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Are Colt ARs getting hard to find?

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by castile, Feb 19, 2020.

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  1. lionking

    lionking Member

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    In terms of long term reliability and accuracy I trust Colt and FN over PSA. Everyone chanting PSA, sure they are less expensive but I don't believe they are as good or better than Colt or FN. And if they are, so when is the government gonna give PSA a contract to supply the military?
     
  2. Old Dog

    Old Dog Member

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    ^^ Colt and FN M-16s and M-4s kept me safe for many years. There's that.

    And one guys critiques the Colt trigger. Easiest part of the rifle to replace with a sweet aftermarket trigger … So yeah, if one is buying a complete, assembled rifle …
     
  3. M1key

    M1key Member

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    edit
     
    Last edited: Feb 25, 2020
  4. American_Fusilier

    American_Fusilier Member

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    People seem to forget that "milspec" means the lowest bidder won the right to mass produce rifles for the military...

    I have no doubt in Colt's reliability. But they are horrible at managing their business, and I would always advise someone to spend their money on something better, cheaper, and use the left over money they would have used to buy the Colt, on training and/or ammo.
     
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  5. 1911junkee

    1911junkee Member

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    I found this Windham Weaponry 20 inch upper with Sidewinder brake, on Armslist for 375-, picked up a stripped lower from ATI for 60-, added a quality kit for 50-, a Colt 20 round magazine for 15-, some decent furniture for 48-, and a used 6-24x42 Scope for a hunskie. It will put a round up a gnats @$$ at 200 yards, and I'm out less than 650-.

    Like speedo66 said, If you really need a horse on your lower, get an Anderson! ww1.jpg ww3.jpg ww2.jpg
     
  6. MarshallDodge

    MarshallDodge Member

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    In this case, milspec means that the lowest bidder must adhere to a specification. Colt wrote the TDP that must be adhered to. Not a lot of other companies meet or exceed the standard.

    As a range officer, I've had to help people knock the stuck brass out of their barrels after the "other brand" had a chamber that wasn't to spec or they were overgassed because the gas port was too large.
     
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  7. Old Dog

    Old Dog Member

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    Every American firearms manufacturer that I can think of offhand has had issues "managing their business" at one time or another.

    If you can find something better, sure, go for it, but it amazes me that people advise other people consistently in the AR world to try a buy or build a rifle for cheaper. I'm amused now when guys brag about how cheap they built their last AR for …

    Truth, and something that a lot of people either just don't understand or don't care to acknowledge, apparently.
     
  8. mcb

    mcb Member

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    You do realize a large part of that mil spec TDP for the M-16 and M4 has very little to do with function or reliability and covers things like exposure to biological or radioactive chemicals and similar things that your average user is never going to need but drives cost up.

    Some of it specifies coating/finishes that are no longer the best available. Compare the mil-spec BCG to some of the Nickel Boron and Hard Chrome BGC avalable and the performance and protection are significantly better with these newer coatings. Chrome lined barrels are mil-spec but far from the most accurate way to treat a barrel. Mil-spec triggers have to be the worst AR trigger going. Non-free floated barrels... etc.

    There are a fair number of makers far exceeding the durability and functional aspects of the mil-spec TDP if you want that level of performance without paying for the unnecessary constraints of the TDP either.

    And my last AR was built in large part with parts destine for a dumpster... (https://www.thehighroad.org/index.php?threads/guess-what-this-ugly-rifles-is.860429/) and I would take it over a 6920 any day. It actually does what I want it to do.
     
