By Brian Jensen
This year at SHOT I got a chance to see three new rifles being offered by the parent company of the AR, Armalite Inc. Armalite Inc. was the creator of the AR-10 rifle with with the work of the well known weapon designer Eugene Stoner, and is well known for it’s other AR-style guns and their imported pistols from Turkey, the AR-24. The company holds an enviable reputation for quality firearms that it is now expanding.
2 New Chamberings
First off, due to demand from custumers and distributors, Armalite has now developed two new uppers/rifles. One is in 7.62 x 39, and another in 6.8 SPC. Both come in the SPR-Mod1 model. This is a solid monolithic upper with a mid-length handguard / gas system. Both have a 16-inch free floated barrel.
The inexpensive and potent ammo from the old Soviet Bloc still is an easy shooting round. It’s also an easy fit for the AR platform. Many manufacturers make an upper for the AR in 7.62 x 39, but less make a fully built rifle in the caliber. This year at SHOT, Armalite introduced the latest version of their AR-series SPR-Mod 1. While the AK has a reputation for rugged reputation, the beauty of an AR compared to the stamped steel AK is a winner for me. Much less, the cost of ammo for the 7.62 soviet round is easily affordable.
The system is solid with a single piece upper receiver and rail, and could be a viable alternative for those who want a caliber capable of taking game of the four-legged variety in their AR using this inexpensive ammo. Price point for this gun (MSRP) is $1665.
The next up is chambered in the 6.8 SPC. This cartridge was made to up the ante for US operators in theater over the 5.56 M-16 / M-4 with better terminal ballistics. It’s based after the 270 Winchester projectile in an AR-friendly case. This round has continued to grow in popularity in the AR marketplace with rifles and uppers increasing in numbers.
Now, the APR-Mod 1 comes in this new caliber. The monolithic upper will allow a host of optics or sighting options. Other accessories can attach over the quad rail on the forearm. Again, this caliber will suit hunters well with the more potent round. The MSRP is $1693.00.
Fit and finish on both seemed excellent. Rails and receivers had a nice solid black and looked even overall.
The AR-10 Redone…
The AR-10 has been reworked. The original AR-10 from Armalite used proprietary magazines. This led to frustration for shooters who had to get the Armalite mags, while other makes had non-proprietary magazines.
The new, reworked AR-10 was based upon consumer requests, now accepts third party magazines such as Magpul’s P Mags, Knights Armament, and DPMS. The new rifle uppers will not interchange with the older series AR-10’s. The new, reworked AR-10 will be called the “A Series” while the older version will now be called the “B Series”. The B Series will still be produced.
Expect the A Series to come out this March, as the AR-A10 Super SASS with an MSRP of $3,078. This comes with a 20-inch match barrel with a free floated handguard. It also has Magpul adjustable stock. Also available will be the 16-inch barrel, AR-A10A4 Carbine version with a MSRP of $1557.00.