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Thread: What makes the Knights Armament SR-15 E3 5.56mm rifle such a good rifle?

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    What makes the Knights Armament SR-15 E3 5.56mm rifle such a good rifle?

    Hello,

    I was just wondering what makes the Knights Armament SR-15 E3 5.56mm rifle such a good rifle? I have seen a lot of instructors from Magpul, professionals and a lot of Special Operations guys carry them. I was just wondering what makes them stand out so much.

    Thanks for the taking the time to respond to my post.

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    Rather than rehashing the AR15 design, Knights makes some improvements to the bolt, has a nicer recoil impulse because of the gas system is longer, and the controls are fully ambidextrous.
    Kein Mitleid Für Die Mehrheit
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    It feels so much like a toy gun.....you absolutely have to feel one in person to understand just how well the gun handles and balances.

    Its in the clear top 3 best guns outta the box Ive ever come across...you get soooo many unique and truly game changing features that its a bargin for give or take 2k.

    The "Stoner Rifle" roll mark kinda makes me weak in the knees as well
    Last edited by TRIDENT82; 07-16-10 at 16:31.

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    You just have to feel one in person to understand just how well the gun handles and balances.
    What can one man do? You never know until you try.

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    Even though I'd shot my LWRCi gun more, I still shot the KAC better.

    It just shoots amazing. Runs very well suppressed as well.

    (I only have experience with it in 11.5'' SBR form. I had my KAC barrel shortened. It'll be 12.5'' soon after I get a Noveske Crusader barrel.)
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    The first time I held it I knew I just had to buy it. The balance is excellent, light weight and I'm a lefty.

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    It is indeed soo well balanced and soo well spec'ed out it has me completely questioning my current S.O.P. of building my own rifles from hand picked parts. Everything you get for the 2k asking price is a bargain.

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    Short answer: I was very happy with my Noveske till I held a SR15 E3.

    It's got me questioning my faith now.


    On a side note and sorry for the minor hijack. But what makes the SR15 so light? Is it the combination of URX and a pencil barrel?

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    Already mentioned but the gas system length + gas port size makes shooting 556 feel like .223 power ammo, and 223 barely is felt.



    For the sum of 2k its actually quite a good deal IF it has what you want on it. $200 stock, $300 trigger, 400-500 dollar rail system, $150 rear sight, etc. If you were to buy a 6920 or other quality gun, and added these parts you would be close to if not more than what an SR15 costs, and still not be as smooth of shooting due to the gas setup. The lower is also ambi, and quite unique. I wish all my lowers were SR15's....


    The bolt has rounded lugs which greatly reduces the chance of a sheared bolt lug, and KAC has a 20k round warranty on the bolt.




    Some people have had short stroking issues with real weak ammo but KAC enlarged the gas port to accomadate people shooting weak 223 stuff. The gun was designed to shoot M855 (556 pressure) however the vast majority of us have not had issues with weak ammo anyways. I shoot PMC and Hornady Training ammo in mine without a problem.



    If you are looking for a gun to do drills with I don't think there is a better gun out there. Its light and snappy like an SBR but due to the light weight rail, and barrel profile it really doesnt feel like you are swinging a 16" gun around. My drill speeds are always quicker with the SR vs. other 16" midlengths. If you add in a Triple Tap or the new BattleComp not only will you have a very quick gun but one that has little to no muzzle rise, and won't shatter your shooting buddies ear drums either.

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    It's a very nice rifle, I'd say the biggest strength of the rifle is it comes with everything minus optics, and optics are not something you can just ship with a rifle, everyone has a personal preference.

    BUIS (really good ones)
    SOPMOD Stock
    Great rail system
    Vertical grip if that's your thing
    Sling adapters (x2)

    The only thing I don't like is the proprietary bolt and barrel (not the function, but the parts availability). Yes, it's a great piece but should you have to replace it, you have to go through KAC, and that's difficult as KAC has a lot of military contracts that get priority over civilian products. THAT SAID! I would not be surprised when people burn out their SR-15 E3, they just buy a whole new upper, because the lowers are in my humble opinion, perfect.

