I can’t even imagine listing out all the reasons why shooters buy new guns—practice, self-defense, hunting, competition, just because, brand new, innovative, nostalgia, price is right and cool barely scratch the surface. From fun range toy to long-range precision, each one of these new firearms is definitely cool.
- There is no denying how awesome and reliable Daniel Defense AR-15 rifles are.
- Just Right Carbines makes bugging out in a Marine environment almost desirable with its .40 cal Takedown Marine Model rifle.
- Noreen Firearms introduces the only AR-platform rifle chambered for .30-06 Springfield.
- Smith & Wesson releases the M&P 22 in a compact model.
- UTAS-USA presents its alternative to the Kel-Tec KSG in Next G1 camo.
Noreen Firearms BN36 .30-06 Springfield Semiautomatic Rifle
Noreen Firearms, a Montana-based company designing and building long-range precision firearms, introduces the first and only AR-15-style platform rifle chambered for .30-06 Springfield. Made for deer hunters familiar with the traditional AR rifle, the BN36 uses an adjustable direct gas impingement system and has a side-charging handle. The 22-inch barrel has a 1:10 twist rate and receives accurate and precise minute-of-angle with match-grade ammunition at 2,000 meters. The BN36 features a flattop, optics-ready upper, perfect for a long-range riflescope and an A2 fixed stock and pistol grip. Noreen forges both the upper and lower receivers in-house from aluminum. In fact, unlike many black rifle “makers,” Noreen makes every component in-house. It accepts 5-, 10- and 20-round magazines and has a standard MIL-SPEC trigger. Internally, there are only two differences between the BN36 and a traditional .223/5.56 AR—bigger parts and a charging handle directly attached to the bolt carrier. Disassembly, maintenance and cleaning are just like any AR-15 rifle. The .30-06 BN36 is 43.5 inches long, weighs 8 pounds, and features a Noreen custom muzzle brake that helps reduce recoil.
|Noreen Firearms BN36|
|Barrel Length||22 inches, 1-10 twist|
|Overall Length||43.5 inches|
|Weight Unloaded||8 pounds|
|Sights||Flat top upper receiver|
Due to Noreen’s innovative design, there is no alternative to suggest to the BN36. It really is the only AR-15 style platform .30-06 deer rifle. Has this rifle piqued your interest? Do you like alternative caliber ARs or hunting rifles in .30-06? Then, I suggest these alternatives:
- Gibbs Rifle Company M1903-A3 bolt-action rifle .30-06
- ArmaLite AR-10A A4 in .308 Winchester
- Noreen BN36 chambered for .25-06 or .270 Winchester
Daniel Defense DDM4v11 5.56mm NATO Semiautomatic Rifle
Based on the V9 rifle series, Daniel Defense built the new DDM4v11 around its SLiM Rail KeyMod handguard system. All of Daniel Defense’s quality and attention to detail is there; a 16-inch chrome-lined, cold-hammer forged chromoly vanadium steel barrel, MP-tested and MIL-SPEC coated CNC-machined 7075-T6 aluminum upper and lower receivers, MIL-SPEC MP-tested and chrome-lined bolt carrier group with properly staked gas key and Daniel Defense buttstock and pistol group. Combine this with the Daniel Defense SLiM Rail 15.0 CNC-machined lightweight 6061-T6 aluminum KeyMod handguard and you get a modern, lightweight AR-15 rifle both beginners and skilled shooters both will love and appreciate. On top of the free-float handguard is a full Picatinny rail with KeyMod attachment points at 3, 6 and 9 o’clock. The DDM4v11 operates on a traditional mid-length direct gas impingement system and has the slightly heavier H buffer.
|Daniel Defense DDM4v11|
|Barrel Length||16 inches Government profile, 1-7 inch twist|
|Caliber||5.56mm NATO/.223 Remington|
|Overall Length||35.5 inches|
|Weight Unloaded||6.12 pounds|
|Sights||15-inch free-float KeyMod SLiM Rail handguard with Picatinny rail|
|Stock||Daniel Defense collapsible|
There are many high quality, accurate and reliable AR-15s on the market. So many that it can get confusing quickly—fan boys and girls are loyal to certain brands while hating others. They say you sit on either side of the fence when it comes to AR-15 makers—but I don’t sit on either side of the Colt or Bushmaster yard. I see redeeming qualities and flaws in them all. If you must seek an alternative to the Daniel Defense, I suggest taking a gander at these ARs:
- Noveske Rifleworks Rouge Hunter
- KE Arms USM4 with Tac-Con 3M trigger
- Spike’s Tactical Black Assassin
Just Right Carbines Takedown Marine Model .40 S&W Semiautomatic Rifle
The new Just Right Carbines Marine Model Takedown semiautomatic rifle is a perfect survival, truck or boat gun. The .40 S&W-chambered straight blowback operated semiauto rifle includes a takedown tube that quickly and easily breaks down the rifle into two pieces for transporting, carrying, storage and concealment. What’s even better? The electroless nickel-plated finish and stainless steel barrel resists corrosion and rust in harsh and marine environments. Completely ambidextrous, the Just Right Carbines Marine will adjust for left- or right-handed shooters with the ambidextrous charging handle and ejection port. The Marine Takedown has a 17-inch lightweight threaded barrel, accepts 15-round .40 S&W GLOCK magazines, and is optics ready with a Picatinny rail. The Just Right Carbines Marine uses a standard M4 buffer tube, AR-15 six-position collapsible buttstock and pistol grip. Most typical AR-15 trigger components and aftermarket stocks will fit on the Just Right Carbines. The Marine model is 33.50 inches overall extended and weighs only 6.5 pounds. All Just Right Carbines are made in the United States.
