Bushmaster’s early 2000’s attempt at a turn of the century assault rifle, developed from Magpul’s Masada, didn’t go as planned…
The rifle did finally work but there is an emphasis on finally… Bushmaster/Remington had a serious QC issue as their previous iteration of existence slowly crumbled into oblivion.
My iteration, a late one, worked fine. Although it still held all the flaws and cut corners that made the ACR fall short.
In my experience, the ACR had about 80-85% of what it needed. It suffered from similar drawbacks to the SCAR with the short handguard, but then the SCAR pulled through with the core of the rifle working. Then the little things like the safety detent not working, the handguard being wobbly, being a 1:9 barrel out the gate, none of the caliber options being advertised were available except 5.56, and being nearly $1,000 over the $1,500-$1,800 price point that was originally targeted… There is a dramatic difference between a rifle being valued above MSRP, selling higher, and the actual MSRP being over 50% over the projected number.
We never received a good explanation why either. Just a ‘well it cost a little more than we anticipated…’ which would fly if the ACR was projected $1,500-$1,800 and ended up at $2,000.. A 10% shift is usually within reason for development, a doubling of the expected price when other firearms grant more for less… not good.
Add onto that the myriad teething issues, poor fitment, and various other quirks, and the ACR ended up as a wet cold waffle of a rifle product. Despite eventually getting it working the rifle never regained the lost ground the way others like the MCX did with the VIRTUS variant.
But, Bushmaster is coming back and they have teased the ACR’s return. We will see what Franklin does with the brand.