Double Down On Doomsday Builds – The .223 By Four

What is it about doomsday scenarios that have us all intrigued? The Hollywood productions alone have made TEOTWAWKI scenarios a billion dollar industry, not to mention “prepping” and related activities. Case in point, our story from two weeks ago about an user’s scrap built rifle was extremely popular, with super retailer Brownells even getting in on the action.

This week, TFB “super fan” Charles sent in prictures of his awesome scrap build. (I made up the part about the super fan). Ever seen a wooden AR lower?

Here’s my version of an apocalypse AR:

It’s alternately nicknamed the “two by foAR” or the “.223 by four”.
After doing a couple polymer lowers I decided I wanted to make one out of wood. Originally this one was only supposed to be a concept lower before buying some better wood, but now I like it as is. I wanted to demonstrate how easy it is to build an AR. With a little patience, anyone who’s a little handy could do this.

It’s made using only a hacksaw, files, a drill press, and a trim router. All he parts were either materials or spare parts I had laying around. I’m a machinist, but I specifically wanted to keep this one away from my lathe and mill. To get the pins just right I used the drill chuck like a lathe and files to tweak the diameters.

The receiver is obviously pieces of 2×4, held together with drywall screws. The plate on the side is some aluminum flashing backing up some Harbor Freight springs for the mag release that’s activated by the steel pin sticking out the side. The same aluminum adds some reinforcing to the pivot pin area. Some different scrap aluminum makes up the afterthought of a trigger guard.

The home brew bolt action upper was actually going to be a different project when I ended up with a barrel that didn’t have a gas hole drilled.
The first plan was to just leave the bottom flat but at the last minute I remembered I had the AK grip on the shelf. The steel tube “scope” was added as a joke but actually feels right on it. That piece is literally as-is from my scrap pile.

I’ve only tested it out to 50 yards, but it seemed as consistent as most AR’s I’ve used. Makes sense since most of an AR’s accuracy is in the upper and as a bolt action only it has fewer moving parts to mess up. I’m sure it could do better if I added some cross hairs to the scope.

Just thought you might might get a kick out of it. Thus far it’s only been seen on my private facebook page and at my local range.



LE – Science – OSINT.
On a mission to make all of my guns as quiet as possible.
Twitter: @gunboxready
Instagram: @tfb_pete


  • oldman

    Taurus R&D department?

  • Major Tom

    The future of H&K products!

  • Suppressed

    Lowe’s is getting in on the 21% lower game.

  • Jim Slade
    • Jared Vynn

      I do, it’s so much fun to dump hundreds of .38 through a never-ending pipe rifle into a deathclaw.

  • thedonn007

    Are 2×4’s going to be banned in California now?

    • Jared Vynn

      They will be in Canada for being 80% receivers which are now considered machineguns.

  • iksnilol

    What kinda upper did he use on it? I wonder if you could get away with an airsoft metal upper. Just would need a real bolt and barrel then.

    I’m intrigued.

    • randomswede

      The lockup should be bolt lugs to barrel extension but recoil force would be barrel extension to upper receiver.
      I’m thinking you’d be better off starting from a steel tube and drilling and filing the needed openings. It won’t look as “good” of course.

      • iksnilol

        I’m not looking for good, I’m looking for easy.

        • Flounder

          Just do it!

    • Flounder

      I don’t believe airsoft uppers allow the use of charging handles (they do other weird stuff for their charging handles). And the threads up front would suck to attach a barrel nut to. My guess is a few hundred to a few thousand rounds in the upper would just break in half. But yes you could make it work.

    • Ken

      I’ve thought about taking an AK parts kit with a functional barrel and sticking it in a 2×4 chassis. At minimum, it would be a serviceable single shot rifle.

      • iksnilol

        OOOOOOh, you can sell it on armslist as a precision rifle with a chassis system.

    • chas

      It was just one that was laying on the shelf. Most likely a Tactical Machining from when they had a $29 sale. Not that TM would want to be associated with this…

  • Ryobiwankenobi

    All sales of lumber will have to be registered with California DOJ as these now constitute pre-built biodegradable ghost guns!

  • Joshua

    colour me intrigued

  • Antoua B

    All lumber sales will have to go through restricted firearms registration process in Canada, Libertards will quickly move into making new legislation to criminalize and penalize all lumber sales that wasn’t properly registered through Firearms Chief Office. Those dangerous 2×4 could be easily modified into AR Lowers and thus become lethal weapons.

  • Brett

    “Neva ben 2befo”

  • UCSPanther

    Perfect for hunting rathounds and psionic beetles in the stygian depths of the Underrail…

  • Peter Nissen

    Tis a thing of beauty… but as an Aussie, it needs some fencing wire!

  • mazkact

    If I understand this, it is side charged and manually operated ? Will the buffer spring strip and load another round from the magazine and bring it into battery Pretty damn neat.

    • chas

      You understand correctly, and yes it does.

  • An ACOG would probably outlast that “scope” fwiw.

  • Raptor Fred