AR on a budget: How good is RRA? (and other questions)


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BHPshooter
September 15, 2004, 11:43 AM
I've been going nuts wanting an AR lately. I've been looking all over the internet at many options, and I've come to a decision: I'm going to buy the components and put it together -- much more in keeping with my budget.

A guy at Impact Guns the other day said he swears by Rock River Arms, but I haven't heard much more than a passing mention of them. How is their quality?

I ask because their components (with only a few exceptions) are the best prices I could find on the 'net.

Also, I'm quite confused about the barrel twist rate thing. I've heard conflicting reports, so I'll ask here: What's the best twist rate? I have seen 1:7, 1:8, and 1:9 offered... I want to be able to shoot as many varied bullet weights and types as I can, FWIW.

Any info is much appreciated.

Wes

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Bacchus
September 15, 2004, 11:56 AM
A general rule of thumb for ARs is that you can't go wrong with A, B, or C. Armalite, Bushmaster, and Colt.

How much are you going to save over a Bushmaster?

How much have you priced the RRA AR to be if you assemble it yourself? I know that you need a special tool for the assembly, unless you buy a complete upper and complete lower and mate them.

I know a guy who has a RRA and likes it, but told me that he wishes that he had put a few extra bucks into a Bushmaster. I looked at the RRA briefly and wasn't impressed.

Coronach
September 15, 2004, 12:14 PM
RRA is generally regarded as the 'next Bushmaster.'

I'm not an AR expert, but I do own a RRA. It has been flawless. Fit and finish are as good or better than the Bushies I have seen.

YMMV,
Mike

Rockrivr1
September 15, 2004, 12:19 PM
I have a RRA AR that is set up for highpower and a BM M4gery and I love them both. I don't see any particular differences between the two and I have never had a FTF in either. For what it's worth, I shoot a lot more rounds through my RRA and I would buy from them again without any doubt.

BHPshooter
September 15, 2004, 12:26 PM
Yes, what I was planning on was just buying an upper, a lower, and mating them.

If I go with Rock River, I can do it for $775 (plus whatever the transfer of the lower costs).
The 16" A3 upper with the removable handle is $525,
The Lower with the A2 Trapdoor buttstock is $250.

If I did the same "mating operation" with Bushmaster, the total is about $940 for a similar setup.
16" A3 upper (with handle) is $645,
The lower with the A2 trapdoor stock is $295. Truthfully, I would prefer the one with the Skeleton stock for $395, which would boost the total to $1040.

I really, really like Bushmasters though... are they worth the extra $250 or so?

Wes

Bartholomew Roberts
September 15, 2004, 12:26 PM
The RRA rifles I've seen have been as good as or better than my Bushmasters. Though like Bushmaster, it seems that RRA has some growing pains now and then. If there was a significant difference on price, I would go with whatever was cheaper or whoever had the options I wanted.

On barrel twist, a 1:9 barrel will let you shoot anything from the light 40gr varmint bullets to heavier 69gr rounds (some even report success up to 75/77gr but results seem to be mixed).

The faster 1:8 and 1:7 twist barrels will handle the heavier 73-77gr rounds better; but may be too fast for the lightweight varmint rounds. The heavier rounds are popular for longer range shooting (less wind drift) and better terminal ballistics in defensive scenarios.

All three barrels will handle 55gr and 62gr just fine and those are the most common .223/5.56mm bullets.

Zak Smith
September 15, 2004, 12:35 PM
I know a bunch of other 3Gun shooters with RRA rifles, uppers, and lower, and we have no complaints. (The RRA I bought two years ago ran perfectly; my Bushmaster never did -- but that's just one point.) They did win the DEA contract...

Rockrivr1
September 15, 2004, 01:08 PM
"I really, really like Bushmasters though... are they worth the extra $250 or so?"

I would go with the RRA and keep the $250 to buy mags and ammo.

Mulliga
September 15, 2004, 02:03 PM
If I did the same "mating operation" with Bushmaster, the total is about $940 for a similar setup.
16" A3 upper (with handle) is $645,
The lower with the A2 trapdoor stock is $295. Truthfully, I would prefer the one with the Skeleton stock for $395, which would boost the total to $1040.

I really, really like Bushmasters though... are they worth the extra $250 or so?

I'd say so. But then, I've had good experiences with mine (accurate, reliable, and good-looking), so YMMV.

