Olympic AR-15 Plinker?


March 7, 2007, 06:27 PM
I am an AR novice so please cut me some slack in answering the next few questions.

I am looking to buy an entry level AR-15. I have 2 baby girls at home and would like to not break the bank. I came across an Olympic Arms AR-15 plinker today for $550. My questions are:

1) Is the Olympic AR-15 a total POS or is a decent AR?

2) What is a plinker?

3) Is $550 a decent price?

Input appreciated!

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kart racer
March 7, 2007, 06:44 PM
If you go the ar15 forum,most will tell you it's a pos.The ones I have been around have been hit or miss.Del ton can you build you for a little less than a 150.00 more or for around 730.00 you can get a stag upper and lower and have a nice ar for the average person.

I went with the stag and really don't have any regrets.

March 7, 2007, 07:01 PM
Are you wanting to go the AR route simply to get into the AR rifles? Are you wanting one because you want to shoot .223 rounds? What is the reason?

March 7, 2007, 07:14 PM
Les, that is a great question. I want to get into AR rifles. Some co-workers have them and I would like to join them out on the range and not appear clueless :)

March 7, 2007, 07:20 PM
Is it this one? http://www.triplebreakproducts.com/Olympic/plinker.htm
1. I have an Oly. It's been decent and reliable for me. There are people that love them and people that hate them. There may have been a period when they were lower quality but I don't have any complaints about mine.
2. A plinker is a fun gun that's usually a smaller caliber and used mostly for shooting at the range or various critters. It's not typically a gun you'd want for SHTF or zombies :D
3. Given the list price was a hair under $600, $550 seems like a decent price if it's new or in very good condition.
You could build one for not too much more. It kind of depends on what you want it for.

March 7, 2007, 07:20 PM
Gottcha, I do not own any but have considered getting one. Of the ones I found attractive were the ones with the A2 sights and detachable handles. I would look at the ones with these features that are one step above the oly plinker. If the price point is too high with the features then go with the cheapest you can afford. It will be a fun gun which ever you choose.

If you were just wanting to shoot the same round as the AR then you may look at the Saiga that is much cheaper. That is the route I have taken for now. One day I will go for the AR but I wanted to shoot the round for Cheap for awhile.

March 7, 2007, 07:23 PM
Save your money.

You can get a complete stag upper for $485 shipped and you can buy complete AR lowers for $225ish. Sure it will cost $150-200 more but you'll have twice the gun when all is done.

Or watch for deals on complete used uppers, I see them all the time for $300-350.

Trust me you don't want the cheap AR that breaks all of the time or has issues when shooting with your friends.:neener:

March 7, 2007, 07:32 PM
Decent gun. The elitist gun snobs don't like them cause the will do most of the things their snob guns will at almost 50% discount.:neener:

March 7, 2007, 07:46 PM
A few questions about building an AR:

1) which is more important to have the highest quality? The upper or lower?

2) Do you literally buy any lower and any upper and they will fit?

3) Do barrels usually come with the uppers?


March 7, 2007, 07:50 PM
The elitist gun snobs don't like them cause the will do most of the things their snob guns will at almost 50% discount.

For an extra $125-150, you can buy a much better gun that will do ALL of the things a higher end AR will do.

Luckily i'm not a elitist otherwise i may be offended.:D

I just likes to pay my money once for something quality.

March 7, 2007, 07:54 PM
1) which is more important to have the highest quality? The upper or lower? I'd say the upper has more to do with accuracy and reliability, but having a good lower is important too.

2) Do you literally buy any lower and any upper and they will fit? Pretty much any AR15 lower will fit any AR15 upper. Some early Colt guns had different sized pins/holes.

3) Do barrels usually come with the uppers? For your first "build" buy a complete upper which will include everything you'll need except the lower.

Even if you were to buy a complete assembled Stag Arms lower and complete assembled Stag Arms upper and just put them together you'd still save money over buying a complete Stag Arms gun.

March 7, 2007, 08:01 PM
Gun Nut, Thanks for all of the good info! Are they hard to put together or will I have to engage my smart friends? Also, what would be a good source for the uppers and lowers?

Thanks Again.

Bartholomew Roberts
March 7, 2007, 08:13 PM
I disagree. I think $550 is a good price for an Olympic Plinker and that it will serve most needs well.

March 7, 2007, 08:17 PM
I have a buddy w/ an Oly Arms ar15 and it has been a nice shooter. He got it pre-ban so it's really the only ture ar in our group :D

March 7, 2007, 09:51 PM
Save up another $200 and get yourself a Stag Arms.

