Buying used guns began when the internet was invented…

Miguel over at The Gun Free Zone has a fisking of an article that’s really good, but there was one point I don’t think he explored thoroughly enough:

The catch is that the federal background check law is silent on sales brokered online and completed person-to-person when they are made by anyone other than a federally licensed gun dealer.

The law was created at a time when the expectation was that sellers typically knew the buyers personally. As a law-abiding citizen, a seller was essentially vouching that the other person was also a law-abiding citizen.

OK, history lesson boys and girls:

Waay back in prehistoric times before the internet was invented, they had these things called “Newspapers” that were published, in most places, every day. Even in rural communities they typically had a local paper even if it was only published once or twice a week.

Now these things were primarily used to share “news stories” so that the public could stay informed about what was going on in the world. Think about, say, Google news or the Daily Kos, only on paper.

But way in the back pages of the paper, usually just before the “funny pages” where they printed the cartoons for the day, there was a section called “classified ads”. If you had a piece of personal property to sell, you would pay the newspaper a few bucks and they’d put a listing of what you had for sale (usually along with your phone number) out there for public consumption.

Again, relating it to the Internet, think “Craigslist” or maybe even “eBay” but on paper.

Anyone who read the paper (and there were many people who only got the paper for the classified ads because many of us couldn’t afford to buy new things back then and buying used was the way to go) could call the number provided, set up a face to face meet, and pay cash money for whatever was for sale, no muss, no fuss.

So, contrary to the beliefs of the whipper-snapper in the story, it seems that buying used items (whether it be guns, or musical instruments, or cars, or washing machines) was actually a VERY common occurrence long before the internet was invented. In fact, I’d wager that methods for advertising such personal transactions existed before paper was invented. Humans have a unique ability to find creative ways to get things done with the resources at hand…that’s what drives innovation after all.

At any rate, the actual fact of the matter is, the drafters of the National Firearms Act of 1968 specifically exempted private individuals selling their personally owned property from the restrictions of the law for one primary reason:

At that time it was still politically expedient for government officials to at least pretend like they were still trying to work within the constraints placed upon them by the Constitution. To that end, they understood that the term describing the ability of a private citizen to sell, trade or otherwise transfer ownership of their own personal property to another private citizen without having to beg permission from the government first is actually “freedom”, not “a loophole”.

By the way, gun shows have been popular in the US since at least the 1950’s, so when the GCA of 1968 was being drafted, they were fully aware of the ramifications of declining to restrict private sales under the aegis of that law.



Normally, tax day every year is Buy A Gun day. This year was a bit weird because tax day was officially delayed until May 17.

Also, I was really kind of hesitant to post my BAG day purchase just because of the current political environment, but the bottom line is, If my past activities and posts haven’t gotten me onto some kind of “domestic extremism” watch list, this isn’t going to put me over the top, so here goes.

After the Democrats stole the election for Biden, I decided I needed increase my stock of “ban resistant” firearms. My standard everyday carry piece is a Glock 19, but with a 15 round mag, that could be problematic in the near future. Yes, there’s a good chance that existing guns at the time of the ban would be grandfathered, but it’s possible they may not be as well and I figured if I wait until after a ban is passed, it could get really hard to find something that would fit the bill. Better to buy it now, while I have the chance.

So I started researching. I wanted something small…like small enough to use with a pocket holster…but with enough oomph to get the job done. Most people consider .380 the smallest caliber suitable for self defense, and I’m sure under most conditions, it would get the job done, but I wanted something that packed a bit more punch than that. There are a plethora of choices out there in subcompact 9mm guns so that’s where I wanted to go with it.

A friend of mine likes his Glock 43, but the barrel’s still got that blocky Glock profile and it’s only two tenths of an inch narrower than the Glock 19. That’s not much improvement when you’re giving up 9 rounds of capacity. Pretty much everything else I found that was low cap and small enough for me have the tiny little manual safeties on them. That doesn’t bother me in and of itself, but I’m left handed and I didn’t find a single one with an ambidextrous safety, plus they are so tiny and hard to manipulate, I don’t like the idea of having to try to manipulate it with the wrong hand under stress. One could just leave the safety off all the time, but that’s just another potential point of failure…what if it accidentally gets engaged, then I’m not trained at all to disengage it and under stress could mean the difference between life and death. Not gonna chance it.

