COX Arms USA, a newcomer to the AR manufacturing scene, is based out of Arizona and founded by Marine veteran Michael Cox. COX Arms USA is producing top-tier 100% American made AR rifles and pistols backed by a lifetime guarantee. Built with the best materials and parts available, their rifles and pistols shoot as good as they look. I recently got my hands on the COX Arms USA Wulf 5.56 pistol, but is it deserving of the $1,900 price tag? The short answer – yes, very much so.
We can dive into the debate about why a $1,900 AR is better than a $375 AR. At the end of the day, it all comes down to your budget, wants, and what you plan on using the gun for. There will be comments below saying, “I can never afford an AR like that.” Those same people probably have multiple PSA or Anderson builds sitting in the closet. How do I know? I used to be one of those guys. It’s hard to resist a good deal, but after handling and shooting premium ARs, the others are collecting dust waiting to be sold.
I’m hard pressed to find another manufacturer offering a comparable build with this many features for less than $2,000. It’s surprising how many companies are commanding a high price tag yet still leave room for improvements. That’s where COX Arms USA fills the gap. They deliver what many would consider a custom rifle from the factory, outfitted with the best parts.
- Caliber: 5.56×45 NATO / .223 REM
- Color: OD Green (Multiple Available)
- Barrel: Ballistic Advantage 10.5” 4150 CrMoV, 1:7
- Upper & Lower Receivers: Billet 7075 T6 Aluminum
- Bolt Carrier Group: Enhanced carrier with premium bolt
- Gas System: Direct Impingement, Carbine length
- Handguard: 10” Aluminum Free Float M-LOK
- Pistol Brace: Gear Head Works Tailhook Mod 2
- Trigger: Adjustable Elftmann Match Grade Trigger
- Muzzle Device: VG6 Gamma 5.56 Muzzle Brake
- Charging Handle: Ambidextrous
- Buffer Assembly: H2 with Upgraded Spring
- Grip: Mission First Tactical Engage V2
- Magazines: (2) 30-Round Lancer Magazines
- Case: COX Arms Soft Sided Rifle Case Included
- Length: 26.5” – 29”
- Weight: 5.8 lbs
- MSRP: $1,900
Starting at the muzzle, the Wulf is topped with a VG6 Gamma 556 muzzle brake. It does an incredible job at reducing rise and felt recoil. My first shots with the Wulf were surprising. There was almost no recoil and the gun remained totally flat. It was impressive, but extremely loud at the indoor range. The VG6 is paired with a 10.5” 5.56 Ballistic Advantage 4150 CrMoV barrel. It has a 1:7 twist rate with a carbine length gas system. Ballistic Advantage guarantees sub-MOA accuracy from their barrels and the accuracy testing I’ve done confirms this. The 0.750 gas block is non-adjustable and is staked for reliability.
A 10-inch lightweight M-LOK handguard surrounds the barrel. It is sturdy, solid, and comfortable to grip. The handguard has 7 different M-LOK Mounting locations plus a full length picatinny top rail. The options are endless for mounting accessories. It also features quick detach mounting points at the front and rear. There are no gaps where the rail meets the upper. The fit and finish overall are flawless.
Both the upper and lower receiver are made in house from billet aluminum to exacting tolerances. After the uppers and lowers have been machined, they select the ones with the tightest tolerances and keep them together for the rest of the build. The result is a match made in heaven with no gaps between the upper and lower with a solid, tight feel. The upper and lower feel like one piece – no rattles here. The fit is so tight, to get the rear pin back in place I must firmly squeeze the upper and lower together. And if for some reason it does start to get loose over time, the lower has a tensioning screw to remove any play.
The upper has a forward assist and subtle milling patterns that are visually striking. COX Arms USA uses an enhanced bolt carrier group with a premium bolt that has less contact points than a standard bolt carrier resulting in smooth operation. A staked gas key ensures reliability. The upper is completed with an ambidextrous charging handle.
The lower receiver is flawlessly machined and features milling cuts that are functional and appealing. Starting at the front, the magwell is double beveled and wide for faster reloads. There are finger indexing stepped cuts on both sides of the lower where you can rest your trigger finger. The oversized mag release button is easy to use and features a stepped design that prevents slippage and enhances grip. A threaded bolt release sits on the other side. This is easier to install and becoming increasingly popular on lowers. The integrated trigger guard is large enough to accommodate gloved fingers.
COX Arms USA selected the Elftmann Match drop in adjustable trigger and installs anti-walk trigger pins. The ambidextrous safety is grooved and easy to manipulate. The safety lever is shorter on the right side as to not interfere with your trigger finger. All the detent pins are stainless, and the rear detent spring and pin are captured. You don’t have to worry about it flying across the room if you switch out the stock buffer tube. At the back of the lower sits a quick detach mount backplate. The lower is complete with a Mission First Tactical Engage V2 pistol grip with a modified 15-degree grip angle and improved grip texture.
