Tactical Rugged: Alexander Arms GSR Review

Alexander-Arms-GSRI am not now — and never have been — a sniper. I don't have the training. Heck, I don't have the basic ability those guys need to make the precise, long-range shots that lives depend on. But I do know a good gun when I see one. And the 6.5 Grendel GSR from Alexander Arms that I have in my hands right now is a good one — a really good one.

Starting at the back, the basic GSR comes with a Magpul PRS stock that's adjustable for length of pull (13.5 to 14.6 inches by my rough measurements) and cheek height (can be raised 0.75 inch). The adjustment knobs are machined, hard anodized aluminum and feature positive-locking click detents. The black steel adjustment shafts are finished with ferritic nitrocarbonizing. There are two aluminum sling-attachment loops on the left-hand side of the buttstock, and the aluminum buttplate features a rubber buttpad. There's also a bottom Picatinny-type rail with a removable cover for use with a monopod.


The lower receiver is a standard style, and the two-position safety, bolt release, and magazine release button are all located in conventional AR positions. The standard trigger is AA's blade-style, single-stage tactical trigger. Our sample GSR's trigger was fantastic and consistently broke cleanly and smoothly at 3.5 pounds according to my trigger pull gauge. It has to be one of the best, if not the best, AR triggers I have ever squeezed. The grip is by Ergo, and it's the textured Deluxe model with smooth finger grooves. Our gun came with a four-round magazine, but a 10-round mag comes standard, and higher-capacity mags are available as additional-cost options.



Speaking of options, you can get the GSR with a Geissele SSA trigger for an extra $180. I know some AR shooters who won't use anything but a Geissele trigger, but I have to say I am completely fine with AA's single-stage tactical trigger.

The upper receiver is AA's beefy, billet, squared upper with chromed carrier. It's AA's rigid, side-charging unit, which allows bolt manipulation with a minimum of movement. It features a stainless-steel, cut-rifled barrel with 5R rifling and 1:8.75 twist. It's fully fluted and free-floated. Available GSR barrel lengths include 20 and 24 inches. Our gun has the 24-inch tube, and it's threaded for a flash hider. Actually, the GSR 20- and 24-inch models come standard with a machined barstock A2 flash hider installed, but our sample came with the optional BWA X-Comp compensator ($98).


AA's Grendel bolts are made using advanced metallurgy and heat-treatment processes, are ground rather than simply turned, and are manufactured to best in industry standards. They have reinforced extractor claws and recessed boltfaces. And AA matches them for headspace to the barrels.


Also featured on the GSR upper is AA's MK10 handguard, which is made of advanced G10 composite. It provides heat, cold, and chemical resistance; featherweight rigidity; and tactile surfaces. The MK10 is vented to aid in barrel cooling, with the top vents offset to minimize mirage. There are threaded attachment points that allow the addition of 3-inch Picatinny rails. Our sample had two, one on each side of the handguard, as well as two sling-swivel studs for sling or bipod attachment. Four lengths of MK10 handguards are available (extra long, rifle length, mid length, and carbine length), and our gun wore the extra long version.

Standard finish for the GSR is black, but our sample gun wore the optional Duracoat Tactical Dark Earth finish. It costs an extra $150.

Superior parts translate into superior performance, and AA surely has superior parts. For example, AA uses a special steel in the gas tube that resists corrosion better. AA buffer weights are tungsten nickel, and the stock tube is one piece. The 4140 pins are surface finished, and the gas key is chrome lined. Higher grade screws are used, and the extractor is made of upgraded steel. Alexander's motto for the GSR series rifles is "Competition Accuracy, Tactical Ruggedness." I think that says it all.

Recommended for You

Using Ramshot Enforcer and 230-grain bullets, .45 ACP muzzle velocities over 1,000 FPS at safe, standard-level pressures are possible. Reloading

45 ACP Fast Loads

Brad Miller, Ph.D. - January 02, 2018

Using Ramshot Enforcer and 230-grain bullets, .45 ACP muzzle velocities over 1,000 FPS at...

Is the SIG P320 modular pistol the best polymer-framed high-capacity sidearm ever designed? Handguns

SIG SAUER P320 Review

Joseph Von Benedikt - September 13, 2018

Is the SIG P320 modular pistol the best polymer-framed high-capacity sidearm ever designed?

Like situational ethics, standards of accuracy vary according to circumstances. How-To

Accuracy: It's All Relative

Terry Wieland - May 09, 2019

Like situational ethics, standards of accuracy vary according to circumstances.

See More Recommendations

Popular Videos

All About .300 Blackout

All About .300 Blackout

The .300 Blackout is here to stay, and we take some time to look at new technology surrounding this cartridge. Next, we pit subsonic rivals against each other before stretching the legs of this CQB round out to 600 yards from a short 9-inch barrel.

Springfield Armory Saint Victor

Springfield Armory Saint Victor

The SAINT' Victor Rifle delivers a lightweight and agile rifle solution while maintaining effectiveness at extended engagement distances.

Black Hills Evolution of Rifle Cartridge: .308 Win. 175 Gr. Match

Black Hills Evolution of Rifle Cartridge: .308 Win. 175 Gr. Match

David Fortier talks with Jeff Hoffman of Black Hills Ammunition about the evolution of the .308 Win. 175 Gr. Match bullet.

See more Popular Videos

Trending Stories

The new striker-fired STR-9 9mm semiautomatic pistol from Stoeger Industries is reliable, ergonomic, accurate, and priced right. Handguns

Stoeger STR-9 Review

Joel J. Hutchcroft - May 17, 2019

The new striker-fired STR-9 9mm semiautomatic pistol from Stoeger Industries is reliable,...

The joys of handloading are many, and one of them is sharing the experience with a novice. Reloading

Share the Handloading Experience

Lane Pearce - May 19, 2019

The joys of handloading are many, and one of them is sharing the experience with a novice.

True Velocity is exploring options to make its distinctive ammo available to civilians. Ammo

True Velocity Rifle Ammo

Joel J. Hutchcroft - May 31, 2019

True Velocity is exploring options to make its distinctive ammo available to civilians.

See More Stories

More Ammo

Capable of excellent accuracy and terminal ballistics, the 257 Roberts Ackley Improved is an interesting wildcat cartridge. Ammo

.257 Ackley Improved Ammo

Lane Pearce - June 27, 2019

Capable of excellent accuracy and terminal ballistics, the 257 Roberts Ackley Improved is an...

Handloading this cartridge king of versatility turns it into the most capable hunting cartridge on the planet. Ammo

Get The Most From Your .375 H&H

Joseph von Benedikt - February 04, 2019

Handloading this cartridge king of versatility turns it into the most capable hunting...

A half-century in the making, the new DGX Bonded is Hornady's best-ever dangerous-game bullet. Ammo

Danger Tamed: Hornady DGX Bonded Hunting Ammo

Joseph von Benedikt - May 23, 2019

A half-century in the making, the new DGX Bonded is Hornady's best-ever dangerous-game bullet.

See More Ammo

GET THE MAGAZINE Subscribe & Save

Temporary Price Reduction

SUBSCRIBE NOW

Give a Gift   |   Subscriber Services

PREVIEW THIS MONTH'S ISSUE

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

×