Best to Worst AR15 list


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Ruger
January 8, 2009, 11:06 AM
Happy New Year to all. 38 year shooter and hunter , and yes I know the difference. Please do not take that the wrong way . I am looking to add one AR15 maybe two? to my collection . I would like to know your thoughts about which of them would be on the high side - to the low side of the list. Since it would be the first AR that I purchase, I'm looking to mainly have it be something I can just have some fun with and later on add all the goodies as time goes by. If I was lucky enough to have a second I might use to hunt with just, to change it up a little. My hunting rifles are Win 70 270cal, Win 70 300wsm, Win pre 64 243 cal and ruger 44cal and a inline 50cal muzzle loader. So an AR would be different for me. Well I dont want to ramble on. So if your inclined to make a list from good to bad or best to worst, I will not hold anyone accountable for their suggestions, Im sure a post as been asked liked this before but I cant seem to find one at this time . Thank You to all who apply Ruger .

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gvnwst
January 8, 2009, 11:18 AM
High side: Noveske, POF-USA, LMT, and if you want accuracy, Les Baer. Some will say Colt, and that can be on the list too.


Low side: Vulcan-Hessan (i think i spelled that correctly)

TexasRifleman
January 8, 2009, 11:21 AM
Isn't there still an AWB of some sort in New York state? Can't remember.

That said, if you have no legal issues the list above is where I'd be looking for the best stuff.

If I were buying today I'd probably buy Noveske.

geronimo509
January 8, 2009, 11:36 AM
I really like my stag arms 2T. Its the right handed model.

lipadj46
January 8, 2009, 11:40 AM
Isn't there still an AWB of some sort in New York state? Can't remember.

Yes but you can own an AR if it does not have a flash suppressor or a threaded muzzle to accept one or any other evil attribute as it already has a removable mag and pistol grip.

gvnwst
January 8, 2009, 11:46 AM
Didn't notice he was in NY...Well, that makes it harder, most of those companies models have just that....

Duke of Doubt
January 8, 2009, 11:50 AM
I like DPMS and Bushmaster. Both are now owned by Cerberus. Prices have skyrocketed recently. Thank Circe I got my DPMS a few months ago in a trade. A good friend has a bantime-Bushmaster, but the lower receiver is all that is left of the original now.

Ruger
January 8, 2009, 11:51 AM
Thank You for your reply. I should have put in by bio that I live in NY state in the country not in NY city. I downloaded the up to date Firearms laws 4 days ago and I am still readind them LOL. The city has different laws on the books as the rest of the state. For ex: I have been a cc permit holder for 26 years., and yes I am a NY state resi. born and bred. But I can not carry in any of the buroughs of the city because I'm a country boy who lives in the woods, but yet a person who lives in or has a city issue permit can come into my back yard pakin no questions ask. Doesn't seem right were both residents of new york state , but thats the law. I dont know anything about Noveske, I will check out their site and see if theres any dealers near me. If your interested in the site for ny laws I can post it thanks

Ruger
January 8, 2009, 11:55 AM
I was watching shooting usa last night They had a new DPMS model sportactical. Has anybody seen one yet? looked nice

lipadj46
January 8, 2009, 11:56 AM
All the companies should be able to put a compliant barrel on an AR but it probably will be a custom order unless it is a match grade rife with a heavy barrel and does not have a FS. If you just want an AR for fun or hunting I would get a nice LMT or if you don't want to spend as much get a Bushmaster. A bunch of people have bought the Sportactical recently and seem to like it. Just mind the Assault Weapon laws like I said so FH or threaded barrel on a AR. The only popular rife we cannot get in NY is the AK but we can buy the Saigas.

Ruger
January 8, 2009, 12:02 PM
Yes we can have and purchase AR's provided that what ever they have from the factory is already on the rifle at time of purchase . Flash supp and muzzle are find as lond as their welded on from factory I believe as I'm still reading the laws. sometimes you need a lawer as I'm only just a graduate.

gvnwst
January 8, 2009, 12:05 PM
IIRC, muzle brakes are allowed, but no flash suppressor. Best thing is probably to go with a bull barrel with a target crown, no attacchment at all.

A question, how much $$$ do you ahve for this? Noveske and POF are well over 1.5K...

Ruger
January 8, 2009, 12:06 PM
Their selling S&W MP/15 in 5.56 at Gander Mountain for $800.00-899.00 Which have a muzzle brake and/or flash suppersor already on them

Ruger
January 8, 2009, 12:13 PM
In my own oppinion (this works for me) not everyone that I usally don't look at price provided your getting the quality that your paying for. sometimes I have to wait a little longer to own . But I want what I want when I want it ,and there is never an issue from my better half as long as it will not hurt us financily she is a very good girl. never one to question, why do you need it or whats it for Im very lucky

Ruger
January 8, 2009, 12:15 PM
I really like the Rock Rivers but that might be just a little to much for the first one I plan to have a few

gvnwst
January 8, 2009, 12:22 PM
Okay, so you are saying that price doesn't matter as long as you get quality? Then it is really just research, find which company has the set of specs that you would like, and get it. For a "standard" AR, Stag, RRA, Bushmaster, and a few others are about half the price of my top list.

TexasRifleman
January 8, 2009, 12:29 PM
I really like the Rock Rivers but that might be just a little to much for the first one I plan to have a few

So I will tell you what I say all the time, though it angers the high speed low drag crowd:

99% of the ARs on the market are perfectly fine for 99% of the shooters out there and, if you happen to be in that 1%, you know it and you don't ask the question.

Or, you are doing some kind of competitive shooting and if you are doing that, you also tend to know what you need.

I buy higher end stuff, but it's because I like it. I have no delusions that I'm going to do a HALO drop into Houston to save the city from a Cuban/Russian invasion :)

newdude
January 8, 2009, 12:35 PM
99% of the ARs on the market are perfectly fine for 99% of the shooters out there

Big 1+

I bought a POF, but that is simply becasue i wanted the quality, and some of my guns get pushed hard in comparison to my buddies guns. I would have been happy with a Bushy or RRA, but i wanted that extra quality, and the barrel that is on it was just icing on the cake.:D (it is a rock creek barrel, they make some of the best barrels in the world)

lipadj46
January 8, 2009, 12:37 PM
Yes we can have and purchase AR's provided that what ever they have from the factory is already on the rifle at time of purchase . Flash supp and muzzle are find as lond as their welded on from factory I believe as I'm still reading the laws.

I am not being rude but please read the laws again as what you have above is not correct at all. FS are not allowed on a AR with a pistol grip and it really does not matter what the factory configuration was an assault weapon is an assault weapon (unless it is pre-ban, 1994, but good luck with that). If you have a threaded barrel you can weld on a muzzle break or some how else permanently attach it and be compliant. PM me if you want a synopsis of NY assault weapon law. I am not a lawyer though so take my advice for what it is worth (free).

proven
January 8, 2009, 12:37 PM
texasrifleman said it well.

that S&W would be a great start and it seems like a good price if it's legal for you to own.

JonB
January 8, 2009, 12:49 PM
99% of the ARs on the market are perfectly fine for 99% of the shooters out there and, if you happen to be in that 1%, you know it and you don't ask the question.

+10

So get what you want in the price range you want and know that your choice is correct.
Only brand that people will consistently say to stay away from would be Vulcan/Hesse. Others add Olympic as well.

But any of the rest of the companies out there make a fine rifle: Bushmaster, RRA, Stag, LMT, Colt, etc etc

lions
January 8, 2009, 03:03 PM
muzle brakes are allowed, but no flash suppressor.

Flash suppressors are a no-no but a muzzle brake on a threaded barrel that could possibly accomodate a flash suppressor is also a no-no.

An "assault weapon" means (a) a semiautomatic rifle that has an ability to accept a detachable magazine and has at least two of the following characteristics: (i) a folding or telescoping stock; (ii) a pistol grip that protrudes conspicuously beneath the action of the weapon; (iii) a bayonet mount; (iv) a flash suppressor or threaded barrel designed to accommodate a flash suppressor; (v) a grenade launcher;

from: http://www.nysrpa.org/nygunlaws.htm

So you can have an AR but it can only have the pistol grip. It would be illegal if it also has any one of the following:
-telescoping/folding stock
-bayonet lug
-flash suppressor/threaded barrel
-grenade launcher

IndianaBoy
January 8, 2009, 03:18 PM
Avoid anything made by Blackthorne, Hesse, or Vulcan.


Everything else is pretty much all the same.

I know by saying that, I am inviting someone to drag out 'the chart'.

Having put several thousand rounds through my AR this year, and not having had one problem yet because my barrel might not be parkerized under the FSB.. i don't much care what the chart says. ;)

H2O MAN
January 8, 2009, 03:24 PM
The best AR is the one you own and mine is a Noveske upper on a POF lower.
The worst AR is any of them that are pointed at you.

moooose102
January 8, 2009, 03:46 PM
The best ar-15 is the one in your hands. The worst is the one that barak obama takes away!

Walkalong
January 8, 2009, 03:56 PM
If I was buying a comlete new AR today, unless I wanted a real "top end" AR like Noveske etc, I would probably buy a Charles Daly if one was available at a reasonable price. A lot of gun for the money according to many and I really like the CD lower assembly I bought. Fortunately, I took care of my AR needs as far as lowers/lower assemblies go pre election. Maybe I'll get another someday, but for right now, different uppers are all I need.

shooting4life
January 8, 2009, 04:23 PM
I am getting a JP upper for a lower that I have now. The upper is going to cost about 1300. The thing that is nice about th ehigh end AR stuff is that if you ever have to sell it you can get real close to what you have payed for it.

