Rock River


Tonite I will discuss my Rock River  ATH Carbine. I have a couple other Rock’s but this is my favorite one, I actually clean this one:) It was made to be a “premium” rifle I would call it with many upgrades and more accurate than your regular m4 style rifles.

You get a beautiful rifle with an upgraded tactical muzzle break, a cryogenic-ally treated 18 inch stainless heavy match barrel and a free floated half quad rail. Additionally you get an ERGO rubber grip and a 2 stage match trigger with winter trigger guard. Finally at the back is a Operator collapsible stock with a battery compartment. So this baby is fully loaded, no iron sights and I didn’t want them. It came with a raised extra rail for optics mounting. She is advertised as a 3/4 MOA rifle but will shoot much better than that with the right ammo.

OK if you knew me then you know how much I love cool, expensive accessories. So I set mine up to be a short to intermediate range precision rifle. I put a mono-pod grip upfront, one push of a button and the legs deploy for stability. If you push them back in then you have a large, user friendly forward grip for CQB work. For the main light I went with my usual Surefire 951, I set it up on a pressure switch back towards the receiver if I choose to hold onto the mag-well or the thumb switch is easily reached holding the front grip. My back up light is a Streamlight TRL-1. Both are LED bulbs. For optics I went with a Leupold 3×9 AR series scope, decent scope, wish I had gotten an illuminated scope though. I’m still very pleased with it and it can be used for very close shooting when dialed all the way down. I did though put a Bushnell TRS red dot sight on an angle mount off the right side of the scope up front. It’s a back up sight and a CQB battle site I dialed in for 100 yards. I also mounted a GG&G battery compartment on the rear of the scope tube. It holds batteries for the red dot and the stock holds the batteries for the 951. I also have a stock pouch that has a Tops folding knife and some critical spare parts for field repairs. This thing also gives me a bit of lift so my face lines up with the scope better. So I have all the toys any little boy would want on this girl.

Rock River

So she looks and feels great but how does she shoot. I just did the sight in and initial accuracy tests. I used 4 kinds of ammo, PMC Bronze 55 grain ball and PMC Xtac 62 grain steel core, both standard grade military stuff. It shot like military ammo does, OK, it functions and will whack bad guys all day long out to 300-400 yards. It is NOT match grade stuff tho and 1 1/2-2 inch groups were average at 100 yards, a long way off the 3/4 MOA that was advertised. I’m not surprised though.

Now feed her something good and it’s a whole other universe, you begin to see where your initial 1150$ for the bare rifle went. I used a moly coated 75 grain Hornady match load and of course the tried and true 69 grain Federal Gold Medal. I intend to try the 77 grain Federal but I’ll update that later. Anyway the Hornady came in just under the 3/4 MOA mark, a world of difference but no two rounds went through the same hole though and I felt it could do better. They had a tendency to string out horizontally as well. The Federal showed what this baby can do, 5 rounds at just over 1/4 inch. I swear this could have been the best group I’ve ever fired if I had not had one flier out of that 🙁 I don’t think it was the rifle, I think I threw it. It hit JUST BARELY not touching the single hole with 4 rounds thru it. Four rounds though in the smallest group I have ever shot! I was proud, the hole was hardly even ob-longed, it was truly one hole. Very impressive rifle I thought. I don’t shoot that good generally to be honest. I can connect but not like that. She makes me look good. The “flier” was the 5th round, I seriously almost quit shooting on round 3 because I didn’t know where they were going. I didn’t believe at first they all shot so tight, I almost punched my bore as I thought I somehow had one stuck in the barrel. No kidding!

Well that’s about it I guess. Parting thoughts: Best M4 style rifle I have ever owned. Hands down no thought about it if the zombies ever come and I’m bugging out with one gun and that’s it, it’s this Rock River ATH. It will do everything well enough. You wanna kick down doors? She’ll do it, short and fast handling. You want to deploy your bi-pod and get surgical on somebody at extended ranges?? She’ll do that too. I’d guess I could squeak 800 yards out of her pretty reliably. If the wind was in my favor. An all around awesome all purpose military, law enf, intermediate range sniper, varmint hunter,plinker or match gun. Whatever the mission I can’t see this thing failing you. Like I said my #1 choice for 1 gun. Even over my beloved FN PS-90. Buy it, you wont be sorry.

Thanks for reading and happy shooting.

By: Cary Kieffer


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Cary Kieffer

USMC Infantry/Combat Veteran/MUESOC/Sniper School - Med Retired LEO w/ 8yrs on job before Iraq wounds caught up with me.

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