The proliferation of the AR-15 rifle in every color, configuration and price point has left us with an over-saturated market. The most basic, bone stock, plain jane black rifles can be had for around 5 Hamiltons... heck, I can pick them up at Walmart all day long. Unfortunately, they are for the most part all carbon copies of each other. Forged receivers, A2 birdcage flash hiders, and whatever furniture could be had at wholesale and slapped together on the factory line. Luckily for the distinguished (or professional) shooter, there are passionate rifle builders out there who continue designing and hand assembling finer AR-15 rifles that would make Eugene Stoner proud.
I recently received a carbine from WGM Tactical out of California to put to the test. WGM is a Type 07, Class 02 SOT FFL and manufacturer of AR15 style rifles, sound suppressors, AOWs, custom precision long range rifles, and gunsmithing service. I applaud them for enduring behind enemy lines and giving the gun control crowd nightmares by producing awesome 100% made in America black rifles.
The literature from WGM Tactical paints a pretty accurate picture of their vision and goals:
"In todays market, a number of manufacturers use the term ‘mil-spec’, short for military specification. Why? Because everyone is under the impression, if the military uses it, it’s good enough for me. Fact is, ‘mil-spec’ simply means it is the bare minimum that the military will accept for a certain product. Here at WGM Tactical, we believe in going above and beyond, which is why our products are above 'mil -spec’. We believe in giving our customers a superior product. Each and every component is manufactured in the USA, and hand assembled and inspected by us. Which is why WGM Tactical warranties every rifle for any defects in materials or workmanship at no charge to the purchaser for the life of the product."
The carbine comes as a sweet package in a Plano tactical case. Inside I found the WGM-15 carbine, OTIS cleaning kit, a QD sling, 2 Hexmag magazines, LULA Mag-loader, & eye and ear pro. Everything but the kitchen sink and ammo to shoot it with. The case itself has been plucked 'n pulled to fit each accessory which made running out to the range a breeze. No excuses to not go out and get some!
The first thing I noticed when I picked up the carbine was it's stout weight. The slab-sided billet receivers (which fit very snug together thanks to a tension screw), HBAR barrel, billet receivers and freefloat handguard make the balance seem heavy at first, but weighed in at only 7.4 lb total. The WGM-15 is 'huskier' than most AR-15s but the provided sling, hogue overmolded grip, stock and rubber keymod port covers keep the contact points between the shooter and the rifle pleasant. The weight also comes into play in the recoil of the rifle itself, or lack thereof. The iron sights that come with the rifle are flip up style, which compliment the installation of any optic of your choice. The horseshoe front sight hood makes alignment with the rear aperture quick and instinctual. Utilizing only the flip-up iron sights, I was able to hit 8" steel plates easily with the lead splattered groupings staying close to the center.
The Allen Engineering muzzle brake did a phenomenal job at improving stability and cutting muzzle rise down almost completely. Slow fire of singles, as well as doubles and triples were very controllable and easy to keep the sights glued on target. The sharper readers may recognize it as the Ops-Inc 12th model, MK12 SPR, as seen from the 'Lone Survivor' movie. Unfortunately the .30 cal can I have is not compatible with the Allen, but the muzzle brake's mount half can be removed to expose the barrel's 1/2 x 18 threads. Having an AE suppressor would be ideal as you just unscrew the bushing and an Allen suppressor could be threaded on without tools or removing the muzzle brake. Makes me wish the NFA fairy would visit more often!
Being a California specific model, this specific WGM-15 came with the notorious bane of all gun owner's existences known as the "bullet button." Okay it's not really that bad, but makes you glad your current state of residence hasn't taken up a similar limitation (yet). To perfectly compliment the bullet button, the Hexmags WGM sent over also had 10 round limiters in them. Not only do reloads take twice as long, but the mags empty 3 times as fast. Thankfully I had some standard capacity Pmags to help boost that round count so I didn't get home too late.
Speaking of round count, this WGM-15 has been a naughty girl. Before my date with her, she's had 9,500 rounds fired without a single cleaning or drop of lube (other than the first lubrication at assembly). I've never been with a rifle with this much... experience. The previous shooting sessions used ammunition ranging from wolf, military surplus, match grade and custom loads. Rapid fire, slow fire, and suppressed. WGM told me that they only have one report of a misfeed (attributed that to his magazines) and one report of a stuck case at about 6,000 rounds that has not replicated itself yet. Their goal is to not clean or lube the rifle until it simply will no longer function. Now that's something I can get behind!
