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It’s interesting how things evolve. My EXPS 2-0, which I bought for the nascent MilCiv blaster project (when it was just an upper, for Hit Takers), actually suited my SOF-inspired KISS build far more. So it’s staying on there:

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I really enjoyed using the EXPS on Sunday, in woodland, which surprised me. I think my break from Eotechs, after last year’s customer service fiasco, has done me good. Plus, the EXPS’ form factor is streets ahead of my old 512s.

Another evolutionary step has been progressing from the aforementioned Hit Takers Upper project, to what I’ve been calling my MilCiv WIP.

Just a quick recap on MilCiv, quoted from my friend and mil aficionado, Andy – whose input has been crucial in shaping my understanding and interpretation of the MilCiv phenomenon:

“…SOF units are starting to adopt kit and accessories which were previously the reserve of civilian shooters.”

You can read more about MilCiv in the post: “You Dream It, We Build It.”

This is the kind of pic which inspired me. The Troy tube rail sort of smacks you in the mouth, after seeing RIS II after RIS II:

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Don’t get me wrong. The RIS II is my favourite RIS – nothing comes close. But I love tubes and it was extremely satisfying when these pics started coming to light…not to mention the advent of the paradigm shifting 416 SMR.

So, anyway, we know that some SOF are dumping the RIS II in favour of tube front ends; it’s not difficult to understand why, so I’m not going to explore that. And it’s not just US forces. The Aussies are at it too:

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Much as I like the Troy Alpha, which has turned up in a few In The Wild pics, I didn’t want one for this build…but I did happen to have a Geissele SMR knocking about.

Like Kol, whose seminal build I featured recently, I said to myself, “Why wouldn’t an operator go with an M4 SMR, instead of a Troy Alpha? There’s already evidence to suggest that the 416 version of the SMR is in use In The Wild. Isn’t this is the next logical step for an SOF M4 user who wants to run a tube?”

I don’t do impressions, but I sometimes do ‘influenced by’ or ‘in the spirit of’ and that’s what this build is about. Moreover, the milsim world is starting to change in line with the 21st Century warfighter. This is important to me so it’s worth spelling out and, again, wise words from Andy:

“Like a lot of individuals in the milsim world, I’m starting to loosely interpret the Holy Grail SOF-build guide book and look at options to customise my Blasters with kit which is fit for purpose – rather than sticking rigidly to Unit SOP’s.”

I already had an SOF-flava Colt lower to use, as seen in the initial pic in this post, so it was a case of getting a MilCiv upper together and sorting out some paint – which I’ve documented recently.

I now feel like I’m at the point where I want to use the MilCiv WIP, to get to know it a bit better and decide on next steps.

The pics below show where it’s up to right now. As mentioned at the start of the blog, the EXPS 2-0 I’d planned to use looks better on the other gun. Conversely, the T1 looks better on the MilCiv WIP. I like the symmetry there (and the luck).

In fairness, without filters, the MilCiv WIP looks a bit bland and…beige. But I wanted to give a suggestion of how it might look once it’s seen some hard use.

For the last week or so (as my friend Rob will attest), I’ve been on the brink of Kryloning over the beige to add some kind of relief to the monotony. For once, I’m going to be patient and see what using the blaster in anger brings. Use may bestow a natural patina, preferable to a self-conscious pattern. If not, the build will evolve in some other way.

And that’s what I like about my hobby.

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