Sunday, October 22, 2017

C7 fixed carry handle build

A few weeks ago, my buddy gave me a 20" HBAR upper with the fixed carry handle :

It was the collective opinion of some guys from ARF that the upper might have been an Olympic Arms HBAR upper.  Anyway, I didn't have a dedicated lower ready for it, so my buddy Hermes from Reliable gun got me a stripped Colt Canada lower for pretty cheap.  Actually, it was about half the price of my first stripped lower when these things first came out.

This one was a light gray like my previous ones, but I didn't bother soaking this one in G96/CLP for three weeks to darken it up.  This one also didn't have any markings between the maple leaf and the serial number.  I had it engraved before I had a chance to take a pic of the virgin receiver though, so you'll have to use your imagination.  Also, I had the wrong engraving put in, as this build was supposed to have a fixed carry handle so it should have just been C7 instead of C7A2.

The engraving wasn't perfect, I think the font is a bit on the small side, but whatever, the lower didn't cost me much so I don't really care.

The C7A2 Lower, what the markings are supposed to look like.

Aside from the stripped lower, and the DPMS LPK, I dug a few other Colt Canada parts out of my spare parts box.  I don't think these items however were on the earliest C7s.

Basically all the tools needed to assemble the lower.  The only thing extra I used was a pair of needle nose pliers and some masking tape.  These lowers are getting easier for me to assemble now.  I think this was my 4th or 5th one now, and I didn't even need to refer to any videos to do it this time.

The DPMS LPK is an inexpensive way to get an AR up and running.  I remember my DD lower parts kit cost me $99 back in the day, but to be honest, the parts in this kit weren't that far off in terms of quality, fit and finish.

I've had this work matt for ages and I don't think I've ever laid out the parts like this before, lol!

The magazine release.

The bolt catch spring and plunger.

Tapping in the bolt catch roll pin.  I remember this was a huge pain in the dick for me, but the last two lowers were fairly easy with the right tools.  In fact, I had two buddies over for drinks and I didn't feel like they were a distraction at all.  I slapped this whole lower together while having a perfectly normal conversation with them.

A little CLP goes a long way when it comes to roll pins.

The front take down pin can also be a bit of a pain, but this too was getting easier for me.

Using an X-acto knife blade to retain the front take town detent pin and detent spring makes it worlds easier when sliding the take down pin into the receiver.

I just recently heard someone broke one of the ears of the trigger guard in their Colt Canada stripped lowers.  I can see these things breaking, but I've never had this problem, even before I had the right tools.  This Wheeler AR Armourer's Bench Block really makes things a lot easier though.  It holds the lower in place, and also offers support to the bottom ear.  The top ear will then be supported by the trigger guard itself so for the last two builds, it was a total piece of cake for me.

Again, a little CLP goes a long way.

To be honest, the DPMS disconnector fit better than the DD one I had a few years ago.  I remember I had to remove some material to make it fit into the DD trigger.  This one was a snug fit, but didn;t require the removal of any material.

I actually installed the disconnector spring upside down the first time around, but managed to figure out why I couldn't get my trigger pin into the receiver.  

Installing the hammer was pretty straight forward.

I'll have to order another ambi selector from Midway USA soon.

I'll probably just use the standard A2 grip for this build.  

Comparison to my Colt Canada SA20, clone of the C7A2

Yeah, the upper came with a standard USGI M16 sling.  I was too lazy to dig out the C7 sling that came with my SA20.

As mentioned before, I don't think the first C7s came with the TRIAD rail, but since it was in my spare parts box, I threw it on anyway.  I also have a KAC M5 RAS rail for this length of barrel, but I don't think I'll be using that one unless I go with a flat top upper for it.

A replica "Claw" from Frontier Firearms I think.  It was cheap and in my spare parts box.

The colors don't match, just like the real deal!

Not exactly the same as the C7 when I first joined the CF, but it's black, lol!

When I first joined the CF, our unit didn't have the green furniture.  The rifles were all black, fixed A2 buttstocks, but flat top uppers with the Elcan.  They didn't have the Norgon ambi mag release, ambi selector, TRIAD rail, or the "Claw" charging handle.  I have no idea what configuration they were before I joined, so I'm not even sure if they ever had the fixed carry handle.

I'll have to find some time to take this thing out to shoot one of these days.

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