Faxon Firearms Introduces ARAK-21 XRS Rifle

Faxon Firearms who sold the ARAK-21 upper is now making complete rifles. The ARAK 21 XRS features quick change barrels available in both 5.56 and .300BLK. Check out the press release from Faxion Firearms below for more information.


Cincinnati, OH (June 2014) – Faxon Firearms, manufacturer of the ARAK-21 Upper Receiver, is proud to announce the new ARAK-21 XRS Complete Rifle.

The ARAK-21 XRS was designed to greatly improve the operators ability to accomplish multiple missions.  The ARAK-21 XRS features a monolithic upper receiver with an integral full-length picatinny rail, a dual forward recoil spring system, a folding ambidextrous forward charging handle with spring return and a long-stroke gas piston with variable settings. The ARAK-21 XRS interchangeable barrels can be changed in less than 2 mins from 5.56 to 300 blackout, making it the perfect rifle for any shooter.

“The ARAK-21 XRS is a perfect choice for any level of shooter,” says Bob Faxon, President of Faxon Firearms. “This is a completely redesigned modular rifle system based on the best from both the AR-15 and the AK-47 weapon systems. With the ability to be configured with a variety of barrels, calibers and stocks the ARAK-21 XRS will fit most any mission profile.”

The ARAK-21 XRS Rifles MSRP is $1,899 (one barrel) and $2,159 (with 5.56 and 300 blackout options).

For more information or Faxon Firearms visit them online at www.faxonfirearms.com


  • Zachary marrs

    Or you can get a good di ar for 1000 and get a 300 backout upper for <500. I dont know why people dont think that di ars aren't reliable, yeah they crap where they eat, but they can be *VERY* reliable

    • They are reliable. Most combat rifles are. My Tavor gives my newest AR build a real run for the money.
      The ARAK is one sturdy rifle. In fact I imagine it would be darn near as durable as a higher end AK.

      • Zachary marrs

        Well there’s that, if they can make a reliable piston AR, good for them, but this doesn’t seem to take full advantage of their upper. After all, I can get a upper end ak with a folding stock and a ambidextrous charging handle. How many rounds have you put through it? Comparing it to a high end ak is quite the claim

        • Patrick Karmel Shamsuddoha

          What ak comes with an ambi charging handle ???

          • Zachary marrs

            I think its called krebs customs,? They exist, google is your friend

          • Patrick Karmel Shamsuddoha

            you said it your self “custom” /ˈkəstəm/ adjective
            NORTH AMERICAN
            made or done to order for a particular customer.

            Definitions powered by Google search.

            Not off the shelf from mother Russia.

          • Zachary marrs

            And why are you digging this up again? Do you actually have anything useful to add? Ambidextrous chelarging handles exist on off the shel aks, just because it didn’t come from Russia doesn’t mean its not standard. And customs is just part of their name Einstein

          • Most are left side conversions but there are ambi’s out there. I know of one more being developed over the last several months.

          • iksnilol

            Did see a left side conversion which kept the charging handle on the right side. So you have two charging handles.

            I am sceptical due to it having a big opening in the side of the gun, then again I am ambi (when it comes to firearms, not writing) so I have no problems.

          • I don’t have a problem with it either especially with this gas system.

          • iksnilol

            Nice to not be alone. Find it funny that it makes buying a bolt action really hard for me.

            Then again, my motto is “as long as it has a trigger and sends a projectile, it will work”.

          • Nope you aren’t alone! LOL—I’ve heard that sentiment before:-)

            I can’t help it I still like a heavy barrel bolt action. Love that long range shooting!

          • iksnilol

            How i envy you, longest range I have is 300 meters and it will be a while til I get my own gun so that I can shoot at that distance. .22 at 300 should be like 308 at 1000, right?

            Regarding ambidextriosity I had no choice, I broke my left hand and became paranoid about what would happen if I broke my right hand (I am right-handed). So i can do most stuff with my left now. + I can’t run fast (+ a bad knee) so I gotta be the most efficent at fighting if I ever have to, which also includes dual wielding pistols (don’t use that one much) and headbutts (those are used more).

          • Hum close maybe but I think a 22 at 300 would be harder. I’m going to be doing some 1000 yard shooting next week with a 300 Win Mag. I’m looking forward to that.

