New Rifle: Skeli X11

new skeli x11 rifle

New rifles like the Skeli X11 are fun. Any time a gun manufacturer deviates from the mainstream, it causes the geek in me to take notice and try to get into the minds of the design team behind the weapon. At first blush, the new X11 promises a number of interesting things to examine and ponder.

Optics and Sighting Systems

Leupold Mark AR 1.5-4×20 Scope Review

Looking for a variable-power, high-quality scope for your AR-15?  Consider the Mark AR series of rifle scopes from Leupold.  These scopes offer extremely clear optics, excellent magnification and the durability you need when taking a rifle into the field.

I had a chance to test a Leupold Mark AR 1.5-4×20 with the company’s integrated mounting system recently, and I have been pleased with its performance.


MPAR 556: New Piston Rifle from MasterPiece Arms

MPAR 556
These photos are of the prototype, not production, MPAR 556 rifles.

Update: I just watched this video (click here) of the MPAR-556 Gen II being run in a competition shoot by the guys at Full30. I was not impressed by its performance.

MasterPiece Arms is releasing more information on the new MPAR 556, the company’s new piston driven AR rifle.

The new rifle sounds like it will offer a variety of features while maintaining a sub-$1000 price tag.  Considering this AR-style gun uses a short stroke piston, that price is extremely competitive.

As the name suggests, the MPAR 556  is chambered for the 5.56 NATO cartridge.  Standard AR magazines will work with this rifle.

MPAR 556 handguard

The handguard is a two-piece, floating system made from machined aluminum.  The handguard allows the user to place Picatinny accessory rails in the most advantageous places.  This allows for weight reduction, since the user can simply remove (or not install) rails in areas they are not needed.

The buttstock is made from machined aluminum and adjusts for length of pull.  Additionally, the buttstock folds to the left for compact carry and storage.

MPAR 556 muzzle brake

MasterPiece Arms has not stated the barrel length, but I would expect a 16″ barrel.  The end will most likely be threaded, and will ship with a muzzle brake attached.  Since MasterPiece Arms now makes sound suppressors, it would make sense that all of the company’s new guns would ship with threaded barrels.

MPAR 556 parts will be either anodized or black phosphate coated (depending on the part material.)



SIG SAUER, Inc. combines the ingenuity of SIG SAUER GmbH in Germany and Swiss Arms AG in Switzerland. Long known for producing superior firearms, SIG SAUER has announced that it will begin production of the SIG SAUER 551-A1 as the civilian version of the SG 551 that is currently being used by the Swiss Army.

SIG SAUER 551A1 – Short Barrel Rifle version

The SIG551-A1 is a semi-auto version of the SG 551 that is American-built. The rifle uses an adjustable gas piston to operate a rotating bolt. The 2-point gas piston system allows for a cleaner, cooler shooting rifle, and promises long service life with reliable operation.


Ruger SR-556: Ruger’s New Piston Driven AR-15

Ruger SR-556

Ruger announced a new piston-driven AR-15 rifle: the Ruger SR-556.  Announced at the NRA convention, the SR-556 is a completely new line for Ruger, and part of an obvious effort to redefine the company.

The SR-556 has a host of quality features, the most significant of which is the two-stage piston system.  But, in a market that seems to have an overwhelming number of AR-15 makers, will the SR-556 be interesting enough to survive?

The “black rifle” market is clearly hot, as AR-15’s have been selling extremely well throughout the United States.  Some manufacturers have stated that orders are backlogged six months or more.  Bringing a new AR-style gun into the market now may be good timing for Ruger, as a scarcity of all AR rifles may push more customers into their rifles.

Let’s take a look at some of the features of the SR-556.