Bolt action AR-15

Ryo decided his Remington 700 did not cut it, so he built a bolt action AR-15. Basically it is a AR-15 with a side charging handle and a blocked gas port.

Img 4545

Instead, I bought a 26″ Krieger AR-15 Varmatch barrel, with a 1:7.75 twist. They had these in stock, so it showed up at my apartment in about 2 weeks. To block the gas port, I simply installed the gas block off-centered (then later rotated it upside down because I was getting stung by gas and ejecta which managed to leak through the gas block and out the rear-facing hole where the gas tube would normally be).

A great looking rifle and I am sure it functions well and the bolt can probably be worked faster than many straight pull bolt actions.

More info and photos at Tech, Guns, and Food Blog

Steve Johnson

Founder and Dictator-In-Chief of TFB. A passionate gun owner, a shooting enthusiast and totally tacti-uncool. Favorite first date location: any gun range. Steve can be contacted here.


  • Hey Steve,
    I sometimes write articles for aviation week and space technology defense blog. I wanted to use information from your website on the Marine Corps new IAR for a new post. Can I get the info from you and use it with your permission. When its posted I’ll make sure you get credit and that a link is posted back to your blog.


  • Tom

    Fulton Armory makes uppers and modified bolt carriers for side-charging builds, as well as a model similar to this fellow’s rifle without the gas system plugged. I personally think the knob-style handle is kind of ugly, and would like to see a curved style handle along the lines of an M1A op-rod handle.

    On the legal end, since the gas system isn’t permanently blocked, would this still be considered semi-automatic for hunting purposes in some states? Here in PA for example hunting with any semi-automatic centerfire rifle is strictly prohibited. I imagine BATF would pigeonhole an idea like this by saying it could “readily be converted back to semi-auto” or something.

    If this type of thing would take off I could see someone producing a gas block replacement sleeve with a gas seal you could clamp to the barrel.

  • Don

    Neat. Does it still eject after the shot is fired?


    • Don, no, the gas system is what cycles the action and that has been removed.

  • Concerned_Soldier

    Why would he do this?



    • Concerned_Soldier, he is used to the AR-15 and wanted a bolt gun he was familiar with.

      • SGTRICK57

        I think this is a great idea. When I served in the army and was attached to the funeral detail, it was common place for the semi-autos to jam using blanks. This would eliminate that problem for the detail’s rifle squad and look much more professional when rendering honors.

  • Thats a great idea. Makes me wish I still had my AR.

  • Maxpwr

    That could be the future of Gun Ownership in America. In England and other countries, they can have “AR-15s”, but they have to be manually operated like that rifle, not semi-autos.

    Obama and the Democrats might let us keep our AR-15s, but they may have to be all bolt-action operated in the future.

  • He has the Bullet Button installed on the magazine release.

  • Hey, DIGG won’t accept the title of “Bolt action AR-15”. Are they anti-gun or something?

    • Heath, hmm, thanks for trying … I don’t know. I am a bit of a n00b on these “social” websites. If you are feeling charitable, try submitting to reddit guns:

  • I think I may know how to solve his nicked fingers issue… he’s already using a bolt as a charging handle, why not bolt on one of the bolt-on mauser or mosin-nagant conversion bolt handles for sporter rifles?

    Or he could make a custom piece… regardless, just installing something that’d drop the bolt handle down a bit would let him eject with force and allow the spent cartridge to clear his hand.

  • Al

    For years now I have been using a similar technique with my SKS. I would simply remove the gas piston and effectively converted it to a “Straight Pull” bolt action. I did this so I could keep track of my brass for reloading. I did not worry about it with non-reloadable stuff. Anyway, great looking AR15 (or, would it be a BR15????).

    • Mark

      I know this is an old post but I need to clarify something. No it would not be a BR15, AR does not stand for Assault Rifle, or Automatic Rifle. It stands for Armalite Rifle. Just need to clarify this.

  • Rignerd

    He should have looked at the Tubb 2K

    The upper he used looks a lot like the Fulton Armory side cocking upper. I used the same thing in .308. But I kept the gas system intact since I live in a free state and can hunt with whatever I want.

    The real question is the rifle more accurate as a bolt action than a semi auto?

    • Rignerd, thanks for the link. In theory I suppose it would be slightly more accurate, although the high-end AR-15s are very accurate. With the cartridge being fed very smoothly, I would expect better accuracy.

  • Jeremy

    technically it wouldn’t be anymore accurate if the gas port isn’t blocked cause you are still losing muzzle pressure after the gas block area… i would plug it.. it would increase exiting muzzle pressure and give a little incease to velocity …… that in connection to some [if it is a 5.56×45] 69Gr HPBT that should have a superior accuracy in theory still depends who’s hands it is in
    it wouldn’t be considered a semi auto cause you need manual operation to chamber the next round….

    still a great idea good looking upper