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Charlie Cutshaw

The M1903A4 Sniper Rifle: An Old Soldier Still Hits the Mark

The Springfield M1903-A4 Sniper Rifle
The Springfield M1903-A4 Sniper Rifle

An excellent representation of sniper rifle technology from the 1940s, the Springfield M1904A4 is still plenty enjoyable and accurate today.


The beginning of World War II found the United States short of many weapons, not the least of which was an inventory of sniper rifles.  Armorers in France converted sniper rifles from both M1903 and M1917 rifles during World War I, but between the wars sniping was one of many things that was neglected.  In fact, even after American entry into World War II in December 1941, sniping continued to be neglected and it wasn’t until January 1943 that the Army issued a directive to Remington Arms to set aside 20,000 M1903A3 receivers for conversion to sniper rifles.

There were no formal accuracy requirements for the M1903A4; at least we couldn’t find any standards in any of the four reference books we consulted in preparing this article.  According to Bruce Canfield, there was no special care taken in manufacturing the M1903A4 rifles and their accuracy was no better than standard service rifles.

Close up of the Springfield M1903-A4 action.The trigger on our test rifle, for example, was the same as our standard Remington M1903A3, hardly sniper-grade, with two-stage 5.5-pound break and significant overtravel.  There were other shortcomings, as well.  Since no sights were fitted and the commercial Weaver telescopic sights were easily damaged, a damaged scope left the sniper with a very expensive club!

Moreover, the scope wasn’t moisture resistant – a real problem in the South Pacific Campaigns. The Redfield “Junior” mount was nothing more than a commercial unit and the retaining screws reportedly loosened and fell out regularly, and replacements were difficult to obtain through the supply system.  To ensure that the screws of our personal M1903A4 stayed put, we removed them and put Loctite on them. Moreover, the gross elevation of the Redfield mount was adjusted by inserting or removing shims.

We had to shim the mount on our M1903A4 in order to properly boresight and zero it, since it had never been fired when we purchased it.  Initial windage was set by adjusting the large screws visible at the rear of the scope mount.  Whatever shortcomings it might have had, the M1903A4 was the only version of the M1903 to have been manufactured at the factory as a sniper rifle.  All others were field conversions.  The M1903A4 was intended as a stopgap until the M1 Garand could be redesigned as a sniper rifle, but in the end only a very few M1C sniper rifles saw action in World War II, while the M1903A4 was used in every theater of operation throughout the war.

Because there was no way of predicting whether or not a M1903A3 being manufactured as an M1903A4 would deliver acceptable accuracy, all M1903A4s were marked, “US Remington Model 03A3,” but the markings were different from standard M1903A3s in that they were offset to the left so they would not be covered by the Redfield scope mount.  The idea was that if the rifle wasn’t sufficiently accurate, open sights would be installed and the rifle issued as a standard M1903A3.  Thus, there are no M1903A4s marked as such as far as we have been able to determine.  We should also note that every M1903A4 was made by Remington.  Smith Corona, the other M1903A3 manufacturer, didn’t make any M1903A4s.

Like all M1903A3s, the M1903A4 may be found with any number of variations.  Most had four-groove barrels, but some two-groove barrels were fitted as is the case with our rifle.  According to Major General Julian Hatcher, probably the foremost authority on early- to mid-20th Century military small arms, the two-groove barrel had little, if any, negative effect on accuracy.

In the case of our M1903A4, we have to agree, since it has a two-groove barrel and delivers very good accuracy. M1903A4 stocks were generally the Type C full pistol grip, but many, like ours, were fitted with the semi-pistol grip “scant grip.”  About the only constants were the lack of open sights, the unusual markings, the bolt handle that was forged with a concave shape to clear the telescopic sight and the stock notched to accommodate the non-standard bolt handle.

Gun Digest looks at the Springfield M1903-A4 Sniper Rifle

There were two telescopic sights used, both variants of the 2.5x Weaver 330.  The first scopes were marked commercially and had either tapered post or crosshair reticles.  Later scopes were marked M73B1, the military designation for the Weaver 330.  Our M1903A4 was fitted with the tapered post version of the commercial 330, although our rifle’s serial number indicates that it was in the last production batch of 6,300 M1903A4s. The final M1903A4s were manufactured in June 1944 when the M1C started being delivered in sufficient numbers to begin replacing the M1903A4.

There seems to be disagreement among the M1903 authorities on total numbers of M1903A4s manufactured.  According to Canfield and Clark Campbell, the number was 28,365.  On the other hand, Brophy states that 29,964 were produced.

