I spent part of the weekend snagging my SOF inspired build. First off, there was a bit of wobble between the receivers. I had an idea I’d either be fitting an accurizing wedge or mucking around with shims behind the buffer cap. As it happened, my decision was made for me because I noticed the cylinder and barrel/hop had play in them…and this was with the receiver closed. Shims it was. And what a difference that made. The receivers are now nice and tight and the internals are solid.

The second snagging exercise was finding out how the gun handled in a live environment. I played at my local woodland site today and one of my friends, John, arrived with his Tackleberried C8 CQBR build. With the Dytac aluminium outer barrel fitted to my SOF build, I was amazed to find it was noticeably lighter than John’s C8. This was despite the SOF build’s M4 length RS RIS II. The steel OEM barrel – which John uses on his C8 – is heavier than I thought, even in CQBR length.

I’m happy to report that the SOF build handles well and I really enjoyed using it. I ran my Noveske build in the morning to establish the performance and ergonomics benchmark and transitioned to the SOF build in the afternoon. It plays as it looks – like a solid, minimalistic and well crafted part of the skirmish toolkit. This bare purposefulness actually makes my civilian builds look like vanity projects.

Quite aside from contributing to an impression, I can see why people favour the RIS II. I had a Madbull Mk18 on a PTW a few years ago and always liked the short 6 O’clock rail and the way it allowed the RIS II to nestle into the hand. Since then my weapon manipulation has evolved towards thumb over bore style and the RIS II supports that method effectively – along with the RVG.

I was surprised I didn’t notice the change in trigger. The Noveske build has a short pull flat blade trigger, whereas the SOF build’s trigger is curved – though the latter also features a shorter pull. Another refinement trialled with this build was the shorter of the two BAD ASS fire selector levers. I actually prefer the short lever compared to the long lever I have fitted to the Noveske build. It’s not noticeably more difficult to flick the short lever and it’s less obtrusive. Definitely a detail which will find its way onto the Noveske gun, as well.

The SOF inspired build in its most basic form is pictured below. If you’re wondering why the RVG is so far back, it’s because that’s where it suits me best (short arms). Long term I could gather the additional components I need to make the gun more authentic: DBAL, light and – of course – Krylon. But I’m rather liking it as a KISS build.


Dytac Mil Profile outer barrel*
Daniel Defense RIS II
Troy front Battle Sight
Magpul MOE RVG
Madbull low profile gas block*
Prime Colt upper receiver*
Aimpoint Micro T1 2MOA and QD mount
FCC T1 protector
Tactical Optician sacrificial lens
Matech rear sight
BCM Gun Fighter charging handle
Prime Colt lower*
FCC BAD ASS fire selector (short lever)*
FCC Wilson Combat trigger*
LMT mil spec buffer tube
LMT castle nut
CQD receiver end plate
Magpul mil spec CTR
UID tag*


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