For the last couple years, ArmaLite has been more than a little stagnant with their product line. Thankfully, Tommy Thacker has arrived at the helm of the company and has injected some more awesomeness into the M-15 line of guns. New this year are three rifles: two competition AR-15 rifles and a varmint focused 20 inch rifle. I had a chance to shoot all three, and I gotta say, I really like what I see . . .
The 20-inch hunting rifle is a slick and slim contraption that is very lightweight and feels extremely slim. For a mighty reasonable price, they offer a slick package that is apparently very accurate and offers an adjustable stock for both comb height and length of pull. It’s something that is very much appreciated in a precision rifle, and looks great on the gun. The barrel is stainless steel with a black finish, and the handguard is coated with a velvety black nitride of some sort. The muzzle comes threaded from the factory with a thread protector installed.
That varmint rifle is based on the competition guns that have already been announced. This 20-inch version is basically the same gun as the varmint, except shiny. Instead of the thread protector, there’s a tuneable muzzle brake that virtually eliminates recoil. The barrel is a pretty and shiny stainless steel affair. The handguards are drilled for additional keymod attachment points and it just looks bad ass. Pictured above, we were poking at a steel plate about 960 yards away while shooting offhand — and hitting.
The smaller of the two guns Karla has already posted her first impressions, and I completely agree: this gun is a BEAST. There’s no recoil whatsoever, and the thing throws watermelon sized fireballs out the front of the gun. If you’re looking for a quick and light 3-gun rifle that also shows off a little bit (and, be honest, who doesn’t like to show off a little?) this might be the best out-of-the-box solution on the market.
Naturally, we’ll need to get our hands on the guns and test them out further to be sure. But from what I see, Tommy is doing good things at ArmaLite.