What Makes A Bad AR? Let’s Look At Battle Rifle Company

The high demand for AR-15 and similar rifles has led to many new manufacturers of said rifles. Enter “Battle Rifle Company” of Texas. I made some initial observations upon viewing their products while at the NRA show on Saturday, but I also visited their booth on Sunday. What follows are some of my observations after looking at their rifles the second time, and having a few more days to think about what I saw.

As you’ll note in the article above, I described their products as “pretty much the worst AR-15s I’ve ever seen.” While that’s a harsh statement, it’s also an honest one. I was angry after I walked away from their booth. Angry because they were trying to peddle substandard products as the greatest thing ever, angry because their salespeople were either ignorant or lying, angry because somewhere out there was someone who might someday have to depend on a rifle that would most likely let them down. I took the time to calm down before writing that article, otherwise it would have been more profanity-laced than anything, ever.

I mentioned in the other article that their triggers had a lot of creep. If you’re not sure what I mean by that, here’s a brief explanation – creep is a point at which the trigger momentarily stops before continuing on to the rear as you pull it. Unlike a two stage trigger where you pull through a zone of a certain weight and come to a defined point where the trigger stops and more pressure is required to fire the weapon, a trigger with a lot of creep will stop several times, making you think that you’re about to fire when you’re really not (assuming that you’re adding pressure slowly).

Why Battle Rifle Company was bragging about the quality of this modified stock trigger was mystifying to me. Every one I tried was severely flawed. Furthermore, depending on how they modified the stock triggers, safety issues could result as the case hardening of an AR fire control group is not very deep.

I also saw that they had used a carbine length rail on a rifle with a midlength gas system. In my mind, this is inexcusable. Whether the rifle has a gas tube or an operating rod, keeping foreign objects from damaging it or, in the case of an op rod, preventing its full travel to the rear is critical to maintaining function. In a post on M4Carbine.net, the owner of Battle Rifle Company gave alternating explanations for their use of the wrong rail, from “people saying it looked cool” to unnamed federal agents wanting to use it because it “looked intimidating.” Again, this is a serious issue which can affect the durability and reliability of the firearm. Whether it looks cool or not is irrelevant.

Four of the BRC AR platform weapons on display at the NRA show.

Four of the BRC AR platform weapons on display at the NRA show.

On Sunday, I looked at the rifles again; I asked if I could open them up and take a look inside, and they let me do so (they might be regretting that at this point, wishing instead that they had fixed bayonets and charged me). I asked questions about where they sourced parts, which parts they used, and so on. The answers I received were not good.

I was told that they used whatever parts they could get, from Brownells and other sources. Hey, Brownells is great. I buy stuff from them all the time. But not everything they sell is a top-of-the-line, “combat grade” part. Nor should it be – there is plenty of room on the market for decently priced, consumer grade AR parts and accessories. But Battle Rifle Company is selling their stuff as the greatest thing ever, when the facts say otherwise.

When I asked which buffers they used, I was told that they used 3 ounce buffers, “instead of the standard 2.6.” Well, a standard buffer is between 2.9 and 3 ounces. I was also told things like “Our specially treated buffer spring makes for a really smooth drive.” What is this, a golf club?

Given that changing the action spring and buffer can affect the rate of fire, I asked what the cyclic rate of their M4-type rifle was. The salesman referred me to their brochure, featuring statistics copied straight from the manual of an M16, and said that the cyclic rate of fire was 800 rounds per minute. Again, unless the rifle has components which are functionally identical to that of the M16, the rate of fire will be different.

I also noted that neither castle nuts, carrier key screws, nor gas block setscrews/clamp screws were staked to prevent them from loosening. They told me that castle nuts and gas block screws were loctited, while carrier key screws were either staked or unstaked depending on where those parts came from.

I have conducted numerous temperature-related tests of AR15 rifles, and can comfortably say that the failure point of even high temperature resistant Loctite 266 will be reached after approximately 100 rounds are fired through a lightweight or M4 profile barrel, while that of “blue” Loctite 242 will be reached in under 80 rounds of continuous fire. In other words, for a true “battle-ready” rifle, Loctite on a gas block is unsat. And again, the mish-mash of parts from any available source is not the hallmark of a high quality AR builder.

All of this indicated to me that no one at the company really had a lot of knowledge about the AR platform.

In closing, watch this video that some guy shot at the NRA show while at the Battle Rifle Company booth. In the video, the owner of the company displays poor/unsafe firearm handling skills (finger on trigger at unnecessary times) and tries to sell unsuspecting viewers a low-quality 308 AR – the one with the incorrect length handguard – for $2795. He also talks about the “synergy” of matched uppers and lowers. He throws a rifle down on the ground, then picks it up as if nothing is wrong with it – this is why their rifles had misaligned rails at the show, due to improper installation followed by dropping them on the floor.

