Battle Rifle Company

brcstand

Earlier this month, I took part in firing ten thousand rounds through an AR-15 in one day. Here’s why: At the 2013 NRA Annual Meetings in Houston, Texas, I came across a number of new products and companies, but none stood out as much as Battle Rifle Company. Looking back, in fact, I remember few products other than those at the BRC booth.

If you’re not familiar with the saga of previous articles regarding Battle Rifle Company, you might expect me to start waxing philosophically about the high quality fit and finish of their products, or their relentless dedication to customer service, and so on. On the contrary, their booth stood out because I was quite frankly horrified by what I saw. I wrote not one, but two articles about them, titled “What Makes a Bad AR?” and “Pretty Much the Worst AR-15s I’ve Ever Seen.”

Needless to say, there were strong reactions to these articles, and the company took a lot of flak over the following weeks as they were shared on other sites. Both articles rank extremely well on various engines for any web search regarding the company. In other words, a prospective buyer has a significant chance of coming across these articles a year and a half later.

If the company simply ignored the articles and kept making the same products, this would be all well and good – an educated consumer could make the right decision for their needs based on available information. However, if the company had changed their products as a result of what was written, then I would be doing them a disservice by not following up on those original articles.

I read TFB writer Alex C’s article on Battle Rifle Company in May of this year and wondered where the company was heading. Overall I was not particularly impressed with what I saw in that article. It did not really address the concerns laid out in the previous articles, and it did not consist of significant or meaningful testing.

So when I was contacted by Battle Rifle Company’s PR representative, who asked me to see what changes had been made and offered me a chance to test the rifle “like never before,” I was intrigued. I felt that I had a moral obligation to revisit the company, and I wondered if the other follow up article was accurate.

I suggested to BRC that if they wanted to make an impression on the AR world and prove that their products were up to snuff that they should put on a test of one or two rifles and a significant amount of ammunition. They agreed.

Battle Rifle Company built two identical ARs with the intention of letting me pick one for the test, just so I’d know I wasn’t getting a ringer. Ideally it would have been one of a hundred, but I wasn’t getting any dishonest vibes here, and quickly selected one of the two.

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The rifle was a midlength gas system AR15, or BR4 as BRC refers to their carbines and rifles. This specific model was the Midlength BR4 Spartan. It featured an Ergo quad rail, a Green Mountain 1/8 twist barrel, a nickel boron plated fire control group, the BRC Disintegrator muzzle device, and a Hogue stock, among other things. The bolt carrier group was M16 profile and the bolt was made from 9310 steel instead of the standard Carpenter 158. 9310 offers moderate improvements from a metallurgical standpoint, while C158 is considered the standard quality bolt steel. Bolt carriers are made from 8620 tool steel, and some low budget manufacturers also make the bolt from that material. It is insufficient for anything but display use with regard to the bolt.

The barrel was made from 41V50 steel, which is good quality steel. It has a 5.56 chamber which is chrome lined as is the bore. After receiving the barrels from Green Mountain, Battle Rifle Company sends them to 300 Below, Inc for cryogenic treatment, which, according to 300 Below, increases barrel life and decreases group size by 50%.

Texas

I flew to Houston several weeks ago to see the BRC facility and participate in the shooting. In the interests of full disclosure, my expenses (gas, lodging, etc) were covered by Battle Rifle Company and a week after I returned home I received the test rifle via my local FFL friend.

Chris Kurzadkowsi, owner of Battle Rifle Company, picked me up at the airport on Sunday evening; after discovering that Texas allows smoking in bars, I had a restful night’s sleep in my hotel room and availed myself of the free continental breakfast. I had a long day of trigger pulling ahead of me and needed all the nutrition I could get. Again, Chris picked me up. We headed to the range, the backseat of his truck loaded to the gills with rifles and ammunition, and our minds full of anticipation. Or dread, one of the two. I’ve fired thousands of rounds in a day before, and it’s not as fun as it sounds.

We had agreed upon some basic rules for the testing, all of which were proposed by Chris – the barrel would not get hotter than 700 degrees as measured by an infrared thermometer, we would stop to clean the rifle every two thousand rounds and lubricate every thousand, that accuracy would be tested before and after firing was completed, and that we’d fire ten magazines at a time and then allow the rifle to cool a little bit. Lubrication was with FrogLube, their choice of lubricant.

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As it turned out, we had to modify things a little bit as the testing continued. But I’ll describe that later.

I started shooting about one round per second, and just kept shooting. Chris’s son and Josh, the PR representative, spent most of the day loading magazines. I shot, and shot, and shot, and shot some more.

brcfire

From the very first round, I noticed that ejection was weak and that the cases either went nearly straight forward or nearly straight backward. We encountered the first malfunction at about 800 rounds, a stuck case, followed rather quickly by a failure to eject in the classic “stovepipe” fashion.

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I cleared the malfunctions and kept shooting. About a hundred rounds later, we encountered another problem – a broken charging handle. I haven’t seen a whole lot of broken charging handles, and especially not after 900 rounds and hardly any manipulation of the charging handle (almost all reloads used the bolt catch). The break was at the forward most portion of the charging handle, where it fits over the gas key on the bolt carrier.

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Another, nearly identical break in the charging handle was encountered after approximately 1200 rounds, along with a handful of malfunctions similar to the first failure to eject. The charging handles broke due to the fact that they were improperly machined by a supplier and thus dimensionally incorrect.

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Another problem we encountered was that the muzzle device quickly began to fracture and by 1200 rounds eventually separated from the rifle; the “tines” of the device were quite small in comparison to other devices on the market, resulting in premature failure. The “Disintegrator” name was unintentionally ironic.

disintegrator

And then, rather suddenly, we started encountering dozens of malfunctions, almost all of them failures to eject. The forward edge of the ejection port, as well as the right side of the quad rail, were becoming battered by spent cases. Eventually I asked what the gas port diameter was, and BRC’s gunsmith told me it was .082″. Given that the weapon was equipped with a carbine buffer and was firing 5.56 pressure ammunition, .082″ is far too large, and the primary reason for the malfunctions. Even leaving out the type of ammunition and the buffer weight, I would not purchase a 16″ midlength AR-15 with a .082″ gas port. Gas ports, however, are not easily remedied at the range.

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I noticed that BRC had brought one of their .308 caliber ARs, and took it apart to see what buffer was inside. It had a stainless steel “shorty” buffer common to 308 ARs using AR-15 carbine length tubes. This is certainly not ideal for a 5.56 AR using the same tube, for the 308 bolt carrier is longer and requires a shorter buffer to achieve full travel – in other words, a 5.56 AR using the short buffer will have potentially excessive travel – but still, it was better than the carbine buffer from a weight standpoint.

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The added weight of the steel buffer reduced malfunctions, but did not eliminate them; by the end of ten thousand rounds, I had experienced and/or observed 69 malfunctions, although other shooters might have cleared other malfunctions and continued shooting without my knowledge. Many of the last malfunctions were failures to eject with the spent case coming to rest above the bolt carrier; this is one of the most difficult to clear malfunctions one might encounter with an AR, although once learned, the technique is rather simple.

Accuracy

Accuracy and precision testing on the day of the test was performed by BRC’s gunsmith using a 16x scope at 25 yards. With XM193, the initial ten shot group was roughly an inch and a quarter at 25; at the end of the day, he fired another ten shot group which was approximately five inches at 25. I surmised that accuracy would improve if the bore was not fouled with ten thousand rounds worth of copper.

Before shipping the cleaned test rifle to me, BRC fired a ten shot group using their 77gr BTHP (they call it 77gr FMJ) reloaded ammunition at 100 yards. I was not present for the firing of this group, which appears to be nearly identical in size to a group I fired with the same ammunition at 25 yards, and significantly smaller than the ten shot group I fired at 100 yards. I cannot account for the discrepancy.

On a related note, Chris told me about a Marine sniper who had a problem with his issued rifle. None of the Marine armorers could fix it, so he was given permission by his commanding officer to buy a commercial rifle. The Marine bought a BR4 and was allowed to deploy with it. Chris told me that the sniper made “twenty or thirty kills” with the rifle.

Summary

I could tell that the entire BRC crew was disheartened by the results as testing went on. They had done a lot of hard work to improve their products, they had made great strides, they had invited me out to see how much they had improved… Despite taking a giant slap to the face on the internet, they admitted that they needed to change direction.

As objective as I was trying to be, part of me wanted the test to be a success – for the people who had put so much effort into putting the test on, and for me, so that I could feel better about having written the initial articles. If I write some tough words and a company responds by making their product better then everybody wins – alas, it was not to be.

 

They have definitely improved their products and the processes by which they make those products, but they are not yet as good as they want to be, or as good as they should be. The day after the test, I sat down with Chris and gave him some suggestions on QA/QC procedures as well as specific changes to be made to the rifles. I know he wanted to do well, but good intentions and good processes don’t necessarily go hand in hand.

I will be following up on this article with more technical information, including photos of the barrel after it is sectioned longitudinally.

