RRA National Match

Discussion in 'AR15/10 Rifles' started by TxBroke, Mar 26, 2011.

  1. TxBroke

    TxBroke Member

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    I am looking at a Rock River National Match with 20" bull barrel, does anyone here have one or know how well they hold up? Is the NM trigger any good?
     
  2. DZelenka

    DZelenka Well-Known Member

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    I have 16 of them.

    My first question is how much do you want to spend?

    The RRA NM AR is a decent rifle; however, for just a bit more money you can get a much superior rifle. I recommend to all of my new shooters that they purchase a White Oak Armament service rifle upper with pinned sights. This can be mated to any lower. I generally recommend the RRA NM lower because it comes with a usable trigger. Next, I suggest that they send their trigger to White Oak to have it tuned. That makes it a much better trigger. Total cost: $750 for the upper, less than $300 for the lower, and $35 for the trigger tune. All in about $1100. This is a set-up that can carry you to national champion if you have the talent.

    Getting back to the RRA NM AR. If you have a friend with an FFL, it should cost you about $850 - $900. Retail will be a bit more. Based upon my experience, you have a 1 in 3 chance that the rear sight will take more than a full turn of windage to sight it in. Also, the trigger will likely become unacceptable before your first 1000 or so rounds. That is why I recommend you send yours to White Oak no matter which route you take.

    The RRA NM is a good factory rifle. That is why I have 16 for the Louisiana State Association and Junior Team. They shoot pretty well (sub MOA for sure), but they don't have the refinements of the WOA like the adjustable front sight and pinned rear sight. I also find that the WOA barrels, although they are the same brand as the RRA, are finished better on the interior (clean easier) and are chambered with more care.

    If you have any questions, let me know.

    Dan
     

  3. woodnut

    woodnut Well-Known Member

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    Not taking anything away from WOA; but I believe you will find the RR NM trigger is an excellent trigger as is. If you want a lighter second stage; here's what I did and it works fine. Don't attempt to polish or ,horrors, stone the trigger surfaces! All I did was simply and easily replaced the spring in the disconnect with one .005 thinner. Same coils though. Not a good idea for cold or non-sensitive fingers either ! But for bench or just target shooting; it is very ,very light and won't double on you. At least it hasn't ever done it to me. When you go after sear surfaces or hammer springs; things will go bad in short order. As long as the disconnect has the pressure to do it's thing, all is well. Which says; after a while, just like most triggers in ARs, you'll find the spring weakening and will need replacing.
    As for RR rifles, I've not heard any complaints. Most AR makers today have good barrels. I bought a DPMS that I thought I'd have trouble with as it came very dirty from them. They explained they shoot it at least ten times and then only run a bore snake through it. It took a long time to get the copper out; but it is one sweet shootin AR 10 in 260 Rem !
     
  4. DZelenka

    DZelenka Well-Known Member

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    Woodnut,

    Your recommendation concerning the trigger would be a problem if the OP intends to use the rifle for what it was designed - service rifle shooting. For that, the minimum pull weight is 4.5 lbs.

    Also, if you have never heard any complaints about the RRA, your sample size is too small. They are good factory rifles but they have their issues (or at last a decent percentage of them (1/3))
     
  5. TxBroke

    TxBroke Member

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    Thanks for the replies, the money is not a problem. I do not intend to shoot competition with the AR, I will do some bench shooting but not in a competitive match. I want the AR for hunting, plinking and a "go to" if the need arises. I am not a top notch shooter but want an AR that will perform well, has quality components and is capable of accuracy I can attempt to utilize.
     
