Much to the chagrin of the anti-gunners, the AR-15 or Modern Sporting Rifle is alive and, if the numbers are to be believed, America’s favorite long gun. The number of calibers and combinations of accessories creates a dizzying display of choices for the neophyte (noob) and seasoned veteran alike. Thanks to American Tactical, that choice may have just gotten a bit easier—like to the point of no brainer easier.
Recently, I had a chance to take American Tactical’s Omni Hybrid combo for a spin. American Tactical cut its teeth in the import market by offering great guns and accessories from all corners of the globe, but has brought manufacturing home to the U.S. Amazingly; ATI has managed to do this while dropping the price to previously unheard-of levels with the introduction of the Omni Hybrid Combo.
The Omni Hybrid cuts a few corners to keep the price down, but none that affect the performance you’d expect in a firearm for plinking, hunting or home defense. The Omni Hybrid design is rugged and lightweight thanks to the steel-reinforced polymer lower receiver that allows the direct gas M4-style carbine to tip the scales at about 6.25 pounds. This works, because unlike the upper, the lower is a low-stress component.
The Omni Hybrid’s upper, on the other hand, is crafted with Mil-Spec aluminum and features a 16.1-inch Melonite-coated barrel in an M4 stepped configuration. The barrel features a 1:7 twist, which typically will stabilize most any bullet up to about 80 grains making it great for a variety of different ammunition choices, but more on that later. The A2 flash hider is removable with a ½ x 28-thread for those interested in mounting a suppressor. Everything else is just as you would expect out of an M4-style design including a low-profile gas block. The forend is standard military configuration and comes ready to mount your choice of optics as well as iron sights for use as a primary or secondary sighting system.
The charging handle will be familiar to ex-military or those already comfortable with MSRs; there is also a forward assist and dust cover/case deflector. A worthy addition for any MSR is the enlarged trigger guard for easier access when wearing gloves or in any situation requiring rapid employment such as home defense. Likewise, the Omni Hybrid was designed with a flared mag well for quicker magazine changes.
The buttstock and pistol grip are both standard military M4 designs. Coincidentally, the Omni Hybrid has a carry sling point in the rear, but none up front. This is easily overcome with a single-point sling or by attaching an aftermarket forward sling point to the Picatinny rail.
Aftermarket triggers are the rage among operators and competition shooters, and for those familiar the M4, the Omni Hybrid will not immediately feel familiar. The Omni Hybrid features a new inter-lock hammer and trigger pin retaining system. The system’s design prevents movement between the hammer and trigger pin during firing and eliminates the trigger slack you may be used to. However, the system increases consistency and therefore accuracy potential.
At the range, 55- and 62-grain offerings were on the table and both went down range without a problem although the 55s did not stabilize as well at longer ranges and affected accuracy slightly—not altogether unexpected for a 1:7 twist used at range. We fired a little over 400 rounds during the course of the session between light cleanings without a problem. The lighter mass weight took a bit of getting used to, but being no stranger to long marches through the woods in pursuit of game, I am a fan of saving ounces whenever possible and adjusted easily.
While all of this is fine and could equally be applied to dozens of AR-15, the Omni Hybrid combo has a twist that makes it unbeatable. The AR-15 platform is incredibly adaptable which is one of its greatest selling points. With the Omni Hybrid combo you get everything mentioned above plus a complete .22LR upper and 28-round magazine for under $650 with free shipping! .22LR conversions or complete uppers easily sell for $200 alone making this deal unbeatable. Who knows how long this pricing will last, but now is your best chance to get an incredible combo at a price unseen in many years.
Do you keep a spare .22LR upper for your AR-15 or interested in ATI’s Omni Hybrid combo? Share your opinion in the comment section.