Harvey Specter

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How Often Should I Clean My Gun?

Ah, the age-old question. It has been answered many times in many different ways. So, what is the correct answer to this question?

As I’m sure we’re all aware, weapons require maintenance in the form of cleaning. If you own a weapon, you’re going to have to clean it. It’s as simple as that.

Owning a gun and not cleaning it is negligent, and could potentially ruin your weapon. I don’t mean to use scare tactics, but these are the facts. Even if you aren’t shooting much, not cleaning your weapon could harm it.

How Often Should I Clean My Gun

How Often Should I Clean My Gun

So, let’s get into the question at hand.

The Basics: Why do I need to clean my weapon?

Simply put, because it gets dirty!

When you clean a weapon, you are cleaning some type of dirty residue. While there are many kinds, this is most often carbon. Carbon buildup occurs in your weapon each and every time you fire it. When the propellant burns, it leaves carbon behind.

Other types of residue could be trace bits of metal, which could be left behind by the bullets you are firing. However, this is somewhat uncommon, and 99.99% of the time, you are cleaning residual carbon out of the weapon.

Another reason to clean your weapon is to remove any rust from it. If you use your weapon outdoors, it is exposed to moisture. Some places are more moist, such as when you are duck hunting in a swamp, or deer hunting in the rain. However, even without precipitation, your weapon is still being exposed to water in the air.

When the metal of the weapon is exposed to any moisture, it could begin to oxidize. As a result, rust will form. Rust on a weapon is not a good thing, especially if it is inside the barrel.

By the way, you should have the best gun safe for the money for your weapons, it will protect your “wife” 🙂

What happens if I don’t clean my weapons?

Eventually, if the carbon buildup inside the weapon gets to be too much, the weapon can stop cycling properly.

If the buildup gets to be too severe in the barrel, the weapon could be similarly negatively affected. The bullet trajectory could be ruined, or worse. If there is too much rust built up, the same thing will happen.

Okay, I get it. Dirty weapons are bad. How often do I need to clean my weapons?

Now this is where it gets a little tricky. No one argues that you do have to clean your weapons, but plenty of people argue about how often it needs to be done.

To put it simply, you really can’t clean the weapon too often, as long as you are using the correct cleaning tools and not putting too much oil on it.

However, we will make a few recommendations for how often to clean your weapon.

Personally, I like to clean my weapons after each trip to the range. I find it to be soothing, but I also realize that not everyone feels this way.

Most weapons will be good for around three to four range trips, dependent on how many rounds you shoot. My recommendation would be to clean the weapon every 250 rounds, if you don’t want to clean it each time you shoot.

If you don’t go to the range much, cleaning your weapon is still important. At the very least, you should break your weapon down and clean it twice per year, if you are never shooting at all.

should you buy or build an ar15

However, there are a few exceptions to these guidelines.

If your weapon is primarily for self defense or home defense, it is extremely important to clean it each and every time. This will ensure it will function each and every time.

For the competition shooter, cleaning a weapon each time you use it is extremely important as well.

Lastly, if you use your weapon in a swampy area or in any precipitation, you should clean it as soon as possible, to get any surface rust off of the weapon before it becomes a problem.

Conclusion

Cleaning weapons is a pretty easy and relaxing thing, but many people don’t know how often you should do it.

I would recommend cleaning your weapons each time you shoot, but not everyone likes to do this. If you prefer to wait, every 250 rounds is probably a decent guideline for you.

When cleaning your weapon, be sure to keep safety in mind. Always clear the weapon and use proper materials and cleaning techniques!

What Cool Alternatives Are There To An AR-15?

Don’t get me wrong, AR-15s are awesome. They are an extremely popular weapon system, because they are very easy to build and use. They are extremely customizable, and are available at inexpensive prices.

What Cool Alternatives Are There To An AR-15

What Cool Alternatives Are There To An AR-15

However, some people may not like them for a variety of reasons. They are extremely common, so maybe you are trying to stick out at the range.

Whatever, the reason may be, there are some excellent alternatives available to the classic AR-15. While these may be slightly more expensive for the most part, they are still fun weapons. In this article, we will go over a few examples of these AR-15 alternatives. Let’s get into it!

