Armalite AR15 or Colt AR15


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RJMacReady
October 2, 2006, 06:05 PM
Which do you prefer;
the Armalite AR15 or the Colt AR15 or both or neither and why?

Which AR15 rifle do you feel is more accurate, reliable and durable, better made, least or most expensive and has the best warranty, what is your experience or thoughts on the subject?

Aside from the least expensive government contract (lowest bidder) which AR15 rifle should the military be using, Armalite, Colt, other?
Thank you.

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Spencer
October 2, 2006, 07:39 PM
I think most of the militaries M16s are manufactured by FN, but the Colt ARs look nicer. I asked my dad about it, he said definately go with the Colt.

ClarkEMyers
October 2, 2006, 07:50 PM
Colt - better magpenetrant dyecheck.

Large enough production long enough for quality control to feed back (there's a pun here someplace) and so give a better feed ramp in the M4gery and all the rest. Colt has been shown over time to have staked what needs to be staked and so on and so forth. No question there are good examples from the small shops but Fulton Armory is likely not going to equip even one division.

I'd likely go with a smaller shop for a varmint rig in .204 Ruger but for something in 5.56 to hang an ACOG on I vote Colt.

lycanthrope
October 2, 2006, 09:06 PM
Colts are decent guns, but for the price of one you can get a semi custom from Clark, White Oak or others that will perform better. I put together a Clark Gator upper (guranteed .5 MOA from Clark), mated to a RRA lower and a Jewell trigger for $1100. Add in a case of ammo and I have what I'd spend on some Colts!

Wayyyyy overpriced.

Want top notch?...how about JP Rifles, Compass Lake, White Oak Precision......

RJMacReady
October 2, 2006, 09:21 PM
Wow, there is alot of debate on this issue on the net as there would be, from both sides or another altogether, apparently alot of different opinions and preference.

Also that Colt donated to antigun Senator Charles Schumer of New York the same piece of trash that condoned the governments murder of men, women and children at Waco.
.:cuss:
TRAITORS!

CanonNinja
October 2, 2006, 09:32 PM
I'd buy Armalite just on principal. And buy an AR-180 to compliment the 15 just for the hell of it

Spencer
October 2, 2006, 09:34 PM
I personally don't care for any AR-15, but my dad used to own 3 and he said Colt was the best, even though I don't think he likes the company too much.

Metapotent
October 2, 2006, 09:37 PM
Is it true that Colt doesn't offer their rifles with chrome-lined barrels and actions?

RJMacReady
October 2, 2006, 09:57 PM
From what I have gathered, Armalite is just as good or better than Colt.
Apparently U.S. Special Forces units are using Armalite rifles in Afghanistan and Iraq and state that the weapons perform marvelously, and that was some years ago.

Jeff White
October 2, 2006, 10:23 PM
Colt would be the hands down winner for a serious use rifle.

Jeff

RJMacReady
October 2, 2006, 10:28 PM
I think it is like the Norinco Polytech AK47 post where it really comes down to opinion and personal preference.
I think that the real difference is that you end up paying more for the horse and staff emblem, while they are at it they should include New York Senator Charles Schumer's face in their emblem as well.

cbsbyte
October 2, 2006, 10:33 PM
Colt along with Bushmaster make the M4 carbine for the military. FN makes the full length M16 versions. I don't own a AR nor really like Assualt type rifles. A little history, Colt in the 1960s took over manufacturing of M16s from the long defunct Armalite Company. The Armalite name was bought in the 1990s by the owner of Eagle arms. Who renamed his company to Armalite.

http://www.armalite.com/library/history/history.htm#4

AK103K
October 2, 2006, 10:41 PM
I have a Colt SP1 I bought new in 74, and a couple of fairly recent Armalites. All are good rifles and the Colt and my one Armalite, shoot about the same. The other Armalite is a (T) model and will easily out shoot the other two.

My SP1 has literally many tens of thousands of rounds through it now and I never remember it having a malfunction. I'm sure it did at some point, I just cant remember when though. I am getting older now though, and CRS is a bitch. :)

The Armalites work like the Colt.

I do like the carbine versions of the Armalites better as an all around rifle. I prefer the 16" barrel with the mid length handguards. I cant stand the pencil barrels poking out of those tiny little handguards.

Is it true that Colt doesn't offer their rifles with chrome-lined barrels and actions?
I'm pretty sure my SP1 has a chrome lined barrel and chamber. At least it looks to be.

Jeff White
October 2, 2006, 10:41 PM
Bushamster does not make M4s for the military. Only Colt can make an M4. Colt has a sole source contract with the Army (procurement manager for the M4) through FY08. The Army can let the data package out on the M4 to other contractors after the end of FY08 (Oct 1, 08) but they must pay Colt a royalty on any M4 produced by anyone but Colt through FY12 IIRC.

Bushmaster has never mass produced any weapon for the US military despite some of their older advertisments.

