Rock River Arms R3 Competition Rifle

    The Rock River Arms R3

    The Rock River Arms R3

    The Rock River Arms R3

    Rock River Arms has a new 3-gun competition rifle in their line-up.  Despite being designed for a specific niche in the AR-15 community, the LAR-15 R3 Competition Rifle has a lot of features that any shooter can appreciate.

    Jim, one of RRA’s law enforcement representatives, walked me through the finer points of this new offering. One of the first things that catches the eye is the 18” fluted stainless steel barrel.  The barrel is tapered down about mid-length.

    I’m a big fan of fluted barrels, and not just for looks either.  In addition to providing more surface to allow greater heat transfer (cooler barrel), the fluting actually has a balancing effect on the harmonics of the barrel.  Not to mention that you can have the benefits of a bull barrel, with less weight!  In short, fluting is going to help your rifle shoot better.

    The R3's fluted barrel and 2-stage compensator.

    The R3’s fluted barrel and 2-stage compensator.

    Jim had me compare the R3’s weight to its companion heavy Varmint series rifle.  The Varmint rifle had a standard bull barrel, and the weight difference was very noticeable.  Yet, Jim put forward that the R3 was going to perform at the same match grade level as the Varmint rifle.  The R3 also comes standard with the very nice RRA 2-stage match trigger, encased in the RRA Winter Trigger Guard for easier access.

    Part of the reason for better accuracy is the muzzle compensator.  Rock River has put a 2-chamber compensator on the R3 to help keep the bullet in its natural path.  The first chamber has vent ports to strip the gases away from the muzzle at the top and sides to reduce recoil.  The second chamber is the real gem.  Located on the muzzle face of the compensator this chamber takes the backwash of expelled gas off of the bullet as it leaves the barrel.

    The R3's compensator has vent ports on the top, side, and front.

    The R3’s compensator has vent ports on the top, side, and front.

    Jim explained that as the bullet leaves the barrel under extreme pressures there is a lot of spiraling gas effects once the constraints of the barrel are not longer in play.  The second chamber allows for those gases to expel outward instead of having the spiraling effect.  I’m no engineer but it seemed to make sense to me, and its not the first compensator I’ve seen on the market offering the vent ports on the muzzle face of the compensator.

    Here are some of the other great features:

    • Length with A2 stock – 38”
    • Length with Operator CAR stock – 35.8” to 39.3”
    • Weight – 7.6 pounds
    • RRA rifle-length rail (has smaller exterior and interior dimensions to make it lighter)
    • Full Picatinny rail on top
    • Chambered in .223 Wylde (allows both 5.56mm and .223 caliber)
    • Forged A4 upper
    • 1:8 twist
    • Muzzle – RRA Tuned & Ported Brake with 1/2-28 thread
    • Low profile gas block – mid length
    • Star safety selector
    • Accuracy is rated at 3/4 MOA at 100 yards
    • RRA TRO-XL free-floated top-rail octagonal handguard
    • Hogue rubber pistol grip
    • Comes with one magazine.
    • MSRP – $1310

    Now for the news everyone is asking about.  Jim said that there is NO estimated time of delivery.  In fact the RRA booth was a lot leaner than last year, and Jim explained that they only brought 32 rifle offerings.  That was because they only sent a skeleton crew to the Show, as everyone else was still back at the factory working on the extremely high production demands.

    The R3 offers a rifle-length hand guard with mid-length gas block.

    The R3 offers a rifle-length hand guard with mid-length gas block.

    The multiple ports of the 1st stage.

    The multiple ports of the 1st stage.

    A stock offering for the R3

    A stock offering for the R3

     

    The R3's hand guard.  If you look close you can see the tapered barrel.

    The R3’s hand guard. If you look close you can see the tapered barrel.

     

     

     

    Aaron is a life-long firearm enthusiast and hunter. He has been a police officer for nearly 19 years, and currently is a Sergeant in Special Operations. He has served on the department’s SWAT Team for 14 years, with 8 years as the Sniper Team Leader. When not fussing over fractions of inches, and gut-less wonders, he can usually be found sipping from a ridiculously large coffee mug. Aaron is also the editor and main writer at BlueSheepDog.com.


    Advertisement