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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello Folks,

first of all, please excuse this very general newbie post . I have done some reading but am trying to get all my questions into this post :)

I am looking for a .223 Semi auto rifle for short range plinking (I know I know , but thats what I find fun to do :) ), also the very occasional target shoot should be possible (no more than 100 yard) and why not hunt with it (.308 barrel set)? but I have "real" hunting rifles so thats not a concern.

Since I life in Canada, my choice of semi autos is somewhat limited (All AR's are out) so as far as I know I have the following options (for the Canadians , it must be unrestricted):

- Ruger mini (dont want that)
- Armalite AR-180 B
- Sig SL-something
- XCR

I dont like the first two and the sig seems overpriced but I looked at an XCR at a gun store and it seems to be a nice gun.

I do have a couple of questions and would appreciate answers from the XCR experienced guys.

1. I hear one can expect 1 MOA from a stock XCR, is that pretty much correct?

2. Are there target barrels available? What can one expect from those?

3. I hear the XCR is very reliable. I dont have the patience for constant jams and finding ammo that works and things like that. Should I have worries?

4. What sight is recommended for plinking at 5-15 yards? I am using an Ultradot PanaV on another gun and like it but the dot is very fuzzy on it. I have tried lasers but couldnt see them in daylight and dont want high powered ones due to eye safety concerns. What other types of sights are recommended? I am looking maybe in the $200-300 range.

5. Will the XCR shoot all types of .223? I once read there is a difference between military and civilian in terms of chamber design.

6. Any other useful advise?

7. For the canadian law knowledgables: If the XCR will be restricted, will this only affect new ones or also be applied to the one I have? So far I was told the XCR is unrestricted. If its not then i can forget it it anyways ...

8. Lastly, i am very ignorant am haven't heard of Robinson arms yet, is this company to be around in a few years to sell spare parts if I need any? I know this is hard to answer ... Will this type of rifle typically need any spare parts? How many rounds will it last? Are there any parts that need to be changed every so many rounds?

9. Will the XCR make a good plinking gun with the very rare occasional use as a target gun?

Thanks for all advise ! :)

Cheers,

Teac
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Lol, we are metric here, maybe yards arent that long after all ... maybe for a little more than that ;D


(also pistols can not be used outside a range here)
 

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The XCR is an excellent rifle. The only complaints our Canadian friends have are 1) the trigger. Which everyone doesn't like for the most part, and we are fixing. 2) The 18.6" barrel length makes the XCR a little more front heavy. I tell them to be quiet and have them fluted. :p

The XCR is a great platform. Anywhere you go there are one or two forum members who bash and trash it relentlessly. Some people have their favorites, some people don't. Most bashers haven't evened own an XCR and go off of "what they heard". Glad you came here. We can provide good info and aren't afraid to post serious range reports. 8)



1. I hear one can expect 1 MOA from a stock XCR, is that pretty much correct? correct.

2. Are there target barrels available? What can one expect from those? 18.6" is what you get up there, and the barrels are 1/9 twist. that's all we can ship there at this time. The accuracy doesn't really change noticeably.

3. I hear the XCR is very reliable. I dont have the patience for constant jams and finding ammo that works and things like that. Should I have worries? If you follow breakin procedure you won't have problems. I'm not going to pretend the XCR never has had a part break - but those parts breaking have never been the platform issue, but process issues during manufacturing. We do send parts kits to our distributor, Wolverine Supplies, if you do want to have a backup.

4. What sight is recommended for plinking at 5-15 yards? I am using an Ultradot PanaV on another gun and like it but the dot is very fuzzy on it. I have tried lasers but couldnt see them in daylight and dont want high powered ones due to eye safety concerns. What other types of sights are recommended? I am looking maybe in the $200-300 range. We send the rifles with Midwest Industries Iron Sights. Most shooters can pull of 1" groups with those. I don't know what you guys can and can't get up there, or if there is no problem getting things. Iron sights are a good start until you find something that suits you.

5. Will the XCR shoot all types of .223? I once read there is a difference between military and civilian in terms of chamber design. It's chambered to 5.56 NATO and will shoot both .223 and 5.56 just fine.

6. Any other useful advise? Buy one. They're worth it. And if for some godforsaken reason you don't like it, you can sell it and get pretty much what you paid for it. ;) They're a great rifle. Accurate, reliable, the ergonomics are outstanding, and they're pretty nice looking too. I'm not saying that out the fact I work at RA. I speak as a fellow XCR owner and the sole service person at the company. I know these rifles inside and out, and they are an outstanding product.

