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Posted: 9/21/2004 4:41:11 AM EDT
El Jeffe used some connections and got our department 3 surplus M14s. He had them converted to semi-auto fire only and got them back yesterday. Now he wants us to quit carrying our personal ARs. Claims it is a liability issue to carry personal weapons (funny, we must buy our own sidearms, mine is a Glock 21). We all chipped in and got AR gunlocks for both cruisers a while back. With the M14s, we'll carry them locked in the trunk.

I don't have a problem with the M14 itself, just worried a bit about overpenetration and the fact that we'll keep them in the trunk. At least we have the shotguns mounted along the front of the seat.

Any suggestions on how to pursuade him to let us carry our preference?

If we can't convince him, what about ammo? These will be used (if ever needed) inside a small community. How well will they feed soft point or hollow point? Any rounds less penetrative than the others?
Link Posted: 9/21/2004 4:53:25 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 9/21/2004 4:53:55 AM EDT by fight4yourrights]
Why an AR-15?

By Forest Platt

I’m occasionally asked why I prefer AR-15 for a rifle (especially by people who shoot 'hunting' rifles & blackpowder). The list of reasons is long; as any AR aficionado can tell you and I’ll delve into some of them here.

First off the AR-15 is a rather lightweight rifle and it’s easy to hold and carry. The inline stock (and pistol grip) help reduce the recoil and muzzle rise. Since it is a cousin to the military’s M16 it has had the benefit of over 30 years of upgrade programs making it a very durable and reliable rifle. Also, due to its similarity to the M16 (like I was issued in the military) I am very familiar with how they function and how to handle one.

The magazines (reliable high capacity ones) for the AR-15 are much more available (and cheaper) than just about any other rifle (the AK and FAL are the two exceptions). Since the AR is home grown its tougher to stop to the supply of spare parts and cheap magazines with a stroke of the Executive Order pen. Parts for the AR, should it need repair or upgrade, are inexpensive and readily found. There are over a half dozen AR manufacturers in the US and even more that can supply parts and upper receiver configurations. Go to any gun show and you will see all kinds of vendors selling AR parts and accessories. The rifle is very easy to work on and simple to build. Since the barrel manufacturer does headspacing, all the assembler needs to know how to do use turn a wrench, follow some directions, and use a field gauge to verify headspace after assembly.

The AR-15 has proven to be a very accurate rifle, well suited for varmint hunting or Service Rifle competition. As it stands now, AR-15s rule at Camp Perry (the Annual National Matches). In states that don’t allow hunting game with .223 you can select other calibers such as 7.62x39 (similar in ballistics to the 30-30), 6mmx45, or the .50AE (from a 16" barrel has muzzle energy similar to a 12 gauge slug or a .45-70 black powder load). Either should be fine for white tail deer or boar hunting. Plus with calibers such as the .458 SOCOM now available, most any game on the planet can be taken. Want real long range? How about a .50 BMG upper! Sure its single shot, but its the least expensive way of getting into .50 BMG shooting.

AR-15s are also cheap to feed. The .223/5.56 round is readily available at any sporting goods or gun store. Cheap imports and surplus ammunition makes the AR an inexpensive arm to shoot. For even cheaper shooting, .22LR conversion kits are available that allow the use of AR-15s on indoor ranges and use the dirt cheap .22LR ammunition. The ‘full power’ 5.56 ammunition has low recoil making it easier to shoot quickly and accurately thus reducing training time and making shooting fun. Some people think the little 5.56 round is an ineffective round for defensive purposes. Nonsense! The Military M193 and M855 FMJ rounds are generally more effective (effective being defined as the size of the permanent wound cavity) than some 12 gauge loads, any pistol round, and the US military .308 or .30-06 FMJ rounds (or many of the hollowpoint or softpoint variants) at typical combat distances (100 meters or less). If you find this incredulous then I invite you to read the supporting documentation, which can be found in the AR-15 Ammunition FAQ.

The versatility of the rifle is incredible; in a matter of seconds you can convert your 5.56mm carbine into a number of other variants. Possibilities include a 5.56mm DCM match rifle, a 7.62x39 hunting rifle, a 6mm PPC bench rest rifle, a 9mm (or other pistol caliber) carbine that uses the same magazines as your handgun, or any other configuration you can dream up. The question is not "Why do I like AR-15s?" but "Why wouldn’t you like them?".

