AR-15 (Bushmaster M4)

This is my primary CQB weapon. It started as a Bushmaster M4-type rifle, but it has been extensively customized. It is quite accurate, incredibly easy to control, and target acquisition is very fast. The 5.56x45mm (or .223 Remington) cartridge is not ideal for self defense, but it is no slouch.

Handloading: 223 Remington

Caliber:5.56x45mm (.223 Remington)
Barrel:Bushmaster 14.5" chrome-lined with 1:9" twist
Trigger:Geissele DMR Two-Stage
Muzzle Attachment:Izzy flash suppressor (permanently attached)
Rear Stock:Magpul CTR w/ASAP Sling Attachment Point
Forearm:YHM Smooth Carbine
Main Sight:Trijicon RX06 Reflex Site w/throw lever mount
Backup Sight:YHM Flip-Up Hooded Front Sight/Gas-Block, Magpul Gen2 MBUS flip-up rear sight
Grip:CAA UPG16
Overall Length:31½" to 35¼"
Weight:7 lbs 4 oz

The upper and lower receivers and the bolt carrier group are made by Bushmaster. It has an A3 (flat top) receiver, a telescoping rear stock, an Izzy flash suppressor, and 30 round magazines.

This rifle fires either the 5.56x45mm NATO cartridge or the .223 Remington, the two being almost identical. This cartridge has excellent ballistics, shooting flat and accurate. In addition to home or personal defense, this weapon could be used for larger varmints and smaller game.


I now have a Trijicon RX06-23 reflex sight on this rifle. It uses a combination tritium and fiber-optic light source which is always on, requires no battery, and automatically adjusts to surrounding light levels. This version of the sight uses a 12.9 MOA triangle reticle. I hope to use the upper point of the triangle for more precise shooting.

I also have a Mueller Eraticator 5.5-25x50mm scope that I can attach as needed. However, I think I would like to find a smaller scope that would be better suited to tactical uses. Ideally, that would be a 2.5-10x scope with a short overall length and tactical turrets.


For self defense, I had selected the Wilson Combat ammunition with the 65gr Sierra GameKing bullet. It is "match grade tactical ammunition" that uses the bullet I believe to be most ideally suited to my rifle for defense applications. I have tested it, and it groups well for factory ammunition. I need to stock up and have several loaded magazines ready.

Unfortunately, they stopped making it.

Hornady has released a line of Critical Defense Rifle ammunition, which uses FTX bullets. In this caliber, they have a 55 grain and a 73 grain variety. I should test both in this gun, and depending on the results, I should switch to this as my preferred load. I have backordered a box of each type from Midsouth Shooter's Supply.