A few changes to my 16" carbine

Discussion in 'AR15' started by MosinRuger, Aug 9, 2020.

  1. MosinRuger

    MosinRuger G&G Evangelist

    4,886
    4,026
    Colorado
    My first AR I purchased back in 2010, its a S&W MP-15 MOE 5.56 1/9 16" carbine gas rifle with the military style a2 front sight post. its served me very well for the last 10 years, and proven to be quite accurate for what it is, not really intended to be a bench gun. well recently i've gotten back into shooting ar's more and have found that this design is a little dated. its got a nice midwest industries free float 7" handguard on it that is light and strong, and fits behind the front sight. i've been running a smith vortex flashider on the muzzle, honestly i got it becuase it looked cool and kept it because it functioned well. a few other little upgrades here and there but nothing major.

    This is my go to gun. if SHTF its what i'd grab. i trust it. its got probably 3500 rounds through it, so enough to know its reliable but not enough to consider replacing. its light and handy yet accurate enough. anyways, lately i have been playing around with LPVO optics, I put a 1-4x on my 10.5" ar pistol and loved the optic. the thing is i realized that its too much for the pistol platform for my usage. so, i got to thinking how effective it would be on the rifle. previously ive run a Burris ar-332 on the rifle and it has been a good optic. but its not really great up close. its better far out. the lpvo is really good both up close and far out. problem is the front sight obscures the sight picture at 1-2x.

    So, ive decided to ditch the fsp and run a longer free float HG on the gun, along with a different, shorter and lighter muzzle device. I was really considering a 14.5" p/w upper or barrel, but decided to stick with my 16" upper. I've ordered a 12.5" HG and a few other little things that should arrive soon. today i removed everthing but the barrel and barrel nut as the new rail should match up perfectly to the existing barrel nut.

    all i have to do is decide whether or not to cut the front post off, or replace the gas block. I have a new low pro block coming, but would like to keep the existing pinned gas block if i can. well see how it looks with the set screw block on it, im not sure ill trust it as much, plus it will leave the cut for the pins exposed.

    Updates to come!

    Before:
    IMG_20200809_173639.jpg

    New vs old Muzzle devices

    Left Smith vortex Flash hider
    Right KAK Industries Comp( about .5" shorter)
    IMG_20200809_182843.jpg
     
    Dannyboy53, bsshog40, ChaZam and 8 others like this.
  2. MosinRuger

    MosinRuger G&G Evangelist

    4,886
    4,026
    Colorado
    The Vortex was alittle hard to get off, but the front sight post pins came out relatively easy. its all apart and waiting to be re assembled.

    IMG_20200809_185432.jpg
     

  3. Ranger4

    Ranger4 G&G Evangelist


    Good looking gun. Of course everybody builds for the battle they might face, so my choices may be way different. But here are my thoughts from a differing perspective. None of us should expect any prolonged battle, so my requirements may be a little much. And I view a SHTF gun as mostly a sentry duty gun, few of us are going to roam the streets searching for targets, we more likely will be protecting our homes and families, ie sentry duty.

    1. For all of my SHTF guns I prefer having a front post. If your optics get trashed you can still mount a battle with only that front post. I do have popups on my pistol AR, but if you ever get into a struggle or take a hard fall, any of those popups, will pop right off. Plastic, aluminum or steel none are as strong as that front post which is also a good place for a sling or makeshift sling. I have been on a horse that fell with a rifle, and I have been in a struggle to the death where my handgun got banged up a bit. Guns and sights and everything hits the ground or pavement fast and hard. You can even hang the gun up by that post. Learned to like them on the M16. I have even had a rear sight break off of a Glock that hit the floor, go figure. You might get into a struggle or trip and fall during an encounter.

    2. I also like illuminated scopes on my SHTF guns. Reason is simple, when I was a cop, all the action happened at night, always in the dark. Lights and lasers are fine for short distance, except they give away your spot, but an illuminated scope lets you see everything you can see with bright cross hairs on target. I have laid in the woods watching bad guys do their mischief with only a street light on them while I was 100 yards away. With my rifle regular cross hairs are near worthless. With blue, green or red cross hairs, I had instant ability to put rounds on those two guys if need be. That was law enforcement, but I can see night security of the home, a top priority if we ever have social collapse.

    3. Flash hiders are important but I have no preference as to brand or style. Usually the longer ones do better at hiding flash. The best is a suppressor, but that adds 8 inches, fine for sentry duty IMHO. I will put my suppressor on if we have that sort of activity.

