Who Makes The Best AR 15?


PDA






rugerman07
November 21, 2008, 08:36 PM
What do you think?

If you enjoyed reading about "Who Makes The Best AR 15?" here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!
longdayjake
November 21, 2008, 08:38 PM
probably whoever you bought yours from. Or atleast that is what most people are going to say.

CountGlockula
November 21, 2008, 08:42 PM
Other...Rock River Arms.

ugaarguy
November 21, 2008, 08:43 PM
This really belongs in Rifle Country, but before anyone can answer that question we must ask you another: For what purpose?

A Colt 6920 is a great M4 style defensive carbines for heavy use. A Sabre Heavy Bench Target model is a great bench rest / varmint AR. Using either for the other's role wouldn't work too well.

Samgotit
November 21, 2008, 08:53 PM
http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?t=394809&highlight=best+ar-15

http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?t=372198&highlight=best+ar-15

http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?t=371721&highlight=best+ar-15

http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?t=339469&highlight=best+ar-15

rugerman07
November 21, 2008, 09:02 PM
Sorry if I posted this on the wrong thread, feel free to move it to Rifle Country.

I'm talking about overall quality of AR 15's.

|0O0y
November 21, 2008, 09:09 PM
Other...Rock River Arms.LOL the dude forgot rock river :D

I'm rarely proud to be an American, but the very fact that there are so many AR manufacturers in this country that a gun dude on a gun forum forgets a major one in a list, makes me VERY proud. Take THAT canadia. In your FACE my ancestral home of Great Britain! :neener: Eat it obama admin.

He remembers vulcan but not Del-Ton or Les Baer. Hmm. Just givin' grief. Kuna matata.

bglz42
November 21, 2008, 09:14 PM
Rock River.

Justin
November 21, 2008, 09:17 PM
White Oak Precision for High Power. JP Enterprises for Multigun. Rock River for everything else.

big_bang
November 21, 2008, 09:19 PM
What about LMT or Noveske?

gvnwst
November 21, 2008, 09:21 PM
You for got POF, LMT, and Noveske. Those are better, IMO.

ugaarguy
November 21, 2008, 09:49 PM
I'm talking about overall quality of AR 15's.
For overall quality in the widest variety of configurations I'd say Sabre or Smith & Wesson. For hard use defensive carbines Colt and LMT are two of the best out there. Bushmaster, Rock River, Armalite, and DPMS offer some great target AR-15s. Noveske is supposed to be great, but I no experience with them.

Sabre, and LMT are the only two manufacturers who currently make every critical component (receivers, barrel, bolt carrier group) in house. Smith & Wesson has gone from having Stag / CMT assemble guns for them under contract to making almost everything in house. S&W will soon be manufacturing their own bolt carrier groups; making sights and plastic furniture the only parts they outsource. Stag / CMT is one of the largest suppliers of receivers and BCGs to the rest of the industry (I'm not sure if they make their bbls or purchase from another manufacturer). So, outside of those four - Stag / CMT, S&W, Sabre, and LMT - everyone else is assembling AR-15s from other companies' parts.

Some make more of their own parts than others though. Bushmaster makes their own barrels and BCGs, as does Colt. Colt has the capability to make their own receivers, but frequently outsources to keep pace with contract demand. Others, like Olympic with their match barrels, can make some excellent individual components in house.

Thermactor
November 21, 2008, 09:49 PM
Vulcan/Hesse, no question.




















:p

biggiesmalls
November 21, 2008, 10:11 PM
Rock River if you're talking an assembly line gun that doesn't look or feel like one.

Frog48
November 21, 2008, 10:14 PM
AR's are like ice cream. Whats "best" depends on personal taste.

I have a Bushmaster and a DPMS. I cant say that I like one any more than the other. I love them both. :D

HOLY DIVER
November 21, 2008, 10:40 PM
i voted outher
DEL-TON was not on the list

Javelin
November 21, 2008, 11:01 PM
Noveske....if you have the $ to spend.

:)

Bozo
November 21, 2008, 11:24 PM
Fulton Armory was not on the list. Although they no longer make the AR15.

Flatbedder
November 21, 2008, 11:25 PM
Les Baer

Gunnerpalace
November 22, 2008, 12:01 AM
IBTC :cool:

Quick Karl
November 22, 2008, 12:08 AM
I do :neener:

http://i138.photobucket.com/albums/q248/karlar58/SPR0109-06-08.jpg

http://i138.photobucket.com/albums/q248/karlar58/378jpg.jpg

20" Schneider hand-lapped SS 7-twist 5-poly SPR profile .096" gas port
Genuine Colt M4 Upper
MEGA Machine Shop lower (The best there is)
Knights 12" Free Float RAS
Leupold Mark IV 4.5-14 x 40MM PR
ADM Recon Scope Mount (Quick Detach)
3.5-lb single stage trigger
GG&G A2 BUIS
GG&G Flip-up Front Sight for rails (coming soon)
Aimpoint (coming soon)

Sorry not for sale :)

SpeedAKL
November 22, 2008, 12:53 AM
"Other", if you wanna pay....

