First Look: Ares SCR Rifle, and How It Works


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.


  1. avatar Defens says:

    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.

    1. avatar Dr. Kenneth Noisewater says:

      21st Century SKS?

  2. avatar MAXIMUS says:

    So how is the trigger? And how much does it cost?

    1. avatar Anmut says:

      ^^ this. Looking at it – I actually want one.

      1. avatar Jusgart says:

        I may want one too

  3. avatar TJ GAUTHIER says:

    Very cool. The bolt reminds me of my Rem 11-48.

    1. avatar Accur81 says:


  4. avatar SelousX says:

    Very cool!

  5. avatar Bigred2989 says:

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

    1. avatar Andrew says:

      Rock River makes one, but a bit on the pricey side.

      I think there are other makers as well of bufferless pistol AR’s.

      1. avatar Rusty Shackleford says:

        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…

    2. avatar Cliff H says:

      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.

    3. avatar BillD says:

      Kel-Tec Su-16, Sig 556, Saiga 223…all fit the bill.

  6. avatar TJ GAUTHIER says:

    The mag release looks a little awkward to get to, though.

    1. avatar LarryinTX says:

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

    2. avatar AndyFrom CT says:

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

    3. avatar Rob says:

      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.

  7. avatar GWHNick says:

    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.

    1. avatar ProfBathrobe says:

      Lord knows you guys could use a break.

    2. avatar Accur81 says:

      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.

  8. avatar Hobbez says:

    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.

  9. avatar Nick D says:

    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?

    1. avatar Steve in MD says:

      There’s an idea. Put a belt-fed upper on this.

      Why? Because we can.

    2. avatar Nick D says:

      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?

      1. avatar MH says:

        I second that. I am in for one if I can put an sga on it.

  10. avatar H.R. says:

    The BCG with the spur on it reminds me of the FAL. Interesting solution.

    1. avatar Joe says:

      HR, the Rem 1100/1187, use a spur that recoils into the stock, and is rebuffed by a spring in in the stock.

    2. avatar Yossarian says:

      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.

  11. avatar TehWanderer says:

    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!

    1. avatar Accur81 says:

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

    2. avatar Paul Zimmerli says:

      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….

  12. avatar David PA/NJ says:

    It is still semi, right? I’m not sure how that operates

    1. avatar Chris. says:

      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.

      1. avatar LarryinTX says:

        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.

        1. avatar MudPuppy says:

          Gas key is the word you were looking for.

      2. avatar Anon in CT says:

        That’s a shame. Seems like a perfect excuse for a piston.

        1. avatar int19h says:

          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.

  13. avatar Gregolas says:

    Looks like real competition for the Ruger Mini-14.

    1. avatar Too close to Chicago says:

      +1, that was what i was thinking. looks a lot like a mini-14. I am definitely interested.

      1. avatar Cameron B says:

        agreed. a gun that has all the goodies of an AR with that handling/ look of a mini.

        1. avatar Accur81 says:

          With parts / caliber / upper compatibility. Nice.

        2. avatar Chaotic Good says:

          Not to mention the ability to use cheap, readily available AR magazines.

  14. avatar PFDinATL says:

    Can you say Kel-Tec? This is very similar, aside from the caliber.

    1. avatar GWHNick says:

      Yes, but this rifle uses standard AR-15 upper assemblies.

    2. avatar (Formerly) MN Matt says:

      But hopefully it actually functions, too.

    3. avatar full.tang.halo says:

      Can’t be a kel-tec, no Phillips head screws…

    4. avatar Rob says:

      Well, if it never appears in stores we will know it is exactly like a kel tec

    5. avatar int19h says:

      What do you mean, “aside from the caliber”? Aren’t both 5.56?

      SU-16 is long-stroke piston though, this one is the usual AR DI.

  15. avatar DV says:

    Sans shell deflector, forward assist. Do standard upper assemblies really fit?

  16. avatar ValleyForge77 says:

    Definitely cool. Can’t wait for a full review!

