Breaking: Radical Firearms Steps Over A Line And Makes Things Personal (UPDATED)

bad form

Note:  I want to take a moment to point out that most bloggers, reviewers and even magazine writers don’t do this as their primary job.

Visiting a blogger’s home or, as in this case, going to visit the boss of a blogger’s primary occupation because you were unhappy with a product review, is completely unacceptable.  

When you ask us to review a product, expect that we are going to be open and honest about our findings. 

If you have been in the AR-15 game for any period, the chance is good that you have come across a smoking deal on one of Radical Firearms’ rifles or uppers. Any chance of me taking that company seriously went right out the window as soon as they crossed the line with a blogger that was reviewing one of their “Blueline” rifles.

Primary & Secondary is a forum for professionals that use their guns in situations where bad gear can literally get you killed. Radical Firearms reached out to the staff at Primary & Secondary with an offer to review the rifle and asked “only for candid and unbiased feedback” The email to Primary & Secondary is attached at the end of this post.

When the staff writer received the rifle, he did a quick inspection of the components before heading to the range like anyone should when shouldering a new rifle. What he found on this supposed duty grade rifle was not up to par as a result of the following deficiencies:

  • Gas key not staked properly and able to be removed with little effort
  • Castle nut not staked at all
  • Upper out of dimensional spec
  • Lower out of dimensional spec

The staff member tested both the upper and lower receiver by marrying both upper and lower to various quality rifles from Colt, Daniel Defense, Bushmaster, Smith & Wesson and Sons of Liberty Gun Works. Each time the pins needed to be knocked out with a hammer and punch as a result of how out of spec the parts were.

After hearing about the issues Radical reached out to the reviewer and stated they felt he got one of the hobby grade rifles and would like him to send it back so they can send the right gun out. They never sent the second gun out; instead, Radical’s national sales manager drove over to the reviewer’s primary employer to complain about the review that was being conducted.

After the reviewer’s boss called him into his office as a result of the unprofessional and uncalled for visit to the reviewer’s primary place of employment, Primary & Secondary halted the test and will not be conducting any further conversation with Radical Firearms.

Radical

You can read the entire press release from Primary & Secondary by visiting their website.

UPDATE: Radical Firearms responded. They said:

By now you are no doubt aware of the recent “review” of an RF firearm that has circulated online. This event did not play out as was described, nor despite our request for a review did it begin that way. We don’t know what might have motivated and such distortion and misrepresentation, but distortion and misrepresentation it was. Because of NDAs, legal relationships with that individual’s place of employment (legalities that necessitated us making contact with that employer, which has also been misrepresented) and an unwillingness to create a cyber-slapfight, we see no point in going into further detail. We wish the writer no ill and are not concerned with allegations of subpar functionalities. We still welcome reviewers willing to provide candid feedback. The rifles will speak for themselves, if reviewed and reported honestly – in the unlikely event they do not perform adequately, we want that information conveyed honestly and accurately so we can deal with it righteously.

UPDATE UPDATE:

 



Phil White

Retired police officer with 30 years of service. Firearms instructor and SRU team member. I still instruct with local agencies. My daily carry pistol is the tried and true 1911. I’m the Associate Editor and moderator at TFB. I really enjoy answering readers questions and comments. We can all learn from each other about our favorite hobby!


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  • TheNotoriousIUD

    That sounds like an excellent way to get your a-s handed to you.

  • Blackhawk

    Next thing you know a company is going to try to sue bloggers… Oh, wait a minute…

    • Andrew

      Don’t get too fired up. Let’s keep this clean.

      • Ebby123

        Anyone smarter than a vegetable should be able to figure out that this kind of oily behavior isn’t going to benefit anyone.

        • Cory C

          Golf clap.

        • n0truscotsman

          hehe

        • Eric X Ericx

          I’ll have to give that comment a spectrum analysis before i say… uh… wait, never mind, I’ll STILL get sued. 😉

    • Kafir1911

      The more RF stirs the stink, the more it hurts their image and sales. What are they thinking?

      • Steve Skubinna

        Somebody should explain the Streisand Effect to them.

      • Daisuke0222

        Frankly the writer of that note from RF sounds like a douche. He asks for candid feedback, then gets butthurt when the reviewer provides exactly that.

    • Mike Lashewitz

      Oops I just set myself up!

  • Dank May May

    Dats some nice booty fluster you got there son.

  • Vhyrus

    Sounds like Radical needs to fire their sales manager ASAP before this fire burns out of control.

    • SPQR9

      Too late, the dumpster is fully engulfed.

      • Steve Skubinna

        Nice change to watch a dumpster fire not related to the election.

        • Mystick

          Dumpster Gnomes need a home, too! Now where is she gonna sleep?

  • DoctorH

    That’s a shame. I have an RF 300 Blackout upper that is super accurate and well built. I love their products and you can’t beat their prices, but I have heard that they are difficult to deal with directly.

  • SignalFromTheRim

    Talk about committing PR suicide.

  • thedonn007

    This is kind of making me regret my purchase of two radical firearms uppers.

    • Eric

      Good luck my friend, sell that junk or send it back…

  • Drew Coleman

    As if I didn’t have enough reason already not to use them…

  • Daniel Boom

    I ordered two uppers from them awhile back on a Saturday night and I had to cancel the order Sunday morning when a big expense popped up regarding my kid. I followed up with a phone call on Monday to make sure they cancelled and the person on spoke to gave me six kinds of grief and said the order was already shipped. He really went to pieces when I called him “dude” and started talking about he was a person with a name. ( I know some folk have a thing about being called “dude”, but I’m from south Florida, and I don’t coddle grown men’s feelings.) I asked him about the tracking number and all of the sudden he relented and said he’d cancel the order.

    Well, two weeks after I saw the money was back on the card, guess what showed up to my house. Two uppers. Now I could have just changed the credit card number and waited for them to figure out their mistake, but I was raised right and I knew the dude I spoke to would probably kill himself considering how he couldn’t handle being called “dude” if he had to deal with a loss like that. ($800 worth of merchandise.)

    He was kind of snarky when I called, but he sweetened up when I told him about his goof. I made sure to call him dude at least four more times while he gave me an RMA label.

    • Kyle

      A guy working for a company with radical in the name had a problem being called dude?

      • Jeff Smith

        ^I want to hug you. You’re my new favorite person.

      • Daniel Boom

        Yeah! Not very Radical at all! Went off on me about it. I’ve only ever heard of someone getting butt hurt about that in a “Preacher” comic. Must be a Texas thing.

        • Justin Cruze

          Nope, not a Texas thing.

          • Daniel Boom

            Good to know. People I have met from don’t seem like the sensitive type.

      • Jeff Smith
      • KoyoteTan

        That one actually did make me LOL. No company called radical firearms can employ people upset with bring called Dude. That’s like prudes working for “Sex Wax”.

      • supergun

        That is funny.

      • Ned Weatherby

        Way.

      • Thor Gustafson

        Nice play, Broseidon :).

    • Bill

      Some of us have names or titles; I’m pretty easygoing, but the local title of choice here is “bud” and “hun” which you don’t get to call me unless you’re my bro or buying me drinks.

      Of course, I call everyone dude, or dudester, or your dudeness, or whatever else I remember from The Big Lebowski, which thrills the Chief no end.

      • Klaus Von Schmitto

        Same here as far as calling everyone dude and I’ll take anything anyone calls me except “sport”.

        • Bill

          As soon as someone objects to being called “dude,” I call them “sport.”

          • Steve Skubinna

            Take it easy, champ.

          • Klaus Von Schmitto

            Says you, slick.

          • Steve Skubinna

            Good one, ace!

          • Klaus Von Schmitto

            I forgot about “ace”. Yea – that ones bad.

          • sonny

            How ’bout chimp or chump?

          • wrecklessralph

            Hey, stud.

