Gun Review: Faxon Arms ARAK-21

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In 2012, Bob Faxon of Faxon Firearms set out to make an Ar-15 upper receiver that took the best elements of the Ar-15 platform and blended it with the proven Ak-47/AKM/Ak-74/Ak-100 series of weapons. With decades of experience in the automotive, oil, energy, defense, medical and aerospace industries with Faxon Machining, and assistance from a dedicated team of engineers, Bob created a unique upper receiver that is modular, ambidextrous and, due to an adjustable gas regulator, able to handle not only a wide assortment of ammunition brands, but also automatic, suppressed, un-suppressed, supersonic, and subsonic modes of fire. Like the Kalashnikov action, the robust mechanical design and beefed-up bolt allow the ARAK platform to handle calibers other than 5.56×45/.223 Remington, such as 300 AAC Blackout, 7.62×39, and 7.62×51/.308 Winchester.

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FAXON Arms ARAK-21. Bushnell HDMR riflescope.

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The ARAK-21 will work with any Mil-Spec size lower receiver group.

Key Features of the ARAK-21 I was provided for testing include:

  • Long Stroke variable setting gas piston system
  • 6061-T6 aluminum upper receiver. Upper receiver features a full length Mil-STD-1913 Picatinny top rail as well as three addition rails at the 3, 6, and 9 o’clock positions.
  • The ARAK-21 upper receiver allows a user to quickly change barrels to fit the end user’s specific needs.
  • Ambidextrous, non-reciprocating, folding charging handle.
  • Eight lug, involute profile bolt. The bolt is made of nitrocarburized case hardened 4140 steel. (Rockwell hardness 60) The extractor on the bolt is positioned at the 3 o’clock position. FAXON will be offering an upper receiver that allows for left or right side ejection. The end user will simply remove the cam pin, rotate the bolt 180 degrees, and re-install the cam pin for left side ejection.
  • “Self-contained” firing pin retention system that does not require a cotter pin.
  • The ARAK-21 barrels feature “M4 style” feed ramps.
  • For testing I was initially provided 2 barrels. One 16 inch, 1/7 twist, barrel chambered in 5.56/.223 and one chambered in .300 AAC Blackout (7.62x35mm, 1/8 twist). Those barrels were composed of re-sulpherized 4150 CMV pre-heated steel and were button rifled. The barrels were nitrided using the quench/polish/quench method. FAXON makes all of their barrels in house.
  • During the latter part of testing I was provided a barrel that was composed of 416-R stainless steel. The barrel was 16 inches and fluted.
  • The 5.56 caliber barrels feature a ½ – 28 UNF thread at the muzzle.
  • The 300 AAC Blackout barrel features a 5/8 – 24 UNF thread at the muzzle.

Testing and Accuracy Round 1

Initial test fire of the ARAK-21 took place on some BLM land near my home several hours before sunset. The main purpose of that initial test fire was to test magazines and various ammunition types, and to familiarize myself with basic operation and malfunction drills. Ammunition tested was 55 grain Wolf, 55 grain Tula, Federal XM193, Hornady 75 grain .223 MATCH, Federal Premium 77 grain Gold Metal Match, and some 55 grain PMC X-TAC. 300 AAC Blackout was also tested. Please note that only 40 rounds of 300 AAC Blackout 125 grain Remington Premier Match were fired during testing. Magazines used for testing were Troy Battlemags, Generation 1 and Generations 3 Magpul PMAG’s, a 20 round Generation 1 Magpul PMAG, a Thermold 20 round magazine, several US GI magazines that were equipped with anti-tilt followers including the latest tan follower and 1 US GI magazine that was not equipped with an anti-tilt follower.

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Setting up the ARAK-21 for testing. B5 SOPMOD stock. Bushnell TRS-25 red dot sight, Haley Strategic Thorntail Mount and INFORCE WML.

