SpecOp Mfg Rifle Review


Before I got into guns I was into men’s suits. My magazine racks were full of GQ and other men’s fashion magazines. From 16 years of age I wanted at least one custom made suit put together specifically for me. About three years ago my want was fulfilled. I had a tailor put together a suit exactly how I wanted it. The sleeves fell perfectly at the wrist, showing off just enough of my dress shirt. The surgeon’s cuffs were impeccably cut. The drape of the jacket fell on my silhouette as if it were made just for me (oh wait, it was) and the break of the pants feel perfectly on my Cole Haan dress shoes. I had matured from an “off the rack at JC Penny”  boy, to a “get it off the rack at JC Penny and at least get it tailored” to now getting the suit fully customized. No longer did I have to sacrifice one want for another. I got the material I wanted, the color I wanted and even threw in a purple liner (my daughter’s favorite color). The hardest part was the wait. Custom made suits take a lot of  time and a lot of back and forth between the tailor and the customer. In a world of 2 day deliveries from Amazon and meals in 3 minutes from McDonalds, waiting on my custom tailored suit was a true test of my patience.

The tailored rifle

So, what does a custom tailored suit have to do with guns? Much like suits, there are many options when it comes to buying guns. You can buy it “off the rack” and shoot it as is, buy it and make a few adjustments or you can have a manufacturer custom make your gun and get exactly what you want. Recently, I decided to be a grown up get my own custom rifle from SpecOp Manufacturing out of Marathon, NY. I started with their basic AR15 (using their forged upper receiver and their billet lower), added a 15 inch keymod rail from Strike Industries, an upgraded trigger with a 4 pound pull from SpecOps and an upgraded bolt carrier group. I already had a Magpul stock and pistol grip in my possession, so I threw those on the rifle when it arrived.


Wait time

Just like a custom suit, one cannot expect to see their custom rifle arrive in a matter of days. These things take time and SpecOps Mfg takes their time to make sure the rifle is right. That means test firing and making adjustments as needed. The rifle isn’t produced for the masses, it is produced for you. When I ordered the rifle, the expected wait time was about two weeks. With all of the customization I requested and a few minor hiccups, it was closer to 4.5 weeks before I got the rifle. I’d be a liar if I said that wasn’t a bit frustrating, but after talking to the owner and learning more about the company I understood the delay. One thing to keep in mind with SpecOp Mfg (as well as other companies) is many of them have large government contracts and there are times when fulfilling those orders may mean pushing yours back. Since ordering my rifle, their website better reflects their turn around time (up to 5 weeks). Five weeks may seem like forever when you can just run out and buy a rifle off the shelf right now, but once you realize you’re getting exactly what you want, 5 weeks isn’t long at all.


First impressions

Tactical Shit has a 7-8 minute review of SpecOps Mfg’s rifle on YouTube. The word they kept throwing out is “sexy”. The word I like to use is “slick”, but I think we both mean the same thing. When I took it out of the box my first thought was “wow, is this really my rifle?” The machining on it was excellent, no blemishes of any kind. It was slick/sexy/badass and every other positive adjective I could think of. The 15 inch Strike Industries rail took it to perfection. After adding the Magpul stock and pistol grip I was as in love with a rifle as one could be. No, seriously, I probably spent a good hour or two just admiring the details of the rifle. If a gun could be considered a work of art, this would be sitting in a museum rather than in a safe. But don’t mistake it’s beauty for weakness. This rifle is ready for battle.


The trigger

I opted to have SpecOps add their custom drop in billet 4 lb trigger to the rifle. The trigger is light but not so light that simply breathing on it would cause it to engage. When it comes to accuracy I am not the best (I don’t take my time aiming) but the short reset and light pull on this trigger improve my accuracy, especially on follow up shots.


At the range

Originally I planned on waiting a few days to take the rifle to an outdoor range and zeroing my red dot and iron sights but, as I mentioned before, my patience is kind of waning.  I had to get it to my favorite indoor range and at least do some plinking. I put 100 shots through the rifle and was extremely pleased. As with most ARs, it was comfortable to shoot, but more importantly, as I mentioned before, it was very accurate. I look forward to what this rifle can really do once my sights are zeroed and I actually take my time aiming and getting on target. I do not exaggerate when  I say I’ve never shot better with any other rifle.

Bottom line

Simply put, I love this rifle, especially for the price. Oh, I forgot to mention price. You can get the base model of this rifle for $699 (plus shipping and your FFL charges). To get the upgrades I received (BCG and the SpecOp Trigger) you’re looking at $964 (plus shipping and FFL). But don’t worry, if $965 or even $700 is steep for you right now, SpecOps has their basic rifle for as low as $499. If you are in the market for an affordable AR-15 then I strongly suggest you give these guys and their guns a look. They make quality products and will do everything they can to make sure you are satisfied.


