ARP 093 - Building an AR For When the SHTF


Welcome to Episode #093 of the AR15 Podcast. I’m your host Reed Snyder and with me today are my Co-hosts Anthony Hardy and J.W. Ramp.  This is the podcast about your favorite black rifle!  This show is for you; whether you're building your first AR or you’ve been building ARs for years. There is something we can all do to take our black rifle to the next level.  

Joining us tonight are special guests Peter Palma; Sam Azner host of the Guns of Hollywood Podcast; and J.W.’s good buddy Josh

Brownells helps make this show possible.

Don’t forget that Brownells, with their 100% lifetime satisfaction guarantee, is there for you anytime you have a problem, like when you can’t remove the taper pins from your new barrel to slip off the front sight base and you now have to find a new barrel.

AR-15 Podcast - Episode #075

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Product of the Week:

Spool Tool


  1. Introductions & Background

- Movies and pop culture:The Road, RED DAWN (F this zombie shit) WWZ, Walking Dead, Red Dawn, Zombie ammo/shoots

- Real world: Hurricane Katrina type disaster on larger scale, Terrorism, Solar Flares,Pandemic

  1. Potential Situations

- For each of these are you going to:

a. Bug out: light-weight, cleaning/maintenance on the go, what can you carry, etc

b. Shelter in place: belt fed uppers(Ares Defense MCR), huge ammo pile, etc

- Pandemic - Ebola/killer flu/weaponized disease

- Zombies/Alien Invasion/REALLY?!

- Conventional War - Invasion by aggressor nation or organization like ISIS or North Koreans (we really mean the Chinese)

- Nuclear War - Nuclear Holocaust

- Terrorism - EMP/Dirty Bomb/Infrastructure attack

- Natural Disaster

- Local “Tragedies”

  1. SHTF Characteristics in an AR

- Reliability/KISS… OF GOOD QUALITY (no DPMS shit)

- Caliber/bullet weight

- Super tactical or low profile

- Light weight build or strength through weight

- Battery-free?

- Optic for targets from CQB to “longer” distance

- Thermal/NVG/IR lazer

- Piston/DI

- Hunting rifle for game (you can kill an elephant with a .22)

- Back up irons (must be zero’d - not the irish tactical youtube sensation)

- Master key or back up/secondary gun? (or an entire cache(“bug in”))

- Weapon light

- Suppressor

  1. Support gear

- Body armor / plate carriers

- Magazines (type and how many)

- Cleaning kit (uh, MSCLEAN)

- Sling

- Lube (FIRECLEAN!!!) Yeah FIRECLEAN is the best but I can’t say that

- Carbon scraper

- Spare parts: bolt, spring kit (where’s my MSCLEAN PARTS KIT PALMA!)... (Buy an empty case and make one before I do and make a profit on it.)

- Survival Rifle (Chiappa X-Caliber)

- M&Ms/cyanide pill/Scotch

  1. WROL

- Would you go full auto/SBR?

-Shave that disconnector off?

  1. Reality check - if this thing breaks you DIE so don’t be cheap
  1. Training.


Dan: I'm thinking about building an AR-10 .308 specifically for distance...up to about 1000 yards. Obviously money IS a major factor but not a total deal breaker. So, without mortgaging my house, what are the most important things I need to consider when buying parts? What are the absolute must have features? Barrel length? Optic power? Trigger?  Etc...Thanks

Steve:  A couple of comments on your SBR show.

1. Another option to build an SBR is to shorten an existing barrel once the stamp arrives. 2. Form 1s for silencers only require the length and caliper.  No plans or other documentation is required. Materials should be less than $100.  My 9mm form 1 silencer will require around $50 in materials.  A good resource for home builds is the silencersmithing forum on Silencer Talk ( 3. Stamp collecting is fun but not as cool when you efile and do not get an actual stamp on your approved form. 4. efile rocks.

2k4ranger: Hi I was wondering if you have any opinions or experience on the new dpms gen 2 line of ar's.I would love to get a 308 ar for deer hunting, and the gen2 hunter seems like what i want but since it's dpms and such a new design I'm not so sure about it.  As always awesome podcast can't wait till the next release.

Chad W:  Reed, Anthony, or that other guy, I listened to the last podcast on SBR's, great info for those beginners.  I did mine on a form 1 and it was super easy. When I sent the paperwork off as an individual, not a trust, it took 30 days from when I sent it in until the stamped, signed paperwork was back in my hand, back in the George W. days.  One of my suppressors on a form 4 a month later took 35 days. I have form 1'd a suppressor for a 9mm also. It is a little more complicated in that you have to give it a serial #, Overall length, and caliber.  You do not need to send plans on the type of internals you plan on using, just length an caliber.  You can not do anything on it until the stamp is returned approved, only planning.  You must also engrave it with MFG Name (me), Caliber, ser#, and model (if you gave it a model on the form 1).  If you do a show on mfg your own suppressors, I might be interested in helping out.

kiki:  hey guys, u need to do a show on ar15 9MM carbines....  they are fun as hell and train at half the cost of 5.56.....  i have a mp15 converted to shoot 9mm, with a cmmg upper.....lots of fun, and able to shot indoor ranges that  don't allow rifles calibers.......