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Cobalt Kinetics is a brand new player in the firearms world. Founded only about a year and a half ago the company made a rather big splash with their “BAMF” rifle — a gun that not only looked visually stunning, but also implemented some truly novel ideas about how an AR-15 rifle could function. With the help of a few friends the guys (and gals) at Cobalt Kinetics have come up with a new rifle set to debut this year dubbed the “Evolve” with a very interesting twist: the gun will automatically eject empty magazines, and send the bolt home when you insert a loaded one.

The AR-15 platform has pretty much stagnated in the last couple years. The most that the design has started to wander is with the various piston kits that have popped up over the last decade, but even then it simply replaces an existing system with a drop-in substitute and doesn’t really add much to the function of the gun. Cobalt Kinetics teamed up with pro competition shooter Keith Garcia and started with a clean sheet of paper to design Keith’s ideal competition rifle. It just so happened that it might also be a pretty darn good gun for law enforcement as well.


Some of the improvements are rather mundane. For starters, the barrel has been swapped for a Proof Research carbon fiber wrapped barrel for better heat dissipation and reduced point of impact shift during rapid fire sessions. The handguards have been redesigned to have a larger vane on the top for a better grip and to reduce the heat coming up to the shooter’s hand. They’ve gone for M-Lok instead of keymod, which I’m OK with. And it comes in black.

But that’s not the cool part.


The muzzle brake was designed in-house by the resident mad scientist. Its designed to be completely linear with no venting along the top or bottom and Cobalt Kinetics claim that the distinctive butterfly design on the vents does a more efficient job of taking advantage of the expanding gasses to counteract the force of recoil. On the range it felt like the gun didn’t even move, but naturally we’ll have to get a sample to Jeremy to test out.


That muzzle brake is counter-balanced by a nifty adjustable buffer system with variable weights that can be swapped out to match the gun to the specific shooter. While that’s nifty, what makes it even more nifty is the fact that they’ve redesigned the buffer system to use a polymer tube and buffer weight combined with a more accurately manufactured spring to completely eliminate the noise that the standard AR-15 buffer makes. It’s a little more roundabout way of doing things than the JP Enterprises silent captured spring, but when you’re designing the gun from the ground up there’s a lot of latitude to make these kinds of changes.

This part makes a ton of sense for competition shooters especially if the gun comes with a complete kit of replaceable buffer weights. No longer do you have to buy a whole new buffer to change the cycle speed, you can just replace the core instead. What makes even more sense is if you slap this in a short little SBR and chamber it in 300 Blackout. That would be sweet…


The most novel part of this gun is in the lower receiver. Cobalt Kinetics have replaced the magazine catch and bolt catch with a patent pending design of their own (dubbed the “Cobalt Advantage Reload System” or CARS) which automatically ejects an empty magazine and releases the bolt when a freshly loaded magazine is inserted. This is a pre-production example which was machined last week and wasn’t heat treated (hence the excessive wear after only a few thousand rounds) but for a system that only really came together in the last couple months it worked remarkably well.


The concept is that the fewer things the shooter needs to think about the better. Instead of needing to hit the magazine release when the gun runs dry the gun does that automatically. I’m struggling to think of a situation where you would want to retain that empty magazine in a firefight, and while I’m sure there’s a fine example I can’t come up with one. Even the venerable M1 Garand immediately chunked the en bloc clip as far as mechanically possible as soon as the gun went dry so this definitely isn’t a new concept — it’s just one we haven’t seen since about WWII.

Especially in 3-gun competitions as soon as the magazine is empty it has become worthless and needs to be immediately removed. In this rifle that happens as automatically as the bolt locking back on an empty magazine.


At this point the shooter needs to insert a fresh magazine into the gun. I’m sure Cobalt Kinetics is working on a fix for that issue, but for the time being that’s still something that needs to be done manually. Once a new magazine is inserted the gun will recognize this fact and automatically release the bolt.

