By David Crane
defrev (at) gmail (dot) com
September 6, 2011
All photos from SHOT Show 2011 in this article were shot by DefenseReview.com (DR), and are copyrighted. DefenseReview.com owns the copyright on these photos. The photos and video clips were shot with a Canon PowerShot S90 10-megapixel digital camera (still camera with video capability). The rest of the photos were provided to DR by Richard Crommett.
While DefenseReview (DR) was making the rounds at SHOT Show 2011, we came across a very interesting item at the Young Manufacturing (YM) booth. At first we thought it was a gas piston/op-rod (push-type operating rod) tactical AR (AR-15) carbine/SBR (Short Barreled Rifle)/Sub-Carbine, although we knew it couldn't be of the standard variety, since it featured a front-mounted/forward-situated left-side charging handle and folding stock (specifically either a dual wire-type folding buttstock or more traditional folding/telescoping AR-15 carbine stock). A swiveling pistol grip appears to be available as an option. In actuality, however it utilized a modified direct-gas-impingement (DGI) system designed and developed by one Richard Crommett (inventor).
Mr. Crommett has designated the weapon the ICE-15, which stands for (Impingment Carbine-Enhanced). The ICE-15 carbine/SBR's "enhanced"/"improved" DGI system incorporates a straight and thick-looking gas tube surounded by a spring, which is part of what initially threw us off. The other thing that initially made us think that it was a gas piston/op-rod design was that Defense Review already knew about the Adcor Defense BEAR GPR (Brown Enhanced Automatic Rifle Gas Piston Rifle), which, like its name implies, is piston driven.
The ICE-15's unique modified/"improved" direct-gas-impingement system is an interesting-looking design/mechanism that makes for a correspondingly interesting-looking weapon. The ICE-15's forward charging handle is ambidextrous, so you can switch it over to the right side, if necessary. Some righties might actually opt for this since some like to mount their tactical white light on the left side of the rail (9 o'clock position). The primary argument against forward charging handles on tactical AR's is that it "gets in the way" of mounting tactical accessories in the position some people prefer. The primary argument for it is that it places the forward charging handle in a more ergonomically advantageous position for faster and easier charging of the weapon during loading and malfunction clearance drills.
DefenseReview isn't crazy about dual-wire stocks, so we'd opt for the other stock we saw and photographed, which resembled a traditional telescoping/retractable buttstock.
For the record, the ADCOR BEAR GPR isn't the only weapon of which the ICE-15 is reminiscent to DR. Since its goal is to improve/optimize the DGI system, it made us think of the Colt AHC (Advanced Hybrid Carbine) and Colt ACC-M (Advanced Colt Carbine-Monolithic), both of which essentially seek to accomplish the same goal of improving/optimizing the DGI system's reliability and durability without actually resorting to a full gas piston/op-rod mechanism. The Colt AHC sports a hybrid DGI/piston/op-rod system, theoretically providing the advantages of both sytems in one package. The ICE-15's goal is to obviate the need for piston/op-rod operation altogether by accomplishing the same result –venting as much particulate matter (i.e., gunk) out of the weapon as possible during firing–with a DGI system.
Young Manufacturing's involvement witht the ICE-15 project lends a certain degree of credibility to it, since YM has established an excellent reputation for manufacturing high-end/high-quality AR-15/M16 bolt carriers and complete bolt carrier groups (BCG), including, but not limited to, products like the M-16 National Match Bolt Carrier Chrome Complete and AR-15 National Match “Light” Bolt Carrier/Chrome Complete. You can see some of these bolt carriers in the fifth photo down from the top.
Mr. Crommett has just invited us to test-fire the ICE-15, which we'd very much like to do, as soon as we can. In the meantime, Defense Review has received the following background on the ICE-15 tactical AR carbine/SBR from Mr. Crommett in a document marked "ICE-15 Press Summary 8-15-11" (edited for readability), which explains the ICE-15's design advantages:
"I designed, tested, and applied for a patent on a new gas operating system that is an improvement to the AR-15/M-16 family of firearms. This new Patent-Pending operating system solves many of the perceived problems of rifles based on the AR-15/M-16 platform. While my operating system is based on the AR-15/M-16 and Direct Gas Impingement system, it does not vent hot, fouling waste gas into the upper receiver. The bolt carrier group and other reciprocating internal parts of my system have only about 50% of the mass of a standard AR-15/M16. This operating system thus uses less gas to cycle so the carrier stays much cooler and cleaner than a standard DI (Direct-Impingement) firearm. An added benefit of having less carrier mass is less felt-recoil and much less muzzle rise.
The ICE-15 is not a piston operating system, so my rifle retains the inherent accuracy of the AR-15/M-16. Piston operated AR-15/M16 firearms have always had the extra problems of excessive receiver wear, bolt and extractor failure and overall shortened lifespan caused by greater operating forces applied off-axis in an aluminum receiver. My operating system has all of the benefits of a piston system without the bad side effects of reduced accuracy and increased stress wear.
The ICE-15 can use a front-mounted recoil spring, which allows my firearms to be more than 8 inches shorter than a collapsible-stock M4/M4A1 carbine. It can use fully collapsible or folding stocks. With a 10.5-inch (10.5") barrel, the ICE-15 can be as short as 21 inches overall. Even with a 16-inch (16") barrel, the result is a firearm that allows for much easier use in all vehicles and allows the operator to have his weapon in a better position when moving room-to-room. The ICE-15 is much better for users that need a high-powered rifle that is inconspicuous, and it is also noticeably lighter for carrying.
I have moved the charging handle to the front of the firearm, removing the need to take the firearm off-shoulder in order to charge it. This also allows for a much wider range of optics, which on a standard AR-15/M-16 sometimes blocks easy access to the charging handle. The front-mounted charging handle can be mounted for either left or right handed use while using the same parts.
Both my charging system and collapsible stocks are made to be mounted for either left or right-handed use using the same parts, which cuts down on manufacturing costs; more flexibility in parts inventory; and allows the purchaser to change the configuration in the future. I have spent a lot of time working with my designs to use as many off-the-shelf parts as possible and to keep manufacturing complexity to a minimum.
Please contact me if you need more information.
Company Contact Info:
Richard Crommett, Inventor
Email: [email protected]
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