I was able to take a look at Fleet Farms new line of AR rifles yesterday. They also have complete uppers in stock as well!
Initially...well, it is an AR. most look, feel, smell, and sound the same. This one is really no different than any other AR I have seen or held.
The thing that got me considering buying one was the fact that it was chambered in 5.45 vs the 5.56. 5.45 can be had for way cheaper than 5.56 ammo. They have the russian made ammo on sale right now too, 1060 rounds for a mere $150. Big volume shooters would no doubt save some money on ammo. they are piston guns, which seems to be a good thing as well.
Few things that made me not buy one though.
First off....it is Fleet Farm. And the Huldra brand is "exclusive" to Fleet Farm stores. I always get a little hesitant when i hear that anything is "exclusive" to one particular store. The fact that it is Fleet Farm made me a little more hesitant. I have been shopping at Fleet Farm for as long as I can remember. Never had a problem with anything I have bought, but they are new to the AR scene. A month ago, their "tactical" inventory included a couple blackhawk holsters, some shotgun pistol grips, and maybe a red dot or two. Now they are suddenly stocking optics, rails, accessories, uppers, rifles, tools, stocks, and a bunch of other items that I never expected to see at Fleet Farm. From what i can understand is that the Huldra Arms is actually an offshoot of Adams Arms. Seem like a decent manufacturer, but why not just sell them under the Adams Arms name then? Seems weird to me and if this Huldra gun is as good as Fleet Farm wants me to believe, why would they sign up to work with Fleet Farm and not a store that has a history of offering ARs...ie, gander, scheels, dunhams, or why give "exclusivity" to anyone at all?!?!
Secondly...the price. $1500 for the fully railed version. $1500 can get you a really nice AR nowadays. From companies that have been around for a long time....longer than the 5 years that adams arms has been around. just saying it seemed a little high to me.
thirdly...the ammo. The reason i was even considering one was the "wow, i could save a ton of money on ammo" thought. I will rip through a few hundred rounds on any given day, and the thought of paying half the price for ammo sounded great. But the more i thought about it, do i want to shoot the 5.45. I have had bad luck in the past with Russian made ammo. I also don't like supporting a Russian ammo company when i can pay a little more and support an american company. Then i really thought about the potential savings....and it would take a long time for me to break even and start gaining. by the time i pay 1500 for the gun, throw some optics on it, some sort of grip, maybe a light/laser, and buy some ammo, i would be in the gun for at least $2000. that kind of money can buy a lot of .223 ammo, easily 6-7000 rounds. So i wouldn't start coming ahead until after shooting 7000 rounds?!?!
overall, if i could have gotten the fully railed top tier offering for closer to $1000, i probably would have taken the chance, but for $1500, i will stick to the 5.56 for a little while yet and maybe down the road by an upper and attach to one of my lowers, but not right now.
either way, props to Fleet Farm for taking the plunge into the AR market. Hopefully they continue to grow their selection and maybe if things go good, they will be able to offer some of the more conventional AR brands in the future.