AR 15's...


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GWARGHOUL
November 13, 2011, 07:46 PM
Hey,

I know some of you hate these kinda questions.. but being straightforward and inquisitive helped me with my SAIGA purchase about a year ago...

So.. here it is..


Down the road a bit, I'm considering getting an AR. I love my AK, but have developed a real liking to having an American combat rifle around, too.

I have a few questions..


1.What are some good brands of sub-$1000 AR's.. Ideally I would spend $700-$900?

2. I see some that have a carry handle, and some that do not..
I would want to mount a scope or red dot type optics on it.. do the ones with handles come off.. or does it become a whole new changing upper kinda thing?

Thanks,
Steve

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Justin
November 13, 2011, 08:14 PM
For an AR in that price range, take a look at Smith & Wesson, Colt, Bushmaster, or Rock River Arms.

If you plan to attach optics of any sort, get a flat top upper with the detachable carry handle. In order to go from irons to a dot scope, all you have to do is remove the carry handle and attach the scope with a picatinny rail mount. Takes less than a minute, and depending on the scope mounts, may not even require any tools.

Sent from my myTouch_4G_Slide using Tapatalk

*NOVA*
November 13, 2011, 08:26 PM
Not saying they are better or worse, but as long as you are in the research stage, check out Del-Ton.

The more you look into it sooner or later you encounter the "build your own" philosophy, buying your uppers separate from the lowers.

Good luck! AR's are awesome.

ByAnyMeans
November 13, 2011, 08:26 PM
1: I would look at PSA. They have a great deal right now. It's a hundred more at an even thousand but is a very well built AR, staked where it needs to be with good parts. It also comes equipped with Magpul back up iron sights and an Aimpoint PRO red dot.

http://palmettostatearmory.com/2557.php

Or if your budget is non-negotiable try this

http://palmettostatearmory.com/8923.php

but honestly for the extra four hundred the first is really the way to go.

The other option if you want to learn all about an AR and not just care and maintenance then wait for Black Friday and pick up everything you need to build an AR to exactly as you like. If anything grab a PSA lower for their usual Fifty dollar sale, this is the technical firearm part so it goes to a dealer but everything after that can get shipped right to your house.



2: Their are different upper set ups. AR's are really like LEGO's and you can build anything. Usually a 16in barreled lower has a flat top. It may have a carry handle with an iron sight in the handle. It's on a rail and can be removed for an optic or BUIS set up.
Their are other upper's with fixed carry handles. You can still mount an optic to the top of the handle and even find some that allow you to still use the handle iron sight. This however make a proper cheek weld hard for most to use them.

Vermont
November 13, 2011, 08:27 PM
Nevermind

kfgk14
November 13, 2011, 08:46 PM
Colt and Palmetto State Armory, for that price. I'd say go with a PSA Patrol carbine. It ships with an Aimpoint PRO (Patrol Rifle Optic) for a total of $1000. Their 14.7" hammer-forged mid-length is also a very good out-of-the box rifle, perhaps a better choice if you're a bigger guy (mid-length=longer gas system, softer shooting and easier on the parts, and longer handguard for a guy with longer arms). It's currently out there for $600, add the Aimpoint PRO which can be found online for $400 and you have a complete system again for about $1000.

The Aimpoint is regarded by those in harm's way as the best of the best. I'm not making that up, I'm not saying that as an attempt to justify my ownership of Aimpoints, I'm saying it as a fact. Ask on a website like lightfighter.net about red dots, you'll see what I mean. With either of these packages, you're getting the Aimpoint quality right there. Any red dot sight I'd put on any of my rifles would cost at least $150 (Vortex), I'm assuming you aren't going to spend $900 on a rifle and put a $25 airsoft optic on it, so assuming you're going to spend at least $100 on an optic, and the best of the red dots out there right now are Aimpoint, then you're spending your money most efficiently buying a $600 rifle and a $400 optic as opposed to a equal or lesser $900 rifle and a lesser $100 optic.

To make both of these combat-viable, in my mind complete weapons systems and not just range toys, just add a good sling (one- or two-point, pick your preference) and a flashlight. I'd suggest a VTAC padded two-point sling with a VTAC two-to-1 slider, and an Elzetta ZFL-M60 light in the Elzetta ZFH1500 mount. Magpul MOE furniture is another potential addition, if you don't like the stock handguard, pistol grip or stock.
That totals out, if I'm not mistaken, to about $1300 total for either system.

Now, assuming you've followed me on this (I ramble, so it's unlikely) you have a $1000 or $1100rifle/optic combo, $150 flashlight, a $30 flashlight mount, and $60 sling system. This totals out to approximately $1240 or $1340 before shipping and the FFL transfer fee you'll incur unless you're in good with your FFL (or you are an FFL). So call it $1300 or $1400 for a complete weapons system. If you add MOE furniture, you might be up another $50-$100, though used MOE furniture can be found on many firearms boards in decent shape for next to nothing.
SO for the cost of a Daniel Defense complete rifle, sans optic/light/sling (albeit, equipped with a free-float rail system, but most shooters will never need the rail system's capabilities, they don't shoot far enough), you get a complete weapons system with a high-quality optic, a great light, and a sling.

