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Top 5 AR15 Alternatives… That Failed

– [Voiceover] Hey guys,
it’s Alex C. with TFB TV, and the topic of today’s
video is going to be five AR-15 M16 alternatives that failed. We’re excluding guns that
have been banned by import. Otherwise, there’d be some actually really good guns on the list like the Beretta AR-70 and things like that. But, we’re going to focus on guns that petered out for
one reason or another. And the free market basically
took care of the problem, and that’s why the guns
are no longer with us. So, we’re going to kick the list off with perhaps the most coveted and most famous of the guns on the list. That’s just going to be the AR-180 AR-18. You can tell how crude these are. They’re basically stamped steel. You can see the welds
there which is pretty ugly. This is an original
Armalite Costa Mesa gun. It’s also got patents
pending written on there. It’s kind of hard to film that roll mark because it’s so shallow, but the AR-180s were designed in the early 60s, and they
enjoyed limited success, mostly in the civilian market actually. They feature things like a folding stock that were quite nice. And realistically, they’re
actually well put together guns so far as a stamped gun. They have proprietary 20
and 30 round magazines. Large capacities are also available. The reason they don’t fit an M16 is because the magazine catch
hole is slightly different, but they have a
reciprocating charging handle attached to the bolt directly. They also have a folding dust cover that’s very, very reminiscent of the AR-15 M16s. The safety is also ambidextrous, and the sights are also stamped. Very crude here, but effective
and easily adjustable. There’s nothing inherently wrong with stampings in a firearm application, especially when you consider that this gun was designed basically to give countries that couldn’t stamp, or excuse me, milk aluminum and whatnot, the capability to produce 5.56 caliber more modern rifles. Even the trigger group is stamped which is kind of interesting. Very liberal use of stampings which resulted in an affordable
platform back then. Now, this gun’s true legacy
is in it’s gas system. It’s got a unique short-stroke gas piston that really has influenced a lot of guns like the British SA-80, the Howa 89. You can even see some of it’s influence in guns like the modern G36
and ACR and things like that. Here’s a nice closeup of the gas system so you can see the components here. There’s basically a piston, a connector and then kind of an operating rod. And you’ll see this in all
kinds of different firearms. But all in all, the AR-180 is a gun that should have taken off, and I’ve never really been able to figure out why. They enjoyed more success on the commercial side of things than actual military sales, but like I said, the gas
system soldiers on today in many platforms. So next up is one that I wasn’t sure whether to include or not, and that’s going to be the ACR. This is a Bushmaster ACR. These are still technically in production and for sale, but they
just haven’t gone anywhere. They’ve been on the
market for a long time, and it almost seems like
Remington’s forgotten product. You know, they promised
caliber conversions. They promised an MSRP below $1500 and both of those things didn’t happen. Especially the caliber conversion. That’s actually why I bought this is I was thinking it would be cool to have a rifle where I could, you know, have all of that kind of capability, but what I do like is it
has a non-reciprocating charging handle which is something I like better than the star which has quite a slap around there. It is ambidextrous in pretty much every aspect of the firearm which is nice. It’s also got a built-in cheek riser. And a nice adjustable folding stock which is pretty decent in
the way of folding stocks. They can always be a little
flimsy on some designs, but the ACR actually did it quite well. Now, of course, you’ve got a bolt release in a very nice location, and then your magazine release is also ambidextrous. The controls of this gun are something that I would never complain about. They’re actually quite good, and I also like that it has
the setting for suppressed and one for unsuppressed. Now, my favorite thing about the gun actually is the way that
you change the barrel. You just pop off the fore-end, and then it’s basically
got a built-in lever that allows you to torque the barrel right on there and remove it, and in theory put a 6.8
SBC barrel on there, but it doesn’t look like Remington’s going to deliver on that promise. So, until then I’ll be very disappointed. But, you know, it’s kind of sad that this, this rifle didn’t deliver
on what was expected of it. I really like it. It looks cool. It shoots well. It just hasn’t really been a
success on the marketplace. Hopefully the Polish
MSBS will fill the void as they do look similar and
kind of function similar. But we’ll see. Now, next up is going to
be the original Bushmaster. This is Gwinn Firearms Bushmaster rifle. Not the most handsome firearm on the list. I would say it’s actually probably one of the uglier guns I own. It essentially just
milled slap-side aluminum with a stainless steel barrel, but you know, form follows function. So, to understand the history of the modern Bushmaster company, you kind of look at stuff like this and
