Battle Arms WORKHORSE AR-15 Review

Battle Arms WORKHORSE AR-15 Review

Battle Arms Development WORKHORSE Forged 5.56 / 16″ AR-15

Welcome to the Battle Arms WORKHORSE Review. With all the great things we’ve heard about this popular AR-15, we are excited to review it. Join us as we look at this highly regarded firearm’s features, fit and finish, and overall value.

About Battle Arms Development

Battle Arms Development was founded in 2009 by firearm enthusiasts and engineers. The company is based in Henderson, Nevada, and is dedicated to designing and manufacturing high-quality firearms and accessories. They aim to provide shooters with innovative, reliable, customizable firearms that meet their unique needs and preferences.

Battle Arms Development logo

Battle Arms Development offers a wide range of firearms and accessories. They are known for their attention to detail and commitment to using only the highest-quality materials and manufacturing techniques.

The company has won numerous awards and accolades for its products, and competitive shooters, law enforcement agencies, and military units worldwide use its rifles and accessories.

Battle Arms Development is a leading name in firearms, focusing on innovation and quality.

History of the “WORKHORSE” AR-15

The Battle Arms Development WORKHORSE Forged AR-15 is a relatively new addition to the Battle Arms Development product line, having been introduced in 2019. However, it is built on decades of experience and innovation in the firearms industry.

Battle Arms Development Forged WORKHORSE

The United States military adopted the AR-15 in the 1960s as the M16 rifle, and it has since become one of the most popular firearms platforms in the world.

Battle Arms Development WORKHORSE Close up

The WORKHORSE is a modern take on the classic AR-15 platform, featuring a forged upper and lower receiver for maximum strength and durability. It also has a lightweight and ergonomic design, making it easy to handle and maneuver in any shooting scenario.

Overall, the Battle Arms Development Forged WORKHORSE AR15 is a modern, high-quality take on the classic AR-15 platform.

The “WORKHORSE” First Impression

The Battle Arms Development Forged WORKHORSE AR15 has a sleek, modern appearance and a functional, sharp-looking design. The rifle features a forged upper and lower receiver, which gives it a solid and durable feel.


When you purchase a WORKHORSE, it typically comes in a hard plastic case. The lockable case has foam inserts to protect the WORKHORSE in transport and is of respectable quality.


Opening the box, the “WORKHORSE” makes a great first impression. It is an excellent-looking rifle!

The box’s contents are straightforward, containing the “WORKHORSE”, a “Certificate of Authenticity” with a QR code to the warranty and digital manual, firearms lock, and a 30-round steel magazine.

Battle Arms Development WORKHORSE in the box

Overall, unboxing the WORKHORSE feels pretty much as you expect from a firearm called the WORKHORSE. The focus is on the rifle because there isn’t a bunch of bells and whistles, but the gun gives the feeling that it should be the focus. As far as first impressions go for the Battle Arms WORKHORSE review open box, it looks impressive!


  • UPC: 810033785351
  • Manufacturer: Battle Arms Development, Inc.
  • Receiver Model: WORKHORSE® (Forged)
  • Type: Semi-Auto Rifle
  • Caliber: 5.56 NATO
  • Rail: 15in WORKHORSE® M-LOK Free-Float Rail
  • Barrel length: 16 inches
  • Barrel profile: Lightweight, match-grade
  • Barrel twist rate: 1:8T
  • Barrel Profile/Finish/Material: Medium Profile, Black Nitride, 4150 CM,  .750″ Diameter Gas Block Journal
  • Muzzle device: Thread protector (1/2×28 thread pitch)
  • Gas system: Mid-length
  • Upper receiver: Forged 7075-T6 aluminum with full-length Picatinny rail
  • Lower receiver: Forged 7075-T6 aluminum
  • Handguard: Free-floating, lightweight, M-LOK compatible
  • Trigger: Enhanced Nickel Teflon Trigger Single-stage, match-grade (4.5 lbs. pull weight)
  • Stock: Collapsible, adjustable for length of pull
  • Pistol grip: Ergonomic, textured
  • Safety selector: Ambidextrous
  • Bolt catch/release: Left side
  • Magazine capacity: 30 rounds (standard)
  • Overall length (collapsed stock): 33 inches
  • Overall length (extended stock): 36.25 inches
  • Weight (unloaded): 6.3 pounds


The rifle’s action is based on the popular AR-15 platform, renowned for its reliability and versatility. The Workhorse rifle features a direct gas impingement system designed for cycling the firearm’s action by directing hot gases produced during firing directly back into the bolt carrier group. This system ensures that the rifle can function smoothly and efficiently without excessive cleaning or maintenance.


