In the upcoming March 2014 issue of Combat Handguns, author Doug Larson writes, “The concept of a small, short gun with the magazine capacity of an AR-15 that fires the same cartridge has applications today for some who need a gun for personal protection. Besides, these pistols are fun to shoot, retaining many of the same features of the rifle from which they were derived.” So which megapistol was fun to shoot? Larson tested the Rock River Arms LAR-15 A4 in 5.56mm NATO.

Larson writes, “Rock River offers the A4 pistol with either a 10.5- or a 7-inch barrel using a 1-in-7-inch twist. They can be had with or without a chrome lining. The one received for testing had the longer, 10.5-inch barrel and was not chrome lined… with the high-velocity, small-caliber 5.56mm NATO or .223 Remington round, the A4 is much more powerful than the typical self-defense handgun firing a 9mm or even a .45 ACP round, and, in an emergency, can reach out farther.”

He continues, “At the back end of the gun there is a receiver extension—what some call the buffer tube—that extends about 7 inches. That makes this handgun pretty long, spanning a total of almost 27 inches, so it is not built for discreet carry. But again, it is small enough for deployment from a vehicle or in other confined spaces when the bad guy is within short range.”


To learn more about the RRA LAR-15 A4 and its range test, check out the March 2014 issue of Combat Handguns, available on newsstands and digitally December 17, 2013. To subscribe, go to

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