For testing I made several simple modifications to the ARAK-21. I replaced the factory stock with a B5 Systems SOPMOD stock and, using the Haley Strategic Thorntail offset mount, added the INFORCE WML white/infrared light in the 11 o’clock position. Initially the non-reciprocating charging handle of the ARAK-21 was on the right side, prior to testing the charging handle was moved to the left side. Since I tested an early model, I was not able to attach a Magpul B.A.D lever. Please note that newer models of the ARAK-21 can accommodate the Magpul B.A.D lever. After setting up the charging handle on the left side and blasting through several magazines worth of ammunition, I found that the manual of arms and process for clearing simulated malfunctions was identical to that of the Mk-17/Mk-16/FN-SCAR series of weapons. (Travis Haley has an excellent video on how to run the Mk-17/Mk-16/FN-SCAR.)

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Note the non-reciprocating charging handle. For testing I left the charging handle folded out. It did not interfere with weapons manipulation. I found it comforting to know that I could access it quickly if necessary.

One feature that is really nice is the fact that the ARAK-21 does not have a reciprocating charging handle. Though the handle folds in and out, for firing I left the charging handle folded out and did not find that it inhibited my weapons manipulation or snagged on clothing or barriers during testing. Please note that the charging handle cannot be used as a forward assist. During testing I had several issues where the bolt did not go completely into battery (This was caused by the gas regulator not allowing enough gas to interface with the piston rod. Easily mitigated by adjusting the regulator to a higher setting). I attempted to close the bolt using the charging handle and inadvertently dislocated it from the receiver assembly. After ejecting the magazine out of the gun and separating the upper and lower receiver of the ARAK-21 for safety reasons, I re-attached the charging handle, re-assembled the firearm, and continued to test the rifle. Subsequent failures to go into battery or failures to eject were solved by adjusting the regulator to allow more gas into the system. This usually happened when switching brands of cheap 5.56/.223. Typically when a failure to feed or failure to eject is experienced an end user should strip the magazine, cycle the gun several time to clear any jams, adjust the gas regulator to the next highest position, re-insert the magazine, cycle the action, and continue firing.

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ARAK-21 gas adjuster. This feature lends a lot of flexibility to the platform. Note the hole on the gas adjuster. Should the gas adjuster get hot or dirty, a spent casing can be used to turn the adjuster.

As previously mentioned, the ARAK-21 has is an adjustable gas regulator. The gas regulator sits atop the gas block and has 5 positions. 5.56/.223 ammunition brands produce slightly different pressures, which became apparent during testing. Some brands of ammunition produced a lower pressure when fired, and the gas port had to be adjusted to allow more gas to interface with the piston. A typical sign that the system is not getting enough gas is a failure to eject or a failure of the bolt to go fully into battery. Simply turn the gas regulator to a high setting to mitigate these problems. Before taking the ARAK-21 into harm’s way, test your ammunition and determine the optimal setting. This is an absolute must with 300 AAC Backout.

The gas regulator on the ARAK-21 has 5 positions/settings.

Position 1 allows the end user to remove the gas regulator for cleaning. Even though the ARAK-21 has a long stroke piston, carbon will accumulate around the gas regulator. Please note that when the ARAK-21 gets dirty, the regulator will be difficult to turn. FAXON cut a hole in which the end user can use a shell casing to rotate the regulator.

Position 2 is a low gas setting. Use this setting when running Mil Spec ammunition. The 55 grain Federal XM-193 and the 55 grain PMC X-TAC ran fine at this setting. WOLF, TULA, Hornady .223 MATCH and Federal Premium .223 did not run very well at this setting and failures to feed/extract were experienced. If running suppressed, Position 2 would be my starting point, given that the suppressor will trap gasses.

Position 3 is a Medium gas setting. WOLF, TULA, Hornady .223 MATCH and Federal Premium ran well at this setting, as did 300 AAC Blackout 125 grain Remington Premium Match.

Position 4 is a Maximum gas setting. I ran several rounds through the ARAK-21 at this setting. When firing the Federal XM-193 the gun cycled really fast. I did not observe any bolt bounce or feed issues at this setting. I would not run suppressed at this setting for fear that the amount of energy being transferred to the operating rod and bolt carrier would damage the hammer, disconnector, trigger pins or hammer pins. I would also be concerned whether a magazine could match the high cyclic rate of the rifle, should the ARAK-21 be fired in fully automatic at this setting.

