The Honey Badger rifle from Q. You may have not heard of either, but you surely will, in time. This rifle is, without a doubt, one of the most interesting weapons I’ve come across in recent memory. It screams cutting-edge just on looks alone.
But looks won’t get you very far unless there’s performance to back it up. Well, together, that’s what we’re going to find out. So join me as I share my thoughts on Q’s Honey Badger rifle and judge for yourself whether this gun is worthy of your consideration.
The first thing that is evident from the moment you get the Honey Badger rifle in your hands is its incredible balance. It feels comfortable to hold and has a body that will thoroughly impress you. And speaking of being impressed, the Honey Badger looks like something that got sucked through a time warp from 10 to 15 years in the future.
It’s definitely a unique rifle, with even more to brag about when you start firing (but more on that in a few). In terms of grip, it’s not entirely new. Q used the grip from an AR-15 and Magpul. It’s comfortable, albeit somewhat familiar.
However, that all changes when you shoulder the Honey Badger rifle. It’s lightweight, to be sure. But you can definitely tell that what’s in your hands goes far beyond a traditional mil-spec. Perhaps it is the rifle’s snappy targeting or the collapsing stock.
Maybe it’s the amazing versatility of the Honey Badger rifle that leaves you feeling so enthralled. Or it could be everything coming together to deliver an exhilarating shooting experience, unlike anything you’ve ever fired.
I would be remiss if I didn’t rave about the safety. Some may feel that it’s stiff, but I found it to be just right. Plus, it’s an ambidextrous talon from Radian Weapons. And thanks to its 70-degree positioning, the safety feels reliable and easy to access.
I appreciate the travel on each side of the Honey Badger rifle. Both are equally made, reducing any uncomfortable interference while shooting. If you’ve fired AR-15s with similar safeties, you may have been somewhat annoyed by the interference.
All that has been resolved on the Honey Badger rifle. The safety just feels right and doesn’t get in your way. For shooters with bigger mitts, there could be minor interference, but it’s certainly not going to be anything like you’d experience on an AR-15.
If you’ve put up with that at any time in the past, the Honey Badger’s safety will feel like a dream come true. It’s these little touches here and there that make this rifle such a pleasure to use. But we’re only getting started. Read on to find out where else the Honey Badger shines.
As mentioned, a Magpul grip makes an appearance on the Honey Badger rifle. It’s interesting to note that this grip isn’t the traditional Wolf Gray color. Instead, it’s a different shade of gray altogether, further lending to the Honey Badger’s uniqueness.
What’s more, the grip’s color goes well with the rest of the gun, which gives the Honey Badger rifle its appeal. I like the Magpul grip and the control it provides. As such, it’s a perfect fit on this rifle and feels like it’s right where it belongs.
In terms of comfort, I couldn’t be happier with what Q has delivered here. Firing the Honey Badger is a unique experience that owes a lot to the construction and layout of the gun. It’s beautifully designed in all the right places, culminating in an enjoyable rifle that never fails to surprise you in its cleverness.
4. Mag Release
Not a whole lot to see here. The Honey Badger rifle is equipped with your everyday run-of-the-mil-spec mag release. It’s not been adjusted in any way to fit on this gun. There’s no ambidextrous support and it’s not oversized.
With that being said, you shouldn’t want for either, as it doesn’t really seem to matter on the Honey Badger rifle. And if you’re a lefty who absolutely must have a mag release that accommodates you, simply get an appropriate lefty mag release.
5. Receiver Set
The billet receiver set is a stunning light gold. Boy, is this thing sharp-looking. It’s definitely a stand-out feature on the Honey Badger rifle and plays a big role in the overall appeal of the gun.
Allegedly, this was a design decision that was chosen to accommodate the clear anodizing. It certainly works for the rifle and makes it a beautiful sight to behold.
6. Mag Well
Another pinnacle of the Honey Badger rifle is its flared magazine well. Mags are easily seated and is just one more reason to add to the list of why this gun is such a pleasure to shoot.
On the face of the mag well is a debossed “Q” logo, while the butt reads “Live Free or Die”, with the outline of New Hampshire in the background (where the Q company is headquartered). It’s little details like this that give you a peek into the minds behind the Q brand.
