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Old February 3, 2013, 08:44 PM   #1
cen
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AR quality and pricing

Could someone tell me the normal level of quality and cost of commonly( normally) available AR-15's? Meaning which make and models are lower end going up the Scale to the highest quality along with their normal non-inflated prices?
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Old February 3, 2013, 09:16 PM   #2
BillyJack3
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This is very subjective and with so many players, a list that everyone would agree upon would be nearly impossible.
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Old February 3, 2013, 09:22 PM   #3
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Your right. I didn't mean to ask opinions, just to see what models and brands have the lowest MSRP and then which brands go up from that point.
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Old February 3, 2013, 09:51 PM   #4
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You'll have to do what I did. When I saw a rifle I was interested in I went to the website looked up the MSRP. Then did a search on reviews on that rifle. Good luck there's a lot of em and just as many opinions. I focused on actual test reviews.
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Old February 3, 2013, 09:56 PM   #5
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Depends on your intentions. If all you want is a rifle to play with at the range and shoot targets for the fun of it most any AR15 is going to be capable of doing that and working without giving you much heartache. DPMS, Bushmaster, Olympic Arms, Stag Arms, RRA are all fine plinkers. However if you want something that you will possibly be using for home defense or shooting competitions I would recommend a Colt. There are also other high-end brands like Daniel Defense, and Lewis Machine and Tool but before the panic buying you could walk into Wal-mart and pick up a colt M4gery for ~$1600 which was only $300 more than an equivalent Bushmaster.

This is a good read before you buy. http://www.m4carbine.net/showthread.php?t=7376

And a lot more if you really want to be informed. http://m4carbine.net/showthread.php?t=7009

Also, piston-driven AR's were all the rage for about 5 minuets not long ago and there are still loads of piston models out there. Most in the know will tell you that the piston system on an AR is over rated and unnecessary, not to mention not standardized. The original direct impingement system works just fine so stick with that.
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Old February 3, 2013, 10:05 PM   #6
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Thanks big hoss, this is what I'm looking for.
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Old February 3, 2013, 10:41 PM   #7
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I'm not sure wher Bighoss has been shopping, but pretty much every Walmart I know of was and still is selling Colt 6920's for $1097. The 6920 is Colt's basic civilain legal version of the M4 they build for military and police. It's built to the same standards and with the same quality, and it's a great deal for what you get.

But back to the original question, there are so many different companies out there producing AR's and all with varriying levels of quality and pricing creating a such a list is a very difficult task. As another member posted, the best place to start is the manufacturer's websites which should include the MSRP's for their various offerings. Take a look at what's out there, take a good detailed look at what you will be using the gun for, do some research on quality and pricing and then purchase accordinginly.
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Old February 4, 2013, 03:22 AM   #8
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Quote:
I'm not sure where Bigghoss has been shopping, but pretty much every Walmart I know of was and still is selling Colt 6920's for $1097.
I've been shopping at the Wal-mart in the town where I live. I never paid much attention to the specific model but they were selling a BM for $1300 and a colt for $1600. Wasn't all that concerned about it since I prefer to buy the parts and assemble mine myself.
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Old February 4, 2013, 09:36 AM   #9
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I'm getting ready to do an AR build - here's my take on AR's right now.

1. No matter which way you go - buy one outright or do a build, you are going to have more money into it than it's actually worth. Hey, it's a seller's market out there right now, you're either going to play and pay, or sit out on the side lines.

2. Your best way into an AR is doing your own build. For me, I already have Some AR parts laying around, like a new barrel, sliding stock and tube and a few other misc. parts. Not wanting to part with the barrel, I decided to buy a matched upper and lower. I know I paid too much for the set - $200 over what I think I should have paid. But, someone was willing to pay just $5 less than I did on Gunbroker, so who knows.

3. I want to build a higher end AR, so I chose a quality 7075 Billet upper and lower matched set to use as a base. Many claim this isn't necessary and that mil-spec forged receivers are more than adequate. Personally, I think the heavier billet receivers work better with modern (heavier) rail systems and free-floating barrel systems. If all you are going to have is a set of plastic handguards clipped to your barrel, then the lighter receivers might be just fine.

5. The real "gotcha" is when you start to price out your collapsible stock system, rail system (if you want one of those) bolt, bolt carrier and lower receiver parts. All that stuff adds up, and when you get into the better quality stuff (some claim is not necessary), then your build can get quite expensive.

If you are looking for a basic AR, built on the cheap, they are out there. If you want quality, you will have to do your own build, because you will never find what you are looking for already built in today's market. The manufacturers are selling their receivers, either through affiliates or directly, on gunbroker - they are selling them as fast as they can make them. Gun shops can't get rifles because they aren't buying the components and assembling them.

These are just my recent observations - I'm sure some more knowledgeable people will correct me, where needed.
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Old February 4, 2013, 10:30 AM   #10
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Quote:
I'm not sure wher Bighoss has been shopping, but pretty much every Walmart I know of was and still is selling Colt 6920's for $1097.
Sure they were. At Pre-Panic prices.

