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While assault weapons bans are in effect in some states, that doesn’t mean that an AR-15 rifle is out of their reach. There are a number of companies that make AWB-compliant rifles for those markets, but the vast majority of those manufacturers take the approach of simply neutering the existing design and selling a substandard product. Ares Defense didn’t think that was good enough, and instead of simply chopping up an AR-15 they completely re-designed the gun. And in the process, they came up with something that is a nifty gun in its own right.

According to the guys at the booth, the idea for the SCR first came around when it was looking like the Federal AWB would be renewed in 2004 and the full featured AR-15 would be a thing of the past — permanently. They saw all of the AWB-compliant parts out there, especially the pinned collapsible stocks, and believed that they could make something better.

And so they did.


The SCR is probably best described as an unholy union between a shotgun and an AR-15. Since there’s no proper buffer tube the gun instead uses an articulated spur on the back-end of the bolt carrier just like that on a shotgun, and recoils downward into the stock that way. The front-end of the bolt carrier is just like that off a standard AR-15, which means you can use any existing upper receiver without any modification.


So far the rifle has been displayed with AAC’s 9″ 300 BLK upper on it, but the guys at Ares Defense actually like the feel of the stock on their long range and hunting configurations as well. And I can’t blame them — it’s downright comfortable to hold. If you like a traditional stock, you’ll like this gun just fine.

We’ve been promised a rifle for a full review shortly, so stay tuned.

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  1. Quite reminiscent of the pre-modular battle rifle designs like the SAFN/FN49, VZ-58, or MAS 49/56. All of those were quite nice rifles or carbines, actually. They were steps in an evolution to the modern modular rifles. The ARES SCR is a step backwards in evolution (devolution), but at least it’s designed to be that way, not some tacked-on abortion of an accessory like most of the buttstock/pistol grip compromises currently on the market.

    I would have no reason to buy one, but it wouldn’t pain me terribly to do so.

  2. I actually kinda hope this will somehow lead to someone making an affordable AR design with a buffer tube-less action.

      • I actually really like the RRA design, even the ribbed handguard. Now, if they could scale it up to a .308 version that takes SR25/Pmags and a price of around $2K or less…

    • Because of a wrist injury I much prefer pistol grips, but if I understand this correctly the “buffer” for the bolt actually travels down into the grip portion of the stock at an angle, rather than straight back like a usual AR.

      That being the case, how about a design that allows for an adjustable length pull? I’m a big guy and such a stock would look cool AND give me the proper stock length. Seems like MagPul could come up with something.

    • Interesting. Yes it does, but I think it is in the usual position, just looks awkward because of the lack of a pistol grip!

    • I’m sure either ARES or another parts manufacturer will make an extended mag release for it.

    • Depending on sales volume, I imagine an aftermarket mag-release extension. Something akin to the aftermarket ambidextrous releases or Magpul’s Battery Assist Device spring to mind.

  3. Living in CA, I really like this idea. Using bullet buttons is just a PITA and I can see this selling on a huge scale over here.

    • There are – not that I have any – cool products such as the Vamfire Freelock mini kit, Raddlock, and such which will actually allow an AR to be reloaded in less than 2 hours. And such things are currently in stock at They are very easy to install, according to this guy I talked to once.

  4. I would buy one for the unique factor alone, but it seems to me that it would be comfy. Make my uppers feel like the 700bdl that’s been my hunting partner for the last 20 years. Not to forget the middle finger to slave state legislators as a bonus.

  5. Seems like a neat idea, and any idea that gives antis fits fills me with glee, but I’d still prefer the belt-fed on their posters, given the choice. Any chance you guys can review an Ares Shrike?

    • Any thoughts on making this compatible with Magpul SGA stocks? Better ergonomics, and would match the Magpul forend and any other cool Magpul parts I put on it. Yes, I am a shill for Magpul. Can I have my corporate sponsorship now?

    • Same here – Reminds me of the FAL. This rifle also reminds me of a mullet: Business in the front, party in the back. Except it’d be AR-15 in the front. All-in-all, it’s a really smart solution.

