Sunday, November 3, 2013

Building ARs, Jacques Cousteau and the Calypso- The John Denver Blog

Fall is here. Fall to me means many things, shooting deer comes readily to mind, but musically it means it is time to dust off the old John Denver and Gordon Lightfoot CDs. Can’t say why, but fall requires a different soundtrack and the sounds of Lightfoot and Denver are just right for me.

The CD player just finished John Denver’s song about the Calypso. I grew up watching Jacques Cousteau. Maybe that’s why I became a scuba addict. As a kid we’d tune in to Cousteau specials and watch as they sailed the Calypso all over the world doing their diving and all. The sea always held an allure for me and I got my big-water fix this way.

Anyway, during a brief stint as a student at Lake Superior State College Jacques Cousteau, the Calypso and crew were scheduled to pass through the locks at the Soo. A great many people flocked down to see the proud ship Calypso lock through that night. I had just broken my ankle playing basketball but I was so excited that I still hobbled my way to the locks to see the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.

Our anticipation ran high as the ship approached. The locks closed behind her and the ship slowly rose up out of the deep lock into the awaiting flood lights. When we finally got a good look at it, we saw that it was a piece of junk. I was crestfallen. It was beat up, rusty and unkempt.

Such is the life of a working tool, as opposed to a show-piece. I understand now. Firearms are the same.

Some are pretty and are destined for being what I call “Barbecue Guns.” These are pampered and are taken out as show pieces and for casually popping off rounds with friends. Others are working guns and, while cared for, are not pretty, not pampered and often are rough around the edges.

My ARs and Glocks are working guns. Yes, I take great care of them. I maintain them as if my life depends on them because, well, for years it did. But they are not pampered. I have waded into a mucky swamp with my Glock. I have been out in foul weather with rain, snow and mud assaulting my AR. I was working and expected my tools to go along with me. They did. Faithfully.

I have others that are pretty guns. Pop-in-law’s Browning BAR. Great Uncles Browning Sweet Sixteen. Grandpa’s Winchester 12. Dad’s Mossberg .22. These are in varying conditions, but all live a gentle life now. Rarely shot, but always cared for and appreciated.

Building an AR can go either way. We have good quality receivers and barrels at low cost for building knock-around working guns. We also have some very nice billet machined receiver sets made especially for us with the Ann Arbor Arms’ A3 logo.

Whatever your need or want, we can help you build an AR to fill it. And yes, we can help you build one in my beloved 300 AAC BLK!

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