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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'll preface this with a little bit of a back story:

About 12 years ago, I got a Colt Match Target A2 and instantly fell in love with it. The thing was so accurate that it would make even a novice shooter look like they knew what they were doing. As much as I loved the rifle, I fell upon some difficult financial times, shortly after buying my current home. So, I sold the Colt in desperation. I kicked myself for a long time after selling it, but I still had another AR that I had put together for prairie dog hunting, as well as a Bushmaster M4, also of the A2 flavor. But, there was something about the feel of the 20" A2 rifle that I liked, but these others lacked. I never have been a fan of the "tacticool" style builds, not that they don't have their advantages, but I'm more of a traditionalist, so I knew that I would have to get another "service rifle" type AR, at some point.

Well, about a month ago, the bug bit me hard again (thanks to Milprileb!) and I started digging around for what I would want to get, if I were to,...um....hypothetically....buy another AR. I decided that I would just price some 20" A2 uppers, since I could....should I decide by some fluke, to BUY one....slap it on the DPMS lower from my prairie dog rig. I spotted the complete RRA National Match uppers being offered by an outfit in Hew Hampshire, so I decided to "Call for price" as they showed on their site. When they told me the price, I was impressed enough to order one on the spot (so much for self control!). Although I ordered it through this vendor, they told me that it would ship directly from Rock River and that it could take up to a month to get it. Well, It only took me two weeks to decide that I was never going to be happy with the DPMS lower, so I started searching for a RRA lower to match. I found a brand new, stripped lower with the lower parts kit and NM two stage trigger kit on Gunbroker for a price that was too good to pass up, so I jumped on it. All that was left was to order the buttstock kit, which I also got from RRA, and I would have a complete NM rifle. The upper was here three weeks after I had ordered it and I actually saved a couple/few hundred bucks doing it this way, as opposed to buying the complete rifle, as well. The lower was easy to assemble (I've changed triggers out before, but never built one completely from parts) and I quickly realized the reason why people get so addicted to building these things. It's just too easy!

By the time everything arrived, I had already picked up some Hornady 75 grain BTHP bullets and worked up some test loads with a few different powders. I've since ordered more of those bullets, as well as some Sierra 77 grain Match Kings and a Turner sling. Those should be here next week. However, the initial tests have been very promising. The best group to date was with Benchmark powder and I've already been shooting clay pigeons with it, out to 355 yards. The fit and finish of the RRA parts are much better than a lot of others I've seen/used and I would certainly recommend that anyone who is considering an AR for service rifle match shooting give the RRA NM a hard look. I know there are others out there with a great reputation, but they can also have a hefty price tag and the wait times can range from several months, to years. I put this all together in just under a month.

John


 

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My buddy is a high end Match and long range shooter.
He used to go to Camp Perry with his M1A's and a State M14. He's a President's 100 shooter.

A few years ago, he decided that since the top shooters were all going to the AR-15 he started doing research to find out the best AR CMP rifle for him.
He's a engineer and does deep thinking and research before deciding things.

He settled on Rock River because at the time they were the only company offering an accuracy guarantee, which was one MOA.
He's had some extra Match conditioning done, including "pinning" the rear sight and installing a higher quality trigger unit.
Due to all the advantages the AR offers, his scores have gone up significantly.
He shoots his Match conditioned 52 grain Sierra Match King bullets at 100 yards and the 62 grain Match King at the longer ranges.

He liked the RRA so much, he bought a flat top with a heavy stainless barrel for other types of matches.
With the flat top and a 12X Leupold scope and the 52 grain bullets, he's getting about 1/2 inch groups at 100 yards.
 

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Joop sounds like you built a winner. I love RRA they make some of the finest rifle around for the money. I have two and will get another. Both of mine are extremely accurate rifles and build quality is top notch. I have been looking into the 7.62 AR's thinking of a build. To be honest I don't feel I can build the 30. AR for what I can buy a LAR8 from RRA. My A4 tact elite can put my springfield M1A to shame and cost $800 less. Which really chaps me something bad, I am a M14/M1A type of guy. Oh and that is one nice looking rifle you built.
 

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Rock River makes and builds beautiful guns and parts. I have a few friends that shoot three gun matches and they all have Rock River.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks, guys!

Hollbrook,

I'm definitely an "M1A guy", as well. I think my Loaded M1A would be the one rifle I would keep, if I could only keep one. They just feel perfect to me. That's not to say that the AR platform doesn't have some clear advantages. No doubt that it does. But, I love them all for what they are, which is just different.

I'll try to update with some range reports when I get out further and get things dialed in.

