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View Full Version : Who makes the "best" AR-15?


SEHunter
December 30, 2009, 07:04 PM
May be a loaded question. I have very limited knowledge on the ARs'. I have been told Colt is believed to have the "best", that is if one name had to be picked. I know Bushmaster is also a good name. Caliber is not necessarily my point, although i like the .204 for my intentions.

Second question is, i was watching Shooting USA (or one of the gunning shows on outdoor channel) and in one segment, the host commented that their are 2 main designs, mechanically speaking. One uses the gasses in cycleing the rounds and the other design utilizes a different system, dont remember exactly. Could someone break all this down for me.

Third question is how are the ARs' supposidly so accurate with such short barrels? (Im used to standard rifles, so 22" is rather on the short side to me and the ARs' are well under 20" if i am correct)

Thanks for any information guys.

Tom2
December 30, 2009, 07:14 PM
barrel length is not a significant factor in accuracy. Mostly it is sights and the overall gun construction and the ammo. You can have a 16 inch AR that is as accurate as a full length version, all the difference is in sight radius, in iron sight situations, and loss of muzzle velocity. The short AR's are a comprimise to make the rifle more suitable for close quarters combat, like house to house urban. I myself would like a full length rifle just for the ballistic efficiency, it maintains the design MV of the ammo rifle combo, and better sighting. There are a bajillion versions of the AR out now. You need like a catalog(s) and alot of research. I once had a shorty Armalite brand and an early Colt sporter type. The Armalite was equal to the Colt in quality, without the loose wiggle between the upper and lower. All I can say is get a hand on them and see for yourself how good the fit and finish is up close. One brands match grade might be excellent, and their standard weak or finish and quality may be not so good in some, etc. Colt is nice but you pay for the name. Not that they are bad, but they can be equaled for less, probably.

FALPhil
December 30, 2009, 08:05 PM
If money is no object, I would say Noveske (and I do not own one). I don't consider Colt any higher quality than any reputable manufacturer, but because of the label, it will hold its value better even if it was inferior (and Colt has had a few turkeys in its past, but the AR was not one of them).

If you read enough about ARs, you will see terms like "MPI", which is a non-trademarked acronym for Magnafluxing, and "proof", which means a higher than standard pressure cartridge was fired in the gun or barrel. These things mean something to some people, and they are generally regarded as earmarks of a quality gun. But, keep in mind that just because a gun has not had these tests run does not mean that it is not a quality gun. Colt performs all the tests on its ARs as it does for M16s that it produces or produced for the DoD. Interestingly, they do not use different material or manufacturing techniques than the majority of other AR vendors.

My ARs are Bushmaster and C-3 Defense (formerly Cobb Manufacturing). The Bushmaster is factory box stock and the C-3 is built up with top of the line components. If I blindfolded you, you could not tell the difference. If I covered the logos with duct tape, and let you shoot them along with a standard Colt/Armalite/Rock River/Olympic/Bravo Company/LRWC/etc., you would not be able to tell the difference. I sometimes wonder why I sunk all the money into the C-3. Whoever said that ARs are like Barbie dolls for men was dead on.

There are probably a couple of companies you should avoid, but off the top of my head, I cannot think of any. There are so many AR vendors out there that you could shop price and be fine. There are no secrets about ARs.

As to barrel length, all other things equal, shorter barrels tend to be more accurate because they are stiffer. This holds true until the projectile goes subsonic, which will be sooner with the shorter barrel due to diminished velocity.

RT
December 30, 2009, 08:09 PM
Read and decide for yourself
http://www.m4carbine.net/showthread.php?t=6642

iScream
December 30, 2009, 08:12 PM
I just happen to have read this post on ar15.com (http://www.ar15.com/content/page.html?id=493) recently. Learned a lot in one sitting.

-Chris

SEHunter
December 31, 2009, 10:52 AM
Thanks for the sites guys. The last one was explained in a way i understand. I still will be leaning towards Colt. I assume most hunters get the .223 over the 5.56 chamber? Didnt know the difference till i read that site. The chamber of the 5.56 is larger. Also didnt realize its cheaper to buy the upper and lower seperate. I like the sound of a flat top with a 24" heavy, fluted chrome lined barrel.

There is alot more talk on the uppers. Do the lowers not differ in quality and significance like the uppers do?

precision_shooter
December 31, 2009, 11:29 AM
Do the lowers not differ in quality and significance like the uppers do?

Not as much as the Uppers. You have to remember, the uppers are basically the gun. It contains the Bolt assembly, Barrel, and other critical parts. The lower basically is a "box" that only housed the Trigger assembly, Buffer Spring/tube and magwell. No real moving parts and doesn't have to contain the gasses like the upper. However, the triggers will help with accuracy of the weapon. The Colt has a Crappy-Heavy trigger. I would look for a Rock River lower or at least a good deal on their 2-stage match trigger.

SEHunter
December 31, 2009, 03:21 PM
All RR have good triggers?

Does there seem to be one name that the majority has or prefers when it comes to lowers?

RockyMtnTactical
December 31, 2009, 03:27 PM
Noveske is the best.

Colt, LMT, BCM, DD are all in the same category. Also about as good as it gets.

precision_shooter
December 31, 2009, 09:27 PM
Does there seem to be one name that the majority has or prefers when it comes to lowers?

No, Lowers from any of the major MFG's are all about equal. But the Rock River triggers are the best among ALL of the factory triggers you can get.

CarterMccoy
December 31, 2009, 09:32 PM
the last time I was at the range, I sat next to a guy who had an aramalite. He shot the bull ot with his scope, then swapped to his holographic sight, and shot the bull out with that, then put his scope back on and shot the bull out again.
I have never seen a syatem work as well as that myself.
For what it is worth.
The told me he paid a good penny for the gun, but I think he got what he paid for.
NICE......

CarterMccoy
December 31, 2009, 09:33 PM
Sorry, Armalite is the correct spelling.

