By David Crane
defrev (at) gmail (dot) com
All photos contained in this article were taken by DefenseReview.com, and are copyrighted. DefenseReview.com owns the copyright on these photos. The photos were shot with a Canon PowerShot S90 10-megapixel digital camera (still camera with video capability).
December 22, 2010
DefenseReview got a chance to view and handle the KAC SR-25 Enhanced Match (EM)/M110 SASS (Semi-Automatic Sniper System) 16″ Carbine (essentially the carbine version of the KAC M110 SASS, a KAC M110 SASS Carbine, if you will) 7.62x51mm NATO (7.62mm NATO)/.308 Win. tactical AR battle carbine/rifle (AR-10-type carbine) at the 2010 Special Operations Forces Industry Conference (SOFIC 2010), back in June (2010). The weapon looked and felt good, as it should, ’cause it ain’t cheap.
Unfortunately, we didn’t get to run it at the range. Kevin Boland, Military/Government Product Liaison at KAC (Knight’s Armament Co.), did, though, and he achieved a pretty impressive 5-shot group of 0.4150 inches (at 100 yards) with with the SR25 EM/M110 SASS Carbine using Lapua 167gr 7.62mm NATO ammo. That’s pretty good, especially for him (I kid, I kid–a little humor). All kidding aside, though, while Kevin may be a good shot, 0.4150 inches is some serious accuracy for any rifle, and particularly a semi-auto carbine/non-bolt-action carbine, no matter how good the shooter. They obviously take accuracy pretty seriously at Knight’s.
It would appear that Mr. Boland used the same Leupold 1.1-8x CQBSS tactical rifle scope pictured in Defense Review’s accompanying photos. The Leupold 1.1-8x CQBSS is a cool tactical scope/combat optic, and is one of the optics DR is most interested in reviewing for a future article. We first viewed and handled this item at SHOT Show 2010, where it was a pretty hot item, generating a fair amount of buzz. This is where we met Jim Smith of Spartan Tactical, who was assisting Leupold at their booth. Mr. Smith, now a tactical shooting instructor and consultant, is a retired U.S. Army Special Forces assaulter/operator, and was in a Tier 1 unit. He’s also a nice guy.
“Shortly after 9/11 elements operating in Afghanistan noted that the M4A1 even with our (KAC) MRE FF RAS, and S&B Short Dot was not up to the task of going from the CQB fight to the edge of the villages or out in the mountains, and while the 18″ Mk12 Mod0 and Mod1 are capable in the accuracy department, that they where neither very handy for CQB, nor would 5.56mm, even with then newly adopted 77gr AA53 round (Mk262) capable of barrier penetration at range. Larry Vickers did a segment on Tactical Arms to air this year where he talks about why the M4 was picked over the MP-5 for CQB, as to somewhat paraphrase him “ you sometimes need to step out of the house and make a 100m or 200m shot”, he then relates to the 7.62mm SR-25 EM Carbine, and the 7.62 Battle Rifles, ‘well in Afghanistan, sometime you need to step out or go up on a building an make a 400-600m shot, and 5.56mm is not ideal for that’.
With the idea is that it was very similar in appearance to the M4′s and not going to draw undue attention, as well unlike the majority of systems, it used the same manual of Arms as the M4/M16, so soldier who have years on the M16FOW, don’t have issues relearning drills, especially valuable under stress.
7.62mm is more optimized in longer than 14.5” barrels and really wants at least a 16″ barrel, and a lot of concerns about the reliability of the 14.5″ gun were being given, so shortly after the 16″ SR-25 Battle Rifle was developed, which was really just a longer barrel.
We had never envisioned a 7.62mm gun being run like an M4, and especially with a suppressor neither the 14.5 nor the 16″ gun were at the reliability level that was desired, especially suppressed. I ran the 16″ SR-25BR at classes, and demos. Accuracy, even with the chromed barrel, was always good, sub-MOA and a fair amount under the 1/2MOA mark. It is a good gun, but in high suppressed round counts it got dirty and finicky.
Near the first quarter of ’09 we started work on a PIP of the 16″ gun, as well as the 20” M110. High-speed video, lots of rounds, more high-speed video, changes to the gas system, and more rounds and video, a lot more stuff and changes to the bolt carrier, the recoil system resulted in the SR-25 EM Carbine.
What we ended up with was in our opinion the finest 16″ 7.62mm gas gun on the planet.
We shot several EM’s for over 1,000 rds fully suppressed with no additional lube, with no stoppages. We have done extensive lifecycle work on the guns, endurance testing etc. We wanted to build the best gun we could, so if someone on a mountain top in Afghanistan or wherever else needed to have a gun that would go and go and go, it would. If he has to dump it in snow to cool it down, it would go and go and go. With well over 50,000 rounds thru it, including a day where Mr. Knight and I stood in a puddle of muddy water splashing the gun to cool, we feel we are there.
