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Whats your pick ? Armalite vs Colt in Standard 20 inch

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by nathan, Nov 10, 2010.

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  1. nathan

    nathan Member

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    Last edited: Nov 10, 2010
  2. Z-Michigan

    Z-Michigan Member

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    That particular Armalite (and most current production Armalites) has a 2-stage trigger that will be noticeably better than the standard AR trigger on the Colt.

    Armalite customer service is great. I have no experience with that of Colt.

    Armalite fit and finish is great, but I would expect about the same from Colt.

    Colt is the original maker and one of the US government contractors, so there is the potential for better quality in areas you can't see like metal types, etc. If you look up "the chart" Armalite falls short of Colt, in areas relevant to the 20" rifles, only in doing batch testing of parts rather than each and every part testing.

    http://spreadsheets.google.com/pub?key=pwswheghNQsEuEhjFwPrgTA&single=true&gid=5&output=html

    Armalite makes good barrels and it might be better than the Colt, but no guarantee.

    All in all I would lean a bit toward Armalite but both should be great.
     
  3. nathan

    nathan Member

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  4. FlyinBryan

    FlyinBryan Member

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    i always thought armalite was actually the original makers?
     
  5. madcratebuilder

    madcratebuilder Member

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    ArmaLite designed and developed the M16 rifle.

    Eugene Stoner headed the design team at ArmaLite, a division of Fairchild Aircraft, the patent was sold to Colt.


    To the OP's question, I would buy the ArmaLite. The Colt would be fine also and may hold it's value longer.
     
  6. Shear_stress

    Shear_stress Member

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    True, but today's Armalite has nothing to do with the original. They were known as Eagle Arms until they purchased the rights to the Armalite name in 1995.

    Both the 20" Armalites and Colts are fine rifles. I honestly don't know if the high standards that Colt holds their LE models to applies to their target rifle line.
     
    Last edited: Nov 11, 2010
  7. Z-Michigan

    Z-Michigan Member

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    Shear Stress is correct, there is no relationship except buying rights to the name. However, today's Armalite Inc. is a great company, and very long established as an AR-15 builder.

    This is kinda like watching a "Chevy" win a NASCAR race and then thinking that the sedans at the local dealership must have the same parts and quality. The match target rifle you're looking at doesn't necessarily share many parts or the assembly line with Colt's military rifles.

    I don't think the Colt match target has a fully chrome lined barrel, only a chrome chamber. You should check for that exact model. The non-lined barrel might be a little more accurate but won't be as durable. The Armalite has a fully chrome-lined barrel.
     
  8. HGUNHNTR

    HGUNHNTR Member

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    I would definitley buy the Colt. The Colt is going to be closer to mil-spec (if that matters to you, not trying to start a mil-spec argument) Fit and finish on Colts is top notch, and the prancing pony is cute too.
     
  9. Sebastian the Ibis
    • Contributing Member

    Sebastian the Ibis Member

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    No it is not. The Colt the op selected has a .223 chamber not a mil-spec 5.56 chamber. The Armalite is a 5.56 chamber. This is fine and may be better if you want a target rifle, however I would humbly suggest that the inability to safely use mil-surp 5.56 ammo makes the Colt less mil-spec than the Armalite's lack of MPI testing or whatever other check box on the chart you can point to.
     
  10. W L Johnson

    W L Johnson Member

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    Yep, Fairchild, the parent Co. of the old Armalite was short of money and sold the rights to the AR-15 to Colt.
    AR-15 = ARmalite design number 15.

    As a rule if it begins with AR it's an Armalite (old and new Armalite) design. I have myself AR-7, AR-10s, AR-15s, AR-180b, and a AR-24 (9mm handgun).

    I would go for the Armalite, you're not paying extra just to have the pony on the side and fit and finish is going to be as good or better. Mil-spec means nothing to me. Too many mil-spec weapons in history have been junk, Mk-14 torpedo (80%+ dud rate) to name just one.
     
    Last edited: Nov 11, 2010
  11. Bartholomew Roberts

    Bartholomew Roberts Moderator Emeritus

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    Very minor differences there...

    Mark Westrom is head of Armalite, prior to that he was Col. Mark Westrom, U.S. Army Ordnance. Armalite was one of the pioneers in the midlength carbine idea. They had a "Tech Note" explaining this 10 years ago.

    The Armalite is listed as having a .223/5.56 chamber - in my experience this is probably not a true 5.56 chamber; but a hybrid chamber and will tend to be on the tighter side. The other differences for the Armalite are:

    20" HBAR MIL-B-11595-E 1:9 chromelined barrel
    Armalite Match Trigger

    The Colt will have:
    20" HBAR MIL-B-11595-E 1:7 barrel - chrome chamber only
    .223 SAAMI chamber - even tighter than the hybrid chamber above
    stock trigger

    Other than that, the two rifles are going to be almost identical. The Colt barrel is going to place a higher premium on accuracy at the expense of a tiny bit of reliability. The Armalite barrel will place a higher premium on reliability at the expense of a tiny bit of accuracy. Realistically, I doubt that most people would ever notice a significant difference between the two rifles.

