Having the opportunity to conduct this AR15 build with my Dad, Gary Hunter, is an experience I will treasure. Taking the time to do a rifle build with someone you care deeply for is a tremendous bonding experience. Beyond that, as a firearms instructor, gun writer and educator in the industry, it is my passion to help people get exactly what they need and want when it comes to utilizing a gun for defensive purposes. Having the ability to give back to my Dad, after all he’s done for me and acclimate him to the AR platform was absolutely priceless.
My father has always been familiar with guns and we had them in our home as I was growing up. These were mostly more traditional firearms such as shotguns and revolvers. The AR15 was not a firearm he had much experience with. After learning more about the platform he was ready to switch out his shotgun to an AR15 as he desired less recoil. He also wanted to begin running a solid optic. Rather than shop around for a new rifle, we decided to do a custom build. I love that we took this route as I believe breaking guns down and reassembling them is one of the greatest ways to demystify firearms while also gaining functional knowledge and a healthy respect regarding what they are capable of.
An AR15 build isn’t as “technical” as it may sound. The build itself is very straightforward, yet I always recommend doing something like this with someone that has experience just in case you run into any issues. The area I was most focused on regarding this build with my Dad was training. Although building an AR15 isn’t exactly difficult, once the rifle is done you need to understand how to run it. Incorporating it as your home defense firearm requires additional training beyond the gun. Carbine shooting for defensive purposes goes far beyond “point and shoot”. There is a defensive mindset that must be understood and incorporated into training. So, with my dad we focused on gun safety, function, range application and training along with multiple areas of utilizing an AR15 for home defense. Needless to say, much of this we covered before our build and training will continue consistently into the future. I cannot reiterate enough how imperative it is to train. Not just train but to choose training that is applicable to your everyday life and why you are utilizing a firearm.
On the range with this new AR was extremely satisfying. My Dad did very well running his new gun. Comfortable yet not overconfident, he definitely ran the gun and stayed in control. The build primarily composed of Magpul parts ran flawlessly. Zero malfunctions, zero issues. We incorporated a mix of ammunition from lesser expensive bargain brands to higher defensive rounds from Federal Premium and Hornady. Our total rounds for the day was just over approximately 500 and this gun ate every single one. We utilized the ETS (Elite Tactical Systems) clear magazines with the tritium follower. I love this option because it enables you to not only see the rounds, but in low light the tritium follower glows without any external light source.
My Dad is my biggest supporter in everything I do an I am beyond blessed to have a father like him. It was an absolute honor to be able to give back with this AR15 build project, just a little, for everything he has ever done for me. The AR15 is not the big, bad scary rifle people claim it to be. I encourage anyone who is well versed on this platform to help educate, train and possibly even build one with someone who is less familiar. The more we can spread the LITERAL truth about the AR15, the more others will see why this rifle is “America’s Rifle”.
Watch the rest of this AR 15 Build series:
Karen Hunter, GetZone.com Contributor