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Rock River Arms AR-15 Rifle Review


By Dan S. Defense

Rock River Arms makes good quality rifles and handguns. From affordable to custom built, Rock River Arms offer a wide selection for every sportsman. In this review we'll look at a Rock River Arms semi-automatic AR-15 rifle. We'll look at how it works, what features it offers and how well it shoots. At the end of the article, you ought to know if a Rock River Arms AR-15 rifle is right for you.

Rock River Arms isn't unique in the AR-15 market. Many vendors build AR-15 rifles. Some mass produce it and some custom build their AR-15 rifles to order, but most AR-15 rifles operate in a similar manner. While a Rock River Arms, or any other AR-15 for that matter, externally look like a military M-16 rifle, they are internally different and reside in different firearm categories.

The AR-15, which is a civilian version of the M-16 is a semi-automatic rifle. It is not capable of shooting in a fully automatic manner, like the M-16 and as such, it can shoot no faster than any semi-automatic handgun, such as a Glock, Berretta or even a single action model 1911.

So what's the difference between semi-automatic and fully automatic? Semi-automatic rifles and handgun fire one round every time you press the trigger. Fully automatic can fire the entire magazine with a single pull. In addition, fully automatic or select fire firearms are highly regulated and are illegal to "just own". To refer to an AR-15 as a military assault rifle is to either mislead the reader into fear or simply to display ignorance.

The Rock River Arms AR-15 is well built. There are several flavors to shoot from, each version built to achieve a specific goal, by using slightly different components such as barrel lengths and hand guards. Under the cover, all civilian Rock River Arms rifles are semi-automatic and none are "assault rifles". The version I opted for, and the one shown in the picture, is the shorter version AR-15 rifle in 5.56mm (.223 Rem). It has a 16" barrel, simple plastic hand guards and an A2 from sight.

The latter simply means that the front sight is part of the rifle frame and isn't one that is removable. The AR-15 has two modes for fire selection, one being safe and the other single shot. The fire selector on this model is ambidextrous, which means it can be used by right or left handed shooters. The original trigger was a single stage, heavy pull trigger which I didn't much care for and it was replaced with a smooth, two stage trigger from Geissele.

This Rock River Arms AR-15 is a bit different. Those of you with a sharp eye and familiarity with AR-15 rifles will notice that it is a left handed rifle. These aren't easy to find and work much better for left paws, such as my good self. It simply means that empty cases are ejected away from my face, and given their hot nature, that's a great thing. All in all, the Rock River Arms AR-15 is well made and has all the basic features out of the box.

Shooting this AR-15 rifle is fun. It's very accurate and recoil for this cartridge is negligible. While its external appearance can see fierce, and given false media reports even scary, it is important to remember that it's just a tool. Owning an AR-15 or shooting one, will not turn you into a homicidal maniac. As strange as it may seem, your own actions will determine what this tool will do, and no the other way around.

Back to shooting this AR-15, new shooters are always amazed at how easy it is to hit paper targets at 50ft away. If you add some optics, this task becomes even easier and novice shooters will particularly appreciate the low recoil and ergonomic configuration. Expert shooters will find that will good quality ammunition, such as Hornady, you can produce sub MOA groups with little effort.

In summary, the Rock River Arms AR-15 is an affordable semi-automatic rifle. It's made of high quality parts and shoots well. It is a powerful tool that requires careful handling and your full attention. This is not a toy and you must treat this weapon with respect.

With proper guidance and training, novice as well as experience shooters will find this sporting rifle fun to shoot. Be sure to obey all safety rules as well as local laws and you'll enjoy this fine rifle from Rock River Arms. If you are in the market for a good, affordable AR-15 in 5.56mm (223 Rem), we suggest you give Rock River Arms a hard look, to see if this or one of the many other models is right for you.

Until next time, stay safe by staying alert!

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