the Bushmaster ARN pistol, and they actually had some native, unique, if not bizarre designs. This being one of them. It is a long-stroke piston gun, and this whole top
assembly’s how you charge it, and it reciprocates which is, I can see that causing a problem for a multitude of reasons, but the folding stock’s actually quite nice. That is actual wood on the
fore-end for whatever reason. And it’s even got a lot of components in common with the M16 AR-15 including the take-down pins and so on and so forth. And then it just clam-shells open which is nice for cleaning. Now you can see it’s got an AR-15 M16 basically trigger groove with a M16 hammer which is weird. Kind of unusual to see
although not illegal. And the rear sight removes
to field strip the gun which is strange. Now, to pull out the piston
bolt carrier and bolt assembly, remove that little piece, and then it all slides out from the rear which is pretty cool actually. It’s a very heavy bit of mass that reciprocates inside the gun. And it is a long stroke piston. Looks a lot like an, kind of American-ized AK bolt and carrier, I guess. And all in all, it’s not a bad gun. Pretty decent actually. Not attractive, but they work. They shoot well, and I don’t see this being a high cost firearm. Everything’s quite simple. And in the 80s when these were introduced, I’m not quite sure why they took off or why they didn’t take off rather, but who knows? So, this next one is another one that definitely has failed on
the American marketplace. This is a Benelli MR1. These are gas-breathing rifles with a rotating bolt. They seem to be a little bit more popular in Europe and Canada, but I can’t even find these for sale new
anywhere in the U.S. I checked before making
this video to verify that, and I only found used ones for sale. So, it seems like Benelli almost has just given up entirely. Now, there are hunting rifles that use the same action and gas system and everything, but this is the MR1 tactical version, marketed as a home defense gun. One of the reason’s I think it fails the controls are terrible. I have very large hands. You can see I have trouble
actuating the bolt release. The safety’s somewhat intuitive, but I can’t even reach the magazine release with my pointer finger. I have to actually remove
my hand from the grip which to me in this day and age is absolutely unacceptable when you have every other gun on the market where you are basically able to do that. It also doesn’t shoulder very well. You can see, to put your, you naturally want to put your eyes as closet
to the sight as possible, but it’s configured with essentially a shot gun stock that
doesn’t allow you to do that. The sights leave a
little bit to be desired. There’s a not very adjustable rear one and a front sight post, but I think I would say that I’m kind of glad that the MR1 isn’t that prolific. They’re not terrible, but
they’re not good guns. Realistically, I would even
take a mini 14 over this. These are a nightmare to
disassemble and clean. The controls aren’t that great, and yeah, I wouldn’t really recommend that you guys buy one, but they’re not the worst option you
could take, I suppose. So lastly, we have probably
my favorite gun on the list, the FN Tactical Tuna. I’m just kidding, this is FS2000 rifle. It is a Bullpup rifle, chambered in 5.56 like the other rifles on this list. And, you know, they look very strange, but they’re probably the best
shooting gun on the list. They’re very cool. They handle oddly, but
nothing that you can’t get accustomed to after
one day at the range or so. And they look really bulky when you see a picture of one, but
they’re really not that bad. The thing most people have trouble getting accustomed to is how you check the chamber by
lifting the toilet seat and visually inspecting it. Not ideal, but at least it’s there. The safety is nice. It’s ambidextrous because it’s mounted where your trigger finger
is inside the trigger guard which is pretty nice. Now, they eject out the front or you can store about four or five shots in there with the door closed before they eject which is kind of a neat feature actually. So, they’re kind of
weird, the older models, in that they have an optic
that’s hidden under the shroud. And you’re going to
laugh when I take it off. It looks like a cheap BB gun optic, but it’s actually quite decent. Now, of course you can remove that and mount an acog or whatever eotech if you’re into that. And then go with it. I just think it looks
so cool with the shroud and the old optic on there. And then of course, it also has an adjustable gas regulator, making this a very modern, very cool gun. So this was a tough one to list because while the FS2000
is on FN’s website, they haven’t really produced them or imported any in a while, although they kind of insist that it’s not down and out, however it does seem like they have turned their back to it. And when you click the link, it actually goes to the military version. So, I’m pretty sure that
they’ve given up on this, but hopefully I’m wrong
because they’re very cool. Anyways guys, big thanks
to Ventura Munitions. Big thanks to you for watching. I really hope you enjoyed this. Hope to see you next time.

