The Black Rifle Revisited

I talked about scopes in my first article on the Black Rifle and believe it needs to be discussed again. Remember, I said in part that to get the best accuracy out of your ARs, you need a good scope well mounted in good rings. You can’t get that if you use a cheap
scope in well mounted good rings, nor can you by using a good scope in well mounted cheap rings, and definitely not by badly mounting either one! Again, neither will work optimally in poorly mounted rings. In other words, don’t skimp on any of these parts! I’m all about accuracy, and all my ARs have quality scopes.

If you can get your eyes on the winter copy of Varmint Hunter magazine, issue #81, there’s a fine article by Norman E. Johnson titled “A Discerning Look Inside The Riflescope: Why Guns Fail To Remain Sighted”. What Mr. Johnson says is most informative about how scopes work and why they fail, among many other valid points about scopes.

Scopes are being improved every year. Reticles are being addressed for the different shooting styles and demands of shooters. Lenses and internal parts are vastly superior today than they were just ten years ago! Scope tubes are stronger and side focus is the norm today. Light transmission is better with larger objective bells and 30 mm tubes. There are even 34 mm tubes offered. In better scopes, the adjustments you make for windage and elevation stay put so your zero stays where you put it. With these improvements it isn’t unusual to have ARs shooting less than a 1/2 MOA! Yes, believe it or not, but they sure do.

That’s some of the updates and changes I know about, but I’m sure I still haven’t seen it all. Scopes and mounts continue to improve and so are the factory ammos, powders, bullets and ballistic computer data for ranging. Barrel makers are certainly heeding the call for better barrels with more contours, lengths and chamberings. It is now easier to make long, accurate shots using the assistance of hand held computer ballistic programs coupled with smarter reticules in scopes.

Yes, the Modern Sporting Rifle is continuing to evolve! Many, many calibers to choose! These are just some of the reasons they are so much fun to shoot! You can have it built in any way you want, for whatever you want to do with it. You can do many differing uppers on just one lower, if you like. That lower can be changed out too; from solid A2 to any kind of collapsible or adjustable stock you want. The AR platform is the most exciting concept in the sporting rifle world since, well, I think the bolt in bolt rifles! If you have resisted it, I urge you to try it. You will be impressed as to what they can do and how much fun you can have!

Me and Roger Hanks.

This was a very long shot in South Dakota. I could not have done it with an “ordinary” AR. This was Wicked Wanda shooting a 55 grain Sierra at a chronographed 3600 fps back in VA. The shot was laser ranged and witnessed by two people, including my good friend Roger Hanks, with me in the picture. Yes, that’s 862 yards to a prairie dog! Took more than one shot, but by George, I did it!
The good folks at Nightforce verified that the bullet, at that elevation and location, should still be sonic to almost 900 yards and doable. The other witness was my friend from HS Precision Rifles, Josh Cluff who also ranged it. Everything was right that day: the rifle, ammo, scope, as well as the light breeze directly behind me going straight away to the target! Having good friends to witness it: priceless!

Many thanks to my wonderful proofreader, my niece Jessica. Without her this would look like the writings of a fifth grader. Well, maybe not quite that horrible….

Thanks also to the many builders of quality parts and complete ARs. You make shooting them a joy!

Many thanks to the folks at Nightforce. They not only make fantastic scopes; but support our troops. They are there when you need them and they have helped me too.

Thanks also to my good friend in Pueblo, CO, Mr. Lee Mosher. Lee made my first AR upper and got me hooked on accuracy with the AR. He built more for me and has many times come to my aid in solving problems and explaining how things work. He is a good friend and advisor.

Thanks to Josh Cluff, Director of Sales and Marketing, HS Precision Rifles, for his gun knowledge and his friendship.

Thanks to Jeff McPeak of T&J Tactical in Radford, Va, for not only building some of the finest suppressors available but also for helping me with other rifle needs and issues.

Thanks also to John Pierce, Esq., Attorney At Law, a Virginia attorney who does NFA Trusts and Gun Rights Restoration cases across the commonwealth of Va.

Thanks also to God, who has given me such a wonderful, blessed life! If you are privileged to be able to shoot and enjoy the out of doors, you too have His Blessings! Remember to focus on the good things in your life, there’s a lot more of it than the bad!

(For those not Trekees, that means “Live Long And Prosper”)

Charles is a Virginia Christian clay and target shooter, hunter and reloader. He has been doing this for over forty years and says he is still learning! Charles has written a couple articles and had an article written about a gun he had commissioned called "The Patriot," which is the only gun ever to commemorate 9/11. Charles loves side by sides and accurate rifles.