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A Tale of Two Custom Mid-Length AR Carbines: The Frankengun (Frankencarbine) Project

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pf button both <!  :en  >A Tale of Two Custom Mid Length AR Carbines: The Frankengun (Frankencarbine) Project<!  :  >

By David Crane
defrev (at) gmail (dot) com

All photos contained in this article were taken by DefenseReview.com, and are copyrighted. DefenseReview.com owns the copyright on these photos. The photos were shot with a Canon PowerShot S90 10-megapixel digital camera (still camera with video capability).

February 23, 2010

DefenseReview plans to run two custom-built tactical AR carbines (AR-15 carbines) through a high-round-count tactical shooting course within the next few months. But, disclaimer, first: These are both frankenguns, or frankencarbines, if you will, in the best possible sense, in that they were built by two of the best boutique tactical AR manufacturers/builders out there, using some of the best components and parts available on the market. One gun was built completely by Next Generation Arms (NGA). The other gun was built by Next Generations arms AND Addax Tactical with NGA building the lower receiver and Addax building the Addax GPU (Gas Piston Upper)-type gas piston/op-rod (operating rod) upper receiver. The Addax GPU-type upper utilizes a PWS (Primary Weapons Systems) mid-length, short-stroke gas piston/op-rod system, which is no longer available. PWS now only offers their long-stroke piston system, which was first made available on the PSW Diablo 7" SBR (Short Barreled Rifle). On the piston frankengun, Next Generation Arms still coated the weapon's internals with their very cool (and effective) self lubricitous/self-lubricating ceramic coating.

Next Generation Arms NGA Carbines and Addax Tactical Upper Receiver 31 <!  :en  >A Tale of Two Custom Mid Length AR Carbines: The Frankengun (Frankencarbine) Project<!  :  >Let us reiterate that neither gun discussed in this article is a commercially-available production model gun from NGA or Addax. These are both one-offs that were built specifically for DefenseReview as special project guns. If you want a NGA gun, we suggest you order yourself either a NGA MP168 SPC (Special Purpose Carbine) or JC382 Tactical Carbine. If you want an Addax gas piston upper, we suggest you order one of their long-stroke GPU uppers.

We plan on performing most of the T&E on the weapons during tactical carbine training classes up in the Pacific Northwest. In the meantime, though, before we actually train with and review the two weapons, we'd like to provide a few photos, give our readers a basic rundown on them, and mention some of the noteworthy components and parts they utilize.

The reason we chose Next Generation Arms and Addax Tactical to build these guns is because they're two of the best boutique/custom tactical AR builders in the country. Both of them build custom tactical AR carbines, SBRs (Short Barrel Rifles), and upper receivers using premium AR components and parts, which will become clear when I run down the list in a minute. Both companies are run by perfectionists that are very passionate about their both their work AND the AR-15 weapons platform. Next Generation Arms is run by Nathan Roads. Addax Tactical is run by Chris Haddadian. On top of being great at what they do, they're both likeable guys. Currently, NGA only manufactures/builds DI gas system ARs (complete guns and upper receiver assemblies). Addax currently builds DI gas and piston AR uppers, but they're working on obtaining their FFL (Federal Firearms License) to be able to build and sell whole rifle/carbine solutions.

Next Generation Arms NGA Carbines and Addax Tactical Upper Receiver 20 <!  :en  >A Tale of Two Custom Mid Length AR Carbines: The Frankengun (Frankencarbine) Project<!  :  >O.k., now that that's out of the way, let's talk about the guns and the project. The original goal of the project was to do a side-by-side comparison/analysis between two custom/boutique mid-length carbine systems outfitted with some of the best tactical AR (AR-15) rifle/carbine components and parts on the market, one utilizing a direct-gas-impingement (DGI) a.k.a. DI Gas system, and the other utilizing a gas piston/op-rod system. However, since they're both non-production Frankenguns, an apples-to-apples comparison can't really be accomplished. Anyway, NGA built the complete DGI gun, soup to nuts (i.e upper AND lower receivers), and co-built the piston gun with Addax–and coated both of them.

