Friday, May 11, 2018

Because none of you asked....

Based on my last post I figure you should know what my prime choices are for my AR builds.

First off, KNS Precision for the pins and small parts and Wolff for springs. Both are well respected names in the industry and while I've not had a rifle yet that's hit a barrel life limit, so it's hard to say with certainty, but they've not failed or broken on me yet. Specifically, KNS's non-rotating trigger/hammer pin set got me started with them. I've replaced enough broken trigger pins on AR's at ranges that they became a fail point that I wanted to improve and KNS's NRTHP's were the answer to that.  And they were good enough that they lead me to looking to KNS for all the other pins and small parts.  Wolff springs, I selected them on advice from a 3 gun competitor that I used to work with. I've only ever had problems with one spring on any of my builds and that was one of Brownell's 50,000 round extractor springs that immediately didn't work out of the box, or Ziploc baggie as the case may be.  If a Wolff spring ever fails on me, I'll be sure to let y'all know.

I have used JP Enterprises Silent Capture Buffer Spring system and it's currently in my truck rifle. If you don't care about hearing the "Sproing of Freedom" when you shoot an AR, then I can recommend them.

For triggers, my first choice used to be Rock River Arms National Match Two Stage Trigger. This is a nice drop in two stage trigger with a smooth pull,  definite wall and good break. For around a hundred bucks it's good upgrade over the mil-spec GI trigger. I say used to be because I've been lured away and fallen in love with Geissele Automatics SSA-E trigger. It runs around a hundred dollars more than the RRA's trigger, but in my opinion it's worth every penny.  Again, it's a drop in replacement for the GI trigger and if you ever get a chance to shoot the two next to each other, you'll understand why it's my top pick for triggers.  Just keep in mind that I'm only looking at drop in replacements for the trigger. There are quite a few full customizable, fully adjustable triggers that will fit in the AR platform, but when you're looking at maintaining your rifle in the field, waiting 2-4 weeks for the replacement part to show up isn't my idea of a good idea.

Yes, I will always go with Magpul for the furniture on my rifles. Unless I'm looking at final weight as one of my considerations.  Then, and y'all will scoff at this, I go to ACE ARFX stocks. They're a good trade off between weight and ruggedness.  They'll survive being used as a brace when dropping into prone that I'd hate trusting a folding or collapsible stock to do.  They're a fixed stock, yes. But before you dismiss them. Unless 6 ft. you and 5 ft. 2 in. wifey are using the same rifle for home defense or you are actually in the military and have to adjust for varying levels of body armor a fixed stock is actually preferable in my opinion.

Now, these I'm going to list all together. Norgon's Ambi-Mag release, Teal Blue Bravo's PDQ Ambi Bolt Catch and any good ambi safety selector.  But not because they make the rifle more ambidexterous.  Yes, being able to shoot from either shoulder is a good skill to have. But because I want the only thing my off hand doing is getting the new mag and seating it.  Everything else can be done by the hand on the pistol grip without having to shift excessively.  Keeping my had there helps me maintain positive control of the rifle and the less fumbling, the less likely I'll be to... fumble... the rifle.

A good ambi charging handle like the Raptor is nearly a must these days of optics.  Often the optic sits right above the charging handle and being able to reach it can be problematic. Being able to reach up on either side to run it rather than having to try to reach around to hook both handles is a plus

For receivers, I've been a fan of Aero Precision's AR and .308 uppers and lowers.  They produce them in house and have an excellent QA department.  And I can hear y'all saying that so long as they're Mil-Spec, why pay more. There's a big difference between meeting the mil specs and using the mil specs as your starting point. When you start on .308 AR builds, you'll quickly learn that the .308 AR platform was never adopted by the US and therefore there is no mil-spec standard. DPMS's LR platform uses a lot of parts common with the AR-15. There are still differences, but they have more common parts with the AR-15 then the AR-10 system has. And Aero Precision uses the DPMS spec for their .308 AR's.  Again, maintaining in the field gets a lot easier when you don't have to have too many special parts for that one rifle.

Finally, as far as optics go, I have no recommendations.  I've used Trijicon, Burris, Aimpont, Vortex, and EOTech.  They've all worked, all held zero within abuse limits, and really made these tired old eyes look like a better shooter than they are.  The only caution I'd give you is you get what you pay for, so that 30 dollar red dot might look good to the bank account, but it may not look so good when it costs you standing in a shooting match or venison on the table.

Ian and Carl over at InRange TV have a great series on building an AR platform. They called it WWSD, or What Would Stoner Do, they approached their builds with weight as one of the primary considerations and they still ended up using a lot of the parts that I trust for my builds.  Although I swear their 3 gun rigs don't weigh half of what my truck rifle does.

Finally, these are my opinions and your mileage may vary. But these will give you a sense of peace of mind that your rifle will work and work when you need it to also.

1 comment:

Old NFO said...

Nicely done! And thanks for the links!