Holy Fireballs!

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Stiff
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Holy Fireballs!

#1 Post by Stiff » Sun Jul 15, 2018 4:00 pm

I had an Anderson lower gathering dust, from the time when Obama seemed close to resurrecting the AWB. I was slowly and economically building my ideal & cost effective home defense / bug out / trunk / range toy / mall ninja uber tacticool evil black gun. It's not something I need, so I took my time and bought stuff only when I could find them on sale. This is what I end up with:

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Not too bad for a cost-conscious AR pistol.

I intended it first and foremost to be a close quarters weapon, so I purposely picked an 8.5" barrel. Why? Because the consensus points to around 9" barrel length for a compact 5.56. SIG SG 552: 8.9" barrel. H&K G36C: 9" barrel. I haven't measured the length, but even with a flash can it's short enough to go through my narrow door sideways, fully horizontal. That's my criterion for a CQB gun.

For close up work a red dot and a light are must haves. I added a laser because it's nice to have, and it uses the same battery as the light, essentially serving as a spare battery container. The light and laser are mounted vertically so they are completely ambidextrous. We can't always get left turn hallways.

I want to keep this as a pistol because I can carry it loaded in the car without any issue, as my handgun carry license would cover it. SB tactical came out with their revolutionary SBA3 brace earlier this year, so it's the perfect choice. The brace uses mil-spec carbine buffer tube. If I want to turn it into an SBR, I can pop off the brace and put on a stock once the paperwork clears.

As a bonus it fits neatly into a Puma book bag. This particular bag has a separate externally-accessible laptop compartment, and that's where I keep the disassembled gun.

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I took it to an indoor range a couple of days ago, and it spat FIREBALLS! My 16" AR is loud, just like any AR of the same barrel length with A2 birdcage flash hider. This 8.5" thing is another level of loud, even with the flash can directing the blast forward. I was wearing ear plugs under my electronic ear muffs, and the concussion still managed to rattle me a little. Shooting this indoors without ear protection would stun me and lead to a degree of permanent hearing damage, no doubt about it. So, now it's a bug out / get home gun. Still fun to shoot though.

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Re: Holy Fireballs!

#2 Post by senorgrand » Sun Jul 15, 2018 4:04 pm

Nice report! Toys can be fun without reasons getting in the way. ;)
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Release the tapes!

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Re: Holy Fireballs!

#3 Post by Stiff » Sun Jul 15, 2018 4:32 pm

senorgrand wrote:
Sun Jul 15, 2018 4:04 pm
Nice report! Toys can be fun without reasons getting in the way. ;)
Yeah, but I prepared several paragraphs of reasons anyway, in case the old lady decides to inquire...

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Re: Holy Fireballs!

#4 Post by eelj » Sun Jul 15, 2018 4:37 pm

Something that has always puzzled me is why short barreled 22 centerfires are not chambered in 221 fireball. It is just a short member of the 222rem family of chamberings and like the 223 is based on the 222. Designed to be shot out of a 10" barrel. I have a TC with a 10" barrel in 222rem and it is positively obscene with full powered loads. 223 much be even worse. I'm glad you're having fun but be careful, at 65 I'm very hard of hearing and it's not fun.

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Re: Holy Fireballs!

#5 Post by Stiff » Sun Jul 15, 2018 4:47 pm

eelj wrote:
Sun Jul 15, 2018 4:37 pm
Something that has always puzzled me is why short barreled 22 centerfires are not chambered in 221 fireball. It is just a short member of the 222rem family of chamberings and like the 223 is based on the 222. Designed to be shot out of a 10" barrel. I have a TC with a 10" barrel in 222rem and it is positively obscene with full powered loads. 223 much be even worse. I'm glad you're having fun but be careful, at 65 I'm very hard of hearing and it's not fun.
It is obnoxiously loud indeed. At 7 yards if the bullet doesn't get the bad guy, the flame and shock wave will.

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Re: Holy Fireballs!

