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Old October 26, 2010, 03:08 PM   #1
attila787
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Knights Armament

Can you guys tell me anything about Knights Armaments AR's? Are they overpriced..Why or why not?

Do they make a piston driven version of the AR?

Thanks
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Old October 26, 2010, 03:37 PM   #2
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Do they make a piston driven version of the AR?
Heck no! They're based off the original design with DI operation. They're pricey, but extremely well made.
They do have a PDW piston weapon, but that's not even an AR.
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Old October 27, 2010, 09:40 PM   #3
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They're nice but obscenely overpriced. 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.
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Old October 28, 2010, 12:29 AM   #4
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I had a friend that was a Staff Sagrent in the army his platoon had all Knights Armament accesories. He swore by that brand, as far as their AR's I have no idea other than the accesories on it are "battle proven".
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Old October 28, 2010, 12:50 AM   #5
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The standard rails (RIS) used to be Knight's Armament Company. As far as I know, that's all they made, except maybe gangster grips.
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Old October 28, 2010, 09:13 AM   #6
Bartholomew Roberts
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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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Old October 28, 2010, 03:27 PM   #7
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As usual Bart's reply is right on the money. KA makes a superior AR but you will pay for it. For me, there are so many excellent true AR choices like BCM and Daniel Defense that I can't see coughing up the extra for a proprietary gun. And if you wisely plan to have spare parts around like the BCG you're gonna have to wait then pay dearly.
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Old October 28, 2010, 04:13 PM   #8
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I know Knights is overpriced because I have a buddy who has seen C Knight Reed's Car collection. And his personal gun collection couldn't fit in most of our houses.
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Old October 28, 2010, 07:51 PM   #9
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Bart, while all of that is true, I've never seen that "improved" engineering translated into better performance. Even the M110s (SR-25) are already developing a reputation for sketchy reliability in comparison to the M4 and they aren't as accurate as other, cheaper commercial "AR-10s".
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Old October 28, 2010, 08:19 PM   #10
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You say you haven't seen it translated to better performance but you compare the reliability to the M4 (not other AR10s) and accuracy to commercial AR10s (which can have a tighter chamber because they don't need to be as reliable).

Having said that, I'd be interested in seeing any data you've got comparing other AR10s with the SR25 accuracy wise; because I haven't really seen any huge problems with SR25 accuracy.

And on the reliability side, take a look at the new SR25EMC and EMR. 1,000 rounds suppressed with no cleaning and no stoppages is impressive reliability even by M4 standards.
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Old October 28, 2010, 08:28 PM   #11
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I don't have any information other than anecdotal to relate to you, although according to the Army's own testing and what I've seen personally the M110 is typically a ~2MOA gun. Good enough for its military application? Yes, but probably not to most serious civilian shooters - especially in that price range.
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Old October 28, 2010, 09:04 PM   #12
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2MOA is good enough for a sniper rifle in the military?
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Old October 28, 2010, 10:04 PM   #13
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Considering the effective range of 7.62x51mm is really about 800m for man sized targets, yes.
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Old October 28, 2010, 10:51 PM   #14
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Oh i didn't realize we're talking 800m I was thinking 2MOA @ 100yds. Which is abysmal to me.
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Old October 28, 2010, 11:15 PM   #15
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MOA is constant over distance, so a "2MOA gun" will give you ~2 inch groups at 100 yards and ~20 inches at 1000 for example.
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Old October 29, 2010, 07:50 AM   #16
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10mm Auto, here are the requirements for the Army's SASS competition (the competition the Mk11 variant won to become the M110):

Quote:
After the rifle is zeroed, the accuracy of the rifle shall be equal to or greater than the M24 SWS. Accuracy shall be measured in minutes of angle. The dispersion of the zeroed rifle, when shoulder fired, shall be equal to or better than the dispersion of the M24 SWS. Dispersion shall be calculated as Average Mean Radius (AMR) as measured at 600 meters. Dispersion characteristics for each lot of ammunition will be provided prior to the start of testing. All targets shall be fired on using M118LR Ammunition or equivalent using five (5) round groups.

