From Range Toys to Long Range: Five Cool New Firearms

Picture shows a bullpup design pump action shotgun in Next G1 camo.

I can’t even imagine listing out all the reasons why shooters buy new guns—practice, self-defense, hunting, competition, just because, brand new, innovative, nostalgia, price is right and cool barely scratch the surface. From fun range toy to long-range precision, each one of these new firearms is definitely cool.

  • There is no denying how awesome and reliable Daniel Defense AR-15 rifles are.
  • Just Right Carbines makes bugging out in a Marine environment almost desirable with its .40 cal Takedown Marine Model rifle.
  • Noreen Firearms introduces the only AR-platform rifle chambered for .30-06 Springfield.
  • Smith & Wesson releases the M&P 22 in a compact model.
  • UTAS-USA presents its alternative to the Kel-Tec KSG in Next G1 camo.
Picture shows a black AR-15 style rifle in front of a cloudy sky background.
Noreen Firearms introduces the first and only AR-15 style platform rifle chambered for .30-06 Springfield.

Noreen Firearms BN36 .30-06 Springfield Semiautomatic Rifle

Noreen Firearms, a Montana-based company designing and building long-range precision firearms, introduces the first and only AR-15-style platform rifle chambered for .30-06 Springfield. Made for deer hunters familiar with the traditional AR rifle, the BN36 uses an adjustable direct gas impingement system and has a side-charging handle. The 22-inch barrel has a 1:10 twist rate and receives accurate and precise minute-of-angle with match-grade ammunition at 2,000 meters. The BN36 features a flattop, optics-ready upper, perfect for a long-range riflescope and an A2 fixed stock and pistol grip. Noreen forges both the upper and lower receivers in-house from aluminum. In fact, unlike many black rifle “makers,” Noreen makes every component in-house. It accepts 5-, 10- and 20-round magazines and has a standard MIL-SPEC trigger. Internally, there are only two differences between the BN36 and a traditional .223/5.56 AR—bigger parts and a charging handle directly attached to the bolt carrier. Disassembly, maintenance and cleaning are just like any AR-15 rifle. The .30-06 BN36 is 43.5 inches long, weighs 8 pounds, and features a Noreen custom muzzle brake that helps reduce recoil.

Noreen Firearms BN36
Action Semiauto
Barrel Length 22 inches, 1-10 twist
Caliber .30-06 Springfield
Overall Length 43.5 inches
Weight Unloaded 8 pounds
Sights Flat top upper receiver
Stock A2
Capacity 20 rounds

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Due to Noreen’s innovative design, there is no alternative to suggest to the BN36. It really is the only AR-15 style platform .30-06 deer rifle. Has this rifle piqued your interest? Do you like alternative caliber ARs or hunting rifles in .30-06? Then, I suggest these alternatives:


Daniel Defense DDM4v11 5.56mm NATO Semiautomatic Rifle

Picture shows an AR-15 made by Daniel Defense with KeyMod rail system.
Daniel Defense built the new DDM4v11 around its SLiM Rail KeyMod handguard system.

Based on the V9 rifle series, Daniel Defense built the new DDM4v11 around its SLiM Rail KeyMod handguard system. All of Daniel Defense’s quality and attention to detail is there; a 16-inch chrome-lined, cold-hammer forged chromoly vanadium steel barrel, MP-tested and MIL-SPEC coated CNC-machined 7075-T6 aluminum upper and lower receivers, MIL-SPEC MP-tested and chrome-lined bolt carrier group with properly staked gas key and Daniel Defense buttstock and pistol group. Combine this with the Daniel Defense SLiM Rail 15.0 CNC-machined lightweight 6061-T6 aluminum KeyMod handguard and you get a modern, lightweight AR-15 rifle both beginners and skilled shooters both will love and appreciate. On top of the free-float handguard is a full Picatinny rail with KeyMod attachment points at 3, 6 and 9 o’clock. The DDM4v11 operates on a traditional mid-length direct gas impingement system and has the slightly heavier H buffer.

