Friday, April 4, 2014

Lone Survivor Foundation Major Pandemic Custom AR15 Auction Builds

Lone Survivor Foundation Major Pandemic Custom AR15 Auction Builds

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Sometimes you have the realization that you can do more than just write a check to support a good cause. At last year's Mercury One, God Guns and Giving charity event, I had the pleasure to meet and briefly talk with Marcus Luttrell about his Lone Survivor Foundation as well as Glenn Beck and Joe Kerry about the other efforts Mercury One is supporting. All made a lasting impression and left me wanting to do more for their causes. 

What gave me the real nudge was seeing the generosity of my good friends at Black Rain Ordnance. Black Rain generously donated and auctioned a beautiful AR15 which raised over $10K for Mercury One.  It got me thinking... I wonder if I could work with my awesome manufacturers and put together a truly custom AR15 for auction.  

Almost Complete as of 4-8-2014

I dropped a quick email to the 300+ manufacturers I have an editorial relationship with highlighting my ideas - support the two foundations with charity AR15s for auction. The response was amazing. A plan was solidified; a random set of donated parts organized to do something great. We started with the Lone Survivor Foundation builds.
The net result of that email will be two, one-of-a-kind, custom AR15s that no one will ever be able to replicate for Lone Survivor and soon a set for Mercury One. These rifles represent some of the best AR15 modern sporting rifle technology available, paired with one-of-a-kind custom parts to deliver both a custom museum quality showpiece and ultimate performance AR15 for the auction winner(s) to use and shoot.
No, these rifles are not for sale, they will be auctioned by the Lone Survivor Foundation with 100% of the proceeds going to the charity. Once I build and function test the rifles, each rifle will be donated at no cost to the Lone Survivor Foundation to be auctioned off to the highest bidder at their Oklahoma City and Houston charity events. 

You do not need to attend to bid. If you are interested in either of these custom AR15 rifles, you must be a pre-registered bidder with Lone Survivor foundation's bidding software, from my understanding even allows remote bidding via mobile device if you are not actually at the event. Pre-register now with the line below. My hope is that these rifles will raise a lot of money for a great charity.  

Oklahoma City Rock for the Retreat -
OK Rock for the Retreat Registration -
Lone Survivor Bidding Pre-Registration -

Houston Retreat - TBD - Tentative November 2014

Lone Survivor Bidding Pre-Registration -
ABOUT THE LONE SURVIVOR FOUNDATION - (Provided by Lone Survivor Foundation)
"Marcus Luttrell’s Lone Survivor, the 2007 #1 New York Times best-selling book, tells the harrowing, emotionally raw account and motivational story of his survival and the deaths of his comrades-in-arms in Operation Redwing, a mission to gather intelligence on Taliban leadership in Afghanistan. The Marcus’ NEVER QUIT attitude was key to his survival and his recovery at home.
After surviving his operations in Afghanistan, Marcus returned home to his ranch in Texas, the center of his post-combat recovery and restoration. On the ranch, Marcus had time to recover, to think, and to feel the love and support of close friends and family as he healed his wounds. Based upon first hand experiences of what is needed to provide holistic healing beyond standard government programs, while honoring his lost comrades from Operation Redwing, Marcus established the Lone Survivor Foundation in 2010.

The intent was to bring the wounded service members into the same type of environment that healed Marcus. A place of solitude and beauty, where there was a close-knit and understanding support system. A place where the service members and their families could heal together as they all worked through the consequences of war. The Foundation is dedicated to honoring and remembering American service members by providing unique educational, rehabilitation, recovery, and wellness opportunities to U.S. Armed Forces members and their families.

The Lone Survivor Foundation restores, empowers, and renews hope for our wounded service members and their families through health, wellness, and therapeutic support. Overseas deployments and combat action can take a serious toll on everyone involved - from the men and women on the front lines to the friends and families who wait patiently for their loved ones to return home.
In short, the normalcy of life prior to their service may have been lost forever. Therefore, the Lone Survivor Foundation is here to help America's wounded service members and their families adjust to the effects of their experiences and help them transition into what may be looked at as their 'new normal' – providing an understanding and acceptance of who they are as a person, a family, and a community. "
There are off the rack rifles, AR15s which have had some cool parts added, heck, there are even those that are hand assembled with ultra-cool custom looking parts with some fancy coatings which may look unique, however, all those rifles can be easily duplicated. These two Lone Survivor Rifles' major parts are custom in nearly every aspect or feature parts which are hand selected by company owners. No one will ever be able to duplicate either of these true one-of-a-kind AR15s. 

