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Brigade Manufacturing Makasi FAL/AR Hybrid Rifle

Accomplice2

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@Accomplice2 Nice!! It’s grown to be one of my favorite “modern” rifles in the collection to shoot.

Did the sample they send you come with the standard AR selector and A2 pistol grip?
Yes, it did. I’m excited to see how it does against the competition.
IMG_0567.jpeg
 
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Accomplice2

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The Makasi ran like a champ but several other guns wouldn’t digest the cheap steel cased .223 ammo without issues. I did notice that it wasn’t holding the bolt open on the last round on a couple of mags though. The charging handle was one of the better of the bunch, the recoil impulse was mild.

we left the range labeling a few guns not ‘stake your life on material’ the Makasi looks to be good to go and very reliable.
 
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Accomplice2

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@Accomplice2 Nice!! It’s grown to be one of my favorite “modern” rifles in the collection to shoot.

Did the sample they send you come with the standard AR selector and A2 pistol grip?
Yes, it came just as pictured. I liked it so much that I bought it rather than sending it back after testing. With it staying, the arrival of a used Scar 16S and a trade for a Galil Ace, the 5.56 Legion of Boom is finally assembled.
IMG_1014.jpeg
 

FLSKUNKAPE

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Yes, it came just as pictured. I liked it so much that I bought it rather than sending it back after testing. With it staying, the arrival of a used Scar 16S and a trade for a Galil Ace, the 5.56 Legion of Boom is finally assembled.
View attachment 366956
Which one do you think is the best, and which is your favorite? I've owned a couple, shot a couple more. But there are several on there I've never even held in my hands.
 

Accomplice2

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Which one do you think is the best, and which is your favorite? I've owned a couple, shot a couple more. But there are several on there I've never even held in my hands.
I view them through the lens of cost so some cheaper ones stand out.

The FM15 (not pictured) and this particular BRN180 are on the lower end of cost but probably better viewed as interesting options for the range vs serious defensive tools.

For the cost of the “factory second” Templar ($899) it delivers a piston driven, side-charging gun but it’s heavy and the charging handle shape isn’t ideal. It offers the “HK
slap” but that’s more of a novelty. It’s a lb heavier than it should be but the stock is the best of the bunch in terms of ease of function and intuitive operation.

The Sig 556xi is the best US made iteration of a dated platform but it appeals to me. The charging handle is swappable (finally), the balance is fine, the weight is fine, reliability is good. The stock looks cool but isn’t adjustable for length of pull, which didn’t bother me but the hard plastic was hard on my collar bone at a carbine class recently. The long exposed barrel isn’t aesthetically pleasing to my eye, for whatever that counts. For $999 these days, I’d take it over the FM15 or BRN180 (though my BRN180S pistol seems solid compared to my 16” version).

In the mid tier of cost, the JAKL is good but I prefer the Makasi and legacy MCX. The JAKL I have is very early production. It runs great when the gas setting is right for the ammo but it’s the most nose heavy of the bunch and the charging handle requires way too much effort at times. I mean way too much effort in the sense that if your family was fighting a horde of zombies, this gun would be worthless to give to your wife. I found myself having to charge it on the edge of a table on one range trip. Of the stocks with no buttons involved in the folding process, it works the easiest but I’d get the other stock offered if I were to get a JAKL today.

The legacy MCX is one of the best weighted and best handling and I think the light, mesh style hand guard approach should be adopted by other manufacturers. For example, the Galil with that kind of weight loss up front would really benefit. The t handle charging handle location on the MCX is built in obsolescence. It needs a side charger.

The Makasi does just about everything well with my only compliants so far being that the last round bolt hold open doesn’t always work. I have only shot underpowered .223 so far so maybe 5.56 would push the action back further to engage it? The stock looks cool but requires some muscle memory and effort to engage. With this many guns, I find myself having to visually check which way the hinge wants to operate prior to engaging it. Obviously for a fighting rifle I would want this to be something I do instantly without thinking about it. That said, there is a 1913 interface on the back so another stock can get thrown on it but you’d lose the FAL aesthetic.

Being out of production but still readily available used for $1,200ish puts the ARX100 in a weird place in terms of replacement parts and service. The best bet might be to pick up spares as parts donors. But it’s funky, super light, reliable and great handling. The stock is short and goofy, and on this example, the button to fold it requires way too much effort to engage. We end up passing it around to see whose thumbs can be abused long enough to engage it. The controls are all well-placed but feel a bit clunky. The molded in strap sling points need to be dremeled off. It badly needs QD mounting points. Accessory mounting space, (which I don’t want or use) is limited up front vs the others. With all of the knocks against this platform, I shouldn’t like it as much as I do but it has a unique appeal. If it were $800 like the good old days, I wouldn’t let any of it’s imperfections bother me but for the $1,200 they command right now, I’d lean toward a Makasi (there’s a new Makasi out there for around that price right now).

The Carmel delivers on the space gun looks and the ergonomics are good. It’s about a 1/2 lb heavier than it needs to be and that’s where it instantly gives up ground vs something like the Bren 2. But it’s not grossly over weight like the Templar or the Galil and it’s well balanced so in isolation you don’t think too much about the weight. The gas adjustment isn’t super intuitive or simple and I screwed up and sent the knob down range on our first trip out with it. IWI US was extremely responsive and it should be noted they’re updating this part when they get Carmels back in for the recall they currently have on them. I want to like this gun and probably will once it’s back from the factory but it’s edge over something like the Bren 2 would only be cost (seen these as low as $1,400). If mine comes back running great then I’d think it’s a compelling option at the price point.

The Galil is heavy but so solid and bomb proof that it almost seems worth it. If IWI could find a way to drop a lb off the next gen of this gun, it would be a home run. It doesn’t come with sights, so figure another $100 on top of the $1,250 used to $1,499+ new that these are going for. The CTR stock is just okay and the related hardware is needlessly proprietary. A vertical 1913 rail would be good back there or the stock from the Templar would be a big improvement if they could reengineer the rear on the next gen. But as far as grabbing a gun that you know you can count on to go bang, this beast is at the top of the stack.

The XCR delivers on everything with its only draw back, for me, being that the stock requires way to much effort to fold and I find myself resenting that the stock is not intuitive in the operation of its features. It looks cool though. This is one of the most reliable guns in the collection. I think they’re running around $300 more than the Makasi and arguably deliver about the same.

In the higher end of cost, the Perun is enjoyable, handles really well because it’s light up front and looks cool as heck. The stock works well. It somehow strikes you as a range gun vs serious defensive option but I can’t say if that’s just because the lighter weight makes it feel more delicate than it actually is. Need more time on it I think.

The Bren 2 is a great all around performer. It’s honestly better than a lot of guns in this collection. It’s around a lb lighter than the Carmel, (which is lighter than the Templar by a similar gap). I think it is hard to beat for what I paid for this one new ($1,499 if memory serves) but at current prices of $2,200+, I’d lean toward a used Scar, (or if that’s not in the budget, go XCR or the Makasi). But it’s one of the guns I grab to ride with me as a trunk gun and it seems as bulletproof as any other here. It does everything pretty well but it’s real trick is that there’s not a single parameter where it’s noticeably deficient.

The Sig Spear is a great gun. The charging handle being in the traditional AR location is its only glaring issue. The factory minimalistic stock works fine but wasn’t my favorite. If this was a side charger, I think the Scar would’ve finally met its match.

The Scar is probably the best gun here but it suffers some aesthetic challenges with the long exposed barrel and boot like stock. The pic rails vs mlok date it a bit and the short hand guard might limit how much crap you can bolt onto it. There are aftermarket extensions though. Because AR grips don’t work on it without mods, you can’t run to your local gun store to swap it out. The stock on this particular gun requires more effort to actuate than prior Scars I’ve had. The gas adjustment is simple and doesn’t require tools. The recoil impulse on the Scar is unique and appealing and probably should be what every gun maker looks to emulate. This particular Scar was bought pretty cheap and has been beaten like a rented mule so it’ll need a new barrel assembly before I can really get going on it (but I had scars in the past and know it well).

Hope this info is helpful. I’m not any kind of professional gun user just a civilian who collects them and takes a gun class here or there.
 
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FloridaGunMan101

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Thank you @SqueakyGun and @Accomplice2 for the review. I can’t believe I missed this thread. I’ve been looking into the Makasi for a few months now but haven’t heard anyone go in depth about the rifles accuracy. If anyone has some insight in regards to the groupings at 100 yards up to 600 yards, please do share your findings. Thanks ahead

Truthfully I’m not a fan of 223/5.56 but Brigade Manufacturing did say they will release a 308 some late next year.
 
