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Preview – The Next Generation Noveske

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Photography by Stickman

An Insider’s Look at Noveske Rifleworks, Its Gen III Carbines,  and the Legacy of Its Founder

Editor’s Note: This article was written and photographed prior to Tim Dillon being named CEO of Noveske Rifleworks in early summer. To learn what Tim has planned for the company and for the most up-to-date information, please go to

When John Noveske died tragically in an auto accident in January 2013, the news was shocking. The firearms community mourned. It also had people wondering what would become of his eponymous company, known for pushing the limits of quality, high-end carbines. Well, big things have happened at Noveske Rifleworks in the past 18 months or so, and it’s putting out more AR-15s than ever, while still meeting (or even exceeding) the high standards John set when he founded the business in 2001.

His widow Lorina Noveske retains ownership of the company. Lorina is also an artist (a painter), but now finds herself focusing her creative endeavors more often on layout, packaging, design and merchandising than on canvas. Meanwhile, longtime Noveske employee Sheri Johnson continues her position at the helm. While she was promoted to general manager, anyone who has spent time around her is aware that she also handles a lot of the company’s day-to-day operations, including all the phone calls, email, and non-stop text messages that go along with it. Sheri was the go-to person before John’s death and is even more so now.

Noveske Rifleworks N4 InfidelNoveske KX5 and NSR

The more we spoke with Sheri, the more apparent it became: she really knows AR-15s and the industry. While she looks like a SHOT Show “booth girl,” she can talk weapons for hours — and likes doing it. If that weren’t enough, Sheri is a shooter and attends multiple shooting courses a year, both rifle and pistol. She showed us the inner workings of their headquarters and gave us a firsthand look at how the company has not only maintained John’s vision of building superior-quality firearms, but also expanded on his legacy.

The Third Generation
The Noveske crew is proud of their Gen III lineup of weapons. One of the most common questions people ask is, “Why do a Gen III instead of sticking with Gen II?” Sheri had an immediate answer for that one, stating that the Gen 2 platform had a substantial rejection rate for quality-control issues. She elaborated, explaining that the Noveske “Chainsaw” lineup was very popular, but that having a large amount of blemished items was a failure for any business no matter how you looked at it.

By bringing upper and lower receiver manufacturing in house, they were now able to control all aspects including finishes. The finish on the upper and lower of the Gen II receivers had always had some variation, but new anodizing processes, as well as in-house machine work, allowed for a perfect match with the Gen III. For anyone who hasn’t done anodizing work, the surface finish, length of time in the vat, and strength of chemicals involved are just a few of the things that affect the outcome.

Another complaint voiced on Internet forums was how tight the pivot and takedown pins fit in some Gen II lower and upper combinations. Retaining control of all CNC machine work allows for a pushpin that isn’t too tight or loose, and more importantly, that will be consistent with combinations of other Gen III receivers.

All Gen III receivers and rails are also finished with Cerakote and will be available to dealers and distributors in black, flat dark earth (FDE), and olive drab (OD) green. Minimum orders may apply, so one distributor, namely RSR, has already locked in the FDE Noveske Infidel (which is the carbine pictured in these pages) as an exclusive. Standard Noveske Infidel carbines are still available in black as well as OD green through participating dealers.

Noveske N4 Infidel Raptor Charging Handle and BCG

 For the rest of this article, subscribe here: RECOIL Issue 14

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