Is my AR-15 rifle better then your's ?

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by irishpunk, Sep 21, 2014.

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  1. irishpunk

    irishpunk Member

    Jun 23, 2010
    Washington State
    Well just like the title begs..."Is my AR-15 rifle better then your's" ? Allow me to provide some ground work. First off, the majority of AR's (5.56 specifically) out there today are by and large 'Milspec'. Having said that, it seems to me that the argument lies with the quality of the parts, which mostly remain 'Milspec'.

    For the moment, let us discuss only rifles that you can buy off the shelf. For instance...a Wilson Combat, or a Smith&Wesson M&P-15. The difference in price between these two rifles can be pretty steep. Now given the fact that these rifles are largely 'Milspec', what gives ?

    Now let us consider an AR rifle that is assembled from components of your choosing. Keeping in mind the whole 'Milspec' thing.

    I'm not talking about junker rifles that can be bought off the shelf, or junker rifles that can be assembled from substandard components. Because I know that none of us own junk...of any kind.

    I guess what I'm trying to say here is, personal preference is one thing, but it seems to me that there are many individuals that "Cross the Rubicon" when it comes to their AR. What gives ?

    In closing...allow me to come clean as far as my AR-15 rifle goes...

    Lower;Surplus Ammo & Arms w/Spikes Tactical lower parts kit.

    Is there more to my rifle then that ? Sure there is, like GG&G BUIS with tritium, EOTech 512.A65, Magpul 'Milspec' CTR stock and buffer tube, Wilson Combat nickel plated bolt and bolt carrier group...

    From here, the list goes on. But to me there is no point...what say you ?

  2. jmorris

    jmorris Member

    Sep 30, 2005
    Like almost everything else, it depends.

    For what use?

    Using what ammo?

    Some of the "quality" AR's can be quite picky. Some require undersized dies and such to get them to run on reloaded ammo for example.

    Some "competition" AR's are set up to run on a specific load and just won't run on other loads (without more adjustment).

    My first AR was a 20" Colt H bar match, it ran on everything I ever put into it (even though some varmit bullets back then designed for the 1-14 twist barrels common in bolt rifles would come apart out of the faster twist barrel) and shoot sub MOA with many loads.

    I have others that are more accurate or better for one reason or another now. However, hard to fault a firearm that functions and fires accurately, everyday, all day. There wasn't even a lot of crap one could hang off of them back then but it was still pretty cool.
  3. wojownik

    wojownik Member

    May 15, 2009
    I dunno - depends. Better for SD/HD? Three gun matches? CMP/NRA high power? Plinking around? Or better for appreciation/resale? Or better for branding/bragging rights?

    My Bushmaster has been run hard for several years now. Few complaints if any - accurate, reliable. But most would argue that it's not milspec in may key regards. Some have even referred to BM as "junk". Either way, though several thousand rounds in numerous matches (3 gun, high power), this oft-maligned rifle has done well for me.

    So, its relative. A more skilled sportsman than myself may do better with a better tool. But for me, that "better" rifle would likely produce no better results for me.

    My Colt AR has been top notch, and I'm sure will hold up longer than the BM. But, performance wise in the medium term, I've not been able to squeeze much more out of the Colt than I can do with the BM. Heresy, I know ... On the other hand, the Colt gives me the branding factor when I feel insecure when the AR snobs deride my lowly Bushmaster. j/k :neener:

    To be fair, I do have another Bushmaster clunker. Ended up replacing the entire upper after numerous issues. The upper was serious junk. So yeah, your rifle is likely better than this particular one.
  4. Fast Frank

    Fast Frank Member

    Feb 17, 2007
    Houston, Texas (Woodlands)
    How about this idea?

    I like My Rifle better than I like Your Rifle, therefore Mine Is Better.

    Heck, it works with motorcycles no matter how wrong it may be, so it should be good for guns too... Right? :rolleyes:
  5. redneck2

    redneck2 Member

    Dec 25, 2002
    Northern Indiana
    If you have more than one AR, how can you say one is "better" if two or "best" if it's three or more? Why would you keep the others if one is superior?

    I have three. One is a precision Varminter with a 24" barrel. Incredible accuracy. One is a .358 WSSM for deer hunting. Third is a shorty for HD. All are different tools for different jobs

    Even if I have two comparable ones, if one is more accurate but the other does a mag dump better/faster (whatever), which is "better"?
    Last edited: Sep 21, 2014
  6. 68wj

    68wj Member

    May 2, 2010
    Comparing a WC to a S&W: Of the M&P models that I have looked at, this is the closest of the 2 that attempts to achieve milspec; functional, basic quality. WC's offering is not attempting this spec. Were you to start with the Smith and add the trigger, forearm, and other components, it would add up quick. It comes down to options based on what you need/want. Better is relative.
  7. dprice3844444

    dprice3844444 member

    Feb 26, 2011
    se fla i love claymores 01/sot
    even the cheapest one is more accurate than 90% of us can ever use.i own only 1 factory ar-15,colt le6940(sold my rolex and wanted a nice bday present). the rest of them are home built using sendra,olympic arms and smith and wesson lowers and scrounged colt a1 barrels
    and parts.they will get the job done if i do my part.
  8. zfk55

    zfk55 Member

    Dec 7, 2009
    Lost Prairie Montana
    I know for a fact that my dog is "better then yours"! :D He holds several world records, but I can't remember what they are. :neener:
  9. Tirod

    Tirod Member

    May 24, 2008
    SW MO
    What's interesting about the upgraded aftermarket parts is that they are supposed to either increase accuracy, or reliability.

