FIMS Firearms Builds the Ferarri of AR-15s – Review

FIMS firearms builds a stellar AR.

U.S.A.-(Ammoland.com)- There is no doubt about it: The AR market is flooded. As a result, we have seen many businesses building ARs fold (DPMS and Bushmaster look to be the most recent casualties) and most prices come down. There are essentially three segments of the market that seem to be a bit better insulated: the ultra-cheap rifles and kits; the iconic name brands like Knight's Armament and Colt; and the higher end precision and competition type rifles. One of the latter of these entities is a relatively new company on the scene called FIMS Firearms.

FIMS Firearms may seem brand new to the AR Market, but they are by no means a stranger to quality manufacturing. The company was founded in 1962 by the current company president's grandfather and father as a machine shop. In fact, the company's name is an acronym of first letters of the first names of several family members.

FIMS AR-15

In 2016 they applied for an 07 FFL to break into the firearms industry and rather than build a basic budget-friendly design, they went for the Ferarri of ARs!

Another irony here, perhaps, is that they are based out of New Jersey, not exactly a bastion of Second Amendment freedom. Regardless of these issues, FIMS seriously knows a thing or two about building quality rifles.

The Build

What sets FIMS apart from the crowd is that their receiver sets are built on a single machine and program. So rather than making a batch of lowers, followed by a batch of upper receivers, both components are machined together to make for a perfect fit. From contact points between the upper and lower to the takedown pinholes. They are completely rattle-free and wobble-free at every point.

Closeup on the lower of a FIMS

Looking over the rifle, there are no rough edges at all. It is as if all the machined parts were deburred and dehoned like a custom pistol. The entire rifle has a very slicked up and polished feel to it. The safety is ambidextrous and has positive and crisp clicks when shifting from the safe position to fire. The Raptor style charging handle is excellent. Handguards are silky smooth, like the rest of the rifle.

The magazine release was set perfectly and worked well with both GI mags and MagPul magazines. The magazine well had a nice flare for effortless magazine changes. FIMS also sent along a few of their carbon fiber hand stops which I found worked well as a grip, too.

The meticulous FIMS AR

I found the trigger to be incredible, a single-stage set somewhere between 3.5-4.5 pounds.

Criterion makes the barrels for FIMS and this one has a correct 223 Wylde chamber with a 1:8″ twist. Topped with a black oxide vortex style flash hider, it shoots very accurately.

FIMS Flash Hider

The pistol grip was by Ergo and the stock was an F93 adjustable stock, also by Ergo. On top of all this, the rifle has an unbelievably high handling factor and is extremely well balanced.

At the Range

I rolled out to the range and rested the rifle on my Caldwell AR shooting bags. Lacking optics and not having a spare scope available for testing, I mounted a Nikon P-Tactical Spur reflex sight.

Nikon Spur Photo by Graham Baates

This is a very rugged red dot sight that is still available from some dealers. Unfortunately, Nikon got out of the firearm optic business in 2019. If you can find one of these, they are great for use on a rifle or shotgun. The 3 MOA dot has ten brightness settings and the first two settings are night-vision compatible.

At 100 yards I sighted in with Black Hills 77-Grain Sierra Match King Hollow Points. I have found this to be one of the most accurate factory offerings for 5.56 and it did not disappoint with the FIMS rifle.

FIMS at the range.

My initial bore sight at 15 yards yielded a 1.25″ group. Not bad with a 3 MOA red dot and zero magnification. Moving out to 100 yards, I kept the rifle as steady as possible and shot an average group size of 2.45″. Had I used a scope with decent magnification, I am confident that I would have done better. The rifle definitely seems fully capable of it.

The Reality

About the toughest part of this rifle is the price tag. I hate to ding any product on a high price-tag and for what you get here, the juice is definitely worth the squeeze. A stripped matched upper and lower set by FIMS will set you back $700.

If you are looking for a high-end AR for three-gun, precision or just bragging rights; this is the rifle for you. At $2500 without optics, that can be a hard pill to swallow for most shooters. This is why most of us do not drive Lamborghinis, Porsches or Ferraris to work every day. Most shooters can get by and even thrive on a lower-cost rifle. However, if you are heavily into competitive shooting and you need those slight edges in accuracy over your next ranked opponent, the FIMS rifle can make all the difference.

FIMS Manufacturing AR-15.

It may be a bit rich for most people’s blood, but the materials and build quality show that there is no padding the price. You are paying for quality every step of the way.

FIMS has a unique tool on its website to allow customers to build their own rifle to spec and they make models for states where the average MSR (ModernSporting Rifle) has restrictions and limitations.

The “Build your own rifle” tool really gives a surprising amount of high-end options. Visit their website at: https://www.fimsfirearms.com/


About Mike SearsonMike Searson

Mike Searson's career as a shooter began as a Marine Rifleman at age 17. He has worked in the firearms industry his entire adult life as a Gunsmith, Ballistician, Consultant, Salesman, Author, and was first certified to teach firearms safety in 1989.

