For the past couple years I have been trying to rein in the shooting budget, and promising myself that I wouldn't buy any more guns. (insert maniacal laughter here). Yeah, "trying" is the operative word. But this year I did compromise a little. The other month I "only" bought an upper.
To be more precise, I bought a complete .300 BLK upper receiver for my AR-15 rifle. I have been trying to build more versatility into my existing guns. To that end, I've been using a CMMG .22LR conversion kit for steel matches. I've also been doing some reading this year about the .300 BLK caliber.
I wanted a larger game hunting compatible round that I could use in my familiar AR-15 platform. I do have a Marlin 30-30 lever gun, which I have taken to deer camp in the past, but it has never fit me well, and I need to get the stock cut down. I finally realized after all this time that I have been quite comfortable with my AR, so why wasn't I using it to hunt deer with? To be fair, there was that pesky no semi-automatic rule in that one state I go to, but that is now changing. My gun even has a new CMC trigger that I put in it last year, so my excuses for not hunting with the AR platform have pretty much evaporated.
Thus, I started asking questions and looking around the internet to see what would work best for what I wanted. It turns out that .300 BLK is basically a .30 caliber bullet in modified 5.56 brass. Though I needed a new barrel, I could still use my existing AR lower and magazines. After studying the options, I decided that I wanted a "complete" upper - for the sake of convenience swapping back and forth. But even so, it was still cheaper than buying a whole new gun, AND I could get more use out of my new trigger! These are the things that my brain rationalizes when I want a new gun :-)
By happy circumstance, Stag Arms had a sale on .300 BLK complete uppers over the July 4th holiday, so that made it easy to burn another gun-shaped hole in my credit card.
Also by happy circumstance during that time period, I discovered AmmoToGo.
At Ammo to Go, there was a Remington .300 AAC Blackout 120 gr OTFB supersonic round with which to sight in my new upper. In fact, delivery was so fast that the ammo arrived before the upper did! Talk about great service!
The arrival of the upper however, was a whole other adventure. I could tell by the UPS tracker that the package was due to arrive on a Friday. Unfortunately, it was due to arrive while I was at work. I managed to leave work a little early, as I was planning on leaving town that evening anyway, but by the time I got home, the tracker said that I had missed the truck. ARGH! So I called UPS to see if I could pick up the package instead, as I knew that I would be gone on Saturday, and back at work Monday. I tried the online appy-thinger first, but it was incredibly frustrating and the options were not specific to my situation. The lesson learned is that it pays to talk to a live person, because the helpful UPS lady connected me to another helpful UPS lady at the local distribution center, who GAVE ME THE CELL NUMBER OF THE DRIVER! This led to the driver offering to allow me to meet him near one of his next destinations in order to still receive the package that day!
So no kidding there I was - driving down narrow rural roads on a Friday evening in the rain, trying to track down the Big Brown Truck of Happiness. I finally met him head-on on single-lane track, and actually had to back up into someone's driveway in order to let him pass. The poor driver didn't yet know that this car contained the crazy lady who wanted her gun parts. I subsequently followed the truck for another few hundred yards, flashing my lights, until we came to wider spot in the road where both of us could pull over and not end up in a ditch. The driver met me with the package at my driver's side door, and I presented my ID. Naturally, he wanted to know what it was. The package was marked "Stag Arms", so I explained that it was new gun parts. He just smiled knowingly, and I thanked him profusely for his trouble. UPS Customer Service for the win!
Mission accomplished! Then came the test firing.
I cleaned and lubed my new baby with Lucas Oil samples I had in my kit, made sure that the upper fit well on my lower, added a Nikon 1-4 scope that I had laying around, and took her out to the gun club for a test drive.
Admittedly, my sight-in procedure is very seat-of-the pants, so I probably burned through many more rounds than was strictly necessary. But I was there to shoot - and shooting is what I did :-)
I began my sight-in at 25 yards to start. Once I was sure I had things on paper, then I went to 50 yards. After I was sure that all was zeroed (sufficiently for my needs at least), then I went to town on the 100 and 200 yard steel.
This Remington 120 gr ammo fed consistently, and I had zero issues from the get-go. In contrast, another brand of .300BLK supersonic that I tried, failed to feed the second and subsequent rounds, every time I tried it. The Remington round had no such issues. It fed cleanly, and ejected reliably. Every. Single. Time. I was a very pleased. Now I'm kind of reluctant to try anything else, since I know this particular load works so well with this gun.
I will definitely be ordering more of this Remington round from AmmoToGo, and maybe investigating some game rounds as well. I need to start gearing up for deer season.
What do ya know - Now I have a gun that can handle THREE different calibers!