Category Archives: How To

80 Percent Arms has just introduced their new Easy Jig Gen 2 router jig. I bought their Easy Jig Gen 1 router jig to machine some 80% lowers and thought it was awesome, but this new Gen 2 jig looks amazing. Not only is it Multi-Platform (can do AR-15, AR-10 and AR-9) but it also only requires that you drill one hole to get things started, features a vacuum hose attachment and it protects the jig templates from the drill bit so they never wear out. I think I might need an upgrade!! Check out the details and video in their press release below. 

The 80 Percent Arms Easy Jig Gen2 is available now at an introductory price of $199 through the end of July 2017 at

**Press Release**

80 percent arms Gen 2 Easy Jig Router Jig 1


Easy Jig Gen 2 Multi-Platform fits every brand of AR-15, AR-9, and DPMS style .308 lower. 90% less drilling is required. Jig templates never wear out. An integrated vacuum cleaner attachment makes clean up a breeze. These are just a few of the many improvements that together amount to the greatest advancement in jig technology since we introduced the world’s first router based jig in 2013.


80 percent arms Gen 2 Easy Jig Router Jig 2

For a few years now, I have wanted to build a 9mm AR that takes Glock magazines. Mainly because the handgun I carry every day is a Glock 19. About a month ago I finally built my 9mm AR and it has been awesome. From the first round down the pipe it has run like a sewing machine with zero failures and the bolt hold open on last round is even working. Since then I have had a ton of questions asking me what specific parts I used in my build so I wanted to put all of the details together in on place for people to see and get information from. Once I have had a chance to put a ton more round through it I will follow up with a review as well.

QC10 9mm Build 0

My build started with Quarter Circle 10. They seem to be leading the pack in innovation regarding pistol caliber AR’s. They offer a Glock Small Frame lower for 9mm, 40SW, 357Sig, a Glock Large Frame lower for 45ACP and 10mm and a Colt 9mm lower as well as bolts and barrels for these as well. I wanted my AR to take the same mags as my Glock 19 so I went with the stripped Glock Small Frame 9mm Lower, 9mm BCG and 9mm 7.5″ barrel. Any AR-15 upper will do but I use a Rainier Arms mil spec forged upper minus forward assist. QC10 will be coming out with their own side charging upper with pistol caliber ejection port soon too. I also used an ALG Defense ACT trigger and need to upgrade to an ambi safety soon.

QC10 9mm Build 0

I covered the barrel with an SLR Rifleworks 8″ Solo Ultra Lite M-LOK rail. SLR rails are becoming one of my personal favorites. With such a short rail I decided to put an Arisaka Defense M-LOK Finger Stop underneath it. Its just small enough to not be in the way but big enough to keep your hand from getting too far forward. You may have noticed already but the QC10 barrels are straight blow back and do not require a Gas Tube or Gas Block.

QC10 9mm Build 2

QC10 9mm Build 2

For the muzzle device I chose the new 9mm Linear Comp from Kaw Valley Precision. I have used KVP’s Linear Comps for 300BLk and 5.56 before and the work great. Now they offer the same product in a 9mm version with a 1/2×28 thread pitch which is what I needed for the QC10 barrel. The fact that my barrel was shorter than my rail made the KVP linear comp a no brainer but it also looks sweet only sticking half way out the rail.

QC10 9mm Build 2

For my optic I chose a Vortex Optics RAZOR 3MOA red dot and mounted it to a Cross Machine Tool red dot sight mount. This is a nice light weight, compact optic setup that I feel has very fast target acquisition.

QC10 9mm Build 5

One item I recently installed was the Law Tactical Gen3 Folding Stock Adapter. At the moment I have this gun set up as an AR Pistol but will be converting it to a registered SBR with a stock soon. I love how compact the folding stock adapter makes this for transport. I can fit it in a small backpack, bag, case, etc without having to separate the upper and lower. It is quickly ready to shoot by flipping the buffer tube straight as you remove it from its concealment.

QC10 9mm Build 6

QC10 9mm Build 7

I was able to remove the extra weight at the rear of the carrier by removing the large roll pin and sliding it out. That is where the carrier extension for the Law Tactical Folding Stock Adapter goes.

