It won’t be long before everyone in the AR business is familiar with the name SI-Defense. Most of the time gun companies get their start by offering something popular, something mainstream — it’s safe to produce something that’s already in demand.
That’s not what SI-Defense is doing. They’re going to break the mold and make their own demand with the upcoming Ambi Petra semiautomatic .300 Winchester Magnum rifle.
Built on truly ambidextrous lowers with a full set of controls on both sides, Petra rifles are built using both custom in-house components as well as top-flight parts from some of the best names in the industry, and will be offered with different options when it hits the market.
The basic Petra rifle will be with SI-Defense’s in-house muzzle brake, which as you can see in the video, is up to the task, a stainless steel barrel, proprietary DMPS-pattern handguard that can be replaced with common aftermarket options, SI-D Mach 10 ambidextrous charging handle and Magpul and Hogue furniture.
Optional components include a Proof Research carbon-fiber hybrid barrel. These barrels are extremely rigid and will shoot tighter groups, which is particularly important when you’re looking at this as a hunting rifle. .300 Win. Mag is a popular longer-range hunting cartridge and with a Proof Research barrel ethical culls are possible at further distances.
It’s important to point out that the receivers not only have ambidextrous controls, but that the controls are completely mirrored. They’re exactly the same on both sides, and all the controls are in the standard AR locations.
This of course makes the Petra a lefty-friendly rifle out of the box. While ejection is fixed, the Petra has an aggressive shell deflector that will deflect spend cartridges well away from the shooter no matter what side of the rifle they stand.
A side benefit of mirrored controls is that users don’t have to learn a different manual of arms for using the controls on the opposite side. This comes in handy when shooting off-handed or under stress.
It will be a while before these hit the market, around late summer 2015. That will give potential buyers enough time to balance their budget. Right now, depending on the configuration, SI-Defense estimates that the rifles will list for between $4,500 and $5,500, according to early info on the company’s Facebook page.
Priced where it is the Petra will still be out of reach for many shooters, however, they do offer .308 Winchester rifles with the same mirrored ambidextrous controls for about $2,500 and the company is working on ambidextrous receiver sets for AR-15-pattern rifles. They already offer DPMS-pattern AR-10-style ambidextrous billet machined receiver sets for $619.
But if you’ve got cash burning a .300 Win. Mag.-sized hole through your wallet and want to get in line for a Petra rifle today, you can contact SI-Defense right now for more information on how to add one of these fantastic guns to your collection as soon as possible.