Faxon Firearms ARAK Upper Receiver

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Faxon Firearms, a subsidiary of Faxon Machining, has announced their first product, an long-stroke piston 5.56mm/.300 BLK upper receiver for AR-15 lowers.

Photos by Oleg Volk

The piston is inspired by the AK and the gas regulator is inspired by the FAL. The forward charging handle can be swapped to the left or the right. The receiver comes in a right hand and left hand ejecting version.

The upper will retail for $999 with a 5.56mm barrel, $1099 with a .300 BLK barrel and $1299 for both 5.56mm and .300 BLK barrels.

[ Many thanks to Peter & Sean for the tip. ]

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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.


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  • Joseph

    If they make the right moves it could be real legit. I hope it proves to be something that really works.

  • mike

    Will this work with an M16 lower or DIAS? I like the long-stroke piston system, but I’m wondering about replacement barrels. It would be nice if standard AR-15 barrels could be adapted to work in this upper. Then it would be a no-brainer.

    • SGT Fish

      if it does work with an M16 lower then it will work with a DIAS. that would sell like crazy for those that own one. I really hope it does because it would be nice to get something new for the DIAS owners. I bet somebody will machine some very nice lowers that match these uppers. i wonder how a POF billet lower would fit

      • John

        And what is that video is tripping the autosear?? Looks like a semi-auto upper to me

      • Joshua

        Probably wouldn’t work, the rear of the BCG is what trips the auto sear as the BCG returns home, with this BCG design a full auto lower is a no go.

    • http://suburbansdomain.blogspot.com Suburban

      To work with a sear or DIAS would require a longer bolt carrier, and buffer tube/receiver extension to house the carrier as it reciprocates. As mentioned, it’s the rear of the bolt carrier that trips the sear, so the one in the video would not work for full-auto or burst.

  • Lance

    Like it AR meets AK. Like the Magpul stock.

  • Reverend Clint

    great idea making it useable with an ar lower

  • Sam

    This is VERY similar to a G36 and UMP action. Me like.

    • JonMac

      Key difference being that it’s a long-stroke piston like the Robinson XCR or the Daewoo K2. Which is why the AK is mentioned above.

  • Tyler

    Very neat design, great price point also!

  • NI Shooter

    So this is kinda like that AR-15/G36 hybrid a few years ago? Forgot the name, but it looks and sounds very similar

    • ducky
      • NI Shooter

        That’s the one! Even looks similar, and I love the concept :D

    • W

      how do you sickos find stuff like that???

      seriously. youre going to induce a stroke from overstimulation.

  • Pepin the Short

    The nifty thing is that it’s not, legally speaking, a weapon.

    Which means you can send illusory money to an illusory entity, and, a week later, a whole new gun wil appear on your doorstep.

    Now, if only I had $1200 that didn’t physically exist…

    • Nick Pacific

      This is what I love about the AR-15 as a platform. The upper, not having a serial number, can provide any number of rifle or pistol actions manufactured by people who do not have a firearm manufacturing license. Not only are the barriers to market entry reduced, uppers can be manufactured and sold without an FFL as an intermediary. I look at this as an opportunity for small manufacturers to enter the market as well as expand the concept of the modular weapon system beyond simply accessories, but the action itself.

      In short, days like this make me wish I went into engineering instead of economics and marketing.

      • RocketScientist

        Shhhhhhhhh! Don’t let the gun grabbers figure this out… then they’ll start regulating barrels or bolts too.

      • John Doe

        Should we register has the upper as illegal too? The upper is the laser thing on the barrel right? Or the box that goes into the killing machine?

        It’s the thing at the end of the barrel, of course.

        -gun grabbers

  • Ryan

    If you’re doing a photo shoot you really should check your gear and make sure that you aren’t wearing your ears backwards. Cool product, poor press-release execution.

    • DirtDiver

      That’s so no one sneaks up on him from behind…

    • Denny

      Very true, but you can see that this is guy who actually DOES things. He is not snake-oil greaser as many of those ‘professionals’ are. I’d say it adds to his credit to be little humble.

      The design looks rugged but not complete… well good start anyway. Colt-Remington brotherhood needs competition.

      • Ryan

        True you could see his oversight as a sign that he focuses more on the product then “the look”. But in a press-release format the lack of attention to detail is worrying, to me anyways. It’s similar to a company making a spell check program and in the press-release there are typo’s.

