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  1. #1
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    Let's build an extreme use AR-15 (UPDATE PAGE 8 & 9)

    I've been kicking around the idea of building an AR15 for no other purpose than to use as an absolute heavy use/ abuse weapon. I don't mean the gun you take out and shoot fast, I mean an overbuilt AR15 that will stand up to any use or abuse you can realistically put a carbine through.

    Think drop testing of components, thing about a carbine that will soak up loads of users worst punishment, and come back for more. Think along the lines of an AR15 that is going to get treated like a conscript treats their AK.


    What components would you select, and why? As this project moves along, we will get plenty of pictures of everything, and we will talk about what we chose, why we chose it, and what other options could have filled the bill.

    I'm open to just about any idea. This will be a project that should serve as a long standing platform for further testing of assorted components, but to start out, we need a solid base. This will be a total custom platform, no preassembled uppers, or complete weapons.

    Everything from lowers, stocks, sights, buffers, uppers, barrels, BCGs, and whatever else you can think of are on the table.



    What parts would you chose? What do you want to see used?






  2. #2
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    Cav Arms MkII lower. On the basis of simplicity, durability and weight. If the MkIII ever came to fruition that would be my selection, but its not in production.
    -Mitch-

  3. #3
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    I suppose some of this depends upon whether we're talking about a from-the-ground-up build, or an adaptation of a production rifle. Stick makes it pretty clear that we're really talking about the former, whereas I would probably be more likely to start with something like a Colt AR6721 (AR-15A3 Tactical Carbine) and go from there.

    If we play by the rules, however, I suppose we have to start with the receivers. Assuming a billet lower wouldn't be too much of a boutique selection, I would probably give serious consideration to a Tactical Innovations lower. It appears to be a robust alternative to the norm, though I concede that appearances may be deceiving, and I'm not able to base this upon first-hand experience. It simply strikes me as a worthy contender. Would one of the original (non-Rogue) SMOS lowers work here as well? Likely so -- just haven't seen one in a long, long time.

    For an upper, if hard-use is our standard, rather than a specific price point, might we be well-served by a monolithic upper that simplifies some of our other selections later on down the road? Either the LMT MRP or the VLTOR VIS would seem to suffice, though I'm more immediately familiar with the latter -- and if the integrated rail is overkill, there is always the MUR. Either way, I would be somewhat unlikely to go with a standard upper.

    Depending upon how far we want to take this, I'd either work with the aforementioned Colt 6721 barrel, or go to a Noveske stainless with a nice full profile. Assuming we give the boys in Grant's Pass the nod here (sort of a no-brainer for me), a mid-length gas system would also seem to suit our purposes well.

    On the BUIS front, would a hard-use weapon make best use of something like the LMT cut-down fronts and rears, or are there even more robust choices on the market? Conventional wisdom would seem to favor a more fixed configuration, vice the usual folders, but I've no dog in this particular fight.

    True, my starting point is probably running afoul of practicality and affordability standards, but this would be fairly consistent for me, as I rarely concern myself with either. I'm really more of a "best I can find" type of guy.

    AC
    Last edited by Army Chief; 9 February 2009 at 23:55. Reason: Added BUIS question(s)

  4. #4
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    I am starting my first AR build, and although I do not plan on taking it into harms way, or using it as any kind of duty weapon, I am still going to build it as though I were. I research the hell out of stuff before I make decisions. I went with the Tactical Innovations T15BDX lower which I do not regret one bit. The thing is a piece of art that is also built like a tank.

    I have a LPK on the way, and thats as far as I have gotten, but I plan on doing the upper on a VIS platform...maybe something built by Noveske or Rainier...Or I will piece it together myself.

    Probably a E-Mod or ACS stock, and a Spike's buffer and MIAD will complete the lower.

  5. #5
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    Sight unseen, I think I would opt for the ACS as well, though this presumes that something like a Sully stock wouldn't actually be better-suited to our stated purposes.

    The grip could be a standard A2 or a MIAD -- or better yet, a simple MOE -- but durability concerns would seem to rule out most of the Ergo variants.

