As Told By Oak

Adventuring, Hiking, Weaponry, Lifestyle

New AR-15 Pistol Build

Alright folks! It’s time for my first weaponry blog! This entry will serve to show you readers my exact custom AR-15 Pistol build from start to finish.

When I decided to build an AR-15 pistol, I wanted something small and compact, yet effective at short distance engagements! I tossed around the idea of a very short 7.5″ pistol build and remembered that my large build and clumsy man hands would be more apt to injury with such a short weapon. After consulting some friends, I decided a 10.5″ build would suit my needs for both operation and safety! Next I am going to lay out the parts piece by piece and provide you with some credible sources to see the action for yourself.

First off, we will start with the barrel. My personal barrel of choice is through Faxon Firearms. Their barrels are VERY affordable and honestly, quite beautiful pieces of work. They offer a variety of barrels in both 4150 steel and 416-R stainless. Their website offers a great detail of information relating to their very special Quench Polish Quench (QPQ) process and why it’s so great! Check out Faxon’s FAQ’s for great quality information! Moving on, I purchased my barrel from Faxon in a 10.5″ govt/socom profile in 5.56NATO for right around $155.00. Trust me folks this barrel will NOT disappoint. Now to the upper receiver….

I purchased an assembled upper receiver with the bolt, receiver, charging handle, and receiver parts. Yes, I know this was a side step to individually purchasing each part! The receiver I chose, because this was SUPPOSED to be a budget build, is an Anderson Arms forged complete receiver with the Anderson Arms bolt carrier group (BCG), and charging handle. This took half of the work of piecing a build together out at an affordable price! All the moving parts in this receiver are RF85 treated and cosmetically appealing in a dark black steel color. Now we can move on to the handguard I chose to slap on this puppy!

The handguard has always been a CRUCIAL piece of the puzzle for me when it comes to custom builds. Why you ask? Because that is the part of the weapon you hold for support the majority of the time. This means it needs to be COMFORTABLE! I am very pleased with Midwest Industries freeoating handguards. These handguards are not only perfectly pleasing to the eye, but they are LIGHT and COMFORTABLE. Fully capable of the keymod additions, this rail has proven to out perform and I’ve tested to date. So for this build I chose the 10.5″ Midwest Industries G3 series rail and accompanied it with the Magpul MLOK handstop. I couldn’t be happier with it! Let’s move on to the gas system.

For this gas system, I went with a base model carbine length gas tube, and a Midwest Industries low profile gas block! These are parts that may seem a little commonplace for one to worry about so much, but when it comes down to it, quality is key. Think about it….the gas system is essentially the vitals of operation in an AR-15. No gas, improper has, or cheap parts leads to very frustrating malfunctions. I would recommend steel gas blocks from a supplier that has some credibility such as Midwest Industries, or BCM who have both earned a quality reputation. What next now? Ohhh yeah! Let’s start putting the finishing touches on our upper receiver assembly! On to the muzzle devices!

When choosing a muzzle device, looks seem to be the initial component on people’s minds. The issue there is that the muzzle device actually does serve a purpose. Whether it is a break, hider, or compensator, find out what it is YOU need to best suit your build. They all serve different purposes. For this build I was turned on to Strike Industries King Comp. This line of theirs resembles chess pieces, but they are sexy! This compensator combines the function of a break and a hider to perform for a variety of weapons. For me, this pistol needed the break for blast and “recoil reduction” even though there are skeptics about whether it works…I notice a difference. I have also had great luck with Yankee Hill’s Phantom series! These muzzle devices range from $28-$60 and up! Here is a photo of mine before we head to sights which is a dead giveaway below!

For my sights, I wasn’t planning on mounting an optic such as a red dot or holographic. I wanted something fast and accurate in terms of iron sights. All roads pointed to the Troy Industries Battle Sights. These sights offer a diamond shape peep for clear and precise target acquisition. Very fast to engagement and quite accurate. You also won’t have to worry about damaging the super strength aircraft aluminum makeup either. While these sights proved to be of my preference, I have also had excellent luck with Magpul MBUS sights! They are very durable and accurate as well for a more affordable set!

Finally, we have reached the starting point for the lower receiver. For this “budget” build (even though it’s far from that), I chose to match up the Anderson Upper with an Anderson Arms Lower. For this piece, I bought a stripped forged lower at about $65 from my local shop. The price of an FFL transfer fee was not worth it to me to shop around, and these operate flawlessly! Now that we have the plain Jane stripped lower, let’s get into parts.