I'd suggest the PSA because you get near-Colt-level quality (far closer to mil-spec than RRA, Bushmaster, S&W or DPMS) for S&W Sport prices, and for the price of a Colt you can get that package with an optic. You're closer to a complete, reliable weapons system for a lot less money than any other offer out there, unless you build the rifle of course.

Of course, I'm making this suggestion on the assumption that this rifle may become a defensive carbine for you, and that you want the best. If you just want a range toy, maybe you don't need all this. But, just in case.

GWARGHOUL
November 13, 2011, 08:48 PM
I'm not against building my own, if it gives me better product for less dough. Awesome links and info thus far, thanks for not knocking a curious AR-noob.

How much more accurate is an AR over a nice AK?

FWest
November 13, 2011, 09:05 PM
I just picked up a spikes tactical, lower last week and got the upper Friday. Nice Mil spec ar. Worth a look. Seemed a good bang for the buck and an easy build.

Sergeant Sabre
November 13, 2011, 09:11 PM
Here's what you want: http://palmettostatearmory.com/2557.php

GWARGHOUL
November 13, 2011, 09:22 PM
That is a very nice setup. I'm considering it.

mshootnit
November 13, 2011, 09:26 PM
With a nice AK you might be looking at 4-6 inch groups at 200 yds, while with a nice AR you are looking at 2-3" groups. Much more reliable hit potential. I just put together a 6.8 SPC and I really like it. Ammo is not cheap but that unit is powerful and accurate.

Sergeant Sabre
November 14, 2011, 12:51 AM
Palmetto also has other rifles without optics for less. One is $599. Sweet deal.

RatherNotSay
November 14, 2011, 02:38 AM
With a nice AK you might be looking at 4-6 inch groups at 200 yds, while with a nice AR you are looking at 2-3" groups. Much more reliable hit potential. I just put together a 6.8 SPC and I really like it. Ammo is not cheap but that unit is powerful and accurate.
I would really like to see a sub-$1000 ar put 2-3" groups at 200 yards.

gotigers
November 14, 2011, 08:22 AM
to RatherNotSay: EDIT. Are you including the glass in that $1000 limit?

back on topic: The PSA Patrol Carbine is a great deal. Others to consider; Colt 9620, S&W, build your own, etc.

kfgk14 had great points. No reason to rehash what he said.

JustinJ
November 14, 2011, 10:58 AM
Colt 6720 or 6920 is as good as it gets for under a grand. Of course for your purposes you may be better served buying something cheaper to allow for an optics purchase.

Sky
November 14, 2011, 12:10 PM
How much more accurate is an AR over a nice AK?

The AK shines at 100/150 sometimes 200 yards with heavy rounds and knock down power IMO. The AR owns 250 to 400 even though the max "effective" range of the AK is supposedly 427 meters. Shots at 300 yards with the AR are no brainers; AK is hit or miss for the ones I have shot. Ranges of 100 to 150 yards who cares unless you only do ear canal shots??

I have friends who hunt with their AKs and ARs and they own everything from Internet rumored junk to the best money can buy. Both seem to function and do the job just fine. CMMGs, Bushy's, Spikes, Del-Tons, Colts, Doublestars, you name it; anything mentioned already will out live you with minimal care and if something breaks or becomes worn out change the part and you are back in the game.. Guys throw around figures of 10,000 or 20,000 rounds etc etc.......that is a lot of shooting for most folks....what ever you get I think you will appreciate the platform and the ease of changing the looks and functionality. When you get settled in with the AR you will start looking at different caliber uppers and all the options that are available; welcome to the family if and when you make your purchase..

RatherNotSay
November 14, 2011, 12:39 PM
to RatherNotSay: It isnt that hard to build a sub $1000 AR that can do it. Are you including the glass in that?

back on topic: The PSA Patrol Carbine is a great deal. Others to consider; Colt 9620, S&W, build your own, etc.

kfgk14 had great points. No reason to rehash what he said.
Do you have any example or own any of those builds? I'm interested in seeing the paper and build.

Zerodefect
November 14, 2011, 12:52 PM
I'm going to recommend the Colt 6920.

Perfect rifle to start out with. You can upgrade it as nessasary as you grow. It is a flattop with a removable carry handle. Most are just over $1000 right now.


Option 2 is to buy any complete lower from your local gun store, and then ordering an upper and bolt carrier group from BCM. Then just snap the pireces together in about 30 seconds and you're done. BCM has nearly every decent combination of modern upper.

I'm partial to their 14.5", Larue 12" rail, PWS pinned flash comp.
or thier 18" Mk12 SPR Mod 3x, DD 14" rail.

RatherNotSay
November 14, 2011, 05:39 PM
I'm going to recommend the Colt 6920.

Perfect rifle to start out with. You can upgrade it as nessasary as you grow. It is a flattop with a removable carry handle. Most are just over $1000 right now.


Option 2 is to buy any complete lower from your local gun store, and then ordering an upper and bolt carrier group from BCM. Then just snap the pireces together in about 30 seconds and you're done. BCM has nearly every decent combination of modern upper.

