AR-15 varmint upper


August 26, 2006, 03:46 PM
I'm looking for a quality varmint upper to put on one of my AR's and thought I'd get some input.

I'd like a high quality bull barrel 24" stainless and fluted. A flat top upper and a free float hand gaurd. I'd also like a high quality bolt that's been properly mated and matched to the barrel, chrome maybe?. I think I can get a really nice high quality upper for around the $1000 mark give or take a bit.

So who do I get to build it? Like most folks, I'm impatient and really don't want to wait any longer than I absolutely have to but I understand quality usually comes with a lead time.

I'd also like some input on barrels. I've had Kreiger, Green Mountain, and JP Enterprises suggested to me.

If you had a $1000 to burn on a varmint upper what would you get?

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August 26, 2006, 04:39 PM
This one......

I have the 3 gun model and it is every bit as smooth as the JP. And, who else gurantees .5 MOA?

If you join USPSA for $40 you can get the $100 off discount that Clark offers as well....but promise you'll go try a match!

But...not stainless or fluted. I'd call up Jim Clark and see if he'd build you one thay way. Great shop to deal with.


This shop turns out some of the best long range competition AR's in the world. I had one of their service rifles and it would crank out .5 all day long with iron sights and handloads.

Neither of these guns every failed over thousands of rounds and both are very smooth.

August 26, 2006, 04:50 PM
Thanks, actually I called Clark Custom the other day, can't remember who I talked to. They are actually way up in the running because that 1/2 MOA gaurantee is pretty powerful and their shop is not too far from me so I could go pick it up if I wanted to. The fellow I talked to said I could get a Kreiger barrel but there was quite a wait. I'm exploring my options at this point and in their case trying to decide exactly how much I want the stainless and flutes.

Seems like I parused past the White Oak site at some point but don't know much about them. Good to get a recommendation, I'll check them out some more. .5 with iron sights and hand's what I'm really looking for. Pretty impressive!

August 26, 2006, 04:51 PM
My first choice would be the Bushmaster V-Match, 24":

My second choice would be the Bushmaster stainless varminter 24":

I would take the V-match first due to the hard-chromed bore. That fact will double the precision-shoooting life of the barrel. The cost is accuracy compared against non-chromed. All the same, the accuracy is far more than sufficient for varminting to 300 yards which about typifies the .223 for effective dispatching of varmints.

Edit to say "Wow" on the Clark. That's a warranty!


August 26, 2006, 07:09 PM
Who else makes a quality upper in a timely fashion?

I've talked to Wilson Combat about building one since I have one of their rifles and intend to put it on their lower reciever. They say they'll build one with any barrel I send them. What and whom to get the barrel I want?

August 26, 2006, 07:28 PM
Just remember that more money doesn't equal more quality in the AR world. You can build a killer semi custom AR for the price of a shelf Colt...... Many of these rifles are sharing parts. Clark has used some DPMS barrels in the past. Many shelf AR's use Wilson or Shaw. That Wilson isn't the same as Wilson Combat. Don't pay more for a lower. Lowers have no effect on accuracy. I use RRA and Stag because they fit tight and I don't like rattle in my gaming guns. Eagle firearms had lowers for $200.

The three gunners are using JP, Clark and some other customs.
CMP shooters are using Compass Lake and White Oak guns. These are the guys who have the cash and want every last ounce of performance.

For the best barrels.....Krieger, Compass Lake or Pac Nor. CL was turning out White Oak's barrels.

No one in long range uses chrome barrels. You could get pretty much any decent upper to shoot 1 MOA with a floated handguard and handloads (heck, I have a Model 1 lightweight that shoots 1 MOA). For sub MOA consistently you go custom.

August 27, 2006, 08:55 AM
Well I'd like sub MOA so custom it is.

Still leaning towards the Clark I guess but really can't make up my mind.

Guess I'll keep looking!

August 27, 2006, 09:48 AM
Fulton Armory claims sub-.5MOA with Keiger barrels, .5MOA with their barrels.

They built my 24" upper in about a week.

August 27, 2006, 12:22 PM
Andras......just as I had about made up my mind here you come!

Thanks though, I haven't checked them out.

I had just made up my mind to call White Oak in the morning and inquire about a flat top reciever (any preference?), a 24" stainless spiral fluted bull Kreiger barrel, chrome bolt, and a lightweight carbon fiber free float hand gaurd.

I'm going to have to check out Fulton now.

Andras, are you pleased with your upper? Has it lived up to their claims of accuracy? Is it pretty picky about ammo or a fairly versatile all around shooter, ammo wise that is.

August 27, 2006, 03:56 PM

Here's the upper

I took it to our local 100yd range earlier today, but I was only shooting at 50 to zero the scope and get used to the rifle. I have an untouched Bushmaster lower.

5.5" Shoot n Sees (10 rounds each)

3" Shoot n See (10 rounds)

I shot a selection of 62gr Radway, 68gr Black Hills Match HP, 55gr Remington UMC, and WWB 45gr Varmint.

The UMC did very well, but I wouldn't say that any of the ammo did visibly worse then the others. I probably won't get the WWB again though. I would buy more 55 Rem UMC, but I have a ton of Radway and Black Hills left.

I'm sure that once I'm more used to it, I'll be tightening up those groups a lot.

pete f
August 27, 2006, 04:51 PM
JP is what I use for my PD gun. you can tell he knows what to do when he puts them together. John lives nearby and used to own a local gunshop, ALWAYS a straight shooter, stand up guy.

Remember that having a PD upper is cool, but then you usually need a better quality lower to get the most out of it as well as a good trigger setup.

I can get .4 groups out of mine with the better black hills ammo, and me doing my part.

August 27, 2006, 05:00 PM
This rifle was built on a J&T Distributing bull barrel upper with a 1-8 twist, Stag Arms lower receiver and a JP Rifles single stage trigger.
100 yard group

August 28, 2006, 08:59 AM
Hey Pete, when you write JP you mean JP Precision right? I intend to put this on a Wilson Combat lower that has a single stage JP Precision trigger in it so I think I'm set up that way.

Andras, do you have the Kreiger barrel or the Fulton barrel? Pretty impressive groups on a sighting in trip to the range by the way!

g56, did you build your rifle or have someone build it for you?

August 28, 2006, 11:12 AM
Andras, do you have the Kreiger barrel or the Fulton barrel? Pretty impressive groups on a sighting in trip to the range by the way!

I have the Fulton 1/8 twist Stainless.


The Deer Hunter
August 28, 2006, 11:18 AM
Why dont you just shoot them with the calibre you already have?

BTW: if you are shooting 308, i understand

August 30, 2006, 09:22 PM
Ordered a Fulton Armory upper yesterday with a 24" Kreiger barrel. Email said it should be here in 14 days.

I can't wait!

I'll let ya'll know how it works out.

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