FN-15 Carbine, c Nick Leghorn

As we reported, FNH USA is coming out with their new FN-15 series firearms. The 16 inch carbine and the 20 inch rifle will retail for $1,149 each, meaning that it is perfectly positioned to give Colt a run for its money. And everyone else in the AR-15 market for that matter. We had an opportunity to test out the rifles at a special event held by FNH USA Sunday evening, and we have some slow motion video to go along with the commentary on the guns.

This isn’t a precision, high end rifle — this is an entry level AR-15. And I mean that for both the company and the consumer. This is FNH USA’s first AR-15 rifle, and it looks like they’re taking their time dipping their toes in the water before releasing the specialty rifles further down the line. The rifle feels like every other AR-15 rifle, including the “meh” mil-spec trigger and the fire control components, but that FN logo emblazoned on the side of the rifle might be enough to get people over that hump and get their credit cards out.

It looks like they’ve positioned the rifle to be a direct competitor to Colt’s 6920, and it should give them a run for their money.

FN-15 Rifle, c Nick Leghorn

Needless to say we’ll get these rifles reviewed ASAP with a more complete overview of how they run, but for now they look pretty good.

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74 Responses to Hands-On with the FN-15 Rifle and Carbine

    • There was another review recently of some equipment that Nick had used during his competitions, and he gave a very nice disclaimer about his involvement with FNH. His contract (or legal equivalent) with FNH is up for now, and he said he would do his best to be fair with his reviews.

      I wish I could find that one. It was a great review.

      I think we’re generally safe in trusting our TTAG writers when it comes to being unbiased.

      I wouldn’t worry 🙂

  1. A entry level plain Jane $1150 AR. Doesn’t FNH know that the market is full of entry level AR’s for almost half the cost. I’ll pass on this.

    • It has nothing to with plain entry or full entry AR’s. It’s about the name on the weapon. It’s like paying 3k for a HK416? O_o

    • Keep in mind an entry level FN is going to be alot better tthan what youd consider an entry level AR (DPMS oracle, etc)
      This is obviously gonna have FNs barrels which sell for $199, and $250 for the CHF.
      It will also most likely have a full milspec bcg (c158 bolt) as opposed to a full 8620 bcg and bolt.
      I think when he said entry level, he meant entry level like a Colt 6920 is entry level.

      • So this PSA special for $900 (including a $300 scope) is not competition? They don’t specify a FN barrel in the specs but typically use them in their builds and add another $100 if you want to. Their regular price with the scope is $1200. Pay for the name if you want.

        Barrel Length 16″
        5.56 Nato Chamber
        Chrome-lined Bore and Chamber
        HPT and MPI Barrel
        1 in 7″ twist
        M4 profile barrel
        .750″ gas block diameter
        M4 feedramps
        Forged Upper
        Forged Lower
        T-marks
        Full Auto Profile Bolt Carrier Group w/ PSA Logo
        Carpenter 158, HPT/MPI Bolt
        Charging Handle
        Six Position MILSPEC Diameter Buffer Tube
        Leupold Mark AR MOD 1 1.5-4×20 P5 115387

      • I find I am more comfortable with the 20″ barrel. I want to see one of these close up.

        I’m not willing to buy a DPMS or Bushmaster; my ex-father-in-law had issues with the gas key on his DPMS, and I had the same problems with the gas key on a Bushmaster. Neither one of us had issues with Colt. I hope this is made to the higher Colt standard than the low cost entry models.

  2. Makes a lot of sence for FN they sell their barrels to a lot of AR manufacturers. They may as well start making their own Ar15 style rifles!!??

  3. The comment about buying one based on the FN logo on the side cracked me up as it is in all likelyhood what will keep me from purchasing one. I can not stand the current fad amongst manufacturers to laser engrave their logos and trademarks all over their weapons and scar them up with that white nonsense. Just stick this the standard engraving / roll marks on the left side of the lower and call it a day. Silly I know but something that irrelevant to overall function will keep me from buying one.

