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Durkin Tactical Franklin Armory
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Posted: 2/11/2012 6:43:42 AM EDT
On 21 April 2010, I ordered my stripped lower receiver from Spike's Tactical.

Over the next couple of months, I picked up a LPK, buffer assembly, butt-stock, a couple mags, and a bunch of ammo (picture is just some that I got, I tried buying at least one box of everything out there.)

(Yes, I know the castle nut is backwards.. took me a while to figure out why my stock wrench didn't work)

Things got tight, and I got indecisive. I eventually decided I wanted a Spike's 16" middy and would just buy a complete upper. Well, several months later, and not enough money to buy a complete upper, I was ready to give up. I ended up selling my buttstock and MBUS, along with about 200 rounds of ammo. A while later I shipped off to basic training. I've been home for a while now, and decided I'm just going to build the upper myself. I started off by buying a piece at a time. Then tax time came and my wife OK'd buying the rest of my parts.

I ended up trading a scope I had on my 30-30 for a small lot of parts that I'd need. I got a MIAD grip, forward assist assembly, charging handle with Badger Ordnance Tac Latch, 2 Mags, and a 3-point sling.

I also traded my stock wrench plus some cash for a new Matech.

I got a lot of furniture on the EE for 30$, including an M4 stock, Carbine length handguards, and extras. Around the same time, I purchased an ejection door, delta ring assembly and front sight post assembly.

Since my MIAD only had one set of straps on it, I found a set on the EE for 8$. I ended up with the B2 back and A1 style front. Similar to a MOE grip now. I had to modify the B2 to fit my lower, but it was easy and looks good.

Then I found a YHM 5C2 on the EE for 20$ shipped.

After saving up a bit, I got my barrel assembly. It's a DSA 14.5" with chrome-lined chamber and bore, and 1:7 twist. I hadn't heard much about DSA at this time, but for $150, I couldn't justify spending close to $300 for anything similar.

Tax time came, and I got to order the last of my parts and supplies. First up is my BCG from LaRue. I was very pleased with the entire experience with them. Here's my order.

And here's what they sent me

I also found a KAC VFG on the EE for cheap, and since I wanted to try one out, I went ahead and got it. I bought a little MOE rail section at my local gun shop and it fit right up.

A few days after my BCG showed up, the rest of the stuff I ordered arrived.

As mentioned, I decided on a 14.5" with a perm-attached muzzle device. I opted to do it myself with silver solder flux paste and a torch. This worked out perfectly, and I have enough supplies left to do it probably about 50 more times. All of the materials cost me about 30$, the same price most shops charge to drill and blind pin weld. I didn't want to do the blind pin because - you basically have to destroy your muzzle device to get it off, and I plan to take this one off eventually to add a free-float rail and possible lose the A2 sight tower. We'll see.

As you can see, I ended up with slight discoloration on the actual flash hider. I attribute this to the finish on the device, as the barrel and crush washer were virtually unchanged. It looks pretty decent with a little CLP on there, and without actually inspecting it, it's hard to tell.

I was originally planning to go with an Aero Precision upper receiver, because I liked the little flag logo on top. Well, for one, you wouldn't be able to see the flag with a BUIS on there, and Surplus Arms and Ammo wanted 14$ to ship it. So, I ended up with a DSA upper from AIM Surplus for 53$ shipped (mil discount, free shipping.) The match is pretty decent with my Spike's lower. The DSA is more matte than the Spikes, but it really doesn't bother me. They fit together pretty well. More importantly, the M4 cuts in the receiver match up perfectly with the M4 cuts in the DSA barrel extension. Very happy about that.

This thing was so much fun, and such a learning experience. I really wish all guns could be built from home. Total cost to me according to my spreadsheet was $704. Add in shipping and all that, and it probably ran me closer to $750-760. Still, I'm very pleased with my rifle, and I can't imagine doing it differently in the price range I stuck to. I'm really looking forward to sending some rounds down range. It'll probably have to wait until next weekend, which is a bummer.

Apologies for such a long post. I almost did a video/pictorial walk through on the muzzle device, but it was so simple and I was feeling pretty lazy when I did it.
Link Posted: 2/11/2012 6:49:59 AM EDT
You have the patience of a monk sir!  There's no way I could have taken two years, LoL.  Looks great!
Link Posted: 2/11/2012 7:11:53 AM EDT
You have the patience of a monk sir!  There's no way I could have taken two years, LoL.  Looks great!

