Confirm Action

Are you sure you wish to do this?

Confirm Cancel
Member Login

Arrow Left Previous Page
Page / 3
Posted: 1/13/2012 4:15:24 PM EDT
The AR14...

After about four months of tinkering, I have completed my latest project.  I started out calling it a “concept” AR15, but I changed the name to the “AR14”.  Here is a link to the post that I started when I was originally dreaming this up:

If you take a look at my plan and pictures in the original post above, you'll see that it actually came out pretty close to what I envisioned.

Keep in mind, this is completely fake, based on no factual rifle.  I made this in the spirit of something that would have came straight from Armalite's early experiments.  Hence, the “tool room look” with the workbench and “retro” style tools used as props in the photos.  

Every piece has been modified except for the buffer assembly, barrel, gas tube, front handguard cap, and bolt carrier group.  The rear sight assembly is similar to an A2 setup, but keep in mind many of the early AR10's had similar rear sights, so I still consider what I made in the right ball park.

Here are the details:

Buttpad:  I smoothed the rear surface (removed the horizontal ribs)

Buttstock:  I re-profiled it near the area where it meets the receiver to give it the “Type A” look, I moved the sling swivel forward and made it so it rotates.  I custom finished all of the stock pieces in a special “mottled rust-brown” color

Lower receiver:  I made this a “slick-side” on both the left and right sides.  I custom made a special pin that sits in a groove I milled to hold the bolt catch.  I also rebated the front lug to accept the 601 style pivot pin.  The lower was custom engraved by forum member “braceman”.

Magazine:  I made a replica of a 25 round prototype AR15 magazine.  It's made by joining two 20-round mags together.  I anodized the follower in an olive green color, and after removing all markings from the floorplate, I anodized it in gray

Pistol grip:  It started out as an A1 grip.  I heavily modified it to give it more of an AR10 look

Upper receiver: This started out as an A2 receiver.  I cut off the carry handle and cut it to accept a L1A1 carrying handle.  There are two tiny bushing between the carry handle and the receiver so the aluminum doesn't wear as the handle pivots.  The beavertail area above the charging handle is cut to the 601-style profile.  I removed the brass deflector and the forward assist provision and filled the hole left behind.  I also removed all of the aluminum associated with the ejection port door.  I rebated the front lug so I could use the 601 style front takedown pin.  Finally, I drilled a “window” in the rear of the receiver to view the elevation settings through.

Carrying handle:  This is made from a modified L1A1 carrying handle.  I slotted the inside of the carrying handle so when it's folded down it does not actuate the magazine release button and reworked the shape of the steel so it better fit the AR15.

Rear sight assembly:  I modified an A2 rear sight assembly platform.  The aluminum knob for adjusting the elevation was made from the cap that goes on the front of the cocking tube on an HK91.  I drilled the center out and threaded it to work with the A2 sight platform.  I also added the divots in the bottom so you can feel the “clicks” as you turn it.  I stamped the yardage marks and anodized it in “retro” gray.  The windage drum is obviously from an A1 (numerals removed).  There is a coil spring that runs all the way across and under the flat rear sight spring to allow the windage drum's detent to operate.  The left end of the coil spring sits in a shallow hole I drilled on the inside left edge of the A2 platform.  This keeps it in place.

Charging handle:  NDS 601-style handle

Handguards:  These started out as NDS two-piece AR10 style handguards.  I bonded the two halves together, and added about an inch of length to them to compensate for the removed slip ring.  I also added a short metal liner at the rear of the handguard that mates to a special ring on the barrel nut.  I removed the slip ring and weld spring, and custom made a special ring to accommodate the rear of the handguard

Front sight base:  This was made from a Portuguese AR10 front sight base.  I removed the gas adjustment provision and pressed in a steel dowel.  Then, I re-drilled the gas port so it would align with the AR15 gas tube that I used.  I also relocated the sling swivel to the bottom of the front sight base (it's on the left side of the Portuguese models).  Something worth mentioning is I had an odd aftermarket front sight base that was the origin of this whole project, but I didn't even end up using that part!

Muzzle device:  I have two separate muzzle devices for this rifle.  A Portuguese muzzle device and an early AR10 style “lawn mower muffler-type” muzzle device.  I made the “lawn mower muffler”, and it was quite a project all in itself.  The front and rear caps are thin steel, and the center section is aluminum.  I drilled all of the holes and anodized the center section in a “retro” gray color.  Although it's pretty big, it's really lightweight.  It is cosmetic only (non-functional).

Small parts: The mag release button and catch, pins, selector, bolt catch, etc were all modified in some way, just to give them an unusual look.  Also, notice the unusual selector positions, with “SAFE” at the top.