Top view of the Springfield M1903-A4 action and bolt.We probably will never know exactly just how many were manufactured, except that the M1903A4 represents a tiny fraction of the more than 1 million M1903A3 type rifles produced by Remington during World War II.  When Smith Corona production is added to the mix, the total M1903A3 production rises to nearly 1.5 million.  So it is clear that the M1903A4 is one of the rarest production M1903s ever made, which has driven prices into the $3000 range for an example in good condition.

The M1903A4 soldiered on after World War II, despite M1C and M1D sniper rifles that supposedly replaced it.  M1903A4s were drawn from storage for the Korean War and surprisingly also saw service in Vietnam during the early stages of the conflict before other, more modern sniper rifles could be procured.

This made the A4 the last version of the M1903 to remain in military service.  The M1903A4 thus saw active military service for over 20 years, indicating that it must have had some positive attributes.  Just how good was the M1903A4 for its intended purpose?

According to Brophy, the M1903A4 was “…at best a poor excuse for a sniper rifle.”   The M1903A4 had no special attention given to its accuracy or its suitability for use as a sniper rifle.  The Weaver scope had the benefit of being cheap and available and little else other than being simple to install.  But in the context of the time, the M1903A4 wasn’t really significantly inferior to sniper rifles from other nations.  The Russian PE and PU sniper rifles with their 3.5x scopes were really no better, nor was the German 98K.

The British Number 4, Mark 1(T) wasn’t either.  All were essentially bolt-action service rifles that were pressed into sniper service, except for a few 98Ks that were specially made up as sniper rifles.  The M1903A4 was actually no better nor worse than other sniper rifles of the time.

When compared to sniper rifles from the Vietnam era, the M1903A4 comes off as inferior, but at the time of its introduction it did its job and from what research we have conducted, did it relatively well.

Test firing the M1903-A4 Sniper.

As mentioned, our test M1903A4 was unfired when we discovered it in a local gun store and purchased it at a very reasonable price.  Since it was new, we were advised by some that the rifle should remain in unfired condition to preserve its collector value.  Nonsense.

We don’t own firearms that we don’t shoot and so shortly after obtaining our M1903A4, we boresighted it and headed to the range to zero it.  We zeroed the rifle using Black Hills 168-grain match grade ammunition, but for this evaluation we also tested the ‘03A4 with Greek 1985 production military M2 Ball, duplicating the World War II 150-grain military load.

Angled view of the Springfield M1903-A4 action.We also tested Serbian Privi Partizan 180-grain ammunition, imported by Wolf.  The Black Hills match delivered 1.25 minute of angle (MOA) at 100 yards.  Translated into layman’s terms, that is 1.25 inch at 100 yards, 2.5 inches at 200 yards, etc.  For what it is worth, MOA (one inch at 100 yards) accuracy is considered acceptable for modern sniper rifles, so the ‘03A4 – at least our ‘03A4 – gives up little to modern precision rifles in terms of accuracy.

Surprisingly, the Greek 150-grain ball ammunition was as accurate as the Black Hills 168-grain match, probably because the M1903A4 was designed around the M2 ball round.  The Seriban Privi Partisan was about two MOA at 100 yards.  The bottom line is that our M1903A4 delivered acceptable accuracy that would probably improve once the barrel was broken in by having a couple of hundred rounds fired through it.

The M1903A4 is an excellent representation of sniper rifle technology of the 1940s.  As we have mentioned, sniper rifles of both our allies and enemies weren’t superior to the ‘03A4 in any meaningful way and the rifle delivers good accuracy using quality modern match or service grade ammunition.  World War II snipers didn’t have access to match-grade ammo like their modern day counterparts, so the Greek ball ammunition test groups are probably more in keeping with battlefield reality.

Probably the most significant shortfall of the M1903A4 was its scope, but it must be remembered that during World War II, everything was in short supply and the Army had to get its scopes from a company that could deliver the necessary quantities within a short time, so it went with the Weaver 330, which was good enough for the task at hand.  All in all the M1903A4 was satisfactory for its intended purpose and like most soldiers and Marines of the period served its country well.

Everyone who shot our “old soldier” was overjoyed at being able to shoot a rare piece of American military history.  We probably will not shoot our M1903A4 frequently, as it is too rare and valuable for frequent trips to the range, but rest assured that it will continue to do what it was designed to do – shoot with reasonable accuracy from time to time and deliver some enjoyment in the bargain.

