Small Unit Tactics contact patriot-dawn Patriot Rising

AR Manufacturers Parts 1, 1.5 and 2

Home Forums The Armory – Gear and Equipment Weapons AR Manufacturers Parts 1, 1.5 and 2

This topic contains 60 replies, has 14 voices, and was last updated by Profile photo of First Sergeant First Sergeant 5 months ago.

Viewing 30 posts - 1 through 30 (of 61 total)
  • Author
    Posts
  • #24872
    Profile photo of First Sergeant
    First Sergeant
    Moderator

    Save all the hand wringing, wailing, gnashing of teeth, pitchforks and cries of burning at the stake. What will follow is by no means an in depth study of all of this. Books have been written on the subject. The first part and most of the second part will cover the history of the AR system. You can verify that yourself by doing your own research. When we get to the portions that cover the different manufactures of AR’s, it will be based on my experience. Yours may be different. We can discuss your opinions, but it will not turn into “mine is the best because”. You will get facts and the why. You’re an adult, you can make your own decisions based off of the recommendations that I and others will make. You may not like those recommendations, but I can’t help that.

    I am going to split this up into parts. It will be easier to absorb that way.

    First we have to start with some history. Why? You have to know how all this started to be able to understand where we are today with the AR platform.

    Armalite was a small arms engineering company in California. In 1954 it was made a division of Fairchild Engine and Airplane Corporation. They were never meant to be a manufacturer. They came up with small arms concepts and designs that were meant to be sold or licensed to other companies. Soon after, Eugene Stoner was hired as chief design engineer. The first successful design to be adopted for manufacture was the AR-5. It was a bolt action survival rifle in .22 Hornet. It could be disassembled and stored in the butt stock. The Air Force adopted it as the MA-1 Survival Rifle. The spin off from that was the AR-7. A semi automatic designed in the same way. It could be disassembled and stowed in the butt stock and it floated. Henry Repeating Arms still makes them today.

    The next design was the AR-10. It was submitted to Springfield Armory(the real one, not the knockoff that bought the rights to the name that we know today). It competed in trials to replace the M1 Garand against the FN-FAL and the Springfield Armory T-44. It lost, and so did the FN-FAL. After the test results were basically thrown out the T-44 was announced as the winner and it was adopted as the M-14. The M-14 would be the downfall of Springfield Armory.

    In 1957 Armalite licensed the AR-10 to a Dutch arms manufacturer for 5 years which resulted in less than 10,000 made in four years. Variants were adopted in limited numbers by Portugal, Sudan, Italy, Cuba, Guatemala and Burma.

    Have you figured out what AR stands for yet? It ain’t “assault rifle” or “automatic rifle”.

    Unhappy with the lack of interest in the AR-10. Armalite focused on a smaller version to meet the requirements of the U.S. Air Force. They wanted a small light weight rifle for base security. That became the AR-15 in 5.56×45 MM. Since they didn’t have the manufacturing capability, they were forced to license the designs to Colt in 1959. Shortly after that Colt bought the patent rights to the design.

    The Armalite company that exist today is not the original. the name was bought.

    I am not going to cover all the trials and test. You can look those up on the net if you want. But I am going to cover the start of all the bullshit that still persist to this day in reference to the AR. When the M-16 was finally fielded, it was issued without proper training and virtually no cleaning supplies. That started the myth of a bad design. Journalist started claiming that men were dying because of the weapon. That caused a congressional investigation that found two problems that were linked. The first was fixed by providing adequate training, cleaning supplies and tweaks to the design. The second problem caused some of the first. When the round was designed, it was meant to use a certain type of ball powder. That was changed during contract production. The military wanted to use up old stocks of .308/7.62×51 powder. That caused more fouling and exacerbated the lack of training and cleaning supplies. All of that resulted in the M-16A1.

    Those problems disappeared, but the myth of the AR system being a bad design didn’t. It still persists to this day. It can be found anywhere when you hear the proponents of the M-14 being a true battle rifle and chambered in a real rifle round, the 7.61×51. Although he ones screaming the loudest have never laid their hands on a real M-14. They can only get the knock off M1A from the knock off Springfield Armory. I had two M-14’s in my platoon during my first tour in Afghanistan. I was the only one in the company that knew how to field strip it. I got one running out of the two.

    Sorry for the side track. The willful ignorance of some people.