Cobalt Kinetics Evolve Speed Reload with Keith GarciaKeith Garcia demonstrates just how fast the speed reloads become with the new Cobalt Kinetics Evolve rifle

Posted by The Truth About Guns on Monday, December 21, 2015

This dual function of dropping things — the magazine and the bolt — is, according to rumor, how the gun got its unofficial model designation: the “panty dropper.” However the Cobalt Kinetics crew will deny to their death the validity of this nasty rumor that they may or may not have themselves started over many many drinks.

For the average shooter this is a damn nifty idea. It removes a step from the manual of arms for the gun, meaning reload times are quicker and more streamlined. It also is one less thing to think about when flying through a 3-gun stage. There’s another application where this makes sense: the law enforcement angle.


Keith Garcia has been a cop for longer than I’ve been alive. He does a ton of firearms training for the local LEOs, and I know he knows his stuff by how savagely he’s whupped my butt in competitions in the past. One of the things that he dwells on in training is reloads and malfunction clearing with a rifle when you’ve only got one hand. For example, if the other arm has been shot. Or if you need to hold onto something. Clearing a double feed on an AR-15 is a huge pain with the normal configuration, but one added feature makes this gun ideal for easily fixing stoppages.

As part of the function that locks the bolt back on an empty magazine in this gun, that same mechanism will also lock the gun open if there’s no magazine inserted at all. This makes stoppage clearing almost trivially simple — drop the magazine, pull back the charging handle (the bolt will automatically lock to the rear), and proceed as normal. No longer are you stepping on your rifle to set the bolt catch or slamming the bolt home on hopelessly stuck cartridges. It’s also useful for unloading and showing clear in competitions and in the field since the annoying step of finding the bolt catch has been removed.

That all said there is one minor issue with the concept.


As soon as  a new magazine is inserted the bolt will automatically slam forward. For semi-auto shooters this isn’t an issue since the disconnector will keep the gun from firing even if your finger is still on the trigger. In full auto (as J.J. Racaza is demonstrating here) this can be more of an issue. If your trigger finger is still depressing the gas pedal when the magazine is inserted then the gun will immediately continue to fire. That can be concerning, but what is even more concerning is the idea that someone’s finger would be on the trigger during a reload. And if they’re dumb enough to make that mistake then they’re dumb enough to do it when reloading with a normal bolt catch system anyway and the whole point is more or less moot.


My first impressions of their gun are pretty much summed up in Alex’s face here. I’m loving the fact that someone is doing something legitimately new with the AR-15 platform and adding in functionality that no one has considered before. What I’m most concerned about is the reliability of the mechanism — on these pre-production models the guns seem to be running very well, but there are some definite preferences when it comes to which magazines they like to work with. There are some pretty loose tolerances when it comes to magazine design and getting the catch system to work the first time every time will take some fine tuning.

We dont review pre-production guns so this is going to have to stay a “first look” for now, especially since the design isn’t even finalized yet. I’m looking forward to seeing the final version, and I hope to have one in hand to review before the middle of the year. Until then I’ll just have to keep waiting and watching to see what else these guys cook up.

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  1. Innovation! Love it. Probably be awhile before its reliable enough for serious use. But mad props for the new ideas!

  2. Why would you want to keep an empty magazine in a gunfight? Are you serious with that question? Dropping magazines on the floor is a TERRIBLE IDEA. I’m trying to envision a situation in which you WOULDN’T want to retain your magazines.

    If you are not reloading behind cover, you are either suicidal or have just expended 30 rounds out in the open and yet remain under direct enemy fire. Apparently you have 31 or so people shooting at you in the Bonneville Salt Flats. Well, that’s still no excuse to be dropping mags on the floor and breaking them/losing them because if those 31 guys haven’t hit you yet, they aren’t going to. Take your time.

  3. Why would you want to keep an empty magazine in a gunfight? Are you serious with that question? Dropping magazines on the floor is a TERRIBLE IDEA. I’m trying to envision a situation in which you WOULDN’T want to retain your magazines.

