Gun Review: Rise Armament RA-331 Long-Range Rifle

    If you are looking for a turn key, ready to shoot, accurized AR15 there aren’t many choices out there. Before I go into too much detail about the rifle I want to get the MSRP out of the way, $2530 without optics or $3013 with a Leupold Mark AR. It is on the premium end of the pricing scale, but you do get what you pay for. I would go so far as to say that this is THE nicest AR15 I have ever had the pleasure to lay hands on.

    Lets take a look at the key features list form their website.


    • Built for precision and accuracy
    • 20.2-inch 416 stainless steel barrel, 1:7 ratio
    • 13-inch slim-line billet aluminum handguard with Picatinny rail system
    • RISE Armament advanced-performance trigger (3.5-pound) for extra control
    • Milled 7075 aluminum billet receivers with mil-spec hardcoat
    • Premium hard chromed bolt carrier group
    • Stainless steel RISE Armament compensator, designed and built to help stay on target
    • Comes standard with a bipod mount
    • Magpul PRS adjustable stock
    • Weight: 10.9 lbs.
    • Overall Length: 40.465 inches
    • Barrel Length: 20.2 inches
    • Handguard Length: 13 inches
    • Shown with optional Leupold Mark AR optic, available for an additional $483


    Starting at the muzzle of the rifle, Rise has fitted their own 416  Stainless RA-701 Compensator. It did an outstanding job of keeping the recoil to a minimum for fast follow up shots. It is mated to Rise’s SB-202 Sniper Barrel also made from 416 Stainless. At 20.2″ long it features a 1/7 twist rate and a .223 Wylde chamber that allows you to use both .223 Remington and 5.56 NATO. IMG_2981

    Wrapped around the barrel is Rise’s 13″ free float slim-line billet aluminum handguard, I found it to be rather sturdy and well thought out. It features a full length picatinny rail along top with three short picatinny rails at the 3, 6, and 9 o’clock positions. It also has 4 QD sling mounts to accommodate any sling choice you might have without adding more bulk to the rail. IMG_2984

    The rifle Arrived with Magpul MBUS back up iron sights mounted to the rifle. At the 6 o’clock position the rail the RA-331 sported a GGG OD Harris Bi-Pod mount mated to a Harris SLM Bipod. A nice lineup of parts so far, it seems every piece of the puzzle is chosen carefully. IMG_2983

    The RA-331 that Rise sent me included the $483 Leupold Mark AR option. Rise doesn’t really go into detail on their website, but a 4-12×40 with a Mil Dot reticle showed up. There are plenty of reviews out there that will tell you that it is a superb optic, it proved to be well matched to the rilfe. Rise mounted it in a Burris P.E.P.R. mount. My only gripe here is that it was not a mount of the QD variety. While this may be a more solid alternative to many QD mounts, I would have liked to be able to access the backup iron sights without tools. IMG_2985

    As you would expect on a build of this level both upper and lower receivers are nicely milled billet units. They fit together rather nicely but still had enough play to separate the halves easily. Rise also fitted a nice ambi selector switch, a nice touch. The grip is one of the rubber coated MOE+ Magpul offerings. IMG_2988

    Rise included some nice touches on the lower receiver such as the “checkering” on the front of the magwell. The pattern they used on both upper and lower halves is functional as well as aesthetically pleasing.  IMG_2995

    Taking a closer look at the lower receiver you might notice Rise fitted their single stage RA-535 Advanced Performance Trigger.  With an advertised pull weight of 3.5 pounds it really was a treat to shoot with. I really liked the almost flat profile of the trigger, it offered the familiarity of a curved trigger with the benefits of a flat one.IMG_2991

    RA APT - trigger 1-500x500

    Here you see that Rise used a hard chromed bolt carrier group, a standard dust cover, and a standard mag release button. Another nice touch on the machined brass deflector, I really liked the shape they gave it. Again, not only is is well thought out but aesthetically pleasing. IMG_2987

    Breaking the rifle down reveals they used what appears to be a standard rifle buffer and spring. They also used a Magpul PRS stock. Another downside I noticed is the lower receiver has no QD sling mounts. The PRS stock does have more traditional sling mounts if you need them. IMG_2994

    I drug my wife out as camerawoman to my gun club and started by taking some shots at the 200 yard steel plate. Landing hit after hit was very easy, I wish my club had a longer lane to really stretch the rifle’s legs.  IMG_2927

    Next I set a target up at the 100 yard line. I was using XM193 5.56, probably not the optimal choice but it would do in a pinch.IMG_2799

    The results were pretty good if you factor in the less than ideal ammo choice. If it hadn’t been for that one shot I pulled it would have produced a pretty good group. With the pulled shot it measured out at 1.22″, without including it it measured at .519″. Pretty impressive with mil spec ammo! IMG_2998

    In conclusion I am highly impressed with the rifle that Rise sent me. They spent quite a lot of time carefully selecting quality parts to expertly assemble into a superb rifle. If you are in the market for a turn key long range rig you should include the RA-331 as a solid contender. The MSRP is a bit steep, but as I said, you do get what you pay for. Aside from a few small gripes I was very pleased with the shooting experience. I must admit, I am going to have a hard time sending this one back.

    Rise Armament Website