With two exceptions, the only carbines that I've owned or shot have been Colts. The first was a BM and I sold it quickly. The second is this LMT that I put together. This one's a keeper.
I have a few carbines and I prefer them to be similarly set up, for ease of use. I'm not that good at shooting and if I have to remember to do something different on a rifle it slows me down even more. Having said that, I wanted to try a few different pieces of equipment to see how well they work.
LMT Upper w/14.5", 1:7 barrel
LMT SOPMOD Stock
Colt F/A BCG
Colt Charging Handle
Badger Ordnance TacLatch
KAC Rail Panels
YHM Extended FH
Tango Down Pistol Grip
Tango Down VFG
Tango Down PR-4 Sling Mount
LaRue Tactical 7.0 Rail
LaRue Tactical M68CCO Mount
LaRue Tactical/Viking Tactics Sling
Viking Tactics Light Mount
I started out with a complete LMT lower that I got from some friends on another forum. They had arranged for a special run from LMT and graciously offered me one for a really good price. The lower came with the SOPMOD stock and Tango Down pistol grip. The lower also had special markings on the side, though it was not engraved. DamonL on this forum hooked me up with an LMT upper (no handguard, charging handle, or BCG) direct from the factory. From LaRue Tactical, I got the 7.0 rail. I had a nationally-known gunshop install the rail and permanently attach a YHM extended flash suppressor so that the upper would meet the legal requirement for a 16" barrel.
When I got it back, I put on KAC panels, Colt charging handle with Badger Ordnance Tac Latch, Colt BCG (shrouded, full-circle), and Troy rear sight, Viking Tactics/LaRue sling and Viking Tactics light mount, and Tango Down VFG and PR-4 sling mount. The PR-4 is new for me; my Colts have the G.G.&G. sling end plate that requires removal of the factory-staked end plate. The PR-4 is better, but is not without a trade-off. The VTac light mount was also new. Incredibly simple and very inexpensive, it has made me question the need for another SureFire M952C.
After getting all that stuff together, I remembered that somewhere I had a new LaRue M68CCO mount with lever safety mount. I found a guy with a used, excellent condition Aimpoint ML2, mounted it in the LaRue mount and went to the range to sight in the rifle.
It's always best to function test parts before sending them off for modification. The upper was not cycling properly. I should have put the upper on my Colt SBR and ran it for awhile. Instead, I had it sent to the gunshop for work before shooting it. I promptly returned the complete upper to the gunshop and, after fixing the upper, they informed me that the problem was with LMT as LMT hadn't drilled the barrel for the gas system. Uh-huh. . . . Upon return, the rifle worked fine, but I'm not going to plug those guys on this thread.
I wasn't quite finished. Something was missing. It hit me quickly, but I also realized that I couldn't do this on my own. Whether irrational or not, I could not bring myself to spray paint the carbine.
I called Pat Rogers and asked him if he could help me out. He agreed and I headed over, after a stop at Quantico Arms for some supplies.
We prepped the carbine by spraying it down with 725 and then putting paper towels down the muzzle and in the ends of the optic. Pat started off by putting down the base coat of khaki.
Then, using his trade-secret camouflage method, he put down a second coat of olive drab, followed with some additional highlights of forest green. I understand this process normally takes weeks elsewhere and costs hundreds of dollars. . . . Pat helped me get over my fear of depreciating a collectible asset. The LMT is likely going to be my primary school gun and I don't plan on selling it.
I've shot the carbine some more since painting it. The PR-4 coupled with the LT/VTac sling is a tremendous improvement over the G.G.&G./Wildnerness single point sling set-up on the other carbines. Over all, it's more versatile, especially with the quick-detach swivels that snap into the PR-4 and LT7.0. The only downside is that the stock will not close fully and casing it in the Eagle M4 discreet case is tight. The light holder is remarkable and coupled with a SureFire G2, it's an unbelievably cheap and effective weapon-mounted light. Even if I didn't have it mounted on the LMT, I'd want it around as a back-up to the 952 on the Colt.