Military Review

Self-loading rifle Holloway Arms HAC-7. Good luck compilation failed


Rifle HAC-7 basic modification. Photo:

Kalashnikov assault rifles, FN FAL rifles and the AR series have certain advantages that have become the key to their popularity and wide distribution. The simultaneous use of all the strong features of this weaponssupplemented by new original ideas, could lead to very interesting results. The American company Holloway Arms took such a step, and its result was the HAC-7 rifle.

Perfect weapon

The future designer of the rifle Robert "Bob" Holloway at one time managed to fight in Vietnam, and later participated in the Rhodesian conflict. During the two wars, he had the opportunity to get acquainted closely with a number of modern automatic rifles from different countries and draw technical conclusions.

In the early eighties, the retired military decided to create his own rifle design, combining the best features of existing models. As sources of ideas, a Kalashnikov assault rifle, an AR platform, and a FAL rifle were used. In this case, to connect the borrowed decisions into a workable design, we used our own ideas of the gunsmith.

View from the other side. Photo:

In 1984, the newly created Holloway Arms Company launched the finished sample, the HAC-7 self-loading rifle. The product was intended for civilian users, but, despite this, it had some of the features needed by army weapons.

Own and borrowed ideas

In general, the HAC-7 was a self-loading rifle with automatic equipment based on the removal of gases with locking by turning the shutter. Outwardly, it was similar to the Belgian FAL, however, the internal mechanisms resembled other samples of that time.

Aluminum was widely used in the design, and steel went only on loaded parts. One of the goals of the project was to achieve maximum manufacturability. In the future, this in some way affected the results of the project. Also managed to get a win in bulk (without any negative consequences).

Self-loading rifle Holloway Arms HAC-7. Good luck compilation failed

The principles of disassembling weapons. Figure from user guide /

The disassembly scheme was borrowed from the AR-15 and FAL. The receiver was pivotally connected to the trigger guard and fixed with a pin. It was proposed to remove the pins using a cartridge: for this, their ends had a recess under the nose of the bullet. In some cases, when disassembling, a sleeve was used as a lever.

The standard barrel for the HAC-7 was 508 mm long. Also produced was a HAC-7C carbine with a 406 mm barrel. Sniper and sports modifications with a barrel length of 610 mm were developed. The manufacturer’s catalog mentioned the possibility of adapting the design for different cartridges, but serial rifles used only .308 Win (7,62x51 mm). The trunks were equipped with a muzzle device for a rifle grenade.

In front of the forearm was a gas block with a regulator and the ability to discharge gases for firing grenades. Inside the forend was a gas pipe several inches long. With its help, the gas piston was able to shift back: it reduced the mass of the structure and changed the forces acting on it when shooting and rolling back the moving parts.

Work with a gas pipe. Figure from user guide /

HAC-7 received a slide frame similar to that used in the AK. Behind it propped up a rethought return mechanism with a spring on the telescopic rail. In the channel of the frame was placed a rotating bolt with two combat stops of large width. The shutter rotated 60 °; the rotation was carried out using a transverse pin and a copy groove in the frame. The shape of the groove was made such that the shutter was unlocked and retracted for an increased time - this allowed to reduce recoil.

The fighting stops were very long and interfered with the work of the store. Because of this, a separate plate appeared under the shutter on the frame, holding the cartridges. The head of the pin that controls the rotation of the shutter did not fit in the dimensions of the receiver. This problem could be solved by using a hollow influx on board, but R. Holloway used a simpler design. In the receiver provided a hole with an overlay.

Cocking the shutter was carried out by an L-shaped handle on the left side of the weapon, stationary when firing. The ejection of sleeves - through the window to the right. To the left of the store’s shaft was a shutter button.

Shutter group and return mechanism of a familiar design. Photo:

The lower casing accommodated the trigger and performed the functions of a store receiver. The USM design with minimal modifications was borrowed from the AK, but the management principles were changed. On the left side of the weapon there was an AR type fuse flag that simply blocked the trigger. Automatic modification needed a different system with the ability to fire bursts.

