TAR-15 Semi-Automatic 5.56mm Scout Rifle from The Arms Room

by Jeff Quinn

photography by Jeff Quinn & Boge Quinn

June 20th, 2013


Click pictures for a larger version.





Selector switch does not rotate to the AUTO position on this semi-automatic rifle.



Unique and effective Phantom spiral flash suppressor.





Magpul MBUS folding sights.



Sixteen-inch 1-in-7-inch twist M-4 profile chrome-moly barrel.



Magazine release.



Superb telescoping Rogers Super-Stoc.



Today, we are blessed with dozens of choices when we seek to buy a quality AR-15 style rifle. Almost every one of them are good rifles. While some are better than others in fit and finish, they pretty much all work very well, as the AR-15 is an excellent design that has been with us for around a half-century, and shows no sign of obsolescence approaching.

The major difficulty that I have when reviewing a new AR-15 style rifle is finding a fresh approach to the review, as I have reviewed so many. At the major industry shows, I visit with many different makers of AR-15 rifles. It was at the NASGW Show last fall that I ran across a booth that was manned with workers from The Arms Room in Orlando, Florida. These fellows seemed to be having a great time, showing their wares to firearms distributors, along with the very few members of the firearms press that cover that show.  We spent several minutes jaw-boning with the friendly folks in the booth, not only about their rifles, but about the way in which they are built, and the relationship of the owners and staff at The Arms Room.

The Arms Room is a one-hundred percent veteran-owned and operated company. Many of the employees served with the owner in Afghanistan, and most of the armorers are combat veterans. They have used similar rifles in combat, and they know what works well and what doesnít. The way in which the rifles are built is different than in most high-production facilities. At The Arms Room, instead of running a production line, each rifle is built from start to finish by one single armorer. The Arms Room also sells direct to the final customer. The customer can order the weapon on line or over the phone, and the rifle is shipped through the customerís preferred licensed dealer for legal transfer.  The Arms Room has several models from which to choose, and the one featured here is their top-of-the-line Scout Rifle.

The Scout Rifle is chambered for the 5.56x45mm NATO cartridge (300 AAC Blackout available as a special order), and wears a sixteen inch chrome molybdenum barrel with an M-4 exterior profile and a one-in-seven-inch twist rifling rate. The upper receiver has an integral 1913 Picatinny-compliant rail. Along with the four rails on the free-floating aluminum hand guard, there is about forty-four inches of rail upon which to mount optics and accessories.  The muzzle is fitted with a unique and effective Phantom spiral flash suppressor. The Scout uses a carbine-length direct-impingement gas system, and an M-16 bolt carrier group. The Scout Rifle wears an excellent set of Magpul MBUS folding sights and a Rogers Super-Stoc buttstock, which is one of the best telescoping buttstocks on the market. It also wears a Magpul pistol grip, and comes with one Magpul thirty-round magazine. The buffer tube and internal parts are mil-spec. The Scout Rifle weighed in at six pounds, thirteen ounces with an empty P-MAG in place. The trigger resistance measured 4.8 pounds.

The TAR-15 Scout Rifle arrived just in time for me to take it to the NRA Whittington Center near Raton, New Mexico to do some long-range shooting. As a member of The Shootists, I go to Raton every year in June for our annual gathering, and the WC is an excellent place to shoot a rifle at extended ranges. For long-range shooting, I mounted a Leupold Mark 4 8.5 to 25 power variable scope in a rugged ArmaLite mount, and attached it to the flattop receiver of the Scout Rifle. Resting the rifle in a Target Shooting, Inc. Model 500 rifle rest, it was very easy to make solid, precise hits out to 800 yards using the graduated reticle hash marks in the Leupold scope. I used Israeli NATO-spec ball ammunition, Lake City green-tip NATO-spec ammunition, and Buffalo Bore 69 grain Sniper ammo at distances from 100 to 800 yards. Every round fed, fired, and ejected perfectly, with no malfunctions of any kind during all phases of testing. I fired the Scout Rifle using the Magpul P-MAG provided, as well as two twenty-round Vietnam War era Colt magazines. I prefer these shorter mags when firing from the bench, and the rifle functioned perfectly with them, as expected.

I fired the TAR-15 on paper at one hundred yards for accuracy testing. Accuracy was very good at the beginning, and as is often the case with a new rifle, accuracy improved greatly as the bore became seasoned a bit, firing some sub-half-minute groups at that distance. Accuracy at extended ranges was also superb, hitting the same spot on distant steel and rocks out to 800 yards with ease.

The TAR-15 Scout Rifle is my favorite of the several rifle packages offered by The Arms Room, but they offer rifles to fit most any budget, and all are priced quite competitively for the features offered.  As mentioned at the beginning of this review, there are plenty of choices when selecting a quality AR-15 style rifle in todayís market, but there are a couple of intangible features that make this and other rifles from The Arms Room special, at least to me. Those familiar with Gunblast.com know that we have a high regard for our soldiers, sailors, airmen, and Marines, and especially for combat veterans. The Arms Room has special discounts for veterans, active-duty, and retired military, as well as for first responders such as law enforcement, emergency medical, and firefighters. The Arms Room sells direct, either online or by phone, but to get these special discounts, you must call in your order.  One very special discount of one-hundred percent is offered to any serviceman or woman who has received The Congressional Medal of Honor. Any CMA recipient can have the rifle of his or her choice, free of charge.  This is very generous of those fellows at The Arms Room, and shows where their hearts are. To me, this makes a difference, and if it does to you, give them consideration when selecting your next AR. The Arms Room builds rifles that are built right, priced right, guaranteed forever, and built in the USA.

Check them out and order online at www.armsroom.com, or call to order at 407-282-3803.

Jeff Quinn

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Click pictures for a larger version.





Long-range testing was done with the aid of a Leupold Mark 4 riflescope.





Nostalgic and informative vintage-style instruction manual.





G.I. style cleaning kit.