I prefer M-Lock or KeyMod rails. My answer has always been that I did not think it mattered. I have always been a Mil-Std-1913 rail fan. All the rifles I have built I have kept the quad Mil-Std-1913 rails. Now you all know how I feel about the term "Picatinny rail". It just down right pisses me off. Picatinny had nothing to do with it, other than to be the project manager. The standardized rails were developed by Richard Swan of Arms, Inc. The correct term is Mil-Std-1913 rail.

I have to say after having a lot of experience with both M-Lock and KeyMod on rifles sent in for evaluation I can now say I have a clear cut opinion. Hands down I prefer the M-Lock. I have had several rifles with KeyMod that I have had extreme difficulty both installing and removing the rail segments. In fact, one was so bad I sent my rail segment back with the rifle because I could not get it off. I had never had that problem with the M-Lock segments. I have received some really cool segments from Kinetic Develop Group that had spring loaded arms. You drop the segment in place, hit two tabs and the arms engage and the segment was as solid as a rock. I also had many of the Keymod segments come loose while firing where I did not with the M-Lock.


Picture

 
 
Part 1 of the Brownells retro rifle A1 build is now available on Youtube to watch. Here is a complete part list with links to the products on Brownells website.

Brownells Part Numbers and Product Links:

100-021-012 AR15 20 A1 Rifle Barrel 1/7 Assy  -  https://goo.gl/Ph99gW
078-101-154 A1 Flash Hider -  https://goo.gl/FY7LRK
100-003-639 Bushmaster Lower Parts Kit  -  https://goo.gl/sTjr3o
430-00-522 Charging Handle  -  https://goo.gl/E1iMsD
231-000-063 Tear Drop Forward Assist  -  https://goo.gl/MMzRPh
100-024-755 Luth AR15 A1 Rear Sight Assy. -  https://goo.gl/QmYogP
430-000-523 Ejection Port Cover Assy  -  https://goo.gl/cDJZ8D
100-010-658 AR15 Gas Tube  -  https://goo.gl/Z3D8oZ
078-000-358 Rifle Buffer and Receiver Extension Assy  -  https://goo.gl/xsA8h4
080-001-303 A1 Retro Upper  - https://goo.gl/K6XGKz
080-001-304 A1 Blemished Lower -  https://goo.gl/YB8yn6
078-000-353 Retro Black Furniture -  https://goo.gl/S1h5ye
078-000-347 Retro Pistol Grip Black -  https://goo.gl/jyBgd4
078-000-344 Retro Triangular Handguards - https://goo.gl/Uhx2ZH
078-000-350 Retro Black A1 Stock  -  https://goo.gl/nwWo5g
All parts are from Brownells https://goo.gl/MZ466Z



 
 

A Comparison Between Internal and External Piston Systems

Around the 2004 time period with the introduction of the HKM4 (HK416) the industry as well as the military have been on a kick that somehow the external short or long stroke piston systems were more reliable than the M16/M4 direct gas systems. Well, is it???

I can recall the time when this debate began, the regular Army was very happy with the performance of the M16/M4 series rifles. They were functioning well in both Afghanistan and Iraq. In fact the M4 was so well received that the Army stopped procurement of the M16A2 and A4 in favor of a pure fleet M4 carbine for all ground elements. Reports came back (Soldiers Perspective on Small Arms) that the M4 was the most preferred of all the small arms, and that relatively few had any major issues, not that there weren't criticisms. The top critique was that soldiers wanted a larger caliber cartridge which they felt would increase stopping power. In my opinion, the real problem was the poor performance of the M855 ball cartridge. Other rounds have been proven to be extremely effective such as the Mk262 Mod1 and Mk318 SOST rounds. The Mk262 Mod 1 ammunition is used by SOCOM in MK12, MK18 and M4 carbines. Due to the poor performance of the M855, the Marine Corps have developed and issued the MK318 ammunition. This is a barrier blind projectile which improves the ballistics and performance majorly over the M855.

Picture

 
 
The .40 caliber cartridge took the industry by storm in both law enforcement, as well as commercial sales. It really bridged the gap between the 9mm and the .45 Auto cartridge. The first pistols introduced were the Glock 22 and SW 4006, both of which were scaled up 9mm pistols. The 4006 was the pistol the .40 cartridge was designed with. It is a heavy stainless steel pistol that is well suited for the new caliber. This pistol was not necessarily a real success compared to others but it was significant in the development of an industry legend.
 
 
Colt has literally bled to death the M1911 design over the last 100 years. They have tried to revive it as a valid modern military design in a world where the M1911 belongs in a military museum. Well, Colt got through to the Marine Corps the M45A1. The Corps unwavering commitment to tradition went with a pistol which was outdated and, in the end, quickly replaced with a practical Glock 19. Now for a M1911 aficionado, this is a refined M1911 giving the updates of a firing pin block and Mil-STD-1913 rail. The tan Cerakote proved to be problematic. The M45A1 is perhaps the final M1911 to enter and leave US service.

 
 
The industry has been consumed by the classic HK MP5 since its introduction in the 70’s. The commercial market has had a brief glimpse with the HK94, which was banned from importation in 1994. But let’s face it, its very stout price tag kept it from the masses. Quite frankly, the price tag was shocking due to the low cost of manufacturing.  The MP5 semi versions have made an appearance in the US but nothing beats the real thing. At SHOT Show 2017 HK introduced their new SP5K pistol, and the industry was excited. Again, the stout price tag, but it was made incredibly well. In this video, we also take a look at the traditional full auto MP5.
 
 
Very few know the true origin of the polymer frame striker fired pistol. This pistol was lost in history to be overshadowed by the Glock pistol. There is no question Glock brought the polymer frame pistol to the mainstream and gave it its legendary status.

Heckler & Koch developed their VP70 with a polymer frame predating Glock by more than a decade. But the staple gun-type trigger and the space age look caused its demise. The industry was just not ready. Now HK has come out with their second polymer frame striker fired pistol, das VP9. Highly refined modern combat pistol worthy of being in a LE or military pistol. Shown is the VP9 tactical with a Silencerco octane suppressor. Modern technology with just a little history.