Position 5 does not allow gas to interface with the piston. Position 5 turns the ARAK-21 into a single shot firearm, where an end user would have to manually cycle the bolt to eject a round, reset the hammer, and pick up another round from the magazine. I might use this setting if I was using the ARAK-21 to introduce a young shooter to firearms.

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Accuracy Testing Round 2.

The first round of accuracy testing of the ARAK-21 was done at the family ranch. All shooting was done in the prone position with a heavy load on the bipod. Prior to testing, the barrel was cleaned of carbon and copper. For testing I used a Generation 1 20 round Magpul Pmag and a Bushnell HDMR 3.5-21 First Focal Place rifle scope. My Bushnell HDMR is equipped with the awesome Horus H59 reticle and mounts with a quick detach LaRue Tactical mount. After getting “on paper” at 25 yards, I moved the target back to 100 yards, topped off the 20 round Pmag with Federal XM-193, proned out, found natural point of aim, and started testing. I fired a 3 round group at 100 yards. The initial group was about 6 inches high in regards to point of aim. I made several adjustments to the elevation knob and gave the barrel a few minutes to cool. When the barrel was cool to the touch, I fired 5 additional rounds. The shots all went a little bit lower, as expected, but I could not shoot better than a 4 inch group. After letting the barrel cool, and taking into account the barrel I was shooting had a 1/7 twist, I switched over to 75 grain Hornady Match grade ammunition and fired another 5 round group. My group once again hovered in the area of 4 inches. Frustrated that I might be the reason for the horrible results I grabbed my personal Ar-15 and proceeded to fire a 5 shot group at 100 yards. Walking down to the target and using a set of calipers, my group, shot with Federal XM-193, measured 1.4 inches. After trying several other types of ammunition through the ARAK-21 and getting similar results, I decided to swap out the barrel to 300 AAC blackout and try my luck with the .30 caliber. After swapping out the Barreled Upper Units, I settled in and started testing. To my surprise, my first 2 shots were about an inch apart. After slowly squeezing the trigger 3 more times I was pleased to see all of my shots within a rough 1.5 inch group.

FAXON arms was contacted about the terrible accuracy of the 5.56/.223 barrel. The representative stated that they had made a bad batch of barrels, and that a new barrel was headed to me for testing. The previous barrels that I had tested were a thinner profile. The barrel that arrived several days later, was a medium profile, stainless steel barrel (416-R) with a 1/8 twist rate.

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In order to swap a barrel a end user will have to remove the receiver forearm.

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Removing the receiver forearm will require a 5/32 allen driver. After swapping the barrel, the Allen screws are torqued on at 30 in/LBS. Do not over tighten.

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Upper receiver, Barreled Upper Unit and receiver forearm. Note the heavy trunion on the barrel and the rails that interface with the upper receiver.

After installing the new barrel I headed back out to the ranch. From the pictures below you can see the results of the new barrel. All groups were shot at 100 yards in the prone position from a loaded bipod. 5 shots were fired from each type of ammunition. The barrel was not allowed to cool between groups. The accuracy capability of the ARAK-21 is simply astounding.

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The replacement barrel that FAXON sent me was match grade accurate. All groups were fired prone at 100 yards. For testing I shot 5 shot groups, and did not allow the barrel to cool between shots. Group 1 – Hornady 223 Remington. 75 grain BTHP. (.687 inch group) Group 2 – Federal Premium Gold Medal Match. 77 grain Sierra Matchking BTHP. (.616 inch group) Group 3 – Federal XM-193 55 grain BT. (1.038 inch group) Group 4 – Tulammo. 55 grain FMJ (1.185 inch group)

 

Maintenance schedules and cleaning.

After firing several hundred rounds through the ARAK-21 over the course of several months, it was time to get it back to FAXON arms. Before sending it back the gun was disassembled and cleaned. The operating rod, gas cylinder, gas regulator, bore, and bolt face experienced carbon build up. There was a lot of carbon in the bore, probably due to the cheap steel ammunition fired during testing. For cleaning I doused all the parts that had carbon with MPRO-7, ran a wet patch down the barrel, and went and made a cup of coffee. After about 10 minutes, I returned and with the help of a brass brush and some RamRodz, cleaned all the carbon from the gun. Several passes with a cleaning rod and some patches finalized the cleaning job and the rifle was packed up for shipping. Cleaning time was about the same as an Ar-15. Had I been shooting the ARAK-21 suppressed, cleaning time would have been a lot longer.