The Lower Parts Kit (LPK) I chose for this build was an RGuns nickel boron parts kit. I’m not providing a link because I don’t recommend the kit. The parts are “okay”. The takedown pins for this kit were way oversized which to me is a HUGE turn-off. I ended up replacing them with a mil spec set I had laying around. I will give props to the mil spec trigger it came with because it is very crisp and clean breaking. Go find a quality parts kit. The ONLY reason I got this kit was because I was in a hurry and could not find a LPK in stock ANYWHERE; on a budget that is! Notice I covered the trigger within this LPK? That is because I always run Milspec triggers for ease of use and muscle memory comfort. I don’t shoot precision so it’s not an issue for me! Moving on to another vital piece of this build, the pistol tube/brace.

After gathering all the parts for your build, there is one VERY important part of a pistol that ensures it is in fact a pistol and not a NFA regulated SBR or short barreled rifle! PLEASE READ ALL LOCAL AND FEDERAL LAW REGARDING AR PISTOLS IN YOUR AREA. I chose to run a KAK Industries Shockwave Blade kit. For a very reasonable price, this brace comes with the pistol tube, buffer spring and buffer. Bear in mind this is NOT to be shouldered. However, the NFA has ruled that it may be brought to the cheek for stabilization. **WARNING check weild at your own risk** Moving on to the final piece, the grip!

I usually always run Hogue brand grips. However, this time I went with a Magpul Grip that feels quite nice! There are a variety of grips out there to fit several hand types test some out at a local dealer next time you go in!

Well, you now have read my entire most recent AR-15 Pistol build! Yeah, it is a nut of a firearm, but it performs flawlessly. Please take some time to comment, like, and share what you liked or what you’d like to see next! Thank you for reading!

-Alex Oak

The Beginning of a Different Ending

When deciding to write about my lifestyle and interests, I never truly reflected on what exactly I wanted to cover. There are several influences within me that have pushed me to share my life and experiences with the world.

Let us start with a little “About Me” section! I am a 22 year old male, who works a night time job with PepsiCo as a forklift operator. Yeah, not so luxurious right? Well, during that time, I spend my life as a full time college student, volunteer firefighter, outdoor enthusiast, and firearms enthusiast.

I grew up as an avid hunter and trapper. My love for the outdoors began when I stepped into the woods and somehow just forgot about the “hunt”. My senses were more in tune than ever before, and I found comfort in their tells. Being able to hear the leaves rustling dozens of yards away, seeing the vibrant colors of fall, hearing the rain patter on leaves, knowing a tree by the touch of its bark, and catching wildlife in their natural habitat without being noticed. These are just a few of the incredible sense satisfying things the outdoors have to offer. I find myself often camping, hiking, backpacking, and adventuring to a variety of beautiful places. I hope you will join me on these adventures as I share them! What about my lifestyle?

My lifestyle is currently in the shape of the “American Dream”. I have a home, a beautiful wife, three dogs, a child on the way, and the ever-so-perfect picket (privacy) fence! With that said, my personality is much different from the average man. I take passion and human morals to the next level. I live my life on the foundation of Integrity, Trust, and Respect. With that comes a unique clothing style, hobby style, moral style, and living style. Through this blog one will learn the ways in which I believe are the finest to live. Yes, you will hear about my mistakes, failures, and accomplishments. Hopefully you all can enjoy and learn from my own trials and tribulations.

Firearms are too controversial nowadays! Putting aside the negative stigma with which they are associated, they are beautiful tools. It is my goal and my passion to show and inform the world on different types and uses of modern weaponry. The possibilities are endless! It is a right of the American people to keep and bear arms. Hopefully, by reading my blog, one can learn and experience more about lawfully owned and operated firearms.

All these things and more are the reasons I have decided to continuously write about my lifestyle and the experiences that are ongoing. As time goes on, I want to grow with my readers and have a positive impact on your lives. Thank you for reading, and I look forward to many years of posting!


Alex Oak



Meet My Forever Rescue! 