    If you are not reloading behind cover, you are either suicidal or have just expended 30 rounds out in the open and yet remain under direct enemy fire. Apparently you have 31 or so people shooting at you in the Bonneville Salt Flats. Well, that’s still no excuse to be dropping mags on the floor and breaking them/losing them because if those 31 guys haven’t hit you yet, they aren’t going to. Take your time.

    • Or trip, slip, fall over the mag that just dropped straight down and you’re attempting to leave that position under fire.

      Competition? Maybe it’s faster, maybe not. We’ll see how that works. IRL combat of any sort? Triple-distilled stupidity.

    • You do realize you didn’t actually answer the question, right? You simply pitched a fit and told everyone in the world that we’ve been doing it wrong for as long as box magazines have been around.

      No one. literally. not. one. single. human. soul. is giving a steaming mouse turd about the longevity of their disposable magazines when there are bullets whizzing past their head. Yes, AR box magazine were, in fact designed to be disposable.

      If you are inclined to treat box mags as though they were made of glass and prioritize its longevity over your own life, (rather than expediently returning accurate fire to the enemy), then I can’t help you.

      Half-loaded mag? Sure, retain it if there is not current threat visible.
      Empty mag? F*ck that. You can retrieve it later when you and your family are righting tipped over lamps and wiping blood spatter off the walls. If you’re not the one doing the cleaning up, you won’t care because you’ll likely be in a body bag. Either way, it won’t even be on your radar.

      • Yeah, pick up empty mags at the end of the firefight. If you win. There’s no reloading magazines with loose ammunition during a shootout. Heck, you didn’t bring loose ammunition to a shootout, did you? If you’ve run out of loaded mags, you’ve run out of ammunition. Time to switch to a BUG or bug out. If you’re bugging out, F your $8 magazines. If you lose the fight, F your $8 magazines.

        This system still works for a “tactical reload,” btw, where you remove a partially-depleted magazine during a firefight and insert a fresh one in its place, keeping the partially-depleted one on you.

      • AR mags may have been intended to be disposable, but I doubt that is how it works out in practice. In lengthy firefights (which do happen), you will go through your standard load-out in matter of minutes – what then?

        They make magazine dump pouches for a reason.

        • Sorry but Military training (at least Air Force in the late 90’s) – was forget the damned empty magazine. drop it and get the next one in.

          As for what happens when you run through your loadout – what do you think they issue “loose bullets” so you can stuff more rounds into your empty magazine? No, if you run through your loadout – you yell to your buddy your out – if he’s got more mags he tosses you one – if there’s dead/wounded – you scavenge. if you’re out of ammo; You’re out of the fight.

          • >> what do you think they issue “loose bullets” so you can stuff more rounds into your empty magazine?

            I have no idea how it’s done in US army, but e.g in Russian army a squad would be issued an ammo crate if they’re on a mission that is expected to be lengthy or where they may realistically run into numerically superior opposition (esp. common for spec ops). I’ve talked to some people were complaining that those are damn uncomfortable to carry in the mountains in Chechnya (usually 2 people per crate, rotating every hour or so).

        • What, you call a time-out, walk over to your giant cache of loose ammo you carried into combat and spend fifteen minutes reloading your magazines?

          The only time it might make sense to leave myself unable to shoot for even just one unnecessary second during combat to retain a magazine is in a post-apocalyptic wasteland where I will not be able to replace any magazines. Even then, I probably wouldn’t get in enough firefights to bother retaining magazines during combat when I have backups at home. In the contemporary world, however, my priority is to survive. I’m not going to leave myself defenseless for one extra second when my life is in danger over a $15 Pmag.

          • >> What, you call a time-out, walk over to your giant cache of loose ammo you carried into combat and spend fifteen minutes reloading your magazines?

            No, you do that while your squad mates continue shooting. And if you did things right, then you wouldn’t need to walk over to the ammo, since it would be right there (ideally, in your backpacks, or in the ammo crate that you have carried). See my other reply regarding how this works in practice for Russians.

