Episode-1513- Nathan Love on the New War Lock Multi Caliber AR System — 32 Comments

  1. Not to piss on your parade but I have a kit I bought from bud’s gunshop that does the same thing for $250…

    • @Ron I really don’t think that is even close to “the same thing”. But I have to let Nathan answer that.

      • Perhaps not, but the above allows barrel interchangeability that sounds pretty similar to what he described. Pictures in a couple days will tell the story better. It would have to be a substantially better design to justify $1000 (4x more than the above) to put 2 barrels on my AR. But hey, let the market decide. I’m just one ccustome.

  2. I’d never seen the one from Bud’s Gun Shop. Looks pretty slick. Though they don’t mention whether their’s will accept different caliber barrels or how their mechanism takes up the adjustment for the tolerance differences between barrels and upper receivers. I also didn’t see a link for their extra lock plates. It would be nice to see how much additional barrels would cost to run. The biggest difference I see from initial observation is that ours allows the use of most common rails, handguards and gas blocks. I couldn’t say much more about theirs until I had it in my hands to take measurements.

    • I run 5.56, 300black, 5.45 and 7.62×39 through mine with 3 different bolts. I have been thinking about 9mm but havent done it yet. It will take anything that uses a milspec barrel extension.

      Does your rig allow you to use any handguard/rail system?

      • Oops you answered that. What I have only works with an ultralight gas block and their handguard. Its been like 2 or 3 years since I bought that thing but I think the extra locking plates were $40-50. I know they were sub-hubdred because I never would a bought 3 extra otherwise.

    • Nathan,
      I’ assuming your kit requires that each barrel actually be a complete “barrel assembly” having its own gas block and gas tube installed. Is that correct?

      • If that’s accurate, and you were a serious enthusiast wanting to use 6 different cartridges, seems the material cost you’d save is 5 extra stripped upper receivers.

        Right now I can order a basic milspec BCM stripped upper for around $120. So I would basically break about even financially with 6 cartridges, not to mention you’ve got the added convenience for storage, etc.

        • if I follow him right to change calibers you need a barrel, a gas block, a gas tube and whatever part of his kit replaces your barrel nut.

  3. This is a slight conundrum. I’m a technical guy, and have LOADS of technical questions. I worry that if I post my questions here, either Jack or Nathan could take offense for me getting ahead of things.

    Is there a “safe” place we can put on our engineering caps and attempt to shoot holes in this? (sorry for the pun)

    Non-technical question: For folks who are not comfortable installing their own barrel assemblies, how do you find a gunsmith “willing” to install this? Many gunsmiths I know are curmudgeons, and try to talk people out of stuff.

    • I have no doubt this works because the setup on my rifle along the same idea works and has for years. There is no need to shoot engineering holes in the idea.

      If you call a gunsmitH that won’t do a barrel adapter change on your upper just call the next one. It is really simple. 2 pins out of the gas block slide it forward remove the barrel nut with a 35 dollar you buy the gun show, remove the barrel/gas tube/gasblock barrel nut. Replace the barrel, tighten the but to 42ft/lbs with a torque wrench, index it to fit your gas tube, replace the gas block and put the pins back in. Shebang. There may be some variation with this guys kit but a standard barrel change is cake.

  4. Our system addresses significant design restrictions in order to fit an interchangeable mechanism within the same footprint as a standard barrel nut. The War Lock was engineered to accept the rails, handguards, et al that the standard barrel nut accepts.

    Each “barrel assembly” is the one that you decide. If you want to run a 9″ suppressed barrel with rail system, the War Lock will run that barrel assembly. You could then swap out for any other barrel assembly configuration that you would run on a standard AR.

    As to our listed price, we are a new company that has designed, engineered and built a new product in the U.S. There will likely be growing pains as we figure out the best market price for each component.

    We don’t compare to the MGI at all. Their system utilizes proprietary receivers and mag wells. The only thing you need from us is the War Lock and each barrel adapter you want to run.

    Many questions can be answered by checking our Frequently Answered Questions area at Your input here is welcomed and appreciated, as it helps us to answer more questions here and on the FAQ for others. It’s how we improve as a company.

  5. I assume the handguard options are limited based on the fact that most free float handguard take a proprietary barrel nut? Would the handguard stay with the upper leaving only the barrel, block, gas tube and flash hider as swapping parts? if so I could build a barrel assembly for about $200 including the QD suppressor mount plus whatever the cost of the barrel adapter ends up being. A picture is worth a thousand words of course but I could see

    • carrying an SBR for standard work and having a longer range caliber, full length barrel assembly for distance needs.

  6. If the Warlock can work with the Switchblock handguard by Fortis this product can rock. You can have five different barrels with adjustable gas blocks and gas tubes. Use the same Fortis Switchbock with all the accessories you like including front sight and Boom! You have now saved on having multiple handguards and upper receivers. Now Nathans product saves cash considering what some guys spend just on rails.

