Since the wife got her EBR, I will be doing some customization to the old Doublestar – to really transform it into my own gun. There have been several modifications that I’ve wanted to do to this, but since we were sharing an EBR, I didn’t want to personalize it too much and ostracize my dear wife. The first step has been to extend the sight radius to rifle-length like the Bushmaster Dissipator. This particular mod just seems like a no-brainer to me. You get the sight radius of the rifle, but retain the handiness of the carbine. That’s a win-win situation as far as I’m concerned.
I found a low-profile gas block on ebay for cheap. It came in via USPS on Wednesday. The price was right, as the machining wasn’t terribly tight on the thing, and there were some holes that I had to clean up/redrill prior to installation. I don’t regret buying the thing, as it was about half the price of a higher-quality block, and it ultimately mounted to the gun as if it was made for this specific gun. If I do another such conversion, I will probably go for a better gas block, but I don’t see how this one could possibly hurt at this point. I’m not completely convinced that I want to go with fancy, expensive handguards, so I got a cheap set of full-length, plastic handguards at the local military surplus, and on Wednesday evening went to town tearing down the upper so I could rebuild it to my own specifications.
The stock sight block got remounted closer to the muzzle, after replacement with the low profile block. I plugged the chamber with my pinky and blew down the muzzle to make certain that I had aligned the gas holes between the barrel and the block. No problem there! Once all was said and done, I went to install the full-length handguards, and that’s when I made the discovery that there are different handguard caps. I haven’t handled a whole lot of these things, so I hadn’t noticed, and nobody told me that there are differences. The cap that came on my carbine is the standard carbine, round cap. The handguards that I bought fit the old-style, triangular cap. My impatience told me to modify parts to fit together, but my better sense told me to shop for the proper-fitting parts. Yesterday, I made a couple of phone calls and ran to the military surplus store again only to discover that nobody in town has either a set of round-cap handguards or a triangular handguard cap that they can sell me.
Last night, I revisited the ‘modify’ option. I spent a couple hours with a hand-rasp, filing away plastic until the handguards would fit into the round cap. (Talk about pounding a triangular peg into a round hole!) Ultimately, the rifle came out looking very nice. It now wears the full-length handguards, and has the rifle-length sight radius on the carbine upper. This extended the sight radius by about 33% – which should vastly improve my long-range accuracy as long as the ammo can keep up with the machine and me. I was so tired last night that I didn’t feel like taking any pictures, but they will be forthcoming. Maybe I can have a little EBR photo session this evening or tomorrow morning.
I’m enough of a traditionalist that I don’t want to mount a bunch of excess crap all over my rifle like a lot of folks do. My rifle doesn’t need a light, and a laser, and a holographic sight, and a scope, and a radar, and an anemometer, and a vertical fore-grip, and ammo storage, and battery storage, etc., etc., etc… Heck! My weapon of choice is a 12-gauge pump action, with a well-tuned, double-action revolver scoring a very close second. It’s no small wonder that I even wanted an AR in the first place. Honestly, if it were not for the threat of a new AWB, I probably would have never bought one at all. But, I digress – I follow the KISS philosophy with my rifle. I don’t think I want the bulk, pokey corners, and heft of a quad rail, but I would like a single rail on the bottom side of the handguard where I can easily mount a sling swivel and possibly a bipod in multiple locations. I would like to get a quick-disconnect scope that I can use as an alternative to the iron sights from time to time. Prior to that, I would like to get some nicer irons. The sights on the gun do the job, but they could be a whole lot better.
The gun is really sharp looking, even if I say so myself. Stay tuned for pics and a range report! I hope both of you enjoy them!