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    As others have already so capably said, there is just that intangible "something" about these rifles that defines comparison to anything else on the market.

    I've not had the pleasure of taking one to the firing line as yet, but when you pick one up for the first time, it does make an immediate impression. These don't feel like comparable mid-gas guns, and the weight difference/distribution will leave you wondering how they managed it. They are light -- very light -- and shoulder so naturally that you almost forget that it is an AR-based system. Is the SR series the ultimate evolution of the Stoner design? Well, a lot of folks would seem to think so, including (apparently) the late Gene Stoner himself.

    While I realize it isn't terribly instructive to call this one of those "greater than the sum of its parts" situations, quite honestly, I do think that the expression captures it well. Everything about the SR seems to be just a little better than the competition, a little more innovative then the rest, and a little more advanced than standard fare. When taken as a whole, the results are impressive, to say the least.

    AC
    Stand your ground; don't fire unless fired upon, but if they mean to have a war, let it begin here. -- Captain John Parker, Lexington, 1775.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Magic_Salad0892 View Post
    Even though I'd shot my LWRCi gun more, I still shot the KAC better.

    It just shoots amazing. Runs very well suppressed as well.

    (I only have experience with it in 11.5'' SBR form. I had my KAC barrel shortened. It'll be 12.5'' soon after I get a Noveske Crusader barrel.)
    Are you saying that you had an E3 barrel cut to 11.5"? How is that possible given the longer gas system of the E3?

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    I got to handle one a few times and was very impressed, but I've never had the chance to shoot one.

    Quote Originally Posted by TRIDENT82 View Post
    It feels so much like a toy gun.....you absolutely have to feel one in person to understand just how well the gun handles and balances.

    Its in the clear top 3 best guns outta the box Ive ever come across...you get soooo many unique and truly game changing features that its a bargin for give or take 2k.

    The "Stoner Rifle" roll mark kinda makes me weak in the knees as well
    Just out of curiosity, what would you say are the other two?
    Steve


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    Quote Originally Posted by SteveL View Post
    I got to handle one a few times and was very impressed, but I've never had the chance to shoot one.



    Just out of curiosity, what would you say are the other two?
    LMT MRP Rifle length w. 16" D.I.
    LMT MRP CQB 10.5" D.I......Have not actually fielded this gun however its in the works
    Colt 6520....the only gun that feels outta the box better than the SR15 that is not a sbr imho....but obviously until one mods the a2 for a m4 flattop it isn't exactly optics ready.
    Last edited by TRIDENT82; 07-17-10 at 21:38.

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    we had a hard problem selling them at first, people just didnt understand why they should pay $2k+ on a non-piston gun.

    i've sold 4, and every single one i've sold was because i let them put 5 rounds through mine.

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    Got to handle one today. I had just put together a BCM LW 16" Middy on an LMT lower with all Magpul MOE gear and VTAC TRX Extreme rail. I'll be damned if that SR-15 wasn't almost as light as my rifle!!! It felt really well balanced and thought out. It was sorta like the first time I drove a brand new Bimmer, I got what the buzz was about when I considered all the details. It's still a large chunk of change, but it is quite unlike any AR I have handled or put together. I can see myself getting one in the future.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mtdawg169 View Post
    Are you saying that you had an E3 barrel cut to 11.5"? How is that possible given the longer gas system of the E3?
    They drilled a new gas port, I'm not familiar with the process.
    Quote Originally Posted by montanadave View Post
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    In thinking about my earlier comments, and those of others in the thread, what I probably left unsaid was that the SR delivers an exceptional sense of balance. I'm not talking about balance in terms of handling here, but rather in terms of overall configuration. You can get a two-stage trigger elsewhere. You can purchase a competitor's free float rail system. You can find other back up iron sights that are just as well made. You can certainly buy a SOPMOD stock or mid-gassed barrel from alternate vendors. If you look hard enough, you can even get your hands on lowers with ambidextrous controls and enhanced-ish bolts. The list goes on, from QD sling mounts to rail panels and VFGs. You can source most all of these things -- piece by piece -- from a variety of other places to build the right AR for your individual needs; in fact, that is precisely what most of us have been doing for years.

