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GUNS Magazine March 2010 - Page 12
RANGING SHOTS • CLINT SMITH • “THEY” TELL ME I NEED ONE… Do I? he amorphous “they” is an interesting group in the firearms T industry. I think “they” are people who of course wish to sell us their products—which is duly and correctly noted. Then again sometimes I wonder if this is on the verge of being a bit too much? This past year an industry manufacturer brought out an AR platform with a piston/tappet gas system. It was delivered to the consumer like it was just short of an epiphany or something when in reality it is at best a copy of someone else’s idea. This product is probably part and parcel to a quest for the Holy market share—which I understand—or in search of a “new” product for the never-satisfied American consumer. We’ve been assured the “piston driven AR is better than the gas AR system” over the last few years. Yet watching these two-rifle types work on a firing line together over the last few years, I can tell you I have zip-tied more than one of those piston end plug adjustment thingies back onto the front of a piston rifle so the class could go forward… and that of course leads me to this discussion. Usually verbalized is the claim, “Piston guns are more reliable.” This could be, but the interpretation of “reliable” leaves some open ground to discuss. First, what is the AR platform being asked to do? I mean what does the owner—most of us reading this being civilians—expect? Researching to a degree (admittedly not a scientific study), I found one Army trooper who said he fired 12 30-round magazines during a 30-minute fight and the most I can find is a Navy SEAL who said he fired 17 30-round magazines in one fight. My E-6 friend, just back from a Special Forces Operation Detachment A-team in Afghanistan for the 3rd time, said his team carried five magazines per man as a load out and had others in the Hummer pre-loaded to the tune of 10 more per man. So this would mean they would be in a big fight, shoot five magazines, go to the unscathed truck, dismount more magazines and shoot SundanceandtheDanielDefenseM4on anaturewalktotestthereliabilityofthe standard“oldschool”.223gas-operatedaR-15. M4 CARBINE MAKER: DANIEL DEFENSE, INC. 101 wARFIGHTER wAY BLACK CREEK, GA 31308 (866) 554-4867 www.DANIELDEFENSE.COM ACTION TYPE: Gas-operated, semi-auto CALIBER: 5.56mm NATO CAPACITY: 30 BARREL LENGTH: 16" OVERALL LENGTH: 32-1/2" (collapsed), 35-3/4" (extended) wEIGHT: 7 pounds FINISH: Aluminum: hardcoat anodized; steel: phosphate SIGHTS: DD A1.5 Fixed rear STOCK: MagPul MOE PRICE: $1,699 12 TheDanielDefenseM4comeswithastoutrearsightoftheirowndesign.Thelightweight, streamlinedsightworkswellwithreflexopticsandiseasytoinstalltotheflattopupperreceiver. WWW.GUNSMAGAZINE.COM • MARCH 2010