The trigger on this WGM-15 was a vast improvement from most AR's single stage triggers. The 4lb setting breaks cleanly and the reset is shorter than what I'm used to, which made for quick follow up shots. I tested the rifle using exclusively American Eagle 55gr FMJ in my testing, which is all I had an abundance of. I fired a total of 300 rounds over the course of two days. Like I previously mentioned, that bullet button and CAstrated magazines slow things down a bit, but I didn't experience any malfunctions while setting that round count up to 9,800. The barrel, handguard, and rifle overall got very warm, partly due to the beaming sun. Smart men bring gloves to range day.
My overall final impressions of this carbine are thats it's a battle-worthy improvement over the 'mil-spec' mass produced AR-15 pattern rifles out there. The tolerances are all superb, and the components built and chosen add up to a rugged, improved evolution of America's favorite black rifle. If you are looking for a true beast in .223/5.56 thats not all marketing hype and lego parts, take a closer look at what WGM Tactical is building behind enemy occupied territory.
Firearms Insider Reviews – 8 Key Points
Claim to Fame: WGM Tactical rifles are built with pride, quality, and the serious shooter in mind. They offer a great deal of quality and precision, all together in one convenient and economical package.
Target Market: Serious shooters, Law Enforcement
FNBs (Features & Benefits of this product):
- 7075 Billet Aerospace Aluminum Receiver
- Slab side upper reciever, forward assist and brass deflector eliminated for weight reduction
- Oversize trigger guard
- Mil-spec, Type 2 hard anodized, low gloss finish
- Anti-rotational trigger and hammer pins
- Ambidextrous safety lever
- Tension Screw (allows for a tighter fit between receivers)
- Hogue pistol grip& Hogue 6 position overmolded buttstock
- Commercial spec buffer tube
- One piece drop in trigger assembly (adjusted to 4 pounds, 4.5 pounds on law enforcement models, 3.5 on our 3 gun models)
- Fluted 16" match grade barrel (also available 14.5" pinned and welded to 16")
- Barrels are 4150 Chromoly, melonite coated for wear and corrosion resistance, HBAR profile, mid-length gas system. (Spiral fluting also available at additional cost)
- Chambered in .223 Wylde, allows for use of .223 or 5.56NATO cartridges while retaining the utmost accuracy. (Also available in .300 Blackout, ..458 SOCOM and .50 Beowulf)
- Note - .458 and .50 barrels are NOT fluted.
- M4 style feedramps.
- Fully adjustable gas block, allows user to custom tailor to different ammunition loads, with or without sound suppressor, etc.
- Free float keymod handguard, (Also available as MLok)
- Back-up flip up iron sights
- Armageddon Tactical Ambi charging handle (Design redirects blowback gases away from shooters face, particularly beneficial when firing suppressed)
- Allen Engineering muzzle brake, improves stability and lowers recoil. WGM-15 and FNA-15 rifles are designed to work with the Allen Engineering AEM-5 sound suppressor. (Formerly Ops-Inc 12th model, MK12 SPR, 'Lone Survivor' movie)
- Nickel Boron coated bolt, allows for minimal cleaning and lubrication
- Complete package comes in weatherproof Plano tactical case, OTIS cleaning kit, eye and ear protection,GunVault locks, quick detach sling, 2 HEXMAG magazines, LULA Mag-loader
What other aesthetic options or finishes are available?: NP3 or custom colors available at additional cost.
What others are saying?:
"I have completed 2 separate new firearms purchases as well as several times of using Bill for some gunsmith work. When it comes to wanting information or training, Bill or his wife will gladly take the time to explain things to you in way you will understand them. Both purchases went smoothly. They are a little hard to get a hold of if it is the day before or the day after a gunshow in the area, but that is understandable. I would much rather do business with a small business like this, dealing directly with the owners, then through a large store where they are impersonal." Yelp User Review
I need it now! Availability: Call WGM Tactical at 530-636-AR15
- Billet receivers with no Forward Assist
- Tension screw takes up tolerances between receivers and is hidden when pistol grip installed
- Commercial buffer tube (better tolerances than milspec)
- Best warranty around: If it breaks, WGM replaces the entire thing!
- No brass deflector built into receiver (lefties shoot with your mouth closed)
Score: 8.5 Great
For FFL services I choose Promised Land Firearms in Toulon, IL.
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