Guns 2A Armament Releases More Accessible “Builder Series” Carbine And Parts Kel Whelan January 23, 2019 Join the Conversation For years, 2A Armament has been making crazy expensive, lightweight, high-tech firearms and components that teeter somewhere between artistic handcraft and robotic-manufactured production. And when you already make really highbrow gear, one of the boldest things you can do next is try to make it less expensive. At SHOT Show, 2A will be releasing their “Builder” series of modern sporting carbines (as well as the 29 different components that may be purchased à la carte) allowing some of 2A’s high precision features and advancements to find their way into more mainstream, mid-price point builds. Ben Chuckovich, 2A Armament’s business manager, took us around the factory, showing what goes into manufacturing their brand’s components, and to give a peek at the new SHOT Show products. Let’s pause for a sec and clarify what “manufacturing” means. Unlike a slew of quickly-disappearing “manufacturers” that just subcontract their lowers to the same blueprint everyone else does and slap their name on the side, 2A began its corporate life as an ignore-the-costs-buy-the-best-machines shop. Their corporate brochure pitter-patter says they are an “ISO 9001 and AS 9100 certified advance manufacturing machining shop for the aerospace, medical, prosthetic, motorsports, semiconductor and outdoor recreation markets. To ensure the highest possible quality in high-volume, technically demanding components, we take full advantage of the most sophisticated, state-of-the-art equipment on the market.” Which is a Linkedin-buzzword sort of way to say “someone there is a techie-machine-junkie, thus they have some killer manufacturing capabilities.” A robotic turning center with a price tag just south of four million dollars pulls in pallets of raw stock on one side and trolleys out intricately-cut lowers on the other. Another machining center has a robot arm grabbing raw rail extrusions and finishing them up, dozens at a time, without human assistance. If your “manufacturer” starts their manufacturing process by taking rails out of boxes and bolting them to an upper, then they missed this little step that involves forklifts, long metal extrusions, and a lot of noise: Surgical room clean floors and gleaming white equipment like this Zeiss CMM arm hint at their drive for precision. However, this obsession with high speed/low drag manufacturing also renders high speed/high dollar products. “But we felt like we could take some new approaches to product design and manufacturing that allows many of the value features to be built reasonably and doesn’t compromise on quality,” says the 2A crew. An example might be the Builder Series M-LOK handguard. It has fewer machining operations than their high-line rail but is still finely finished and lightweight. Builder Series lowers start life as forgings rather than their normal billet. This allows them lower prices on raw material and transferring the value into all that milling and pocketing which carves the weight down. Notice: We Found Ammo In Stock: (Check our Current Deals page for more ammo deals - including bulk ammo) 9mm 150gr FMJ 50ct $26.99 Optics Planet9mm 115gr JHP 50ct $54.99 Palmetto State Armory 5.56 62gr LAP 20ct $15.99 Palmetto State Armory.223 REM 75gr HPBT 200ct $194.95 Creedmoor SportsGet 5% off all Creedmoor brand ammo with code CREEDMOOR5 Disclosure: These links are affiliate links. Caribou Media Group earns a commission from qualifying purchases. Thank you! Similarly, Builder Series pins are aluminum rather than titanium – but they are through-drilled making them as light as their high dollar titanium stablemates. We can’t discuss line-by-line all 29 parts in the series, but some of the highlights worth taking a peek at for a lightweight build might be: 2A’s skeletonized trigger guard that uses a unique two-screw (vs. split pin) attachment method. The new ambidextrous safety has a unique feature. Its cross-member is reversible – install it one way, and it’s a 45° angle throw, reverse it and it’s a 90° safety. Their steel-but-svelte low-profile gas block. A fluted aluminum barrel nut that dissipates heat while it trims fat from the front end. 2A's Regulated Bolt Carrier (RBC), an ultra-lightweight carrier with a user-tunable gas regulating gate. The novel multi-part design minimizes recoil and dials down silencer gas-in-face – and the adjustments can be made through the port door without removing the bolt from the gun. The entire Builder Series carbine still winds up at 5.08lbs, which is on the skinny side of the scale in anyone’s book. The MSRP on a pre-assembled, ready-to-shoot carbine is $1699 ($1571 street price) compared to $2100 for 2A’s Balios-Lite high-line series. Wanna shoulder it, squint one eye, and make pew-pew noises? If you’re at SHOT Show, go do that at Booth 3234. Or, if you’re not in Vegas this week, just Google on over to www.2a-arms.com. ABOUT THE AUTHOR Kel Whelan is an independent consultant to industry and government on silencer business and technology with more than 20 years of experience in manufacturing, design, sales, distribution, branding, and politics throughout the firearms industry. By way of disclosure, he was one of the three founding directors of the ASA, and he owned, managed, and sold a silencer company. Explore RECOILweb:On Track With Greenside: Training Day 3New Troy T-Sling, 45-Degree Sights & Precision Optic MountThe Hawija RescueMagpul Scientists on Magpul T-shirts Budget AR-15s In Stock: PSA PA-15 5.56 $699.99 Palmetto State Armory PSA 7.5" Pistol Length 300AAC $769 Palmetto State Armory Sig Tread M400 5.56 $799 Rainier Arms F-1 FDR-15 5.56 $819 Rainier Arms Bulk Handgun Ammo in Stock 9mm Magtech 115gr FMJ 1000ct $689 True Shot 40 S&W FMJ 1000ct $549 Rainier Arms Disclosure: These links are affiliate links. Caribou Media Group earns a commission from qualifying purchases. Thank you! NEXT STEP: Download Your Free Target Pack from RECOILFor years, RECOIL magazine has treated its readers to a full-size (sometimes full color!) shooting target tucked into each big issue. Now we've compiled over 50 of our most popular targets into this one digital PDF download. From handgun drills to AR-15 practice, these 50+ targets have you covered. Print off as many as you like (ammo not included). Click here to get IMMEDIATE ACCESS to a digital PDF of this target pack!