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View Full Version : AR-15, M4, and M16


Mightimyty
April 8, 2011, 12:22 PM
Looking to get a new carbine of the AR platform, spending $900 max. Ive considered several manufacturers, but I'd like some input on, Stag Arms, Rock River Arms, Bushmaster, and CMMG.

Cjohnson
April 8, 2011, 12:37 PM
Have you thought about building? You can go peice by peice on whatever brands you want based on what you like. This will give you a fully custom AR platform that should easily fit under your 900$ mark.

christcorp
April 8, 2011, 12:53 PM
You've chosen 4 of the "Lower" quality AR's on the market. Not that it's a problem. Most people are content with those brands. However; if you do some research, you can find some really good sales on MUCH HIGHER QUALITY AR's, for the SAME or LOWER price than the 4 you have chosen. I got a S&W M&P15 for $650. You can find M&P, Colt, LMT, BCM, DD, and some other higher quality on sale occasionally. Look below.

Here's an excellent sale right now on a Colt for you. $899. $10 shipping.
http://www.birminghampistol.com/product/colt-6520/
http://www.birminghampistol.com/images/DSCF1641-365x273.jpg

jad0110
April 8, 2011, 01:05 PM
In addition to the brands mentioned by christcorp above, Spikes Tactical has been getting positive reviews from most folks, and those can also be had for under $900.

roachcore
April 8, 2011, 01:47 PM
Spikes tactical is the best deal on the market today. I just bought a flat top m4le with flip up sights for $803 out the door, and they have some of the best cs in the business but you have to be willing to wait

psycho nut
April 8, 2011, 02:55 PM
I would argue that Stag is not "lower" quality. Especially since they probably made the parts that your "high" quality makers use in their guns.

mc223
April 8, 2011, 05:05 PM
The search function is your friend. There is one best, so buy a COLT.

These threads always end up with someone getting their feelings hurt.

Jim243
April 8, 2011, 05:15 PM
You've chosen 4 of the "Lower" quality AR's on the market.

Quality is in the eye of the beholder, these are not "lower" quality any more than a Ford or a Cheverolet is compared to a Lexus or Acura. It depends on what you want on the car (gun) or how much you can spend. If you want cruse controll that will cost extra, if you want backup cameras that also will cast extra. The real question is how much extra are you willing to over pay for something that is not important. Yes you could buy a V8 instead of a V6 but do you realy need it? If yes then it's important if not then a Bushmaster, DPMS, RRA or CMMG will do just as well.

Jim

RT
April 8, 2011, 05:37 PM
I'd get a LMT, Colt, Daniel Defense, BCM, Noveske, or LaRue. If you want an entry level AR, then S&W

Quentin2
April 8, 2011, 07:30 PM
The thing you really want to avoid is spending as much for Bushmaster, DPMS, RRA or CMMG as for S&W and Spikes Tactical or even BCM, DD, Colt. Anyone who does that just hasn't done their homework. When you get to $800+ for a basic rifle you should start demanding a higher quality AR.

loose_holster_dan
April 8, 2011, 07:36 PM
i would look at LMT.

as for the ones you listed, definitely go RRA. they use much higher quality materials than the others. i would put RRA well beyond DPMS or bushmaster. S&W isn't bad, but i would still go RRA even for the extra $200 it will cost you.

another option in a similar platform is the sig 556. sometimes you can find one under $1k.

christcorp
April 8, 2011, 10:11 PM
Quality is in the eye of the beholder, these are not "lower" quality any more than a Ford or a Cheverolet is compared to a Lexus or Acura. It depends on what you want on the car (gun) or how much you can spend. If you want cruse controll that will cost extra, if you want backup cameras that also will cast extra. The real question is how much extra are you willing to over pay for something that is not important. Yes you could buy a V8 instead of a V6 but do you realy need it? If yes then it's important if not then a Bushmaster, DPMS, RRA or CMMG will do just as well.

Jim; I totally agree with you. What matters, is what you're going to do with the gun, and what you need it to do. But there is obviously a higher quality between certain guns. It's not in the eye of anyone. Now; you might not NEED certain extras; that's cool. I argue that with people all the time. I don't shoot 300+ yards, and I don't use heavy match target 75 grain bullets. A 1:7 twist barrel is not important to me. I'd rather pay less for the 1:9 twist. I don't run full auto and get the gas tube red hot. An M16 BCG isn't necessary for me. An AR15 BCG is quite acceptable.

My point is: If 2 rifles are the same exact price: e.g. Colt 6520 $899 and a Bushmaster BCWA2F16M4 $879. Then I would definitely go for the Colt every time. Both of these rifles are pretty much identical is appearance. 16" carbine, A2 sight/carry handle, T-6 stock, etc.... But all the "EXTRA" quality things the colt has, for the same price, make it the better deal. In your example, "Assuming gas mileage wasn't an issue"; if the V8 engine is the same price as the V6, you'd go for the V8. I went into McDonalds for lunch and the lady asked if I wanted to get a large coke instead of medium, because during lunch hours, ALL DRINKS/SIZES are $1.00. Well, it makes sense to get the large coke instead of the medium. Even if I don't NEED the extra. It's nice to have the extra if you want it.