  6. I’d buy one. Especially if it came with a wood stock. Put one of those ironwood handguards on there and it’d be some unholy fusion of old-school battle rifle and new-school technology (and much better looking than that keltec M43 or whatever it’s called). And it would confuse the hell out of the antis, it looks like grampa’s hunting rifle but is really an *eevil* black rifle! Two birds with one stone, huzzah!

    • A wood stock would be badass. Heck, wooden rail covers, even. It would give the antis histrionics.

    • I’d not only go for the wooden furniture, how about a Doug Turnbull-style case hardening job on the metalwork? We’d have anti’s peein’ panties because it would be so legal, so classic, and sellable!

      Of course, there’s another (sinister?) part of me that wants to see it with a P90 setup on the upper! Nyah-hah-hah….

    • Yes it’s semi-automatic.

      appears to be gas operated. If you go to the above link you can see it in a different profile, shows the gas block.

      Since they claim: the ARES SCR™ accepts most Modern Sporting Rifle accessories and parts including magazines, upper receivers, barrels, bolts, handguards and optics

      I’d assume Direct-Impingement.

      • The pic of the BCG shows what looks just like an AR BCG cut off right behind the firing pin, in fact I think you can see the firing pin! The gas thingy (brain fart) on top of the BCG looks like the same item as on a DI AR-15, not just similar. I suspect there is a LOT of interchangability here.

        • The whole point of this thing is to be compatible with any random AR-15 upper. I’m not sure if there are any piston uppers that can be used with a stock AR BCG, but if they exist then they should be compatible as well. If not, well, someone should just make a piston BCG that works in this.

  7. Is there any mention of selling just the lowers and BCGs at some point? I’ve got plenty of uppers already.

  8. Hope they make a version with a 20 inch barrel, wooden stock and bluing instead of all those high-tech finishes. Simply because it would draw in many of the fence-sitters and fudds.

    • Isn’t the “.223 sport rifle with wood furniture and a blued finish” already adequately covered by a bog-standard Mini-14? And the Fudds tend to not be swayed by anything that isn’t their ol’ bolt-action deer rifle and double-barreled fowling piece.

      • True that but the Mini-14 has a reputation for being, how do I put it? Precision challenged? The one we tried patterned about as well as a shotgun. The shotgun was a Baikal (which are great BTW, we ran over one with a truck then we needed a new truck).

        True they can become accurate with tuning and add-on parts, but many people (read: hunters) don’t really do much more to a gun than add a scope, sling and a suppressor.

        Besides, here in Norway the Mini-14 is banned by name (though the Mini-30 isn’t, go figure).

        • New (post-2006?) Minis don’t have such a bad reputation for accuracy. Though still nowhere near AR, of course.

      • This thing is like a pound lighter than a Mini. And takes AR mags and furniture. And has a rail out of the box. And is almost certainly more accurate.

    • Since they say that any AR upper works, I’d imagine that you can just grab a 20″ upper. It would look very neat with a bull barrel varminter.

  9. I suppose I’m just in a bad mood today. I get that the ability to swap uppers is a huge thing, but other than that how is this an improvement on the mini-14?

      • Ding ding ding. Winner. Mini-14 mags, both OEM and Aftermarket have a penchant for sucking harder than a Russian hooker.

        • I don’t know about that anymore…All of the newer (within last few years) OEM metal mini-14 mags I have have all been great – but of course expensive.

  10. If they sell just the lower and BCG(probably separately) I think they would make a fortune in California.

    • It is a rail, you bolt stuff onto it. You guys are over-complicating things.

      Some of us even just bolt on individual pieces of rail on regular stocks for the stuff we need.

  11. I like it and I already have Kel-tec, Mini’s and AR’s! Even though its the same it’s different and adds some diversion from the norm with interchangability built in. Could be a big hit. How much?

  12. One of my big time concerns (I tend to be a hypothetical worry wart) has been traveling with a rifle that looks like a black rifle. An AR looks mean but is as versatile as can be for damned dear any purpose. This reasoning led me to consider a Mini14 but there are quality control issues. I know, I will get flamed by the Mini14 fan boys whose reasoning why the mini is so great is because the M14 was great.