CarterMccoy
December 31, 2009, 09:52 PM
By the way,
His rifle was an very cool "oxidized" green( I dont know how else to describe it, it was an oxidized metal).
His CASE, had a cutout for the gun, clip, holosight, and scope. It was very cool to watch this consumate shooter work.
Doc.

SEHunter
December 31, 2009, 10:04 PM
I went to the bushmaster site (among others) and saw an upper i liked. It was named varmit something and had a 20" heavy barrel that was fluted. Think it was chrome lined. Maybe that on a RR lower would be a good combo for me. I just want accuracy to hunt varmits out to 100+ yards. I dont see many 20" barrels from any maker. Part of me thinks there is no advantage based on that but in regular hunting rifles, it is believed that longer barrels provide slightly higher velocity and accuracy. Of course, the AR i guess was never intended to be a long range sniper or anything like that.

S&W Kinda Guy
December 31, 2009, 10:09 PM
I cant tell you the "best" ar but i have a Smith & Wesson M&P-15 and its a nice, sturdy, and reliable rifle...

Prof
December 31, 2009, 10:09 PM
As most of the earlier posters have said, there are many very good AR's on the market and only a few dogs. However, when you ask which is the "best", you need to first define the term. Do you mean which has the nicest fit and finish; or which one is the most accurate; or which is the most reliable; etc. RockyMtnTactical listed the ones that seem to always get named in this type of thread and for good reason. They fit all three of the categories I named. And there are others out there which would fit them, too. For most of us on this board, the AR is going to be a "fun" gun, something we take to the range or hunting. It may, God forbid, even serve us as a defensive weapon some day. And, again, for us almost any of the reputable AR makers produce a weapon which would suit us fine. However, for those who regularly go in harm's way and use the AR as a work tool, there are fewer AR's that will fill the bill for them. Go over to Lightfighter Forum and read threads for a while in the Primary Weapon forum. You'll see that for their members, who are mostly active duty combat military or law enforcement officers, the most popular AR is the Colt, followed by LMT. This is because Colt supplies the military and its weapons are mil-spec and, therefore, very reliable. So I guess you could say Colt is the "best" for their purposes. But, a lot of those guys also own Noveskes, DD's, BCM's and even some Bushamsters! :D Buy quality and yours will be the "best" for you. Shoot it and enjoy it.

precision_shooter
December 31, 2009, 10:16 PM
You might also look at Rock River's website. They have Varmint uppers in all kinds of configurations from 16 inches to 24 inches. They are also one of the most accurate AR's on the market. They have the Wylde chamber as well which means it can shoot both .223 and 5.56 ammo safely and reliably.

SEHunter
December 31, 2009, 10:24 PM
Between this post and others, i have began to realize what you just stated to be good advice. It will be a fun/hunting gun for me. I have a compact 870 with a mag tube extension under my bed for the other purpose.

That being said, would someone shed some more light on the subject of barrel length for me? I was looking at 20" but most guys have the 16.5 and it seems to work fine for them. I would like to have 1" moa groups at 100 yards. I assume a factory AR of one of the trusted names is capable of that.

precision_shooter
December 31, 2009, 10:27 PM
Barrel length of 16.5 will be fine for your stated purpose (hunting out to 100, maybe even 200yds). The longer barrels will give you faster muzzle velocity which will make longer shots a little more stable and accurate. Of course, the longer the barrel the more it will weigh as well. So you have to compromise between weight and functionality. If shooting from a rest all the time (in a blind) then weight won't matter much to you but if you will be walking around a lot then you will enjoy the 16" much more and so will your arms...

HankB
December 31, 2009, 10:33 PM
In regard to Colt's rifles . . . the ones I've seen do seem to work well. But note that some have non-standard pins, and a steel block in the lower, ostensibly to prevent installation of M16 parts; even if you're not trying to do anything illegal this complicates trigger work.

The LEO rifles are generally legal, but are really "gray market" as they're not supposed to be sold to John Q. Public.

I'm not sure how Colt's handles warranty work on AR15s - especially if you happen to have an LEO rifle - but if it's anything like my experience with a Colt 1911 Jammamatic, you may as well forget about having it fixed by the manufacturer. :mad:

My Bushmaster has given me good service - a minor sight issue was promptly and properly corrected under warranty by the factory, and the rifle works extremely well.

I also recently build a carbine using good parts (CMMG, RRA, etc.) and have had exactly zero malfunctions in several hundred rounds.

Wleoff
January 1, 2010, 09:07 AM
The best two that I've shot are Wilson and White River, as far as accuracy, trigger, finish, and quality. Bushmaster and Rock River make a couple of good varminters that are not expensive. You need to clarify use and costs. My truck gun is a Stag, left handed.

SEHunter
January 1, 2010, 10:26 AM
Havent heard anybody speak of the Remington R-15. Their msrps' range from $1000 to $1700+. What is their reputation?

Quentin2
January 1, 2010, 10:27 AM
Who makes the "best" AR-15?

Well for me ... it was me. :D

If you're good with your hands and spend the proper amount of time researching and shopping for components, you can build an excellent AR with the barrel, gas system, bolt, stock, sights, etc. that are best for you. Also, building the lower receiver is especially easy then you can top it with an assembled, headspaced and test fired upper built to your specs.

Be careful though, don't just slap together any ol' parts, think it out first. Know what you want ahead of time and don't buy the wrong thing. This actually applies to a build or buying a complete rifle. Spend the time getting up to speed and know what's best for you. No one else can tell you what you want.

jem375
January 1, 2010, 10:31 AM
most of the major manufacturers make very decent rifles, just find the best deal and buy it..

SEHunter
January 1, 2010, 09:05 PM
Thanks but i like to know what im buying.

Double Naught Spy
January 1, 2010, 10:25 PM
Read and decide for yourself
http://www.m4carbine.net/showthread.php?t=6642

Note that this only refers to the M4 variants and not necessarily to other AR15 variants. Features found on the M4 variant of one brand may not be the same features of another model by the same brand.

tirod
January 1, 2010, 11:16 PM
Knowing what your buying is EXACTLY what building an AR is all about. There is no guarantee you will get a milspec bolt carrier or MPI bolt that will be high quality if an AR is just ordered or bought.