          • sonny

            “sporty” works good for me.

        • zardoz711

          I’m not your buddy, guy!

          • Klaus Von Schmitto

            I’m not your guy, friend!

          • Mystick

            Calm down, Francis.

          • Klaus Von Schmitto

            Careful, the WGA will put you on an ice flow.

          • Rightway1208

            I’m your huckleberry.

          • itsmefool

            Great artist that Buddy Guy!

        • squareWave

          “chief” is the one that irritates me. Not because I have an easily bruised ego, but because it’s uttered almost exclusively by douchebags.

        • Rightway1208

          Y’all can call me anything, cept, late for dinner.

      • missourisam

        When I had contact with a citizen I referred to them as sir or mam unless they gave me grief. Then they became hoss or lady. You would be surprised at how many men didn’t like to be called hoss, and how many women didn’t think they were ladies.

        • Sunshine_Shooter

          The women who don’t like being called “Lady” aren’t ladies.

      • supergun

        BOSS

      • Budogunner

        In a customer service capacity, it makes no sense to insist on being addressed by name or title. Your job is to solve a customer’s problems.

        I get treated rudely by clients that don’t know the difference between a monitor and a computer but I don’t insist they “respect” my years as a project manager and software engineer.

        The thing is, if you just treat them well and solve the problem they start treating you will, too.

    • DanGoodShot

      I just had the WORST customer service experience ever. It wasn’t with a crapy company either. Well they used to be good anyway. Vltor. I loved their products. Always had a good dealings with them too. Till I emailed them about the possibility of my mur upper receiver being out of spec. In 1 year it wore out 2 bolt carriers. I went over the buffer system, gas system, everything.
      When I swapped out the upper receiver all my problems went away. There was alot more to it then just what I mentioned but you get my point. Something wasn’t right with the mur. When I contacted them about it I got the run around, talked down to and brushed off. After 7 rather arrogant emails not once did I get an rma# so I could send it in for them to check it out. Instead, I got, I was doing something wrong. So whats that say about the company. So much for that Vltor “lifetime” warranty.

      • FightFireJay

        “In 1 year it wore out 2 bolt carriers.”

        What? How the heck did it wear out a bolt carrier? How the heck is it possible to wear out a bolt carrier and not the aluminum receiver? How the heck is possible to wear out TWO bolt carriers? What the heck is going on here?

        I may have just had a stroke.

        • Andrew

          Right? An aluminum receiver “wore out” not one but TWO steel bolt carriers. LOL. I would’ve given him the run around too. And then forwarded his emails to everyone else in the office so they could have a good chuckle as well.

          • DanGoodShot

            It wore out the cam pin. In one carrier it wore the hole where the cam pin rides. Yes, an out of spec receiver will do that.

          • VLTOR Weapon Systems

            Hi Dan,
            I understand you are upset about this situation. We have reviewed the information about your possible warranty situation. Going through the email responses, we do not believe that Aaron provided bad customer service. His responses may have been short but they were to the point trying to get to the bottom of your issue. We also see that we did offer you an RMA to send back the upper so that we could do a deeper inspection than looking at pictures but we did not hear back from you on the information we needed to set this up for you. We have seen this sort of wear on uppers before and it is not due to an “out of spec” upper. This is why we were asking a lot of questions and offering suggestion to what the root cause may have been. If you would like to discuss this further- please email me directly and we can determine if there is a solution. My email is Katie@VLTOR.com

          • DanGoodShot

            Hi Katie, while I do appreciate your response although not entirely true. I certainly did supply all pertinent information and I never did receive an RMA. As a matter of fact the email I received after supplying my information was a very snarky response saying that my advice wasn’t needed. Advice wasn’t what I was offering. I was trying to give as much information to him as possible. I even apologized if I somehow came off as rude. But after that snark filled email I was upset and told him to forget it. As far as him “helping me” the only thing he ever did was suggested a heavier buffer after I made it clear I tried that. He certainly never asked any questions regarding the issue. I was sure to save all the emails including the one in which I gave all my info. As far as pictures go I have no clue what you are referring to as I have never sent or tried to or even offered to send any pictures. Again, the emails will show this, along with Mr.Cardenas snarky attitude. It’s good to know you all feel that this is how to deal with customers. Especially coming at them in a public forum. Thats just bad taste and does nothing but further prove my point. You have my email, address and phone number. You could have reached out to me in a private manor but you chose not too. I stated through all of this that I always liked Vltors products and the company until this issue.

          • Kivaari

            You did bring VLTOR up first. Since you chewed out their customer service in a public forum.

          • DanGoodShot

            As a paying customer spending my hard earned money, I certainly did. As do many other people when they have a gripe with a company. Could you imagine Ruger, Remington, insert any co name here____ responding to a customer like this? They would be crucified as being unprofessional. And rightfully so, because it is unprofessional. As a paying customer I have every right to voice my grievances, they are MY grievances. Also this is how a company builds a reputation, good or bad. As a small business owner in the service industry myself I’ve had to deal with situations like this. I would never think of engaging with the customer in a public comments section. I certainly would contact them via their private email and try to remedy the situation the best I could. Engaging in a discussion with that customer in a public forum, especially if your not going to be completely truthful is paramount to shooting yourself in the foot. It is just simply unprofessional. With that said. If you ever had what you took as poor service from a company, as a fellow perspective customer, I’d want to know about it. It helps some to make a more informed decision.

        • gamachinist

          Grit will embed in the softer metal and wear the had metal moving over it.
          This is why wrist pins in pistons wear more than the aluminum bore in the piston.

          gamachinist

          • DanGoodShot

            There was more wear than usual on the carrier and it was in odd areas as well. The gun would run good for about 250 rounds than slowly become a single shot due to short stroking. I swapped the bcg and it would run fine for another 250 rounds. Took me a while to nail down this issue. But Vltors response is what truly surprised me more than anything. I delt with Aaron Cardenas. Terrible at “customer service”. For me, that makes or brakes a company.

          • Ben Pottinger

            Just as a counter point, I had an out of spec 22lr barrel from cmmg and they paid for shipping for me to ship the barrel and upper to then (the only part that was theirs was the barrel) and they fixed it and made sure the whole setup ran right. They even reassembled it for me. Both times I’ve had to deal with cmmg customer service they have been awesome.

        • DanGoodShot

          Good catch. It wore out the cam pin. 2 of them. Not the carrier it self. It was late when I posted. My mistake. I’m going to edit it now. That would’ve been a little intreresting to see though huh. Lol
          It took me a while to figure out what was going on with that rifle. I was surprised when I did nail down the issue.

          • Kivaari

            You may want to watch the review on AK Operators Union regarding the Radical Rifle. I was actually impressed that the thing made it to 4310 rounds before the cam pin broke. That was after they stuffed it with sand.

        • Chuckwagon524

          He said 2 cam pins

    • Curious_G

      If you called me “dude”, I would probably just refer to you as “chief” or “sport” or maybe even “tiger” for the rest of the conversation (or maybe all of the above), but I wouldn’t flip out.

      • Daniel Boom

        I’d be good with that.

      • “Tiger” will now be my go-to, thanks for the suggestion.

        • Cian Smith

          I prefer Skippy.

      • Mark Are Reynolds Ⓥ

        Call me dude and I’ll call you honey. LOL!

      • Wood

        My go to is “Ace”

      • supergun

        The dude knows.

      • snowfarthing

        I have a son that hates being called by anything other than Matthew, Matt or Robert (the last being his middle name). I’ll often start with “Bud”, but cycle through things like “Chief” and “Boss”. I’m going to have to remember “Sport” and “Tiger”, and come to think of it, I don’t use “Dude” very often either.

        If he can maintain his distaste for such things, it looks like my son will make a good future sales representative for Radical Firearms!

      • Thor Gustafson

        The Dude Abides…

      • Harold

        Tiger!! Effing LOL!!

