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Boring AR Build Updates

I say “boring” because due to lack of time and sudden inability to replace my ammo stockpile, I haven’t even shot these yet! So here I am talking about gear I haven’t even used.

Anyway, here’s AR #2. The Plan was to complete this one after I’d had a chance to test out AR #1 and see if my component decisions were correct. Well, certain events forced my hand and I moved on getting the rest of the stuff in to complete it.

IMG_4890

The big difference is the Cav Arms A1 fixed stock in place of the Magpul MOE fixed stock. This alone saved a good quarter pound in weight! The stock is fairly sturdy, but doesn’t seem as bombproof as the MOE. It’s also a touch shorter. The buttplate is, unfortunately, complete trash. It’s flimsy rubber that doesn’t even fit well and I managed to completely screw the top screw right through it. The good news is a Colt buttplate will screw right on, and one is trucking its way from Numrich right now. I really can’t recommend it, but it is an option. I think if you want a fixed stock on your AR, the best bets are the MOE, or a surplus A1 stock ($15!). I also used a Daniel Defense fixed rear sight instead of the Troy. They’re interchangeable, pick whatever one you think looks best. For a white light, I chucked a Surefire G2 LED into an old Chinese aluminum 1″ scope ring I had lying around. It also saves a lot of weight over the Primary Arms unit, but only throws about a quarter of the candlepower. It’s probably better for indoors, but either will work.

Sling is a BFG VCAS hanging between the front sling loop and a VTAC A2 stock adapter.

One thing I immediately like about AR #2 is that it’s a good half pound lighter than AR #1! It’s not a huge difference and for a short duration of use, irrelevant, but I can totally see what people on a lightweight AR kick are on about. I don’t think I’d bias all the parts towards weight savings, but lightness is a good thing if the parts meet your other requirements.

AR #1 also got some attention:

IMG_4892

Sling is a BFG VCAS with a Brownells MASH hook up front on a Magpul loop, and a QD swivel on the outside rear of the MOE stock. I picked up an Aimpoint Comp M3 with mount and spacer on an absolutely obscene discount from SKD instead of the Aimpoint PRO. The only thing I don’t like about the M3 package is the ridiculous donkey dong of a quick-detach screw hanging off the left side. But the mount was free and it’s hard to argue with free.

Another thing I’m trying out is the ¡Blackhawk! buttstock magazine pouch. I wanted some way of keeping another magazine with the gun without resorting to a mag clamp or the expense of a Readi-Mag. I’ve been biased against these in the past because I had assumed they would make shooting off the wrong shoulder difficult if not impossible. But oddly enough, with a magazine inserted, the pouch forms a comfy cheek rest! The lid is adjustable to fit anything from an old GI straight 20 to a PMag. After practicing the reload dry, I’m convinced it’s useable. I just rotate the rifle to the left, wipe my hand down the stock to unhook the lid and pull out the mag, then get it into the gun as usual. It’s a touch more cumbersome and slow than reloading from a chest rig, but I think the utility of always having a reload on the gun is worth the tradeoffs. I think 60 rounds should see the average citizen through quite a lot of excitement and is one less thing to grab and ready in a crisis. Be sure to tighten the pouch all the way the rear so the front strap doesn’t prevent the charging handle from retracting all the way. Once I cinched everything down, I had a good half-inch of clearance. I recommend you check one out if you keep an AR ready at home. I’m not sure how well it would work on a telestock, but it’s great on a fixed stock. I have another one on the truck for AR #2.

Anyway, both carbines are progressing along swell, and I’m eager to see if they work out live as well as they do dry.

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