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To put this test in perspective, the last time I fired ten thousand rounds of Federal ammo through an AR-15, there were no malfunctions – not even one. The test rifles were off-the-shelf Bushmasters. True, that course of fire took place over multiple days, but once the rifle cools to ambient temperature (which takes less than half an hour), it does not know if the earth has rotated fully or not, and the BRC weapon was allowed to cool fully on multiple occasions. In my opinion, the tests are for the most part comparable. Even if they weren’t, by any objective standard, the Battle Rifle Company Midlength BR4 Spartan performed poorly.

UPDATE: Battle Rifle Company send us this response to Andrew’s article:

Statement from Battle Rifle Company

This was a great experience for us, and a chance to continue to learn and improve.

We thank Andrew for his observations and comments- we have also immediately responded to the suggestions and made even more improvements to our products and processes.

We had the opportunity to fire 10,000 rounds in a little over an 8 hour period. We had the opportunity to stress all the components of the rifle beyond where typical users would, and we took that knowledge and made changes in our materials used in manufacturing, in our suppliers and in our processes to make a better rifle. It is with great passion and determination that we produce the best products, and will work tirelessly to reach our goal. We want the consumer to know that we will stand behind every rifle we build.

Famous author Gary Ryan Blair once said, “Discipline is based on pride, on meticulous attention to details and on mutual respect and confidence. Discipline must be a habit so ingrained that it is stronger than the excitement of the goal or the fear of failure.”

We are a small company, competing in a huge AR market. Our roots in the military have taught us that discipline and attention to every detail is what will make us strong. This is the reason we reached out to Andrew and The Firearm Blog to do this 10,000 round test on an off-the-shelf rifle. To our knowledge, Battle Rifle Company one of the smallest AR manufacturers and Bushmaster, probably one of the largest AR manufacturers are the only two AR manufacturers to do such a test. We would like challenge others to follow suit.

We learned so much from Andrew’s testing, and we have already made needed adjustments. We have stepped up every effort on our internal team to insure the absolute best in quality control. We will not stop our testing and we will not stop improving our product, even if that means failing at times. We will never become the best unless every single possible problem is found, and some of these problems just couldn’t be found in 1,000 rounds.

Here are the actual adjustments we have made:

  • We have addressed the over gassing directly with the barrel manufacturer and have made corrections
  • Made corrections with the proper buffer and spring weights
  • Redesign of our flash hider with new materials and thicker sidewalls
  • The Charging handles were from a new batch which we returned to the manufacturer
  • Shared our knowledge of the test with all our suppliers

We are making unheard-of strides to deliver the best product we can to our customers. We are thankful to Andrew and The Firearms Blog for assisting us in these efforts. Discipline and dedication makes us stronger and makes our product better. We will settle for nothing less.

Respectfully,

Battle Rifle Company



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.


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  • Axel

    Great article, thank you for going over there and shooting the BRC rifle.

    The guys at BRC seem really sincere with what they’re doing, but why would they invite a journalist over to their range to do a test like this without themselves doing the test first? The construction errors discovered by Tuohy seem like they should be present in every rifle of the tested model.

    • big daddy

      Exactly, no R&D. These guys are clueless and should never have started a firearms business, they just do not have enough knowledge. I get the feeling even I know more than they do and that would scare me away from any gun company.

      • Dunning and Kruger proposed that, for a given skill, incompetent people will:

        tend to overestimate their own level of skill;
        fail to recognize genuine skill in others;
        fail to recognize the extremity of their inadequacy;
        recognize and acknowledge their own previous lack of skill, if they are exposed to training for that skill.

        • big daddy

          So true, I have to check that out. I have see way too much of that in my life having been a musician. Dunning and Kruger, I heard about that but did not know the names.

    • Andrew Tuohy

      Thanks.

      I think they thought that if they followed “the chart” (if you’re familiar with that thing from M4Carbine) that they would be okay. Unfortunately there are items not on The Chart that are critical to long term reliability and longevity.

  • albi

    Great article Andrew… just like always.

    • Andrew Tuohy

      Thanks.

  • plumber576

    I anticipate Taurus will be next to invite Tuohy to test ten thousand rounds out of each of their products.

    • albi

      I can’t wait for an article about shooting ten thousand rounds from a Taurus Judge…

      • Fred Johnson

        Sweet.

        Lol

    • Mr_Fastbucks

      Since he’s already killed Taurus’ AR product line, I think not.

      • Kivaari

        I can see why he did it. Taurus would be joining an over saturated market. There are too many AR builders out there already. From a sales point of view, I think Andrew gave good advice.
        One reason there are so many sales on ARs and AR parts is the flooded market.
        When I bought my last parts from Bravo Company they threw in a complete bolt carrier group and Mod 0 flash hider. That was like getting over $200 free.
        The parts were of higher quality than those I bought from DS Arms. MUCH higher quality.

  • Andrew

    “For it’s one, two, three strikes, you’re out…”

  • WFA

    Yes great article, I would love to see DD and other well marketed brands put through the same test regime.

  • A Marine

    “Chris told me about a Marine sniper who had a problem with his issued rifle. None of the Marine armorers could fix it, so he was given permission by his commanding officer to buy a commercial rifle. The Marine bought a BR4 and was allowed to deploy with it. Chris told me that the sniper made twenty or thirty kills’ with the rifle.”

    This paragraph is utter bullshit. Either they are being lied to, or you are.

    • FWIW

      And lets not forget that according to the original article on them, they initially justified their bizarre use of hand guards that didn’t fully cover the gas tube because “federal agents” wanted it that way because it “looked intimidating.” As you say, either they are extremely credulous or they make this sort of feedback up entirely, and either way its inexcusable.

      • Kivaari

        If you ever dealt with federal agents, some are not all there.

    • JumpIf NotZero

      I think thought from the wording of that was the implied meaning. Andrew isn’t a dummy, he knows it’s bs.

      That for the most part tells me everything I need to know about the company or at least it’s owner.

      • Andrew Tuohy

        I am sometimes a dummy, but not in this case. I thought the story’s inclusion would be enough to tell most readers what I thought of it.

    • Phil Hsueh

      Yeah, very unlikely a Marine sniper (or even US Army sniper for that matter) would have deployed with their own personal rifle and the made 20 – 30 kills with it. The only way that I could see this happening is (if) they were allowed to bring their own rile they would be using it as a spotter which, if the case, begs the question of what the hell was he doing making that many kills as the spotter unless his position was compromised somehow.

      • Anthony “stalker6recon”

        I am aware of operators in specops, using HK 416 uppers, that they bought themselves. This practice is rare, and only in small circles, but the performance and reliability of the gas-piston system, is far superior than that of the Colt issued M4’s/M16’s.

        The only modifications we were allowed to make, were personal purchases of ACOG’s, buttstocks, different forward grips, and remote switches for our PAQ-4’s. Beyond that, we were unable to change configurations, since much of our equipment was “sensitive”, and accounted for at issue and return to the armory.

        As much as I loved my Colt, I would have preferred the HK, fouling and malfunctions, are much better, with piston over gas systems. Why they have not made this change (and maybe they have, been 10 years since I was in the military) is beyond me.

      • Kivaari

        When my son-in-law deployed to Iraq, he wasn’t even allowed to bring a personal knife. I tried to give him the pilot survival knife I had in Vietnam. I guess that was to stop the kids (ok, young men) from bringing Rambo knives. But the knife I had was government issue.

    • n0truscotsman

      I’ve heard similar stories as that. I’ve also heard of a platoon of Rangers in Afghanistan that had 1911s and that is what turned the tide in many firefights (no seriously). I have heard the Marine Corps is bringing back the M14. Whatever. The M40 is a rather simple firearm and if Marine Corps armorers couldn’t fix it, then it was fucked from the get go (and specifically, what issues were there?)

      Im sick of it honestly. From the comments about federal agents wanting short rails exposing the gas tube to this.

      • Zachary marrs

        They actually do use the m14…

        • Tuohy isa douche

          And they use the M16 too.

          • usmcmailman

            They were JUNK !

          • Kivaari

            I simply feel the criticism of the M16A1 is unjustified. Except for rough handling, causing bent sight wings and broken stocks the M16A1s were very reliable. One reasons the M14s were withdrawn from service involved unreliability. Many failures were due to the wooden stocks warping. Quality control was absent.

        • usmcmailman

          Our snipers in 4th Marines used M-14’s all the time in Vietnam.
          1968 Northern I Corps.

      • Amys Fat Sig

        “1911’s turning the tide” in a gunfight on a real world battlefield. 🙂

        and the M14 has been back in service for quite a while…

      • The Brigadier

        Well let em have their exposed gas tubes. IF the SHTF and we do go to war with our government, they will be ones on the short side of the tube. Personally I now have a semi-match M1A, that’s a Sprigfield with a match grade barrel, a winter trigger assembly and flip sights. Its the best of both worlds – service rifles vs. match grade rifles. I fit it with a Leupold DAGR thousand yard scope and the rifle is dead accurate at that range. For close up I have high rings and use the flip iron sights for close up shots. This is a true battle rifle.

