The million dollar question: I'm looking for an AR, which brand?


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ElPrez231
October 27, 2008, 10:09 PM
Hey all, like my title indicates, I am planning on purchasing an AR-15 very soon (within the next week) before the potential of another assault weapons type ban following the election. I have been doing lots of research online and still can't determine which brand I want to go with, especially since there are so many manufacturers that slap their names on AR's. I am probably going to shop and purchase on this upcoming weekend. The only thing I would really prefer is the standard A2 carry handle. I am really debating between Colt (my buddy has one), Smith & Wesson (one of the oldest firearm manufacturers in the world) and Rock River Arms (currently contracted with the DEA if I'm not mistaken). Does anyone have experience with AR's in general, or with any of these manufacturers? I know Bushmasters are fairly prominent in the AR game, but have heard and read horror stories about them jamming, constantly needing service, etc. I would prefer 5.56 caliber, but that's secondary obviously to having a reliable firearm. Any suggestions and/or advice would be appreciated. Thanks!

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cchurchi
October 27, 2008, 10:14 PM
http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?t=402034

http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?t=397593&highlight=noveske

I picked the noveske CQB, However, I haven't recieved or shot it yet...

SamG.
October 27, 2008, 10:21 PM
Rock River Arms- http://www.rockriverarms.com/index.cfm

SamG.
October 27, 2008, 10:22 PM
Cheers,

Sam

ugaarguy
October 27, 2008, 10:27 PM
What's your budget, and what's your intended use?

I'd also advise you get a flat top (M4/A4) upper. With the carry handle attached it'll look just like an A2 upper, but it gives you the flexibility to change your mind later.

ElPrez231
October 28, 2008, 12:08 AM
hey all thanks for all the responses. my intended use is really all around; home defense, potential hunting, range use, etc. my budget (which from the prices i've seen is reasonable) is up to $1500 <---- but that doesn't include add-ons (scope/red dot, lights, lasers, etc). i guess i'll just have to go around to my local gun shops this weekend and see who has what. if anyone else has any suggestions i'm all ears, thanks!

Marcus L.
October 28, 2008, 12:13 AM
Colt, FN--because they follow the TDP

LMT--because they have access to and generally follow the TDP.

Noveske and MSTN--because they produce very accurate custom AR15's that work.

HK416--because it has proven to be a very durable and reliable short barrel AR.


TDP stands for Technical Data Package or blue print for the US military. This is the proven standard which has had over 40yrs of combat evolution behind it. Here's a good chart to give you info on a number of AR manufacturers:
http://img206.imageshack.us/img206/713/080527arcomparisonchartnp2.th.jpg (http://img206.imageshack.us/my.php?image=080527arcomparisonchartnp2.jpg)http://img206.imageshack.us/images/thpix.gif (http://g.imageshack.us/thpix.php)

mljdeckard
October 28, 2008, 12:33 AM
Worry of a new AWB is selling a LOT of ARs these days. :)

7.62shooter
October 28, 2008, 01:53 AM
NOVESKE N4 LITE REECE!!!!!!!!!!!!!:what:D

ugaarguy
October 28, 2008, 04:06 AM
El Prez, take a look here http://spreadsheets.google.com/ccc?key=pwswheghNQsEuEhjFwPrgTA&hl=en. Decide what features are important to you and buy accordingly. That document was compiled by Rob_S who is a member of THR, M4Carbine.net, and probably a few other forums. The chart itself doesn't mean much unless you read about on the first page, or already know, the significance of the features. Hopefully that helps you out.

Ala Dan
October 28, 2008, 04:15 AM
COLT~!


McCain-Palin On Nov. 4th~!

RockyMtnTactical
October 28, 2008, 04:39 AM
Noveske, LMT, Stag Arms. In that order...

rangerruck
October 28, 2008, 05:04 AM
if you are thinking of down the road value at all, colt is all you need to know. they will never go down in value, and as a matter of fact, only go up.

all others will stay the same, or go down in value.

Otherwise I agree with marcus, and will also throw in Bushmaster/remington, and patriot or any other piston drive right now. if you allready have an ar, and want to convert it to piston, I would get the Osprey Defense conversion.

ugaarguy
October 28, 2008, 05:06 AM
Noveske, Colt, LMT, Charles Daly, Smith & Wesson, Stag Arms. In that order...
I fixed it for you.

JEL
October 28, 2008, 05:23 AM
Noveske, LMT, Stag Arms. In that order...So you're saying you would prefer a Stag over a Colt or Sabre?

rob_s
October 28, 2008, 07:27 AM
I'll second the motion that you should get a flattop. Even if you just shoot it with the iron sights now, having the flexibility to do more later is a good thing.

RockyMtnTactical
October 28, 2008, 02:14 PM
So you're saying you would prefer a Stag over a Colt or Sabre?

No, I am saying that those 3 companies cover everything that needs to be covered.

If you want the best, Noveske is it.

If you want a close second for less $$, LMT is it (and yes, I prefer them over Colt and Sabre).

If you want the best bang for the buck, get a Stag Arms.

rob_s
October 28, 2008, 02:19 PM
I agree that AT THE PRICE POINT, Stag is a good deal.

Personally I would always choose to save up another $100 and get something else, but if you're limited to the Stag price, then I'd choose that over all others at that price, and even some that are more expensive.

Buy a spare, better quality BCG, (and you should buy a spare anyway) and use it as the primary, and it really improves.

Elbeeo
October 28, 2008, 02:27 PM
I've got a Noveske rifle on the way (should get it Friday) and my other AR is a S&W M&P.

The only thing I'm going to do with the Noveske is switch the BCG to an LMT standard F/A BCG. The Noveske BCG is the only thing that is lacking compared to others. Their barrels seem to be by far the best, but I won't know how much better until this weekend ;)

If you search ar15.com and m4carbine.net, you'll find a lot of discussion on what you should be looking for.

S&W makes an awesome AR-15 minus the barrel. The barrel is of lower quality than Colt, LMT, and certainly Noveske.

Toten Kopf
October 28, 2008, 04:18 PM
The only thing that I can add is... don't wait. A lot of vendor's are sold out and it could be a few months until they recover and then it could be to late.

Some vendor's show that they have items in stock, that is until you order it. 8-12 week wait (or longer) for some items.

ugaarguy
October 28, 2008, 04:35 PM
I have heard it said that buying a Rock River Arms lower along with a White Oak Armament upper receiver is a superb option.
It is - only if you want a long range competition AR. If you want an AR for defensive use look at Colt, LMT, Noveske, Daly, Stag, and S&W. Go read the info in the link I posted, and you'll see why.
S&W makes an awesome AR-15 minus the barrel. The barrel is of lower quality than Colt, LMT, and certainly Noveske.
I don't know where you came up with that. The very early S&Ws that were built by Stag (and had major issues) had barrels made by Mossberg. Once S&W brought production in house they started using barrels made by Thomson Center Arms (who they own). I'd put T/C barrels up against anyones in terms of quality.

RockyMtnTactical
October 28, 2008, 05:05 PM
I think he is referring to the barrel steel...

Ratshooter
October 28, 2008, 05:14 PM
I'm not trying to hijack the thread but are the DPMS rifles in the running at all?

My local gunshop has one that I liked. It was light, not heavy like most of the ARs I have looked at. It had the front sight and a rail over the receiver but no carry handle. I like the handle. The price was $900.

So how does this gun compare to the others listed. I'm like the OP. I have an interest but know absolutly nothing about these rifles. I've never really liked them but my interst in them is up. Thanks.

Elbeeo
October 28, 2008, 06:50 PM
I don't know where you came up with that. The very early S&Ws that were built by Stag (and had major issues) had barrels made by Mossberg. Once S&W brought production in house they started using barrels made by Thomson Center Arms (who they own). I'd put T/C barrels up against anyones in terms of quality.