    This, I think, is where the SR causes one to take a step back, because all of these features are already present on the KAC, and they are present in a very well integrated manner. The result is a production gun that boasts a balance of features that can meet most any need without any real modification. Add an optic, and you're ready to pop caps. What's more, since we're talking about a factory configuration, much of the trial and error that we've traditionally associated with the process (will this mount work in conjunction with that rail, etc., etc.) is removed.

    I do not yet own one, but every time I pick up an SR, I find myself a little closer to that point. I've never been prone to riding on anyone's bandwagon -- much less KAC's -- but I really have to hand it to them on this carbine.

    AC
    Stand your ground; don't fire unless fired upon, but if they mean to have a war, let it begin here. -- Captain John Parker, Lexington, 1775.

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    KAC was nice enough to send me a pre-production model, which I wrote about in the January 2009 SWAT Magazine.

    I'm not really into the whole "intangibles" and "just feels right" thing, so I'll just give my impressions.

    I expected the gun to be heavier. With the length of the rail and the SOPMOD stock it looks like a heavy gun. Fully jocked up with Aimpoint, sling, BUIS, VFG it weighed in at just a shade over 8 lbs.



    Once I knew what it weighed, I expected it to recoil more and be less controllable. It wasn't. This is due in large part to the tuning that KAC did with the gas port and the longer gas tube. Warning, the gas tube is one of several non-standard parts on this gun. It's not even a standard mid-length or rifle-length. It is, however, standard to KAC as it's the SR25 gas tube.





    There are several unique and non-standard parts on this gun. There is the gas tube, mentioned above, but there is also the complete bolt (inclusive of extractor, extractor springs, etc.) and the barrel extension it mates to. These parts, in conjunction with the hammer-forged barrel, are supposed to push service life upwards of 20k rounds. I cannot vouch for this personally but others have put far more than this on their guns without issue.







    Given all of the above, I expected it to be expensive, and it both is and isn't. For a first AR, right out of the gate, I'd still suggest people buy one of the upcoming BCM mid-length guns with standard furniture for significantly less money than the KAC. However, for those that KNOW they want the features offered in the KAC, at $2k+/- it's actually right on par with a similar setup you'd build yourself, but could be viewed as an even better deal if you believe the service life claims.

    Building a relatively equivalent gun, without the E3 features:
    $875 BCM BFH 16" Mid Length Upper Receiver Group w/ Daniel Defense LITE 12" Handguard
    $140 BCM Bolt Carrier Group (MPI) - Auto
    $23 BCM AR15 Charging Handle
    $100 BCM Folding Battle Sight - Front - M4 Type - (mfg by Troy Ind)
    $120 BCM Folding Battle Sight - REAR (mfg by Troy Ind)
    $340 BCM Lower Receiver Group (less stock body)
    $200 LMT SOPMOD Stock - BLACK

    I believe that puts you right around $1800 and the complete upper price is something that's currently on sale with an MSRP of $200 more. Again this does not include the ambidextrous controls of the SR15, or the E3 bolt features.

    The SR15 is certainly not for everyone, and the popularity is certainly riding the coat-tails of being seen in the right hands in the right places (what product isn't these days?), but it's a good value if you're looking for that particular combination of parts/features.

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    What's the secret to the light weight? Barrel configuration? How much does the URX handguard weigh? The SOPMOD is a great stock, but it is not the lightest - you could easily shave a few more ounces off with a simple stock body swap...

    I find myself increasingly interested in the SR15E3 - somewhat to my surprise. With buzz about the ACR, SCAR and MR556, I had tuned out the KAC offering as an overpriced AR15 with a proprietary bolt. Yet it seems that while the luster of those other 'next-gen' carbines is fading, the KAC has developed a loyal following. I plan to check one out.

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