Category Archives: Templar

The boycott comes closer to home

I’ve told you before that I hang out with Bob Reynolds, of Templar Custom. He lets me come visit the shop and sweep up. I even occasionally hand him tools. My personal rifle is a Templar Custom rifle.

This morning Bob announced that Templar Custom would be joining the New York Boycott.

Press Release: Templar Custom, Inc. Announces New York State Sales Policy


New York State has recently passed the NY SAFE Act, which prohibits law-abiding New York citizens from purchasing and using many of the most common rifles, handguns, and shotguns in the United States, along with most standard magazines made for these firearms.

The law, rammed through the New York legislature in roughly 30 hours before the legislators themselves or the general public could respond, is a blatant violation of the New York State Constitution.

A plain, common-sense reading of the recent Heller decision also shows that the NY SAFE Act is also a blatant and purposefully affront to the Second Amendment of the United States, and is clearly not a constitutional law.

We cannot legally sell rifles to New Yorkers as private citizens.

We will not sell arms to agents of the state of New York that hold themselves to be “more equal” than their citizens.

As long as the legislators of New York think they have the power to limit the rights of their citizens, in defiance of the Constitution, we at Templar will not sell them firearms to enforce their edicts.

Templar Custom is announcing that the State of New York, any Law Enforcement Departments, Law Enforcement Officers, First Responders within the State of New York, or any New York State government entity or employee will no longer be served as customers.

We hold these truths to be self evident that all men are created equal. Before the law and before their creator, all people are equal. When the political class attempts to set itself above the people, we at Templar Custom will always side with the people.

We will also be reviewing the laws of the various states to determine if others will be joining New York on our “Do Not Sell” list.

Templar Custom invites all firearms manufacturers, distributors and firearms dealers to join us in this action to refuse to do business with the State of New York. We must stand together, or we shall surely fall divided.


Bob Reynolds


Templar Custom, Inc.

Thanks, Bob. I’ve added you to my New York Boycott list.

So Sean, how accurate is your new rifle?

Not bad, actually

I shot this on Thanksgiving morning, from the bench at 100 yards using a scope. If I place a quarter directly over the group, it covers one and half of each of the other two bullet holes. That sounds like 1 MOA to me. Given I was shooting standard 55gr FMJ Federal, and not some fancy match grade ammo, I think that’s pretty fine.

Still don’t have a better photo

I think I could improve on this. I am not very good at shooting off the bench, which is funny because you’d think that benchrest would be easy. Last year when we had a blogshoot out east of here, ASM826 of Random Acts of Patriotism said that he was more comfortable shooting from the prone, unsupported, with a sling. I thought he must be crazy. After going to Appleseed, I find I agree with him. I’d like to shoot this again, from the prone. I just need to find some sort of sling attachment point that works with my (lack of) rail.

The next range trip will hopefully be on the 14th of December. Marthe, the girl half of my Belgian shooting students, will have one day between the end of her finals and her plane flight home. We are hoping to have a couple of free hours so she can shoot a real live “assault weapon™” before she goes home.

My rifle is finally complete

I’m excited. I just finished my brand new Templar Custom AR-15. I’ve been working over at the Templar shop, sweeping up, handing tools, and processing brass. I’m likely to be reloading LOTS of .223 ammo over the Christmas holiday. All that hard work has paid off. I don’t get money, I get paid in rifle parts. Bob even hand painted the camo pattern for me.

I will eventually use a photo of this rifle to replace the one at the top of the page. That rifle is Bob’s personal rifle.

I’m sure it will come up, so here are the parts.

Current unloaded weight is 7lbs 4.5oz. It should be capable of 1MOA accuracy. I will need to tighten up on the loose nut behind the trigger before I see that kind of accuracy though. I’ll be taking it to the range on Tuesday to sight it in.

Not pictured are the sights. Currently I’m borrowing some back up iron sights, but I plan on installing some fixed Troy BattleSights or something similar along with an EOTech sight. My thought is that all the cool carbine classes seem to want you to leave your iron sights up while using your EOTech or Aimpoint, so why get folding sights? It’s just one more thing to break. Given that I’m basically Shleprock with my equipment, I should go with things without too many moving parts.