      • Don’t be delusional. This is a civilian gun that will never see combat. So who cares what happens when you have bullets whizzing past your head, no one shooting this gun will ever have that happen. This is a range toy/competition gun, not a real fighting gun.

        You know whats bad in combat? Having a mag drop free when you don’t expect it and having it trip you up and getting you killed. In combat you don’t want to retain the mags, but you still want to control where they go. Dropping right at your feet unexpectedly is just a dumb hazard IMO.

      • Magazine retention is preached in the marines for so many reasons. You might have an empty mag in your rifle, but if the enemy peaks out from cover, they see a magazine in the rifle and do not know if it is empty or not. That gives a shooter a chance to pull out a full mag and conduct a speed reload while the enemy hesitates. Sometimes you have no cover to reload behind and need to use a little deception Instead. Magazines are also held onto because ammo is issued in 10rnd stripper clips that can be used to fully load a mag in seconds and shoulder slung bandoliers can hold dozens of stripper clips. Does no good to have magazines falling all over the place when you might not get a chance to pick them up before you have to move, or it’s dark out, or you’re standing in shallow water, or thick vegetation, or next to an overhang it could bounce off. Some of you are looking at this from a home defense/pepper perspective, which might be fine for you. I would just like to point out that the military is built for killing people and their weapon systems have the features they do to maximize killing, while preserving the shooters life. Might be a good idea to have your AR platform be pretty close to government issue

    • I have next-to-no knowledge of the specifics, but I’m thinking these guys are designed for competition, where I think you drop your mags during the course and collect them later…

  4. Predicting a rotating drum for magazines. And a lever that puts your finger on the bang button for you. I mean, if you’re gonna call it fully automatic, be FULLY automatic. Eventually they’ll have the guns from The 5th Element!

  5. Auto mag release sounds bad to me. Some people prefer driving stick, i prefer to drop my own mags.

    Besides interacting with my rifle, another reason is, counter to the article, i cant think of a time that letting a mag go without my concious input would be good.

    Even in combat, mags are retained – not just left on the floor. Now youve gotta pick em up.

    • Fair enough… Obviously this rifle wasn’t meant for YOU… It was meant for other people who operate and think differently… Like I say to my co-workers, “If one gun could solve all the problems in the world I wouldn’t need five different kinds of guns.”

      On a different thought….. I wonder….. If the gun auto ejects the mag, and the gun can be defined as “a tool used separate the magazine from the gun”, then could this be legal as-is in California without a bullet button?

      • “…could this be legal as-is in California without a bullet button?”
        Probably not for long since Kevin de Leon (D) {Cal State Senator, 24th District} is talking seriously about proposing legislation to require semi-auto rifles in California to have permanently attached magazines. So, with the AR platform you would have to break the rifle open and reload the magazine from the top of the exposed lower. This would theoretically prevent “terrorists” from doing “quick reloads”. Try that with your current California compliant AR while freestanding. Hopefully, this would apply only to NEW rifles but would probably, therefore. prevent this very innovative Cobalt Kinetics design from being sold in California.

  6. The idea of auto-ejecting the empty mag is new to me.
    The 1914 Mauser pocket pistol had the slide lock back on an empty mag and the slide close, chambering a round, when a loaded mag locked into the mag well.

  7. The M1 Garand did eject its clip when empty, and IIRC, Japanese soldiers would take the characteristic PING as a sign their opponent was out of ammo…
    Also IIRC, some of our Marines would throw empty en blocs against a rock while their buddy waits for one to stick his head up

    • There is no documented proof that someone is going to hear the ejection of the spent clip in combat. Its old myth. One go shoot your gun without ear pro, then have someone crack rounds over your heard. Throw in a mix of yelling, explosions, and the normal hearing loss that has been accumulated at that point, and it wouldn’t shock me if the guy shooting his M1 could barely hear the ejection of his clip. Plus, if you are in combat, you got buddies. You aren’t going to go, oh, that one dude at of 20 is reloading, let me bust out and try to take a shot at him, and get wasted by his 19 friends.

