Law Tactical recently released their AR Internal Carrier or ARIC bolt carrier group (BCG) that gives users the ability to shoot and cycle their AR15 while it is folded. Known primarily for their hit folding stock adapter that allows ARs to be easily folded for transportation, Law Tactical started shipping its newest product, the ARIC in mid-November. However, predating the launch, Law Tactical reached out to me back in December of 2021 to help them with some testing and evaluating their pre-production ARIC prototypes. Initially, I was given both the M and C models, nearly zero instruction, and a couple of tests to do. I had some issues and provided feedback on what I found happening. I’ll get more into the functionality of the ARIC here in a bit though, and will give an overview of what this new BCG actually is for those who are just tuning in.
The ARIC is a new take on a BCG that accomplishes the task of a typical bolt carrier group, buffer, and buffer spring by utilizing a cap and dual-side recoil springs. Doing this allows the ARIC to fire folded and unfolded, giving a greater range of applicability to the AR-15 platform. The ARIC is a drop-in conversion for direct impingement ARs that are utilizing the law tactical folder. The ARIC is 100% backward compatible with standard BCGs if it was ever to be taken out. There are no tools required for installation or removal, and each component can be easily field-stripped for cleaning or maintenance.
While the ARIC features a few proprietary components, it features most of the same parts as traditional BCGs. However, Law Tactical states that they use an enhanced cam pin, firing pin retaining pin, and gas key that should not be removed or replaced. Doing so may “cause wear or inhibit function.” They recommend against using “cut/notched” semiautomatic hammers as well as binary/forced-reset trigger groups.
Law tactical is offering two different versions of the ARIC called the ARIC-M and ARIC-C. The M version is designed for suppressor usage while the C variant is made to work with unsuppressed platforms. They made the picture below to help customers decide which system works best for them:
So how long will the ARIC last? Sadly I have a limited ammo budget and could only use a few hundred rounds so I cannot say for certain. During my testing, everything held up just fine. Law Tactical acknowledges that there are wear components unique to ARIC such as the dual guide rod springs, and the little plastic bumpers on the tailcup. These are built to “meet or exceed the life cycle of standard recoil systems.” Buffer springs can eventually wear out due to the number of compression cycles they face, and so will the dual guide rod springs on the ARIC. Springs are a wear item, but luckily the ARIC is toolless and replacement is easy for the few who shoot enough to wear these out.
I was able to test both models, and predominantly ran the M version since shooting unsuppressed is rude and something I just don’t do very often. Originally I had a lot of issues with both models. The main problem came from failures to feed and the ARIC not having enough force to push rounds into the battery. The worst aspect of this particular issue is that the forward assist will not interact with the ARIC due to there being no surface to push on. When I would encounter a failure-to-feed or FTF, I would have to re-rack the charging handle to try to slam the bolt forward again. This rarely occurred when PMAGs and USGI mags were partially loaded, but when trying to chamber the top round in a 30-round magazine, the issue happened almost continuously. At first, I had a lot of back and forth trying to troubleshoot what could be causing this. The first recommendation was to use a chamber brush to clean the chamber and add lube. This slightly helped but the issue persisted. What ended up causing the cycling issues was friction with the tail cup.
I saw that there were instructions to loosen the side set screw on the Law Tactical folder if the tail cup didn’t move freely. However, when I would depress it with my thumb from the rear it felt pretty smooth so at first I didn’t adjust the set screw and continued to have issues. What ended up fixing 85% of my issues was backing out this side set screw while the ARIC was installed, and then re-torquing.
After adjusting the side set screw, the tailcup moved more freely inside the flange, and I could finally chamber the top round in a fully loaded 30-round standard capacity magazine. I also no longer had any cycling issues when shooting which was a drastic improvement over the short strokes and light primer strikes I originally had due to the ARIC not having the energy to fully get into battery with the extra friction of a misaligned tailcup. Even with this fix, I still had two instances out of nearly 50 where the ARIC didn’t have the energy to go fully into battery when charging a round from a full mag. This video is posted on my Instagram page.
These issues make me skeptical of the reliability of the system, especially so when dirty environments are involved or the gun goes for long periods without being cleaned. It seems as if the springs have a barely adequate spring weight to them to work in ideal conditions and any friction that gets added into the system could be enough to stop the round from being chambered. However, as I mentioned earlier, after fixing the side set screw, I no longer had cycling issues when shooting. Issues only came from trying to chamber the first round in a mag.
While shooting folded isn’t practical in most situations, I still believe it is a great capability to have. The ARIC, when configured with the Law Tactical folding stock adaptor, helps bridge the gap between traditional AR15s and rifles such as the Sig MCX or the original AR-18. However, it comes at a price. The Gen 3-M folding stock adapter has an MSRP of $270 and is necessary to be equipped to even use the ARIC which has an MSRP of $389.00. For those who strictly want a rifle that can shoot when folded, it may be cheaper to just buy one designed to do that from the factory, but for those who already have an AR15 featuring a Law Tactical folding stock adapter, the ARIC can provide more versatility to your platform, and be another tool in the toolbox.
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NOW I see a use for this particular folding stock on my AR. I bought the folding stock kit before but it was impractical with the regular bolt carrier. This I like.