Thanks again,

John
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Hard to beat a RR. What makes it a NM? Barrel, sights.....?
The barrel is much heavier under the handguard and has a float tube, also. The front sight post is slightly thinner and the rear aperture is hooded and smaller. You can order this with 1/4 or 1/2 MOA adjustments for both windage and elevation, as well as .030" or .040" apertures. I went with the 1/2 MOA and .040". I like the aperture just the way it is, but may upgrade to 1/4 MOA adjustments down the road, if I feel 1/2 is too coarse at longer ranges. It also has the NM two stage trigger.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Does your CLE have the pinned rear sight, Lyman? That's the only real shortcoming I can see with the RRA, out of the box. Probably not a huge factor, but I can see how it would make a difference at longer ranges.
 

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I don't recall, haven't had it out since about 2006 or 7... other than to wipe it down if needed every year or so,

sad,, I know,
 

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Creedmore and CLE used to offer pinning rear sights, Joop...food for thought.
However... based on your results this week, I don't think a pinned rear sight means squat
for improving upon the kind of accuracy at 600 yds you are getting.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
We'll see how it goes. The furthest I've had it out now, is 472 yards. That was yesterday. Managed a 6.75" group with a 15+mph crosswind. I've also come to the conclusion that the batch of brass I bought, which was intended to be specifically for this rifle, may not have been the best choice. But, I need to verify and work on that, as well. Just started working with the Sierra 77 grain Match King today, as well. So far, no improvement over the Hornady 75gr. match bullet. But, still need to sort out my brass woes and test at distance. But, so far, the rear sight has not been an issue. The only misgiving I have, is that I chose the 1/2 MOA sight, instead of the 1/4 MOA. After yesterday's test at nearly 500 yards, the advantage of the 1/4 MOA sight became all too clear. It's a lot more clicking, but more precise, too. The way the RRA sight is set up, I could take it apart and flip the wheel over to get 1/4 MOA elevation. But, the windage would still be 1/2 MOA.

I'll post more when I get set on a load and really get her dialed in.

John

ETA: Here's the best group of the day with the 77 SMK over W748.

 

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Given a choice between 1/4 and 1/2 inch clicks of adjustment, I can't see why anyone would chose 1/2.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Given a choice between 1/4 and 1/2 inch clicks of adjustment, I can't see why anyone would chose 1/2.
I have to admit, when I ordered the upper, it was one of my weaker moments of impulse. I had called just to satisfy my curiosity and wasn't really intending on buying anything. I changed my mind in a split second and when offered the option on the sights, my mind went to how many 1/4 MOA clicks it would take to get to 600 yards. Stupid, I know. But that's what was going through my mind at the time. :rolleyes:
 

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Falm, About the only negative for the 1/4 min is counting all those clicks for windage and/or elevation. Roughly speaking, 9" up is 60 clicks with 1/4.
 

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i have the rock carbine a4 flat top....had the 6.8 upper and RR 223..wilson barrel told to me by the dealer...
sold the upper 6.8 not my desire to buy more ammo thats different than my already stock piles started 30 years ago.
so the receiver is marked 6.8. i hate that..
i still haven't shot it these two years...wife been sick.

i also have the org. bushmaster varminter 24 in barrel...
a tack drive at 200 yards..scoped 3.5 x 15 x 56 german scope....
50 grain federal varmint its sweet spot ....supporter......every one told me 55's
this summer ill rock and roll the carbine.
 

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That's the best trigger for that money. It'll get you a long way until you want to upgrade. Stick with the 77 grain SMK outstanding bullet. It put it up against 69 grain Lapua match ammo a few weeks ago in my FTR AR. 77 SMK's killed it.

edit: forgot to add, nice looking rifle, I'm an A2 kinda guy too.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
All week, I have been running tests with the Hornady 75gr BTHP vs. the Sierra 77gr Match King. The SMK is supposed to be "the" bullet for this gun. I just can't make it work, though. I've shot some decent groups with it, but it won't stay consistent and the Hornady bullet just seems to edge it out in every area (especially price). Today was the last comparison test I ran with these two bullets. I ended up settling on one load for the Hornday bullet and that's what I'm going to run with. I think a different batch of brass would improve things even further, but I'm not completely disappointed with the groups I've been getting, either.


This photo shows the nail in the coffin for the 77gr SMK. The holes circled in silver paint pen are the first group I shot, using the Hornady bullet. The unmarked holes are the Sierra. This is at 500 yards using an NRA 600 yard target. Wind was a variable 15-20mph from my 7 o'clock. I left the windage knob alone, as I wanted to see just how much of a difference there was between the two bullets and how far they would be blown off course. Hornady is the clear winner. I haven't been able to line up a 600 yard berm yet, as the excavating company has been in the gravel pit, where I normally shoot long range, all week and their equipment is in the way. So, this was as close as I could get.


John

 
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