Recently, if you follow the #IGMilitia hashtag or really any of the gun tags, you may have started seeing the hashtag “#DrivewaySpecial.” If you are like me this raised your curiosity, so I dove into it. The Driveway Special is a very specific AR 15 build. I found a short video by Ash Hess, a retired US Army Senior NCO, Knight Armament employee, and a Pro Shooter. He’s also a regular on my favorite Gun Podcast, “the ModCast” by Primary and Secondary. It was on their podcast the Driveway Special was more or less invented. Like the Roland Special, the Driveway Special is a very specific type of gun with a specific purpose.
The Driveway Special is designed to be the rifle you grab and run down the end of the driveway to meet the threat. This could be a civil war, an alien invasion, or even an active shooter event like the Sutherland Springs shooting. A man literally grabbed his AR and ran down his driveway. A Driveway Special is a tool designed for whatever is coming. It’s designed to be a grab and go gun that will last you a near lifetime and that’s a big reason why it’s such a specific type of gun with specific parts. It’s also designed to be versatile and for a variety of purposes.
This includes up close and personal shooting, as well as moderate to even slightly extended ranges. It needs to be able to clear rooms and fire across the street and down an alley. That’s a tough combo, but let’s look at what Mr. Hess has prescribed for a Driveway Special.
The Driveway Special – Broken Down
The most important part of the gun is the upper. To be a true Driveway Special needs to be a Knight Armament upper receiver with an 11.5-inch barrel, something like the SR 15 CQB Mod 2 with the MLOK system if you want to be modern. The SR 16 is also an awesome option, but those can be harder to find. The reason is because Knights makes absolutely fantastic guns and parts for guns. The Knight’s barrels and bolts are seeing 20,000 rounds before they fail. The Driveway Special is a go to war gun in a situation where you aren’t attached to a massive logistics apparatus. According to Ash, the gun should last your whole life, and even into your children’s life.
11.5 inches is a sweet spot in many ways. It works well for those standard urban engagement distances. It’s more comfortable than short barrels in terms of concussion and flash, but its also easier to utilize in close quarter’s use. Mr. Hess has reached out to 600 yards with one, though he even says the ballistics aren’t great at that range.
The gun can be an SBR or a Pistol with a brace. Lots of braces are out there and I’d stick with either a Gear Head Works V2 or an SBA3 brace. Both are adjustable, modern, and well made. If you go SBR any carbine stock will work, that’s personal preference.
What About the Rest of It?
I mean if you are going with a KAC upper there is no excuse to go with a cheap lower, but Mr. Hess has no exact recommendation for a lower. A quality lower will likely give you longer lasting performance. A better finish, as well as more in spec holes and slots. The lower could even be something you make with an 80 lower jig and some imagination, but you better be good at it.
You’ll also want quality internals, and a LAW folding adapter is also suggested. This allows you to fold the stock on the rifle, however, with a folded stock it will not be functional without a special bolt. This is suggested, but not a requirement.
The optic will be a low powered variable optic or an LPVO. Preferably in the 1 to 6 range. This gives you a ton of versatility. The LPVO gives you both close and long-range performance, plus the reticle will be etched. An etched reticle doesn’t need illumination. Should things go wrong or the batteries die, the etched reticle is still effective and efficient.
Next, you’ll need a light. The particular model doesn’t matter, but you want a quality light. Streamlight and Surefire are the two big dogs in the light world. A white weapon light is a must-have when it comes to fighting rifles. You need to be able to see to hit your target should lights get low.
Additionally, a suppressor is a good tool to have if you can. It will just reduce your sound signature but will reduce flash and even recoil from the short 11.5-inch barrel. If a suppressor isn’t possible then a good flash hider, or even a linear comp may be a solid choice to reduce flash and make it easy for you to shoot hard and fast.
The Driveway Special is an interesting idea. It’s a go to war gun that will last the entirety of that war, or alien invasion, or zombie apocalypse. Ash Hess, and the Primary and Secondary crew know their stuff and this is just one more interesting concept they’ve put out. Let us know what you think below.
All Photos Provided by Ash Hess and used with Permission.