Sling: I'm undecided on this – any ideas (beyond just using a canvas M1 type sling)?

I made the fake “retro” magazine article at the top of the photos... just to have something unique to go with it.  I had to flash my Armalite AR-7 (one of the first 150 made) and my prototype AR-15 a little bit, too.
Also, thanks to my65pan for making the embossed labels for me.

So, another anti-climatic finish to a HUGE project.  I will say I had a lot of fun making this, because I didn't have to replicate any original parts.  I was able to completely use my imagination and make everything how I wanted.  I know it isn't the most handsome rifle in the world, but keep in mind my intentions were not to make a super looking gun, but rather to make something that looks like it could have came from Armalite's drawing board in the mid to late 1950s.  I hope you enjoyed the photos.  Thanks for looking!  

I hope to get some more photos up soon showing it in action at the range!

John Thomas

And finally...my “retro” tool box...

Link Posted: 1/13/2012 4:21:51 PM EDT
That's awesome.
My only question is ...pantents?
Link Posted: 1/13/2012 4:22:58 PM EDT
That's awesome.
My only question is ...pantents?

Don't ask... my mistake.  Sometimes you just have to laugh.

Link Posted: 1/13/2012 4:28:49 PM EDT
Link Posted: 1/13/2012 4:32:44 PM EDT
You Sir are an amazing human being!

That IS a handsome rifle!

You are an artist of the highest degree!
Link Posted: 1/13/2012 4:32:50 PM EDT

Link Posted: 1/13/2012 4:44:26 PM EDT
That is one of the finest builds I've seen.

Your work is always outstanding.

Love the little details (shop test only, note to move the rear sling swivel).

Thanks for sharing your pics.

Link Posted: 1/13/2012 4:50:58 PM EDT
That is a very nice rifle!
Link Posted: 1/13/2012 5:01:24 PM EDT
Looks great sir!!!!

Well done!

Link Posted: 1/13/2012 5:06:01 PM EDT
Outstanding work John! You have many incredible talents sir.


Link Posted: 1/13/2012 5:23:22 PM EDT
Incredible! Nothing short of legendary!
Link Posted: 1/13/2012 5:38:38 PM EDT
Good Lord! I'm impressed.

Your next should be a fictional weapon of the future,
like an m41a pulse rifle or something.
Link Posted: 1/13/2012 5:42:57 PM EDT
You are amazing. Another incredible rifle.
Link Posted: 1/13/2012 5:47:08 PM EDT
WOW !!!!!!!!!!!!!
Link Posted: 1/13/2012 6:10:44 PM EDT
I just dropped trow

Link Posted: 1/13/2012 6:12:55 PM EDT
Double Wow. I like the idea of the plastic carry handle morphing into the more familiar (in the AR world) integral carry handle we all know and love.

Like the AR-7 too.  How does the AR-14 shoot?
Link Posted: 1/13/2012 6:13:40 PM EDT
Very nice pictures. I've always wondered why they felt that it needed a carry handle?
Link Posted: 1/13/2012 6:23:59 PM EDT

That was going to be my exact reply. So well put that I think it is worth repeating.

Wow, just WOW!
Link Posted: 1/13/2012 6:27:15 PM EDT
You are an artist
Link Posted: 1/13/2012 6:34:14 PM EDT
Doesnt surprise me a bit. (John is "The Master of Talent" )  LOL, i recognize that rear sight.  OUTFREAKINGSTANDING!
Link Posted: 1/13/2012 6:45:07 PM EDT
Wow!  You truly are an artist.  That's absolutely amazing.  I'd like to shake your hand.
Link Posted: 1/13/2012 6:45:29 PM EDT
You must do this for a living!! That is awsome work. I wish I had the time and funds to play like this.
Link Posted: 1/13/2012 6:48:49 PM EDT
Link Posted: 1/13/2012 6:53:40 PM EDT
I'm speechless. Simply beautiful. What did you use for the muffler comp?
Link Posted: 1/13/2012 6:54:21 PM EDT
That is a work of art, truly it is.

Is the end cap on the moderator a wheel bearing dust cover? It looks familiar.

Also I don't know what cost was involved in making that beast but, I bet that there are a number of us that would love to have one. You do some great work.
Link Posted: 1/13/2012 7:07:36 PM EDT
Link Posted: 1/13/2012 7:23:05 PM EDT
I am just blown away that is so awesome

Link Posted: 1/13/2012 7:28:48 PM EDT
There's no eloquent way to say it, so  I'll just speak my mind.

Think I may have creamed my pants at that rifle.
Link Posted: 1/13/2012 7:34:33 PM EDT
There's no eloquent way to say it, so  I'll just speak my mind.

Think I may have creamed my pants at that rifle.

