Core Stories

Leupold Gun Rack: Eric Sydow

Looks Can Be Deceiving

Celebrity comes in all shapes and sizes – from your stereotypical Hollywood movie star to some kid from the middle of nowhere who goes viral for reasons you can only hope to one day understand. But this type of fanfare isn’t just reserved for people. Inanimate objects can also garner loads of admiration and likes.

Enter Eric Sydow’s SBR (short barreled rifle). Eric (@esydow13 on Instagram) has built a bit of a cult following off of his incredible shooting skills and penchant for range shenanigans. But the real star of the show is his go-to SBR rifle, which he refers to as his “main girl.” While some may not consider her much to look at, with the rattle-canned exterior and well-used components, there’s no doubt that she gets the job done.

“When I started building this rifle," Eric said, "I was going for pure functionality. Every component was chosen for efficiency, with looks being secondary.”

For his purposes, size played a huge factor in choosing many of the components. With a 12.5" barrel and a folding stock, the rifle is easily packable and can be transported virtually anywhere, which makes it a great fit for guy who likes to shoot at any range he can access. But while it has a small frame, it's more than capable of accurately reaching mid-range distances out to 600 yards. That's where the Mark 6 1-6x24 comes in handy. This low-power variable optic (LPVO for the cool kids) has the best of both worlds; it's true 1x magnification, bright aiming point, and mid to long range ballistically calibrated CMR-W reticle means it can handle almost any situation.

Topping off this shooting system is a lightweight and durable DP Pro red dot sight. For Eric, redundancy and speed are critical in a battle-rifle. The DP Pro achieves both. By sitting on top of the scope you still get an aiming point when at "high-ready," and a secondary sight just in case anything were to happen to the primary scope. It also makes transitioning between mid-range and close-quarter engagements incredibly fast and efficient.

He’ll admit that it isn’t the prettiest belle of the ball, but its well-used exterior proves that Eric puts his equipment through the paces on a regular basis. He shoots and trains 3-4 times a week, and since this is an SBR, it usually accompanies him everywhere.

This rifle goes to show you that you don’t need fancy components to build a quality firearm that can run on all cylinders. With the right setup, you can turn almost any rifle into a high-performance machine.

Spec List & Build Cost


Upper: BCM W/ A10 KMR Handguard $439.00

Lower: Rock River Arms LAR-15M Forged Lower $145.00

Bolt Carrier Group: BCM $169.00

Vertical Grip: BCM Gunfighter Grip Mod 0 $25.95

Stock: Magpul CTR-C Stock $75.95

Barrel: Criterion 12.5 Hybrid Contour Barrel $289.99

Light: Surefire M600DF Scout Light $299.99

Light Switch: Surefire DS-SR07 Switch Assembly $195.00

Trigger: Geissele Super Semi Automatic Trigger $240.00

Folding Stock: LAW Tactical $229.99

Iron Sights: Knights Armament Co. Iron sights $310.00

Scope: Leupold Mark 6 1-6x20 W/ 5.56 CMR-W reticle $2200.00

Red Dot: Leupold DeltaPoint Pro 2.5 MOA Dot $400.00

Red Dot Mount: Leupold Deltapoint Pro 34mm ring-top mount $80.00

Throw Lever: Leupold Mark 6 throw lever $190.00

Mount: Leupold Mark 6 34mm IMS $249.00

Total = $5,538.87

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