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AR Brand bashing!

Discussion in 'Rifle Discussion' started by Iceberg, Jan 24, 2010.

  1. Iceberg

    Iceberg Forest Grove Active Member

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    Have any of you guys noticed the amount of AR brand bashing that is on the dedicated AR15 sites? There is a comprehensive AR brand comparison chart posted that has done nothing but create hate & discontent among AR15 owners. What should have been a useful tool for assisting in selecting a rifle has become a tool for brand bashing.

    Here is the link:
    http://spreadsheets.google.com/pub?key=pwswheghNQsEuEhjFwPrgTA&gid=5

    Thoughts?
     
  2. jordanvraptor

    jordanvraptor Oregon City, Oregon Well-Known Member

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    Kind of cool to see it all laid out that way. Thanks for the link. Personally if I was to buy an M4, I'd go with a Colt for sentimental reasons. :)
     
  3. KENOC

    KENOC Portland area Member

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    It seems like a useful tool for what it is. And seems fairly accurate as far as brand quality goes....Colt, LMT, BCM, Noveske are pretty much considered top tier, the others on the list pretty much 2nd or 3rd tier.
     
  4. JAFO

    JAFO OR, USA Silver Supporter Silver Supporter

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    Any chart that is based on military specifications when used by civilians to buy non military weapons is disingenuous. Even if you remove the word "Mil-Spec" but leave some of the criteria there it is nothing but another biased view. For example, that chart lists 1 in 7" twist barrels. I doubt that many here, let alone the majority, even buy ammo that would be best utilized in a 1 in 7" twist barrel.

    Just use more than a biased chart when making your decisions and you'll be ok.
     
  5. Swaney109

    Swaney109 vancouver Member

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    I think it is a pretty cool chart. I have two guns on the chart and it is cool to see what differences are. I dont think the person who made the chart is bashing any one specific gun or guns. My 2 cents.
     
  6. MountainBear

    MountainBear Sweet Home, OR Well-Known Member

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    I don't think he was bashing anything necessarily, however, he did choose the items on the list, so there is a bias. There are also other factors, and the chart doesn't necessarily determine the quality of the gun.
     
  7. ricsha

    ricsha Oregon Coast - Lincoln City Member

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    Agree that not everything to consider is on the chart. I've been following it for months, and seen it change over time (a year ago BCM wasn't even on the chart, now it's near the top). I believe it started out as a list of ARs best suited for Law Enforcement use for LEOs that have to buy their own weapons; hence the 1/7 twist best suited for heavier bullets.

    However, having said that, I find it very useful at comparing the pro and con of various ARs. While most of us not in Law Enforcement may not need mil-spec, the chart helped me decide what to buy. Face it, all ARs look pretty much the same, in the catalog or at the gun shop. I just ordered a BCM, based on what I learned from the chart, and other sources, but I sure wouldn't bash anyone else for a different selection. Just use the best info you have, and stay within budget!
     
  8. Outrider

    Outrider Oregon Active Member

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    The chart basically lays out what standards there are and then says which brands meet them. I have read many posts from, Rob, the person who made the chart and his premise is that Mil-Spec is only the beginning of good quality and that there are rifles which exceed Mil-Spec. I think what bothers him is that companies will put out a sub-standard AR-15 and then count on the fact that the two look the same so people will buy the cheaper one assuming they are getting the same thing as the more expensive one, when they're not.

    A lot of the chart is how much quality and durability testing has been done for specific parts. The thing with AR-15 rifles is one looks like another and the parts from different manufacturers look almost identical. Some manufacturers are cutting corners to produce a less expensive finished part. It can be important to know that although two things look identical there can be a difference in quality and durability.

    This becomes a topic in AR circles because the rifle is modular and people can build/assemble their own. You can have two people talk right past each other because someone who used bargain basement parts thinks the rifle he just assembled is as good as someone who used better quality parts or bought a complete rifle from one of top tier companies. The person with the less expensive home build will cite something like 500 trouble free rounds and not want to hear the issue isn't the first 500 rounds, it's how many rounds the rifle can handle without problem over the course of its life. It's how does it stand up to hard, continual use.

    To an extent, you see the same thing in 1911 circles where someone buys a Taurus 1911 and assumes it is as good as a Wilson Combat 1911 because they both are 1911 pistols. The two are not equivalent pistols and once you start to learn about both and disassemble both you can start to see why the Taurus 1911 comes in at the price point it does and how some of the concessions to reach that price point mean the less expensive gun is not going to do as well.

    Often people get their personal identities and sense of self worth tied up in their firearm selection. They should not, but they do. If you tell someone that the carrier key / gas key on his bolt carrier group has not been properly staked, instead of looking how to fix it, often the person will begin defending his rifle as good enough because he thinks it is an attack on him as an individual. It is not.

