Bushmaster ACR

The ACR’s designers didn’t exactly start with a blank piece of paper, but they addressed many of the AR-15’s platform’s perceived flaws. The ACR sports ambidextrous controls. It’s rid of the buffer tube. It moves away from direct impingement. It offers a consistent cheek weld. The end result: a reliable, low-maintenance rifle with sensible fire controls. And yet all is not entirely well in Bushmaster’s world. Let’s go straight to the range  . . .

Even though the ACR’s boasts a polymer receiver, the rifle weighs-in at a beefy eight lbs. without ammo. Adding forward grips and optics adds another pound. Initially, the rifle’s “extra” weight is no big deal.

After zeroing the Bushmaster ACR at 25 yards, I shot four controlled pairs from low ready. The ACR’s recoil was no more onerous than that of a well-sorted AR-15. Holding and guiding the Bushmaster ACR via the MOE handguard was as easy and comfortable as shooting a well-loved 1911. Even with the stock Magpul BUIS, my hits gathered at center mass. Once I started repeating longer strings of five rounds, fatigue set in; my groups spread out faster than kids at an Easter egg hunt.

Firing off of the bench rest, my hits were touching each other. At 100 yards from the bench, hits were good enough within 2 MOA with the EXPS-2. While I tested 55gr and 77gr ammo at 100 yards without any problems, Bushmaster’s 1-in-9 twist barrel made me hesitant about accuracy at greater distances.

The Bushmaster ACR’s single-stage trigger isn’t bad for a stock unit; the break’s Iceberg crisp at around eight lbs. (as measured by my finger). There’s an initial bit of grittiness as the trigger takes up pressure. Once the hammer drops, that’s the end of the ¼” of travel distance. An audible click announces reset—without ear protection. With ears (‘natch), you have to rely on feel, of which there isn’t much.

The Bushmaster ACR’s fire controls make a lot of sense. If you hold the grip and extending your index finger forward, your fingertip sits above the bolt catch. By angling you index finger upwards you can reach the ACR’s magazine release.

Loading a new magazine and releasing the bolt using two hands feels faster than it does with an AR-15. The fact that one part of this motion happens out of view (on the other side of the rifle) is initially disconcerting. I’m not sure if the system’s an improvement. On an AR, a shooter’s support hand’s thumb normally reached the bolt catch by the time the magazine is fully seated. FWIW, the ACR’s set-up makes support hand operations consistent with strong hand operations.

The ACR’s user manual recommends that shooters run the rifle dry. At the same time, the manual includes instructions for lubrication. I wasn’t brave enough to follow the former advice. A quick wipe down with CLP—a truncated cleaning regimen I’d never dare use for an AR-15—and the ACR performed without a hitch. After 600 rounds, there wasn’t much to clean up. Carbon fouling on the bolt carrier group was minimal; cleaner than any AR I’ve ever shot. I ran a bore snake through the ACR’s barrel and wiped off the bolt. Done.

Disassembling the Bushmaster ACR is simple. Push a few pins with a bullet tip or your thumb and the rifle’s hand-guard, barrel and stock come apart like a coke-crazed celebutard. SHTF fans note: the ACR breaks down into a pile of parts small enough to fit into a backpack. You remove the Bushmaster’s barrel by turning a permanently attached ratchet. There it is, that double pronged thing underneath the barrel in the photograph below.

Ratchet and clank? First, the ACR’s ratchet adds weight; the rifle has enough of that already. Second, removing the barrel results in a loss of zero. Third, the ratchet handle interferes with the rail segments on the MOE hand guard.

The ratchet handle runs into the MOE rail segment washer. Because of the handle’s length, the rail slot closest to the receiver is unusable. A shorter ratchet handle would have been perfectly serviceable.

The ACR’s plug-‘n-play components make the ACR is a multi-role rifle. Switching from a tacticool zombie apocalypse configuration to stock for photos was a trivial exercise. Push one pin and slide the handguard out to switch and she’s ready for her closeup.

To capitalize on the ACR’s adaptability, Bushmaster offers two different handguards (MOE/tri-rail), two different stocks (collapsible/fixed), and two different colors (black/FDE). AR platformistas will laugh—especially when they learn that ACR buyers can have any barrel length they want as long as it’s 16″.

The ACR’s rails enable all the usual modern sporting rifle gadgets. But not without complications. Thanks to ACR’s charging handle location, mounting wide accessories on the monolithic top rail is a real issue. For example, positioning an EOTech EXPS-2 above the magazine’s position on the rail trapped my thumb between the charging handle and the EOTech’s battery compartment. That wasn’t fun the first time. Or the second.

An alternative: pull the charging handle towards the stock with the palm of your hand instead of gripping it with your thumb and index finger. Bonus! You no longer need your fingers to operate the charging handle.

TACR’s barrel and handguards are a disappointment. For a rifle with an MSRP cresting two Gs, I expected a 1-in-7 twist barrel. After all, the ACR’s the new fat kid on the playground. And a rifle for the civilian market doesn’t need to support a grenade launcher.

