A Unique Carbine
By Clint Smith
Published In The GUNS Magazine 2011 Special Edition
Every once in a while someone comes along who just makes stuff better, sometimes even better than the original. I think John Noveske and his Noveske Rifleworks fall into that category. In a recent feature article addressing Mil-Spec standards for AR15/M16/M4 weapons systems, Colt came in first place in meeting Mil-Spec standards — I would sure hope so — followed closely, by only a point or two, by Noveske Rifleworks’ products.
In my thought process, this means best-quality parts are being used, which is a good start towards making a good rifle — and Novekse Rifleworks does.
The Noveske line is comprised of the N4 model of with about 12 variations. The baseline rifle is the N4 Light Carbine, which is my personal favorite of the light rifle in a full-size form. The rifle is a rock-solid piece of gear and, although not the cheapest rifle on the market, it is well within reason for the average buyer and well worth the money.
When he spent time with me on the range, Noveske explained the new N4 Light Carbine and how it is put together. My favored low-profile configuration bears a 10″ free-floating handguard anchored with six monster-like screws and a 1913-type rail for attachments that might be needed for home-defense.
The N4 has the low-profile gas block system protected by the handguard and the 1913 rail-on-top sports a flip-up-front and rear-sight system. The 14.5″ cold hammer forged barrel with a 1 in 7 twist is permanently fitted with a Vortex flash hider with even the spot weld modestly showing, so there can never be a question that it’s on to stay —keeping it legal under the short barrel length rifle NFA rules. Trust me the 1″ difference in barrel makes a lot of difference in concealment, and access and carrying the thing while you travel and move about — all of course within the law, while not being an NFA weapon.
The N4 barrel is in the tough department as it is the same quality barrel as made for the M249 Machinegun. The N4 also mounts a solidly made Vltor buttstock capable of different stock length adjustments for different size persons who may live in your house. I am historically a solid stock kind of guy, but I teach more rifle classes I get smaller/shorter folks wanting to shoot as well. The retractable stock allows members of the same family to shoot the same rifle with only a minor adjustment of the stock to have it be able to fit and function quickly.
The Vltor stock and the handguard are both set up to take the QD100 quick detach slick mounts which allows for any type of sling you think works for you — just don’t hang yourself.
Famous Flaming Pig
I have had and seen several of Noveske’s rifles in classes in the last few years and the S.B.R.’s short-barreled rifles have intrigued me. They are almost always mounted up with John’s KX3 muzzle break/flash hider — which sort of looks like a small juice can — and the thing works! And so do the Noveske short-barreled rifles. Not many others can say their rifles work consistently more or less as a short barrel version. The little pig on the side of the KX3 belching fire is a pretty slick logo. Some people don’t like pigs though, so those people won’t want a fire-breathing pig attached to their rifle. They’d like pigs even less if the flaming pig gun was aimed at them.
So, if you want to deal with NFA-type stuff, Noveske’s short rifles are probably as good as it gets.
Noveske N6 .308 with Advance Armament SCAR suppressor and Leupold scope.
No Little Bullets!
There is always someone who doesn’t like the .223 cartridges. Noveske has addressed that with the Noveske N6 rifle chambered for the 7.62×51 or .308 for us civilian-types. The proven record of the .308 cartridge downrange doesn’t need to be discussed. When introduced, the .308 versions of the AR system aka AR10 didn’t always work —this is no longer a problem. Both the rifles and the magazines built by and for Noveske work. My N6 is the 18″ barrel version with 16″ and 21″ options available.
Full-blown N4 .223 rifle with AAC suppressor mount in place
on the front of the barrel. The suppressor is removed in this photograph.
The Noveske Switchblock is a barreled mounted system to regulate gas flow and works mostly in conjunction with suppressed rifles. The system device is small, effective and easy to handle like in switching from more to less gas flow. This regulation can address fouling after extended firing and ammunition power changes. The rifles in both N6 and N4 version I shot with AAC suppressors all worked perfectly and between the high quality suppressor and the Switchblock, the rifles worked flawlessly.
Heidi shooting the .308 N6 rifle. With suppressor in place there is
basically no recoil and no noise.
The AAC Cans
Hands down the Advanced Armament suppressors were the best I have shot to date. Using the AAC SPR/M4 for the .223, and the SCAR-H SD model for the .308, the suppressors changed the whole dynamic of shooting. No ear protection is required, which is an individual call. Even more importantly, no changes in sight-settings were required on the rifle zero can — on or off. The attach/detach mechanics of the AAC work smooth as oiled glass.
Noveske N4 (front) tan colored version is .223 (back) rifle is
Schmidt & Bender equipped rifle is 6.8 short rifle.
Readers often want to know how the rifle shoots, so I took the .223 caliber N4 to the range and recorded the following data. For purposes of checking accuracy, I mounted a Leupold 4-14×50 30mm scope and fired five shot strings from a bench-rest position at 100 yards.
The better commercial ammunition resulted in better groups and that makes sense compared to the two forms of military ball tested. The N4 trigger breaks clean and is heavy compared to a match-type trigger. Then again, I don’t care for a match trigger in a rifle I might fight with.
On the practical short-range side, I dropped on and zeroed an Aimpoint T-1 and then ran range drills to include a small steel plate uphill at 200 yards. Candidly, even with older eyes, I hit the targets well — repeatedly.
I shot the N6 .308 AR on paper briefly for zeroing. Then using Black Hills 168-gr. Match ammunition, shot less than a minute of angle at 100 yards from the bench and stayed under, at and just more than the minute of angle measurement to 700 yards on steel plates using a Schmidt Bender 4-16×50 34mm PMII scope.
If you can get over and around all the whines and excuses, the AR gas platform rifle is a good rifle. And the best of the breed is maybe the Noveske Rifleworks versions. The rifles made by John Noveske’s family of employees would be a good choice of firearms to defend and protect your family with.
Noveske built bolt action .338 Lapua long-range rifle with
AAC Titan suppressor. An excellent long-range package.
For more info:
Schmidt & Bender, Inc.
Advanced Armament Company
Looking For More? Get It From The GUNS Magazine 2011 Special Edition