Budget Target Shooter/Hunter

Figured I would show a little love for the 20" barrel and build my first AR15 platform rifle with one. This is a rifle I built to a somewhat tight budget that was pieced together with deals as they happened to appear in my life. My goal was to basically build a cheap but effective medium to long-ish range target rifle that could also pull second duty as a small-medium game hunting rifle. Here she is!


The Upper and lower receivers are Anderson Manufacturing units I got as a pair on sale at a local store.
The Barrel is a heavy profile 4150 Bear Creek 20" 5.56 NATO with a 1:9 twist and a Nitride finish that I had cryo treated by a local company (along with some other key bits of hardware).
BCG and bolt are Nitride coated Brownells units.
Trigger is the Palmetto State Armory Nickel-Boron coated 2 stage unit paired with a set of anti-walk pins and the rest of the lower hardware from a standard Mil-Spec kit.
The Handguard is a cheap unheard of brand I got locally. It’s a 17 inch M-lok unit.
The Buffer tube is just a generic Mil Spec carbine setup and stock with a CTS Engineering Anti-tilt Aktive Recoil Buffer.
The muzzle device is a VG6 Epsilon 556 Brake/Compensator.
The Optic is a Primary Arms first focal plane 4-14x44 ACSS HUD-DMR 5.56 retical mounted with a UTG mount. Probably a little too much scope for this rifle, but it works amazingly well.

The upper reciever was lapped for the barrel, and then set with 620 in an attempt to accurize it as best as I could get it. The Barrel nut is torqued to 60ft-lbs per the advice of a local gun smith I trust who stated that the most consistent rifles he has ever seen all had the barrels torqued to the higher end of the spectrum.

I also dimpled the barrel for the gas block set screws and secured them with loctite 2422 high temp medium compound. The Gas block itself is just a standard phosphate coated unit paired with a stainless steel gas tube.

I only have about 150 rounds through it at this point, but so far she shoots right about 1 to 1 1/2 MOA with 62 grain Frontier FMJBT rounds, which given what I have into it, I am quite happy with. It doesn’t do half bad with Federal American Eagle 55gr 5.56 rounds either. I have been able to stabilize IMI 69 Grain and even the Frontier 75 BTHP Match rounds, although I am pretty sure those are about the limits of what this gun can handle. No evidence of any tumble at 200 yards though, which impressed me.

I have some small changes/upgrades I want to make in the future, like a different stock, but for now I am quite happy with how it turned out. My total investment including the scope is under a grand, even with buying some of the tools like the dimple jig. Of my three rifles, this is by far the smoothest and softest shooting one I own. It’s almost a pleasure to shoot… minus the slight kick in the face from the brake, but we don’t count that. :wink:

Anyway, hope you like it!