          • dualstrike00

            i thought it was 500 meters for a 22lr compared to a 308 at 1000 meters

        • Last time I talked with our writer he had several hundred rounds through the test rifle. I’m not sure of the total round count at the time he finishes. My time with it was at Media Day and taking it down to the last few pins. It’s probably close in weight to a forged receiver AK.
          Anyway our writer has had zero problems and talked about how sturdy it’s built. They actually could have made it lighter but they wanted endurance over the long haul and having a high round count without needing parts replacement.

    • Esoteric_Arms

      I don’t understand your point when there are DI guns that cost more than this. Larue Is a prime example. Not everyone cares to be cheap

      • Zachary marrs

        But there are ones that cost less than 2,000 that can be just as or even more reliable

        • Esoteric_Arms

          I dont undestand what you mean by “less than 2,00” this gun is less than that.

          In its “class” such as the SCAR, ACR, XCR, PWS etc this is not a overpriced item. Yes we all know that you can have a DI gun for 600 but can you change your barrel out faster than this gun? or go to 300 blk just as fast? You get all the benefits from a standard AR lower (triggers, stocks, hand grips etc..) then you do anything else that is comparable.

          Also a full piston gun starts at $1200. Most of us already have extra lowers or at least 1 lower. So spend that money on a quality upper and use your lower you already have.

          • Zachary marrs

            2,159 is now cheaper than a 5.56 complete ar + .300 blackout upper, love your math.
            And like I said, you can change out the upper instead of the barrel. If you want to spend that chunk of change on a good upper held back by the lower (no ambi, no folding stock) go ahead

          • Esoteric_Arms

            No need to be an ass. You said “But there are ones that cost less than 2,000” I assumed you meant gun for gun not the 300 blk kit. You don’t have to buy the kit. I purchased the upper, built my own lower that is full ambi. I don’t need a folding stock and wont pay $200 for the adapter. And why does it need to be full ambi to utilize the upper? Please explain.

          • Zachary marrs

            What? I’m saying that this rifle COULD be full ambi, but it isn’t. I can get a good ak with ambi charging handle+ folding stock, but since they gave up when it came to the lower, it can’t

          • Esoteric_Arms

            Yea they COULD have been full ambi but why? What super benefit would that upper gain? and those AKs you were talking about are 2k depending on configuration. You don’t get 1/3 of the options you would with this gun. You cant change the barrel , you cant change accessories as easily either so your argument is invalid there. You keep flip flopping on changing uppers then going to an AK. Why when you can just buy 1 gun and have the best of both worlds. You are either a troll or you just cant afford one and are complaining. Already you are over the price of this gun just from all the options you have offered.

            DI AR $1,000 (not ambi or folding stock at this price)
            300 blk $500
            AK $2,000

            You still will have a hard time changing barrel lengths on either caliber so I still see the Arak as a pro. Either way I can afford it and I am happy

          • Looks good!

          • Zachary marrs

            And comparing rhis to an xcr? I thought you liked this gun, I wouldn’t wish that insult of a gun on my worst enemy

  • BLG

    Innovative upper=awesome. Standard lower=yawn. If I’m going to pay $1500 for an upper alone, I’m going to at least build a custom lower to go with it that has more features.

    • Give it a chance—we have one now that’s being fully tested.

      • hami

        I am very interested in this review. It would be nice to have a second opinion to the mess of a review on thebangswitch

        • I haven’t read the one they did. Ours is close to being finished so it won’t be very long.

        • I read Time’s post and he sure did have some challenges. That will be interesting as far as ours anyway.
          I know and trust Tim so if said he had all those problems I believe it.

    • dualstrike00

      the upper is around $1000 the $1500 is if you buy both barrels as a combo

  • Michael R. Zupcak

    Do it with a billet lower with ambi bolt release, and, most importantly, a folding stock. Whats the point of the AK gas system if you’re not utilizing all the benefits?

    • Esoteric_Arms

      That would just be more added cost for you guys to complain about. Having a AK gas system is the benefit

      • Zachary marrs

        Do you consider this rifle to have any shortcomings at all? You are giving 1911 fanboys a run for their money

        • Esoteric_Arms

          Its heavy and with any piston system its proprietary.

