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One of the things that makes guns like the Steyr AUG and Beretta’s new ARX-100 nifty is the fact that you can swap which side the gun ejects spent cartridges. For those who are left-handed, that’s a huge deal since you’ll no longer have to put up with hot brass being launching inches from your nose. Faxon Firearms has been developing a different take on the AR-15 rifle called the ARAK-21 for a while now that already sports some interesting features (piston-powered, forward charging handle, easily swapped barrels). Their latest iteration will feature the option to choose where your casings spit out of the gun. Make the jump for the presser . . .

Cincinnati, OH (Feb. 2015) – Faxon Firearms, manufacturer of the ARAK platform, is proud to announce the addition of the ambidextrous dual-ejection window ARAK-21 upper receiver to its family of ARAK products.

Historically, the ARAK-21 has always been left-hand shooter friendly, but required customers to choose from a right or left-hand ejection receiver. The latest introduction allows shooters to choose their ejection side in the field, by swapping the bolt during normal field-stripping 180-degrees.

“At first glance, this is a boon to just left-handed shooters,” says Bob Faxon, President and Founder of Faxon Firearms. “But, it also has tangible benefits to right-handed shooters. During routing weapons manipulation, the dual window allows shooters to see into the chamber without having to take the firearm out of the shoulder and rotate. Press-checks, diagnosis, etc. are all faster with dual ejection windows.”

The dual-ejection window receiver models will be available with optional covers for shooters would prefer to keep either opening closed. The covers will be available in matching colors, black anodizing, FDE Cerakote, and OD Cerakote.

The ARAK-21 Ambidextrous Ejection Window is available for order now. There is no additional charge for the dual ejection window. The ambi window receiver replaced the option for left-hand only ejection.

Lead time for ARAK receivers is currently 3-4 weeks. Covers will be available in 6-8 weeks.

About Faxon Firearms:

Faxon Firearms manufactures the innovative ARAK platform, ISO quality certified firearms barrels and unique firearms accessories. With a rich history in manufacturing for aerospace, medical, automotive and the defense industries, Faxon Firearms is dedicated to incessant innovation and quality manufacturing. Faxon Firearms’ flagship product, the ARAK® platform is a family of long-stroke gas piston complete upper receiver assemblies designed to seamlessly interface with the standard AR-15 and LR-308 systems.

We’ve been promised an ARAK-21 for review, so stay tuned.

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  1. As a lefty, I have never been bothered by right ejecting non bullpup rifles. My face is far enough away to make it a non issue. I am much more concerned about the charging handle, safety, and mag release.

    • Ditto – another lefty, here. I’m always aware that the brass is zinging past my schnoz but in all the years of plinking (and multiple trips to the Stone Bay Rifle Range) I have never been bothered by right-side ejection.

    • Same – I’m not a lefty, just strongly left-eye dominant, and so have been shooting left-handed since 2001 – never had an issue with an AR pattern rifle. The SAW, on the other hand, could be a problem.

  2. As a lefty I fully support this. I personally don’t mind right side ejection on a standard configuration gun, but bullpups suck.

    Now, make the upper about 2-3lbs lighter and we’ll talk…

    • The standard upper is 5.5 lbs using a 16in medium profile barrel.

      We can shave a bit, but we designed it with the following mantra in mind: “When in Doubt, Make it Stout!”

      Always happy to answer any questions.

  3. Yes… Because the only thing better than one gigantic hole right next to your chamber is two gigantic holes. As an author on this blog previously stated. Press checks are stupid. They exponentially increase the chances of a malfunction, (Press checks are the only time I’ve seen the actual need for a forward assist.) and don’t really tell you anything that you should not already know.

    The dust cover is on the AR for a reason. Unlike AK descendants, the tolerance between the bolt, the barrel extension and the chamber is incredibly precise. A small amount of grit in your action will stop it from running reliably.

    While I can sympathize with lefty AR enthusiasts… Get a left ejecting rifle. They are relatively common and don’t run the risk of getting crud in your action. Better yet, get a righty upper with a lefty lower. The brass deflector will more than suffice to keep the casings out of your face. That’s what it’s there for.

    • Valid points, for sure. In our case, we left tolerance in the upper to handle the grit and dirt of normal operation.

      In fact, we like the two windows for reliability. Anytime the receiver is open, debris can pass right through rather than sitting on the wall of the receiver.

      • The issue is that with a traditional AR and good discipline, it’s almost impossible to get grit in the action. For me, closing the ejection port cover is almost a reflex action after going back to a ready position. When you have two ports, neither of which has a cover… Much more problematic. But if the clearances are much wider on your design, that would help to some degree. (Not sure I’d trust in in a sand storm, but then, even an AK off safe can wind up with a significant amount of grit in the action.)

        Interesting idea though… I take it you have minimal parts commonality with standard AR uppers then?
        Do you plan to sell spare bolts and other critical parts? Based on your description, it sounds like the only parts from a normal AR upper you would be able to use would be the firing pin, cam, and retaining pins.

        • As a retired military guy I get where you are coming from and can appreciate your observation. With that said, the ARAK upper is very UN-like a AR, especially in the bolt carrier design. The ARAK in that regard is very much like the AK but with better tolerances IMO. A dust cover on the ARAK is completely unnecessary since the BCG has no points of entry for debris like a AR bolt does. BTW, an AK with the safety on will still get quite a bit of sand and dust in the action when exposed to the elements.

          Even though I’m not a lefty I am glad to see feature. This makes the Faxon truly ambi in my opinion. Now as a disclaimer, I do own a ARAK21 upper (mated to a Anderson lower) I have had the chance to run it pretty hard a couple of times. It only hiccuped a couple of times, once because I had it on the wrong gas setting for the ammo used and once because the ammo itself just performed poorly. Their uppers are heavy compared to a standard carbine length DI AR but considering the features, it’s worth the extra weight IMO.


