Gun Review: VLTOR TS3 Carbine

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VLTOR has built quite a name for themselves by producing quality products for the firearm industry for quite a while, and we here at The Firearm Blog were very excited when we learned that they would now be producing their own rifle to sell in house (albeit using some parts procured from other outfits). The VLTOR rifle debuted on the popular History Channel program “Top Shot” where contestants used the rifle in fierce competition. The rifle was aptly named the “TS3″ to mark its premiere on Top Shot season 3. According to the VLTOR website, “The TS3 is actually the result of several different technologies that were originally developed for other specialized weapon applications: The rigid polylithic upper receiver offers remarkable stability, strength and optics mounting solutions; the improved “A5” buffer and recoil system further add to the weapon’s reliability and accuracy, while reducing recoil and making the weapon more controllable; and finally, the exclusive enhancements of the Vltor lower receiver and stock assembly make what was one of the most ergonomic platforms in history even more comfortable and practical to shoot.”

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Above is the VLOTR TS3 as taken directly from the box. Let me say this, the gun just feels right. VLTOR has taken components that are proven and selected them to make a premium carbine that is perhaps the nicest M16/AR15 variant I have ever shouldered. Specs on the rifle include:

  • Vltor TS3 Lower Receiver featuring a beveled magazine-well, large button magazine release and three-position, quick-detachable single-point sling mount.
  • Vltor VIS-2A-AK polylithic/free float upper receiver assembly with 10-inch rail section and bolt assist.
  • Geissele, Hi-Speed Nation Match, DMR Trigger/Hammer Assembly
  • EMod w/A5 Enhancement Kit (Enhanced Modstock) featuring integral rubber buttpad, multiple sling attachments and storage for up to eight AA-batteries or nine-3 volt lithium batteries. A5 receiver extension offers seven different stock placements.
  • Noveske hammer forged, chrome lined, 15-inch, 1-7 inch twist barrel with mid-length gas system.
  • Vltor Compensator (VC-A1) permanently attached to the barrel, making the barrel length a legal 16.25 inch barrel.
  • Bravo Company USA, Gunfighter Charging Handle (BCM-GFH-556-MOD4) designed by Vltor
  • TangoDown SCAR Rail Panels and BattleGrip (BG-16)
  • Diamondhead USA, Flip-Up “Classic” Combat Sights

So with all the above components, you get a rifle with all the stuff people usually add to their basic carbines directly from the box. However, to me the thing that makes this rifle really pop is the lower receiver. Let me say this, and don’t laugh, but the magazine release is awesome. It is funny how something so simple can make all the difference:

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The rest of the rifle is beautiful as well of course:

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So the gun is pretty and has some cool features, but how does she perform? Well, a range trip and 300 rounds of Fiocchi 62 grain ammunition would test both reliability and accuracy.

My friend CJ and I took to the range to test the VLTOR. I asked CJ to help me out on this one because he is a veteran F-Class shooter, and the only one I have ever known who uses an AR15 he built in .223 (giving him both caliber and semi-automatic handicaps) in a type of shooting dominated by bolt guns. We set out with 10 loaded 30 round mags and started to shoot at 100 yards after we sighted in my ACOG at 50:

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The rifle’s trigger is fantastic and among the best I have ever felt on, well, any rifle!

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However CJ said that he was not a fan of two-stage triggers. He still liked the layout of the rifle and enjoyed shooting it. Here his is using one of his neutered  magazines after taking some cartridges out of the mags I brought:

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The only problem we ran into is that twice the gun failed to strip the first round from the magazine:

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Other than that though she ran through 300 rounds with ease:

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But how was the accuracy? Well, here is where it gets complicated. The Fiocchi 62 grain ammo is awful. The same day we were out there I was testing another rifle and could not get it to group either. Here is all we could squeeze out of the VLTOR TS3 with an ACOG and the Noveske barrel:

Best:

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Worst:

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That is an average of 2.81 inches. All in all, very, very disappointing. I left the range wondering what the heck went wrong? How could a rifle with all the right parts in all the right places perform so poorly. The consensus was the ammo, so I took the gun out again with some Privi M193 ball ammo and this is how she performed:

Best:

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Worst:

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Now THAT is what I am talking about. Five 5 shot groups netted me a 1.30 inch average, with a fantastic best of 0.729! Now that put my mind at ease, and I am sure with some really good ammunition I could get consistent sub-MOA groups.

