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Do you want a rifle that goes BANG every time you pull the trigger or a highly evolved weapon with excellent ergonomics, superior accuracy and endless customization? Yes! Unfortunately, American rifles tend to divide between AK (rough and ready) and AR (hot rod). The underlying assumption: they’re mutually exclusive platforms. Maybe not. Robinson Arms’ XCR-L rifle combines the reliability of the AK-47’s gas-operated, piston-driven system, three-lug rotating bolt, beefy extractor and fixed ejector with the superior ergonomics and accuracy of the AR platform—with a dash of FN-FAL for added finesse. Or does it?

The XCR-L has scars from its past. Alex J. Robinson developed the weapon system for the big Kahuna: the U.S. Special Operations Command (SOCOM) SOF Combat Assault Rifle contract. The XCR-L was disqualified on a technicality, relegating the weapon to small military contracts, and law enforcement and civilian sales.

The XCR-L’s headline innovation: maximum modularity. Thanks to the way the bolt locks into the barrel extension, a shooter can swap out the pipe without worrying about head-spacing. Caliber conversions require a hex wrench,  a few minutes of your time and a bit of practice. With a simple barrel and bolt swap, the XCR fires 6.8 SPC, 6.5x39mm and/or 7.62×39.

Instead of having to buy multiple rifles or even multiple uppers (for AR users), you keep the same rifle and change out the barrel, bolt and magazine. Same controls. Same optics, sling, flashlights, etc. New ammo. Hunters can switch from harvesting feral pigs, to distance work on steel or paper to keeping the godless hordes at bay. Rather than spending all your extra cash on parts, you can spend it on ammo instead.

One gun to rule them all? Those who don’t see the point of changing calibers rather than weapons—enthusiasts whose gun safes indicate that they’ve already succumbed to black rifle disease—may wish to see utility elsewhere. How about this? The Robinson has less parts than its competitors. There’s less to go wrong.

And lots of room for stuff. XCR-L sports 1913 Standard Picatinny rails all the way ’round for BUIS, optics, flashlights, lasers, vertical hand grips, etc.  The set up includes a 17” long top rail and 8” long rails in the three, six, and nine o’clock positions. Our test rifle kept is simple: a EOTECH 512 holographic sight mounted to the flat top receiver and . . . that’s it.

The XCR-L’s gas system is adjustable. A shooter can tailor the rifle’s settings for reliable operation with a variety of different ammo loadings (at least in theory). Using the five-setting gas system, a shooter can adjust the rifle to use the absolute minimal amount of gas needed to cycle the action. That means less wear and tear and less fouling come cleaning time. The XCR owner can also shut off the gas system entirely for shooting with a suppressor or single shot operation.

Robinson’s positioned the XCR-L’s non-reciprocating charging handle on the receiver’s left side. You activate the forward assist by pushing in and then forward on the charging handle. The easily-indexed safety controls are ambidextrous. The XCR-L’s bolt release lives immediately ahead of the trigger guard; it’s also accessible from either the left or right.

With the magazine release in standard AR configuration, drop-free mag changes are a cinch. Bonus! The XCR-L accepts standard AR15 magazines and drums, offering serious savings on extra magazines.

Our test rifle sported a 16” chromed lined barrel with a 1 in 9” twist. The set-up hearts everything from standard 55  and 62-grain 5.56 fodder to big ass bullets up to 75-grains.  Robinson ships the XCR-L with a standard A2 flash suppressor, though other muzzle attachments are available.

The XCR-L’s a trigger is two-stage affair that will give AR shooters a bad case of trigger envy. After taking up the slack, the second stage breaks at a clean 3-4 lbs. Shooters used to standard, lawyer-proof single stage AR triggers will find the XCR trigger a tremendous accuracy booster.

Another innovation: a shooter can use the XCR-L’s telescoping and folding stock to adjust the length of pull or reduce the overall length of the rifle, from 37” (stock extended) to just 27.4” (stock folded). It’s a handy option for space-challenged storage or discreet transportation. The XCR’s stock locks-up solidly with no sense of play whatsoever.

The XCR’s brass deflector’s positioned at the rear of the ejection port. Spent casings fly forward to the shooter’s 1 o’clock position—great news for left handed shooters as well as your neighbors on the firing line. Reloaders will appreciate the fact that spent casings relocated themselves predictably. The brass itself wasn’t chewed up in the least.

Our friends at Hornady sent us some of their best .223 ammo for our review. We fired their 55 and 75-grain TAP personal defense ammo, 75-grain match loads and their 55-grain V-max loading. For those who’ve never used the TAP FPD ammo before, it’s too pretty to shoot. But you’ll get over it. The ammo functioned flawlessly. It was also the most accurate ammo we’ve ever tested.

To explore the XCR’s potential, we shot 10-round groups from the bench at 100 yards with each of the four loadings. The XCR’s best 10-shot groups hit the paper in the 3” range with the 75  and 55-grain TAP FPD loads. Remember: this is with a battle carbine using a non-magnified holographic reticle (1 MOA dot surrounded by a 65 MOA circle). Re-fitted with a simple variable power scope, the XCR-L turned in groups just under MOA.

But battle carbines aren’t exactly meant to be fired only from the bench and the XCR really shines when engaging multiple targets at various distances, from improvised positions, under time pressure. It’s a light handling, easy-pointing rifle that shoots soft, hits hard and looks good. The XCR feels great in your hands with plenty of steel, not too much plastic, and a strong sense that its makers were paying attention to the little details that make a rifle fun to shoot.  Our XCR was clanging the steel silhouette targets from 50 out to 300 yards with ease. As and when . . .

Our test rifle was a bit of diva. During the course of putting nearly 400 rounds downrange, we experienced no less than eight failures to fire (FTF) and two failures to extract (FTE). Some of the FTF’s may have been due to a faulty P-mag or our tinkering with the gas regulator settings. But that’s an alarming number of malfunctions for a rifle that should be dead nuts reliable no matter what.

During our testing, we fired a handful of Wolf steel cased .223 ammo through the XCR.  Big mistake. Within just a few shots an empty casing failed to extract. Running the charging handle a few times didn’t budge it from the chamber; this casing was stuck tighter than a chipmunk’s fanny gasket. The XCR’s robust extractor actually ripped through the rim of the stuck case. We tapped the spent casing out of the chamber with a cleaning rod.