  6. woodnut

    woodnut Well-Known Member

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    DZelenka, you are correct in that IF the OP was to shoot service rifle comps; you can't do what I suggested and be eligible . However, he did not state that purpose and later has said it is for target, plinking, hunting and "go to" if needed.
    You are also right in that my sample size is possibly small; consisting of forum chatter and friends. I will, however, say that some of those complainers may have bought a gun for one purpose and it was the wrong choice; and they complained. Or they expected way more than they should; and complained. I still stand by my observations in that MOST AR builders have fine ARs with very good barrels. I don't think you should expect a pencil size barrel to do the job of a heavy weight; nor visa versa; which happens and they then complain. If, however, something doesn't actually work properly; ie. trigger malfunctions, feeding is flawed, fit is too sloppy, etc., then a complaint is legit in MHO. Have not read about such on any forums and know of none firsthand; but that's again, my small sample size. You said RR has a 1 out of three getting complaints? Where , and I'm not saying it's not true, did you get your statistics? I honestly don't know much about RR; but only have "heard" good things. I own a DPMS AR 10 and several RR lowers and none have given me any problems nor any of my friends who have them. But again, must be my small sample size; and I mean that as an honest fact not quibbling with you.
    So, TxBroke, you still need to look about. Use your forums, friends, dealers to guide you. One will fit very well; others will also do the job you want. I'm kinda in the same quandary, I think I want a 223 for fast handing for yote and fox shooting but haven't figured what barrel length and weight I will be happiest with. I'm leaning towards 20" as min. and a mid weight with 9 twist. That way I figure accuracy and handling will be well acceptable without sacrificing too much speed. Good luck (to both of us).
     
  7. TxBroke

    TxBroke Member

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    Appreciate your input, I did not state the 1 of 3, DZelenka made that observation. I have never had an AR made for civilians, my experience with the military model was less than steller and I have been hesitant to purchase one. My knowledge of the AR would not fill a thimble and what I do not know would take up a couple of large football stadiums. I am grateful for any and all info and guidance I can get.
     
  8. DZelenka

    DZelenka Well-Known Member

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    Woodnut,

    I'll try to hit the high points.

    1) The OP didn't make it known that he didn't intend to shoot service rifle competitions until after my post about the trigger weight. These are purpose built guns and there are much better choices if you are not going to compete. (more on that later).

    2) You need to understand that I believe RRA builds good rifles. That is why I purchased 16 of them over the years for the state association and junior team. If I didn't think they were good, I would have bought another brand.

    3) The triggers are good. I think they are the best factory trigger that is readily available. This is why RRA was chosen for the state association and junior program guns. It is also the trigger I recommend for someone on a budget. However, there is a reasonable chance that they will not last without tuning by someone who knows what he is doing. I say this because not less than 6 of the 16 rifles referenced above developed trigger issues. I have also seen many more on the firing line develop issues. I don't know why you haven't heard "complaints", perhaps it is because most people don't know what they are supposed to feel like. You cannot imagine the number of highpower shooters whose rifles I have been requested to shoot that were having trigger issues without their knowledge. They didn't realize they were having problems until they were given a rifle with a good trigger to try.

    4) Complaints are relative things. I expect to have certain issues from factory rifles. Having to tune the trigger is one of them. This is not unique to the RRA. I am just stating a fact when I say the triggers have issues. It isn't a complaint. If you get one, send it to a pro and have it tuned and forget about it. Better yet, buy a lower without a trigger and install a Geisselle if you have a few extra bucks.

    5) Barrels - Both the RRA and the WOA use Wilson barrels. I am pretty sure the WOA is better lapped, but I do know that it is better chambered. It is the difference between a factory chambering job and that done by a custom smith.

    6) Sights. The RRA NM sights are usable. I have a few issues with them for competitive shooting. They are not true 1/4 x 1/4 MOA, you can move the rear sight by twisting it (it is under spring tension and hopefully it returns to zero), the rear hoods have non-standard threads and only come in .030" and .040" apertures, and the front sights are pinned and therefore not adjustable for windage. This is important when you are trying to center the scale on the back of the sight which is good to do when you are making adjustments for a rapidly changing wind. I ended up just painting a line on the sight when it was zeroed for wind, but it aggravates me that at least 1/3 are lined up this way.

    In contrast, the WOA sights are true 1/4 MOA (I have checked them with a dial indicator), they ride up and down on pins like a match rifle sight, they come with 3 apertures in .038, .042 and .046 plus you can use WOA or CLE screw in inserts for other sizes, The front sight is windage adjustable (it even has a hex screw under the front sight to lock it). These upgrades are worth any extra price you may pay.

