Rock River Arms LAR-15 Rifle in 223 Remington

Rock River Arms LAR-15 Rifle in 223 Remington


Rock River Arms LAR-15 Rifle in 223 Remington

Classification: Long Guns
Category: Rifles
Model Name: LAR-15
Manufacturer: Rock River Arms
Model Number: LAR-15 – -( The other name for this gun, as marked on the box, is CAR A4 Rifle ML, and it regularly sells for around $750. But the only designation to appear on the rifle receiver was LAR-15. In fairness, the “Shorty AK” moniker didn’t appear on the Bushmaster. Right off the bat we noticed the Rock River didn’t quite have the nice balance of the Bushmaster.

The Rock felt muzzle heavy, which was understandable looking at the two barrels side by side. The Rock River didn’t have fluting on its 16-inch barrel, and the barrel was an inch-and-a-half longer. The Rock River also had almost two more inches of forend length, which gave a two-inch-longer sight radius.

The muzzle brake of the Rock River was more intricate looking than that of the Bushmaster, though they worked about equally well in reducing felt recoil. Both had about the same blast effect, which was not obnoxious with this cartridge, despite the short barrels.

The Rock River rifle was almost the same overall setup as the Bushmaster. The description of the Bushmaster would closely match that of the Rock River, including fit and finish. Differences include the grip, which on the Rock was by Hogue, finger-grooved and rubber-textured.

Also, the Rock had two swivels at the front, one beneath the front sight mount and a removable one on the left side. Another big difference, the detachable rear sight of the Rock River was carried in a second rail, not a handle.

Rock River Arms LAR-15 Rifle in 223 Remington
Rock River Arms LAR-15 Rifle in 223 Remington

Courtesy, Gun Tests

That’s a Hogue grip. Workmanship of the Rock River rifle was at least as good as that on the Bushmaster. These two makers put out some of today’s best-valued AR-15s, in a wide variety of styles.

This meant you could attach some accessories, like a scope or night sight, without having to remove the rear aperture sight from the rifle. This, however, made for a poor handle, and most of us would prefer a normal carry handle over this setup.

The range session began with the first shot hitting dead center on the paper. Clearly, Rock River spent a little more time getting the sights looking where the barrel looked than Bushmaster. Despite the longer sight radius, the Rock River’s front sight was not a whole lot sharper looking than that of the Bushmaster, to a few of our shooters’ eyes anyway.

The Rock’s trigger was a delight, though, breaking cleanly at 4.8 pounds, a big improvement over the Bushmaster setup. Accuracy was about the same with either AR-15, though the Rock didn’t have the gaping flyers with the Malay ball that we got with the Bushmaster. There were again no unhappy surprises with feed or function with the Rock River rifle. These two manufacturers seem to have the AR system fairly well sorted out.


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