But buying those from a vendor will get you that. You will also get what you need - which hasn't been described at all. An AR with 24" barrel is typical of 1000 yard long distance competition shooting. And it's no fun hunting deer with. One with a 20" barrel will do, but be less capable in heavy cover than one with a 16" barrel. What you plan to do with it determines barrel length.

The difference between 5.56 and .223 is signifcant enough that you can't shoot 5.56 in a .223 chamber. Military surplus ammo is then not usable regardless of the great price incentive. Most shooters get a 5.56 chamber as it works with .223 ammo and there is no significant loss of accuracy.

It would help to narrow the choices of good AR's by giving a description of what will be done with it. Recommending the wrong one is just an exercise in frustration for everyone.

SEHunter
January 1, 2010, 11:39 PM
It will be used for hunting and usually from a stand, blind or another similar set up. Mostly coyote, fox and bobcat up to 300- 500 yards out. The inconvience of weight and bulkyness would not come into play much with how i hunt from prepared set ups. I just feel the 20" is the shortest i want to go with the longer range. I was browseing at colts web site and never found one over 16". Bushmaster has a nice looking predator model and im about to look at Rock River Arms. Surely Colt has a longer barrel, maybe i overlooked it.

LollerCopter
January 1, 2010, 11:53 PM
Bushmaster, most reliable, most accurate non jamming AR and the best prices for quality and twist rate selection. And the newer Ruger Mini14 with factory magazines is still more reliable, cheaper, and will hold all the accessories an AR will if you get the ATI fused model, you would lose about 1 inch to your groups at 100 yards.

SEHunter
January 1, 2010, 11:57 PM
Adding to my previous post, i went to Colts regular site and saw several models with the 20" barrel and one with a 24". What is the difference in the ones there and the ones at their Law Enforcement site that list military and police models? Do they all use the same internal parts that undergo all the inspections?

LollerCopter
January 2, 2010, 12:41 AM
im pretty sure the LE's use high quality gas piston versions. at least here they do, but im in leavenworth kansas so of course they do :D

LollerCopter
January 2, 2010, 12:43 AM
here in leavenworth they use the 16 1/8 barrels.

SEHunter
January 2, 2010, 01:16 AM
Im new to the AR so sorry if i say senceless things but if i understand correct, most ARs' dont use the gas piston, rather the gasses run straight to the bolt but are you saying that all Colts use the gas piston but that the LE has higher quality/grade gas piston, or that simply the LE has the gas piston and the MT does not?

LollerCopter
January 2, 2010, 01:28 AM
no im just sayin that the LE here uses a gas piston version and when i asked an officer about it he said they are more expensive, but feed more reliable, so the city funded it for the department. This is Leavenworth im talking about, so i guess it makes sense.

LollerCopter
January 2, 2010, 01:31 AM
Get a bushmaster or a colt. unless u wanna spend more than 2 grand

SEHunter
January 2, 2010, 01:33 AM
Oh, i got ya. Still looking at the Colt MTs' and was wondering the main differences between having a barrel with their fixed compensator and the ones with the crowns. Does one tend to have more accuracy than the other?

NSO_w/_SIG
January 2, 2010, 01:41 AM
Not sure but

Anyone not including some on this list here probably doesn't know much about the AR market.

KAC
Larue
Noveske
BCM
Colt

Not saying that some other brands aren't up there too but this would be a solid top 5 list for me.

BCM is the best value IMO.

SEHunter
January 2, 2010, 01:47 AM
I understand. As far as the Colt goes, im just trying to determine if there is a reliability/quality difference between the LE and MT models. LollerCopter informed me about the gas piston in the LE. Just wondering if there are other significant differences.

Volucris
January 2, 2010, 01:48 AM
IMO, Colts cost too much granted their competition. BCM is Colt quality for much less money.

For hunting and target I have this:
http://www.bravocompanyusa.com/BCM-M16-Government-20-Upper-Receiver-Group-p/bcm-urg-gov-20.htm

with the BCM M16 bolt carrier group from them. And I just slapped that on top of a random A2 lower I had, put a carry handle iron sight on top, and took an A2 handguard from the bargain bin at a show.


IMO
I would go for Magpul PRS/A2 buttstock on whatever lower using a standard lpk but a Timney or Geiselle trigger with the Magpul MIAD grip, BCM 20" upper with Midwest Industries free float rail, harris bipod, Larue Tactical SPR mount with an optic of your choice probably 3-9x.



Length of the barrel only affects effective velocity. Out to 600 yards, 20" is good enough but with .223 Remington I'd be careful of distance used so you can get full expansion. Really it depends on what you're wanting to kill pretty much. I'd really think about what you're wanting to do. You'll want to spend most the money on just the barrel itself if you're concerned with long distance varmint hunting.

Also, stay away from Rock River Arms Two-Stage "match" triggers. They are not hardened steel and after not long turn into mushy single stage triggers. Just google for a confirmation on that. RRA has great CS and will replace it when that happens but it's better to just spend an extra $40 or so and get a Geiselle.

Currently you're confused about the piston vs direct impingement (DI) systems. AR15s use DI only part for some piston conversions which currently are still having the kinks worked out. DI works absolutely fine. Rhetoric like "it ****s where it eats" and the like are unsubstantiated and misleading. Get a good milspec AR with decent ammo and you're not going to need to clean it for thousands of rounds. But for a hunting rifle you're going to want to clean it often. So the DI vs piston thing is bunk.


So really I would decide what you're going to be shooting at and thus what caliber to use and how important barrel quality is. Then....
spend money on barrel, optic, and reload your own ammo


there's kinda a lot of stuff to discuss with ARs

LollerCopter
January 2, 2010, 01:51 AM
Edit: Staying on topic. Id go with a Colt or Bushmaster. Anything else that isnt obtuseley expensive, will jam more than you want it to.

