RROC Conversion 5.56mm Upper by ADD. Clean Runnin’, No Recoilin’, and Reliable. by David Crane
by David Crane
by David Crane
DefRev (DefenseReview.com for any newbies out there) has known about the RROC Conversion for quite some time–about the last year and a half, long before it even had a name. RROC stands for Reduced Recoil Operation Control system, and it was invented/developed by Bob Davies out of Tempe, Arizona. Bob’s company is called Advanced Device Design (Advanced Device Design does not have a website at this time.).
God only knows how many times I’ve called Mr. Davies to get some written info and materials, including photos, on this thing–only to be thwarted politely at every turn. As a courtesy, DefRev has been keeping quiet about it and waiting for Mr. Davies to give the device a name and release said informational materials to us on it.
The reason I bring all this up is that the venerable Charles Cutshaw has scooped us with…
an excellent article about the RROC Conversion in the Jan. 2003 issue of GWLE(Guns & Weapons for Law Enforcement). Of course, Mr. Cutshaw has had the inside track on this thing for a long time, and knew about it long before even I did.
So, what is the RROC Conversion 5.56? In short, it’s a complete replacement upper for the M4/M4A1/CAR-15 that is designed to drop right on that weapon’s lower receiver and correct all of the carbine’s deficiencies in one fell swoop, through a superior operating system/mechanism. What does it do specifically? A whole bunch, actually. First, it runs extremely clean, compared to the M4/M4A1. The RROC Conversion accomplishes this by completely doing away with the AR’s direct gas impingement system, and replacing it with with a gas cylinder that incorporates an M14 piston and SKS-type operating rod. The RROC is supposedly as reliable as those two weapons now. Accordingly, the only place inside the gun that collects dirt now is around the locking lug area, where a small amount of unburned powder particles and carbon tend to collect.
The RROC Conversion also reduces the M4A1’s 800-1000 rounds-per-minute cyclic rate to 600-650 rpm. This assists greatly in solving the M4A1’s overheating problem on full-auto (The M4A1 has been known to overheat and fail in the field after as little as 200 rounds on full-auto). What’s even better, both felt recoil and muzzle climb are reportedly virtually elimated as well. This combination of reduced cyclic rate and recoil reduction is accomplished via the synergy of several elements. I will let Mr. Cutshaw tell it: "First, the muzzle brake slightly reduces felt recoil. Second, the reinforced drive key that replaces the AR’s gas key has a 90-durometer urethane cushion that slows extraction slightly and has the added benefit of smoothing the operating cycle. Third, there is a spring loaded reciprocating counterweight inside the bolt carrier that further smoothes the operating cycle and felt recoil by impinging against the hydraulic buffer that also has a small reciprocating counterweight. Fourth, the newly designed hydraulic recoil buffer cushions the blow of the bolt carreir via an "O"ring on its face, further smoothing the recoil impulse, while at the same time acting with the other elements of the system to reduce the cyclic rate. For situations where a high volume of fire is necessary, an aluminum heat sink surrounding the heavy barrel not only draws heat off the barrel, but pulls in outside air via a convection process to help further cool the barrel." Boy, that’s certainly a lot of stuff goin’ on at one time, isn’t it?
So, essentially what we have here, boys and girls, is a drop-in upper receiver assembly for the M4/M4A1 that runs much cleaner and more reliably, doesn’t overheat, and has virtually no felt-recoil. The only fly in the proverbial ointment, besides the RROC’s cost(which we will touch on in a minute), is the fact that the RROC upper weighs 6 lbs–by itself.
On full-auto, Mr. Cutshaw reports that the RROC is as smooth, or smoother, feeling than an HK MP-5 subgun with, again, virtually no felt recoil or muzzle climb. Wow. Where do I sign up? That’s not all. When Cutshaw went to Ft. Benning, Georgia, he personally witnessed Army Rangers successfully engaging silhouette targets out to 200 meters on full-auto–"with no formal indoctrination." By the way, on semi-auto, you get the same recoil reduction, which makes triple-tapping your target a faster and more accurate experience than with a standard semi-auto M4 clone/CAR-15/AR-15.