This article appeared in the January 31, 2011 issue of Gun Digest the Magazine.

The Legendary M-14 Still Soldiers On

As a sniper platform the M-14 is designated the M-21 and serves very well.
As a sniper platform the M-14 is designated the M-21 and serves very well.

The M-14 is the shortest-lived “official” standard service rifle in the history of the United States. It survives in military service as the M21 sniper rifle in some reserve units, in the U.S. Navy and in special operations units. The rifle is still the weapon of choice in the U.S. military when a 7.62mm NATO combat rifle is required and thousands of them remain in storage. Despite the fact that the M-14 was officially replaced throughout the US Army by the M-16 in the early 1970s, there are those who still prefer it over the lighter rifle. The M-14 forms the basis for the Marine Corps’ Designated Marksman Rifle (DMR) and special operations’ Mark 14, Mod 0 modular rifle.

The history of the M-14 begins in 1945. Ordnance Engineers at the Springfield National Armory had completed development of a new select-fire rifle designated the T20E2. The T20E2 appears to be very similar to an M-1 Garand except for a muzzle brake, a 20-round magazine and a selector switch on the receiver under the rear sight. By late summer of 1945, the new rifle was considered ready for service. The T20E2 was not as reliable as the M-1 and the recoil of the .30-06 cartridge in fully automatic fire made the rifle almost impossible to control. Regardless, the Army ordered 500,000 T20E2 rifles for the invasion of Japan, but the end of the war in August caused the order to be canceled.

The Army was developing a shorter .30 caliber cartridge that would reduce recoil, while maintaining ballistics similar to those of the .30-06. Improvements in smokeless powders accomplished in World War II along with engineering assistance by Winchester resulted in a .308 cartridge that was one third smaller and lighter than the .30-06 but with nearly identical ballistics. The new cartridge would eventually be standardized by the U.S. Army and NATO as the 7.62 x 51 mm cartridge.

A series of trials for a replacement for the M-1 Garand began in August 1952. There were two American rifles, the T44 with a modified Garand gas system and the T47 that used a falling bolt mechanism. The Belgian Fusil Automatique Leger (FAL) and the British EM-2 bullpup rifle were also evaluated. When the tests were completed in December 1952, the FAL proved superior to all other candidates. The British EM-2 and the American T47 were dropped from consideration. Development of the FAL, designated T48, and the T44 rifles continued.

Final testing was conducted in 1956 and included a series of shoot-offs between the T44 and the T48. To this day, the testing is controversial and the fact that the FAL went on to be adopted by the military forces of more than 90 countries, while the T44, type classified as the M-14, was adopted by fewer than 10 nations calls to question the objectivity of the test personnel. On 1 May 1957 the Army announced that the T44 would become the standard U.S. Army rifle and type classified as the M-14.

The M-14 was manufactured at four facilities: The Springfield National Armory, Harrington & Richardson Arms, Winchester and Thompson Ramo Woodridge (TRW).  There are few differences between manufacturers in terms of reliability and safety.

For long-range work, the M-14 is still the choice of military men who want a reliable and accurate rifle.
For long-range work, the M-14 is still the choice of military men who want a reliable and accurate rifle.

Despite being beloved by millions of GIs, the M-1 experienced minor problems throughout its service life and the M-14 seemed to have cured most of those. The M-1’s bulky gas cylinder near the muzzle was reduced in size and moved back 8 inches. The way in which the gas was used to operate the action was also modified. When a cartridge is fired in an M-14, some of the expanding gases that drive the bullet forward are bled away through a port in the barrel like the M-1.

With the M-14, however, the gases expand into a short gas cylinder via a vent in the wall of a hollow gas piston rather than against the front of a solid piston connected to an operating rod. When the piston is filled, it moves to the rear, pulling the gas vent out of alignment with the gas port and shutting off the further gas flow. As the piston travels to the rear it uncovers an orifice in the cylinder bottom that vents the gases trapped in the hollow piston out of the gas cylinder. The M-14’s milder action all but eliminated most parts breakage. The M-14 gas flow can be shut off for launching grenades by rotating a spindle valve on the side of the gas cylinder block.

The M-1’s eight-round en block clip was replaced by a 20-round detachable box magazine. This allowed the soldier to “top up” his magazine via stripper clips or loose rounds at any time. This was impossible with the M-1’s clip. And there was no spring steel clip to bounce out of the breech with a distinctive “ding” that could alert an enemy to the fact that the rifle was empty.  Further, when a 20-round magazine was empty, it could quickly be replaced.

