B.A.M.F. Cobalt Kinetics Team & Eclipse AR-15s — Full Review

Who doesn’t love America’s favorite rifle — the AR-15. For the last few years, the AR-15 has rapidly become the 1911 of rifles. There are options for customization so thorough that companies like Brownells now ship a special catalog just for the options available. And every time I think everything possible has been done, a company proves me wrong. This week, Cobalt Kinetics shipped two models of rifle for testing, and I was not disappointed.

When I first heard about Cobalt Kinetics and the technology they are bringing to the platform, my first thought was gimmick. And a gimmick that was at a price point well beyond what I want to pay. If I cough up almost $4,000 for a rifle, it better shoot something besides 5.56, and it better wash the dishes as well. As we all know first impressions are not always lasting impressions, and getting a Cobalt Kinetic rifle in my hands has changed my attitude.

The Cobalt Team rifle has a unique appearance. The author found the machine work to be flawless, and the rifle was served its design well as it was quick to maneuver during fast acquisition drills and reloading was speedy thanks to the Dual Drop system.

BAMF

Cobalt Kinetics is based in Utah and began as a response to the status quo of black rifles. The folks at Cobalt were tired of the run of the mill AR-15s and decided to jump headfirst into the AR market. They designed and incorporated updates like their Dual Drop reloading process and made changes to the buffer system to help mitigate muzzle rise. Cobalt Kinetics’ mission was to create a rifle that is precise, durable and aesthetically pleasing. The two models we received for testing were the Team and the Eclipse, both lower stamped B.A.M.F (billet aluminum modern firearm). The heart of both rifles is the patented Dual Drop system that was engineered by Cobalt Kinetics. In an age when other companies, foolishly, in my opinion, are dropping the forward assist feature on their AR-15s, the Cobalt features one on each side. Not only do they act as a regular forward assist in the event you need one, either will also release the bolt with the slightest of pressure. It seems like a solution looking for a problem until you run it a few times. With a little bit of practice, it undoubtedly makes reloading faster. I also like that it makes my rifle act much like my pistol. The left-hand seats the magazine while the right thumb chambers a fresh round. With practice on the range, I have no doubt this system would get fast indeed. The Team version is a race rifle pure and simple, the Eclipse is more of a tactical style of rifle.

Article Continues Below

TEAM

The Team rifle comes in many different colors and accent colors. The aluminum billet lower and upper receiver and carbon fiber barrel shave weight and the Dual Drop system allows shooters to reload faster.

SPECS

  • Type: semiauto
  • Cartridge: 5.56
  • Trigger: 5 lbs. — 4.5 lbs.
  • Stock: Aluminum
  • Barrel Length: 16 in.
  • Sights: none
  • MSRP: $3,895
  • Manufacturer: Cobalt Kinetics

Cobalt’s Dual Drop forward assist system is unique and effective.

The Team gun looks like a Storm Trooper from Star Wars should be carrying it, and I am not sure that isn’t on purpose. It has been designed as a competitor from the ground up. The buttstock is an in house design made of billet aluminum that is adjustable for length of pull, comb height, and butt pad height. It melds to the lower receiver like they were machined from one piece. The pistol grip is removable and replaceable but is also machined out of aluminum. The trigger guard is Cobalt unique, in both shape and size. The hole for the trigger is massive, you could probably still use it wearing a boxing glove. The magazine well has been extremely flared, which also increases reload speed. It makes it feel like tossing a marble into a garbage can. You can’t miss. All the controls are ambidextrous, which is pretty awesome and over due in 2017. My favorite part is that it ships with an AR Gold trigger. The unmatched champion of semiautomatic triggers, these boys are after my own heart. The barrel is a carbon fiber job, which makes the rifle incredibly light weight. To cap it off, there is about 1 mile of muzzlebrake, another in house invention called the PRO. It does its job — this rifle barely moves when you fire it.

The Eclipse is chambered in 5.56, incorporates an M-LOK free-floate hand guard, 16-inch lithium ion treated barrel, Hogue over-molded grips, an adjustable buttstock and Cobalt’s Dual Drop system.

ECLIPSE

SPECS

  • Type: semiautomatic
  • Cartridge: 5.56
  • Trigger: AR gold; single-stage, 4 lbs.
  • Stock: Polymer
  • Barrel Length: 16 in., 14.5 in.
  • Sights: none
  • MSRP: $2,395
  • Manufacturer: Cobalt Kinetics

The Eclipse’s magazine well is adequately flared to aid in reload speed.

