HOT GAT or FUDD CRAP? James vs Hop Block II on a Budget Special

    Hot Gat or Fudd Crap

    HOT GAT or FUDD CRAP? James vs Hop Block II on a Budget Special

    Welcome everyone to the 171st edition of ‘Hot Gat or Fudd Crap?’, one of our many series here on TFB. If you’re new to the series, this is where we look at the most obscure firearms that are actually for sale and ask the question – is this Gat a sweet deal or only has a Fudd appeal?  Each week the TFB staff weighs in with their thoughts, but readers get the final say in the poll at the bottom of each article.

    In our last edition, our poll showed that you, the readers, decided the Springfield Super Comp was a very hot gat.  

    Hot Gat or Fudd Crap

    HGFC – Super Comp or Overcompensating? — Poll Results

    At this time the original auction remains up with the retro .38 super chambered 1911 still up for grabs.  We can only hope it finds its way to a new home in the very near future.   

    In this week’s special edition of HGFC, we look at two Block II-style carbines built by TFBtv members Hop and James Reeves. As is tradition, both guns built by Hop and James are currently up for sale on GunBroker with a starting bid of $1 and No Reserve.  


    James vs Hop Block II on a Budget Special

    Hot Gat or Fudd Crap

    HOT GAT or FUDD CRAP? James vs Hop Block II on a Budget Special

    Usually, this is where I introduce the seller and where they are from.  This week is slightly different where both of our sellers are well known, and this is more of a head-to-head challenge.  Let us see what each had to say about their rifle’s specs.  

    Hop’s Rifle

    Hot Gat or Fudd Crap

    HOT GAT or FUDD CRAP? James vs Hop Block II on a Budget Special

    “Block II on a Budget”

    This rifle is a concept build based on the idea of taking a basic rack grade AR and upgrading it into a useful fighting rifle. For inspiration on how to turn a basic M4-gery into something practical, we turned to the US military’s SOPMOD program and applied those principals to a civilian AR build. Instead of the M4 SOPMOD Block II, we have the PSA HOPMOD Block One and a Half.

    Build details:

    Palmetto State Armory “Classic” series upper and lower

    16″ midlength gas 4150 barrel with fixed front sight base and A2 flash hider

    Midwest Industries two piece drop-in midlength quad rail

    FDE Magpul MOE grip, CTR stock, & enhanced trigger guard

    SIG Romeo MSR red dot with Juiet 3x Micro magnifier

    Flatline Fiber Co two point padded sling

    Streamlight Protac 2L Rail mount weapon light with remote switch

    Schmid Tool two stage trigger

    Built by Palmetto State Armory, lovingly customized by Hop from TFBTV, and test fired by none other than TFBTV’s James Reeves himself. It’s a practical, functional rifle, it’s a piece of TFB history, but most importantly it’s a great meme build to post on Reddit.

    Hot Gat or Fudd Crap

    HOT GAT or FUDD CRAP? James vs Hop Block II on a Budget Special

    James’ Reeves Rifle

    Hot Gat or Fudd Crap

    HOT GAT or FUDD CRAP? James vs Hop Block II on a Budget Special

    This is the BEST (at being average) AR-15. Pieced together, personally, by James Reeves of TFBTV. This build was made to answer the question “what is the best all around AR-15 you can build for $1,250?”

    According to James:

    “Borrowing from the Thunder Ranch “Urban Rifle” philosophy, I’ve put together a build that maybe even Clint Smith would approve of. The BABAR (Best at Being Average) is as complete and versatile a rifle as possible for use on the range, in the house, or on Instagram, all while staying under a $1,250 budget.

    • The upper is a JSE Surplus billet upper with a 16” 223 Wylde 1:8 twist Nitrided barrel for stabilizing everything from 45gr to 77gr
    • 15″ JSE aluminum M-Lok Free Float handguard to mount your WMLs, DBALs, TPS reports, or CBTs
    • JSE bolt carrier group
    • KE Arms KE-15 lower
    • LaRue Tactical MBT-2S Trigger
    • Primary Arms SLx 3X MicroPrism Optic with Red Illuminated ACSS Raptor 5.56/.308 Reticle
    • Holosun HS407C red dot sight in a Primary Arms offset mount
    • Strike Industries T-Bone Charging Handle
    • Blue Force Gear Padded Vickers Sling
    • Magpul furniture
    • Noveske H-buffer

    The 16″ barrel is small enough to be workable in tight spaces but long enough to give .223 that range and terminal performance that makes it oh-so effective. What good is a 5.56″ 16″ rifle if you can’t reach out a bit, though? Thus, I included the Primary Arms 3x SLx Prism with ACSS reticle so you can see a target, calculate drop without using math (which is for nerds), and make hits at distance. The excellent LaRue Tactical MBT-2S trigger will help with that, also.

    What about those everyday dynamic tactical situations where you don’t need your magnified optic? Good news, just roll this hog over a few degrees and you’ve got a Holosun 407 red dot. Great for slicing the pie in your mom’s basement (note: please don’t bring this to your local airsoft match). No need to mess with a magnification ring, or worse, flip a magnifier mount, to go from 1x-3x and back, AND you can even zero your close-range offsets into your 1x optic will using a long range zero on the prism. Plus, flipping a gun on its side is faster and looks way cooler (John Wick) than using a magnification ring (old people) or flipping a magnifier (Hop).

    Thoughtful touches like the BFG Vickers sling, Strike Industries gas-diverting T-Bone Charging Handle, Magpul furniture, and a Noveske H-Buffer round out this handsome build that takes after its father.

    Eugene Stoner would probably openly weep if he saw this amazing build. A shame he isn’t here to see this worthy homage to the AR.”

    Hot Gat or Fudd Crap

    HOT GAT or FUDD CRAP? James vs Hop Block II on a Budget Special

    While I understand this is a departure from the HGFC norm, it’s still interesting to see what both Hop and James were able to put together with a $1,250 dollar budget.  Let’s be honest, $1,250 isn’t what it used to be.  I’m impressed both were able to put some decent-quality rifles together.

    However, in this challenge, there can be only one winner.  One of these rifles will get the top bid, and one of these rifles will be just a little more fudd crap than the other.  Who decides?  Of course and as always, it will be up to you, the readers and our fearless GunBroker bidders who’ll decide.  Happy bidding and voting.  For more information on these two rifles, check out the TFBtv video below.

    What do you think?  Which one of these two rifles is the Hottest Gat and which one is more Fudd Crap?  Be sure to let us know in the comments below, and cast your vote carefully in this special edition Hot Gat or Fudd Crap showdown:

    Austin R

    The author is a military contractor who enjoys conducting independent firearms research and reloading. Article inquiries and suggestions are welcome at austinjrex at