So… Here’s my Varmint Rifle

I have a friend who’s currently building himself a varmint rifle and I told him I would take some pictures of mine and do a quick run down.


My varmint rifle, like all of my ARs are Rock River Arms.  I was apprehensive of getting an AR until I handled a Rock River.  I’m not too fond of guns that rattle when I handle them or shake them. A friend let me use his Rock River and there wasn’t any slop or slack in the rifle.  I said I’d give them a try.  Just prior to ordering this one I was seeing numerous failures of a few other brands while at the range.  I wasn’t exactly the most thrilled with the idea of finally getting a “Mattie Mattel That’s Swell” rifle.


I’m pleased to say though this rifle has NOT disappointed me though.  While I don’t burn nearly the number of rounds through it as I would the rifles I use for cleanup at Boomershoot, I used this as my primary rifle after leaving the far hill.  Shooting my .308 has almost gotten routine.  So I wanted to do something different.  So I moved to the 400 yard berm and started poaching.


For those who have never been to Boomershoot, poaching is where you take someone else’s target.  Now no one really owns a target, but usually people won’t go for targets that other’s are shooting at.  Just a mild courtesy, he’s expending ammo for it, let him have it.  Then there’s a group of us, many of whom I associate with, where the normal targets aren’t hard enough.  Where we have all reached the conclusion that the hill is fair game, shoot them as you see them.  For you see, when someone else is shooting at the same target you are, there’s now a time constraint.  You can go even further and start reading how close the person is to getting the boomer.  You eventually are able to tell, “That’s going to be gone in the next two shots.”

So why would I use a rifle like this to poach I hear you ask.  It’s quite simple really, lower recoil means if I’m in a proper position I can self spot.  Semi-auto means I can self spot, adjust, and immediately shoot again with a correction if I screw up, or I have moved far from my zero.  For instance if I shift from the left of the berm to the right of the berm my wind will shift slightly but my range will change by a about 10-15 yards.  More than enough to affect the point of impact when shooting at a 3 inch box.

So what exactly is in and on that rifle that allows that to happen?

Both the lower and upper are manufactured by Rock River Arms as I noted above.  So lets start with the lower.

The lower has the following:

  • Rock River Arms National Match Two stage trigger. 
  • The ERGO Tactical Deluxe Grip
  • Magpul PRS Stock

The Upper is even simpler:

  • A4 Upper
  • 24” Bull Barreled varmint barrel with a 1 in 8” twist.
  • Wylde chamber for both 5.56 and .223.
  • Hogue Aluminum Free Float Tube in Rifle Length.
  • A Leupold Mark IV 4.5x-14x Mil-Dot scope
  • Matching Leupold Rings

Notes.  Get decent glass and rings if you plan on building your own rifle.  I find nothing funnier than when someone drops a ton of cash on a rifle and then gets a 30 dollar scope and rings.  Then when the rifle can’t shoot they blame the rifle.  Sorry there sparky, my first guess is it’s a split between you and your cheap optics.

For those who do not understand, here’s a quick run down.  I’m not trying to be condescending, but there are a lot of people who don’t understand the basics of optics, much less how they are actually mechanical and why it matters.


You get what you pay for like any tool, and spending upfront is a wise investment when it comes to tools, especially ones that are going to be beat up.  Just because you don’t throw your rifle doesn’t mean they don’t get beat up though.  Each shot causes an impulse shot into the internal mechanism of your optics.  What mechanism I hear you ask, it’s just glass.  Ahh, but it’s adjustable glass.  Those knobs on the top and side cause the glass to shift is image in 1/4 minute of angle increments.  Read that as a single click moves it 1/240th of a degree.  That’s pretty dang small.  Now when you pull the trigger, you have caused a shock impulse to the system.  You need that optic to remain unaffected by that impulse.  For if it does change, you have just altered the zero (point of impact relative to the cross hair) of the weapon.  Just because you make the correction from the last shot doesn’t matter, you have a new error that is unaccounted for.

On top of that you get much better clarity out of better glass, this means a brighter image and better visibility in lower light conditions.  You don’t have to spend an arm and a leg on the scope and rings but you can’t skimp either.