    TxBroke,

    Now that I know what you are looking to do with your rifle, I am going to suggest that the RRA NM rifle is not the best vehicle for your application. As stated before, the NM rifle is built to meet specific rules. For instance, it has a free float tube that is hidden under the handguard. Most other free float tubes are the handguard. Between the heavy barrel and the steel free float tube, the NM rifle is front heavy. Highpower shooters counteract this by filling the butt stock with lead. Not what you want to do with a rifle you may need to carry.

    A better suggestion would be some sort of varmint upper. My personal preference would be a WOA. They have them in 18, 20, 24 and 26 inch barrel lengths. RRA and other manufacturers have similar uppers, but for the price, WOA is a step up in quality without much step up in price.

    Any lower with the RRA NM or Geisselle trigger would be fine. If it is the RRA, have the trigger tuned.

    If you are thinking about an AR, get one. You will really enjoy its accuracy and versatility.

    Dan
     
  9. TxBroke

    TxBroke Member

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    Thanks for the advice, I have not considered the extra weight, will check out your suggestions.
     
  10. woodnut

    woodnut Well-Known Member

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    TxBroke, I stand by what I said; check with your friends, dealers and forums for guidance. Surely there's several guys in a shooting club who own ARs who would gladly give you help through their experience. And I didn't say you said anything about RR's 1 of three; only addressing DZelenka.
    About your experience with the military M16. May I take this time to say a hardy "THANK YOU FOR YOUR SERVICE TO AMERICA !" It is most appreciated by this guy. And now, I will say the AR15s and 10s are only basically like those you used. There's a lot of configurations and calibers. Don't rush buying one. In all probability though, you'll wind up buying more than one ! Enjoy the search and let me know what you get; if it's not too long out. Take care, and thanks again for helping keep America strong and free !
    Charles
     
  11. TxBroke

    TxBroke Member

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    Will buy an AR in next 2 weeks, I am going to check the local gun shops for available AR 15's and the gun range for shooters of the AR 15, will not be dragging this out. I will probably buy a complete AR and later on add some options as I become accustomed to it. Will still be asking questions as I progress, as stated before, my knowledge of the AR is limited.
     
  12. Kevin Thomas

    Kevin Thomas Well-Known Member

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    Don't know if I can add too much that hasn't already been covered here, but Dan's correct in what he had to say about the ARs we use in competition. They're pretty specialized tools, and vary quite a bit from the standard AR. Kinda like stock cars, they may look similar in profile or external features, but there's an entirely different animal under the hood. If I may clarify something here, when he speaks of "problems" with the RRA NMs, he's talking more about minor tweaks that competitive shooters may want to have done on their rifles, not the trigger breaking down or anything like that. For someone just wanting a good AR, but not contemplating actual competition, the RRA should last a lifetime of field use.

    For competitive uses of Master or High Master class, they'll certainly want something a bit more refined, and that's where WOA (John Holliger) comes in. I'd expand that a bit to include Frank White at Compass Lake Engineering and Derrick Martin at Accuracy Speaks. These three are hands down the top builders for competitive HP shooters, and all build first-rate rifles. The "basic Service Rifle" package from all three run basically what John offers as a standard, and will get any new shooter up and running in fine style. With very few additions (Gieselle trigger, one of the better rear sights perhaps), all will serve the High Master well, and are perfectly capable of taking you to a Distinguished Rifleman's badge, a President's Hundred tab or even the National Championship title.
     
  13. TxBroke

    TxBroke Member

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    As previously stated, I am not a first class shot or anywhere near being one. I do appreciate the advice I have received, I do need to sharpen my shooting skills. Going to the range more often would probably help. If I decide to improve the accuracy of the AR I buy I will definitely be asking more questions.
     
  14. rdsii64

    rdsii64 Well-Known Member

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    The national match RRA is a bad fit for him for the above stated reasons. the RRA predator pursuit rifle doesn't have to conform to match rules and doesn't a hidden float tube under the hand guards. The hand guard is the float tube.
    I can't comment on RRA arms triggers since I have a C3 defense lower. My RRA predator pursuit upper isn't heavy at all. With its 1 in 8 twist I can shoot everything from 50 grain varmint bullets to 77 grain match bullets.