I'm partial to their 14.5", Larue 12" rail, PWS pinned flash comp.
or thier 18" Mk12 SPR Mod 3x, DD 14" rail.
$1060 shipped via buds gun shop for the "sporter" with 20 round mag. I can't make up my mind on building or purchasing myself.

http://www.budsgunshop.com/catalog/product_info.php/cPath/36_140/products_id/75197

kfgk14
November 14, 2011, 10:02 PM
AR vs. AK accuracy, my take: I've got maybe 1200 rounds total behind an AK compared to approaching 10,000 behind an AR, my observations have been that the good ones (Saiga/Arsenal) can give 2"-3" bench groups at 100 yards. I've found that my AR's without free-float tubes are slightly more accurate, with groups in the 1.5"-2.5" range. The rifles with free-float tubes do better still, generally in the 1"-2" range. All this testing is done with good Winchester white-box ammo.
So AR's offer slightly better accuracy, far better when a free-float system is incorporated. The other advantages of the AR are increased range (faster pill stays fast longer), better ergonomics (YMMV), increased parts availability/commonality and ease of maintenance, and lighter weight. The AK's looser tolerances require less lubrication/maintenance, allow easier cleaning, but the design makes maintenance harder (replacing barrels, proper headspace, etc.)

kwelz
November 14, 2011, 11:28 PM
Colt 6920. Grant has them for under a grand.
http://www.gandrtactical.com/cgi-bin/commerce.cgi?preadd=action&key=6920

I see a lot of people mentioning PSA. At this point i would be cautious. Well unless you don't care about the weapon actually functioning. In that case go ahead. They have had a number of guns go out with the wrong gas tube installed. This means that there were at least three points of failure in the process. 1: Assembly. 2: QC. 3: Test Firing.

Sergeant Sabre
November 15, 2011, 01:17 AM
I see a lot of people mentioning PSA. At this point i would be cautious. Well unless you don't care about the weapon actually functioning. In that case go ahead. They have had a number of guns go out with the wrong gas tube installed. This means that there were at least three points of failure in the process. 1: Assembly. 2: QC. 3: Test Firing.

PSA had a few go out with the wrong gas tubes. They corrected the issue, though. A representative of PSA posts regularly on ar15.com. Nearly every body who had purchased PSA has been satisfied, if the mentions on ar15.com are any indicator.

I can't confirm they are as good as Colt, but they have all the right "AR-15 voodoo" (MPI and HP testing, FN barrels, F-marked sight base, etc.), and there isn't any mention that I can find of one of their rifles malfunctioning, save the few that went out with the wrong gas tube.

JohnSkiS
November 15, 2011, 02:15 AM
For what its worth, I have had a Stag model 2 for several years, I have used it for deer and treated it like the rifle I carried in the Marine Corps. It cost less than a grand, is reasonably accurate (I just took a coues deer at 200 with Iron sights point of aim point of impact, one shot one kill) and I can count the FTF/FTE's on one hand. Oh and I go out shooting maybe 100 rounds through it a month every month, except when I was still in the Corps, I was deployed too much to shoot my rifle.

Girodin
November 15, 2011, 02:34 AM
Right now for $900ish you can get a colt. I would being looking at colt or BCM upper put on whatever the best buy (not cheapest per se) I could get in lowers was. I'd add free float and rear BUIS. That should be 900ish or much less depending on the hand guard used.

There are probably other viable choices but those two are proven performers. For slightly more $1kish you could get a Noveske Basic upper and a lower of your choosing. If you shop around you maybe could do it for 900ish. For example wait until midway has a $100 of $500+ orders sale or something similar. That makes it about a $685 plus $220 ish for a lower. Personally, I think that is better rifle than anything mentioned. You can upgrade hand guards and the like later as you gain a sense of what you'd like.

Mr.Blue
November 15, 2011, 02:44 AM
1. Colt. 2. Rock River Arms 3. Bushmaster 4. S&W

Cosmoline
November 15, 2011, 03:02 AM
I picked up a government carbine and love it. There are a lot on the market at the moment. Very well built, extremely reliable and accurate. They're also light weight as AR's ought to be.

I would really like to see a sub-$1000 ar put 2-3" groups at 200 yards.

I saw that a few weeks back at the range. A fellow I know had built one up for less than $700 that was driving tacks while I watched. Mind he's an AR expert and had found some outstanding deals on the parts, but it's far from impossible.

SublimeSilence
November 15, 2011, 03:18 AM
If you want to be 100% happy with your first purchase DO THE RESEARCH!!! When it comes to AR's there are a billion and a half choices on what to get. You need to narrow things down past price point for what you want to really get something you won't complain about or most importantly SINK more money into.

I own a Rock River Arms AR. I will say two things bad about it. The barrels are very heavy and the rails that come with the RRA's are heavy and badly designed(but well made). Otherwise they are great guns, I've literally had 1 jam in 10k rounds. The triggers on RRA's are really sweet and compared to my friends colt it's night and day.

This all being said. You need to find out what you want from many of the main components. Such as the barrel(IMO most important choice). Barrels determine the weight of the rifle and honestly it all depends on what you want to do with the gun, or might want to in the future. Carrying an 8 pound RRA with a 2 pound optic + ammo through the snow on a coyote hunt isn't as fun or easy as it may seem.

