HERA Arms AR-15 C Sport in .223 Remington: the extra-short semi-automatic rifles under test

Firearms from HERA Arms: Bavarian craftsmanship

The HERA Arms AR-15 C Sport's
The HERA Arms AR-15 C Sport's closed aluminum handguards are very easy to handle.

The HERA Arms AR-15 C Sport models in .223 Remington with barrel lengths of 7.5"/190 mm, 11.5"/292 mm and 14.5"/368 mm are specifically designed for sports shooters.
The lower and upper receivers with unique third generation design features come from HERA Arms' own production and, as usual from the manufacturer, were matched to each other with low tolerances. The lower and upper receivers are milled from a 7075 T6 aluminum billet on state-of-the-art CNC machines from machine tool manufacturer DMG and then hard anodized. 

With the HERA Arms HRS buttstock
With the HERA Arms HRS buttstock, you can create a storage space by attaching the covers.

HERA Arms' button-rifled and heat-treated barrels are coated black as standard. However, the German manufacturer can also fulfill extra requests for the barrels, "barrel extensions" as well as the surface coating at any time. 

the standard AR-15 bolt
Impeccable function: the standard AR-15 bolt and the neatly finished ramps in the "upper" stand out for the quality of HERA Arms.

The polymer add-on parts also come from the company's own development, and so our three test guns were fitted with the new HRS and HRS Light stocks. The stocks not only look good, but also have well thought-out features to offer. For example, they have textured cheek rest surfaces or the HRS stock can be fitted with covers, creating a storage space for useful tools. We liked the design of the HRS Light buttstock, which our test gun with 14.5" barrel was fitted with, and it should be suitable above all for dynamic disciplines.

However, if you want to have your rifle at the ready, you might be better off with the standard HRS stock. This is because it still has an additional bar that can be used perfectly as a rest. The HRS/HRS Light stock is completed by a free-standing pistol grip and a closed, shapely and easy-to-handle aluminum handguard.

HERA Arms AR-15 C Sporting Rifles in .223 Remington
Short and sweet (from top): HERA Arms AR-15 C Sporting Rifles in .223 Remington with barrel lengths of 14.5" and HRS Light stock, and 11.5" and 7.5" and HRS stock.

Operation of the HERA Arms AR-15 C Sport semi-automatic rifles

the HERA ArmsAR-15 C Sport
The beveled magazine well facilitates loading for the HERA Arms AR-15 C Sport.

Because HERA Arms wants to offer the brand new short-barreled trio at attractive prices, the trigger unit and the controls in the form of the bolt catch lever and magazine release button are standard components. Only the double-sided safety is the in-house MPSS Gen 2 model. The safety selector geometry allows for either a 90-degree or 45-degree configuration during assembly, so that the travel during operation can be longer or shorter according to individual preferences.

AR-15 C Sport come from HERA Arms' own German production
With the exception of very few small parts, all main components and assemblies of the AR-15 C Sport come from HERA Arms' own German production.

However, even the standard parts come from good suppliers – the simple single stage trigger was convincing in all three test rifles with clean characteristics at nearly identical trigger pull weights. The measured trigger pull weights were: 2180 g (14.5"), 2260 g (11.5") and 2290 g (7.5"). The magazine well of the HERA Arms lower already comes so well chamfered from the factory that one can probably safely dispense with the subsequent addition of a magazine funnel here. 

Given the low purchase price, you could otherwise upgrade the HERA Arms AR-15 C Sport models at will with tuning parts and aftermarket components, which the market offers in sheer unbelievable abundance.

HERA Arms AR-15 C Sport: dynamic disciplines

the ultra-compact 7.5" version of the HERA Arms AR-15 C Sport
The linear compensator of the ultra-compact 7.5" version of the HERA Arms AR-15 C Sport.

The overall length of the 7.5" version turns out to be barely shorter than that of the 11.5" version, which is due to the linear compensator with a dozen internal expansion chambers that sits at the barrel's end. The muzzle attachment primarily directs gas away from the shooter in a linear fashion, sparing the shooter as well as neighboring shooters from the powerful muzzle blast and pressure.

Depending on the type of ammunition, even with the 11.5" version the muzzle flash was still so impressive that one received strange looks from bystanders at the shooting range. This is not the case with the 7.5" version due to the linear compensator and the extremely compact rifle can be shot without any problems. 

 the HERA Arms AR-15 C Sport
This is what the barrels with muzzle threads and caps of the 11.5" and 14.5" versions of the HERA Arms AR-15 C Sport look like. The versions with the longer barrels too can be equipped with the linear compensator.

Needless to say, such short barrel lengths also significantly reduce the ballistic performance of the already not-so-powerful .223 Remington. Nevertheless, the leading semi-automatics have their raison d'être, because their light weight and compact dimensions make them ideally suited for dynamic disciplines. But even those who shoot other disciplines might be interested in a compact HERA Arms AR-15 C Sport.

