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My Midlength

Discussion in 'Black Rifle Forum' started by pleaforwar, Jun 23, 2011.

  1. Review of my personal midlength

    Last summer I got the itch to pickup a dedicated carbine course/home defense rifle. I had owned a few AR’s before, but wanted something I could really beat the crap out of without reservation. I decided to go with the build route while utilizing quality parts. The build originated as follows:
    - LMT Complete lower w/SOPMOD
    - TD Battlegrip
    - Carbine buffer
    - DD 12” M4 rail
    - Sabre Defense 16” 1/7 midlength barrel
    - Addax Phalanx flash suppressor
    - LMT Enhanced M16 BCG
    - Badger ordnance ambi charging handle
    - Aimpoint CompM4s
    - Troy BUIS
    - TD VFG
    - VLTOR scout mount w/G2 led
    - Tac-link QD mount for single-point sling

    During my last year with this course I have fired a total of 6000 rounds through it. I have used it through EAG, Tricon, LMS, and Mike Pannone (CTT Solutions) courses. Here are a couple reflections on the components I have used:

    LMT Enhanced Bolt Carrier Group:
    Deep in my heart I know that all I need for a BCG is a quality milspec BCG that has been properly tested, staked, etc. I’m not going to try to convince anyone otherwise. That being said, I have been thoroughly pleased with this product.

    LMT claims easier extraction due to longer dwell time, and a superior finish on the bolt itself. You can see their description here.

    My experience has been similar to their claims. Subjectively, I feel like the combination of this BCG with a midlength rifle reduces the recoil impulse very well, especially when compared to a standard carbine. I have had one failure to extract @ 5985 rounds. This was during a 500 round, one-hour shoot. The rifle was nearly burning my hand through my gloves. I’ll chalk this one up to Murphy’s law (extractor looks fine), but I will annotate if this becomes a reoccurring issue. Finally, I must note that you should not consider this BCG if you plan on running it on a rifle shorter than a 14.5” carbine.
    Photos of the BCG @ 5k rounds:
    Following are some comparison photos between a new enhanced BCG and a Colt BCG:
    LMT Old Extractor vs. New
    New vs old bolt
  2. Carriers

    Colt extractor vs LMT extractor

    Colt vs LMT Bolt

    Sabre Defense Barrel:
    I made an attempt to provide photos of groups @ 100 yards for this portion. Unfortunately, my one recent chance to go to the local outdoor range was hindered by 40+ wind gusts and dust devils. I shot a five-inch group (five shot) with BH 69gr match ammo while there, but I honestly don’t think that is the best this barrel can do. That being said, it’s kind of useless to review this product as it isn’t available anymore. I will say this much, I haven’t had any issues with feeding and the barrel has been accurate enough for me on 50yd and 100yd ranges. It’s a defensive rifle, and I don’t have any 100 yard hallways in my home (yet).

    Daniel Defense M4 12” Rail:
    I love Daniel Defense rails, and I’m glad I chose this one for the rifle. It’s one of the lightest rails available at this configuration, and it definitely fits the reputation of quality that Daniel Defense has. Two things suck though, no integral QD mount is kinda underwhelming for a rail at this cost, and I hate that you need a DD M4 wrench to tighten this rail. Strap wrenches have worked for the short run, but the rail will loosen up over time, specifically if you run the rifle hard.

    The length of this rail is perfect. Longer sight radius and more rail space are some benefits from using this rail, but the best part is having a rail that weighs less than many popular midlength rail options.

    Addax Phalanx Flash Suppressor:
    I have done some testing with Addax in the past, and I was excited to hear about their new flash suppressor they were releasing last year. Not much to say other than it does its job well. You can see for yourself by viewing the following three videos:
    PWS FSC556
    A2 Flash Suppressor
    Addax Phalanx

    Current Configuration:

    I have made some changes over the last year with this rifle. First, weight savings has always been a consideration with this rifle. To make the rifle lighter I 86’d the Aimpoint CompM4s and replaced it with an Aimpoint T1, replaced the TD VFG with a Larue handstop, removed the tac-link mount, and replaced the flashlight configuration with a Streamlight TLR-1. The TLR-1 is a decent light, but has recently run into issues of not turning on when I push the lever. It will be replaced with a newer TLR-1 (this is an older version) or a X300 as soon as funds allow.
    Another change I made was dropping in a Wilson Tactical Trigger Unit. I know many shooters do not like non-factory triggers, but I picked this up at a smoking deal ($80 NIB), and I’m happy with it thus far. I currently have 1k rounds with the trigger over two days of shooting.

    This rifle has been an excellent workhorse for me over the last year. Malfunctions have been limited to ammo, magazine, and one failure to extract. I can say, through my experience, that I can recommend a carbine like this for the same purposes I have used it for.

    Thank you for taking the time to read my review on this rifle. I welcome all of your suggestions and questions.


  3. bullittmcqueen

    bullittmcqueen Gunfighter

    Feb 18, 2011
    Leesburg, GA
    That's a very nice build. I share your enthusiasm for my LMT FA BCG. I have has exactly zero failures of any kind in just about 1000 rounds since I upgraded uppers to a BCM. Also, thanks for the up close pics of the comparison BCG's
  4. Thanks for the kind words BM.

    A note I probably should have mentioned in the original post, my maintenance schedule was a brief cleaning every 1k-2k rounds, and lubricate before each day of shooting.
  5. mjkeat


    Jun 17, 2009
    You've piqued my interest w/ the LMT BCG. I may have to give that a try next time around.

    I know you must like it more than an AFG/VFG but how do you feel about the handstop? There was a thread recently covering the utility of the VFG in contrast to the AFG and handstop. Your thoughts, Plea?
  6. M&P15T

    M&P15T Beard One

    Apr 7, 2011
    Arlington, VA.
    She's purdy!! And well built to boot.
  7. RMTactical

    RMTactical CLM

    Oct 7, 2000
    Behind an AR-15
    Thanks for sharing.
  8. I originally replaced the TD VFG because it was a lighter option.

    I never use a VFG as an actual grip (i.e. broom-handle grip). I use it as an index point and a point where I can "suck in" the rifle into my shoulder.

    I locate it pretty far out there on the rail, but not so far where I actually lock out my elbow. I find the most comfort at a point where my arm has a natural bend to it. You can what I'm talking about here:

  9. pag23


    Jul 28, 2008
    Eastern PA
    Good photos and comparision for those that want a difference of opinion on tradition bolts. I really like the design of it and nice photos!!!!

    Was the bolt easier to be cleaned and require less maintenance than a traditional one?
  10. Pag23:
    The bolt is easier to clean than a standard bolt. If you look above you will see my maintenance pattern. I have only cleaned this rifle ~6 times.
  11. sweet blaster, plea :)

    great pics too. i remember how much folks like those LMT parts on ar15armory
  12. mjkeat


    Jun 17, 2009
    Understood, thank you.