    I look at the chart as a way to help people spend their money intelligently. It helps people to understand what they are or are not getting when they buy X brand. At gun shows I have seen people show up at a dealer's table with no understanding of the differences between AR-15 rifles, buy the cheaper one, and then learn after the fact that his new Olympic AR-15 rifle is considered less capable than the Colt AR-15 due to a difference in parts used. They come back and want to reverse the transaction and get a different rifle. These can be expensive mistakes.

    While I agree that not everyone needs a rifle that can stand up to everything the military requires of its own rifles, it is nice to know what you are getting or what you are not getting for your money.

    Regarding standards, it is important to keep in mind that the line can move. Some things that are considered absolute requirements can change over time and fall into disfavor. Barrel twist rates and staking the castle nut are two things that people argue about.

    I believe the 1:7 twist rate is currently in vogue because it can handle lighter loads as well as the heavier stuff. The 1:9 twist rate is liked for lighter loads/varmint rounds.

    Staking the castle nut is one of those things that some people feel is absolutely necessary and others do not. For some, staking the castle nut insures that the castle nut will not loosen. The problem is that if the castle nut has to be removed, a previously staked one may have to be replaced with a new one as well as a new end plate. The cost is relatively small but some people feel the gun should be able to be fully disassembled and reassembled without having to damage it.
     
  9. coyote223

    coyote223 NW Oregon Stamp Collector,,,

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    Good Post Outrider! ^ ^ ^


    It's a tool, to aid with AR selection. Good info, Wish I would have found it before I bought my AR. :eek:
     
  10. buick455

    buick455 se portland Member

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    If this was to be a useful tool in choosing a m4 then it would have been much better to choose a price range and compare like products. To compare $1200-1400 top teir guns to the entry level guns produced by Bushmaster and RRA is non-sence. I know for a fact that you can get a chrome barrel on a RRA for under $1200 retail.

    I work in the machining feild and I will say that batch inspections is a sign of good quality control while 100% inspection is either a sign of poor quailty control or out-sourcing work to unreliable vendors. Most companies that run a high rate of production in house use SPC(statistical process control) to produce an inspection sampling plan and the only time that you would need 100% inspection is if you didn't have a reliable process. 100% inspection is known as cherry picking meaning that you would make a bunch of parts and a person would inspect and choose the ones that pass. I'm sure a person wouldn't make any mistakes and pass parts that are marginal.
     
  11. MountainBear

    MountainBear Sweet Home, OR Well-Known Member

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    Excellent point, well explained...
     
  12. Iceberg

    Iceberg Forest Grove Active Member

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    One of my many issues with "the list" is that BCM is included with full line AR mfgs. BCM does not make their own lowers, uppers, BCGs and does not sell complete weapons. The list also does not include Knight's Armament, Barrett or DSA. It just seems like a lot of bias is introduced into "the list". So what if the bbl assy was parked after the gas block was attached. What is the true "real world" value of many of the factors to the non-military or LE user? Is a Colt really worth almost two DPMS or CMMG M4 type carbines to the average guy?
     
  13. KENOC

    KENOC Portland area Member

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    Umm, BCM sure does make their own uppers and BCG's. I just bought them, and they are second to none. As good as it gets. They also give you more options than anyone if you want to mix and match their stuff with LMT, Daniel Defense, Sabre.....they also recently started making their own lowers as well. BCM is top tier.
    http://www.bravocompanyusa.com/AR15-Upper-Receiver-Groups-s/1.htm
     
  14. Trlsmn

    Trlsmn In Utero (Portland) Well-Known Member

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    There are a few differences between lowers mfg out there, but you need to know that many of the AR-15 lowers are made by the same shop and then sold to DPMS, Wilson, Bushmaster,ECT. Here is a guide

    Lewis Machine & Tool makes
    LMT
    Lauer
    DS Arms
    PWA
    Eagle
    Armalite
    Knights Armament
    Barrett

    Continental Machine Tool "CMT" makes
    Stag
    Rock River Arms
    High Standard
    Noveske
    Century (New)
    Global Tactical
    CLE
    S&W
    MGI
    Wilson Tactical
    Grenadier Precision
    Colt

    LAR Manufacturing makes

    LAR
    Bushmaster
    Ameetec
    DPMS
    CMMG
    Double Star
    Fulton Armory
    Spike's Tactical
     
  15. Trlsmn

    Trlsmn In Utero (Portland) Well-Known Member

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  16. Iceberg

    Iceberg Forest Grove Active Member

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    As far as I could tell, BCM sources their uppers and lower from other mfgs, as does many of the full line mfgs. They source and sell quality assys, but they do not sell complete weapons like all the other mfgs on the list. Double Star makes/sells quality lowers and also sells complete rifles and is not the list.

