Top 5 premium AR brands?

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by 1KPerDay, Aug 26, 2022.

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  1. robin banks

    robin banks Member

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    out of the box rock river rifles the most accurate I ever saw and near half the price of those you listed
     
  2. robin banks

    robin banks Member

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    good post. who has the time and or money to wear out a "cheap" AR like a S&W?
     
  3. South Prairie Jim

    South Prairie Jim Member

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    I’m not an a AR guy but I would go Colt first
     
  4. Varminterror

    Varminterror Member

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    Lots of folks. It takes far less shooting than most people which don’t regularly shoot would assume.

    But the same volume of fire will wear out the same parts in any AR.
     
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  5. gotboostvr

    gotboostvr Member

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    I'd go Colt almost last. They're a bit over priced for a basic, well built carbine.

    For a hard use carbine BCM gets you at least as much performance, build quality and longevity at less cost.

    If you're wanting a match rifle, their performance isn't great compared to alot of other options at the same price point as well.

    They're great guns, but they've stagnated. Cost stayed high while their performance relative to the rest of the market has declined. You're quite frankly paying extra because you want a pony roll mark.
     
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  6. mcb

    mcb Member

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    Why? Colt's quality control for their commercial sales is not great and yet they feel they can over charge just because of the Colt name. Colt would be one of the last brands I would buy if I was buying a complete gun.
     
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  7. Varminterror

    Varminterror Member

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    20-25 years ago, I’d have agreed. But the AR market isn’t what it was then, nor is Colt.

    Colt builds decent fighting rifles, typically overpriced for their quality and performance - because the name “Colt” still carries weight with some folks - but they’re nothing special within the class of fighting rifles, and they almost don’t even have a showing in any market outside of that class.
     
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  8. 12Bravo20

    12Bravo20 Member

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    True.

    Bolts, barrels, gas tubes, firing pins and springs all have a finite life expectancy and will wear out no matter what you spend on

    I do have ambi safety selectors on most of my AR's now and my scoped AR's have ambi charging handles too. But I did just fine with the M16A1 and M16A2 shooting them left handed. The only issue I had with the A1 was constantly getting hit with hot brass when shooting from certain positions.

    I definitely will spend more for a quality barrel. I have used plenty of lower cost receivers with good success. Quite a few of my builds are with Palmetto State or Anderson receivers. I will take the time to true the face of any upper though. I like sticking with Toolcraft bolt carrie groups since they seem to be the standard as far as fit, finish, and quality. Other than that go with a quality trigger/fire control group of your choosing and I wouldn't skim on a decent scope either.

    You can definitely save some money building an AR yourself, especially if you wait for sales. You can save money on the receivers, hand guards, stocks, etc. Take the money saved and spend it on a better barrel, quality BCG and quality optic.
     
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  9. gotboostvr

    gotboostvr Member

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    I'd buy a PSA before a Colt.

    Similar QC, feature set, and performance for half the cost. Get a PSA with the FN barrel and I'd almost argue it's a better carbine. You can even drop it on an Anderson lower and still have your Prancing Pony.

    The classic "Povert Pony". It's more a term of endearment among owners than a knock against it.

    But @Varminterror is right, the market isn't close to what it was in the 2000's. Back when only a few companies were making solid rifles. Now it's hard to find an objectively bad one.
     
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  10. mcb

    mcb Member

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    Most of the AR manufacture out there are just parts assemblers. Very few if any of the brand name AR makers are making the majority of their own parts. All the springs are made by specialty spring manufactures. Same with all the various detents and pins. Only a few of them are tool up to make barrels the rest subcontract barrels from specialty barrel makers. Forgings for uppers, and lowers are made by roughly half a dozen forging houses again due to expensive forging machines. Even receiver extension are made by special impact extrusion manufactures. Same with parts like fire controls and bolt stops, these are cast parts almost certainly cast by a specialty casting facilities and then finish machined by a contractor or inhouse and then back out for heat treat and finish. Very few of the brands even make their own BCG given the specially tooling it takes to make some of the features of that sub assembly in a cost effective manner.

    That means your boutique "elite" AR may share an embarrassing number of pars with a bargain basement AR just with different profit margins applied.
     
    Last edited: Aug 28, 2022
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  11. robin banks

    robin banks Member

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    well not anybody I know. to busy working. I guess professional ammo wasters who do not pay for the ammo can do that. you are very right about massive shooting will wear out the same parts in any rifle. I tell my friends you do not need a 1500-2200 dollar AR
     
  12. Varminterror

    Varminterror Member

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    Nonsense is dripping off of this.

    I typically put in 45-50hrs per week at my “day job,” then operate two businesses at about 10-15hrs per week and manage books for my wife’s business for another handful of hours, and coach youth sports 4 seasons per year. I shoot competitively a couple matches per month, and still find plenty of time to burn ammo through my AR’s, somewhere between 5-8k rounds per year. When I was shooting my greatest volumes through AR’s, I was working 84’s on nights, 7 days per week 6 weeks at a time before taking weekend off, and shooting around 25,000 rounds per year through my AR’s.

    Paying for every. single. round.

    Granted, I’ll readily acknowledge that I have well monetized my time.

    If a gun owner doesn’t actually shoot their rifle, it will last forever. But moving parts wear with use. A set of tires might last for over a decade if they only roll a few miles per month - or a set of tires might need replaced after a few laps on a track. There was a time I was rolling 100-125k miles per year - I was replacing tires about every 9mos, and changing oil more than once per month. Is that normal? Not hardly. Was I driving more than anyone else in the world? Not hardly. I know a couple of guys shooting 3 gun that burn between 1000-1500 rounds per month - not sponsored shooters, just dudes with a passion for the sport. So if you don’t shoot, sure, you don’t “need” much from your rifles, and they’ll last forever. If you actually use your rifles, parts will wear, and you’ll need to replace them.
     
