Earlier here at TFB, we mentioned in an article regarding some new developments in metallurgy that titanium has not traditionally been used as a material for firearms manufacture due to the difficulty and expense of working it. This is true, but it’s also true that techniques have been developed that substantially help reduce the time and cost of working titanium, and one recent product of gun manufacturer Robar being shown off at RecoilWeb is proof of that: An AR-15 using polymer upper and lower receivers, and some titanium components that tips the scale at just four and three-quarters pounds. Expected MSRP? Less than two grand:
Three years ago, Nemo Arms was showing off their TI[ONE] .308 caliber AR pattern rifle, made almost entirely from titanium components, and retailing for $100,000. The TI[ONE] was more of a manufacturing demonstrator than a real product, but the high price tag is still reflective of the difficulty of working that material. A year later, in 2013, a company called Amalgamated Ti announced they would be offering titanium lower receivers “later that year”, though by March of 2015 the release date was the same: “later this year”.
Robar’s offering does not use very much titanium (my guess is they are using the material for the castle nut, receiver plate, trigger group, lower receiver pin holes, barrel nut, gas block, and other minor components), but even that small quantity raised the price of the PolymAR-15 from about $1,700 to almost $2,000. Even so, it’s encouraging to think that strong, weight-reducing titanium components for AR-15s could make it to market, even if they are more expensive.