Bushmaster vs. Colt AR


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milefile
March 16, 2011, 07:04 PM
I'm doing my homeowrk and pre-purchase research on my next firearm purchase. It'll be an AR and for a number of reasons it'll more than likely be a Bushmaster or a Colt. I already own two colt pistols and know first hand that "quality makes it a Colt". I've heard good things about Bushmaster, and the shop Ive done most of my business with sells a lot of them and I know I'll get a good price. I'm looking for your comments to tilt me in one direction or another, or maybe just make me pick the one I like best. But I'm new to AR's and any pros and cons you can offer are really appreciated. Thanks.

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Bartholomew Roberts
March 16, 2011, 07:06 PM
http://spreadsheets.google.com/pub?key=pwswheghNQsEuEhjFwPrgTA&single=true&gid=5&output=html

That link discusses only the features in M4-style ARs; but it does help give an idea of how ARs that look visually identical can have major differences in price and components.

Sky
March 16, 2011, 07:15 PM
http://forums.officer.com/forums/showthread.php?81462-So-you-want-to-buy-an-AR-15-huh

There are many choices; just educate yourself a little and know the purpose you intend to use your AR. You won't go wrong.

Also there is a thread now going on about Bushies

http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?t=581029

Pick a brand, do a search, and you will find lovers and haters for just about everything.

Motega
March 16, 2011, 07:20 PM
I own a Bushmaster and I am very happy with it. It is 10 years old and I treat it with respect but I don't baby it- it isn't a "safe queen". Lots of time in the pouring rain and lots of rounds through it and it never even hiccups.
The customer service at Bushmaster has been good. I have talked to a live person each time with lots of dumb questions and they were pretty patient about taking the time to help me. Also took the time to help me pick out a sling and some other accessories over the years and stuff has always arrived very quickly and well packaged.
I don't know what the prices are on Colt vs. Bushmaster but I think that would be the deciding factor for me.
If all else is equal, I would at least call Colt and see how long it takes to get a tech on the phone. If their customer service doesn't meet your expectations then absolutely go with the Bushmaster.
They are both great and I hope you have a great time with whatever you decide on.

Zerodefect
March 16, 2011, 07:38 PM
Colts Ar's are even better than the Colt 1911's your used to. The 6920 is a great rifle to start with.

Bushy isn't even close.

You can also get a Noveske lower of your choice from your local store, then internet order a BCM upper. Snap them together for something custom.

milefile
March 16, 2011, 07:43 PM
I am not getting a good feeling about Bushmaster so far. I have this question posted on another forum, too, and the results are about the same. Thing is, Colt is about the same price, so looking like a better value.

DoubleTapDrew
March 16, 2011, 07:53 PM
Colt > Bushmaster

Personally I'd go BCM (or Noveske if the budget was large enough to allow) but Colts are nice.

http://www.03designgroup.com/reviews/bcm-complete-ar15-upper-and-lower-receivers

HOLY DIVER
March 16, 2011, 08:54 PM
the Colt is the better rifle hands down. now does that mean bushmaster is crap....nope there good rifles, but Colt is better in a few areas like quality control ect..i personally love BCM Ar's but if it has 2 be a colt or bushy i'd highly recommend the colt

Birddog1911
March 16, 2011, 09:29 PM
Just what do you plan on doing with the rifle?

Just those two? Colt, every day of the week. While lots of folks have never had a issue with their Bushy, there are lots that have. There are a number of areas where Bushy has known issues, such as improper/poor staking of gas key, too short front sight pins, improperly sized gas port, etc. It's nice that they have good customer service, but it would be better if they didn't have these problems.

Colt has let some get by, but over all their product is superior in almost every way.

Now, any time I buy a new rifle, it will be Bravo Company (BCM). Some will smirk and call me a fanboy. You're darned right I'm a fan, and there is a very good reason that I am. Along with plenty of others who shoot far harder than I do. Filthy 14 (google it) made me a believer. Do yourself a favor, and check them out. I think you'll change your brand choices. :)

Joe Demko
March 16, 2011, 09:46 PM
I've owned both. The Colt's superiority lies in resale value.

