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  1. #16
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    I'll give it a try, minus the nice Stickman style pics. Here is my Personal AR:



    Living in NJ, I cannot have any of the evils that most of you guys can, but I have found a couple of ways to make the best of it.

    UPPER:
    I wanted a platform that allowed me to quickly change barrels and caliber. I checked around and it was between the Robnson Arms XCR or the LMT MRP. I finally settled on the MRP because I am very familiar with the AR platform. SO far I have the LMR 16" Piston Upper and a 16" Chrome lined 6.8SPC MRP barrel. I plan on getting a 16" 5.56 Stainless Steel barel in the future.

    Muzzle Device:
    Since I must have a permanently attached Muzzle brake on my barrels, I had to find a muzzle brake that was not obnoxious as most brakes. I have been using the FSC556/FSC30 and they are the best combination brake that is also very good at reducing he flash

    Stock:
    In NJ, you can't have a collapsible stock, but you can have a collapsible stock that is pined so it doesn't collapse. I decided on the Vltor E-Mod for many reasons. Very Comfortable, good balance, decent price. I sent the stock to ADCO Firearms and they pinned the stock in the position that I wanted and it is impossible to tell it is pinned because you can't see the pins.

    Magazines:
    I use the PRI 15 Round magazines for the 6.8SPC an the C-Products 10 rounders. I would definitely prefer the PMAG's if given a chance.

    Trigger:
    I'm a big fan of 2-stage triggers. I bought a WOA Tuned RRA last year and I keep telling myself that once it craps out on me, I will get the Geiselle SSA or Hi-Speed. 12+K wounds later and the WOA tuned RRA is running strong and still feels as good as when I got it.

    Optics:
    I wanted a multi-purpose AR, so I wanted a sight to match. After trying several optics, I settled on the Swarovski Z6i Illuminated Circle Dot. I've had it for over a year and it is a great scope.

    BUIS:
    I went with the Troy front and rea because I needed the BUIS, to be low-profile enough to fit under the scope. I also prefer the Same Plane Aperature Rer BUIS, so the Troy was a no brainer for me.

    Slings:
    I have tried nearly every sling outthere and there are only a couple of slings that fit MY SHOOTING STYLE. I want a sling that adjusts quickly, easy to transition weapon to the weakside, and can be used as a shooting aid. After trying many sings, the only ones that I like are the:
    1. Vikings V-Tac.
    2. Specter Gear CST Sling.
    3. Gear Sector GS-2P, if it had more slack for me because of the way I shoot.

    Weaponlight:
    I went with the Pentagon Stealth light, which is very good.

    Accessories:
    Harris 6-9" BRM-S bi-pod on QDM QD Mount. I don't care for the VFG's, so I have the Tangodown Rail Covers and use the tape switch to activate the weapon light.

  2. #17
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    Here's my go-to carbine in 5.56:



    Since I wanted a handy size for maneuverability, but wanted to maximize the fragmentation range of my 75gr 5.56 TAP rounds, I chose a 12.5" barrel length - this barrel is an Operator from Global Tactical (1:7 twist, heavy under the handguards). This also allowed me to mount a Surefire reflex adapter in combination with the LT 9.0 handguard. The Surefire can itself is a rugged unit and has not given me a lick of trouble. You do need to clean the adapter of carbon fairly frequently to ensure the can doesn't stick to the mount. No big deal.

    The gas block is a cut-down pinned FSB, as I wanted the gas block to stay put. Adco Firearms did a great job of cutting it to fit under the LT handguards. The upper is a CMT with extended feed ramps. The lower is a Mega Gator. The bolt carrier is an FN contract unit, and the bolt is a BCM unit. The charging handle is a PRI Gas Buster.

    Front and rear BUIS are Troy units, with the front being the M4 configuration. IMHO these are the best BUIS out there and all my rifles wear them. The Aimpoint T-1 rides on an LT low mount, which in turn is locked onto a DD offset rail mount. I have the T-1 zeroed at 15 yards, since past that I just use the TA33. Acquiring the T-1 just takes a quick tilt of the rifle - there is no change in cheekweld. For longer range work, the TA33R-8 is pretty ideal. I have the TA33 zeroed at 100 yards to make use of the BDC ladder. The flip cap is there to allow the use of the ACOG in OEG mode, although this requires the shooter to adjust for offset. The 3x fixed mag is a good match to this carbine's intended max range of about 300 yards, and you just can't argue with the very generous eye relief. Both the TA33 and the T-1 offer an always-on, daylight visible reticle, which continues to make shooting on a snap reticle picture much easier than with a non-illuminated reticle. This optics combo replaces a S&B Short Dot, which I found much too heavy and much too large, in addition to finding the FFP reticle at 4x not as usable due to the illuminated dot being very large.

