2A Armament XLR-20 6.5mm Creedmoor Rifle
The popularity of the 6.5 Creedmoor rifle cannot be understated. 2A Armament introduced its 6.5 Creedmoor AR-10 based rifle, the XLR-20, at the end of 2018. The XLR-20 deserves another look for those seeking a long-range semi-automatic 6.5 Creedmoor rifle.
Xanthos-Lite Reciever Set
Built on 2A Armament’s custom, CNC-machined 7075-T6 billet XANTHOS-lite lower receiver, the XLR-20 has several premium features. These include the lower that features a flared mag-well, rear tensioning screw, rear takedown spring retainer, and screw in bolt catch pin. These added features provide better lockup with the upper receiver as well as easier reloading. The lower receiver also has aggressive, but attractive, lighting cuts which help to reduce the overall weight of the rifle. The lightweight solution, large frame 308 (LR308/SR-25) pattern firearms weigh in at 16oz for both the lower and upper receiver.
The XLR-20 XANTHOS-lite upper receiver is also machined from 7075-T6 billet and has M4 style feed ramps for a smoother transition from the magazine to the chamber. The DPMS HIGH upper has the forward assist removed to add to the weight reduction. The tapered charging handle ramp not only smooths out the charging but also eliminates any wear on the upper. Lighting cuts are featured on both sides of the upper receiver for style and weight reduction.
Since the XLR-20 is built on Xanthos parts, it makes sense that the rifle features a Xanthos Vertical-Cut M-LOK Rail. With a 1.7″ internal diameter, the 15″ extruded rail weighs in at only 9.9oz with the barrel nut. This is the lightest 15″ M-lok rail that I have found for a 308 rifle.
As the name implies, the XLR-20 has a 20″ barrel that is a lightweight contour — made with 4150 steel, a rifle-length gas system and 1 in 8 twist. The gas block is made from titanium, as is the muzzle brake.
Since the gas block is non-adjustable, 2A Armament incorporated that feature into the bolt carrier. The 2A Armament AR10 Steel Regulated Bolt Carrier Group (RBC) regulates the gas with a simple turn of the gas adjustment screw on the side of the carrier. You can adjust the screw adjusted without removing the bolt group from the upper. The RBC has an infinite adjustment from fully open, to fully closed on the regulating gate, which is perfect for those who want to run a suppressor on the end of the rifle.
When you think about AR-10 rifles, you don’t think about the buffer tube being billet machined. Most buffer tubes on the market are either forged or extruded to save on cost. The downside of the cost savings is that there can be some concentricity issues that are often minor but can have an impact on the bolt carrier. 2A Armament decided to machine the buffer tube to reduce potential bolt carrier binding and make a smoother operating gun. They feature an 8-position adjustment with machined indicators visible through any stock with a viewing port located at the stock latch pin. Extended carrier support flanges support the carrier for better anti-tilt performance. This piece doesn’t add any weight and comes in at slightly over 3oz.
From the back, a Mission First MFT stock keeps with the lightweight theme and a MAGPUL grip and miscellaneous Mil-spec parts finish up the lower. For the trigger, 2A used a Timney Two-stage, flat trigger with a 2lb set/2lb release.
Lighter Than the Sum of its Parts
OK, so it isn’t really lighter than all the parts combined, but it is light. The 2A Armament XLR-20 6.5 Creedmoor, with a 20″ barrel and 15″ handguard, comes in at only 6.85 pounds, making it one of the lightest full-size AR-10 6.5 Creedmoor rifles on the market, if not the lightest.
As we covered, 2A Armament used premium parts though out the entire build. They also give you the option of two colors: standard black or KUIU Verde 2.0 camo. The black version has an MSRP of $2,724 while the KUIU version is $3,224.
Jeremy Mallette is co-founder of International Sportsman, and an avid hunter and outdoorsman. His father taught him to shoot at age six, and he received his first firearm at age eight — a 1942 Colt Commando .38 special revolver. Jeremy enjoys collecting unique firearms, and shooting them.