The basic M-14 is a select-fire weapon; that is, it can be fired in semiautomatic mode or on full automatic. Soldiers quickly discovered that the M-14 in full automatic was impossible to control and was virtually useless tactically. This was partly because of the M-14’s traditional stock design that directed recoil forces to a point above the shooter’s shoulder, forcing the rifle down at the rear and up and to the right at the muzzle. Even the M-14A1 with its modified stock assembly that helped redirect recoil forces and its muzzle brake/compensator was virtually uncontrollable on full auto and the barrels overheated very quickly. As a squad automatic rifle, the M-14A1 was rendered almost useless by its design and the fact that it was never designed or intended for sustained automatic fire. These ineffective weapons were soon to be replaced by the 7.62x51mm M60 machine gun. Other than the M-14A1, virtually all other infantry M-14s had their selector switch removed. The M-14A1 was never fully satisfactory and production was terminated in January 1963, well before production of standard M-14s ceased.

Although the M-14 was type classified in early 1957, no production rifles were manufactured until July 1959.

The M-14 received its baptism by fire in Vietnam in 1961. U.S. Army advisers to the Republic of Vietnam Forces used the M-14 extensively in combat against the Viet Cong. The
rifle was considered too large and heavy for the slightly built Vietnamese soldiers to use effectively, although the Army of the Republic of Vietnam (ARVN) soldiers were equipped with M-1 rifles weighing even more.  Because of availability issues, M-14 distribution was generally limited to Americans.

Questions also arose regarding the M-14’s accuracy.  Rumors began to circulate, some regarding the various manufacturers’ ability to build accurate rifles, others regarding the 7.62x51mm cartridge.  It was eventually determined that a combination of factors led to the M-14’s accuracy issues and once the causes were determined, they were rectified with relative ease.  The M-14 today is considered to be an accurate and reliable rifle and the 7.62x51mm cartridge itself is considered one of the most inherently accurate cartridges ever produced.

At the time that the M-14 was still in early stages of fielding, the Army was investigating ArmaLite’s AR-15 rifle, developed by Eugene Stoner, Jim Sullivan and Robert Fremont. The Army staff, however, wanted no part of the AR-15 and was stalling its development.  Proponents of the M-14, having taken years to get the rifle into service, were actually preventing further development of the AR-15 concept.

Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara eventually demanded a full investigation not only of M-14 versus AR-15 testing but of the M-14’s overall performance in combat. The Army’s inspector general found that several tests had been rigged to show the AR-15 in a poor light, although the AR-15 had outperformed the M-14 in almost every category. In January 1963, Secretary McNamara announced that when that year’s production contracts for the M-14 were fulfilled, production of the rifle would be terminated. At the same time, he announced what was expected to be a one-time buy of 85,000 AR-15 rifles for the Army and 19,000 for the Air Force.  The new rifle was type classified as the M-16.

A total of 1,380,346 M-14s was manufactured over approximately four years. Harrington & Richardson built 537,582; Springfield 167,100, Winchester 356,501 and TRW 319,163. The M-14 would remain the “Standard A” rifle until January 1968, but the M-16 was fast replacing the M-14 in Southeast Asia. When the M-14 procurement was canceled, the Marine Corps had been equipped with the M-14 for only a few months and the Army had never been completely reequipped.

The program to develop a National Match M-14 rifle began in 1959 and the first rifles were produced in 1962. In the first two years, 7,200 National Match rifles were manufactured at Springfield. TRW made 4,874 for the 1964 matches and the final 2,094 for the 1965 matches were rebuilt from existing service rifles at Springfield as production of new rifles had ceased. As it turned out, the National Match M-14 rifles made an excellent platform for a sniper rifle. The Army discovered that the National Match M-14 fitted with a range-finding telescopic sight served very well as a sniper weapon. After experimentation and field-testing the new sniper rifle was type classified as the M21.

As of the time of this writing in mid-2009, the M-14 is still playing an active, if limited, role in the U.S. military. As mentioned, it is in use by several special operations units as the Mk 14, Mod 0 and forms the basis for the Marine Corps DMR. The latter rifle is modified in such a way that it is extremely difficult for the rifle to be converted to select fire. Some units have deployed to Afghanistan or Iraq armed with M-14 rifles.

