Not long ago, I wrote an article about a budget AR 15 build that I had done and promised to let everyone know how it did at the range. Well, I have finally been able to take it out and see how it does in live fire. Now, before we get started, there are a few disclaimers. It has been a while since I have shot a long gun and make no claims to be a crack shot. The second disclaimer is that I was only able to put 200 rounds down range.
Now that we have that cleared up, how did the rifle do?
Lower: As was noticed in dry fire, the trigger in the New Frontier LW-15 was very crisp and clean, breaking at about 6 pounds with very little creep or over travel. The trigger will not be an issue for reduced accuracy any more than a well maintained military issue rifle. The Buffer spring rang out with the characteristic “twang” on each shot and threw the bolt back into battery very well. Nothing on the lower seemed to be an issue. Polymer 30 round magazines were used and all dropped free without issue.
Upper: The upper was great. The grouping was good at about 1 ¾” inch groups at 100 yards from sitting without a rest. The front sight seemed to need to be adjusted a bit high to achieve good hits, but once set, it was doing fine. It did seem to eject the brass a bit soft though. All brass ejected unusually forward and only about 3-4 feet from the weapon. There was never a stove pipe or any other malfunction while firing; however, I can see it happening with how soft the weapon ejects. This was nice for the guy shooting to my right as there was no chance of me hitting him with brass, but I like a rifle that hates brass and throws it hard. This may be because the buffer spring in new and sounded tough, not allowing for full recoil of the bolt, or the ejector may just be soft. With any luck, it is the spring and this minor issue will be corrected as the buffer spring wears in.
Rear Sight: The rear sight used was a $20 one from an online retailer that seemed to function as advertised and adjusted the point of impact as indicated.
As far as I could tell with only firing 200 rounds, this rifle will perform well for some time. The grouping was good, the function was clean and crisp, and there was not a single malfunction. I hope to put down several more rounds and see if the grouping can’t be tightened up if fired from a rest.
As it stands, I still recommend this build, or ones like it, for home defense and a basic survival rifle. With the polymer fire control group, I am still not comfortable with taking it into battle, but anything short of that should be just fine. To this end, there is no reason to shun budget builds. In fact, performance and look was on par with all of the other AR’s at the range that cost less than $1200. Not bad.
One last issue: I took pictures at the range of the targets to show groupings. Well, this seems to have been in vain as my camera chose this day to stop working. The grouping was well centered and grouped at about 1 ¾” using American Eagle 55 grain FMJ (XM193).
Disclaimer: The content in this article is the opinion of the writer and does not necessarily reflect the policies or opinions of US Patriot Tactical.