Noveske, JP Rifles, LWRC, Sabre, etc

Spyvie
November 22, 2008, 01:41 AM
I'm no expert, but I'm happy with my Rock River middy...

http://i82.photobucket.com/albums/j260/spyvie/DSCN2385-1.jpg

Erik
November 22, 2008, 12:54 PM
Colt and FN are the Top Tier vendors; Colt is available to the general public, FN is not. Everyone else is a compromise from the milspec standard, with Noveske and LMT coming closest to "the standard."

Rob S (www.tacticalyellowvisor.net) has earned himself acclaim for his peer reviewed carbine chart. Expect the points to be valid regardless of barrel length, configuration, etc. Quality being quality, and lack of it... lack of it..

http://www.tacticalyellowvisor.net/69016/68995.html

Perhaps the best thread on the net concerning the topic:
http://www.m4carbine.net/showthread.php?t=6642

Note: A search there reveals plenty of "off the chart" model comparisons. So if your pet AR hasn't made the chart, and you're curious as to where it stands, the info is a search, and some reading, away.

Speaking of best threads, here's another:
http://www.m4carbine.net/showthread.php?t=7355

H2O MAN
November 22, 2008, 01:01 PM
I will :cool:

NOVESKE 16" N4 Light Recce Low-Profile Upper
POF Billet Aluminum Lower from 7075-T6 Aluminum.
Geissele DMR Trigger... maybe the SSA
Colt lower receiver parts kit and A2 butt stock kit.

I hope to have everything assembled soon :evil:






.

vanfunk
November 22, 2008, 01:47 PM
For a factory M4 destined for "serious social purposes", the Colt 6920 is head and shoulders above the offerings of Bushmaster, Armalite, RRA, DPMS, et alia. Of the "boutique" brands, Noveske gets the nod, with Sabre Defense a close second. Les Baer and Wilson Combat offer no advantages for a fighting gun, though their target rifles are nice.

vanfunk

possum
November 22, 2008, 02:25 PM
Defensive edge(slr-15) inparticular the "Grail" by Greg Sullivan

jaholder1971
November 22, 2008, 03:10 PM
In a nutshell: They're all good.

It's pretty difficult to screw up building an AR 15. It's pretty much a matter of cosmetics, customer service and personal choice.

H2O MAN
November 22, 2008, 04:31 PM
I was not aware that I had a "boutique" brand AR until just recently... :cool:

tnieto2004
November 22, 2008, 04:31 PM
Rra imo

rodinal220
November 22, 2008, 05:47 PM
Most companies that sell AR15s don't make anything.They assemble guns from parts from outside vendors,the AR15 industry is a "house of leggo".They are buying alot of their parts from the same sources.

The AR15 by which all others are compared to is Colt.While Colt doesn't make as many components in house as they used to they use quality vendors like Continental Machine Tool,Creed Monarch,and others.

Lower forged receivers are primarily made by 4 manufacturers for the industry,CMT,LMT,LAR,MMS.The major difference between them is logos,markings and color,forge flashing.

If you don't want to pay prancing pony prices but want the quality build your own.

I recommend for Tier 1 parts:

BCM uppers
BCM bolts and bolt carrier groups.
BCM has CMT charging handles,same supplier to Colt.
BCM Colt M4 stocks
G&R tactical lower fire control parts set.

Forged lower of your choice,DPMS,Stag,RRA,Armalite,Bushmaster,Barrett,they are all the same.Choose the logo and markings you like and match for color.

Add BUIS of your choice from vendors like ARMS,GG&G,MWI,etc.

Stocks from MagPul,Vltor,etc with mil-spec receiver extensions.

The kits from the bigger AR15 vendors are fine for "hobby level" AR15s.

***Avoid anything Hesse,Vulcan,Blackthorne***


http://www.bravocompanyusa.com/

http://www.gandrtactical.com/

againstthagrane
November 23, 2008, 11:50 PM
noveske and lwrc make some pretty amazing ones.

BushyGuy
October 29, 2009, 07:18 PM
i fired several different AR15's i found Bushmaster to be my favorite with price and accuracy.

weet
October 29, 2009, 07:43 PM
rock river. with two stage trigger:D

Texpatriate
October 29, 2009, 08:38 PM
Who Makes The Best AR 15?
What do you think?

You can pretty much cut the list off after the first one. The rest of them aren't going to pass muster, except maybe the Smith & Wesson. I'm no colt fanboy, but they would be in my top 5. My other 4 didn't even make your list. When it comes to quality builders of AR-15's, I think you might need to broaden your horizons.

My other 4 would be:
Noveske
Bravo Company (BCM)
Daniel Defense
Lewis Machine & Tool (LMT)

Dr. Tad Hussein Winslow
October 29, 2009, 08:39 PM
You left off about 2/3rds to 3/4ths of the options, but.....

Vulcan or bust, baby! :)

Rokman
October 29, 2009, 08:41 PM
I like my RRA and the ones that I have put together. I don't fight with them, so I am not an expert.

DIM
October 29, 2009, 08:47 PM
Did anyone mentioned Knights Mfg Co? O yeah they not AR they SR :D

PT1911
October 29, 2009, 08:50 PM
I am pretty damn happy with my rock river and DPMS.. the RR is the nicer of the two.