But if an AR like my M&P15 was on sale for $649 (Normally $949); there's no choice here. I was getting the M&P15 over a colt, BCM, LMT, DD, etc... But if there were no sales, and the price was the same for the M&P15 as was the BCM or Colt, I'd get the BCM or Colt. I admit that "Quality" wise, the colt, BCM, and some other are "BETTER" than my M&P15. But most of those quality issues are things I have absolutely no need for. I already mentioned the barrel and BCG. But the M&P15 is definitely not an "Entry Grade" AR either. There are some that are basically frankensteins that are built and sold from leftover parts. Companies like star, interarm, etc... I won't touch these, even at $600. Personally, I also don't like bushmaster, because there are way to picky with ammo. I don't care what one person says. But when I see MANY people complain about ammo issues, and many times they mention having a bushmaster, that turns me off. So, when there's a good deal on an AR, there's nothing wrong with buying a brand like DPMS or such. But if the price is the same as an M&P15, Colt, or BCM, then you'd do better with one of those. Especially for the same price.

Wrath of Firepower
April 8, 2011, 11:12 PM
Chriscorp
What is the difference between M16 BCG and AR15 BCG?

Mightimyty
April 8, 2011, 11:41 PM
Thanks for all the input so far, just to clarify the purpose of the rifle is to go completely bare bones m4, for the purpose of personally modifying it for the experience. The reason I listed those companies is because they are familiar, and my local firearms store told me Colt was garbage, anything about any of the other manufacturers would be cool to. Thanks.

christcorp
April 8, 2011, 11:50 PM
Wrath; the main difference between the m16 bcg and the ar15 bcg is that the m16 bcg is thicker and heavier. More Metal. It was designed for Full Auto. The heavier bcg would slow down the action to help the timing when blasting at full auto. Those who promote the Mil-Spec thing push this because it's thicker and heavier, and therefor higher quality. But, being we only shoot semi-auto, there is no major advantage to the m16 bcg in my opinion. You're paying more for something that's not necessary. In semi-auto, you're not going to wear out the ar15 bcg any faster.

mc223
April 9, 2011, 12:12 AM
my local firearms store told me Colt was garbage


Dont go back there.

RT
April 9, 2011, 06:58 AM
Benefit of M16 BCG--"the firing pin is fully shrouded so that the hammer is cocked by the carrier and not the firing pin itself. The second is that the M16 bolt carrier is heavier and therefore increases "lock time" (or the amount of time that the empty case remains in the chamber after the primer is struck by the firing pin) which aids in extraction. The heavier carrier also reduces the felt recoil impulse which in turn reduces wear and tear on the other internal parts of the carbine."

Technosavant
April 9, 2011, 08:11 AM
You've chosen 4 of the "Lower" quality AR's on the market.

Baloney.

Bushmaster and Rock River seem to be in what I call the "LEO" tier; that is, they're a touch better than the usual commercial stuff, but maybe not quite the BCM/Colt level (which I'd probably term the "military grade" tier). The "LEO" level of quality is perfectly good, and you'd have to run them HARD to find the differences.

Stag and CMMG are probably the lower end of the "military" tier- CMMG can have some uneven quality control, but the CMMG stuff I have is great. Stag is the company that made the first S&W M&Ps, so I'd be real careful saying that the M&P is any higher quality (especially considering CMT is a military contractor and the same company as Stag).

Any of them will work, but my preference (in order) would probably run CMMG, Stag, Rock River, and Bushmaster, with precious little room between the first three.

Technosavant
April 9, 2011, 08:13 AM
the main difference between the m16 bcg and the ar15 bcg is that the m16 bcg is thicker and heavier.

It isn't thicker.

The difference is in the lower rear of the bolt carrier- an AR-15 carrier does indeed have less metal there, but that's so it can't trip a full auto sear. Where the M16 carrier has a bit more on the bottom so it can hit that sear. That added weight theoretically gives a bit smoother function.

If I were going out and buying new BCGs, I'd probably get the M16 ones, since they're generally priced the same. All I have now are AR-15 carriers, and I don't give them a second thought. IMO, it isn't worth worrying over.

The firing pin isn't always shrouded on semiauto (AR-15) carriers, but it often is- that isn't a determining factor. I don't have any unshrouded carriers; the idea is that with an unshrouded carrier and a notched hammer, if the thing starts to run away, the firing pin will catch on the hammer, preventing full auto operation. IMO, it's an unnecessary change that just puts more stress on the firing pin in normal operation.

TX Hunter
April 9, 2011, 08:30 AM
I never went for the AR 15 fad, although When I was in the Marines we were issued M16A2 Service Rifles.
The rifles however did perform well.
If I were going to own one of these rifles for myself, I would try and get one made by Colt.

However while I was in I carried a Saw, and only qualified yearly with the M16.

NickySantoro
April 9, 2011, 08:39 AM
OP,
All the brands you noted will be fine. No offense to the Colt fanboys, but with a Colt you're paying extra for some sizzle and not getting a better steak.
FWIW
YMMV

loose_holster_dan
April 9, 2011, 09:50 AM
More than 900, but already optics equipped

http://www.gunbroker.com/Auction/ViewItem.aspx?Item=223873069

christcorp
April 9, 2011, 12:23 PM
Those of you who know me, know that I fight against the Mil-Spec/TDP compliant/AR gun snobs all the time. People definitely don't have to be purchasing $1000-$1500 AR's for most of their purposes, when a $600-$800 AR will do just fine.

But whether you want to classify a bushmaster as LE use compared to Colt's Military use or not, is not relevant. What IS relevant, is that many of the guns you're talking about, are way over priced. The most recent gunbroker post, listing the Bushmaster at $1400 is a prime example. I wouldn't buy "Today's" bushmaster for anywhere near that price. Especially when I listed a brand new 6520 Colt for $899.

