Thursday, December 11, 2014
New toy, AR-15 edition
I mentioned in another post that premium AR-15 manufacturer Troy Industries had a Thanksgiving weekend sale. Amongst other things, three-packs of their well-known Battlemags were less than half-price ($20 versus $42 - and yes, I snaffled as many as I could afford). What really caught my eye, however, was their offer of a so-called 'Bravo rifle' for only $599. When you consider that most Troy rifles retail for well over $1,000 (the cheapest at my local dealer is currently marked at $1,299) and can run more than $3,000 with all the bells and whistles, you'll understand why the sale price caught my interest at once. I placed an order for one, choosing the model with a 16" barrel and lower-pressure mid-length gas system (which I prefer over the shorter, higher-pressure carbine gas system). It's shown below. Click the image for a larger view.
Troy had produced only a couple of hundred of the Bravo rifles based on an overrun of lower receivers built (and marked) for a Canadian contract. At that price point, it didn't take long before all of them were sold out. Rather than end the sale early, Troy decided to build more rifles on their own lower receivers to satisfy everyone who got in ahead of the sale deadline. I was one of the last to place an order (I was hesitating while counting my shekels and wondering whether I could afford one), so I ended up with a Troy-branded receiver on my rifle.
Miss D. and I picked up our new toy this evening. It's equipped with Troy's Medieval Muzzle Brake, their 13" Bravo free-floating quad-rail handguard, their control grip with a built-in storage compartment (it feels very nice in my hand - this is the first one I've tried, and I like it), and their lightweight Battle Ax six-position telescoping stock, also with a built-in storage compartment. The lower receiver's not finished to the same high standards as a 'mainstream' Troy rifle, but then at this price point one can't expect miracles. All the components lock tightly together and the rifle is free of rattles and gaps. It came with two black 30-round Battlemags; one provided with the rifle as standard, and the second a bonus that's shipping with all over-$100 orders from Troy until the end of December 2014.
I'd figured when I ordered it that even if I didn't like the rifle, $600 was a pretty good price for a bunch of components that I couldn't source individually for less than half as much again. (For example, Troy's 13" Bravo rail retails for $209 and their Battle Ax stock for $129. Those two components alone add up to more than half the price I paid for the entire rifle!) Based on first impressions, I think I got my money's worth and then some. I'll test this rifle as it stands, but then probably put the upper receiver on a different lower receiver while I re-finish the Troy lower. The Battle Ax stock seems comfortable, but I'll have to test it on the range rather than just in my living-room. At any rate, I'm pleased to have the opportunity to try it for myself.
Troy was clearly swamped by customer demand during their Thanksgiving sale. For example, I bought a bunch of Battlemags to augment my stocks, but it took Troy until today to ship them due to the volume of other orders ahead of mine. If you were among the later customers of their Thanksgiving sale, don't worry - they'll get to you! I'm definitely going to keep an eye on their Web site next Thanksgiving, to see what goodies they offer in 2015. (No, they're not compensating me in any way for mentioning them. I just appreciate good offers and good service, and mention them here when I find them.)
(EDITED TO ADD: Miss D. has her own observation about it, too.)