AKOU Tests The Faxon ARAK-21

Nathaniel F
by Nathaniel F

A few months ago, I posted to my personal blog a brief evaluation of the ARAK-21 rifle that I conducted at Faxon’s Las Vegas shooting event, and it seems that since then more reviewers are getting the chance to take the rifle out for a spin. The AK Operators’ Union recently posted their review of the rifle to group’s YouTube channel, the video for which is embedded below:

The ARAK-21 the Union tested was chambered for the 7.62×39 cartridge, and while they did not report the rifle having any malfunctions under normal use, it did experience bolt closure failures during the dust storm simulation segment. Unusually among conventional-layout rifles of its generation, AKOU’s review sample features dual ejection ports, something that back in January was still a prototype feature. At the 2015 SHOT Show, Faxon representatives were very enthusiastic about the dual ejection port layout, as they felt this would substantially improve debris ingress resistance over a single port.

Nathaniel F
Nathaniel F

Nathaniel is a history enthusiast and firearms hobbyist whose primary interest lies in military small arms technological developments beginning with the smokeless powder era. He can be reached via email at nathaniel.f@staff.thefirearmblog.com.

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  • Uniform223 Uniform223 on Aug 10, 2015

    I remember reading an article about the ARAK in Recoil. The differences between the ARAK and most any piston AR type systems (other than the completely redesigned upper) is the the gas system. Most piston AR use a short stroke while the ARAK uses a long stroke commonly found in the AK (hence AR AK). Is there any real benefit between the two?

    • Uniform223 Uniform223 on Aug 11, 2015

      @Faxon Firearms (Nathan) So a long stroke piston offers a smoother operating system? What about reciprocating mass? Doesn't that also effect overall recoil impulses? More mass moving back equates to more recoil? I am just curious about your platform is all. I've only read and heard pretty much all the basics about it but nothing really in depth. Thank you for the time to respond to our comments and questions on here.
      By the way I like where the charging handle is. I haven't had the luxury to hold one or fire one yet but from the looks of it the charging handle location seems like its in a good position. I just wonder if you can change out the fixed charging handle to a folding charging handle.

  • MrPotatoHead MrPotatoHead on Aug 11, 2015

    I've got a 1st gen ARAK-21 upper. With the exception of a broken extractor, it's met most of my competitive shooting needs. Nathan and crew were quick to get me an upgraded bolt for my troubles. My only regret is buying the 20" heavy 556 barrel. If I had to do it again, I would have bought the 16" medium or heavy barrel. I also have the 16" 300BLK barrel and the balance and ease of use over the 20" heavy is quite noticeable. The ARAK is my go to rifle for multi-gun competition (that wasn't the original plan when I bought it) and the added weight makes a difference after a long day of shooting.
    Overall, very pleased with the ARAK-21. Looking forward to adding an ARAK-31 to the safe someday.

    • MrPotatoHead MrPotatoHead on Aug 12, 2015

      @Faxon Firearms (Nathan) Unless you guys offer a trade-in service, I'll stick with what I've got. Too many other toys to buy...