Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Model 1 Sales 5.56 Dissipator Upper AR-15 Kit Review

Model 1 Sales 5.56 Dissipator Upper AR-15 Kit Review
So you want a unlimited flexibility to customize your next AR build, no problem Model 1 Sales has you covered with a mind boggling array of options and from my experience some pretty quick shipping. Due to the stunning backlog of AR’s from manufacturers, many of us have decided to build our own AR15 from parts or from kits. Kits generally do not include the lower receiver, and will require you to assemble the parts on the lower receiver. Parts only kits are just that, you get to assemble each and every part on the rifle from the barrel to the grip.  The easier route is to purchase pre-assembled upper kits from a manufacturer such as Model 1 Sales.  These come with your customized parts completely assembled into a ready-to-pin-on upper that can be used on any complete AR15 lower receiver as is.  The remainder of the parts included in the kit include every part you need to be assembled on a stripped lower receiver, for example a Mega Arms lower receiver such as the one I used, but this is an easy job. Model 1 Sales has been one of the most noted manufacturers of these partially assembled complete upper kits. Ordering a kit is simple and requires no FFL as the receiver is the FFL registered part. Yes, your kit will get shipped right to your doorstep via UPS, but you will need to purchase via FFL or do a FFL transfer on whatever stripped lower receiver your choose to use.

Back in October of 2004 was launched to provide value based AR15 to customers with near unlimited customization options on AR15 based kits.  Today that flexibility has expanded to provide buyers with an near limitless selection of thousands of individual combinations based on the buyers wants and needs for their AR15 build.  As noted earlier, Model 1 Sales has everything for your AR build except one thing, the lower receiver..  The buyer can select from a little over two dozen base AR rifle and pistol kits, various caliber options and then customize the kit with their choice of chamber, front & rear sights, gas block, buttstock, barrel twist & material, bolt & carrier, charging handle, handguards and grip.  Add all those options up and you have the ability to create your own version of the perfect AR15 that arrives partially assembled on your doorstep only requiring the lower receiver parts to be installed, i.e. the easy part.

I wanted a heavier target focused kit that would provide a higher lever of accuracy than a standard 2 MOA AR15.  For my kit, I ordered a Model 1 Sales Dissipator kit in 5.56, with 16” stainless E.R.Shaw 1:8 twist barrel, A3 style flat top upper receiver, Yankee Hill Machine rear sight, Chrome bolt & carrier group, Standard trigger, extended Badger charging handle latch, standard front sight base, full length Dissipator aluminum knurled handguard, A2 buttstock, and Standard A2 grip.  My total was $734 for what I consider to be a pretty upgraded and definitely unique AR15.  To complete my build I used a Mega Arms GTR-3S Billet lower receiver.

The finish of the Model 1 Sales Dissipator AR15 kit is good, although my kit did turn up with a small in shipment scratch and the rubber coated sling had most of the rubber rubbed off.  This was a shipment and packaging issue and not an issue I am sure prior to shipment.  Model 1 Sales notes they use T7075 forged hardcoat anodized uppers with mil-spec teflon coating.  Many people will just order complete uppers from Model 1 vs the kit and I was impressed with the build quality of the complete upper receiver.  All the usual, 1/2x28 barrel threading, forged front sight base, ejection port cover, forward assist assembly, charging handle, and upper parts were all properly assembled and fit well.  Model 1 Sales also notes all their rifles are gauged and headspaced as well.  I did not see any indications that the gun had been test fired prior to shipment and some will not that Model 1 does not ship with premium “F” marked front sight, however for me the sights were for back up purposes only.

My Model 1 Sales Dissipator AR15 kit is not what I would term as light.  The Stainless barrel and full length knurled aluminum hand guard, and front sight mount up front do add about 1lb of weight to on the barrel end, however I found that weight an advantage for precision off hand shots.  The long distinguishing hand guard feature of the Dissipator not only makes the rifle unique but provides a boat load of real estate for the benchrest shooter to support from.  As a target rifle setup I found that extra room handy when finding a rest out in the field while shooting groundhogs.

