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GUNS Magazine August 2010 - Page 30
• JACOB GOTTFREDSON • LaRue Tactical’s Stealth Sniper AR-15. ark LaRue seems to have dedicated his company primarily to M the gents who practice Close Quarter Battle (CQB), but holds an affinity to snipers. To wit: I first met Mark LaRue several years ago at a sniper match. I noted he was an enthusiastic, almost intense fellow with an infectious energy about him. All I knew about his company was I had been using his Steel Tactical Targets for several years, having learned his steel targets are much superior to paper or other media for both practice and conducting matches at long range. To evaluate the LaRue Tactical Stealth Sniper System AR, I installed the LT upper on a DPMS lower. It took about one minute. Another item in the package was Magpul Ladder Rail Protectors, made to protect the rail lugs from damage. I appreciated the fact they make holding the handguard easier on my hands. Also included was a Magpul CTR Mil-Spec Stock, which adjusts like the original CAR, but its locking-lever friction locks the stock to the buffer tube to prevent wobble. The 4-sided handguard allows ample M1913 Picatinny rail for mounting any number of accessories simultaneously such as a light, laser, side-mounted red dot, several styles of optics ready to go with LaRue’s QD mounting system and front rail grips, to name a few. My test AR upper is a flattop version with an 18" barrel and 13.2" handguard. As packaged, you might call it an AR-15 A4 because of the flattop and the ability STEALTH UPPER MAKER: LARUE TACTICAL 850 COUNTY RD. 177 LEANDER, TX 78641 (512) 259-1585 WWW.LARUETACTICAL.COM UPPER: CNC machined 7075-T6 aluminum CALIBER: 5.56 NATO, Wylde chambered, 1:8" twist BARREL: 12", 16", 18" (tested), LENGTHS: 20", polygonal rifled HANDGUARD: Free-floated, low-profile gasblock and tube PRICE: $1,195 OTHER Mil-Contract M16 Bolt FEATURES: Carrier Group and charging handle, gas key contact areas precision ground flat for zero gas leakage, max-staked to eliminate vibration-induced failures, QD sling-swivel socket for 2-point slings MORE THAN jUST STEEL PLATES to add a carry handle. LaRue also sent a Harris Bipod adaptor with his QD mounting system for attachment to the rail. In my humble opinion, the adaptor was a smart move, as are the integral quick release sling attachments. Before mounting a scope, I installed the Troy Industries co-witness sights sold by LaRue. These are the slimmest I have seen and they work very well. Though small enough to sit in reserve without being noticed or a nuisance, the Troys come alive quickly and in tandem are fully adjustable. The locking mechanism is positive and is relieved by pushing a pin on the side of the sight. The spring holding the sight in the upright position is very strong. I used LaRue’s QD Mount LT10430mm to mount a scope. This fixture is designed with two levers to secure the mount to the rail, one of which incorporates an additional locking mechanism. The upper assemblies, CNC machined, are improved versions of the current Mil-Spec flattop receiver and are machined from billet 7075-T6 aluminum. The barrel has polygonal rifling with a 1:8" twist in a mediumweight contour made of LW-50 stainless, free-floated and the barrel nut is pinned with a locking anti-slip plate. The barrel has a Wylde chamber in 5.56mm. Everything about the 5.56 Wylde chamber is slightly larger than the .223 Remington. This would indicate the possibility firing .223 ammo might not be as accurate due to some slop in the larger chamber. However, the LaRue Stealth I tested shot 3/4", 5-round groups as advertised with .223 ammo. Unfortunately, I did not have any 5.56mm ammo to try. The results might have been much better, some say. The M16 Bolt Carrier Group is MilSpec, enhanced to minimize bolt-related failures by surface grinding the gaskey contact areas for zero gas leakage and heavily staking it to eliminate all chances of vibration-induced failures. I tested several .223 factory loaded bullet weights at 100 yards, most shooting about 3/4" with the heavier weights of 69 to 75 grains. This LaRue’sStealthSniperSystemupperhasbeenmountedonaDPMSlower.NotetheTroy Industriesco-witnessfrontsightisinthedownposition.A6-24x50mmscopehasbeenadded foraccuracytestingoftherifle.TheMagpulLadderRailProtectorsaremadetoprotecttherail lugsfromdamage,buttheyprotectyourhands,too. Accuracy 30 WWW.GUNSMAGAZINE.COM • AUGUST 2010