        My next big purchase is a Hornady Lock “N Load reloader so I can load my own match grade ammo. Shooting has become fun again.

        • Kivaari

          It is difficult to keep a 7.62mm NATO round stable after 900 m. Often the bullets start flying sideways. Key holes in the target is a good indicator of not having enough speed to keep them nose forward. Newer and better low-drag OTM bullets help to some degree.

    • Michael R. Zupcak

      lol – That paragraph made me smirk before I even finished reading it. What, does BRC have a separate entity making their .308 rifles or something?

      This is just an example of a bottom-of-the-barrel manufacturer trying to alleviate concerns so they can take more money from customers. Regardless of what you’re shopping for (rifle, laptop, golf clubs, etc.) so many of today’s manufacturers would rather spend money on over-advertising a crappy product instead of producing a quality product.

  • John

    Good to see that company still makes terrible rifles. I’m honestly surprised they’re still in business.

  • The fact that they are actively trying to improve their company and product – is admiral.
    Just wish Remington felt the same way. And Kel-Tec. And Taurus. And…

    • FWIW

      I agree, although saying “at least they’re trying harder than Remington” is faint praise indeed these days!

    • BuzzKillington

      I don’t believe that in the slightest. They’re continuing to fabricate stories to push their garbage, and they didn’t even test fire their rifles before bringing the author out. If they had, they wouldn’t be so stunned by disintegrating muzzle devices and broken CH’s. This company is ONLY trying to improve their sales, not their product. Their own arrogance allowed all of us to officially write them off for good; I can admire that. Had they been genuine in improving their bubba’d rifles, they would have ran tests like these on their own, fixed the issues, acquired spec’d charging handles, and redesigned their weak muzzle device. Instead, they made more fake claims and hoped the author and the rest of us wouldn’t notice. May f*** be upon them for their lack of integrity. They should give it one last shot, not fix a thing on their garbage AR’s, and change their marketing ploy to claim their rifles were used to take down UBL. I think it’ll work this time.

    • Kivaari

      I have seen enough cobblestone rough Remington M700s to convince me to never buy a new one. What ever happened to that once great company. Every thing is starting to look like junk.

  • aweds1

    Great article. These kinds of tests could be a great series for all kinds of firearms. Few people ever really stress their own guns.

  • big daddy

    My first impression is that these guys have no idea what they are doing. Instead of spending the money on things like cryogenic treatment of the barrel they should use better parts. Someone sold them a line and they bought it out of ignorance. It seems they care more about what looks cool and sounds cool over proper building. Some of the problems they have with their rifles are out of the ordinary. Charging handles breaking? I’m pretty sure the extra charges for the barrel treatment would have better been spent for BCM handles or at least standard mil-spec ones. How much more would it be for a 158 bolt? And no excuse for the dimensions of the gas port. The AR is by far the easiest rifle to put together. Just use premium parts and the average Joe can do it with basic tools for the AR and some mechanical knowledge. Maybe it takes a few to get it down and a lot of time on Youtube but many have put together good rifles themselves. Using mil-spec parts and using the correct part is in the equation though. They did correct the things that where wrong with the gun according to them. I ask if they had a clue as to what they are doing would they have made those mistakes? No, never. You check your items from suppliers, you check every part going into a rifle if you are a custom shop. You use the proper materials and parts from the jump. You test any part that is not a proven one in terms of R&D. We all know how long a standard properly made mil-spec part lasts, most will never shoot their rifles that much in a lifetime especially if they own more than one AR. Things like gas rings sooner rather than later. Why the frog lube? Again IMO cool factor over proven results. I have a few parts rifles that will outperform theirs and they are probably a lot cheaper. I chose known quality parts on them but did not break the bank. As soon as I hear stories about Marine snipers my BS radar turns on and starts bleeping. If they want to make a go of their business I would suggest they hire a few competent builders and stay out of the design part, just use proven high quality parts until they learn more about how to put an AR together. When using proprietary parts it is necessary to put in a lot of time and money into R&D, again cool factor and ego over quality. This looks like a case of the blind leading the blind here. I wish them luck but I just do not think they have what it takes to make this operation work.

  • Fred Johnson

    It seems that BCM is still learning the ins and outs of building ARs. They need to get it all ironed out then they’ll probably have to get a DBA name change since their brand is already tarnished. Will they survive the flood of ARs from all the other companies out there?

    • Tierlieb

      BRC. Not BCM. So much for the name change 😉

      • Fred Johnson

        That name change might not sit well. 😀

    • Cayton Jones

      Tierlieb said it first.

      • Fred Johnson

        Yes, typo!

    • Kivaari

      There are good deals to be had. Brownell’s has BCG on sale for $89.99. Bravo company is giving free BCGs with the purchase of any upper receiver barrel assembly. Those two sales sent me over the edge to finish a third carbine in the last month.

  • big daddy

    When I hear Frog Lube it reminds me of that stupid commercial I see on TV for Fraud protection. One guy keeps saying frog protection and the other fraud, they both agree they are saying the same word at the end.

    • JumpIf NotZero

      Fraud Lube is more accurate than a lot of kool-aid drinkers will tell you!! It’s actually OK Lube, but utterly blows in very to extreme cold. I’ll never use it again.

      Actually reminds me, I gave Tuohy the rest of my bottle as a super special gift.

      • big daddy

        Yes total BS, I’ll stick with CLP and keep my guns a little wet. Never had an issue with 8 ARs using CLP. So much hype in the gun business these days, too much like that ammo, G2 or rattlesnake or something like that. Total BS, that’s why I have certain people I follow like Tuohy who are not driven by acquiring money they are driven by integrity. There are a lot of legitimate testing done by some Youtubers.

        • wicked_bear

          Try hoppes #9, why you hate frogs so much? A real Texan loves frogs.

  • sianmink

    Proof that not just anyone can start machining and assembling receivers and make good rifles.
    It actually takes some work.

    • JumpIf NotZero

      Except that it doesn’t!

      You can build any style of AR15 with exceptionally little knowledge an come out golden. It’s extremely easy, which is why these articles are so stunning. No one should confuse that natural qualities of the platform for an assembler’s skill but that’s exactly what happens all the time. There are a lot of people doing true R&D on the platform, Colt, KAC, Noveske, LWRC, HK, DD, BCM/Vltor… And there are a lot of “assemblers” who copy (usually very adequately).

      So it’s a shock when someone can not just copy/using quality parts, determine a proper gas port (by just copying let alone actual highspeed video testing), and no have an excellent product (again, features of the design itself).

      Anyone should literally be able to start building AR platform rifles because the number of things you really need to know are very limited. I did some consulting for acompany you probably haven’t heard of, I felt like in two hours I had explained everything they would need to know, and they have been selling ARs with only minor issues since. That’s why these articles have an appeal imo.

      • big daddy

        Exactly what I said, even a bubba in his garage can put a better rifle together from parts he got from Brownells or Midway using DPMS/Bushmaster/CMMG parts.

      • Kivaari

        It is easy. I just assembled three mid-length carbines, while sitting on the couch. If I were serious about being in the business, I’d buy the nice tools.
        This company doesn’t build AR rifles, they simply assemble them.

  • me ohmy

    you don’t make a chicken pot pie from chicken s**t..
    I’ll never forget the ahole whol told me that when I requested machine work on my Honda..
    nevermind he pussed out, and ate a round, and his business went away..
    the basic premise is sound.. and he was wrong about Hondas.
    I’m not impressed, I have *never* seen a muzzle device blow up like that…
    exjection and port diameter..HMmm wonder why they are STANDARDISED NOW..
    not impressed and if BUSHIE beats them….eeesh

    • Kivaari

      A careless soldier with a newly bent M14 flash hider will make an impression when a round passes through it.

  • I’ve been waiting for this article for months! I feel exceptionally rewarded.

    • I’m also exceptionally pleased that this whole saga has not devolved into a pissing match. Brownie points all round!

  • Leonard

    I’m torn, as I’d like to see a small company make it in an over flooded market, BUT GOD DAMN you really need to understand the basics of AR operation and metallurgy before even attempting to build a start up company! I hope they hire some knowledgeable people in the industry to fix their problems, or at least hire a certified QC guy.
    And that part about the sniper who somehow miraculously got permission to get his own rifle from them, yeah okay. I don’t know if you know anything about Marines, or the BS we go through, but I seriously doubt this ever happened since we have a hard enough time justifying our own personal web gear. Pro Tip: using non-standard weapons from the armory is un-allowed from a battalion or division level, no CO could get through that red tape for just one rifle.

    • big daddy

      Most military would hopefully know that. That’s why my BS radar went off right away. Maybe I can see an upper being used in an emergency. But with the Marines as far as I know, nope. If it is true it would be an upper from a NG unit, I don’t think they have snipers, maybe a marksman and not in the early stages of the wars. I don’t think most people really know what a sniper is. So that comment is total BS and unprofessional at the least.

