April 22, 2012
The Army awarded Remington Arms Company an April 20 contract to make tens of thousands of M4A1 carbines. By outbidding Colt Defense — the original maker of the M4 — Remington may end up being the only winner in what many gun makers have labeled as the Army’s well-intentioned but doomed effort to arm soldiers with a better carbine.
On the upside, the award means that more soldiers will go into combat with the M4A1, a SOF version of the carbine that features a more durable barrel and a full-auto capability. The Army’s decision to dump the three-round burst setting will give soldiers a more consistent trigger and better accuracy.
It’s part of the service’s dual-path strategy to improve the individual carbine. Army weapons officials recently completed phase one of the service’s Improved Carbine Competition and will soon announce which companies proved they have the infrastructure and production capacity to turn out thousands of new weapons. Gun makers that advance to the second and third phases of the competition will have hundreds of thousands of test rounds fired through their prototypes before the Army announces one winner.
Many small-arms firms believe the endeavor is a waste of time since the Army has shown no interest in new calibers or features that would increase modularity. In the end, the winner of the competition will likely lose when the Army conducts a business-case analysis comparing it to the new-and-improved carbine that emerges from the parallel effort known as the M4 Product Improvement Program.
Questions have already started to surface over just how successful the PIP will be since the Army recently canceled a search for an improved bolt and bolt-carrier assembly. Companies such as LWRC International, Remington and Smith & Wesson that competed for the bolt and bolt-carrier assembly portion of the PIP were notified by the Army April 10 that none of the submissions offered enough improvement over the M4′s existing bolt and bolt-carrier assembly. It will be interesting to see if similar efforts to improve components such as the selector-switch assembly and the forward-rail assembly suffer the same fate.
September 30, 2011
Financing your new rifle: A great program for cops
Under a new program Daniel Defense just launched for law enforcement, police officers (and agencies) can obtain a top-quality patrol rifle with no-interest financing for a year
While attending the National Tactical Officers’ Association annual meeting in Richmond (Va.) earlier this month, I spent some time with the Brent Slaughter from Daniel Defense talking about their latest news. While I had expected to be impressed with the rifles they had on display, I was ill-prepared for just how interesting the “paperwork” side of their news would be. Suffice it to say, with a new program the company just launched for law enforcement, police officers (and agencies) can obtain a top-quality patrol rifle with no-interest financing for a year.
Before we get into the stuff on financing (yeah, I know, “But Doug, I LOVE talking about financing!”), let’s just take a few moments to appreciate these systems. Under their recently announced financing offer, you can choose from four different packages (including the sling, optics, extra magazines, and other accessories you’d need) exactly the system that best suits your particular need. In essence, you can take the system right out of the box and be patrol-ready (assuming you’ve already done the necessary training to properly handle the weapon in a tactical environment).
While we’re on the subject of training, it should be noted that the company offers a variety of training programs that can get officers up to speed on the system (they even have a comprehensive armorer’s course). While at NTOA I spoke with Al Dustan of Close Quarters Tactical, who presently putting the finishing touches on a training course that goes with the purchase of every law enforcement package noted below. Dustan’s trainers will go to you, or you can fly to their state-of-the-art facility in Shelby Township (Mich.).
Lots of companies bury their rifles, submerge them in water, drop them from significant heights, and whatnot. Daniel Defense steps it up a few notches. (PoliceOne Image)
The program begins with the Daniel Defense Basic Patrol Rifle Package, which consists of the Daniel Defense M4 V1 basic model rifle, six Magpul magazines, a red-dot optic, and a patrol bag. The Lightweight Package consists of the M4 V5 LW model rifle (which weighs just six pounds and eight ounces, fully loaded) with 12-inch continuous picatinny rails, Magpul pop-up sights, the six Magpul magazines, the red-dot optic, and the patrol bag.
The Special Services Package consists of the M4 V4 rifle with an 11.5-inch barrel, which effectively covers a nice wide selection of rounds — you can train on less expensive ammo and have “the good stuff” in your magazines on patrol.
Finally, there’s the Designated Marksman’s Package, which is a long-range weapon in 5.56. This setup includes the Bushnell 2.5-16 optic on the top rail with a DRS 25 red-dot optic mounted off to the side, making it a multi-purpose platform so you can move through the close-quarters environment to a standoff position and take a precision shot should that need arise. This was the system which had me most interested, mostly because it’s pretty different from what I’ve got in my safe at home.
