The Adaptive Combat Rifle (ACR) is an assault rifle designed by Magpul Industries of Austin, Texas, originally called the Masada. In late January 2008, Bushmaster entered into a licensing agreement with Magpul whereby Bushmaster would take over production, future development, and sales of the Masada. Remington Arms is currently contracted to manufacture the rifle for the US military and US law enforcement agencies.
The ACR was one of the weapons displayed to U.S. Army officials during an invitation-only Industry Day on November 13, 2008. The goal of the Industry Day was to review current carbine technology prior to writing formal requirements for a future replacement for the M4 Carbine. The ACR was also part of the Individual Carbine competition to replace the M4.
The original Magpul Masada's design represented a combination of several recent rifle designs, incorporating what was considered by its designers to be the best features of each in a single, lightweight, modular rifle. Design features from the Armalite AR-18 (short-stroke gas system), the FN SCAR (upper receiver, charging handle location), the Heckler & Koch G36 and XM8 (liberal use of polymer components), and the M16/AR-15 (trigger pack, barrel, fire control group) were present. The rifle also included several features developed by Magpul, such as a quick-change barrel/trunnion system, adjustable gas regulator, non-reciprocating charging handle, and storage compartments located in the stock and grip. Just prior to the deal with Bushmaster, Magpul made additional changes to their design, the most obvious of these was the relocation of the ambidextrous operating handle to a forward position (somewhat similar to the Heckler & Koch G3 and Heckler & Koch MP5 series of weapons). The weapon's caliber could easily be changed by replacing the bolt head, magazine, and barrel.
The rifle was originally named after the Siege of Masada. Magpul company literature about the rifle states that, "Magpul Industries is not Jewish owned or Israeli backed, however Magpul has always found the story of the Masada as a bold example of defiance". When production rights were signed with Bushmaster, the Masada name was dropped from the product.
Remington and Bushmaster Adoption Edit
In January 2008, the design of the Magpul Masada was licensed to Bushmaster Firearms International and the production version of the Masada became known as the Bushmaster ACR.
The rifle was initially developed over a period of four months, completely independent of government funding. Prototypes were displayed at the 2007 SHOT Show in Orlando, Florida. Originally scheduled for release in the second quarter of 2008, Bushmaster announced on May 16, 2008, that the consumer release would be delayed until the first quarter of 2009, due to a focus on military projects. On November 18, 2008, Bushmaster released a statement saying, "The ACR is being redesigned to be a superior offering to compete for the next generation US Army infantry carbine and subcompact weapon requirement and will be available to select customers in 2009".
Bushmaster Firearms, with the help of Remington Arms (a sister company in the Freedom Group, Inc portfolio that includes Bushmaster, Remington, Marlin, and DPMS Panther Arms brands) have also made extensive design changes based on extensive environmental and functional testing specifically to meet the emerging requirements of the US military in both the carbine and subcompact weapon versions of the ACR family. They made sure that the ACR will be capable to endure certain conditions such as exposure to sand, dirt, mud, and water.
The initial ACR design was offered in the Army's Individual Carbine competition. In late 2011, Remington unveiled an improved version specifically for the competition. Improvements included a magnesium lower receiver, A2-style pistol grip, collapsible but non-foldable stock, carbine length gas system, a new barrel nut (which eliminates the quick change barrel), and a folding charging handle. These changes made the weapon 1.8 lbs lighter. The Individual Carbine competition was cancelled before a winning weapon was chosen.
Remington also unveiled a sub-compact version called the ACR-C Personal Defense Weapon (PDW). This version retains the features of the Individual Carbine variant, except that the folding stock was kept and the barrel was shortened to 9.5 inches. With the stock folded, it is only 19.5 inches long.
In January 2014, Bushmaster unveiled a designated marksman rifle version of the ACR. It includes the Magpul PRS adjustable stock, a longer 18.5 in (470 mm) full profile 416 stainless steel melonite coated barrel (that retains the carbine-length gas system) with 1:7 inch rifling twist, and a Geissele enhanced trigger. The DMR ACR weighs 8.75 lb (3.97 kg) and has an MSRP of $2,799.
Availability and Recall Edit
The ACR was stated to be available in the second quarter of 2010 for military, government and commercial customers. It was available in greater quantity (tens of thousands) in the commercial marketplace in 2010. According to an official press release from Bushmaster, the rifle will have suggested retail price between $2,685–$3,061.00 – twice as much as early price quotes of "around $1500," causing public outcry and dismay of the rifle from a large portion of the firearms fraternity and potential civilian end-users. Semi-automatic versions will be available to the commercial market from Bushmaster, and select-fire versions available for military and law enforcement under the Remington name. As of April 2010, civilian market rifles are available for sale.