Otto
October 29, 2009, 09:06 PM
Most companies that sell AR15s don't make anything.They assemble guns from parts from outside vendors,the AR15 industry is a "house of leggo".They are buying alot of their parts from the same sources.Yep, and that's especially true with lower receivers.
As an example, Continental Machine & Tool makes the lowers for the following, which is a huge segment of the AR market.


Stag
Rock River Arms
High Standard
Noveske
Century (New)
Global Tactical
CLE
S&W
MGI
Wilson Tactical
Grenadier Precision
Colt

jkingrph
October 29, 2009, 09:06 PM
Define best!

Actually with all the excellent parts available out there I am thinking you can build a best yourself, probably for less than a named brand. This way you can get exactly what you want, if no "manufacturer" makes exactly what you want.

I just completed my first, probably did not save anything, but then I used top quality parts, did not have to discard anything to "upgrade", and took my time to carefully fit the few critical items, barrel nut for gas tube clearance, gas block, aligned rail perfectly with upper receiver and gas block. Other things are just a matter of being careful, lubing parts as you assemble and being careful not to scratch or damage roll pins.

smoketheresfire
October 29, 2009, 11:16 PM
Colt
BCM (rep for being the best for the money)
Noveske (rep for having the best fit and finish)
LMT (though MIM gas key has tarnished their rep)

Although they make good guns, Rock River and S&W are NOT top tier ar's, period.

Mags
October 29, 2009, 11:27 PM
Steel is steel and aluminium is aluminium, as long as its all forged its good stuff.

Maverick223
October 29, 2009, 11:47 PM
I like POF...and am unbiased as I do not own any make of AR-15. Personally I favor a GP operated rifle over the DI system in any make. :)

hokeyplyr48
October 30, 2009, 10:06 AM
Just build your own...
Use nice parts like (noveske, white oak, etc.)
get a nice barrel (krieger, lilja, WOA, etc.)

It'll be nice and just the way you want it from the beginning.

sleepyone
October 30, 2009, 10:30 AM
Bushmaster and DPMS are the same company as far as I know. Just because they are the most popular does not make them the best. Colts are way overpriced. I like my S&W M&P

sneedb82
October 30, 2009, 10:47 AM
Mine is...

Mega Machine Gator Lower w/ CMT parts inside (waiting on a Timney 4#) and WOA 6.8SPC Midlength SS barrel, Troy MRF Rifle Length Hand guards attached to a Mega Machine Upper.

Very mil-spec parts, cheaper than Colt, and same quality. It's a 6.8SPC :)

Z-Michigan
October 30, 2009, 11:46 AM
A year old poll resurrected... hmmm. Nothing on the poll list would be my pick for best, and I'm quite amused at the Vulcan entry (would be on most lists of worst, though that's only hearsay for me).

Lots of companies make good ARs these days. From what I hear, only, I would guess that Colt, Noveske, Knight's, or Bravo Company would be the best. I don't own any of those or have current plans to.

The other "best" is one you assemble yourself from top quality parts...

zstephens13
October 30, 2009, 02:11 PM
Rock River Arms.

OhioChief
October 30, 2009, 02:51 PM
I think Colt, but to each his own. When I was doing my research I thought these sites were of value:
http://www.kc7hxc.us/links/gun/ar15/AR-15%20Man%20Comparison.html
http://spreadsheets.google.com/ccc?key=pwswheghNQsEuEhjFwPrgTA&hl=en http://zombiehunters.org/forum/viewtopic.php?f=16&p=681708

I think for the price, and the fact that Colt can buy high quality materials cheaper because of their purchase volume, they can construct a higher quality guy at a lower price. I love the one I bought.

OhioChief
October 30, 2009, 02:52 PM
If you go to http://spreadsheets.google.com/ccc?key=pwswheghNQsEuEhjFwPrgTA&hl=en

click on the "Comparison" tab at the bottom right side.

natescout
October 30, 2009, 02:53 PM
Ruger !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

CoRoMo
October 30, 2009, 02:57 PM
Ugh! I thought this was a new thread!


Not that a new thread would make this subject any more palatable.:D

RP88
October 30, 2009, 03:03 PM
Vulcan arms - 3 votes

glad to see a healthy dose of humor from some of our users! :evil::p

frankiestoys
October 30, 2009, 03:15 PM
I think the new Ruger SR-556 is going to make a deep impression on the AR world, if its as tough as the rest of the Ruger line up.

RockyMtnTactical
October 30, 2009, 03:22 PM
Of those you listed, Colt. I really like BCM, LMT, Noveske. Stag wins best value award.

snakyjake
October 30, 2009, 05:51 PM
No expert, but here's what makes logical sense to me:

a. 6.8mm SPC = bigger hole.
I don't shoot full auto, so the recoil shouldn't be a big deal.

b. Gas piston = cleaner = more reliable.
Like a AK47. I've read one story about one person's opinion about piston not being as reliable as DI. But I still see reputable manufactures making them.

mljdeckard
October 30, 2009, 08:10 PM
All of the brands you listed are economy brands except Colt. (And I think Colt is a bit overpriced.) I do think that the vast majority of shooters will do fine with an economy rifle.