The civilian versions of the M-14 for the most part use commercial receivers with no capability to accept select-fire components and since the original M-14 was rarely used in full automatic, commercial versions might well be considered for purchase if supplies of government-owned M-14s ever become exhausted.

Despite being replaced as the military’s standard Infantry rifle in the early 1970s, the M-14 will continue to “soldier on” for the foreseeable future. There isn’t any other rifle that does anything appreciably better and there is a substantial inventory of M-14 rifles and components for repair parts.

M-14 SPECIFICATIONS (Basic Version):
Caliber: 7.62x51mm (.308 Winchester)
Operation: Gas, select fire
Feed: Detachable box magazine,
20 rounds standard
Barrel length:  22 inches
Twist rate: 1:12
Overall length:  44 inches
Empty weight:  8 pounds, 9 ounces

Classic Combat Handguns

Gun Digest Book of Classic Combat Handguns

The Gun Digest Book of Classic Combat Handguns is an absolutely unique compilation of articles celebrating the greatest combat pistols of all time, as they originally appeared in the world's greatest firearms annual, Gun Digest, from 1944 to present.

Gun Review: Patriot Ordnance P415

The P415 takes AR reliability to a whole new levelCan you believe it? An AR-15 that will fire 100,000 rounds without a cleaning? The Patriot Ordnance P415 is passing unthinkable tests.

Revolutionary is a word that is used all too frequently, but sometimes it is about the only word that fits.

Suppose we told you that we had extensively tested an AR-based carbine that didn’t need lubrication? And suppose we told you that it really didn’t need regular cleaning, either? Finally, suppose we told you that this new AR would run over 20,000 rounds without regular maintenance or a single malfunction?

You’d probably think that Cutshaw needed to turn himself in for a drug test. Such an AR upgrade exists as either a “drop on” upper receiver or a complete carbine. Don Alexander, Co-Director of Training at SHD Consulting and Special Forces personnel in Afghanistan have used it extensively.

The figures that follow are Alexander’s, not mine. Alexander set out to shoot the P415 upper receivers he got from Patriot Ordnance Factory (POF) without cleaning or lubing them until they started to malfunction. He never made it.

Alexander’s rifle was cleaned for the first time after 16,000 rounds, not because the P415 needed it, but because he was teaching a course for the State Department that mandated a class on cleaning and maintenance. In a memo to Frank Desomma, President of POF, Alexander stated that he had yet to experience a single malfunction except one that was attributable to a faulty magazine very early in his use of the P415 upper. Alexander, a retired US Army Special Forces Chief Warrant Officer with 26 years’ experience, is not one to make statements such as these lightly or in jest.

Our experience with a P415 matches Alexander’s – our long-term test P415 that we have used extensively since 2006 has yet to require cleaning or lubrication other than an occasional wipe down with a dry shop towel. Since Alexander’s testing, US Army Special Forces units have used POF carbines extensively in Afghanistan and have found them to be totally reliable, not to mention accurate. There have even been reports of troops putting over 100,000 rounds through their POF carbines without significant maintenance.

POF’s AR-type carbine is unlike any other. Externally, the most obvious difference between the P415 and others is the patented P-4SX upper receiver that not only features an uninterrupted full length MIL-STD-1913 top rail and rails at the handguard sides and bottom, but also free floats the barrel, enabling mounting accessories without affecting the carbine’s zero.

The latest POF carbines have a “spine” atop the upper receiver rather than a MIL-STD-1913 rail that allows the one piece P-4SX receiver/handguard to be slid into place and retained with bolts, essentially making for a rigid two-piece upper receiver. The P415 barrel is fluted along its entire length for rigidity and heat dissipation. The flutes offer a greater surface area, so heat is more rapidly dispersed than with standard heavy barrels. Flutes also stiffen the barrel and improve accuracy by reducing barrel vibration as the rifle is fired.

The barrel bore is nitrided, which makes for a surface that approaches diamond hardness and prevents fouling because nothing can adhere to it. Fit and finish of the P415 are excellent. We were particularly impressed with the mating of upper and lower receivers with absolutely no “play” whatsoever. POF’s P415 is one of the best-assembled AR-type rifles we have ever seen.

One of the major differences between the P415 and any other is the patented gas system that eliminates the inherent problems associated with Stoner’s original design. The original AR direct impingement gas system not only blows large amounts of fouling and particulate matter back into the receiver, but also causes excessive heat to be transferred to the receiver area in rapid semiautomatic or full automatic fire.