The XCR-L only functioned perfectly with top shelf 55 and 75-grain Hornady TAP ammunition. This highlights the importance of sending enough rounds down range to know whether your defensive rifle is utterly reliable or fussy about its ammo. On the positive side, the adjustable gas system really did keep the rifle cleaner during prolonged shooting. The take-down procedures for cleaning the XCR are a simple matter.

As an AR and AK owner, I was actually hoping to find reasons to dismiss the XCR as a mere fad, to better justify my existing black rifles. After shooting it for an afternoon, I had to admit that the XCR-L has far better controls than my WASR-10 and greater modularity. Likewise, I’d never thought of my beloved (7.62×39) AR as suffering from a stiff trigger or having a noticeable kick. After experiencing the XCR’s buttery smooth trigger and mild recoil, I experienced a mild case of buyer’s remorse. Or is that jealousy?

The Robinson Arms XCR-L is nearasdammit the hybrid rifle its makers hoped it would be. But ammo finickiness is its Achilles Heel. If you want a completely reliable gas-operated, piston-driven operated rifle, this isn’t it—unless you feed it a strict diet of the good stuff.

Great cars run on high test fuel only. Why not great guns? And there’s no doubt that the Robinson Arms XCR-L is a great gun. Just not as great as it could be. Yet.


Caliber: 5.56x45mm NATO (.223 Rem)
Barrel: 16.02” Chrome-lined 1 in 9” twist
Overall Length: 37.75” (stock extended) 27.4” (stock folded)
Weight: 7.5 lbs. (empty)
Action: Semi auto, gas operated, piston-driven
Capacity: Accepts M-16 magazines & drums
Price: MRSP starting at $1500.00

RATINGS (out of five)

STYLE * * * * *

A great combination of form and function. It looks cool, handles well and does its job as well as any defensive rifle out there.

ERGONOMICS * * * * *

Very well thought out. This rifle has the best features of both the AR and the FAL. The controls are simple, rugged and intuitive.


Uh oh, this is the only question mark hanging over the XCR. It ran perfectly with top shelf ammo, but if that ammo isn’t available, then what?


The XCR comes with plenty of rail space for whatever it takes to make the rifle work for you. Iron sights and/or optics are the main requirement, but after that it’s whatever floats your boat.


The Robinson Arms XCR comes damn close to offering the best of both worlds in terms of AR ergonomics and accuracy and AK ruggedness and reliability. Watch this space.

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  1. I considered the XCR at one time as I liked the left-hand non-reciprocating charging handle. I have heard of Robinson's finickiness to mil-surp and steel-cased ammo so I started asking around at the local gun shop that I go to weekly. One of the guys behind the counter is a big XCR fan and even he made the point of noting that "they're picky with what you feed them". I settled on the LWRC M6A2 for my piston-driven ugly black rifle. I'm glad I did – she eats everything from cheap Russian-made steel case ammo to 75-gr match grade rounds. I did notice that my M6A2 doesn't spit steel cases as far as brass ones, but I have yet to have a FTE, FTL, or FTF.

  2. Thanks for this review. I've been looking at these as a gas-piston alternative to the AR but have been able to find little in the way of reviews. I wonder how it would do with XM193 or the Winchester white box 5.56 (Q3131A)? Using brass, I'd hope that it would be closer to the reliability of the Hornady than the Wolf.

    • My opinion on a rifle, pistol, shotgun, etc is that it should feed reliably everything and anything you feed it (loaded within spec of course). Firearms that are finicky with one type of ammunition will undoubtedly give you a problem at the worst possible time (either in competition or SHTF). This is the reason I now have a Mossberg 590A1 instead of a Remington 870 as a "house gun", a S&W M60 instead of a Walther, and the reason I hunt with Savage rifles instead of M700's.

      • Wow! I was starting to think I was crazy. I have seen SO many people say things like “why buy an expensive gun to just shoot crap ammo?” My thoughts have always been buy a quality gun so you can shoot anything (RELIABLY) if the need arises. I’m glad I’m not alone. 🙂

  3. I'd be curious to know how the "real world" pricing is with an MSRP of $1500. In my experience, MSRPs tend to be inflated purposely (probably to allow retailers to offer "great discounts!" on their guns.) I'm still guessing this is an over-$1k rifle, possibly even over $1200 OTD and at that price, I'd expect it to eat whatever rot-gut Russkie ammo I chose to feed it.

    BTW the "refined AK" thing was done years ago, by both the Finns (Valmet) and the Israelis (Galil) so I don't neccessarily see this as breaking new ground.

  4. "Hunters can switch from harvesting feral pigs, to distance work on steel or paper to keeping the godless hordes at bay."
    My Father owns a farm here in western ND and I can tell you from first hand experience that wheat, corn and oats get "harvested" pigs, deer and antelope get killed. I'm sorry to sound like a smart ass on this but when hunters kill something and call it "harvesting" for PC purposes I can't stand it.
    Great review of the rifle by the way, keep up the good work.

  5. I own a xcr and I can tell u that this rifle has been 100% reliable for me after the 300 round break in period! I have owned Ar’s, Ak’s and have shot everything in between… the xcr ranks at the top of the list when it comes to reliability and accuracy!