    • SerArthurDayne

      Between your dudical story and this awesome hoodie-dog, there is just so much win contained within a small space of the monitor right now.

    • Steve Skubinna

      Next time call him “bro.”

      • Deez Nuttz

        I prefer to call people “slick” just to irritate them, I have a friend that I call slick and he absolutely hates it which makes me do it more.

      • Daniel Boom

        Sure thing, bro!

        • Steve Skubinna

          If you’re face to face go Hawaiian and say “Brah.” Then do that hang loose hand gesture.

          • Daniel Boom

            Of course!

    • patrickkell

      But did the Dude abide……btw do you have any Sioux City sarsaparilla

      • Daniel Boom

        That’s a good Sasparilla!

    • supergun

      Good American Story. Shame that our politicians can’t do the same.

    • BigFED

      I don’t get too many people that call me “Dude” or any of those other affections. Things kind of settle themselves when I introduce myself as “Special Agent” …

    • Eric

      Wow, RF seems like some sad, unethical bunch of CROOKS.

    • Mike Lashewitz

      Pure poetry.

  • Big Daddy

    Purchased two .458 uppers from them to test. Before they even arrived I was so put out by their sales team’s condescending behavior I chose not to do business with them. They could care less about supporting dealers. I’m glad I chose Wilson Combat to get my .458 parts from. I vote with my dollar and haven’t regretted it. Radical Firearm is another Palmetto State Armory, in the race to the bottom of the barrel it’s the customer that always loses.

    • Dane Eisen

      Way to go,—————————-y out of a sale by supporting yet another chop shop with an unauthorized, out of-spec chamber reamer. You traded one POS .458 SOCOM for another.

      • Swarf

        The moderation policy on this site is silly.

        • Where did that come from and what are you talking about?

          • Swarf

            So you didn’t mod out something Dane wrote and replace it with a few dozen dashes and a “y”?

            If not than forgive my mistake, but I’ve seen it happen often here and it makes it look like the person writing the post is a 12 year old who is skeered to write a curse word, when in fact, it’s you guys who have an irrational fear of certain words in the common tongue.

    • Lee

      PSA is great. Stick with their premium uppers with the CHF barrels made by FN. Their lowers are excellent too.

  • Steve

    I have the misfortune of being involved with them in the past. The things I experienced first hand, made me vow to never do business with them again. They do a good job of providing decent parts at a great price, but its also true its not the first time I have heard of the people running their business, doing stuff like this.

  • John

    HEY! I gave you a free gun! WHERE’S MY GLOWING REVIEW, DAMMIT!!!

    We have been heading that way for years.

    • That’s just it the gun was sent back to them which was the arrangement.

      • aghadhsdg

        why are they implying then that it was a simunition upper only? Seems like they are spinning more mistruth to me.

        • Justy

          Now that’s some desperate damage control right there.

        • Sam

          I tried to look for their facebook page after this all came out and couldn’t find it. Wonder if they took themselves offline.

      • John

        What’s really funny is that they said, “oh no, that’s the crap we sell to the ordinary idiots! We were supposed to send YOU the good stuff!”

        So the poor SOBs that bought the crap made for “average citizens” are just out of luck?

  • BrandonAKsALot

    Sounds like Lee armory in the AK world.

  • SPQR9

    Well, that’s a pot of crazy right there.

  • Guess what you won’t be seeing on TFB.

    • guest

      In all fairness if it is such low quality POS and (speaking of the parts here… or the manufacturer… or both) you should definately do a review.

      • Joseph Goins

        It would better than doing a review of a BCM or Daniel Defense as we already know that they are reliable.

        • Yea but I like things that work—

          • JT

            I dunno, the type 94 and 14 videos were pretty good…

          • Stan Darsh

            Maybe a review of an Armalite 15F or AERO AC15 to see if a similar priced rifle can be well made and in-spec?

          • Christopher89

            So when is your Hi-Point review coming?

    • Ebby123

      I’d like to hear the other side of the story. Radical is calling bullshit on this unknown bloggers claim of impropriety, and I’m inclined to think further investigation is required.

      • Kivaari

        He wasn’t so anonymous, since they sent him a rifle for review. Then they hunted him down at his employer. Than thay said they had sent him a “hobby grade” rifle. The problems he had should not happen even to a “hobby grade” rifle.

      • Doug Larsen

        Read RF’s response email. They apparently don’t want to give their side of the story. Which makes them look even worse, IMO. (I agree with you though…IF they have a compelling counter argument as they claim, I’d like to hear it.)

  • Steve

    FYI, the reviewer was a LEO. Unforgivable behavior. Vote with your dollar people, email Primary Arms and share with them your thoughts on this.

    Lastly, their site states they need 8 weeks lead time to ship their product, but take payment immediately. Sounds like their clients are funding their business.

    • Simon

      How is Primaey Arms related?

      • ARCNA442

        I’m guessing because they carry a bunch of Radical Firearms stuff.

        • Cymond

          There’s even some co-branded stuff like optics mounts labeled Primary but made by Radical.

    • hahahaha holy crabs what a buncha maroons

    • Gus Butts

      If the reviewer was a LEO does that mean that Primary Arms visited his department to talk to his boss? It would be funnier if they were a few states apart and that they had to drive a long way.

      • Yes it does

        • Mystick

          That’s not cool. Like seriously not cool. Like the article was WAY too nice talking about it not cool…

      • Kivaari

        Did the reviewer suffer trouble with his boss?

  • DaveP.

    Streisand Effect, anyone?

  • Slim934

    Well THAT was PR harakiri.

    • nova3930

      As if they needed an worse pub with some of the junk they’re turning out. There’s a through the bore picture of one of their suppressor floating around where the baffle looks like it was machine by a chimp high on PCP. Bad enough that me, a guy who’s whatever is below a novice machinist, would be embarrassed to turn it out of my garage shop. It demonstrates employees that DGAF coupled with absolutely ZERO QC, a terrible combo even if you’re not talking an NFA item…..

      • John

        OK, thumbs up solely for the visualization of a chimp on PCP.

    • Gus Butts

      PR sudoku?

      • Giolli Joker

        Did you mean seppuku or did I miss the joke?

        • Gus Butts

          I made a funny.

          • Phillip Cooper

            Well, keep trying….

        • Tuulos

          Here’s the joke in picture format.

      • PK

        Are those the super difficult number puzzles? I swear, if I have to do another of those, I’d rather commit ritual suicide.

  • Just Sayin’

    Heard mostly good about PSA myself.

    • Big Daddy

      Just Sayin’

  • Big Daddy

    Go look at the PSA industry forum on arfcom, or on anything PSA posts on facebook, it’s full of angry customers wanting to know where their order is because they take your money and then take two months to build and ship your parts. You do know that “blem” is just a way to violate their distributor contract and blow out parts WAY under MAP. Guys do it all the time in my business, 12v electronics, except they call it “refurbished” not “blem”. My first and last order from PSA took almost three months. Never again.

    • RocketScientist

      Huh, thats news to me. Then again, I avoid facebook as much as practical, avoid arfcom even more assiduously (really guys, your website doesn’t accept gmail as a valid email address, and I have to pay to join? plus the community there is ~95% toxic attitude and idiots). So maybe I just haven’t heard the rumors. I’ve never had any issues with customer service or wait times myself, guess I got lucky. As for them being in violation of their contract or whatever, that is literally the last thing I am concerned about, its between them and their distributor. Not my problem. All i know is i get great quality in-spec lowers at a great price, and in all cases the “blemish” is maybe a fleck in the anodization, usually inside the receiver or magwell area. I’ll keep this in mind and maybe dig a little into the reputation next time I’m considering ordering from them. Thanks.

      • You are welcome to check out the forum attached to P&S… which is why this article started.

