Skip to main content

Rise Armament 1121XR Precision Rifle Review

Rise Armament's meticulousness turns out some mighty fine rifles, including the 1121XR precision rifle.

Rise Armament 1121XR Precision Rifle Review
Photo by Mark Fingar.

Rise Armament is based in Oklahoma and is one of the few AR rifle “manufacturers” that actually manufactures. Rise Armament fabricates their own receivers, triggers and handguards. While Rise Armament isn’t a decades-long player in the AR world, they bring a strong machining and manufacturing background from the oil and aerospace industries that shows in the components they make.

The receivers Rise Armament makes are fabricated from billet and are “blueprinted” before they ever leave the factory. That means the upper receiver’s tenon face is squared, and the threads on it are concentric to the bore. This lays a foundation for accuracy. Should these components suffer from poor machining, it is impossible to ever get good accuracy out of that rifle. If you’ve ever wondered why so many AR-pattern rifles can’t average sub-MOA, this is the most common reason why.

Rise-Armament-1121XR
Photo by Mark Fingar. The cassette-style trigger had a crisp letoff, and its design makes it easy to remove for maintenance and then install.

Trigger Magic

The receiver sets the company makes are an excellent foundation for any rifle. The 1121XR model we tested shows this attention to detail. Fit between the two was excellent, and it was still easy to get the receiver pins out for disassembly.

Rise-Armament-1121XR
Photo by Mark Fingar. The 1121XR proved resilient and more accurate than many new ARs, even while being impaired by a slight issue with the gas tube.

The triggers they make and install in these rifles are also excellent. Trigger letoff is set at 3.5 pounds, which is a good weight for general use. These are cassette-type triggers, meaning all the internals are fixed in an aluminum enclosure. This makes installation and removal easy. The internals are not as easy to access for maintenance, but blasting some cleaning solution into the aluminum enclosure is almost always enough to dislodge any foreign debris that has accumulated.


Another advantage of a cassette trigger is the consistency they offer. Since the trigger comes assembled inside the housing, all critical tolerances are fixed when it leaves Rise Armament. This means trigger/sear engagement won’t vary from one rifle to the next.


Rise-Armament-1121XR
Photo by Mark Fingar. RA-535 Trigger: Single stage, 3.5-lb. pull weight, Lightning-fast reset

Traditional AR triggers require some assembly and index off the trigger pin and hammer pin holes in the receiver. Small variations on the locations of these two holes makes it difficult to get consistent and light single-stage triggers into an AR-pattern rifle, hence most aftermarket AR triggers are two-stage.

Their single-stage trigger breaks crisply at 3.5 pounds. In addition to holding tolerances tightly to get a clean and crisp break, the hammer shape of the trigger lends itself well to precision.

The hammer in an AR-pattern rifle swings in a big arc and collides with the back of the firing pin and bolt carrier to ignite the cartridge in the chamber. This is a critical time for a rifle, and any movement derails accuracy efforts made by the shooter.

Rise-Armament-1121XR
Photo by Mark Fingar. RA-701 Compensator: 67-percent recoil reduction, 3 oz. weight, 416 stainless steel

Most AR hammers place most of the hammer weight as far from the hammer pin as possible. This gives the hammer tremendous inertia that disturbs accuracy when the gun fires. The heavier the hammer is and the more weight it puts away from the hammer pin, the harder it is to get that rifle to shoot accurately.


To counter this, Rise Armament puts a flat hammer in their trigger. This hammer shape is common on high-end triggers and is definitely a common trait in the precision AR world. Keeping the hammer flat allows it to swing faster, but with less inertia, it doesn’t generate as much rifle movement when it collides with the firing pin.

Rise-Armament-1121XR
Photo by Mark Fingar. The Magpul furniture gives the rifle comfortable ergonomics that adjust for most shooters.

Almost Perfect, But….

No matter how well a rifle is made, taking it to the range is the best way to gain an education on its strengths and flaws. While the rifle’s quality is undeniable, one small assembly error can cost it some performance in the accuracy department.

After testing several different types of ammunition with the 1121XR, I couldn’t help but think there was something holding the rifle back. Separating the upper and lower receivers, I examined the bolt carrier and then slid it back and forth into and out of battery to see if the gas key impacted the gas tube as the bolt carrier moves forward into battery. On this 1121XR, it did.


Rise-Armament-1121XR
Photo by Mark Fingar. .308 Bolt Carrier Group: Bolt — 9310 MPI tested; Cam pin — 4140 steel; Extractor — tool steel – shot peened

Contact like this matters because each time the bolt carrier comes forward, it smacks the gas tube, and the other end of that gas tube is attached to the gas block and barrel. I estimate this issue costs the rifle about .25 inch on group size. A quick trip back to Rise Armament for some judicious gas tube-bending would have this rifle in tip-top shape in no time.

Even with the gas key/gas tube contact, the rifle still performed better than a lot of new rifles I’ve tried over the years. The trigger is exceptional, especially if a shooter likes almost no overtravel and little reset.

Rise-Armament-1121XR
Photo by Mark Fingar. The recoil assembly is captured and slides right out of the buffer tube.

The buffer assembly the company uses is captured and has replaceable weights that allow the shooter to tune the gas system for the best and most gentle extraction possible for any chosen load. It’s a nice touch on a custom rifle.

Compiling all the features Rise Armament puts into the 1121XR shows that the rifle is a good value for the money. It has an excellent barrel, one of the best triggers available and receivers that are second to none for precision work. Even with the small gas tube issue we had, this rifle still outshoots a lot of its competition.

