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VooDoo Innovations 5.45×39 AR Upper Build / Review

Posted on March 23rd, 2014 by ar15news

Whether you train with an AR-15 or just shoot a lot you know how expensive it can be. Ammo costs have skyrocketed in recent years and what we would normally consider affordable ammo is either non-existent or double the price of what it used to be. This is what got me to really start looking for a more affordable and readily available ammunition option. I wanted something that would feel and shoot similar to my normal 5.56×45 AR-15′s and the answer was Russian surplus 5.45×39 ammo. It can be found just about anywhere for roughly half of what it would cost to buy 5.56 and it shoots very similar to a 5.56 upper. Now I just needed to figure out what parts I needed to build my upper. 

As it usually happens, great minds are thinking alike :) and the guys at VooDoo Innovations (Sister company to Adams Arms) were getting ready to introduce a 5.45×39 Conversion Kit that included everything you would need to convert an existing AR-15 upper over to 5.45×39 but it also would make for a great kit to build a new upper with. I had originally just written an article and shared the info with you guys but when they found out I was interested in building an upper myself they offered to let me review one which of course made my day.

The 5.45×39 Conversion Kit from VooDoo Innovations is offered in both Carbine and Mid Length versions. I have to admit I had no idea what to expect when building this upper. Quite a few people told me that 5.45×39 is hard to get to cycle correctly, has hard primers, dirty ammo, etc. I decided standard with AR’s which is a carbine length gas system and then adjust things as needed from there. The kit showed up with a 16″ Melonite coated Carbine Length barrel, a Melonite coated 5.45×39 bolt, a Melonite coated A2 flash hider, one 5.45×39 ASC Stainless Steel magazine and a High Power Hammer Spring to ensure ignition even with harder primers. 

620 VooDoo Innovations 5.45x39 Upper Build 1

If you’re looking to build a 5.45×39 upper you’re going to hear a lot about how corrosive it is. You can either clean your rifle a lot or get parts that are designed to deal with it. As I mentioned, the barrel, flash hider and bolt are all Melonite coated which is perfect for the corrosive Russian 5.45×39 surplus ammo. The Melonite coating is on the inside and out of the barrel and which gives it awesome protection against corrosion and extreme durability. The deep black coating looks really great too.

620 VooDoo Innovations 5.45x39 Upper Build 1

It just so happened that at the same time I received a box of goodies from my friends at Geissele Automatics. In it was a new SMR MK5 KeyMod rail, Super Gas Block and an SD-3G trigger (more on the trigger in a few). I knew immediately that I was going to put the SMR MK5 rail and gas block on this upper and got it all assembled. I added a few of my favorite KeyMod accessories which are the QD Sling Mount and Handstop pictured below from Impact Weapons Components

620 VooDoo Innovations 5.45x39 Upper Build 1

620 VooDoo Innovations 5.45x39 Upper Build 1

For this build I went with what receivers I had on hand which was a forged upper from IS Fifteen and an AERO Precision Ambi forged mil spec lower. This particular lower is actually my favorite forged lower because it has the PDQ Lever installed and works great. Because I didn’t have a matched forged receiver set the fit was pretty tight. I installed a set of Battle Arms Development EPS (Enhanced Pin Set) pins and it made it much easier to push the pins in and out to separate the receivers. As you can see I decided to go with the Geissele SD-3G trigger. I was tempted to use a standard mil spec trigger with the High Power Hammer Spring instead of the SD-3G but I really wanted to try what I would normally do to an AR first and adjust things later. This ended up being a great decision.

620 VooDoo Innovations 5.45x39 Upper Build 1

At this point the rifle was done. I had added a Trijicon SRS red dot, some Troy BUIS, Rainer Arms RAPTOR charging handle, etc. I had purchased 1,080 rounds of 5.45×39 from AIM Surplus for $170 plus shipping. I still hadn’t shot it so the next step was to hit the range and do some function testing, nail down any issues and make any necessary changes…or so I thought.

620 VooDoo Innovations 5.45x39 Upper Build 1

620 VooDoo Innovations 5.45x39 Upper Build 1

I ended up taking the completed 5.45×39 rifle out to the range in 19 degree weather with some crazy blowing snow. If you’re gonna test something why not take it to the extreme, right!? After an initial inspection verifying that everything seemed to be installed correctly and functioning right it was time to shoot it. The main things I was keeping an eye out for were feeding issues, ejection issues, light primer strikes and making sure the bolt held open on an empty mag.

