Friday, September 3, 2010

AR Build - Buttstock/Buffer Install

The Big Brown Truck Of Happiness arrived today with my latest shipment from Rock River Arms. In addition to the buttstock/buffer, I also ordered a selection of magazines to see what I liked.

I ordered the Milspec Tactical CAR Buttstock, which is simply a standard M4-style collapsable stock. The install was very straightforward and simple. I followed the Brownells instructions, but opted for blue Loctite on the buffer tube threads instead of staking the castle nut. I got to use my AR-15 Armorer's wrench for the first time, and I'm happy that I purchased it.

For the magazines, I ordered 2 of each type RRA offers - PMAG, standard milspec, and Fusil MIG-welded steel.

I am somewhat of a traditionalist, and I don't particularly care for the use of plastic in firearms in general. Even though the PMAGs get rave reviews, I was quite skeptical that they could be as good as steel magazines. After opening up and inspecting the magazines, it became evident to me that the PMAGs are not just a remake of an AR magazine in plastic. No, they are quite an improvement on the original design, and I can see why folks love them. The ridges and channels that guide the follower in the housing make it impossible for the follower to tilt. They are also considerably more solid than I expected them to be. I am looking forward to seeing how these magazines perform once the rifle is built.

When comparing the magazines, the Fusil mags have a nice solid feel to them, as well as a beautiful black finish. The reviews I've read online indicate that they're tough and durable. When compared to the mil-spec mags, they certainly seem to be worth the extra five dollars.

I'm unsure of what I'll be ordering for my next shipment, as the upper will pretty much need to be all there for any further assembly. It will likely include the bolt carrier group, as RRA currently has the chromed option on sale for the standard carrier group price.


  1. I saw one of these on a rifle today. I guess the Army is using them? Looks pretty interesting - though you are limited to the small aperture. Thought you might like to see it.

  2. coolness! Want one. Nice photos, too.

  3. JP556: That certainly does look interesting. I like the elevation markers and that it's indexed to them. The only problem I have is that it's designed as a backup sight, and so the arm kinda protrudes on its own. Knowing my propensity to break things that stick out like that, I'm afraid I'd snap the thing off. It is an option to consider, in the event that I get a red dot.

    phlegmfatale: thanks! I actually shot the photos on the kitchen counter, which is the closest thing I have to a seamless background these days. I did a bit of post-processing to adjust the levels, color, and saturation, and they came out pretty decent.