Government Profile Vs. Pencil Barrel

The other day, Herschel at The Captain’s Journal had a blog post regarding the government profile barrel for the AR-15 and the M16A2. He made the point that the government profile barrel was adopted based upon erroneous assumptions and without proper engineering failure tests. He also said that top end AR makers continuing to put out rifles with government profile barrels was dumb.

First, I question their testing of the resistance to bending of a “government profile” barrel. They obviously never got real engineers involved in this problem. The highest bending moment in a cantilever beam will be where it is pinned, which in this case will be at the receiver. As best as I can tell, not only didn’t they solve a real problem, they didn’t even solve the pretend problem.

Second, engineering resources would have performed a failure mode and effects analysis of the problem. A failure investigation team of engineers should have been commissioned, not a military team.

Third, if you believe the problem is that Soldiers or Marines are using their rifles to pry open boxes or crates, then teach them not to do that. That’s stupid. I remain unimpressed with folks who try to mistreat, abuse and beat up their guns only to complain when they don’t work.

It was an interesting post with good comments. You should read the whole thing.

That led to me finding this video from last year by Ian and Karl from InRangeTV and their WWSD (What Would Stoner Do) series. In it, they test stress relieved pencil barrels from Faxon and then compare that to an original pencil-barreled Colt SP-1 doing the same test. Given I have one of those Faxon pencil barrels, I need to get my act together and finish my lightweight build using it!

PS: Lest you think I’ve gone all “what has Wayne done now” all the time, being able to have a day without significant charges of malfeasance and self-dealing is a relief. However, the day is still young.

“The TSA: Or How To Feel Unwelcome In Your Own Country”

Karl Kasarda, who along with Ian McCollum, produces InRange TV had an “interesting” experience with the Travel Security Administration on a recent trip. He had been selected for special security screening on a trip home from Scandanavia. He was screened twice – once in Stockholm and once in Chicago. You can guess in which screening he was treated with respect and courtesy. I’ll let him finish the story.

I think I’ve made my feelings about TSA known over the years so I’ll just leave it at that.

WWSD: The Charging Handle

The charging handle seems, on the surface, to be one of those parts of an AR15 that doesn’t matter that much. You can spend a lot more on a charging handle but the $12 aluminum mil-spec charging handle will work just fine most of the time. By comparison, a gritty mil-spec trigger has the potential – and some would say the probability – to impact your accuracy with the rifle.

I will admit to not having given it too much thought. I have a couple of blem BCM charging handles and just ordered a Radians Raptor charging handle because I got a good deal on it. Then this morning I watched the video below by Ian McCollum and Karl Kasarda of InRange TV about their What Would Stoner Do project.

They have given it much more thought than I had and brought up points I hadn’t considered about charging handles. I very well may consider the Geissele the next time I find them on sale. Given I use their triggers perhaps I should also be using their charging handle on some of my ARs.

I’m With Ian And Karl On This

When I asked for suggestions as to which products you wanted me to check out, reader David suggested somewhat facetiously that I see Trigger Point Technology. He also asked me to find out their business plan to avoid getting sued out of existence.

As you can see in the video below made by Ian McCullom and Karl Kasarda of InRange TV, a laser or light that is activated by touching the trigger is really a bad idea. Just like with so-called “smart guns” or “microstamping”, just because your engineers can invent a technical device it doesn’t mean it will work in the real world.

On the Trigger Point Technology product, just say no.