TFBTV: ARES SCR Generation 2 Review

    As we all know, the AR15 system is perhaps the most prolific gun platform of all time, with a seemingly infinite number of combinations of barrels, uppers, handguards, optics, and so on. But many of us also live in “ban states,” or those states that have enacted some variation of the now-defunct federal 1994 “Assault Weapons Ban”. Unfortunately, for shooters in so-called ban states, there are restrictions in place that prohibit or severely limit a gun-owner’s ability to own an AR and capitalize on the expansive AR15 gun-gear-galaxy.

    Enter the Ares SCR.

    The Ares SCR is compatible with a vast majority of AR15 uppers and their appurtenant accessories, and accepts standard (STANAG) AR15 magazines, however, what makes the SCR different than the common AR15 is the fact that it’s lower receiver uses a semi-grip, sporting stock instead of the standard AR15 collapsible stock-and-pistol-grip combination. (Note that your choice of accessories and magazines such as a flashhider and 30 round magazine may affect the legality of the use of the SCR in your state.  In other words, just because you can own the SCR in all 50 states does not mean that all accessories for the SCR are legal for use with the SCR in your state.)
    I reviewed the first generation ARES SCR and gave it a lukewarm review, primarily because of the extremely heavy trigger and the lack of a last round bolt hold open. However, ARES sent me the Gen 2 SCR, which has a much lighter trigger and a LRBHO, among other new features. In this video, I re-visit the SCR through this revised version of the carbine.
    Transcription …

    – Hey, Guys. James again for TFB TV.

    Today I have the Ares SCR Carbine for you.

    Now some of you may recall that I did a written review of the Ares SCR a few months back right when this thing first came out, and I did that for TFB.

    If you remember the review or if you read it, I recognize that while this gun has somewhat of a revolutionary design, the major issue with that gun was the trigger was so bad that it made it almost not serviceable.

    So I actually ran into Jeff from Ares at a convention in October and he and I talked about that review.

    This is the Ares SCR, the model two.

    This is an improved version.

    This one comes with a front iron sight unlike the last one.

    Model one had just the gas block and I don’t even think there was rail on the gas block to mount a sight.

    So it’s nice that this one comes with kind of an A2 style front post.

    It also has a really nice rear peep sight to go with it.

    So those features were missing from the first SCR.

    And, of course, most importantly, the trigger has been significantly improved.

    And another feature the SCR has that the model one did not have, is a last round bolt hold open.

    As you can see, rack it, and the bolt holds open.

    So anyways, I’ve been gabbing on about the difference between the model one and the model two without telling you exactly why this gun is revolutionary.

    So for those of you unfamiliar with it, here’s the deal.

    This gun has a sporting style stock.

    Similar to a shot gun, similar to a hunting rifle, yet it takes almost any AR-15 upper.

    Now why’s that significant? For those of us that live in free states, it’s nice to have something, this still takes a 30 round magazine.

    You can mount your lights, EOTechs, Aimpoints, whatever you want.

    It’s just as modular as the AR-15 and just as tactically practical.

    However, it’s a lot less intimidating and some people may just prefer the sporting style stock.

    So that’s one consideration, but I would say the most important improvement that this gun provides is that those of you in banned states can now use, not any AR-15 upper, of course check our local laws, but you can use now AR-15 uppers and you’ve got what is for the most part a lower that’s compliant in many states.

    Now one thing that bothered me about some of the comments in my first review is when people were saying, “Oh, is SCR just pandering to the banned states?” California, New York, whatever.

    I cannot (bleep) believe you people.

    Just because somebody lives in a state where they can’t own a true AR-style lower doesn’t mean that they should be deprived of the same practical, tactical advantages that the AR-15 upper offers.

    And I for one applaud Ares for making the AR-15 platform available to people who live in banned states.

    Anyways, I’m starting to wade into the political side of it and I don’t want to do that, but that said, I just want to say, hey Ares, I think this is a great move.

    It’s been a great seller and I think it’s excellent that people who live in banned states can now avail themselves of the many options that you have available with the AR-15 platform.

    Anyways, let me go over the specs with you real quick, and then Ares said that this gun is much more shootable than version one.

    We’ll see.

    I’m gonna take this to the range.

    I’m gonna shoot it with the iron sights, and I’ll tell ya if that’s true.

    Quick technical specs, this one’s a 223 that weighs only 5.7 lbs.

    Extremely lightweight, very easy to handle.

    It has an overall length of 37 inches, 16.25 inch barrel with a one and nine twist.

    The 16.25 inch barrel comes with a carbine-length gas system and the 18 inch barrel comes with a rifle-length gas system.

    Both of them will come with Magpul MOE handguards.

    It comes with a five-round magazine.

    It’s mil spec black hard coat anodized and 100% made in the U.S.

    Some of the more astute viewers might be asking how did Ares get an AR upper to work with this sporting style lower without the AR buffer tube, and it’s actually a pretty simple answer.

    They integrated the recoil system that you’ve seen on just about every semi-auto shotgun that you’ve seen on the FAL.

    It’s a proven design where they attach a rat tail to the back of the bolt carrier group and that rat tail pushes a recoil spring at a downward angle into the stock.

