Thursday, November 19, 2015


When I left Fort Dix in 1968 I did not have any interest in shouldering an AR rifle. Don’t get me wrong, I didn’t have anything against guns because my first purchases when I got home was a 30-06 semi-auto and a 12 gauge shotgun. And shortly after this I started my part-time  outdoor writer’s career; and guns became a major part of my life. I don’t really know how many I have owned, sold and /or tested; but I wouldn’t be surprised if it was over 100. But it was at the Shot Show in Las Vegas where one of the companies offered to make a NYS Legal .308 caliber AR; and let me test it for them. With this rifle I shot a Canadian black bear a wild boar and ever since these hunts I was quite impressed with its accuracy.  

But it was at the Brownells’ booth last year that I met Larry Weeks their Public Relations Manager who had a wealth of knowledge on all firearms; especially the AR and asked thoughts about me building my own .223 caliber NY State Legal AR. He said it was definitely possible and, “We have all the parts you will need.”  Brownells has been the world’s leading source for gun parts and accessories. Thus the beginning of what I wanted to do. Helping me on this parts selection and project was their Public Relations Specialist Roy Hill; who made it all happen.

Knowing I would have to be very careful to build this rifle without breaking any of the Safe Acts requirements I spent quite a bit of time reading and re-reading the 17 pages of the Act. I also solicited NYS State Police and they were very helpful  interpreting  parts of GUIDE TO THE NEW YORK STATE SAFE ACT. Lastly and equally important, I obtained the assistance of a close friend quite familiar with ARs. You can find this GUIDE at,

The first was to go to the Brownell website and make of list of what parts are required. Here is my list along with the part numbers.
(100 016 811)   AR15 STRIPPED LOWER RECEIVER. To get this item you will have to go to a local Federal Firearms licensed dealer and have them send a copy of their current license to Brownells. When the dealer gets this part they will contact you and you will have to fill out the NICS check just like you do when you buy a firearm. The remainder of these parts can be sent directly to you.

These include: (100 016 550)  M16 5.56 COMPLETE BOLT CARRIER GROUP; (593 000 168)  AR OPTICS 3-9X40 MATTE BC; (078 101 129)  AR-15 M-4 RECOIL SPRING; (739 000 006)  CARBINE LENGTH BUFFER; (100 013 603)  AR15M16 16 RXA15 SS BULL UPPER RECEIVER; (749 002 660)  AR15 CHARGING HANDLE; (100 014 781) FRS-15 STOCK KIT W/QD; (231 115 003)  LRPK-1 LOWER RECEIVER PARTS KIT; (078 000 173)  5RD AR15/M16 MAGAZINE (order 2).

Now there are several choices you have for a NYS Legal AR. I have tried them and the Thordsen Custom is by far the most comfortable; and comfort equals better accuracy. You will also find that Brownells will be quite helpful in completing this project.

There are also different calibers choices but in my case I will be using this rifle primarily for range shooting and hunting coyotes and possibly a using it to fill my doe tag.  Now before you email me about the .223 being too light for deer, go on the internet and Google, “.223 FOR DEER HUNTING” and see some of the videos of deer taken with a 223 rifle. I also will be using the .223 in Florida this spring for boar and an Osceola turkey. My ammo choice for the boar will be Hornady’s 50 grain GMX Full Boar.   


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