Many of my adventures consist of a creature that is like no other. One that follows me, leads me, likes me,loves me, and listens to me. Okay, okay, it’s not really a creature per say…Its my Pooch! Throughout this entry, you will learn the story of my pup Titan who plays a huge role in my life! So into the mystic life of Titan…

Searching for a new companion is tough. Especially within a few months after having your best friend laid to rest due to kidney failure (RIP Dannyboy). A seemingly emptiness overwhelms you when you lose a dog… So, after I mourned Danny, I began the search for a new bestfriend to fill that emptiness and grow older with. 

After searching over several months throughout every shelter house in the southern half of Indiana, I found a puppy who immediately caught my eye. 

I decided that I had to have him! 


Titan was born sometime around August of 2012 to a family who didn’t expect not want and puppies. 

He was dropped at a shelter about 45 minutes from my home. Where he was held until he was 8 weeks of age.  I made an appointment to meet him immediately. 

After some time of play and meet and greet I knew he was coming home with me. He was the softer and fluffier than I ever could have imagined! He also had that little bit of feisty, “I do what I want” attitude I was looking for! I rescued that little guy without a second thought. He belonged with me! 

He grew up so fast! He began driving long befor I expected! (Not really)  haha let’s move on to his next wonderful years. After this last cuteness photo of course….

Now moving on past the cuteness of my loving adventure partner! We shall proceed on through his devil pup years…

Titan has always had a love for trash…lots and lots of trash…

Enter sick Titan. 

Sick Titan decided to get into the trash one evening a week after Thanksgiving. In this particle bag of trash were the tasty, slightly stinky remains of the turkey (see where this is going?). I came home to this ^^^ very sick pooch. Needless to say after an 8hr night of me thinking he was going to die…I took him in for a $700 emergency surgery where they found a group of stuck turkey tendons and a 6X6 piece of CANVAS! WHAT??!!! Long story short he didn’t stop there. Over the next year he got into the trash several times and I had to induce vomiting via hydrogen peroxide (works amazingly btw) and after so many times, I believe he started to wisen up! 

Between the vomits, vet runs, and other unexplainable chaos, I grew to love the nitwit I adopted three years ago. He is my bestfriend and he never fails to humor me. 


Well. That is Titan! He is a loving, goofy, nitwitty, mutt, but he’s mine and I know he will always have my back. Having this one always by side has helped me a lot along the way ( when I’m not home he sleeps on my clothes because he misses me….how precious!). He encourages me to get out and never leaves me lonely. I hope we have many more happy years before he crosses that rainbow bridge. Here are some more photos of my bestfriend! Hope you enjoy! 







As the Sun Rises, So Shall I 

Since I was a child, I have always had a fascination with nature. One of my most prominent fascinations would be with the Sun.

I see the Sun as my motivation. Like most people, I have to earn a living, take care of a family, etc. When I get up every morning and need inspiration, the Sun never fails to keep me striving to perform better. Who am I to think I deserve a break when some people never get even one. 

Being a Freemason, I have grown to love the Sun even more than I could imagine. It is humbling to be able to use this gift as a piece also as a piece of symbolism.

Taking into consideration the amount of resources that the Sun alone provides for us, proves to be extravagant. Heat, water, vitamins, energy, electricity, climates, plants, food, etc. etc. What it means to me to be able to appreciate the wonders of the world such as the Sun, most will never know. Hopefully this can help sum it up for you. 

Okay! After boring you with my views on the Sun, let’s get to the good stuff!


Throughout this particular blog, I will spam you with my favorite captures of the Sun at its most beautiful state in nature. I rise with the Sun to start my day! How does the Sun influence you? 


Creating a spiritual bond with nature has helped me become a better person. I don’t see the Sun for just its physical value, but for everything it represents.

With views like these, who could forget to mention the colors? Where in the world can you find more naturally established colors? I find that photos like these will change color drastically within seconds. Sometimes I would only have anywhere from a 30-60 second window to find a good shot before the color faded!

In the area I live, Many of the views I capture are from passing by. The others are from the trail or a favorite spot.  This one above was taken in the winter on the way back from a friends place.

My most favorite color variations are the vibrant pinks and oranges!

This one ^ was taken right in my back yard! How could I not get on the house to get a good picture!?

Check out the incredible cloud pattern and the color this sunrise put on them!


Whether it begins your day or ends your day, without the Sun we would be nonexistent. Appreciate the influence it has on your lives and learn to respect it. Hope you all enjoyed the pictures!

-Alex Oak

Blog at

Up ↑