Cobalt Kinetics May Have Done It Again…

CK BAMF PRO_color combos 020

I was able to get a little bit a of a teaser ahead of a release event I am going to for Cobalt Kinetics.  I personally am a fan of their direction and innovation, and the look of their product is super distinctive.  Their original product, the BAMF, changed the function of the largely useless forward assist into a dual sided, thumb activated bolt drop.

Jeremy, their director of Sales and Marketing, contacted me and let me know that they are bringing out a new product (premiering at SHOT), and were going to demo it for some media peeps ahead of January.  Their new rifle, currently named the “Evolve” (as it is an evolution to the AR platform), will feature carbon fiber barrel, new competition hand guard, 1/8 twist barrel, and their new billet adjustable stock.  But that is really not the innovative thing.  He explained that the new thing is that they have built a system that will automatically eject an empty magazine, and will automatically drop the bolt when a new magazine is inserted.

Cobalt Kinetics introduces EVOLVE- the AR15’s next evolutionary step. EVOLVE features ground breaking function and forward-looking finishes. The most striking is the Cobalt Advantage Reload System (C.A.R.S.). This system speeds operation by eliminating two manual tasks. The operator no longer ejects empty magazines nor does he trip the bolt release. C.A.R.S automatically drops empty mags, and as a fresh magazine is inserted, C.A.R.S sends the bolt home so firing may continue.

EVOLVE also presents a refined buffer system; tunable, efficient, and smooth. The design permits changes to the buffer mass without tools. Through careful engineering and the application of innovative materials, Cobalt Kinetics has created a friction-free system which is quiet and butter smooth.

EVOLVE is crafted for performance. The company engineered a new muzzle brake to compliment the rifle’s balanced system. The new brake exploits Cobalt’s cutting edge, patent pending technology.

Additional EVOLVE features: Cobalt Kinetics’ adjustable billet aluminum butt stock and competition handguard. Evolve is supremely crafted from superior components.

I think this will really be a boon to competition shooters, where matches are decided on fractions of a second.  Being able to reduce some of the manipulations (even as smooth as people are doing them). And it has already been in the hands of some competition 3-Gun shooters (under NDAs), that expressed the sentiment that this can “change the AR game”.

So far Cobalt Kinetics’ main focus, aside from really aggressive looking design and colors that are not overdone, it appears, has been on modifications that increase the speed of the shooter to perform manipulations.

They will also be offering upgrades for your existing rifle including their muzzle device, adjustable billet stock, and their new buffer system (a number of people had contacted them about getting components in lieu of buying the whole package).  Nothing is currently listed on their site.

I’m super excited to get hands on later this month and will be sure to take lots of pictures and as much video as I can.  What do you readers think?  Are there any questions you would like me to ask or concerns to address?  I will post the answers to those questions (posted below in the commetns) in my review after I get back.



Tom is a former Navy Corpsman that spent some time bumbling around the deserts of Iraq with a Marine Recon unit, kicking in tent flaps and harassing sheep. Prior to that he was a paramedic somewhere in DFW, also doing some Executive Protection work between shifts. Now that those exciting days are behind him, he has embraced his inner “Warrior Hippie” and assaults 14er in his sandals and beard, or engages in rucking adventure challenges while consuming craft beer. To fund these adventures, he writes medical software and builds websites and mobile apps. His latest venture is as one of the founders of IronSights.com; a search engine for all things gun related. He hopes that his posts will help you find solid gear that will survive whatever you can throw at it–he is known (in certain circles) for his curse…ahem, ability…to find the breaking point of anything.


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  • MoPhil

    All the world is in Star Wars fever. 😛

  • Bill

    There ought to be a different class, for Guns That Do Stuff For The Shooter. Why should anybody develop that “skill” thing if the gun does it for you?

