Chris Costa of Costa Ludus Hits the “Happy Switch” and Goes Full-Auto with the FERFRANS SOAR-P Select-Fire 5.56mm NATO/.223 Rem. Piston AR SBRs/Sub-Carbines/Carbines (Videos!)

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By David Crane
defrev (at) gmail (dot) com

The following article is property of (DR) and is copyrighted material. If you are reading this article on another website other than, please email us the website address/URL (where the unauthorized DR article reprint is located) at defrev (at) gmail (dot) com. Thank you.

April 17, 2012
Last updated on 4/18/2012. 

Anyone who’s been reading DefenseReview (DR) regularly over the last few years knows that we’ve been covering FERFRANS Specialties SOAR and SOAR-P select-fire tactical AR SBRs (Short Barreled Rifles) and carbines (including the new FERFRANS HVLAR IAR-type carbine) pretty exhaustively since about 2007. So, we’re glad to see that Costa Ludus owner/CEO Chris Costa (and formerly director of of MagPul Dynamics) has discovered them, and that Soldier Systems is publishing some info on them.

It’s about freaking time, and FERFRANS Specialties deserves all the positive attention it gets. Defense Review received all of the Costa/FERFRANS videos embedded below on April 3. The embedded videos below were already in the queue, but Falcon uploaded a couple of them to their Facebook page, this morning, and Soldier Systems picked up on it. Anyway, all the videos we received are now embedded below for you viewing pleasure, in their entirety/unedited. The last video (furthest down) is a recent one of FERFRANS Specialties co-owner Francis Sy test-firing a SOAR-P SBR/sub-carbine on full-auto. Notice how the gun barely even moves in his hands.

It’s actually not Costa’s fault that he hadn’t shot the FERFRANS guns before this year. First, Costa is, at least to-date, a semi-auto-only tactical shooting instructor, and the reason he got to shoot the FERFRANS guns recently was because the boys at Falcon Operations Group (FOG) introduced him to them while he was conducting some training classes out there in the L.A. (Los Angeles) area. In any case, it’s nice to see Costa shooting some true military-grade select-fire ARs on full-auto. When I spoke with Costa on the phone, today, I commented that when one has to hit the “happy switch” and go full-auto, it’s advantageous if you can still be surgical with it, which is what the Ferfrans weapons allow you to achieve.

It’s DR’s opinion that a vertical foregrip setup would be advisable and optimal on a select-fire AR SBR/carbine in a military combat environment, but Costa and Falcon Operations Group both really like that extended-arm/high-elbow C-Clamp grip. DR understands the reasons for this. The C-Clamp grip does aid in weapon control when firing fast multiple-target semi-auto strings (and possibly also full-auto strings), but there are some real-world-combat drawbacks to it as well, particularly when you’re doing the following: dynamic entries inside buildings, shooting around corners while engaging in actual CQB/CQC (Close Quarters Battle/Close Quarters Combat) gunfights with the enemy (who’s shooting back at you), shooting for extended periods, carrying or holding your gun for extended periods, shooting from awkward positions in a hurry, operating a tactical white/IR weapon light mounted directly under your barrel (the optimal tactical weapon light position), etc. Remember, whatever you stick around a corner in a gunfight is probably going to get shot. If you give a trained shooter/fighter your elbow in a combat environment, he’ll take your elbow. Give him your knee, he’ll take your knee. So, don’t give them to him.

DR is partial to the TangoDown stubby foregrips for a lo-pro (low-profile) setup, and we like the Grip Pod System (GPS) if one anticipates having to engage multiple targets at medium distances from the prone or some other stance where you have a platform on which to plunk the bipod, and the GPS’ relatively large size/increased bulk is tolerable.

Costa actually shot the FERFRANS SOAR-P AR SBRs/carbines for the first time this past January (2012), and the embedded videos below were shot in March 2012. Second, most active U.S. military assaulters/operators haven’t even gotten the chance to run a FERFRANS SOAR (DGI, i.e., direct-gas-impingement) or SOAR-P (piston, i.e., push-type short-stroke gas-piston/op-rod) at the range, much less “down range”, i.e., in combat, yet, so they don’t even know how good they are. This is unfortunate, since, in DR’s opinion, the FERFRANS SOAR/SOAR-P system will outperform every other select-fire SBR or carbine out there with regard to full-auto controllability, heating, and durability at high round count.