#6 Post by Marlene » Sun Jul 15, 2018 8:26 pm

eelj wrote:
Sun Jul 15, 2018 4:37 pm
Something that has always puzzled me is why short barreled 22 centerfires are not chambered in 221 fireball. It is just a short member of the 222rem family of chamberings and like the 223 is based on the 222. Designed to be shot out of a 10" barrel. I have a TC with a 10" barrel in 222rem and it is positively obscene with full powered loads. 223 much be even worse. I'm glad you're having fun but be careful, at 65 I'm very hard of hearing and it's not fun.
see also 5.7x28
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Re: Holy Fireballs!

#7 Post by Stiff » Sun Jul 15, 2018 11:01 pm

I think it's a little bit like the chicken and the egg. Less popular cartridges are priced higher because they don't have the economies of scale, in turn the higher price discourages people from using them, so they stick with cheaper mainstream alternatives.

Thankfully it occasionally works the other way around. A cartridge becomes popular because it's clearly superior for a specific use, in turn manufacturers begin producing it to cash in, lowering the price overall. As the price decreases, it becomes even more popular.

I can now see why .300 BLK makes sense. For very short barrel (7"-9") AR guns, it has at least 50% more muzzle energy than 5.56 while simultaneously having less muzzle blast. As a bonus you can use a subsonic 220 grain bullet for ultra quiet applications, having the same muzzle energy as the .40 S&W. It used to be outrageously expensive, but the average price has come down significantly due to its growing popularity.

My next purchase would be a short barrel .300 BLK upper. Since everything but the barrel is interchangeable with my 5.56 AR, I don't need to buy anything else to get a working gun.

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Re: Holy Fireballs!

#8 Post by rascally » Thu Jul 19, 2018 8:10 pm

Just be sure that you don't forget about the muzzle device... it's different also.

"In every generation there are those who want to rule well - but they mean to rule. They promise to be good masters - but they mean to be masters." — Daniel Webster

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Re: Holy Fireballs!

#9 Post by Bisbee » Thu Jul 19, 2018 8:48 pm

Bwah-ha-ha! Just shoot it once w the 300blk and that muzzle device will be good for both calibers!
"It is better to be violent, if there is violence in our hearts, than to put on the cloak of non-violence to cover impotence. There is hope for a violent man to become non-violent. There is no such hope for the impotent." -Gandhi

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Re: Holy Fireballs!

#10 Post by NoEyeDeer » Thu Jul 26, 2018 7:43 pm

Yes, the SB3A braces are nice. I measured a 16" carbine wth birdcage at 108 dB and a 10.5" 5.56 with PSA fluted flashcan at 111dB max over 5 shots each

Might want to go with a longer barrel and a good flashcan just to make the thing more useable. Double muff helps.

Note your extractor spring probably has an "O" ring on it for a reason unless you got a piston operated upper.

You can convert it to a rifle and then back to a pistol as long as it was born as a pistol.

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Re: Holy Fireballs!

#11 Post by CDFingers » Fri Jul 27, 2018 9:45 am

This thread is decidedly lacking in pics of fireballs...

CDFingers
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Like I told you--what I said:
Steal your face right off your head.

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Re: Holy Fireballs!

#12 Post by Stiff » Sat Jul 28, 2018 10:52 am

rascally wrote:
Thu Jul 19, 2018 8:10 pm
Just be sure that you don't forget about the muzzle device... it's different also.
I don't plan to move the muzzle device, it's a hassle. I'll just get a new one.

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Re: Holy Fireballs!

#13 Post by AndyH » Sun Jul 29, 2018 7:28 pm

CDFingers wrote:
Fri Jul 27, 2018 9:45 am
This thread is decidedly lacking in pics of fireballs...

CDFingers
Dangit Professor - I just came here to suggest the same thing! :lol:


Stiff - thanks for confirming my thought that a defense carbine really needs a suppressor, if for no other reason than to tame the dragon. This is going to cost me another $200, isn't it? :lol:
“There are no dangerous weapons; there are only dangerous men.” Heinlein
You can’t take the Razorback! She is gone and gone and gone!