      • Good thing we’re talking about Magazines not Clips… I thought you actually had some weight in this discussion. But if you don’t know the difference between a clip and a magazine, then I’m not so sure about your validity of your statement.

  8. “I’m struggling to think of a situation where you would want to retain that empty magazine in a firefight, and while I’m sure there’s a fine example I can’t come up with one.”

    Do they grow on trees? After a firefight is over, do you always get a chance to pick up your crap? What if the firefight moved from one location to another, you shot all your rounds, want to reload, but find out that your piece of crap rifle pooped them out somewhere along the line? An M1 Garand may have pinged out the clip, but a removable magazine is a fundamentally different piece of equipment.

    Don’t be blinded by the fancy Vegas trip that they paid for you to attend. Just admit that this is a multi thousand dollar rifle for 3 Gun competitions.

    • You wouldn’t reload an empty magazine in the middle of a firefight. You can still do a tac reload with a partial magazine and retain it, this simply chucks empties for you automatically.

      I’m a competition guy, so this makes sense to me. Your mileage may vary.

      • >> You wouldn’t reload an empty magazine in the middle of a firefight.

        What do you do in the middle of a firefight if you have went through all your loaded mags, and the fight is still going?

        Like, say, Battle of Wanat. Or the soviet Battle for Hill 3234, also in Afghanistan.

    • Well we know this gun is not for everyone, but its unfortunate you believe his opinion could be altered by a paid work trip. Not everyones ethics are bought and paid for. We built these features not just for competition but upon recommendations from top tier operators. We gather they know what they are talking about since they spend more time in combat than anyone else.

      We are always open to other opinions and welcome any feedback you have.

  9. I’m a bit of two minds on this one.

    1. Throwing away magazines seems like a waste. Those things are not exactly cheap.

    2. OTOH, a 30 round GI mag is $8. If you don’t have a few dozen stashed away as a start, you’re doing it wrong. My personal kit, back in the day, had almost 20 magazines stashed in various places. I don’t see my SHTF kit having fewer. (Right now I’m running 10 just on my vest, with another 8 on my battle belt.) In a sphincter clenching situation, having a bit less to think about could be helpful.

  10. I like the idea. Why keep an empty mag in your gun, and why not auto load a fresh mag? This should be an option on all semi-autos, rifle and handgun alike.

  11. Interesting, but I don’t think it will actually save time on the reload. Since dropping the empty mag and going for the new mag is done as one step and not separate steps.

  12. The tripping hazard has been mentioned, which strikes me as valid. I’d also be concerned by the general reliability of the mechanism.

    Does it depend on a flawlessly operating magazine? How would it respond to a weak spring? What if the magazine is being used as a bipod (unipod?) for stabilization? Would it click to drop the mag, but then jam because the mag had nowhere to drop?

    Something similar reportedly plagued Kel-Tec’s KSG early on: fire all shells from one tube, pull the trigger again without switching to the second tube, and the trigger breaks/jams. Second/third hand Internet accounts, but still something to be aware of.

    Now, what I really like is the bolt release actuated by mag insertion. I’d need a backup for that, though. For example, if one of those dropped mags chipped a piece off. It might still subsequently seat, but might not release the bolt. Just depends.

    Anyway, keep the innovations coming. Keep a thick skin on all negative feedback, too, and try to regard it as constructive criticism. (Easier said than done, I know.)

    • If the thing doesn’t drop the mag on its own, then hit the mag release. If the bolt doesn’t lock back and it goes “click” on an empty chamber, then SPORTS/TRB. We practice failure drills on ALL guns. Whats the BFD?

      • The BFD is KISS. Over engineering can get you killed when your cutesy bells and whistles fail. More moving parts means more crap to go wrong.

        Even with redundant features, there’s still the danger of time required to detect the original problem and correct it by a backup method.

        That could get you killed, especially the more you rely on operating the firearm by indirect means. You lose an avenue of feedback from the firearm.

