I feel lucky to have stumbled upon this at SHOT Show, because I was extremely impressed by the engineering and machining of the MEAN LLC delayed blowback mechanism and immediately attempted to sweet talk my way into a complete upper receiver loaner for review.
Three hardened ball bearings lock the bolt head into the barrel extension. By installing the bolt head one of three ways you can adjust the amount of lockup tension and delay to fine-tune the action to your gun, your ammo, and suppressed/unsuppressed use. I was very impressed with the machining, fit, and finish of these parts and the face that you can field strip and adjust entirely without tools.
These components fit together with fantastic precision and everything appeared flawlessly machined. Clearly, significant thought went into the design.
Another unique aspect of this roller-delayed system is the gigantic ejector that surrounds the firing pin and extends off the edge of the bolt face. 9mm does frequently suffer from weak ejection in an AR-pattern gun, because the case is so short that it flips sideways before it has actually exited out the rear of the barrel extension, losing all of that momentum before it has anywhere to go.
With this unique ejector system, it’s supposed to kick the case with extreme prejudice while also resulting in an incredibly consistent ejection pattern.
Unfortunately I do not actually recall what they’re calling this delayed AR-9 system and it isn’t on the MEAN website yet. MSRP for a complete upper is supposed to be in the $1,450 range. I believe they’ll also be doing complete AR-9s and, perhaps?, selling the action components separately (though you’ll need to swap the barrel extension on your AR-9 barrel or purchase a new barrel with this unique extension on it for any “kit” form of this product to work).
More info soon followed, hopefully, by a full review. Good thing I have a select-fire lower to test this bad boy on. Oh yeah.