          • Zachary marrs

            What is innovative about it? Pistions have been done, as have qd barrels and alternative options for buffers, so have folding stocks, but the one thing they could have done is a ambidextrous charging handle

          • Esoteric_Arms

            innovative does not need to be the “first”. You should look up the definition of the word first. Its not a standard BCG. It rides on rails like a AK and it fits a AR lower. Explain what innovative part you are missing from that.

            “the one thing they could have done is a ambidextrous charging handle”
            What are you talking about? It has a ambi charging handle and its non reciprocating.

          • Zachary marrs

            Ok missed that part. Fine whatever. You win. Geez if you are going to fight tooth and nail over this, knock yourself out. I can build a copy of a ww1 biplane and call it innovative, doesn’t mean that it is. Is it reliable? Maybe, I dont own one. Os it a good product? Sounds like it, is it worth it? Probably. Is it innovative? No, it put 2 and 2 together to get 4 thats not innovation

          • Hey if you build a Sopwith Camel let me know I could use one:-)

          • Zachary marrs

            I have plans to make a sopwith that my grandfather left me, but if you’ve ever seen my woodworking skills, you’d understand why they are still plans

          • FourString

            Um… Long stroke piston in an AR compatible platform, as opposed to short stroke m8

          • Zachary marrs

            Lets be clear; calling this “innovative” dose a bunch of other ars a disservice, it may be reliable as hell, but saying that its the first ever is like calling sons of guns ideas original. Do I have anything against this? Yeah, they could have made this perfect folding stock, ambi bolt, but they just kinda gave up. Right at the 99 yard line, they dropped the ball

          • José Pulido

            HAHA you call this “innovation.”

            The AR-15 is one of the simplest gas operated guns on the planet. The only thing arguably simpler is the AK pattern.

            Innovation has to make a thing faster, stronger, lighter, simpler, cheaper, etc.

            Just because it’s changed doesn’t make it innovative.

      • José Pulido

        AK gas system is worthless without a folding stock. Any other design with over 5 decades of improvements would be just as reliable… the ARAK doesn’t even have one.

  • 1leggeddog

    you could honestly just buy and AR-15 AND an AK guns for that price… and still have money leftover for ammo.

    • You can it just depends on what you want. The more choices the better:-)

      • 1leggeddog

        Of course. I fully, 100% support more choices in firearms to suit everyone’s needs. But, it has to make sense financially above all. This, with this price, does not.

        • Esoteric_Arms

          Not everyone cares about what they choose financially. Like I stated above people pay more for DI guns than this complected system that runs better and “cleaner”. The fact you can run multiple calibers and barrel lengths with minimum swap out time is a huge deal to people.

          The best part about this system compared to others is that you can use a standard lower. you can go as cheap as a 80% if you feel so inclined. But compared to a SCAR, XCR or whatever else that claims to have a quick swapp barrel all have proprietary lowers. So if you want a better trigger with the SCAR then you will pay $3-400 just in a trigger.

          yes I do have a Arak also so take my opinion as biased but I feel its a great deal with or without the lower included

          • Zachary marrs

            What is the point of having a qd barrel on an AR? You can just change out the whole upper, without any issues with the headspace

          • Esoteric_Arms

            It’s what people want. I don’t plan on changing mine out but that is the way the market is going. But also not everyone has a armory out in their shop and a extra barrel is still cheaper than a upper.

          • Zachary marrs

            But the upper+rifle is cheaper than this

          • Esoteric_Arms

            I have options where you don’t. I have a adjustable gas block for my suppressor. It has ran any round I have put through it, easier to clean (I didn’t say i doesn’t get dirty). The barrels are cheaper than a upper and I can change lengths or caliber faster. No con if you can afford it

          • Rusty Shackleford

            I’m waiting to see if they actually come out with the 6.5 Grendel chambering they promised before I buy.

          • iksnilol

            A barrel is cheaper than an entire upper.

        • that just depends on the person’s financial situation and how much gun collecting or shooting is prioritized in their lives.
          For me if there is a gun of some sort I really want I start saving until I can pay for it without fouling up the family budget.

        • dan

          So your only problem is price? Ok point taken move along now.

