The familiar old Bushmaster brand is inching its way to a planned comeback, or at least that's what the reborn company's social media page would have you believe.
Founded originally in Maine back in 1978, Bushmaster was in the first generation of black rifle makers, delivering the lightweight Carbon-15, the .50-cal BA50, the M17S Bullpup rifle, the XM-10, the XM-15 rifle, and others to the consumer market. Acquired in 2006 by the same holding company who owned Remington Outdoors, the company shifted operations and moved to North Carolina, suffering a reputational decline as Big Green allowed its modern sporting rifle lines to slowly die out in the lead up to the troubled company's federal bankruptcy filing last year.
Now, purchased out of hock by Nevada-based Franklin Armory, Bushmaster has restarted its legacy website – which is still under construction – and is once again posting regularly to its long-dormant social media pages. Recent images include what seem to be newly-made Bushmaster M4 Patrolman carbines, M4 QRCs (Quick Response Carbine), and XM15s at work in a high desert setting that sure doesn't look like Maine or North Carolina.
However, showing off the now-retro ARs don't seem to be much of a hit with Bushmaster's surviving fans, who are eager for the return of the Adaptive Combat Rifle, or ACR, an evolution of the Magpul Masada concept rifle that Remington-owned Bushmaster brought to market in 2010.
One poster on Facebook commented:
"Come on Bushmaster.... stop showing us your ARs that look like they stepped straight outta 1982 (seriously, we going for that Miami Vice retro look with those round handguards and Vietnam style stock?). Either ACR or GTFO."
To that, Bushmaster has posted, back in March, a company-branded image of an ACR in action with the tagline "Soon To Be Perfected..." which would seem to hint that the modular rifle is at least on the radar.