Matt “Axe” Axelson AR-15 Tribute Raffle

    When you hear about SHOT Show, you may think it’s just about the new guns and gear coming out for the year. However, it’s also about the people that make our community and industry strong. TFB was at the Brownell’s SHOT press event where they along with Axelson Tactical, the Special Operations, and Team Never Quit by Navy SEAL Marcus Luttrell announced a raffle tribute to Matt “Axe” Axelson and his fellow soldiers who died in 2005 in Operation Red Wings.


    A close up of the Matt Axelson tribute rifle, the very first one of 99 produced.

    Matt’s mother, Donna, gave a moving emotional tribute to her son (video starts at the 6:30 mark). She highlighted Axe’s patriotism and the grief she and her family has gone through after losing him in Afghanistan. However, she beamed that her family couldn’t be more proud of Axe’s sacrifice to his country. It was hard not to get teary-eyed as the room heard Donna’s moving speech about her family’s love for our country and military.


    Donna Axelson talks about losing her son in Afghanistan and their family’s pride for our country.

    To commemorate Axe, Axelson Tactical is raffling off a “civilian-legal AR-15 replica of the rifle Matt was carrying on June 28, 2005, when he and nine other U.S. Navy SEALs and eight Army Aviation Soldiers were killed in combat while serving in support of Operation Red Wings.” The winner will also receive 1,000 rounds of Team Never Quit 5.56 ammo.


    Matt’s brother, Jeff of Axelson Tactical, talks about what the AXE-01 Tribute rifle represents: freedom, service, duty, country.


    The AXE-01 rifle chambered in 5.56 with multiple engravings dedicated to the Navy SEALs who lost their lives in 2005 in Operation Red Wings.


    The winner will also receive an engraved wooden box containing a set of special challenge coins that tell the story of Operation Red Wings. The box also contains Matt’s personal, serialized challenge coin that is also etched on the rifle itself.

    The winner will also receive an engraved wooden box containing a set of special challenge coins that tell the story of Operation Red Wings. Included is Matt’s personal, serialized challenge coin that is also etched on the rifle itself.

    Proceeds from the raffle will benefit the Special Operations Wounded Warriors group. Raffle tickets cost $50 a piece in unlimited quantities. You can purchase raffle tickets at The winner will be drawn on July 4, 2016 and announced July 8, 2016.

    Here are the specs of the “Axe”

    • Upper Receiver Half: The upper receiver half is built around the SWS 18” Special Purpose Rifle (SPR) barrel. The upper receiver is a standard M4 styled flat top upper receiver with M4 feed cuts made from a 7075 T6 aluminum forging.
    • Barrel, SIONICS Weapon Systems: stainless 18” SPR barrel. The twist of the barrel is 1/8. This barrel is chambered in .223 Wylde, uses a .0995 gas port and features an M4 barrel extension. It uses a standard .750 gas block manufactured by Geissele Automatics. The muzzle device is a Battle Comp 1.0 manufactured by Battle Comp Enterprises.
    • Rail System, Geissele Automatics: MKII SMR 15” free-floating rail system.
    • Bolt Carrier Group: Bolt carrier is an M16 profile made from 8620 tool steel and features an NP3 coating. The carrier key uses (2) grade 8 fasteners and is staked to prevent loosening. The bolt is made from Carpenter 158 steel and meets standard MILSPEC requirements.
    • Sights, Magpul MBUS PRO: front and rear sights.
    • Charging Handle, Vltor/Bravo Company Gunfighter: MOD 4 handle.
    • Lower Receiver Half: Standard M4 style made from a 7075 T6 aluminum forging. It features an enhanced aluminum trigger guard from B5 Systems.
    • Lower Receiver Extension: Vltor MILSPEC dimension A5 lower receiver extension. It features a rifle action spring and the Vltor A5 5.33 oz. buffer.
    • Trigger Group, Geissele Automatics: SSA-E trigger.
    • Selector Lever, Battle Arms Development: Ambidextrous Selector Lever.
    • Butt Stock, B5 Systems: Enhanced SOPMOD stock.
    • Front Pivot Pin and Rear Take Down Pins, Battle Arms Development: Enhanced Pin Set.
    • Pistol Grip, Bravo Company Manufacturing: Gunfighter MOD 0 grip.

    To learn more about the story of Matt “Axe” Axelson and the tribute rifle, check out the following video:

    Chris Cheng

    Chris Cheng is History Channel’s Top Shot Season 4 champion and author of “Shoot to Win,” a book for beginning shooters. A self-taught amateur turned pro through his Top Shot win, Cheng very much still considers himself an amateur who parachuted into this new career.

    He is a professional marksman for Bass Pro Shops who shares his thoughts and experiences from the perspective of a newbie to the shooting community. He resides in San Francisco, CA and works in Silicon Valley.