Bushmaster ACR Field Strip

The Bushmaster ACR was a rifle that the community expected to set the world on fire, and this it just sort of… fizzled. The pieces were there to make a great gun (with promises of unparalleled modularity) but sticker shock really hurt any potential sales that the platform may have seized. Still though, ACRs are neat rifles so we figured it might be neat to show what makes them tick.

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Alex C.

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


  • bull

    isnt that a ar 15 barrel? so a caliber conversion shouldnt be THAT hard to make…

    • Harry’s Holsters

      Unfortunately it isn’t. If the necessary parts for the quick change system was available then it would be much easier.

      • Anonymoose

        Yeah, from what I can tell, a standard M4 barrel and bolt are used in the ACR, but the stuff around it (gas block and barrel extension/nut) aren’t available for purchase. If they were, you could slap any old (carbine-ported) AR barrel in there in just about any caliber (short of .458 or .50Beo, but I think someone made a custom gas block to use those even). A lot of people have fabricated one-off custom caliber and length conversions for the ACR, but they are one-off customs.

  • Still waiting for those barrel change kits.

    • Harry’s Holsters

      There is a thread started by mr guns and gear on m4 carbine .net about getting Faxon to make barrels.

      The barrel is easy from my understanding. It’s the hardware that it difficult/expensive to get.

    • Kyle

      Those will arrive any day now I’m sure. Pity Magpul couldn’t have manufactured these themselves. I still want one of those PDWs that they prototyped years ago too.

      • Budogunner

        The day Magpul handed this project over to Bushmaster, the Masada died.

  • TheMaskedMan

    I’m hoping the MSBS will satiate my ACR jones.

  • Joseph Goins

    @AlexC What do you think is the probability of you making a video of a non-lubricated AR just to show that it is a reliable platform?

    • TheNotoriousIUD

      I dont think people here need convincing.

      • Zachary marrs

        Some people do. That said, those same people will just ignore it, just like the hundreds of other tests that have shown that it is a reliable rifle.

      • Joseph Goins

        Documentation, my friend.

      • AC97

        When there’s idiots like the ones that believe in .45 ACP “knockdown power” out there, I beg to differ.

  • jono102

    Would that railed hand guard support a 40mm launcher? It doesn’t look like much interface between the hand guard and the actual rifle.

  • Taylor Bosch

    Easily the most disappointing weapon I’ve ever handled. The one I used jammed like crazy, eventually succumbing to a serious double feed. The folding stock didn’t lock into a folded or open position and to boot, the owner informed me that the barrel doesn’t return to zero.

    Looks cool though.

  • The Punisher

    I loved my ACR. There’s only one reason it failed: Remington. The Remington Defense version corrects all of the flaws found in the 1st gen civilian models and does away with the way to heavy quick change barrel stuff. Just marketing some of the parts would have made me happy but nope they just wrote it off. I too am looking forward to the MSBS…if it ever materializes in the Western Hemisphere.

    • KestrelBike

      Are you sure? I remember a previous post where NathanielF was talking about it, and basically (and I think my memory is hazy and I got something wrong here) the weight was all in the BCG, i.e. didn’t have much to do with the barrel change system. So, it wasn’t something that could necessarily be left off the gun to make it suddenly better weighted. Not sure what the Poles did with their MSBS to make the weight better.

      I like my ACR, but it’s terribly, terribly front-heavy.

      • The Punisher

        There’s a gunsmith in Colorado who was making replacement barrels for ACRs and he was able to do quite a bit to lighten the barrel system. He was on the ACR forums taking orders but this was over a year ago and he had quite a backlog…not sure if he’s still doing them or not.

        I contacted Manticore to see if they’d be interested in making accessories for it but they declined…

        I mean yeah you said it yourself, it’s very front heavy. The Rem Def version, I can’t remember without looking it up, but it was lighter by quite a bit if I remember. It had a lighter BCG, lighter forend and it did away with the quick change barrel system plus had a lighter gas block system…so like I said if Remington just would’ve produced a gen 2 of the rifle with the Rem Def updates and/or produced the new parts that you could actually order, the ACR would be really kick butt right now.

        • KestrelBike

          Ah very cool, thanks for the info. I haven’t been on the ACR forums in a long time, I’ll have to go back.

    • lowell houser

      In other words, Remington “fixed” the gun by getting rid of the one feature that made it stand out from the pack? The quick change barrel is the heart of the system. The idea of the gun was that you didn’t need an armorer, the end user could reconfigure it with only a bullet tip as a tool. A trigger puller without a day in armorer class could pull off a full cartridge swap from 5.56 with NATO mags to 7.62×39 with AK mags, and both lowers could use the same trigger because it pops right out and installs into the new lower just as easily.