Maintenance Schedule as recommended by the Manufacturer:

  • Replace Extractor Spring every 5000 rounds.
  • Replace Ejector Springs every 5000 rounds.
  • Replace Extractor every 5000 rounds.
  • Replace the Main Recoil Spring every 10,000 rounds.
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Recoil spring guide retainer pin. After separating the upper and lower receiver this is the first step to disassembling the upper receiver.

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Disassembled upper receiver ready for cleaning. Note the carbon on the operating rod.

 

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The bolt carrier group disassembled. Note the lack of cotter pin.

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Top – Arak-21 bolt. Bottom – Ar-15/M16 Bolt. Note the lack of gas rings on the Arak-21 bolt and the “beefed” up design.

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Left – Standard Ar-15/M16 bolt. Right – Arak-21 bolt. Note the size, dual ejectors and the 8 involute profile lugs. Faxon makes their bolts out of case hardened 4140 steel.

 

Observations and Opinion

  • It is not a secret that FAXON produced some bad barrels. If you are not satisfied with the accuracy of your ARAK-21 call FAXON and they will address the issue.
  • A forward assist would be a nice feature on the ARAK-21.
  • After tuning the ammunition to the appropriate regulator position the ARAK-21 performed well. All malfunctions were due to not having enough gas interface with the piston. The ARAK-21 fed from all magazines used during testing.
  • Testing ammunition and tuning the gas regulator is an absolute must if you are going to take the ARAK-21 into harm’s way.
  • It would be nice if the handguard on the ARAK-21 was a little bit longer. M-LOK and KeyMod feature would also be nice.
  • The Black Loud Mouth muzzle brake that came with the ARAK-21 was very effective at mitigating recoil and muzzle rise, and at blooming out my night vision monocle. I have no need for muzzle brakes on my carbines, but if I were doing a competition, the Black Loud Mouth brake would be an awesome accessory. The Black Loud Mouth brake did come loose during testing. Since there is no way to tighten it with tools this was continually a problem. If I were running an ARAK-21 I would ditch the muzzle brake and install a simple A2 flash hider and a crush washer.
  • The model I tested could not accommodate a Magpul B.A.D lever. Newer models of the ARAK-21 will work with the Magpul B.A.D lever.
  • The ARAK-21 mated well to several Mil-Spec sized lower receivers. It also worked fine with a “billet” lower receiver from Billet Rifle Systems.
  • If I were running the ARAK-21 suppressed I would invest in an ultrasonic cleaner. Because the weapon system easily breaks down, you can get most of the parts in an ultrasonic bath.
  • Be mindful of your gas regulator when shooting at night. I was running a course of fire when I switched over to some crappy underpowered Tula ammunition. Immediately the gun started to short stroke. I accidentally rotated the gas regulator to Position 1 as opposed to Position 3. Position 1 allows an end user to remove the gas regulator. Coming back on target I fired the next round and watched as the gas adjuster launched away from the gun, never to be found again.
  • I would keep a spare charging handle, gas adjuster, extractor, and extractor spring in the pistol grip or stock compartment. During testing I accidentally pulled off the charging handle, and I was able to loose the gas adjuster by not paying attention (On my personal Ar-15 I keep spare gas rings, extractor, extractor spring, bolt, CRANE o-ring, firing pin, surefire CR123 batteries, and surefire ear protection in my BCM gunfighter grip and B5 SOPMOD stock).
  • The Arak-21 I tested was capable of Match grade accuracy. Faxon makes Ar-15 barrels.