One that really caught my attention was the Ruger EC9s for its diminutive size. The problem is, it has a right handed manual safety, plus the sights are machined into the slide, so no replacing them with night sights, and to top it all off, a magazine disconnect safety…that’s a deal breaker for me.

Too bad they don’t make them without all that crap….oh, wait. The EC9 is actually a less expensive version of an older design, which they made a variation that’s exactly what I’m looking for.

Since they aren’t in production any more, I had to search a bit to find one, and probably paid more than I should have, but it’s what I wanted so…here you go:

Ruger LC9s Pro

7+1 capacity so obviously impossible to use in crime or mass shootings. Chambered in 9mm Luger. Less than an inch thick. No magazine disconnect or right-handed manual safety to stymie me under stress. “Standard” sight bevels (I had the tritium night sights purchased and delivered before I even took delivery of the gun). It simply disappears when carried in a pancake holster and slips easily into a pocket holster for “grab and go” situations. Exactly what I was looking for and I’m extremely happy with it so far.

The only thing is that I haven’t had it out to the range yet. I’ve tried it with my laser training system and it points and feels just fine dry firing, but I haven’t fired live ammo through it yet. Just been too busy. I imagine that, as small as it is, it isn’t going to be exactly fun to shoot. I do typically use 147 grain subsonic ammo, so that will help, but I’m betting that the muzzle flip and recoil are still going to be…um…energetic. But we’ll see. I’m kind of a recoil junkie anyway so unless it causes physical pain to shoot, I’m thinking it’s still going to be fun. I’ll let you know…hopefully soon.

Next I need at least one more ban resistant long gun. I’m thinking maybe a lever gun, I’ve always liked them, or you can never go wrong with a bolt action.


A little morning comedy

I haven’t posted much gun related content lately, so to both alleviate that and elicit a little chuckle, I present a release from “Black PR Wire” (which I’d never heard of before)…courtesy of Bearing Arms via From the Barrel of a Gun:

In response to stagnation in the traditional white male market, the gun industry and National Rifle Association (NRA) are now targeting Blacks and Latinos as potential new gun buyers according to a new study from the Violence Policy Center (VPC)

Stagnation in the market? Seriously? What planet are they living on???

Let’s see…according to the FBI, The only year that NICS checks went down year over year was from 2016 to 2017…interestingly, the year that Trump took office. Wonder if that was a coincidence?

Record setting 2020 recorded a full 39.9% increase in checks over 2019 and January of 2021 shattered the record with almost double the number of checks conducted in January 2020 and FOUR TIMES the number conducted in 2012.

Granted, NICS checks aren’t directly representative of sales because NICS checks are conducted for other purposes and not all sales require NICS checks, but it’s a pretty good general indication of trends…and the current trends don’t show me any “stagnation”.  Nor do the empty shelves at gun stores and the “out of stock” notifications for both guns and ammo at online retailers.

I’ll tell you one thing, I’ve been a gun owner virtually all my life…I got my first air rifle when I was about 8 and my first .22 rifle when I was 12 or 13…I’ve been an activist in the gun community for most of my adult life. I’ve been providing beginners with basic safety and firearms handling training for close to 20 years and in my experience, the NRA, VCDL and every other organization I’ve ever been involved with has always encouraged all lawfully present residents of the US to exercise their rights under the Second Amendment. The accusation that the NRA is all the sudden pushing for minorities to buy guns because whites have stopped buying them is not only silly, it’s freaking hilarious.

These people are delusional.

Here’s how it seems to me: The left is losing control of the narrative when it comes to guns. It’s becoming increasingly obvious that it’s not just old fat white guys like me who own and use guns and are engaged in the gun rights community. Go to any gun show and you’ll see a healthy mix of old and young, men and women, all races creeds and colors, enjoying the camaraderie and “kicking the tires” on an assortment of firearms from collectible antiques to the latest and greatest plastic fantastics and EBRs.