  • AK47

First and foremost, let me say how much I love the AK47. There are hundreds of different variants available, and I’ve enjoyed every one that I have shot.

Compared to an AR-15, AK47s aren’t quite as accurate, but they do shoot a larger bullet. For hunting and defense purposes, this could be a good feature for you.

I think the weapon is pretty sleek looking, especially with wood furniture, and they are notorious for their reliability.

  • FN SCAR

Anyone who has spent some time playing video games is familiar with the SCAR. It is used by some militaries, and is an absolutely excellent weapon.

Similar to the AK47, this rifle also shoots a larger bullet. While the AK shoots 7.62×39, one version of the SCAR shoots 7.62×51. This is an excellent round for big game hunting or defense purposes. The other version of the SCAR shoots the same round as the AR-15.

However, for as high quality as this weapon is, it is also worth mentioning that is about five times as expensive as the least expensive AR-15 weapons. If that is not a problem to you, definitely check out this weapon!

Bushmaster makes a version of the SCAR, called the ACR, that is slightly less expensive.

  • Steyr AUG A3 M1

This is the first of the so called “bullpup” rifles we will talk about. These types of rifles have the action behind the trigger, which shortens the overall length of the weapon. Essentially, these are similar to the P90, except they are in rifle calibers.

The AUG is used in the Austrian army, and is available with multiple different optics and rails from the manufacturer. The rifle is extremely easy to breakdown, and shoots extremely well. Its distinct styling is sure to stand out, and the performance will be there to back it.

It shoots the same NATO ammunition as the AR-15, and is a pretty lightweight weapon. The trigger pull is slightly heavier than some others, but it is a great weapon to shoot.

However, similar to the SCAR, this weapon is significantly more expensive than the AR-15. Relevant to it, if you are looking the best scope for ar-15, i highly recommend the Vortex :).

  • IWI Tavor

Next up is another bullpup rifle. The Tavor X95 shoots the same NATO round as the AR-15. It cycles extremely smoothly, and has an excellent trigger pull. It’s got a great rail system, and is a very accurate weapon.

It is available in a few different colors, and has some excellent stock sights. The front folding sight has tritium inserts, so they are extremely easy to use. In my opinion, this weapon is slightly better looking than the AUG, and is also available at a less expensive cost.

In my opinion, both the AUG and the Tavor are fun to shoot. The difference between the two is almost negligible.

  • FN FS2000

The last bullpup rifle on our list is the FS2000. Similar to the SCAR, this rifle is made by FN, and it is an extremely high weapon. It shoots 5.56x45mm NATO.

This weapon only has one rail, as opposed to some of the others, which had more. In my opinion, this rifle isn’t as sleek looking as the other bullpup rifles, but it is still a cool looking weapon. In terms of action, this is a good weapon. The FS2000 is also significantly less expensive than the other bullpup rifles.

  • Springfield M1A

Last up is a modernized predecessor to the AR-15. The Springfield M1A is a modern tactical M14. It is an extremely high quality weapon, and is a great AR-15 alternative. It shoots 7.62×51 NATO, so it is a larger cartridge than the AR-15.

This weapon has been around for a long time, and the modernization is a welcome touch. There are multiple models, so you will be able to meet your needs. Overall, this is a great quality weapon.

Should You Use A Sunshade For Your Scope?

The purpose of a sunshade is to shield the amount of light that enters the scope. Essentially, it does a lot to minimize the glare, which can help your eyes and improve your accuracy.

Sure, that sounds great, but is a sunshade really worth it? In this article, we will talk briefly about the pros and cons of a sunshade and whether or not you should use one.

For starters, we will talk about the basics of a sunshade.

Sunshades are extremely basic and simple to understand. It attaches to the scope on the objective lens side. For anyone confused, it attaches to the side that you don’t look down. It is literally just a hollow tube that will help to reduce glare in your scope.

Should You Use a Sunshade for your Scope

Should You Use a Sunshade for your Scope

Pros

The biggest pros of a sunshade are the reduced glare and ease of use. A quality sunshade will make a very significant difference in the amount of glare that you experience. Additionally, it will not change anything about the optic, and will not limit your field of view.

