U.S.A. –-(AmmoLand.com)- There is no denying it, the Radian Model 1 is an extremely impressive AR. You know what makes an AR really great, when it comes straight down to it, it is the feeling that it gives the shooter. It’s when you’re using an AR that performs extremely well; when you’re easily hitting every target because of its remarkable accuracy; when everything feels just right because the ergonomics have been very well placed and very well thought out; and when the recoil is so smooth it makes shooting enjoyable and pleasant. When an AR does all those things, it makes you feel better about the weapon, and it gives you confidence. Confidence in the weapon, and confidence in what you can achieve with that weapon. I would say that the Radian Model 1 is definitely one of those ARs that breed confidence.
What adds even more to that confidence is when you can do it looking good, and I have to say, that at least in my opinion, the Radian is a very good looking AR. It has exceptional fit and finish. Every single part has had remarkable attention paid to it so that the form meets the function. Details that many manufacturers overlooked in order to produce higher numbers and drive profits, have been exquisitely examined and executed by Radian. Little details like the fact that every hard edge has been chamfered, or ground down to make sure the rifle has no sharp edges, that could unintentionally grab clothing or gear. The fact that every gun is fully assembled, test fired, then cleaned for final delivery by one gun smith, not passed down an assembly line. All the major components are cerakoted together at the same time to insure the colors match perfectly with no inconsistencies.
Let’s take a look at some more of the features that really set the Radian apart from most other ARs. One of the biggest details that sets the Radian apart is the ADAC, or Ambidextrous Dual Action Catch lower. This is a fully ambidextrous lower with all controls on both sides for right and wrong handed shooters. On the right hand side of the receiver you have the magazine release in its normal position, another small feature that I like is a rather large shield around the mag release, preventing it from unintentionally getting pushed. Just above and rearward of that you’ll have a bolt release button, allowing you to release the bolt with your trigger finger. I’m a huge fan of this and feel that all ARs should have this feature. It always just feels more natural to hit the bolt release with my trigger finger rather your thumb when inserting the magazine. But if you’re not a fan, have no worries, all the normal controls are still present.
Speaking of the bolt release, on the left hand side of the receiver it’s there in its normal position. The Radian one is nice and oversized as well as extended towards the rear so that left hand shooters can hit the bolt release with their trigger finger. The bolt hold open lever is also oversized and there is a magazine release on the left hand side of the receiver.
Another rather unique feature on the Radian lower is that if you are a right hand shooter, you can depress the magazine release and pull rearward on the charging handle to hold the bolt to the rear. This is a very unique feature that will allow you to clear double feeds and other malfunctions quickly while maintaining a strong, ready shooting position on the gun. This is an excellent feature, but will require training to get accustomed to. However, once you do, it will be far better than the conventional method of clearing a double feed.The lower also of course, features the Radian Talon safety selectors and you can actually decide if you want the selectors to be on 45 degree or 90 degree travel. These are probably the best safety selectors being made currently. The trigger is an American Trigger Company AR Gold match trigger. These are excellent triggers, very crisp and very light; this one is pulling at about two and a half pounds.. My only small complaint with the AR gold is I wish the reset was a little more prominent, but not a huge deal.
Let’s start the discussion on the upper with what is probably the most renowned charging handle being made today, the Radian Raptor. These are phenomenal charging handles and a make great upgrade for any AR15. They even make these branded for other companies like the Q one that I have in my Honey Badger. This particular Raptor is the SD model, which is optimized for suppressor use. It has a ported shaft that pushes the excess gasses from the suppressor down, and forward away from your face. I will say that this doesn’t seem as gassy as other 10.5 inch ARs that I’ve shot, so it appears to be working. I would like to try one of these charging handles on a 16 inch gun for more conclusive results, but it would seem that there is definitely some merit to the design and I may need a many more of these.
The upper is 7075 T-6 billet aluminum just like the lower, and is machined beautifully. I love how they tie in the handguard to the receiver, the handguard and the mounting system to the rifle feels extremely strong and rigid. The handguard itself has MLOK slots on 3, 6, and 9 o’clock, with full pic rail across the top. You can choose between a Silencerco, or a Dead Air muzzle device to top off the barrel. Of course that is a trick question, Dead Air is the correct answer. The Barrel is a match grade 416R stainless steel barrel with a polished crown and feed ramps. Radian is extremely proud of this barrel because they guarantee Sub MOA Accuracy with match grade black hills ammunition. Which is a pretty big claim if you’ve shot many ARs, and I’m pretty sure mil spec is 5 inches at 100 yards, essentially making the Radian 5 times better than mil spec.
Radian Model 1s are available in several different barrel lengths and a couple different calibers. We have a 10.5 inch barrel chambered in 223 wylde. All of their 556 guns are chambered in 223 Wylde, so just in case you come across some, the Radian is capable of handling it. Now I’m not sure if that accuracy guarantee extends down to the 10.5, and we were reviewing this in the ammo shortage of 2020. So getting the match ammo that Radian recommends or match ammo at all, was a little hard to come by. I will say with just regular ball ammo we regularly shot 1.5 – 2 inch groups so I do feel that given all the right ammo this could easily be a 1 inch gun. What further made me believe in the accuracy of the radian is the distance we were able to shoot this gun with only a 10.5 inch barrel. 200, 300, and 400 yards were extremely easy with really impressive accuracy. What really blew my mind, was that even with this 10.5 inch barrel, we were able to get good regular hits on at 500 and even 700 yards. I really didn’t think that would even be possible given the barrel length, and again being able to accomplish shots like this with the Radian gives me a lot of confidence in this system and its capabilities. I’ve been fortunate enough to shoot some very accurate ARs over the years and the Radian is right at the top of the list as one of the most accurate ARs I’ve ever shot.
The Radian really performs amazingly well in all aspects and it’s just about impossible to find anything bad to say about it. However, if I had to say one thing it is a little on the heavy side. This 10.5 inch weighs in at six pounds six and a half ounces. Now that’s not awful, but you do notice it more as you start strapping more and more accessories to it. I will say that most ARs I’ve shot that have been extremely accurate have been a little heavy. It’s definitely not a deal breaker, but if I had to complain about anything in this otherwise stellar package, it would be the weight. Don’t worry, it’s not quite like it’s HK heavy.
The Radian Mod 1 delivers in every way you could ever want; it’s accurate, reliable, the controls are great, it shoots very well, and the craftsmanship is on par with the best available. Of course that premium level performance comes with a premium level price, making the Radian mod 1 maybe not the right AR for everyone. At the time this video is being put together the retail price is a little over $2500. However, I do actually feel even though the price is on the higher side, you get a lot for your money, and the Radian Mod1 is definitely worth the price of admission. While they may not be for everyone, they are obviously right for enough people because currently Radian has a 16 week lead time for new builds, and I would say they’re worth the wait too.
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