I did not write this or the other post on my own blog lightly. I realize that saying things from the platforms available to me can have a material effect on a company’s sales, and that the people at Battle Rifle Company might be negatively affected by what I say. But their actions and statements have had or will have a negative effect on consumers, and that is part of why sites such as my own blog and The Firearm Blog exist – to educate.

Andrew Tuohy

Andrew Tuohy was a Navy Corpsman with the 5th Marine Regiment. He makes a living by producing written and visual content within the firearm industry, and he also teaches carbine courses. He prefers elegant weapons for a more civilized age, and regularly posts at Vuurwapen Blog.


  • floppyscience

    That video was physically painful to watch. I sincerely hope nobody is dumb enough to buy any of BRC’s product.

  • D

    Wait…is that one model called the “War Hammer?” That’s so tactical bro.

    • wetcorps

      With those punny collapsible stocks I bet you couldn’t even use them as proper blunt objects should they fail ^^

      • Esh325

        They are the same stocks all M4’s have to my knowledge.

  • So why would you mount a sightmark on the handguard on this “battle rifle”?? I remember looking this company up, since they’re semi-local to me, and I remember just shaking my head at their pricing structure. This was before the election and Sandy Hook too.

  • Carbine rail on mid length gas tube? That’s pretty dumb to leave that exposed.

    Finger on the trigger etc.

    The only was I would get one, is if it was given to me, then I would sell it for a better made Norinco CQ AR-15….

  • David G

    Andrew, I’m glad you still have the guys and integrity to write a genuine review even if it is just based on your booth experience. I can appreciate the moral dilemma you must go though knowing your posts can have both positive and negative effects on a company and its employees. I agree that your role is to educate and tell us the truth. I rarely buy a gun magazine anymore because they only ever say positive things. Well, not all man made things rock! Some stuff we build just sucks. Passing all guns off as awesome in magazines makes me think the magazines are in bed with the gun manufacturers. Keep it real sir. Thanks.

    • tincankilla

      Steve, reading your review was really educational for someone just getting into ARs (as opposed to the deer rifles of my youth).

      I don’t know enough to know if this is viable, but it would be interesting if y’all developed some kind of rating system for evaluating ARs. Maybe there’s something out there already, but a simple system would be cool and might drive quite a bit of traffic to your site. That is, evaluate ARs on build quality, parts quality, value for the $, etc. I know that data is usually captured by the price mechanism, but that seems to have broken down this year.

      • Nmate

        I don’t know if the Chart is still around, but that was the best resource for people who didn’t know. Go with Bravo Company, Noveske, LMT, Daniel Defense, Knight’s Armament, Centurion Arms, or of course Colt and you will get a real deal AR.

        • I’d probably add Spikes to that list also. You pretty much nailed it as far as the best ones to save up for. I’d probably go with the Noveske with the Bravo a close second. It’s close though. You get a lot of gun for less money than the others listed.

          • Tim Underbakke

            Yep, Spikes is GTG.

          • Chase

            LWRC but I like piston driven ARs

          • LWRC is a very good AR—-

          • Rob

            Not to start a debate, but from my experience, Spike’s is not in the same class as the manufacturers Nmate listed. (Disclaimer – I own Spike’s products)

          • Yep I own some Spikes products as well. I’ve been buying parts accessories from them for several years.
            I don’t know I really like some of his builds. I especially like the SBR package they have.

        • n0truscotsman

          Noveske FTW!

          • Mega Arms makes good AR stuff, not sure if they have any completed rifles, but ive got a few of their lowers and uppers and I love ’em

          • Chief58

            I love my Sig Sauer M400 Enhanced..I don’t care if it isn’t on any list lol.

        • Georgiaboy61

          Windham Weapons also makes a very high-quality AR rifle…

        • sunsync

          How about Stag? Especially for lefties?

          • n0truscotsman

            stag is good. i have nothing bad to say about them.

      • LDUTigersFan

        LaRue Tactical is the way to go…but be prepared to wait.

      • Steve (TFB Editor)

        Hi tincan, I am just the Editor. Andrew wrote the article.

    • Gertrude Gaybauer

      You certainly can add Spikes to that list too. They outsource everything and recently changed their lower receiver supplier to Aero instead of Kaiser who also builds almost everything Noveske ( another prostitute gun ) makes too………………..You can see the difference in sidewall thickness’s in Spikes built before Jan 2012. Bets bet is to stick with a proven leader. Use someone that actually makes SOMETHING……….instead of Spikes with their mixed bag assembly’s. There are now officially over 300 AR ‘builders’ who market en masse in this country. Some are in closed down gas stations, closed down beauty shops ( central florida ) and some in a spare bedroom. The above gun, Battle Rifle Co, is just the tip of the iceberg. Stick with one that sells to military or LE…………..and in big numbers of over 5,000 units at the least. Bushmaster, Colt, DPMS, Smith, ect…………..u get the drift here. Don’t be all orgasmatic like most kids and young guys are by spiders and SEAL logo’s and whatever else stamped on a receiver. Remember that these rifles pass not ONE test by the military.

