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Thread: KAC SR15, worth it?

  1. #21
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    Without question, I feel the KAC SR-15 E3 is worth every penny. Other than all it comes with out of the box, one of the best things about the SR-15 IMHO is how friggin' light it is when outfitted with the necessary accessories (in my case an aimpoint T-1, Surefire X300, MS2 sling and KAC handstop [now replaced with Larue FUG per my personal preference]).

    The second best thing is how smooth the recoil (or lack thereof) is, especially when you add a muzzle brake to the carbine (doesn't need to be a Triple Tap brake by any means, a PWS FSC556 will certainly do the job, but I do love the TTB). I've yet to find any other carbine that recoils as smooth as the SR-15, nor one that I can fire as fast and completely maintain accuracy.

    There's only 2 things I can think of that suck about the SR-15. The first is that since the barrel is so darn thin, if you're maintaining a very high rate of fire, especially in carbine classes, the rail gets so hot (even with the XTM rail covers I use) that it's hard to hold onto it with your bare support hand. In the summertime it's even worse. However, I personally consider that negative aspect to be completely voided by the fact that the gun is so damn lightweight. It's a give and take, and the extra heat is completely worth it IMHO. I just pull a Michael Jackson and wear a single glove on my support hand. People will give you shit about it until you outshoot the hell out of them... that tends to shut them up quickly

    The other downside is the QD sockets in the lower. They're worthless. If you utilize them, they WILL cause the sling/sling swivel to get in the way of your thumb when activating the safety. And they unfortunately block the "ears" of the Magpul ASAP receiver end plate, causing you to have to cut the ears off in order to install one (thanks Titleist!). It's one of those things that sound great in theory, but fail in reality. If they could somehow magically be a little further back, they would kick serious ass. It's actually frustrating to me that they didn't work out for me, because I think the concept is really cool. Oh well.

    Anyhoo, as with the heat issue, the rear QD issue (once again, IMHO) is voided out by the fact that it's SO lightweight and SO smooth to shoot.

    Oh BTW, did I already mention it's light and smooth to shoot with hardly any recoil??

    Here she is on the scale:



    Compared to a 10.5" SBR I had at one time. Less than a 1 ounce difference, pretty crazy:



    I will be wearing this shirt to my next Magpul carbine class. **** yeah:

    S/F
    Paul

  2. #22
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    Lightness is goodness.




    Im thinking about taking the heat shield out..... But that might be going a little crazy on lightening it.
    Last edited by RustedAce; 05-09-10 at 23:37.

  3. #23
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    The KAC SR-15 E3 and the LWRCi M6A3 (a KAC with a piston, and without the ambidextrous lower receiver, in my opinion.) are the best AR-15 rifles on the market, IMHO. Don't listen to anybody who says otherwise.

    If you have the money, the KAC will see you through a shitstorm.


    ETA: I made this post before I knew better - months ago.

    The LWRCi doesn't even compare.
    Last edited by Magic_Salad0892; 11-19-10 at 13:02.
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    We miss you, AC.

  4. #24
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    Are any of the sling swivel sockets rotation-limited?

  5. #25
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    I got rid of most of my other AR's, including a Colt 6920 once I got my SR15. I love the gun, and plan on getting another one or 2 if funds permit.

    I added a Magpul MIAD grip, UBR stock, Nightforce 1-4 in LaRue mount, and LaRue FUG(and Vickers sling).
    Just need to put on a brake and I'm finished.
    Last edited by wicked_police; 05-29-10 at 02:51.
    I AM a CanadianGunSlinger!!!!!!

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  6. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by III View Post
    Not compatible , will not work. E3 bolt assy ,cam pin,firing pin and bbl extension are only compatible with each other .
    Can we order these parts from Knights to get spares?
    Have Fun, Be Safe

  7. #27
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    At a recent class I attended a SR-15 E3 didn't go beyond first training day due to multiple FTF. I didn't dwell on that with owner, and I am only assuming that mags or ammo were not at fault since the same ammo and mags worked perfectly fine in his back-up gun.
    I think that Titleist here also had initial problems with his E3.