So, as for my bullet points:

The Good:

  • Accurate
  • Reliable
  • Extremely well put together
  • Incredible handling characteristics
  • Premium components
  • AR customizability

The Bad:

  •  AR15 bolt instead of an M16 bolt. Not unusual I guess, but just something I have come to expect

The Ugly

  • Pinned on flash hider so you cannot add your own muzzle device or suppressor
  • Premium AR at a premium price of $2,495

All in all the VLTOR TS3 is, in my opinion a great rifle at a price point that reflects all of the high quality parts that are already on it, and that many consumers buy to add to their rifles (hell, the stock/buffer on this gun alone will run you $230!) it really isn’t the most absurd price point I have seen on a premium AR15.


Alex C.

Alex is the Senior Writer for The Firearm Blog who was born and raised in Texas with years of experience in hunting, shooting competitions, and general collecting. A degree in History from Baylor University has contributed to his love of both early and modern firearms technology, but Alex is most fond of machineguns. Alex also owns a firearm consulting business licensed to produce title I and II weapons.
You can reach Alex at [email protected].


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  • Cornelius Carroll

    Bolt? Perhaps you mean bolt carrier?

    • Mark

      No. I do believe he means bolt. Also people who play semantic word correction games are lame. You’ve just reminded me to donate to Autism Speaks.

      • JumpIf NotZero

        Perhaps you’d like to educate us autistic folk on what an AR-15 bolt looks like compared to an M-16 bolt?

        He clearly means to say bolt carrier.

        • Clint Notestine

          mil spec vs commercial spec? or perhaps he means the full auto carriers.

          • JumpIf NotZero

            There is no milspec vs commercial bolt (although you could have a shitty bolt that doesn’t meet the military spes (Colt’s TDP). Only buffer tubes get a “commerical” designation a remnent from stupid moves Colt made. And since this gun has an A5 system, it has neither.

            Yes, he clearly meant full auto vs semi carrier. The only effective difference for 99% of people who only shoot semi anyhow is that the auto carrier is heavier. Since VLTOR designed the A5 system and have set their own gas port, they must have felt the semi carrier was more acceptable. It’s really neither right or wrong, it’s just different when you consider all the factors in how the action works.

            There is NOTHING wrong with a semi carrier if you are properly gassed. If you are overgassed like almost every AR is (notable exceptions are Noveske, usually KAC, Vltor apparently, BCM, LMT, LaRue) then a semi carrier isn’t preferred.

        • Mark N.

          He is referring to a bolt action rifle, the predominant weapon in F Class shooting, not an AR bolt at all. Obviously someone shooting .223 and a semiauto is under a major handicap against bolt action rilfes in large, long range calibers when shooting long range (300 plus yards), which is the reference.

          • JumpIf NotZero

            Wtf are you talking about!?

            Dude, if you’re trolling you’re really good at it. If not… I think you might need a basic class on firearms and their parts

          • Mark N.

            I think you need a class in reading comprehension. Go back and read the article, or be a nincompoop, I don’t care. This is the line from the article: ” I asked CJ to help me out on this one because he is a veteran F-Class shooter, and the only one I have ever known who uses an AR15 he built in .223 (giving him both caliber and semi-automatic handicaps) in a type of shooting dominated by bolt guns.” F Class is a heavy duty target competition, and most guys who shoot it use large caliber “bolt guns.” He is not talking about automatic firearms, or M-16 bolt carriers, because target shooters only shoot one round at a time. And all he is really saying is that CJ is a hell of a shot. Duh.