They are extremely easy to use in that they are very easy to install. That is literally all you have to do. It couldn’t be any easier.

Lastly, they are available at very inexpensive price. If you are experiencing glare, a sunshade is a very cheap fix to improve your problem, and help improve your accuracy.

Cons

The only real cons associated with a sunshade are the increased length and bulk. It will increase the length of the scope, which may make it more difficult to fit on some rifles. However, they are available in different lengths, so odds are that you can make it work.

With the increased length comes some additional weight, and the fact that the sunshade is often not the most aesthetically pleasing thing you can add to a rifle.

Recommendations

If you are doing any type of shooting in sunlight, a sunshade is not going to hurt. If you are able to fit it on your rifle, it is an easy and inexpensive addition to your rifle that could be very helpful. Whether it is hunting or target shooting, if you are shooting in the direct sunlight, a sunshade could be useful for you.

However, if most of your shooting occurs indoors or out of the direct sunlight, a sunshade won’t do much for you. It is an extra, bulky piece that will serve almost no purpose.

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Conclusion

As you can see, sunshades are extremely easy additions to weapons, and could be very useful to you, dependent on the type of shooting you do.

1

What Scope Does The Military Use?

For decades, civilian firearms fans have bought up military-style weapons, accessories, and optics. It is a near guarantee that weapons based on the current military weapons will be extremely popular. The case in point is obviously the AR-15, which has achieved firearms celebrity status as a result of being closely related to the military M4.

What Scope Does The Military Use

However, what optics are the military using? Are they commercially available?

This is a pretty broad question. The military uses quite a few different optics, and different units often use different optics. Special operations units can use separate optics than conventional forces. However, in this article, we will talk about a few of the optics used in the military, and whether or not you can buy them.

1. M68 Close Combat Optic (CCO)

First up is the M68 CCO, which is extremely commonly used in the Army. The Army has a contract with the manufacturer, and they have literally hundreds of thousands of M68s. However, the sight is used throughout most branches of the military.

On the civilian side, it is available as the Aimpoint CompM4. It is a durable and reliable sight that is extremely easy to use. They are accurate and enjoyable to shoot with.

However, not everyone in the military uses M68s. Many people prefer to shoot with other sights,

2. EOTech 553

One example is the EOTech Model 553. These EOTech sights are a very specific kind of red dot sight. They are actually a holographic sight. What this means is that the reticle is actually a hologram that is illuminated by a laser. This allows for the reticle to be smaller, which increases your accuracy.

In the civilian market, these are priced very similarly to the Aimpoint CompM4. It is another great sight, but the battery life isn’t as good. However, it is also worth mentioning that EOTech was involved in a lawsuit brought forth by the military that the sights were defective, so it may be worth checking out some of the others on our list.

3. Advanced Combat Optical Gunsight (ACOG)

ACOG sights were originally mainly used by special operations units, but they are becoming more common in conventional units throughout the Army and Marine Corps. They are extremely popular, and are my personal choice for weapons optics.

Fortunately for you, Trijicon ACOG sights are widely available on the civilian market! The military uses mostly a few 4×32 versions, the TA31RCO-A4CP, TA31RCO-M150CP, and TA31RC-M4CP. Another one that is used is the ACOG/RMR combo, which is an excellent sight.

However, there are quite a few different magnification options available, so be sure to check out all of them!

My favorite thing about Trijicon ACOG sights, other than the durability, is the fact that they use fiber optics for the red dot, so you never need a battery. I find them to be extremely accurate and easy to shoot, but they are very expensive.

4. Leupold Mark 4

Now, we are transitioning away from M4 sights and onto sniper sights. These are just 2 of the common ones, but it is generally dependent on the shooter. When you get into the most advanced shooters in the military, they often choose their own optics, and there isn’t necessarily much overlap from one sniper to the next.

But, the first common optics for snipers is the Leupold Mark 4, which is available on the civilian market as well.

It is available with a pretty wide variety of magnification ranges. Leupold has come to be synonymous with quality. The Mark 4 is absolutely no different. They are crystal clear and extremely accurate. However, a hefty pricetag also comes with the Leupold name.