      • Joshua

        Actually most standard line guys would have no clue what the gas port on their M4 was if you asked.

        It’s .062″ btw.

        • Anthony “stalker6recon”

          I didn’t know that (former Cavalry Scout), and as others have pointed out, it is very doubtful that a personally owned weapon, would be cleared by command.

          As I commented earlier, I do know of some guys buying HK416 uppers, but they were not infantry, or other regular units. We were given very little latitude in changing our configuration (butt stocks, forward “gangster” grips, ACOG’s) as long as our issue remained intact.

          My issue was an M4 carbine 14.5in, with M68 and PAQ-4. No choice to change that configuration, and if I tried, my command would have chewed me up, and spit me out, after a few hours in the pit, doing low crawls and mike tysons until I puked.

        • Kivaari

          Port size depends on barrel length. A manufacturer should know what size is needed.

  • Lee

    These guys area a complete joke. The worst of the worst. They don’t even deserve credit for trying to “improve” their product. I live in Houston and I see gun stores trying to sell these
    things and they are all $1700 and up. Their .308 rifles are over $2200. If they had PSA prices I’d tell them to try harder. Since they charge Larue prices, Id tell them to fuck themselves.

    • big daddy

      Like I said I can build a better rifle myself using PSA parts, guess what I did. They have CHF chrome lined M249 type barrels, m16 BCG 158 bolts. Many parts from companies like Vltor, BCM, DD, Battle Arms, Noveske and other top companies and they came in MUCH less money. What a bout $250 for the receivers, $10+ for the BCG, $280 fr the barrel some less. The other parts are cheap like Magpul stuff and Troy rails. PSA upper without BCG are like $300 or so with those barrels, BCM a little more. I have 7 ARs like that including a 9mm 7 .300 AAC and 1 DDM4V5. I live in central Texas near Ft. Hood.

      • Lee

        You can literally go on PSA and get a complete lower w/ magpul str furniture and a complete upper ready to go for around $550. Then just buy an aftermarket rail and have a smith throw it on if you are not qualified yourself. Done. Now spend that extra $1200 on optics, an inforce light, a bad ass bag, 10 magazines, a 420rn box of ammo…

        • Mike N.

          One small technicality, I think if you buy both the upper and lower in a single transaction you have to pay the 11% excise tax on a complete rifle.

          • Kivaari

            Are we taxed if we buy a stripped receiver? I bought three last month for $45 each. I see Brownell’s has them for $49.99. That’s a good price. I could still get them at $45 but I have a temptation to complete them. It costs me another $550 to put all the other parts on.
            NOW is the time to buy. Great deals at Brownel’s, DSA and Bravo Company. I used Magpul furniture on five rifles. I love it.

        • n0truscotsman

          Yes. PSA premium uppers are solid, no doubt about that.

          Im glad more people are realizing how good they are.

  • Zachary marrs

    It’s a shame they are local, and they suck so much

    • big daddy

      They sound like New Yorkers not Texans. They are probably not born in Texas, neither am I. I have adopted many of the things that make Texas what it is for me.

      • wicked_bear

        If you’re not born a Texan, then you’re a Yankee. One doesn’t become Texan through osmosis either.

        • big daddy

          The only real Texans are Indians and Mexicans, ALL TEXANS are Yankees, even the Bush’s are Yankees. Even Ted Cruz is a Canadian. Dumbass people making dumbass comments.

      • Michael R. Zupcak

        What does a New Yorker sound like, exactly?

        • Grindstone50k

          Like a less-douchey Texan.

  • powerwiz

    His story on the Marine bringing his civilian rifle to him when his failed. Was a Marine for 13 years and I highly highly highly and I say again highly doubt that is true. I have heard of, know of no case, nor would it ever be approved to do that.

    The Marine Corp has access to ample weapons I can assure you. They even do not allow you to bring your own magazines. The scope you will use is the one that is approved and issued. I know of no exception to this.

    Judging from the massive end game failures of that rifle I would not even want one of there products for free. If I won it I would not even give the thing away.

    • guyslack

      He put that in the article so you understood the kind of ‘salesman’ attitude the owner had… I’d like to think that everyone that reads Vurwaapen understands his attitude and why he doesn’t have to flesh out every statement he makes… The amount of people posting comments on this concerns me.

      • To be fair: If I came in blind to a Vuurwapen article not having read most of Andrew’s stuff, some of it could seem kind of odd.

        • big daddy

          Yup total honesty is really odd these days and I’m not being sarcastic, I mean it. You don’t have to like the guy but he is someone I respect for his honesty and integrity. He is an acquired taste. Some people hate Chris Costa for instance….why??? I just don’t know, he seems like a pretty cool guy who just wants to make a good living off what he does and loves, like Tuohy. I sure wish I could have.

    • usmcmailman

      Semper-Fi Brother !

  • big daddy

    Those gas ports are way oversized.
    Colt’s gas port sizes are:
    * 10.5″ – .093
    * 11.5″ – .081
    * 14.5″ – .063
    * 16″ – .063

  • Thomas Gomez

    .082 sized gas port on a Carbine? Wow….way to big. Seriously if you want to start a company making Ar-15’s….go to Walmart, grab a few Colt 6920’s and just copy those…everyone else in the industry has. Colt spent millions of dollars in R&D to work out the technical specifications for the M4. Get a copy of Black Rifle II and use that to glean technical data…there is a chapter that even talks about gas ports for the M16, M4 and “Shorty” platforms… Why companies like BRC can’t get it right boggles the mind…You have to be an absolute amateur to think that a .082 gas port is a good idea on Carbine.

  • ChuckyTee

    Went on FaceBook and asked them about that Marine sniper…. Crickets…..

  • NFA STAMP COLLECTOR

    Why is everyone being so mean? They have created a rifle that you can practice your malfunction drills on, with out having to induce them your self. That is a niche market.

    • Yellow Devil

      Oh, excuse our ignorance, please.

    • FourString

      Lol

    • Jeremy Giles

      LOL! I was actually considering that option while reading the article.

    • Kivaari

      What are NFA stamps worth, when no gun comes with them? I have 7, and no longer have the guns.

  • RickH

    After reading this article, plus the previous ones, this has to be the top company for bottom feeding AR’s. Thanks for telling it like it is.

  • Stephen

    So the Marine sniper got a BRC and got “twenty or thirty kills” with the rifle.

    I guess he used the BRC as a club and beat them to death.

    Gee does anyone else smell that… its BS! As for trying to say they are THE smallest AR manufacturer I have to call BS on that too. A local guy builds ARs and he is a one man show, his rigs work great and none of the spin about ‘we made improvements…’. Improvements over what? From being an expensive club to a partially working firearm?

    Seriously?

    I thank the author for highlighting this company and showing people this company is a scam. I mean how much BS can you fit on a webpage? Apparently a lot, especially if you say things like “unnamed federal agents wanting to use it (rifle with exposed gas tube) because it “looked intimidating”. I guess they are hoping to baffle people with BS.

    Since the market is flooding with tons of AR manufacturers, I suggest sticking with major companies that have proven products.

    Thanks again for posting.

    • Kivaari

      So true. I am finishing another one, with most of the ASSEMBLY, being done in my lap. It is not a big effort to put CMMG lower parts kits into Bushmaster lowers. If I were still in business I’d get more specialized tools as it does make assembly easier. These guys sure don’t build rifles, they assemble them.

  • n0truscotsman

    “Eventually I asked what the gas port diameter was, and BRC’s gunsmith told me it was .082 ”

    Why. The. Fuck???

    Leave the gas port alone!

    • cultcirca

      Bro, making the gas port bigger means more gas flow. It allows you to use more tactically tactical ammo. Duh.

      Tactical…

    • cawpin

      “when they cheap out on the parts that matter, such as charging handles?”

      To be fair, it was stated that the handles were out of spec and we don’t know the supplier. Even BCM had an issue with their handles awhile back.

      Of course, it doesn’t excuse the other dozen mistakes they made.

  • Slovko

    Great article as always. Thanks!

  • Michael R. Zupcak

    Can someone link me to the video or article where the guy says something like “The gas tube is exposed because the Feds said the longer handguard looked too intimidating” or something to that effect? I could use another belly laugh after reading this article. Thanks!

  • ColaBox

    Ouch… that Disintegrator hurt to look at. I didn’t even think a muzzle could break like that.

  • Don

    To use the term “QA/QC” shows you know little to nothing about either. QA and QC are very different aspects of a company’s quality program. The terms are not interchangeable. I suggest you educate yourself before loosely using such terms. A company can have a very rigorous QC program but not have a QA program in place. Conversely, a QA program includes QC.

    • gbailey814

      Excellent point!

    • Andrew Tuohy

      I’m not quite sure how you were able to determine my level of knowledge regarding QA and QC by the use of a slash. I was not suggesting that the two were identical. I was simply condensing what was already a very long article.

    • Kivaari

      Use TQM protocols, and you get QA and QC.