          • JumpIf NotZero

            Are you serious? That’s not the part we’re talking about! Mainly because it would make NO SENSE to bring that up. When Cornelious wrote CARRIER he was talking about CARRIER. The author of the article still has the wrong terminology used but none of this has to do the section you are referencing! LOL

            Go back and read under “The Bad”, “AR15 bolt instead of an M16 bolt. Not unusual I guess, but just something I have come to expect” – THAT is the part that everyone but you is talking about.

            There is no such thing as an AR-15 bolt or an M-16 bolt. Only carriers. When Cornelious wrote bolt carrier not bolt, he was ABSOLUTELY correct. The author was incorrect and still as of this writing is.

            You are really going to mock other people on reading comprehension? You first clue that you were reading the wrong section should have that it made no sense.

    • Alex C.

      You read my entire review, where I blew through 300 rounds of ammo to help consumers understand this rifle better…. and you decide pedantic? You know, we do this kind of stuff for our readers and to help you guys, and it is fun to help the gun community.

      • LJK

        Stop being so touchy. I very much doubt Cornelius Carroll was being mean about it. I stopped to think about the exact same thing since I’ve yet to hear about there being any differences between a typical commercial AR-15 bolt and a full-auto M16 one, but I know that I don’t know nearly enough about the AR-15 to automatically assume that there couldn’t be some difference. That’s why I’m not automatically assuming that you did, in fact, mean the bolt carrier.

        If you’re going to go into fine details about a firearm, you better make sure those details are right so as to not confuse the part of the readers that aren’t gunsmiths.

        • Cornelius Carroll

          Thanks for the support LJK. Your thoughts are exactly what I was hoping the author would recognize and then make the proper correction to prevent consumers from being even more confused about the AR platform.

          Though there is no “defined” difference between a commercial and mil-spec bolt, often commercial bolts are made of 8620 steel whereas mil-spec is Carpenter 158 (though 9310 is a suitable substitute IMO).

      • Cornelius Carroll

        I said it politely. Most bloggers generally reply with either “Ah, yep thanks for the correction!” or “Actually no because yada yada” rather than “you ungrateful bastard…”

        • http://www.thefirearmblog.com/ Phil W “Senior Writer TFB”

          I have to say we all have days when questions like that we see as obvious and the writer feels a comment is being picky.
          We do have a few people who like to pick an article apart. It does get kinda irritating at times.
          I’m not saying that you’re picking it apart by any means but I’ve sure had those days when I’ve spent a lot of hours on an article and a comment comes along that really is tiring. I write this just so you see both sides of the coin.

          • Alex C.

            Indeed. I feel that we work very hard to publish quality articles, use our money on ammunition, take time to go to the range, and then use what we learned to present our opinions and experiences in a well versed article for the benefit of our readers and the community at large. When the first comment is a snide quip or semantic correction, it just gets to you!

      • Cornelius Carroll

        While I have your attention, I might as well add that an AR 15 carrier, so long as the firing pin is shrouded, really isn’t a disadvantage on a 15″ barrel with a mid-length gas system. The lighter carrier will make it less likely that the rifle will short-stroke in adverse conditions or with under-powered ammo.

        • Alex C.

          It is a disadvantage; You cannot run a DIAS with it which is an important factor for the NFA community.

          • Cornelius Carroll

            First, the NFA community is a very small market segment so I can’t fault VLTOR for assuming that most of the weapons they sell won’t ever see a DIAS or a suppressor.

            Second, you’re going to drop the $$$ on a DIAS and then complain about having to spend $100 on an M16 carrier?

          • Alex C.

            The NFA community is large and growing, and it is important to me personally so I address it as such. I also prefer the slightly heavier reciprocating mass of a true m16 carrier as it is more likely to successfully strip a round from a magazine and avoid failure to feed malfunctions.

      • Brandon

        No offense, but if you write for a gun blog you should know that your audience is going to expect very precise nomenclature. Just because Mr. Carroll here pointed it out doesn’t mean he’s criticizing your entire post.