Daniel Defense DDM4v11
Action Semiauto
Barrel Length 16 inches Government profile, 1-7 inch twist
Caliber 5.56mm NATO/.223 Remington
Overall Length 35.5 inches
Weight Unloaded 6.12 pounds
Sights 15-inch free-float KeyMod SLiM Rail handguard with Picatinny rail
Stock Daniel Defense collapsible
Capacity 30 rounds

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There are many high quality, accurate and reliable AR-15s on the market. So many that it can get confusing quickly—fan boys and girls are loyal to certain brands while hating others. They say you sit on either side of the fence when it comes to AR-15 makers—but I don’t sit on either side of the Colt or Bushmaster yard. I see redeeming qualities and flaws in them all. If you must seek an alternative to the Daniel Defense, I suggest taking a gander at these ARs:


Picture shows an AR-15 style rifle with shiny silver finished barrel and black matte buttstock.
The new Just Right Carbines Marine Model Takedown semiautomatic rifle is a perfect survival, truck or boat gun.

Just Right Carbines Takedown Marine Model .40 S&W Semiautomatic Rifle

The new Just Right Carbines Marine Model Takedown semiautomatic rifle is a perfect survival, truck or boat gun. The .40 S&W-chambered straight blowback operated semiauto rifle includes a takedown tube that quickly and easily breaks down the rifle into two pieces for transporting, carrying, storage and concealment. What’s even better? The electroless nickel-plated finish and stainless steel barrel resists corrosion and rust in harsh and marine environments. Completely ambidextrous, the Just Right Carbines Marine will adjust for left- or right-handed shooters with the ambidextrous charging handle and ejection port. The Marine Takedown has a 17-inch lightweight threaded barrel, accepts 15-round .40 S&W GLOCK magazines, and is optics ready with a Picatinny rail. The Just Right Carbines Marine uses a standard M4 buffer tube, AR-15 six-position collapsible buttstock and pistol grip. Most typical AR-15 trigger components and aftermarket stocks will fit on the Just Right Carbines. The Marine model is 33.50 inches overall extended and weighs only 6.5 pounds. All Just Right Carbines are made in the United States.

Just Right Carbines Takedown Marine
Action Semiauto
Barrel Length 17 inches, lightweight
Caliber .40 S&W
Overall Length 30.25 inches collapsed, 33.50 inches extended
Weight Unloaded 6.5 pounds
Sights Picatinny rail
Stock M4 6 position collapsible
Capacity 15 rounds, GLOCK magazine

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Marine-finished firearms have been around quite awhile—the Mossberg’s 500 JIC pump-action has been my favorite survival gun for years. Like many of the other guns on this list, the Just Right Carbines do not have much in the way of competition. If you are stuck on the .40 S&W caliber, the only other semiauto rifles you have to chose from are the Beretta CX4, Taurus CTG240 and HiPoint—all different styles than the JRC. In an AR-15 platform, there is the Olympic Arms—that you probably don’t want to buy anyway. But, since the JRC Marine caught your eye, I would say check these out:


Picture shows a black .22 Long Rifle pistol made by Smith & Wesson.
Smith & Wesson introduces a designed-from-the-ground-up .22 Long Rifle M&P made in the United States.

Smith & Wesson M&P 22 Compact Semiautomatic Handgun

Since 2011, Walther has been making a full-sized M&P trainer pistol in .22 Long Rifle that looks exactly like the big-boy models, though functionally different. This year, Smith & Wesson introduced a designed-from-the-ground-up .22 Long Rifle M&P made here in the United States. The new M&P 22 Compact is smaller than the German-produced M&P 22 with a 3.6-inch barrel, 1-inch thickness and only 6.7 inches overall length. With its 5.8-pound trigger, easy to operate slide and the same highly visible white-dot sights, shooting it will be very similar to the original model M&P 22 and certainly just as fun. The M&P 22 Compact holds 10 rounds and weighs a mere 18.1 ounces. The US-made Smith & Wesson M&P 22 Compact has only been available for about a month and now through December 31, 2014, Smith & Wesson will ship you a free box of .22 Long Rifle ammo with the proof of purchase of a new M&P 22 Compact.

Noreen Firearms BN36
Action Semiauto
Barrel Length 3.56 inches
Caliber .22 Long Rifle
Overall Length 6.65 inches
Weight Unloaded 15.3 ounces
Sights White, 2-dot adjustable
Grip Black polymer
Capacity 10 rounds

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There are plenty of semiautomatic .22 Long Rifle handguns to choose from—from full-sized 1911 clones to tiny pocket guns. It became popular a few years ago—back when .22 LR was actually more affordable and more available—to produce copycat rimfire guns of full-sized, full-calibered handguns. They were cheaper to shoot, fun and great to start new shooters on. My favorite, besides the Smith & Wesson, is the Ruger Mark III; however, that does not make a great alternative to the M&P Compact. If you want a trainer replica of a 9mm or .45, check out these pistols:


Picture shows a bullpup design pump action shotgun in Next G1 camo.
If futuristic or tactical is your thing, you could do a lot worse than this new pump shotty from UTAS.

