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AR-15 ''Tiers'' (brands)

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by sprice, Oct 30, 2009.

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  1. sprice

    sprice Member

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    I heard someone ranked ar's according to quality in three tiers, tier 1, 2, and 3. So what are the best AR brands, the good brands, and the worst ones? If you have any other information/ experiences please feel free to share.
     
  2. Tengu Joker

    Tengu Joker Member

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  3. sprice

    sprice Member

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    gracias senior
     
  4. Avenger29

    Avenger29 Member

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    Sprice, please read not just the chart, but the part explaining what each of those points means. Click on the "Explanation of Features" part at the bottom and read that until you understand. You may have to do a bit of googling for pictures of what is being discussed so you have good pictures, and read the linked sites, threads, and articles that are with each discussion point. Visit gunstores and look at ARs, too.

    There is no such thing as too much research when it comes to purchasing any rifle, and that is especially true when discussing firearms such as ARs and 1911 pattern handguns.
     
  5. longdayjake

    longdayjake Member

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    I wish people would stop posting the worthless chart. Its for one model and one model only. It is not a catch all for every rifle out there. Its colts and noveskes greatest ally and it makes other good manufacturers look crappy.
     
  6. Flintknapper

    Flintknapper Member

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    +1 ^^^^^^^^^^
     
  7. browningguy

    browningguy Member

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    I would certainly take the chart with a grain of salt, it's for people that want as close as possible to a mil-spec rifle, not for anyone else.

    As examples:
    Black extractor spring insert - huh??? I happen to like pretty, shiney spring inserts, but who cares.
    M-16 Bolt Carrier - who cares, I have AR-15's not M-16's and they are just as good.
    Chrome chamber and bore - mine are precision rifles and I absolutely so not want a chrome chamber and bore, just one more spec to get the tolerance wrong on.
    1:7 barrel twist - well, if you want to shoot the long heavy bullets that is good, if you are planning on shooting only 40 gr. varmint bullets then better to go with a 1:12 or 1:14.
    Double handguard shields - all of mine have free float tube, aluminum is my preference.

    Decide what you want to do with the rifle, then you can inquire about specific parts for specific uses and get much better inputs.
     
  8. taliv

    taliv Moderator

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    the other manufacturers look crappy because most of them are.

    i can't quite comprehend why someone would wish people would stop answering questions or providing info (especially the explanation of features, which specifically addresses your only even remotely valid criticism), unless maybe they worked for one of the crappy mfgs.

    i can understand buyer's remorse, and wishing people would stop dogging your favorite brand
     
  9. smoketheresfire

    smoketheresfire Member

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    People get their panties in a bunch when you tell them their ar is not top teir. If you think your RRA (my ar build has a RRA lower) or S&W is on the same level as a Colt or LMT you are sorely mistaken. Justify it however you want. Does that mean a S&W is not a great, reliable ar, no it doesn't, Tier 1 ar's are just built more durably to hold up to the rigors of combat.
     
  10. NCPatrolAR

    NCPatrolAR Member

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    Rob's chart works well for most shooters that are looking for the best features in a general purpose or self-protection oriented AR. Obviously if you want a varmint gun the chart isnt going to do you a lot of good.
     
  11. DougW

    DougW Member

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    Basically you are pond scum if you don't own a Colt. Been hearing that for years.
     
  12. NCPatrolAR

    NCPatrolAR Member

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    That isnt the case as at all. Colt has set the standard for performance ARs. I dont think anyone seriously puts a Bushmaster, Hesse, etc on par with Colt and the like.
     
  13. kwelz

    kwelz Member

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    People who don't like the chart like to claim that it was made just so Colt owners feel better about their weapons. However what they fail to notice is that other companies make weapons with the same features as a Colt. Noveske, BCM and DD are all up there. LMT is close as are some others. But BM, DPMS, etc are not.

    Also, just like someone else mentioned, this is for people who want a M4 rifle as close to the TDP as possible. Some other configurations won't need all the features, while some features are important for every rifle.
     
  14. Lloyd Smale

    Lloyd Smale Member

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    you get what you pay for! How many times have you heard that. I chuckle at guys that buy a 600 dollar ar and want to claim its as good as a 2000 dollar one. I have ars of about every price range from a 600 dollar sprotical to a 1500 dollar colt and quite a few inbetween. The cheaper ones are definately a hell of a bang for the buck deal. There basicaly good guns but they arent in the same league as a colt. Sorry if I stepped on the bushy rra oly and dpms guys but out of that list i own three so i think my opinon is without predudice.
     
