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The Gear Queer Hamster Wheel

Commentary on flattop vs carry handle AR-15
Gear Queer Hamster Wheel bullshit.

I realize most readers of this website are more interested in smaller or CCW sized handguns. And while it seems the gravitational pull of “the industry” also leans that way; military or government groups tend to stick with the same form factors for a reason. 

Glock 17 & 1911. Service pistols.
Glock 17 compared to a 5″ 1911 service pistol. Notice the similarities?

Smart kids of today have noticed that almost all adjustable stocks end up being set around M16A1 length of pull. If you apply that same logic to service sized handguns, you will notice the same result: 1911, Glock 17, M17, etc all tend to be about the same size grip wise. 

So…what is my point you ask? Easy. 

Don’t be a drone. Don’t be a blind follower. Don’t succumb to peer pressure. Believe in yourself. If you like fixed stocks, larger grips, or weapons that don’t have the latest and greatest doo-dad or configurability? Own it. Run it. Master it. You do you. 

Think I am just talking about handguns or adjustable stocks? Consider this: The original M16 rifles had carry handles. And I lived through the time when the really, really cool kids were actually cutting carry handles down because nobody sold flat-topped ARs. 

Delta Force / CAG Desert Storm
Delta Force security detail with General Schwarzkopf First Gulf War. Notice the M4 carry handle.

Then it got to the point, you couldn’t even buy a quality AR that wasn’t a factory flat-top. And forget asking for a removable carry handle. You would need to source one in a gun show bin somewhere. Sure. Makes sense. The market drives the manufacturers. 

The 1.93" Riser
The 1.93″ riser for the M4 flat top. But we don’t even have to call it flat top since just about all M4’s sold today are flat top!

But in 2020’s we are now seeing companies sell 1.93” risers for flat top M4’s that originally had a carry handle (cough cough factory risers) on them. 

Look. I don’t have “the answer”. I am not that smart. You shouldn’t look at anything I do or say as some kind of authoritative discourse. I am just a dude trying to be better today than I was yesterday. But paying extra money for a flat top, to only pay extra money for a 2” riser for that flat top has to be the definition of stupid in some DSM manual. 

Modern M4 with 1.93 riser .
Look at this gun objectively. Adjustable “pistol brace” that is run full length. 3-6-9-12 1913 rail. 3&9 basically not used. Flat topped, so no carry handle or rear site. ONE piece of BUIS up front. With 1.93″ risers in the back. What’s the goal here? Or are there multiple goals? Or maybe even conflicting goals? How would you build this rifle using the Delta M4 shown above? Would the gun be lighter or cheaper? Or both? I don’t know. But it’s a question worth asking.


The Gear Queer Hamster wheel
The Gear Queer hamster wheel.

So…can…we…finally…all admit that some guy with a A1 stocked, carry handle, M4 / M16 may have been right all along? Or at the very least, not wrong? Or do the gear queers get to still win? Even though they are hypocrites, followers and frauds? 

Spending money on gear is a dangerous game. Spending money on skill is a sure bet. 






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