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Posted: 12/3/2002 11:51:18 AM EDT
I asked Armalite over the weekend whether they offer their 16" mid-length setup in a pre-ban configuration. They don't.

The only other company offering a mid-length setup that I'm aware of is Rock River Arms, and they DO offer a pre-ban mid-length flat-top setup. They use Wilson barrels, and I understand I could get one chrome lined.

I have a few questions, however, and hope the readers on this board can help.

1) Does anyone other than RRA offer a pre-ban mid-length setup?

2) Are Wilson barrels any good?

3) Are RRA's and Armalite's mid-length dimensions the same? (I've heard that Armalite's are 11/16 too long for proper bayonet mounting.)

4) How does RRA rate quality-wise? I read on Gunbroker that they had mil-spec compliance issues at one point in the past. Given that I intend to use the upper to complete a project rifle, I need mil-spec across the board to ensure interchangeability.

A guy on GB says Pete-in-NH (a regular on this board) might have answers to some of my questions. I would have posed them to RRA directly, but they have no contact feature on their website and I'm too damn cheap to pick up a phone.

Thanks in advance for any replies.
Link Posted: 12/3/2002 12:12:38 PM EDT
1) No (Unless you want a custom rig...) 2) Not really - mediocre at best 3) probably since their handguards & gas tubes interchange. 4) RRA rates very high - almost 1st tier While I like the looks/idea of the mid length I'm against them because of the non standard parts (like handguards and gas tube). However if it floats your boat, [b]and[/b] you can get it chrome lined then I'd say go for the RRA. Pete's got a good rep around here, he'd be someone to talk to also.
Link Posted: 12/3/2002 12:18:03 PM EDT
That's weird....we just got a 16" Armalite LE Carbine in at the shop with midlength handguards, Bayo-lug and birdcage. The LE upper should be perfectly legal on a preban rifle. Had to wait many many months for it....I was really surprised to see the mid-lenghth handguards on it when it showed up.
Link Posted: 12/3/2002 1:01:17 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 12/3/2002 1:11:03 PM EDT by Rifleman308]
Fear of the ATF, and legal liability in general, is a powerful thing. Based on VTD's post, it appears that Armalite's email to me this Monday was a stock "civilian" answer to my question. I can only guess that Armalite won't sell its pre-ban mid-length configuration to civilians because of perceived legal exposure. Nothing else makes sense. I'd go w/ a 14.5" setup in a heartbeat if the ballistic performance didn't differ so dramatically from the 16" setup at reasonable encounter ranges. (I'm an M1A shooter to this point, so I prefer to have some distance ability w/ reliable ballistic performance. Also, I'll be using an ACOG special forces optic, so "reaching out" a little is definitely on the menu.) The CAR 16" setup just doesn't look balanced to me. Also, based on my understanding of the AR operating system, moving the gas port even two inches closer to the muzzle should have a significantly positive affect on system pressurization, and hence reliability. (Armalite also confirmed this to me.) For what it's worth.
Link Posted: 12/3/2002 1:31:51 PM EDT
I can ask the owner of the shop if he wants to sell just the upper if you want. He was trying to sell it in a package with a preban OLY 9mm last week. It was going to get thrown in to sweeten the deal. Don't know if he'd go for it but it's worth a shot.
Link Posted: 12/3/2002 1:41:09 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 12/3/2002 1:43:35 PM EDT by Rifleman308]
Is it a flat-top? VERY interested, if it is.
Link Posted: 12/3/2002 2:18:20 PM EDT
I honestly can't remember if it's a flat-top or not....If it is, it has a carry handle with it. I just emailed him to check. I'll let you know as soon as I hear back from him. I haven't been in the shop this week yet.
Link Posted: 12/4/2002 4:48:18 AM EDT
Just got an email back....it's an A2 upper...sorry :(
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