To start I put 2 rounds of 5.45×39 in the supplied mag, inserted it into the magwell and fired away. The first round fed into the upper very smooth. I pulled the trigger on the Geissele SD-3G and sure enough, BANG! First round fired properly. I check to see that the round had ejected properly, which it did and was laying on the ground to my right. I pulled the trigger again and just as it did the first time it sent a round down range with a great sounding crack! Remember I had only loaded 2 rounds so a quick twist of the rifle to my left and I can see that the bolt has definitely held open on the empty mag. (FYI, unlike what some people told me, 5.45×39 does not work in a PMAG unless its modified)

Right now I was pretty happy! I decided to load up a full mag and have at it. After a bit of sighting in we set a 6″x6″ steel plate about 75 yards down range and went medieval on it. Trigger pull after trigger pull, in extreme cold conditions, it continued to perform flawlessly. We were able to repeatedly blast that 6″x6″ plate with ease from a standing position. The Geissele SD-3G trigger had absolutely no issue igniting those hard Russian primers.

620 VooDoo Innovations 5.45x39 Upper Build 1

Surprisingly, this upper is quickly becoming one of my favorites. I simply can’t say enough good things about it. So far I have put over 300 rounds through this upper and have not experienced a single Failure To Feed, Failure To Eject, Light Primer Strike or any malfunction of any kind. I didn’t have to make a single adjustment to the upper after assembly. I’m very happy with the quality of the components and it’s proven to be very accurate. On my next trip to the range I’ll get some bench shooting in and grab some data on grouping at 100 yards, etc. If you’re on the fence about building a 5.45×39 upper or just looking for a more affordable option for the range, don’t hesitate. This 5.45×39 Conversion Kit from VooDoo Innovations is something I would recommend all day long. Quick thanks to VooDoo Innovations for making an awesome product and letting me get my hands on it.

I wanted to make it easy on you so below is a list of links to purchase the items I used in this build.

First and Foremost
VooDoo Innovations 5.45×39 Conversion Kits and Parts
5.45×39 Ammunition at AIM Surplus (big shipment coming in this week so get on the email list)

Additional Components
Geissele Automatics SMR Rails, Triggers and Gas Blocks
Impact Weapons Components KeyMod accessories. (Use code “ar15news” to save 5%)
Battle Arms Development EPS pin set and Safety Selector
Rainier Arms Raptor charging handle
AERO Precision Ambi Forged Lower
IS Fifteen Forged Upper
Trijicon SRS Red Dot
Magpul Stock and Grip
Phase 5 Weapon Systems Trigger Guard

NEW!! SLR Rifleworks SENTRY Adjustable Gas Blocks

Posted on March 11th, 2014 by ar15news

SLR Rifleworks has just introduced their new premium adjustable gas block called the SENTRY. The SENTRY series of adjustable gas blocks are Smaller and Lighter that most if not all other adjustable gas blocks and will work with ANY AR15/AR10 handguard on the market today. I’ve actually used an older SLR Rifleworks adjustable gas block in the past and it was nice back then. These look even nicer and feature some great upgrades such as cutouts on the sides for weight savings and high end materials and manufacturing. They are also available in both Set Screw and Clamp On styles as well as sized for .750 or .936 gas block seats with additional sizes to come. Adjustable Gas Blocks are SLR Rifleworks specialty and it shows in their new SENTRY series. 

620 SLR Rifleworks Sentry Adjustable Gas Block 2

620 SLR Rifleworks Sentry Adjustable Gas Block 2

FEATURES
- 100% Gas seal allows full cut off and prevents gas from fouling metering screw
- Complete disassembly is simple and take less than 10 seconds
- Metering screw and screw bore design allows repeatability and reliability only SLR has been able to deliver
- Single tool click to adjust gas metering
- Heat treated 4140 Precision machined gas block
- Nexturn Swiss precision metering screw
- 6AL-4V Titanium Leaf Spring detent mechanism
- 316 SS detent plunger
- NO tiny springs to corrode, break or seize / NO tiny ball to seize or get lost
- 100% Lifetime Guarantee

Below is some additional information from Todd, the owner of SLR Rifleworks.

The Sentry series are super low profile allowing AR15/AR10 use under pure tube HG’s. Those types of HG’s are super popular today so meeting that target was a no brainer. The Ti leaf spring allows more spring pressure for even more positive engagement along with total corrosion resistance. Getting rid of the coiled spring and ball is huge when looking at years and years of use. It relatively huge in comparison to a coiled spring as well.

The single screw on the side allows the entire gas block to be dissembled in less time than it takes to type this sentence. Total disassembly is nice if you go for 2 years without cleaning your rifle or you shoot a bunch of .22LR though it like i do.

The SS plunger under the leaf spring floats but is captured from totally bottoming out in the adjustment screw slots. This allows carbon to pass through without building up and also allows the adj screw to be removed without fear of losing the plunger.

The adjustment screw has been refined with a proprietary threading and shape allowing the same 100% gas seal at closed and even better fouling resistance. This is the heart of the block and the toughest to get right when making the blocks/screws in the thousands.