And that scares the bejeebers out of them.

It’s probably just so scary to them because they are starting to realize that with minorities and women becoming more and more active in the gun rights community, their chance of gaining popular support for their agenda is waning quickly; but you’ve got to admit, their arguments sound pretty sexist and racist.

Basically, according to them, Blacks, Hispanics and women aren’t capable of evaluating information and making informed decisions, they are prone to being pushed into making unwise decisions by nefarious, faceless actors like the NRA and the NSSA.

Personally, I think more and more people of all races, creeds, backgrounds and sexes are being forced by the reality around them to realize that when it comes to defending themselves and their families, ultimately the responsibility lies with them and them alone. Better to be properly equipped and prepared and never need it than for the need to arise and find you wanting.


Better than I ever hoped

I know there are only a couple of people still sticking with my blog since I hardly ever post any more, but I had to share something that I’m just amazed by.

Longtime readers may remember many years ago when I blogged about assembling a national match AR for service rifle matches. Well, our house got robbed while on vacation a few years ago, that rifle was one that was stolen. I’ve never gotten it back.

I recently decided to replace it, but the CMP and NRA service rifle rules have changed…because the rifles being used in service have changed. No more the bare-bones A2 style carry-handle rifles with open sights. Now you can use free-floated railed handguards, flattop uppers, collapsible stocks and even optics up to 4.5x.

I started ordering parts and got it put together last week.

(Note: As pictured, the scope mount is on “backward” to try to get it positioned better. I eventually opted to turn it back around so it looks slightly different now)

Click to make bigger.

I was a little worried about the barrel. It was listed as a “contractor over-run” with no brand name and on sale for a ridiculous price. It only had one review but it was a 5 star glowing review. The price was just too good to pass up so I took the chance, understanding that I might be buying a paperweight and may have to spend more money on a new barrel if this one turned out to be a bust. It’s a 20″, HBAR profile, rifle length gas system, 1 in 7″ twist, unthreaded with a target crown. The only thing I would have wanted different is that it has a 5.56 Nato chamber and I would have preferred a Wylde, but otherwise, exactly what I’m looking for in a match barrel.

I put a Nikon 1.5-4.5x scope on, a nickel boron bcg, a Rock River Arms national Match two stage trigger and A2 buttstock with about 2 lbs of weight to counterbalance the heavy barrel. Also a low profile gas block and relatively inexpensive free float M-lok handguard.

I lapped the upper receiver face to make sure the barrel sits square, was extra careful to get the gas tube perfectly aligned. The only real “issue” I had is that by the rules, the front sling swivel has to be between 13 and 13.5 inches forward of the font of the magwell. This placed it exactly below the gas block. There wasn’t enough space between the bottom of the gas block and the handguard to install the M-lok fasteners for the magpul M-lok GI style sling swivel I wanted to use. I ended up getting one of these which mounts slightly behind the gas block but extends forward enough to be in the right spot. Of course, the actual QD sling swivel that came with it is too narrow for a leather National Match sling, so I also had to order an oversized QD sling swivel. Hopefully that will work out. if it doesn’t, I’ll buy an M-lok picatinny rail section to mount there and put a rail mounted sling swivel on.

So, all told including optic, scope mount and Turner NM sling, I ended up coming in at just under $1k.

I was very meticulous when assembling the rifle and was certain my build was good, but as I said I was a little uncertain about the no-name barrel so it was with no little trepidation that I took it to the range yesterday after work to get started on the break-in.

The first hint was that, at 25 yards, firing individual shots and cleaning the barrel between each shot, the last 7 shots or so just made one ragged hole.

The next stage of break-in is three shot groups, cleaning between groups. I switched to 100 yards because I wanted to see if the group with single shots at 25 was a fluke. I only got three groups in before it started getting dark and I had to pack it up, but boy were they some groups. I was also testing the 1/4 moa scope adjustments which placed the three groups far enough from each other to keep them separate.

