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New Products: Springfield Armory, Advantage Arms & Brownells

Author Paul Levy
one year ago
Paul Levy, leader of the Brownells new product acquisition team, gets right down to business with the Springfield Armory Echelon full-size 9mm pistol. The most unique aspect of the polymer-framed Echelon is the Core Operating Group or "COG." The COG contains the fire control system and is the serial-numbered part of the gun. In the future, you'll be able to swap your Echelon's frame / grip assembly without making an FFL purchase. The ergonomically contoured grip's texturing gives you a secure, non-slip hold without being excessively aggressive. Each Echelon comes with three interchangeable backstrap inserts, so you can customize the grip to fit your hand.
 
The Echelon also comes standard with a red dot sight mounting slot, but this mount does not use any separate adapter plates. The Variable Interface System accepts more than 30 different reflex sights. Bonus: this mount keeps the optic low, so you can still use your Echelon's "iron" sights as backups. The pistol in Paul's hands has a Tritium front sight and white-outlined U-notch rear sight. Other options: a Tritium rear sight and a 1/2"-28 tpi threaded muzzle. Each Echelon comes with a 17-round magazine with a flush base plate, a 20-round mag with an extended base pad, and a spare extended base pad for the 17-round mag.
 
The trigger pull is surprisingly precise for a striker-fired pistol. There's a bit of take-up, then a crisp, clean release, followed by a distinct reset you can both hear ("click!") and feel.
 
The Brownells Rail Adapter System AR-15 handguards are just like the RAS handguards currently on M4 carbines and M16A4 rifles - actually made for us by the same contractor. They have four MIL-STD 1913 Picatinny rails with polymer rail covers that make the RAS handguards look very much like the old M4 and A2 handguards. And just like the plastic handguards, the RAS handguards easily snap onto an AR that has a Delta ring and handguard end cap. Locking screws prevent the Picatinny rails from shifting, so you won't lose the zero of a laser or night vision device mounted on them.
 
Good news: some popular Brownells Retro Rifle AR-15 parts are back! The M16A1 stripped upper receiver replicates the exterior contours and details of uppers from late 1960s rifles, with a forward assist but no shell deflector. The C7 upper has the shell deflector and exterior details of Canadian C7 and Colt 723 rifles in service from the late 1970s to the mid-1990s.
 
Also back are the polymer handguards replicating those found on CAR-15 and M4 carbines. The CAR-15 handguard was used on the original Colt carbines of the late 1960s. The larger-diameter M4 handguard is the original type used on M4 carbines. And yes, our M4 handguard has the aluminum heat shield inside.
 
The Advantage Arms .22 LR Conversion Kits for Glock® 19 / 23 pistols let you practice at the range using inexpensive .22 rimfire ammunition. Just swap the centerfire slide assembly for the Advantage Arms unit, load up the included magazine, and your good to go. AA offers versions of the kit with a threaded barrel and even with a Holosun reflex sight already installed.

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