QC10 9mm Build 7

The Law Tactical Gen3 Folding Stock Adapter has a lowered hinge to keep it away from your knuckles but just to be sure I am using a Fortis Manufacturing Hammer charging handle which has a really nice sized lever on it. The Hammer is one of my go to charging handles. Great build quality and affordable. 

QC10 9mm Build 7

Originally I started out with a standard carbine buffer spring and carbine buffer combo. It worked just fine but the guys at QC10 told me they recommend a heavier buffer, somewhere in the 5-6 ounce range to slow the carrier down a bit. I installed a Damage Industries 5.4 ounce H3 buffer and it continues to run perfect. 

QC10 9mm Build 7

Aside from a custom mag release and bolt catch assembly, the QC10 lower takes normal mil spec parts kits. You can see the Bolt Catch itself is mil spec but it is actuated by a pre-installed lever that contacts the magazine follower. This tends to be an issue with some mags as the spring pressure isn’t always strong enough to press the lever up and activate the bolt catch. This can be remedied by installing Wolf High Power springs inside the magazine. I bought a couple of SGM Tactical 33rd magazines from AIM Surplus and they seem to have better springs than the OEM ones. So far they are activating the LRBHO (last round bolt hold open) every time. 

QC10 9mm Build 7

So, there you have it. That’s pretty much my build in a nut shell. As I always tell people who are intimidated with building their own AR, “Its easier than you think”. You’ll love the increased range and accuracy you get out of a 9mm AR and being able to carry one type of mags to feed both your Primary and Secondary is awesome. Let me know if you guys have any questions or comments.

QC10 9mm Build 7

Recently I assembled a couple of Scout style weapon lights using Arisaka Defense parts and wanted to throw together a quick article showing you guys the parts I used and some of the different options you have when doing the same thing. So I took my lights apart and started taking pictures from the beginning which you can see below.


As you may already know, Arisaka Defense started out making light mounts and rail accessories. Recently they have introduced their own line of Light Components that allow you to build your own Scout style light. They now offer both a 300 Series Scout Body (powered by a single CR123 battery), a 600 Series Scout Body (powered by two CR123 batteries) and their own Click Tail Caps. They also make an Offset Scout Mount (shown) for MLOK, KeyMod and CMR rails and an Inline Scout Mount for MLOK and KeyMod.

Arisaka Scout Lights 1

Many AR owners who have purchased a Scout light before have an extra factory tail cap or two laying around (Click Cap or Tape Switch) which will work great with the Arisaka bodies. For those users, once you choose your desired mount and Scout body, the only thing left to do is pick up some CR123 batteries and a new E1 or E2 head from Malkoff Devices.

Arisaka Scout Lights 1

Arisaka Scout Lights 1

Arisaka Scout Lights 1


If you don’t have any tail caps to start with, Arisaka Defense actually sells complete Scout lights with the Malkoff Devices heads. When I started piecing together my Scout lights, Arisaka didn’t offer Tail Caps or complete units so a buddy of mine gave me some tail caps and I purchased the Malkoff Devices E1 and E2 heads on my own. Since then I’ve picked up a couple of the Arisaka Defense Tail Caps. Shown below is the configuration that Arisaka Defense offers for the 300 Series Light and 600 Series Light. The biggest key is that you can basically get two lights for the price of one SureFire Scout light. The 300 Series complete light is $149 plus the cost of the mount and the 600 Series complete light is $159 plus the cost of the mount.

Arisaka Scout Lights 4

Arisaka Scout Lights 5

Arisaka Scout Lights 5


I personally like to use the the SureFire Tape Switch’s because it allows me to mount the lights on the right side of my weapon, giving me more rail space to place my support hand, etc. Currently I run the Arisaka Defense 300 Series Scout Light on my SBR with an SRO7 Tape Switch while I have the 600 Series Scout Light on a 16″ AR with basic tape switch held in place by a Tareinco Tape Switch Holder. I’m extremely happy with these lights. The heads are extremely bright with the E1 rated at 250 out the front lumens and the E2 measured at 325 out the front lumens.

Arisaka Scout Lights 9

Arisaka Scout Lights 9

I’ve put links to both Arisaka Defense and Malkoff Devices websites and social media sources below. Both have pretty active feeds to follow. 