Three consecutive thee shot groups under an inch. The first was 5/8″, the second was 1/2″ and the third was 15/16″.

That was at 100 yards with the rifle just resting on my range bag…not even a real rest and because the bag is too tall, I didn’t have my butt on the seat of the shooting bench.

Holy crap. I’m thinking if I was shooting from a solid rest, I’ve got a 1/2 moa rifle here. That’s better than my old match rifle that had a more expensive, brand name barrel on it.

Let’s just say my sooper cheap match barrel didn’t disappoint. I’m surely glad I took the chance and didn’t drop $250 or more on a big name barrel.

I’ve still got four more three shot groups to send before break-in is complete, so it may get even more accurate…but I may never know it; I seriously doubt that I’m capable of better than 1/2 moa with any rifle, but I’ll let you know.

Of course every benefit has an associated cost. If the accuracy of this rifle holds up, I’ll have no excuse if I don’t do well in matches.

Oh by the way…this was with hand-loaded 75gr Hornady Match HPBT bullets over 24 grains of Accurate 2520 that chrono at 2650fps. I haven’t even had a chance to “tune” my loads to the rifle, but I honestly doubt that I’ll be able to do better than that. This may already be the sweet spot for this rifle.


AR-308 Part 5

Previous posts in the series:
Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4

OK…the rifle is together. If I’d bought one off the shelf, that’s pretty much what I would have gotten. There are still a few odds and ends to add, like a magazine, a scope, a bipod, etc…but those wouldn’t have come with an off the shelf rifle and I’d still have to buy them anyway…so for an apples to apples comparison, what’s the tally so far?

$565. Excellent.

But we still have some loose ends to tie up. There are two components that, although not technically necessary for shooting the rifle, they really make it work better: A magazine, and some sort of sighting system.

I ordered a 10 round Magpul LR-308 Pmag from Midway USA for $18.

The sighting system was a little more complicated. I knew I wanted a scope because I want this rifle to be a tack driver at range. I’d love to be able to shoot it well at 500 or 1000 yards so I wanted something that would work for long range…variable power and a high zoom level.

Another thing I like is Mil-dot reticles. I like the fact that a mil-dot reticle can be used to estimate range. The down-side of that with a variable power scope, however, is that if the reticle is in the second focal plane, you have to adjust your calculations by the zoom level of the scope at the time…that really complicates the math. With a first focal plane scope, the reticle zooms along with the background, so the perspective stays the same, regardless of the zoom level of the scope. That makes the math (relatively) easy.

Adjustable Objective is a must for me. I don’t like having to worry about compensating for parallax. And a large diameter objective means more light, better view.

But, I didn’t want to spend $1000 or $2000 either. After reading review after review and finding scopes that were close, but was missing one or another feature I was looking for, I ended up finding a Vector Optics Counterpunch at Optics Planet for $200. Vector Optics gets mixed reviews, but, again, for the price, I figured it would do for now and I can upgrade in a year or so if needed.

Finally, just a couple of optional accoutrements I ordered from Amazon.

Bipod $38
2 point Sling $10
GrovTec QD bases $8 (needed to add QD sling swivels to the Luth-AR stock)
M-loc QD sling base $12
QD Sling Swivels $9

And that completed the build. I now have a fully operational rifle, customized exactly how I wanted it.

Total cost: $852

A little over my original budget, but very good nonetheless.

I have to admit that I did splurge and break the bank a bit. On the first range trip, the cheap-o FCG I had in there left, um, a lot to be desired. Very gritty, heavy pull and the pins walked loose, causing the rifle to malfunction. This won’t do at all. I could clean up the trigger, reduce the pull and make it smoother, but I’d still have to worry about the pins walking.

Considering I’m hoping this rifle will be a tack driver, I decided that skimping on the trigger isn’t a good idea. I decided I wanted a good match style 2 stage trigger. I was going to buy a Jewell like I had on my National Match AR-15, but alas, they don’t appear to make them anymore.

