I've waited a year to do this product review to be fair and the short version of my review is:
BUYER BEWARE. Please read this before you spend your hard earned money.
First of all Buds was great and the score of this review is based solely off of the rifle. This was my first purchase from them and I've since bought two other firearms.
I'll start off with the good. This rifle is incredibly light weight which was perfect for me because I don't have the most upper body strength. The carbon fiber construction really does cut down on the weight compared to the aluminum builds literally by pounds. But you give up a lot for this which I'll get into later. The rifle also shoots fairly consistently and straight. I had a few failures to feed but those could be attributed to improper lube or bad ammo. It will not shoot the steel casings. Only the brass. But it shoots the brass pretty good. With light loads (55G .223s) it shoots incredibly accurate.
Now on to the bad. The first indication of the shortcomings of the carbon fiber construction came when I purchased a free floating hand-guard. The shop I bought it from offered to put it on for free. So I left my upper there over night. When I returned the shop informed me they did not work on this particular model because it breaks so easily. I went to a second shop and was told the same thing. Then the same thing by a third. After this I returned the free floater and bought a a two piece.
The reason I bought this gun over the rest is because, in my ignorance, I thought the picture looked so much better than the other two models. This is largely because of the optics though. However the optics it comes with are not good and you will be replacing it. So picture the rifle without it and ask yourself if you still want it.
The real deal (and gun) breaker for me came when I tried to remove the buffer tube to mount a single point sling attachment. I removed it using the proper tools just like I did when I was in the army and managed to completely destroy the lower receiver and the buffer tube due to how low quality the carbon fiber is and the fact that the lower is literally completely made out of it- including the threading. Simply taking the buffer tube off stripped both the buffer tube and the actual lower receiver. When I took it to gun smiths they all told me the parts were no good and needed to be replaced. They also told me- just like the others had- that they do not work on these rifles for this very reason.
So basically by removing the buffer tube I've destroyed the rifle. If you do not ever intend to take the rifle apart then this is a good, light rifle. But realize for the price there are much better out there. DPMS, Del-Ton and S&W all make mil spec and tough ARs for about the same price. I'd highly advise you get one of these. I've since bought one of these rifles (Del Ton Echo 316- mil specaluminum constructio, $735) and wish more than anything I would have in the first place instead of being out $700.
I hope I didn't come off as too negative or nitpicky... I really want people to think twice when buying this rifle. Know what you are getting and if it will serve your purpose.
Rating: [2 of 5 Stars!]