American Rifleman - May 2010 - (Page 8)

CORRESPONDENCE EDITOR’S LETTER t the 2007 Shooting, Hunting, Outdoor Trade (SHOT) Show, the Magpul Masada was the talk of the oor, as it addressed virtually every complaint (warranted or not) of the AR-15/M16 family of ri es. A folding stock, monolithic rail, gaspiston operation, easily swapped lower receivers, and ambidextrous controls, it had it all. Even the chambering could be changed in seconds: 7.62x39 mm, anyone? Magpul’s prototype was indeed impressive—as was its estimated price of around $1,500. Magpul Industries is an innovator in the use of polymers, especially when it comes to the well-regarded PMAG. But for all its innovation, Magpul is not a heavy metal manufacturing company. If it can be made of polymer, Magpul can do it, as well as, or better than, anyone. Making guns—actually creating them from raw stock, not mere assembly— takes expertise and the right tooling. Magpul announced its partnership with Bushmaster in 2008, and it wasn’t until this year that the rst production Bushmaster Adaptive Combat Ri e (ACR) intended for the commercial market arrived in our of ces. Based on trade shows and demonstrations with prototypes, a legend grew around the Masada. It promised to be everything to everyone, but it was not in production. Enter the Bushmaster ACR: a production ri e. It’s dif cult for a real-world, in-production gun to measure up to a legend. Also, the ACR’s prominent inclusion in the latest “Call Of Duty: Modern Warfare” game helped build up the mystique around the gun even more. The ACR’s reputation, literally, preceded it. In some ways the ri e’s transition from prototype to production reminded me of the Colt All American 2000 pistol (March 1992, p. 28). Colt, focusing on its government M16 contracts in the 1980s, missed the boat on double- A action-only, high-capacity 9 mm Luger pistols. “Colt decided to purchase an existing design from Knight Armament Co., a rm that specializes is suppressors and other exotic military hardware,” wrote then-Senior Associate Technical Editor Robert W. Hunnicutt. “After further engineering and adaptation to Colt’s manufacturing system, the pistol was announced at the 1990 SHOT Show as the All American 2000.” The ergonomics of Reed Knight’s prototype were simply excellent, but when Colt “adapted” the design to production, it lost most of the handling qualities that made the pistol so appealing. Add in “atrocious” accuracy and the fact that Hunnicutt had to cannibalize two Colt 2000s to complete a 75-round accuracy test, and the handwriting was on the wall. The All American 2000 was dropped in 1993. There is little danger of this occurring with the ACR. It took all the strengths of Remington (engineering), Bushmaster (production), and Magpul (design and molds) to produce the ACR as evaluated by Shooting Editor Glenn M. Gilbert in “Bushmaster ACR: A Transformative Firearm” (p. 50). Most of all, it took time. It’s not that Remington and Bushmaster wanted to delay the introduction, but making the gun right the rst time—especially with the looming possibility of a new U.S. military ri e trial—was essential. The suggested retail price is considerably higher than anticipated, but when you look at the ri e as a system and understand the engineering behind it, then the cost, albeit high, makes perfect sense. Sincerely, 8 MAY 2010 WWW.AMERICANRIFLEMAN.ORG

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of American Rifleman - May 2010

American Rifleman - May 2010
Editor’s Letter
Armed Citizen
Standing Guard
President’s Column
One On One With Ted Nugent
Readers Write
News, Notes and Ephemera
Questions & Answers
American Marksman: A First-Timer’s Guide To 3-Gunning
Bushmaster ACR: A Transformative Firearm
Coming To America: Para USA Goes Beyond Innovation
The 2010 Golden Bullseye Awards
Magnum Maximization: Ruger’s Extra-Capacity .327 Revolvers
NRA LED: A Half Century Of Service
Annual Meetings
Dope Bag: Data & Comment
Political Report
ILA Report
Regional Report/Member Info & Benefits
I Have This Old Gun

American Rifleman - May 2010