beta mag



Latin for “greed”; my third AR build for the 7 Deadly Sins theme. Some of you may recognize it. The last part I needed arrived early. Initially when I was contemplating what kind of AR Greed would be, it seemed simple enough to go the route of making it the most expensive one out of the 7. Problem was Gluttony already crippled most of my funds, and Lust I already know will cost more if I can get around to it.

This build is a copy of the Dissipator rifle used by Emil Mătăsăreanu in the infamous North Hollywood Shootout. I figure what better candidate for Greed than the rifle used by a bank robber. There are several differences though. First, my rifle is not an illegally converted full-auto example. Secondly, the stock is an aluminum reproduction; I’m fairly certain Mătăsăreanu‘s rifle had the polymer version. I could have paid $45 for a polymer stock but I got the aluminum one for free, when they normally cost around $100.

Last major difference is an ironic one. My rifle is an old police trade-in and marked as such. Even the Beta C-Mag is LEO marked. I specifically searched for an old, used Beta Mag cause it matches the wear, tear and patina of the old rifle. The rifle is not a tribute to the bank robber, but more of an example of how greed can lead to your eventual downfall. The North Hollywood Shootout is sometimes viewed as one of the pivotal moments in U.S law enforcement history responsible for the eventual and current “militarization” of police forces. I suppose in one last bit of irony, Greed is currently my cheapest AR build. (GRH)

The North Hollywood Shootout: Game-Changing Crime

(left) Larry Eugene Phillips, Jr., (right) Deceba Stefan Emilian “Emil” Mătăsăreanu, perpetrators of the North Hollywood Shootout.

On 28 February 1997, at 0917 hours, two would-be bank robbers walked into the Laurel Canyon Boulevard Bank of America branch in the quiet community of San Fernando Valley, a semi-independent urbanized area of north Los Angeles. Dressed in matching suits of aramid body armour and each armed with one Norinco MAK-90 semi-automatic rifle, the two men stepped over the threshold of the bank, and into American law enforcement history. 

Inside the bank, the robbers acted quickly. Spraying gunfire throughout the bank to intimidate the customers and employees, they issued demands to the employees for all the money from the vault. However, unbeknownst to Phillips and Mătăsăreanu, two Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) officers, Loren Farrell and Martin Perello, had seen them enter the bank.  Sitting in their cruiser, the two officers called in a 2-11, LAPD code for an armed robbery, and waited for backup. As gunfire was heard from inside the bank, Farrell reported shots fired, calling more officers to the scene.

Meanwhile, the robbery was lasting longer than expected. Due to recently improved security methods, Bank of America branches stored all monies in separate lockboxes to slow down thieves. As the robbers hastily loaded cash into their duffels, LAPD officers surrounded the bank. At 0924, Phillips and Mătăsăreanu had secured around $300 000 (along with three dye packs secretly placed by the bank’s assistant manager), and Phillips chose this moment to exit the building.

Map of the North Hollywood shootout. The bodies of Phillips and Mătăsăreanu are shown in red.

As he emerged into the street, Phillips spotted Sergeant Larry Haynes and Officer Martin Whitfield, in partial cover behind their cruiser across Laurel Canyon Blvd. He then opened fire, riddling the vehicles with bullets and wounding seven LAPD officers. The officers frantically returned fire, but it soon became clear that their Beretta 92FS pistols were not powerful enough to penetrate Phillips’ body armour. Even Officer James Zboravan’s Ithaca 37 shotgun proved useless, and after a four-man SWAT team arrived, Phillips reentered the bank.

Shortly after, he reemerged with Mătăsăreanu and the duffel bag containing the stolen money. At this point, the dye packs in the bag went off, ruining the money and rendering the robbery a failure. The two men resorted to “Plan B”– simply to escape with their lives. They opened fire indiscriminately on officers and civilians, further injuring Ofc. Whitfield and Sgt. Haynes and wounding Officer. Stuart Guy. As they moved towards their getaway car, a white 1987 Chevrolet Celebrity, several officers attempted to flank them from a lot on Archwood Street. Phillips fired on the group, severely wounding Detective Earl Valadares. 

Ofc. Stuart Guy lies wounded near his cruiser.

Mătăsăreanu entered and started the getaway car, while Phillips retrieved a Heckler and Koch M91A3 rifle from the vehicle and laid down cover fire. Soon after, however, the rifle was struck by several police bullets, destroying it. Hit in the shoulder, and disoriented from the phenobarbital he had taken before the robbery, Phillips grabbed a Norinco Type 56-S1 and attempted to fire one-handed. The weapon jammed repeatedly, and Phillips discarded it but continued firing with a Beretta 92FS. Hit in the hand, he dropped his pistol, and, upon retrieving it, committed suicide by shooting himself in the head.

Seeing Phillips go down, Mătăsăreanu abandoned the Celebrity (now with at least two flat tires and a shattered windshield). Fleeing on foot, he then attempted to hijack a Jeep pickup belonging to aeronautical engineer Bill Marr. Mătăsăreanu took a Bushmaster XM15 E2S “Dissipator” rifle from the trunk of the Celebrity, boarded Marr’s vehicle, and attempted to start it. However, the Jeep had a manual transmission, which Mătăsăreanu did not know how to operate. This rendered the Jeep useless and left Mătăsăreanu effectively trapped.