Even cleaning them after every range trip of 200 or so rounds. Out of personal experience, i own a bushmaster and its fairly reliable, a friend owns a colt and its just as if not more reliable, but the others, eh, ive owned and shot others and will still hold true to the less than 1500 dollars, u want a colt or bushmaster.

NSO_w/_SIG
January 2, 2010, 01:59 AM
Edit: Staying on topic. Id go with a Colt or Bushmaster. Anything else that isnt obtuseley expensive, will jam more than you want it to.
:rolleyes:

I have to ask just because I see alot of misinformation in your posts, exactly how experienced with the AR platform are you?

The statement that you just posted couldn't be further from the truth.

Volucris
January 2, 2010, 01:59 AM
Colt and Bushmaster are in no way within the same league.

LollerCopter
January 2, 2010, 01:59 AM
According to a buddy whos in the LE here, the gas pistons just feed with the magazines more reliably.

Volucris
January 2, 2010, 02:05 AM
That makes zero sense and I don't see how him being LE makes it any different.

LollerCopter
January 2, 2010, 02:05 AM
Im not very experienced. Infact im just sitting here with my leftover vodka and champaigne from new years, with a bushmaster , mini14 , and all other assortment of firearms in my room in a safe. I like the bushmasters, they are reliable, ive shot the colts, they are reliable, ive shot the other m4 platforms, they tend to have trouple ejecting in rapid fire.

Now if you really just came out and asked me what the best .223/556 shooter is, reliability wise, i'd tell you flat out, no questions asked, i have yet to see anything better than a Ruger Mini-14 Ranch rifle, even t hough it loses an inch or two of accuracy at 100 yards, its just plain reliable.

SEHunter
January 2, 2010, 02:07 AM
I have looked at bushmaster and like a couple of their hunting models. I am going to check RRA too. Im kinda checking each one to learn what they offer then i will compare price and all that but for now just getting info. I am leaning towards Colt. My father had one and had great service from it and i loved to shoot it. I just want to make sure that the MT models are not just a red headed step child version of the quality LE models, and that will pretty much have me where i want to be with info on Colt. Thanks for all the comments guys, Any more is still appreciated.

NSO_w/_SIG
January 2, 2010, 02:07 AM
Im not very experienced. Infact im just sitting here with my leftover vodka and champaigne from new years, with a bushmaster , mini14 , and all other assortment of firearms in my room in a safe. I like the bushmasters, they are reliable, ive shot the colts, they are reliable, ive shot the other m4 platforms, they tend to have trouple ejecting in rapid fire.

Now if you really just came out and asked me what the best .223/556 shooter is, reliability wise, i'd tell you flat out, no questions asked, i have yet to see anything better than a Ruger Mini-14 Ranch rifle, even t hough it loses an inch or two of accuracy at 100 yards, its just plain reliable.


Obviously you've been drinking.... or something. Please stop posting, trust me you're coming off looking silly here.

LollerCopter
January 2, 2010, 02:07 AM
I dont know why they like the gas piston system here for the police more. I'd immagine it helps with rapid repeating fire, and consistency when ejecting and re-chambering casings.

Volucris
January 2, 2010, 02:11 AM
With Colt you're doing the same thing you're doing by buying an Apple computer; paying for a name.

BCM is Colt quality and is much less money. It's a no-brainer to go BCM instead of Colt.


Read:
http://www.m4carbine.net/showthread.php?t=6642
I dont know why they like the gas piston system here for the police more. I'd immagine it helps with rapid repeating fire, and consistency when ejecting and re-chambering casings.
No.

Piston ARs do the following:
Relieve amount of carbon buildup in receiver
Reduce heat transfer into receiver during repeated firing which can affect overall reliability and user comfort
"Fix" a problem that didn't exist. If you want to fix an AR15, get a different gun like the SCAR or ACR.

NSO_w/_SIG
January 2, 2010, 02:14 AM
With Colt you're doing the same thing you're doing by buying an Apple computer; paying for a name.

BCM is Colt quality and is much less money. It's a no-brainer to go BCM instead of Colt.

I agree too, here is a quote from Pat Rogers on one of his T&E BCM

Actually, Filthy 14 has 26245 rds downrange.
We replaced the bolt at 16,000 rds, and the only issues we had were at the end of this class when we had several failures to extract.
We replaced the extractor and spring.

Rack #13 had 6000 rds downrange when the trigger failed to reset. We switched out guns for the student as we didn't have time to diagnose/ repair.

EAG has more BCM guns that any other in our armory, and for a reason.

FYI, i have two Larue Stealth Sniper Systems- absolutely terrific guns, super reliable and super accurate.
They are purpose built for a different mission requirement.

The mission drives the gear train......

O this was done without any cleaning also.

LollerCopter
January 2, 2010, 02:16 AM
I have a question myself accually. Dont the gas piston carbines just plain improve your rifle's performance? if im not mistaken, in m4's platforms without gas piston systems, they just use a spring connected to the ejection port to fling a case out of the chamber between each shot based on how far back the chamber flys in semi auto. Now in gas piston systems, dont they use the same principle, but recycle some of the round's gas thats used for the semi auto action to help push the ejection port? therefore giving it a 2-1 advantage over the original method? is this not correct? im really drunk. but i think this is right, isnt it?

NSO_w/_SIG
January 2, 2010, 02:17 AM
http://spreadsheets.google.com/pub?key=pwswheghNQsEuEhjFwPrgTA&gid=5

yup, read that, scroll to the bottom and compare.

Volucris
January 2, 2010, 02:18 AM
Bookmark this thread, go finish your liquor, go to sleep, enjoy the hangover, and come back when you're functioning right.;)

LollerCopter
January 2, 2010, 02:19 AM
Hmmm.. Im now starting to think i should have known about this forum before i spent 1400 on a gas piston bushmaster.