This will be one of two rifles eventually. This rifle only has one barrel. The Templar rails allow you to swap out barrels, so I think I will be getting a .50 Beowulf barrel from Bob. Why? Because I can. I think it would be neat to be able to hunt bear or moose with an AR. Not that I actually plan on hunting bear or moose, but it never hurts to be prepared for any eventuality. Plus it’s cool. Ask anyone who has fired a .50 Beowulf. Just don’t put your nose up against the charging handle. Learn from my fail. I am also thinking about getting a 300 Blackout barrel. I know that I can hunt deer with a .223 here in NC, but I might want the larger caliber anyway.

You can see, with .223, 300 Blackout, and .50 Beowulf, this rifle is basically a short range rifle. I can shoot all of them with iron sights or with a zero power optic. The second rifle will be pretty much the same as this one, with two small changes. I want a pair of 18″ barrels, one in .223, the other in 6.5 Grendel. Secondly, I want a nice scope. That would make a fantastic long range rifle.

For those who haven’t seen it before, here’s a video of how the barrel change system works.

And if you’re wondering, does removing the barrel shift the bullet impact? Not really, no. At the link you’ll see the results of the barrel remove/reinstall test at 200 yards. The groups overlapped each other.

Another prototype from Templar

 Let’s face it. You don’t need four rails on your AR-15. I know, it’s not the Bill of Needs. I’m not saying you can’t HAVE four complete rails and the entire Brownell’s catalogue attached to the front of your rifle. I’m just saying you don’t NEED it. I might attach a light to the front of my rifle, but realistically, the only two things that absolutely have to be mounted up there are a front sight and a sling swivel. So why do I want to pay a huge weight penalty in order to have all those useless rails?
This is the solution.

What you see is the prototype of the new RaceRail from Templar. It has one full length rail on top and that’s it. Those long slots are set up so you can attach a sling swivel or maybe a short bit of rail to the bottom or side if you just can’t help yourself. The entire rifle, as pictured with a 16” barrel and a 14.25” rail is 7 lbs 2.4oz.
Here’s a close up of the rail.
Just like the FastRail, it’s fully free floated and can be removed and the barrel changed in minutes with only hand tools.
Bob expects that the rails will be available within a month.

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Templar FastRail Video

Remember the Templar FastRail that I was talking about a while back? Well it turns out that Ranier Arms has posted a video on how it works.

I talked to Bob at Templar, and he paid Ranier to film this video, so it’s his video. Ranier doesn’t seem to have any rails in stock, but if you want one, I’ll talk to Bob about getting one for you.
Order HERE. 

Now you want to know how much the zero shifts when you remove and reinstall the barrel, don’t you? Check out this blog post to see our results.

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Super-Secret sneak peek at the rifle barrel you all want

In addition to being your blog host, I moonlight as Deputy Assistant Shop Monkey at Templar Custom.

Here’s what I spent my Sunday working on.

This is the new prototype barrel from Templar. It’s an integrally suppressed AR barrel. The idea is that a barrel that is 16 inches overall, but has a suppressor built in would not require you to register your rifle as a Short Barreled Rifle.
The barrel will still be subject to a $200 tax stamp for the suppressor, but the rifle itself will be a normal AR-15. Couple this with Templar’s FastRail quick change barrel system and you can run a standard unsuppressed barrel normally, and in about 5-10 minutes, swap it out for this suppressed barrel.
The barrel will be 17” overall, including the outer tube. Overall length with the stock collapsed is 34”. This is about the shortest you’re going to get without springing for another $200 SBR tax stamp.
Bob is still assembling the gas block, but he hopes to test fire it soon. Video when we get it running.

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How can you remove the barrel of a rifle and still retain your zero?

I’ve been telling people about Bob Reynolds of Templar, and his proprietary FastRail system for a while. I did a post on it showing how you could remove your AR-15 barrel clean the chamber, and replace the barrel in about 10 minutes total. My only concern has been, how well does it retain its zero?

At the Greenville blogmeet we finally got to run a test. This is the rifle we used, though we had a scope for the shooting test.
We put a target out at 200 yards and shot a three round group at it.

