Video Overview of Brownells New Retro AR Rifle Line, Plus Hands-On

Brownells Retro AR

I swung by the Brownells booth this morning to get hands-on with their new line of Retro AR rifles. They were also kind enough to do an overview of the various models and standout features on video (below). Upon handling them . . .

I was completely happy. They don’t look or feel like any corners were cut. None of the made-just-for-them retro / historically-accurate parts seemed cheap or hastily thrown together. Machining, finish, and fit (where I was able to wiggle and pull) were all great. But, as Chris pointed out, not too great. Historically accurate great.

The TTAG crew is certainly excited to get our hands on a couple of these rifles — likely one from the Retro 5.56 line (which is already in stock and available here) and one from the Retro AR 308 line. Stay tuned.


  1. avatar Madcapp says:

    Hahahaha. I’m not going backwards. Those have buyers remorse written all over them.

    1. avatar Hank says:

      Some people make more money than just to buy the latest iGlock.

  2. avatar Chuck in IL says:

    Will they be selling individual parts? I would like to get my hands on that AR10 furniture.

    1. avatar Jeremy S. says:

      Yes. Some of them are already on their website and the rest are coming soon. Basically all of the components will be available.

  3. avatar James69 says:

    When is the Retro AR 180 coming out?? I would rather have one of those. All the features of the Scar,ACR, i-AR.. etc..

    1. avatar Em says:

      Probably never. I don’t think they could sell nearly enough to recover the tooling costs for the stamped upper.

  4. avatar ai338 says:

    I can feel the terrible ergonomics from here.

  5. avatar ironicatbest says:

    I’m going to ghost out of this site for awhile, all these M16 look alikes are fucking with my head, my ” anniversary” date was 4 January 1970 and it seems like only yesterday. I’m sleeping two-three hours a day, mostly mid afternoon, having dreams I don’t care to remember, checking and rechecking my equipment.All my friends are gone or civie MIAs, physicist shit don’t help, setting up AO’s, in my head, finding I’m wishing for a warning order, helo ride and insertion. And I’m just to damned old. Weird huh?

    1. avatar tsbhoa.p.jr says:

      stop by your legion post. and don’t watch any news for awhile.
      and go through a brick of .22.

  6. avatar Ansel Hazen says:

    I grew up watching the newsreels of the first televised war and somehow that locked in a desire to own an AR. I fixed that by buying a M&P15 awhile ago and am damn happy with it.

    But these days I find I pay close attention to posts about building a retro. I could consider one of these except for the 1 in 12 twist. I buy stuff so I can shoot it and hit stuff you know.

    1. avatar ACP_arms says:

      55 grain M193 and 1-12 twist go hand in hand. My AR-556 with 1-8 twist on the other hand can shoot 55gr but not as well as a 65-69gr.

      Signed, another Ansel.

  7. avatar Grant says:

    1:12 works just fine with 55 grain bullets.

  8. avatar Mike W. says:

    “Terrible ergonomics” ? In an AR15 type platform? What is wrong with you people? Maybe TOO short a stock. Now, will that cool ‘trigger charging handle’ overheat like on the originals? Probably, but you are buying something that’s trying to be an accurate representation. So ALL of you “high speed mofo’s” can’t install your OPTICS/lasers/etc. on what is being represented as a late ’50’s gun.
    You guys got WAY to much time on your hands I think…
    I’d LOVE to have the cash for one of the AR10 versions.

  9. avatar CCityGuy says:

    Great, I just bought a windam weaponry Government model because I wanted a 20″ retro vibe. This brownells Retro AR15 comes out 3 weeks later. Oh well, I have to admit that Windam is a darn nice shooting rifle, not really regretting the purchase. Amazing how much more control you have with a rifle length gas system and 20″ barrel. And it was 400.00 less.

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