    This is certainly not a statement of overall reliability of these rifles en masse, but more of philosophical question that I've reflected on since getting into 1911 field. You have all those semi-custom brands that go for 2-2.5K apiece. Making a full size 1911 to run 100% with good ammo and mags is not an art, it is actually almost formulaic. Yet we hear report of those expensive pistols fail, or ship with broken parts etc. This only tells me that the extra 1-1.5K (over basic pistol) is not spend first and foremost on making sure that feed ramp is right, extractor tension is correct, chamber is up to spec etc, but on fit and finish and feature set etc.
    I can't help but see some similarity here. KAC's is a beautiful rifle with great feature set. I actually think that the price is a very good deal given the features. The question is whether we should expect every specimen of 2.2K rifles run 100%, or accept a position "everything man-made will fail at times".
    Last edited by YVK; 05-29-10 at 08:59. Reason: typo

  8. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by YVK View Post
    At a recent class I attended a SR-15 E3 didn't go beyond first training day due to multiple FTF.

    It could certainly be a weapon issue, it could be ammunition or user issues as well. The problem with second hand info is that we will never know.


    Any idea what ammo he was using?
    Stick


    I have been asked to point out that I am Magpul's photographer. I have also done work for 95 or so manufacturers within the firearm community, my work has been used for web, catalog, banners, magazines, covers, etc. I have also shot work for the US Military where it has been used in training aids. I am prior service and a full time LEO.


    I also shoot and write for Military Times. My primary focus is weapons, accessories and related equipment reviews. Manufacturers can reach me through any of the boards. If you have something new, let me know.



    Newest pictures uploaded here at my Flickr account

  9. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stickman View Post
    It could certainly be a weapon issue, it could be ammunition or user issues as well. The problem with second hand info is that we will never know.


    Any idea what ammo he was using?
    Stickman, your points are well taken. I should've asked about ammo, but didn't. The fellow was a very solid shooter. AI at that class was very experienced with platform, and he ran that rifle through series of checks without much answers.
    The most convincing point to me is that the same shooter shot the same ammo using the same mags through a different rifle for the remaining two days of class without problems.

    Your point on second hand info is well taken too; since I've witnessed that with my own eyes and not read it somewhere I feel it is not unethical for me to mention that. The owner of a gun is not a member here and he hasn't posted a complete AAR. If he chooses to do so, I'll either hyperlink it or quote it. Perhaps, he is in communications with KAC. I am sure that this issue would be resolved by owner and KAC; I only hope that we will have some info on that as it certainly attracted attention of instructors and students of that class as well as members of a board frequented by the owner.

  10. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by YVK View Post
    Stickman, your points are well taken. I should've asked about ammo, but didn't. The fellow was a very solid shooter. AI at that class was very experienced with platform, and he ran that rifle through series of checks without much answers.
    The most convincing point to me is that the same shooter shot the same ammo using the same mags through a different rifle for the remaining two days of class without problems.

    Your point on second hand info is well taken too; since I've witnessed that with my own eyes and not read it somewhere I feel it is not unethical for me to mention that. The owner of a gun is not a member here and he hasn't posted a complete AAR. If he chooses to do so, I'll either hyperlink it or quote it. Perhaps, he is in communications with KAC. I am sure that this issue would be resolved by owner and KAC; I only hope that we will have some info on that as it certainly attracted attention of instructors and students of that class as well as members of a board frequented by the owner.


    Do you know how many rounds he had through the gun before attending this class? Or if the gun worked fine before, and just started having issues?

  11. #31
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    No I don't. Visually rifle looked very new, no scratches etc. The owner was, obviously, disappointed and it didn't feel right to bug him with questions to satisfy my curiosity.
    As I said, if I hear anything I'll quote it here. At this point just treat it as mere report that one sample of SR-15 didn't run well when mags and ammo seemingly weren't to blame.

  12. #32
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    My gun hasn't been trouble free either, but it was easy to figure the reason after trying different ammo and some msg'ing with Kevin.

    Last year at CFSAC, I let the guys from Aimpoint use my SR15 and SBR for live fire demos. They were using old Canadian Forces 556 ammo. The SBR worked, but the SR15 was short-stroking on the ejection cycle.
    Out of a couple mags with that ammo, I had 2 malfunctions. All other ammo I've run though the gun has been flawless. I didn't bother trying to diagnose further, I just stopped using that ammo in the gun. So the little bit of that stuff I have left is either going to be run in my SBR, or sold off.

    Some people will probably say that an expensive AR should run anything you feed it. I don't necessarily agree. It's been flawless with every other type of ammo, so I'm very happy.

    I know what ammo I put in it, and I don't think I'm going to get into a situation where I have to scavenge old issue ammo from the CF, so it's all good to me.
    Last edited by wicked_police; 05-29-10 at 12:13.
    I AM a CanadianGunSlinger!!!!!!

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  13. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by wicked_police View Post
    My gun hasn't been trouble free either, but it was easy to figure the reason after trying different ammo and some msg'ing with Kevin.