  • guest

    This is not new or innovative – this is an AR platform offshoot that has very little to do with the AK other than a one piece carrier, recoil spring and piston. Take a look at the parts of this rifle: a standard AR bolt inside a new overly complex carrier which hardly is any better than what AK has to offer.

    Apart from the mono/polylithic upper that “looks cool” there is nothing to justify the price.
    For the same price you can get either “regular” AR or a “regular” AK, and have money for high-end optics, or just two stock rifle.

    AK’s main selling point was and still is that it’s a workhorse of a rifle, naively simple and reliable, rather than a rifle that is best suited for competition where the AR always wins hands-down. It is the same dilemma as the various branches of US military had when it comes to “multi purpose” aircraft – you make a package of features that contradict one another and you end up with something that’s little good at pretty everything, but not really good at a single task. That’s also the case here.

    IMHO the whole tactical/military branch of ARs should really be euthanized once and for all, and replaced by SCAR, Tavor, AK, etc, fit for purpose battle rifles. The AR should be left to dominate the plinking/target/IPSC/hunting kingdom where it belongs.

    • Jack

      What’s innovative about the SCAR or Tavor? All guns are shooting a piece of metal out of a metal barrel. The semi or true automatics use gas, piston or recoil to cycle the action. Until we get away from brass cased ammuntion, all this stuff is going to be the same operating system with a slightly different package. Rifles have gotten better better but I would argue that is because of advances in materials and manufacturing.

      What’s the biggest benefit of your SCAR or Tavor besides “looks cool”?

      Some may consider the price high but Faxon is a small company that needs to recoupe r&d costs and doesn’t have the benefit of volume. For the guys that want a folding stock, there are adapters out there. Guys are bitching about the AR lowers but it’s a “firearm” that is in abundance and relatively cheap. Should they have gone proprietary from the get go? What would that have done to the cost. If the price is high for you, move along. Not all gun guys are in this for financial reasons.

      Everyone bashes new products because they tout the reliabilty of the AK or the options of the AR. Those platforms have been around for half a century. If we didn’t have guys like Faxon, we’ll still be shooting ARs and AKs 50 years from now.

      IMHO your opinion on “purpose battle rifles” is short sighted. I agree with you on the aircraft analogy but that’s not an apples to apples comparison. You can make an AR whatever you want to. From pistol to 1/2 MOA tack driver. Who’s going to determine what the configuration of your “purpose built battle” is?

      Is the Scar really twice the rifle an AR is? How watered down would the Scar become if it was built for the the masses of the infantry?

      You should build a “purpose battle rifle” and get it out to the public. I’d be interested in seeing what the price point would be.

      • Esoteric_Arms

        I agree with you but price compared to a SCAR or Tavor is pretty small in comparison with the same benefits minus weight or bullpup

        • Jack

          Wasn’t suggesting that price was a strong suit. The arak price is pretty close to a tavor. The price comparison of the scar was to an AR. All these platforms do the same thing for the most part. It’s up to the end user to figure out what features they want and what they’re willing to pay for.

      • n0truscotsman

        “What’s innovative about the SCAR or Tavor?”

        Pretty much nothing. I dont see improved ergonomics as “innovative”, i just see those weapons as improvements of existing technologies.

      • guest

        The “innovative” part about Tavor and Scar… and never mind these two specifically, any real modern mil assault rifle is that they use tried and tested methods (piston) on an actually new platform designed from the ground up, rather than force-feeding the same to YET ANOTHER piston AR. Fact is all piston ARs in existance will lose against true piston rifles that were not converted – however deep the conversion was.

        OK so picture this hypothetical scenario:
        A country has to select between exactly this rifle and an actual AK, say AK-74. The AK has a rock solid two-lug bolt which locks into the carrier without any pins or extra parts, the bolt is much more reliable and durable, it has fewer parts and the parts that can be stripped are all large and not likely to get lost, etc etc. Oh and it’s way cheaper.
        Do you think this rifle can with a fair (ie: not american) competition?
        Don’t think so. In every test I know of reliability wise when a different rifle (ie: scar, G-36, AK, etc) competes against ANY AR derivative, the AR always loses.
        It’s as simple as that.

        So like I said – sporting use, or just for fun, the AR is a good rifle. A battle rifle it is not. Never has and never will be. The only reason it can be marketed to MIL markets is affinity and nothing more. It has literally nothing to show for.