        I personally like to see a higher level of attention to detail then Faxon showed in this particular set of photos. Now, maybe they never intended to have these photos representative of the company’s product. In which case they should have altered the images slightly as to avoid their oversight going public.

        Either way, I like the idea of the product. So my view on their oversight does very little to negate my opinion of the product itself, but does effect my opinion of both Faxon and the person who should have checked that little detail.

    • Timothy Yan

      He’s wearing the electronic muff correctly. Let’s say you are on the range or during a carbine course, would the safety office or instructor are most likely in front of you or behind you?

  • Ian

    So it’s an SU-16 upper for an AR. I guess that’s cool… Not exactly groundbreaking though.

    • DW

      This is an all metal upper, unlike the SU16 which is almost all polymer.
      also IIRC SU16 does not have a QD barrel system

    • Bak0008

      The only thing this has in common with the SU-16 is the long stroke piston, which it also shares with the AK, M249, Sig 550 series, etc.

      Personally I think the fact that this runs on rails is the most interesting part. I’ve always hated the “floating” nature of the AR15 carrier design.

  • Carlos U.

    Why must everyone keep building my inventions, why? At this pace I’ll never be rich!

    I’ll take 2, thank you. 3, actually.

  • Peter

    These uppers hit on a lot of key areas — side charging, long stroke piston, removal of the odd charging handle location at the rear, they work on a regular AR lower, and most of all for me, they allow you to run a folding stock! That has been my biggest gripe with the AR platform — I am not a fan of the buffer tube.

  • Sam

    My main gripe at this point is that the upper does NOT match any lower that I can think of. I wish they, or someone, made a matching lower as far as geometry.

    And maybe a UMP/G36 style folding stock.

  • Esh325

    It is a bit painful to watch him fumble around with it on camera, but it does make him look humble and not one of those guys that’s just out for your money. The problem with op rod AR15′s is that there is still no standardized design. The design does look very well thought ought though.

    If the US military ever standardizes on an op rod M4, I can bet you that all other op rod AR designs will become obsolete.

    • W

      eh, thats what happens when you dont have a table in front of you…or four arms.

  • Todd S

    In the immortal words of Futurama…

    TAKE THE MONEY!!!!

  • John

    KAC PDW clone

    • Bill Howell

      Try and fold the stock on that and see how many shots you get…one! ARAK-21 you don’t even need a buffer tube.

  • John Doe

    Left-hand ejection and .300 BLK? I’m sold.

    -Leftie

  • Tinkerer

    What about if, instead of dedicated left and right hand ejecting uppers, they make a single ambidextrous ejecting upper? Somewhat like the AUG or the Beretta ARX 160. Wit or without selectable ejection, it doesn’t really matter. Just ship it with a reversible ejection cover -or without one, even. I don’t believe that reliability would suffer from having two ports machined, given that il looks like the G36′s self-sealing prismatic bolt carrier.

  • chs

    Here’s someone who finally “gets it” when it comes to piston designs. What is the one feature that EVERY piston-operated platform on the freaking planet has in common that the AR15 does not? The bolt and/or bolt carrier is on rails due to the offset nature of the operating force against it. The AR15 bolt and carrier do not need to be on rails because the operating force is centered and pushes the whole mechanism straight back. No existing gas-piston conversions on AR15′s address this issue until these guys came along. Bravo!

    • SGT Fish

      how is it centered on an AR15 when the gas key is on top? im curious

      • Bak0008

        The force pushing the carrier backwards is the gas pressure between the back of the bolt and the carrier– the gas key only lets the gas in. That is, the motive force is provided by the expansion of a piston/cylinder formed by the rear of the bolt and the carrier (hence the gas rings), which pushes against the bolt (locking it in place initially), and pushes the carrier rearward until the cam pin rotates the bolt to unlock it, after which momentum carries the bolt and carrier rearward.

      • Joshua

        Because the AR-15 is an inline piston system(don’t believe me? go look up the patent).

        When the gas enters the carrier key it gets funneled down behind the Bolt(behind the gas rings) and expands in the little chamber in the carrier which pushes the bolt carrier backwards, as the carrier move backwards the cam pin unlocks the bolt and when it becomes fully unlocked the excess gas is vented out of the 2 holes in the carrier, this inline action makes the AR-15 not require rails.