    • Um

      Like Semi-auto rifles?…

      • Twilight sparkle

        You must not have read the article if you think this gun is just another ar-15…

        • iksnilol

          Nah, you misunderstood. He considers semi-auto rifles requiring less skill than manual actions. I kinda agree with him, manipulating a bolt or lever efficently takes more effort than just pulling the trigger.

          • Twilight sparkle

            How is there any less skill? They require completely different skills, you don’t run a bolt gun fast in compitition, you use it for accuracy. By this logic the only firearm that requires skill would be an antiquated matchlock and that’s a bit too close to the talking points of antiguners for me…

          • iksnilol

            Some would argue that a semi auto is just BLAM BLAM BLAM: That you needn’t be particularily accurate since you got 29 more on tap that can be fired as quickly as you can press the trigger.

          • Twilight sparkle

            Then some would be wrong, it’s not good to put rounds down range if you don’t know where they’re going.

          • iksnilol

            ??

            I think you misunderstand. You don’t have to aim as carefully because you’ve got the thought that you’ve got multiple rounds ready to be fired as fast as you can in the back burner. The same reason people teach kids to shoot with single shot bolt actions and whatnot. Since it forces you to put all your effort into one shot. It ensures you “whole-a$$” the one shot.

          • Twilight sparkle

            A lot of people say that’s why they teach kids to shoot with a single shot, but in the end the real reason they do it is because of how cheap the guns are. I sell guns and I’ve never had someone look at youth single shot rifles for any reason other than price.

            Considering how strict Norway’s laws are I kinda doubt that’s what happened.

          • iksnilol

            Uh, Norways laws weren’t always “that” strict (this happened after WW2). + we still have FA (for super serious collectors only), we have uncontrolled silencers, and we have pretty lax laws around guns in general:

            -You only need a “valid” reason for a gun (competition, hunting, training for either of the aforementioned).
            -You need a certified gun safe if you have more than 4 weapons that aren’t handguns or semi-automatic.
            -You need to tell your fire department if you have more than 10k cartridges (+ 5k .22 LR).
            -Shotguns in general are screwed (No detachable magazines, no capacity over 5 rounds and no PGO).
            -Otherwise you’re free to do as you wish as long as you aren’t hurting anybody.

            In regards to single shots. plenty of them are more expensive than a semi auto or bolt action repeater. I mean, you can get a Marlin 795 for 100-150 which is actually cheaper than the Savage Rascal, Chiappa Little Badger and thingamajig. And comes right around the price of the Cricket rifle. So price isn’t really the factor.

    • Edeco

      I’m not saying this rifle does it, but I’d say obsoleting a skill is generally good thing.

      • Bill

        I do not concur. If you train only on this rifle, assuming I understand how it operates correctly, and then one day you’re handed an plain AR, you’re screwed, not knowing or having mastered the manual of arms. Having a laser rangefinder doesn’t mean you shouldn’t still work on estimating range, nor does having a GPS mean that you don’t have to know map and compass.

        A well -respected researcher posits that a contributing factor to a number of commercial aircraft crashes is due to crews becoming more reliant on automation and technology, and losing their actual piloting & airmanship skills. Modern aircraft can literally be programmed to fly an entire flight profile hands-off, but when a circuit breaker trips, the first rule of an inflight emergency kicks in: fly the &^)$#@% plane. Or surgery – there’s an increasing use of robots and automation in surgery, but the surgeon in charge better know how to run a scalpel and tie a suture.

        • Edeco

          You must be leaving out some info. I mean why would one screwed if handed a regular AR? People go their whole lives without using them. Is this a scenario where one has to use the AR proficiently, immediately for some reason?

          Anyway, if a skill is needed for contemporary, practical reasons, so be it. Then its not obsolete yet. Pilots should probably know how to fly using the stick and pedals, or whatever. If they don’t and something goes wrong due to it, I wouldnt blame new technology. Must they know how to check the canvas on the wings of a Fokker Albatross? I would think not. Except for history fans, that skill is behind us.

