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M14 / M1 Garand with Micro Prism Scopes

Reject the timeline! Embrace anachronisms!

What is it?

We’re offering an optic mount for attaching the New Primary Arms Micro Prism scopes to M14, M1A, M1 Garands, and BM59’s. These optics are using a “mini ACOG” mount that is a little more rare but works perfectly in this case because the mounting footprint nests into the rear sight ears on these rifles. The 1x is a fantastic alternative to a red dot for those concerned about astigmatism or battery life. These have an etched reticle like a scope that is perfectly usable when off. The eye box and eye relief is very forgiving as well approaching the usability of a red dot. The 3x is stunning. It’s amazing to get so  much out of something no bigger than a fairly common red dot. The eye relief and eye box are not nearly as forgiving as the 1x, but great for a low power scope.

M1 Garand and M14 Primary arms slx 1x 3x micro prism

For more details on these MicroPrism scopes, check out the Primary Arms website and watch these YouTube videos for a third party take on these optics: Garand Thumb Military Arms Channel Brass Facts Tactical Rifleman

Why did we do this?

Ever since I saw this Forgotten weapons video (below), I’ve been intrigued by the concept for a low power scope on a Garand or M14. I’ve never been happy with some of the tall scope mounts for the M14, nor the side mounted scopes on the Garand. Forward mounted scopes were always an option and the mounts are solid, but the long eye relief scopes are really not my cup of tea. I had in mind some tinkerer’s plans of taking a relatively cheap G36 1.5x optic tube and fabricating a custom one-off mount for myself to use and trying to mimic the look of the original optic from the video. But when I got an M1A and the Primary Arms SLx MicroPrism scopes came out, I had an epiphany. The mounting footprint would nest nicely in the rear sight ears on the Garand of M14 essentially making the idea more viable and even as a product to offer. The final result lived up to my expectation, although I find myself enjoying the 3x far more.

Bubba No!

I can hear it now, the purists are groaning. Well, we sort of agree with you, but with caveats of course. The truth is, we don’t really advocate for putting these on good collector grade Garands, but even if you did, it is a reversible operation and should not harm collectability as long as you kept track of those rear sight parts. At worst a small amount of scuffing of Parkerizing might be found. For shooter grade, commercial made cast receivers, and tanker carbines, I see no reason to fuss. That is ultimately a matter of taste and best left to the customer to decide. The matter for M1A’s and M14 is entirely different. Given that M14’s were never really surplused, virtually none of the rifle’s carry any historical provenance of their own and again this is left to taste. 


If you’re looking for something to add some capability to your rifle without much weight or bulk, this is a really good option.

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Trigger Finger Magazine Release

We are VERY happy to announce the release of our mag release.

Mini-14 or Mini-30 Trigger group and extended magazine release
Ambidextrous magazine release installed in the Mini-14 trigger group

This has been an off and on development for more than a year and there have been several times where we have had to bite our tongue in conversations with customers and the public when it comes to magazine change ergonomics. There were several obstacles to make this work, and we had to increase the testing regimen to make this a successful product. With ergonomics, the feel of the thing needs to be just right. We think we achieved that but we are open to making some variations over time to maximize the users experience.

There was also the major hurdle of installation. The assembly on our early prototypes were nearly impossible because the spring that needs to be tucked into the trigger housing. We created a simple process of using a common flat head screw driver, a nail(or punch if you have it), and an included slave pin for installation . The installation method of this part we think is the most ingenious part of the design and one of the main reasons you don’t see more ergonomic magazine releases for the Mini-14 and Mini Thirty on the market today. Watch the video below to see what we mean.

But why would I need this? My factory magazine release works just fine. The factory magazine release works great. We’re not saying ours is superior in function. We offer improved ergonomics. The idea that something needs to be broken before anyone should make improvements is something we 100% disagree with. Most innovative work doesn’t fix something broken, but is just incremental improvements to a previous item.

If you have any questions, comments, or concerns, you can comment below.

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Gen II Magazine Loaders

We are constantly making updates to our parts. Because of this, we recently gave a much needed update to our Mini-14 clip spoons and Mini-30 magazine loaders. These parts now function with older magazines as well as the new magazines. Typically older magazines include a square welded tab at the back of the magazine.