March 7, 2007, 10:01 PM
My buddy has a "Plinker" and it runs just fine.
I'd rather have my Bushy,but the Plinker works!!!


March 8, 2007, 01:16 AM
Note I have sold over 10 of them in my shop. NO one has brought one back.:what:

March 8, 2007, 01:55 AM
I have an Oly AR and personally, I like it. I was told by some kid at the gun shop that he would never buy one because they are a POS. He never could expand on why they were a POS.

That said, the only problem I have had is that a couple of my beat up mags won't lock. Same story with cheap mags. Get a good set of quality mags and you should be satisfied.

Once you get to the point of upgrading, take a look at White Oak Arms as well as Stag for your new uppers. My dream AR would be a Stag lower with a WOA service rifle upper, 2 stage trigger and all the bells and whistles that come with it of course.

Have fun!

March 8, 2007, 01:56 AM
Plinkers are pretty OK , they are just a basic AR , for example they are usually equipped with A1 type rear sights in stead of the A2 type , usually not equppied with a muzzle break/flashspppresor . Its just a matter of preference , they aren't pretty or tacticool but plenty good for a first AR .

March 8, 2007, 02:06 AM
A1 sights and full size rifle is not the worst thing to own. I can say that realistically you will set your sights and probably never touch them again. A good battle zero will do the job if you do your part. A plinker is training with what you have. Shoot and learn, you will have an effective tool. Oly was hit or miss in the QC but seem to have regained their stride.

March 8, 2007, 02:17 AM
Keep in mind that if you buy quality, it will retain its value. You can see how the opinion on the Olympic is running here, so if you decided that you wanted to sell it to either upgrade or get out, you will have a smaller group to sell to, and more than likely take a hit in the resale price.

Here is a thought, and it is Free: Check out the kits here http://jtdistributing.com/store/kits.html it is just one make of kits, there are many. Look at their prices and options. When you purchase one of these kits, it has all the parts you need to put it together, except the lower receiver. The upper is all assembled, that is the hard part, and the bolt and barrel are headspaced. This upper will go on to any AR, so you could sell it later and upgrade if you desired.

It looks like you can get a DPMS lower for @$125 or so, I have seen them for @ 100.

Kit@450-500 + Receiver@125 and you have $575-625, for much more quality and a better configuration, and better resale.

If later you decide you want a (just name the option or different configuration) you have some quality to sell/trade and you have quality to build upon.

Just my thought. It is rather easy to assemble an AR, no special tools or skills. There are folks here and other places that are willing to help, just for the joy of seeing someone else get bitten by the Black Gun Bug:D

Good luck.

March 8, 2007, 07:09 AM
Hi Fun,

I went to the site you mentioned and I have a question. I got the impression that they were full AR kits. Please hit this link and tell me if this is just a complete upper or if it is a complete AR.



March 8, 2007, 07:31 AM
1) Is the Olympic AR-15 a total POS or is a decent AR?

2) What is a plinker?

3) Is $550 a decent price?

Input appreciated!

Olympic Arms gets mixed reactions depending on who you ask. Some claim their junk, some claim their fine, nobody claims their the best. I have no first hand knowledge of Oly ARs but have heard that they build rifles out of spec. This means if you later want to add different uppers, triggers, etc you may have trouble.

It is my understanding that the plinker models from Oly are built on cast recievers. If you want a rifle just to blast at soda cans, and paper with every once in a while thats fine. If you want to take a class with it, or shoot in competitions not so much.

$550 is a decent price on a AR, However I built a Stag Arms M4 for $772 (price included shipping, transfer fee from my FFL, and $2.00 background check fee). I can tell you it is top quality and is just as good as my Colt.

Source for Stag Arms build:http://www.title2.com/Stagarms.html

Stag Arms Complete lower recevier with M4 6 pos stock
$235 delivered

16" Chrome lined M4 barrel
Bolt/carrier and charging handle
Side Sling Adaptor
A2 flash hider and forged front sight base
A.R.M.S. #40 A2 Rear Flip Sight

Buy a complete lower and a complete upper, push two pins in, and viola you just built a top notch AR at a bargin price.

March 8, 2007, 07:46 AM
I would say buy it, it's a good price. The most important part of an AR is the bolt and carrier in my opinion. It does the most work, and if the gas piston rings don't seal properly, will cause jams and short stroking.

March 8, 2007, 08:34 AM
It is my understanding that the plinker models from Oly are built on cast recievers.

Nope, Olys are all forged now.

March 8, 2007, 09:23 AM
JaxNovice, I am not associated with either of those companies, however, that appears to be their kit. Their kits are reasonably priced and work fine, and they are good folks to work with.

For those that are shopping for an AR or AR kit, please keep this in mind, you have the option for 223 OR 5.56 chamber. Here is the scope. If you intend on using your AR for defense and protection, you will want the 5.56 chamber. It will allow you to shoot military surplus, Wolf and most every other ammo, including 223. The 223 chamber quite often will have difficulty chambering 5.56 ammo or ejecting it.

The cut on the two chambers are slightly different, and the 223s are usually tighter for accuracy in a hunting/competition mode. The 5.56 is usually not as tight, for reliability.

March 8, 2007, 05:09 PM
and I like them fine. I own the PCR-16 and the K8 Match/Target model. I too have heard bad stories about Oly's quality and it is not evident in either of my guns. About the biggest complaint that I have heard is that their customer service after the sale is non-existant. I can't say weather or not it is true because my guns have been running fine. I was recently at a local toy store and they had an Oly there that I am very interested in so, I may be buying yet another. If I were to make one recomendation it would be this, go one step up from the plinker. Most of the bad stories that I have read on the internet have had to do with their plinker model. As for accuracy, both of mine are incredibly accurate.

Aguila Blanca
April 8, 2007, 02:57 PM
I bought an Oly Plinker during the AWB, so mine has no flash hider and no bayonet lug. It also has the cast receiver. It has been 100 percent reliable, and it's certainly as accurate as my Mk III, Mod 2a senior citizen eye balls. Yeah it "only" has A1 sights, but battlefield zero is battlefield zero, and most folks with ARs put optics on them anyway. Not a problem for me anyway because the M16 I carried in Vietnam had the same sights.

The current production Plinkers do have forged receivers do have flash hiders, and do have bayonet lugs. It's a sleeper of a deal. Sure, it's easy to say "Just spend $250 more and get a real AR," but the fact is the Plinker lists for $600. "Just another $200" represents a 33 percent increase. What does that get you? More accuracy? Doubtful. Longer life span? Maybe, but I don't put thousands of rounds through mine every week. It'll outlive me by a country mile. A2 sights? That and a buck might buy a cup of coffee.

I think it's a great deal. The only drawback (if it matters for your plans) is that it's a 16" carbine, not a 20" rifle. I'm not planning to engage any goblins or zombies at 300+ metres, so the 16" is perfect for me.

Condition Plaid
April 8, 2007, 04:50 PM
My Oly has been a very reliable shooter for over 10 years and thousands of rounds.


April 8, 2007, 05:49 PM
I recently bought an Oly Plinker 16 w/ the SS barrel. Fit of upper/lower/handguards is tight/excellent. I've run about 500 rounds through it (a mix of factory and handload) w/ zero problems. Seems to be an excellent basic AR w good warranty. FWIW, my dealer also had a Plinker in 20".

I read a lot of "expert opinion" on Oly quality from people that have never owned one, or else owned one of the earlier cast receivers.

Bear in mind that a few years ago RRA was badmouthed until they won a DEA contract. They are now usually considered top tier. Also remember that there can be a big gap between good enough and best. It's your money, you know your priorities. I don't regret my Plinker purchase.

fast eddie
April 8, 2007, 10:57 PM
Decent gun. The elitist gun snobs don't like them cause the will do most of the things their snob guns will at almost 50% discount.

Bingo. Throw on a dot sight and you've got pretty much the same gun the military issues (without the three shot sear of course). The A1 rear sight is part of the reason for lower price but elevation is set with front sight anyway. The difference between a "pos" and a quality gun is the trigger group. You can buy a quality trigger kit to replace the one that came with the gun; very easy to swap. You could also use polishing compound and some elbow grease on on the trigger you've got and give yourself a smooth, crisp trigger.

April 9, 2007, 12:16 AM
My only complaint so far on the Olympic Plinker has to do with the fact that mine is one of the ones with the brake secured to a groove milled in the barrel via four hex head set screws. In that situation, you're better off just taking it off and dealing with it as a bare barrel AR, because eventually the brake is taking a trip downrange the hard way if you leave it. Other than that, I haven't observed anything that caused me concern so far.

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