NSO_w/_SIG
January 2, 2010, 02:20 AM
I have a question myself accually. Dont the gas piston carbines just plain improve your rifle's performance? if im not mistaken, in m4's platforms without gas piston systems, they just use a spring connected to the ejection port to fling a case out of the chamber between each shot based on how far back the chamber flys in semi auto. Now in gas piston systems, dont they use the same principle, but recycle some of the round's gas thats used for the semi auto action to help push the ejection port? therefore giving it a 2-1 advantage over the original method? is this not correct? im really drunk. but i think this is right, isnt it?

Yeah you are really drunk or misinformed but I am guessing both. I think you should read up on the operation of the platform and stop posting recommendations when you obviously have no experience to go off of.

LollerCopter
January 2, 2010, 02:43 AM
Yes yes. I am highly incapacitated. Excuse me, im a 23 year old that just got a raise right before christmas. I HAVE a reason to celebrate :D !!!!!! AND I DONT GO TO WORK TILL THE FOURTH. Lots of liquor to be digested between now and then, added to that my NFL team fails hard. You gotta give me some credit, COME ON IM A CHIEFS FAN AND I JUST GOT A RAISE!

Volucris
January 2, 2010, 03:17 AM
I live in KC and can admit that our team sucks.

RT
January 2, 2010, 07:52 AM
http://www.gandrtactical.com/cgi-bin/commerce.cgi?preadd=action&key=16M_RIFLE&reference=/cgi-bin/commerce.cgi%3Fsearch%3Daction%26keywords%3D%26searchstart%3D9%26template%3DPDGCommTemplates/FullNav/SearchResult.html%26category%3DBCOM
Here's a link to the BCM complete midlength. I wish these had been available when I was looking for a first AR.

SEHunter
January 2, 2010, 08:19 AM
Guys, i appreciate the info on the BCM. Like i say, im getting infor for more than one brand so i will visit their site.

That said, does ANYONE (that is not anti Colt) know the difference betewwn the Colt LE models and the Colt MT models. Besides barrel lengths and stocks, i want to determine if the workings are of the same quality.

Double Naught Spy
January 2, 2010, 11:38 AM
BCM is Colt quality and is much less money. It's a no-brainer to go BCM instead of Colt.


Read:
http://www.m4carbine.net/showthread.php?t=6642

Once again, this applies ONLY to M4 variants. It does NOT apply to other models. It says Colt has a chrome-lined barrel and chamber. Fine. Not all Colts do. It says the RRA has a 5.56 chamber. Fine, but not all RRAs do. Some have .223 Wylde chamber. More over, the chart is handy, but not definitive as manufacturers often substitute when necessary.

You can't extrapolate the M4 Chart to other models within a brand or between brands. It is M4 Specific.

rdmallory
January 2, 2010, 12:12 PM
This is what I did.

Researched and found the best lower I could find.

Started there and built the rest of the rifle from scratch picking the best for my use parts.

I ended up with home built "Doug" rifle that I am proud to shoot and show off.

Resale might not be as high as a Colt etc. but I know everything about it and how it is put together.

http://www.thefiringline.com/forums/attachment.php?attachmentid=53450&d=1257470238

SEHunter
January 2, 2010, 12:43 PM
Guys, once again, i appreciate the replys BUT....................................

Please, no more of the buy brand "X" over colt or build one....thats not what im asking here. I did ask your opinion but these have been said too many times in this thread.

I understand there are several makes such as BCM, LMC, RRA and a couple more that are comparable to the Colt in ways and i AM on each of thieir sites but please leave the bias out of it...that being said, i do appreciate those of you who have chimed in with your experiences with the brands you know about based on facts, not ego.

So i will try it for the fourth time....can anyone tell me the differences between the Colt LE and Colt MT models? I dont mean to be a jerk at all but as the OP, i feel like everything i am saying is being ignored.

Thanks Guys.

Skyyr
January 2, 2010, 01:28 PM
Best: Noveske. Period. Seriously, anyone who says otherwise is purely biased.

You don't hear much about them because of their cost. Their most basic model is around $1,500, with other models topping $3,000. With Noveske, you don't get a "tier 1, tier 2, etc" rifle. Every rifle has the exact same specs and finish and EVERY rifle is built to order. Your rifle doesn't exist until you place an order for it. ALL of their rifles will shoot less than MOA out of the box. You can also customize your gun at OEM cost, not retail cost. Want different handguards? They'll put them on for you. Want a coated barrel or a bead-blasted finish? They'll do it and they'll do it when you call them.

http://www.noveskerifleworks.com/

Nearly as good at a much lower cost: LMT, BCM, Colt.

LMT is arguably the next best, Colt next, and BCM is basically the best rifle for the least money. Be warned that, with Colt, you're paying a LOT for the name, not for the work that went into it. That's not saying that it's not a good rifle, it simply means that if they went by any other name, they wouldn't get the money they charge for their rifles. Oh, and their customer service SUCKS. Most would say it doesn't matter because quality rifles don't break - that, I would agree with, but if it does, you're short of screwed.



If you want the best of the best, get the Noveske. If you want as close to he best you can get without paying so much for it, get the LMT. If you want the best you can get for the cheapest possible, get the BCM. If you simply want to have a decent AR with a history behind it, get the Colt. It's that simple.



To answer your question about Colt LE vs MT:

Colt LE (which stands for "Law Enforcement") is basically a militarized version of the weapon (aka a "fighting rifle"), while the MT (which stands for "Match Target") is a target rifle designed for accuracy, not utility. The LE models will typically have things like weight-reduced profiled barrels, chrome-lined barrels, etc. while the MT's typically have heavy or medium contour'ish barrels, no chrome-lining, etc. Is this good "quality"? It depends, in my opinion, when you have to specify between a fighting rifle and a target rifle, something's wrong. The rifle should be able to handle both, all things being equal. The only thing that should make it a match vs utility rifle is after-market add-ons like grips, optics, etc. This is why I advocate Noveske, BCM, etc. ANY of their rifles will serve both the "tactical" and the paper-punching roles.

SEHunter
January 2, 2010, 02:19 PM
Skyrr,
Thanks, that was a great and honest post..what i was after. The Noveske definately seems to be a premium piece. However, its out of my price range and honestly would be like buying Grandma a Corvette. Just not practical for me. I am going to search further into LMT, as many have given it great ratings.

So from your post, Colts BCG and all that is the same between the two model lines, mainly barrel and stock differences.

Is is understood that the MT line are Mil-Spec rifles/carbines, just as the LE?

Thanks again for the insight.

Skyyr
January 2, 2010, 03:32 PM
SEHunter,

In regards to mil-spec, it all depends on what you're referring to. For example, mil-spec can be stainless steel, or it can be 4140, or 4150, but that doesn't mean it's what the military uses, and every military build has different mil-spec requirements.

The LE carbines WILL be mil-spec (as close as possible to the full-auto weapons), but the MT weapons are different. The MT models will be built from high-quality parts (the same that go into mil-spec weapons), but the weapon itself will not necessarily be mil-spec. For instance, the MT barrels are typically NOT chrome-lined (which makes them more accurate) even though mil-spec would require them to be so in an M16/M4 build. Further, the MT models many times do not have flash hiders or muzzle breaks (another "military" feature) that you would find on military/mil-spec weapons.

I hope that answers your question.

FALPhil
January 2, 2010, 03:52 PM
I agree with everything Skyyr said except this:
It depends, in my opinion, when you have to specify between a fighting rifle and a target rifle, something's wrong.

Everything with guns is a compromise. One of the compromises you make with a fighting rifle is the ability to sustain a high rate of fire while maintaining longevity, hence lined bores. Chrome lining does not enhance accuracy and in most cases is detrimental to accuracy, hence unlined bores in target rifles.

SEHunter
January 2, 2010, 07:17 PM
Skyrr, you did answer my question. I seemed to find it difficult to find the simple words to phrase it....same quality parts..lol. I am also understanding more of what the term "mil spec" means now, so i also understand the comment od the lined barrels, etc.

What is the decision based off of as whether someone would prefer a barrel with a crowned muzzle or the (fixed) compensator?

Lastly, im not sure which steel is used in the MT rifle barrels but whichever it is, how does the stainless steel barrel compare to the other steel used? Only one MT has a stainless barrel and its the only 24" model and the rest i assume are all the same steel, the site doesent specify.

Skyyr
January 2, 2010, 09:07 PM
Well, all muzzles are crowned - I think you meant "threaded." Muzzles are threaded to accept either a flash-hider, muzzle brake/compensator, or a suppressor mount/sleeve.

As far as why you'd have each...
Simply, flash-hiders are used so that you don't temporarily blind yourself with a fireball from the muzzle when you shoot in low light conditions, suppressor mounts (which typically also serve as either a flash-hider or a brake) allow you to mount a suppressor/silencer on your barrel, and a brake allows you to reduce the recoil from your rifle.

As to why you'd install a brake/comp, you install one to reduce the backward and upward forces of recoil from the rifle by venting the gasses through the brake the direction of the recoil. They can improve accuracy when shooting quick follow-up shots, such as in 3-gun competitions where you're potentially shooting targets multiple times very quickly.

If you might want one of these, get a threaded barrel. If not, don't worry with it. You can also get a threaded barrel and then get a thread protector/cover from places like Brownells that will cover the threads and make your barrel look like an un-threaded barrel. That way, you can always add one later if you want.

In regards to stainless vs standard steel...
Originally, AR barrels were simply steel. After much use, they found that standard steel corroded, so another material was needed and chrome-lining came about. Chrome-lining is chrome that's applied to a barrel's bore on top of the existing bore. While it's very precision-controlled, the chrome-lining can't be applied at a uniform level microscopically, so the barrel is relatively "rough." Due to this, chrome-lined barrels have double to triple the life of a non-chromed barrel (including stainless), but they're also less accurate (your groups are roughly 1" wider per hundred yard distance than the same barrel without chrome-lining).

Since there was the need for a corrosion resistant barrel with the accuracy of an non-chromed bore, stainless is used. It wears slightly faster than standard steel (VERY slightly). The steel itself is no more accurate, but it's much more corrosion resistant than standard steel and more accurate than chrome-lined steel.

This is why you find the target rifles (e.g. Colt MT models) have stainless barrels, "fighting" rifles have chrome-lined bores, and the economy AR's have non-lined steel barrels (they're cheaper yet as accurate as stainless).

Regards...

Volucris
January 2, 2010, 09:19 PM
Info on what makes Noveske so expensive? $1500 for a base model middy is ridiculous imo.

SEHunter
January 2, 2010, 09:45 PM
Skyyr, thanks yet again for more clear info. I feel i now know what i was looking for as far as the Colt's are concerned. When the time comes, i will be heavily looking at Colts accurized rifle (CR6724) with the 24" ss barrel. I forsee many a predator falling prey to it.

Volucris, i also see the base price of the Noveske a little extreme even though i dont have alot of knowledge of them. Not doubting their quality but i feel i will be suited fine with a lesser expensive model.

Skyyr
January 2, 2010, 09:46 PM
Info on what makes Noveske so expensive? $1500 for a base model middy is ridiculous imo.


For one, every AR is built to order. They aren't pre-produced and you can customize them any way you want. Their barrels (all of them, including chrome-lined) shoot less than 1 MOA, each bolt is custom-fitted to each barrel, they use full-auto M16 bolt carriers, every AR is built to mil-spec, lifetime warranty, custom-built (and one of the lightest) quadrail handguards, etc. Simply put, it's basically every top-of-the-line thing you can do to an AR, all in one package.

SEHunter
January 3, 2010, 09:26 AM
I just saw that the Colt accurized rifle with the 24" ss barrel that i have been looking at is also on the Colt LE web site. It has tha same part number. Does that mean it is actually a LE model? Its also on the regular commercial site? Its the only one thats on both sites.