To give our readers an idea of just how effective the patented and proprietary Ferfrans RRS/DSAS (Rate Reduction System/Delayed Sear Activation System) bolt carrier group (BCG)-equippped SOAR/SOAR-P SBRs and carbines are on full-auto, check out the following article, which contains a side-by-side video clip of DR writer/contributor and U.S. military Special Operations assaulter/operator Jeff Gurwitch running an Adams Arms (AA) 7-7.5″ and 10-10.5″ piston AR uppers (upper receivers) versus equivalent FERFRANS SOAR-P piston AR upper setups on a Colt M4A1 full-auto lower (lower receiver) on both full-auto and semi-auto:

FERFRANS SOAR-P Upper Receiver Setup with Rate Reduction System/Delayed Sear Activation System (RRS/DSAS) Versus Stock Adams Arms (AA) Tactical Piston AR SBR/Sub-Carbine Upper Receivers Mounted on Colt M4A1 Carbine Select-Fire Lower: Full-Auto/Semi-Auto Range Test on Video!

In their short piece on the FERFRANS SOAR-P weapons, Soldier Systems published a couple of videos, along with the following info:

In a nutshell the heart of the FERFRANS line of weapons is the Delayed Sear Activation System which is a mechanical device that reduces the cyclic rate of full-auto fire of the M16 / M4A1 type rifles from 850-900 rpm to 550-680 rpm.

While that’s all true, that’s not the whole story of what separates FERFRANS guns from the pack. Yes, the patented and proprietary RRS/DSAS BCG is indeed the heart of the FERFRANS SOAR/SOAR-P system. However, unlike most other tactical AR (AR-15/M16/M4/M4A1) systems, the FERFRANS guns are built from the ground up to be machine guns, and were specifically developed to be run on full-auto constantly, so they’re built to handle heavy full-auto fire at very high round count, mag after mag. Even the original Colt M4A1 Carbine and Mk-18 MOD 0/CQBR (Close Quarters Battle Receiver) SBR weren’t designed/developed to be run on full-auto all the time and at very high round count, and they cannot handle the kind of use the SOAR-P system can.

Ferfrans SBRs and carbines also come standard with Ferfrans’ very effective muzzle brake, which makes the guns even more controllable on full-auto than with just the RRS/DSAS device. However, even without the muzzle brake, and with just a standard flash hider/suppressor installed, the FERFRANS guns will still outshoot anything/everything else out there on full-auto AND semi-auto, all things being equal. In Gurwitch’s comparison video, Gurwitch isn’t using a FERFRANS muzzle brake, and his FERFRANS RRS/DSAS-equipped SBR uppers are still significantly out-performing/out-shooting the stock AA SBR uppers with standard BCGs in both full-auto AND semi-auto fire modes.

Company Contact Info:

Ferdie Sy
FERFRANS Specialties
2649 E. Valley Blvd., Suite D
West Covina, CA 91792
626-893-8155 Office
[email protected] Email Website

Mailing Address:

FERFRANS Specialties
214 Calle Moreno
San Dimas, CA 91773
909-599-8094 Office

Falcon Operations Group Inc.
Huntington Beach, CA
Email Contact Page:

Costa Ludus, LLC.
731 Duval Sta. Rd.
Ste 107-323
Jacksonville, FL 32218
Email Contact Page:

© Copyright 2012 All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without receiving permission and providing proper credit and appropriate links.

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Chris Costa of Costa Ludus Hits the “Happy Switch” and Goes Full-Auto with the FERFRANS SOAR-P Select-Fire 5.56mm NATO/.223 Rem. Piston AR SBRs/Sub-Carbines/Carbines (Videos!) by

About David Crane

David Crane started publishing online in 2001. Since that time, governments, military organizations, Special Operators (i.e. professional trigger pullers), agencies, and civilian tactical shooters the world over have come to depend on Defense Review as the authoritative source of news and information on "the latest and greatest" in the field of military defense and tactical technology and hardware, including tactical firearms, ammunition, equipment, gear, and training.

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