That’s a right shame…I loved that trigger. Completely adjustable and smooth as glass. I was really disappointed when I checked their web site and they don’t list them any more.

I settled on a Geissele G2S. Not adjustable, but pre-set for a 2.5lb takeup and a 2lb release for a total pull weight of 4.5 lbs. I prefer more on the takeup and less on the release, but that’s the closest I could get to what I want. I had my Jewell adjusted for a 4lb takeup and a 1lb release to meet the minimum 5lb pull needed for matches.

I could have gone cheaper…Rock River makes a similar 2 stage match trigger for half the price, but from what I’ve heard, it’s half the quality as well. The Geissele was $165 at Optics Planet, but after shooting it, I’d have to say, worth the price.

So I ended up at a little over $1000 all in. Sigh. It’s only money, I can make more…

Anyway…I took it back to the range with the upgraded trigger today. It ran like a clock, everything was perfect.

So, what’s the verdict?

I think it’ll do.

100 yards on a standard sight-in target with 1″ squares. That’s a 3 shot group right at 1″.

This was from the bipod with cheap Remington Core-Lokt 150 grain ammo. I got 1″ groups or close to it consistently after dialing the scope in with cheap ammo and a not entirely stable rest. I really can’t wait to see what it’ll do with some match grade ammo. I’m pretty confident that it will do sub-moa.

Mission accomplished. The only question is: how long will the cheap scope hold up? Time will tell.

Final Post in the series.


AR-308 Part 4

Previous posts in the series:
Part 1
Part 2
Part 3

So, we’ve got all the parts for the basic rifle, now we just need to put it together.

I’m not going to go through the whole assembly process as it’s no different than the standard AR-15 assembly I’ve covered that at least twice here on this blog; also, you can find the process everywhere on the internet and youtube.

What I do want to talk about, however, are the oddities I discovered while assembling. This is related to the weird configuration of the Diamondback lower. As I mentioned in previous posts in the series, the Diamondback DB-10 upper receiver was configured to take DPMS parts, so I assumed I needed DPMS parts for the lower as well. Silly me.

The first clue that something strange was going on was the magazine release. I installed the spring and release, started screwing the button onto the shaft, pressed the button and screwed the shaft into the button until the top of the shaft was flush with the face of the button, released it and…the button wasn’t seated in the receiver. Hmm. Looked like the shaft just wasn’t screwed in far enough.

I pushed the button back in (after lining it up with the hole in the receiver) and screwed the shaft in as far as I could get it to go. that did the trick, the mag release fit now and seemed to operate just fine, but the shaft was sticking out past the face of the button by about 1/8″. It was painful to press the magazine release because the protruding shaft would dig into my finger.

Long story short, I ended up using my dremel tool to cut the extra 1/8″ off of the shaft.

The next thing that hinted something wasn’t right was the bolt catch pin. On AR-15’s and Armalite AR-10’s, the bolt catch is held in place with a roll pin. In my DPMS lower parts kit, the bolt catch pin was threaded on the end. Hmm. Can’t screw a threaded pin into a receiver without a threaded receptacle.

I dug into my spare parts bin and used a standard AR-15 roll pin to install the bolt catch. It seemed to fit fine.

Everything else went uneventfully…but after it was all together, the bolt catch wouldn’t catch the bolt.

After getting a magazine and trying it, the bolt would lock open on an empty magazine, but no matter what I tried or how I manipulated the bolt catch, I could not get the bolt to lock back without a magazine inserted.

In trying to figure this out, I e-mailed Diamondback and explained my issue. They replied very quickly, but told me that a DPMS parts kit should work.

I did some more research and ended up stumbling across a comment from a person who said they used an Armalite A series LPK with their Diamondback DB-10 lower and it worked fine.

I decided to take a chance and ordered a bolt catch from Armalite for $23. It took a week or so to get it, but after installing the Armalite catch, everything worked as it should. I’m guessing that had I also purchased an Armalite magazine release and Armalite takedown/pivot pins, they would have worked as well.

At any rate, with a little trial and error, it went together.

