Well, I did my research long before I got this thing. I'm not going to debate the merits for and against the M17s vs any other AR-15. To me, the 5.56mm is a combat round that is great out to 500m, but can be used for many other things. Since I'll never be a zillionaire, I want my 5.56mm weapon to be a "trooper's" firearm. If I am going to invest in something with bull barrels, high-end optics and such, I'll be doing that in the 7.62 arena. That's just me :)
Anyways. I got a decent deal at a gun show. Private sale, never fired - and I verified it with a meticulous inspection. This thing had been bought as a possible investment, and then stored. The oils and such had long since dried up and I had to scrub the gun.
First magazine: every 2nd or 3rd shot didn't eject. I got worried. Sprayed some silicone in there. It was getting warm. The next 100 rounds were flawless. Chalk it up to breaking in. Accuracy - well, let's just say those iron sights are a backup and nothing more. I'm going to research before I spring for optics. Dyanmics - wow! I've shot tons of ammo through ar-15s and I'll swear by them. but this M17 just won me over. The muzzle jump was unbelievably controllable when using the sling as a forward handle. I mean, this is a fun gun. I put a ton of Wolf ammo through it and had a blast. Now here's the funny part. I have an SKS-D (Thumbhole, chromed barrel) that was my primary plinker. I mean, I bought that thing on a whim just in case they were banned. I shot it one time for kicks and fell in love with it. I' have amazed many skeptics with that thing. I also bought some Silver Bear ammo for the SKS at the same gun show and thought I'd run soem through it while I let the M17s cool. My first reaction was, "Man, the end of that barrel seems like it's about 10 feet away!!" I still love that gun, but I am a big fan of this bullpup!
Negatives: I live in Arizona. This thing gets friggin HOT. I mean, after 100 rounds or so, the forearm is nearly untouchable. I can barely stand to rest my cheek on the stock. No joke, that almost ruins the experience. I would not grab this thing off the shelf and go into a combat environment as it stands now.
Which leads me to some questions.
1. How do I alleviate this? I plan to ship it to Kurt's and have the upper ventilated and have the lower rail installed beneath the forearm so I can get an AUG-style foregrip. But what can be done about the rear part? I haven't seen any cheekpieces advertised.
2. What are the pro and cons of having the carrying handle removed and going with a flattop rail? And is this still advisable if I do locate a cheekpiece? I am going to go with an Aimpoint style rail-mount optics. Just wondering before I start charging up my cards :)
3. Muzzlebrake - is it noticeable? This baby is very controllable as it is. I almost salivate when I imagine what it would be like with a brake, but then things are never what you imagine, so I thought I'd ask.
4. Kurt, if you are reading this, how do I initiate the process of discussing what I'd like done, and what does the turnaround tim elook like?
Thanks in advance folks. I am so glad I finally made the leap!