Chambered in .300 Blackout, the Limited-Edition Cobalk Kinetics’ BAMF Stealth features superb engineering and accuracy. Getting an email asking me if I want to review a new firearm is always interesting, and I am usually pretty enthusiastic to read the remaining portion of the message to see what gun I will possibly be reviewing. This time, my interest was off the charts.
When I got to the part about shooting and testing a new offering from Cobalt Kinetics, I immediately checked out the company’s website. What I discovered was a weapons manufacturer of high-end AR-15-style weapons that brought together many outdoor passions, and weaved them into different models of firearms that feature extremely clean lines, brightly colored parts and engineering that is a step further. They combine this all together to make a weapon function flawlessly, yet turn heads at the same time. This got me very interested.
After perusing the site for less than five minutes, I responded to the original email asking me to review a weapon from Cobalt Kinetics. I furiously wrote, “Absolutely!”
The weapon in question is a limited offering from Cobalt Kinetics, and it is in the widely popular and growing chambering of .300 Blackout or 300BLK. The particular model is called the BAMF Stealth, but BAMF does not stand for Bad A— Mother F—er, (get your mind out of the gutter) … though it could. BAMF is actually an acronym for Blast Attenuated Mitigated Flash, which is their purpose-built muzzle control device. More on their muzzle device later, and you’ll understand why the acronym is appropriate.
As my excitement grew for the arrival of this weapon, I decided to start doing a fair bit of research on Cobalt Kinetics and its weapons. The website is extremely easy on the eyes and very simple to navigate. One of the things I really like saying about this company is how pro-Second Amendment it is, and how Cobalt Kinetics’ belief, mission and vision are very clear. This Utah-based company takes engineering to different levels, it creates weapons that function flawlessly, and each and every firearm is ergonomically correct. Plus, the guns look like they just came off the floor of a custom painter from one of the nation’s top hot-rod shops.
The day finally arrived when I got to put hands on this weapon system, and I also got to meet Skylar Stewart, one of the owners and principles behind Cobalt Kinetics. I was immediately taken with his laid-back attitude and great sense of humor. Too many times in this industry, we see folks who are wound a little tightly and have difficulty holding a simple conversation. This was absolutely not the case with Skylar.
Before any shooting was conducted, we talked a fair bit about the company, their increased share of the market, the numbers of weapons built, and where they see themselves going in the coming years. Each of Cobalt Kinetics’ four principles brings something to the company the others do not have; this could definitely be one of the reasons they have seen such great success in just less than three years of opening their doors. With some of the formalities out of the way, our focus turned to the weapon: the BAMF Stealth. At first glance, and with weapon in hand, I was very interested in how short and compact a 300BLK can be. I do not have a lot of time behind these weapons, but I have a fair bit of knowledge about the round and its capabilities. With this particular build, I saw a very short buffer and action spring system, and I had only seen this before in the SCW built by Colt Defense. The engineers definitely had their work cut out for them when developing a buffer tube that is extremely short, yet that has the capability to keep all of the parts functioning flawlessly and the weapon system up and running.
To break the gun down, you cannot simply push out the rear takedown pin and pop the upper like you can on a “normal” sized weapon. The front and rear takedown pins need to be pushed clear, and the upper and lower must be removed away from each other to take the weapon system apart. This is what first captured my attention.
“Cobalt takes these parts and makes them better, which is the vision for their brand.”
Getting into the specifics of the weapon system, I was told that both the upper and lower are made of 7075 billet aluminum, and both are anodized and Cerakoted before going out to customers. This is extremely nice to know, as a lot of these weapons will likely see a high round count, which translates to uppers and lowers being subjected to a lot of punishment. Having a nice-looking gun after tens of thousands of rounds is still the name of the game. Cobalt Kinetics sources some of their internal components from well-known DOD suppliers. Take their Bolt Carrier Groups (BCG): They are received by Cobalt, and they then undergo some upgrades. The entire BCG features a QPQ-nitride surface conversion for heat and wear resistance, which also increases surface hardness, and in turn, eliminates surface fouling and build-up. Cobalt takes these parts and makes them better, which is their vision for the brand.
The Stealth comes with a 9-inch barrel that is made of 4150 Chrome-Moly steel. This creates a heavier profile barrel, which increases the heating capacity and allows for longer shooting sessions in between cooling periods. This particular 9-inch barrel came with a 1-in-8 twist rate, which accurately pushes sonic and subsonic rounds in this offering. An Odinworks 10-inch M-Lok pattern O2 lite forearm helps hide the raw barrel, which is very flashy to the eye and very comfortable in hand. At the end of the barrel is where the BAMF comes into effect—the Blast Attenuating Mitigated Flash control muzzle device. Having worked with a lot of different muzzle brakes and muzzle devices over the past few years, I have walked away with many headaches and powder burns. I was interested to see how this particular device would work, and I could not wait to get on to the range to begin shooting. Ultimately, the BAMF runs the blast forward, which helps with recoil impulse and does not beat up the shooter on either side.
