Though it looks similar to many California-compliant, AR-style rifles introduced in recent years, the design team behind the new Cobalt Kinetics Model 27 rifle opted not to tack on clumsy additions to a standard AR-15 receiver in order to comply with state-level regulations. Instead, the Model 27 is designed from the ground up to provide consumers with a rifle that feels like the traditional semi-automatics of years past, such as the M-14.
“We’ve been talking about this at Cobalt for a long time… to create a more traditional rifle that uses modern components to improve performance," Cobalt Kinetics Vice President Skylar Stewart said. "We have had a lot of requests for a semi-automatic rifle more suited for hunters and other sportsmen. I don’t like to compare it to other AR-15s. It does use many of the internal components of the AR-15, but we believe that it’s a step up from the old bolt-action rifle.
While the Cobalt Kinetics Model 27 is clearly derived from the AR-15 and uses many of the major internal components found in AR-style rifles, several elements set this new platform apart from Eugene Stoner's classic rifle design. For one, the geometry of the stock on the Model 27 is designed to replicate the fit and feel of traditional wood-stocked rifles. The grip is designed to position a shooter's hand just above and behind the trigger for a comfortable, natural fit.
To avoid the feature-specific prohibition on pistol grips specified by select states, the bottom edge of the receiver has been lowered by 0.15 inch, while the web of the grip has been raised. Additionally, several models of the rifle are offered with or without muzzle threading or devices for states with prohibitions on cut threads at the muzzle end of the gun.
One advantage of this new platform over traditional wood-stocked guns is that the overall length-of-pull, comb height and stock drop on the Cobalt Kinetics rifle is customizable, ensuring that users can precisely fit the rifle to their physical dimensions. Additionally, the decreased height of the gun, measuring only 5.5 inches, means that the platform can fit into slimmer rifle-transport scabbards that won't accommodate standard AR-style rifles.
Four models of the Cobalt Kinetics Model 27 are offered to consumers: Sentry, Ranger, Hunter and Expert. The Sentry, chambered in 5.56 NATO, is offered in both Stage I and Stage II configurations and can be had in four different foundation colors: black, OD green, flat dark earth or gray. Stage I models are outfitted with mil-spec controls and internal parts, while Stage II guns feature ambidextrous controls, an adjustable single-stage trigger and an adjustable gas system. The light-contour barrel is machined from chrome-moly steel, treated with a nitride finish and surrounded by a 15-inch, M-Lok-compatible handguard.
The company's Ranger model is the most compact rifle of the bunch, featuring a 13.5-inch barrel chambered in 5.56 NATO with a pinned muzzle brake that ensures the total length of the barrel exceeds 16 inches while also providing recoil reduction. The Model 27 Hunter is offered in several calibers suitable for use on game: .223 Wylde, .224 Valkyrie and 6.5 Grendel. Finally, the company's Expert model is built for competition use, incorporating specially built features like the company's PRO brake and buffer system, Dual Drop bolt control and an ATC Gold trigger for heightened performance on the competition circuit.
Suggested retail pricing on the Cobalt Kinetics basic Model 27, the Stage I Sentry, starts at $1,765. Prices on the other models in the lineup vary, ranging up to $3,760 for the Stage II Model 27 Expert.