Friday, September 8, 2017

Mk18 Block II build

After I finished my Mk18 Mod 0 build, I told myself and many people here that I was done with clone building, but then I started that Mk12 Mod 1 build.  I didn't quite finish it, but I'm satisfied with where it is now.  I'm just going to shoot the 20" barrel and if I stumble on a cheap Mark 4, I'll grab it, but I'll use the Patrol for now.  Anyway, I said I was done after the Mk12, but here I am, talking about a Block II build.  

It started with an Elcan Specter DR I picked up a few weeks ago.  I had no business buying this scope in the first place, but my buddy was egging me on, and it was a good deal too hard to pass up, so I grabbed it.

Then things started to spiral out of control.  I went on a small shopping spree and between Fleabay, equipment exchange and stuff already in my spare parts box, I managed to accumulate a few goodies for a build.  

It all cumulated in a Daniel Defense Mk18 upper that someone was kind enough to offer me for a pretty decent price.  It came with many of the parts I wanted but figured might be a pain in the arse to source separately.  The KAC M4QD was a hard pill for me to swallow for my Mod 0 build, as were the KAC BUIS (not to mention the Block II version calls for the front sight to be in KAC Taupe), but this DD came with those, as well as the tan Tango Down vertical grip (which isn't that hard to source).  

My concern was the FDE RIS II rail from DD.  I haven't seen the rail alone sell for less than $700 USD on Fleabay and one retailer had a complete, stock DD MK18 upper receiver group $1,695 plus tax and shipping.  The upper receiver isn't clone correct (I don't think anyway) so I'll probably swap it out for a Colt upper one of these days.  

A PRI gasbuster and CQD front sling mount from my spare parts bin.  The PRI gasbuster does occasionally pop up at Canadian retailers, but the CQD sling mount I got from EE and is seemingly a huge pain in the dick to acquire in Canada.  The CQD rear sling plate is equally frustrating to acquire.

I also nabbed a B5 SOPMOD stock, used.  It was advertised as tan, but was painted over with what appears to be FDE collors.  Since the DD upper is semi painted, and many of the parts of this build come in some variant of tan or FDE, I'll probably just leave the paint on this time.  We'll see.

A comparison between the B5 SOPMOD and the LMT Gen 1 SOPMOD.  The thickness of the material appear to be similar.  I didn't bother getting the calipers out, but I've seen airsoft versions and they are pretty thin walled in comparison.

The checkering on the LMT appear to have bigger nodules.

The patent markings don't appear on the B5, and the B5 being a gen 2 of the stock, has the QD sling swivel.

One of the telltale signs of an authentic LMT is the red ring gaskets for the storage tubes.  The B5 came with black ones, but I have no idea if they're supposed to or not.  The way I see it is, it is unlikely a manufacturer would go to the trouble to make a fake B5 stock when an LMT seems more desirable.

I also picked up an extra SOPMOD butt pad.  It was previously owned, but BNIB butt stock.  I actually needed a black one, but I haven't found one so I'll use a tan one for now, and maybe even paint the black stock tan again as it originally came to me, lol!

As you can see, the butt pad on my LMT is a little worse for wear.  The pad is easy to remove, just squeeze the tabs together and it just pops right off.

During my shopping spree, I picked up Smith Enterprises Vortex Flash Eliminator G6A2-SBV 5.56mm.  I figured since I will probably never get my hands on the Surefire 4 prong, this would be the next best thing.  Once it arrived though, the purist in me said no, not clone correct, just leave the KAC on there for now.  I'll probably save this for one of my Colt Canada uppers as I have seen this flash hider on a C8IUR, in the wild.

Illumination!  This is actually not the correct light, but ARF has given me their blessing and said it was close enough.  The correct light is the SU-233, which was incandescent, and this is the LED version.  The markings are different and the knurling on the head is finer on the incandescent version. 

Here is the correct version:

 I've been advised that the SU-233 may be difficult to find and the real solution would be to get the Insight WMX-200 in bronze.  I looked up the price on those.....$800 USD for a used one on Fleabay, no thanks, lol!

Anyway, onto the URG (upper receiver group) I got used:

It came with the KAC Flip Up 300m rear sight, used, but functional.  The charging handle appears to be a standard mil-spec one, probably a DD.  The sights retail for about $166 USD new.

The KAC front folding sight in taupe.  About $191 USD new.

The KAC M4QD flash suppressor, about $96.25 USD new.  We're at $453.25 USD on top of the cost of just buying the upper, which already more than what I paid so ok, it was money well spent and I got a good deal (ok, I keep telling myself that, lol!)

If I were to just build of my existing 10.5in upper and tried to source a DD RIS II in FDE, I'm guessing I'd pay at least $800 CAD because I've seen them sell on Fleabay for about $700 USD.

What can I say, it's the cheese graters.  I know there are lighter and slicker rails out there, but none of them are clone correct so cheese graters it is.  That being said, Geisele is rumored to be on the Mk18 Mod 2.  Impossible to keep up, lol!

The previous owner swapped out the DD BCG and provided a Colt one.  Some people would prefer the DD, but for clone purposes, I'm glad he gave me a Colt one.

Anyway, I swapped out the DD charging handle for a PRI one from my spare parts box, and the CQD front sling mount was easy enough to install.  Above is a shot of the CQD rear sling plate on the lower of my Mk18 Mod 0 build.  I'm just borrowing the lower for pics here and I'll have to decide where to build a dedicated lower just for this upper or just swap back and forth (I know, I'll probably buy another lower *%$&#@!).

Anyway, I slapped it all together and thew it on my existing lower for a few pictures:

Ok, maybe some have noticed, woah, you didn't talk about the ATPIAL (AN/PEQ-15).  Well, that, like my suppressor, is fake.  I threw it on there just for photos, and I think it looks nice, but in all honesty, there are no night events that I will ever utilize night vision, and besides that, the thing goes for $1,500 USD or so, and I'd still need to get the goggles.  A fake one for photos is fine.  Don't even get me started on suppressors in Canada.

Anyway, I wouldn't call this build done, as I still have to decide what to do about the paint, and the DD upper.  

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