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Saturn M4 feed ramp for AR-15 rifle

Firearms

Figuring Out Feed Ramps

Given that most of us don’t always have perfect access to truly “genuine” mil-spec, mil-standard parts (those actually used in issued fighting tools), we’re shopping based on a little part trust and a bigger part knowledge. The trust part is accepting claims of “USGI-spec” parts actually being done to not only blueprint dimensions, but also made from the correct materials treated to the same processes. That’s receivers, bolts, and on down the list of the 100 or so parts that can make up an AR-15.

AR-15 with side charge handle

Gun Gear

Why Side-Charge Your AR-15?

Usually thought of as a strictly “custom” component in a top-end precision AR-15 build, here’s a few reasons to consider a side charging handle—and a few reasons to avoid them.

Gun Gear

Throwback Thursday: AR-15 Two-Stage Triggers

In the author’s estimation, a two-stage trigger offers the most secure, precise, and safest function in the AR-15 platform. There are a good many two-stage triggers available, but click to read the functional ideas behind all of them.

roll pins should be just below the surface

Gun Gear

AR-15 Maintenance: Roll Pins

AR-15s are pretty much pinned together. While a staple for many AR-15s, roll pins are not hard to work with, but a misstep could be catastrophic enough to permanently damage your AR-15. Here’s how to perform the essential construction operations associated with roll pins—the professional way.

Gas rings on an AR-15 rifle

Firearms

Six Troubleshooting Solutions for AR-15 Function

When something goes wrong and the rifle won’t fire, the first question should always be, “What changed?” Before answering that, we have to determine—or at least I determine—whether we’re talking about a “fresh” rifle going through its shakedown period, or a (previously) trusted gun that’s suddenly decided to stop running. If it’s the first scenario, there’s a longer list of possibilities that include original parts, conditions, and installation quality. This article will focus on the previously-functioning rifle that’s taken a vacation from operation.

Four cartridge heads showing the effect of pressure

Ammunition

Reloading 101: Determining Safe Maximum Velocity

Part of the process of developing the load we’re seeking is learning how to safely set a cap on its pressure. Most of us don’t have pressure-testing equipment, so we rely on measurements and observation to know when we’re at the limit. Here are a few ideas on how to proceed in load testing to find the safe maximum velocity, and keep it safe.

AR-15 with SOCOM Boom Tube stock

Firearms

AR-15 Carbine Configuration

Don’t short-change a short gun! When you spec a carbine, think about shooting it! Simple? Yes. But don’t adapt to the carbine; make it adapt to you. Here are a few thoughts on how to get the most utility from your carbine.

Older model Colt AR-15 magazine circa 1960

Gun Gear

Magazine Maintenance for the AR-15

I get a lot of correspondence from folks complaining about magazine problems. I never liked the answer I gave them, and that’s led to this article. There are four pieces-parts to a box magazine: the follower, which is the tray that lifts the cartridges into position; the spring, which powers the follower; the base plate, which secures the spring; and the box. This article looks at all of them and gives tips to maintain and repair your magazines.

Brass rifle cartridge cases

General

Reloading 101: The Cartridge Case

In this installment of Reloading 101, it’s good to keep in mind what you’re dealing with, and that is a cartridge case, and what happens to it during firing, which is what we’re setting out to remedy when we reuse it. Read the full article to find out what’s going on with your brass.