    The light is a Surefire G2L with a Malkoff drop in LED and Surefire clickie tailcap. The mount is a Larue LT606 offset, which in its current position puts the light at 11 o' clock, which is just about ideal. The reach up for my thumb is also perfect, as I use the VFG as a handstop instead of a handle. The VFG itself is a TD stubby mounted to a Larue #17/ARMS rail combination. I'm thinking about cutting the VFG down to a stub handstop -- I've already done this on another carbine and am continuing to experiment with how it works.



    The MIAD grip is sort of self-explanatory by now, as is the Magpul extended trigger guard. The stock is a milspec CTR, which is my go-to stock on all my carbines. It does what it needs to do, locks up solidly, and weighs next to nothing. The endplate sling mount is a KAC unit, although I tend to run my VTAC 2-point sling mounted to the CTR, with the QD attachment on the right side of the stock (try it sometime to see how it stops your sling from being shoved into your shoulder by the buttpad).

    Mags are all PMAGs. Nothing else comes close, and I have a bunch of them.

    All-up weight of this configuration with a full 30 round mag is 9.5lbs. I could take a pound off by reprofiling the barrel under the handguards to be lighter. I may yet do this, but the weight and balance have not been an issue (especially coming from the Short Dot). The can does extend the length and put a bit over a pound exactly where you don't want it, but overall the compromises of shooting suppressed are minimized in this configuration.
    Last edited by caporider; 29 January 2009 at 10:49.

  3. #18
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    Stick I love it! awesome set up.
    This is my AR. The only thing I still want to get for it is the MBUS in FDE and the Magpul sling in FDE.
    It is a Vltor MUR upper, Spikes 416 style lower, 10'' Troy rail, Sabre Defense barrel, ARMS 40L BUIS, Troy front BUIS, Pmags, UBR stock, AAC flash hider & can, T-1 micro/LaRue mount, Tango Down grip, MIAD & Xiphos NT light.




    Last edited by OUTLAW-ONE; 29 January 2009 at 11:55. Reason: add pics

  4. #19
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    OLD PICTURE, will update later

    Upper: VLTOR VIS-2A
    The monorail system provides me with a very stable platform. Structurally stable, no worries of the rails being skewed. Free floating barrel system is perfect for my Lothar Walter barrel for repeatable shots. Plus it looks great

    Barrel: SS Lothar Walter 18" barrel, 1/8 twist
    Selected for it quality and accuracy. I wanted a long range shooter, but not a extremely long length barrel. The twist ratio gives me a wide selection of bullets. It's able to stablize 55 gr to 70 gr bullets in flight. I haven't tried heavier round yet. Groupings can be under 2" at 200 yards to the best of my ability. (I'm not a expert) Barrel is heavier than the standard barrel. Blued to keep it matching the rest of the rifle.



    (View for lower side. Optics are on a different rifle)

    Lower: Originally was the LMT lower (SOPMOD), but changed out to the Tom Sawyer Mfg Pirate Lower.
    The lower and the upper made a better fit than the LMT. Extremely tight where I could barely get the rear takedown bolt in. No wiggle room. Also selected it as a talk about piece at the range. Sadden that I can't ever use the Plunder mode. (Ends up this was originally Stickman's.. bought it from someone else though.. what a small world!)

    Trigger: Geissele DMR
    Geissele.. that says it all. The absolute best trigger ever. Replaced a CMMG 2 stage, which is really a great trigger, for the Geissele to see what the rant was about. It's very clean, crisp trigger. Haven't tried it with long range shooting yet due to the weather, but expect it to improve my grouping. (I hope)

    Trigger Guard: Magpul Enhance Trigger Guard
    Got it because it looks great. But it does add the ability to wear gloves.

    Grip: Falcon Enterprise Ergo Sure Grip
    Just feels comfortable, easy to hold, no slip. Best grip I've ever used. Haven't tried the MIAD, but thought the MOE grip was pretty good.