A Gear Head Works Tailhook Mod 2 sits on a proprietary buffer tube. The Tailhook Mod 2 has four telescoping positions and is one of the most comfortable pistols braces I’ve used to date. Inside the buffer tube is an upgraded H2 buffer and upgraded spring. You won’t have to worry about the buffer tube coming loose, that’s been staked too.
At the range, the Wulf exceeded my expectations. It’s such a different feeling shooting a well-tuned AR. The parts move together in magical harmony resulting in an incredibly smooth, and fast cycle. The bolt group feels like it’s running on rails and there’s none of that unpleasant buffer spring noise going on.
The Elf trigger is superb with a crisp break and positive reset. There is no uptake at all, just a clean break. The Wulf begs to be ran fast, but to my chagrin the range office halted me after 3 rapid fire shots. As fast as you can pull the trigger, the gun will cycle. It’s a pleasure to shoot, minus the concussive pressure waves from the indoor range. COX Arms USA recommends a 150 round break-in period using some “hot” ammo. I ran 150 rounds of Hornady Frontier .223 55 gr. FMJ with no failures or problems. Using a wheeler digital trigger scale, the Elf averaged right at 3.5 lbs.
After the first trip to the range, I immediately took off the VG6 Gamma brake and installed a YHM mini QD brake for suppressed use at the ranch. My primary use for AR’s is hog hunting and most of it takes place in ground blinds, which is why I wanted a compact AR pistol. The shorter barrel with a suppressor still makes it manageable in the truck, UTV, and blind. Most of my shots are within 150 yards so I’m confident using the AR pistol at that distance.
At the ranch I sighted in the Wulf at 100 yards using a SilencerCo Omega 300 and Primary Arms GLx 2X Prism with ACSS reticle. I shot multiple different loads of ammo, and all ran without failures. The best groups of the day were with Hornady Match .223 75 gr BTHP, and Federal Premium .223 69 gr Sierra Matchking. Both were sub-MOA groups at 100 yards using bags. The rest of the ammo shot right around 1 MOA. With a variable optic installed, I could get better groups. I was thoroughly impressed with the accuracy from Ballistic Advantage, and the Elf trigger makes it easy to stay on target.
Running suppressed, I didn’t have excess gas hitting my face and the recoil was reduced significantly. It’s a joy shooting a well-tuned setup. So many AR’s are over gassed or don’t have the proper buffer/spring setup to run efficiently. Once you shoot an AR that’s been properly tuned, the difference is huge. That afternoon we took the Wulf up to the ridge where we have targets set to 300 and 500 yards. Using the ACSS reticle, the very first shot was a direct hit at 300 yards. Three shots, three hits and moved out to 500. This proved more challenging with the 2X prism, but I was able to hold over out to 500 and managed to put half my shots on target. I’d consider this to be the extreme limits of a 10.5″ 5.56. The Wulf is certainly more accurate than I am.
Gearing up for the nighttime hunt, I attached my Odin Turbo to the rail and set out for the blind. Riding in the UTV is easier with the pistol over my normal carbine setup. The suppressor wasn’t hitting the roof and maneuvering around was easier. Fully loaded with a suppressor, optic, and magazine the pistol weighed 7.25 lbs. My carbine length DD M4 V7 in the same configuration weighs 8.8 lbs. Getting in the blind and setting up inside was also easier with the pistol. I wasn’t banging the door frame with the suppressor and setting up for a shot was manageable with 6 less inches of barrel to deal with. At around 8:15 PM 3 hogs came to the protein feeder. I quickly setup my shot, fired on the Odin turbo and took one down at 85 yards.
I’ve put right at 500 rounds through the Wulf pistol with flawless operation both suppressed and unsuppressed. I have yet to clean it and it’s still running like a champ. The Elf service trigger is a top-quality trigger. There is little to no uptake and the break feels like snapping a small glass rod – like a high-end 1911. The Gear Head Works pistol brace is solid and the telescoping positions make it easy to fit your shooting style.
So is it worth $1,900? I say, yes. You’re buying a premium built AR backed by a lifetime guarantee using 100% American made parts. You won’t find the words “mil-spec” anywhere on the COX Arms USA website because they’re better than that (yes they will still be compatible with mil-spec parts if you wish to change them). The uppers and lowers are machined in house, not sourced from another manufacturer. The quality of the Wulf is second to none and I’d classify COX Arms USA as a top-tier manufacturer. It’s built the right way and I have no problems or doubts choosing this as my go-to home defense weapon. The critical components are staked and assembled properly giving me peace of mind. Aside from being trustworthy, the Wulf is a gorgeous AR and OD Green is my favorite color. If you’re someone who shoots regularly and needs a dependable AR pistol then the Wulf should be high on the list.