Custom Milled, Serialized, and Challenge Coin Match Upper/Lower Billet AR15 Receiver Set - These two masterpieces of machining were created by Area53 who already makes some of the most custom AR15 upper and lower receivers, around. These receivers are milled from billet 7075 T6 aluminum with the Lone Survivor Logos, not just the laser engraved, but milled into the receivers. Also the right side of the receivers was milled to insert the Lone Survivor Foundation challenge coins into the receiver. Each receiver is finished with a premium high luster Cerakote finish.  

The Area53 receivers deliver a sculpted custom design, ambi-bolt release, and adjustable set screws for receiver tension and trigger overtravel. To put these receivers over the top, these receivers are a serialized matched set with milled SURVIVOR01 and SURVIVOR02 serial numbers.
Handed Selected Barrels - Barnes Precision Machine (BPM) donated both .300 Blackout and 5.56 Nato barrels for these two builds. I personally have found BPM's barrel to be among the most accurate produced, on par, with many of the ultra-premium barrels on the market. BPM stainless barrels are considered Match grade and have proven to me to deliver precision sub-MOA 100-yard groups.  

Barnes Precision completes their barrel blanks with melonited extensions to assure the ultimate durability for the life of the AR15. Although each and every BPM barrel and the product is considered first quality, the owner of Barnes Precision Machine, Andrew Barnes, personally inspected and selected these barrels for donation. I added the custom touch of hand polishing the barrels from the stock satin finish to a bright luster.
Hand Selected "Super-Spec" YM National Match Bolt Carrier Groups - Just like BPM, Young Manufacturing prides itself on consistently delivering the finest Bolt Carrier Groups on the market, however Dan Young personally hand graded, selected, and oversaw the finishing of these National Match grade bolt carrier groups to what he terms as "Super Spec". These BCG (Bolt Carrier Groups) represents the absolute best YM offers.  These hard chromed carriers are National Match spec Bolt Carrier Groups which have shown to optimize accuracy. YM bolts are the only AR15 bolts which are precision ground in three critical areas to assure precision, accuracy, and reliability. Among the industry YM, BCGs are considered the best of the best.

Muzzle Brakes - I wanted to assure the winning bidders would enjoy the guns, both as a showpiece and as highly competitive firearms to pursue any shooting sport, available. Due to many wild restrictions of the extreme East and West coast, I also wanted to ensure I did not feature any flash hiding muzzle devices, so I stuck with muzzle brakes. Two of my favorite brakes on the market are the Fortis Defense Red and Houlding Precision Irish Curse muzzle brakes.  

Todd Houlding hand selected an Irish Curse for use in the 5.56 Nato Barnes barrel, and Fortis Defense provided a 5.56/.223 spec Red muzzle brake which was customized to accommodate the .300 Blackout round.  

I also took the liberty to refinish parts of the Fortis with a brushed and polished finish for a truly one of a kind brake.  

The Houlding Irish Curse provides a high downforce and a recoil braking effect while the Fortis Red brake mitigates recoil more traditionally with the addition of a whole lot of style.
Titanium & Steel Adjustable Gas Block - Last year I wrote one of the more definitive reviews on adjustable gas blocks and I maintain an adjustable gas block is the best upgrade any AR15 owner can add. 

It reduces recoil, shooter fatigue, split times for the competitive shooters, and increases shot-to-shot speed due to a flatter shooting and lower the recoiling gun. Plain and simply, adjustable gas blocks help you shoot faster, more accurately at speed, and more comfortably.  

Of the gas blocks I have tested, the SLR Rifleworks Sentry 9's patented hybrid steel and titanium design is the best offered on the market and the only adjustable gas block which provide a 100% gas seal to avoid fouling of the adjustment screw. I liked them so much, I am using some of the first to ever appear in print for the Gold 5.56 Lone Survivor build.

The 300 Blackout requires full force gas pressure to work properly, so I used a Barnes precision gas block for the Silver SURVIVOR02 300 Blackout build.
Flat Blade Match Trigger - I will admit that for these builds, I wanted a little bit of trigger style and the CMC Flat Blade Triggers are among the most trick looking triggers on the market. Cool looks aside, I have found that the flat blade delivers the match shooter more control and potentially faster shots. 

I use and feature CMC triggers extensively, because I like their feel and performance. CMC is famous for delivering a match grade trigger in one of the most durable cartridge style designs on the market, plus they are made in Marcus's home state of Texas.
Custom Carbon Fiber Handguard - Precision Reflex Inc. (PRI) donated a Gen III Carbon Fiber Handguard without any holes and just a bit different length than is available from their production line to assure this was a true custom one-off handguard/forearm. I featured this handguard on the silver SURVIVOR02 (Silver) build simply because it looked awesome with the silver receiver. Carbon fiber may look cool, however, it is actually its cool nature which makes it so appealing. 