    Remember when I mentioned above about Colt owning the licensing rights and the patent rights to the AR-15? Here is where people lose their damn minds. Colt also owns the TDP(Technical Data Package), the government doesn’t.

    Why that matters will have to wait for part two.

    FILO
    Signal out, can you identify.
    Je ne regrette rien...
    Klagt Nicht, Kämpft

    #24873
    Profile photo of Joe (G.W.N.S.)
    Joe (G.W.N.S.)
    Moderator

    You’ll need to work a lot harder for pitchforks! :yes:

    #24874
    Profile photo of Thomas
    Thomas
    Participant

    This is an excellent piece of writing. Thank you, First Sergeant.

    You are correct that the next part will make heads explode.

    #24877
    Profile photo of First Sergeant
    First Sergeant
    Moderator

    G.W.N.S.,

    Oh, I don’t think I will have to work hard at all when we get to part 3. :wacko:

    Thomas,

    Thanks.

    FILO
    Signal out, can you identify.
    Je ne regrette rien...
    Klagt Nicht, Kämpft

    #24888
    Profile photo of DiznNC
    DiznNC
    Participant

    Good job 1st Sgt. Excellent survey of the early history of our piece. I think it’s criminal what Colt and senior mil/gov personnel did in fielding this design. The combination of wrong powder and no chrome lined chamber in a highly corrosive jungle environment caused cases to stick in the chamber. Especially since there was no cleaning gear to swab out this caustic mix left in the chambers. Why people weren’t shot over this disgrace is beyond me. Many a Soldier and Marine were found dead beside a “jammed” rifle with cleaning rod sections hastily assembled, trying to clear the case.

    A Marine LT finally wrote his congressman a letter and documented the deaths in his platoon from the matter. That helped start an investigation which eventually fixed these problems (that should have never been). The LT received an UNSAT fitrep for his actions. Of course all guilty parties got raises and promotions. Fucking Marine Corps Commandant at that time KNEW about the problem and played along for his own career while Marines were dying.

    Anyways, not that I’m bitter or anything, but I’ll never own a fucking colt for that reason.

    CTT 1505, NODF 1505, CP 1503, LN 1, RC II, Rifleman

    #24900
    Profile photo of Thomas
    Thomas
    Participant

    Diz, the problems don’t rest with Colt. They belong to the senior leadership of the armed services and the congressional leaders who failed their oversight duties. In the end, the government ran the tests, wrote the contracts for rifles and ammunition, and wrote the specs for all of it.

    I trust that there is a special level of hell for senior officers who put their careers ahead of the lives of their charges. I don’t pray that someone suffer, but, I hope that every senior leader that ever tried to advance a career at the expense of Joe pay for eternity for that transgression. And, yes, I am bitter.

    Perhaps someone will start a thread on “why I despise flag officers” so that I can vent my spleen.

    My apologies to the group for moving so far off topic.

    #24903
    Profile photo of First Sergeant
    First Sergeant
    Moderator

    Diz,

    I hear ya. What was done was criminal, but it wasn’t the fault of Colt. The fault lies squarely on the shoulders of the Army Ordnance Board. Stay with me, it’s gonna take a little explaining.

    I guess I will call this Part 1.5. I had not planned to go into this, but based on what Diz said above, I need to cover it. The reason why will become clear later.

    At the time the AR was adopted small arms procurement for all services was governed by the Army Ordnance Board(AOB). All development, testing and upgrades was all done through the them. Most done at Springfield Armory. Going all the way back to the first standardized musket for the U.S. Army, the 1795 Springfield Musket. Any of you that have seen the symbol for the U.S. Army Infantry, mistakenly called crossed rifles, have seen it. They also developed the 1873 Trapdoor Springfield, the M1903 Springfield, M1 Garand and the ill fated M-14. A side note, John Garand(inventor of the M-1 Garand) worked at Springfield Armory at the time and received no monetary compensation for his invention.

    Remember in part one when the AR-10 was submitted for testing and I said the test results were thrown out, the “not invented here syndrome”. The AOB had already decided that the T-44 would win, no matter what. It was developed at Springfield.

    Fast forward and General Curtis Lemay saw the AR demonstrated at a BBQ in Texas. He wanted the rifle for SAC airfield security. At the time Air Force was using M1 and M2 carbines. He submitted the request and the AOB squashed it. Fast forward a little bit more and Lemay is now Chief of Staff of the Air Force and places an order for the AR.