Rise Armament 1121XR Specs

  • Type: Direct-impingement semiautomatic
  • Cartridge: .308 Win. (tested), 6.5 Creedmoor
  • Capacity: 10, 20 rds.
  • Barrel: 20 in.; 1:11.25-in. twist
  • Overall Length: 43 in.
  • Weight: 9 lbs., 8 oz.
  • Stock: Magpul PRS
  • Grip: Magpul MOE
  • Length of Pull: 13.5 in.
  • Finish: Black, FDE, Foliage Green
  • Safety: Two-position selector
  • Sights: None
  • MSRP: $2,450
  • Manufacturer: Rise Armament; risearmament.com

Rise Armament 1121XR Performance

Rise-Armament-1121XR
Current Magazine Cover

Enjoy articles like this?

Subscribe to the magazine.

Get access to everything Guns & Ammo has to offer.
Subscribe to the Magazine

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

Recommended Articles

See More Recommendations

Popular Videos

Guns & Ammo TV: Irons vs. Optics

Guns & Ammo TV: Irons vs. Optics

How much of an edge do optics give shooters? In this segment of Pros vs. Joes, Guns & Ammo TV puts Coordinating Producer Jeff Murray against Professional Shooter Chris Cerino.

Trijicon

Trijicon's New Specialized Reflex Optics (SRO)

The Trijicon SRO is specifically designed for pistol use. The wide field of view and clean, crisp dot makes it easy for users to find and track the dot in both target and competitive shooting applications.

Air Gun Reviews: Why Shoot Airsoft?

Air Gun Reviews: Why Shoot Airsoft?

In this Guns & Ammo TV segment, Gun Tech Editor Richard Nance and Pro-Shooter Jim Tarr discuss the benefits of airsoft training for uniformed professionals and armed citizens alike.

Guns & Ammo TV: 6.5 Creedmoor vs. .375 H&H

Guns & Ammo TV: 6.5 Creedmoor vs. .375 H&H

The 6.5 Creedmoor and the .375 H&H are almost complete opposites, or are they? The 6.5 Creedmoor is a newer and popular cartridge that transcends long-range precision rifle shooting and hunting big game. The .375 H&H is more than a century old, but still a popular and versatile choice for hunting big and dangerous game. For this shoot, Pro Tom Beckstrand, former U.S. Army Special Operations officer and sniper team leader, faces off against Guns & Ammo TV cameraman Ben LaLonde in a challenge that highlights the differences between these two cartridges.

See More Popular Videos

Trending Articles

9 Commonly Misused Gun Terms How-To

9 Commonly Misused Gun Terms

Kyle Wintersteen

"Assault weapon." Sixteen-round "clip." A box of "bullets." When it comes to guns and gun...

Small, lightweight and purpose-built for sub-compact carry guns, Surefire's XSC pistol light takes on EDC illumination segment.Surefire XSC Micro-Compact Pistol Light: First Look Tactical

Surefire XSC Micro-Compact Pistol Light: First Look

Jeremy Stafford - September 10, 2020

Small, lightweight and purpose-built for sub-compact carry guns, Surefire's XSC pistol light...

Don't underestimate the fun factor.Review: Remington V3 TAC-13 Shotguns

Review: Remington V3 TAC-13

Brad Fitzpatrick - March 08, 2019

Don't underestimate the fun factor.

The Swarovski Z5(i) P BT L 3.5-­18x44mm has a unique and versatile multiple-­zero system and an erector assembly unlike any other on the market. The Z5(i) is an excellent choice for an all-­around hunting scope.Swarovski Z5(i) P BT L 3.5-­18x44mm Scope Review Optics

Swarovski Z5(i) P BT L 3.5-­18x44mm Scope Review

Tom Beckstrand - September 09, 2020

The Swarovski Z5(i) P BT L 3.5-­18x44mm has a unique and versatile multiple-­zero system and...

See More Trending Articles

More Reviews

The Savage Arms 110 Elite Precision is an excellent all-around rifle for most shooting activities that don't require light weight. It can be made to fit just about anyone, with a chassis that allows for accurate, rapid and effective positional shooting. And while the 110 Elite Precision is not inexpensive, it still costs less than most custom rifles. Savage Arms 110 Elite Precision Review: Excellent All-Around Rifle Reviews

Savage Arms 110 Elite Precision Review: Excellent All-Around Rifle

Proofhouse - September 15, 2020

The Savage Arms 110 Elite Precision is an excellent all-around rifle for most shooting...

Though the KelTec P17 is not perfect, it does offer great value potential. And while its plastic styling and plethora of Allen screws could be a hang-up for some, if you're still reading this, you're probably not one of them.KelTec P17 Review Reviews

KelTec P17 Review

Brad Fitzpatrick - August 25, 2020

Though the KelTec P17 is not perfect, it does offer great value potential. And while its...

The upgradable Tikka T1x .22LR rifle is a great place to start on the growth chart to precision shooting success.Tikka T1x .22LR Rifle Review Reviews

Tikka T1x .22LR Rifle Review

Tom Beckstrand - October 05, 2020

The upgradable Tikka T1x .22LR rifle is a great place to start on the growth chart to...

See More Reviews

Magazine Cover

GET THE MAGAZINE Subscribe & Save

Digital Now Included!

SUBSCRIBE NOW

Give a Gift   |   Subscriber Services

PREVIEW THIS MONTH'S ISSUE Arrow

Buy Digital Single Issues

Don't miss an issue.
Buy single digital issue for your phone or tablet.

Buy Single Digital Issue on the Guns & Ammo App

Other Magazines

See All Other Magazines

Special Interest Magazines

See All Special Interest Magazines

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

Phone Icon

Get Digital Access.

All Guns and Ammo subscribers now have digital access to their magazine content. This means you have the option to read your magazine on most popular phones and tablets.

To get started, click the link below to visit mymagnow.com and learn how to access your digital magazine.

Get Digital Access

Not a Subscriber?
Subscribe Now