100 thoughts on “Top 5 AR15 Alternatives… That Failed

  1. >still using guns that use cartridge
    One day you plebs will discover the glory of the ball musket
    See ya later normies!

  2. I don't know how correct this is but I have heard that rifles like the AR-180 and AR-15 were just not as widely sought after during the 60s-80s in the broader civilian market. I know they started to catch on a lot in the mid to late 80s but then that AWB hit and that really killed their market for a while and when it was lifted people really just went for the 15. It is a shame because I really enjoy shooting the AR-180, it's a fun little rifle!

  3. I am super ignorant i know but what all these ar have in common to be called ar? Is the arx included? Maybe not as it is a carabine

  4. The funny thing. The AR18 didn't actually enjoy civilian market success. The CIA used false identities to buy most of the production run and then shipped them to the IRA to use against the British.

  5. I would love to see an AR style LMG equipped with a crank trigger and the Knight's Armament "Gatmalite" barrel assembly… Admit it, next to the Prototype Microgun & the enthusiasts XM556, that would be the closest to a handheld Gatling gun! Also I hope H&K will bring back the HK53 AND 51… I can't find a similar compact rifle caliber carbine on the market.
    (PS: Speaking of Bushmaster, what do you think about doing a video on oddities like the Arm Pistol?)

  6. Before you watch
    M16: 3 round burst takes 5.56 NATO
    M4: 3 round burst or full auto
    takes 5.56 NATO
    AR-15: semi automatic takes .223
    (one shot per trigger pull)
    AR stands for Armalite Rifles.

  7. I think the ACR gets forgotten for similar reasons to the FAL. it's a great gun but it doesn't have a super flashy look or stand out in a certain way

  8. the Benelli Mr1 looks like an m4 super 90, a Beretta cx4, and an m16 had a threesome
    really, why they would even make something like that is beyond me

  9. Interestingly a few of those actually are halfway popular here in Canada (namely the ACR and a derivative of the AR-180 manufactured here called the WK-180) due to AR-15s being classified as restricted, meaning they can only be shot at ranges.

  10. I’ll be honest I just find the AR-15 boring, don’t get me wrong the AR-15 is a good weapon but the fact that everyone and their mother seems to have one just turns me off

  11. It is a shame that Remington and Bushmaster gave up in the ACR though cuz it's my favorite rifle, but they do have 6.8 conversion kits now, they are like 600+ bucks

  12. As rural prepper stated earlier in comments a rifle would have to be very cheap… prolly 500$ to replace the ar

  13. If you ask me, the Bushmaster's ugly-cute. It looks really practical and comfortable to handle, especially with that Vepr-style grip. It also looks like with a little more work it could have been a pretty modular platform.

  14. I've always thought 6.8spc was interesting but it never really took off. And Remington expecting the armed forces to do away with all the ammo stocks they have to switch to 6.8 was just laughable. To top it off its Still to expensive

  15. Lesson in economics. Price yourself out of the market. The bulk of the AR market are sold $600-$700 with entry level ones even cheaper. Most people cannot afford some of the crazy pricing.

  16. If you've ever tried to pick a black firearm up that's been sitting in the sun in the desert with your bare hands, you will know exactly why the Israelis and anybody else who uses firearms if that environment puts wood stocks on them. As for the 180. Had it not stopped its development it probably would have function with AR-15 magazines and been far more robust in its function that the early AR-15 ever was and modern AR-15s without a piston drive system are in desert use.

  17. I think one of the reasons why the AR-15 has been unbeatable on the market is because it's cheap it's simple you have one part in the operating system which is the bolt carrier and because it's milled aluminum it's still accurate you don't have any flex.

    If you look at any of the Short stroke piston rifles on the market there drastically more expensive then even one of the better AR-15s.