  • Henry C.


  • Tap Rack Bang

    Wow, that video had me cringing. Good catch, and we have to keep people honest by calling them out. Glad you brought them into the spotlight. Assault mag, Custom fitted to the operator? This will be difficult for them to come back from, that is, if they are even serious about this industry. Doubtful they are though.

    • Yea and $2795!!! Crazy!

      • Even at retail pricing, I can pick up a Daniel Defense DDM4v1 for around $1700 with a quality optic (Aimpoint, EOTech, Trijicon etc) and ammo (if you can find it) for the price of one of their rifles. I don’t see them sticking around for too much longer.

        • I wouldn’t take that bet! Once things get back to normal the price better drop or they may be gone pretty quick.

        • n0truscotsman

          I remember spending 1200 for a brand new DD V5 two years ago.

  • And there are probably people just dumb enough to buy from them. Oh well, you can’t save everyone.


    Yes to have the gas tube exposed and a tweaked rail and a creep in the trigger is not really good or smart but, when you are a start up company coming into a market that is overwhelmed and out of stock on virtually everything from barrels to but stocks and everything in between, they are making an effort to appeal to the general public. I can’t say that the gas tube bothers me if its exposed like that one is, and I can’t say that I would ever use my rifle in a tactical setting. Most of the time I just pull it out of the bag and sit at the bench. And for the rail, well when you throw the weapon on the ground and have thousands of people handling it, it’s going to get messed up. I was there at the show and saw the products they offered and they were good enough. Constructive criticism is going to be a help for this company and essential for survival in a vast market. As far as the creep in the trigger is concerned. The creep wasn’t that bad. Unless you are so judgmental about that then look at DPMS, and Rock River, even Stag and Smith and Wesson, all of their models had creep. To expect a small company to even show their faces at a show where the big boys roam, to me that’s brave. Judgement is easy when your not on the fire line…. If you guys can build a better rifle then just do it.. Then go to a national show to have it judged…

    • Andrew Tuohy

      There would be a small grain of truth to what you say if they were a) brand new, b) admittedly making entry level rifles, and c) pricing them accordingly. But they have been a) making rifles for over 2 years, b) making rifles they claim are better than anything else on the market, and c) pricing them higher than any comparable rifle.

      If they want to call themselves “Battle Rifle Company” and talk about how their rifles are better than mil spec, ready for duty anywhere in the world a private contractor or military member might serve, they will be held to a different standard. Which is why I wrote this article.

    • David P.

      “I was there at the show and saw the products they offered and they were good enough.”

      Good enough is never acceptable when dealing with a product that could put my life or health, or that of my family and friends, in danger. It is even worse when you consider the price that the guy is asking. I haven’t priced them in a while, but can’t you get a SCAR or a Tavor for that much or less?

    • Austin Burke

      These aren’t bespoke english shotguns, they’re AR-15s. Anyone with a moderate level of skill can throw together a match-grade AR-15 out of a pile of loose parts. If you’re a small company, then bubba-fying a bunch of rifles and massively inflating the price is not going to keep you in business.

      Personally, I see this as a pretty transparent attempt to capitalize on the black rifle buying craze a few months ago. Incidentally, plenty of small companies manage to “show their faces where the big boys roam” without presenting a bag of hammered sphincters as the ultimate in tactical engineering.

  • dranor44

    notice, (in the video)

    when he talks about the efficiency of the rifle, how it will function every time right out of the box-

    -he will blink, look away at other venders, or make tounge noises and ‘ums’-
    every single time.
    these are classic signs of lying.

    now This i’m ok with.

    at least he’s an upfront Lier making guns and isnt an Idiot making guns.

    he also uses phrases like ‘full battle tested’, and then names a specific part followed by varrious other parts to make it sound like they are tested too.

    classic misdirective marketing.
    to be any kind of ‘tested’ it could be the plating was tested or the polishing process or even just the grade of metal! it doesnt mean the actual part.

  • AJ

    Wait, 11.5 inch barrel with 5.5 inch flash suppressor? How the hell does that make any sense?

    • Cobalt-60

      That is typically done when someone is recreating an XM177. They will usually start out with a 5.5″ permanently attached moderator-style flash suppressor, which allows them to shoot the firearm while waiting for the tax stamp to return. Some just keep it that way. These are fun recreations of a past firearms, never meant to be a battle rifle or combat ready. That’s like taking a GSG-5 into battle thinking its an MP5.