          • Bill

            Try a drill called “The Battlefield Pickup.” You are given a random weapon, ammo and a loading device. If you down get lead on target fast jam the person you are paired against, you loose, with all that implies.

            And a modern pilot needs to recognize ripples in the material covering wings, control surfaces and fuselage, and loose rivets. This differs little from the preflight walk around on an Fokker or a Piper Cub or a spacecraft.

  • hikerguy

    A “space-race” gun no doubt. kinda catchy appearance.

    • JumpIf NotZero

      Exactly what I thought…

      “Done WHAT again”? Oh, made something flashy proprietary, expensive, and ultimately forgettable. Got it. Yea, done it again alright.

      • iksnilol

        I can kinda see the appeal to 3-gun shooters. Flashy and fast. Comp shooters love that shiznit.

        Wouldn’t really see the appeal for a mil or home defense weapon. The auto bolt release is probably useful if it isn’t too complicated, but the auto eject might not be that useful.

  • The bolt going forward when a fresh magazine is inserted is hardly a new innovation. The British EM-2 bullpup, briefly adopted in the early 50s, had exactly the same feature. In fact various trials questioned the safety and need for the system. As the EM-2 was select fire and intended to be able to act as a suppressive fire weapon I can understand the idea behind it, doesn’t make quite as much sense for a semi-auto.

  • Major Tom

    “He explained that the new thing is that they have built a system that will automatically eject an empty magazine”

    So we’ve reverted back to the protocols established by the M1 Garand? Only with box mags instead of en-bloc clips?

    • Only now we will be throwing empty P-mags on the ground to deceive our foes…..

      • Evan

        I don’t buy the rumors of throwing empty clips to make the enemy think you’re out of ammo. First, firefights are LOUD. Nobody’s going to hear someone dropping a clip at 200yds over the sound of all the other gunfire going on. Second, in WWII, we aren’t usually talking about hand to hand engagement distances. The enemy is usually going to be too far to hear. And third, throwing the clip still doesn’t make that PING sound that a clip ejecting from the M1 makes. And fourth, I’ve read a lot of memoirs, mostly from the Pacific, but from the ETO as well, and I have yet to see a single mention of this alleged tactic.

        • Goody

          There was plenty of urban fighting in the second world war, so 200m is a bit of a stretch. You’re right about it being loud though, and it probably being a myth.

          • Evan

            Most of the urban fighting was on the Eastern Front between the Germans and Soviets. There was none in the Pacific at all that I know of, and some in the ETO, but not the majority

  • DIR911911 .

    an auto ejecting magazine . . . ok ,I’m listening . . . for the sound of malfunctions

  • dudeguy

    For $3000, it better be an actual functioning Star Wars blaster instead of an AR15 in drag.

  • iksnilol

    I thought about something like this for pistols. The slide release could trigger the mag release when the slide locks back. Plenty of pistols already drop the slide if you insert the mag rougly enough.

    It’s a cool AR, probably gonna be killed by how proprietary the internals have to be for it to work.

    • roguetechie

      robinson model 11…
      I mean the biggest mistake was his naming his core conceptual framework FOOB guns. (Firing out of battery)
      No fobbit supply weenie or power point ranger wants an acronym with that much internal logical consistency and a 4 word technically accurate description of the actual key to the technology…
      While I wanna like Cobalt Kinetics’ stuff, I’d say that the sig upper for the socom mcx is the one that I’d bet on. Why you may ask? It’s a feature that could actually pair well with a cobalt kinetics bolt drop kit… And a feature glossed over by pretty much every article about the system…

    • Joshua

      Well you can do it on an AR by smacking the stock with a decent force. Should be enough to just barely let the bolt go back and disengage the bolt hold.

      • iksnilol

        What do you mean?

        You just hit something with the stock and the bolt hold open thingy disengages if done with sufficent force?