This goes the same for rings.  Get good solid rings, preferably the kind that are split horizontally where the base of the ring that attaches to the rifle is solid.  Lap those puppies to keep excess pressure off the tube.  I also use a thin piece of double sided tape to hold the scope in place and provide extra cushion.  When you put the scope on, use a torque wrench.  Write down the settings and torque everything uniformly.  Use blue Loctite when you attach the tops of the rings to the base.  I torque to about 25 inch pounds at the joint between the rings.  The Loctite will help keep those screws from backing back out.  The base of the rings I torque to 65 in-lbs. using a pre-calibrated torque wrench specifically for my rifles.


First thing I do on taking the rifle out is hit those base nuts attaching the rings to the rifle with the torque wrench again.  I also go over and make sure nothing is rubbing on the free float, ensure nothing is loose including the stock.  Again, anything loose can cause changes in the rifles behavior between shots.  That’s bad, we want sub minute of angle, not barely sub minute of berm.

The grip and the stock actually help accuracy by making sure the shooter is in a more natural and comfortable state.  When you start muscling shots, that is when you start missing.

So there’s my varmint rifle.  She runs hot and fast and shoots straight.  She’s a fantastic rifle and not one that you can blame misses on the tool, it all lies on the operator.  That’s the way I like it.

Busy Today

I’m busy today, and probably the rest of the weekend on a pet project.  Talk amongst yourselves.

It’s a project we’ve been trying to bootstrap for a bit and we got a kick start from some friends.  The wife is finishing up the project we’re doing for them in the mean time I’m bootstrapping the website.

Hopefully all will be up and running beginning of July.

So instead, here’s a couple pictures from the Jet Boat Races…


The following is a boat that was sunk the day before.  Yes that’s duct tape!


SSCC #337 – TSA

You would think that given all the previous incidents of child molestation by the TSA would mean they would filter this guy out.

Until 2002, Harkins was a Catholic priest working at churches across
South Jersey. But the Diocese of Camden removed him from ministry
because it found he sexually abused two young girls. Now, in a new
lawsuit, a third woman is claiming she also is one of Harkins’ victims.

Evidently not.

The security checkpoint between Terminals D and E is a busy place where
thousands of people – including lots of kids – pass through every day.
But you might not believe who the I-Team observed working as a TSA
supervisor at that checkpoint this week: Thomas Harkins.

That’s right folks.  He was hired by the TSA and given free reign to molest your little daughters without legal recourse.  Is anyone though not surprised by this?  This to me is expected.

State Sponsored Criminal #337:  Thomas Harkins


Because when the church kicks you out for molesting little girls, go talk to your Uncle Sam.  After he puts his hands in your pocket you can put your hands in that little girls pocket!

SSCC Honorable Mention – Dallas

Here’s the static link to the video in case embedding didn’t work.

Obviously this guy felt that rules were for everyone else and not him.  Thankfully no one was injured and this is yet another example to add to my anointed class post

Since he didn’t identify as an officer and he’s currently facing charges I’m putting this as an honorable mention.

State Sponsored Criminal Honorable Mention – Hector Roa

Because rules are for everyone else, no one, not even the property owner can keep you out of his bar!

via Bob S.

Quote of the Day -Tam (05/24/2012)

Using abstract targets to pretend you’re shooting anything other
than imaginary bad guys makes you look like dorky hypocrites with
corporate sponsorship jerseys.

Tam Why Fruity Targets? Because racegun!

May 24, 2012

[I find it doubly ironic that the bickering exists considering the P in USPSA and IPSC stands for practical.  More practically odds are you’re going to be shooting a two legged varmint than a flying oddly shaped octogon.  Which oddly enough is labeled the “classic target” while the practical target still used in USPSA is the “metric” target.

Does it really matter the shape of the target, not really though it does make for much more interesting problems with how you can cover the targets.  Having a separate A zone leaves a choice to the shooter for solving the problem.  He can try and hit the bigger A zone while risking clipping the no-shoot, or he can aim for the smaller A zone and just risk getting a B hit instead.

As I’m learning while creating new stages, the fun part about medium and long strings of fire is creating a stage which provides numerous trade offs and different paths to solve the problem.  Doing that is difficult, but it’s what makes a course fun to shoot.  Pulling those targets to me pulls something I can use to add extra trade offs for the shooter.

