My Rural Patrol / "Recce" Rifle
Updated: Oct 4, 2022
Since posting your "recce rifle" seems popular at the moment, Much as I hate posting gun stuff, I thought I'd go over mine, since a couple people were asking.
This rifle build is just about as "finished" as rifle builds ever really are. There's not much I would change, but I'll go over what I might change in the future.
7lbs, 1.8oz unloaded. 35.5 inches OAL.
The purpose of this rifle is to be a versatile self defense weapon for rural patrolling, hiking, and other activities that involve both A: a lot of movement on foot over rough terrain, and B: potentially close or far engagement distances.
I've carried this rifle a hell of a lot of miles, put probably over fifteen thousand rounds through it, and taken it to a hell of a lot of competitions, testing it on both 5 yard hose-fest stages and 400 yard gong stages. It has performed well in all regards.
LOWER: KE Arms KP-15 polymer lower. It saves a lot of weight, and is one of the only polymer lowers I know of that won't explode when fired. Has a trapdoor in the buttstock that holds spare batteries for optic and light. Inside is an Geissele single stage trigger, Troy ambi mag catch (best design I've used) and a 90deg ambi selector (I won't go to a 45deg or 60deg selector because I have a hard time telling whether the gun is on safe or not in the dark with those. There's also a Magpul BAD lever. Yeah yeah I know, they're bad and scary. But that's only if you're right handed. If you're left handed, they have much less risk of ND, and speed up your reload significantly.
UPPER: PSA flat top upper with no forward assist. Eugene Stoner never wanted the FA put on the AR-15, it was added at the insistence of the US Military. Official US Government documents later admitted that the FA does not assist in remediating malfunctions, and serves mainly to comfort the infantryman who can press it when he's afraid that his gun won't work. It's extra weight, it's extra parts in the logistical system, it's added risk of malfunction, and it's unnecessary. I think my gun is better off without it.
HANDGUARD: ALG V1X 10 inch M-LOK Handguard. These are discontinued, and what a shame. Geissele and friends, if you're reading this, please make more. The total weight WITH hardware is only 8.61oz. You can't get much lighter without going into magnesium or carbon fiber. Why 10 inch? Because when I grab my gun, I never grab much further than 9 inches or so. Weight on the front end of the gun matters more than weight anywhere else. The more weight you can shave off here, the better you will perform over time. On the bottom is a Magpul M-LOK hand stop, for a reliable index point for my support hand.
BARREL: Faxon 16 inch Mid-Length Pencil Barrel. Not much to say here. Amazing barrel, very accurate, one of the lightest 16" barrels available.
GAS SYSTEM: Superlative Arms Adjustable Gas Block, and an Aero Precision Melonite Gas Tube. Gas Block allows this gun to be tuned just right, making it reliable, yet very flat shooting.
MUZZLE DEVICE: Primary Weapon Systems FSC556 Brake. Now this is something I might change. Don't get me wrong, this brake is a lot of the reason why this gun shoots so flat. But it does make a visible flash at night. I have an A2 birdcage handy in case my signature at night becomes a lot more relevant sometime in the future. It's also probably a bit heavy.
RED DOT: Primary Arms MD-25 (ACSS Reticle Version). This is something I might also change. I used to use a Holosun HS403C (which I LOVE, and have on some of my other guns) but Holosun's lens coating makes it difficult to passively aim through them with NODs. That's kind of an important feature for me, so I'm trying this optic because I heard it had a better coating. It certainly is better, but not as good as an Aimpoint or an EOTech. I'm not getting an EOTech, but if an Aimpoint comes up for cheap I might get it to replace this.
MAGNIFIER: Holosun 3x Flip Magnifier. This is what makes identifying and hitting targets at 400 yards possible, and with ease. Highly recommend one of these for a rural rifle. It is dummy corded to my red dot because it fell off once on a patrol, and thankfully I recovered it. But that's my only complaint.
LIGHT: Fenix TK-25 IR. This light is currently very rare. Fenix only seems to make it in small batches every couple of years. But it's a vis / IR light, and you switch between them by simply rotating the bezel, much like the old Surefire M852V lights. I had a Surefire Scout Light and a Modlite IR head, but hated having to change heads every time it got dark. Light performance of this light is comparable to the Surefire Scout and Modlight heads. It's paired with a Fenix remote switch, and mounted using an Arisaka 1" M-LOK Inline Ring Mount (also discontinued. Why does all the best stuff get discontinued?)
MAGAZINE: Lancer L5 20rd Translucent FDE Magazine. I know, why don't I have 30rd mags? The answer is that I do. They are in my mag pouches, and if I feel the need, I can put one in my gun too. But I'm not trying to clear out Fallujah. I'm a civilian, and my "mission profiles" involve things like mending fenceposts, checking on crops, scaring away coyotes, going on hikes, and keeping an eye out for squatters or poachers on my property. For all of these tasks, 20 rounds is plenty, and it makes the gun lighter, smaller, and handier to carry around. If I feel I may need it, I can slap in a 30rd mag before I walk out of the house.
SLING: custom built by me. It functions the same as a VTAC sling, but is wayyyyyyy lighter. I may put them into production and sell them one day. Maybe.
PAINT: since I know someone is gonna ask: Rustoleum sand basecoat. Rustoleum army green, Rustoleum deep forest green, painted in diagonal stripes while masked with netting from a craft store. Bias towards more stripes on top surfaces, and less on bottom surfaces.