Hey, all you Colorado Democrats! Look what I just got in the mail!
And that’s only the first part of my order–.223 mags were backordered.
I wonder where my Christmas present front sight is after not hearing from Bushmaster for three months.
I email them to ask.
I not hear from them for nother month, until, I email again.
They say, “This item still shows as back ordered from the vendor.You may want to try them direct to see if this is still being made. The company is Yankee Hill Machine.”
I go bug YHM.
YHM (within 5 minutes from my query, huzzah) say “We no longer produce it for Bushmaster and have not for over a year. You will need to contact Bushmaster directly as last I knew they were going to produce it
NO IRON SIGHTS FOR YOU. WE HATE JEFF COOPER AND SPIT ON HIS GRAVE.
I now declare this firearm fully magpul’d! Now, to sort out the front sight situation. According to Bushmaster, I need to talk to YHM because they’re the ones who really make it. I’m about ready to just say “forget it” and be happy without irons… or I could keep waiting for the next year and a half, probably.
So my out of stock butt stock that I have on order was supposed to finally be in stock yesterday (ya follow?). Good thing I wasn’t really expecting anything to be any different than the past four or five times it’s done this–the in stock date has now been pushed all the way into July, a much bigger jump than any of the previous repetitions. I wonder now if I ought to just call up Midway and cancel the order and order something else–but then, how important to me is it really to have everything in matching colors…
Well, yesterday I said that nothing followed me home, but then I got a phone call from the shop saying that the Nearly Endless Bureaucratic Papertrail System had finally cleared, so I ran back down there and picked it up. So it didn’t really follow me home, but it got here nonetheless (please excuse any poor quality pictures, between a cell phone and a point and shoot camera that’s 6 years old, don’t expect any miracles):
This is the gun that I would have gotten very first, when I was first starting out three or so years ago, if there had been a single one in stock anywhere in town. There wasn’t, so I went with the 10/22, a decision I have never regretted, but I still had the nagging feeling that I needed something with a tube magazine and wood furniture… and what pretty wood it is.
And a little different angle:
And just because I had it sitting around at the same time, a pic with the ORC308 (for which I am still awaiting the front iron sight from Bushmaster, grrrrrr…)
The same length, but the little Henry weighs half as much!
Like I said yesterday, the cost after tax was nearly identical to what my state income tax return was, so , while this is rather early, it is my contribution to Buy A Gun Day is for 2012.
I can’t wait to get out and shoot it, but it may have to wait till next weekend the way things are shaping up here…
There. Bushmaster ORC 308, with my new Vortex Diamondback 4-12×40 on a Burris PEPR mount. I *think* it’s boresighted in; as I’ve never done such a thing before, We Will See. The front sight ordered for Christmas hasn’t been heard from since the order confirmation email–Bushmaster either lost the order or they are really busy–but I did pick up a Magpul rear BUS. And nowhere seems to have the butt stock I want in stock–or indeed any stocks. The stocks are out of stock. For now I just need to get out shooting more…
So made it out to the range yesterday with my rifle (pt1 of my escapades here, pt2 here). We got off 40 rounds before the dark and the cold drove us home, which was enough to get the red dot sighted in and to get a feel for the rifle. We started at the 50 yard berm and then tried a few at the 100 yard–which is about as far as we could go with the red dot, anyway.
I am happy with that, considering that I have been mostly a pistol shooter–and all those holes are within the “dot” of the scope. I could see a person going out further with a red dot if they knew what they were doing, but…
As for the gun, I was pleasantly surprised at how little recoil it had–while it was of course more than my 10/22, it was less than my dad’s .222. More of a “push” than a “jerk”. That’s a semi auto vs a bolt for you. While the 30 some odd rounds I shot might not be enough for a real test, I had no discomfort whatsoever. And again, 40 rounds isn’t enough for a real test, but so far no problems functionality-wise. I love those P-mags, too. So much nicer than the metal one that came with it. The only complaint I might have about it right now is that with the generic stock on it pulls hairs off your face at times.
I hope that I can get out there some more sometime soon. As they say, shooting is converting money into smoke and noise, but it also converts money into experience and skill. Probably ought to spring for a range membership so I don’t have to work around my friend’s schedule.
Oh, and the obligatory shot of the gun (notice the redneck shooting rest!):
It’s a good thing that no one else was there, we spread out over three shooting benches!
As always, fun was had by all.
About a week has passed, and this is what my rifle looks like now:
Magpul MOE handguard and grip, a couple P-Mags, and a Vortex Strikefire red/green dot scope.
