Honey Badgers are an intruding animal and they are just plain mean. Maybe that’s why Advance Armament Corporation creator Kevin Brittingham developed a light weight mean devil of a rifle and named it the “Honey Badger”. Chambered in either the heavy hitting 300 BlackOut or a military 5.56 Nato cartridge, the original Honey Badger is less than 5 pounds without optics and ammo. If you crawl around the web you will find plenty of info on Honey Badger rifles and their clones. That brings us to this build.
We start with a bench full of parts, a maximum rifle weight in mind and compact total length (keeping well longer than a short-barreled rifle and overall length within legal limits). Another critical factor is to build a Honey Badger “clone” without needing tax stamps. For a short-barreled rifle and silencer it will need to be agile and quick handling for a “SHTF” rifle and be able to digest the most readily available ammo around 5.56 Nato. Mil-spec parts interchangeability will be mandatory throughout the building process. An interesting note is that even with a mil-spec two-stage fire control group, I found a manufacture of a flat trigger that really impressed me.
Starting with a lower receiver made of polymer was a step in a direction. Originally I wouldn’t have chosen this, however, after reading up on Polymer80 lowers I needed to see if the claims were accurate. The second generation Phoenix2 lower receiver kit contains all the needed tooling and jig to machine the fire control group and once set up in the Bridgeport mill, the process was enjoyable. Is the Polymer80 lower as strong as an aluminum lower? The reviews are mixed. I figured Glocks have been manufactured in polymer for sometime now so lets try one out.
The fire control parts group was from DPMS and fit perfectly. I did change out all the springs for lighter trigger pull and tactical reset. That was accomplished with Wolf & Taylor Tactical springs. Another swap was with the trigger as mentioned earlier. Bull Moose Tactical offers a mil-spec flat trigger for the AR fire control group. Keep in mind, this is not a drop in replacement part. The disconnector will need to be hand-fit to the trigger, otherwise safe operation will not be possible and hammer follow will occur along with failure to reset. Once fit and correct operation is obtained you’ll end up with very short trigger creep, quick reset and nonexistent over-travel.
Let’s think about collapsible minimalist buttstocks. You can find several styles while searching with prices ranging up to hundreds of dollars. I wanted a unique look, light-weight, choice of colors and affordable price. I picked a Strike Industries Viper CQB flat dark earth stock. You can only use a mil-spec buffer tube and that fit my build ticket well.
With the lower complete and looking good, an upper receiver was next. Noreen Firearms offers a nice looking one without the forward assist, billet aluminum for strength and lighter weight for the Honey Badger weight goal. Once pinned to the lower, the fit was snug with no slop. A custom dust cover seems to be the rage with custom etching on them. Tactical Gun Parts had a Honey Badger cover in flat dark earth. I figured “Honey Badger don’t care” and it sets off the flat black upper nicely.
Selecting a barrel in 5.56 Nato with an M4 tapper keeps the quick pointability and agile handling of the rifle. At 16″, no tax stamp is needed. Since it’s not a short-barreled rifle, I went with a 1-8 twist chrome molly barrel gassed with a carbine port. The bolt and ambidextrous charging handle are Lakota Ops sold thru Omega Manufacturing.
Covering the M4 tapper barrel is an Omega keymod 15″ free floated handguard, then painted smoke gray. The handguards, 2″ O.D., allows plenty of room for the carbine length gas block and a Black Moose 1.5″ x 6.5″ brushed aluminum barrel shroud. I found Black Moose while looking for faux suppressors (no tax stamp) to give the impression of a short-barreled rifle. The cool factor won me over and yes, it’s still loud. A barrel shroud threads flush with the muzzle while covering the barrel behind it and they are very light weight.
The completed build weighed in at 7.2 lbs without the SightMark digital reflex sight or magazine. Not bad for a 16″ barrel. Balance felt good too. It didn’t feel overly muzzle heavy and the 100 round drum magazine would only be useful during a zombie invasion.
Burn some powder, send some freedom seeds down range and get your concealed carry permit. It’s your 2nd amendment right!
Right On Dead On All The Time