ADCOR Defense B.E.A.R.

Last week I wrote about the upcoming ADCOR Defense BEAR. Shooting Illustrated has uploaded a very comprehensive video showing how the system works. One interesting feature is that the gas block is attached to the rail, rather than the barrel, and pulls in gas through a pipe-like shim.

Shooting Illustrated has more SHOT Show coverage here.

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.


  • Other Steve

    Ok, I retract my previous comments about this. While they are about three years late to the piston party. They actually managed to make some really nice changes. In theory at least, there is zero real world proof compared to an LWRC, but still. If the gas regulator was adjustable I think they would have nailed it.

    The bottom rail seems like it must have a little play/backlash, by the way it clips in.

    Actually seems like someone thought about it vs just making a piston kit. Good for them! Late to the party and they still beat HK. I expec they would also be priced less.

  • Lance

    This rifle is being put n the list in the M-4 upgrade competition as well.

  • CMathews

    I applaud innovation such as this. I agree an adjustable regulator would align ADCOR with most of the other manufacturers.

  • Matt

    Very cool

  • Massoud

    Very good ideas. I concur with Other Steve, looks like they put some thought into it.

  • if this actually works, and comes in around or at a better price point, this thing is made of win.

  • Michael Frangoudakis

    Very impressive. Looks to be very easily servicable. Definitely thinking outside the box.

  • counsel

    I stand by my earlier comment… Looks like this is my next buy. I just hope sale price is about $1500–or less!

  • Emperor Fabulous

    One thing I see wrong with this design is it’s overly complex. There are too many parts, especially some small ones.

  • SpudGun

    So far, so good. Looks like a really innovative system, shame it looks like every other AR on the market.

    As with all new firearms, I want to see some independent evaluations, range time and knowledge that the company can manufacture in numbers before I get too excited.

    I wish it well.

  • MarkM

    Long gas keys have been used before, both active and as operating rods. They work ok.

    What usually happens, and did here, is that the bolt carrier is still the same, albeit the gas doesn’t operate it directly. Likely the gas rings are simply left off the bolt. Nobody is taking advantage of it to redesign the bolt carrier as just that, a bolt carrier. While it is less expensive to just use what is already a production piece and readily available, it doesn’t optimize the design at all.

    Here’s a suggestion: put the buffer weights in the carrier, a spring around the op rod/gas key, and design a stock with a folding option.

    Yes, at that point, it’s more of a hybrid design, and you do lose some of the interchangeability and can’t use standard M16 parts. It’s not a DI M16/M4 at that point, anyway. It’s a gas piston conversion.

    The SCAR/ACR/ARX/XCR are at least a bit more honest about it, their uppers take advantage of what else can be done. They don’t bandaid the system, they design it up from day one. I don’t see an Improved Carbine coming out of the competition that is simply a conversion. It’s going to take more design integrity than that to convince the decision makers it’s a better weapon, not an add on piston kit.

    What was the last service rifle that was just product improved, the M14? Not a sterling example compared to all the others. It’s always be a completely new concept that succeeds, or something hastily replaced by what we should have waited for.

  • Lance

    @ Mark M

    The new competion has mostly have improved M-4s for the intres. The Colt CM901 which even Christain Lowe of say is the front runner is a M-4 which is onpletly modular with adaptation to .556mm to 6.8 to 7.62x51mm and mulitble uppers from 20inch to 11 inch. The HK 416 which the USMC adopted is another front runner. So is the Barret REC 7 and the LWRC entry. The FN rile has problems with relighablilty and says SOCOM has been tring to find a gun maker to build metal parts for the butstock and other parts. The XCR dosnt rally have a chance since the company who makes it Robinson Arms is way way too small to make military contracts. Only the ACR is the only none AR contender which has potential but its price is really high and in the era of budget cuts I dobt it wll have high remarks when the price tag is well over $2000 dollars.

    Since the Army is also having a M-4 upgrade as well I doubt the AR is going away anytime soon.