The .308 Win rifle could use box magazines from the AR-10, which underwent a slight revision. On the back of the store, a small slot was made for the latch - this part was borrowed from AK.

A fly with height adjustment was placed on the gas block. At the back of the receiver is an aperture sight with range adjustment and side corrections. Threaded holes were provided on the upper edge of the box for mounting the optical sight bracket of the desired model.

General view of the bolt group. Figure from user guide /

The basic HAC-7 was equipped with a plastic handle and a fore-end from two sidewalls. There was a butt, folding right turn. Modifications could have other fittings and additional attachments.

The rifle with an unfolded stock had a length of 1092 mm, with a folded - 840 mm. The mass of the product without a magazine is less than 4 kg. Special weapon modifications could vary in size and weight.

For sniper, athlete and left-hander

Based on the HAC-7, they developed and offered several special weapon modifications. The HAC-7A project provided for the use of an automatic fire trigger. Rate of fire was 650-700 rds / min. Such a rifle was intended for the army and police.

Due to the shortened barrel, the HAC-7C carbine had a length of 990 mm and was almost a kilogram lighter than the base rifle. Other differences were absent. Also offered was the HAC-7AC automatic carbine - a shortened weapon with an “automatic” trigger.

Details of the bolt group. Figure from user guide /

HAC-7S sniper rifle with a 24-inch barrel had a length of 1,17 m, was designed to mount an optical sight and had to show an increased effective fire range. Similarly performed sports rifle HAC-7M.

Of the most modifications of all is the HAC-7L. According to statistics, up to 15% of the population are left-handed, and these people may encounter problems when working with “right-handed” weapons. Holloway Arms decided to work with this sector of the market and made a special modification of the rifle under the left hand.

HAC-7L was distinguished by a “mirror” receiver with a right shutter handle and a left ejection window. The fuse box and delay button were moved to starboard. The shutter was changed by moving the extractor to the left. The design of automation and USM has remained the same. All this allowed to maintain the basic characteristics, but to make the rifle more convenient for a noticeable part of potential buyers.

Unsuccessful attempt

As conceived by R. Holloway, the new rifle, being a successful compilation of the most effective solutions to existing projects, was to show advantages over competitors and have high commercial potential. However, such expectations did not materialize, and the entry into the market in 1984 did not cause any excitement.

Trigger mechanism based on AK units. Photo:

At that time, the US civilian market was attended by a wide variety of self-loading and automatic rifles with various characteristics and capabilities. The Holloway Arms rifle was just another example of its class. In addition, at that time, public attention was drawn to weapons under an intermediate cartridge of 5,56x45 mm, and other rifles faded into the background.

However, the HAC-7 was released in a small series and brought to sales. According to known data, no more than 290-300 of these rifles were collected (there are also estimates of up to 350 units). Most of these products are basic rifles and carbines. Also made up to 50 "left-handed" rifles. There is no exact production information for HAC-7S and HAC-7M. Automatic modifications, as far as is known, did not reach the series. All rifles were sold in the United States, they were not sent for export.

No new HAC-7 orders were received, and already in 1985 Holloway Arms was forced to close. Bob Holloway, having failed, left the arms business. However, as reported several years ago, he would like to return to this industry and create new models.

Left-handed rifle HAC-7L. Photo

Results of the project

From a technical point of view, the HAC-7 rifle is of particular interest. Its creator did not begin to look for fundamentally new ideas, but used already well-known and proven solutions - both directly and after a certain rethinking. However, the rifle did not live up to expectations.

In general, the NAS-7 was a good weapon, but it needed refinement. Users complained that the rifle is inferior in reliability to other samples. In addition, in 1985 problems began with spare parts - due to the closure of the manufacturer. However, with a supply of parts and self-tuning, the rifle became a worthy weapon for civilian use. Over time, the HAC-7 gathered around a real fan club.

