Kris Paronto, more affectionately known as “Tanto,” is one of the most recognized names in the military community, and for good reason.

The former U.S. Army Ranger from 2nd Battalion 75th Ranger Regiment played an instrumental role in the Sept. 11, 2012, Benghazi attacks. Paronto was part of the CIA annex security team that saved the lives of the almost 30-member State Department and CIA station staff after an Ansa Al-Sharia-backed Libyan ambush.

We recently spoke with Paronto about life after the events of Benghazi for an upcoming feature in Ballistic magazine (which you can read when it goes on sale July 11, 2017). But we also managed to score some impromptu one-on-one time with Paronto. He talked about his prized AR, which he bought back in 2005.

Kris Paronto’s AR

“It’s just a little Bushmaster and I couldn’t afford much, so I think I got it for $500 or $600,” Paronto said. “… It’s nothing special. If you look at it, it looks something like a Frankenstein weapon that somebody put together. But that’s all you need.”

“Weapons systems, of course there are better ones out there, most expensive ones, but when it comes right down to it you build it to your spec. You build it how you’re comfortable with it. Bottom line is it’s the guy behind the weapon that makes it effective, it’s not the weapon,” he said.

Watch the video above for a complete rundown of Paronto’s hardware.

Check out the complete feature on Paronto in the fall 2017 issue of Ballistic Magazine, which hit stands July 11. You can pick up issues of Ballistic at

For more information on Kris Paronto, please visit

Up Next

Eating Pork Loin at the Range with the Camp Chef Woodwind Pellet Grill

Taking a break from shooting guns at the Athlon Outdoors Rendezvous, we managed to...