        • Joshua

          If you slap the rear of the stock(the part that goes against your shoulder) with enough force you can force the BCG and buffer to slightly depress the buffer spring, which will pop the bolt stop down and chamber a round.

          • iksnilol

            If I’d died yesterday I’d not know that. Cool thing I’ll admit.

            Can you slam it hard enough into your shoulder or do you need a hard surface?

          • Joshua

            Good question. When I get the chance to test it I’ll report back. Should be later today

          • iksnilol

            I doubt it’d be practical, but would be a kinda cool move to show off with.

            I am a showman after all. We target/comp guys are like that.

          • Joshua

            It’s a no go with a mil spec gun. However if you run lightweight buffer springs and stuff it may be possible.

          • iksnilol

            Hmm, thanks for the info and of course the… SCIENCE!

        • Dan

          I had a dinged bolt hold open thingy that only held the bolt open as long as it was not being held, windy or dust landing on the gun. Blow a kiss at it and the bolt would slam forward. Only way it worked is with a empty mag inserted.

    • Joe

      Someone patented this for handguns back in the early part of the last century, Ian McCollum from Forgotten Weapons had a table top review of one, if I recall it was of British orgin.

  • Joshua

    well, the EM-2 dropped the bolt on a fresh mag, so that’s not new or innovative, the empty mag drop I haven’t seen in anything since En Bloc clips, not sure it’s something that warranted bringing back

    • Doc Rader

      I ‘d say it is innovative on this platform.

      I mean we could say that expanding gasses accelerating a projectile down a pipe in a direction has already done before in muskets–why adapt that to an alternate platform? 🙂

      They are a company not doing the same old thing. Some directions may not pan out as well as others. Personally I’m just excited to try it out. Making things go boom is fun, no matter what the caliber/platform is.

  • Andrew

    Oh look, another $3,499 Gucci gun for all the little Costa commandos.

    • PL

      Nobody force you to buy it.

  • Ambassador Vader

    Can you even really call this an AR-15 anymore? I mean the it might be modeled after the AR-15 platform but it looks like nothings interchangeable. Ex. an XCR is based off of the AR-15 platform but its not an AR-15. I don’t think you can “change the AR game” if your product is no longer and AR.

  • kregano

    I fully expect to see these in the next Star Wars movie.

  • Joshua

    No thanks. Everything has a stoppage at some point, and this seems like a nightmare to clear with no manual bolt release.

    • Doc Rader

      Where are you getting “no manual bolt release” from?

      • Joshua

        Well the picture doesn’t have one, and if their system is so awesome and revolutionary why would they include one?

        • Doc Rader

          The pic is a rendering I believe. I’ll know more and have better pics of it next week.

        • Vhyrus

          Yes, because I’m sure no one here has ever ejected a magazine that wasn’t completely empty….

          • Joshua

            Huh? I said nothing of a magazine release.

    • Bill

      Manual bolt hold-open. If I have to clear a really bad double feed I need to be able to lock the bolt to the rear and rip out the magazine. Then cycle the bolt to extract and eject anything that’s left. I’m assuming then I would just reload it like a normal AR.

  • Spencerhut

    Is it just me or did they drop their own “Innovative” dual forward assist thingies? If an Imperial Stormtrooper gets a hold of this this, will they be able to hit anything?

    • ostiariusalpha

      The whole “Stormtroopers are bad shots” thing is just the product of people not paying attention to why Luke & co. were allowed to escape in A New Hope. All those diplomatic bodyguards on the Tantive IV, the Jawas, and the Rebel troops on Hoth weren’t slaughtered by friendly fire.

      • Xanderbach

        Indeed- The only time they miss is when they’re supposed to (so they can look like they’re resisting, but actually letting the rebels escape.) Every other time in the movies, they’re crazy accurate. The only reason they had an issue on Yavin was a tactical error- White armor in a green forest is a bad idea. Also, RoTJ is a bit of a faff in the whole run.