We have tried multiple surface treatments, materials over the years. What we spec in production gives the best mix of reliability, production consistency and overall cost.

That’s a very small look at the endless hours trying to make the perfect wide range adjustable gas block.

Purchase the SLR Rifleworks SENTRY Adjustable Gas Block at www.SLRRifleworks.com.

Black Friday Sale – Geissele Automatics

Posted on November 28th, 2013 by ar15news

This is awesome! Geissele Automatics just posted their Black Friday sale and its a nice one. First, they’re offering FREE SHIPPING on everything. Because its Geissele you are probably assuming there will be sales on triggers, which there are. They also have some smoking good deals on their Super Modular Rail systems and their Armorers Tools. Buy any rail and get a FREE Super Gas Block and Roll Pin Tool.  The Armorers Tool Kit they are offering for $110 is a no brainer and should be in an AR-15 builders tool box. Check out the details below then head on over to www.Geissele.com to create your account now as quantities are limited. Sale starts tomorrow and runs through Monday 12/2/2013.

620 Geissele Black Friday Sale

Our Black Friday offers are listed below and will be available for purchase from Friday, November 29th to Monday, December 2nd. Quantities are limited so get yours fast! (No back-orders or rain-checks.)

Free Shipping on everything. (No minimum order required, offer will be available at checkout.)

Trigger Offers
- Purchase any trigger and receive a free Fitting Pin and Geissele “G” T-Shirt.
- Purchase any two triggers and receive a free Fitting Pin and Geissele Employee Uniform Sweatshirt.
- Purchase any three triggers and receive a free Fitting Pin, Geissele Employee Uniform Sweatshirt, stainless steel Super Gas Block and Gas Block Roll Pin Tool.

Rail Offers
- Purchase any rail and receive a free stainless steel Super Gas Block and Gas Block Roll Pin Tool.
- Purchase any two rails and receive two free stainless steel Gas Super Blocks, Gas Block Roll Pin Toll and Geissele Employee Uniform Sweatshirt.

Armorer’s Package
AR15/M4 Reaction Rod, Fitting Pin, Gas Block Roll Pin and Gas Block Punch Set. $110
AR10/SR25 Reaction Rod, Fitting Pin, Gas Block Roll Pin and Gas Block Punch Set. $210

http://geissele.com/

Black Friday Sale – Iron Sight 15

Posted on November 26th, 2013 by ar15news

Check out the 4 different Bundle Deals available at Iron Sight 15 right now for Black Friday. These deals deals are as little as a Barrel and a BCG to as big as all the necessary parts to build yourself a complete upper with rail system. The IS15 Black Friday Sale statrs now and ENDS Monday, 12/2/2013. www.ISFifteen.com

620 IS15 Black Friday Sale

Damage Industries Deal of the Week

Posted on October 21st, 2013 by ar15news

Another Monday and another Damage Industries Deal of the Week. This week they have their Black Oxide coated Gas Tubes in all sizes on sale for just $8.33 (no pistol length, all others are instock). They have also included their Small Parts Kit which consists of springs, detents and pins that can easily be lost of damaged for just $25. Last but not least they are extending the Buy 1 Get 1 Free sale on the Enhanced Buffer Spring. Check out these great deals at the links below. 

Weekly Special!

All size gas tubes (comes in black oxide & includes roll pin) only $8.33
http://damageindustriesllc.com/product/ar15m16-gas-tube

620 Damage Industries Black Oxide Coated Gas Tube

AR-15 Small parts pack $25!
http://damageindustriesllc.com/product/ar15m16-kit-small-parts-pack

620 Damage Industries Small Parts Kit

We’re also continuing the Buy 1 Get 1 Free Enhanced Spring sale.
http://damageindustriesllc.com/products/search?title=ENHANCED+SPRING&items_per_page=10

620 Damage Industries Buffer Spring Chrome Silicon

They are aware of a shipping calculation issue. Generally, when purchasing multiple items, it works as intended. However, when for example you purchase just one gas tube, it will default to a medium flat rate box ($12.35) due to the size of the gas tube.

If you experience this type of error, please call their office toll-free @ 574-256-7006 and they will assign correct shipping for you.

NEW!! Fortis Manufacturing Low Profile Gas Block

Posted on July 15th, 2013 by ar15news

Fortis Manufacturing has really been cranking out the new products lately. As you may remember we introduced you guys to Fortis when they debuted their sling attachment products. They then introduced an amazing KeyMod rail called the REV and a very sweet mount for the Aimpoint T-1/H-1 called the F-1 Optics Mount.  Well they’re at it again and just introduced a new Low Profile Gas Block.

