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January 31, 2012 / flogginwater

ARrrrrr

The last few posts I’ve mentioned the Bushmaster AR-15 I was given as a Christmas present by my father in law. For those not familiar with them – the AR-15 is the semi-automatic version of the rifles that our fighting forces field – the M4/M16.

The rifle I was given is an A3,carbine style rifle with A2 style fixed butt stock. A3 means that the upper receiver (AR’s are comprised of two main parts – the upper and lower receivers. The lower receiver houses the fire control group – trigger, hammer, sear, and safety – the magazine well, and the butt stock. The upper receiver houses the bolt, barrel, hand guards, and sights) is a “flat top” – instead of the integral carry handle and iron sights of the A1 and A2 style rifles, the top of the receiver has an accessory rail milled onto it. To this rail gets bolted a removable carry handle/sight, stand alone back up iron sights (sans carry handle) and any optical sights (scopes, red dot sights). The carbine length guns come with a 16 inch barrel (minimum legal length without registering the firearm with the AFT as a Short Barreled Rifle).

My gun came with an “A2” style butt stock, that means it’s the hard plastic, hollow fixed butt stock. There’s a trap door on the stock leading to a storage compartment meant to house a cleaning kit or spare parts. I’ve been keeping my .22 caliber bore snake in there, since the AR is the only .22x caliber rifle I own at the moment.

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The gun also came with Bushmaster’s standard carbine length round handguards (which are slightly different from M4 spec handguards that are oval shaped, and thus taller. The round hand guards Bushmaster sends out on their rifles allow for certain sights to be mounted on the rail without interference from the taller M4 handguards, which is kind of nice), and the carry handle/sight assembly. Sights are A2 style – adjustable for both windage and elevation.

It’s a fine rifle in it’s original form, but I decided to make a few tweaks to make it more “me”. I have removed the original round hand guards and replaced with with Magpul MOE units – these have a different profile, they’re rounded triangular shape with slots cut to allow bolt on accessory rails to be fitted on top, bottom, and sides. These rails are for attaching such things are white lights, laser aiming devices, bi-pods, angled or vertical foregrips, or even cameras (the latest craze for YouTubers, I guess.)

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My intention is to eventually mount a Magpul Angled Foregrip (which I have now) and a white light to the rifle, should the need arise to use it in low light conditions. The light allows the shooter to identify their target, instead of shooting at a silhouette. Could be the difference between shooting the neighbor’s pup that gets loose, and shooting a coyote bent on killing your own pets or livestock. It could also mean the difference between shooting a violent intruder in your home, or a loved one. The lights are also quite handy for the competition shooting events that include low light stages.

I’m also in the process of replacing the A2 fixed stock with the M4 style 6 position expandable stock. This stock allows the user to modify the length of pull (basically the rifle’s fit) to their needs. Smaller statured shooters can adjust the stock shorter, while larger, more mongoloid shooters can make it longer. It’s also quite a handy feature for police, soldiers, and security professionals who might have to use their rifles while wearing body armor.

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I’ve been making these upgrades while trying to keep costs low, so instead of buying a kit for $70-100, I’ve been piecing it together from parts found individually online (eBay can be quite good, if you wade through the Airsoft crap). I’m two parts away from being able to assemble the adjustable stock to the rifle (need the sling adapter plate, and the castle nut that threads onto the buffer tube on which the stock rides.)

Aside from the changes mentioned, there’s not a lot else I plan to do to the gun, except adding a red dot sight eventually. Given their cost though ($400 on the low end, $2500 on the high end) – it’ll be a while before I get around to doing that. Besides, iron sights are just fine for the shooting I normally do anyway.

The last thing I added was a single point sling (named because it only attaches to the gun at one point) that I am prototyping. As seen in the pictures above and below – the current model is made from Safety Yellow strapping. Like I said, it’s just a prototype. Once I finalize my design, I’ll be making it out of similar, but black or forest green nylon strapping (something the blends in better with the rifle, or the clothes I typically wear when shooting. And since this rifle *might* be used for hunting predatory animals in the future, I don’t want a neon colored sling.)

I’ll be posting more about the rifle after I get it all finished. I know it shoots already, so now it’s just about making it more comfortable to shoot.

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2 Comments

  1. Mark / Feb 1 2012 10:16

    Jealoustown

    Population: Me.

    That is a nice gun sir.

  2. gfen / Feb 23 2012 14:09

    honestly, i stumbled onto an eotech a couple years back for a song, or else like you i'd be desirous and still not willing to drop that much cash.

    so, anyways i got the thing and i put it on my fancy flat top ar15 and…kinda pointless, actually. yeah, its all high speed and what not and i suppose if i had this thing for fighting communists or prepping for the end of the world, maybe it'd be useful?

    but, for having a good time and just making holes in paper? irons. or, a decent scope if you wish. target aquisition is just as quick with irons if you know which end is up, so you ain't missing much without a reflex/holo.

    not that i'll sell you mine, shit, it looks high speed and if the communists end the world, well shit, i'm ready.

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