    The 1:7 twist should be better for shooting the heavy match ammo; where the 1:9 twist will be borderline. Having said that, I've seen 3 Armalite 1:9 barrels now and every one of them shot the heavy match ammo with perfect accuracy. So probably not a big difference there either.
     
  12. Onmilo

    Onmilo Member

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    Colt 20" rifles use the proprietary two piece pivot pin and odd size trigger and hammer pins, .312" verses .250" that everybody else uses.

    The Colt can be retrofitted with a two stage trigger assembly.

    The Colt front sight tower is installed with taper pins, the Armalite uses their own design of screw secured front sight tower or gas block.
    I lean towards taper pins for securing the gas block but that is me, many get along just fine with the set screws.

    Most older Colts have a severely milled up bolt carrier, Armalite uses a heavier bolt carrier which may contribute to better reliability with a wider range of cartridges.

    Rare will be the day you see a 20" Colt barrel used in a serious target match, Armalite factory 20" barrels have and are used in serious match shooting.

    Colts are and always have been somewhat overpriced for what you are getting IMMHO.

    I am acquainted with Mr. Westrom. Always a gentleman and his company is always pleasurable to do business with.
    Colt has something of an H&K view towards citizen customers. Their preference is large military and police orders, individuals, take a backseat, we'll get to you eventually.

    Furniture and ancillaries, one is as good as the other.
     
  13. C-grunt

    C-grunt Member

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    What is the purpose of the rifle in question? I bet the Colt Hbar will be a litle more accurate but a bit more front heavy. For target work both of these rifles will shoot well.

    If you are looking for a M16 clone be sure to check out BCMs 20 inch rifle as well.
     
  14. Welding Rod

    Welding Rod Member

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    Sorry to stray but I would probably pass both in lieu of a RRA Standard 20" A2 with its optional 1:8 SS barrel w/ Wylde chamber.
     
    Last edited: Nov 11, 2010
  15. HoosierQ

    HoosierQ Member

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    Looks like the Armalite is both 5.56 and .223 where the Colt is just .223. I'd want a rifle rated for 5.56 so that'd be Armalite here. Not sure if that's accurate but if so...5.56 it is.
     
  16. nathan

    nathan Member

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  17. mshootnit

    mshootnit Member

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    check out the cav arms A1 length stock its 5/8" shorter than an A2 stock. Someone here pointed that out to me. I have the Armalite A3 20" and have posted pics of it here a couple times. I built it from a factory upper and stripped lower with Armalite parts kit. I couldn't be happier with this AR. I have the cav arms stock on it. Single stage trigger has a little creep but you don't notice it when you are focusing on that front sight. It breaks clean. Mine has a chrome lined bolt carrier, chamber and bore. We were hitting a large gong at 200 yds out of the box with no zeroing whatsoever. This is my upper:
    http://www.armalite.com/ItemForm.aspx?item=U15A4BA2&Category=bce7fa68-373e-4afc-b00e-63fe2c75d131
     
  18. DPris

    DPris Member

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    I'm not entirely persuaded that the Colt would have a .223 chamber.
    The 20-incher I tried a couple years ago had a 5.56, as far as I recall.

    It also had the full weight carrier.
    Colt told me they'd gone back to that in current guns.

    Denis
     
  19. Bartholomew Roberts

    Bartholomew Roberts Moderator Emeritus

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    Try an A1 length stock; but save the squared off buttplate from the A2 length stock to use with the A1 - that usually gives a handier fixed stock length while retaining the best parts of the A2. There are also several dozen custom stocks for ARs that may suit your needs - including a lot of adjustable stocks.

    Actually, you may be right on that. The linked Colt is a Match Target (MT6601) - according to Colt's website, it has a 5.56x45 chamber. I had gone by the technical specs I found online at a place that was selling them and that place listed it as a .223 SAAMI chamber.

    If it has a true 5.56x45 chamber, it should have a slight edge on the Armalite in digesting borderline ammo - though once again, we are talking very small differences.
     
    Last edited: Nov 12, 2010
  20. smartshot

    smartshot Member

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    I choose colt. I don't think it makes a difference, but its the difference that makes it!!!
     
  21. Onmilo

    Onmilo Member

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    Colt has gone to a full size carrier in their guns but they aren't making any 20" rifles right now that I am aware of, just carbines.

    The barrels I was referring to in my earlier post are Colt A2 government profile chrome lined barrels also which also have Mil-Spec 5.56 chambers.
    Colt also produced Match grade H-Bar barrels, non chrome lined and match chambered which is a tighter commercial type chamber dimension.

    Cav-Arms fixed buttstocks are horrible quality.
    Look for a surplus A1 trapdoor buttstock at your next gunshow.
    They are out there and priced around $40
     
  22. Welding Rod

    Welding Rod Member

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    Second that - a real embarrassment to American manufacturing.
     
  23. five.five-six

    five.five-six Member

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    I <3 armalite
     
  24. Stevie-Ray

    Stevie-Ray Member

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    I chose Colt.
     
  25. dogsoldier0513

    dogsoldier0513 Member

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    Having owned both Colt (ca. 1988, 1990 and 1992) and Armalite (ca. 1997) ARs, the quality of the Armalite was WAAAAAY above that of the Colts. Currently, I own a Bushmaster and consider its quality better than the (3) Colt ARs I've owned.
     
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