One of the biggest questions I see asked is "how should I set up a rifle?" I hear and see this every day. And whenever I'm building a setup for myself, I ask myself the same question. But before we start throwing parts together, we need to remember one simple thing: Mission dictates gear. Your mission could be competition, law enforcement, or maybe you're a father concerned about the safety of your family and your mission is home defense. Maybe you wanna be prepared for national disaster and civil unrest. The laws of your state can also dictate what kinds of guns you can use and your geographic location can even affect what kinds of equipment will work best for you? What weapon works best for you may not work for me and what works best for me may not work for you. With all this in mind, here's what I built.
I purchased a 16" upper from BCM. I had the barrel chopped and then a Griffin armament flash hider pinned and welded on. So this is 16.1", a legal rifle, not an SBR. I have a Midwest Industries KeyMod rail on here. I get asked a lot M-LOK or KeyMod. Well in some ways I prefer KeyMod right now, cuz there's more accessories, but ultimately it really doesn't matter which system you go with. A lot more accessories are gonna start being made for M-LOK because the army's moving to that. But if selecting between KeyMod and M-LOK... not a real big issue.
Lower and Trigger (01:10):
The lower I'm using is an inexpensive LRB. And the thing with lowers is you don't need a really expensive name brand lower to get a rifle that runs well. And there's only a few companies making the forgings anyway. So definitely consider saving some money and getting a cheaper lower. The trigger I'm using is a Geiselle (SD-3G) and I do believe aftermarket rifle triggers can make a big difference. It's important to understand how a Mil-Spec runs and get training in on one. But if you can try to upgrade your trigger to an aftermarket like a Geiselle or maybe a CMC. I personally prefer Geiselle and I have a few different triggers, but this trigger allows me to run this gun a little faster, with a little more precision than a MIL-SPEC.
Bolt Manipulation (01:58):
Another upgrade I have on this rifle is a Magpul BAD lever. This allows me to manipulate my bolt with my fire control hand. So unlike on a standard rifle, I wouldn't have to take my hand off fire control to manipulate the charging handle. I can leave my hand on fire control. I can lock bolt to rear or I can drop bolt and send it home when I'm reloading. So I can get a little bit faster. Reload, maybe save a 1/10th or maybe 2/10ths of a second. Instead of bringing my hand up and hitting the traditional bolt lock.
The stock I'm using on this rifle is a B5 Systems Bravo. And stocks all comes down to personal preference. I don't think there's some way better than others. This is one that I've used that I really like. And then I have a JP enterprises captured buffer tube in here that I'm playing with right now. I can't really say anything about it yet, cuz I haven't had enough rounds through it. But before that I was just running a simple stock buffer tube spring.
Charging Handle (03:11):
For charging handle. I'm running the Radian Arms Raptor. It's an ambidextrous charging handle, it's worked very well for me. And then the bolt is BCM bolt that came with the upper and it is important that you get a good bolt so do some research before you get one, because that is the heart of the rifle.
Now, when it comes down to sights, I have a MagPul Pro backup sight and then I have a front sight that's integrated into the Unity Tactical FUSION (more on that later). For optic I'm running an Aimpoint T-2. For what I do a red dot works best, and so that is what I settle on for most of my rifles. So I have a T-2, I have an American Defense Manufacturing QD lower 1/3rd mount. I like a lower 1/3rd mount and keep my head a little higher on the gun versus an absolute Co-witness. And I can obviously still see my irons through it if the battery dies or it fails for whatever reason. But it's Aimpoint, so it's not gonna fail.
Weapon Light - Visible (03:59):
Something that I think is very important for every rifle is a good white light. And the reason for this is it's been statistically proven that most bad guys are doing stuff at night and we can only shoot at what we can identify. So if you don't have a white light on your rifle, how are you gonna be able to shoot stuff? So definitely invest in a good rifle light. I choose SureFire for my rifles. Usually the Scout series, this is the M600U. So this is 500 lumens.
Weapon Light - IR (04:19):
Now I have on here at PEQ-15. Now this… Not everybody needs this unless you're running night vision. I happen to run night vision fairly often. And so I run a lot of lasers on my guns because this is really the only effective way to aim a rifle with night vision. If you have dual nods, you can kind of get behind a red dot, but it's really not as fast as running a laser. So the way I've set up my laser in my light is I keep them very compact and I run my laser up front so that I don't get any splash on the rail or on my hand. And then I have a dual pressure pad system, front button activates white light rear button activates my PEQ-15, which is either shooting out illumination, (IR illumination) or illumination and an IR laser or visible laser. But there's just not a lot of reason to use those. I have all this hooked up on a Unity Tactical FUSION hub to keep it all small and compact. And then I obviously have my front sight on there as well.
Flash Hider (05:06):
So I chose a flash hider on my rifle because I'm not a real big fan of muzzle brakes and what muzzle device you're running really depends on what your mission is. If you're a competition shooter and you're trying to shoot a plate rack at a hundred yards as fast as you can so you can win 50 grand and you need minimal muzzle shift. Yeah. Muzzle brakes gonna work awesome for you. But if your mission is home defense, a flash hider or a suppressor may work a lot better or maybe you're operating in a team environment, you have a bunch of buddies. Using a big muzzle brake that kicks a lot of gas out can be very problematic in a situation like that.
Sling Setup (05:35):
So the way I have my sling set up on this rifle, I'm running off the QD that's integrated here in the Midwest Industries KeyMod upper. I usually run all my slings here, close to the magwell and then I have my second contact here at the end plate. I have a MagPul ASAP plate so I can easily swap this sling to either side, if I'm shooting dominant side or support side around a barricade or whatnot. And this is the Ferro Concepts Slingster, this is my favorite way to run a rifle. I kind of get the best of both worlds between a single point and a two point sling.
Additional Information (06:03):
And then for those of you that are wondering, I have electrical tape on here on the rail. I use it for admin things, taping off lasers, fixing electronics, even pasting little black dots on targets to shoot I've even used it to fix my fingers when I've busted them on the range doing whatever. So that's why that's there. So this rifle has seen a pretty good round count for the year 2016. I shot about 16-17,000 rounds of Wolf. So I wasn't shooting the best ammo you can shoot. And I don't really clean this rifle. I pretty much just relube and keep going. Building an effective rifle is a lot more than just dropping a bunch of cool parts on a gun. Every part needs to serve a purpose and that purpose is to give yourself an advantage over whatever problem you're trying to solve with that rifle. That problem could be competition. It could be a bad guy in your house, or it could be a bad guy in society. Be open minded, build what rifle works best for you and train hard.