Wonders never cease, folks. It’s true. Just take a look a the AR15 platform. It has been over 70 years since Eugene Stoner came up with the original designs for that rifle, and it is still being studied, followed, and improved upon. It seems that every firearms company in the known universe has some variant of this highly successful and world-famous invention, and it is no wonder why.

Some say that the AR15 platforms is in its final throes, and that any day now it will be relieved of duty, and replaced by more advanced weapons systems. Could be, but for now, the rifle is still as popular as ever. As the famous long-time Youtuber ‘hickok45’ put it: “no home is complete without an AR15”. By and large, it’s one of the go-to systems for entry-level shooters and home-defenders all over the country.

Adams Arms

Founded in 2007 by Jim Granger, the company set out to improve on the modern-day AR15 systems. A first patent was granted to the company in December of 2008, and two more followed in its footsteps. In 2011, a lawsuit against SIG Sauer was filed, but Adams’ claims of patent infringement were denied.

Adams Arms Slide
Adams Arms Slide on Glock

Adams’ headquarters can be found in Palm Harbor, Florida. After the company tinkered with uppers and other components, they went ahead and began producing rifles in 2012 – complete with custom Adams Arms components – in a variety of calibers and setups. Nowadays, the company manufactures piston-driven rifles and uppers, related parts and accessories for the AR15 system, as well as elements for handguns.

VooDoo Innovations – Adams’ sister company – was launched in 2013. It delivers various coatings and processes to the direct impingement system. Adams didn’t want to limit their share of the market to those who use piston-driven rifles, so as of 2016 VooDoo also manufactures quality slides for the Glock 17 and 19.

Adams Arms Piston Kit

The AR15 was originally designed with a direct impingement gas system of operation in mind. With that system, gas is redirected into the rifle in order to move the action and get the weapon to cycle. The DI system is reliable and accurate, but it is not without its shortcomings.

For those who are interested in switching their AR’s system, Adams Arms introduced the piston kit. Many other manufacturers are offering similar kits. Piston-driven guns are noticeably cleaner, they give off less heat, they release gases away from the operator, and because of this they are usually more expensive to obtain or build – though not always.

Adams Arms Piston Kit
Adams Arms Piston Kit

With the Adams patented piston kit, you end up with a cooler, cleaner, and more  advanced system, without having to go through complex mods and reconfigurations. Adams’ kit also allows the gas block to be adjusted, making it ideal for suppressed fire, heavier ammunition, and similar applications.

MSRP starting at $199.99

Adams Arms Upper

Adams has several upper receivers in its catalog, corresponding with its patented P-series black rifles. These receivers will fit any AR15 lower receiver, as long as it is mil-spec. In other words, any standard AR15.

P1 is geared more towards beginning AR shooters, while P2 has Adams’ M-LOK rail system, ambi-charging handle, and a flash hider by VooDoo Innovations. P3 encompasses the company’s competition models, complete with match-grade elements and abilities.

  • P1 5.56mm
    • Entry level upper
    • 16” chrome moly vanadium steel barrel
    • Weight 4.4 lbs
    • MSRP $599.99
  • P2 5.56mm
    • Tactical upper
    • 11.5” chrome moly vanadium steel barrel
    • Weight 3.6 lbs
    • MSRP $999.99
  • P2 5.56mm
    • Tactical upper
    • 7.5” chrome moly vanadium steel barrel
    • Weight 3.5 lbs
    • MSRP $999.99

Adams Arms 308

5.56mm is a fine cartridge, but there is no denying that the .308 packs a heavier punch. By its very definition, it is the heavier and fatter round. Adams Arms has a variety of firearms chambered in 308,  as part of their P-series of rifles.

Adams Arms P2 308
Adams Arms P2 Rifle

What is so enticing about Adams’ 308 rifles and uppers is their “small frame” format, which retains over 50 percent of your everyday AR15 elements. This makes the switch from 5.56mm to .308 that much easier and more streamlined.

  • P1 Rifle
    • Entry level rifle
    • 16” chrome moly vanadium steel barrel
    • Length 34”
    • Weight 7.9 lbs
    • MSRP $1,299
  • P2 Rifle
    • Tactical rifle
    • 16” chrome moly vanadium steel barrel
    • Length 34”
    • Weight 8.1 lbs
    • MSRP $1,549
  • P2 SBR
    • Short-barreled rifle
    • 12.5” chrome moly vanadium steel barrel
    • Length 34”
    • Weight 8.1 lbs
    • MSRP $1,599
  • P2 Pistol
    • Short-barreled pistol model with brace
    • 12.5” chrome moly vanadium steel barrel
    • Length 34”
    • Weight 6.9 lbs
    • MSRP $1,599
  • P3 Rifle
    • High-performance model
    • 18” chrome moly vanadium steel barrel
    • Length 39”
    • Weight 8.5 lbs
    • MSRP $2,499
  • P3 Rifle
    • High-performance model
    • 16” chrome moly vanadium steel barrel
    • Length 34”
    • Weight 8.1 lbs
    • MSRP $2,499

These models – as well as the previous ones mentioned – include a limited lifetime warranty from Adams Arms. The company will cover any issues and manufacturer defects in their piston-driven systems and parts, for life. Furthermore, their customer service seems to be helpful, though less attainable during the busy season. Perhaps that has changed by now.

