The Q Honey Badger, Noveske Ghetto Blaster, and the SBS Briefcase Build Walk Into a Bar

| November 24, 2017 | 8 Comments

In 2011, AAC announced a very short barreled rifle prototype called the Honey Badger. Chambered in .300 Blackout with a 6″ barrel, collapsing stock, and special bolt carrier group, the Honey Badger was meant to be an extremely compact carbine that could easily switch back and forth between supersonic and subsonic due to its suppressor and the inherent nature of .300 BLK.

Fast forward to 2014. I wrote about how the Honey Badger may be an interesting replacement for my (then, and now again) EDC vSBR, an NFA registered Mini Draco AK47.

At SHOT Show 2014, and I had the chance to talk with John Hollister, who worked with AAC at the time. I waited for the Honey Badger to come to the civilian market, but it never did. In April of 2014 I built my “briefcase AR15,” which was heavily influenced by the Honey Badger with a few exceptions:

  • I opted for the Law Tactical folding adapter (Gen 2, now on Gen 3-M) instead of the collapsing PDW stock
  • slightly longer barrel (6.75″ vs 6″)
  • no suppressor (they weren’t legal in Minnesota at the time)
  • wasn’t nearly as sexy looking, due to off-the-shelf parts and an all black finish

My build was just over $1100 , when components weren’t as inexpensive as they are today.

Q Honey Badger 2.0

Fast forward again to late 2017, and Kevin Brittingham (the original designer of the Honey Badger, and the original owner of AAC) has a new company called Q. And they have a refined version of the Honey Badger.

Features:

  • 7″ or 16″ barrel lengths
  • .300BLK or 5.56
  • 5.56 is not available with a 7″ barrel
  • Q collapsing PDW stock with custom Q bolt, bolt carrier group and buffer tube
  • Q “Cherry Bomb” muzzle attachment
  • Optional Honey Badger suppressor, which is only available if you buy the Honey Badger 2.0

Expected retail: about $2000

Expected availability: Unknown

Noveske Ghetto Blaster

At roughly the same time, the folks over at Noveske collaborated with Kevin to make their “Ghetto Blaster.”

Features:

  • 7.94″ barrel
  • .300BLK or 5.56
  • Q collapsing PDW stock with custom Q bolt, bolt carrier group and buffer tube
  • “Super Badass” charging handle from Geissele, with collaboration from Noveske

Expected retail: about $2000

Expected availability: December 2017

SBS Briefcase Build

Yup, those looks way better than my build (granted, mine’s seen a lot of use).

Features:

  • 6.75″ .300BLK barrel
  • Gen 3-M Law Tactical folding adapter
  • Simple Threaded Devices muzzle attachment
  • Off-the-shelf parts from Bravo Company, Magpul, Midwest Industries, Palmetto State Armory, and more

Cost: $1100 (at time of build, 2014)

Observations

The Honey Badger 2.0 and Ghetto Blaster look fantastic. They are made from high quality components and come from respected manufacturers, or “new” companies populated with industry veterans.

They will be in high demand, and I feel like they will sell out at the $2000-ish price point.

I am surprised the Honey Badger comes in a 16″ barrel configuration. I am also surprised that both companies chose to use a longer barrel than the original Honey Badger. 8″ barreled .300BLK are common for that caliber.

When I built my Briefcase AR there was a lot of discussion about “dwell time,” and how a .300 with a barrel less than 8″ couldn’t be reliable. This has turned out to be completely untrue, as I’ve fired a few thousand rounds in training environments.

The collapsing stock is a signature from the OG Honey Badger, so it makes sense to see it on both of these firearms. I’d prefer a folder, because I have a specific build requirement (bag carry in off-the-shelf bags). I’m more concerned with overall size than the ability to fire a round immediately on deployment.

We don’t have official information on the HB2.0 or Ghetto Blaster overall length. However, they are going to be longer than the Briefcase Build. If ultimate portability is important to you, you may want to consider building your own, and use the Law Adapter.

