Firearms pictured on this page are for reference and only a select few will be in stock.

Items not in stock can be ordered and will have a lower price if advance ordered and prepaid.

Due to large quantities of popular rifles in stock at distributors and lack of regular purchasing

by consumers, there is no need to maintain massive inventory locally. Most requested firearms

are shipable immediately from distributors, so very few rifles pictured below would be in stock.

Easy to order and receive many popular rifles in 2-3 days; no major inventory will be stocked.

My focus is on ammunition - yours should be too. Guns are dead weight without ammo!

*Pictures and pricing are for reference*

It's about time consumers understand what costs are in the firearm business and that federal licensed firearm dealers' premises are where one must go to in order to legally purchase/exercise their 'right to own firearms'. No dealers, no future for gun ownership.

Remington 700 SPS Varmint 26" heavy barrel in .308, advance order $670.  (retail $761)

Remington 700 SPS 24" light contour barrel in .30-06, advance order $645.  (retail $730)

Rem 700 SPS 20" heavy barrel .308, Hogue rubber overmolded stock, advance order $758.  (ret $842)


It's about time consumers understand what costs are in the firearm business and that federal licensed firearm dealers' premises are where one must go to in order to legally purchase/exercise their 'right to own firearms'. No dealers, no future for gun ownership.

Marlin 336C .30-30, walnut, 20" barrel, advance order $589.  (ret $655)

Henry .22, feeds short, long, & long rifle .22, 18" barrel, advance order $340.  (ret $378)

Savage MKII 16" fluted heavy barrel .22, muzzle threaded 1/2x28", advance order $265.  (ret $295)

Ruger 10/22 blued .22, synthetic stock, advance order $278.  (ret $309)

Ruger 10/22 stainless .22, matte silver receiver, advance order $305.  (ret $339)

S&W M&P15-22 .22

M-Lok system forend, folding Magpul sights, advance order $429.  (ret $449)


S&W M&P15-22 .22 Muddy Girl Camo

M-Lok system forend, folding Magpul sights, advance order $479.  (ret $499)


S&W M&P15-22 .22 Kryptek Camo

M-Lok system forend, folding Magpul sights, advance order $479.  (ret $499)

For reference: various Arsenal AKs - These will not be stocked regularly


Arsenal AKs built on stamped receivers, fixed stock

Arsenal 7.62x39 caliber AK, built on Russian Saiga receivers, fixed stock, ~ $1,000.

These come with Bulgarian short 5 round mag; original waffle pattern 30 round mag shown is optional.

Arsenal 5.45x39 caliber, Russian Saiga receiver, fixed stock, ~ $1,000.

The 5.45x39 models come with short 10 round mag. Bulgarian 30 round mag shown is optional.

Arsenal 5.45x39 Saiga with sidefolding stock and Bulgarian 30rd mag. ~ $1,100.

Compact for storage/transport with the solid sidefolding stock.

Left side view of Arsenal 5.45x39 Saiga with a Bulgarian 45rd magazine.

Solid sidefolding stocks are worth every dollar of their cost. Solid cheekweld when opened.

Arsenal type 'SA M-7' with milled receiver, fixed stock  *limited production*

Milled receiver 7.62x39 Arsenal SA M-7, highest level of milled type AK that they offer, $1,550 and up.

Arsenal type 'F' with stamped receiver, solid side-folding stock

Arsenal (Bulgarian pattern) SLR-107F in 7.62x39, solid side-folding stock, around $1,100.

Possibly the finest fit and finish and the best side folder in a American made stamped receiver AK!

Arsenal SLR-107F with stock folded. Their side-folding stock is unmatched in strength and solidity.

Days of maintaining AK inventory like this is long gone...

Too many people trying to find 'better deals online' has made it useless to stock inventory. Far better for the individual to find one at whatever price they thought is good and have me receive it at a reasonable FFL fee.

Comparison between Arsenal and Romanian AK rifles

One of the best deals in the industry; built on Russian receivers and with solid American parts by Arsenal

'great track record excellent fit and finish' among many AKs being offered in the US.  link: Arsenal AKs

Points to note when comparing Arsenal to Romanian AKs: Arsenal fire control parts vs Tapco G2,

excellent polymer furniture with lower handguard heatshield+upper handguard tensioner vs plywood,

rust-resistant finish on exterior steel vs plain bluing of steel, one-piece machined brake vs slant brake.

As it always has been in the world of AKs, a rifle's characteristics rightfully determine the rifle's price.

Why I don't recommend Romanian AKs:  Increasing QC issues with Century GP/WASR-10/63 AKs


Arsenal's rust-resistant coating, clean machining, polymer furniture vs Romanian blued rough finish, wood.


Romanian basic handguards vs Arsenal's tensioned (-->) upper handguard and heatshield lower handguard.

Romanian slant brake, 45 deg gas block vs Arsenal's one-piece machined muzzle brake, 90 deg gas block.


Romanian vs Arsenal view inside receiver, Romanian rough machined bolt carrier vs Arsenal's bolt carrier.


For reference: images and base prices of some AK variants from 2011-2016

This is how they were arriving back in 2011. Now they are commonly equipped with just 1 or 2 mags.

No sling, oiler, mag pouch, or bayonet - and of course at a higher price for 2016 - with or without stuff.

2014-2015: Average selling price for Romanian and similar 'cheap' AKs have risen to $600+.

Will that ever come back down?  It may even go higher as importers capitalize on public fear, politics.

Romanian type AK-47 laminated wood furniture.

approx $600 ~ $650

AK with select wood, better metal finish. Of course, higher price and not as common as above.

Underfolder, polymer handguards.

approx $700 ~ $750

Underfolder, laminated wood handguards.

approx $700 ~ $750

Underfolding stock AK shown with stock folded.

 Sidefolder, polymer stocks. German type with wire stock sidefolder. Often similar pricing as underfolders.

Sidefolder, laminated wood stocks.

. . . with sidefolding stock folded . . .

Left-side converted bolt handle: AK modification that should never be done

Legion USA 'professionally converted' [what they said in 2012] left-side bolt handle AK, left side view.

This configuration 'converted by experts' is NOT a good idea. Because stock folds to the right (covering

cut-off bolt handle ejection side), even replacing current bolt carrier with an original the-way-it-should-be

handle will not allow stock to fold as the stock then would interfere with handle running bolt to the rear!!

Right side view - yes, an important protrusion is missing here on the bolt...

Non-existent bolt handle. Open view thru action because

top cover was cut for left side bolt handle: not a concern.

Non-standard ability to run bolt w/ safety on is a concern.

Oh my, perfect example of a really bad idea: what's that

just under the bolt handle? a typical side rail scope mount.

So ~ .. if someone mounted a field-expedient AK scope

on side rail mount of this rifle, uh... then can't load gun...

Above: typical side rail scope mounted on another AK.

This Legion had VEPR/FPK type 1-300m leaf.

Usual AK sight markings 1-800m or 1-1000m.


AKs don't have left-side bolt handles. Nor do variants such as RPKs, Saigas, Dragunovs, Valmets, Galils.

Imagine how problematic it would be if someone became used to a left-side converted bolt handle AK

and had to grab another one in an emergency. AKs should have the bolt handle kept on the right side,

and should not be able to run bolt to rear unless safety was off.  Keep it original, then no problems.

Correcting the atrocious left-handed AK  (will cost some $$$)


If one replaced the ridiculous left-hand converted bolt carrier to a correct, standard bolt carrier,

then the ACE stock when folded would be in the way of correct bolt carrier's charging handle!


If lowering ACE stock's hinged plate position, folded butt would then just clear the charging handle.

