I got my rifle a few months ago but wasn't able to fire it until this past Saturday. It's the heavy barrel .223 version with the VLTOR collapsible stock. I added a MIAD grip, Magpul rail covers, and a set of Hayes Research HK diopter sights. The sights are fantastic, by the way.
For mags I used three HK AR mags, two unknowns, and one P-Mag. Ammo was Federal and PMC, all 55 grain. Weather was ideal.
The first mag through the rifle was the P-Mag and it ran flawlessly. The next two mags (one HK and one unknown) suffered multiple failures to return fully to battery. I tried the P-Mag again since it had experienced no initial problems but it too had the same failures this time. We broke the rifle down and examined it, finding nothing that should have been the culprit. The gas setting was on 4, gun was oiled and clean. As these were the first shots I had expected break in with some troubles but I still wanted to figure them out. On a whim I dialed down the gas to setting 2. The rifle ran like a champ as fast as we could fire it. Our best guess was that TOO much gas was causing override failures...the rifle came to me broken in, essentially, and needed far less prodding in order to function properly. Oddly enough, the felt recoil on setting 2 was greater than on setting 4. I realize this should not even be possible, but all three shooters felt the difference the same way. Once the gas setting was changed the rifle left little to desire in the area of reliability.
I'm no marksman, but we tried for some accuracy tests. I'm still learning the gun and the Hayes sights (while excellent) are also new to me, so we mounted an Aimpoint atop the rail for distance use. I'm comfortable with those red dots. I was able to hit clay pigeons at exactly 100 yards without any effort. If this rifle can do that, using a red dot, I can't wait to see what it's capable of with good glass. I was more than satisfied with the accuracy. It made me look good.
The rifle is front heavy, but during firing it literally does not move. We watched each other shooting it and the rise was so minimal it doesn't even count as lift. It's very easy to place multiple hits on targets because of how little the rifle moves during firing. During firing it actually feels like it balances itself out. It's an odd thing to try to describe but it felt "right."
The only negative is the trigger. The trigger is very nasty and I'm surprised the rifles are being shipped like this. It is the only thing about it that is unlikeable as far as I'm concerned. We also had a SIG 556 out there and I fell in love with that trigger after the first pull. I could fire that rifle amazingly fast (for me) and accurately (for me) as compared to my XCR. If RA makes a better drop in trigger I'll buy one. Otherwise it'll need trigger work. I'm hesitant to send of my rifle for work (don't want to be without it!) so I'm hoping RA offers something better. I think I have read here that this is coming soon..?
I must say that while all mags worked perfectly there is nothing currently out that can touch the HK mags for quality and function. They may not be NEEDED in order for the XCR to run, but they certainly removed any hint of doubt where the mag is concerned. From the first round to the last, each can be loaded with ease and the mags are built like tanks. I'll be outfitting myself with a full loadout of HK mags after this outing. The P-Mag ran great and feels great in the hand with loaded, but was not as smooth to load fully. I imagine I'll buy several more because for the cost they are very hard to beat, but my main mags will be the HKs.
So, the rifle is a gem and exactly what I'd hoped it would be. I seem to have been spared the break-in woes and other than the trigger, which can be fixed, it's the finest rifle I've ever owned. Good job, RA.
Thanks to those of you whose comments helped in pushing me that last step before I finally bought one, and to Terra especially for the personal help and Q&A sessions.