Although arguments abound regarding many aspects of the AR15 / AR10 platform, ergonomics is seldom one of them. The platform really lends itself to ease of use, addition of accessories, and training consistency. Once in the operator’s hands they feel pretty much the same regardless of brand or configuration.
There is little to no training lag when moving from one rifle to another, or from the 5.56 variety to a 7.62mm rifle. All the controls are in the same place, the sight picture is the same, and 99% of the optics used can be moved between them with little change in point of impact. All of the accessory options make it easier for those that want to “personalize” their guns to do so. At the opposite end of that scale, a department can easily spec the rifle so it is the same for everyone. At our department rifle shoots, those officers not assigned a rifle simply borrow one from another officer. Since all these rifles are the same that works just fine. Policy requires them to be sighted in the same so what difference there is as to individual hold is minimal. This provides for the contingency where an officer may need to pick up your gun in a gunfight and is a practical consideration.
This similarity also makes it possible for a police sniper to carry both an entry carbine and a designated marksman’s rifle all on the same package. Many departments today prefer to have the sniper’s precision rifle and their DMR in the same caliber. That is most often in the 7.62x51mm NATO round. Given two separate uppers, the choice can simply be made prior to the operation and the same lower receiver can be used. This provides for some significant versatility. The Army Special Forces have been doing this for years, and their latest incarnation is based on the same premise—one lower with several barrel choices, or in the case of this review, several upper-receiver choices.
Rapid Engagement Precision Rifle
That ability to change upper receivers based on tactical need is at the heart of LWRC International’s new REPR (Rapid Engagement Precision Rifle) system. Utilizing the same lower receiver with different uppers allows for some operational versatility. LWRCI offers barrel lengths that range from a 12-inch entry gun to a 20-inch heavy barreled precision system. All are as easy to interchange as pushing two pins, removing one upper and installing the other. Various optical systems could be maintained on the uppers to take advantage of their particular strengths. They all use the same magazines and would operate in the same manner. Since they are all threaded the same at the barrel any suppressor could be used whether a quick connect type or not. Many police snipers already use a suppressor that is threaded in the same 5/8×24 thread, eliminating the need to buy another one.
In the case of the REPR, they all use the same adjustable gas system, side charging handle and controls so there is no real change in the training matrix. You just grab the one you need based on the operational parameters and go to work. Although it is a concept most often entertained at the S.W.A.T. and sniper level, it is also viable for those officers that simply need the greater power and range of the 7.62 NATO round. An officer could easily keep this rifle in a short barrel configuration with a longer upper in the trunk. If the range of the threat dictates the use of optics the upper can be changed if there is time. The adjustable gas system allows for some leeway with ammunition choice, as well making it viable at all barrel lengths. This is something that has been done with the smaller calibers for years, but certainly in the gas piston design it is pretty new in the .30 caliber rifles.
Although arguments abound regarding many aspects of the AR15 / AR10 platform, ergonomics is…
by Tactical-Life.com / May 1, 2010