It would still be very difficult to run the bolt to the rear to load or clear the chamber.  One solution:


Remove ACE stock and special stock support entirely, install new stock support and Vltor AK stock tube.


Rivet holes plugged after proprietary ACE stock support removed, cutout top cover replaced with

Texas Weapons railed top cover, switch to US Palm AK grip, Magpul MOE buttstock on Vltor tube.

Compared to senseless Legion left-handed charging handle configuration, this now makes better sense,

[but, at a price] with some additions for consideration.  Nightshroud flash hider by Manticore Arms.

Optimizing AK rifles

If you really are compelled to add items to the AK, consider items that make the best sense.

Worthwhile AK enhancements include items that makes genuine improvements for the AK platform.

Ultimak's railed gas tube is low enough to allow cowitness with Aimpoint, Holosun red dot optics.

There are often cheaper railed upper handguards found out there; many don't provide cowitness -

making them worthless even at lower prices - wasting your time and money to set up and sight-in.


Whether one uses a Romanian or Arsenal or any other AK, an Aimpoint mounted on Ultimak gas tube

cowitnesses iron sights, greatly enhances the speed of usage for the rifle. For those with reduced eyesight

this combination makes all the difference in decisive hits on target.- link: Adv Rifle Gunfighting Course -


Want a quality light mounted to your AK? Better yet, you've already got an Ultimak railed AK gas tube?

Best combination for the money: current model Surefire G2X $60 (any classic 6P model will also work),


^ Top view of Vltor offset light mount on Ultimak railed gas tube.  Flash sight picture with Aimpoint H1. ^

Selecting quality, proven items to build up your fighting rifle is vital.  Purchase foolishly or on a whim and

results will be undesirable; money is wasted.  - Surefire lights with Vltor offset light mounts on AR-15s -

Perhaps the most shocking for those who haven't experienced it yet: utilize a Trijicon ACOG on an AK

and witness amazing results. At a course in Texas, we had been scoring decisive hits on 16" steel squares

out to 500 yards with such a setup. (shown above is a 12" barreled Arsenal SLR 107CR in 5.45x39

fitted with Texas Weapons Systems' scope rail that solidly replaces the original stamped AK top cover.)

November 2013:  If the new series Sig 556R in 7.62x39 would only be consistently available, it could be

the better choice already having a flattop for utilizing magnified optics on a AK mag-pattern 7.62x39 rifle.

However, after assembling and testing several modified AKs in both combloc calibers with US and non-US

 manufactured ammo, it is clear that spending all the money and time to work on such projects just doesn't

yield results that can be achieved much easier and with far less cost and fanfare with virtually any AR15... Ammunition advancements in .223/5.56, prudent maintenance of one's choice in fighting rifles and honest

progressive training will produce same venerable results without requiring costly equipment diversions.

Arsenal 5.45x39 AK with 3x30 ACOG and Amercian Defense throwlever base mounted on TWS below.

Texas Weapons Systems Gen-2 railed top cover, ~ $150


Installation requires some attention yet is simple. AK rear sight gets replaced by hinge point of top cover.

Rifle disassembly procedure is same as with a standard top cover; but TWS top cover stays connected.


3x30 compact ACOG on American Defense AD-B2 throwlever base. This base lowers ACOG to better

height than standard issue TA-60 mount. TWS top cover hinged up reveals different top cover button/lock.

300 yard sight picture with a 3x30 compact ACOG green horseshoe reticle.

The 5.45x39 caliber Arsenal AK and this combination has similar trajectory to 5.56 caliber.

450 yard sight picture with a 3x30 compact ACOG green horseshoe reticle.

5.45x39 has similar trajectory to 5.56x45 caliber so these compact ACOGs work well for either system.

There is also a Trijicon model TA33-13 compact ACOG calibrated for 7.62x39 caliber.

  Rear AK sight gets removed for installation of Texas Weapons Systems' railed top cover mount.

Emergency / close range sighting can be done by utilizing hole in compact ACOG base as a rear sight.

(optional TWS rear peep sight is $40; for quick shots, could use hole integral to ACOG base instead.)

15 yard shots and image thru compact ACOG's tunnel. For a quicker and more efficient sighting session,

shoot at white area of target for a much easier time spotting bullet holes. Black is harder to see bullet hits.


Naysayers often do not admit to comparisons made with AR15s/M16s equipped with Trijicon ACOGs

against a plain open-sighted AK, proclaiming the AK to be inaccurate or inconsistent. It is amazing what

3x or 4x magnification can do for achieving hits on chest-sized targets 200~500 yards. It is also amazing

how anti-AK fools won't admit that any hit scored under emergency manoeuvers is very difficult to make

with either an AK or AR, and only revel at their perfect groups fired in peacetime ideal range conditions...

-Adv Rifle Gunfighting Course running drill- Make equal comparisons, and do so under physical exertion!


Standard issue AK grip less than desirable. US Palm Battle Grip with storage compartment ($29.95)

provides a more secure grasp with directional control over the standard 'too narrow and straight' grip.

Arsenal SLR-107 shown with Texas Weapons railed top cover, Trijicon 3x30 compact ACOG

and their standard Trijicon flattop base, US Palm Battle Grip and US Palm magazine in brown.

An AK optimized using Texas Weapons railed top cover, Leupold VX-I compact 1-4x scope ($240)

mounted in Leupold QRW rings ($70), with Vltor stock tube ($90) and Magpul MOE stock ($40).

With magnification, effective testing can begin on this rig. Separate findings on ammo in Sig 556R report.

^ 1.5x magnification at 200 yard target. Front sight tower visible but should not be considered a distraction.

One's focus should be on the crosshairs anyway. A skilled shooter would not complain about trivial items.

^ 2.5x magnification at same 200 yard target, front sight tower disappearing from view in Leupold scope.

As zoom magnification is increased on a variable power scope, field of view will narrow with higher power.

^ 4 power magnification, front sight tower no longer visible. 1-4x VX-I Leupolds are size and cost-efficient.

November 2013:  If the new series Sig 556R in 7.62x39 would only be consistently available, it could be

the better choice already having a flattop for utilizing magnified optics on a AK mag-pattern 7.62x39 rifle.

However, after assembling and testing several modified AKs in both combloc calibers with US and non-US

 manufactured ammo, it is clear that spending all the money and time to work on such projects just doesn't

yield results that can be achieved much easier and with far less cost and fanfare with virtually any AR15... Ammunition advancements in .223/5.56, prudent maintenance of one's choice in fighting rifles and honest

progressive training will produce same venerable results without requiring costly equipment diversions.


Blue Force Gear Universal Wire Loop - 3" or 6" coated stainless cable with billet aluminum loop ($23.95)

solves sling mounting difficulties and is also a versatile alternative to using snap hooks on small sling loops.


Need longer sling length and better location of sling to hang rifle from? Challenge solved with these

flexible wire loops. AK shown in the four pictures above is an Arsenal with side folding solid stock.

Various optics on rifles: spotlight on AK variant SLR 106 utilizing Ultimak rail


Installing Ultimak top handguard is relatively easy. It is the best replacement railed top handguard for AKs

that allows one to co-witness iron sights on the rifle visible thru most optics low-mounted right on the rail.

Ultimak railed upper handguard model for SLR 106 and 107 'krink' variants pictured is the M13; $120.


Above: Arsenal SLR 106 (.223 / 5.56) with Ultimak; no optic.

Shown: Aimpoint H1 mounted on Ultimak M13 handguard.

Another good dot optic at a really good price: Black Spider

Shown with Trijicon RMR, the smallest and lightest optic yet!

The RMR dot optic sight body obscures the least target area.