There have been attempts to solve the AR’s gas system issues in the past, but POF is one of the most innovative and successful. The P415 gas system consists of a FAL-type gas cylinder plug, a chrome-lined gas cylinder with a chrome-plated stainless steel piston and operating rod that impinges against a reinforced bolt carrier key.

Unlike some other “op rod” systems, there are no springs on the P415 rod. Heat from sustained firing may damage springs that surround op rods that are in close proximity to the barrel. This is especially true in select-fire rifles. The P415 gas system is self-regulating, so any type of ammo can be used. The P415 system can be easily and quickly disassembled by simply pressing in on the gas cylinder plug button while rotating the plug clockwise.

Once the plug is removed, the piston and operating rod fall out when the muzzle is pointed down. Reassembly is accomplished simply by dropping the rod and piston back into the gas cylinder with the muzzle pointed up. The plug fits only one way and cannot be incorrectly reassembled. All that is necessary is to push the plug into place, press the locking button and rotate the plug counterclockwise.

Another notable feature is that the P415 is completely ambidextrous. Most ARs require the use of both hands to change magazines and get the carbine back into action because the magazine release is on the right side of the receiver and the bolt release is on the left. Not the P415. While the P415 has the standard magazine release and bolt stop, a separate bolt release has been added on the right side just above the magazine release.

All that is necessary to change magazines and get back in the fight is to drop the empty mag, insert a loaded one and press the bolt stop located just above the magazine release using the trigger finger. The bolt release is slightly to the rear of the mag release as well, so the chance of inadvertently dropping the mag instead of the bolt is minimized.

After using ARs with the original direct gas impingement system, P415 maintenance is a true revelation. While conventional AR receivers fill with fouling and particulate matter after a few rounds, the P415 remains relatively clean even after extensive firing. There is no carbon fouling or caked carbon to be found on the bolt or in the bolt carrier recesses.

In short, the P415 is much easier and simpler to maintain than any AR-type rifle with the usual direct impingement system. All that is necessary to clean a P415 is to wipe the receiver’s interior, bolt carrier and bolt with a dry shop towel to remove any fouling. Also, the gas system should be periodically disassembled and cleaned, since it takes the brunt of hot gases from the barrel. Any carbon buildup on the gas piston or op rod can be removed with a Scotch Brite pad.

But the improved gas system isn’t the end of the story with the P415. The changes that allow the P415 to run without lubrication are a chrome plated bolt carrier and bolt coupled with NP 3 plating on the receiver’s interior and on the charging handle. Nothing sticks to either surface and they are self-lubricating. Eliminating the need for lubrication that becomes a “dust magnet” in an environment like that of Iraq or Afghanistan is a truly significant improvement.

Conventional AR gas systems require heavy lubrication in order to function, but due to their affinity for dust, intensive virtually daily maintenance is required. The P415 bolt carrier has been modified for increased reliability and accuracy. The bolt carrier surfaces that ride on the upper receiver are somewhat larger than conventional ones, while maintaining recesses to accommodate any fouling that might accumulate. The cam pin has a roller that rides in the upper receiver recess for even smoother operation and reliability. The chamber, barrel locking lugs and interior are also chrome plated, also enhancing reliability.

All POF carbines come equipped with Vltor’s Modstock. The Modstock is available in several colors and configurations, including black, coyote tan and OD green. There are two collapsible Modstocks – standard and “clubfoot.” The clubfoot facilitates using the off hand to pull the stock into the shoulder for greater stability. Unlike most others, Vltor’s waterproof compartments can be accessed with the stock on the carbine. The compartment adapters provide a flat surface for an excellent cheek weld. The Vltor Modstock is extremely comfortable and thus enhances accuracy. It also raises one’s line of sight to an ideal level for either open sights or optics. The improvements don’t end with comfort and utility, though. Vltor also redesigned the latch on both standard and clubfoot configured stocks for more positive engagement.

POF’s P415 breaks new ground in the world of AR-type carbines most of which are so similar that even experts cannot tell the difference between one and another without close inspection. The P415’s innovative “gas piston/op rod” significantly advances the “state of the art” in AR-type firearms and not only adds flexibility to the overall system, but improves both reliability and maintainability over any of its conventional competitors.

Add to that the ability to operate without lubrication of any kind, minimal maintenance and the result is a truly revolutionary design. In the final analysis, the P415’s innovations are among the most significant developments in AR type rifles since they were originally designed over 50 years ago. For those who want a larger caliber AR, POF also manufactures ARs with the same advanced features as the P415 in both 6.6mm SPC and .308. Welcome to the AR of the 21st Century!

