Bootleg Inc. was formed in 2005, the sister company to Primary Weapons Systems (PWS). Since PWS is well-known for their high-quality piston AR parts, Bootleg was tasked with the job of producing the same high quality of parts but in the direct impingement market. Even if you aren’t familiar with the name, I can just about guarantee you’ve seen their upper receiver.
Having reached out to them for some parts to use in my ultra-light rifle build article series, Bootleg was kind enough to fashion up a complete upper using both their own parts and PWS parts. I’ll go over the parts individually, then discuss the upper as a whole.
Bootleg Stripped Upper: $174.95
Remember how I said you’ve probably seen this before? It’s a media darling and a favorite of home-assembled AR enthusiasts. With a market-leading weight of 6.2 oz, this 7075 aluminum receiver is a good start to your upper build.
With suppressors becoming much more common and shooters wanting to tune their guns, adjustable gas systems have been all the rage. While most options thus far have been adjustable gas blocks, Bootleg is one of the few companies focusing on the other end of the system. This adjustable bolt carrier has an adjustment screw on the side that’s accessible through the ejection port. A small flathead screw driver is all you need to switch between the four positions, reducing gas pressure in the system. This is a lighter bolt carrier, coming in at 8.7 oz. No, you won’t need to add a heavier buffer to compensate, just turn the gas down!
Bootleg Picmod Forend: $209.95
Made from 6061 extruded aluminum, this forend combines a picatinny top rail, as well as keymod slots at the 3, 6 and 9 o’clock positions for accessory mounting. The forward most mounting points feature the namesake picmod: a combination picatinny/keymod section for maximum choice. The forend mounts using the BCM KMR mounting hardware. The skeletonized design keeps weight to a minimum.
A 14.5″ barrel with a 1/8″ twist and carbine-length gas system, these actually aren’t sold individually anymore but PWS/Bootleg were nice enough to break one loose for me. Isonite QPQ treated for a long service life.
While the upper is lightweight, the picmod is a new twist on forends and the barrel comes with an excellent pedigree, the part that arrives with the most curiosity surrounding it is the adjustable gas carrier. I headed out to a family member’s farm for some shooting on the back nine. After attaching the Lucid P7 and getting a quick zero, I started tinkering with the gas. I tried out all positions with and without a suppressor. It was easy to notice a difference! As I dialed down the gas, the recoil impulse smoothed out and the ejection pattern became much more consistent. Instead of spitting brass between 2 o’clock and 5 o’clock, the gun settled on 3 o’clock and dropped all the brass in a nice little pile. Gas blowback with the suppressor was cut down considerably.
After conducting some accuracy testing at 50 yards to confirm the barrel was up to snuff (it was), I moved on to some CQB drills. The rifle handled well, shot tight and had no malfunctions. On my last mag a round hit a piece of concrete the cardboard e-type target was too close to, the round went nuclear and shredded the paper target that was stapled to the e-type. Hence, no pictures of my groups for the day. Time to get out the 2×4’s and build a target stand!
While this isn’t an “over-the-counter” ready upper, it does do a good job showing off the different pieces available through Bootleg and Primary weapons Systems. As the pieces are all sold separately, they’re clearly marketed towards the rifle builders among us. If you’re assembling an AR15 pattern rifle and want some light, innovative and high quality parts, check them out!