Final Thoughts

I was skeptical of the ARAK-21 when it first came out. Erroneously I chalked it up as nothing more than another Ar-18 clone. After coming across it again in Issue 6 of RECOIL magazine, I realized it wasn’t an Ar-18 but a true hybrid of the Kalashnikov and Ar-15/M16 platforms. Should you purchase an ARAK-21? If you run a 5.56/.223 Ar-15 with either a 14.5 carbine length gas system or a 16 inch mid-length gas system, quality Mil-spec ammunition, un-suppressed, you probably don’t need an ARAK-21 since those systems are extremely reliable. If you want the option to quickly swap out barrels, the ARAK-21 is for you. If you want the ability to run a lot of different brands of ammunition, the ARAK-21 is for you. If you run short barreled rifles, suppressed and un-suppressed, the ARAK-21 is for you. If you shoot at very high elevations, the ARAK-21 is for you. If you like to shoot 300 AAC Blackout, suppressed and un-suppressed, the ARAK-21 is for you. If you shoot a lot of fully automatic fire, the ARAK-21 is for you. If you like to collect cool guns…the ARAK-21 is for you. Over the last several months I got to fire several hundred rounds through the ARAK-21. When the ammunition was paired with the appropriate gas setting, the ARAK-21 was extremely reliable. Like its predecessors, the AR-15 and the AK-47, I think the ARAK-21 is going to be with us a long time. I look forward to the evolution of this platform. If only Mikhail Kalashnikov and Eugene Stoner were still alive to get a few hours on the range with this weapon system…that would truly be a site to behold.

For those of you going to SHOT… and those not going to SHOT. Faxon recently announced the ARAK-31, which they will be releasing at SHOT! The ARAK -31 will be chambered in 7.62×51/.308 Winchester. Aside from the ARAK-31, Faxon will be showcasing the 7.62×39 Barreled Upper Receiver, a reverse compatible longer handguard as well as a receiver for the ARAK-21 that will allow left or right side ejection. Faxon Arms will be at booth #7006.

Thoughts, comments, gripes, and humor are welcome in the comments below.

Vive La France

Vive la France. Vive la liberte…



Thomas Gomez

Thomas Gomez currently resides in the mountains of central New Mexico. He has an M.B.A, an Ar-15/M16/M4 armorer certification from Specialized Armament Warehouse as well as a Glock armorer certification. Aside from writing for The Firearm Blog he works as a Clinical Analyst for a large Hospital. He spends his free time farming, ranching, hiking, fly-fishing and hunting in the beautiful forests and prairies of New Mexico. He can be reached at LOADTHATBIPOD@gmail.com


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  • Adam aka eddie d.

    Nice, detailed article, thank you Thomas!

    About the gun itself:
    the charging handle coming loose and especially the flying gas regulator
    sound like quite serious engineering negligence.
    Loosing a crucial part of your firearm that renders it useless is quite a worrisome
    and as you’ve described, it can easily happen with some stress, environmental factors or lack of sleep. They should adress both of these serious mistakes.

    Other than this, I kind of like this platform, it appears to have promise.

    Also, a question if you don’t mind: didn’t the rail section bother you when charging the rifle?

    • Adam-

      Great feedback, which is being rectified. I think you will like what you see in the ARAK-31 next week. Those very issues are addressed.

      We always welcome constructive criticism and we hope the ARAK will meet your needs one day.

      • Adam aka eddie d.

        Thanks for the info Nathan!
        I’m looking forward to seeing the new stuff.

        • A pleasure to be here! You guys here at TFB has always been a wonderful source of information and suggestions.

      • noob

        🙂 This is so inspiring to see a company bring new products to market with this level of innovation.

        would you envisage a bullpup lower to go with the ARAK-21 or ARAK-31?

    • Thomas Gomez

      Hello Adam. Thank you for the feedback. For testing I did not wear gloves. I did not find the edges of the rail to be particularly sharp. Had it been I would have put on some low profile rail covers. If that was my personal gun, I would have removed all the rails and probably would have chopped up one of the rail sections, cerakoted the bare aluminum and just used “little rails” where they were needed. An M-Lok or KeyMod system on the Arak-21 would be nice. I think the Arak-21 has a lot of potential. Hope this finds you well!

      • Adam aka eddie d.

        Thanks for the info Thomas!

