Impressions of the Hodge Defense AU-Mod1

I’m jealous. A buddy of mine who is a member of the SOF community and an avid hunter and shooter in his spare time recently returned from about 9 months in Afghanistan. He purchased the first commercial Hodge Defense AU-Mod1 from DSG Arms. He picked it up yesterday and went right to the range. Afterwards, he brought it to my house to gloat. I’ve got a carbine that Hodgie built for me but these production guns are sweet. He provided me with these notes.

The first thing to understand about the Hodge Defense Systems AU-Mod 1 rifle is, it is a work gun. It is an AR-15 style rifle which is built based on years of experience, trial, error, and what works best in a variety of environments for individuals who carry a gun for a living. It achieves an almost unattainable balance between modern technology, classic aesthetics, simplicity, and rock solid durability by using proven components and a level of attention to detail that is few and far between in most production guns.


The first impression of the AU-Mod 1 is when picking it up; the balance is uncanny and leaves you with the instant disbelief the rifle utilizes a Government Profile, Cold Hammer Forged 16” Barrel and a 13” rail. Holding the rail in the vicinity of the barrel nut, the AU-Mod 1 is virtually neutral in your hand. However, once you understand the rifle was designed to swing like a custom hunting shotgun, it instantly makes sense. The rifle effortlessly points where you direct it, without unintentional over travel often found in unbalanced rifles. Additionally, the attention to detail and carefully selected components such as the full-serration bolt catch, teardrop forward-assist, ALG QMS trigger, mid-length gas system, Geiselle rail, and machined selector are all paired to provide the best blend of accuracy, dependability, and performance. The AU-Mod 1 is built to the specification of a Gunfighter, for Gunfighters…Now you get it.


A quick zero and break-in, the first commercially sold AU-Mod 1 averaged 1 – 1.5 inches at 100 yards utilizing Milspec M855 62-Grain (Green Tip) across multiple groups.


Although, at first glance, some might say there are rifles on the market capable of achieving better results, it is important to note that many of those rifles are tested with match grade ammunition and such a statement would be comparing apples to oranges. Furthermore, the standard for M855 62-Grain Green Tip, is approximately 4 inches at 100 yards. Therefore, the Hodge Defense Systems AU-Mod 1 is capable of accuracy roughly 75% more effective than the standard for the ammunition it was used with during the first range session.


The AU-Mod 1 borrows from proven and the most valued ideals in the shooting sports and applies those considerations into a Milspec platform that is truly impressive. As with many users, often times an individual acquires a production rifle and immediately modifies several components on it; the AU-Mod 1 is built from the ground up with all of those desires accounted for by including the best components available for a gun of this nature. All that has to be added from the time it is taken out of the shipping case is back-up iron sights and/or an optic if desired. As those items are significantly about individual preference, Hodge Defense felt it best to leave those choices to the individual. Hands-down, the rifle is truly extraordinary in a classic package with rock solid durability that is likely to rival the finest cutom AR-15 style rifles available today.



6 Responses to “Impressions of the Hodge Defense AU-Mod1”

  1. jbgleason says:

    Great but how far out did you run the stock? Sorry…Haha. Looks like a nice rifle, would like to see some groups with match ammo.

  2. Palehorse1 says:

    Money, why do you never stay in my wallet after reading SSD?

  3. V says:

    Looks like the stock is on the 4th position out of the available 6 on the milspec receiver extension. When you start looking at the component cost going into this and the quality of construction, this rifle is worth every penny.

  4. USMC 0311 says:

    So, in case I overlooked it: Where do I get my hands on one, and for how much?

  5. Sc-Texas says:

    Check DSG arms.