Fred Eichler, hunter of repute and host of Easton Bowhunting TV and Predator Nation, has partnered with Rock River Arms to build an AR in .223 Wylde for hunting, although we think it’d do more than fine at any competition, too.
The heart of the Fred Eichler Series Predator is the chambering. Although they’re mostly interchangeable, small differences between .223 Remington and 5.56 NATO can, in rare instances, lead to problems. The .223 Wylde splits those differences and has a longer lead, offering better tolerances for both standards of ammunition.
Although everything else about this rifle has its charms as well. It’s a three-tone gun with black anodized and coyote tan parts, with a soft grey bead-blasted stainless barrel and matching 20-round magazine (where legal, there is also a California-compliant model). The grip is your staple Hogue rubber grip, the buttstock either a Rock River Arms adjustable Operator A2 stock or fixed Operator CAR stock, your choice.
The handguard is cute predatory, and has little coyote-looking footprint-shaped vents cut into it. It’s a full-length free-float barrel concealing a mid-length low-profile gas system, and it has a full-length top rail and three little rails towards the muzzle at 3-, 6- and 9-o’clock, with a sling stud mounted to the lowermost rail.
The barrel is 16 inches long and has been cryogenically-tempered for increased hardness and improved overall accuracy. It also gets a sharp-looking top-ported muzzle device. The barrel is threaded 1 in 8 for the ability to shoot a wide range of heavier and lighter bullets, and is guaranteed to be 0.75-MOA accurate at 100 yards if you do your part.
Complete with all its little decorations and dressed-up receivers, the MSRP shocks and amazes, although it shouldn’t; Rock River Arms is well-known for their reasonable prices and for all the bells and whistles, for that guaranteed accuracy, the MSRP of $1,395 ($1,355 for the CA-compliant model sans muzzle device) is a lot less than many comparable accuratized AR rifles.
Plus: puppy prints! Sights not included.