I had a break from CQBRs for about a year. My first two PTWs were CQBRs, chosen from a purely practical standpoint because as my friend Rob would say: when do you ever find yourself in a tight spot, only to think your gun could do with being a bit longer?
Aside from topping up your FPS, it’s often said there is no real value to a longer inner barrel and many claim that shorter barrels are more accurate in PTWs. The FPS top up is easily controlled via the cylinder. We do have that capability, after all.
So that’s how I ended up with two CQBRs, but I preferred the look of 14.5″ carbines. So it came as no surprise that my third PTW had a longer barrel. That was a bit of an epiphany, because I found I preferred the handling of the longer gun – if set up right. Longer PTWs don’t need to be front heavy. With the right kit they are pretty nimble. And, because you have the opportunity of using a longer rail, you get more hand positions. That often means you can change the position of your support hand to adapt to cover. Given that I mainly play woodland, I embarked on a rolling programme of converting my CQBRs into 14.5″ carbines.
Then, Hit Takers happened to me. I really, really dislike playing CQB and try to avoid it if I can. However, I’ve always loved urban (The Asylum in Kidderminster is one of my favourite sites) but I don’t play urban that much. Hit Takers, however, deserves its own upper and CQBR length is most appropriate. Any longer and I’m bashing walls. Any shorter and it brings back unpleasant memories of my ICS M4 pistol…
I wasn’t an immediate fan of the SMR when it first came to light, but the Hawaiian guys – who were early adopters – had done good things with theirs, which made me see the SMR differently:
However, in this build I want to inject some ‘in the wild’ influences. The SMR is based on a mil rail, after all. Also, if a format works for an urban environment in the wild, I’m not going to sacrifice the potential of marginal gains from the build’s form factor for the sake of aesthetics. This is not meant to be a pretty build. It is meant to be a build where form follows function. The substance is the style.
So, what is ‘in the wild’ about this upper? Not a great deal, but it’s more about a direction or a set of guiding principles. Just to be clear, there is no way I’m claiming this build in any way approaches Mil Done Right. It’s not even MilCiv. Nor is it Civ+. But it could be Wild Minus…
Right Brain: WTF? What’s Wild Minus?
Left Brain: I don’t know yet, I just made it up.
Right Brain: You haven’t thought this through, have you?
Left Brain: Er, possibly not, but I’ll think of something. Impactful term though, eh?
As mentioned, the SMR MK1 and MK2 are redolent of the HK416 version developed in conjunction with and used by SOF. Secondly, I’m giving serious thought to not bothering with BUIS in this build. There are just too many in the wild pics supporting the lack of BUIS to dismiss it as a minority affectation. Thirdly, the upper will be suppressed. Again, with a nod to the wild, I’m going with an AAC can. The upper receiver itself is a bit of a problem because I only have a Rainier Arms one. But I suppose I’ll go with that until I can get a plain Colt upper or similar.
I saw a few pics in a review at SPARTAN.AT which I really liked and which confirmed my thoughts on the spec. I’ve not seen any in the wild pics of SMRs in full, so these were useful (and it’s an awesome build anyway).
Another reason why I wanted to go with a suppressor flush to the rail, was due to how much I like that look on my friend Mark’s Wilson Combat build. The TRIM rail and Rotex suppressor is a good look:
I also really liked this Development Team Six Group III Gold Team M4 build – which is owned by Kol – although it features a Surefire can with a bit of poke:
When built, the front end should look something like this:
Despite the Wild Minus direction, I think my friend Lyle would approve in part, because it lacks the ‘dog dick’ or ‘lipstick’ look (his words, not mine) of the barrel protruding from the rail…