        • ostiariusalpha

          It really is, RoTJ is an omen of what was to come in the prequels. Also, though they show Wicket’s buddy kicking the bucket, the movie generally glosses over the Ewoks’ casualties; which were probably pretty heavy despite that they are shown to be sneaky, sentientivorous little murder muppets.

          • Doc Rader

            “murder muppets” wins this entire article comments section.

          • LCON

            Never Trust a Ewok. think about it when they captured Luke, Han and C3p0 they had everything all ready to cook them and eat them… and here’s a thought for you think about the end of Return of the Jedi… Not a Single POW on Screen but lots of Storm Trooper Helmets….. and Platers of horderves…. * Que The Psycho Shower Scene Theme *

      • Spencerhut

        B. S. I’ve trained with Stormtroopers several times and they are some of the worst shots in the galaxy.

      • Joshua

        Plus their helmet has a targeting reticle in the HUD to assist in aiming. It’s why they don’t should their rifles.

        Of course this does not defeat plot armor the heroes wear in the movies.

        • LCON

          armor? they wore stormtrooper armor once every other shoot out was more long shoots and wide shots then a student film marathon. maybe if they actually could have seen through those helmets they might have actually aimed.

          • Joshua

            If you read the background ideas of the stuff the stormtrooper helmets had a HUD that was linked to each soldier the helmet was issued to.

            It’s why Luke and Han couldn’t see anything out of them.

            The only reason stormtroopers sucked was due to plot armor. Every battle not including the main characters storm troopers decimated their opposition.

          • Kurt Akemann

            The late Roger Ebert called it the “Law of Evil Marksmanship”: No matter how many nameless extras and minor characters the Bad Guys kill with ruthless efficiency, when they’re firing at one of the main heroes they will always miss.

          • LCON

            Plot armor….. IE because the Writers protected them… rewatch the original star wars and we see that the stormtroopers were blind one bangs into a door. As for the slaughter they forced there targets into the tight confines of a ship’s corridors then blasted away eventually getting the hit.

    • Madcap_Magician

      Interestingly though it does have a certain Star Wars oeuvre in its appearance…

  • Edward Franklin

    Just what I wanted, an offshoot of the AR-15 that has proprietary components, changes the manual of arms, has increased internal complexity and additional points of failure. Only for the price of a used car or perhaps a SCAR-17 plus accessories.
    I’ll admit the gun looks really snazzy but I’d rather have a standard AR-15 that is cosmetically unique then a proprietary rifle that looks unique.

  • USMC03Vet

    Not sure if firearm or really high speed roadside garbage picking stick…

  • Nick

    Automatic mag release seems like a pain. Now, instead of being able to hold my magazine as I remove it, the gun will just drop it on the ground for me to have to pick up? Seems like someone wasn’t thinking that through.

    The automatic bolt release however is a clever idea, although not really necessary. The time required in hitting the button after inserting a mag is pretty minimal, and I’d bet there’s plenty more parts to accomplish this task, ergo more parts to malfunction.

    • floppyscience

      It seems purpose made for competition, where dropping your mags doesn’t matter. This doesn’t appear to be intended for casual plinking, defense, or military use.

      • ozzallos .

        Because the military cares where their mags drop in a firefight.

        • Joshua

          Actually most do retain their magazines. Few people dump good magazines in combat.

          We have dump pouches for a reason.

  • BrandonAKsALot

    It’s like Star Wars and Mass Effect had a sleazy romance and produced a baby. A very sexy baby.

    10/10, I’d load the breech.

  • Alex D.

    Done what again? Produce yet another AR15?

  • Lance

    Looks like a Star Wars edition AR!

  • Lee Morgan

    I will no longer be able to ask the bad guy if I fired only 29 shots or 30. And do they feel lucky.

  • oldman

    J.A.N.F.AR all tarted up.