        I thought the same about chopping the rail sections.
        Based on your pictures though, it looks like the middle screw
        is right under the charging handle, so if you were to chop
        the rail section short enough to clear the charging handle,
        it would leave you with only the front retaining screw I suppose.

        Well, as Nathan has already hinted, probably there is an M-LOK or Keymod forend coming, so problem solved. 🙂
        Both systems can work with direct mount accessories,
        so the good old cheese grater can be retired.

        • Thomas Gomez

          Since Nathan hinted about KeyMod and M-Lok..no need for custom modifications. If I owned an Arak-21, and M-Lok or KeyMod systems were not available, I would cut about 5 Picatinny slots worth of rail and just utilize the first screw. If that was not secure, I would drill and tap another screw in place. (I am not recommending this to anyone that is not 100% confident in their ability to do this. You might also void a warranty). Thanks for the feedback! Hope this finds you well!

  • TangledThorns

    Seems like a great concept and I was thinking about buying one for an SBR but decided to go the bullpup route for my next rifle.

    • Thomas Gomez

      Hello Sir.

      What are you thinking of getting?

  • Not a word about how the upper alone weighs seven and a half pounds.

    • Thomas Gomez

      Hey Nathaniel.

      From the FAXON website, the rifle weighs between 7.59 – 8.62 lbs empty. That’s not that heavy.

      • That’s interesting. At SHOT 2013 they were quoting to me seven and a half for the upper alone.

        • Thomas Gomez

          Forgive me for not throwing it on a scale but it wasn’t that bad. It was nowhere close to a Tavor, FALor a 20 inch “bull barreled” Ar-15. I had it pretty stripped down. If I were going to run a 1-6 or 1-4 optic on it I would run a vertical foregrip and keep my elbows tucked in close to the body.

          • I’m not sure what the exact disconnect was – here’s the story behind the “7.5lbs” figure:

            I was at SHOT 2013 and stopped by the Faxon booth. This was, IIRC, before they introduced the complex ARAK rifle, and it was just an upper for AR-15 lowers. I picked up one of their assembled uppers and noted that it felt pretty heavy – I do not remember the barrel contour, but it was a 16″ (I don’t recall them having 20″ rifles in 2013). I asked the rep how much the receiver weighed and was told “about seven and a half pounds”. This seemed high to me, so I asked again more clearly “how much does the barreled upper alone weigh?” and was answered again “about seven and a half pounds”.

            Could be that the receiver I held did weigh that much. Could be that the rep got rifle and receiver weights confused. Nathan S. has sufficiently clarified the matter for me and the “5.15 lbs” figure for the medium contour 16″ upper receiver is clearly more correct than what I’ve been quoting.

        • It can get there, with a heavy profile 20″ barrel. It can get low too with a 16″ pencil.

          Stop by again this year and we will be happy to let you heft any rifles in any configuration!

          • I’ll definitely stop by the booth.

          • Will be a pleasure to host you. Make sure you are free Thursday night, too!

    • The upper ranges from 5.2 to about 6.5 lbs depending on the barrel option.

  • Dan

    Wow that is a lot of failure for a piston gun, Glad i don’t have those problems with my DI gun. Jk just trying to stoke the fires!

  • Esh325

    Civilians don’t run their guns to their limits most of the time anyways, so the idea of a piston is dubious at best.

    • For general operations, DI absolutely gets the job done. Heck, for combat operations too.

      But, it does come at the cost of higher maintenance. Our gun will run dry without issue for thousands of rounds without special coatings, etc.

      For those that choose an AR-15, we applaud it. Both it and the AK are great weapon systems (and serve as the inspiration for the ARAK)!

  • We are always here and dedicated to our customer’s success.

    Our customers buy a premium product and deserve every bit of the service we can do provide. To us, its the only way of doing business.

  • Thanks for reviewing!

    To assist with your article and readers understanding of the platform:
    1. Extended forearms are being launched next week. They will be 13″ total length.

    2. We purposefully omit a forward assist. From an engineering standpoint, the ARAK is fundamentally different than the AR in the bolt carrier interface. The AR includes gas rings which add considerable resistance to the system. We do not have them, which if you remove the recoil spring the bolt will naturally fall into and out of battery with gravity. In fact, our internal quality testing is the “tilt test” to ensure there is little resistance in the system and the bolt must go in and out of battery with only 15-degrees of movement.