    • Won’t be buying one either due to the “goofy” FN laser tattooed lower. Who comes up with this brilliant ideas to graffiti a perfectly good black rifle?

  4. Just a general question. I’ve seen other slo-mos of ARs, and I just wondered if old fashioned bolt guns do as much flexing and dancing as these rifles do.

  5. When in Basic and AIT at Ft Benning many of us were issued M16A4’s made by FN. Mine was awesome. Mud, water, leaves…pretty much you name it, it was on and IN the rifle. Our drill Sergeants encouraged harsh treatment of the rifles in the field so we could be confident they would work no matter what. Not once did it fail to fire.

    Had the same experience with the Colt M4/M203 combo I was issued later.

    Based on my experience with those rifles and other company’s products since, I would much rather pay around $1000 for a Colt or FN than most other companies’ AR’s…and that’s including many of those costing significantly more. Just please tell me the silly FN logo in white on the right side of the mag well is not going to be on the production guns…

    • Imagine that. You didn’t need an AKM or a gas piston system? And it ran? Maybe you had Lizard Lube or something? Laugh. I think I’ve become jaded about the gun market.

  6. These are mass produced plastic and aluminum rifles. Why are they 1200 bucks? It would be the same as charging a grand for a mossberg 500. What gives?

    • If I had to guess…I would imagine insurance premiums. I would think that the makers of those evil black rifles have to spend a fortune on insurance.

    • The name. It costs a whole lot to have FN, colt, HK, or sig stamped somewhere on a gun. I can’t wait until savage makes one. It will be cheap, reliable, and accurate as hell.

    • Well, it could be that there are more parts that require either complicated machining operations or larger than normal equipment to produce, or that the parts must be stronger since the gun operates at a higher pressure, or that the barrel quality must be higher for a rifle than for a smoothbore shotgun, or that the steel must be of a certain grade if they want to cash in on the military thing…

      Or more likely, because there’s no sense in charging less than what people are paying already. Too bad, though. Your question makes me very curious what the actual cost of manufacture is, including the cost of all the machining, forging, casting, etc, equipment.

      Anyone know what the cost is for the military?

      • Depending on version, 800-1200 last I checked.

        That was for A2 and A4, M4 was same really. Same prices from colt too.

        Multiple manufacturers really wasn’t so much about supply after initial adoption, but about not having the military’s eggs all in one basket for the general issue rifle.

      • $77m for 120k rifles plus spare parts for the duration of the contract. Dealer pricing is higher and dependant on discounts and quantity.

    • Because people are paying that much for them.

      Why does Raptor sell for $90 bucks? It’s just a chunk of aluminum, after all.

    • What gives, I’m guessing, is the same thing that gives a “sport” with 50 suped-up cars making left turns at 200mph for three straight hours billions of dollars every year.

  7. Is that the “meh” face to go with the “meh” milspec trigger? 🙂 I have one of those triggers as well and it definitely gives me a meh after finally learning what a nice drop in AR trigger feels like. Ive been thinking about getting a Wilson Combat trigger lately, still unsure.

    • I’ve got a Geissele SSA trigger for my S&W. It proved to be the single best upgrade to it that I’ve made – and the cheapest, too, in terms of cost/benefit ratio. The really nice part about it is that I also have a CMMG 22LR upper (that or the BCG is another must have for any AR owner, IMO), and so now I have a range plinker with butter smooth trigger, too.

  8. Here it goes again……those that are gonna swear that “THIS” AR platform will be the best yet on a production rifle…..hell….I have an Armalite….I have a DPMS…..I have an AR that I built using mixed manufacturers though there are only so many barrel makers and I’m in the process of building two more AR’s……hmmm….I run anything and everything ammo wise that I can get my hands on thru these AR’s and no issues. And especially Tula and Wolf ammo though I like L.C. the most of course.

    So…..I can build an AR for around $600.00 not counting a EOtech halographic sight (Another $600.00 with shipping)…that runs without hiccups….sort of like Glock’s in some peoples minds can’t run worth piss and are a complete waste of raw materials cause a Glock ain’t a Sig or an XD or a Kimber…what a crock!