      What you are describing is not an ACR. it’s a piston AR15.

      Where the ACR failed was that Magpul marketed a multi-caliber ecosystem but Bushy only ever delivered a rifle in one cartridge with one twist rate in a barrel that was too heavy in a 16in length which screwed up the weight distribution. The class 1 version of the gun should have shipped with a pencil barrel to correct the nose heaviness issue.

      • NukeItFromOrbit

        I don’t think .300BLK was even a thing at the time, 6.8mm SPC would make more sense.

      • CavScout

        Not everyone wants freaking pencil barrels. Fn did that with the SCAR just to meet the weight reqs.

  • Jim N Jenna SK

    Nice video Alex

    • Filbert


  • Everyone

    Alex c is such a mall ninja. You should really remove him from your active writers.

    • Dan Atwater

      Yeah, what with his rolling block Remingtons and Mauser 98s and such, he’s right up there with Gecko45.

    • Ebby123

      I may find his opinions distasteful sometimes, but you’d have to be a complete loon to not appreciate the high quality work he does – free of charge to you, I might add.

      Don’t be an entitled prat. That is all

  • Justin Roney

    I really wanted an ACR. But I got tired of waiting and the election was coming up, so I bought a Sig 556 instead. Once they started coming out with such a high street price, that pretty much killed any interest I had in owning one unfortunately.

  • marine6680

    I like the idea of the rifle. I like it better than the Scar, and maybe even the 805. (and I love CZ and want an 805 badly)

    I just think the non-reciprocating charging handle is a great idea, and I like the looks a bit better overall as well. The rifle just seems well thought out as well.

    I’m not so sure of Bushmaster manufacturing it, and the lack of support it gets.

    And while we are at it, switching to the new more vertical grip angle, popular with ARs, may be a good idea too.

  • Slim934

    I imagine part of the lack of popularity is the fact that its more than 2500 wampums. Cut that in half and we’ll talk.

    • Budogunner

      Want it marketed in the sub-$1k range initially, before real pricing came out?

  • jono102

    I think if they combined the features of the ACR with the SCAR, you’d actually produce a very good system. An ACR’s style lower with its ambi features, non reciprocating cocking handle and better stock would enhance the light weight, accurate functional system on the SCAR

    • Green Hell

      There was a SCAR with non recipocating charging handle on FN website for IAR trials, I think. Didn’t come into production.

  • Looks like a really nice gun even if sales didn’t go well.

  • ACR_lover

    My fav configuration, enhanced stock with standard foregrip. The ACR is very good in a number of areas, and great at others. I have a real soft spot for a true rifle with a folding stock.
    Thanks for putting it back in the spotlight before it fades away. I feel that they may end up being highly desired collector items in a few years.

  • Kiran Buenafe

    If you want to beat the SCAR you have to beat the SCAR price. The ACR didn’t do that, and it’s really not that big of an upgrade from the SCAR, if any. Quick change barrel with… no barrels to change it to. Welp, that’s a failure. In fact, there’s no gun in the industry that’s impressed me with the barrel change system, since all of them fell through in their promise to actually release barrel kits. Sig 556XI? Fail. Ruger SR556 TD? Fail. ACR? Fail. What is the point of a quick change system with nothing to change it to? The concept always starts off good and then gets abandoned. At least a SCAR comes in something unique, a 7.62 caliber. The ACR is just another 556 gun, and I have hundreds of options to choose from for those, many of which are under the $1500 mark, even under the $1000 mark.

  • Hank Seiter

    Love my ACR. Shoots great and mine is 100% reliable with mil-spec aluminum and Pmags. Looks great, too, I’m just surprised you don’t see the ACR in more Sci-Fi movie. But the darn thing is so heavy! I was hoping mine would be one of those one-in-a-thousand when it came to MOA performance in order to justify its extra weight. After mounting one of my Millett Mil-Dot scopes the best I could get was 1.5 to 1.75 inches with an occasional lucky sub-1.5 group using match-grade 68 grain ammo. Very respectable though not sub-MOA. So the ACR sits in one of my gun safes since my preference is to play with my SCAR which is a hair more accurate and about a 1.5 pounds lighter – or it seems that way.
    BTW, the recoil of the ACR is rather brisk for a full size 5.56 platform so I spun on a three chamber “competition” muzzle-brake and that made a substantial difference in felt recoil which originally was about that of a light-weight M-4 AR-15 with a pencil barrel. But my SCAR out-of-the-box still has less felt recoil even though it weighs less. I don’t know all the physics going on but maybe my ACR is over-gassed or something.

  • Jon OathKeeper Perkins III

    I love my ACR Enhanced ive had zero issues with it. It will eat up and spit out all kinds of brands of ammo I’ve had next to no jams or issues at all. Just wish they had actual barrel kits!