The SR-25 Match Rifle

< 1999
By Jay Williams

The SR-25 comes in four flavors: the Match Rifle, the Light Match Rifle, the Standard Rifle, and the Carbine. Since this is a page on sniping, I will comment only on the Match version of the SR-25.

Background

The SR-25 has its roots in the AR-15/M16 series rifles. Not only were all of these weapons designed by the same gun designer (Eugene Stoner), but they have many parts in common (60%). To accomodate the .308 caliber cartridge, the receiver had to be enlarged along with the bolt carrier group and return spring assembly. Many of the internal parts, however, are straight off the AR-15/M16. The pistol grip and buttstock are identical as are the trigger and safety. Additionally, the SR-25 breaks down for cleaning identically to the AR-15/M16 and all three guns function using the same gas system. This automatically makes the gun familiar to millions of shooters. The name of this rifle comes from its designer and two of his guns: SR = Stoner Rifle, and 25 = 10 + 15 (AR-10, AR-15).

My particular SR-25 is configured as follows: A.R.M.S. Throwlever sub-base (quick-release), Knight's 30mm rings, Leupold MK-IV M3 10X scope (bullet drop compensating), Turner Sadlery 1 1/4" tactical (black) sling, and Harris bipod. The gun came with one 20-round clip and I ordered one additional 20-round clip ($100!!). Reed Knight of Knight's Manufacturing produces the gun.

Apparently, the gun is available with two different triggers: a standard trigger and a two-stage trigger. Mine came with the standard trigger. I would guess that the pull is in the neighborhood of 4 or 5 pounds. If you have a sensitive trigger finger, you can detect a very slight amount of creep. There is no takeup. After feeling the two-stage trigger on an SR-25K (the carbine version of the SR-25), I ordered one (the two-stage trigger, that is. I'll get an SR-25K later.). At $240, it's not cheap, but, on a sniper rifle, a good trigger is very important (a good trigger is important on any firearm which will be used to hit a target!). I could detect no creep and would guess the weight at about 3 pounds.

A Description of the SR-25 Match Rifle

The SR-25 is an ominous looking rifle . . . all black with that "assault-rifle" or military-rifle look. The pistol grip and buttstock look identical to the M-16. The clip protrudes straight downwards and holds 20 rounds. The receiver section has a nice annodized finish with white lettering identifying the gun as an SR-25 made my Knight's Manufacturing. An integral Picatinny/Weaver rail is machined into the top of the receiver, which makes for a very sturdy sight mount. The black-parkerized-24" barrel protrudes out of a straight and round fiberglass handguard. The barrel touches nothing other than the receiver. A Picatinny/Weaver rail is machined onto the top of the gas block, just in front of the handguard, to accomodate the mounting of a front post sight in case of an optical sight failure. The muzzle of the barrel is crowned for protection and accuracy enhancement. For extreme accuracy, a perfect muzzle is required.

Problems

When I got the gun, there was a problem with the feeding of ammunition into the chamber. The first 15, or so, rounds would feed perfectly. Several of the last 5 would misfeed invariably. The bolt would end up on top of the round putting a small dent in it just below the shoulder. The spring in the clip was a bit weak, it seems. As soon as my extra clip came, I sent the original back to the factory for repairs. I have had no problems since (with either clip).

There was one other instance of improper functioning of the weapon. Here is how it happened: I fired the gun. I pulled the trigger to fire another shot, but the gun didn't fire. Instead, the trigger moved backward freely as though I had dry-fired the gun previously. There was, however, a fresh cartridge in the chamber. I cycled the action using the charging handle and fired the weapon again. Again, a slack trigger (indicating a hammer which was not cocked). The gun did this to 4 or 5 rounds. The gunsmith couldn't find anything wrong with the weapon. Anyone heard of this happening before?

Of more than 500 rounds fired through the gun, these are the only problems I've had with it. Overall, I've been quite pleased with the SR-25's reliability. The misfeeds caused by faulty clip springs are fixed and the other problem seems to be an anomaly.

Shooting Impressions of the SR-25 Match Rifle and Leupold MK-IV M3 Optical Sight

The SR-25 is a good-shooting gun. It will shoot much better than I can shoot it. I have, however, on several occasions, shot under 1 MOA with it. My best group is a 3/8" 3-shot group at 100 yards. About 99% of the ammunition the gun has digested has been Federal Match. The gun has been shot at 100, 200, 300, and 500 yards. At every range, the MK-IV was adjusted once, prior to shooting. The gun hit right on every time . . . even at 500 yards!

On a bullet-drop-compensating scope, the elevation knob has, as its increment markings, yards or meters . . . not 1/4 MOA markings (for example). To hit a target at 500 meters, just set the elevation knob to "5." To hit a target at 300 meters, just set the elevation knob to "3." The knob has graduations from 1 (for 100 meters) out to 10 (for 1000 meters). If you know the range of the target, you can hit it every time very rapidly. For every different caliber gun on which the scope is used, a standard load has to be used, as well as a properly calibrated elevation knob. The disadvantage to this sort of setup is that the ammunition used has to use a certain projectile fired with a certain muzzle speed. The shooter cannot use any bullet desired which is launched at any speed desired. The Leupold MK-IV M3's 7.62x51 elevation knob is calibrated for 173 grain bullets launched at 2550 fps. The scope came with elevation knobs calibrated for the following cartridges: 5.56x45, .308 Winchester (7.62x51), 30-06 Springfield (7.62x63), and .300 Winchester Magnum (7.62xA whole bunch of millimeters!). If you want to be able to shoot any handload through your weapon, then get the MK-IV M1. All I'm going to shoot through my SR-25 is the Federal Gold Match, so the M3 should work fine (Note: the Federal Gold Match in 7.62x51 uses a 168 grain bullet as opposed to the 173 grain bullet for which the dial is calibrated. This works fine out to 500 yards. It might throw things off at greater distances, in which case I'll just need to pick up some Lake City Match Ammo! Of course, I could just learn how to adjust the scope, accordingly, to compensate).



More Photos

SR-25
Left receiver
Right receiver/ejection port


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