Due to the ACR’s barrel ratchet handle placement and the heat shields’ location, you can’t use the furthest back 6 o’clock rail slot on the MOE handguard. The alternative to tri-rail hand guards is significantly shorter, with a swivel slot at the front—reducing the amount of usable rail-estate. For weight and length reasons, the MOE handguard is clearly the better option between the two handguards.

Magpul designed Bushmaster’s ACR. The new rifle successfully addresses [what they saw as] flaws in the AR-15 platform. Truth be told, the ACR’s ergonomic improvements don’t count for much. Buying an ACR over an AR would be like replacing your existing car with the latest model just to get Big Gulp-compatible cup holders. At the end of the day, it’s the same car with a bigger cup holder.

Worse, the ACR introduces new shortcomings. All of which can be fixed. You can have the ACR’s barrel re-profiled. You can cut down the barrel ratchet handle. Remington already makes better handguards. Unfortunately, they aren’t not available to the civilian market at this time. And all these changes cost cash money.

Here’s something I’ve learned in getting products to market: if you design something and give someone else responsibility for getting it into the customers’ hands, they will screw it up. Bushmaster’s ACR was originally designed by Magpul (as the Masada). Bushmaster now manufactures the rifle. Bottom line: ACR buyers looking for Magpul innovation end up with Bushmaster quality at HK prices.

Caliber: .223 / 5.56 NATO
Action: Semi-automatic
Weight: 8 lbs.
Overall length: 37 ¼” with stock fully extended, 28 ¼” fully collapsed
Finish: Phosphate
Price: $2343

RATINGS (out of five)

Accuracy: * * * *
Within 2 MOA at 100 yards. Possibly more accurate in more capable hands than mine. 1-in-9 twist rate may be troublesome at longer ranges with heavier bullets.

Ergonomics: * *  ** ½
Ambidextrous designs with sensible placement of firing controls. Non-reciprocating charging handle; my support hand is thankful. Weight is a problem.

Reliability: * * * * *
Minimal maintenance requirements. One jam of epic proportions in the third magazine during my testing of the rifle. A rubber mallet was required to free the bolt in order to remove a stuck cartridge. Otherwise, flawless operation.

Customize This: * *
Anything that will fit on rails and Bushmaster handguards  and stock. Remington’s handguards are not available to the civilian market. Disappointing. Aftermarket triggers are available. Would love to get a different barrel profile.

Overall Rating: ***
Heavy. Simple to shoot. Simple to configure. Simple to maintain. Lacks the beloved customization options commonly found on the AR platform.

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74 Responses to Gun Review: Bushmaster ACR

  1. What is the point of a quick change barrel if they only have one kind of barrel and it’s not full-auto?

    • Bushmaster’s ACR was originally promised with a 6.8 caliber swap kit. Sources said the release date was 2010. 2010 came and went. There was no swap kit. There are now rumors from SHOT 2011 the same kit will be available at the end of 2011. The new rumors include a 1-in-7 twist .223/5.56 barrel of unknown length and profile.

      We shall see.

      • also promised was the 7.62×39 kit and a lower to accept AK mags…but Bushmaster seems to have killed that as well as 90% of the other good things magpul designed into the rifle

      • While many feel much ‘cooler’ with a a ‘mil-spec’ 7″ twist barrel, they have no knowledge of the topic other than to parrot the term ‘mil-spec’. Fact of the matter is the 9″twist Bushmaster, S&W and just a couple others use is better suited to civilian use, (read: those not firing tracers). Not only is it the ideal twist for M855, it’s good to 69 grains. There are some drawbacks to over-stabilizing a bullet: reduced wounding capability (note there has been a great increase in soldier’s complaints regarding lethality since the change to 7″ twist with the M16-A2). The bullet tends not to ‘upset’ as readily when striking flesh. When that happens, instead of turning sideways, causing a large disruption of flesh, then breaking in half at the canilure to finish off with 2 wound channels, it pokes a tiny hole through the target. The other lesser issues are barrel wear, (think of your tires as you make a turn at high speed – the sharper you turn…), and at very long ranges, where the bullet stays perpendicular to the barrel, not the arc-path, (not applicable to very many).

        • Scott, your verbose rebuttal left out the determining factor for requiring a faster than 1/9 twist, which is using the now very popular (for good reason) 75-77gr bullets. Also, the fragmentation issue is more to do with the 62gr bullet weight and construction, and barrel length, and less to do with twist rate. Raising bullet weight and shortening the barrel resulted in a major loss of velocity over M193 from a 20″ rifle. Coupled with a bullet less inclined to fragment due to jacket thickness etc. the combination resulted in less fragmentation. Also, the faster twist rate will achieve higher velocities due to longer dwell time in the barrel, so going to a 1/9 twist will actually hamper the effectiveness of the already handicapped M855. You may also want to educate yourself on the official studies regarding how bullets perform in the thin chested, malnourished middle east men encountered by our troops. Yes, they exist.

