First half of 2010 says Bushmaster (officially). There's really only a few ways Remington/Bushmaster can screw this up, and all of them at least somewhat related to the FN SCAR (its direct competition):
1) Not offering a factory SBR or short barrel assembly from the onset. That's one of the single biggest complaints with the SCAR.
2) Pricing the rifle above $2000. The FN SCAR can now be had from $2200-2400. The original target price per Magpul was $1500, but a $2000 MSRP (street price being nearer to the original target price) would be a freakin' winner, guaranteed.
3) Not offering the extended polymer handguards as they said they would. Us long-armed folks need room and it's very clear from the folks waiting for this rifle that these are wanted. Leave the top open so the gas block can breathe, fine, but give us somethin' to grip that isn't a skeletonized aluminum rail. :frown:
If they can manage to avoid all of these things, I and many others will absolutely buy the ACR. It's a sound concept. I know Bushmaster's done some positive design improvements, but I still have this worry that they'll find a way to screw it up (maybe with a 1:9 sub-par barrel or no iron sights or something). The SCAR's been out a couple years now and they (Bushmaster/Remington) have had plenty of time to learn from its reception.
I hope this new job comes through and one of them will be mine. now to just figure out an excuse to tell my girlfriend on why every penny I made for the first 6 months of my job are gone... maybe she'll buy "I needed uniforms"
With a 1:9 twist, the accuracy will not be as good out past say 100 years or so with heavier rounds. But with 55grain 5.56 rounds it is fine. But a lot of people like to shoot heavier rounds out past 100 yards. A twist ration of 1:7 is needed for that.
I still want one. I really, really want one. But I can wait to see if it turns out to be a lemon or not. I'll wait for a year or so before I commit to buying one.
They invested the time and resources for hammer-forged barrels. Cold hammer forged barrels are ideal for high-volume shooters, most of whom are competitors, LE, training junkies, etc. The ACR has always been marketed to this "hard use" crowd. This is the same crowd whom overwhelmingly shoot and request 1:7 or 1:8 twist barrels that handle the heavier rounds the slightly looser 1:9 twist barrels won't. If you're going to pay closer to $2k for a gun you better be able to shoot all of your ammo through it. That nobody else is making hammer forged barrels in 1:9 twist is a pretty good clue.
Remington got it right. Kudos to them.
Edit: To be clear, it's not just the barrel itself that gets me (and many others). As someone else I know put it, after three years of waiting "she finally showed and was missing three front teeth." There is no reason this rifle shouldn't have come out perfect. Slapping a semi-auto FCG into the Remington version was just too much, I guess.
Thanks for the reply, now that being said, what are the advantages of the 1:7 and 1:8 other than accuracy with hotter loads after 100 yards? is that just simply it? is there an explanation why the twist ratio does this? Im just trying to get as educated as possible.. do you think there will be a barrel available in that configuration? I think my bushy has a 1:9 twist.. is this something i should be looking to upgrade as well?
Not hotter loads, necessarily, but heavier/longer bullets. The heavier/longer a bullet is, the more inertia it has and the more it resists spinning. This necessitates a tighter twist so you can put more spin on the bullet to stabilize it well enough to fly well. The plus to these heavier/longer bullets is that they stay stable longer and have better flight characteristics. When bullets in the 70+ gr are used, a 1:9 twist usually won't stabilize them enough for consistent accuracy.
If you never shoot more than 69 gr bullets then a 1:8 and 1:7 twist barrel give you nothing... but it won't hurt anything you shoot, either ("overstabilizing" = myth). If you do shoot heavier bullets, or plan to, then you'll be better served with a tighter twist barrel. Competition shooters like heavier/longer bullets, and arguably the best LE duty loads in 5.56x45 are 75-77 grs.
Bushmaster had the perfect opportunity to get 1:7 barrels exactly like those Remington is getting, but still chose to do their own thing seemingly "just because". I'm not so confident Bushmaster will be offering 1:7 barrels. I'm not even confident they'll offer SBR assemblies or the Remington aluminum lowers. Here's hoping I'm wrong.
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