    Well, the milspec on accuracy is 2MOA with a ten shot group, and that becomes a hot topic about whether a ten shot group is even needed. On the other hand, those who argue against it never post ten shot groups to prove their point.

    You get the cherry picked three shot groups culled from a pile of targets. :evil:

    There's also the entire intent of a 2MOA group. It's a ten inch circle at 500m, which is about 50% of the COM of a man sized target, or even a deer. Most shooters would be hard pressed to do it because most ranges don't offer than distance, so, nobody practices much.

    And 500m is really an extreme - hunting and battle statistics show most won't even take a shot unless it's under 150m. In battle, hits over 150m were more often chance, not intentional.

    So, who really needs a .5MOA gun in real life, other than prairie dog shooters? By and large it's not really for a practical application.

    Next is reliability. The filthy AR15 poops where it eats, has geometrically huge amounts of gas residue dumped in the action, and will fail you when you need it.


    Most of the reliability fixes are marketing hype. The M4 has a mean rounds between failures design goal of 600 rounds - double the combat load - and a demonstrated MRBF of 3,600 in testing. It will go that far before having a load cycling failure. What may have been a short lived fielding failure in 1968 no longer exists - but the legend lives on in every ad to sell an improved part.

    Well, if you bother to clean your weapon daily, which Filthy 14 had amply demonstrated means a wipedown and lube, there is no problem. It's what a soldier has to do regardless of whether he shoots his combat load of 300 rounds, or not. That is because dragging thru the brush, down trails, over highlands, into villages, in and out of vehicles, or crawling thru the sand, it gets dirtier from the environment than shooting it.

    Since nobody even tries to be a combat infantryman living in close contact with Mother Earth, nobody has a clue anymore.

    Point being, the milspec AR15 sloughs off a lot more of the environment than it's predecessors, and does it looking better longer. Adding more reliability improving enhancements isn't needed - you clean it daily in the field. AMMO is more a problem than the gun.

    So, is a .5MOA gun with plated BCG, nitrided barrel, and expensive ubergrade parts better than milspec? Sure it is. But, for the price, it costs twice as much, and in the hands of a soldier won't kill the enemy any deader or malfunction any less with a daily cleaning. It will never show it's advantage unless you deliberately shoot past the milspec effective range and neglect it beyond practical reason - and in combat there's no point in doing that.

    Like owning an extreme high performance car and using it as a daily driver on a 30 mile round trip commute in city traffic, it's a lot more car than the ones around it. But it can't be used to it's fullest until you take it to a competition track to stretch it's legs. All too many buy into that and then never do - they just show it off as a token symbol of their image.

    If it's never used to demonstrate it's better, then how do the owners really know?
  10. bannockburn

    bannockburn Member

    Apr 24, 2007

    Well I do know that I can hit what I'm aiming at, with iron sights, out to 200 yards with my Colt SP1 Sporter. Typically I'm using whatever ammo I have on hand (factory and/or reloads), and I'm more than satisfied with the results.

    So what was the question again?
  11. moxie

    moxie Member

    Dec 30, 2002
    Erath Co., TX
    Saying that something is "milspec" is easy. Even in the military, stuff that is supposed to meet military specifications sometimes does not. These examples are, hopefully, culled out during receiving inspections. Assuming several different manufactures, which is often not the case, those that usually do meet milspec with their products become known for that. Come contract time, those that do the best get the new award, hopefully.

    Same with civilian ARs and parts. Some companies have a rep for doing good work. Some don't.
  12. HexHead

    HexHead Member

    Dec 15, 2008
    I've got an MP-15, and a Sport at that. I've added stuff I wanted to make it the AR I wanted. For my purposes, the more expensive ones won't do anything more than mine does. I consider mine a bullet hose should the need ever arise. I have other rifles I prefer shooting for sport and fun.
  13. Inebriated

    Inebriated Member

    Mar 25, 2011
  14. eldon519

    eldon519 Member

    Jul 21, 2005
    I don't think most AR-15s out there are Milspec (or better). They may look M4-ish though, but that is not "milspec", just military styling.