7. Bolt Release
Similar to an AR-15’s bolt release, the Honey Badger rifle takes things up a notch by mounting it on sturdy wings found on the lower receiver. Thus, it’s incredibly durable, fitting right in with the rest of the Honey Badger rifle.
Right-handed shooters will feel right at home here, but lefties may need some time to get acclimated to the traditional arrangement. Full disclosure: I’m left-handed and it didn’t take me long to feel comfortable with bolt release on the Honey Badger rifle.
8. Charging Handle
Courtesy of Radian Weapons’ Raptor charging handle, this charging handle is a great fit on the Honey Badger rifle. It feels like it belongs here and further adds to the attractive aesthetics of the gun.
Laser-etched onto the top of the handle reads “Radian Raptor-HB.” Both lefties and righties will appreciate the Raptor, as it’s a breeze to pick up and shoot. The design choice on the Raptor is a genius one, with nicely rounded edges but enough serrations to afford you a solid grip.
I’m a big fan of this handle for reasons that will be immediately obvious to anyone who uses the Honey Badger rifle. Not only does it look bad to the bone, but it’s a joy to hold and feels right.
Equipped with a shoulder stock that looks virtually identical to the Honey Badger pistol variant. Upon closer inspection, however, the Honey Badger rifle stock features a slightly thinner pad with better texture for traction (the pistol’s pad is flat with the “Q” logo and somewhat rounded on the edges).
The stock here is made of polymer and sports the same gray colors found on other parts of the gun. Some might argue that something other than polymer should have been used given the cost (which we’ll get to later).
But I found that it’s likely a necessity in order for the Honey Badger rifle to maintain its lightweight design and excellent balance. Plus, you won’t find a stock like this on any other weapon out there, making it another unique feature found only on the Honey Badger rifle.
The extendable function works well and is easy to collapse when needed, although it does take some getting used to. The stock can be a real bugger at first until you figure out the best way to deploy it (by pulling from the bottom).
An attractive copper button must be pressed to allow the stock to release. It’s positioned on the left side of the gun, which is clearly easier for righties to reach. Give it some practice and you should soon feel comfortable with it.
Armed with an AR Gold trigger, the Honey Badger rifle is crisp and responsive. It’s said that Q is currently hard at it developing their own proprietary trigger. But for now, the AR Gold works just fine and fits the gun well by my estimation.
Interestingly, I found the Honey Badger’s two-stage trigger to respond very similarly to certain handguns I’ve fired. At just 3 pounds, the AR Gold trigger is a cinch to use and provides an exceptional feel throughout.
I tip my proverbial hat to Q for choosing this trigger, as it seems like yet another great fit for what is shaping up to be an equally great rifle.
Surrounding the AR Gold trigger is a huge trigger guard. Being oversized, your finger never feels cramped or short on room. It’s a smart design decision that goes a long way in providing you with a comfortable shooting experience.
The handguard on the Honey Badger rifle is notable for its darker “gold” than the rest of the gun. This is due to the use of 6061 aluminum, whereas the other parts use 7075 aluminum. When the Honey Badger is anodized, the change in tones takes effect.
What’s more, anyone who’s handled a Cerakote weapon will immediately tell there’s a noticeable difference in the clear anodizing for the better. Your hands will appreciate the feedback this offers, making for a comfy grip.
It’s also important to note that you don’t want to keep your bare hands on the handguard for too long when firing successive rounds. Since this is a suppressed rifle, the handguard is going to get HOT fast.
As such, you want to make sure that your hands are well clear of the handguard and especially the front where the suppressor is housed. We’re talking temperatures that range between 180 to 250 degrees.
Now, the first few inches of the handguard stay mildly warm, even after emptying a 30-round mag. But continuing to fire rounds can kick the temperature up enough to get really uncomfortable.
Personally, I wouldn’t risk trying to grip in the few safe inches of the handguard. If you unintentionally slide your hand forward, you could easily burn yourself. I have to add, too, that the M-LOK slots along the handguard are pretty big.
