Wood “BAR-15” Build Days 2-3
On the first day of our BAR-15 Build, we selected the piece of wood (English Walnut) for the rifle’s furniture, cut the square block that would become our fore-grip and made the first few cuts that would allow the block to mount to Aero Precision’s C.O.P. Upper. It was now time to mate the wood to the upper. We marked, drilled, counter-sinked and tightened/untightened for a few hours and when the wood was firmly attached to the upper, we turned our attention to the barrel.
“What barrel?” you ask. For this rifle, we selected Faxon Firearm’s 14.5-inch Pencil Barrel with Pinned 3-Port Brake. We chose this barrel for a number of reasons. First, Faxon has a solid history and reputation for making quality products. Second, although we have no delusions about making a 3 lb AR-15, we are being considerate of weight: pencil barrel it was. Third, Faxon’s pinned slim muzzle brake allows the user to change gas blocks without removing the brake. Not only does this make switching barrels/gas blocks much easier, it also means the user doesn’t have to pin the muzzle device after the gas block is installed… and it removes any concerns about possible legal issues of having a non-pinned muzzle device on a 14.5 in barrel. All around, it’s a pretty sweet setup.
Barrel in hand, we spent a fair bit of time tracing, drawing, and then cutting/chiseling/Dremeling/sanding the wood to allow space for the barrel (and barrel nut) to float freely. Not only does this help the rifle’s accuracy, it will also help prevent the wood from burning as the barrel heats up.
Below are pictures of the process so far.
Making space for the barrel nut and airflow.
Free floating barrel: check.
Hard to see, but there is an air gap between the barrel nut and wood foregrip.
How the rifle looks so far.
The BAR-15 upper from another angle.
We’d like to give a special thanks to Faxon Firearms for sponsoring the pencil barrel with pinned brake for the build. From the start, we knew this was the barrel we wanted for the build and it was great to have Faxon join the project. People often say this about a variety of barrels, but we were truly surprised at how light it is and its fit and finish are top notch.