All posts by Howard

First impressions of the Ruger Precision Rifle

Shortly after the Ruger Precision Rifle (RPR) first came out, a close friend of mine asked me what I thought about it.  I’m pretty sure my response was something like, “Ruger is not generally associated with precision”

Later, much to my surprise, when I was talking to my VA doctor he pulled out targets he had shot with his RPR and he had some pretty impressive groups.  I started reading about the rifle and found most everything I was reading was saying that the RPR is pretty outstanding.  So when I saw one in 6.5 Creedmore for sale at Gulf Coast Armory I had to pick it up.

Ruger Precision Rifle

Sadly, I don’t have ammunition for it yet, so I haven’t gotten to see its true worth yet.  But that has given me some time to pull it apart and examine it.

Overall I am very impressed with the rifle.  I have the Gen 2 RPR that comes with a different handguard, muzzle brake, and aluminum bolt shroud.  Sadly the Gen 2 rifles are $200 more then the older ones, and I think I would have preferred to have the Gen 1.

It looks like Ruger’s initial plan was to make a 1000 yard gun at $1000 dollars.  The rifle is packed full of features that you don’t see elsewhere.  The ability to use AR15 handguards and grips , A folding adjustable stock that can be replaced with any AR15 stock, a good adjustable trigger, threaded hammer forged 5R barrel.  The barrel can be removed with an AR15 barrel wrench.  20 MOA rail, etc.

Lots of features.  Now to get all that in that price, the rifle does have plenty of machining marks and a few sharp edges.  I think the lack of perfect fit and finish is a negligible price to pay compared to what all else you are getting.  However if you are a perfectionist, this may not be for you.

Ruger Precision Rifle CAD

Stock:

The RPR comes with a carbine buffer tube installed with a fully adjustable stock.  Length of Pull, Cheek Riser height, can be adjusted along with the ability to cant the recoil pad.  It also include a couple of places to attach a QD swivel.  I really like this stock, but I find if you are trying to quickly make an adjustment it will bind up.  Very adjustable, but not quick to adjust.

Safety:

I really like that the RPR uses an AR15 safety with a reduced throw, about 45 degrees.  Sadly this safety seems like it was added almost as an afterthought.  While fully functional, it is kind of loose and actuating it feels sloppy.  Instead of using a detent and spring like on the AR15, Ruger just relies on friction and a wire spring to hold the safety in place.  When I had my rifle disassembled I found the Ruger safety looked like a rough investment casting coated with the cheapest black spray paint available.  I swapped it out for an extra Colt safety I had laying around and that greatly reduced the slop and play in the safety.  At some point I intend to get an Ambi safety for this rifle.

Handguard:

The Gen 1 rifles came with a keymod handguard with a full top rail.  This interfered with some scopes that have a large objective lens.  The newer RPR have a keymod handguard that omits that top rail.  Some claim that you can put ANY AR15 handguard on the RPR, but that simply isn’t the case.  Between the RPR receive and the hand guard nut, is the RPR’s barrel nut, which is about .2 inches long.  This prevent any AR15 rail that uses the AR15 upper for alignment from fitting correctly.  Some companies, like Midwest Industries and Seekins have made new handguards specifically for this Ruger rifle.

Muzzle Break:

Ruger Precision Rifle Muzzle Break

The muzzle break was added as part of the $200 upgrade on the Gen 2 rifles.  First was that mine was installed crooked.  This break is covered in burrs and looks like someones first machining project.  I’ve already pulled it off as I intend to mount a Surefire Silencer.  This is the only part of the rifle I really feel is unacceptable.

I am really excited about this rifle.  I am looking forward to seeing what I can do with it.21

Magpul PRO LR sights

Last week I bought a set of Magpul PRO LR flip up iron sights.  I got to try them out yesterday at the range and I am liking them.

Magpul PRO

The KAC 2-600m sight are still my favorite, but I think these Magpul PRO sights are well worth the cost.

Magpul PRO

Both the front and rear sight are very low profile.  A very small footprint for either sight.  Both sights have tool less adjustments.  When I first unboxed the sights, I was very impressed with the heavy duty feel of the sights.  The melonited case hardened steel should end up being a very tough, rust resistant sight.

Magpul PRO LR

I really appreciate how the mounting screw for these sights can be tightened by a screw driver or a 1/8 inch Allen wrench.  The PRO LR rear sight has an elevation adjustment wheel unlike the Magpul PRO.

Magpul PRO LR deployed

The elevation wheel is can be set from 2-6 with a single click in between each.  The rear sight offers small and large apertures.  The front sight post is a narrower match style.

I really like these sights, and I recommend them.  These little steel sights feel substantial.  I was worried at first that they would be too stiff and too small to deploy quickly, but since installing them I found that isn’t an issue.  The adjustment are stiff, which I prefer so there isn’t a concern of accidentally adjustment.

The only criticism I can come up with for these are that the back sides when flipped up don’t have the best aesthetics.

Magpul PRO Front Sight Deployed

I also wouldn’t mind seeing a 100 setting for the rear sight.

 

Check your zero on QD mounts.

MK12MOD1

Now I am no fan of ARMS mounts, so I’m pretty biased about that.  I have this MK12MOD1 upper where I use the period correct ARMS 12H rings.  I generally try not to remove QD scopes unless I have to, especially so with ARMS mounts.