Jeff

Jeff White
October 2, 2006, 10:52 PM
George Soros would only be on topic at THR in the Legal and Political Forum in a thread about his funding of anti-gun organizations. He is not on topic in thread in Rifle Country on if Colt or Armalite builds the better AR.

Lets keep the discussion on topic.

Jeff

cbsbyte
October 2, 2006, 10:57 PM
Bushmaster did make M4s for the military.

http://www.cybershooters.org/dgca/bushmaster_m4.htm

Jeff White
October 2, 2006, 11:09 PM
No, they didn't. I'm at work now, but when I get access to my library, I will post the facts about Bushmasters supposed sale of M4 carbines to the military. Bushmaster has stopped claiming they supplied M4s to the military in their advertising....ever wonder why?

It was a good rumor that was (and apparently still is) believed by many people, but it's not true.

Colt owns the technical data package for the M4. Colt successfully defended their ownership of the TDP in court against the Army and FN. That's where the sole source contract comes from.

Jeff

MechAg94
October 2, 2006, 11:20 PM
How did George Soros get into this thread?


I like my Armalite. My Dad has an sp1 that is a nice rifle. I wouldn't mind getting a Colt, but I am not too fond of paying their price.

RJMacReady
October 2, 2006, 11:22 PM
Was just adding to what was already referenced to Colts sordid history is all in relation to the topic of Armalite or Colt, as for me now I doubt that I would buy another Colt, I do not believe that too many people will want to deal with a company that has unscrupulous business dealings such as theirs.

George Soros got into this thread because someone added him into their posting and then removed it and I made a comment about it.
Sorry, but yes thats off topic.

10-Ring
October 2, 2006, 11:27 PM
Colt...hands down!

MechAg94
October 2, 2006, 11:32 PM
What is the average price increase for getting a Colt? $200 or $300 or more?

I'll take an Armalite.

MachIVshooter
October 3, 2006, 12:05 AM
Colt makes a good rifle, but they sold us out.

Buy Armalite. Great rifle, great company. Good CS, and they're honest to a fault.

carnaby
October 3, 2006, 12:50 AM
How do the colt and armalite compare to, say, les baer?

vanfunk
October 3, 2006, 07:55 AM
Colt makes a better carbine for innumerable reasons. You can choose to buy something else for political reasons as that is your prerogative, but you won't be getting a better AR. For a range weapon, it doesn't really matter what you get. For a hard use weapon, as has been stated already, get the Colt.

vanfunk

Pat_Rogers
October 3, 2006, 09:01 AM
The errornet is spectacularly good at perpetrating myths, falsehoods and lies, often cached as opinions.
The amount of misinformation in even this little thread is but an example why we should fact check prior to posting- and maybe why you should listen to Jeff White...


I think most of the militaries M16s are manufactured by FN,

Actually not. Both Colt and FN have contracts for different M16 models

From what I have gathered, Armalite is just as good or better than Colt.
Apparently U.S. Special Forces units are using Armalite rifles in Afghanistan and Iraq and state that the weapons perform marvelously, and that was some years ago.

Can you cite the sources from which you have gathered this information????
Armalite is not- and never was- a supplier to the military (Note- the current company) USSF use M4A1 Carbines. They are made only by Colt, and no other.
Colt along with Bushmaster make the M4 carbine for the military. FN makes the full length M16 versions.

And, can you cite your sources for this? No, an Internet source is not valid. How about a true contract, as posted by your government, announcing such an award??
Only Colt makes the M4 and M4A1 Carbine. Both Colt and FN make M16 Rifles.
Bushmaster did make M4s for the military.

And can you cite your sources.
I can remember when Peter Kokalis stated this in a SOF spinoff. He was apparently told this by the company, because they had advertised it heavily at one time.
As Jeff White stated, they don't anymore.
Ever wonder why?

I have been around since the first USMC tests of the XM4 Carbine at Quantico in 1986, and have fired two or three rounds downrange since then.
I don't know everything, nor have i ever stayed at a Holiday Inn, but in the 20 years since then, i have touched, supervised training on or actually fired a few rounds from some M4/ M4A1's.
All of the M4/ M4A1's that i have ever seen have a W prefix, and all have been made by Colt. The only exception to this is those M16A2's (Colt) that have been converted by ANAD to M4A1 configuration, and were remarked, and those very early guns which were marked M16A2..
I imagine it is possible that somewhere along the line there may have been an anomaly of some sort, but anything official has a paper trail.
Show me the paper- that can be verified- that BM sold M4 Carbines to the military.
A question. If they did, they would have had to have the Technical Data Package. If they did (not likely as that is Colt property), how come what is sold is so far removed from that? As in Non MP inspected bolts and barrels? Failure to stake the bolt carrier key" Using a non spec receiver extension? The list of course goes on....