All this being said, a great company that if I was in the shoes of purchasing my first ar-15 after everything I know now would be spikes tactical.

kwelz
November 15, 2011, 11:38 AM
PSA had a few go out with the wrong gas tubes. They corrected the issue, though. A representative of PSA posts regularly on ar15.com. Nearly every body who had purchased PSA has been satisfied, if the mentions on ar15.com are any indicator.

Well I trust Ar15.com reviews about as much as I do the guy holding a sign asking for change on the side of the street.

That aside I know know that PSA has reached out to the people who had the problems and I commend them for that. However the fact remains that there are some real problems that they have yet to address.

1: If they are doing basic QC checks on their rifles how did this get through?
2: If they are supposedly test firing each rifle how did these rifles make it out the door?
3: They still have not addressed the questions about the source of their parts when some industry insiders started pointing out some inconsistencies in their claims.

I have said before and I will say again. I hope PSA turns out to be another BCM or DD. There are very few companies providing a GOOD AR on the market right now. But at this point there have been a few worrying occurrences. Heck all this doesn't even address the misaligned Feed ramps that a lot of people are getting.

rustedangel
November 15, 2011, 11:49 AM
Does anybody want to chime in about Spike's Tactical? I've been trying to decide which way to go for a black rifle for a while now, and they seem to do all the "so you want to buy an AR-15" checklist items at a reasonable price. I was leaning towards a Colt 6920 but after handling a few rifles found the mid length handguards feel more comfortable to me.

wingman
November 15, 2011, 12:06 PM
I think it all depends on your needs,what type of shooting,how much,etc, researching a purchase for the AR is a nightmare IMO, I think its one rifle with the most misleading/incorrect information out there,dedicated forums believe in only mil spec zombie killing weapons battle rifles, while 99.9% of the AR's will never see a fight.

I purchased a Stag Model 3 added a Geissele SSA-E trigger it will shoot under1 moa with my reloads,I'm a target shooter so it fits my need,low round count no "dumping a 30 rounder" to see smoke coming out the forearm.:D

Stag has a 3G model now that comes with a Geissele trigger built for 3 gun competition down side msrp over $1200 may do better out in the market.

ejpk
November 15, 2011, 12:29 PM
You might want to consider a Stag Arms AR-15, Model 3. It has a flat top with picatinny rail and comes with no sights, so you can add what you want. It includes the Diamondhead aluminum forend/rail system. List price: $895, but street price (in Indiana) is ~ $780.00.
http://www.stagarms.com/product_info.php?cPath=13_22&products_id=208

SublimeSilence
November 15, 2011, 12:40 PM
Spikes tactical allows you to get what you want for a great price. The many different options on barrel shrouds and stocks is a nice thing imo.

Colt is a great choice too but I don't like the stock/barrel shroud they come with. So for me that would be another $200+ I'd have to sink in to change both out.

Spikes tactical on price point is really fantastic. They're simply really well built guns for a good price that come in a variety of configurations. You really can't beat them right now on that. IMHO they are the best company to buy from in the 700-900 price range.

BTW if you are buying directly from their website it's better to get the upper and lower separately. Also another really good suggestion people have said already is to get the best upper you can afford and either build yourself the lower or buy a cheaper one like a stag or something along those lines. Generally with uppers you get what you pay for but with lowers many companies overcharge, again that's just my opinion. An example of this for me would be Noveske. IMO their uppers are worth the $1,000+ they ask for them, but there is no way their lowers are worth 500-700+ depending on the model.

gotigers
November 15, 2011, 01:37 PM
Daniel Defense, Bravo, Spikes, PSA are my choice in order of quality/price at this point. IMHO. YMMV

kwelz
November 15, 2011, 03:28 PM
What the heck is a barrel shroud?

RatherNotSay
November 15, 2011, 03:33 PM
I think he might be talking about the hand guards.

kwelz
November 15, 2011, 03:36 PM
I figured as much as well. People need to at least learn the proper terms for parts. Not to mention that the stock and hand guards are pretty much the least important parts of a rifle when you purchase it.

SublimeSilence
November 15, 2011, 04:10 PM
Honestly I've heard the "hand guards" called so many different names idk what to call them properly.

Also with the issue on hand guards being unimportant I disagree. The hand guard on my RRA rifle weighed nearly 2 pounds. It was a massive chunk of aluminum that got super hot all the time. I switched to the troy trx and I can't be happier. The gun is lighter and the hand guard doesn't heat up after a ton of use. On the issue of the stock being pretty much unimportant and more of a comfort/looks issue I agree.

All I'm saying is that a hand guard you want can cost anywhere from $50-$200+ why not get it right the first time so you don't have to spend extra money like I did?

I rushed into my purchase. I'm trying to throw some comments out there that haven't already been said is all.

kwelz
November 15, 2011, 04:14 PM
I said the least important part when you purchase it. They are the most easily replaced parts. I run all DD and Troy rails for a reason. I also don't base my gun purchase on what hand guards come on it. Colt comes with plastic handguards and an be easily replaced. I would rather do that than buy a sub par gun with a nice rail. Or worse a sub par gun with a sub par rail like the RRA you mentioned.

SublimeSilence
November 15, 2011, 04:29 PM
There is no need to make snide and smarmy remarks.