    Last edited: Aug 28, 2022
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  13. South Prairie Jim

    South Prairie Jim Member

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    Shows ya what I know about a AR .. lol I need to get out more.:thumbup:
     
  14. marksman13

    marksman13 Member

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    “I ever saw” being the crucial part of your post…
     
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  15. Varminterror

    Varminterror Member

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    Eh, only if you took a sudden interest in AR’s.

    It’s a different market than I grew up in as an AR builder. Today, there are dozens of factory manufactured options for parts like AGB’s and low profile gas blocks, free-float tubes, etc. 20-25 years ago, I was MAKING those parts for AR’s because we couldn’t buy them. The “List” back then was about 6-8 names, Del-ton kits and DPMS at the bottom, Bushmaster holding the mid-ground, and Colts were the Gucci option, with Armalite being virtually unobtainium vaporware. You could have an AR in any color you wanted, as long as it was black, and in any cartridge you wanted, as long as it was 5.56 or 223. But after the ban expired, picatinny forends became popular, as did AR’s presence in video games and film, and Sandy Hook poured gas on the fire, the AR market has absolutely exploded. Keeping up is like drinking from a firehose. AR “experts” 20-25yrs were usually Service Rifle competitors, because those were the folks most motivated to build and rebuild AR’s for performance - and the average guy who just wanted a blasting rifle was spending LESS to buy an SKS, AK, or Mini-14. But… it was difficult to resell a “custom AR” because it wasn’t a factory model, with “Franken-AR” being a pejorative term. Today, Service Rifles are actually more “old school” than the average AR… it really has been incredible to watch.

    But it also has yielded some sad results - such as “best AR lists” which put S&W AR’s anywhere in discussion beyond, “best low-budget carbines for civilians who don’t actually use or need anything from their AR besides going bang.”
     
  16. Zerodefect

    Zerodefect Member

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    Colt's only a few bucks more around me. We're still having good luck with thier bones kits and troopers. So I still recommend them.
     
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  17. rabid wombat

    rabid wombat Member

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  18. General Geoff

    General Geoff Member

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    To be fair, going bang every time is the most important feature of almost any AR!

    Disclaimer: I don't own any S&W ARs, but I do have a Ruger MPR 18" which has been outstanding for my admittedly limited usage envelope
     
  19. earplug

    earplug Member

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    I would have to know what components are used in a rifle and its accuracy before claiming one better then another.
    I like seeing the barrel company, bolt, buffer assembly, receiver manufacture and trigger listed. If there is cost cutting I want to know where.
    Another reason I like assembling parts myself.
     
  20. taliv

    taliv Moderator Staff Member

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    these days i pretty much stick to DD for complete rifles. For me, it's a good mix of accuracy and reliability and they tend to favor the same forearm/stock/grip styles as I do, so I can buy one and not feel an urge to replace all the furniture.

    KAC: awesome innovation, some QC issues, but if you get a good one, it's fantastic (good luck finding one)
    Noveske: i love the ones i have from when John was still alive, but i don't think I'd get one today
    BCM: used to make fantastic rifles. don't think I'd buy one today. plus they stopped making my favorite handguard
    Colt: still have a 6920 from back in the day, unfired. but no way i would consider one today
    FN: no way, though I love all the innovation they've done in guns like FS2000, P90, etc
    LWRC: prob good stuff but i wouldn't buy a piston AR
    POF: used to love their billet receivers but the forged are better
    JP: awesome stuff and John Paul is an awesome dude; top tier for gaming, would not use for duty

    There are a lot of companies making super cool parts like V7 and radian etc and I use their parts on my builds, but i wouldn't want one of their complete rifles.
     
  21. Varminterror

    Varminterror Member

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    But going bang when fouled with sand, and going bang after a soldier rolls down a mountainside or drops it out of a moving hmmwv is a different standard for “going bang every time” than going bang when Jimmy takes his clean and well lubricated AR out of the safe to burn a box of ammo on a Saturday afternoon. Which is different than the standard of going bang every time during a 3 gun match where the rifle is built for speed and ultra light, with minimized gas flow to reduce the recoil so far that it almost doesn’t even want to run…
     
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  22. Obturation

    Obturation Member

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    There hasn't been a picture in this thread yet,
    I can barely read so... Let's see them "premium" ARs.
    My one and only, not the best but plenty good for a goober like me- ddm4v5, eotech, vortex 3x magnifier, ruger flip up irons (I want better ) , some sort of qd multiconfigurable sling (not pictured) and a pile of pmags - every single mag I have is exactly the same. This rifle works better than my last AR- pro ordnance carbon 15 :rofl::rofl::rofl:, that thing was terrible.
    20190921_160319.jpg
     
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  23. General Geoff

    General Geoff Member

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    Agreed. Gas system balancing is a very important part of any AR rifle, prebuilt or homebrew. Affects so much from recoil to reliability.
     
  24. robin banks

    robin banks Member

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    LOL as sure as the turning of the earth I knew some one was gonna come up with the age old I work 200 hrs a week coach run 2 more businesses volunteer at the YMCA . still find time to practice enter matches shoot 10K rds a month. was not taking about private people like you but cops gun writers military etc. it would take 5 men to do what you listed
     
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  25. robin banks

    robin banks Member

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    that means my experience over 40 years. I have not seen everything but enough to draw a conclusion
     
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