AR15

Basic Reloading Equipment

| September 11, 2020
basic reloading eguipment
Photo Credit: Keith Knoxsville
A Hen and a Drake Green Teal on the truck bed. Not a limit on anything, but a fun morning out.

I’m going to cover the basic reloading equipment needed to get started reloading. I won’t go into heavy detail as to why you should or shouldn’t reload, but I’ll just speak to it briefly.

If you want to reload to save money, you probably won’t achieve your goal of saving money. Its not true all the time, like with reloading premium hunting rounds or loading thousands of rounds on a multi-stage press, but most of the time, you won’t save money, you’ll just get to shoot more for the same amount of money. It usually takes a large volume and a long time for the average shooter to break even on equipment costs. The real benefits are ammo availability, custom load development, ammo security, and volume.

Now that I’ve briefly commented on why you might reload, I’ll dive right into the basic reloading equipment that you’ll need. Beyond the equipment, the most important things you can get are a mentor, reloading training, a reloading data book.

I’ll use the .223 Remington as a reloading equipment example, since its in such high demand. However, dies, shell holders, and other equipment and consumables like gun powder, for 9mm, or other calibers are all similarly expensive. My reloading equipment list also assumes a single stage press, where you only perform one reloading step at a time. Its the cheapest method to start reloading your own ammo, but not ideal for loading tens of thousands of rounds of ammo.

Reloading Steps

I’ve broken down the functions of reloading equipment into the seven steps they perform.
1. Clean/Polish
2. De-prime/Resize
3. Clean/Polish
4. Prime
5. Powder Fill
6. Seat Bullet
7. Measure/Adjust/QC

Equipment List for .223 Remington

This is the equipment list that you will use forever, or until you upgrade to other presses. It excludes consumable equipment, and other consumables listed further below.

Consumable Equipment List

This is equipment that lasts a long time, but eventually needs replacement.

Consumables .223 Remington

  • Bullets
  • Brass(pick them up after you shoot them, and pick up other peoples cases)
  • Powder
  • Primers

Total Cost?

Basic reloading equipment, including a single die set is about $200 to $250 dollars. Other consumables are another $25 to $40. 100 bullets, 1lbs of powder, primers and brass, will set you back about $100. Some consumables are cheaper than others, and prices for things like primers are based on demand, and can be absurdly expensive or unavailable. And yes… 1lbs of powder will give you more mileage than 100 rounds, but thats where volumes start to come into play

At a minimum, expect to invest $325 to almost $400, to be able to do 4 25 round mag dumps of .233 out of your AR15. Or 10 mag dumps for restricted 10 round magazine states like California.

Caveats

Quality of brass, and bullet quality and materials will change you consumable pricing a lot. For example. 100 cheap jacketed lead 223 bullets can be bought for $12. Whereas a 50 lead free .223 bullets required in California for hunting costs about $30. My example assumed a middle ground. It wouldn’t be unreasonable to think you could get through 2 or 3 hundred rounds… on top of basic reloading equipment, for about $400.

Lastly, there is a lot of price gouging in todays market. High demand, and low supply means higher prices, and unscrupulous vendors willing to take your money in exchange for quelling your rational or irrational fears. Personally, I’d rather shoot less, and never support those people. Things will get better, and so will supply, but you can spend your money how you please.

Tags: , , , , , , | Comments

ASC 10rd Magazines

| April 13, 2020
asc stamped aluminum
Photo Credit: Keith Knoxsville
A Hen and a Drake Green Teal on the truck bed. Not a limit on anything, but a fun morning out.

These ASC 10rd magazines are a great running magazine, they work without issues, and lock the bolt open on empty every time. I have zero feed issues, no fitment issues, and at 10 rounds are perfect for restricted states.

The construction is solid aluminum, and is nicely coated. I’m not sure if its anodized or painted, but it seems to be wearing well, and operates without issues.

asc 10 round
ASC follower

There isn’t a whole lot to say about a 10 round magazine. It’s not a mag you would use in a free state, and not one that any major magazine pouch, belts, or vest or carrier designs for. However, until California wins assault weapon and magazine capacity lawsuits, and thank God we are close, these work, are reliable, and affordable.

Tags: , , , , , , | Comments

Super Slim A2 Sights

| April 12, 2020
UTG Rear SLim Sight 0
Photo Credit: Keith Knoxsville
A Hen and a Drake Green Teal on the truck bed. Not a limit on anything, but a fun morning out.

UTG Rear SLim Sight 2
UTG Rear SLim Sight

I needed sights for my recent AR15 build, so I decided to try UTGs Super Slim A2 sights. I wanted a reliable, and solidly made fixed sight set. I didn’t want flip ups. I also didn’t want to spend nearly as much on sights as I did a budget AR15 build. After a bunch of reading, researching, and price comparisons, I bought UTGs Super Slim A2 sights.