Some would say that other rifles could match many of the above criteria (or ‘better’ them) so why not choose one of these other rifles? Well here are some of my comparisons of the AR series with other semi-auto rifles.

"Why not get an AK? They are considered more reliable and can be almost as lightweight. The 7.62x39 penetrates cover better and is even cheaper than 5.56. Both the rifles and magazines are cheaper!" Want to read about a 10,000 round torture test of an AR-15? Reliability superiority claims aside, if you care for your AR it won’t let you down; if you are a peasant who needs to be told not to defecate in the drinking water supply then stick with the AK. It’s true you can get some AK style rifles that are almost as lightweight as an AR (though I can always get a lighter AR than AK). These rifles have the stamped receivers (not as strong/long lasting as the much heavier milled receiver versions) and more often than not are built rather cheaply (there are many complaints of parts that break or wear out quickly with the US produced models - I have witnessed one of these). While 7.62x39 steel case is cheap (imported stuff) you can find steel cased .223 for the same prices if you look around (and the .223 is lighter to carry!). If the President or ATF decide to block importation of 7.62x39 then you are limited to a few domestic companies to produce the round (and domestically produced 7.62x39 is far more expensive than 5.56/.223). Spare parts availability may be more common world wide, but here in the USA it’s much harder to locate parts for the AK (besides do have the 20 ton press in your tool box which is needed to rebarrel your AK?). Most AK variants are notorious for accuracy problems. The problems are two fold; poor sights, and a loose system designed for high reliability. While the Valmet and Galil models have improved in these areas, the stock AR is significantly more accurate than AKs; and when tuned for precision, none of the AKs can come close to matching the AR. The AK has limited configurations, and to change configuration you need a new rifle. Configurations are pretty much limited to a 16" barrel carbine or the elusive RPK copy (20+ inch barrel with a bipod and larger stock available only in 7.62x39). Optics mounting is limited (and less than ideal), barrel length is fixed, and the caliber can’t be changed. The ergonomics of the AK are poor, especially when compared with the ergonomically correct AR. To remove the safety your hand has to leave the pistol grip (hear that KLUNK as the safety is disengaged?). The AK cannot be ‘charged’ when the rifle is in ‘safe’, the bolt does not stay open after the last shot, nor is the magazine change as quick or easily as the AR-15s. If you're a lefty watch out the for bolt handle as it moves back and forth for each shot. The AK is commonly found in two calibers the 7.62x39 and the 5.45x39. Neither is as effective as the 5.56 (produces as large a wound at typical combat distances of 100M or less), the 5.56 also has a longer effective range and better accuracy. While there are 5.56mm AKs, getting parts is more difficult and magazines are rare and expensive. The better 5.56 AK types, Valmet & Galil, are far more costly in the US than even a Pre-Ban AR-15, and finding magazines (assuming the rifle wasn't modified to use AR-15 magazines) and spart parts is even tougher than the run of the mill AKs. Since the AK is a foreign design, support (parts/ammo/gunsmith knowledge) for the AK in the US is not nearly as high as the AR type rifle, that coupled with its ergonomic deficiencies make it less suited as a personal arm.

"Why not go to a full power ‘Battle Rifle’ like the M1A, FAL, or HK 91? These are certainly battle proven rifles (like the AK) and the 7.62 NATO (.308) round is a more potent round." First off lets talk about the caliber. While the .308 will be better for longer range shooting (400-800 meters), it is proven that combat almost never occurs at that range. At medium ranges (200-400 meters) the .308 will only produce a slightly larger hole, not enough to justify the extra weight and recoil of the bullet. The .308 has better barrier penetration up close, but the 5.56mm round can penetrate a helmet at 600 yards, something the 7.62 NATO FMJ round could not do. The German produced 7.62 NATO round will fragment like M193 & M855, but is difficult (make that impossible) to get here in the US. The US 7.62 FMJ round does not produce as large a wound cavity as the ‘less powerful’ 5.56 round at realistic combat ranges (less than 200M). For the same weight you can carry far more 5.56 than 7.62. While the M1A (semi-auto only M14) and HK 91 (civilian G3) can be made very accurate, the AR is just as accurate (or more so) and is much lighter than any of the 7.62 NATO rifles. Cost for rifle and ammo are cheaper for the AR-15. All of the .308 battle rifles run over $1000, while most AR-15s are well below. While you can find ‘parted up’ G3s & FALs cheaper than a factory produced AR-15, you can part up an AR from a kit for an equally low cost. Ammo is cheaper for 5.56, and with an AR you can practice indoors with the inexpensive .22LR conversion kits. Magazines for M1As and HKs are far more expensive than the ARs, and the parts for the ARs are more common. Most parts & magazines (including those for the M1As) come from overseas (many M1As are built with American receivers and imported parts from guns sold by the US to struggling nations). Again a presidential pen stroke could really limit the parts & magazine availability.

