Does Smith & Wesson make a good AR15?


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GWARGHOUL
November 25, 2012, 12:00 AM
So, some of you may have read about my experience with PSA.

I can't buy from a company like that. What if I get a dud?

Anyways, so in the same price range (around $800)...

I've been looking for a good AR.

Chrome lined barrel, chamber, the works.. 5.56/.223 (must fire both)

I'll upgrade and customize as a I go along...

But I've been looking at this Smith..
Model M&P15OR Rifle

http://www.smith-wesson.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/Product4_750001_750051_764994_-1_757913_757910_757787_ProductDisplayErrorView_Y

Seems to offer what I want. I just don't know if there is a better option for the same price?

I'm wanting to make the RIGHT and FINAL AR purchase about mid February.

Thanks.

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mr.scott
November 25, 2012, 12:04 AM
If the walmarts in your area carry AR15's check out the Windham Weaponry AR15s.

41
November 25, 2012, 12:06 AM
I love my S&W, but I don't have very much experience with any other AR's.

Onmilo
November 25, 2012, 12:25 AM
People that have S&W ARs seem to like them just fine.

Kurt_D
November 25, 2012, 12:33 AM
S&W makes a good AR. The one you linked to is fine and can often be found on sale; however I prefer one with a fix FSB. This is the one I'd recommend:

http://www.smith-wesson.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/Product4_750001_750051_765651_-1_757913_757910_757787_ProductDisplayErrorView_Y

Price shouldn't be too much more, but either will work well.

I'd also look at Windham, they seem good to go; and of course there's always Colt.

Eureka40
November 25, 2012, 12:34 AM
I've had an M&P15 for a few years now. It's been flawless and I would recommend it. On the other hand, I've also just bought components to put some ARs together. Basically they all work well.

My advise is don't get hung up on a brand, just put one together and go shoot.
It's very hard to go wrong.

Eureka40
November 25, 2012, 12:36 AM
You might find something you like here:

http://www.gtdist.com/SearchResults.aspx?SubCat=RIF&SubSub=AUTO&Category=GUNAM

chris in va
November 25, 2012, 12:48 AM
No issues whatsoever with my Sport.

However, being a fan of my Garand and history in general, I wish I had bought an A2-style rifle instead. Something about the longer sight radius and softer recoil appeals to me.

Quentin
November 25, 2012, 02:18 AM
S&W makes a good AR. So does PSA. I don't know what your problem was with PSA but I've been very impressed with mine (and I also have Daniel Defense and BCM).

NYH1
November 25, 2012, 02:33 AM
A friend of mine got a nice M&P15 from a friend of his that moved to Germany a few years ago. He really likes it.

NYH1.

fanchisimo
November 25, 2012, 02:35 AM
Read his past post to find out his issue with PSA. It's not their parts, it's their 10% cancellation/restocking fee.

ShooterGuy
November 25, 2012, 03:54 AM
I recently went out with a buddy and his M&P and shot it next to my D.D. m4v5LW, We were shooting targets 100yds out with only iron sights. My D.D. Got 27 shots in good points on the paper. He got 8 on the paper with his M&P...but that's likely the shooter, not so much the rifle.

His is a bit heavier than mine, and not as many options out the box but that's the type of differences you'd expect for spending as much more as I did. Overall I've seen him recklessly chew through mag after mag with his just to make noise that I was impressed at its operation especially since the guy probably never really cleans it (he's that type of shooter.) Enough so it has me thinking I might pick one up just for a backup, so for their price they cant be bad.

CharlieDeltaJuliet
November 25, 2012, 10:52 AM
S&W has a slight advantage in my book. They forge their own uppers and lowers. They can control tolerances better. I have a DDV4, CMMG, and M&P15. I first started shooting the S&W to keep from wearing out the Daniel Defense. Now I shoot it because it is my favorite AR. The fit and finish are as good as my DD. Mine was one of the first year that S&W started forging their own insted of using Stag Arms. I could not be happier. It has never had a cough,hick-up, or sputter.

Ramone
November 25, 2012, 11:33 AM
I just recommended a S&W MP Sport to a friend based solely on the barrel.

Overall, it seems to be a fine rifle (I am not concerned about the lack of an FA or Dust Cover), but the spec on the barrel impressed me for the price.

We only put 150 rounds through it so far. It's been flawless, and I am looking forward to working up some loads to see just how good the barrel really is, but if I was shopping, I'd buy one in a heartbeat.

jim243
November 25, 2012, 11:54 AM
In that price range look at the Windham, good quality and a CS department that will knock your socks off. (if you should ever need it)

Jim

CraigC
November 25, 2012, 12:31 PM
Mine has been excellent and shoots MOA with cheap Federal ammo. I started with the optics ready carbine for $600 from CDNN. Installed a rifle length free float rail for a longer sight radius, YHM flip sights along with Magpul goodies and a Millet 1-4x. It stands at the ready here in my office. I wouldn't trust it with my life if it weren't a good rifle.

gotigers
November 25, 2012, 02:46 PM
yes, very good, had mine 3 years, 2500ish rounds. Mine is a M&P15A. It is accurate (1 to 1.5MOA with bulk ammo) for a chrome lined AR. No issues. Cycles everything. Mine was made just after S&W started making them after Stag and before the melonite barrels.

GWARGHOUL
November 25, 2012, 03:45 PM
It's not their parts, it's their 10% cancellation/restocking fee.

Yeah, thats right. I want a gun from a company that answers the phones, has reasonable policy, and warranty or the possibility of refund or exchange if I get a dud.