  7. Knowing that the War Lock is compatible with hand guards that use the mil-spec barrel nut is an important differentiator and clarification. It’s definitely a plus. Seems what gets swapped out is only the “barrel assembly” which includes the barrel, gas block, gas tube, and (possibly) a muzzle device. Other systems require propriety receivers and/or hand guards.
    It’s hard to talk about costs since they vary widely depending on the manufacturer, quality, and materials of the upper components. Using the simplest example of a 300BLK conversion where the only difference is the barrel (you re-use everything else), the cost of the Kit alone is about the same as a quality 300BLK barrel plus a billet upper receiver. However, since you actually need one Kit plus another half of the Work Lock system for this second barrel, it’s potentially more costly unless your hand guard is a free float type in which case you probably break even. From a cost perspective, after the second barrel, you only really come out ahead if the 1/2 War Lock is less than the upper receiver of choice.
    I think the real advantage with the War Lock is needing only barrel assemblies vs. uppers, saving you bulk and weight in transportation and storage. You also don’t have to transfer or double up on any accessories attached to your upper receiver or hand guards. Add a MGI lower with interchangeable mag wells and you have a lot of versatility.

  8. Many free float handguards do use a different nut to thread onto. We’re deciding how and if we can offer the barrel adapter for each of the sizes on the market.

    The handguards or rails all stay together as one unit with the barrel assembly when the War Lock separates.

    • If the handguard has to remain with the barrel assembly when the halves of the War Lock separate, then its less appealing as you’re now very close to having a full upper minus the receiver. Based on your comments to Jack, it sounds like the barrel component of the War Lock will be priced comparable to a high quality billet upper receiver and far more than a good forged receiver. So don’t know that its worth while.

      Also the issue of maintaining keeping zero between barrel swaps is indeed a concern. With a complete upper you have the advantage of having sights/optics installed on the upper already zeroed for the barrel and caliber. Else you have to possibly swap optics if they caliber specific BDC’s or at a minimum have to re-zero the same optic and iron sights.

      Personally, the kind of product I want is one where I can quickly swap out only the barrel assembly with no or minimal tools, and keep the same mil-spec upper receiver and handguards for mil-spec barrel nut. The War Lock as you’ve described it sounds similar to the DOLOS from Huntertown Arms … BUT with the advantage of not having to use a proprietary handguard as long as it fits a standard mil-spec barrel nut.

  9. I hope you’re working on getting some sort of patent protection because:
    Your price point is crazy high. I understand from experience what it takes to bring a new product to market and that these expenses must be built into the price. If there’s nothing to stop Joe Schmo who has a copy of solidworks and access to a cnc, he could easily out price you because he doesn’t carry your development costs.

    It’s an interesting idea, but unlike a dedicated upper or handy rifle barrel, it needs to be sighted in after every change over.

    So assuming I want to run 2 additional calibers that only require a barrel change, your system + barrels is going to run me ~$1400 (@$200 barrel cost). For that price I can just buy 2 more ARs in those calibers.

  10. One big consideration that I didn’t hear mentioned in the podcast is sighting in the rifle after a caliber change. I don’t know much about shooting rifles, but I would assume that each caliber change would also require a re-sight-in the rifle. I (in my ignorance) assume that would not be the case if you completely replaced the upper.

    • You are correct in that swapping uppers doesn’t require rezeroing, otherwise one would have to rezero after every time he takes the rifle apart for cleaning.

  11. Just a quick thought while I was listening to the interview that wasn’t fleshed out: Along with being adaptable to multiple calibers, this would in theory let you switch from different barrels in the same caliber depending on use. A 20″ .223 barrel with one twist rate in while varmint hunting can be switched to a 16″ (or shorter) barrel for a home defense or tacticool presentation. In any case, just a mental exercise at that price point.

    • That’s immediately what I thought of as well. Reminds me of mossberg’s quick change shotgun barrels

  12. Nathan, were you by chance on FOB Gardez in 2013? One of our armorers and I would talk about TSP on a few occasions.

  13. You don’t need any tools with the War Lock after initial installation. You can remove the handguards or rails at any time either when the War Lock is connected or separate. It’s the same process as with a standard barrel nut where you retract the delta ring. For a Knight’s Armament rail system, you’d still need to loosen their set screw.

    As for retaining zero, this was one of the first questions we knew we’d have. Each barrel assembly indexes to the same location with each change. There are multiple reference points on different/opposing axis that ensure the same location is found by the barrel assembly. Any change to the location and relationship of the bore and sights/optics will be likely unnoticeable.

    Our recommendation is that each barrel assembly to be set up as a “scout” configuration, which enables each optic to be co-witnessed through the front and rear sights. That also allows each barrel assembly to have an optic specific to the caliber and twist rate being fired through it.

    We have a patent attorney handling our patent and trademarking requirements.

    If I’ve missed anything, please let me know!

  14. Charlie, I’ve been through Gardez quite a few times. I was actually right up the road at FOB Arian for most of my time in 2013. My job was as a QC Inspector, so I had a lot more latitude in traveling to different sites in our AO. Basically, every site in Paktika (spelling?) Province that can be flown into I’ve at least been to. We weren’t allowed much ground travel over there.

  15. It’s likely that I may have had some “influence” in spreading the TSP word over there. Do you remember the name of the armorer you talked to? Maybe Mark?

  16. Well I was a couple days late listening to this episode so I’m just now hearing about this product. I’m incredibly stoked about it! I was pretty disheartened when I heard NEF had cancelled their barrel accessory program, leaving me without one of my favorite hobbies. With this thing, I foresee a new fascination. If it actually pans out I will be buying one or three