When George Huang calls, I drop what I’m doing and pick up the phone. George is the President of Battle Arms Development and an all-around great guy. Prior to entering the firearms industry in 2009, George cut his teeth in the lighting design world. His career in lighting and thematic design has impacted Universal Studios, Disney theme parks, LEGOLAND and numerous casinos. He has brought that experience to the firearms industry. If any of you visited the Battle Arms booth at SHOT Show 2015, you would know what I am talking about. The B.A.D. booth was one of the highlights of the show thanks to its mad scientist and Star Wars themed ultra-light weight rifles and innovative firearms components.
George is always full of surprises so when he called me late October, I didn’t know what to expect. He was brimming with excitement and proceeded to talk non-stop for 30 minutes about all the new product innovation happening at Battle Arms. I don’t mean he talked for a half an hour about a couple of products, I mean he listed off so many new products my head was spinning.
I have been buying Battle Arms Safeties for as long as they have been available and recently started using their Enhanced Pins. Battle Arms Development really upped their game for SHOT Show 2015 with their light-weight receiver sets and a few other accessories. But in the 10 months after SHOT, the amount of innovation taking place was staggering. We are not talking about conceptual ideas. We are talking about production ready products that at the time of this writing are now available on their website for purchase.
- If I were to go into detail about every single product we talked about, this would turn into a novel so head over to their website to check out all their offerings for the AR15 rifle. In summary, Battle Arms in now offering the following:
- An expanded selection of their legacy safeties
- Receiver Sets that can be had for either forged lowers or light-weight billet lowers and uppers.
- Extension tubes for both AR pistols and Rifles in lightweight and milspec offerings
- Extension Tube Butt Stocks
- Magazine Releases in a variety of models, sizes and colors.
- Gas Blocks in a variety of finishes and materials
- Barrels in different lengths, profiles and finishes
- Adjustable Grips in a variety of colors
- PDW Stocks in a monolithic receiver set or as a stand-alone option.
- Enhanced Pin sets in different materials and finishes
- Enhanced Bolt Catch
- Up and coming rail collaboration with Fortis Manufacturing based off the popular light weight SWITCH Rail.
- Complete rifles with a production PDW in the works
In an already saturated black rifle market, it is easy to blend in with the crowd. There is nothing about the Battle Arms Development line that blends in. Quite the opposite really. Every component they make sets itself apart in the black rifle crowd. George’s design aesthetic is very unique and remarkable.
By the end of our conversation, he had me just as excited as he was. I just had to get my hands on some new B.A.D. parts and put together a rifle. A couple of weeks later, I had a box of parts and like a 5 year old on Christmas morning I dove on in and promptly built up a rifle. The quality of machining and attention to detail is impeccable. The longer I looked at the parts the more detail I noticed. For example their Enhanced Modular Magazine release is beautifully designed. The fitment is very precise thanks to a dove tail interface and recessed set screw. The receiver set mated together perfectly. Their 16” Ultra Match Lightrigid Fluted Two-Tone Barrel is a work of art and the 6.8 oz. Sabertube light weight stock really complimented the lightweight receiver set.
I was fortunate to get one of the first SWITCH rail sets made for Battle Arms with their logo laser engraved on it. I finished off the build with an Enhanced Bolt Carrier Group and Dragon muzzle brake from Lantac as well as a flat CMC 2-stage trigger and the new Rainier Arms Avalanche charging handle and new BUIS.
The result was nice light-weight 6 lbs rifle build that looked out of this world. Now as we all know looks aren’t everything and I would venture to say that aesthetics should be a representation of the practical function of the rifle. In this case, the form of the rifle was dictated by all the weight saving design features. This produced a very unique look. Now how would this visual masterpiece perform?
Topping the rifle with my Leupold ER/T 8.5-25 scope held securely by an Alamo Four Star DLOC mount I headed out to the local rifle range. Sure, this rifle would be better suited with a smaller optic like a red dot especially with the ultra-short, light-weight stock, but I wanted to get a decent group so the Leupold glass would really get me up and close. The weather was your typical PACNW drizzly weather with the temperature hovering in the mid-50s. Getting on paper was easy and cycling through the variety of rounds on hand I proceeded to attempt to get a good group. On hand I had Gorilla Match Grade .223 in 55gr, 69gr and 77gr. I also put some M855 62gr through it as well. The Leupold glass got me in nice and close. So close in fact, I could see my heart beat move the reticle so I had to break my shots between beats. The CMC trigger gave me a nice clean break and the Lantac Dragon eliminated any muzzle rise.
I was surprised to find that the heavier rounds didn’t fair as well as the lighter grain weights. Over all the Gorilla 55gr Sierra Blitzking gave me the best group. I was well on my way to a .625 inch group but I threw the last shot wide on the fifth round opening the group to a .96 inch spread at 100 yards. Shooter error on my part but at least I know this barrel can shoot better than this author and is easily capable of sub-MOA groups with match ammo and a competent shooter. In the future, I would like to get a lead sled or similar to really see what kind of groups I could squeeze out of it.
Overall, not only did Battle Arms kill it with their new offerings from an aesthetic standpoint, they have designed components that work and work well. While you probably won’t find their ultra-light parts on the battle field you will find their safeties being used by a few select groups who specialize in delivering excellent room service. If you are looking to build a complete light weight rifle or are just looking for high quality parts to compliment your existing rifle, Battle Arms Development will have something for everyone.
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