  • Blastattack

    They re-design the AR15 and choose to keep the POS charging handle? That would be the first thing to go in my opinion.

    • Evan

      What’s wrong with the AR charging handle? I’ve always liked it. It’s ambidextrous, out of the way, and non-reciprocating. Plus, unlike the side charging handles, it allows for a separate ejection port cover, which is a big help in keeping dust and whatnot out of the action.

    • MiniBus

      Exactly, make all these other changes and retain the worst feature of the gun?

  • Edeco

    I like it. I’m usually with the “more to go wrong” crowd; I was being incredulous on here the other day about a take-down AR, because I think something as complicated as an added joint is witchcraft. But, vaguely, this looks/sounds like it might work alright.

    Is that pistol grip one piece with the lower?

  • Phil Hsueh

    So, I’m guessing that this rifle wouldn’t be CA legal?

    • Cymond

      hmmm … mag lock wouldn’t work. I guess you could go featureless.
      FWIW, I lived in CA for a few years and I found featureless to be more tolerable than the bullet button.

  • Josh

    I think dropping the bolt, pretty 10/10.
    Dropping the mag?
    Maybe not so much. That could cause issues if it goes wrong. Dropping the bolt is less of an issue than accidentally dropping a live mag when you need one.

    Actually, I spent quite a bit of time trying to brain storm a system that auto holds the slide back on a pistol as long as there ISN’T a mag in, and the gun cycles back. it’s basically a toggle that has logic like this:
    if the mag is in, and loaded, the slide completely cycles.
    if the mag is in, but empty, the slide locks back
    If there is no mag in, and the gun cycles, the slide STILL locks back.
    If there is a mag inserted onto a locked back slide, the slide will close on it.

    • Paladin

      The LA K12 Puma, a bullpup semi-auto shotgun based on the QBZ-95 does just about all of that except for dropping the bold on an inserted loaded mag.

  • jerry young

    I like the idea of automatically dropping the empty mag but as far as releasing the bolt when a new mag is inserted sounds a little unsafe, if the gun were to accidentally fire when the bolt drops and this kind of thing can happen and the gun isn’t pointed in a safe direction well use your imagination, while most people seem to be very cautious of safety there is always that one, and although the forward assist is mostly useless on sporting firearms its a different story on full auto’s ask anyone who has ever carried an M16 A1 or earlier version

  • jcitizen

    1st impression upon viewing this page – a vague resemblance to German WW2 LMGs.

  • Evan

    Automatically dropping the mag seems to me like a horrible feature…or was I the only person on earth who was taught magazine retention?

  • Wizard_of_odd

    Ya lost me at “Carbon fiber barrel”.. why the heck would I want a rifled ,absurdly overpriced “tomato stake”?!

    Show me a carbon fiber wrapped barrel that does not hold heat in like a Thermos and doesn’t start to crap the bed linens after 3 mags fired in quick succession and I’ll buy ya waht ever ya want to drink and eat after the range session and make an investment in the product..till then I call ” Tacti-cool BALDERCRAP”.

  • MiniBus

    Has what appears to be an aluminum, non-replaceable, pistol grip, which would be an ergonomic step backwards. I think the three gunners will love this gun, and it’s design is certainly eye catching, whatever it’s other merits. The company’s website did not mention the weights of the current models, which I find suspicious in guns that seem to be pared down for competition.

  • California law defines a detachable magazine as “any ammunition feeding device that can be removed readily from the firearm with neither disassembly of the firearm action nor use of a tool being required.” A bullet or ammunition cartridge is considered a tool.” Accordingly, once an AR equipped with the Cobalt Advantage Reload System has been fitted with a bullet button, it would appear to fall outside of the purview of the California assault weapon bans without encumbering rapid reloads. Though its magazine removes itself automatically upon running out of ammo, owing to the bullet button it cannot be removed readily from the firearm with neither disassembly of the firearm action nor use of a tool being required.