Malkoff Devices

I’ve always been a big fan of the “do it yourself” spray paint camo jobs on AR-15s. Some guys do a great job and there’s always a few tips and tricks to making it look good. My good friends over at Fathom Arms just did a nice time lapsed video tutorial showing how they paint their guns and I think it yields some great results. 

DIY AR15 Spray Paint Camo Job

DIY AR15 Spray Paint Camo Job

They used Rust-Oleum Camo paint. Khaki base, Deep Forest Green, and Earth Brown. The netting stencil was a netted laundry bag cut to size for ease of use. Take a look at this great video below and don’t forget to visit when you’re done.

For those of you who have been following my newest AR-15 build on my YouTube channel, you will know that it has caused me some headaches. When taking on the hobby of building AR-15’s, sometimes things just do not go as planned. I try and create a learning experience for my viewers by showing my AR-15 builds when they work and also when they don’t.

To quote author Patrick Sweeney from his book, The AR-15: Volume 1, “The AR-15 is deceptive: It is both the easiest rifle to home-gunsmith, and can be the most maddening to get properly assembled and reliably functioning.” This proved especially true for me when I finished building my 10.5” AR-15 pistol. As I expected, the assembly went just fine and without a hitch. When it came to test firing it – well, that was a different story.

After three weeks (it could have been four) of Googling, forum surfing, troubleshooting and just plain scratching my head, I contacted my friend Ben from to see if he could offer any advice. We both agreed that I had tried just about everything I could and he told me, “call Dustin at CIV Tactical. Dustin is the man (my first visualization was “The Dude” when he said that) and will get it working for you, guaranteed.” So, I contacted Dustin, asked for his help and filled him in on what I was experiencing: failures to feed, failures to extract and failures to eject. Dustin said, “send it to me, this will be fun.” My AR-15 upper was on its way to him the very next day.

CIV Tactical received my upper and Dustin got to work preforming his complete blueprinting and accurizing service. This service included the following:

–          Barrels are lapped to the upper receiver (blueprinted)

–          Chamber polished

–          Gas port diameter checked

–          Feedramps checked

–          Barrel dimpled for proper gas block alignment

–          Match gauge headspaced

–          BCG fully inspected and tested

Because I wanted this to be a learning experience for both me and the individuals that follow me on social media, I had requested that Dustin do me a personal favor of taking some pictures of the process and sharing with me what he discovered was the ultimate issue. For my build, CIV Tactical started out by lapping my upper receiver face to perfectly match that of my barrel’s extension. Think of it as taking fraternal twins and turning them into almost identical ones; and instead of twins it’s two pieces of metal.

620 nsz85 Civ Tactical AR Pistol Tune-Up 1

Next, Dustin polished the chamber to an almost mirror finish. He did this by placing my barrel in his lathe running at 755 rpm while using a mandrel and 400 micron jeweler’s cloth. Apparently my chamber had rough tooling rings left over in it from the manufacturing process. It is not that uncommon, but per Dustin, “dude, that chamber was rough.”

620 nsz85 Civ Tactical AR Pistol Tune-Up 1

With my chamber now gleaming, Dustin placed my barrel back into his lathe to address the burr on the muzzle. “There’s a big burr right at the lands and grooves from the factory cut…it’s just not good enough, ya know?” While removing the burr, he also added a bevel to the crown and said, “This is what you want, a nice bevel right at the lands and grooves.” He followed up with another mirror-like polishing on the crown. Even with a 10.5” barrel, I could potentially gain some extra accuracy from this process.

620 nsz85 Civ Tactical AR Pistol Tune-Up 1

Dustin closely inspected and tested my gas block and barrel’s gas port. He concluded that my gas block was indeed leaking but my gas port size was correct. “Your gas block just doesn’t fit right“, he said. My barrel came from the factory with one gas block dimple already on it, which is normal. Because gas blocks come in different lengths, manufacturers will typically only place one dimple directly opposite of the gas port since almost all gas blocks with set screws will match up with it. Dustin replaced my gas block and placed a second dimple on the barrel to match up with it; “proper dimpling and alignment” achievement unlocked.