The radial distance from the calculated center of impact of the first target compared to the calculated center of impacts of subsequent targets shall be less than or equal to 1.0 Minutes of Angle (MOA). After the rifle is zeroed on the target with the rifle day optic scope, there shall be a minimum of 15 MOA of windage adjustment (in both the left and right directions) and sufficient elevation adjustment to engage targets at 800 meters (1000 meters desired).

The SASS (rifle plus day optic sight (DOS)) requires a 90% probability (98% probability desired) of firing 300 rounds (3 basic loads) without incurring a critical failure (non-operator correctable Essential Function Failures (EFFs)) as defined in the SASS Reliability Failure Definition and Scoring Criteria (FDSC). Combat operations require a 90% probability (98% probability desired) of firing 100 rounds (1 basic load) without incurring an EFF (operator correctable and non-operator correctable) as defined in the SASS Reliability FDSC.
Source

So in order to win the SASS competition, the M110 was required to be a 1MOA rifle at 600m. You can also get a good idea of what kinds of reliability sacrifices are necessary to achieve a true 1MOA rifle (as opposed to Internet MOA) at 600m in the fact that the Army is willing to accept a 10% chance of a stoppage every 100 rounds and a 10% chance of a critical failure every 300 rounds. This also shows why I don't think comparing the M110 to an M4 reliability-wise is a fair comparison. An M4 that is capable of true 1MOA at 600m is likely to be just as finicky reliability wise.

Quote:
although according to the Army's own testing and what I've seen personally the M110 is typically a ~2MOA gun
What testing are you referring to? Based on the document I quoted above, the Army's minimum requirement for SASS was a 1MOA rifle at 600m, so it seems strange to me they would award the contract to a rifle that is 2 MOA in their own testing.

And frankly, the M110 is old news. Just as the M110 improved on the Mk11, the EMR and EMC are a bigger improvement on the M110.

Quote:
Yes, but probably not to most serious civilian shooters - especially in that price range.
If you had said "The Noveske does everything most serious civilian shooters will do as well as the Knights for half the price." I would have had to agree with that statement.
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Old October 29, 2010, 11:04 AM   #17
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Dont sleep on the Knights. They are not selling hundreds of thousands of these things on the civilian market so price is to be expected. Its just not mass produced to drive costs down.

When you buy a Knights SR15 you are done. Just add a sling and Optic. If you buy a cheap rifle at around the thousand dollar range and start adding up the add ons guess where you end up?

Add a high end BUIS, Match grade trigger, QD Mounts, Non Airsoft brand Quad rail, rail covers, foregrip, High end stock option, ambi lower, ambi safety lever, low profile gas block, enhanced bolt and see what the end price is.

The best thing about the Knights rifle is the weight. They are light. The only upgrade I see that is a must is a tac latch charging handle.

When you are done building that SW MPT, Bushmaster, CMMG to KAC specs it still wont be a KAC.
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Old October 29, 2010, 01:47 PM   #18
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So in order to win the SASS competition, the M110 was required to be a 1MOA rifle at 600m
I don't know about the specifics of the competition testing, but I know in 2007 a batch of testing with production rifles found them to be 2.2MOA shooters at 300 meters (we don't use yards in official contexts).

As for the comment regarding a true 1MOA M4 not being reliable, its not true. I have a lot of experience with "black rifles" of all sorts, in general (and to be fair, I've shot these the most) I've found issued Colts to be the least reliable and issued M4s and 16s (not the new FN manufactured A4s) are typically 2MOA guns.

Conversely, my only carbine AR that I personally own is a stock S&W M&P15 (no chrome bolt carrier etc). It has never had a stoppage and is a ~1MOA gun with issued 62gr. The only regular cleaning it gets is a boresnake down the barrel. This is pretty common for that particular weapon.

As for Knight's in general, let me just wrap it up by saying this. They're nice guns and they're well engineered, they certainly have a lot of features that look great on paper and their fit and finish is also first rate. However, they're not exceptional performers, bottom line. The Blackwater and Triple Canopy guys who could have whatever they wanted typically ran Bushmasters. Now a lot of them run HK416s and 17s. Whether or not this as indictment on the quality of Knight's, you decide, but having fired both in my personal opinion there's no discernable difference for the end user.
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Old October 29, 2010, 03:58 PM   #19
Bartholomew Roberts
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Actuually, 10mmAuto, I did some sloppy reading in the above link. In the above link, the Army requirement was 1.0 MOA average mean radius at 600m. According to Wikipedia, the current M110 requirement is for a 0.68 MOA average mean radius at 300 feet or better.

Quote:
I know in 2007 a batch of testing with production rifles found them to be 2.2MOA shooters at 300 meters
2.2 MOA in mean radius or extreme spread? And where can I read about this testing?

Quote:
Conversely, my only carbine AR that I personally own is a stock S&W M&P15 (no chrome bolt carrier etc). It has never had a stoppage and is a ~1MOA gun with issued 62gr.
At 600m, your M&P15 consistently fires 5 round groups of issue M855 into an average mean radius of 1 MOA or less?

Quote:
The only regular cleaning it gets is a boresnake down the barrel. This is pretty common for that particular weapon.
I've been around Internet gun forms a while, as my join date shows. My experience has been that the typical accuracy report on the Internet uses 3-shot groups at 100yds as its basis - and usually it excludes "fliers" and uses the best group the rifle has ever fired rather than the average group.

Using those criteria, I'm sure there are a lot of 1MOA production ARs out there if you feed them good ammo. Using the same criteria the Army uses, not so many.

And being able to fire issue M855 into 1" groups at any range with a stock M&P15? That's pretty remarkable. Molon at AR15.com couldn't get better than average 2" 10 round groups at 100yds with IMI M855 using a freefloated 20" Colt HBAR in a mechanical rest with a rear bag and a 25x scope.
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Old October 29, 2010, 04:43 PM   #20
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I didn't realize you had to shoot to 600m to evaluate the accuracy of an AR-15
Regardless, I don't know where if anywhere that evaluation was documented on the internet. If you know anyone in the military/former mil community who's a sniper, designated marksman or former SOCOM, I'd encourage you to ask them about the SR-25/M110 over any internet hear say -although that being said, I'm simply transmitting what I've been told by them and have seen. Draw your own conclusions, but don't believe the hype put out there by KAC fanboys, KAC promotional materials or the Army who is constantly looking to cover its own ass on any procurement it makes.
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Old October 29, 2010, 05:05 PM   #21
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10mmAuto,

I've seen tonnes and tonnes of Colts choke--including my issue M16A2 during qualification fire () (and other times when we had M4s shoot maybe 2,000 rounds in 8 hours without consistent lubrication or cleaning).

However, the most likely reason why, is, instead of them being unreliable, is the extent of abuse and lack of proper maintenance (lube, springs, cleaning).

I never got to bench our issue M16s or M4s, so no comment on accuracy there.
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Old October 29, 2010, 05:40 PM   #22
Bartholomew Roberts
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I didn't realize you had to shoot to 600m to evaluate the accuracy of an AR-15
Earlier I made the point that the Army was willing to accept a rifle that had a 10% chance of a stoppage in normal use in order to achieve 1 MOA mean radius accuracy at 600m. The Army was willing to accept that degree of reliability to achieve that degree of accuracy. I hypothesized that an M4 that had to meet that same standard of accuracy would likely be more finicky in operation

