Larue Tactical OBR 7.62MM Rifle .. Troubles..

Over the past few weeks, I have been helping a friend determine what the issues are with a rifle. The subject of this article is one of 8 Larue rifles purchased by a local Police SWAT Sniper team for their use. Upon receiving the 8 rifles, they experienced a lot of issues with those rifles. I was told the unit contacted the maker and explained the issues and was supposedly told something to the effect that they need to use another loading. That is, to use a 175-grain match load as opposed to the 168gr match loads they had been using. I did not make the call, nor was I even in the room to hear it. But a trusted source reports that was the guidance given to them by someone at Larue. Supposedly.

Since the switching to 175gr match ammo did not cure the issue, one of the rifles was handed off to my friend who asked me to join him in seeing if maybe it was the end user’s fault as opposed to the gun itself. Below is a reporting of what we saw for ourselves first hand over a two-week period of testing and evaluating one of the 8 rifles.

Below is a picture of the subject of our testing. The rifle was fired with and without the suppressor and with careful noting of the setting of the gas system.

After shooting the rifle, it quickly became apparent that the issues the guns were having were not user error.

About every 3rd round would get stuck in the chamber. The extractor would rip through the rim in its effort to extract and then pick up a fresh round to chamber causing a double feed.

Once the case was removed with the help of a rod, signs of pressure were obvious. Primers would be blown, or nearly blown out of the primer pocket. Even those that cycled and fired normally had signs of pressure. Brand, type and lot of ammo used made no difference.

The Larue caught in the act.

In the picture above, you can see the primer coming out of the case and the rim sheared off by the extractor.

More examples of cases that had to be cleared by a rod.

There was no predicting when it would happen except to know it would be about every 3rd or 4th round. Sometimes 7th or 9th. There was no apparent pattern or sense to it. Changing ammo brands, type or lot made no difference.

In addition to the stuck cases, the ejection pattern of the OBR was odd. Kicking cases out from 13 to 53-degrees with some going a yard away and other barely clearing the shooters firing arm when right-handed.

On the second week, we then noticed this while getting ready to put the suppressor on for another day of testing.

The staking had come loose. Obviously, this allowed the receiver extension to rotate. Not a good way to start the day.

During the 2nd week, the gun was carefully cleaned again and lubed with Slip2000EWL. Same problems. However, I did like how easy it was to clean the Larue BCG thanks to its coating,

Besides the feeding and extracting issues, the gun was every bit as accurate as I expected it to be. Using 168gr Federal Gold Medal or 175gr Gold Medal, the gun was sub-minute. The two groups below are from 100 yards. The shooting was conducted prone with bipod only while firing very rapidly. Well, as rapid as you can shoot when you must have your friend knock every 3rd or 4th case out of the chamber with a rod.

Otherwise, accuracy is exceptional. Just what I would want and expect from a Larue. I have seen many precision bolt guns that would not sustain the same level of accuracy. You can see why the Larue OBR became a favorite of sniper competitions and tactical precision rifle matches.

Thoughts on the suppressor. It was effective enough that I found it comfortable to stand behind the shooter without ear protection while in the wide open. Without the can, the Larue muzzle device was VERY blasty and loud. It is a muzzle brake after all, so that should be no shock. I found the brake to be very effective with recoil.

We did not have the ability to precisely diagnose the issues with the rifle except to know it is beyond simple user influence to fix. Add to that the 7 other guns are behaving the same way and the only conclusion is that they need to go back. I don’t want to hear any comments about “Why didn’t you call Larue?” etc. I do not work for the police agency who purchased these. I did not order them, nor do I even live in the same state as the PD who bought these sniper rifles. I was only there to take a look and to add my opinion on what could be wrong, so our betters could then determine what they wanted to do after that. The rifle’s working or not is not my problem. My tax dollars were not even used to buy them. I am writing about this only for the general interest of others and to show that even the best can turn out something with a problem every so often. So thoroughly test and check your weapon.

I hope to update on these rifles and their fate for those interested as the story continues.