If you are looking for BEST, and not 'best for the money', you need to include Noveske, Daniel Defense, Lewis Machine & Tool, etc.

mesinge2
October 30, 2009, 08:14 PM
fulton armory

108253

http://www.fulton-armory.com/

Z-Michigan
October 30, 2009, 08:34 PM
a. 6.8mm SPC = bigger hole.
I don't shoot full auto, so the recoil shouldn't be a big deal.

1) Do you get all your ammo for free? If not, how does paying 35 cents/rd compare to $1.00/rd?

2) Would you ever want a follow-up shot or are you only hunting and never miss?

3) You are aware that 6.8 SPC was botched in the original SAAMI spec and development, and you need very particular barrel designs to get anything over about 2600fps from a 115gr bullet?

b. Gas piston = cleaner = more reliable.
Like a AK47. I've read one story about one person's opinion about piston not being as reliable as DI. But I still see reputable manufactures making them.

Lots of reputable manufacturers will make whatever will sell. Nearly all of the gas-piston AR15 conversions, including those made from the factory like the Ruger SR556, have carrier tilt issues and are dubious in terms of any real reliability benefit. They also generally have inferior accuracy and are more front-heavy. Better off to have a gun with the setup it was originally engineered for. If you want a gas piston, think SCAR, XCR, or Remington ACR (Magpul Masada).

Agent Smith
October 30, 2009, 09:12 PM
MIM gas key is superior to forged a forged key according to LMT engineers. Get your facts straight.

smoketheresfire
October 30, 2009, 11:14 PM
I don't think most people who know ar's would agree with you. Plus I did not present any facts about the strength/weakness of MIM, I simply stated that the mim is not considered as desirable as forged and LMT's reputation has suffered because of that. Don't get your gas key in a bunch, I still would love to have an LMT ar. Unlike a lot of the ridiculous suggestions here LMT actually IS a top tier ar15.

Mags
October 30, 2009, 11:24 PM
Metal is metal guys as long as it's forged who cares what it says on the left side of the mag well!

smoketheresfire
October 30, 2009, 11:35 PM
There's a whole lot more to it than that. Thats no more true than saying "a 1911's a 1911"

Mags
October 30, 2009, 11:36 PM
I really think it is an ego thing, obviously you can tell I built my own from my responses.

SwampWolf
October 31, 2009, 12:22 AM
Chose "other"- I like the rocking Rock River Arms.

mljdeckard
October 31, 2009, 12:26 AM
Mags, I'll take it a step further. I won't even insist that it's forged as long as it's in-spec.

smoketheresfire
October 31, 2009, 12:51 AM
I built (not slapped an upper and lower together, but actually assembled from springs and pins) mine as well. And there's no ego to it. My build was not a no expenses spared super ar. It was the best milspec parts available, within reason. Sure wish I could have a noveske barrel, kac rail, and ubr stock...but I didn't have enough money. I did drop the money where it counts (bcg, barrel, etc).
The ego part comes in when people go out, buy a basic ar off the rack, then come here, knowing next to nothing about ar's and state that the brand they happened to buy is the best ar. That said, having a tier 1 ar does not make you a more effective shooter, it just means your chances of a malfunction are reduced and your weapon can withstand more punishment.

Mags
October 31, 2009, 12:54 AM
I meant ego thing with the whole battle of the brands one is better than the other.

snakyjake
October 31, 2009, 12:59 AM
Z-Michigan, thanks for your reply. You make some very good points.

I've been looking at an AR mostly for self defense and hunting.




Quote:
a. 6.8mm SPC = bigger hole.
I don't shoot full auto, so the recoil shouldn't be a big deal.
1) Do you get all your ammo for free? If not, how does paying 35 cents/rd compare to $1.00/rd?

2) Would you ever want a follow-up shot or are you only hunting and never miss?

3) You are aware that 6.8 SPC was botched in the original SAAMI spec and development, and you need very particular barrel designs to get anything over about 2600fps from a 115gr bullet?

Quote:
b. Gas piston = cleaner = more reliable.
Like a AK47. I've read one story about one person's opinion about piston not being as reliable as DI. But I still see reputable manufactures making them.
Lots of reputable manufacturers will make whatever will sell. Nearly all of the gas-piston AR15 conversions, including those made from the factory like the Ruger SR556, have carrier tilt issues and are dubious in terms of any real reliability benefit. They also generally have inferior accuracy and are more front-heavy. Better off to have a gun with the setup it was originally engineered for. If you want a gas piston, think SCAR, XCR, or Remington ACR (Magpul Masada).

Avenger29
October 31, 2009, 01:28 AM
I researched and priced parts and building for two years in a search for my first AR.

Ended up with LMT for just over $1K, it would have cost me more to build the rifle from parts than buy it.

Believe me, I penny pinch and scrimp and save like no one, and I didn't buy because of "brand". When I tell someone at the range that I have an LMT, most go "Huh? Never heard of them."

Texpatriate
October 31, 2009, 01:48 AM
Mags-
I mean no disrespect my friend, but there is a difference in quality between the various manufacturers. Sometimes a significant difference. I'll concede that yes, lowers are pretty much the same, but there is a whole lot more that goes into an AR than just a lower. The differences in parts and quality is quantifiable:
http://spreadsheets.google.com/pub?key=pwswheghNQsEuEhjFwPrgTA&single=true&gid=5&output=html
http://m4carbine.net/showthread.php?t=6993
http://www.m4carbine.net/showthread.php?t=7263

If you build with the same quality parts as a tier one manufacturer, use the proper tools, AND you actually know what you're doing, then yes, you can (theoretically at least) build an AR of same quality as a tier one manufacturer.