For those of you that don't like the fact that Colt won't sell to civilians- i wish they did too.
However, previous management of Colt had to make deals with the state and local governments and with the union to keep in business.
Colt sells a great number of M4/ M4A1 Carbines and M16 Rifles to the US military (as well as some foreign contracts). They sell everything they can make, which may be between 8,000- 12,000 per month. I don't have access to actual figures, but looking at mil contracts it is apparent that they do more in a short period of time (and correctly) then all of the lower tier makers combined.
My classes are a large part military, with other government agencies, and a few open enrollment classes a year.
All companies are capable of turning out great guns as well as trash. What you have to look at is the overall performance.
All guns wear, and all have a finite service life.
And no Virginia, one gun- or even one hundred- is a poor statistical sample.
I see many guns in a year- in the thousands. As Jeff can tell you, i have a photo book of broken guns. As is no surprise, the only issues with M4/M4A1 guns is that the bolt lugs will show cracks after 10k rounds- normal wear.. However. i have pictures of a great many lower tier (just as good as) bolts broke at the cam pin hole. New guns with no bolt catch (or the return spring). Bolt carrier gas keys not staked. Barrels mis aligned. Faulty FCG parts.

My company has a fair number of guns. They mostly say "Colt". I say mostly because Colt guns are hard to get. So some say Noveske. Some say LMT, and some upper say BCM.

Rumors and conjecture make for hard feelings, and they continue to perpetuate falsehoods or fantasies.

vanfunk
October 3, 2006, 09:42 AM
Thank you, Pat, for your service and your clarity in this oft debated but poorly understood topic!

vanfunk

Pat_Rogers
October 3, 2006, 09:48 AM
And Thank You for the kind words!

Bartholomew Roberts
October 3, 2006, 11:48 AM
Bushmaster did make M4s for the military.

In April 1990, Bushmaster sold a whopping total of 65 M4 carbines to the U.S. Army. These weapons went to Aberdeen for testing. That is pretty much the full extent of Bushmaster's production of rifles for the military. Bushmaster never had a "contract" to produce the M4. This was a one time purchase for testing purposes at Aberdeen.

The source for this is the redacted version of the Bushmaster v. Colt (http://www.med.uscourts.gov/opinions/cohen/2005/dmc_09202005_2-04cv240_colt_v_bushmaster_affirmed_12062005.pdf) trademark case.

You can find a further discussion of that case on THR here (it also covers the TDP issue - short version, Colt continued to develop the TDP after it was given to Bushmaster):
http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?t=170259

I see many guns in a year- in the thousands. As Jeff can tell you, i have a photo book of broken guns. As is no surprise, the only issues with M4/M4A1 guns is that the bolt lugs will show cracks after 10k rounds- normal wear..

Pat, if I could tap into your knowledge for a moment? The 2006 NDIA SOPMOD presentation (page 44-52) (http://www.dtic.mil/ndia/2006smallarms/taylor.pdf) makes reference to bolts cracking as early as 3k-6k rounds with harsh firing schedules and 10k rounds with milder firing schedules. It also references burned out M4 barrels by 4k-6k rounds with harsh schedules and 10k with milder schedules.

I was curious what you had seen in your classes regarding those two issues and what type of firing schedule you were running (since your numbers seem to be close to the SOPMOD numbers for a moderate firing schedule)?

das028
October 3, 2006, 12:03 PM
Colt makes one of the best AR on the market. With that being said they are WAY overpriced!!! And the the quality of a colt can be matched by BM, Stag, RRA, which are alot cheaper (price). LMT, CMMG ,BCM, CMT (which is Stag) also make quality products at a better price.

CanonNinja
October 3, 2006, 12:28 PM
Colt makes a better carbine for innumerable reasons. You can choose to buy something else for political reasons as that is your prerogative, but you won't be getting a better AR. For a range weapon, it doesn't really matter what you get. For a hard use weapon, as has been stated already, get the Colt.

vanfunk



and just what ARE these "innumerable" reasons?

.45man
October 3, 2006, 12:28 PM
I recently purchased a RRA Varmint 20" job, see the recent post on my evaluation of shooting it at 250 yards.

http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?t=223852

For quality and price, go with the RRA.....I was initially skeptical and had originally thought if the rifle was not good enough, I would sell it and try another....but I am keeping it...:D

RJMacReady
October 3, 2006, 12:45 PM
Since I am not believed, but not that it matters; here are some of the articles as I have not been able to locate all of them nor do I really care to have to prove my point to anyone as this is really a matter of opinion and preference and the only real difference is that you end up paying more for the horse and staff emblem as Armalite is just as good or better than Colt.

wikipedia.org
In 1995, former Army Ordnance officer Mark Westrom, owner of Eagle Arms, purchased the ArmaLite brand and the company became Armalite Inc. Shortly thereafter Armalite introduced a modern version of the AR-10. The new Armalite AR-10 was patterned after the AR-15A2, scaled up to take the 7.62 x 51 mm Nato cartridge, along with various design improvements designed to strengthen the rifle. Ironically the original AR-15 itself was a scaled-down AR-10. The new AR-10 is offered in several versions including a carbine and target model, and one version is chambered in 300 Rem SAUM. Some rifles have been acquired by U.S. military special operations and other forces for testing and evaluation.