Carbon fiber has the ability to instantaneously dissipate heat, so even if your barrel is smoking hot, your handguard will be at around room temperature. There are also stiffness advantages over billet aluminum, however it is the heat dissipation and cool feel which makes Precision Reflex's carbon fiber handguards one of the most popular forearm handguards for competitive shooters. With this handguard, the winning bidder will be able to run this gun extremely hard without blistering up their support hand in the process and know that no one has one like it.
Custom Logo'ed Billet Forend - For the Gold SURVIVOR01 build, I used the Yankee Hill Machine YHM custom one-of-a-kind logo’ed billet forend featuring the Lone Survivor Logo on each side of the forend.  

I thought YHM's billet forend was one of the most custom looking forends at this year's annual SHOT trade show, however, they upped the cool quotient by adding the Lone Survivor Logo..  This forend provides a very comfortable feel while assuring usable rail space and a true custom look.

Billet Stocks - I don't mind adjustable stocks with plastic parts, however the Ace stocks add a custom touch which transforms even an ordinary AR15 into something custom looking with zero rattles, wiggles, plastics, or buffer tube play. These solid stocks provide a stable platform that drives confidence in the shooter during competitions and also provide a wonderful pallet to apply custom one-of-a-kind 550 Parachute Cord raps.

I used both and Ace Ultralight Stock and their original Skeleton stock. Due to the full rifle buffer tube and rifle length springs and buffers, these stocks deliver a smoother impulse which shooters perceive as less recoil. Less recoil equals more control and a flatter and faster shooting gun all while looking very custom.  

Furniture & Magazines - TangoDown wanted to assure that the winning bidders should have a complete shooting package and supplied sets of their grips, ARC - Advanced Reliability Combat magazines, and Stubby Vertical Foregrips to improve shooter comfort.  
TangoDown has consistently been one of my favorite grips since its introduction delivering both comfortable ergonomics and shooter features. I felt it was, appropriate to convert at least two more shooters to the TangoDown brand. The Grip features a premium stainless hex head bolt attachment and storage compartment backup accessories.
TangoDown's ARC magazines are thought to be the most reliable polymer hybrid AR15 magazines on the market all while delivering a look beyond the norm. The winners will appreciate the sealed o-ring cap on the Stubby Vertical grips to store backup batteries and other necessities... I recommend M&Ms.

Mission First also offered their Torch Backup Light which can serve as a lower power tactical light. I like this light because it delivers lighting capabilities without disturbing the overall lines and looks of a custom rifle. Mission First also donated a set of single point slings to get the winning shooters out on the range quick without needing any extras.

The Little Touches - Battle Arms Development supplied B.A.D. A.S.S (Battle Arms Development Ambi Selector Switches), and their new B.A.D. EPS (Enhanced Pin Set). JP Rifles also provided one of their Ambi-Selector switches. The B.A.D. A.S.S and JP Ambi switches are the definitive top tier of Ambi-selector switches and provides the operator safety switch manipulation, whether the rifle is shouldered left or right handed. The B.A.D. A.S.S adds in a lot of style and functionality while the JP Rifles version is cleaner. 

The Silver SURVIVOR02 (silver) received the BAD ASS and the SURVIVOR01 (gold) received the JP Rifles switch.
Battle Arms EPS delivers not only some of the coolest pivot and take-down pins on the market, but also provides a design which is low-profile and user friendly with a bullet-tip guide to avoid scratching these beautiful receivers, during cleaning. For the AR15 builder, the EPS front pivot pin is also the easiest to install on the market without spring powered pins flying around the room thanks to a rare earth magnet used for installation. The rear EPS Take-down pin features a nail-nick to allow the user to more easily pull the pin from the right hand side.
Nordic Components, LEO Armory, KNS, and Barnes Precision Machine all provided sundry parts for the builds. Nordic provided the forward assists and heavy duty precision billet machined charging handles with extended tactical latches, LEO Armory delivered a set of custom logo’ed ejection port doors with the Lone Survivor Logo on the outside and “Never Quite” on the inside. I used KNS’s precision machined detents and custom fit a mixed set of KNS Anti-Rotate pins.  Due to the construction of the CMC trigger the pins are superfluous, however they look cool, so I used them. Due to the receiver design I used their Gen ST “ladder” on the left side and custom fit the Gen 2 “dog bone” on the ejection port side due to clearance. Some Barnes Precision springs were used plus their magazine latch with the release button flipped for a custom smooth-side-out look.
Custom Waterjet Cut Cases - Often we have custom guns which end up being relegated to just an average case, however not these two guns. donated two fully custom flight rated cases with custom waterjet cut internal foam custom cut to the profiles of eahc gun and all the accessories. Whether you are headed to the range or across country, as a winning bidder of these custom guns you will have custom made protection for each one-of-a-kind AR15. Stay tuned on how these turn out.
SURVIVOR01 (Gold) Optics - Leupold generously donated a $1250 Leupold Mark 4 MR/T 1.5-5x20mm (30mm tube) with the illuminated CM-R2 reticle.  This Mark 4 optic represents one of the most durable and crystal clear optic lines on the market. 