Gen II parts will be manufactured with our own internal production capacity from ABS plastic. All our engineering and testing show that this is the right move forward for a stronger, cheaper, and shorter lead time part. Take a look at the images below.

  • Mini-30 mag loader tan
  • Mini-30 mag loader black
  • Mini-thirty mag loader orange
  • Mini-Thirty magazine loader grey
  • Mini-Thirty magazine loader OD green
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Internal Production Capacity (Update)

As previously mentioned in our blog, we are working hard to develop internal capacity to produce our plastic parts and we have come a long way in the last month. We have resolved a few technical issues. A discerning eye will catch some other cosmetic defects in the pictures we would still like to resolve, but we like to share the progress. We should take this time to reiterate that we are trying to produce parts that are cheaper for the end user, shorten lead times, and produce better colors.

Grey, Blaze Orange, OD Green, Khaki

We have ultimately chosen colors for our initial release and have all of them on hand except black. As shown above, the colors are Grey, Blaze Orange, Olive Drab green, and Khaki. The Grey is a nice gun-metal color that actually matches U.S. military clips, clip guides, or any other U.S. Military parkerized steel. The orange is a UV reactive vibrant orange. It’s a bright color under any light, but UV rays from the sun are reflected into the visible light spectrum making it bright and easy to see if dropped it in tall grass. The olive drab green is a staple in the outdoors community and will match up with surplus bandoleers and ammo cans nicely. We were really excited to find this dark tan/khaki color. It’s not quite a true Flat Dark Earth match, but it’s close enough for all but the most fashion sensitive shooters. Black was delayed at the time of writing. It needs no commentary as it currently makes up over 50% of our sales by volume.
We will go live with these 5 colors available, but we are going to add more as we go. Send us a message if you have a different color request. We will likely have a minimum order quantity for new color requests, so keep that in mind if you’re looking for new colors.

Another perk with the redesign is that these parts will work with U.S. military surplus clips as well as Thermold and Canadian surplus plastic clips. This will provides much more flexibility without sacrificing usability. There is no more need to choose between the two anymore.

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Internal Production Capacity

Typically we have used 3rd party production capacity to get the highest quality prints we can. We think we can make some of the plastic parts in-house that offer the same functionality and durability. We also think we can provide a lower cost to the customer than the current products we offer. There is the added benefit of using colors we think are more typically associated with the shooting sports (tan, OD green, blaze orange) and we can ship sooner than waiting for the third party production.  We are currently still investigating multiple different plastic types, and are attempting to balance ease of printing, durability, and color availability. It seems like a win for everyone involved.

Top two are from our supplier, bottom two are our prints. We are still fine tuning

On the topic of color; we would love to hear your input on what colors you are interested in for plastic parts. We would love for people to take part in our survey on just that(Click here for the survey). We’ll compare the information from the survey with the purchase history that we have(shown below). It’s clear to us that black, green, and orange are the top three color choices, but our data can’t tell us what shades of greens you like or if you would prefer tan to orange. We need help from the customers to determine a few of those things. We hope you take the time to give us input.

Above is the current distribution of colors for Clip Spoons and Magazine Couplers.

For the time being, we’ll be offering the normal parts as always. In the near future you might see new listings for clip spoons as a trial run while still selling the old parts for the people who want the same great parts. We hope that doesn’t cause too much confusion and will allow you to get the parts you want. As time progresses we will attempt to expand our internal production to encompass all of our plastic parts, but only if it meets our expectations of quality.

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One or the Other? Why not Both?

I read through a lot of the comments on The Truth About Guns article. I’ve read the forum posts other places discussing our products. There are still a lot of people with the mentality that stripper clips and magazines are one versus the other. I’m not sure how we can be any more clear, but we’ll say it again:

It’s perfectly possible to use both.

Really, you can use stripper clips AND magazines. You could certainly only use magazines, but you can’t only use stripper clips. To use stripper clips you need to have at least one magazine. It is impossible to use our stripper clip guides without a magazine. It’s never been a goal of ours to replace your magazines. Keep as many as you want. We don’t care if you have 30 magazines for your rifles. What we’re concerned about is when the magazines run empty. We want you to be able to have the tools and means to stuff more rounds into them as fast as possible. To that effect we’ve brought surplus bandoleers into our product line up. We want to you to be able to grab and go with your extra ammo and reload your magazines when you get a chance. We also want to point out that these bandoleers are surplus U.S military bandoleers. The U.S. Military currently employs the 4 pocket bandoleers to resupply troops. I’m not sure where the disconnect happens, but I just want to point out that the most advanced military on the planet uses bandoleers stuffed with stripper clips for resupply of ammo. The only slight difference is that we can load our clips directly into the magazine when it’s installed on the rifle making it impossible to loose. This was seen on real military rifles including the M14, VZ-58, and some FAL variants.Modern US Military 4 pocket bandoleer for 5.56x45mm ammo with Mini-30

Of course you can just use them for fun anytime you like. That was the origination of the idea in the first place. Lever actions are still fun, revolvers are still fun, and stripper clips are still fun as well.

Which reminds me: I need to procure a Russian contract 1895 Winchester and a M1917 Smith and Wesson.

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Red Oktober VZ-52

I don’t think anyone should be surprised if they have been around for a little bit, but the VZ-52 is one of my favorites. I don’t yet own one yet, but someday one will follow me home. The rifle hits all the check marks for me: semi-rare, handy, historically interesting, mechanically interesting, and attractive. Sure there are some flaws with the rifle, but I’m not idealizing it as something the military should go adopt tomorrow.

Czech VZ-52 cold war era semi auto rifle in 7.62x45mmMini-30 loaded with 5 round VZ-52 stripper clips

I even went so far as to modify my Mini-30 to be as functionally equivalent as possible. So, it’s probably no shock that I have been enamored by the InRange videos from the Red Oktober competition with Karl shooting his VZ-52. You can see the link to a playlist of the videos below. I will be updating them with the remaining videos as they are uploaded.

I will say that I’m a bit sad he’s not trying to use clips at all, but it does reinforce what we’re saying. Using stripper clips to reload is probably not something to do under a time limit (or getting shot at). The obvious caveat is when the loaded magazines run out, use what you need to.


Anyway, we hope you enjoy the videos as much as we did.


11/5/18 Update: The firing pin issues are an interesting discovery. I think their assessment of the design was quite right. The designers should not have cut so much meat out of the firing pin. I have the notion that modern materials and proper heat treatment would allow somebody to get away with that design. In the end, if you think that makes me want the rifle less, you are dead wrong!

11/6/18 Update: Ian’s attempts to load his VZ-58 with stripper clips demonstrates a little of why we don’t claim you should ditch all your magazines in favor of stripper clip loading. If you are under duress, change to a new loaded magazine. For the off chance you run out of magazines, practice loading with your clips.

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Current and Future Product Developments

Close followers of Cogburn Arsenal might have noticed the recent addition of the Mini-14 stripper clip spoon. We have a whole family of magazine loaders that we offer on a rolling release. This will extend a little outside the Mini-14 and Mini-30 family, but certainly cover the bases as well as we can.

We don’t claim these are the most innovative products out there, but many in this product line will be the first time these items are created by anyone. Even if the idea isn’t very shocking, we hope to change people’s minds of what is possible as a standard product a company can offer. Our intent is to create a product family that includes many clips and magazine types all with a familiar look, feel, and function. We also think there are a few things we do to differentiate ourselves from mass production parts. All of our parts will have loops to attach a bit of para-cord. We also have the full range of colors. That can be a useful tool for high visibility, style points, or color coding(example: bandoleers with green spoons have M855 “green tip”, red spoons are with ballistic tips, etc).

Mini-30 Stripper clip mag loader prototype

Creative work is coming amongst the boring. That work never really stopped. Obviously, for competitive business reasons, we can’t tell what we’re working on too soon(those darn copy cats will swoop in and steal an idea). We also had a couple months delay due to web development and restructuring the business. In a manner of weeks we’ll likely be ready to share some pictures and videos of the next new thing. So keep an eye out for that, but only if you want to see the ergonomics of the Mini-14/30 rifles increase. We do like sharing pictures of our fun side projects on Instagram and Facebook if it’s something we don’t plan on selling. The Broomhandle Mauser is a perfect example and it certainly won’t be the last. We do this because we have lag times between getting prototypes made, it’s fun, and I think you guys like seeing them. So, until everyone starts screaming and shouting, I’ll keep doing that.