Skyyr
January 3, 2010, 10:01 AM
I just saw that the Colt accurized rifle with the 24" ss barrel that i have been looking at is also on the Colt LE web site. It has tha same part number. Does that mean it is actually a LE model? Its also on the regular commercial site? Its the only one thats on both sites.


It's still probably the MT model, unless the website specifically states otherwise. It's not uncommon for AR manufacturers to market their target models to Police/LE as sniper platforms. In a sniper/long-distance tactical application, you'd want the most accuracy possible, hence the offering of match rifles.

Bartholomew Roberts
January 3, 2010, 10:30 AM
Due to this, chrome-lined barrels have double to triple the life of a non-chromed barrel (including stainless), but they're also less accurate (your groups are roughly 1" wider per hundred yard distance than the same barrel without chrome-lining).

"Useful barrel life" part is determined by a lot of different factors. The higher your standard for accuracy is, the less difference you are going to see between a chrome-lined barrel and an unlined barrel in terms of barrel life.

Part of this is because your typical chrome-lined blaster barrel (not Noveske or some of the nicer cold-hammer forged barrels out there) is maybe a 2 MOA barrel to begin with and will never get better. An unlined match barrel that starts out sub-MOA may wear faster at the throat; but by the time it hits say 8 MOA at 300yds, it may have as many rounds on it as a typical chrome-lined barrel shooting 8 MOA at 300yds.

SEHunter
January 3, 2010, 01:33 PM
Thats a good analogy especially for high volume shooters. Somthing to think about for sure. However, for a guy like me, the unlined would be the best bet seeing as im not a high volume shooter. Once the new wears off of it, i will probably only shoot it while checking the zero and hunting and every hunt will not produce the need to fire.

Brenten
January 3, 2010, 02:12 PM
if you want to pay for the colt name, so be it, I have no issue with that. However, the colt M4's I have had issued have not been anywhere near as reliable as the RRA M4's I had issued. The RRA has been considerably more reliable than the colt M4.

SEHunter
January 3, 2010, 02:22 PM
There was a kind fellow that pmd' me with alot of good info on ARs' and he spoke well of RRA and had one. Said their trigger is second to none. I have also heard another guy say they are junk? As a matter of fact, for every guy that swears by his brand, there are 3 more that say that brand is junk....honest to goodness. To be honest, i probably will go with Colt for their name because it is a good name. If i took everybodys advice, i would end up with no AR-15 because they would all be junk not worth my money.

Brenten
January 3, 2010, 02:31 PM
just consider that RRA receivers are some of the most customized receivers out there. It may not have been an RRA rifle. Just their receiver built by someone else. Many agencies have switched from Colt to RRA so take that into consideration. They did not do this due to cost as their cost is basically the same. I'd go with LWRC, LMT or RRA, before I'd get a colt.

Skyyr
January 3, 2010, 07:22 PM
There was a kind fellow that pmd' me with alot of good info on ARs' and he spoke well of RRA and had one. Said their trigger is second to none. I have also heard another guy say they are junk? As a matter of fact, for every guy that swears by his brand, there are 3 more that say that brand is junk....honest to goodness. To be honest, i probably will go with Colt for their name because it is a good name. If i took everybodys advice, i would end up with no AR-15 because they would all be junk not worth my money.


RRA's can (notice that word - can) be good rifles, but they simply cannot hold up to the top-tiered AR's because they simply don't have the QC (or quality for that matter) that the others do... and they stray many from the mil-spec requirements on many of their models. This doesn't mean they can't be or aren't good rifles, but it does mean that you'll find things like non-standard/proprietary selector switches, proprietary handguards, commercial twist-rates, 4140 (the lowest-end mil-spec steel) barrel steel, non-staked carriers, yadda yadda - none of these features would be found in any true mil-spec weapon and, because of this, it can't be guaranteed to hold up under rigorous use. Refer back to this chart (http://spreadsheets.google.com/pub?key=pwswheghNQsEuEhjFwPrgTA&gid=5) (originally posted by NSO) and you'll see how many corners RRA cuts on their rifles (conversely, notice how much they still charge for their rifles).

Very few manufacturers make fully mil-spec weapons (or at least the closest commercial equivalent). Because of the competition of the industry, many manufacturers cut corners or try to "improve" the established design with their own proprietary creations. RRA is one of these manufacturers... and it's also the reason that you hear mixed reviews. Straying from the mil-spec requirements CAN be an improvement to some people (i.e. user comfort, cost, "feel", etc), but it also becomes a negative for the users that need an AR that will run in any condition with any ammo, or who might dump several mags at a time. It's basically a gamble.

Again, the established top-tier weapons are Noveske, LMT, Colt, and the newer BCM. These manufacturers are the best for a reason - they don't cut corners or redesign mil-spec aspects of their weapons to reduce costs or market to more users. It's also the reason you pay more for them.

Bartholomew Roberts
January 3, 2010, 07:32 PM
There was a kind fellow that pmd' me with alot of good info on ARs' and he spoke well of RRA and had one. Said their trigger is second to none. I have also heard another guy say they are junk?

Well, to give an example, RRA's have been very popular in High Power circles because they are accurate and reliable. However, a High Power shooter doesn't fire anywhere near what a basic carbine class might cover. Somebody using the RRA in that class might be unhappy because the tighter chamber leads to stoppages as the rifle gets hot.

For another example, the pin holding the disconnector and trigger together in the RRA match trigger is short enough that it can actually work out of the hole and bind the trigger. The pin is also soft and has occasionally broken in half. It happens once in a blue moon; but when it does it is a show stopper. Not a big deal if you get an alibi on the range; but in a class or for a patrol rifle, not a happy scenario.

Now I wouldn't say this makes RRA junk; but you need to buy the product that corresponds to your needs. RRA has not been that product in the high-volume carbine shooting niche; but they have been improving their product recently and you can certainly take the product they offer and upgrade it to that level. In any case, depending on what the shooters you were talking to needed from the rifle, both could have been telling you the truth.