The Super Slim A2 Sights by UTG were exactly what I was looking for. They are solidly built, mount squarely with included Torx screws, and use standard heights for flat top handguards and uppers.

Rear Sight Features:
Tool free windage adjustment
With dual aiming apertures
Precision Machined Aircraft Aluminum
Matte Black Anodizing
Square-Shaped Integral Recoil Stop
Securely Attaches to any Picatinny Rail
Includes a T20 Torx wrench, and extra screw
Price: $32.97

UTG Front Slim Sight 0
UTG Front Slim Sight 1

Front Sight Features:
Machined forward and rear-forward facing glare reducing serrations
Matte Black Anodizing
Adjustable A2 Front Sight Post
Interchangeable with aftermarket posts with equivalent dimensions
Square-Shaped Integral Recoil Stop
Securely Attaches to any Picatinny Rail
Includes a T20 Torx wrench, and extra screw
Price: $15.97

These fixed sights are as good or better than sights over 2x the cost. So it’s no wonder these things are always sold out. An alternative may be the front flip up version by UTG or the rear flip up sight but if you see the fixed sights available, snatch ’em up in a hurry.

Tags: , , , , , , | Comments

Featureless AR15 Build

| April 2, 2020
Ca Legal AR15
Photo Credit: Keith Knoxsville
A Hen and a Drake Green Teal on the truck bed. Not a limit on anything, but a fun morning out.

Legally own an evil AR, even if you live in California, just build it featureless! The general rule is no features, no problems. Hence the name featureless. Or you can register your AR for 20 bucks, and be on a DOJ list forever. Or you can refuse to comply, and risk becoming a felon.

None of this is news, but for all the FTGBs(first time gun buyers/builders) out there, this is meant to be a simple breakdown on how to build a featureless, CA legal, rifle on the AR platform in California.

First question that you may have, “But what if I have a bullet button?” The rules keep changing to match the engineering of firearms. Even the idiot politicians and anti-gun lobby manage to trail behind the tech as it changes. Basically, unless you detach the upper from the lower, (IE: disassembly) you are non-compliant. There are workarounds, but why roll the dice with a law enforcement officer within a narrow margin of the law, and/or constantly wearing down your takedown pins.

Keep in mind, these are guidelines, that at the time of writing April 1 2020, are accurate to the best of my knowledge. They are guidelines, and not legal advice. You do what you are going to do at your own risk.

So what the featureless rules mean, is get rid of the following:

  • Pistol Grip, Thumbhole Stock
  • Folding/Telescoping Stock
  • Grenade Launcher or Flare Launcher
  • Flash Suppressor
  • Forward Pistol Grip

What to replace:

  • Pistol Grip, Thumbhole Stock This, I must admit is the worst, most stupid part of the rules. If you can’t wrap your thumb around you grip, at an angle under the receiver at the trigger line, California lawmakers are somehow happy. The fin-grip or featureless grip, is the awful alternative. It prevents the safety from being easily accessed via the shooting hand thumb, and creates an awkward feel. What does help is an ambidextrous safety selector, like this one here. Also, when Freedom Week 2 rolls around in California, SHTF and there is complete unrest, or boogaloo, 20 seconds with a standard screwdriver and you can swap that featureless grip with a more ergonomic one.
  • Folding/Telescoping Stock Fixed Stock, because you aren’t getting any taller, nor your arms any longer. Get a fixed stock, or fix/pin an adjustable stock to your length of pull.
  • Grenade Launcher or Flare Launcher These are fun for D-bags to use in Call of Duty, but you should stick to Call of Duty if you think you have a practical situation for these. Don’t take that the wrong way, I love COD, but I think we all know who we are talking about.
  • Flash Suppressor You probably aren’t waging an all night battle. So reducing the chance of temporary blindness isn’t the end all for you. Get a muzzle brake, or a compensator. Trade out that marginal flash suppressor for something that will help you maintain control and increase your accuracy, whilst also decreasing your felt recoil. If you ‘need’ some form of stealth, go through the ATF process, get a suppressor, and run subsonic 300 Blackout.
  • Forward Pistol Grip I like a more modern m-lok handguard that’s easy to grip anywhere. If I need more positive contact, I’ll add a completely legal angled foregrip/handstop(AKA ‘commando foregrip’ for you COD couch ninjas).

So skip the CA DOJ BS of registering. Unless you trust they’ll take you off a list later, should you ever get to completely exercise your Second Amendment rights, in the Golden State ever again.

When you are looking for parts check out those who support our rights, even in California, where its tough. (Some links are affiliate others are just because they are great, and may not have an affiliate program). Support them because they are great companies, support our 2A rights, and some are largely veteran owned or operated.

Brownell’s
Palmetto State Armory
Aero Precision USA
Midway USA
AR15 Discounts
AR15 Handguard

Tags: , , , , | Comments