As for believing that certain brands are LE quality; you must realize that MOST LE agencies who order guns; including the S&W M&P, are getting a "DIFFERENT QUALITY" gun than what is bought by civilians. Even S&W acknowledges this. And believing Stag and CMMG are "Military Grade".... That's simply not true. I think all these guns are great choices for personal/civilian use. UNLESS..... Let me write this slowly so people don't mis-understand.... UNLESS you can get a colt or BCM on sale for the same price. I have recommended many of the guns listed to individuals. Rock River, DPMS, M&P, etc... But when there's a great deal on a colt or BCM, and you can get that gun for the exact same price, that is the better choice always. The ONLY gun I NEVER recommend is Bushmaster. Why? Because they are too proud of their prices, and they are in FACT picky about the ammo it eats. Once in a while you'll see a bushmaster at a decent price; e.g. the Carbon-15 for about $600. But normally, a bushmaster costs the same or more than a BCM, Colt, or Spikes. And there's no doubt I'd recommend any of those 3 over a bushmaster "IF THEY ARE ALL THE SAME PRICE".

I bought my M&P15 because it was on sale; $300 OFF for christmas; and it cost me $650. It's an OR model (Which meant no optics), but that's what I was looking for. I have plenty of optics. So no matter what model AR I was buying, it was going to be without optics. Ohhh, there's a reason S&W no longer uses Stag for their parts. TOO MANY QUALITY ISSUES!!! M&P15's were getting a very bad reputation. Once they started making it all in-house, they regained their quality. So sorry, but I will not consider Stag or CMMG "Military Grade" AR's. And the only thing close to a Bush or Rock River being LEO grade, is when they have "SPECIAL" models made for LEO. They aren't the same Bush and Rocks that you're buying from the local gun store.

But again; you're talking to the one person who gives the Mil-spec/TDP/gun snobs the biggest headache. There is definitely no need to be spending twice as much on a rifle because it's 100% mil-spec/tdp compliant, when your purpose for the weapon is to shoot paper, varmints, and possible home defense. But in the same breath, I'm not going to buy some belief that some of these AR's in question are of the same Quality and Caliber as Colt, BCM, DD, and some others. That's just fiction. Even my M&P15 isn't the same quality. But again; we're not in the military diving into fox holes, crawling in the mud, and going through the same environmental, physical, and human abuse that the military endures. If I was still in the military back in the sandbox, I'd want my colt.

That'll Do
April 9, 2011, 12:40 PM
For those interested in the differences between BCGs, here's a decent picture.

The M16 BCG is on the bottom, the AR-15 is on the top, and the middle one is an SP1-style BCG.

http://i47.tinypic.com/2dh8i8x.jpg

Ridge_Runner_5
April 9, 2011, 02:29 PM
Yeah, buy a Colt so you can pay extra for the prancing horse on the lower, on a gun that wasn't even in spec until just 2 years ago. :rolleyes:

Spikes, S&W, Rock River Arms and Stag are all good guns at a decent price.

danco
April 9, 2011, 02:37 PM
For those interested in the differences between BCGs, here's a decent picture.

I looked at your photo and blurted out "the middle one is what I have in my SP1"...

...and the middle one is an SP1-style BCG.

Oh. I guess I should read the whole text before blurting things out at my computer!

It's my understanding that the extra cutout at the rear of the AR-15 and SP1 carriers is to prevent activating an auto-sear, and the purpose for the un-shrouded firing pin was so, if the disconnector was broken (or modified), the hammer would land in-between the head and shoulder of the firing pin, preventing full-auto fire.

(I don't think I'd worry about extra wear on the firing pin from not having a shrouded firing pin...I've had my SP1 for 27 years now, and I'm still on the original firing pin. In fact, I've not had to replace any broken parts on this rifle...)

Colt seemed to be very cautious about letting folks add M16 components to the SP1 (I have an M16 upper receiver and have to use the offset pivot pin to hold things together). My guess is this was all due to the then-pending and now infamous Gun Control Act of 1968...

Interestingly (and I don't know how common it is on other manufacturer's versions), my M&P-15 bolt carrier has the AR-15 rear cut-out *and* a fully-shrouded firing pin...Sort of a hybrid carrier...

~Dan

danco
April 9, 2011, 02:41 PM
Yeah, buy a Colt so you can pay extra for the prancing horse on the lower, on a gun that wasn't even in spec until just 2 years ago.

Um, since Colt owns the Technical Data Package that is the basis for the Military Specification, I think it's highly unlikely Colt didn't meet the spec. Colt *is* the spec...

~Dan

DubC-Hicks
April 9, 2011, 02:43 PM
I would say Spikes or Stag. The Bushy I shot was a jamming POS. It jammed at least 2 times per mag. And the S&W I held just seemed cheap. The fit wasn't very good and the finish wasn't even at all. I'm sure the majority are fine, but that one turned me off of S&W Ar15's.

My Spikes M4 LE has had no problems at all in over 2500 rounds since August. Mine was plain Jane with only the Samson flip up rear sight. It cost me exactly $809+shipping.

Technosavant
April 9, 2011, 03:36 PM
Interestingly (and I don't know how common it is on other manufacturer's versions), my M&P-15 bolt carrier has the AR-15 rear cut-out *and* a fully-shrouded firing pin...Sort of a hybrid carrier...


That's the norm on most of them. I'm not a fan of the unshrouded firing pin- as I have said, it potentially puts too much stress on said pin. It's probably no big deal, but it's something that I'd rather not deal with. As for the rear cutout, you are correct- it is cut back (and in some earlier Colt carriers, cut away completely) to prevent tripping a sear.

