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Ares Defense SCR Rifle

Gun Review: Ares Defense SCR 5.56 NATO Rifle

Living “behind enemy lines” sucks. Thanks to “assault weapons bans” (AWB), shooters in New York, California, New Jersey and other so-called “slave states” can’t take advantage of their Constitutionally protected right to sample the latest in firearms technology. The only guns [legally] available are often less accurate firearms that cost more money. So the good folks at Ares Defense set out to enable even those citizens living in those awful places to have access to the very best in modern firearms.

Although it looks like the unholy union of a rifle and a shotgun, the result could well be the best AWB-compliant firearm configuration on sale today. But in addition, the Ares Defense SCR  might also be a firearm that suits hunters in the rest of America.

Ares Defense SCR Rifle

We first got our hands on an SCR around a year ago at the NRA Annual Meeting in Indianapolis. It seemed like a really cool concept, blending the best parts of an AR-15 rifle with the operating bits of a shotgun. The gun got around all those pesky “assault weapons ban” requirements- with style! While the potential was obvious, we didn’t know how the finished product would work. One year later, and we finally have one for testing.

Ares Defense SCR Rifle

The very first thing you notice about the rifle: its weight. Or the lack thereof. The specs put the rifle at 5.7 pounds, and my bathroom scale agreed. Most of the weight came off the barrel since Ares Defense decided to ship it with a pencil thin 5.56 barrel instead of something with a little more heft. Considering that the average AR-15 rifle clocks-in at around seven pounds, that’s damn near a pound-and-a-half of weight savings that you don’t have to lug around the field. That’s a good thing – unless that weight savings impacts accuracy.

Ares Defense SCR Rifle

Up front the Ares Defense SCR’s all 1950’s tech. In the rear they go a bit old(er) school. Instead of sending the bolt recoil straight back into a buffer tube, it’s directed at an angle downward and into the grip of the Monte Carlo stock. The design means that you can take any standard AR-15 upper receiver and, by swapping only the bolt carrier, you can mate it with the SCR lower receiver group. It opens-up the options for those who can’t have a pistol grip or a collapsible stock. Even a 9″ 300 BLK upper is on the table. In some states.

The stock is the linchpin of the whole operation. It’s a typical polymer Monte Carlo stock, which is to say it feels like it was made in between runs of whiffle ball bats and Ladas. The stock is serviceable but the plastic feels thin. It doesn’t inspire much confidence in the gun’s ruggedness (a.k.a., reliability). Moving inside and we get to another problem.

Ares Defense SCR Rifle

Taking down the rifle, I discovered that the bolt carrier is very different from a normal AR-15 bolt carrier. To allow the bolt to recoil downwards like a shotgun, the bolt carrier must also have a pivoting rat tail – just like a shotgun. And much like a shotgun, getting the thing apart is easy. Getting it back together is like trying to keep Robert from telling that story about how he went 200 MPH on the Autobahn.

Ares Defense SCR Rifle

To reassemble the rifle back, you need to perfectly align the rat tail’s end with the recoil assembly. The target in this case is very small. The rat tail has a tendency to catch on the rear of the receiver above that assembly, rather than sliding into place just a little lower and allowing the gun to actually function. The good news: you’ll know when you got it wrong because you won’t be able to rack the action. The bad news: it can take some time and practice to get everything all closed up again. It took me damn near 15 minutes (and a knife) to figure that one out.

Ares Defense SCR Rifle

The SCR’s trigger is another annoyance. It’s pretty awful, mainly because it’s so stinking heavy. I put the trigger pull at right around seven pounds, and for someone who’s favorite long range rifle’s pull is measured in ounces that’s no bueno. That wouldn’t be so bad if the trigger were replaceable. It’s not. I can accept a proprietary trigger if it’s done well but in this case I would have really preferred something more standard. That said, the design choices on the gun made a drop-in trigger pretty much impossible, so I’ll cut them some slack.

Right. Enough kvetching about the internals, let’s talk about the controls.

Ares Defense SCR Rifle

While the SCR is pretty much an AR-15, it picks and chooses from its various heritages. The safety is a prime example. Instead of a traditional AR-15 paddle safety, Ares went with a very retro cross-bar safety. I like it; it fits very well with the hunting-focused nature of the gun, and I like cross-bar safeties in general. There was a flip safety on my Grandfather’s M1 carbine (which is now mine, safe from the hands of my not-so-gun-friendly relatives in New York). The very first order of business was swapping that for an “old new stock” cross-bar safety. In some applications, it just makes more sense to me. Here, I like it.