  • gbailey814

    The guys with military experience have already covered the ridiculousness of a Marine deploying with a civilian rifle and getting kills with it-thanks for saving me the time…from the first article that came out from SHOT to now, I have been nothing but disgusted in this company. It’s not because the rifles are poorly assembled or fail during normal use-it’s because the owner uses his military experience (which i am now doubting due to all the other lies) to pose as a weapons expert. As a supposed fellow Army Officer, he is an embarassment to the Officer Corps. He apparently missed the entire part of the OER dealing with Army values, particularly Honor and Integrity. Making up stories of “three letter agencies” as declared by one of the employees during a youtube interview makes me sick and he isn’t fooling anyone who has spent more than 6 months in the service.

    • Kivaari

      Most of the people I met in the Army and Navy knew almost nothing about firearms.

  • gbailey814

    Does anyone have the original youtube video that showed the exposed gas tube? I saw it before but it has been taken down.

  • Nicks87

    SPECIAL REPORT: NO-NAME AR MANUFACTURER BUILDS CRAP RIFLES! …In other news, water is wet and fire is hot.

    • Nicks87

      By the way, BRC just cut corners again by getting Andrew to do some free QC instead of doing it themselves like a legitimate small arms manufacturer.

      • Have to disagree with you here Nick. Andrew has a good working knowledge of AR’s, this is part of the reason he was invited down. BRC does not build crap rifles. They have hundreds of satisfied customers. These errors were unfortunate, but are now corrected. There aren’t many AR companies that do this type of testing to our knowledge.

        • Kivaari

          Except, the original products were tested. Armalite and Colt had growing problems. But, they understood the testing requirements. When some units were sent AR15 rifles to test in artic conditions, the soldiers reported issues. The slow twist was wrong, in sub-freezing air. It meant going from 1:14 to 1:12. When looking at theM16E2, the heavier bullet needed 1:9, but tracer loads needed 1:7. No one today

          • Kivaari we are actually in the process of repeating this 10,000 round test on Dec 13th in TX. We are inviting another writer down to cover it and it will be documented with video. BRC feels they are made great improvements to their products since this test. Hopefully, we can successfully run the 10,000 rounds with zero failures. Fingers crossed. You seem like a guy who knows the market pretty well and I’m sure can contest that 10,000 rounds in 8 hours is not an easy task for any weapon. Or shoulder 🙂

          • Kivaari

            Considering most rifles are worn out in 5-6000 rounds, going 10,000 is a serious challenge to any rifle. If nothing else happens, the bore will be worn out.
            I would expect some type of failure in 10,000 rounds. Most gunsmith work is cleaning the weapon after a reasonable number of rounds down range. Except for intense combat engagements, the rifle should get cleaned once it goes over 100 rounds. That isn’t much, but if a person wants the rifle to keep going over the long haul, it should be done. I’ve gone 500 plus in the AR, AK and MP

  • Aurek Besh

    Ooh, so that’s what a muzzle break is! I keep seeing that term used all over, but haven’t seen one until now!

  • Mr_Fastbucks

    Andrew is the AR killer. His test should be standard for all AR manufacturers.

    • We are thankful for the test. I know BRC will make the needed improvements and come out the other end a better company.

  • mig1nc

    FWIW I have had a charging handle break just like that. Doing malfunction clearing drills. It was just a cheapo I purchased from an LGS just to finish the build. I’ll never do that again. Also, I have had good luck with Froglube in the south eastern United States. I would probably not use it if I lived up north based on what I’ve been reading lately on the internet. The internet is always right.

  • Tierlieb

    BRC seems like an example of better learning to walk before trying to run.

    Walking should include reading basic books on assembling ARs. Or at least read some forums. Gas port sizes and matching buffer, buffer spring and buffer tube are the two important issues that come up every time someone is trouble-shooting a buggy AR.

    Running would be things like cryo-treatment. Without going into the details of when and how much one can convert austenite remaining after annealing to martensite, let this be said: If you are cryo-treating barrels you bought from a supplier who handled the heat-treatment, you should have both a good idea what you are trying to accomplish and a good testing process to verify it is actually worth the money. I’d say, the probability of this happening is as big as a Marine sniper being allowed to bring their own weapon and that being a BRC BR4.

    Personally, I do not mind companies making mistakes, making them public and then owning up to them. But these basic mistakes just make them seem sloppy.

    But as always: Thanks, Andrew, as usual an interesting article and a very professional way to point out your skepticism.

  • Arturo Nieves

    Hi, I have a BR4 Trooprt from BRC. Before I had a Bushmaster and S&W MP 15 sport. Never had any problems with my BR4 Trooper. So any suggestions other than throwing away.

  • Jing

    I have a startup myself and I am just starting to learn sales pitches, but what I learned from this article, along with the previous one concerning BRC, is that be careful of what you say and what you claim you can do. These pitches are not sales pitches on my book, rather, it is almost a mock to the customer and the whole industry.

    • Jing

      I am also curious if they enlarge the gas port diameter on the gas block or not. If they didn’t, then enlarging the gas port on barrel would not be a big deal at the very beginning, but after several hundred round, the gas port hole on gas block can be eroded and enlarged by the hot gas. That might explain why after several thousand rounds, the stove pipe jumped up.

      • This was actually an error on the manufacturers side. It was shipped out to BRC this way, along with many other AR manufacturers. BRC has since begun checking every part that comes in to better control the quality and insure the specs before the firearm is built. Not passing blame on the manufacturer here, it is BRC responsibility to check these items, and a lesson well learned.

  • BuzzKillington

    The comment about the Marine Sniper has told me all I need to know about this company. Either they are extremely ignorant, or they are extremely dishonest. Either way, that never happened. If they bought that story, it’s probably why their stuff falls apart. If they’re lying to you…..it’s also probably why their stuff falls apart (clearly they never tested any of their “improvements” before dragging you out there). Do they really believe, or expect someone else to believe that the Marines would not have another rifle to issue to a Marine with a broken weapon? I can understand not knowing how the military works, and not knowing that there’s absolutely no way in hell that he would have ever received approval to carry his own personal rifle. But even for a gun mfg, they understand the dynamics of an FFL and ITAR. They just UPS’d some Marine an AR to the front gate of his base in AFG? Sure, guy. You should be insulted that they even tried to feed you that BS. And the alternative, he was still in predeployment and had not left yet. Again, they really expect you to believe the US Military doesn’t have enough rifles to replace those that are busted? Then what, he just added his personal rifle’s SN to the roster and had the USMC create an NSN# to add to the database, so the Armory can maintain, store and ship it for him?

    Yea, one story like that out of the mouth of an actual manufacturer is all I need to hear to make a lifetime decision about their products. It’s one thing for some thumb sucking neckbeard to spout off at the gun counter to get attention, and a whole other coming from a business that wants to be taken seriously.

    You should just tell them to cut their losses and seek a different endeavor. The AR market is FAR TOO saturated for a company that can’t even acquisition spec’d parts or designs that don’t fall apart, to hope to survive.

  • TIER 1

    There’s no doubt this company has questionable products, and clearly a skewed perspective on the basics of an AR. It’s important for a company to have its products reviewed and that information shared with potential buyers. A bigger issue for me is the author of this article, recently I saw a video of him taking responsibility for keeping Taurus from marketing an AR-15, Touhy apparently has appointed himself AR supremo liason of the AR community and with the power of the pen and a Internet poll he was able to squash the corporate decision of Taurus from bringing a Taurus roll marked AR to the public. And now this follow up story of what is obviously an ill guided subpar AR. You running out of things to write about Tuohy? Pretentious much, Touhy? Why not review a product and move on, let the market decide if the product/company can survive. A follow up article for BRC, even if it was paid expenses and 10k of provided ammo, makes you look like the Quality Control bully of bloggers.

    • Andrew Tuohy

      You know, when you post multiple comments from the same computer under different names, your IP address doesn’t change, Scott/”tuohyisadouche.”

      Yes, I am pretentious, yes, I am stuck up, and yes, there are reasons for that.

      Oh, and I took part in this test at the request of BRC and TFB.

      • smartguytuohy

        You forgot wicked_bear, smart guy.

      • tier 1

        In my 50yrs on this planet and having my share of life experiences I can’t imagine what reasons a person would have that would justify admitting being pretentious and stuck up, you seem proud of it. It serves no purpose, actually it questions any creditability you may have and in the future I will avoid anything that has your name on it. FYI the gun community is way bigger than you, the actual review is what’s important NOT the pretentious stuck up behavior of the reviewer.

        • bigz

          If it’s the actual review that’s important, why are you focusing on your issues with the author? If you dispute his findings, say so.

          • tier 1

            The review is important, the premise of this review included elements of the author’s first article about this Company, and considering the authors admission of being “stuck up and pretentious” and having reasons for being this way, is more of a “tuohy was right all along”, instead of a unbiased review. And from seeing videos and reading other articles from this author, it’s surprising video is able to capture his massive ego. I get it, he’s a know-it-all, he admits it and gloats about it, my point is his previous article about BRC was followed up by this review, and it was more of the author portraying himself as a bully. I’m not disputing what he said about the rifle, this company clearly has issues, but this article and the video tuohy did about Taurus axing the idea of building an AR-15 because of “him” sure supports his stuck up pretentious ways, and it distracts from any review.

