That’s a bit of a misleading title, because I’d like to see my AR become two rifles.
Okay, but seriously.
I’d like to see my AR become a short, fast, quick rifle for home/vehicle defense and I’d also like it to be a semi-precision rifle for reaching out to around 400 or 500 yards. How do you make a single rifle do both of those things? Well, the best way to do that is to have two rifles, one doing each thing.
I’m not a fan of having one thing try to pull double-duty and do two jobs that counteract each other. You may be thinking that this preference runs in direct conflict with my EDC philosophy of “As much as possible, with as little as possible”, but it really doesn’t. I like having a few quality pieces that fill their roles very well, and roles similar to their main purpose when possible. When you try to make one object go in two mutually-exclusive directions at once, you always hinder the performance of the object in both directions, and often end up with something that doesn’t really do anything well.
Perfect example: The Spork.
The spork is the perfect example of how not to design a product, or object. The tines are too short to grab chunks of food very well. The bowl is too shallow convey a non-trivial amount of fluid. If the tines were longer and bit into food better, then bowl would carry even less liquid. If the bowl capacity was increased, the tines would become non-existent. The spork is a compromise and is at it’s logical apex (in this configuration) and still utterly fails to be adequate. You know what outperforms sporks, in both liquid conveyance and solids conveyance? A fork and a spoon. Just grab one of each. The little bit of extra hassle that comes with keeping track of two objects over one is more than made up for by the increased utility of each over the abomination that is a spork.
I’m not saying that a person’s ‘do-all’ AR-15 is an abomination just because they don’t have single clear purpose in mind when it gets built, but the spork-ing of rifles is real. The purposes of long range and home/personal defense are close enough that a compromise rifle can actually do both acceptably, but I don’t like compromises. These rifles exist on a sliding scale with weight, precision, and optics on one side, and lights, red dots, and arm braces on the other.
At the time of publishing, my AR looks like this:
I’d like to eventually get it to look kind of like this:
*pic snagged from Instagram a while back, I can’t remember who from. If you know, hmu
*pic taxed from CGP2 on AR15.com
I will make two concessions.
The first being that both of these guns will stay in .223. I’ve seen dozens of pics of guns chambered in .223 that a .300BLK snuck into and caused catastrophic, irreparable damage. I am not willing to accept the level of risk that comes with owning both of those calibers, and I’m not willing to go all-.300BLK from here on out. There are other calibers that the long range build could be made for like 6.5 Grendel, .224 Valkyrie, etc, but if I want a gun to go far enough that those calibers start to be come legitimate options, I’ll get a bolt gun.
The second being that the long(-ish) range gun would be based around a LPVO scope. I’m thinking the scope will be a 1-6x, but maybe even a 1-8x. I have a 6-24x50mm in a QD mount that I may throw on it from time to time to really wring out all I can from the rifle, but I’ll stick with the LPVO for the same reason I’m not going to be chambering it in a long range cartridge.