We chose the PWS mid-length short-stroke piston system for the piston gun after it was recommended by several members of Defense Review's West Coast cadre of tactical gun builders, instructors, and shooters. The PWS short-stroke piston system was cited for its reliability and relative smoothness of operation vs. more "conventional" AR piston systems. The PWS system's relative smoothness is due to its unique design that keeps the op-rod (operating rod) in constant contact with the bolt carrier key.

The two guns are currently spec'd out (i.e. outfitted with) the following tactical AR components and parts:

Next Generation Arms NGA Carbines and Addax Tactical Upper Receiver 37 <!  :en  >A Tale of Two Custom Mid Length AR Carbines: The Frankengun (Frankencarbine) Project<!  :  >Next Generation Arms (NGA) Direct Gas Impingement (DGI) AR carbine:

- Next Generation Arms Lower Receiver
Next Generation Arms (NGA) Internal Ceramic Coating technology. This coating is a permanent, durable and dry self-lubricitous a.k.a. self-lubricating coating designed to allow the user to run his/her carbine dry without any wet lube (lubrication).
Vltor MUR-1A Flattop Upper Receiver. "MUR" stands for "Modular Upper Receiver".
Noveske Recon 16.1" Mid-Length Gas System Stainless Steel (SS) 5.56mm NATO Barrel with polygonal rifling.
JARD AR-15 Single-Stage Trigger System (Adjustable Trigger)
AAC Blackout Flash Hider/Suppressor
Noveske Switchblock Adjustable Gas Block
Noveske-Spec'd Super Weapons Systems (SWS) Free-Float Rail System/Forend Rail Tube/ Tactical Handguard
MagPul CTR Carbine Stock – Mil-Spec Model Telescoping Buttstock with MILSPEC buffer tube. "CTR" stands for "Compact/Type Restricted".
JP Tactical Operating System Bolt Carrier made by JP Enterprises, Inc. from 416 stainless steel.
PRI M84 Gas Buster Charging Handle -Military Big Latch. "PRI" stands for "Precision Reflex, Inc.".
KNS Precision Non-Rotational Anti-Walk Hammer and Trigger Pin Set
MagPul Enhanced Trigger Guard, Aluminum – AR15/M16 a.k.a. "winter" trigger guard.
MagPul MIAD Grip Kit – AR15/M16. "MIAD" stands for "MIssion ADaptable".

Next Generation Arms NGA Carbines and Addax Tactical Upper Receiver 17 <!  :en  >A Tale of Two Custom Mid Length AR Carbines: The Frankengun (Frankencarbine) Project<!  :  >Next Generation Arms (NGA) AR Carbine with Addax Tactical GPU-type Upper Receiver:

- Next Generation Arms Lower Receiver
Next Generation Arms (NGA) Internal Ceramic Coating technology. This coating is a permanent, durable and dry self-lubricitous a.k.a. self-lubricating coating designed to allow the user to run his/her carbine dry without any wet lube (lubrication).
Addax Tactical GPU (Gas Piston Upper)-type Upper Receiver utilizing PWS short-stroke gas piston/op-rod system.
Vltor MUR-1A Flattop Upper Receiver. "MUR" stands for "Modular Upper Receiver".
Noveske Recce 16.1" Mid-Length Gas System Cold Hammer Forged (CHF) Chrome-Lined 5.56mm NATO Barrel. This barrel is not currently available as an individual component from Noveske Rifleworks. The Recce Barrel is currently only available on Noveske N4 Light Series AR carbines and SBRs.
JARD AR-15 Single-Stage Trigger System (Adjustable Trigger)
AAC Blackout Flash Suppressor/Hider
Danield Defense (DD) AR15 Lite Rail 12.0 FSPM Free-Float Rail System/Forend Rail Tube/Tactical Handguard
Vltor EMOD (Enhanced MODstock) Telescoping Buttstock with MILSPEC buffer tube. "CTR" stands for "Compact/Type Restricted".
JP Tactical Operating System Bolt Carrier made by JP Enterprises, Inc. from 416 stainless steel.
PRI M84 Gas Buster Charging Handle -Military Big Latch. "PRI" stands for "Precision Reflex, Inc.".
KNS Precision Non-Rotational Anti-Walk Hammer and Trigger Pin Set
MagPul Enhanced Trigger Guard, Aluminum – AR15/M16 a.k.a. "winter" trigger guard.
MagPul MIAD Grip Kit – AR15/M16. "MIAD" stands for "MIssion ADaptable".

