Gun Review: Shooting Art – The JP Billet Beauty

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The JP LRP-07 Billet Beauty special edition tribute rifle retails for $4,649.00 and they are only making 25. As such, I realize most of the comments on this review will criticize the gaudiness of the rifle, the high MSRP, the low production number, etc. but there is something one needs to understand about this unique piece: JP built it as a tribute to a B-17 bomber “known as Liberty Belle, formerly flown and maintained by the Liberty Foundation , a plane which once had John Paul himself as a passenger before she was lost.” As a result, they spared no expense, cut no corners, and made one hell of a tribute rifle that really does remind me of WWII era aircraft. In fact, as soon as I opened the box “Takin’ A Ride” started playing in my head as I envisioned that scene from the film “Heavy Metal”.

JP Enterprises is well known for producing some of the best three-gun rifles and components in the world, and many of said components found their way onto the Billet Beauty. It is also worth noting that the machining is immaculate, and the finish is nothing short of brilliant.

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder of course, but I think JP did a great job emulating a B-17:

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This gun is 2 of 25!

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The screws that look like airplane rivets are a nice touch!

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The brake and barrel are one piece, which is a nice touch.

 

 

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As JP is big in three-gun stuff, they added a side charging mechanism to the gun:

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And I found out the hard way that if the handle is locked to the rear, you have big hands, and you hit the bolt catch, your thumb will pay the price:

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That aside, the JP trigger is amazing and perhaps one of the best I have felt on any AR variant:

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The low mass .308 carrier is another nice JP innovation:

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So the Billet Beauty has all the right parts, but how does she shoot? Well, only a range trip could determine that oh so important bit of data.

Patrick R. and I took the rifle to his gun club and we set up targets at the 100 yard mark.

I sighted it in with some cheap ammo before using my good match-grade stuff:

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I put a Trijicon ACOG on the rifle with a mere 4x magnification:

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I had never shot a title I AR this pricey so I was very excited to get some trigger time with it. Here I am trying to conceal my grin while sending some down range:

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Of course she really does shoot well and I can’t say enough good things about the trigger and the overall build quality of the rifle.

So after sighting in and plinking some steel, it was time to get to business. I brought along some SSA match grade 7.62×51:

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I loaded up the SSA cartridges and got to business:

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With only 4x magnification my groups hovered around an inch. If it weren’t for this damn flyer I would have had an amazing group!

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I am absolutely sure that with higher magnification I could have made this rifle perform much better.

So as for my final thoughts on the Billet Beauty:

JP is making 25 of these and I am not quite sure why they sent me, of all people, one to test. I am not a big name in the industry and to be honest I felt a little out of my league. However, this thing is pricey and I felt honored to be entrusted with it. While you could hunt with it or use it in a three gun match, this is to me a piece of functional art, and a man wiser than I once said “art can have no purpose other than itself”. This rifle shows off some of the best qualities of what you can find in a JP rifle: immaculate machining, attention to detail, top quality parts, incredible customization, and a beautiful fusion of both form and function.



Alex C.

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


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  • Mystick

    Nice looking gun there….

  • Swarf

    Personally, I think… well, let’s just say it’s not for me. BUT, I am very happy you got to have a fun time with an expensive machine.

    We don’t get that chance often, so good for you.

  • Kevin Harron

    I personally think it’s kinda fugly. Glad you got to play with an expensive range toy tho, and that it mechanically performed well. It better shoot well for that price.

  • 3XLwolfshirt

    It’s pretty cool, as far as theme rifles go.

  • Hokum

    Fetish. Speaking of pointless guns btw… 😉

  • Giolli Joker

    Did you get yourself a Garand thumb?

  • Jeff Smith

    I LOVE the rivet look.

    • jay

      You mean the screws look. That’s no rivet look on any planet. Just look at that handguard. It’s retarded. Huge screw heads randomly placed, far apart allover it. Where’s the sheet metal look and tight rows of rivers you see on aircraft?
      I’ve seen firearms made to look like ww2 aircraft and looked awesome. This is a horrible job.