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  9. Old Dog

    Old Dog Member

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    Yes, thank you. Was never in supply or procurement, but I've been an armorer and shooting M-16s (the real thing) since 1979 and instructing law enforcement officers with various versions of the M-4 for the past decade and a half.
    What's your point? Proper maintenance, cleaning and lubrication has always been important, so while improved coatings and finishes may be desirable to some, they aren't always necessary. Accuracy, for combat purposes, not competition is one standard; most folks don't buy ARs for competition and certainly not for precision shooting. Triggers are easily improved with drop-in kits, and free-floating a barrel is not an issue for most AR fans.
    The topic of the OP is simply the Colt rifles and their current availability. The 6920 … is what it is. A competent, complete rifle that is reasonably accurate and typically totally reliable (given proper care and feeding) that comes in (or did, formerly) at a decent price point. Most of us are aware that if one really desires to, one can build one's own rifle for far cheaper than buying some complete rifles. If one is competent enough to build a rifle that actually runs well, fine. But how cheaply one can build a rifle for, or the real meaning of "mil-spec" doesn't really answer the question of "are Colt ARs getting hard to find?" (And the answer, I think is, yes, so wondering why people have to come aboard simply to point out their opinion that there are (subjectively) "better" options than a Colt, which lately in any thread mentioning Colt firearms, ends up with folks questioning why anyone likes or wants Colts.)
     
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  10. alsaqr

    alsaqr Member

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    Recently lucked into a NIB Colt 6920 very cheap. Will sell it when the next "they wanna take our guns" crisis comes along".
     
  11. 1911junkee

    1911junkee Member

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    Hi Dog,
    I understand what you mean about the cheap @$$ backyard "Bubba Builds" that some guys throw together, but if it weren't for the availability of so many different barrels, parts and kits that are available these days, many of us would not be able to afford to shoot a decent AR.

    In my case yes, I am tighter than the bark on a piss elm stump but that aside the Windham that I put together for under $650 is doing the same job and then some of a $3,000 Colt.

    I guess I shouldn't be whining though, not long ago I sold my SP1 that Mrs. Junkee bought me for my birthday back in the late 60's for around $300- for 2000 bucks.

    Thanks Colt! LMAO!

    Best,
    Junkee

    SP1.jpg
     
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  12. Bill460

    Bill460 Member

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    Ahh yes, Hot Pants, Micro Mini's and boots. Who can forget!

    vsmzl56.jpg
     
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  13. fpgt72

    fpgt72 Member

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    I took mine out again weekend before last.....sat at my bench and even my old eyes had no issue dinging a 6" plate at 100.....it finally got covered with muddy water (I shoot basically into a swamp)

    I remembered why I liked it so long ago.

    If the fan club was not so repulsive I would shoot that thing more.
     
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  14. <*(((><
    • Contributing Member

    <*(((>< Contributing Member

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    Why let someone else determine your enjoyment? I got over that type of thinking in high school.
     
  15. ECVMatt

    ECVMatt Member

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    I was trying to stay out of this one but had a couple of thoughts. First I wonder if the Colt thing is generational? Back in the 1980's and 1990's and all the decades proceeding, Colt was pretty much the only game in town. As the 1990's progressed more and more companies entered the market, but they were rough to say the least. So I wonder if folks from that time frame might place more value on a Colt that other brands simply because they were the best in that time frame?

    I also think it would be fun to have two AR's on a table at a gun show. One would be a LE6920 and the other a home build of equal quality, but but on an Anderson lower. Both rifles would be the same price and buyer would be told that one was a NIB Colt and the other a never fired home build. It would be interesting to see which would sell first. This might indicate which horse has the higher perceived value?

    To answer the OP's original question, yes around here Colts are very hard to find.
     
  16. Ignition Override

    Ignition Override Member

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    1911junkee:
    There's nothing like a very attractive young lady armed with a cool rifle.
     
    Last edited: Mar 2, 2020
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  17. 1911junkee

    1911junkee Member

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    And the BFR's are a nice touch.

    I remember the comedian Jerry Clower had a saying for tastefully dressed ladies like the one in the photo.

    It was HAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
     
  18. fpgt72

    fpgt72 Member

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    I am not too sure it was that.....I really drifted away from the rifle and started shooting other things. Then in seeing it in the back of the safe and seeing all the idiots playing with them....I just never really picked it back up again....really just forgot what it was like to shoot.

    I dug it out years ago when my kid was still in high school and he shot it in CMP matches, while I shot other stupid stuff, MAS 36, and 49/56...trap door....G43....type 99.....I just enjoy being different and not following the crowd.