    Jesus…hasn’t anyone ever heard of cleaning your AR’s after using and lubricate well?! After a couple hundred rounds…clean and lube!!! What!! Ever wonder why there is that compartment area in a fixed AR stock?

    I am not impressed.

      • Head on line to Aim Surplus…upper and lowers there. Uppers are $60.00. Lowers I’d have to check but inexpensive. BCG $80.00….Barrels $100.00. Gas blocks can be found good ones wherever you find them. Aim/Midwayusa/Amazon/Brownells and related trigger groups and upper end parts kits…etc.

        Once a person gets the hang of looking at particular online dealers…you know where the parts can be had at a great price. Like I posted…$600.00 for a complete build is to be expected. I don’t fight wars and shoot for fun. Of course there is tuning you have to do and trgger jobs using the trigger group you can pick up on the cheap. I simply dig building AR’s and make them work reliably without breaking the bank.

        I seriously do not have the time this morning…I’m sort of snowed in and I’ve got to get this place plowed so I can get going today….if you check back tonight or tomorrow night…I’ll list the parts prices.

        Be advised yo have to have the tools already….blocks/action wrench/punches/snap ring pliers/torqued wrench/etc…I get great satisfaction on building an AR for around $600.00 (Did one for less before the feeding frenzy) and tuning to where it just works without any jams.

        Don’t be fooled….most parts are reliable and there are only so many barrel makers. Parts can be made by anyone and any name placed on the upper/lower.

        I’ve gotta go.

        • I would be suspicious of any barrel that costs $100, and bcgs that cost only $80. You’d be better off buying quality parts from the equipment exchange forums at M4C or SH.

      • First off…take a hike Hkfan….I ain’t interested in hearing your arrogant rant.

        PNG….shop wisely.

        Aim Surplus….upper…$60.00
        Aim Surplus…lower….$70.00
        Aim Surplus…..Barrel….$100.00 (Remember…shooting is fun and we’re not fighting in combat)
        AimSurplus…BCG…$80.00
        MidwayUSA and/or Amazon….a lot for free shipping…..gas block/upper parts kit/lower parts kit/gas tube/buffer tube/buttstock with handle etc/flash suppressor/Magpul MOE hand guard/mis minor parts will cost approximately $208.00

        Add this up this will come to $518.00. Yes you will have to pay a transfer fee/slight markup on the lower receiver but I stand on my cost of $600.00 to build a AR15. As I posted…I run EOtech halographic sights…that is a $600.00 with shipping item. This cost is for a flat top configuration and you can install sights for around $100.00 and these are removeable if a scope/halographic sight is desired.

        Go online to locate AIG AR15 trigger job DVD….you will then see what negative….neutral…positive triiger pull is and you can turn a creepy sandy trigger pull into a smooth and crisp trigger pull without having to spend any extra money…despite what may be said. Remember…there are only so many barrel makers for AR15 barrels.

        Build and learn to fine tune. It truly pisses of guys running pricey AR’s when you tell them how much you do not have invested into this rifle.

        And think on this….are we soldiers? We are not fighting in a war! Isn’t shooting and hunting suppose to be fun? But you can build this AR and make it run smooooooooth and reliable. Don’t skip on the lubrication. Too many people run their firearms way too dry.

        Building a firearm is educational and fun….don’t listen to those that put down others for having fun…then outshoot the bastards!!

        • Thank you so much, Mr. Bibb. I’ll take note and start shopping when I have the resources. Which won’t be for a while, but it’s a start. Sounds like fun. Lots of fun.

    • SIG’s and Kimber’s build quality are underwhelming, especially comparing 1911s. For another $300, you can find a Dan Wesson that blows them out of the water. I’d take a Colt any day at the same price.

      This is coming from someone that personally works on them. Serious, high-volume shooters glance over SIGs and Kimbers (and many other manufacturers) without a second thought.

  9. Hey Nick, I’ve seen a magazine review of a Colt AR-15A4 with 20″ barrell & rifle length gas system like USMC rifle. I can’t mention of that rifle anywhere else. Can you track what’s up with that?

