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Old December 20, 2013, 09:10 PM   #1
sbaker10
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S&W M&p sport vs windham SRC vs palmetto rifle kit?

My upper budget is around 800$ with a preference of around 700 so I can buy an optic, The local gunstore has a mp sport for 620$, windham src for 790$, colt le6920 for 1025 which is just a bit outside my price range, but I can also order a rifle kit from palmetto state armory, I believe if I buy one of their rifle kits all I need is a stripped lower? that should put me at about 650$


Basically my rifle is going to be a woods gun for hunting coyotes I will probably take shots out to 200 yards so accuracy matters its not going to be a ultra tactical rifle that I expect to drag through mud but I do want reliability and will be crawling through the woods with it. In addition parts life is important I don't want to be replacing major parts after 2000-3000 rounds.
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Old December 20, 2013, 09:23 PM   #2
MoGas1341
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From my experience with AR type rifles, they are all about the same. The S&W is a good value, but from what I have seen from several of my friends rifles (one having a DPMS, one a Daniel Defense and one a Palmetto [I believe]) they all shoot and function the same. I didn't notice any difference in quality etc. I do understand that once you start free-floating a heavy barrel and hand loading etc, they tighten up, but for your 200 yard purpose, I don't think you will be disappointed with any of your choices listed.
I personally would go with an M&P AR15 that is already assembled (but that's because Im a Smith fan to be entirely honest) you can always go back and change things on it. The AR platform is a very modular rifle, and many of the parts you find are made by the same manufacturer (just with someone elses name on it)
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Old December 20, 2013, 09:34 PM   #3
sbaker10
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The sw is the one without the dust cover just to clarify, however I doubt a little bit of dirt is going to bring the rifle down and if it does its questionable if the dust cover would make much of a difference.

I don't expect to be crawling through the sands of Afghanistan with it, but I will shoot it a lot at the range, in fact I am buying this gun mostly to stockpile ammo for it as I feel it is very versatile for hunting/ self defense, and so forth.
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Old December 20, 2013, 10:08 PM   #4
Crunchy Frog
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PSA has Anderson lowers on the website for $50 and a couple of the PSA branded lowers are also on sale for $90. PSA's Greenville store they had leftover "Black Friday" stripped lowers for $50.

I'm in the middle of my second PSA build. Very pleased with everything I have purchased from them, both price and quality.
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Old December 21, 2013, 12:26 AM   #5
5whiskey
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Baker beat me to it... the M&P sport does not have a dust cover. I would say this is fine if you just want a range toy for fun. Even if it does get dirty and goes down, it's an annoyance at worst. For actual field use, though, I would want a rifle with a dust cover (even though, contrary to popular belief, an AR action does not have to be kept in pristine condition to function).

I have no personal experience with PSA, but from what I've heard and read they're a mid quality company at a lower price. CMMG rifles can be found in your price range, and I can attest to their quality. Just to confound your option list
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Old December 21, 2013, 05:29 AM   #6
rebs
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I have a S&W Sport and believe it is a very well made rifle and very accurate with a 1 in 8 twist 5R rifled barrel. As far as a dust cover I have no need for one nor have I had a need for a forward assist. Bolt, lever and pump action rifles do not have either of these and they are used in the fields and woods without problems. That being said I also have a Colt AR that is very accurate and has the dust cover and forward assist, I have never had a need to use the forward assist and the dust cover is mainly always open. My rifle has never been that dirty that I absolutely need a dust cover. In the sand of Afghanistan or Irag I can see where a dust cover would be of more value.
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Old December 21, 2013, 09:10 AM   #7
BillyJack3
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You really can't go wrong with any of those. In you price range, all are solid performers and all have readily available standard AR parts available. I've handled the Windham and it's very nice. I believe it has a commercial buffer tube which I didn't like as I want all of my ARs to be interchangeable and the others area all mil-spec. I have a S&W (It's the OR model) and it's been nothing short of perfect. Many other will tell you the same about S&W. I also have a PSA upper on order. If you get the PSA, be prepared to wait. Hard to beat their prices. I'd stay away from the lower end PTAC stuff and if you get a complete upper, make sure you're getting a good bolt. They are not all created equal.
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Old December 21, 2013, 09:21 AM   #8
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Any particular reason you would stay away from the PTAC stuff? Just curious, have you heard of any problems with them? They are from Practical Tactical and PSA is their distributor. I am a PSA dealer and I don't get any break on PTAC stuff so just wondering. It's not particularly "low end" either. I've used their bolts and had no problems with them so far.
Otherwise, I agree with what has been said. All are good to go. I believe the Smith has a lifetime warranty but won't swear to it. I had one from Windham that had a tight chamber and had to be sent back for proper reaming but they took care of it with no problem. Probably just a fluke and not indicative of their stuff overall.
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Last edited by CTS; December 21, 2013 at 09:30 AM.
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Old December 21, 2013, 09:31 AM   #9
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I have two of the S&W Sport rifles. I don't miss the FA or the dust cover either and both of mine run fine. The trigger on the second was better than the first, but both cleaned up pretty good with a bit of polish.

