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  1. #1
    Moderator TYPEO1313's Avatar
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    Default AR15's - Who makes the best ones and why?

    So I have been shooting AR's for the better part of 10 years. I have owned several from different manufactures both new and old. I have literally sold hundreds of them working at two separate gunshops over the years. I am not looking to start a thread that will become a pissing match between brand x and brand y. I just want to know who you think makes the best stuff and more importantly why.

    Don't just write a name and that's it. I don't want to hear RRA because the one I have groups better than my Colt. I also don't want to hear Bushmaster sucks because you had a lot of FTF with it. And god help you if you pull the "well the military uses it" BS. Don't just say this company is better quality, tell me why the quality is better. I want the hard facts. I want to know what company x does with their product that company y doesn't. I want to hear about the stress test that this company puts their products through and pass that other companies don't because their products would fail.

    I see too many articles written in magazines and on the net where you can easily replace brand x with brand y, and pretty much have an identical article. I want this thread to be different. My goal in this thread is for some of our resident AR guru's to truly explain what makes a quality AR15 a quality AR15.

    Last edited by TYPEO1313; 03-08-2011 at 09:08 PM.
    When a strong man, fully armed, guards his own house, his possessions are undisturbed. Luke 11:21

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    When you are dead, you don't know you are dead. It's difficult only for others. It's the same thing when you are stupid.


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  2. #2

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    Is there any single best company? It seems that LWRC, Knights Armament, Noveske, Larue and a few others all make great stuff and picking one as the best would be exceedingly difficult.

    Also, what is best depends on the person you talk to. I just build an AR and I wanted an 18" SPR type AR with a rifle length gas system. I couldn't find one as an off the shelf gun with the exception of BCM, who were really just putting parts together that I could buy separately. So you need to consider what you mean by "best". Are you talking performance, features or ultimate quality in terms of materials, metallurgy, etc?

  3. #3
    Moderator TYPEO1313's Avatar
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    Did you read my post?

    Don't just write a name and that's it. I don't want to hear RRA because the one I have groups better than my Colt. I also don't want to hear Bushmaster sucks because you had a lot of FTF with it. And god help you if you pull the "well the military uses it" BS. Don't just say this company is better quality, tell me why the quality is better. I want the hard facts. I want to know what company x does with their product that company y doesn't. I want to hear about the stress test that this company puts their products through and pass that other companies don't because their products would fail.
    When a strong man, fully armed, guards his own house, his possessions are undisturbed. Luke 11:21

    Every dead body that is not exterminated becomes one of them. It gets up and kills! The people it kills get up and kill! - Dr. Foster, Dawn of the Dead

    When you are dead, you don't know you are dead. It's difficult only for others. It's the same thing when you are stupid.


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  4. #4
    NES Member 99si/mass's Avatar
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    Only products I buy are Larue, Lewis Machine and Tool (LMT) and bushmaster have never had nothing but great gear and service come from them all. Check out a LMT mrp upper have 2 and a number of barrels love them.
    Luke 22:35-37
    "And let the one who has no sword sell his cloak and buy one"

  5. #5
    Moderator TYPEO1313's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PaulD View Post
    Are you talking performance, features or ultimate quality in terms of materials, metallurgy, etc?
    All this information all helps.
    When a strong man, fully armed, guards his own house, his possessions are undisturbed. Luke 11:21

    Every dead body that is not exterminated becomes one of them. It gets up and kills! The people it kills get up and kill! - Dr. Foster, Dawn of the Dead

    When you are dead, you don't know you are dead. It's difficult only for others. It's the same thing when you are stupid.


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  6. #6

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    Here's some specifics.... Tier 1 rifles, like Colt, BCM, LMT, Noveske, Larue, JP, etc, have things like:

    -Properly staked bolt carrier gas keys that don't vibrate loose

    -MP tested bolts and carriers (higher likelihood of not crumbling into dust sooner rather than later due to metallurgical flaws)

    -Better quality control (When's the last time you heard of someone that bought a Colt that was a piece of s**t out of the box? Not that it doesn't happen, but it's pretty rare)

    -Barrels that aren't s**t. They almost all use 1/7 or 1/8 instead of the 1/9 fudd twist, and on top of all that, better barrels are more accurate with more bullet weights.

    -Approval by pro trainers and guys who kill bad guys for a living (Yes, this isn't technical, but IMO this is worth a lot to me. Given a choice between some random thing and a rifle that a pro is willing to trust his life to, I'd rather use the pro's choice. )

    This isn't to imply there aren't a lot of Tier-2 rifles which aren't damned good values, eg, S&W, RRA, etc. It's just that when you go out of the top end, your trust of the rifle should be speculative at best.

    There is stuff at the bottom like Olympic/Hesse/etc. that is basically best avoided. A commercially made rifle for $600 = run away, fast. Quality control is nonexistent and corners are cut at every turn on those guns. They are junk masquerading as an AR-15 clone. Olys are like the fung wah bus... there's a reason the tickets are so cheap. Don't be surprised if the bus catches on fire on the way to NYC. There is a bunch of other no name junk in this price class too, same deal. You will know it when you see it.

    If you need a rifle for that cheap you are far better off building it yourself. You will save money and end up with a better gun.

    -Mike
    Last edited by drgrant; 03-08-2011 at 09:38 PM.

  7. #7
    NES Member sf3pox1's Avatar
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    Colt
    BCM
    Daniel Defense
    Noveske
    LMT
    (Spikes)
    (LaRue)

    For the reasons outlined in "The Chart":

    http://gunfacts.webs.com/M4Chart1.gif

    http://spreadsheets.google.com/pub?k...=5&output=html

    I couldn't say it better myself.
    - Firearms Instructor - M16/M4/AR15 Certified Armorer - Certified Glock Armorer -

  8. #8
    NES Member DMan7's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sf3pox1 View Post
    Colt
    BCM
    Daniel Defense
    Noveske
    LMT
    (Spikes)
    (LaRue)

    For the reasons outlined in "The Chart":

    http://gunfacts.webs.com/M4Chart1.gif

    http://spreadsheets.google.com/pub?k...=5&output=html

    I couldn't say it better myself.

    Excellent response and contribution.
    Good judgment comes from experience. Experience comes from bad judgment.

  9. #9
    NES Member Supermoto's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DMan7 View Post
    Excellent response and contribution.
    It is if you are looking for a M4 fighting rifle. But if your needs are different then you need to know what to look for and know why its important.

    If I want a AR for built for the accuracy, I'm not going to find the answers on the chart. Its going to be about high end barrel and hand lapping
    A 3gun rifle will have different needs.

    So there is no best rifle, only the best for your needs
    http://www.northeastshooters.com/vbulletin/signaturepics/sigpic296_3.gif

  10. #10
    Moderator TYPEO1313's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DMan7 View Post
    Excellent response and contribution.
    Yep

    The link on the spreadsheet. I wish I saw this earlier, looks like they did all their homework.
    When a strong man, fully armed, guards his own house, his possessions are undisturbed. Luke 11:21

    Every dead body that is not exterminated becomes one of them. It gets up and kills! The people it kills get up and kill! - Dr. Foster, Dawn of the Dead

    When you are dead, you don't know you are dead. It's difficult only for others. It's the same thing when you are stupid.


    Member of GOAL
    Life Member of NRA
    NRA Certified Firearms Instructor & Range Safety Officer


    ΜΟΛΩΝ ΛΑΒΕ

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