    • Magpul had working a full 7.6×39 conversion complete with different plastic lower that takes AK mags(the serial is on the upper). REMINGTON wanted the 6.8 conversion because it was trendy. But a .300blk should have happened long ago, too. You were going to be able to change between all of this with no tools. That is the point of the quick change – buy one upper, mail-order the parts to turn it into three or four other guns with no tools. The Masada was conceived as an ECOSYSTEM, Bushmaster made it into just another rifle.

  2. Thanks for the review! I saw one in a large sportsman’s store a couple of days ago – they were asking $2599 for the ACR (Same price as the SCAR that was sitting right next to it).

  3. If you’ll primarily shoot bulk 55 grain ammo, the 1:9 twist barrel is a good compromise. The SCAR over-spins light bullets and gives up some accuracy in the process.

  4. Meh, even Hitler disapproves. But thanks for the review. Can you make your own barrel and attach the gas blocks and wrench?

  5. Good review, Giao. When I see a rifle designated ACR, I know it’s going to cost a lot more than a basic AR. The premium attached to an adaptive rifle is not worth paying when the rifle can’t be adapted. An ACR with no swaps is a contradiction in terms. And I still haven’t figured out why I need the 6.8 in the first place.

      • Why 6.8? Because 5.56’s stopping power is “meh” at best. 6.8 offers far better stopping power than 5.56 without the over penetration of 308. There is nothing wrong with an AR that 6.8 can’t fix.

        My defense ARs are 6.8.

        • The real problem with the 7.62×51 is controllability in burst or full auto mode. The problem with the 5.56 is that it’s terminal ballistics are poor when fired from the M-4. Since I don’t own and can’t obtain select-fire weapons and SBRs, I’m very happy with the 7.62 and the 5.56, and don’t need anything in the middle.

        • Agreed. 5.56×45 for 1-200 yard applications and 7.62×51 for everything else. Of course, if push came to shove 7.62×51 can do it all. Kind of reduces the need to engage with strings of fire.

  6. 5 stars for reliability when you had such a serious jam? I guess that speaks to the difference in expectation between an AR platform and an AK platform. If an AK jammed that badly, one might be tempted to think there was something seriously wrong with it. But if an AR only does that once, then it gets 5 stars.

    • I weigh jams depending on when it happened and how it happened. As mentioned, the jam occurred in the 3rd magazine of the magazine’s lifetime with me. This is within the break-in period. It has been flawless with no cleaning or lubrication.

      • Smith and Wesson MP-15. Straight out of the box and to the range. Two fresh mags. So far have fired maybe 600 rounds. Haven’t cleaned it once. No jams, no FTF, no failures period. Does it get “6” stars?

        I don’t see why we accept that a $2500 rifle requires a “break-in” period. My $900 rifle didn’t.

        • I have an M&P15. It just shoots and shoots, and it’s pretty accurate too. BUT, if it didn’t have a forward assist, it would be gathring dust. It just prefers not to feed that first round properly. Smack the forward assist, though, and the Smitty and I are ready to rock and roll all night and party every day.

      • I understand, but a gun that gets itself so hopelessly stuck, even just one time in the break in period, hardly deserves 5 stars. I mean, if you were in the field and you were depending on this thing and all of the sudden you needed a mallet to get it to work, would you give it 5 stars?

        • I wouldn’t take a gun that hasn’t finished break-in to the field, but if I did there is a rock to solve my problem. Reliability is a pattern, not a data point.

        • “hasn’t finished break-in” ?????

          What exactly is “breaking-in” on your state-of-the-art, high dollar, CAD designed, CNC milled rifle? What wear parts require xx rounds of firing to properly set? What tolerances do you use to gage whether a rifle is “broken-in”?

          I understand that you’ll want to test a rifle to learn it’s handling, to gain confidence in it, to verify fit and finish of various parts (esp. magazines, but also sights, lights, etc.), to set the zero and so forth. That’s all good, but it’s not “break-in” as I have traditionally understood it. A $2500 rifle with good magazines should function 100% flawless out of the box. You’re just proving it to yourself, that’s all.

          Another example I’ll use is that a soldier in the field suffers damage to his rifle. He’s issued a new rifle, in the field, just prior to the next mission. How should he explain to his commanding officer that the rifle will require several serious range sessions to “break-in” before combat use?

        • Well apart from your total ignorance of military protocol then your response was terrible. Let me ask you one thing have you ever served in Iraq? No dnt think so. First of all 2500 dollars is not expensive for a what was it? “state-of-the-art, high dollar, CAD designed, CNC milled rifle” first of all strait from Wikipedia and second of all the military pays 15 grand per rifle that they issue. And they never issue a out of the box rifle… It allways is test fired with 500 rounds on a range. and a breakin period is about 3-5 mags. What a break in period is, is a period of time when the rifles parts are still not settled together meaning that the pices of the rifle do not fit together perfectly… An Ak for example has such loose fitting parts that it is not accurate but incredibly reliable. and ur traditional understanding goes to shit once you enter the military… just saying. Having searved myself i can tell you that you will never have two missions back to back in such a way. That is something from the movies and it shows your ignorance. Unless you are in the seal teams delta force or green berets you will be waiting for a disgusting period of time and then maby you will get shot at from a long way away and maby you will shoot back….. Deltaforce seal teams and green berets wepons are all testfired re testfired and they each have a small wearhouse of personal gear such as backups that are also testfired and re testfired. Your example is shit and btw sit down son.