620 nsz85 Civ Tactical AR Pistol Tune-Up 1

I have found that a number of individuals disagree with me by being a proponent for always checking headspace no matter where the barrel, barrel extension and bolt come from or who makes them. Believe it or not, this was the first build where I didn’t check headspace – lesson learned. Dustin discovered that my headspace was too tight. Fortunately he was able to achieve proper headspace by swapping bolts and I am certainly glad he did. I almost danced when he said, “you’re right at 1.464” which is the go-gauge. You are correct now.”

620 nsz85 Civ Tactical AR Pistol Tune-Up 1

One of the last symptoms that my upper was experiencing from its apparent case of not-working-correctly-itus was its feed ramps. Both M4 feed ramps lined up correctly but the ramps in the barrel extension slightly protruded which created a slight lip. To alleviate any potential for stuck rounds and feeding issues, Dr. Dustin prescribed some fitting and polishing. Simple enough, but would ultimately lead to better function and reliability in the end.

620 nsz85 Civ Tactical AR Pistol Tune-Up 1

Dustin showed a lot of dedication to this project when I asked him why he was working on a Sunday and he said, “Yeah! Sunday gun-day! Only thing left is to test fire it.” I anxiously waited for him to let me know how everything functioned during the test and was surprised when he actually sent me a video of him rapid firing it without a single issue.

Dustin Test Firing

Even though I had to admit defeat by not being able to finish the troubleshooting battle, I remain aware that there is still a lot to be learned and experienced when it comes to building an AR-15. My experience with Dustin and CIV Tactical was definitely a learning experience and I am appreciative of the fact that Dustin took the extra time to take pictures and communicate with me about what problems he was discovering.

Maybe you or someone you know has an AR-15 that has come down with a dreaded case of not-working-correctly-itus like mine did. Or, maybe you want it to operate better or potentially achieve greater accuracy. If that is the case and you want more information on how to do so, you can visit the website for CIV Tactical or give them a call at 510-637-8650.


About the author: Nate Schultz, or nsz85 as some may know him, works in the field of law enforcement, is a content producer for his YouTube channel and a writer for The Arms Guide. He is an avid shooter and hobbiest gunsmith. Most of Nate’s videos and articles are focused on helping new people who are just getting into firearms or want to learn more about how to work on them at home. If you are interested in following or contacting Nate, you can get in touch with him on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or YouTube.

Not sure why I dont see many people doing this but I do this on mine and its a great easy adjustment.  An Aimpoint PRO comes from the factory with the Brightness Control/Battery Compartment positioned on the right side (see first picture below) which makes it harder to adjust with your off hand (unless you shoot lefty).  If you loosen the clamp on the mount you can rotate the PRO counter clockwise 90 degrees.  This positions the control on the left side for easier access and the windage/elevation have now swapped locations and are easier to adjust now as well.  This isn’t rocket science and I am in no way taking credit as the first person to do this.  I just wanted to make more people aware that 1.  This is something anyone can do and 2.  Its okay to mess around with your gear and try different things to make it better suited to you!  I seriously have maybe seen 1 or 2 other people do this but I’m sure its more popular than that.  Just be sure to align one adjustment knob at 12 o’clock and one at 9 o’clock and you’ll be good to go.  Now if we could just do this to an Aimpoint T-1 we’d be all set (I’m claiming intellectual property on the T-1 left handed control mount 🙂 ).  


Aimpoint Pro Tip 1


Aimpoint Pro Tip 2

Whether you’re new to the AR world and trying to piece together your first one or already have one or two AR’s and just want add a great budget upper to the collection this latest combo deal by Palmetto State Armory should peak your interest.  The days of amazing deals in the firearms market are far from over.  You just have to do a little more digging to find them.  I’m going to show you how to make this not just a combo deal but a super steal that you’ve got to take advantage of.  There’s two ways to look at this.  First, the combo itself is a 16” CMV Chrome-Lined Stripped Upper (no BCG or CH) that comes with a Vortex Strikefire Red Dot optic for just $399.95.  I’ve personally owned Vortex products and can tell you that they are excellent quality and are the next best thing if you don’t want to spend all the dough for an Aimpoint.  This as it stands is a fantastic deal.  I don’t think anyone would feel that the price is too high.