    Here is where it all goes to hell in a hand basket that resulted in the closure of Springfield Armory, the disbandment of the AOB, the downfall of the M-14 and the adoption of the M-16.

    Secretary of Defense McNamara and his whiz kids got involved.
    While trying to get the AOB under control, he and his kids got in way over their heads. The AOB was completely wedded to the M-14. One of the main reasons was because the senior officers were WW2 and Korea vets and had a lot of respect for the M1 Garand. What they didn’t understand was that warfare had changed and with it the weapons needed to fight those wars. What they proceeded to do was everything in their power to make sure the AR was not adopted. When McNamara had an IG investigation done into what the AOB was doing, he ordered the test redone under the supervision of ARPA. The AOB still attempted to screw up the test and recommended so many changes that McNamara ordered the weapon adopted as is with no changes.

    At the end of WW2, it was mandated that all small arms have a chrome lined chamber. This was due to experience gained from that conflict. Colt knew this and wanted to add it. They were told no. Now whether this was done by the AOB still trying to sabotage the whole thing or by McNamara is up for debate. There is a quote that is attributed to McNamara, to paraphrase “If Stoner wanted it to have one, he would have added it”.

    So thus began the teething problems with the adoption of the AR system. With the adoption of the M-16A1, all of that went away.

    So if you want to blame anybody, blame the AOB for starting the shit show to begin with. If they hadn’t have had their heads so far up their fourth point of contact, none of the problems would have materialized.

    While all of this was going on, Colt was also developing the XM177 or CAR-15. It is basically the forerunner of the M-4.

    For further reading on the subject:

    https://www.rand.org/content/dam/rand/pubs/papers/2008/P6306.pdf

    http://www.thegunzone.com/556dw.html Warning, this one is long and very technical but if you are interested in this stuff it is well worth the time.

    Standby for part 2

    FILO
    Signal out, can you identify.
    Je ne regrette rien...
    Klagt Nicht, Kämpft

    #24905
    Profile photo of DiznNC
    DiznNC
    Participant

    For additional reading, see “The Gun”, a little tome on the AK-47, which goes into the story of the AR, and the Marine Lt who blew the whistle on it’s failings. It also documents who the players were, from the “whiz kids”, to the Colt guys, to the top leaders of the mil services, who shoulda known better, but for political reasons (or monetary gain) went with what was being pushed. But yeah, 1st Sgt is right, the dissolution of the AOB led to the design being developed by amateurs, and all parties, for whatever reason, let it slide. And of course the grunts took it in the ass. Again.

    CTT 1505, NODF 1505, CP 1503, LN 1, RC II, Rifleman

    #24906
    Profile photo of Jane
    jane
    Participant

    Great stuff! I always love telling people that the AR is an Air Force rifle! :-)

    #24910
    Profile photo of First Sergeant
    First Sergeant
    Moderator

    Jane,

    Yep, the Air Force started it all. The initial ones that the Air Force adopted had no forward assist. The AOB mandated it. For a while, Colt was turning out two different rifles.

    FILO
    Signal out, can you identify.
    Je ne regrette rien...
    Klagt Nicht, Kämpft

    #24911
    Profile photo of JustARandomGuy
    JustARandomGuy
    Participant

    …I had two M-14’s in my platoon during my first tour in Afghanistan. I was the only one in the company that knew how to field strip it. I got one running out of the two.

    Woah, wait just a second there…
    You’re saying the ’14 is NOT the ultra-reliable Taliban-slayer that all our troops are ditching their M4’s for….
    ;-)

    Speaking of history- if we can have a “part 1.75”- what was with the US mil and the 20 round mag? Maybe I’m reading into this wrong but they seem to have had a bit of a love affair with that capacity…. :unsure:

    "Time come Kimosabe, when good men must wear masks."
    ~Tanto

    #24919
    Profile photo of Yankee Terrier
    Yankee Terrier
    Participant

    Excellent post First Sergeant. I was a very young kid in southern California at the time of Armalite developing “things”. Our next door neighbor was a mechanical engineer with considerable contacts over at Armalite and your history is correct. Armalite did make small production runs essentially a very very limited number of prototypes just as you said, the ball powder fiasco also involved demilling artillery shells if my memory serves me…Lady Bird Johnson owned a significant portion of Olin as was talked about back in the day.