RP88
January 8, 2009, 04:29 PM
best one is the one you build/assemble yourself. You get exactly what you want and save money compared to buying the rifle in-house from the manufacturer. For example, I'm piecing up a rifle with mostly all-CMMG parts that is gonna end up costing 500 bucks less than what it would have cost if I got the whole thing in-house as a complete rifle.

Kentucky
January 8, 2009, 04:33 PM
Nobody has actually made a Best-to-Worst list in this thread so far. Although much of it would be subjective, it would still be interesting.

OK, here is mine. Some of it has research to back it up, some of it is just personal preference. Some brands are left out I am sure, because I really dont know WHERE to rank them (Les Baer, Wilson, POF....I know they are high end rifles but no sure where they fit on the scale).

BTW, my list is strictly for my preference for a FIGHTING rifle and is not necessarily the order I would put them in for other purposes such as target rifles, hunting rifles, etc...

1. Noveske
2. LMT
3. BCM
4. Colt
5. Sabre
6. Charles Daly
7. S&W
8. CMMG
9. Stag
10. Bushmaster
11. Rock River
12. DPMS
13. Doublestar
14. Olympic
.
.
.
1001. Hesse/Vulcan/blackthorne

I would be really interested in seeing some other folks detailed lists as well.

RP88
January 8, 2009, 04:43 PM
^thats pretty close going off of in-house manufacturers.

However, the problem there is that just about any AR that has any quality to it can be made into a milspec rifle with the optional upgrades, a castle wrench, and a swap for a better bolt. Thats when it gets interesting.

I'm also curious as to where Yankee Hill, Del-Ton, and a few others would fall in based off of the chart.

proven
January 8, 2009, 05:36 PM
colt, lmt, and bcm are a toss up for me.

someone mentioned in another thread, that rockriver loctites their castle nut instead of staking because they use inferior material. whether there's any truth to that i can't say for certain. that's a concern of mine with some of the mfrs that cut corners.....lower grade parts. as pat rogers so eloquently put it, "parts ain't parts". sure you can swap out the bolt, but what about the rest of the small parts that most people don't even think twice about? i'd rather spend the money up front and feel confident about the quality of the rifle.

minutemen1776
January 8, 2009, 05:47 PM
Only brand that people will consistently say to stay away from would be Vulcan/Hesse. Others add Olympic as well.

Olympic Arms often gets a bad rap due to its cast receiver "Plinker" models, which are rougher than what most people want in an AR15. I'm not aware of any issues with Oly's forged receiver offerings. So, excluding the "Plinker" line (if it's still being made), I'd rank Olympic Arms as a middle-of-the road AR15 manufacturer. I have rifles built on two of their lowers and have not encountered any problems.

jpwilly
January 8, 2009, 06:18 PM
Here's the new Official AR-15 List from Best to Worst:

1. Mine
2. Yours

Enjoy!

obm
January 8, 2009, 06:47 PM
Olympic Arms often gets a bad rap due to its cast receiver "Plinker" models, which are rougher than what most people want in an AR15. I'm not aware of any issues with Oly's forged receiver offerings. So, excluding the "Plinker" line (if it's still being made), I'd rank Olympic Arms as a middle-of-the road AR15 manufacturer. I have rifles built on two of their lowers and have not encountered any problems.

My understanding is that Oly no longer offers cast receivers, including the plinker line.

cavman
January 8, 2009, 06:54 PM
One that I haven't seen mentioned yet it the White Oak Arms

This is a top gun

http://www.whiteoakprecision.com/uppers-service.htm

You said adding goodies later on. They are known for Service Rifles for the high precision HighPower guys. I guess any goodies can be added on at any time.

White Oak is considered top grade among these shooters.

proven
January 8, 2009, 07:46 PM
Everything else is pretty much all the same.

I know by saying that, I am inviting someone to drag out 'the chart'.

Having put several thousand rounds through my AR this year, and not having had one problem yet because my barrel might not be parkerized under the FSB.. i don't much care what the chart says.

that first statement is so far from the truth, and it has nothing to do with "the chart".

IndianaBoy
January 8, 2009, 08:17 PM
that first statement is so far from the truth, and it has nothing to do with "the chart".

Please enlighten me. I am always more than happy to admit when I am wrong. And I like to learn new things.

The vast majority of the raw forgings are made by a handful of companies. Alcoa, Cerro, Anchor Harvey.... probably one other I am forgetting.


Most of the parts like bolts and carriers are made by CMT, LMT, and (maybe? BCM).

Sure there is an accuracy advantage with a Noveske barrel. There is a lot of mystique out there surrounding a handful of boutique AR parts. Maybe I'm just an idiot but I haven't been able to discern much difference in performance.

proven
January 8, 2009, 08:32 PM
indianaboy-
http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?p=5205590#post5205590

start down around post #66.

logjam
January 8, 2009, 08:51 PM
How is the Colt HBAR AR15 stack up with others? I own one. I'm not a big AR fan, but since I trained with one in the military I wanted to add one to my collection.

Mine works fine, but I had to replace the magazine....no biggie.

But I'd like to know from an expert who knows how good my Cold HBAR is when compared to other newer AR's.

RP88
January 8, 2009, 09:25 PM
basically, all parts are POTENTIALLY of the same make and spec and quality. However, in the effort to cut costs and corners, some (...most) companies in some way do not have certain tests or proofs done to them. Some may just buy bolts without having them pressure tested or anything, some don't MPI their barrels, some don't bother properly staking certain things, etc. etc. This leaves room for failure and the occasional lemon part to make it into your gun. Luckily, most companies have good customer service.

Runningman
January 8, 2009, 10:02 PM
Best to Worst AR15 list The only company that makes an AR15 is Colt.

helz_mcfugly
January 8, 2009, 10:10 PM
proven. why ya in here torturing youself again? Im surprised our oll expert Tim isnt here to set everyone straight. maybe hes afraid someone will assualt him again. lol have fun mang :p
hey I ordered a Rem 700 sps varmint in .223 should be uber accurate. I sent the E.R.Shaw bbl back for replacement and Im Ar-less right now and having withdrawals. :barf:

helz_mcfugly
January 8, 2009, 10:12 PM
lol, looks like Tim has rubber off on someone

Timradcliffe345
January 8, 2009, 10:14 PM
Enough of the STAG/BM/DPMS/OLY Kool Aid.

Get a Colt! :evil:

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v408/gotm4/chart.jpg

proven
January 8, 2009, 10:15 PM
helz,
i must be a glutton for punishment:D honestly though, there is alot of good information out there that people aren't aware of. i'm no expert, but i like to pass on the info when i can.

good luck with that 700, let us know how it shoots. i hope the new shaw bbl shoots the wings off a fly for you.

gvnwst
January 8, 2009, 10:16 PM
So, why doesn't the list include POF? (oh wait, it beats everything there.....:neener:)

proven
January 8, 2009, 10:20 PM
tim-
if you are going to carry that around in your wallet like some membership card to a "tacticool" club, the least you could do is post the updated version.:rolleyes:

gvnwst
January 8, 2009, 10:20 PM
Nobody has actually made a Best-to-Worst list in this thread so far. Although much of it would be subjective, it would still be interesting.

OK, here is mine. Some of it has research to back it up, some of it is just personal preference. Some brands are left out I am sure, because I really dont know WHERE to rank them (Les Baer, Wilson, POF....I know they are high end rifles but no sure where they fit on the scale).

BTW, my list is strictly for my preference for a FIGHTING rifle and is not necessarily the order I would put them in for other purposes such as target rifles, hunting rifles, etc...

1. Noveske
2. LMT
3. BCM
4. Colt
5. Sabre
6. Charles Daly
7. S&W
8. CMMG
9. Stag
10. Bushmaster
11. Rock River
12. DPMS
13. Doublestar
14. Olympic
.
.
.
1001. Hesse/Vulcan/blackthorne

I would be really interested in seeing some other folks detailed lists as well.


Only thing i know to "change" this is where to put the three you didn't know about. Those go roughly:

POF--Exactly the same as noveske, if you like GP systems, that is a plus. Some say noveske barrels are better, and they might be, but not by much.

Les Baer--If you want match accuracy, they top the list. Not as reliable as a good colt, noveske, POF or any similar, but accurate. Consistantly accurate.

Wilson--The same or just above colt, but they are a custom company.

Timradcliffe345
January 8, 2009, 10:23 PM
Has anybody mentioned Colt yet?:neener:

OP: The best fighting AR15 M4 style weapon on the market is made by Colt.

Don't let anyone fool you into thinking otherwise. LMT and Noveske are both good 2nd choices. Gods Bless you and your search for a Colt.

Timradcliffe345
January 8, 2009, 10:24 PM
tim-
if you are going to carry that around in your wallet like some membership card to a "tacticool" club, the least you could do is post the updated version.

I just linked to the latest version at m4c. Perhaps YOU don't have the latest version.

proven
January 8, 2009, 10:30 PM
http://spreadsheets.google.com/ccc?key=pwswheghNQsEuEhjFwPrgTA

longdayjake
January 8, 2009, 10:32 PM
these threads get worse every time I read them. The closest answer that I found to be true was this:

1. Mine

2. Yours

This is how everyone sees their rifles and this is the only response you will get on these forums.

helz_mcfugly
January 8, 2009, 10:35 PM
man, talk about deja vu.

proven
January 8, 2009, 10:42 PM
i'll openly admit i don't have what i consider to be the best rifle out there. i can't understand why it always has to turn into a p......ing match. some are better than others. so what. as long what you have works for you, that's what counts.

