That is a good question Metal God. How much of this comes down to craftsmanship? Same materials, does not mean same rifle. If you have a master smith forging barrels at one company, and an apprentice at another you may get the same materials, but one rifle is going to out perform the other.
Okay so here is what I mean.
Smith & Wesson
So the spikes and the smith are in the same price range. Spikes is a way better gun according to specs. Yet Smith is a little higher in price. Paying for the name just a little here? I mean the spikes comes with everything you could want. The smith not so much. So even though the materials are worse on the smith do they maybe have better smiths working for them? Or is it the name you are paying for?
Then there is good old Dan. The spikes comes with everything minus an optic. Dan does not even come with sights. So how do they offer such a high grade rifle and all the goodies for so much less than Dan?
Obviously Both Dan and Spike offer a better rifle than Smith does, but with the Dan I am paying about $300-$400 more for a rifle I can't even shoot out of the box. I have to go buy sights. If spikes is as good as they say what makes Dan's higher price worth paying when I still have to buy sights? Granted Dan makes a beautiful rifle, but as far as I can see that Spike matches. Both even have free float rails.
Also now I have to build. Because Spikes has to go and be sooo freaking cool that they make this.
I just cannot pass up this lower. I am pretty much only going to be able to use Spikes lowers now. I'm kinda a nerd if you can't tell.