5. Schmidt & Bender PMII

Another one that is commonly used by military snipers is the Schmidt & Bender PMII. Just like the Leupold, there’s a huge variety of magnification ranges available. They are extremely high quality, and are even more expensively priced than the Leupold.

These optics should be saved for the most advanced shooters out there. It is of the highest quality, but you will pay for it.

Conclusion

As you can see, there are quite a few different optics that the military uses. As a reminder, this list was just a beginning. There are a few different optics used on machine guns and grenade launchers, which would make this list even longer.

Another thing to consider is that the answer may be changing from day to day. Especially for special operations units, they often change optics frequently and are using the best and newest stuff available.

What Is A Match Grade Barrel? Who Should Use It?

The term “match grade barrel” is thrown around a lot in the firearms industry. If you are building or improving a firearm, I’m sure you’ve come across this. However, is this just a way for manufacturers and retailers to charge more for the same firearm, or is the barrel actually that much different?

What Is A Match Grade Barrel Who Should Use It

What Is A Match Grade Barrel Who Should Use It

In this article, we will talk about some of the features of a match grade barrel, and whether or not it is worth it for you.

What is Match Grade Barrel?

At its core, a match grade barrel is supposed to be a barrel that allows for match grade accuracy. Essentially, this kind of barrel should allow you to be accurate enough to shoot in competitions with it.

What this means, is that the manufacturer should have tighter tolerances for the barrel. The barrel should fit extremely tightly against the chamber, to increase accuracy. These barrels are generally a little bit thicker and heavier, but are also sometimes made from different materials or treated differently.

Some Issues when using Grade Barrel

However, there are some issues with match grade barrels.

For example, keep in mind that there is no set tolerance for a specific barrel for most weapons. What this means to you is that a match grade barrel made by one manufacturer may not be as good as other manufacturers.

Basically, one manufacturer’s match grade barrel may be worse quality than another company’s normal barrel, dependent on what their normal tolerances are.

Another thing to keep in mind is that firearms manufacturers tend to use the words “match grade” pretty loosely. If you are buying a weapon that is manufactured on a large scale, odds are that the internals are large scale manufactured as well. In this case, the match grade barrel from the factory may not actually be that high quality.

If you are going to buy a match grade barrel, make sure you do so from a well known manufacturer that custom makes each barrel.

Should You Use One?

Honestly, if you aren’t exactly sure what a match grade barrel is, odds are you probably don’t need one.

A true match grade barrel is very important for competitive shooting, but that is about it. There’s nothing stopping you from getting one for other uses, but you are probably spending a lot more money than you need to on a barrel.

Conclusion

A true match grade barrel from a reputable manufacturer can greatly increase your weapon’s accuracy. However, make sure you actually need to spend this extra money before buying one.

If you are just doing some casual shooting or hunting, you are going to be fine with any barrel. However, if you are doing competitive shooting or extremely long range hunting, a high quality barrel is going to vastly improve your abilities.

What Is A Free Float Handugard? Who Should Use It?

If you are upgrading or building an AR-platform weapon, I’m sure you’ve run into the term free float handguard. However, if you are relatively new to firearms, it may be a little difficult to decipher what that actually means.

So, what is a free float handguard? What is a drop-in handguard? Which one should you use? In this article, we will go over some of the basics about handguards, and make some general recommendations about when each type is better.

What is a Free Float Handugard

What is a Free Float Handugard

What is Handguards

The handguard of an AR-platform weapon is the part that surrounds the barrel. It is what you hold onto if you’re shooting correctly. 

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Having a handguard at all is necessary because the barrel heats up significantly, but choosing between a free float and a drop in can be a little difficult.

Drop-In Handguard

We will start with the easier one. A drop-in handguard is essentially just a two piece guard that is held in place by what is called the delta ring of the weapon. The delta ring is spring-loaded, so it will hold the handguard in place. To change it, all you have to do is take the tension off the delta ring, and remove the old handguard.

Drop-in handguards are extremely easy to install. They are also relatively inexpensive, because it is a very simple system. These are often polymer, but there are also plenty of drop-in handguards that have a rail system to them.

