Hands on With the ARES SCR at ASA Shoot (w/ Shooting Video)

    “With this out, why would anyone now want a Mini-14?” quiried the AAC rep.

    The only witty response I could think of was. “If someone had a M1 Garand and wanted to practice?”


    Much to my surprise, Ares Defense had a few reps at the ASA shoot co-exhibiting with AAC. Taking advance of the brief time another member of the press corps was not on the rifle, I was able to put about 10-15 rounds through the rifle.

    My configuration was the SCR lower with an 9″ 300 BLK upper and SD6 can.

    Initial Impressions

    The kit looks polished and complete. Nothing is out of place or sorts. That said, it is an awkward rifle compared to the standard AR-15 and perhaps its not fair to compare it to one? Changing the pistol grip complete changes how the rifle feels. With credit to my earlier comment, using the stock makes shoot similar to the Mini-14 or Kel-Tec SU-16. The recoil is no longer completely straight-line into the shoulder. That said, it was easy to double-tap with the suppressor and subsonic ammunition.


    The trigger was sufficient and I am sure the aftermarket will get right on it in short order. Charging and magazine releases felt simultaneously familiar and awkward. Same manual of arms minus your trigger finger does not reach the magazine release. Charging the rifle made me feel like I was going to “slide bite” my hand, but in reality there is plenty of clearance.

    I don’t think the SCR is a revolution, but will certainly credit as an evolution in response to changing legal requirements. For those in restricted states, this and other solutions will continue to give shooters semi-automatic options. The shooting population of California alone is more than enough to justify its production.

    Until we can get one for a full review, I can sum up my impressions as such: “If its as good as my first impression, its more than good enough for most shooters.”


    Confirmed Features:

    1. Will accept any AR-15 upper receiver.
    2. Uses a proprietary bolt carrier & spring. Standard AR-style bolts accepted.
    3. Standard AR mag releases
    4. Non-standard triggers, looks to be proprietary.
    5. Cross-bolt safety. Very similar to an Remington 870.
    6. Legal in all 50 states.

    More to come during the show. The reps said we may be able to get a look inside on the show floor. 

    Nathan S

    One of TFB’s resident Jarheads, Nathan now works within the firearms industry. A consecutive Marine rifle and pistol expert, he enjoys local 3-gun, NFA, gunsmithing, MSR’s, & high-speed gear. Nathan has traveled to over 30 countries working with US DoD & foreign MoDs.

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