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RDIAS vs RLL vs RR - pros and cons
jtb33  [Team Member]
First off, I know this has probably been "done to death" and there's probably a reference link on Quarterbore's site or something, but I was initially interested in a M10 or M11 and was talked out of it and talked into a rifle caliber C3/NFA gun and was trying to decide between an AC556 and FN FNC, but after reading about all those I have taken it to the next level and will soon have the funds to move into the "M16" category. Now, my question is: which way should I go given my situation;

Registered Lightning Link
Registered Drop-In Auto Sear
Registered Receiver

?

My situation is that I have NO full auto stuff, but I do have a LOT of AR15 stuff. I have about 20 complete AR15 uppers and 10 complete AR15 lowers of various manufacture (DPMS, Eagle Arms, MEGA, VM HY-TEC, Bushmaster and Rock River Arms).

My understanding is that if I go with the RR or RDIAS, I'd have to get M16 bolt carriers for all the uppers I want to use with the NFA/C3 lower, and if I went with the RDIAS, in addition to bolt carriers, I'd have to get a fire control group for the lower I want to use the RDIAS in, and remove it when I remove the RDIAS, but the advantage is that I could use it in a *new* lower as long as it didn't have the sear block (shelf) in there. The advantage of the RLL (as I understand it to be) is that I can use it in ANY AR15 without changing any parts and it will work fine; the disadvantage being that I lose the ability to use semi-auto while it's in there (unless I do some sort of modification to it).

Can anyone help me outline the pros and cons to each option? I am THIS close to forking over the $$ and since I will only be able to afford one, I want to make sure I mke a wise decision.

Thanks!
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Tonkaman  [Member]
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JC_Conn  [Team Member]
I think the RR is the way to go, as you can keep the M16 fire control parts in the RR. With a RDIAS, you'll be swapping AR15 control parts and M16 control parts in and out as you move the RDIAS from one lower to another.

The RR also solves the issue of having extra sets of M16 parts around when you do own AR15s as well -- in reality, you'll only need one set, installed in the RR, and an M16 bolt carrier group.



Jeremy
TylerSchreck  [Member]
Remember...the RR blows up.... hard to repair...costly to repair...if the lower blows up with a DIAS or LL in it...pick up the DIAS or LL .. buy another $90 lower.

I have a LL, but a DIAS is the way to go in my opinion and I would have got a DIAS over a LL if money would have permitted. However, I would get a DIAS over a RR anyday!
Dano523  [Team Member]
RDIAS,
Slap together a cheap host gun for $500 and burn it to the ground with dirt cheap ammo. C-mag dumps, burn the front hand guards off, Run 10, 000 rounds threw the rig without cleaning, it doesn't really matter. If the Host rifle wears out or just blows up, your not going to hurt the sear, and can have another host rifle up and running with the RDIAS in a few minutes.

RLL
Paddles bend or break after a few thousand rounds, but still can be swapped from host to host. Almost as good as a Rdias.

RR,
Total Range Queen.
Blow one up, and you will be looking for a smith that can perform special magic getting it welded back together. Plus, don't plan on seeing the receiver for a long, long time while it's being fixed.
jtb33  [Team Member]
Thanks for the replies guys. I was leaning towards a RLL (1st), and an RDIAS (2nd). Out of curiosity, the RLL is a thin piece of metal... if it ever broke, can it legally be replaced?
TriggerFish  [Member]
Yes...please don't buy ANY RRs. This rush to buy RRs has jacked the prices completely out of sight. BUY ONLY RLLs or RDIASs, as I want to be able to get my POS RR for a little better price down the road. It's just a hunk of crap & a range queen, but what do I know. Please save the RRs for us idiots.

Thenk yew veddy much.
Quarterbore  [Team Member]
In another thread I said I wouldn't trade my rLL for an DIAS and I still feel that way but to be honest if I had the abuility to handle a little more debt I would be buying a DIAS or HK Sear. Reality has struck that I can't do that again...

Here are a few of my oppinions...

Lightning Link

Now, you mentioned just swaping the LL into any lower and using it with any upper. This isn't quite correct as you do need an SP-1 carrier as opposed to 99% of the AR-15 carriers out there. In addition, the link will only work with some brands of lowers. Obviously the cariers and lowers can be modified to work but I wanted to correct this point.