Welding Rod
March 16, 2011, 10:03 PM
I have owned both.

I'm not on the "gotta be milspec" wagon (I generally tend to favor RRA guns for most of my AR needs), but of those two I would definitely go for the Colt. I would expect better build quality and resale value from it.

That said, if you are condsidering an M4 clone the 6920 has a needlessly short sight radius, a goofy grenade launcher cut in the barrel, a very minimalistic telescoping butt stock, and generally comes with a pretty sad trigger. Good quality, but not the best design features in an AR IMO.

KX592
March 16, 2011, 10:28 PM
Having owned a new bushmaster, i can say that most of this http://forums.officer.com/forums/sho...y-an-AR-15-huh is out of date. Most of these companies have made improvements since then.

milefile
March 17, 2011, 12:23 AM
Just what do you plan on doing with the rifle?

I plan on enjoying becoming proficient with it. I am a long gun novice.

taliv
March 17, 2011, 12:34 AM
welcome to THR

the link Bart posted in #2 will give you a fact-based perspective. Then you can make an informed choice about value. Obviously, the bushmaster M4 isn't quite as good as the colt 6920. However, if the bushmaster is only $300 and the colt is $3000, clearly, the bushmaster would be the better value. If they're both $1100, clearly the colt is the better value. If you have only $1100 to spend in your total budget, an $800 bushmaster and a $300 case of ammo is probably the way to go
(unless you can get a $550 CMMG bargain bin and two cases of ammo)

because proficiency is worth a whole lot more than the differences between those two guns

Shooter973
March 17, 2011, 12:48 AM
A Colt is the original thing, all the others are just copies of the Best....:neener:

Quentin
March 17, 2011, 03:12 AM
Unfortunately the M4 chart linked above no longer appears when you go to the spreadsheet. The chart is being radically upgraded and right now only the description of features shows, not the 14 manufacturers and how they rate. But Colt was at the top of the rankings while Bushmaster fell way behind due to many missing features or specifications.

You just can't go wrong with Colt but there are other choices that are of the same quality and yet not much more expensive than BM. Two that come to mind are BCM and Daniel Defense. Spikes and S&W fall back a little but are better than BM though the price is about the same.

Finally, building your own AR with quality parts can give you Colt quality for about $850 or so. This is the path I went.

ultradoc
March 17, 2011, 08:58 AM
You can't beat Colt. The name says it all

kwelz
March 17, 2011, 09:04 AM
Colt is far superior to bushmaster. However you would be well served also looking at BCM or Daniel Defense. They will be at the quality level of the colt but at the price point of the Bushmaster.

Water-Man
March 17, 2011, 09:20 AM
For your first AR, Colt is the way to go.

briang2ad
March 17, 2011, 09:50 AM
Colt is Milspec (as are DD, BCM, LMT, etc.). So there are choices.

Bush is not - period.

milefile
March 17, 2011, 01:11 PM
Seems like the guys who have Bushmasters are okay with them, but don't love them. I need to be excited about my guns. I've done some looking into BCM and am impressed. I guess bushmaster is out of the running.

I did manage to get a copy of the chart from a member on another forum even though it's been taken down.

crossrhodes
March 17, 2011, 01:40 PM
Question. I've noticed that a lot of folks like the BCM upper and the spikes lower. Is it price or quality for the reason of mix and match.
I have a BCM upper with a Bushy lower but that's because I had an extra lower sitting around and found a deal on the BCM upper.

gotigers
March 17, 2011, 03:08 PM
I would stick with the milspec manufacturers. Milspec is a little more than just the buffer tube. Proper metallurgy, finish, quality control, etc.

Sky
March 17, 2011, 03:25 PM
Talked to CMMG yesterday and they do not have anymore Bargain Bins at the moment!!

TonyAngel
March 17, 2011, 04:35 PM
Between the two mentioned, I'd have to say that the Colt is the better rifle, at least on paper.

If you are doing some pre-purchase research, don't limit your search to just the brands that you are familiar with. I would recommend that you check out Bravo Company and Spike's Tactical. These are two very popular brands with those that are in the know. Is a Colt better than a Bravo Company or Spike's rifle? Maybe. It's certainly arguable, but I can say without reservation that either the Spike's or the BCM would give you a lot more bang for the buck.

rayman
March 17, 2011, 05:03 PM
This is weird, in the past a lot of forum members said Colt wasn't worth the price. I wonder where those guys are?

Quentin
March 17, 2011, 05:07 PM
Question. I've noticed that a lot of folks like the BCM upper and the spikes lower. Is it price or quality for the reason of mix and match.
I have a BCM upper with a Bushy lower but that's because I had an extra lower sitting around and found a deal on the BCM upper.
Spikes makes a nice lower but it won't serve you any better than the BM lower you have except that it probably has a heavier buffer unless you've upgraded the one in your Bushy. I'd say the reasons you see so many Spikes lowers are agressive sale prices (well under $100) and the various models/rollmarks.

So if you like the Spider better than the Snake, go for it. But your BCM has a nice home already. (All the above ignores the LPK and stocks installed since none of that has been specified.)

Onmilo
March 17, 2011, 05:54 PM
Just remember that you won't get a 14.5" to 16" legal barrel length true M4 dimensioned carbine out of Colt.
You get a 16" barrel.

If that doesn't matter to you, then I would tend to lean towards a new manufacture Colt if the price was comparable.

taliv
March 17, 2011, 07:38 PM
This is weird, in the past a lot of forum members said Colt wasn't worth the price. I wonder where those guys are?

oh, they'll be along soon

Ala Dan
March 17, 2011, 07:42 PM
I would take a COLT, any day of the week over a Bushy~! ;)

FWIW, But my favorite is a Rock River LAR-15 - :cool: :D

suzukisam
March 17, 2011, 07:42 PM
A Colt is the original thing, all the others are just copies of the Best....

not exactly.. they didn't invent the AR-15, or m-16.. they bought the rights to it.. if you want the original you'll have to buy a different brand!;)
This is weird, in the past a lot of forum members said Colt wasn't worth the price. I wonder where those guys are?

"worth the price" is a relative assessment. personally I'd rather have a heins 57 any day. just because everybody has niche on a different part of the market. colt makes great guns, I'd still want a WOA, or krieger barrel, and a RRA/ARmalite trigger.. and usually you can build exactly what you want for what they want retail for the average AR. but if you wanna just open a box and shoot, about any gun mentioned so far in this post will serve you well. I would find the best price take your time breaking it in and enjoy. just my .02

mic_poo
March 18, 2011, 09:24 PM
I LOVE my Bushy.

HOLY DIVER
March 18, 2011, 10:20 PM
susuki,can't speak about a krieger barrel but i have a WOA 18inch 1/7twist barrel and i absolutely love it can't think of one thing to complain about.

mr.scott
March 18, 2011, 10:27 PM
A Colt is the original thing, all the others are just copies of the Best....
__________________
Colt isn't the original. they got the design from armalite.

HOLY DIVER
March 18, 2011, 10:31 PM
mr.scott as posted earlier COLT DID NOT DESIGN the AR-15/M-16 they just build them like everybody else. now they do make 1 of the finest AR's you can get you hands on but there are other manufacturers that are just as good but Bushmaster is not one of them IMHO

suzukisam
March 18, 2011, 11:16 PM
holy mine is a 1:7 16" sdm....sssaaaaaweeet! I'm hooked on 'em. I have three currently.. my .243 is my favorite though.. 20" 1:9...

milefile
March 24, 2011, 06:26 PM
I was a little disappointed to learn that the 6520 had an integral handle. Kind of a deal breaker for me. So I began searching again and finally found my AR. It won't be "mine" for a couple months but a pistol in trade and some cash is all it takes to hold it until I have the balance. Very exceited and can't wait to take it home.

Colt LE6940
http://www.milspecmonkey.com/shotshow/colt-006.jpg

nwilliams
March 24, 2011, 08:41 PM
Not trying to be a snob, people have a right to buy whatever they want.

However the fact remains that right now in this market a Bushmaster, DPMS, Olympic, RRA or Stag is not that much cheaper than buying a Colt, Daniel Defense, LMT, BCM or S&W.

If you ask me I'd rather spend a little more and have a an AR that I know is quality. I got my Daniel Defense AR for $1,050 and I couldn't be more impressed with the quality of it. I owned a Busy and I have to say that compared to my DD it feels like I transitioned from a Mazda to a Mercedes and the difference in price was perhaps $200 at the most.

milefile
March 24, 2011, 11:34 PM
You might not be trying to be a snob but it still came off that way.

Daniel Defense makes a great AR from what I understand and I predict having one someday. Harder to get than a Colt right now. Greater than Colt? Hmm. Was your post in response to me? I never even mentioned DPMS, Olympic, RRA or Stag.

I can relate to the Mazda to Mercedes analogy though, only for pistols. This is my first AR.

paradox998
March 24, 2011, 11:48 PM
I have both a Colt 6922 and a Bushy. I like both and can recommend both. If I were buying one right now, it would be a Colt 6920. They can be had new for around $1000 and you have the gold standard. FYI, the 6922 is a limited run version of the 6920 with a 1:9 twist rather than an 1:7 twist.

milefile
March 28, 2011, 12:30 AM
Not trying to be a snob, people have a right to buy whatever they want.

However the fact remains that right now in this market a Bushmaster, DPMS, Olympic, RRA or Stag is not that much cheaper than buying a Colt, Daniel Defense, LMT, BCM or S&W.

If you ask me I'd rather spend a little more and have a an AR that I know is quality. I got my Daniel Defense AR for $1,050 and I couldn't be more impressed with the quality of it. I owned a Busy and I have to say that compared to my DD it feels like I transitioned from a Mazda to a Mercedes and the difference in price was perhaps $200 at the most.

OK smart guy. You win :)

I could not get the LGS to budge on their price. I found myself with enough money to get a DDM4 online and still nearly 500.00 short for the Colt (tax). Brand loyalty gave way to rationality. Can't wait for the DDM4 to get here. Paid more than you, but not much.

TheVision
March 28, 2011, 01:30 AM
I already own two colt pistols and know first hand that "quality makes it a Colt".

Perhaps this was true before they went bankrupt -- for what seems like the eleventh time -- and sold the onion dome factory in Hartford to be made into luxury apartments. I have an HBAR, and it shoots great, but things like the non-standard sized pin holes drive me crazy. Maybe they've changed in the past twenty years :) I built two Busmashers as well, and they're tack drivers too.

I don't think you'll go wrong with either.

Greg

JAV8000
March 28, 2011, 02:11 AM
I am a US army rifleman in the infantry and I can tell you that our issue Colt M4s work very well (with proper maintenance). Mine hasn't failed in some 2K rounds in a week of pre-deployment training. My military left has great faith in the Colt.....if you want mil-spec (to the reality of issue mil-spec) than get a Colt. Mine earned me platoon honors for marksmanship with an ACOG, get some!

SpeedAKL
March 28, 2011, 11:11 AM
Assuming we are comparing identically-configured rifles (M4-type carbines for example), Colt brings some advantages to the table that BM does not:

-HP/MPI tested barrel and BCG - Military-mandated QC process that detects for internal metallurgy flaws. Reduces the likelihood that your bolt carrier group or barrel has a defect in it

-Staked gas keys - Gas keys on the bolt can come loose when firing the rifle at a high rate

-Proper front sight post - Colt installs the correct front sight post for a carbine-length AR with a removable carry handle. Bushmaster does not; why the do not I haven't a clue.

-M16-style bolt carrier group - Heavier BCG originally designed to run with full-auto guns. Reduces the recoil impulse on the gun, puts less stress on other components

-1:7 barrel - Faster barrel twists allows you to shoot heavier .225/5.56mm bullets

-Proper 5.56mm chamber - Some BMs have improperly-cut chambers; this has been demonstrated by several members on M4Carbine who have access to chambe reamers. This can be a problem when shooting higher-pressure milspec ammo

-Proper gas port - Some BMs have run over-gassed; this leads to extra heat and stress on components

Some of these descriptions may be rough on the technical end, but the bottom line is that the price difference in the Colt (at least some of it) reflects several quality control activities and higher-quality components used in the gun that are designed to make it more reliable. If you plan on shooting a lot of ammo these features could come in handy.

stevereno1
March 28, 2011, 02:34 PM
I own a piece of garbage Bushmaster. It doesn't have a bunch of blue squares filled in on the chart:barf:. All it does it shoot, and shoot, and shoot, and shoot, accurately, and with very little maintenance required. I'm sure that the Colt is a great rifle, but the Bushmaster is a quality rifle that will give you thousands an thousands of rounds with proper maintenance.

kwelz
March 28, 2011, 03:16 PM
Steve I ask you the same questions I ask everyone who makes such a statement.
1: What is the intended use?
2: How hard have you actually run the gun?

I read a guy the other day who has fired 2K rounds over 10 years and claimed that was a lot and was the same as running 2K rounds in a few days. Obviously it is not.

SpeedAKL
March 28, 2011, 04:47 PM
Steve,

Nobody is saying that all Bushys are total junk. I used to own one - on the whole it ran reliably when using decent ammo (though I didn't run as high a round count as I am now) and didn't have a problem cooking off a couple hundred in a single sessoin. Having said that, the items described by some posters above do have an impact on reliability. The problems may not show up for one gun or in one sitting, but across a decent population size for an extended period (i.e. a carbine class or a police department) there has been a large amount of anecdotal evidence suggesting that these issues matter.

I switched brands 1. because I wanted to make some config changes that would have proven costly enough to justify a new purchase, 2. because I got a screaming deal on a high-end AR, and 3. because I was/am relying on the gun for HD and wanted to minimize whatever risks I could.

Mr.Davis
March 28, 2011, 04:54 PM
This is weird, in the past a lot of forum members said Colt wasn't worth the price. I wonder where those guys are?

Colt ARs have dropped in price significantly in the past 6 months.

BikerRN
March 28, 2011, 07:28 PM
Trying to compare a Bushmaster to a Colt is like trying to compare a Vespa moped to a Ducati motorcycle.

BikerRN

Durty
March 29, 2011, 12:26 AM
At the range Saturday we were shooting my buddies colt ar which never misfired. The guy next to us had a bushmaster that misfired several times. I examined his ammo but it wasn't crap like I figured it would be. Anyway, I am not a big ar fan but it was obvious to me which was better. By the way, I think Vespas are real cute.

Tommygunn
March 29, 2011, 12:33 AM
At the range Saturday we were shooting my buddies colt ar which never misfired. The guy next to us had a bushmaster that misfired several times.

And you know it wasn't the ammo, right?
And Colt ARs just never "misfire." A statistic of one is relatively meaningless.
Bushies are medium range ARs and most of the important things they don't get right can be fixed, and it is still less expensive to get a BCM bolt carrier group (which will be properly staked & MPI'd) than a whole new Noveske, a whole BCM or whatever brand is top 'o' the chart this week style AR.
If you have a Bushie already just keept good new parts on hand and replace when needed. If you are in the market then it pays to get the BCM or Noveske or Colt.

dprice3844444
March 29, 2011, 12:41 AM
bushmaster makes alot of colts stuff for the ar

suzukisam
March 29, 2011, 12:46 AM
if most people even understood carrier staking they wouldn't even bring it up.. an old screw driver or a punch and about 60 seconds and it would be done... most brands have had issues with runs getting out the door without staking here or there, colt has had just as many gremlins over the years as everyone else.. people just like to believe their favorite roll mark on the side makes a difference. I like colts, but they don't have the best triggers, they don't have the best barrels, they don't have the best FF tubes, they don't have the best pistol grips. The reality is no matter what brand you buy if you buy a stock rifle your going to have to go to a different company to get something upgraded.. my custom heinz 57 ARs will outshoot a stock colt all day or a plain bushy. I don't have much more than a stock colt in them and I don't have a single stock part other than the stock and pins.... not trying to be argumentative, but this is a redundant discussion...

kwelz
March 29, 2011, 12:48 AM
bushmaster makes alot of colts stuff for the ar

What the heck are you talking about. Bushmaster does not make a single part for Colt.