Yes the upper AB zone happens to resemble a head, with the lower zones being a body but this is practical shooting, not bullseye.  I understand Caleb’s concern and it’s reasonable.  We all want to grow the sport and different targets make some feel better.  But let’s not kid ourselves, even the hovering octogon is a bad guy, it’s shape doesn’t really matter when you’re running a stage to resemble a house.  Doubly so when the stage description leads off with:

You have just arrived on the scene of a call about a home invasion robbery.  The door is closed and you cannot see through the windows.  Starting position is hand on the door knob…

Do you need to create a scene for a stage.  No, but it can also be really fun, especially if there’s a prop involved.  Why do I care about the briefcase and getting it to the end of the course of fire?  The answer, nuclear launch codes!  Why do I have this pizza box?  The answer, you’re delivering a pizza in Detriot a post apocalyptic waste land, delivery failure means they get it for free.  If I spend time designing a stage and coming up with a solid course of fire and spend time making sure someone’s not going to drive a tank through it, I’m going to spend some extra time polishing it!

It’s fun and this is a game, but it does seem very silly and hypocritical to throw “metric” targets out consider in the end it’s still the same thing mentally but with a differently shaped target.  I need to post my 30 minutes or less stage.  About everyone who saw it at the end said, I want to shoot that! -B]

Ear Worm Wednesday–05/23/2012

Don’t know why but this one’s done it.

New Medicine – Race you to the bottom.

I think it’s because the chorus reminds me of Stich Jones in the bar in Heartbreak Ridge.

The Following Term Comes to Mind…

Warning, especially if you have kids:

Image courtesy of Robb Allen found via JayG

Via Ry, I stumbled across this set of blazing stupidity.

Let’s set the scene first:

County School officials stand by a Deltona High School nurse’s decision
to refuse a student his inhaler during an asthma attack, citing a lack
of a parent’s signature on a medical release form.

Yeah, but I mean how bad was it really?

He said the school dean found his inhaler during a search of
his locker last Friday. The inhaler was still in its original packaging
— complete with his name and directions for its use; however, the
school took it away because his mother hadn’t signed the proper form for
him to have it.

Ok, so we have positive authority that this medication was prescribed to the individual named by a medical doctor.

He was taken to the nurses office in need of medical attention, more specifically medication prescribed to deal with his condition.  The nurses response to the situation:

“As soon as we opened up the door, we saw my son collapsing
against the wall on the floor of the nurse’s office while she was
standing in the window of the locked door looking down at my son, who
was in full-blown asthma attack,” Rudi said.

So the attack was bad enough to cause loss of consciousness, yet the nurses response was to lock the door keeping the child in need of medical aid out.  Further the school while depriving the student of his life saving medication did the following, or I should say didn’t:

Selesky could not explain why 911 was never called.

“I understand if you can’t give it to him call 911,” Sue Rudi said. “Why did you not call 911?”

Here’s my problem with this whole statement, they can’t give him medication.  They can not hand him medication and say, “Take this.”  That does not mean they have legal right or cause to prevent someone from taking prescribed medication.  Parent signature or not.  The school does not have need, nor cause to be briefed on all medical issues surrounding a student if the student is capable of management on his own.  The school is not a medical doctor with training and ability to determine if the child does or does not require medication.  That is up to 3 different people, the child, the parent, and the doctor.  The school is not in that loop and has no business in that loop.

So what term comes to mind, Willful Negligence.

This whole incident fits to a T the definition of Willful Negligence.  They did not call 911 despite the individual exhibiting signs of respiratory distress up to and including a loss of consciousness.  The school actively sought out and withheld medication that could have prevented the condition from worsening.  The medication was obviously prescribed to the individual and their was nothing indicating that the medication was intended for any other individual.  Their actions, or inaction depending on your view, directly contributed to the loss of consciousness by the student and the aggravation of his condition.  Their inaction could have also easily resulted in death had the mother not arrived when she did.

This is your public school system.  This is how they treat your most precious gifts.  They do not care about your child, they care about you being a good cog in their bureaucracy.  How dare you give your child life saving medication without you going and telling them it’s OK.  Your child isn’t yours to them, your child is theirs, to let die like a laboratory experiment so they can feel good about making sure people go to the administrators for the medication required by a 17 year old.

I hope that woman lawyers up, because that school is responsible as well as the nurse and there is no doubt in my mind regarding negligence.  My wife would only have to utter one word if that had been my kid and it would have been world war 3 in there.  Rule 1 on my list of dealing with a man, “Never fuck with a mans family.” That includes stupidity, such as being willfully negligent, which might kill his kid.

