Whiskey Tango Foxtrot is a draug, and what does it have to do with firearms? Usually absolutely nothing, but in this case… According to Norse folklore a draug (pronounced basically like the word dog) is an animated corpse, not to be confused with a ghost. Draugs are often bodies of deceased royalty who protect their burial mounds, treasure and additionally even their former palaces. Considered neither evil nor good, they are just an undead creature with chaotic neutral energy.
Until I met brothers Cody and Cole, of Odin’s Workshop, located in Michigan, I had not heard of draugs. Odin’s Workshop has a reputation for their amazing colorful work on Glock and Sig P320 frames. As a result of a recent visit to them, and discussions about local native American folklore, the draug project began. Providing them with my thoughts on a good Ballistic theme I handed over my personal 5.56 rifle (No, this gun is not part of the gun giveaway this issue. Keep reading to learn more about the gun we are giving away to one lucky winner.)
Later on that day I got a call from Cody, asking if I trusted him and if he could go in a different direction with the theme. Knowing their talents and unlimited capabilities, I quickly gave them my blessings to go full-freestyle on this Ballistic Custom Challenge. They did not disappoint; many a curse word of excitement fell from my mouth when I first laid eyes on my reborn rifle.
The Draug’s Canvas
The lower receiver is the Jack Gen 1 from Sharps Bros. The newer Gen 2s still have the same “face,” but have lightening cuts done to the back half of the lower. All of the Gen 2s now have threaded bolt catch pins as well. I consider any Sharps Bros. lower a must-have for any project, it just adds that special touch.
The upper receiver and stock come from the now-defunct Para Ordnance USA. The upper has a modified version of the standard AR-15 gas system called the delayed impingement gas system. The buffer spring has been relocated to the handguard, allowing for a true folding stock. Because of this, the upper is slightly taller and thicker than a standard AR, but not something noticeable at first glance. It’s a fun rifle to shoot, even with the stock folded.
When I asked the Odin brothers why the draug theme, their response was, “Come on! You gave us a Jack, we had no choice.” The level of detail and clarity on this paint job is nothing short of amazing. The contouring and subtle shading on the Jack skull makes it standout to say the least. The faces of the draugs on the left and right side of the receivers are masterfully done. The fight scene on the grip is in classic Norse style. And then there is the Norse knotwork…the details in the handguard…man these guys really outdid themselves!
But Odin’s didn’t stop there. They also worked their magic on the Magpul PMag. One side features a draug’s face, while on the other it looks to be a shield maiden draug. Everything else is filled with beautifully done Norse knotwork.
I asked the brothers how they achieved this level of detail, and they just smiled at me. I pressed them a little more and they told me they’re not saying—it’s their secret. At that moment, I could swear I heard a crow caw in the distance.
Again, we really do love all of our Ballistic readers, but this gun is not, I repeat not going to belong to anyone other than me. That said, if you’re interesting in having Odin’s work some of their magic on your personal firearms, please visit odinsworkshop.com.
Odin’s Workshop Draug 5.56: A Pictorial
This article is from Ballistic magazine, June/July 2021 issue. Subscriptions are available at OutdoorGroupStore.com.
Odin’s Workshop Channels Norse Draug in Our Latest Custom Challenge – Ballistic Magazine is written by Linas Cernauskas for www.ballisticmag.com