I don’t (yet!) own a Daniel Defense rifle, but I have a friend who owns one of their systems and loves it, and I’ve come to appreciate how solid they are. I mean solid. Nothing shakes, jiggles, moves, or vibrates, even under the harshest conditions and most dynamic action. The company does incredibly rigorous testing on their rifles. Lots of companies bury their rifles, submerge them in water, drop them from significant heights, and whatnot. Daniel Defense steps it up a few notches. I don’t remember ever seeing a “drop test” like this one, and I know for certain I’ve never seen a test that uses a commercially-available product called “Southern Thunder.”
Check out this video, then scroll down for information on how you can get one of these systems.
When I spoke with Brent Slaughter during our time together at NTOA (and via phone a week or so thereafter), I learned that the testing you’ve just watched is done on all their systems. Very impressive indeed. What’s even more impressive is what Brent told me about the company’s new financing program for law enforcement.
Slaughter travels overseas a lot — he’s a business development manager whose “turf” includes police organizations in a variety of foreign countries. He returned home one day from a trip to an Asia-Pacific country and knocked on the boss’s door, saying, roughly, “Why don’t we have special programs for individual American law enforcement officers like we do for some governments in other countries?”
The boss said, roughly, “Good idea. Make it happen.”
So he did.
“What we’ve done for those departments that want to partner with us,” Slaughter told me, “we’re going to offer financing, training, and other support to an individual officer or an agency to purchase Daniel Defense rifles specifically for patrol use, and we will finance that officer or that agency for up to a year, interest free. It requires a small down payment to initiate the order, and have the rifle shipped out.”
When you go to the Daniel Defense website, you’ll notice that most of their rifles are “sold out,” but the fact is that the company has a stock always set aside for law enforcement so when your order is placed, the system is shipped.
“For law enforcement, we know they need their weapons now, so we have an inventory for them. If a police officer orders a package today, it will be shipped out tomorrow, and he’ll have it for use the next day. All we ask is that the department guarantee the loan through a payroll deduction. The department takes out whatever that payment is — whether they’re paying guys every month or every two weeks or whatever it is — the department then sends us payment for the collected number of packages we have going to that municipality or agency. What that does it is minimizes some of the complications in the accounting. Instead of us getting 13 different checks from 13 different guys on 13 different days, we have one payment for everyone in that agency who has a Daniel Defense package.”
The payroll deduction can — if the agency chooses — be made pre-tax, and of course, since the purchase is for duty use, is tax-deductable.
The Bottom Line
So, how much will one of these systems set you back?
“We’ve standardized the pricing so it’s the same for every single agency no matter what size, no matter how many officers get these rifles,” Slaughter explained. “Each of these packages, with the down payment program, each solution comes out to about $80 per pay period if you get paid every two weeks.”
In order to be considered for the LE discount, you need to first register an account on DanielDefense.com. Once you’ve been verified, you’ll be notified by email that you’re free to order through the website at the discounted price.
I don’t usually write about firearms here on PoliceOne. My friends Dick Fairburn, Ron Avery, Andrew Butts, Lindsey Bertomen, Bill Campbell, Lance Eldridge, Tom Marx, Jeff Hall, Tim Dees, Glenn French, Ken Hardesty, Dan Danaher, Mike Boyle, and Dennis Haworth are far more knowledgeable than me and are almost certainly also better marksmen than me. But the fact is that the Daniel Defense packages of top-notch weapons systems, coupled with top-notch training and support, coupled with a top-notch financing opportunity was too compelling to ignore. Check it out for yourself at DanielDefense.com, or email me and I’ll forward your contact information over to Brent Slaughter at Daniel Defense.
August 22, 2011
I’ll have a review of this stock published on “The Firearm Blog” shortly. When I have a link I’ll post it here. In the last few days Rogers secured a contract with Colt to supply all Colt AR15/M4 rifles with this fine stock.So, if you buy a Colt AR you’ll get this stock with it.You heard it here first folks:-)
I’ve been using and testing this stock for two months now and it’s now my preferred stock for any AR I own.
