hktome's Robinson Armament M96 Review
Following is a review of the Robinson Armament M96 written by hktome of the forums...
The following is a review of the Robinson Armament M96 Recon carbine based on my personal experiences with the weapon.
In its earliest form it was known as the M96 Expeditionary Rifle which made its debut during the early years of the "assault weapons ban"which was put in place in 1994 by then President Bill Clinton and happily expired on September 13 2004! The rifle at first glance appears to be largly influenced by the Stoner 63 machine gun system, made famous during the Vietnam War, but is in fact an update of that design to such an extent that only the detachable buttstock is interchangable. The M96 makes use of modern materials and manufactering methods at every turn to produce a truly high quality firearm. The receiver is constructed of stainless steel sheet metal, precision TIG welded, and forms the modular center piece to this weapon platform.The buttstock, as well as the forearm and pistol grip are made from a sturdy thermo plastic resin and available in a variety of colors (currently:Black, O.D. Green, and Coyote Brown).
While the original 20" and 16" Expeditionary rifle and carbine barrels were not chrome lined all currently available barrels are in fact chrome lined and are as follows:20"rifle, 16" rifle , and 16"heavy fluted BREN configuration (all using the long gas system) as well as the 16 1/2" Recon(w/short gas system).
The entire weapon system is based on a modular approach with the buttstock, trigger group, forearm and magazine well attached to the receiver by push pins which were originally the HK style pin constucted of hollow steel with wire spring retaining clips , these have been since updated to a simpler, more rugged solid pin with ball detents that insure they remain in place. The trigger mechanism, shares traits with the M1Garand as well as the legendary AK series of rifles and is proprietary to the weapon. While being fed by standard NATO STANAG magazines the gas system is operated by a stainlees steel piston assembly(around which the recoil spring is located) which is mechaniclly engaged to the bolt carrier assembly and metered by a bleed valve on the front sight/gas block and is also of M1 garand lineage.To adjust for proper function one merly dials the knob to the desiered setting of which there are 5 "0" allows maximum gas to be delivered to the system , in the event of extreme fouling , cold weather, or underpowered ammo, setting "5" on the other hand reduces the gas delivered to decrease wear , recoil or to compensate for "hot" ammo. Cockng is accomlished by means of a FAL type non-recipricating lever found on the left side opposite the ejection port.
The bolt is a classic Stoner type with 6 lugs which engage the barrel extension , and have been considerably strenghtened to prevent the type of breakage known to occure in the M 16 series. it is worth noting that this may very well be the reason some owners have reported breakage of bolts where the cam pin is located, although no clear pattern is evident as most owners report no problems at all ! my person favorite is the Stoner 63 type semi fixed ejector, also seen in DAEWOOtype weapons! Possibly the most novel feature of this weapon is the quick detachable barrel system which uses a spring loaded plunger that locks into the barrel extension at the 6 oclock posistion removel and reassembly are staight foward and intuative remove the magazine make sure its unloaded locking the bolt back then simply push the release button, and grab the front sight assembly giving a slight wiggle and pull- NOTE! do not try it unless the barrel is cool to the touch-lesson learned! MANY options are available such as , but not limited to short and long sight rails which are MIL SPEC 1913 Picatinney, and even a rail acc. handguard and even a folding stock assembly. It is a veiw shared by many however that this platform will never be fully developed as Robinson Armament has never held to their pledge of offering a 7.62x39mm conversion utilizing AK mags, or the MUCH anticipated belt feed conversion,instead choosing to debut a totally new rifle the XCR, inspired by the recent USSOCOM SCAR trials