  6. I have owned an XCR for a little over two years now. I have approximately 1500 rounds through it. Just a guess, but half that is Wolf, Brown Bear, and Monarch steel cased lacquered ammunition. I am trying to sell mine right now. I have no illusions about the good or bad of this gun and I am not trying to sell anyone on it. It is a good gun, but I regret buying it. Here is my list of Pros and cons:
    It WILL eat anything 55 grain or higher, crappy steel stuff to the best
    I have never had firing problems not related to a bad round
    It is easy to clean
    It is easy to change barrels
    The rifle:
    It is heavy. It weighs in at approximately a pound heavier than an identically loaded out ar15
    It is a long stroke gas piston system. Meaning…it is not as accurate as an AR and while 5.56 recoil is light, the XCR's is noticeably more than an AR
    It is expensive. I built stag arms AR15 for 650. It does everything the XCR does plus it is lighter, faster follow ups and 1MOA more accurate (that battle rifle stuff? 3 inch spread is good for an XCR WITH a scope ON the bench. 2 inches is pretty easily doable with an AR)
    Save money by buying barrels and caliber change kits? No. A new barrel will run you approximately 400 dollars (before tax and shipping) and a caliber conversion is around 600. Plus you spent between 1200 and 1500 on the rifle. To put this in perspective again, a COMPLETE upper half for an AR will run you between 400 and 600 depending on what brand you get. You will not save money anywhere in buying this rifle.
    Where can you buy replacement parts? Maybe someone other than Robinson’s website sells them but I have not seen them. What does this mean? Replacement parts are A. Hard to find; B. Usually backordered; and C. more expensive than the AR equivalent.
    That awesome quick change barrel? Make sure that sucker is tight and loctited, The hex bolt that secures the barrel WILL back out while firing.
    Finally, as far as the rifle is concerned, if you ever decide you want to sell it, Good luck! I tried every gun show in my state for a month and could not get rid of it. My set up includes an EO-Tech holosight, VLTOR Mod Stock, Ergo grip, KAC VFG, Midwest BUIS, a 16” pencil barrel and a 16” heavy barrel. First shot was for two grand for the whole package which, everything considered, is between 3-5 hundred less than I spent depending on what kind of deals you could get. Did not work. I even tried 1200 and I could not get rid of it. The sight alone is 400! Bottom line: its not the most well known brand, looks kind of weird compared to ARs, and is between 3 and 6 hundred dollars more expensive than an AR.
    Cons about Brass:
    With the gas setting on 1, which is low whereas 4 is high, it throws brass between 10 and 15 feet away from the shooting position. If you reload, good luck finding it all. If someone is shooting to your right, be careful not to hit them with your brass. They say it flies to the 2 O’clock position but sometimes its more like 230 or 3 and it flies up to 15 feet away.
    Approximately 20% of brass will be very badly bent or damaged.
    Final Judgment:
    The XCR is not a bad rifle. It is no doubt less likely to have a FTF. It is less likely to break. It is not as finicky about ammo as AR’s tend to be. It is easier and faster to clean. But there are definitely some cons. If this is your ONE black rifle due to financial reasons, stay away from it. Get two ARs, or one lower and two different length uppers, or one really nice AR and a ton of replacement parts which, BTW I spent many years in the infantry and never seen one break for any reason that an XCR wouldn’t break i.e. blown up, shot, burned, bent up, horribly abused by joe, stuff like that. The replacement parts comment is more direct to you SHTF type people.

    Sorry this was so long but I am tired of gun articles that talk every gun up like Jesus himself forged it out of steel mined and forged in heaven and then blessed it with holy magical capabilities. I hope this helps someone.

    • Derek, I think you may have just saved me some money. I was toying with the idea of getting one because the caliber conversions, gas piston, and still cheaper than the ACR. But with your break down of the cons, they outnumber the pros. I agree, it’s probably a nice gun, but I want a rifle to be reliable with steel cased ammo because it’s what I shoot the most (for obvious financial reasons 🙂 ). Hmmm, maybe I’ll look more into the ACR or just stick with single caliber piston ARs and still have money left over to get an AK or two!

    • Ditto (more or less) to Derek’s comments on the Robinson ACR. I traveled to Salt Lake City to purchase one and do regret the purchase. Right out of the shute, problems surfaced. After a thorough cleaning and equiping with Troy and Eotech sights, I began the process of breaking in the rifle per the manufacturers instruction and double feeds, failure to ejects with many stove pipes were the soup of the day. This was with top shelf ammo (no wolf) including Hornaday, Remington and Winchester in 55 grain bullets.
      After consulting with the factory service rep, I sent the upper and barrel assembly to them for repair and after a few weeks it was returned with a new upper (gas tube recess was incorrectly milled) and a new gas block (incorrectly milled as well).
      While fun to shoot, the repaired weapon will not function on anything less than the highest gas setting (more recoil) and it kicks the damaged brass about 30 feet away.
      I am going to sell this firearm and replace it with either the FN scar or the Bushmaster ACR.

  7. ive owned an xcr for a couple of years,I’ve never owned an Ar,so i can’t compare them.What i can tell you is that I have put a couple of thousand rounds through my xcr and have never had even one fte,and this while my ejector was barely hanging by 1 bolt-they had come loose and i didnt notice,one had completly fallen out . I dont use cheap mil surplus,ammo of choice is winchester varmit 40gr hollow point@3600fps or umc of about the same.i have fired a few hundred rounds of 55gr fmj it was also flawless. the accuracy is very impressive,i can without problem routinely shoot gophers out to 200+ yards with a mk4 1.5-5 scope on top.

  8. sorry i was mistaken on the ammo ,it is actually 45gr not 40! If i did have a complaint it would be that you have to check the tightness of bolts on the rifle.Beside the ejector bolts falling out,my saftey lever fell off,and also a pin wiggled out of my bolt catch and it ended up on the ground.maybe its something a person should be checking routinely anyway? If your thinking of buying one i’d give it a thumbs up for sure.

  9. I own an XCR that I have been pretty happy with~except for; as Geoff pointed out, the bolts do like to loosen up on it; so I have used Locktite to help keep them in place.
    In the original 556 package, the rifle is very accurate and very reliable. When converted to 6.8 it is a different creature and has feeding and firing problems~I’ll get about a dozen shots off and have to clear a jamb!

  10. The pros and cons list contains a few key omissions and errors:
    For cost comparison you should compare apples to apples. A standard AR does not come with full length rails, piston operation, multiple-caliber options, adjustable gas for suppressors, side folding stock, etc. An AR with most of these features would cost much more…and the ACR and FN SCAR sure do at $3200 each. I have never seen the features above for less than the $1600 XCR.
    Also, caliber conversions only cost $550 total and this includes the new barrel. Where the savings really add up for multi-calibers with theXCR is to avoid a new set of forward rails, optics (very costly for the good ones), iron sights, lights, VFG’s, bipod, etc. The optics and rail savings alone are easily $1000-$1400 combined.
    The gas piston also gives you AK reliability with regular cleanings being completely optional.

  11. Love my XCR. 18 inch barrel is a tack driver. If worried about parts get a field repair kit. Bought one with extra buffers. Good to go if SHTF or anyhting else. Put all mine in a surplus army pouch.