I really like the feel of the Magpul stuff–the stock handguard was loose, as I mentioned in my first post, and I really dislike grips on any gun that have finger grooves, leading to the elimination of the stock grip. The MOE handguard is nice and tight, with no slop that I can feel; though it is meant for an AR-15, with just a little bit of tweaking (had to bend the two rearmost metal tabs inward just a titch to get it to go on), it was a drop in part. The MOE grip doesn’t have finger grooves, is a little bit fatter than the stock grip, and has a nice, slightly rough surface, as well as having a snap out core to store random stuff in. I should mention that I chose “foliage green” for absolutely no reason whatsoever. The P-Mags snap in and fall out easily, a great improvement over the magazine that came with the gun, which fits in the magwell too tight.
I decided to go with the Vortex red dot because it was the fastest, least inexpensive way for me to get into the game. Time will tell how it holds up under recoil, but Vortex seems to have a good customer service reputation, so hopefully it won’t all end in tears. If all else fails it can go on another gun.
Next on the list is hunting down my friend with the range membership to get it out in the real world, then (in a couple pay periods from now, for sure) comes some sort of iron sights (I still haven’t decided whether to get the clamp on front iron sight that Bushmaster sells (about halfway down the page here) or to switch out the gas block entirely for a railed one. Then, a nicer stock, then a telescopic scope. And dashed liberally in between all those steps, a ton of .308 Winchester. And maybe a nicer sling than the bit of nylon webbing it came with. And probably a bayonet, since it has a lug for one.
As always, I welcome any thoughts or advice, and offer no guarantees that I will follow any of it.
And, I will just say, I am probably having more fun with this than is strictly necessary.
Insert Standard Disclaimer here: FCC FTC FAA FFA FGH FAC F ET AL.: You’d think you guys would get the idea that blogger write about stuff for the simple reason they like to show off their cool toys, not because there is some sort of grand conspiracy of being bought out by the companies who make the products they write about. But, I guess not. Go suck eggs.
Note: any technical terms I use in the following is strictly used on a “book knowledge” basis. This is my first AR style rifle, and indeed could be argued to be my first Evil Black Rifle of any sort. I am most definitely a neophyte when it comes to these things, and I welcome anyone with more/other knowledge to share.
As some of you may have guessed/put together the pieces for, the rifle I ordered via Davidson’s (great service, by the way, everything worked wonderfully, three days and it was here) was a Bushmaster ORC (or “optics ready carbine”–which means “we are keeping it low cost and not even putting on iron sights”) in .308 Winchester. It comes with a 16″ barrel w/A2 flash hider, a bit of nylon strapping, a couple of rail risers, one 20 rd magazine, and a rather ridiculously oversized hard plastic case.
Thoughts and observations: The handguard feels a little sloppy; reading around on teh interwebs this seems to be how it is. It appears that it is easy enough to come by aftermarket handguards, however, with some reporting success with using the MagPul MOE, which I don’t think is specifically made for the 308 AR’s. I would, however, like some more rail somewhere for mounting some iron sights out front–perhaps changing the gas block to one with a rail built in, or a gas block with the sights built in?
I have also been reading that, as Bushmaster is part of the Freedom Group, their guns are made by DPMS. Indeed, though it says “Made in Windham Maine” on the side (despite Bushmaster relocating), it also says “Mod: LR-308”, the name DPMS uses for their AR-10 style rifles. I am not sure what those two things together are telling me, but I am assured by the internet that the Bushmaster can use anything made for the DPMS style guns. Such as some o’ those slick MagPul PMags, a major consideration for me.
Some day I think I would like to get a longer barrel, however the 16″ does feel rather handy, and the gun comes to the shoulder nice. Perhaps I am going to start diving into the madness of having multiple builds of rifles… not that I could afford that, right now.
However, the very first thing I need to do is get some optics of some sort. Since it is a carbine, was sort of thinking about a red dot… but since it is a .308, was thinking of an actual-by-golly rifle scope. This is probably the area that I would welcome the most suggestions. Would like to keep it somewhat reasonable for my bank account, $300 at the very most–for now anyway.
Looking out there at the myriad of aftermarket parts and gidgey-gadgets has made me almost giddy looking forward to taking it all apart and putting it back together again. Better faster stronger, right?
I’ve been wanting a 308 “Battle Rifle” (though not sure if a carbine counts for that or not) for some time, and between saving up for it a little bit at a time over the past 6 months, Christmastime coming, a nice deal from Davidson’s, and the way the economy seems to be shedding parts as it careens towards the ground, now seemed to be the ideal occasion. It may not have all the features, and it will require more money to get to where I want it, but this way I at least have my foot in the door. Oh, and I also bought this rifle to learn reloading with–when Mr. R offered to bring down an extra press the next time he comes through town that he just has lying around and that “is nicer than the one your dad had here,” who am I to refuse?
And lastly, for doubletrouble, who really wanted a pittcher last night, this is the best I could do:
P.S. FCC FTC FAA FGH FAC F ET AL.: You’d think you guys would get the idea that blogger write about stuff for the simple reason they like to show off their cool toys, not because there is some sort of grand conspiracy of being bought out by the companies who make the products they write about. But, I guess not. Go soak your fat heads.
Added: Link to what was done next.