Karen Hunter: ZEV Core Elite Rifle Review
When it comes to rifles, it doesn’t get much sexier than the Core Elite from ZEV Technologies. Obviously, there’s more to a great rifle than aesthetics alone, but let’s be honest, a rifle that’s well engineered AND looks great is a win-win. That’s what ZEV brings to the table with all their guns and why they have such a loyal following. Even with such a faithful crowd there are many who’ve yet to realize that ZEV Technologies isn’t “handgun exclusive”. ZEV not only makes exquisite handguns; they also have an equally impressive line of rifles and the Core Elite is one well worth highlighting.
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Truly understanding the needs and desires of their customer base, ZEV broadened their reach by offering their own line of rifles. This began with the purchase of Mega Arms, a company with an excellent reputation for building individual components for AR rifles, giving people a premier provider for quality parts. Once acquired, ZEV took the quality craftsmanship of Mega Arms and incorporated their own ingenuity and creativity taking everything to the next level and all of it now under the ZEV Technologies name. ZEV’s rifle division consists of traditional AR rifles which include a large and small frame offering and the Core Elite line which consists of one rifle and two AR pistols; all three boasting a beautifully crafted bronze barrel. Needless to say, I was thrilled to get some time with the Core Elite Rifle and really put it through the paces.
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On the range I ran a mix of Hornady 55gr HP Match and Federal American Eagle 55gr FMJ totaling over 500 rounds. As expected, the Core Elite never had an issue. The first thing that stood out to me in regard to functionality was the trigger. This is a ZEV exclusive sniper grey flat face AR Gold trigger from ATC with a trigger pull of just 2.5 pounds. This gives you a super short reset with a crisp clean break. This trigger paired with the Trijicon MRO optic made T&E a breeze with great results. Follow up shots were achieved quickly, and my groups were consistently sub MOA. Also lending to these great results would be the SureFire WARCOMP closed tine flash hider which aids in recoil management and muzzle flash reduction. It also serves as a mounting adapter for all SureFire SOCOM fast attach suppressors. The Core Elite has a low-profile fixed gas block and an H3 Carbine buffer that increases dwell time while reducing port pressure to ensure reliable extraction and a smooth recoil impulse. The ZEV Slide Lock charging handle is ambidextrous with an extended and textured latch offering better grip and ergonomics. The barrel, which is absolutely my favorite part of this entire rifle, is a ZEV custom 416R 16” fluted match barrel with bronze PVD coating. The Core Elite rifle is chambered in 5.56 NATO with a 1:7 twist and mid-length gas system, which also lends to the sub MOA accuracy.
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The Core Elite Rifle was fun, enjoyable and one of the most accurate rifles I’ve had the pleasure to shoot. It’s insanely fast, and deadly accurate all with minimal effort, it just seems to become a part of; or one with you, allowing you to truly be confident while running it. Overall my range time with this gun was amazing. ZEV Technologies should never be dismissed lightly. Their ingenuity and craftsmanship are sure to take them very far in the gun industry. Attention to detail, quality components and superior engineering are a part of every piece ZEV produces. These are just a few of the reason’s ZEV has such a loyal fanbase and continues to grow. ZEV technologies is far from “hype”, they’re definitely a gun manufacturer you can trust and feel as though your part of the family. If you haven’t shot a ZEV gun, you should try it out and see for yourself. You may just find yourself pleasantly surprised.
Karen Hunter, GetZone.com Contributor