    Buttstock: Magpul UBR
    Even though I liked the LMT SOPMOD, I found the UBR was much more sleeker, and had less of a cheek weld which interfered with me getting to my scope. The weight on the UBR nicely balanced out the weight of the Lothar Walter barrel weight. It also feels very sturdy, and I like the ability to pull a trigger on the stock to adjust it to a preset length without even having to guess if I'm in the right lock position.

    Scope: Bushnell Elite 4200 Series - 6242P (4-24x, 40mm)
    Very clear optic, price within my budget. Variable zoom allows me to shoot farther out as well as act like a scope to view where my shots are grouping. Eye relief is great at low power magnification, but for 24x you have to get into the sweet spot.

    Scope mount: LaRue LT-104
    Great mount. Stable, easy to remove compared to my old Armilite mount. I haven't tried repeatibility of accuracy from removing the mount and putting it back on, but I heard it's pretty close to be back on zero.. but that's hearsay.

    Rail Covers 1: Magpul XTM
    Multi color to get the digital camo look. I have to give credit to Stickman for showing me how good it looks in his photos. I got to stop buying everything he show me pictures of..

    Rail Covers 2: Ladders
    Used to protect the rails from damage, but at the same time give me marker locations where to put all my hardware back on the rifle. Usage on the upper side only.

    Rail Cover 3: Magpul XT
    Used for under side rail to complete a circular grip around handguard. (Also not waste my investment in buying them. They are very nice.)

    Bipod: Bobro bipod
    Light weight, durable, easy to deploy and easy to adjust leg height. The durabiliy has been tested where I actually extend the legs out even when in the closed position to protect my barrel/FH from getting hit in the dirt when doing some training. Note I rarely have it hit, but there's time when having to move to prone position quickly where I appreciate the extra safety. No dirt has ever gotten in the barrel. Quick to deploy due to adding paracord and a handle to pull both legs out at the same time. Easy to adjust since all you have to do is unscrew the leg, and move the screw up and down, rather than unscrew, grab the leg to adjust (think of tripods where you use the release lever and then have to grab or shake the leg to get it to the right height).

    BCG: National Match Y/M, Spike's Tactical
    Great BCG. Easy to clean being chrome. Good quality build so very reliable. And very cool Spike's Tactical spider logo instead of the standard Y/M logo.

    Flash Hider: Smith Enterprise Vortex
    Just a nice looking flash hider, but may move to getting a AAC blackout with threads for suppressor. Recently placed it on so haven't had range time with it.

    Magazines: Exclusively Magpul w/ Ranger Plate
    What can I say.. Magpul makes a great product. Added Ranger Plates to make it easier to pull out of pouches.

    Future upgrades:
    Daniel Defense push button QD rails mount
    Butler Creek Flip covers for Bushnell Scope
    Backup Sights - Need to find some that will fit under my scope. Have a Troy rear sight, but it's on my MPL MOE setup.
    Last edited by Ryo; 2 February 2009 at 12:09.

  5. #20
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    Here is a picture from awhile back. In fact its long enough back that the AWB was in full swing. This weapon was built up as a basic carbine, and ended up being rebuilt numerous times. In this configuration, I wanted something basic that I could use for iron sight drills, and something along the lines of a truck/ trunk gun.

    This weapon served as a duty weapon at one point, but it wasn't in this configuration for long, and I'm not sure that it stayed on the streets for much time at all in this form (it would have at least had a sling).

    The upper is a Bushmaster, with 1/9 twist barrel, which shoots any of the issue 55 grain softpoint ammo well enough. The upper came as an A2, which was switched out for a flattop. Yes, I understand the comedic value of getting rid of the A2 and mounting a carry handle to the weapon... feel free to laugh.

    The lower receiver is a preban Olympic Arms. The lower is tight in the magwell, and the rear take down pin needs to be tapped (HEAVY taps). It was fine with the upper that came on it, but when I switched over to the above, it didn't seem to like it.

    The rail is an early YHM 2 piece drop in rail. It was ultra tight to drop the rails in, and I am still convinced that harsh language is what finally convinced it to go. However, as tight as it was, it loosened up quite a bit (too much for use with a VFG). Eventually I gave the YHM rail away to a LEO buddy after I no longer had a need for it.


    The over all basic value of this weapon was high, but it points out a good concept. Its almost always more expensive to buy a weapon and convert it to your liking. In this case, it was a preban weapon during the AWB, so values were a lot different back then.

    If you want a flattop, don't settle for an A2. If you want a Forward Assist (and you should), then make sure you get one. You aren't saving any money by swapping out those parts later on unless you got a great deal.