"Then why not get a rifle in .223 that uses the AR-15 magazines like an AUG (with modification kit), the Galil/Valmet, the FNC, Daewoo K series, or the Bushmaster M17?" The first 3 rifles mentioned can no longer be imported into this country. That being said they are very expensive (even the Daewoo is getting pricy), spare parts are difficult to get (forget it with the Daewoo), they are not as versatile, the FNC & Galil are heavy, and some of these rifle have 1:12 twist barrels so you can't use M855 (62gr) or heavier loads. These rifles offer limited advantages (if any) over the AR for all that trouble. The M17 is different, parts are available from Bushmaster (though not nearly as common as AR parts) and it offers a compact rifle (shorter than a 16" shorty) with a long (21.5") barrel and a cleaner gas system, at a lower cost. The drawbacks? It is more difficult to take down for cleaning, and its much heavier than an AR of similar length (and there is no fluted barrel or A2 barrel option to lighten it up). The M17s iron sights are crude and only useable for VERY short range (like 25-50 yards MAX) - this rifle requires optics. The M17's ergonomics are not nearly as refined as the ARs. The safety is not as easy to operate as the ARs, the trigger pull is universally criticized (and there are no 'drop in' fixes for it), magazine changes virtually require removing the rifle from your shoulder. To top it all off, the rifle can only be fired right handed, other wise you would get spent cases in your face. Tactically it eliminates half the shooting positions in the world since firing on the left side of an object would cause you to expose most of your body. The cleaner gas system has never been proven to be more reliable than the AR-15s, only easier to clean; but it adds more parts and weight to the system. Another drawback to the M17 is its aluminum foreguard. During rapid fire it heats up quickly (much like an aluminum free float tube), so you had better be wearing good gloves.

"Ok so American support is important, then why not select a Ruger Mini-14? It’s got the same effective 5.56mm caliber, its lightweight and about half the price!" First reason is the availability of spare parts. I can get any part I want for an AR at any time. The factory must fit many of the Mini-14 parts and they will not sell them to you for your installation or spares (important parts like extractors, firing pins, and barrels fit into this category). The Mini is also notoriously inaccurate (did you ever see one win a competition - practical or KD?), and the sights are poor when compared with the AR-15s (even the A1 style sights are better than the Ruger’s). The Mini’s ergonomics are not as good as the AR’s, especially when changing the magazine. Speaking of magazines, try to find some good hi-capacity magazines for a Mini-14 (only good ones are Ruger & PMI). They run two to four times the cost of a USGI AR-15 magazine. Even decent 10 round magazines can’t be found (you are left with factory 5 round magazines). By the time you bought a rifle and 10 hi-cap magazines you could have bought a Bushmaster AR-15, 10 USGI magazines, and between 500 to 1000 rounds. Also, with the AR you can change calibers and select the rifle twist of your choice for 5.56; Mini-14s have different twist rates depending on when they were produced (older Mini-14s cannot shoot the 62gr M855 round for example). Besides the lack of cost effectiveness of the Mini-14s, it’s accuracy problems, and non-availability of parts; this was the company that supported the ban on high capacity magazines to the public - enough said.

Thinking of an Armalite AR-180B, Robinson Armaments M96 Rifle or Recon Carbine? Then read this (click this link)

I’m not saying the above rifles are not without merits; that would be incorrect. The AK clearly has an advantage in cost and can suffer more negligence. The ‘Battle Rifles’ have a range and cover penetration advantage; also they would be much better for hunting larger game at longer ranges. The M17 is more compact with the muzzle velocity of a larger rifle. The Mini-14…..well at least it doesn’t LOOK like an evil assault weapon. The bolts on all the above rifles do stay cleaner during shooting, but they all have gas systems that need cleaning (unlike the AR). During NATO ammunition testing in 1979 no other rifle (HK, Galil, etc.) was as reliable as the M16, so I don't think a dirty bolt is a big issue. No other rifle make a better all around rifle for general use (target practice, hunting, high power competition, home defense) compared with Eugene Stoner’s AR-15.
Link Posted: 9/21/2004 5:22:29 AM EDT
Helpful, but we're not looking at getting em, we've got them.