It is NOT illegal to use a M16 bolt carrier in an AR-15; it is to use the full auto fire control group, but a regular full auto carrier is indeed kosher.

sailskidrive
April 9, 2011, 06:54 PM
Actually as of mid 2009 the US Army now owns the technical data package for the M4...

Much thanks to who ever posted those bolt pics. Yesterday I noticed that the bolt carriers in my Fulton Armory ARs were cut out much further back than my other semi style carriers. I now that they are SP1 style carriers. I wonder why Fulton chose that carrier, they have a reputation for high quality builds, but I wonder what the rational was...
:rolleyes::confused:

christcorp
April 9, 2011, 07:34 PM
Unless you're going at high rate of fire; e.g. Full Auto; there isn't a real Quality advantage to having an M16 BCG compared to the AR15.

Quentin2
April 9, 2011, 08:24 PM
But if you're building an AR and have a choice on the BCG, get the M16 type because it usually has a shot peened bolt, HP/MP testing, all the extra attention to detail - and normally the extra cost is very little. If you're buying a complete upper at least get the shrouded AR15 BCG.

Rifleman 173
April 9, 2011, 08:31 PM
Mighty, just about any of the carbines you have mentioned will do the job. I have 5 different models/makes of .223/5.56 rifles and they come from 4 different makers. Go to your friendly local gun store, try out some of them and pick one that feels right for you. Mount a scope on it, zero the scope to your eyesight and you're golden. Practice when you can and become very proficient with your particular rifle to the point that you can load and unload it in a dark room at night. That should pretty well take care of you. Good luck.

pwrstrkd
April 9, 2011, 09:47 PM
Ya colts and such may be a slight "higher" quality, but 90% of the cost difference is your paying for the name. Just like anything else in the commercial market. Hyped up brands are always marked more expensive and yet ignorant people still buy them because they think there so much better. Go ahead and spend the extra couple hundred bucks so you can get the pony logo. Be my guest, but you will be plenty satisfied with a stag or rock river product. Like others have said, if the price range is similar between the stag and colt, then get the colt, but in most cases it wont be and you will be paying for the name.

Nitesites
April 9, 2011, 10:33 PM
I've had luck with my Bushmaster so far. This is my 1st AR and paid $850.00 for it. I have only just begun setting it up for my wants. I am also seriously considering purchasing a identical Colt in the near future. If I do, I will most likely set them up the same.

Bushmaster...
http://i1182.photobucket.com/albums/x460/Nitesites/Bushmaster.jpg

christcorp
April 9, 2011, 11:39 PM
Quentin; you are definitely correct. Whenever given the opportunity and/or option, to purchase 2 items for the SAME amount of money; within a reasonable amount (Individually decided), you should always choose the higher quality item. That's basic economics.

Nitesites. I'm glad you like your Bushmaster. But that is a perfect example of what I and some others are talking about. At the beginning of this thread, I provided a link to a new Colt for $899. That's on sale. If a person was in the market for a new AR, and the choice was a Bushmaster for $850 or the Colt for $899, the colt would be the obvious choice without exception. However; when the price is a few hundred dollars different; and yours could have been that much at the time of your purchase; there's nothing wrong with getting the less expensive if it meets your needs.

But consumers are not rational. Some WON'T order online. They'll sacrifice quality by buying the less expensive in person. Also; in the AR15 world, MANY AR15 buyers have no idea about the differences. They think that ALL AR's are basically the same, and that you're paying more for a name. That isn't true. You're definitely paying more usually for quality; however; some of that quality isn't needed or important. I.e. a 1:7 twist barrel is not important if you never plan on doing 300+ yard marksmanship shots with 70+ grain bullets. There are some exceptions unfortunately. Some manufacturers like Bushmaster are not the same company that they were 20 years ago. But unless on sale, their prices are definitely much too high.

But nitesites; your Bushmaster was at a "Reasonable" price. it's not the $950+ that they normally charge. There is nothing wrong with getting a bushmaster, DPMS, Rock River, CMMG, Stag, or a number of other brands. But you SHOULD shop around. Many times you can get a Colt, BCM, DD, LMT, etc... for the same price. I'm not promoting the "Gun Snob" attitude of "FOR A FEW DOLLARS MORE". I understand that a "Few Dollars" usually means around $300. I'm talking exactly the same price. On the other hand, if you can get a great deal on one of the other AR's, which will meet your needs, and still save you a few hundred dollars, then that's a good route. I wanted a flat top with no sights. "I have plenty of scopes and iron sights". I didn't need or want a gun with iron sights or optics. I was able to get an M&P15-OR for $649. That was $300 less than anything comparable from the colt, BCM, DD, etc... line of rifles.

Each person needs to choose what's best for them. Hopefully they'll be good shoppers. If not; it's their money. They can spend it any way they want to. But obviously, they shouldn't try and say that their Rock River, CMMG, Bush, etc... is the same "QUALITY" as the Colt or BCM. It isn't. Neither is my M&P15. However; depending on your needs/wants, these other rifles can perform just "As Good As" the colt, bcm, DD, etc... for what you want it for. But they aren't a colt or BCM.

danco
April 10, 2011, 12:04 AM
Actually as of mid 2009 the US Army now owns the technical data package for the M4...

No, the right to exclusive production has expired, but Colt still owns the TDP.