    • JWR075

      Much like how many run a 14.5″ barrel with a perm flash suppressor to avoid NFA paperwork and legal issues.

      • ud

        I have a spikes upper in that exact configuration.

    • Suburban

      They probably had a hard time getting 16″ barrels. The 11.5″ barrels aren’t as popular, so they pinned on a long flash hider so that it didn’t end up an SBR.

  • Hollywood Gun!
    The guy on the video looks like Yosemite Sam, and he sure deserves to be tared, feathered, and thrown out of town… LOL Just kidding.
    That gave me an idea, why won’t somebody make a FPS game that’s really a Hollywood film making comedy, so we can all make fun at those Lib Retards, shooting a Million rounds off a single Machine-gun’s clip, on the Film Set, and then off they go, whining about “Gun Control”?

  • Monte

    “They’re made in Texas, so that’s…uh…the best thing about it.”

    Well, that sounds about right, anyway.

  • Warren Young

    I recognize that it took a lot for you to write a negative review, and I appreciate your effort. Thank you for your honesty.

  • These are the types of things newbies like me would know nothing about. Any chance you have this type of detailed review on a Stag model 1? I’m not relying on this rifle in combat, but love shooting it, and would love to know if I have a good rifle or a Battle Rifle Company substitute…

    • No no not at all. I wouldn’t even come close to comparing a Stag with these guys. Nope you’re fine with what you have.

  • CharlieFoxtrot

    Kudos for your integrity. We (the consumers) need more honest reporting like this. I have no doubt I’ll see sterling reviews of these rifles in the major print magazines soon.

  • RocketScientist

    Oh great, heres another freaking AD on TFB! Every time I visit your page its filled with glowing reviews of whatever new product you’re being paid to promote. What ever happened to impartiality in journalism??? Just another industry shill… (I figured we see these comments from idiots every other time you review a product, and my OCD makes me strive for consistency)

    • Anthony Caputo

      lol lrn 2 reed n00b

      (This belongs here. Consistency is good.)

    • Robert PARIS

      ….not sure if serious.

      • LOL–No you would have to read the whole comment someone made on my Ruger LCR review a week or so ago. It’s a dig at that guy. In fact here’s what that ah individual said.

        “DistalRadius • 7 days ago−

        This is an AD. If you seriously want people to stop accusing TFB of placing ads then it would help if a “review” actually included something negative about the item in question. The only negative in this entire write up is the “not the best looking revolver” bit.

        If every “review” raves about how great an item is, its difficult to find the authors objectivity very credible.”

        • Robert PARIS

          Am i missing something? I feel like i’m taking crazy pills. How is this in anyway shape or form an ad? you more or less panned the rifle. And then the autist I replied to started saying this is an ad. An ad for what? to buy an awful product? Is this some crazy new form of guerilla marketing/ reverse psychology

          and nevermind, lol i just re read the comment lol.

          well done on a very convincing depiction of an Autist lol.

    • Good one sir:-)

    • n0truscotsman


      good one rocket scientist!

      It reminds me of the froglube article.

      you mean to tell me there’s actually bad guns out there to avoid? (*gasps in shock)

  • FDE is Tactical

    Sort of reminds me of “Head down” rifles, myself a two co-workers were sold a line of BS, and we were admittedly dumb enough to believe it. Sample rifles looked amazing! But the rifles we (eventually) received were plagued with problems. Ejection port cover springs were upside-down, castle nuts came loose, gas blocks shifted, if it could be screwed up, it was. And all the cutting edge products they “design and manufacture in-house” was someones product, but not theirs!

    Slapping parts together, and calling it mil-spec does not make a battle rifle. Quality control, and attention to detail does.

    Thank you to ATXS, Damage Industries, and Troy for making great products.
    Head-Down, you took my money and wasted my time…

    • FDE is Tactical

      Just viewed some videos on YouTube. Cris (the owner) states that one of the “options” is a Battle Company stock. Though clearly it is made by Damage industries…

  • DiverEngrSL17K

    A very good critical post, Andrew. Thank you for your acerbic honesty, and for your integrity in writing what must have been a most painful critique.

    Even giving the vendor in question the full benefit of the doubt and allowing that the components used are of proper quality, there is the question of integration. A weapon is really a system of parts in its own right, and is therefore only as good as the sum of those parts and how they work together. Judging from what I can see in the video, the biggest single issue with those guns is one of inadequate systems integration. Not much thought appears to have been invested towards this end. A glaring example is the incorporation of free-floating barrels in some of the rifles featured. Military-grade battle and assault rifles seldom, if ever, use free-floating barrels because the rough-and-tumble of the battlefield requires that the weapon have maximum strength and rigidity in order to withstand that sort of constant abuse, hence the use of fitted hand guards that provide additional support to the barrel at the front end. The trade-off, of course, is slightly lower accuracy at longer ranges, but the difference is usually small enough to be quite acceptable for real-world combat usage. The open front end of a free-float hand guard is also an invitation to the ingress of excessive amounts of dirt and debris on the battlefield. The attempt to sell a supposed “battle rifle” with a free-floating barrel to enhance accuracy is not a good premise from a military standpoint.