          • bigz

            I don’t know anything about the Taurus video you’re referring to. But the review above seemed pretty reasonable, data-based enough to sink teeth into. And didn’t come across as bullying to me, but then I have no bias against the author in regard to how he runs these reviews.

          • tier 1

            How I Accidentally Killed The Taurus AR15: http://youtu.be/hRgtSIybIzU

            Thank God the gun community has this guy as the self appointed market researcher.

          • You have a problem with Andrew’s sense of humor?

          • tier 1

            There’s sense of humor then there’s stuck up pretentious wannabe egotistical know-it-all douche that somehow thinks his asinine attitude is justified buy beating this company’s questionable products into oblivion. This follow up article is ridiculous, tuohy already exposed the issues with BRC, let the market decide if they survive. Just like the Taurus video, I’m no fan and own no Taurus products, but they apparently sell a lot of guns, is this quality journalism? Beating on subpar products and companies with bad reputations? Write stories about guns that writers should know readers are not going to buy, and even follow up stories, by a confessed pretentious yeager wannabe? I’m done with this site.

          • pigsnguns

            bye felisha

          • Nicks87

            I dispute his credentials, his findings were obvious, before the test, to pretty much everyone in the firearms community.

        • “Rolling with it”.

        • Andrew Tuohy

          I’m really sad that you won’t be commenting on my work any more.

      • Nicks87

        So you admit to being stuck up and pretentious but you make fun of people like James Yeager and his ilk? Not to mention you claim to teach “carbine courses”. Hypocrite much?

        • Pretty sure he does teach carbine courses. You can sign up for them and everything.

          • Nicks87

            I never said that he didnt but apparently Andrew thinks he is somehow superior to the rest of the Youtube commandos that teach “carbine courses”. Being a firearms instructor myself, Ive never taught “carbine courses” however I have taught many weapon specific courses. So many in fact, that I can put “firearms instructor” on my resume if I ever decide to apply for a job at another police dept. I find it insulting when pretentious egomaniacs, who have private access to a range and a digital camera, call themselves firearms instructors. It gives people who do it for a living a bad name and cheapens our profession.

          • Andrew Tuohy

            I’d like to point out that Nicks87 used to post positive comments on my blog until we had a disagreement over what he thought was an anti-gun argument. Now he posts negative comments on everything I write on TFB and attacks me personally every chance he gets.

            The pool of people who hate me is small, but passionate.

          • Kivaari

            There are real special carbine classes to be had. Just like there are submachine gun classes and tactical sniper schools. I’ve taught individual classes geared for specific firearms. It isn’t unusual.

      • Bert Reynolds

        “Yes, I am pretentious, yes, I am stuck up, and yes, there are reasons for that.”

        Why would anyone admit to basically being a douchebag? Andrew I’m sure you love yourself and you likely sleep at night like a rock, but really now. Narcissistic Personality Disorder. Ever hear of it?

        Takes all kinds I guess.

        • Andrew Tuohy

          There’s no reasoning with someone like him. Sometimes you just have to give them what they want and back away slowly.

          • big daddy

            You can’t win even when you agree with someone you’re wrong. Some people get it and some don’t.

    • Kivaari

      I found his article to be a good thing for potential customers to see. I had “gunsmiths” that did blacksmithing and called their product those of a “master gunsmith”. In 45 years I have only met a couple real gunsmiths.

      • skyfox

        One would think a “battle” rifle would be using 7.62/308 rounds and perhaps a .50 for long range damage to harder targets. My dad told me the .223 was too quick and fragile and would shatter on a twig or sapling, not hitting the target while, a big slower round punches its way through.
        I have read the .223AR’s(were they Colt?) that first saw action in Vietnam went through all sorts of teething problems to the point where the army would send armorers into the field to teach good cleaning and maintenance habits to the units, and even sent over batches of improved parts for swapping to cope with field use.I would say the army were working really hard and fast with the supplier to sort it out.
        My dad said some soldiers would “lose” their gun when they got hold of an AK ’cause it didn’t jam in the mud.
        I like the sound of this company BRC. It appears from what Blue August has said, they have,and will keep addressing issues that arise.
        Every developing product has teething problems,just ask Roll Royce.
        I find it hard to fathom that the hole sizes were so off,because you would have thought there is fifty odd years worth of development and testing of the product to use as reference.
        You would expect a flash suppressor on a rifle to last the life of a rifle.
        Faulty parts are a bastard, but they should be checked prior to use.
        Any product made should be made with the highest quality components regardless of cost. A rifle is like an aeroplane engine, you put your arse on the line with it.
        To the fellow who gifted AR’s. I don’t think giving semi autos to teenagers is a good idea. Give them a single shot .22 and two bullets for the whole day. That will teach them accuracy, not how to spray.They could come home with a rabbit.
        Any gun companies that want to send me their products and ammunition for the 10,000 round test fire please feel free, but you have to have a holiday in Tasmania.
        Thats my two bobs worth.
        (two bob is a quarter in your lingo)

        • Kivaari

          Our recent history has, in my opinion, changed what makes a battle rifle a battle rifle. In the not too distant past a battle rifle fired “full sized” ammo. 7.9×57, 7.62×63, 7.62×51 etc. It made the intermediate rifles and carbines using lesser loads. 5.56mm NATO, 5.45x39mm. .30 Carbine all with select fire ability. Then SMGs limited to handgun calibers.
          I think we have moved away from that, at least in most discussions. Now with most nations using select fire intermediate caliber rifles and carbines, we need to accept that the new “battle rifles” are these small bore weapons.

          • Skyfox

            Thanks Kivaari. Points taken and I’m glad the “kids” were adults.I know bugger all about these guns but stumbled across the thread and couldn’t help but comment. Our government outlawed semi auto firearms fifteen odd years ago so my hands on experience is nil. I would love to shoot some of the mentioned rifles rifles at three hundred yards rapid fire to see what sort of groups occur.
            I still think a heavier slower bullet will get through a 6 inch sapling with more residual energy and mass than a high velocity round regardless of deflection. Cheers.

          • Kivaari

            My sons grew up around guns. We were putting on a display our MP5A2 SMGs (9x19mm) for the city fathers. My boys were around 10-11 years of age. They shot the sub-guns, in a professional manner. It was good to see them having better control and range safety than the councilmen and city manager.
            It takes discipline and good training. Now one son is dead, but my daughter and her husband took the M4. He’s a veteran of Iraq.

        • Kivaari

          Skyfox, It was me that gifted the guns to the kids. This took place last week, and the “kids” are 31 and 32. Now my kids did get ARs and SKS carbines when they were pre-teens. They had grown up with guns, and had single shot .22 rifles. They were not just turned loose with guns, they were supervised.
          BRC failed the customers, by not learning how the rifles needed to be assembled. Since the AR (Armalite Rifle) is over 50 years old, just about anything that can go wrong, has gone wrong. The early failures were analyzed and corrected. Much of the “faults” were caused not by the design, but due to ignorant testers. The artic testing found that “armorers” had disassembled the rifles, even removing the front sight tower and replacing the fitted and tapered pins, using common nails (carpenter nails).
          The Icord hearings found that failure to provide cleaning gear and adequate instructions in using the rifles. The unit in Vietnam that had many issues with the rifle, also failed to maintain the other equipment, like trucks. Sloppy commanders failed to keep order in the unit. The switch from IMR powders to W-W ball powder was a change the Army insisted on. Unfortunately the M16 was designed around IMR powders. At Colt and H&R the rifles left the factory in fine order, built to the standards. The Army ignored Colt. The ball powder chosen had too much calcium carbonate and ran at a higher port pressure than specified in the contract.
          Failure to chrome line the bore and chamber was another Army failure.
          The M16A1 is a fine rifle. The bullets (M193-55gr.) failing in brush is actually common in all calibers. I tested many calibers in brush, and I don’t care how big it is, the bullets will be deflected.
          Even armor piercing cores are deflected. Anything shot through brush will be deflected. It is basic physics.

    • Kivaari

      It was probably a good thing to suggest Taurus NOT bring another AR to market, when the market is flooded with them. Investing in building ARs, is like bringing coal to New Castle or West Virginia.

    • We are Battle Rifle Company’s PR firm. We are thankful to Andrew for coming out and doing the test. It was a let down for all of us that the gun had some issues due to the gas port problem. However, we are thankful to find these issues and continue to make steps to be a better company. I think anyone who pays Battle Rifle Company a visit will agree that they are passionate about what they do, and they will do all they can to continue to get better. I think this is something all manufacturers should do.