When someone wants to spend 700-900 on a gun and the colt 6920 costs roughly 1k+ then that's not exactly giving a helpful recommendation is it? Also if they have 1k to spend and they don't like the plastic hand guards on the colt and perhaps want to get a troy trx, then that means they will have to spend another $150 which puts that person way out of their budget.

Why not get it all right off the start? There are plenty of quality uppers to pick from and you don't have to buy the upper/lower at the same time. Just get the upper with what you want and the lower with what you want separately.

kb58
November 15, 2011, 10:09 PM
Don't overlook buying something lighly-used, especially someone's $2000 "pet project" that he put the best of the best into it, for $1000. Those pop up all the time, especially in this economy.

RatherNotSay
November 15, 2011, 10:58 PM
I said the least important part when you purchase it. They are the most easily replaced parts. I run all DD and Troy rails for a reason. I also don't base my gun purchase on what hand guards come on it. Colt comes with plastic handguards and an be easily replaced. I would rather do that than buy a sub par gun with a nice rail. Or worse a sub par gun with a sub par rail like the RRA you mentioned.

I dunno, if I can buy a $1300 rifle with a monolithic upper instead of getting a basic ar and spending the money to replace it. It's convenient is all I'm saying. "Necessary?....no

RatherNotSay
November 16, 2011, 01:26 AM
I wouldn't mind this setup.

http://www.spikestactical.com/new/z/spider-bullet-lower-w-standard-kit-black-ctr-stock-moe-grip-p-590.html

http://www.bravocompanyusa.com/BCM-BFH-16-Mid-Length-Upper-Receiver-Light-Weight-p/bcm-urg-mid-16lw%20bfh%20vtrx11.htm

Girodin
November 16, 2011, 02:56 AM
Don't overlook buying something lighly-used, especially someone's $2000 "pet project" that he put the best of the best into it, for $1000.

Around here people seem to think those are worth $3k. Of course I'm blown away by all the folks asking $1200+ for their rock rivers and the like.

I did see a nice Daniel Defense for $900 (probably a $1400+ rifle new) so there are good deals out there.

Damon555
November 16, 2011, 05:56 AM
Here's an AR that can shoot 2-3" at 200 yards with a parikinsons patient behind the trigger....And to top it all off it's a lowly DPMS.

http://i6.photobucket.com/albums/y234/edlafond/Weapons/DPMS1of1.jpg

gotigers
November 16, 2011, 08:34 AM
nice Damon. What glass is that?

JustinJ
November 16, 2011, 09:59 AM
And to top it all off it's a lowly DPMS.

I don't think anybody has ever questioned the ability of DPMS rifles to shoot straight. Its reliability and durability issues that have been raised.

Waywatcher
November 16, 2011, 10:42 AM
I don't think anybody has ever questioned the ability of DPMS rifles to shoot straight. Its reliability and durability issues that have been raised.

Source(s)?

kimbershot
November 16, 2011, 10:53 AM
psa! i bought a house less than 5 miles from palmetto shooting range in ridgeland sc. they sold out to palmetto state armory. on a foray there several weeks ago, they were running a sale on their stripped lower--49.95!! it's beautiful and will make a great foundation for my next build--seriously considering a dissipator configuration. i don't think you would go wrong with their stuff.:D

accrhodes
November 16, 2011, 11:06 AM
I want to say that I recently was in your shoes - and I decided to build my own and boy am I glad that I did.
I found a lower on sale locally and purchased it (it was a Bushmaster) and assembled the rest piece by piece so I could research every product I put on my gun. Here is a list of my parts that I used and I am VERY happy.

Bushmaster Lower
DPMS Lower Parts Kit
Magpul Mil Spec CTR Stock
ATI MilSpec Buffer Tube Package
BCM BFH 16" Upper Receiver Group
BCM Bolt Carrier Group
BCM GunFighter Charging Handle
YHM Mid Length Lightweight Free Float Rail
Magpul PMags

All I can say about BCM is WOW - Talk about top notch quality. The barrel is chrome lined and cold hard forged which should last as long if not longer then any barrel out on the market. I am extremely impressed. The Magpul accessories are top notch. I am very happy with this set up. If you shop wisely you will come in just under $1100 (I found alot of the items on sale) but the quality is great.

I wish you luck and I hope you go the route of building your own. If you have any questions feel free to let me know.

JustinJ
November 16, 2011, 11:25 AM
Quote:
I don't think anybody has ever questioned the ability of DPMS rifles to shoot straight. Its reliability and durability issues that have been raised.

Source(s)?

Umm, the internet. What kind of source are you expecting? I said people often question the reliability of these rifles. There is no implication there of a referenced source or even a claim as to the validity of said questions. I am speaking about general comments frequently posted of bad experiences with DPMS rifles and what i've heard from others in person. I have had personal experience shooting one DPMS AR15 and did find it to jam more frequently that other ARs i've run.

JPG19
November 16, 2011, 11:29 AM
I second Spike's Tactical. Check them out; top notch stuff.

Maple_City_Woodsman
November 16, 2011, 11:48 AM
To Me, the brand bashing and price wars are very confusing.

There are a LOT of AR assemblers, but very very few manufacturers of AR uppers and lowers (though that number is slowly growing). Basically, the internal parts are 95% of the difference between a "top tier" and "entry level" ARs.