        • I’m not trying to be argumentative. I’m just saying that we gun owners should not accept a manufacturer selling a $2500 rifle that’s not immediately ready to roll.

        • I agree with you. At the same time, my fancy $35k CAD, CNC milled, robot assembled car has a break-in period. There are the things we want and then there is reality pissing all over it.

          Reality always win.

        • There’s credible evidence that the so-called break-in period for new cars is now just a myth. If anything, run it hard for 50 miles, change the oil immediately, and you’re done. Gone are the days of babying your car for the first 5000 miles because of imprecise machining and poor metalurgy.

        • “Reliability is a pattern, not a data point.”

          Should read “Reliability is an AK pattern rifle.” 😉

    • I’m another AK fan, and so is Joe Grine. After five or six 30-round mag dumps right out of the box, he cooled off and ‘cleaned’ his brand-new AK-74 by dropping it in a rain puddle, letting it sit in the rain for a few more minutes, and then firing several more mag dumps through it. *That* is what I call five-star reliable.

      It was you-bet-your-life reliable until a gunsmith f***ed it up when he modified the safety lever. Now the twisted coil trigger spring pops loose sometimes.

      Mine never had the safety modification, and the only FTF I ever had was a Russian mil-surp primer that didn’t go bang when the hammer hit it.

      Still, even the best guns jam if the magazine isn’t working right.

      • “Still, even the best guns jam if the magazine isn’t working right.”

        +1. The mag is the potential Achilles heel of every semi- and auto.

        • Uhh… What do you call that piece that swings up to drive the firing pin when the trigger gets pulled?

    • BTW, thanks for the feedback. I’m not an AR fan boy. I hate the AR platform. And the AK platform also.

      I just don’t think that dinging something for a single event is right. If you take a rifle and fire one shot, would you call it reliable? Now what happens if that one shot didn’t fire? Is the rifle unreliable? I’ve tried really hard to reproduce that same jam and have been unsuccessful.

      If we can assess reliability with 1 shot or 1 jam, then we should immediately start reviewing guns using 1 round. This being the truth about guns, I decided that I tell you the truth about what happened during my time with the rifle. If my goal is to play up the wonderfulness of the ACR, I would have just left the jam out.

  7. I hate how people say 8.4lbs with a monolithic upper, ambi controls, and a heavy barrel is heavy.

    Not to mention when you go to the range with a ACR you get talked up by retards going “errr gee why did you get that when the SCAR-L is only 7.2lbs!” It isn’t. Its 8.1lbs, FNHerstal.com says the 14.5″ weighs 7.8lbs, FNHUSA.com says the 16″ weighs 7.25lbs. It doesn’t.

    ACRs biggest problem is Bushmaster. They don’t want to sell me stuff. I want a 6.8 SPC, and my ACR came with the enhanced stock, but the MOE handguard, and I ordered the enhanced handguard 3 months ago and still have not gotten it. On top of that they won’t sell us the concept handguard either, and they also won’t sell use the Remington ACR lower, which is pure profit and no hassle because the lower receiver isn’t the firearm on a ACR, its the trigger group. The reason people watn the Remington ACR lower is because for some reason Magpul decided to have a nondetachable pistol grip, that doesn’t even have larger insert.

    Oh yeah and Coyote Brown. Seriously Bushmaster, who wants coyote brown? Everyone want FDE, what the hell is wrong with you morons.

    • Chase, you nailed my opinion of the ACR. I won’t buy until I can get the Remington version. The Bushmaster is like a toy gun. It lacks all the features and customization of the Remington, and there isn’t a legitimate reason why civilians cannot purchase the Rem model. It’s not like they’re busy selling truckloads to militaries and police departments.

  8. Glad to see “copying” the Sig 556 yielded favorable results…..*** stars? Really….

    Love my Sig 556 more.

  9. I’ve not had any luck with Bushmaster weapons. I have heard that they have gotten better since being bought out by “The Freedom Group”, the same people who bought Remington & DPMS. I bought my wife a DPMS CAR-15 and it runs like a Swiss watch and is very accurate for a 16″ barrel carbine. My rifle is an Armalite AR-10A4SPR and I have to admit that it is the most accurate, reliable, softest shooting 7.62X51 caliber rifle I have had the pleasure to own including some much ballyhhood bolt actions. I also built a 20″ barrel 6.8SPC caliber rifle from DPMS parts that was super accurate, soft shooting and reliable. Shooting Barnse 85gr bullets @ slightly less than 3000 fps it anchored deer and hogs wherever I found ’em. I sold it to a friend because I was afraid he was going to go insane if I didn’t he was so smitten with that rifle! Bushmaster can keep the ACR for what they are asking for it, I just don’t see any advantages to it and $2500.00 for any .556 IMHO is Insane!
    SBFP2012!