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SqueakyGun

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Thank you @SqueakyGun and @Accomplice2 for the review. I can’t believe I missed this thread. I’ve been looking into the Makasi for a few months now but haven’t heard anyone go in depth about the rifles accuracy. If anyone has some insight in regards to the groupings at 100 yards up to 600 yards, please do share your findings. Thanks ahead

Truthfully I’m not a fan of 223/5.56 but Brigade Manufacturing did say they will release a 308 some late next year.
No problem! As far as accuracy at various ranges, I haven’t tried measuring groups. Also not the best shot admittedly, but I found it to be just as accurate as any “mil-spec” AR type rifle in the hands of an average shooter. No problem ringing steel out to 400m (shooting at a torso sized steel plate tho) Gotta adjust a little high for anything past that, but my Kentucky windage is usually followed by a prayer lol

If they release one of these in .308 I’m definitely throwing my money at it.
 

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Update: Brigade is running a special - 20% off the prices on their web site so the new 10.5” pistol version is only $1,055 right now. I sold off my JAKL, Carmel, BRN180 and a few others and ordered 3 more Makasis. It’s basically a short stroke XCR for half price (right now).

My evolving collection.
IMG_3924.jpeg
 
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FLSKUNKAPE

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Thank you @SqueakyGun and @Accomplice2 for the review. I can’t believe I missed this thread. I’ve been looking into the Makasi for a few months now but haven’t heard anyone go in depth about the rifles accuracy. If anyone has some insight in regards to the groupings at 100 yards up to 600 yards, please do share your findings. Thanks ahead

Truthfully I’m not a fan of 223/5.56 but Brigade Manufacturing did say they will release a 308 some late next year.
Any link on info to the coming 308 version?
 

Accomplice2

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Thank you @SqueakyGun and @Accomplice2 for the review. I can’t believe I missed this thread. I’ve been looking into the Makasi for a few months now but haven’t heard anyone go in depth about the rifles accuracy. If anyone has some insight in regards to the groupings at 100 yards up to 600 yards, please do share your findings. Thanks ahead

Truthfully I’m not a fan of 223/5.56 but Brigade Manufacturing did say they will release a 308 some late next year.
There’s a channel / guy on YouTube named Joel A who has shot for groups with it. Looks to be pretty much right there with the average AR from what I can tell.
 

Accomplice2

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I got my 3 new Makasis out to the range yesterday and tested them with some old Tula steel cased .223 ammo in GI mags. The rifle digested it but the pistols did some short stroking with the underpowered ammo. I tried both has settings on the one having the most issues and it didn’t change.

It felt like the surface of the sun so we didn’t stay long enough to try a bunch of mags or any different ammo. I may try again next weekend before sending them back to Brigade to get the gas system tweaked a bit. I really want my guns to run on crappy ammo.
 

Dee

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I purchased a Makasi and so far it's been really good. Less than $1200 shipped from Atlantic.
I like the FAL look, the short stroke piston gas system and a lot of its parts have commonality with AR15's (barrel, trigger group, bolt).

What I found when shooting it:
1. It groups best with heavy bullets. 55gr not great (inconsistent groups), 68gr really good (1.5moA at 100yd). Not unexpected since it's 1 in 7 twist.
2. The trigger is a typical milspec. Gritty at first, significant take-up, heavy but with use it's easy to get used to.
3. I usually shoot suppressed. I don't have a 22 cal suppressor, just 30 cal and higher. The suppressed setting with a 30 cal suppressor doesn't cycle. The port is too small. So I use the unsuppressed setting. I'm going to ask Brigade on proper size gas port for a 30 cal suppressor. Then I'll increase it appropriately.
4. The side charger works good except for it sticking under the handguard. It was easy to fix with a few light swipes of a file to the contact point on the underside of the handguard. Brigade should have addressed this in the factory.
5. The folding stock is built like a tank. There is some slop in it's lockup. I'm pretty anal about stuff like this, so I used a chunk of silicon rubber to remove the slop. (Similar idea as an accuwedge in a AR15.) I'll have to think about a gunsmithing approach for a more permanent fix.

Here it is suppressed with a Steiner optic and vintage A1 pistol grip:
lhs suppressed.jpg
 

lew

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I purchased a Makasi and so far it's been really good. Less than $1200 shipped from Atlantic.
I like the FAL look, the short stroke piston gas system and a lot of its parts have commonality with AR15's (barrel, trigger group, bolt).

