A heavy hitter that embodies custom, boutique-build qualities…just not the price tag.

Daemon Defense, LLC is a Service Disabled Veteran owned small business based right here in the White Mountains of “Live Free or Die” New Hampshire. A semi-custom builder that has become renown for their top-quality OPR-15 direct-gas-impingement operated AR rifles and pistols chambered in 5.56 NATO and .300 Blackout.

A short but effective CV muzzle brake tops the carbine’s 16-inch 416 stainless barrel. The adjustable gas block can be seen through the Key Mod cutouts in the forend.
A short but effective CV muzzle brake tops the carbine’s 16-inch 416 stainless barrel. The adjustable gas block can be seen through the Key Mod cutouts in the forend.

The OPR-15 is the embodiment of all the knowledge and experience with the AR platform gained by U. S. Army Special Forces during countless combat operations, and is an AR built, spec’d, tweaked, modified and equipped to Special Forces standards of performance, reliability, durability and accuracy, and that’s why it earned a 2015 On Target Editors’ Choice Award.

Building on its success with the OPR-15, Daemon Defense has just introduced a 7.62 NATO chambered big brother called the OPR-16 ($1,899 in black; $2,148 in Kryptek Winter camo shown). The OPR-16 is, by and large, an OPR-15 scaled up to take the 7.62 NATO (.308 Win.) cartridge. The upper and lower receivers are precision CNC machined from aerospace-grade billet aluminum, with the upper being an A4-pattern flat top with integrally machined, 17-slot Picatinny top rail. An enlarged, winter-style trigger guard is also integrally machined with the lower receiver, which features an enhanced, flared magazine Well. Both receiver halves are Type 3 hard anodized.

Topp ed with a higher magnification Nightforce—the 4-14x56 SHV—our test rifle nearly broke the half- M.O.A. mark for three shots at 100-yards.
Topp ed with a higher magnification Nightforce—the 4-14×56 SHV—our test rifle nearly broke the half- M.O.A. mark for three shots at 100-yards.

Type 3 anodizing is many times deeper and harder than the Type 2 anodizing used on some price-point ARs. The Type 3 finish renders the aluminum “non-reactive” so that other metals—like steel—that are in contact with it cannot create a galvanic reaction in the presence of an alkali like saltwater. It’s also highly scratch and corrosion resistant.

The OPR-16 is fitted with an 16-inch, heavy-profile barrel machined 416 stainless steel, rifled at a twist rate of 1:10”. The muzzle is threaded and is fitted with a very simple and short but effective CV muzzle brake that has two large side ports and two smaller top ports that together reduce both perceived recoil and muzzle rise. An adjustable gas block is positioned on the barrel about two inches aft of the muzzle, and allows fine-tuning for sound-suppressor use.

Between the effective muzzle device, outstanding Geissele trigger and top-shelf Nightforce optics, putting rounds on target proved exceedingly easy with the OPR-16.
Between the effective muzzle device, outstanding Geissele trigger and top-shelf Nightforce optics, putting rounds on target proved exceedingly easy with the OPR-16.

The rifle’s 15-inch handguard features a full-length, 37-slot Picatinny top rail that aligns perfectly in both axes with the upper receiver’s top rail. It includes seven KeyMod flats around its circumference, each with 16 KeyMod slots, for a total of 112. If you can’t find enough KeyMod slots for all your stuff on this one, then you’ve got too much stuff! Our evaluation rifle was equipped with 5-slot steel Picantinny rail sections mounted on the vertical KeyMod flats on both sides.

Controls consist of Geissele Super Dynamic Enhanced trigger group, ambidextrous safety selectors, a bolt release and a magazine release, all located in their usual positions. The OPR-16 is a equipped with a super-strong and super-reliable FailZero nickel-boron bolt carrier group, a BCM Gunfighter Mod. 4 7075 aluminum charging handle with extended latch lock and a heavy-duty H2 buffer.

The billet aluminum lower receiver houses a Geissele Super Dynamic Enhanced two-stage trigger group, ambi selector switch, raised bolt catch, and is fitted with an overmolded-rubber Ergo Grip. We used a Nightforce NXS 1-4x scope and Blue Force gear padded vickers sling throughout the majority of testing.
The billet aluminum lower receiver houses a Geissele Super Dynamic Enhanced two-stage trigger group, ambi selector switch, raised bolt catch, and is fitted with an overmolded-rubber Ergo Grip. We used a Nightforce NXS 1-4x scope and Blue Force gear padded vickers sling throughout the majority of testing.

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