Hello again, and welcome to Part 3 of my escape from bondage. This is it. Return of the Jedi. Mockingjay. FDR’s last complete term as President of the United States. This is the third and final installation in the series. If you haven’t read the previous two articles, you can find Part 1 here, and Part 2 here. We left off having completed both the upper and lower halves of the rifle. At this point, we’ve accomplished our goal. This rifle is a far cry from the abomination it once was, but I’m still not ready to call it quits, and I don’t think you are either.
Weeks ago, I ordered an Athlon Talos BTR. It’s a 1-4×24 second focal plane low power variable optic (or LPVO, as the cool kids say). It uses the AHSR14 SFP IR MIL reticle. Keep your eyes out for a full review of this particular scope on AllOutdoor.com. I’m using an Aero Precision Ultralight Scope Mount. It’s a 30mm cantilever mount with a 0 MOA offset. The first thing I’m doing is installing the mount using the T15 Torx key that’s included in the box.
Next, we need to secure the optic in the mount. After placing it in the rings, I make sure the eye relief works with how I run my stock. Once I’m all lined up, I level the scope and lock it down. All done!
We did it! The rifle is complete and ready to make Californian politicians’ heads explode.
A freshly built or altered rifle means nothing if it doesn’t function correctly, so she needs to be tested. I took the rifle to Centennial Gun Club to zero the optic and see how the gun runs. I brought three kinds of ammunition with me for accuracy testing. I know that ammo is still a difficulty right now and a lot of us can only afford remanufactured cartridges. For that reason, I included a reman option that I’ve had some success with in the past. The ammo I tested was Super Vel Certified Select 55-grain .223 FMJ, Federal American Eagle 55-grain .223 FMJ, and PMC Ammunition 55-grain .223 FMJ-BT. All I had available at the time was a 25-yard indoor range. Group sizes have been calculated accordingly.
Super Vel Certified Select .223 FMJ (Remanufactured)
- Brand: Super Vel Ammunition
- Weight: 55 grains
- Advertised velocity: 3250 FPS
- Average group size: 4.6 MOA
- Best group: 2.5 MOA
Federal American Eagle 55-grain .223 FMJ
- Brand: Federal
- Weight: 55 grains
- Advertised velocity: 3240 FPS
- Average group size: 2.8 MOA
- Best group: 1.1 MOA
PMC Ammunition 55-grain .223 FMJ-BT
- Brand: PMC
- Weight: 55 grains
- Advertised velocity: 2900 FPS
- Average group size: 3.1 MOA
- Best group: 2.6 MOA
These might not be amazing numbers, but considering the quality of the rifle and ammo, I’m pretty happy with the results. It looks like the rifle favors the Federal American Eagle 55-grain .223 FMJ, so let’s hope I can continue to find it. While many stores are still trying to charge crisis prices, it seems that ammo availability is beginning to return to normal. Something else I noticed while shooting was that the Strike Industries AR Flat Top pistol grip doesn’t fit my hand very well. I like the quality and angle of the grip, so this does bum me out, but I need something that’s going to fill my hand better. I’ll be swapping it out soon.
This gun is by no means the coolest or highest quality rifle that money can buy. What it is is one man’s grab for freedom, after living for 30 years in a place that sees fit to regulate every part of your life, until you fear that they’ll find a way to make you a felon for drinking your morning coffee wrong. These changes have in no way made the rifle more or less dangerous to the public, because I, as the operator of the gun, am not dangerous to the public. What I hope I’ve accomplished with this series is to have helped others think of options for their own guns after escaping California. At the very least, I hope I gave you all something to complain about with your friends when you get together for an afternoon of banging steel, exercising your freedom, and learning to protect you and yours. Thank you for being a part of this journey with me and for reading Part 3 of my Escape From Bondage articles. I hope to run this rifle through a course once ammo becomes available again at pre-panic prices (say that five times fast) in 2037. Stay safe, and I’ll be seeing you around.
If you’re interested in any of the parts or ammunition I mentioned in Part 3, below is a list with links. Also, thank you to the boys at Centennial Gun Club for finding me a lane at the last minute.
Un-Californiaizing My AR-15 Part 3The Firearm Blog is written by Nic L for www.thefirearmblog.com