Your response to me was:
Quote:
As for the comment regarding a true 1MOA M4 not being reliable, its not true.... Conversely, my only carbine AR that I personally own is a stock S&W M&P15 (no chrome bolt carrier etc). It has never had a stoppage and is a ~1MOA gun with issued 62gr.
Aside from your fabulous luck in finding such precision in a stock M&P15, the point I meant to make is that accuracy is measured in many different ways by different people. Unless you are measuring accuracy the same way the Army does, then using your M&P15 as an example of how a rifle can be "~1MOA" and still more reliable isn't a valid comparison.
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Old October 29, 2010, 07:47 PM   #23
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Earlier I made the point that the Army was willing to accept a rifle that had a 10% chance of a stoppage in normal use in order to achieve 1 MOA mean radius accuracy at 600m.
So what you're saying here is "because you didn't test it at 600 yards, it probably wasn't that accurate at that distance and this is why its reliable". This is some serious hair splitting if I've ever seen it. Probably not because its a 5.56x45mm and its not got the right twist for the 77gr 5.56mm match, but that being said the gun doesn't go under some dramatic personality change or something between 300m and 600m - MOA is constant. More over, I added this was pretty typical for that particular type of weapon and its even in a lot of gun reviewer's accuracy testing.

Bottom line - you can have your cake and eat it too. Accuracy and reliability aren't mutually exclusive. You can break into the sub MOA range without compromising reliability and there are plenty of other AR makes/models out there that prove it. The Knight's weapon doesn't do that in the hands of the end user.
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Old October 29, 2010, 08:36 PM   #24
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So what you're saying here is "because you didn't test it at 600 yards, it probably wasn't that accurate at that distance and this is why its reliable".
No, I said in order to be a valid comparison, you need to test accuracy the same way the Army does. For example, you haven't answered how many rounds were in the group, what the distance was, whether that is a consistent group, etc.

For example, let's say that you have based your conclusion that the M&P15 rifle is a ~1MOA rifle on a 3rd group of M855 you fired at 100yds. This has a number of problems with it:

1. A 3-rd group is OK for sighting in; but a poor way to measure accuracy
2. What happens at 100yds isn't always a good indicator of what will happen at longer ranges unless the weapon is a machine rest - you'll need accuracy better than 1MOA at 100yds for a human shooter to consistently shoot 1MOA at 600yds in most cases.
3. A single good group isn't the same as consistently producing that result - note that even with 10 round groups, Molon at AR15.com got a 1.71" group with M855; but the average groups were over 2" over 6 different 10 rd groups - the 1.71" was the best of all of them, not the typical result.

The Army doesn't measure accuracy the same way guys on Internet gun boards do and even before you answer those questions, the mere fact that you are claiming ~1MOA with M855 out of an M&P15 tells me you aren't measuring accuracy the same way the Army does.

Quote:
More over, I added this was pretty typical for that particular type of weapon and its even in a lot of gun reviewer's accuracy testing.
Can you show me a single example of a production AR with a 5.56 chamber shooting ~1 MOA with M855 ammo at any range?

Quote:
You can break into the sub MOA range without compromising reliability and there are plenty of other AR makes/models out there that prove it.
Building a sub-MOA requires a compromise in reliability. You may not shoot enough to notice it; but trust me when I say there are no free rides. One of the key areas for reliability in the AR system is the amount of leade. A longer leade lets the rifle cycle more reliability when hot and dirty. This is why the military requires a 5.56x45 chamber. However, a longer leade is detrimental to accuracy. This is why many supposedly 5.56x45 chamber is civilian guns actually have a shorter leade than what a real 5.56x45 chamber has. It is also why there is no sub-MOA AR on the market that uses a 5.56x45 chamber.

However, you can build a rifle that will crank out the occasional 3-shot group at 100yds with M855 without sacrificing much in the way of reliability.

Edited to add:

And comparing the M110 to the M4 is problematic in any case - the M110 generates more heat from the bigger round and heat is a major killer of rifles. A better comparison would be an SR15E3 to an M4; or the M110 to the Armalite AR10 or DPMS LR-308 - because despite people tossing around "AR10" generically, there are actually some significant differences between the different .308 ARs on several levels.

Last edited by Bartholomew Roberts; October 29, 2010 at 08:53 PM.
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Old October 29, 2010, 09:54 PM   #25
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If you want to throw around a lot of assumptions, go for it, I am not here to do a 5,000 round test comparing weapons with full photographic documentation.
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