At this point, a SWAT team armed with AR-15 rifles closed in. Noticing Mătăsăreanu was wearing no armour on his legs, they fired under the cars, hitting the robber over twenty times. Mătăsăreanu fell, then surrendered, and the SWAT officers quickly surrounded and cuffed him. As Mătăsăreanu dared them to kill him, the officers radioed for an ambulance but not offer medical treatment of any sort themselves. At 1001 hours, he expired from blood loss and bullet trauma; the ambulance arrived nearly 70 minutes after, far too late.

The shootout’s aftermath was nothing less than the progressive militarization of America’s police forces. Mindful of the fact that standard service weapons had proven ineffective against the robbers’ combination of aramid and homemade body armour, the LAPD began to consider issuing more powerful weapons to their officers. Several months later, a Department of Defense shipment of 600 surplus M16s arrived; these were issued to each patrol sergeant. By the next year, regular officers were allowed to carry .45 caliber semi-automatic pistols (previously restricted to SWAT team members) and Kevlar plating had been installed in the doors of all LAPD cruisers.

That same year, Congress approved the 1033 program, a controversial scheme that allowed the DoD to transfer any type of surplus equipment to police forces at little of no cost. In particular, the program states that "all law enforcement agencies [may] acquire property for bona fide law enforcement purposes that assist in their arrest and apprehension mission". This is considered to have been a direct response to the North Hollywood shootout.

Mătăsăreanu’s Bushmaster XM15 E2S, modified to fire automatically and equipped with a high-capacity “Beta-mag”.

Phillips’ suit of body armour, which offered excellent protection from police firearms.

Phillips takes cover behind an abandoned police cruiser.

Feeding Gluttony

So since my first AR-15 is a Shrike, I need to get the essentials to run it.

Going to pick up a few Magpul 40 rounders…

Then some Lancer L5 AWM’s…since I have a Lancer lower anyway

The X-Products 50 round AR-15 drum is also on my list to buy, but I’m avoiding the Beta Mags and Surefire stuff since they haven’t been really reliable.

I already ordered an M249 200 round box/drum for the linked ammo,  but might also pick up a few of the 100 and 200 round soft cases.

If by some odd miracle I can buy one (the $4,000 price tag is a turn-off), the TYR Tactical Machine Gunner’s Assault Pack would be awesome, assuming it works with the Shrike’s feed tray.



A Spikes Tactical AR-15 with quite the number of add on accessories. It kind of looks like they started off at the front but gave up (or ran out of money) near the rear of the rifle by keeping the basic grip and stock. The drum could either be a Beta C-Mag or the KCI copy which is generally half the cost but still not exactly 100% reliable. (GRH)

About the River and Cliché by magensta

Relationship: Zayn Malik/Harry Styles
Rating: Mature
Word count: 15,535

 “Are you flirting with me?” Harry whispers, raising one of his eyebrows, “your future stepbrother?”  
 “Why, I thought I was being offensive.”  
 Harry snorts, “By calling me sexy?”  
 “Nope. That means you’re just nothing but an attractive asshole.”

The one where Harry’s mom is going to get married, which is totally fine - if he did not happen to have an one night stand with his soon-to-be stepbrother before.

Written for the Winter Zarry Fic Exchange. Reposting because the authors were revealed. Thank you Roxie aka babyxnanas for the graphic!

Random Rounds

Basic intro for new followers, the “Random Rounds” posts are generally my whenever-I-get-to-it blocks of texts where I discuss, debate, rant, ramble, vent about things in real life and the blog, but are usually firearms related.

Been a while since the last one. I suppose a little update of sorts. I did manage to squeeze in some time at the range when my boss said we had to go function test some firearms. I wish I took some pictures but my phone was dead. I got to shoot two of my project guns; my recent AR-15 build Greed, and my J.C Higgins Model 20.

I don’t have the loader for the Beta C-Mag so I manually loaded 20 rounds for function testing. Worked perfectly; no jams or double feeds but it is awkward feeling. Although the recoil was minimal, the stock absolutely sucks in terms of cheek weld and comfort, but then again I’m more accustomed to modern choices like UBR, PRS, IMOD etc.  I jokingly said “Now I see why the that bank robber couldn’t hit shit.” much to my bosse’s amusement.

I was a bit concerned about shooting my J.C Higgins Model 20 because it has an old Pachmayr POWer-PAC. It’s designed to reduce recoil and accept different chokes but there is a visible gap between the barrel and the choke’s exit. The reference photo below shows the gap much clearer than I could take a picture of.

The concern is the wad that leaves the barrel along with the pellets.The Model 20 was made around the time when most shotgun shells used paper wads, but modern shells now use plastic wads. I thought the plastic wad was going to get stuck in there and block the next shot but it didn’t. In fact the shotgun left baseball sized holes in the target.

I really don’t have much else to talk about. Work’s been good, projects are slowly getting done, but I did get a new gun, but that’ll be a different post.

I’m suddenly obsessed with the idea of buying or building a swiveling gun mount that fits in the door hinges of my Jeep.

It’s not like I have a 240B laying around to mount on it, but just think. One on each side in the back and the passenger side in front, AR15 with a Beta mag on each one… I would definitely drive that for The Happening.