During the Vietnam Era Colt made prototype monolithic polymer receiver M16s. These photos are from an online auction where one came up for sale. Plastics and materials technology just wasn’t advanced enough back then for Colt to make this work.
Fortunately plastics technology advanced and the monolithic polymer receiver concept advanced with the CAV-15 In 2000 and then the CAV-15 MKII In 2003. The design team at Cav Arms in 2002-2003 never saw one of these Colt units until after the CAV-15 MKII was in production. So many of the general design concepts and reinforcements are similar. Separated by decades; people that knew the strengths of plastic reached similar design conclusions.
In 2020 the monolithic polymer receiver concept takes another step forward with the KE Arms produced polymer receiver.
Read The History of the CAV-15 Receiver to get up to speed.
I know many people have been waiting for news on this subject for some time now. There have been a lot of comments asking me what the status of more receivers from GWACS is, or if new receivers were in development. Long story short, I have not talked to anyone at GWACS since 2018 after my point of contact left the company and no one has heard from GWACS publicly since January when they posted to Facebook that they were forced to vacate their building.
InRange TV’s inclusion of the CAV-15 MKII in their What Would Stoner Do Project generated significant ongoing interest in this type of monolithic receiver. With GWACS unable or unwilling to produce more the only way for people to get CAV-15 MKIIs was on the second hand market and prices continued to increase.
With a clear demand for these type of receivers the ownership of KE Arms saw pursuing development of new molds and tooling for an updated receiver as being worthwhile. Nonetheless this program would cost several hundred thousand dollars, so it took some time to assemble the investor group we needed to make this happen.
Helping bring an improved monolithic polymer receiver design to market has been a personal goal of mine for over a decade. Now with the right combination of resources, financing and experience it can finally happen. Molds and tooling are currently in development for an estimated product release in Quarter 2 2020.
The KE Arms Polymer Receiver will be big improvement for the 2020 Market over the CAV-15 MKII that was developed in 2003.
New Features Include:
- Flared magwell to make reloads under stress easier to perform.
- MLOK Slots at rear of stock for sling attachement points or run a strap through it for simple sling attachment
- Holes at the front of the stock for QD socket inserts for more sling attachment options
- Improved grip for comfortable use
- “Winter” Trigger Guard
Improved Manufacturing Processes Include:
- Design optimization for linear vibration welding
- Immediate welding after molding to eliminate warp
- CNC Trimming and Deburring
The KE Arms Polymer Receiver will be the heart of InRange TV’s What Would Stoner Do 2020 Rifle Project in collaboration with Brownells.
Updates on the KE Arms Polymer Receiver and WWSD2020 development will be posted here along with KEArms.com, Brownells.com, and InRange Media Distribution Points.