Despite the ever-expanding range of color schemes available in the black rifle market, there is a marked difference between the evolved “plastic guns” and the firearms of yesterday, many of which have an almost artistic quality of them. Turnbull Manufacturing Company, which restores old firearms and builds new ones that look like the old ones, has developed an AR that breaks the plastic mold.

The TAR-15 delivers standard AR functionality while bringing the burnished look of the good old days. The upper and lower receivers are made from carbon steel that has been color case hardened with Turnbull’s bone charcoal processing. The black barrel is chrome lined in bore and chamber to provide accuracy, durability, and ease of maintenance.

Turnbull's receivers are made from carbon steel that's been color case hardened with the company's bone charcoal processing.

Turnbull’s receivers are made from carbon steel that’s been color case hardened with the company’s bone charcoal processing.

It has a 16-inch barrel with a screw-on muzzle brake, a flat top upper with Picatinny rail, and a carbine length gas system. The trigger guard is oversized for big fingers and gloved hands. It’s available in .223, 7.62×39, and 300 BLK. A prototype .308 was also on display at the booth.

The stock, forend handguard, and pistol grip are fashioned from beautiful American black walnut. Faux wood polymer is also available.

With all of that steel and hardwood, the TAR-15 is not a lightweight. It tips the scales at about 8.5 pounds, but it’s well-balanced and handles nicely. The heft is a little surprising at first after years of racing to shave ounces off of every gun, but grandpa wouldn’t think a thing of it.