When it comes to succeeding in a tactical environment, most experts will agree that it ultimately comes down to a matter of doing the basics better. “High-speed, low-drag” doesn’t mean complicated or advanced; it means the ability to perform critical tasks flawlessly under any circumstances—in short, getting the important stuff right. While that wisdom is certainly valid when it comes to tactical skills, it is equally applicable to equipment manufacture. And getting the important stuff right is what Iron Ridge Arms’ IRA-X AR-10-style rifles are all about.
Iron Ridge Arms is a manufacturer and custom shop that specializes in Class II and Class III firearms. Nestled discreetly in an industrial park in Longmont, Colorado, it is owned and operated by veteran gunsmith, machinist and designer Oliver Mazurkiewicz. Through his many years of experience customizing and modifying all brands of tactical rifles and carbines, Mazurkiewicz developed a keen understanding of the critical qualities necessary in that breed. And while many manufacturers do an excellent job of providing these qualities, as a custom gunsmith, Mazurkiewicz always saw room for improvement. He believed that if that extra attention to detail were incorporated into the fundamental construction of the rifle, its “basics” would literally be as good as they could get. The result of that process was the IRA-X rifle platform.
Starting with the right foundation—the IRA-X has meticulously machined upper and lower receivers that are fitted perfectly to withstand the harshest conditions.
The core of the IRA-X is its meticulously machined upper and lower receiver. Designed and engineered to meet Mazurkiewicz’s exacting specifications, these parts are CNC-machined from solid billets of 7075-T6 aluminum in the Iron Ridge shop. Although they are designed to accept components purchased from DPMS, which Mazurkiewicz has carefully selected as “the standard” of quality and consistency for drop-in parts, they are not your run-of-the-mill receivers.
The IRA-X Thor tested for this article featured a custom-machined Rock Creek barrel fitted with a SureFire FH762K03 flash suppressor.