Their Mark 4 models are widely used in the military, so it seemed fitting that a Leupold was riding on one of these custom rifles. Both rifles definitely have a competitive slant, which is perfect since the Leupold Mark 4 MR/T 1.5-5x20mm with the illuminated CM-R2 reticle was specifically designed to address the needs of both the 3Gun competitor and the military designated marksman role.  

Beyond the low profile and re-zero-able turrets, the optic features a big 30mm tube to pull in as much light as possible in all conditions. 

The special BDC (Bullet Drop Reticle) is designed around a 200/50-yard zero with 62gr 2810fps rounds. The BDC allows accurate shots to 900 Meters with hash marks for 5-15 wind/target speeds. The winner of this build will be truly lucky, indeed.
SURVIVOR02 (Silver) Optic - Eotech wanted to provide a very special one-of-a-kind 300 Blackout XPS2-300 sight to match up with the Barnes Precision Machine 300 Blackout barrel. 

Eotech has specifically designed this sight to align with typical 300 Blackout zeros for both sub-sonic and supersonic 300 blackout/300 Whisper rounds. 

Similar to Eotech's standard circle dot configuration, but with two aiming dots. The center dot provides a 50-yard sub-sonic/100-yard supersonic zero, and the lower dot delivers 150-yard subsonic/300-yard supersonic zeros.

The sight is based on the widely tested and military/LEO preferred XPS2 design powered by a single CR123 battery. From a durability perspective, arguably, there is no equal to the Eotech sight design which has proven itself in the harshest enviornments on earth.

Keep tuned to see what makes these rifles so very special.


This is a hard linkable/syndicatable living review Click here share this build on Facebook  

Until the auction is complete, I will keep posting new pictures as these builds come together with updates noted on my Facebook profile. Please share this link with as many people as possible to build interest for these upcoming auctions. Follow and friend me to keep updated on when I have added new information added to this editorial.

Stay tuned for the build as it continues.

Lone Survivor Foundation -

Product Manufacturer Donation Supporters

Barnes Precision Machine BPM - .300 Blackout & 5.56 Nato Match Stainless Barrels -
Fortis Defense - Muzzle Brake -
Houlding Precision - Irish Curse Muzzle Brake -
SLR Rifleworks - Sentry 9 Adjustable Steel & Titanium Gas Block -
Area53 - Custom Milled, Serialized, and Challange Coin Match Upper/Lower Billet AR15 receiver Set -
CMC Triggers - Flat Blade Match Trigger -
Precision Reflex PRI - Custom One-of-a-kind Gen III Carbon Fiber Handguard -
Yankee Hill Machine YHM - Custom One-of-a-kind Logo’ed Billet Forend -
Young Manufacturing - Hand Selected “Super Spec” National Match Bolt Carrier Groups -
Ace Ultralight Stock -
Mission First Tactical - Tactical Light and Grip -
Battle Arms Development-
Tango Down - Forend Support & AR15 Magazines - - Custom Waterjet Cut Cases -
Bill Rogers - AR15 Care Kit & Accessories -
Leupold - CM-R2 Mark 4 1.5-5 Optic -

Eotech Optics - XPS2-300 -
Tuff Products - Magazine Case -
American Defense Manufacturing - Scope Mount -
KNS Precision - Precision Turned Pins - -

Oklahoma City Rock for the Retreat -
OK Rock for the Retreat Registration -
Lone Survivor Bidding Pre-Registration -

Houston Retreat - TBD - Tenative November 2014
Lone Survivor Bidding Pre-Registration -


The Mullenaux Family said...

Very cool! So how much did they sell for?

Major Pandemic said...

The set went for $35,000 which I was very pleased with.