Timradcliffe345
January 8, 2009, 10:43 PM
i'll openly admit i don't have what i consider to be the best rifle out there.

What do you have?

FlyinBryan
January 8, 2009, 10:54 PM
tim has been a colt expert for like two months now, if he says it, it is so.

i know cuz thats when i seen him ask if they were "decent"

hes pretty much been a well respected colt authority ever since, see thread below for proof hes got this colt biz down pat.

see,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,i got your back tim.

http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?p=5152915#post5152915

proven
January 9, 2009, 01:31 AM
flyin-
notice the first reply in tim's thread asking about the 6920? if only i had known how little timmy was going to end up.:banghead:

cracked butt
January 9, 2009, 01:43 AM
One that I haven't seen mentioned yet it the White Oak Arms

This is a top gun

http://www.whiteoakprecision.com/uppers-service.htm

You said adding goodies later on. They are known for Service Rifles for the high precision HighPower guys. I guess any goodies can be added on at any time.

White Oak is considered top grade among these shooters.

Yes, but White Oak doesn't have a reputation amongst the mall-ninja-save-us-all-from-the-blue-helmeted-communist-zombie-bears crowd or even a chart to show how awesome it is for the mpi tesing of its stock vent screw.

Besides, nobody buys a White Oak rifle to spray a 1/2 case of wolf downrange 2 or 3 times a year then brag about how cool their awesome their rifle is on this site for the the rest of the year.

gunmaker2872
January 9, 2009, 02:02 AM
Ive owned an olympic arms k16 and was very happy with it, I shot over 5000 rounds through it and didnt have one single problem and didnt require much cleaning either, also own a bushmaster carbine and so far havn't had any issues with that either, in my opinion both good guns for 99% of us

FlyinBryan
January 9, 2009, 02:10 AM
flyin-
notice the first reply in tim's thread asking about the 6920? if only i had known how little timmy was going to end up.


lol, omg!!!!!!!!!!!

i never noticed it was you that told him that!!!!!!!!!!!!!

lol, thats good stuff right there man.

you created a monster.

(i guess i must admit his colt knowledge, two months old or not, at least came from a reasonable source)

mr.trooper
January 9, 2009, 02:14 AM
1. Noveske
2. LMT
3. BCM
4. Colt
5. Sabre
6. Charles Daly
7. S&W
8. CMMG
9. Stag
10. Bushmaster
11. Rock River
12. DPMS
13. Doublestar
14. Olympic

LOL 1/2 of those ARS are just re-branded.

you have S&W over Stag.... Stag makes most of S&W parts for them.

you have Bushmaster over DPMS... both of those brands AND Remington are owned by Cerberus.

An AR is an AR is an AR. You wont see a difference unless you are comparing something like an Olympic to a Noveske. Anything in the middle is REALLY splitting hairs.

proven
January 9, 2009, 02:19 AM
nevermind.

IndianaBoy
January 9, 2009, 02:23 AM
At risk of seeming like an argumentative jerk(I swear i am not trying to be), that link didn't change my mind a bit.

If I actually believed that I would be able to discern a difference between 4140 and 4150 steel, I would pay for it. Maybe if I had a RDIAS.

I paid extra to get a MPI bolt and carrier when I built my ar. Does it matter? Probably not.

I appreciate quality and I am willing to pay for it. But I'm not seeing a big difference here.

Maybe it's because I am coming from a position of assembling my own instead of trusting a manufacturer. In that case I can see a small case to be made for the colt premium.

I guess I just see it as nit-picky. I haven't been able to witness the catastrophic failure of a non-colt or LMT bolt, despite my best efforts to run my ar to death.


But hey. To each his own and may all your barrels be parked under the FSB. ;)

proven
January 9, 2009, 02:36 AM
indiana-
the thread i linked to talked about the fact that all parts are not created equal. aside from if you buy into the TDP specs, certain mfrs may be using lesser quality parts than others. not trying to change your mind, just pointing out the info.

as you mentioned, most of it probably won't make a difference to you one way or the other. but to some it can. there are those that buy the high dollar "chart approved" colts so they can feel warm and fuzzy, and then there are those that care about the specs because they run their guns hard at carbine training courses or purchase their own patrol carbines.

if you talk to some of the guys that run carbine courses, most will tell you any and all guns break. but the ones lower on the list posted earlier generally break alot quicker. for my intended use i couldn't even fathom breaking a bolt carrier, but it has happened in carbine courses.

as you say, to each his own. some people get sick of hearing colt,colt,colt. i get tired of hearing people say that all ars are created equal, especially when there is so much info out there to the contrary. i'm not about to say that this or that ar is junk (except for H/V), most do what the owners want, and the owners that want more simply upgrade.

rob_s
January 9, 2009, 07:07 AM
To the OP, use the search feature. The "what is the best AR" threads come up about once a week with the same lines being drawn and the same people arguing the same points.

Educate yourself. Don't just accept the charity fish, teach yourself to fish and feed yourself for life. Learn to do your own research and it will serve you well throughout life. (and no, posting a question on an internet discussion board does not qualify as "research").

The Chart that has been linked to here is my creation. It continues to elicit much wailing and gnashing of teeth. The response by some often reminds me of Lind Blair in the Exorcist.

More important to the chart, and relative to teaching you how to fish, is the explanation of features that goes with it. Read it, understand it, and decide for yourself which of the features is important to you and seek out a carbine that has those features.

Reprinted here for your convenience.

Without the information in the explanations below, The Chart(s) on the following tabs of this file are all but worthless. It is critical, when considering an M4-pattern carbine, to ensure that you understand the list of features and can figure out for yourself if a specific feature is applicable to your intended use. If a sufficient number of the features below and on The Chart are not applicable to your use, then perhaps an M4-pattern carbine is not the right choice for you.

So, what is an M4-pattern carbine? The true M4 is a select-fire military-issue shortened version of the M16 with a collapsible stock, 14.5" barrel, and flat-top upper (with Picatinny rail system) in place of the old A2 carry handle. obviously what we are discussing here are non-NFA firearms which means that they are not select-fire and have a barrel length of at least 16".

Bolt Carrier Group
The first six items listed on the chart pertain to the bolt and/or carrier, commonly referred to as the "Bolt Carrier Group" or BCG. This is the part that moves back and forth in the upper receiver chambering fresh rounds, extracting and ejecting empty rounds, and generally ensuring that your rifle or carbine operates as it should. As such, in terms of reliability, the BCG is the heart of the gun, and having as high a quality BCG that is assembled correctly out of the correct materials and which has been properly checked for flaws is key to the continued reliability of the AR-platform firearm. The first four items refer to the bolt itself, while the remaining two deal with the carrier.

Shot Peened Bolt
There are many resources available online as to the exact process and how it affects the structure of the part at the molecular level, but essentially the goal is to increase the resistance of metal to fatigue. The bolt, in the performance of it's duties, is put under a considerable amount of stress as the gun fires. Ensuring that this part lasts as long as possible is key to the continued reliability of the firearm over time, and increasing the resistance of the part to fatigue increases it's service life.
More information on shot peening can be found here
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shot_peening

High Pressure Test (HPT) Bolt
This is also sometimes referred to as "proof loading" or "proof firing". Essentially it is a test fire of the bolt (and barrel) in order to subject the part to a pressure that could cause it to fail in use. This is a preparatory step in order to prepare the part for the next step. Not all companies perform this step and prefer to "batch test" their bolts and barrels, or to test a representative sample of each batch.
More information on proof testing can be found here
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Proof_test

Magnetic Particle Inspection (MPI) Bolt
Like shot peening, there are resources available online as to what the exact process is and how it works, but the intended purpose is to check for surface cracks in the part that may not be detectable by the naked eye and that may have been caused by the HPT. Not all companies perform this step and prefer to "batch test" their bolts and barrels, or to test a representative sample of each batch. This is a crucial step following the HPT in order to observe the results.
More information on MPI can be found here
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magnetic_particle_inspection

Black Extractor Spring Insert
The crucial element here is, in fact, the 5-coil extractor spring which the black insert indicates as there is some debate as to the actual chemical or physical properties of the insert itself as compared to the rifle version which comes with the 4-coil spring and is blue. The shorter gas system of the carbine makes for a sooner an more violent operation of the BCG which can cause the extractor on the bolt to jump over the rim of the case and not properly extract the empty case. To some degree this can be mitigated by gas port size, but beefing up the spring tension to cause the extractor to clamp more tightly on the case ensures proper function.
More information on extractor springs and inserts can be found here
http://www.m4carbine.net/showthread.php?t=14310

M16 Bolt Carrier
The M16 bolt carrier serves two functions. The first is that the firing pin is fully shrouded so that the hammer is cocked by the carrier and not the firing pin itself. The second is that the M16 bold carrier is heavier and therefore increases "lock time" (or the amount of time that the empty case after the primer is struck by the firing pin) which aids in extraction. The heavier carrier also reduces the felt recoil impulse which in turn reduces wear and tear on the other internal parts of the carbine.
More information on M16 vs. AR15 carriers can be found here
http://www.m4carbine.net/showthread.php?t=14534

Properly Staked Gas Key
The gas key on top of the bolt carrier is the part that the gases (which have been re-directed through the gas port, then the gas block or front sight base, and into the gas tube) impact on in order to push back on the carrier, unlock the bolt and cycle the firearm. As such it is under tremendous pressure and is critical to the continued operation of the firearm. The key is held on to the top of the carrier by two screws, typically allen but sometimes torx, that are tightened to a specified torque. After tightening the metal of the key should be "staked" in such a way as to prevent the screws from loosening. In order for the staking to perform it's job properly it must deform the metal of the key sufficiently to make contact with, and perhaps even deform a bit, the attachment screws. Use of Locktite is not sufficient, as virtually all versions of Locktite are weakened by heat.
More information on staking of carrier keys can be found here
http://m4carbine.net/showthread.php?t=6993

Barrel
The barrel rivals the bolt in terms of how critical it is to the long term reliability and functionality, as well as accuracy of the firearm. Clearly, accuracy may be sacrificed to some degree in favor of longevity in terms of a chromoly and chrome-lined barrel. The features that are included in the barrel section, the next eight items on the chart, are all related to the longevity of the barrel as well as the reliability of the firearm, with some features being somewhat optional as they pertain to use of certain projectiles and other shooter-defined needs.

