BHI Arms AR57 Rifle

Remember that AR57 upper from Safir Arms from last week? Well when I was wandering around the 2014 SHOT Show I ran into Blackheart International (BHI) who was showing off their second gen AR57 rifles, which are a full pound lighter then their first gen AR57 rifles. The actual AR57 upper chambered in the FN 5.7x28mm round is produced by AR Five Seven at and BHI pairs them with their own lowers. BHI has them available in a few various configurations. The Mil-Spec2, their entry level rifle with a 16″ fluted barrel and mil-spec Gen 2 lower with a total weight of 6.15lbs. The S2, a lighter version with 16″ fluted and free floated barrel, Magpul CTR collapsible stock, Geissele Super Dynamic Combat trigger, Stark SE-1 pistol grip, and Wolff springs with a total weight of 5.91lbs. Both the Mil-Spec2 and S2 are available in SBR configurations as well with 12″ barrels and all their rifles also feature bottom ejection via the magwell.

All of the AR57 uppers are milled from one-piece 7075 T6 aluminum and have side and lower Picatinny rails, as well as a front and rear top rails for sights and optics. They also feature an ambidextrous magazine release/detention system and include one FN P90 50 round magazine. The Mil-Spec2 retails for $1411 and the S2 for $1721.


Ray I.

Long time gun enthusiast, archery noob, Mazda fan, Sci-Fi nerd, Whiskey drinker, online marketer and blogger. My daily firearms musings can be found over at my gun blog and Instagram.

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  • Raze Fan

    shiny 😮

  • BOB

    and yet, why? In that platform, for the same weight, you can shoot a more effective, cheaper round (5.56). It is cool though, so there is that…

    • Freedoooom

      Because we live in a free country, where people can buy things they want.

      • GreenPlease

        I’m just surprised anyone bought the AR-57….

      • tts

        Pretty clear he was looking for a more practical response than that.

      • BOB

        I’m not saying it should be illegal, but from a practical standpoint, I’d like to understand the rationale that is used to purchase a firearm like this vs a standard AR-15 aside from the omnipresent desire to maintains one’s status as a ‘special snowflake’.

    • GreenPlease

      I guess one could run the same round in their primary and secondary if said weapons were a PS-90/AR-57 and an FN-57. The main problem with this platform is that the ammo is $$$$ :'(

    • Drapetomanius

      Because ubiquity of ammunition is not universally preferred. 5.7 not my thing, but das ist eine geschmackssache, ja?

    • Jack Morris

      I would love to add the AR57 to my collection.
      It fits my nich perfectly.
      I have a SWR Spectre II suppressor. The most powerful cartridge it’s rated for is the 5.7×28.
      Instead of spending all that money and time on the ridiculous NFA process again, I could pick this up for a hearing safe home defense weapon.
      I’d much rather put my money into a small American business instead of pumping another $200 into a tax that will be further used to restrict my rights.

      • BOB

        that rationale makes sense in your case, the NFA process has become completely ridiculous. ETA you’re planning on suppressing supersonic ammo correct? Cause if you were going subsonic then I’d have to ask why not just get a ruger 10/22 with threaded barrel, terminal ballistics would be the same.

        • Jack Morris

          I would stick with supersonic ammo. I know the sonic crack is quite loud, but it would be a huge step up in the “hearing safe” department from my AR.
          I also tend to shy away from rimfire muntions as a means for defense. If rimfire were as reliable as centerfire, I would just buy a PMR30 and throw the silencer on that.

          • Sasquatch

            From Keltec, sadly I thought to put a can on a pmr-30 and found this out:“Due to the unique locking action of the PMR-30 pistol and the lightweight slide and barrel, the use of a suppressor is not recommended as it will cause an increase in gas volume and pressure and the slide will likely unlock early. This will cause an increase in gases and residue that is ejected back towards the shooters face and could also cause a case rupture to occur. Any damage or injuries caused by the use of a suppressor or other heavy weight muzzle device attached to the PMR-30 pistol will not be covered by any Warranty.”

            In other words, if you like your face without powder burns, or explosions in your hands, don’t put a can on it.

          • Jack Morris

            Typical from Keltec. They make an innovative product that everyone wants; that is until they find out how expensive, unavailable, and poorly built the product is.
            There is no reason any modern pistol shouldnt be able to handle the use of a supressor. They really should consider beefing up the slide and adjusting the lock timing. All it would take is swapping out for a lighter recoil spring to accomodate function without a can. Its decisions like these that keep Keltec from claiming a front row position in the gun industry.

          • BOB

            Thanks for your input, though specific to your individual situation, that makes pretty good sense to me.

        • bbmg

          Not quite the same thing. The SB193 fires a heavier and more streamlined bullet than most 22LR subsonics with more than 20% more muzzle energy. Whether this improvement in performance is worth the disparity in price is of course debatable.

          • BOB

            very true, the spitzer shape does increase aerodynamics and reduce drag.

    • noob

      magazine capacity?

      • gunslinger

        um… 50? isn’t that the standard cap for a P90 mag?

        • noob

          I was replying to BOB who was asking what a 5.7mm AR-15 has over 5.56mm ar-15. I was guessing magazine capacity.

          • gunslinger

            ah. ok. sounded like you were asking legit question.