You can now compete to build M4's for the Government, but you have to pay royalties to Colt for a copy of the TDP.

Colt has stated, publicly, that they have zero interest in selling the TDP to the Government...

~Dan

safe cracker
April 10, 2011, 01:27 AM
check out the ...doublestar at Buds guns...659.00 free shipping..great review's

Technosavant
April 10, 2011, 05:21 PM
the M16 type because it usually has a shot peened bolt, HP/MP testing, all the extra attention to detail

Bolt and bolt carrier are different parts.

Yes, an M16 bolt tends to have the extra quality control, but that's more a function of who makes them than anything inherent. It is possible to get a very high quality AR-15 bolt carrier group with every bit the same attention to detail and quality inspections. It's just a matter of that cut on the lower rear of the bolt carrier. No more, no less. But generally the higher quality ones are full auto because that extra weight can smooth out function, and that feature tends to be what the market for high quality parts wants.

Quentin2
April 10, 2011, 08:28 PM
Bolt and bolt carrier are different parts...

Technosavant, please double check ... you truncated my quote. I clearly specified M16 BCG not just bolt.

Jim243
April 10, 2011, 09:40 PM
I agree with most that you should get the best VALUE for your money when purchasing any weapon pistol, revolver or rifle. That word VALUE is a bit tricky. If you see a rifle normally selling for $$995.00 selling for $650.00 jump on it but be aware there will be a few things missing, like sights that will cost you about $150.00 to equip your rifle with, carry handles that will cost $85.00 to purchase seperately, the cheapest basic stocks that will cost $$95.00 to get the good ones and a pistol grip that even a mother would not give to her worst kid (another $20.00 for a Houge) and I wouldn't even go into hand guards anywhere from $35.00 to $289.00 to replace.

So what is VALUE?? Not sure, they all shoot, some are free floated some are not, some come with front sight, some don't. Some are M2 stocks some are M4 stocks. Some are 223 chambered some are 5.56 chambered. Some are 16 inch barrels some are 18 or 20 inch barrels.

So you have to stop and ask yourself if you are getting a fair value for your money. Yes there are cheaper models and Yes there are more expensive models. I am one of those that spent $1,100 on a Bushmaster Varminteer with a national match chamber and barrel, two stage compition trigger and 24 inch fluted extra heavy barrel and free floated handguard.

It is a pain in the butt on ammunition, supper fussy and took a whole year for me to solve the ammunition problem. Shoots commercial ammo without a problem, but I reload and had to X-Small Base resize all cases, keep my OAL to 2.200 on all bullets (Finally worked out 60 grain Hornady V-Max's) and use a gauge to make sure my shoulders were not even 0.010 off on resizing the cases. The bottom line is that it shoots 0.180 MOA at 100 yards and it has never failed to fire or feed in the last 3 years. Did I get my value worth, I would say YES. It's not pretty, but it works when I feed it right.

http://i620.photobucket.com/albums/tt284/bigjim_02/IMG_0481.jpg

Now on the other side of the scale, I had a chance to buy another pistol this Christmas and while trying to decide, there was this sale for a Bushmaster Carbon-15 Superlight?? for $599.00 at Gander Mt. I am aware of the problems that the Carbon-15 has had over the years. But it has been 4 or 5 years since Bushmaster purchased the rights to mfg the gun, who knows maybe they have worked out the problems. Well it sure looks like they have and for $599.00 plus tax it's worth a shot (pun intended). So what the he## it's only money and for half the price of a regular AR what do I have to lose, besides it was not going to stay the same it was going to be a Winter Project gun to see what I could do before I started building one from scratch. Well to make a long story short, it was more than well worth what I paid for it, rifle (M4), two mags, two risers, Bushnell Mini Red-Dot ($89.00), hard case, neyoln sling. Let's see I replaced the butt stock ($59.00), pistol gip ($19.95), hand guard with quad rails ($39.95), tripod ($19.95), vertical grip ($29.95), flashlight holder ($29.95), flashlight (I had $24.95 it is also a red laser) and scope (I had for a different gun $69.95 from from CDNN). So total cost was $799 out of pocket for every thing. Yes it's been to the range and it shoots 0.300 MOA at 50 yards (that's what I have it set at so far, just this Saturday) Did I get my value out of it, hell yes, it was worth it just to learn how to build AR's and I got a fun gun to shoot.

Jim

http://i620.photobucket.com/albums/tt284/bigjim_02/SAM_0263.jpg

carprivershooter
April 10, 2011, 09:41 PM
I got my AR 15 today, It is a Rock River Arm,M-4 operator. I handled a Bushmaster, and a S & W and one other that did not impress. The RRA was in my opinion a better gun fit and finish. heft, trigger,the cost was what I felt was fair based what I was seeing. I got what I thought was a good gun at a fair price and appeard to be a quality gun. I say get the gun that feels good to you, you can afford and remember you can add to the base weapon.

Powderman
April 10, 2011, 09:53 PM
The Rock River AR is an excellent choice. It is the standard issue carbine for quite a few Gov't agencies, and it will serve you well.

Now, a question...

Yeah, buy a Colt so you can pay extra for the prancing horse on the lower, on a gun that wasn't even in spec until just 2 years ago.



Please explain what you are referring to. I have used Colt AR's for the majority of my adult life--the M16 in the military, and now a LE6920 as a patrol officer.

I am also a Colt factory certified armorer.

