SEEKINS NX RIFLE
~ Author: Garrick Fernbaugh
I know, the gun is dirty in the picture. That's because I actually use it! I’ve had this rifle 6 months now, and I’ve fired about 5,000 rounds through it. I like to use something for awhile, test it out, run it through the paces, and then review it. My thoughts on this rifle are different now than they were 6 months ago.
I estimate, I’ve fired somewhere north of 50,000 rounds through many AR type rifles over the last 30 years. And, I definitely have an opinion. Everything I do and teach emphasizes an ability to run the gun in combat.
Among the first things I noticed with the Seekins NXRIFLE is how light weight it is, especially when compared to the HK416. I picked her up, stroked her, placed my trigger finger long & straight, and immediately noticed how my finger fell right into place.
It felt so natural :).
The upper seems to be milled and smoothed out in the most perfect way. I have another rifle that I took my Dremel tool to, so I could smooth off some sharp corners around the trigger guard.
I'm loving the attention to detail, it' artistic and functional. It's pretty, but not outrageous. It's a tool meant for getting the job done. The NX is kinda like Dwayne Johnson (The Rock), good looking and yet ready to kick your ass!
Lets get to it! Listed are things I like, don't like and changes that I made or things I'd like to see changed.
1. Every rifle should have the exact bolt release/ bolt lock this rifle has.
Honestly, this rifle platform was developed in the late 1950's (by Armalite), in the early 1960's Colt began manufacturing. The point being, after all this time I cannot believe how many rifles are sold without a bolt release/bolt locking lever like this. Many people have no idea how to lock the bolt back, and in my opinion, it's essential to running this gun.
During my Red Frog training courses, I teach a specific load sequencing process that begins with locking the bolt back. This high quality piece makes performing that function much easier. I also teach that locking the bolt back is the first step in clearing a malfunction. And so, in every course, locking the bolt back is performed many times.
Take note of the recess machined around the bolt release/bolt locking lever. I like this detail and I see it has assisted in preventing the bolt from accidentally releasing, as it often does with most other rifles. Obviously, this gun was designed by someone who know's what's important about running the gun. Take note of the ambi-bolt release on the opposite side of the gun. You can't lock the bolt back with this lever, but it would be awesome if you could (hint hint).
2. The NEST flash suppressor/muzzle break.
First, before you get turned on, those are mannequin boobs in the pictures above.
I took the NEST flash suppressor/ muzzle break off, so it's not shown in the picture. It doesn't function too well as a muzzle break. That said, I don't allow muzzle breaks on the line during any Red Frog courses I teach and they are not conducive to a CQC environment. However, something that is required is a flash suppressor, because at night people are mostly shooting at muzzle flashes. The original device might actually be a muzzle flash increaser, so, I had to remove it. I replaced it with the Surefire SF Warden-DE Blast regulator. This device worked out well and it reduced muzzle flash. Keeping my night vision from washing out and it mitigated recoil better than most muzzle breaks. Seekins product idea?
3. I prefer parts to be mil-spec standard parts on all my guns.
The trigger assembly retaining pins are odd, not mil-spec and have these little c-clips holding the pins in place. Those tiny C-clips have been missing for awhile now. I replaced them and they fell off again. The pins seem to be staying in without the c-clips, for now.
4. The trigger.
I watched an informative video made by Bill Geissle in which, he describes two different ways a trigger breaks, like an icicle, and a carrot. I came to realize every trigger, in every gun I fired before this one "breaks like a carrot trigger." That is to say military triggers move a bit, or "bend" first, then break. This trigger breaks like an icicle. There is no trigger travel, apply 3 lbs pressure and it breaks. Initially, that was something I had to get accustomed to. Within the first 500 rounds or so, I found myself clacking off an extra round at times.
Does that make it unsafe? No, definitely not.
It's a matter of knowing your trigger. I quickly moved past that issue of clacking off an extra round. Now, I appreciate that I can clack a bunch of rounds really fast. This is a smooth and nice trigger that probably allows me to shoot even faster than I do with my Geissle trigger (installed in another gun).
