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AR-15 manufacturers, comments plz

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by gigmike, Aug 17, 2004.

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  1. gigmike

    gigmike Member

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    I've been researching AR-15's on this board, AR15.com, 1911forum, glocktalk, etc.

    It appears to me that of all the manufacturers of these types that Colt, Armalite, Bushmaster & Rock River Arms in no particular order produce the best/ highest quality AR's. Anyone care to differ or add to this?

    Not trying to start a flame war and don't want to offend Olympic owners or anything like that. Just seeking some final comments.
     
  2. lycanthrope

    lycanthrope Member

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    LOL.

    I won an Olympic and a RRA. The Olympic is flawless and shoots better groups. The RRA has a tighter fit and a slightly better finish.

    I truly recomend a RRA lower mated with an upper that is suited to your needs.

    For a SHTF gun, I prefer anything but Colt, so I can switch uppers if need be. The Bushy's I've shot have run very nicely, but never held great groups. RRA uppers in stainless have been very good to me. I honestly cannot comment on Armalite since I have never shot one.
     
  3. Wildalaska

    Wildalaska member

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    Ive always found that Colt and Bushmaster are about equal in quality.....RRA is too new to tell...

    Keep in mind that basically they are all the same...

    WildpartsbinAlaska
     
  4. Fatcat

    Fatcat Member

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    I'm almost finished with my first build, an LMT. Real nice pieces, though the lowers are somewhat scarce.

    Can't go wrong with a Bushy, RRA or a Colt, though.
     
  5. Not_A_Llama

    Not_A_Llama Member

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    I don't hold any allegiance to a particular maker, but I have always noted that RRA represents an outstanding value. High quality parts, priced below the bigger names. They are not "new" anymore.
     
  6. Mulliga

    Mulliga Member

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    Bushie and Colt are good. RRA is pretty good, too, but I wish they were cheaper - for about the same price as a RRA AR-15, you can get a Bushie.

    Just remember that every so often a lemon gets through. I recall Werewolf had huge problems with his Bushie and eventually got rid of it.
     
  7. BigG

    BigG Member

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    I disagree with that. Only the Horse for me.
     
  8. ilmonster

    ilmonster Member

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    Take a look at a thread on tacticalforums.com labeled "AR Deficiancies". Some well known AR armorers/instructors who see hundreds of different brand AR's come through their classes give their thoughts.
     
  9. Damon

    Damon Member

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    Colt performs quality assurance tests that other companies don't. For example they Magnaflux bolts and barrels and proof fires.

    The ones you mention are ok, but I prefer Colt.
     
  10. FullClip

    FullClip Member

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    Have two Colts, an Armalite AR-10 and a Oly carbine in .45ACP. No complaints with any of them. Think a lot of the hype is a like a "Tastes Great!! Less Filling" argument. Maybe if survayed over thousands of examples, and after thousands of rounds, enough data can be put together to point to one brand over the other. I do expect to get a better looking, fit and finish from more expensive units, but think operation is pretty much the same with all AR units.

    Now I'll have to get a Maine Made Bushy and see if I'm not just blowing hot air.:D
     
  11. BigG

    BigG Member

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    :uhoh:

    What has the Armed Services been using since 1964? Ain't nothin but a Colt.

    :scrutiny:
     
  12. rauchman

    rauchman Member

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    What has the Armed Services been using since 1964? Ain't nothin but a Colt.

    I thought FN has been making the M-16's for awhile now.
     
  13. Damon

    Damon Member

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    Colt has the contract for the M4 and some A4 rifles. FN has a contract for A4 rifles.
     
  14. gigmike

    gigmike Member

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    In my original post I didn't mean to slight any Olympic Arms owners. After researching AR's at AR15.com you'd think they were held together with baling wire! The further I get into this it appears that it comes down to a lot of personal preference. I'm leaning towards Colt because of their tradition with the AR. I understand that I may not be able to swap parts as easily as I can with some other brands, but that doesn't seem to be too big a deal.

    Thanks for your time gentlemen. More comments are always welcome.
     
  15. Werewolf

    Werewolf Member

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    One LEMON does not a trend make BUT here is my experience with a Bushmaster XM15E2S 20" Fluted barrel:

    New out of the box the thing would fire 10 to 30 rounds and then start stovepiping. Local Gunsmith (usually very knowledgeable) didn't have a clue so after about 100 rounds I sent it back to BM. BM charged me freight (both ways - does one have to ask them for a label or something). Problem was with the extractor. When the bolt heated up after firing for a bit the extractor pin expanded just enough that it failed to work.

    Got the thing back and voila - no more stovepiping. Cool. Now I had a chance to sight the thing in. Rear sight had to be almost all the way to the right to get on paper. Started at 25 yards for zero. Moved to 50 yards had to adjust rear sight to the right. Moved to 100 yards - had to move rear sight further to the right. Now it was off zero at 50. This is total BS so I call BM and find out that they had a run of uppers where they over torqued the barrel. They said a Gunsmith could fix it for about $2 in parts and labor or I could send it to them and they'd fix it under warranty. Screw that.

    I ended up trading the thing for an M1 Garand and never looked back. The M1 works great.

    The day may come when I want to acquire an AR again but when I do it won't be a Bushmaster that's for sure. As the saying goes: Burn me once - shame on you. Burn me twice - shame on me!
     
  16. HankB

    HankB Member

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    My standard Bushmaster XM15E2S has always functioned flawlessly, but when new, it had a problem with an improperly timed barrel - zero at 100 yards took about 17 clicks of windage. Bushmaster issued a call ticket, had the upper picked up, and returned it to me about 10 days later, fixed properly under warranty, all at no cost to me. Bushmaster is also supposed to be closer to milspec than other brands. (Note that NO civilian-legal, currently manufactured AR15 clone can be TRULY "milspec.") I wouldn't hesitate to buy another.