What I found when shooting it:
1. It groups best with heavy bullets. 55gr not great (inconsistent groups), 68gr really good (1.5moA at 100yd). Not unexpected since it's 1 in 7 twist.
2. The trigger is a typical milspec. Gritty at first, significant take-up, heavy but with use it's easy to get used to.
3. I usually shoot suppressed. I don't have a 22 cal suppressor, just 30 cal and higher. The suppressed setting with a 30 cal suppressor doesn't cycle. The port is too small. So I use the unsuppressed setting. I'm going to ask Brigade on proper size gas port for a 30 cal suppressor. Then I'll increase it appropriately.
4. The side charger works good except for it sticking under the handguard. It was easy to fix with a few light swipes of a file to the contact point on the underside of the handguard. Brigade should have addressed this in the factory.
5. The folding stock is built like a tank. There is some slop in it's lockup. I'm pretty anal about stuff like this, so I used a chunk of silicon rubber to remove the slop. (Similar idea as an accuwedge in a AR15.) I'll have to think about a gunsmithing approach for a more permanent fix.

Here it is suppressed with a Steiner optic and vintage A1 pistol grip:
View attachment 426450
That A1 grips sets it off.

Thanks a lot for the practical info. I have an XCR in addition to my ARs, but I find myself wanting another not-AR 5.56, and this one is interesting enough.
 

Dee

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That A1 grips sets it off.

Thanks a lot for the practical info. I have an XCR in addition to my ARs, but I find myself wanting another not-AR 5.56, and this one is interesting enough.
Not to derail the thread but the BRN180 is also a good one. They're accurate and designed/manufactured by PWS.
It's sold as a complete upper and you add your own lower. I have both a SBR and a rifle version. The rifle is 1 in 7 with a Wylde chamber and accurate.
BRN180 RHS.jpg
 

lew

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Not to derail the thread but the BRN180 is also a good one. They're accurate and designed/manufactured by PWS.
It's sold as a complete upper and you add your own lower. I have both a SBR and a rifle version. The rifle is 1 in 7 with a Wylde chamber and accurate.
View attachment 426586
My former coworker has a couple. Didn't get to shoot them, but he brought them in for show and tell. Really neat concept and execution. I don't like right-side chargers if it can't be avoided, though. Didn't know PWS was behind it. Very cool.
 

1Pipefitter

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I view them through the lens of cost so some cheaper ones stand out.

The FM15 (not pictured) and this particular BRN180 are on the lower end of cost but probably better viewed as interesting options for the range vs serious defensive tools.

For the cost of the “factory second” Templar ($899) it delivers a piston driven, side-charging gun but it’s heavy and the charging handle shape isn’t ideal. It offers the “HK
slap” but that’s more of a novelty. It’s a lb heavier than it should be but the stock is the best of the bunch in terms of ease of function and intuitive operation.

The Sig 556xi is the best US made iteration of a dated platform but it appeals to me. The charging handle is swappable (finally), the balance is fine, the weight is fine, reliability is good. The stock looks cool but isn’t adjustable for length of pull, which didn’t bother me but the hard plastic was hard on my collar bone at a carbine class recently. The long exposed barrel isn’t aesthetically pleasing to my eye, for whatever that counts. For $999 these days, I’d take it over the FM15 or BRN180 (though my BRN180S pistol seems solid compared to my 16” version).

In the mid tier of cost, the JAKL is good but I prefer the Makasi and legacy MCX. The JAKL I have is very early production. It runs great when the gas setting is right for the ammo but it’s the most nose heavy of the bunch and the charging handle requires way too much effort at times. I mean way too much effort in the sense that if your family was fighting a horde of zombies, this gun would be worthless to give to your wife. I found myself having to charge it on the edge of a table on one range trip. Of the stocks with no buttons involved in the folding process, it works the easiest but I’d get the other stock offered if I were to get a JAKL today.

The legacy MCX is one of the best weighted and best handling and I think the light, mesh style hand guard approach should be adopted by other manufacturers. For example, the Galil with that kind of weight loss up front would really benefit. The t handle charging handle location on the MCX is built in obsolescence. It needs a side charger.

The Makasi does just about everything well with my only compliants so far being that the last round bolt hold open doesn’t always work. I have only shot underpowered .223 so far so maybe 5.56 would push the action back further to engage it? The stock looks cool but requires some muscle memory and effort to engage. With this many guns, I find myself having to visually check which way the hinge wants to operate prior to engaging it. Obviously for a fighting rifle I would want this to be something I do instantly without thinking about it. That said, there is a 1913 interface on the back so another stock can get thrown on it but you’d lose the FAL aesthetic.