      • big daddy

        Why does a small company need a PR firm? How about you’re someone with a PC they asked to make rebuttals to online comments. This company screams of bullshit and posturing. You want some good advice to give them? Get some real quality gunsmiths and ex-military with armorer’s experience and start building quality rifles on 3 tiers of price. Lower level guns, totally as close to mil-spec as possible with cheaper stock, handguards and grip but quality parts inside and receivers, cheap A2 flash hiders, things like that. People change out those parts quickly so why waste money on them, pass the savings onto the customer as Daniel Defense used to do. Tier 2 Some better features but with some thing like Magpul MOE stuff on it or BCM gunfighter stuff or a mix, maybe better flip up sights. Tier 3 would be billet receivers and nickel boron BCGs, better sights, top quality rails and so on. Now is that so hard to do?

        • Good thoughts Big Daddy. If you check out the website, you will see BRC does offer various Tiers of products. Very similar to other AR manufacturers in the industry. Several of the products you mentioned are being used on BRC rifles already. And, to answer your question as to why a small company needs a PR firm…well, several answers to that. Mostly it is to help them handle media and to help them accurately communicate information to the public without loosing our cool, cursing, calling names, etc. We try to represent them as professionally as we can, even when people seem to not be so professional in return.

  • PSU

    Along with all the other terrible problems, how in the shit does a flash hider fail at 1200 rounds? The flash hider that they put on every rifle they manufacture fails after only that much use? Do they even shoot their own guns?

    Honestly, you can tell these guys are complete liars. After all the negative attention they keep spouting bullshit about snipers and federal agent customers. They only improved between this article and the last because they set up the test and rifles. I don’t feel bad saying that they should stop selling ARs, we don’t need another company like this.

    I mad.

    • Andrew Tuohy

      The flash hider was too thin at critical points and cracked due to extreme heating/cooling cycles. Would it happen in one day at a carbine course…probably not. Would cracks appear over a year of intense shooting…I am almost certain.

      • PSU

        Yea but you would think these guys would have seen this problem before and corrected it. They’ve had these flash hiders on all their rifles for over a year. I just don’t see how they couldn’t know there is a problem with the design, assuming they take care to test and examine their rifles every once in a while. Maybe I just answered my own question.

        • Maybe their customer pool mostly just buys the rifles, but spends more time trying on MOLLE plate carriers (without plates) than they do actually shooting their rifles? Meanwhile, any rare failures (because someone does shoot the crap out of the rifle) can be fixed under warranty service.

          The company might not even be AWARE that people aren’t using their products much — how many keyboard commandos brag about the thousands of rounds a year they fire, and you know their range time is mostly limited to a couple hundred rounds blasted away at 50 feet? They might honestly think these failures are rare, because they think most of their customers really are shooting a couple of cases a year, and they get hardly any returns.

          Meanwhile, their customers are really buying Wolf in 500 round boxes and going through less than that each year.

    • Battle Rifle Company has since re-worked the flash suppressor and is now building it out of stainless steal to avoid this problem again.

  • I hope they are honestly trying to get better. The cynic in me says they are bullshit artists, who know that the people who have read these articles are only a fraction of the available market.

    • I assure you, battle rifle company is truly passionate about what they do. They are young, yes, they are new, yes, but they are doing everything in their power to build the best rifle. These test only allow them to get better.

      • big daddy

        @Blue August…..OMG a shill…..like Hickok45 on youtube. Are you an owner or work their or did they pay you.

        • Big Daddy, why are you so harsh?? I know the guys are BRC very well, and I also know Hickok45 as well. Both are people that I respect greatly. We are Battle Rifle Company’s PR firm. We were there for the 10,000 round test and even helped pull triggers. I don’t understand why you seem to be so hard on a company who is trying to get better. I won’t get into an arguing match with you, its totally your prerogative to like or dislike whatever company you want. Its important for us to let the public know that BRC has made changes and improvements based off this testing. We are grateful to Andrew for his knowledge and his time in assisting us to finding these issues and helping BRC make a better rifle. As a matter of fact, the rifle Hickok45 got was post 10,000 round test. So you can see the improvements that were made. If you are close to the shop, we’d invite you over as well for a personal tour. We’d love for you to see for yourself. I think you’d be impressed.

  • RoCr

    Perhaps “never endurance test a rifle you don’t know will hold up in front of a journalist” should be added to the list alongside “never ask a question you don’t know the answer to”.

  • Rick5555

    First of all I would like to Thank Andrew, for doing such comprehensive article. There’s a reason I stay away from the smaller companies when it comes to certain firearms…i.e. the AR/AK systems. Seems, everyone wants to cash in, in a hot market. When the AR spending spree begins to dwindle down. Which is has started to do circa Summer 2014. You will see a lot of these small AR manufactures dry up or go bankrupt. Since, they have no other items in their product line. Sort of stupid to have your business rely solely on one kind of firearm and their subsequent accessories.
    As soon as, I read about the Marine, I knew that was BS. I would be wary of an owner who makes stuff like that on such a whim. Sure a consumer might pay a little more for a product like an AR from a Big Name Manufacture. However, you’ll have some peace of mind. Knowing you’re getting a good product. I have several AR’s. Some high end one’s like a BCM and Daniel Defense. And then some mid level AR’s. From Smith and Wesson, Windham. My S&W, is just as accurate and well made as some of the high end AR’s. It’s a good solid AR. My point is, a company like Smith, isn’t going to bet their reputation by being cheap and trying to pull one over on their customers. Companies like S&W, FN, you at least know they put the time and proper materials into the gun. To ensure, the product is well made. And that’s why I prefer to go with a Big Name Company.
    As well as, the factory warranty. A lifetime warrant is utterly useless, if the company is no longer around. Or subsequently bought out from another company. Who’s unwilling to honor the warranty. At least, I know FN, S&W, Colt, et. al., will be around in 10 years. To honor their warranty. Just some things to take in to consideration. When you’re in the market for any gun. Due diligence, and plenty of research should be conducted before you make a purchase on a firearm that interest you. Too many people will buy a firearm, based on the word of some You Tube Reviewer. Ask yourself, what makes them such an expert. Remember, those reviewers get T&E guns. If the reviewer is too honest. And the word gets out. Gun manufactures might not be so inclined to provide that reviewer with a T&E gun. So I repeat myself, Do Your Own Research.

  • Rick5555

    If the armor couldn’t fix the Marines rifle. The Marines would’ve simply issued him a new rifle. Besides, the military has strict policies when it comes to their firearms. Everything must go thru the proving grounds.
    Sharpes Rifle Company, is putting out this new and purported improved BCG. The company said they gave their BCG’s to “Operator’s” who used them while over-seas. I knew that was BS. The military allows some leeway with things like mags, stocks. But not with the Internals of the weapon. And any “operator” would never test something like a BCG. When their lives are on the line. Imagine the BCG fails, breaks while in an intense fire fight. Like I said, these manufactures will apply any sort of marketing strategy to gain a buck. Unfortunately, plenty of people fall for this sort of thing.

    • mike

      My buddy had a Nickle boron bcg in his rifle when he got shot (hes fine). We couldnt bring our own rifles but shit like that was fine (or at least ignored).

      • Kivaari

        I WAS considering getting a nice plated BCG, until I saw them in person. The first thing to come to mind was someone over polished (de-horned) the sharp edges then plated it. The work was crude, and the price was well over $200.

  • 277Volt

    I give BRC credit for seeking advice from Andrew on how to improve their product rather than taking the route other companies do by suing someone for besmirching a crappy product they have no intention of improving. Travel, room, board and 10k rounds isn’t exactly pocket change.

    • It was a hard test, but the company learned a lot from it. Corrections to the issues have been made, and the corrected rifle has been sent to Andrew for further testing. Looking forward to seeing his new results.

  • tank soldier

    You’d like to see a small business succeed, but the Marine story is BS and calls the integrity of everything they do into question. Nobody, NOBODY, deploys into theater with a personally owned weapon anymore. If armorers couldn’t fix one M40 the Corps has a few others available. One wonders if BRC even use the parts, processes, manufacturers and materials claimed at the start of the article. The smaller group after the test is the last nail in the coffin. “I cannot account for this discrepancy” is a euphemism for “they are liars”.

    • seans

      If your definition of nobody deploys with a personally owned weapon anymore is in your relationship to the whole US military, you are wrong. I did it on my last deployment, and plan to do it on my next. A lot of units have a lot of leeway, not as much as in the past, but more than enough to bring personal weapons along.

      • DaddyRTO

        Unless you are a member of the Special Operations community, you are full of it. Unless by weapons you are referring to knives or something like that, in which case you are just being duplicitous.

  • usmcmailman

    The “Original” Bushmasters (now Windham Weaponry) are some of the finest AR-15’s
    out there !………………PERIOD ! Take it from an old Marine who HATES M-16’s.

  • usmcmailman

    Simple………You couldn’t give me one of these !

  • Mark Wallace

    Great article in so many respects. First, the author is as unbiased (no agenda) and objective as can be–it’s sad that such is worthy of praise when it used to be taken for granted…Secondly, kudos to the company for being HONEST (another case whereby I should not have to point-out but honesty is another RARE component nowadays) by vigorously doing all they can to improve their product. I will say this, they are close to getting t “right” and I for one will be watching closely and look forward to becoming a customer to be sure.

