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GUNS Magazine March 2013 Digital Edition - Page 102

Just Pull tWo Pins and PResto! the Mighty MorPhing Black rifle W John Connor The NC22 upper in .22 LR by Nordic Components is a great way to save big bucks on ammo. ant to polish your carbine skills for pennies? Get bolt-action accuracy at outrageous distances with your AR? Would you like to plumb the potential of a promising wildcat round using a platform that’s already second nature to you? All you have to do is pull two pins on your AR, and slap on a specialized upper. Here are three approaches you might find interesting. too light, balanced all wrong, and they don’t have my duty trigger—not even close—and disciplined trigger control is too important to compromise on. Then I found Nordic Components and their excellent NC22 uppers. I wanted a setup that would approximate the length, weight, and balance of my truck carbine and my home defense AR as closely as possible. I chose Nordic’s flattop A3-style receiver with a 0.750" diameter stainless 18" barrel with an A2 flash suppressor and rifle-length tubular fore-end. The balance point is unchanged, at the forward edge of the mag well. The differHere’s Terri of SSK with ence is only 3 ounces her 6.5 MPC rifle. in weight and 5/8" in length—close to perfect! All NC22 uppers feature a smoothrunning unique proprietary bolt system, a working dust cover and charging handle, Nordic’s ventilated handguard, and impressive precision machining. They feed from proven Black Dog polymer .22 LR magazines. I’ve experienced no feeding or function issues. Make no mistake, this is an excellent low-cost trainer, but it also proved to be an extremely accurate field shooter too. I run drills using an electronic red dot sight, You can buy ammo in case lots, search out and purchase quality remanufactured ammo, pull the handle on your loading press until you’ve got an arm like a fiddler crab, but if you train like me, the skyrocketing price of ammo is killin’ you. And for a lot of my carbine training—snapshooting at close to moderate ranges on multiple targets—it sure helps to be pushing cheap 40-grain .22s downrange rather than costly 5.56 rounds. I bought a dedicated .22 LR AR clone and tried a few others. They’re good for training noobies on basic AR skills, but for me, they were way J.D. Jones shoulders his latest darlin’, the amazing multi-caliber “Hoaginator” AR. but when I mounted a Leupold 3-9x40 scope and put the carbine in a rest, I popped 40 rounds into a 1" dot at 50 yards. That goes way beyond a snapshot trainer. Price is $499. “Just pull the pins on your old upper,” LaRue says, “Swap it with the Stealth, and begin shooting one ragged hole.” Bold talk, but they’ve made good on it time and again. The LaRue Tactical 5.56 Stealth Sniper System LT011 was designed with 0.75", 100-yard shot groups in mind, but users have consistently exceeded that with even smaller groups at 100, and reports abound of consistent hits on 4" plates out to 400 yards with Black Hills 77-grain MK262 Mod 1 ammunition (a feat which can be replicated, I’m sure, with other premium rounds). There are too many special details about the Stealth Sniper uppers to fully cover here, but the basics include a CNC-machined billet receiver with more mass in selected areas to stiffen the unit; a medium-weight contour stainless steel barrel with Wylde chamber and 1:8" polygonal rifling; a 2-pin proprietary barrel nut system with locking anti-slip plate, and LaRue’s own quad rail assembly which, when set, allows for no movement whatsoever—vital when mounting and dismounting optics, lights and/or lasers. QD swivel sockets are integral at the base of each side. The rail system’s side and bottom rails are tucked closer to the barrel than the norm, keeping the profile more support-hand friendly and streamlined. Built into the rail system is an efficient heat-sink feature, which draws throat-damaging heat away from the chamber area. The gas block and tube are also slick and low profile. LaRue ain’t talking much about their enhancements to the bolt-carrier group other than to say they “greatly minimize boltrelated failures.” They do say gas key 102 W W W. G U N S M AG A Z I N E . C O M • M A R C H 2 0 1 3

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