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Sunday, November 23, 2014

V7 Weapon Systems - 11.5" AR15 Upper

Kinetic Concepts Tactical

We've been looking at parts from V7 Weapon Systems for just over a year now, and to see their product line develop over that time has been quite exciting. Not only have they developed their own design to update the AR15 platform, but there are two primary schools of thought that they have followed along the way. Want to cut some weight out of your rifle, carbine or AR pistol? They can provide a means to that end with Ultra-Light alloy parts. Want to increase the durability of the build? They provide parts made in titanium to do just that. Plus, everything they offer comes with a lifetime warranty.

What I'm going to be showing you here though isn't going to be just one part made by V7, but rather how a direct impingement AR15 functions when it is assembled entirely with critical components made by V7. First, let's take a look at what parts went into this particular build.

Upper Half:

V7 M4 Stripped Upper
V7 Ultra-Light Forward Assist
V7 Ultra-Light Port Door Assembly
V7 BCG Complete (Cryogenically Treated, With V7 Upgraded Cam Pin)
V7 Extreme Environment Gas Tube
V7 Stainless Match Barrel 11.5" (Carbine Gas System) with:
V7 Alloy Pin-On Low Profile Gas Block
V7 Muzzle Brake
Midwest Industries Gen2 SS 9" Rail
Magpul MBUS Front & Rear Sights
Magpul RSA QD
Magpul XTM Hand Stop
Primary Arms Classic 30MM Red Dot
BCM Gunfighter Mod.4 Ambidextrous Charging Handle

Lower Half:

Liberty Arsenal Stripped Lower
V7 Ultra-Light Magazine Release
V7 Ultra-Light Castle Nut
V7 Ultra-Light QD End Plate
V7 Ultra-Light Takedown Pins
V7 Hybrid 57 Degree Ambi Selector
Phase 5 Pistol Buffer Tube Assembly
Sig-Tac SB-15 Brace
(All other parts from a P-Tac LPK)
Magpul K2 Grip
Hiperfire Hipertouch 24Elite Trigger

As listed above, all of the critical components that make the direct impingement system work are those made by V7 Weapon Systems. The purpose of this T&E build was to confirm and prove the reliability of an AR15 which was built using V7 parts, and so far we have been nothing but impressed with the performance.

Every aspect of the AR's functionality has been flawless in the first thousand or so rounds that it has seen. The majority of the ammunition used has been Silver Bear 55gr JHP, and it has seen Hornady 55gr V-Max JHP, Wolf WPA 55gr FMJ, Federal XM193 55gr FMJ, and Federal XM855 62gr FMJ as well.

It's possible to look at individual parts of this DI system and see how well they perform individually, which all work together to create the reliable system as a whole. You've got the match grade barrel providing outstanding accuracy, the Extreme Environment gas tube that can take almost any level of abuse, and the bolt carrier group which V7 has cryogenically treated down to -300 degrees Fahrenheit for double the life expectancy. The muzzle brake does a perfect job of mitigating recoil even with the short 11.5" barrel. Of course there are passive elements as well with the Ultra-Light port door and forward assist, which perform the same function as their mil-spec counterparts while saving grams on the overall weight.

Here's a bit of footage of our V7 AR in action:

Once everything comes together, it becomes a whole new animal. V7 has hinted that they will work towards building and selling complete rifles in time, and to me this premise is 100% feasible. We've recently picked up an 18" mid-length V7 barrel for a customer AR build and so far it has been performing just as well as the 11.5" version.

The action is very smooth while firing, although like most short-barreled ARs, you'll not want to be standing too close in line with the muzzle. The short barrel paired with the muzzle brake make it very concussive to the area perpendicular with the end of the barrel. From behind the AR however there is no disturbance while in an open area. If you go into a closed area however like a building or car, the force exerted by the muzzle is much more noticeable. Definitely not something that I would care to experience without hearing protection.

After sustained fire one would find themselves happy to be wearing gloves, because the short AR can get quite warm. The extreme environment gas tube and the Midwest Industries rail do help with this, and the free-float rail only absorbs heat through indirect radiation rather than direct contact like with a standard front sight gas block. V7 does have a quad rail that they produce, just not one short enough at the time that this build was assembled.

The function of the muzzle brake paired with the very light and crisp Hiperfire trigger make follow-up shots effortless. My wife has even noticed that she (of a smaller stature) is able to manipulate the short AR much easier than any other AR as of yet due to the smooth operation of the action and overall lighter weight. The V7 muzzle brake keeps everything in line for her, so it's not bouncing all over the place. One thing to keep in mind when making your firearm selections is if they would be able to be used by family members if need be. Compare that against a Mosin Nagant 91/30 that weighs 10+ pounds and is over 4 feet long, and the difference is clear.

As we continue with testing and evaluation we'll post more findings, and you can head over to the V7 website to pick up one or several parts for your own build! If there are any questions about the function of this build, please submit them to us and we'll add them and the answers below.

Kinetic Concepts Tactical

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