  13. I have owned an XCR for 2 years now and am happy with it. I do occasionly have jamming issues but only when I have mixed ammo in the magazine. I shoot alot my guess 5000 rounds plus through my XCR (.223- 5.56) I would like to get a 6.8 kit or the new 6.5 YOU CAN GET ALL THE CONVERSIONS EVERYTHING YOU NEED FOR $600 or less. IF you are paying more you are getting ripped off. My gun has about $3300 into it. This includes VLTOR stock, Robinson Arms supposed enhanced trigger (Which is not that great in my opinion) 16″ heavy chrome lined barrel, the newest latest greatest ETOTECH ( I forget the model but it is the small one) I have the 3 power magnifyer detachable scope behind the eotech, the rear sight I forget the manufacture but it is quick yardage adjustments, flip up, and clicker windage, I paid over $200 for this sight alone. The front sight is midwest industries and also flips. I AND MY FRIENDS SHOOT .223 WITH OPEN SIGHTS AT A 22” TARGET AT 430 YDS AND HIT ABOUT 1 OUT OF EVERY FIVE SHOTS SITTING ON A BENCH AND USING A REST AT THE FRONT OF THE BARREL. AT 100 YDS I SHOOT WITHIN 3 INCH CIRCLE STANDING OPEN SIGHTS EVERY SHOT (BENCH SHOOTING 1 INCH EVERY SHOT WITH ANY AMMO0. AT 200 AND 300 YDS EVERY SHOT ONTO 22″ TARGET SITTING AT BENCH. Now this is not competion but it is dam accurate. And finally at 100 yds using the eotech forget it it hits what ever I put the little red cross hairs on. I agree with alot of the cons that people have talked about the gun is heavy, it does jam, it throws shell like a SOB and damages them. One note about jamming if you adjust you gas settings this seems to stop the jamming. This is one great gun it wont fail , watch the,you tube XCR test. Now I know the AK is still kicking BUT and is only about $500 give or take I own one and it has never jammed but is horrbly innacurate after 100 yds but that is just my gun the front sight is way off My bad. The ACR is realy amazing but now it starts at $2500 or more, and the FN (proven) kicks but too once again EXPENSIVE. SO it boils down to what you want, how much you can afford, and what you need it for. JUST for fun go to where you shoot walk aff 430yds put up a 22″ diameter target walk back and shoot it open sights GOOD LUCK!!!

  14. hey its geoff again! just ordered and installed robinsons enhanced trigger,have’nt fired it yet,but dry firing,it doesnt seem all that much different than stock.dont know if its worth the $165 or whatever it is. it has slightly less take up but still breaks about the same,they dont give you new springs,and the parts are only slightly different looking.Does anyone have one?And what do you think?

  15. Excellent review. I was leaning big time to this rifle, but the ARs pulled me towards that. After reading more comments, I am starting to lean again to the XCR. You get good and bad youtube reviews., especially with the guy doing a 300 round dump, so many problems…can’t remember if it was .223 or 7.62 ammo though. That scares me. $1600 + is a big investment and you want this shooting correctly out of the box. Maybe Robarms should test fire a box of ammo before sending out like Noveske does.

  16. X-jarhead shoot plenty of shit ! Mayb my rifle was made on a day everyone at the plant wasnt stoned. My rifle shoots great , yeah u got to tighten some screws sometimes , clean it , hell oil it !! But mine shoots fine ! Put 10 in a 2 and a half inch target today from a 100 yards. Shooting from a bench with acog 4x . doesnt eat brass will reload it later. Got news for ya , metal hittin metal , clean it , oil it its a machine .

  17. Have about 500+ rounds through my 7.62 x 39 with no FTF or FTE. Used winchester, wolf and yugo. It’s not an AK and it’s not an AR it’s a XCR,. Every gun will have pluses and minuses but the XCR has more pluses in my opinion. It has what most people admire in an AK and AR. My biggest problem is the bolt holding the barrel in place. Because I LIKE TO maintain my firearms I noticed the bolt was loose. Blue loc-tite will take care of that like it does on our scoped rifles and other misc parts on other guns. I did change the factory pistol grip to one with a compartment and threw a hex wrench in it just in case. Heck you’ll need it anyway when you give it a detailed cleaning!

    I’ll leave this as a final thought; if this gun was perfect every gun manufacture would be out of business and everyone would have one.

  18. I’ve fired the XCR looking to possibly buy one next to my ACR and SCAR and it did pretty well, ergo is pretty good, well thought out controls, and no failures but we were using good ammo. I know i personally prefer the ACR of the three after owning an ACR and SCAR but the XCR for about $400 less than the ACR and $1000 less than the SCAR is a good option if you have a tight budget.

  19. I bought an XCR for all of the above praised qualities. I found, however, the weakest link in the design is the company’s customer service. I have been put off for months when attempting to purchase parts, and belittled by the owner and staff when attempting to resolve frequent breakage. With around 300 rounds through the rifle the recoil buffer disintegrated, jamming the upper receiver. I have never been able to remove the barrel, much less attempt a caliber conversion (the parts are locked together). The ejection buffer is plastic, and broke within a few hundred rounds. The stock shoots loose after just a few magazines. Recently the disconnector broke into two pieces inside the lower receiver, and when attempting to get a replacement part I was given the hard sell on buying upgrade parts. I have seen others without the number of problems I’ve had, and would have been thrilled to get some customer service to solve the problem. I took the armorer course and brought my concerns to Alex Robinson, the owner, but was brushed off. My recommendation is to stay with a tried and true platform, like an AR or AK. I have an expensive paperweight.

  20. Thanks Derek ! Very informative summation. Reliability would be THE reason to pick ANY weapon. I’ve unceremoniously crossed the hyped Bushmaster ACR off my list after doing my homework, and now sadly, the same for the XCR. I mean,…why even bother with a rifle that wants to be fed bon bons. Such finickiness brings a whole other set of questions to the surface for hand loaders. Thanks again for your review AND more importantly for your service !

  21. Hey, Justine has a strong point there that I would like to chime in on! I have been looking hard at the SCAR, ACR, and the XCR, and was at one point very excited about the XCR more than the other rifles. But after looking at there website that’s been under construction for months and hearing about there crappy customer service I think I will consider another rifle instead, for the simple fact that a rifle is only as good as the company’s “CUSTOMER SERVICE DEPARTMENT” who stands behind it. It’s obvious that something is wrong over there at Robinson Arms if they can’t get there webmaster to get it in gear, or get their crap together at there customer service department and spare parts division. Customer service is a big deal to me as it should be with anyone who buys/invests in a firearm from a supposed reputable company. I can see this happening with an import company but not a company who manufactures right here in the USA. That is UNACCEPTABLE.

