AR advice requested


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Bruuin
May 14, 2006, 01:26 AM
I am currently seriously considering buying an AR-15. I'm looking for a very general purpose rifle. I'd like to be at least competative in service rifle/high-power matches but, since I doubt I'd have enough time and money to become very serious about it, I am leaning away from a dedicated rifle (and, thus, White Oak and so forth).

Currently, I'm considering the RRA NM A4. All the information I've encountered indicates that this is a good, entry-level AR suitable for service rifle matches. I do like the A4 configuration very much because I value versitility. However, this rifle weighs ten pounds and is somewhat expensive.

Alternatively, I'm looking at a standard RRA A4 and a NM carry handle. Since both are equipped with RRA's 2-stage trigger and I could add a free-float tube at will, this option seems to be viable. It also weighs much less.

My biggest concern about the standard A4 is the barrel. I know that a dedicated match rifle should have a twist faster than 1:9. However, such is not easily avaliable on the standard and would increase weight greatly. RRA indicates that the standard barrel is capable of 1 MOA accuracy and, for my purposes, this is adequate (assuming that this is true, of couse). I could see the slow twist (and lower barrel quality?) keeping me from taking home trophies at Camp Perry but would it really hinder a casual shooter greatly?

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Detritus
May 14, 2006, 03:53 AM
Ok first MY thoughts on how to do it, if you want to reduce some of your cost and have ANY level of "tool competency" (ie you have more mechanical skill than a monkey on crack) assemble to lower yourself from a stripped receiver and a parts kit w/ RRA 2-stage trigger. then buy the upper in the config you preferr.

btw going this route the price diff between a RRA complete NM A4 and one from White Oak Armament (not to be confused with it's custom only parent company white oak Precision) is fairly small. any bonus to the rifle's accuracy is a plus regardless of whether you're using it in competition or not. in other words it's only a "dedicated upper" if YOU make it one, an A4 from WOA can be a CMP rifle with the carry handle in place, or take it off replace with a scope and you have a "varmint rifle" in fact prior to jan1 2006 that's what white oak sold their not "Match rifle" flattops as.

but that's just my thoughts.

what you NEED in the way of twist rate etc depends on how you plan to use the rifle, and in the case of competition at what actual ranges you'll be shooting. if you're shooting at full 600yards for prone then you might want to get a twist faster than 1in9. if you;re shooting on a reduced course that uses a smaller target to simulate 600 on a 200 or 300 yard range then you don't need to worry about it too much

and a 1in9 twist rifle can with the right load keep em stable and under an MOA at 600.

iamkris
May 14, 2006, 10:57 AM
Why would you consider a White Oak Armament upper (as stated above, different than a custom match rifle from WO Precision) any different than a RRA NM?

I just bought a DCM upper from White Oak Armament. Got the pinned rear sight and .052 front post. It has a 1:7 WOA SS barrel, free float handguards, NM rear sight with 3 interchangeable aperature hoods. Wylde chamber and no flash hider. I mated it to a RRA A2 lower with their 2-stage NM trigger. Total cost was $1050. http://www.whiteoakarmament.com/ A quick price check on a RRA NM from ADCO says it runs around $1000 http://www.adcofirearms.com/rockriver/rraffl.cfm?page=rra

Per your comment on expensive and heavy...yup, that's what a good match rifle will be.

It is a beautiful machine. The WOA upper is perfectly built, very tight in the lower. The front sight tower is windage adjustable to zero the sights. I generally like the RRA NM trigger for its precision for cost, but this one is especially nice. Consistent takeup, glass rod break at about 4-5 lbs (it feels like) and no overtravel. The first time I had it out I tried some new target loads (my first I've ever loaded for the 5.56) with CCI SR primers, WIN cases, 77 gr SMK bullets and Varget powder. Off a 100 yard benchrest, the crappy loads shot 1". The best load consistently printed under 1/2".

First time out with loads I never tried before. I'm happy.

Nothing wrong with the RRA. Most competitors I've talked to would steer you to a WOA however for the same money. You don't lose any of the utility factor either. It's not a svelte M4-gery to do room clearing exercises but it will be very difficult to find that and a rifle to be "least competitive in service rifle/high-power matches" all in one.

Bruuin
May 14, 2006, 11:31 AM
I agree that the WO uppers are very nice. However, they do not appear to come in an A4 configuration that would be legal for service rifle matches. Their other uppers would make very good dedicated varmint/match rifles but their weight and design limits their application in other conditions.