  6. #21
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    Here is a picture of the above weapon a little later on in its life. You can see that the A2 pistol grip was switched out for a MIAD. The MIAD gives me much greater control over the weapon when I am using it one handed. While we obviously never want to one hand the gun, there are times when you are opening doors, looking under beds, or doing similar things that you are going to have to use one hand. When my hands are wet and cold, the MIAD really makes a differnce.

    The ARMS 40L BUIS was brand new IIRC, and it was a great upgrade from a previous BUIS which I had problems with on a call. I dumped the old one and have had great results with the ARMS 40L, which I still use today on my duty weapon.

    The Eotech is a 552 model, it works well, but the main sticking point for me at that time was price. The Eotech was much cheaper, though it certainly goes through batteries quicker, and its not quite as durable as the Aimpoints.

    The VFG is the Tango Down, and was the only grip at the time that I could trust not to break. There were probably other good ones out there, but I wasn't going to chance it. You never hear of the TD VFG breaking, which isn't something all other companies can say.



  7. #22
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    The day got away from me quickly over here, and I'm pressed for time, but here are a few thoughts that came to mind as I went back and re-read the initial series of posts.

    The can I chose was the AAC SPR/M4. …The lack of blowback means that I don't need to run a gasbuster charging handle … the heavy ammonia smell …
    I was not aware of the SPR/M4's improved blowback characteristics, but consider this an extremely important detail. As a LH firer, I'm accustomed to a certain amount of blowback anyway, but in a suppressed configuration, or under a heavy volume of fire, this can be positively brutal. While I may run a Badger Ordnance ambidextrous charging handle at some point, I generally don't use Gasbusters, so the point here is a relevant one.

    As for the heavy ammonia smell, well, all I can say is that once you have experienced this first-hand, you can obviously see a whole host of associated perils -- it effectively renders you useless until you can clear your vision. In retrospect, I find it odd how such a detail is so often overlooked. Great point, Stick, and if the SPR/M4 offers improved characteristics in this area over the M4/2000 or competing cans, then there is certainly a strong argument to be made in its favor. Doubly so for a portsided operator.

    The SS barrel profile is a little heavier than its 4150 counterpart …
    Obviously, "a little heavier" isn't really a measurement, so I'm curious what the reverse/sleeve portion of the SPR flash suppressor can accommodate (dimensionally) in terms of barrel profiles. Does it fit the Noveske SS barrel better than it would a standard tapered N4 barrel, for example? Which barrel profile(s) would simply involve too much material to be compatible? I am presuming that a standard Colt M4 barrel is the standard here, but given the design of the suppressor, I'm just curious how which profile provides the best possible "fit" in this regard. Silly question, I know, but if this particular FS were being used as a permanent install for a non-NFA 14.5" build ... well, it looks as if John's stainless profile is just about "best in class," no?

    … we are looking at the exposed block of the Noveske Rifleworks adjustable gasblock …
    I'm still not terribly familiar with the Switchblock, but the concept intrigues me. Does this really make suppressed/unsuppressed reliability concerns go away with the flip of a lever? I realize that is the clear intent, and John knows his craft, but how well does this perform in actual practice? More to the point, how poorly does the typical AR gas system work without any compensatory gas block when transitioning from suppressed to non suppressed operation and back again? My guess here is that what the Switchblock gives you more than anything else is just a very consistent recoil pulse, whether the can is mounted or not. Would this be correct?

    While I'm a fan of other rail systems which tend to be a little lighter …
    Given the integral construction and rigidity, the VIS still strikes me as an optimal solution; that said, what kind of weight penalty are we talking about -- not in terms of ounces, but rather, in terms of heft and balance? I noticed that it apparently wasn't so much as to make you wish for the UBR in lieu of the ACS, which is encouraging.

    The front and rear sights are on there simply because that is what came with the upper from the factory
    This begs the question -- and I apologize if I just wasn't paying attention if/when you've addressed this elsewhere -- what BUIS combination tops your list of favorites, if the Troy has been problematic for you? I recall the ARMS reference (above), but what about up front? LMT?

    … the A2 pistol grip is removed, and a Magpul MIAD grip is used.
    Now that Magpul effectively offers us an almost infinite number of grip configurations to choose from, why would one choose the MIAD over the MOE+, for example? Granted, I'm not talking about availability, since I see that you've got a prototype MOE+ already; given the choice between the two, would you still opt for the MIAD? If so, why? I have it in the back of my head that the surface treatment of the MOE+ is going to make it an extremely popular alternative, and since my experience to this point is largely with stock Colts and USGI configurations, I'm not really up-to-speed on the nuanced differences.

