Eugene Stoner likely had no clue what his AR-15 would eventually become. I’m sure he’d be proud to know that it is still the weapon that arms the United States military. However, he might not be quite so proud of the many bizarre AR 15s that have come to be. I’d hope he’d have a good sense of humor or be interested to see how far his design evolved. Today I’ve gathered some of the most bizarre AR 15s for your viewing pleasure.
Rules For Picking Bizarre AR 15s
First, I chose bizarre AR 15s that are on the market. No prototypes are allowed. I wanted to find guns you could own, or at least could have owned. I stayed away from military contracts and bizarre one-offs. This helped ground the search because, boy, oh boy, there are some odd AR designs out there. With that in mind, here are the five most bizarre AR 15s out there.
1. Fox Unit X1
Fox Unit X1, or FU X1, is a AR 15 designed for those trapped behind the lines of the Democratic Peoples Republic of California. Thanks to California’s constantly changing, shifting, and evolving laws, gun hackers have developed some truly bizarre AR 15s.
My favorite is the Fox Unit X1. The Fox Unit X1 takes the AR and removes the one defining feature that keeps anti-freedom politicians awake at night, the semi-auto action. This is a simple shot rifle that uses a proprietary lower receiver that locks the bolt to the rear after every shot is fired. Thus, it’s not semi-automatic but a button action gun.
The button is your bolt release. This makes the Fox Unit legal while still allowing for detachable magazines without neutering the gun or creating a need for special parts. What’s neat is that if you happen to hold the bolt release down, the gun will essentially fire in semi-auto. Get a big hefty bolt release or a Magpul BAD Lever, and you’ll be ready to rock and roll.
2. Stoker Pyro-15
You can make a AR 15 into any caliber, even if that caliber is flames. The Stoker Pyro-15 is the first flame thrower AR 15 on the market. It’s a fascinating design that’s, well, freaking sweet. The flamethrower appears to be mostly made of standard AR parts, including uppers, lowers, stocks, etc.
The Pyro-15 uses an electrically primed system to ignite the flame that’s powered by your standard power tool batteries. Those batteries attach to the handguard, and you’ll need to provide your own. The fuel tank goes into the magazine well, and in the future, a larger backpack model will be available.
The Pyro-15 hits the mark as far as bizarre AR 15s go. Pull the trigger and it comes to life, firing bursts as long as the trigger is being pulled. You can get several feet of flames with a 50/50 mix of diesel and gasoline. Heck, apparently, Mountain Outfitters will even boresight your flame to your chosen optic. Make sure you check that optic’s operating temperature range, though.
3. Iron Horse Thumb Operated Rifle
The Iron horse AR 15 isn’t too crazy. It’s a standard AR 15 with a proprietary lower. You can build it in the caliber you choose, and it uses a traditional direct impingement system. So why is it on a list of bizarre AR 15s? Well, it’s probably because instead of a standard trigger, you fire the weapon with a thumb-activated design.
Yep, the user fires the weapon by pressing downward on a lever. This releases the hammer and fires the gun. It’s odd. The designer initially wanted to build guns for disabled shooters. A noble intention, to be sure. Along the way, they discovered that thumb-operated rifles were easier to shoot accurately.
Reportedly, shooters shot tighter groups. The press of a lever apparently prevents some of the human error elements of pulling a trigger. Plus, gloves and cold weather aren’t an issue. The thumb-operated rifle might be odd, but it’s effective.
4. Gilboa Snake AR-15
AR 15’s aren’t complicated weapons, and like most rifles, they feature a single barrel. Sure, double barrel rifles have existed, but a double-barrel AR 15? Well, that’s where the Gilboa Snake comes in. This big, beastly weapon features two barrels, feeds from two magazines, and essentially has two upper receivers glued together.
Gilboa comes out of Isreal, and they produce a few variants of the rifle. For the American market, we get a standard 16-inch, semi-auto AR 15. Well, as standard as a two-barreled AR 15 gets. Each barrel has its own dedicated trigger, and shooters can choose to fire one round at a time or both barrels at once.
These bizarre AR 15s promise an instant double-tap. Is nearly double the weight, complication, and high price worth it? No, not really, but it sure is neat.
5. FightLite SCR
We started with a gun built to defy gun control, and we’ll end with another one built to fight gun control. The FightLite SCR took the idea of making a featureless AR 15 look not terrible. They did this by producing a proprietary lower that uses a traditional, sporting-style Monte Carlo stock. Precisely—that from a Remington shotgun.
This eliminates the stock and pistol grip bans, and when combined with an unthreaded, bayonet lug-free upper, it allows you to have a semi-auto rifle in all 50 states and even New York City. The SCR uses a different bolt carrier and buffer combo. The carrier is a rat tail design that meets a smaller buffer in the stock.
It’s relatively simple, and beyond fighting gun control, it’s all kinds of cool. I live in a state where semi-auto rifles aren’t heavily regulated, and I purchased one just because. The FightLite SCR even features a little less recoil, which is likely due to the stiff buffer. It makes your AR some weird amalgamation of pseudo retro rifle and modern semi-auto weapon.
Bizarre AR 15s – It Doesn’t End Here
This is a mere five weird versions of Stoner’s legacy. I know there has to be more out there. If we include military models and prototypes, the list can get crazy long. Even so, you are not bound by my rules. Feel free to contribute your favorite, weird, bizarre, or odd AR 15.