  10. Is the FN-15 made in the USA (FN’s South Carolina plant) or Belgium? I’m just curious as I have only bought American made guns so far.

  11. I just can’t shake an unbelievably powerful feeling of sheer boredom with this news, since there are so many choices for ARs.

    I guess I just don’t get what the big news here is.

    • Paul – Ugh!! How can you say such words about a completely-saturated-to-the-point-of-hilarity AR-15 market when FN has put their entry forth.

      Obviously, this AR is different because of the Roll Mark! It says FN, paul, EFFF-ENN!!!

      Look – its got an A2 STOCK – OMGWOWZ!
      FLATTOP?! SIGN ME UP BROTHA!
      OMG PRE-BAN F-MARKED SIGHT POST?! I’M IN HEAVENZ.

  12. It drives me nuts how a better rifle (with giggle switch) costs the military sub$400 per rifle, whereas the companies that manufacture them will charge civilians >$1000 for something less capable.

    • Nope,
      “…Colt’s prices for the M4 began to steadily increase. In December 1999, Colt was charging $521 per M4 carbine (DAAE20-98-C-0082-P00011). By December 2002, Colt’s price for an US Army-configuration M4 carbine was $912 (DAAE20-02-C-0115-P00004). However, the Army was able to gain certain concessions over the years. In July 2006, Colt agreed to lower its prices, and begin to provide basic issue items like the Back Up Iron Sight (BUIS) and M4 Adaptor Rail System (ARS), which had formerly been provided to Colt as Government Furnished Material (GFM) (W52H09-04-D-0086-P00025). Before this concession, the price of the M4 and M4A1 had grown to $1,012 and $1,029, respectively (W52H09-04-D-0086-0040). Afterwards, the price of a basic M4 dropped to $815, and with Colt-provided BUIS and ARS only $1,142 (W52H09-04-D-0086-0040). At the time of the final sole-source delivery order in December 2010, Colt’s price was just over $1,221 per fully-equipped carbine (W52H09-07-D-0425-BR02 external link).”
      http://www.defenseindustrydaily.com/Colt-M4-Data-Rights-The-Individual-Carbine-Competition-06942/

  13. there’s a company just down the road from FNH in SC that sells an upper with FNH bbl for around $400 and a lower for $200. You snap them together with 2 pins and they run like a sewing machine. $1150 entry level AR? Maybe this time last year.

    • A complete upper for $400 including the a receiver, barrel, handguard, gas block and tube? I’m sure that’s one hell of a quality upper.

      And a complete lower, including fcg, lpk, receiver, tube, and stock for $200? Sounds like real quality.

      And what of the bcg?

    • A guy named “HKFan” espousing a price-based philosophy? Perhaps a subtle trolling..?

      Jimmyjames, are you talking about Del-Ton?
      I have their upper and yes, it runs like a clock.

  14. So…uh…Nick…

    This is great and all, but aren’t you always ranting about how annoying it is when a company introduces a “new” gun that isn’t “new” at all?

    This is a mid-level, name brand AR15. If it can swap parts with every other direct impingement AR15 on the market, it is still just an AR15. With better quality control and more durable materials. Meh.

    There’s bound to be way cooler stuff at SHOT Show. Resist the urge to hover at the FNH booth! For the children!

  15. Check with your LGS, they should be able to give you a better price than $1,150/each if you order 100k+ rifles.

    I’d still rather have the Colt roll-mark at that price-point, but it is good to see Colt getting some direct competition in the entry-level “working gun” category (as opposed to the “range toy” category).

  16. @ Nick “Foghorn” Leghorn (Just Kidding)

    Not surprised FN won the Army’s M-4A1 contract now they see ARs are a huge hit. I like there 20ich A4 better than a kiddy carbine. I hope or will they make a fixed carry handle 800 meter A2 rifle too? Hope so they make them for the Navy.

    You should ask them to also include either a First Samco Quad Rail forearm or a Knights Armament Quad Rail like NATO forces use. That be awesome Nick. Hope you buy a A4 and win some competitions.

