Update On The F&D Defense XAR Folding Rifle | The Coolest New Rifle We Have Seen

At the NRA annual meeting, we got a chance to talk with the guys over at F&D Defense about the new XAR folding rifle that got me reasonably excited and it appears that many others are reasonably excited as well. I imagine that the guys over at F&D Defense have been flooded with questions about the new rifle prompting them to put together a FAQ to handle some of the questions.

F&D Defense says that the first rifles will be available for purchase sometime this summer (2017) with an MSRP of somewhere between $2100 to $2500. They do not release detailed specs on how the first model will be configured, they do ask that instead of asking for more information directly to refer to their website and sign up for email notifications.

They also address the accuracy and zero repeatability of the XAR going into a bit of detail about how the tapered fitting and latch system works. They say that the prototype rifle was built as an AR-10 in order to test durability and reliability on a more demanding platform. F&D Defense also says that they intend to prove the system through some video as well as offering the rifle to reviewers. Hopefully, we can get our hands on one for testing, we would love to show you guys how the rifle works and put it through the paces.

Visit the F&D Defense website to sign up for updates or learn more about the XAR folding rifle. You can also read the XAR frequently asked questions to get the details straight from the horse’s mouth about what to expect.



Patrick R

Patrick is a Senior Writer for The Firearm Blog and TFBTV Host. He likes guns and has liked shooting guns for as long as he can remember. You can follow Patrick on Instagram @tfbpatrick, Facebook, or contact him by email at TFBpatrick@gmail.com.

The above post is my opinion and does not reflect the views of any company or organization.


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  • UCSPanther

    The Pocket Fisherman of AR 15s…

    • Haulin’ Oats

      We need Ron Popeil to pitch this gun on a late night infomercial. And dont forget to use his cousin Arnold.

  • DC

    2100 for a feature pretty much already present on a AR15?

    Ehh, it will probably struggle in this current market. Interesting idea tho. If it weer a $100-$300 premium give or take for the special upper you would have an argument.

    • Sunshine_Shooter

      You know, that’s a great idea. If they could distill the folding mechanism down to a rail & upper, sell that for ~$800 and they’ *dominate* the market.

      I mean, look what Law Tactical did with a $300 folding buffer tube spacer.

  • Mike K.

    $1000 over the price of already good quality/brand non folding AR-15 seems like a whole a lot of dough for essentially just a folding/hinge mechanism. i know it’s R&D/cutting edge type deal BUT with all that being said value of the hinge still seems WAAAY too exaggerated. i was at first excited about possibility of having compact gun, but unfortunately my fears were well founded – yet another over-priced feature that costs a lot but buys you very little. at this price folding barrel is nothing more than a very-very expensive gimmick.

    • Haulin’ Oats

      F&D uses quality parts like walther-lothar barrels and very tight tolerance manufacturing. Similar takedown AR’s cost around $2000 usd and none of them come in 308.

      • DC

        I guess I was operating with the assumption this was a AR15 not AR10 platform rifle. Is that assumption incorrect?

        • Haulin’ Oats

          We are talking about AR10. F&D doesn’t make any AR15s.

          • SGT Fish

            yet!

          • Nathan Alred

            Yet is right. At the very bottom of the page was a listing for the “XAR Invicta” in 5.56

          • Haulin’ Oats

            Thanks for the correction.

  • My concern isn’t how well it retains zero it is the first few dozen times. But how long it remains repeatable.

    • JSIII

      My concern as well I want one of these checked for Zero in the first 10,000 rounds. I wouldn’t be surprise if that rifle got a wabble once we get into higher round counts similar to a lot of lowers.

      • Preacher

        you guys definitly did not spend enaugh time using your simulation device: In mechanical aspects, the forces the construction has to withstand are laughable.

        • Palmier

          Care to elaborate?

      • iksnilol

        Mount the sight to the handguard rail.

    • Wow!

      The zero should not be a concern. I did a similar project back in 2010 for some guys with the only difference being that instead of a latch, I used a taper locking hinge (think FAL stock design). Basically I took an AK, made the piston disconnected from the carrier and stand alone with the forend with it’s own return spring, made a new mount for the dust cover, welded on my hinge and then cut the rifle exactly behind the front trunnion. Of course the iron sights would stay zeroed since on an AK they are on the same assembly, but even when using the side dovetail rails, I got at least within 2MOA repeatable precision (which is respectable for an AK). Shooting over time did not increase the grouping size (I tested up to 1000 rounds) in part I think because of the hinge design. As the contact points wear, the hinge retains it’s tightness since it locks based on two wedges pressing against each other.

