Quantcast

Bushmaster AR. Need experience!

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by 12Pump, Sep 26, 2013.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. X-Rap

    X-Rap Member

    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2006
    Messages:
    6,657
    They are all as easy to work on and given the holes are in the proper places it's pretty hard to screw one up. That said there are undoubtedly superior internal parts but it is debatable that in general terms one will fail any more than the other or more correctly sooner than the other.
    It seems the main quality issue is in the bolt and carrier assembly which is easily changed or repaired.
    I'd also bare in mind that the AR is critiqued more than other firearms when considering reliability and parts quality. Right now there is a thread on the 1911 being war worthy and very little is said about particular parts or standards when we all know that the 1911 is probably as susceptible to poor fitting or quality parts as any gun made.
     
  2. LebbenB

    LebbenB Member

    Joined:
    Sep 20, 2013
    Messages:
    160
    Location:
    The Not So Great Plains
    There are larger concerns beyond the durability of the pic rail with the Carbon15. The cutout in the upper receiver where the charging handle latches into tends to wear out quickly from the metal latch moving over it. Also, inspect the area just below the feed ramps of the chamber for gouges and dings from the nose of the round as it feeds from the magazine and into the chamber.

    In addition to the gas key not being properly staked, on Bushmaster M4 clones the castle nut isn't staked either. IIRC, Bushmaster uses something akin to rockset or red locktite to secure it.

    On Bushmasters I've also seen FSBs/gas blocks canted, barrel nuts improperly torqued, gas port too small, gas port too large, soft hammers, and mis-timed muzzle devices. These are the things that spring immediately to memory.

    As I said, if you have a Bushmaster and it runs for you then drive on. If it's all you can afford, drive on.
     
  3. Warp

    Warp Member

    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2008
    Messages:
    9,656
    Location:
    Georgia
    Neither would I.
     
  4. 12Pump

    12Pump Member

    Joined:
    Sep 10, 2013
    Messages:
    294
    After doing some more research, I don't think it's as great a deal as I thought. $775 for a new Bushmaster was the one I was leaning towards. The fact that it's a flat top means I have to buy sites, but I figured that's a minor expense. Looking up prices of front and rear sites, I find that I'd be paying at least another $100 just for that, which eats into the savings I thought I'd be getting. That, along with the negative feedback I'm getting about Bushmaster--I think I'll pass this one up. I probably won't even be getting an AR unless prices start going down again. Ammo certainly hasn't either.
     
  5. Quentin

    Quentin Member

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2005
    Messages:
    1,826
    Location:
    NorthWest USA
    A flat top doesn't mean you must buy a front sight, "optics ready" is that term. Nothing wrong with buying a standard fixed front sight unless you're sure it'll get in your way. Usually it doesn't.

    Now a flip up rear that attaches to the "flat top" rail is good because you can get it out of the way or cowitness or just use the irons. The MBUS2 is a good choice for only $50.
     
  6. 12Pump

    12Pump Member

    Joined:
    Sep 10, 2013
    Messages:
    294
    I guess I was just looking for something simple; no optics or scope. I don't hunt and am not into competition or real long range stuff. I just wanted something simple for HD or as a "battle rifle" (if that's an accurate term).
     
  7. Warp

    Warp Member

    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2008
    Messages:
    9,656
    Location:
    Georgia
    AR prices are basically at rock bottom right now.

    I wouldn't count on them getting significantly lower.
     
  8. Warp

    Warp Member

    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2008
    Messages:
    9,656
    Location:
    Georgia
    A 'battle rifle', by common definition, fires a full size rifle cartridge (and, I'd say, is select fire as well). 5.56/.223 is an intermediate cartridge. But some people say if it's a rifle you would use in battle, should such a need arise, then, well, it is one.

    A red dot sight can be extremely awesome for defense/home defense...but a good one is not exactly cheap. $350+ for an Aimpoint PRO would be a good starting point there.

    Have you looked into assembling a PSA rifle? Hunted online for the best deals on a PSA or S&W M&P15 or Spikes tactical?
     
  9. Outlaw Man

    Outlaw Man Member

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2007
    Messages:
    1,870
    Location:
    Cleaning my guns.
    Another option to look at for a rear sight, if you're not going to use an optic, is a detachable carry handle. I haven't priced one, but I bet you could get a (un)used one someone just took off their flat top for a little of nothing.

    I agree that AR prices are about the lowest they'll be from here on out. The market has been resaturated (I counted 75, not including 22s, at Cabela's a couple months ago), and stores are trying to get them moving again.
     
  10. 12Pump

    12Pump Member

    Joined:
    Sep 10, 2013
    Messages:
    294
    I never understood red dot sites. I think I've seen them in the stores and looked through them and they don't even magnify the target. They just have a red dot to put on the target. I'm not sure how that's different from just using iron sights if you don't even have magnification. Kind of like a "simulated laser site, right? $350 for that? Maybe I'm missing something when it comes to those.

    I've looked into PSA and assembling my own. I really don't want to get into building or buying online. I'd want to see in person what I'm getting. PSA assembled rifles are pretty much all out of stock right now anyway.