On Saturday I found that after having removed the scope and reattached it previously, my zero had shifted 4 inches left at 100 yards.  I figured this was a fluke and seemed excessive even for ARMS, so I removed the scope, cleaned the upper and mounting point on the scope rings, and remounted it.  That moved the group 2 inches right and an inch down.

Quick detach mounts are awesome, but make sure if you use one, that it does return to zero.   I am going to stick with Larue mounts on any of my serious use ARs.

Broken E-mail

It turns out I broke our email service 3 days ago.  So if you sent an email to any of us at a @LooseRounds.com account since Monday the 2nd, we haven’t gotten it.

Our email should be back up in 24 hours.  If you don’t hear back from us then, please resend your email.

I wonder what else I broke and haven’t found out yet.

Thoughts on the IAR, Part 1

USMC M27 IAR
CAMP HANSEN — Lance Cpl. Zachary A. Whitman, a shooter with the III Marine Expeditionary Force detachment, familiarizes himself with the M27 Infantry Automatic Rifle in preparation for the Australian Army Skill at Arms Meeting 2012. AASAM is a multilateral, multinational event allowing Marines to exchange skills tactics, techniques and procedures with members of the Australian Army as well as other international militaries in friendly competition. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Sgt. Brandon L. Saunders/released)

Image taken from Wikipedia.

Thoughts on the IAR, Part 1

For a variety of reasons I’ve been thinking a good bit about the USMC’s M27 IAR and the concept of the automatic rifle.

Generally my first thought is annoyance that the USMC wouldn’t buy anything cool until after I got out.

While I was in, along with having the M249 SAW, we also heard and believed that the USMC needed rifles.  It was often said that we used rifles because of the greater accuracy, reliability, and lethality.  I found it funny when we got to Iraq and the SAW gunners were issued PARA barrels (13.7 inch long according to FN).  It made the SAW shorter than a M16.  Even funnier is how we were told we needed 20 inched barreled rifles for fighting, yet the 16.5 inch barrel on the IAR is apparently good enough.

The M249 was a good light machine gun, but a fair automatic rifle.  When you could stay in a stationary emplacement and lay down a wall of lead it was a whole lot of fun.  Carrying it around and trying to engage rapidly was not so great.  I think the biggest issue is that we generally did not have as much trigger time and confidence in the SAW.  Guys graduated Bootcamp thinking they knew how to use the M16.  Handing them a SAW was giving them a weapon there were not familiar or proficient with.  Not to mention that the SAW was usually given to the new boots who didn’t know how to employ it well.

So the question becomes, does the increased portability and identical handling and controls to the M4/M16 make it worth giving up the capability of massive volume of fire of the belt fed.

Novice shooters and shotguns

Not to long ago I was working at an event geared toward helping people who have little to no firearm knowledge or experience.

Looking back at, and most of the other similar events I have been at I noticed at how much new shooters tended to prefer the shotgun.

Before they ever fire the shotgun, often the various people running or helping at these events will explain how you don’t need to aim, that the sound of racking a shotgun will scare off any intruder, and how the massive power of the shotgun can blast a grown man across a room.  Then these novices proceed to fire a couple shots of birdshot at close ranges absolutely shredding these paper targets.  When they go to try a rifle or pistol, it is fired at far longer ranges with no feedback as to hits or misses.

Now don’t get me wrong, the shotgun is a devastating effective weapon with the right ammunition and it may be the right choice as a home weapon for many of these novices.  That said I think the combination of bad advice along with firing these very light loads at very close paper targets gives a false sense of effectiveness.  I also think that new shooter when firing any weapon should be given some sort of reactive target(be it steel swingers, clay pigeons, balloons, shoot and see targets, etc) so they can see that they are hitting the target.  That way they can also receive coaching if they are missing.  A new shooting firing at a paper target at 25+ yards often has no idea if they are hitting or not, and will receive no help to correct problems if they are missing.

I remember one church group I was the Range Officer for; the minister showed off to his congregation his pistol grip only shotgun and explain how it was perfect for home defense and you don’t even need to aim it.  He then proceeded to fire a shot from the hip that impacted about 10 feet above his target.

When there are people new to shooting, we need to prepare them for success, not failure.

ACOG EREK

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I managed to purchase for my self an ACOG EREK cantilever adapter.

Now to be honest, I’m not exactly sure what EREK stands for.  I’m guessing something like Eye Relief Extension Kit.

So why did I buy it?  Because I wanted one.  Some time back, I saw some pictures of the USMC trying a cantilever mount for the ACOG on the M16A4.  Since them I have wanted to give it a try.

When you read about people complaining about the ACOG, the first complaint is always price, the second tends to be about the short unforgiving eye relief.  Once you take that short eye relief of the ACOG and have to mount a BUIS behind it, combined with a fixed stock, it can be annoying.  Personally, not only have I gotten used to it, I am rather fond of the ACOG mounted forward as I shoot nose to the charging handle.

So at some point the USMC had some adapters made up that moved the ACOG back and over the Knights 2-600m rear sight.  This makes the ACOG easier to use with the A2 fixed stock.  Now I tried to find pictures of it in use again, but I was unable too.  My guess is that the USMC tested it and for what ever reason decided not to use them.

Why?  I don’t know.  Perhaps raising the ACOG up make it more unacceptable to damage or abuse changing the zero.  It might not have been worth the cost.  Or someone might have come to their senses and said use the M4 instead.  In any event, I have one to use now, and it is rather nice.  It lifts the ACOG up enough that the charging handle is easily accessible, and moves the ACOG far enough back that you don’t need to crane your head forward for nose to the charging handle.

 

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