Gun Stuff: Rasslin’ With Murphy

NRA Show Coverage: Part 1
May 4, 2017
Practical Tactical – Stand Your Ground
May 9, 2017

After earlier range sessions using a sand bag rest, I turned to a much steadier mechanical rest by Coyote Jakes.

Let me recap my recent issues with Murphy’s Law.

It started when Black Rain Ordnance (BRO) sent me a .22 caliber silencer to use in connection with Test & Evaluation (T&E) of the Black Rain Spec15 carbine. Unfortunately a .22 caliber silencer doesn’t work well with a rifle chambered for .300 Blackout.

Black Rain swiftly and graciously corrected that problem by over-nighting their .30 caliber can to my Class III dealer. He then brought it to the shooting range where we screwed it onto the barrel of the Black Rain Spec15.

Did that solve my problem with Murphy? Not just no, but #%@& no.

For the range work, I had mounted a neat little compact scope that was designed as a CQB (Close Quarters Combat) sight for the AR15 platform. The scope, a Firefield 2.5-10X, had a switchable red/green illuminated reticle and a side-mounted red laser.

Unfortunately, Murphy struck again. The scope’s diopter adjustment just couldn’t seem to focus on the target at 100 yards. Factory loads from Cor®Bon, Hornady and Gorilla Ammo, all showed similar results. The groups from all three measured about ½ inch vertically and nearly two inches horizontally. I was sure the rifle could do better than that, and I decided to try another scope.

So, I switched the Firefield for a Bushnell Elite 4200 4-16X riflescope and went back to the range. The groups were much better. The Gorilla ammo yielded a sub-MOA group at about .85 inches and the other two hovered slightly over one inch. Still, I wasn’t satisfied.

Before Murphy struck again, I obtained this sub-MOA group using Hornady’s subsonic ammo. It measured a smidge over ½ inch.

I was aware that my shooting position wasn’t rock-steady, but sometimes I’m a slow learner. So I traded the sand bags for a Coyote Jake’s mechanical shooting rest, and it was back to the range.

This time, I started out with Hornady’s subsonic .300 Blackout load using a 208-grain A-Max bullet. I was elated. This produced a near-cloverleaf group a smidge over ½ MOA. Moving on, I settled in to try Cor®Bon’s 220-grain subsonic load.

So, Murphy hit me again with both barrels.

Suddenly, my shots were not hitting the target—anywhere! No holes anywhere on the target. I checked the scope mount. It was tight and secure. I checked the can, it was hot to the touch, but threaded on tight. The muzzle end showed no baffle strike. So after several more shots didn’t hit either the paper or the target backing, I had to conclude that my good, reliable, high quality scope had a sudden major internal failure.

I have another scope (a Leupold 6.5-20X-50mm, VX-3). so I’ll mount it onto the rifle and try again. It’s really frustrating to get such promising results and then everything goes bonkers.

I’ll keep you posted.

Story by Stan Skinner

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