The problem to my thinking is, "top tier" internal parts kits are under $100 - yet the difference in price for finished rifles is FAR more than that. The only other difference is that "top tier" assemblers pay to have their bolts put through a battery of test, such as 'MPI' testing.

That sounds very fancy and high end ... but those tests really are just aftermarket quality control tests to make sure there are no invisible flaws in the part, something that is essentially a waste of money provided the original manufacturer actually did their jobs correctly.

Some like to split hairs over barrels, but the fact of the matter is that any companies barrel can shoot better than most shooters, so that is a non issue.

In the end, that only leaves you with a few options for explaining the huge price gap between various makers: Paying for the brand name (which is essentially a sham), paying for the insurance of extra QC tests (which are normally unnecessary), or some combination of the two.

I was in the same place as you a few years ago OP. I wanted an AR, but didn't know what the differences were, or how much I should pay. I was fortunate enough to test fire examples of rifles from all 'tier' levels - and guess what - They all worked just as well.

In the end, I went with a DPMS, and purchased a spare lower parts kit and bolt, just in case something broke - an earth shaking travesty that the AR snobs ASSURED me would happen... 5 years later, and thousands of rounds fired in FIELD conditions though 6 different types of magazines, I have yet to have any kind of malfunction or need any of my spare parts.

The gun, an optic, spare parts, and pile (30+) of mags cost me about between 1,100 and 1,200 all said and done. I suppose I COULD have spent that or more on a gun alone, but I don't see what I would have gained by doing so.

Waywatcher
November 16, 2011, 11:53 AM
What kind of source are you expecting?

A reputable one, or at least something you could cite.

An interesting aside, when is an AR-15 a DPMS?
--If you built a lower with a DPMS LPK and slapped on a Spikes upper, would you call that DPMS?
--If you bought a DPMS whole rifle and replaced the LPK and the BCG with one from BCM, would this rifle still be a DPMS?
--Would a Colt with a DPMS BCG be DPMS?

:confused:

Wahoo95
November 16, 2011, 11:55 AM
Waywatcher, that's called a Frankengun :)

Waywatcher
November 16, 2011, 11:56 AM
Waywatcher, that's called a Frankengun

Right, but would it still carry the stigma of a DPMS? :)

Wahoo95
November 16, 2011, 11:59 AM
No, because the Upper is the heart of the AR. Thats where the bulk of the money should be spent. That said, a BCM upper is top notch and should work just as well on any in spec lower...to include Olympic :)

accrhodes
November 16, 2011, 01:31 PM
Wahoo - I'm glad to see someone on here agree with me on BCM

Maple City - I agree with you for the most part. Countless people bash DPMS for some reason - I used the DPMS kit in my build - and while I have not used it much - I have never had an issue. They have been in the AR game for alot of years so that says something about them. If they were making crap products they would have been out of business years ago.

On a customer service standpoint I purchased that lower parts kit and it was missing a single spring - I called them up and a gentleman was very friendly and shipped the missing spring out the same day and I received it 2 days later. I have nothing but good things to say about them.

My standpoint on building my rifle was this - I want quality products that will last my lifetime. Heaven forbid our economy collapse one day and we have to depend on our rifle for survival - I'm not saying this will happen and I dont wear a tin foil cap - but if for some rare reason it did - I want something that I can depend on for thousands and thousands of rounds - thus I chose the BCM Cold Hard Forged barrel

Just my .02

RatherNotSay
November 16, 2011, 02:55 PM
The only other difference is that "top tier" assemblers pay to have their bolts put through a battery of test, such as 'MPI' testing.

That sounds very fancy and high end ... but those tests really are just aftermarket quality control tests to make sure there are no invisible flaws in the part, something that is essentially a waste of money provided the original manufacturer actually did their jobs correctly.

Do you even have a sense of how the manufacturing process works on ANYTHING? Many companies, in any manufacturing field, have their products tested in house or out. The manufacturing process is not perfect and a barrel, car, home appliance does not come out the same every time. Whether it's a weld, hair line fracture in the metal or electrical contact those tests are very helpful and it's rather ignorant to say that the manufacturing of said products has no holes to fill.

JustinJ
November 16, 2011, 04:03 PM
Quote:
What kind of source are you expecting?

A reputable one, or at least something you could cite.


Okay, again, I was speaking of the general reputation of DPMS and made that clear from my post. To my knowledge there has been no test of a statistically significant number of DPMS rifles against other makes so reputation is the best we have to go on.

--If you built a lower with a DPMS LPK and slapped on a Spikes upper, would you call that DPMS?
--If you bought a DPMS whole rifle and replaced the LPK and the BCG with one from BCM, would this rifle still be a DPMS?
--Would a Colt with a DPMS BCG be DPMS?

No, you would call that a mixing of parts.

I was in the same place as you a few years ago OP. I wanted an AR, but didn't know what the differences were, or how much I should pay. I was fortunate enough to test fire examples of rifles from all 'tier' levels - and guess what - They all worked just as well.

