The Future of the Bushmaster / Remington ACR

Steve Johnson
by Steve Johnson

There has been a lot of speculation about the future of the Bushmaster / Remington ACR. The rifle has not been selling well, but neither have any other non-AR-15 semi-automatic rifles. A company that supplies parts to many rifle manufactures told me today that about 70% of their business is now supplying AR-15 components. Non-AR-15 rifles are simply not selling.

Some have suggested Magpul now has the capital to start manufacturing their owns firearms.

The rights to the ACR design revert back to Magpul only if Rem/Bushmaster do not meet a minimum sales requirement. The minimum number of rifles they are required to sell is low and, I am told, they will easily meet the target. In the unlikely event Remington thought they could not meet the target, they would simply lower the price in order to increase sales.

Remington has invested a lot into the ACR. They took Magpul’s prototype and turned it into a production gun. Their latest military model will be entered into the Army’s carbine competition. If the ACR wins and becomes the next Army carbine the company will have a guaranteed revenue stream for the next 20 years. Consumers, LEO enforcement and foreign-militaries would all want to own the same gun used by the troops. I suspect the Freedom Group would then resume efforts to go public.

Magpul has designed a few firearms and has a powerful brand. If they wanted to, they could easily sell firearms. On the other hand, why would they produce low-margin firearms when they are selling high-margin accessories. My prediction is that they will instead start producing more and more high-end aluminum and steel rails, mounts and accessories.

(Richard, if you are reading this, please check your inbox 😉

Steve Johnson
Steve Johnson

I founded TFB in 2007 and over 10 years worked tirelessly, with the help of my team, to build it up into the largest gun blog online. I retired as Editor in Chief in 2017. During my decade at TFB I was fortunate to work with the most amazing talented writers and genuinely good people!

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  • RoyB RoyB on Jul 07, 2012

    Frankly, I agree with Greg on the marketing. If it was sold ~12-18% above cost, it'd be one of the better options for long-term productions, given that there's less metal used than that of AR platforms. Now, regarding what one unnamed idiot has said, the bolt release IS NOT inside the trigger guard, dumbass. It's located on the side near the front of it, below the mag release, where your finger can reach it quickly, without breaking cheekweld nor line of sight on target. Use it before you diss it. It's a great system, very intuitive and easy to pick up. Ambidexterous too, which is a great help when it comes to mass distribution and training. Frankly, it is lighter than the AR's I've used, but those were mostly M16's with longer barrels and heavier rails, so meh. For reliability and quality, Remington has been mucking up lately. Found nearly half a shipment of 870's that were skewed and shoddily put together. Bushmaster used to be known for making pretty decent items, so I dunno if they'd be halfway decent compared to back when. Also, this weapon is better suited for harsh conditions compared to the current M4A1/M16A4 due to being piston operated, but so is the 416 and the SCAR. Now, the military didn't take the SCAR due to cost; certain special forces units did get a few orders of them, but it wasn't large scale. It is a much better system for extended warfare because of its design: slower fire rate, better reliability, easier to take down. Acr has better reliability and ergonomics, lighter weight(Than M16. No huge difference to the M4) and that it's modular. Doesn't require extensive training over the M16, just hit the switch instead of slapping the side. However, since it is mostly polymer, it may have the same problems as the G36 series does when it comes to heat; they don't have a metal frame, therefore the plastic warps with sustained fire, disrupting accuracy. The XM8 also had heat issues. Now, the AR has parts commonality, proven accuracy and intuitive use, but questionable reliability in harsh climates, as well as problems with lethality(due to the 5.56 wounding, but not killing). Okay, me personally? I'd prefer a 6.5 grendel round in the standard-issue assault rifle, with 6.8SPC used in urban warfare, as well as for security and vehicle crews. As for the issue rifle, I'd have them go with the PWS MK110 series, in either 6.5 or 6.8. Same long-stroke piston system as the AK. It's cheaper than the ACR, has a lot of common parts with the M16, and is the most reliable AR platform when unsuppressed. I've used all the weapons I've mentioned, and the one everyone would get along with, barring costs and effort, is the Diablo. Now if this is a question of logistics, it'll be another six years minimum before the brass gets off their ass and decides to do something to help the troops. Then another 20 years before they actually follow through on that decision. Damn politicians.
    Okay, sum all that up in one sentence. The ACR is a good system, a great idea, but has been very poorly executed. Someone made a bad call, and this is what happened. Good initiative, bad judgement. Okay, lets wrap this up. Give the military a more reliable system with better lethality that won't cost congress so much they have to cancel their monthly vacation. Someone get them a few millions shipments of Ak's, and while you're at it get me a beer.

  • Firstly, it just came out so it is relatively new compared to the other guns we can name.

    Secondly, and just as importantly, give it time. It's a different gun and it's finding its supporters and enthusiasts right now.

    It's a different and awesome gun. It will find its way.