Springfield Armory M1As

Springfield M1A .308 Socom 16" barrel, fwd optic mount, XS sights, adv order $1,820. (ret $1,987)

Springfield M1A Scout 18" barrel, synth stock, intermediate optic rail, adv order $1,695. (ret $1,850)

Springfield M1A .308 Standard 22" barrel, synth stock, adv order $1,545. (ret $1,685)

Springfield M1A .308 Standard 22" barrel, walnut stock, adv order $1,640. (ret $1,788)

On the topic of small arms developments and .308 or 7.62x51 military semiauto rifles:

A percentage may be upset at this phrase, but some guns are 'old technology' and there are truly

great improvements in efficiency, materials, design and functionability combined with lower cost.

Many who buy .308 semiauto M1As try to add dots/magnified scopes - to an obsolete platform.


Why paint yourself into the corner with required quality components for ideal ergonomic results

($500+ stock, $300+ scope mount, $200+ change of iron sight configuration, then the scope)

insisting on a service rifle from the 60s that shone (and still can today) with open sights. It just

won't configure as well or easily as its successor's .30 caliber versions, scoped or open sighted.

Same situation with Belgium's FAL or Germany's G3. I favor M1As with irons just as those two

yet the ability to have scopes on the same sighting plane as backup iron sights and quick swap

capabilities of optics and purposeful equipment brings the AR system to being the better solution.

M1As are great with open sights; scoped semiauto .308s are better built on .308 pattern ARs.

Military/Government/Law Enforcement stamped Colt AR-15s

Colt LE M4 flattop AR-15, 'Crime Bill' model, Mil/Govt/LE markings as seen below on lower.


No longer current, these are not easy to come by. Colt didn't make enough LE stamped ARs to go around.

*** these are now on the highly desirable list. if not legislation, leave it up to Colt's antics ***

Colt AR-15 6450 (9mm)

Colt model 6450 in 9mm. Fixed A1 upper, dedicated lower receiver, buffer system, hammer, magazines.

Few in circulation and collectible, prices higher than $1,200 if Mil/Govt LE rollmarked on lower receiver.

Current Colt '6951' 9mm AR15s equipped with flattop uppers and Magpul folding rear sight ~ $1,100


Colt AR-15 6920 (5.56)

Colt model 6920 in 1990s-early 2000s with detachable carry handle on flattop upper. ~ $1,100

Colt AR-15 6940 (5.56)

Colt LE model 6940 (5.56) introduced 2009 with folding front and rear sights.  ~ $1,400

While monolithic quad rail handguards seemed innovative then, numerous alternatives

for lighter and simpler aluminum handguards have been produced since 2012 thru 2015.

This model has a monolithic railed handguard - the entire front handguard is part of the upper receiver.

Front of railed handguard has integrated plug-in points left and right side for quick-detach sling swivels.


Folding front and MA Tech folding rear sight assemblies.


The upper receiver and main rail section is machined from one block creating a monolithic rail upper.


Removal of lower rail section is simple; depress a recessed spring-loaded latch and slide rail forward.


Detail of front sight assembly and one-piece upper monolithic rail-receiver.

Building an AR with a complete flattop upper and lower receiver

A complete upper can be added easily to a lower receiver project.


Building an AR project - various examples


Build up stripped lower, add complete M4 upper and backup folding rear sight

Bushmaster complete upper M4 contour 16" barrel, bolt carrier group, charging handle  $539
Magpul back-up folding rear sight    $58
Aero Precision stripped lower receiver  $105
CMMG complete lower parts kit    $65
LBE buffer tube $26 + Luth buffer $14 + spring $6 + castle nut $7    $53
BCM QD sling mount end plate    $20
Magpul SL-K buttstock    $40
Retail total  (further discounts need to be calculated at time of project build) :   $880


Build up stripped lower and stripped upper w/ 14.5" + 1.5" barrel configuration

Bushmaster M4 contour 14.5" barrel, front sight tower, handguard cap, delta ring assembly   $200
YHM 1.5" Phantom flash hider     $35
Perm. attach YHM Phantom to LBE 14.5" -  required by Federal Law for Title1 regulations   $100
Spikes carbine length gas tube     $16
YHM stripped upper     $99
Delton upper completion kit     $16
Midwest Industries drop-in carbine MLok handguards   $130
Ergo MLok rubberized rail cover, 1 set     $20
LBE Bolt Carrier Group   $115
BCM Gunfighter Mod4 (Medium) charging handle     $50
Spikes Tactical Crusader stripped lower (Crusader has integral trigger guard)   $115
CMMG lower parts kit without trigger-hammer-disconnector     $40
ALG 4.5lb Combat Trigger group     $70
Radian ambi selector, Dark Brown     $47
Luth combo: milspec stock tube, buffer, spring, end plate, castle nut     $50
Daniel Defense Milspec stock, Dark Brown     $70
BCM Mod 1 pistol grip     $29
Diamondhead folding rear sight, aluminum body   $138
Trijicon RMR Type 2 Adj $700 + American Defense throwlever base $70   $770
Retail total  (further discounts need to be calculated at time of project build) :  $2,110





Complete upper, change handguard, add Surefire light,

build up stripped lower, add backup folding rear sight

Colt complete upper w/ lightweight contour 16" barrel, bolt carrier group, charging handle   $650
Diamondhead folding rear sight, aluminum body   $138
Midwest Industries M-Lok carbine handguard   $130
Magpul MLok Type 1 rubberized rail cover, 1 set     $15
BCM Gunfighter Mod4B charging handle     $50
Spike's Tactical Calico Jack stripped lower receiver   $115
CMMG lower parts kit without trigger-hammer-disconnector     $40
ALG 4.5lb Combat Trigger group     $70
Battle Arms Development stainless ambi selector     $80
LWRC FDE trigger guard       $9
UTG FDE milspec buffer tube $26 + Luth buffer $14 + spring $6 + castle nut $7     $53
BCM QD sling mount end plate     $20
Magpul CTR buttstock, Stealth Gray     $60
Magpul K2+ rubber overmolded pistol grip, Stealth Gray     $25
Haley Strategic offset light mount $50 + Surefire Executive E2 Defender $190   $240
Trijicon RMR Type 2 Adj $530 + American Defense throwlever base $70   $600
Retail total  (further discounts need to be calculated at time of project build) :  $2,345





Battleworn Tungsten & Black Cerakote, 14.5" + 1.5" YHM Phantom flash hider,

BCM handguard, Daniel Defense MilSpec buttstock, Ergo Barricade handstop

LBE 14.5" 5.56 lightweight contour barrel, requires .625 gas block, not .750   $135
YHM 1.5" Phantom flash hider     $35
Perm. attach YHM Phantom to LBE 14.5" -  required by Federal Law for Title1 regulations   $100
Spikes mid length gas tube $16 + Spikes .625 micro gas block $29     $45
BCM 13" KMR Alpha handguard   $200
BCM Keymod vertical grip     $20
Ergo Barricade Handstop, Keymod     $53
Ergo Wedgelock handguard covers, set of 4     $20
Spikes Spartan stripped lower   $115
CMMG complete lower parts kit     $65
Radian Ambi Safety selector set     $47
Luth combo: milspec stock tube, buffer, spring, end plate, castle nut     $50
Daniel Defense Milspec stock     $70
Magpul K2 grip     $24
Luth stripped upper     $90
Delton upper completion kit     $16
Radian Enhanced Bolt Carrier Group   $150
Luth standard charging handle     $20
UTG front + rear backup folding sights     $50
Cerakote finish: Battleworn Tungsten and Armor Black on handguard, upper and lower   $240
Retail total  (further discounts need to be calculated at time of project build) :  $1,545