When Mr. Cutshaw performed a quick 480-round full-auto test(16 magazines) on the RROC Conversion 5.56, firing 30 rd mag after 30 rd mag as fast as he could reload, he didn’t experience a single stoppage. Keep in mind he dumped each 30 round magazine in a single burst, and the whole test took about two minutes total. In addition to no stoppages, no components needed replacement and the barrel remained within specification. Mr. Cutshaw has since had the same unit for almost a year, and has yet to experience a single feeding or extraction malfunction of any kind. That’s pretty impressive.
Now for some more particulars on the gun:
The RROC 5.56’s muzzle brake, called the Force Redirection System, uses a "balanced pressure" design that does not adversely effect accuracy in any way. The FRS incorporates exterior left-hand threads for attaching suppressors. Mike Rock of Rock Creek Barrels (608-574-2111, [email protected]) and Jim Ribordy of RD Systems have teamed up to develop a suppressor specifically for the RROC that is different than anything else currently out there and subject to patent.
The handguards on the RROC are of a free-floated type that incorporates a MIL-STD 1913 KAC RAS II/A.R.M.S. S.I.R. style rail system, but it doesn’t appear from the GWLE article that it is made by either Knight’s Armament or Atlantic Research Marketing Systems. DefRev’s impression is therefore that this free-floating rail system is proprietary to Advanced Device Design and the RROC, but we have yet to confirm this.
There is one option available for the RROC, and that’s a replacement fire control system made by Accuracy Speaks (480-373-9499, [email protected]). The Accuracy Speaks unit reduces trigger pull weight to 4 lbs and has a very clean and crisp "break".
The finish applied to all of the RROC’s steel components comes from Top Gun Technologies/Top-Gun Enterprises, Inc. (251-540-7025, [email protected]) out of Gulf Shores, Alabama. We believe the finish is called Stealth-Tech™, although its name was not mentioned in the GWLE article. According to Cutshaw, this brand new finish eliminates corrosion and protects against scratches. The Top Gun finish actually penetrates the metal several thousands of an inch, and, accordig to Cutshaw "is so hard that a diamond engraver will not scratch it." Gee, sounds like something…Now, what is it?… Hmmm… Can anyone say…TENIFER?!!! DefRev isn’t saying it’s the same type of finish as Glock’s tenifer, but it sure sounds like it from the GWLE article. According to the Top-Gun Enterprises site, Stealth-Tech™ has self-lubricitous qualities as well, which tenifer does not. If these claims are true, Stealth-Tech must indeed be different than tenifer. However we are not sure that the finish cited by Mr. Cutshaw is Stealth-Tech™. All aluminum parts on the gun are finished with Robar’s excellent NP3 finish.
The price of production models of the Reduced Recoil Operation Control System(RROC) 5.56, by Advanced Device Design, is estimated to be right around $1,500, when they are made available.
Recently and extremely coincidently, before the GWLE article came out, I spoke with Jeff Wemmer, president and founder of Best Made Designs LLC/Spec.-Ops.™ Brand products, about the RROC 5.56. Jeff is a serious long range competive shooter and all-around very tough individual. Anyway, Jeff told me on the phone that he had witnessed the RROC in competition and was extremely impressed with what he saw. According to Jeff, when one of the competitors(the gun’s owner) took the RROC apart for cleaning, there really wasn’t much to clean. Jeff said the inside of the gun had no fouling or carbon build-up that he could see. Interestingly, Jeff is the one that brought the RROC up in conversation, again, purely by coincidence, while we were talking about competition shooting. It must be said that while we were talking about the unit, neither of us knew it’s name, because Bob Davies hasn’t really had a name for it until now. Getting back to Jeff for a second, anyone interested in purchasing some top notch Special Operations/tactical accessories would be well served by visiting the the Best Made Designs LLC/Spec.-Ops.™ Brand products site. As it happens, DefRev will be reviewing several of their products shortly.
If you have questions about the RROC Conversion 5.56, Advanced Device Design(Bob Davies) can be reached by phone at 480-945-4950, or via email at [email protected].
Jeff Wemmer and Best Made Designs LLC/Spec.-Ops.™ Brand products can be contacted by phone at 915-943-4888, or toll free at 866-SPEC-OPS. Their email address is [email protected]. Jeff’s personal email address is [email protected].
DefRev would like to read your comments on the RROC and this article, so don’t be afraid to reply to this story.