What’s in your silencer?

One of my employees purchased a nifty little Snap-On Borescope, with a tiny lighted head the other day. Of course I commandeered it immediately for scientific purposes…

Let’s take a look at my old Gemtech M4-02. Purchased little over 7 years ago, it’s seen thousands and thousands of rounds. Most on 11.5″ guns. Some FA, but not a lot. A good amount of .22 as well. Plated and lead. Overall, a good amount of abuse.
I’ve recently started noticing that it just wouldn’t suppress as well as other .223 cans, so I became suspicious.

Now – the pics below are taken off my TV screen, I plan to buy a proper adapter to get the images digitally into my computer. Until then, this will have to do.

Let’s start from the blast baffle:
Blast baffle

Nothing much to see, lots of carbon buildup.


Second baffle.

IMG_5895A bit jagged, rough edges, but still relatively round.

Moving on, the third baffle.









Far from round, an unbelievable amount of material built up around the edges. Interestingly enough, it’s all facing the muzzle. That leads me to believe we’re looking at jackets, or lead, piled up on top of each other along with a healthy bit of erosion.


And finally, the end cap.




The end cap has what I would describe as “the rolling hills of lead” built up around it. Seems very tick, some spots a bit blue in tint, and very smooth, compared to the jagged mess we saw earlier.

Dr. Dater from Gemtech has informed me that they may be able to rebuild my can, which I am eager to have done.

After talking with Stalking Rhino about rebuilding it or even converting it to a dedicated .22 can, I’ve decided to hold off, as the work, which will undoubtedly be top notch, is inherently cost prohibitive compared to the purchase price of the original can. But that’s part of the game.


Silent Loadout.

Getting ready for a class coming up using suppressed only carbines, I took a picture of my load out so far.

KISS Carbine


Rifle Specs:

  • Spike’s Tactical lower;
  • A1 upper;
  • Custom re-profiled 10″ barrel;
  • VLTOR stock
  • Surefire 951 LED lamp
  • Gemtech M4-02 Piranha
  • Hogue Grip.


Keep It Simple, Sucker!

“Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.” – Leonardo Da Vinci.

Colt SP1

Picked up a nice Colt SP1.
It’s an old Sing Sing correctional facility rifle, and has that nice “been there – done that” look…

A sad picture

I came across this picture of a government decommissioned Colt M16.

Elisco Tool Company M16

In 1983, Armalite was sold to the Philippine “Elisco Tool Company”. All of Armalite’s Costa Mesa AR-18 tooling went to the Philippines, and Elisco also manufactured M16s.
My friend “Zack3g” spotted this Elisco M16 on a recent trip to the Phillipines. I believe it was carried by a hotel guard.


PRI Gasbuster failure.

The second time this has happened to me, a PRI gasbuster charging handle failed.

This time, the roll pin sheared off in the latch, there are still pieces of roll pin inside the handle itself.
The pieces of pin took some chunks out of the steel latch as it came out.

The first time was a similar failure, and I was assured when I sent it in, that I would receive one of improved design back, to battle this very problem.

Obviously, this thing will go back again. Not sure if I want it back. Perhaps it’s time to look into a BCM Gunfighter one.

Added: I just spoke with Sean, the shop manager at Precision Reflex, and the upgraded version of the charging handle had a solid pin instead of a roll pin.
I think mine was exchanged either right before that change, or I was accidentally shipped an old style replacement.

He asked me to return the charging handle to them, and they will repair or replace it. They will also reimburse me my return shipping costs.


I received the replacement charging handle yesterday. Shipped UPS, and a $5 bill inside the ziploc bag for my shipping costs.

The pin for the latch is now a solid pin, which, according to PRI, will take care of all the breaking issues they’ve been having. Time will tell.

One other thing I noticed, is that the actual latch is no longer a machined piece with a rod welded to it, as can be seen in the first picture, but is now a one-piece casting. A bit disappointing.