    • Mark, Battle Rifle is a good company. Thank you for your comment.

  • Bob

    It takes guts to allow your product to be tested to a 10,000 round test. I’m going to assume that once they work out their issues with their platform, they’ll go through this test again, hopefully successfully. But I can already hear the next shoe about to be dropped, “…now that the BR4 has passed the 10k round test, we’re now going to introduce water, mud, fine talcum powder AFG ‘dust’ into all its openings and orifices and if it fails here, then it’s not for the average consumer…”. This is disturbing because most firearm owners don’t put 10k rounds through their firearm of choice, SOME DO, but MOST DON’T. As proof of reliability, yes I can see how a test like this will show off the quality manufacture. So when the next 10k round test is performed, please add a warning note at the start of the article, warning most gun owners who only have pristine condition firearms, that their tender sensibilities will be marred once they see photos of this firearm, post-10k testing, as it will look hideous and will offend most gun owners who are big into pristine gun-porn photos as opposed to what a real firearm should look like … used.

    • Kivaari

      Except the failures started a 800 rounds, and only grew worse.

    • This test has already been scheduled for Dec. 13th. We will do a new 10,000 round test.

  • big daddy

    Has anybody been to Youtube and seen Hickok45 demo on of these? He thinks these rifles are great. He actually did the video in a rain storm and posted it the next day after this article. It seems questionable and I did mention it on that video. His response was to call me a troll. That only made me feel that the guy is a sellout. That kind of stuff makes me happy that there are places like this to go for honesty and people like Tuohy who refuse to be bought.

  • Kivaari

    That is a very interesting article. I am somewhat surprised about the gas port size. I thought (obviously wrongly) that the sizes had been figured out a long time ago. Same with the buffer. The failures encountered surprised me, as by now we should know this stuff.
    BUT, as I read my tattered Brownell’s catalog, I see bolt carriers offered in various weights, each claiming their light weight buffer is better for reliability, where as the other builder make heavier ones to make the rifles more reliable. I just built three mid-length carbines, two with lower priced barrels from DSA. One with a Bravo Company upper, costing twice what the others cost. My point is maybe you do get what you pay for. Two low-budget carbines still costs $650 each, I hope they hold up. One cost nearly $1,000, more than my factory Colt and Bushmasters. Time will tell if saving a few bucks was worth doing the cheaper route. Since the two were gifts to kids, I hope they hold up.
    This is a great article, with a good response from the manufacturer. We do learn by our mistakes. I hope BR finds its way improving their product.
    While in the Army I did not see our 125 M16A1s have these issues. Except for 5 Colts, the others were H&R. Using “real” mil-spec materials and gauges does make for a better product.

  • Kivaari

    The flash hider probably failed due to the harmonics causing the fractures. There are reasons the military use what they use. Since the M16 family has been in service for 50 years. I suspect the serious builders know what works and what doesn’t.

    • big daddy

      The A2 flash hider is one of the best at hiding flash and can survive what any soldier will do to it in the field. That’s why prongs do not work well in a true fighting rifle. They work great, like the Vortex & AAC but the prongs bend and break. An AR rifle/carbine should come as stock out of the box with an A2. It’s easy enough for most people to change it to what they want. Many people change it a few times until they find out which one they like best.

      • Kivaari

        I always kept the standard flash hiders on my rifles. In C.E. Ezell’s book, “The Great Rifle Controversy”, he pointed out the three-pronged “original” would snag on brush (and it did) and because it made water entry into the barrel much faster than the later A1 and A2. I just assembled a light weight mid-length carbine with a Bravo Company Model 0. I have not shot it, but it looks like it will work well.

        • big daddy

          I have a pinned Bravo on a 14.5″ and it works great. A little flash, not a lot compared to other brakes but the comp part works well, again not as good as a pure break. The Vortex also works well and does help with noise believe it or not. People don’t realize that even a few decibels less is a lot. Decibels are not a linear measurement. I have to try the AAC on my 12″ this week, I just got the AAC. On SBRs you need something, the question is what. At what length do you start to need a KX3 type device? The 12 was nowhere near as loud as the 10.5, the 7.5 was brutal with an A2. And the A2 does have a little braking ability. Every device has something that it does well, something it does OK and something it can’t do. It’s up to the person to find out what is best for their needs. What you don’t need one that breaks after less than 1000 rounds though.

          • Kivaari

            The last time I mentioned needing a can on SBRs in 5.56mm, I was called a liar. A can on the SBRs is a valuable asset. I was preparing to do another SBR, a Colt 11.5 ” LW. With the ATF taking a year to do the paperwork I just decided at my age I can live with 16″ tube.
            There are some very nice suppressors on the market. A local dealer has several types to choose from. Like the Form 1 on an SBR having the same waiting period, I simply decided I don’t need one anymore.
            I nearly died in January so I thought it would be wrong to tie up that much money. The Colt is $1200 (+$200) the can $500 (+$200) and both take a year to process. It should not be required, since if a person can legally own any gun, they can pass the NFA Branches silly year process. It should take as long as a NICS, and be ignored if we have a concealed weapons permit. I have a C&R license now. I should have kept my 01 FFL. Even that doesn’t inspire the NFA Branch.

          • big daddy

            Anybody who has ever fired a SBR in 5.56mm knows you need something at the end of that barrel. So many internet commandos. I have no problem with the $200 it’s the BS, totally unnecessary. Like ya said, if you can pass a background check you can pass their check too. The laws are outdated and does not apply to modern times. I can see having those laws in the 1920s-30s, they had some issues with criminals. They had to have some laws to stop or use against them. But now, they are just outdated and need to change. Maybe if we get a rep pres he’ll change somethings. I would definitely put a can on a SBR, even if it was not 100% effective, it needs something. So far the PWS and KX5 I have worked well on certain guns. They are still loud as hell but not to the person next to you and not as bad to the shooter. Use quality ammo and the flash is not an issue. Use crap ammo and you get some really cool fireballs from the PWS CQB.

  • The Brigadier

    An AR is NOT a battle rifle. Its an assault rifle at best. BRC should stand for Barbie Rifle Company.

    • Kivaari

      That may be under the “old rules”, but let’s face it, the M16 family has been in quite a few combat engagements. I still consider the M16A1/A2/A3 to be rifles, and used in combat.

  • Kivaari

    I just read the old article from about a year ago. It was a brutal account of a no-account rifle. I am glad you had the guts to publish the review. In years past I did a test and review for a tactical vest offered by a large body armor company. I sent them a copy of the proposed article (a police magazine) and the owner called me and begged that I did not go forward with publishing. He admitted that every thing I found to be defective was true, but they didn’t want to feel the pressure from customers that already owned the vests. Shortly after that the editor sent a letter saying they had changed to another subject. Obviously, the loss of advertising dollars was more important than the truth.
    Brutally honest reviews are not normally a desired end product. Kiss-up-type articles have a higher chance of publication.
    Keep up the honest reporting.

  • Hi Andrew. Can you please post some of the follow up findings that took place after this test was completed. To my knowledge, Battle Rifle Company did this test to better themselves. Finding the error in the gas port (a gas port that was in error when it arrived from the vendor Green Mountain), was a big step in assuring the rifle to be the best it can be. The guys at BRC are taking a pounding over this test, but the follow-up has not been made public. Battle Rifle Company quickly took action and made corrections to every failure and flaw that was discovered, then sent the adjusted rifle to Andrew for further testing. People are beating them up pretty bad, but its a little unfair. This is a small company, striving to be the best they can be. I think even Andrew can contest to the fact that they are passionate about what they are doing, and working hard to make it the best. Not many manufacturers would step up to this challenge. Push the products to the limits and see the failures, fix them and get better. After ever 11 magazines the gun was also stuck nose down in a bucket of ice water to cool it. Andrew, when you get a moment, can you please explain what all took place after your initial test. About the adjustments that were made to the rifle, the adjustments to the muzzle break now being made from Stainless steel, etc. Right now, the story has a negative connotation to it, when in reality, BRC company reached out to Andrew to do this test in order to get better. They wanted to tap into his knowledge and do what was needed to do to make things the best they can be. I don’t think anyone can fault them for their efforts to be better. Thank you.

    • big daddy

      Oh please come on…..passionate about WHAT? If they had passion for rifle building the finished products would be 100% functional from jump. Why do some people think they should get a pat on the back for being passionate and fixing mistakes they should have never made?

      • Why are so harsh on a company who is trying to improve? Every company and every manufacture makes mistakes…it happens. And, these issues wouldn’t be found with 1000 rounds. A 10,000 round test isn’t a cheap thing to do. So, while you beat them up for trying to get better, they will continue to improve, just because thats the kind of people they are. Big Daddy, I would challenge you to go buy 10,000 rounds and repeat this test with your AR and see how it does. You may be surprised.