    Take heart Alex Robinson, when you blow off one customer, your blowing off several other potential customers as well. Look to Barrett, S&W, and Taurus for some lesson’s in customer relations Mr. Robinson and I may take a look at an XCR in the future once those issues are improved upon.

  22. I had been looking at the XCR for years and figured that they would have fixed a bunch of problems, I think at this point they are on version 3 on alot of parts.

    So part way through my second tour in Iraq (Jan 2010-2011) I ordered an XCR with folding stock and heavy barrel. I get home for 2 weeks of R&R and it still hasn’t shown up at my dealer yet(well over 8 weeks after ordering) so I call them up and tell them that if they can’t get it to me before I go back to IRAQ they can keep it and refund my money because I’m not going to have it sit in the safe for 6 months without firing it. So they did 1 day shipping and I had it by 11am the next day. But they forgot the buttstock and extra firing pin I ordered. How am I going to test the rifle without a buttstock.

    So I called them back and they 1 days shipped that as well (still no extra firing pin). Well the mag was difficult to seat, had to really smack it to get it to not fall out. (some mags worked better than others but my AR will take any mags so this was and is disappointing) . I ended up not shooting it before leaving again. 6 months later I take it out to the farm and after cleaning it and pouring oil everywhere it works fine. I understand having to break some weapons in, some 1911s require it and they do shoot better over time, things mesh better. However, my AR fired right out of the box and the XCR required some finess. I was using PMC ammo and later some Remington haven’t had a ftf or fte yet.

    I just wish RobArms would just charge me for 300 rounds and fire it there so if there is a problem it gets fixed before I get it. (no real problems but for those that complain about issues this would fix the shipping back and forth). On the customer service and website, they were very quick to ship me items but I had to call and remind them of what they owed me. It’s like they have someone who cares but their ordering and file management system is crap. And as far as the website, I’ve seen videos of the XCR-M on youtube and the 2011 shot show but the website still shows news updates from 2009-2010 and they have suspended ordering right now until they fix some things. That is great but it shouldn’t take months to update a website and redesign your ordering and shipping program.

    When it gets back up I will order the 7.62×39 kit and a bunch of spare parts and just assume that they won’t be much help and do everything myself. With cleaning and care the weapon should outlive me so no big issue since I haven’t had any major issues yet. Those seem to pop up early on from what I’ve read. And for all the SHTF people it only has to work long enough to get someone elses’s weapon… In the end I wish I’d spent the $1,800 (gets more expensive once you add buttstock and other options) on a Springfield M1A National Match and had a weapon with better reach and more battle testing.

    And no I’m not going to start a disscussion on 308 battle rifles I just like that one. But since I own one I will add my scope and get the bugs worked out because you can’t sell them for what you paid so might as well keep it and learn to like it, or love it depends on if you got a lemon or if like me it seems good but not enough rounds to know for certain yet.

  23. That’s not the standard stock that comes with the XCR, but I know they have several options to choose from on their order form. Do you know which one on the order form is the one pictured here?

  24. I have owned my XCR for about 2 years, put roughly 1,500 rds through it (all new, brass ammo, 77 gr to 53 gr), with no cleaning, no malfunctions (that were not induced), variety of mags, and great performance. My base line for performance is off-hand snap shots at 12″ steel at 100 meters. I also had 3 MOA prone, 100m, using an Aimpoint T-1. The 3 MOA performance is more reflective of shooter limitations than the gun itself, I believe, as I have yet to use magnified optics. I consider my XCR my go-to gun–it is with me 24/7. Great reliability, great accuracy, and excellent ergonomics due to the significant number of advantages incorporated in this proprietary platform(too many to write down now). On a side note, due to work issues, the past 3 years have seen my lowest round counts in 15 years. I hope to be putting significantly more rounds through my XCR soon.

    I have dealt with RA’s customer service only once over a year ago , and had a good experience. The owner took my call and ended up spending over 90 minutes talking with me, even though he didn’t know me from Adam. Enjoyed picking his brain, got some good insights. The trigger slap issue I called about resolved itself after the “break-in” period, as advised. Personally, I need all of the trigger time I can get, and would prefer to be shooting my gun rather than paying a higher price for someone at the factory to do this for me. Not sure why this rifle needs a 2-300 rd break-in period, but so be it. Anyone who would trust any mechanical device to be able to reliably save their life without significant first-hand testing is not grounded in reality.

    As for pins working themselves loose on the XCR, I have not experienced this personally, but I will be keeping an eye out for this, and making sure everything that needs it, has Loctite. Regular PM (preventative maintenance) is necessary for all machines, and it’s good to review what kind of specific attention my equipment needs.

    For reference, I own 3 gas impingement AR’s, and have put tens thousands of rds through them over the past 15 years in a wide variety of very taxing environments. I really like the AR platform. The XCR is head and shoulders above the gas impingement AR’s. The weight and cost (compared to other piston, full rail AR’s) is very competitive. HK’s MR556A1 is around $3400 and weighs 8.37 lb, with great reliability and good performance. However, the HK is $1,800 more, and 0.87 lbs heavier with a significantly lower level of ergonomic performance. Especially HK’s ambi safety lever. If you are in the habit of having your index finger lay flat on the frame of the gun before disengaging the safety with your thumb (as I am), you are in for an unpleasant experience. I would have significant retraining required to adapt to their ambi design. Certainly possible, just not something I would want to do.

    On paper, the rifle that comes closest to being able to compete with the XCR is the SIG556 Patrol rifle. $1,600 price tag, 7.3 lbs (.2 lbs lighter than the XCR), but no folding stock option, and as of yet untested (from my standpoint) reliability. For my personal applications, not having a folding stock is a deal-breaker. But considering that this is from Sig Sauer, a large gun company with a great reputation, replacement parts should never be an issue (one would hope). Either way, get kitted up with a set of spare parts for your rifle. All mechanical devices will fail. Not a question of if, just when.

    To summarize, I have had excellent reliability and performance from my XCR. Although I would prefer to have 5-6,000 rds through my rifle by now, 1,500 rds gives me a decent baseline to make my judgement. On top of the great reliability and solid performance (it has to go bang when you press the trigger, and hit what the sights are on), I love the ergonomic advantages that the XCR offers–charging handle (design/location), the bolt catch/release lever (location/design), even the safety lever, compared to the standard AR, is a noticeable improvement. Throw in the folding stock, and the XCR is the hands-down winner for me.