UTAS-USA Hunting UTS-15 12-Gauge Pump Action Shotgun

In hot competition with Kel-Tec’s KSG, the UTS-15 12-gauge pump-action shotgun’s innovative bullpup design is in great demand. Called the “Hunting” model because of its Next G1 camo finish, the UTSA shotguns are meant for hunting—where legal. I mention where legal because the double magazine tubes, which both feed the shotgun, hold 15 rounds. (Don’t worry, it includes three- and five-round plugs.) Though UTAS is a Turkish company—winning NRA’s gun of the year in 2006 and in 2007—the Hunting UTS-15 shotgun is made in the United States. Virtually unheard of, the Hunting UTS-15 is 85 percent polymer and has an 18.5-inch barrel. The barrel is chrome lined, made of 4140 steel and fits standard Beretta choke tubes. It does not include sights. However, the shotgun is optics ready with a full-length Picatinny rail. It is 28.5 inches long overall and surprisingly lightweight at 6.9 pounds. Significantly less than other bullpups, the UTS-15 made Tactical Life’s list of Best Bullpups in 2014. If futuristic or tactical is your thing, you could do a lot worse than this new pump shotty from UTAS.

Noreen Firearms BN36
Action Pump
Barrel Length 18.5 inches, 3.5-inch chamber
Caliber 12 gauge
Overall Length 28.5 inches
Weight Unloaded 6.9 pounds
Sights Picatinny rail
Stock Polymer, bullpup Next G1 camo finish
Capacity 15 rounds

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Obviously the alternative to the UTS-15 is the Kel-Tec KSG, but Kel-Tec being Kel-Tec—and good luck getting one of those—there really isn’t any other alternatives to the UTS-15. You can check out these other popular bullpup semiautomatic rifles:


If you could only get one of these firearms on the list, which one would it be and why? Tell us in the comment section.



The Mission of Cheaper Than Dirt!'s blog, The Shooter's Log, is to provide information—not opinions—to our customers and the shooting community. We want you, our readers, to be able to make informed decisions. The information provided here does not represent the views of Cheaper Than Dirt!

Comments (8)

  1. I would get the semiauto BN36 in 30-06. A bench rest accurate hunting rifle in 30-06 with twenty round magazines available. The best of several worlds.

  2. I used the standard, black version of the UTS15 with the 3 round magazine plugs and camo tape last April in Colorado for my first turkey hunt. Along with the 7″ barrel extension, I also used a TruGlo “Gobbler” choke and an EoTech XPS2 holographic sight. I got within 40 yards of the turkey and brought him down. He weighed out at 35 lbs. There is a photo of me and the turkey in the photos section on the UTAS15 FaceBook page at

    1. “AR” does not mean Auto Reloading… It comes from the company that created them… ArmaLite.

  3. The caption under the 30-06 AR is actually incorrect. I remember a company maybe 10 years ago called COBB MFG that made a really nice 30-06 AR that I always wanted to buy but never had enough money I think it was $2000 give or take… There was a snow camp edition that had me drooling!

  4. @ Noreen Firearms BN36 .30-06Sprnfld. (7.62x63mm).

    So far the only thing that impresses me about this Rifle. Is its Magazine Capacities of 5, 10 and 20-rounds. I hope they produce a Bullpup version sometime soon.

  5. I’ve been around guns all my adult life… For me they were “tools of the trade”…

    Once I retired I gave up my “tools”… For several reasons.

    However I am now getting back into it.




    ***12 GAUGE


    AND….not just one of each but several…
    Plus so far several thousand rounds…

    AND I see a UTS-15 on the horizon…

    I think possibly that would to be a good starting point for my re-emergence back into a collection of. “tools”… Especially with all that is going on now a days…

    Ya think?

    1. If you already have an 870 or 500 I’d suggest you take a look at “Bullpups Unlimited” at their Shotgun Bullpup Stock Kit. Save you a few dollars.

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