Tommygunn
March 29, 2011, 01:14 AM
if most people even understood carrier staking they wouldn't even bring it up.. an old screw driver or a punch and about 60 seconds and it would be done... most brands have had issues with runs getting out the door without staking here or there, colt has had just as many gremlins over the years as everyone else.....
^^^^^^^^
This.
The central #1 thing about ARs is the staking. Just for the edification of some, the last time I heard about an AR jamming it was because the gaskey had come loose and jammed up. And, uh, this was on a blog entry by a soldier .... in Iraq .... the gun was his U.S. G.I. issue COLT M4. Oh yea, it was a COLT! And fully mil-spec, to boot.
Now, that doesn't mean I'm going to tell you Colt is a POS and stay away from them. No. But gee whiz, even the mighty Colt put out one with an improperly staked gas key.
Oh wait. I can't say that. I don't KNOW it was IMproperly staked ....it might have been PROPERLY staked .... and just came loose anyway.
There are actually tools made to properly stake the gaskey.
Or you can do as suzukisam said and learn how to use a center punch. I used one to stake the castle nut on my AR. They work fine.

BushyGuy
March 29, 2011, 01:26 AM
i would take the Bushmaster over a Colt any day of the week! just cuz its mil-spec doesnt make it better unless you gonna put 10K a rounds thru it a year, Colt is over rated cuz its all "mil-spec" your paying more for it to be 100 percent mil-spec. anyone care to say why mil-spec is better ? Unless its full auto then i would say Mil-spec is a must!

Bushmaster makes very good barrels and great accuracy and has better customer service then Colt, if i wanna pay an "over price" i would get a gas piston AR like LMT or LWRCI.

I have a Bushmaster and its a great rifle, i dont see how Colt is better in any way unless i go full-auto.

suzukisam
March 29, 2011, 02:20 AM
No. But gee whiz, even the mighty Colt put out one with an improperly staked gas key.
Oh wait. I can't say that. I don't KNOW it was IMproperly staked ....it might have been PROPERLY staked .... and just came loose anyway.

Oh no.... that's blaspheme... not the almighty colt.. sorry couldn't help it..

the bottom line is that if you are an ar virgin, and know nothing, a company's qc might benefit you.. but bushy makes a great product and if you wanna spend more, go ahead, but you don't need to... do just about ten minutes of research and you'll find out that most parts originate in the same same place, no matter whose AR you buy.. even colt.. and anyone who understands how an AR works and what effects the reliability knows that ARs run well based on the design, and the brand makes little difference..

for those of you who say high round count breaks a bushy down.. why? I hear all these claims but no one knows why.. it's because they don't break down based on round count.. with most ARs you can expect a break in period...I can surf the net and find hundreds of examples of unhappy colt customers just like I could bushy, RRA, DD, and anyone esle you wanna name, and I bet if you get down to each case 95% would either be maintenance, ammo, or inexperienced gun owners.. about 5% would actually be the gun.. and every company has these problems.. you think Mercedes never puts out a lemon? any major brand AR out there with proper lube and break in will run well..

Mags
March 29, 2011, 02:37 AM
I had a Colt A2, the carrier WAS NOT PROPERLY STAKED! It did cause malfunctions, mostly FTFs. Took to the armorer on base and had it staked properly.

I sold the Colt to a buddy only because I wanted a flat top rifle. My bud is still shooting the hell out of that Colt he even put a flat top on it and shoots it more than I ever did. I have owned 2 Bushmasters 1 the carrier was staked ok the other was not. I now just have a Bushmaster and a Bravo Company both have complete Bravo Company BCGs.

cottonmouth
March 29, 2011, 04:16 PM
I have both and can't tell one does anything better than the other, the Colt does cost a hell'uva lot more.

J.B.

milefile
March 30, 2011, 05:19 PM
What the heck are you talking about. Bushmaster does not make a single part for Colt.
Thank you. I see garbage like this all the time online. He would never have said that to anyone's face. Symptom of anonymity I guess.

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