It has a mid-length gas system, which provides a smoother and more reliable cycling of the action compared to shorter gas systems.

The Workhorse rifle’s bolt carrier group is precision machined and features a chrome-lined carrier and gas key.

The bolt is made from high-strength Carpenter 158 steel and is shot-peened for increased strength and durability.

The WORKHORSE’s action is housed in a forged 7075-T6 aluminum upper and lower receiver, which provides a sturdy and reliable platform for the rifle.

Bolt Carrier Group

The WORKHORSE’s bolt carrier group is machined from high-quality 8620 steel and finished with a black nitride coating. This provides a durable and corrosion-resistant surface that can withstand harsh shooting conditions.


The bolt carrier group features a full-auto profile, which is great for those considering a binary trigger. Carpenter 158 steel is the material of choice for the bolt, a high-performance steel commonly used in applications requiring high-strength steel. The gas key is chrome-lined and staked for reliable function.

Lastly, the BCGs weight is noteworthy; it is lightweight, which helps reduce the rifle’s overall weight.


The Battle Arms Development WORKHORSE Forged 5.56 / 16″ AR-15 barrel is made from high-strength 4150 CMV steel. This steel is also highly resistant to wear and corrosion, which makes it ideal for use in high-stress shooting environments.

The barrel is finished with a corrosion-resistant nitride coating, which further enhances its durability and longevity. This coating helps to protect the barrel from the effects of exposure to moisture, dirt, and other environmental factors.

The 16-inch length of the barrel makes it ideal for use in a variety of different shooting scenarios. The barrel features a 1:7 twist rate,

Capacity, Magazines, and Caliber

The WORKHORSE has a standard 30-round magazine capacity, common for most AR-15 rifles chambered in 5.56 NATO/.223. The rifle is compatible with most standard AR-15 magazines, including Magpul PMAGs, Lancer magazines, and GI-style magazines.

As for the caliber, the WORKHORSE is chambered in 5.56 NATO, a popular choice for AR-15 rifles due to its versatility and availability. 5.56 NATO rounds are compatible with both .223 Remington and 5.56 NATO chambers, which means you can shoot either round through the WORKHORSE without any issues.


The “WORKHORSE” had a straightforward AR-15 configuration on the controls. They have other models of the “WORKHORSE” with fully ambidextrous controls and .223 Wylde barrel configurations, but ours had a standard configuration. Everything felt solid and functioned as designed. Tolerances and machining felt great.

The safety selector switch is easy to manipulate and has a smooth and positive feel when engaging or disengaging. The bolt release is similarly easy to operate, with a large and easy-to-press button that makes it quick and convenient to release the bolt after a magazine change. The magazine release button is also easy to use and has a positive and satisfying click when pressed.


As a shooter who values comfort and ergonomics, I found that the Battle Arms Development Forged WORKHORSE AR15-5.56 was designed with this in mind.

First, the WORKHORSE has a comfortable and ergonomic grip that feels great. The grip is textured for a non-slip grip. The angle of the grip is optimized for a natural and comfortable shooting position.

Battle Arms WORKHORSE AR-15 Review

The trigger on the WORKHORSE is also a high point for me. It’s a single-stage trigger that has a smooth and consistent pull. The trigger break is clean and predictable.

Battle Arms WORKHORSE AR-15 Buttstock

The WORKHORSE has a comfortable and adjustable stock. The stock has a comfortable cheek rest and is adjustable for the length of pull, which means that you can customize the rifle to fit your body and shooting style.

It has an angled and flared mag-well. This design makes it easier to insert a magazine quickly and

without fumbling, which can be a huge advantage in tactical or high-stress shooting situations.


