Author Topic: LaRue Tactical...Part 1  (Read 15303 times)

Offline MilSpecIA

  • Senior Survivalist
  • ****
  • Posts: 213
  • Karma: 13
  • "Two to the chest, one to the head"
LaRue Tactical...Part 1
« on: November 12, 2011, 09:30:45 PM »
Product Report

The PredatAR Optimized Battle Rifle (OBR) 7.52x51mm by LaRue Tactical

While deployed to Afghanistan this past year I spent several months considering a number of different platforms and calibers, looking for a weapon that could serve in the hunting, personal defense, and competitive role. I should state here, I base my final choice on what was preferable for myself, and what works for me may differ for others whom have different requirements and experience. In the end after months of research into personal accounts, field reports, and video testimonies I found that the LaRue PredatAR 7.62x51 OBR offers me the flexibility and stopping power necessary in my three key areas of concern.



Initially, my research led me to either a LaRue Tactical (http://www.laruetactical.com/) or FNH SCAR (http://www.fnhusa.com/mil/) platform. Both offer a 5.56 and 7.62 variant with interchangeable parts and uppers to vary their functionality. However, in the end, I found that the SCAR lineup simply does not offer the versatility in accessories and functionality that an AR rifle can. Additionally, the AR/M-16 platform was what I came into the military learning, and having a proficiency in all current US military-issued weapons it was important for me to retain some of that weapon familiarity. Having dealt with a number of US weapon manufacturers, such as Barrett and Colt, my journey from research, to ordering, build, and range was a lengthy process suffering from several hiccups along the way that seemed to be unique to this manufacturer. Results may vary and even though I ultimately have a rifle I am very pleased with, one should consider all variables in production carefully so that unexpected problems don’t become larger issues later on.



I chose the LaRue platform because it offers two variants of their OBR, each in 5.56 and 7.62 caliber. Where the standard “heavy” OBR is essentially a high-performance variant to the M-16, the PredatAR platform is a more skeletonized version offering about two pounds lighter in overall weight to the rifle while sacrificing little to accuracy. The PredatAR also offers a MagPul MOE stock and MOE grip that differ from the standard OBR rifle assisting in the lighter frame. Either way both rifle variants come in different lengths from between 16”, 18” or 20” with the 5.56 OBRs also including a 12” Short Barrel Rifle variant. One thing that must be considered, each OBR comes only as the base rifle, including only one steel magazine, gun lock, and hard case. All other elements, such as optics, back up sights, slings, etc. must be purchased separately. Additional details of the PredarAR from LaRue include;

“The barrels are LW-50 stainless steel, are lightweight-profiled and feature rifling in a 1/11.25 twist rate. LW-50 Stainless has proven itself for over 15 years, in military and civilian uses ranging from sniper, tactical, target, and other high-performance applications where long life and accuracy are critical. All barrels are threaded in 5/8 x 24, with an A2 flash hider attached (other muzzle devices can be added at an additional cost)." (http://www.laruetactical.com/16”-larue-tactical-predatar-762)

"The handguards on the PredatAR extend out 14”, to suit a larger range of shooting styles. The zero-MOA upper rail provides plenty of room for weapon-mounted night-vision day/night combinations. Both the upper and lower are CNC-machined from billet 7075-T6, for the optimum fit and consistency. Even though we lightened certain features, there is still additional material in strategic areas to achieve maximum accuracy. Each rifle ships with one, 3” long, MIL-STD-1913 detachable rail section.” (http://www.laruetactical.com/16”-larue-tactical-predatar-762)



So to recount my overall journey, I will detail to you both the ups and downs. After deciding on a PredatAR 7.62 I called LaRue Tactical in Leander, Texas (512-259-1585) and placed my order. Although it was close to the end of the business day (they close at 5pm CST) I could tell the attention to my order wasn’t there, having to repeat my choices several times.  I ordered my PredatAR and a number of accessories, such as Back-up Iron Sights, and a Trijicon scope. Because of a production backlog, it would take between 6-8 weeks for production and once complete, I would be contacted by their financial department to arrange payment and transfer to my local FFL.

