The Robinson Armament XCR is a “modular weapon system” that was originally developed as a candidate for the USSOCOM SCAR program. Of course, FN Herstel won that government contract and just last year began marketing civilian variants of its SCAR rifle. Robinson, meanwhile, shifted its attention to the civilian market where it began selling the XCR in 2006. Even with the recent introduction of the Remington (formerly Bushmaster) ACR the XCR is still the most widely available and, at around $1600, reasonably priced SCAR-type civilian rifle. It sports the following features common to this type of firearm:
- Adjustable gas piston operating system
- Foldable stock
- Quick-change barrel
- Multiple-caliber conversion
- Monolithic upper receiver and rail system
- Ambidextrous, short-throw safety
An excellent comparison with other “third generation carbines” is maintained on this chart.
Features unique to the XCR include:
- Clever (and now patented) ambidextrous bolt catch, positioned just in front of the trigger guard.
- Excellent 3.5-pound trigger. This “enhanced trigger” was introduced in 2009, about the same time as their ambidextrous safety, and replaces the 6 pound trigger found in earlier versions.
- AR-15 compatible grip (the one shown here is the MagPul MIAD)
- Non-reciprocating charging handle
- 3-lug bolt (easier to clean)
Features currently lacking on the XCR include:
- Stock with adjustable length-of-pull and cheek height — although an “enhanced stock” is supposedly in development, and an optional adaptor allows any AR-15 stock to be installed.
- Ambidextrous magazine release (“in development”)
- Ambidextrous charging handle
- 1/9″ twist barrels are standard; 1/7″ to this point have been promised but hard to get.
A good critical review here summarizes common complaints about the XCR, most of which center on the fact that a lot of its hardware is screwed down instead of pinned. The XCR manual comes with a number of recommended points for applying red and blue loctite to keep screws in place.
In my opinion the XCR lower receiver is the ideal item to register as a Short-Barreled Rifle (SBR): The same XCR-L lower can then be fitted with uppers and barrels as short as 7.5″ as well as at least 3 caliber conversion kits (currently available: 5.56, 6.8SPC, and 7.62×39). The photos here show a standard 5.56mm upper with an 11″ barrel, which makes it 30.5″ long overall, and only 22.5″ with the stock folded.
A few other noteworthy details:
- The gas system has six positions: Off, suppressor, and standard settings numbered 1-4.
- The folding stock includes a quick-detach sling swivel slot for a single-point sling.
- Company representatives frequent the official online forum.
- The company has been responsive to my problems and requests via both phone and Email.