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S&W AR-15 vs Colt

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by HD Fboy, Jan 23, 2011.

  1. HD Fboy

    HD Fboy Well-Known Member

    First I am not an operator. My AR's are for plinking and Home Defense.

    I own one Colt and 2 S&W AR's. I have owned all of the guns for a couple of years. Personally I prefer the way the S&W shoots, I like the sights. They all shoot the same from an accuracy standpoint using a couple of different ammo choices. I have never had a failure with either I continue to hear that PD's are selecting the S&W for department usage.

    I just don't understand why I continually read about how this rifle or that rifle is a much better choice than the Smith. Can someone explain?
  2. Hanzo581

    Hanzo581 Well-Known Member

    Nothing at all wrong with the M&P15s, they may not use the same quality components at the upper tier ARs but your average shooter isn't going to shoot enough to notice. IMO.
  3. HD Fboy

    HD Fboy Well-Known Member

    How much does one need to shoot to notice?

    What parts are substandard?
  4. Hanzo581

    Hanzo581 Well-Known Member

    There is probably a newer chart but this should show some of the differences.

  5. HD Fboy

    HD Fboy Well-Known Member

    Thanks. I knew there were some barrel differences. My guns both have H buffers I checked when I purchased both guns. Both are also flat tops and have the Troy sights.

    I have not noticed any differences in the accuracy with different ammo but I don't think I have shot anything bigger than 70g.

    Thanks for posting this.

    One more question, the S&W bolt is a match to the Colt. Is the bolt or the barrel more important in this case.
  6. G27RR

    G27RR Well-Known Member

    The main things are the 1:9 instead of 1:7 twist, which is more preference based on the ammo you like to shoot really, and the batch testing vs testing every part. Otherwise, they are right up there.

    I bought two, one to give each of my boys eventually and they are up to the task of any kind of use a civilian rifle is likely to see. They are a good value. Some people need to have the full milspec and/or a trendy brand name. (Not bashing more upper end rifles either, though, as I have a LaRue OBR that's fantastic...they just serve different purposes)

    The $200-$300 or more you save over a BCM, Colt, etc. can go into optics, magazines, ammo, or whatever if you aren't going to be putting it through really, really hard use it makes more sense (to me).

  7. HD Fboy

    HD Fboy Well-Known Member

    Thanks again.

    I think they are a good value also. I have 2 and my son has one and we have not had any problems. We believe they are a great value for the money.
  8. Z-Michigan

    Z-Michigan Well-Known Member

    The bolt is more important to reliability and durability, especially with the M4 style setup (carbine length gas system).

    Also, don't switch bolts between rifles. It can accelerate wear, and potentially create headspace issues (though not that likely unless one rifle already had headspace issues).
  9. mshootnit

    mshootnit Well-Known Member

    I have owned four different makes and handled a few more.... S&W M&P15 is first rate with attention paid during the build to little details, parts quality and fit and finish. My S&W's only fault (if you could call it that) was a very ordinary trigger pull. It had tight takedown and pivot pins and tight fit between the receivers. The operation of every moving part was smooth and tolerances were perfect. It was very accurate.
  10. christcorp

    christcorp Well-Known Member

    I'm glad that hanzo posted "The Chart". The greatest thing "The Chart" shows, is that except for the S&W barrel being made of 4140 steel, having a 1:9 instead of a 1:7 twist, and using a Carbine buffer instead of an "H" buffer; there is nothing substandard about the S&W M&P series.

    As for the buffer; you can spend $29 and exactly 47 seconds of your time, and replace the buffer if you have a real hard on for that. And unless you plan on shooting 70-75 grain bullets, the 1:7 has absolutely no advantage to you.

    In other words: the S&W M&P15 is a fantastic rifle. And definitely worth saving hundreds of dollars compared to the Colt, noveske, or LMT. Not that these aren't very good guns. They are. But when people start stating this Mil-Spec / Higher Quality crap; I realize they are trying to rationalize their purchase. From the whole mil-spec, there just isn't that much difference.

    Now; in all fairness; if I paid retail price for my S&W M&P 15OR, ($1069), I never would have done that. I would have gotten a Colt or a BCM. But between normal store price; their 3 day christmas eve sale; and S&W military appreciation rebate: I got my M&P15OR 4 weeks ago at christmas, for $649. There was no even second guessing that purchase. I'd spend $100-$150 more for a Colt or BCM if that was the price difference. (Only for reselling purposes to another "Brand is important" buyer). But when I got my M&P for basically $500-$700 less than the Colt, that's a totally different story.
  11. Dr.Rob

    Dr.Rob Moderator Staff Member

    I've been impressed with the Smith but I'd like to shoot one side by side with a Colt. My GF is looking to buy a 'black rifle' one of these days.
  12. Fast Frank

    Fast Frank Well-Known Member

    See, that's the deal right there.

    You can drive a Ford, and then drive a Chevy, and say "This one runs better, but that one has a better interior".

    The reason why you have to compare Fords and Chevys is because they are different.

    Not so with black rifles.

    A flat top 16" with the standard collapsible stock is just that- a civilian version of the M4.

    Blindfolded you can't tell any difference at all between brands.

    They weigh the same, are the same length, have the same controls, use the same magazines, and you can take them apart and mix up the pieces... because they are the same.

    Sure, you can put this accessory on the back of the rifle, and that accessory on the front of the rifle, and some other accessories in the middle of the rifle and change the way it feels, but now we're comparing accessories.

    Sure, there's some advantages to paying top dollar for the best stuff. No doubt about it.

    But as far as a side by side comparison of one black rifle to another goes...

    Equally specked rifles from different manufacturers are going to feel the same when you shoot them.
  13. Quentin

    Quentin Well-Known Member

    The chart image pictured is from 2008, here is a link to the Feb 2010 version. http://spreadsheets.google.com/pub?key=pwswheghNQsEuEhjFwPrgTA&single=true&gid=5&output=html

    It does look like the S&W bolt is very close to the Colt but its bolt carrier is the semiauto type instead of M16. The bolt is a high stress small part so the best bolt you can find is likely more important than the barrel which has so much more mass. Odds are the 4140 steel is ok and the twist rate is debatable. Overall, thumbs up on the S&W.
    Last edited: Jan 24, 2011
  14. HD Fboy

    HD Fboy Well-Known Member

    Thanks Everyone. I appreciate the clarifications.

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