But parts, ain't just parts. A DPMS lower parts kit is not the same quality as a Colt or Daniel Defense lower parts kit. 4150 barrel steal is better quality than 4140. A Tapco buffer spring is not the same quality as a BCM buffer spring. A poorly staked and untorqued gas key WILL likely fail before a properly staked and properly torqued key will. A MPI/HPT/Shot Peened bolt is LESS likely to fail than an untested one or a batch tested one. Etc., etc., etc.

Avenger29
October 31, 2009, 01:54 AM
Oh, you done done it now, Texpatriate. Breaking out The [much hated] Chart!

Texpatriate
October 31, 2009, 02:11 AM
Yep. Sorry dude. I love the chart. But even without the chart, there's still a difference.

Avenger29
October 31, 2009, 02:18 AM
Yep. Sorry dude. I love the chart. But even without the chart, there's still a difference.

Oh, I'm entirely on your side. It's just that mentioning The Chart brings out such a wailing and gnashing of the teeth...

BMF500
October 31, 2009, 02:25 AM
Let's not and say we did....

AirborneNCO
October 31, 2009, 03:18 AM
Question for the experts here: When I was on Colt's web site, they state clearly:

"Colt Defense LLC is the sole source supplier of the M4 Carbine to the US military and the only manufacturer worldwide that meets or exceeds all US military specifications for the weapon."

Can anybody here offer knowledge of any military specifications that particular other brands DON'T meet? In any case, I'd imagine that type of information would be difficult to find. Kudos to whoever can come up with some info on that.

As for my personal opinion on the best, I honestly don't really know. I own a Bushmaster XM-15E2S and so far it hasn't had a single malfunction; I've put about 500 rounds through it. However, I'd be tempted to guess toward Colt, only because they've had the flame under their rear end to meet mil specs. I can't say for sure if that alone would make them better or not on the hair splitting level, hence the earlier question. I'm guessing the manufacturing process is what really counts when judging here, since externals and furniture aren't really as crucial as the parts that actually make it go bang time after time in less than perfect conditions.

kwelz
October 31, 2009, 03:25 AM
The chart that was listed above gives the breakdown of what a lot of other makers don't provide. Some use cheaper steel, they don't use the correct barrel twist, Don't MP Test parts, etc.

AirborneNCO
October 31, 2009, 03:43 AM
Got it, thanks man. Wow, it's an eye opener. I see my Bushmaster in a whole new light. Not that it's a bad weapon, but it just looks like a piece of rubber dog x on this comparison chart.

kwelz
October 31, 2009, 04:24 AM
Some people will be shocked at me saying this. But don't go selling off your BM just yet. The chart must be put in perspective. As I stated above it is for people who are looking for a rifle close to or equal to the TDP and to see where various options stack up.

Will a BM or RRA work fine for most shooters? Probably so. But if you are really worried about it then there are a number of very easy steps you can take to check for an correct any shortcomings in the weapon. Some are just small tweaks. A few are replacement parts that don't cost a lot.

Check out this thread at M4C.net to find out more.
http://www.m4carbine.net/showthread.php?t=7376
It was written by the same guy who made the chart and is very helpful.

I have had Bushmasters go thousands of rounds with no problem. I have also seem them **** out early on and need some work. I just sold my BM to my best friend. If I didn't think the gun was reliable for his needs I would not have sold it to him. It all depends on what you need and what you plan to do with the gun. Shoot a couple hundred rounds a month? Don't get an Oly or Vulcan and you are fine. Shoot 1000+ per weekend, go to classes, crawl through the sandbox, etc. Then you want to stay to the left of the chart.

Gary G23
October 31, 2009, 07:34 AM
This is not really subjective at all.
4150CMV barrel steel is better than 4140.
A 158 Carpenter Steel bolt is stronger than an 8620 bolt.
A 7075-T6 receiver extension is stronger than a 6061 piece.

nwilliams
October 31, 2009, 08:32 AM
Best for the money my vote goes to Stag, I love my Model 3.

Best for quality, I have no idea but I'd sure love to own a JP Enterprises AR someday. I can dream:rolleyes:

Texpatriate
October 31, 2009, 01:34 PM
I see my Bushmaster in a whole new light. Not that it's a bad weapon, but it just looks like a piece of rubber dog x on this comparison chart.

AirborneNCO-
Don't misinterpret the chart. It is simply a tool to show how the various manufacturers (not exhaustively) parts and assembly processes compare to a certain standard established by the U.S. Military called the "Technical Data Package" (TDP). The TDP is the minimum standard which the Army has set as a quality control for the M4 carried by our troops.

Does that mean that your Bushmaster is in danger of falling apart at any moment? No. Does it mean that it's no good as a paper puncher or hunting arm? No. Does if mean that you dare not trust it as your primary home defense arm? With some minor improvements, good mags and ammo, training, and proper maintenance, it'll probably be great in that roll. Does it mean that Bushy's probably not ready to roll out to Fallujah/Afghanistan tomorrow to take on Osama bin Hussein in the sandbox? Well, yes, that would probably be a bad idea, even if it DID have a 3 rd. burst selector. The army knows (or at least thinks it knows.....) what the requirements are for a battle rifle. I am personally inclined to think that they know what they're talking about. Others may disagree.

