First shoot with his new gun.

It went well (sort of).
I did the spotter bit and got him into the black and zeroed in 9 rounds which pleased him immensely.

Yet 50 rounds in 10 minutes (which included reloads) went though the barrel shortly thereafter and he was showing all the signs of fatigue towards the end.
It’s blatantly obvious that the stock is 2-3 inches too small for him.
As a consequence the cheek weld was forced, and as a result, he tired FAST.

As for the little rifle?
On the bench it was happily key holing at 25 yards with only a couple of misfeeds.
Both caused by loading problems and not seating the rounds to the back of the mag with the ‘double tap’ of the mag many will know about.

As for his IA when addressing those jams? Mm.
Lets just say I was glad were the only people on the range.

Using Blazer HV, I felt the ammo was a little too hot for the rifle and as a result the recoil was brisk which added to his fatigue by causing him to come out of the aim to address his stance and cheek weld a lot. So I wasn’t surprised he called it a night after that brick was used up, him complaining about shoulder and neck stress. The classic signs of too small a gun for a large frame.

It turns out the range has a cleaning station and as I had taken my kit he could have run a critical eye over his first shoot effects on the rifle. He could have, but didn’t.

On the way home he also didn’t want to clean the little rifle that night, intent on downing his bottle of wine before bed time.

Take a guess why I lost interest fast!

Overall impressions.
The rifle operated well.
The economy Hawke sight held it’s adjustment nicely.
The ejection sequence was strong slinging the brass some 18 feet.
The magazines weren’t easy to align BUT that may improve with familiarity.
Having said that I’m still not a fan of synthetics.
Despite the moderator, a SAKS, the report was sharp, loud, and in the dim light there was considerable muzzle flash.
There was also flame blow back from the chamber.
As no strip and clean was carried out, I can’t tell the cause about that BUT, with a simple blow back system semi, it’s not unknown. Especially with a hot load.

My gut feeling is too much power though a short barrel.
So if it was me I’d go subsonic for a brick to see if his fatigue, recoil, and ejection stress is reduced. The danger could be the cycling of the action may be poor but there is only one way to find out, TRY IT. (It could be £9 well spent I’m thinking)

That butt length. Something I have already discussed.
Back home I researched butt pads and they are available as are comb raisers to help with cheek weld. Yet I’m not so sure that would improve things a lot. A small weapon in the hands of a bear is still a small weapon. I’m thinking that a change of butt stem is called for more than anything. That would add about £30-50 to the bill. All part of rip off UK.

The desire for a bipod was also an issue.
Using blocks, the ideal height would be 8 inches because of the mag length.
That’s going to add a considerable weight to the plastic fore end.
BUT, changing to a 10 round mag would be my preference thus enabling a more sensible, lighter 4-5 inch bipod. That would suit him better as the ultimate aim for him is to not use the range supplied rests.

Slings. Love them or hate them, and I do love them, there are attachments for one.
That full sized mag would be my concern there so I think I’d go tactical single point rather than the more sensible two point. The rifle is light(ish) but to carry it all day it would tell after time.

Low mounts and a long scope don’t exactly work with a M4 cocking handle.
I found myself checking the eye relief of the scope and he ‘could’ move it forward by a couple of inches thus uncovering that cocking handle. The rail is plenty long enough to accommodate that. The other thought was to fit a QR sight. After all even 4 MOA is only 2 inches at 50 yards or an inch as 25. Plus it would reduce his ‘stress levels’.

And that is it for the range report.
Would I buy one? No.
If one was gifted to me? I’d pass it on.
Nothing bad about the weapon itself but a personal thing more than anything else.
It is a plinker, not going to be good for pest control, no way “covert”, and I suspect the shortness of barrel would make 1 inch accuracy an issue out to 100 yards.
I also don’t like modern synthetics AT ALL now.

So, about my friends steel.

Yesterday I wrote about ‘that gunshop’ and my friends new acquisition, his shiny new toy the Tippman M4-22lr. (Still no cleaning kit on order by the way!)

So, probably because I know what is coming, I downloaded the user manual and “gunsmith’s” manual (what a game that was to find) for it.
Now read, cover to cover, I settled down to a Youtube (and other video sharers) hunt for video on it and sat on the Tippmann site to watch their user help videos.

Disregarding the little boys with toyz articles, there is a surprising quantity of good hands on instructional material and, as I’m high school education level, I do learn more by watching rather than reading, when I can’t get hands on.