Spikes Tactical 9mm, 14.5" + 1.5" Silencerco ASR flash hider, BCM Vert Grip,

Midwest Ind handguard, Radian Ambi short throw selector, Magpul furniture

Rosco 14.5"  9mm barrel  $140
Silencerco ASR flash hider    $90
Perm. attach Silencerco to Rosco 14.5" -  required by Federal Law for Title1 regulations  $100
Midwest Industries G3M 12.5" MLok handguard  $190
Magpul MLok Type 1 rubberized rail cover, 2 sets    $30
BCM MLok vertical grip    $20
LBE stripped upper    $85
CMMG 9mm upper ejection port cover kit $16 + CMMG forward assist kit $17    $33
Faxon 9mm Bolt Carrier Group  $165
Spikes 9mm lower receiver  $175
LBE milspec tube $26 + spring $6 + end plate $6 + castle nut $7    $45
Colt 9mm specific carbine buffer    $40
ALG 4.5lb Combat Trigger group    $70
Radian Ambi Safety selector set, Tungsten finish, installed in short throw configuration    $47
Magpul MOE grip    $20
Magpul SL-K stock    $40
Magpul QD sling adaptor for SL-K stock MLok location    $20
BCM Gunfighter M4B charging handle    $50
UTG front + rear backup folding sights    $50
Retail total  (further discounts need to be calculated at time of project build) :  $1,410





AAC complete upper built with KAC URX rail, build up Spikes Tactical stripped lower

Harris bipod, Leupold scope, AmDef optic base, KAC micro folding front+rear sights

Advanced Armament 16" barrel complete upper, KAC URX handguard, bolt carrier group  $1,100
BCM Gunfighter Model 4 ambi charging handle     $80
Knights Armament Company rail panel & accessory kit (FDE shown)     $88
Larue LT706 QD throw lever base for rails + Harris LM-S bipod   $220
Spikes Tactical stripped lower   $115
CMMG complete lower parts kit (without trigger-hammer-disconnector)     $40
ALG 4.5lb Combat Trigger group     $70
Radian Ambi Safety selector set     $47
Luth combo: milspec stock tube, buffer, spring, end plate, castle nut     $50
Magpul K2 grip     $21
BCM Sopmod stock     $64
Knights Mfg folding front Micro adj sight   $155
Knights Mfg folding 600 meter rear Micro adj sight   $155
American Defense throwlever scope mount   $185
Leupold Mark AR 3-9x40 MilDot scope w/ P5 dials   $455
Butler Creek flip-open scope lens covers, set     $20

Retail total  (further discounts need to be calculated at time of project build) :







True function tests of your AR-15s

Tests that may not result in reliable cycling: mixture of steel & brass-cased foreign and US mfg ammo.

I conduct ongoing testing whenever possible, running steel cased foreign ammunition as a priority to find

rifle systems that have better reliablility if having to press that type of ammo into service in an emergency.

Where to mount various lights on rail sections


Surefire Rail Mount Switch momentary + click on/off button mounted on side rail, X300 underneath.

(caution however is the switch pad shown above has tendency to come off rail in rough handling)

Many consumers simply don't encounter rough situations on typical range visits... - link to training -

Better location on short section above & in front of front sight tower. X300 does not block sights.

The X300 can be utilized on numerous popular defensive handguns as well, so there is versatility.



Short rail section in front of sight tower is great for mounting X300s. Ambidextrous thumb actuation easy.

'Either hand' and intuitive 'momentary press forward' switch on X300 makes it a smart choice for DDM4.


If light was mounted at 6 o'clock rail position, illuminating from covered position would require shooter

to be exposed unnecessarily. Above, light hotspot is at ideal location: between sight line and bore line.


Other handheld Surefire lights mounted with rail adaptors can work with wired pressure pads on top rail.

With tape switch on top, far less chance of negligent light discharges. Positive light actuation regardless of

tilt due to aiming requirements or the situation. Hotspot of light remains between sight line and bore line.


Don't limit yourself to rely on vertical grip tape switches. Imagine firing from difficult grounded situations.

Will you require your body and hands to grasp vertical grips the same as when firing from standing?

If tape switch was affixed to vertical grip, how would you actuate light from any horizontal position?


Other common mounting positions of lights are often on left or right side rails; at 3 o'clock or 9 o'clock.

Too much of head/body is revealed as barrel and sights AND hotspot of light must clear position of cover.

Who's to guarantee observation or engaging of threats only from right or left side of a covered position..?


Light's emission notably left of bore and sightline.    ^ Ensuring hotspot of light clears horizontal barrier.


Using a Surefire X300 option versus Defender.    ^ Illustrating opposite hand for horizontal barrier.


Magpul Illumination Kit ($20) includes short rails,    ^ Lights shown are at 9 and 3 o'clock positions,

 tape switch housings - made for MOE handguards.     notable distance left or right of boreline.

- better answers to switch mounting location and light position on rifle -

Cost efficient setup: Surefire G2X light ($63) and Vltor offset light mount ($60) on a railed handguard.

Thumb / thumb joint of either hand can activate light's tailcap switch - in any emergency firing situation.

Whether upright, angled, horizontal - firer can activate light with less change of negligent light discharge.

This setup allows support hand to be free in grasping handguard and using light at any position needed.

Vertical grips (VG) with tape switches affixed to them make it too easy to trigger lights under stress.

If their use became habit-dependent, any need to remain low or fight from grounded side positions

could be bad news if limiting oneself to vertical grip or only one comfortable firing grasp or stance.


Ideal positioning of light source at 1 o'clock (or 11 o'clock) - centered between sight line and bore.

With the light's hotspot being between sight and bore line, less exposure from cover is required of user.

Any position of firing becomes less compromised by having the light's emission more coaxial with bore.

Light shown here is Surefire M600 Scout ($380) with included tape switch, integral thumbscrew clamp.


Detail of Surefire M16 barrel clamp mount ($60) and Tango Down remote switch pocket rail panel ($20).

Clear advantage is either hand's fingers that grips the handguard can press the tape switch of this setup.

Less chance of negligent light discharges. Regardless of position for gun and user, this is more versatile.


A truly ambidextrous centered location of tape switch: on top. Any angle of rifle required - no problem.

Solid, proven light system like M600+M16 barrel mount+Tango Down switch panel is money well spent

instead of sinking $400 (or more!) into some less-illuminating laser unit or 2010-era gas piston conversion.


Either thumb / fingers can activate light. Tape switch is in location least likely to be unintentionally pressed

by normal or stressed grasp of handguard portion of rifle, and thumb / fingers do not block sight picture.


Examples of 'red dot' and magnifying optics, various back-up sights

2010: EoTech and Aimpoint introduced much smaller red dot optics succeeding their earlier models.

Front view           EoTech XP and Aimpoint H1/T1          Rear view


2014: sensibly sized red dot optics for serious use have been EoTech XPs and Aimpoint H1/T1s.

Their cost is still high ($500+) for most consumers who will not put them through heavy use.


The most efficient cowitness red dot optics currently are Trijicon RMRs and Holosun Optics.

They are small, lightweight, very power efficient and costs in their price categories are reasonable.

Trijicon RMR Sight - perfection in the world of red dot sights

Trijicon RMR (Rugged Miniature Reflex) red dot sight, this is a 4MOA model with RM34 flattop mount.

Uses common and cheap #2032 battery; lasts months, auto intensity adjusting, never need to turn on or off.


Co-witness thru iron sights or use by itself. Dot is clear and bright, entire unit is small and lightweight.

Many variations and combinations of Trijicon RMR optics and mounts available. -RMR pictures and chart-

Reference pictures of A2 upper recievers (fixed carry handle), A3 flattop uppers, and

mounting solutions for sights and optics and appearance of different configurations.