The rifle has a durable Type III hard-coat anodized finish that is resistant to wear and corrosion. The finish, to me, had more of a “WORKHORSE” look than an eye-catching “showroom” type look. The top and bottom receivers are slightly different color blacks and flatter than the handguard and stock black. For me, this isn’t a big detractor if it performs as I’ve heard it does. Although, if the aesthetic is your priority, this model may not be your first choice.

The rifle’s edges and corners are smooth and rounded, and the fit feels rock solid.

Frame and receivers

The lower receiver of the WORKHORSE is forged from 7075-T6 aluminum, a strong and lightweight material commonly used in high-performance firearms. The lower receiver is also finished with a Type III hard coat anodized finish, which is durable and resistant to wear and corrosion.

WORKHORSE AR-15 receivers

The upper receiver of the WORKHORSE is also forged from 7075-T6 aluminum. It provides strength and durability. It is also finished with a Type III hard-coat anodized finish. The upper receiver has a forward assist..


The WORKHORSE has a 15-inch free-float handguard made from lightweight, durable 6061-T6 aluminum. The handguard has M-LOK slots on both sides and on the bottom, which allows for the attachment of a variety of accessories for your lights, lasers or other accessories.


One thing that stood out to me about the handguard was how lightweight and slim it felt in my hands. The handguard has a comfortable and ergonomic shape, which made it easy to grip and control the rifle.

The free-float design of the handguard also ensures that there is no contact between the handguard and the barrel, which helps to prevent any interference with the rifle’s accuracy. The handguard also has a full-length Picatinny rail on the top, which allows for the attachment of optics and other accessories.

handguard rail

The handguard on the Battle Arms Development Forged WORKHORSE AR-15-5.56 is lightweight and ergonomic. The M-LOK slots, and full-length Picatinny rail make it easy to customize the rifle to meet your specific needs.


This model of the “WORKHORSE” didn’t come equipped with sights but with the rail options, there are many ways to go.


The WORKHORSE comes with a B5 Systems Bravo stock. It is an adjustable AR-15 stock designed for use with most mil-spec buffer tubes. It is made from high-quality materials, including impact-resistant polymer and heat-treated steel components, which provide durability and reliability in various conditions.

b5 system bravo stock

The BRAVO stock features a comfortable cheek weld and multiple sling attachment points, allowing for easy customization and flexibility. The butt pad is removable and features a non-slip surface for added stability and comfort.

The stock is adjustable for length of pull, and the locking mechanism is easy to use and secure, ensuring a tight fit on the buffer tube. The BRAVO stock is also lightweight, weighing only 8.8 ounces.

Battle Arms WORKHORSE Review Final Thoughts

There is no mistaking the Battle Arms Development Forged WORKHORSE AR15-5.56, is a quality AR-15. We have yet to get it out for shooting so will be updating this post when we do. From what we’ve seen so far this gun has all the makings of its namesake. From the handguard to the controls, every aspect of the rifle is well-made.

Considering the craftsmanship that seems so apartment. I was surprised that the finish on the upper and lower receiver didn’t match but again, that’s not a deal breaker for me. I should also add, I called Battle Arms Development because doing some research for this post, I found a disparity in the specifications the UPC gave me and how it was labeled. It was pleasantly surprising to get someone on the phone on my first call and they cleared things up for me quickly. Turns out the model we purchased is an older model of that UPC. It is chambered in 556, although their newer “WORHORSES” are built with .223 Wylde barrels.

I should have asked when they stopped making the 556 WORHORSES but didn’t think of it at the time. Nonetheless it is worth knowing if your looking at a new “WORKHORSE” which as it sits I would recommend.

More to come when we get it out for a live fire test drive.

Battle Arms WORKHORSE Review FAQs

What type of magazines does the rifle use?

The rifle uses standard AR-15 magazines in 5.56/.223 caliber

Is the rifle California-compliant?

Yes, the rifle is California-compliant.

What is the rifle’s twist rate?

The rifle has a 1:8 twist rate, which is suitable for stabilizing a wide range of bullet weights.

Does the rifle come with a warranty?

Yes, the rifle comes with a limited lifetime warranty from Battle Arms Development.


  • Michael Hodgdon

    A firearm, shooting, outdoor, and hunting enthusiast for over 35 years. Thank you all for the suggestions on topics you would like to see; we'll keep posting as you keep sending them in. Please comment; we will try to answer all comments quickly.

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