Earlier this year, Range365 set out to create three custom AR rifles and bring our readers along for the ride: a lightweight, minimalist
.223 Wylde rifle for the range or vamint duty, a heavy duty 6mm Creedmoor precision rifle intended for DMR competition shooting, and a big bore .450 Bushmaster thumper of a hunting gun and brush gun for game inside 150 yards.
The project quickly became a mammoth undertaking requiring the assistance of a Pennsylvania gun shop and its two experienced gunsmiths, a top-rate Cerakote artist, and more than a dozen companies that contributed parts for these three rifles.
The men who did the actual gun building for this project, Justin Potter (left) and Matt Compton. Michael R. Shea
You can read all about the builds and get perhaps the most thorough instructions for installing every component of an AR-platform rifle available while your at it here, along with complete parts lists, and find out the unique considerations that must be paid when creating a big bore AR.
But this gallery is just for oogling. These are the three final AR builds in all their glory, the blue and white minimalist .223 Wylde “Stormtrooper,” the WWII aviation themed 6mm DMR “Lady Luck,” and the Vietnam-era tiger stripe camo .450 Bushmaster thumper “The Hunter.”
These three rifles were built during the creation of Range365’s complete instructional guide to building AR rifles. Stormtrooper is a minimalist .223 Wylde lightweight rifle with a R365 themed white and blue Cerakote finish; Lady Luck is a precision rifle in 6mm Creedmoor built for competition with a WWII aviation themed Cerakote, and The Hunter is a big bore .450 Bushmaster thumper meant for the deer woods and finished with a Vietnam-era tiger stripe camo Cerakote job. The pre-assembly lower receiver of the 223 Wydle “Stormtrooper” rifle. The pre-assembly upper receiver of the 223 Wydle “Stormtrooper” rifle. The completed Stormtrooper rifle, before it went to FSG Custom for it’s Cerakote finish. The rifle is topped with a EOTECH Model XPS2 Green holographic sight and has the Range365 logo on the magwell. A closer look at the Stormtrooper’s handguard. The pattern of the handguard cuts was continued on the upper receiver with laser etching and highlighted by the Cerakote finish. The Stormtrooper at the range with its designer and R365 contributor Mike Shea. The man who built the Stormtrooper, Justin Potter, puts the rifle through its paces at the range. Shea fires the .223 Wylde Stormtrooper rifle. The Stormtrooper with its blue and white Range365 themed paint job. The Lady Luck rifle is chambered in 6mm Creedmoor. The titular “Lady Luck” is on the right side of the Magwell and a subdied R365 logo is at the rear of the handguard. This rifle was built specifically for DMR competition shooting inside 800 yards. On the Lady Luck muzzle is the Odin Works Atlas 6.5 Compensator. A single military style white star with red and blue stripes adorns both sides of the buttstock. A look at Lady Luck from the front. The Cerakote finish was laser etched to look like the skin of a WWII military aircraft, riverts and all. You can even see a panel on the front of the magwell. The rifle’s name is etched on the left side of the receiver in white script. The stock and pistol grip on Lady Luck are from Magpul. The receivers on all three rifles are from Bushmaster and the rattlesnake logo was retained on Lady Luck, along with the lower specs. A wide shot of Lady Luck. A full-rifle shot of Lady Luck. A good look at the Odin Works O2 Lite AR10 M-LOK handguard. A full-rifle shot from the other side. A closer shot of the left side of the receiver. Lady Luck at the range before it got its Cerakote finish. The first test group shot with the Lady Luck 6mm DMR rifle at 100 yards. The second test group shot with the Lady Luck 6mm DMR rifle at 100 yards. The third test group shot with the Lady Luck 6mm DMR rifle at 100 yards. The parts of our original .450 Bushmaster Hunter rifle build, pre-assembly. The original .450 Bushmaster build being held by our Cerakote artist Nick Kesselring. The way this handguard attached to the barrel nut was too weak for the cartridges stout recoil and walked off the gun after a few rounds. It was replaced with a Omega Mirage 16.5-inch Carbon Fiber M-LOK handguard. The finished Hunter rifle with the Omega handguard installed and the tiger stripe camo Cerakote finish applied. A shot through the foliage. The pistol grip, mag release, safety selector, bolt catch, charging handle, and the cheek riser on the buttstock are done in a Flat Dark Earth color. The camouflage design done by Kesselring was inspired by the tiger stripe camo pattern used by the U.S. military during the Vietnam War. A closer shot of the receiver. The rifle is topped with FAB Defense FBS & RBS folding Iron Sights in these photos. For the 100-yard accuracy tests, the rifle was shot from sandbags and topped with a Nikon Black FX1000 6-24×50 scope. A shot from the muzzle end of The Hunter rifle. On The Hunter’s muzzle is a Tromix Linear Compensator. A closer shot of the ejection port on The Hunter. Another muzzle shot of this big bore rifle. A full-rifle shot of The Hunter. It tends to blend in. The Hunter, against a tree in the distance. Mike Shea firing The Hunter at the range using the FAB Defense irons. Justin taking his turn with the thumper.