    Room for improvement? I would like to see the folding, collapsible, flat stock that Robinson Arms has been working on, be ready now. I would like to see an even lighter version of this rifle–I think there is room to make the upper receiver leaner without compromising reliability, performance, or cost. And I would like to see lower costs passed on to the consumer. Just thought I would list my top three opportunities for RA to consider in case they ever read these things.

    As a matter of fact, continuous improvement is the name of the game, for shooters and for the equipment we use. Quite frankly, as shooters, our focus really should be on personal performance improvements, not on perceived equipment advantages. At a minimum, at least half of our resources (money and time) spent on shooting should be dedicated to personal improvement, through realistic and professional instruction, reinforced by good (realistic, regular, reliable, and repeatable) training. What did you do to improve this week?–this is the question I try to ask myself every few days.

  25. I have owned my XCR for a long time now. Alex has had his problems with the Robinson Arms company and the XCR, however, he has a GREAT JOB!, getting this fine weapon up and running. Please bear in mind that Alex isn’t a hugely well financed person/company, however, I have NEVER had a problem or situation that he failed to address in a timely manner. As far as how expensive the XCR is, well, those that think that or “think” they believe that have to consider ALL of the facts! The XCR isn’t a cheap weapons system. IF you want “cheap” then, by all means buy any old AK-47 and bang away. If you want a quality piece, that will still go bang, bang, provided you can re-load and/or afford to feed it the ammo that you should be willing to feed a quality rifle, like the XCR is and is porported and marketed to be.

    Now to my Robinson XCR Friends that have been wondering where I have been for a while may be interested in knowing that I have had another serious heart attack and also I have had a SUPER serious spinal fusion that had complications from a surgeon screwing up my colon, LITERALLY! He twisted my colon when the other surgeons had completed their work that makes my spine look like a “chain link fence”. Darn near killed me, BUT, rest assured My Friends, I intend to institute a mal-practice suit upon him that will make my cost for new re-loading equipment and first rate ammo for my XCR insignificant.

    If folks don’t like my personal update(s), then you can just write it off to my being a Robinson Fan and part of the XCR Family. Soooooo kma! if you feel that way. Otherwise, I look forward to hearing from the Robinson XCR Owners soon!
    Best regards, CVS

  26. That’s some BS about only feeding it bonbons, it has a adjustable gas system so it will eat anything! Mine will shoot wolf, Remington or Federal and feed m855 perfect. Xcr eats what you give it you just got to be smart enough to know how to use it.

  27. It’s a crying shame that your company can’t master the engineering to offer a version of your XCR in 6.5×39/264. What an opportunity you are missing. You make the finest firearm and let other companies produce their products in 6.5×39/264, evem the AK will start producing such a version. Hope you do soon. Ric

  28. That part about the ammo finnickyness sounds wronger than wrong, I’ve had my XCR for two years now, and have so far had ONE malfunction, as my friend was shooting it. I’m more inclined to blame him for the jam than the gun. I’d wager that messing with the gas settings was the cause behind the author’s malfunctions.

  29. The XCR has a break in off up to 500 rounds as documented in the manual.

    I bought Two. One tried my patience for 300 rounds the other worked fine with no problems what so ever. I have the hand adjustable gas and bought and installed the new triggers. They are great and people who test fire think it is a custom trigger its that good.

    I also have the 7.62×39 kits. No break in necessary as the rifles were already good to go after the initial break in.

    I try other peoples rifles with the XCR as my base. There is nothing, so far, that has matched or exceeded it.

    The bought the vltor foldable stock. Couldn’t do without it and the controls are great compared to the AR15 I have.

    Its just a really nice rifle. Don’t be put off by people testing ‘virgin’ rifles and customer service issues. Buy a spares kit, spare bolt for each caliber and you are sound. Don’t buy direct from Robarms. Try anyone else or Kermit:-
    Kermit Zahm
    Wild Thang Farms
    3150 Fuller Rd
    Emmett , Idaho 83617
    [email protected]
    phone 208-869-1616
    Fax # 208-365-4272
    FFL 9-82-045-01-7D-35203

  30. Just to update anybody reading this who is not up to date with Robinson Arms, they supposedly are shipping their new stock and their new .308 XCR-M this month (December 2011).

    They’ve had a rocky history the last few years, but it seems many things are improving. It seems to mainly be due to the fact that the guy who owns and runs it is a gun guy more than a business guy. If you want an easy consumer experience, you can get it with many large AR manufacturers. If you want a superior weapon, dealing with a smaller company is a small sacrifice IMHO.

  31. I’ve read all of the comments here and [now] I am not even the least interested in buying one of these rifles. I have several AR’s from different manufacturers in different calibers and I’ve never had anywhere near the problems that have been detailed here; in fact I’ve been completely satisfied with the cost, function, reliability and versatility of the proven AR platform. These days with just a little skill a person can put together a nice AR that works great for under $1,000 and have a quality rifle that will do the job nicely. OH yeah.

  32. Wow, I can’t believe how many of you allowed this review to make you doubt the XCR. As “justme” stated- the manual that comes with this rifle tells you to give it a break-in period and to utilize the adjustable gas system to fine tune for your ammo. The reviewer obviously paid no attention to this. Mine has never needed any adjustments whatsoever (I exclusively shoot Federal XM193) and my groups are WAY tighter than his. I use an Aimpoint Comp M2.

    I purchased my Robinson kind of on impulse when I went to my local gun store with the intention of purchasing a fancy new upper for my AR. I had intended to spend $1600 or less on a piston upper with full rails (monolithic, is possible). The XCR had just came in that week and I asked to see it. As soon as I held it, I HAD to have it. I got change back from my 1600 and rarely touched my AR ever again.

    • “The reviewer obviously paid no attention to this.”

      The majority of people never read owner’s manuals. RTFM. 🙂
      Especially people who “think” they know it all about anything, guns in this instance.
      That is why I always take any review with a grain of salt. The number of bad reviews on the Internet is high because the reviewer assumed that they know everything.
      And also why I am strongly considering an XCR later this year when I can afford it (plus it is non-restricted in Canada, not like the restricted AR).