The Smith is sounding like a good option

Sock Puppet
November 25, 2012, 04:00 PM
Yes.

wriggly
November 25, 2012, 04:11 PM
Yeah, thats right. I want a gun from a company that answers the phones, has reasonable policy, and warranty or the possibility of refund or exchange if I get a dud.

The Smith is sounding like a good option
Dont blame you. And, Smith makes a great AR. I already owned the model you are interested in, and I ended up buying a sport as well, for a range gun that I could beat on, and not worry about. I paid $599, and got my son in law to get one a few days later, and the place we bought them from had them for $50 less three days after I bought mine. So, he got his for $559, and I got a store credit for 50 bucks, which I promptly spent on P Mags.

Turns out my Sport is more accurate than my OR model.....much more accuate, and I am very pleased overall with my Smiths. The attached photo is a three shot group at 100 yards using PMC X-Tac 55 grain XP193 ammo, and I was shooting with the rifle resting on the magazine on the bench and my elbows resting on the bench. I was also using a Leupold Mark AR 1.5 to 4 scope in a LaRue SPR 1.93 QD mount.

http://i2.photobucket.com/albums/y50/wriggly1dog/P101059111.jpg

gotigers
November 25, 2012, 04:16 PM
Originally Posted by GWARGHOUL
Yeah, thats right. I want a gun from a company that answers the phones, has reasonable policy, and warranty or the possibility of refund or exchange if I get a dud.

The Smith is sounding like a good option

After a couple thousand rounds i had as small issue with my S&W M&P 9 pro pistol. They took care of it quickly without reservation.

I like S&W's products and customer service.

GWARGHOUL
November 25, 2012, 04:18 PM
Nice prices and nice shots, Wriggly.

I can't seem to find if they are mil-spec or not? My only concern for this, is for future mods and parts.

GWARGHOUL
November 25, 2012, 04:25 PM
I believe its coming down to Windham or S&W.

I like to kick my research around for a while.

Is either one mil-spec? I like the bigger mil-spec buffer tube. seem more rugged.

meanmrmustard
November 25, 2012, 04:47 PM
Smith and Wesson make a great AR. I've owned several, and shot twice as many more.

Buy the Smith, don't look back.

CharlieDeltaJuliet
November 25, 2012, 06:01 PM
I cannot comment on Windham's buffer tube, but the M&P's buffer tube is mil-spec. I have heard two different Windham owners say one of theirs was and the other wasn't.


This was from another site, some contacted Windham about their AR's:


"Windham Weaponry responded:
Let me try to answer as best I can your 6 points.

1. Carpenter 158 bolts YES
2. HP and MP tested bolts YES
3. 4150 Chrome Moly Vanadium steel YES
4. Mil Spec buffer tubes NO
Mil spec tubes use a smaller diameter tube than the actual diameter of the threads. This makes an extra process to turn the tube down to the mil-spec size rather than keeping it the same diameter all the way back. The walls of the commercial tube are therefore a little beefier. I've fired hundreds of thousands of rounds through AR15s and M16s with commercial spec tubes and have never had one fail. In the former company we all worked for (BFI), we had a test lower in the shooting room that we used for at least 10 years with the same commerical buffer tube on it. That lower probably had well over a million rounds through it without ever replacing the buffer tube. So in our experience there is no benefit to a mil spec buffer tube and is why we decided to go with the commercial spec tube. It's not as coslty to manufacture and is as strong or stronger than a mil spec tube.
5. F Marked front sight bases NO
We use standard front sight bases as this has become the "standard" really. The difference is only .040" and we have taller front sight posts in stock for those rifles that need more height on the front sight post. The majority of carry handles for flat tops are calibrated for standard front sight bases and that's the type of carry
handle we use. Any rear flip sight that needs a .040" taller sight can be easily accomodated with a taller post.
6. Staked locknuts on tele stocks NO
We would have more complaints if we did this than compliments. Some people want to be able to remove the stock if they want to install a different kind of endplate. Factory staking makes removal of the castle nut very difficult. Even without staking some people have a very hard time removing our tele stocks as we torque them on very tightly. Staking is a very easy process and takes 5 minutes to do. We leave this up to the customer to decide rather than making this decision for them. If someone buys one of our rifles and wants the lock nut staked we can do this for them if they so choose."

GWARGHOUL
November 25, 2012, 07:34 PM
Windham Weaponry responded:
Let me try to answer as best I can your 6 points.

1. Carpenter 158 bolts YES
2. HP and MP tested bolts YES
3. 4150 Chrome Moly Vanadium steel YES
4. Mil Spec buffer tubes NO
Mil spec tubes use a smaller diameter tube than the actual diameter of the threads. This makes an extra process to turn the tube down to the mil-spec size rather than keeping it the same diameter all the way back. The walls of the commercial tube are therefore a little beefier. I've fired hundreds of thousands of rounds through AR15s and M16s with commercial spec tubes and have never had one fail. In the former company we all worked for (BFI), we had a test lower in the shooting room that we used for at least 10 years with the same commerical buffer tube on it. That lower probably had well over a million rounds through it without ever replacing the buffer tube. So in our experience there is no benefit to a mil spec buffer tube and is why we decided to go with the commercial spec tube. It's not as coslty to manufacture and is as strong or stronger than a mil spec tube.
5. F Marked front sight bases NO
We use standard front sight bases as this has become the "standard" really. The difference is only .040" and we have taller front sight posts in stock for those rifles that need more height on the front sight post. The majority of carry handles for flat tops are calibrated for standard front sight bases and that's the type of carry
handle we use. Any rear flip sight that needs a .040" taller sight can be easily accomodated with a taller post.
6. Staked locknuts on tele stocks NO
We would have more complaints if we did this than compliments. Some people want to be able to remove the stock if they want to install a different kind of endplate. Factory staking makes removal of the castle nut very difficult. Even without staking some people have a very hard time removing our tele stocks as we torque them on very tightly. Staking is a very easy process and takes 5 minutes to do. We leave this up to the customer to decide rather than making this decision for them. If someone buys one of our rifles and wants the lock nut staked we can do this for them if they so choose."