Ares Defense SCR Rifle

The Ares Defense’s SCR trigger isn’t standard due to its placement relative to the receiver. With a rifle like the AR-15 with the pistol grip at the end of the lower receiver, the trigger needs to be more or less right behind the magazine well. As the SCR uses a traditional Monte Carlo stock, the trigger needed to be as far to the rear as possible. (That’s why a more standard trigger wouldn’t work.)

With the SCR’s trigger placement the designers could create a much more gentle slope to the magazine well, and make it slimmer as well. This 10-round magazine would normally be flush with the end of a typical AR-15 magazine well. On the SCR the result is that a 10-rounder looks like a 20-rounder.

Most of the usual controls are either present or modified (like the safety). One notable missing feature: the bolt catch. There’s no last round bolt hold-open feature on this gun. It looks like there’s a plug in the receiver for where one should be. I’m guessing that might still be a work in progress thanks to the tilting rat tail bolt carrier. Hopefully later models will have a hold-open ability, since I sorely missed it.

Ares Defense SCR Rifle

There’s another downside to the re-positioned trigger on the other side of the gun: I can’t reach the magazine release. Normally my trigger finger could rest on it. Here I’m a couple inches short. It makes magazine changes a lot slower, but it does still work.

All those minor annoyances are small potatoes compared to my concerns out front.

Ares Defense SCR Rifle

Pencil barrels look cool. Mike Pappas loves them, but Mike Pappas is a strange, strange guy. Anyway, pencil barrels have a tendency to move around a lot further – and less predictably – than their heavier counterparts (a lesson the German military is learning with their G36 woes). Pencil barrels save weight, but they lead to inaccuracy. Inaccuracy leads to missing your target. Missing your target leads to the dark side.

Ares Defense SCR Rifle

I took the Ares Defense SCR to our usual testing range and set it up at 100 yards with a U.S. Optics scope, some Eagle Eye Ammunition .223 Remington ammo (official ammunition sponsors of TTAG) and gave it my best shot. Shots. The results wasn’t bad.

Ares Defense SCR Rifle

Consider everything going against this gun. From the pencil barrel to the heavy trigger, the Ares Defense SCR should have been grouping worse than the SIG SAUER 556xi Russian, but nope. This 4-shot group was the best of the day, with a little over 1.1 MoA extreme spread. My benchmark is a minimum of 1 MoA accuracy for guns over $1,000. Since the SCR is well under that mark I’m pretty happy.

Ares Defense SCR Rifle

The SCR shoots very well for an $800 gun. I’d love to see some improvements, like a more solid stock and a better trigger, but this is a good first effort. I love the ingenuity of the operating system, and I love it more for thumbing its nose at legislators and providing all the same functionality of an AR-15 to freedom loving gun owners in not so gun-friendly states. I can’t wait to see Gen 2.

Specifications: Ares Defense SCR

Caliber: 5.56 NATO
Action: Semi-auto
Barrel: 16″
Magazine: One 5-Round Magazine included (takes standard AR mags)
MSRP: $799

Ratings (out of five stars):

Accuracy: * * * *
Pretty good. It could be better with a better trigger.

Ergonomics: * * * *
The stock feels cheap, and the trigger feels heavy. But overall, a traditional stock on a modern firearm is a comfortable thing.

Reliability: * * * * *
No issues. We fired hundreds of rounds without a hiccup.

Customization: * * *
You can swap out half the rifle (the upper receiver) so I’m giving it half stars. The lower is 100% proprietary.

Overall: * * *
This is a cool little gun: slick and useful. Give me a better stock, a better trigger, and a better barrel and we’ve got a whole new ballgame. As-is, I’d keep the SCR in the safe even here in gun-loving Texas. Everyone needs a light ranch gun.

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  1. Or for the same price you can just buy a Ruger Mini-14, have all the customization already in play with that design, the decades of experience, the Garand gas system, the aftermarket support, and the manufacturer support.

    Yes, the Mini doesn’t have the caliber flexibility that swapping uppers does, but that issue and magazine prices are about the only negatives I can think of.

    Good review though.

    • The Mini-14 is also more expensive. $939-1,075 MSRP. For the price, I’d say the SCR is a decent option.