    • BOB

      I don’t know about no bolt carriers or nothin, but how many SHELLS can you put in one of them thar CLIPS??? there that should give Cornelius an epileptic seizure at best and a nervous twitch at worst.

  • Ryan

    Interesting. What is it about the Fiocchi that makes it so inaccurate? Is it something that’s easy to pin-point? Or is it one of those Could-be-half-a-dozen-of-one-or-the-other?

    Great photography by the way.

    • Ryan

      Also, I assume it was the Fiocchi that failed to load?

      • bill

        Or magazine related, or a combo of both.

        • Alex C.

          I believe it was the mags. They were brand new in wrap C Products mags and were loaded all the way up.

          • Big Daddy

            I have not heard good things about C Products mags. Since Vietnam times all I have heard from people is never load your mag to 30, always keep it at 28 max. It helps with feeding and loading with the bolt closed and makes sure you do not count wrong and load 31 or 32, which happens. I had a friend that was a ranger sgt. and he said that he always had his squad load with different amounts in their mags so that they all didn’t run out of ammo at the same time, that was 1978. I don’t know if that makes sense. I was also in the Army and we were told not to load them to 30, ever. I have to ask a friend he just retired and saw combat in both sand boxes.

          • DiverEngrSL17K

            Although I have not had the same possible negative feedback about C Products magazines, I do agree with your comments about not loading a magazine to maximum capacity, especially if that maximized load is to be kept in place for long periods of time in the field. Magazine spring memory resulting from extended periods of compression and binding of the spring and follower, particularly when subject to the additional exigencies of potential debris ingestion and surface oxidation in a battlefield scenario, are often the result of maximized magazine loading for prolonged periods. Again, this is just my two cents’ ( centimes’, centavos’, pfennigs’, pennies’? ) worth based on operational experience.

    • Alex C.

      Thank you! As soon as I started writing for the Blog I got myself a nice Canon EOS 60d that works well for me and was within my price range. But I am not sure what makes the Fiocchi not shoot well. It is the same ammo I used in my AUG review that did not group so great. I would assume that the powder variance is a few grains from round to round.

      • bill

        Probably just from factories trying to pump out ammo during the shortage. Thanks for using what you had out of your stock, it’s literally you sharing ammo with us. Yes, the great photography does enhance the article.

  • Jacqueshacques

    I’ve read a couple of your reviews, and I hope this doesn’t come off as nitpicking, but you could probably shrink your groups if you shot with a front bag instead of resting on bare wood. When sighting in or testing accuracy, my thought was always that the rifle should be as stable as possible, which is greatly aided by a front and rear bag, especially when shooting from a bench or other hard surface. When I was just starting out and didn’t have any resources to speak of, I used a tube-sock filled with seed corn. Worked for me!

    • Alex C.

      Thank you very much for the suggestion, I will look into ordering some bags today! I have a lead sled that I can use as well, but I think that putting the rifle in a cradle of sorts does not reflect real world accuracy. I like to show what is possible using just what would be available to a shooter in any given situation. Thank you for reading!

      • DrewN

        Yeah, I bought a lead sled and used it for maybe 3 rounds before removing and repurposing the front rest and adding a clamp and level to the base and consigning it to scope mounting duty. My favorite bags are just empty shot bags filled with sand. Pile em up any way you need them for any kind of firearm. A real blue milk crate holds like 10 or 12.

    • DiverEngrSL17K

      Good suggestion. That’s the same sort of principle as the use of sandbags by most military organizations when live-fire training at the range.

  • Big Daddy

    Nice rifle and I am sure with good quality ammo would be much more accurate and run better. However as a person who is shopping for ARs right now the price is too far out there. If I had that much money for an AR I would buy a LMT. The choice of a 15″ barrel with a pinned on muzzle device was a poor decision. For an inch, go with a 16 and let people put on the device of choice. Plus for that kind of money I would expect a Nickel Boron BCG and some other high tech stuff. the fit and finish and attention to detail looks amazing but for almost $1000 less I’ll go for a DDM4V5 or V7 and add my choice of muzzle device and sights.