It wouldn’t be a stretch for some people to accidentally slip a finger into one. Even if your fingers are thicker, just sliding one over the M-LOK slots could put you in contact with the suppressor. The suppressor fits so tightly in the handguard that there isn’t any room for error.
If that were to happen, you could easily make direct contact with the suppressor, at which point, you would be sorry that you didn’t wait for the gun to cool down between magazines.
At 26.5 inches in length, the proprietary Honey Badger suppressor fits perfectly inside of the handguard. As mentioned, it’s a tight fit, at that. Machined tapers are found throughout the suppressor.
There’s a male taper located behind threads of the 7.8-inch barrel. This piece mates with the female cherry bomb, which in turn mates with the suppressor. You won’t find any carbon lock taking place here, so you need not worry about any loosening while firing.
Shooting the Honey Badger Rifle
Now comes the meat of the Honey Badger. Shooting this gun is a truly awesome experience. Depending on what kind of ammo you choose to fire, you will get completely different results.
Firing 300 Blackout Subsonic ammo delivers a slower projectile, while supersonic ammo delivers a sound barrier-breaking projectile.
With either ammo, however, I found the Honey Badger rifle to provide an accurate, snappy shooting experience. Locking onto and switching targets feels ultra-precise. We’re talking about some incredibly accurate shooting here.
When you factor in the lightweight body of the Honey Badger and the material used in its construction, you’re getting a shooting experience that is hard to equate with any other.
What’s impressed me the most, though, was just how quiet the Honey Badger is when firing subsonic rounds. All of this combines to deliver a radically new rifle that is worthy of your attention, respect, and consideration.
In truth, I had a hard time putting this gun down. In all, it feels comfortable and is a pleasure to shoot. I could see beginners or those with smaller frames possibly having some difficulty at first. But for any average and above shooter, this rifle shouldn’t pose any challenges.
I will say that firing supersonic rounds can get a bit tiresome at times. This is largely due to the lightweight body of the Honey Badger. Those powerful rounds start to take their toll after a while, leaving you and your hands reeling.
If the stock were a bit better material and the cheek rest had better padding, maybe we wouldn’t be having this conversation right now. But as it stands, these small caveats amount to some discomfort after so long.
Still, it’s easy to understand why Q went the route that they did. Anything beefier would have significantly fudged with the weight and balance of the Honey Badger.
Bottom line: limit your supersonic rounds and you shouldn’t have much trouble. Regularly firing subsonic ammo is a joy and never seems to get old. Just remember, regardless of what ammo you’re using, too much consecutive shooting will cause the Honey Badger to heat up rather quickly.
You need to be especially careful in where you hold the handguard or you could end up getting some serious burns on your hands. The good news is that the lightweight materials result in the rifle cooling down relatively quickly.
I found that, in about 10 or so minutes, the weapon was cool and ready to fire again without issue or fear of getting burned. Now, you can certainly wear gloves if that’s what you prefer. You shouldn’t have anything to worry about as long as you’ve invested in a quality pair.
However, you don’t want your wearing gloves to cause you to forget how hot the handguard gets and how soon. Proactive safety precautions will go a long way in ensuring your well-being, as is true with any weapon.
If you decide to invest in the Honey Badger, make sure that you grab some subsonic ammo. Trust me, you’re going to have a field day with these babies.
Now for the most heartbreaking part of the Honey Badger rifle. It is an expensive piece of weaponry that is going to cost you a pretty penny if you want to make it yours. When you factor in the associated tax stamps, you’re looking at an SBR that’s just shy of $4,000.
Keep in mind that this is a National Firearms Act weapon, and as such you’ll have to jump through some hoops to get it. We highly recommend establishing a gun trust if you are looking to kick off the process.
With that being said, if you want an ultra-modern rifle, you’re going to have to shell out some serious greenbacks. It makes sense, especially given how utterly impressive the Honey Badger is all around.
It shoots like an absolute dream, looks like something from the future, and is in a class all its own. Q really outdid themselves here, which is even more impressive when you consider how small their team is.
Bottom line: if you can afford it, you won’t be disappointed with the Honey Badger in the slightest. In fact, I’d wager that it will downright spoil you.