Saturday, February 18, 2012

AR Project: A Functional Device

I have been scouring the web, several catalogs, and near weekly editions of Shotgun News these past few months trying to find a really 'good deal' to tip the balance either way in deciding to buy or build my 'upper'. I've also been picking the brains of a co-worker that has experience building up ARs in trying to decide the final approach and configuration.
I finally decided that I would go with a built up upper instead of piece parts, and that for the type of shooting I will be doing I should go for a 16" barrel in other than the full-bull stainless steel variety. There were several reasons on the barrel decision, not the least of which is that for the kind of light conditions in which I plan to use this weapon, I really wanted a flash suppressor-- and that the heavy stainless barrels that would fill the bill were either way too expensive or on perennial back-order.

I went to Cheaper Than Dirt today looking for one particular A3 Upper but found that the retail store had 2 of another model I had considered, but had not selected before, because the model had been listed as 'out of stock' according to the online catalog. I bought one.

It is a DPMS 5.56, 16" light barrel assembly with A2 flash hider, low profile single rail gas block, and complete with bolt/carrier assembly and charging handle. The in-store price was a little steeper than the catalog price, but still par for other sources, and as far as upper assemblies go, the main lesson I've learned in this project is the 'bird in the hand' maxim is in effect.

This build needs only the few bells and whistles I still want. Some of them I would have tried to pick up today if CTD hadn't been such a freaking zoo (the checkout lady told me that it was always this way on 'rainy' Saturdays).  

Remaining Checklist Items: Free Float Quad Rails, Flip-up sights, Sling (type TBD, leaning towards 3 point), Optics/laser (TBD), and possibly a vertical foregrip and ambidextrous charging handle.

So close.....


Solomon said...

why a 3 point sling?

SMSgt Mac said...

From a seated position in a ground or low blind and leaning slightly forward with use of a verticle foregrip it tends to promote a nice 'locked-in', stable, and easily redirected shooting geometry. If I was going to lug it around, or shoot from other positions as the norm, I probably wouldn't consider it.