        • Jack

          I’m not arguing that this platform is going to replace ARs or AKs. I still think your short sighted and closed minded. Your only argument seems to be that the AK is reliable. Should guys stop trying new things because Kalashnikov got the formula so right? The AK has secured its place in history but marginalizing the AR or any other “battle rifle” because it’s not an AK is lazy.

          You think the scar and tavor are innovative because they’re new platforms? They work just like any other rifles already on the market. They’re just shaped different.

          You knock faxon because you don’t like that he’s force feeding you another AR piston gun. From a marketing stand point it was a smart idea to use an AR pattern lower. You’re short sighted again if you think a completely redesigned upper/bolt/barrel is just a conversion. Innovative? No. But no modern firearm is innovative any more.

          I’m sure faxon didn’t build this thing to replace the AK, so you can relax. You’re clearly not interested in one so the good news is you can spend that money on 2-5 AKs

          • guest

            Look you are singing the same old song and beating around the bush. Trying new things (like weapon trials, where competing guns are tested against each other) is where the AR platform *as a whole* has lost time and time again. So it has in every sense of the word outlived its life and died as a weapon of war a long time ago. Every other “competition” where it wins is usually fixed or biased, like the infamous competition between XM-9, M4 and two other rifled I don’t remember, where the M4 lost as expected but the winner was not chosen.

            To put it in layman’s terms: a carpenter needs a hammer. If a hammer made in 1950’s is just as good, and still works, then changing it to “try something new” that does not bring anything new to the table is just expensive fun. And like I said what every civilian does and how they spend their money is their own busyness, but from a military technical perspective using the AR lower for absolutely every “new” rifle that comes out is just stupid.
            And muscle memory as well as previous aquiantance with the AR lower on other rifles just does not cut it. From a technical standpoint the lower is weak, can be broken easely, is held together by screws and pins all of which can be lost during extended strip of the rifle etc. It is an EXPENSIVE TOY.

            As far as AK being the best rifle out there – yes, it is. And yes there is really no point for chosing anything else, even if it’s old and boring.
            I own AK derivatives as well as 2 DI rifles and some glocks. Now many people find Glocks boring, lacking features, etc. I could care less – back to the example with the hammer; if I need a tool to get the job done, and it can be done with a “lame, boring, featureless, old” tool then it’s perfect, because it is affordable, tested, and everything else EVEN IF it has some advantages, they are usualy neglegible and actually are trade-offs.
            Back to the ARAK – the trade offs are, as with all ARs:
            High price, unreliable and prone to failure multilug both (2 lug AK bolt is better), too many parts (springs, pins, screws etc), it is structurally weaker (if dropped with a mag inside on a hard surface, all ARs will jam due to mag and/or mag catch deformation), still sensitive to dirt because of the bolt and the design of the trigger group… the list goes on and on.

            So you can write as many reasons why you thing it is better, but comparing “boring facts”, and comparing with “old boring” rifles, most rifles lose against AK.
            Now there are AK mods like Ace, the AK-12, Galil etc that have what the AK was always lacking – modularity, to be able to slap on various doohickeys people like or need.
            Now please tell me honestly – what else besides that do you need? I would like to hear a list, however short, of what those 3 rifles lack that the ARAK has.

          • Jack

            You’re all over the place here.

            What song and dance do you speak of?

            If you truly believe that we should have stopped with the AK then there is no discussion to be had with you.

            Allow me to state clearly my opinions (some are rehashed because it would seem you’re not paying attention)

            -The ARAK isn’t going to replace the AR or the AK and is not the end all be all.
            -Without talking to Mr. Faxon, I would guess he wasn’t planning on getting any military contracts with this upper so please stop talking about military trials.
            -The AR and AK and all your other “battle rifles” have advantages and disadvantages. No one platform is going to do it all.
            -If this isn’t for you, move along and let other guys enjoy their toys

            Can you show me where I stated the ARAK was better than anything?

            You keep bringing up reliability (which I’m all for). Do you think Kalashnikov just threw some parts together and out came the AK with no problems what so ever? You’re going to compare a mom and pop shop upper to an AK? Not apples to apples.

            If you’re so sold on the AK why do you read the firearmblog anyway?

