Fightlite SCR / Ares SCR: a 50 State Legal AR?

Gun control sucks, and what I can appreciate about the gun community is they almost always find a way to beat gun control laws in some way. Sure, it’s often a compromise, but we can usually beat gun control via innovation. This includes things like the Shockwave style firearms, 80% lowers, pistol braces, the Patriot pin, and the Ares SCR. The Ares SCR (later Fightlite SCR) is most famously a 50 state legal AR15.  It’s even legal (as of this writing anyway) in New York City of all places. This isn’t the only ‘featureless’ design out there, but it’s the one that looks the least like a failed abortion. 

What the Hell is It? 

The SCR I have is an old school Gen 1 model. Ares is now known as Fightlite, but mine was produced as a lower from Ares. Calling this gun a AR 15 is a bit of a stretch. It’s an Uncanny Valley variant of a AR 15. The weapon can use any AR 15 upper receiver, and it’s still a direct impingement gun. The most evident difference is the stock.  

That’s a Remington shotgun stock fitted to a weird-looking AR 15 lower. This eliminates two standard features commonly listed in so-called “assault weapons” bans. Those being adjustable stocks and pistol grips. Other options have done so, but they are nowhere near as ergonomics or attractive as the SCR. 

What The Inside Looks Like

The gun still uses a buffer system, but it’s drastically different from the AR 15 style system, as is the bolt carrier group. The modified buffer comes from the fact you are using a Remington shotgun stock with a distinct downward angle. The buffer in internal and can’t be popped out easily like a standard buffer, and to use the buffer, you need the necessary Ares bolt carrier group. The buffer has a much smaller surface face than a standard AR 15 buffer, and it looks like a large Allen screw. 

The Ares BCG is designed to work with this new buffer and is quite distinctive. You have to add your own bolt and firing pin to the BCG. This is annoying because these lower receivers cost over 400 bucks. You should be able to include a bolt, firing pin, and a bolt catch. Oh yeah, there is no bolt catch too, but more on that later. The BCG has a rat tail that angles and moves to coordinate with the internal buffer. The bolt is a standard AR caliber. 

The rat tail has to align perfectly with the buffer, and this can make attaching the upper to the lower a bit difficult. Not impossible, or even frustrating, it just won’t snap on like a standard AR upper and lower. 

Obviously, with a restrictive BCG and bolt system, you are limited in calibers. You can’t make a 9mm blowback-operated Ares SCR. You could do 300 Blackout, but you can’t do 22 LR. 

What’s the Upper? 

The SCR came as a full rifle with an AWB compliant upper, and it came as a lower by itself. I don’t live in a state with harsh gun control (Yet.) I bought the lower because it was gathering dust in the back on my local gun store, long forgotten until one day it hit the shelf. We also got an Aero upper, a Ballistic advantage barrel, an Axelson Tactical muzzle device, and an STNGR RPTR rail.

I just wanted to knock that out before we go too far into the review. 

The Ergonomics of the SCR

The AR 15 is an ergonomic masterpiece. The lower receiver is very well laid out and very ergonomic. The SCR is not so ergonomic. It does have some good points, so let’s talk about those first. 

Changing the stock and pistol grip so drastically made everything a bit different. The safety is an 870 style cross-bolt design. It’s placed behind the trigger and quite simple to accentuate. It’s perfectly fine, just a bit of significant training change to use a cross-bolt on an AR. 

The rifle is super lightweight. The lower is significantly smaller than a standard AR 15 lower, and the smaller stock and buffer system keeps things super lightweight. The gun also shoulders very comfortably, and as a shotgun aficionado, I am pretty used to a traditional style stock. 

The downside is that the placement of the stock makes it impossible to reach the magazine release with the trigger finger. You have to use your off-hand, and it’s still awkward, or install a left-handed magazine release to make it a bit better. Also, Ares/Fightlite didn’t install a bolt hold open. The bolt catch is proprietary and costs 40 bucks. You can buy and install your own, but your 450 dollar lower receiver doesn’t come with one. 

The charging handle is all standard AR 15, and the problem here is that you’ll bump your thumb with the charging handle and your hand. The SCR also has a strong buffer spring, and it takes some force you rack the weapon. I use an extended charging handle to make it a bit easier to charge. 

A neutral point of the SCR ergonomics is the stock design. It has a lower comb than an AR 15, so you use a low mounted optic. AR height sights give you more of a chin weld than a cheek weld. 

On the Range with the SCR 

The rifle is so lightweight and easy handling in that regard it’s a welcome respite from heavier guns. It snaps to the shoulder, and the different stock and pistol grip combination give it a unique and exciting feeling. It’s just different, and sometimes something being different is enough to be fun. 

That SCR has barely any recoil. Less than a standard AR 15 by far. It’s a very comfortable gun that is entirely controllable. The length of pull is just perfect for me, and it’s very pleasing as far as macro ergonomics go. 

The trigger is excellent. SCR did an excellent job with the trigger, and it feels very light and super smooth. It’s not precisely a Geissele, but it’s a superb stock trigger. The trigger helps the SCR in the accuracy department as well. Sure the upper has a lot to do with the weapon’s accuracy, but this is more about the lower. 

The lightweight trigger, the strong buffer spring, reduces recoil, and the rock-solid stock keeps things locked down and tight. It makes it a little laser beam at both extended ranges and in rapid-fire close ranges. 

Reliability wise I’ve only had failures to fire with Monarch steel ammo. The hard primers seem to be the issue. If I recycled the rounds in the magazine, they’d fire on the second try. No other steel ammo gave me problems. I shoot mostly Hornady training ammo, which is higher quality steel, and it’s eaten it all. 

It also functions with whatever magazine I toss into it. PMAGs, Lancers, KCI Drums, aluminum GI style magazines, Hexmags, etc. It all works, and all feeds the same. The SCR is far from being magazine picky. 

Is it Worth It? 

Good question. To many, it wouldn’t be. For the price, you can get a decent unassembled upper and lower. It’s a boutique item, and to me, it’s a collectible style rifle. It has a distinct look that’s rather steampunkish and semi sci-fi-ish. The SCR is a fun little gun, but it has a few ergonomic problems that shouldn’t be overlooked or ignored. It’s not a defensive rifle for me, and I can forget the ergonomic functions because it’s a fun and accurate gun. I may make it a hunting rifle just for the looks it will get. 

Travis Pike is a former Marine Machine Gunner and a lifelong firearms enthusiast. Now that his days of working a 240B like Charlie Parker on the sax are over he's a regular guy who likes to shoot, write, and find ways to combine the two. He holds an NRA certification as a Basic Pistol Instructor and is probably most likely the world's Okayest firearm instructor. He is a simplicisist when it comes to talking about himself in the 3rd person and a self-professed tactical hipster. Hit him up on Instagram, @travis.l.pike, with story ideas.

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21 thoughts on “Fightlite SCR / Ares SCR: a 50 State Legal AR?

  1. It’s only been out since the Obama era. Content ideas slow this week, or are boomers zombieposting behind the keyboards?

    1. Andy, the fact that YOU know about it doesn’t mean others do. We’ll see what we can do about putting you on an “article approval list” to help us decide what to publish in the future. In the meantime, thanks for taking the time to comment. One of our big goals is to engage our readership, and though there are some who might argue that you’re either a malcontent or bored, we’re happy to indulge your asspain (and we value your patronage). So, here’s your chance: what would YOU like to see some articles about in the future? Hit us back, and have a badass Monday.

    1. Sean, it’s cuz people like options! Some guys like bourbon. Others prefer vodka or gin. Same thing with Mustangs, Chevelles, Roadrunners, and Challengers. Hell some of us would prefer to have one or more of everything. (Personally, I’m looking for a 1968 V8 Dodge Dart, but now I’ve gone way to far with my metaphors.) I have a Mini-14 AND an M1 Carbine. Ain’t the Second Amendment grand?