  • Martin Grønsdal

    If you are out of ammo, fold, aim and press the bolt release….

    • Russ Kell

      Rawr. With optional bolt spike adapter. 😉

      • Matt Taylor

        First option should be the optional bolt bayonet.

    • mazkact

      That was the first thing that came into my mind, accidental launching of BCG.

    • Wow!

      Lol, or magpul flip the magazine into your enemy. Or alternatively shoot one enemy, and aim the brass to hit another enemy, while simultaneously letting the awesome recoil of the 5.56 drive the butt of your gun into another enemies face. I feel like this is getting close to a Dynamic Pie script. 😛

  • USMC03Vet

    $2500 for Keymod.

    Watch out, Krebs Custom. Somebody is coming for your bread and butter.

  • The_Champ

    Cool, maybe. Useful, not sure who would find this feature extra useful above a normal AR. Pricey, very much so.

    • Haulin’ Oats

      It’s really not too expensive compared to similar take-down AR-15 products from Ruger and others. Also consider F&D’s pricing on their other high quality, high precision products and this isn’t a bad deal at all.

      • The_Champ

        I’m a little confused on this point. I’ve gone through their website. It seems to indicate that their prototype is an “AR-10” but the soon to be released model will be an AR-15 in 5.56…..or did I miss something? Either way their website is really not clear on what caliber this is going to be. Certainly changes the perspective on the price depending on caliber.

        Can someone clear this up?

  • Malthrak

    Looks like an excellent way to expose critical operating surfaces to damage, fouling and dirt.

    • Haulin’ Oats

      That’s why you carry it in a backpack when in route to your destination.

      Fouling is nothing a normal DI AR doesn’t already have to deal with.

    • Sunshine_Shooter

      If you’re not going to carry it in a pack, why even have a folder to begin with?

      • Malthrak

        Dirt and stuff can get into a pack very easily, it can be dropped when folding/unfolding onto the barrel extension there, etc. It just gives me that “warning will robinson” feeling looking at that and thinking about hiking around with it. That’s normally an area most weapons go to great lengths to seal and protect.

      • Palmier

        If your going to carry it in a pack, why not just use a regular AR and take off the upper?

        • MSG1000

          Fair point. One idea is that a folder would be quicker to assemble and then you wouldn’t have to grab and secure two separate pieces from you pack.

          Potential speed and convenience is what I’d imagine.

    • 劉丁丁

      Not familiar in the whole “folds at the breach” concept of firearms.
      But a simple block of plastic which fits snuggly onto the exposed chamber should do the trick.

    • iksnilol

      Uhm… you carry it in a bag. Geez, Louise, how many assassinations have you done? ‘Cause you talk like a rookie.

    • gunsandrockets

      Yes, but for ordinary maintenance it sure would make cleaning an AR breech and action a lot easier!

  • ArkhamInmate

    While a little on the expensive side, I could see someone making this into a pretty “cute” package. Short barrel, folding stock (obviously on the opposite side). Would fit nicely into a backpack or really something smaller. Get a cubic shaped cooler and throw it there, out of sight out of mind. All you’re doing is carrying around a 12 pack after all.

  • Sianmink

    8″ barrel and folding stock, you end up with something as compact and more convenient than the Dolos takedown AR.
    Lot pricier though.

    • nova3930

      that was my thought. couple the folding barrel with a platform that can handle a folding stock….

    • Stan Darsh

      Why stop with just the Law Tactical folding stock? Slap on a SEG folding suppressor and go full origami with it.

      • Piraterider

        The SEG Suppressor, a Dead Foot Arms right side folding stock, KAK blade, 8 inch barrel, and Fostech Echo Trigger would make this thing an NFA kick in the nuts.

    • iksnilol

      You’d end up with the LAR (Lunchbox AR).

  • Brett

    This is great! It can with my Law tactical folding stock adapter and my Stealth Engineering Group Folding Suppressor Mount. I have turned a Linear rifle into a square.

    But in all seriousness, I do find this level of innovation very interest.

  • EC

    You could just have a folding buttstock and decrease your OAL without worrying about the separation between the barrel and receiver.

