Posts Tagged ‘Customizing and Building ARs’

Saiga UTG Pro Rail

Made in the U.S.A. Quality Rails from Michigan

I’m not rich, but I love black rifles. Unfortunately, this is an expensive hobby. It also means I can’t dump countless simoleons on every single AR part that comes across the market. As a result, my process for buying products usually goes something like this: first, I see someone at the range with a doohickey that I don’t have. I want it, I’m not sure why, but I want it. I go home, heat up a hot pocket, jump on the Internet, and start researching. I find a review on someone’s blog, read it and scroll down through the end of the comments section. I keep reading on every forum and review site I can find and eventually learn the widget in question is either the greatest thing since gunpowder, or a silly tacticool looking piece of junk that belongs on the clearance aisle of a gas station. If it is worth buying and I still want it after a week, I wait for a deal and jump on it. This study-before-you-buy strategy works well for me, but it drives my wife nuts.

Using the key tool, you can quickly and easily swap out LitePipes for a different color.

SHOT 2013: HiViz Shooting Systems Releases New Fiber Optic Sight

HiViz listened to consumer concerns and created a new option for shooters. HiViz, known for making fiber optic sights of all kinds for nearly every type of gun, has had two main problems: either the sight allows in a good amount of light and is vulnerable to damage, or the sight is reinforced but more difficult to see. This year at the SHOT show, HiViz released a happy medium. The new sight has a skeletal steel frame that allows in a maximum amount of light while still protecting the fiber optic LitePipe™ from external damage.

2 The Best Time

Top 10 Budget Buys (Dec 1, 2012)

CTD staff writers have reviewed hundreds of pistols, revolvers, rifles, and shotguns over the years. But stories with specific money-saving advice has interested the CTD community — particularly important during the holidays. Click below to read our top-10 most-popular money-saving stories from the archives.

Gustave Young Engraved 1851 Colt Navy Revolver

The 19th Century Master Engravers

It’s not often the owner of a firearm featuring the work of one of the 19th Century master engravers is willing to let it go. It normally happens through some human calamity—death, divorce or financial crisis. No matter the reason when one of these pieces of history does hit the open market, the demand is high and the bidding is frenzied. If you plan on adding a piece of work from a revered engraver such as Gustave Young, Conrad F. Ulrich or Louis Nimschke, you might want to start by making sure you have up to $100K in spare change lying around.

Precision Shooting Equipment’s TAC-15

The TAC-15 Tactical Assault Crossbow bridged the gap between firearms and archery in a very interesting way. This strange device makes your AR lower receiver an integral part of a one-gun-for-everything concept. Basically, the TAC-15 is an AR-15 upper receiver with a crossbow strapped to it. To be more precise, it’s a CNC-machined aluminum bow secured by two 5/16-24 screws to the aluminum barrel assembly. When you attach it to your AR-15 lower, it uses the same fire controls and ergonomics of your existing lower, creating a complete weapon.

Trigger Box Polish

What if Your Mosin Nagant was More Accurate?

Tweaking your Mosin Nagant rifle for tighter groups is not necessarily the easiest weekend project. However, if you are the motivated type, you can finally take that step past the casual shooter and into the realm of the customized shooting enthusiast. Since I am almost obsessive about getting good groups at the range, my friends wondered why in the world I would buy a beat up old Mosin. I told them I wanted the challenge of taking an Eastern Block bolt gun and outshooting them and their fancy ARs at the range. It might surprise you that with a little ingenuity, it is possible to turn that old Soviet rifle into a finely tuned precision target-blasting machine—sort of.

Textured wraps are very popular with customers.

Guns of Color

Ceracoated P3AT pistol grip frames on the drying rack

Cerakoteed P3AT pistol grip frames on the drying rack

PMR30 grip frame halves

PMR30 grip frame halves

KSG shotgun parts

KSG shotgun parts

“You can have a car in any color, as long as it is black” said Henry Ford once. Blue or stainless used to the choices for guns, but not anymore. Several options are now available, with Cerakote being popular for its exceptional resistance to wear. Unlike dyes added to plastic, Cerakote makes the gun tougher and the grips easier to retain on recoil. With the same color or pattern possible on metal and plastic, it is also quite good for providing consistent finish for whole firearm.

Scott with a restored rifle stock

Steven with a restored rifle stock

This rifle was once a mess of rust and dings

This rifle was once a mess of rust and dings

Textured wraps are very popular with customers.

Textured wraps are very popular with customers.

Spectrum Coating does Cerakoteing for Kel-Tec weapons.  Steven Taylor, the owner, is an artist at heart and also restores old, beat-up guns just to show what can be made of a rusted-out flea market buy with care and expertise. I still remember when synthetic stocks became common: the Internet discussions derided the non-traditional look. Considering that prior to the early 19th century guns were far more individualized that after the onset of mass production techniques, custom firearms represent a return to tradition, albeit with a technological update.


Oleg Volk is a long-time advocate of personal liberty, including the right to keep and bear arms. He works with numerous firearm and accessory companies as a creative director, advertising photographer and writer. He is based in Nashville, TN.

View all articles by Oleg Volk


Harold Chrismon’s Death Grips

Guns, like cars, are mass-produced in some factory with all the same specs, but that does not mean we keep them that way. There are many different after-market parts and accessories we can purchase for our guns that allow us to get a feeling the gun is all “ours.” However, nothing beats custom work.