Mike has written over 2000 articles for several magazines, websites, and newsletters, including Blade, RECOIL, OFF-GRID, Tactical Officer, SWAT, Tactical World, Gun Digest, Examiner.com and the US Concealed Carry Association as well as AmmoLand Shooting Sports News.

  • Home page: www.mikesearson.com
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LinkWill FlattOneEyeOpenBusterStLPro2A Recent comment authors
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Link
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Link

Next firearms company to leave the market in 3, 2…………….

Will Flatt
Member

It’s fancy, it shoots, but I’d rather just get a less expensive AR than spend all that money, then keep the savings for ammo or my own customizations. So no thanks. Ditto on the Daniel Defense.

OneEyeOpen
Member
OneEyeOpen

Blah, Blah, Blah, Blah. A manufacturer sends you a $2,500 custom built rifle, for doing a printed review and you don’t, or can’t put a scope on it. Give me a break. With my professional reputation reflected in this article, I would find the time, to buy a scope, borrow one, or temporarily use one from another rifle I own. This rifle should have been shooting 1/2″ MOA or better at 100 yards. My builds do, at only 1/3 the cost. Where are the specifications, which actually mean something, or speak to the quality in the build? At least for… Read more »

StLPro2A
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StLPro2A

Where o where do I start?? UH…..MSR is Modern Sporting Rifle….not Military Sporting Rifle. Your credibility just dropped into the shitter. Bragging rights? FIMS??? Not even a….YAWN…..earned. Also, no mention of most basic specification whether it is DI or gas. Clarification for you. DI is not Drill Instructor…..it’s Direct Impingement. Gas means a more costly to manufacture, cooler/cleaner running piston driven action. Uh, some find it interesting if machined from billet or forging…..forged by whom?? No mention at all. “I found the trigger to be incredible, a single-stage set somewhere between 3.5-4.5 pounds.” Guess you can’t afford an accurate trigger… Read more »

Buster
Member
Buster

If I were trying to sell a $2500 rifle in a mighty crowded market, I’d want a much more thorough test and review – seriously…tested with only one load??? And no scope???

And if I were a reviewer-person trying to promote myself (at the same time I promote some firearm), I think I would invest in more ammo and an extra scope or two.

Yawn is right

Doszap
Member
Doszap

I would not buy a billet AR Clone.Billets are 6061 Alum, the Forged is much stronger and subject to about anything you throw at it.
If this was a target,or a match gun ok, if you’re going to USE it hard, then I suggest sticking with 7075.
Demand 8620 Bolt Carriers, and 158 Carpenter Bolts, Magnetic Particle Inspected Shot Peened Bolts.One exception I would go with is to have this set up Nitrided(Melonited).Excellent lubricity and a penetrative coating(imbeds into the metal)

Reason
Member
Reason

“Machined from 7075-t6 aluminum”

Copied and pasted from their web site. They use 7075 in billet form (bar stock). It is stronger than the “forged” most all forged are actually cast. witch is more brittle than the billet (bar stock)

Doszap
Member
Doszap

If it’s Forged Billet I agree.

StLPro2A
Member
StLPro2A

You do realize…no you don’t…. that billet merely refers to bar stock usually continuous cast or extruded. Both billet stock and forged are machined in the same technique. Properly done in the appropriate application, forged can be stronger because the grain follows the contour of the part rather than being cut by machining. Brittleness is not determined by forming method, but by steel analysis and heating/cooling profiles and techniques. You speak of what you know not..

Rich
Member
Rich

You get what you pay for, is generally what I go by. I like how all the edges of this gun are smooth, not sharp. I’d rather pay for precision machining than slop any day. After all, it’s only money; you can’t take it with you anyway.

Gregory Peter DuPont
Member
Gregory Peter DuPont

More spendy than I want… but somehow I am suddenly feeling the itch.
And , ironically;I generally prefer AK variants.

Jim
Member
Jim

AT THE SHOT SHOW there were about a thousand versions of the AR. Basically, the only difference is the type of cheese grater. A basic $450 AR will hit a man sized target all day (with a good shooter or average shooter with a scope) at 500 yards and you can drop it without crying. If one wants to pay a boatload extra for something fancy, good for them. I would rather have four basic ARs than one nifty one. That way when the barrel gets dirty–throw it away…….just kidding.

Doszap
Member
Doszap

The PSA Freedom nitrite carbine is the ONLY AR 15 clone that passed AK OPERATORS UNIONS 5000 rd test.(yes that includes DD and a lot of other high $ rigs),for $350.00+/- cannot be beat.(they are a tad over gassed to shoot any ammo,you can rectify that with an adjustable gas key, or a heavier H2 Buffer.JUST make sure it will function in you climate changes with your ammo choices.(The adjustable gas key is the best invention/idea I have seen in a LONG time.$39.95 at Primary Arms.)