7. For the canadian law knowledgables: If the XCR will be restricted, will this only affect new ones or also be applied to the one I have? So far I was told the XCR is unrestricted. If its not then i can forget it it anyways ... They are still unrestricted.

8. Lastly, i am very ignorant am haven't heard of Robinson arms yet, is this company to be around in a few years to sell spare parts if I need any? I know this is hard to answer ... Will this type of rifle typically need any spare parts? How many rounds will it last? Are there any parts that need to be changed every so many rounds? We have been in business for 15 years and going mighty strong. We broke company records in shipments and sales this last year, and it hasn't slowed down much.

9. Will the XCR make a good plinking gun with the very rare occasional use as a target gun? I mostly just plink. At some point I would like to start doing matches, but for now it's usually me and the guys having a grand time in the middle of nowhere. ;D
 

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You mentioned using it for hunting, you can't switch out the current model the XCR-L to .308. It's available in 5.56x45, 7.62x39, and 6.8 SPC currently, and a couple more hopefully in the near future. You can change these out by just switching the barrel, bolt, and mag. 7.62x39 and 6.8 are both viable hunting rounds as I'm sure you know. .308 won't work with that because the round is too big to fit through the mag well.

RA is working on what they're calling the XCR-M which will be initially in .308, with conversions to follow in compatibly sized rounds.

If you're just shooting at relatively (to very) short ranges like you mentioned, iron sights or some sort of red dot optic works great. Most folks go for either Eotech or Aimpoint, but of course your budget may guide your decision more so.

And like Terra said, if you decide you don't want to keep it (you will), you can get your money back selling it no problem.



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Just to mention of of the great features of the picatinny top rail is that you can use quick detach mounts and have multiple optics setups that won't shift zero when changing.You can have a red dot for close stuff of if you want to shoot longer ranges or shoot more precision groups,switch to a magnified optic.I know this is obvious to some people,but others may not have thought of it,and it greatly enhances the utility and applications for the rifle.
 

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It looks like Terra's got you pretty much squared away. I'll second everything she posted.

As also already mentioned, you can't convert to .308 but you could get a conversion kit to go between 5.56(.223) and either 7.62x39(the AK round) or 6.8spc. 6.8 ammo is more expensive but is a nice round and by all accounts i've read, good for most hunting (there's a trophy pic thread in the 6.8 section of this forum i believe).

I just purchased mine and i love it. As Terra mentioned, the trigger is the only real weakness in the system and that is being addressed by Robinson Arms. There's no need to wait for their new trigger though as you can send your lower to Bill Springfield (http://www.triggerwork.net/xcr.html), and for $55 have a great trigger (i've not done this, but am basing this opinion on COUNTLESS glowing reviews from XCR owners on this forum).

As for optics, I'm a big fan of eotech for everything inside 100 yards and it can be used further. You can get the 512 for just under $400 which i know is a bit above your mentioned price, but i think it would be worth it for a quality optic that will last. Alot of people really love the aimpoints as well. I've used one before and prefer the eotech because it's a more open site and I don't like focusing down a tube as i think it requires 'a little' more concentration, but this is very much personal preference and you would need to look at both to see which suits you best.

I'm obviously biased as I own an XCR, but i think it's a great little gun, it will definitely suit all of your needs, and I think you'll end up loving it.

Good luck on your decision
 

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Terra covered it well from the mfgs standpoint.

What I can say is that real world range shooting today was a test, and supports what Terra said.

1. I run both a scope and an EOTech on mine. At home it sits in the guns safe with the EOTech on it, just in case the local scum come by and start to shoot up the neighborhood. Probably not a problem in Canada, but occasionally we seem some serious shoot outs. Call it comfort if you will, I have the gun setup for shooting at people which is what the EOTech is good for. My eyes aren't so good, so while I can hit a target ok with it at 100 yards, I don't target shoot with it at anything over 25 (it makes me feel bad, dot is too big). But you darned sure can hit a person at that range as you aren’t being picky.
EOTech would probably make a good bush gun for deer or pigs as you get a very fast sight picture and you don’t have to line up with anything, put the dot on it and pull the trigger, and if its under a 100 yards you will hit it within a couple of inches of aim point.