I can say this without reservation: If you want the closest thing you can get to the carbine that is being issued to our troops, buy a Colt LE6920. The ONLY differences between the 6920 and the M4 is that one is select fire and has a 14" barrel. Of course, you can go SBR and get one with the exact same barrel length. Both rifles come off the SAME ASSEMBLY LINE. Both have the same feature as ANY Colt AR: shot peened bolt, MPI inspection, properly staked carrier key, chrome lined barrel and chamber, and other features.

As far as being out of spec, the other manufaturers have to MEET the same level of manufacture that Colt does. Why? Because Colt now sets the specifications in accordance with the Gov't standards that are noted.

Good luck on finding a transferable M4, though.

Nitesites
April 10, 2011, 09:58 PM
Hope you all won't mind the interruption but what's the current price for a LE6920 now?

Powderman
April 11, 2011, 01:01 AM
Depending on the retailer, they will vary from $1000 on up. You should pay no more than 1100-1150.

Technosavant
April 11, 2011, 10:31 AM
Technosavant, please double check ... you truncated my quote. I clearly specified M16 BCG not just bolt.

I know I truncated it. Your statement was that the M16 type BCG usually included a shot peened and MPI inspected bolt. My comment was saying there's zero difference between the bolts in an AR-15 and M16 bolt carrier group. While the full auto BCGs generally have gone through the extra testing, that isn't a guarantee. Likewise, there are AR-15 semi auto BCGs with bolts that have gone through the exact same testing and production processes as the bolts in full auto BCGs.

The ONLY difference between a full auto and semiauto bolt carrier group is the cut on the lower rear of the carrier. Any differences in the bolt are indicative of the general quality level and QC inspections done by the maker; they aren't inherent to just being mated to a full auto carrier.

Quentin2
April 11, 2011, 11:29 AM
Quote by Quentin
But if you're building an AR and have a choice on the BCG, get the M16 type because it usually has a shot peened bolt, HP/MP testing, all the extra attention to detail - and normally the extra cost is very little. If you're buying a complete upper at least get the shrouded AR15 BCG.


Your truncation
the M16 type because it usually has a shot peened bolt, HP/MP testing, all the extra attention to detail


Quote by Technosavant
Bolt and bolt carrier are different parts.

Yes, an M16 bolt tends to have the extra quality control, but that's more a function of who makes them than anything inherent. It is possible to get a very high quality AR-15 bolt carrier group with every bit the same attention to detail and quality inspections. It's just a matter of that cut on the lower rear of the bolt carrier. No more, no less. But generally the higher quality ones are full auto because that extra weight can smooth out function, and that feature tends to be what the market for high quality parts wants.


Quote by Quentin
Technosavant, please double check ... you truncated my quote. I clearly specified M16 BCG not just bolt.


Quote by Technosavant
I know I truncated it. Your statement was that the M16 type BCG usually included a shot peened and MPI inspected bolt. My comment was saying there's zero difference between the bolts in an AR-15 and M16 bolt carrier group. While the full auto BCGs generally have gone through the extra testing, that isn't a guarantee. Likewise, there are AR-15 semi auto BCGs with bolts that have gone through the exact same testing and production processes as the bolts in full auto BCGs.

The ONLY difference between a full auto and semiauto bolt carrier group is the cut on the lower rear of the carrier. Any differences in the bolt are indicative of the general quality level and QC inspections done by the maker; they aren't inherent to just being mated to a full auto carrier.

Look, it's annoying that you edit my quote to change its meaning then tell me the bolt and carrier are different parts. That's why I used the term BCG which you excised. I respect you and that you try to be helpful but please don't change the meaning of what I write. The whole purpose of a quote is for accuracy, not to change the meaning of someone else's words.

And BTW if you look at your own untruncated quotes above you describe an M16 bolt then later say "... there's zero difference between the bolts in an AR-15 and M16 bolt carrier group..." Which of isn't true much of the time.

Please edit my quotes out of your posts and I will do the same with yours.

Technosavant
April 11, 2011, 11:44 AM
Dude, you're ignoring my point.

Your statement was that a reason to buy a full auto BCG is the extra testing of the bolt. I was stating that the extra testing is not necessarily done to a full auto bolt. There's a correlation of extra testing done to the bolt to the full auto BCG, but that is more to do with the market for the full auto parts and the companies serving that market. That testing isn't required in order for a full auto BCG to be used in a full auto rifle. I could pull a BCM bolt out of one of their BCGs and swap it over to a semiauto carrier and run it just fine. And vice versa. There really is no difference between the bolts; there's no dimensional difference, there's no difference in the lugs, extractors, ejectors, etc.

I'm really not sure what you're complaining about. I don't see the need to quote an entire post when it's just a small portion.

Quentin2
April 11, 2011, 04:29 PM
My point now is that I don't want you quoting me if you're going to alter the original meaning. I made that post originally just to state that if given the chance, like in your own build, why not buy a high quality BCG. In fact that's what I did when I bought a Daniel Defense M16 BCG. I did my research and knew the bolt and carrier were as good as any, and could be dropped into a true M16 or M4 and work admirably. BCM or recent Colt's would have been fine too.

MrAcheson
April 11, 2011, 05:03 PM
Um, since Colt owns the Technical Data Package that is the basis for the Military Specification, I think it's highly unlikely Colt didn't meet the spec. Colt *is* the spec...

Please explain what you are referring to. I have used Colt AR's for the majority of my adult life--the M16 in the military, and now a LE6920 as a patrol officer.