    The second most significant issue appears to be the quality — or lack thereof — of the workmanship in the fitting-up of individual parts, as you have already pointed out. There are certain items ( such as staking of the bolt carrier gas key screws ) in the AR design where attention to detail is critical, and this is not present in the sample rifles. And the use of a hand guard that leaves the gas tube completely exposed to damage? — priceless.

  • Crisara772

    from their website

    “What makes our rifles so special?

    There are many features that make a Battle Rifle more than just any other gun.The careful attention to detail every step of the way makes each Battle Rifle unique, almost a piece of art. Step by step we will show you the Battle Rifle difference.

    Every Battle Rifle is equipped with

    All of our rifles are featured with matched uppers and lowers with extremely tight tolerances for reliable performance

    Each rifle comes with a Battle Rifle Tactical Carry Bag

    Additional Accessories including Flash hiders, bipods, etc (BR16, BR177)

    Each rifle has a guarantee from factory defects and workmanship

    You can have your Battle Rifle emblems and markings colorized

    One magazine is included with each rifle

    Each rifle has an ambidextrous pistol grip and a pistol grip cover compartment

    M16 Bolt Carrier Group shot peined HPT/MPI tested”

    !You can have your Battle Rifle emblems and markings colorized! whoa thats great

    and in other hand, arent loose tolerances better for reliable operation? (i dont really know but it sounds more logic)

    • CrankyFool

      Sorry, their pistol grip is ambidextrous?

      That’s different from the 99% of other pistol grips I’ve seen out there that I’m perfectly fine using as a lefty?

  • MOG

    Fair warning, thank you.

  • DiverEngrSL17K

    Before I forget, one thing I did want to mention as a follow-up to my previous comments a few minutes ago is that at least the flash suppressors on these rifles appear to be of a possibly effective design. However, a documented night-firing session will be needed to confirm or deny this.

    • In all honestly I think they made the flash hider like that because it looked “intimidating” 🙂

      • DiverEngrSL17K

        Thanks for your input, Phil! I think your assertion might be right on the mark. Nevertheless, those flash suppressors may still do the job ( coincidentally or otherwise ) and, as I had said, only a documented night-firing trial will confirm or deny this. Might be interesting, if someone with access to these rifles is willing to try it and post the evidence for examination.

        • Kivaari

          A darkened range will do.

  • One thing Andrew mentioned is the owner throwing the AR on the floor as to say see it’s ok. Well how in the world does he know he didn’t fire the thing after tossing it.Geez!!!

    • Andrew Tuohy

      Yeah, my thoughts exactly. Were we supposed to be impressed that it didn’t break in half?

      • Yellow Devil

        LOL, I bet if it did break in half, they would claim it was a paratrooper model, easy to break apart for combat jumps. The way these guys seem to operate, I’m surprised it didn’t “negligent discharge” because they left a round in a chamber.

  • If you really want to get fired up and read some ah– non truthful statements just go to M4 Carbine.net and read his answers.

    The most off the wall thing he said was several federal agencies liked the screwed up short rail with the mid gas system. He went on to say they wanted to take it as is and go test it. BS!


  • Criticalthinkingiscritical

    That they can get away with this at one of the nations premiere gun shows is an example of how the large majority of “gun guys” are mostly ignorant about firearms or have a single area of expertise. People confuse liking guns, being passionate about gun rights, owning lots of guns, and having been around guns their entire life with being educated about them.

    Very immoral and dishonest of a company like this to take advantage of consumers in such an extreme way. They must be jumping on the “black rifle” buying spree that’s been going on for the last few years. It’s possible they don’t realize that their rifles are truly substandard; but certainly they can’t think it’s exceptional (which they claim) considering how little they obviously know about the platform.

    It plays into the odd group think in the gun community right now that small boutique firearm manufacturers are better than large scale ones. Certainly it’s true that some small companies, such as Wilson and Les Baer, put out exceptional firearms but they are the exception instead of the norm.