    Oh wait… direct impingement buffer tube. Better luck next time I guess.

    • gunsandrockets

      Actually a rifle that folds at the breech gives you a smaller minimum dimension than a rifle that folds at the stock.

      • EC

        Sure, but a folding stock means that:

        1) It can be fired from a folded, more compact position.

        2) It can be deployed more quickly.
        3) It can be deployed with less risk to accuracy.
        4) It can be safer from damage or dirt.

        Would you really take an extra inch or two over all the problems with trying to fold the barrel instead of the stock?

        • gunsandrockets

          Is an extra inch or two of length worth all the problems an AR folding stock adds, compared to keeping the telescoping stock?

        • MSG1000

          An AR’s buffer tube is ~6 inches IIRC. Using a 14.5″ barrel you’d save 8.5″ more, it’s not an extra couple of inches.

          Folding stocks have their share of problems such as being ergonomic, ligtweight and durable. Furthermore the buffer tube and weight allows a lot of adjustment.

          Firing with the stock folded isn’t ideal, at best I’d see someone shooting from inside a vehicle like that due to cramped spacing. If you’re on patrol your weapon should already be fully deployed.

          Don’t get me wrong, folding stocks can have great value. They’re just not unilaterally better.

    • Wow!

      For this kind of set up you would have a folding stock AND a folding foreend. the whole point of an SBR or takedown is the ability to carry in public as is necessary for LE and some citizens. A takedown is when you need a longer barrel length or a suppressor vs a 6″ rifle that fits in most bags assembled. The only problem is that the rifle is pointless unless you can get it into play fast enough. Mounting on a hinge rather than broken in two parts makes it much quicker to assemble. These situations are generally less than 100 yards (usually more like 25yd, or a single hard target such as a criminal hunkered in somewhere or with a hostage. The key in this situation is more speed over precision. Even if you only achieve a 4MOA precision, at 25 yards that would translate to 1″, which is still pretty good.

  • Green Hell

    Seems like most AR manufacturers are ready to do just about anything to avoid making a simple folding stock like everyone else.

  • Cal S.

    Oh well, I knew it was too good to be true.

  • RSG

    Forget about the folding option. A decent AR10 costs between $1800 and $2500. This is no different. Folks don’t seem to realize this is a 308 and not a 556 gun.

    • John

      The excitement comes when you realize they can MAKE a 5.56 version.

    • The_Champ

      I’m a little confused on this point. I’ve gone through their website. It seems to indicate that their prototype is an “AR-10” but the soon to be released model will be an AR-15 in 5.56…..or did I miss something? Either way their website is really not clear on what caliber this is going to be. Certainly changes the perspective on the price depending on caliber.

      • Blake

        Only their test platform was an AR10. They did that to test the repeatability of the impact point with a more potent round. The rifles they are releasing soon are all AR15s.

    • Blake

      Only their test platform was an AR10. They did that to test the repeatability of the impact point with a more potent round. The rifles they are releasing soon are all AR15s. So no, you just misunderstood the situation.

  • If they’ve got the quality level to justify it, that’s a surprisingly affordable price compared to standard AR-10s.

    • Blake

      It’s not an AR10. Their testbed was an AR10 but the rifles they are releasing soon are AR15s.

  • Gunn

    I think I speak for the great body of the people when I say:

    Make it in 5.56 rrrrrRRRREEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE

  • jonp

    The coolness factor of this rifle is off the charts.

  • gunsandrockets

    A side folding rifle. Excellent.

    Kel-tec should make a side folding version of their Sub-2000

    • Joe

      Yup. Gen III?

  • Nobody Inparticular

    am I the only one who wants to see someone try & chamber with the barrel folded and an entire cartridge shoot out the front.

    • Wow!

      Not just the cartridge, the bolt assembly will probably punch out too unless it has some retention plunger.

  • USMC_grunt2009-2013

    Well if nothing else it would be somewhat easier to clean the chamber when it’s folded like that.

    • The_Champ

      Really good point actually, cleaning AR chambers is a pain the butt.

  • tazman66gt

    Make it a short barrel AR-15 with a PDW type collapsible stock.

  • LazyReader

    Why do I get the feeling a rifle designed to split down the line will split down the line when we don’t want it to

    • Robert Blake

      Because, fundamentally, it is only as durable as the hinge pin. See the Thompson Contender for why this could be a problem after a few hundred rounds fired.