Photo of the day: A Contractors go-to Carbine

Spikes tactical lower, BCM 14.5 upper, blah blah blah… What’s on this build isn’t as important as why it’s on here. This is my “I had no prep time and I gotta fight” carbine.

I could go with a shorter barrel and suppress it, but in my research and experience, 5.56 comes out of a short barrel barely faster than fragmentation/expansion threshold so I’ll just deal with some ringing ears in exchange for better terminal ballistics.

I could go with a low power variable optic but a red dot is faster for me in a CQB environment and I’m not expecting to need to take headshots at 400 here anytime soon. And if I do, I’ll grab my RECCE rifle or M24 for that.

I could deck it out with all the IR lasers and 50,000-lumen lights and stuff but putting on night vision takes time and this old scout light works just fine in my experience. Again this is a fight right NOW, no prep time rifle. I do have an IR laser and NVGs around if that situation presents itself.

The double mag ensures I have at least one reload in case some limited fire and maneuver tactics are needed. The paint is for nostalgia and aesthetics. It has a 2 point sling so I can easily secure it to my person after the shooting stops. Who knows what kind of work will be needed next.

Looking at swapping the compensator out for something like an AFAB. More flash suppression would be nice.

It’s a fighting rifle. It has the things you need and nothing extra. And I’ll bet my life on it.


Author – Seth joined the Army in 2006 and went to Iraq a couple times doing LRRP work for the 82nd Airborne. After that, he played the Private Military Contractor game for a while until he decided to pursue a degree in economics. He now works as a data analyst and firearms instructor.