NEW: The Modular SKELI X11 Rifle

Well, what do we have here? Details are slim at this point, but SKELI, a U.S. based company, recently announced their X11 Modular Rifle. Piston driven, and missing the buffer/buffer spring combination, SKELI promises the X11 will be a compact, clean running gun with interchangeable standard AR fire control parts.

In addition, the barrel is set up to be hot-swappable, allowing the user to change calibers in 60 seconds or less. Optional calibers are not yet listed on the company’s website but an adjustable gasblock does come standard on the X11.

Here’s to hoping that TFB eventually gets to test and evaluate one of these rifles, but for now we will have to wait for them to appear in booth N366 at the 2017 SHOT Show.


From the SKELI Website:

Reliable, modular, lightweight, piston-powered, the X11 is everything you ever wanted in a next-generation modern sporting rifle. Developed from the ground up over a course of 5 years, the X11’s primary goal was to bring the greatest technological advancements in modern engineering. Crafted in the U.S.A, the X11 presents many innovative features including advanced ergonomics, reliable piston operation, and ambidextrous controls. Superior accuracy and extreme reliability were the core essential goals set forth in the development process of the X11 weapons system, which in turn led to multiple Patents Pending.

Weighing in at 6.8 lbs. unloaded, the X11 is one of the lightest piston operated next-generation carbines in the world. The X11 presents notable advantages over its competitors including a 60 second quick-change barrel system for various calibers and configurations, trouble free maintenance, and an array of modular and ambidextrous features. The quick-change barrel system maintains its zero after repeated removal of different barrel configurations and calibers and is capable of both right and left hand ejection by simply changing out the bolt. The new patented gas adjustable floating piston system is integrated independently from the barrel structure, making caliber conversions lighter for carry on personnel, and lowering the overall costs of ownership. To further the X11’s modular features, it utilizes AR-15 drop in fire control groups. Caliber changes can be conducted by the operator in under 60 seconds. Manufactured 100% in the U.S.A. using U.S.A. materials and resources.



Forged in 2012, SKELI is an industrial research and development firm concentrating on 21st Century small arms technology designed for the civilian, law enforcement, and military markets. Innovation, performance, and rapid research and development are some of the standards that bring us above our competition. SKELI utilizes modern CAD/CAM engineering software to design and manufacture each project, as well as conduct various real world and computer based testing. Our advanced engineering methods provide us with a competitive edge in the design of small arms, further leading to a strong intellectual property database insuring a positive industry hold.



LE – Science – OSINT.
On a mission to make all of my guns as quiet as possible.
Twitter: @gunboxready
Instagram: @tfb_pete


  • xebat

    What is it with these companies trying to create modular platforms and reinventing the wheel. It’s over, the AR15 platform is dominating the market and that for a good reason. The only way to really innovate is to drastically change the way firearms work, caseless ammuniton for example.

    • Pete – TFB Writer

      Typically change is done by evolution not revolution. Small steps forward interjected with breakthroughs. But I mostly agree with you.

    • Giolli Joker

      Corollas are dominating their market as well… yet a world where you find only Corollas on the road would sadden me.
      This doesn’t strike me as the next weapon to be chosen by the Army.
      Civilian consumers may love options.

    • QuadGMoto

      This design solves two problems that the AR platform has: the main spring location in the stock (which prevents folding stocks or other options), and a charging handle with facial interference and is a channel for some of the gas towards your face.

      The AR-15 is an excellent platform, but to solve problems like these (and others) requires some sort of major departure from that design. Whether or not this design could accomplish that definitely remains to be seen. But unless designers take such risks, we’ll never reach the Next Big Thing which will make future generations treat the AR design as a collector’s item.

  • IshTheBuddha

    That lower receiver and stock reminds me of a 1990’s video game controller.

    • SP mclaughlin

      Duck hunt blaster!

  • MrBrassporkchop

    I bet it’s gonna cost over 2 grand, I’m calling it right now!

    • Harry’s Holsters

      If it does it brings nothing to the market but a huge risk for the consumer unless you collect forgotten weapons.

      • Ebby123

        Progress will continue to be incremental until we develop an alternative to combustion-propelled weapons.

    • R

      Their website says MSRP will be $1449. Who knows what it will actually be though. I would guess they realize they’ll have to get well below the 2K mark to be competitive.

  • Audie Bakerson

    Any praticular reason this doesn’t use AR15 grip installs?

    • Gregory

      Because it is not an AR15? Life is not all about the AR15, there are other rifles that are superior to them.

      • Audie Bakerson

        Plenty of non-ARs use the grip install point.

        If you’re going to be naming your product “modular” having a single fixed grip option (when dimensions seem like your fancy grip could work fine on the attachment point) is kinda lame.