Open Carry and Ass Clowns…

There is some yahoo running his mouth currently that those who open carry for any other reason than practicality are ass-clowns
Then another yahoo came in to say something that people exercising
their rights caused California legislators to double down on stupid.

Here’s the thing, when people open carry firearms, 99.99999% of the time not a damn thing happens
Most of the time no one cares.  When someone does care they are so
irrational about it it would be funny if it wasn’t for the danger they
create by calling 911 one in a panic.  Here’s some extra qestions that
are valid:

  • Is the gun in his hand?
  • No, then what the hell is the problem currently?
  • Is he physically assaulting someone or provoking attack?
  • Other than the fact he has a gun, what is he doing that is illegal or worth of suspicion?

Guns being openly carried by law abiding citizens is not a problem. 
Yes some times cops are harassed by people saying, he has a gun.  Good
one’s just inform them it’s legal and carry on about their business.  OK one’s ask you to cover up to save them time.  Bad one’s falsely try and arrest the carrier.

Open carry though helps desensitize those who would go into PSH over
the sight of someone carrying a gun.  Doubly so if you actually get
either of those first two officers.  (The second officer isn’t really a
bad guy, he’s just tired of answering the same question over and over. 
He proves his intent when after covering he says thanks and doesn’t even
bother to ask for your permit.)  The problem we get into is that we
have those third officers, who by their illegal actions reinforce the
PSH as being positive.

The open carrier has every right to exercise his rights within the
law.  If a decent population doesn’t exercise the right, just the same
as your legislators used the hammer of legislative force because you
did, they have no reason to preserve the right.  If no one exercises it,
why do we need to have it legal right, it’s just those nasty bad men
who do it then!  This also ignores the fact that California is honestly
not the best example to be using.  But that’s beside the point given
that the law they changed resulted in a legal case to push for shall

Back to the overall theme and out of specifics; it is not the fault
of the open carrier that the officer charged with enforcing the law
decided to break the law and violate his rights for merely exercising
them.  It is not the fault of the open carrier that the officer decided
to reinforce the PSH as being positive.  It is the fault of their
leadership and departments for allow their officers to get away with
that behavior.  Why do they get away with that behavior, because we have
men like Pincus who say open carriers are ass-hats.

Are there actual ass-hats who open carry that I wish they shouldn’t? 
Yes there are, but they’re not actually as common as someone makes them
out to be.  As Robb said,

the loud people get attention? Yes, they will and you won’t be able to
stop them by making their goals harder to achieve. Instead of expending
the energy ripping the few, problem OC’ers because they’re a danger to
your rights, use that effort to call your representatives and explain to
them why they should support the 2A. Do like I do and host calm, non
threatening Open Carry events.

The trick is to speak softly and still be louder than the fools.

Instead of bitching about people who open carry and calling attention
to open carry as if all who do it politically are “ass-clowns” that are
nothing but detriments to the fight for the Second Amendment, step up
and talk about the good they’ve done.  It’s not my fault that some idiot
doesn’t understand that discretion is the better part of valor, and
that in chess the game is to not loose
Calling me an ass-clown because I’m trying to help desensitize those
people while also being considerably more comfortable while carrying
doesn’t exactly win you any points either.  It paints you as nothing
more than your generic FUD of the same type as those who gifted us the
GCA 1968, the Hughes Amendment, and the ’94 assault weapons ban.  Guess
what, shut the hell up, go sit in the corner, no one gives a crap what
you have to say.

Doubly so since you’re so smart as to put cameramen down range next
to a target with someone shooting live ammunition, it begs the question,
who listens to the idiot when he speaks?  He obviously doesn’t have any
credibility, integrity is questionable since he’s providing ammunition
to the enemy, and his attitude is in the gutter with regards to those on
his own team.  Maybe he should go sign up for Smoke and Chunder,
obviously with how he feels open carriers are detrimental to the gun
rights movement Pincus and the Admin should get along great.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m pissed when an open carrier does something
.  Especially when they’re stupid and they loose.  However I
direct my anger directly at that specific target.  I spend my time
making a lesson out of them to educate others.  I call them out as a
specific example because they are.  They are not common, they are are
rather the exception.  Open carriers as a whole are not the problem, no matter their reason for carrying openly.

*I realize Pincus probably didn’t mean to lump all open carriers under that umbrella but that’s exactly what he did.  That’s why you need to be very careful with your words when you’re directing an insult at someone.  You need to make sure it’s directed in the correct direction.