Hey everyone, here's the latest! I've been dying to build another since selling my first build, a Dissipator kit... it was just too darn front-heavy!
Anyway, here's the rundown with some pics:
Stag arms lower, M1S chrome barreled A2 kit, ACE stock with optional 1" buttpad, and, for ultra HSLD/Tactical performance, a $3 GAPPER in the grip! What a stupid little feature that should be mandatory on all kits!!!!!!
Fix 1: The gun shot so high (used IBZ for rear sight, adjusted front sight for elevation) that I bought a DPMS extra-tall SQUARE front sight post to replace the stock ROUND sight post I got. I cannot say enough about how well this post solved my problem, and how much improved the sight picture is with a square post. If you don't have a square post, GET ONE! The gun's now dead-on at 50yds, shooting 1" with handloads, under 2" without, and I couldn't be happier.
Fix 2: The bolt catch was SO TIGHT and not working that I had to take a diamond bit in a Dremel to it to hog it out where the roll pin goes through it. This is the 2nd time I've had to do this from a M1S kit, by the way...
Fix 3: My A2 aperture was HORRIBLY kinked, with the rear adjustment nearly pegged, and my POI (windage) was shifting dramatically when I flipped aperatures (0-200/200+):
So I removed the whole thing, and built up the bottom right corner with just a SMALL DOT of a metal-containing epoxy (the kind you find in the back of the automotive section at Meijers, WalMart, etc.), smoothed it down to about 1mm high and hardly visible, and darn it if it didn't dry in dark grey, too! It's great now, and about perfectly square--height adjustments are not effected.
Fix 4: I'm 5'7", 175, and stocky, but the 1/2" spacer on the ACE wasn't enough. The 1" is just about perfect, and while I'm still considering an original CAR type stock (thanks, I had an M4, too, just going for that 1oz), this one's doing pretty well, and I like the KISS setup.
Observation 1: Superlight barrels are THE way to go on 16" guns to make light, portable, quick problem-solving devices. (I may still like a HBAR 20" for farther-away problems, but this one's a keeper.)
Observation 2: Iron sights are far more capable than you think!!! I was doubtful how long I'd be happy with a carry handle vs. an A3 with some optics, but as of now, I have no plans to add any optics to this gun. The previously-mentioned sight post makes for amazing hits at ranges I never though I'd attempt with irons.
...and here it is!
All you need now is an A1 upper and adjustable stock....
Nice looking build!
Thanks to you and the few others who replied and basically said "get over it!" when I had fears about how robust the pencil barrels are... As my friend the tiger says, "They're grrrrrEAT!"
...and yes, after that XM-177 thread last week, I'm thinking I need a 5.5" slipover, CAR stock, and A1 upper too...!!!