On October 15, 2010 Bushmaster issued a recall of all ACR rifles instructing users to "Please immediately discontinue the use of your ACR rifle" along with instructions to contact customer support for an RMA. Bushmaster stated that the recall was issued due to "a possible firearms performance issue that may develop with a small number of ACR rifles" and goes on to state that "Bushmaster discovered a design flaw which could result in multiple rounds firing continuously when the trigger is pulled". Bushmaster has stated that it will cover all of the costs associated with the repairs to the recalled rifles.
Military Variant – Remington ACR Edit
The Remington ACR is a gas operated, selective fire weapon with a modular design. It has several features of other recent designs, such as the M16 and FN SCAR. The key idea of the ACR's modular system, is that it will provide a wide variety of configurations within the matter of minutes. All of the rifle's parts can be easily stripped for cleaning. All controls of the ACR are fully ambidextrous. A three position (safe, semi-auto and full auto) fire selector lever is located over the pistol grip. A charging handle can be installed on either side of the receiver and do not reciprocates when the weapon is fired. Magazine release button is also ambidextrous. Spent case ejection port is located on the right side of the receiver, however it has case deflector, which propels the cases away from left-handed shooters.
The ACR is currently offered to the military and law enforcement in 5.56x45mm NATO and will soon be available in 6.8mm Remington SPC. It can change calibers from 5.56mm to 6.8mm in minutes at the user level by changing the bolt head, barrel, and magazine. The magazine conceived for the 5.56x45mm version of the ACR rifle is called the Magpul PMag, a high-impact, 30-round, polymer magazine claimed by Magpul to be significantly more resistant to wear, shock, and harsh environments than other counterparts on the market. The PMag is STANAG 4179-compatible, as it will readily fit any STANAG magazine firearm, including the M16 rifle family.
It is available with four barrel lengths and can be easily converted from a standard assault rifle (with a 16.5 inch barrel) into a carbine (with a 14.5 inch barrel), into a compact assault rifle (with a 10.5 inch barrel), or into a designated marksman rifle (with a 18 inch barrel) without any tools. Barrel lengths of the two calibers are exactly the same. The Barrels are hammer-forged and hardened with a nitriding process rather than having chrome plated bores as some other rifles.
It can also be configured for handguard, stock type and trigger unit setup. Among the options for the ACR are various stocks including a fixed adjustable (in terms of length of pull and cheek weld), folding adjustable (folding and six-position telescoping), and sniper stock based on the Magpul PRS stock. The Remington's handguard model has a five-sided aluminum handguard that can be user configured with MIL-STD-1913 rail elements, while the Bushmaster's model is polymer with heat guards and attachable aluminum tri-rail.
Civilian Variant – Bushmaster ACR Edit
The Bushmaster ACR rifle is gas operated, semi-automatic rifle of modular design. It utilizes an aluminum alloy upper receiver, with polymer pistol grip, trigger, and magazine housing (lower receiver) unit which is attached to the upper receiver using cross-pins.
The trigger / manual safety unit is made as a single removable item, and it mostly utilizes AR-15-compatible parts. The barrels of ACR are quick-detachable, with short-stroke gas pistons attached to each barrel. To remove the barrel (for change, inspection or maintenance), user has to remove polymer handguards, then swing down the wire lever, located below the barrel,turn the barrel to unlock and pull it forward and out of the receiver. All barrels are free-floated within handguards to achieve consistent accuracy. Bolt group also is made as a single unit, with captive return spring and rotary multi-lug bolt which locks directly to the barrel breech.
The standard magazine housing, which is suited to accept AR-15 type magazines, has ambidextrous magazine release buttons. The ambidextrous bolt stop release button is located at the front of the triggerguard. Safety lever is also ambidextrous, and charging handle can be installed on either side of the gun. It can be equipped with various Magpul-made buttstocks, fixed or side-folding, and adjustable for length of pull (some also with adjustable cheek rest), it can also be fitted with removable iron sights, and/or with any optical or night sight with appropriate mounting, depending on the user's preference or the variant. It also has an integral Picatinny rail on the top of the receiver and additional accessory rails can be installed on forend according to user preferences. The Bushmaster's handguard model is polymer with heat guards and attachable aluminum tri-rail, while the Remington model has a five-sided aluminum handguard that can be user configured with MIL-STD-1913 rail elements.
Military Variant – Remington ACR Edit
- Assault Rifle – 16.5 inch (419.1 mm) barrel
- Carbine – 14.5 inch (368.3 mm) barrel
- Compact Assault Rifle – 10.5 inch (266.7 mm) barrel
- Designated Marksman – 18 inch (457.2 mm) barrel
Civilian Variant – Bushmaster ACR Edit
- ACR Basic – 16.5 inch (419.1 mm) barrel
- ACR Enhanced – 16.5 inch (419.1 mm) barrel
- ACR DMR – 18.5 inch (469.9 mm) barrel
- ACR SBR – 10.5 inch (266.7 mm) barrel