What is Free Float Handguard

A free float handguard is mounted directly to the upper receiver of the rifle. It doesn’t even touch the barrel at all, and there is no delta ring on the weapon. The term “free float” comes from the fact that the handguard doesn’t touch the barrel.

Free float handguards offer much more in the way of customization. You can get multiple different rail systems, such as KeyMod or M-Lok, and you can get a handguard that is the full length of the barrel. However, most of these options come at a much greater cost. They are also more difficult to install.

Recommendations

If you are looking for an extremely sleek, tactical-style weapon, you are probably envisioning a free-floating handguard. Due to the wide variety of options available, you are able to customize the weapon to meet your exact look.

If you are doing any type of shooting that requires extreme accuracy, a free-floating handguard will be better for you.

When you use a drop-in handguard, it has a little wiggle to it, since it is only held in place by the delta ring. A free-floating handguard won’t move when you are shooting. The fact that it doesn’t touch the barrel also improves the accuracy.

If you’re looking to attach a bunch of accessories, the free-floating handguard can offer more real estate for you. However, you can get drop-in handguards that have four-sided rail systems, and will work just fine for attaching accessories.

If you are just a casual shooter, a drop-in handguard will work just fine. They are easy to install and use, so there is nothing to worry about.

If you are just looking for a simple home defense or survival rifle, a drop-in will also be fine for you.

Conclusion

As you can see, there are actually a few significant differences between the two types of handguards. While both will work great for you, there are certain circumstances that warrant the use of one type over the other.

Find Out Why Are Glocks so Popular?

You’ve seen it. Everyone and their mother has a Glock. You can’t swing a dead cat without hitting a Glock lover. Most police departments have Glocks. Special operations in the military use Glocks. You can’t take a trip to the grocery store without seeing a Glock bumper sticker.

Why are Glocks so Popular?

Why are Glocks so Popular?

But why? Why are Glocks so popular? In this article, we will go over some of the biggest factors that add into why Glocks are so popular.

Before getting into this, I will preface it with a little story about myself. I used to be staunchly opposed to Glocks. I couldn’t stand that they don’t have a true safety, and I thought they were ugly. Eventually, I got over my own stubbornness, tried out some Glocks, and now I can’t get enough of them. My gun collection went from 12 handguns without a single Glock to 11 handguns and 6 are Glocks. I really do love them.

Why are Glocks so Popular?

Now, let’s get into some of the reasons that Glocks are so popular.

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Reliable. This will be the first thing that a Glock fan talks about. Glocks are extremely reliable weapons. End of story. The weapon won’t jam, and it will fire every single time, without question. Simply put, there isn’t a more reliable semiautomatic striker-fired pistol out there.

Durable. The next thing a Glock fan will talk about is durability. It is not unheard of for a Glock to last up to and over 60,000 rounds put through it. No other pistol will last that long. When you buy a Glock, you are buying a firearm that will last for potentially the rest of your life.

Simple external design. What I once considered ugly, I now consider to be sleek looking. It is not for everyone, but Glocks have a very simple design. There are almost no external features at all, and the square slide looks the same on just about every single one. It’s a very basic and simple design, but it also has its benefits.

Easy to take down. One major benefit of the simple design is how easy it is to take the Glock down. It legitimately could not be any easier to take down. I won’t talk about it much, but it adds into the overall ease of use of the weapon.

Limited internal parts. The inside of a Glock is very simple as well. There are only a small handful of parts in the upper half of the weapon. When there are less parts present, there is less that can break. This is one of the reasons for its durability. However, it is also helpful when you take it down that there isn’t much to keep track of, and there is less to clean.

Easy to modify. Another thing that comes along with having limited parts is how easy it is to modify the weapon. There are a wide variety of aftermarket parts available for Glocks, ranging from internal springs to completely different slides. The options are literally endless for what you could do to customize your Glock.

Lightweight. Glocks were some of the first pistols that were made of polymer. This significantly cuts down on the weight.

Ergonomic. Despite how simple the design of the weapon is, I find it to be the most comfortable pistol I have ever shot. Your hand seemingly fits the weapon perfectly. It is very easy to get on target and shoot accurately thanks to how balanced and comfortable the pistol feels.

