Get Shorty

That’s what Kyle Defoor recommends, anyway:

Defoor BCM SBR

The version on Instagram labels the gear clockwise from the light: Streamlight LLC (light), Aimpoint USA (micro red-dot), Bobro Engineering (QD sight mount), Bravo Company USA (the gun, grip, rail, etc.), and Arisaka Defense (the light mount). Kyle adds:

Lo vis carbine classes makes everyone appreciate 20 rd mags, Aimpoint Micros and of course shorty barrels.

Rail system is KMR, barrel is an 11½” 1/7 barrel from BCM, running a Gemtech suppressor.

Here’s his trick for running several optics and several guns whilst holding zero.

aimpoint on bobro defoor


My RDS and LPV share the same rail slot on all my carbines and each optic is marked for what it’s zeroed to. This makes for ease of travel when doing multiple courses where customers use different optics and for quickly grabbing whichever I need at the time and knowing its solid. It’s also a great option for owning only one carbine and getting the most out of it.

If you’re not reading his Instagram feed, you should probably consider it.

26 thoughts on “Get Shorty

    1. Hognose Post author

      Everybody puts their pants on one leg at a time. As a young pup in SF, I had to have a guy teach me how to walk in the woods — at night. Without instruction, I crashed, tripped, and poked my eyes with eye-pokin’ sticks (last clause is an in-joke for 10th SF vets of a certain vintage).

      My point is that even Kyle started off green with someone, probably his dad, teaching him which end of the gun went which way. He has absorbed and systematized a lot of instruction from a lot of able instructors since then, and has a great ability to pass it on.

      Ours is one of the few fields that properly elevates (and pays) teachers, although it’s very uneven — getting paid gets to be about marketing, and you do occasionally have assclowns emerge as instructors. (Even an assclown can teach basics well, usually).

      One of the best instructors (and best practical shots, and the high-count-in-one-incident enemy whacker) I have ever personally known goes by the name Our Traveling Reporter here, and he learns something from every class he attends and every instructor he shoots in front of. He is, in fact, the one who attended training with Kyle and keeps an eye on his feed for us. On top of working his full-time, overtime really, job in LE or other job as a military reservist.

  1. Tierlieb

    And there I was, printing detailed labels and hiding them inside lens covers…

    Note: He seems to use a standard zero since he did not explicitly write it down. I wonder how many different zero values he uses.

    1. Hognose Post author

      I may be mistaken but I believe he uses the 100 m zero for rifles and carbines. It is gaining traction over the taught-in-basic 25/250 m battlesight zero.

        1. Tierlieb

          First thing is figuring out how many systems there are. ;-)

          I was, for example, very surprised to hear Hognose call it 25/250 system. Around here, those taught the Swiss system call it 25/500, but they use two horizontal holds (as well as two vertical ones for wind) depending on the distance. That one is fixed for one rifle (Sig 550), two rounds (GP90, a 62gr 5.56×56 FMJ and the matching tracer) and two sights (irons and 4x mag Hensoldt).

          So how many systems are there zeroing on 25m alone?

          I think Kyle Lamb uses a 50/200 zero with one hold, and Defoor’s 100m zero will require two holds I guess.

          And I personally use different zeros for iron sights and optics, as hold-overs with post sights suck, while they are comfortable with optics. Imho.


            I have always used the 50 yard zero for all RDS and a 100 yard zero for anything with more than 1X.
            The 25meter military zero for irons sights is still pretty useful in my opinion, Especially if you like to use a rear sight like the A2 sight

  2. Calimero

    KMR handguard is a beauty and is freakishly light. Got a 13″ on one of my race gun (IPSC) uppers.

    When my buddy handed me the cardboard box (rail, barrel nut, wrench …) I first thought he was trolling me, with the rail missing from the box. But hey! the rail was indeed in the box.

    BCM seems to have trouble making enough of them as they’re almost constantly out of stock.

  3. Boat Guy

    I’ve always appreciated the old 20-round (Adventureline especially) mags in prone; what makes the shorter mags better in low-light?

  4. Al T.

    Without a suppressor, those short barrels are like your very own flash-bang generator 20ish inches from your face. Buddy has a SBR’ed AR-15 and firing it with good ear pro, but no suppressor was brutal. Kind of like fish and chips, if you have one, the other is (IMHO) a necessity.

    1. Tierlieb

      Agree on the fish and chips. But for short barrels, I would not agree. Good flash hiders do great work on 11″ barrels. Andrew Tuhoy, though somewhat disliked around here, did a great comparison of flash hiders and “battle comps”.

