• Follow me on Twitter

  • 1 With A Bullet

Shootrite Katana Update: new specs, new manufacturer

Tiger McKee just released new info regarding his lightweight fighting rifle, the Shootrite Katana:

 I’ve been playing with the new Katana, and it is great.  We’re still fine tuning a couple of things but it should be ready for shipping soon.  We’re still offering the original version of the carbine, and the new version retains all the original concepts except with a couple of different options.  MHT has done a great job with this build.  And, there won’t be any of the problems – such as no customer service – as there were previously.  It will be available in black or the FDE.

MHT will now handle the production of the Shootrite Katana

MHT will now handle the production of the Shootrite Katana

Here are the specs:

  • Forged 7075 AL , flat top upper receiver with 1913 rail and no forward assist
  • Soon to be made in-house with M4 feed ramps, mil-spec hardcoat anodizing
  • BCM Medium or Small Gunfighter charging handle
  • Daniel Defense A1.5 rear sight
  • PRI Gen 3 Delta Mid-length handguard or Hiperform round handguard


  • Bolt carrier material is 8620 steel, M16 spec, gas key properly staked
  • Bolt material is Carpenter 158 steel, shot peened, and HP and MP tested
  • Extractor material is tool steel
  • Extractor spring is Colt “gold” type


  • 16″ lightweight profile with .625″ diameter forged front sight base
  • Barrel material is 4150 CMV, Cold Hammer Forged, 1:7 twist, Chrome Lined, HP and MP tested, and Mil-Spec heavy phosphate coated
  • Mid-length or carbine gas system
  • A2 Flash Hider with crush washer


  • Forged 7075 AL lower receiver, machined in-house and mil-spec hardcoat anodized
  • ALG Defense ACT Nickel Boron coated fire control group and pins
  • Aluminum winter trigger guard
  • Duckbill pistol grip
  • Magpul MOE Rifle stock or optional CTR carbine stock with H buffer or original style A1 stock


  • Remove forge flashing, bayonet lug, sling swivel mount, and smooth front sight base
  • Grey phosphate coat all steel parts on rifle
  • Fabricated custom sling mounts
  • Tune action for smoothness
  • Match serial numbered upper and lower assemblies
  • All parts on rifle hand assembled, matched and fitted with function checks and test fire

The MHT Defense website is currently under construction, but does list a contact email.  [MHT will also be offering a Shootrite AR-15 lower receiver].

The Katana to date has had a few ‘hiccups’ with regard to it reaching the marketplace (apparently due to the first shop contracted to build it being more concerned with their TV show than actually serving customers).  This doesn’t diminish the rifle’s concept in the slightest.  All small businesses have obstacles to overcome in order to serve their customers.  I applaud Tiger’s effort to see that the Katana is made to spec by people who respect and communicate with those customers.

Musings on a Lightweight AR Build

A friend asked me about my opinions on building a lightweight AR so in blogger fashion I thought I’d blast my ramblings out on the intertoobz.

First off, lightweight AR-15’s are great fun to shoot.  Beyond that, there’s a renaissance going on as folks are embracing the rifle’s founding concept of ‘lighter is better’.  That really was the whole reason for using plastic and aluminum after all.

Having studied Tiger McKee’s excellent book ‘The Book of Two Guns’, I agree with his recommendation of keeping a fighting gun rugged and light.  His Katana rifle concept makes a lot of sense, coming in at 6 pounds with fixed sights and a lightweight A1 fixed stock.

The consumers’ desire for lighter rifles has other manufacturers answering the demand with such current options as the S&W M&P 15 Sport (6.45 lbs), Colt’s LE6900 (6.2 lbs) and DoubleStar’s C3 ‘Constant Carry Carbine’ (5.5 lbs w/o sights)

Some may want to discuss mil-spec pedigrees, but let’s save that for later and look at the features of the guns listed.  About the only common feature of these three guns is a 16” barrel with a carbine length gas system.  Otherwise their approaches to saving weight vary.  Variations are fixed vs. adjustable stocks, a fixed FSB vs. sights on a free-float handguard and lightweight barrel contour vs. M4 contour (Colt 6900).

After some consideration, here are the high points of my theoretical build list of components for the purpose of having a trustworthy ultra-light rifle.

[Now I just need to place a few backorders…]

There are a few other tricks [adapt an A1 buffer tube to carbine buffer and spring, lightweight bolt carrier, or drill a 9mm upper for a gas tube] to shave an ounce here and there but this is about as light as a standard rifle can be.  Of course, lightweight is good but it still has to work.  I think the above list would satisfy that requirement.

So what do you think?  If you have any suggestions or recommendations for going lighter or increasing reliability, let me know.