My reviews for GFS have been moved to “The Firearm Blog”
Hello all I wanted to announce I will be writing gun reviews weekly for the online gun shop and accessories dealer Guns for Sale.com. These reviews will be posted from now on at “The Firearm Blog”—link above:-) I will still post on Gunners Journal.
My ethics that apply to the blog will be in place as always so the reviews you read on Guns for Sale.com will be 100% correct and honest to the best of my ability.
Your questions and comments can be posted on their website and I will respond as quickly as possible as has always been the case here. They are good folks and I encourage you to look over the guns they stock at very fair prices.
The first article should be out in the next week or so.
January 25, 2010
Black Rifle LLC Columbia,Missouri
This is a new AR15/M4 carbine from the retail outlet of CMMG out of Fayette, Mo. I can tell you if you love AR15′s when you walk into the Black Rifle store you will have a very hard time leaving:-) They carry in stock every configuration of AR15 you can imagine at reasonable prices. You’ll also find many tactical type shotguns as well as various brands and configurations of AK47′s. Optics of every major brand, ammo, Magpul PMags as well as many other brands of mags. They also have accessories for any tactical rifle or shotgun. They also take trade ins and have used rifles for sale. The place is just a wall to wall AR lovers dream:-) Also CMMG rifles have a lifetime warranty.
CMMG AR15 14.5 inch barrel as bought at Black Rifle
This is the second CMMG I’ve had and I couldn’t be more pleased with both of them. This one was purchased as you see it above for $870. When you consider it came with a 14.5 inch barrel, Yankee Hill rail, Tango Down grip. Clubfoot stock, Magpul magazine,Phantom flash suppressor, Troy front and rear BUIS, match trigger well you just can’t beat the price especially these days. The barrel also has a 1 in 7 twist which is a good all around twist rate for an M4 style to obtain the best accuracy from standard 55 grain bullets all the way up to the 70 plus grain hunting bullets. It also does very well with 22LR bullets in 38 grain with the conversion kit but more on that later.
As it looks now completed with Aimpoint M2 red dot, Surefire light and mount and Spikes Tactical VFG
This by far is the best setup I’ve ever had in an AR15/M4 configuration. It has all I need and no extra bling I don’t need. No I’m not going to paint it with a spray can to mimic a real desert warrior because I’m not my son is! Enough on that subject:-) One addition I didn’t mention in detail is a best buy and that’s the Spike Tactical forward vertical grip. It was listed on the website at $35 so I thought it has to be plastic. When it arrived I was plesently surpised to find it is CNC machined aluminum with an anodized finish with rubber rings that fit in the ecternal slots to provide a better grip. This a real deal considering many of the plastic models are $80 plus. This VLTOR stock gives a great cheek weld and provides waterproof space for battery storage as well as other parts. The new Magpul magazines are very reliable and cost is no concern at all. They have a window in the side of the mag with a red line that travels as you deplete ammo and tells you right away how many rounds are left without guessing or taking the mag out to look. A very handy mag at $18.
This view gives a better look at the Viking Tactics light mount
The last addition I just purchased allows me to practice a lot more without spending a ton of money of 5.56 for practice all the time. That addition is a CMMG 22LR conversion kit. Most of these kits I found were at the $200 mark but I found mine at Dynamic Armament for the regular price of $139 which included a 22LR magazine. I’ve shot about 500 rounds in the last week of American Eagle 38 grain 22LR without one malfunction and there was no cleaning during the 500 rounds fired. I strongly recommend this conversion so you can practice all you like without breaking the bank.
Changing out the standard unit for the conversion is very simple. You remove the charging bolt 3/4 of the way out and remove the 223 bolt then slide in the 22LR conversion bolt, close the rifle up and insert a 22LR mag. That’s it your ready to go. These mags also hold 26 rounds of 22LR.
Shooting this rifle with the conversion is a blast! Accuracy is extremely good. Standing unsupported at 25 yards you can shoot 1/2 inch groups all day long. This is not something I expected since this rifle was in no way constructed to fire 22LR as the new batch of 22LR only rifles made by Sig and Colt. I’m not griping believe me. Even at 100 yards groups of two inches or a little less are common. CMMG makes a fine product regardless of some who look down on them because they don’t have one of those high profile names even though they supply to the military just on a lower profile.
