Bushmaster Carbon 15 vs Plum Crazy build


January 26, 2012, 11:12 AM
First let me apologize for the 1,000th Ar thread this week, but I searched and could not find any info regarding my particular question.

I am planning to build a lightweight AR so my girlfriend will have something she can handle a little better at the range. This rifle will be 99% for range use, but obviously reliability is always a concern.

The options I am looking at are either a Bushmaster Carbon 15, or a Plum crazy lower with probably a Del Ton upper.

I am not looking to put a ton of money into this since it will be primarily just a plinking gun.

Any thoughts on these 2 options?
I have read mixed reviews on both.
I don't know that I'm fully comfortable building a stripped upper/lower at this time.

Thank you for your help

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January 26, 2012, 11:50 AM
Barrel profile will save the most weight. Look for a gov profile or pencil barrel. The cheap builds kits use HBar barrels and weight about a pound more than lightweights. I forget who it is but the have their own brand of plastic lower for $ 99.

Derek Zeanah
January 26, 2012, 12:33 PM
OK, this is where I come across as a sissy.

I'm a big guy. Over/under 12GA doesn't bother me. 12GA pumps don't bother me. A Garand can be a bit stout, but not enough to not shoot it.

The Carbon 15 was just no fun though. I never shot mine and came back to the range without a bruise on my shoulder from it. You might find it's less pleasant than you think.

January 26, 2012, 12:44 PM
Thanks for that info.

Since this gun will be primarily for a small woman, the recoil issue is certainly important.

Do you think increased recoil would still be as much of an issue with a standard upper mounted to a polymer lower ie the Del Ton on the Plum Crazy?

I need to find some balance between recoil and weight.

The main reason I'm looking at an AR is that she has some trouble holding my converted Saiga (about 7.5lbs) for extended periods of time, but I still want her to have a rifle in a reasonably powerful round ( no .22lr)

Thanks again for any help

January 26, 2012, 01:01 PM
Eh, just do both. buy the carbon 15 upper and the plum crazy lower. Slap them together and you are good to go.

Derek Zeanah
January 26, 2012, 01:06 PM
Let's see if anyone else has an issue with the Carbon 15. I'm one opinion.

BTW, I'm down with 9mm, .45ACP, and .357 Mag, but absolutely hate the .40 S&W recoil characteristics. We're all different, and perceive recoil differently.

January 26, 2012, 01:15 PM
I have a Carbon 15 and just love it! My 11 year old daughter and my 13 year old son have shot this almost as much as me;( My daughter will not have anything to do with a heavy hard hitting 12 gauge but loves this gun! She also has a Remington 597 22lr. and that can be a little heavy for her to hold at times but this Bushmaster C15 gives her no problems at all! Recoil is defiantly not an issue with this gun.

January 26, 2012, 01:16 PM
The Bushmaster I'm looking at is a full rifle with an optic $650

If I'm going to buy a separate upper and lower I think I will go the Plum Crazy route.

I'm trying to keep my budget as close to $600 as possible.

She doesn't have much of a problem with the recoil from the Saiga(7.62), it just weighs too much, that's why I figured a smaller caliber in a lighter rifle may be the way to go.

Anyone else have any experience with the Bushmaster Carbon 15?
Also, is the upper on the Bushmaster polymer as well?

Thanks for your help guys, unfortunately I probably wont have a chance to test fire whatever I choose, so I appreciate any knowledge you can share.

January 26, 2012, 02:38 PM
Anyone else have any experience with the Bushmaster Carbon 15?

Yes, with the original version. Surprisingly snappy and torquey, as I recall, even with a muzzle brake.

I would choose a standard M4 profile AR. Forget the plastic. The slightly heavier carbine will shoot better for her. Children have no trouble with the M4. I doubt she will either.


Derek Zeanah
January 26, 2012, 03:02 PM
Yes, with the original version. Surprisingly snappy and torquey, as I recall, even with a muzzle brake. My experience was with the original version as well, before Bushmaster got involved.

January 26, 2012, 04:48 PM

I'm not familiar with the original Carbon 15.
Does anyone know what changes have been made?

Thanks again for everyone's help.

January 26, 2012, 05:51 PM
Virtually the same, just made by BM now with better warranty.



January 26, 2012, 08:13 PM
Let me toss the polymer Cav Arms MKII into the mix. I have three of them and they are super lightweight plus very rugged. The Cav arms lower wighs ~1lb less than a AL lower w/ fixed stock.

I prefer the fixed A1 stock on the Cav Arms lower since I get a better cheek weld vs mil spec adjustable stocks. My Cav lower, 14.5 BCM middy upper topped with MI fixed rear BUIS and loaded 20 round USGI mag weighs less than 7lbs.

January 26, 2012, 10:14 PM
I have a couple of the PCF (plum crazy firearms) lowers with cmmg M4 style uppers on them and they are actually quite comfortable for my 12 year old son to shoot and carry in the woods. He prefers them to my Stag, Bushmaster and Colt's because of the weight factor. Recoil is no more than the others for him. Understand this is only our experience so yours may be different depending on size and weight of body. So long story short I would say go the PCF lower with a lightweight upper. YMMV...