I think he is referring to the barrel steel...

Exactly ;)

The barrel steel itself is of lower quality as far as I understand, at least according to what I've read, it isn't mil-spec and it uses a 1:9 twist, though the latter is debatable as to whether its "worse". I only fire 55-60gr ammo out of my M&P, so it works out just fine for that. Longer/Heavier bullets might have issues.

Ratshooter, for that price, I'd be looking at the S&W M&P series. Much better overall than the DPMS offerings.

skwab
October 28, 2008, 07:02 PM
Just picked up one a few weeks ago - went with an M&P15 and it's been great. My local gun store had a couple in stock so I got my immediate gratification. Added a Troy industries drop in forend and a bunch of PMAGS and I'm more than happy.

geophysicishooter
October 28, 2008, 07:15 PM
I have the DPMS AP4. I think I gave ~820 for it. Seems to shoot well, cycles well, tight fit, nothing wrong with 1000+ down range since I got it in the spring..

others know more but I have liked my panther rifle. I'm looking for an optics option at this point. I'm pushing the limit of iron sights. I am shooting three and four inch groups of 10 or more pretty routinely at 100 yds, outdoors with wind with it. It would be interesting to see how tight it will shoot if I could actually see what I was shooting at!

3pairs12
October 28, 2008, 07:28 PM
Remington R 15. Haven't shot one yet nor talked to anybody who has, but what the heck the camo looks cool and I think they are piston operated. But really I like RRA and Model 1 isn't bad.

IndianaBoy
October 28, 2008, 07:48 PM
Unless you have a registered lower receiver, a lightning link, or a DIAS...you will never be able to tell if your barrel is made of 4140 or 4150 steel.

I have run my built AR pretty hard. The one time it has jammed was a combination of 400+ rounds with excessive lubricant followed by a couple of hours in 20 degree weather. After that it failed to strip a round off the top of a full 30 round mag.

I used an upper from J&T Distributing (i think they use mega/doublestar uppers and lowers), an ER Shaw barrel, CMT MP bolt carrier group.. and a *gasp* dpms stripped lower and LPK. I bought the STAG 6-position stock for the mil-spec buffer tube.

Everyone... COLT, FN, STAG, DPMS, Bushmaster... they all get their raw forgings from a handful of places. Alcoa, Anchor Harvey, Cerro Forge... maybe a couple of others.

MPI internals are worth it... but they arent guaranteed not to fail.


Barrel twist is a matter of stabilization... 1:7 is not automatically better than 1:9. If you want to shoot varmints with frangible bullets, 1:7 is a poor choice. If you want to shoot 600 yards with 77gr SMK ammo, it is an excellent choice.


99% of AR shooters will be just as well served with a DPMS as they would with a Colt 6920.

If you plan to trust your life to a rifle like so many Colt fans espouse.... you should be inspecting and testing the staking/internals and shooting a lot of rounds. Relying on Colt to QC for you is not the only way to get yourself a reliable AR.

ugaarguy
October 28, 2008, 09:16 PM
Everyone... COLT, FN, STAG, DPMS, Bushmaster... they all get their raw forgings from a handful of places. Alcoa, Anchor Harvey, Cerro Forge... maybe a couple of others.
Yes, but Colt, FN, LMT, and a handful of others do better final machining on those 80 % forgings than most others do.
Remington R 15. Haven't shot one yet nor talked to anybody who has, but what the heck the camo looks cool and I think they are piston operated. But really I like RRA and Model 1 isn't bad.
They're direct gas impingement operated, and they're nothing more than rebadged Bushmaster parts assembled at Remington in Ilion, NY. The few I've handled seemed to be pretty well assembled, and, while they aren't Colt parts, Bushmaster parts are still pretty good.

atlanticfire
October 28, 2008, 10:13 PM
RRA and if you have the money Noveske

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