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PostPosted: Mon May 16, 2011 9:02 am 
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That’s right, this years’ first LTW Rev gun is not a custom 1911. For the first time in LTW history, it’s a rifle…. an AR15. There are just a few little final details and then it’ll be up for sale—in about a week. Look for pics in a few days. Price is TBD, I may put it on Gunbroker. Thought you guys might like a little preview.

For those just tuning in, “Rev” guns are how LTW generates the revenue needed to be present at industry events such as the SHOT Show and the NRA Convention. SHOT, as an example, ain’t cheap: the floor space, display cases, carpet, electrical hookup, and much more, all have to be rented from and done by the SHOT Show promoters, at their prices. Putting this all together takes a sizeable roll, plus a lot of phone time, face time, and decision making. I’m not speaking from experience here so much as in appreciation of the guys who have traditionally handled all the logistical and managerial tasks in these matters, Jason, Ted, and Steve at Heirloom Precision.

With our charity collaborations, every dime goes to the charity. With Rev guns, every dime goes to LTW expenses related to the shows and other means of getting the job done, the job being, promote the charity raffles and benefit outfits such as americansnipers.org (about $80 grand in ’06 and ’07) and the Naval Special Warfare Foundation ($40 grand last year). It probably goes without saying, but maybe has not been said for a while, LTW Board Of Directors members do not take any compensation for what we do. When we go to SHOT to man the LTW booth, we pay our own way 100%..... LTW does not so much as pick up the coffee in the morning—that’s how it must be, that’s how we want it, we wouldn’t have it any other way.
At our BOD meeting this year, we discussed Rev guns for 2011; what they should be, who would collaborate on them, when they should be done. I think it was Steve Bailey or Tony Barnes that threw out the idea of doing an AR15. I guess since I seem to be the most AR15-oriented guy in the group, suddenly everyone was looking at me….. what could I do but say “Yeah!”?

I’ll be the first to admit that due to its design and modularity, it’s hard to do a “custom” AR15 that compares with a lovingly crafted, full-custom 1911. So what do you do? What I have done here is to select proven components from trusted, credible sources. Of course, not knowing who the new owner will be, I defaulted in many areas to what I like and have experience with. There is a lot of good stuff (and some really bad) to be had for AR’s these days; purveyors of junk and shady characters are, fortunately, being constantly weeded out by knowledgeable, honest companies….. the below contributors definitely are in this category.

This gun does not have a lot of gadgetry on it, but it is well-put-together using high-end, solid bits that make for a duty/patrol /defensive/training carbine that is reliable, durable, and accurate.
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I’d like to thank the following for their excellent products and for their support of LTW on this project:

-Lower receiver, fire control group, barrel: SLR 15 Rifles. http://slr15rifles.com/ Greg “Sully” Sullivan is a friend and a guy who knows the AR inside and out. He knows how they are used in the police context and how they need to be made to survive it. His lower has a few subtle, strength-adding features; the fire control group is standard config, but of the highest quality and well-prepped for the best possible trigger using these components. It is my opinion and experience that two-stage or target triggers do not belong on a carbine such as this. They are generally less reliable and less durable by a large margin. With this setup you have the ultimate duty trigger—smooth, not creepy; not feathery but not unmanageably heavy….. good for the life of the gun, and safe. I was lucky enough to score one of Sully’s new Melonited barrels--- super hard, inside and out. My second group with this 16”, M-4 profile barrel was under an inch at 100 yards…. guess that’ll have to do!

-Upper receiver: Armalite SPR-1 "COP" (Continuous Optical Platform). http://www.armalite.com/ItemForm.aspx?item=15003082 I’ve used three of these now, and they are a great design, meticulously executed. The upper and free floating handguard are one solid piece, but the handguard retains modularity so that you can have it bristling with Picatinny rails, or smooth on the sides and bottom, or anything in between. No doubt this upper contributed to the above sub-MOA group.

-Bolt / carrier group (Magnetic Particle Tested) :BCM http://www.bravocompanyusa.com/BCM-AR15 ... y%20mp.htm If you’ve been into high-end AR’s at all in the last few years, you’ve heard of these guys. They carry all the good stuff and have several of their own, in-house products. Plus, they are now making complete rifles that are very highly regarded.

-Buffer tube, buffer, spring, gas tube- M&A Parts http://www.m-aparts.com/ I’ve dealt with these guys for a long time, and they’ve been in the biz a long time. My friends at M&A have direct links to some of the best parts manufacturing sources—and themselves are the source of parts for much of the AR15 industry. Suffice it to say they know their stuff, and stand behind it. M&A recently contributed a rifle to benefit and old favorite of LTW’s, americansnipers.org.