      • The SCR is going for $979.99 at my LGS in upstate NY whereas the Mini 14 is going for $779.99.

        • Was trying to compare apples to apples. Listed MSRP in the article vs listed MSRP on Ruger’s website.

        • They gouge you in NY. Find it online for under $800. Plus mini accuracy out of the box is pretty poor to fair and requires extra $ and or work. The SCR is pretty good from the get go. Having just purchased both, not sure how you can make your argument.

    • The Mini-14 is a superb gun, but doesn’t use STANAG magazines. And you can find them used for $500-ish.

    • Yeah, but then you’d own a Mini-14, which takes proprietary magazines, has an overly complex gas system, costs more, and is well known to be horribly inaccurate.

    • Michael, I own both. I would never recommend the Ruger over the Ares. My mini 14 is recent and the groups are insanely larger. You cannot compare these two rifles. The Ares beats the Ruger by a mile

      • Together with my buddies, we own mini 14, mini 30, a couple different AR platforms and the most recent addition is the Ares. I live in CT so it was Ares or Mini. The magazine loading ease would be enough for the Ares to win. Accuracy, Ares again, in fact not even close (yes our mini’s have accu-struts and every possible add on helper and they are still surprisingly sloppy). Flexibility for upper customization is a screaming win for Ares. Optics on mini is a challenge. I went full float 15″ forend on the Ares and my friends (and range master) were floored. Ruger needs step up their game.

  2. That’s an interesting concept with the bolt going into the stock like that. It looks similar to how the FAL bolt works.

  3. Nick,

    Please enlighten me on how this is better than a keltec su-16 series. It seems very similar. However, it looks like KT has been doing it cheaper and slightly lighter for awhile now.

    • This gun accepts standard AR-15 upper receivers, opening up a huge world of possibilities for customization.

      The SU-16 has a single Picatinny rail for some optics, which is about the extent of customization for it.

      • I own a Keltec SU16C . Great barrel, great gun. Enjoy. Shooting it when I’ve got range time.

      • Well, the SU-16 has an available AR stock adapter in addition to a manufacturer offered quad rail. It has a bit more going for it than just a single top rail.

      • Kel-Tec is better than a lot of things. Pretty much any IO Inc gun, for example.

        In general, Kel-Tec (and Taurus) get bad rap mostly due to shitty QC. If you get one, it’s either a lemon, or it works. But you only hear from people who got lemons, and there are enough of them that it’s really loud. Those of us who have them working fine are drowned out.

        • +1 The SU-16C can also be had with a threaded barrel (for about the same price). It folds up very nicely into a range bag and can be fired (and reload full-size mags) in the folded position.

          According to the Kel-Tec owners I know, CT is banned, and they can all go to the hot place and wait there to be someone’s beotch there too.

  4. While I have zero interest in another 5.56×45 rifle, something about this weapon… intrigues me. I think it’s just the amazing middle finger it gives to all the gun grabbers. In the mean time, we need to keep churning out actual ARs so that they get to be so common, there is zero chance of successfully banning them.

    • It’s already at that point. Most popular rifle in the US. Having even more isn’t going to change the anti gun bias of most major news sources.

      • When one out of ten people in the country own an AR, that’s when we can be sure that no “assault weapons” ban that includes them will ever pass, or if it does, will never be practical to enforce. I’m one of those civil disobedience types. You can pass any birdcage liner you want, I am under no obligation to obey an unjust law.

    • SU-16 is a fine rifle for what it is (and esp. the price), but it’s its own thing, and is not compatible with AR in any way. This one lets you slap pretty much any random AR upper, and use all the customization opportunities associated with that.

  5. Thanks to “assault weapons bans” (AWB), shooters in New York, California, Hawaii and other so-called “slave states” can’t take advantage of their Constitutionally protected right to sample the latest in firearms technology. The only guns [legally] available are often less accurate firearms that cost more money
    I live in California. There isn’t a modern sporting rifle type available that isn’t for sale here. The only difference is centerfire has to have a bullet button so a tool is required to remove the magazine.
    Rimfire does not have this requirement. You can have a rimfire standard lower, without the bullet button, and any uppers you want, but it would be illegal to mate the centerfire upper to the rimfire lower.
    I have a large number of ARs in pretty much every common caliber.
    What is hard to get in California are handguns, not rifles or shotguns.