  15. Omaha-BeenGlockin

    Omaha-BeenGlockin Member

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    My Frankenrifle is probably a tier 1.5 or 1.75---parts from various places but it does have a DD BCG and DD barrel. Total build cost was just under $800.
     
  16. Juice Boxes

    Juice Boxes Member

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    I remember viewing one on AR-15.com a while back
     
  17. jem375

    jem375 Member

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    Yeah, and I own 3 DPMS rifles and have yet to have a problem with them also. I have a 20" DPMS SS bull barrel left handed AR that I wouldn't trade or sell to buy any Colt..
     
    Last edited: Oct 31, 2009
  18. wally

    wally Member

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    I've yet to find a Colt 6920 who's front hand guards didn't wobble. This doesn't scream "quality" to me!

    Most folks, IMHO, are better off with the cheaper AR and spending the extra cash on ammo and range time to learn how to actually use it. Save the quality wars for later.

    --wally.
     
  19. spence

    spence Member

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    ar tier chart

    what does BCG, DD , & TDP stand for? I read the chart and am going out today to see if my dpms still works .
     
  20. taliv

    taliv Moderator

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    bolt carrier group
    daniel defense
    technical data package
     
  21. DammitBoy

    DammitBoy Member

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    That chart is not accurate.

    For starters, the DPMS I'm looking at has a chrome receiver and bore...
     
  22. kwelz

    kwelz Member

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    The chart is accurate and is kept up to date on an almost weekly basis. DPMS only offers Chrome lining as an option. The chart is based on production guns that you would find if you walked into a gun store and picked up that model.

    And what the heck do you mean by Chrome receiver?
     
  23. Welding Rod

    Welding Rod Member

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    You need to decide what variant of AR you want.

    "The Chart" is applicable to those looking for a M4 replica... pretty worthless if you want a National Match A2, a varmiter, or a mid-length-gas light-barrelled tubular-handguarded flat top with a two-stage trigger, fixed stock, and no sights. Etc.

    Any gun can fail at any time. IMO it is more prudent to rely on a backup sidearm than to put full faith in the durability of single gun due to its rollmark.

    Not too many people are using a personally owned AR stateside as a primary personal protection weapon.... they tend to stand out a bit at work or in the grocery store.

    Sometimes it seems people fret less over the sidearm they carry with them than the AR they have in the safe at home.

    Still nice to have a good AR though. Personally I would make my decision based on a hands-on inspection. I think most of the major manufacturers selling in the $900 range and up make a decent gun... but also put out some horrid workmanship from time to time.

    I am more concerned with a properly clocked barrel than I worry about whether an individual bolt was mag partical inspected. In the unlikely event a small part does fail, I will replace it. That is a lot easier than to fix sloppy machining issues.

    I probably haven't handled and looked over more than about 100 civilian ARs. I have owned Colt, Bushmaster, Rock River, and CMMG. Of those I have personally handled, my experience has been that the better specimens appeared to have been from RRA, Stag, Les Baer, Double Star, and S&W. The poorer specimens from Bushmaster, Colt, Armalite, CMMG, and Olympic. Olympic seems to have a poor reputation for durability, though I have no first hand experience with that brand.

    Personally I have sold all of mine except the Rock Rivers.
     
  24. RP88

    RP88 Member

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    The chart uses a single model per manufacturer - usually the most popular and standard one - for the specs and comparisons. Secondary options, limited runs, features available on request, etc. aren't taken into consideration, at least not from how it looks anymore.

    A lot of the brands - like CMMG, LMT, DPMS, Bushmaster - have other options available that aren't considered, or are up for debate on as to whether or not it is or isn't in the specs. I know for a fact that CMMG can/is a lot more of a gun if you buy it yourself and add to it what you want.

    But, I don't really care. Although I used a CMMG upper and lower for my build, I built my gun using parts from four different companies, and walked away with a mostly milspec gun with rails, rail covers, upgraded grip, and nicer flash hider for less than the cost of a fully milspec, bare-standard gun. In fact, I think the only thing about it that is non-milspec is the unstaked castle nut.

    I only use the chart as a deciding factor on where to get my parts from, really.
     
    Last edited: Nov 1, 2009
  25. Avenger29

    Avenger29 Member

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    The Chart would be impossible to update on a regular basis for that. When you literally have everybody and his brother making ARs...

    At the very least, with the explanation of features and a careful eye, you can generally check out an AR not listed for yourself and see what it offers.
     
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