    As for the M&P15: It looks like a great deal! I haven't seen any around here. The S&W site shows it at $839 retail. If the dealer price was even less, then I'd probably jump on it: http://www.smith-wesson.com/webapp/...87653_757785_757784_ProductDisplayErrorView_Y
     
  11. GunBugBit

    GunBugBit Member

    Joined:
    May 24, 2009
    Messages:
    36
    Mil Spec is not my religion as with some, but you might want to consider, say, a Colt for around the same price range.

    Or you could go another route, gathering components and putting one together.

    In my opinion, you should not be so quick to dismiss PSA. They do have stuff in stock -- GOOD stuff at good prices. I recently ordered a PSA upper, bolt and charging handle for $544, total, including shipping. The items I ordered are of very good quality per all reference info I can gather. You could probably get a lower for not much more than $200, and you'd have a complete, high quality rifle for the price range you're talking about on the Bushmaster.

    That said, a Bushmaster that doesn't have any glaring problems will probably run fine for punching paper, hunting varmints; in other words, the things most of us use ARs for. You will, however, have to suffer derision from the mouths of AR snobs. If that doesn't bother you, grab the Bushie and do your thing.

    Good luck and enjoy whatever you end up getting!
     
  12. Warp

    Warp Member

    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2008
    Messages:
    9,656
    Location:
    Georgia
    Of course they don't magnify the target. That's not their purpose. Do you think magnification would be helpful for home defense anyway?

    Magnification would just slow you down.

    Iron sights require that you line up two separate objects, the front and rear, with your eye. A red dot does not. And they don't have noteworthy paralex. This gives you a MUCH more generous eyebox. You can have your head/eye in a whole lot of places and positions and still put the dot where you want the round to go (accounting for the dot being offset from the bore, same as irons) when you couldn't do that with irons.

    Iron sights also require lighting that allows you to see them. That isn't always the case. Especially in your house in the dark/at night. It's very very easy to have a situation where you can't see the front sight, you can't see it very well (which slows you down) even though you can positively identify the threat.

    And you use a red dot sight using the BDC or bindon aiming concept. You keep both eyes open and look at the target. As you shoulder the rifle and get your cheek weld the dot super imposes over the target. It is the quickest/fastest sighting system there is.
     
  13. 12Pump

    12Pump Member

    Joined:
    Sep 10, 2013
    Messages:
    294
    That all makes sense. I guess I can see the advantage. I don't understand why something that superimposes a red dot over the target has to cost $350 though. Some of them are lower, some even higher. Personally, I like the idea of using a light in low light environments to identify the target, blind the target, and of course see him in the first place.
     
  14. Tommygunn

    Tommygunn Member

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2006
    Messages:
    6,892
    Location:
    Morgan County, Alabama
    Eotechs run $400>>. What you get is top quality holo sight with repeatable "zero" in a case that will have a lot of durability.
    You can buy cheap ones at Academy and have them go bad the first time you shoot. That happened to me once. "Buy cheap buy twice" is an old motto.....
     
  15. Warp

    Warp Member

    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2008
    Messages:
    9,656
    Location:
    Georgia
    Because it is an electronic device that is extremely rugged and durable. Serving duty on top of a centerfire rifle in the rain and snow and all kinds of weather and training and maybe you drop it at the range one day all without ever shifting zero or losing zero or shorting out or having the battery die even though you leave it on 24/7/365 for literally years is not such a simple thing.

    A light is a very good thing to have. In fact, I would recommend a weapon mounted light before an optic for a defensive carbine. Sling, light, and ammo/training should be the first things on your list. An optic after those are accounted for.

    BUT a light is not a replacement for an optic. You may not want to turn your light on and broadcast your precise location with hundreds of lumens just so that you can get a good sight picture.

    You also may not want to have to take the time to think "I need to turn my light on", then move your thumb to your light, then turn it on, then pick up your front sight, then fire, when the alternative, with an Aimpoint or EOTech, is to simply pull the trigger on the threat while the red dot is on them.

    Again, like I said before, just because you have enough light to identify your threat that does not necessarily mean you have enough light (and in the right place) to get a good, quick sight picture. Simply moving around your house at night with the lights off, with any/every firearm, especially a rifle with peep sight or a handgun with regular sights IME, will likely demonstrate this to you.


    Trust me, and trust us, an Aimpoint (or EOTech, though I prefer Aimpoints) IS faster than iron sights and if you are going to put an optic on a defensive rifle it is absolutely worth the money to get a GOOD one and not cheap out.
     
  16. tmoore912

    tmoore912 Member

    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2008
    Messages:
    156
    Location:
    Coastal Georgia
    I agree with hatt. Buy a factory assembled PSA Upper with the BCG and charging handle and then buy their fully assembled lower when they are in stock. Put them together and you have a pretty good rifle.

    Buying online is easy and the PSA rifle will look and feel just like the Bushmaster you have already handled.

