First of all… why do I call it my “Longbow”? Well… traditionally, the Longbow added range to the Archers who used them, and were force multipliers on the battlefield of yore. It took considerable time to hone an Archer’s skill with the Longbow, in regards to accuracy, and rate of fire. Once proficient with the Longbow, they were able to deliver precision arrow placement, much further than the other Archers.
Running a “Gas Gun” efficiently at distance, is a skill that needs to be honed. I started calling this rifle my “Longbow” based on this fact. It delivers a higher rate of fire than a standard bolt rifle, with surgical accuracy. I thought the moniker was fitting.
Ok, thoughts behind the rifle.
As a Law Enforcement Trainer, I think about what they need in the scope of their day to day duties. As a Law Enforcement Sniper, I started thinking about what I would want in a duty rifle, and started looking into how to make that happen.
Bolt rifles are very accurate, but also suffer in multiple round engagements over the AR platform. However, AR’s traditionally were not very accurate in comparison to the bolt rifle. So, I set out for realistic accuracy parameters. I wanted SUB MOA accuracy out to 200 to 250 yards. Why? Well, for a Law Enforcement Sniper, this is paramount. During a barricade incident, or a Hostage incident, it is very likely that a cranial vault shot is the shot of choice. Being able to make that shot at a reasonable distance is the measuring stick. So, being able to repeatedly hit the T Zone at distances out to 200 yards was realistic enough to see if I could achieve.
In a Hostage type scenario… as a marksman, I would always attempt to close the distance as much as I could, to help mitigate liability. Can you hit a head sized target at 800 yards? Yes… people do it all the time. But, as a Law Enforcement Officer, would I be able to justify that shot on the stand? Hmmmm….
Ok, second accuracy parameter… MOM (Minute of Man) out to 600 yards. Why? Well… imagine an open air / non barricade / non hostage shot… bad guy is in the open, backstop is clear, bad guy has a rifle, and is openly a lethal target. It is absolutely feasible to be able to hit center mass of the torso out to 600 yards… so, that was my accuracy “box” I needed the project to fit in. Sounds easy, but… you’d be surprised.
I had a MEGA Monolithic MA-TEN upper and lower that I wanted to use as a donor platform to build from. I liked the monolithic upper, because of the way most rails / tubes locked down… on a number of AR-10 style rifles I had tested, I was able to induce vertical stringing at distance, by inducing barrel torque, by loading the bipods like I would a bolt rifle. Yes, the tubes were free floating… but, they attached at the barrel nut, and I was able to get enough torque in from the bipods to cause some issues. With the MONOLITHIC upper, all the torque is taken by the take down pins. Very nice thought… works in practice too.
I wanted to be able to remove my magazines whilst still prone, behind glass. Most AR-10 style rifles are battle rifles, designed to be fired standing up. When prone, on the AR-10 style rifle, using bipods, almost every rifle out there, you have to tip the muzzle to remove the magazine. I really like the 20 round 7.62 PMAGS and that was my measuring stick. A Law Enforcement Sniper also has to consider load out in regards to ammo. I wanted to be able to switch from open air rounds, to barrier rounds or subsonic rounds without coming off glass. This necessitated a side charging handle. I wanted the charging handle on the left side, since the VAST majority of shooters are right handed, and would be running the rifle from the right shoulder.
This meant cutting up the MEGA Monolithic Upper, and I was so committed to this project, that I went forward with it. Little did I know, that there would be a patent issue looming, and the MONOLITHIC uppers were to be no longer had.
So, on the mill it went. I cut down the mag well on the left side, to effect mag changes whilst prone. A slot was milled in the left side of the upper receiver, to effect a side charging handle. Then the BCG was modified / drilled / threaded to accept the charging handle…
Barrel selection was next. I went through a few barrels, and ended up with the JP Supermatch barrel, and it is amazing. I also knew I wanted this rifle to be suppressed, for shooting from confined space. All in all, this rifle is absolutely amazing. It runs so well, and shoots so accurately, it captures everyone that shoots it. I’m working on re-producing something very similar to this, to offer to Law Enforcement. In the end… here are the parts.
Upper / Lower: Mega Arms Monolithic MA-TEN (No Longer Available… however their new stuff is awesome)
LPK: Standard DPMS style LPK
Saftey Selector: Short Throw levers from Battle Arms Development. I use the LONG lever on the right side of the lower, and the short lever on the left side. I really like this set up on a precision rifle, because I do not hold the grip like a normal rifle. I roll my thumb over the backstrap, and rest it on the safety lever on the right side of the rifle. My trigger finger is indexed on the trigger, and my lower three fingers are indexed along the front edge of the grip. No cardiac impulse is induced, and with the Battle Arms Development levers, I can actuate the safety with ease.
Trigger: I started out with the Geissle SD-E, which I loved… but the hammer pin kept walking out. I used KNS pins to fix this issue. Now, I am running the CMC Tactical Trigger, Flat Bow and love it. It’s the trigger that I have in all of my rifles at this point.
Grip: MAGPUL MIAD… Large backstrap. It fits my hands perfectly. I use the MIAD on all of my rifles.
Stock: MAGPUL Precision Rifle Stock (PRS). This is for comb adjustment and length of pull adjustment.
Buffer: Slash’s heavy buffer – AR-10 style, rifle length (I feel this is a very key component in the build)
Buffer Spring: Also from Slash’s site… recommended for use with his buffer
Bolt Carrier: LMT (DPMS pattern) bolt carrier / firing pin / spring / cam pin / firing pin retaining pin – carrier is MICROSLICK coated
Bolt: JP enhanced bolt – headspaced to the barrel
Barrel: JP Rifles “Supermatch” Cryo Barrel – 18.5” long, 1:10 twist, mid-length gas system chambered in .308 WIN (Match Grade Chamber). I am now running a barrel from Craddock Precision, 18″ 1:10 twist, Mid Length Gas System, .308 WIN Match chamber… DPMS style barrel extension.
Gas Block: Syrac Ordnance / JP Minimized gas block with lockable adjustment. I chose this one, so I could tune my rifle to the rounds used, with the suppressor on it. This, is one of the contributing factors for accuracy in my opinion. I have adopted this gas block on all of my precision rifle builds. It is infinitely adjustable from full open to full closed in 1/4 turn increments. This allows for a custom tuned gas system based on the ammo / suppressor used. ABSOLUTELY essential in dialing in your gas system, and these gas blocks (pricey) are worth every penny.
Gas tube: Standard, mid length gas tube… DPMS style, not Armalite style.
Suppressor: Right now, I have the new suppressor from LeHigh Defense on the rifle. This is a 30 cal Titanium can, with muzzle adapter. However, what LIVES on this rifle is my Brevis full size 7.62 suppressor from Delta P Design.
Muzzle Device: If not suppressed, I run the Precision Rifle Compensator (PRC) from Primary Weapons Systems (PWS).
Bipod: Harris “S” notched, 6-9” with the DLOC / SARG knob from Alamo Four Star
Optic Mount: DLOC 34mm from Alamo Four Star
Level: US Optics Pic Mount Level
Finish: Cerakote – Flat Dark Earth / Black
Sling: VCAS from Blue Force Gear