Single anecdotal experiences mean nothing. In regards to ARs, and many other manufactured products, the primary differences in parts between different manufacturing methods, materials and QC ultimately comes down to statistical differences in reliability and durability. A single DPMS rifle may run just as long and well as a single Colt. But if you compare 1,000 from each manufacturer the DPMS guns are are probably going to have significantly more functional and part failures. Is the increased chance of reliability worth a higher price? Thats for each to decide.

Waywatcher
November 16, 2011, 06:12 PM
Okay, again, I was speaking of the general reputation of DPMS and made that clear from my post.

How do you know this general reputation is true? Is it because it's repeated often enough by people such as yourself, without citation or sources?

No, you would call that a mixing of parts.

Aren't all AR-15s a mixing of parts? Take for example, a BCM AR-15. They stamp their name on it but it has parts from many, many different manufacturers.

Would a DPMS rifle, purchased whole, with a replacement BCM bolt become a parts gun? Or would it require the entire BCG to qualify as mixed parts? Or maybe it would require a new barrel as well? I see a lot of grey area...

suzukisam
November 16, 2011, 06:35 PM
geez some people need to get off their computer and shoot some ARs before their fingers get arthritis from typing and they never even get to shoot the gun they have such a huge opinion on!

you can build a very clean shooting AR that will hold 1 moa and fire reliably within your price range... most of the companies on the market are builing great guns, find a brand in your price range, and research the possible issues with that brand. There are many brands and the only legitimate complaint is gas key staking.. so grab a punch and steak it in 6 seconds.. I don't need to pay someone $200 extra bucks to check my gas keys, I can check them!

JustinJ
November 16, 2011, 06:39 PM
How do you know this general reputation is true? Is it because it's repeated often enough by people such as yourself, without citation or sources?

A bad reputation is generally earned after enough people complain of issues. Funny how Colt, DD, BCM managed to escape a bad reputation from people repeating each other often enough.

Aren't all AR-15s a mixing of parts? Take for example, a BCM AR-15. They stamp their name on it but it has parts from many, many different manufacturers.

By that arguement the majority of products out there with multiple machined parts probably won't qualify as being made by the company selling them. Some companies however do machine all or most of their own parts or at least the key ones prone to failure when of lesser quality. Companies also have different standards of what they will accept in the parts they purchase from third parties such as to what is often reffered to as milspec.

you can build a very clean shooting AR that will hold 1 moa and fire reliably within your price range... most of the companies on the market are builing great guns, find a brand in your price range, and research the possible issues with that brand. There are many brands and the only legitimate complaint is gas key staking.. so grab a punch and steak it in 6 seconds.. I don't need to pay someone $200 extra bucks to check my gas keys, I can check them!

over gassed
bolt failures
improperly staked castle nuts(or even worse lock tighted)
various fire control failures
misalinged sights


There are in fact a number of other potential failure issues with varying degree of occurence. I prefer a gun that comes without potential issues but that's just me. In reality for most civilians these issues aren't a huge deal given very few of our lives will ever rely on our guns but i still like knowing i have the best possible. Just don't tell me all ARs are equal.

Zerodefect
November 16, 2011, 06:46 PM
http://i584.photobucket.com/albums/ss290/zerodefect2533/DSC02189.jpg

Yes, BCM sources thier parts and assembles thier uppers. They may change sources from time to time. They keep thier sources secret, and they keep thier quality control very, very tight.

But both of my BCM uppers are flawless. I expected a few assembly marks, but found none. laugable because i can't build an upper without scratching it somewhere. Not that it matters.

And I haven't met anyone who has had trouble with thier BCM upper. (except for someone who was running weak cheap ammo in a 14.5" middie, not enough power in that ammo to cycle well)

BCM is the real deal. Good stuff.


Is it ok to start bashing Oly, Panther, Shrubby, Cerebus yet????:neener:

GWARGHOUL
November 16, 2011, 08:49 PM
I'm seeing some conflict in opinion here. The PSA setup from page one that two or three recommended is very appealing to me.

If you guys could say post a link to a Spikes RRA and BCM setup similar, I'll consider them all. I have 2-3 months to think about this before I buy it. I really want to get a quality gun that will last, has nice features, decent warranty and has some of the more desired features for accuracy, ruggedness/durability and easy shooting.

HammerheadSSN663
November 16, 2011, 09:05 PM
Am i reading the Palmetto State ad correctly?

1K for a complete gun PLUS the Aimpoint?

Is that a LaRue mount?

That is a CRAZY low price!

greenr18
November 16, 2011, 09:12 PM
Get a used DPMS Panther Lite 16; they're nail drivers when sighted in and the one I used to have I bought like a year and a half ago for like $575 in like new condition and it came with a hard plastic case and 2 magazines

dprice3844444
November 16, 2011, 09:17 PM
armalite makes the full 1 piece upper free float barrel.get 1/9 chrome lined,gisselle 2 stage trigger.you can then add fold down front/rear sights for scope use.keep it simple

mshootnit
November 16, 2011, 09:31 PM
I would really like to see a sub-$1000 ar put 2-3" groups at 200 yards.