Accuracy. Speaking of accuracy, I shoot extremely well with Glocks, and I know I’m not the only one. I like their stock sights, but if you don’t, simply change them out. Like I was saying before, the options are endless.

Trigger. Some people don’t like the trigger, but I think it’s great to shoot with. It has a very fast reset, and a light pull.

Conclusion

As you can see, there is a lot to like about Glocks. I could continue on with more things I love about my Glocks, but this covers most of the basics.

Glocks are extremely reliable, durable, and are very enjoyable to shoot. They are simple, yet sleek looking, and maintenance is a breeze. The number of extremely easy modifications is great, and they are very accurate weapons.

What Is A Prism Scope? Compare Red Dot And Prism Scope

I’m sure you’ve heard of prism scopes, but many people aren’t exactly familiar with them. Wondering what exactly a prism scope is? In this article, we will go over some of the basics of prism scopes, compare them to other scopes, and then make some recommendations.

What Is A Prism Scope

What Is A Prism Scope

Basics of Prism Scope

Prism scopes are a newer scope technology. The easiest way to explain how a prism scope works is to compare it to a traditional lens scope.

A traditional rifle scope works similar to a telescope. It uses a series of lenses to focus light in a specific place. The lens of the scope that is closer to the barrel is called the objective lens. It is larger, which allows for increased light transmission. The lens closer to the eye is called the ocular lens.

Light passes through the objective lens and is focused on a specific point inside the scope. When you look through the ocular lens, the focus point is magnified.

A prism scope functions similarly, but it uses a prism to focus the light rather than lenses. As a result, it is a much more compact optic. Prism sights generally have an etched reticle and an illuminated reticle.

Prism Scope vs Red Dot Sight

The term “red dot sight” isn’t a specific term. It is actually a more general term that can describe any type of sight that uses an illuminated red dot as an aiming point. One example of a red dot sight is actually a prism scope.

However, when you think of a red dot sight, you are probably thinking of a reflex sight. These come in many shapes and sizes, but are generally some form of lens pane that has a battery operated red or green dot sight.

A prism scope differs from a reflex-style red dot sight in that it is generally magnified and has an eye relief. Prism scopes don’t offer much magnification, but they do offer more than a traditional reflex sight.

For those that are unfamiliar, eye relief refers to how far your eye has to be from the ocular lens to look through the scope. A reflex style red dot sight has no eye relief, meaning that you can accurately shoot with it however you want. A prism sight will require that your eye be in the same spot to use it each time.

Another positive is that the prism scope has an etched reticle generally. This means that if your battery dies or your illumination fails for whatever reason, you will still be able to use the sight.

Recommendations

Now, you are probably wondering when you should or should not use a prism scope.

If you are hoping to shoot at extremely long distances, you would be better suited for a traditional lens scope. These are available with a much greater magnification range.

For fast paced, tactical shooting, a reflex sight is probably better for you. The fact that you can shoot them with both eyes open and with no eye relief will be much easier and quicker for you.

However, a prism scope is also decent for tactical shooting. They are compact in size, and do acquire targets relatively fast.

If you are just doing casual range shooting, either a prism scope or a reflex sight will work just fine.

For a survival rifle, I would recommend a prism scope. The etched reticle will make the scope useful regardless of whether or not you have batteries.

If you are hunting, I would also recommend a prism scope, for similar reasons. 

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Conclusion

As you can see, prism scopes can be very useful. Their combination of compact size, magnification, etched reticle backups, and easy to use red dot aimpoints make them extremely useful scopes for a variety of different uses.

Bolt Carrier Group Coatings: What’s the Difference? (4 Types)

So, you’re working on building or upgrading your AR-15. Everything is going great, until you are faced with one issue. Which coating is best for your bolt carrier group?

There are actually quite a few more options than most people realize. However, it can be pretty confusing trying to pick one of them. In this article, we will talk about some of the available coatings and the differences between them.

Bolt Carrier Group Coatings What’s the Difference

Bolt Carrier Group Coatings What’s the Difference

We will also make recommendations about when to use which coating.