  • Chris_C06

    i don’t see how “dropping it on the ground” is a reasonable replacement for documented testing. I don’t see how using standard parts with “custom” modifications, with claims regarding quality being much greater compared to OEM parts being dubious at best is substantiated. I don’t claim to be an AR expert, but the basic operation of the rifle is dependent on the cycling of it. After claims of modifications to the gas port leading to improved performance and/or reliability were noted, my BS meter went off the charts. How is this a reasonable claim with no evidence to support it? Bigger tube = more gas into tube = faster/harsher cycling, at the very least. Not to mention more wear and tear. The big players have been doing this for years, and I’d venture a guess that most of them use a pretty standard gas port size, for good reason, with YEARS of real-world testing in some of the harshest conditions. Why would something like this ever need to be changed? (that is an honest question – I’d like to know for my own reference – your insight, Andrew?)

    I don’t think Andrew should have any qualms about posting an honest analysis. With that being said, it’s on the consumer to be informed about what they’re spending their money on – as well as what alternatives are out there. “A fool and his money are soon parted…”

    I also have to agree with the sentiment regarding not needing to shoot these rifles to get an understanding of the quality of these rifles. I don’t mean to split hairs, but to people with a basic understanding of the English language, seeing basic stuff like “torked” instead of torqued is a dead giveaway. I’m not even talking about their claims of
    mil-spec+” – what does that even mean? I read his explanation on m4carbine.net, so I understand what he means and the context in which it is used, but [i]really[/i], how many people have fallen for that line? Snake oil much? Bad trigger discipline? Puh-lease. Go to the booths of Noveske, LMT, BCM, (shall I continue?) – and see how many fingers are on triggers there. I’m sorry, but I just call it like I see it. On second thought, that’s not really splitting hairs, but I digress.

    While I am all for the “lil’ guy” getting out there and doing his thing, if he’s pushing an inferior product, one of two things can happen – they get called out, and fix it, or they don’t fix it, and just make excuses. This is a great opportunity for BRC to really make some dramatic improvements. If they don’t, oh well. They have no one to blame but themselves. I won’t feel bad for them. The AR market will always be a competitive, if not overly saturated market. To succeed in it, your product needs to do something to stand out in a positive way.

    I don’t see why anyone would willingly put their name on something that is rife with shoddy workmanship. Frankly, by exposing us all to BRC’s half-truths and potentially steering some people away, you’re doing them a favor. What hits harder than word of mouth? $$$. I’d bet if 5-10 potential sales were steered away with an explanation as to why money was spent elsewhere, you’d see some pretty speedy fixes. At least I’d hope so.

    Disregarding the availability (or lack thereof, more accurately) of something like the LMT MWS, why would someone want to choose this rifle over an LMT? (enter any high-end, ~$3k .308 AR in there for the sake of argument)

    • Chris_C06

      I was thinking about something after I posted this…

      larger diameter gas tube = lower pressure = perhaps SLOWER and weaker cycling? Maybe that’s what I was getting at. Been up a long time. Wouldn’t a larger port with no change in the tube have ill effects?

      • Chris_C06

        Ok…that’s discounting any changes in caliber/bbl length. A 16″ bbl’d 5.56 AR with carbine length should have the same gas port/tube length ass ny other rifle set up the sane me way

        • Bull

          larger port = more energy transfer to the BCG = unneccecary wear on component and much higher recoil. you should always have as small gas port as you can.

  • MrSatyre

    As an AR newbie, these sorts of honest reviews are essential. Thank you.

  • Stupid Redneck

    There are plenty of companies jumping onto the bandwagon just to make a buck that have no Idea how an AR-15 works much less how to manufacture their own parts. I noticed a company named Diamondback Firearms is now buying a bunch of junk parts from whoever they can get them from just to slap them together without any real world testing. The best thing people could do is steer clear of these fly by night companies and stay with the reputable companies that have been doing it before the latest craze started.

  • TorgIshere

    So these are just guys who order parts online and sell them as completed rifles? *eye roll*

  • Kelly Curtis

    Unless they are making their own triggers and lower parts kits, it’s either- put out whatever you can get your hands on, or don’t put out any product at all. Bad time to be an MFG. That said, if the are just jumping on the bandwagon and putting out crap to sell at overinflated prices while the wave peaks, then shame on them. Especially if they are flogging the numbers. In this climate, if they would just be honest and say “these aren’t the parts we would like to use, but are the only ones we can get right now”, that would be honest and more meaningful. Face it, even some of the bigger fish use other peoples parts. At least it’s calming down!

  • Michael Allen

    Wow I just went and checked my AR so that I’m building it correctly and double checking everything now. Even the littlest thing can mean catostrophic failure and I have a enough wrong with my body don’t need any more failures.

  • why won’t it let me view your video? it says it’s private.

  • MarkP

    The video got marked as “private” on YouTube. Looks like they got a bit spooked and are ducking for cover.

    • They must have done that since this morning

      • Suburban

        I watched it this morning. When I refreshed the page after getting home from work, I got a message that the video was removed from YouTube..