    #24923
    Profile photo of Max Velocity
    Max
    Keymaster

    Note: This is not Max’s response/content. Just a glitch from the transition to subscription.

    Thanks for taking the time to write all this. I’ve heard various pieces of the tale over the years, never all together. It is much clearer to me what happened.

    No pitchforks here, I’ll shoot an AR or Springfield M1A :good:

    #24924
    Profile photo of First Sergeant
    First Sergeant
    Moderator

    JustaRandomGuy,

    Part of the problem was that the M-14’s had been in storage for who knows how long, there was no logistics train in place, no training plan and were shipped over in a hurry. Magazines that ran right was a big problem. The knowledge base didn’t exist. There were very few left in the Army at the time that had any experience with the rifle.

    The only Soldiers who knew anything about it were guys from the Old Guard and guys like me. I had experience with it through the M-21 sniper rifle. Long before snipers were grouped in the HHC of an infantry battalion in the scout platoon, snipers were in each platoon of an infantry company. I got assigned as a spotter to a school trained sniper. We had M-24’s and M-21’s. So that is how I got trained on the M-14.

    As to the 20 round magazine. All of the 7.62 rifles that were being designed then had 20 round mags. The M-14, FN-FAL and the G-3. When Stoner designed the AR-10, he designed it with a 25 round mag. When it went to trials at Ft Benning, he was told to change the magazine to 20 rounds for ammo conservation during combat. The AR-15 is nothing but scaled down AR-10 from the trials, hence the 20 round magazine.

    When Soldiers and Marines in Vietnam started to encounter the AK-47 with it’s 30 round magazine, they started asking for one for the M-16. It took some time to develop one that worked. That is due to the taper of the 5.56 round and the way they stack. A constant curve like the AK mag wont work. It took a while for the design that we know today to get developed. Initially they were only shipped with the XM177(CAR-15) and those were only going to special units. From what I have read and to Vets that I have talked to, they didn’t really start showing up regular line units until ’70 or ’71, and then only in enough numbers for troops to be issued one 30 round mag and the rest 20 round mags. I have read of guys in country ordering them by mail through ads in gun magazines. It wasn’t until the later part of the ’70’s that the 30 round mags were really getting into the supply system. When I went in ’89, there were still a crapload of 20 round mags still in the system.

    20 round magazines still have a place on the battlefield. During my first tour we found that it was a lot easier to get in and out of vehicles with a 20 round mag in the gun vs a 30 round mag. Being shorter, there was less to get tangled up on. As a platoon sergeant, my 20 round mag was loaded with all tracers to mark targets with.

    When I started using a battle belt under my body armor, I found that 30 round mags stuck out to much and got hung up on my armor. I keep 20 round mags on my battle belt for that reason.

    Another piece of magazine trivia, they wanted disposable magazines and they were going to made out of plastic. They would come already loaded. When they were empty, hit the mag release and forget about it. That never panned out.

    Yankee Terrier,

    The part about artillery shells is partially correct. Depending on the type of powder, it could be recycled. That was done then.

    The reason for the problems with the powder initially used is that it had too much calcium carbonate in the powder. That powder was fine for rifles chambered in 7.62 and the same powder was being used to load 5.56. Once that was found out, problem solved and that powder got its own designation.

    Glad everyone is getting something out of this. I never planned to go this in depth into the history of it. It has caused me to knock some of the dust of my library and my brain cells. If you have any more questions, please ask. By this weekend I will have Part 2 up that will have the recommendations for which manufacturers to go with.

    One correction to Part 1, I said they used powders for .30.06. I meant .308/7.62×51. I had M1 Garand on the brain when I typed that. Sorry for that. I have corrected it.

    FILO
    Signal out, can you identify.
    Je ne regrette rien...
    Klagt Nicht, Kämpft

    #24926
    Profile photo of Brian from Georgia
    Brian from Georgia
    Participant

    Excellent thread!

    3-4 Aug 2013 CRCD, 2-6 Aug 2014 CRCD/Patrol, 30 Sep 2016 Run n Gun, 1-2 Oct 2016 FoF, 3-4 March 2018 DCH alumni
    Team Coyote

    #24930
    Profile photo of Bob
    gunnerbob
    Participant

    Very informative, thank you!

    #24931
    Profile photo of Yankee Terrier
    Yankee Terrier
    Participant

    Yes very informative thank you.