Unlike our previous carbines, which we showed at SHOT (I have a pic somewhere of me holding the 14.5″ gun at SHOT’04 when I was still in the Canadian Army) and never really publicly released for sale, we wanted a short 7.62 like this this gun to be our Flagship.
So its here, and available.”
And now, few quick KAC SR-25 EM Carbine weapon features/specs (courtesy of Kevin Boland):
- 7.62x51mm NATO Caliber
- 20-round Magazine Capacity
- 16″ Chrome Lined Dimpled Match Barrel with M110 Flash Hider
- Muzzle thread is 3/4-24 UNS 2A (compatible AAC and Surefire Mounts exist).
- Integral Front Flip Sight
- Low Profile Tape Pinned Gas Block
- 600m BIS and Extended Charging Handle Latch on Gasbuster Charging Handle (made under License from PRI)
- Right Side Scalloped Low Profile Ambo Selector (Ambidextrous Safety/Selector Switch a.k.a. Ambi Selector)
- 10 position buttstock
- All Guns are SUB-MOA
DefenseReview has a theory that direct-gas-impingement (DGI)/DI Gas tactical ARs of 7.62mm NATO/.308 Win.or higher caliber actually hold a multi-aspect combat advantage over gas piston/op-rod guns, specifically in the areas of accuracy and durability, since the DI Gas system has less reciprocating mass, does not mechanically impact the bolt carrier (specifically the bolt carrier key/strike key/tombstone on an AR-10-type weapon). Typically, a DGI gun will “shoot smoother”, have less felt recoil, offer superior accuracy capability, and won’t “beat the gun up” as much as a gas piston/op-rod system will.
The weapon (SR-25 EMC) featured in the accompanying photos sports a MagPul ACS Carbine Stock — Mil-Spec Model telescoping buttstock. MagPul Industries makes good tactical AR stocks (AR telescoping buttstocks), and DR particularly likes their CTR stock (NOT Shown). However, DR would also like to see how the SR-25 EM looks and performs with the Vltor IMod (Improved Modstock) buttstock (telescoping buttstock) and LMT SOPMOD buttstock a.k.a. SOCOM stock. “LMT” stands for “Lewis Machine & Tool”.
DR assumes the SR-25 EMC will accept the MagPul PMAG 20LR SR-25-type 20-round 7.62mm AR mag (polymer magazine), which seemed to work reliably (at least under pristine range conditions) in the very cool Colt CM901 modular/convertable 7.62mm/5.56mm NATO battle rifle/carbine/SBR (Short Barreled Rifle) when we test-fired it at Colt’s indoor range.
Kyle Lamb of Viking Tactics (VTAC) takes you through the Leupold 1.1-8x CQB SS in the following video:
Leupold & Stevens sales literature on the Leupold 1.1-8x CQBSS tactical rifle scope:
“The Leupold 1.1-8x CQBSS incorporates everything professional operators need into one extremely versatile riflescope. View Video to see CQBSS demonstration.
With an astonishing 1.1-8x CQBSS magnification range, sacrificing precision for field view is no longer a requirement. The front focal plane is accurate at all magnification settings and is combined with a 5 MOA illuminated holographic dot for the ultimate
combination of precision and rapid acquisition. Auto-locking Pinch & Turn adjustments with 0.10 Mil clicks are extremely easy to adjust, yet eliminate accidental adjustment in the field.
The M118 LR (175 grain 7.62 NATO) BDC dial makes first-round hits a simple reality, while the quick change BDC ring effortlessly adapts to alternate loads.
The 34mm maintube produces unparalleled windage and elevation adjustment travel, and the ability to bypass the stop-pin in the BDC dial makes zeroing a breeze. 8 illumination settings provide optimal dot contrast with or without night vision, and an off position between intensity settings makes returning to the perfect illumination level nearly immediate. Absolutely waterproof and fog proof, the 1.1-8x CQBSS completely eliminates compromise.
Includes 34mm Mark 4 rings, CR-2032 battery, aluminum flip-back lens covers, and a 2.5” lens shade. Available with TMR, Mil Dot, and various Horus reticles to serve your needs.”
Editor’s Note: “SASS” stands for “Semi Automatic Sniper System”
Company Contact Info:
Kevin S. Boland
Military/Government Product Liaison
Knight’s Armament Company
701 Columbia Blvd
Titusville, Florida 32780
Phone: 321-607-9900 ext 1365
Knight’s Armament Co. (KAC)
701 Columbia Blvd
Titusville, FL 32780-7902
For Domestic Calls: 321-607-9900 ext. 1330
Foreign Sales: 321-607-9956
Military Sales Email: email@example.com
Commercial Sales Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Leupold & Stevens
14400 NW Greenbrier Parkway
Beaverton, OR 97006-5790
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DR Exclusive First Look!: SCAR Who? Meet the Colt Modular Carbine (CMC) Model CM901 Multi-Caliber 7.62mm NATO Battle Rifle / 5.56mm NATO Assault Rifle for U.S. Military Special Operations Forces (SOF) and General Infantry Forces (GIF). DefenseReview (DR) Reports (Photos and Video!)