  • With all due regard to the writer, his article is nothing but opinion. He may very well be right in what he says and it is entirely possible that Battle Rifle Company’s rifles suck. However, unless he has tried one or more of the rifles he is lambasting his opinion carries no more weight than the advertising of the company. I think there are probably laws that prevent people from spreading negative comments about a company/product without backing them up facts.

    • Max

      How about things obviously done wrong, like a handguard that’s too short, what exactly do you call “opinion” about that?
      Paid by Battle Rifle Company, much?

    • It’s really more than opinion. We talk to a lot of people over the years both at shows and otherwise and honestly we get pretty good at picking up on BS. Also observation can tell you a good deal about an AR and most guns.
      I’m actually considering requesting one just to add additional facts.

    • Andrew Tuohy

      Which comments did I make that were not backed up with facts?

      It’s highly convenient that a (dissatisfied) Battle Rifle Company customer has contacted me since this article came out, not only confirming everything I said and more, but offering to send me his BRC rifle for a thorough evaluation.

      • DiverEngrSL17K

        Hello, Andrew :

        Will you be taking the gentleman in question up on his offer and carrying out a definitive, objective evaluation? I know there are probably several legal and other liability-related issues to resolve before you actually do this, but if they can be successfully addressed to protect all concerned, such an evaluation would doubtless be highly-informative to readers and contributors alike.

    • These rifles suck, you can see the attention to detail, are you even serious?

    • Actually, Andrew’s opinions on the AR carry a LOT of weight with me. He knows guns generally, and I would consider him an expert on the AR/M4 platform. Read through his prior articles here and on other sites and I think you will begin to see that he has a more knowledge and experience with the platform than the vast majority of us. Besides, the article seemed to be very specific with details.

    • Kivaari

      Not really. I used to have Olympic Arms rifles and parts come through the shop. Junk. No one was using gauges or checking for parts out of allowable bounds. Hammers and triggers that were that were “warped”. Not just a little bit but grossly deformed. Olympic Arms earned a bad reputation. I still would never recommend them to anyone. Hey, they could have become better, but those 30 year old observations have stuck with me.

  • mosinman

    If they priced and advertised thier rifles as entry level ar15s I could see them selling a lot more.

  • kthomp1123

    But, but…but they are mil-spec plus!

  • Chuck G.

    I wish someone would make a honest-to-goodness economically feasible AR that someone with little money could afford. Not the $3,000 high-ball, top-of-the-line, all bells and whistles models. But a straight forward A2 style. Not everyone can afford a Spike’s, or Noveske, or even this over-priced quack outfit. Anyone?

    • That’s very true. Many save for years to get one of the high end AR’s. You would be well served by a S&W M&P for instance.

    • Rob

      I’ll second S&W M&P and add Palmetto State Armory, Bravo Co. Mfg., Colt, Stag

  • JT

    Wow, that’s awful. This is what’s wrong with the gun industry IMO. Entrepreneurs getting into the business who know little to nothing about guns except that they sell. Same with gun stores and people thinking that selling a gun for above-MSRP and taking a trade-in at 1/4 of the gun’s book value makes them a “businessman”

  • JT

    Also, when’s there going to be an article on the Liberator? this is pretty big news and it’s being covered by just about news outlet with no common knowledge of firearms

  • FALster

    Andrew, thanks for putting yourself and your reputation on the line for the sake of the consumer. Need I explain where Andrew stands and where his biggest critics on the sidelines stand when it comes to the giver/taker personality?

  • I kept reading that as bad rifle company.

  • The company owners linked in page smells funny

    Enlisted / Officer


    – 1993 (19 years)
    various locations

    Ops Sgt- Special Operations and Sniper

    Republic Of Korea- DMZ Operations

    7th Infantry Div- CEDC Ft Hunter Ligget

    Ft Benning- IOBC

    Ft Benning- AOBC

    • Enlisted officer huh. You may have something there but then who really knows.

      • DiverEngrSL17K

        Phil, Kris Moore did not state “Enlisted Officer” ( there is absolutely no such thing to begin with ) ; it read as “Enlisted / Officer, probably meaning someone who was Enlisted Personnel at one time prior to becoming an Officer ( as in Commissioned Officer ). This claim appears to be perfectly legitimate subject to further investigation and confirmation.

        • Hyok Kim

          ‘Enlisted Officer’ = ‘Retired 2nd Lt.’

    • Agitator

      I’m not saying I necessarily buy any of it, but the layout of his claims seems to indicate that he attended OCS after spending time as an enlisted soldier – IIRC, “IOBC” or Initial Officer’s Basic Course is what they used to call BOLC I, “AOBC” corresponding to BOLC II.

      Again, not that I buy any of it. If I had a dollar for every former SF or sniper I met in a bar…

  • Bacon smoothie

    Video has been poofed.
    BTW, you guys sound like AR snobs. LaRue, LMT, Colt, Spikes, cant a poor man get some respect with his DPMS, Bushmaster, ect.