    The only downside of this is that you have to use Ares bolt carrier group, but that doesn’t really limit your upper options very much.

    Anyways, this was a pretty brilliant idea from Ares, and it works very well.

    Whew, man, this thing is about 100 times cooler looking with a 20-round magazine on it.

    Just had to pour some America on this son of a bitch and now it looks great.

    I mean, even with the sporting stock, still looks pretty badass.

    (gun shots) Huge improvement.

    Huge improvement.

    Cross bolt safety.

    A lot of you guys are gonna reach with your thumb for the typical selector, but here it’s cross bolt.

    (gun shots) So if you guys want to see something kind of funny, I’ll see if I can slow this down in post.

    This is an extremely lightweight, light recoiling gun.

    And it’s always funny to me when people put severe muzzle brakes on a 556, 223, whatever.

    It really, I don’t think it needs it.

    And it’s funny, if there are people out there who do like them, find out whatever the six hole job is that they have at then end of this SCR because it’s annoyingly effective.

    And what I mean by that is the muzzle on this gun it’s like the Titanic.

    I can’t stop it from going down.

    I mean, just watch.

    I’ll have my sight picture, and I’ll fire, and this muzzle brake will actually push the muzzle down.

    It’s that effective.

    I don’t like it. I don’t like it.

    But damn, it’s effective, and this might be appealing to a lot of you shooters out there who are more recoil sensitive or who want a brake like this.

    Did you see that? This thing, every time I’d shoot it, dip, dip.

    I’ve never seen anything like it.

    That’s pretty cool.

    Again, it’s not my thing, but that is pretty neat and this little six hole muzzle brake is quite effective.

    Now again, once you put an optic on here, the charging handle really becomes a pain in the ass.

    It’s already not very well suited for this kind of sporting style stock, but when you have the optic in there you have like about a half-inch of clearance to charge this thing.

    But that said, if I had to choose between like a left-handed or right-handed charging gun versus this AR-style charging handle, just for the sake of simplicity I’d stick with the AR-style charging handle.

    Again, it’s not the best, but you’ve got a lot of charging handle options, you retain compatibility across upppers.

    But this is a very lightweight, light recoiling package.

    And as I said earlier, I wish they’d maybe take two of these ports off this muzzle brake, because every time I’m shooting it, it’s dipping, it’s dipping.

    So it’s like reverse recoil.

    Go figure.

    And I mean, this trigger, again, coming in at around six and a half, seven pounds.

    Much lighter, and that combined with the muzzle brake and the very light recoiling, 223 round, you’re getting a very easy to handle package here.

    That sounded weird.

    So I shot a few groups with the SCR and I never really managed to shoot and outstanding group, but none of them were bad.

    Three, four round groups between an inch and a half, two and a half inches, with this little pencil barrel and this shitty $80 scope.

    You know, pushing two MOA, two inches, roughly two inches at a hundred meters.

    So that’s not too bad, especially considering I was using crap ammo.

    I mean, shooting Wolf factory reloads.

    So it wasn’t that good to begin with.

    The ammo wasn’t.

    So, you know, you run some Match ammo through this, who knows.

    You might be able to eek an inch out of it.

    One thing I do want to note, a barrel is one and nine twist, so you’re gonna have to stick to the lighter stuff, unfortunately.

    While the original SCR brought a lot of options and almost black rifle capability to you guys in banned states, it was lacking.

    I had some issues, as you can see, in the prior review, especially with the trigger and the lack of a last round bolt hold open.

    Fortunately, with the model two, Ares has listened to the customers and you have, I just measured it, it’s about a six and a half to seven pound very crisp, single-stage trigger on this gun.

    Better than most GIARs.

    The inclusion of a front sight’s also a welcome addition.

    Like I said, the last round bolt hold open is nice, as well as being able to drop the bolt with the ping-pong paddle on the back.

    Because racking this with a typical AR charging handle, because of the sporting stock, is not really that comfortable.

    But remember guys, you can take this lower and you can put any upper you want on it.

    All you need to do is drop this bolt into any AR upper, and then you just have your two push pins.

    Slap it right on, and you’re good to go.

    Ares has always been a very innovative company.

    They make great products.

    They stand behind them, and most importantly, they listen to the customers.

    That’s why I’ve got the model two in my hands.

    So for those of you guys in banned states who want the closest possible thing to the AR-15, this is it.

    Or just for you guys who want for whatever reason AR capability in a sporting, less imposing, sporting, hunting stock platform, this is also a great choice.

    Anyways, thank you to Ares for sending me this rifle.

    Thank you to our subscribers and our viewers and thank you to our sponsor, Ventura Munitions.

    See you next week.

    James Reeves

    • NRA-licensed concealed weapons instructor, 2012-present
    Maxim Magazine’s MAXIMum Warrior, 2011
    • TFBTV Executive Producer
    • Former Regional Sales Rep, Interstate Arms Corp., MA
    • Champion, Key West Cinco De Mayo Taco Eating Competition
    • GLOCK® Certified Pistol Operator, 2017-2022
    • Lawyer
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