      • JamesWWIII

        I bought my blemished POF P415 from PSA during a 10% off “scratch and dent sale” for $1365 all in, and I’d challenge you to find the flaw on that rifle (not to mention, it’s a gun, not a classic car, it’s supposed to look like you actually use it). Needless to say, I’m not at all unhappy with their business practices.

        Disclaimer: I live in Columbia, SC, and PSA is where I do my indoor shooting.

    • john huscio

      Got a premium midlength upper from them less than a week after I ordered it. Quality is good, the few stoppages I had were my own fault. Never heard any complaints about PSA build quality…. the complaints I hear are invariably about shipping/wait time.

    • wysoft

      I really like my full PSA Premium CHF/CL midlength build, it’s been a great shooter.

      SO much that when the 20″ rifle bug bit me, I ordered one of their PSA 20″ nitride 1/7 rifle uppers and LBKs.

      Not only did the upper take nearly two months to arrive on my door, but when it did, the barrel had a ring just a little bit inside the muzzle. It looks like the crowning tool scuffed the rifling.

      I contacted them and shipped it back for repair, asking nicely if they could just exchange the upper for another. I filled out the RMA form as nicely as I could.

      Two weeks later (without any shipping notification or tracking number until I asked on the Arfcom industry forum), the upper arrives back on my door.

      No notes inside, nothing. Just the upper, which appears to have been fired. Look down the barrel, the ring is still there.

      I was so pissed off that I haven’t even bothered to contact PSA again. I thought they would just replace the upper. No customer should have to see that when they look down the barrel of a NEW upper.

      PSA CS rep said I could shoot it and not violate the warranty, so I’m going to see how it shoots. If it shoots great, I’ll just run with it and enjoy it – I can live with a less than perfect bore if the rifle is a shooter.

      If it shoots like hell, I’ll blow up the PSA industry forums and describe the process and complete lack of interest PSA has shown in me as a customer. And the thread will probably get locked too, as is what seems to happen every time a customer is not happy with them.

  • Just Sayin’

    While I agree Radical did a real sh!ttee thing here, I have to take exception with the mil-spec test outlined here in. Just because you have to tap out the pins when you mate a Radical lower with a “quality” upper doesn’t mean it’s not mil-spec. If you look at the mil-spec drawings, the tolerances are relatively loose. If an upper is built to one extreme and a lower to the other extreme the will fit tight, and likely function together just fine. The TD pins will wear in eventually.

    • mig1nc

      I actually have a Noveske lower with a BCM upper that I have to tap the pins in and out of. Granted… It was a chainsaw lower. So I’m not complaining. I keep a pin pusher in it’s pistol grip.

  • John L.

    It’s in the “be careful what you wish for” category.

  • Easily Amused

    I must have laughed for at least a minute. Thanks for the very appropriate gif.

  • Simon

    PSA (Premium line, not Freedom) quality is good, it’s their lead times that’s terrible and alot of people are reporting credit card fraud after dealing with them.

  • Jeff Smith

    Why the hell would their “hobby grade” rifles be out of spec? Also, why would you ask someone to review your gun that’s not made to a decent standard? By now, most everyone (who knows AR-15s) expects a gas key to be staked and not easily removable and the gun to be made to the right specs. Any manufacturer asking for a review should expect that a reviewer is going to mention that the gun doesn’t match the competition. If you want to sell me a turd in a box, at least have the common courtesy to tell me what it is. If you want to sell me a “sub $600” AR-15, sell it to me by telling me it’s a budget gun that I can actually afford. There’s an entire market there. But don’t tell me your product performs better than guns “double the price” and give me a piece of crap. That’s just asking for a bad reputation.

    • Ethan Shi

      From what I can understand, Radical accidentally shipped the reviewer a “hobby grade” rifle instead of their special handpicked rifle just for the review, contacted the reviewer and asked to swap it out because they accidentally sent him a crap rifle. Reviewer basically told them to go pound sand, he’s going to review what he got sent. Cue Radical going to his boss and whining…

  • Just how did the blogger decide the upper and lower were out of tolerance/dimensional spec? I’m not defending the moronic stunt pulled by the company but I am truly interested in how he determined this. Having been involved with getting a production operation for machining uppers and lowers I came to a very shocking, at least to me, conclusion. Almost all uppers and lowers on the market are not in mil spec as far as major index points. The reason I know this and how I determined it was the owner of the company I was working for complained that the upper to lower fit was too lose. Discussing this with QC we made sure every thing was at the minimum side of the tolerances to make sure it would be as tight as possible. IT was still too lose for the owner. I stated that if he wanted his uppers and lowers to me mil std for fit to other ones that he was going to have a certain amount of play. A large gun store owner and gunsmith said I did not know what I was talking about and he showed him numerous other big brands of AR15s and they were tight. I asked if he tried a Colt and he said he had not since they had none in stock. They both went out and found several Colts in Stock at another place and much to their surprise all of the Colt guns had the same amount of wiggle as our production guns. The only conclusion is that other manufacturers have change the tolerances slightly to tighten up the upper to lower fit. These manufacturers often sell “matched pairs” which is another indicator that they are not in mil std specifications. We adjust our tolerances slightly to tighten things up a bit as well with the caveat that there could possibly a upper lower out on the market that was at the other end of the tolerance range and might not fit. The owner was willing to accept this. So how did he decide which uppers and which lowers were in spec? (before anyone mentions, obviously there is no semi automatic AR15 that can be truly mil spec since they are not machined to take the full auto parts.)

    • JumpIf NotZero

      Just how did the blogger decide the upper and lower were out of tolerance/dimensional spec?

      Wondered exactly this. But if he really had difficulty removing the FCG pins with a hammer, well, I’d probably call that out of spec.

      • I rear it to mean that when they were mated to non radical firearms upper the pins had to be driven out. How can you determine which one is in/out of spec? Granted if several were tried then it would tend towards the lower being out of spec but as I said above, the likelihood that they are all out is real.

        • Sunshine_Shooter

          He had lowers and uppers from at least three other companies he mentioned by name in this article. Read the article again.

      • Phillip Cooper

        Did you guys even read the article?

    • MrBobBarker

      the AR15 specs (eg. MILSTD) are public, you could probably determine if something was obviously out of spec with calipers.

      • You would have to be extremely talented to do so. The measurements are very hard to take with just calipers.

      • Tom Currie

        There is no indication in the article that ANY measurements were ever taken. Simply that the upper was assembled to other Name Brand lowers (and vice versa) and the fit was not to the reviewer’s liking. IF this was in fact done with numerous Name Brand rifles and ONLY one brand was consistently a poor fit, that would suggest that the odd-man-out was the problem, but as others have already mentioned it is not proof that any ONE of those components was any farther out of spec than the industry as a whole.

        Also note that we have only one side of this story in any detail while the other side of the story is supposedly blocked by an NDA (which may or may not be valid) while questioning the provenance of the rifle being reviewed as not having been submitted for a review but having been provided to another entity for an entirely different reason.

        Whenever I see two drastically different stories – or even one side of a story where the other guy supposedly did everything bad and the person telling the story did everything 100% right, I will generally expect that the real truth is somewhere in between.

      • PK

        Referencing which point, exactly? It’s all relational.

    • JSmath

      Read the paragraph right after where they mention the receivers being out of spec.

    • DIR911911 .

      it says in the article that he tried mating the upper and lower with others and all were too tight too take apart without a hammer and punch. that would mean the holes for mating the upper and lower were slightly out of spec. people get bent out of shape if there’s play between the upper and lower not realizing it has nothing to do with the accuracy of the gun at all. just might make enough noise for the ninjas down the hall to hear you though.

    • PK

      Hello, fellow engineer… that was my only real gripe, too. Well, of course they’re out of spec – almost all ARs are even after ignoring the shelf/pocket and autosear hole.

  • Daniel Boom

    They have been very courteous to me….and I’m a huge pain in the ass!

