Monday, October 6, 2014

You Never Forget Your First..., that is.

I detailed the parts that went into my first AR-15 lower build over on the official work blog. The lower might look familiar; if it does it's because I got it well over two years ago. The "Fill Your Hands" lower that was going to be Freedom Rifle, then was shelved, then got turned into a different kind of Freedom rifle once I actually escaped the Volksrepublik. It turned into this:

I decided to go with an M4gery of sorts, at least, as close as I could get it with parts on hand. The Bravo Company upper was an unexpected find; for well under five bills, shipped, it came complete except for the charging handle and handguard. Fortunately, I had the original guards off the Bushmaster kicking around, and between those, the DPMS carry handle, and the completed lower, I figured that gave me a decent jump on an M4gery.

Plus, it's got all the eeeevil features I couldn't have in MA: Adjustable stock, bayonet lug, flash hider, and a new 30-round magazine. Such is life in free America; I even bought a 40-round PMag at the gun show the weekend before last. Because I could...

The build was decidedly uninteresting except for the safety selector. When I got it installed, it wouldn't rotate, and I didn't know what to do. I followed the Brownells videos for AR lower assembly, and at first I thought I must have missed a step. Went back, watched again, took the hammer and trigger out and started over, and still no rotation. At that point I watched the rest of the video and realized I had to wait and finish putting it together, and sure enough, everything worked.

At this point, the lower has a couple hundred rounds through it and has even starred in a soon-to-be-released video. The upper has been to a bloggershoot as well and probably has 400 rounds through it, all functioning flawlessly. Very happy with this build. While I do like the M4gery, I suspect that this platform will see several different iterations as time progresses.

And yes, there is another build in the works for the new lower I have coming in...

That is all.


Old NFO said...

And the Massholes are spinning in their office chairs in frustration...

doubletrouble said...

Timely post!
I'm now figgerin what to make- I'm thinking a loooong barrel varmint application.
Do you or any of your esteemed readers have any experience with bbl length/accuracy relationship in the AR platform?
Obviously, I'm not (yet) an AR guy.

Dave H said...

DT, there's a guy on my local shooting forum who's an accomplished predator/varmint hunter. (Coyotes mostly.) He's quite in love with his AR-15 for 'yotes. I believe his has an 18" barrel with a target crown. He gets very tight groups, and it's much quieter than with the customary AR muzzle brake. I believe he routinely takes 'yotes at 100 yards at night with a good scope. (And that's by natural light or a small rail mounted light. No night vision for us in Newyorkistan!)

A longer barrel isn't necessarily more accurate. A lot depends on how the barrel is made and how it responds to the stresses of shooting. My PSL has a 24" barrel, but PSLs are known for mediocre accuracy. It's a very slender barrel, and it flexes whenever a shot is fired. The point of impact wanders as the barrel heats up too. I've read of people who cut their PSL barrel down to 20" and their groups tightened up tremendously.

Anonymous said...

At this point, the lower has a couple hundred rounds through it...

Putting any rounds through a lower is bad for it. Very bad. You should stop doing that.


Anonymous said...

I recommend checking out Palmetto State Armory. They have excellent prices & high quality components. I built mine with their parts and after 1000 rounds the only problem I've ever had was with metal mags. It loves Magpuls! Just remember to keep it very wet when you break it in. In July I bought a 20" upper for $310.00 to build a longer ranging rifle.

Gene in NC

Jay G said...


That's the general idea... :D


I've got a York Arms Conspirator with a 25" barrel that gets 1/2" groups at 100 yards.

With factory American Eagle FMJs.

I suspect for minute-of-woodchuck you'd be well-served with 18-20" barrel. Like Dave mentioned, you might want to opt for a heavy barrel to help with heat.


Har har. Although I would argue that rounds do indeed go *through* the lower, in that they come up the magazine and into the chamber... ;)


Haven't tried Palmetto. I've had excellent luck with Bravo Company FWIW.

Wally said...

We can yak barrels anytime Doubletrouble. I've hatched a few that have done impressive accuracy even with big-box-store ammo (although that stuff makes my skin crawl!)

Working on a new concept now in accuracy for a super short bbl through 600y with 223.... Barrel just finished today so it will take some time to air it out.

Ritchie said...

Remember when I told you what would happen if you had leftover parts?