Back on January 10th, 2019, NC Scout published The SPR: AR Guerilla Sniper Rifle on American Partisan. For me, that article produced a paradigm shift. I was in the process of building an SPR when I read that article and after digesting the information presented, I ended up building a RECCE rifle and not the SPR that I had intended.
I live in the Southeast. For me a long range engagement is three, maybe four hundred yards. Well within a RECCE rifle’s operative range and well within that “danger close” zone of engagement for those big, big guns should your foe have access to them. I determined that I’d be over gunned with an SPR. Therefore, I modified my plans and based my rifle on the RECCE concept. In building my RECCE Rifle, I went with a 16 inch barrel versus an 18 or 20 inch barrel. I give up some fps on the bullet velocity, but given my AOR, I determined 16 inches is more than adequate for my needs. In NC Scouts article, he notes the importance of a high quality barrel. I fully agree, don’t skimp on your RECCE barrel. I went with a match grade barrel chambered in 223 Wylde. While this barrel may be slightly heavier than a traditional barrel found on a RECCE Rifle, I felt the barrel quality of a match barrel was worth the trade off in additional ounces. The barrel is free floated and the fore end is clean except for a small rail with a hand grip in the 6 O’clock position. I have plenty of accuracy, but still maintain maneuverability for mounted operations and dismounted operations in a forested environment.
Again, following NC Scout’s original discussion on the AR, the next point to consider is the trigger. There are plenty of high quality triggers to choose from in the AR parts aftermarket. One can spend as little or as much as one desires on a solid trigger. A solid two stage trigger will make the rifle that much more pleasant to shoot without affecting control and accuracy. By contrast, the same trigger will amplify any trigger control issues the shooter may have. On a side note, curious just how good your trigger control is? Try an Apple Seed and find out. You can get info at appleseedinfo.org. Timney, Geissele, Chip McCormick and others make outstanding quality triggers in all price brackets. For my RECCE, I went with the PSA two stage Nickel Boron Trigger. It has a solid price point and I’ve found its performance to be adequate for my needs. Hawkeye posted a review at AP back in February.
Finally, I mounted an optic on my RECCE. I could have gone with iron, but my long range vision isn’t what it once was. I’ve found that by using optics, I can compensate for my less than adequate eyesight. My optic of choice was the Primary Arms 1-6 x 24 ACSS scope. In full disclosure, I knew going into my build that I was going to be running this optic. I didn’t shop for or consider other alternatives. I have several other long guns sporting scopes by Primary Arms and I consider them first rate. That’s not to say that another optic would not do just as well. I knew what I wanted and that was the end of it. When considering your optics, do your research and buy the best glass you can afford. There are plenty of areas in an AR build where one can save a few dollars here or there (barrel and trigger), but if you are looking to run an optic, don’t skimp!
I originally set out to build the classic Special Purpose Rifle. I ended up with a rifle that more resembles a RECCE than an SPR, but she special to me. As a BFR, she meets my needs as dictated by my operating environment. She might be a little heavy for a true RECCE, but she is well balance, maneuverable and accurate!