There are a ton of AR-15 “manufacturers” these days. In general, when you’ve seen one AR-15, you’ve seen ’em all. And most shops simply assemble OEM parts and call the rifle their own. In that sense the MILTAC Alpha isn’t all that different, since it’s still predominantly a parts build. But there are one or two features that might warrant it a second look . . .
The first real improvement is that the upper and lower receivers are matching billet pieces, meaning that they were machined from a block of raw material instead of being forged and then touched up at the factory. Most AR-15 rifles have uppers and lowers that match up fairly closely, meaning the lines and ridges on the top mostly pair with continuations on the bottom. But there are a ton of examples where this doesn’t happen, even among higher end brands. With the MILTAC Alpha, those features flow from one side to the other.
Another benefit of this lower receiver is the flared magazine well. Instead of the standard small-ish target, MILTAC added a bit of material on either side to give the shooter a bigger target when doing a speed reload. It’s definitely appreciated in a stressful situation when that magazine needs to slide in ASAP. There’s also a built-in trigger guard instead of the hinged version found on most guns, which I like.
The biggest draw for this gun might be the paint job. The gun comes in your choice of Cerakote, this version being the Coyote Tan. The Cerakote gives the gun a delightful satin feeling, and definitely makes it stand out on the range. Or not, if your range happens to be coyote tan as well. The paint job is excellent.
Let’s take a moment to discuss the parts. This rifle came with a Troy handguard that MILTAC re-branded and claims as their own. There’s a Vortex flash hider on the end, which makes an annoying “PING” sound like a tuning fork every time the gun fires. The bolt is an EXO treated Fail Zero bolt, which is an appreciated addition. The stock is Magpul, and so is the grip. Inside the lower sits a Geissele 2-stage trigger, world renown for its excellent characteristics. Quality parts, but the real question is how well they do on the range.
The answer: terrible.
What you see is the best group I could possibly shoot with the gun at 100 yards using Federal Gold Medal Match 77gr ammo (this review pre-dates our Eagle Eye Ammunition involvement). On average, the gun shot worse than this. I have a rule of thumb: a gun needs to shoot 1 MoA or better if it costs over $1,000. I don’t think that’s an unreasonable expectation, but the MILTAC Alpha couldn’t even shoot this 2.5 MoA group consistently.
After I shot this group, I sent an email to the MILTAC guys to see if there might be something wrong with the gun. We try to give every company a chance to fix mistakes that may have been made in the manufacturing process before publishing the final review, and this case was no different. He asked that I send the rifle back to get it checked out, and like I’ve done with dozens of guns before I did so and patiently waited for the results. What made this case different was that they promised me a replacement rifle immediately.
That was well over a year ago, and I haven’t heard a peep since.
Since there has been no response from the company, I’ve decided to go ahead and publish the results based on the only rifle they’ve ever sent me.
The MILTAC Alpha is a slick looking gun built from quality stuff, but this is a case where the whole is actually less than the sum of its parts. The individual pieces work well, feel great, and look amazing, but the overall package delivers a firearm with laughable accuracy. Words of advice: substance over flash. Results first. That’s the way to win my heart.
Specifications: MILTAC Alpha
Caliber: 5.56 NATO
Magazine: One 30-Round Magazine included (takes standard AR-15 mags)
Street Price: $2,700
Ratings (out of five stars):
Ergonomics: * * * *
The handguards are great, the trigger is fantastic, and the action is butter-smooth. I’m not really a big fan of the Troy handguards, though. Give me MLOK or keymod any day.
Reliability: * * * * *
No issues. We fired hundreds of rounds without a hiccup.
Customization: * * * *
It’s an AR-15. One star off for not having quick mount system compatible handguards, but that’s it.
Avoid. There’s nothing here that your local gunsmith couldn’t build and paint better for damn near half the price.