Milspec Barrel Steel
No term used in the chart has elicited more of a negative reaction than "milspec". As such every effort has been made to remove it from The Chart wherever possible. In the case of the barrel, however, it remains. The short version of the story is that barrels are typically made from two grades of chromoly steel, 4140 and 4150, with the latter being a slightly higher grade that withstands heat slightly better than the former. The long version involves very specific types of steel, much longer numbers, and is in fact generally considered to be of little consequence. There are, however, other grades and/or types of steel that meet or exceed the properties of 4150 and are therefore acceptable.
More information on barrel steel can be found here
http://www.m4carbine.net/showthread.php?t=7263

High Pressure Test (HPT) Barrel
This means the same thing, and is done for the same reason, as the HPT of the bolt.

Magnetic Particle Inspection (MPI) Barrel
This means the same thing, and is done for the same reason, as the MPI of the bolt.

Chrome Chamber and Bore
Chrome-lining of the chamber and bore serve to protect both from corrosion due to the heat of combustion of the gunpowder in the bullet as well as "neglect" in humid or other harsh environments. The chamber and bore are directly related to the accuracy potential of a firearm, and damage to either in the form of pitting will negatively impact the accuracy potential. The trade off is that chrome is often applied unevenly, at the microscopic level, meaning that it may negatively affect the accuracy potential in and of itself. The potential for damage due to other factors is generally considered greater than the small amount of uneven application, and so chrome-lining is generally considered desirable. No, it cannot be added after the fact as barrels intended for chrome-lining are first slightly overbored with the lining then reducing the internal diameter to the proper dimension.

5.56 Chamber
There is a common misconception that .223 and 5.56 are the same thing. They are not. 5.56 is often loaded to a higher pressure, among other things, which is the most critical issue. There are other dimensional differences pertaining to throat, bullet seat, etc. but what it comes down to in practical terms is that you can shoot .223 in a 5.56 chamber but the reverse is not a good idea. Generally speaking the barrel will be marked with one or the other but unfortunately those markings cannot always be trusted. If you think you may ever shoot 5.56 ammunition it is a good idea to get a 5.56 chamber from a maker that can be trusted.
More information about chamber dimensions can be found here
http://www.ammo-oracle.com/body.htm

1:7 Rifling Twist
Another common misconception is that bullet weight determines the optimal rifling twist. This is incorrect in that it is actually bullet (projectile) length that should be used to determine the twist rate. Generally speaking, however, the heavier bullets are also longer so while technically incorrect it is common to say that a 1:7 twist is more desirable for the heavier 75 and 77 grain projectiles. Therefore, choosing a barrel twist really comes down to first choosing your projectile weight, and more correctly, length. If you work for a department that mandates or issues a certain ammunition then this should be your guide when choosing a rifling twist rate. A good rule of thumb is that 1:9 will stabilize bullets in the 45 to 62 grain range, and 1:7 will stabilize bullets in the 55 to 77 grain range. Like all things this is not a given, and any barrel should be tested with the intended ammunition to ensure the desired results are achieved.
More information about rifling twist and ammunition selection can be found here
http://www.ammo-oracle.com/body.htm

M4 Feedramps
M4 feedramps refers to the feed ramps in the barrel extension being matched up to feed ramps cut into the upper receiver. The alternative is Rifle feedramps which stop at the end of the barrel extension and do not continue into the upper receiver. Longer projectiles, soft-point projectiles, and carbines with faster cyclic rates tend to benefit from the extended M4 feedramps. There are no known downsides to having the extended feedramps.
More information on feedramps can be found here
http://www.m4carbine.net/showthread.php?t=193

"F" Height Front Sight Base
Front sight bases come in two basic varieties. One is the front sight base intended for use on carbines and rifles with fixed A2 uppers,the other (The "F") is intended for carbines with flattop uppers. In order to ensure compatibility with the various aftermarket rear back up iron sights, the "F" is more desirable. Not all "F" height front sight bases are marked with the "F" (LMT for example), and some that are marked are not true to the correct height.
More information on front sight bases can be found here
http://www.m4carbine.net/showthread.php?t=14753

Taper Pins at Front Sight Base (FSB)
A minor issue, but taper pins hold the front sight base better and tighter than a straight pin. Some makers attempt to make up for this by using slightly oversized straight pins that can be extremely difficult to remove.
More information on taper pins can be found here
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Taper_pin

Parkerize under FSB
Parkerizing under the front sight base (or FSB) is done by very few makers. Most prefer to attach the base to the barrel and then parkerize the assembly as a whole. If parkerized as an assembly, both the outside of the barrel under the rings of the base and the inside of the rings themselves do not get the protective coating of the parkerizing process. There have been some reports of these parts rusting in the unprotected area, but it is unlikely that rust in these locations will affect the function of the carbine.

Double Heat Shield Handguards
Obviously this is not an issue of the end user intends to replace the handguards with an aftermarket part, but the proper M4 handguards are larger and contain a dual-layer of aluminum heat shields inside each half. The added diameter and extra shield serve to keep the shooter's hands cooler over prolonged periods of fire.

Receiver Extension
The receiver extension is the part of the rifle, often mistakenly called the "buffer tube" that extends out from the back of the lower receiver. It not only holds the stock on the rifle but also does act as a tube for the buffer and bolt carrier to move back and forth inside of when the rifle cycles. This receiver extension is held in place by a castle nut which also holds the receiver end plate in plate, which in turn holds a spring and detent in place inside the lower.

1.14" Diameter Receiver Extension
This is often referred to as the "milspec" receiver extension. The alternative to a "milspec" receiver extension is the "civilian" or "commercial" receiver extension. There is some debate as to whether or not the milspec extension is actually stronger or "better" than the commercial, but for most users the real choice comes down to availability of aftermarket stocks. Some companies, like Magpul with their CTR stock, offer versions for both extensions, but many do not. If you know that your intended stock is available for the commercial receiver extension or if you are happy with the stock your rifle comes with it is most likely not an issue. If, however, you want to change the stock or just keep your options open then the milspec extension is preferred.
Dimensions for a "milspec" receiver extension can be found here [url]/url]
http://www.magpul.com/pdfs/buffertube-Milspec-M4.pdf
Dimensions for a "commercial" receiver extension can be found here
http://magpul.com/pdfs/buffertube-civilian-M4.pdf

Staked Castle Nut
The castle nut is the nut that holds the receiver extension in to the lower receiver and prevents it from backing out. If it backs out, the buffer retainer spring inside the lower can come loose, which in turn can render the carbine inoperable. The best case scenario if your castle nut comes loose is that your stock becomes loose which is also not a good thing. Calling it a "staked castle nut" is somewhat of a misnomer as the part that is staked is actually the receiver endplate. The castle nut itself has small notches on the forward side, and large notches to the rear. The large notches are used for tightening, and the small notches are there so that the receiver endplate can be staked to displace metal into the notch on the castle nut, thereby keeping it from turning. With the proper castle nut wrench the staking can be easily overcome to change out the parts, but without the tool the nut will not come loose. Locktite, once again, is not a viable solution as this part can heat up and Locktite is weakened by heat.
More information on staking of castle nuts can be found here
http://m4carbine.net/showthread.php?t=6994

"H" Buffer
The buffer is the weighted part that moves back and forth inside the receiver extension when the rifle cycles. It is held forward by a long spring called the buffer spring, and is kept from moving too far forward by the buffer retainer pin (which is in turn held in place by the receiver extension, see "staked castle nut" above). The buffer and spring provide resistance to the bolt carrier as it cycles and the spring then pushes the bolt and carrier back into battery after the empty case is ejected. A heavier buffer can increase lock time (see "M16 bolt carrier" above) which reduces wear and tear on parts and increases reliability in carbines. The heavier buffer can also decrease felt recoil. It is, however, possible to install a buffer that is too heavy which will not allow the rifle to cycle properly. Typically the "H" buffer is used on carbines with barrels 10-16" with carbine (7.0) length gas tubes.
More information on buffers can be found here
http://www.m4carbine.net/showthread.php?t=5136

.154" Diameter Fire Control Group (FCG) Pins
Colt is the only maker of complete rifles that uses slightly oversized fire control group (trigger and hammer) pins to prevent the installation of M16 full-auto or burst parts from being installed in the lower. Virtually all aftermarket trigger makers (Timney, Geissele, McCormick, etc.) make trigger groups that utilize the larger pin size so finding aftermarket parts is a non issue. The odd-size pins do become an issue if you own rifles from Colt and other companies as the spare parts in question will not be interchangeable. In addition, finding the proper diameter pins, and the FCG parts they hold in place, for spares from any vendor other than Colt may prove difficult.