    Last year at CFSAC, I let the guys from Aimpoint use my SR15 and SBR for live fire demos. They were using old Canadian Forces 556 ammo. The SBR worked, but the SR15 was short-stroking on the ejection cycle.
    Out of a couple mags with that ammo, I had 2 malfunctions. All other ammo I've run though the gun has been flawless. I didn't bother trying to diagnose further, I just stopped using that ammo in the gun. So the little bit of that stuff I have left is either going to be run in my SBR, or sold off.

    Some people will probably say that an expensive AR should run anything you feed it. I don't necessarily agree. It's been flawless with every other type of ammo, so I'm very happy.

    I know what ammo I put in it, and I don't think I'm going to get into a situation where I have to scavenge old issue ammo from the CF, so it's all good to me.

    Other countries NATO ammo tends be much weaker than US NATO ammo. We had some British ammo for training in the brown cans and were specifically told not to use it in combat loads because its known to not reliably cycle US weapons.


    For range use I almost always use M193 5.56 pressure ammo, and have not had any short-stroking issues. I had a few problems with my SR15 at first with not locking the bolt back but that was with 20rd mags that Ive used a lot, 223 spec ammo, and the springs are pretty worn. I had it happen a couple times with a couple of my other AR's, too. Its not done it with PMAG's, and 556 ammo. Ive got about 10k rounds through mine so far, and its been a joy to shoot.

  14. #34
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    I've got less than 400 rds through mine so far. All M193 Centurian or Hornandy 55gr Practice TAP. No problems so far.

  15. #35
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    I can't wait till my KAC /Magpul Rifle gets here so I can see if it's worth the money!!

  16. #36
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    When using a particular batch of Wolf 55gr ammo, I had some short stroking issues that resulted in a few failures to feed with my SR-15. It would very weakly eject the spent casings, and would randomly short stroke and I'd get a "click" instead of a "bang" on an empty chamber. No biggie, I just switched to my PMC 55gr, which a lot of people believe to be pretty weak ammo, and it was fine after that.

    So it's definitely possible he was using weak ammo that would cycle properly in his SR-15, but when he used the same ammo in his other carbine that (most likely) had a larger gas port, it cycled fine in that one.

    When the Assistant Instructor tried troubleshooting, did he use the shooter's ammo or did he insert one of his personal mags with his personal ammo and attempt to fire off a magazine?

    If I was told correctly by someone I trust much more than most, the SR-15 has a slightly smaller gas port, which (among a few other things like the longer than mid-length gas system and E3 bolt) causes it to recoil much less and smoother than other 16" carbines, even other 16" mid-length gas systems. So if you're running VERY weak ammo through it, it could have some issues. But personally, out of all the ammo I've fired through mine, I only had problems with that one batch of Wolf 55gr ammo.

    I've only fired a little under 3,000 rounds through my SR-15 E3. But just a few weeks after I bought it, with only around 250 rounds fired from the bench at my local range, I ran it through my first carbine course. This was last August and it was hot as hell out! I ran my SR-15 hard as **** in that 2-day class and fired around 1,000 rounds total (I had to sit out a few drills to hydrate and avoid heat exhaustion because my lower body cannot sweat so my upper body sweats twice as much). The gun would already be so hot just from the sun alone, requiring me to wear gloves before I even fired it. And I was firing extremely rapid during the drills, thanks to the crazy soft recoil and triple tap brake which allowed me to fire so fast and maintain much better accuracy than my fellow students who were firing at half the rate I was.

    Needless to say, my new SR-15 completely won me over that weekend and I was simply blown away by its performance in such a hot and moderately dusty environment.
    S/F
    Paul

