In 2017 ZEV Technologies merged with Mega and left many wondering what would come of it. At the 2021 Athlon Outdoors Rendezvous, we got to spend some time with a result of that merger, the ZEV AR15 16” Core Elite rifle, and experience for ourselves what came from the merging of those two great companies.

ZEV Core Elite Rifle Details

Each known for making something special; Mega brought its quality management system and manufacturing experience and ZEV its amazing design, engineering, marketing skills and the financial strength to facilitate continued growth. It was as though we’d seen the puzzle in its completed splendor, the goal of the merger.

The melding of two fantastic companies devoted to making quality products has produced the ZEV CORE Elite Rifles, intended for serious shooters. Continuing ZEV’s tradition of commitment to design, feel, and performance with an affinity for style. Their rifles are no exception.

It was obvious at first glance that the ZEV AR-15 Core Elite was not your standard AR-15 and handling it confirmed that. Shooting only a few rounds through it left me wanting more, much more! The light weight, balanced design made coming to a ready to shoot position effortless. The smooth finishes lent to ease of operation and comfort. A rifle built to run as good as it looks and look as good as it runs. I think it’s fair to say that if someone spent enough time with this rifle it would become an extension of them.

Further “research” is called for with this rifle and it will be done, look for a thorough review, including accuracy and reliability testing, as well as what it’s like to spend full range days running a ZEV Core Elite rifle. For even more info, please visit

The ZEV Core Elite rifle comes fully loaded for performance.
(Photo by Alex Landeen)

Core Elite Rifle Specs

  • ZEV forged upper and lower receivers precision machined from 7075-T6 aluminum for strength and light weight, finished in true black type III class 2 hard coat anodize.
  • ZEV Wedge Lock hand guard provides a full length continuous top rail with M-LOK mounting system. The integrated anti-rotation pin ensures a consistently aligned and continuous top rail with the upper receiver.
  • ZEV custom 416R 16” fluted match barrel with bronze PVD coating, chambered in 5.56 NATO with a 1:7 twist and mid-length gas system. Capable of consistent sub-MOA accuracy with high quality factory ammunition.
  • ZEV Muzzle Device acts as a 3-prong flash hider and muzzle compensator.
  • Low profile fixed gas block.
  • H3 carbine buffer increases dwell time and reduces port pressure to ensure reliable extraction and a smooth recoil impulse.
  • Mil-spec chrome lined BCG with a manganese phosphate finish for improved lubricity and corrosion resistance.
  • Flat face AR Gold trigger from ATC features a 2.5lb pull with a short reset and clean break that is second to none.
  • Radian Weapons Talon ambidextrous safety selector.
  • ZEV Slide Lock charging handle permits ambidextrous manipulation with an extended and textured latch for superior grip and ergonomics.
  • Completed with Magpul furniture and one PMAG magazine.
  • Length – 33.75 inches Overall with Stock Collapsed
  • Weight – 7 pounds (Unloaded)
  • Finish – Black with Bronze BBL
  • Twist Rate – 1:7
  • MSRP: $1,864

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