In the years since the explosion in the AR15 market, with run of the mill basic companies producing parts and rifles, I have seen a decline in quality on the market. I had given up hope of newer companies with true quality production. To put in to prospective on how I had lost all hope, just think of a 20-35 year old guy looking for a 20-35 year old woman to date, but one that isn’t hooked on pumpkin spice lattes and UGG boots when the first sign of autumn arrives. Yea that was me with the AR15 market. You either paid large sums of money and get questionable items, or got a basic Smith and Wesson M&p15 sport.
Enter Lionardi, the guy’s version of pumpkin spiced lattes but year round, and made of the best products on the market. What I loved the most was the wide range of parts to choose from to build an Upper receiver group, or full rifle that meets your needs. Regardless of being Law Enforcement, Private military contractor, or civilian, they have all the spices of parts to meet your flavoring needs. On the website you will find parts from companies such as Geissele, Criterion, Aero, Noveske, Surefire, VG6 and many more. Everything is assembled right here in the states and nothing is brought in from overseas like many other companies.
When working with Melech, even on a review basis, I was shocked how personal he was when taking care of customers, taking time to learn about needs and uses for their products. Truly fitting the right part to the end user is delivering top notch customer service. I went with a modified URGI upper set but with a 10.5 inch barrel. The upper was a BCM receiver, Criterion 10.5 5.56 Nato barrel, Geissele gas block, MK4 rail in DDC (tan), Geissele ambidextrous charging handle, M16 BCG and a surefire SOCOM muzzle device.
Outside of the bell ringing from the SOCOM, the receiver was beyond words and expectation. When I really want to push items to the limit, I take them to the farm in south Georgia, where humidity is king, and red clay is the ground. Outside of burying the upper, I couldn’t stop it from working, and ringing steel, even from 400 yards. All you heard was BAM, ting every time you pulled the trigger. It was truly one of the flattest shooting uppers I have ever used in 10.5. Fast forward a few weeks, the upper spent some time in a police car with my local agency on one of my friends SBR lowers that he uses for a patrol rifle. If you want to know the limits of an item, give it to a cop, if they can’t break it then it will withstand the storm. And withstand the storm it did.
Price wise, it is not cheap to build one of Lionadi’s uppers, or rifles, and with the above listed specs, it was roughly $877 for the upper without BCG or charging handle, and complete is a little over $1000. For that price, and knowing all parts are made right here in the states, and the level of customer service, it would be well worth the price, even if that means eating Ramen noodles for a while. Buy once cry once, and this is truly a lifetime product. But if you can’t understand price for quality, there are shelves of M&P15 sports waiting for you.