The improvements you might consider first would be to the bolt carrier group. Check and see if the gas key is properly staked. If it's not (and it most likely is not from my experiences with BM), then either take the necessary steps to have it staked (or do it yourself with a MOAKS tool from Brownells). Next, replace the extractor spring and insert with this kit (http://www.bravocompanyusa.com/BCM-Extractor-Spring-Uprade-Kit-p/bcm%20extractor%20spring%20upgrade.htm). If you have a carbine length gas system, use the included O-ring. If you have a rifle length or mid-length, the O-ring is unnecessary. Or you could simply replace the entire bolt carrier group with a full auto/M16 one (perfectly legal) made by Colt, BCM, LMT, or Daniel Defense. Their BCG's will be good to go, plus you will get the added benefit of a heavier M16 bolt carrier, and a A MPI/HPT/Shot Peened bolt with the proper extraction spring and insert already installed. Keep the old Bushmaster bolt as a spare, and sell the Bushmaster carrier.

Next, if you have a carbine receiver extension, consider changing out the buffer for a H or H2 buffer, if you are having any extraction issues. If you can go through several hundred rounds and there are no issues, then you might just leave it alone. Finally, stake the castle nut.

If you do all of that, your Bushmaster should be ready to rumble, for all practical purposes. Of course, you could make further improvements, but these are the ones that will get you the most bang for your buck.

kwelz
October 31, 2009, 01:48 PM
I think you are confusing me with the other poster :P

jem375
October 31, 2009, 02:05 PM
don't forget that the military uses fully auto AR's and all that mil spec stuff is for their benefit. Most AR manufacturers make excellent rifles for the general population to use and the tier system is just someone's opinion in the first place. And it is also obvious that the M4's over in combat are having their problems as of late, and a lot of the problems in any rifle is with the person taking care of their rifles.

Texpatriate
October 31, 2009, 03:21 PM
I think you are confusing me with the other poster :P

OOPS!!! Fixed it.

kwelz
October 31, 2009, 03:36 PM
I have seen some BS in the media about problems with the M4 in Iraq/Afghanistan however not a single person I have spoken to who was personally over there has had or heard of a single issue.

Texpatriate
October 31, 2009, 03:42 PM
the tier system is just someone's opinion in the first place.

I don't want to veer the thread, but I disagree. There is no official "tier system", as you call it. When someone calls a certain company a "tier 1 manufacturer", all they are saying is that the "M4 style" rifles that said manufacturer builds are in close conformity with the TDP. "Tier 2" comes close and is good quality for most shooters, but does not conform to TDP. "Tier 3" ain't even trying. The point is, this is not just "opinion" but actually verifiable with a little research. That is exactly what the purpose of the chart is, nothing more, nothing less, to separate verifiable conformance from just some guy's opinion.

Could Rock River, Bushmaster, DPMS, or even Olympic build a "tier 1" M4 style rifle? Yes, they could. The question is: "Why don't/won't they?" My best guess is that it's cost reduction, and not that they think they know how to build a better M4 style rifle than what the TDP calls for.

Now if you want to move beyond "M4 style" AR rifles and start talking about varmint/predator/hunting/precision or non-5.56 caliber AR rifles, then the standards change. For accuracy reasons, different barrel twist rates might be in order with lighter loads or different calibers. Stainless steel or non-chrome lined barrels might be more desirable for accuracy. A tighter .223 chamber might be better than a 5.56 chamber. Etc.

gga357
October 31, 2009, 03:54 PM
Other. POF, LWRC, Ruger

Avenger29
October 31, 2009, 05:43 PM
Can anybody here offer knowledge of any military specifications that particular other brands DON'T meet? In any case, I'd imagine that type of information would be difficult to find. Kudos to whoever can come up with some info on that.

The full specifications are contained within the Technical Data Package for the M4. Some of it has not been released to the public, so we don't know the full list. We do know a good bit of it, though, which is contained in The Chart and it's explanation. If a manufacturer wants to build an M4 to compete with Colt (Colt no longer has the sole contract) they can, and will have to meet the specifications in the TDP and provide an attractive price in the bidding.

don't forget that the military uses fully auto AR's and all that mil spec stuff is for their benefit.

Not quite. The M4 style weapons are somewhat more picky about feeding and reliability than the M16, so a lot of The Chart has items that have been figured out to enhance the reliability of the M4 style weapons. Some of the stuff on The Chart is not so critical, and some of it is rather important. Those reliability enhancements carry over to the civilian side and do not just apply to the .mil side.

Other. POF, LWRC, Ruger

In. Your. Opinion.

Ruger is brand new to the game. POF and LWRC make piston guns. I wouldn't grab one without some serious research...adding a piston does not automatically equate to "unstoppable AK like reliability" that many think it does.

atlanticfire
October 31, 2009, 06:34 PM
Noveske or Rock River. . . . . ewwwww vulcan!:barf:

Smithiac
October 31, 2009, 06:39 PM
other - the new ruger I do not own one yet but very nice

gga357
October 31, 2009, 06:52 PM
In. Your. Opinion.

