The Firing Line Forums

Go Back   The Firing Line Forums > The Hide > The Art of the Rifle: Semi-automatics

Reply
 
Thread Tools
Old December 30, 2009, 07:04 PM   #1
SEHunter
Senior Member
 
Join Date: October 6, 2009
Posts: 221
Who makes the "best" AR-15?

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.
SEHunter is offline  
Old December 30, 2009, 07:14 PM   #2
Tom2
Senior Member
 
Join Date: June 23, 2004
Location: Ohio
Posts: 5,648
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.
__________________
Your gun is like your nose, it is just wrong for someone else to pick it for you!
Tom2 is offline  
Old December 30, 2009, 08:05 PM   #3
FALPhil
Senior Member
 
Join Date: September 10, 2007
Location: Racoon City
Posts: 933
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.
FALPhil is offline  
Old December 30, 2009, 08:09 PM   #4
RT
Senior Member
 
Join Date: September 9, 2000
Location: San Antonio, TX
Posts: 2,191
Read and decide for yourself
http://www.m4carbine.net/showthread.php?t=6642
RT is offline  
Old December 30, 2009, 08:12 PM   #5
iScream
Member
 
Join Date: August 25, 2008
Location: Tennessee
Posts: 89
I just happen to have read this post on ar15.com recently. Learned a lot in one sitting.

-Chris
iScream is offline  
Old December 31, 2009, 10:52 AM   #6
SEHunter
Senior Member
 
Join Date: October 6, 2009
Posts: 221
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?
SEHunter is offline  
Old December 31, 2009, 11:29 AM   #7
precision_shooter
Senior Member
 
Join Date: September 8, 2007
Location: DFW, Texas
Posts: 1,553
Quote:
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.
__________________
"Laws that forbid the carrying of arms...disarm only those who are neither inclined nor determined to commit crimes...Such laws make things worse for the assaulted and better for the assailants; they serve rather to encourage than to prevent homicides, for an unarmed man may be attacked with greater confidence than an armed man." - Thomas Jefferson, 1776
precision_shooter is offline  
Old December 31, 2009, 03:21 PM   #8
SEHunter
Senior Member
 
Join Date: October 6, 2009
Posts: 221
All RR have good triggers?

Does there seem to be one name that the majority has or prefers when it comes to lowers?
SEHunter is offline  
Old December 31, 2009, 03:27 PM   #9
RockyMtnTactical
Senior Member
 
Join Date: October 21, 2006
Location: Western US
Posts: 1,957
Noveske is the best.

Colt, LMT, BCM, DD are all in the same category. Also about as good as it gets.
RockyMtnTactical is offline  
Old December 31, 2009, 09:27 PM   #10
precision_shooter
Senior Member
 
Join Date: September 8, 2007
Location: DFW, Texas
Posts: 1,553
Quote:
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.
__________________
"Laws that forbid the carrying of arms...disarm only those who are neither inclined nor determined to commit crimes...Such laws make things worse for the assaulted and better for the assailants; they serve rather to encourage than to prevent homicides, for an unarmed man may be attacked with greater confidence than an armed man." - Thomas Jefferson, 1776
precision_shooter is offline  
Old December 31, 2009, 09:32 PM   #11
CarterMccoy
Member
 
Join Date: December 31, 2009
Posts: 66
Armalite

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 is offline  
Old December 31, 2009, 09:33 PM   #12
CarterMccoy
Member
 
Join Date: December 31, 2009
Posts: 66
Armalite

Sorry, Armalite is the correct spelling.
CarterMccoy is offline  
Old December 31, 2009, 09:52 PM   #13
CarterMccoy
Member
 
Join Date: December 31, 2009
Posts: 66
Armalite stuff

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.
CarterMccoy is offline  
Old December 31, 2009, 10:04 PM   #14
SEHunter
Senior Member
 
Join Date: October 6, 2009
Posts: 221
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.
SEHunter is offline  
Old December 31, 2009, 10:09 PM   #15
S&W Kinda Guy
Senior Member
 
Join Date: December 28, 2009
Location: Western Kentucky
Posts: 331
I cant tell you the "best" ar but i have a Smith & Wesson M&P-15 and its a nice, sturdy, and reliable rifle...
__________________
“If the Third World War is fought with nuclear weapons, the fourth will be fought with bows and arrows.”
S&W Kinda Guy is offline  
Old December 31, 2009, 10:09 PM   #16
Prof
Senior Member
 
Join Date: March 3, 2000
Location: California (for now)
Posts: 459
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! Buy quality and yours will be the "best" for you. Shoot it and enjoy it.
Prof is offline  
Old December 31, 2009, 10:16 PM   #17
precision_shooter
Senior Member
 
Join Date: September 8, 2007
Location: DFW, Texas
Posts: 1,553
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.
__________________
"Laws that forbid the carrying of arms...disarm only those who are neither inclined nor determined to commit crimes...Such laws make things worse for the assaulted and better for the assailants; they serve rather to encourage than to prevent homicides, for an unarmed man may be attacked with greater confidence than an armed man." - Thomas Jefferson, 1776
precision_shooter is offline  
Old December 31, 2009, 10:24 PM   #18
SEHunter
Senior Member
 
Join Date: October 6, 2009
Posts: 221
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.
SEHunter is offline  
Old December 31, 2009, 10:27 PM   #19
precision_shooter
Senior Member
 
Join Date: September 8, 2007
Location: DFW, Texas
Posts: 1,553
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...
__________________
"Laws that forbid the carrying of arms...disarm only those who are neither inclined nor determined to commit crimes...Such laws make things worse for the assaulted and better for the assailants; they serve rather to encourage than to prevent homicides, for an unarmed man may be attacked with greater confidence than an armed man." - Thomas Jefferson, 1776
precision_shooter is offline  
Old December 31, 2009, 10:33 PM   #20
HankB
Senior Member
 
Join Date: March 30, 2000
Location: Central Texas, outside of Austin
Posts: 1,694
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.

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.
__________________
To be kind to your enemy is to be cruel to yourself - Sun Tzu
HankB is offline  
Old January 1, 2010, 09:07 AM   #21
Wleoff
Senior Member
 
Join Date: June 6, 2008
Location: North AL
Posts: 380
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.
Wleoff is offline  
Old January 1, 2010, 10:26 AM   #22
SEHunter
Senior Member
 
Join Date: October 6, 2009
Posts: 221
Havent heard anybody speak of the Remington R-15. Their msrps' range from $1000 to $1700+. What is their reputation?
SEHunter is offline  
Old January 1, 2010, 10:27 AM   #23
Quentin2
Senior Member
 
Join Date: June 18, 2009
Location: NorthWest USA
Posts: 1,635
Quote:
Who makes the "best" AR-15?
Well for me ... it was me.

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.
Quentin2 is offline  
Old January 1, 2010, 10:31 AM   #24
jem375
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 31, 2002
Location: Minnesota
Posts: 390
most of the major manufacturers make very decent rifles, just find the best deal and buy it..
__________________
Life is too short to spend it with an ugly gun.....
NRA Life Member
jem375 is offline  
Old January 1, 2010, 09:05 PM   #25
SEHunter
Senior Member
 
Join Date: October 6, 2009
Posts: 221
Thanks but i like to know what im buying.
SEHunter is offline  
Reply

Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 09:57 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
This site and contents, including all posts, Copyright © 1998-2014 S.W.A.T. Magazine
Copyright Complaints: Please direct DMCA Takedown Notices to the registered agent: thefiringline.com
Contact Us
Page generated in 0.13973 seconds with 7 queries