5. The ambi-safety had to go.
It's a personal preference. I understand that’s what everyone wants to see on a gun these days and I shoot ambidextrously, but I hate an ambi-safety. I run a lot of shooting drills, in which I'm coming off safe as the gun is coming up to my eye, but my trigger finger remains long & straight until I can safely fire.
So, in running my guns like that, the ambi-safety is digging into my trigger finger (which is long & straight) every time I'm coming up. That got old real fast. I removed the nice short-throw safety the gun came with and replaced it with the MK-1 mod 0 military safety selector switch. Its not that I think the short throw safety is unsafe, I just don't feel like it's necessary for speed while coming off safe.
I guess I'm just old school like that.
6. The 12.5 inch barrel.
It's awesome and it shoots accurately. I’m shooting ½ inch groups at 50 yards with the Aimpoint micro T-1 on the gun. Personally, I think a 1 minute gun that can be depended upon in combat is something unusual. Most AR's are not 1 minute guns. Most students showing up to my classes are shooting about 1.5 to 2.5 inch groups at 50 meters.
I bought my first 12.5 inch upper back in 2010, now it seems to be all the rage as everyone is beginning to realize muzzle velocities drop a lot between 10.5 and 12.5. In my opinion 12.5 is a better option unless you really need that gun to be super short. I've ridden many miles in civilian vehicles with my rifle next to my leg. Honestly, two inches in a car does make a difference, but so does the reduced muzzle velocity.
I'll take the additional 2 inches (that's what she said).
7. NOXs Handgaurd rail system.
This gun came with M Lok. I like Key Mod rails. It's a tough choice because the M Lok looks better. The M Lok is also a pain in the ass when installing the rail pieces. But, how often do you take those on and off? I know, lots to think about. At the end of the day, I'm that guy who will always go with what works better, over what looks better.
The rail length is perfect for the 10.5 inch barrel. I just wish there was a little more rail space with the 12.5 inch barrel. Granted, I was given a heads-up about the rail being a hair short, because 12.5 was not a barrel length offered at the time.
8. It's dependable.
I had a malfunction, one. I let it get dirty for about 2000 rounds or so, and it finally failed to extract. I gave it a quick rubdown and it began working perfectly again. I think of guns in terms of parachutes, life saving equipment that I need to function perfectly when I need it to. This one fills the bill.
9. What would make this gun, any gun better?
- A trigger with mil-spec pins.
- A rail 2 inches longer.
- A muzzle break/ flash suppressor similar to the Warden.
That's it. As mentioned previously, the NX Rifle has good ergonomics, no sharp edges and my trigger finger falls right into place.
In my experience, the NX Rifle is more reliable than most AR rifles, enough said.
The NX weighs in at exactly (I'm not sure). Unfortunately, I don't have the appropriate scale handy. However, I can tell you its light. I also appreciate they went the extra mile with 7075 aluminum, instead of 6065.
10. The Final Ruling.
It's my favorite gun, I love running this thing. It works.
I see students come out to my courses with guns that don't run. Usually, it's the fancy high dollar guns that are finicky. I think knowing how far you can go with your rifle is an important thing to know.
How dirty can it get before it begins to fail?
What goes wrong with it?
These are all things you'll never figure out unless you sign up for a course and come out to run the gun for about 5 hours.
What are the failure points, strengths and weaknesses?
Figure these things out in training, on the range, so when it counts you know what to expect.
Guns are like parachutes, you need that thing to function when it's time to open up.
Here are few other fun facts about the Seekins NX Rifle:
CNC machined from 7075-T6 billet materials. Featuring the lightweight, free-floating NOXs™ handguard, match grade 5R stainless steel barrel, NEST flash hider, and ambidextrous controls.
- Skeletonized 7075-T6 Billet NX15 Upper and SP223 Lower Receiver
- Adjustable Gas Block and Melonite Coated Gas Tube
- NEST Flash Hider
- NOXs™ Handguard Rail System
- Trigger Finger Index Point and Enlarged Trigger Guard
- Ambidextrous Bolt Release and Selector Switch
- 5R Button Rifled, Match Grade 416 Stainless Steel Barrel, 1:8 Rate of Twist, ArmorBlak coating
- The .223 Wylde chamber takes advantage of .223 Remington accuracy while still able to safely and accurately shoot the higher pressure 5.56mm NATO ammunition.