-Magazines (10 of them): Lancer Systems http://www.lancer-systems.com/Small_Arms_2010.html Lancer is a real-deal, high-tech defense contractor with products in several areas that make the AR-15 seem low-tech….. and yet, their foray into the AR-15 has been done so well. The mags are of a smoked-translucent polymer, with steel feed lips. There’s nothing not to like about getting an ammo status report with just a glance.

-Optic: Millett 1-4 DMS-1 http://www.millettsights.com/scopes/dms/ In the last 3-4 years I’ve tried many different 1-4X optics with illuminated reticles. Four of them are in the $1800-and-up price range. One can be had for around $250, and it is the one I would choose over the other three, every single time, the DMS-1. Maybe my tastes are too unrefined, but aside from the obvious cost difference, which ought to be secondary anyway, it simply works the best of the four, in my opinion, for the intended purpose. The others may qualify as “illuminated reticles” but most of them are not nearly bright enough to be used at 1X as red dots—the DMS is. The high-buckers have that first focal plane reticle that I just can’t take a liking to—the reticle grows with the image as you dial up the magnification. So, at 1X, where you want to be fast, the reticle is so puny you really need to search for it—especially since it is not well lit. Then, when you dial up to 4X for a precision shot, the reticle gets unmanageably huge. With the DMS, the reticle stays the same throughout the magnification range and is very well lit. It can be adjusted in brightness to a level that is easy to use even in bright sunlight. My personal DMS has been loaned out twice—in one guy’s hands it placed second at the National Patrol Rifle Conference and Competition—and in the other guy’s it survived a one-year tour of the lovely back roads of Afghanistan.

-Mount: LaRue SPR-E http://stores.homestead.com/Laruetactic ... tic+Mounts What to say here, other than, “what else”? Nothing else. LaRue products and customer support are simply unequalled and they are big supporters of anything troops-related.

-Back up sights-- Midwest Ind. http://www.midwestindustriesinc.com/ind ... ory_id=361 MI didn’t hesitate to help with a set of their excellent BUIS.

-Case—Brownells Signature Series M4 case. http://www.brownells.com/1/1/2021-signa ... nells.html Brownells is and has been one of LTW’s biggest supporters—wait, that word is inadequate…... benefactors. Brownells is both a supplier to and a customer of my business, and they have been a total pleasure to deal with going both ways…. a top-notch outfit that has everything for the gunsmith and enthusiast.

-Stock and pistol grip—MagPul MOE and MIAD. http://store.magpul.com/ As with most other components for this project, there was more than one choice for good stuff, so I took the easy way out and went with my personal favorites. MagPul’s products and service are simply great. Their engineering department must be a real think tank! AND, they threw in the entire set of MAGPUL DYNAMICS TRAINING DVD’s. If you have not seen this stuff, get ready for some excitement. No kidding, it will have you up early the next morning packing for the range.

Sling- VTac http://www.vikingtactics.com/prod_sling_VTAC-MK1-a.html Personal favorite time again.... if the new owner of this gun wants to change to something else, the carbine is equipped with plenty of sling hook-up options. I’ve tried many slings and I always come back to the V-Tac. It’s fast and smooth to adjust, well made, and easy on the neck (abrasion-wise).

-Gas Block -Vltor http://www.vltor.com/lpgb.htm Vltor kindly answered my request for their low-profile gas block to fit under the Armalite handguard. I securely cross-pinned it in place.

-Flash hider, AAC http://www.advanced-armament.com/product.aspx?pid=493 These guys helped make this project suppressor-ready by contributing one of their three-pronged flash hiders made to accept one of their sound suppressors.

-Ammo—ASYM Ammunition http://store.chencustom.com/223_ammunition_s/36.htm -No, we didn’t forget the ammo! How about a case of ASYM Ammo—400 rounds of 55 FMJ Precision Training and 100 of their 75 grain Tactical Match Grade?

-Charging handle—Leitner-Wise Defense http://www.leitner-wise.com/charging-handle.html I recently got a shot counter from these guys and spied their steel charging handle, so I snagged one for review. Steel charging handles have been done before but not as well as this. Why steel? Well, in aluminum, the dang things bend pretty easily—especially when not made from a forging and especially when the gun is run hard and fast. The LWD charging handle also contributes to the project’s suppressor-readiness by being wider and taller, presenting an obstruction to blow-back usually experienced when shooting a suppressed AR15.


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PostPosted: Mon May 16, 2011 6:44 pm 
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Um.. :shock: :shock: .....PICTURES!!?!?!?!?!?!? You can't do that Ned. I went to each link in the post and tried to put it together in my mind... :oops: Not working. Please post some pictures. If the whole is truly a sum of its parts, this is going to be an excellent build.