This rifle isn’t quite the science fiction piece as the Cobalt Kinetics Team rifle, but then it is only half the price. Still, they share many features, including the Dual Drop and ambi controls. The Eclipse is dressed in a more conventional AR stock, the Minimalist buttstock from Mission First Tactical. The pistol grip is a Hogue rubber grip, which is one of my all-time favorites. Also gone is the AR Gold trigger, which is a bummer. If you’re wanting this model with the AR Gold trigger, it’s an easy purchase and swap. The trigger guard is detachable. The trigger included is better than Mil Spec, but it is certainly no gold. The handguard is M-LOK and free floated, which always aids in accuracy. The magazine well is still flared, just not quite as wide as the Team. The barrel is a 16-inch 4150 CMV steel with a 1:8-inch twist that is lithium ion treated with a normal A2 flash hider at the end. It also comes in a 14.5-inch version with a pinned and welded Linear Comp muzzle brake. After admiring all of their features and differences, it was time to head to sling some lead downrange.

The controls on the Eclipse are ambidextrous and easy to manipulate. Unlike the Team rifle’s AR Gold trigger, the Eclipse features a standard AR-15 style trigger.

Performance

The unique muzzlebrake on the Team rifle did its job well. The author found very little muzzle rise and could get back on target quickly during testing.

I am going to get the bad out of the way first. Neither of these guns delivered accuracy like I expect for the price tag. With a 25X Steiner scope, Accu-tac bipods , and 77 grain Black Hills ammo, I expected a lot. Now we all have bad days, so the weak link here could very well be the shooter. I am not so cocky as to say it may not have been me. And I was on a limited timeline for these guns, Cobalt needed them back stat. The Team gun with the carbon fiber barrel delivered right at 1 inch at 100 meters, the Eclipse 7/8 inches. That isn’t bad, but it is not spectacular either. But no punches pulled, that is not how we roll here.

Other than that, the rifles ran flawlessly. The Team rifle is unbelievably fast at maneuvering between targets, and barely moves when you shoot it. The muzzle brake is the best I have ever used, it keeps the gun incredibly flat. The Eclipse, while noticeably different than the race gun, was well balanced and ran smooth. And oh man that double drop. When you are on point with it, the system is lightning fast.

It is a lot of money for the gun, but you get what you pay for. I haven’t even considered a new AR in many moons, but this has me reaching for my piggy bank.

For more information about the AR Gold triggers, click https://www.americantrigger.com.

For more information about Cobalt Kinetics, click https://cobaltkinetics.com.

To purchase a Cobalt Kinetics rifle on GunsAmerica, click https://www.gunsamerica.com/Search.aspx?Keyword=Cobalt%20Kinetics.

{ 21 comments… add one }
  • Jay August 15, 2017, 8:27 am

    No Thanks! For the price of these, a person could build two or three that would out shoot it. I don;t care how much primp and fluff you put on a handgun, rifle etc…. it intended purpose is not that enhanced by any of it, is all for marketing sales!

  • Sean McGill August 15, 2017, 5:15 am

    Beautiful gun and I truly mean that but the insanity has got to stop. Its still just a glorified AR15…Im all for a business making a profit but some of these builder / companies are high on their on hyped up BS..4k AR15s,10s, 3k 1911s, thousand dollar plastic (mostly) shotguns! Where the hell are these places getting their research from that states \”THIS\” is what the gun consumer wants…probably the same places automakers use….2018 Ford Bronco …$60,000….\’we made it for the fans\”….well evidently just the stockbroker fans, normal everyday Americans sure as hell cant afford it..The firearms industry lately ,even a year or more removed from the gun scare seems no better.

  • FirstStateMark August 14, 2017, 4:39 pm

    Definitely nice looking guns. Out of my price range though.

  • JohnL August 14, 2017, 1:26 pm

    Absolutely beautiful rifle, a work of art, can t wait to bang it around at that price.

  • Jon Shaver August 14, 2017, 12:22 pm

    This is an interesting rifle on the one hand but quite frankly, if you can’t shoot at or under 1/2 MOA at 100 with a custom-type 5.56 or .223, then it’s not worth the money. Some of the features, like the flared magwell, adjustable cheekpiece, etc. are interesting but not exactly compelling.

    I’ve built multiple AR’s in 223 Wylde and 300 Blackout using pretty generic billet lowers, Giesselle SSA triggers and fantastic Wilson Combat uppers (especially the 223 Wylde fluted Urban Sniper 16 and 18 inch) that will routinely shoot 1/2 MOA or better using 77 grain Black Hills ammo. Altogether these rifles cost less than $2K to put together including a JP captured spring instead of the common buffer and spring. Never have experienced muzzle rise of inability to remain on target during rapid fire. Have used various red dot optics but my favorite for these rifles is Trijicon’s 1-8X Accupoint combo red/green dot/riflescope. Even with that optic, still below $3500 and will tack drive all day long.

    I appreciate works of art and have spent way too much money buying them but when I need to count on near perfection and unparalleled accuracy, I’ll take my home builts every time–and I suspect I’m not alone.

    All that said, keep up the good work (I don’t know how shooting new guns every day can be thought of as work!) Clay. Appreciate all you do.