            You say the AK is IT but then go on to describe the ACE , AK-12 and Galil as improvements… WTF?

          • guest

            Nope, wrong: the quote in the article clearly states the military purpose of the rifle by using words like “mission profile” and “operator”, at the same time as they sell it to civilians – which makes it yet another pathetic attempt at a “do it all” rifle.

            “If you’re so sold on the AK why do you read the firearmblog anyway?”

            To see *some* rifles, that sometimes do come out, which are in fact innovative and not re-hash of same old same old.

            “You say the AK is IT but then go on to describe the ACE , AK-12 and Galil as improvements… WTF?”

            I bet you can read as well as you write, in that case go back and read what I wrote: the only thing AK was ever lacking was modularity (i.e. rails), which these latter rifles have. AK-12 also took care of the last major problem with the AK which was the wide gap between the receiver and the receiver cover, so yes that is no revolution but that is fixing the last (though not critical) issues the AK had.

            Now I answered your questions, please answer mine as well: what is it the AR has, as a basic infantry assault rifle (not some specops version!) that the AK does not have. Please make a list of advantages.

    • Esoteric_Arms

      “this is an AR platform offshoot that has very little to do with the AK other than a one piece carrier, recoil spring and piston”
      That would be everything to do with a AK….and the bolt is not a standard AR bolt

      I don’t understand how everyone is comparing this to an AR and not a SCAR or other high end piston system. WHY? You are right leave the AR to plinking/target/IPSC/hunting kingdom because this will never replace all of those. But when I wont spend 3k on a SCAR (but that’s normal to everyone) but get a wrath for spending 1400 on something just* as reliable or practical.All this upper is doing is taking something out of an AK/SCAR and putting in the hands of citizens at a better price. (long stroke piston that rides on rails).

      • guest

        Innovation is not yet another piston AR. Or just another AR for that matter. That is lack of innovation. Take all the lessons learned from the AR and design a completely new rifle – THAT is innovation!

  • John

    When the H&K SL8-6 was being blown our for $1,200 to $1,400, you guys wouldn’t touch it with a ten foot pole. I remember being told it was stupid to buy one. Now, this G36 clone wants $1,900…

    I’ll never figure out human marketing psychology. BTW, the Heckler & Koch is still better and a tack driver.

    • Boss/EFR

      There are many interesting comments in this discussion, yet so many of you with zero experience with this firearm just jump in to bash the firearm . I bought the the upper with the extra .300 black out barrel a few months back to demo it and see if it was something that I would carry at my shop. It works very nicely with both barrels, It is not an AK and it is not an AR, but it is an accurate set up that when shot with 5.56 nato ammo has almost zero recoil. I have found it to be reliable and well made, with that said it is on the heavy side with a solid feel to it. Is this a firearm that the masses will line up to buy ,probably not since Ar’s and Ak’s are back to pre-panic buying prices yet there will be a place in the market for this firearm. I am happy that there are still companies out there that will experiment and offer us something different. This design simply gives you another choice, the rest is up to you buy it or don’t buy it, I am happy with the purchase and this one will stay in my personal collection.

    • echelon

      Yes but you always must remember:

      HK. Because you suck. And we hate you.

  • Xerxes036

    What does this offer over for example an Adams Arms upper reciever?

    • echelon

      Adams is a short stroke where this is a long stroke piston like an AK. And as you can see there is a giant flame war akin to 1911 vs. Glock or DI vs. Piston.

      When it comes down to it this gun probably won’t do anything better or worse than a short stroke piston AR. It’s probably more “tank like” but that means it’ll also be heavier.

      I’ve built AA piston guns that were super light (for piston) ~7lbs loaded along with completely ambi SanTan Tactical billet lowers for under or at $1000. On an AR platform switching barrels doesn’t make sense to me when you can just change the upper.

      I also have an ACR and love the ergos but honestly the QD barrel system makes it a heavy beast…plus Bushmaster abandoned it and there’s no barrels to swap out unless you go custom which kinda defeats the purpose…

  • TheOtherDAN

    The upcoming sig MCX ( not mpx) looks to do the same thing, but looks cooler. Seems that you can use any ar lower with it, and that a special hinge is added in place of the buffer tube.

    • Nolan

      You can use a standard lower on this one, too.

  • valorius

    Way too much money.