The other way to look at it (which is the way I would go) is this.  Continue reading “How to get a Palmetto State Armory 16” CMV Chrome-Lined Upper for UNDER $299” »

Over the next few weeks I am going to do a series of posts to share Phase 5 Tactical’s excellent upgrade options for your AR-15.  This first post will focus on their three inexpensive Extended Bolt Charge/Release (EBR) options, which are EBRv1, EBRv2 and EBRv2-SC.  All three products are very well made but I will show you in this post why I think the EBRv2 is my first choice for Extended Bolt Charge/Release Levers on the market.  I’ve taken some pictures of the installation process of the EBRv1 and EBRv2 and final product for you to check out.

Phase 5 Tactical EBR v1 v2 sc

Continue reading “Phase 5 Tactical – High quality upgrades for your AR-15!” »

Hey guys.  You should check out the new video from Panteao Productions featuring Travis Haley.  It’s called “Make Ready with Travis Haley Adaptive Carbine”.  If you’re looking for another great instructional video for weapons manipulation and overall survivability in those worse case scenarios this video should be on the top of your list.  Travis Haley is a very “experienced” Special Forces vet and is the guy you want to learn from.  Check out the information below for purchasing information.  Also be sure to check out Haley Strategic Partners on facebook! Continue reading “NEW!! Make Ready with Travis Haley Adaptive Carbine Video” »

AR15news - logoMagpul MIAD Grip 18A few months ago Drake over at Magpul was kind enough to send me a Magpul MIssion ADaptable MIAD grip to review.  I had always heard great things about the MIAD grip but had never even held one in my hand so didn’t understand all the hype.

The MIAD grip is very unique as it allows you to completely customize the grip to fit your hand by swapping out the Continue reading “Magpul MIssion ADaptable (MIAD) Grip – Product Review / Installation” »

AR15news - logoNorgon Ambi-Catch Diagram 2If you’ve read some of my other post on here, you’ll know that I am a big fan of any type of ambidextrous equipment for the AR-15.  Parts of the original AR-15 design just don’t make sense to me.  Especially when it is so Continue reading “Norgon Ambi-Catch Ambidextrous Magazine Release – Product Review” »

AR15news - logoMagpul LogoFor some time now I’ve been using an aluminum rail system and have wanted to try something different.  I just wasn’t quite sure what I wanted.  I had my old standard handguards that came with my rifle but that’s obviously not any fun.  There are a lot of new rail systems and handguards out there but most of them cost at least $100 to start.

I guess what I was looking for Continue reading “Magpul MOE Handguard – Product Review / Installation” »

AR15news - logoMagpul LogoProbably one of the easiest yet very noticeable changes you can do to your AR-15 is change the trigger guard.  The standard trigger guard is nothing special.  Just a straight piece of metal that does its job.  There are a few different companies out there that offer different trigger guard upgrades such as Knights Armament, Stark Equipment and Spike’s Tactical but the Magpul Trigger Guard is definitely the most popular one on the market.  Just try googling “AR Trigger Guard” to see what I mean.

Magpul offers two different trigger guards, the Continue reading “The Changing of the Guard – Magpul Polymer Trigger Guard Product Review / How To Install” »

AR15news - logoMagpul AFG 1During my never ending search for more stuff to get for my AR-15 their have been few manufacturers that have stood out as much as Magpul.  They have made a commitment to only produce Top Quality, Cutting Edge Tactical Equipment that is made right here in the USA.  All of their products have been designed not because they thought it would look cool but because there was a need for it.   Continue reading “Product Review – Magpul AFG Angled Fore Grip” »

AR15news - logo

Midwest Industries Flip Up Front & Rear Sight Package Deal
Special Deal! Click to enlarge

Remember when you were a little kid and couldn’t wait to get up CHRISTmas morning because you knew all of those presents under the tree were for you?  Well the other day I was at work and got a shipping notification that my package from Midwest Industries had arrived at my house.  I had that same CHRISTmas morning feeling all over again.  I couldn’t wait to get out of work, drive way over the speed limit, rush to the front door and tear open my present.

In that box was my new Midwest Industries Flip Up Front and Rear Sights.  My rifle is a DPMS AR-15 Flattop, which means that there is no Continue reading “New Product Review / Installation Guide – Midwest Industries Front and Rear Flip Up Sights” »