The real question is, in a market flooded with hordes of "Just as good" and "Mil Spec" AR patterned rifles, what makes the Knights Armament Company SR-15 Mod 2 rifle worth $2,000 more than the plethora of rifles available to the consumer today? Well let's take a look and see what justified it to me.
If you aren’t familiar with Knight’s Armament Company, you can google it.
The quick version of it is they have been producing high end suppressors, AR style rifles, and some of the best 7.62 AR platform rifle's known to man.
The SR-15 E3 Mod 2
- An absolutely hilariously detailed owners manual. The diagrams inside of it and thorough instructions truly make my autism squeal with delight.
- KAC MLOK aluminum picatinny rail.
- A plastic rifle locky chingadero and master lock that allows you to lock the right so you cannot use it when it is inserted into the magwell.
- Two KAC QD swivels
- Magpul MLOK rail covers
- Magpul Gen 3 windowed PMAG
The barrel is 16" and cold hammer forged. Looking at it, it appears to be a lighter weight profile that balances nicely. No pictures of this as my attempts through the forend turned out like shit.
The forearm itself acts as a barrel nut, yet improving its rigidity. A lot of people claim the URX4 to be amongst the best for minimal deflection and rock solid zero for lasers. I would say that the overall rigidity of the URX4 rates up to about 6 blue pills.
Now if you are a weirdo and you like Dickmod...errr....Keymod, they also offer that. If you would prefer to have a picatinny forearm, 2007 called, and they said to get with the times old man.
The selector is the normal 90 degree throw from safe to fire, but is ambidextrous. The safety selector on the right side has a depression so that the trigger finger will not rub on it in the fire position.
The charging handle is pretty standard, with the exception of an extended latch on the left side of it, making one handed charging easy.
The included buttstock is a Magpul MOE. I didn't even feel like wasting the electrons required to take a picture of it. It is a step up from the standard 6 position M4 stock, but still too wobbly for my tastes. I can see why it ships like this, as one of the first things most people do is to change out the stock to the one they prefer. Even if it shipped with a SOPMOD stock, people would bitch about it....
So what makes this special?
The parts of this that make this rifle special are the "E3" and "Mod 2" portions of the name of the rifle.
The E3 refers to the bolt design of the rifle, it being KAC's own enhanced design. If you have ever broken a bolt in an AR, more than likely you have either sheared a lug, or broke the bolt where the cam pin passes through the bolt.
The E3 bolt has a fully supported breechface, including the area under the extractor which is unsupported with conventional AR bolt's. This gives a bit more strength in the chances you have a bad night drinking and reloading.
When it comes to the bolt lugs, they are rounded and slightly larger than standard AR lugs. Being rounded they reduce the chance of lugs shearing at the 90 degree corner as commonly experienced with standard AR bolts with high round counts. Or commonly experienced with no name Chinesium $20 special bolts of questionable origin.
The hole for the cam pin itself in the bolt is also reduced. This is yet another source of broken bolts as this is one of the weakest areas of a standard AR bolt. Not only is the hole smaller, so is the cam pin. The hole in the cam pin for the firing pin is also reduced in size to add strength, along with a reduced diameter firing pin.
The extractor itself is different than that of a standard AR as well. You will notice a "Lobster tail" design with dual extractor springs for a more secure purchase on the rim of the cartridge. The extractor pin location is also changed to provide more leverage on the rim, offering yet more improvements over the original.
If my descriptions are not good enough for you to grasp, click here to go to the KAC explanation and their pretty pictures of the E3 bolt.
Let's look at some pretty little pictures of the bolt group of the KAC and a standard AR as that makes it a bit easier to see.
There is a male notch in the gas block, and a female slot machined top dead center in the barrel. When a daddy gas block loves a mommy barrel slot, they fit together and align the gas port in the barrel to the gas port in the gas block absolutely perfectly. According to feedback from people who have owned these rifles for longer than the 6 days I have owned mine, and have substantial round counts through them, this allows for a smaller gas port for smooth operation and recoil impulse, and no need to overgas the rifle for reliability as many manufacturers do.
The gas block itself is cleverly secured to the barrel using threads on the barrel and a castle nut, eliminating the need for set screws or taper pins machined into the barrel. This eliminates failure points for the gas block to twist, or harmonic issues from pins passing through the gas block and barrel. To seal things up even further, the gas tube itself is secured to the gas block itself with a nut and flare similar to those found on brake lines. The combination of these things makes the gas block and gas tube attachment practically bulletproof.
Since I do not have the tools to remove the forend and take pictures of this, and since there is an excellent set of pictures available showing these features, how about you just click here to see them.
The rifle itself is light and nimble, with the weight listed as 6.55 pounds. The balance is about perfect, no doubt partially due to the barrel profile.
When you add up the sum of some of the parts on the rifle, the price is a bit easier to swallow. The sights the rifle ships with would set you back a bit over $300, as would the factory KAC two stage trigger. If you factor this in to the price of the rifle, it makes it in the same realm of price as a Daniel Defense, with features you could not get.
A quick side note, if you are looking for one of these rifles, or any KAC product, Chuck at Kelly Enterprises in Florida is the man to go to. He has the best prices on KAC products that I have found, hands down. You have to call him to place the order, but I have to say I had quite the enjoyable conversation with him, and would not hesitate to order from him in the future. You can find his selection of KAC products by clicking here. Another note, I paid full asking price for the rifle, and only pass on his link as he was excellent to do business with.
Is the juice worth the squeeze though? For the price I paid for this rifle, you could get about 7.5 PSA AR builds. You could get a Daniel Defense, a Vortex PST2 1-6, a decent mount, and maybe a box or two of ammo. You could get a Colt 6920, and a Razor. You could get 2,244 hammers from Harbor Freight. You could get 22.4 Glawk 40 Problem Solvers, you could......get the point by now.
For me the concept of the E3 bolt (even though I have only broken two bolts in my life so far), and the Mod 2 gas system are what sold me on the idea of buying this rifle. The recommendation of several people I know and trust, who have been there done that, and proclaim it to be the best iteration of the AR-15 to date put me over the edge, and put a hurting on my wallet.
How will it fare out on the range? Only time will tell. As of the time of this writing, I have already shot the rifle, but I want to get more rounds through it, full autismo accuracy testing with a variety of different ammo, and all of that fun stuff before I write about it. So let's hope I will stay motivated, and maybe actually publish more content about this in the near future.