In this blog, I wanted to talk about the specifics of the SOT “Bob Keller Signature Rifle” and the reasons why I chose each individual part on the rifle.
Over my career in special operations, I have shot many different brands of modern sporting rifles (AR15/M4s). I can’t even begin to list them all. In my opinion, they are all virtually the same (except minor things). So when I began to develop a signature rifle, I had a list of requirements, but the most important requirements I had was – it must be reliable, and it must stay on target.
When I talked to Special Ops Tactical (website SpecialOpsTactical.com) I knew I found the rifle I wanted to put my name on. Here is the what and why.
Siphon Angled Gas Port Barrel & Muzzle Brake
The barrel is the magic of the entire rifle. The patented ‘siphon’ barrel technology makes the rifle shoot better than any other blaster I have ever been behind. SOT has a patent on the gas port. It is angled, smaller, and uses a rifle length gas tube – which ultimately means less recoil.
Combined with the SOT inferno muzzle brake, which mitigates muzzle climb, this gun is by far the ‘flattest and lowest recoil’ shooting gun I have ever laid my hands on.
Why does shooting ‘flat and low recoil’ matter in real life…? When you take a shot, the less your gun moves, the less you have to adjust the rifle for your second, third, fourth shot. With my rifle, even if you have a so so stance and grip, the gun stays on target – and you can continue to do work on your target/threat with very little adjustment between shots. Game changer. As a matter of fact, look at how well the muzzle brake works in the picture below. You can see the gas going to the sides and straight up – which keeps your red dot/muzzle on target!!
I wanted a 14-16in barrel. Why? I want one rifle that can do it all.
CQB – no problem, a ready up is the same whether the barrel is 10in or 16in – go into the room, get the gun up, sight picture, and bang.
Long distance – I want to be able to make longer shots with the same rifle that I do CQB with. The target is 200 yards, OK…my rifle can easily do that. If you go with a shorter barrel, I do not think it is worth the gain in maneuverability for the distance capabilities that you will lose.
I wanted the rifle to be light. Trust me, I have been on LOOOOONG missions, and carrying around a heavy rifle is not fun! I selected the lightest components I could while keeping reliability. Barrel – medium profile, and 14.1 inches keeps it light. The handguard, only has picatinny where it matters, keeping it light. The Magpul furniture I selected is also lightweight. Light = better.
I am a huge fan of Magpul – why not ship the rifle with the best products as the main ‘touch points’ of the rifle?
- Buttstock – Magpul CTR mil-spec stock – I love the profile it has, it is light, but still allows me to get a repeatable cheek weld which is critical for getting your eyes behind the red dot quickly. I wanted a stock with an integrated qd detach so you can run your sling to it without needing more accessories. I am a fan of the rubber butt pad, which helps the rifle stick to your shoulder, and the locking system between the buffer tube and buttstock which makes the rifle feel solid.
- Pistol grip – I chose the Magpul MIAD modular pistol grip – Why…? I love the texture; it allows me to have good grip and drive the gun in any weather condition. I also love the ability to be able to customize the grip. I like the front finger groove since I used a grip with the groove in the military and like the positive feel/feedback it gives my hand when in action. Additionally, I think it is cool if you want to store things in the grip like batteries for your light or gun lube.
Mil Spec and Ready
Another important requirement I had (other than being different/better) was the fact that it had to be mil spec. It is key to be able to have a gun that is reliable and can use off the shelf parts. Trigger, bolt, lower receiver, upper receiver, buffer tube/spring – all mil spec.
Reliability – is the key here. If a rifle does not go bang when you pull the trigger – I am here to tell you it is not good in a gunfight!!!
Ready Out of the Box
I know that all of you work hard for your money. When buying a rifle, it should come set-up straight out of the box. Most rifles you buy require you to ‘add things’ which ultimately means dumping more money into the rifle. I wanted the rifle to be battle ready right out of the box so we include:
- QD Endplate – comes on the rifle, no need to buy one and install it (or have a gunsmith install it for even more cost). Plug your Magpul single point QD sling in, and rock and roll.
- Charging Handle – the standard AR15 charging handle is simply an outdated piece of junk. I wanted a top-notch big handle ambidextrous charging handle to ship with the rifle. You are going to buy one anyway…why not have it come with the rifle…therefore, we added the Radian Raptor, done!
- Ambidextrous safety – When you take a class from me, you will realize how important it is to be able to shoot a rifle off either shoulder, as dictated by whatever situation you are in. An ambidextrous safety allows you to have a full grip of the gun while operating the safety from either side, not essential for me, but a nice to have stock on the rifle.
Scope: Leupold LCO
As you can imagine, I have used and tested just about everything. I decided just to keep it simple on my current set-up, so I am using a red dot. I am currently using the Leupold LCO and highly recommend it. The glass is clear, has a 1MOA dot, and it has a fantastic viewing window that does not make you lose awareness of what is going on around you. The LCO also has motion sensor technology, which makes it great for home defense. When you put the rifle down, the red dot turns off. When you touch it, the red dot turns on. Perfect for home defense. One last thing to note…it has the Leupold lifetime warranty…enough said.
Simply put this rifle is…bad ass!! Let me know if you have any additional questions about why I chose what I did!