So fast-forward six weeks when I receive the call from the financing office. I’m excited that the rifle is now complete and having my local FFL fax over their license information previously, I was looking forward to be the proud owner of a PredatAR. However, this was where the problems began. When the finance manager read back to me the order; items were added that I had not asked for, while items I had been quoted for were not listed. Going back and forth and being transferred twice finally got my order straight so I decided to verify the FFL address (which was also incorrect), but the charge amount was still less than the initial quote. I figured markets change and so do prices so perhaps that explained things. The next day I receive an email notification for delivery from LaRue Tactical…but to the wrong state! The delivery address was for another gun store with the same name, but in a completely different state (this despite previously correcting the address over the phone). Nice. So obviously at this point I call both my local FFL, and LaRue, literally forcing the two to talk to one another to correct the shipment. Thankfully, the email notification also included a tracking ID that allowed me to monitor the package to ensure the shipment was redirected.

A week later my FFL calls to let me know my new PredatAR has arrived. I hurriedly go down to pick up what I thought would be a completed PredatAR platform complete with the accessories I had also purchased. But, perhaps not surprisingly, I found a basic rifle package sans sights and optics – essentially an expensive club with no way of sighting/zeroing in the rifle at time of arrival or verify functionality. So admittedly, at this point I was “concerned” and had to wait until the next day to contact LaRue (sorry I work until 5pm and can’t make personal calls until I get home) to find out where the remainder of my order was. As I talked to their finance department, she explained that LaRue will wait until after the rifle arrives before shipping any accessories due to some dealers “liberating” included accessories. I gently remind her that kind of information may have been best disclosed to the customer at the time of purchase, when exchanging personal credit card information, rather than letting the customer find a stripped down rifle at the time of delivery minus other elements.

So another week passes, and this time the accessories are delivered to my home…$1.5k of accessories sat in front of my house throughout the workday in a package that required neither signature nor confirmation…stellar… Thank heavens for decent neighbors, but given a recent rash of thefts from a downturn in the economy - again I wasn’t pleased. Perhaps one solution to this would be if LaRue was going to ship the accessories to my home, why not send them PRIOR to the rifle, and require a signature confirmation for delivery with little additional charge passed onto the customer? At one point during all this someone from LaRue called my house asking to speak with me directly, but by then my mind had been made that this would be my last dealing with them. I have a number of requirements in certain providers as I use them in realms beyond civilian applications, and the unreliability I experienced is enough to give me pause. So in the end, I got the rifle, put it together myself and took it to the range the following weekend…but that is another review. Stay tuned.

Offline flyfisher66048

  • Survivor
  • ***
  • Posts: 142
  • Karma: 4
Re: LaRue Tactical...Part 1
« Reply #1 on: November 17, 2011, 04:28:17 AM »
Well, how does it shoot? 

Offline MilSpecIA

  • Senior Survivalist
  • ****
  • Posts: 213
  • Karma: 13
  • "Two to the chest, one to the head"
Re: LaRue Tactical...Part 1
« Reply #2 on: November 17, 2011, 08:30:29 AM »
I'm getting together stuff from my trip out to the range and wouldn't want to ruin the surprise  ;)

Offline MilSpecIA

  • Senior Survivalist
  • ****
  • Posts: 213
  • Karma: 13
  • "Two to the chest, one to the head"
Re: LaRue Tactical...The Conclusion
« Reply #3 on: January 08, 2012, 02:07:05 PM »
Well we are finally past the holidays, and I’ve made a few upgrades to my PredatAR since I fist posted this initial review. I added a flashhider and eye cup to the ACOG and protect the lenses, as well as a bipod for stability. I’ve had a chance to take it to the range a few times and I can tell you I was very pleasantly surprised. After mounting the flip sights and ACOG it took me about six rounds to zero the backup sights and nine for the optics.



The rifle itself absorbs the recoil very well to the point it felt like I wasn’t shooting a 7.62 rifle but just a 5.56 caliber. The extraction was smooth and trigger pull isn’t stiff, as you would commonly associate with new-in-box rifles. To say this is a sub MOA rifle would be an understatement. I zeroed the rifle using a 300-meter simulated target at 25-meters (same that we use in the military) and after I got the sights locked in, I drilled 26 more rounds all within a silver dollar-sized center mass circle.



