For the inaugural 17 South Sweat N Bullets 5k Run and Gun I decided to mix up the guns for some fun. Instead of a 5.56 carbine I brought along a .308 heavy hitter. After MD approval for a second run, I decided to use an M16A2 clone and a Beretta 92FS during the second time out.
Guns & Ammo – 1st Run with .308 Carbine
Rifle: Deciding to run a .308 was about giving the KAC SR-25 a workout and getting the experience running the bigger gun. This rifle is usually setup as a mid-range/designated marksman rifle, so only a few subtle changes were made. In this instance I removed the SilencerCo Omega to save some weight and length, letting the ASR muzzle brake do it’s work on taming recoil for the fast shots up close. Instead of heavy match bullets I went to lighter weight projectiles, and went to the 25-rd Magpuls instead of the shorter 20’s that work nicer for prone shooting. In all, Knight’s Armament has done a fantastic job advancing the SR-25 platform over the years. Their work has resulted in a smooth shooting, reliable and accurate carbine.
- Knights Armament SR-25 Carbine
- SilencerCo ASR Muzzle Brake
- Magpul SL-K Grip
- Magpul ACS Stock
- Magpul 25-rd PMAGs
- Blue Force Gear Padded Vickers Sling
Optic: My optic of choice is the Nightforce ATACR 1-8×24 F1. The combination of excellent glass, daylight bright reticle and other features make it a perfect optic if you have the cash. For this match I shot at 2.5-3x for all of the rifle shots. I left the illumination on the entire time, which was nice when I was having some fogging issues with my glasses, as it provided an easy to see aiming reference. I have the rifle zeroed for 100 yards.
Rifle Ammunition: For rifle ammunition I used handloads with Hornady 150gr FMJs over IMR 8208XBR in Lake City brass. This load is about 1.5 MOA out of the rifle, running around 2,725 feet per second. The match advertised less than 200 yard distances, but I feel comfortable going 2-3 times that distance with this ammo on decent sized targets. Advantages to the 150s over 168/175gr ammo are: greater speed for less bullet drop, less recoil/torque and easier on the wallet. If I were to keep shooting this rifle like a carbine, the 155gr ELD-M at similar speeds would be the single-best all around cartridge as you get the speed AND really good BC for reaching out past 600 yards.
The advertised minimum round count was 40 rifle but no other stage info was provided. A good rule of thumb is to double or triple that depending on how confident you might be in your shooting. I took three of the 25-rd magazines for 75 rounds, but also grabbed 15 loose rounds to top off a magazine in the event most stages required the rifle. I’d rather stuff a few rounds in a partial mag and stay light in my gear instead of trying to carry an extra magazine and add additional gear to carry/manage the load out. In total I fired 56 rifle rounds.
Pistol: I’ve been going steady with my Staccato (formerly STI) P model, 9mm 2011 for almost 6 months now. On this site is my series A 2011 Life about that. Otherwise the pistol was flawless in operation even if I was struggling on some of the pistol shooting. The pistol did get very sweaty and wet from water crossings. Less than 8 hours after I got home and started to put stuff away, I noticed some surface rust starting on the rear sight. An old trick I’ll have to do is coat the sight with car wax, which provides a layer of defense against moisture for heavy use guns.
Pistol Ammunition: My pistol ammo consisted of handloads using Hornady 125gr HAP projectiles over 4.0gr of IMR Target. I brought four 20rd magazines, and ended up firing 59 shots against an advertised 37 minimum.
Guns & Ammo – 2nd Run with M16A2 Clone
Rifle: As a kid fascinated with the military, the M16A2 was iconic for the general issue rifle of the late 80s and 90s. A couple years back I decided to do a “clone” of one as a fun gun, both for the look and to have an iron sight AR. As a poor college kid an iron sight AR was all I could afford, so I shot a lot of irons then and still enjoy it every once in a while. Anyways, specs on the rifle:
- 20″ 1/7 twist 5.56 Windham Weaponry front end (barrel with FSP installed and everything needed forward of the upper receiver)
- Used A2 upper
- Brownells Bolt Carrier Group
- Palmetto State Armory Lower
- Midway USA/AR-Stoner Lower Parts Kit
- Palmetto State Armory A2 Stock Kit
- I did affix a Blue Force Gear Padded Vickers with an A2 stock adapter and then looped the front around the front sight base.
Rifle Ammunition: Since the distances weren’t as far as some other events, I brought along my short-range/prairie dog killing 53gr Hornady VMAX load. Out of the 20″ barrel, these were going about 3150fps…which out to 300 yards have very minimal drop. Especially with iron sights, less offsets/holds to make on target are better. The 53gr VMAX has a very high for it’s weight ballistic coefficient, enabling better performance than regular FMJs if the wind picks up. Across multiple rifles I’ve also found that the VMAX bullets tend to have better accuracy than regular FMJs. I set off on the course with three Daniel Defense 32-rd magazines.
Pistol: To match the M16A2 clone, I brought along my Dad’s old Beretta 92FS that he carried as a police officer. I don’t mind shooting a Beretta as they generally are very reliable and fairly easy to shoot even if a little big. I have five Mec-Gar 18rd magazines that made the trip, along with an extra pair of 15-rd magazines. Fortunately I shot the pistol well and only used four of the mags (starting with full mags on every stage).
Pistol Ammunition: I used the same 9mm handloads with the 125 Hornady HAP in the Beretta.
Load Carriage: I used a Hill People Gear Snubby Kit Bag at the Clinton House Gun Run and love using it for training runs. However it is tight beyond just a pistol and rifle magazine and phone. There is a bigger model called the Runner’s Kit Bag which I bought to try.
For my .308 run, I used the Runner’s Kit Bag that had a spare magazine, some loose rounds, two spare pistol magazines, my phone, a collapsible cleaning rod, and multiple lens fobs. Since I needed less space on the second run and the Runner’s Kit Bag was soaked, I was able to cram everything into the Snubby Kit Bag.
I went without my Camelbak on the first run as the lower temps and cloud cover made it not as bad. But with the heat for round two I was threw it on and glad I brought it.
Belt Kit: My HSGI Operator belt provided a stiff outer belt to carry kit, with an inner belt to keep it in place. I had a pair of pistol and rifle taco pouches for carrying magazines, which worked well swapping from 2011 to Beretta mags, and AR-10 to AR-15 magazines. This enabled me to run nearly identical setups and convert platforms in 30 seconds.
Holster: Safariland ALS holsters held both pistols on the run. Having the QLS system let me unclip one holster and swap in the other in about 10 seconds.
Clothes: My seemingly standard RnG outfit is now a Outdoor Research Echo shirt and Kuhl Silencr convertible pants. With the heat I took the lower leg sections off and used as shorts, as unfortunately Kuhl doesn’t offer a shorts version with the same configuration of thigh pockets.
Shoes: I chose the Solomon Speedcross 5 to run with. These shoes are almost tailor-made for RnGs, and the non-GoreTex worked well as most of the course was running with wet feet. By letting the shoes breath water didn’t accumulate in the shoe. When coupled with lightweight wool socks, my feet were wet but had no problems. Between runs I changed to a dry pair of socks, but used the same set of shoes.