23623 N 67th Avenue
Glendale, AZ 85310
Tel: 623-561-9572

The Three Percent Solution

Charlie Cutshaw talks about the growing support to take back our nation.

How many of you are “Three-Percenters?” If you are reading this, you probably should be. OK, what’s a Three-Percenter? The term goes all the way back to the American Revolution. During the war for our independence, only approximately a third of the colonists supported the independence cause. Another third didn’t care one way or the other and the last third wanted to remain under British rule. Out of those that supported independence and revolution, only some three percent were actively engaged on the battlefield with the full active support of only about 10 percent of those who were pro-independence. Twenty percent of the pro-independence faction did nothing to actively support the cause. This is the root of today’s Three Percenter term.

Those of us who currently proclaim ourselves to be Three Percenters make no claim that we actually represent three percent of the population, although we might – nobody knows for certain how many of us there are, but we stand for the Second Amendment, and our support goes far beyond mere words. Three Percenters today are American gun owners who have taken a stand. We WILL NOT disarm. We WILL NOT obey further anti-gun legislation, regardless of its source. We WILL NOT stand for further circumscription of our God-given rights and we WILL defend ourselves if we are attacked. Since our guns are the most effective means of defending ourselves, we WILL NOT surrender them. We are committed to restoring the Republic as envisioned by the Founders and are wiling to fight and to die in defense of ourselves and the Constitution.

I know that these are strong words, but in the words of Thomas Paine, “These are the times that try men’s souls.” As I wrote a few months ago, what I am currently witnessing is unprecedented in my lifetime, which has spanned more than 65 years. I noted then that Barack Obama was the most anti-gun president in the history of our Republic, but since then, things have gotten worse – much worse. Obama clearly wishes nothing so much as the destruction of our Republic. Don’t believe me? Read on. Incidentally, we DO NOT live in a “democracy” as so many in the “lamestream media” would have us believe. A “democracy” is two wolves and a lamb sitting down and taking a vote on what’s for dinner. The United States is a Constitutional Republic!

Barack Obama and his far-left cronies are attacking the entire Bill of Rights, not just the Second Amendment. In this essay, I will focus primarily on that aspect of the Obama Administration's anti-liberty attacks, although the entire Bill of Rights is under attack by Obama. There are several anti-gun measures proposed in the House of Representatives, the most draconian of which are HR45, the Blair Holt Firearms Licensing and Record of Sale act of 2009 and HR 2159, described below. You can look at the entire text of HR 45 Here.

Here are the high points:

-A federal license for all handguns and semiautomatics, including those currently owned.

-All handgun and semiautomatic owners must have their thumbprint taken by law enforcement and the owner’s signature on a certificate to the effect that the firearms will be stored in an inaccessible location, essentially where they cannot be readily accessed for self-defense.
But wait – we’re only getting started! Next is HR 2159, introduced by a REPUBLICAN!

HR 2159 was introduced by Rep Peter King (R-NY) and is titled The Denying Firearms and Explosives to Dangerous Terrorists Act of 2009. Read the full text HERE.

Here is a summary:

– In a nutshell, HR 2159 enables the Attorney General to designate anyone he desires to be a “Dangerous Terrorist” and deny him or her the right to possess firearms. (Note that the DHS Assessment on “Right Wing Extremism” defines almost anyone as a potential “terrorist,” especially veterans.) If you attended a “Tea Party” last month or plan to in the future, you can count on being labeled a “terrorist.” But as the TV commercials say, “Wait – there’s more!”

HR 45 and 2159 are clearly unconstitutional, but that hasn’t stopped the Obama Administration from its anti-American activities thus far. Besides, by the time these unconstitutional “laws” were challenged and overturned, they would have been fully implemented, although enforcement might be difficult as we will presently see. Obama and his left-wing cronies are well aware of the unconstitutional nature of their proposed “laws” and are seeking to circumvent the Constitution via international treaty. Obama has recently been bringing pressure on the Senate to ratify the “Inter-American Convention Against the Illicit Manufacturing and Trafficking in Firearms,” also known as “The Curb Illicit Small Arms Trafficking (CIFTA) Treaty.” This treaty was signed by Bill Clinton in 1997 and mandates a national database of firearms owners and registration of all firearms. This database would be accessible to any other signatory nation to the treaty and would essentially allow the government to confiscate guns from those to whom they were registered.