    • Brandon

      Agreed. It’s a great collection of solid parts, but for $2500 it should have something something a little exotic like some high tech coatings .
      You could build just as good a rifle by going with Daniel Defense and adding whatever extras you need, but I think the appeal is having a complete package.

      Plus having VLTOR on the side adds a few hundred bucks.

      • Big Daddy

        It’s true Vltor makes some great stuff and their whole extension, buffer, stock setup has gotten very high ratings. But the smart builder know people want to customize their guns now. Make a nice basic weapon and allow people to do their own customizing or go all out. This kind of falls in that zone of allowing you to do some customizing here and there but really limits it to some basic things. They for that price should have had it Cerakoted some really cool color and had nickel boron parts like the BCG. They hit with the Geissele trigger, Vltor parts and little things, great attention to detail. They missed on the whole barrel thing and that’s a huge one.

  • Lance

    I prefer mil spec Ars but for a tricked out match gun this may be a good investment for a match shooter.

  • Christian Hedegaard-Schou

    I would point out the REAL reason why the pinned flash hider is listed as an “ugly”, since many people won’t understand by this article why that is a factor. While those of us who know guns understand perfectly the reasons why (15″ instead of 16″ barrel), The average consumer that you’re targeting this article with might not understand. And rather than list it as an “ugly” I would more put it in the “just so you know…” category. A pinned flash hider isn’t a pro, con, or ugly. It’s just a fact that may or may not be a negative depending on your needs/wants/desires. Since the VLTOR flash hider is shorter, having a 15″ barrel with it pinned is nice because it keeps the OAL to the ABSOLUTE minimum required by law. That’s a good thing and a desired feature for a lot of shooters.

    Just to add, VLTOR makes some extremely high quality gear but man I hate their stocks. (If you have facial hair, you know why).

  • IrateBlackGuy

    You’d have to be on crack to pay 2,500 dollars for this rifle. And how is this considered reliable with three failure to feeds? Who cares if its the magazines fault. My psa’s have never malfunctioned with multiple brands of mags and thousands of rounds. My burning question: what honestly makes this rifle better than a 800 dollar rifle? Its not amazingly accurate, those groups are achievable from many 14.5 inch barrels with good ammo. Aside from the trigger this rifle is merely a bunch of overpriced brands slapped together so operators can operate at peak operational capacity, its all a bunch of BS. Send these rifles to Phil, he gives a honest review and doesnt play puppet for the manufacturers.

    • Alex C.

      I assure you I give honest opinions, and have never so much as talked with a VLTOR employee.

      • http://www.thefirearmblog.com/ Phil W “Senior Writer TFB”

        Just to clarify things a bit. The rule is the writers don’t have contact with the companies. The only exception is dealing with NFA guns.
        Since I do all the request for T&E guns I’m the only one who has contact with the many companies we deal with. That said I can verify Alex has never had any contact with VLTOR.

    • Mike Baggott

      I priced out all of the parts for this weapon using a combination of the BCM, Ranier Arms and DSGArms websites and I came to $2368.55. Granted that was a cursory, quick search and I’m sure I could have found better prices if I wanted to but it’s pretty close to the asking price and still leaves a comfortable profit.

      I wouldn’t consider the weapon reliable until I had tested it with other mags but most malfunctions in a properly lubricated AR can be linked to the mag.
      The accuracy in the review is acceptable considering he used low quality ammo. You might not like the rifle and that’s okay but it’s not overpriced and with different magazines and better ammo it should shine.

  • Happy Camper

    Nice Rifle. When are they going to offer it with the KeyMod VIS upper receiver? Hell, they introduced it over a year and half ago. The TS3, with the 12-inch KeyMod VIS would be IDEAL!

