Purple Passion AR15 Build for my Wife
Major Pandemic 08.22.16
After being married for decades, guys learn how to “translate” casual comments from our girls into rationale for more equipment or tools–or in this case a new AR15. While utilizing Mrs. Pandemic as my style consult for custom and charity AR15 builds, she made the comment that a purple AR15 build “…would be cool, but ya know, you never have any extra time for things for me.” Knowing that purple was her favorite color and her birthday was coming up, I took this offhand comment and translated it as “I need a brand-new custom purple AR15.”
For the record, that’s not at all what she meant. By the time I die, I might finally understand that what a wife says is not what she actually means. But, like the iPad she never wanted for her birthday and his-and-hers Glock 19s for our 19th wedding anniversary, this too somehow worked out and became a thoughtful gift.
NY-Compliant to NY Non-Compliant
The project started with Black Rain Ordnance NY Compliant AR15, which I reviewed knowing that it would eventually be used for other projects. Mrs. Pandemic had loved other Black Rain Ordnance AR15s, so I thought this was a great base for her custom build. The Black Rain Fallout 15 is loaded with all the custom features you could ever want, or in this case “she” could ever want.
Removing the NY-compliant components was not simple because they are purposely made to be difficult to convert by adding such evil things as grips and adjustable buttstocks. But there is hope for NY-compliant AR15 owners once they move to a “free” state.
I had to grind off and destroy the buttstock grip nut so I could remove the special NY-compliant stock and install a grip and buttstock. I also destroyed the muzzle thread protector in order to install a muzzle brake.
Once freed of those restrictive parts, I installed a PWS FSC brake, Magpul grip, and Ace Doublestar Ultralight stock. The base features of Black Rain Ordnance Fallout 15 AR15s are impressive with billet upper and lower receiver sets, NiBo BCGs, extended billet charging handle, match BRO trigger, billet extended charging handle, anti-rotate pins, match grade .223 Wylde stainless melonited black barrel, and adjustable gas block. Black Rain Ordnance rifles are loaded with all the components you would expect on a top shelf custom AR15.
Putting the Purple in the Passion
I was a little unsure about coatings and how to get to the purple theme going. The answer came to me while cruising the ALG Defense site, where I saw their gorgeous ergonomic rails in bright purple. Perfect. These are excellent rails for the money, and one of my favorite lightweight rails. Order placed, and I had my first purple component. Now I was really on my way.
After a bit of pondering, I decided that custom-lacing the Doublestar UL stock with some Paracord.com purple paracord would deliver the Purple Passion AR15 look I was going for, err, I mean that she wanted.
Mrs. Pandemic already owned an AR15, but I wanted to make this a fun gun that delivered near-recoil-less shooting. A huge piece of this equation was tuning the Black Rain adjustable gas block. Another part of recoil reduction was going to the ACE UL stock’s rifle length buffer, spring, and tube.
A rifle-length buffer assembly will also drastically cut and soften felt recoil, as will an aggressive (therefore loud) muzzle brake. I have been extremely impressed with the braking effects of the PWS FSC brake for AR15s. Between these three components, the final recoil felt about like shooting a 22 LR. This rifle is one of the softest-shooting AR15s in my–I mean “our”–collection.
I could have gone all high-rent with a top shelf red dot, but the $80 Bushnell TRS-32 has become a favorite of mine. It’s durable, clear, fast, reliable, and easy to use.
I did want to add a bit more bling to the gun and really struggled with what emblem I could add to the side of the receiver. In many charity builds, I have used challenge coins on the sides of the receivers and the look has been amazing. My wonderful wife would have loved a pewter or sterling silver skull on the side of the gun. Really, she would have. But a month of searching turned up nothing that would fit or look good.
Then brilliance struck me as I was picking up a few 1oz silver coins that were just gorgeous. Why not just use a 1oz silver coin on the side of the receiver with Ms. Liberty? You would think that a coin of this stature and quality would be expensive, but it was just $3 more than the $22 per-ounce price. $25 and I had my unique little add-on bling for my wife’s Purple Passion rifle, which was easily affixed with a dab of Devcon 2-ton 2-part epoxy.
Another little custom tweak was using her favorite purple sparkly nail polish for color fill on the logo. If you search Youtube for color filling, you’ll find many how-tos on using nail polish for color fill. Basically, you clean the area well with nail polish remover on a Q-tip, let that dry, brush a couple coats of polish on the area, let that dry “a little,” and then wipe off the extra with a Q-tip soaked in polish remover. A little patience delivered a custom touch that looks far better in life than in the pictures.
But Did She Like it?
Well, like almost everything I seem to buy or make her as a gift, it took some time for her to warm up to it. Of course walking into the jewelry store can light up her eyes, but other things do not elicit the same excitement. The Purple Passion AR15 was presented to her on her birthday, along with a custom-set black diamond. She was excited over the diamond, but a bit less excited over the AR15.
“Appreciation” was about as strong as her reaction got–that is, until I got her out on the range. It is true that the way to a girl’s heart is diamonds, but you can at least put a big smile on her face by handing her five magazines full of 5.56 NATO and a soft-shooting custom AR15.
After burning through three magazines with the barrel smoking a bit, she had that sparkle in her eye that told me she loved it. That’s when she really began noting all the little touches I had added such as the paracord stock, silver coin, and purple handguard. What she loved best was that it had virtually no recoil. When she was still smiling about it an hour later, I knew that that my unique creation had become another awesome gift that grew on her.