I am also a Colt factory certified armorer.Until very recently Colt used different pin sizes in their civilian lowers than in the military lowers specifically so things like fire control groups couldn't be interchanged. Different take down pins and different fire control pins. Sometimes just one, sometimes both depending on when the lower was made. You had to use an adapter to use military spec parts in those lowers. As such, there is no way you can consider them milspec.

1/2John
April 11, 2011, 09:43 PM
I'm in the market as well. I've seen Bushmasters for around $1300 and I've seen Colts around $1600. I've heard good and bad about Stag, Dpms, and Bushmaster. Colt's the original, BUT.. if you just plan on blasting paper, or bottles or beer/soda cans- get what you can afford, and have fun w/ it.
Me, personally I'd love to get a Colt, IF money was no object. I'll probably end up w/ a Bushmaster or Stag, though. Time will tell

mc223
April 11, 2011, 10:33 PM
1/2John there are better ARs available for about 1/2 the prices you mention. OK so not so much Colts but around 1100.
S&W M&P-15 less than 800 and the new sport model for around 650.

christcorp
April 11, 2011, 11:38 PM
So I guess a Colt for $899 doesn't count? There are plenty of good AR's out there if you're willing to shop. If all you'll look at is what's at your local gun shop, then there's nothing to discuss. You'll just have to buy whatever it is you want and can afford. If you can't find a colt or some others below $1000, it's because you're not looking. Or, you're only looking at local gun shops.

carprivershooter
April 12, 2011, 09:30 AM
I live in the middle of no where, Well no where is really 2 miles north but Iam pretty close. I shop my local gun shop, it's really am Ace Hardware store. He dose a good job a stocking quality firearms I talked to him about what I wanted he showed me what hw had in stock. A colt Ar 15 $1000, a Bushmaster no sites $1100, Rock River operator with rear site $950, and one other that did not turn my head maybe a S&W that was around $900. The owner told me he would help me build a gun (order the part and assemble it at no charge he is a gun smith also). For me its 2 hours to a gander mountain 10-12 hours of driving to a Calablas. For me supporting my local gun guy is important. Oh I got the RRA was out the door for $1010 with the tax.

Quentin2
April 12, 2011, 09:54 AM
I noticed that in the new Cabela's flyer that the new S&W M&P15 Sport is on sale for $599.99. It's minus the FA and dust cover and has a Melonite barrel not chrome lined so is economized from other S&Ws. Still kinda eye opening as it's not an OR version, it does come with front&rear sights and is a flat top. The 1/8" twist is interesting too. I wonder if they use the same BCG as the more expensive versions, you'd think the rest would be the same.

Flat Dog
April 12, 2011, 10:03 AM
What about DPMS-is this considered an 'entry level' brand?

christcorp
April 12, 2011, 11:52 AM
carpriver: Based on your list, $1000 for the colt is a pretty good deal. $100 more than online; but when you throw in s/h and the FFL transfer fee, the $1000 isn't bad. And it's DEFINITELY better than an $1100 Bushmaster of $950 rock-river.

christcorp
April 12, 2011, 12:02 PM
It's not a matter of "Entry-Level". It's a matter of some people sell Bushmaster, DPMS, etc... for the same price as a Colt. And the colt is Definitely BETTER. If you can get a bush, DPMS, M&P15 (Not the sport model), Rock-River, etc... for less than a colt; e.g. $300-$400 less; then it is definitely a great buy for what most people want/need from their AR. But if the price is the same or extremely close to that of a Colt, BCM, DD, etc... then there is absolutely NO CHOICE!!! You buy the Colt, BCM, DD, etc...

A Ford Focus is a GREAT car if it meets your needs, and it costs $5000 less than the Toyota Camry or Ford Taurus. BUT, if the Focus is going to cost the SAME PRICE or similar to the Taurus or Camry, you DON'T BUY THE FOCUS!!! You buy the BETTER car. You buy the Taurus or Camry.

Am I saying the Colt, BCM, DD, etc... is BETTER than the Bushmaster, Rock-River, DPMS, and M&P15? Yes!!! Most Definitely. Is it $300-$400 BETTER than the Bushmaster, Rock-River, DPMS, and M&P15? NO! Not for most people and their needs/wants. (For some, it's worth the extra $300-$400, but for most it isn't worth the extra money). The problem is when you're willing to pay $1000-$1200 for a Bushmaster, Rock-River, DPMS, or M&P15 instead of spending the same amount of money on a colt, BCM, DD, etc... That is NOT smart. Now; if you honestly believe that the Focus is the same as a Taurus or Camry; or that a Bushmaster, Rock-River, or DPMS is the same as a Colt, BCM, or DD; then there's nothing to discuss. Buy what you want. But they aren't the same.

Again; don't get me wrong. I have nothing against those weapons. I personally own an M&P15-OR. But I bought it with a $300 sale. I bought it for $649. I NEVER would have bought it if it was normal $949. I either wait for the sales, LIKE I DID, or if I HAD to buy one that day, and HAD to spend the $949, I would have bought the Colt, BCM, DD, etc... The problem is: Too many people think that all AR's are the same quality. They aren't. That's not to say that you have to pay MORE for a higher quality AR. Especially if you don't NEED the higher quality. But to pay the same price for a lower quality as the higher quality is simply foolish. Buying the lower quality because it's Cheaper, and you don't need the extra quality is SMART.

Flat Dog
April 12, 2011, 02:01 PM
Thank you Christcorp-you just saved me from making a stupid and expensive AR 'gotta have it today' newbie mistake. ;)

christcorp
April 12, 2011, 03:14 PM
No problem. That's the hardest part of guns. There are the gun snobs who own the high end and believe that theirs is better than everyone else; but they refuse to understand that not everyone has the "Military-Need" for their weapon. They aren't diving in the mud and under barbed wire.