    • Not arguing with anything you say.

      However, speaking as someone who started learning about guns as an adult, in California … the way my class’s instructors portrayed it, getting an AR-type rifle would be more of an ordeal than getting a pistol.

      • You haven’t been to a gun show, gun store, or a range at all recently then. At a glance, it would be easy to think there’s no AWB at all within California.

        Make no mistake, there is, but at a practical level, there isn’t. The issue about pistols is much more manifest here than ugly gun ban.

      • Your instructor is wrong, or you misunderstood.
        Getting an AR-15 style rifle is much much easier that getting a handgun. There are almost no AR-15 vendors not doing work in California. All that they need to is add a bullet button instead of the standard magazine release.
        Yet, you can’t buy a Ruger SR9, because they are not on the handgun roster.
        Until this year, buying a rifle didn’t even require a test, but handguns did. Plus, there is a handling test to take possession of a handgun. You have to show you can load and unload the handgun.
        Walk into any gun store and you’ll see a number of AR-15s for sale, yet many common handguns will be missing.

        • Sounds to me like the legislators in CA, CT, NY and a few other places are ignorant, mentally ill and/or shills for the gun grabber political system. Very possibly all 3. Either vote them out of office or move to a free state. That bullet button idea is about the most retarded law I have heard of yet. Only allows an insane person to kill 10 people, right? But, if this insane person has some mechanical skills he/she can convert it back easily. After that, only the victims are restricted to 10 shots and out of ammo. How crazy can laws get ?

      • Take a bone stock AR, remove the mag release button (no tools needed), install California bullet button ($15) (small screw driver needed), and in 5 minutes, you have a legal California AR. Other than the 10 round mag, no other modifications are necessary, and customization is the same as any other AR except for bump fire or folding stocks. Collapsible stocks are legal as long as the minimum required length is maintained with the stock fully collapsed. Barrel length has to be sixteen inches (can be shorter if the required length is reached with the muzzle device, but if this is the case, the device must be pinned).

    • ARs are totally off the table in CT. Your options are basically this or a mini, and the mini can only be had if the muzzle device is pinned.

    • Sadly, the legislators out here got wise to the Bullet Button trick, so for us handguns are relatively easy to get ( and AIM Surplus will pull the mags from any gun not offered with 10 rounders), but real ARs are out. I’d like to see a .308 version of this ACS with the fixes noted by Nick.

  6. Patriots Day
    Commemorating the anniversary of the Battles of Lexington and Concord, the first battles of the Great American Revolutionary War for Independence, occurring on 19 April 1775
    ( celebrated on the third Monday in April )
    April 19, 1775.
    When marksmanship met history, and the heritage began.

    Happy Patriots Day

  7. I handled one just this last weekend at a local Turners store. It felt really nice. Easy to control and point. Felt very good in the hands.

    Being an owner of pre-ban (CA magazine ban) 30 round magazines, this rifle is really tickling my buying bone.

    I am glad they are now selling the lower by itself. Can’t wait to put one of my uppers on it.

    Some people have been interested in testing the Faxon piston upper with this system, that might be interesting and eliminate the bolt carrier issue and perhaps allow for alternate stocks to be modded on.

  8. Given that rack grade ARs shoot 4 MOA, this thing shoots well.
    If you want a more ergonomic safety, mag release and a BHO, why not consider a comparably priced Mini14?

      • There are 20 and 30 rd mags for the mini14.

        I see two options: buy a lot of those or buy STANAG and learn to run this gun as is.

        I suspect that some body will come up with aftermarket triggers mag release extensions and other upgrade performance parts. With time.

  9. I have an scr and love it. All the new ones ship with their new 4.5 to 5lb trigger and it is very good

  10. Nick,

    You’re wrong about Hawaii. We can and do own standard ARs, Aks, and all kinds of fun modern sporting rifles in their original configuration. We are limited in the magazines for pistols (10 rounds) and no NFA items or Ar pistols. This does suck but is NO WHERE NEAR California or NY. Please correct your post. Mahalo.

  11. I’ll stick to a NY compliant AR with the FRS 15 stock. Legal, accurate and all parts interchangeable with any other AR. Except the stock, of course. No good for CT though.

