Review: Inter Ordnance M215 Series

The Inter Ordnance series of rifles, carbines and pistols represent an excellent product for shooters looking to get into the AR-15 game without spending a small fortune. Retailers should be able to make great margins while offering consumers a quality product.

Review: Inter Ordnance M215 Series

In the world of firearms, many companies are lambasted for reasons that are either immaterial, or purely cosmetic. That was not the case for Inter Ordnance (IO) when a bad string of quality control issues with its Kalashnikov build earned them a bad rap.

While the quality control on those guns did improve, the damage was already done. So when news of IO’s new bargain-priced M215 series of AR-15 pistols and carbines emerged I was more than a little skeptical of their quality.

Had IO learned from its past mistake that releasing a product before all the kinks are ironed out only causes heartache and sours the reputation of their products? Would these new guns need a few months or a few iterations to be truly dependable? 

The M215 is available in a number of different configurations, but they all share a few common features. All models ship with a C-Products aluminum 30-round Stanag magazine. These magazines aren’t considered cutting edge, but since they now include anti-tilt followers they work just fine.

Every model chambered in 5.56mm/.223 Rem ship with a medium-contour barrel threaded to 1/2x28 inch. Additionally, these come equipped with an A2 flash hider and crush-washer.

The A2 muzzle device is industry standard at this point because it is still an effective recoil compensator. Shooters who want something else on their IO carbine will be happy to know the threads are standard, allowing the rifle to utilize any muzzle device designed for the AR-15. 

Also, all of their new models ship with a free-floated aluminum railed handguard. These handguards vary in length according to the rifle’s or pistol’s barrel length, but are available in both M-LOK, and KeyMod configurations.

Both are rock solid, slim-line profiled and feature two areas on top with Picatinny rail segments for mounting optics. In testing, the M-LOK version was totally in-spec, and readily accepted all accessories tested.

This seems like a no-brainer, but several low-end companies are making their M-LOK segments with spotty quality control. This often leads to attachments and accessories either not fully locking up or requiring the rail be modified.

The upper receivers utilized on these rifles are flat-top and feature a full-length Picatinny rail. Just like the handguard, this rail was 100-percent in-spec and accepted all optics tested. This included military grade optics from Elcan and Trijicon, as well as more traditional magnified optics from Leupold and Meopta. All held zero, and retained it even when removing and remounting. 

Beneath the upper, the lower receiver is 100-percent mil-spec. It differs from traditional M4-type lowers in furniture alone, meaning the lower still has the same trigger guard, magazine release, fire control components and push-pins.

In testing, the rifle’s two-stage, Mil-Spec trigger was just that, Mil-Spec, meaning the trigger breaks at about 5.5 to 6.5 pounds and features excessive overtravel and a little creep. Nothing to write home about, but the trigger is certainly serviceable.

What's Different?

Where it differs is in the inclusion of Inter Ordnance’s proprietary collapsible stock. Functionally identical to a standard six-position Mil-Spec M4 stock, this polymer telescoping stock incorporates a handful of ergonomic upgrades.

For starters, the top of the stock is coated in a rubberized polymer to help shooters maintain a more secure cheek weld while firing. Also, the stock itself is roughly two inches longer than a standard M4-type stock. This is great news for both tall shooters — and those with facial hair.

A well-kept secret of the M4 stock is its ability to rip beard hair from a shooter when firing. The small gap between the buffer extension and the stock itself is just enough for a stray hair to slip in and be torn out with serious force from recoil. Strange, I know, but it’s something every bearded shooter is painfully aware of.

Trijicon ACOG Optic contributed greatly to accuracy on and off the bench.
Trijicon ACOG Optic contributed greatly to accuracy on and off the bench.

Another interesting aspect of the design is the addition of a recoil pad made of the same rubberized polymer on the top of the stock. The material totally covers the rear portion of the stock and makes up an effective pattern on the rear. This pattern is similar to that of a hiking or combat boot, and adds “teeth” to give it better grip on a shooter’s shoulder. Aesthetically speaking, the stock won’t win any awards, but it’s very functional, and exceptionally comfortable.

While all these features are on par with industry standards for quality, they still beg the question: “Why this rifle over the hundreds already on the market?”

Inter Ordnance has these rifles available at a very attractive price point, one that seems incongruous with all the included features. They understand they have to win over dealers and shooters if they’re going to reestablish themselves in the market. When I agreed to review these guns, I told the CEO I had every intention of running the hell out of them. 

Testing the Guns

First, I tested the 7.5in-barreled pistol model M215 MICRO ML-7 without a brace. I first installed an SB Tactical arm brace so that I could more comfortably send rounds down range. Next, I field-stripped the pistol, degreased the internals with standard rubbing alcohol and applied the cheapest oil I could find: Mobil 1 synthetic.


To ensure that even if your customer has never run an AR-15 before, and does the bare minimum of prep work with the incorrect tools, that the gun will still function. It’s important to note that I chose the pistol over the rifle for the long-duration test. That is because pistol-length gas systems on AR’s tend to be less reliable than carbine- or rifle-length ones.

This is due equally to the high pressure spikes involved in such a short barrel and, as a consequence of that high pressure, the rapid deterioration of springs and buffers.

In testing, I fired 350 rounds of Winchester brand Win3Gun 55-grain FMJ ammunition through the rifle during three separate range days. The rifle wasn’t cleaned or relubricated at any point. During the first shooting session, the M215 Micro encountered no malfunctions. That said, the use of an ultra-short 7.5-inch barrel resulted in incredible amounts of heat toward the muzzle, not to mention blinding flash and deafening muzzle blast. 

The second outing was much the same — the short AR pistol blasted along merrily, devouring every round fed to it from a half-dozen mixed magazines.

The third shooting session was different. Here on the 312th round fired, I heard a click instead of a bang. Upon further inspection, one of my older Vietnam-era Colt magazines had its follower stick and prevented a round from being properly fed into the pistol. 

Aside from that one magazine-related feeding issue, the pistol effectively ran flawlessly. Accuracy from the short barrel was excellent as well with the IO pistol achieving 2- to 3-MOA accuracy when fired from a bench with a 4X Trijicon ACOG.

Accuracy from the rifle-length model M215-ML15 was better, hovering around 1.6- 2.5-MOA at 100 yards. Both firearms encountered no serious malfunctions, and seem to be excellent bargains for the money.

Speaking of which, the rifle-length model has an MSRP of just north of $500, but the dealer price is a hundred less and the distributor price even lower making these little rifles not only an excellent bargain for shooters, but a solid money-maker for retailers. 

Truthfully, the only thing these new AR-15s lack is some form of sights. While that might not bother potential buyers at the higher price spectrum of the market, it may annoy those in search of a bargain. Retailers can help curb that by incentivizing buyers with special deals on optics with purchase of a rifle or pistol.

Realistically, though, not including iron sights on AR carbines has been par for the course for more than a few years\. This is especially the case on bargain-priced guns. 

Overall, the new Inter Ordnance series of rifles, carbines and pistols represent an excellent product for shooters looking to get into the AR-15 game without spending a small fortune. Retailers should be able to make great margins while offering consumers a quality product. 


Comments on this site are submitted by users and are not endorsed by nor do they reflect the views or opinions of COLE Publishing, Inc. Comments are moderated before being posted.