The Lightning Link is still the cheapest way to go and I have set-ups now for the 9mm, 223, and 7.62x39 and as I assume you know I am looking at the AR-10 when I can. I have also setup my Bushmaster lower with a select fire kit and frankly a LL with a select fire kit shoots and handles exactly the same as a RR. What I like with the LL and DIAS best is the fact that the MG itself would be almost impossible to break and add a cheap new lower and I have a brand new gun. I also like how the LL and DIAS can be moved from lower to lower which allows these two to be used with an AR-15, AR-47, and with any luck I hope to get the AR-10 running with the LL as well. The LL has a slight advantage here as the LL is easier to time and easier to swap then a DIAS which may need shims or adjustments.

DIAS

The DIAS is with very little doubt the best answer. The DIAS will do everything my link will do plus it works like a traditional GI sear which will allow you to swap out M16 FCGs so you can try the M16A1, M16A2, and M4 enhanced groups. The DIAS will also work with a Ciener 22 conversion and after having a RR with a 22 conversion where you can shoot a few thousand rounds for less than $40 it really is nice having that option. The lightning link looks to be a nightmare to make work with current 22 conversions but lucky for me I do have another NFA toy that can do 22LR for me. The DIAS, especially the steal versions, are without doubt the strongest MGs you will find.

RR

The Registered receiver is pretty cool as it looks like an M-16, it is milled like an M-16, and it has the parts of an M-16. The differences between the various RRs make it tough to describe all of them but if we go with the general mil-spec forged lower as an example. Such a lower is very strong and it will do anything the LL or DIAS will without problem. The only difference here is that you are stuck with the single lower but next to an H&K sear pack you still have the most versitile MG option you can get.

So anyways...

The good news is you picked excellent choices. The bad news is that others have been here for some time driving up the prices. You can not go wrong with any of these options and while I am very happy I got my rLL and I really wouldn't trade it for DIAS I would still tend to agree that the DIAS may be the best item of the three to have. Personally, I like the LL and DIAS over the RR as both do give you multiple MG systems because of the different receivers they can be used with.

In my case, I have three other MGs including a Vector UZI, SWD M11/9, and a SWD M10/9. FWIW, one of the most affordable and yet most versitile weapon systems is still the Vector UZI. I run mine in 22LR, 9mm, and 45 ACP but it will also run in most any pistol cartridge. I still like the AR-15/M-16 options better but man is the UZI a fine system that deserves more credit then it seem to get. The M11 and M10 are honestly guns that I just got because of their potential in the future as there were various uppers comming out for them and I hope that one day I can get a SAW style upper for one of them.

Good Luck... it isn't an easy decision!

EDIT: I think you would never be able to break a link or DIAS. They may bend if you had a major KABOOM whick likely would remove your whole head anyways but your Widow would be able to pound it flat and get to sell it to the next guy

(Edit 2 to swap the smileys)
Phil_A_Steen  [Team Member]
Let me start by saying that I have a number of RRs and one DIAS, so I have no bias towards either one.

As far as the RRs blowing up, it's an oft cited reason for DIAS superiority but seems to be a myth as far as I can tell. Others have challenged someone to cite an M16 kaboom - no one has found one yet as far as I know. Even if that does happen, a RR can be repaired.

RRs run pretty well with no tweaking -- no "catching the DIAS" when you break open the upper to clear.

DIAS allow you to switch lowers, but frankly, I find switching the M16 fire control parts (which must stay with the DIAS) to be such a PITA that my DIAS semi-permanently resides in a Colt 9mm carbine. I use a RR for .223 shooting.

In sum, you really can't lose with either, but sad as it may be, you will be paying significantly more for a DIAS these days than a RR M16 lower.
Quarterbore  [Team Member]

Originally Posted By Phil_A_Steen:

Others have challenged someone to cite an M16 kaboom - no one has found one yet as far as I know. Even if that does happen, a RR can be repaired.




One: quarterbore.com/ar15m16/ar15kaboom2.htm Actualy two if you read the linked article...

