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Bushmaster Mid MOE vs Palmetto Mid MOE? (11/11 UPDATE)

Discussion in 'Rifle Discussion' started by 142, Sep 19, 2012.

  1. 142

    142 Rogue Valley Member

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    Hey guys -

    I've been biting at the bit over this AR nonsense for a long time. I really need to just shut up and buy one and after saving all summer (and then some) I finally have the money... Now I'm just stuck on what is the best value for me. I think I have narrowed it down to the two guns in the posting title but let me explain where I'm at with this. I am fortunate to have special pricing on Bushmaster firearms through my work and that will be a primary factor in choosing Bushmaster should I go that route. However, I've been looking around and came across Palmetto State Armory and I am very intrigued by their seemingly awesome quality and great prices and sources of material and parts. They also have pretty stellar customer reviews and I've heard nothing but positive things about them. Bushmaster on the other hand, although I believe they still make a quality product all I hear about them is how the quality dropped when Remington took over... Not sure If I see that myself but what do I know... I'm an AR newbie.

    This is the Bushy I've been thinking about:

    Bushmaster - Home Defense & Recreation Rifles

    My price on that rifle is 42% off msrp which cuts it down to $752 + shipping.


    The Palmetto stuff I've been looking at is this:

    Palmetto State Armory Blemished Lower Receiver

    MOE Lower Build Kit - Lower Parts - AR-15

    PSA 16" Mid-Length CL MP Premium Upper - Barreled Upper Assemblies - AR-15

    After its all said and done the basically equivalent rifle from Palmetto (still chrome lined and mil-spec for what its worth) will run me just under $610 configured with MOE furniture and even in my choice of FDE just as I would get the Bushy.

    I'm not so concerned with resale value as I intend to hold on to this rifle for a while. I assume as far as resale value is concerned the Bushmaster based upon the price I can get it for is a better deal but that aside, the most bang for my buck seems to me like Palmetto might be the way to go. I would appreciate any feed back anyone has to offer. Or bring to light some advantages the Bushmaster has over the PSA stuff. Obviously the Bushy is assembled and the PSA I'd get in parts, but I'd like to learn the ins and outs anyway and I'm not afraid to put things together myself.

    Thank you!
     
  2. Greenbug

    Greenbug Bend Well-Known Member

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    If you have the skills and tools to build your own from parts and save money doing it, I'd go that route. Usually when you build your own it ends up costing a little more than if you just bought one off the rack, but you get exactly what you want. Building your own may usually cost a little more but it also makes you more familiar with your firearm. If you don't mind the "blemished" lower and are not concerned with resale, then by all means build your own and use the money you saved on ammo, optics or accessories. If you have any thought of reselling in the future typically "put together" guns have less value than a complete factory rifle in similar condition.
     
  3. 142

    142 Rogue Valley Member

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    I certainly have some thought of resale but not for a while. Maybe a year or two down the road. How much loss of value would you expect from a put-together rifle verse a complete factory assembled rifle? Seems to me I could at least make my money back on it should I resell. - Because If I found a PSA Mid MOE (even put together) I'd buy it in a heart beat for $610. Thanks for the input. I appreciate it. Definitely brings some more factors into the equation. Any thoughts on PSA quality vs Bushmaster quality justifying an extra $140 for the Bushy?
     
  4. Greenbug

    Greenbug Bend Well-Known Member

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    Just taking an educated guess here... I'd say you would loose maybe 20% to 30% on a put together gun vs. a factory rifle depending on the configurations/quality of parts of the put together rifle. It's hard to sell a "frankenstein" gun for the same price as a factory "born that way" gun that usually will still carry a factory warranty. Kinda the same thing when people go to sell their custom gun built by XXX gunsmith and think they will get back all the money they put into it. Not gonna happen. If you go the build your own route here it sounds like you will save money initially, but be prepared to loose value in your put together gun if you go to sell it in the future. I highly recommend that you do build your own AR, it is a great and rewarding experience. From the prices you listed on your build specs, I think you are getting a great deal. Have you considered buying the factory gun and using it for a while to really get a handle on what you like and dislike about the AR platform, you could use that knowledge to put together exactly what you want down the road. You know build something for yourself that you will like so much that you would never sell it.
     
  5. lamrith

    lamrith tacoma Active Member

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    I have yet to build my own AR, but I have started looking into it. One thing to consider on the lower is the fact you will still need to pay a FFL fee ontop of any shipping for it since the Lower is the "controlled" part of the AR. FFL fees can range $25 (if lucky find) to $50.

    I am not sure about a place in OR, but I know there are places here in WA that you can buy what is essentially a PSA lower for <$100 out the door. Plus you get hands on and it is not a "blem", just something to keep in mind. I have been told by a few people that many of the lowers out on the market come right from here in the Pac NW as there are a few companies in the area that produce them, regardless of how they are badged/labeled...
     
  6. jmurray192

    jmurray192 wilsonville oregon Active Member

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    Go with bushmaster. Resale higher and better gun IMO
     
  7. 142

    142 Rogue Valley Member

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    I appreciate the reply and I obviously agree about the higher resale value. Can you elaborate about what makes the Bushmaster a better gun?
    Thank you -
     
  8. jmurray192

    jmurray192 wilsonville oregon Active Member

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    To be honest only reason why I say better quailty is I have been around bushmaster and have owned parts of PSA. I feel like the parts themself with the bush is a better finish. But I am not trained really to judge quailty. That why I say IMO. All lowers are made by about 4 companys so you really cant go wrong there.
     
