Big Dragon Larue 11.0" Free Float RIS
Date product posted
Sun April 18, 2010
Big Dragon/ACM LaRue 11.0" Free-Float RIS review by aznriptide859
Discuss this review here.
Oh, the world of Armalites - so many product to choose from. Whether your rail interface system/rail adaptable system (RIS/RAS) is made by Knights Armament, Daniel Defense, Noveske Industries, or even Patriot Ordinance Firearms, the RIS gives a bling and uniqueness to your Armalite, provided there isn't someone out there with that gun setup already. In the airsoft world, people tend to buy airsoft-manufactured "clone" RIS' since they are a fraction of the cost of the real thing; of course, this issue doesn't affect millionaires. LaRue Tactical RIS' have been heavily sought out; however, there has never been a budget yet realistic rail system for most people. King Arms offers one starting from the $90 price range, and have no trademarks. The only more "realistic" RIS is the actual RS LaRue ones, which START from $250-300, way out of the range of most airsofters' budgets.
Meet the Big Dragon LaRue RIS. It's realistic, durable, and half the price of the King Arms RIS. But is it worth it? This reviewer finds out.
There is no LaRue Wiki page (sadly), so I'll write from what I know regarding the company.
(courtesy/copyright LaRue Tactical)
LaRue Tactical, located in Leander, Texas (or as LaRue calls it, the "dead center of Texas"), is a arms equipment manufacturer. Founded by Mark LaRue, his team of mechanics, designers, and machinists make some of the world's top quality rail systems and accessories for the AR platform and many other accessories. The LaRue RIS for the Armalite series is very well known in the shooting world, as well as their plethora of accessories from mounts for scopes, flashlights, and red dot sights to complete AR uppers, RIS', and even beverage openers (yes, they sell "tactical beverage openers").
Their famous line "God Bless our troops, especially our snipers!" is well known across the national shooting community.
(copyright LaRue Tactical and respected displayed logos and their companies)
At time of writing eHobbyAsia is the only one that offers these Big Dragon LaRue RIS'. There are 4 lengths/packages:
LaRue 7.0" RIS w/ gas tube - $34
LaRue 9.0" RIS - $49.99
LaRue 11.0" RIS w/ 12.0" Outer Barrel/Flash Hider/Match Barrel Extension/Gas Tube - $57.99
LaRue 12.0" RIS w/ 14.5" Outer Barrel/Flash Hider/Match Barrel Extension/Gas Tube - $64.99
LaRue 13.2" RIS w/ 16.0" Outer Barrel/Flash Hider/Match Barrel Extension/Gas Tube - $73.99
As you can see, these are very affordable and VERY worth the money - the longer RIS' have the entire front OB/gas tube included (no gas block). Both the 7.0" and 9.0" versions don't have the OB set, so that's why I settled for the 11.0" RIS. This is also a continuation of my LaRue MBR build, so I needed such a long RIS. At time of writing no Gooseneck SBRS models are out, but only time will tell.
Ebaybanned/EBAirsoft offers these products as well now - prices may be a bit higher due to inclusion of shipping costs, but product is the same.
Update: coolbeans has kindly informed me that at this time, eHobby no longer offers the outer barrel with the purchase - just the gas tube and flash hider. eHobby has informed me that Big Dragon has decided to no longer include an outer barrel with the purchase - you will simply get the RIS and some accessories, depending on the rail length. In the meantime such purchases like mine will NOT, I repeat, NOT come with an outer barrel.
I made this order via eHobbyAsia (as I almost always do) along with some other parts for my LaRue M4 build. Total cost was $154.24, order was made 11/17/09, order arrived 11/20/09. It would have actually gotten to me on the 19th, but since I gave them a PO Box number, I had to rearrange a shipping address with UPS. +100 props to eHobby as always - it's like they have a magical elf that they use to deliver packages to the US so fast.
Since the LaRue product was the largest thing in the order, it came in only once box, all the other items inside. There's a "LaRue Tactical 11.0" sticker outside the box - makes you believe you ordered the real thing. I was expecting some Dillo Dust inside, but it was nowhere to be found .
All my parts. If you have a good eye you'll spot G&P shims, a PDI 150%, Magpul ASAP, Guarder Bushings, and a 5KU buffer tube for WA M4's. Since I've ordered from eHobby so much, they've provided me with a free lanyard (this is the second time).
Alright, onto the RIS!
Product Description/External Description:
First, the RIS and OB items are in separate packages - nice move Big Dragon.
Let's look at the OB bag first. It comes with:
12.0" Outer Barrel
4.0" Match Barrel Extension
M4 Birdcage Flash Hider
If you can't see, the OB and extension are covered in shrink wrap, most likely to protect the OB finish in-transit. +2, Big Dragon.
Packaging taken off.
Even for more realism, there's a Texas (WHOO TEXAS) logo with a "8P" on the end of the outer barrel. Win.