FindArticles.com > American Rifleman > Dec 2004 > Article
As this is written, ArmaLite AR-IOs are in the hands of Special Ops troops in Iraq and Afghanistan. Although officially adopted only by the Navy Seals, the rifle is also available to those units budgeted for special weapons and is being purchased by them. Additionally, individual soldiers are reportedly purchasing AR-10s "off the shelf." Word from the front is that the guns are performing marvelously. The current ArmaLite company has precious little to do with the original, yet it does the original company proud by offering excellent, unique arms to a shooting public-and military-that have finally discovered the virtues of a .30-cal., AR-type rifle. If early indications are true, then the company's reputation will soon swell among shooters as returning troops speak glowingly of the AR-10 and spread the word of its success in our current conflicts. When that happens, the AR-10's time will have finally arrived.
Copyright National Rifle Association of America Dec 2004
An added note is that US Marines have been using Armalites successfuly in Iraq and Afghanistan, although I have been unable to find the article.

Pat_Rogers
October 3, 2006, 01:13 PM
Bartholomew,
Thanks. I was aware of the small amount tested at that time. I really wanted to have someone attempt to come up w/ "proof" of Bushamster used as a standard "A" weapon- and that wasn't going to happen.
I am familiar with the NDIA doc. I have put a lot of guns through harsh firing schedules. However, as only sniper rifles and the MEU(SOC) pistol have gun books (that i am aware of), i have absolutely no way of determining round counts on mil guns.
I have been w/one unit that did keep a rough count. Bolt lugs did crack after appx 10k rounds. As for barrels... That same doc also states that the throat erosion method is "accurate" only about 40% (or is it 60%?) of the time.
Another issue is that under 100m the throat can be worn way out and still be capable of decent accuracy. At distance it is obvious.
The MK18's (and other 10.5" guns) seem to show wear quicker (go figure...)
I have however seen a large number of lower tier bolts break at low round counts. In one case, a BM with less than 500 rds cracked at the cam pin hole, and a DPMS at less then 750.
From my experience, i generally replace the uppers at 10k. I had a few that went to 20k. I used these guns as loaners for students who brought garbage to class.
Now i don't loan anymore, and keep the guns at a higher state of maintenance.

RJ- Don't take my posts personally. I don't believe most people :)
Having said that, the thread that YOU started was "Armalite AR15 or Colt"
You provide a Wikepedia source (and that is not official, and has had accuracy issues in the past) that references AR10's - not the AR15's that you used as a topic.
I am aware of AR10's being T&E. I have shot some. That does not indicate adoption by the military.
Re the NRA pub. That is not an official document either. That SOCOM has leeway in T&E and purchase, their are a number of items - including guns- that have been through this cycle. That does not constitute adoption.
Kindly recall that L-W made great noise about how their guns were being bought by the military. None available because they are all going to blablah.
This organization and that were blah blah.
Of course, they were lying out of their teeth, and were exposed, and Paul L-W separated from the company.
Come up with facts, not internet babble or magazine stories, about the "AR 15's' (You do know that the military doesn't use AR15's, right?) from Armalite that are being used by the military.
Interesting that you use the term "just as good" . I use the term "Just as good as" all of the time, but derogatorily, when comparing the lower tier to the real guns- generally when a guy who bought a "just as good as" gun has to finish the class with one of my guns.

RJMacReady
October 3, 2006, 01:48 PM
I dont take it personally nor do I care if you believe me or not; are you a trouble making troll that is looking for an argument, as I dont know what else that it could be, you asked to cite sources and I did although I could not find all of them, I didnt write them, take it up with the authors if you dont like it.
I said that the military is using Armalite I didnt say AR15, AR15 is the civilian model and M16 is the military model and actually Armalite makes the AR10 and M15.
There is no internet babble about it, again I didnt write it so take it up with the authors, just because you dont like it or agree with it doesnt change anything as that is your opinion.
"Just as good or better than" is a term that people use as I find no reason why an Armalite doesnt function as well or better than a Colt since Colt is a known trademark name that most people are familiar with it would be a benchmark to compare with.
If your guns are better than everyone elses than good for you.
If you dont like it then dont post or go argue on a board that promotes arguing.

ClarkEMyers
October 3, 2006, 02:21 PM
Gale McMillan used to say he'd talk guns all day but only argue with folks who had something to match the targets - especially one - he had framed around the office.

Similarly Pat Rogers has a record that establishes Mr. Rogers is not arguing he is giving us all, certainly me, the benefit of his documented experience and observation.

