Polymer AR Upper?

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posted on October 3, 2014
gsagi2015_fs.jpg

The company’s Omni Hybrid Lower Receiver has been a great success, so much so that if you hit the link you’ll see it’s currently out of stock. It is metal reinforced in all the right spots, and during a gun writer’s seminar in Florida this month I saw one for the first time.

The receiver is designed to shave weight off your AR, and it does that with aplomb. It’s also beefy, with strategically placed metal components. Company representatives told us there have been no problems so far with the 5.56 NATO lower, and that they even ran it over with an 11,000-pound forklift during initial testing. Sometimes I worry whether we’re getting polymer or “plastic” in some of our gear, but the fact it comes with a lifetime warranty reduces my concern.

This January American Tactical will be rolling out a polymer upper receiver when gun writers convene in Las Vegas to see all that’s new at the SHOT Show. The photo is an early glimpse of a prototype passed around in Florida. It also comes with a lifetime warrantee and has metal in all the right places.

In addition, at the National Association of Sporting Goods Wholesalers show in mid-October, the company will showcase a .300 Blackout chambered AR-15 handgun, with polymer lower and upper receivers wearing a 8.5-inch barrel (1:8-inch rifling rate). Its preliminary name is Omni Pistol Hybrid and a flattop version will be available.

Writers put the Omni Hybrid through the paces for about 45 minutes. The upper wasn’t ready for full testing by media, although that will change by January. I didn’t witness any stoppages or problems, although when you’re trying to run a pair of cameras and take notes you can’t keep an eye on everything.

It looks like polymer works well in an AR-15 lower if you’re looking to reduce your rifle’s weight. Now we have to wait and see how it does in an area that’s a little more stressed—topside. Stay tuned.

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