    • Kendall Driskill

      OMFG YESSSS, this carbine practically cries out for a KeyMod forend.
      imo, the only other changes i’d make are a ACS-L stock & a BG-17 ‘stead of the -16. ^~^

  • Esh325

    Doesn’t look worth 2495$ to me. I think you could find better rifles at the same price or less,

    • http://www.thefirearmblog.com/ Phil W “Senior Writer TFB”

      They sure sell a lot. We waited a good while until they had more on hand.

      • Big Daddy

        Some people see the names and go this has to be good. They don’t really know what they are buying. As an example, I was a professional musician. Many times I would see guys buy Gibson Les Pauls that go for $8000 from the Gibson Custom Shop, they could hardly play 3 chords on the guitar. Many guys had 20-30 thousand dollars worth of equipment and could not play. But they had top of the line equipment even your local professionals don’t have like myself. And so goes it with everything, Guitars, guns, cars you name it.
        There are people that can get the best out of what they have and people that want the best for name recognition and bragging rights. That’s one reason the whole anti gun thing is a joke. Who would scare you more, some couch potato with a M4gery and a beta mag or some woodland hunter with a bolt action & scope? That hunter is much more dangerous with his old beat up bolt action or even lever action 30-30.
        I watched what professionals use and yes they do have some high end stuff, but nothing fancy. They probably don’t even have to pay for a lot of the things they have. I look at what they used early in their careers when they did not get everything for free. None of them have all that stuff on their guns and follow the KISS principle. Nothing fancy just what works.
        If someone can afford it that’s great but how many times you read about someone spending gobs of money and have nothing but problems with the gun. Too many times. I’ll keep with what I know works and delve into unknown waters as long as it doesn’t cost that much.

        • http://www.thefirearmblog.com/ Phil W “Senior Writer TFB”

          That’s not an unreasonable stance at all. I’ve seen guys spend a lot on a gun just because they could. The money didn’t mean that much and they liked nice name brand, best of everything.
          I’d like to think I’m like the average guy who could only afford an AR like this by saving for a good while. On the other hand I don’t hold it against anyone who can afford one and really uses it. It’s like anything else in life we all try to live within our means but buy the best we can afford.
          At least there are many many choices out there so most anyone can afford some type of AR. Never look down on those who can’t afford the best or look at someone with disdain when they can afford the best.

          • Big Daddy

            I never put anybody down for doing what they want. So I see the same guys selling all that stuff to pay their mortgage a few years later. It’s none of my business. If you can buy it do it. Many times people get good deals on stuff because of others buying habits. I will never rip anybody off and will always pay what something is worth. I would see many people being proud of themselves because they got some old lady who did not know what she had sell them a $20,000 Fender Stratocaster for a few hundred bucks. I will never do that and I don’t think much of others who do.

          • http://www.thefirearmblog.com/ Phil W “Senior Writer TFB”

            I would hope most of us are the same way. Oh sure I’ve seen guys go overboard and have to sell the expensive guns because common sense slipped away for awhile.
            I’ve also heard guys brag about the deal they got from someone who had no idea what they were selling. I don’t have the time of day for anyone like that and it doesn’t sound like you do either.

          • Big Daddy

            There are men of integrity left in this country, good to see that.

          • http://www.thefirearmblog.com/ Phil W “Senior Writer TFB”

            That it is. Those of integrity just tend to be more reserved than the others we spoke of. Their actions speak volumes.

          • DiverEngrSL17K

            Right on , Phil. Fair is fair, and doing things the right and proper way without taking advantage of others is the way to go — a far cry from the Wall Street hotshots and their political allies who have always enriched themselves at everyone else’s expense. The same applies to avaricious opportunists at any and every level of society.

          • bill

            This rifle does sound expensive for me, my wants, and needs. However people do find and have value in more expensive rifles. Their money and choices, especially the market is saturated with AR choices for every price segment. This rifle is a bit more than I am willing to spend and it has that slightly shorter barrel with a fixed flash suppressor, major deal killer. I spent nearly $2k on my AR, just to swap out a good number of parts. My friends and I just build from scratch from now on (uppers).

