The People Have SPOKEN: Savage Arms Modifies Their MSR-15 Patrol

MSR-15 Patrol

It was just 6 months ago that Savage Arms began hyping up a new, unannounced firearm leading up to SHOT Show. We quickly learned it was their first attempt at producing an AR-15 type rifle. With now 4 different models in their arsenal in 3 different popular calibers they have a substantial line-up for black gun enthusiasts.

MSR-15 Patrol

Savage Arms MSR-15 Patrol – Forward Assist Button Insert

One gripe that buyers of these new rifles had with Savage misleading forward assist in their MSR-15 Patrol rifle. The upper receiver was machined out to feature a forward assist button, but in its place was a plastic cap. Now some of you may argue in the comments that the weekend range warrior does not need a forward assist. I might even agree with you, but the lines between need and want are always blurry. The fact that Savage Arms machined out the upper receiver to accept a forward assist, but then went out of their way to put in a plastic cap is just one of those “C’mon man!” type of moments.

Well, it appears the complaints of consumers did not fall on deaf ears. All Savage Arms MSR-15 Patrol rifles now have a functioning forward assist button installed from the factory.

MSR-15 Patrol

Before/After – Mock Forward Assist/Real Forward Assist

If you have an earlier model, it is a simple exchange of parts and a cheap parts kit can be found on many gun websites like Cheaper than Dirt or Brownells. With a simple punch and about 5 minutes of your time, you can add in a forward assist button to your MSR-15 Patrol or any AR-15 you own that is missing its forward assist button.

What all of the TFB readers need to do now is complain to Savage Arms that their MSR-15 Patrol should come with a FREE Vortex or Leupold optic at that same MSRP of $868.

Who knows… we might get lucky…

The outdoors, fitness and anything related to firearms are my passions. I am a S&W Armorer, Glock Armorer, reloader and am coping with an addiction to classic S&W and Colt revolvers (by buying more revolvers). I’ve been a guest writer for Sierra Bullets and love long walks to the gun range.


  • Anonymoose

    What?! No! You’re supposed to just push the little notch on the BCG!

    • Hoplopfheil

      That’s what I do… But it just doesn’t feel the same.

  • Taylor Hardin

    You mean they are buying the upper from other people and they are saving $5 a rifle buy not installing one. You can look at the forging mark on the upper and see they are mass produced by another company.

    • Matt

      Every major AR OEM buys their uppers from 1 or 2 suppliers. How do you think they charge $600-900 for an AR15?

      • Twilight sparkle

        That’s partially true, there’s more than two companies that forge uppers and you can identify who forged it from the forging mark

      • Dracon1201

        Actually there are a couple dozen that do uppers, you’re thinking of lowers. Regardless, it looks like Anchor Harvey Aluminum does the Savage rifles. I believe they also do Del-ton uppers and anything with a split A on the upper.

      • Taylor Hardin

        Why do you think I said that? TFB kept saying saying Savage made the upper when they clearly do not.

      • Sasquatch

        Then there is diamond back.

  • imachinegunstuff

    I mean if you aren’t giving me slab side at least give me a forward assist so it doesn’t look stupid

  • RSG

    First this guy runs a supporting add for Springfield Armory. And now he recommends Cheaper than Dirt as a parts supplier. There’s literally a hundred other online stores to buy from that didn’t gouge it’s customers after Sandy Hook. I think “part time writer” should be changed to “former writer”.

    • Spencerhut

      “Product Peddler”

    • Person

      How are you so woke this early in the morning?

    • USMC03Vet

      Alert The Hague!

    • Cal S.

      Oh, forgive him for trying to be helpful to people who may not be ‘in the know’.

      I’d have probably said eBay or Amazon myself, but that’s only because I know what to look for.

  • PeeDee

    The upper receiver was forged or cast, not machined. And it’s probably cheaper for them to buy one upper receiver and put a plug in it vs carrying two different parts. I don’t see why this is that big of a deal. It’s not like the user can’t put the forward assist in if (1) they want a Savage AR15 and (2) they want a forward assist. The chances of both of those things happening simultaneously is likely so minuscule that not a single person ever reading TFB will ever be impacted.

    I didn’t even know that Savage was making a “me too” AR15 before I saw this blog post, but I don’t see how it matters that they do any more than Joe Blow bought some parts and assembled one in his garage.

    • ShootingFromTheHip

      Dude, watch Mr. Guns and Gear and Nutnfancy’s reviews on the MSR. Cliff’s Notes: it’s RIDICULOUSLY accurate.

