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Old October 28, 2010, 09:13 AM   #6
Bartholomew Roberts
Senior Member
Join Date: June 12, 2000
Location: Texas and Oklahoma area
Posts: 8,462
Let me put it this way - they have solid competition in the <=$1500 range on AR-10s/15s and the super premium AR brands like Noveske blow them out of the water.
I'd disagree with this statement. Knight's has basically taken the 50+ year old M16 direct-gas impingement system and updated it with modern engineering.

For example, the Noveske uses the same bolt and barrel extension as the M16. The Knight's SR15 uses a redesigned bolt and barrel extension that addresses long understood problems regarding the extractor, extractor spring, bolt lug design and cam pin.

To be more specific, the SR15E3 bolt increases extractor area without undercutting the lugs like the M16 bolt. Instead of using a single spring subject to extractor lift, it uses dual extractor springs on both sides of a wider tail on the extractor to provide better leverage and more power. The SR15E3 bolt uses a cam pin and cam pin hole that is smaller than the M16 bolt, meaning it is less subject to fractures and cracking at this location compared to the M16 bolt. Also, the SR15E3 bolt uses radiused lugs that are better able to handle high stress loads than the 90 degree cut on the M16 lugs.

In pretty much every way, it is superior to the original M16 design. The downside of this is increased cost and proprietary parts that may not always work well with the thousands of aftermarket parts built for the M16/AR15.

Noveske does a great job building rifles and I'd feel very comfortable with anything they built; but short of polygonal rifling, they aren't really changing or updating the design. They are building the existing design to a very high level.

Now in a practical use standpoint, the SR15E3 should last longer over tens of thousands of rounds and it should have a slightly bigger window of reliable operation; but the conditions would have to be very, very bad (like Army Dust Test levels) before you'd be able to notice the difference.

Given the number of shooters out there who will ever put more than 20,000 rounds downrange from a single rifle or shoot 6,000 rounds without cleaning in a 2.5 hour sandstorm, I think you can make a good case that many shooters would be better off with a cheaper; but still good quality AR15 with a wide supply of affordable, non-proprietary parts.

But don't sell the Knight's rifles short, they are amazing works of engineering.
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