Lloyd Smale
January 9, 2009, 10:50 AM
heres another chart i dont know if its the same or not but it has a couple more brands in it. Personaly ill only coment on what i own and have owned. My first choise would be a colt, rra-dpms-bush-rem-smith are all about a toss. YOu couldnt sell me another oly. Theres some top end guns that may be a tad better then a colt but my colts just dont ever miss a beat and have all been very accurate and i guess i cant see what the extra 300 bucks or so buys me.

rob_s
January 9, 2009, 10:53 AM
Lloyd that is an older version of the one earlier in the thread, and it' actually my favorite version to date, but...

I generally prefer that people use the google doc and not the image files as the google doc ALWAYS both comes with and starts on the explanation of features, which is really the important part.

gvnwst
January 9, 2009, 10:56 AM
Ruger--we need more input tp continue and help. Otherwise it may turn into a flame battle and get locked up....

IndianaBoy
January 9, 2009, 01:17 PM
I feel like I should mention that I appreciate the efforts of rob_s and others who have shared all the information about ARs. They did influence my build.

cavman
January 9, 2009, 01:43 PM
Yes, but White Oak doesn't have a reputation amongst the mall-ninja-save-us-all-from-the-blue-helmeted-communist-zombie-bears crowd

That is Fantastic! I will have to keep that in mind.

Matrix187
January 9, 2009, 02:23 PM
I have a Del-Ton 20" HBAR with flat top upper. Whats the general consensus of opinions on the quality of these guns? It seems to work perfect so far so my question isn't very critical, but i'm just curious. -Sorry if my grammar sucks right now, I feel terrible.

helz_mcfugly
January 9, 2009, 06:48 PM
I feel like I should mention that I appreciate the efforts of rob_s and others who have shared all the information about ARs. They did influence my build.
same here man. :)
Im building my second AR right now and have had help picking out the critical parts by people like rob_s. oh and that flat top upper I got, the one with no forward assist or dust cover is a DPMS. not top notch but its just the stripped upper, no biggy. Im going to swap it with my bench rifle (BM) so I can have the forward assist and dust cover on carry rifle and the dpms on my bench rifle.

winston smith
January 9, 2009, 07:47 PM
The best AR is the one you can FIND to buy.

I found a S&W MP 15 OCR at Gander three weeks ago. Now there is one (1) Remington R-15 in 204 Ruger. Its been there awhile.

That said, in NYS your best bets are a S&W MP15 (sorry, no flash hider or telescopic stock); or if you can find a pre-ban lower, you can get a Noveske upper-($1,250 and up) Noveske suspended selling whole ARs, but with a pre-ban lower, you can have a flash hider AND telescopic stock.

One caveat: The pre-ban lower must have been made into a complete rifle before Sept, 1994.

On a chart (available somewhere on the Internet) comparing how ARs are built, Colts are arguably best, and in my opinion, second place goes to S&W and Noveske. Remember, its just my opinion.:cool:

Colt plays games with civilian models...this makes things difficult for some upgrades, and I passed on the brand.

kbheiner7
January 9, 2009, 07:56 PM
Looked at Colt. Bought LMT and could not be happier with my decision. :)

jpwilly
January 10, 2009, 12:52 AM
I have two DPMS AR-15's that shoot great and are so out of spec they've been been reliable too! ;)

(I'm kidding about them being out of spec DPMS builds good enough rifles for me!)

No doubt that the colt argument makes a lot of sence. The military put a lot of research and $$$ over the last 40+ years developing the spec and making sure their primary contractors build rifles to the quality they need.

mattw
January 10, 2009, 01:08 AM
Right now the Magpul/Noveske MPL MOE (http://noveskerifleworks.com/cgi-bin/imcart/display.cgi?item_id=r-mplmoe-556&cat=78&page=1&search=&since=&status=) is pretty high on my list of the best.

proven
January 10, 2009, 01:09 AM
jpwilly- that sounds like a sig line.:D

SHvar
January 10, 2009, 04:28 AM
If you are looking to buy a 14.5 inch barrel with a fixed 1.5 inch flash suppressor, on a carbine with a flat top and removable carrying handle, if you want a chrome lined bore and chamber, and a collapsable stock, the carbine to be made very lightweight, then you are looking at an M-4, or some other companies civilian version of the M-4, then there are some accuracies to that chart. Take a look for yourself at these rifles in person and make your own mind up, most of all have fun with it.
If you are looking for features such as a 16 inch barrel, a heavy target barrel, a 20 inch or 24 inch barrel, a stainless steel barrel, a fluted barrel, another caliber other than 5.56x45, a free float handguard, a fixed carrying handle, a solid stock, an Hbar model, or any other of a million features that AR-15 type rifles come with, then dont allow the chart to influence your choices.

The real answer was already posted, the best AR is the one you choose to buy.

I spoke with a few people who run carbine courses (myself, not listening to others on the forum and their opinions) about which of these rifles would work better for carbine courses, and which would hold up, the answer was "all of them will, if you take care of them and maintain them they will all make it, and function perfectly".

Id be skeptical of the brand "vulcan" with plastic upper recievers, I saw one sell fast at a cheap price not long ago, but I dont think I would trust one.
Good luck with whatever you get, and post some pictures after you fire it.

HisDivineShadow
January 10, 2009, 05:45 AM
My list of what I consider top quality MFgs is rather short: Noveske/LMT/Sabre

Thats first tier IMO, second tier would be Colt

Third tier is CMMG/RRA/BCM/Stag etc.

Fourth tier Olympic/DPMS/Del-Ton/etc.

I put Colt in second tier because while it's quality I think it's overpriced for what it is. It's not like they even offer mid-lengths like the other three MFGs do.

Personally I own a Spikes Tactical .22lr rifle now, will probably get a Sabre 5.56 upper for it later.

BsChoy
January 10, 2009, 11:43 AM
Being a fellow NY'r I would reccomend "building" your upper through Del-Ton. Order it with all the compliant parts and you need not worry about a thing

proven
January 10, 2009, 12:03 PM
shvar- can you mention the name of who you spoke with or what training program they are associated with? "every one will function perfectly" just doesn't sound like something an instructor would say. just curious. i'm always open to new opinions.

and the 16" bbl is absolutely related to the chart. as can be many of the other features that you say aren't.

after reading a bunch of your previous posts this is where i stand as of the moment. timmy=colt. shvar=dpms. both of you guys seem to blindly defend these brands no matter what.

againstthagrane
January 11, 2009, 03:11 AM
damn, i was about to chime in about the resident colt expert timmy rad. haha.

i mean once he found out they were "decent", it was only a matter of time. haha

BEST FIGHTING RIFLE EVER!

RP88
January 11, 2009, 04:21 AM
just read customer reviews. Most companies out there that you've heard of have good reviews. The reason is because even you're bottom-barrel Olympic or Del-Ton is made with parts of some degree of great quality.

At the very worst, you'll end up with a rifle that could have had more chart x's. If that matters too much to you, then either buy one of the top three or do what I did and build your own for whats available and fill in the x's yourself. so far my CMMG 'build' has just about all the X's checked in. Just gotta get the rest of the parts in.

Ruger
January 11, 2009, 08:43 AM
To all members who have given info and related thoughts I thank you and my applys to not being able to forum with you the other day, while this post was still fresh. I lost service for quite some time and was not able to interact. Not being in the AR circut of shooters. Now I can take what I have learned and read to decide what specs I 'm looking for and combined it with all the other info I already have. Trouble is what I like I may need to move into another state to have. Next time I have a post I'll try not no ruffle any feathers. Once again thanks

Kino74
January 11, 2009, 09:32 AM
shvar- can you mention the name of who you spoke with or what training program they are associated with? "every one will function perfectly" just doesn't sound like something an instructor would say. just curious. i'm always open to new opinions.

What SHvar is saying mirrors what those I know who work on m16/m4s in the army would say. I can't imagine any instructor not saying that if a weapon is assembled properly and the operator does their part that the weapon will not malfunction.

proven
January 11, 2009, 11:31 AM
kino- "perfectly" is the part that's interesting, considering he quoted an instructor of some sort. every instructor i've ever talked to or read about has basically said that any rifle can break. some more than others, of course. it's a human built machine afterall. being properly built and maintained isn't a guarantee for "perfect reliability".

Lloyd Smale
January 11, 2009, 12:01 PM
ive had two olys in the past and if i judged them by those two guns id say there junk. I just bought a brand new flat top oly m4 and i have to say its one of the best fit up ars ive owned. I havent tested it for accuracy but its ran about 300 rounds through it of mixed reloads without a bobble and the gun does have a stainless barrel so im guessing when i have time it to try it it will end up being a good shooter. One other thing good about an oly is that they do have the best warantee in the industry and a service dept that honors it.
quote
gunmaker2872
Senior Member



Join Date: 11-18-08
Posts: 102 Ive owned an olympic arms k16 and was very happy with it, I shot over 5000 rounds through it and didnt have one single problem and didnt require much cleaning either, also own a bushmaster carbine and so far havn't had any issues with that either, in my opinion both good guns for 99% of us

Shooter88
January 11, 2009, 12:08 PM
I spoke with a few people who run carbine courses (myself, not listening to others on the forum and their opinions) about which of these rifles would work better for carbine courses, and which would hold up, the answer was "all of them will, if you take care of them and maintain them they will all make it, and function perfectly".

