Faxon ARAK-21 Upper

Faxon Firearms has been generating quite a lot of buzz on the net with their ARAK upper in the last year or so, and I was thoroughly excited that Bob Faxon showed up at the Blue August Gun Conference with several of his company’s toys for us to beat on.

Bob Faxon has a very impressive resume. He owns an Aerospace outfit that takes up 130,000 square feet and he makes components for bombs, heavy ordnance, nuclear plants, and he even has some of his company’s parts on Mars! When the joke was made that he was jumping over a dollar to grab a quarter by getting into small arms production, he laughed and in a moment of sincerity said that he sought another revenue source so that he could keep his machines running and his employees employed. To me this speaks volumes of the man’s character.


Bob telling us about his operation.

Bob went to the SHOT Show to see what wasn’t being done to the AR platform and became discouraged when he had a hard time finding an answer. A moment of clarity came when he realized that an upper (not a firearm in the US) could potentially give the user all the benefits of the AK design with the finesse of the AR platform.


Of course barrels are quick and easy to change:






The barrel extension has been replaced with a more traditional trunnion block:


Bob also added an extra ejector pin. When the room laughed at how the bolt face resembled an angry man, Bob remarked that they have nicknamed it the “get the shell out of here” bolt:


Shouldering the ARAK is identical to other ARs and most people felt right at home:


Bob brought plenty of calibers and we were all eager to hit the range.

The whole crew got a chance to run the ARAK-21 uppers and we all agreed that they shoot great:



Now personally I was drawn to the 7.62×39 version because I like how cheap the ammo is. All in all, I really enjoyed it!



We were all sharing a few targets between us, but while rapid firing we were able to land our shot were we wanted them. That said, I would like to see a legitimate accuracy test.


All in all the ARAK system is unique and I can’t wait until this unique system becomes prolific.

Alex C.

Alex is a Senior Writer for The Firearm Blog and Director of TFBTV.


  • Seburo

    So it’s basically the HK416 that HK failed to make?

    • G0rdon_Fr33man

      Seems to me its just a Galil-style upper.

    • mechamaster

      Actually it’s different from HK416 because Faxon ARAK use long stroke gas piston system like AK.. And HK 416 use short-stroke G36 style gas piston ( derivative of AR-18 rifle )
      IMO it’s closer to FN -FNC upper paired with AR-15 / M-4 Lower receiver, with ACR non-reciprocating charging handle style.

      • Rusty Shackleford

        Sounds like a good combo.

      • Seburo

        So basically a poorman’s FNC? I wouldn’t have even made that Snark if HK didn’t advertise the 416 as a piston AR with AK reliability.

        • mechamaster

          Umm.. not ‘poor-man FNC’, it’s more like FNC ‘brother-in-concept’ ( lol ).
          Actually, paired upper piston operation it’s not remedied all AR problems ( a bit more recoil and a bit added weight than DI is the cons ).
          Lower part AR like Trigger mechanism, the magazine design and quality, and ‘how much tight the tolerance between part’ play important part in reliability vs dirt and fouling, and accuracy too. ( especially in AR with ‘tight-tolerance’ than AK with ‘loose-tolerance’ )

          • Free recoil is typically rated as less than ARs (due to the weight and dual-recoil spring).

            The ARAK was designed to be specifically ‘loose-tolerance’ to allow dirt and mud into the receiver. That said, the design does not sacrifice accuracy.

          • mechamaster

            Wow, nice technical information about ARAK tolerance. thanks Mr. Nathan !

  • Since he’s in the aerospace industry, you’d think his upper wouldn’t be so atrociously heavy.

    • Patrick Karmel Shamsuddoha

      hey man if he makes it perfect the first time how would he be able to sell version 2 ?? lol but it probably has something to do with machine time and cost over revenues

      • iksnilol

        How heavy is it? I mean, if it is 5kg or less for the complete gun (preferably with a loaded magazine) then you can’t really complain it is heavy.

        NOTE: I am not a strong guy, at best I am middle of the road in regards to strength.

        • Ge

          The entire upper for a medium profile 16″ barrel is 5.5lbs, with an aluminum lower, it comes in at around 8lbs empty, 9 lbs loaded.

          • iksnilol

            That isn’t heavy at all.

          • Ge

            For a carbine in this generation it is. Same goes for the BREN 805.

          • iksnilol

            4 kg is not heavy.

            5-6 kg, then you can start complaining.

            Note: I assume you are an average healthy person.

          • Ge

            Again, it’s not whether it’s heavy to the person. It’s whether it’s heavy compared to what has been developed.

          • Will Haus

            So what else other than the ARAK-21? Is there another multi-caliber, long stroke, non-reciprocating, that can use with a folding stock? If there is one what is the weight?

          • Ge

            AK-12 (7.3) , Robinson XCR (7.5) , without the folding stock, Tavor (7) and PWS MK116 (6.6)

          • Will Haus

            None of those are multi-caliber, long stroke, non reciprocating, with a folding stock?