    #24932
    Profile photo of Joe (G.W.N.S.)
    Joe (G.W.N.S.)
    Moderator

    Do have any thoughts on the early barrel twists rates?

    I’ve never had an opportunity to try an AR with 14:1 twist, they are now available though rare. Don’t have too much extreme cold dense air down here to worry about.

    This trip down memory lane has got me thinking about it again, Never done much shooting beyond 100 yards with the heavier bullets with my SP1 (12:1 twist), wondering if the relative instability with heavier bullets could result in similar performance to early reports of the original 14:1 twist.

    #24936
    Profile photo of Thomas
    Thomas
    Participant

    I was issued seven 30 round mags from the company supply room at my first unit in Germany in 1978. The armeror had a foot locker of 20 round mags that went to the range for rifle qualification.

    I am trying to remember if we were issued 30 rounders in basic train. I think so but am not sure. It has been a day or two since I went through. :unsure:

    GWNS, I suspect you will get unstable performance out of the heavier rounds with the 1:12 twist. If you try out the combination, please post the results.

    #24937
    Profile photo of Joe (G.W.N.S.)
    Joe (G.W.N.S.)
    Moderator

    Thomas wrote:
    “I suspect you will get unstable performance out of the heavier rounds with the 1:12 twist. If you try out the combination, please post the results.”

    I this case, I define performance by the damage it does not tight groups.

    The limited 62 grain (not M855) use at a 100 yards worked fine for the plinking I did with it.

    I am curious to see what will stabilize in my SP1, but be ready to tumble on impact.

    The early 14:1 barrels were reportedly given damage beyond what would normally be expected from a 5.56mm round, but most of this has been anecdotal information.

    #24938
    Profile photo of DiznNC
    DiznNC
    Participant

    I first qualified with a M-16A1 pencil bbl at Quantico. I assume this was a 14:1 bbl. You could honestly shoot out to 500m with IRON SIGHTS with the 193 ball. It was a full sized black on white target, similar to the FBI style targets you see. In the early morning light, you could just make out the targets over the KD range. The coaches called it the “shooter’s light”. We were slung in tight (GI sling on biceps, TIGHT), with no mag touching the deck. In fact, I think we shot 20-rd mags at the time. But the off-hand elbow was as close to directly under the piece as you could get. Which allowed you to leverage against the mag. Being slung in so tight forced you to drive the buttstock into your shoulder pocket, hard. It was pretty rock steady. Anyways, that was the deal, with a 20″ bbl of course.

    CTT 1505, NODF 1505, CP 1503, LN 1, RC II, Rifleman

    #24940
    Profile photo of Joe (G.W.N.S.)
    Joe (G.W.N.S.)
    Moderator

    As I recall all of the M16A1’s had 12:1 barrels, it was the early select fire AR15’s (before the M16 designation) that had the 14:1 barrels.

    Some of these early AR15’s had made it to American Vietnam advisors and Vietnamese troops for testing.

    The just stabilized rounds were creating some remarkable terminal results, according to accounts.

    The change to 12:1 from 14:1 twist was due to Arctic testing, supposedly in the colder dense air the 5.56 rounds keyholed almost immediately. There was some disagreement to how testing was conducted.

    The 12:1 barrels that I have used from SP1’s and M16A1’s were certainly accurate enough.

    I have wondered if the heavier rounds with the 7:1 twist rates is perhaps too stable?

    Resulting in very accurate .22 caliber holes in target, but causing less damage in humans.

    As I have described in the past, my AO is denser with less opportunities for long range engagements. So for me, having a less stable round with increased effectiveness at closer ranges could be an advantage.

    This is the theory, even though it goes against much of the current wisdom regarding AR’s.

    Different AO’s and missions may dictate other choices, remember I am no longer concerned with worldwide deployment just my AO.

    #24948
    Profile photo of Barry Anderson
    gatlinggun
    Participant

    The story of the M16 reminds me of the story of Army Ordnance ramming the 7.62x51mm cartridge down NATOs throat in the Mid-50s and then “skipping out” and unofficially adopting the 5.56. NATO “standardization” went right out the window. Blake Steven’s books on the FNFAL details the acrimony between the US and its NATO allies in great gory detail. To those who know the story the name Col. Rene Studler will mean something. I guess this all goes to show that government can and will screw up everything.

    When the government's boot is on your throat, whether it is a left boot or a right boot is of no consequence.

