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Old 08-15-2010, 05:13 PM   #11
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Rock River makes a good rifle for a good price, and I predict you will be happy with it. The choice you listed appears to have nice options at a good sale price. If you like the options that are included on the rifle then I think its a good choice.

That said, my normal advice is to spend some time learning about the options that are available in the AR platform rifles, as well as what mission the buyer has for the gun. This will help a buyer decide what they really need / want.

Things to consider:

Barrel Twist Rate. Boiled down, faster rates stabilize heavier bullets. Most Rock Rivers run the popular 1/9 twist, but they do offer some barrels in 1/8 and 1/7. I don't know if they have slower twists on some of their varmint barrels, but I wouldn't want slower than 1/9 unless you intend on shooting light bullets (sub 50 grain) for special purpose.

Chrome lined chamber and bore. Can aid in cleaning, durability, reliability. Some say the improvement is minimal, and the choice is yours.

5.56 NATO vs. 223 REM chamber. You do not want a .223 Remington chamber unless you are going to load for specifically for that round (for a match rifle for instance). The 5.56 NATO cartridge will not feed reliably in the tighter .223 Remington chamber.

Barrel length and corresponding gas system. My opinion is that the mid-length gas system is the best mate to the 16 inch barrel. Carbine length systems are more prevalent, and will function fine.
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Old 08-16-2010, 02:45 AM   #12
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When you look at the M4 Chart (google it) you have to be more critical of RRA. The chart lists about 21 specs/features required of military issue M4s and how 14 manufacturers compare in meeting those specs. As I remember RRA only delivers 5-6 while S&W gives you 14 features for the same money. However if you buy BCM you get all 21 and again for about the same money as RRA.

When you build your own, with care you can also do well. My build came in at 18, losing points on the 1:9 twist rate (which I wanted so was willing to give up the point) and batch tested barrel re: HP testing and MPI.

RRA is not junk but I'm just pointing out that with some thought you can do better.
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Old 08-16-2010, 03:42 AM   #13
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Default Link to the chart

OMG DON'T CLICK MEEEE!


I'd suggest reading before you just jet on down... It' probably the single most helpful link I read before my build.
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Old 08-16-2010, 06:12 AM   #14
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Lol You're Right in a lot of ways Slow, so I'd like to clarify that I meant most helpful because it explains what each part of the upper does
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Old 08-16-2010, 03:06 PM   #15
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I'd have no problem trusting my life or my family's life to a RRA, mine has always gone bang when I pulled the trigger and the only times it's missed paper has been due to operator error.
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Old 08-16-2010, 04:54 PM   #16
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Slo is certainly right that lower M4 Chart entries most likely will function and not blow up. They aren't junk and they'll probably last a long time. And I'd also rather loan out a DPMS instead of a Daniel Defense or Colt. But still, they're ranked at the bottom because they've cut corners that other manufacturers did not. Let's face it, they do not meet minimum military specifications. DPMS only meets 3 of 21! When buying a new rifle why set your sights so low when for the same money you could buy say a S&W or a BMC. Nobody's trying to hurt anyone's feelings but it can't hurt to be aware of the differences. People new to the AR definitely should study the chart while more experienced folks will know which rules to break.

Of course if you've already bought, well we've all seen Consumer Reports do a brand new rating of trucks or HDTVs or refrigerators just after we bought - and to our horror found our choice ranked near the bottom. So you live with it and the odds are you'll be ok. But if you're ABOUT to buy a truck or TV you'd scramble to see that issue of CR.

And I agree that things like parkerizing under the FSB, tapered pins and double heat shields in the stock handguards don't matter that much but you DO want the best bolt carrier group you can get - that's really important. Also, why not demand a milspec receiver extension made of 7075-T6 instead of 6061 aircraft aluminum, M4 feed ramps, an H buffer and better barrel steel?

No doubt when buying a complete factory built AR some things are out of our control but when building your own - well the M4 Chart is invaluable for selecting parts. I'd say go look at the chart, it's there, it's free and extremely helpful.
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Old 08-16-2010, 05:46 PM   #17
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Man my RRA didn't score for crap on that chart. Still shoot in the .2 for 3 shot groups at 100 yards. OMG like slow I must have gotten a good one.

Find the one you like and go for it.

With JD and Slos help a monkey with a stick could build one. I am sure I pissed slo off I burned up his pm inbox for weeks then just said the hell with it and bought a RRA PPR.

Glad I didn't look at that stupid chart before I went and bought mine.

Are you willing to wait or do you NEED IT RIGHT NOW? If you can wait build it if you are like me and need it now buy it.
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Old 08-16-2010, 06:10 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cpttango30 View Post
With JD and Slos help a monkey with a stick could build one.
Just the vote of confidence I needed...thanks.
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Old 08-16-2010, 10:06 PM   #19
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Quote:
"All the people constitute the militia — according to the Founding Fathers. Therefore every able-bodied man has a duty under the Constitution to become part of the "well-regulated" militia, specifically to understand and perform well with the individual weapon currently issued to the regular establishment. . . . Thus one who has not qualified himself with the M-16 may not be considered to be a responsible citizen." Col. Jeff Cooper.
Wow, your signature quote really tells it like it is, Jpyle! I've been looking for something like that to pass on to my gun fearing son-in-law. Thanks for sharing it!
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Old 08-17-2010, 12:51 AM   #20
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I had a RRA AR-15 OPERATORS ELITE. I had no problem with it, what so ever.

It functioned well and shot great groups to satisfy me, no matter what upper I put on it.

Too damn bad, I took it to the lake this past weekend.
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