The KISS Rifle

As seen in Thunder Roads LA-MS Feb. 2018 Vol. 14 – Issue 1.

These days, it seems that keeping things simple is a lost art. With tactically-oriented training methods at an all-time high for focus; the platforms seen within the classes tells a story of “pay-to-play” being prevalent within a decent part of the community. It may be odd to see that term being used but, there’s enough proof to say that the assessment is correct. Practice is foregone for the “high-speed”, and you must buy into the latest and greatest of weapon-mounted equipment to be a part of the “high-speed”.

The rifle platform, chosen primarily due to what can be obtained with extreme ease in the United States, will revolve around the 5.56mm caliber. This obviously means the usage of STANAG-rated magazines, steel or otherwise. This leaves a lot of rifle platforms available to choose from. Despite having a love-hate relationship with the platform, the best option boils down to the AR-15. I view the platform as being overly complicated due to the amount of parts that are within the receivers themselves. There are a lot of parts that could fail and send you to an early grave. However, it’s the rifle I would take into the worst of places. If the SHTF tomorrow, there are plenty of parts laying around for a rifle to be repaired or even built up from nothing with.

If I was to start a build tomorrow for “the perfect AR”, it would certainly be along the lines of this one. Starting from the top, a 14.5-inch Daniel Defense M4V7LW upper receiver. The muzzle has a pinned and welded Dead Air Silencers flash hider mounted to it: for the minimum overall barrel length as defined by the ATF. The upper lays the base for a Trijicon MRO, on a Geissele Super Precision mount, and a Geissele Mark-8 MLOK Modular Rail system.

The weight of the Surefire is slight and the beam is nearly unimpeded for target ID at night.

On the end of the rail is a fixed Daniel Defense front sight and a Surefire X-300 weaponlight. This allows for permanent cowitness of the MRO with the front post, while keeping weight off the sides by mounting the light forward of the sight assembly. The lower is a Bravo Company BCM4-series which comes standard with BCM Mod-3 pistol grip and a BCM Mod-0 buttstock. The sling that comes highly recommended is the Vickers sling from Blue Force Gear.

This is a proper “go-to” rifle platform. For all intent and purpose, the rifle is to remain lightweight. The integrated rail should be a slimline choice and an equally minimal style of equipment should be mounted on it. A weapon-mounted light is a must-have for friend-or-foe identification. A lot of people are hung up on the use of a laser; but, the fact of the matter is that it is too confusing for most people – who do not practice with their platforms on a regular basis. For home-defense, the center of a projected white-light beam will work in the exact same manner should you not be able to bring the rifle up to look down the sights.

The MRO is mounted over the center-line of the receiver.

A modern rifle calls for a modern red-dot optic. It doesn’t have to be an MRO, as there are a lot of options on the market. From the Aimpoint T2/H2 options, at the top, down to the affordable SIG-Sauer ROMEO-4 and -5 red-dot sights. It boils down to what kind of reticle and battery life options, and whether you want night-vision capability on some models. I have my eye on both the MRO, with a ScalarWorks LEAP mount, and the standard SIG ROMEO-5. I also would mount either one of the Daniel Defense front sight assembly or a ScalarWorks PEAK fixed front sight assemblies for cowitnessing. If my battery is dead, whether I run a rear BUIS or not, the center of the glass is a general reference for where to put the permanent front post.

Ancillary furniture is up to each individual. I’m not partial to the angle of the BCM pistol grip and I may consider a more slim-lined buttstock. The rail integrated system comes in two popular flavors: KeyMod and MLOK. The mainstream is the latter, with SOCOMs’ decision to run MLOK on all of their future rifle platforms, but that means there has been a lot of cheap KeyMod accessories being dumped for MLOK. However, the further down the road we go, the less in the way of ancillary and replacement parts are going to be available for KeyMod.

Simply keep in mind the first rule of building or creating a setup. Keep it simple, stupid.

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