Adams Arms Tactical Elite Upper Review

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In this video posted by Fireman1291 on YouTube, he gives a great review of the Adams Arms Tactical Elite Upper. The video goes over the gas system, disassembly, and cleaning of the upper along with his thoughts on how it has functioned for him since he has had it. Below is a transcription of the video.

“Alright guys welcome back to the NFA Review channel. Today we are going to review the Adams Arms PDW Tactical Elite upper. I have owned this upper for about 4 months now and I have run somewhere around 1,700 rounds through it. I have shot it full auto, semi-auto, suppressed, and unsuppressed. I have shot it in a rain storm and in dusty environments and not had one single malfunction. This is the most reliable upper I have ever used and way more than any Direct Impingement has ever come close to.

To shoot unsuppressed you would leave this setting in the 12 o’clock or upright position. To shoot suppressed you would move it one click to the right to the 1 o’clock position, and to turn the gas system off you would rotate it all the way to the right for the 3 o’clock position. That would turn the gas system off, turning into a single shot weapon. It is very user intuitive, it is easy to use even with gloved hands and just operates very smoothly. Does a great job!



To disassemble an upper you would do it just like any other AR 15. It is just the bolt that is a little different as far as the parts, and you obviously have the op rod in the upper. This upper has NEVER been cleaned. I repeat, NEVER BEEN CLEANED. Like I said anywhere around 1,700 rounds through it. It is really not that dirty, there is definitely no carbon build up just a little bit of soot in there but that’s pretty much it. Very impressive that I have shot it in all the environments I have and never had a single malfunction.

Here is a close up of the bolt. It is beautifully done, I’m not sure what finish they use on the bolt, but it is a little slicker than a normal Phosphate finish. The only difference in this bolt is instead of a gas key, you have obviously the surface area where the operation rod hits to push the bolt to the rear inside the buffer tube. Disassembly of the bolt is the exact same as a normal Direct Impingement.


To disassemble the gas piston assembly, all you do is turn your gas setting all the way to the left, or the 9 o’clock setting, unlock it and pull it straight out of the front. It is a two piece set up, the first section is the selector and the second is the op rod with the spring. To clean this just use some CLP and a wire brush, you don’t have to go crazy they don’t get that dirty. As you can see here, that’s with 1,700 rounds on it. It still assembles fine, I still have not cleaned it. Actually this is the first time I have ever removed it from the front of the gun. It has never been removed in 1,700 rounds and it came out just fine.


Here is the close up of the hole opening, you can see each notch where you would select the gas setting that is applicable to your application whether it is suppressed, unsuppressed, or off. You can turn the gas setting off if you wanted single shot suppressed for super quiet. Obviously, you wouldn’t have any bolt slap noise. So it is possible to basically lock the gun up. You would have to cycle it by hand with a charging handle.

Adams Arms Tactical Elite Upper Review


Here is an instant replay of what you just saw, I wanted to slow it down for you so you can see how controllable it is and the tight groups I’m getting for the first time I’m using this upper. That’s just a factory parts kit trigger it’s not a Geissele or anything like that. The recoil impulse was very linear and slow and there was no gas to the face, all the gas that’s excess and not used is vented towards the front of the gun.

We are going to do a full auto test on it with two mags with the Silencerco Saker brake. Ran 100% on the suppressor setting. Saker sounded phenomenal on it, recoil and pulse was nice and linear. F*#@ yea!”


As mentioned in the video, the parts in the Adams Arms Tactical Elite upper (and all of our parts for that matter) do have a different coating on them. All of our parts are made with a Melonite treatment which hardens the metal and provides a slick surface on steel that resists carbon build-up and increases corrosion resistance, along with creating easier cleaning and maintenance. These Melonited treated parts along with the gas piston system, are what decreases the amount of cleaning and maintenance to your rifle. If you are looking for a great running upper that decreases cleaning and maintenance time than the PDW Tactical Elite may be for you!

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