Standard A2 rear sight upper reciever

Trijicon 1.5x 24 compact ACOG

Bare flattop upper with Knight's Mfg 600m folding rear sight

   Using fold-down rear sights with various optics in proper mounts allows co-witnessing of sight pictures.

     If tube scopes like ACOGS are planned, be sure to get low-profile folding rear sights for your AR flattop.


As above with Trijicon TA01 ACOG scope on TA51 mount

For proven optics with 3~4x magnification and Bindon aiming concept, use Trijicon ACOGs

Pictures of (bulky, heavier-than-they-need-to-be) optic combinations - 2010

Aimpoint M4 sight with LMT rear sight.

Aimpoint shown mounted in-line to co-witness with front and rear sights.

ARMS SIR bi-level rail system

EoTech mounted for co-witnessing of iron sights and red circle/dot recticle - large, heavy, outdated

Full view of ARMS SIR equipped 20" heavy barrel rifle less scope

Another picture with scope mounted in place and backup iron sights folded down

American Defense scope mount and Leupold scope on an AR-15

Quality and economical scope setup: Leupold MK AR 3-9x40 in American Defense throw lever mount


Leupold MK AR scope $375, throw lever mount $185. (this MK AR scope is calibrated for 55gr .223)

Differences between Milspec and Commercial buttstock tubes

Four different receiver extensions (buttstock tubes).

Top to bottom: Colt milspec 4 position, Vltor milspec 5 position, LMT milspec 6 pos, commercial 6 pos.

Commercial tube often longer. The last position is virtually senseless for the understood purpose and use

of defensive carbines. Best honest advantage of milspec tube is shorter length, which shaves an inch -

as long as 'short, no-thick-buttpad-added' sliding stock assembly is utilized (like original Colt buttstocks).


L to R: LMT, Magpul, Colt, Vltor. Last two are noticably short; pic above shows end view Colt, Vltor.

LMT and Magpul stocks have buttpads, Colt and Vltor shown here do not, so they're more compact...


View of buffer retaining pins & various

tubes' forward edges. Some have cuttout or

shoulder lip to accomodate buffer retaining pin.

Receiver in background has the carbine buffer

 just visible as it would sit in tube up to the pin.

Angled receiver and tube in picture has Vltor's

milspec tube - it has no cuttout for buffer pin.

At the threaded junction and buffer retaining pin:

On left one there's a cuttout just for the buffer retaining pin. Note how close it seats to the pin.

It even engages more threads than the other two.

And, it's one companies' commercial tube.

In middle is a different commercial tube, and

the one on right is milspec tube by Vltor...hmm.


Data sheet from Magpul CTR stock packaging; with specs on Milspec vs Commercial tubes.

There are several other variations that have come about thru the years with 5, 6, 7 position stock tubes.

Main concern should be outer diameter of tube to work with sliding buttstock; "milspec" or "comm".

Bottom line: if one wants to have most versatility to change buttstock assemblies, get a milspec tube.


Above: pictures that show how to differentiate Magpul MOE stocks if for Milspec or Commercial tubes.

(other than trying to measure with micrometer or to slide the stock onto the buffer tube in question)

Left and right pictures: Milspec over Commercial. (notice thickness of rubber buttpad on commercial)

*  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *

One can get AR-15s from various manufacturers, small parts from Bushmaster and DPMS, mounts,

optics, stocks, lower recievers, match triggers, grips, tac slings, fold-down sights, and more.

Upper and lower assemblies can be combined with sighting options on the top half to build your AR

and complete your project the way you want. It is only limited by how much one wants to spend.

However, gadetry only goes so far. Buy the best up front and there'll be no need to upgrade later...

but no added "stuff" will make one shoot straighter; there is no magic bullet or magic rifle.



Recommended semiauto .22 firearms

I've been running .22 conversion units and dedicated .22 rifles through some torture testing

(various bullet profiles, standard + high velocity .22) with a goal to fire at least 1000 rounds

mixed ammo in each system over one to three months without cleaning bolt, carrier, chamber,

barrel or magazines - looking for ideal flawless operation with exception of bad ammo.

Various .22 conversion bolts or complete .22 uppers for AR-15s seem to continue having issues;

dedicated .22 military style rifles are the best answer. (most reliable to date are S&W M&P15-22s)


Trying varieties of .22 caliber ammunition is extremely important - find what feeds reliably, what doesn't.

If a semiauto .22 handgun or rifle doesn't feed the majority of .22 ammo on the market, don't buy it!

S&W M&P15-22 dedicated .22 AR-15 replica

S&W M&P15-22. Dedicated .22 rifle, proven to be very reliable with widest variety of .22lr ammo.

Bolt catch on this rifle is functional and duplicates exactly how the standard AR-15 system functions.

That aspect makes it the best choice for a lightweight dedicated .22 caliber AR-15 type teaching rifle.

Since it's lightweight, it is most advantageous when teaching and building up new shooters of all ages.

For best answers; lighter better than heavier. Dedicated is better than conversions / switching uppers.

[2016: all new lineup incorporating a slimmer M-Lok handguard system]

S&W M&P 15-22 advantages: incredibly reliable and very lightweight so more can learn AR-15 systems.

Umarex HK MP5 dedicated .22 MP5/HK94 replica

[2016: no longer available at distributors, this excellent .22 rifle appears discontinued]

HK MP5 .22 w/ Knight's Armament Corporation fake suppressor shown above. SD version shown below.

Umarex has introduced a .22 caliber officially licensed copy of Heckler & Koch's MP5 submachine gun

that seems extremely well-made and is starting to prove extreme reliability with many kinds of .22 ammo.

(HK also had a pricey 9mm carbine with 16" barrel called the Model 94 introduced way back in 1983!)

This .22 carbine marked 'HK MP5' just may (finally!) be exactly what enthusaists were waiting for. It has:

all metal receiver/retracting buttstock/latch assembly, 3-lug + faux KAC suppressor, pushpin disassembly -

& Navy type lower grip assembly even has correct pushpin as genuine select fire MP5/HK33/G3 models.


02/19/11:  started mild torture test, goal is 1,500 rounds without cleaning. The first rounds thru it were

uneventful; about 200 rounds of various standard velocity and high velocity ammo. No malfunctions.

I didn't even do an initial cleaning or lubing of internals. Amazingly simple construction.

Like Umarex's HK 416D, shockingly simple maintenance: wipe down internals, no further disassembly.

Oil a few areas, no bolt or trigger mechanism is removed or detail-stripped. Sighting-in this gun was fast.

04/03/11:  continued with another 200 rounds, flawless cycling.  Availability of this rifle has been tough.

04/10/11:  still firing, approx 600 rounds total so far, no cleaning between firing sessions. Super reliable!

06/19/11:  going and going, over 1,000 rounds fired to date. Getting very dirty in bolt area, still cycling!


06/28/11:  Above: caked-on carbon in the bolt, carrier and receiver area: 1,500+ rounds and still going!

Shooting Sports Fair 2011 been most valuable test as each Umarex MP5 continues past 1,500+ rounds.


07/31/11: Running another one simultaneously, each has fired 2,000+ rounds of all kinds of 22LR ammo!

09/28/11:  after Hunting & Fishing Day 2011 (Sat & Sun like SSF) each has reliably fired 2,500+ rounds!

Reliability record like that puts the Umarex MP5 type .22 rifles into a winning category that has few peers.

.22 caliber fun

^ Savage MK-II TR, Weaver rings, Simmons 4-12x40 side focus adj.obj. scope, Butler Creek flip-up caps.


Have fun testing various mid-to-high level match .22 ammunition and find what groups well in your rifle.

Adjustable objective knob side focus dial is a huge advantage in making shots on targets 50 yards and in.


