About two weeks ago the 5.45x39 AR upper I had been waiting on arrived so I could complete my project AR that I had been gathering bits and pieces for the better part of a year to complete. Got it all assembled in a couple of hours and by last Sunday was ready to take it out to the range and see how it would perform.
Unfortunately, when I get it out there I encounter problems, it seems to have an issue with light primer strikes even though I installed the heavy duty hammer spring that came with it (most of the wonderful, dirt cheap 5.45x39mm ammunition out there is Combloc military surplus stuff, pretty good ammuntion except it has notriously hard primers, hence the need for the heavier hammer spring). At best I could get every other round to fire, so I stopped shooting and opened it up to see what the problem was. Immediately it was obvious that it was the hammer spring which I had managed to install exactly BACKWARDS!
Now, it is a good forty mile round trip to the range and given the price of gas anymore I really did not want to drive all the way home just to tinker with that when all I was really looking to do with my new 5.45x39 AR was function test and zero in the iron sights. So, out comes the handy dandy Crosstac Pro Armorer's Mat to save the day. It was not a bad day for shooting but there were occasional wind gusts (its Logan, I don't think there is ever a truly windless day out there) so the mat proved invaluable. I used a couple of Kneeling Rolls to keep the mat from blowing away and the magnets in the corners served to hold the pins and springs (ended up having to remove the trigger group as well) and keep them from falling off the bench into the dirt never to be seen again. Of course, all my tools were there in the tool pouch so it was a matter of a few minutes to install the hammer spring properly again and reassemble. Fold my mat back up and put it back in my range back, stick a magazine in, and presto, full function with no light strikes or other issues.
Altogether, the Pro Armorer's Mat saved me a good hour's worth of travel time and associated gas costs as well as the aggravation of losing small parts on the range which was a constant issue whenever I would have to do field repairs when out shooting. All of this to tell you this is why you should buy at least one, you may not need it often but when you need it, you find that you REALLY needed it!
Comments | Posted 03/27/2012 by Josh Norris