Skyyr
January 3, 2010, 07:39 PM
just consider that RRA receivers are some of the most customized receivers out there. It may not have been an RRA rifle. Just their receiver built by someone else. Many agencies have switched from Colt to RRA so take that into consideration. They did not do this due to cost as their cost is basically the same. I'd go with LWRC, LMT or RRA, before I'd get a colt.


A mil-spec forged receiver is a mil-spec forged receiver is a mil-spec forged receiver is a... you get the idea. All mil-spec forged receivers are virtually equal. There is some debate that billet receivers can offer further strength and a slight edge in accuracy due to their stiffer reinforcement/structure, but that's another discussion for another thread.

The measurable difference in quality comes down to the barrel, the bolt, the trigger, the correct buffer weight matched to the gas system, and the mil-spec deviation (or lack thereof) of the 1913 rails. The only thing that the RRA has an advantage in is the trigger, yet it isn't even mil-spec.

A combat carbine needs a single-stage combat trigger to prevent inadvertent firing by an overly-sensitive trigger (i.e. hair-trigger sensitivity) of the weapon. The RRA trigger is a two-stage trigger. While this is good for bench-shooters/target punchers who want the slow, low-pressure break on the trigger, any serious bench shooter is going to go for something like a Geiselle trigger.

The RRA trigger is a good middle-ground for those wanting a decent two-stage trigger on a budget, but it's not the nicest by any means.

NSO_w/_SIG
January 4, 2010, 07:58 AM
just consider that RRA receivers are some of the most customized receivers out there. It may not have been an RRA rifle. Just their receiver built by someone else. Many agencies have switched from Colt to RRA so take that into consideration. They did not do this due to cost as their cost is basically the same. I'd go with LWRC, LMT or RRA, before I'd get a colt.

Laughable stuff in this thread for sure. As a owner of many of the brands mentioned in this thread and someone who carries a Colt 6520 for a living. I'd like to hear your reasons why RRA is higher quality than Colt.

Besides fit and finish what is so good about RRA? Mine turned into a single shot rifle in the middle of a course of fire with only about 100 rounds down range out of it. RRA? No thanks there are plenty of other companies out there that have more quality control measures in place for the less than RRA.

jay1382
January 2, 2011, 01:02 PM
I have a question concerning twist rate. I understand that a high twist rate of say 1:12 will cause a heavier bullet to tumble. What happens to a lighter bullet, say 55 grams in an AR with a low twist rate, say 1:7
thanks

Blackops_2
January 2, 2011, 02:08 PM
In some cases i would say there is little to none effect. Now i'm mainly referring to bolt action rifles but a carbine could be different. Some bullets are greater affected by twist rates than others. For instance the 6.5mm round is greatly affected by twist. I've seen light bullets group decently in shorter twist rates. My friend shoots 62gr FMJs through his RRA with 1 in 9 twist and it will shoot 3/4 MOA. This is all what i've gathered from experience, i haven't read into it that heavily.

Again, the established top-tier weapons are Noveske, LMT, Colt, and the newer BCM. These manufacturers are the best for a reason - they don't cut corners or redesign mil-spec aspects of their weapons to reduce costs or market to more users. It's also the reason you pay more for them.


Sums up the thread IMO.

milo-2
January 2, 2011, 02:10 PM
SEHunter,
Man, you got a pile of infohere, if your not too saturated I'll give some more.
I've never heard of Noveske before, looked a little, they are up there in price, can't comment on them.
I own a Colt 16" H bar, it's OK, shoots where I aim it. You never did mention your price range till later in the posts, so this might be in vain.
In my opinion, JP Enterprises makes a top qaulity firearm. Go to www.jprifles.com
The JP-15 starts at 2K, but that LMOSS operating system, combined with the adjustable gas block is amazing for a gas operated system. You don't get the rattle-bang of the carrier coming back.
I own the CTR-02, nicest gun I own, nuff said.
I own a Wilson Combat AR also, it is superior to the Colt.

But I did have the priveledge of shooting an STS piston operated carbine this fall. They had 6000rds through it, bolt was as clean as one of mine after acleaning. Impressive!
My next AR will have a piston system. I haven't seen many in the varmint configuration you are looking for though.
For 1k to 1200, RRA makes some qaulity pieces, that is where I would go if I were in your shoes.
Remember a trigger costs $200.00 plus install, and that is the first thing that will be replaced your Colt, just to be happy with your sightin.

JP's heat sink is another great innovation.
Good luck

demigod
January 3, 2011, 10:59 AM
Again, the established top-tier weapons are Noveske, LMT, Colt, and the newer BCM. These manufacturers are the best for a reason - they don't cut corners or redesign mil-spec aspects of their weapons to reduce costs or market to more users.

I'll never get why LMT gets lumped in with the TOP makers. LMT does all kinds of nonsense to cut costs. Some of these things are no biggie to people who don't know the AR WELL... but straight FSB pins, No park under the FSB, and the MIM gas keys are a few examples of LMT cost cutting shortcuts.

I won't buy anything from LMT, Jack.

Art Eatman
January 3, 2011, 11:07 AM
I don't know about "best". Some dozen years back I had a Bushmaster Match Target which was half-MOA all day long. Yucky trigger.

I have a late-model Colt with a 20" barrel; with irons I can get one MOA from the bench. I also have a CMMG upper for it, with a scope; 20" slow twist as a varmint gun. It's one MOA or better, depending mostly on me. :) I'm quite pleased with both combinations. I'd call the trigger "decent".

demigod
January 3, 2011, 11:41 AM
I don't know about "best". Some dozen years back I had a Bushmaster Match Target which was half-MOA all day long. Yucky trigger.

That's a good point too! The "best" might depend on what you want the rifle to do. Precision work? Blasting your way through the latest, greatest tactical goofball's carbine class?, Hunting? etc...