RISE Armament is a weapons manufacturer that began as RISE Manufacturing, a manufacturer of aerospace, oil and gas, and defense industry-related parts. In 2013, RISE Armament was born and began making triggers for the AR family of rifles. Complete rifle production began in 2014. Recently, I was able to shoot a sampling of its rifles — including the all-new RISE Armament Watchman — at the 2018 Athlon Outdoors Rendezvous.

More on the Rendezvous in just a bit.

Arming Some of America’s Finest

The Watchman really caught my eye. It promises to deliver on a noble idea. RISE designed the Watchman with one main purpose in mind: to arm our nation’s hometown protectors.

In 2016, immediately after five Dallas Police officers were murdered, with another seven injured, RISE Armament set out on a mission of sorts. The manufacturer wanted to appropriately arm America’s police officers.

Most reading this may not know, but a great many number of our nation’s police officers are forced to supply their own rifles for “official” patrol use. We all know that law enforcement, in general, isn’t the best paying of careers. So, a large monetary purchase of anything for police officers usually requires an OT shift or two.

My wife was forced to live the life of a cop’s wife, so we knew how to pinch a penny. Buying my own patrol rifle to use on duty was a major investment, but every bit as necessary.

RISE Armament is doing everything it can to arm our nation’s law enforcement with the best quality rifle possible, and for an affordable price.

A Rifle of a Different Breed

Enter RISE Armament with the new Watchman. Originally named the “300LE,” RISE chambered the rifle in .223 Wylde. Wait, what? Why not chamber it in 5.56mm?

Created by Bill Wylde, the .223 Wylde takes advantage of the accuracy potentials of the .223 chambering, while still being able to contain the higher pressures of the 5.56 chambering. For those that may not know, the .223 Wylde is actually an optimum chambering for greater accuracy results, in layman’s terms anyways.

The RISE Armament Watchman utilizes 7075-forged aluminum upper and lower receivers. It includes a 16.1-inch 416R stainless steel match grade, button rifled barrel with a 1/7 twist. It’s also Nitrided and partially fluted for added lubricity and increased wear resistance.

RISE Armament uses its own 13.5-inch 6061 billet aluminum M-LOK-compatible, free-floated handguard with a mid-length gas system.

Topping off the barrel is RISE Armament’s own proprietary four-prong flash hider.

RISE equipped its Watchman with its own LE145 single-stage trigger, featuring a 4.5-pound pull. It also comes wearing RISE’s ambi-safety and Magpul furniture.

Range Time With the RISE Armament Watchman

I got in a little trigger time with the RISE Armament Watchman at the aforementioned Athlon Outdoors Rendezvous in Montana.

It handled nicely and put the rounds exactly where I wanted them to go. RISE’s triggers are something special; it pulled smoothly and broke nicely.

I was only able to send a few magazines down range with the Watchman. However, based on my limited time with it, this rifle is a real contender.

After speaking at length with the representatives from RISE Armament, they are sending this grizzly old retired copper a new rifle to play with for a complete comprehensive test and evaluation process. It is my intention to really put the RISE Armament Watchman through its paces. So, please stay tuned for the complete review in an upcoming issue of Tactical Life Magazine.

For more information, please visit

RISE Armament Watchman Specs

  • Barrel Length: 16.1 inches
  • Barrel Type: 416R stainless steel match grade, button rifled barrel; 1/7 twist
  • Overall Length: 33 inches (closed stock); 36 inches (open)
  • Mid-length Direct Impingement Gas System
  • Weight: 6.44 lbs
  • Trigger: RISE Armament LE145; 4.5 pounds pull weight
  • Capacity: 30+1
  • BUIS: Available as an upgrade
  • MSRP: $1,099 (general public); For agency and officer direct prices, please contact RISE Armament

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