Colt rifles are no more overpriced than say 10-8 pistols even from Nighthawk - people are willing to pay the price for good reasons - when every vendor is running a sale on Colt and everybody who wants one has one THEN it will be reasonable to say Colt is overpriced. I suspect I could swap my 6920 - which cost me about $900 out the door - for another brand and some boot but I'm not about to do any such thing. FWIW my carry 1911 has a thistle on it not a bird.

To repeat myself - if I wanted to shoot .204 Ruger to keep down the ground squirrels and prairie dogs I'd likely buy another brand but to hang an ACOG - or pick your poison - on Colt as as they said about the America in a boat race a long time ago - there is no second place. I wish somebody would tell me about a sight that's as good as the S&B short scope and half the price though.

Pat_Rogers
October 3, 2006, 02:42 PM
Clark- your analogy to a Short Dot is excellent, and also a reason why equipment of different quality exists.
Not everyone wants/ can afford/ requires/ or has a clue what is good, better, sufficient or trash.
The majority of those that attend my class are in the business- so to speak- while the rest are average Joe's who do it for a variety of reasons. My Dad used to say "Buy cheap, buy twice", and i agree.
I also understand that very few who own guns actually shoot them enough to make a difference, so "just as good as" in respect to non MPI bolts and barrels, lesser quality internal parts, non spec receiver extensions and the like are not going to make a whole lot of difference.
Most gun owners buy as the result of advertisng rather than actual knowledge of what is and what isn't (and for good reason- where do you get that).
I certainly don't have that degree of verifiable information, but i get to see a lot. In the last 3 weeks, i supervised just under 200,000 rounds of 5.56x45mm downrange. I even pressed the trigger a few thousand times. Dosen't make me smart. But it does add to my experience level.
Back to Short Dots...
I bring a number of different optics to my class a loaners Schmidt and Bender Short dots (two of mine), and now S&B has a "test drive package of 3 additional; 4 EOTechs, and now some Aimpoints. It gives those who are considering a purchase an opportunity to try befpre a buy.
At my last mil class, the Leupold rep awarded a CQ/T to the high enlisted shooter- pretty generous.
My Dad also used to say "You can pay now, or you can pay later. But you are going to pay.
I prefer to use- and recommend, that equipment that i trust. My life is worth more than advertising.

JShirley
October 3, 2006, 03:00 PM
Wikipedia is an open-source document; anyone can contribute. Not only does this not make it a useful source, it is even further removed than even third-hand sources such as encyclopedias with known authors. (I can give you a lecture on standards of evidence if you like, from an academic standpoint. In this case, since specific government usage is questioned, Mr. Rogers is entirely correct in calling for government documents ["primary source"] as proof.)

There will be no personal attacks, and it hardly makes sense to produce what is essentially internet rumor when talking to one of the chief experts on this weapons system.

Hm.

Correia
October 3, 2006, 03:05 PM
RJMacReady, just a moderatorial heads up, but you may want to chill out on calling Pat a troll. I would also recommend that you go do a little bit of research about the man before you pick a fight with him. The man has probably shot more from an M4 type rifle in a day than you have in your life.

On that note, I disagree with Pat. :p But not for any technical reasons. I come from a totally different background. I'm a gun dealer.

From a totally civillian perspective, I hate dealing with Colt. They have the worst customer service in the industry. (the only other company that comes close is HK). Colt still turns out lemons occasionaly, and they still screw up. However when you break your Rock River or your Stag, you will get taken care of, whereas Colt will call you names.

Colts may be great guns, but they are a pain in my butt. :)

The bolts that break at the camslot hole are usually a result of improper heat treat. I learned this through my experience beta testing for a gun company.

Also you will discover that the AR industry is massively inbred. The civillian side of the business is totally different than military rifles with all the specs and agreements. Your civillian rifle may have one company stamped on the receiver, but that receiver was probably made by a company you've never heard of, and the parts are made by six other manufacturers.

Currently my favorite brand is Stag. I find that the quality has been excellent, price has been great, and service has been superb. We've sold a lot of these to local SWAT teams, and the guns have held up well under their training schedules. Stag is owned by CMT, one of those little companies that you've probably never heard of. CMT makes a lot of Colt's parts. Go figure.

No offense intended to Pat. He is the expert on this subject. These are just my opinions.

Pat_Rogers
October 3, 2006, 03:25 PM
An expert- as once defined by a wise man- is someone who travels more than 50 miles and has a briefcase.......
FWTIW
I feel your pain re Colt customer service, and agree that only hk is worse.
I haven't seen enough Stag guns to make a hard statement on worth, but those i have seen have run very well.
Correia, you are not offending me. Your opinions are based on a frame of reference that includes working around a large number of guns, and dealing with the problems.
I do very little of that at my level (fortunately....).
Colt made (perhaps a better term would be "had made for them") corporate decisions based on the gang rape that took place at the hands of those then in control.
I kike Bill Keys. He is a genuine American hero, and he invited me up shortly after he took over. He told me things that i might not have told Pat Rogers, but i also understood why.
My opinion is that Colt can keep up with the military demand. It may not make sense to go after civilian sales when keeping those who defend us supplied is their priority.
I alsi believe that the state and city may still be an influence- certainly the union is a problem.
And that is probably why the aftermarket industry is doing so well, in spite of faults.
For now, anyway.

vanfunk
October 3, 2006, 03:49 PM
Originally Posted by vanfunk
Colt makes a better carbine for innumerable reasons. You can choose to buy something else for political reasons as that is your prerogative, but you won't be getting a better AR. For a range weapon, it doesn't really matter what you get. For a hard use weapon, as has been stated already, get the Colt.

vanfunk




and just what ARE these "innumerable" reasons?

