It was the summer before HighSchool for me, and Matt was about to enter Junior High, when we saw the movie “Full Metal Jacket” for the first time. I remember laughing our juvenile asses off when we saw the guys marching around in their under wear, holding their rifles, tugging at their goods, and yelling with R. Lee Ermey in the lead. Still makes me laugh to this day.
Pop served in Vietnam during the late 60’s, Tet Offensive and such. He never really spoke about it, but he kept a tremendous library of books and owned about every movie that was ever made about it. We were not allowed to watch those types of movies, but being boys we found his hidden stash of books and VHS tapes. We read and watched every one when we could sneak them. I imagine it was our curiosity about that unspoken era of our father’s life that created the desire to search out as much as we could.
Our summers back then consisted of BB guns, bikes, skateboards, and playing army down in the creek at Blackberry Farm golf course. We made it a habit of tracking down M80’s when we could, lobbing them at the golfers from our sniper hides, and then high tailing it back down the creek to safety when the dust had cleared; sometimes with golf balls flying at us.
When Matt entered the Navy in 2000, and then especially after he became a SEAL was when Dad started to open up a little more about his wartime experiences. Dad and Matt became much closer over his years in the Teams.
One of the last things my dad told Matt before he deployed was “Never run out of ammunition, never get close enough to use your knife, and never surrender.”
When our family decided to build this Tribute rifle to honor Matt, his Teammates, and the Night Stalkers that perished that day, we wanted it to be a symbol of that brotherhood all the men shared. A Tribute housed in the tool they used to keep each other safe.
There are engravings on this rifle that symbolize each of the Brothers lost that day, as well as the joint forces that were involved in the rescue and recovery of the men. For without the dedication of all in the aftermath we might never have known the story.
Poseidon’s three-pronged Trident for Matt, Danny, Mike. The lone star above the center prong for Marcus, the diamond it is housed in represents four branches of the military and the trident itself symbolizes the SEAL Teams.
“Turbine 33 – NSDQ”, (Night Stalkers Don’t Quit) is engraved on the upper.
The serial numbers on these rifles are AXE01-AXE99. There are also a few other etchings on there as well if you look closely. They are self-explanatory for those who find them.
Our family is honored to be able to present this Tribute rifle as a symbol of our heroic men and women that serve us every day, and we are proud to be able to use these as a means to help fund the foundations we support.
God Bless – The Axelson Family
A Heartfelt “Thanks” to all the companies involved who helped to make this a reality. Josh and Will at Sionics Weapon Systems especially. Without your expertise we could not have built a rifle that would be worthy of its namesake.
Each AXE Tribute rifle will come in a Pelican case with an engraved wood box which will contain a set of special challenge coins that tell the story of Operation Red Wings. Matt’s personal Challenge Coin will have a serial number that matches the rifle it is paired with. There will be two Spartan 01 missing man patches with it as well, along with some undisclosed engravings.
The following is an overview of the technical specifications of the Axelson Tactical “AXE” Special Purpose AR-15 Rifle. Each rifle has special engraving and has been Cerakoted with a 3 color camouflage pattern which was done by hand to provide each rifle a slightly different and unique look. Cerakote has been provided by PD Warehouse in Chandler, Arizona. All rifles are hand-fitted and checked by SIONICS Weapon Systems and inspected by a Master Armorer.
UPPER RECIEVER HALF
The upper receiver half is built around the SWS 18” Special Purpose Rifle (SPR) barrel. The upper receiver is a standard M4 styled flat top upper receiver with M4 feed cuts made from a 7075 T6 aluminum forging.
Vltor/Bravo Company Gunfighter MOD 4 handle.
Magpul MBUS PRO front and rear sights.
SIONICS Weapon Systems stainless 18” SPR barrel. The twist of the barrel is 1/8. This barrel is chambered in .223 Wylde, uses a .0995 gas port and features an M4 barrel extension. It uses a standard .750 gas block manufactured by Geissele Automatics. The muzzle device is a Battle Comp 1.0 manufactured by Battle Comp Enterprises.
Geissele Automatics AXE00 – AXE49 / MK2 SMR 15” Free-Floating Rail System.
Geissele Automatics AXE50 – AXE99 / MK4 M-LOK 15” Super Modular Rail.
BOLT CARRIER GROUP
Bolt carrier is an M16 profile made from 8620 tool steel and features an NP3 coating. The carrier key uses (2) grade 8 fasteners and is staked to prevent loosening. The bolt is made from Carpenter 158 steel and meets standard MILSPEC requirements.
LOWER RECEIVER HALF
Standard M4 style made from a 7075 T6 aluminum forging. It features an enhanced aluminum trigger guard from B5 Systems.
LOWER RECEIVER EXTENTION
Vltor MILSPEC dimension A5 lower receiver extension. It features a rifle action spring and the Vltor A5 5.33 oz. buffer.
Geissele Automatics SSA-E trigger.
Battle Arms Development Ambidextrous Selector Lever.
B5 Systems Enhanced SOPMOD stock.
Front Pivot Pin and Rear Take Down Pins
Battle Arms Development Enhanced Pin Set.
Bravo Company Manufacturing Gunfighter MOD 0 grip.
All other components are standard MILSPEC parts. Each AR-15 rifle was test-fired with Federal M193 ammunition for proper function and reliability.