Faxon ARAK 21 Torture Test

    The FAXON ARAK-21 is a fusion of the AR15 and AK47 platforms and features a Stoner-Johnson pattern multi-lug rotating bolt and a long stroke piston similar to that of an AK47 rifle. The upper receiver is self contained and is available from FAXON for $1,199.00 ready to throw right on your existing AR15 lower.
    So how stout if this offering from FAXON? Well, we set out to see just how much abuse this gun can take!

    Thanks to our sponsors Grizzly Targets and Ventura Munitions.

    Firearms featured:

    I would like to add that the dust test was to test the assertion that the FAXON ARAK-21 was intentionally designed with loose tolerances to allow dust into the receiver:

    The following is a response received by FAXON regarding the video. They were shown the final cut so that they could comment on the malfunctions and clarify anything they saw fit:

    Steve (The Editor) writes: Our standard policy is give a company the opportunity to respond when firearms malfunction during a review, with the explicit caveat that we do not alter the content of reviews (or in this case, video). We append the response to the end of the review.

    Faxon responded saying this …

    TFB Readers:

    A pleasure to see coverage of the ARAK-21 and we always enjoy seeing the rifle put through its paces. We are flattered that TFB shot the ARAK after the previous review, for as a small company, getting coverage is always appreciated. There are many other great companies and products asking for writers’ time.

    As customers have seen here on TFB, forums, and other media, it is our policy to always be 100% honest, upfront, and direct with customers. We are always open on the design and performance of our firearms, as we believe that the better informed a customer is on our platforms and capabilities the better customers can make buying decisions and enjoy their purchases.

    We are writing this statement at a significant disadvantage, as Faxon has not yet been able to see the rifle in question and perform an analysis. TFB sent over an advance copy of the video, which upon review, we immediately asked for the weapon back to perform said full failure analysis. As part of this offer, we promised to send the full report (pictures, details and all) with full permission to publish with the video. This request was denied as “…we are a bit pressed for time…”.

    As such, we cannot provide the detail and analysis that characterizes our typical communication. We apologize to all TFB’s viewers and our customers for this.

    We can provide some insight based on the performance that may help answer some questions. The below may not be a complete explanation, but we hope will shed some light until we can do the full tear-down.

    General Note:

    -TFB requested the ARAK in a multi-caliber configuration. We included the new 7.62×39 kit (not shown in the video) which as part of the configuration, we install a Wolff extra-power hammer spring to ensure reliable ignition of the worst mil-surp ammo we could find. This will be important to note later.


    Faxon takes rare pride in producing some of the best value barrels in the industry. We manufacture for numerous OEMs who guarantee 1 MOA or better from match ammunition. ARAK barrels come from the exact same tooling and line as our AR and other MSR barrels.

    The ARAK shown was likewise tested prior to sending off to a writer. The barrel performed well within specifications, shooting ¾ inch/100 yards using Gorilla match ammo and a great trigger.

    It is well established that barrels tend to “like” certain kinds of ammunition more than others. Combine this with an 8-10lbs pull from the extra power hammer spring and only a 4x optic, the results look to be under military specification for the round (we could not measure the targets). With low magnification, shooting without rear stock support, low magnification, and what most would call a “very heavy” trigger, we are proud of the results.

    Further, TFB has previous tested an ARAK with the same barrel configuration. It shot well below 1 MOA with solid ammo: https://www.thefirearmblog.com/blog/2015/01/14/gun-review-faxon-arms-arak-21/


    The writer’s statement on weight based off of a heavy fluted barrel does not represent the general rifle. The standard upper receiver with a medium profile barrel is 5.5 lbs. When added with a lower receiver without a buffer system (as its not needed), total unloaded and un-laden weight is typically right at 7 lbs, below even the standard weight of the M16A4 and slightly above the M16A2.

    Forward Assist:

    We purposefully omit a forward assist. While we do not have full details at the point in time the rifle did not want to go into battery, when the ARAK does not go into battery, the gun is telling the shooter there is an unsafe condition. We do NOT recommend any shooter, on any platform, use a forward assist to chamber stubborn rounds. It is likely they will cause an overpressure and potentially dangerous situation. Forward assist should only be used to push a bolt system forward that is not yet near battery (as a magazine related malfunction, etc.)

    From an engineering standpoint, the ARAK is fundamentally different than the AR in the bolt to carrier interface. The AR includes gas rings which add considerable resistance to the system. We do not have them, which if you remove the recoil spring the bolt will naturally fall into and out of battery with gravity. In fact, our internal quality testing is the “tilt test” to ensure there is little resistance in the system and the bolt must go in and out of battery with only 15-degrees of movement.

    Some other thoughts on the forward assist:
    -Our recoil spring has up to 24 lbs of force on it. How much can a hand do on an AR button?
    -Which is faster to run ergonomically? Racking a bolt (even short strokes to clear something) or taking hands off of fire control to press a button?

    We know some shooters will want one, but our testing showed it faster to rack a round and keep going. Our thinking was speed and keeping the gun on target. Its a trade-off and we fully respect any opposing opinion.

    Trigger Reset & Cleaning:

    Without seeing the rifle, we can only surmise that the trigger failed due to debris between the hammer and trigger bar. With the increased power spring, the reset will be heavier and have more resistance which particulate can exacerbate.

    Typically, when in a dry and fine dust environments, it is not appropriate to use water to clean a firearm. Doing so with fine dust will cause it to coagulate versus clean and can make an issue worse. This is why the military only recommend light to no lubrication in dusty environments. (Note- dusty not sandy, which is larger particulate, where lubrication can assist with function).

    Final Thoughts:

    For those looking to see what the ARAK can do in other environments including water, weight, etc, please see TFB’s other articles from AKOU: https://www.thefirearmblog.com/blog/2015/08/10/akou-tests-the-faxon-arak-21/

    We again apologize to readers and customers that we are not yet able to go into more detail on this ARAK and TFB’s results. We encourage our customers to watch this, digest it, and ask us any questions. We are an open book.

    Please, ask us anything in the comments. We will be there answering questions and look forward to chatting!


    Alex C.

    Alex is a Senior Writer for The Firearm Blog and Director of TFBTV.