First Impressions - Sabre Defence XR15 M4


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Bailey Guns
March 9, 2008, 10:03 PM
Just picked up a Sabre Defence M4 with the 14.5" barrel (perm attached A2 FS).

It was packaged well in a Colt-style box and plastic bag and included 2 mil-spec looking mags, an Otis cleaning kit and manual (of course).

The fit/finish of the rifle was outstanding. Absolutely no play between upper and lower receivers and the seam between the upper and lower was so smooth and tight I couldn't catch a fingernail on it.

I removed the carry handle and cleaned the oil from it then re-installed it to the rifle. I gave the rifle a brief cleaning paying special attention to the chamber and barrel. Not sure it was really necessary as the rifle was quite clean as it arrived from the factory. Just put a little FP-10 in the appropriate spots and put it all back together.

I didn't use the factory mags that came with the rifle as I have plenty of others and sold the mags in the shop (gotta get some of the money back!).
At the range I loaded 5 30-round mags and 5 20-round mags with a variety of ammo: XM193 (120 rounds), American Eagle (60 rounds), Golden Bear (only had 20 rounds), Federal 45gr TRU (only 20 rounds) and 30 rounds of Prvi Partisan.

Started off at only 10 yards just to see where the sights were and because I intend on using this gun as a short-range shooter the majority of the time (25 yards or less). Holding on the center of a sight in target they were about 2" high, windage on zero. Moved out to 25 yards and it dropped to just about 1.5" high and windage was still basically zero (1/4" either way). I didn't do a mechanical zero on the gun because I wanted to see where it was as it came. Turns out, when i checked, a mechanical zeroing wouldn't have even been necessary because it looked as though it had already been done. Rear sight was zeroed on the hash marks and the front sight post base was maybe a quarter turn from being flush with the sight base. At any rate, no adjustment was necessary.

Moved out to 100 yds and from a standing, sling-supported position consistently whacked an 8"w X 10"h steel plate. Didn't have a sight-in target so all I can say is nearly all shots were on target...there were a few misses but my eyes ain't what they used to be. No malfunctions of any kind and no adjustments of any kind were required to stay on target. The trigger was a standard military-grade trigger but was smooth with no overtravel or creep. Perfectly serviceable for recreation or duty. This rifle was good to go right outta the box.

I couldn't be happier. The gun really looks sharp with the shorter barrel and overall it's noticably shorter and more compact looking than a Bushmaster M4 with a 16" barrel and removeable A2 FS my buddy was shooting.

They aren't the least expensive rifles on the market (they're wholesale priced at about what a Colt Defense rifle is priced) but I'd say they are well worth the money. I understand every part with the exception of the plastic stuff (6-pos stock, handguards, pistol grip, etc...) is made in-house in the TN factory. Kudos to the folks at Sabre...their attention to detail in the manufacture and assembly, at least on this gun, was nothing short of spectacular.

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