Ruger is brand new to the game. POF and LWRC make piston guns. I wouldn't grab one without some serious research...adding a piston does not automatically equate to "unstoppable AK like reliability" that many think it does.

In your opinion, also. I never stated "unstoppable AK like reliability". OP asked for opinions I gave mine. I have done my research and made my decisions.

kwelz
October 31, 2009, 06:56 PM
OP asked who makes the best ARs. That is not Ruger. They are untested and based on a false assumption that Piston systems are better than DI.

gga357
October 31, 2009, 07:08 PM
Please don't get caught up in Mil Spec. It is just a list of requirements the Gov. gave to build something. Nothing mystical about it. Sometimes there are requirements that are superfluous. Sometimes not. Given time most industries will out do Mil Spec.

NCPatrolAR
October 31, 2009, 07:18 PM
Which items are superfluous in your opinion?

gga357
October 31, 2009, 07:25 PM
I am talking in general. Say why not make the key part of the carrier. No staking. I have never been in small arms design but in other areas things like that happen all the time.

Coal Dragger
October 31, 2009, 07:28 PM
From the list provided if I had to pick one to run out of the box as a hard use infantry carbine that was going to see a lot of rounds and abuse, I would pick a Colt.

There are other good choices like Noveske that are not listed, and in fact from a standpoint of some materials probably improve on the Mil-Spec.

NCPatrolAR
October 31, 2009, 08:20 PM
I am talking in general. Say why not make the key part of the carrier. No staking. I have never been in small arms design but in other areas things like that happen all the time.
When it comes to the carrier key; it is cheaper to keep it as a two piece design. If the gas tube isnt centered in the reciever, then damage can occur to the tube and the lip of the gas key. If you have the item as a single piece, then you would have to replace the entire bolt carrier instead of just the key.

NCPatrolAR
October 31, 2009, 08:23 PM
From the list provided if I had to pick one to run out of the box as a hard use infantry carbine that was going to see a lot of rounds and abuse, I would pick a Colt.

There are other good choices like Noveske that are not listed, and in fact from a standpoint of some materials probably improve on the Mil-Spec.
The Colt 6920 is pretty much the standard all others are measured against

Big Bill
October 31, 2009, 08:49 PM
Other - Ruger!

NCPatrolAR
October 31, 2009, 08:54 PM
Other - Ruger!
why?

gga357
October 31, 2009, 11:59 PM
When it comes to the carrier key; it is cheaper to keep it as a two piece design. If the gas tube isnt centered in the reciever, then damage can occur to the tube and the lip of the gas key. If you have the item as a single piece, then you would have to replace the entire bolt carrier instead of just the key.

With modern manufacturing you should be able to keep the defect rate to an acceptable level and have a better part. That would be a problem that a good proccess manager should be able to solve.

snakyjake
November 1, 2009, 12:47 AM
Might have been easier to ask the question of with AR's to stay away from, or the bottom ranked AR's.

Usually when I see this much activity on which one is best, it usually means the best hasn't been proven and a matter of opinion.

Extremely Pro Gun
November 1, 2009, 01:00 AM
COLTS SUCK!!!, I have a pic of their 22 LR offering after it fell out of our gun rack at work.(I will create a thread SOON) Needless to say it isnt pretty. (BROKE IN HALF!!!) I voted other because ARs are interchangeable mass produced guns. There are no bad ARs just bad parts. I love parts from RRA, DPMS, CMMG, Noveske, Wilson. I refuse to use parts from Colt, S&W (because I have my own issues with the company), Olympic, Double Star, Any non foraged lower. As an example, if you have a $560 Olympic stuffed full of Wilson combat parts its going to preform like a Wilson combat rifle.

This list is simply brand myopia. People are just gonna pick what they have. Honestly why would anyone vote for Olympic unless they had one. :scrutiny:

Extremely Pro Gun
November 1, 2009, 01:03 AM
Originally Posted by Big Bill
Other - Ruger!

Ruger doesn't make AR-15s they make overweight, inaccurate, hard too find parts for, piston guns. When people say, I want a piston gun because It will fire 2k rounds without cleaning I say: WOW thats really smart of you buying a $1600 gun and not cleaning it. ;) My clean AR will shoot more rounds without failure, more accurately than your filthy piston gun... I will put money on it. :cool:


Not to mention Ruger sold out to the anti-gunners and supported magazine capacity limits just to beat out competitors. :cuss:

NCPatrolAR
November 1, 2009, 01:46 AM
COLTS SUCK!!!, I have a pic of their 22 LR offering after it fell out of our gun rack at work.(I will create a thread SOON) Needless to say it isnt pretty. (BROKE IN HALF!!!) I voted other because ARs are interchangeable mass produced guns. There are no bad ARs just bad parts. I love parts from RRA, DPMS, CMMG, Noveske, Wilson. I refuse to use parts from Colt, S&W (because I have my own issues with the company), Olympic, Double Star, Any non foraged lower. As an example, if you have a $560 Olympic stuffed full of Wilson combat parts its going to preform like a Wilson combat rifle.