Get it transferred from AIM. $810 for a complete NIB A3 post-post-ban rifle. You could always change out the stock yourself and sell the old telestock.

http://www.aimsurplus.com/acatalog/New_Bushmaster_Sunset_Rifles___Preban_features_.html

Rhinodogg
September 15, 2004, 02:13 PM
I would shop around. I like my Model 1 and my Oly. No problem at all. 100% reliable. They cost a lot less too. Check out these other sites for some great info and great deals.

http://www.ar15.com
http://www.model1sales.com
http://www.olyarms.com/usa.html

ninjalawyer
September 15, 2004, 02:36 PM
RRA components seem pretty cheap. too...

Anyone here have any experience with their $95 NM Trigger (via ADCO) versus the $140 LMT, the $175 Jewell, or the $180 Armalite models?

Jon Coppenbarger
September 15, 2004, 02:49 PM
We are rock river stocking dealers and I can beat those prices quoted to you and save you more than you think.
You can email me for prices but go to their web site first and get the model # you are looking for so we know exactly what you are seeking as my books only list A2 and A4 rifles and some others.

I would say 90% of the highpower shooters I know use the rock river two stage match trigger.
Just go to the competition section here and ask and I know Steve Smith who moderates that section and this one on the board and Justin another moderator also use them.
We prefere all state team NTIT rifles here use them and we ask that if you shoot for our #1 state team in NTIT you use one.
For one if anytime there is a adjustment screw you may have problems and the only triggers that you mentioned that I have seen go out in a match are the armalites and Jewels. you get a alibi but thats if you can get it fixed in a hurry in order to keep shooting.
Jon

Ktulu
September 15, 2004, 02:55 PM
The ABCs of AR-15s gets less of a rule-of-thumb and more a thing of the past every day. RRA produces some very fine rifles. Both of my RRA uppers function flawlessly.

I have the RRA NM trigger and love it. It is so much better then the milspec that it would be funny if it wasn't so sad. I don't have experience with the other after market triggers but I've heard nothing but good things about the RRA trigger from others. I've used mine in 3-Gun matches for 2 years now and the thing seems to be 100% reliable as well as crisp and light.

Go to ar15.com and search for answers to these same questions. There is a ton of info on these very subjects over there.

Sulaco
September 15, 2004, 03:02 PM
RRA is a better built, more accurate, better warrantied and cheaper AR than ANYTHING ELSE AVAILABLE. If anyone can disprove this, I would love to hear it.

Zak Smith
September 15, 2004, 03:20 PM
ninjalawyer,

The RRA 2-stage match trigger is excellent, and unbelievable for the money. There's no reason to spend more in a 2-stage trigger IMO.

-z

Ed
September 15, 2004, 03:35 PM
I just got in a RRA A3 20" today. Slapped it on a RRA lower and went to the range. All I had was an old Bushnell scope to put on it and it was shooting 1-1/12 inch 10 shot groups off sandbags. And I am SURE it could do better. I am VERY happy with it. I also took a new Bushmaster 20" A2 out and it was shooting 10 round groups around 2-2/12 inches @75M. Both are a good choice.

Rhinodogg
September 15, 2004, 03:44 PM
Oly's are better built, more accurate, better warrantied and cheaper AR than ANYTHING ELSE AVAILABLE. If anyone can disprove this, I would love to hear it. :neener:





Just kidding. I've never messed with an RRA, so I can't say much about them, other than I've heard nothing but good things.

Sulaco
September 15, 2004, 03:51 PM
LOL Rhino, I knew someone would do it. It was too easy. :D

hso
September 15, 2004, 04:08 PM
DSC STAR-15 Rifle

• 20” 1x9 crowned chromemoly match barrel.

• A-2 buttstock assembly.

• Mil-spec fire control parts.

• A-2 or flattop upper...................................$774.95 (msrp)

You should be able to get another 10% off this easily.

I've used Colt, RR, DPMS, Bushmasters and Doublestars. I've put uppers on lowers and even "built" a couple. I've had no problems with the Doublestars and they've all been tight, reliable, accurate rifles. Gary and the boys make excellent ARs in many configuratioins. Unless someone almost gave the parts to me I'm pretty much always going back to Dstar.

Harry Tuttle
September 15, 2004, 04:32 PM
RRA:
http://www.rockriverarms.com/images/bblr4.gif
$180

Bushmaster:
http://www.bushmaster.com/shopping/barrel-assemblies/Images/abbl16m4a.jpg
$195

$219 with Hgs, ring & tube

cslinger
September 15, 2004, 04:50 PM
Bushmaster chromes all their barrels except for the match/varmint ones and they use a better grade of steel.