    • JohnL August 14, 2017, 1:24 pm

      I can t agree more. I make my own!

  • Jake August 14, 2017, 11:47 am

    Clay, did that muzzle brake direct more muzzle blast or report back at you? Looks sort of like the idea behind all those .50BMG brakes that blast everybody behind the shooter.

  • Larry Abrams August 14, 2017, 10:25 am

    Yep, Want one but don’t own any oil wells,,, What I do want is one of those Off the Reservation T Shirts… Where and how much??????

  • Dave August 14, 2017, 9:55 am

    It’s nice to see that the AR-15…or MSR…or…whatever we’re calling it, has become so popular as to inspire boutique pieces and functional collectors items. Honestly, at 4 grand, that’s what we’re talking about. That’s a bespoke art/party piece that also happens to shoot – it may even shoot well, but that’s not really what it’s about. I love that the market is strong enough to support this kind of thing and that folks are supporting the industry by purchasing these pieces. However, it’s definitely not for me…the MSR hits the point of diminishing returns around 1500-2000 dollars depending on the shooter…the value for dollar just isn’t there beyond that. That’s not even considering the DIY nature of the platform.

  • Rham Kohen August 14, 2017, 9:19 am

    Cut the price in half and I’ll buy one.

  • Brett Bowman August 14, 2017, 7:48 am

    It looks cool and all, but I believe I still would rather have almost any DDM4 V series from Daniel Defense? Nothing against the Cobalt rifles but I can get just as well or better of a rifle for half the cash. I have always been biased to Daniel Defense since I bought my first of 8, 4 or 5 years ago. To each is his own, and this may be the best AR platform out there? Who knows? I’ll never know because I won’t drop the $2500.00 to $3900.00 on a rifle that you can’t read 20 reviews on because no one S dropping the 4K on?

  • Zorro August 14, 2017, 7:40 am

    Of course Gunsamerica just loves this rifle – you people are such lap licking company men it\’s only astonishing when you have anything negative to say especially you fat boy …

    • Lloyd Myers August 14, 2017, 1:46 pm

      Than why do angry bullies like you with a huge chip on your shoulder read the reviews in the first place

    • Big John August 15, 2017, 8:01 pm

      Everybody’s a tough guy while they’re out of arms reach from getting a well deserved fist in their mouth. Stay in your Mom’s basement and keep typing bad ass, while your at it you can change your handle to Zero, it sounds similar…but much more descriptive.

  • Dr Motown August 14, 2017, 7:26 am

    “About an inch out of the race gun” implies that most of his groups were over 1″…..’meh’ for $3895, plus a grip that might get slippery with sweat

    • JohnL August 14, 2017, 1:29 pm

      Stop sweating on guns! LOL

      • Evan August 16, 2017, 12:22 pm

        Any gun I’d ever buy should be designed to be sweated on.

  • Altoid August 14, 2017, 6:41 am

    A rifle that expensive and pretty is best left in a glass display. Who would ever risk scratching the finish by taking it to the field and shooting it? And powder stains! … OMG!

  • sam colt August 14, 2017, 6:05 am

    That is NOT my favorite rifle of platform. It’s a piece of garbage, 2 forward assists for Jamming Jenny tells me all I need to know. That is the stupid est looking abortion of a rifle that I think I have ever seen. It’s a sissy rifle, always has been. Robert MacNamara’s POS, get your butt behind something in 7.62×51 it might actually kill at range distance instead of wounding.

    • Army127 August 15, 2017, 1:35 am

      Oh shut up you as* pirate! And give me a break with your 7.62×51 crap! Now yes I love the .308 round and it’s probably one of the most versatile cartridges ever developed, but there is nothing wrong with the 5.56 either. In the right bullet weight, 75-80gr it will kill no problem out to 500m and I know because I have done it! Also the M16/M4 rifle wouldn’t be our longest serving battle rifle if it was a total POS! Which it isn’t, and I would know since I spent 15 years carrying it and using it in the Army during 3 tours in Iraq and other deployments (and yes the M855and855A1 62gr bullets are ok for what they were designed for) and a total of 32 years shooting it. Oh, and I also spent most of my career until I was injured in combat as a 15T or UH-60 Blackhawk Crew Chief and Gunner. So I have also shot plenty of 7.62×51 out of a moving helicopter and on the ground using an M240B. I do agree that these rifles are ugly and yes for 4,000.00 this rifle should definitely be shooting .5 MOA with quality ammo. I wouldn’t buy either one of these as I can and do build better quality .223/5.56 rifles for 1,500.00 to 2,000.00 including optic that will and do shoot .75 to .50 MOA at 100m. So even though they seem to have some innovation they are way over priced for what you get in my opinion. And there are plenty of other AR’s out there now with ambidextrous controls and flared mag wells so all that is really nothing new!

      SSG G OUT!

      “Death Waits in the Dark”

Leave a Comment

Send this to a friend