    Handguard furniture is dependent upon whether or not we went mono/polyithic, whether or not we need a free float capability, and whether or not we intend to hang a lot of superfluous crap from the forend. I'm still thinking MRP/VIS, but if not, I suppose Daniel Defense is an obvious contender. That leaves us with about as many choices as Jelly Belly has flavors of jelly beans, but the Omega seems a decent baseline here; especially if the constant battering results in damage that may ultimately require replacement in the field. I did mention that I would favor mono/polyithic, right? LOL

    Can't really speak much to internals, though the Y/M National Match bolt carrier seems to be worthy of closer examination. Also, as a southpaw, I'd probably give serious consideration to a Badger Ordnance ambidextrous charging handle, though I presume the majority here would espouse the idea that a Gas Buster is a more on-point upgrade for a gun such as this.

    Since this is an imaginary project to this point, let's presume it should have supressor capability. That would lead me to AAC, and to either the SPR-M4 or M4-2000, depending upon the application. I'm not immediately familiar with the durability characteristics of one versus the other. Either would mandate the use of a Blackout variant, of course.

    AC

  6. #6
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    Shit I guess I'll start off a template so it's easy to see what the winning components are. Will reply when I have a little more time and thought.

    Handguard:
    Reason:

    Sights:
    Reason:

    Optic:
    Reason:

    Grip:
    Reason:

    Stock:
    Reason:

    Barrel including length:
    Reason:

    LPK/Trigger:
    Reason:

    Buffer:
    Reason:

    BCG:
    Upper Rec:

    Reason:
    Lower Rec:
    Reason:

    Magazine:
    Reason:

    Lights/lasers/etc:
    Reason:

    Charging Handle:
    Reason:

    Flash Hider/Comp:
    Reason:

    Misc Stuff rail covers etc:
    Reason:

  7. #7
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    I think a better framing question would be what type of carbine - a KiSS setup is more immediately conducive to drop testing and the like, but an optic and a light would be very practical to use (as I suspect this rifle will will end up being more of a test bed for your purposes)

    I'd omit a suppressor, or at most only use one sparingly: what's the fun in a spousal abuse rifle if you can't run cheap ammunition through it all the time?

    If it's gas DI - then a 16" midd fits the bill best. For a piston setup, especially suppressed, then a 12.5" would be more practical. For my interest, seeing just how hard a 16" middy with well-thought out parts can be driven would be of immense informative value to recreational shooters.
    Noveske barrel at minimum, with the VLTOR Gas Block (or switchblock if suppressed)

    Rail: Lite or RIS-II rail system. Probably with DD or LT rear sight, LMT, POF, or HK styled front sight.
    ACS/MIAD/PMag are almost a given.

    If workable, Geissele SSA trigger, and LPK with an H buffer - if that (I'm thinking a major test will be feeding it a case of Wolf)

    As far as accessories - maybe the profile chosen on your all-purpose setup (T-1/ADM Mt; X600; Bobro VFG) to see how well that setup suits, although I stil see this being a testbed rifle more than anything else.

    An ion bonded LMT or BCM carrier would be my choice on experimental parts, although sending in an LMT enhanced carrier to get coated would be a very cool adventure.

  8. #8
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    I really like the idea of a hard use AR15!

    The parts I would like to see are:
    Trigger: Geissele SSA (Long time test of a two stage trigger that was designed for hard use.)
    Bolt: JP/LW High Performance Bolt Assembly (I would really like to see if this bolt will work much longer than a normal Colt bolt)
    Bolt Carrier: JP Tactical Operating System (Very smooth carrier, QPQ coated, might help making the gun run longer without enough lube)
    Barrel: Noveske N4 Light

    The parts I do not care for:
    No piston system.

  9. #9
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    Handguard: LaRue
    Reason: They are a bit heavier than some other options but for pure durability I think they can't be beat. Combine this with a traditional front sight and I think you have a great combination of a solid sight, handguard, and you donít need a gas block

    Sights: F marked front sight Troy Rear (magpul mbus possibly for rear based on Magpul quality)
    Reason: I really think for durability you canít go wrong with a traditional front sight, they stand up to abuse and are as good as any gas block, as for rears I love troy and until I see and use mbus theyíll be the best for me

    Optic: ACOG
    Reason: No batteries, rugged lifetime warranty if you do find a way to break it

    Grip: Tango Down
    Reason: Personal preference and I think itís built damn tough as well

    Stock: Vltor Emod
    Reason: I love vltor emods for middies and since it's stated that this gun will be loaned out adjustable LOP is a must.

