Wednesday, February 28, 2024

Need a New Black Rifle? Mission-Specific Tactical Carbines from Rock River Arms

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by David Crane

Just about everyone and their mother is making AR-15’s/M16’s these days, at least it seems like it, anyway. After all, it is one of the two most popular infantry rifle platforms on the planet, and no other rifle in the world can compete with the AR-15’s/M16’s upgradable nature, in terms of accessories and add-ons.

One company worthy of mention that’s entered into the black rifle arena, with a bang, I might add, is Rock River Arms, Inc.. Located in Cleveland, IL, Rock River Arms is currently producing some particularly interesting…

tactical AR-15/M16 carbines for the LE and civilian communities.

One of their more interesting offerings is their Elite LE Tactical CAR A4, that features mid-length handguards that are between an the M4’s and standard rifle’s handguards in length, and a removable rail/sight assembly that appears to be unique to Rock River Arms. Once you remove the rail/sight assembly, it would appear that you are left with a standard 1913 Picatinny rail, although I’m not sure of this. DefRev will investigate the matter. By the way, the pre-ban version of the Elite LE Tactical CAR A4 also sports a 6 position collapsible buttstock, as well as an interesting proprietary 15-port muzzle brake that utilizes multiple circular vent holes instead of the standard elongated holes of the famous birdcage flash suppressor/flash hider.

Personally, if I could set up a Rock River Arms LE Tactical CAR exactly to my tastes, I’d mate one of their complete M4 Entry Tactical Uppers(with Milspec double-heatshield handguards and standard birdcage flash hider/suppressor) to one of their pre-ban carbine lowers with 6 position collapsible/telescoping buttstock. Then, I would replace the standard handguards with either a KAC FF RAS or RAS II rail system w/vertical foregrip. For an optical gunsight I’d go with either an EOTech 552 HDS (Holographic Diffraction Sight), Aimpoint CompM2/M68 red dot combat sight, or Trijicon ACOG. "ACOG" stands for "Advanced Combat Optical Gunsight". In a Trijicon ACOG, I’d go with either the TA11 or TA31, both of which utilize the "Bindon Aiming Concept" or "BAC". If I were to take a Trijicon ACOG on a mission, I’d use a special KAC mount to mount a DOCTERsight holographic red dot sight to the top of the ACOG for close-in engagements.

For nighttime operations, I’d add an ITT AN/PVS-14 Monocular with ITT’s new "Pinnacle" (thin film) tube technology and mount it behind whatever optical gunsight I’m using. I’d also add a Surefire WeaponLight (combat white light), either separate or part of their M900 series Millenium Rail Vertical Foregrip System. For a visible laser sight, I’d probably go with a dual beam, IR capable CVL(Carbine Visible Laser) made by Insight Technologies or ITT Night Vision. An Insight Technologies AN/PEQ-5 would probably be my first choice. If I couldn’t get my hands on a good CVL, a Surefire L75 IR laser/L80 visible green laser combo would probably be the next best way to go.

Oh, yeah–almost forgot–just to round things off, for the rear grip, I’d add an ERGO Grip by the good folks at Falcon Industries. The ERGO Grip is much more ergonomic than the standard CAR-15/M4 grip.

If you’d like to see a couple of cool pics of an AN/PEQ-5 CVL mounted on a KAC FF RAS in different positions, just click on this link. In one picture you can see an EOTech 552 Holosight, and in the other, you’ll notice an Aimpoint CompM/M2 series red dot sight. The photos are courtesy of member "PincoPalla", who has a truly excellent collection of AR-15/M16/M4-related accessories and gear, and knows how to set a pre-ban CAR-15/M4 configuration up, properly.

DefRev will of course attempt to acquire one of one of Rock River Arms’ tactical carbines for an extensive T&E as soon as possible. In the meantime, you would be well-advised to read David Fortier’s excellent article on the Rock River Arms Elite LE Tactical CAR in the October, 2002 issue of "Shooting Times" Magazine. Mr. Fortier is one of the youngest gunwriters out there right now, and, as it happens, he’s also one of the best.

Need a New Black Rifle? Mission-Specific Tactical Carbines from Rock River Arms by

About David Crane

David Crane started publishing online in 2001. Since that time, governments, military organizations, Special Operators (i.e. professional trigger pullers), agencies, and civilian tactical shooters the world over have come to depend on Defense Review as the authoritative source of news and information on "the latest and greatest" in the field of military defense and tactical technology and hardware, including tactical firearms, ammunition, equipment, gear, and training.

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