So, if by some chance you ever purchase a Diamondback DB-10 upper and lower set, just know that the upper takes DPMS parts and the lower takes Armalite A series parts…just to keep things interesting.

Still some finishing touches…more to come…

Next post in the series.


AR-308 Part 3

Previous posts in the series:
Part 1
Part 2

So, now that we’ve figured out what types of parts we need, the next step is to figure out exactly what to order.

The goal was to make a custom rifle, as accurate as possible…preferably sub-moa, but also keep it under $800 all-in. A lofty goal.

I had an idea of what I wanted, but I didn’t want to rush because I was planning on getting things as I found sales and deals. The best laid plans…

The first thing I found was a 20″ Socom profile barrel made by ELD for $105. I didn’t know anything about ELD but I looked up some reviews and didn’t find anything bad. They guarantee sub-MOA performance with match ammo so I took the chance. For that price, I figured even if I have to buy a new barrel in a year or so, at least it would get me started.

I bought it from Omega Manufacturing. I did find some bad reviews about Omega manufacturing and apparently it’s owned by a parent company that also runs a couple of other online gun parts retailers. Basically, the reviews weren’t about the parts they sell, but about their customer service…so again, not a show stopper as I was more concerned about getting quality parts than excellent service. Turns out, they actually were pretty good. Got my parts out quickly and resolved the one issue I had.

While I was there ordering the barrel, I looked around at what else they had. They actually had really good prices on quite a few parts, so I ordered several things from them in addition to the barrel:

Omega Manufacturing M-lok 15″ free float handguard – $53
Omega Manufacturing muzzle break – $35
ADK Defense Bolt Carrier Group and charging handle – $110
Ejection Port Door assembly – $9
Rifle Length gas tube – $10
AR-15 Forward Assist Assembly – $10

I ordered a cheap low profile gas block for $6 from Cheaper Than Dirt; I ordered some other stuff at the same time, so call it $1 for shipping.

OK…so I pretty much had everything for the upper on order in one fell swoop…so much for taking my time and buying stuff as I found it…but I still needed the lower parts. I really wanted a Luth-AR MBA-1 stock because of how adjustable they are, but they aren’t cheap. Usually around $160. I finally found one at Schuyler Arms for $120 + $7 shipping and as a bonus, it came with the LR-308 buffer kit and a DPMS LR-308 Lower Parts Kit minus the fire control group.

So the final piece was a fire control group from a cheap $29 LPK I already had.

So, that’s where we are: One AR-308…some assembly required (click to make bigger).

Note: There is a vital component missing from this picture. 100,000 internet points to anyone who can figure out what it is. (hint: It’s a fairly small part, but it’s not a spring or pin or anything like that),

More to come…

Next post in the series.


AR-308 Part 2

Previous posts in the series:
Part 1

So, after getting a great deal on the upper and lower, I needed to start getting the rest of the parts. This is where it got complicated.

It seems there is no “mil-spec” for the AR-10 style rifle because they were never made for the military. Apparently there are two primary styles with different variants and even more “one-off” types from various manufacturers.

The two primary styles are the Armalite style (this is the only style, by the way, that can really be called the “AR-10” since AR stands for “Armalite Rifle”).

Armalite style AR-10’s come in two variants: A series and B series. They are not interchangeable as the receivers are milled differently. The most obvious difference between the two are the magazines. The A series uses magazines that look much like a scaled up AR-15 magazine. This magazine style became the “standard”; it’s used in DPMS lowers and is produced by many aftermarket manufacturers including Magpul. The B series uses an aluminum magazine based on the M-14. The magazine release and bolt catch are also different.

The other primary style is the DPMS pattern. There are a few different variations and many manufacturers that produce receivers ostensibly in the DPMS pattern do so in non-standard ways. Basically, there is no guarantee that uppers and lowers from different manufacturers will work together even if they describe themselves as DPMS pattern or Armalite pattern, and DPMS and Armalite definitely won’t work with each other. It seems to be the best bet to buy the upper and lower from the same manufacturer to ensure they’ll work correctly with each other.

