The Desert Rose Full-Custom AR-15


When great minds join together, great things happen… and when they do so with open hearts their impact is exponentially more. In this article Doug introduces you to four manufacturers who collaborated to create an incredible custom rifle for an awesome cause.

The Desert Rose is a custom AR-15 which is the result of four manufacturers collaborating with the goal of making a one-of-a-kind rifle to benefit a one-of-a-kind cause.

I’ve been sending firearms to Robar for more than a decade and, while visiting them at SHOT 2015, they introduced me to Kaiser US Shooting Products (KSP). As popular as the AR-15 has become, it’s not often that I see something that is truly unique to the platform. As I met the KSP team, however, and learned about their products, I could tell this company was going to be a game changer in the industry. Working in conjunction with Robar, LEO Armory, and Unique-AR’s, Kaiser US Shooting Products created the Desert Rose, which is not only one of the most attractive rifles I’ve ever seen but also one of the smoothest operating ones as well.

Good people doing good things…

While discussing this project we had the idea that we could benefit a deserving charity which is doing good for the industry at the same time. The Project Appleseed is a nonprofit organization that teaches riflemanship and early American history with the mission of returning America to being a nation of Riflemen. While researching for a future Tactical Parent article, I became very impressed with this organization as it teaches young people not only how to shoot, but also the significance of marksmanship as it relates to the founding of our Nation.

Immediately we decided that the proceeds from the sale of the Desert Rose would be donated to Project Appleseed, and amazingly we have now received a generous offer that the donation will be matched by a donor who wishes to remain private.

About Project Appleseed: "Project Appleseed can help transform you from a man with a rifle into a Rifleman. A Rifleman is more than a man (or woman) with a rifle. A Rifleman understands that owning and mastering a rifle is part of his heritage as an American. And he knows why: This is a nation founded by Riflemen — men and women skilled in the use of arms.

Those skills served the colonists well when they stood up to the British on April 19, 1775, at Lexington and Concord, and routed the British forces that tried to seize the colonists’ arms. They did it with grit, with determination, and with superior skill in marksmanship. They pledged their lives, their fortunes and their sacred honor to the task. And they didn’t stop until they had won. Throughout history, Riflemen have embodied personal responsibility and been pillars of their communities, characteristics that are becoming ever more rare in our nation.

At Project Appleseed, we want to return America to being a nation of Riflemen. And we want you to join us."

The foundation of the Desert Rose is the Kaiser US X7 Fusion Rifle and central to the rifle is the X7 Fusion polymer upper and lower receivers. The receivers are injection molded with long-strand and short-strand glass fibers for strength. I’ve always been skeptical of polymer receivers but, after learning the specifics of the manufacturing process and spending time shooting the rifle I am very impressed and have complete confidence in their quality. It’s no surprise that these come with a limited lifetime warranty or that the X7 Fusion Rifle has already been adopted as the service rifle for several police departments.

Inside the receivers, the bolt carrier group was provided by Robar and is coated with their proprietary NP3 finish. This is the same finish I have on most of my daily-carry firearms because it increases reliability, makes cleaning easy, protects against corrosion, and increases the life of the firearm. It also has a very attractive satin-like gray color that looks great on guns. The specific description of the NP3 finish is "an electroless nickel-based finish for steel, stainless steel and aluminum alloys that co-deposits sub-micron particles of PTFE (polytetrafluoroethylene), otherwise known as Teflon™, with electroless nickel." While I’m not an expert on firearm coatings, Robar definitely is. I know personally that the NP3 finish will make a gun run smoother and longer than without it and the difference this coating makes in the BCG is noticeable in the Desert Rose.

The lettering on the receivers was provided by LEO Armory, which does a variety of laser engraving and ColorFLASH™ for firearms and magazines. In short, if you want it engraved on a gun, LEO Armory can do just about anything you can imagine. On the Desert Rose, the custom ejection port dust cover has "Desert Rose" showing when it’s open, and laser-engraved color-matched roses when closed. LEO Armory can do surface engraving, deep-metal engraving, 3D engraving, or even a full cut-through – and they will work with you to make certain that you get exactly the design you want.

Perhaps the most noticeable part of the Desert Rose is the custom handguard made by Unique ARs. I have done projects with Unique ARs in the past and, once again, they did not disappoint. The first goal was to keep the rifle’s weight under six pounds and the second was to incorporate the Kaiser US logo into the handguard. Unique ARs delivered both, then finished it with the phrase "Guns & Tactics Magazine" cut around the handguard near the receiver. Unique ARs has several "stock" patterns they can cut into a handguard – from flames, to skulls, to butterflies and hearts – their extensive library of options will fuel the imagination of any AR enthusiast. Alternatively, if you’re building a one-of-a-kind rifle yourself, Unique ARs will work with their customers to create a custom handguard that reflects exactly what you want on your rifle.

As part of the collaboration, Unique ARs sent the finished handguard to Kaiser US Shooting Products without being anodized so that the KSP team could ensure all the aluminum components of the rifle were anodized together to match. The handguard matches the magazine release, charging handle, and the buffer tube. The dusty-rose color of these pieces is striking against the remainder of the rifle, which is black. The finishing touch on the Desert Rose is a black and rose color-matched paracord lanyard connecting the two corners of the stock.

The Desert Rose custom AR-15 is available for purchase through this auction which will close on October 26, 2015 All proceeds from the sale of the rifle will be donated to Project Appleseed and will be matched by an anonymous donor. I will notify the highest bidder that they have won and, from there, we will coordinate payment and shipment to the winner’s preferred FFL.

The future owner of this rifle will have landed a top shelf, one-of-a-kind, rifle while also supporting a great cause. I personally want to thank Kaiser US Shooting Products, Robar, LEO Armory, and Unique ARs for their contributions to this project and to Project Appleseed for what they do for us all. It’s not everyday that you find a group giving back to the next generation of shooters in such an interesting and generous way. From the entire Guns & Tactics Magazine team, thank you!

* The views and opinions expressed on this web site are solely those of the original authors and contributors. These views and opinions do not necessarily represent those of Guns & Tactics Magazine,
the administrative staff, and/or any/all contributors to this site.