If you read this and your panties are in a real twist because I dared report something I saw happen to a brand you think should have been mentioned in the Bible and you feel the need to insult me or start any ARFCOM general discussion level bullshit in the comments, I can save you the trouble right now and tell you any personal insults or attacks on my honesty or intentions will not be approved and will be deleted.

If you want to comment like an adult instead of a liberal on Election Night 2016, you are always welcome.

14 thoughts on “Larue Tactical OBR 7.62MM Rifle .. Troubles..”

  1. I’ll throw a guess out, the throat is out of spec or just too tight, factory match ammo ought not be right up against the rifling on a “Match” chamber but I bet those are.

    1. ammo type and bullet weight made no difference. There was no contact of the bullets and the lands or lead.I checked that. No doubt there is some kind of chamber issue in the 8 rifles

      1. Did you cast the chamber? Something is definitely too tight or there is a rough area. I am assuming you checked the headspace.
        Not much of a “Match Chamber” fan, had a fun time in the woods one time beating some decent quality factory reloads out of a buddy’s CQB, he was wigging out because the same ammo was running very well out of my $450 Springfield GI. Anothe shooting buddy had the match chamber reamed out of his early Sig 1911 because it wouldn’t even attempt to go into battery on his reloads.
        They might have picked up those guns with grant money so you might have helped pay for them after all. A ~$2,000 rifle from a name we all know ought to eat anything you pour into it.

        1. No I didn’t cast the chamber . They are not mine had I was only there as an observer on invitation to help my friend who was handed the guns to try to see if it was the guns or the users.. I had no authority for detailed correction. Chamber casting would have never been something that would have been approved. Really I posted this just to show people that even the best can turn out something bad every once in a while. My interest in what is wrong with them ended when I left the range that day. From that point on my opinion or help isn’t asked for. I’m just a lowly civilian. They need to just send them back to Larue

    1. Im not sure if you read the entire article or not. but yes.we looked at everything. 8 guns from the same company bought at the same time all had the same issues like I said in the article.
      I know its hard not to start trying to figure out what was wrong for curiosity or maybe even not willing to accept Larue made a gun that had problems, but we checked all the usual places that could cause a problem. The article wasn’t written to ask for help but to just show that even the best can make a lemon. That was the point. What the problems of the guns are do not matter at this point to me in context of the reason for the article.
      So I hope you guys don’t drive yourself crazy trying to figure out the problem

  2. Hello, I’m sure others have asked but did they ever determine the reason for the blown primers? Headspace issue? Very curious. Also thank you for the article itself. I appreciate the information.

    Mike

    1. Everything I know about the gun up to present day is in the article. It is now back in the hands of the police and it is doubtful I will touch it again any time soon. If they send them back or I get any new info I will edit it into the top of the article for you guys. That is about all I can promise on it. I know its a cliffhanger, but thems da breaks I guess.

  3. The primers have to be a head spacing issue. And that would groove with what Tim is saying.

    I find this fascinating.

    Good write up, Shawn. Slaughter them sacred cows.

    1. I personally believed it is a headspace issue myself . Since all 8 rifles are having the same problem I believe the barrels were all made chamber reamed etc around the same time and something in the tooling was off or worn or whatever. One gun with problems is one thing.but 8 is a real serious QC slip up. But hey it happens. that is why Colt has 3 separate quality control checks when making rifles for the DOD, the ones they do at first themselves , the one the government requires and the one they have a third party outside non-biases source do.

  4. Well,would like to know what the issue is if you ever find out and the solution,simplest return them as defective to a large degree and get refund/new rifles.I look though as things like this as also time to perhaps learn something new and a very simple fix(?)would be nice to know,hope they let you know the cause/verdict.

  5. We did a QDR on a shipment of M4s (1 bad out of like 400+) because the barrel but hadn’t been torqued down. Didn’t catch it until the kid UQd twice but had shot Expert the previous cycle. It was snug enough to pass our pressure inspection but shooting jarred it loose. Afterwards, no problems.

    The lesson here is always check your gear BEFORE you choose to rely on it. If it don’t work, the company should make it right. If they don’t or won’t, well, that’s the beauty of the free market. Someone els will be along to pick up e slack. But, if LaRue doesn’t make this right I’d be very, very surprised.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.