  33. As some time has passed since my last comment.

    I have now shot the XCR at 500 yards using a ACOG 4×32 optic and XM193 ammo (guaranteed 4-MOA, typically 1.5-1.75 MOA) using just a USGI sling, Appleseed style).

    My groups were 10″ (2 MOA) wide and about 16″ (3 MOA) high.

    I haven’t been able to test with better factory ammo or handloads. Perhaps one day.

    Still no problems since break in and I am now a couple of thousand rounds on each rifle.

  34. I have owned an XCR for the past 3 years. I did a break-in period and did not have any FTF or FTE during that time. In fact, I have never had any problems. Will keep an eye out for loose bolts, but none so far. Rifle needs very little lubrication and is extremely easy to clean. I used the AR/M4 platform in the military and in civilian life. Never like shooting it because of the required cleaning that it required afterwards. The piston versions are probably better now, but my XCR has been flawless and I really enjoy it. Shooting is fun, ergonomics are fantastic and accuracy is better than my AR.

    I never shoot cheap ammo in any of my rifles… If you do, then maybe you should only shoot a rifle that was made to do so… All the AK and similar variants. But what ever ammo I have used, Lake City, PMC, Remmington, etc. I have never had a problem and do not expect to.

    I have also sent emails to the company and have had a prompt response from them and have not experienced any customer relations problems at all…

  35. I have been watching the XCR for about a year, playing Youtube videos, reading blogs, buying gun magazines for the reviews, etc. I come from a family of research scientists, learned about scientific method at a very early age, and know about the history of advancements in the field. Whenever change occurs it is because someone or group isn’t afraid to make mistakes. I’d guess that over 90% of Edison’s, Marconi’s, Benjamin Franklin’s, etc. early experiments were failures. I’m not suggesting that the type of work or advancements are in the same league but Mr. Robinson has built on a proven platform and has taken it further. I see so many reviewers who love to tear others’ work apart when they may never know personally what it takes to create something of their own. They have a forum on the internet and will damn sure let others know what’s wrong. But some are, in good faith, trying to help others avoid their mistakes.

    No doubt the XCR has had teething problems. Study the record of any weapons system in the history of mankind and you’ll see the same. For that matter, any technological, make that any advances at all. They come through hard work and mistakes.

    I waited, watched, then last week ordered the XCR-L Standard 7.62x.39 but went with the old tube stock, not the new FAST stock. Just a personal preference. Before ordering I checked availability at the source and was told by a personable sales rep at Robinson Arms that orders/builds are taking 6 to 8 weeks. Not a problem for me. I ordered locally and paid taxes just to foster good will with the gun store. That’s worth the extra $166. I have no doubts that if I encounter any problems they can be resolved.

    One thing I question about others reviews is do they load one brand/type of ammo in each magazine or series of magazines and stick with it. Or do they mix it up. The gas adjustment may well be tuned for a certain ammo then up pops something new. I’ll be using ammunition that I can bet my life on and not on the brand “du jour. ” which is whatever is on sale. I’m not rich but some things are worth sacrificing for. Maybe you do use scientific method and good logic but some writers lead me to doubt that.

    I’ll report on the results after I receive the weapon. By the way, I hated the Colt M-16s I used during my 4 years in the Army. Talk about failure to feed, failure to eject, rattling parts, the misery of cleaning. Just my personal experience.

  36. Don’t let the naysayers sway you away from trying out one of these fine battle rifles. I’ve owned mine since 05/2009 and yes, had to have the whole upper replaced after the break-in period (300 rds) due to milling issues on the gas block and the piston tube…now, it runs like a swiss watch. I never put the cheap and dirty russian ammo in it…only top shelf. The accuracy trigger was installed and my new FAST stock will be bolted on soon. Using a 4×32 ACOG while shooting offhand at clay targets ranged at 100 meters, they explode every time, first shot. When SHTF, what more do you want?

  37. Don,t let reviews fool you,,,,,,take them with a grain of ,,,,haha. I have a XCR-L 223 and have never had a problem with it,,,,,,,,one ftf in 1000 rds. Thats it. 2inch groups at 100 yards with an Acog. Quick and accurate.You don,t feed garbage to your favorite dog. This one won,t be leaving my war chest,,,,,,,,,love it.

  38. i have fired cz, sks with surplus rounds and they are garbage i can imagine the ak-47 to act the same. You spend money on a gun you should use good ammo. those who buy nice guns to feed it corrisive ammo are idiots. I have put thousand rounds through my xcr-l and not one problem but had to pound stuck steel catridges out of every gun the i have used them. I bet you would buy re used oil if you could for your car because its the same princable as that, plus i reload all my rounds as well and i was always told if you like something then don’t cheap out. I tell all my friends to buy one.

  39. I purchased a XCR about 8 years ago, it is one of the older models. I have only one issue and that was the charging handle screw came off. I called Robinson Arms, and they told me what the problem was that the dude that assembled it had failed to put Lock Tite on the screw. Simple problem to fix. They told me what to do and they would sent another part or if I wanted they would pay for postage and I could send it to them. I sent it back to them. 2 week later I had my wonderful trusty XCR and they sent me the postage. I shoot it suppressed because I teach Tactical. I shoot Wolf mainly, and other brass ammo and have NEVER had a problem. I highly recommend the XCR. Some say the service dept. suck, but I have never had a problem. GREST GUN. I wish I could afford the AK 47 kit.
    Thanks Robinson Arms.

  40. I now own an AR, AK, a SIG556, and the Robinson. The XCR is still my favorite. The SIG is second due to its “To hell and back” robustness but it is damn heavy.

