Built for go-anywhere mobile defense, the RUK-series pistols pack tight and travel light

by Rob Reaser

It’s always been an alarming world out there — especially for those of us who make personal safety and threat awareness a 24/7 mindset. To say that the current threat level is “elevated” would be an understatement considering events that have transpired over the last several months. Factor in the civil unrest that has broken out in the last few days across the country (as of this writing) and it’s no stretch to say that violence can visit us at the most unexpected times and places.

The key to meeting these challenges is, of course, staying mindful of threats and avoiding them whenever possible. Sometimes, though, avoidance is…well, unavoidable.

A downtown protest turns violent and gets out of control. You’re blocked off in traffic and unable to escape. The mob grows closer.

This is the stuff of urban nightmares for those of us who understand the potential for things to go south in the blink of an eye. There is also precedent. Many of us recall what happened when truck driver Reginald Denny unknowingly rolled his rig through Los Angeles during the 1992 riot and was dragged out of his vehicle and beaten to near death.

The point is, bad things can happen, as we all know, and sometimes those bad things can be pretty darn big…bigger than our six-shot revolver or 10-round pistol may be able to handle.

That was the idea behind the new RUK series of AR-15 platform pistols from Rock River Arms.

There are three models in the RUK series. The RUK-9 and the RUK-9BT are chambered for 9mm. The RUK-15 is chambered in 5.56 NATO. All sport diminutive 4.5-inch barrels and collapsible arm braces of the SBA3 flavor manufactured by SB Tactical.

The number we like most is 21. That is the collapsed length of the RUK pistols in inches, and one of the key reasons this new platform makes so much sense today. While the RUK may not fit in all daypacks, you can certainly find one that the RUK can call home when you are on the road. That short length also makes the RUK a true “truck gun,” as its small footprint allows it to stow comfortably in a seatback scabbard, under a seat, or anywhere you can hide it discretely while maintaining quick access in an emergency.

Understand that these are close-quarter weapons intended for a specific purpose — to leverage high-round capacity with near-distance accuracy to get you out of a sticky situation.

Aside from their mobile defense capabilities, the RUK pistols are also ideally suited for home defense. This abbreviated platform stows easily under the bed or propped against the nightstand for immediate access. In 9mm chamber, the RUK pistols are well-suited for close-quarter environments such as in the home.

While both the 9mm RUKs have the same operating system and basic dimensions, the RUK-9 is based on a forged lower receiver compatible with the Colt SMG magazine. The RUK-9BT differs with its billet aluminum upper receiver that is compatible with GLOCK 9mm magazines. If you run a GLOCK 9mm, you now have cross-compatibility with magazine and ammunition. Smart.

If 5.56 NATO is more your thing, the RUK-15 is your choice. For a dedicated on-the-move firearm, we’d probably opt for the RUK-15, favoring the more potent cartridge in higher volume. For dedicated home defense, the 9mm models is our solid choice.

Regardless of which RUK model you select, the hardware is essentially the same with the previously noted exceptions of lower receiver type and mag compatibility. All models come with our preferred RRA Hogue rubber grip, which we feel from experience is the best grip for a pistol AR. For the arm brace, the RUKs employ SB Tactical’s SBA3 model. It is adjustable in length, making it easy to get a comfortable fit. Should you fancy a single-point sling, the SBA3 can accommodate.

All models feature a full-length top rail spanning the upper receiver and handguard. The handguard is RRA’s lightweight free-float model in 4.25-inch length with M-LOK compatibility.

A welcome factory touch is the included RRA NSP flip-up front and rear sights. Honestly, this is all you need for a sighting system with this platform. Sure, a red dot may be fun for range day, but given the intent of this pistol configuration, less is more here, and a rear peep/front post combination is going to serve you well in a typical engagement. Should you want a red dot as your primary, at least the backup sights are already there.

RUK-9 4.5-inch A4 Pistol

  • Caliber: 9mm Luger
  • Lower Receiver: forged RRA LAR-9 w/Colt SMG compatible integral magwell
  • Upper Receiver: 9mm extruded aluminum A4 with port door
  • Barrel: chrome-lined 4.5-inch chrome moly, 1:10 twist
  • Muzzle: Smith Vortex flash suppressor / 1/2-36 thread
  • Sights: RRA NSP flip-up front and rear
  • Trigger: single-stage
  • Handguard: RRA lightweight aluminum free-float rail, 4.25-inch pistol length, M-LOK compatible
  • Arm Brace: SB Tactical SBA3 adjustable
  • Grip: Hogue rubber pistol
  • Length (collapsed): 21.25 inches
  • Includes: Low Pro M-LOK compatible hand stop, one 9mm Colt SMG-compatible magazine
  • MSRP: $1,100.00

RUK-9BT 4.5-inch Pistol

  • Caliber: 9mm Luger
  • Lower Receiver: BT-9 billet aluminum with compatible integral magwell, integral winter trigger guard
  • Upper Receiver: extruded aluminum A4
  • Barrel: chrome-lined 4.5-inch chrome moly, 1:10 twist
  • Muzzle: Smith Vortex flash suppressor / 1/2-36 thread
  • Sights: RRA NSP flip-up front and rear
  • Trigger: RRA two-stage
  • Handguard: RRA lightweight aluminum free-float rail, 4.25-inch pistol length, M-LOK compatible
  • Arm Brace: SB Tactical SBA3 adjustable
  • Grip: Hogue rubber pistol
  • Length (collapsed): 21 inches
  • Includes: Low Pro M-LOK compatible hand stop, one 9mm GLOCK-compatible magazine
  • MSRP: $1,350.00

RUK-15 4.5-inch Pistol

  • Caliber: 5.56 NATO
  • Lower Receiver: forged RRA LAR-15
  • Upper Receiver: forged A4
  • Barrel: chrome-lined 4.5-inch chrome moly, 1:10 twist
  • Muzzle: Smith Vortex flash suppressor / 1/2-28 thread
  • Gas Block: low-profile
  • Sights: RRA NSP flip-up front and rear
  • Trigger: single-stage
  • Handguard: RRA lightweight aluminum free-float rail, 4.25-inch pistol length, M-LOK compatible
  • Arm Brace: SB Tactical SBA3 adjustable
  • Grip: Hogue rubber pistol
  • Length (collapsed): 21.25 inches
  • Includes: Low Pro M-LOK compatible hand stop, one 30-round magazine
  • MSRP: $1,040.00

For more info on these or other AR pistol models, visit Rock River Arms.

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