    I guess it really doesn't matter as long as you are happy with your choice of rifle, lower or upper; I'm partial to LMT, KAC & Colt. I even bought a "low graded" DPMS complete lower last month and it was very well made and worked great w/ my TacSol AR22 M4 upper.
     
  17. Outrider

    Outrider Oregon Active Member

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    The standard for Quality Control tests changes depending on what you are making, how important it is to get it absolutely right, and what the cost of testing is.

    It is common for higher end firearms companies to test fire every firearm they make. A 100% rate of testing is not always a sign that the firearm quality is generally poor or unreliable. A company may do this to be thorough.

    With the AR-15, most companies are not making their own complete rifle. I'm not trying to defend BCM's inclusion but just look at the situation with receivers where several companies are responsible for the majority of receivers on the market. The situation with Noveske demonstrates what goes on with AR's nowadays. Most of the parts are made outside (according to what the company has specified) and assembled inside under the company's brand.

    Whether it's worth it really depends on what the user decides he needs for himself. Someone who casually shoots his rifle once in a blue moon, probably won't push his rifle very much. Using your rifle for occasional plinking is different than the person who goes through carbine classes or competes in regular competitions.

    That's not to say a top tier rifle can't go down. They do. The thing is when someone starts to really push his rifle and it starts to wear down more rapidly than a rifle made from better components. For example, DPMS hammers are regarded to being susceptible to breakage when they reach higher round counts. Someone who never shoots more than several rounds through his rifle may never reach a point where it becomes an issue. On the other hand, someone who shoots more may run into the problem. If you know you will shoot a lot it may be worth it to you get a different rifle.

    As I alluded to earlier, I think the main issue is "good enough" somehow becoming the "same as" or equivalent. Not all AR-15 rifles are equal. That said, the interest in what is good or better can become an obsession and it can lead people to insist on top tier gear as a way of establishing that they are in the know and are ready for whatever.
     
  18. jordanka16

    jordanka16 Albany, OR Active Member

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    The chart seems out of date, my new CMMG has a lot of the features the chart says it doesn't.
     
  19. eldbillbo

    eldbillbo clackamas New world samurai and a redneck none the less Bronze Supporter

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    Whats cool about the chart is it shows why some cost more than others . in the early days before new onslaught of manufacturers after the ban was lifted Colt was the most costly of ar15s a lot of people hated them for the price (oh yeh and the large fcg pins) they thought the price was due to the name brand where

    some people don't even know what mil spec it in another post here one person thought mil spec was the finish on the rifle . if it had a mil spec finish then it was mil spec.

    for people to start bashing other brands cause its not the one they like is childish. The proof is in what was noted in the chart as far as quality and proof is also out in the field if some one can only afford a lower end ar15 well as long as it shoot straight it better than no ar15

    its just a bunch of ol farts with nothing better to do than gripe about the something other than the weather .

    I personally have a problem with shopping carts at the market that always pulls the the side.
     
  20. slohanz

    slohanz Oregon New Member

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    I'm still the "new guy" so I'll try not to step on any shoes. But I totally agree, if all you can afford is the lower priced AR, or have put one together from pieces on sale here and there, I think the only thing that should matter to you is whether or not you like it and it does what you want it to. Sure there are guys out there with $3000 AR's, with every top brand part on them, everything the most informed SpecOp guy would have on his. And the closest they ever get to any kind of LEO/MIL/Competition might be the local gravel pit. Some of those guys still live with Mom & Pop, too.

    I say you buy and shoot what you can afford to. If it's out of the budget, you can always save up for it, but all too often you know how that turns out. You can buy used and save a bit. You can put it all together from parts, but even that can cost as much or more than a whole piece these days. Or, you decide what your budget is, and pick out the best piece in that budget - and don't worry about what the Chart-Huggers say - and be out shooting it and enjoying it.

    If something does break - and any brand can - hopefully it's not something catastrophic, then you can replace it and be up and running again. I haven't heard of any particular brands lately (talking brands that have been around for a while) that have blown up or anything like that. Sure, there are a few that have had parts that did not stand up to a 1-3000 round weekend of gun pounding, but in their defense, were those actually designed for that kind of abuse? Probably not. But for the average guy to go out and plink with, or target shoot, maybe prairie poodle popping or whatever, I think most brands out there today would do that pretty well, even if they didn't make that Chart. So don't worry about the Chart specs, unless you are in need of something for LEO or Military use, or just want to be like one ;)