After hearing from our reviewer Shockey that Radical Firearms had visited his place of employment I felt it necessary to inform our readers as to why our review stopped. My understanding was a company was attempting to exert their influence to alter the outcome of our review. Looking at the from our limited and one-sided perspective this was our only logical conclusion.
Like with most things, there is my side, your side, and the truth somewhere in between. P&S reported too quickly before knowing both sides of the story and didn’t realize the reputation of both organizations could be harmed. To take this further, we advise people to contact the manufacturer if they encounter issues. I didn’t do that. Had I done that, this would not have been an issue.
After discussing both sides of the incident, Radical Firearms and Primary & Secondary forensically reconstructed the event including information from both sides to create one complete experience.
So put your torches and pitchforks away and sit down by the fire for a more complete retelling of what had occurred.
I can skip to the moral of the story here: it is amazing what is resolved when mature adults discuss their perspectives.
Just prior to SHOT 2016 I received an email from Radical Firearms in regards to Primary & Secondary conducting a review of one of their weapons. I presented the offer to the P&S Staff to discuss it. Matt Shockey (who I will refer to as Shock) responded in saying he is near their factory and he also has a range so conducting a review is no issue.
Shock and I have a common friend Major who I have known for years through the Direct Action Resource Center (DARC). Major had recently become the Law Enforcement (LE) sales rep for Radical. Major was a natural connection for Shock to begin the review.
Shock met with Major and Cris who is the VP of sales at the Radical Firearms facility for a tour. This tour was initiated due to the P&S review and had no bearing on his employment. He was not directed by his employer to conduct this tour. Shock signed an Non Disclosure Agreement (NDA) to take a tour of the Radical Firearms facility and was impressed by their capability. This NDA did not include anything in regards to our P&S review or a police department review. During the tour Shock asked about Radical AR15’s having difficulty with Simunitions (sims), UTM, FOF rounds. He brought this up due to a prior review P&S conducted where a fully function rifle had no issues with live ammo but choked on Simunitions. Major and Cris did not know.
At the end of the tour Shock properly and legally acquired a complete Radical Firearms AR15 lower receiver. Shock intended to file a form 1 with this lower which he owned to create a short barreled rifle (SBR). Since it is treading a fine line to possess a complete AR15 upper with a barrel shorter than 16″ with a complete AR15 carbine lower, Shock opted to hold off on acquiring the complete upper receiver group. Major explained when Shock is ready, he needs to return to the factory and Shock will hand pick the parts from any bin to have a designated Blue Line gunsmith assemble his complete upper.
During this time Radical worked on prototyping a new chamber that could run sims as well as live ammo without issue.
Shock reached out to Major for a complete AR15 upper receiver group to be used at a sims intensive course at DARC. Major provided one of the prototype uppers for this trip. Shock was unaware this was a prototype and was under the impression this was his 12.5″ complete upper receiver group. Shock inspected the upper and noticed staking of the gas key was weak and he was able to move the fasteners. He immediately contacted Major and sent the bolt back.
Primary & Secondary has conducted other reviews. In those reviews the reviewer posts things as they observe them to the P&S forum or one of the P&S Facebook groups. They might fire off a few hundred rounds and report on that performance. They might make a short YouTube video of the reviewed weapon in action. These are done as the review is conducted so people can keep track of progress. This review was no different. As problems were found they were reported. Our past reviews also ran into speed bumps and required armorer support or factory support.
Shock took some time off from work to help with his newly born son.
Radical Firearms’ ownership found the reports of the issues Shock found and contacted the leadership within Radical to find out what was going on. Cris the Sales VP was under the impression the review Shock was conducting fell under the police department (PD) he worked for due to quite frequent visits from Shock’s local department. If it were a PD Test and Evaluation (T&E) of a prototype system, there absolutely was an expectation of an NDA being in play. Cris took Major to Shock’s PD to speak with Shock’s Assistant Chief to find out why a police T&E was being broadcast on social media with a prototype upper receiver. The Assistant Chief was unaware of the review.
Shock returned to work and was promptly called to that Assistant Chief’s office to explain what had occurred. The Assistant Chief noted this was being done independently of the PD and on Shock’s own time. No issue with the PD.
When Shock returned home from work he announced he was no longer conducting business with Radical Firearms because he viewed their interaction with his job to be an attempt to alter the review.
This is when I wrote up our response explaining why the review had been stopped.
Shock and I along with Major and David the COO of Radical Firearms had a telephone conference yesterday discussing what had occurred. We figured out what the issues were.
There were two different opinions of who, what, when, and why, but at the end of the day, we all understand that this could have been handled much differently with all parties involved and that we all have extremely mutual respect and understanding for one another.
Shock will be at Radical Firearms on Monday to initiate more contact and we absolutely, together, want to show the full potential of a Radical Firearms product, and how Primary & Secondary will give our most unbiased review yet.
Radical in the meantime, will remove all negative posts from their Facebook page and will issue a statement that, ” single Radical Firearms employee acted outside of the interests of Radical Firearms posting against negative reviews coming from online backlash, and don’t represent Radical Firearms as a whole. The employee has been removed from accessing Radical Firearms social media platforms.”
You can read their post here: