AR-15 ''Tiers'' (brands)


PDA






sprice
October 30, 2009, 08:56 PM
I heard someone ranked ar's according to quality in three tiers, tier 1, 2, and 3. So what are the best AR brands, the good brands, and the worst ones? If you have any other information/ experiences please feel free to share.

If you enjoyed reading about "AR-15 ''Tiers'' (brands)" here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!
Tengu Joker
October 30, 2009, 09:04 PM
http://spreadsheets.google.com/ccc?key=pwswheghNQsEuEhjFwPrgTA&hl=en


There ya go . . .

sprice
October 30, 2009, 09:27 PM
gracias senior

Avenger29
October 30, 2009, 10:56 PM
Sprice, please read not just the chart, but the part explaining what each of those points means. Click on the "Explanation of Features" part at the bottom and read that until you understand. You may have to do a bit of googling for pictures of what is being discussed so you have good pictures, and read the linked sites, threads, and articles that are with each discussion point. Visit gunstores and look at ARs, too.

There is no such thing as too much research when it comes to purchasing any rifle, and that is especially true when discussing firearms such as ARs and 1911 pattern handguns.

longdayjake
October 30, 2009, 11:48 PM
I wish people would stop posting the worthless chart. Its for one model and one model only. It is not a catch all for every rifle out there. Its colts and noveskes greatest ally and it makes other good manufacturers look crappy.

Flintknapper
October 30, 2009, 11:52 PM
+1 ^^^^^^^^^^

browningguy
October 31, 2009, 12:08 AM
I would certainly take the chart with a grain of salt, it's for people that want as close as possible to a mil-spec rifle, not for anyone else.

As examples:
Black extractor spring insert - huh??? I happen to like pretty, shiney spring inserts, but who cares.
M-16 Bolt Carrier - who cares, I have AR-15's not M-16's and they are just as good.
Chrome chamber and bore - mine are precision rifles and I absolutely so not want a chrome chamber and bore, just one more spec to get the tolerance wrong on.
1:7 barrel twist - well, if you want to shoot the long heavy bullets that is good, if you are planning on shooting only 40 gr. varmint bullets then better to go with a 1:12 or 1:14.
Double handguard shields - all of mine have free float tube, aluminum is my preference.

Decide what you want to do with the rifle, then you can inquire about specific parts for specific uses and get much better inputs.

taliv
October 31, 2009, 12:11 AM
-1

the other manufacturers look crappy because most of them are.

i can't quite comprehend why someone would wish people would stop answering questions or providing info (especially the explanation of features, which specifically addresses your only even remotely valid criticism), unless maybe they worked for one of the crappy mfgs.

i can understand buyer's remorse, and wishing people would stop dogging your favorite brand

smoketheresfire
October 31, 2009, 12:26 AM
People get their panties in a bunch when you tell them their ar is not top teir. If you think your RRA (my ar build has a RRA lower) or S&W is on the same level as a Colt or LMT you are sorely mistaken. Justify it however you want. Does that mean a S&W is not a great, reliable ar, no it doesn't, Tier 1 ar's are just built more durably to hold up to the rigors of combat.

NCPatrolAR
October 31, 2009, 12:49 AM
Rob's chart works well for most shooters that are looking for the best features in a general purpose or self-protection oriented AR. Obviously if you want a varmint gun the chart isnt going to do you a lot of good.

DougW
October 31, 2009, 12:51 AM
Basically you are pond scum if you don't own a Colt. Been hearing that for years.

NCPatrolAR
October 31, 2009, 01:22 AM
Basically you are pond scum if you don't own a Colt. Been hearing that for years.
That isnt the case as at all. Colt has set the standard for performance ARs. I dont think anyone seriously puts a Bushmaster, Hesse, etc on par with Colt and the like.

kwelz
October 31, 2009, 04:22 AM
People who don't like the chart like to claim that it was made just so Colt owners feel better about their weapons. However what they fail to notice is that other companies make weapons with the same features as a Colt. Noveske, BCM and DD are all up there. LMT is close as are some others. But BM, DPMS, etc are not.

Also, just like someone else mentioned, this is for people who want a M4 rifle as close to the TDP as possible. Some other configurations won't need all the features, while some features are important for every rifle.

Lloyd Smale
October 31, 2009, 09:00 AM
you get what you pay for! How many times have you heard that. I chuckle at guys that buy a 600 dollar ar and want to claim its as good as a 2000 dollar one. I have ars of about every price range from a 600 dollar sprotical to a 1500 dollar colt and quite a few inbetween. The cheaper ones are definately a hell of a bang for the buck deal. There basicaly good guns but they arent in the same league as a colt. Sorry if I stepped on the bushy rra oly and dpms guys but out of that list i own three so i think my opinon is without predudice.

Omaha-BeenGlockin
October 31, 2009, 10:01 AM
My Frankenrifle is probably a tier 1.5 or 1.75---parts from various places but it does have a DD BCG and DD barrel. Total build cost was just under $800.

Juice Boxes
October 31, 2009, 12:00 PM
I remember viewing one on AR-15.com a while back

jem375
October 31, 2009, 12:18 PM
Yeah, and I own 3 DPMS rifles and have yet to have a problem with them also. I have a 20" DPMS SS bull barrel left handed AR that I wouldn't trade or sell to buy any Colt..

wally
October 31, 2009, 01:37 PM
I've yet to find a Colt 6920 who's front hand guards didn't wobble. This doesn't scream "quality" to me!

Most folks, IMHO, are better off with the cheaper AR and spending the extra cash on ammo and range time to learn how to actually use it. Save the quality wars for later.

--wally.

spence
October 31, 2009, 01:48 PM
what does BCG, DD , & TDP stand for? I read the chart and am going out today to see if my dpms still works .

taliv
October 31, 2009, 02:07 PM
bolt carrier group
daniel defense
technical data package

DammitBoy
October 31, 2009, 02:18 PM
That chart is not accurate.

For starters, the DPMS I'm looking at has a chrome receiver and bore...

kwelz
October 31, 2009, 02:24 PM
The chart is accurate and is kept up to date on an almost weekly basis. DPMS only offers Chrome lining as an option. The chart is based on production guns that you would find if you walked into a gun store and picked up that model.

And what the heck do you mean by Chrome receiver?

Welding Rod
October 31, 2009, 02:56 PM
You need to decide what variant of AR you want.

"The Chart" is applicable to those looking for a M4 replica... pretty worthless if you want a National Match A2, a varmiter, or a mid-length-gas light-barrelled tubular-handguarded flat top with a two-stage trigger, fixed stock, and no sights. Etc.

Any gun can fail at any time. IMO it is more prudent to rely on a backup sidearm than to put full faith in the durability of single gun due to its rollmark.

Not too many people are using a personally owned AR stateside as a primary personal protection weapon.... they tend to stand out a bit at work or in the grocery store.

Sometimes it seems people fret less over the sidearm they carry with them than the AR they have in the safe at home.

Still nice to have a good AR though. Personally I would make my decision based on a hands-on inspection. I think most of the major manufacturers selling in the $900 range and up make a decent gun... but also put out some horrid workmanship from time to time.

I am more concerned with a properly clocked barrel than I worry about whether an individual bolt was mag partical inspected. In the unlikely event a small part does fail, I will replace it. That is a lot easier than to fix sloppy machining issues.

I probably haven't handled and looked over more than about 100 civilian ARs. I have owned Colt, Bushmaster, Rock River, and CMMG. Of those I have personally handled, my experience has been that the better specimens appeared to have been from RRA, Stag, Les Baer, Double Star, and S&W. The poorer specimens from Bushmaster, Colt, Armalite, CMMG, and Olympic. Olympic seems to have a poor reputation for durability, though I have no first hand experience with that brand.

Personally I have sold all of mine except the Rock Rivers.

RP88
October 31, 2009, 03:03 PM
The chart uses a single model per manufacturer - usually the most popular and standard one - for the specs and comparisons. Secondary options, limited runs, features available on request, etc. aren't taken into consideration, at least not from how it looks anymore.

A lot of the brands - like CMMG, LMT, DPMS, Bushmaster - have other options available that aren't considered, or are up for debate on as to whether or not it is or isn't in the specs. I know for a fact that CMMG can/is a lot more of a gun if you buy it yourself and add to it what you want.

But, I don't really care. Although I used a CMMG upper and lower for my build, I built my gun using parts from four different companies, and walked away with a mostly milspec gun with rails, rail covers, upgraded grip, and nicer flash hider for less than the cost of a fully milspec, bare-standard gun. In fact, I think the only thing about it that is non-milspec is the unstaked castle nut.

I only use the chart as a deciding factor on where to get my parts from, really.

Avenger29
October 31, 2009, 06:57 PM
Secondary options, limited runs, features available on request, etc. aren't taken into consideration, at least not from how it looks anymore.

The Chart would be impossible to update on a regular basis for that. When you literally have everybody and his brother making ARs...

At the very least, with the explanation of features and a careful eye, you can generally check out an AR not listed for yourself and see what it offers.

kwelz
October 31, 2009, 07:04 PM
The Irony is that a RRA, DPMS, etc upgraded to the same specs as a Colt or BCM would cost about the same or even more. And this is without MP Testing, Shot peening, etc. It isn't that these companies CAN'T make a better gun. It is that they won't.

RP88
October 31, 2009, 08:13 PM
The Chart would be impossible to update on a regular basis for that. When you literally have everybody and his brother making ARs...

At the very least, with the explanation of features and a careful eye, you can generally check out an AR not listed for yourself and see what it offers.

Rob did have the chart showing secondary options for awhile, but I guess that became troublesome because the chart is also based on user input other than just Rob himself and his research.

And you're right. And that is kind of the point. The chart is not an absolute indicator of a manufacturer's quality. Then considering how pretty much everyone but the top five companies buys pretty much everything from Continental Arms, well...

DammitBoy
October 31, 2009, 09:42 PM
The chart is accurate and is kept up to date on an almost weekly basis. DPMS only offers Chrome lining as an option.

Wrong. Several DPMS models come with a chrome lined bore as standard.

I meant a chrome lined chamber in the receiver which is an option for the DPMS I'm looking at online, right now.

kwelz
October 31, 2009, 10:02 PM
Wrong. Several DPMS models come with a chrome lined bore as standard.

They do?
http://dpmsinc.com/store/products/?prod=46
4140 chrome-moly steel AP4 style contour

Chrome-moly barrel steel is not Chrome lined.
You have to select the Chrome lining option when you build out the gun. This is not how they come default from the factory.

CMP
November 1, 2009, 01:15 AM
I personally don’t care for the chart. It really just depends on what your going to be using the AR for.
$600-$800 dollar Ars will be golden for weekend plinkers. They probably will never have a problem. There will be some guys that say their tier 3 Ars will out shoot the tier 1s. Well the tier 3s might Have tighter chamber tolerances but they wont be as reliable because of that.
Theres tons of trade offs. It all boils down to what its gonna be used for. I own a DPMS but I plan on getting a colt in the A2 style, but I don’t want an National match Hbar. I also plan on building my own varmint AR with all the goodies.
I want the colt for the “supposed” reliability and to stash away. I wouldn’t say I beat the hell out of my DPMS but it gets put through the paces.

Theres also so many of the internet people that hear one story and pace it off to others. The last 10 years many of the companies that have been making ARs have upped the quality and make a fine rifle. Especially for the price. There still is a lot of companies that make junk ARs.

DammitBoy
November 1, 2009, 02:25 PM
Chrome-moly barrel steel is not Chrome lined.
You have to select the Chrome lining option when you build out the gun. This is not how they come default from the factory.

Thanks for that info - good to know.

JonB
November 1, 2009, 09:09 PM
Please ignore the silly @ss chart. People need to resist the urge to post it.

knights_armorer
November 1, 2009, 09:19 PM
I own a DPMS but I plan on getting a colt in the A2 style, but I don’t want an National match Hbar.
I want the colt for the “supposed” reliability

if your planning to get a 20" a2, reliability with a colt will be no more certain than with any other make.

the only colt i would consider would be a 6920, but even in that category there are wiser choices (cough lmt among others cough)

cuervo
November 1, 2009, 10:24 PM
I'd say this chart is very biased...

it completely ignores Hesse/Vulcan :)

taliv
November 1, 2009, 10:37 PM
i'd think a knights armorer would be coughing about the SR15 :) awesome carbine

RP88
November 1, 2009, 10:50 PM
*looks at the chart*

I'm kind of wondering if it is actually updated every week, though. I know a couple manufacturers have earned a few more X's lately...

Sebastian the Ibis
November 1, 2009, 10:53 PM
I saw a bolt catch break on brand new Colt 6920 at the range last week, while the owner was taking slow careful shots downrange.


They all have problems.

CMP
November 1, 2009, 10:56 PM
What would be the best brand AR for reliability? If I where going to buy just an upper is this like the LMT you talking about?
http://www.lewismachine.net/product.php?p=63&cid=6&session=e2c0da06bcbe582f149ae8b283f6bea8

rayman
November 1, 2009, 11:06 PM
I think a colt, that's what this thread is all about...

knights_armorer
November 2, 2009, 01:04 AM
i'd think a knights armorer would be coughing about the SR15 awesome carbine

lol, no question, you got me there.

Quentin
November 2, 2009, 03:11 AM
I think Rob did a find job on the chart and you can learn a lot from it. It's a godsend if you're building an AR or buying a complete rifle. Maintaining the chart must be a nightmare but he keeps it up to date.

You can deviate from the left of the chart where the Colt, LMT and BCM are yet still end up with a fine AR. If you believe a 1:9 twist is better suited to the ammo you'll use, go ahead. If you ended up with a commercial receiver extension but aren't changing the slider, no big deal. If you don't have the F-marked FSB, it can be corrected with a taller sight blade. Go ahead and buy a midlength gas system even though it's not milspec.

The things that are most important are the bolt/carrier and barrel. Make sure yours are robust and reliable.

Don't get angry at the chart, learn from it and avoid mistakes. If you do deviate from it - know what you're doing.

kwelz
November 2, 2009, 04:31 AM
Join Date: January 1, 2008
Posts: 2,067

*looks at the chart*

I'm kind of wondering if it is actually updated every week, though. I know a couple manufacturers have earned a few more X's lately...

Send a message to Rob_S with any corrections.

Avenger29
November 2, 2009, 01:53 PM
What would be the best brand AR for reliability? If I where going to buy just an upper is this like the LMT you talking about?

Yes, that's LMT's standard 16" bbl carbine flattop.

I have one, excellent product. I'd rather go for a Bravo Company midlength upper, though. LMT is, unless i am mistaken, still behind on production and the midlength is better suited, anyway...

DammitBoy
November 2, 2009, 10:19 PM
Does anybody here have any experience with the POF-USA P415 or P308 series of AR's?

smoketheresfire
November 2, 2009, 11:08 PM
I saw a bolt catch break on brand new Colt 6920 at the range last week, while the owner was taking slow careful shots downrange.


They all have problems.
I saw an Ed Brown Classic Custom 1911 have a fte once and my Para-Ordnance has been flawless...therefore my Para is just as good or better than an Ed Brown. :scrutiny: I don't think so.

knights_armorer
November 2, 2009, 11:28 PM
looks at the chart*

I'm kind of wondering if it is actually updated every week, though. I know a couple manufacturers have earned a few more X's lately...

does knights armament have a carbine on that chart?

MachIVshooter
November 2, 2009, 11:28 PM
The chart is accurate and is kept up to date on an almost weekly basis

BS. If that were true, they'd show the LEC15A4CBK (http://www.armalite.com/ItemForm.aspx?item=LEC15A4CBK&ReturnUrl=Categories.aspx?Category=8e8e5de6-5022-483e-812b-822e58014822)instead of the M15A4C (http://www.armalite.com/ItemForm.aspx?item=15A4C&ReturnUrl=Categories.aspx?Category=8e8e5de6-5022-483e-812b-822e58014822)

Armalite's M4gery has been out for over 2 years now. Up to date my A$$.

Avenger29
November 2, 2009, 11:41 PM
does knights armament have a carbine on that chart?

I don't think so, simply owing to the rarity of the SR-15. I.E., you don't see Wilson or Les Baer rifles up there for the same reason, they are not common rifles. You also don't see a lot of other manufacturers up there. I think at one time I counted up over two dozen AR manufacturers of varying sizes and popularity. Again, you can check out the features of any given AR-15 variant for yourself with the explanations given. It's not that hard.

BS. If that were true, they'd show the LEC15A4CBKinstead of the M15A4C

Armalite's M4gery has been out for over 2 years now. Up to date my A$$.

Well, send in a correction instead of whining. Armalite's M4gery still says M15 A4 on their website and then LEC15A4CBK under it.

Quentin
November 3, 2009, 12:41 AM
The chart is accurate and is kept up to date on an almost weekly basis
BS. If that were true, they'd show the LEC15A4CBKinstead of the M15A4C

Armalite's M4gery has been out for over 2 years now. Up to date my A$$.

And what's wrong with the M15A4C? I just got that upper myself. Chose it over the LEC since I wanted a middy.

Anyway, I know what you're saying, it may be better to have the M4 represented but I'm fairly sure the LEC would end up rated the same as the the midlength. Little difference between them except the M4 profile barrel vs. medium profile with no M203 notch and about 1/2 lb in weight.

Kentucky
November 3, 2009, 01:22 AM
*looks at the chart*

I'm kind of wondering if it is actually updated every week, though. I know a couple manufacturers have earned a few more X's lately...
Easy to whine and say stuff like that. If you KNOW it put it out for everyone to see.

Put up or shut up.

Girodin
November 3, 2009, 01:25 AM
I have never understood how or why people get upset at the chart. It is a source of information stating what features are standard on various makes. That can be valuable information. It is of course important to understand the how and why of those features. Some may not need or want them depending on their use.

Hating a spread sheet of info strikes me as very very odd unless you have a reason to not want the information disseminated.

RP88
November 3, 2009, 02:15 AM
Easy to whine and say stuff like that. If you KNOW it put it out for everyone to see.

Put up or shut up.

Typical snobbery. Despite defending the purpose of the chart multiple times, it boils down to this against me: I'm all of a sudden against it because I see it as a tad out of date or possibly inaccurate for two models/mfgrs. Take yourself elsewhere.

A simply look on DPMS' and CMMG's site is proof enough, I'd say. CMMG has said directly and lists that their barrel steel is milspec. they list it as "milspec certified 4150 CMV". Pretty much the same thing as 11595E last time I checked; when the whole issue of "milspec barrel steel" first came up during the birth of the chart, there was a crapstorm over it, and a lot of the makers listed or were listed as using "4150 CMV" or something to that extent (LMT being the exception with "M249"). There's one good example.

Hating a spread sheet of info strikes me as very very odd unless you have a reason to not want the information disseminated.

Some people don't like hearing how their gun that they didn't pay top-dollar for, but still walked away with a terrific gun at a great price, isn't good enough to survive the rigors of combat. They see the all-blue columns by Colt, BCM, DD, LMT, and Noveske and think to themselves: "well, I still think my DPMS can hold up, blah blah blah...I still wouldn't hesitate to take it to a carbine class, etc." Basically your typical d***-measuring contest, and you came out the loser, but try to flip it and say its bigger when you measure it in metric.

The main thing the chart shows is minimum quality control. A Colt, etc. was made in a way to guarantee that it is as close to 100% quality as possible.

Does a batch-tested barrel or bolt mean less quality? Usually not. It just wasn't individually tested, but came from a batch where everything seemed fine to where the manufacturers trusted to put it into a rifle.

Now, proper staking of the gas key, shot-peening, the spring insert, and barrel steel DO make a huge, undeniable difference, depending on what the gun is meant for, as those pretty much set the bar for what the gun is going to be able to do.

gyvel
November 3, 2009, 06:20 AM
I take it that this chart doesn't evaluate companies that just make lowers, such as Kaiser Defense?

Dr.Rob
November 3, 2009, 06:23 AM
Back before the M-4 and 'the chart' people USED to say "ABCD"

Armalite, Bushmaster, Colt, DPMS. Anything else on the market was shady.

Now that everybody and his brother in law makes an AR it is important to have SOME sort of side by side comparison. I'm not saying you can't tell a Noveske from a Hesse, but I certainly appreciate the side by side looks at Charles Daly, Smith and Wesson, Rock River and others. Para Ordnance is now shipping an AR and so is Ruger how do they stack up?

Not all AR's are created equal. Meaning if you want a varminter or a dedicated high power match rifle or utility carbine you need to compare apples to apples. That chart was designed to compare other rifles TO THE COLT which had all the proprietary features of the M4. It's weighted at the start.

strambo
November 3, 2009, 08:16 AM
The problem with "M4-type" AR's is they all look the same (the same as the military M4 made by Colt) Well, I get one issued, I don't really know what makes it "milspec", I know it is gas operated, 1/7 twist, 5.56, magazine fed with a max effective range of...etc. blah, blah.

This does me no good in trying to replicate that for myself with a personally owned AR. A Hesse "M4" looks like an Oly, looks like a Colt 6520. I would expect any private AR I own to either be able to perform like my issue M4...OR...I want to know exactly where, why, and how it is different (better or worse).

"The Chart" along with lots of research did that for me. I know exactly what I bought, how it differs from the TDP and what it's potential weaknesses and advantages are.

Without the chart or similar info (especially the feature descriptions), I would have thought RRA or Bushmaster the equivalent of Colt minus a premium for name brand. The main difference being extras like rails etc.

There is nothing wrong with any AR, depends on value, features and intended use. Why buy a $2500 Knight's when an Oly would do all you want it to? Or an $1800 Noveske SPR type to plink prairie dogs when a RRA varmit model would do it as good (maybe better?) for 1/2 the price?

That OLY might not let you get your $'s worth out of a 5 day carbine course though (but hey, it might)...but that isn't to say it would fail putting 2 in the chest of a home intruder...

Being able to withstand the heat and beating of high round counts in short amounts of time, isn't the same as being able to provide reliable service for years and years at a typical user sedate rate of fire of a couple hundred (if that) a month.

MarineOne
November 3, 2009, 08:22 AM
I realize this might be old info, but I keep reading that "any" M16 part in an AR makes that AR a "machine gun" per the BATFE. This is supposed to include the BCG, safety selector, hammer, trigger, and disconnector. Is this still valid info or is it just a crock?


I'm going to be rebuilding my Bushmaster next year and most of the parts I'm going to use will be as close to mil-spec as possible, and I really don't want the Feds to knock down my house just to get through the front door.




Kris

strambo
November 3, 2009, 09:31 AM
The M16 BCG making it a "machinegun" is a crock. The lower receiver parts are a whole 'nuther matter. I don't know if they all are verboten, but I wouldn't mess with any of them. No need to anyway.

Really, the barrel, BCG, buffer/spring, good quality receiver extension and staking the castle nut would make it GTG. check the receiver for M4 ramps or not and get the correct barrel to go with it, or get ramps in your upper receiver.

Might be easier/more cost effective to just sell the upper and put that $$ towards a BCM (or similar quality) upper. Put on a different stock if you want and stake the castle nut if it concerns you (it's really easy, took me 5 mins).

RP88
November 3, 2009, 12:08 PM
I take it that this chart doesn't evaluate companies that just make lowers, such as Kaiser Defense?

No. It mainly pertains to the upper if anything, unless they also build the rest of the actual lower (stock, extension, staking, etc.). It also pertains to companies that build a whole firearm. There are also other models out there that are just plain new and no one has the time or money to figure out where they stand. Some companies also do not like to disclose information on how they build a gun. I'm pretty sure a lot of them know Rob_s because they got an e-mail from him asking by now, or at least have heard about his chart by now, and I can bet that a lot of them would like to remain as secretive as possible in order to hide any shortcuts that would show up on it.

strambo
November 3, 2009, 12:23 PM
It's kinda like the home fitness equipment field. My dad burns through typical home use quality stair steppers etc...because he actually uses them! The typical consumer buys something, uses it for 2 weeks, it collects dust, then sell it years later at a garage sale.

So...higher quality equipment is advertised as "Health Cub Quality" or something like that, and is built more robust to take much more frequent use and costs twice as much. On the outside, they look pretty much the same though.

frankd4
November 3, 2009, 01:23 PM
I have a Colt and two Rock Rivers the Rock rivers shoot Titer groups at a hundred yards and are a lot more forgiving about dirt they do not get jammed up over not being cleaned. Itís all about what you can afford you donít have to spend a lot of money to get a decent AR, I recently picked up a Spike for a truck gun lots of bang for the buck. Get what works for you forget charts or what people whom are getting paid write in gunrags.

RedAlert
November 3, 2009, 02:25 PM
I find the chart to be an interesting reference for comparison. The explanation section is nicely informative and includes URL links to allow further research into each specific topic/part.

A casual look at the chart and the information it contains easily shows which manufacturers would be on my short list IF I were to need a weapon to sustain high round count or severe service. It ALSO shows which companies that make a recreational suitable firearm as well.

Common sense says there is a difference between the two and I don't need to spend the money on the Colt, when another maker makes a suitable firearm to fit my recreational needs.

Thanks for the chart and it was refreshing to read some sane comments amongst so many posters here who find it necessary to trash someone else's work just to have something to say. As one poster said: If you find something wrong; notify the author of the chart. Don't just cast crap or whine.

Ralph

Evenflo76
November 3, 2009, 02:50 PM
The chart is fairly accurate, although it is comparing commercially available M4gery's to what the troops carry.

It is not very useful if you want to purchase a Govt 20" A2 or 24" Bull barreled varmint rig.

Ar-15 is a very general term...

usmc1371
November 3, 2009, 05:20 PM
I looked at the chart befor I bought my first AR, lots of good info about specs and features for people who don't know much about ar's. I learned that a M4 stile was not going to be the best for me cause I wanted a rifle for shooting long range sage rats and coyotes. I asked around on lots of shooting sites and varmint sites to find out what I needed to know about the rifles built for what I was actuly going to use it for. Ended up buying a Les Baer super varmint .204 and haven't looked back. It is simply an amazing rifle, yes it cost more than a RRA or Colt but it does what it said it would. Puts 5 shots in Less than .5 moa 100% reliablity.

The only two rifles I have ever seen actuly blow up were both AR's, one was a bushy with hand loads, the other was a M16A2 with the same rounds every other mairne shoots. I am pretty sure that M16 said Colt on it. Just because I have seen a BM and colt self destruct wouldn't keep me form owning eathier one of them. IMHO if the rifle you spend your money on makes you happy then just enjoy it.

mboylan
November 4, 2009, 09:19 AM
Just a feature comparison chart. It really doesn't address quality of manufacture. Several of the uppers from companies listed will have more accurate barrels than Colt. Many of the extra features on the Colt are available at extra cost from the other manufacturers.

Example: The Noveske is going to have much better fit and finish than the Colt. It will be more accurate. It will be as reliable or more. It will also cost much much more.

So this really doesn't break things up into tiers. It just compares what is closest to a 16" Colt.

BTW: Sabre looks like second tier on this chart. They make some high performance 3-gun competition ARs with $2000+ price tags.

smoketheresfire
November 4, 2009, 09:24 AM
Just a feature comparison chart. It really doesn't address quality. Several of the uppers from companies listed will have more accurate barrels than Colt.

Example: The Noveske is going to have much better fit and finish than the Colt. It will be more accurate. It will also cost much much more.

So this really doesn't break things up into tiers.
You're right, but those features often lead to better reliability. As far as accuracy goes Noveske has a much better chrome lined barrel than any of the other competition (I think it's a Pac-Nor). As far as tier 2 ar's, Rock River has the Wylde chamber which supposedly makes their guns a bit more accurate than the competition. Still not 100% sold on the Wylde though.

dom1104
November 4, 2009, 09:32 AM
I built my AR using info from the chart, so far I am really happy with it.

I dont see how more information could be a bad thing.....

longdayjake
November 4, 2009, 11:01 AM
The Irony is that a RRA, DPMS, etc upgraded to the same specs as a Colt or BCM would cost about the same or even more. And this is without MP Testing, Shot peening, etc. It isn't that these companies CAN'T make a better gun. It is that they won't.


This is mostly true. The problem I see with the chart is that it is comparing an apple to an orange that looks like an apple. It would make more sense to me if they took all the makers and tried to get as close as possible to milspec with them and then compared the prices. Also, I disagree with their evaluation of properly staked gas key. I have owned 3 of the lower end AR's that were all properly staked. Maybe I just got lucky. I guess if your desire in a gun is to get it to be a colt then buy a colt. If your desire is to have something practical to shoot tight groups with then the last thing you want is a stock Colt. Not to say colt is not good quality, but the chart is unfair to other companies that make a totally different and in some ways a better rifle in a similar looking package. As was mentioned earlier, m16 bolt carriers are unimportant in semi auto packages. Barrel steel is unimportant in total reliability but can affect accuracy and longjevity. Long story short, mil spec is probably the worst barrel for accuracy and the best for shooting 50,000 bullets before needing a new barrel. That isn't to say that they cant shoot well, but a good varmint barrel will outshoot them by a lot. The buffer matters, but it doesn't have to be mil spec H buffer to be 100% reliable. Then there is the staked castle nut which is helpful, but plenty of companies use other methods like locktite to permanantly fix the stock. I personally prefer dealing with locktite when changing a stock.

Rock River has the Wylde chamber which supposedly makes their guns a bit more accurate than the competition. Still not 100% sold on the Wylde though.

Im sold on it simply because my brass seems to last longer before I have to trim the necks. Also, my RRA is more accurate out of the box than any other stock AR I have owned or shot. That may just be a luck thing because I was one of those crazy people that wanted a chrome lined barrel. That said, I have shot AR's that were more accurate, but they were built to be. All in all it comes down to what you really want from your rifle. If you want a rifle that is limited in accuracy, but maxed out in reliability buy a stock colt. If you want a rifle that is extremely accurate or in a different caliber you may have to look somewhere else.

If you enjoyed reading about "AR-15 ''Tiers'' (brands)" here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!