Despite the lack of commercial success, the Holloway Arms HAC-7 project confirmed the fundamental possibility of creating new weapons based on several existing models. In addition, this was one of the first attempts to create a lightweight rifle cartridge .308 Win. But the real time of such samples came later, when the company of R. Holloway had already left the arms market.
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  1. beeper
    beeper 5 July 2020 09: 20 New
    It is not surprising that the Holloway rifle didn’t go to the "mechanical (without understanding the nuances of using in prototypes)" compilation of the "best features" of AK, AR and FAL, but in pursuit of the imaginary "technological", Robert was too sophisticated! This happens with many novice designers who are fixated on the "idea" that it is worth taking the "best of all (with a triumphant thought," you have to, but no one thought of doing this before me! " smile ) "and" it will turn out to be a masterpiece, the best of all. "But they lack the experience and knowledge to understand and comprehend the" salt "- the" highlight "of the copied design, on which its success is based.
    This amateurish “enthusiastic compilism” is also clearly visible by the design of the NAS-7 rifle, as well as the obvious “good intentions” of its combat author (who actually used such weapons) to simplify the manipulation of weapons with improvised cartridges and cartridges (for example, on our SVD too yes ), apply light alloys and simpler and cheaper (although only in a single and small-scale production!) methods of manufacturing complex parts, as well as the “FAL” traits that he “liked” are clearly visible ...
    I did not hold NAS-7 in my hands, therefore, I can judge this design only by description, appearance and diagrams.
    Apparently, not aesthetized aesthetically and ergonomically, massive, a lot of excess metal in it is clever, there is much to clean! If the rifle went "in series", then it would have to be done.
    I hope that the piston was connected to the bolt frame "in Kalashnikov", with a "shat", and not stupidly tightly screwed ?!
    The bolt frame with the bolt, like the barrel and trigger, is the very heart of the weapon design!
    But at NAS-7 it’s completely amateurish, ugly, compiled by “Bob” - absolutely without understanding, that's why there is a problem with reliability (and with the supply of cartridges, I think, too). I don’t want to disassemble in detail (everything is clearly visible on the diagrams and photos) - there is a lot on Sunday, I can only say that the “Kalashnikovsky” bevel of the return spring channel at the bolt frame is a symbolic illustration of the completely thoughtless “blind transfer” - this is with a rectangular “FAL” recoil pad receiver! Well, the use of the “Kalashnikovskaya” latch of the store is with “ARovsky” —that it “thrusts”, also says a lot about the “designer” - “Bob”! wassat
    Dear Author Ryabov Kirill Thank you very much for this Article, for past and future Works on the popularization of weapons knowledge! good hi
    1. Insurgent
      Insurgent 5 July 2020 13: 25 New
      The Holloway Arms HAC-7 project confirmed the fundamental possibility of creating new weapons based on several existing models.

      And yet, based on the article, it seemed to me (? request ) that in NAS-7 the solutions used in the AK system prevail ...

      Apparently, "Kalash" made on the designer special the impression ...
  2. John22
    John22 5 July 2020 16: 14 New
    A well-rethought AK design is enclosed in a Swiss assault rifle SIG 550. The concept is the same, but for its own standards and its improvements. The result was a rifle with AK reliability and the accuracy of a Swiss watch. Though expensive, but angry.
    1. Boratsagdiev
      Boratsagdiev 5 July 2020 20: 31 New
      I also like the 500th series, successful and the nomenclature is large and for different tasks.
    2. Insurgent
      Insurgent 6 July 2020 09: 14 New
      Quote: John22
      A well-rethought AK design lies in the Swiss SIG 550 assault rifle.

      She’s also called - "The best AK in the world" yes
      Of particular note is his last “rethinking” - the SIG556xi variant.