That is some good info. Here I was thinking I was going to have to deal with a integral front sight like on a AK, and thinking commercial buffer tubes were somehow inferior.

wriggly
November 25, 2012, 07:45 PM
Smiths are Mil spec, they have earned a place on the chart right with the big boys.

taliv
November 25, 2012, 07:59 PM
commercial tubes ARE inferior. plenty of threads explaining the differences.

are they "strong enough" to spend ten years in the test firing room? looks that way, and no big surprise. heck, a wooden or plastic tube would probably survive that. are they something i'd want to bang around in the field? not really. but hey, they're half the price of mil-spec tubes.

GWARGHOUL
November 25, 2012, 08:10 PM
commercial tubes ARE inferior. plenty of threads explaining the differences.


So, what would one have to do to put a milspec buffer tube on a Windham?

hardluk1
November 25, 2012, 09:18 PM
taliv Commercial tubes are inferior. really!! Thats a broad and foolish remark and comeing from a mod!! . Milspec get throwed around to much. If it ain't going to war it ain't mil spec. It may be of the same level of steel and forgeings buy the same company but thats it. Even with barrels if a 4150 barrel was so great it would also be the standard for long range match grade barrels. It is not. Also with 4140 steel there are also sub grades that make for much better steels use in some barrels . Melonite has proven at the least as good a choice as chrome and is harder than chrome but there will allways be those to whine about that .

In the market we buy in the difference between what is a milspec full auto machine gun or selct fire m4's needs means nothing here. If someone want to spend for a lewis or stag or even a colt go for you. Some of us are more content with a lower cost quality rifles that have a tract record to of doing whats needed. I bought a m&p sport after reading some reviews done at Gunsites facillity wher to M&P 2 rifles ran true 170,000 rounds with no breakage . Lets stop all the mil spec this and that garbage and look more toward rifles real world value .

CharlieDeltaJuliet
November 25, 2012, 09:51 PM
I just want to also point out S&W offers a chrome-lined version too. Mine is chrome-lined rather than melonite.

To answer your question, it is not difficult to swap buffer tubes and stocks, you just need to budget that into your purchase if it is important to you.

gotigers
November 25, 2012, 09:52 PM
Taliv is spot on. 6061 is far softer than milspec tubes in 7075. You might not need it, but when you need it, you need it. The stock can take some abuse.

I only buy milspec. Maybe the occasional semi auto bolt carrier, but only good manufactuers when i do.

CraigC
November 25, 2012, 10:21 PM
My M&P's buffer tube is mil-spec.

FrankCastleThePunisher
November 25, 2012, 10:38 PM
My M&P Sport's buffer tube is mil-spec.

taliv
November 25, 2012, 10:46 PM
gwarg, replacing the tube wouldn't be worth the cost. the mil-spec tube by itself will run you $45 or so, then you'll need a new stock. you could keep the old one, but it will rattle a bit.

hardluk, i have no idea what you're talking about. do you realize we're discussing the receiver extension (aka buffer tube)? not the barrel steel or barrel treatment. statements like "If it ain't going to war it ain't mil spec." are so wildly nonsensical, i don't even know how to address them.

"Even with barrels if a 4150 barrel was so great it would also be the standard for long range match grade barrels."
that isn't even close to accurate. chrome lined 4150CMV is a horrible choice for long range match barrels. and the stainless steel that we make our match grade barrels from would be a horrible choice for issued M4s/M16s. 4140 is better than neither and the only reason to use it is to save money, WHICH IS PERFECTLY OK as long as it's not misrepresented as "just as good as".

regarding the buffer tubes, if you want to save $20, get the commercial tube. i don't care. but if you want to convince us that commercial tubes are superior to mil-spec tubes in some way besides price, please provide a fact-based argument, not some grammatically challenged rant.

chrome lining has been "proven". it's been in use for decades. "melonite" is a relatively new barrel treatment. Years from now, the whole world may accept that it's better than chrome, but for now, it's still climbing towards the peak of the hype. remember when everybody was hot and bothered about "moly coating" a few years back? it wasn't until several years after that people started discovering the 'downsides'. now a few people still use it in a few applications. maybe melonite is the next sliced bread. maybe a few years from now, nobody will be using it. time will tell.

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/9/94/Gartner_Hype_Cycle.svg/559px-Gartner_Hype_Cycle.svg.png

DNS
November 25, 2012, 10:53 PM
Smith and Wesson is the new top tier AR.
Superior rifling and accuracy too thanks to Thompson.

Safety First
November 25, 2012, 10:57 PM
My son in law likes his. Stone cold reliable and very accurate

GWARGHOUL
November 26, 2012, 12:11 AM
So uh.. which has the better barrel.. the Windham or the Smith and Wesson?

They both seem like good guns, but the Windham has a lifetime warranty..

The Smith.. 1 year full and lifetime repair, pretty much the same..


So.. now we're down to the barrel..

bowserb
November 26, 2012, 12:54 AM
What does the US military buy? Get one for yourself. You won't have to wonder if it is mil spec. Colt 6920. You'll thank me later.
OK call the fire dept...flames coming!