    • bbmg

      You forgot to mention the 50 round magazine that blends into the weapon as if it wasn’t even there, as well as the reduced recoil which in theory should allow for better accuracy.

      • BOB

        the streamlined nature of the mag is cool, no doubt, your recoil argument is dubious due to the already low recoil of the 5.56. Capacity seems to be a near wash due to the advent of reliable 40 round mags, magpul, msar, even the pmag 42 round has shown itself to do well.

        • bbmg

          There is also weight to consider, the 5.7mm cartridge typically has a weight around 55% of a 5.56mm cartridge – so for 50 rounds of the smaller cartridge, you can carry less than 30 rounds.

          What is interesting in practical terms is that while the P90 was intended as a defensive weapon for non-combat personnel, the vast majority of its combat use has been by special forces in an offensive role.

          Clearly the benefits of compactness and low weight are appreciated even if it means lower muzzle energy.

          • BOB

            but now you’re using the p90 as the platform, in the case of spec ops troops, I highly doubt they’re using ar57 style rilfes, once again, for the length/weight, why not 5.56?

          • bbmg

            If you fit the AR57 with a 10 inch barrel, you get the same performance as the P90 in something almost as compact, but a lot more modular, with more rounds than a 5.56 in a more streamlined package.

            Not hard to understand why someone would want this 🙂

    • gunslinger

      because ‘murika!!!

      really, why do we have .270s and 30-30s and 3006 and 308 and 338 and 50bmb? why not give everyone a 22?

      why do they have 9mm handguns, when a 45 is just as cheap, ammo is the same and the 45 is a “better round (flames incoming) why buy those old tokerevs pistols?

      pleanty of rasons. FN fans? maybe they already have a FiveseveN pistol and have a stream for ammo?

      i can think of pleanty of reasons for this. special snowflake included.

      • BOB

        see you mentioned several calibers in the ‘rifle’ class, but the 5.7 is a pistol caliber while the 5.56/.223 is an intermediat, carbine caliber. 9 is only currently, roughly the same price as .45 due to the panic we are still recovering from, historically, even 18 months ago, that was not hte case. We all know 9 has the capacity for its size advantage, while .45 has a debatable ‘power’ advantage, depends on what you’re going for. The reason I always saw to buy a tokareve was initially the cheap surplus ammo and now for collectibility

    • Hunter57dor

      people have their reasons i imagine.
      -higher capacity
      -share primary ammo with the five seven pistol
      -rounds have less power, so will probably punch through less environmentals, like the hull of an airplane or ship. 5.56 tends to zip through stuff.
      -significantly lower recoil, muzzle flash, and noise for the barrel length.

      im right there with ya, im a rifle guy. (though i carry .308) but everything has a purpose.

      • BOB

        I imagine that 5.7 would zip through the light gauge aluminum in an aircraft hull. The shared ammo thing while neat seems to be a concept that is as obsolete as single action 6-shooters and winchesters for primary arms

        • bbmg

          Indeed, fired from a pistol, a SS190 bullet will go through level IIIA body armor and several inches of ballistic gel:

          A typical aircraft fuselage is not going to stop it.

    • Dan

      Because guns.

      • Jack

        that needs to go on a shirt our bumper sticker…. or both.

  • Phil Hsueh

    I rather like it and was looking into getting one of these before I started building my AR. However, for $1,000 for just an upper I’ll just stick to my AR and if I really want an upper in a different caliber I’ll just get something that costs less than an entire gun.

  • wetcorps

    I quite like the way they managed to merge two very different designs. And this might be a little easier to reload than the P90 since you don’t have to go under the rail.
    If you really wanted a 5.7×28 rifle it might be an option since the PS90 isn’t cheap either. At least it allows you to avoid buying a weapon bastardized with a long barrell because of the law ^^

  • Hunter57dor

    it ejects out the magwell right? do they sell emptied AR mags to catch the brass?

    this would be fantastic for reloaders, no more chasing 5.56 cases down the range!

    • schizuki

      Get a beat-up old mag. Remove the floorplate, spring and follower. Hose-clamp a bag to the bottom.

      • Cymond

        And cut away the feed lips.

    • Dan

      5.7×28 is not a good cartridge for reloading. it’s an extremely finicky round with regards to powders. projectile selection is limited due to the extremely light bullet weights required. you have to be extremely careful not to rub off the coating as it’s key to reliable feeding and extraction. the cartridge is extremely small and you can’t do FL resizing, depriming, and neck sizing in single operations. you have to do them separately. the cartridges stretch a great deal upon firing and need to be frequently trimmed. there’s no saami spec and load data is extremely limited.

      i don’t have to chase my 5.56 down range, i just use a 3bucc. 100% of brass caught, no problem.

  • marc

    Whats the effective range on a 5.7 coming out of a 16 inch barrel? Anything close to a .17 or a .204?

  • schizuki

    Every time I see an AR-57 upper, I think, “Now that’s cool.” Then I think, “What the Hell would I do with it that justifies buying it?” Props, though.

    • bbmg

      Pretty sure you can say that about most purchases.

  • 191145

    The more I research, the more I like the kel tec PMR 30 . Ballistics are extremely close . Although .22 mag has no armor piercing capabilities (that could change), you do have 30 round mags, for under 500 bucks ! 5.7×28 rifle is cool, but $1400.00 to &1700.00 ? no thanks . This rifle will fall by the wayside .