[su_heading size=”30″]Noveske Rifleworks: Yesterday, Today, And Tomorrow[/su_heading]
Story by Troy Taysom * Photographs Courtesy of Noveske Rifleworks
[su_dropcap style=”light” size=”5″]T[/su_dropcap]he AR-15 is arguably the most popular rifle platform ever. It has been around since the late 1950s when it was created by Armalite. AR actually stands for Armalite rifle, and I can only imagine that their designers, back in 1959, had no idea they would create a platform that would transcend the civilian gun market place.
When it first appeared it was chambered for .223/5.56, but today one can find calibers from .22LR all the way up to .50 Beowulf. With all of the options out there, building one’s own rifle has also become a popular pastime, because no matter how many cosmetic changes are made to an AR, the guts are often always the same (with the exception of piston-operated versions): all have the same boltcarrier group, firing pin, buffer tube, buffer and spring. But what if you simply wanted the best of the best?
Johnny Noveske started out as a gunsmith who tried to make a better chamber and barrel for the AR-15. He wanted more exacting standards, better accuracy and reliability. He didn’t realize it at the time but he was creating the Porsche equivalent for the AR platform, and is now known for creating just that – Noveske created some of the finest ARs on the market.
IN THE LUSH, green woods of southwest Oregon, Noveske Rifleworks designs and builds a wide array of luxury AR-based rifles. Their rifles are masterpieces of design and craftsmanship, but they aren’t for everyone. The price alone, which ranges from $2,000 and up with their newest rifle starting at $3,400, will keep many shooters from owning one. You do get what you pay for, however. My Toyota gets me to work every day, but a Porsche would get me there in style, comfort and precision engineering. The same holds true for a Noveske rifle. It’s a piece of art that just happens to come in 5.56, .300 Blackout and .308. Once you shoot a Noveske, the realization sets in that you have just handled one of the finest ARs in the world today.
The company is staffed by what can only be described as an eclectic group. There are only 33 members of the team, and in order to accomplish Noveske’s innovative approach, these people think outside of the box, and more likely don’t even know what the box is.
SADLY, IN JANUARY of 2013 Johnny Noveske was killed in a car accident at just 36 years old. The company forged ahead with his widow, Lorina, in an attempt to keep Noveske’s dream and the company alive. They have had more than one change at the president level since his passing, but have now landed Mike Alland. Alland has a long history in the outdoor, adventure-sports and firearms market. Alland is a high-energy guy who brings excitement, commitment to excellence and cutting-edge product ideas to the table. He isn’t your typical gun-company executive, either. Alland has a degree from San Diego State University in economics and statistical analysis.
Noveske has a guerilla-marketing style that forgoes the normal channels used by their competitors. For example, at the gun industry’s biggest annual show, SHOT, you won’t find a Noveske booth. You may see one of their guns here and there displayed at one of their distributors’ booths and the Noveske folks might be wandering the floor, but no booth. Their business comes from word of mouth and customer testimonials. This a live-on-theedge concept; if your customers are unhappy, you are going to have a difficult time selling your product. Up to this point, Noveske has kept their customers happy. The only complaint they seem to get is that they don’t introduce new products quickly and past products took a long time to get to market. These are issues that Alland has addressed and is correcting.
To Johnny Noveske’s credit, he passed much of his gunsmithing knowledge onto his employees, but just like when Apple lost Steve Jobs, Noveske too had lost their innovator. A lack of ingenuity causes stagnation and this can ultimately kill a company. When Alland stepped in, this was the concensus, but this is changing. The company is finally releasing their N6, which has been highly anticipated by their loyal followers, and will not disappoint the critics.
THE N6 IS A 7.62, but will also be released in 6.5 Creedmor and comes with some incredible features. The rifle is available in two barrel lengths: 16 and 12.5 inches. It has a switch block, which allows the shooter to control how much gas comes through the system, and there is a setting for suppressed, nonsuppressed and off. The suppressed setting allows the user to cut back on the gas that gets pushed back while shooting suppressed, saving wear and tear on the can and rifle. When turned off, the round will fire but the action will not cycle – perfect for maximizing sound reduction. According to the Noveske Rifleworks team, small operational units have shown interest in using the 12.5 version in full auto.
If you get the chance to shoot a Noveske rifle, take it. It may, however, create a dilemma for you. My dilemma was whether or not I needed to eat for the next six months. To each their own, and you will figure it out quickly. After all, shooting is supposed to be fun, and Noveske makes it fun.
Very fun. ASJ
Editor’s note: For more information about Noveske, go to noveske.com.