Before I got into guns I was into men’s suits. My magazine racks were full of GQ and other men’s fashion magazines. From 16 years of age I wanted at least one custom made suit put together specifically for me. About three years ago my want was fulfilled. I had a tailor put together a suit exactly how I wanted it. The sleeves fell perfectly at the wrist, showing off just enough of my dress shirt. The surgeon’s cuffs were impeccably cut. The drape of the jacket fell on my silhouette as if it were made just for me (oh wait, it was) and the break of the pants feel perfectly on my Cole Haan dress shoes. I had matured from an “off the rack at JC Penny” boy, to a “get it off the rack at JC Penny and at least get it tailored” to now getting the suit fully customized. No longer did I have to sacrifice one want for another. I got the material I wanted, the color I wanted and even threw in a purple liner (my daughter’s favorite color). The hardest part was the wait. Custom made suits take a lot of time and a lot of back and forth between the tailor and the customer. In a world of 2 day deliveries from Amazon and meals in 3 minutes from McDonalds, waiting on my custom tailored suit was a true test of my patience.
The tailored rifle
So, what does a custom tailored suit have to do with guns? Much like suits, there are many options when it comes to buying guns. You can buy it “off the rack” and shoot it as is, buy it and make a few adjustments or you can have a manufacturer custom make your gun and get exactly what you want. Recently, I decided to be a grown up get my own custom rifle from SpecOp Manufacturing out of Marathon, NY. I started with their basic AR15 (using their forged upper receiver and their billet lower), added a 15 inch keymod rail from Strike Industries, an upgraded trigger with a 4 pound pull from SpecOps and an upgraded bolt carrier group. I already had a Magpul stock and pistol grip in my possession, so I threw those on the rifle when it arrived.
Just like a custom suit, one cannot expect to see their custom rifle arrive in a matter of days. These things take time and SpecOps Mfg takes their time to make sure the rifle is right. That means test firing and making adjustments as needed. The rifle isn’t produced for the masses, it is produced for you. When I ordered the rifle, the expected wait time was about two weeks. With all of the customization I requested and a few minor hiccups, it was closer to 4.5 weeks before I got the rifle. I’d be a liar if I said that wasn’t a bit frustrating, but after talking to the owner and learning more about the company I understood the delay. One thing to keep in mind with SpecOp Mfg (as well as other companies) is many of them have large government contracts and there are times when fulfilling those orders may mean pushing yours back. Since ordering my rifle, their website better reflects their turn around time (up to 5 weeks). Five weeks may seem like forever when you can just run out and buy a rifle off the shelf right now, but once you realize you’re getting exactly what you want, 5 weeks isn’t long at all.
Tactical Shit has a 7-8 minute review of SpecOps Mfg’s rifle on YouTube. The word they kept throwing out is “sexy”. The word I like to use is “slick”, but I think we both mean the same thing. When I took it out of the box my first thought was “wow, is this really my rifle?” The machining on it was excellent, no blemishes of any kind. It was slick/sexy/badass and every other positive adjective I could think of. The 15 inch Strike Industries rail took it to perfection. After adding the Magpul stock and pistol grip I was as in love with a rifle as one could be. No, seriously, I probably spent a good hour or two just admiring the details of the rifle. If a gun could be considered a work of art, this would be sitting in a museum rather than in a safe. But don’t mistake it’s beauty for weakness. This rifle is ready for battle.
I opted to have SpecOps add their custom drop in billet 4 lb trigger to the rifle. The trigger is light but not so light that simply breathing on it would cause it to engage. When it comes to accuracy I am not the best (I don’t take my time aiming) but the short reset and light pull on this trigger improve my accuracy, especially on follow up shots.
At the range
Originally I planned on waiting a few days to take the rifle to an outdoor range and zeroing my red dot and iron sights but, as I mentioned before, my patience is kind of waning. I had to get it to my favorite indoor range and at least do some plinking. I put 100 shots through the rifle and was extremely pleased. As with most ARs, it was comfortable to shoot, but more importantly, as I mentioned before, it was very accurate. I look forward to what this rifle can really do once my sights are zeroed and I actually take my time aiming and getting on target. I do not exaggerate when I say I’ve never shot better with any other rifle.
Simply put, I love this rifle, especially for the price. Oh, I forgot to mention price. You can get the base model of this rifle for $699 (plus shipping and your FFL charges). To get the upgrades I received (BCG and the SpecOp Trigger) you’re looking at $964 (plus shipping and FFL). But don’t worry, if $965 or even $700 is steep for you right now, SpecOps has their basic rifle for as low as $499. If you are in the market for an affordable AR-15 then I strongly suggest you give these guys and their guns a look. They make quality products and will do everything they can to make sure you are satisfied.
Rifle specs (taken from SpecOps site)
- · 16″ M4 Profile 5.56 Melonite Barrel 4150V Chrome Moly
- · 1 in 8″ twist rate
- · 5.56 Chamber with M4 Feed Ramps
- · 1/2×28 Thread Pitch
- · M16 Mil-spec HPT/MPI BCG
- · SpecOp MFG Low Profile Micro Gas Block
- · Stainless Carbine-length gas system
- · Direct Gas Impingement
- · Mil-Spec A2 Flash Hider
- · Strike Industries MegaFins Gen 2 15″ KeyMod Handguard Picatinny Top Rail
- · Forged Upper Receiver with Forward Assist, Shell Deflector
- ·SpecOp Billet 7075-T6 Lower