Perspective of 50 yard distances at Koko Head. Most scopes have their parallax set at 70+ yards.

Note: without adjustable objective, crosshairs cannot be focused crisp on targets 50 yards or closer.

That's why adjustable objective scopes are recommended, either front ring or center turret adjustable.


Perspective of 100 yard distance at Koko Head. Concentration is needed to shoot good groups this far.

With typical 8-inch drop for high velocity .22 ammo (more for standard or match .22!) plus effects of wind,

it's a good challenge for shooters to keep groups consistent and know how to dial in different ammo types.

A good rifle, quality scope and ammunition is the other half of the formula. Savage MK-II .22 rifle delivers.

Simmons 4-12x is cost-effective scope. Just about any .22 shoots well in this rig. Blazer .22 was consistent!

All guns pictured above are chambered in .22 long rifle. Just can't go wrong with .22!!

Fun with .22 handguns and rifles on the Silhouette Club Range at Koko Head Shooting Complex...

Confidence builder: firing .22 rimfire out to 100 yards at Koko Head Silhouette Range.

This scope's reticle has holdover stadia marks helping to hit small targets at distance.


Colt manufactured / assembled AR-15s are always a secure investment

Another Colt AR-15 as unpacked from their (rather simple) cardboard shipping box with accessory pack.

Most recognized and valued Colt AR-15s are 'Government Carbine' / 'AR-15' / 'M4' rollmarked releases.

Early 1980s-1990s Colt AR boxes add bonus value to an unfired rifle if kept in unbent, untorn condition.

Then after Sept 14, 1994: Rollmarks based on 'AR-15', 'Mil/Govt/LE' increase in value if kept unfired.

A current 2011 release is a Colt-Clyde Armory limited production: 'AR-15A4 Lightweight LE Carbine'.

These represent the commercial product going full circle (1980s Govt Carbines with thin barrel profiles).


June 2011: Colt announced change of rollmarkings to eliminate 'LE' or 'Restricted Mil/Govt/LE' stamping.

Some may remember when Colt began the 'Sporter' rollmark in 1991. This year 'Sporter M4' has begun.

Naturally, omission of 'AR-15' or 'Restricted' markings puts 'Sporter' rifles in a hugely unpopular ranking.

Note absence of forge company symbols in left & right pics above of AR-15A4 Lightweight LE Carbine.

MA Tech folding rear sight was included with this Clyde Armory exclusive release Lightweight AR.


Thinner barrel profile makes a lighter rifle. There's been a devious cycle "convince gun public to re-buy"

AR-15s from .575" to .625" to .750" diameter barrels, from completely heavy to M4 contour to skinny -

from 1980s thru Crime Bill's 1994-2004 thru current 2011. It just might be the perfect well-orchestrated

plan of all manufacturers and companies that market AR-15s. Seeing this 20+ years; it sure seems like it.

Most recently, influential and pricey companies - Knight's Manufacturing (SR-15) and LWRC (SL-15) -

also released lightweight-barreled ARs. It's come full circle; back to what makes an efficient fighting rifle.

Another example of Colt AR-15s maintaining their iconic appeal and value

May 2012: New release from Colt. Rollmarked 'M4A1 Carbine', the Socom 6920 is an interesting model.

Supposedly there was going to be a shift to 'Sporter' series and 'SP' serial # prefix after summer of 2011,

but (thankfully) there has been a gradual increase of 'M4' stamped ARs and this one is quite unexpected.


There is no prominent caliber 5.56 rollmark underneath model designation.  Factory installed ambi-safety,

with "right-side-selector-length shorter-than-primary-left-side" configuration.  Indications for 'Fire', 'Safe'.

Right-side-of-receiver stampings 'fire/safe' have been nearly non-existent on Colt AR-15s since the 1980s.

This particular rifle was a perfect example of how numerous tool marks and inclusions could be visible

on genuine Colt AR-15 yet it'll always be worth its high market/resale value just because it's a Colt...


Holy moley, the front sight tower is almost holey... Couldn't belive this got past QC, but regardless:

the rifle will be worth the same [and maybe even have greater appeal] as another Socom 6920

simply because it is a Colt AR-15... or more notably; a 'M4A1 Carbine' without 'Sporter' stamping.


Forge marks on AR-15s - ultimately, who cares? You shouldn't.

Many ARs are appearing with common square / keyhole forge markings.

Oily, complete with scratchmarks too - exactly how it was fresh out of Colt box and cellophane bag.

Note that the Colt selector does not have any dash ('pointer') that could be viewed on this right side.

I have never seen a commercial Colt safety with the otherwise standard 'dash' to point to safe or fire.


This is a LE6940. C = Colt. Square forge mark on upper receiver. Keyhole forge mark on lower receiver.

Square and keyhole forge marks started appearing only this year 2011 on Colt rifles I have inventoried.

All nitpicking / concerns of too many purchasers need to stop - check out pics further down this section.


^ Also just beginning to appear 2011 - a long oval mill / machining mark on this Colt upper receiver.

Rough blemish on this Colt 6940 forged folding front sight base does not affect rifle's value one bit. ^

Agree with it or not, Colt AR-15s with particular production markings will ALWAYS rise in value.

'Colt Government Carbine', 'AR-15A3', 'AR-15A4', 'Mil/Govt/LawEnf only' are good examples.

Another Colt, a 6720R straight out of the box and cellophane bag, 'C' and keyhole marks upper and lower.

Why is upper not square forge marked like the Colt 6940 pictures? Who knows and what does it matter?


^ Square forge marks: DPMS detachable carry handle, FailSafe EXO-coated upper, CMMG upper.

Keyhole forge marks: Bushmaster lower, Bushmaster upper, LWRC multi-regional-earth color upper. ^

^ Keyhole forge marks: the upper happens to be from High Standard, the lower is from CMMG.

(Interesting to note: while most non-Colt receivers have fire/safe markings, this CMMG had none.)

Spikes Tactical and Daniel Defense have also been seen with these common forge markings;

squares / keyholes - so that means the uppers and lowers all come from the same origin!!!

Below: More pics of different rifles, some with 'A' forge marking, also seen in past years on Bushmaster.


BCM rifle upper receiver forge markings; one has 'A', another has square. Makes no shooting difference.


Daniel Defense M4 Carbine upper & lower 'keyhole'  S&W M&P-15T upper 'A' forge mark, none on lower


Colt Law Enforcement carbine, 'C' mark on upper.     Colt AR-15 9mm LE, 'C', 'A' forge mark on upper.

Selector has no dash indicator, no fire/safe markings.  Selector has no dash indicator, no fire/safe markings.


August 2011: Too many quality control issues Century Arms GP/WASRs


Every now and then, there just has to be a lemon... In 20+ years being in the firearms industry, the 'lemon'

rarely happens - yet notably from 2007 thru Aug 2011, there have been increasing QC issues with these.

What I have to go thru as a dealer each time to help customers send back GP/WASRs is unbelievable-

customer service reps instruct me to refax my Fed Firearms Lic 'to prove I am a dealer' then they try to

pass the buck and have me talk to a gunsmith 'to see if the problem could be resolved that way' before

giving me a return authorization number and setting up a prepaid return shipment. (all problems to date

that occured were crucial enough that I had to/decided to help consumers and contact Century Arms.)

I asked what they'd do if consumers contacted them - they just give return authorization direct to them!!

I thought I was helping out customers - instead it seems I get penalized for trying to stand up for Century.

This particular AK (GP/WASR Romanian) just wouldn't cycle properly even after 50rds were attempted.

Check the gunsmith report! If these rifles were honestly test fired from the beginning before being shipped

to distributors, they would have caught this problematic WASR. Their remedy: install oversize gas piston!