      I run an old YHM Phantom (which ranked pretty high on Andrew’s list) on a 11″ Sig 516 and while you’ll see some flash within in the flash hider cage, nothing makes it out (using standard M193). That’s bearable at night.
      And on an Ak-104, I run the long birdcage flash hider from Arsenal and that one is awesome at night. Very surprising, everyone thinks I am running reloads (in 7.62×39, yeah right…). Ugly thing, though.

      OTOH people who insist on comps on those barrels need to be punished. And linear comps are weird. Good looking, but weird. Sorry, John Noveske.

    2. KB Dave

      5.56 shorties have to have a can on them, IMO. My 10.5″ has a brake on it, and I shot it once without the can. Never again.

      Of course, I pretty much only shoot ARs with suppressors at this point, even in a class.

    3. Jew with a Gun

      Depends on how short your barrel is. I don’t find 10″+ in 5.56 to be particularly bad with a flash hider. They’re louder, sure, but not enough to matter. A brake or comp would be bad, I admit.

      Now, 7.5-8.25″, that’s a different story… but those guns are essentially toys anyways, in terms of velocity and reliability. I built one once upon a time with an NEA CCS stock and an 8.25″ barrel, and, yeah, it’s exciting to shoot and stupidly-compact, but probably a poor choice as a combat weapon.

      1. Hognose Post author

        Unless your idea of combat is in an elevator, yeah. For the guys rappelling down elevator shafts it’s a good gun (and suppressed is pretty much mandatory there). I found the 177 series pretty bad with a birdcage and just bad with the factory moderator (which the Army replaced with birdcages as they wore out). But there were only a few of these around still, in my day.

        Lots of guys are currently running a 10-10.5″ barrel on an M4 (etc) or SCAR-H, usually suppressed, for CQB.


          I dont think the MK18 CQBR MOD1 or Block II to have muzzle blast that is really all that bad with standard A2 flash hider and I shoot them near daily without a can

  5. Matt

    Would that I could fund a shortie and a can.

    I have to get my S&W carbine running right again. Cleaned thoroughly, new mag and quality ammo, and I’m still having FTF issues. I’m thinking the gas system is f’ed up, which means a gunsmith, which means it might have to wait a bit.

        1. Hognose Post author

          Let us know how it turns out. Also, what do your FTF’s look like? Round still in mag? (Scratched by bolt along top?) Or round slammed into face of barrel extension, round bent, otherwise abused?

          In other words, is your next cartridge being left behind in the mag, or is it not guiding into the barrel once it leaves the mag?

          1. Matt

            About half the time, it doesn’t grab a new round, but the bolt moves enough to cock the trigger. When it does grab a new round, you are right, it had a scratch or almost a dent just below the neck, and it’s jammed at an angle, bolt halfway forward and the round not into the chamber.


    Im not Kyle. But I was under them impression everyone marked the rail and QD for their optics on given guns. I have been doing it for years. It seemed so obvious that it never seemed like something that needs saying.

    I guess I should have learned my lesson about assuming a long time ago/

    I have been a fan of the 20 round mags for a very long time.

    I do have to fight back large guffaws when I hear guys who tell me I should carry a glock so I have 15 plus rounds in its magazine, cause a 1911 does not hold “enough” , then go online and talk about how great 20 round mags in our work horse carbines are enough because of .. various reasons.

    Reminds me of the glock guys telling me they would never use a 1911 because of the single stack mag only allowing 7-8 rounds,.

    Then jumping asshole deep into carrying the 380 glock. which has a single stack mag with …7ish rounds. In 380 no less.

    Back to the CQBR length carbines. Those babies are handy, fun and of course have a huge sexy factor.

    After years of SBR use and handling I have seen the wisdom in Kyle Lamb’s thinking about them and the more usefulness and less legality problems of the 16 inch barreled carbine. at least from the stand point of myself in the civilian world. and in light of the new mini SOCOM cans from surefire. I like the length of the carbine paired with the bit more muzzle velocity.

    I am not nor will ever be a convert to keymod or M-LOK. If I need a rail I will stick to the 1913 quad rail

  7. Will

    Hi Hognose. I’m Will, one of the owning partners of Arisaka, mentioned in Kyle’s instagram post. I am a regular reader of, and especially enjoy all the technical content.

    My father has also been a fan ever since I sent him a link to the ranger school articles last year that included the “nerf ruck” phrasing. I haven’t heard him laugh that much in quite a long time. He went through ranger school in the late 60s.

    Thanks again for your efforts, and the mention!

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