BOTW: Michael's Predator Hunting AR Build

The 17th Installment of Build of the Week was contributed by Michael G.  This is one of the most complete submissions to date and includes prices.

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LEAKED: DEVGRU's New Breaching Shotgun, Mk 4 Mod 1 (April Fools)

A confidential source at Dam Neck Naval Base has recently shared photographs of the newest addition to the armory of the infamous direct action element within SEAL Team Six. Due to urgent operational requirements to work covertly in extremely hostile environments, DEVGRU (known for the OBL raid) recently had a rush purchase of what would appear to the naked eye as a craft produced shotgun. Apparently, this is exactly what the secretive force had in mind in order to clandestinely approach a target location and be able to have a breaching solution that wouldn’t alert civilians in the vicinity to the true nature of the mission. From what we know, it appears that any sighting of the force in the open would be more akin to a local gang collecting hashish revenue than an actual JSOC component in the wild.

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Ultimax Unveiled: The Singaporean Chartered Industries Mark II

The Charted Industries of Singapore Ultimax is one of the most renowned light machine guns in the world, yet has never really been adopted to the full extent of what it was capable of. The only real military it served was the Singaporean Armed Forces. It was used by multiple other countries and agencies, but not in a full-service adoption.

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Anti-Materiel Rifle from Iraqi Government Small Arms Industry Unveiled

The Technical Directorate for Military Production (TDMP) is a defense armaments manufacturing arm set up within the Popular Mobilization Forces (الحشد الشعبي‎) that were established in Iraq during 2014 to combat the growing threat of the so-called Islamic State. TDMP has a website that is somewhat functional in Arabic, and an English version that still needs some work. The state-sponsored company is mostly committed to manufacturing multi-barrel rocket launchers, 81mm mortar shells, and UAVs of different configurations.

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The Kunduz MK 17 SCAR, or a Chronology of SCAR rifles Among the Taliban

In a recent propaganda video released by the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan (Report Number 190 to be precise), a 7.62x51mm NATO MK 17 SCAR was spotted over the course of the propaganda video. Of course, there is nothing new about this development, we’ve covered the SCAR in use by the Taliban previously on TFB. But what is new is that we are starting to connect the dots on this particular MK 17, clearing up some of the misinformation and hope to even provide a possible explanation for its origins in Afghanistan.

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S&T Kinetics Updates Bullpup Line with BR18 Rifle

At this year’s Singapore Air Show, S&T Kinetics showed off their latest bullpup rifle, the 5.56x45mm NATO BR18. The BR18 is the latest version of what began as the BMCR, or Bullpup Multirole Combat Rifle which initially debuted at the 2014 Singapore Air Show. The biggest difference with this iteration of the design is that it is finally ready for production, following trials held in 2017. Currently it appears the company is going to try for a Singaporean adoption, most likely by the Armed Forces. However, a company representative also mentioned that there could be potential for an international sale.

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Magpul PMAG D-60 Spotted in use by 7th Special Forces Group Soldier

A recently published news video from Arizona-based 3TV/Arizona Family Channel concerning domestic violence in the U.S. Army included a photograph of a U.S. Soldier from the 7th Special Forces Group based out of Eglin Air Force Base in Florida. The soldier is posing with what appears to be an M4A1 SOPMOD Block II and also appears to be on deployment in Afghanistan due to the terrain, green valley, and patchwork of compounds in the background.

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DOD's Plan to Arming Syrian and Iraqi Forces Outlined in FY 2019 Budget Proposal

The Fiscal Year 2019 Department of Defense Budget Proposal has been submitted to Congress and will take some time before we find out if it is approved or denied. But within it there is a specific budget document titled “Counter-Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) Train and Equip Fund (CTEF)”. This proposal covers the Pentagon’s plans to purchase equipment and arms that will be provided to forces that the United States (i.e- SOCOM) supports in Syria and Iraqi government security forces. At the low end of the supply chain are items such as magazine pouches and canteens, while at the high end are HUMVEEs and bulldozers. We are going to narrow down our focus to the small arms segment for TFB’s interests. A key element to keep in mind here is that this proposal hasn’t been approved yet and thus we are simply looking at what the Pentagon wants, instead of what they are going to get in terms of funding for all this equipment. The final result could be less, or it could even be more depending on the politics that go into the decision making process.

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The Retro AR Collection of Enhanced Tactical Arms

We recently wrote about Enhanced Tactical Arms with their new grip design at SHOT 2018. But during the show, we were able to get a behind the scenes look at the small companies efforts to replicate the developmental history of the M4 carbine from the early beginnings in the Vietnam War, until today with the SOMOD Block II program and subsequent H&K 416 use in SOCOM. The collection has been featured in Larry Vicker’s AR15 Guide.

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Las Vegas Antique Gun Show: A Hidden and Accessible Gem

Often completely overshadowed by the larger SHOT Show, the Antique Gun Show is strategically held during the weekend after SHOT Show (although this year it was held the weekend before). Although possibly not the best antique show in the United States, it certainly ranks highly up there with the quality of firearms brought into it. The majority of everything sold within this show is from the 1800s and early 1900s, with even a few older firearms as well. And unlike SHOT Show which is strictly regulated to media and industry folks, the Antique Arms Show is open to the general public for a small admission fee at the door. Apparently, for the first time since attending SHOT, TFB was able to pay a visit and bring to light a number of the more interesting pieces on display. Although not comprehensive of everything that was on display, this post will highlight some of the odder and more fascinating tables and vendors.

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A Light Machine Gun for Independence: The Israeli Dror

The Israeli Dror Light Machine Gun was born during a time of necessity. What would later become the state of Israel was fighting off numerous enemies all around it and needed every weapon system possible. Through this endeavor, a sympathetic employer who formerly worked at Johnson Automatics helped supporters in the United States form a working copy of the M1944 Johnson LMG, fabricated in Canada, and then covertly shipped over to Israel where production was completed.

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Getting Down with Kydex! How Kydex Holsters are Made

Kydex, or Boltaron, holsters are all the rage these days. But how are they actually made? With what tools and techniques do these excellent (or sometimes poor) IWB or OWB setups come from? In this episode we look at a local Kydex holster maker and go through all the steps it takes to bring one to fruition. From cutting out the Boltaron sheet, sticking it in a heater, forming it around a handgun, and all the other smaller steps along the way.

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Too Little Too Late: Japanese Type 100 Submachine Gun

Japan was perhaps the least prepared of all the powers during the Second World War to have an issued submachine gun in use by combat troops. Indeed the Japanese Type 100 only saw a production run of at maximum 30,000 weapons. A small fraction of the total amount of the Japanese Imperial Forces throughout the entire war.

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Almost a Success, The Spanish AMELI Light Machine Gun

The AMELI light machine gun was Spain’s answer to what the Ministry of Defense needed in a squad automatic weapon, as a base of fire for the Spanish Infantry fire team. It was based on the late war German MG45 design, or as we see here, possibly just another version of the Mauser-CETME Light Machine Gun of roller-locking lore. It primarily used belts of M27 NATO links, but there were versions outfitted for STANAG magazines that replaced the feed tray cover (these were rarely if ever used). Later versions even had British SUSAT sights clamped to rails on the feed tray cover.

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Impressions and Reflections of SHOT 2018

Now more than a week has passed since SHOT 2018, and we at TFB are finally recuperating from what is most likely the busiest single week that the entire team will have all year. With SHOT Show over, we can finally go back to the boring business of gun writing and video making. But while the show is still fresh on our minds, I think it is important to take a second and look at some of the trends and big product pushes that occurred during the show.

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