    Barrel including length: N4 Chrome lined 16Ē
    Reason: M249 specs Noveske nuff said

    LPK/Trigger: Single stage
    Reason: preference and simplicity

    Upper Rec: Vltor MUR
    Reason: Itís beefy to me just feels and looks really solid compared to a standard forged upper

    Lower Rec: POF
    Reason: I love the precision and the built in trigger guard less things to break I know a trigger guard isn't really a huge issue if broken but why add when you can subtract

    Magazine: PMAG
    Reason: magpul video with the truck running over it
    Last edited by bigcoastie; 11 February 2009 at 07:34.

  10. #10
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    If durability is the main concern, I'd have to go with THIS LaRue fixed BUIS. I realize some folks around here don't think much of Mark or his products but there's something appealing about a sight that would require a sledgehammer and some C-4 to damage.

  11. #11
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    The LaRue BUIS makes sense to me, as it is a fixed design. I'm not privy to any particular anti-LaRue drama in these parts, but in any event, this is obviously a solid unit, and worthy of consideration.

    Not sure where we ever got the idea that a two-stage trigger (Geissele or otherwise) is a good idea for a hard-use gun, but I'll keep my opinions to myself on that one.

    Don't much care for the POF lower design -- actually, I find it rather garish -- but would otherwise agree that a billet unit might fit the bill here, as stated above.

    Definitely follow the ACOG logic; especially for intermediate distances.

    How about a Bobro VFG and a SureFire M600C to round out the railed fixtures?

    Concur that PMAGs were/are something of a no-brainer.

    Sling recommendations, anyone?

    AC

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by bigcoastie View Post

    Handguard: OPEN
    Reason: I can think of pros and cons to a few different ways of each.

    Sights: I'm leaning towards folders.
    Reason: Its no fun if we cant' break something.

    Optic: OPEN
    Reason: Optics may change depending on who is shooting, and what shooting is being done.

    Grip: OPEN
    Reason: I like the idea of finding what will fit most people, I don't care if we break it.

    Stock: Adjustable
    Reason: The stock will be used with armor most of the time its being fired on MIL or LE ranges. I don't care if we break the stock or receiver extension.

    Barrel including length: 16", OPEN.
    Reason: I want to be able to loan this out, and not everyone has a SOT or is able to legally own short barrels.

    LPK/Trigger: OPEN
    Reason: I'm leaning heavily towards the SSA, mainly for personal reasons and wanting to see how much use it can take through dry fire and live fire drills.

    Buffer: OPEN
    Reason: I prefer to play with some heavies for this one, but am open to which ones.

    BCG: OPEN
    Reason: I don't mind playing around with this one, any quality BCG should work VERY well.

    Upper Rec: OPEN
    Reason: Forged, billet, or one piece.... they are all on the table.

    Lower Rec: OPEN
    Reason: I don't mind breaking a lower receiver.

    Magazine: OPEN
    Reason: I think this one needs to vary to use different magazines.

    Lights/lasers/etc:
    Reason:

    Charging Handle: OPEN
    Reason: As long as its not one of the cheap flexible ones, they should be good to go. Maybe a GB for the increased durability.

    Flash Hider/Comp: OPEN
    Reason: may or may not want to attach a can

    Misc Stuff rail covers etc: OPEN
    Reason: Leaning towards XTM panels, but I don't really care either way.


    Coastie- Great idea!

    Great format, as you can see, I'm open to most ideas. I do want this weapon to be usable while wearing armor, as most of the time its used will be while guys are armored up.

  13. #13
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    I guess constructively, we need to narrow down what's going to be a fixed part, and what will be test items.

    Optics (Magnifiers?)
    VFG's (QD if possible)
    BUIS (Rail-mounted Fixed, flip-up)
    Lights/Lasers (can change between a lightweight, and loaded setup)

    Of these, the Bobro VFG and Surefire X600 seem like winners, but some may want to see other stuff.


    Items that make sense so far, and seem like 'keep' type items:
    Noveske N4 Light Barrel
    MUR Upper Receiver
    GSSA Trigger
    PRI GB Charging Handle
    MIAD Pistol Grip - Unless you want to wring out an MOE grip.

    If a conventional stock tube is desired, that opens it up to a MOE, CTR, ACS, EMOD, LMT SOPMOD, or anything else that fits a mil-spec extension. ACS or EMOD would seem like the pick. Adjustable LOP is obviously critical, but I think the stock itself will end up being a test item.