  • Daniel Boom

    My buddy just reminded me of the time that he bought a BCG from Radical and it just didn’t work. He kept trying to get a hold of them and they kept playing games with him. He just took the loss. I was talking to the ladies at Karri’s Guns about an issue with one of their builds (which they remedied professionally and quickly) and they offered to take my buddy’s BCG and help him out. I always thought that was classy of them.

  • ARCNA442

    I’m surprised no one’s mentioned it yet, but AK Operators Union recently put a Radical AR through their 5000 round test only to have it break halfway through. They just started testing a PSA Freedom, so it should be interesting to see how the Radical compares to another low quality AR.

    • USMC03Vet

      Ski isn’t held to high regard here for his questionable/dangerous training methods that’s why. I like his recent tests he’s been doing and having a the cam lug break in two is a serious failure as he pointed out.

      • andrey kireev

        safety margins are a lot lower back east… just saying.

        • USMC03Vet

          He’s an American now though and a member of the armed forces. He knows better by now. :p

          • andrey kireev

            I was too blown away by what I called “stupid safety things” when I moved to states, and even more so after joining the military… starting with “it takes two airman to change a light bulb… because one has to hold the ladder”

      • ARCNA442

        I agree his methods are rather odd, but its rare to see testing of the cheap stuff (probably because every reputable knows its going to fail) so I find the results of his 5000 round tests very interesting.

      • Gus Butts

        I’m surprised he replaced the entire bolt-carrier group instead of getting a new and better cam pin.

        • Sunshine_Shooter

          in his own words, “I don’t trust any Radical Firearms bolt carrier parts”

          • Gus Butts

            He’s right about that.

  • Raoul

    I have two of their uppers as beaters for friends and they function fine. Even BCM has duds now and then.

    • Zachary marrs

      RF has duds more than “now and then”, and BCM won’t go to your workplace if you don’t give them a glowing review

  • Anonymoose

    I thought staking castle nuts was out of vogue now? That other stuff is just plain disgusting, though.

  • Triplanetary

    Educate me please. What is a “Hobby Grade ” firearm ?

    • tazman66gt

      They are the rifles assembled by the first month employees, on the job training.

      • Triplanetary

        Thank you

  • Kivaari

    Why would anyone buy a “Hobby” grade rifle. A company should put out a nice product that isn’t cheap. Hobby grade sounds cheap and from their own admission it is cheap. I suspect the hobby grade is the same rifle they promote as a professional’s rifle.

    • Steve Skubinna

      If I heard about a “hobby rifle” my first thought would be Airsoft.

    • Sunshine_Shooter

      Bushmaster rifles are hobby grade.

      • Kivaari

        I’ve heard that, but in looking at the patrol rifles the fit and finish is much higher grade than most of the entry level rifles. I’ve used the lowers and had one older rifle that perform fine. The finish is great. They are not LWRCIs, but they aren’t $2400 either. The finish is as good or better than issue M16A1s and Colt M4s.

        • Sunshine_Shooter

          I do not actually carry a rifle for work, so hobby grade is good enough for me. For me that means a rifle that has a failure rate of well below 1 every few hundred, which is why I like my ~$1k Stag AR so much. Bushmaster would fall into that category.

          Duty grade means if the rifle breaks I could easily die. I’m fine with paying $2400 for that level of reliability.

          • Kivaari

            We didn’t pay anywhere that much money for Colt M4s. My personal M4 only cost about $1200 and I’d bet my life on it. That’s more than the department paid, even in adjusted dollars. There are plenty of good $900 rifles out there. What I find on the cheap ones, is they simply look cheap with sloppy finish. The Bushmaster Patrol Rifles I’ve been looking at appear as nice as any Colt or Stag.
            I use Colt and Bushmaster lowers and BCM uppers. The straight Colt or Bushmasters I had were just fine. I had a DPMS and an Armalite that were fine rifles.

          • Steve Skubinna

            A couple years ago after the last round of “Ban All Guns!” hysteria (Newtown) I decided that it was my patriotic duty to own an AR. I had, at that time, five rifles chambered in 5.56 and not one was an AR (probably made me unique among America gun owners)..

            So I looked at a bunch on the racks, and kept skipping over the Bushmasters and Rugers and Olympia ones to go back to the Colt M4. It was $1200, two to four hundred more than the others and I finally said “Oh hell, it’s a Colt” and asked for the 4473. Been really happy with it ever since.

            Interestingly, a couple years ago the Navy detachment where I was had what looked like M4s. I took a closer look at one and said “Hey, these aren’t FN, they’re Colt!” Took another look and saw they were not even M4s but M16A1 lowers with short barreled flat top uppers on them. It’s not surprising that the Navy holds onto guns long after the other services get rid of them (most of the tricked out M14s in service today came from stocks at Crane), but I was tickled that they’d repurposed old M16s that way.

          • Kivaari

            That’s good to hear. We had very good performance from the M16A1s in our armory.
            I wouldn’t feel under-gunned with one of those 40 year old rifles.

        • n0truscotsman

          I’ve seen bushmasters many times run hard and reliably. Even though they’re ‘hobby grade’.

          • Kivaari

            Bushmaster-Remington I believe has the current M4A1 contract for the US Army. They may not be LWRCI grade rifles, but I think they are pretty good gear. In the Army we had H&R M16A1s and they were pretty good rifles as well. At least they met spec and the only time I saw them broken was through physical abuse where men threw them into tracks and piled gear on them. But mechanically the things ran just fine.
            In looking at new rifles on the gun store racks, the ones that appear the crudest were Rugers, simply because the dealer wouldn’t stock anything lesser quality. The SIGs and LWRC rifles do draw the eye and then the price tag falls into view. I am not sure they are worth the extra money considering how good the Colts, DPMS, ArmaLite and Bushmasters appear and work.
            The least acceptable upper I ever bought was made by DSA. It did not fit well and had a rough exterior finish. However the two rifles I built using them on top of Bushmaster/CMMG lowers worked just fine. That said, I’d not buy DSA uppers again since the price was only slightly less than BCM while the quality was less.

          • No, the current M4A1 contracts are held by FN and Colt. Bushmaster and Remington were each stripped of their previous contracts for the M16 and M4, respectively, before production ever began. Bushmaster lost its 2007 contract because it was meant to be a small-business set aside, and it no longer qualified after being bought by Cerberus. Remington lost its 2012 contract after a GAO award protest by Colt.

          • Kivaari

            Thanks.

          • HollowTs

            They were better before the company was bought out. They were the only lowers and parts I used for at least 15 years.

          • Gunner4guy

            Was my experience over the years that the H&R built rifles simply shot better overall than the Colts. Each time I PCS’d to a new unit I’d ask for an H&R(except when I got stuck lugging a 203 which was on a Colt). IIRC the XM177 I carried for a few months had an H&R lower as well but that might have been a mixmaster, been waay too long ago(45+ yrs) to be sure now anyway.
            Never heard the term ‘hobby grade’ before – kind of gives the implication such a rifle was junk.

      • John Redman

        I’ve been around AR15’s and M16’s since 1970. I have never heard of a hobby gun. Also I can’t speak for the quality of Bushmaster since they jumped in bed with Remington but the pre Remington rifles were just about as good a rifle as anything on the market today. Bushmaster was the company whose ground breaking Varmint Master gave the every day guy or gal the opportunity to own a custom production, tack driving, rifle. In the 20 years I’ve had mine the only thing I’ve replaced is the main trigger spring and a firing pin.
        And maybe I’ve been living in a cave but I’ve also never heard of Radical Firearms. Evidently I haven’t missed anything.

      • HollowTs

        Yes they are these days! Sad thing is they used to be great.

