Posted on November 30th, 2012 by ar15news
Had a short delay between articles in our “Weekly Photo and Build Details” series with Holidays and our Facebook Giveaway going on but we are back at it and I think you’ll like this one. This time around I will focus on 6 components to one of my rifles. Five of them I’ve been using for quite some time but the sixth one is very new to me. Just to restate what we’ve already discussed, I am not being compensated or asked to tell you guys about these products. Most of them are products I have purchased myself with my own money because I believe in their quality and I like how they work. Anyways, check out the photo below and the details that follow. You can click on the images to see them full size as well.
1. Centurion Arms C4 12.0 Rail: One of my personal favorite rails, the Centurion Arms C4 rail was designed based on the operational experience of the owner of Centurion Arms who is an active duty Navy Seal. As I’ve mentioned before, they are a Freefloat 2-piece rail that installs directly onto the existing barrel nut which gives you lightning quick installation and removal. They also feature 4 QD sling mounts as well. Probably one of the sturdiest rails you can buy. You do have to pay a little bit more to have the best but its well worth the cost. I purchased mine from RainierArms.com,
2. AXTS Weapons Systems AX556 Lower: Aside from its very unique and awesome looks there is a better reason why I love this lower. Those of you who have known me for a while know that I am a big fan of ambidextrous operation on my rifles. I think every prepared shooter needs to practice shooting with both hands. If you ever find yourself wounded in a gun fight, whether at home or at war, and lose the use of your strong side hand/arm you need to be able to use your week side. A good way to make this easier is to make the functions of your rifle ambidextrous. The AX556 lower gives you the most ambidextrous control over any other lower on the market. There are others on the market with Ambit Bolt Release and very few offer an Ambi Mag Release. However, none offer a built-in Bolt Hold except for the AX556. It also accommodates the Battle Arms Development 45 Degree Selectors as well. (see below) Unfortunately this is not a very easy lower to purchase. They are on a 60-90 day backorder at the moment. I can’t tell you who but I was only able to purchase mine because a very well known Industry Leader / Trainer had one for sale. Basically, if you see one for sale, snag it!! If not, get your name on the list at http://axtsweapons.com/products/AX556
3. ALG Defense ACT Trigger: So far so good. I’m really impressed with this affordable trigger group. For $65 its probably one of the best bang for your buck triggers out there. These are standard mil-spec triggers that are Nickel Boron coated and have been tuned by Geissele Automatics (makers of $200-300 trigger groups). The NiB coating and polishing have really reduced any grittiness that is usually associated with Mil-Spec triggers. Trigger pull is around 6lbs. which is not as light as some of the more expensive triggers but this is a Mil-Spec trigger which means it needs to be at 5.5lbs or higher. Some triggers you’ll find in a standard LPK are closer to 9/9.5lbs. I have not issue with recommending this trigger group to anyone looking to upgrade their standard trigger group. Check out ALGDefense.com for more info. I purchased my ALG Defense ACT trigger from Rainier Arms.
4. Battle Arms Development Ambi Safety Selectors: If you haven’t heard of Battle Arms Development yet then you haven’t been listening to me. I won’t build a gun without these awesome selectors as a first component. This specific model is the BAD-CASS-SA-ST. That stands for the Combat Ambi Safety Selector – Semi Automatic – Short Throw. The standard BAD-ASS selector is a huge upgrade by itself but the BAD-CASS family is a beefed up combat version of the BAD-ASS. By using a dovetail mounting system they’ve reduced the stress put on the screws of the selector. The Short Throw model bumps it up even one more notch by reducing the travel from SAFE to FIRE by 45 degrees. This makes the action itself easier and much quicker. I have two rifles with the Short Throw levers on them and love them. You are supposed to have a 45 degree selector “compatible” lower but there are ways around that. (contact me if you have any questions) These are by far the best on the market and I put them on every rifle I own. If its half the price, its because its only half as good. You can purchase yours from Battle Arms Development.
5. Rainier Arms RAPTOR Ambi Charging Handle: If you’re just heading out to the backyard to shoot some cans you will probably be just fine with your standard AR-15 charging handle but if your AR will see some hard use the standard charging handle is one of the first things you should replace. The Rainier Arms RAPTOR Ambi Charging Handle is a brand new product for 2012 but it has already made some huge waves in the industry. They really are mechanically speaking works of art. Both sides have the same style skeletonized latches and they function exactly the same as the other. The best part is without intentionally damaging these you aren’t going to break them. They are built like a tank! These will be as essential to my future builds as my BAD-ASS selectors. I did receive a couple of these on the house from my buddy John but have already purchased additional units from the my favorite retailer who just happens to make these, RainierArms.com.
6. Impact Weapons Components QD Sling Mount for Magpul UBR stock: Its kind of hard to see in this pic but this is an upgrade that was seriously needed. The standard Magpul UBR stock comes with a reversible QD sling mount but its a real pain to swap it around. What’s worse is that once you switch it to the side you want it makes it difficult to run weak side drills while using a single point sling that is mounted to it. Earl at Impact Weapons Components started his business by looking at a product and finding the small things that needed to be tweaked. For the UBR he designed a QD Sling Mount that replaced the sideways facing QD with a downward facing QD sling mount. The result is a QD Sling Mount that is ambidextrous. Its CNC machined to fit right in place of the stock unit and is awesome. I’m a huge fan of this product and I use IWC products a lot. Now switching from strong side to weak side and back is no issue. It even works well with a 2-point sling. Check this and many other great products out at ImpactWeaponsComponents.com. Don’t forget to use the code “AR15NEWS” at checkout to save 5% on ALL PRODUCTS in their online store.