To clarify, I don't really need a "good match rifle." I'd like to get a general purpose AR that can, at least, be competative in high power.

lycanthrope
May 14, 2006, 05:45 PM
The flat top rifles with detacheable carry handles often do not have enough edjustment to shoot CMP matches at 600 yards and would hurt you at Perry.

If you really want it, I would inquire with WOA if they would build you one. The price difference between a WOA upper mated to a RRA or Stag lower (same thing) above a shelf RRA/Bushmaster/Colt/DPMS rifle is VERY small......but you get a whole lot more.

Detritus
May 14, 2006, 06:42 PM
I agree that the WO uppers are very nice. However, they do not appear to come in an A4 configuration that would be legal for service rifle matches. Their other uppers would make very good dedicated varmint/match rifles but their weight and design limits their application in other conditions.

To clarify, I don't really need a "good match rifle." I'd like to get a general purpose AR that can, at least, be competative in high power.


like Lycanthrope says call WOA, they simply may not have added the NM A4 to their website yet, they DO have all the parts to make one sitting in their bins after all.

quick to the point question, define "competative in High power" from YOUR point of veiw...
everyone defines their aspects of utility differently, you wanna take this rifle to perry, you're on the wrong track. but if "competitive" to you means "i won't be embarrassed to shoot it in an occasional local match" find a regular flattop with a 1in9 or 1in8 barrel and add a NM rearsight equipped carry handle, and freefloat tube when you can. or shoot for the middle ground

Bruuin
May 15, 2006, 12:06 AM
If I get the standard A4 and NM sight/free-float handguard and, for whatever reason, discover that I can and desire to follow through and make the rifle a true match rifle, what would be required?

From what I've read on WO's website, they advocate replacing the barrel with a better one eventually but, beyond that, little else. I know their uppers have NM sights (which I will otherwise have), FF handguards (again, I'll have these). I will, in any case, have a two-stage trigger. What else does one get with the WO uppers?

I think the standard A4 with match sights/FF tube/2-stage trigger is rougly this minus a really good barrel. Will a standard 1:9 Wilson barrel hurt my potential that much?

lycanthrope
May 15, 2006, 02:27 AM
At 600 yards, yes. You can't stabilize the really heavy bullets with a 1:9.

Apart from that, check the prices for a good barrel. A WOA gun is likely to print .5 MOA groups with handloads (mine did). You can also get the rear sight pinned for about $50 and 1/4 MOA clicks if you desire. The fitting is exceptional and smooth as silk.

iamkris
May 15, 2006, 11:32 AM
Echo the above comments. You get more than just some match parts slapped together. Fitting is exceptional and there are special touches (pinned rear sight, windage adjustable front post) that you won't get otherwise.

Still can't see the economics of your arguements. Start with a $750 A4 and add a carry handle at $100, NM sights at $85 and a NM trigger at $85. You are up to $1070 already and don't have a match barrel (at $200). Then you don't necessarily have some of the niceties that a built-for upper brings.

You could just start with the $850 A4 + carry handle but you'll likely be jonesing for more after your first local match.

Bruuin
May 15, 2006, 08:01 PM
Start with a $750 A4 and add a carry handle at $100, NM sights at $85 and a NM trigger at $85.


Well, the standard comes with a two-stage trigger and the NM carry handle is about 150$ (not a big difference, I know) and the rifle, since it is an A4 instead of an A2 is only about 700. This totals, without a free-float tube, to 850. This give me a 150$ difference between the RRA upper and about a 250$ difference between the WO upper + RRA lower. Additionally, I get reduced weight.

Obviously, if I knew that I could devote enough time and effort to this, I would not hesitate to buy the WO. However, I would absolutely hate to spend so much (not that 850 is chump change) and then be unable to put the rifle to good use. Furthermore, I know I am not good enough to put a WO to best use. Thus, I think I'm really after a pretty standard AR that wont be the cause of embarassment (I'm sure my natural "skill" will be sufficient for that task) should I decide to try my hand at competition.

Here, I figured that the ease with which one can upgrade an AR would shine. I would start out with a pretty mundane rifle and, if/when I need to upgrade, I'd do so. However, I also understand that it is easier (and cheaper) to buy the best you can get the first time around.

Right now, an AR would be used for light competition and light varminting (more like shooting cyotes in the bush than groundhogs at a million yards) and situations involving zombies. If a general purpose AR cannot really be applied to competition (indeed, such is seeming the case) and a match AR cannot be applied to general purpose (as weight and design of match rifles seem to indicate), then I shall reconsider what my next purchase shall be. The AR costs a fair sum in any case and that money could become any number of things (a Marlin 1895 or some other sort of hunting rifle among them).

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