Funny thing is I have handled an M4 before and I can see why people would like this little plinker. That’s because it “could be” easy to maintain.
Yet, there are some notable issues.

  • Some say it’s fussy about what you feed it. That might be significant in the UK if true where the quality is sometimes dubious to say the least. Note. I believe strongly that you should always use the best, cleanest ammo you can afford it cuts down on fouling and corrosion. Having said that, others claimed it’ll eat anything. To that I’ll say “We’ll have to wait and see”.
  • Out of the box the lubing wasn’t very apparent.
    The weapon in the shop was distinctly “dry” which I did note during my brief handling. Being a bit ‘synthetic rich’, movable items without lube is always a short term pause to opening your wallet. The cocking handle was a noted case in point in 3 videos. As for the assist? If you are using that a lot, I suspect your problem is fouling rather than lubing. That fault did come up on 1 video where it got “stuck”.
  • Loading mags.
    I’ve used full bore sized mags before that have been “sleeved down” and they all allowed for thumbing in the rounds like their big brothers. The Tippmann needs a lot of help, there is a knack to loading correctly, and when deliberately “mis-loaded”, the weapon was reported as a pig when clearing misfeeds. I suspect that true if the shooter isn’t well versed with mis-feeds so I only mention it in passing.
  • Cleaning.
    I’m passionate about weapon cleanliness, especially with low power rounds, so I probably over clean my weapons, always dry patching before a shoot,  and once a year give ‘whatever’ a full level two strip down (which also occurs if ‘whatever’ gets wet). That’s a habit where me and the little M4 would be at odds. I cite main pin or chassis retainer wear as the reason.
    It’s simple, the more you do it, the more things loosen up. I’m not happy about that and it’s been skipped over by the vid’s I’ve watched. Why is that? Having said that, there was a ex-seal who did a level 3 clean and lube (that’s down to trigger group servicing). A nice, plain English demo.Dry patching (rightly or wrongly) for me on a standard fixed barrel auto loader is usually a sleeved rod run through a muzzle protector back into the chamber. That and canned air for stirring any ‘debris’. That’s something this little gun would see a lot of if it was mine.
  • As for lube?
    Lubing for me is sparse anyway BUT things like the cocking handle (synthetic) are going to be well lubed as a matter of course.
    Personally I like divers grease as I haven’t found a synthetic it degrades (to date). Plus, a little goes a long, long way.
    I’m a fan of “If you can feel it’s lubed but not see the lube, you’ve got it right”.
    As for oil? I use a micro needle to apply oil and it’s always ultra low temp grade. I guess I would have stirred up a few purists by those thoughts.
  • Fixings. While I appreciate that fixings come loose, the use of Loctite Blue Medium (LBMed) seemingly everywhere on this weapon does seem a tad worrying. (Note:- When removing the flash guard, it took TWO people and a huge adjustable to remove it before screwing on a moderator). Me sat quietly supping tea thinking “I hope they don’t use the fore end guard to hold things down). The amount of LBMed was ridiculously excessive. A manufacturing line error of judgement? OR was it something else?  As for that being a noted cause for concern? Maybe it will be but was skipped over by all reviews.
    (There again, a lot of ‘review sites’ were more concerned with firing into lakes and at spinners at arms length range than the nuts and bolts of the weapon.)

Out of faults now, and a couple of things I noted.
Accuracy. Firstly I NEVER believe manufacturers claims.
It’s always a question mark with mil type semi’s and some practical shooters (non sponsored) claim the little 22lr pencils in at 3-4 MOA on a few forums.
However none specified the load they were using.
Saying that, 3-4 inches over 100 yards is a bit worrying for the table as rabbits, hares, and fox will love that level of accuracy. As will my arch enemy, crows!

You kinda get the idea why I prefer bolt action after that with ‘my usual’ perfectly capable of 2 MOA with ‘general purpose’, cooking grade ammo.
Having said that, I’m a fan of Eley TENEX and that’s 1 moa (God, light, and wind willing) at 100 yards.

After that it’s sights and as my friend has had his iron flip ups removed in favor of a Hawke 3-9 scope, I’ll not waste my time talking about iron over optical and visa versa.

So, now I wait.
I suspect this Saturday will see him down the local range.
200 rounds of cooking ammo as a gift? That’s only 10 mags.
About a morning’s worth for boyz with toyz, and I’ve got an idea everyone will want to play with it. I just hope the range armorer has a set of rods he can use! 🙂