  12. I think the Troy PAR is cooler than this but I applaud all efforts to help those behind the lines.

  13. Area SCR owner here: they have actually addressed two of your concerns already. The is a bolt catch you can add after the fact. Simple slide in paddle catch. As for the trigger, they originally shipped them with a close to 8-10lb trigger, recently they tooled up a trigger closer to 5lbs. It’s a free modification for anyone who has the heavier trigger, just gotta send it back.

  14. I’d love to see a head to head match-up / review of the SCR, Mini-14, SU -16, and any other Kommiefornia compliant 5.56mm rifles .

  15. I am glad some one is finally marketing firearms to those of us that live in slave states. That said, I am sick of living in a slave state, and plan on moving ASAP to the free state of SC. The Peoples Republik of Kalifornia has come a long way since Reagan was governor. As for me and my house, since Governor Reagan is no longer on the ballot, we are voting with our feet!

    • Reagan? Oh right, Reagan, that governor who signed the Mulford Act which prohibited Californians from carrying firearms on their person, vehicles, or in public places. And the same Reagan who gave California the 15-day waiting period to buy guns. Maybe climb down off your partisan high-horse, admit that Ronnie (and Republicans overall) aren’t somehow special magical buddies of gun owners.

      Setting aside partisan chest-beating, this is a pretty neat rifle. The Mini-14 is what it is, but what it is is all it’s going to be. If you plan to do a lot of shooting rather than carry it all day and take three shots at coyotes, you can’t just switch your Mini to an upper with a heavier barrel. You can buy your Mini in one of three chamberings, and can’t change it without massive custom gunsmithing costs. And the Mini is not at all famed for accuracy.

      I’m surprised that this article is out of date for being so recent: the current-issue SCR trigger is half what it was, and the bolt hold open is a drop-in $40 part (as another poster noted). A bit off that TTAG is reviewing this in its older guise after the largest complaints have been addressed. Ares also says they’re just weeks away from releasing a drop-on iron sights set for these.

      All that aside, I don’t find the stock upper very appealing, but with a good drop-on upper this thing looks pretty cool. The stocks are 870/1100 stocks modified with a channel to accept that rat-tail recoil spring, so some folks have already home-modified wooden stocks for these, and hopefully a company will soon hop on making drop-in aftermarket stocks for these by slightly modding 870 stocks. I’m totally on-board with the above poster who wants to see this done up in retro guise.

  16. Someone needs to do a build of this with wood furniture and a retro-looking 20″ upper (no forward assist or dust cover, and no rails on the handguard, just wood all the way).

  17. Meh, doesn’t get me excited. The only thing this gun ban in CT has done is save me money, I already own cooler stuff not interested.

    I’d rather put $900 towards a house out of state so I can buy much cooler modern military rifles.

  18. In CA amilitary grade auto loader is available on the used market. I had the SKS until I traded out for a shotgun. We can also get the M1 and the M1a. No need for combat tupperware.

    I haven’t seen one on the shelves for a while, maybe they stopped selling them here, but Saiga had a decent “sporting” version of the ak that looked somewhat like this new rifle. My son had one in 7.62×39. It was a decent “battle” rifle.

  19. I’m not exactly clear how complying with nonsense legislation is the same as giving government the finger.

    To me it feels more like bowing to your master.


  20. Just to add to the “you got my state wrong” posts:

    In NJ, ARs are perfectly legal. Our restrictions are:
    -No NFA
    -15 round max capacity removable mags
    -And only one other “evil feature”* allowed.
    *You have to choose between
    ·Pistol grip
    ·Collapsible stock
    ·Flash hider (pinned muzzle brake is legal)
    ·Threaded barrel
    ·Bayo lug
    Obviously everyone goes with pistol grip.

    • Those “evil feature” choices are probably some of the most idiotic things I have ever hear. How do these legislators come up with this stuff ? How do any of these features have anything to do with crime, mass killings or keeping the children safe. Think there needs to be an IQ or common sense test for anyone that holds an elected position. That is a law I could get behind.

  21. I bought the SCR Lower and put a Anderson Mfg Upper on it at a total cost of $900 with MBUS Sights. I have put 500 rounds through it without a single malfunction. I like this setup more than the standard AR15.