All of the Fortis products have a very distinct look and feature the Fortis logo and you’ll notice a parallelogram (That’s right, I do know a couple big words) shape used throughout with exception of the sling mounts. These new gas blocks follow those same guidelines and look sweet. They are offering two versions of the Low Profile Gas Blocks because one is pinnable and one is not. Pinnable or not, they both use 2 set screws to help hold it in place. I would imagine if you pinned the gas block and used 2 set screws its pretty safe to say its not going to budge. Check out the details and pics below.

Fortis Manufacturing Low Profile Gas Block 1

Fortis Manufacturing Low Profile Gas Block 1

Fortis low profile gas block is designed to work in conjunction with today’s match grade barrels. Don’t want to mar your barrel installing the gas block? Neither do we! So rock this new gas block and put those concerns to bed. The Fortis LP gas block is designed for .750 gas seats and attaches to the barrel with two set screws. The gas block comes with a roll pin as well as two set screws.

I personally own 2 Fortis REV rails and one Fortis F-1 Optics Mount and love them. High quality, lightweight and plenty of value. As with all Fortis weapon accessories/parts, this low profile Gas Block is made right here in the USA! Small Made in USA flag

Fortis Manufacturing Low Profile Gas Block  -  Non-Pinnable  -  $55

Fortis Manufacturing Low Profile Gas Block  -  Pinnable  -  $55

Piece Together A Great AR Upper At Weapon Outfitters

Posted on June 13th, 2013 by ar15news

Our friends over at Weapon Outfitters have been really raising the bar recently when it comes to offering tons of high quality parts and top notch customer service. One of the things they started doing is offering modular packages where you can pick and choose the components that you want instead of just buying a ready made package and save a few bucks too. Their most popular packages are the ones that include Centurion Arms parts.  Weapon Outfitters is the only place I know of that actually has Centurion Arms C4 BCG’s for sale which is pretty awesome.  If you want to build your own “Centurion Arms” upper this a great way to do it and have your say on what is included.  Check out a few of the different package deals below.  

Centurion Arms CMR Package
With the Centurion Arms CMR Package deal you can add a Centurion Arms Barrel and the awesome new CMR Rail system to a high quality Parallax Tactical upper receiver.  You also get to choose the Gas Block and Flash Hider.  

Centurion Arms CMR Package Deal

Centurion Arms Rail & C4 Bolt Carrier Group Package
With the Centurion Arms Rail & C4 Bolt Carrier Group package you can choose from any of the Centurion Arms rails and combine it with a C4 BCG.  

Centurion Arms Rail and BCG Package Deal

 

Centurion Arms Barrel & C4 Bolt Carrier Group Package
With this package you get to choose from a list of different Centurion Arms Barrels and a C4 BCG.  

Centurion Arms Barrel and BCG Package Deal

 

Not all of the packages include the Centurion Arms BCG but you can order that separately HERE.

Centurion Arms BCG

GPI Custom Gunworks Low Profile Gas Block – $22.95

Posted on May 13th, 2013 by ar15news

GPI Custom Gunworks has just added a ton of their low profile gas blocks to their web store.  These are for standard AR15 barrels with .750 gas block seats and are helps in place by two set screws.   This isn’t usually a big deal but the fact that a ton of you guys are building uppers right now, these are 100% Mad in the USA Small Made in USA flag and just $22.95 each makes it news worthy.   Purchase one for yourself at GPICustomGunWorks.com.

GPI Custom Gunworks Low Profile Gas Block AR15

GPI 4140 steel gas block

Precision machined .750

Black Nitrate finish

Limited life warranty from all manufacturing defects

Innovative Arms, a Silencer manufacturer from South Carolina, has recently announced their new upper receiver called the W.A.R. which stands for Warfighter Adjustable Receiver.  The W.A.R. Upper was designed to address some of the issues that are typically accepted as just part of the game when shooting a suppressed weapon.  The W.A.R. is the first receiver ever that allows you to switch between Suppressed and Un-Suppressed modes at the receiver instead of using the adjustable gas blocks.  

Continue reading “Innovative Arms W.A.R. Upper Receiver for Suppressed Rifles” »

The parts for our AR15News 300 Blackout Upper build have pretty much all finally arrived.  I’m getting really excited to get this assembled and shoot it.  So far we’ve shown you the barrel that we’ll be using and also some smaller but important parts.  So that basically leaves us with three final parts to introduce.  They are the Upper Receiver, Rail System and Gas Block.  There will be at least three more posts after this one where we’ll show you what our 300 Blackout Upper looks like once everything is installed, a few accessories that will complete the setup and then a comparison writeup on our range time with the 300 Blackout round.  Check out the pics and specs of the remaining parts below.  Continue reading “AR15News.com 300 AAC Blackout Build – It’s all coming together!!” »

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