I don’t have any personal experience with their customer service reps, but after doing a bit of digging online I found that they are considered to be spot-on with their service. Most of the experiences I read up on were positive ones, with one or two saying that they will never buy from them again.

Adams Battle Patrol Rifle
Adams Arms Battle Patrol Rifle

I tend to go with the majority, since no company has 100% positive feedback from its buyers. Companies are people – people make mistakes. Therefore, you will always find someone with something to say about this or that, whether it’s the product itself or the service.


Like I said, wonders never cease. Nowadays, weapons are becoming more advanced by the day – or so it seems. True, many times it takes a while (sometimes too long a while) for the advanced models to trickle down to the civilian public, but eventually they get there in one form or another.

The fact that we are still using Stoner’s and Browning’s designs and inventions (just for instance) is a real testament to their greatness and ingenuity. The rifles and components which Adams Arms manufactures builds on the brilliance of those individuals who came before it. Like many other firearms production outfits, Adams is standing on the shoulders of giants and looking out into the future.

Adams’ proprietary piston-driven system is not for everyone. Many AR enthusiasts wouldn’t be bothered to make the switch from DI to piston, nor purchase a piston-driven system to begin with. For many AR shooters, DI is quite enough. If, however, you find yourself in need of a piston AR, or are interested in switching over from your DI system, give Adams some of your time, do your research, and see if it fits your needs.

Their prices are reasonable, their products are well-respected, and they deliver on their promise overall.

Sam M

Sam is an avid firearms enthusiast who loves sharing his knowledge and experience with fellow gunivores.

Let us know what you think in the comments section!

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  1. Forgive my fat finger and grammatical errors. The beer was getting too warm.

  2. As I sit reading this interesting blog I am awaiting my P1 upper’s arrival. After months of in-depth research after my first Stone-Cooper build, I looked to build my second better and improved clone version of an H&k 416 MR556. I am using the very best parts I can find for the very best bang for the buck parts I could find available. As a retired Mechanical Design Engineer, my scrutiny was time-consuming and uncompromising. Here are my findings and purchases:
    LWR: Brownells HK mold receiver BRN-4
    LPK: CMMK Gunbuilders
    Trigger: RA-140 3.5# pull
    Radian Ambi Charging handle
    Trigger guard: Hogue, Dark Earth
    TakeDown Pin set: The jury is still out
    Butt Stock: H&k fixed stock Dark Earth
    Handguard: Recommended by Adams Arms technical rep was the Midwest Ind. part #MCTAR-21G2-BLK
    MI Gen2 Two Piece Free Float Handguard, Mid-Length.
    BUIS: Still looking
    Optic for CQB: Holosun HE510c-GR. Green is more visible in daylight as well as night
    Rail Slot guards: Dark Earth
    Grip: NY Safe-Act compliant grip by Resurgent Arms, Dark Earth
    Buffer: Jury is still out
    Bolt Catch: enhanced
    Safety: Ambi
    Muzzle Cap: NYS SAFE-Act compliant cap replacing the flash suppressor
    Stock adapter for compliance to fix Adjustable stock to compliant fixed stock, Resurgent Arms
    I offer this selection suggestion to those who cannot find an available rifle of choice. So just so you understand this self Defense/Tactical firearm is as close as I good get to replicating a K&k 416 MR556s fit, form, function, and reliability in the field. Be Safe, Be Armed. No home should be without one!

  3. Don’t waste your time with this, unless you don’t plan on doing any modifications to the muzzle brake. If you need to replace the muzzle brake or put a different one on that will handle a silencer you might as well get one for 750 dollars and do it yourself . For a P3 .308 CANNOT remove the muzzle brake. With out bending it, burning it, screwing up the bluing and having to send back to manufacture. This is my one and only Adams rifle. Go with something cheaper and upgrade as needed, in the long run will be cheaper.

    1. My customizing mods always go onto a great upper assy.
      My lower assy. is completely revised to my upgraded specs. The upper and lower are acc irises and my fire arms are impregnated with a hot Lithium MOS2break in treatment that smooths out every possible sliding or gliding internal edge or surface. The hot MOs 2 fills the microscopic holes and minute imperfection or groove.

      The pre broken in internal parts are wiped clean with a special coated cloth. Nothing catches, drags or scrapes. All pieces Loading ramps not touched at all unless there is a perceptible flaw. There are zero rattles due to an accurised upper and lower.

      Adams makes the best reasonably priced Hk cloned MR platform upper assy & barrel I have found so far.

      My mods are a result of 9 months of combat gun fights. My intent was to remedy the heat, jamming and powder residue buildup in sustained. My rifle is functionally accurate from CQB to 100 yards. W/O BUIS. A reflex holographic sight is added to enhance CQB reflexive operation accuracy.

      I will live by and survive with Adams barrels.

      SSGT A. H. Cooper, USAF, 1st Air Commando Group RSVN 1969.

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