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COVID 19 Quarantine ? Build That Kit

Much of the United States and the world is under some form of do not move or semi quarantine as we wait for the COVID-19 pandemic to work it’s way around the world. Well if you are like many of us sitting around things are starting to get dull already. That’s the boat I found myself in between the stress of my day job and lots of sleeping, I was bored. That’s when I remembered I had a drawer of parts in my tool box and decided to break the boredom.

I had already cleaned all the guns I’ve neglected as a bad gun owner, as well as disassembled and cleaned my magazines. I inventoried ammo, magazines, optics, checked and verified serial numbers on my master list. Clean my knives and camping gear as well so I was REALLY bored when I began to take inventory of my parts.

The Build

Some readers may not like the monthly subscription service TacPack, but I do like them a lot and used my own money to subscribe to it, and I firmly blame them for this latest build. Last month they sent out an AR-15 rail and this month they sent out an action rod to hold a barrel while building and AR-15. So it was a matter of fate and boredom that made this happen. Well lets take a quick look at what all got tossed into this build and what tools were used to complete it.

Action rod put to use Photo:Rick Dembroski

Parts List

First Time Jitters

Over the years I have built lots of lower receiver kits but this honestly was my first upper build, because until this morning I lacked a receiver rod. Aside from my hatred of how anti seize compound seems to get everywhere the build was super easy and straight forward, I did cheat a bit. I watched the video from Brownells below and I was off and running.

Patience and Learning

I made sure I went slow and laid things out in a logical manner on my work bench. I was happy to see that when I was fitting up the low profile gas block that I only had to dimple the barrel on one spot for the set screws to tighten down. The barrel already had one dimple that lined up. A little work with a center punch and a drill bit and the gas block was all ready.

The rest of the build went as expected with anti seize getting on my hands and being transferred to dam near everything around me. The same problem has happened to me for years with teflon paste so it was no shock really. Installing the Aeroknox AX-15 was pretty easy BUT there are a few things to note about this rail that I wanted to mention.

Aeroknox AX-15 Notes

The AX-15 rail is incredibly light and made of 6061 aluminum and is packed with spots to attach your favorite M-Lok attachments. This rail is 1.42″ diameter and fits nicely over the extra low profile block I had in the drawer. It features a good amount of picatinny rail on the top which is to be expected. In a move I wasn’t expecting Aeroknox added small sections on the rail that feature a slip resistant texturing. This is a nice small detail that makes a big difference in the handling of the rifle.

One very very small issue I had was when I seated the rail all the way back against the upper receiver it didn’t allow the upper and lower to mate up tight enough to the front pivot pin to engage. Noticing this I loosened the rail and moved it forward ever so slightly and the impingement was corrected. This was a head scratcher at first but very minor fitment issue.

Yes I put on too much anti seize that is visible in the picture
Image:Rick Dembroski

Beating Cabin Fever

Cabin fever is a real thing, living in Alaska we get use to it even if you live in a bigger city it can and does happen. The key to not losing your mind in these times is being creative and finding things to clean or do. The same thought process will need to be used by millions as we figure out the COVID-19 scenario. Life will return to normal eventually it just will take time.

Until then get busy on those old projects, clean those long lost guns in the back of the gun cabinet. It sucks I will have to wait to go to the range and test out the new guns and gear I have sitting. Once work slows down expect articles on the following pieces of gear in short order. As you can see from the list we quite a few have things lined up.

  • Sig Trailside .22 Pistol
  • Fabrique Nationale FNS-9mm Pistol
  • Brinyte T28 Artemis Flashlight
  • Bastion D2 Flipper Pocket Knife
  • Aeroknox AX-15 Rail
  • Savage B22 Rifle

How have you been staying busy during this national slow down ? Let us know or drop a pic of your latest project below. Remember to stay safe and follow the advice of the experts.

About the Author /

Rick Dembroski spent 10 of the best years of his life as a USAF Civil Engineer, traveling the globe, drinking beer, and causing chaos. His superiors dubbed him "King of Useless Knowledge" a title that he still loves to this day. Separated in 2002 as a SSgt (E5- in the USAF), he chose to stay in the frozen north of Alaska and currently works as an Emergency Management Specialist combining his love of chaos with preparedness to ensure people know how to survive disasters.

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