Well the ever resourceful Superbowl found a small, up and coming manufacturer in Minnesota called SOTA Arms. It isn’t a huge operation but at the prices SOTA is making these uppers I don’t know how long it will be before they start getting a LOT of calls.
Now, there isn’t any crazy anodizing, engravings or special cuts in their machining process. They don’t have a trendy logo or crazy tactical name. They make quality, machined, tried and true uppers with designs that work and a polished finished product.
The 300 Blackout upper we were given for review is their machined upper with the same forward assist and charging handle you find on most standard configuration AR’s. Black anodized with T-marked flat top rail which gives way to a smooth machined aluminum hand guard that is a great diameter for my size hand or larger all shrouding a gleaming stainless steel 16” 1-8 twist barrel. At the end of that barrel is a beast of a muzzle break that you usually only see on tanks.
As with most brand new hardware it came to us thirsty for lube. We seasoned as best we could and starting dumping rounds through it. She performed beautifully with not a single jam, misfeed, failure to feed… anything. The barrel heated up evenly and smoothly while the the gorgeous muzzle break (as you can see in the video) did a terrific job holding the muzzle rise down and sights on target.
At the end of the day, it isn’t a razzle-dazzle type of upper. It is a working class hero that gives you a fantastic product for a price that gives you the ability to have multiple configurations in your tool chest without all the cost of some of the bigger names out there. In the short time we have had it, the product seems solid as could be with a great barrel and brake. Hopefully we get a chance to revisit this down the road, maybe next time… suppressed?