  10. Why do people keep saying $2500 when listed MSRP is $150 less? And who pays MSRP?

    Barrel change from Masada to ACR is curious. Without barrel, ACR and SCAR weigh the exact same amount. Original concept had off the shelf AR barrels but that would require a different gas system, probably something like the FAL, to account for different lengths, etc. Note that you CAN use AR barrels, you will be overgassed stock though and would need to do something about that, though. Spikes sold a limited run of 1/8 fluted barrels to length and at least one guy is using a 10.5″ Noveske 1/7. Getting gas system parts from BM has been hit or miss, though.

    Ergonomics are a giant win over AR IMO. I’m not left handed, so ambidexterity doesn’t matter as much but I hated charging handle, forward assist, and bolt release on my issued M16A4 and M4. I haven’t had any stoppages yet (mostly XM193 but largely switching to M855), but going through drills you don’t even need to remove stock/cheek weld go through a tap/rack/bang or even SPORTS… well maybe for the O part. 😀

  11. Bushmaster treated me like garbage when I tried to get service for my XM. This another product I will not consider buying – and it doesn’t look like I’m missing out.

    Bushmaster either resents or doesn’t understand their civilian fan base. Good thing there are so many other quality AR makers today; can’t wait to send my money to them instead.

  12. Having served in the Marine Corpse for over 8 years and owned a Colt Direct Gas Impingement (DGI), Bushmaster DGI and a Rock River Arms PDS Carbine all in the AR-15 platform I have enough experience with these rifles to want something better. I also own a Bushmaster ACR. Of all these rifles I would advise a person with no experience with any of these rifles to go with the ACR without question or hesitation.

    As learned in the Corps, all DGI systems require frequent and extensive cleaning to remain reliable and that alone, if properly executed, is significantly more commitment than the average non-military trained person is prepared for.

    Of course the ACR has some minor improvements to be made but it was designed to accommodate those type of improvements from the start. The real advantage over AR-15 is not the ACR’s built-in modularity or multi-alibure capability, it is the design of the gas system which is much more reliable, as well as user friendly when it comes to maintaining the rifle. If you want to compare apples to apples then look at AR-15s that are gas-piston systems and you with see more parity in cost as an ACR can be bought new for around $1800.00 at gun shows which is how much I paid for mine at a local gun show. However, while making this apple to apple comparison make sure to examine “bolt cam pin wear” and “bolt carrier tilt” which are both inherent problems to ARs with the later being unique to gas-piston ARs.

    Final thought, when the zombie apocalypses comes I will be sporting my ACR and I’ll be passing out my lesser rifles such as AK-47 & 74s, Ruger mini 14, M1 Carbine and AR-15s to the less prepared (the Springfield M1A stays with me as well :).

  13. Liked your review. I own the enhanced ACR. Like you was a little skeptical to run dry. Still don’t today, but sparse on lub. Love to shoot the ACR. Only additions were a grip pod and Aimpoint CompMl3. Get very accurate groupings at 100 yds but have not been able to check at longer ranges. Agree with you on the reliability. I had some issues the first time at the range shooting some $4 a box heurters hps, but didn’t blame the ACR. Have had zero issues with quality ammo and have put over 2000 rounds through the ACR. Spend more time cleaning my pistols then the ACR. Is it worth the price paid? Not an easy question to answer subjectively. Think the price should be in the $1,600 to $1,800 range. Bushmaster still rather suspect in my mind concerning QC. A lot of folks have or are having issues with the ACR even post recall (slam firing). Not certain the firing pin replacements are up to snuff. Much as I like the ACR not certain I would not purchase another gas piston system like the REC7. Don’t dislike the ACR enough to ever want to get rid of it. It is still a pretty cool platform with unique features and ease of maintenance, and it is very fun to shoot.

  14. To the guy talking about carrier tilt on AR PS rifles? I know its over a year now. But for those who still question carrier tilt. Don’t! As that problem is a thing of the past. As for this ACR? Until Bushy ups their QC I won’t even touch this one. I already own a HK Sl8-6 which btw has a similar Piston system as this gun does which is a variation of the AR-18 system. But my Sl8 has HK quality not Bushmasters.

    Not hating on bushy’s for no reason! I had a Bushmaster Moe piston AR and that thing got sent back at least 3 times for various reasons. So I just parted it out. Don’t believe me? Then go ask or look at most Bushmaster forums, proof is in the pudding.

    But for the fans of the ACR? I say be safe and enjoy your rifle. As I respect all firearms. But for moi?

    No thanks as I already have the aforementioned HK SL8 (becoming a G36 clone btw ), a HK MR556 , Sig 516 patrol, Sig 556 classic,2 Arsenal AK’s SGL 21 61 and 63, a M&M M10 AK47 variant, 2 Daniel Defense AR’s in DI and PS one is a SBR and Sig M400 in DI. So other than my wife ranting on me that enough is enough. I own too many Piston guns.

    But even if I did like this ACR? I would only like it for it’s quick barrel change as I live in NV and SBR’s are legal here, so a 10 inch folder would rock. But I would just buy an upper for one of my AR’s which I have already done in the past. Btw why in the hell is the ACR so heavy for a polymer gun?

    Sorry guys the ACR just does not bring anything new to the table, my table anyway. BTW Also have a buddy who owns the basic folder ACR and he told me (along with many others on the ACR forums) that when you do a barrel change etc. The gun UN-zeros itself. Yuck..

    IMHO all modular guns like this ACR or Sig’s P250 series pistols have one HUGE negative flaw. The parts to do all these caliber changes or barrel changes etc cost as much as buying a complete gun in that cal or length you’re changing the ACR to. Another large yuck..

    That’s one of the most SERIOUS drawbacks that ALL modular guns have and a good reason why sales of these items are poor. Proof of point is take a look at the price drop the ACR has gone through. Ive seen ACR’s NIB go for a little as $1600-1800+ at various times at Bud’s.

    Like some have said with Bushmasters QC issues etc. Save up and buy a SCAR instead. Yes at this point it’s nearly double the price( as BM was/is overpricing these things), but the FN has double the quality and double the track record.

    • A SCAR? Really, so pay an extra $1000.00 so you can experience endless stoppages due to your reciprocating charging handle contacting the environment… Not a good choice at all. Until FN address that HUGE shortfall they will not even be on the same level of functionality as the ACR.

  15. Bought enhanced version for $2018 new in box. Excellent rifle, 1000 rounds and no jams and extremely clean as well. Easy take down and the 6.8 conversion will be out soon. An excellent gun and I put it through sand, mud, water, heat and cold. Once more barrels are available this rifle is above and beyond the SCAR. Too bad the guy reviewing the weapon was clueless or biased.

  16. @Legion-
    I don’t see the people, who review for this site professionally, being considered clueless or unfairly biased. In fact the comment kind of makes you look biased, in defense of a crappy solution by Bushmaster.

    Yes, the ACR can put rounds down range. But this isn’t the Masada, which I still covet. Bushmaster killed this rifle, then over charged for it. I’ve spoken with a guy who used to build for Bushmaster and he said everybody in the company was disappointed in how this turned out….except the people at the top, who weren’t exactly “gun guys”. It’s heavy, crappy, not “as promised”, over priced, accidentally violating NFA laws and a total disappointment.

    You can find countless used ACR’s online for a fraction of the original price being sold by disappointed Modern Warfare players and real life warriors alike.

    Magpul needs to do what ever it takes to get the rights to the Masada back and build it themselves. They have the dough and the know how. They also need to make the pistol grip removable. They’re taking away from their own market but having that built in.

    One more change…move the safety and give it a strong feel. That feels like yet another weak link.

    My over all rating of an ACR is NO stars.

  17. Another option is the Robinson Arms XCR. It has few of the design flaws plagueing the ACR. It does have 6.8 kits available. It also has 7.62×39 and 5.45×39 calibre change kits. The barrel has an extension for quick changeouts without headspacing. It has a non-reciprocating handle, piston driven operation, 4 position adjustable gas system, and a user friendly control layout. The catch and release is reachable by firing finger at front of trigger well and charging handle is on left side and doesn’t interfere with mounts. It has a 3 lug bolt with internals modeled after the AK more than anything. On the outside it has a full length top rail integrated into the reciever. It doesnt have the big names of FN or Bushmaster behind it, but all things considered, that might not be a bad thing. It is at least worth checking out if you are into next gen tactical rifles. One hit on them is that since it is a small company, they are subject to supply disruption by their vendors at times. Don’t expect rapid build times. Some people have said the owner can be insensitive, others say hogwash. Bottom line is, if you want a solid rifle with ergos/modularity of an AR, reliability of an AK, and quick caliber changes, go take a look at it.

  18. OK first off what most of you shit heads are forgetting is that this rifle was never designed for civilians. It was in play for the US army’s new rifle. That being said lets have a look at your bitches and complaints. We will start with the pistol grip no you can not remove it. That is a good thing when you are talking about a military rifle it is stronger than having a screw that can come loose or strip out. Plus it is less work for the guy that has to fix it at the end of the day. Next the weight yes it is a polymer rifle but only the lower half the upper is all steel. The parts are thicker than an m4’s for safety of the guy shooting it. Also in the military we use a thing called a sling if used right it takes most of the weight off the arms and 8lbs is not that much to soon one that is in shape. Now for the gun losing zero guys come on it is a gun not magic it still falls under the laws of physics. If you change something in the system it is going to change the point of impact. But again made for the army we have ranges all over our bases so if we need to change barrels for what ever we just take a mag to the range and re-zero it. Next the lack of barrels for sale again made for the army bushmaster well release barrels if they feel that the market is right for it. As a business why would they spend the money and time setting up shops to make them if there are only a hand full of people that want them. For the jam that it had in the review. Again people it is a gun not magic all guns jam and parts some times brake. Jams can happen because of a lot of things bad mags, bad ammo, shooter error, etc. For the charging handle it is again made for people that are using it for war. If you have a round fail to fire than you can recharge it using the palm of your hand without taking the rifle off your shoulder. So after all of that I’ll just say if this rifle is not for you or you think that it cost to much don’t buy one and shut the hell up. As someone that goes into combat and owns one. I would give anything to carry this weapon with me. It is light years above the 1960 tech we know as the AR.

