Wednesday, February 02, 2011

AR-15 upgrade (yet again)

I do love these guns. They're so modular that they're almost like Legos for grown-ups. You can always add or change something on them.

In the case of this carbine of mine, I just added a quad rail, replacing the old round barrel handguards. To that I mounted a GPS GripPod on the lower rail. This is a forward vertical grip that contains a pop-out bipod which deploys with the press of a button. Now I'd seen these before and always shrugged them off as a gimmick until I got a chance to try one on Old NFO's way-cool carbine. Once I saw how solid it was as a rifle rest and how handy it was as a foregrip, I just had to have one on my rifle.
I also added a Blackhawk quick-detach sling made special for us left-handed shooters. It's a nice three-point sling, however it came without installation instructions, which meant that I got to spend half an hour trying to figure the damned thing out on my own. (Thanks, dicks!) Other than that minor customer-service screw-job though, it's a nice sling.

Now I have to rant here, because I'm seeing what looks like a trend in tactical gear, that being the lack of instructions or any literature enclosed with the products. The sling had none. The handguard that I bought had none, and lest you think it no big deal, they can theoretically go on four different ways, but they will only fit correctly ONE way. Again, not something that I cared to have to go all trial-and-error about. The Super Sniper scope for my Savage tactical rifle also came with no instructions, and me not being an optics guy, I had to call for help from other gunnies on that one. Bottom line: you gun-stuff companies need to spend the extra quarter or so per item and include at least a basic instruction sheet for those of us who are so old that we're still used to wood stocks, web slings and iron sights.

But back to the rifle. The light is an excellent light made by PentagonLight, however they are no longer in business because a federal court found that they infringed on Surefire's patents. Pity, because I really like this light, and now I'm hosed if I ever need replacement parts for it. I'd also love a click-on/click-off push-button tail cap for it, but I'm not seeing one of those popping up any time soon now.
The optic is a Aimpoint Comp ML3, and I love it, although I wish that I'd gotten the one with the 2 MOA dot instead of the 4 MOA. Either work well, but it's a personal preference thing. It's backed-up by an A.R.M.S. 40L pop-up rear sight, because Murphy (the law, not the dog) can be a real ass-biter when things are moving fast.

It's mounted on a LaRue Tactical mount, and I love their quality products AND their customer service. They don't just send instructions with their product--they send you ball caps and bumper stickers and bottle openers and dry rub BBQ spice!

Oh, and the rifle itself: Assembled by me using Rock River matched upper and lower receivers, internal components from my "spares" box, and a 14.5" heavy barrel tipped with a permanently-affixed muzzle brake that brings it up to the legal 16.5". Basically it was an impulse project--when Obama got elected, I grabbed the receiver components in the rush along with everyone else, and used them and a bunch of extra parts that I had on hand to just build the rifle up for the hell of it. But darn it--I like it.

And the best part about projects like this: Lots of trucks come to deliver stuff. And that makes Murphy happy.

"Send more UPS guys. The last one was delicious!"


  1. Nice set up, now we've gotta go shoot em :-) and yeah, the lack of instructions SUCKS!

  2. Old NFO gave me a heads up on a really cheap holographic sight he found on his travels and I had him pick it up for me. I've totally changed my AR's from when they were first purchased. But they all still match my little black dress.

  3. NFO, you just come on back any time.

    Brigid, I'm going to have to see pics of the AR's and the little black dress.

  4. Anonymous11:40 AM

    Nice set up, like the sling too. Been looking at my sling options for my AR15A2 I am building, have to keep the one you have in mind.