Monday, August 23, 2021

HAM’R Time! Build Your Own AR-15 In GUNS October

When it came time to build an AR-15 for the cover of GUNS October, American Handgunner Editor Tom McHale admits, “I’m not a gunsmith, nor do I play one on TV. Fortunately, the 80 Percent Arms folks have worked with plenty of novice gun builders over the years, so they’ve figured out how to make the process dummy-proof, provided you follow the instructions with care.”

“McHale’s Monster” DIY AR is chambered in .300 HAM’R with Wilson Combat components and upper receiver, an EOTech Vudu 1-6x24 FFP scope, XS Sights’ XTI DXS Ember Offset Iron Sights and Bravo Manufacturing’s BCM Gunfighter Mod-0 SOPMOD buttstock. He notes, “I found the building and assembly process immensely satisfying. With care and patience, you can do a fine job of building your very own rifle. Picking every component from the ground up is icing on the cake.”

As Dr. Will Dabbs expertly surmises, “The M20 from Vigilance Rifles is what would happen if a Browning M1919 light machine gun had a baby with a pressure washer.” The blowback-operated 9mm can be had as either a rifle or a pistol and is exceedingly modular. “If ever you need to use a gun for real,that thing needs to be intuitive and stupid-proof,” he continues. “The M20 excels on both counts.”

A Howa Carbon Stalker in 6.5 Creedmoor is October’s top prize in the Firearms Package Giveaway. It has a 22" threaded barrel, two-stage match trigger, three-position safety and sports a Kyrptek Altitude camo finish. The winner will also receive a Gamepro Optic from Nikko Stirling, Macrostream USB compact light from Streamlight and a Squid Black folding knife from CRKT. This exciting package is valued at nearly $1,450. Readers are encouraged to enter the free drawing at

Additional highlights inside GUNS October include a closer look at the unique Le Mat Grapeshot revolver. The Civil War-era gun was capable of 10 shots — nine from the revolver and one buckshot blast from the center shotgun barrel. In the Rifles column, Dave Anderson makes his case for the .223/5.56 as the best all-around rifle, while Massad Ayoob considers how “bittersweet” old favorites — 1911s in his case —can be in the Handguns installment.

Discover more online: Exclusive articles, additional content on hunting, training and new product reviews can be found at Purchase the October issue or order a digital subscription at Kindle and digital versions are also available.