        • KISS is a relative term. I would argue that not needing to eject a mag or hit a bolt release is more simple than having to do either of those things manually (I mean, we aren’t writing out lines of code here to post comments, because computer engineers decided that KISS for US = complicated programing for THEM).
          From a mechanical perspective we can KISS our rear ends all the way back to bolt action guns if we pursue this argument to its natural logical conclusion.
          KISS on an MSR can mean any number of things to include: no cute grips, no fancy triggers, no high speed electro optical sights, no flip up QD doo dads, no adjustable stocks, no pistons, no carbon fiber, etc….. It all depends what KISS means to the user.
          I would prefer “reliable” and “effective” over KISS.

        • Meh. Those are inarguable general statements. True, KISS is relative. It’s a relation of the marginal utility to the marginal complexity.

          I’m not seeing the benefits outweighing the costs and risks here, though. After all, early iterations of innovations don’t usually live up to the hype.

          How about we just wait to see if this gimmick takes off or disappears? Check back in a couple of years.

    • We actually really welcome the constructive criticism.

      We do have the original features in place as a back up, so you can manually release the bolt if needed. The mechanism is very simple and designed with longevity in mind. Also shooting while using the magazine as a bipod is not an issue with our mechanism design.

      We do test to great lengths as we only want to provide the best products possible.

    • At least one of the girls looks like a clearly “enhanced” porn star wannabee.

      If a company needs that to generate interest in their product, then I don’t take them seriously.

  13. Why would you want to keep an empty magazine in a gunfight?
    Because there are times where dropping an empty magazine would be detrimental.
    A loose magazine on a hard surface, down at your feet, is now an object you have to avoid, taking attention away from those shooting at you.
    In a 3 gun competition, it won’t matter because you know approximately when the mag will be empty, you know where you will be running to next, and the ground is rarely hard and slippery. The odds of stepping on a loose mag and sliding is pretty much zero in a 3 gun competition, in an actual gunfight, the odds are much much higher depending on where that fight takes place.

    • If you’re in a gun fight where you have to do a mag reload, then the floor is going to be covered in hot little brass cylinders that roll very easily…. Perhaps you should stop in the middle of the gun fight and police up your brass too if you’re that concerned about slipping.

      • The brass is ejected many yards to the right and behind me, and when I’m wearing boots, stepping on loose brass is rather meaningless to a sliding hazard as it is small and deforms..
        A dropped mag is large and right at your feet.
        If this were legal in California, not a chance in hell, I’d buy it for 3-gun competition in a heart beat, but against someone shooting back, I’d take other options.

        • What about your buddies brass? If you’re in a firefight you’re most likely crouched or in the prone behind some sort of cover, even it it’s micro terrain. Getting up it’s unlikely your first step is going to be right where your mag dropped. The crap holes we fight in like Afghanistan have more than enough crappy surfaces that a mag isn’t really adding much to the hazard. Not to mention that if we’re overseas fighting jihadists just about anywhere, if you’re stepping without looking, even in a firefight you’ll get your legs blown off by an IED and not have to worry anymore about slipping on a mag.

  14. I like the idea of knowing for sure you have run your mag dry or that if it didn’t drop you’ve had a malfunction, I see it saving more time recognizing you need to reload than in the mechanics of reloading

  15. The comparison to Garand en-bloc clips doesn’t really make sense – ammo for Garand came preloaded in those clips, so soldiers always knew they wouldn’t have a situation where they had more ammo, but no clips to load it into – either you have ammo and can use it, or you don’t.

    Do soldiers today carry all of the extra ammo loaded in magazines (including any extras in the backpack etc)? Does it come preloaded in magazines in crates? Unless that is true, it’s a whole different kettle of fish.

    • Depends on the type of unit. When I started out in a Stryker brigade, we carried crates of ammo (stripper clips) on top of the Strykers for reloading mags on longer missions. We all carried a minimum of 7 full mags on our kit plus one in the rifle for 240 rds fighting load. Some dudes chose to carry more, even up to twice as many.

      In light infantry units (10th MTN for me), you carry everything loaded in mags on you and spares in your ruck.

