I have three rifles that I have built for the blog. My use between them depends on what I find interesting, and this year iron sights and High Power were interesting to me. This has resulted in lots of posts about the A2 rifle this year. My modern rifle, a 20 inch flat top with a Vltor A5 stock, hasn’t seen much use lately. It’s time for a revision of that weapon. The average reader might find the deluge of A2 posts as not relevant to his setup. Well, let’s have a look at the rifles featured here in the blog: each weapon is built in my basement (snicker) for the purpose of learning to shoot. Here is a quick breakdown of what I am using:
“Not So National Match” AR15 A2
Shooting High Power with a rifle equipped with a USGI peep sight, a chrome lined FNMI surplus barrel, and a non national match trigger is interesting. It challenges me to take a non-national match rifle and compete with it using only a few modifications against purpose built national match guns. I am not trying to beat them… I am trying to better myself. I don’t predict any changes to this rifle.
Dirty A2: Outdated and Cheap
My newest rifle is a A2 made as a challenge to build a reliable rifle on a budget. Once I get it out to the range to make sure my thesis on building cheap and reliable worked out, I will be bringing this one up for an article. The weapon is also a general purpose firearm for my spouse and a training rifle for anyone who comes with me to the range. It will have a light, a compensator, and has a KAC blemished rail. It is an “out of date” rifle with modern day upgrades just because that’s how I roll… actually this rifle is for the blog as I can show readers that “old” and “budget” and “not free floated” can still be a effective weapon. Many people out there have a brand X rifle in the closet because that’s what they purchased at the gun show. This is a brand X rifle.
I don’t advocate that every rifle is created equal, but I do advocate shooting what you own. Many shooters purchased a rifle which the internet says is junk. Should they have researched before they purchased? Yes, but they would be well served to shoot that rifle and change out the components that fail with mil-spec replacement parts and just keep shooting.
This brings me to my very first rifle, and the one I started this blog with… My A4 flat top with collapsing stock and now an ACOG. I love this rifle, and it has only taken a back seat to the A2 rifles because, as I said above, they are more interesting at the moment. So what do I need to do with this rifle to make it 1) relevant to my readers, and 2) help me in my marksmanship journey? I am thinking this rifle is going to transform into a rifle built for point blank to 800 yards.
I am going to start around the current components. I have been reading about monolithic uppers, BAR rails, and traditional options, but I am sold on the M4E1 upper as a basis for the build. I like the BAR concept, as I can swap rails easily and install barrels easily. Secondly, a 2.5-10x optic will be on order for this transformation as well as a new 18 inch barrel. The goal with this rifle, is, as always, to become a practical rifleman. My intent is to keep everything more or less consistent between all three rifles. The 18 inch barrel will only drop me a few FPS from my current 20 inch rifles so ballistics will be very close. The optic I choose will be 1/2 x 1/2 moa clicks to remain consistent with my other rifles. The dirty A2 is 1 moa elevation per click, but that’s not difficult to compensate for.
Revising this rifle will be for the blog. Many new shooters are buying a gun that is free floated right out of the box, and many of these rifles sport hammer forged or stainless barrels that make my wallet hurt. Building a new gun around a modern vision of the AR15 will hopefully help keep my shooting relevant and not be “that guy” that blogs about A2 iron sights all the time. I do not want to be a modern version of Fred from Shotgun News, pounding on the gospel of iron sights… I want to keep up with technology and trends behind the AR15, and updating this rifle will be a good step in that direction. I will also be able to see steel impact and make wind calls which is something I want to learn.
The most difficult phase of this project will be obtaining some good glass. That stuff is expensive! Stay tuned.