    My experience is military and law enforcement, so I may be demanding too much ruggedness and simplicity based on my experiences. Your battle plan may require a totally different battle tool. And that may be where our AR pistols come in, they are much more suited to night work. I have a short illuminated scope on my AR pistol as well, if close I shoot from the hip, if longer I use the scope. Yes it looks goofy, but it serves my purpose well.

    Just my 2 cents.YMMV
     
    ChaZam, cjleete, jwrauch and 4 others like this.
  4. MosinRuger

    MosinRuger G&G Evangelist

    4,886
    4,026
    Colorado
    thanks for the thoughts ranger4!

    ill be using an optic with a etched reticle, and illumination. I like that set up as it will still work even if the batteries or electronics fail. ill probably run buis but the fixed front sight post has to go. i trust buis , since they are usually kept in the folded down position, they are not very likely to get knocked off zero or the rail.
     
  5. Ranger4

    Ranger4 G&G Evangelist

    Good plan on the optic. I have never had batteries fail, however they all quit sooner or later. I am looking for a tritium pop up front site for my AR pistol in 300 BLK. Do, you have any suggestions? I have the quick detach mounts on it and always want that front sight lit up but have not found one so far. Thanks.
     
    Last edited: Aug 10, 2020
    MosinRuger and ChaZam like this.
  6. cjleete

    cjleete G&G Evangelist

    I put the meprolight tritium sights on my AK47 they are nicely lit in the dark and with the placement of the rear sights, don't mess with my night vision.
     
    ChaZam likes this.
  7. Ranger4

    Ranger4 G&G Evangelist

    I like Meprolite, had them on my first Glock starting in 1990 and have them on 3 now.

    I have a Mak 90 and am converting to 922 legal and will probably add that front site you mentioned. What rear site did you go with? I was just going to leave mine stock, but add a rear cover with a scope rail. I have left that AK stock and have never put a scope on it, thinking the round and the platform was just not that accurate. I then bought a Mauser in 7.62 x 39 and a Mini 30, killed big deer with it. The Mauser and the Mini 30 will both group under 1.5 inches and I would like to get the AK to maybe 2 inches and kill a big deer with it. I just think it would be cool to publish a picture of a Boone and Crockett whitetail with an AK. Drive the liberal nuts. We could call it the Russian Sporting Rifle and shows it's worth as a deer taker and maybe then hogs.

    Any suggestions on accuracy issues? Mine has maybe 300 rounds through it even though I bought it in 1993. I am also looking at the wooden furniture from Iron Wood, any suggestions on furniture? Thanks.
     
    BigEd63, MosinRuger and ChaZam like this.
  8. MosinRuger

    MosinRuger G&G Evangelist

    4,886
    4,026
    Colorado
    well I got the Handguard in today. good news, it feels really nice, if not alittle too light. but well see how it holds up.

    bad news: it doesnt fit my existing barrel nut, i think they have similar but different thread pitches.

    so, i now need a barrel nut wrench and upper vice block. best deal im fniding is optics planet i can get both for about $35.

    anyone got spares lyin around?
     
  9. BigEd63

    BigEd63 G&G Evangelist

    4,659
    11,407
    Arkansas
    There's no buy one item that I know of in that regard.
    Having or getting a front sight BUIS that will take the standard GI front sight post and replace with a tritium one.
    Personally I'd go with the X/S brand like this one. With the white outline it may help in dappled or intermediate dusk/dawn lighting conditions. ThumbnailHandler.jpeg
     
    Huey Rider and Ranger4 like this.
  10. MosinRuger

    MosinRuger G&G Evangelist

    4,886
    4,026
    Colorado
    Not to get sidetracked on front sights but i like these:

    https://www.knsprecisioninc.com/product/mbus-pro-sight-pack/

    they dont seem to have it listed on their sight, but the set i got was for the a2 style front sight.

    i have liked having the assortment to use with different set ups. i really like having the thin post with medium dot. its a very accurate and easy to use iron sight.

    [​IMG]
     
    Ranger4 likes this.
  11. MosinRuger

    MosinRuger G&G Evangelist

    4,886
    4,026
    Colorado
    i just ordered the upper vise and barrel nut wrench. hopefully that does it, i was trying to do this on the cheap!
     