Next Generation Arms NGA Carbines and Addax Tactical Upper Receiver 38 <!  :en  >A Tale of Two Custom Mid Length AR Carbines: The Frankengun (Frankencarbine) Project<!  :  >Defense Review will be outfitting both carbines/rifles with the Grip Pod System vertical foregrip/bipod/weapon stabilization system. DefenseReview contributor Chen Lee (a.k.a. "SMGLee") wrote an excellent review of the Grip Pod for us not too long ago.

DefenseReview may want to try a Centurion Arms Cold Hammer Forged (CHF) Barrel (mid-length, chrome lined) out on the DGI carbine. The lighter-weight Centurion CHF barrel should be better-suited to shooting on the move and dynamic CQB/CQC (Close Quarters Battle/Close Quarters Combat) shooting drills and longer-lasting (able to handle more rounds through it) than a heavier-profile stainless steel barrel.

We're also either planning or would like to T&E a number of additional tactical AR parts and accessories on or with the guns, including:

- EOTech XPS3-2 (Military-Grade) HWS. "HWS" stands for "HOLOgraphic Weapon Sight".
JP EnhancedBolt™ is made from SAE 9310 high-grade steel. According to the company website, this material "makes for an extremely hard surface with a tough, ductile core resistant to structural failure and a life expectancy far exceeding Mil-spec 8620-type bolts."
Next Generation Arms NGA Carbines and Addax Tactical Upper Receiver 22 <!  :en  >A Tale of Two Custom Mid Length AR Carbines: The Frankengun (Frankencarbine) Project<!  :  >- Vltor IMOD (Improved MODstock Telescoping Buttstock
Daniel Defense Omega-X Rail System/Forend Rail Tube/Tactical Handguard
MagPul ASAP – Ambidextrous Sling Attachment Point
Daniel Defense (DD) Rear Receiver QD Swivel Attachment Point
Daniel Defense (DD) Rail Mount QD Swivel Attachment Point
Daniel Defense (DD) Heavy Duty Push Button Quick Detach Sling Swivel
MagPul B.A.D. Lever – Battery Assist Device ambi (ambidextrous) bolt release lever
Norgon Ambi-Catch ambidextrous mag release button (magazine release button)
PRI M84 Gas buster Charging handle W/ combat latch
Diamondhead Premium Series Combat Sight Front and Rear BUIS (Back Up Iron Sights)
MagPul Back-Up Sight (MBUS) Polymer Flip-Up Sight/BUIS System
Complete JP Fire Control System (Complete JP Trigger Assembly) with JP Speed Hammer
KAC Tactical Trigger Assembly (Complete). This is a single-stage trigger. "KAC" stands for "Knight's Armament Company".
TangoDown BattleGrip AR-15 Pistol Grip
MagPul Dynamics MS2™ – Multi Mission Sling System Single-Point (One-Point)/Two-Point Tactical Carbine/Rifle Sling
Vickers Combat Applications Sling (VCAS)

Stay tuned for our upcoming article (with photos) on Addax Tactical's guns at SHOT show 2010! We plan to publish it within the next few days.

Next Generation Arms NGA Carbines and Addax Tactical Upper Receiver 26 <!  :en  >A Tale of Two Custom Mid Length AR Carbines: The Frankengun (Frankencarbine) Project<!  :  >Company Contact Info:

Nathan Roads
Next Generation Arms
Toledo, OR
541-336-3336 Office
Email Contact Page
http://www.nextgenerationarms.com Website

Chris Haddadian
Addax Tactical (A Division of Addax Inc.)
9600 Cozycroft Ave., Unit B
Chatsworth, CA 91311
Phone: 818-886-5008
Fax: 818-886-5007
Email: [email protected]
Website: http://www.adxtactical.com

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A Tale of Two Custom Mid-Length AR Carbines: The Frankengun (Frankencarbine) Project by
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About David Crane

David Crane started publishing online in 2001. Since that time, governments, military organizations, Special Operators (i.e. professional trigger pullers), agencies, and civilian tactical shooters the world over have come to depend on Defense Review as the authoritative source of news and information on "the latest and greatest" in the field of military defense and tactical technology and hardware, including tactical firearms, ammunition, equipment, gear, and training.

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