  22. I own an SCR… and I bought the bolt release quite awhile ago….and put it in with a drop of blue weld bond…. keeps it in really well. I also put a Ranier Raptor ambidextrous charging handle of it… that made it work really nice…. and they installed a new 5 lb trigger that is nice and crisp and smooth… it should even get better once it is broken in….. But I love the gun… some one said an SU 16 beat them… but I couldn’t own that gun in New York… to me it just looks like an everyday rife and that is great….. I am also putting an ambidextrous magazine release so that I can hold the gun on my shoulder, hit the release and take out the magazine with my left and reload. They also just release the gas type upper instead of the impingement…. but not spending that much money…. this works perfectly…. love love love the gun….

    • I dont know why more of this type of rifle haven’t shown up from some of the major gun MFG’s yet. they are missing the boat with so many places having bans on AR style rifles simply due to their Stocks and pistol grips. It really cracks me up when I think of how “Sheep” like everyone is. its so bad that these companies wont consider offering this type of Gun because everyone wants the “Cool” factor of a traditional “Assault” style rifle.
      I just want to f***ing shoot, and I want an AFFORDABLE, semi auto, Mag fed, .223 / 5.56 rifle… With a Monte Carlo style butt stock made of wood or, plastic or, fiberglass or even ground up coffee cans, dirt and epoxy… whatever! But Noooo… being stuck here in the great liberal cupcake, Nanny State of CT. We only have three choices, Expensive and OK or expensive and worse than OK or Overly expensive Pre-bans.

  23. That just means that NY’ers are still obligated to go to war with their state before going to war with anyone else in a Civil War, or war with China. Good on ya’. We blame you NY. If you-‘ins was on fire you better hope someone else has to pee. Maybe we can defund AMTRAK and that’ll drain (the deep end of) your swamp.

    Laws of Nature:
    1) the dumb must suffer
    2) suffer in silence

  24. I dont get it… with all the different companies out there who make AR style rifles, Can’t one of them at least make an AR WITHOUT the Pistol grip? and a non folding / collapsible / thumb hole stock?? With all the shooters in all the states who have banned the so called “Assault” weapons, you’d think this would be a no brainier for the companies who want to make more $$$ while also doing all of us who are trapped in these god forsaken Liberal Nanny states!
    Yeah we could buy a Mini and just “Deal” with its short falls, Or buy this Ares with all its “Cons” for $900.00 or wait for then buy a Pre Ban AR or AK for $1500.00 – $2000.00 but why? I see AR style rifles on line that are way more affordable and probably better or at least as good as this Rifle. Im ready to buy an AR and cut the damn pistol grip off it myself! lol

  25. I purchased an Ares SCR lower. Where do I start…..First, the lower is sold without a bolt catch. This makes the gun unsafe to shoot. I had to purchase a bolt lock from the company for an extra $40. The trigger is the worst I have ever experienced and it is the second addition with the improved trigger. For comparison, I am using my stock M1 Grand, my stock M1A Springfield, and my stock Brit 303 There is no way you could ever use this firearm in competition. It is too unpredictable. I am in the process of redesigning the entire trigger group to reduce creep and slop. Although the concept is a good one, the engineering is terrible.
    They should stop selling these until they get these and other issues worked out. Why not engineer the lower so it will take a standard drop in trigger group. That would obviously take a redesign but there is no way I would recommend the purchase of the existing SCR without these changes and improvement. Also, the price point should be around $300 to $350 for the lower WITH the bolt lock.

  26. Looks like this one is still a work in progress, but it is at least somewhere in the ballpark. Personally, I feel that pencil barrels create too many inherent accuracy issues with their barrel harmonics and rapid heating, and if they are not properly crowned, that is also a big minus. A heavier barrel is usually worth the added weight. If you can buy the lower and drop in an upper receiver of your own choice, that is a real plus. If the stock is cheap and the trigger group is not well executed, however, that is not good. The other problem I would have is that, in earlier reports, I have seen that realigning the rat tail and reassembly after field stripping and cleaning took an experienced rifleman over fifteen minutes with a knife. Reassembling your weapon after field stripping and cleaning it should not be a precision operation that takes fifteen minutes and requires any sort of a tool. I hope they are able to make some good changes for the next version.