      • BattleshipGrey

        In a market bursting at the seams to bring us modularity and options, there’s not much reason to skip the one point that probably has the most options, which is AR pistol grips.

      • Henry Reed

        Also, I’m curious to know which rifles you deem superior to the AR.

      • Simon Boyle

        True, and the re-hashing of the AR-15 is boring, but think of the market they would have if they used the huge AR-15 accessories market?
        Always get confused by companies that design rifles like this, from the ground up, and don’t make it compatible with grips, rails/fore-ends etc. Just missing a trick.
        How much more likely are you to consider this if you could stick any grip and any railed fore-end etc on to it?

      • Christian Hedegaard-Schou

        Based on the picture, it clearly uses an AR LPK, so yeah, it’s still really weird that it wouldn’t accept AR grips. Especially since it’s “modular”.

        I’d want to put an Ergo grip on there, for example. I hate these vertical/reduced angle grips.

      • Paladin

        Ergonomics is one of the areas that most benefits from modularity. We all have different preferences for grip style, and there’s no one size fits all solution, so going for a molded in grip in this day and age is stupid. As for why AR15 grips? For the same reason it uses the AR15 FCG, availability. The aftermarket is already there for the AR, with more grip and trigger options than you could shake a dozen sticks at, so everyone can find something they like. No other design has the same degree of aftermarket support.

    • lowell houser

      The same reason Magpull didn’t use them on the ACR – they are okay with the rifle failing commercially as long as their engineer is happy. No, really, dumb little things like not being able to change a pistol grip or put on a MOLON LABE dustcover will actually doom your design because the guy that wants those things will just buy another damn AR15.

      • lowell houser

        Also, ten bucks says the op-rod is captive on the extruded receiver, probably uses a piston that’s captive in the gas block like an M14, makes a barrel change real easy. Which is going to be another problem for the design – doubtful that uses AR15 standard barrels which will make it cost prohibitive to tinker with so I hope they do a better job of providing barrels and spare parts than Bushmaster does.

  • Harry’s Holsters

    This needs to come in at a good price point meaning sub $1000 street. Everyone is begging for something different but they aren’t willing to pay for it. Why take a risk on a new gun from a new company when you can buy something like a CZ Bren, FN SCAR, AUG, Tavor, Sig MCX and know you can at least get parts for it and it has a decent track record?

    We all want something different than the AR but don’t want to take to much of a risk or pay a large sum. We are all looking for the new AR180.

    • Below $1K? Not gonna happen.

      • Harry’s Holsters

        I’m afriad you’re right but I can’t see this being a success unless they can do that or have extra special marketing.

      • Ebby123

        Not until its been adopted by the U.S. Army for over a decade. Volume is inversely correlated to cost. The more you make, the exponentially less each one costs.

    • Kronos007

      I like the fact that it can eject to the left side. So I would buy one.

      • Harry’s Holsters

        ARX100 does that and at $1200-$1300. This does look better but doesn’t have the guarantee of support that comes with buying a beretta.

        • iksnilol

          ARX was also jammed up by just using its controls. That smeared it for me at least.

          • Harry’s Holsters

            I still haven’t been able to handle one. It just looks odd and bulky to me. I’ve also heard the controls are small. Still a cool gun from a tech standpoint.

          • Ebby123

            My personal opinion – the ARX is a cool concept that was HORRENDOUSLY executed. The features list on paper is pretty impressive, but the gun itself seems to have been designed by someone who was not a gun person, and had no concept of design ergonomics. It was physically painful just to rack the bolt..

    • Twilight sparkle

      What you want is an mpar 556… Ofcourse the problem with buying a “next gen” gun like this for under $1000 is that you get what you pay for. The only company that could reasonably do it would be norinco… and we know why that won’t happen.

      • Harry’s Holsters

        MPAR is great in concept but from the reviews I’ve seen it’s like you say but you get less than you pay for.

        I still think it could be done. Look at the Serbu upper that was recently offered. A larger company could probably bring the price down.

        Barrels are relatively cheap, do a DI system to cut costs, extruded upper, Polymer Lower. A barrel retails for under $100, gas system under $50, and design a BCG that comes in under $100 retail or under $150.

        I think it can be done you just need the right team.

        What I really want is a glock carbine!

        • Organgrinder

          Congrats! You just described the AR-12 “B” or “C”:) Now if someone could get off of their butt and start producing them.

  • roguetechie

    I like the thought, but they missed way too many points on my personal checklist.

    I hope the people who do buy it wind up with solid and enjoyable guns.

    • b0x3r0ck

      It really bothersome when someone says something is missing something and they don’t say what is missing.

      • Tim Pearce

        Well, to be fair, if he started listing the ways in which this doesn’t meet his personal criteria, it would just mean dozens of people would start jumping all over his case and calling him an idiot for having opinions that differ from their own. This is the internet, after all.