A few other items of reference on the BAMF Stealth is that everything is ambidextrous. I am a lefty, and I cannot, for the life of me, use anything that is left-handed. I work right-handed guns as a left-handed person, and I have learned over the years to be happy with what I was dealt. That said, all of the ambi controls on this weapon were very useful and resourceful to me.
One of the items I found to be of great interest is the fact that when the bolt-carrier group is locked to the rear, and a new magazine is inserted into the lower, from either the right side or the left side, the shooter can reach up with his or her thumb and push the forward assist control, which is on both the right and the left side of the weapon, and the bolt carrier group will go forward and maintain the cycle of operation. This was the first time I had seen anything built like this, and I was rather impressed. Shaving off tenths of seconds during reloads, whether in competition or in a life-or-death situation, may ultimately help you come out the victor in your situation.
“ … their BAMF runs the blast forward, which helps with recoil impulse and does not beat up the shooter on either side.”
The adjustable trigger by KE Arms on this particular weapon is very functional and very easy to use. Again, I am really accustomed to a military-style trigger; every time I get behind a trigger that is just flawless, I scratch my head and wonder why I am not running something similar. Perhaps one area that also helped with manipulating this trigger is the Cobalt Kinetics billet pistol grip that they have built to their own specifications, adding to the ergonomics of the actual grip itself.
Having size 4XL hands, I usually do not get much satisfaction from anything custom. In this case, I was pleasantly surprised. My hands actually fit this weapon system, and I had full control and access of upper and lower parts. This would easily will help any shooter through whatever they are doing.
Next, I needed to see what this weapon what do out on the range.
With a rack full of D&H .300BLK specific-built magazines, we loaded round after round of Sig Sauer 125-grain supersonic full-metal jacket ammunition until the magazines were full. Walking out onto the range with numerous magazines and a new gun is always a good feeling. Combined with the 300BLK, I was rather excited.
With the bolt-carrier group locked to the rear, and a magazine inserted, I used my left thumb to hit the left-side forward assist, and felt the bolt-carrier group enter the cycle of operation and chamber a round prior to firing.
With a quick flip of the High Velocity Arms AMR ambi magazine release, the weapon was ready. Pressing the KE Arms trigger sent rounds down the barrel and toward the end of the range. Having shot a 300BLK only a handful of times, and in a very controlled environment, it was nice to send magazine after magazine through the weapon. I was able to switch back and forth between sonic and subsonic, suppressed and unsuppressed, and I truly saw and felt a difference in recoil impulse and noise reduction. I am a major fan of shooting suppressed weapons—not because they look cool, and not because they are some secretive weapon addition, but merely from a health-related standpoint. All of the carbines where I am employed feature Surefire SOCOM suppressors in all available units. Toward the end of the day, we attached the new Surefire 300SPS suppressor to the BAMF, and felt and heard what it was like to shoot this weapon suppressed. Again, if it is up to me, I am likely going to be shooting suppressed, with a round like the 300BLK, and a subsonic load.
As for the accuracy, I was surprised. I was working with the different types of ammo and with an EO Tech up top. A quick confirmation on zero showed that this weapon was shooting exactly where it needed to be shooting, and we were quickly shooting at what we wanted to hit between three and 50 yards, which is all our indoor range allows for in regard to length. Due to time constraints, we did not get a chance to take this beyond 50 yards.
I will likely get a chance to do so in the next short while, and would like to see what this round, both sonic and subsonic, will do out at realistic distances for recreational shooting, hunting and for law-enforcement use.
I am impressed with this weapon system, and I am more so impressed with Cobalt Kinetics, their vision and how far they have come in such a short time. Skylar mentioned the company is building more than 300 guns per month, and have orders for many more. Their constant growth, positive engagement with shooters, media and other industry folks is surely placing them high on everyone’s want list.
“If you are interested in the BAMF Stealth, you better act quickly, as this is a limited run of just 100 weapons.”
My biggest obstacle from this point forward is to figure out how many California-compliant Cobalt Kinetics weapons I can get into my safe, and how many articles I have to write to pay for my own.
Cobalt Kinetics BAMF Stealth
- Chambering: .300 Blackout
- Overall Length: 26.0 inches
- Barrel Length: 9.0 inches
- Weight: 8.0 pounds (Empty)
- Stock: Skylar
- Pistol Grip: Billet
- Sights: None
- Barrel Material: 4150 Chrome-Moly steel
- Receivers: 7075 billet aluminum, anodized and Cerakoted
- Muzzle Treatment: BAMF
- Handguard: Odinworks 10-inch M-Lok pattern O2 lite
- Magazine: One 30-round
Editor’s Note: A version of this article first appeared in the November-December print issue of World Of Firepower.