Owen Sparks
November 26, 2012, 01:10 AM
Do S&W or Windham really MAKE AR's or do they just assemble them from outsourced parts like many other companies do?

GWARGHOUL
November 26, 2012, 02:29 AM
What does the US military buy? Get one for yourself. You won't have to wonder if it is mil spec. Colt 6920. You'll thank me later.

For the jump in price, would I be getting a better gun or warranty?

Eureka40
November 26, 2012, 02:51 AM
OK, here's the deal breaker.

Bacon cooks much more evenly on a Smith than any other brand out there.

/s

It's not rocket science guys. Just get one and go shoot. You'll be happy, happy, happy.

Southside830
November 26, 2012, 04:45 AM
Neither gun is mil-spec. (S&W or Windham). Both have 1/9 barrels and batch test no f marked front post carbine buffer etc. That being said I have a Windham SRC and its an excellent rifle. I also have a colt 6920 and this gun is mil-spec all the way. Get a 6920 and be done with it.

CharlieDeltaJuliet
November 26, 2012, 07:33 AM
To answer Owen Sparks question, yes S&W makes their own lowers and uppers, but not just that they forge the castings too. There are a handful of upper/lower forge manufacturers.

To comment on the milspec thing, I know I am about to get flamed but here goes. NO, AR without a tax stamp is true mil-spec. The lowers are milled to accept the FCG. The barrels are 14.5" and the two I used(Uncle Sams)had a different buffer than a standard AR. But to say that, some use the same parts( other than the lowers,BCG, & barrels) such as Colt,DD,Noveske, etc. I cannot find a single difference in the parts in my M&P or my DDV4, all mic the same and are interchangable. Who knows what the difference is. Either way, a Windham or a M&P would most likely handle anything you could ever throw at it that a DD or Colt would.

gotigers
November 26, 2012, 09:19 AM
Milspec is more than dimensions. It is material, finish and a number of other things. It is true that no commercially available gun is true milspec, but some are more milspec than others. A Colt 6920 is milspec except the length of the barrel. I would call the 6920 milspec and so would any other reasonable AR enthusiast.

Milspec ensures specifications that have been vetted.

FrankCastleThePunisher
November 26, 2012, 09:55 AM
Neither gun is mil-spec. (S&W or Windham). Both have 1/9 barrels and batch test no f marked front post carbine buffer etc. That being said I have a Windham SRC and its an excellent rifle. I also have a colt 6920 and this gun is mil-spec all the way. Get a 6920 and be done with it.
The M&P Sport barrel is 1/8 twist.

CharlieDeltaJuliet
November 26, 2012, 11:23 AM
Mine M&P15 has the F marked front sight post also and a 1-9 twist barrel. The Sport, I cannot tell you about it's front sight post.

http://i1237.photobucket.com/albums/ff464/ChadJohnson1976/6c1570b9328f7ccc63f26858d70bc1d8.jpg

CraigC
November 26, 2012, 11:43 AM
Milspec ensures specifications that have been vetted.
And one must not take that out of context, or assume that "mil-spec" automatically equals "better". How can we distrust the government to handle our money and our health care but surrender to them when it comes to choosing a rifle? NEVER choose ANYTHING simply because the government did.

hardluk1
November 26, 2012, 12:41 PM
Today if you want a mill spec contact m4 you have to go remington!! All this mil spec stuff is so stupid.

The question was does S&W build a good AR15 , heck yes.

CharlieDeltaJuliet
November 26, 2012, 01:07 PM
Exactly Hardluk1...... It just seems like no matter what someone asks about AR's, it becomes a pissing contest. But sir, you are correct. To answer the OP's original post, yes, S&W makes a very good black rifle.

GWARGHOUL
November 26, 2012, 04:08 PM
I'm lost between three very reputable brands. Windham, S&W (not the sport), and a Colt 6920 for stepping up another 200 bones or so.

Safety First
November 26, 2012, 04:37 PM
My first AR was made by a reputable maker, it probably would have served me well had I kept it. After I read and read and researched, I came to the conclusion (right or wrong) That I would not have confidence in the rifle. You have to have confidence in your gun that it will work when you need it the most. So I bought the AR that many seemed to swear by and seemed from what I could tell to be mil-spec. (no I don't really trust the government ) So, bottom line is before you buy, make sure it is a gun you can put your trust in to work when you need it. Of course you have to ring it out thru several hundred rounds to really gain confidence in it, so whichever gun you buy put a few hundred rounds thru it. Welcome to the Black Rifle disease Club

allaroundhunter
November 26, 2012, 04:40 PM
For the amount of rounds that you are going to put through the gun, that $200 difference between the S&W and the Colt is going to be negligible.

I would buy the Colt without hesitation (and be very pleased with that decision).

CharlieDeltaJuliet
November 26, 2012, 05:03 PM
Me personally would choose them in this order:

S&W M&P 15
Colt
Windham

The reason I put the S&W over the Colt is due to the in house manufacturing and forging that S&W does. They are second to none on fit and finish. I personally like them doing the work themselves.

The Colt is just as tough and would be most peoples choice. I have nothing against them. For what I use my AR for, the Colt isn't worth paying the extra. I never shoot above a 62gr. in my rifle. I actually think it benefits a lot of people who want to shoot a heavier projectile, to buy the Colt. If you use 62gr. or lighter ammo, it is likely you would never tell the difference in any of the three. I cannot tell a difference in my DD,S&W or my CMMG, for what I do with them. My next AR will be an HK MR556. I am wanting to veer into the short piston AR. The main thing is buy the one that has the features you want, not what the people on the web want. Make sure you know what it is you need out of one before you buy it (quad rail, barrel twist, the sight style you like..etc)

GWARGHOUL
November 26, 2012, 05:48 PM
So, I went into my LGS...

