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Buildsheet: Dual Role Rifle


In past years, there have been some significant engineering and manufacturing advancements with the AR-15 — enough to warrant picking up a wrench and trying them out. The concept to produce a dual role carbine essentially has two requirements:

Requirement #1: A long-range platform capable of accurate engagements out to 700 meters and beyond (with quality ammunition), equipped with a quality low power variable optic (LPVO) or similar. The optic must be robust, have a MRAD reticle, and be first focal plane. This configuration allows for both positive target identification and observation. 

Requirement #2: Set up for the short-range fight. No more than a 16-inch barrel, as it needs to be maneuverable in a CQB environment. Equipped with a dot sight for passive aiming under night vision. 

“Nice to Have” Specs: 

  • • Ambi lower, especially bolt lock/release
  • • Suppressor-capable
  • • Mid-length gas system 
  • • Rigid rail system
  • • High-quality duty trigger 


Let us start with the Criterion Core series barrel, which word on the street says does better than 1 MOA accuracy. Michael Ross of Criterion explained he has seen groups smaller than 0.25 MOA, with 0.25 MOA out of ARs being common. A mid-length, 1/8 twist, .223 Wylde chambered barrel was picked for this project. 

This Criterion Core barrel is chrome lined and features a continuous taper profile; this helps balance the rifle, as the heaviest part of the barrel is near the chamber. The 14.5-inch barrel, with a pinned and welded SureFire SFCT flash hider keeps it within the legal limit and is suitable for work in confined spaces. A SureFire SOCOM RC2 556 Suppressor tops it off, trusted and built because it works. 

For the rail, something a bit more robust than what’s currently on the market was desired. Flexing of the rail can be a real problem, and it becomes very apparent once lasers are mounted and torque applied to the forend. 

Steve Winenger of Ripcord Industries set out to correct the issue with the LDR1 rail system; it features a longer steel barrel nut for a solid foundation, and the M-LOK slots are only cut in positions commonly used for accessories. The rest of the rail remains solid, adding to its stiffness. 

The complete bolt carrier group is from Ripcord Industries as well. The upper receiver is a Vltor MUR with forward assist, selected for its quality and reputation. The charging handle is a 3B Large from Bravo Company USA. 

The Razor Gen III 1-10×24 with MRAD reticle (see RECOIL Issue 51) was used for the build. Although it has good eye relief, it works best if you can consistently acquire a solid cheek weld. This isn’t always possible with the taller optic mounts, as your head typically hovers above the stock when picking up the sight. 

Mile High Shooting Accessories recommended the Spuhr’s 34mm, 1.5-inch cantilever mount, the SP-4016. The Spuhr is extremely robust and modular, making allowance for various endless accessories to be attached. That a scope level is incorporated into the mount is appreciated, and it makes for a leaner profile. 

A 2.5 MOA Leupold DeltaPoint Pro was attached to the modular Spuhr mount. It places the backup dot optic at the 12 o’clock position (3.5 inches above the rail), making for optimal night vision work and shooting around barricades. 

To round out the upper, an Atlas bipod with Really Right Stuff attachment and SureFire M600V Scout Light affixed to a LaRue Tactical LT752 offset adapter were added. The Atlas adds stability, and the SureFire M600V provides both IR and white light capability. 

The Radian ADAC lower receiver is one of the most highly regarded ambidextrous lowers out there. The magazine release on the ADAC does double duty as a bolt lock, which is much faster and more intuitive than standard and condenses the multiple steps involved in the traditional procedure of clearing a malfunction. When you purchase a lower from Radian it comes partially equipped with factory push pins, bolt release, and safety. 

A Magpul MOE K2 grip was installed, along with a Geissele Super Tricon 2-stage trigger. With an overall pull weight about 4.25 to 4.75 pounds, the Tricon has a unique trigger bow and crisp break. The stock is a HK 416 Slimline stock. Finally, the sling is the Haley Strategic D3 sling, selected because its design is extremely lightweight, padded, adjustable, and slim. 

If looking to build or buy a new AR, set your specifications. Is it long range work, short range, or both? Seek out accuracy and reliability, especially if your life depends on it. If this is the case, then don’t cut corners and buy the best you can with the means you have. 

Upper Receiver Components

  • Criterion Core 14.5-inch Barrel Mid-length Gas System – $290
  • Surefire Closed Tine Flash Hider (SFCT) – $169
  • Surefire M600 V Scout Light – $479
  • Larue Tactical Gas Block LT202-2 (0.625”) – $69
  • Larue Tactical SureFire Scout Light Offset Mount LT752 – $131
  • *Ripcord Industries LDR1 13.75-inch – $260
  • Ripcord Industries Bolt Carrier Group – No longer offered 
  • Vltor MUR Upper Receiver with Forward Assist – $210
  • BCM USA Charging Handle 3B Large – $75
  • BCM QD Sling Mount MCMR – $18
  • Spuhr SP-4016 34mm, 1.5-inch, Cantilever 0 MOA – $450
  • Vortex Razor Gen3 1-10 EBR9/MRAD – $2,499
  • Spuhr Delta Point Interface A-0009 – $63
  • Leupold Delta Point Pro 2.5 MOA – $350
  • Atlas Bipod BT46-NC – $260
  • Really Right Stuff (RRS) Clamp for Atlas Bipod BTC- PRO – $80

Lower Receiver Components

  • Radian ADAC15 – $430
  • Geissele Super Tricon Trigger – $240
  • Magpul MOE K2 – $21
  • HK 416 Slimline Stock – $90 
  • Haley Strategic D3 Sling – $99

Complete Total – $7,482

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