There are a few defining purchases in our lives when price tends to fade and quality is what matters most. Fire extinguishers. Motorcycle helmets. Parachutes. These are items we entrust our lives to, and I think we can safely consider a rifle one of these items.
5 things that are not basic in an AR 15 type rifle
- An accuracy of 1 Minute of Angle. This sounds great, but what does it mean to you? Simply put, this rifle will put the round where you aim the sight or where the dot of your optic points. I have seen more than one person bring their basic rifle to the range only to discover accuracy was 1 minute of pie plate.
- Reliability, dependability or even durability speak to the quality of both the rifle parts and how well they are assembled. I have seen rifles brought to class that did not survive the first day of training. Sometimes it was parts failure, other failures were due to the assembly. Not all who claim to have the knowledge or skill to make a quality product do. Even those who do – don’t always have a quality control process to compensate for the “human factor” in their work. This almost always turns into a finger pointing game of assembler vs. parts supplier.
- Ergonomics is defined as “an applied science concerned with designing and arranging things people use so that the people and things interact most efficiently and safely.” On a basic rifle, manufacturers must focus on the big middle. This often leaves out sights that work with or without optics. The BTB offers the ability to pick any optic and simply plug and play, and the 6-position stock allows small framed shooters, those with body armor and even an over-sized man to mount the rifle.
- Tested Tough is more than just a slogan. The rifles from Rock River have been tested by the Drug Enforcement Administration and in 2003 they beat out 10 other brands. This was extensive testing to a serious standard, knowing this rifle would be taken in harm’s way. Upon reviewing the testing, customers like the FBI and US Marshals Service decided they would expand on the minimum 5,000 LAR-15 rifles the DEA contract specified.
- Longevity in today’s market means not only a history, but a future as well. Is that guy who built your rifle in his basement going to be there when you need a warranty or service? It’s not always certain in the current market. Rock River began building AR 15 pattern rifles in 1993, first for Eagle Arms then under their own Rock River brand when Eagle Arms moved to a new location. Today, Rock River has a 50,000-square-foot state-of-the-art facility in Colona, Illinois where they manufacture rifles, parts and accessories.
LAR-15 BTB Carbine, Black
|CALIBER||5.56mm NATO Chamber for 5.56mm & .223 Cal.|
|LOWER RECEIVER||Forged RRA LAR-15®|
|UPPER RECEIVER||Forged A4 Upper|
|BARREL||16 Inch Chrome Moly HBAR, 1:9 Twist|
|MUZZLE DEVICE||A2 Flash Hider / 1/2-28 Thread|
|GAS BLOCK||Low Profile Gas Block|
|TRIGGER||RRA Single Stage|
|SAFETY SELECTOR||Standard Semi Auto|
|CHARGING HANDLE||Standard A2 on|
|PISTOL GRIP||RRA NSP Over Molded|
|BUTTSTOCK||RRA NSP2 6 Position|
|HANDGUARD||RRA NSP2 Drop In CAR Length|
|ACCESSORY RAILS||Full Top Rail, Short Sides and Bottom|
|SIGHTS||RRA NSP Flip Up Front & Rear|
|LENGTH||33.25 Inches Retracted|
|ACCURACY||1 MOA at 100 Yards|
|MAGAZINE||Two 30 Round NSP Mag,|
When the range time came for the BTB I knew this would be (as most real gunfights tend to be) a come-as-you-are affair. This meant I would be running the flip up sights that came on the gun. I did want to add a white light, as I tend to recommend on all serious use guns. I had just received the new Crimson Trace LiNQ™, a white light / green laser that mounts to the accessory rail of your rifle. It is controlled via a switch mounted on the rear of the unit or through a remote housed in an included pistol grip. This addition, along with a single point sling made the rifle ready for action.
I quickly zeroed the rifle at 40 yards. This allowed me to shoot between 40 yards and 240 yards without having to worry about shot impact and land rounds no more than plus or minus 4 inches.
The drills I ran were mostly based on a simple formula: Present the problem, develop a plan and execute it properly. Throughout testing, the rifle was never the issue, but my implementation was occasionally lacking. I initially had some concern with the factory trigger that brakes at just under 6 lbs, but I didn’t even notice it during the shooting drills. It was perceived when it came time to measure accuracy, but it had only minimal impact.
What Price Are You Prepared to Pay?
The amount of money you pay for a rifle will feel important on the day you buy it. However, know this: You should be prepared to measure the value of your rifle in the service it delivers on the day you really need it.