This video was supposedly found on a DVD found at an airport and may be intended to be used at the next SHOT show. It shows the Bushmaster ACR which is the reported final variant of what started out of the Magpul Masada and then went on to Bushmaster for development before Remington got the manufacturing contract for it. It is the latest attempt to create a better battle rifle and one of the only truly original concepts out there. Gotta love Magpul!
The ACR (Adaptive Combat Rifle) is a multi-mission weapons system designed around the fire control group and magazine of a standard M4 carbine. Everything else looks like it was designed from the ground up with the operator in mind. By using a gas piston system with a NON-reciprocating bolt handle and recoil spring, the rifle is able to utilize a side folding stock that is fully adjustable not only for length but also for cheek weld - ensuring almost any shooter should be able to find a comfortable fit. For those that have been concerned with its polymer frame, get over it. "Polymer is the new steel", read that somewhere. For years we have been using polymer framed pistols with very little instances of failure due to the polymer in them. If you look at the video the bolt and carrier system ride on an internal chassis systems made of, what else, metal. This is the same system used on many of the polymer pistols (such as my Smith & Wesson M&P 40c) that I mentioned earlier.
Another thing it has going for it is the ability to change calibers easily and quickly if needed. Firing either the standard 5.56 mm or the newer 6.8 mm round gives it plenty of flexibility when it comes to mission needs. The 6.8 round puts the 5.56 to shame when it comes to stopping power, and can penetrate most common body armor used today, which the 5.56 sometimes has issues with. In addition the 6.8 gives the system a much longer reach than the 5.56 is capable of. In the vid you can see that simply changing the bolt, magazine and barrel itself (which looks frighteningly easy, I would be double checking that thing like crazy to make sure it was on the first couple of times after changing barrels) is all that is required.
The rifle is squarely aimed at the military and security sector, so the question begs to be asked; Did Magpul and the rest in the development chain create a rifle with no major purchaser? The military has cancelled the tests for a new combat rifle, instead opting to continue to use the M4 systems with some component upgrades. I am fairly certain the Masada project was probably created to address the trials when they were first announced, but the Army decided that the M4 was "reliable enough" for our troops. Still, the Rangers and some other elite units have started using the FN SCAR recently and I don't remember any testing for them being public or competitive. Some members of our Congress are currently challenging the military's claims that the M4 is suitable for service to lead us forward in the 21st century and we may have trials scheduled yet again. If so the ACR will be a prime candidate for those tests.
Either way, this is one fine looking rifle and for a reported retail price for a semi-automatic version to be around $1,400 it will be a hot seller for sure. Dear Santa....
2nd Amendment to the Constitution of The United States of America
A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.
"I ask sir, what is the militia? It is the whole people except for a few politicians."
- George Mason (father of the Bill of Rights and The Virginia Declaration of Rights)