As I'm sure none of you remember. Last year and the year before I had an M-14 project. Basically it was all USGI NOS parts built up on an Armscorp receiver. I went with an outstanding armorer in Colorado for the final head spacing/build and the thing is a tack driver. Even with iron sights I can shoot 4 to 6 inch groups at 200 yards. And yes, that's freestanding unsupported, so all you sub-MOA mall ninjas can suck it. If you hit the deer in the breadbasket on the first shot, it doesn't matter if you can send the second shot through the same hole. You didn't need to shoot the second shot.
But I digress.
As I mentioned in a previous blog I bought a DPMS AR lower after voting. That's become my new project. I've always had a tool box of one sort or another. I've done 3 MG B's over the years, as well as balsa wood airplanes, plastic models etc. I'm an unrepentant tinkerer.
I figure a few months for gathering all the parts and a day or so for the build. I've talked with an armorer friend and since the head space on the AR platform isn't as hard to do as on the M-14, it's very much a do-able thing on a home workbench. In fact, the workbench and tools are probably going to be the most expensive single item cost.
Anyway, here's what I'm thinking.
DPMS for both lower and upper receivers, as well as parts kits. It's just convenient that way. It will be an A3 flat top upper. I've heard opinions that the high riser flat top that DPMS makes is supposed to be stronger and more accurate. While that is true, MIL Spec is MIL Spec and if the A3 can take the abuse the Army can dish out on equipment then it ought to be strong enough to take the occasional weekend plinking.
Barrel: I'm still up in the air for who to get this from. The specs are 16", mid length gas block, Gov't contour. This is a carbine project, so I don't want the weight of an HBAR hanging out there and the lightweight barrels are too thin to stand up for very long in my opinion. Feel free to comment on who makes good barrels or why I'm all wet about my opinion regarding heavy, medium or light weight barrels. In fact, please comment. I'm learning here. The only experience with AR platforms I have is the old M-16A1 I carried in the army back in the eighties. So, the whole M-4/CAR/A2/Flattop revolution is new to me.
Now for the other stuff. In no particular order.
EOTech for the holosight. The 512 most likely.
Badger Ordinance makes an ambidextrous charging handle. Not the tac latch, but a true ambi.
Norgon LLC makes an ambi mag release that looks good.
Yankee Hill Machine for the back up iron sights (BUIS). They make a gas block with integrated flip up front sight that looks good. Criteria here is the sights have to fold down. I guess there's a crowd out there that is all fired up about co-witnessing, but I don't want them sticking up in the EOTech's view.
If you haven't noticed a trend here. An ambi-safety. Of course. Manufacturer doesn't really matter here, but if you've got an opinion, feel free.
Rock River makes a national match two stage trigger. I've heard people poo poo Rock River, but half the TPD and surrounding forces carry RR AR's for work and I've neither seen nor heard anything bad from these guys. And a lot of them have them at home too. This ain't New York either folks. A lot of the cops here are gunnies too.
Ergo for the grip.
Ace makes a skeleton buttstock that looks nice with plenty of attachment points for the sling. I looked at collapsible stocks, but several people have said they were uncomfortable and I can't think of the good enough reason to mount one. And fixed is stronger.
Specialized Armament has an armorer tool kit that has all the punches, roll pin holders, ejector tools, etc. All I'll need is a vise, receiver blocks, barrel wrench, go/no go gages for the tool box.
That's it for now. I'll post updates as needed on the build.