Let’s take a look!

Phosphate Coating

We will start with the most common coating. Phosphate coating, also known as manganese phosphate coating, phosphating, and Parkerizing, is a pretty simple process. The bolt carrier group is placed in phosphoric acid and heated up to around 200 degrees Farenheit.

This coating is extremely common because it is inexpensive and durable. It is used in military rifles, which increases its popularity, but also guarantees its durability. Phosphate coated bolt carrier groups will be very resistant to heat, wear, and corrosion. They will usually be black in color.

However, it does have a few shortfalls. Phosphate coated bolt carrier groups have more friction, so they will require more lube to work well. They are also more difficult to clean.

Nickel Coatings

The next coating we will talk about is the various nickel coatings. These have a variety of names, some of which are nickel boron, nickel boron nitride, and NP3.

This process is slightly more difficult. It is accomplished through electroless nickel plating. Basically, there’s a chemical technique that deposits a layer of a nickel material on the metal of the bolt carrier group.

The result of this process is a bolt carrier group that has almost no friction. As a result, it doesn’t require much lube and is very easy to clean. They are also very sleek looking, as they are usually a shiny silver. However, the nickel coatings are not nearly as durable, and are more expensive than the phosphate coated ones.

Nitride Coatings

Nitride coatings, such as black nitride and Melonite, are very tough bolt carrier groups. This finish is accomplished through a process called ferritic nitrocarburizing. This process requires a pretty high level of chemical knowledge, but we will attempt to give you the down and dirty.

Basically, nitrogen and carbon are diffused into ferrous materials at an extremely high temperature. It requires a salt bath, but the metals undergo a reaction that creates multiple layers on the surface.

What you need to know is that nitride coated bolt carrier groups are extremely hard and durable. They are similar to phosphate coatings in terms of durability, but are slightly easier to clean.

Titanium Nitride

I know what you’re thinking. Isn’t titanium nitride a nitride coating? The answer is no. Just to make all of this even more confusing, titanium nitride is completely different than the other nitride coatings.

Titanium nitride coatings are created through a process called vapor deposition. Once again, this requires some chemical knowledge. Titanium is changed from a solid to a gas and reacted with nitrogen in a vacuum, which creates a very thin film.

A bolt carrier group that is coated with titanium nitride is gold in color, which is awesome. However, they are also very resistant to corrosion, and are extremely smooth. Similar to nickel coatings, titanium nitride is very easy to clean, and doesn’t require much lube. Also similar to nickel coatings, titanium nitride bolt carrier groups are pretty expensive. Titanium nitride is a better choice than nickel boron though, because it is much more durable.

Recommendations

For most applications, phosphate coated bolt carrier groups are a good choice. They are durable and dependable.

If you are looking for the best overall bolt carrier group, look for a titanium nitride one. However, if you ever might have to be concealed, such as in a tactical or home defense situation, you definitely want to look elsewhere, as the titanium nitride coated bolt carrier groups are a very shiny gold.

If you are building a show weapon, you probably want something that is nicer looking. In those circumstances, a titanium nitride or nickel coating is going to be your best bet.

Similarly, if you are looking for a coating that will not require much lube, titanium nitride and nickel coatings will be your best bet. Nickel will be less expensive, but less durable.

If you just want something tough and durable, check out the nitride coatings. They are very similar to phosphate coatings, but are easier to clean.

No matter which direction you choose, make sure you stick to quality brands. There may be cheaper options out there, but keep in mind that you usually get what you pay for.

Should I Build Or Buy An AR-15? Which Is Better?

The AR-15 is obviously an extremely popular weapon, and as I’m sure you’re aware, there are thousands of parts available. Due to how easy it is to do, building AR-15s is an extremely common trend these days.

However, is it actually worth it to build your own AR-15, or are you better off just buying one? In this article, we will go over some of the pros and cons of building and buying an AR-15 and make some general recommendations about what we would do if we were in your shoes.

should you buy or build an ar15

should you buy or build an ar15

Buying an AR-15

The Pros of Buying An AR-15: 

  • Easiness
  • Guarantee
  • The Warranty
Buying An AR-15

Buying An AR-15

When you buy an AR-15 from a manufacturer, it really couldn’t be any easier. You walk into a gun store and walk out with a completely functioning rifle. You don’t have to know each and every internal part, and you don’t have to make any decisions, other than which manufacturer you like.