    Retaining the stock delta assembly is a viable option, if Stock, MOE, Omega, TROY MRF-DI, or similar handguards are going to be tested. This would mean an a-frame FSB...
    If this component isn't going to be changing, might as well toss a Daniel Defense Lite rail on for now, and only consider changing that out for a Omega-X rail, imo.

    My preference would be a Lite rail over the gas block and running MBUS on this thing, see how they run.

    For unsuppressed use, an H buffer is probably the happy medium. Chrome silicon spring, and that should be golden.

    A billet lower receiver seems like it would be fine, POF, Tac15BDX would work for sure.

    BCG's are a tough one, but a prepped Young chromed BCG would be worth a look, but the above DLC coated options would still interest myself at least - so I'd leave that as an open item.

    Magazines - I would like to see Lancer, TangoDown, and CAA's new magazines wrang out on this thing, but obviously E/PMag will be primary sources.

    Optics are a tough one... if shooting isn't going to be done past 100m, then a T-1 would suffice. For intermediate range, a TA33 might be ideal, or tossing on a Trijicon Accupoint. There's almost too many options, so I think this needs to be an open item. ACOG makes sense as a general choice, as would a Comp ML3 w/ FTS magnifier, but the list might be a bit large to address.
    "Reason: Optics may change depending on who is shooting, and what shooting is being done." Sums that up very well.

  14. #14
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    I appreciate the template Coastie, saved me some time.

    Handguard: DD 9" Lite rail
    Reason: Known for quality and durability, at least thats what I have come to conclude while researching handguards for my 1st build. And I like the way it bolts to the upper. Also, it can fit a piston retro fit underneath if one decides to go that way.

    Sights: GG&G Spring actuated flip ups.
    Reason: It's what I got handy. Want to trade them in for non spring actuated though.

    Optic: Aimpoint Comp M4s.
    Reason: Durability, battery life and battery availability, obvious CQB ability and ability to add a magnifier for better ranged fire.

    Grip: Magpul MIAD
    Reason: Durability, custom options and storage.

    Stock: Magpul CTR
    Reason: It's what I currently have and seems to lock up the good with a very simple action.

    Barrel including length: 16" Mid length chrome with M4 cuts. Not sure about brand. Prob gonna be based on availability without sacrificing to much.
    Reason: Middle of the ground for compactness, accuracy and velocity.

    LPK/Trigger: DPMS or RR
    Reason: Quality

    Buffertube: Vltor
    Reason: Well made.

    Buffer: H2
    Reason: It's what I run on my current gun and it works good.

    BCG: BCM or LMT
    Reason: The BCM bcg seems to be well made as well as the LMT

    Upper Rec: Vltor MUR
    Reason: Overbuilt and nicely made.

    Lower Rec: Defensive Edge SLR15 lower
    Reason: Ive read good things about it and from what I can tell it's equal to a Noveske or Tactical Innovations lower. 7075 aluminum Mill spec and finished nice.

    Magazine: Magpul PMag
    Reason: Haven't had a problem yet.

    Lights/lasers/etc: Open
    Reason:

    Charging Handle: Open
    Reason:

    Flash Hider/Comp: Primary Weapons FSC556
    Reason: Compensation ability mixed with good flash suppression and it's not considered a flash suppressor by the BATFE.

    Sling: BFG Vickers padded with Cobra buckle.
    Reason: Comfort, ease of adjustability and all metal hardware for durability.

    Misc Stuff rail covers etc: Magpul XTM or XT
    Reason: They work as advertised.

    This is my current and 1st build and I want it to be a extreme hard use build. Not that I have any real world reason except for the piece of mind that it won't quit no matter what....I hope.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by JustMatt View Post

    This is my current and 1st build and I want it to be a extreme hard use build. Not that I have any real world reason except for the piece of mind that it won't quit no matter what....I hope.


    Matt,

    Is that what you are looking to build, or what you would like to see us building to test out, or both? In this thread we are looking to debate pros and cons, and design up a weapon that the Staff here will build, then beat on and torture in horrible ways.

    Whatever we build will be treated like an AK, and I don't mind breaking parts to get an idea of how much damage or abuse an AR15 can sustain.


    The reason for this is that there seems to be an increasing feeling that the M4 and AR15 variants aren't durable, and overall that the basic gas system is well behind the curve in terms of durability and longevity. I strongly disagree with that idea, and am willing to see if I can break things and prove myself wrong.

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