When oversize gas pistons become the answer to failure-to-cycle problems, there are other root issues!!

How dare they enter words describing something I did not do! I did not refuse to send in mag(s)!

No one told me to enclose mag when sending rifle for service. They claimed that because I had not sent

in any magazine, the rifle sat on the side for several weeks as I still had not sent a magazine per request.

I pointedly asked why does anyone need to send magazine to merely test fire a rifle that (regardless who

assembles it) should function & feed virtually all AK mag types when it came to near-perfect simplicity

of the AK and is supposed to accept any 7.62x39 caliber AK mag whether US or foreign manufactured.

And what proves one mag over another? Will a Century Arms gunsmith scribe or mark the tested mag?

What happens if a consumer gets a single misfeed with another mag later - is it rifle, or magazine's fault?

Sounds stupid yeah? "oh, Century Arms AKs might not feed right or at all with some mags out there..."

I told service rep- why don't they just say basic disclaimer: 'Century recommends use of steel AK mags.'


Century GP/WASR-10/63 rifle exhibits canted front sight tower, thus required extreme front post shift.

These should not even have left the factory/builder after quick test fire, let alone quality control check.

Even if one was able to move front post to making center hits at medium distance (50yds), this is very

poor QC then ship-em-anyway decision by Century Arms. I've seen this problem about 1 in every 3.

So, as of August 2011, I no longer order GP/WASRs for active inventory, and it is buyer beware...!

Abuse tests of AR-15s


2 days of June Shooting Sports Fair thru weekend of accumulated firing, plus some in Suarez course:

No cleaning, easily 600+ rounds of gray steel cased Wolf, green steel laquer cased Brown Bear, and

300+ rounds mixed brass cased ammo, no malfuntions on extraction or feeding into the chamber.

Dirt, debris, laquer and carbon - it still cycled fine. I had no malfunctions, no catastrophic problems -

just a dirty rifle. Bolt and carrier took same amount of time to clean whether 100 or 1000 rounds.


Rifle shown here has fired 500+ rounds over an extended 8 months with majority being Wolf ammo.

I refrained from cleaning, it fed all kinds of US brass-cased and many types of Wolf steel-cased ammo

without any problems. Naturally, that proved chamber dimension is favorable (not a tight match chamber)

and proves regular ARs feed and fire just fine. This one has Olympic Arms lower and Bushmaster upper.

This went thru dirty dusty and rainy conditions and was fed all types of bullet profiles and brands of ammo.

With all the grit and carbon fouling, this gas impingement rifle worked just fine. Your defense/working rifle

needs to feed and fire everything on the market. If it doesn't, it simply cannot be considered a fighting rifle.


Above: fouled and clean pictures of a bolt and extractor from a STG 556 rifle are just too good to pass up.

Hundreds of rounds fired, packing extractor with carbon and powder crud. Still worked and functioned. 

Regardless of .223 / 5.56 rifle model, these keep going! After all, these have been proven military designs.

Military design rifles don't need babying! When they get dirty and you have chance to clean them, do it!


Gas piston rifles and the truth on carbon fouling



Above: where gas piston rifles still get dirty! not as much in the chamber yet carbon has to go somewhere!

FN-FAL type rifles have an exit for carbon gases right under the handguards. Piston and plug gets carbon.

A proven operating system since 1947, gas system only requires a piston rod with spring and piston plug.


POF gas piston system: 3 parts. Piston plug, piston, piston rod. However, lose any part, rifle don't work!


POF-USA's system has carbon that builds up in the front sight base assembly; system is much like FAL.


POF-USA's awesome NP3 coated surfaces reveal very little fouling, just some carbon on bolt face, lugs.

This rifle was also brought out to the Shooting Sports Fair and for 2 days had 400+ mixed rounds thru it!

That included steel cased Wolf, laquered steel cased Brown Bear and zinc plated steel cased Silver Bear.

Minimal crud in upper receiver and bolt assembly wiped off easily.  Not so underneath the handguards...


What happens if no one cleans gas piston housing / front end under handguards thoroughly and promptly

^brown crud is rust growing on piston housing!    ^carbon, lead deposits visible in barrel flutes

This is after 600+ rounds were fired over another 4 months, then letting rifle sit uncleaned for 7~8 months


LWRC requires 5 parts in its piston system. Lose any one part, rifle does not function. Not so exciting.


One example of carbon fouling with LWRC's gas piston system (why did they design this to vent there?!?)

Pics above: M6A3 model's adjustable gas system. Adj knob is now stuck.  Pics below: standard system.


LWRC piston system blows carbon gases right under and thru these aluminum handguards. Still gotta clean!

Their piston system is a series of sections and still need to clean them and this area; if not, rust will develop!


This is after approximately 500+ rounds of steel cased Wolf, Brown Bear, and some brass cased ammo.

Proves there still will be crud if you fire these guns! Little less at the chamber area, but still gotta clean!

Great fact though, is I put out this LWRC at the Shooting Sports Fair from Sat AM to Sun PM (2 days)

and no cleaning, no malfunctions. I did not even do a customary initial cleaning or prelube of the rifle...


How costly some rifles can be - and their designs are nothing new

2018:  FN SCAR 16S 5.56 in Flat Dark Earth or Black  *prepaid order price $2,899*

All prepaid orders must be paid in full to get the discounted price. SCAR 5.56 retail price $3,299.

Since I don't sales-pitch or try to convince people to buy 'every new gun or gadget under the sun',

I see no point in trying to impress consumers with loading up inventory of such high priced rifles

like SCAR and ACR, HK416s, LWRCs, POFs, then have a resultant pressure to move product.

Prepaid order prices offered at discount, no inventory loading needed, consumers can get deals.

Is this rifle really worth the price at full retail or even when discounted hundreds of dollars below retail?

This won't do anything different than a basic $1,000 AR-15. Both will put bullets consistently on target.

Facts to note: All three rails up front have sharp corners; right where hands and fingers would go.

Side-folding retracting stock seems very fragile - no way one could bash anything with it or it'll crack.

The rifle has a good attribute; it is super light and saves lots of weight up front versus Bushmaster ACR.

Many shades of flat dark earth and tan/brown is great on this SCAR; sadly they merely paint 2/3 of mag -

does FN fear many armchair commandos will whine about tan paint scratching off the top 1/3rd of mag?


Monolithic receiver on SCAR and Bushmaster ACR is smart idea; but SCAR has no quick-change barrel.

Operating bolt carrier handle reciprocates during firing cycle. User-induced malfunctions are very possible.

All major components shown field-stripped; gas piston system is seen up front by gas block/sight mount.

Gas piston plug and piston is very small - tremendous problem will result if they are lost; rifle won't work.

Basic sub-assemblies; less major components since no handguard or quick-change barrel as ACR.

Stock group and trigger/grip assembly fits together then locks with receiver with one crosspin.


Folding stock has fragile adjustable cheekpiece, stock extending arm feels like it'll break with rough use.

Positive point: folded stock locks with protrusion from right side of receiver independent of stock length.


2018:  FN SCAR 17S .308 in Flat Dark Earth or Black  *prepaid order price $3,099*

All prepaid orders must be paid in full to get the discounted price. SCAR .308 retail price $3,499.


^ Factory issued configuration (in FDE).  Customized (shorter barrel, tungsten Cerakote, diff grip) ^



July 2014 for reference: Bushmaster ACR 5.56 Enhanced

2012: More than five years since first announced spring of 2007 and delays in being released each year,

ACRs floated in and out of availability. Basic fixed stock models were at an ideal medium length-of-pull

(like a retracting AR at mid-position) and telescoping/side folding stock version has a railed handguard.

