Build of the Week: A quality, lightweight AR build designed for 3-Gun
This entry was posted on June 1, 2020 by
Our Build of the Week this week comes from Lisa Supon. This AR was designed and built specifically to shoot 3-Gun. Lisa needed a lightweight, quality rifle, and when she began shopping she found that everything prebuilt on the market that fit the bill was prohibitively expensive - so she decided to build her own rifle to her own liking. Between the weight, the quality, and the blue accents Lisa’s build is a 3-Gun worthy rifle with a lot of good pieces worth talking about.
Getting into 3-Gun
If you’ve never been involved in the shooting sports, be forewarned that they are addicting. Once you choose to get started in 3-Gun you’ll find yourself dreaming about your next gun build (whether or not it looks something like this one).
3-Gun is a popular shooting sport that utilizes pistols, rifles, and shotguns across a wide variety of run and gun courses. Step one for any competition is to find a match to shoot, sometimes just going to watch a match helps people who are very new to shooting sports understand the necessary equipment and how the safety rules work better than anything else (and if you’re not careful someone will lend you the equipment and help you get started then and there!). Even if your local gun range doesn’t hold matches themselves, most ranges will know where the nearest 3-Gun matches are held - if you don’t have a go-to gun range yet, you can use the NSSF’s wheretoshoot.org tool to find a range near you.
The guns required for 3-Gun are pretty basic: you need a pistol, a rifle, and a shotgun. Different divisions within 3-Gun competition are available depending on the equipment you have access to, although many people who get invested in the sport choose to build their equipment to their division of preference.
Building a light rifle, like this one, makes sense for shooting 3-Gun. Lighter rifles are less likely to cause fatigue when you are spending all day on the range literally running around with your gun. Lisa’s desire for quality is all sensible in the context of 3-Gun since firearms used in the sport are run hard and tend to break a lot more frequently than regular range toys.
Rainier Arms UltraMatch Billet Lower
The Rainier Arms UltraMatch Billet Lower Lisa chose is CNC machined from solid billet 7075 aluminum, and finished with mil-spec hardcoat anodize to a surface hardness of 60 Rockwell. There are a lot of items that are compatible with this lower, and using it as a starting point for a straightforward, quality build is a very practical move.
The ambidextrous nature of the Rainier Arms UltraMatch Billet Lower is an important note for someone who is looking to get into 3-Gun. One thing about 3-Gun stages is that you never know what you’re going to get, and that includes having to shoot from awkward angles or even off-hand. Having ambidextrous controls and occasionally practicing with them allows you to manipulate your firearm no matter what weird position the course designer places you in.
CMC AR-15 Drop-In Trigger
CMC has a wide variety of triggers available for rifle enthusiasts. Their standard AR drop-in trigger is available in both curved and straight variations and comes factory pre-set to two pounds, an excellent weight for a 3-Gun competition AR.
CMC triggers boast an ultra-crisp break with a positive reset, these attributes help 3-Gun shooters make their shots quickly and accurately, without any question about what’s going to happen when the trigger is pulled. They are also quick and easy to install, which is valuable if you’re doing your own build and are in the process of learning how to piece together a rifle.
Rainier Arms FHV2
Putting the proper flash hider on a gun can be a difficult decision for a 3-Gun shooter. Limiting muzzle rise and being able to transition from one target to the next quickly is an important part of succeeding in competition for skilled shooters. For the rest of us - it can be as simple as limiting noise and flash so there’s less distraction while you’re shooting, it can come down to aesthetics, or it can even come down to suppressor compatibility so you can have multi-functional firearms.
The FHV2 that Lisa opted to put on her gun is Rainier Arms’ latest edition to the Flash Hider market. It’s a highly functional and aesthetically pleasing flash hider available in 1/2x28 or 1/2x36 thread pitches. It comes in both a Satin and Black Nitride finish, so you can pick whichever one matches the look of your gun.
Whether you’re building for 3-Gun or time on the range, having a quality and lightweight gun can make your day more enjoyable, and piecing the build together yourself can ensure that you’re getting the proper parts every step of the process. Have a Build of the Week to share? Let us know by emailing [email protected]!