    2. mini 14s are more expensive and worse in a lot of ways. the customization is also really limited on a mini14

  2. RE: “You have to add your own bolt and firing pin to the BCG.
    This is annoying because these lower receivers cost over 400 bucks….”

    That comment reflects a basic ignorance regarding the AR-10 / AR-15 platform.
    The bolt must be correctly headspaced to the BARREL, which requires having
    (1) headspace gauges and (2) the necessary knowledge, skill and machining capability
    to use them. Bolts are typically selected from a large supply so as to find one
    that has the right dimensions to correctly headspace in a particular barrel / chamber.

  3. calling this an AR is a joke. it’s made for 3 or 4 states with the most screwed up gun laws in the country. so of course it’s legal in all the others that don’t go against the constitution and our 2nd amendment. this is nothing more than the bastard child of states who are taking our rights away it is simply a .223 semi automatic rifle. in no way is it an AR15. question for the author of this: if i put an ar trigger on my 1911, can i then call it an AR pistol? Im not in california or new york or illinois, I would never buy this gun, I like my AR’s to be AR’s, and this is not one, not even close

    1. Uh, just a correction… This is an AR Upper with an AR Lower slightly modified to work with a different type of Buttstock, changing nothing with the essentials of how an AR functions.

      I think you are confused by what makes an AR… The “cosmetic” aspects of the AR, the butt, the pistol grips etc. aren’t what “really” makes an AR. So, I would entirely disagree with you.
      This is allowing us to KEEP our wonderful AR-15, to at least placate the idiots so we can at least have our AR to be had in every single state. Yes, I know it’s not the “same”…

      But, I’ve been wanting an AR, and this allows me to get one and really not have to worry about the state I take it to. This is EXACTLY what I’ve been looking for. I can STILL shoot the bad guys and Leftists when needed, not having a folding butt and pistol grips isn’t what makes an AR.

      1. You can shoot the bad guys with a bb gun too, why dont you get one of those?.
        I like how you say its an ar, but with a “slightly” modified lower, it is not mil spec! & good luck with that idiotic mag release button, dont forget your “special” tool ( not found on real ar’s ). brought to you by states who dont care about the 2nd amendment. How many AR’s have you built? I’ve built many, and none of them look like the idiotic ca & ny “legal” ar’s. arent you lucky that your state even lets you buy an “ar” or at least a gun they tell you is an AR.
        of course its not one like the rest of the country has but its good enough for moronic states like ca.,il., ny., ct.? I wonder why the military version doesnt have the special mag release button? maybe they know just how idiotic it is. but apparently you like restrictions making it harder for you to defend yourself. maybe you should keep your ammo in a separate location and ask the bad guy with a gun to your head if you can go get your magazine and special tool to insert it so you can defend yourself. yeah that happens everyday. good luck with that…. that doesnt happen with a real AR !!

        1. Like I said in the other post, WOW you’re massively ****.
          Literally NOTHING in my posts are “agreeing” with the Laws in question.
          They are entirely stating I need a gun that I can actually take in EVERY STATE and not have to throw away/hide my gun but still have an AR.

          Okay, you got me on one thing, yes I’m not an expert on AR’s, I see now that the lower is actually entirely wrong. Not sure why they did that. So, I don’t didagree with you on that. The upper however appears to be standard however for the most part.

          Anyway, bottom line, NOTHING in my posts were “approving” of the bans, I’m simply trying to find an AR that’s legal. Yes, I didn’t realize they had actually changed the specs of the lower, ruining the mag release position. I haven’t held an M16/AR in 26 years. And yes, I don’t know about this “special tool” you’re talking about. So, sue me for not being “in the know” you ****. I had thought they had actually made an AR varient, I didn’t know it was not “mil spec”. Anyway, next time learn not to be an ***.

  4. This gun still wouldn’t be legal…
    – You have to get rid of the Flash Supressor
    – Can’t have a threaded barrel either.
    – Really also you should get rid of the “scarry” looking barrel, make it mostly solid.

    This would then be the perfect gun for those of us who are wanting to take our rifle anywhere, and have the AR Platform with it’s quality, reliability, acessory’s, etc.
    I don’t need a pistol grip or a front grip or to look “assaulty” to love my gun, as long as it works great, and it would since it would STILL be the AR Platform.