Along with the new developed products, we are looking into bringing in a limited amount of military surplus items that have relevant use with our products. The USGI stripper clips and USGI bandoleers are a great example of that. We’ll choose carefully as we still stick to our philosophy of keeping low inventory costs and passing the savings onto you wherever we can.

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Defense Distributed and Fear Mongering

The infamous crime boss Carmine Falcone once said, “you always fear what you don’t understand.”

Most of the recent news stories seem to not understand either 3D printing or firearms. The news has been telling me Defense Distributed will release 3D files to the internet. This data will give you information for producing a firearm on your home 3D printer that will be undetected by metal detectors, will give you access to build assault rifles in the comfort of your own home, and will allow you to bypass background checks AND metal detectors. Criminals anywhere can just hit print and have an assault rifle in their hands.

Okay, let’s do some myth busting. If we all better understand the topics at hand, maybe we can all calm down a bit.

Myth 1: 3D printing has made it possible to manufacture firearms at home, or at least removed the cost barriers.

It hasn’t really changed anything legally speaking. It has always been legal to manufacture a firearm at home. Nothing can really practically prevent a felon from tinkering away in their garage and putting together a firearm. Zip guns are a very real thing and have been around for decades. Zip guns have a cost barrier of about $25.

3D printing is in fact a higher barrier than buying an 80% complete firearm and using jigs and hand tools to finish. 80% receivers for weapons like AR-15’s, AKM’s, Glock’s, and CETME’s can all be produced at home from readily available 80% receivers (and have been available for some time now). Nearly all of them cost less than a high quality 3D printer and use skills commonly taught in highschool shop classes. 3D printers are easy to use, but they are not quite the plug and play tools that the media portrays. Like any manufacturing process, some skill is involved.

Myth 2: Ghost Guns are as horrible as they sound.

The media flips between two definitions of “ghost guns” within the same conversation about 3D printed guns. The common (and real) definition of a ghost gun is a firearm without a serial number. Federal laws currently allow citizens to produce firearms without serial numbers, but prohibit the sale or distribution of them. Many people claim ghost guns are dangerous because the police can’t trace the origin of the firearm if used in a crime. In these claims, there is an implicit expectation that secret groups manufacturing firearms for sale without a license would be kind enough to serialize their illegal products. Can we really hold such silly expectations?

The second type of ghost gun is incorrectly called that by reporters that don’t know what a ghost gun is. There are a lot of movies that tell us about this type of ghost gun. This false definition is a plastic handgun could be printed entirely on a 3D printer and pass through a metal detector without setting it off. The news points out the liberator as that weapon. Except, there hasn’t been many people that actually try to put the thing through a metal detector, so the jury is really still out on this one. Maybe some reporters should go investigate this before they throw out claims. The single shot .380 still included a nail firing pin an ammunition to be useful, all of which are metal and may help set off a metal detector. Let’s be honest though, with the TSA failing to find 95% of weapons when they are put to the test, It might not matter if the guns are made of steel or not.

The Liberator pistol from Defense Distributed

Myth 3: Defense Distributed just gave a bunch of criminals technical data about firearms.

I even hear the following comments from well intending gun owners; “well, at least criminals didn’t have the technical data to produce firearms until Defense Distributed gave it all away.” This argument lacks knowledge of the subject. The data was available for download years ago, and has remained on the interned in several different CAD file repositories like Fosscad and Grabcad. If you wanted to dig deeper you could find the data at The Pirate Bay or Github. As long as we have a relatively free internet, the idea that ITAR can restrict the distribution of .3D files is ludicrous.

The other item failed to mention is that just having a blueprint or a .stl file does not ensure a successful or repeatable build. While they will likely have some instructions for things like the Liberator, the majority of their information is going to lack things like manufacturing tolerances necessary. 3D printers know that either repeated prints with tweaked model dimensions or extensive hand fitting are need to make functional parts. It’s rare that a print comes out perfectly the first time that model is tried. People will need advanced hand fitting or modeling skills to take advantage of what Defence Distributed provides.

I hope this helps the readers with tools they need to discuss this issue well and factually.