From the bays of Rio Salado to the meadows of the Peacemaker National Training Center, and in a thousand spots in between, men and women can be found coming together weekly to test their skill; not with one gun, but with three. 3 Gun has become the fastest growing of the shooting sports in recent years. There are many reasons for this, from reality TV shows such as Top Shot bringing shooting to mainstream America, 3 Gun Nation introducing the sport to TV audiences on a major network, to merely the challenge of demonstrating proficiency and excelling with three drastically different firearms as opposed to one. Regardless of the reasons, this amazing growth has also created a huge market for competition specific rifles, pistols, and shotguns.
It is with this market in mind that Adams Arms has released the new Competition Optic Ready, or C.O.R., rifle. This new product demonstrates Adams Arms dedication not only to the shooting sports, but also to innovative design for the market a whole. That innovation has become necessary as the 3 Gun Nation style of stage design, which seems to be focused equally on production and entertainment value and difficulty and marksmanship. This newer style of stage design presents not only the opportunity but also really the need for a different profile of rifle to excel.
The last couple of years have seen a dramatic growth in the number of companies that have jumped into the AR15 market. These new players range from industry stalwarts such as Ruger to a growing number of custom shops building rifles from parts. During this time, Adams Arms has seen an amazing organic growth, moving from approximately 10,000 square feet of shop, to a new 20,000 square foot shop that lasted less than a year, to their current 65,000 square feet outside of Tampa, Florida. This organic growth has allowed Adams Arms to increase machining and manufacturing capacity needed to continue to drive innovation.
Adams Arms growth has taken many forms, but the most significant one has been the creation of an offshoot company, VooDoo Innovations, which manufactures high quality AR15 barrels and other accessories. VooDoo Innovations barrels along with the Adams Arms short stroke gas piston system are two of the primary components that make the C.O.R. rifle possible. VooDoo Innovations barrels are manufactured from 4150 Chrome Moly steel, finished using a proprietary system that trues the rifling in the barrel to ensure that the rifling is perfect, and then is melonited both inside and out to provide an extremely hard, extremely reliable barrel. Through the creation of VooDoo Innovations, over 70 percent of the parts that go into a current factory Adams Arms gun are manufactured right in their facility in Florida.
That brings us back to the discussion of a new rifle for this new faster 3 Gun that has been prevalent in the last couple seasons. Previously the majority of 3 Gun shooters have believed that the best configuration for a 3 Gun rifle is an 18 to 20 inch barrel with a rifle length gas system (either direct impinged or gas piston). This rifle profile is very well suited to natural terrain matches that commonly had a large number of targets over 200 yards and require very little movement around walls and into and out of ports (such as the Rocky Mountain 3 Gun or Blue Ridge 3 Gun). However with the move toward more bay style matches, such as Superstition Mountain Mystery 3 Gun and the AR15.com (now Brownells) RockCastle 3 Gun Pro-Am as well as the 3 Gun Nation Pro Series, the optimal rifle profile is changed somewhat. This style of matches are better suited for a rifle with a shorter barrel to allow for faster target transitions as well as the ability to get in and out of ports and windows faster while still providing the minimum felt recoil impulse and remaining flat to allow for fast splits while staying on target.
When you take the C.O.R. rifle out of the box, the first thing you notice is how light it is for a rifle of its profile; weighing in at less than 8 pounds. This rifle is truly match ready as it ships, simply by adding your favorite optical sight to it. I installed a number of different sights on my rifle for my testing, including an Aimpoint Micro T1 and various variable power magnified optics. In the end, because I was preparing to shoot open division the weekend of my testing with the rifle, I settled on my trusty Horus Vision Blackbird II with the offset Vortex Razor Red Dot. With this scope installed the rifle weight 9 pounds 7 ounces. As I transition into the Tactical Optics division, I will be using a US Optics SR8C 1-8x Scope. With this scope installed the rifle weighs 9 pounds 5 ounces. The rifle I tested and am using was also sent equipped with the Diamondhead 45 degree flip out offset iron sights. These sights fold back, reducing the hazard of snagging them on a barricade or other hazard, and at the push of a button snap into place to allow the shooter to use them for short-range targets in place of changing the magnification on their primary optic, if a variable power optic is being employed. In addition to the offset sights, the C.O.R. rifle is available in three different Kryptek camouflage patterns. The Kryptek rifles have been hydro-dipped and then lacquered to extend the life of the finish. The C.O.R. rifle also features a Magpul MOE fixed length stock, Magpul Grip, VooDoo Innovations Jet Comp, and Samson Evo hand guard with a sling mount on the left side of the gun and a barricade stop on the bottom of the hand guard. Additionally, in the spirit of a true competition rifle, the C.O.R. rifle comes standard with the Hiperfire Hipertouch 24C competition trigger.
As I prepared my C.O.R. rifle to go to the range for testing and break in, I could not help but be impressed with some of the components in the rifle. The thing that caught my eye the most was the new low mass bolt carrier that is standard in the C.O.R. rifle. While I have handled and used many low mass bolt carriers over the years, this one is unique in the fact it looks cool, in addition to being functional. The Adams Arms low mass bolt carrier is a 21% reduction of mass over previous Adams Arms and most conventional DI bolt carriers. This low mass bolt carrier is the final piece of the puzzle as to why this rifle shoots so flat and has such little felt recoil.
With my optic on the rifle and it all lubed up with Italian Gun Grease, I headed to the range to zero and then run some drills and break in the rifle. At the range, I proceeded to run a large number of drills. I started with standard double taps and noticed that the red dot barely seemed to move. I then moved on to some transition drills, such as Mozambique drills and V drills. I found that the gun shot amazingly flat, even at full speed, and that the target transitions were smooth and fast with the shorter barrel. When testing and getting used to the Hiperfire trigger I did a number of drills including one 30 round P-Mag dump. I completed this mag dump in about four and a half seconds with almost all of the hits in the A zone of a US Carbine Association target at about 10 yards. Overall, I shot 710 rounds through the gun that day without a single malfunction. I have since then put another 5000 rounds through the gun, in match and practice situations with zero issues. The gun really is a great out of the box shooter and highly recommended for anyone from the beginner to the seasoned competitor or shooter.