What to Watch For: The NEW ArmaLite
October 15, 2014
Synonymous with the development of the iconic AR-10 and AR-15 rifle platforms, the name ArmaLite carries a rich history with American shooters.
ArmaLite has evolved since the 1950s with introductions of various firearms, from the fabled AR-17 semiauto shotgun that didn't find commercial success in the early 60s, to the precision AR-50 bolt-action rifle chambered for .50 BMG. The company has developed innovative firearm designs for military, law enforcement and civilians over the past decades, though in recent years ArmaLite hasn't developed many new products that found the consumer spotlight.
In 2015, ArmaLite is writing a new page in their history book with the introduction of an entire catalog of new modern sporting rifles and pistols (pictured above). Their brand new firearms have been totally re-engineered to give ArmaLite a competitive advantage with a modern look, feel and functionality.
During a recent tour of ArmaLite's headquarters in Geneseo, Ill., Guns & Ammo editors were presented a compelling look at the new firearms that are rolling out the red carpet for ArmaLite's return to the spotlight.
Back in the Spotlight
Below are 8 reasons why ArmaLite is back and better than ever, followed by a gallery highlighting each new firearm in their inventory:
1. Tommy Thacker
Appointed President of ArmaLite in Feb. 2014, champion 3-gun shooter Tommy Thacker is pumping his passion and knowledge for modern sporting rifles into the development of new firearms. Pictured here with the actual rifle he uses in competition, his 3-gun rifle is becoming a new catalog offering in 2015. Thacker is leading a motivated staff of engineers with his 20 years of firearm industry experience. Thacker has owned a number of smaller businesses in the industry from gun shops to a training company. He's an avid hunter, competitor and active 2nd amendment advocate.
2. 16 New Firearms for 2015
ArmaLite is introducing an entire new catalog of 16 modern sporting rifles and pistols for 2015. Their new firearms are manufactured in ArmaLite's state-of-the-art facility and are paired with highly sought-after components. Many of the new offerings also include Timney triggers, Raptor charging handles and folding sights.
3. KeyMod Handguards
It's no secret that free floating handguards are all the craze, and for good reason. Modular attachment systems are in huge demand, and the KeyMod interface is well on its way to becoming an industry standard. ArmaLite is offering several variations of KeyMod handguards on their 2015 lineup, machined in-house to exacting tolerances from solid aluminum. The new forends include slick-side options with attachment points located only in the most commonly used places on the forend — near the receiver for mounting primary optics and towards the muzzle for backup sights, lights, lasers and slings.
4. Tunable Muzzle Brakes
Located on the top, left and right of ArmaLite's new baffled muzzle brake, three ports allow users to fine-tune the rifle's recoil. Originally tested on Thacker's personal 3-gun rifle, these brakes proved their flat-shooting abilities through heavy competition use and now appear on several rifles in ArmaLite's 2015 lineup. They will also be available as a catalog accessory.
5. Adjustable Gas Blocks
Like the tunable muzzle brake, ArmaLite is giving users the ability to tailor the performance of their rifles to various applications and ammunition. With a hex key, the adjustable gas blocks act as a valve to control the amount of gas being used to cycle the action. This is especially important when using a suppressor, or for competition shooters who rely on fast follow-up shots with low recoil. These will also be available as a catalog accessory.
6. LUTH MBA-1 Rifle Stocks
ArmaLite and LUTH-AR-LLC have teamed up to provide MBA-1 adjustable stocks as an OEM feature on seven new rifles in ArmaLite's 2015 lineup. This lightweight, modular stock allows for adjustable length of pull and comb height without the use of tools. Marked ARMALITE on both sides of the stock, these will be standard on several rifles including ArmaLite's new 3-gun offerings inspired by Thacker. MBA-1 will also be available as a catalog accessory through ArmaLite.
7. Folding Stock Adapters
Developed by LAW Tactical, the AR Folding Stock Adapter allows conventional buffer tube assemblies to fold onto the left side of the receiver for convenient transportation. ArmaLite has plans to implement the adapters on their new M-15 pistols with the use of a SB-15 arm brace, pending ATF approval for use in ArmaLite's configuration.
8. Factory Cerakote
Nothing screams personalized firearms quite like a unique paint job. Black isn't the only color for semiauto rifles anymore, and ArmaLite recognizes that with the introduction of Cerakote to their 2015 lineup. Initial offerings include Tactical Grey in their VSR rifle, and plans for other colors on production guns are in the works. ArmaLite's Premier Services Division also offers a Cerakoting service for individual customers.
New Guns from ArmaLite for 2015
Check out ArmaLite's new offerings for 2015: