Reaching Out: How to Convert your AR-15 to a Long-Range Rifle
This month, we are going out a bit further in terms of options. I know that there is some skepticism out there for the viability of long range (LR) 5.56. Yes, it is not the best cartridge for long distance AR shooting, but technology has changed the game some. Since the beginning days of 5.56(.223), bullets have changed and B.C.’s have improved. It is still not the best option on the market, but I wanted to play with a build and see what is possible. Additionally, what guy wouldn’t want a new coyote hunting rifle? This post will also feature some down-the-road updates as I will also work up some loads containing different projectiles and powders to see what offers the best performance. STAY TUNED!
I had to stick with the more traditional LR components, starting with the Magpul PRS stock. When it comes to getting comfortable behind the rifle and head
placement repeatability, the PRS is hard to beat. The stock is mounted on a standard AR-15 lower receiver as I wanted to keep the build simple so anyone could assemble it. There are two distinct upgrades over the normal Bootleg Inc components for this build: the barrel and the optic.
The barrel used in this build is a Proof Research carbon wrapped 5.56 barrel with a mid-length gas system. The barrel is 16” in length, and before you judge, I know there are better LR options. This was a personal matter for me. Being in the wheelchair, I must keep the center of gravity as close to me as possible. The longer the barrel and suppressor sit out in front of the rifle, the harder time I have managing the system. Not having any working abs is not always best when it comes to physics! Proof barrels have always been my personal go-to for great barrels, and they make for a pretty sexy build.
I have to give a big shout-out to Riton Optics on this build. I purchased their X3 Conquer (3-15×44) and I can tell you there is not a better piece of glass out there for the price. I know Vortex also makes price-competitive optics, but as a veteran myself, I had to give Riton a shot. Boy, did they deliver! The clarity on the scope is fantastic, and the clicks/adjustments are super positive and crisp. I am not sure what more anyone could ask for from an optic retailing at $629.99. Maybe you could ask for a lifetime, no-proof-of-purchase guarantee, but you will already find that as a standard option on all their offerings. I could have gone up the line to the higher pricing tiers, but this is the model I really wanted to compare with. If you haven’t checked them out, you need to!
For the suppressor, I am going back to my roots. Before I joined my wife working with Bootleg, I spent 3 years working for Gemtech Suppressors in sales and eventually as the sales manager. This build will be topped off with a Gemtech BiLock 5.56. It is one of the older models as I purchased it during my days working there. We have some other suppressors in the works, but for now this is the best option for the build.
Bootleg Inc. AR-15 Parts Kit
As for the rest of the build, you can look to Bootleg Inc. I am running our 15” quick mount MLOK handguard, low-profile gas block, mid-length gas tube, and 4-position adjustable carrier. The adjustable carrier is my go-to option when shooting suppressed. Eliminating gas out of the system and face is always an added benefit. This build will be suppressed from day one, so the ability to fine tune the gassing with the adjustable carrier will be a must.