  17. Regarding building an AR, you need to be patient and do some huntin’.
    can’t just sit and let it come to you.
    I just ordered parts for an AR15 from Palmeto State Armory.

    PSA FN(U.S.A.) CHF(cold hammer forged) 16” 5.56mm 1:7 Mid-length A2 Profile – w/ BCG & Charging Handle(complete upper) $399.99
    P-Tac AR-15 MOE (Magpul Overmold pistol grip/stock) + Complete Lower Build Kit $99.99
    Blemished PSA Bullet Pictogram Lower(7075-T6 alum forging) AND Vortex Strikefire Optic $159.99
    The PSA stuff is theirs, The P-Tac may not be their stuff but still on par(like Magpul).

    …So yes you can, and U.S. made but you can’t sleep on it, you have to keep watching and when the stuff goes on sale you have to get it now!!! The CHF upper is temporarily out of stock for example, but it will be back in a couple of weeks or less. You can put this puppy together without tools, almost.
    If you need help go to youtube, lots of videos to walk you thru.
    Have fun guys!
    Love our people!

  18. Great thread guys, I am new to the AR world so I won’t try to be an expert. Just purchased the FN15 today after seeing the quality control of the parts disassembled in front of me. Purchased from a local dealer with no bias(per each level of gun that is). This dealer puts this gun in the category of a Sig M400 and the Colt and will disassemble them to demonstrate. Those of us who own other FN products know their reputation and love them. I watched the dealer cut open the factory bag and install my single point sling mount, quad rail fore-end and give me a total of $1161 including taxes, not sure why other dealers can’t offer such good pricing. Buy a product you believe in, and take care of it, you may need it someday.

  19. Any updates on reviewing this rifle and carbine?

    I’m edging on buying one, but would love to see what you guys think first.

  20. I had the good fortune of carrying an FN built AR last time I was called up (911). It was such a pleasure to have a dependable battle rifle instead of that POS Colt! Of course we all know that AR stands for ARMALITE and that is what all the services should be carrying (in 7.62X51) and NOT the poodle shooter 5.56X45 however, since the Armament Division Boss HATED the Original AR and 5.56 caliber round E. Stoner was informed that ARMALITE would NEVER get a DOD Contract and that SOB General was as good as his word. As for the POS M-4, I wouldn’t carry one of those damn things into a carnival much less into harms way. Cutting the barrel to 14.5 ” just makes the pitiful 5.56X45 round that much less effective on enemy combatants and that’s something that none of us need! As for the price-point on this new entry from FN, I have to agree with a previous poster, way too high!

  21. I just bought the FN15 Carbine, when to the range and put 200 Remington 55gr thru it without first clean and no hiccups whatsoever. After being in the ARMY for 25 years I felt this rifle exactly the same thing as my Colt M16, however, the trigger on the FN is crisppier. I never thought that after dealing with an M16 for so many years I could get one but have to say that love it and most awesome thing is that is multi caliber which means you can shoot either 5.56 or .223 is rifled in 1/7 twits which is great for shooting up to 77gr, I strongly recommended, 5 stars.

  22. I have to admit i have always liked FN and have a military surplus FN M16A2 upper on a noveske lower (back when Noveske lowers weren’t expensive) and its a great 20″ A2.
    Id really like to buy the 20″ FN A4 model but the price is a little high. I might be able to settle on the price if they didint print that giant glaring white logo on the lower. Hopefully they change this

  23. The FN civilian entry “blows”. Too expensive for base AR design and other than the trade mark barrel, nothing you won’t get with a LE 6920.

    Fired one against my BCM socom barreled carbine and my Spikes M 4 LE, performance was equal, except both BCM and Spikes carbines have a full auto BCG compared to the semi auto on the FN( LMT also comes with a semi auto”enhanced” bcg-why? Full auto seems to work better in sometimes over gassed carbines!)

    For the price tag, FN should be offering something “new” or design improvement-not worth it when PSA is down the road from FN and overs basically the SAME carbine for $300.00 less…..

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