Is this rifle really worth the price at full retail or even when discounted hundreds of dollars below retail?

This won't do anything different than a basic $1,000 AR-15. Both will put bullets consistently on target.

2012:  Tele stock model in Black or Coyote Brown retail was $2,699.   preorder price was $2,340.

Facts: Enhanced models have very heavy front ends; machined rail forend added too much weight.

Standard rifle is already too heavy of a rifle as it is. Lightweight profile barrels planned but never seen.

Magazines can be released way too easily. Mere bumping of mag release button will eject magazines.

Quick-change barrel system is a winner; but M4 contour barrels are unnecessarily heavy for this rifle.


Tele stock models have a side-folding retracting stock and a machined railed handguard up front.

The effective AAC flash hider is a plus over the standard configuration's A2 birdcage flash hider.

2016:  The writing has been on the wall for many years now - ACR is no longer a sensible purchase.

July 2014 for reference: Bushmaster ACR 5.56 Basic *with side-folding stock*

Basic fixed stock models were at an ideal medium length-of-pull (like a retracting AR at mid-position).

Basic version now has standard handguard and is updated with side-folding stock.

Basic w/ folding stock in Black or Coyote Brown retail was $2,490. Preorder price was $2,150.

(2011) Bushmaster finally came to senses and now distributors don't inventory fixed stock models, just

"basic w/ folding stock" models black or coyote. Why didn't Bushmaster offer these from the beginning?

2016:  The writing has been on the wall for many years now - ACR is no longer a sensible purchase.


Best (although costly) attribute of this gas-piston rifle is the tool-less quick change barrel system.

ACR's gas piston components are less likely to be lost as they are a sizable spring, long rod & plug.

 The ACR uses proven designs of prominent military rifles (most notably the AR-18 from 1963).

Armalite AR-18 had similar bolt/gas piston designs over the years along with HK G36, IWI Tavor.

Gas piston design nothing new; M1 Garand (designed 1932), Sturmgewehr (1944, predecesor to AK-47),

FN-FAL (prototype 1947). Components of the ACR appeared to be modular and easy to work with.


[Different stock groups/handguards can be installed; release date unknown for calibers other than 5.56]

As of August 2012:  Still no common availability for different barrel lengths or 6.8SPC bolt/barrel kits.

The ACR has only proven to be a costly rifle with a non-existent supply of caliber/model components.

2016:  The writing has been on the wall for many years now - ACR is no longer a sensible purchase.

FN FS2000 5.56 overview

Uses standard aluminum or steel AR mags, has a 17" barrel, yet is much shorter than regular carbines.

FS2000 buttstock is agreeable length. Extreme maneuverability trumps everything in confined spaces.

Ejection port is up front and will never send ejected casings to faces or friends on either side of you.

2016:  Due to four years of fluctuating availability and price, the FS2000 may not be the best bet.

(in black with Trijicon's 2-power compact ACOG)

There are many ways to deck out the FS2000;

Couple of sensible examples are shown below.

Troy Micro Sights provide improved sight height

over the factory sights. Trijicon compact ACOG

still the best & most versatile magnified rifle optic.


^ stock sights: very basic 'emergency' rear sight         ^ optional Troy Micro Sights; improved sight height


^ another view of folding backup rear sight                   ^ chamber and open action of the FS2000


^ charging handle and semiauto selector                               ^ ejection port location of FS2000

^ OD version shown with optional Troy Micro Sights

^ Black version shown with stock sights, FN railed handguard option and Trijicon compact ACOG

^ optional medium mount Trijicon RMR providing co-witnessing thru Troy Micro Sights

   ^ optional Trijicon Compact 2x ACOG on Larue throw lever mount, Troy Micro Sights folded

Steyr Arms AUG/A3 M1 overview

Steyr USA's new 2015 AUG/A3 M1 in olive drab, with integral 1.5x optic, retail $2,300.

Also available in brown or black furniture. For base version w/ top rail only, retail $2,100.

Due to an unyeilding brass-cased, full-power, perfect-case/no-dents cartridge requirement

and owning 4 of these from original Austrian models (1990s) till now (2018), I'd say these

[while vital for serious collectors/enthusaists] are not worth considering for all-purpose use.


IWI Tavor 5.56 overview

 July 2014: Israel Weapons Industries (IWI) Tavor bullpup rifle has been available (since March 2014),

[where was this highly anticipated product in 2011/2012 when all was quiet on the commercial front?]

because it is easily obtained now, those wanting a bullpup design may want to consider it over others...



 Tavor is issued with folding backup sights.  Eotech optic shown in pictures is optional.


Iron sights shown above will cowitness with added Eotech. Folding front sight comes with tritium insert.


^ Trijicon Compact 3xACOG   [Quality magnified optics on Tavor bullpup]   Leupold 3-9x40MKAR ^

Using shorter magazine makes scoped Tavor very easy to maneuver around obstacles or in the prone.

Ejection of cases is conventional, and brisk - switching ejection to left or right of rifle does require

particular bolt assembly and barrel purchased as an option:  iwi-tavor-sar-barrel-bolt-kit-left-hand

Early announced 5.45x39 caliber conversion has not surfaced in the market, but 9mm conversion has.

Conversion kits prove you'd be commited at $800+, conversion process involves major disassembly...

2014: Tavor with Israeli Defense Force Mepro 21M optic averages $2,400.


Backup iron sights stowed.       Cowitness dot in middle of sight picture.       Backup sights deployed.

2016: along with currently available 9mm Tavor rifles, .300 Blackout has been announced.

IWI is smart when meeting demand/anticipated markets; they make the products available!

2016: new release of the Tavor X95 variant - same price as prior model

X95 variant has built-in rail sections under removable panels, more quick-disconnect sling mounts,

lighter trigger pull, relocated mag release and bolt knob, shorter overall length, improved balance.


Huge advantage: IWI made sure to offer affordable $50 spare parts kits.

9mm X95 uses common Colt 9mm AR-15 pattern mags. Thank goodness they got that aspect right.


Shown with Trijicon MRO on Amer Def base and Vltor Offset mount/Surefire G2X lighting solution.



Conclusion and recap of the three most discussed bullpup rifle designs to date:

FN FS2000 undeniably has been out of production, continues to have a high price averaging $2,500.

Advantage: forward ejection. Other notes: Center balanced. Requires metal AR mags. Has iron sights.

2016: this bullpup will probably never be commercially offered now; prices won't be consistent either.

Shorter mags (20rd, 10rd typical straight boxes shorter than 30rd types) will not be usable in FS.

Steyr AUG/A3 'NATO' version that uses standard AR mags not always available, will cost premium.

Advantage: longest track record. Other notes: Slight forward weight. Orig version requires their mags.

Conventional ejection path right rear. Does not include any backup iron sights; will be additional cost.

IWI Tavor/X95 is available now, includes backup iron sights that fold into top rail, averages $1,900.

Advantage: uses any polymer or metal AR mags, even short AR mags. Note: Slight rear weight bias.

Conventional ejection path right rear. Switching to left side ejection requires rifle to go back to IWI.

Winning points making the Tavor / X95 "the best choice" out of the three bullpup designs:

Tavor rifles always seem to be available in various colors; black, fde, olive drab

Steel-cased imported .223 ammunition feeds without a hitch thru Tavor rifles

IWI made Tavor spare parts kits available at a low price (only $50 for firing pin/extractor/parts kit)

Tavor already has integral folding backup sights, no extra $$$ needs to be spent on such items.



Images at Koko Head Shooting Complex

(2019: No firing allowed past 100 yard target distances)

Sight picture through the iron sights of Springfield Armory's M1A Socom 16

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