When it comes to AR pattern rifles there was a time not too long ago that you could have it your way.
You could buy an off the shelf basic rifle that would more than likely do everything you’d ever ask it to (Bushmaster/Stag Arms). You could buy an off the shelf competition rifle that was super accurate and designed for speed (JP Rifles). You could buy an off the shelf mil-spec rifle that you could build up into something special. (Colt 6920)
You could roll your own and do a light weight rifle (Cav Arms), or a budget build, or a designated marksman, or a CQB, or anything you could imagine including a goldfish bowl (alright I’ve never actually seen that last one.)
Today of course that isn’t quite the case and the best rifle for you might be the one that is available to purchase.
While I do not claim to be a tactical rifle shooter, I will be covering many topics related to their use in the coming weeks/months and wanted to do a baseline post on my rifle as a resource for anyone that has questions about what I am using.
I won’t claim that this is the best set-up for you (or even me), but it is my rifle.
I have never named a car, truck, motorcycle, pistol, shotgun or rifle before “Abraham” and I really had no intention of naming this gun either, but when I saw that it was serial number 1948, I felt I had no choice.
1948 was the year that Israel was created and therefore it needed a good Jewish name… “Abraham”
Admittedly I chose the mid-length gas tube as much because it was the new hotness as the fact that it might make the gun run more smoothly… Does it? I guess… but my experience is mainly with this gun so I can’t say it makes any real difference for most shooters.
I can say however that for me the pencil barrel was the right choice. It lightens the rifle out front and almost everyone that picks it up comments on how light this 6.5lbs gun is.
When selecting the free-float rail I had a few requirements…
- I didn’t want a quad rail because of the added weight and the cheese grater texture of the rail. I know that there are light-weight ladders available, but I didn’t want to have to add anything to the rifle that wasn’t necessary.
- The rail needed to be long enough to permit me to use a thumbs forward and to activate a light mounted at 12 o’clock.
- It had to be as light as possible meeting requirements 1 & 2
At the time this pretty dictated the 13” Troy Alpha Rail from Viking Tactics.
Why the 13” and not the 15”? A) It was available yet and B) my arms don’t reach that far!
During the build, this rail choice did cause 1 common problem… It extends past the front sight base. This requires either a low profile block or for the A2 post that came on the barrel to be cut down. I chose the latter.
If you have a hack saw, a bench grinder (or Dremel) and steady hand it is the more economical route, but it also allows you to use the taper pins that came on the barrel, which I believe to be a better mount.
Of course, now you don’t have a front sight.
I chose to mount a Daniel Defense Fixed Front Sight behind my light.
The fixed sight doesn’t have any parts to break and is slightly lighter than the Troy flip up sight. It is also always visible and can be transitioned to immediately should an electronic optic fail. (just use the optic as a giant diopter)
This front sight also makes using the Surefire X300 a breeze because of the relief cuts on the side of the sight. Whether this was intentional or an accident, it doesn’t matter, it works perfect.
My only complaint is that the mounting bolt is made of material the consistency of aged cheese. I mangled the 1st one installing it, but Daniel Defense sent me a replacement free of charge, with no questions asked.
Abraham also has a 16” barrel instead of the very popular 14.5” with the pinned and welded muzzle device.
I went this route to give me option of changing them or getting to my front sight block. Who knows, I might want to do that.
My muzzle device is a Battle Comp Compensator and it works so well that the muzzle can actually dip on recoil. It is also pretty loud.
Moving towards the back of rifle it has a Troy Industries Folding Battle Sight, which I believe is among the strongest options and you certainly can’t go wrong with it. I went with folding instead of fixed to make room for a future optic.
The charging handle is a Bravo Company BCMGUNFIGHTER Mod4 which I like, but I have recently learned that becoming dependent on it hurts my ability to run a standard rifle. I now subscribe to the idea that the more “standard” AR parts you have on rifle the better, because you are able to pick up most rifles a run’em.
For the furniture I have a Flat Dark Earth Magpul CTR stock and the matching Magpul MIAD grip.
The CTR’s benefit over the MOE stock is its friction lock that removes the wobble in the stock. For most tactical shooting I think it is overkill, but I do like it when shooting for accuracy.
This MIAD Grip is great if you don’t know exactly what grip you like, its modularity allows you to test multiple configurations.
Lastly, I run a Vickers Combat Sling, connected the rifle with QD swivels.
I have used both the Vickers and the VTAC and prefer my sling because the adjustment is in the front and doesn’t require as much flexibility to reach. To be fair I also had trouble VTAC because I was used to unweighting the sling to adjust it and the VTAC requires the opposite. So my experience with the Vickers might have colored my opinion.
What would I add?
I am currently planning a few optics tests looking at non-magnified red dots and variable 1-4, 6 or 8 power scopes. So this rifle won’t remain iron-sights only for long.
I have also developed an appreciation for forward vertical grips like the ones from Viking Tactics (screw models) and would like to add one in the near future.
And of course a nicer trigger would nice, but it isn’t on my must have list.
What would I change?
I would also choose a non-compensated muzzle device to be kinder to fellow shooters and likely one that readily accepted a can.
Lastly would choose a lower profile sling mount for the rail.
Other than that I am very happy with my rifle…
Do you have any additional questions about my selections? Is there anything you think is an odd choice? Or would you like share your rifle set-up? Let me know in the comments below!