I will say however, in finding the perfect setting for the MagPul stock I initially went short and subsequently crushed my collarbone by leaving a gap between my shoulder and the butt stock and a resulting bruise reminded me why you don’t do that. So that was a quick adjustment. The P-mag work fine, with a few feeding issues but I equate that to the plastic. The steel mags however work without fail.

Overall I’m very please with the rifle’s performance. That said however, I still think that on my next purchase for a SBR, I’ll try someone else given all the customer service issues I had with LaRue. I need to know that for several grand of items everything is going to be handled appropriately and not left to sit outside my door or arrive at the correct FFL.

Total: 8 out of 10
 :D

Offline Docwatmo

  • May Ignite Spontaneously
  • Administrator
  • Survival Veteran
  • *******
  • Posts: 8781
  • Karma: 262
  • The Prepper Rising from the Ashes
Re: LaRue Tactical...Part 1
« Reply #4 on: January 18, 2012, 07:09:36 PM »
I'm glad you posted the link on the other thread.  I somehow missed this write up before.   Great job.  Makes me want to go deeper in debt to have one. ;-)

Offline sawtac

  • Senior Survivalist
  • ****
  • Posts: 250
  • Karma: 12
  • Bert the Turtle
    • Sawtooth Tactical
Re: LaRue Tactical...Part 1
« Reply #5 on: January 20, 2012, 04:34:13 AM »
Sorry you had problems. I've sold a bunch of PredatAR's and LaRue has always been awesome.

Offline mrdan

  • Survivor
  • ***
  • Posts: 147
  • Karma: 11
  • If it's stupid but it works, it's not stupid.
Re: LaRue Tactical...Part 1
« Reply #6 on: January 20, 2012, 05:06:38 AM »
Just for comparison, my neighbor bought a Larue about a month ago. His experience was exactly the opposite. The customer service was stellar and way above expectations. Not sure if that means anything. In other words, is your experience typical, or is his? Anyway, I just thought I'd pass that along. Sorry you had all the issues.

Offline MilSpecIA

  • Senior Survivalist
  • ****
  • Posts: 213
  • Karma: 13
  • "Two to the chest, one to the head"
Re: LaRue Tactical...Part 1
« Reply #7 on: January 20, 2012, 04:43:15 PM »
I don't think it was indicative of LaRue as a company (remembering the gunsmiths don't really handle the customer service), just some of the folks there. Which is why I gave them an 8 out of 10. No matter how good the business plan, some people still suck(ish) and all it takes in business is one bad day. I don't know if I would immediately trust another high-cost purchase again, but maybe some of the less expensive stuff that doesn't require an FFL.  The point of this article is to let you see the product, and journey to get there, and let the reader decide for themselves how they want to proceed.

Offline mrdan

  • Survivor
  • ***
  • Posts: 147
  • Karma: 11
  • If it's stupid but it works, it's not stupid.
Re: LaRue Tactical...Part 1
« Reply #8 on: January 21, 2012, 07:33:52 AM »
The point of this article is to let you see the product, and journey to get there, and let the reader decide for themselves how they want to proceed.

Agreed, and you did a fine job. I'm not trying to take anything away from your experience.

Offline Jungle_Jim

  • Prepper
  • **
  • Posts: 19
  • Karma: 0
  • New TSP Forum member
Re: LaRue Tactical...Part 1
« Reply #9 on: April 09, 2012, 06:08:57 PM »
I love my Larue products and have never had any issues at all.
Jim

Offline dr andy

  • Fledgling Prepper
  • *
  • Posts: 2
  • Karma: 0
  • New TSP Forum member
Re: LaRue Tactical...Part 1
« Reply #10 on: April 16, 2012, 10:29:20 PM »
Sounds like they have a good product, but the retail end needs a complete overhaul

Offline Patriot:Ex Machina

  • Administrator Emeritus
  • Administrator On Leave
  • Survival Demonstrator
  • *
  • Posts: 2761
  • Karma: 140
  • Malo periculosam libertatem quam quietum servitium
    • Patriot Gun & Gear
Re: LaRue Tactical...Part 1
« Reply #11 on: April 16, 2012, 10:34:30 PM »
Thanks for the writeup!