Obama tells us that ratifying the treaty is “the right thing to do” because 29 other countries have ratified it. But as Lou Dobbs commented in a CNN feature on the treaty, “Those countries don’t have a Constitution and a Second Amendment.” Dobbs’ coverage, by the way, was very pro-gun. The good news is that a number of senators are prepared to fight ratification of this egregious treaty.

Another component of The Bill of Rights that Obama and his cronies are attacking is the First Amendment, which recognizes our right to free speech. Obama is attempting to resurrect the “Fairness Doctrine” and make it permanent. Not only will this shut down his critics like Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck, Michael Savage and others, but will also severely restrict Internet communication that is critical of government. I never imagined that anything like these proposed unconstitutional laws and actions would occur, but they all took place during
Obama’s first 100 days.

I suspect that neither the legislation I have described, nor CIFTA will become law, but the fact is that Obama and the left will never give up trying to deny us our God-given, inalienable rights that are protected by the Constitution. What this means is, as Thomas Jefferson said, “The price of liberty is eternal vigilance.” In present-day America we must therefore all be aware of what our enemies are doing and make no mistake, Obama and the left ARE our enemies, just as they are enemies to the Republic and the Constitution.

What can you do? Get out to the “Tea Parties” in your communities. Join the NRA if you haven’t already. Be vigilant, be informed and perhaps most important, be vocal! Contact your representatives and let them know your beliefs. (You DO know who they are, don’t you?) You don’t have to write a letter and mail it – they all can be contacted online and they will respond. I know because I make it a point of contacting my representatives on issues that concern me. Speak in defense of America’s values, culture and Christian foundation.

It isn’t all bad news, though – there are positive straws in the wind. One is Oath Keepers (https://oath-keepers.blogspot.com/) a fast-growing organization of law enforcement and military personnel who, like me, swore an oath to uphold and defend the Constitution of The United States against ALL enemies, foreign and domestic. I took that oath when I joined the US Army and swore a similar one when I signed on at the police department where I am a reserve police officer. I did not take an oath to uphold the president, the congress, the governor of my state, the mayor of my city or any other politician. My loyalty is to the Constitution and neither I nor any other police officer of my acquaintance will obey or enforce unconstitutional laws. I suggest that you go to the Oath Keepers web site above and read the “10 Laws We Will Not Enforce” section. I have discussed this with officers in my small department and with officers in adjoining jurisdictions and we are all of a single mind – we are in lock step with Oath Keepers and WILL NOT enforce unconstitutional laws, although this leads to another cause for concern.

Obama probably knows that the majority of serving military and law enforcement personnel apparently will not enforce unconstitutional laws and edicts, and so for some time he has been calling for a national police force that he envisions being as well armed and equipped as the military. Why does Obama want a national police force whose loyalty is to him rather than the Constitution? Go back and study history! The last time something like this took place was Germany in the 1930s, the police force was called the Sturm Abteilung (SA) or just “Brown shirts” and the leader of Germany was a guy named Adolph Hitler. The Brown Shirts were his personal enforcers. Don’t think Obama is similar to Hitler in his actions?

Compare the similarities between him and Hitler and see for yourself.

Another positive indicator is the “nullification resolutions” that have been passed by some 25 states as of the time this was written in May 2009. The list of states is growing and it appears that we may be headed for a situation similar to that which led to the Civil War of 1861-65. Nullification resolutions state in essence that if the federal government infringes on the Bill of Rights, especially the 2nd, 9th and 10th Amendments, the compact established between the state and the federal government by the Constitution is nullified and the state will secede. Nullification resolutions were passed by all eleven states that eventually became the Confederacy. The modern ones are virtually identical and the governors of several states, including Texas, are openly using the “S” word!

If you are in the military or law enforcement, I urge you to remember your oath to the Constitution and reflect on your willingness to enforce orders that clearly violate that oath. I also encourage you to join Oath Keepers. If you are a gun owner who believes in the Second Amendment, the Bill of Rights and our Constitutional Rule of Law, there are two things you should do: First get a copy of the Constitution and read it, especially the first ten amendments – The Bill of Rights, which you should commit to memory. Second, go to the following web site and learn what it means to be a Three Percenter. Click Here

Finally remember the words of Patrick Henry: “Is life so dear or peace so sweet as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery? Forbid it Almighty God! I know not what course others may take, but as for me: Give me Liberty, or give me death!”