This conversion kit is available from Guns for Sale.com——-Great folks to deal with!
CMMG 22LR Conversion Unit with one extra mag
On to shooting with the 5.56. I tend to use brass cased ammo but I’m in no way appossed to using Wolf or Bear brand steel cased ammo. I have never repeat never had a rifle adversly affected by using them. After putting on the red dot sight I set the BUIS sights up as well so they co-witness. I began at 50 meters since that is the advised distance to sight in so that all shots out to 300 meters are accurate. After sighting in I started at 25 yards standing unsupported. My groups were less than 1/2 inch and closer to 1/4 inch. This is a much more accurate AR15 than I have ever owned before. I moved out to 100 yards and setup a rest and fired several groups at a 5 inch Birchwood Casey target which is much easier to see at that distance. I was shooting groups that made one hole right on the red bullseye of the target. As I said this is a very accurate rifle! These groups were shot with PMC brass cased ammo. I changed over to Wolf and the groups opened up a bit but still came in at less than one and a half inchs at 100 yards using the red dot.
This is one nice rifle that performs very well and sells at a very reasonable price. Black Rifle LLC is also a very good dealer who has excellent customer service and would be worth anyone checking into if they don’t mind having a rifle shipped to the local FFL they frequently use. Black Rifle will also build one to your specs if they don’t have one in stock already:-) As always if you have any questions please comment and I’ll answer any question you may have. If I don’t know the answer I’ll find it.
December 13, 2008
Everyone who has read my blog knows how much I love Rock Island Armory 1911′s. As I have said before they are the best buy bar none in a 1911. The newer “Rock” Match version is just another example of a company that listens to the customer base and produces a fine pistol at an unbelieveable price!
I was at our police department range a week or so ago and ran into a friend who had just purchased a Rock Island Armory Match grade pistol. Yep, I was drooling to get my hands on this one. I’ve been looking for one for a month or so without much luck but at least I got to shoot one.
I told him I would let him shoot my Sig if he would let me play with his new toy:-) He had already fired about 200 rounds through it with no problems at all. I happened to have 150 rounds of 45 ball so off I went to give this fine looking pistol a workout.
This pistol has the fiber optic front sight which I find very useful and easy to pickup as well as being fast. The rear sight is the Millett type that adjust for both windage and elevation and is very precise in it’s adjustment. The perfect setup if you compete in stock class competition. The pistol felt the same as the Rock Tactical I’m so fond of so it was a no brainer getting used to. The controls were very smooth. The action was something I noticed right off as being smoother than the Tactical was when it was new. There was definately some hand fitting with this pistol.
Shooting held no surprises. It was very accurate and produced a ragged hole at 10 yards and at 15 was more accurate than my Tactical again giving excellent results. At 25 yards the pistol really shined and once again produced a group measuring roughly 3 inches with 4 magazines fired. Again, very obvious a bit of extra work went into this pistol. I completely enjoyed shooting this pistol and it just renewed my desire to find one of my own. The way it is equiped is very similar to the S&W Doug Koenig but at a far lower price. It’s every bit as good a pistol as the S&W even if it is a bit more utilitarian in looks. That is not to say it’s an ugly gun by any means. I find the fit and finish of these pistols to be very appealing.
Steve Clark is a man I’m glad to call a friend wrote a fine review for the M1911.org website and graciously allowed me to publish his review of the Rock Island Armory Match 1911. A thorough job as always and I’m sure you’ll enjoy his contributed review.
Recently, I tested a target-style pistol from STI, called the Spartan. This pistol was unique in that STI International chose to use major components (frame, slide, and barrel) manufactured by Arms Corporation of the Philippines (better known as Armscor). During the time I was waiting for the STI Spartan to arrive for testing, I learned that Rock Island Armory was planning to release a target grade pistol too. My imagination began to run wild!
I fully expected the Rock Island Armory Match pistol to be at least a fraternal twin of the STI gun. Initial inspection of the RIA Match revealed a great many similarities, such as a fully adjustable rear sight, orange fiber-optic front sight, parkerized finish, etc. However, closer inspection disclosed some features that instantly got my attention. These not-so-subtle additions had me “itching” to inspect the pistol further, take some photographs, and give it a thorough work-out on my personal firing range. I live in a rural part of Texas, where such facilities are normal.
