Faxon Firearms, manufacturer of the new and innovative ARAK AR-15 upper, has finally launched their website and is taking pre-orders for their first batch of ARAKs. They expect to ship by the last week of March or the first week of April, with a wide variety of options including left-handed receivers.
The ARAK upper isn’t unique but it’s certainly one of a kind. Inspired by the AK-47 and FAL, the ARAK is a long-stroke gas piston-operated AR-15 upper. It’s completely self-contained and does not use the buffer system, eliminating carrier tilt. It doesn’t use an AR charging handle; instead it has reversible non-reciprocating charging handle at the side of the receiver, like the ACR and a handful of other rifles. While it draws from other designs, including some ARs, all together they make the ARAK very different.
It’s designed around a modular upper receiver that can be quickly stripped down to the barrel trunnion, which can be removed, along with the barrel and gas port and regulator, and swapped out for another barrel assembly; it’s a quick-change barrel on a commercial rifle.
Because the recoil system is housed above the bolt inside the receiver, an AR using the ARAK upper can use unconventional buttstocks, including folding stocks. The flipside is that the receiver is taller to contain the recoil assembly, so users who prefer the standard AR-15 cheek weld will have use low-profile sights, like those common to some SIG and H&K rifles.
Another thing that makes the ARAK stand out is the spread of colors Faxon will be making them in. Like ARs, the receiver is aluminum, although it has internal steel rails for the bolt to ride on, another AK-inspired feature. Faxon will be offering them anodized in a wide variety of colors, including black, red, blue, silver and green.
Faxon is taking pre-orders for their uppers with your choice of barrel lengths and calibers. The ARAK is currently being produced in 5.56 NATO and 300 AAC Blackout. Faxon is making barrels in medium and heavy profiles in 16- and 20-inch lengths.
For a small price premium, you can preorder one upper with two barrels, also in whatever length, profile and chambering. They do sell barrel assemblies separately for $430 so you can add another down the road.
When they first announced the ARAK late last year, the price seemed a bit steep. It’s $1,200 for the basic upper and $1,460 for the two-barrel combo; but now, with the state of AR prices, that’s downright competitive.
The only thing working against the ARAK is Faxon itself. A subsidiary of Faxon Manufacturing, the firearm wing of the company is very new and has no reputation to speak of. That said, Faxon Manufacturing is a sizable company, and we are impressed with what we’ve seen so far.
We’re interested in taking the ARAK plunge. Are you?