They confused me. I think I'm going to make up my mind, stick with it and have it transferred in.

They were telling me that EVERYONE was getting away from the chrome-lined barrel, the Colt was $1200.. and that Smith&Wesson doesn't include a Chrome lined barrel, despite what their website says and that they are "wise and big enough to lie".. etc..

mljdeckard
November 26, 2012, 05:54 PM
I have a couple of friends who bought the M&P sports, and they love them. They left off the dust cover and forward assist, but I never use them anyway.

CharlieDeltaJuliet
November 26, 2012, 07:09 PM
Well Gwarghoul, S&W does offer a chrome-lined barrel, I own one(and would be happy to provide photos if you want to show your LGS). That being said, some companies are moving toward other options than chrome-lined. HK produces their MR556 with a barrel that is not chrome-lined. They clame the reason is the chrome-lining will magnify any imperfections in the barrel, hence reducing accuracy. Their military version (the HK 416) has a chrome-lined barrel. So it's a toss up. If the LGS would lie about S&W like that, I would not trust them on much. Trust me S&W offer both chrome and melonite.

Warp
November 26, 2012, 08:14 PM
http://www.m4carbine.net/showthread.php?t=97144

CharlieDeltaJuliet
November 26, 2012, 09:56 PM
http://www.smith-wesson.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/Product4_750001_750051_765651_-1_757785_757784_757784_ProductDisplayErrorView_Y

Or
http://www.smith-wesson.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/Product4_750001_750051_764994_-1_757785_757784_757784_ProductDisplayErrorView_Y

Chrome lined barrel. Mine is about 3 years old. Mine is the 811000 SKU. But there are a few models on S&W's site that have chrome-lined barrels.

PigButtons
November 27, 2012, 12:11 AM
What is the intended purpose of this rifle? Plinking, target, self defense, hunting, burning as much ammo as you can afford?

It WILL make a difference. Chrome lined is good if you want to put 10,000 plus rounds down the tube in just one or two years. But unless you reload you are talking about $3000 in ammo costs in those two years. Chrome lined will more than likely cost you some in the accuracy area as well, not all but most are at best 1MOA.

S&W has one of the best reputations in the industry for customer service. The M&P line will take any milspec aftermarket parts. So will the Colt and the Windham. Some early Colts had larger than standard pins for the trigger and hammer. Not true now I don't think.

When Smith bought Thompson Center they used the barrel technology from Thompson to make their own barrels more accurate. The most accurate is actually the Sport with the 5R rifling. Progressive rate twist (though it says 1:8). It will stabilize any weight bullet as well if not better than any AR out there.

If you are going hunting you may want something that is lighter so you can carry it more easily all day and with a faster twist rate for heavier bullets.

Hope this muddied the waters sufficiently.

rookorami
November 27, 2012, 01:19 AM
I recently picked up a sport and love it. Just had it out last week at the range and didn't have any problems what so ever. Not to mention I think I got my wife into shooting a bit more....

bgrav321
November 27, 2012, 12:02 PM
Go Smith. Windham is decent from what I hear, but I don't think I've ever read a bad Smith AR story. I love mine, MOA out of the box with the melonite. Go Smith.

hardluk1
November 27, 2012, 12:35 PM
gwarghoul Don't go into a gun shop and think you will find firearms expert. Most are just average working stiffs that have the same likes and dislikes as any one. It is up to you to know going in. Go to S&W's rifle forum and see what you find out. Most guys are ex military and or leos.

meanmrmustard
November 27, 2012, 09:43 PM
So, I went into my LGS...

They confused me. I think I'm going to make up my mind, stick with it and have it transferred in.

They were telling me that EVERYONE was getting away from the chrome-lined barrel, the Colt was $1200.. and that Smith&Wesson doesn't include a Chrome lined barrel, despite what their website says and that they are "wise and big enough to lie".. etc..
They have models that have CL. The Sport does not. Melonite, after much research, is what I'd prefer on ALL my rifle barrels if I could have it.

Colt is going to have good resale value if necessary. But, from my personal experience, their CS sucks. You may never need them, hopefully.

If you're after "mil spec", get a BCM, Colt, DD.
If you want value per dollar, get a Sport.
If you want a lil of both, PSA.

GWARGHOUL
November 27, 2012, 09:45 PM
They have models that have CL.

Yeah, I realize that. I was just noting how the LGS claims that Smith and Wesson are lieing about it. They even said they don't ship what the website specs say etc. They are big enough and smart enough to lie.. blah blah.

meanmrmustard
November 27, 2012, 09:50 PM
Yeah, I realize that. I was just noting how the LGS claims that Smith and Wesson are lieing about it. They even said they don't ship what the website specs say etc. They are big enough and smart enough to lie.. blah blah.
Maybe try a new shop. S&W is big, but lie they don't, and the shop in question seems to be under educated.

GWARGHOUL
November 28, 2012, 05:57 PM
and the shop in question seems to be under educated.

This is the same shop that almost had me for $850 on a DPMS a while back. They were cool enough to refund my money when I realized it wasn't what I needed/wanted.

Try to give the local guy my business, but seems like everytime I go in there they are substantially higher than everyone else, and full of it.

meanmrmustard
November 28, 2012, 06:04 PM
This is the same shop that almost had me for $850 on a DPMS a while back. They were cool enough to refund my money when I realized it wasn't what I needed/wanted.