A comparison of a Colt 6920 and a Bushmaster "M4" would reveal the following:
Bushmaster marks their barrels "B MP" although not all of them are magnafluxed or proofed - only a small sample of each lot is sampled. Colt tests every barrel. The Bushmaster barrel will (likely) be a 1/9" twist barrel, not as versatile as the 1/7" twist on the Colt. Bushmaster has a habit (I've had 4 examples so afflicted) of over-indexing their barrels so that 20-25 clicks to the left are necessary to zero at 100 yards. The Bushmaster will not have the correct "F" height front sight base, ususally requiring that the front sight post be raised above the ears of the sight tower for a proper zero. Bushmaster does not Magnaflux and shot peen their bolts and carriers, or use the correct extractor insert. Bushmaster does not use the "H" buffer as Colt does, and the Bushmaster receiver extension is extruded and oversized compared to the Colt (which is forged and sized correctly). Bushmaster has a well-documented history of staking their gas keys poorly (again, I have had 4 that needed restaking out of the box). Bushmaster does not use double heat-shielded handguards as the Colt does. Colt has the TDP and assembles their product according to strict QC guidelines, Bushmaster seems to use their consumer base as a QA/QC testing bed. Again, for a range toy I really don't think it makes much of a difference, but I'd gladly pay more to get more when it comes to a defensive firearm. There's more to Colt than the little Horsie on the side, and no, they're not overpriced when you put the Colt up against the competition toe-to-toe, feature-to-feature.

vanfunk

Pat_Rogers
October 3, 2006, 03:57 PM
Excellent post Mr Vanfunk!
So, they are "just as good as" except for those items listed? (sarcasm not evident over the bandwidth....)
I'll add that of 28 BM guns purchased by a SWAT team that i had the privelege of teaching (and they were very good) the majority of the guns had problems, and CS was non existent as the police reb was on vacation at the time.
In June, eight guns from another lower tier maker all had major- and i mean major- problems out of the box.
The TDP means that a standard has to be met.
Those who aren't required to meet a standard often take shortcuts. These may involve streamining the process- or using sub standard parts and poor QC/ QA.
Others (Noveske, BMC and others) will exceed the standars because of their adherence to ethics.
You pay now, or you pay later. But you will pay...

vanfunk
October 3, 2006, 04:26 PM
Thank you Sir!

Frankly, it's really, really not a "snob mentality". Everybody wants as good a piece as they can get, at a price they can afford. I used to be of the opinion that every AR was "just as good as a Colt" and they all looked the same, anyway, so what's the difference, right? Well, after going through 4 Bushmasters (admittedly not a huge sample size, but a data point nonetheless) and owning 4 Colts, and researching the differences between brands, it has become abundantly clear why Colts cost more and are better built than the competition. We all want an AR that is "as good as a Colt" but costs less, the problem is that it just doesn't exist yet. I'm thrilled to see companies like BCM taking Colt on - they seem to be doing all the right things and I hope to able to acquire one of their uppers when they are available again. If Bushmaster addresses their deficiencies and builds a better carbine, with the features I want, I'll buy one. But I have a feeling I'll be waiting a long, long time for that to happen.

vanfunk

das028
October 3, 2006, 04:32 PM
I'm sorry fellas, but I think the chance you are going to get a lemon with BM is rare. Rare enough that I would be willing to save my 500$ and take a chance. Christ you could run your bushy until one of these bolts break, and replace it with a better one, and still be saving money. Bottom line, at least in my opinion, Colt is not worth that much freaking money. Now if I was a LEO and could get a discount, maybe I would consider purchasing one. I mean damn, I was at a gun show a couple weeks ago and saw a NIB 6920 for 1599.00. Come on man, why would I want that when there was a perfectly good RRA a couple of tables down for 950.00, or the a bushy for 1000.00.

With that being said, I think I am going to purchase a Stag, but those LMT's are looking better and better, (which I might add have a very good rep as well)

ilmonster
October 3, 2006, 04:49 PM
Take a look on Tacticalforums.com website. There is a long thread written by folks who know better than you and I what makes a good AR. Search for the title AR15 deficiancies. Long story short, Colt makes the best AR for some very specific, quantitative reasons, the least of which is their gov't contract. Good luck!

ilmonster
October 3, 2006, 04:57 PM
Actually, Pat Rodgers is one of the folks that does know better than most of us. Didn't mean to include Mr. Rodgers in the "you and I" statement.
By the way, I own a RRA 9mm, but just as a indoor range toy. If my life depended on it, I would choose a Colt 6920.

Jeff White
October 3, 2006, 05:00 PM
das028,

If cost is the biggest factor in your decision making process, then Colt can't compete. And if your AR is going to spend most of it's time in your safe then you probably have made the best choice for your needs.

If you intend on using it hard, like in Pat's classes, or intend on taking it in harms way, then you will most likely wish you'd spent the money on a Colt.

Bart,
Thanks for looking up the Bushmaster info for me.

Jeff

das028
October 3, 2006, 05:01 PM
ilmonster,

For what its worth, your right, I dont not crap about AR's compared to some on this board, lik Pat. And I also do not depend my life on one.

Just expressing my opinion, thats all.

But please dont tell me to buy I Colt just because they have a goverment contract. Honestly that doesnt mean anything to me. I mean if I use that reasoning, I might as well buy a M9 too!:barf:

das028
October 3, 2006, 05:02 PM
Jeff,

You are absolutely right,and that reasoning as definitely factored in my research for a new AR.

ilmonster
October 3, 2006, 05:12 PM
das028, you're absolutely right. I didn't mean to say buy a colt (or any other product) simply because of a gov't contract (there's a frightening thought!). This specific contract though does specify what Colt, FN, etc. must do to make their product to spec - i.e. proof testing, magnafluxing, staking, 6,000 rd. torture tests, etc. Sorry for the confusion!

CanonNinja
October 3, 2006, 11:03 PM
A comparison of a Colt 6920 and a Bushmaster "M4" would reveal the following:
Bushmaster marks their barrels "B MP" although not all of them are magnafluxed or proofed - only a small sample of each lot is sampled. Colt tests every barrel. The Bushmaster barrel will (likely) be a 1/9" twist barrel, not as versatile as the 1/7" twist on the Colt. Bushmaster has a habit (I've had 4 examples so afflicted) of over-indexing their barrels so that 20-25 clicks to the left are necessary to zero at 100 yards. The Bushmaster will not have the correct "F" height front sight base, ususally requiring that the front sight post be raised above the ears of the sight tower for a proper zero. Bushmaster does not Magnaflux and shot peen their bolts and carriers, or use the correct extractor insert. Bushmaster does not use the "H" buffer as Colt does, and the Bushmaster receiver extension is extruded and oversized compared to the Colt (which is forged and sized correctly). Bushmaster has a well-documented history of staking their gas keys poorly (again, I have had 4 that needed restaking out of the box). Bushmaster does not use double heat-shielded handguards as the Colt does. Colt has the TDP and assembles their product according to strict QC guidelines, Bushmaster seems to use their consumer base as a QA/QC testing bed. Again, for a range toy I really don't think it makes much of a difference, but I'd gladly pay more to get more when it comes to a defensive firearm. There's more to Colt than the little Horsie on the side, and no, they're not overpriced when you put the Colt up against the competition toe-to-toe, feature-to-feature.

vanfunk


That'd be great, if we weren't talking about Armalite here. Thanks for stopping by.

vanfunk
October 4, 2006, 07:56 AM
Yes, the above description references Bushmaster explicitly. Much of the above applies to Armalite, and their offerings are even further away from the TDP (4140 barrel steel, front sight base attached with bolts instead of taper pins, etc.). Again, an Armalite "M4" may prove to be a great option for the range, but it's not a good choice for "serious social purposes" as they say.

vanfunk

Bartholomew Roberts
October 4, 2006, 07:56 AM
That'd be great, if we weren't talking about Armalite here.

Armalite does not magnaflux any of their barrels and does not magnaflux or proof test their bolts (or mark them as such). The Armalite will not have the correct "F" height front sight base, ususally requiring that the front sight post be raised above the ears of the sight tower for a proper zero. Armalite does not Magnaflux and shot peen their bolts and carriers, or use the correct extractor insert. Armalite does not use the "H" buffer as Colt does, and the Aramlite receiver extension is extruded and oversized compared to the Colt (which is forged and sized correctly). Armalite does not use double heat-shielded handguards as the Colt does.

Thanks for stopping by.

I certainly hope you meant that sincerely seeing as how vanfunk has contributed a lot more knowledge to this thread than you have. This being the internet, some might be tempted to read that sarcastically and that kind of comment would have no place in a forum that is mostly a technical discussion about rifles.