    Some other thoughts on the forward assist:
    -Our recoil spring has up to 24 lbs of force on it. How much can a hand do on an AR button?
    -Another thought: which is faster to run ergonomically? Racking a bolt (even short storkes to clear something) or taking hands off of fire control to press a button?

    We know some shooters will want one, but our testing showed it faster to rack a round and keep going. Our thinking was speed and keeping the gun on target. Its a trade-off.

    Feel free to ask us any questions!

    • Thomas Gomez

      Thank you for giving us the opportunity to review your rifle. Your team built an amazing, extremely versatile platform! Looking forward to seeing the Arak-31.

    • Joshua

      24lbs of force seriously? How heavy is your action spring?

      The M4 has a 5.5-6lb action spring.

      As for the forward assist, it was not added for any real issues, but as a feel good button that won’t actually adress any issues. The Army noted this when wanting the option.

      • Joshua, correct on the AR pre-load.

        Springs have two ratings, pre-load and full-load. An AR is 5.5-6 lbs pre-load and about 12-15 full-load.

        Our ARAK has two springs, one that mirrors the AR and one that serves only the last 1/4″ of stroke. That spring is much harder as we want to slow the bolt down more and it likewise increases the force when the bolt then travels forward.

        • Joshua

          Very interesting, I did not know it was a dual spring setup.

          Very smart.

          I may have to get a 12.5″ to test out. I must admit, your upper intrigues me. Not to mention you actually built a bolt that can greatly outlast a M4A1 bolt.

  • Grindstone50k

    Finally, some actual innovation in the AR/AK market And not just another “putter-togetherer”! Looks great, I hope they get all the kinks ironed out. If I had the money, I would definitely be interested.

    • If it ever suits your needs or you have any questions, you can reach me direct.

      • Grindstone50k

        I doubt I’ll ever really have a *need* for such a platform. HOWEVER, this certainly does suit my wants!

        Also, good to see an Ohio manufacturer featured (and one that hadn’t closed down in the last couple years).

  • $1199 for a single barrel. Full rifle starts at $1899.

    • Adam aka eddie d.

      Quite decent pricing, considering it’s a piston gun and basically every major part that’s made of steel is nitrided (if memory serves me right that is-
      the first in-depth run down on the platform I’ve found was Defense Marketing Group’s material a year ago).

      LWRC’s IC is a wet dream and it’s fairly light for a piston gun,
      but it costs more than $2300 in its most basic configuration as a complete carbine.
      Nice to see competition in the field of factory piston carbines.
      AXTS’s ambi lower would go really nice with this upper.
      It’s also billet and it has a control layout that’s better than the ambi SIGs or LWRCs.

  • (Best “Valley Girl Voice”)

    Nuh-uhhhhh! You are!

    😉

  • Grindstone50k

    Utility is beautiful in it’s own way.

  • Ian McCollum

    Reminiscent of the Daewoo K2…interesting.

    • Thomas Gomez

      Or the Swedish Ak-5. Hope this finds you well!

    • RickH

      The Daewoo was and still is considered an excellent rifle, I know I still enjoy shooting mine. Too bad someone doesn’t make a licensed copy of it.

  • UCSPanther

    Would it be possible to design a version without the quad rails?

  • marathag

    A much better way of mixing the best of the AR and AK worlds, than the CMMG Mutant did

    • Thomas Gomez

      It would be interesting to see an Arak-21 atop an Ar-15 lower receiver that was designed for Ak-47 magazines…something like Knights Armament KAC-47.

      • Tom

        How common are such lower receivers? Seems to me that to do so you would essentially be buying a new rifle rather than putting a new upper on an existing lower.

        I have always thought that the big weakness of the AR system is that the mag well is part of the lower rather than the upper (not sure if there is an engineering reason for this or not). Ultimately it seems that all these new uppers no matter who functional are constrained by the lower and its mag well.

        • Thomas Gomez

          Hello Tom.