    • Jesse Johnson

      Radical is just garbage all around nothing I would ever recommend anybody buy and that was long before all this happened. Even just the stupid ass name Radical. I know 3 people alone who had barrel extensions come loose after the 1st or 2nd range trip completely unacceptable that should never be coming loose. I can see maybe if you torqued the hell out of it swapping muzzle devices maybe just maybe if the extension wasn’t torqued to spec I think 150 ft/lbs or if its melonite treated then maybe it will come loose but still it shouldn’t come loose just from firing a few mags through the upper. I have also seen pics of their keymod hand guards with the damn keyholes going the wrong way. People get really butthurt about it all too from the mfg to people who sell the stuff. I was banned from AR15GOA Facebook page the other day just for saying that I know a few people having barrel extensions coming loose when somebody asked what Radical was when some other member posted about issues he was having with the junk he bought. They have a site on AR15GOA selling stuff and they constantly push the garbage Chinese Trinity Force stuff they sell as well as the junk Radical stuff. Within a min or so of me posting I was banned and what makes it worse they just posted like the same day that butthurt was not grounds for banning a member well I guess they were butthurt I said the junk they sell from Radical was junk and needed a tube of Preparation H.

    • What the hell is a bobby rifle? I’ve never heard that term used.

      • Kivaari

        I think I wrote “hobby” grade rifle, like the person before me. I don’t know why anyone would want a “Hobby grade” rifle, as it reeks of cheap.

      • Kivaari

        Perhaps a British police rifle.

      • Kivaari

        Hobby grade rifle.

      • Steve Skubinna

        That would be a Roberts rifle cut down to carbine length.

    • Harold

      I bet for every Daniel Defense Noveske BCM Colt rifle sold there are five Radical PSA RRA Busmaster sold. “Why golly, that Bushy is $100 less than the Colt and just as good!” BRAVO SIERRA BARBRA STREISAND

      • Kivaari

        My point is most rifles are pretty damn good once you get in the $800 and up range. Now the SIGs, Colts, LWCR rifles are pretty niclely finished. I don’t know if they are worth two to three times what a Colt or Bushmaster sells for. I like them. My rifles all sport BCM uppers in both standard grade and hammer forged variants, and they are finished better than many rifles. But I don’t know if they are any better than a Colt. I do know they are better than DSA, at least the ones I assembled.
        From what I see, I don’t see many people shooting their rifles enough to know the difference. I no longer pump thousands of rounds through my rifles or issue rifles. I do know that the Colts made it through training and being issued. The only Colt I saw go down was a 9mm LEO that I couldn’t keep the barrel on. Colt in its usual fashion did not fix the issue.
        Most of us will never wear out any middle-priced AR.
        If this were another time in life I’d likely own one of the expensive rifles just because they are finished better. I just don’t know if the price is worth it. That hasn’t stopped me in the past, just old age stops me now.
        I assume BS means the common meaning, but I don’t get the Barbara Streisand bit, it must be generational or cultural.

        • Harold

          Cultural? We are 99% Gun Culture White Dudes here. Barbra Streisand is another way of saying Bravo Sierra instead of “Bull$hit”. I heard it from an old white guy.

    • randomswede

      “Hobby grade” if applied to a competition rifle would be OK.
      A rifle that isn’t suitable for any environment but the range because the trigger is too light, it needs a nice oil bath every 300 rounds, it has no provisions for slings etc. But we already have a name(s) for those rifles.

  • Gehrig Austin

    I bought two radical Firearms upper receivers and I’m not happy with either one of them the first one had a ground off tip on the firing pin which I contacted them about and they never even sent me the replacement firing pin

  • Barry

    Never heard of this company before. The fact that they make something called a “hobby grade” rifle tells me all that I need to know. Nope.

  • andrey kireev

    And, another one off the list of possible buys =)

  • Roger Seward

    Wow! Thats a very scientific method of testing a rifle to see if it out of spec “tested both the upper and lower receiver by marrying both upper and lower to various quality rifle” How did the Radical Arms upper and lower mate up to each other? Isn’t that the important thing?

    “Gas key not staked properly and able to be removed with little effort” Young Manufacturing, Inc produces some the finest BCGs in the business and they don’t believe in “staking” the gas key. They use Permatex gasket sealer and torque it to 56 inch pounds. There is a write up on their website regarding the issue.

    “Castle nut not staked at all” Yes it probably should be staked, particularly if its a no BS battle rifle. But in all fairness I have repaired/coated 100’s of ARs from basement built to very high end factory rifles and I would say maybe 50% if that were staked.

    I have no affilation with Radical Arms. The few times I have dealt with their products they seemed fine for most recreational shooters, particular for what they cost.

    It is unbelievable to me that the national sales manager of Radical went to the reviewers primary job and complained. I would have lost my mind on that!

    • RSG

      Lost your mind? I’d be in jail.

  • coolpop

    I rebarreled 2 radical firearms uppers and both times the barrel unscrewed from the barrel extension. I’ll never do business with them again.

    • Jesse Johnson

      I know 3 people who had barrel extensions come loose like the 1st range trip. Absolute garbage would never touch any of their trash. I have even seen pics of their keymod hand guards with the keyholes going the wrong way. I know at least one with the extension issue sent the upper back only to have the same damn thing happen again. Radical is an absolute joke even the stupid ass name would lead me to never buy any of their trash.

  • Gus Butts

    It’s funny to me that the sub-$600 Chinese Norinco AR-15s we get in Canada are actually better made than these “veteran-made” cheap American rifles and never break.

  • 22winmag

    If “breaking news” like this falls in the forest, and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound?

  • Srminter

    I own one of their 300 blackout uppers. I couldn’t be happier. Beautiful gun by thecway.

  • KoyoteTan

    The update letter makes it sound like they had to contact his employer for legal reasons. What possible legal reasons would they have for contacting his employer other than his employer is a distributor/manufacturer of parts or services going into those guns or uppers? I would really like to know.

    In the social media world, going after someone’s employer for private unrelated content online is called doxing and it would be very bad for RF’s PR to have engaged in this behavior.

    • Employer is not in the firearms industry nor is there a NDA with employer.

      • Steve Skubinna

        Doesn’t make much sense to ask for a review from somebody you had sign an NDA… I remember a couple decades ago Rain-X sent Andy Rooney a sample (don’t know why, it wasn’t like he was the go-to guy for opinions on auto products) and he didn’t like it and did a short segment complaining about it. Rain-X actually made noises about suing which seemed stupid – you send him a sample hoping he’d praise your product, you better be ready to take it in case he doesn’t.

  • JeffreyDodson

    Is that what this is about…CUSTOMER SERVICE ? suck it up, your crying as much as the guy on the other side of the phone. I don’t deal with RA, however, I have a RADICAL ARMS AR15 PISTOL that I absolutely love. Shoots flawlessly.I bought it through Primary Arms. Those guys are the bomb. They will help you with ANYTHING.and even give advise. Go see if you can get the customer service you prefer from a bad guy….I agree it was wrong what the guy did, going to the reviewers primary job. Ever thought they might have gotten a bad one? It happens. I know several people that have RA ARs and they too are happy with their gun

  • Phillip Cooper

    How does Captain Hook figure into this?

    • Havok

      Quote from the movie “Hook” with Robin Williams…

  • And this, folks, is how you Dixie chick you business.

    • Doug Larsen

      Bad analogy. A lot of people falsely think the Dixie Chicks ended their career with their political fiasco. But they actually became more successful, financially and in terms of awards. That story didn’t end the way many people think it ended.

      • They disappeared from airplay in a time before streaming had gained steam and their tours went from 50k seat arenas to tier two locations of 10k and cancel some shows. Thier CD sales dropped. Their full steam success did in fact come to a halt with one really stupid move. Hell, even NBC refused ads for their 2006 documentary and the Red Cross terminated a $1m partnership with them. Then in 2008 they just kind of took a break. Sure they toured as the opening act for the Eagles, which is a sad fall for the trio that was once the top country headliner. Until their recent tour, they hadn’t headlined in more than a decade.

