I spent a good chunk of this past Saturday at the range with a friend. I built his lowers, and he recently installed the two corresponding uppers. Both are BCM SS410 stainless barrels, one in 16″ and one in 18″ flavor. I brought along my 20″ musket as well. The day was spent swapping upper and lower configurations to figure out the ‘optimum’ for each one. We also mounted a variety of optics.
In the end, the 18″ SS410 upper with 15″ KMR rail will reside on a lower equipped with Magpul UBR stock. The 16″ SS410 will sit on a lower with Magpul MOE rifle stock, but that may also get swapped out for something else in the future.
This was my first time actually shooting the Magpul MOE rifle stock on anything.
I came away with a few notes for myself that are good to know for the future, especially with my unfinished 308 project.
1. For whatever reason, we both noted that the UBR with carbine spring and H2 buffer felt ‘smoother’ than the MOE rifle with rifle spring and buffer. It was very subtle, and my best guess is that it has more to do with the almost full pound of extra weight to absorb recoil. But I also noted a distinct muzzle jump vertically when using the UBR. The extra weight at the rear end imbalanced things a bit. I don’t think this would be an issue in most practical circumstances, though, given proper recoil control methods.
2. The MOE rifle stock feels great. I mean, it has a really solid cheek weld and it’s relatively light. When adopting various field positions, it just felt natural. When I put the 20″ upper on it, making it a “modern” M16A4, it definitely felt larger. In hindsight, that is funny because I keep my EMod stock at the same distance anyway. But the ability to collapse it down does make a significant amount of savings on size. The UBR actually makes a great precision rifle stock, as it has very solid lockup and provides a consistent cheek weld. I wish they made one compatible with the A5 buffer.
3. The feel between the 16″ SS410 and the 18″ was very similar. Given the relatively small size difference between the 16″ and the 18″, I just don’t feel the draw for 18″ any more. If I needed more than 16″, then I feel like I might as well step up to 20″.
4. The Midwest Industries SSK looks and feels quite nice. It is very slim, and feels right at home on a rifle that you’re trying to lighten up.
In other news, I put irons back on the musket for now. I’ve spent a lot of time with magnified optics lately, and I just want to switch things up a bit. I’m about two months out from purchasing a new fixed power optic, though. I’m still deciding between a TA11 and the Elcan SpecterOS4x, but am heavily leaning towards the Elcan (I will write more about this later).
Lastly, for my fitness goals, I am down 21 lbs since the start of the year. I had a rough patch last month during a family emergency and lots of traveling, but it appears everything is back on track.