  27. Why do ALL of these articles and following comments ALWAYS have to center around “either-or” choices? Sure there are people out there who get tired of a gun and sell or trade it, only to repeat later when the new becomes old, but most people who enjoy gun ownership as mostly a hobby tend to appreciate and own a variety of guns for various reasons, many simply because they like the way it looks, or because they find the mechanical differences intriguing. When are “pro-gun” people going to wake up, stop the ankle-biting over this versus that and realize all these fabricated biases are being used against us by the anti-gun movement. The reason ANY State currently has ANY form of restricted firearms ownership is because firearms owners “helped” by considering other things about a gun-grabbing politician as more important than the FACT that the first thing on their agenda is to team up with all other gun-grabbers and start churning out anti-gun law. Meanwhile, all the pro-gun people are busy arguing over whether a Ares SCR is better than an AR, or a Mini-14, and belittling those who might buy one. When all the guns are banned, former gun owners need to be willing to take responsibility for the loss, because instead of joining together to protect ownership of ALL types of firearms, they parsed terms and squabbled over petty biases, and outright betrayed the gun community by voting for candidates they KNEW would come after “those” guns, but they didn’t care because they don’t “like those guns.”
    In the 2018 mid-term election, the Democrats took 40 seats in the House. They didn’t get those seats without pro-gun voters helping them out.