RRA almost always has a better stock trigger and their two stage is very very good.

Ehh it's a tossup. I like Bushmaster, I think they have slightly better fit and finish and they can be found for only marginally more than a comparable RRA and the price difference is worth the chrome lining and better steel.

I would like to build a Bushy lower with a RRA CAR UTE upper though :D

Really follow the A, B, C, R's and you will be just fine and very happy. Armalite, Bushmaster, Colt or Rock River.

BHPshooter
September 16, 2004, 12:31 AM
Wow.

Thanks for the replies. I had no idea prices could be that good on an AR. I don't think I can show my friend that... he'll know that he got gouged. :uhoh:

I've been reading the Bushmaster website, where they say that they use only forgings for their lower and upper receivers... does RRA do that too? They also say they use a "hard anodized" finish, which sounds pretty good to a guy with corrosive sweat... will RRA's finish compare with this?

Wes

Steve Smith
September 16, 2004, 02:33 AM
While none of my rifles are thoroughly RRA anymore, I still have many RRA parts on them and they are of excellent quality. The two stage triggers are for sure some of the best on the market. You shouldn't have any problems with their stuff. All the competitors I know (including me) have changed somethings, but that is just details.

lycanthrope
September 16, 2004, 07:47 AM
I've been reading the Bushmaster website, where they say that they use only forgings for their lower and upper receivers... does RRA do that too? They also say they use a "hard anodized" finish, which sounds pretty good to a guy with corrosive sweat... will RRA's finish compare with this?

The RRA lowers are forged and have as good of a finish as any Bushmaster. I prefer the RRA for builds and Eagle firearms has complete lowers for $200. You can get a Stag lower for around $190ish and save a few more dollars too (identical to the RRA lower).

Model 1 has great prices for uppers.

cslinger
September 16, 2004, 09:54 AM
Buy the one you get the best deal on. I am a Bushmaster fan because I have had great luck with them and like them as a company. That being said ROCK RIVER ARMS MAKES A SPECTACULAR AR better in some ways then the Bushmaster slightly worse in other ways. It's a wash in terms of real world terms of use.

It really comes down to who has the right configuration for the right price. You should be able to get either for around $800-$850 tax,tags, title, shipping and transfer.

Heck DPMS makes a solid product as well for slightly cheaper.

For me what it comes down to is reliability and durability. You will get both in spades from either thr RRA or a Bushmaster and they will both be cheaper than comparable Armalites and Colts.

From what I have experienced both RRA and Bushmaster have pretty solid quality control as well so chances of a lemon should be reasonably low for either.

Chris "I Like The Snake" Cslinger

BHPshooter
September 16, 2004, 11:19 AM
Thanks so much for all of the replies. I think I'll follow my wallet on this purchase.

I'll let you all know what I end up with!!!

Wes

incursion
September 16, 2004, 11:09 PM
Jon, I'm interested in a RRA lower, but you haven't responded to my PM.

lycanthrope
September 16, 2004, 11:44 PM
COMPLETE RRA lowers at Eagle Firearms for $202!!!!

Can anyone beat that?

g56
September 17, 2004, 12:04 AM
Rock River Arms is top shelf, I built my AR using a RRA stripped lower and a kit from M&A Parts. If you want to buy a complete RRA lower and then a complete RRA upper that would also be a good way to go, you will generally pay more for a complete rifle, Federal Taxes apply on complete rifles, don't apply on components.

Jon Coppenbarger
September 17, 2004, 10:32 AM
Everyone will get responses by this after noon.
Thanks Jon

Jon Coppenbarger
September 17, 2004, 10:46 AM
incursion:
I have pm 'd you a price quote. I hope this is what you want. Any of the personal emails to me will get answered early this evening, been quite busy this week.
Thanks again Jon

tommytrauma
September 17, 2004, 04:16 PM
Yes, what I was planning on was just buying an upper, a lower, and mating them.

If I go with Rock River, I can do it for $775 (plus whatever the transfer of the lower costs).
The 16" A3 upper with the removable handle is $525,
The Lower with the A2 Trapdoor buttstock is $250.

Or you could head over to rbprecision.com and buy the complete rifle for $650 plus fifteen bucks shipping. All sorts of configurations available for less than you're talking about spending.


http://rbprecision.com/2bce6320.png

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