Monthly Archives: September 2010

One amazing award citation…

The Marine in question did a hell of a job…

On 18 June 2010, CAAT White Bravo was screening in the Musa Qal’eh Wadi when it came under intense and accurate machine gun fire. After the vehicles returned fire, dismounts were pushed out to close with the enemy. Once the dismounts moved away from the vehicles, the company began receiving indications and warnings that the enemy was preparing an ambush for the dismounted squad. Corporal Wooldridge took his fire team and pushed around the suspected enemy flank. During the movement, Corporal Wooldridge’s fire team received fire from a tree line 100 meters away. Corporal Wooldridge directed his Marines to return fire and close on the tree line. Once Corporal Wooldridge arrived at the tree line, his Marines noticed approximately 15 enemy fighters carrying machine guns, Rocket Propelled Grenades (RPG) and rifles. The fighters were gathering in preparation to ambush the other portion of the dismounted squad. Corporal Wooldridge emplaced his Marines and proceeded to engage the enemy fighters. During the engagement, Corporal Wooldridge and his Marines killed five enemy fighters, wounded three, and forced the others to break contact and run away behind the compound.

While his Marines held observation on the downed enemy fighters and waited to link up with the rest of the squad, Corporal Wooldridge picked up flank security. While on flank security, he heard voices around the corner of an adjacent wall. Corporal Wooldridge then pushed around the corner and saw two enemy fighters moving into an ambush position less than 25 meters away. He immediately engaged with two bursts from his

M-249 Squad Automatic Weapon, killing both fighters. Immediately after killing the fighters, he began to re-load his weapon and noticed the barrel of a medium machine gun appear around the corner of a wall less than five feet away from him. Knowing his weapon was out of ammunition, Corporal Wooldridge grabbed the barrel of the enemy’s weapon, threw the fighter to the ground, and became engaged in hand to hand combat.

During the fighting, Corporal Wooldridge made multiple attempts to subdue the fighter. When the fighter made an attempt to grab one of his hand grenades Corporal Wooldridge grabbed the enemy’s machine gun and butt stroked the fighter, killing him instantly. Corporal Wooldridge’s bravery and aggression saved the lives of his fellow Marines by forcing the enemy to withdraw from the ambush and dealt the enemy a tremendous defeat and instilled fear in the remaining fighters.

Direct Impingement Conversion Kit (DICK)

Several retailers have started offering a Direct Impingement Conversion Kit (DICK). This kit replaces a number of moving parts and springs which may be found on piston “conversion” AR-15s. In addition, the DICK corrects geometry issues and reduces heat at the gas block, which can lead to premature erosion of various components.  The DICK takes only minutes to install and also reduces felt recoil. And best of all, the basic DICK starts at only $9.50! Get yours today!

What is the "TDP?"

Since the topic is highly controversial at times, here’s a pretty simple description:

MIL-C-70559 is the military specification for the M4, which incorporates Colt’s technical data package (“TDP”). The M4 TDP consists of a series of prints and geometries (dimensions), a system of know-how, operation sheets, quality inspection methods and access to the master list of specifications and standards that comply with the requirements in Colt’s contract with the U.S. military. The TDP outlines the manufacturing process, materials, tolerances, assembly, finishes, proof testing and dimensions needed to manufacture the weapon. The military specifications (“milspecs”) and military standards (“milstds”) into which Colt’s TDP has been incorporated consist of more than two hundred extremely rigorous standards covering inspection, tolerances, targeting, endurance and interchangeability of parts.

Quality-assurance and conformance with milspecs and milstds are maintained by an onsite U.S. government inspector who keeps an office at Colt’s factory and by a number of Colt’s own inspectors. In the last two years, Colt has fired more than 300,000 rounds of ammunition in testing the carbine and has not experienced a single malfunction.

The M4-carbine TDP is proprietary to Colt, and the U.S. government has designated Colt its “sole source” supplier of M4 carbines. Under the M4 Addendum, the U.S. government does not have the right to procure the M4 carbine on a competitive basis.

Under the M4 Addendum, only Colt can manufacture M4 carbines, except in very limited circumstances and subject to a royalty payment to Colt. The M4 Addendum allows other qualified vendors to supply non-critical parts for the M4 carbine, but only if they are using Colt’s TDP. Critical items include the upper and lower receivers, the hand guard, barrels and other components of the M4 carbine.

In 1999 FN Manufacturing, Inc. (“FNMI”), a small-arms manufacturer that supplies M16 rifles to the U.S. government, challenged the government’s decision to proceed with a sole-source procurement of M4 carbines from Colt. On August 9, 1999 the U.S. Court of Federal Claims upheld the legality of the M4 Addendum, and FNMI’s challenge was dismissed.


Vltor A5/HK416 Test Data

It’s hard to find a more contentious topic in the AR world than “piston vs. DI” – that’s why it’s nice to have some hard data to work with.

Vltor conducted testing of 10.5″ and 14.5″ HK416s, specifically, their rates of fire, both suppressed and unsuppressed – incredibly, the 416′s rate of fire with the stock buffer was as high as 1106 rounds per minute suppressed (10.5″), and 941 rounds per minute unsuppressed (14.5″). That’s incredibly fast, and can cause a host of issues – among other things, many magazines just won’t be able to keep up with such a high rate of fire. It’s also harder to control a weapon that cycles at that speed, either on full auto or semi auto.

For comparison purposes, a Colt M4 is designed to shoot 800 rounds per minute unsuppressed.

With the Vltor A5 stock system and its extra heavy buffers, however (5.3oz stock, 6.1oz A5H3 and 6.9oz A5H4), rates of fire decreased to more manageable levels – 788 unsuppressed, and 914 suppressed (with the A5H4). That’s a decrease of 187RPM for the suppressed setup. That’s an incredible drop, and will increase the service life of certain components while making the weapon easier to shoot. Interestingly enough, the HK416′s rate of fire (with the standard, non-A5 buffer system) is almost identical to some LWRC data that was recently posted on Some other piston ARs have similarly fast cycling times.

If you want to know a little more about the A5, check out the video I made a few days ago -

Cutaway AR-15 – Preview Video

Noveske provided me with several cutaway parts, including an upper receiver. Here’s a “short” sample of what I’ll be doing over the next few days. Note how fast the bolt carrier moves – this is a seriously overgassed barrel, but the port is comparable to several commercially manufactured AR-15 barrels I’ve owned.

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