  18. The FS2000 is No Failure it Shoots way better than the Tavor and it’s Truly Ambidextrous U don’t have to Swap The Bolt or uncover a Different Ejection Port And it’s probably one of the most comfortable Guns to shoot that I own.. Great Firearm

  19. Man, when he took off the optic shroud at 8:40 that shit made me giggle… that really felt akin to a 250 lb. body builder dropping his trousers and revealing a micropenis. 😂

  20. I am looking for verification about a story I read of the Armalite AR180 – maybe a rumor, maybe just second hand, maybe both, that goes like this – the M16 was introduced to the US Army and USMC in Vietnam c. 1965, and right away had serious and often lethal (the the user) jamming problems! The gun would jam and a fired case would stick in the chamber so tightly the extractor would rip the rim off the casing, jamming the gun. The soldier took to carrying around a full size cleaning rod taped to the rifle to pound out stuck cases, in combat, yet. The problems were caused by an unauthorized switch in gunpowder, the ammo was designed to use "stick" type powder but they switch to ball powder that fouled the rifle… also the M16 needed a chrome plated chamber and bore but didn't have one, compounding the problem. It took until 1968 to fix the problems, and here's the part I want verification for, supposedly General Westmoreland himself, was so enraged by the jamming guns that he contacted Colt (the maker of the M16 at the time) and told them if they didn't fix the M16 fast he was going to order the army to buy the AR180 instead! I can't find any proof that Westmoreland ever did any of this and that he would order purchases of the AR180 (except the jamming part, we KNOW that happened), can anybody point me to a source?

  21. Well, bottom line is they need to get rid of the overrated Colt weapon anyways. If they were smart in the military they would stop being biased towards American companies for the soldiers weapons. Switch to the Steyr AUG for god’s sake! It’s a vastly superior gun in every way possible.

    “American made” is such a misnomer….if anything that term has synonyms like “overpriced” (due to labor here), “poorly assembled (American workers are lazy…I know blasphemy right?), and “overrated”.

    Sorry I’m not one of the brainwashed “blind patriots” that think anything made in ‘merica is superior simply because it’s American. How did that work out for the American auto industry by the way? lol…one big problem with this country (amongst so many others…)…ya know like people buying into shit like “our economy is strong and we are doing well” when really a recession is due to hit at any time.

    But ya unions are a HUGE problem in this country, most union people feel so fucking entitled. Because of unions we as Americans pay more for everything because of the absurd salaries that are given to these outdated unions employees. They served a purpose when labor laws weren’t the way they are, but now they just represent greed. Unions have put numerous companies out of business due to them not being able to be financially solvent anymore. So then people bitch “oh they moved the plants to (insert other country here), of course not blaming themselves for forcing the companies hand. Besides production jobs, the construction industry has the most bullshit union. I know people that are or were in it…is it fair that someone gets to sit in the cab of a crane all day and make $40+ an hour? Nope. Is it fair that you have these fucks standing around and making $40+ ? Nope.

    So when, not IF the recession hits, blame the greed of the unions, the banks (didn’t learn the first time about just handing out loans to people that cant pay back), and the fact we didn’t learn from the last recession.

    I also would like to remind everybody that the two presidents that ran the country throughout the entire 80’s and early 90’s were staunch republicans and created the assault weapon ban and numerous other bans/laws on a multitude of gun related items. I feel like everyone ignores this intentionally because it’s always focused on taking away gun “rights”. I think they interpreted the constitution logically…that nobody in the founding of the country could have fathomed the creation or use of such powerful weaponry, the wording “right to bear arms” is so vague. But to believe that means having full auto guns legal as a “right” is straight up asinine.

    No I’m not a democrat, I’m actually closest to a Libertarian (logical “political parties” aren’t hardcore right or hardcore left because that’s stupid AF. Not everything is black and white). We need actual moderates in the White House and 3 branches of government as a whole. It’s not like the two system party works anyways…not for the people at least. Both parties are hypocrites and go directly against their party platform. A great example is George “are too much paint as a kid” Bush, Republicans are SUPPOSED to be about less government interference (actually VERY little)…yet he created an unconstitutional act known as the (un)patriot act that not only gave the government absurd levels of control but also was written in direct violation of the constitution. Did a good job spinning it into “protecting our freedom” (the term I hate because NOBODY is threatening it!) by being able to legally tap phones, obtain records without the proper channel and generally invade hook peoples privacy. Let’s also not forget an illegal war started over a false pretense that was ignored.