    This http://palmettostatearmory.com/index.php/psa-16-mid-length-cl-mp-premium-upper.html

    and this http://palmettostatearmory.com/inde...complete-psa-ar-15-lower-classic-edition.html

    and you have a complete rifle. A tip, you can avoid the FAET Tax by not ordering a complete rifle.
    http://www.ttb.gov/firearms/faet-faqs.shtml#tax_rate
     
    Last edited: Sep 26, 2013
  17. DammitBoy

    DammitBoy Member

    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2009
    Messages:
    2,281
    Location:
    Atlanta, GA
    I have a Colt HBar match target with a 20" barrel. I also have a Bushmaster carbon 15 with a 16" pencil barrel.

    They both go bang when you pull your booger picker. They both outshoot me and both have been equally reliable through thousands of rounds. YMMV

    We must not hang out at the same pawnshops. I'm seeing a lot of used AR's going for $650 - $850 all the time. Some ok average stuff, some no name builds, and the occasional several well known makers... Not interested in an AR right now, still enjoying my new Sig 716 patrol.
     
    Last edited: Sep 26, 2013
  18. jrdolall

    jrdolall Member

    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2012
    Messages:
    2,695
    Location:
    Southeast
    You can get a serviceable red dot sight for $100 with no problem. You can also spend $1500 on one. I have a couple of low end red dots that work extremely well. The green dot is much easier to see in bright light so you can buy a scope that has both red and green.
    I have a red dot that came on a cheap crossbow package so you know it is a cheap one but it holds the zero every year.
     
  19. Warp

    Warp Member

    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2008
    Messages:
    9,656
    Location:
    Georgia
    I would only consider a $100 red dot as serviceable on a .22lr trainer set up to duplicate the real thing.

    Waaaaaaaaayyyyyyyyy too many experiences out there with the cheap crap taking a crap.
     
  20. jagdpanzer347

    jagdpanzer347 Member

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2006
    Messages:
    744
    Location:
    Southwest Ohio
    Go to Walmart and buy a Colt 6920. Mil-spec and you can't beat the price.
     
  21. LebbenB

    LebbenB Member

    Joined:
    Sep 20, 2013
    Messages:
    160
    Location:
    The Not So Great Plains
    I try to not get too hung up on "mil-spec." Yes, it's generally an indicator of quality but folks who follow it like a mantra will overlook some pretty significant changes.

    For instance: (Using the TDP for an M4) A mil-spec barrel is made from 4150 CMV, button rifled and chrome lined. Some using that as a metric will ignore or discount a barrel that's been cold hammer forged and then nitrocarburized (Commercial names for this process are melonite and tennifer), which provides a harder, slicker, more uniform surface than chrome lining. Does this make the CHF barrel inferior because it's not in the TDP? Either barrel will retain it's accuracy over tens of thousands of rounds.
     
  22. hatt

    hatt member

    Joined:
    Aug 7, 2011
    Messages:
    558
    You're talking about stuff that can be argued is superior to milspec. None of that applies to the lower end stuff. You can argue that the .223 Wylde chamber is better than the 5.56. You can't argue that an improper 5.56 chamber because the tooling was worn out is better than a proper 5.56 chamber.
     
  23. batmann

    batmann Member

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2007
    Messages:
    558
    The Bushmaster is a good, middle of the road rifle. That said, there are now a lot of makers of AR style rifles out there. I went with a S&W M&P MOE and it has been an outstanding rifle for me.
    When you make your choice there are a lot of other things to consider besides 'mil spec'. I based my decision on other factors as well. With so many makers out there, what happens if the current demand slows down, will some of these smaller makers be around to service any warranty issues? How much does one really need the 'trophy' AR costing 2-4,000 dollars? I bought mine to shoot and to have IF something should happen in the near future. If you are really concerned about a mil spec BGC, shoot yours first, then if you decide to replace it, it is a drop in. Key thing, get what you can afford, buy as many mags as you can, as much ammo as you can before you add extras to it
    Stick with a known brand like Bushmaster, S&W, Colt and a few others in the +-1,000 dollar price range, these are ones that will be around after the others are gone. And have fun!
     
  24. Warp

    Warp Member

    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2008
    Messages:
    9,656
    Location:
    Georgia
    What a lot of people fail to understand is that the guys who call out cheap crap for being cheap crap, and compare that to the TDP/mil-spec, are simply calling out cheap crap for being cheap crap.

    You see people call out DPMS and Olympic and Bushmaster for being cheap crap all the time...but do they call out KAC and LaRue for it? No!

    Because, as you say, there are alternatives to the TDP/mil-spec that are just as good if not better. And that's fine/good/great.

    But there's a lot of stuff that is simply inferior, and the TDP/mil-spec is a great place to start your comparisons. You know that spec is good, so if something varies from that spec asking "Why? What makes it better?" is a valid strategy. If the answer is "I don't know" or "It's cheaper"...probably a good idea to avoid that product.
     
  25. GunBugBit

    GunBugBit Member

    Joined:
    May 24, 2009
    Messages:
    36
    An important point that a couple have touched on here is that you can get good quality, and yes Mil Spec stuff, for around the same price as the questionable stuff. This does not always dawn on people until they've had one or two ARs.
     
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
    Dismiss Notice