Being out of production but still readily available used for $1,200ish puts the ARX100 in a weird place in terms of replacement parts and service. The best bet might be to pick up spares as parts donors. But it’s funky, super light, reliable and great handling. The stock is short and goofy, and on this example, the button to fold it requires way too much effort to engage. We end up passing it around to see whose thumbs can be abused long enough to engage it. The controls are all well-placed but feel a bit clunky. The molded in strap sling points need to be dremeled off. It badly needs QD mounting points. Accessory mounting space, (which I don’t want or use) is limited up front vs the others. With all of the knocks against this platform, I shouldn’t like it as much as I do but it has a unique appeal. If it were $800 like the good old days, I wouldn’t let any of it’s imperfections bother me but for the $1,200 they command right now, I’d lean toward a Makasi (there’s a new Makasi out there for around that price right now).

The Carmel delivers on the space gun looks and the ergonomics are good. It’s about a 1/2 lb heavier than it needs to be and that’s where it instantly gives up ground vs something like the Bren 2. But it’s not grossly over weight like the Templar or the Galil and it’s well balanced so in isolation you don’t think too much about the weight. The gas adjustment isn’t super intuitive or simple and I screwed up and sent the knob down range on our first trip out with it. IWI US was extremely responsive and it should be noted they’re updating this part when they get Carmels back in for the recall they currently have on them. I want to like this gun and probably will once it’s back from the factory but it’s edge over something like the Bren 2 would only be cost (seen these as low as $1,400). If mine comes back running great then I’d think it’s a compelling option at the price point.

The Galil is heavy but so solid and bomb proof that it almost seems worth it. If IWI could find a way to drop a lb off the next gen of this gun, it would be a home run. It doesn’t come with sights, so figure another $100 on top of the $1,250 used to $1,499+ new that these are going for. The CTR stock is just okay and the related hardware is needlessly proprietary. A vertical 1913 rail would be good back there or the stock from the Templar would be a big improvement if they could reengineer the rear on the next gen. But as far as grabbing a gun that you know you can count on to go bang, this beast is at the top of the stack.

The XCR delivers on everything with its only draw back, for me, being that the stock requires way to much effort to fold and I find myself resenting that the stock is not intuitive in the operation of its features. It looks cool though. This is one of the most reliable guns in the collection. I think they’re running around $300 more than the Makasi and arguably deliver about the same.

In the higher end of cost, the Perun is enjoyable, handles really well because it’s light up front and looks cool as heck. The stock works well. It somehow strikes you as a range gun vs serious defensive option but I can’t say if that’s just because the lighter weight makes it feel more delicate than it actually is. Need more time on it I think.

The Bren 2 is a great all around performer. It’s honestly better than a lot of guns in this collection. It’s around a lb lighter than the Carmel, (which is lighter than the Templar by a similar gap). I think it is hard to beat for what I paid for this one new ($1,499 if memory serves) but at current prices of $2,200+, I’d lean toward a used Scar, (or if that’s not in the budget, go XCR or the Makasi). But it’s one of the guns I grab to ride with me as a trunk gun and it seems as bulletproof as any other here. It does everything pretty well but it’s real trick is that there’s not a single parameter where it’s noticeably deficient.

The Sig Spear is a great gun. The charging handle being in the traditional AR location is its only glaring issue. The factory minimalistic stock works fine but wasn’t my favorite. If this was a side charger, I think the Scar would’ve finally met its match.

The Scar is probably the best gun here but it suffers some aesthetic challenges with the long exposed barrel and boot like stock. The pic rails vs mlok date it a bit and the short hand guard might limit how much crap you can bolt onto it. There are aftermarket extensions though. Because AR grips don’t work on it without mods, you can’t run to your local gun store to swap it out. The stock on this particular gun requires more effort to actuate than prior Scars I’ve had. The gas adjustment is simple and doesn’t require tools. The recoil impulse on the Scar is unique and appealing and probably should be what every gun maker looks to emulate. This particular Scar was bought pretty cheap and has been beaten like a rented mule so it’ll need a new barrel assembly before I can really get going on it (but I had scars in the past and know it well).

Hope this info is helpful. I’m not any kind of professional gun user just a civilian who collects them and takes a gun class here or there.
Thanks for the honesty, especially when discussing the SCAR. I find many people have disdainment for the weapon, not due to experience, but due to the price. That and most people like to regurgitate bullshit myths about the weapon from so and so's crazy uncle who just happened to be the real life John Rambo, Jason Borne, etc etc..
 
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