    Look at f’n Iraq right now…they had nothing to do with 9/11 but Bush had to finish his dads work and take out Hussein. Once we did that, took control of what we needed from them, we left them high and dry. We are to blame for the creation of ISIS on that note…but to finish my thought, we fucked up Iraq way worse than how we found it. Nobody asked for our help there and people hated our presence there. Yet, not our problem cause we got the oil, so mission accomplished.

    Basically it comes down to this…if you aren’t a “democratic”/capitalistic government, then you’re wrong as a country. So we must “free” them by giving them a system they don’t want. You can’t just go invade a country, change their way of life and just expect everything to somehow work out…

  22. The G11 was literally one of the greatest weapons ever created, and for some reason they stopped making it or testing it.

    Non-Powder based ammunition, 0 Recoil until the third round of a burst, you could throw it and the ammunition out of a plane without a parachute and it was still usable afterwards.

    Highest fire rate of any firearm when on burst, decent fire rate when put on full auto.

  23. The AR-18 was designed to be a cheap, easily mass produced rifle for export. It saw limited use with groups like the IRA, who called it " The Widowmaker," but failed to achieve success because most nations looking for cheap, stamped sheet metal service rifles were under Soviet influence and selected the AKM. Meanwhile, the US was almost giving away M16s to allied nations.
    The ACR showed a lot of promise when it was a 6 pound modular prototype called the Masada under development by Magpul. When Remington/Bushmaster bought it out, it gained 2 pounds and a $1000 on its MSRP, lost most of its modularity, and turned into a 1:9 twist range toy for people who played too much Call of Duty.
    FS2000 I think was just too funky. The trigger was terrible, but mostly, it just felt and handled like nothing else on the market, and that ended up working against it. I've heard complaints about the mags not dropping free, about lack of chamber access making it hard to clear malfunctions, and just open skepticism about the forward ejection. Considering the gun wasn't cheap, and is listed as almost 8 lbs, sans optics, all these things undermined any chance the FN had a commercial success.
    The other two are fugly. Life is too short to use ugly guns or 8+ pound poodle shooters. If you can choose between a weird 8 pound 5.56mm bullpup that looks like it came off the set of Starship Troopers or a proven 8.5 pound AR10 in 7.62mm NATO, the logical choice is pretty simple. Same with the ACR–with all that plastic, how do you excuse the thing weighing as much as a full power battle rifle?

  24. Apparently the F2000 has been selected as the service rifle for… Slovenia of all countries. I guess they just wanted their troops to look different?

  25. The AR 180 is indeed a cheaply made rifle.It seems that back in the 70s it was intended to compete with the AK 47.It should have been better received but it was priced the same as AR 15s. The FN 2000 is a fine rifle which is way over priced.

  26. AR-180 and the Bushmaster are cheap stamped guns, and people like milled metal better even if aluminum. The other three are mostly cool, but way too expensive. You could buy THREE or FOUR AR-15's for the price of ONE of those.

  27. AR18 = proprietary mags 🙁
    ACR = way too damn expensive
    Bushmaster = never even heard of it
    Benelli = they make rifles?
    FN F2000 = same treatment as ACR

  28. I like the ACR and wish it had been more of a success as well. I wonder if the non -civilian Remington version is any better. But the Bushmaster is heavier and not near as accurate as an equally priced AR. Seems like the civilian version got watered down a bit. And I wish it had grip options like an AR. The advantages and cool factor doesn't seem to be enough to outweigh the traditional AR package. Let the flaming begin. Lol.

  29. The ACR is alive and well. And conversion kits are available factory direct, all be it they cost a small fortune.

  30. I love how everyone shits on the ACR but yet LGS in St. Louis can't keep them in stock. Buds Gun Shop always sells out especially the coyote brown rifles. I personally own 3 of them. I think they're great rifles.

  31. The AR-180 is back in Canada. It is being produced as a work-around for the restricted (range only) status of the AR-15. The rifle is a modernized, milled variant based on the 180 platform. It can utilize most AR-15 accessories and magazines, and is known as the WK180C.

  32. The only thing wrong with an AR is the buffer tube but that's also what makes it more accurate then impingment options. Other than that nobody can beat it's modularity and it pretty much shoots anything you can load into a 556 case or a 762×39 case. BTW that last bullpup looked completely impractical

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