  17. avatar Manuel says:

    cool rifle! hope they come with a .308 vesion, would be awesome 🙂

    1. avatar S.dogood says:

      ide take a 308 one with no problem as long as it can take p mags

      1. avatar Accur81 says:

        A .308 could be a real hit.

        Sorry for the horrible pun.

  18. avatar Don says:

    I kind of like the look of this.

  19. avatar BDub says:

    Cool. I’d buy one in .308. Will they be selling the lowers separately?

  20. avatar CA.Ben says:

    Do aftermarket ar15 trigger groups drop in?

    1. avatar ValleyForge77 says:

      that’s a great question. +1

    2. avatar BDub says:

      It, doesn’t look like it. But perhaps some other configuration of trigger does.

  21. avatar b00jum says:

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

  22. avatar SigGuy says:

    Now that’s a ghost gun!

  23. avatar PeterK says:

    It actually looks pretty great. I’d buy that. If I needed to, heh.

  24. avatar Rion says:

    So its basically a American take on the Saiga rifle?
    figures this would happen lol.

  25. avatar lolinski says:

    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.

    1. avatar Lucas D. says:

      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.

      1. avatar lolinski says:

        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).

        1. avatar int19h says:

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

      2. avatar int19h says:

        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.

    2. avatar int19h says:

      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.

  26. avatar Ardent says:

    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?

    1. avatar Steve in MD says:

      No more proprietary magazines.

      1. avatar Yvan91 says:

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

        1. avatar johnmackay70 says:

          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.

    2. avatar Chris75 says:

      It’s almost certainly way more accurate and easier to mount optics and accessories to.

  27. avatar Cknarf says:

    I kinda want one.

  28. Success is likely a question of price point. Does it use a conventional ar-15 trigger mechanism?

  29. avatar Rob says:

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

  30. avatar Larry says:

    Those key mod versions will be collectors items after M-LOK crushes the life out of Keymod.

    1. avatar lolinski says:

      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.

  31. avatar Chris says:

    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?

  32. avatar Jay says:

    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.

    1. avatar Jay says:

      Oh yeah, and Mini14 Mags are expensive and hard to find.

  33. avatar Yvan91 says:

    I’m trying to imagine this coupled with an A2 style upper and carry handle.

    1. avatar Mark N. says:

      Sounds like a cross between a bulldog and a Chihuahua.

      1. avatar lolinski says:

        You can’t compare a M16 to a bulldog. It is like comparing light beer with vodka or absinthe.

  34. avatar Kyle says:

    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.

    1. avatar Spunk Monkey says:

      Neither belief nor opinion from Albany has anything to do with it, baring new legislation. What is, and is not, allowed is clearly defined (see syb-section 22):

  35. avatar Sixpack70 says:

    I’d own one if I lived in a state that sucks for gun laws.

  36. avatar Bill says:

    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?

    1. avatar Kyle says:

      Because this accepts all AR upper receivers and thus allows for much greater customization.

  37. avatar todd see says:

    ok why not make a tub fed device that can feed a magizine no state have laws against it??

    1. avatar lolinski says:

      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.

  38. avatar DrewN says:

    Eh, proprietary trigger with a [email protected]#$%$# cross bolt safety. I could live with one or the other but probably not both.

  39. avatar Lfshtr says:

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

  40. avatar emfourty gasmask says:

    this in .243 Winchester* would be awesome

    1. avatar SmallArmsRepair says:

      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.

  41. avatar Spunk Monkey says:

    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?

    1. avatar int19h says:

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

      1. avatar Ardent says:

        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.

  42. avatar jax teller says:

    What about the mini 14? I think that to be the next best thing to an ar15 (m4)

  43. avatar Jon R. says:

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

  44. avatar Puyallup Devil_Doc says:

    Did we ever get a price on this?

  45. avatar Matt Kennedy says:

    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.

  46. avatar Lil' Tommy says:

    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”.

  47. avatar Guy C. says:

    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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