2. My brother cranked out some reloads for us, and the trim was at the far end of the allowed case length. He had some stick in his jacking by hand. He asked me to fire a couple of rounds to see how they cycled, and then do one by hand. It was jammed. Despite sub par ammo, it cycled just fine when actually fired. Not a lot of guns will do that.

3. I just got a semi decent scope for it (Burris, Leopold if you want the best plain scope). Nice mount setup with the rail on top, as I can swap the Scope out (one piece mount) with the EOTech quite quickly.

4. Despite the poor ammo fit, when I started to shoot groups, I was putting 3 rounds into the same hole, or they were overlapping. I was doing this at 25 yards as the scope had never been shot with before and you want to hit the paper so you can start to adjust. I did that 3 times.
Now at 100 yards spared would be more, but this was also 20 deg F (-7C) with the wind blowing maybe 7 mph, and I was wearing gloves, and Tera mentioned the poor trigger.
Scope still needs to be fine tuned for focus (close but not quite there). We have to wear glasses at the range, so impeded by those as well. I shoot better without them.

5. No gun failures of any kind.

6. Did she mention no target barrels? Sort of gloss over on that point, there are none currently.
But then with those kinds of results, you are getting into match grade shooting, and for gun range plinking its just fine.
Or to put it another way, its damned close to a target barrel as is. 1 MOA is bolt action accuracy. I think a good shooter can do sub 1 MOA (that’s not me, out of practice, though I was pretty good at one time).

7. I also run the cheap Russian Brown Bear through it (Silver too). That all worked fine, not as accurate as the hand loads, but about a 1 inch group at 25 yards, and that was a 10 round group, just shooting for fun (I go for 3 as a real test of MOA, others disagree and go with 5 or 10).

8. I was interested in how it would shoot with gloves on, and the answer is pretty darned good. I had just a plain leather glove on the shooting hand, and the trigger feel was ok, maybe even better than a bare finer, a bit more spread out of the force of that poor first stage, and I could feel the two stages just fine. While not as good, a heavy glove would work as well.
Improved trigger should be out any day now.

9. I have played with the EOTech and scope (old scope that died after a hundred rounds or so). What I can say is that you can swap them back and forth on the rail, and the zero change is minor. Close enough so that I don't worry about just putting the EOTech back on and going home (I usually shoot one round with it back on as confirmation, but confident in it if I don't as I didn't today). While that’s true of all rail systems, it’s a great feature.

10. You just can't beat all the built in rails that you pay extra for on most other guns (S&W MP15 Tactical being an exception, it does come with full rails). I cannot shoot iron sights any more, my eyes can't focus on them, but if yours can, iron sights are secured fore and aft on that rail and you can put the EOTech of the scope on in between.

11. My side and bottom rails have covers on them, but you can add gadgets down there as well. I may put on a bipod one of these days.


Comment: My brother shoots the S&W MP15. They are seriously into high quality as they go into law enforcement market heavy (they did have their issues to start with, but the have persisted in cleaning up and fixing them) . It’s a real well done AR15 type, maybe the best. He would not give it up, but he is impressed with the XCR, though he was skeptical at first and tried to talk me out of it. Not often he changes his mind.
I have shot his and like it, but I like the XCR better. Get into all the tech specs etc, it just feels better for me, and I like not having a run of the mill AR15 type that everyone else shoots, and a totally solid performer (being able to setup the gas port makes it really flexible in what you shoot through it, not matter how poor, and that lets you shoot a lot at not a heavy cost. Reloading is fine, but it takes a lot of time.
Mostly my use is as a target plinker for my use like yours is going to be.
 

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XCR is a great gun, the .308 will be available when the XCR-M is released, I'd recommend the 6.8SPC kit for hunting under 500 yards. Good luck, keep us updated with whatever you decide to get.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Thank you guys for the great replies and info!!! The XCR seems like a good rifle for my case. Too bad the 308 doesnt swap in it but I have enough hunting guns already anyways...

Will do some more research into sights and then do a money round up...

:) Teac
 

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Teac I live in Canada and can give you some advice on the non Restricted black rifles.

- XCR-L
- Tavor
- Sig(swiss arms) 550
- Armalite 180B
- Ruger mini 14/30
- Norinco Type 97

The only way an XCR can become restricted is if the barrel is replaced with a shorter than 18.5" barrel. Its the same with the other rifles I have listed. If you have the cash the Tavor, XCR, and Swiss Arms are all top quality rifles. I have never handled a Armalite180B or the type 97 so I can't really say much about them. The mini 14 isn't really in the same class as the other rifles and isn't even really a black rifle.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
It doesnt have to be a black rifle ... It only needs to be .223 semi auto, but i have not read anything good about the ruger and its accuracy seems to be too low even for short range plinking ... The Ar180 feels really cheap. I dont mind spend some more for good quality things and guns that then last a long time.