  28. I liked the Ares SCR the moment I first saw it and not because I can’t have the standard format AR pattern rifle, but because I LIKE the difference, and I LIKE the classic stock, and slimmer profile, lighter weight, and “better” design purely from a sporting standpoint.
    About 30 years ago you couldn’t give an AR-15 to most people because they saw no practical value in either there shape, construction materials, or caliber. My how times have changed. On the other hand, “attitudes” haven’t changed one iota. gun owners today still lambaste the “new” as if they are the personal guardians of the “valid” just as gun owners did 40 years ago.
    I LIKE the SCR and it’s funky, different method of operation, because quite frankly, I already own at least a dozen “AR pattern” rifles that all basically look identical save for a few cosmetic changes here and there – and caliber differences. Come to think about it, the SCR is basically an “AR-15 pattern” rifle too! The upper unit is identical, as is the magazine and bolt design. The bolt carrier is only different in being shortened with a hinged tang added. The fact that it comes with a “pencil” barrel is as much a POSITIVE as a negative from the standpoint of actually carrying the thing a lot for a few shots, versus the more “range oriented,” over-built, overly heavy, AR squatted on a bipod, on a bench, being carried nowhere but back to the trunk. One of the things I first appreciated about the original AR-15 Carbine was it’s pencil barrel, and super-light weight which made it an excellent field carry rifle, but the SCR is even better! Without the pistol grip and full mag well, the rifle is much more slender and easily carried, and coming in under 6 pounds puts it in M-1 Carbine territory with a more potent, flatter shooting round! But hey, it only takes a few minutes to change barrels on a AR pattern rifle – which the SCR most certainly is. But even BETTER, because it’s an AR pattern rifle and can accept all AR uppers, I don’t need to remove the pencil barrel, I can just have an upper with a heavier barrel that I mount when I want it! I can also pin on one of my .300 Blackout uppers, or even my .458 Socom upper just be replacing the bolt in the carrier. I can also use my 5.45×39 upper if the mood strikes! I call that a pretty good feature that places the SCR head and shoulders above the Kel-Tec for versatility, though the Kel-Tec is still a fine rifle in its own right. By now I think most agree the AR magazine, “straight-insertion” system is faster and more fumble-free than the Mini-14 style “rock and lock” which can easily go wrong if the mag misses the front locking stud. The Mini-14/M14 system definitely takes some practice to get comfortable with. Another thing not often mentioned – nor probably noticed by many, is the feed lip design of the Mini-14 versus the AR-15. On AR mags the feed lips are integral to the back portion which adds strength and resistance to deformation – not that many may care when using polymer mags. On the Mini-14 the feed lips are simple extensions of the side wall and are easily deformed either downward and inward, or upward and outward, or even flattened and altered in other ways. While official Ruger mags are very well built, properly tempered and seem to hold up well, aftermarket mags with softer steels seem to inevitably end up in my magazine dump drawer with feeds lips so misaligned over the years from various causes they are no longer usable. Also, “real” Mini-14 mags tend to be pricey, whereas “real” Magpuls have gotten downright dirt cheap and work 100%, as do all my metal mags with no-tilt followers.
    On the subject of barrels, MY Mini-14 has the old .584″ or something like that barrel. Talk about pencils! It’s more of a “needle” barrel! But the thickness or thinness of barrel isn’t what really determines whether it will shoot accurately. As mentioned in the article, the SCR with it’s thin barrel posted a mighty impressive group. A BETTER group than my Mini-14 has ever managed even after being braced and other tweaks! Why? Because of that “superior gas system” Ruger chose for the Mini-14 versus the DGI system used by Stoner! Regardless of the barrel’s thickness, it’s basically not under reciprocating tensions during shooting. When the rifle is held and fired, the barrel might be under tension, but that tension does not shift with the passage of the bullet through the bore. With the Ruger, the barrel starts out under the pressure of the recoil spring applied to the gas block, and tensioning the barrel upward. When fired, the bullet passes the gas port – gas pours in and the slide unlocks, and with it goes all that recoil spring force, suddenly causing barrel tension to swap 180 degrees downward! This, results in a thin barrel being whipped up and down by the gun cycling. This does not happen on AR’s and not on the SCR. One of the main reasons the AR-15 pattern is so accurate is the barrel mounting and gas system – SO underappreciated by all those rushing to slap a piston on a system that’s been working perfectly for longer than most have been alive!
    The SCR is still easier to modify and adapt than the Mini-14. I read a comment by some deluded soul about how the Mini-14 already has all these aftermarket options, yet not really. You can’t swap barrels on one without a gunsmith, and I don’t see a near endless assortment of Mini-14 parts both OEM and aftermarket being sold through a near endless assortment of vendors both online and off. The SCR CAN accept all the same aftermarket stuff as any other AR pattern rifle safe for buffers, tube, stock, and grips. You can swap out the light barrel for a 10 pound bull if you want. Toss the plastic Magpul hand guard for a “rail” of your choosing, change gas blocks, add regulators, go to a piston system (for those other deluded souls), mount bipods, flashlights, lasers, portable flat screens, and even a rail-mounted microwave for heating up noodles in the field! Ares chose to bias the SCR more toward field carry rather than tactical coolness, but it’s an easy thing to change considering top end options. I’m sure all sorts of “tacticool” stocks with associated bumps, protrusions, extenders, folding and retracting things, plus compartments will soon enter the market. About the only thing I see on SCR that can’t be altered or “fixed” by the aftermarket is drop-in triggers. Unlike the AR pattern there aren’t any drop-in trigger units, but as with virtually all triggers, a gunsmith, or other person who knows what they’re doing can make the factory trigger “all it can be.”
    I like the SCR because it’s NOT just another AR. I recently brought home a Troy PAR-15 in .300 Blackout – what many would call another “compliance gun” being that it’s a pump-operated AR pattern rifle. I liked the idea of it before I got it, and I like the execution of it even better! As with the SCR and the question of why own one, I say why NOT own a pump action AR? People don’t think twice about owning a Remington 7400 and a Remington 7600, yet they are THE SAME RIFLE except one is semiautomatic and the other is pump-action! There’s not much difference between the Browning Automatic Rifle (civilian sporting rifle) and the Browning Pump Rifle save for method of operation and many people own one of each, and it seems few question the validity of one over the other, so why question the “purpose” of the PAR? As with the SCR, it has some very nice reasons and rationales for being completely outside the political or legislative scope. If anything perhaps we should be pleased for some of these State bans because they’ve inspired the industry to give us something OTHER than the same, tired, “old” AR pattern rifles where “new” is simply a different grip angle, or rail with big holes versus small holes, and so forth.
    As for the author of the article referring to how the SCR works internally as “a problem,” well, that sounds like a TRAINING issue to me…or maybe a lack of familiarity with enough variety of firearms so as to have the foundational knowledge to figure out how to assemble the SCR versus an AR. One look at the company’s website reveals that the upper is to be joined to the lower by mating the two halves together and sliding the bolt carrier “tail” rearward into the small pocket in the stock, then insert both front and back pins. The rifle isn’t assembled “shotgun” style.
    Considering it’s not another “clone” AR-15, one should expect the price to be comparable to other, similar choices and it is.

  29. So, all these comments, for whatever reason, boils down to the fact: 1. a $40 bolt stop holds the bolt open with the use of some “super glue” Get me one of those -check 2. A better trigger is available through the use of a gunsmith.Get me a gunsmith-check Not sure about that through with all that talking, but I assume I’m right. If I’m wrong please correct me. The SCR shoots w/i 1 moa +. mine does too, with a brick of a trigger. Use a magpul mag and the bolt handle remains limp and does not slam closed. Now it’s only the trigger.
    What are you complaining about. PS good article

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