Note: Not that I would use one example to make up my own mind! The bigger issue is that you will eventually wear out trigger pin holes. Yes, they can be fixed but I would prefer to replace the lower with a new one by moving the sear or link to a new lower....
tony_k  [Team Member]

Originally Posted By jtb33:
Out of curiosity, the RLL is a thin piece of metal... if it ever broke, can it legally be replaced?



The paddles can be replaced. The link itself cannot, but it can be welded back together, as long as it did not break in the section carrying the serial number. If it breaks through the SN, you're out of luck.

BTW....

If you get struck by lightning, or wander into a nuclear reactor unprotected, with either an RLL or RDIAS, they can be destroyed or contaminated beyond use. I only mention these possibilities because they are as likely to happen as you are to "blow up" an RR beyond repair.

I am still waiting for documented proof a single instance of a transferable RR that has been damaged beyond repair by a ka-Boom. I have seen worn, no-longer-safe military issue M16s blown up when they were fired while the barrel was full of sand. I also have seen AR15s blown up by shooting completely unsafe ammo, and I guess that means there is a potential for blowing up an M16 with cheap or overloaded ammo, though most folks who go through the time and expense of buying a transferable MG also have the sense to only use quality ammo and in-spec parts.

Yes, I've seen M16 uppers let go from bad ammo, but the lower was never damaged. BTW, in every one of those cases I've witnessed, there were small bits of metal -- you know, the size of an RDIAS or RLL -- that could not be found at the scene. I am amazed that folks who buy RLLs and RDIAS instead of RRs because of fears of blowups are so convinced that in a catastrophic failure, severe enough to damage the lower receiver beyond repair, the owner will somehow magically be able to locate the tiny registered device among the debris scattered who-knows-where.

All registered transferable MGs are lousy hosts to try out that 100k cup pressure load, or work up a 5,000 fps handload, or run crap milsurp ammo to save a lousy $10 per k. Do that with a replaceable AR15 ... but please, warn the folks at the next shooting bench, so they can dodge the shrapnel.

RDIAS and RLLs are great, and I'd own one of every variety if I could afford it. Since I'm a one-M16 owner, I went for an RR instead and I'm glad I did. I can throw on any upper and just shoot, and while tinkering is fun, I prefer the directness and simplicity of the original design.

No matter what you get, take care of it, use common sense when using it, and you don't have to worry about wear or KBs. Any of the three can take a lifetime of responsible (but fun!) use without ever getting out of spec.

You'll love anything in the M16 category. Great decision -- and have fun!
tony_k  [Team Member]

Originally Posted By Quarterbore:
The bigger issue is that you will eventually wear out trigger pin holes. Yes, they can be fixed but I would prefer to replace the lower with a new one by moving the sear or link to a new lower....



Well, people wear out eventually, too. But I've seen beat-looking rental-range M16s with the original factory holes still in-spec at 300+k rounds. I rarely shoot more than 3-4k per year, and usually it's more like 2-2.5k; mine has seen 10-12k total and the holes still mike perfect, and I'm no spring chicken myself, so I'm not gonna worry about it. YMMV.

BTW, I also LOVE my Vector Uzi, for the same reasons you stated. It's so much fun to shoot that it really has taken the pressure off my M16, and I imagine it won't be long before the Uzi's round count passes the '16's. IMHO, all an Uzi/M16 combo lacks is a machine pistol (like an M10 or M11) and a rifle-caliber beltfed ... 'course, you really need to suppress 'em all, and everyone needs a 12-ga. Super Shorty AOW, and .....

Welcome to NFA poverty, jtb33!
JC_Conn  [Team Member]

Note: Not that I would use one example to make up my own mind! The bigger issue is that you will eventually wear out trigger pin holes. Yes, they can be fixed but I would prefer to replace the lower with a new one by moving the sear or link to a new lower....


Well, you'll eventually wear out the flapper on a DIAS too... the key word being "eventually". After 1000K rounds is still eventually.

There should always be a great deal of trepidation when you're shooting your $10K+ investment, whether it's a RDIAS, RR, or RLL. That's a lot of money to be exposing to possible destruction. By using quality factory parts, keeping up maintenance, and using quality ammunition, the danger of KB is greatly reduced. Or, if you have an M16 but you're afraid to use it for fear of damaging your investment, you would have probably been better off just lighting that $10K+ on fire in the first place. An unshot machine gun is a waste of money.


