Bushmaster XM-15/AR-15 Carbine Review
Bushmaster XM-15/AR-15 Carbine Review by Jesse Mathewson Concealed Carry Today
Bushmaster as a company has been around since 1973, though it has seen several changes in location and ownership since that time. In the United States today, Bushmaster AR15 pattern rifles hold a position as the industry leader. My views on Bushmaster are varied, and like many children of the 80s and 90s, I saw them in a relatively poor light. The Bushmaster XM-15 line is what we are reviewing today. Specifically the Bushmaster XM-15 A2 patrol version.
My experience with Bushmaster has been two-fold, I have shot duds and I have shot spectacular examples of craftsmanship from them. The specific rifle I am reviewing is a solid representation of quality when cleaned well and with good ammunition.
I will reiterate again, most minor failures and some major failures with firearms result from poor ammunition choices. Buy the best ammunition you can afford, and the best performer in your particular firearm. If you skimp on ammunition, you will regret it in overall function and reliability.
With so many variants of the AR15 on the market today, maintaining market share requires the ability to prove your variant is the best for the money being spent. Brand new Bushmaster XM-15 variants run between $690 and $900 depending on location and type. There are 6 or 7 different XM-15 variants. The one I am reviewing and owned is the XM-15 A2 patrol version.
This model has the following features,
- 16” chrome lined 4150 steel (industry standard for good barrel steel in AR15s) with an M4 profile (lightweight)
- 6+ pounds unloaded, depending on the model
- removable A2 flash hider on patrol version and fixed on others
- Chambered in 5.56 (can shoot 223 rem)
- M16 or Full Auto Bolt Carrier Group (not all of the XM-15 series have this)
- Staked castle nut (many lower end AR15 manufacturers do not do this)
- Attached Carry handle/sight for the rear and standard fixed M16 front sight post
- gas operated
- 1:7 twist rate, some of the XM-15 variants come with a 1:9 twist so check this before buying and get what you want
- The lower and upper are made of 7075 forged aluminum, the upper was made by a third party on this rifle though they may make everything in-house now
It was designed for Law Enforcement and military use and the version we can buy as civilians is literally identical to what is sold to LE (minus potential for burst/full auto which many LE agencies avoid for standard patrol people anyhow.) It allows mounting of optics easily with the standard 1913 rail on the top of the receiver. Though the handguard is standard patrol/ milspec approach, it can be swapped easily for a Magpul MOE for-end for added versatility.