I got an invite to go to a rifle demo today. Templar Consulting makes a multi-caliber rifle based upon the AR-15 platform. Honestly, if you didn’t look inside, you wouldn’t know that there was anything special about the rifle at all. It certainly looks nice, and the handguards look solid, but from the outside there’s nothing to distinguish this rifle from 100 other AR clones out there.
And then Bob, the owner/proprietor/chief mad scientist of Templar Consulting whips out his Allen wrench and starts to work. Three Allen screws are turned and the nice, lightweight railed fore-end comes straight off. Then he pulls out a strange looking wrench and unscrews the barrel nut. Off comes the barrel and gas tube to be replaced by another. Tighten the barrel nut, replace the fore-end, swap out the bolt and presto-chango, it’s a different caliber.
His three calibers are .223 Wylde (for most of us, basically just a slightly modified 5.56 NATO) 6.5 Grendel, and .50 Beowulf. I got to shoot them all.
Pretty much anyone who’s shot an AR clone has shot it with some variant of the .223/5.56 caliber. No surprises there. We shot it at steel targets at 200 yards, including a round 6 inch plate on a spring. Easy shots with the scope. I would have liked to shoot it with just an EOTECH sight, but didn’t have a chance.
The 6.5 Grendel was fitted with a suppressor, and was extremely accurate. I shot two of the 4” Tannerite boomers, and it wasn’t even a challenge. I was actually bored with it because I wasn’t taxing the rifle or my own (marginal) marksmanship. I did get a taste of blowback of the gas from the suppressor though, and that was unpleasant.
I also shot the .50 Beowulf. When you are used to shooting an AR in 5.56 NATO, the .50 Beowulf is a bit stout. Now, for those not familiar with how to shoot an AR, you are supposed to put your nose right up against the charging handle. DO NOT DO THIS WITH THE .50 BEOWULF! Trust me on this. Learn from my fail. Still, if you need a round that will stop a rampaging rhino, this one’s for you.
I like the concept, but I’m not totally sold on the idea of a multiple caliber weapon. Multiple barrel lengths would be awesome. Assuming I had a Short Barreled Rifle tax stamp, it’d be fantastic to be able to swap out short and longer barrels. I’d really like a SBR to defend the house. You all know that I want a Kriss Vector for that task, but I think that a suppressed 10-12 inch barreled AR would work well too.
What I would really like to do is take one of these rifles to an AR training class, like TigerSwan or Magpul Dynamics. That would really let us know how reliable this rifle is.
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