    I kind of think of it like mountain bikes. They all pretty much look alike, especially within a single manufacturer's product line. Surprisingly though, the vast majority of "mountain bikes" out there really aren't meant for mountain biking. They are just for "recreational" use. The ones meant for actual mountain biking start around $1000 or so for an "entry" level bike usually. The pro-grade stuff costs over twice that. So is that $500-700 "mountain bike" good enough for you? For most of us it probably is because most of us don't do real mountain biking. Most people don't even live near real mountains. Likewise, there are some AR-15s out there that really aren't meant to go to war with. But most of us don't actually go to war. But if you are gonna turn the dial to 11 or make a living off of it, it might be worthwhile to shell out the cash for that top-tier bike or AR.
  15. Reloadron
    • Contributing Member

    Reloadron Contributing Member

    Jul 6, 2012
    Cleveland, Ohio USA
    What say I? Well on numerous occasions the entire Mil Spec thing has been literally beat to death on these and other forums. When two people argue about it I have a hard time distinguishing which one is the fool. So with that said:

    (I fixed it)

    Gee, I really don't know. Let's say for the sake of argument that your AR is better than mine but I can shoot better than you? Maybe we could reverse that? So then would it matter?

    Maybe you could drag your AR to my range and we could shoot and compare? Maybe I could drag my AR to your range and we could shoot and compare? May the best AR win? Would that work even though we are obviously a good distance apart?

    Simply put the better rifle is the rifle that shoots better for any given application or set of circumstances. The best AR for any individual is the AR that is best for them and works for them and their needs and preferences.

    Just My Take....
  16. taliv

    taliv Moderator Staff Member

    Oct 23, 2004
    not even close.

    uhh, the fact that one of them is a budget rifle and the other tries to be a lot better than milspec?
    (and i'm not bashing the M&P. i think they are putting out a great product that is targeted at the right market)

    lack of education on the topic, combined with persistent myths

    none of that is milspec.

    when the military specifies a standard, it includes not only the dimensions and materials, but also the way it is assembled, and the way it is tested.
  17. Sunray

    Sunray Member

    May 17, 2003
    London, Ont.
    "...then your's..." Then. Than.
    "...Saying that something is "milspec" is easy..." Absolutely. CCI has been doing it for years. And it means nothing. It has become a marketing term just like the word 'tactical'.
  18. Gordon
    • Contributing Member

    Gordon Contributing Member

    Dec 26, 2002
    Southern Oregon
    I stopped at a Noveske Infidel with Duack offset BUIS and an Acog TA31RCO in LaRue mount with a UBR stock. Everthing I want in an AR.
  19. bangswitch

    bangswitch Member

    Aug 17, 2014
    western NC
    Milspec is a manufacturing standard that specifies certain dimensions and tolerances so that "milspec" parts from different manufacturers will fit with each other and function. "Milspec" comes from the military's specifications for a given part or assembly. Chances are, if you build your own gun from component parts, and use milspec parts, (even when made by different manufacturers) it will fit together without hassle or modification and function properly; not always a guarantee when using "commercial" parts from different manufacturers.

    As to whose AR is best, it's always the one you have, either because you shopped for the one you liked best, or built it to your own specs. I built mine, so I like it better than anything I could find already assembled.
  20. dubbleA

    dubbleA Member

    May 23, 2009
    Tejas del sur
    I will always agree with this no matter what the subject might be, in this case an AR.

    If _____________ suits your needs/wants/budget why should I care?
    If _____________ suits my needs/wants/budget why should you care?

    The word "best" has such broad meanings and I suppose it's human nature to feel that having something better than others is "best" but life is to short to quibble over such matters.......
  21. henschman

    henschman Member

    Nov 13, 2010
    Oklahoma City
    You didn't say what barrel your rifle has. That is probably the most important component. Hard to tell how good your build is without this info.
  22. goon

    goon Member

    Jan 20, 2003
    Mine is slightly "better" than Mil-Spec. I have a BCM CHF chrome lined barrel, midlength gas system, and a Geissele trigger in it.

    Whether that makes it better than anyone else's is a matter of opinion.
  23. xbxb

    xbxb Member

    Dec 6, 2009
    Oh I don't know, maybe I own a junker rifle. I've got a bushmaster upper and Anderson Mfg. lower. It shoots 1 inch groups at 75 yds. with iron sights. At my age that's about all the further I can see. If I had a rifle that shot 3/4" groups at 75 yds. would I be head over heels. Not really. I'm not a perfectionist when it comes to AR's. It's an AR15 not a Kimber 22 cal. that I would drool over. So if yours is better than mine OK. I really don't care when it comes to AR's
    Last edited: Sep 21, 2014
  24. goon

    goon Member

    Jan 20, 2003
    I will say that the Anderson lowers I've been seeing for under $40 at AIM seem almost too good to be true. I haven't read anything bad about them, so one may be a great place to start building an AR that's "better" than the one you already have.
  25. HKGuns

    HKGuns Member

    Aug 29, 2004
    Bora Bora
    All of mine are better than yours. Here are two examples from the stable that are better than yours. :eek:

    This first one is better than MilSpec.

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