            Apples to apples. You are comparing fruit. The XCR would be close to the same category if they ever made another caliber barrel, but they have not. It is still a short stroke system so really not the same, but as close as you can get to the Faxon.

          • Ge

            The AK-12 has a left sided nonreciprocating charging handle, the classic long stroke ak, a folding stock, with a quick change barrel system

            Besides, the criticism was that they made a weapons system that was excessively heavy, NOT the features of the weapon.

    • mechamaster

      Hopefully in the next product, Faxon utilize ‘premium lightweight and durable Spacecraft-grade material’ in their product. LoL. ( It’s intended as a joke )

      • If you know a source for this material, let us know! Carbon nano-tubes are still uber-expensive. 😉

  • Joshua

    You also cannot use any form of automarit lower or rdias.

    • Jing

      Yes you can, you just need a full-auto bolt carrier to go with it.

      • Ge

        No you can’t, the ARAK uses a completely different bolt carrier that won’t trip the autosear in a full auto firearm, and AFAIK they haven’t designed one that can yet

    • You can.

      • Armorer-at-Law

        Correct. They have made a special FA bolt carrier with a short rear extension to trip the sear. It requires a small amount of clearance in the otherwise empty buffer tube. They are not yet available outside the company.

    • Hey Joshua! We have full-auto capable bolt carriers, but do not sell them for the general public. Customers with NFA lowers may contact us to discuss getting an appropriate carrier.

  • Benedict Tan

    An angry man? Jesus Christ it’s a lion get in the car!

  • Mike C

    I wonder if I could combine this with an MGI Hydra lower so I could use AK mags with the 7.62×39 ARAK upper…

    • Jomo

      You would need to clearance the magazine area to make the bigger feed-lips work. I checked my ARAK and there’s plenty of meat there to make it possible.

    • dave

      That would be Ideal. AK mags with the 7.62×39 cartridge.

      • Joe

        Wouldn’t getting an AK be a cheaper option?? I love the look and the reviews of the ARAK and intend to get one. But I would choose .300 Black as my second barrel and keep feeding the WASR dirty ole 7.63×39. Works like a Singer sewing machine. lol

        • Not likely. The 7.62×39 requires not just a new barrel, but a new bolt due to the larger diameter of the case.

    • We are working with an innovative magazine designer which can feed any caliber. 7.62×39, 5.45×39, 458, 556, etc.

      We are looking at other lower designs for the future, but are focusing on getting some other never-before-seen products in the short-term. I think you will like what you will see!

      • ducky

        innovative magazine designer = Longziz#2 ?

        • tommytomaso

          Longziz is a thinker that is for sure….but I don’t like the idea
          Of picking up a “right” magazine but the wrong caliber. It’s asking for trouble.

          • Its why we offer the magazine bands! 300 BLK and 5.56 are in production. Others are coming soon.

          • Markitos

            I suggested Faxon is his Blog on 11/4/2013 to think in doing a joint venture with Jing Zheng (Longziz) to machine his multi-caliber magazine, so, if that is true, I am very pleased with it and I wish you good luck Faxon.

  • santi

    I really want G10 grips for my Arak 21, I have been seeing that a lot online lately. This upper has incredible quality and the customer service was the most sincere and humble service I have ever encountered. They really listen to customers and what suggestions they may have. Faxon is seriously underrated. I can’t wait for further models, I’ll be first in line for them.

  • Jonathan Wright

    now make one chambered in 7.62x54r that will fit on a AR-10 lower so I might actually be able to shoot the odd dozen cans worth i bought.

    • That’s a tough one. Rimmed cartridges do not play nice in semi-auto firearms not designed for them, but more pressing, 7.62x54r does not work on the AR-10/DPMS magazine design. They are typically too long for the magazine well.

  • USMC03Vet

    I hope it goes down in price. I so want this, but not at that price. You can get a whole great AK platform at that price.

    • Not going to make any bones about it: the ARAK-21 is more expensive than an AK.

      However, it has many features that the AK does not: easy multi-caliber swaps, fantastic customer support (if I say so myself, ha!), included picatinny rails, adjustable gas settings (for suppressors), and fully compatible with AR-15 lowers.

      We would love your feedback on pricing. Please reach out to me at my e-mail: Nathan.S@faxonfirearms.com and we can open a dialogue!

  • guest

    Way too many parts. Stupid multi lug bolt with no fixed extractor. This is as much an “ak” derivative as Pemela’s front end is all natural.

    • The ARAK combines some of the best features of both the AK and AR platform. We opted for spring extractors so we can easily do dual ejection windows in the future. Using a fixed extractor would actually hamstring the design!

  • Ray Scarbrough

    I currently own a Noreen Firearms AR10 chambered in 3006 ! I’m wondering if you will offer these calibers !!..? As well as the 338 !!~?? ….It would be nice to get some of the heaver calibers available ! especially the 3006 & the 338 !!!~ What Say You !!~ ..???

    • The larger calibers are unlikely. The upcoming ARAK-31 will be for .308 sized cartridges.