When we say the guarantee, we mean the guarantee that everything will work exactly as designed. The internal parts will all fit together and work flawlessly. Sometimes, internal parts from different manufacturers may not work together exactly as they should. Buying an AR-15 gives you the ease of purchase, since you know it will work. If you aren’t too familiar with the AR platform, it can be very nerve wracking trying to build an AR-15.

Another pro is the fact that most manufacturers back their products with some type of warranty, which you will not get if you are building your own AR-15.

The cons of buying an AR-15

  • it is going to be very simple, and it may be a little overpriced

When you buy an AR-15, you are getting a very basic rifle. More than likely, everything about the weapon will be very simple. While this isn’t necessarily a bad thing, it is something to keep in mind.

Manufacturers tend to overcharge when they sell a fully put together AR-15. You could build a very similar AR-15 for much less money, but it is going to be more difficult and time consuming for you. How much is the assembly time worth to you?

What About Building an AR-15

The Pros of Building an AR-15:

  • Customization
  • Saving money
  • Complete understanding of your weapon
Building an AR-15

Building an AR-15

When you build an AR-15, you can completely customize every single part of it. This allows you to fine tune it to be exactly as you like it. You can customize every inch of it to fit your needs.

Building an AR-15 may also save some money. When you buy the parts and assemble them yourself, it saves money as opposed to buying a full weapon.

It also will give you a complete understanding of your weapon. You will know each and every inch of the weapon, because you put it all together. You know exactly what parts are where, because you ordered all of them.

It is also worth mentioning that it is possible to get an unregistered weapon if you build an AR-15, if you start with an 80% lower receiver. Some states have laws preventing this, but it is worth looking into.

The cons of building an AR-15:

  • Time consuming
  • Requires a good understanding of the weapon system

There are some aspects of building an AR-15 that are great. With the exception of the lower receiver, you can buy any part online, get it shipped to your house, and put the weapon together in the comfort of your own home. However, you are going to have to put all of those parts together. It will take you some time.

If you don’t understand the AR-15 weapon system well, it may be a little overwhelming trying to build one. There are a pretty decent number of parts that are involved, so you really need to have a full understanding of the weapon before trying to build your own.

Building an AR-15 also requires some basic mechanical skill and a little bit of patience. It can be very frustrating, especially when parts don’t fit together the way they’re supposed to. Best scope for AR-15 is most important part when you build ar15

Recommendations

If this is going to be your first AR-15, we recommend simply buying one. Buying an AR-15 will give you a complete, working weapon that you can begin to shoot and understand. If you were to buy the parts to build an AR-15 having never seen the inside of one, it is going to be very difficult for you.

Buying your first AR-15 also allows you to figure out exactly what you like in your weapon. This will make an AR that you build even better, because you’ll have more experience with the weapon system. Buy your first AR-15, and build your next to fit you exactly.

If you are going to be doing any competitive shooting, you absolutely should build your rifle.

If you are just a casual shooter, buying an AR-15 will likely be good enough, but it may be more enjoyable and slightly less expensive to build one.

For the hunters and the outdoorsmen, either way will work. Building will allow you to customize the weapon more, but buying an AR-15 will be just fine as well. The choice is really up to you.

If you are trying to get an AR-15 as inexpensive as possible, you should build one.

If you’re short on time, you should buy an AR-15. Building one can be very time consuming.

Conclusion

Whether you buy or build an AR-15, you really can’t go wrong. It is a great weapon system that can do many different things.

Building an AR-15 allows you to fully customize the weapon while saving you a little money, but it requires some knowledge of the weapon and time to put it together. Buying an AR-15 can be slightly more expensive, but is a much easier purchase to make for most people.

It is also worth mentioning that if you buy an AR-15, you can always make upgrades and changes to it as you go. Or, if you take our advice from before, buy your first AR-15 to figure out exactly what you want your weapon to do, and then build your next one.

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