More thoughts on the MGI QCB-D upper

I now have around 2000 rounds through the MGI QCB-D upper receiver, and I must say, all trouble free, as far as the upper goes. All rounds were in full auto on the M16.
The upper has really proven to be a very useful, versatile add-on to any rifle.
The ability to unlock a hot barrel, “shake it out” of the the receiver, and install a new one in no time at all is very handy.
Pro-tip: Make sure everyone around you knows the barrel is hot, or nasty burns will be the result of curious fingers…

I’ve only had 2 different barrels in the upper, a White Oak Armament 10.5″ and a 7.5″ from a DPMS Kitty-Kat. Both fit well, locked in snug and performed flawlessly.
The 7.5″ did require a low profile gas block. When installing barrels in the MGI upper, the hand-guard cap needs to be omitted.

On the barrel lock up:
The barrel extension flange is what the MGI upper locks on, and if it isn’t within a few thousands of .131″ (Rock Island Arsenal blueprints) locking issues may occur.
I found that the barrels I installed to lock up tight, with the exception of a new 7.62×39 YHM barrel I purchased. The flange on it measured .127″.
While this will not an issue on a standard barrel nut setup, it is too thin for the MGI, and the barrel will still be loose after installation. The barrel could literally be rocked back and forth, with an extension only .004″ out of tolerance.
MGI can adjust the tension on the locking cams if desired, but an in-spec barrel extension will then be too thick, causing locking issues as well.

About the rail:
I found the rails to be as good as any, I mounted an EOtech on it, as well as an ACOG without any issues. I did end up just using a carry handle on there as a sight.
The rails not in use were covered with Knight’s Armament rail covers. These can, by the way, be locked on non-KAC rails by gently prying the tab up with a small screw driver.

The biggest downside I see from the MGI QCB-D upper is the inability to mount anything to the bottom rail. Ideally, the sliding lock needs free movement to function, so covering the rail section in front of it renders the whole system useless.
Of course, anything can be removed, especially a nifty LaRue or ARMS disconnect vertical front grip, or a light with quick disconnect, but it’s an extra step, with more loose items laying around to keep track off.
I really think that a slider with a rail cover section on it, to protect the hand, would be an addition, or even a slider assembly with a VFG integrated to it.
Perhaps MGI can get with Magpul for a custom Angled Grip.
Just a thought.

Corey at MGI Military was right, I do love this thing, and I will continue to use it extensively.

A closer look at the MGI QCB-D Upper Receiver

Operation is quite simple:

  • On the bottom of the receiver, flip the locking bar up. This may be a bit tight, some leverage can help.
  • Once the lock bar is up, slide the plastic retainer piece forwards. It’s cut so that it slides forward over the picatinny rail, exposing the locking arms.
  • Turn the locking arms 90 degrees outward. This unlocks the barrel.
  • Remove barrel.

Inserting a barrel is equally simple, follow the steps above in reverse, and the upper receiver is ready to shoot.

A few thoughts, so far:

  • I’m very impressed with the fit, function and finish of the unit. It fits all my lowers well, without any play.
  • One thing that I was curious about, was how the gas tube would line up. The upper receiver has a much thicker wall, and just forward of it, a ring is inside the free float tube, assisting in guiding the gas tube to it’s proper position in the receiver.
  • As we all know, picatinny rails can be quite sharp. This is usually easily fixed by adding covers, whether they be slim ladder style or full panels. However, with the locking bar cover sliding over the bottom rail, adding rail covers would mean that the covers would have to be peeled off before a barrel can be removed. This is also the case for vertical front grips, unless of course they have a quick release on them.

More new stuff: MGI Upper Receiver

For years now I’ve always been intrigued by MGI’s QCB upper receiver. The ability to quickly swap barrels without having to change optics, carriers etc seems like a good idea.

But alas, my research for reviews was unsuccessful, I couldn’t find anyone that was actively using one and had some reviews or thoughts on it.

I contacted Cory at MGI Military, he agreed to send me a unit to review. If I didn’t like it, I was free to return it at any time. And the price was right as well. So I agreed, and placed the order. Within 20 minutes of me placing the order, April at MGI sent me the tracking number.

The unit came in a small box, well packaged with a color instruction sheet.
Rob, my UPS driver and I looked at each other in disbelief. That’s it? It doesn’t weigh anything! After I removed it from the box I found that is was very light indeed. 1lbs and 11Oz. to be precise.

Here is the upper, along with the instruction sheet, as I took it out of the box.