Brownells 75th Anniversary - A Shooting Heritage
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Quick Tip: AR-15 Gas Block Diameter Explained
Quick Tip: AR-15 Gas Block Diameter Explained

Brownells Gun Tech™ Caleb Savant is here to explain what AR-15 gas block "diameter" means. The AR-15's gas block is the part that fits around the barrel and directs a small amount of combustion gas from the inside of the barrel to the gas tube, which then sends the gas back to the receiver to cycle the bolt/carrier group. Since the gas block fits OVER the outside of the barrel, and since AR-15 barrels come in different outside diameters (OD), you need a gas block with the correct diameter to fit

Quick Tip: Accuracy vs Precision - Is There a Difference™
Quick Tip: Accuracy vs Precision - Is There a Difference™

We all want a rifle that's both accurate and precise, right™ But aren't those two capabilities the same™ Nope, says Brownells Gun Tech™ Caleb Savant, accuracy and precision are indeed different. ACCURACY is how close the bullet's point of impact (POI) is to your point of aim (POA). PRECISION is how close together the shots in a group are. Which is more important in a rifle, accuracy or precision™ Caleb's answer may surprise you!

Quick Tip: Custom Guns - Pretty vs Performance™ Or Both™
Quick Tip: Custom Guns - Pretty vs Performance™ Or Both™

Master pistolsmith Bobby Tyler of Tyler Gun Works in Friona, Texas, sits down with Brownells Gun Tech™ Steve Ostrem to map out his views on what makes a great custom firearm. If a gun is good-looking but doesn't shoot well, says Bobby, what's the point™ With his custom revolvers, he starts by tuning the action - and that doesn't mean just smoothing up the hammer and the trigger alone. There's a lot going on inside the frame. All the parts involved have to work together like a Swiss watch. It's a

Quick Tip: Buying a Used Gun in 2021 & Beyond
Quick Tip: Buying a Used Gun in 2021 & Beyond

We know 2021 was the year the used car market went crazy, due to a shortage of new cars caused by a shortage of microprocessors. But what about the used firearm market™ Gun sales hit all-time record highs in 2020 and 2021. Like cars, new guns are still in short supply. Does the used gun market offer any relief for buyers™ Brownells Gun Tech™ Steve Ostrem gets some tips from master pistolsmith Bobby Tyler, of Tyler Gun Works, on how to buy a used gun in the present market. Buy from a reputable de

Quick Tip: Shooting a BRN-180 With a .30 Caliber Suppressor
Quick Tip: Shooting a BRN-180 With a .30 Caliber Suppressor

One of the many benefits of the Brownells BRN-180™ Gen2 AR-15 upper receiver is how easily it works with a sound suppressor. Simply flip the lever on the adjustable gas block to switch between suppressed an unsuppressed fire. BUT what if you want to run a .30 caliber can on your .223/5.56 BRN-180™ The problem with the .30-cal suppressor is that its larger-diameter exit hole lets some of the gas escape around the bullet and out the muzzle. As a result, there might not be enough back-pressure to e

Quick Tip: Why a "Properly Staked" Gas Key Is Mission Critical
Quick Tip: Why a "Properly Staked" Gas Key Is Mission Critical

Brownells Gun Tech™ Caleb Savant tells us why it's important to have the gas key on your AR-15's bolt carrier securely staked. When you fire a shot, some of the gas exits the barrel through the gas block, flows through the gas tube into the gas key and into the bolt / carrier group to cycle the action. The gas key is secured to the carrier by two screws, and the metal on the carrier has to be smooshed a bit into the screw heads to keep the screws from backing out over time. The smooshing is actu

Quick Tip: The Difference Between Rebluing, Refinishing & Restoration
Quick Tip: The Difference Between Rebluing, Refinishing & Restoration

Guns are essentially tools. Really cool, fascinating tools, but tools nonetheless. Like any tool, they suffer wear and tear with use. Sometimes they need to be reblued, refinished, or restored. But these terms are not interchangeable. They mean different things, and Brownells Gun Techs™ Caleb Savant and Steve Ostrem explain the differences. REBLUING is replacing a worn blued finish with a new one. The goal may be to improve the gun's looks or just protect it from rust. REFINISHING is removing th

Quick Tip: Red Dot vs Holographic Sight - What's the Difference™
Quick Tip: Red Dot vs Holographic Sight - What's the Difference™

What's the difference between a red dot sight and a holographic sight™ Brownells Gun Tech™ Caleb Savant says the biggest difference is price. A standard red dot sight is pretty straightforward: it projects a dot generated by a glowing LED on the lens. A holographic sight is more complex because it projects a laser on a mirror that reflects the dot onto the lens. The holographic sight's greater complexity makes it more expensive than the typical red dot sight. Both types can be robust, so an Aimp

Quick Tip: DON'T Ride the Charging Handle!
Quick Tip: DON'T Ride the Charging Handle!

Here's a problem new AR-15 shooters sometimes encounter: You seat a full mag in the rifle, pull the charging handle, and.... the bolt fails to go into battery. That means the bolt does not fully close, which prevents the hammer from striking the firing pin, and so the rifle won't fire. What happened™ Brownells Gun Tech™ Caleb Savant explains. The problem is usually caused by "riding" the charging handle forward - keeping your hand on it and slowing down the bolt / carrier group so it doesn't clo

Quick Tip: How To Install the Wrenchman LW Handguard
Quick Tip: How To Install the Wrenchman LW Handguard

Brownells Gun Tech™ Caleb Savant shows us how to install the Brownells Wrenchman Lightweight Handguard for AR-15. The first step is to make sure you have everything in the box: the Wrenchman LW itself with barrel nut, barrel nut wrench, Allen wrench, and the instruction sheet. Start by removing the barrel nut from the handguard using the Allen wrench. Put a little Brownells Action Lube Plus or any similar grease on the barrel extension and insert it into the upper receiver. Slide the barrel nut

Quick Tip: DON'T Shoot this AR-15 Ammo at Your Local Range!
Quick Tip: DON'T Shoot this AR-15 Ammo at Your Local Range!

The AR-15 was originally designed as a military rifle, so it was meant to shoot military ammunition - not all of which is safe to shoot at your local range. According to Brownells Gun Tech™ Caleb Savant, the M855 variant of 5.56 NATO has a steel core. It's not technically an armor-piercing round, but it can damage steel targets and backstops pretty easily, so most public ranges don't allow it. M855 is easy to identify because the bullet has a green tip. Other forms of .223 Remington or 5.56 NATO

Quick Tip: What's the Best Way to Get a New AR-15™
Quick Tip: What's the Best Way to Get a New AR-15™

Remember those "compare and contrast" essay questions on mid-term and final exams in school™ Caleb and Steve are talking AR-15s again, comparing the relative advantages of a factory rifle from a gun store, one built by a custom shop, and one you build yourself. A store-bought factory AR-15 is the easiest way to go. You know exactly what you're getting, and you don't have to hunt down individual parts and/or wait your turn in a custom shop's backlog. The gun was probably function tested at the fa