        • Twilight sparkle

          Psh no that wouldn’t happen, the Internet is a fun and inviting place with no disagreement…


  • People will complain that the charging handle is too far forward, even
    further out than the HK G3. Some folks will also burn a finger or two
    on the exposed barrel nut.

  • ColonelColt

    Kel-Tec called and they want their ugly back. That being said, if they fixed that pistol grip and it was a reasonable price I would seriously think about buying one of these. Keep it up.

  • iksnilol

    Shortened magwell? Nice.

  • Can someone point me to the charging handle? They claim forward and ambidextrous, but I see no provision for it.

  • Vitor Roma

    Hummm, so an american MSBS.

    • CharlesH

      Which is just a Polish ACR….which is just a production version of the Masada. Originality be damned! (I actually do like the design though)

      • Chris22lr

        More like Polish G36 with Beretta ARX quick barrel change in a ACR looking shell. But still these are all AR-18 descendands. I think that only FN went it’s own way designing SCAR around FNC action.

        LSAT/CTSAS for the rescue?

  • Raoul O’Shaugnessy


  • I really like the slim profile of this design; most of the current crop of piston rifles (CZ Bren, SCAR, ARX100, etc) are rather blocky.

    Excited to check it out at SHOT.

  • alex waits

    The next vaporware gun is here! … or not!

  • TDog

    The more the merrier, I say. And maybe I’m just being shallow here, but the two-tone layout of the furniture is what I really like.

  • Antonio rivera

    Dont no body want no revolver looking pistol grip on there rifle…..hideous

    • iksnilol

      Allows the stock to become effectively become longer without actually increasing its length.

    • Ebby123

      in the interest of keeping the OAL as short as possible, carbines are being used with increasingly short stocks and more vertical grip angles.

      Look at the Magpul K pistol grips, or a number of other similar products from BCM.

  • USMC03Vet

    Stock looks retarded and super non functional unless you’re a lefty. Left folding stocks for right hand shooters is just simply obnoxious.

    I want to see more though. Keep us up to date, TFB!

    • iksnilol

      What’s advantage of right folding?

      I am curious, since I never thought much about the way the stock folds. I don’t mind left folding because I can grab the pistol grip with my dominant hand whilst opening the stock with my left.

      • mig1nc

        Left folding makes it easier to design while allowing it to fire while folded (assuming right side ejection). But left folding for a right handed shooter makes the stock get in the way when it is slung while folded. Also if it is across your body in front of you, you have to angle the gun or push it away from you to fold it out, like in a vehicle for example.

        Right side folding is more ergonomic for right handed shooters, but the designers need to consider how to eject cases through the stock or otherwise make the stock fold down at an angle.

        There may be other reasons, but those are the three considerations that always jump out at me.

        • Ebby123

          Valid points I had never considered.

      • USMC03Vet

        You can actually sling it comfortably and manipulate it much easier. Are you really asking about such obvious things? Have you used a left folder at a righty before? It’s pretty obnoxious.

        • iksnilol

          Used a left folding AK. No problems slung.

          Have yet to try right folding. Probably not an issue either.

  • Sasquatch

    Cool. Just keep it simple.

  • DanGoodShot

    And yet ANOTHER good reason to move out of Connecticut…

    • DIR911911 .

      but , but , I’m not IN Connectitcut

      • DanGoodShot


  • kregano

    If they can get this out at $1500 MSRP in decent quantities with good quality, they might have something. That stock design scares me though. At first I thought it was an ACR style stock, but it’s a hollow piece of plastic that looks like it might break if you bang it into something hard.

    • DIR911911 .

      keep the garand handy for buttstocking the daughter’s boyfriend

  • This thing is uber pretty. I like it a lot. Trouble is, I’m not an early adopter. Waiting a year for a Ruger MkIV, and I still want a CZ Scorpion carbine, but going to wait that one out too.

    I think the earliest thing to release date I ever bought was my 22/45 lite when it was preodered.

  • andrey kireev

    since when is 6.8 pounds considered lightweight ?

    • TDog

      When rifles like the Tavor, SA80, and Famas all weigh close to or over 8. 😉

    • iksnilol

      that is pretty light for me.

      WIth a loaded mag and it should be decent enough weight to somewhat be stable.

      • andrey kireev

        but you don’t even count an optic, Comp M2 /M4 weight about 12oz + thats another pound

        • Twilight sparkle

          No company counts an optic when they weigh their rifles… i mean you don’t have to put an optic on it if that’s just too heavy for you.

          • andrey kireev

            I know, but still.. 6.8 lbs is not at all light for a bare, unloaded rifle… weight will only go up from there.

        • iksnilol

          Eh, that’d improve the situation for me.

