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Sasquatch the Reaper 02-27-2016 09:43 PM

Someone to Talk
 
Is there anyone here that I can talk about AR's with? It's for a story that I'm writing for fun, and I'd like to get the details right about some things.

And if this is the wrong place to ask that question, I'm sorry.

commando552 02-27-2016 11:47 PM

What do you want to know?

Sasquatch the Reaper 02-28-2016 12:20 AM

Well, the story is set in 2007, and one of the main characters is a former sniper.

He's going into a situation where he's likely going to be in a tight spaces, but also the possibility that he might have to make a long range shot.

What might his particular AR be consisted of? And is it possible by that year he could realistically have his rifle in something other than 5.56?

The loadout I currently envision him having is a 6.5 Grendel with a 16 inch barrel, a good set of offset iron sights and an ACOG on top. Along with a vertical foregrip for stability.

What do you think?

Excalibur 02-28-2016 04:18 AM

in 2007, 6.5 Grendel was still that sorta fringe round that people have heard about, but no one serious ever use in combat. It like the 6.8 didn't really take off in popularity like the .300 Blackout. You COULD have your guy use it like this is his preferred choice, but it would limited his options for reloads because not that many companies make it cheap enough, so you'd have to resort to hand loads. That's the stories I've heard about.


What situation is your character in that he can only get his hands on a rifle with that specific round? Is he a civilian? If he's some sort of LEO/Military or Contractor, he most likely would have access to the latest of the period circa 2007.

There's nothing really wrong with the 5.56 in an DMR. Military, police and civilians alike still use it.

When you say long distances, what is reasonable because in modern warfare, effective engagements rarely happen at long ranges unless you're a sniper in a stationary position. If you are in combat and well trained, typically most guys would only shoot at the general area of where they think the enemy is coming from and effective hits when the enemy is closer. A guy who has a DMR of sorts, or the sharpshooter would engage at sorta closer ranges as well, say at 200-230 yards to still be effective.

If your guy is some sort of specialists, most I've heard would carry a sorta "Recce style" 5.56, but in the military, the SPC of choice has always been the mk 12 that has an 18in barrel.

At the time of 2007, the 6.8 is a bit better and have been considered in these types of rifles but 5.56 is general picked for ammo compatibility with the rest of a unit and that no known military unit I've heard ever using 6.8 or 6.5 in combat.

For a sorta movie reference of military guys using a 5.56 rifle in a sorta DMR role, look at the movie Lone Survivor which is about Operation Red Wings that took place in 2005

Sasquatch the Reaper 02-28-2016 04:28 AM

Well, he's a civilian now. But he's had to make a deal with a mercenary/criminal mastermind, to help out his sister. Up until that point, he'd been using his personal hunting rifle (a Savage 308) for long distance shooting. But the mercenary has access to some high tech weapons.

In this instance, long range I would put at about 100 yards.

I guess I'm a bit stuck on what kind of rifle he'd use if he wasn't taking long distance shots. Can you help me out?

Yournamehere 02-28-2016 05:00 AM

If 100 yards is what you'd consider long range, then just about any quality built carbine with a magnified optic will do just fine. Most carbines will be short enough for CQB purposes and accurate enough to deliver precision shots at 100 yards (and probably a bit further than that).

Before anyone recommends a build, AR building culture has been a thing for a long time, but the modern, or should I say postmodern, build explosion with all the cool free float rails and lightweight barrel profiles and different gas systems didn't become totally mainstream until I'd say about 2009-2010 which is a little bit after when your story is set. I think your character would be better suited to using something pre-built, especially if he's more of a military man who got an issued weapon and smiled than a gun guy who would strip a pre built rifle into all of its components and build 5 different guns from the guts.

That being said, I've never been a fan of zebra calibers like 6.5 Grendel or 6.8 SPC because they are/were boutique rounds that offer slight performance upgrades above standard 5.56 without compatibility or service history. They are dare to be different rounds that don't offer enough to warrant the loss of the benefits of 5.56. They are basically what .40 S&W would be compared to 9mm if it was never adopted by the FBI, or what .357 SIG is compared to 9mm now.

Honestly, and this is a little boring, but I would recommend giving him something similar to a rifle he would have used in service. An M4 SOPMOD style rifle (or Colt 6920 SOCOM, or the vanilla version with some kind of quad rail) with an ACOG or an EOTech and a 3X magnifier is probably best for a true .mil character.

Sasquatch the Reaper 02-28-2016 05:03 AM

That actually makes more sense than what I had in mind. Thank you very much.

commando552 02-28-2016 11:00 AM

Alexander Arms started making 6.5mm Grendel rifles and uppers in 2004 so it would be fine to have them used in 2007. However it isn't really necessary if you are only shooting over a few hundred meters, with the Grendel designed to go out to 1000 yards or so.

I don't know if Grendel was ever tested by the military, but 6.8 SPC was operationally used by Special Forces as early as 2004. However this doesn't really fit with a "sniper" mindset as this round was developed to have better close range effectiveness and is in fact less effective at long range than 5.56x45mm. However, if you are only going out to, say, 300m the 6.8 SPC is still more effective.

If you want the rifle to seem more "snipery" then I would go for a longer barrel than 16", either 18" or a full 20". In particular if you were to go for Grendel then it would be a waste out of a 16" barrel (I believe that the inventor has stated that the compromise between range and mobility would be around a 20" barrel, with the majority of Grendel users having a long 24" barrel to get the most out of the round).

A Mk 12 SPR would make sense to me, as it was (at that time) used by the military, has a compromise 18" barrel, and is pretty modular for accessories. If the weapon is illegally procured and is a real military one, this also has the advantage of still having a full auto lower receiver.

