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HK G36C clone in 300BLK by TommyBuilt Tactical

I started to hanker for a G36C. The timing was ridiculous. My XM8 project had only just begun. I just bought a G36K clone. I also felt the pressure to get SBRs and suppressors before 41F became effective. And I'm an SBR junky. So I reached out to Tom Bostic at TommyBuilt Tactical to see about the costs for a G36C. The Engage Armament G36K's were enough of a deal maybe I should buy one of those and get the front end converted to a C length. I also mentioned that I was thinking about doing it in the RAL-8000 color. I used to scoff at rifles in fancy colors, but I wanted to try it. My XM8 was going to be white, but RAL-8000 is something you can actually get from HK. I soon started to realize that a 5.56mm rifle in that length is going to be loud and difficult to suppress. I'd only be able to run my SpecWar 762 on it and that is a heavy heavy suppressor. I also had several 300BLK projects in the works and it seems to be a good round in SBRs. So I did a bit of research and found out Tom had made some public posts about testing 300BLK builds on the G36 platform. I asked him about it. I was giddy with excitement when he quoted me a price far below what I expected, AND said he had all the parts on hand (as in I didn't have to do the parts hunting or supply an SL8 for conversion), AND he could have one ready in a couple weeks. Wow. How could I not do this? So I placed the order. He offered to either build it out as an SBR and file a Form 2, or build it as a Title I gun and let me submit the Form 1. I chose the latter, as I was concerned about a Form 3 completing in time to beat 41F. Then he let me pick my own serial number. How awesome is that? I quickly started doing more research into G36C parts and picked a couple things to do on the build. First, a factory IDZ stock in RAL-8000, which is very cool. Second, a Troy G36C top rail (with integrated sights) and handguard. One more cool tidbit — this was going to be built on one of Tom's own G36 receivers.

I think I had the rifle (sans barrel) in-hand 4 to 6 weeks after I ordered the build. It was stunning. I had the Form 1 filed almost immediately. Into the safe it went as I tried to put it out of my mind. Nothing makes a Form 1 seem slower than thinking about it.

Nine months later my Form 1 came back approved. Well, crap. I hadn't been thinking about it much. I had decided that I wanted to do a nice custom cut case for it, that meant I needed an optic picked out. I also decided I wanted to put an HK VFG on it. So I ordered those and it took a bit for them to come in. Then I verified with Tom on the barrel threads as I was going to send a SilencerCo ASR flash-hider mount. Glad I did, because I'd planned on sending the wrong one and had to wait for the right one to come in. Finally, I packed it up and send it back to Tom for the barrel install. Unfortunately, that corresponded with Winter Storm Stella that pounded the NE USA and that held up delivery to almost 2 weeks. When it did arrive, Tom turned it around the same day. How amazing is that?

There was one other bit of worry I had. I wasn't sure whether or not my suppressor and mount would actually fit. As a 300BLK build this is critically important, but I was still using hope as a plan. The worry increased when I was able to compare the Troy G36C handguard with a standard G36C handguard. I was able to see that the Troy handguard extended forward another centimeter or so. Well, I can happily report that it works fine with my Omega. There's enough clearance to mount cleanly. Part of the ASR mount is under the handguard, so the whole QD part is slightly less quick, but it'll work. Fingers crossed this is the same with my SpecWar 762 and Hybrid.

Now that this project is complete and back I have to say it's the new crown jewel of my collection. Tom's work is impeccable. RAL-8000 is an amazing color. Cameras rarely seem to capture it well, but in person it's quite striking. As to the caliber change work — well the truth will be in the pudding when I get to the range, but there are some obvious changes. I'm no expert on the G36 system, so I'm sure other would see and notice more. The first thing that stands out to me is the ejection port. There is what I am guessing is a lightening cut. The face showing when the bolt is closed has a small section milled out in a line. At first I wondered if this was 2 pieces. Then on top in the charging handle the middle is milled out. And finally, through the handguard you can see the gasblock is different. Pull the handguard pin and slide the handguard off and you see the gasblock is a custom element. Aside from where the piston lives, it doesn't look like the HK gasblock it replaces. It's much larger, is bolt-on, and appears to be un-vented. A neat detail is the complex TommyBuilt logo engraved (or cast, I'm not sure of the manufacturing process) into the sides. I've never seen a gasblock so large, but I'm sure there's a reason for it. Tom referenced the difficulty in doing this caliber conversion with the size and weight of the bolt and carrier in this system. Being C length may make it harder. It sounds like he's made several iterations on it to try and make improvements as he does more of them.

Out at the range, I had some nerves as to function. This is my third rifle in 300BLK, but I consider this the first complete one, because it's the first one that works. My other two still need some tuning (one really needs some work, the other just needs some tweaking). I shouldn't have worried. Tom's reputation is well earned. Honestly, the only mode of operation I care about is running subsonic with a suppressor mounted. 300BLK is too expensive for run-of-the mill plinking. I asked if he had any recommendations on brand or loading and he told me he's had success testing with 220gr (subsonic) Remington. Luckily, I have a few cases. I figure I should also test some of the other loadings I have as well, so I brought along a variety on the first range trip. It ran everything without a hitch. And it ran in all four modes, which is beyond a bonus. Tom really has something here. It's just funny timing that I got this complete not long after the announcement of the HK 237. Folks are just drooling over the possibility of a G36 in 300BLK and here I have one. I am a lucky guy.