M4s With a Twist: Adcor B.E.A.R. GI and GI Enhanced

Adcor isn’t, by nature, a firearms company.  They’re a bottling and canning equipment manufacturer. “In 2005, Jimmy Stavrakis received an order to make components for Colt’s M4 rifles as they were being rapidly fielded for units in Afghanistan and Iraq. In just a few days, Stavrakis and his engineers at ADCOR Industries Inc. had carved out precisely made upper receiver components for the Army’s individual rifle.

“But when officials came to inspect the parts, there was one small problem. Stavrakis and his team had printed the logo upside down. ADCOR, which until then mostly specialized in making precision components for the beverage industry, had never seen a completely assembled M4.

“‘We made the uppers in less time than they thought we could, and the components were right to specification,’ Stavrakis chuckled. ‘But we had no idea how they actually went on the rifle.'”

That being said, their uppers are tops.  Adcor makes one of the most modern AR piston-driven rifles on the market, the B.E.A.R., for Brown Enhanced Automatic Rifle (Adcor V.P. Mike Brown was one of the lead designers of the system).  Inside the rail key-locked to the upper receiver is the adjustable gas piston housing, which allows the barrel to remain free-floating.  Also in the quad-railed forearm is a ambidextrous, flip-out secondary forward charging handle (non-reciprocating).

These are very accurate rifles, MOA- to sub-MOA, with the added reliability and freedom from maintenance you get from using a gas-piston system.  To prevent carrier tilt, the gas piston rides and locks into a set of lugs that keeps the piston straight; this being the primary argument against pistons in ARs.  This also ensures reliability by preventing piston fatigue.

“Adcor Defense supplied testing results conducted by an independent ballistics laboratory to show the rifle can withstand the rigors of the real world, including military action. According to H.P. White Laboratory, the B.E.A.R. had zero stoppages during a 6,000-round function test conducted in five-round burst, semi-auto and full auto modes. The gun also averaged .88 inches in four, three–shot groups using Federal Match 69-grain ammunition. H.P. White also conducted two adverse environment tests. The first consisted of burying the rifle in playground sand while for the other they submerged it in 5 inches of water. After both tests, 30 rounds were fired in both semi-auto and full auto modes with zero malfunctions.”

Still, you can’t convince everyone that a piston system is an improvement; that’s where their new B.E.A.R. G.I. comes into play.  Using the same upper, the G.I. ditches their piston and goes with a traditional direct-impingement system.  Not leaving everything as Stoner made it, the G.I.’s gas tube is removable for cleaning or replacing.

The G.I.s are available in standard and elite versions, the latter featuring Magpul MOE furniture and an M249-profile FN barrel.

They also make the G.I. without the forward charging handle.  Isn’t that just a regular AR, then?  Well, yes for the most part.  The upper’s got a free-floating barrel, and the rifle also features the polymer bolt wipe that prevents fine particulate from working its way into the receiver.

Although a departure from Brown’s original design by a significant degree, the Adcor B.E.A.R. G.I. is still quite a rifle.  Pricing isn’t set, but we expect the street price to be between $1200 and $1500.