But; you've got some who buy the lower quality, which is perfectly fine for their needs, but because they spent the same; SOMETIMES MORE; than it would have cost to get a colt, bcm, DD, etc....; they try and rationalize how much they spent, by trying to convince themselves and others that their DPMS, Bush, RR, etc... is the SAME QUALITY. It isn't. Is it just "AS GOOD AS" a colt, bcm, etc... for the needs that THEY HAVE??? Definitely yes in most cases. But if you're going to pay the same or more for it, why didn't you buy the better quality rifle? Reason is usually because they were impatient and wanted it today. OR, they didn't do ANY RESEARCH.

Then you have those that buy the Bush, Rock-River, DPMS, M&P15, etc... and they got it on sale for $600-$700. They KNOW that the Colt, BCM, DD, etc... is higher quality; but they also know that they have no need for the extra quality or the added expense. To punch paper, kill a few prairie dogs and coyotes, and grab as a home defense weapon.... It works just "AS GOOD AS" the colt, bcm, DD, etc... But they know darn well if they were going off to war, member of a swat team, competition where they're shooting 10,000 rounds a year, etc... that they'd want that colt, bcm, DD, full mil-spec weapon. These are the really smart people. They aren't trying to rationalize their purchase. It meets their needs and costs a shiite load less. Pretty good reasons if you ask me. It's the other 2 groups. 1) Gun snobs and 2) Delusional rationalizers.

Flat Dog
April 12, 2011, 03:44 PM
I just wish I could find these 'on sale' firearms. Seems like the two major auction sites have most ARs listed at premium prices, and my local gun dealers don't offer any decent ARs for less than $1k. One local did have an M&P for $769, bit it's a sport model.

curmudgeon1
April 12, 2011, 04:15 PM
People who are new to the AR-15 scene should be aware of the so-called "addiction" trap. What really is happening, is that they allow themselves to be convinced that it is "smart" to buy a low-cost rifle (say $650.) because its "good enough my son" and then when they go shooting among other enthusiasts, they then realize they should have bought a higher quality gun; so, back to the internet for a "little better quality rifle" (say $1000.) Back to the fun shooting and trying to improve one's accuracy, but soon the doubts start creeping back into the mind about that "top quality" AR they read about on the internet, and besides the $1k gun they bought isn't that much more accurate than the "good enough my son" gun. So now, they become definitely convinced they want that COLT, back to the internet and another $1300. (they're now up to $2950.) So you see, its not really an AR "addiction" its the subtle pursuit of a quality rifle .......... my son.:)

Usertag
April 12, 2011, 04:16 PM
I would go with Buchmasters or Possibly Colt, if you can find one. Or maybe a DPMS Panther Arms AR.

christcorp
April 12, 2011, 07:26 PM
I would go with Buchmasters or Possibly Colt, if you can find one. Or maybe a DPMS Panther Arms AR.

You really shouldn't put these 3 into the same category; as though they are interchangeable. They aren't. Bushmaster USE TO BE a very high quality gun. They aren't the Bushmaster of 10-15 years ago. Their price will have you believe they are.

As for buying the $650 gun; that totally depends. Is it a NORMAL $650 gun? If so, I probably wouldn't even touch it. e.g. double-star, interarms, etc... Or; is it a $1000 that's on sale. E.g. My M&P15 was on a christmas sale. Retail price: $1069. Normal gun store price: $949. Sale price and REBATE: $649.

Bushmasters; except for their Carbon-15, are normally WAY, WAY, Over-Priced. Plus; they are the pickiest gun when it comes to ammo. Most times, you can find colts for the same or less money than a Bushmaster.

As for sales:
Colt 6520: $899
http://www.birminghampistol.com/product/colt-6520/
http://site.cdnninvestments.com/CDNN2011-1/index.html (Page 27 of catelog)

S&W M&P15: Normal $1400, on sale $799 and $100 rebate if you're military.
http://site.cdnninvestments.com/CDNN2011-1/index.html (Page 33 Catalog)

DPMS $717 free S/H
http://www.budsgunshop.com/catalog/product_info.php/cPath/36_793/products_id/411535083

Anyway; the sales are out there. They aren't every week. But you win, if you're patient. If you've just got to have that gun today, and you're going to go to a local gun shop, you're going to be paying $200-$300 more for each gun. Sometimes, you can find the Big-Box-Stores for a sale. That's where I got my M&P15. At Sportsman's Warehouse. Some times cabelas, bass pro, gander mountain, etc... Just have to be patient and look.

Diamond LawDawg
May 11, 2011, 12:25 AM
Damn...thought I read a hellofa lot of threads on which is better..etc.. So I bought a Colt LE6940 just because I'm retired police..had a rail for all those things I will not be hanging on there and it weighs 6.8lbs. We will be shooting it at THE FUN GUN SHOOT in SD on June 4th then for hunting varmits and such. I'm totally new to AR-15's but I like the feel and fit of the Colt over alot of other brand named ones (well maybe not Larue,which really felt nice,light and great trigger pull) Kinda like 1911's ( I carry two Ed Brown commanders) Best to all.:cool:

NWdude83
May 11, 2011, 02:18 AM
DSA Z4 midlength $760 http://www.aimsurplus.com/product.aspx?item=F1DSAMid&name=DSA+Z4+MidLength+5.56%2f.223+Rifle&groupid=11