SHOT Show 2014 Vendor Report: Faxon Firearms

| January 22, 2014 | 0 Comments

One of our readers suggested we talk to Faxon Firearms while we were at SHOT Show. Our reader is building an AR pistol for bag carry and was considering a piston-driven model from Faxon or Adams Arms.

We talked to both vendors at the show, and they were great. I’m not in the market for a piston-driven AR myself, but I was definitely impressed with the options and specifications of the Faxon lineup.

One thing about piston-driven AR pistols is that they are usually run more like a stock-less SMG than a stock-less rifle. Meaning the piston-pistols are either fired from a two-handed, close contact grip or with isometric tension from a sling. The supporting hand is almost always placed against the magazine well instead of on the fore-end like modern rifle grips. However, Faxon sells a 2 3/4″ tube that can be put on the lower if a customer wants to “float” the tube against the cheek or put the tube against the shoulder pocket as one would a stock. My wife does both methods with her AR pistol.

The Faxon uppers are available in five colors and look fantastic. They are built on a monolithic upper, and can be configured for right- or left-handed charging.


Customers can select a medium or heavy profile barrel. Barrel lengths of 12.5″, 16″ and 20″ are available. For our readers, the only reasonable option is the 12.5″ barrel.

When asked about a shorter barrel length, Mr. Faxon replied that the monolithic upper assembly can’t be made any shorter due to the charging handle. 12.5″ barrel is the minimum size.¬†While I consider that barrel length too long for bag carry, it would make for a maneuverable firearms inside of a house and possibly even exiting a vehicle.


You also have a choice of a stainless steel barrel for an additional $145, or a stainless fluted barrel for an additional $209.

The ARAK-21 is shipping in 5.56×45 and .300 Blackout. Mr. Faxon stated that they were still fine-tuning their .300 Blackout configuration in the 12.5″ barrel length and doing ammunition testing, so you can only get the 16″ and 20″ barrels now.

I understand the desire to make sure everything is reliable across the broadest spectrum of plausibly-acquired ammunition, but I’m disappointed to see the .300 Blackout in just those longer barrel lengths. Shorter barrels are where the Blackout has the most advantage over 5.56, and if you weren’t interested in the shortest barrels possible you would be reading someone else’s blog.

.300 Blackout uppers will have barrels with three rings near the muzzle.

.300 Blackout uppers will have barrels with three rings near the muzzle.

The Faxon system has three adjustable gas settings; I heard from multiple vendors at SHOT that pressure in 5.56×45 cartridges varies wildly. With the panic buying of last year, some people (myself included) had to buy whatever they could. Often times lower-grade practice ammunition such as Tula or Herter’s will have much less pressure than MILSPEC cartridges, and the three settings should help reliability. If / when Faxon releases a .300 Blackout upper the ability to fine tune the gas in three settings will be very helpful when switching from supersonic to subsonic loads.

Faxon wasn’t present on Media day, so I wasn’t able to shoot any of their firearms. However, the pricing, customization and customer service should put the Faxon on your list of potential piston-driven AR uppers.

Head on over to the Faxon Firearms Web site and place your order for an upper and two-barrel package, with .300 Blackout and 5.56 packages starting at $1459 MSRP.

About the Author:

Short Barrel Shepherd Short Barrel Shepherd is a regular guy and works to make Web sites and mobile apps easier for people to use. He spends his free time attending fight-focused firearm, knife, and combatives training, motorcycling, writing, and playing games. His daily carry is a Glock 19 pistol and an AR15 .300 Blackout pistol in a backpack.
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