Try to give the local guy my business, but seems like everytime I go in there they are substantially higher than everyone else, and full of it.
PM me shop in question. I may be able to recommend several highly rated shops here in the Metro STL area, as well as surrounding areas.

Show Me boys gotta look out for each other!

GWARGHOUL
November 28, 2012, 08:44 PM
PM me shop in question. I may be able to recommend several highly rated shops here in the Metro STL area, as well as surrounding areas.

Show Me boys gotta look out for each other!

Word. PM sent. Thanks, neighbor.

Old Dog
November 28, 2012, 09:10 PM
In my opinion, the answer to the OP's question is YES.

I have an excellent S&W M&P-15A. Mil-spec buffer tube, F-marked FSB, chrome-lined barrel. Accurate, has never, ever malfunctioned in three years and a butt-ton of .223, 5.56, 55 and 62 grain FMJs and penetrators through it.

I also have a couple Colt's LE-6920 M-4s, both supremely accurate and reliable; however the M&P-15 is better fit, tighter, less slop than the Colts.

I like 'em all. But if I really, truly couldn't pony up the extra 3 or 4 hundred bucks (you just can't seem to get a 6920 for under 1200 OTD right now), I'd have no problem with an M&P-15 (you can find some smokin' deals on the Smiths right now) -- S&W has proven to me they can put together a decent AR.
M&P 15A
http://i1252.photobucket.com/albums/hh577/Beau360/guns009.jpg
Colt's
http://i1252.photobucket.com/albums/hh577/Beau360/DSCN0074.jpg

fireman 9731
November 29, 2012, 02:14 AM
I have been very happy with my m&p 15 MOE. I'm no expert, and more of an AK guy, but I have been impressed by my S&W.

GWARGHOUL
November 29, 2012, 02:26 AM
Niiiice collection there.

GWARGHOUL
November 29, 2012, 02:28 AM
more of an AK guy

Hey, same here. If we were talkin AK's, we all know what the top two or three choices are.

I'm pretty settled on the S&W based on everything I've read, just need to handle one myself I believe. If I can find one local.

justice06rr
November 29, 2012, 03:52 AM
I would go with the Smith and Wesson AR with no hesitation. They make excellent firearms overall, and have great rep for CS. If you are set on the S&W, find one local at a reasonable price.

If you have the extra couple of hundred bucks available, I would also highly recommend the Colt 6920 for around $1100. Quality and value is top-notch; of course you are paying for the name but rest assured it IS Mil-Spec and will have a very good resale value if you choose to unload it down the road.

A 3rd (very close) option is a BCM Mid-length.

Ramone
November 29, 2012, 10:22 AM
So uh.. which has the better barrel.. the Windham or the Smith and Wesson?

They both seem like good guns, but the Windham has a lifetime warranty..

The Smith.. 1 year full and lifetime repair, pretty much the same..


So.. now we're down to the barrel..
The Smith has 5R rifling- that is, an odd number of lands and grooves, making for a better bullet fit in the bore.

It has the Melonite Coating, which seems to be a better product than chrome (as someone noted above, the jury won't really be in on it for years)

WW uses a 'Wylde' type chamber- a hybrid, tighter than 5.56 NATO, looser than .223 Rem. S&W seems to use a 5.56 NATO chamber. I'd prefer the hybrid, but the M&P Sport I fired was impressively accurate, so I'd be OK with the Sport.

The WW uses an M4 profile barrel- and the notch for mounting the M203 just bugs me.

Overall, when it comes down to barrel (and it really is the heart of rifle) I'd go with the S&W.

Al Thompson
November 29, 2012, 10:46 AM
Haven't seen this mentioned, but Windham is the old Bushmaster crew, FWIW, good or bad.

Pat Rogers came out a couple of years back and acknowledged that S&W was up to speed. Pat had thoroughly bashed them (in print) when S&W first started building ARs.

I'd get the S&W. :cool:

GWARGHOUL
November 29, 2012, 01:49 PM
so I'd be OK with the Sport.

Let me clarify.. I am not interested in the Sport model. It may be an awesome value, but I'm looking that the standard models.

Water-Man
November 29, 2012, 02:15 PM
You can get a 6920 for $995.00 now.

Case closed. Or it should be.

GWARGHOUL
November 30, 2012, 01:44 AM
You can get a 6920 for $995.00 now.


Where, and whats the extra $100 or so even at that price get me other than the name?
I could get ammo with that extra money :P

meanmrmustard
November 30, 2012, 06:42 AM
You can get a 6920 for $995.00 now.

Case closed. Or it should be.
Not after possible taxes, FFL fees, maybe shipping. That adds up quickly.

The extra cost of the Colt gets me nothing I can't have with a Smith. If I need a better BCG, I can get a spare BCM later down the road. For their price, Colts customer service is oddly atrocious considering how many folks rely on their stuff. This is my experience, not opinion.

Case should not be closed, yet.

LetFreedomReign
November 30, 2012, 07:32 AM
S&W barrels are 5R which may account to some of the accuracy claims found in this thread. I have had several AR's over the years with my latest being the S&W. It has not let me down in any area. Zero FTF or FTE with over 3000 rds. The only issue I have ever had with it is the fact that it doesn't like p-mags if overloaded, however most AR's don't. Some of the earlier (and maybe even current) P-mags would allow for 31 or more rounds to be loaded into them which would cause the magazine to not engage fully and fall out. The same problem occurred in my Bushmaster and an Olympic as well. I just stopped using P-mags since I can't count. LOL. Problem solved! Go for it. You won't be disappointed. On a side note, I have an Essential arms lower that I recently finished and the S&W upper fits it very well and works great. I did use an accu-wedge but it wasn't totally necessary, I'm just picky and there was a very small amount of side play.