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Re: Holy Fireballs!

#14 Post by rascally » Sun Jul 29, 2018 8:43 pm

AndyH wrote:
CDFingers wrote:
Fri Jul 27, 2018 9:45 am
This thread is decidedly lacking in pics of fireballs...

CDFingers
Dangit Professor - I just came here to suggest the same thing! Image


Stiff - thanks for confirming my thought that a defense carbine really needs a suppressor, if for no other reason than to tame the dragon. This is going to cost me another $200, isn't it? Image
Gonna cost you more than $200, that's just to get permission from mommy. Have you looked at suppressor prices yet? Image

"In every generation there are those who want to rule well - but they mean to rule. They promise to be good masters - but they mean to be masters." — Daniel Webster

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Re: Holy Fireballs!

#15 Post by Stiff » Mon Jul 30, 2018 1:31 am

AndyH wrote:
Sun Jul 29, 2018 7:28 pm

Stiff - thanks for confirming my thought that a defense carbine really needs a suppressor, if for no other reason than to tame the dragon. This is going to cost me another $200, isn't it? :lol:
Well, when you put a suppressor on this thing, it becomes as long as a normal carbine, which defeats the purpose of an indoor weapon.

The narrowest door at home is 28", so the gun has to be shorter than that. Mine is a hair under 24" with the stock collapsed. If the gun is too long, my movement becomes more limited. From first hand experience doing indoor airsoft, I want the shortest firearm I can get away with. A pistol is great actually, but I just want something with a little more controllability, energy, and firepower.

I think .300 BLK is the way to go. For strictly indoor use I can load 200 grain subsonic rounds. They're only as loud as .45 ACP cartridges (softer than even 9mm luger), and coincidentally have roughly the same muzzle energy. If I'm outdoors, I can use 110 grain cartridges, which have 50% more power than 5.56 rounds coming out of the same barrel length. For civilian self defense purposes, I don't see any scenario where I would be justified in taking shots beyond 100 yards. An 8.5" barrel can easily get accurate hits within this range.

Take a look at this guy and the stuff he has to do indoors. He insists on extending his stock, and his carbine looks like it has a 12" barrel. At some point he has to put the stock above his shoulder so his carbine is short enough to maneuver.

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Re: Holy Fireballs!

#16 Post by AndyH » Mon Jul 30, 2018 1:55 am

Yeah, that's why folks are taught to pull back to a prepared safe area and let the bad guys come to them. Clearing rooms is a good way to die.
“Doors and corners,” Miller said. His voice was soft and rough. “I tell you check your doors and
corners, and you blow into the middle of the room with your dick hanging out. Lucky sonofabitch.
Give you this, though, you’re consistent.”
Abaddon's Gate from The Expanse series. :smart: :lol:

(PS...the poet got shot in the back from the guy in the first doorway to the right. It's a good thing he's a former Ranger yet still able to walk and talk. :lol: )
“There are no dangerous weapons; there are only dangerous men.” Heinlein
You can’t take the Razorback! She is gone and gone and gone!

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Re: Holy Fireballs!

#17 Post by Stiff » Mon Jul 30, 2018 8:06 am

AndyH wrote:
Mon Jul 30, 2018 1:55 am
Yeah, that's why folks are taught to pull back to a prepared safe area and let the bad guys come to them. Clearing rooms is a good way to die.
“Doors and corners,” Miller said. His voice was soft and rough. “I tell you check your doors and
corners, and you blow into the middle of the room with your dick hanging out. Lucky sonofabitch.
Give you this, though, you’re consistent.”
Abaddon's Gate from The Expanse series. :smart: :lol:

(PS...the poet got shot in the back from the guy in the first doorway to the right. It's a good thing he's a former Ranger yet still able to walk and talk. :lol: )
I don't want to do room clearing unless I have to, as I know that my success rate on my best days was about 60-70%. There's 1 in 3 chance that I would get shot.

The technique is useful to keep me alive on my way out of the building.

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