  9. iamme

    iamme Lane County Well-Known Member

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    Bushmaster has been on a downward spiral, and most now reccomend a Windham AR (former bushy) 0ver the current. PSA uses FN hammer forged barrels- hands down a better barrel then Bushy. If it were me I'd go PSA 99 times out of 100 on this one.

    You MAY see higher resale on the Bushmaster, but considering what you save up front I'm willing to bet that the Bush will take a highher PERCENTAGE hit.
     
  10. ATCclears

    ATCclears Seattle area, WA Well-Known Member

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  11. madcratebuilder

    madcratebuilder Ardenwald, OR Well-Known Member

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    +1

    Current Bushmaster is not like earlier Bushmaster, quality has slipped.

    I would go with the PSA. You well get a mil-spec BCG, barrel and RE. With Bushmaster those parts are commercial grade. Commercial grade does not mean it well fail, I have a older BM carbine that's a great rifle. Since you are buying new get the best you can within the budget.
     
  12. rds801

    rds801 Portland Member

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    How much do you have saved up? I went the route of semi building one. Built the lower and bought a barreled upper. The first lower I bought was a PSA. The upper is a Spikes. I went the building route because it was hard for me to save so I just bought parts a little at a time. I no longer use the PSA lower though. I bought a Spikes lower from AIM so I could have an all Spikes rifle. Next will be an all PSA rifle.

    With all that being said, Spikes and PSA was not my first choice. I was going with BCM but they were always out of stock on their uppers when I was ready to purchase. Check out BCM and see if they fall in your price range.
     
  13. Jered33

    Jered33 albany Member

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    BCM YEA FIRST WITH PSA OR SPIKES NEXT THEN MAYBE A BUSHY?
     
  14. 142

    142 Rogue Valley Member

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    Thanks for the input everyone. I ended up buying a lower from Curt's in Milwaukee. Its an SA&A with MOE stock and grip and I assume a DPMS (or similar) parts kit. It may not be top notch but I feel that it is certainly a good start and Curt hooked me up a little due to my employer (we send customers his way when we don't have what they're looking for) and I even got the MOE stuff in my preferred FDE color. So far I'm in $250 total, BG check included. I'm planning on ordering the 16" PSA mid length assembled upper in the above link. That will run $398 shipped with the matching Magpul hand guard. I stopped by the Albany gun show this weekend but just couldn't bring myself to buy anything. I couldn't find anything that compared to PSA's price to quality ratio. I'll be in right at $700 after I buy a rear BUIS. $700 for a chrome lined MOE rifle seems good to me. Although I'm already looking at different hand huards and BCG's... These rifles are obviously money pits if you let yourself get carried away. Haha -
     
  15. 142

    142 Rogue Valley Member

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    $750 is about my max right now. I expect to ad on upgrades as time allows. BCM is nice and obviously good quality. A bit above my budget level at this time though.
     
  16. madcratebuilder

    madcratebuilder Ardenwald, OR Well-Known Member

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    That upper well serve you well, you would by hard pressed to find better quality at any price.
     
  17. 142

    142 Rogue Valley Member

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    I've kind of gone a haywire route on this project but it is coming together. I ended up buying a complete lower locally from Curt (Discount Shooter's Supply) and I just now ordered all kinds of goodies from Palmetto. I'm going to build the upper piece by piece. I calculated that doing it that way I'll be able to maximize the quality to cost ratio. I ordered the FN hammer forged chrome lined "light" (not pencil) mid barrel and a blemished stripped upper, parts kit and front site post and some other nick nacks. I'll still need a gas tube, BCG/CH, rear site, flash hider and for-end. I'm pretty stoked on the barrel and I'm hoping the blemished receiver isn't too "blemished" but I couldn't pass up the price, plus everything from Palmetto was 10% off this weekend. I think I'm doing pretty well financially thus far. With the complete lower (SA&A) with MOE FDE furniture plus what I just ordered (including shipping) I'm in: $570. I'll definitely go over the $610 mark previously mention when its said and done, but I opted for the hammer forged barrel, necessary or not.
     
  18. 142

    142 Rogue Valley Member

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    The rifle is "complete" and functional! I'm very pleased with the finished product but the "budget" concept kind of went south when I ordered the CL MP CHF barrel. After the handguard, flash hider, BCG/CH gas tube, clamp on FSB and rear sight it's tipping the money scale at exactly $819 as it sits not including mags. The BCG is a DPMS full auto carrier chrome lined internally and the bolt is MPI. I ran into an unexpected problem with the FSB I ordered from Palmetto. I didn't realize the involvement of installing a fresh from the forge FSB and I wasn't able to find a shop locally capable of the job so I went the clamp on route. I was at first disappointed to go with the clamp on design but in retrospect I'm glad I did for the ease of removal should I want to install a low pro block down the road. It's been a fun project and a great learning experience. I certainly know the firearm much better than if I had simply purchased one new. I'm glad I went the build route and I am already concocting ideas of another shorter barreled upper to build.

    Here's the finished rifle. (for now)
    IMG_5760sml.jpg