      In a mechanized unit…no idea. After leaving the active Army (8 years IN officer), I took a Bradley company in the PA national guard. After four months of drill and not touching the vehicles, we got the sweet, sweet news that we are switching to light. I would assume they carry crates of stripper clips just like Strykers though.

  16. Rarely do you run a rifle mag dry in 3 gun. Usually you plan your reloads between shooting positions, or you “tactical” reload so you go into a position with a full mag.

    That said, it is cool, maybe similar in significance to the a5 shotgun’s auto load feature for the game (the a5 IS more significant because of quad loading on an empty gun)

    Outside the game, it’s debateable. If you operate out of a base, leave’em where you drop’em. Pick up more when you get back.

    Extended operations or crazy shtf stuff, there’s no replacements, and your gun will be near worthless if you don’t have em (what are you gonna single load that thing CMP match style?) Maybe not that engagement, but eventually.

  17. Great concept. It’s always nice to see innovation. I wanna share some “concerns”, just from looking. Whether these will be true or not we’ll see.
    Some 1911 slide stop inner lobes might be bumped by the feeding cartridge and lock the slide open with a partially filled mag. The design of the Evolve, which uses the follower to drop the mag, might suffer the same when a cartridge actuates the mechanism and drops the mag, either due to the gun or the ammo being out of spec.
    Secondly, the bolt get sent home immediately after mag insertion. Some pistols, namely M&P and HK45 do the same when the mag gets slammed in real hard. What happens then is that the feeding process begins before the cartridge stack has completely settled down, causing nosedives and bolt-over-rim-at-the-caseweb.
    Again, it’s just quarterbacking. Anyone knowing better welcome to correct me

    • Oh yeah I forgot. To achieve the same reloading speed on a conventional AR, just make sure the actions “press mag release” and “press the bolt release” are within the timeframe required to remove the weak hand from the handguard, grab the new mag, shove it in, and the weak hand going forward. Perfectly doable, more hassle for sure, though.

    • And about forward assist.
      It does three things.
      First it lets you fully drive the bolt home after a press check or quietly let down the bolt. But this could be performed by the notch on the carrier.
      Secondly, it gives you a single shot rifle if sand or mud gets packed up in the barrel extension. This is not the most important but if your gun is for SHTF it’s required.
      Then the most important one. I cringe every time somebody just tells people to tap-rack. When you get a click in the heat of the battle, just a glimpse at the ejection port cannot tell you whether the extractor is over the rim or not. On an AR the extractor only gets a hold of the case until it’s fully in battery. If something slowed the bolt carrier down enough that it barely reached the barrel extension without actually headspacing, what you get is a tap-rack-double feed. On a pushfeed gun, what you really need to do is tap-push forward assist-rack. Just a slight more hiccup, it prevents that nasty doublefeed from being induced by the shooter.

  18. I don’t really see much value for this outside of 3-gun competitions or the like, but it’s nice to see someone actually trying something new with the AR platform instead of just another “me too” rifle, indistinguishable from the thousands of others on the market.

  19. Shwing.

    The AR-15 should have had automatic magazine and bolt release decades ago, if not from the very beginning.. Finally. Well done, Cobalt. I’m also very interested in that buffer tube! Polymer and silent. Sounds like it might be lighter and more effective than the JP system. I hope it will fit standard adjustable stocks. A folding version would be even more useful. The Proof Research carbon fiber wrapped barrel (as good as it gets) signifies to me that this rifle will be made from high quality parts.

    How awkward is it to ride the bolt forward when you want to chamber a round quietly? Although this is obviously a competition rifle. If I was quietly chambering rounds, I’d demand a forward assist to make sure the bolt was fully closed and the rounds were chambered. If they can prove reliability, I want this on my defensive ARs. I’m pretty much skeptical of anything that comes from competition-oriented people. I want my guns built by people that act like they’re building parachutes, not sporting equipment. But I don’t see why this couldn’t be robust.

    How do these changes affect the weight of the rifle?