    Simply, this might be the versatile yet unimposing rifle I am looking for.

  13. One point, but officially, there are NO AWB-compliant ARs in New York state. There are neutered ARs that many BELIEVE should be compliant, but there has been no official approval from Albany for any of them thus far. This rifle will thus be a fantastic alternative. I am really hoping that this is priced decently. I am saving for my first rifle, and was looking to get a Kel Tec, but I am now looking to get this instead.

  14. other than mag swap from AR platforms…. which will remain an issue in many AWB states…. why not just go Mini-14 chambered in .223?

    • Pointy bullets + tube mag = bad time

      This is due to bullets (the pointy part) resting on the primer (the boom which causes bigger boom – part).

      Not meant to be condenscending, sorry if it is taken like that.

  15. Eh, proprietary trigger with a !@#$%$# cross bolt safety. I could live with one or the other but probably not both.

  16. Miss the pistol grip. It’s like a 45 without a magazine? But it could be a bridge to some ware.

    • My dad’s favorite rifle cartridge. I’ve been thinking of an Armalite in .243 for him with wood furniture, but this sized for .308 with wood/hydrodip might bridge the gap between his preference for classic firearms and the benefits of current technology.

  17. Since this uses a custom bolt carrier, when changing uppers you can’t just drop in a BCG “matched” to it, right? Won’t you have to worry about headspace issues?

    • Who checks headspace on an AR, anyway? Especially when no-BCG uppers and fancy replacement BCGs are sold by hundreds of thousands?

      • In all the upper and BCG swaps I’ve seen head spacing was never an issue with one glaring set of exceptions. When converting AR-15s to select fire with M-16 BCGs there were a whole string of head spacing issues. It appeared that what ever brand of uppers we were using (I’ve forgotten now) the M-16 BCGs just would not work in. Aside from that rarity ARs are about as modularly compatible as it gets.

  18. If they could get the Magpul 870 stock to fit the receiver, this thing could actually look, and feel great.

  19. Just wanted to let you know we have received the Ares SCR in 5.56. The only current models available are the Monte Carlo 5.56 16.25” MOE Carbine/ Optic Ready and the Sporter Short Stock configuration, but same rifle. Will also have the Sporter coming soon. The price of the rifle is $865 + $15 shipping. These rifles will move quickly and we are filling all pre-orders at this time. If you have any questions or would like to place an order email us at [email protected] or call 321-890-1730. If you know your going to purchase a rifle then go a head and get the FFL information and the process will move much more quickly. Wait time if any should only be a few weeks according to manufacture production schedule. Once pre-orders are filled, next day shipping.

  20. With mentally-unbalanced Sen(seless) Diane Feinstein (D)umbass-CA(CA), still screaming her fool head off that every single AR owner is a guaranteed, stone-cold mass-murderer, it’s extremely likely that the Marxist Communists / radical Islamic co-conspirators will, indeed, capture the United States without so much as a shot being fired. “Gun control” legislation, specifically the banning of sporting arms (initially just “scary-looking” rifles – then, *everything* that goes “bang” or “boom”!) that have some appearance features of military weapons – the answer to a contrived, almost imaginary problem – will put the Totalitarians in ….. well, “total” control.

    Of everything. And everyone. No more elections. No more Constitution. No more free anything.

    The death of America, once the land of the free and the home of the brave, slowly, surely, neutered and disarmed by political correctness, creeping Socialism we were all warned about, finished off with a deadly dose of “hope” and “change”.

  21. Got one a couple of weeks ago ($800 Newington Gun Exchange (CT)) and have put a couple hundred rounds through it. Not a single problem so far. The feel is much like that of the old M16A1 with the traditional stock however the lack of a pistol grip makes Mag Change a little odd. Someone suggested an after-market Ambi Mag Release so that you can use your off hand to change mags. It and the just released bolt stop are on order and will be installed as soon as they arrive. (That’ll give me another excuse to take it out to “test”.) It’s a fun gun to shoot, even wife is glad I got it!.

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