Armed in all 50 States: Ares Defense SCR


Behind every blade of grass… This is what keeps America safe and free.

Someone once said, "Guns have only two enemies- rust and politicians." And it’s a good thing that gun owners are a crafty bunch, because the politicians sure have been busy.

A few months ago, I travelled from my current base of operations in Yakima, WA to Seattle, for a date with TracerX and a belt-fed AR-15 upper receiver. Where they provided the ammo. And as usual, they had to twist my arm pretty hard to get me to go… So that weekend I got to meet Geoffrey and Sarah Herring, the owners of Ares Defense. And while the star of the day was their awesome MCR belt-fed AR-15 upper, I got to see and shoot another project of theirs, the SCR (Sport Configurable Rifle).

The SCR was a strange blend of shotgun, AR, and scout rifle. While unmistakably an AR-15 in the front and top half, the lower receiver and traditional rifle stock was intriguing. When I asked about it, I found that it was a rifle designed to run right through every pesky loophole in every state, making it a lightweight and capable rifle for all 50 states, and yes, that includes California and New York. You know, the states where their politicians are protected by guns but the citizens cannot own them. So if you’re in CA or New York and don’t want to deal with all sorts of pesky infringements on your inalienable right to keep and bear arms, this is a gun that comes ready for your shooting enjoyment right out of the box.

"I found that it was a rifle designed to run right through every pesky loophole in every state…"

The particular SCR I got to shoot was gorgeous, and at just under 6lbs, lightweight. Sporting a Fortis Switch rail and a Rainier Arms XTC 2.0 muzzle brake over a lightweight "pencil" barrel, an Avalanche Charging handle, and an Aimpoint Micro red dot, it was a gun I would happily have added to my collection. And like any good American, we were running those dangerous, evil, scary, "High-capacity" 30-round magazines. Unfortunately, for those living in hoplophobic states, the SCR does not ship with a threaded barrel, but it still functions like a dream. Hoplophobia, for those who don’t know, is a term coined by the late Col. Jeff Cooper to describe an irrational fear of weapons.

The top and front half of the SCR is 100% AR-15. Any AR-15 upper receiver will fit on the SCR lower, which means a variety of caliber-specific configurations can be used, and all of the accessories we love so much can be attached to a standard AR-15 upper and used as a part of the SCR. It’s the back and bottom half that sets the SCR apart, however. A shotgun/hunting rifle-style polymer stock is attached to Ares’ proprietary lower receiver. The lower receiver itself looks like an abbreviated version of a standard AR lower, and can accept any AR-15 magazine. It has a standard mag release, bolt catch, and takedown pins. The trigger feels like a regular mil-spec trigger, and instead of a throw-lever safety, a more traditional push-button safety is employed right behind the trigger guard.

Ergonomically, it felt a bit strange at first, mainly because I was trying to shoot it like I normally shoot ARs- squared off towards the front, the gun centered under my jaw, elbow tucked in tight. I thought the thing sucked, but then I remembered it was closer in form to a traditional scout rifle or hunting rifle, although in function it was an AR-15. So after using a bladed stance and a more hunting-style grip and position, the gun sank into my shoulder pocket and shot like a dream. We were shooting some rather hot 5.56 ammo, but the XTC 2.0 brake from Rainer Arms tamed the recoil better than a Snickers bar tames a hunger-induced rage state. The safety took a little getting used to, but in retrospect, a throw-lever safety would have been pretty difficult to reach with the wrist angle of the stock. The lower receiver on the SCR is shorter and longer than standard lowers are, which has both advantages and disadvantages. The main disadvantage is that the mag release was a little hard to hit with my stubby fingers, but not impossible. I just had to take my hand off the stock to reach it consistently. The advantage is that a 10-round magazine that normally sits flush to the magwell will sit like a 20-round magazine, so shooters in states that don’t like forward grips can easily grip the magwell/magazine for added stabilization of the distribution of freedom bits.

Internally, the angle of the SCR’s stock won’t allow for a standard bolt carrier group and buffer system, so Ares decided to build a proprietary bolt and buffer system that will be used in the place of your regular BCG. It angles down into the stock with a rat-tail attachment that works with their buffer system. While it was a bit complicated for me to assemble and disassemble at first, with practice it became fairly easy.

For citizens everywhere, the SCR is a great rifle to add to their collection. Lightweight, easy-to-shoot, and a great blend of AR-15 and traditional rifle designs. For Americans living in states where the politicians are scared of black rifles, the SCR is the ultimate loophole gun. The 2nd Amendment was written to give citizens the power to resist an unchecked, tyrannical government, and though some states have given too much away in the fight for the 2nd Amendment, the SCR is the rifle that gives those citizens the power of firearms ownership while skirting through all the loopholes that a state may impose on them.

From a practicality standpoint, the SCR is lightweight, fun to shoot, and functional as a rifle. From a freedom-loving American standpoint, this is a rifle that gives you all the power and versatility of an AR-15, while flying under the noses of hoplophobic politicians. With a price tag just under $800, it’s a great value for the price. And while it won’t replace a full-fledged AR-15, it’s a fantastic rifle for target practice, hunting, or as a futuristic, modernized ranch rifle.

So here’s to those crafty gun enthusiasts who love to rub it in the faces of politicians, and defend our right to bear arms while showing the enemies of guns just how much we care. Behind every blade of grass… This is what keeps America safe and free. Keep it up Ares Defense, I can’t wait to see what your creative minds think up next.

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