Many moons ago, before the untimely death of John Noveske l acquired one of his companies fine products, an N4 AR-15 bare lower receiver. A local shop had a nice collection of them at a reasonable price I realized that this was probably going to be the only way I could ever afford a “Noveske” rifle. When I originally bought it I didn’t really know what I was going to do with it. I was seriously thinking of just selling it during the upcoming panic where either the gun grabbing Romney or the warmonger Obama was going to be elected, but as my aforementioned Ruger was not satisfying my battle carbine needs I decided to make a project out of this.
In the process of accessorizing my Ruger I had accumulated a number of spare AR parts so I started with just bolting the extra parts to the lower. In a short amount of time I realized that I hadn’t a clue what I was doing, so I started researching how to build an AR. The best instruction I found was the video above, after watching this several times I disassembled my Ruger and reassembled the parts on the Noveske. I took a couple of photos of this unspeakable hybrid, of second tier AR components on a top tier lower, but unfortunately those photos are lost, my cell phone vanished without a trace a couple of months ago.
Now this story might sound incredibly boring to you, trust me its about to get weird. I went down to a local gun shop and asked if they had the parts I needed to complete building the lower. They happily obliged and the next day I showed up right before they opened to use their workshop.
As I put the components together I worked slowly and carefully, I really didn’t want to screw anything up. I used stock components for the internal components, a Phase 5 tactical bolt release lever, an Ergo 93 stock and, gawd I hate this name. A Tango-down Battle-grip for the pistol grip. I took a bit over an hour to get the job done, with a small amount of practice I could probably do it much faster.
As I was about halfway through I noticed one of the guys who worked at the shop was staring at me, not stopping I asked.
“Something I can help you with?”
“It’s just remarkable that you can do gunsmithing like that.”
“Do what? put this thing together, it’s easy, it’s like doing a 20 piece puzzle, I don’t even consider this gunsmithing, this is armorers work.”
“Yeah, there actually aren’t that many people who can do that.”
How far have we fallen as a society that the average person can’t assemble a simple mechanical device? Compared to my cap and ball new army revolver a basic AR lower is a breeze to assemble if you have the correct tools.
Once I had assembled my lower I needed an upper to complete it, I didn’t want to build an upper as I did not want to go through the trouble of gauging and head-spacing a barrel. The first place I looked at was US Firearms Academy in Reno. However when I asked the owner of the business about purchasing an upper to go on my lower he asked where I got the lower. When I answered him he flew into a rage, incredibly upset that I would dare buy gun parts from another shop, and repeatedly told me to go fuck myself. I walked out of there in shock and was subsequently banned from his store later on when I tried to reason with him when I bumped into him at a supermarket.
Confused? So am I, apparently I am not the only person he has done this sort of thing to. Or perhaps I really am just that abrasive.
Since USFA was clearly not an option I started casting my net very widely. I considered a Daniel Defense, Primary Weapons Systems or Lewis Machine and Tool upper. But they were all too expensive, not exactly what I wanted and back ordered. I should also add that this was before Obama got reelected, then almost by accident I ran into an outfit at a gun show called Dayton Sports LLC. A small custom shop in Dayton Nevada, the uppers they had for sale were diverse and similar to, but not quite what I was looking for, however since Dayton Sports is a custom shop getting exactly what I wanted was not going to be an issue. So I placed an order for an upper, and after the parts came in it was assembled and ready to go in about 3 days. The upper was made up from a Black Hole weapons 18 inch light profile bbl, Yankee Hill Machine upper receiver, bolt and bolt carrier, DPMS mid length gas tube and an AP custom carbon fiber rifle length hand guard. I wanted to keep everything on the front end as light as possible to balance with the relatively heavy stock. All this cost a bit over $600, not including the BCM gunfighter charging handle and Smith enterprises vortex flash suppressor I had laying around. A word of caution, Dayton Sports was having trouble keeping up with demand before the current panic, at the last show they only had 2 uppers for sale by the time I got to them, but this is hardly an isolated phenomenon.
After a couple of months of use I have no complaints, so far it has only had one minor malfunction with Brown Bear ammunition that I probably shouldn’t use in it anyway. The rifle sits patiently by my bedside waiting for occasional shooting sessions or, if needed, to put down violent thugs. The components remain tightly fitted and unfortunately due to the ammo drought I don’t think I have everything run in yet. Also I think I have to put a different optic on it because this Nikon scope I have on it right now keeps getting bumped and the adjustment turrets keep shifting leading to an alarming case of wandering zero. So I don’t yet know what this rifle is completely capable of, but so far it has proven to be a better shot than I am. Given good ammo and a more powerful optic I wouldn’t rule out half MOA accuracy. Someday I intend to get a Yankee Hill Machine sound suppressor for this rifle, but that wont happen until after I can obtain sufficient ammunition to go through a carbine course. If I had this weapon a couple of years ago when ammo was cheap and I lived in Idaho I would have had 700+ rounds through it also it would have been through grime and water tank tests.
Besides performance I always pay attention to the ascetics and ergonomics of a weapon, if these three things come together then the weapon earns something special, a name. This one has earned the name Miranda, if you are wondering if that has some special meaning, all I can say is that I have a former girlfriend who loved that name.