If the next one ever happens, it'll take longer. Looking at around 800$ for my ideal Grendel build.
Link Posted: 2/11/2012 7:30:56 AM EDT
turned into a nice rifle that is a long time to wait tho im building my first ar now and the time issue is killing me.
Link Posted: 2/11/2012 8:02:42 AM EDT
Nice build!
Link Posted: 2/11/2012 8:54:11 AM EDT
Turned out great OP! You have much more patience than most.
Link Posted: 2/11/2012 9:28:19 AM EDT
Looks good. Love the shiner cap too
Link Posted: 2/11/2012 9:37:26 AM EDT
Link Posted: 2/11/2012 9:42:15 AM EDT
You have the patience of a monk sir!  There's no way I could have taken two years, LoL.  Looks great!

LOL!! No way I could have waited neither. Onto the rifle...Ya did good. On the gun and the price invested!! I can relate, as I just finished my first AR. Its a great feeling seeing it come together.
Link Posted: 2/11/2012 9:48:16 AM EDT
Now lets get a range report.  I want to see it smoking next to a heaping pile of brass.
Link Posted: 2/11/2012 9:58:36 AM EDT
Now lets get a range report.  I want to see it smoking next to a heaping pile of brass.

That's the plan! I probably won't be able to go til next weekend.

Can't wait to shoot this dang thing.
Link Posted: 2/11/2012 12:22:41 PM EDT
oooooh sure you can wait two years to build the stick, but now can't wait a week to shoot it.. -lol  

nice, clean and basic.. +1 on a range report  
Link Posted: 2/11/2012 12:56:15 PM EDT
I also can't wait to start modding it. My HGs don't fit well, so that's probably the first thing to go.
Link Posted: 2/11/2012 1:08:48 PM EDT
Nice build.
Link Posted: 2/11/2012 1:19:39 PM EDT
Link Posted: 2/11/2012 1:23:44 PM EDT
Nice rifle Bro...

   looks Good... I'm glad you got her All finished up...  i have been wanting to order that same barrel... and i Too, wanted to get on of the Areo uppers with the falg... might still do that...  dont know yet...

anyway, hope she turns out to be a shooter for you...   give us a range report when you can..

Good Job...
Link Posted: 2/11/2012 2:26:50 PM EDT
That's about how long it took me to build my first one.  Yours looks good
Link Posted: 2/11/2012 4:45:47 PM EDT
Link Posted: 2/11/2012 4:55:28 PM EDT
Good Looking Rifle. I Have 2 of DSA 14.5 Barrels for $150.00 its not a bad. They are is Accurate as my other 14.5 Brands.
Link Posted: 2/12/2012 5:00:49 PM EDT
Came out nice, but as others have said I have no idea how you waited that long! It took me 2 months to finish mine do to shipping delays, and waiting to get all parts I was looking for, and it seemed like an absolute eternity! I actually got really upset because I had EVERYTHING in my last order from PSA, and they forgot to include the charging handle, so that 1 part kept me from completing it for a whole extra week. That was hell for me!
Link Posted: 2/18/2012 10:44:48 AM EDT
Well, she didn't explode, so that's good. We shot 180 rounds, without a single malfunction of any kind. It functions flawlessly, exactly how it should. We were using a bean bag underneath a front end rifle rest, seated on a stool for all the shooting except the last box of PMC Bronze.

We had a box of Remington 55 gr FMJ, a box of Winchester 55 gr FMJ, 2 boxes of Federal XM193 55gr FMJ, 2 boxes of PMC XTAC 55gr FMJ, and 3 boxes of PMC Bronze 223 FMJ.

I sighted it in with the Remington, and was dead on after two 5-round iterations. We burned up the rest of the Rem, and the box of Winchester to warm it up and get used to the rifle. We then tested the remainder by shooting 5-rd groups at a moderate pace. I was shooting at 25y and my wife at 15y (indoor range.) All of the ammo performed about the same. Neither of us is a crack shot by any means, but we were able to keep it all within about 3-4 MOA, which is about typical for standard M193 type ammo. With practice, we can probably get it down to 2 MOA or less, as some of our groups were tiny with just a flyer screwing up the group. The rifle seemed to like the Federal the best, but only by a small margin.

At the end of the session, I bought another box of PMC bronze and we did some rapid fire. The wife sat and shot a very respectable group of less than 3" at 15 yards. I decided to stand and be a badass, and shot all over the paper. Still, he was a dead man at 15 yards with 10 rounds through his chest very quickly.  

I am very happy and looking forward to a lifelong love of this boom stick.

Here's the targets we were using. Next time I'm going to use something darker, as it was really hard to see the gray inside.

Oh, and my new handguards came in the mail right before we went. They fit 100% better. They're just standard fat oval style rather than the skinny tapered guys I had before.
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