This list is simply brand myopia. People are just gonna pick what they have. Honestly why would anyone vote for Olympic unless they had one. :scrutiny:
The Colt 22LR ARs (which are actually made by Walther) are indeed junk.

TexasPatriot.308
November 1, 2009, 01:49 AM
Rock River Arms, for the price, the accuracy, dependability.

kwelz
November 1, 2009, 01:52 AM
COLTS SUCK!!!, I have a pic of their 22 LR offering after it fell out of our gun rack at work.(I will create a thread SOON) Needless to say it isnt pretty. (BROKE IN HALF!!!) I voted other because ARs are interchangeable mass produced guns. There are no bad ARs just bad parts. I love parts from RRA, DPMS, CMMG, Noveske, Wilson. I refuse to use parts from Colt, S&W (because I have my own issues with the company), Olympic, Double Star, Any non foraged lower. As an example, if you have a $560 Olympic stuffed full of Wilson combat parts its going to preform like a Wilson combat rifle.

There are more things wrong wih this post than I can count. But I will try anyway.

1: That "Colt" .22 isnt' a Colt. It is a Uramex. Colt licensed their name, Uramex made a crap gun and put the Colt name on it. Not a single part is made by or touched by colt.

2: Parts are not the same. They vary from company to company. Just because the outer demensions are the same does not mean the quality is the same.

3: You admit yourself that you refuse to use parts from one of the best manufacturers(Colt), along with another good if not perfect one (S&W). Then go on to list a number of second rate companies that you use instead. Honestly I was surprised to see you mention Noveske in there. With minor exceptions you are saying that you are proud of selling sub par gear.

4: In your second post above you mention that you attack Ruger for something done by a guy that isn't even alive anymore. Should we also cut off England for the war of 1812. Or perhaps Germany for WW1 and 2?

Extremely Pro Gun
November 1, 2009, 01:05 AM
1: That "Colt" .22 isnt' a Colt. It is a Uramex. Colt licensed their name, Uramex made a crap gun and put the Colt name on it. Not a single part is made by or touched by colt.
If Colt put their name on the 22lr that is indeed made by walther who is part of S&W... They are at fault for the quality of the gun. Would you put your company's name on a piece of ****?

2: Parts are not the same. They vary from company to company. Just because the outer demensions are the same does not mean the quality is the same.
I realize that part quality changes, I pointed that out in the first post.

3: You admit yourself that you refuse to use parts from one of the best manufacturers(Colt), along with another good if not perfect one (S&W). Then go on to list a number of second rate companies that you use instead. Honestly I was surprised to see you mention Noveske in there. With minor exceptions you are saying that you are proud of selling sub par gear.

I am talking about my personal rifles, I work at Academy. I sell what they buy. I have personal issues with S&W. I will not buy a Colt now, not because Colt doesn't make a fine product but because they licensed their name to a ROYAL POS!!

4: In your second post above you mention that you attack Ruger for something done by a guy that isn't even alive anymore. Should we also cut off England for the war of 1812. Or perhaps Germany for WW1 and 2?
First of al the Ruger 556 is not even an AR. Second of all just about every other Ruger off the assembly line has some kind of safety or quality recall, On top of everything if you break your god forsaken Ruger you cant just go to Brownells and order an new milspec part. You must go through Ruger.

MOST IMPORTANTLY If ANY company EVER sells out to an anti-gun lobby they are no longer worthy of my business! ;)

RP88
November 1, 2009, 01:05 AM
Or perhaps Germany for WW1 and 2?

...didn't we kind of do that?;)

I don't know if I would call CMMG, Noveske, or Wilson combat "second-rate". Are they the gold standard like Colt, BCM, Daniel Defense, and maybe LMT? No. But they all make a really good rifle, and really good rifle parts - and do so a heck of a lot better than many other companies out there that are still known for good quality ARs.

kwelz
November 1, 2009, 01:15 AM
I agree on the Ruger Rifle. I am not a fan of their AR at all. I had great hope for it when I hear it was coming out but once I saw the specs I was disappointed.

As for the political side. If we take your attitude then it is going to be hard to deal with any company or person because eventually everyone is going to do something we strongly disagree with. If bill was still in charge and still had the same attitude then I would actually agree with you. But It is a different company and a different time. We need allies, not to put companies out of business.

And as for Colt I am not saying that licensing their name was smart but it happened and if I had to guess I would say someone got **** canned over it. And I bet they have no say over the gun itself considering they have no ownership or control of the company that actually makes it. If they do you can bet there is a lot of discussion going on. But I doubt that is the case.

...didn't we kind of do that?

I don't know if I would call CMMG, Noveske, or Wilson combat "second-rate". Are they the gold standard like Colt, BCM, Daniel Defense, and maybe LMT? No. But they all make a really good rifle, and really good rifle parts - and do so a heck of a lot better than many other companies out there that are still known for good quality ARs.

Lol Good point. but they are allies now. Sorta.

I was referring to the RRA, DPMS, and other lower ranked companies he mentioned. CMMG is kind of in the middle. Noveske is obviously way up there. Wilson is ok but not really special. Especially for the money.

Benmc753
November 1, 2009, 01:26 AM
Either Colt or Panther imo.

If you enjoyed reading about "Who Makes The Best AR 15?" here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!