Armalite 6.8 upper 675
Surplus Arms and Ammo Lower 60
Stag LPK 60
Magazine 30
SSA 110 Accubond

3" or less at 200 yds. My largest group so far at 220 yds is 3.5 inches. Average is 2.9

RatherNotSay
November 16, 2011, 10:04 PM
Armalite 6.8 upper 675
Surplus Arms and Ammo Lower 60
Stag LPK 60
Magazine 30
SSA 110 Accubond

3" or less at 200 yds. My largest group so far at 220 yds is 3.5 inches. Average is 2.9
can I see the paper?

spazzymcgee
November 16, 2011, 10:32 PM
I'd go with Palmetto or Del-ton. Damn good rifles. If you buy a del-ton as a parts kit, and then a Spikes lower, It'll run you about $569.http://del-ton.com

StrutStopper
November 16, 2011, 11:44 PM
I haven't seen anyone mention LMT here. When researching parts for my first build they stood out as having a good rep. I picked up a carbine length complete upper for $400 (did not include BCG, Charging Handle, or hand guards.)

Damon555
November 17, 2011, 12:31 AM
Gotigers.....that scope is an elcheapo Simmons whitetail classic 6.5-20. I bought 2 of them and am fairly pleased. They only get used in good light for shooting prairie dogs.

JustinJ....That rifle has been prairie dog shooting several times. Over 3 or 4 days it gets shot probably 1000 times without cleaning. I've gotten that thing hotter than the dickens and it still pumps out empty shells. Never once have I had a problem with it. I read all the Internet bashing and was scolded for choosing that particular brand. The Internet is not a reliable source on many subjects. All I can say is mine has been 100%.

ugaarguy
November 17, 2011, 11:40 AM
Am i reading the Palmetto State ad correctly?

1K for a complete gun PLUS the Aimpoint?

Is that a LaRue mount?

That is a CRAZY low price!
You're correct on price. The mount is an Aimpoint QRP2 which comes with the Aimpoint PRO sight. The Aimpoint PRO at a little over $400 with the included mount is a screaming deal. If the rifle is as good in reality as it is on paper then it's a really screaming deal.

I just built a few stripped lowers with Palmetto's lower parts kits & M4 butt stock assemblies. If those parts are any indication Palmetto is selling great stuff.

GWARGHOUL
November 17, 2011, 07:00 PM
How much of a difference is the 1/7 twist going to make over the 1/9 twist... what does that change as far as ammo and range/accuracy? The PSA one I'm looking at is 1/7.

hardluk1
November 17, 2011, 07:24 PM
mshootnit really, 3" at 200 yards. I have watched several box stock RRA models shoot well under an 1" at 200 yards. I have not shot mine at 200 yards as it is still only 2 weeks old and only has 20 rounds fired but my low cost 595 dollar s&w m&p 15 sport with its 16" barrel 1-8 twist will shoot under an 1" at 100 yards with some 55 gr ar223 ammo from wally world. I would hope to cut that with a heavier match grade ammo in the near future. Only add on is a 20 year old mid power 2.5 to 10 scope . That I thought should be about average after seeing the RRA rifles shoot. if mil spec shoot larger groups than that I am glad I bought the s&w. Every thing metal made under one roof. No parts gun. And I ain't a sw guy.

There ain't any perfect ar rifle.

Matthew Courtney
November 18, 2011, 12:26 AM
http://i584.photobucket.com/albums/ss290/zerodefect2533/DSC02189.jpg

Yes, BCM sources thier parts and assembles thier uppers. They may change sources from time to time. They keep thier sources secret, and they keep thier quality control very, very tight.

But both of my BCM uppers are flawless. I expected a few assembly marks, but found none. laugable because i can't build an upper without scratching it somewhere. Not that it matters.

And I haven't met anyone who has had trouble with thier BCM upper. (except for someone who was running weak cheap ammo in a 14.5" middie, not enough power in that ammo to cycle well)

BCM is the real deal. Good stuff.


Is it ok to start bashing Oly, Panther, Shrubby, Cerebus yet????:neener:
Is that a Trijicon Accupoint?

*NOVA*
November 18, 2011, 08:04 AM
Quote:
"How much of a difference is the 1/7 twist going to make over the 1/9 twist... what does that change as far as ammo and range/accuracy? The PSA one I'm looking at is 1/7."

1 to 7 ratio is suppossed to make the heavier grain 5.56 round more stable, (faster rotation for increased mass) thus increase accuracy, but at shorter ranges I do not believe it makes much of a difference. 1 to 9 should be fine for the 223 round.

gotigers
November 18, 2011, 08:50 AM
the faster twist makes the LONGER bullets more stable. Heavier bullets are usually longer.

1:9 fine for 50-62gr and sometimes as high as 69gr. If i were going to be shooting heavy ammo more often, then i would get a 1:8 or 1:7. Regardless of distance.

Zerodefect
November 18, 2011, 12:02 PM
Is that a Trijicon Accupoint?

Yes, It's a 5-20x 50mm Trijicon Accupoint in a Larue quick release mount so I can still use that rifle with my Aimpoint. It's kinda like a giant ACOG.

Matthew Courtney
November 18, 2011, 12:16 PM
Yes, It's a 5-20x 50mm Trijicon Accupoint in a Larue quick release mount so I can still use that rifle with my Aimpoint. It's kinda like a giant ACOG.
I've been considering that Accupoint for a project, but I am concerned about the amount of elevation adjustment and cannot find a hard moa # on elevation adjustment. Do you have any information on that?

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