    • Thank you for the input. The magazine can be dropped manually still so you can ride a bolt home very quietly. We where planning a military/law enforcement version with a forward assist too. We do over engineer a lot of things to make sure of its reliability. Built like a tank but runs like a Ferrari.

    • When would you ever need to chamber a round quietly? If it’s your home defense gun, why isn’t it chambered already? If you’re in a firefight, by the time you have to reload everyone already knows where you are.

  20. If this is a reliable system that has no significant impact on reliability, I’d switch to only these losers in a heartbeat.
    I don’t know how important it is for competition, but unlike many of the folks who have already commented, I have actually been in combat and run through a combat load.
    You dump your mags. The only priority is to get the weapon system back up and running as fast as you can. Yes, those 2 or 3 seconds you save are life and death. Don’t sacrifice your life now for the possibility of maybe needing that magazine later. They are disposable.

  21. And the odds of this being permitted in the Peoples Benevolent State of Kommieforniastan is close to zip. Because we all know that the punks carry $1,400 rifles.

  22. I’m glad people in the gun industry are still trying new ideas. But it is still another AR. We have enough. F–king build something new. New features are awesome. New guns with those features are better. On the whole, we’re still stagnating.

  23. I don’t get why the gals in the lead photo are all posing with their mouths agape.

    On topic though: the auto eject is a neat idea, but in practice is it really faster than manually ejecting since in a speed critical situation it is performed at the same time as reaching for your full mag? Also, is it possible for the system to malfunction, and treat even loaded mags as empty and auto eject full, or mostly full mags?

    The only real time saver I see is the auto bolt drop, which is what, a fraction of a second faster? And if you train to rely on the auto drop and then have to backtrack to hitting the release, all of a sudden your quicker reload has taken significantly more time.

    TL;DR: I like the concept, but I personally would keep it relegated to competition, not practical use.

    • Their mouths are open because of the rifles jaw dropping performance! Glad you like our concept and thanks for taking the time to read the article and give feed back.

      It really is faster, as much as a full half second faster. The magazine drops when the last round is stripped from the magazine. So once the trigger is pulled you are already on your way to the magazine. With training your full magazine is seated about the same time your trigger is reset and ready to go again.

      It is possible for any system to malfunction, but of course we will test it to our very high standards. Its always wise to have redundancies in place because we all know how murphy’s law works.

  24. My head is about to explode reading about people trying to retain an empty mag in a “gunfight” or worrying about the mags breaking when they hit the ground. When I reload in training, my empties hit the ground, when I reload in competition my empties hit the ground, I pick them up when I’m done shooting. I’ve never had a magazine break, I’ve never tripped over a magazine. If the only difference here is this rifle will dump my empty for me and release my bolt when a fresh mag is inserted? Sounds awesome I applaud the innovation, just like any innovation I’m sure it will have to be tested and proven. But I bet if it doesn’t eject and release you can probably do it the old fashioned way and move on. Meanwhile the other guy will be manually removing his empty magazine strategically placing it in his tactically positioned dump pouch so as that he can reload a fresh mag and slap his bolt release… Makes sense. I don’t care about my 10$ pmag in competition I sure as shit wouldn’t care about it if someone is shooting at me.

    Only downside I can see is I’ll have to replace all my rifles so as not to have any training scars. 😉

  25. Only two downsides I can see to auto ejecting magazines are, first of all when I’m out target shooting or plinking (99% of what I’d do with it) I may not want my mags hitting the concrete and having to pick them up. Secondly, if I am in a fight I may not want the guy shooting at me see my magazine fall to the ground telling him I’m empty…same as the “ding” noise the M1’s made in WW2 when empty signaling the enemy to fire.

    That being said, with a little training to get used to it, these groundbreaking inventions could be a game changer to those who may use this or future versions in combat. Like every change, there will be those who resist progress. At the very least these are interesting offerings that open the discussion and a possible future new era of the AR-15 (unless the donkeys ban them)

    I say BRAVO Cobalt Kinetics for some amazing products!

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