    Not sure if I said it here, but back when I raced I was one of the few idiots that raced an Opel GT.....everyone else in their dog ran a Miata, or RX7....but nope not me, 100x the effort to go half as fast all while spending 5x as much.....then slowly getting better and better while changing this and that.

    And really this is my mindset.....I don't want to just screw on go fast parts that everyone else has tested and tuned.....I want to discover that all myself, (I) am doing something, I developed those rods....that piston design....those roller rockers....they are all the the work of a few other like minded idiots that just want to do something themselves and not follow a trend. Really comes down to different people.

    Gunz and I are the same way....I love working up loads for these not so common rifles....the home rolled 223 I make for my bolt rifle will not even fit in an AR mag.....it seems to like them long and pretty soft shooting. I have one carcano (another CMP veteran) that likes them loaded this way, and another that likes it loaded that way....flip the boxes and one will not chamber, and the other will be lucky if it hits mother earth if pointed straight down.

    What really brought the AR back out was finding 3-4 boxes of 223 just sitting there....I had bought it back....20-ish years ago and it has just sat. I figured I would just shoot it up. I load for the bolt gun so I will leave that alone, lets find that AR.....so out it comes and off to shoot it.....in pretty short order I am dinging a 6" plate at 100 with no effort at all....till it got covered in mud and I could not see it anymore.

    The rifle is just sitting there smoking, and I am thinking well perhaps I should get a cheapo to abuse like this....at least a new upper, but I am a bit shy on that....they are cheap enough just get the entire deal.

    Will I turn into an AR fanboi....doubt it, I now see just how fantastic the world is outside of the AR and really have little interest in things new....really if I was not sitting on 3000+ rounds of 223 I doubt I would be typing this and would be off on a 10/22 thread making those folk steam from the ears :)

    Same deal with the commie round....I don't have an AK or SKS but yet have THOUSANDS of rounds for it.....I keep looking at them, and think well a cheapo AK is only 600 likely as cheap as it is going to go....so why not.....just no interest.....I bought my Savage 99 in 243 for less than 500 a few weeks ago and that is a much more interesting gun to ME.
     
  19. Mosin Bubba

    Mosin Bubba Member

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    A couple thoughts on Colts and the larger milspec/pony war that invariably breaks out around them on the Internet.


    1. The blind adherence to milspec never made sense to me. The military uses what works for them, but I'm not the military. When I get dressed in the morning, I don't put on boots and camo. When I go to the office, I don't drive a Humvee. When it's lunchtime, I don't open up an MRE package. I have a different set of needs than they do, and so it's stupid to just use their solution as my own.

    Bringing it back closer to guns: the military likes the M4 profile barrel because they can mount a grenade launcher on it. I don't use a grenade launcher. And if I'm not using one, then the M4 profile just sucks: it's light where there's the most heat, heavy where that weight unbalances the gun the most, and that cutout is about as useful as teats on a bull. I could use pretty much any barrel profile instead and be money ahead.

    The military also likes chrome barrels, because they handle the heat of full auto. I don't shoot full auto. So without that, chrome just ruins the barrel's accuracy and doesn't provide any more protection than something like nitride would.

    Maybe I just want to shoot better groups off a bench. So I'd be a lot better off with an AR that has a free-float handguard and a good 2 stage trigger, and the milspec guys can keep their 6920.


    2. In the eternal war between cheap guns and nice, expensive guns, i am generally on team cheap guns. However, I think those guys sometimes overplay their hand. The cheap ARs aren't "just as good" as the higher-end ones. The big institutional users like militaries and police departments could save millions by buying DPMS and PSA, but they don't for a reason. If you use it hard or use it regularly, it will break.

    At the same time, I think some of the ARF dot com types need to wake up and smell the coffee. 20 or so years ago, the low end of the AR market was filled by manufacturers like Olympic and Vulcan who were turning out some just plain crappy rifles. There was a time when "everything cheap sucks, buy a Colt" was legitimate advice. But in the last 10 years, the quality of the low end stuff has gone way up while prices have simultaneously cratered. You can't swing a dead cat at a shooting range now without hitting someone who's shooting a <$500 blaster AR, and it probably runs fine too. I don't think it's a stretch to say that the vast majority of the owners of these guns are happy with them. So in light of the ubiquity and success of these cheap ARs, the ARF guys repeating the same 20 year old mantra of "everything cheap sucks, buy a Colt" just look out of touch.

