Best AR manufacturer for this setup?


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Eightball
July 19, 2007, 09:52 PM
Greetings all. IN a few days, I intend to take the plunge and finally purchase an AR-15. That being said, the setup I am looking for is a 16" bbl Midlength Gas system with collapsible stock; as for fixed vs/ detachable carry handle, chrome moly/chrome-lined/stainless barrel, and which gas block to use, I am still up in the air (help on that, please?). That being said, I know there are a couple of manufacturers who make complete rifles in this setup (that is what I am after, for my own reasons--please don't suggest mating a lower and upper, I want a factory-built rifle), but cannot decide which manufacturer to pursue. What, in anyone's opinion, would be the best manufacturer to look into for this setup? Thanks!

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Bartholomew Roberts
July 19, 2007, 10:01 PM
Well, by virtue of going with a 16" midlength gas system you are looking at Armalite, RRA, Bravo Co., CMMG, or Sabre Defence. Those are the five factory manufacturers I know of that produce a midlength, though there are a ton of custom AR builders who can assemble a midlength in addition to that.

None of those brands are bad, and several of them are quite good. So I think you should be OK. On options, I always recommend a flattop because it is more versatile, even if you never use optics. Barrel and gas block? It depends on what you want to do. I think the pinned, fixed front sight post is both handy and rugged. Barrel material doesn't matter as much as barrel quality.

benEzra
July 19, 2007, 10:20 PM
http://www.rockriverarms.com/images/ela407.gif
http://www.rockriverarms.com/item-detail.cfm?ID=AR1225X&storeid=1&image=ela407.gif&CFID=611049&CFTOKEN=46638270

If I were ordering that rifle, I'd add the chrome-lined barrel, +$40. You should be able to get a hundred or two off the suggested retail that page lists if your local dealer likes you.

Jorg Nysgerrig
July 19, 2007, 10:45 PM
I have the above rifle, except I have the Dominator mount for the EOTech instead of the tactical carry handle, which is only useful to cowitness a Aimpoints on a certain mount. I also have the fold down front site tower and a few other things. It's been a good rifle.

I highly recommend getting a flat top of some sort.

JonB
July 19, 2007, 10:56 PM
I have the same rifle as well. Definitely go with a flat top as you have more options that way. Mine has a fixed front sight instead of the flip up, but I have read that with a scope you won't notice the front sight anyway.

The detachable carry handle shown in the picture above is really not a carry handle at all. It has the integrated rear sight and as mentioned it's purpose is to be used with an Aimpoint.

Still a great rifle, and RRA is generally considered a quality manufacturer.

Eightball
July 19, 2007, 11:33 PM
What is the difference between this:
http://www.rockriverarms.com/item-detail.cfm?ID=AR1225X&storeid=1&image=ela407.gif&CFID=611049&CFTOKEN=46638270
And this:
http://www.rockriverarms.com/item-detail.cfm?ID=AR1294X&storeid=1&image=mida2407.gif&CFID=717336&CFTOKEN=64905498
if they're set up the same?

And, I've not heard of CMMG or Sabre Defense or Bravo until literally this last week when I started looking into AR's again.....what's the deal with those companies vs. RRA or Armalite?

And, why specifically that carry handle and/or chromed barrel?

GunNut
July 20, 2007, 12:00 AM
I'd take a CMMG over the Rock River Arms mid-length setup any day of the week.

http://cmmginc.secure-mall.com/shop/?shop=1&cart=733304&cat=32&noCookiePassThrough=Y&


Steve

Jorg Nysgerrig
July 20, 2007, 12:20 AM
Eightball, you have to look that difference between those like option packages in a car. You'll notice the Elite CAR A4 comes standard with a bunch of the options for the other one, such as the Hogue rubber grip, the side mount sling swivel, etc. You can add all the options to make that, but it might cost a bit more a la carte than in the package.

Eightball
July 20, 2007, 12:37 AM
I'd take a CMMG over the Rock River Arms mid-length setup any day of the week.Why, is my question? Having never heard of CMMG until this last week when I got my stuff together and am thinking about buying one, why the $200-$300 price jump, what do you gain? What is so "good" about CMMG and "bad" about RRA? or Bravo, or Sabre?

I'm asking because I just don't know. And, for that matter.....why get a 14.5 w/permanent flash hider rather than 16"? Looks?

Sorry to ask all these "new guy" questions from a THR "vet"--I ask because I honestly don't know, and because THR tends to be trustworthy, in my experience ;)

benEzra
July 20, 2007, 01:31 AM
why get a 14.5 w/permanent flash hider rather than 16"? Looks?
The way I look at it, you lose ballistically going to 14.5" instead of 16", you don't shorten the rifle significantly because the barrel assembly still has to be 16" long per Federal law, and the 14.5" is significantly louder than the 16". The 16" also gives you a longer sight radius and a gas system setup that's a little less harsh than the M4-length gas systems.

The only saving grace I see is (possibly) a couple ounces of weight, since the long flash hider is probably lighter than an equivalent length of barrel.

And, why specifically that carry handle and/or chromed barrel?
A chromed barrel will last longer and tend to foul less. A non-chromed barrel is cheaper and may be slightly more accurate.

Number 6
July 20, 2007, 01:32 AM
Why, is my question? Having never heard of CMMG until this last week when I got my stuff together and am thinking about buying one, why the $200-$300 price jump, what do you gain? What is so "good" about CMMG and "bad" about RRA? or Bravo, or Sabre?

I'm asking because I just don't know. And, for that matter.....why get a 14.5 w/permanent flash hider rather than 16"? Looks?

Sorry to ask all these "new guy" questions from a THR "vet"--I ask because I honestly don't know, and because THR tends to be trustworthy, in my experience

There is nothing wrong with a RRA, Sabre, Bravo Co. or an Armalite rifle. I admit I know the least about Sabre and Bravo Co. but they all have excellent reputations. I do think you get more out of a CMMG rifle than a RRA or an Armalite rifle, however. When ordering a CMMG you can customize what you are ordering a lot easier than a RRA or Armalite build. CMMG uses 4150 barrels and also uses a 1:7 twist, as well as having a couple of different barrel profiles to chose from. The 4150 barrel really is not a big deal, but considering that RRA and Armalites are similar in terms of cost it is just an added benefit. The barrel twist is nice since you can shoot the heavier ammo, but also still shoot 55 grain ammo as well. I have only ordered uppers from CMMG and they were actually better priced than the closest Rock River equivalent. A $200-$300 difference is not insignificant, but if the Rock River rifle is close to the CMMG rifle I would go with the CMMG, since in my opinion you get a marginally better rifle.

The benefit of getting a 14.5" barrel with a permanent flash suppressor is two fold. The first is like you said is due to looks, the other is that your overall total length is and inch and a half shorter. Are these huge benefits? To some yes, to others no. The velocity difference between a 16" barrel and a 14.5" barrel is not that great so I would not be too concerned about that. Personally I would go for the 16" barrel just in case I wanted to change out my flash suppressor, but that is just my preference.

Bartholomew Roberts
July 20, 2007, 11:51 AM
CMMG is very good about offering customers what they want and they have carved out a market niche by working hard to stay at the front of that demand. On the downside, they have made a few errors here and there in attempting to provide new products.

Sabre Defence was founded in 2002 from the remains of Ramo, a company that built .50 BMG machineguns and other military accessories. They also produce a large percentage of the parts they use in house. The few I've seen have been very nice in quality.

I've yet to see a Bravo Company firearm; but Pat Rogers has spoken highly of them in the past and if they meet his needs, I imagine they will meet yours.

The only real "good" or "bad" thing about any of those companies in my opinion is just the level of options offered. For example, CMMG makes a barrel in darn near any configuration you can imagine. Bravo and Sabre make 1/7 chrome lined midlengths with different profiles. Armalite and RRA tend to be pretty plain jane, HBAR and 1/9 profiles only; maybe chrome-lining as an extra option. All of those companies will put out the occasional lemon and all of them generally put out good quality stuff.

benEzra
July 20, 2007, 12:31 PM
Oh, one thing to think about--I was looking at AR's a while back, and it seemed that all the manufacturers were running one to two months backordered. I don't know if that's still the case, but be prepared to be patient.

Sry0fcr
July 20, 2007, 01:40 PM
I'd take a CMMG profile 14.7" chrome lined with perm A2 & midlength gas system. Then again I'm pretty sure they're the only one's offering that configuration so it makes things a bit easier. BCM, CMMG, and Sabre seem to adhere closer to milspec by varying degrees. Keep in mind that the milspec isn't the end all of AR manufacturing but should at least be used a a starting point.

RockyMtnTactical
July 20, 2007, 01:51 PM
If it has to be a mid length, go with CMMG.

dm1333
July 20, 2007, 02:34 PM
I recently bought an upper from CMMG. I placed the order on a Sunday via the internet, the upper was delivered on Tuesday of the following week.

Eightball
July 20, 2007, 02:41 PM
Is 1/7 really all that more beneficial than 1/9? Considering I reload (well, will start reloading .223 once I have a firearm that shoots the calibre), would 1/7 be the best option? And, is there a general consensus on the chromed barrel vs. moly?

All this newfangled stuff that has occurred in the last few years, and all the companies that have sprung up, have left me horribly, horribly muddled on the whole AR thing.

EDIT: And, would it be more beneficial to go with different lower/upper combinations, even though 9 times of 10 those are the rifles I see broken in half on the firing line with people tinkering with them to get them to function, versus the rifles that are complete from a factory (and thus theoretically can be held accountable for the construction of the weapon?

RockyMtnTactical
July 20, 2007, 05:55 PM
1/7 is only preferrable if you are going to be shooting 80gr bullets. Otherwise I would recommend a 1/9. My 1/9 twist rifles haven't had issues with anything as big as 77gr and as small as 45gr.

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