    SSG Krulewicz
    United States Army EOD

    • @SSG Krulewicz-

      Thank you very much for your service and for fighting for my 1st Amendment right to freedom of speech. Please refrain from swearing at us because you disagree. Name calling is petty. Please feel free to buy the rest of the ACR’s and take them with you on your next deployment.

      Again, thank you for your service. I’ll form my own opinion.

      • You are right you have the freedom of speech but that doesn’t mean that you need to or that anyone wants to hear you complain about thing just to do it. And as for your opinion it is single-minded. “why is this rifle not made the way that I want ”
        And for the name calling if I hurt your feelings I sorry.

        • Hey SSgt Krulewicz, member of the Air Force chiming in. Not to criticize you, but there’s no reason to go off on these folks. Obviously the ACR was intended for military use, but as the military never adopted it, it’s fully understandable that it would be made available to the civilian market. As a weapon that civilians can purchase fairly freely it’s only right that they criticize the design and compare it against other available firearms. They don’t need to care about any of the specifics that were intended to make our life out in the field better. Besides, there are better firearms available for us than the ACR out at the moment. Check out the Remington R5 RGP some time. It’s damn nice.

    • Hahaha funny you certainly have your head up Bushmasters posterior. you dont want screws from a pistol grip popping off?

      First 500 rounds i put through mone ALL of the allen wrench screws popped off one by one. Yeah. I am not the only one. Google Bushmaster ACR loose screws.

    • Hahaha funny you certainly have your head up Bushmasters posterior. you dont want screws from a pistol grip popping off? First 500 rounds i put through mone ALL of the allen wrench screws popped off one by one. Yeah. I am not the only one. Google Bushmaster ACR loose screws.

  19. Hay Jim I’m not meaning to sound like a a**. I just don’t think that it is fair to label a weapon as crap just because it is not built to suit your needs. All guns have different uses that is why there are so many of them out there. And as far as the weapon being open for sale to the civil side bushmaster has to try and get some of the money spent on R&D back. I took a look at the R5 RGP it is nice but it is just a AR in a Shinny new stock.

    • No worries, I don’t like negative criticism of badass weapons either, but hey it’s my opinion against theirs right? As for the R5, it’s a quite bit more durable than the standard M-4, and handles nicely. Better comfort feel to it too. I’d prefer to deploy with mine than what we would typically head out with.

      As for the ACR, I love the thing and actually plan on picking one up sometime soon. It’ll still be more of a target and hunting rifle for me though, not something I’d use for home defense or in my military career.

  20. Uh i quit reading 2 paragraphs in. 5 years in the Army, 29 months in combat 17 being with usasoc. I now train and matain weapons for 3 local police departments. I dont know how you can shoot from the low ready or you can be fatigued firing from that posistion. I can tell you to read the focus points of the manufacture its an adaptive rifle set out to challenge the h&k’s xm8 and fns scar its like the f16 of guns. Interchanging barrels are an exalent idea. The military version offers a wide variety of calibers for different roles. Unlike th m4/ ar-15 the ACR has a fully intergrated rait that is solid with the receiver making optics and attachments more reliable.

  21. You guys are killing here reading all of these comments about how bad of a platform the Bushmaster ACR is and why it “sucks”. Here a bit of fat to chew on, have any of my “Civilian” counterparts ever been in a firefight? ever had your AR platform jam, failure to eject, double feed, or failure to fire when you REALLY need it? Nope didn’t think so, now some of my fellow military brothers will know exactly what i’m talking about. The problem with the AR platform is simple, the rifles we have in the military ARE NOT brand new, they have been passed around like a 2 dollar prostitute, no offense. Meaning simply that the required mainteance on the rifles we are issued as “personal weapons” is lacking. Yes a Soldier is required to clean them every time they return from the range, field, or in general mainteance.

    Unfortunately we have broken parts, and have a hard time getting the repair parts in for our unit armorer to make those repairs. If I could take a more dependable rifle into comabt I would jump to the oppurtunity to do so. Easy mainteance, faster cleaning time and able to get back into the fight is what I would want!! having to remove the current M4 off my shoulder to charge the round or to fix a stoppage allows the enemy time to advance towards my position. I own a Bushmaster ACR enhanced and love it over my Sig M400 AR platform, with my Sig Sauer M400 I have had countless jams with it, being the magazine, the ammo, or just plain rifle, I have served for 20 years in the Army as an Infantryman, holding all duties and responsibilities as an Infantryman. I have had Multiple combat deployments under my belt, If I had the BM ACR with me during all of my deployments I would not have worried so much about having a misfire or jam during an intense fire fight like I did with my M4 during OIF II in downtown Baghdad on Sept 12, 2004 when my rifle jammed more times than I could count. The pistol grip coming loose, the barrel assembly coming loose because of the compression rings breaking and my barrel twisting more than a 1/4 of an inch.

