Special Warfare Operations Research and Development (SWORD) rolls out its Mk-16 Jager Karabiner, a stout, yet beautifully balanced, gas-piston carbine. When I first picked up the 16-inch-barreled Mk-16, I was immediately impressed by the super-tight fit of the upper and lower receivers. After a few minutes of education compliments of SWORD President and Co-Founder Jeremy Elrod from the 75th Ranger Regiment, I learned there is much more going on here than just good machining.
The Jager Karabiner has an innovative gas-piston operating system that includes a spring-loaded bolt, along with a buffer that precisely interfaces with the rear of the bolt-carrier group, to reduce stress and tilt during cycling. Returning the bolt to battery even in adverse conditions is a heavy-duty buffer spring. A beefy brass deflector is designed to send brass bouncing forward instead of to the side.
The cut-rifled, stainless steel barrel has a black-nitride finish and is free-floating. It utilizes SWORD's Flex Change System, which allows the barrel to be swapped in about two minutes. Porting on the top of the muzzle brake rather than the sides helps reduce muzzle rise without blasting dirt everywhere while shooting from prone.
Raised sections on the left side of the upper add thickness, and therefore a bit of weight, to the receiver, which is intended to help the carbine feel more balanced. The upper, lower and free-floating fore-end are all coated in Patriot Brown Cerakote. An ambidextrous charging handle, bolt catch, magazine release and selector switch, along with an excellent trigger, all make the Mk-16 Jager Karabiner user friendly.
I only had the chance to spend about 15 minutes with the carbine, but I liked it enough to order a sample for T&E. More to come soon, after I get some serious trigger time.