    Again, Stick, I can't even begin to describe how much I enjoyed your opening series of posts, and in many ways, you unwittingly created a rifle I've been building in my head for quite some time. In that sense, if an apparent clone manages to pop up later in the year, just keep in mind that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, since I won't be able to prove that we have been parallel thinkers all along. One could certainly do a lot worse than emulating one of your setups, so I guess I'm not especially concerned. LOL

    Great thread, great contributions (from all), great carbines -- this topic is really just a delight to read.

    AC
    Last edited by Army Chief; 30 January 2009 at 07:17.

  8. #23
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    I was fully prepared to offer the suggestion that this thread be converted to a permanent "sticky" ...

    ... when I realized that Stick was apparently way ahead of me.

    Again.


    AC

  9. #24
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    Since both Stick and Ryo have VIS-based setups, and I have the same configuration sitting in the backorders queue at Grants Pass, what optics mounting solutions seem best suited to this rail?

    I am presuming, of course, that the typical LaRue SPR-E overhang mount is unnecessary, since it is possible to use rail-mounted rings (fore and aft) given the rigidity of this configuration. My question is this: which products -- preferably with QD capability -- are really best in class for VIS applications?

    Since I am still slowly, if inevitably, moving in the direction of a Short Dot (being in Germany, I can alleviate at least some of the sticker shock), where should I be looking for a direct-mount 24mm solution?

    AC

  10. #25
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    I picked LaRue for my scope. Works very good. I would assume the Bobro would be very good, but they didn't see any 1" rings available at the time I bought my LaRue.

    I think Stickman uses on the first gun posted, a American Defense Mfg mount. Never used them.. for my AP T-1 I use the LaRue mount that AP sells with it as a set.

    Whether on a VIS or not, it's still just a rail system.. I would use the same mounts.

  11. #26
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    I definitely follow your logic Ryo, though I'm really looking for a QD ring solution. The VIS is just a rail system, true, but it's a rail system that provides full-length rigidity, which opens up new possibilities when mounting longer optics, i.e. those that overhang the Delta Ring.

    I'm not especially interested in going with a conventional offset base mount (like the SPR-E) when the rail lends itself to direct attachment. Granted, this would only make sense with a VLTOR VIS or an LMT MRP, but since we're talking about the former, I figured it was a question worth asking.

    AC

  12. #27
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    Sorry AC, I don't follow what your asking for then.

  13. #28
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    Chief,

    My thoughts on it are as follows.

    If the optic will stay dedicated to the VIS railed weapon, no offset mount is needed as it would only take up more space without yielding any benefit. If the optic will possibly be used on other platforms, you might want to give serious thought to going with an offset mount so you can swap it to other weapons. Bobro and ADM would be solid choices, and the upcoming ARMS adjustable mounts may be worth taking a look at as well. Noveske Rifleworks uses ADM mounts on their gear, and ADM makes a custom Novekse optic mount as well.

  14. #29
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    There is every possibility that I'm just not being very clear. My impression was that you were talking about the LT-104 or another conventional mount which is designed to accommodate optics which are longer than the upper receiver.

    If we use the SPR-E as an example, when we attach the base of the mount to the receiver, a significant portion of the mount is actually offset well forward, leaving a relatively small "block" connecting the upper half of the mount to the base. That's an effective and largely trouble-free arrangement for a conventional upper, but when you have the full length of the rail to work with (as we do with the VIS/MRP), and when the entire surface is monolithic and torsion-free, then would it not make even more sense to just direct-mount the optic to the rail, without a highly-engineered and unnecessarily costly mount?

    The answer would seem to be yes, provided extremely high quality medium/high QD rings were used, and those are really what I'm asking about here -- that, or an integral mount that doesn't necessarily use an offset base design, as this is a solution to a problem that we don't have.

    I'm trying not to be over-the-top here, but does this explanation make a bit more sense?

    AC

  15. #30
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    Stick, we "crossed in the mail" here, but your point is a good one: if I'm dedicating the optic to the upper, then this approach would seem to be a sensible one. If not, or if I'm simply not sure, then it would make more sense to invest in a mount that is more compatible with a conventional upper. Makes perfect sense -- and I appreciate the leads.

    AC

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