    I have a sour feeling toward Colt's because based on my personal experience (though not with an AR-15) Colt's does not honor their warranty, if it calls for actually fixing a defect. I also don't like Colt's because they went PC before the law required them to, by switching to non-standard size pins, removing the bayonet lug, and installing a block in the lower which makes trigger work harder. (I will admit, a buddy's preban Colt HBAR does shoot well.)

    No first-hand experience with Armalite or RRA . . . but I understand Armalite is issuing coupons good for a "free" barrel threading after the AWB expires. If this is true, in my book that's the mark of a good company.
     
  17. Bartholomew Roberts

    Bartholomew Roberts Moderator Emeritus

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    My experience has been that Colt's does the most thorough quality assurance; but that if something does slip through the customer service was atrocious (it has been years though so maybe they have cleaned up their act).

    Bushmaster on the other hand has excellent customer service but you stand a greater chance of having to use it. Overtorqued barrels, improperly staked gas keys, purple finish... I'd rate them a second to Colt.

    Olympic is much hated on AR15.com and qualifies their lifetime warranty to such an extent that it will be difficult to actually qualify for it; but the one Olympic I owned never gave me any trouble at all and was a good gun.
     
  18. meathammer

    meathammer Member

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    Zero problems with my 16" Armalite. A very nice rifle.
     
  19. shermacman

    shermacman Member

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    I have run just under 1000 rounds through my 20" Olympic Arms AR-15. Nary a problem. Occassionally I have had to use the forward assist to make up for my sloppy handling. But I love the gun!
     
  20. wanderinwalker

    wanderinwalker Member

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    I like Armalite, but DPMS, Bushmaster and Rock River are all okay IMO. My father has a National Match DPMS upper which will hang with my Armalite National Match pretty well.

    The old Colt Sporter is wonky. Over-torqued barrel requires major windage usage. You need a PAIR of screwdrivers to seperate the upper and the lower. Plus you need a special adapter to fit a standard pin upper on, which means you can no longer just swivel the recievers apart. BAH!! Make mine another manufacture's. Although, the cool factor of the SP-1 is hard to get over sometimes. It is lighter than most of the "lightweight" carbines sold now, and is just plain fun to shoot.
     
  21. MrMurphy

    MrMurphy Member

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    Bushmaster
    DPMS/Rock River
    Armalite/Colt

    In that order. I've been hearing good things about LMT but haven't seen one in person yet.


    I've had problems with other people's Colts I've shot (failure to extract, double feeds etc) that I didn't with the other brands, but then again the Colt M16A2 I had in basic was flawless with live ammo except for one jam cleared in two seconds (an empty bounced back into the ejection port off my finger I think, it double fed more or less with the next round. A quick SPORTS and a whack and it was in action again.

    It didn't like blanks, due to lack of gas to make the thing go, but otherwise, that particular M16A2 was fine. :)
     
  22. Mulliga

    Mulliga Member

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    Bushmaster magnafluxes their barrels, too, IIRC - not sure if the "MP" inspection is done after they receive the barrel blanks, or before.

    My Bushmaster runs well - but then again, I've only used XM193 and USGI 30-rounders.
     
  23. Jon Coppenbarger

    Jon Coppenbarger Member

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    I will put it this way the colt rifles I have bought in the last year total 2 , bushmaster around 5, armalite about the same and a couple of dpms's,
    The hands done winner everyone wants is rock river with over $25,000 worth of rifles and parts bought from them this year for clients.
    I think that # will grow and all of those orders were ordered and paid for by clients before I bought them.
    At camp perry alone I bought 3 complete rifles and a upper and ordered another upper not counting the parts I bought also and that does not go on the $ figure from them. Looking foward to see what kind of more programs they have at the shot show again in Jan. in vegas as that is where I set up our stocking dealer program last year.
    Going to order colaspible stocks and some other parts tommorrow also as I think I will need them in around a month for the cust's.

    Most highpower shooters I know are getting the rock rivers but armalite does put out a great product also.

    I have a safe full of ar's and only sold one of my own this year and it was the only colt I owned out of my match rifles that I was willing to part with.
     
  24. JWH 223

    JWH 223 Member

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    My opinion....grain of salt

    Armalite...I have owned 4...I still have one and it is my Varmint/target gun. It shoots great and the fit & finish is top notch...I would buy one again.

    Bushmaster..I have owned 6-8...I still have 4.....They are all very reliable. My Bushys are all carbine type guns so I have never done any real accuracy testing. Fit & finish is very good, sometimes colors don't match exactly from upper to lower...These are my favorite carbine type ARs.

    DPMS & Olympic....I have had parts, but never full factory guns. Some of the parts wouldn't fit right and the receiver finish seems rough compared to BM and Armalite.

    RRA....I have had many parts from them and also complete uppers. Everything fits and finish on receivers and barrels is very good and very nice color matching on receivers...I have had some small parts (gas blocks, etc..) that had some rough machining and poor finish. I have also had issues with ARMS rails not fitting on thier flattop uppers.

    Colt..I refuse to buy anything based on a Logo...I'm sure they are great.

    Overall, I'm a Bushy man for blasting and an Armalite guy for punching paper.....

    My $0.02
     
  25. Ktulu

    Ktulu Member

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    I have two Bushmaster lowers both with RRA uppers on them. I happy with all of it. I really like RRAs NM trigger.
     
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