Warp
November 30, 2012, 12:20 PM
Where, and whats the extra $100 or so even at that price get me other than the name?
I could get ammo with that extra money :P

Compared to what?

If you think the name is the only difference, just go to your local gun store or show and buy whichever AR/M4 pattern rifle is the cheapest. Don't waste your money on the Smith and Wesson rollmark.

hardluk1
November 30, 2012, 02:50 PM
Go buy your sport.

mberoose
November 30, 2012, 02:55 PM
S&W makes a value-packed AR with a nice warranty to back it up.

-slowly backs away from couch commando subject-

mac66
November 30, 2012, 04:08 PM
I think the OP talked about getting an MP15 OR Smith not the sport model. There is a difference.

I've had an OR for a couple years, shot it a lot this past summer and fall and have never had any failure of any kind or issue with it.

I paid $700-800 for it a couple years ago and have felt since then that is was one of the best bangs for the buck I ever got. If you can get one for that price now I would say go for it without hesitation.

BTW, I have 7 ARs including 2 Colts, the MP15 OR is as good as any of them.

gpjoe
December 1, 2012, 12:04 AM
Yes, S&W makes a good AR.

I have an M&P15 MOE and also have a PSA PA-15. The MOE is a fine rifle though I seem to be a bit more accurate with the $700 PSA. To be fair, I'm not using the same optic on both so that may be the reason. I have not had any failures of any sort with either rifle.

Regardless, you're going to read a lot of different opinions, but I don't think you can go wrong with a S&W AR. Just decide what features are important to you and get the rifle that fits your budget. I know that may not be very specific but IMO the average schmoe won't see much difference for recreational use.

Nasty
December 9, 2012, 10:18 AM
FWIW, I ran the base firing range for 20 years and was also the base weapon inspector (old school SAMTU).

I have a Sport on order...

SwampWolf
December 9, 2012, 03:34 PM
My brother just bought a Smith AR-15 (forget the model no. right now but it was billed as being ready for optics and a mite more costly than the Sport model) and he's been very impressed with the quality of the fit/finish workmanship. Now to see how it shoots...

Warp
December 9, 2012, 03:49 PM
My brother just bought a Smith AR-15 (forget the model no. right now but it was billed as being ready for optics and a mite more costly than the Sport model) and he's been very impressed with the quality of the fit/finish workmanship. Now to see how it shoots...

Check back after a case of ammo. :)

CharlieDeltaJuliet
December 9, 2012, 07:51 PM
SwampWolf, if it is anything like mine, he will love it. I have grown to love he M&P15's. I think S&W have the fit, finish and reliability down pat now. I only hope that since they dropped all that money for their own forging equipment, that they expand and make other variations in the future. S&W has proven to me they have earned their spot in the "black rifle" game.

rookorami
December 9, 2012, 08:17 PM
I have a sport and ran p-mags loaded to 31 without any issues. The only issues I had while using my sport were caused by how i had the brass catcher set up. The gun wasn't throwing the brass hard enough to enter the net. Otherwise a few hundred rounds through the sport and loving it!

Warp
December 9, 2012, 08:21 PM
I have a sport and ran p-mags loaded to 31 without any issues. The only issues I had while using my sport were caused by how i had the brass catcher set up. The gun wasn't throwing the brass hard enough to enter the net. Otherwise a few hundred rounds through the sport and loving it!

Anything should run pmags with 31 rounds just fine so long as you load the mag with the bolt open.

Not sure why you would do that, though.

rookorami
December 9, 2012, 08:26 PM
I did it with the bolt closed, just a little bump on the mag and it was good to go. Only did this because I lost count while loading the mag a time or two. I tend not to load them to full capacity now.

Warp
December 9, 2012, 08:28 PM
I did it with the bolt closed, just a little bump on the mag and it was good to go. Only did this because I lost count while loading the mag a time or two. I tend not to load them to full capacity now.

Full capacity is 30 rounds, FYI

ShowroomShine
December 9, 2012, 08:35 PM
My M&P15OR with free float tube and 3-9 scope will do under 1/2" at 100yrds with Federal Sierra BTHP.

Trigger is good as well.

rookorami
December 9, 2012, 08:36 PM
Full capacity is 30 rounds, FYI

I don't load to 30 either. The technical full capacity is 30 but the way I was thinking when I wrote it was if I can fit 31 then its not full at thirty because you can still get one more in. However, I do see what you mean sorry for the error in my wording.

SwampWolf
December 9, 2012, 09:17 PM
Check back after a case of ammo.

Will do-and I expect (hope) the report will be a positive one.

meanmrmustard
December 9, 2012, 10:22 PM
Will do-and I expect (hope) the report will be a positive one.
It should be. For those of us that have run thousands of rounds through it in a years time, they will hold their own against the greats no problem.

The one I've kept is in the neighborhood of 4,000. That's brass and steel. Literally no issues, as I run ARs wet. You will be pleased.

Strange Bob
December 10, 2012, 12:44 PM
Now y'all have me interested in an M&P 15 ... thanks ... my wife sends her thanks as well ... not!

CharlieDeltaJuliet
December 10, 2012, 01:10 PM
The M&P are fine rifles to own. I do like mine as good as my DD. The S&W really shine (IMHO) in the fit and finish department. Either way, the M&P line will be here for a while.

