Red Jacket Firearms RJF KMP-DI 5.56x45mm AR-15 Carbine

by Jeff Quinn

photography by Jeff Quinn & Boge Quinn

April 9th, 2012



Click pictures for a larger version.







Red Jacket flash suppressor is threaded to accept Red Jacket sound suppressor without removal.













Those who have watched “Sons of Guns” on the Discovery Channel are familiar with Red Jacket Firearms of Baton Rouge, Louisiana. I have seen parts of the show over the past year or so, but hardly ever have time to watch much television. From what I did get to see, the Red Jacket folks get to play with and build some pretty interesting firearms. The one episode that I do remember, they were mounting a weapon on a riverboat, and seemed to be having a lot of fun in the process. Red Jacket is a custom shop, building weapons to suit the individual customer, but they also are producing their own line of AR-15 rifles. The rifle shown here is their KMP-DI, a direct gas impingement system with an M-4 profile barrel and Magpul furniture and rear sight. The magazine is also a Magpul unit, which I have found to be one of the best available. The Magpul MOE hand guard is very comfortable to use, as is the MOE pistol grip. The six-position Magpul buttstock is also very easy to adjust and comfortable to shoot, and it does not pull the hair out of my face as do some telescoping butt stock designs. The Magpul furniture is available in four color options, with the sample shown here being basic black, which never goes out off style, and is perfect for those more-formal occasions.

The sixteen inch chrome-lined barrel is rifled one turn in seven inches (1-7), to fully stabilize even the long match-grade bullets available for the 5.56x45 or 223 Remington cartridges. The muzzle wears the Red Jacket flash suppressor, which is threaded to accept a Red Jacket sound suppressor without removing the flash suppressor. The bolt carrier is phosphate-coated black, wears the Red Jacket logo, and is of M-16 style. The bolt is also black, and has a heavy-duty extractor and spring.

The upper receiver wears a Picatinny rail for mounting of optical sights, and the weapon also comes with the excellent Magpul back-up folding rear sight. The front sight is standard AR style integral with the gas block. The upper also has an integral case deflector and forward assist. The lower receiver houses the fire control parts, with a mil-spec AR trigger and hammer. The trigger pull measured an average of six pounds, one ounce on my Lyman digital scale. The selector (safety) is standard AR style, with the receiver uniquely marked for safe, semi, and automatic fire. The sample carbine is semi-auto only, so the selector is blocked from moving into the fun position.

The Red Jacket AR weighed in at six pounds, thirteen ounces with an empty Magpul thirty-round magazine in place. The overall length measured from thirty-three to thirty-six and one-quarter inches, depending upon the position of the buttstock.

For accuracy testing, I mounted my mule; a Leupold Mark 4 8.5 to 25 power target scope using an ArmaLite one-piece mount. Accuracy testing was done at 100 yards, with the results shown in the chart below. Group sizes are the average of three-shot groups at that 100 yard distance. Group sizes are listed in inches. Velocity testing was done with the chronograph twelve feet from the muzzle at an elevation of 541 feet above sea level, approximately. Temperatures hovered around the fifty-two degree Fahrenheit mark during all testing. Velocity readings are the average of several shots fired, and the results are listed in the chart below. Velocity readings are listed in feet-per-second (fps). Bullet weights are listed in grains. FMJ is a full metal jacket bullet. HP is hollowpoint. TSX is a Barnes Triple Shock homogenous copper hollowpoint bullet. The handload listed uses the TSX bullet with 24.5 grains of Ramshot TAC powder, a Remington small rifle primer, and Winchester commercial .223 Remington cases.

Ammunition Bullet Weight Velocity
Hand Load TSX 62 2761
Winchester USA FMJ 62 2836
Buffalo Bore HP 77 2640
Buffalo Bore HP 69 2753
Black Hills HP 69 2539
Wolf Gold HP 75 2513
Lake City FMJ 62 2945
Stryker V-Max 55 2818
Cor-Bon Tipped 55 2986

Accuracy Results At 100 Yards

Ammunition Bullet Weight Group Size
Hand Load TSX 62 1.38"
Winchester USA FMJ 62 1.31"
Buffalo Bore HP 77 1.13"
Buffalo Bore HP 69 0.625"
Black Hills HP 69 1.10"
Wolf Gold HP 75 1.21"

Accuracy was very good with every load tested, and excellent with most loads. The Buffalo Bore 69 grain Sniper ammo turned in a stellar performance, consistently grouping under three-quarters of an inch at one hundred yards. The accuracy testing was done with the aid of a Target Shooting, Inc. Model 500 rifle rest, which works very well for testing rifles with extended magazines. Also, the Magpul buttstock did not try to collapse itself on the shooting rest, as sometimes does a standard CAR telescoping buttstock.

The Red Jacket KMP-DI proved to be one hundred percent reliable, even when dirty and hot. It fed, fired, and ejected every round offered to it. Offhand shooting was done using the supplied Magpul thirty-round magazine. Bench shooting was done using a vintage Colt twenty-round magazine. The Red Jacket carbine handles well, points naturally, and is very comfortable to shoot. Red Jacket Firearms sells these on their website, but there is a backlog on ordering. However, the KMP-DI is also sold and stocked by Academy Sports Outdoors, so buying through them might be the quickest way to get one. The KMP-DI is shipped in a hard case with instruction manual and one Magpul PMAG magazine. The Red Jacket AR is built to last, has a lifetime warranty, and is built in the USA.

For more information on ordering an AR-15 type rifle built by those Sons of Guns in Louisiana, go to

For a look at the extensive line of quality Leupold optics, go to

To order high quality shooting rests directly from the manufacturer, go to

To order quality 5.56x45mm and 223 Remington ammunition, go to,, and

Jeff Quinn

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Click pictures for a larger version.



Magpul six-position buttstock.







Magpul folding rear sight.





Accuracy testing was done with the aid of a Target Shooting, Inc. Model 500 rest and a Leupold Mark 4 scope.



Buffalo Bore Sniper ammunition proved to be exceptionally accurate in the Red Jacket carbine.