As you can see, even the OB is heavily adjustable for lengths. The setups can go for:
7.0" OB (CW threads)
7.0" OB (CW threads) + 5.0" "Normal Extension" (CCW threads)
From here you can split into the normal FH addon, or move to the match barrel (if you want that look or for a DMR setup.
Weird issue - my match extension was threaded CW while my OB was threaded CCW. Since I'm not using I didn't mind, but since I can't use it it did piss me off a bit. I've contacted eHobby to see if they could do anything about it.
EDIT: eHobbyAsia has contacted Big Dragon and stated the "match extension" isn't meant to add onto the 12.0" OB - it's meant to add onto the 7.0" OB, so you'll basically have a small match barrel sticking out the end of the RIS. Not my cup of tea, but that's how it was made. -1 to barrel fail, but +1 for eHobby getting back to me so quickly.
Now, onto the RIS!
Note, this will be a partial comparison with an older ACM LaRue 12.0" RIS.
Comparison between the two. The 11.0" is obviously on top.
The 12.0" is actually lighter than the 11.0", but I'm guessing the latter is made of some alloy, making it a lot tougher.
Some obvious differences:
New RIS actually marks for the specific length (unlike the other one, which is just marked 7.0" when it's really 12.0")
Slightly blued finish, more realistic IMO
Now, the biggest difference between the two - the mounting materials. Everything you'd see for the RS LaRue RIS is included here:
Unlike the other ACM LaRue RIS:
Looks measly, right?
-11.0" RIS has spacer (for inner rail section) and the "keeper" anti-rotational piece. This is CRUCIAL for rail sturdiness - the original ACM rail didn't have this, and would get loose at the slightest moment.
-Alignment pins on the RIS are glued/welded in and are very tough, unlike the small detachable pieces on the 12.0" RIS.
These key differences make the Big Dragon RIS so much better.
The two glued pins:
Included mounting parts:
Now here's the kicker: Big Dragon decided to include 10 metal spacers to put on the MBK to ensure the delta ring is on very sturdily. Just awesomes.
Alright, let's install this sucker.
First, I'm basing my installation off the actual RS LaRue Instructions: http://188.8.131.52/lt/handguards.html
Since the parts are pretty similar, the installation should be similar as well. I will NOT be installing the gas tube, as I have no gas block - oh well. Off we go.
First, put the outer barrel assembly on the upper assembly (I'm using a STAR MBK).
If you need to put washers on the delta ring, now's the time.
Put the spacer piece on the RIS.
Next, put the the keeper on the OB/receiver:
Then the RIS ring:
And lastly the delta ring:
Regarding the keeper - it wasn't cast with the best precision, so you might need to modify it to fit your specific receiver. As you can see with the STAR MBK, it doesn't fit flush with the delta ring mounting area.
For me, I dremeled the imperfections (near the screw holes) and dremeled the lower sections down to an angle so it would fit with the receiver.
If you want to, you may source a keeper from LaRue Tactical themselves. I have emailed them at time of writing to see if they're willing to sell one separately.
Next, tighten that delta ring. Either use an armorer's wrench, or your hands until tight, then use a screwdriver/hammer to hammer it in place.
Make sure your hole positions (or the ones you'll use) are 90 degree increments in relation with the receiver. Otherwise your RIS will be tilted at a weird angle.
Next, slide on the RIS over the OB towards the mounting area. Make sure the pins are mounted in the holes you want.
Use the RIS ring to screw onto the RIS, bringing it closer to the actual delta ring. Once it's tight, you're good. You can do angle/rotation adjustments here if you didn't align the pins right.
Since your keeper is in position, now use the two provided Allen screws to tighten the keeper into the RIS. This will keep the RIS from spinning needlessly.
Two words: Pure. Sechs.
Rails are aligned!!! Finally :D
Anyone say, free floating?
On my project M4 (not done), with a Dytac SCAR flash hider.
On semi-finished M4 MBR Project (awaiting short-dot optics):
I usually don't praise ACM items a lot (especially guns, since I go almost completely high-end now), but for once I have to say ACM/Big Dragon did a fantastic job on this RIS. Nothing on the market now, at this price, models/replicates a RS LaRue more accurately and amazingly. The RIS is sturdy, tough, and mounts just like the real thing. If anyone's looking for a durable LaRue RIS for their build, yet doesn't want to make their wallet cry, I would definitely have to recommend this product.
-Beautifully crafted RIS
-Mounting material superior to previous ACM RIS'
-Spacers included for different MBK's
-Match barrel extension is CW, not CCW (can't make into 16.0" OB)
-No OB/Gas Tube/Gas Block for some RIS packages
-"Keeper" AR piece may need modification to fit certain receivers
Thanks to all who provided support, ASR for hosting this review, and of course, eHobbyAsia for providing the product!
And as a hats off to LaRue:
Thanks to XM for providing me with the Dillo :P
Written by aznriptide859, 11/22/09-11/29/09