I don't see a liability issue with using our own ARs. How can we argue this point?

Looking back at it, I suspect we're just gonna have to bight the bullet (cute, on a gun related board) and accept those big, heavy mothers locked in the trunk. Maybe when it comes time to qualify, he'll see the light. Bet he won't like lugging that thing around, or paying for the ammo.
Link Posted: 9/21/2004 5:47:04 AM EDT
I would bring up the overpenetration issue. Have the M14's made into sniper rifles for SWAT; ARs for patrol.

Link Posted: 9/21/2004 6:03:00 AM EDT
Nice idea, SWAT. Now all we need are another half dozen guys, some training and a bunch of $$$$s.
Link Posted: 9/21/2004 6:06:04 AM EDT
+1. I love the M14 but the AR is the way to go for patrol unless you're 95% rural. I've heard good things about the Federal TAP rounds in 7.62.
Link Posted: 9/21/2004 6:12:07 AM EDT
SWAT is not nessesarily a group; its a means to an end.
Link Posted: 9/21/2004 6:12:21 AM EDT
Well I guess since you're ditching your AR's for M1's it would follow that more power is better and next you'll have to ditch those little glocks for S&W model 29's, right?

Try that one on him. You guys are cops not individual citizens. You need to pick your equipment based on whats best to do the job, not what you can get. Seems to me that the M1 is way, way, overkill for your job.
Link Posted: 9/21/2004 8:29:56 PM EDT

Originally Posted By fastang50:
Well I guess since you're ditching your AR's for M1's it would follow that more power is better and next you'll have to ditch those little glocks for S&W model 29's, right?

Why waste our time on those puny little .44 mags? Lets trade in for those big, honkin .500 Mags. Damn things only weigh 3 1/2 pounds. Nothin out there we wouldn't be able to shut down, and we could get rid of the shotguns, M14s and our batons. Better up the medical insurance though to cover all those lower back problems that will develope and for surgery to correct the difference in leg length after awhile.
Link Posted: 9/22/2004 7:13:08 AM EDT
Have your guys read the FBI work on over penetration. There is a reason for 7.62 in police work, but regular patrol isn't it. Carry both, and you won't be outgunned. 7.62=barrier penetration, 5.56 won't pass through walls and hit kids. They both have their place.
Link Posted: 9/22/2004 9:41:56 AM EDT
Tell Him by the time you swing that bad boy around , acquisition the target and shoot, That you could with the AR pop 3 rnds into the bad guy and have your police report filed!!!!!
Link Posted: 9/22/2004 10:04:48 AM EDT
Copper54, I would talk to the district attorney. The Chief's main concearn is liability, so I would talk to a lawyer about it.
Link Posted: 10/5/2004 3:03:07 PM EDT
I'd love to have the honor of carrying a REAL M14. Civilians pay about $20,000 for that privledge in todays market.

I love both the AR15 and M14 and would lean towards the AR in your situation but the M14 is a fine weapon, there is a reason you are seeing so many in Iraq. There is even a photo on CNN today showing a M14 in action.

Link Posted: 10/5/2004 4:03:12 PM EDT
It sounds to me like you already have your case in that you have to buy your own sidearm - so why the stricter rules on your rifle? (Let alone the other compelling differences in the weapons and calibers.) I am certainly no LEO, however, but I have seen situations in the military and since where logic doesn't always rule..........simply residing higher on the totem pole wins every time, at least from the start. But logic might prove itself in the end.

Good luck
Link Posted: 10/5/2004 4:11:48 PM EDT
Indeed, be grateful your chief has chosen the M-14. My advice, would be to contact Smith Enterprise and have Ron thoroughly check them out for serviceability, then consider some mods that the military is adopting in ever-increasing numbers:
1. Gas Lock Front Sight (GLFS)
2. M-14 Vortex DC.
3. Extended Bolt Stop (EBS)
4. Standard 4.5 pound trigger job.
5. 18.5" bbl
Short of the the full-boat US Army M-14SE "Crazy Horse" SASS, these cost-effective mods are the way to go. Hillsborough County SO in FL has very recently gone this route.
As for ammo for LE apps, TAP is the way to go from both functionality and liability concerns.
Keep in mind your dept will have to take a back seat to his current military requirements. Good luck. .
Link Posted: 10/5/2004 4:13:22 PM EDT
There is no logical reason for this to be a liability.
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