Where there’s a will, there’s a way – well, more than one way. For years, gun owners have seen their lawful possession and ownership of AR-15s come under attack in states like New York, California, New Jersey, etc.
A number of innovations have come out over the past few years that work around the definition of these so-called “assault weapons.” These have included adding “paddles” to pistol grips to prevent actually gripping it; magazines that bolt into the mag well; and bolt-carrier groups (like the Kali-Key that we covered last year) that turn the guns into a bolt-action, with the charging handle being used to extract and load each shot.
As cumbersome and unfortunate as these products are, they serve an important role for gun owners in restricted states. Each of these innovations allow the rifles to keep most – if not all – of their scary “assault weapon” features because they’ve been changed just enough so that they no longer meet the legally-arbitrary definition of an “assault rifle.”
Another option seen at SHOT Show 2020 are true, bolt-action upper receivers from Uintah Precision. Unlike the Kali-Key, which operates like a straight-pull rifle and uses a standard AR-15 upper receiver, Uintah has created a bolt of their own design with an integrated bolt-handle that throws like a regular bolt-action rifle.
To utilize the turn and locking of this action, Uintah designed their own upper receivers that are cut to accommodate the bolt handle when in the locked position.
This design blends the familiarity and modularity of the AR with the precision and accuracy of a bolt-action rifle. Uintah Precision’s URP10 and UPR15 bolt-action designs work with any standard lower receiver in the AR-10 or AR-15 platforms.
The special UP uppers pin to the lower just like any other, and they feed from standard, detachable magazines. Both models are compatible with most aftermarket accessories, allowing shooters to customize their weapon like they would any other AR pattern rifle.
Of special interest so southpaws is a left-handed receiver. The UPR15 is in the prototype stages and they hope to have completed versions available as soon as practicable. The UPR10 will, ideally, follow shortly after.
Uintah sells completed rifles, but they also sell just the receiver sets. If you choose to go this route, though, there are a few things you need to be aware of when building your gun. The sets include the receiver, bolt, and proprietary barrel extension nut. However, standard AR barrels are not a direct drop in option.
Their uppers utilize a traditional style barrel that attaches like an AR barrel, but there is no gas block/system. If you used a regular AR barrel, you would have to use their proprietary extension nut for their 3-lug bolt, have some machining work done, headspace it, and find a solution to plug off the gas hole. If using a barrel blank, the amount of work would be similar to re-barreling or re-chambering a Remington 700.
So, yes, you can go with the DIY option, but it seems like it would be more hassle than it’s worth. Unless, of course, you’re up to the gunsmithing challenge.
Regardless of the option you choose, one thing remains the same: you can’t stop the signal.