It’s STILL not an AR9…

…but we’re going to call it that because I’m lazy. So a while back I found an 80% Hybrid Polymer kit pretty cheap and picked it up, less because I wanted one than that I was curious how difficult it was to complete one. I answered that question here.

For assorted reasons I decided to make it into a 9mm range-toy/PDW/home defense gun. I ordered a bunch of parts, put them together and it worked. It’s fun to shoot and I am not hopeless with it.

Pretty much how it’s been ever since.

For other reasons I have not been entirely happy with the adapted mag-well. It works fine the parts are good quality but I never liked the look. *Shrug* I didn’t dislike it enough to do anything about it. It worked fine, which was what really mattered.

Then the BATF launched another game of ‘No-it-isn’t-Yes-it-is’ about braces being stocks and making these guns illegal SBRs. I’m getting sick of this and was considering just filing for an SBR and calling it good, but that spooky receiver might be problematic. Then I had an issue at the range which I erroneously attributed to the magazine-well adapter. Chris at McCallen Defense had a purpose-built 9mm lower right there for $140, and no mag-well adapter meant no issues with one, so…

Aero Precision EPC-9 ‘Enhanced Pistol Caliber’ lower.

The lower in question was the Aero Precision Enhanced Pistol Caliber unit. I’ve had good luck with AP products, they come highly recommended and they’re local. I had to ask online what was enhanced, and there’s quite a bit, actually. My friend and gun demi-god Tim informed me, “Enhanced equals billet machined, integral trigger guard, set screw for takedown detent spring. We sell the 556 version, very nice.”

It certainly looks very nice. After dinner I took the gun and lower and headed out to the shop to swap things over. This was accomplished with no particular drama, and I was impressed with the construction and details of the lower.

Instead of a roll-pin the bolt hold-open uses an Allen screw. Nice. A little Blue Loctite and it will be there until I remove it.

In a reasonably short time everything was back together and functioning correctly. I really, really like the look; it makes a handsome gun. Tomorrow it’ll be back to the range for test firing, but I am confident it will work as it should.

So, to recap the build-

Aero Precision EPC lower and lower parts kit.

Foxtrot Mike Glock-Compatible 5″ M-Loc Upper with blast-can

SBa3 Brace

Timney Impact Single-Stage trigger and 45-degree ambidextrous safety

Magpul handgrip

Angstad 5.4 oz. 9mm buffer

ETS 31-shot clear composite magazines (which will be replaced by Glock magazines eventually…)

Bushnell TRS-25 red-dot optic

Monstrum quick-release riser

Generic pop-up iron sights that co-witness with the optic.

Here’s some pics of the finished build-

A nice compact package.
The flip-up back-up sights are generic Amazon fodder. They work and are relatively robust…
…and the front sight makes a pretty good thumb-stop.
The blast-can starts inside the handguard. I had to Loctite it to keep it from unscrewing.
The Bushnell TRS25. It’s not fancy and it lacks a lot of features of more modern optics, but it works, it’s tough and affordable.

So, there it is, struttin’ in its new suit and looking good. Tomorrow we’ll see how it works.

Stay safe and take care,

Michael Tinker Pearce, 15 January 2022

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