        So, yeah, it’s a really good example to use. They are textbook for what happens when you do something really dumb.

        • Doug Larsen

          That’s a very selective recounting of affairs. You might want to look up their sales and awards. Their best year (financially and in terms of awards) was 2006, when they won 6 Grammys and had the “Record of the Year” and “Song of the Year”. In fact, most of their Grammys were won AFTER the 2003 incident. And their 2006 album sold 526,000 copies the first week. Apparently their CD sales didn’t drop for long!

          What actually happened after the 2003 incident is their audience changed. They became less popular in America, and more popular globally. You should look at the revenue from their 2015-16 tour, too.

          Most of us would LOVE to become so irrelevant. ;). Again, not a good analogy. Unless the point was to show that after a meltdown, you can come back stronger than before. And I’m pretty sure that wasn’t the point.

  • Ebby123

    Gas key not staked – OK, that’s actually a real issue, but an easily fixable one.

    Castle nut not staked – And? The vast majority of the ARs on the market don’t have staked castle nuts – without issue. That was primarily a Colt thing IIRC.

    Pins hard to get in and out – And? Isn’t that a desirable thing – a tight fit? They fit on another manufacturer’s parts, without affecting function. That’s a PASS in my book.

    Upper and lower out of dimensional spec – Who’s “Dimensional Spec” are you using? I was unaware there was a universal AR tolerance print that all manufacturers swore a blood oath to make their product to.

    This, from some unheard of blogger who stands to gain financially from the traffic a good controversy would create for him.

    I call bullshit.

    • The reviewer was already conducting a review on a SOLGW carbine. He was not going to have them overlap. During down time he did a thorough inspection of the RF rifle. During that inspection he found some issues which he reported to both RF and the Facebook group where the review was going to be posted.

      P&S is mostly mil/le/industry -centric. If you haven’t heard of it it might be due to the fact you don’t know the right people.

      • Staking the castle nut is standard for most brands which offer duty ready options.

        With P&S being mil/le focused, that is an important factor.

    • There is no way the blogger would make a dime from it.

    • Just Sayin’

      I agree, except there IS a mil-spec set of drawings out there (you can Google them, IIRC you can download them free from one of the 80% lower organizations) that AR manufacturers claim to use when they advertise “Mil-Spec” parts. It’s just that the tolerances are just loose enough that having to tap out TD pins is not a sign of an out-of-spec lower/upper.

  • Jesse Johnson

    Radical is absolute garbage. I know 3 people alone who had barrel extensions come loose the 1st or 2nd range trip and at least one of those when they got the upper back it happened again. I have known or read plenty other issues with their low end garbage hell I even seen pics with their keymod hand guards having the keyholes backwards.

  • Chris Earp

    RF has always been trash.

  • Jason Lewis

    $299 for an upper what do you expect? Radical Firearms fills a niche for some people and no I don’t own one.

  • HKGUNS

    Who actually buys this garbage anyway? I suspect they won’t lose many customers.

  • LilWolfy

    They’ve been cranking out garbage rifles and uppers for a while now. Ever see a barrel un-torque itself from the extension under fire?

    How is it in 2016 that we are seeing uppers and lowers that don’t mate up? A rifle meant for simunition? Sims uppers drop onto any Mil-Spec lower. That’s the point. What does that have to do with a complete rifle being “blue line”?

    This whole episode shows how some people aren’t fit to venture into the firearms industry. Start-ups with no technical competence need to be identified and shamed for getting simple things wrong. Even more so, when they behave like this and retaliate with a reviewer at his or her place of employment, there needs to be consequences.

    • Kivaari

      I had a Colt 9mm LEO gun that I couldn’t keep the barrel on. Colt seemed offended that I called them and sent it in for repair. They sent it back and the barrel unscrewed again.

      • LilWolfy

        Just one problem. The Colt 9mm SMG doesn’t have a barrel extension. There is no locking mechanism. It’s straight blow-back operated.

        The only thing I can think of would be the barrel nut unscrewing on it.

        We’re talking about 7.62×39, 5.56, and .300 BLK AR15s where under fire, the barrel comes un-torqued from the barrel extension.

        • Kivaari

          The nut comes loose and there is no gas tube to limit the travel. With the gas guns the tube acts as a nut stop. It was a design fault that could have been fixed.

  • Kivaari

    It would sure be nice to know what the bottom line really is. I can see rifles listing for $559 being pretty crudely finished. I watched the AK Operators Union test of one, and it did pretty good until 4310 rounds when the cam pin broke. That was after they ran the gun 3000 rounds and filled it with sand. That added grit and grim wouldn’t be good for any rifle. I don’t consider a cam pin failure to be that unexpected after the abuse given it. BUT, that doesn’t tell us what’s going on. We get stories here that this was a “hobby grade rifle” than it was a Simunition upper and then bloggers saying they bought several and they were junk. I’d have stopped after one junker.
    I guess if they are chasing the junk rifle market they have succeeded by building an under $600 rifle.

  • Ashley Furman

    wow.

  • n0truscotsman

    Ive had a crapload of orders from PSA and never had issues. They’re my first recommendation if someone wants *any* type of AR.

    The premium line, for the money, is pretty unbeatable. Im taking advantage while I still can.

  • CavScout

    It’s Radical. They make economical grade guns only. This is how well most economy grade guns would stand up to a closer inspection.

  • Mystick

    Wait… isn’t the whole point of a “castle nut” to alleviate the need to be semi-permanently “fixed” with staking or other ductile deformation through geometry to allow a removable positive radial rotation inhibitor such as a pin or detent?

    • twr

      M4’a are staked. That’s what the smaller notch facing the receiver is for. Problem with staking them is when you go back try to add an accessory that requires removing your receiver extension. I don’t stake mine either.

  • supergun

    Desperate People do desperate things. We all make mistakes. Not all products pass the test the first time. Remember when Hyundai autos were a piece of sh**. Now look at them.

  • gyrfalcon

    Take it easy fry guy!

  • CJS3

    RF makes a rifle that I could make in my garage using an 80% lower and cheap ebay parts. Why they have the enthusiastic following I keep reading about is something I’ve never figured out. Take the hit, and move on.

  • Eric

    Wow, RF seems like a true “hot mess” of an organization” and they will get this much of my money in the future: $$0.00

  • Will

    I will never buy Radical again because quite frankly my Radical upper had many issues and when I wrote a bad review on the product page they censored it and it was never posted.

    Issues:
    1.Upper would not mate with Anderson or PSA lower and needed the pin holes altered to make fit.
    2.It dents the shell casing when extracting. I suspect an issue with the barrel lug catching the side of the casing.
    3. Upper hand guard was mounted crooked so the top rail is not in line with the receiver rail.
    4. The mlok openings on the hand guard are out of spec and milled too small to actually fit mlok accessories.

    • Gus Butts

      4. The mlok openings on the hand guard are out of spec and milled too small to actually fit mlok accessories.

      Do you think that they didn’t even bother to get the free package from Magpul to build their M-Lok accessories to specification?

  • Eric

    PSA customer service is pretty poor from my personal experience….

  • Mike Lashewitz

    “Hobby grade rifle” What the hell is a hobby grade rifle? Is that the one like a crappy built vehicle (no I did not say Ford, though you thought it) that has so many problems but is not recalled for decades?

    Where does the concept of, “I am a Hobbyist, please sell me a piece of crap.” Originate?

    Though most of us who spent decades in the military truly know how pitiful the meaning of “Military grade” really is, one would not consider ANY company that would actually condone let alone STATE they sell “hobby grade” products.

    When I build a weapon, I want in no uncertain terms to know that product will not fall apart or blow up in my face, I am odd that way you know.

    So you sent him a weapon because you respected his opinion and then you follow up in that manner? What part of committing company suicide crossed your mind? I am guessing none.

