The Robinson Arms XCR-M is starting to gain some traction, and for good reason: it’s a great rifle.

Robinson Arms has been around for years. Its first rifle — the M96 Expeditionary Rifle — was introduced in 1999.

Based on the Stoner 63, the Robinson M96 was quite the hit amongst a small but very dedicated fan base. Incredibly reliable, it offered interchangeable barrels and a long stroke gas system. Many referred to it as “the smoothest .223 rifle ever used.” I liked it enough to buy one and wish it was still around

Robinson’s next offering was the XCR. Designed to meet the SOF Combat Assault Rifle (SCAR) contract, it was also well received.

Introduced in 2006, the XCR featured interchangeable barrels and calibers. The gas system is as robust and smooth as the M96. The upper receiver is monolithic with an integrated rail.

I tested one in 2006 and it was an impressive rifle. As a 6.8 SPC fan, it piqued my interest since a barrel and bolt swap produce two rifles. It was accurate and reliable, although a bit pricey for the time. The only consistent complaint was the weight. Over the years the design has continued to improve resulting in today’s XCR.

Robinson Arms XCR (L and M)

The XCR is offered in two models — XCR-L and XCR-M — in several variations.

The XCR-L model are based in 5.56mm and also offered in 300 BLK, 6.8 SPC, 7.62x39mm and 6.5 Grendel.

Standard models have barrel lengths ranging from 9.5 inches to 16 inches and longer with some calibers. Mini versions use a 7.5-inch barrel, while the Micro uses a short handguard. Pistol versions are available with and without a brace.

The XCR-M is a .308-based version offered in .308, 6.5 Creedmoor, 260 Remington and other .308-based cases.

Barrel lengths on the XCR-M are as short as 9.6 inches, extending further depending on caliber including pistol versions.

All Robinson Arms XCR-M models include folding stocks, monolithic upper receivers with continuous rails, adjustable gas blocks and Robinson’s proven gas system. The charging handle is a non-reciprocating design positioned on the left side. An ambidextrous bolt release sits at the bottom of the magazine well. The magazine release and safety are also both ambidextrous.

The XCR-M’ features a well-designed and reliable two-stage trigger suitable for precision accuracy or duty use. A metal folding stock locks in place (open or closed) and is adjustable for length of pull and cheek height.

Range Time

My test rifle was a standard model Robinson Arms XCR-M chambered in .308 using a 16-inch barrel.

After two days of testing during my “Ballistics Best” trials, the other evaluators and myself truly liked XCR-M. We commented on two things: The lack of recoil and light weight. It prompted more testing on my part, including two very hard days in the rain, mud, stiff winds, and even some sleet.

I engaged targets out to 400 yards using Nightforce’s 1-8 power ATACR along with Dueck Defense backup sights. I also attached NG2 Defense’s MXLMAX, directing muzzle blast forward.

Accuracy was solid, in the 1.5-inch range at 100 yards and the 2.5-inch range at 300 yards, but the rifle excelled under more practical use. Engaging steel out to 500 yards, it was fast and— as a nice change — light. The XCR-M weighed only 12 pounds fully equipped with an optic, mount, BUIS and sling.

Working around and under my truck — see the video above — it was easy to shoot and reliable. Running courses using my AR500 Armor plate carrier, the XCR-M carried well while running, climbing and working obstacles making it one of the most useful battle rifles tested of late.

Slow precision at range, doubles up close, even some five-shot rapid fire strings never caused a single issue. The trigger is a nice mix of duty capability and predictable precision. The barrel hardly moved and recoil was minimal, making it very controllable.

NG2’s MZLMAX kept prone shots and those under the truck free of debris or obstruction. All-in-all, it was a great time with a really nice rifle.

Bottom Line

I have been looking for a lighter weight reliable battle rifle in .308 Winchester or .260 Remington and this may be it. With a retail just under $2,500, the XCR-M is about $2,000 less than others tested.

The fit and finish are excellent, controls are robust and easy to manage, and folding stock is solid as a rock.

After two days and close to 600 rounds in the mud and muck, the Robinson Arms XCR-M has proven itself to me; given a chance it may do the same for you.

For more information, please visit

Robinson Arms XCR-M Specifications

  • Caliber/Gauge: .308 Win/7.62x 51mm
  • Barrel: 16 inches
  • OA Length: 37 inches extended
  • Weight: 9 Pounds
  • Sights: Flat Top Rail
  • Stocks/Grips: Folding Stock  / A2 pistol grip
  • Action: Rotating Bolt Long Stroke Gas Piston
  • Finish: OD Green Cerakote
  • Capacity: SR25 Compatible
  • Price: $2,495


Load Velocity Accuracy
Hornady 155 AMAX BLACK 2,700 1.25
Doubletap Colt Comp 155 TMK 2,650 1.45
Black Hills 178 Grain ELDX 2,470 1.35
Barnes Vortex 130 grain TTSX 2,986 1.55

Bullet weight measured in grains; velocity measured in feet per second (fps) using a Magneto Speed V3; accuracy measured in inches for three, five-round groups fired from 100 yards using a bipod as a rest from behind a bench.

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