GWARGHOUL
December 10, 2012, 03:39 PM
hey again, I appreciate all of the good feedback. I'm pretty settled on the smith, pending final personal inspection.

hardluk1
December 10, 2012, 05:57 PM
Noticed a earlier post where some smithy or gun shop bump said SW is lieing about a CL bore when they do offer it in some of there models shows just how foolish that person view and knowledge of a product really is.

GWARGHOUL
December 17, 2012, 07:08 PM
I took my business elsewhere, and put a S&W M&P15A on layaway.
Its a bit overpriced, but I'm not waiting this one out, and taking a chance.

I am paying $1059 for the gun.

No one local, or any of the places I do business with online had a better model, or the Colt even in stock.

I seen the last price on one on Buds was $10 more or less.

Since its a later model, should be completely in-house S&W parts...good to go.

CharlieDeltaJuliet
December 17, 2012, 07:53 PM
You will love it.... M&P 15's are great rifles. I love mine. I recently bought an Hk AR, but the S&W is still my everyday shooter...

GWARGHOUL
December 17, 2012, 09:41 PM
You will love it.... M&P 15's are great rifles. I love mine. I recently bought an Hk AR, but the S&W is still my everyday shooter...

Yeah, it felt smooth. I don't expect it to be a 600 yard match winner, just a good looking, fun shooting, more accurate than the AK is all I'm askin for.. I like workhorses.

The competition shoots around me are all bird shot and .22 so..

I'll hopefully be able to afford to get it by Friday.. though I have 90 days..

Certaindeaf
December 17, 2012, 10:16 PM
Exactly. I guess that's the end of these kinds of threads for a while. People will have to just settle on what they can get, if anything at any price.

GWARGHOUL
December 18, 2012, 03:39 PM
Exactly. I guess that's the end of these kinds of threads for a while. People will have to just settle on what they can get, if anything at any price.

Yep. I'll venture to say I scored a good one. Not a LMT or a DD, but a good one.. the intermediate market. I think you would all agree?

CharlieDeltaJuliet
December 18, 2012, 03:53 PM
I even will go so far as S&W makes a better AR than most other mid tier AR's. I think the fit and finish is second to none. I am a huge fan of the M&P15... You will have to post up some photos when you can.

GWARGHOUL
December 19, 2012, 12:32 AM
You will have to post up some photos when you can.

Will do my man. Thanks. I'll probably ask a few AR n00b questions when I get it and post it up too.

Is it ok to post naked pictures? As in, the gun doesn't have optics.. flat-top.

It has a solid front post, and a removable rear flip up sight (can't recall the brand, but was real nice) is that clothed enough?

CharlieDeltaJuliet
December 19, 2012, 12:59 AM
Probably a Troy sight. Please if I can help feel free to ask anything. Shoot me a message. Hey man, no optic is just a "clean look". Post those photos, when you get it. Trust me, we all had questions about firearms. Don't be afraid to ask. Trust me on this, S&W made these to last...

FrankCastleThePunisher
December 19, 2012, 02:42 AM
Took my new M&P Sport to the range this past weekend and shot it for first time with a Leupold VX-R 2x7x33 mm scope and it is a tack driver. Very pleased with performance and accuracy. No hicups with 90 rounds shot. I love the new scope for the AR platform. The Sport is a great gun for the price.

GWARGHOUL
December 19, 2012, 05:03 AM
Probably a Troy sight. Please if I can help feel free to ask anything. Shoot me a message. Hey man, no optic is just a "clean look". Post those photos, when you get it. Trust me, we all had questions about firearms. Don't be afraid to ask. Trust me on this, S&W made these to last...

Yeah, thats it, a Troy flip up sight. I will post those pics, and I will send you a message. Thanks for reaching out to me. The AR is a new platform to me. I grew up with revolvers and lever guns, bolt actions. When my grandpa passed away in 2001, we got our first semi-auto! I did my SAIGA 7.62x39 conversion and became quite the AK techie.. by asking questions, and taking her apart. Hoping to learn the same level of competence and knowledge with the AR platform, but it is a whole different beast with different jargon, tools, and tech.

I appreciate the support.


Took my new M&P Sport to the range this past weekend and shot it for first time with a Leupold VX-R 2x7x33 mm scope and it is a tack driver. Very pleased with performance and accuracy. No hicups with 90 rounds shot. I love the new scope for the AR platform. The Sport is a great gun for the price.

Cool man, glad you like it. I didn't buy the sport, nor did I intend to, I got the 15A model.. its discontinued, but basically like the OR model, with a fixed front sight, and a flip up rear sight.

If they do the lower priced version so well (and I keep hearing good things about that sport you got).... one can only conclude as you go up the ladder, the steps are quality.

Old Dog
December 19, 2012, 04:50 PM
Heh, the 15A is the one I picked up. Has been 100% reliable and it's accurate. The Troy rear sight is excellent -- much better than the MAGPUL MBUIS that came on my LE-6920-MP.

Good choice for an entry-level AR in my opinion.

GWARGHOUL
December 19, 2012, 05:36 PM
Good choice for an entry-level AR in my opinion.

At $1000, and with its features.. wouldn't you call it more of a mid-tier than entry level?

Entry level to me is like DPMS, Core15, Black ops tactical etc.. with Windham being the start of the "mid-tier"..

Am I right or wrong?

Old Dog
December 19, 2012, 07:57 PM
Yeah, you're right ... and you're wrong -- it's your entry into the AR world! Indeed, though, a much better choice than DPMS, Oly, (probably the new Bushmasters) and many others ...

GWARGHOUL
December 20, 2012, 12:51 AM
Cool. That comment had me a little like #$%@%@ $1000 shouldn't be a entry level rifle!!!

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