As a few of you may know, I am a contributing writer and a columnist for Shooting Sports Retailer magazine. SSR, “The Voice of the Independent Retailer“, is the leading trade mag for gun shop owners and others in the retail side of the shooting sports industry. I write a couple of feature stories a year and pen a regular column called “Battleground” which covers military and tactical guns and issues.

I recently received permission from my editor to re-post my writing for the magazine on my sites, and I really appreciate this as the archives are not available online. Since the trade magazine is not for sale on the newsstands, it makes my articles and columns hard to come by for those that don’t subscribe.

In light of the recent poor showing by the direct-gas M4 carbine in Army dust chamber tests against piston-powered challengers, I thought I’d begin clearing the backlog by posting The Next Wave of ARs from the May/June 2007 issue over at my new GunPundit site. Go check it out if interested.

Also, if you’re in the shooting industry, consider picking up a free subscription to Shooting Sports Retailer. It’s a top-notch publication with a fine group of dedicated writers (virtually all of whom have decades more experience than ol’ Murdoc) and each issue is filled with great info on developments in the industry and how to make your shop the best that it can be.


  1. One thing in your article I take slight issue with, Murdoc, is that loose tolerances do not necessarily mean inaccurate. Mauser actually pioneered the use of loose tolerances to make reliable weapons back during WW1. Those guns are legendary not only for thier reliability but also their accuracy and safety. Mauser tried to ensure his guns were only tight where they needed to be and he always paid attention to potential gas paths in the even of a case rupture to ensure they didn’t get vented back into the shooter’s face. I’ve hunted with an 8x57mm for many years. It always did 1′ groups or less at 100 yards. Damn good gun. It was outclassed by the fire power of the semi-automatic M1 in WW2, but the Mauser philosophy paved the way for the successful weapons that followed.

  2. Good post Dfens………………a frequently forgotten element in the accuracy equation……………as well as…………..quality ammunition. AKs are not only quite loose by western standards, but the ammo that gets fed through them has frequently been assembled to the same ‘it’s good enough for military accuracy’ quality standard. I was at a range quite a few years ago, when another guy showed up with some Dragunov varient. I wandered over and was yakkiing with him, and checking out his rifle as he started to shoot some groups with some Eastern Euro 7.62 x 54R ammo he’d picked up at a gun show or somewhere. Shooting off a block of wood on a bench……….he was grouping about 1.5 ins at 100 yds. He swapped out ammo for some handloads he’d worked up with brass he’d previously fired; his groups immediately tightened up to 3/4 to a 1/2 in! Wow! Same ‘loose’ Eastern block gun……….different ammo.

  3. Dfens: That’s a good point. I was referring more to the production side of things and ‘slopppy’ output with an AK design intentionally sloppy to ease manufacturing. I wasn’t terribly clear, there. I should have the MO crowd review my articles before I send them in. LOL.