The Rock Island Armory Match (per the label FS Match) comes packaged in RIA’s black plastic clam-shell case. The interior of the case is lined in egg crate foam, and the pistol was double wrapped in a plastic bag and bubble-wrap bag. Two black 8-round Novak magazines were included in my package (although the pistol will ship with one 8-round magazine). Under the foam lining, one will find a fired cartridge casing, the owner’s manual, a warranty card, a firearms safety pamphlet, and a card entitling the pistol’s owner to buy Armscor ammunition at a 10% discount, if he or she joins (or is already a member of) M1911.ORG. I would also like to stress that this is the first review of the RIA FS Match. No other printed or electronic publication has reviewed this pistol, so this is another first for M1911.ORG.
The RIA Match is a full size (5-inch barrel) 1911, chambered for the .45 ACP cartridge. Inspection of the left side of the manganese phosphate treated slide reveals the company’s logo and Rock Island Armory, roll marked in block letters. The right side of the slide lacks any markings. The ejection port is lowered and flared for improved ejection of spent cartridge casings. There are no front cocking serrations on the slide of the RIA Match. The rear cocking serrations consist of nineteen straight lines, such as those found on G.I. type 1911s. The slide fits snugly on the frame, which has a Parkerized finish applied to its surface. The exterior finish on both the slide and the frame create quite a pleasing visual. There is no movement laterally between these two major components. I was informed that the Rock Island Armory Match is not part of a regular production run at the Armscor factory, but rather the slide and frame are hand-fitted in the Armscor Custom Shop. This extra attention to detail is evident when holding the pistol, as there is no rattle when the gun is shaken. In addition, the entire RIA Match pistol has been moderately de-horned, and the effect of this treatment should be apparent in the photographs. It most assuredly is noticeable when handling the pistol. Hand cycling of the action is effortless, in part aided by the excellent cocking serrations, but mostly because of the fine fitting of the slide to the frame.
The LPA rear sight of the RIA Match is mounted on the top of the slide, and is fully adjustable for both windage and elevation. This sight blends in well with the rear of the slide, and its rear face is horizontally serrated to reduce glare. The front sight is dovetailed nicely into the top of the slide, and its edges are rounded into the slide’s contour. This sight features a bright orange fiber-optic tube.
The slide stop/release is checkered, as is the magazine release button. The trigger has a serrated face with two elongated cutouts. There is no externally adjustable over-travel screw on the RIA Match. Trigger pull was characterized by a very small amount of take-up, with a crisp release of 4.25 pounds, from the box. This was a consistent measurement, meaning the sear released at 4.25 pounds, every time that the trigger was squeezed, or activated by the RCBS Trigger Pull Gauge.
The hammer has a true half-cock notch, and is an elongated Commander-style unit. Mated to the hammer is a beaver-tail grip safety utilizing an extended palm swell. The ambidextrous safety has a serrated shelf on both the left and right controls. These shelves are extended, and the right side is secured by a small cut in the sear pin, which corresponds to a small shelf on the bottom of the safety. Operation of all safety devices is positive and reliable. The magazine well is slightly beveled for easier insertion of the magazines. The pistol is easily loaded, as fully charged 8-round magazines slide into place with an authoritative click. When released, empty magazines fall free with no resistance. The flat mainspring housing is serrated, and fitted nicely to the frame of the RIA Match.
The stocks provided with the Rock Island Armory Match pistol are finely grained wood, and compliment the business-like looks of the gun. Sadly, my example had a small crack from the top of the left side grip screw to the top of the stock. This was the only cosmetic problem that I encountered in my inspection of the pistol. This minor defect is covered under Armscor’s Limited Lifetime Warranty.
The field stripping procedure to be followed with the RIA Match .45 ACP is different than for other, full length guide rod equipped full size 1911 type pistols. Field stripping the RIA Match proved to be much easier than was the case with either the previously tested RIA Tactical or the STI Spartan. Make certain that the pistol is unloaded and the magazine has been removed. A non-marring bushing wrench easily depresses the recoil spring plug so that the barrel bushing may be turned clockwise. Carefully allow the plug to exit the muzzle area, relieving all recoil spring tension. The slide can then be moved to align the take-down notch with the slide stop. After the slide stop is removed from the frame, the slide and frame can be separated. After that, it is a simple procedure to remove the recoil spring and full length guide rod. Turning the barrel bushing counter-clockwise will line up the bushing for removal from the slide, and the barrel can be taken out toward the muzzle. There is no firing pin safety on the Match pistol, so firing pin and extractor removal is accomplished following standard procedure.