    1. wow, you dont need a gun with that talk. how do you make a barrel less scary? thats the dumbest thing i have ever heard!. people like you, should not own a weapon.!
      its obvious you know nothing about AR’s or how they are built, or how they work. and how does a flash suppressor make a gun illegal?… it doesnt and it only needs to be permanently attached if the barrel is less than 16″ long, if it’s a rifle. My AR pistol has a flash supressor and its legal with the 7.5″ 300 blackout barrel. anyone who thinks a barrel is scary and wants a less “assaulty” gun is a moron and has no business owning one. just stick with your daisy red rider bb gun, sounds like that is all you can handle. please dont buy an AR, you’ll shoot your eye out Ralphie.

      1. Wow, you’re massively ****, that you actually took what I said as if I was “okay” with any of it. I was simply stating the facts. Flash Suppressors are illegal in some states, and so I need a gun that doesn’t have one. Yes, and for California that’s a missed loophole it looks like that they didn’t apply the flash suppressor ban on “pistols”, but on rifles only.

        And because Leftists are INSANE, like clearly you are also to be so ****, I want my gun to not “scare” them so they are less likely to “ban” my gun. THAT is all I was saying you utter tool… I was NOT actually saying that “I” thought it was “scarry”, looking “assaulty”, I was using THEIR WORDS! Just WOW!

      2. from the way you talk and the lack of understanding of what makes an AR and AR, i kinda doubt you own any of the guns you say you do, and if you did, you certainly didn’t build them. you’d know what makes an AR and AR and an AK an AK if you did.

    2. Agree with your point that, if you bought just the Ares SCR lower, you would have to be cautious as to what AR upper you attached to it. The California laws are weird, so putting “just any” upper on it may cause it to be declared an assault weapon, but there is a huge selection available in buying upper receivers. You would have to look at whatever is on the end of the barrel and determine if it is defined as a muzzle brake or a flash suppressor, unless you used an upper with with absolutely nothing on the end of the barrel. They shoot just fine with nothing there, by the way.

  5. Thanks for posting the reviewing article. I was wondering if anyone tried to create something with a Monte Carlo type stock that allowed an AR-15 type upper to be used. I have owned both pre-ban ARs and Mini-14s. I noted a comment about the cost of Ar Bolts. They are not that expensive. The entire complete bolt carrier group (BCG) is usually between $130-180 through a place like Palmetto Armory, CheaperThanDirt, etc. and you would not need the entire BCG as the carrier is obviously custom on the Ares Fightlite SCR. All you need is the bolt, and that by itself is usually in the $80-90 range. Even if the bolt required significant radiusing or headspacing work, a gunsmith could do that for you, and if you could buy a complete AR upper and use the bolt that came with it, as the complete BCG would be there. I am assuming if you bought a complete SCR rifle it would have a bolt, etc. and be fully functional as a rifle. Paying $1100-$1300 is a lot for a complete SCR when some ARs and nearly all Mini-14s/30s cost less but the new California ARs are very neutered with fixed magazines, etc. Getting something in between that allows use of some normal AR components – like heavier barrels, rail based accessories and removable magazines – that won’t readily be declared illegal next year still has a value to it. I find the barrel of even the newer 580+ series Mini-14s and Mini-30s to still have too much harmonics, even with a stabilizer on it, and it would be nice to have the free floating barrels, rails, sight choices, rail accessories, etc. to choose from.

  6. its a work around and with the new developments in calli courts we wont need this sort of thing again but non the less i like it because of one feature the sold stock if you run out of ammo you can but stroke a btaf agent with it you cant say that about the cream puff plastic butt stocks the put on them today .

    stoner gave us one that you could do that with the fixed mags calli want you to have is the only complaint id have the reason we need rifles like the ar is because of tyrannical legislators like theses

  7. we need to make legislation that makes it legal /lawful to shoot criminal politicians on site and if they are pushing anti gun legislation they are criminals by definition

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