In addition to the uppers and lowers being different, many of the other parts are specific. One of the big differences between Armalite and DPMS style rifles is the barrel nut threads. Armalite uppers take a 1 7/16″ barrel nut threaded at 18 teeth per inch (TPI). “Traditional” DPMS uppers take a 1 7/16″ barrel nut but threaded at 17 TPI. More recently, DPMS has introduced a generation 2 upper that takes a 1 5/16″ barrel nut threaded at 18 TPI.

There are also three variations of DPMS upper height. The two main ones are high and low. The third one is apparently rare and is called “high rise” or “slick side”. This becomes important with railed handguards. If you get the wrong handguard for the upper height, the rails won’t line up.

Whew! Talk about confusing.

One thing that helps is that some of the parts are interchangeable with AR-15 components. I found this handy website that goes through all the parts and what is interchangeable.

Just in case that isn’t confusing enough, it turns out that my Diamondback receivers are sort of a combination of DPMS and Armalite.

The rear of the upper and lower where they fit together (the area between the takedown pin and the buttstock threads) are shaped like an Armalite (DPMS is more rounded there), but the upper takes a “traditional” DPMS barrel nut and matches the DPMS high rail profile.

The lower apparently works best with Armalite series A parts (I figured this out through trial and error). I read in the reviews that only Diamondback proprietary pivot and takedown pins will work, so I ordered them, but then I read later that Armalite A series pins work…I didn’t try those, but based on other discoveries I made, I’d guess it’s probably accurate.

At any rate, here’s what I ended up using:

Upper and Lower: Diamondback

Upper parts:
Barrel, extension and barrel nut: DPMS (traditional) style
Gas block and gas tube: AR-15
Bolt and bolt carrier: DPMS style
Charging handle: AR-15
Handguard: DPMS high
Ejection port cover: DPMS
Forward assist: AR-15

Lower Parts:
Takedown and pivot pins: Diamondback*
Takedown and pivot pin springs and detents: AR-15
Safety, safety spring and detent: AR-15
Grip: AR-15
Fire control group: AR-15
Buffer and buffer spring: DPMS (these are interchangeable with Armalite)
Buffer retainer and retainer spring: AR-15
Magazine release: DPMS (modified**)
Bolt catch, spring, detent and roll pin: Armalite series A
Stock: AR-15

*As I previously mentioned, I bought proprietary takedown and pivot pins from Diamondback, but I read elsewhere that Armalite A series pins would work. My guess is that’s accurate based on the fact that I needed an Armalite A series bolt catch.

**The DPMS magazine release “almost” worked. I’ll go into more detail later, but I had to “make” it fit.

More to come…

Next post in the series.


Latest Project: AR-308

Actually, one project among several this summer, but this is the only one that’s gun related.

I love the AR style platform, but I’ve always been interested in something bigger than a varmint cartridge. I know you can make an AR work with 7.62×39, .300 AAC Blackout, 6.8 SPC etc, but I wanted a true “battle rifle” loading.

So, I’ve been interested in getting an “AR-10” style AR platform rifle in .308/7.62x51mm.

The problem is that they’re kind of pricey, typically somewhere between $1000-$2000 (or more…just for the rifle, not including accessories or scope).

I just happened to run across a sale on a blemished Diamondback DB10 upper/lower set. I got them both for $129…about half what I’d expect to pay. The “blemish” involved a lack of anodizing inside the mag well on the front and rear surfaces.

On the rear surface, there was also a flaw in the machining, you can see it on the left edge of the groove about 3/4 of the way down (as always, click to make bigger).

I doubt that it would have affected the magazine fit, but I didn’t like it so I cleaned up the groove with a jeweler’s file and then hit it with Alumi-Black. This is what it looks like now.

I think it cleaned up nicely. That was the only real issue. The fit between the upper and lower is perfect. The only other very minor issue is that the finishes don’t match perfectly, the lower is just slightly shinier than the upper, but that’s not even noticeable with the rifle assembled.

Here’s the upper and lower mated together, along with a standard AR-15 upper and lower for comparison.

More to come…

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