          They are not very common. MGI military makes a lower receiver that can accept AK-47 magazines. I wonder if CMMG would sell a Mutant lower receiver. I know of a small company that has plans (and a working prototype) to make an Ar-15 lower receiver that accepts Ak-47 magazines but at the moment I am not allowed to say any more.

          I think your spot on in regards to 7.62×39 Ar-15 magazines.

  • Thomas Gomez

    That’s funny! Hope this finds you well!

  • Thomas Gomez

    Thank you Texan. I think the aesthetics are going to improve with the longer handguard that Faxon will be offering. Hope this finds you well!

  • Thomas Gomez

    Growing pains are part of any new platform…when I review Ar-15’s I have absolutely no mercy for poor manufacturing, poor assembly or substandard parts. There is absolutely no excuse for making a bad Ar-15…the R&D was worked out by Colt years ago. Hell, if you want to get in the Ar-15 game, just go to Walmart, buy a Colt LE6920 and copy that…everyone else in the industry did. (But I digress…) The Arak-21 is a completely new rifle…it has a few minor bugs that are being worked out by a very competent team. I am very optimistic about the platform and would love to see it enjoy great success among the shooting, law enforcement and military community. There is nothing the Arak platform cannot do. Faxon has excellent customer service and they take care of their customers.

    Hope this finds you well!

    • Thank you, Thomas. Could not have said it better ourselves.

  • Thomas Gomez

    There are! I should have offered a free bag of coffee to the first person to accurately count the amount of allen screws on that upper receiver. Hope this finds you well!

  • Thomas Gomez

    Hello B. Thank you for the feedback and contributing to the discussion.

  • Well, I had the same thought, at first. However, there is a reason that many teach sling-shotting the charging handle or slide. It brings the recoil/buffer/action spring to maximum compression for stripping a round from the magazine and slamming it into the chamber. An under-gassed carbine would short-stroke, and wouldn’t have that full force of the recoil spring. Normally, if you had a clean and well-lubricated rifle, it wouldn’t be a problem, but if you had a metal magazine that wasn’t broken in, and a dirty chamber from shooting steel-case ammo, and the upper isn’t as well lubricated as it should be, it just might be enough of a hindrance to prevent the round from fully chambering.

  • Yes. We opted to ensure that the rails were held on by more than two screws, which creates easy failure if one falls out.

    So, it a single, or even multiple screws fall out (very very very hard to do with red Loc-Tite), the weapon system will remain functional.

  • Adam aka eddie d.

    Gaston Glock’s masterpiece too is, my good Sir.

    That’s its sex appeal, lol. 🙂

  • Michael R. Zupcak

    It’ll be interesting to see how much more the Sig MCX costs and if they decide to release stand-alone upper receiver groups. The Sig MCX and the ARAK seem to be similar in many ways: mounts on AR lower but doesn’t require buffer tube, quick-change barrels, multiple calibers. It even looks like the barrels attach almost the same way, by using the front takedown pin.

    • Thomas Gomez

      Hello Michael. The Sig MCX reminds me a lot of the LR-300 that was manufactured by ZM weapons, and later by Para Ordnance. I am anxious to see a review on it. (I am super anxious to see a disassembled picture of it) Exciting time for the Industry…there is a lot of cool stuff coming out. Time will tell what works and what doesn’t. Hope this finds you well!

  • randomswede

    “If you shoot a lot of fully automatic fire, the ARAK-21 is for you.”

    My understanding was that the ARAK-21 BCG can’t interface with the M-16 full-auto sear to disengage it when the bolt is fully closed.
    Are we talking “Tac Con 3MR”, “Slide fire” type “full” auto or do I need to put my learning hat on again?

    • Thomas Gomez

      You are absolutely correct. Faxon is working on a full auto capable model. Perhaps Nathan can elaborate.

    • We have models, but do not typically sell them openly. The primary reason is the trip sear would have to extend out of the upper (defeating the purpose of the self-contained receiver).

      We will sell them to FFLs and those who can show a tax stamp.

  • MIke

    I’ve always wanted one of these since I’ve heard about them, and this just seals the deal in my mind. The question is do i get this or a tavor first…