    • W

      “No existing gas-piston conversions on AR15′s address this issue until these guys came along.”

      Exactly right.

      One company that I know of has done a long stroke gas piston AR15, and they also improved the buffer tube and bolt carrier to nullify possible carrier tilt wear or at least characteristic changes in the AR15 bolt from being center rearward with classical internal piston to top rearward as in the case of a short-stroke piston conversion.

      Nothing like this however. This is a true amalgamation of the AK and the AR family. This impresses the hell out of me.

      Its a shame such a system didn’t get introduced to the US Army’s ICC so that it could be compared against two of the other AR operating systems and proprietary designs.

      That is a damned good price too. As soon as its available, ill be sure to snag one up.

  • SGT Fish

    I didnt take a close look at the bolt but it probably wouldnt be too hard to add some metal to where the sear needs tripped.

    and i said, “IF it works on an M16, it will work with a DIAS”

  • TangledThorns

    If I was leftie I’d be all over it, looks like a great option for that group of shooters.

  • http://www.shadez-of-gray.com/ Shades of Gray Tactical

    This looks like a pretty interesting and creative design, not all that expensive either. The really sexy part is getting both barrels for the system for a decent price.

    Thanks for the post!

  • Siggy

    Absolutely brilliant. From what I understand this company has the means to give it the push it needs. I hope it takes off like it should. They need to get the website up and running as soon as possible. They’re going in to production around December/January and need to get the word out NOW. I love it. IF it is produced with true quality standards, and IF it is as rugged and durable as it should be, and IF the barrels are made to handle hell, and IF they offer spare parts, and IF they have/maintain awesome customer service, then this just might end up being the best thing going. A lot of “ifs” I know but I’m buying one as soon as they’re available.

  • http://suburbansdomain.blogspot.com Suburban

    Wondering what the weight of an assembled carbine would be. The barrel and trunnion look pretty heavy in the video.

    • Siggy

      They do look like they’re built like tanks, which I like. I don’t mind sacrificing a few ounces for more durability.

  • Mike Knox

    Can anyone ever come out with something that’s really original? An AK’s Piston drive and FAL’s regulator in an AR upper, “wow”. You’re better off with a SIG 516 upper, costs and weighs less..

    • W

      yeah, what other AR gas piston system incorporates a long stroke gas piston system AND a buffer spring?

    • st4

      I for one am still hoping the the the original ACR program from the 80′s bears fruit. Flechette, duplex, caseless, etc. I shouldn’t hold my breath, but one can dream.

  • bert vere

    DAEWOO CORP
    Has been making the same thing for years and years…..
    Called the Daewoo Max ll its been around for ten or more years as the main battle rifl;e of the SK Army……..
    Id bet the max ll is lighter too…..it takes m16 mags…

    • http://twitter.com/EisenOchs Jeremiah

      The Daewoo has many similarities, but isn’t quite the same– it uses a floating bolt carrier, like virtually all AR’s have, including Eugene Stoner’s AR-18, which the Daewoo you mentioned VERY closely resembles. Where this Faxon system “breaks rank” with the traditional AR format is in the fact that they use a pair of rails that the bolt carrier travels along, just like an AK-47.

    • Bill Howell

      Actually it is nothing like it. Tried to buy a Daewoo lately?

  • David

    Make a 7.62×51 mm with a folding stock lower and watch your sales exceed your own expectations…:)

    • Sam Suggs

      im with the unusaully common name on this blog above me

  • David

    This would be The New 308 Battle Rifle everyone is wanting!
    Please reconsider your first production run, with the 7.62×51 mm in mind..;)

  • Sam Suggs

    kool however gimme .308 7.62×51 please

  • http://twitter.com/EisenOchs Jeremiah

    Yeah, they HAVE to do a 7.62 NATO rifle– that would likely be the final nail in the FAL/BAR coffin (sorry DS Arms and FNH!).

  • Justin

    Make one in 7.62×39, a lower that takes AK mags and a folding stock.

    • Bill Howell

      Then it would be a AK-47, duh!

  • Bruce C

    Would this fit on a Daewoo DR-200 lower?

  • Paul Kisling

    Sounds like an intermediate HAC-7…