Link Posted: 1/13/2012 7:54:51 PM EDT
There's no eloquent way to say it, so  I'll just speak my mind.

Think I may have creamed my pants at that rifle.


I wasn't going to say anything...
Link Posted: 1/13/2012 7:59:39 PM EDT
Wow. Words fail me. You have truly surpassed yourself with this one.

More details, please.
Link Posted: 1/13/2012 8:08:32 PM EDT
Link Posted: 1/13/2012 8:38:01 PM EDT
Link Posted: 1/13/2012 9:06:05 PM EDT
This would be an outstanding rifle even if there was absolutely no "historical" context to the presentation–– but you've included just enough "transitional" details to make it an entirely-believable possibility between the AR10 and AR15. Like the AR10-ish selector switch (both the shape and the positions) and the rear sight.  And I love the pistol grip!  The FAL-type handle certainly could have been a "period correct" influence.  And that's a beautiful job on the "early" bolt release mechanism.
Hell, even the spelling error works within the "story".  If it was a one-off, experimental rifle and a design-in-progress, no one would have been sweating the little crap.  They would have laughed at the extra character then gone back to tuning the gas system or whatever!

Can't decide, though, which I like more––the muffler or Portuguese FH.  (Just as an aside, I have a spare Portu FH and FSB that I was planning to use on an AR15 with the NDS/Armalite 2-pc handguards...but suddenly, that would feel underdone compared to this!)

In the end, though, even with all of your technical and mechanical excellence on display, what really turns me on about your builds are the non-gun details.  The bench, the tools, the accessories…that one small photo in the magazine article(!)...those are the things that elevate your craft to an art.

Me, I am proud of some of the guns I've collected––things I've simply purchased.  But I can only imagine the pride you must experience when you finish a fully-functional, lead-spitting, artistic display like this.

Now, I am going to leave my office for a moment, walk to the garage and grab myself a cover, put it on and then walk back in here... just so I can tip my hat to you!  

Out-freakin'-standing, old son!  Out-freakin'-standing!

Link Posted: 1/13/2012 9:13:26 PM EDT
I'll take it <fishes around for credit card>  

That's possibly the most beautiful thing I have ever seen.

I would love to see your take on a steampunk AR...
Link Posted: 1/13/2012 9:15:46 PM EDT
Gorgeous. You are a genius, Sir!
Link Posted: 1/13/2012 9:21:18 PM EDT
Retro is not really my thing normally - but that rifle is awesome.

Link Posted: 1/13/2012 9:22:15 PM EDT
That's amazing. If you decide to take orders let me know

Link Posted: 1/13/2012 10:16:51 PM EDT
Very cool rifles, I like the lighting and the (pine?) wood background.
Link Posted: 1/13/2012 11:48:16 PM EDT
Link Posted: 1/14/2012 12:56:44 AM EDT
SO, you mean Stoner DIDN'T make this gun?
Link Posted: 1/14/2012 1:11:10 AM EDT
You know...I just don't know what to say. WOW...GREAT...AWESOME...UNBELIEVABLE...WOWGREATAWESOMEUNBELIEVABLE - they just don't seem to do you or your projects justice.

ETA - Got some questions:

Is the carry handle held on by the gas tube?

Did you modify the selector so "SAFE" is actually at the top. I'm sure there is no "AUTO".

Suggestion for a sling - How about an M14 sling? Leather would be period correct AND tie in with the 14 designation.

I am going to challenge you on your next project...make an AR15 like the belt fed AR10 in the magazine picture.

Link Posted: 1/14/2012 1:26:41 AM EDT
John, you've outdone yourself. Quite impressive.
Link Posted: 1/14/2012 1:31:31 AM EDT
Best thing I've seen today!

Awesome job!

Link Posted: 1/14/2012 2:24:27 AM EDT
Even cooler if the gas tube and gas intake on the bolt was on the side,got me fooled.
Link Posted: 1/14/2012 3:43:02 AM EDT
Very cool!!!  
Link Posted: 1/14/2012 6:03:54 AM EDT
My...My...very nice, I'd use the nylon sling if it was me.....
Link Posted: 1/14/2012 6:23:36 AM EDT
I don't have the words! But will go with INCREDIBLE!!

Congrats man!
Link Posted: 1/14/2012 6:31:12 AM EDT
Wow! Incredible work.
Link Posted: 1/14/2012 6:48:11 AM EDT
I can't say anything that hasn't already been said - your work, as usual, is amazing. I would use an M1907 sling on it myself. Just a thought. Makes my little projects seem, well, little. Awesome work bud.
Link Posted: 1/14/2012 7:32:36 AM EDT
Outstanding !


I would love to see your take on a steampunk AR...

That would be interesting for sure

Arrow Left Previous Page
Page / 3
Top Top