The upper and lower receivers on this model boast 1 of 4 different finishes available on Hogan rifles. The one you see her is the NP3 or a fancy way of saying "advanced nickel plating."

This is a “First Impression” or “Early Gun Review” of the Hogan Guns H223 16. If you’re not familiar with either of those terms, learn about our gun reviews here.

Flared mag port, trigger guard, ergo grip, ambidextrous bolt catch release all come standard.

Was jamming around the Sportsmans Warehouse in CO Springs a couple weeks ago and stumbled upon an AR-15 platform rifle I’d neither seen or heard of before. The gentleman behind the counter was gracious enough to hand it to me, though he didn’t seem overly fit to handle many of the questions I had about THAT specific rifle. I wanted to know about Hogans in Arizona, their Made in the U.S.A. guns and what the intended purpose would be.

The basics were simple enough. At first glance, the Hogan H223 16 looks like a race gun. By race gun I mean it’s built to function reliably, it’s extremely lightweight, well balanced and even a little racy to look at if you get excited over how a gun looks like I do. The Hogan H223 16 came stock with an ergo grip (my personal favorite, see the Remington R-15 Review) and the buttstock was the 6 position Vltor EModstock (we cover it briefly in the Choosing a Stock portion of the Building an AK-47 series) which is super functional and balances the overall weight of the gun very well.

The operating system is a short stroke gas piston system which means rather than using direct gas impingement like the typical and classic AR-15 design, the gas block on the front end of the barrel charges a rod which strikes the bolt throwing it rearward to cycle a round instead of using gas blowing directly onto the bolt to cycle a round. In all honesty, it’s cleaner, cooler (well the bolt is, the barrel gets HOT) and more reliable than traditional AR-15 style rifles.

The lower receiver is billet machined (not forged) from a solid block of aluminum and features an integrated open trigger guard and a flared magazine well for fast reloading (remember I said “think race gun?”). Probably my favorite built-in feature this gun has even aside from the lightweight vented free float forend, the Ergo grip and the Vltor stock is the integrated bolt catch release on the RIGHT side of the receiver approximately where a right handed shooter’s trigger finger would rest. The gun feels great, has a mean muzzle brake, fluted HBAR style barrel and thought it doesn’t come with any open sights, there’s plenty of rail space for a low powered optic, open sights and a reflex style red dot so everyone is happy. I mentioned the weight and balance once and here’s why: Typically with piston guns (both ARs and AKs), they tend to be a little front heavy because of the extra hardware located past the main receiver. While it’s not a lightweight for a rifle by any means, the Hogan H223 16 feels much lighter than AR platform rifles with a similar configuration and features.

Now for the bad news. Sorry, but even in this day in age where it’s tough to find a “bad” firearm, there’s occasionally bad news. The mating between the upper and lower receivers is a little loose. The shooter would do well to ad an Accu-Wedge to help tighten things up. But because of the other bad news (the price), at $1800 in Sportsmans, it seems like the overall fit and finish should be just a little better. Call me cheap, frugal, tightwad, whatever, but in the end the gun that boasts the best value AND product wins in my mind.

The full rundown with tremendously in depth specs and Made in U.S.A. pride can be found at Hogan’s Website along with descriptions for their other rifles as well (they also build .308 Winchester platform AR-10 rifles).

A better look at the magazine well and the bolt catch release.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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5 Responses to Hogan H223 16″ AR-15 Review

  1. Ed says:

    You and I have a bit in common. I’ve been looking at the exact same rifle in SW in Colo Spgs. I dig it’s futuristic look, too. However, I also notice the “slop” between the receivers. Another thing that bothered me was the lack of any sling mounts except in the stock. My current AR (Sig516) has them all over.

    So, the little boy in my WANTS that gun…especially with ever-possible gun restrictions looming on the horizon. With Troy sites, that gun would top $2200!

  2. Karl says:

    I have a story for you on a Hogan HR223SA-18. During the craze, I bought a hogan at SW Thornton. Loose mated upper and lower receivers. Sent it back unfired to Hogan with a email. First response was that there are tolerances. None of my others have this amount of play. Got it back. Great until I cleaned it after a range session. There were two cuts in the inside of the upper receiver. There were two burs on the bolt. Brought it back to SW with pictures. They were VERY helpful and sent it back to Hogan. Got it back. At the store, we looked at the new upper receiver. Not cuts but the rifle was not test fired. They also put alot of grease on the bolt. Fired it again. Cuts starting again after 10 rounds. At home, Notice the burs on the chrome bolt and a deficiency. No anti tilt hump at the end of the bolt as on a CMMG and Stag piston bolts. My buffer is being scared. Anyway, its going back for a third time.

    • Ebbs says:

      VERY interesting, Karl. I have it on good authority from an unnamed source at POF-USA that the makers of Hogan were part of a bitter break-off in the early part of their relationship. Which is why the Hogan rifles look so similar to the POF ones. But apparently they didn’t take quality and workmanship with them because the problems you’re speaking of are amateur AR-15 issues.

      • Karl K says:

        Got the rifle back again. A new upper receiver that is so loose that a accu-wedge only helps a little. Shot the Hogan and the cases show a ring around the case about 3/8″ down from the shoulder. There is now a poorly finished chamber that I have to deal with. A little disgusted about the rifle in general. Meanwhile, I very pleased with my Windham Weaponry Varmint Exterminator. Very accurate with any load.

  3. Jim says:

    Sorry to hear you are having those kinds of issues with it. I have one I bought at the Thornton store in 2011 and have been nothing but happy with it. My brother bought one after comparing it with his Rock River gas operated AR.

    My suspicion is that after the law suit Hogan had to modify some things on their firearms, where was some friction with POF and they may not have had the same work thru of whatever modifications they made after.

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