Rock River Arms (RRA) was founded in 1996 by brothers Mark and Chuck Larson, who injected their 40 years of firearms experience and know-how into the company. Unfortunately, Mark Larson passed away in April 2013—all who knew him were struck with grief. While widely known for AR-style rifles, RRA initially focused on custom 1911 pistols. The company’s attention to detail in creating match-grade 1911s then transferred over to its production of ARs. RRA’s goal with the AR-style rifle is to combine accuracy and the utmost in reliability, thus wringing the most out of Stoner’s original design. These two objectives are often at odds with each other. The tight tolerances associated with accuracy can hinder reliability if applied improperly. But by improving the AR’s fit and finish, including the use of a forged receiver, RRA has set itself apart from the majority of today’s AR manufacturers.
Only a few years after emerging on the AR scene, RRA’s quality control was quickly rewarded with contracts to supply AR rifles to the DEA (Drug Enforcement Administration) and FBI (Federal Bureau of Investigation). This has since been followed with other contracts with federal, state and local LE entities.
When ARs Go 6.8
The latest RRA rifle I’ve come across is the LAR-6.8 CAR A4, chambered in 6.8 SPC. For a rifle to be considered versatile, it must be able to satisfy multiple roles with equal aplomb, and the LAR-6.8 CAR A4 is a viable candidate. The combination of AR platform with the 6.8 SPC’s increased power is the key to the LAR-6.8’s versatility. This is speaking in terms of the lethality and effective range while still enabling the user to quickly fire multiple rounds in a close-range melee. In training courses involving LE, military and private security contractors, the mantra of “one mag, one kill” is often repeated when referring to the AR-15/M16. While the 5.56mm round is often chided for its lethality (or lack thereof), the 6.8 SPC does not suffer from such a reputation. Reports from Afghanistan and Iraq have exposed the 5.56m’s poor performance in putting an adversary down quickly with use of minimal rounds, especially at distance. This is why AR-style rifles in calibers other than 5.56mm are gaining popularity, as they often possess more power while retaining the familiar AR configuration and handling.