Walmart barely gets them in any more and when they do, they are sold before they come off the truck. Today's average price on a 6920 is around $1800. Now that it looks like an AWB ban will not make it into the bill, I'm hoping prices start to normalize again.
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Old February 4, 2013, 02:18 PM   #11
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A Walmart last week here in Maine had a DPMS for $597 I missed it by about 5 minutes. Before the locust invasion you could build a close to mill spec M4 type with Moe gear for around 650 bucks. I have no idea what it would cost now or how long it would take. I would buy what you can find that is close to what you want and then change out the rest when you can find parts. Most will do this with any new AR anyway.
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Old February 4, 2013, 09:15 PM   #12
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Walmarts in mid-DE has not boosted prices. They just don't get many in. They are not putting them out to public. You have your name put on a waiting list. I was 12th in Dec 2012. Now they say (as of a week ago) that there are 37 folks behind me. They honored the list and called me so +1 for Walmarts in my book! $1167 for a LE6920MP-B or $1099 for a LE6920 you get 24hrs to decide, after the call.
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Old February 5, 2013, 08:30 AM   #13
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Pretty interesting. According to the detailed info provided, 6-8 of 40 Colt bolts break under hard use? I have a hard time accepting this as a credible source. If it is I'm glad I didn't buy a colt.

http://m4carbine.net/showthread.php?t=3807
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Old February 5, 2013, 10:57 AM   #14
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Quote:
Pretty interesting. According to the detailed info provided, 6-8 of 40 Colt bolts break under hard use? I have a hard time accepting this as a credible source. If it is I'm glad I didn't buy a colt.

http://m4carbine.net/showthread.php?t=3807
I read that some time ago. It doesn't sound right to me. With the number Colts being used and for the length of time they have been on the civilian market, almost fifty years. You would hear about a 20% fail rate.

Maybe they used hot reloads?? With NATO spec ammo a bolt should live 15K rounds or more.
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Old February 7, 2013, 07:36 PM   #15
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All pre-panic of course...

For the most part, anything under $1K is going to be okay for a plinker and some are better buys with better reliability than others. In the low end group, I have seen enough of the Windhams and S&Ws to beleive that they are good quality and my choice in the low end. The Del-Tons seem to be decent, but I have not handled enough. As you tip over that $1K mark, then the Colts, DD, BCMs, Stags, Rock River, POF, LMTs are all quality ARs and you are really picking the company and or features you like the most. When you start to pass $1500, now you are really looking at specific features and or purposes and the reliabilty, accuracy, fit and finish become more expensive as well. Some of those that cost more than $1500 are really not worth the scratch. But, you are also looking at divergent capabilites. This group includes companies like Compass Lake, JPRifles, Noveske, LaRue, STI, Les Baer. However, Colt, Stag and Smith and Wesson also have task specific ARs that can get into this group. Many in this group are in the $2000 to $3000 range. BUT, there are less than optimum parts on many of the top tier stuff because their competitor makes a better part. Billet receivers are for adding weight and looks, but add no performance at all. The BCGs from Youngs and JPRifles are the best, so in most cases you are going to have to wait for a JP, get one custom built on spec'd parts or build it yourself.

Using top quaulity parts, I've built uppers for customers that range from $800 to $1700 to fit their specific requirements. Lowers are actually simple to build and most of the best triggers are not only perosnal preference, but simple drop-ins. We end up having customer rifles that out-perform most of the top tier stuff with a much lower price tag when they build up their own lowers.
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Old February 7, 2013, 07:50 PM   #16
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Our local Walmart has a few black guns usually. If i were buying today for under $1000, i would first compare whats in a wyndham armory gun vs the others. Im almost positive this is the same facility that made Bushmaster famous. Im sure others know better than me ,but this could be a good deal most dont recognize.

Good luck.
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Old February 8, 2013, 09:20 AM   #17
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John, you are right about Windham, and they are quality ARs.
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Old February 8, 2013, 10:46 AM   #18
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Complete lower-end AR's (new) can be found for about $1,300...sometimes.

BTW, lower end must means a standard AR - no billet receivers, no fancy-dancey rails, cheaper bolt carrier group, standard fire control parts, cheap stock.
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Old February 9, 2013, 06:26 PM   #19
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oops delete.. I thought we were talking about magazines
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Old February 10, 2013, 12:56 AM   #20
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How can an AR that is 100% reliable at the range not be suitable for home defense? Because its not a Colt or DD? Give me a break.
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Old February 10, 2013, 01:07 AM   #21
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If you multiply the rifle's probability of a failure on any given attempt times the probability of actually needing to use the rifle in a defensive situation, the resulting overall probability represents what I, personally, would consider an acceptable level of risk.

Now, if I knew that I was going to be shooting it very frequently in situations that matter to me (either competition or combat), then I could see the value of using guns/parts that have undergone some extra scrutiny and testing.
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Old February 10, 2013, 01:32 PM   #22
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I got a Windham SRC for $799.00 before the grab started. It is great. I do good with the trigger it came with but I do see a JP on the horizin. Combined with the Leatherwood M-1000 ART and a quality bi-pod it should be a great varmit rig.
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Old February 12, 2013, 04:36 AM   #23
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Here is my small contribution (as I remember) of AR15 prices before the panic:

$550-700: DPMS, Double-Star, Olympic, Smith and Wesson M&P Sport, etc

$700-900: Spikes Tactical, Bushmaster, Smith and Wesson M&P, Wyndham Weaponry, Core15, TROY, etc.

$900-1100: Sig M400, Colt 6920, BCM, etc.

$1100 and up: Noveske, Daniel Defense, LMT, LWRC etc.


These are the price ranges that I derived while I was shopping around quite a bit before the panic because I was building a couple of AR's , and was comparing the prices between buying a complete AR or building one.
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Old February 12, 2013, 06:47 AM   #24
cen
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Justice, this is what I'm looking for, thanks
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Old February 14, 2013, 03:10 AM   #25
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No problem.

Are you thinking of buying one?
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