Rock River Arms AR Carbines
I am a relatively new member of this forum, but I have been shooting all of my life. I have an early model AR-15 (SP-1) that I purchased new in 1980 which now wears a Trijicon TA31 ACOG, and recently purchased a US made Arsenal AK that I am also very happy with. Don't ask me how many other guns I own! However, I now find that I have an unexplainable urge to acquire an M4 type carbine.
I like the Rock River Arms carbines, especially the Elite Comp model. I would mount an EOTech 512 HWS on the carbine (I have one on the AK). I am looking for feedback from this forum, especially from Dillinger if he would be so kind as to respond, on a couple of issues.
First, are the RRA carbines as high quality as their brochures (and prices) seem to indicate? Is this a good choice? I do not mind paying top dollar if the quality is there.
Second, the Elite Comp model has the flip-down front sight/gas block where most other models have the typical A2 front sight/gas block. I think that the flip down front sight would be an advantage (with the matching flip-down rear sight) when using the EOTech HWS. I would plan on mounting the EOTech on a LaRue LT-110 QD mount so as to raise the HWS to where the iron sights would co-witness in the lower half of the HWS lens.
Thanks in advance,
PS - I have the removeable carry handle with A2 front sight, and I have a fixed 3-9x handle-mounted scope. I have had the handle off and mounted a scope on the 1913 rail and didn't have any problems with obscuration by the front sight - the focal distance of the scope is long enough so that the sight cannot be seen as an obstruction. Besides, with medium bases the top of the A2 sight comes to just below the horizontal reticle, so co-witnessing is possible even with this set-up, as are most M4 carbines in use by the military, which have A2 sights.
First off, many thanks for the shout out, but I am far from the expert. I am merely a guy who tries to share what I have learned through trial & error, and direct exposure.
My take on Rock River Arms is as follows. They are making one hell of a good product. Their weapons are top notch, and there are few things I would change about them that didn't involve buying customized parts, like a Krieger Barrel. They have an excellent reputation within the industry, and they seem to stand behind their product. If you bought one of their M4 variants, I don't think you would be disappointed in their performance.
Having said all that, I feel the product IS over priced in the market. RRA has reached a status just below the Sabre Defence and D & L Sports models. They know it. Other people know it, and they charge accordingly.
For the RRA Comp Series, you are looking at what, about $1470 base?! Let's get serious here for a minute. I am currently building an AR from scratch, piece meal as the paydays allow. ( you can see the progress in the Projects Section ) I bought an upper and lower, some parts, like the super cool MIAD grip system, and recently added the best 2 stage trigger on the market, the RRA National Match drop in. Currently I am in this project about $378. If I add the really good Magpul collapsible, like the Elite Comp has, I am looking at about $92-$95 plus shipping. Call it $100 shipped to my door and my lower has now cost me $480. That's a complete lower, and with my purchase, I have an upper all ready.
Now, that leaves me $990 to match what you are going to pay for the BASIC Elite Comp Package.
I bought a Yankee Hill Machine, full floated front tube with a 1913 rail along the top and ( 3 ) 4 inch tubes, offset at 90 degrees to the top rail. I love this forend and will be replacing it on my existing AR's as well. That was $140, plus shipping. Call it $160 to my door.
That leaves me $830 to match what you are paying. Krieger Barrels is one of our favorites from the shop where I work. They make incredibly accurate barrels and everyone of them shoots better than I can. For a .223 Wylde Barrel for this platform, it's going to run me, $360 for their ultimate heavy barrel, and another $100 for their chambering procedure to your specs. That's $460 plus shipping. For $15, you can get their gas block. Call it $500 to your door. That leaves me about $330 to add accessories to my AR, including heads up or optics, BEFORE we start spending on the same playing field.
That means that I can add the Yankee Hill Machine Folding front and rear sights, which I feel are the best on the market. Or I can spend that extra cash towards a new EoTech. There are a lot of possibilities on paper.
So, you can get a really good product in the Elite Platform from RRA, or you can spend a little sweat, some piece meal shopping and assemble a platform that might indeed be a better overall product for the same money. The choice is yours.
At the end of the day, there is nothing wrong with the RRA. Two years ago at this time, before I started building AR's for other people, I might have chosen the same product. Knowing what I know now, it's not an option for me because I feel I can build a much better shooting product for probably less than the same "package" price.
I can only say that the RR I have is a great rifle, but as JD said, they are becoming, or have become, "the" black rifle to have. I bought mine well before the government contracts and fan fare started so I didn't pay nearly what they are asking now. The quality is definitely there but others are out there that are as good without the somewhat inflated price tag.
As for the folding front sight, I suppose it depends what you are going to do with the rifle. I have a Yankee Hill folding front sight on a 10.25" SBR with a Trijicon Reflex behind it. I chose the front folding sight because this is the gun that ends up going on entries and "any" shots would be at across the room distance. Having the fold down front sight keeps the overall package less cluttered, that's the advantage I was looking for in confined areas like buildings and with the short barrel. My 16" carbine has a standard A2 front sight tower and an Yankee Hill folding rear sight. I normally use open sights on this as my standard patrol carbine but sometimes put the Reflex on it and have shot it with an EoTech mounted. The front sight tower does not interfere with the sight picture with either dot sight as RL357 mentioned. I like having one less thing to flip up or down if need be.
I would mention that if you add the flip up front sight, loc tite the screws (as well as any others on the gun). I have been told by "gunsmiths" that this is kinda ghetto and if the screws were properly tightened they would stay tight. Not true not true not true. The screws will come loose eventually, bottom line, and usually when you don't want them to. I had my light come loose in training. Luckily the only casualty was my ego when the instructor had to stop the drill and I had to leave the range to fix it. All screws for back up iron sights, Reflex mount and light mount now get lock tite. Good luck.
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