      • john huscio

        Nutnfancy…..the guy who screwed up a gas block on a rifle he was reviewing and blamed it on LaRue….

        • ShootingFromTheHip

          Hahah, true, Nutn definitely has an agenda at times (mostly to have the hipster “contrary” stance on a lot of popular gun culture consensus ), but his along with MrGnG and Sootch’s accuracy testing have all shown exceptional accuracy.

    • Dracon1201

      It is forged, and one of the most accurate sub $1000 ARs right now.

    • Aaron

      Forged is forged and cast is cast. Do not mistake one manufacturing process for they are very different.

      Next rule is that just because a forging comes from the same company does not mean the forging is always the same quality. Mistakes can be made in the forging process that companies can pay more to be more particular about the individual size tolerances. This will affect upper and lower receiver fit.

      Final rule is that a combination of bolt-receiver-Barrel fit will contribute enormously to shot to shot consistency. Savage is using a large and long steel nut to lock the 5-R rifled medium weight profile barrel into the upper. All those factors work together to achieve the results seen on MrGnG and nutn.

  • john huscio

    Everything I’ve heard about this rifle and the ruger DI have been along the lines of “poor build quality”, “Crappy accuracy” and “uninspired crap”

    • BillC

      I haven’t seen this gun in the wild yet, but I’ve heard so many bad things about Ruger’s DI. Finally saw two Ruger DI’s choke and fail so bad the last couple of weeks. It’s bad when PSA’s Freedom line is probably a better for a weekend plinker than a Ruger AR-556.

      • Dracon1201

        Well, I assure you Savage built theirs right.

      • valorius

        My AR556 works flawlessly. Go figure.

        • Laserbait

          Yes, but he heard it on the internet that the AR556 was crap, so it must be true. Your real world experiences don’t matter.

    • ShootingFromTheHip

      Are you serious? Both Nutn and Mr. Guns and Gear have shown that the Savage MSR is probably one of the most accurate ARs they’ve tested.

    • valorius

      I actually have a Ruger AR-556, its a damn solid rifle.

      • BillC

        Hahahahahahahaha, okay. You are aware it’s possible to get one “acceptable” gun on a whole line of bad guns? Also, what’s your firing schedule, round count, and definition of a “damn solid rifle”? Even the worst of rifles, shot in the shade, slow fire, will be acceptable, except a Ruger; where I saw two separate ones choke like a toddler eating a toy running two different brands of .223 ammo.

        Ruger, where a big name doesn’t mean big quality™

        From the factory, there a lot of reports of FTF, Failure to extract and eject from tight chambers, bad extractors, and (you really have to try to mess this one up, being middy-gas) over-gassed, all the way up to gas ports not being drilled. Also, why does a base-line AR have proprietary parts?

        Sure, yours may be great, but that’s not indicative of the whole line. The whole line is a turd. Don’t worry though, I have the king of turds, the Ruger SR556.

        • valorius

          My brothers AR556 works just as well as mine.. He sells about 5 of em a week, not one has ever come back to the store for repair or return.

          Sorry to dispel your internet myth bro.

          • BillC

            Haha, ooookay. The Ruger AR556 is quite literally made for people who don’t shoot.

          • valorius

            If you say so. Mine goes bang when i pull the trigger. I did change the gas block to a YHM flip up front sight steel unit, but that’s the only functional change i’ve made to the weapon.

          • BillC

            Then rock it.

          • valorius


        • valorius

          BTW, the AR556 has a carbine length gas tube. You seem a bit confused my man.

          • BillC

            oops, I got the gas system length mixed.

  • It’s like an AR out of the BudK Catalog.

    • Dracon1201

      But accurate and not made of Chineese steel.

  • thedonn007

    Savage did not machine anything on that upper. I did not bother to install a forward assist, or plug the hole on my 9mm anf .22lr upper builds.

  • Sunshine_Shooter

    Eh, I’d rather have the plastic plug myself.

  • iksnilol

    In two weeks people will whine about Savage not making a slickside upper.

    • alex archuleta

      Sheesh why couldn’t Savage make a slick side upper?!!!

    • mazkact

      Flat side or forward Assist, one or the other but a forging made for a forward assist and then just plugged now to me that is just stupid.

  • spencer60

    Cheaper Than Dirt?


    Why would you even give them the free advertising let alone suggest people actually buy stuff from them?

  • Cal S.

    That’s akin to selling a smart phone with the earbud jack covered up, lol. While it’s there, they may as well make it functional.