          • DiverEngrSL17K

            Big Daddy :

            Please see my reply to Phil below. Thanks!

    • Alex C.

      If there is one thing I have learned it is to not underestimate the premium AR15 market in the USA. Some people do not want to bother tinkering with their rifle, so they go to the gun store and a smooth talking salesman talks them into one. That being said, this rifle was truly a pleasure to shoot!

  • Mark N.

    You are of course correct, but these AR fan boys don’t know that F Class long distance range shooting is dominated by BOLT ACTION RIFLES that have both a caliber advantage (heavier like 30-06, 308 or 338 Lapua) as well as the advantage a locked bolt has over a semi-automatic action in terms of accuracy. I wouldn’t be surprised if these guys have never fired a “bolt gun,” since they don’t seem to know what one is.

  • Dave_FM

    So, a custom lower to accommodate some QD points and a proprietary magazine release and it’s not even ambi? Come on. Give it an SR15E3 right-side bolt release, a 45° throw BADASS ambi selector, and an ambi mag release at least… If you’re going proprietary with a lower you might as well give it some added functionality.

  • Nathaniel

    I love coming on TFB and reading all the reviews, trivia, and news from the gun world, but I have to say what I love the most is the shameless advertisements!

  • Julio

    Alex, I’ve no particular opinion on the rifle, but as we’re discussing reviewing here too -something I’ve also done a fair bit of- I hope you won’t be put out if I offer some comments. First of all, as has been said, good pictures (though I’m not a great fan of lawn grass as a backdrop). I like the sense they give of the test conditions, and particularly the best-group / worst-group illustrations, As for the test conditions themselves, I was really happy to see you’d gone back and tried again with some different ammo, but why not take a variety of different loads with you to begin with? I know we generally have to pay for ammo on our own dime, but you don’t have to shoot a lot of it to assess accuracy, and budget-consciousness tends to focus your mind on this aspect of things. It’s already been said that wood blocks are hardly the optimal rest for accuracy testing, but I’d also add that an ACOG maybe isn’t the best choice, even at 100 yards. “Real-world conditions” have been mentioned too. This is a valid point, but I’d put it another way: what is this rifle actually for? Is it about durability, reliability, bragging rights, accuracy…? What particular job is it a tool for, and how well does it do that? I’d say too that I was a bit surprised at the emphasis TFB puts on “not talking to manufacturers”. Personally, I find it a vital element in reviewing as it helps me understand what they’re trying to achieve. It doesn’t make me a mere mouthpiece for their products: just better informed. I like to get regular shooters to try the stuff I have for review too. either way, its an extra perspective that helps to triangulate objectivity between our respective subjectivities (or something!). Finally, the magazines thing. I wouldn’t test a rifle with either an untried optic or untried magazines, and would always have a back -up for either, -for the shooter too, come to that!- that way the rifle doesn’t take the blame if the other elements aren’t all they could be. Finally, finally, don’t be put off by know-it-alls like me – live and learn, and have fun doing it!

    • http://www.thefirearmblog.com/ Phil W “Senior Writer TFB”

      If I writer needs additional information I’ll gladly get it for them. It’s also faster that way since I have contacts with companies some writers don’t. We don’t want readers ( a small number) to start that you guys are working for the __XYZ____ company.

  • Dave_FM

    It seems to me that if one wants to do accuracy testing then they should utilize ammunition suitable to that task.

    The ammo used is sits ~2MOA as it is. Something relatively inexpensive but still inherently more accurate, such as Privi Match, would be a better pairing towards this purpose.

    Even the shown best group for the Privi standard M193 would have opened up considerably (probably to right around 2MOA) if statistically significant (10, not 5) shot groups were used.

  • Jack

    How is this considered reliable if it malfunctioned twice in 300 rounds?

  • Ed Lepczyk

    I like turtles.

    No matter what type of bolt carrier group they use.

  • MOG

    Those .22s are fun to shoot.