  • Mike Lashewitz

    Yep PSA is A OK.

    • whamprod

      I’m glad you guys have had a good experience with them. My only alert with PSA is to advise people pay attention to how high PSA has torqued something they assembled. My son was working as a gunsmith for several years and a customer brought them a PSA barreled upper and wanted them to change out the barrel for a new one. The old barrel was original to the upper, as sold by PSA. When the torque required to loosen the barrel nut was greater than the highest recommended spec for an AR15 and it still wouldn’t come loose, they called the customer in and showed him the problem because they didn’t want to risk damaging the receiver without him knowing the problem. He came in, saw the problem, and told them to go ahead and apply as much torques as necessary. So they did. The barrel nut was on so tight that the torque applied to try and loosen it eventually tore the upper receiver in half……and never did loosen the barrel nut. That is how the product arrived in the customer’s hands from PSA.

      Now, like me, my son owns a number of ARs, and a couple of his are assembled from PSA parts, including a complete barreled upper he bought from them. He has had zero problems with his barreled upper, including when he eventually replaced the M4 profile carbine barrel with an 18″ SPR barrel. He has also helped friends assemble their ARs from PSA parts and had no problems.

      BUT…. although that over-torqued barrel nut is probably the rare exception rather than the rule with PSA products, it has always scared me away from buying from them. I know a lot of people who have bought from them and have been real happy with their purchases, and I’ve heard that their customer service is pretty good, but still……..

      • Mike Lashewitz

        Thank you whamprod for the heads up. I have never bought a fully assembled weapon from them, only the parts for builds. Since I prefer building to buying out right. I am the only one I can get angry at. However I did get one 9MM conversion that would not take a magazine. They exchanged it at the store after seeing it would not work.

  • Hytekrednek

    I like to use “Homie” when trying to ruffle feathers. “Cuz” is also used a bit just for the fun of it.

  • Al Shartpants

    A truly unbiased review is worth its weight in gold. If I owned a company I would want to know what other people really thought of my products and if they have problems the appropriate way to handle it would be to acknowledge the mistakes and make sure they fixed them.

  • Ned Weatherby

    A friend just ordered a radical upper with no BCG or charging handle. Zeroed in 4 rounds, striking gong at 300. No failures. That being said, I have taken apart other uppers, and found the barrel nut either way over or under torqued, gas blocks improperly installed etc. Might be good to take the upper down and check a few things…

  • Thor Gustafson

    I bought two pistol uppers from them via Primary Arms. I couldn’t get the bolt into battery. I pulled it apart, and the gas tube roll pin was in front of the gas tube, so the gas tube was sticking out about .38″ too much, besides the other problems this creates. pushed out the pin, reseated the gas tube, pushed in the roll pin through the now properly aligned gas tube, and everything is great 700 rounds later, no problemswhatsoever. I neglected to locktite the handguard screws and lost one after a tactical class. I emailed radical to inquire about purchasing some matching spares, not even mentioning the earlier problem, and they sent me 5 free of charge. So Issues but,generally speaking an OK experience.

  • Eric X Ericx

    A buddy of mine got one of their .50 Beowulf uppers (Anderson lower… all fit good).
    It looked great externally but when we went to test fire… “click”… then another “click” then another. Turns out the firing pin wasn’t to spec and didn’t protrude properly. Luckily, i have a few extra parts and we got it to work 10 min after I noticed the light primer strikes.
    Now, that was hardly RA’s fault since they didn’t make the firing pin but still, a few rounds at the factory to test… hello?
    Then, once we got it to go boom, it wouldn’t cycle. The barrel nut was not timed right (2min off) and the feed ramps were not polished correctly. A combination that not only impaired feeding but cycling. However, I am a fairly competent AR doctor so that problem was diagnosed and remedied quickly.
    The deal was great… less than half the price of my personal Alexander Arms… but take note, while he saved $600 on the Beowulf upper, IT MAY NEED SOME WORK!
    RA seems to have really good components but they need serious work in the assembly and testing area. A simple test fire at the factory would have caught all three of these issues before it shipped; however, they weren’t.
    But, you get what you pay for. The .50 upper my buddy got was a great deal but it needed some professional TLC before it was made into the reliable hog-hunter it is today. As with ANY “bargain” (like Model-1 Sales and other kits), there may be some “after the sale” issues a beginner or amateur might not be equipped to deal with.

    Have a good gunsmith or veteran (Army armorer here) that’ll take a 12-pack of beer on trade for checking that bargain you got. A “great deal” might not always be what it seems.

    RA was good on communication (his upper was back-ordered 12-weeks but delivered in 9 when my aunt told them it was an anniversary present… kudos to them).
    Quality of components was good (maybe better than comparatively priced parts).
    Assembly and attention to details was BAD.

    I’ll still give them 75/100 as long as they don’t cuss at me or threaten to sue. 😉

  • Harold

    I don’t care how tight finds are. Save up another month or three and buy a high quality upper or complete rifle from Colt, FNH, BCM or even Smtih & Wesson for $200 to $300 more with zero worries that come from this bargain basement Shiite. 6920’s are $900 max, 1776’s are $750
    max, rock solid BCM uppers can be had for $650, CDNN sells good S&W AR’s very low.

  • Doug Larsen

    RF’s response of, “…We’re not going to discuss the details because we’re above the fray, and besides, it involves big time legal issues you wouldn’t understand…” strikes me as suspect. If the “details” are on your side of the argument RF, by all means, you should want to share those details and clear the air! That you’ve chosen otherwise based upon the facts the public knows, doesn’t reflect well upon you at all.

    Either further explanation, or a gigantic mea culpa are in order. Anything else will certainly not be rewarded by the consumer market.

  • DanGoodShot

    As I have already stated, I gave them several chances. I have all the emails that prove that. Thats why I took it public. I gave them every chance to make it right. She comes on here “offering” to help but says I never gave the info they needed. I sure as hell did. As well as 3 more emails beyond that. Not ONCE was there an rna# in any email after I gave them my info. So, how thats them trying to make it right is very questionable. I kept my cool through all this but the last email. At that point I should have long since had an rma but didn’t and it became clear that one wasn’t comming. Also, at that point I lost faith in there ability to make a non biased evaluation of my upper. As far as me “opening the door” or “I started it” is some 3rd grade b.s. that I wll not engage in any further. I already explained more than necessary. I’m done with this convo. Its up for others to decide where to spen their money.

    • Kivaari

      Call them and ask what it takes to send the thing in. I’d have shipped it already. BS walks, and you walked.

  • DanGoodShot

    Sir, With all do respect, I don’t think you heard me. When finally asked, I DID give them all my info. I DID give my phone, home address and email. I should have received an rma# after that. That was what I was told and all I was looking for. At that point I was being very polite. I STILL NEVER received an rma. I have all emails to show this. This is why I said Katie’s comment was not fully truthful. This was also the first time I have EVER had any issues with any company like this as I only deal with reputable companies. Vltor has been an outstanding company with excellent products until this happened. Thats why I was shocked and also why I brought this up. Sir, I fully have respect for all your experience and background. I’m not trying or looking to be some random PIA. If you had seen the emails I sent and received you’d see that I tried to handle this according to Vltors stated procedures and did not receive the same in kind. In short, After a few emails back n forth I received an email asking for my info. I provided said info. I never received RMA#. Instead I receive a response I took as rude and unwarranted. A couple emails later, still no rma. Than, on here, Katie falsely states, after asking for my information they never heard back from me. They did receive my information. There were also four more emails back and forth after that. Never did any of them produce an RMA. Nor did ANY of them “try to address my issue”. Thats MY fault? Thats me being a bad customer?? Katie also stated that they feel he provided good customer service. Why would I deal with her when clearly I’m going to get more of the same and a blatant lie. At this point I lost confidence that my upper would get a fair evaluation. If you see the emails I’m sure you’d feel differently.