KE Arms DMR Trigger Assembly and Install

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Phoenix Rod and Gun 3 Gun 10-25-2015

1st/8 Open Shooters at this one
KE Arms Rifle with DMR Trigger, 18″ Barrel, and Vortex Strike Eagle
Suarez International Glock 17 with Trijicon RMR
VEPR-12 with Vortex SPARC

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Vortex Strike Eagle Review live at RECOIL Web

My review of the Vortex Strike Eagle is online on RECOIL Web


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Rio Salado Team 3 Gun 2015

My team took second place at the annual Rio Salado Sportsman’s Club team 3 Gun.  Each team was allowed one open shooter.  In our case that was me, so I spent most of the match shooting my VEPR-12 with a little rifle and pistol at the end.

Team KE Arms (left to right): Russell Phagan (me), Danielle Vermeulen, Sam Travis.

Congrats to Kelly Neal, Dale Averkamp, and Kyle Schmidt on first place!


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Misc Summer Matches 2014

Phoenix Rod and Gun 3 Gun 7-26-2015
3/5 Open

2 Gun Action Challenge Match 8-15-2015
8/50 Over All

3 Gun Nation 8-23-2015
9th/49 Overall

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Training and Manufacturing Resources Coming Together

Several months ago one of Suarez International’s Staff instructors, Jon Payne, came to me with a problem; build a rifle for a student that was missing his left arm. The student, Brad, had lost his left arm in an accident many years ago and had not shot a rifle since then. Making the rifle as lightweight as possible while maintaining a reasonable cost were critical concerns. Using my resources at KE Arms, contacts at GWACS Armory, and consulting with Gabe and Jon we came up with a package that met the right price point and performance.


Features include:
CAV-15 MKII Polymer Receiver
Suarez Recce Trigger and Lightweight Handguard
Lightweight contour 16″ barrel
Young Manufacturing low mass bolt carrier group
Suarez Kompressor to reduce muzzle jump

Weight without the optic was 5 pounds 6 oz.

For Brad the addition of a BAD lever was obvious to control the bolt catch and aid in malfunction clearing. We know that a charging handle can be racked against a surface or by otherwise bracing the rifle against something. Neither of those things is convenient. I modified a charging handle to attach a sling directly to it. With the other end of the sling around the shooter’s body, running the charging handle was accomplished by simply pushing out or down.



Working on a consistent repeatable manual of arms was critical. I experimented with different techniques in dry practice at home. Some techniques worked, others had to be modified once we were on the range training.



Working through the manual of arms for various conditions including sighting in and recreational range use was part of the training.



This project was a success. Brad was very pleased with how his rifle turned out and being able to use a rifle again was clearly satisfying for him. I was personally very pleased to bring together these manufacturing and training resources to facilitate this project and help Brad accomplish his goals.


Suarez International will be applying the concepts learned in this project to the Light Fighter Rifle. If there is sufficient interest, the charging handle sling may enter production.

Posted in CAV-15, Training | 1 Comment

Gun Profile: KE-15 Trooper

KE Arms has continued to bring new products online since I built my first KE Arms Rifle using their components.  I built this rifle after SMM3G 2015 with the intent to use it at the Ironman 3 Gun Match.

11412234_577298639077394_668746770021787108_nLower Receiver: KE-15 Billet
Trigger: KE Arms TiN DMR
Selector: KE Arms Ambi
Buttstock: Mission First Tactical
Sling Attachment: QD Socket and Loops on stock, QD Socket and hook attachments on receiver end plate

Upper Receiver: KE Arms
Bolt Carrier Group: Young Manufacturing SLC
Barrel: 16″ Daniel Defense Mid-Length 5.56mm NATO 1:7 Twist with KE Arms low profile gas block
Handguard: KE Arms 15″ Delta-S Keymod with SHTF+ Wrap
Charging Handle: KE Arms Charging Handle
Muzzle Brake: One Source Tactical Kompressor
Sights: Magpul MBUS Pro, Vortex 1-6x Razor HD Gen 2 JM


To get ready for Ironman 2015 and make sure my rifle was adequately broken in, I used it at a few local matches first:

I then used it at the Suarez International Ultimate Combat Rifle Camp.  Before this class I just relubed the rifle.  I relubed it before the start of training each day.  The last day of class I gave the bolt a quick wipe down and relubed it.  1200 rounds fired during the class with zero malfunctions.




Before Ironman, I did detail clean the rifle and relube it.  At Ironman I only experienced one malfunction when shooting sideways through a port after doing a reload with retention; I think I simply didn’t seat the magazine all the way during the reload.  Simply racking the action fixed the problem.

The use of the low mass carrier has been particularly interesting to me.  I have heard that they can make AR15s less reliable.  I have not yet experienced any limitations with reliability attributable to the low mass carrier.  In fact in the first 3,000 rounds fired through this rifle, the only malfunction I experienced was the one in the middle of the stage at Ironman that I mentioned above.  I have noticed that sight picture was disturbed significantly less under recoil than with a standard mass carrier.

The KE-15 Trooper is a good do everything configuration for competition or tactical classes.  It continues to serve me well in either role.

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