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AR-15 small parts, upper reciever sources, questions

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by natedog, Oct 12, 2004.

  1. natedog

    natedog Senior Member

    Dec 24, 2002
    Bakersfield, California
    I was looking at www.model1sales.com and www.cavalryarms.com - both sell AR-15 upper recievers. I was curious if they make their own, or if they get them from somewhere else. This goes for all AR-15 companies: do they completly manufacture all their rifles, or do they get the small parts and such from other companies? Does the quality of the small parts directly affect quality? For example, is the sear in say, a Bushmaster the same as a sear in a Colt?

  2. ny32182

    ny32182 Mentor

    Oct 17, 2003
    Clemson, SC
    Well, the only part in an AR-15 referred to as a "sear" is the autosear, and you won't find one of those in a semiauto version.

    However, word on the street is that many makes will get lower receiver parts from the same manufactures. The only difference is the QC performed on them.

    Not sure how much truth there is to that. I don't think anyone really knows for sure.

    If you are looking for a standard lower parts kit, Bushy or RRA seem to be the best bet.
  3. Bartholomew Roberts

    Bartholomew Roberts Moderator Emeritus

    Dec 26, 2002
    Many AR15 manufacturers use the same forge to provide their raw forgings for uppers and lowers. Just for an example, I have seen a Bushmaster and a Colt with the same forge markings as well as a Bushmaster and a RRA upper with the same forge markings. So they are the same in that sense.

    However, the forges provide the raw uppers and lowers in different stages of finish from just the basic raw forging all the way to a completed anodized upper. Also, different companies have different standards concerning what they'll take. Parts that get rejected by one company can and do get sold to other companies that aren't so picky.

    Basically, just because two different uppers share the same forge marking doesn't necessarily mean they are built to the same specs or have the same quality. Having said that, it is real hard to go wrong with either an AR upper or an AR lower until you are well down the list of AR manufacturers.

    I haven't dealt with Model 1 Sales since they were known as Nesard; but back then they used to deal in a lot of second tier parts of questionable origin. Despite that, I still built quite a few good AR15s with those parts.

    CavArms is a quality company that stands behind their product. I don't know who makes their uppers; but they do hang out and have an industry forum at AR15.com where you can talk directly with them.

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