Reassembly is in reverse order.
While I am admittedly no big fan of full length guide rods, the ability to use a bushing wrench is preferable to lining up the take-down notch with the slide stop while the pistol is still under the tension of the recoil spring. I applaud Rock Island and Armscor for this improvement.
Shooting the RIA Match Pistol
My normal shooting protocol with any new pistol consists of firing enough rounds to determine functional reliability before accuracy and chronograph readings are taken. This initial test was conducted using the two supplied 8-round Novak magazines, and 100 rounds of Armscor Precision 230 gr. FMJ ammunition. The pistol was discharged from a distance of 10 yards, using a modified Weaver stance.
The Birchwood Casey Shoot-N-C 8″ target shows that most of the shots fired were slightly left of dead center. As I tend to sometimes pull my shots to the left, I decided to forego any sight adjustments until accuracy testing commenced. Ejected casings consistently landed four to five feet to the right of my firing position. All 100 rounds fed and ejected without incident. The RIA Match handles recoil admirably, and is easily brought back on target during rapid fire.
During this phase of the test, I decided to try some Hornady 200gr. TAP FPD +P ammunition was kindly provided to M1911.ORG for use in conducting pistol tests. This is a relatively new type of jacketed hollow point, and I felt that if a problem with feeding JHP rounds was to appear, this would provide a good test.
Twenty rounds into the Shoot-N-C target provided ample proof that the RIA Match will reliably feed this type of JHP ammunition. Subsequent accuracy tests with a variety of factory FMJ and JHP ammo produced no malfunctions. I moved my shooting position to take advantage of a natural tree wind-break, but this forced me to shorten my range to 20 yards. All of the above readings and accuracy tests were made at 25 yards, except the Armscor results. From that point to the end of my shooting session, all firing was done from 20 yards.
The NRA target pictured above was engaged with 5 rounds of Armscor Precision 230 gr. FMJ at a distance of 20 yards. This group represented my best of the day, although later groups were centered on the target much better. A one click adjustment on the LPA rear sight brought everything in line. Memorizing the most ideal setting, I made several adjustments to the rear sight to determine how far a click would affect the impact on the target. Considering the windy conditions, I estimated that one click would account for one inch of impact difference at 60 feet. That is on a par with my previous encounters with adjustable sights on 1911 type pistols.
Total round count for the test exceeded 500. More of the full metal jacket ammunition was expended than the jacketed hollow point loads, but that is more a factor of cost per box than what the pistol prefers to digest. The donated ammunition from Armscor and Hornady is greatly appreciated. In addition to the ammunition mentioned in the accuracy and velocity table, I fired the following brands: Winchester SilverTip 185 gr., Speer Gold Dot Hollow Points 185 & 230 gr., Federal Hydra-Shok 165 & 230 gr., Taurus Copper Hollow Points 185 gr., and Remington Golden Saber 230 gr. Twenty rounds of each brand were fired through the RIA Match, with no failures of any kind.
The Rock Island Armory FS Match .45 ACP pistol is assembled and fitted in the Custom Shop at Armscor, in the Philippines. As stated earlier in this review, the slide and frame are hand fitted, and the rest of the components of the gun consist of parts that are made by Armscor. These parts are primarily Metal Injected Moldings, as told to me by Ivan Walcott. The M1911.ORG Forum is full of positive and negative comments concerning the use of MIM in handguns. Correctly manufactured parts that are covered by a Limited Lifetime Warranty should cause no denigration of the quality found in a Rock Island pistol. A manufacturing fact of life is represented by the use of MIM parts. They do not require labor intensive fitting, and allow the manufacturer to pass cost savings on to the consumer. I have thus far tested three guns that are either solely a Rock Island product, or that contained major components from Armscor. I have found nothing wrong with the quality of any of those three examples. I might add that I normally put more ammunition through a test pistol in the course of a review, than a majority of handgun owners would fire in a span of months. I have experienced zero failures in my test samples.
