This build is by far closest to my heart… Part love story, part heartbreak…
“This build is in honor of my boy Hudson.”
Hudson was used as a bait dog for the first several months of his life. Megan was the third owner in the few months he was alive, let’s just say he more than earned the good life.
Hudson or as my wife and I call him Hudson Honey Bear Snugglelufagus Fallone, was the reason I met my wife. She was walking him outside of her apartment in Brockport, NY. He was the first tuxedo “mixed other breed” that I had ever seen. Then I noticed the 6’1″ brunette walking him I knew everything was over for me after that. I actually remember saying to myself, “well that’s game over.” When visiting Megan, I had to sneak dog biscuits through the crack of the door at first to get past Hudson. Fast forward a year, I asked Megan to marry me. She said yes under one condition, that being a military family where we go Hudson goes. I immediately agreed.
The years I had the privilege of calling Hudson my son, I was never really able to snuggle with Megan without Snugglelufagus. Hudson literally would get between Megan and I. Whenever something was wrong through the various injuries being airborne infantry, marital fights etc, Hudson always made everything better. This is where he got the name Snugglelufagus.
Hudson had several issues from being a bait dog. Several trainers said there is no hope training Hudson to be obedient. We then met Julio Hernandez on Ft Bragg. Through over a year of schutzhund training, Megan and Julio were able to get Hudson not only trained but canine good citizen certified. A huge milestone for him. This is where he got the honey bear name, also due to the Blake Shelton song Honey Bee.
Shortly after arriving in Ft Hood, Megan and I were expecting. Becoming a father worried me because of Hudson’s issues, but was I wrong. That dog loved our new daughter just as much as we did. Hudson was extremely protective over our daughter Audrey Jane and our family.
Over the course of 7 years, my family was blessed with Hudson, he had an unimaginable impact on not only me but also anyone who met him. He was the reason my whole stance on hunting and animals changed. Showing me dogs and animals have feelings and emotions.
On September 21st, 2016, Hudson began having seizures, then cluster seizures. By the 28th of September, he was no longer Hudson. We brought him to Austin TX, for an MRI and it showed us everything we feared. A brain tumor. His quality of life and chance to recover was beyond minimal. Around 1700 hour with myself and Megan holding him, Hudson’s heart took its last beat. With tears in my eyes then, and right now I say to myself “I love you, my boy”.
Our world was absolutely shattered… A corner stone of our family was no longer at home.
To this day I kiss his collar before bed, and when I get up, just as I did before.
As the days went on, and reality set in. A tattoo or headstone or anything like that didn’t feel right. As I thought about the best way for me to honor my boy, it hit me. He always loved when I brought home game. He always loved food. So it dawned on me, build a rifle for me to hunt with so that I could always go hunt with my boy.
So after weeks of research, and finding parts that I wanted (in a pre-election environment). I decided to go with a complete custom handguard that would be the centerpiece of my build.
I remember thinking to myself “I hope I can find someone to do what I need.” After poking around on Google and snipers hide, one thing became evident. The company name I heard was Unique-ARs. So after hesitation, I decided to see what they could do.
After the first rendering of the hand guard, I was blown away. A few minute changes and my thoughts became a CNC Program to perfection. Then I thought to myself they show a lot of good things, but how about execution?
A week or two later, way ahead of schedule a picture was sent to my e-mail as a “sneak peek”. It was literally perfect. Then I thought would it be able to handle some abuse and can I pay for it ahead of schedule????
After hours of crunching numbers, I hear my phone go off with a new e-mail. “A deposit has posted to your account” from USAA. Then I saw my re-enlistment bonus hit the very next day. I say Devine intervention (especially for anyone who understands the enigma known as DFAS.) To top it all off I was smack set in the middle of a field problem.
Spending hours after shifts in the field I ordered parts and watched youtube learning how to build a large frame AR. It came together perfectly.
I did all the coating work myself with mostly borrowed tools. I actually coated the handguard three times because it didn’t turn out the way I wanted. This was due to me not being experienced with Cerakote. The handguard was perfect, even after being blasted two times.
The barrel nut is a marvelous feat of engineering, extremely thorough instructions, and a phenomenal product. In the entire build, I only ran into one issue. The proprietary barrel nut wrench wouldn’t fit onto the barrel nut due to the thickness of the barrel contour from black hole weaponry. Even tho it sounds like a major problem, it took all of 5 minutes with a flat file to file down the teeth on the wrench. From there it was all down hill. Everything went together as adult Legos (my nickname for AR PARTS) should.
The only time I got nervous was checking head space and seeing if the gas block will fit under the handguard. But with quality parts, builds are easy. The honey bear came out perfect due to the centerpiece of a handguard that was absolutely perfect.
The build list consists of the following:
Aero precision m5 builders set
Aero precision bcg
Aero precision lower parts kit
APA little bastard gen 2 muzzle break
Black Hole Weaponry barrel in 338 Federal
(Full bull barrel) 18 inches long
Unique ar’s custom 17-inch hand guard
Giessele SSA trigger
ATN x sight HD
Few other goodies
Thanks for an amazing product!!!
I hope this finds you well, and remember everyone deployed.
SGT Brandon M. Fallone