In regards to the canadian laws (sorry to the US guys for dragging this out). I always thought guns would be classified restricted if the government realises they look to mean (or whatever their reason is). So I assumed that if you get an unrestricted XCR now and next year they think "Oh this looks mean" then they would make it restricted or prohibited (which is worse because it would render the rifle useless). Even if its restricted its not much use to me ...

Teac
 

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It doesnt have to be a black rifle ... It only needs to be .223 semi auto, but i have not read anything good about the ruger and its accuracy seems to be too low even for short range plinking ... The Ar180 feels really cheap. I dont mind spend some more for good quality things and guns that then last a long time.

In regards to the canadian laws (sorry to the US guys for dragging this out). I always thought guns would be classified restricted if the government realises they look to mean (or whatever their reason is). So I assumed that if you get an unrestricted XCR now and next year they think "Oh this looks mean" then they would make it restricted or prohibited (which is worse because it would render the rifle useless). Even if its restricted its not much use to me ...

Teac
Yes, it is possible that the XCR could be classed restricted by name ala the AR-15, but it is key to remember that only the ruling party can do that, NOT the CFC. That being the case, we will not see this happen as long as the conservatives are in power. IMO, if/when the liberals do get back into power they will be more interested in wide-ranging bans (ie, all semi's) than banning by name again. So, yes it is possible, just unlikely.

Regarding an accurate .223: you can do a lot worse than the XCR, there is no reason the XCR cannot be a 1-1.5MOA gun. I think the biggest question mark regarding accuracy for the XCR is the barrel; we don't know much about how it is made or how it compares to a true match-grade barrel. Many will claim that the Swiss Arms (Sig) Green/Black/Red/Blue Special is more accurate, but this is more to do with the history of the SIG as I have not seen any head-to-head comparison of the two. And of course the biggest draw back to either the XCR or SIG is the price, the XCR is $2K+ and the SIG is $3K+. And adding things like rails to the SIG will drive the price up to $4K pretty quick.

If you are looking for a plinker you may want to consider the Type-97A from Canada Ammo. I can't speak for accuracy, but the price is right.
 

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I am still playing with it, but when my brother shoots it, very close to or slighltye better than 1 MOA

For an AR15 type, that's very good with a standard barrel, so its a quality barrel for sure, quasi match grade. We are still playing with hand loads and the too long case doesn't help, and the last power left a lot of residue (shot well and consistently).

SIG advertised price (556) are high, but actual selling price is much lower (and you pretty much get an XCR class if you ordered the right model). However, SIG is got weird ergonomics with right hand cocking level (dumb) and for all its claims to quality, is 1.5 to 2 MOA from what I have seen. Good name and not such good execution, for what it says it is, I would expect sub 1.0 MOA.

No matter you look at it (in its entirely) the XCR I think is the best of them all straight up and or across 9by the time you get done doing an XCR equivalent, you have paid as much or more), and features they can never match.

Only downside is if you want a serious tack drive, and there are not options for that, though as they get up into enough build quantiy, others may chip in and offer improvements. Right now the AF15 market is so huge, its the place for them to be.
 

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SIG advertised price (556) are high, but actual selling price is much lower (and you pretty much get an XCR class if you ordered the right model).
Just a note, we can't get the 556 up here. We have the 'civilian' versions of the 550, 551 and 552, they retail for about $3K and keep their value very well.
 

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Do yourself a favor and get an xcr. I own seven or eight (lost count... Terra? What am I up to now?) They are extremely good rifles. I was turned onto RA back in 1999 when they were making the M-96 rifle. I have a couple of those too... Beautiful guns! The owner is really picky and detail oriented. His stuff works or he will fix it. Period. I only have one problem with them, I can't decide which configuration to get next. Call the therapist... It's happening to me again!!!!...........there is always room for one more gun...
 

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The last range session I took the targets out to 50 yards.

I had one group that all three in the group overlapped each other by just a bit.

Thats with hand loads.

If you need any confirmation, it is indeed a 1 MOA with the right ammo and if you are capable of shooting well.

I am still working on it, and the trigger is still an issue. I am so desperate for a good trigger I will take the two stage when it comes out.
 
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