Sasquatch the Reaper 02-28-2016 01:51 PM

Thanks Commando, but I'm gonna go with the previous poster's idea.

Mandolin 02-28-2016 10:19 PM

I'd skip the offset iron sights and just have a little red dot on top of the scope, or just go with an Aimpoint/EOTech plus magnifier. And 5.56 all the way.

So, basically what everyone else said.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Yournamehere (Post 42383)
They are basically what .40 S&W would be compared to 9mm if it was never adopted by the FBI, or what .357 SIG is compared to 9mm now.

And the FBI is dumping the .40S&W for 9mm now.
Quote:

Originally Posted by commando552 (Post 42385)
A Mk 12 SPR would make sense to me, as it was (at that time) used by the military, has a compromise 18" barrel, and is pretty modular for accessories. If the weapon is illegally procured and is a real military one, this also has the advantage of still having a full auto lower receiver.

I'm pretty sure the Mk.12 is semi-only, Kris Kyle mentioned in his book that after he got back from sniper school, he put his Mk.12 upper on an M4 lower. Partially for the collapsible stock and partially for the full-auto option. He never went full-auto with it, but he wanted the option.

Sasquatch the Reaper 02-28-2016 11:52 PM

On another note, it makes sense for a person (fictional character), if they had different duties, to have two different uppers for their AR, right? They'd have the same lower, would save the hassle of carrying more than one type of rifle ammo, and would have a pretty versatile weapon, right?

commando552 02-29-2016 02:25 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Mandolin (Post 42388)
I'm pretty sure the Mk.12 is semi-only, Kris Kyle mentioned in his book that after he got back from sniper school, he put his Mk.12 upper on an M4 lower. Partially for the collapsible stock and partially for the full-auto option. He never went full-auto with it, but he wanted the option.

I think it is vary variable. Originally the Mk 12 SPR was just an upper kit and it was used with M16A1 or M4A1 lowers (M16A2 and M4 burst lowers have a worse trigger), and later it was made with a dedicated lower. I don't know but I would guess that these later ones were semi only. If you look at our stock images, the SPR prototype and the first Mod 1 image both use M16A1 receivers which would have full auto.

commando552 02-29-2016 02:32 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Sasquatch the Reaper (Post 42389)
On another note, it makes sense for a person (fictional character), if they had different duties, to have two different uppers for their AR, right? They'd have the same lower, would save the hassle of carrying more than one type of rifle ammo, and would have a pretty versatile weapon, right?

Do you mean on a mission, or in a country? If you mean in a country, then yes. For example, I know that the UK special forces have long barrel and short barrel uppers for their L119A1 carbines which they switch depending on the mission.

If you mean would it make sense to carry an extra upper on your back if you wanted to make a long distance shot or something, then no. Manufacturers over the years have tried to tout the idea of switching uppers out for different needs on the fly, but as far as I know it has never been done like this. You would be much better off just carrying a second whole weapon. You don't want to have to be stripping down your rifle in the field, and fumbling to get the bolt out of one weapon and in the other being defenceless the whole time.

Sasquatch the Reaper 02-29-2016 02:37 AM

By that, I meant, say a person normally carried a PDW 5.56, but then had to go on a mission.

Could that person feasibly have a second upper that they could swap out on at HQ, go into battle with the upper (It would go from a 10.5 inch barrel to a 14.5 inch barrel), then later on come back and put the PDW upper back on?

Or does it make more sense to just have two separate weapons?

commando552 02-29-2016 02:51 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Sasquatch the Reaper (Post 42392)
By that, I meant, say a person normally carried a PDW 5.56, but then had to go on a mission.

Could that person feasibly have a second upper that they could swap out on at HQ, go into battle with the upper (It would go from a 10.5 inch barrel to a 14.5 inch barrel), then later on come back and put the PDW upper back on?

Or does it make more sense to just have two separate weapons?

In that scenario, yes it makes sense. British special forces can do exactly that, swapping between a 16" upper or a 10.5" one. It would only ever be something done by special forces though, every one else has 1 gun and makes do.

Sasquatch the Reaper 02-29-2016 03:12 AM

Gotcha.

Thanks.

Excalibur 03-01-2016 09:17 PM

Well, they wouldn't carry an extra upper while they are in the field. That's just not practical. Special Forces pick their loadouts very carefully before they are deployed. If it's a mission behind enemy lines, or direct actions, they'd need to carry all the essentials and still be effective without being weighed down.

You have to take into account that a guy isn't just carrying his primary weapon and ammo. There's his rig that holds his extra mags, plate carrier, a sidearm, pack with other shit inside like food, first aid, and other mission specific items, radio.

For weapons, a team would need to pick the right weapons for who gets to do what. If they need a guy with a DMR, a guy gets a long ranged weapon. If they are all going in doors, they all get shorter guns. It really depends. Special Forces guys are a unit. There are no solo commandos in reality.

Yournamehere 03-02-2016 08:54 PM

Excalibur's reasoning further supports why a vanilla M4 makes the most sense; it does everything pretty okay rather than some things better than others.

Swappable uppers would be cool, but it probably wouldn't be something he would carry with him and swap at will, especially with your application parameters. He would be just as well suited with one gun than with one and a half. If your range increased, then I would recommend something else, but with your parameters, one upper is fine.

As for Commando's comments on 6.5 and 6.8, in order to run those cartridges, you'd need a custom gun or an obscure rifle chambered for them, and a supply of magazines and ammunition which, again, oversteps the parameters of the character to no real benefit other than having a semi-snowflake gun (which isn't ideal, especially in a lone wolf scenario). To that same point, even with 6.5's existence during the timeframe and 6.8's fielding, I highly doubt that they were ubiquitous enough to be effectively obtained by the character in large quantities, whereas 5.56 was, is and always will be.


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