Rifle specs (taken from SpecOps site)

  • · 16″ M4 Profile 5.56 Melonite Barrel 4150V Chrome Moly
  • · 1 in 8″ twist rate
  • · 5.56 Chamber with M4 Feed Ramps
  • · 1/2×28 Thread Pitch
  • · M16 Mil-spec HPT/MPI BCG
  • · SpecOp MFG Low Profile Micro Gas Block
  • · Stainless Carbine-length gas system
  • · Direct Gas Impingement
  • · Mil-Spec A2 Flash Hider
  • · Strike Industries MegaFins Gen 2 15″ KeyMod Handguard Picatinny Top Rail
  • · Forged Upper Receiver with Forward Assist, Shell Deflector
  • ·SpecOp Billet 7075-T6 Lower

4 thoughts on “SpecOp Mfg Rifle Review

  1. On 11/19/2015 I placed an order for an 300 BLK upper with a 15″ quad rail and adjustable gas block for $361.87. I was quoted 2-4 weeks until shipment. After my 4 weeks were up I contacted SpecOp for the first time. I had a very nice conversation with the Owner (Craig) in which he informed me that “they were slammed with end of the year orders and that they had run out of uppers”. I was understanding and asked when the uppers would be back in. His response was, “we should have them in two weeks, as our anodizer is running behind.” I received a group email on 12/17/15 stating that our orders should ship first week of January ’16, and that we are being credited $25 to out account. On 2/1/16 I sent another, very polite, email regarding my order. I got a response the following day stating, “I will get it out to you TODAY do not worry about paying shipping.” We then went back and forth for a few days bring that their phone system was having issues. On 2/5/16 I sent another email asking for my tracking info under the assumption that it had already shipped on 2/2 as stated. From 2/5/16 through ~5/4/16 I made phone calls (biweekly-weekly) to SpecOp asking for updates on my order. Every conversation with Craig ended with him telling me that they were busy and were going to get my upper shipped out “tomorrow.” There was even a time where he told me that it already shipped, though it obviously did not. Towards the end of April I spoke with a lady at SpecOp named Sasha, when she saw that I had been waiting since November of LAST YEAR she personally saw to the completion and shipment of my order. During that time I was notified by Craig that the adjustable gas block would not work with the 15” quad rail, and that they were going to provide me with a Keymod instead, because that will work. In the first week of May ’16 I received my upper. I was incredibly happy until I took it out of the box. It had a 15” quad rail. I told myself I would make it work because I had waited this long and did not want to send it back. After firing the upper I noticed that the spent casing show obvious signs of a “rough” chamber. So much so that I was getting late extraction causing flattened primers. At this point I said maybe they can send me the proper rail and I can polish the chamber. When I called Craig about this he said that, “their Keymod rail requires a $200 tool to install and I would have to send it back.” The upper was returned 5/12/16. I was told that there was nothing wrong with my chamber (incorrect as it was checked by a local gunsmith), but they were sending me a new barrel anyways. After an additional MONTH and a week (6/17/16) I received my upper. Just to my luck they didn’t even take the time to check that this keymod rail does not work with the adjustable gas block either! After removing to rail to gain access to the gas block I found that my barrel nut, the one that is claimed to need a $200 tool to tighten, WAS LOOSE. The nut was no more than hand tight. Again, I was lied to because the barrel nut requires nothing more than a common large wrench to tighten. I then proceeded to remove the gas block, come to find that one of the set screws was loose and the other was snug. Now I am just perplexed as to how an order can take 7 MONTHS to “complete” and 3 out of the 4 threaded items on the upper can be loose? I am completely dissatisfied with their service and quality. I have never had something to this extent happen to me before which is why I am compelled to write this poor review. For the time and effort spent trying to get this upper I could have and should have paid double to a reputable company and still been ahead. A full refund wouldnt be enough to remedy this disaster of an order.
    To all owners of SpecOp uppers and guns: Please check your Barrel Nuts!
    To SpecOp: Please learn from this experience to better serve your future customers, and consider letting Sasha manage all orders and customer service. She was the only person I could speak with and not question the truth of the answer. Best of luck.


  2. Brian, thank you for your comments/review. Unfortunately your experience is getting to be all too common with this company. I was (and still am) pleased with my purchase, but am disappointed to hear story after story similar to yours. A lot of people I’ve talked to about this company seem to have issues with wait time, but are satisfied once the product is in their hands. I’ve debated deleting my review, but haven’t because it is true to my personal experience. When friends ask me about ordering an AR, I find myself steering them away from SpecOp because I am extremely concerned about wait time. But again, I have been extremely pleased with the product itself.


  3. Don’t buy from them just a bunch of thieves stole 300+ dollars ordered barrel never got it just gave me the run around for 4 months till I finally gave up. Specopmfg.com don’t ever order from them


  4. I bought an AR15 from the min in late 2015 at the Syracuse Gun Show in NY and my first issue was the gas block. After shooting 100 rounds I started to have issues where the gas block with tube slid up to where i could see the tiny hole in the barrel . I called them and sent them the upper for receiver change the gas block replaced. They did and it took them almost 3 months of calling and asking them where is my stuff. After receiving the new one they also added a flash suppressor which I didn’t asked for but no charge. Returned to the range and after another 100 rds, I had the same issue with the gas block. This time I called them sent them photos/videos to their facebook page. I received a call immediately and they told me they were sorry and to send it again and I asked them how long is it going to be for me to have my gun back and they didn’t knew because they were slammed with orders and just moved to a new facility; so I opted to buy the gas block and install it myself. After that I haven’t had any other issues with the gun.

    As for customer service… They don’t answer their e mails on time or returns calls they have a generic voice message so one rarely can talk to a human and when someone answers they don`t know any status or they say the gun is at the testing range and it should be shipped tomorrow and our never e mail and send tracking numbers.


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