Small up, simple down.

Home Forums Security & Defense Self-Defense Small up, simple down.

This topic contains 4 replies, has 2 voices, and was last updated by  Whirlibird 3 months, 2 weeks ago.

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  • #21070


    With all due respect for a hippy singer/songwriter friend of mine, I just stole his song title, we may need to be looking to do just that with some of our defense/survival firearms.

    First, this isn’t some sort of recommendation to swap from real defense options or choices to lesser options.

    This is a realistic look at needs and filling those needs.

    So a recent trip to the range, getting ready for hunting season and testing out some minor modifications, that I really began to notice that several of the modifications to the .223 AR had made it less and less optimal for defense.

    In fact, it was about as far from optimal as it could be. And as soon as I finish some load development, it will return to its earlier version until hunting season opens.

    Meanwhile the little .300BO is the standout. It’s literally as short as it can be. Despite the heavy barrel, it handles like a should. And I know a couple of poachers who would love traded body parts for a tool like this some thirty years ago.

    It is as simple as it could be made, nothing extra, nothing that isn’t absolutely needed.

    Looking at some carry pieces for an upcoming class had me noticing that most of the defense handguns have been becoming simpler also.

    Plain jane, streamlined and completely focused on reliability and practicality. Unlike the “John Wick” style guns, which are fun but utterly impractical for most people.

    More to follow.

  • #21081

    Crow Bar

    What modifications did you make that make the rifle less optimal?

  • #21442


    Sorry about not getting back earlier.

    Changed the GI birdcage to a VG6 Epsilon brake. It works great, serious control. But it made the gun hard to get in and out of the storage location. One negative to fixed stocks. But I really like the A1 fixed stock for shooting.

    Added a bipod. Too much weight out front (18″ barrel) to be quick and dynamic. And it hangs up on stuff.  Had to relocate the sling so its basically just a carry strap, not as useful as a proper sling.

    Remounted the hunting scope. Its large and heavy enough to really limit what the rifle can be used for. Short range use is limited. I was actually running plain iron sights on the gun for defense since it was built. How much magnification do you need at 10y?

    For about a year and a half, I had this set up with my favorite fighting rifle features, changing to hunting rifle configuration ruined many of the good features, at least temporarily.

    What is possibly worse, my son fell in love with this version. So a deal was struck, I traded him the entire upper, with the return of a couple of parts when he gets those he wants. Like a free float handguard.

    So I will be assembling another upper in the same basic form, minus the hunting modifications.

    NiBo bolt carrier group, flattop upper without the forward assist, YHM folding front and rear sights, rifle length gas system, A1 handguard until I get the other back, and I’m debating between the 18″ and 20″ barrels. It will probably come down to what is available when I make the order to which I go with.


  • #21446

    Crow Bar

    That sounds like a lot of work for a hunting rifle.

  • #21453


    Guess that depends on what you are shooting at.

    We hunt deer and antelope as part of our yearly meat supply. He wanted the upper for coyotes.

    And actually my upper is extremely simple and mostly bare bones. Unlike most of my customers builds mine are highly stripped down and plain. Everything is just fit right. Who cares what group it can shoot at 300y if it can’t get through a magazine without an issue.

    I was originally trying to help the wife out and make it easier for her in the field. Turns out it didn’t help me at all. But the boy is happy.

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