Tag Archives: rapid engagement precision rifle



If you were around back when the various SASS rifles hit the market, you may remember it was an exciting time for those of us who love precision shooting auto-loaders. It seemed like everybody made their submissions for the project, but not all of them were destined for adoption. Lucky for enthusiasts like myself, these rifles made their way into the commercial market where hungry aficionados waited for just such an opportunity. The REPR (Rapid Engagement Precision Rifle) from LWRC was one of those rifles, and many were the nights I creeped the internet forums and webpages longing for a REPR. The ebb and flow of life wouldn’t deign me the capital to buy such a gem for my modest collection, but life’s current has brought the white whale back into port.


The REPR is a semi-automatic precision rifle chambered in 7.62X51, it is of obvious AR heritage and yet distinctively it stands alone. The REPR functions near the same as every other AR style rifle except for it’s short stroke gas piston operation and side charging handle. The controls of the rifle closely mimic everything you already know as far as mag release, bolt catch, safety, etc.

The REPR features a non-reciprocating side charging handle on the weak side of the rifle, as well as an ambidextrous bolt-catch that can be operated with either hand. The rifle is available in a few different barrel lengths, but this one is a twenty-inch barrel with a one-in-ten twist. At the loud end of the rifle you will find a two position gas block with a setting for normal and suppressed, something I intended to test thoroughly. The 5/8-24 threaded muzzle came with LWRC’s Ultra muzzle brake that uses three horizontal ports on each side to vent gas pressure and reduce recoil. The handguard features screw holes to attach an assortment of picatinny rails wherever you might need them, as long as it’s three, six,  nine, and twelve o’clock. The REPR comes with factory Magpul furniture. The MOE grip and PRS buttstock make an excellent interface with the triggerman, and are easily adjusted. Last but certainly not least, the rifle comes from the factory with a Geissele® SSA-E 2-Stage Precision Trigger which together with all the above mentioned features makes this rifle smooth and sexy without losing its sturdy and potent performance.

REPRoducing my dream

Its not often I go twenty-four hours without shooting a new gun, and I dang sure wasn’t going to break that tradition with this beauty. I spent a great deal of time playing with it, getting familiar with its differences and similarities. With a Leupold CQBSS 1-8 scope mounted in a Larue SPR mount, I grabbed some ammo and my tool kit and made my way to the cold and snowy mountains nearby.


Once there, I installed a bipod for some supported shooting while I zeroed the rifle. The ammo I started with was Hornady 155-grain match ammunition, True Velocity 168-grain Match, Underwood .308 Controlled Chaos, and finally some Desert Tech 175-grain Match. I have used all of these in other 1:10 twist rifles, so I expected it would do the same here.

Testing at 100 yards showed the 155-grain ammo to be the best choice, but the 175-grain would be the better performer at the significant distances I intended to reach. Accuracy for the Hornady ammo was around 1 MOA on average, while the Desert Tech load produced more along a 1.2-MOA average.

In outward appearances and functions, the REPR offers an an AR-style package

It could be that my shoulder wasn’t feeling it that day and shot the lighter recoiling ammo better. The .308 Win is not known for its high velocity, but I have used it for nearly my entire shooting career to distances many would consider irrational.

With the rifle zeroed and accuracy established, I immediately succumbed to my desire to stretch every rifle I ever shoot to as far as it will reasonably go. I picked out the exposed tips of stones protruding from the snow on the opposite side of the canyon for targets. The puff of rock and vaporized bullet are easily seen, and, if you miss, you can see it in the snow.

I pushed the REPR out to 1000 yards, which is arguably about as far as I ever really need to shoot. Repeated, easy hits between 400 and 800 yards gave me great confidence in my abilities behind the rifle, it just begged to be shot more.

Range target for LWRCI REPR
A typical group from the REPR. I believe the vertical stringing was caused from shooting the sub-freezing rifle and gaining velocity as it warmed up


I also removed the muzzle brake to see how the rifle shot with a suppressor installed. Using primarily my Yankee Hill Machine R9, along with a few other cans I had laying around, I fired the rifle to see how the reduced gas setting would affect its cycling. The various suppressors did cause differing back pressures and feels, but they were all acceptable as a general observation. The accuracy seemed to tighten up a little bit with the suppressors, be it the additional weight added to the platform or a cleaner release of the bullet from the muzzle, and the rifle shot even better.

LWRCI REPR .7.62x51 Rifle
The rifle boasts a two-position gas block to help run a suppressor
 LWRCI REPR .7.62x51 Rifle
The groups actually tightened up while shooting the REPR suppressed

This anomaly was also accompanied by some additional recoil. Whether it was the lack of the muzzle-brake or the added gas pressure from the suppressor, the rifle seemed to jump a bit more. It also could be a combination of the two. Either way, I think the REPR could benefit from one more setting on the gas valve with just a touch less gas pressure.



LWRCI REPR .7.62x51 Rifle
Here you can see the two-position gas block, not to mention the fine machining work on the rifle

Evaluating the REPR for exactly what it was built for brings us back to the Army’s Compact Semi-Automatic Sniper System program, which was meant to refine the semi-auto sniper rifle into something more compact, light, and lethal. It also had to do this without standing out too much from the other rifles in use. As tested, this rifle comes in at just under 10.5 pounds naked, which isn’t exactly light. But with the shorter-barreled version of the rifle, you can get the weight down to 9 pounds or less. These shorter barrels will obviously make it more compact and easier to maneuver as well.

The REPR meets those requirements very well, and the civilian market isn’t nearly as rigid as Uncle Sam. The rifle is very well built, and the intricate machine work and innovative designs are sure signs of outstanding American craftsmanship. The smooth operation of the action is extremely satisfying, as is the crisp break of the trigger. Little touches, like a built-in anti-wobble pin to keep the lower and upper receiver snug and high-quality coatings of both internal and exterior surfaces are certainly doing their part to justify this rifle’s starting price of $4,233.

LWRCI REPR .308 Rifle

Since this is an evaluation, I’d be careless to not include my negative marks for those looking to knit pick. The 20-inch version of this rifle isn’t light, and most of the weight is way out front. I think I might have liked the 16-inch version a little more, but obviously this point is for each to decide.

The machine work on the receivers is immaculate, but I did find that the aluminum bosses surrounding some of the controls can inhibit good purchase. The mag release and bolt releases seem to be somewhat protected by the receiver. This may just be a reconditioning of the fingers, but I found that I’d frequently miss when blindly stabbing at the controls.

Lastly, I don’t consider myself a trigger snob, but I did find myself wanting to polish the first stage of the Geissele trigger. It wasn’t bad, but I could frequently feel a couple of steps of movement before hitting the second stage. This was a minimal issue for me, and certainly didn’t inhibit the hits from coming downrange, but I thought I’d mention it.

Continue Reading Here…


The LWRCI REPR is everything I dreamed about years ago. Only you can decide if it’s worth the price for your purposes. I think it is an outstanding rifle for anyone who wants to put heavy .308-sized hits on many targets at various ranges quickly. Or, if you just want a bunch of holes in something, it fulfills that purpose, too. High-quality American-made performance is what you can expect from the REPR. I’m happy I finally landed my white whale. Now if only I could afford to keep it.