As noted below in the specs the features line up to what you would expect in any quality AR15 build.  The extras were nice upgrades and provided a little more utility and ease of operation.  The Dissipator kit itself is based on a standard Carbine length direct impingement gas system with a low profile gas block hidden under that very long front hand guard.

As you will notice I did not splurge on upgraded grips, stock and triggers.  These are things I hope to upgrade in future articles going forward and I tinker around with this very accurate project gun. The standard grip did get upgraded right away to spare Hogue grip I just happened to have. The chrome bolt and carrier looked perfectly plated and the gas key was properly staked and the M4 feed ramps were finished prior to the anodizing which is a nice touch. The upper had white T-markings on the 1913 standard Picatinny rails.

The Model 1 Sales AR15 Dissipator kit functioned as expected and has churned nearly 400 rounds with only one bobble which occurred during the first eight rounds of the break in process.  Since that point the build has performed perfectly with absolutely no failures of any kind using Magpul PMAG magazines. I have not tested the Model 1 Dissipator with steel magazines at this point... who am I kidding, it’s unlikely I will anything but PMAGs going forward.  The Badger latch and Yankee Hill rear sight both worked well although the rear sight was quickly replaced with a Simmon 6-24 Predator Quest scope using Millet mounts for long range precision shooting. For fun I tossed the upper on a variety of lower AR15 receivers from Rock River Arms, Spikes Tactical, S&W, Del-Ton, and Ruger and ran a couple magazines through each on the short 25 yards range and experienced no issues with fit or function on those lower receivers.

Recently I have picked up several ARs with 1:8 twist and this has proven to be a more versatile for the type of ammo I like to shoot (which is whatever is cheap)  than the slower standard 1:9 twist and a little less problematic for light grained bullets with fast 1:7 mil-spec rifling.  Many people forget that the 1:7 is optimized fort the military’s heavier bullets, however most of use tend to use lighter 55 grain bullets.  This is not a huge issue in most cases until you get out to longer ranges.  At 100+ yards ranges rhe 1:7 rifling can be a little to fast for light .223 or 5.56 rounds and conversely the 1:9 twist rifling can be too slow to stabilize heavy bullets, the 1:8 twist is right in the middle and seems to do a great job with all bullet weights.  My best 3-shot 100 yard off the rest group with the Model 1 Sales Dissipator AR15 was with the Federal Match 69 Gr which was a .6” group using my Simmon Predator Quest 6-24 Scope.  Not a bad gofer hunting rig at all.


  •  WOLF FMJ 62GR = 1.1”
  •  WINCHESTER PDX1 60GR = .72”
  •  FEDERAL MATCH 69GR = .71”

Model 1 Sales was great to work with and shipped my order out in about three weeks from my order date.  At this point shipping times may be a little longer due to the huge rush on AR purchases.  The Model 1 Sales Dissipator AR15 Kit assembled easy, shot well, and looks great.  Overall a great rifle kit at a great price.  


  • Upper Receiver Fully Assembled Gauged and Head-spaced
  • 1/2x28 Barrel Thread
  • A2 Flashider
  • T7075 Forged Upper with Hardcoat Anodized finish and Mil-Spec Teflon Coating
  • Ejection Port Cover
  • Forward Assist Assembly Charging Handle
  • Complete Lower parts kit
  • Model 1 Sales Dissipator kit in 5.56
  • 16” stainless E.R.Shaw 1:8 twist barrel
  • A3 style flat top upper receiver
  • Yankee Hill Machine rear sight
  • Chrome bolt & carrier group
  • Standard trigger
  • Extended Badger charging handle latch
  • Standard front sight base
  • Full length Dissipator aluminum knurled handguard
  • Standard A2 buttstock
  • Standard A2 grip
  • Retail $734


1 comment:

papadude said...

Thanks for the report. I've been considering this gun, and this is the kind of information I need.