Yes, I know, I have written that AR-15 manufacturers abound to the point of my losing my excitement about the AR, and yes, I don’t often write about AR-15s in this column — unless I happen across something that stands out in the crowd. I have again managed to find a standout in the world of custom-built AR-15s — one that is priced competitively with factory-manufactured ARs and which features superior levels of precision and reliability.
Falcon Ordnance, located in Delaware, Ohio, is a veteran-owned-and-operated business. Not only is this a plus — just from a patriotic standpoint — these military veterans are retired Army with actual combat experience in the Afghan war. Director of Sales and Operations Chad Williams was with the 19th Special Forces group and had additional deployments with the 5th and 10th SFG. When Gunsmith Luke Murray was active Army, he was assigned to the fabled 82nd Airborne. After he left the active roster, he re-entered as assigned to the infantry, where he was attached to the 3rd Special Forces Group. He was severely wounded and lost a leg in an explosion during combat operations.
As if their combined military experience isn’t enough, both men are also retired City of Columbus, Ohio, police officers, with extensive experience in the police training division. Chad was a sniper instructor for the department’s SWAT team and was the instructor for the sniper school that I attended. Luke was assigned to the department’s Ordnance section. What I am saying is that these are two guys who really know their stuff. They know what works and what doesn’t — and their standards are high. While some of what they produce will see the most use in competition or hunting environments, their other arms are designed for self-defense — be it for a soldier, cop or civilian. That is the standard to which they work. All of their products and services are designed to cater to the shooter who really “knows what they want.”
Luke Murray is the person who produces their products. Luke is a genuine certified gunsmith, trained at one of the few real “hands-on” gunsmithing schools left in the country: Montgomery Community College in Rockville, NC. Luke earned an Associate Arts Degree in gunsmithing and design, paid for by the GI bill. I looked over some of his textbooks from his degree program. Believe me, his training was the real deal, not a quickie online training course of questionable value. Luke also keeps current on his factory armorer certifications, like those from Glock and SIG Sauer, since Falcon does some custom work on their pistols via a commercial vertical mill, which smaller gunsmith operations don’t have. The vertical mill enables them to add front slide cocking serrations that exactly match the factory rear serrations or to cut the top of the slide for mounting modern red-dot reflex sights. Having Falcon cut the slide of an existing pistol for reflex sights is MUCH cheaper than buying a new, replacement slide with the cuts already in it; $175 is the current price.
When a customer calls or stops in the shop and wants a precision AR-15 (all four of their current models are precision builds), he or she meets with Chad to specify nearly every component he or she wants in the gun. I asked Chad if he had a checklist of the available components. He said “no.” He literally works with a blank sheet of paper, because if he listed all the options available on a form, it would be too large of a document! Obviously, the purchaser has a wide range of options at Falcon.
Currently, there are two firearms being built by Falcon that satisfy the needs of the home or property owner who wants a defensive AR-15 capable of CQB or reaching out and touching the bad guy at extended ranges: the 16-inch-barreled AR-15 Patrol Rifle priced at $1200, and the 10.5-inch-barreled SBR Entry Rifle, also priced at $1200.
Falcon uses only top of the line components for their builds — stuff that Chad and Luke know is battle worthy and not prone to failure. Stuff that they would trust their lives with.
Falcon rifles use only forged upper and lower receivers from one of the few manufacturers that does top-of-the-line forge work. The barrels of both the Patrol and Entry rifles, while not match grade, are certainly close; both the 16.5-inch Patrol barrel and the 10.5-inch Entry barrel are Chrome-Moly Vanadium with a 4150 Black Nitride finish. The bolt carrier group is also black nitride coated. Magpul furniture is supplied in both formats, although any other stock/furniture option can be ordered by the purchaser as long as it does not interfere with reliability and durability. CMC 6.5-pound single-stage triggers are standard in both rifles, as are radian charging handles. The purchaser also can select from any caliber currently available that fits within the 5.56mm envelope for these rifles, like the .300 Blackout or the 6.8 SPC.
Even without match-grade barrels (which also could be ordered if desired), both the Patrol and Entry rifles are capable of outstanding groups at 100 yards. I saw one from the Patrol rifle that was a single five-shot hole at 100 yards. Chad and Luke feel that for the missions these two rifles are designed for, a match barrel isn’t necessary due to the care and precision built into all the other portions of the rifles. His groups bear this out, and they weren’t fired from a machine rest.
If you want to step up to a full-blown Match-Grade AR-15, there is the AR-15 Precision Rifle. Equipped with an 18-inch Criterion Match Barrel and a 2- to 4-pound adjustable CMC Single-Stage Trigger, this is a top-of-the-line tack driver. Basic price is $1800.
If you feel the need for more power, there is the AR-10 Precision Rifle. It also uses an 18-inch Criterion Match Barrel and a CMC 2- to 4-pound adjustable two-stage trigger. Like the AR-15, the AR-10 can be chambered for any currently available caliber that fits within its envelope, like the .338 Federal or 6.5 Creedmoor. Basic price is $2300.
Other options for all Falcon Arms products include in-house Black Nitride, Duracoat and HydroDip coatings. These options add a definite look of distinction and personalization to their rifles while protecting metal surfaces.
Falcon Ordnance also has upgrade packages for your AR-15. They can bring your AR up to their standards with their Reliability, Upgrade and Rebuild Packages.
ARs aren’t the only specialty rifles that Falcon Ordnance offers. Chad has a great deal of experience with bolt-action precision rifles due to his sniper background. Falcon is building some great precision bolt guns based on the Remington 700 or Savage action for hunting, long-range precision competition, sniper or other specialty uses. Although we didn’t discuss it, I bet they could build an outstanding “Scout” rifle. Caliber choices are wide open here as well, all the way up to the top “big boy” long-range rounds. They are also doing some work with 1903 Springfields as well.
Falcon offers a wide range of gunsmith services for your existing guns, including shotguns. They seem to be more than willing to meet any reasonable and safe customer request. While they can order any firearm now on the market (they specialize in Glock, Smith & Wesson, Springfield Armory and 1911 semi-autos, as well as Smith & Wesson and Ruger revolvers), if you just want something off the rack, they recommend checking out a standard retail outlet.
I have only scratched the surface of what these highly experienced individuals are up to, and more great products are in the works. If you know what you want, and you want precision, reliability and durability, as well as something unique, these are the guys to talk to.
More info at: www.falconglobalsupply.com or 614-674-4953.