    Ranger4 likes this.
  12. cjleete

    cjleete G&G Evangelist

    The Meprolight night sights came as a set, front and rear. The rear sight notch is slightly wider and more squared off than the original military so my over 50 eyes have no problems there. Ordered them from Amazon
    That was a couple years ago, so I have several hundred rounds through the rifle with them on.
    Still plenty bright.
    I have the stock hardwood grip and fore end, which is a light blonde, type unknown. Mine is the underfolder version.
     
  13. MosinRuger

    MosinRuger G&G Evangelist

    4,886
    4,026
    Colorado
    ok, so whats your opinnoins, should i just keep it simple and go with the scrw on low pro gas block? or cut and re pin the a2?

    im tempted to try it with the low pro gas block just because its easier. but im concerned that the screw could indent the barrel where the pin holes are cut making it impossible to put the pin(s) back in.
     
  14. ChaZam

    ChaZam G&G Evangelist Forum Contributor

    Is your lo profile gas block the kind that is secured with 2 tiny allen head set screws that screw into the bottom? If so they need dimples drilled into the barrel to properly orient them with the gas port. In one of your posts I shared a link for the little jig I bought so that I can properly locate and drill those dimples on barrels that didn't have the dimples.
     
    MosinRuger likes this.
  15. MosinRuger

    MosinRuger G&G Evangelist

    4,886
    4,026
    Colorado
    thats the type. im pretty sure im going to reuse my a2 gas block. i just bought new cut off discs and grind wheels. :) and some high temp flat black paint. i like the idea of the pinned block that is custom fit to this barrel, why not do that?
     
    Last edited: Aug 13, 2020
    ChaZam likes this.
  16. MosinRuger

    MosinRuger G&G Evangelist

    4,886
    4,026
    Colorado
    Well, that didnt take long. about an hour with a angle grinder and some high temp flat black paint and its done. its drying now. I put it on top of the ac exhaust fan, its not oven hot but its better than air drying.

    I'm pretty happy with how it turned out, and i'm prettty sure it will fit under the handguard. if not i can always grind some more..

    I decided i really wanted to keep the pinned gas block.

    i cant wait to get this thing back together, the only problem is the upper vise block i ordered wont be here for another 1-2 weeks. so i have to wait to get the barrel nut off and be able to re assemble everything.

    the progress feels good though. between this and the pistol build i recently did, im really starting to get to know and understand ar-15's and how they work and are put together. its fun and cool. plus the knowledge could come in handy one day.

    this build is starting to come together in my mind which is neat and exciting. the goal is a nice light close to medium range carbine. reliable, everything you need, nothing you dont. 16" barrel, 1/9 twist will handle most loads except the heaviest, the 12.5" rail is long enough to be able to brace on something and not contact the barrel, but still light and strong. it'll start with a 1-4 lpvo until i can upgrade that to a more expensive 1-6 or 1-8x. still havent decided on irons, i think at first its going to go without, and maybe i'll add them later. stubby front vertical grip will carry over from my existing handguard. most of the rear of the gun will stay the same. magpul moe carbine stock.

    since ammo is expensive if it can be found, this is a good way to enjoy the "gun" hobby without shooting.
     
    Ranger4, Huey Rider and ChaZam like this.
  17. MosinRuger

    MosinRuger G&G Evangelist

    4,886
    4,026
    Colorado
    well after some test fitting it looks like im going to have to shave the top of the gas block down a little more, and maybe even dremel out some of the inside of the hand guard right above the gas block. i hope i can find a grind wheel that long enough to reach the spot that needs to be relieved. this is turning into quite the project. luckily there is no rush and its abit of a learning experience. which is good.
     
  18. MosinRuger

    MosinRuger G&G Evangelist

    4,886
    4,026
    Colorado
    well after a bit more grinding ive got it down pretty slim, i think i can take a little more off on the front /top and sides of the gas tube, and then it should fit fine under the HG. im alittle concerned about the gas tube clearance, but.. idk. this handguard is kinda confusing me. the clearance where the gas block is is much tighter than the previous one, and since the gas tube kinks up, i wonder if its going to sit right, but then again the barrel nuts are practically the same size, so i dont see how the gas tube wouldnt line up like it did before.. we shall see.
     
  19. MosinRuger

    MosinRuger G&G Evangelist

    4,886
    4,026
    Colorado
    test fit success! i mocked everything up and there is now enough clearance that nothing is touching, im going to shave alittle more off just to account for whip or pressure contact. but its good to know its all going to fit, including the gas tube.
     
    Huey Rider and ChaZam like this.