    • Chris_C06

      You definitely can. The big difference is that DPMS, Bushmaster don’t make claims of their rifles being the cream of the crop.

    • Hey I’m not a gun snob by any means. I like the high end AR’s but there’s nothing wrong with a moderately priced CMMG, S&W or DPMS. In fact I don’t own one of the high end AR’s. I just can’t seem to let go of the bucks.

  • On the list of truly awesome builds, I did not see Legion Firearms. They build a phenomenal AR. Expensive, but the quality is there. ‘Nuff said!

  • Aaron Russell

    Ya’ll are the best. Keep It up.

  • RockStarArtist

    Whoa. As a person who lives in Maryland, looking to purchase a new semi-auto rifle before Maryland enacts its nasty ban in October, I am very happy to see this article. I was aware of my ignorance of AR rifles, and have been in the beginning stages of research for a purchase… this article has made me aware of shoddy practices that I was initially ignorant of. Thank you ladies and gentlemen.

  • kyle

    These guys are just profiteering from the current gun scare. The quality of these products will come to shine soon enough, and they’ll collapse under their own weight. I’d by a century AR before one of these frankenguns ever got money from my wallet.

  • JollyRoger

    Mr. Tuohy’s review was originally posted during the NRA show I visited the
    Battle Rifle Company’s facebook page and posted
    a link to the article. As I scrolled through the endless posts I noted several “noobies”
    posting questions and inquiring about purchasing. Having been the victim of a sub-par
    firearm manufacturer (Para Ordnance ) I felt someone should warn them. So I replied to their questions with the link
    to Mr. Tuohy’s article. Seeing the article
    on TFB I revisited Battle Rifle Company’s facebook page and discovered that
    they now no longer allow wall posts and they have blocked my profile from
    commenting all together. I will admit I never heard of Battle
    Rifle Company before Mr. Tuohy’s article but just judging from my
    interactions with them I would never do business with them. Thank you Mr. Tuohy for warming new buyers of
    this company!

  • John Sjöström

    Aww.. The video is gone. Anyone got a backup?

  • Cuban Pete

    Great reading. Keep up the good work and don’t stop giving your opinion, it makes the blogreader return for more.

  • gbailey814

    Thanks Andrew for calling a spade exactly what it is….a spade.

    • atypicaloracle

      And a really crappy spade with a handle stuck on with glue, at that.

  • Aaron

    I tried the video link, and You Tube shows it was “removed by the user”. I think that is very telling. Thanks to Andrew and all TFB editors for telling it as it is. This reminds me of guys who slap a bunch of after-market products on their bondo-covered ’84 Camaro and think it is worthy of Hot Rod magazine!

  • Can’t go wrong with a LMT!

  • berk69

    wow it didn’t take long for the video to go down….

  • old dude

    Finely an article on a gun that was not written bu the maker. Very few gun rags will give a hint of a negative about the gun they are testing. There are so many excuses used in these articles why they could not do an in depth report. weather,not enough ammo, could only have the gun for three days then send it back, not a long enough range to shoot on. Excuse after excuse That’s why i don’t buy them anymore, if i am given one i read it but it’s the same thing for the past 30 years excuses in almost all of the articles.

  • Careful

    The link for the video goes to removed content

  • NickB

    “wishing instead that they had fixed bayonets and charged me” I wouldn’t worry if they did they would fix it backwards saying it looked cool and then Harakiri themselves

  • Alan Aardman

    Formed in 2011 by SEIU’s Black Project division, Battle Rifle Company was a new experiment in gun control. Faced with a public with an increasing love of firearms, anti-gunners tried a new strategy: perhaps people wouldn’t like guns so much if they were unreliable, ugly, and poorly made. From this, Battle Rifle Company was born.

  • Add another one to the list of AR’s to avoid.

  • Counsel Dew

    I like honesty…. How about the show…? Is there any movement for a show to step up to the plate and not let … everyone sell on the floor/at the show? I”d like to think the NRA would do … better…

  • OfficerJO

    Noveske , spikes , Rainier, la rue , JP , Colt , and a hand full of others make excellent AR 15’s and AR 10’s . Just seeing the exposed gas tube on the second rifle from the top is enough to want to slap someone . For those of you that have never handled an ar has tube they are very brittle and should be protected by a handguard at all times . Thanks for writing an honest article . If companies don’t want people to call their product shit , then maybe they shouldn’t build a shit product. If they’re selling a rifle in the $2700 range that thing should be GTG . I can build a quality rifle for less than a grand and you bet your ass the bolt is MPI & HPT with no exposed gas block !

  • WaikikiWayne

    Can some one tell me who makes a Great AR?

  • Charles West


  • d_grey

    Well written!