Budget AR15 build - Radical Firearms FGS-12 range report!

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by WardenWolf, Apr 17, 2016.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. WardenWolf

    WardenWolf member

    Joined:
    Nov 11, 2008
    Messages:
    5,884
    Location:
    Northern Virginia
    At $500, the Radical Firearms FGS-12 seems like a spectacular deal, almost too good to be true. It's a true flat-top AR15 with a free-floated flush-railed handguard and a nice Ergo-Grip. We've all seen or heard of cheap AR's that won't run, and Radical Firearms is a relative newcomer on the scene.

    I was immediately drawn to this rifle because it was very similar to some of the Stag Arms offerings that I liked, for several hundred dollars less. The few reviews I found were very favorable, so I took a chance.

    This is the rifle as I received it (cat not included):

    JY82LuBh.jpg

    I was immediately impressed with the fit and finish on the gun. The handguard fits so well that it's impossible to tell where the receiver ends and the handguard ends when looking at the rail. Aside from the cheap metal magazine that came with it, everything else looked spectacular.

    Obviously, the rifle needed some sights. As this is a budget build, I looked for the best deal I could find. I settled on the Ultimate Arms Gear flip-up iron sights, at $40 for a complete set. They got good reviews on Amazon, and iron sights aren't exactly rocket science. I also, at this time, installed a $15 left-handed safety from Stag Arms (I'm left-handed).

    Pxweprzh.jpg

    I took it to the NRA range in Fairfax, Virginia, to do the initial tests and sight in. I put 60 rounds through the gun while doing initial sight-in and function tests. Both the gun and the sights did their jobs flawlessly. I did not oil or lube the rifle in any way after removing it from the box. It was running just the way it came to me.

    Satisfied that I had a working gun, I set about getting it fully set up how I wanted it. A better brake was a must. I found this article comparing a large number of muzzle devices. The third-best performing device was the Miculek compensator. All the high-end compensators, both above and below it, cost $80+. The third-ranked Miculek compensator only cost $40, making it the obvious choice.

    I prefer the look and feel of an A2-style fixed stock, so I ordered that, then set about deciding on a red dot. There's tons of red dots to choose from, most of them with 3 MOA or larger dots. I plan to put a magnifier on the gun eventually, so I would not accept larger than 2 MOA. Most red dots with those levels of precision are in the $400+ range, but I discovered some alternatives. There's a number of Russian and Belorussian-designed red dots available. Some of them, such as the PK-A, Kobra, and PK-06 offer a dot size in the range I was looking for.

    After extensive research, I settled on the PK-06 red dot. For $200, I got a nigh-indestructible light-sensing optic with a 1 MOA dot and 3 different reticles. For all intents and purposes, it's like having an Eotech without all an Eotech's problems. After fitting it with a 0.5" riser, I was able to co-witness.

    7i2Wd21h.jpg

    I took it to the range again tonight. I did not clean it since my original range session, as I was wanting to test its reliability. I sighted in the PK-06 and ran a total of 90 rounds through it tonight in less than an hour, with nary a hiccup. That's 150 rounds total since it came out of the box with no cleaning or lube. I'll call that a win.

    Bottom line:

    Is this a good rifle? Yes.

    Can you trust your life to this rifle? Also yes. I've seen junk AR15's that won't run, but this is not junk. A person in an adjacent lane had a new Smith & Wesson M&P Sport that was having trouble, but I had no issues with mine.

    Cost breakdown:
    Radical Firearms FGS-12: $500 shipped from AIM Surplus
    Left-handed safety: $15 from Stag Arms
    Flip-up iron sights: $40 from Ultimate Arms Gear
    Miculek compensator: $40 from Miculek.com
    PK-06 red dot: $200 from Kalinka Optics
    A2 buttstock kit: $90 from Stag Arms

    Total (not including shipping costs): $885.

    Not bad for a rifle that's set up exactly how I want. Not bad, at all.

    Asia (my cat) approves, as well:

    r2ng08Ih.jpg
     
    Last edited: Apr 17, 2016
  2. holdencm9

    holdencm9 Member

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2011
    Messages:
    1,369
    Nice, thanks for the review! I will keep an eye out for future rifles or if any friends are looking to get into the game.

    BTW, I read the same compensator article as you did, and splurged on the "winner" from precision arms. I must say, worth every penny! So i am glad i got the one i did, but at its price point i think future builds will get the miculek.

    Sent from my SM-G920P using Tapatalk
     
  3. WardenWolf

    WardenWolf member

    Joined:
    Nov 11, 2008
    Messages:
    5,884
    Location:
    Northern Virginia
    I really cannot state how awesome that red dot is. I always run it on the 3rd setting (1 MOA dot and 3 lines). It's excellent for precise work while still being fast on target, and weighs next to nothing. The light sensor is on the front of the optic, so it adjusts to what you're pointing it at, not what's overhead. In the rare case of you pointing it directly at a distant light which may not trigger the light sensor, it's a simple matter to reach up and press the button to turn it to full power.

    Note that the reflection issue can be easily solved by buying an 18mm carbon fiber tube (around $20 on Amazon) and fitting a piece to the end to form a shade. It doesn't bother me, but if it did, I know how to fix it for cheap.
     
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
    Dismiss Notice