Since this disciplines usually also involves shooting at a large target, a rifle does not necessarily have to be able to shoot hole in hole. It is quite sufficient for a rifle to produce groupings of between 0.78”-1.18” (20-30 mm) on the target here. And this shooting performance can be easily achieved with the HERA Arms AR-15 C Sport models.

On the shooting range with the HERA Arms AR-15 C Sport

The Schmidt & Bender 1-8x24 Exos TMR scope
The Schmidt & Bender 1-8x24 Exos TMR scope with the distinctive "shark fin" for quick adjustment.

The perfectly functioning 7.5" version was excluded from the shooting test for the time being, because the velocity loss compared to the 11.5" barrel is almost 100 meters per second. Thus, in order to achieve appealing accuracy results at 100 meters, hand-loaded ammunition would have to be matched to this extremely short barrel length. 

the Schmidt & Bender 1-8x24 Exos TMR 
The adjustment turrets of the Schmidt & Bender 1-8x24 Exos TMR with the caps removed.

The two HERA Arms AR-15 C Sport models with 11.5" and 14.5" barrels were tested for accuracy in combination with the young Schmidt & Bender 1-8x24 Exos TMR scope. The 1-8x24 Exos TMR (Tactical Magnification Ring), based on the driven hunt riflescope, was specially adapted to sporting dynamic disciplines with a tactical CQB 2 reticle and "shark fin" quick adjustment for magnification. The illuminated reticle is located in the second image plane and therefore remains the same size when changing the magnification. 

the HERA Arms AR-15 C sporting riflesrevealed solid shooting performance
Despite the short barrels, the HERA Arms AR-15 C sporting riflesrevealed solid shooting performance. For example, we achieved 0.74”/19 mm groups with the 14.5" version using Lapua 69-grain Match ammo.

The riflescope with the patented CC mode can be used as a reflex sight without parallax at true, single magnification. Combined with the large field of view of 35.3 meters at 100 meters, it is ideal for quick shooting at closer ranges, where both of the shooter's eyes can remain open during the aiming process. For an accuracy test, 8x magnification is certainly not ideal and more magnification/power will help here. But the reticle was fine enough to easily fix the center of the target even at 100 yards.

Seven factory ammunition types were used with bullet weights ranging from 40 to 69 grains. The top three groupings of the HERA  Arms AR-15 C Sport with 14.5" barrel measured 19, 26 and 29 millimeters respectively, achieved with Lapua 69-grain Match Open Tip, Sellier & Bellot 69-grain Match and Hornady 52-grain BTHP Match. With the HERA Arms AR-15 C Sport with 11.5" barrel, we achieved the three best results of 0.82”, 0.98” and 1.02” (21, 25 and 26 millimeters), produced with Hornady 52-grain BTHP Match, Lapua 69-grain Match Open Tip and Remington 52-grain Premier Match.HERA Arms AR-15 C Sport in .223 Remington specs and prices

Model: 
HERA Arms AR-15 C Sport
Action: 
Direct gas impingement with multi-lug rotating bolt
Barrel Length:
7.5"/190 mm, 11.5"/292 mm and 14.5"/368 mm with 1-9" twist with muzzle thread and cap; 7.5" version with linear compensator
Stock:
Fixed HRS or HRS Light buttstock, free-standing pistol grip, closed aluminum handguard with mounting options for QD-Swivel and KeyMod-Rail on the underside
Magazine:
Polymer box magazine with a capacity of 10 rounds
Trigger: 
Single stage trigger with a trigger pull weight of 2290 grams (7.5"), 2260 grams (11.5"), 2180 grams (14.5")
Safety:
MPSS 2-position safety selector on both sides of the grip, acting on trigger
Overall Length: 
74 cm (7.5"), 77 cm (11.5"), 85 cm (14.5")
Weight:
2920 g (7.5"), 3060 g (11.5"), 3240 g (14.5")
Price:
1749 euro (7.5"), 1759 euro (11.5"), 1798 euro (14.5")
The 14.5" version, here equipped with Schmidt & Bender 1-8x24 Exos TMR
The 14.5" version, here equipped with Schmidt & Bender 1-8x24 Exos TMR and Fortmeier bipod is also suitable for static 100 meter precision disciplines.

HERA Arms AR-15 C Sport semi-auto rifles: wrapping up

"Less is more!" applies to the three new HERA Arms AR-15 C Sport short-barreled models in .223 Remington. In the past, sports shooters could only have dreamed of something like this, but now it's a reality that can be in your own gun cabinet. If you want to shoot dynamically at short ranges, you are well advised to go with the lightweight semi-auto rifles, and the shooting performance is absolutely adequate for some disciplines.

For classic, static shooting sports, we would recommend the 14.5" version, which is very comfortable to handle, especially in freehand disciplines. The prices are also perfectly acceptable, as the 7.5" costs 1749 euros, the 11.5" 10 euros more, and the 14.5" is priced at 1798 euros. A fair deal!


For more information on the AR-15 C Sport self-loading rifles please visit the HERA Arms website.

Our review of the HERA Arms 7SIX2 semi-automatic AR-10-based rifle, including video, can be found here.

We were on site at HERA Arms for a factory tour and also brought a video for you.


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