      • RickH

        I totally agree, the screws take your eye away from the smooth metal, and make it look like more of an afterthought. I would have looked (in my opinion) much, much better without them.

  • Don

    As one of the people who actually did the coating work on it, I’m glad you have such praise for it. If you’d like I can post a few pictures later on to prove my claims.

    • lucusloc

      I will +1 for more pics.

  • Riot

    Would you but the trigger if it was sold on its own?

    • NDS

      JP does sell their triggers separately.

    • Patrick R.

      I think I speak for both Alex and myself by saying … Yes, oh god yes.

      Also JP does sell triggers.

  • Y-man

    I would give my left nut for a gun like that.

    The Walnut to the left, behind the Almonds in the plate beside the microwave…

    • the_duck

      I love Y-man!

  • Captain Obvious

    Could be more B17ish IMO if that was the goal. Though I never understood the idea of making modern things appear like something from another age, i.e., anachronism. If that rifle was made to look like a modern fighter plane it’d be cool. If you made a WWII gun look like a B17 bomber, it would at least be in context for the time and would be cool. This one, not so much.

  • jay

    If they tried to go for the aircraft rivets look, they missed the mark by a mile.
    Good idea, horrible execution.

  • Julio

    Nice review: neatly deflecting predictable criticisms while emphasising the positives. More than the rifle, I liked the way you wrote it up. Good one!

  • A.g.

    I’m an airfan. I’m a fan of the B-17. A special rifle for a tribute to a plane is a GREAT idea and I’m sur JP ent made great rifle and I fully respect the job done.
    But aesthetically, even knowing that the original plane was in the same grey tone, here, no sorry…

  • RickH

    Bad execution on the charging handle.

  • Southpaw89

    Now just throw a Norden bomb sight on there and you’ll be complete.

  • David S.

    Wonder how the company feels about you shooting off a stack of wood or that concrete block next to you, with that high dollar rifle? You couldn’t at least take some bags with you to shoot off of? I think I would have been a little mad that you didn’t take better care of it……seeing how you probably had to send it back to be sold. Just saying

    • I babied it with gloves, laid it on soft carpet, kept it in a safe in a safe room within a safe complex within a razor wire fence that is gaurded and secured by 32 cctv cameras. I think they are cool with shooting it off of soft wood 😉
      But I would have footed the bill for any and all damages.

    • iksnilol

      It’s a rifle, not a glass vase.

      + if the finish on your rifle can’t handle being rested against wood or concrete… then maybe, just maybe, you need to make a better finish.

      • David S.

        If u have that kind of money to just throw around then by all means…. I guess. I am just going by the pictures, and if “I” dropped that kind of cash on a rifle, an AR at that, I don’t think I would want it scratched by someone else. Some people do baby their rifles and collect them (I would assume, for that price).

  • kevin

    It may be a good shooting rifle, but art it is not.

  • G.M.W.

    Someone had too much time and screwed the front hand guard up. .Also dislike the charging handle

  • Marc

    afair barrel and comp are not one piece, just masterfully blended.

  • Zebra Dun

    Nice legs on that rifle Bubba!

  • kbroughton77

    Way way our of my price range but, Beautiful rifle!

  • guest

    Bah humbug.

  • JPE

    Hey, all. I’m one of the guys at JP that’s been closely involved with this project, and I want to say thanks to Alex for such a nice piece on the Billet Beauty. I’m always interested to hear feedback on out-there ideas like this. I get that this kind of rifle isn’t everyone’s cup of tea since it’s a pretty outrageous look by design. We are doing a couple of these for one customer using OD Green for the accent color, which matches the Magpul furniture. It mellows the rifle without losing any of the signature look.

    For those who don’t like it, I’d like to hear more from you if you have the time and inclination. I see some comments on the “rivet” screws on the hand guard, which was something we went back and forth about. The debate was between including them loose for people to install as they liked or installing all of them to save people the trouble. We could see people going both ways on them.