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Knight's Armament SR-15 E3 MOD2 Upper Impressions


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So I took the new SR-15 upper out today to break it in a bit and see if the system runs as smoothly as everybody claims. I installed my favorite muzzle device (Griffin Armament Flash Comp) and also brought out my BCM middy for comparison. I also wanted to see how well the intermediate gas system of the SR-15 matched with the VLTOR A5 system and what spring/buffer combo felt best.

Both the BCM and KAC rifles have 16" barrels, Griffin Flash Comps, URX4 rails, and A5 buffer systems so in addition to seeing which A5 components worked best, I could also compare the difference between the mid and intermediate length gas systems. My default setup with the BCM is a VLTOR A5H3 buffer with Springco Green action spring.

When I shot the SR-15 with the default setup of my BCM the gun cycled fine and locked back properly, but felt a bit sluggish. It reminded me of Robo's .308 AR with the CAR-10 XH buffer that drops the brass right at your feet. Sure it'd work and there wasn't much recoil, but it didn't feel optimal. I then tried the A5H2 buffer with Springco Green spring and found that one cycled more smoothly but seemed to have a more noticeable return to battery. The gun moved more from the BCG stopping in the forward position. With these results in mind I decided to skip the A5H1 buffer and instead tried pairing the buffers with the stock VLTOR milspec rifle action spring. Running the VLTOR spring with the A5H2 buffer reduced the movement when going into battery, but the recoil impulse was noticeably sharper than my BCM (though still nowhere near harsh). The last permutation of VLTOR spring with A5H3 buffer proved to be the ticket. The recoil was smooth and there was seemed to be almost no movement of the gun while firing. Everything felt just right.

I then swapped the BCM upper onto the lower I'm using with the SR-15 upper and compared the different gas systems. The midlength gas system of the BCM did have a sharper impulse than the SR-15's intermediate system, but I think you'd have to actually be focusing on it to notice. I can't say it was a large difference, although noticeable.

One thing I noticed when I picked up the SR-15 was that the gun felt very well balanced. It looks like the SR-15 upper uses a lighter profile barrel than my BCM's gov't profile.

I can see why people rave about the SR-15 system, although I was a little surprised that my default BCM setup matched it. Next time I'll have to put the SR-15 upper on a lower with regular milspec receiver extension and CAR buffer to see what an SR-15 complete gun feels like.

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