    CTT 08/15

    #24949
    Profile photo of First Sergeant
    First Sergeant
    Moderator

    gatlinggun,
    That is another screw up unto itself. And you are right, a bureaucracy can and will screw thing ups.

    G.W.N.S.
    I never really got into the bbl twist rate. I know the history behind it and have read some of the things you talked about in reference to the 1:14. This link to an article at Weaponsman explains it a lot better, the comments have some good info in it also. http://weaponsman.com/?p=7291

    One of the biggest things to remember is when a general issue weapon is developed, there are some compromises. It won’t be perfect at any one thing, but it is sufficiently capable of doing several things. The M-16 family is a prime example of that. The weapon as it exist now has had not only had testing done in controlled environments, but in real world applications in some of the harshest terrain and weather conditions. From the jungles of Southeast Asia, Grenada and Panama to the deserts of the Arabian peninsula to the desert heat and sub freezing temperatures of Afghanistan. It works. Anyone who says otherwise has no clue what they are talking about.

    So the M-16A1 is in service. Based on knowledge gained from Vietnam, some changes are considered. Some good, some not so good. The good include a heavier profile bbl with reduced twist to handle the heavier M855, round hand guards(dissipate heat better), improved rear sight, improved flash hider and brass deflector. The bad is the three round burst trigger group. Ammo conservation in combat rears its ugly head again. Several of these improvements had been developed by Colt in the ’60’s. All of this resulted in the M-16A2.

    In the 80’s work started on what would become the M-4.

    Everything leading up to now would require a book. Hell, everything that has been discussed requires a book. If you really are interested in all of the developments, I recommend “Black Rifle” parts 1 and 2. And read all of the pages of this: http://www.thegunzone.com/556dw.html

    So here we are. When it comes to which manufacturer to choose from, how do you decide? Which one is good? Which is bad? You go on the internet and read forums and blog pages supposedly full of people who have all of the correct information. If you are really feeling froggy, you talk to someone at your local gun shop. If they work there, they should know all there is to know about guns, right? Wrong. The internet is full of half truths, myths, lies, bias and “just as good as”. Gun shops are the same.

    THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS “JUST AS GOOD AS”.

    Read that again. And again until it sinks in.

    The manufacturer either has a reputation of producing quality rifles or it doesn’t. Now is not the time to cut corners or try to save a dollar. Now is not the time to talk about an up and coming manufacturer. Now is not the time to “build your own” cause it’s cheaper(in the long run, it’s not). Remember those “frankenguns that were built in your mom’s basement” that we talk about?

    We talk about those things because it we have seen it over and over. Those rifles will fail in a shorter amount of time than one from a quality maker. Do the good ones occasionally have a lemon? Damn right they do. It will happen with anything made by man. But the good companies have systems in place to make sure that very rarely occurs.

    Here are the ones that I recommend based off of experience that was earned by hands on and by studying this particular topic.

    Colt-I can hear the howls of outrage. Your bias will not change fact. Colt is the standard when it comes to the AR platform. They are the standard because of making the guns for over 50 years. All of the things they have learned over the years and the feedback from the military goes into what they produce today. Remember that TDP(Technical Data Package) that I talked about in Part 1? They own it. Even if the military wants to have someone else make the M-4 for a contract, they don’t have access to that data. Doesn’t matter if you think that is right or wrong. That was part of the contract that was signed with Colt. And the contract that FN got to produce M-4’s? They got access to the TDP for the duration of that contract. A royalty gets paid to Colt for every one that FN produces. FN is barred from using any of that data to produce guns for civilian sales. When that contract is fulfilled FN has to destroy the data that they used.

    Get a Colt 6920.The same quality, attention to detail and inspection of parts that goes into the guns produced for the military goes into the 6920. You can find them for between $700.00 -$900.00 if you shop around.

    The rest are in no particular order:
    BCM(Bravo Company Manufacturing)
    Daniel Defense
    LMT(Lewis Machine and Tool)
    Knights
    Larue
    Noveske

    And one you won’t believe, PSA(Palmetto State Armory). MVT uses them as rental guns and has had good results with them. I have seen good results at other places. There is a caveat to that. I am talking about getting a complete gun from them. Not stripped lowers to build your own. I have seen too many variations in the quality of the lowers. So if you go that route, get a complete gun.