The odd bullet hole at the bottom was shot at a different point of aim than the three round group.
Then we removed the barrel, reinstalled it, and shot another three round group.
As you can see, the difference in point of impact is minimal.
I know it’s hard to judge scale on things like this, so here’s a photo that will make it pretty obvious how well the rifle retains its zero.
Not bad at all for 200 yards through a semi-auto fighting rifle.
Bob doesn’t sell his rails retail, so he is allowing me to be a dealer for him. You can get your own FastRail on my FastRail page.

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Saturday in the gun building business

I pointed out that I have a friend who manufactures rifles. He’s mostly making AR pattern rifles, though I understand that he is capable of making a very accurate bolt action rifle. His claim to fame is his FastRail AR-15 handguard. The rail itself looks pretty standard. 4 rails, full length, sharp enough to be rough on your hands. So far, so normal. What makes them special is how they attach to the rifle. Most free float rails are designed to attach at the barrel nut. Bob thought, “Well, if I have to design a barrel nut to hold my nice rail, why don’t I build that barrel nut is such a way that I can take the barrel off quickly and easily. Then I could have more than one barrel for my AR.”
I’m not completely sold on the idea of multiple barrels for one AR. Changing calibers might require you to change optics, though I could be convinced to have .223 barrel and a .300 Blackout barrel since they would both be useful for short ranges.  What really sold me on this was how easy it was to get to the chamber of the rifle. How many of you have cursed your AR (or M-16/M-4 while you were in the military) because it was such a bitch to clean out the chamber. This rifle, you take off the handguard, pop the barrel, clean the chamber, and put it all back together in a snap. Comparing it to the Daniel Defense Lite Rail, it’s about $100 cheaper, and about the same weight.
Here’s some pictures of how to take it apart.
First, here’s the complete rifle. This particular rifle is a full-auto .50 Beowulf. It’s the same rifle that Bob at Bob’s Gun Counter was shooting in this video. It’s an NFA item, dealer sample, and no, you can’t have one. He’ll make you a semi-auto only version, but if you want full auto, get the Hughes Amendment repealed first.

Here’s the upper, bolt, carrier, and charging handle removed. Also included are all the tools you will need to take the barrel and FastRail off with. Unlike other manufacturers, Templar includes this barrel nut wrench. The knowledgeable among you will spot that this wrench is also useful for mounting muzzle devices and the buffer tube. The two square holes are for a torque wrench if you decide you want to use one. They are standard 3/8ths and ½”.

I have used the allen wrench to take out two Allen screws on the right side of the handguard. Then I tightened the Allen screw on the right side. That spreads out the handguard and makes it easy to slip off the barrel nut. Total time, 60 seconds.

Here I have loosened the barrel nut. You see that the barrel nut is much larger than the standard AR barrel nut. What you might not be able to tell from the photo is that the barrel nut is case hardened. That means that you will not gall it (or the case hardened barrel nut wrench) when you remove it repeatedly.

Once the barrel nut is loosened up, you slide the barrel out of the received. The gas tube comes right along with the barrel.

In addition to being able to change barrel caliber or length, you also have unobstructed access to the chamber for cleaning. No more beating the crap out of your fingers trying to reach through the upper receiver.
To reassemble, simply reverse the process. If I hadn’t had to stop, arrange the pieces, and take photos, the whole procedure taking it apart and putting it back together again would have taken about 3 minutes.

Here’s the important info. In order to use this system, you have to have a low profile gas block. The gas block sits under the rail, and the rail has to slide forward on the barrel so you can access the long barrel nut. You also have to put the barrel nut on before you put the gas block on. So if you are going to retrofit this rail, you will have to take the gas block off. Once mounted, the rail is ridiculously solid. (Video)
Here’s the vital statistics.
14.25”   18oz       $269
12.5”      16oz       $259
9.25”      10oz       $249
Add 4 oz for the case hardened barrel nut. Included with the rail are a barrel nut, a barrel nut wrench, an Allen wrench, and a sling swivel stud.
FTC notice – Left Cheek  
Bob of Templar Custom has not compensated me for this or any other post. He was nice enough to let me shoot his rifle a few weeks ago. He was also nice enough to let me come to his shop and learn a bit about how to use his lathe. He isn’t paying me anything. In fact, not only did I pay for my own lunch, I started the day by helping clean up the shop, so effectively, I paid him. I think we’re even though as he is teaching me how to turn an AR barrel. Machine shops are cool.               
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Here’s a close up of the barrel nut, barrel, and the upper receiver.