If you want one of these right away, the Ghetto Blaster is your best bet. It’s supposed to ship at the end of this month. You’re going to have to apply for an NFA stamp as well, so if you jump on the first wave of rifles you might get your vSBR by summer time.

It’s a shame that they aren’t offering pistol options, but I think both of these companies cater to the high end market who won’t blink about spending $2k+ and the wait time with the ATF.

I am glad companies are still pursuing factory vSBR firearms, and both of these look beautiful.

Related posts:

About the Author:

Short Barrel Shepherd Short Barrel Shepherd is a regular guy and works to make Web sites and mobile apps easier for people to use. He spends his free time attending fight-focused firearm, knife, and combatives training, motorcycling, writing, and playing games. His daily carry is a Glock 19 pistol and an AR15 .300 Blackout pistol in a backpack.
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8 Comments on "The Q Honey Badger, Noveske Ghetto Blaster, and the SBS Briefcase Build Walk Into a Bar"

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  1. Budes says:

    To my understanding the dynamics of 300blk cater to a shorter barrel, all the powder is burnt up withing 8 inches or something and the round performs well out of a shorter barrel, why go vSBR with 223/556 its so damn loud in a short barrel and loses to my knowledge significant amount of velocity. Would you run 223/556 in a brief case gun? Also what steps do you take to make sure the safety on a vSBR stays engaged in the bag. Also just saw this related article( http://shortbarrelshepherd.com/223-velocity-experiment-from-guns-ammo/ )

    ps I enjoy every article, caught me at the computer when you posted.

    • Short Barrel Shepherd Short Barrel Shepherd says:

      A lot of people do 5.56 out of a 7.5″ barrel because they already have a ton of 5.56 and they don’t want to mess with .300 BLK.

      In regards to the safety, I never engage them. After watching safeties get moved around in dynamic classes, I never trust them to stay engaged in a bag. I keep the chamber empty, bolt forward. Locking the bolt back is also unsafe.

      You can read more about my procedures here:

      http://shortbarrelshepherd.com/whats-your-condition/

    • CR Williams says:

      I have a 7.5″ barrel AR pistol in 5.56. I accept that there will be a loss of velocity and load it accordingly. Also, this gun is not really expected to be shot at a target much beyond 150 yards distance. On those grounds, the velocity I will be getting is sufficient to get the performance from the chosen ammunition that I want.

      As long as you do a little research and make good choices, running a short-barrel 5.56/.223 isn’t a real problem.

  2. David says:

    I run a gun that’s very close to the original Honey Badger concept (NEA CCS stock, 8.25″ 5.56×45 barrel, K2+ grip, etc.). I’ve also found it more reliable than I would have thought, but blast is fairly excessive, even when using a flash hider. (I can’t even imagine what it would be like with a brake.)

    What I’d really like to build – if I had room in the safe anyways- is a version in 9×39. I think it’s going to be a big thing when Wolf finally gets those steel-cased imports flowing in. I have zero use for supersonic 300AAC, and like the idea of cheap subsonic ammo with a punch.

  3. Gilbert says:

    Another informative article. Thanks! But what I have a major problem with is the price tag. Maybe it is just me being cheap, but paying $2,000 for a “specialty” rifle just do not make sense to me. Especially when there are components on the market that cost a LOT less money! Again, maybe it’s just me….

    • Short Barrel Shepherd Short Barrel Shepherd says:

      That’s also my perspective, but I recognize the value some place on a pre-built firearm from a top tier manufacturer. Thanks for commenting.

  4. Eric says:

    I noticed that you seem to like the Law Tactical folding stock. I have been considering a pistol/SBR build, and the Law Tactical and Deadfoot Arms MCS seem to be two of the best options for SBRs, and Gear Head Works has their Tailhook Mod2 coming out for pistols. Do you have any experience with the MCS or the Tailhook series? The MCS seems expensive, but it can be fired without unfolding the stock. Not sure if it is worth the price difference or not.

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