Jeremy
Hail Mary  [Member]
Do you like to tinker? I have yet to see a RDIAS or RLL run when first installed. It's usually the 4th or 5th time at the range that they actually run right. And God forbid when you get a new upper; you do IT all again.
frisco  [Team Member]

Originally Posted By Hail Mary:
Do you like to tinker? I have yet to see a RDIAS or RLL run when first installed. It's usually the 4th or 5th time at the range that they actually run right. And God forbid when you get a new upper; you do IT all again.



Maybe we should shoot together sometime....The only upper I've had to tinker with was the 7.62x39, but later discovered it was a bad barrel and not a timing problem.


M4Madness  [Member]
Jtb33, I could only afford one machinegun myself, and chose an RR. Here's why I recommend the same to you:

1. You have 20 AR-15 uppers and can swap them on an RR to your heart's content. You can use the same M16 bolt carrier in all of them and just use dedicated bolts for each upper if you like.

2. You won't have the timing issues that may or may not be associated with swapping uppers around with an RDIAS or RLL.

3. An RR functions in both semi and auto, so no need for the other ten semi-auto AR-15 lowers. Sell them and buy another machinegun and suppressors. It would be very difficult to swap an RDIAS or RLL into each and every configured rifle you have.

4. You stand a better chance of winning the lottery than blowing up an RR. Use only quality ammo and you will be okay.

If you only had one or two uppers, I'd say a RDIAS or RLL would be fine, but you did mention YOUR specific situation and I feel that it warrants an RR.
Phil_A_Steen  [Team Member]
Hmmm. Seems like this is leaning towards RR.

TonyK, why don't we make a DIAS-LL-RR pros and cons thread (with a poll) and tack it?
Corporal_Chaos  [Member]

Originally Posted By Phil_A_Steen:
Hmmm. Seems like this is leaning towards RR.

TonyK, why don't we make a DIAS-LL-RR pros and cons thread (with a poll) and tack it?



Please do, and include a lot of detailed information about timing the RDIAS and RLL. I read both sections at Quarterbore's site, but it's still a little confusing. I'm hoping (read: praying) that by this time next year I'll have the money to buy an M16 or one of the conversions and knowing what I will be in for at that time would be a huge help. Of course, by then M16s will be commanding 20K, so I'll probably end up just blowing the money on a hotel room full of hookers in my frustration of getting so close but still being so far. Sigh.
Quarterbore  [Team Member]
Lightning Link Wins!!!!

100% Lightning Link
0% Registered Receiver
0% DIAS

Oh my... only one vote....

Edit: In case I didn't make it clear earlier... any of the three are great choices. I just consider the LL and DIAS to be more versitile much like an H&K Sear Pack because of the abuility to move the MG to different Title 1 guns. There just isn't many other options like this and that is why I would want either the DIAS or LL over the RR. Even with that, the RR is still more versitile then most any other MG you will find...
tony_k  [Team Member]
It's tacked. And I voted, of course.

inkaybee  [Member]
You have to vote to see the results. For people like me with no informed opinion you should add a "no opinion" vote.
burbanite  [Team Member]
Which is the "better" buy/option for full auto?

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

[ 6 ] Registered Lightning Link [ 23.08% ]
[ 12 ] Registered Receiver [ 46.15% ]
[ 8 ] Registered Drop-In Auto Sear [ 30.77% ]

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Total Votes :: 26

inkaybee  [Member]
Thanks
frisco  [Team Member]
[ 7 ] Registered Lightning Link [ 19.44% ]
[ 14 ] Registered Receiver [ 38.89% ]
[ 15 ] Registered Drop-In Auto Sear [ 41.67% ]

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Total Votes :: 36

Corporal_Chaos  [Member]
Just click on vote without selecting an option.
cyrax777  [Team Member]
well the way like at it is whatever you decided still beats not having a MG.

ill take whatever of the 3 i could get if i had the cash. I would take a m16a1 over a DIAS only becouse I think it would be cool to have a real m16 but if i had the cash to spend on a MG now I would take whatever i could get my hands on since like i said a RLL beats not having a Registered anything.
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