    The civilians on this comments page want their cake and eat it too, it is not a perfect world, like someone said already, if you don’t like it DON’T BUY IT!!!! Everyone talks about the piston operation of it, ever wondered why the AK platform is the best in performance? it is because of the piston operation of it, it very rarely jams, can be pulled out of thick mud and still fire, easy to clean, the gas operated AR’s or the DGI can have a loy of carbon build up and reduce the operation of the rifle, there are more parts to clean on an AR platform then there are on the ACR, such as the star chamber, the gas outlet, bolt carrier group, the tiny opening where the gas tube exits the upper receiver. I understand that some carbon acts like a natural lub for the gun. NEAT!

    In closing, to my Civilian Counterparts, you are entitled to your own opinions about this weapon, but please keep in mind it was not designed for civilian purpose, it is a military design with the Fighting Soldier, Marine, Airman, and Sailor in mind. the Army of course messed up again and didn’t listen to the actual fighting member, som General and Congressman in DC didn’t want to lose face with the manufacture of the Colt M4 Carbine. There was talk about the Military going to the H&K AR piston operated platform, they gave it to the SOCOM community to test and they have not had any issues.

    Be safe and happy shooting!

    • Rah! I can’t tell you how many times my rifle has jammed covered in sand out on the wire or underpressured stovepipes from the DI tube fouling. I own an ACR and I’ve cleaned it less than ten times in the two years I’ve owned it. I just can’t believe the military gave up a familiar AR type weapon with Kalashnikov reliability. I guess it’s always about funding.

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  23. I got an ACR from a desperate guy for $1400, he was the original owner and didn’t clean it at all he said and before I went to the range to shoot it I cleaned it and the bolt, chamber, etc were near spotless. Only really need to clean the area where the gas exits. I’ve had ZERO issues with it using 55gr or my personal choice the Green Tip 62gr PMC or Federal. At 100yds with BLACKHAWK! Bipods the groups were easily within 2MOA with 3 round groups usually connecting on top of each other. People say it’s heavy, but I carried a SAW for 16 months in 2005-2006 Mosul/Baghdad and it’s something you can easily get used to….it’s with 1-1.5lbs of other weapons. I do want the 6.8 SPC barrel because it’s been proven to knock down most targets a 5.56 can’t and the .308 can. So it will be a nice SHTF weapon with the ability to change calibers as needed. But I love my ACR and since have sold my Ar-15’s and just kept my Armalite AR-10 because the .308 is able to penetrate vehicles, glass, cylinder/other tough cover. I give mine 5-Stars and it’s recommended you only use high quality mags. Since it’s basically a MagPul weapon the PMAGs are the only mags I use because using other magazines can cause a malfunction….just like most ARs have certain mags they spit out with hate and failure! Some like the SCAR, I’ve seen many video comparisons and ACRs win a lot of them, but the SCAR has it’s victories too. It’s personal preference between the 2. I hear the SCAR has cheap stocks that break easily. I don’t know, so I’ll stick to the ACR with 5.56/6.8SPC and AR-10 and have No issues trusting them!

  24. When I first purchased my ACR it was much less than $2k brand new. It had just been released after Magpul sold the manufacturing rights to Remington who I thought would be the direct manufacturer; not Bushmaster! When 1st advertised the interchangeability was to include a 7.62 or 308 barrel and bolt as well as the 6.8. I was wanting 2 guns for the price of one. The 308 kit never appeared and was eventually dropped from the advertising material. That was about the time that the SCAR by FN in 308 was accepted for use by the Rangers and SOG operators. So now we are supposed to be able to get the 6.8 barrel and bolt but nothing yet as far as I know. My gun didn’t come with the Magpul hand guard but instead had a more traditional Picattiny rail.

    For those of us old enough to remember Stoner’s original design the barrel had a 1:10 twist which the military changed to the 1:7 twist. I haven’t had the opportunity to shot the gun beyond 100 yards and am curious to see how the rifling affects the bullet.

    I can honestly say that had I known the FN was going to build the 308 SCAR I would have spent the money for that. Not quite trusting of Bushmaster quality although I hope Remington does something more than just dumping what was a great Rifle concept designed by Magpul into this 1 caliber with different stocks!

    • Yup, call me crazy but a part of me wonders if Bushmaster bought the ACR with the sole intention of turning it into a flop so it wouldn’t hurt their (weak) AR game.

      • I bought this gun when it was first released solely because it was a Magpul design and the promise of barrel kit switches. Damn thing weighs a ton and no barrel switch out kits. Should have waited for the SCAR!

        • You think barrel choices are problematic, just wait until you buy one when you live in California, then try to convert it back into its natural form when you move to Michigan. Bushmaster was kind enough to tell me to pound sand when I asked them if they could provide a standard magazine release for it. IWI, on the other hand, sells standard conversion kits on their website. No longer a mystery to me why Bushmaster is not a household name.

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