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Preview – Cobalt Kinetics Evolve

Photos by Kenda Lenseigne

Part Imperial Stormtrooper Blaster, Part AR, All Race Gun

Do we embrace change, or do we get comfortable with uniformity? Making big changes in life is not always easy. Change tends to be more of a gradual force rather than the on/off-switch approach most people assume, and the firearms industry is no different — especially when it comes to AR-15s. The consensus has been to stick with what works well enough, then sell a ton of them. Think back to grade school where you didn’t want to be different or the oddball, unless you liked getting beat up at recess. Now fast-forward a few years (OK, maybe decades) where the AR market is the new playground. The few different ideas that have come about were initially treated like a third grader with cooties.

The horizon is changing. Companies are coming around and accepting change, and others still are pushing the envelope. Contrary to any image we may have of a community filled with engineers and machinists, this isn’t an exact science. Many innovations are developed and fine-tuned, only for the market to realize they were remedying a problem that wasn’t there. Somewhere in the middle of all this is Cobalt Kinetics. Having only been in business a few years, they’re a relatively new company with their own ideas about how rifles should be made, and they’re bursting into a market where aesthetics are based on the teachings of Henry Ford, i.e., you can have any color you want as long as it’s black. Or maybe burnt bronze if you’re a daredevil. They’re banking on visionary styling, exceptional fit, and, now, some innovative technology when it comes to how the gun is operated to set them apart from the rest. While the Star Wars look might not be everyone’s cup of Bantha milk, at least it’s something different in a world of monochromatic clones.

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Evolution is a cruel bitch. The weak will be culled, the losers trampled, and the successful triumphant. We can only assume this is where Cobalt Kinetics got the name for its latest iteration of the AR-15. The Evolve is the company’s crack at making a rifle geared for the three-gun competition market, where losing ideas get killed quicker than Mexican mayors.

First Impressions
Big grins all round. After all, this looks like the imaginary, futuristic guns we used to draw in middle school. It seems to be something out of a sci-fi movie or Lord of the Rings brought to life to rule over all other firearms. The design is unmistakably different and challenges people’s notion of what ARs should look like. Upon seeing this rifle we’ve had a few people ask, “Is that a real gun?” To which the answer is always, “Nope, it’s on loan from the Death Star.”

Holding the rifle, you can immediately tell it’s not a parts gun, but a quality tool that’s had a lot of inspiration and care lavished on it. All components line up perfectly. You have to look closely to see where one part starts and another finishes. We’re pretty sure you could convince a newbie that it’s all one piece.

Technology
The Evolve has been purpose built for the competitive shooter and has a list of features that many competitors didn’t realize they needed. Once they get passed in the rankings, they’ll figure it out.

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For the rest of this article, subscribe here: RECOIL Issue 24


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