    Let’s talk about “mil-spec” and what that means. Military Specification, in its simplest terms means that the part complies with the specifications laid out by the military. Dimensions, interchangeability, reliability, material used for manufacture. In other words, standards. The only way to truly get a “mil-spec” rifle, is to enlist and have one issued to you. The closest you can get is a Colt. All of the parts are mil-spec, but the completed rifle is not because it was not accepted for a military contract. They own the TDP. The other companies have reverse engineered the AR platform. Some have done it better than others. So just because a company uses that term in its advertising doesn’t make it true. It has been misused and abused for years.

    FILO
    Signal out, can you identify.
    Je ne regrette rien...
    Klagt Nicht, Kämpft

    #24950
    Profile photo of Brian from Georgia
    Brian from Georgia
    Participant

    That’s a good list on the “better” rifles. The PSA rifles, at least the ones with the FN produced barrels, are the best value out there. Mine have been 100%.

    Here’s an excellent thread on which brands perform well over many rounds. You can also deduce what spare parts you want to keep around.

    https://www.ar15.com/forums/t_3_118/677135_High_round_count_AR_M4_s__over_100_000_rounds__and_how_they_have_handled_on_our_range.html

    DoD contractor Mechanical Engineer’s opinion here. First Sergeant is spot on for what makes a good rifle. It’s sound design (documented in the TDP), proper materials and processes, and high QC standards.

    The critical parts for reliability on an AR are the barrel, barrel extension and bolt carrier assembly. They are the parts that are under high load and high wear. Their dimensions (controlled by good QC) are critical as well. Even a barrel gas tube hole drilled a little off will cause cycling issues.

    It is best to buy a complete “top tier” rifle if the budget allows. If you are on a budget and want to build your own, buy a complete PSA upper with cold hammer forged FN barrel, their “premium” bolt carrier group and all the rest of their parts to assemble your own. I’ve assembled several lowers using their parts and they have all performed flawlessly.

    3-4 Aug 2013 CRCD, 2-6 Aug 2014 CRCD/Patrol, 30 Sep 2016 Run n Gun, 1-2 Oct 2016 FoF, 3-4 March 2018 DCH alumni
    Team Coyote

    #24951
    Profile photo of Free Chicken Dinner
    RRS
    Participant

    Yep what 1st says. I bought a no name upper from a local company, could not get on paper at 25 yards, took it to a smith, he looks and finds the barrel is crooked out of the upper, total junk and probably not even safe.

    Tactical training for Liberty, Fraternity, Excellence

    #24953
    Profile photo of DiznNC
    DiznNC
    Participant

    Not to start off a blaze of “my favorite AR is…” posts, BUT, one thing I would add is that PSA has some smoking deals on what I would refer to as “tier 1” rifle parts, for “tier 3” prices. There are many choices out there. Lots of them are even good. But for the money, you just can’t beat what PSA has for sale. For a good, rack grade, field rifle.

    CTT 1505, NODF 1505, CP 1503, LN 1, RC II, Rifleman

    #24955
    Profile photo of Joe (G.W.N.S.)
    Joe (G.W.N.S.)
    Moderator

    Well I put my pitchfork back in the barn! :-)

    Your recommended AR’s are solid choices, BCM is the only one I have no hands on experience with.

    I haven’t decided on whether to get another AR or just an additional upper for the SP1.

    #24957
    Profile photo of devildog70
    devildog70
    Participant

    If you wait for sales, it’s very easy to buy a BCM for 800ish. G and R Tactical runs them fairly often. Grab a blem lower, an upper and a bcg/ch, and you’re set.

    Colt does not currently offer any midlength gas systems for sale (if you are into that), although there are a couple prototypes out there. So, if you want midlength, you’ll have to go with a different company.

    I own a couple 6920’s, but they currently live in my safe. Great rifles, never given me a problem. I just prefer midlength, so use BCM predominately.

    Buying an upper and lower separately saves you about 10% as the parts are not taxed like the whole.

    I’d also add Warsport and Hodge to your list, although they are in-line with Larue pricing.

    #24958
    Profile photo of Jane
    jane
    Participant

    Nothing against Colt, but I will stick with my builds with BCM uppers. I love my Geissele triggers, H buffers, mid-length gas systems. These are all non-minspec, uh non-milspec. Btw cold hammer forged barrels are also not milspec… M4 TDP calls for button rifled barrels?

Viewing 30 posts - 1 through 30 (of 61 total)

You must be logged in to reply to this topic.