The Parkerized finish held up to several hundred rounds of various types of ammunition being discharged. In fact, the finish on the RIA Match is superior, in my estimation, to those of the previous test pistols, and the aforementioned guns had a dandy finish! I don’t keep a test pistol long enough to measure the effects of holster wear on the finish.
From the time the pistol was removed from its box until I cleaned it and re-packaged it, the trigger pull was excellent. The sear released at a consistent 4.25 pounds of pressure. This exceptional trigger pull, coupled with the adjustable sights and the hand fitting of the slide and frame, make for a wonderfully accurate handgun. Although windy conditions forced me to shorten my testing distance to 20 yards, I feel certain that the RIA Match would have delivered the same degree of accuracy at my normal distance of 25 yards. The bright fiber-optic orange front sight is easily picked up through the LPA adjustable rear sight.
Although I had some issues with earlier test guns and their stocks, I find that I grip these pistols in a different manner than my personal 1911s. That different grip allows me to keep my hand stationary throughout my range sessions, which ultimately yields better results on the target. Perhaps too, it is the type of beaver-tail grip safety that is standard on these target models. In either case, the “feel” of the pistols is growing on me, and I cannot find reason to complain.
I am yet to encounter a Rock Island pistol that refuses to eat hollow point ammunition. While the RIA owner’s manual specifically states that the guns are not warranted to reliably feed this type of ammo, it is gratifying to know that these guns are built to shoot a variety of factory loads and configurations.
My déjà vu reference in the opening of this test/review had to do with the similarities between the Rock Island Match pistol and the STI Spartan that was previously tested. Each of these guns is accurate, a pleasure to shoot, and an economical way to buy a target-grade pistol. However, I must be fair and state that I prefer the Rock Island Match because of the ease of disassembly. While my carpel tunneled and arthritic 57 year old hands can still manage quite a bit, anything that provides easier use is appreciated. I also favor the use of straight rear cocking serrations on my personal guns, and the RIA Match delivers on this option. The Rock Island handgun does not have front cocking serrations, a positive omission in my book. Finally, there is the absence of any type of firing pin safety on this weapon. That non-feature alone gets an A+.
Ivan Walcott (Sales Manager for Advanced Tactical Firearms, the importers of RIA pistols to the United States) states that the suggested retail price of the Rock Island Armory FS Match pistol will be in the plus or minus range of 650.00 U.S. dollars. Considering the quality and accuracy of this gun, I would rate this handgun as a “best buy.”
I would like to thank President Martin Tuason and Sales Manager Ivan Walcott of Advanced Tactical Firearms International Corporation, for providing the Rock Island Armory Match .45 ACP pistol used in this test. As soon as the handgun was available to them, it was sent to me for testing. We strive to provide the readers of the M1911.ORG E-zine with the most up-to-date information. In addition, these fine gentlemen also provided me with several boxes of Armscor Precision .45 ACP ammunition. This was my first exposure to this highly accurate, clean burning ammo. I was quite pleased with its performance, and I recommend it to anyone looking for quality in affordable ammunition.
My thanks go out to Hornady Mfg. Company for their donation of several boxes of their new 200 gr. TAP FPD +P .45 ACP ammunition. I have been pleased with the results in my shooting tests with this ammo, and I look forward to conducting some personal ballistic tests with this brand in the future.
As always, my Competitive Edge Dynamics Millennium chronograph performed above and beyond my expectations. Frankly, the chronograph put up with the wind better than I did!
Finally, I am indebted to Bill Lamb at GREAT GUNS in Burleson, Texas. He consistently stays on top of the test pistol situation, as well as providing a variety of factory ammunition, accessories, and gun expertise. I couldn’t do it without you, Bill, and I am obliged. Many thanks are expressed to your daughter, as well, for her assistance last week.
You may discuss about this pistol, ask questions or in general discuss about this review, in this thread in our Forums Site:
October 12, 2008
I ran across a new manufacturer of AR15′s named CMMS. They are a small company in Fayette,Missouri. I stopped in to Mark’s Armory and saw this AR and saw that it was a bit different than most run of the mill examples. The lower is a DPMS with collapsible six position stock. The upper is the heavier variety found on match AR’s. The upper is also from DPMS and is the upper used on the Panther Race gun. In fact the upper is almost twice as thick as the steel on a standard model which makes this rifle more stable and therefore more accurate as it turns out.The upper is also made from extruded aluminum alloy. There is no forward assist or dust cover which is fine for the average shooter. The foregrip is a free float barrel type with an M4 chrome lined barrel from DPMS.