Let's hear what instructor and what course that was at. I know you won't ever hear anything like that from the likes of Larry Vickers or Pat Rogers - or anybody else who knows what kind of corners cheap manufacturers cut to keep costs down.

Actually, that sounds kind of like what Bushy/CMMG/RRA owners way when they're trying to argue (against proven fact) that they ARs are "just the same as" Colt, LMT, or Noveske.

Saying every carbine made to substandard specs is just as good as one made to the M4 TDP specs (sans auto sear) is just plain foolishness. So again, I'd like to hear what instructor said that so I know who to avoid... :D

Joe Demko
January 11, 2009, 01:18 PM
What is your personal experience, Shooter88? Also, rather than telling us what Pat Rodgers et. al. would say, give us a source where we can see for ourselves. Otherwise, you tossing out their names seems like simple appeal to authority.
What would be really cool is if anybody here could provide some numbers. What_exactly_is the difference in failure rate between parts that qualify for an "x" and those that don't? What rifles were tested? Who did the testing? How were the rifles tested? Why was the testing done?
Maybe "x" parts are a better bet. Maybe they aren't. I've yet to see anything substantive on the topic in one of these chart-heavy threads. I'm willing to be convinced "x" parts/rifles are better. Just bring out the hard evidence and show me.

Timradcliffe345
January 11, 2009, 01:30 PM
We should start posting failure rates, including the type of failure, for our AR style carbines and rifles. Including information such as ammo and magazine manufacturer would be helpful too. This info would provide the average shooter with some valuable info on the typical failure rate of several AR manufacturers, enabling them to make an educated purchase decision. God Bless.

Joe Demko
January 11, 2009, 01:37 PM
Now there is an excellent idea. Such a database would be less useful than a systematic study, but it is stll light years ahead of anything else available. I'm in. All this requires is honesty on the part of the participants. That means posting about it when your gun fails no matter what brand you have. Maybe we can get the mods to sticky a thread exactly for that purpose and no other. Who's ready to do something more substantive than just make claims?

rob_s
January 11, 2009, 01:42 PM
"Testing"
as proposed in post #89 a non-starter and you know it.

Those that will never accept fact will continue to trumpet the same "show me the testing" line because they either are educated enough to know that it will never, and pragmatically could never, happen or are ignorant enough that they don't grasp this fact.

To do the math, again...

10 makes/models, 10 examples of each (which is still statistically insignificant) is 100 rifles. Figure on an average cost of $1,000 per rifle means a $100,000 cash outlay in firearms only.

Now how many rounds do you want to fire per rifle? According to the sidebar in the article "Malfunction Reduction Part II" by Pat Rogers in the January issue of SWAT magazine (page 71), "Naval Surface Warfare Center, Crane, states in an Engineering Bulletin to consider swapping the bolt out at 6,000 rounds, and definitely by 10,000 rounds." Based on this, I'd propose that you'd need to fire at least that 10,000 rounds per rifle in order to reach a relatively certain failure point for all guns. That's 10,000 rounds per rifle over 100 rifles, or 1,000,000 rounds total, or 1,000 cases.

At $400/case (let's assume you can get a discount for ordering 1,000 of them) that's $400,000 in ammunition for the test.

Now you're up to a $500,000 cash outlay just to even start the test, and that doesn't include magazines, lube, and hourly wages for shooters. Which brings us to...

1,000,000 rounds at 1 round per second is 277 hours of shooting. That's optimistic as hell. Figuring in magazine changes etc. you'd be lucky to average 1 round per every 5 seconds. That's 1,385 hours of shooting. Ten man team, that's 139 hours of team shooting, or just over seventeen 8-hour work days. At $20/hour that's another $27,700 in labor costs.

So what people want is some mysterious benefactor to step up, put out $600k+ of their own money, and 3 weeks of their time with a squad of 10 shooters, just to "prove" something that they would ultimately STILL want to argue about.

People should educate themselves as to what drives the cost of the more expensive guns, and decide for themselves if they think that the benefits are real or not, or if those benefits apply to their type of shooting or not, and buy what best meets their needs. This ain't rocket surgery.

rob_s
January 11, 2009, 01:46 PM
For those that don't venture there often, Pat Rogers has been replying in a thread entitled "What Parts Break in a Carbine Course? (http://www.ar15.com/forums/topic.html?b=3&f=118&t=360169)" on ar15.com for quite some time now. There is a lot of good information there.

Joe Demko
January 11, 2009, 01:52 PM
Claims sans testing are unsubtantiated claims. "x parts/rifles are better" is a non-starter unless you can define "better" and quantify how much better. The chart is your work, I know, and you_no doubt_have a huge emotional investment in it. Until there is data to quantify how much better "x" is than "no x" your chart remains a guide for how to spend more money.

Shooter88
January 11, 2009, 01:56 PM
You can use terms like "appeal to authority" all you want; those two men get more trigger time in behind AR-type rifles in a year than most shooters do in their entire lifetimes. They are the two most respected authorities on the AR platform, period. You can go over every one of their posts on every forum either of them has ever visited, and NOWHERE will you find them agree that Oly, Bushmaster, etc rifles are "just as good" as a Colt or LMT. My personal experience is with only a handful of rifles, as is most of yours. Small statistical samples are irrelevant. Given that Pat Rogers sees God knows how many ARs go through his training courses from all kinds of manufacturers, I'd suggest that he'd be the one who'd know what fails and what doesn't.

And it amuses me to note that these "just as good" people always want some empirical (and let's not forget expensive and impractical) study. Why can't you just use some common sense?

Consider rifles which are built to the TDP, at least on the important points for reliability:

Staked carrier key
HPT/MPi'd bolt and barrel
Shot peened bolt
Staked receiver extension castle nut
Correct steels used as per mil-spec


Consider rifles built to substandard specs:

Unstaked keys and castle nuts that can vibrate loose
Untested bolts and barrels that could have microscopic cracks just waiting to let go
Cheaper, weaker steels used for cost reasons

Tell me, what on Earth makes you think that the second group of rifles won't be more likely to fail under hard use?

Think about this for a minute: nobody is saying that a Bushmaster rifle can't be run hard. What is a fact, however, is that getting a top-tier AR like a Noveske, greatly reduces the chance of having a rifle that won't go bang every time you pull the trigger.

ParaElite
January 11, 2009, 02:46 PM
When I went looking for an M4gery, I ended up getting an LMT because of the research done by people like Rob_S and many of the folks at m4carbine.net.

I also purchased a POF with an 18 inch barrel. I wanted to see the differences between the direct impingement and piston cycled rifles.

Of course seeing how ammo and magazine prices have gone up, I was under no delusion that I could do any of my own testing on any valid level like the military could do or for that matter some magazine gun guru or self-proclaimed "subject matter expert".

Anyway doing valid scientific testing is an exhaustive and terribly expensive proposition and I must agree with Rob_S on this issue.

Neither of my rifles have failed, yet, and I am confident that they will continue to give me satisfaction with the proviso that I do periodic maintenance and have spare parts in case of parts failure.

Joe Demko
January 11, 2009, 02:55 PM
Look up "appeal to authority." It is a logical fallacy. It has nothing to do with how many rounds Pat Rodgers has put through an Ar-15 today.
See, I don't even particularly like the AR-15, regardless of who made it. The Savage Model 99 is more my style.
Before I went into teaching, though, my background was in science. When a person makes a claim in science, that claim has to be backed up by hard, statistically valid data. If you can't do that, you don't make the claim.
I'm not seeing data in any of these threads. I'm seeing mostly heresay and the occasional personal anecdote. The plural of "anecdote" is not "data."
What I'm looking for here is to raise this discussion from mere partisanship to something more fact based.
Are "x" parts/rifles better? I don't know. I'd like to find out and "the chart sez" or "Pat Rodgers sez" really doesn't cure my ignorance.

helz_mcfugly
January 11, 2009, 03:57 PM
isnt the top failing part the extractor/extractor spring, then the gas key?

Lloyd Smale
January 11, 2009, 04:00 PM
I must be lucky. Ive been shooting ARs since vetnam if that gives you an idea how long and ive yet to have a part break on one. now ive had jams and had extractors wear but never break. Ive never bought a top end ar as a matter of fact the first couple that i shot the snot out of were old olys that are consider crap. Sure they failed to feed and gave me a few other headaches but never a part breakage. You can buy what you want and pay what you want but dont think because someone else buys a 800 dollar ar its going to fall apart. Now before you ask. My Ars get shot. ALOT im not talking a few thousand rounds im talking ALOT. if you doubt this or my word look around on the other guns sites some and youll see im pretty well know and am a man of my word. Like ive said before ive got custom 6 guns that cost twice what a high end ar cost. Did i buy a majic gun that is less likely to fail then your ruger. Not on your life. I bought a gun and paid big money for it becuase it was what i wanted. If thats why you want to spend 2 grand on an ar more power to it but ive yet to see a type of gun that brings out more snob appeal then an ar. Lots of dreamers buying them thinking there going to go to war. Bottom line is if **** hits the fan your probably going to be dead before you get a hundred rounds out of your gun. Protecting your home? maybe you will get off two shots, anymore then that and your probably going to be carried out. Figure what your getting for your money over say a rra gun for twice as much. Maybe some fancy rails and a slightly better barrel but youll never convince me that its a 1000 dollars worth of work. Someone building those fancy ars is having a good laugh. They too are just building a milspec gun. Hell for the price of one i can throw two good guns in my truck and if a part does break throw it away and grab another.

proven
January 11, 2009, 04:12 PM
Until there is data to quantify how much better "x" is than "no x" your chart remains a guide for how to spend more money.

you mean how to spend more money on a rifle that meets minimum military spec, right?

here's a snip from the wikipedia page on "appeal to authority".