    So I think there's a bit more nuance to it than the two most commonly touted viewpoints of "spent $900 on a Colt or your rifle's crap" and "$300 PSA kits are just as good, bro". It depends what you're going to use it for. If you are going to run it hard, you need to go high end. If you're going to slap on a 3 MOA red dot, load up some bulk FMJ, and shoot at a steel plate 100 yards away on the weekend, a cheaper AR will be absolutely fine and you probably won't see a spit of difference between it and a higher end one.

    By way of another analogy, if you owned a commercial auto shop and you filled all your tool drawers with Harbor Freight, you wouldn't be sticking with Harbor Freight for very long. Tools would break regularly, it'd piss you off, it would cost you time and money every day. But if you wanted a toolkit to leave in the closet at home, only seeing the light of day once a month to fix something like a leaky faucet, then Milwaukee will still work, but you probably could have saved a couple hundred dollars too.
     
  20. Old Dog

    Old Dog Member

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    Never thought about putting a bayonet on your M-4?
    Gosh, what's the fun of that? Just kidding, we all want to see what our ARs are capable of, so most of us have at least one with a free-floated barrel and an aftermarket trigger. I'm not "defending" Colt because of the whole "mil-spec" aspect; all I was saying was that if one wanted a reliable carbine of respectable provenance that checked all the boxes and one could stake his life on, a Colt is probably a sure bet.

    I personally don't regard Mil-Spec with "blind adherence." Rather, it's simply an assurance that the rifle has been manufactured and tested to meet a standard. For those of us that got suckered into buying Olympic Arms, DPMS, or a couple other brands back in the day, solely due to price point, we learned the hard way. I did, however, have an awesome original Bushmaster that I never should have traded off ...
     
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  21. Demi-human

    Demi-human Member

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    I doubt the crowd you just referred to as “idiots” would have you anyway, despite how totally cool you are...

    As do I. I believe that steel and aluminum can be manufactured exactly the same, treated, inspected and assembled the same, no matter the location, human, or company moniker emblazoned on the mag well.

    I am in accord with @Mosin Bubba in that the military needs their rifles to be identical and brutal. Any man must be able to take up a laying rifle and fight.
    But an AR can be so much more than that, too!
    The field is so wide and varied “Best” is difficult to describe.

    Yes. Yes I have. But it’s hard to chase down the groundhogs and get close enough to use it.:D
     
  22. Bill460

    Bill460 Member

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    Unless it's a 14" NFA rifle it won't fit right. The hilt will rattle around on the barrel, below the flash suppressor on a 16" barreled M-4.
     
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  23. BSA1

    BSA1 member

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    [QUOTE="lionking, post: 11404178, member: 32023”]And if they are, so when is the government gonna give PSA a contract to supply the military?[/QUOTE]

    When PSA decides to start treating Top Military Brass to all expense paid junkets with plenty of food, booze and hookers and contributing heavily to important Senators and Representatives re-election funds along with below cost bids knowing that they will make it with over budget funding.
     
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  24. mcb

    mcb Member

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    And why would PSA want that government contract? They are selling all they can make to civilians right now and have little of the expense of testing and QC that meeting the military's TDP requires. If you are not setup currently to inspect and test to the TDP that is a large investment in equipment, time, and personnel to meet that TDP. Mil-spec is as much inspection and documentation as it is actual dimensional, heat-treat, coating specs etc. For a manufacture like PSA the M4 TDP would be a nightmare.
     
  25. BSA1

    BSA1 member

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    What are the folks that compete in 3 Gun matches using?

    Since Colt AR’s are superior to PSA and similar cost AR’s then it would stand to reason that Colt is dominating 3 Gun Shooting matches and other sports where AR’s are run hard.
     
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