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BAMF in Blue: Cobalt Kinetics

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Sometimes a new rifle comes out claiming to be the “next big thing.” We often hear the term “game changer.” Usually this is a load of hype and does not truly reflect genuine outside the box thinking. Recently we were able to check out a few ARs from a new company and… we gotta tell you, they may be literally throwing that box away. This is Cobalt Kinetics of St. George, Utah.
The AR15 is America's most popular rifle. At last count over 500 manufacturers were pumping them out as fast as people could buy them; this isn't a Bad Thing, as it seems to have produced a rush to make rifles that stand out from the crowd.
The most obvious entails a different stock, hand guard, rail, lower receiver or even the color, but Cobalt Kinetics caught our eye also with innovations in design and function.
Their first rifle debuted earlier this year as the BAMF. It stands for Billeted Aluminum Modern Rifle, but the other acronym works too.
Apart from the forend and muzzle that resembles something from Voltron or Thundercats, the first thing we noticed was the dual forward assists on either side of the upper receiver. Having a particular hatred for the old FA, we asked why they needed two of them, only to be told that they were actually an ambidextrous double bolt drops. Hit the double drop from either end and the bolt slams home. This makes for a truly ambidextrous rifle, particularly considering the safety and mag catch are ambi as well.
We became slowly more intrigued and were happy to hear they had more in store; then they unveiled the EVOLVE.
This version eliminates the DD bolt release and there is no bolt catch or magazine release either. When a magazine runs empty, the bolt locks to the rear and the magazine simply drops out of the rifle, not unlike an M1 Garand clip ejecting when empty. After a fresh magazine is inserted, the bolt slams home.
Let's see that again.
There are a host of other upgrades as well, from a billeted aluminum pistol grip and buffer tube to a carbon fiber barrel sleeve and of course the M-LOK system. Most impressive was firing an EVOLVE on full auto with one hand and staying on target. We offered to dual wield, but they ran out of ammo.

You'll note it was also a hit with the ladies on the range.

Now you might be thinking, looks cool and sounds innovative, but how did it really perform?
If you're not thinking that, and you're not at least a little dubious, you might be reading the wrong website.
We had no major complaints apart from one failure for the bolt to lock open on the last round for us. We did observe other rifles having magazine difficulties, specifically Gen 2 PMags. This may sound alarming (and would be on a workaday gun, especially if you aren't expecting it) until you consider that it is the external dimensions of the magazine that hold it in place within the lower due to the CARS (Cobalt Advantage Reload System) mechanism. That is not to say that Gen 2s will not run at all, just that the rifle needs to be modified to handle those magazines, ie. you'll need to tune it. You must also keep in mind that polymer magazines will change size over time due to heating and cooling. The Cobalt Team is working on making this compatible with most magazines out there and if you are a shooter loyal to a particular brand, you should have no problems with the correct spacers. If you are a mag whore like myself and have numerous varieties, you will probably have to narrow down what you choose to run in the rifle.
The muzzle brake is a thing of beauty and is optimized to allow plenty of gas for reliable cycling (although we would prefer a silencer of course) and this thing really does cut down the flash and keep the muzzle level.
These rifles by Cobalt Kinetics are not for everyone; we think of them more as a high performance piece suited for competition or for the shooter who wants to stand out from the crowd with a rifle that is an example of artistic machining. You may not see them at a local three-gun match or in the hands of your favorite door kicker in some far off land, but we believe their upgrades to the tried and true AR platform have the potential to catch on. They may in fact become standard across the industry within another decade. Consider the fact that it took almost 30 years for the flat top upper to come to life; like most innovations to the firearms industry over the past half century, these changes came from the private sector as opposed to the military.
The EVOLVE is still in the Beta stage and primed for a SHOT Show release. Other projects in the future include a more “tactical” version, not just in a black or camo pattern but integrating their advanced features with a carbine more suited for a harsher environment than the range.
We will be keeping an eye on Cobalt and you can do the same here:

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