January 26, 2012, 10:44 PM
I have a Plum Crazy lower with a cmmg upper I use mine quite a bit at the range and off the range and love it.. Its like shooting a Ruger 10 .22 if you add a quad rail its a little heavier, but for the price of them you cant beat them. As far as reliability so far mine has been great with no wear at all. You could never tell how much i shoot it just by looking at it.

January 26, 2012, 11:31 PM
I have a Plum Crazy lower, and complete it weighs .5 lb less than a tradtional aluminum lower. I bought it to specifically build a lightweight AR after my first build ended up pretty heavy, but it was alway intended to be a prone/bi-podded rifle anyway. I have never had any problems with it, although I will say that I have a friend that has one also, and he had the takedown pins break on him, IN EXTREMELY COLD WEATHER. Neither I, nor any of the other 5 buddies of mine that have them have experienced it. My lightweight ended up a bit heavier than I orginally wanted, but after shooting it, I think the weight is pretty good. I would recommend the PCF lower.

January 27, 2012, 12:28 AM
Forgot to add we installed a Slidefire on 1 PCF and it's stood up to the constant barrage of sustained fire and never had 1 failure. A LGShop sells the lowers and after talking to him, out of the 30 or so he's sold 1 lower did come back when the front receiver takedown pin pulled completly out losing the spring and detent, otherwise no problems (you can install regular metal takedown pins if you want.) At $125.00 for a complete lower and $450.00 for a complete cmmg upper it's hard to beat. He literally can't keep them in stock as soon as he receives a shipment they are sold in no time. He also has a hard time keeping the Slidefires in stock usually. YMMV

January 27, 2012, 04:02 PM
I have the plumcrazy lower mated with a DPMS oracle upper with a 2x7x32 nikon w/ millet AR mounts the entire setup weighs 7 lbs. with a full 30 round mag. Have ran 2000+ rounds through it with no malfunctions and surprizingly the little 16" 1:9 twist barrel will shoot some reloads that are sub moa. My wife and daughter both love this unit because of the weight being minimal. It could be even lighter with a red dot, I would say close to 6 lbs. but we like scope especially when we're shoting coyotes.http://www.thehighroad.org/attachment.php?attachmentid=157778&stc=1&d=1327697321

January 27, 2012, 04:33 PM
Is she dead set on 223? One option would be a S&W M&P 15-22; very light and the most fun you can have outside of the bedroom (or in it if you have a range that starts at the bottom of the bed).

I have a Plum Crazy lower mounted with a dedicated 22 upper....also light but not as light as the SW 15-22.

January 27, 2012, 04:39 PM
Thanks for all of the great suggestions guys.

I think I'm going to try to find a Plum Crazy lower at the gun show this weekend.

As far as the M&P 22, I would really like her to have a rifle with a little more stopping power than the .22lr.
I don't plan on her ever needing to defend herself with it, but it would be nice to have an effective rifle if the need ever arose.

January 27, 2012, 06:31 PM
believe there was a thread about this new lower somewhere for 99 bucks might be worth trying, then find a lightweight upper.

January 27, 2012, 06:54 PM
Does anyone have any experience with this ^New Frontier lower?

451 Detonics
January 27, 2012, 07:06 PM
I did a build with a Cav Arms lower, I used a Colt Sporter upper on it. This has the pencil barrel profile under the handguards. I ended up with a sub 5 pound 20 inch rifle, not too shabby. I shaved weight in a couple places...the barrel is a biggy. The gun has about 3000 failure free rounds through it now and shoots great. I would give one of these lowers serious consideration...



January 27, 2012, 07:24 PM
I like the idea of the Cav Arms, but would like the option for an adjustable buttstock since different shooter will be using this rifle.

After looking at their site, I'm very interested in the Lightweight offering by Frontier Arms, but cant seem to find any reviews?

January 27, 2012, 07:34 PM
you probably wont find any check out the thread.

January 28, 2012, 06:36 AM
I built an AR with a Plum Crazy lower and a Spike's M4 upper in 223. It shoots GREAT and it's really comfortable. Have shot plenty of ammo through without incident.

January 28, 2012, 10:43 PM
I forget who it is but the have their own brand of plastic lower for $ 99.


$99 for a COMPLETE Lower.

We've sold over 2K in the first month and we're getting great responses from our dealers and customers. Check out the videos in the weblink above to see what kind of abuse they'll take.

January 31, 2012, 11:51 AM
I am strongly considering your full rifle, from everything I can see they look like just what I want.

Can you tell me what the warranty is on the full rifle?

Thank you

February 6, 2012, 02:09 PM
I ended up going with a Del-Ton lightweight upper and a Plum Crazy lower.

I will let you guys know how everything works out once I have a chance to get it to the range.

Thanks again for all of your help.

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