  17. #37
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    I experienced problems with my SR15 E3 also. I'll preface it by saying that I had not shot an AR in several years before I purchased it and had high expectations based on KAC's reputation. Prior to that I shot a Colt A2 in IPSC extensively and owned a couple of Colt Class III guns, so I was not a complete stranger to the AR platform.
    What I liked most was how light it was and secondly the full ambi controls. It was nice to be able to have alternate methods of operation. The ability to mount the sling to the lower receiver I thought was a great idea until I tried it and found that it interfered with the operation of the selector switch most of the time. OK, so use the other side of the control, problem solved.
    Prior to a carbine class I went and sighted it in and ran about 350~400 rounds through it to confirm function. During sighting, I noticed to get a zero, I ended up cranking the windage almost all the way to the right, approximately 3/4 of the way between center and the outside ear. Thought this was a bit excessive. Called KAC multiple times and never received an answer.
    Borrowed a RDS and had to adjust it about 60 clicks windage to get it to hit near the target. Granted the Aimpoint had been sighted on another weapon, but that sure seems like a long way off to me.
    During the carbine class, and after about 7~800 rounds, it started to not seat a magazine. I was using the 30rd PMAG's that had been completely reliable during my testing phase. Of the fifteen I had with me, not a single one would seat and lock. Open bolt, closed bolt made no difference. I started down loading and found that it would finally seat and lock when the round count was down to about 20~21 and only on a open bolt. So I switched to USGI, loaded them to 30rds and they worked perfectly, open or closed bolt. The PMAG's work just fine in any other AR I've tried since then, always loaded to 30rds. Contacted KAC, no response.
    Tried to buy a spare bolt and carrier assembly and other spares, again met with a lack of response from KAC. As in no response to several emails and phone calls.
    So is it worth the price of admission? Yes, but a qualified yes. Based on the sum of the parts, it is a value at $2K. Would I trust it to run 100%, 100% of the time? Ninety percent of the time? Not based on my experience. I never tested to failure the USGI magazines trying to replicate the PMAG "issue", and I'm not convinced that it was a PMAG "failure". Obviously there was something that the SR15 was not happy with during the carbine class. But I'm baffled why the SR15 would work with USGI magazines and the PMAG's would work in other AR's. Even after an extensive cleaning, the SR15 continued to dislike the PMAG's (including the 5 I tried, brand new, straight out of the bag) unless downloaded, but it was happy with the USGI magazines. Even old, non-green follower mags loaded to 30rds, seated, locked and cycled.
    I've since sold it and moved on to a Colt 6933 SBR (11.5"), shot what ammunition I had left over from the carbine class, used the same PMAG's and never once experienced any of the problems I had with the SR15.


    NRA Life Member
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  18. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by RetreatHell View Post
    When using a particular batch of Wolf 55gr ammo, I had some short stroking issues that resulted in a few failures to feed with my SR-15. It would very weakly eject the spent casings, and would randomly short stroke and I'd get a "click" instead of a "bang" on an empty chamber. No biggie, I just switched to my PMC 55gr, which a lot of people believe to be pretty weak ammo, and it was fine after that.

    So it's definitely possible he was using weak ammo that would cycle properly in his SR-15, but when he used the same ammo in his other carbine that (most likely) had a larger gas port, it cycled fine in that one.

    When the Assistant Instructor tried troubleshooting, did he use the shooter's ammo or did he insert one of his personal mags with his personal ammo and attempt to fire off a magazine?

    If I was told correctly by someone I trust much more than most, the SR-15 has a slightly smaller gas port, which (among a few other things like the longer than mid-length gas system and E3 bolt) causes it to recoil much less and smoother than other 16" carbines, even other 16" mid-length gas systems. So if you're running VERY weak ammo through it, it could have some issues. But personally, out of all the ammo I've fired through mine, I only had problems with that one batch of Wolf 55gr ammo.

    I've only fired a little under 3,000 rounds through my SR-15 E3. But just a few weeks after I bought it, with only around 250 rounds fired from the bench at my local range, I ran it through my first carbine course. This was last August and it was hot as hell out! I ran my SR-15 hard as **** in that 2-day class and fired around 1,000 rounds total (I had to sit out a few drills to hydrate and avoid heat exhaustion because my lower body cannot sweat so my upper body sweats twice as much). The gun would already be so hot just from the sun alone, requiring me to wear gloves before I even fired it. And I was firing extremely rapid during the drills, thanks to the crazy soft recoil and triple tap brake which allowed me to fire so fast and maintain much better accuracy than my fellow students who were firing at half the rate I was.

    Needless to say, my new SR-15 completely won me over that weekend and I was simply blown away by its performance in such a hot and moderately dusty environment.


    I believe the SR15 is tuned to run with M855 which of course is a 556 pressure load. A lot of companies tend to put huge gas ports on their barrels so they run with the weakest of ammo. The problem this causes its lots of recoil with full pressure ammo but then people can come on a board and brag about how they XYZ gun "eats everything".


    FWIW I also had a lot of short cycling problems with Wolf in a Colt 6921 which has a correct sized gas port.

  19. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by No.6 View Post
    I experienced problems with my SR15 E3 also.

    SNIP


    Sorry to hear you got what sounds like a lemon gun, and that KAC was not responsive. Im glad mine runs perfectly as its my favorite gun to shoot.

  20. #40
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    Man, I hope mine doesn't have that issue. I'm Hoping to run it through a Magpul class this year.

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