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Discussion Starter #1
I have an RRA Operator and i want to change out the rail to lighten it up as much as possible. I'm leaning toward a TROY ALPHA RAIL, my questions are...

- Can i put on the 7.2" rail and keep my current RRA gas block/flip up front sight?
- if i go with the 9" rail, what LO PRO GAS BLOCK would you go with?
- will i be able to rail mount a new flip up front sight? what would you recommend? will my accuracy be affected?

My RRA Operator is dead on accurate as it is now(original factory setup) but its heavy as hell. i have zero experience customizing AR's but have customized shotguns and AK's.
that being said id like to get a heads up on what potential troubles i may run into before i buy parts. any experienced advise would be GREATLY APPRECIATED. Thanks.
 

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Having done this for a few customers, you won't save enough weight to make it worthwhile. All the extra weight is coming from the overly large Dia barrel.

RRA does make another free float tube that is lighter than the one that comes on it, that would be the easiest way to remove some weight, but it will not put much of a dent in how front heavy it is.
 

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Wouldn't front heavy be a good thing on an AR (i.e. counteracts muzzel rise and assists staying on target for follow-up shots)?
 

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Discussion Starter #5
i hear you, on paper its good for follow up shots,in reality too. its a great rifle but that weight is felt up front and I'm mainly doing a lot of target shooting at various distances sometimes prone and sometimes standing,walking distances with the rifle on my back and all that stuff. i just want to make it more comfortable and balanced so i can pull it up to position and fire quickly and easily. i bought an RRA because of its quality,reliability and accuracy. i just want to balance it better up front. by changing the front rail to a TROY ALPHA RAIL i'd be shaving off a 1/2 LB and if i change the gas block / (bulky) RRA front sight the weight will go down a few more more ounces. my concern is if it will affect accuracy. bpipe95 says i won't notice much difference(in weight) if i swap out for a Troy Alpha and he's a smith it seems so he's done this before. it may be obsessive and it probably is but i still want to change the rail to get better balance and feel. i just don't have any AR experience and feel like I'm guesstimating, thats why i posted asking for advise on troubleshooting before i commit.
 

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I am not a smith ( i reserve that title for the artists that deserve it) I do however work on AR's a lot.

I have the alpha on one of my personal guns I LOVE LOVE LOVE it. Now, if you are doing this for pure weight savings it may not be really worth it. HOWEVER if you are doing it to make the gun more ergonomic you are completely justified. The smaller diam smooth sided rail will allow for a better grip on the gun. Recoil and muzzle control will improve with this. Now the bit of weight savings is a bonus... :)

The one down side is that you will need to find a very lightweight two piece gas block that will fit under the rail, as a single piece unit will not fit over the muzzle brake. Also swapping one free float tube for another will not impede your accuracy unless you have contact between the tube and the gas-block.


OR you can tear down the RRA upper sell the factory barrel, rail, FSB, and attached brake. And buy an FN made Palmetto state armory light weight mid gas barrel, the apha rail along with a low prog GB and a GOOD muzzle device. Keep the factory gas tube and have a VERY well balanced higher quality barreled upper. This is way more expensive though... ;)



Cgrutt, the balance and set up of the gun all depend on what it is being used for. A front heavy gun is fine for the bench. However they suck for carbine classes. A gun that is super light in the front end can be a tick more jumpy but that problem is easily solved with the proper parts... :)
 

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Discussion Starter #7
now thats the type of advise i was hoping for! I'm gonna look into both options and see what i like best. i'll post when i make a move though it may not be for a little while.
thanks again bpipe95!
 

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I looked up the RRA Elite Operator 2 (which is what I assume you have) and I'm a bit confused over that handguard. Is it a two-piece rail system, or is it a one-piece tubular handguard that attaches via a proprietary barrel nut? If it's a two-piece, you've got some options. If it's a one-piece, my best advice is if you want something lighter and you don't have much AR 15 smithing experience, sell your current upper receiver and get something from BCM, Colt, Daniel Defense, Noveske, Knights Armament, or LMT that best fits your desired configuration. You won't be sorry.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
i looked into AR complete uppers from the brands you mentioned,nice but very expensive. I've got my hands full with options now. maybe a new RRA lightweight barrel and rail with a low pro gas block,parts would run in the neighborhood of $500. a new upper would be near a grand or so but no smithing involved. for the record I'm now totally obsessed with this, gotta love when the fever acts up and your walking around in that "new project daze" ;)
ps-one piece tubular rail
 

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Discussion Starter #10
having spent the entire morning researching on the internet this is what I'm thinking about doing...

-buying a new lightweight "16 barrel from RRA(CAR length gas system,which i have on my old barrel) $245
-buying an 11" TROY ALPHA RAIL w Front Flip Up Sight $255
-buying a Troy lo-pro gas block $35

*the smith I'm using will do it if i order the parts thru him so maybe they'll be a 10-15% markup on parts so I'm looking in the $600 range.

MY ONLY QUESTION/CONCERN NOW IS...can RRA ship the barrel with the muzzle break unwelded to NY(?) so the Smith I'm using can fit the gas block and rail over barrel before HE pins/welds it on permanently???
anyone have the answer? bpipe95 perhaps? thank you in advance, you guys are walking me thru this and i appreciate it very much.
 

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The factory barrel is a mid gas barrel not Carbine. The FN made Palmetto barrel is way nicer, cheaper, and still mid gas.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
i have a 16" barrel but im not sure if my gas length is mid or carbine. my half quad rail is 7" same as on the ENTRY tactical and it comes almost all the way up to the gas block/front sight base. isn't that short considered a carbine length? I'm out of the country till aug 22nd so i can't look at it till then. how do i tell for sure what length gas system i have? is there a specific measurement? sorry for my ignorance.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
ps- i looked at palmetto barrels and the are nice in quality AND price. if i did have a carbine gas system could i just switch to mid length or is that a
whole other set of issues and changes that have to be accommodated for? in reality i can't formulate a plan till I'm home,rifle in hand and certain
about gas system length...unfortunately I'm all OCD on this already.
 

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I made a mistake, i thought you had an elite. If you have the standard you have a carbine gas. The move to mid gas is 100% worth it. The only additional part you will need is a $15.00 gas tube.
 

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Barrels and compensator can be shipped to NY without being welded.

What is advantage of mid-length gas? Better cycling?
 

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What is advantage of mid-length gas? Better cycling?[/QUOTE]
The advantage of mid-length system is you get slightly slow cycle speed and less brute force as the bolt flys back. its a nice thing if you shoot steel case ammo, you also get a slightly lighter recoil. im currently running a mid-length system on my RRA and i love it
 

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Discussion Starter #17
ok. i wasn't sure if the carbine and mid-length had the same setup(spring,bolt, whatever) due to the extra force and bolt timing. if there are NO ISSUES like this to deal with switching carbine to mid-length (chime in here if there are any considerations other than a longer gas tube please) then ill be going palmetto mid-length barrel with a Troy alpha rail (length to be decided). anyone have a rail or flip up lo-pro SIGHT they'd like to recommend? *any configuration ideas will be taken seriously and researched*. i want to keep her light up front. you guys are awsome,thank you for walking me thru this.
ps-i do shoot steel case fairly often.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
On the PALMETTO website i see "LIGHT profile", "LIGHTER profile" and "PENCIL profile" barrels... WHATS THE DIFFERENCE?
looking for some more AR education before i buy.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
so its NYS legal at 14.7" when the muzzle brake is welded on? that counts toward the 16" minimum?
what i mean is...14.7" + muzzel break = 16" ? ...thats legal?
 
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