        • @Para
          Don’t get me wrong. It’s a very interesting design. I would love to see it go up against some serious torture tests. The guys over at the AK Operators Union 47-74 have done some stuff that I was sure would destroy any firearm, but a lot of their AKs still run despite looking like something you’d find in the Khyber Pass Rod and Gun Club. We both know that those tests would destroy an M4, but I’d love to see if this thing can do better.

          The design is rather original and definitely beats most of the other non-traditional charging handle AR platforms out there. It keeps the best features of an AR (found almost entirely in the lower receiver, in my opinion) while adding a lot of the AK style reliability that a DI AR lacks. My only concern about owning a gun like this is spare parts. I’ve had bolts and firing pins break on me before. (It’s a reason why I cary a complete bolt in my pistol grip for my SHTF rifle.)

          I still stand by my previous statement that press checks are stupid. With an AR (or most guns, come to think of it), it’s a great way to get a malfunction if you’re not careful.

        • We keep ample supply of all parts in-house at all times. We understand concerns about parts availability and we purposefully will keep spare parts rather than build rifles.

          You are correct, only the firing pin and extractor spring are common to an AR.

        • Agreed about the press check. Once a round is chambered, doing a press check is asking for a possible malfunction. Especially on a rifle like the ARAK that does not have a bolt assist. At least with the AK the bolt handle acts like an assist if need be. With that said, not a big fan of the BA and with my ARAK I’ve never had the bolt not go into battery.

          Concerning torture testing, you should check out the test that the VSO guys ran their ARAK through. Pretty brutal and the rifle kept chugging. Highly doubt a mil spec AR would have done nearly as well.


      • Nathan can you use the proper term Clearances not Tolerances. It would be nice if the firearms community would start understanding Tight tolerances are a good thing. Tight Clearances maybe not so much.

        • You are 100% correct. In this particular case, the proper term is clearances as they are a fundamental part of the design philosophy. The misuse might come from the fact that larger operating clearances allow for larger part tolerances that still allow your weapon to work.

      • Great videos Dan. I was actually more concerned about the airborne stiff that has the consistency of talcum powder. It’s only a major issue in one specific part of the world, but I have seen an M16A4 jam rather badly when a certain boot I know thought it was a good idea to walk around in a sand storm with an open dust cover.

        • Well, boots gonna boot and outside of the world’s smelliest sandbox it’s not really an issue. In situations like that most weapons are going to have issues and at least our rifles weren’t melting

  4. I’m a righty, but I shoot off my left shoulder like a lefty (my first long-gun experiences were with with trap/skeet, and being left-eye dominant I shoot much better with the gun under that eye… doesn’t really matter for rifles but I got so used to shooting of my left shoulder shooting righty just feels weird). I’ve fired a variety of AR-pattern rifles over the years but strangely only had an incident once. It was of course when I was qualifying on the M-16 in the Air Force. During one of the official “for score” rounds, I had hot brass land inside my BDU blouse and burn my collar bone, and the next one wedge inside my shooting glasses and burn my eyebrow. Never had that happen before or since, guess it was old Murphy making his presence known. I still qualified Expert that day though, so ended well. I always thought getting a lefty-specific AR was not worth the hassle/cost, but i’ve been looking at the ARAK for a bit, and with this it might just make it a little more worth it. Very interesting.

  5. What the hell, these guys are literally 10 minutes from my doorstep in Cincinnati. I wonder if they do tours…

  6. Lefty here. This is cool, and I’ll note the AUG is only swappable with the addition of a separate bolt, costing over 200 bucks.

  7. Well, there is a guy from Faxon answering the comments. So here is my question:

    I see that a bolt swap is necessary. Have you guys checked the Beretta ARX mechanism of chaning ejection? It is a quite simple and elegant button that has to be pressed. If so, why didnt Faxon copied it?

    • Boils down to a significant difference in architecture. As we opted to use a standard AR, we were forced to use a spring ejector like an AR-15. As such, we chose the most efficient route for using the same bolt, rotating it 180 degrees.

      The Beretta uses fixed ejectors. The button pushes one or the other farther forward. The one farthest forward ejects the round to the opposite side.

      Both systems are patented.

  8. From a lefty here, it is always nice to see lefty friendly features. While the enhancements over the years since the A1 version have made the platform quite shootable for lefties, those who have experienced the A1 version know that the brass didn’t just zing past the nose, but rather zipped right down the front of one’s shirt. Not a good place for hot brass! Made me switch to right handed shooting the entire time I was in the Army.

    • The first time i shot an A1 in training, the brass hit my eyeglass frame. The second shot bounced off my cap straight into my shirt and burned my skin. The third shot was from my right hand. I know the brass deflectors to a pretty decent job now but any effort to make brass ejection kinder to lefties is highly appreciated!

  9. To start, our sincere apologies. We are working to correct the issues mentioned.

    We will ALWAYS be open with you guys on what’s going on. Feel free to ask!

    1. We know the charge issue has been a thorn for our customers. We are moving to a new website that will allow us to pre-authorize (but not charge) the card for all pre-orders.

    2. We caught an issue with the production parts on headspace and had to correct them and send them for re-coating. Its moving quickly, but slower than we would like. The first kits will finally be shipping next week but I can’t advise on your order specifically until we see how many are ready.

    I know its not the answer you (or we) were hoping for, but its the truth and you will always get it.

    Have a great weekend and we promise the wait will be worth it!

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