In fact, I would say a new user who has no history of contribution to THR making snide comments about somebody else's attempt to explain something without adding any additional knowledge is one of the surest possible ways to get shown the door in short order.

das028
October 4, 2006, 09:27 AM
Vanfunk,
There is nothing wrong with using 4140 steel in a barrel, unless your goinjg full auto.

vanfunk
October 4, 2006, 01:17 PM
Hi Das028,
I don't mean to imply that there is anything wrong with 4140 barrel steel - there isn't. The point is made for the purpose of making the point itself, that the use of 4140 steel is a deviation from the TDP. While the difference may be slight, it is still there, and there's certainly no way to contend that 4140 is "better" than 4150. So why do Armalite, RRA, DPMS et al use it? Likely because it's less expensive. I have no quarrel with that. The problem I have with Bushmaster, RRA and Armalite is that they collectively make claims regarding their respective products use in the military, their testing/QC procedures, etc., which are untrue and seem deliberately calculated to deceive the public. I do not mean to imply that the above brands are junk - they are generally high quality sporting arms and many provide yeoman service. But the fact is that the technical specifications (and assembly and testing procedures) really do mean a great deal in an absolute sense, but may not be apparent in an arena of casual use. The fact that somebody's RRA carbine will hold 1 MOA while another's Colt 6920 won't is meaningless if the non-staked castle nut on the out-of-spec RRA receiver extension comes loose in a fight. IMO you're much more likely to get a Colt that works as intended, for a long period of time and over the broadest array of circumstances, than you are with any other off-the-shelf AR. It's really not about spending the most money - you can spend alot more than you would on a Colt and not get better performance, but I am rather certain that you can't spend less and get something "just as good".

HTH,
vanfunk

JShirley
October 4, 2006, 01:40 PM
a 1/9" twist barrel, not as versatile as the 1/7" twist on the Colt

I think it might be more accurate to say that a 1/7 twist is preferred if very heavy/long bullets are planned (which does seem to be the trend for cutting-edge military use). 1/9 appears to be more versatile, if by versatile you mean shooting the widest range of bullet weights well, as I understand it.

John

bosshoff
October 4, 2006, 02:03 PM
I HAVE an Armalite M15-A2 which I had them build with one of their NM two-stage triggers. I love mine. They are a great company, which makes great products, with a LIFETIME warranty. I would recommend them to anyone.

http://www.armalite.com/sales/catalog/rifles/m15a2.htm

jbharned
October 4, 2006, 02:32 PM
My .02 cents-

Colt would be my LAST choice in a factory built rifle. Bushmaster OR Armalite are tops with a slight edge to Bushwacker. Reason being are what are you looking for? If your going to shoot service rifle matches (I do) most guys end up building a rifle based on either the armalite (eagle arms) or bushmaster receiver,add a Krieger barrel,jewell trigger,float tube and you get the idea. If you want a standard service rifle configuration I would buy a stock bushmaster with a 1 in 9 twist chrome lined barrel. Nothing against the armalite but I have seen more bushmaster rifles shoot better. The armalite stainless steel barrels were made by Wilson at one time. Good barrel but for blasting it will not out live any chrome lined barrel. The reasons I dislike colt are mixed. They range from years back when they put steel blocks in the lower receiver, used oversize receiver pins for fire control group,front pivot was not a standard push pin,barrels were too fast twist rate,etc. Also they were over priced at what you could get an armalite or bushmaster for.
If your talking military contract parts then remember your parts were made by the lowest bidder. A lot of quality parts are made for the ar15 rifles now.
Pick up a good lower receiver and build your own.

Monkeybear
October 4, 2006, 02:38 PM
This may seem off topic but since we have alot of expierenced minds watching I was wondering if anyone has anything to say on the quality of a LMT AR 15. How well will a LMT measure up to Colt, or a Stag/CMT?

Pat_Rogers
October 4, 2006, 03:07 PM
Actually low bidder is not always used, but rather Best Value.
Military rifle parts are built to a standard, which is why Colt and FN receive parts that meet a standard.
Conversely, the lower tier makers receive parts that don't meet a standard.
They are the parts you need to worry about.

FWIW, I am a High Master Service Rifle as well as Distinguished Rifleman.
You comments about service rifle are interesting. Service rifle is to gunfighting as rap is to music.
Apples and oranges.
In service rifle you have something that looks externally like a service rifle, but has almost every component changed. In that case, about anything will do, as you are retaining only the lower and upper receiver, and the gun is not shot a lot (comparatively speaking). I shot a lot of matches and practice, and put an average of 5k a year downrange in service rifles. I shot that much last month from my M4.
Understand that you don't like Colt because of receiver block, offsize pins and such.
Me too!
I used one of those receivers for my Service Rifle, for a number of reasons. However, barrel twist too fast confuses me. Most service rifle shooters re barrel anyway, so why is it an issue?
If i misread, and you are talking about other than service rifle, the 1/7 shoots 55 gr out to 400m fine, but individual barrels and ammo lots may work better/ worse. For real use, 1/7 has the edge in ammo selection.

MonkeyBeart- LMT had some QC issues a while back, but are now on track.
I have several and work like charms. I have an MRP that has 15k through it without a problem, and have two conventional LMT's that have less rounds but are likewise GTG.

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