  • subase

    The difference is that unlike other piston designs which are not very rugged looking addons, this one is integrated into the chasis of the weapon and it’s traditional AR bolt. (notice that like the HK416/Scar, and other state of the art weapons they have integrated the front rails into the weapons design and chassis, not addons) So contrary to what people say the design is a less complex change from the proven AR design, than say the Scar (completely new gas system) HK416 (G36 gas system) or ACR (unproven AR-18). In the case of the XCR it sticks very close to the AK design, that’s the big selling point. By using a slightly modified proven design it gives people confidence that it will have the AK reliability.

    The Bear having the traditional rear charging handle as well as new front charging handle may appear to be redundant, but seen again from the point of view of simplicity it makes sense. Adcor has just ADDED a front charging handle, not modified the already existing rear charging handle mechanism the AR has. Therefore the addition is quite simple and not overtly complex and as such probably reliable.

    I too had thought “why not add a folding stock?” but I then thought it’s probably better the way it is. The stock is stronger and more rigid, and it doesn’t require radical changes to the operating mechanism.

    This is a step above an addon piston conversion, while still not going as far as a more fully designed piston gun like the LWRC. Time will tell if the weapon is actually more resistant to fouling (the only reason to get a piston gun) than a AR-15 since for starters it retains the overall bolt design. So I can understand the skepticism. But that addition did allow them to add the polymer dust cover.

    They have also solved the accuracy handicap of most piston designs, and the main advantage of the AR design.

  • rioz


    What you’re describing is the DIGS system that the ZM LR300/Para TTR uses. The problem with that is since the spring is coiled around the gas tube, as the gun heats up from prolonged fire, the spring absorbs this heat and would fail eventually. This is fine for range work, or even carbine courses, but the way our troops will dump magazine after magazine during firefights, I don’t see this design working under stress very well.

    I am extremely interested in ADCOR’s design, and if they get it out at a good price point, and it gets good reviews, I’ll get one as soon as they’re available.

  • Wulfkin

    To Be Honest I can Actually see this winning the ACR trials i really like the idea of the brush to push all the grit that works its way into the receiver plus looks like the fixed the carrier tilt problem that alot of the piston rifles were having not only that the uppers are around $1000 and that’s not bulk pricing so the military could get it even cheaper, and not have to retrain soldiers and save even more considering they could use the mil spec lowers they already have and just slap this puppy on pretty ingenious considering hk416 uppers MSRP around $2500

  • Andy

    I’ve put about 1000 rounds through this thing and have had only minor “annoyances”. So far I really like it.

    PROS: popped it onto a Seekins lower, and its a pretty solid and tight fit. The bolt stays super clean, and it works really well with a hydraulic buffer. Very accurate for a piston system. Nice chrome finish on the carrier. No malfunctions of any kind. It goes bang every time. Very smooth cycling. Very mild recoil (even without the enidine). With an enidine and PWS Comp its recoil is only slightly more noticeable than a sub-caliber carbine. Its super easy to clean (20 min vs. my DI Bushy @ 60+ min). Its eaten everything I’ve feed it. It likes m855 the best, but I’ve put in Wolf, rem 223, and Federal m193, no malfunctions from anything, but Wolfs are super dirty. They gum up everything, but I’m cheap so I use it.

    Cons: The forward charging handle makes the side rail useless. The external dust cover is fickle. Charging the rifle only opens the dust cover half way, when the bolt slams home, it opens the rest of the way (this could be a manufacturer defect and not seen on any other rifle). Also, the dust cover pops open when I tap the stock on the ground, so I removed it from the rifle as its redundant. The lower hand guard has some play to it and rattles when the rifle is shaken. The bolt and carrier have very tight tolerances, and there is quite a bit of resistance to get the bolt and carrier to start moving (surely this will loosen with usage though.)

    Hopefully one day they’ll make a forward charging handle that doesnt interfere with the rail, and maybe one day, I’ll send it back to Adcor to tackle that dustcover issue. Its just so fun to shoot and accurate that I cant BEAR to be without it. OK that was terrible.