    • Red McCloud

      That’s extremely light for a rifle. Most rifles nowadays weigh around or more than 8 pounds, not counting .308s.

      • andrey kireev

        umm…off the shelf M4 style AR15 weights about 6lbs, that’s without aftermarket light weight hand-guards and light weight stock…

        • Ebby123

          So yes, 6.8lbs for a modular piston driven system is pretty darn lightweight.

          What you’re really comparing it to is:
          -AR-15s with piston conversion kits
          -ACR, BREN, SCAR rifles

  • Goody

    I can’t wait to see this in the next teen-coming-of-age-in-a-dystopian-post-apocalyptic-society trilogy. “But I’m just a mediocre teen!” the protaganist cries as a strike team enters, armed with guns that no one wanted.

    • Gus Butts

      “armed with guns that no one wanted” I laughed.

  • TJbrena

    “A problem in search of a solution!”
    “The AR is already perfect!”

    Really though, it might be cool.
    Make some changes to the ergos, keep the price under $1.5k, allow use of AR pistol grips, make sure caliber change kits are actually available and it could be successful.

    Here’s hoping we get a nice new MSR and not a miserable flop!

    • nadnerbus

      I’m not in the market or anything, but the caliber conversion will be the most interesting part. If they can finally bring a convertible caliber rifle to market, make the conversion barrels and bolts actually available, and price them cheaper than a whole new rifle, they might have something.

      5 or 6 hundred bucks for the kits, and this thing might really find a niche.

  • Cal S.

    As long as they’ve got adjustable back-straps on that pistol grip for my bear-claws, I’m interested.

  • Dracon1201

    I have no confidence in this product. It really doesn’t sound like the company knows what it’s even talking about. Only positive I see is the AR trigger compatibility.

    I just question any company that brings a firearm like this to the table that doesn’t have a name to back it. Maybe Skeli can answer this legitimately; Why wouldn’t I just build an AR instead?

  • Twilight sparkle

    That’s the most rediculous place for a charging handle… Even worse than the punch yourself in the face ar charging handle.

    And they missed a good opportunity for a nice sight radius

    • kregano

      It’s not the worst place for an ambi charging handle I’ve seen. When your charging handle becomes your front swing swivel, then you have some problems to work on.

  • roguetechie

    It’s like a Daewoo k2 in some ways… A funky one that completes the assault rifle operating system trifecta. Daewoo itself did a long stroke and a DI gun. Now there’s a short stroke again.

  • Captain Obvious

    Well, hmmmm…it’s modular= more stuff you have to acquire in order to utilize it’s features=more expense. I’m all for new ideas and stuff but the AR is pretty modular in itself. Pop out two pins and you can change calibers and configurations pretty quickly.

    • Ebby123

      IMO, Gen4 MSRs need to have at a minimum the following features:
      -Quick change barrel system that holds a reasonable zero.
      -Fully ambi controls, or end-user reversible controls.
      -Piston operated
      -Provisions for gas-flow adjustment between suppressed/un-suppressed
      -Accepting of a Folding stock
      -An extremely high degree of modularity
      -A design that lends itself to affordable manufacturing (I’m looking at you ACR).

      I agree – None of these are Needs persay, but in a world where combustion propelled weapons have nearly reached their technological zenith, the only advancements remaining are in features like these.

      Pie in the sky – I’d like a single platform that could be modified to fill almost every long-gun role, both in size and functionality. This would include:
      1- A pistol-caliber SMG
      2- An intermediate-caliber PDW
      3- An intermediate-caliber Carbine or light service rifle
      3- A Rifle-caliber service rifle
      4- A light (6.5CM or similar) long-range caliber DMR,
      …all with one base platform.
      Oh, and it needs to cost less than $1,000 for any single configuration.

  • forrest1985

    This has the next call of duty written ALL over it!

    • Ryfyle

      Battlefield had a way better selection.

      • forrest1985

        My point exactly! This rifle is hideous lol

  • Max Müller

    Ladies and gentleman,
    The next ACR.

  • Mmmtacos

    Looks like the XM8 and the ACR had a baby.

  • IshTheBuddha

    Wow they already made a bullpup conversion kit for it! Skeli stayin’ ahead of their own curve.

  • noob

    Could you put it out of battery if you pushed the charging handle up against dense underbrush?

    Also it would be neat if somebody made a next-generation platform that was truly modular and also open sourced, so that any gunsmith could make the parts. Having clearly defined open source specs that anyone can make money from and contribute to would be the only real way to reduce development risk. You won’t become a billionaire that way, but you will see the gun get to market with an ecosystem of parts and accessories instead of dying in the cradle due to non-adoption.

  • Ryfyle

    I like it. Slim and Simple. Will Keltec Have competition in the “Not an AR or AK” division?