1.0 Introduction

Have we got to the point yet where the term “URG-I” has become so widely and incorrectly used, that it’s now a generic?

I think we have.

Just to recap, the term URG-I properly applied refers to something quite narrow and specific: USASOC’s Upper Receiver Group – Improved.

The single best resource dedicated to this is the AR15.com thread of the same name, but that’s really long. Instead you can read my URG-I primer, which is like York Notes.

To my knowledge the only URG-I that’s been solidly confirmed in open source reference pics is the 14.5” barrel version, which uses a 13.5” Geissele Mk16 Super Modular Rail (SMR) in Desert Dirt Colour (DDC) amongst other very specific components.

The URG-I is a USASOC contract upper with 14.5” barrel and 13.5” Geissele Mk16 SMR in DDC

There is also supposed to be an 11.5” barrel URG-I with 10.5” Mk16 SMR in use with USASOC; it has its own NSN. But I think I’m right in saying it’s yet to be 100% ID’d in open source pics.

2.0 URG-I: Shorthand for a Look or Style

Sometimes you just have to go with the flow and accept that you can communicate really effectively, even with words which are a bit wide of their original meaning.

Allegedly a CIF blaster, technically this 10.3” barrel CQBR upper with a 9.3” Geissele Mk16 SMR in DDC is not a URG-I; but the term conjures an instantly recognisable form factor. Note the Unity FAST Mount (REVIEW)

The URG-I’s Mk16 SMR is its most distinctive feature. It’s this which has broadened the term URG-I. A bit like the situation where any build which features a Daniel Defense Mk18 RIS II is referred to as a “Mk18”.

Even Daniel Defense is at it – this is their Mk18 sporting rifle:

Daniel Defense’s Mk18 Sporting Rifle shows how loose the term “Mk18” has become – but if DD is saying it, who are we to argue?

So, URG-I has become shorthand for a look or style – and that’s fine, unless stretched to incredulity.

3.0 USAF SOF URG-I – The S.E.I. Images

I spotted a form factor a while back which technically isn’t a URG-I, but I’m going to call it by that name just because it makes life easier. The pics are from S.E.I.’s Instagram:

The S.E.I. USAF SOF URG-I kitchen pic
The S.E.I. USAF SOF URG-I stairs pic

These M4A1s with 10.3” barrel CQBR uppers and Geissele Mk16 SMRs in DDC URG-Is are assessed to be USAF SOF issue.

The pics piqued my interest because the builds look a bit different; especially in the stairs pic, where we can make out OSS flash hiders, Surefire M340V lights, Magpul MOE SL (REVIEW) stocks and incredibly cool Romeo8T optics.

Don’t forget that the latter cropped up in a recent Obi Wan Nairobi/Christian Craighead pic – atop a UKSF L119A2. The assumption in that case is that these were trialled a good while ago.

Also note the Geissele Airborne Charging Handle:

4.0 USAF SOF URG-I – the @even_more_sof_pics Image #1

More recently, an excellent pic of a build similar to those featured in the S.E.I. images was shared on social media. I think it came from the @even_more_sof_pics IG account, which is well worth a follow.

It’s absolutely stunning; perhaps boasting a newer accessory package than those in the kitchen pic above – certainly closer to the stairs pic, anyway. Thanks Cade for sending this over.

Allegedly an issued USAF SOF build. It is similar to the ones featured in the S.E.I. reference pics

4.1 USAF SOF URG-I Parts List #1

Note that we can’t see any Geissele Airborne Charging Handles in these USAF SOF pics (an integral part of the real USASOC URG-I upgrade package), but there’s a lot of other stuff to get excited about.

5.0 USAF SOF URG-I – the @even_more_sof_pics Image #2

With all that said, @even_more_sof_pics kindly sent over the following pic – also showing a USAF SOF URG-I – and it’s clear that an ACH is present, although the pic represents a different build to those featured earlier.

USAF SOF in action

5.1 USAF SOF URG-I Parts List #2

USAF SOF URG-I of a different variety

I generally get excited about USAF SOF stuff anyway, as it always strikes me as a bit niche and therefore more interesting. I based one of my favourite PTW builds on an AFSOC Block 1.5 and I still miss it.

Follow The Reptile House Blog on Facebook and Instagram