In this picture you can see how thick the metal is on the upper
All of the parts used are very good quality. Another addition that CMMS added is a cheek rest from Command Arms. This rest is very easy to add to any AR15 and provides a very good cheek weld when sighting. It also has two water tight compartments for carrying battery’s or other odds and ends. It an excellent addition for your AR.
Command Arms Cheek Rest
After deciding to take this one home with me and hoping my wife wouldn’t kill me I saw some scopes that looked a lot like an ACOG. Not being one who can afford an ACOG I was interested. The company that makes these is NC Star. I know I know they are inexpensive but not cheap if you know what I mean. I expected an $85 scope to be blurry and just not very clear at all. I was surprised to see that I was wrong the optics are very clear as is the Mil-Dot reticle. There is a rheostat on the left side that runs off a watch type battery. Turning the knob clockwise the reticle turns green with one more notch dimming the reticle. Turning it counterclockwise and the reticle turns red. Handy for low light situations. With the power off the reticle is black. It has an eyepiece adjustment for nearsighted or farsighted people at the rear of the scope. They make several variations of this scope but this one is a straight 6X42. At the top is a knob for bullet drop calibrated for a 62 grain .223 round. Range on this 100 to 500 yards. The reticle as mentioned before has the Mil-Dot crosshairs if you choose to use this feature instead especially if you happen to use a different load than what the scope is calibrated for. The knob on the right side is the standard right and left windage adjustment. One click is 1/2 inch at 100 yards. Mounting is very simple since this scope uses a lever to lock the scope in place. Removing it and replacing it had no effect on the zero. We’ll see how it holds up over time and many rounds of recoil. So far it works very well.
After getting it home I cleaned the rifle and lubed it with the usual Militec. I went out to the range and setup at 100 yards to sight the scope in. It only took three rounds to have it right on the money. I fired the group below at 100 yards standing unsupported. The results are pretty good:-)
The circle is about 3 inches across
After this group I used a sanbag rest off the bench and had groups that averaged about 1 3/4 inches using Black Hills 62 grain match ammo. I moved back to 200 yards and had groups open up to a bit over 2 7/8th inches with the same ammo. This is certainly better than the groups I’m used to with the standard AR15 having the stock upper and non free floated barrel. This is certainly not your stock configuration but it looks good and shoots very well. To get a nice AR such as this one for $680 and a decent scope for $85 it won’t break the bank.
With the elections coming up very soon and should Obama win you better stock up on ammo, hi-cap magazines and any “black rifle” you have been yearning for because if he gets in office the push to take away our guns will be a high priority with him or so he has said. If you think the last assault weapons ban was bad you ain’t seen nothing yet!
On the main blog page at the top is a link to Mark’s Armory if you are interested in an AR15 like this one. You sure can’t beat the price especially for what you get!
Troy Single Point Sling With Mount
As always I wish you safe shooting and an enjoyable time at your range. Remember comments and questions are always welcome.
March 31, 2007
My newest addition is this Rock River Arms AR15. It has a Yankee Hill free float rail system, a national match trigger and a medium gas system which makes it more reliable and is easier on the gun over time. The barrel is 16 inches heavy profile. The trigger pull is just under 4 pounds and is a two stage type. The barrel is a chrome lined Wilson Combat. The chamber is also chrome lined for greater durability and easier cleaning.
My scope is a Leatherwood ART 3×9 (automatic ranging and tracking). This scope is intended for use with the 5.56 or .223 round on the AR platform. I also have an EoTech 512 Holographic sight for use up to 100 yards. Beyond that and the Leatherwood goes on. I’m going to add a front and rear iron sight set as well as a single point sling. Later I’ll probably change the stock for a Vitor type and put a Magpul grip on it.
I have only been out once and shot about 50 rounds. I found that it is shooting approx. a 2 to 2 1/2 inch group at 200 yards. The barrel is factory lapped so it needs no break in time.