Minimalist. Whether referring to hunting or everyday carry (EDC), the word evokes visions of light, svelte and maneuverable platforms. Nowadays, many ARs have gone the minimalist route. But how far is too far? And how does this affect performance?
Located in Spring, Texas, MG Arms is a custom firearm manufacturer known for producing highly accurate and lightweight bolt-action rifles. MG Arms products are typically geared toward hunting, and this offering is no different. “The Taranis2 is a real hunting rifle, built for the hunter who will call in coyotes, and a rifle you can climb a mountain [with] and shoot a deer at 250 yards,” said Kerry O’Day, owner of MG Arms.
MG’s Taranis2 puts the ist in minimalist, with skeletonizing in all the right places. At first glance, it’s hard to imagine that the gun could even run. The sides of the upper receiver are skeletonized, as is most of the magwell and portions of the forged lower receiver. O’Day further explained that in order to save weight, cutouts are a proven approach. He was less enthusiastic about building with polymer as accuracy can suffer. According to my scale, the Taranis2 weighs 4 pounds, 14 ounces without a magazine.
The barrel provided as much weight savings as the skeletonizing, with its match-grade, lightweight, tapered design. The diameter is a mere .590 inch and is capped with a titanium Super Eliminator muzzlebrake. Twist rate is 1:9 inch on the .223-chambered version, and you can have your Taranis2 chambered in .300 Blackout (BLK), 6.5 Grendel, 6.8 SPC, .204 Ruger or .50 Beowulf. Other calibers are available at an additional cost. A lightweight, round, carbon fiber handguard protects the barrel and the shooter’s hand. Its diameter is large by today’s standard, but it feels good in the hand and works well on this carbine.
MG Arms has removed the traditional rear charging handle and added a side charging handle. O’Day said the M-one/A-one Charging Handle is “simply meant to be unique. Unique is fun.” Fair enough. Closer inspection revealed that the handle is reversible, making it possible for consumers to place it on either side. This handle was easier to manipulate and lacked the awkwardness that can come with a standard rear charging handle.
The lower receiver lacks three sides of the magwell, and there are other lightening cuts on the sides, that give you a peek at the golden-colored Timney trigger. Another unique feature of the Taranis2 is the push-button-type safety that MG Arms calls a Tacti-Quick Safety. It replaces the traditional selector-lever type. Pushing the button from the left side to the right disengages the safety. Reverse the direction to engage it. It’s easy enough for right or left-hand shooters