Griffin Armament has been on a tear lately releasing new silencers for 2016, and ramping up production to meet the demand generated by dealers. I’ve had the chance to shoot some of their cans and I found them to be well built, and very quiet. I’ve exchanged quite a few emails and texts with owners, and brothers, Evan and Austin Green over the last few months. They made sure to let me know they had some exciting new products at their booth at SHOT, and that they’d love for me to swing by. One of the new items was their new AR that will be released to the public sometime this year . . .
What many people don’t know about Griffin is that Evan and Austin raised the startup money for their company by doing contract work in the Middle East after their retirement from the military. As former soldiers and contractors, they have thousands of hours of experience with what works and what doesn’t in a rifle. And given their continued development with silencers, they’ve got a pretty good handle on building a rifle with a can on the end of it. As such, they’ll be releasing a rifle built upon those lessons sometime in 2016. Before you starting shouting “Another AR?!?!?” hang with me for a second.
One of the first things you notice shouldering the gun is the angled buttpad on the stock. Given that Evan and Austin are both tall, burly guys who spent a great deal of time wearing body armor, they’ve both found that the squared off buttstock of a M4(gery) never agreed with them. They’ve designed a butt stock with a bit of forward cant that feels noticeably pleasant to the shoulder. This is still a prototype at the moment, but I think they’re on to something. I shouldered the gun a few times, and found that with my backpack straps on, I wasn’t having to push the muzzle of the gun down to fight the extra material on my chest. Austin tells me that the gun is very controllable as well due to the change in the angle. I’ve asked for a sample to test this out.
The front half of the gun includes some very stout QD swivels just forward of the receiver, and your choice of an M-L0k or Key Mod compatible hand guard. As I’ve been cursed with small hands, I’m a harsh critic of thick hand guards, especially the Picatinny covered quad rail types. Luckily, Griffin has elected to go with a very slim hand guard built in house.
Griffin will be offering this gun in a 9.5″ 300 BLK and 5.56 flavor, an 11.5″
300 BLK (edit: 5.56 only at this length) and 5.56 flavor, along with a 14.5″ pinned/welded and 16″ version. The 9.5″ and 11.5″ versions will be sold as either a registered SBR, transferrable to your local FFL, or a pistol version for those that want to do the Form 1 paperwork themselves or those that live in states where ownership of SBRs is restricted/outlawed.
All editions will feature the
M4SD Hammer Comp(your choice of Griffin Silencer Mount). Moving back from there, you’ll see a low profile pinned gas block mounted to the 416R Match Grade Barrel built and profiled to Griffin’s specs. Griffin plans to offer the furniture you see above as part of the deal, and the rifles will be coated in either black with black, OD green, FDE, or gray panels. I questioned the brothers on whether they’d offer an upper plus lower parts kit. In my case, I like most everything about the rifle except for the part where I have to wait 6 months for it to clear a Form 4. At the moment, they’re not planning on doing that.
The back half of the rifle will feature a forged upper and lower, a billet nitrided BCG, dimpled takedown pins and Griffin’s ambidextrous SNACH charging handle. That fancy butt stock will be stuck to Griffin’s Maritime Receiver Extension which features holes to help drain water, oil, dirt, and excess Mountain Dew. An ambidextrous safety will come standard.
My only gripe with the gun as it sits right now is the trigger. It has some mush and grit and probably breaks somewhere around six(ish) pounds. With a MSRP of $1750, my only feedback to the brothers Green was to get the trigger cleaned up a touch. Given the level of thought that’s gone into the gun, and the included features, I doubt they’ll have any issues selling them in a market that’s gone increasingly up market.