I have talked to BUSHMASTER themselves and they claimed that they will be using MODIFIED barrels from AR 15 and that modification is NOT something you can do yourself. Either MAGPUL or BUSHMASTER is not having their data straight. Either Bushmaster or MAGPUL are not telling us ther correct data. I called Bushmaster and they said "WILL BE USING MODIFIED BARRELS, and the modifications are not something that you can make yourself".
As far as "other manufacturers" you and I both know that untill the ACR becomes as widespread as Ruger Mini 14, AK or AR rifle NOBODY is going to build anything for them, simply becasue there won't be enough market. Here is an example: there are plenty of AR180Bs out there and yet NOBODY yet have made a heavy barrel for them, even though there is a demand for it.
With the price tag of unknown (Originally it was $1400, now Bushmaster said "under $1600 and nobody knows what they will say in 9 month) the rifle simply WILL NOT BE very common for small manufacturers to care about making magwells and barrels for it.
In case Bushmaster doesn't know, most of us her do not have stock in oil companies or Haliburton. So, forking over about $2000 for a rifle + 1 caliber change module is HIDEOUSLY high cost. Thus, I doubt that there will be anywhere near the number of people who buy ACR. Robarms XCR has been out for a while, and what? Nothing. Nobody builds anything for it, because of its prohibitive price. What is XCR? Long stroke piston rotating bolt system. Sound familiar? ACR will be about as expensive, so I doubt that it will be that widespread as to make small companies build accessories for it.
I actually want to see WHAT am I getting for the $1500 (we will be lucky if that will be the price). Is it going to be more accurate then V93? Is it going to be more reliable then Arsenal AK? Is it going to be lighter then AR180B? WIll it be able to handle Steel Case ammo? Will the barrel be chrome lined? Will it be a heavy barrel or a slim profile one, like in AR180B which costs HALF the money?
I said it before, that 6.5 Grendel and 6.8 SPC are great rounds, and having ONE rifle which can fire all the ammo is superb. The problem is that 6.5 and 6.8 are not cheap.
As far as 7.62x39 there are Yugo M70, Saigas and other rifles available to shoot them, also fairly cheap. I happen to have 3 rifles in that caliber. Of course, ability to fire 5.45 is a very good thing. As this ammo is not expensive nowadays. However, Consider this:
1 Rifle: 1500 bucks. Conversion kits $300-$400 each. I will only ask the question about COST/EFFICIENCY. I agree that modularity offered by ACR is unique. (If it can be made to work). The flip up sites, that I have seen on Bushmaster demo were pretty crude too. Which means you get to fork over MORE money for iron sites and that is before we even talk about optics. I am simply suspicious that by the time you are done decking out your ACR, you will spend so much money that you could have bought much more.
Rifle: 1500 (at least). 5 conversion kits (why by the rifle if you are not gonna use conversion kits) - about 2000 bucks. Iron sites: 150. Optics: 250+
So we are talking 4000 bucks for a fully decked out rifle. My question: IS IT GOING TO BE WORTH IT? That is all. Granted it may cost LESS then buying 5 rifles in different calibers (5.56, 5.45, 6.8, 6.5, 7.62x39). However, the question becomes, how many of us will want the rifles in each of those calibers? Especially considering th price of 6.8SPC and 6.5 Grendel Ammo?
All I am saying is that we get conflicting information. The release is getting delayed. The hype is building up and the price is going up each month. Usually the bigger the hype, the bigger the dissapointment. Anyone remebers Sgt York AA system?
All I am saying to the people is that: a) do not believe the hype. b) count your money and your needs, c) there are no miracles. You can't win it all: modilarity, reliability with all ammunition, accuracy, ruggedness and cost. There are NO miracles. Just remember, Adolf Hitler loved to talk about Wunderwaffe, none of which worked as advertised.
This ain't a videogame, this is real life. There are no miracles, there are no Wunderwaffe. I am a skeptic: lets wait and see. With constant delays, I am now pissed off skeptic. With constant raise of the price I am now simply thinking that Bushmaster is going to gouge us for all they can, using the theat of "AWB coming soon, buy before they are banned" to make as much money as possible. Thats what big companies do.
I honestly would preffere Magpul handle the rifle. Being a small company they still had not lost the touch with the average customer and know their concerns and needs.
BTW, I am a proud owner of their Ajustable stock for HK91 and have 6 of their AR15 mags.
Get the data and count your money before forking over a fortune on a Wunderwaffe.