|Just Right Carbines Takedown Marine|
|Barrel Length||17 inches, lightweight|
|Overall Length||30.25 inches collapsed, 33.50 inches extended|
|Weight Unloaded||6.5 pounds|
|Stock||M4 6 position collapsible|
|Capacity||15 rounds, GLOCK magazine|
Marine-finished firearms have been around quite awhile—the Mossberg’s 500 JIC pump-action has been my favorite survival gun for years. Like many of the other guns on this list, the Just Right Carbines do not have much in the way of competition. If you are stuck on the .40 S&W caliber, the only other semiauto rifles you have to chose from are the Beretta CX4, Taurus CTG240 and HiPoint—all different styles than the JRC. In an AR-15 platform, there is the Olympic Arms—that you probably don’t want to buy anyway. But, since the JRC Marine caught your eye, I would say check these out:
- JRC Marine with Desert Camo finish
- Any .40 S&W GLOCK: GLOCK 22, 23 or 27
- Winchester SXP Extreme Marine Defender 12 Gauge
Smith & Wesson M&P 22 Compact Semiautomatic Handgun
Since 2011, Walther has been making a full-sized M&P trainer pistol in .22 Long Rifle that looks exactly like the big-boy models, though functionally different. This year, Smith & Wesson introduced a designed-from-the-ground-up .22 Long Rifle M&P made here in the United States. The new M&P 22 Compact is smaller than the German-produced M&P 22 with a 3.6-inch barrel, 1-inch thickness and only 6.7 inches overall length. With its 5.8-pound trigger, easy to operate slide and the same highly visible white-dot sights, shooting it will be very similar to the original model M&P 22 and certainly just as fun. The M&P 22 Compact holds 10 rounds and weighs a mere 18.1 ounces. The US-made Smith & Wesson M&P 22 Compact has only been available for about a month and now through December 31, 2014, Smith & Wesson will ship you a free box of .22 Long Rifle ammo with the proof of purchase of a new M&P 22 Compact.
|Noreen Firearms BN36|
|Barrel Length||3.56 inches|
|Caliber||.22 Long Rifle|
|Overall Length||6.65 inches|
|Weight Unloaded||15.3 ounces|
|Sights||White, 2-dot adjustable|
There are plenty of semiautomatic .22 Long Rifle handguns to choose from—from full-sized 1911 clones to tiny pocket guns. It became popular a few years ago—back when .22 LR was actually more affordable and more available—to produce copycat rimfire guns of full-sized, full-calibered handguns. They were cheaper to shoot, fun and great to start new shooters on. My favorite, besides the Smith & Wesson, is the Ruger Mark III; however, that does not make a great alternative to the M&P Compact. If you want a trainer replica of a 9mm or .45, check out these pistols:
UTAS-USA Hunting UTS-15 12-Gauge Pump Action Shotgun
In hot competition with Kel-Tec’s KSG, the UTS-15 12-gauge pump-action shotgun’s innovative bullpup design is in great demand. Called the “Hunting” model because of its Next G1 camo finish, the UTSA shotguns are meant for hunting—where legal. I mention where legal because the double magazine tubes, which both feed the shotgun, hold 15 rounds. (Don’t worry, it includes three- and five-round plugs.) Though UTAS is a Turkish company—winning NRA’s gun of the year in 2006 and in 2007—the Hunting UTS-15 shotgun is made in the United States. Virtually unheard of, the Hunting UTS-15 is 85 percent polymer and has an 18.5-inch barrel. The barrel is chrome lined, made of 4140 steel and fits standard Beretta choke tubes. It does not include sights. However, the shotgun is optics ready with a full-length Picatinny rail. It is 28.5 inches long overall and surprisingly lightweight at 6.9 pounds. Significantly less than other bullpups, the UTS-15 made Tactical Life’s list of Best Bullpups in 2014. If futuristic or tactical is your thing, you could do a lot worse than this new pump shotty from UTAS.
|Noreen Firearms BN36|
|Barrel Length||18.5 inches, 3.5-inch chamber|
|Overall Length||28.5 inches|
|Weight Unloaded||6.9 pounds|
|Stock||Polymer, bullpup Next G1 camo finish|
Obviously the alternative to the UTS-15 is the Kel-Tec KSG, but Kel-Tec being Kel-Tec—and good luck getting one of those—there really isn’t any other alternatives to the UTS-15. You can check out these other popular bullpup semiautomatic rifles:
If you could only get one of these firearms on the list, which one would it be and why? Tell us in the comment section.