Since we cannot have detailed knowledge of a great many topics, we must often rely on the judgments of those who do.

you see, there isn't a half million dollar test of hard statistical evidence in existence. so until we have one, it only makes sense to "appeal to authority". there are those that see thousands of rifles every year and have more personal experience with regards to what breaks and what doesn't than the guys on this forum who can't get over that their dpms isn't as good as some others.

proven
January 11, 2009, 04:17 PM
Hell for the price of one i can throw two good guns in my truck and if a part does break throw it away and grab another.

lloyd- some leos depend on their guns to work when in harms way. having a spare gun isn't practical and even if it were, in the time it takes you to grab the spare you could be dead.

by your logic, the military should drop the TDP and just issue 2 olys to every soldier.;)

Joe Demko
January 11, 2009, 04:21 PM
Does anybody keep track of how many "crap" Ar-15's complete a carbine course, or are we only hearing about the ones that the instructors remember breaking?

If 1000 guys with crap AR's take the course and two of their guns break, whereas only one of 1000 x-heavy guns breaks, that gives the crap guns twice the failure rate of the x-heavy brand. It also means that 998 guns, or 99.8% of the guns, completed the course. Now, if I tell you "****!!!! If you buy that crap gun you are doubling your chances that it'll fail when you need it!!!11!!" I am telling you the truth, but I am also spinning things by giving you only very partial information.
Do low end guns fail more? Possibly. I want to know how much more. You can keep telling me how great Mr. Rogers is (I don't know him except by reputation and he sounds like a heck of an instructor), but that only tells me how great Mr. Rogers is. It still doesn't give me any handle on how great or small the difference between the rifles is.

Edited to add: We saw a huge amount of exactly this kind of lying with numbers a couple years ago when the .gov tested the M-16 against several other rifles in a mock sandstorm. The AR-haters used the results to "prove" what a POS the M-16 is, even though the differences between rifles were tiny.

Shooter88
January 11, 2009, 04:46 PM
Using your argument that taking the advice of people in the know is irrelevant without in-depth statistical analysis, I should completely disregard the experience of every professional mechanic I've ever met and throw around the claim that cheap Chinese-made tools from Wal-mart are just as good as Snap-On until someone does a ten million dollar study on the quality of mechanics' tools.

Again, if it is a known fact that product X is made to inferior specs compared to product Y, how can you possibly think product X is going to work just as well as product Y?

Lloyd Smale
January 11, 2009, 04:47 PM
proven im not a law enforcement officer and never will be one. I will never again be a soldier and if I would have been issued a new rra dpms bushy or oly instead of some of the crap we got issued in the service i would have been in heaven. I still say alot more ars break in storys on the internet that guys use to justify there expensive ars that actuallly does happen in real life. Id also doubt if the avearge ar that a police dept purchase sees much more then a 1000 rounds in its lifetime.

Joe Demko
January 11, 2009, 04:53 PM
Again, if it is a known fact that product X is made to inferior specs compared to product Y, how can you possibly think product X is going to work just as well as product Y?

I never said anything of the kind. You are the one claiming it won't. Now show me the proof.

proven
January 11, 2009, 05:00 PM
lloyd- that of course depends on the dept. certain leos and swat members generally like to train on a regular basis and attend carbine courses and matches accordingly.

a rra or oly being better than what was issued to you back in the day doesn't negate the fact that those are built to current mil-spec. current mil-spec is a direct result of the experiences that were learned from early on in the m16/m4s history.

proven
January 11, 2009, 05:01 PM
joe- read post #100 at the end of page 4.

Lloyd Smale
January 11, 2009, 05:21 PM
id about be that theres not a police dept in the US that issues Noveske and i would seriously doubt if theres one that will allow a officer to carry his own personal ar in the field. I know for a fact your not going to be allowed to as a soldier so that kind of blows the arguement that a law enforcement officer is going to want a higher level gun. they use what the dept issues. Usually a colt or a bushmaster or stag.

proven
January 11, 2009, 05:25 PM
lloyd- i can't speak as to whether any depts. issue noveske, but plenty allow officers to procure their own patrol carbine. some depts only require you to have it approved by the dept armorer, others are a bit more strict in what they allow regarding both brand, and features. even the certain military units allow a bit more lateral movement from the standard issue weapon.

rob_s
January 11, 2009, 05:49 PM
i would seriously doubt if theres one that will allow a officer to carry his own personal ar in the field.

they use what the dept issues. Usually a colt or a bushmaster or stag.

What experience do you have that leads you to these conclusions?

rob_s
January 11, 2009, 05:56 PM
Claims sans testing are unsubtantiated claims. "x parts/rifles are better" is a non-starter unless you can define "better" and quantify how much better. The chart is your work, I know, and you_no doubt_have a huge emotional investment in it. Until there is data to quantify how much better "x" is than "no x" your chart remains a guide for how to spend more money.
No, better is better. Just because you refuse to understand what makes one thing better than another, or don't care to spend the money to have better, doesn't mean better isn't better.

Quit getting hung up on the Chart itself, read the explanation of features, and decide for yourself whether those features are for you or not. Buy, or don't buy, based on at least educating yourself first.

Determine your need.
Educate yourself on the product.
Find a product that meets your need.
Buy accordingly.

It really is just that simple.

helz_mcfugly
January 11, 2009, 06:04 PM
the LEO's here in my home town, who most of I went to school with and I also shoot with from time to time, get to choose their own carbine (of which they have to pay for and get approved or they get department issue if they are part of SWAT), shotgun (of which they have to pay for and get approved or get department issue), & sidearm (of which they get a department issue they get to sellect out of a few models and also get to carry their own if it is approved). but thats here on the first county outside Dallas county. I cant speak for other destricts.

Joe Demko
January 11, 2009, 06:05 PM
"Better is better" is meaningless in terms of real world performance until you quantify it.

proven
January 11, 2009, 06:05 PM
Determine your need.
Educate yourself on the product.
Find a product that meets your need.
Buy accordingly.


excellent advice, and not just regarding firearms.

unfortunately it seems as though some people don't bother to educate themselves, buy the first one that "looks nice", and is readily available and priced comfortably. then when someone points out that there are better options available, they feel insulted, get defensive and try their hardest to convince themselves and others that theirs is "just as good".

this too happens in other realms not pertaining to firearms.

proven
January 11, 2009, 06:09 PM
joe- have you read my post #100 yet? i find it very telling how you bring up "appeal to authority" to try and justify your argument, yet leave out very important aspects of the phrase.

as others have mentioned, "appeal to authority" is valid in many cases where there is no hard statistical data.

"Better is better" is meaningless in terms of real world performance until you quantify it.

actually in "real world performance" there is no need to quantify anything. if one thing performs better than another, most reasonable people would agree that it's better. plain and simple. take knives for example, there are so many aspects to a quality knife, that it's very hard to pinpoint what exactly in one blade makes it perform better than another. often it's a combination of several things. but if one blade performs cutting tests better than another, there's no mistaking who the winner is. you could argue until you're blue in the face about which particular detail made it better and again you'd have to conduct very long and expensive testing to prove it. but the simple fact is that one blade performed "better" than the other in the "real world".

now, knives are like firearms in that there is no "one" tool that performs every task to optimum levels. each blade is a compromise. some do very well in certain tasks and others outperform those in other tasks. this is why it's important for one to educate themselves on the product, what they need, and which product has the features that will allow it to perform to their criteria. this is where the chart really comes in to it's own. it's a compilation of features deemed necessary (by the military) for an m4 style fighting gun. these features are what the military has found to be necessary to allow the weapon to perform reliably (i.e BETTER than those without). if someone wants a reliable fighting m4 style weapon (for whatever reason), this is a valuable list of bare minimum features that should be included. if you educate yourself and find that some of the features are not vital to your criteria for said weapon, then by all means pass them up.

helz_mcfugly
January 11, 2009, 06:12 PM
Determine your need.
Educate yourself on the product.
Find a product that meets your need.
Buy accordingly.
couldnt have said it better.

proven. my guitar is better then yours by the way. >:)

Friendly, Don't Fire!
January 11, 2009, 06:17 PM
Quote:
Determine your need.
Educate yourself on the product.
Find a product that meets your need.
Buy accordingly.

couldnt have said it better.

proven. my guitar is better then yours by the way. >


My Tenor Sax is better than both of your guitars combined.:cool:

helz_mcfugly
January 11, 2009, 06:25 PM
im not sure he even plays. I was just kickin dirt around

Joe Demko
January 11, 2009, 06:27 PM
"Better" is a meaningless term until you can quantify it. I'm done responding until I start seeing some hard data. My ego isn't caught in a particular brand of gun nor in authorship of a chart. Put up or shut up.

proven
January 11, 2009, 06:36 PM
helz- i don't have a guitar, but if i did i'd still recognize two things-

1) it may not be the best, but it's what works for me.
2) spending a boatload of cash doesn't make my playing any better.

i like your tunes by the way:evil:

helz_mcfugly
January 11, 2009, 06:39 PM
TIDBIT OF DATA

Within the bolt, it's interesting to note a point of failure in the AR-15 system. The extractor springs in most AR15 bolt assemblies are fairly weak, and this can lead to various extraction-related failures. One of the few high points about Colt assemblies is their usage of higher strength extractor springs. You can tell the difference by looking at the inner plastic insert. "Normal" springs feature a blue plastic insert, Colt strong springs have a black insert.
http://top-quark.com/blosxom/arms_mostly/bolt_article/a9.jpg

proven
January 11, 2009, 06:40 PM
"Better" is a meaningless term until you can quantify it. I'm done responding until I start seeing some hard data. My ego isn't caught in a particular brand of gun nor in authorship of a chart. Put up or shut up.

not responding but i'll bet you're still reading.
your ego is caught up in the idea that somehow you're a scientist and know more than others with exponentially greater experience.

i didn't author the chart, and i could care less about brand. i am however smart enough to know that all things aren't equal and i'm man enough to admit when i don't have something as nice as someone else's.

i'll take the highroad and ignore your last sentence.:rolleyes:

helz_mcfugly
January 11, 2009, 06:44 PM
proven, if you did want to get a guitar I recomend the {BC Rich "Helz McFugly" signiture series Bich}. :evil:
http://oork.com/ktwwy
they are only $800. plus I get royalties so buy two. :neener:
and thanks for listening to muh tunes. you have no idea hom much I miss that lifestyle, it was like a close friend dieing when I retired.