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PostPosted: Mon May 16, 2011 7:24 pm 
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I got some of the last pieces to the puzzle today. The LaRue mount came with 1" rings (they must have just started making them, tried to get some a few years back and they sent adapters), and the Millett is 30mm. The shooting I did was with my own Millett DMS-1, which is not really picture-worthy atop a brand new gun, so-- give me a day or so.

While we're at this I'd welcome comments from anyone who's deep into AR's and the high-end glass..... I really want to understand that First Focal Plane thing where the reticle gets bigger as you dial up the magnification. Some pretty high-speed people subscribe to that, so-- although it seems counter-logical to me, I think I might be missing something. Make your case; I am, and we all need to be, open-minded. I mean, I've learned a lot about glass in recent years, and the one big lesson seems to be that in general, quality and price are parallel lines on the graph. But I have not been able to find fault with this Millett product, unless it's that it doesn't have the battery life of an Aimpoint, but then not many things do. On the other hand, it takes a 2032, cheap and easy to find. Played hell trying to find a battery for my Aimpoint last summer and finally decided I'll just wait another couple years :shock: .


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PostPosted: Tue May 17, 2011 8:37 am 
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Ned-

Not like I am going to tell you anything you probably don't know..that always works the other way 8)

My 2 cents, alot to this subject and no "right" answer, but I'll jump in front of this bus....

First Focal (FF) plane glass is a benefit when shooting at distance, I am not 100% sold on it being needed in a carbine set up say in the 1-4X magnification. Most of these are used as 1 OR 4X not 1 thru 4X at least from my experience and those I shoot with..a few of whom are fairly expereinced/ high speed guys.

First Focal Plane "PROS"-
Movers, multiple target engagements at multiple ranges, and milling targets for range are where I see the biggest benifits to FF. Because no matter your magnification setting your MIL reticle subtends a MIL on target, unlike Second Focal (say in a 6.5-20X50 MK4 variable)where at 20X 1MIL=1MIL on target and at 10X 1MIL= 2MIL on target. So when engaging a LaRue pop up at 100-200 then another at 600, my reticle will be accurate for hold overs/ unders at any magnification, instead of only at (usually) maximum magnification. This allows the shooter a wider field of view for the nearer taget, and more magnification at distance while maintaining accurate MIL hold offs at both. I can dial a set range in the scope and hold under or over to adjust point of impact, much quicker than dialing for each engagement. Movers at multiple distances make this very obvious, try and track a mover at 100M while dialed to maximum magnification (20X) ...tough to do but this is where your MIL reticle is calibrated for in a Second Focal plane scope. This works better at lower magnification, no problem in a FF scope, again a MIL on your reticle is a MIL at the target no matter what magnification your using.

The biggest "CON" to FF is it covers more of the target. As you increase magnification reticle thickness and size also increase so shooting a prarie dog at 700M you can loose the little guy behind the reticle, and be forced to "bracket" the target in the reticle.

All that being said...a good rifleman can work around, through and with most anything. I run squarely in the middle of the road so...I like a first focal MIL reticle with MIL adjustments in my scopes, although MOA with MOA adjustments is fine as well.

IMHO
Mark

BTW..played very little with the Millett 1-4 scope my experience mirrors yours, very little to improve upon with it..good glass, good features, GREAT price.

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PostPosted: Tue May 17, 2011 3:04 pm 
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Right side. How many supporters' logos can you spot in this picture? Once again a big thank-you to all of them for the helping hand.
Image

The big sling swivel is an old one I had on hand-- it will be changed out for a new one.
Image


Left side. I love the lines of that Armalite upper and the fact that is has no sharp edges on it.
Image


The Leitner-Wise Defense charging handle. Those rippled cuts-- CAD designed, flow-bench tested, high-speed video proven cuts to help break up the blowback from firing with a can on, or bottle opener....? You decide.... :wink:
Image


And, an overall shot, resting on that case of Asym ammo. The one last item I'm waiting for is a receiver plate with sling attachement capability. Until then is has a field-expedient at the rear of the stock.
Image


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PostPosted: Sat May 28, 2011 9:49 am 
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This is now up on Gunbroker:
http://www.gunbroker.com/Auction/ViewIt ... =232630958


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PostPosted: Sun May 29, 2011 4:04 am 
That didn't last long!

--md


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PostPosted: Sun May 29, 2011 7:29 am 
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About 5 hours and 15 minutes!


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 07, 2011 8:29 am 
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Very well done Ned! The logo on the Lower looks great too.

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