  41. The average waiting time is long for example. I ordered the M rifle directly from Robinson Arms in November of 2011, after many disappointing excuses, I finally pulled the plug today. This is personal my friends, and even some family members, kept asking me where is your new rifle, we desire to see this marvel of mechanical ingenuity, I told them I gave up! I honestly tried to keep my part of the bargain, sending the proper amount of money, and waiting and waiting and waiting. Eventually I caved in, does this man Alex not understand there are easier ways to treat a paying customer? For instance hire a competent secretary, catalog emails to review and then send answers to there questions, so your clientele can have accurate updates on merchandise purchased, this takes place in every established professionally ran company in the world…

  42. Do not hold your breath for ROBARM to come through. They will give you EVERY excuse in the book about “subcontractors’ and “being backed up”, and even “Forklift is broke, we can’t get to the shelf”. Here is a fact for you. Aaron and I made a deal so he sells me 3 VEPR barreled receivers and some other spare parts (receiver covers, mag followers, etc).
    I pay for the FIRST receiver, and the spare parts. I get a receiver, no parts. I call Aaron he says “When you buy the other two receivers, I will send the parts to you, you already paid for them.” Okay I say. Stuff happens. I get the money for the other two receivers, call Aaron, he goes “Forklift is broke, we can’t get to the boxes, call in 2 weeks”. Okay, forklifts break. Call in 3 weeks, “Oh, we are super backed up, call in a month, I found everything for you”. Okay call in a month. Nobody picks up. That was in FEB on 2012. DO NOT HOLD YOUR BREATH. They got my money for the magfollowers and receiver covers. They ignored letters, emails, faxes, phone calls. I left messages for Aaron Holladay, I left messages for Alex Robinson. I left messages for tech support. NO REPLY. If you want the same treatment, go ahead, order from them, and wave good bye to your money.

  43. When I set out to purchase a rifle I desired something different, very similar to the Fn-Fal design that we have come to know as the “Right Arm of the Free World”. I searched everywhere, but everyone without question during this time, were developing Ar10 projects of varying degree, nobody even came close as they were all pitching the same ball. Then I stumbled upon Robinson Arms unique to say the least and everyone was copying his ideas and marketing them as their own, turning and Ak into a AR /FAL / M14 was unheard of especially when you had Picatinney Rails, Left Side Charging Handle, Folding Stock, Ambi Magazine Release, Bolt Release housed in the Trigger Guard, this was the rifle I was looking for and made of metal unbelievable, with a gas regulator and it actually works! So I ordered one in early November of 2011, I thought what an awesome Christmas present, something to display to friends and family alike, plus protection from snakes, and predators of the night..
    Then the journey began, so I sent a new email asking about the progress and even waited until Christmas came and went.. I began to worry; So I waited until New Years and sent another email still nothing, no reply; nobody to pick up a phone? So from Jan 2012 up until now very little details, many emails from both partys, no rifle and no money and it is the 10Th Day of September 2012!! I’m hoping they dont wait until Christmas, but my gut intuition tells me they probably will and beyond, so if you seek a rifle of a different caliber, manufacturer, model then I would say go for it, but Alex Robinson and his XCR are really hard to come by in the 21st Century. {Ps Honestly I would look elsewhere, for a different rifle to many times attempting to contact over a 10 month period, insane and bad for business…

  44. Thanks , I’ve just been looking for info approximately this topic for ages and yours is the greatest I have found out so far. However, what concerning the conclusion? Are you sure concerning the supply?|What i don’t understood is in truth how you are now not actually a lot more well-preferred than you may be now. You’re very intelligent.

  45. I had a Sig 556 Swat on order from December 2012, and one day in February I went into my LGS to check on status and just poke around when I saw a FDE XCR behind the counter. It turns out it belonged to one of the store owners, and he showed me the cool features. I bought it on his recommendation and it’s been flawless with zero cycling issues. I only shoot brass ammo, but most of what I shoot is just BVAC reloads or Armscor or other such non-premium ammo. It seems they’ve worked out the early problems.

    I added an Aimpoint and a 3x Vortex swing out magnifier, and with this setup I can hit an 8″ target at 200yds nearly every time, and I don’t claim to be a great shooter. I do believe with the right ammo and the right human that it’s a sub moa gun. Oh, and you don’t have to clean it very often.

  46. The XCR was my first sporting rifle. I had significant issues while I owned it. I dealt with occasional stuck cases and never got the gas system 100% right. During a winter drive to the range, the rifle was cold and I fired it. The firing mechanism actually cracked apart. Granted, it was fixed for free but that is a disqualifier for serious use.

    I bought a Bushmaster ACR (it was my white whale) recently. I’ve dumped a bunch of rounds through it and have no issues whatsoever.

  47. I am about half way through a second 1000 rnd can of 55gr AE ammo and have yet to have a ftf or fte. I have also used the larger TAP and match ammo without issue as well. No steel cased ammo through it yet.

    I use pmags and LAR mags without issue. I have never had a bolt fall out or come loose. I do clean it every second or third trip to the range and check the bolts and screws. It has only seen FL for cleaning and lube.

    Not sure if these get made in different factories or what, but i haven’t experienced any of the problems some talk about here.


  48. 2014 Update,
    Picky about ammo which for the price is very annoying. The biggest issue is that it will not lock, the round goes in the chamber and then doesn’t quit fit. Can’t shoot it out so you have to take the rifle point it down and slam the charging handle against a table to eject the round. Same issue will feed just fine in a cheaper AR. Also have determined that the XCR really likes PMAGs, good luck getting colt M16 mags to lock in the mag well. Basically this weapon has been put in the safe to sit. Would not trust it as a go to gun.
    Your mileage my vary, and I hope it does. But as others have said, if you’re looking for something to shoot, look elsewhere. I’d recommend something from one of the big companies. You might pay more but you know they’ll be around in 10 years when you need parts.

  49. Uh the gun misfired because you didn’t read the instructions. First 300 rounds is 5.56 ammo only. Why would you test accuracy or reliability with .223 in a 5.56 rifle. The gas system needs high pressure ammo for the break in period to cycle reliably. After that you can load the .223.

  50. If you don’t watch the Stone Giants sequence in this film and feel like there’s a place for this in the world of cinema, then there may be no helping you, I’m afraid. I was bracing for the worst from The Hobbit because of these ridiculous slams by critics and friends. What an unexpectedly wonderful journey it took me on instead a journey on a brand new path of opportunity for my favorite artform.
    juicy butt blonde

  51. You should revisit this rifle in the Keymod version. I have a Keymod XCR-L with the 18.6″ Barrel. In the nearly 2,200+ rounds I have fired these would be the problems I have had with the rifle. 1 Failure to fire ( may have been the rifle could have been the cheap Remington Maga box o bullets I bought). 2 failures to extract one was the bullet one was the gun. Two Failure to loads. And I had a problem with a plastic mag shattering when I closed the bold, as I have never heard or seen this happening before with these mags or this rifle I would have to say it was the mag to blame as defective.

    These problems were all in the first 100 to 200 rounds and as to date the rifle has gone bang every time there after cheap o ammo or stupid expensive Match grade.

    What differs is accuracy, I have noticed that my rifle shoots better if the ammo costs more.

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