Friendly, Don't Fire!
January 11, 2009, 07:17 PM
I am completely satisfied with it. I did some research on the "properly staked gas key" syndrome.

I dismantled my gun. I compared photos of properly-staked gas keys off Google to the way mine is staked.

I immediately could see that there was an "attempt" by Bushmaster to stake the key, however the indentations did not extend into the two screws. I could have probably removed the screws, although I'm quite sure with a bit of effort as the metal was pinged up against the sides of the screw heads.

I ended up "staking" them myself to be a bit more like the way the photograph showed they should be.

Then that had me wondering, really, how poorly-made is my Bushmaster? When I thought about it, and considered what I use it for (mainly deer and black bear hunting with 62g Barnes X bullets), the gun is reliable enough for my needs.

Now, if I were on the front lines in Iraq, I may reconsider, but I hope I'm never on any front lines, unless it is in the band with my saxophone.

Check these:
http://www.xdtalk.com/forums/ar-talk/59069-so-you-want-buy-ar-15-faqs-4.html
http://www.m4carbine.net/showthread.php?t=11971
http://www.weaponevolution.com/forum/showthread.php?t=410
http://www.ar15armory.com/forums/The-Chart-Rob-Sloyer-t50370.html&mode=threaded

ugaarguy
January 11, 2009, 08:42 PM
"Better" is a meaningless term until you can quantify it. I'm done responding until I start seeing some hard data. My ego isn't caught in a particular brand of gun nor in authorship of a chart. Put up or shut up.
I'll play. The US Military has done extensive testing, development, and research on the M-16 / M-4 rifles and carbines. The Technical Data Package (TDP) states what the minimum requirements are for an M-16 or M-4 that will go into combat. The TDP is the minimum standard that the US Military will accept for a fighting rifle. If you want hard data make a public records request to see the numbers that lead them to put those standards in the TDP. I could care less what the numbers are; I trust that everything in the TDP is there for good reason, because if it wasn't needed they'd remove it and cut costs. Ball's in your court.

Lloyd Smale
January 11, 2009, 08:43 PM
maybe i was mistaken in that generalization but i know that the MI state police sure cant and the two local sheriffs depts can and none of the local police in the towns around me can as i shoot with them all the time. Our sheriffs dept is the only dept i know of in the area that even allows a officer to buy his own gun. i sure would think that a police dept would be pretty leary of an officer shooting a criminal with a tricked out gun he made up for work. Id about be thered be a lawsuit if there was a kiling with one. Hell the MI state police cant even do action jobs on there carry guns.

Joe Demko
January 11, 2009, 09:31 PM
Ball's in your court

Numbers? No? I'm not doing the research to prove your point, skippy. You're a believer that the mil-spec is best, you find their numbers and how/why they arrived at them. That's how these things work. The people making the claims are the ones who are supposed to provide the evidence.

proven
January 11, 2009, 09:43 PM
joe- i thought you were done posting.

still can't admit when you're argument is wrong, huh. you ignore the counter to your "appeal to authority". you ignore the counter to your "better needs to be quantified" statement. and now you ignore the fact that the military has already done the research you request to determine that the TDP specs are "better".

you are clinging onto your ego and nothing more.

taliv
January 11, 2009, 09:57 PM
Until there is data to quantify how much better "x" is than "no x" your chart remains a guide for how to spend more money.

that's all it was intended to be. despite dozens of attempts by rob to explain it's not more than that, people still want to use it improperly and get all emo in the process


I still say alot more ars break in storys on the internet that guys use to justify there expensive ars that actuallly does happen in real life.

in my experience, all guns break a LOT more than owners claim. i can't tell you how many times i've watched guns malfunction on the range and then you ask them how they like the gun and they say, "it's great! this gun has never jammed". it's like guys have some sort of selective memory loss when it comes to this.

ugaarguy
January 11, 2009, 10:04 PM
Lloyd, larger agencies have the budget to provide patrol carbines. Smaller agencies that don't have the budget often allow officers to purchase their own carbine that falls within their guidelines. Those guidelines also, generally, list what can and can't be added to the weapon. The officer then, again, speaking generally, has to bring the weapon in for an armorer or supervisor to inspect to make it sure it complies with dept. guidelines. The officer will then have to qualify with the weapon, and may have to take an in house carbine course as well before he or she can carry it on patrol. It all has to do with liability insurance, and the bigger the agency, the more they're likely to be sued for, so the tighter the guidelines.

Many departments even restrict off duty carry to an approved list. That approved list may also include a provision for the armorer or supervisor to approve a similar gun not specifically on the list. For example, most departments approve the S&W 686 for off duty carry. If an officer wanted to carry a new 386 Night Guard off duty most armorers would approve it because it's simply a black finish, lightweight version of a gun specifically okayed on the list.

Lloyd Smale
January 11, 2009, 10:28 PM
i guess i understand your take on it but in our local area the ars used by the police are select fire guns and even a police officer cant buy one without going through all the red tape with the batf. I guess i just dont see that to many are going to go through all that then plunk down 2 grand for a gun when the dept will give them one to use for nothing. Plus even to buy one youd have to find a preban gun and you know what a full auto gun costs these days. Granted some may be able to buy through there dept but they still would have to go through the batf if it were there gun and i dont think anyone in there right mind would pay that kind of money for a gun they couldnt legaly call there own. I guess a guy could buy his own semi auto but what sense would that make if the dept issues full autos. I guess to maybe in some very rural areas the dept might actually use a semi auto gun.

gvnwst
January 11, 2009, 10:31 PM
despite dozens of attempts by rob to explain it's not more than that, people still want to use it improperly and get all emo in the process

100+ There is nothing wrong with the chart, but it is not the total encompasantion of any and every good AR out there, it is just waht rob says, a basic overview. (that is from another thread though)

taliv, you are a mod now! Comgrats!

7.62X25mm
January 11, 2009, 10:38 PM
I read the whole first page and the whole last page. Six pages of posts and so far I don't see any sort of "list" emerging.

So this thread is in there with "What should I buy for my girlfriend?" and "Does anything smell better than Hoppes No. 9?"

gvnwst
January 11, 2009, 10:44 PM
Kentucky made a decent one on page 2. I helped a bit, with three manufacturers, but some people say that he mixed up a few....

Mr. T
January 11, 2009, 11:02 PM
I don't know about other companies, but I purchased a Bushmaster AR-15 "Patrolman" model about two years ago. I was at a Gander Mountain and they had them on sale for $799. I had the money in a "rainy day" account and spent some of it; my wife was pissed for a number of days, but it was totally worth it. I had never seen them that cheap before and always wanted one. That gun is extremely accurate. I can shoot 100 yard clover leafs with it, while using a red dot site. I have been very happy with it so far; I've never had a jamb and it never fails to go bang. My brother, who's in the Army, came back from Iraq this last summer and we went out to the range and he was really impressed. When we tore it down to clean it, he was really impressed with the quality of the parts. He said that it was every bit as good as what the military is getting (minus the fully automatic function). The only improvement that I could imagine would be a better trigger if you are going to be doing long-long distance shooting. The trigger breaks at about 4.5 - 5 pounds, but it breaks clean; there's no slop in the trigger. Overall I would have to recommend Bushmaster to anyone looking to pick one up, but it's the only company I have experience with. A friend of mine has a DPMS and has had it for awhile now and is also very happy with his purchase. He has his set up for long range shooting for prairie dogs and varmint hunting, where as mine is a M4 style carbine pretty much production model. He has tricked out his trigger and has a custom barrel on his gun along with a high end AI scope. It's kind of like comparing a Chevy Monte-Carlo to a Chevy Corvette. That's my two cents worth; good luck in your selection.

helz_mcfugly
January 12, 2009, 12:21 AM
"Does anything smell better than Hoppes No. 9?"
yes, spent gunpowder and a clean 9()$$y
and Mr. T, I replaced my factory Bushy trigger with a Jewel 2 stage and it improved my accuracy greatly. I dont think you can get a better trigger for an AR.

rich636
January 12, 2009, 01:17 AM
Helz your first line there had me cracking up, I needed that, thanks!

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