I haven't bought anything from PSA so no help there, but they do enjoy a good reputation, so they must be doing right by their customers. Wyndam also seems to get good press.
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Old December 21, 2013, 11:02 AM   #10
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Of those, PSA. But look at their kits being offered, I'd avoid M4 carbine length gas. Midlength gas on a 16" barrel is ideal but it's likely not offered in the cheapest rifles. I have a PSA 16" LW midlength upper that compares well with my BCM upper that cost much more.
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Old December 21, 2013, 11:33 AM   #11
Cirdan
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I have the Windham, and it's great. Eats anything I put into it, and accuracy (tactical, haven't shot long distance) has been great - hit what I'm shooting at every time. It has a dust cover which I do need (dusty home).

The one downside is it's occasionally finicky about mags. Sometimes all the mags seat properly and work fine, but once in awhile one won't lock in. Not consistent to one mag/brand. Still haven't figured it out.
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Old December 21, 2013, 12:16 PM   #12
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Smith and Wesson...I have the same rifle along with a Noveske, Daniel Defense, and a Colt. The Smith has been very dependable with zero problems after 700 rounds. Put a Vortex Strikefire on it and call it good...Also consider the warranty, which is rock solid...
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Old December 21, 2013, 02:52 PM   #13
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Quote:
Any particular reason you would stay away from the PTAC stuff?
PSA is the exclusive distributor of PTAC products. The PTAC stuff seems to be hit or miss and there is very little information about the manufacturer. There's confusion on the warranty as well. It's considered PSA's value line and with all the value (inexpensive product) you get with PSA already, I just don't see a need to risk an order for a few dollars less.
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Old December 21, 2013, 05:41 PM   #14
CTS
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Quote:
PSA is the exclusive distributor of PTAC products. The PTAC stuff seems to be hit or miss and there is very little information about the manufacturer. There's confusion on the warranty as well. It's considered PSA's value line
I know that PSA is the exclusive distributor, I told you that in my earlier post. What do you mean "the PTAC stuff seems to be hit or miss"? Have you used any of it or know anyone who has that has had problems? Or did you read it on the internet"? I told you it is Practical Tactical AR Parts. That is who they are. They are a start up company. They are warrantied by PSA.

Here is a quote from PSA:
Quote:
Practical Tactical AR Parts (P-TAC) is a brand new startup company focusing on the bare essentials of the AR parts world. Their motto “Everything you need and nothing else” sums up there product and company model. P-TAC produces a mid-level quality product so that the rock bottom prices can be passed on to the consumer. Recently, Palmetto State Armory proudly excepted the role as an exclusive dealer of P-TAC parts to include multiple product lines including lower parts and build kits, uppers, bolt carrier groups, and charging handles just to name a few. The quality of these products is still guaranteed, it’s just the frills that have been removed!
Palmetto State Armory
200 Business Park Blvd
Columbia, SC 29203
Web Sales: 803.788.9095
socialmedia.info@palmettostatearmory.com
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Old December 21, 2013, 07:13 PM   #15
chris in va
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2500 reloads through my Sport, no issues that weren't ammo related. Very satisfied. On a side note, isn't it amazing the Sport has now dropped back to pre-panic prices? $620 is what I paid for mine 3 years ago.

Now one thing of note, the Sport is not a 'mil-spec' rifle, nor does it need to be. If that bothers you go for the Colt.

Also the S&W is 'Melonited' in and out. I confirmed that with customer service.
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Old December 22, 2013, 11:11 AM   #16
marine6680
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To me, PSA varies in quality depending on what parts you get, they have levels ranging from mid to high end. (at least the low side of high end, maybe better)

If you get a pre-assembled upper and build your own lower, it can be fun and a learning experience. A pre-assembled upper prevents a few of the problems a new builder might have.

Building a lower isn't hard, but you do need to have a few tools and some common sense... mostly to prevent scuffs, scratches and damage. (though real damage to the parts would be hard to do)

I paid a bit more on my two builds than your budget, but I went with the higher end side of the parts offered at PSA to assure I got proper 7xxx series aluminum where aluminum is used, a good barrel, and good BCG. (my stainless CHF barrel upper cost near 600 by itself... but it is a shooter, It is a sub-MOA rifle with quality ammo)

For your use, getting the "premium" stuff isn't needed unless you want to. Just spend your money on the barrel and bolt. (or an upper that has the proper ones already) Those are the parts most important to accuracy and good reliability. So you could have a good quality rifle for about the same or a little less than the Windham. It might be better but at least as good as the Windham.


I hear good things about the S&W Sport. No CL barrel, but accurate. Quality should be good.

Hear good things about the Windham stuff as well.
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Old December 22, 2013, 01:54 PM   #17
BillyJack3
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Slappy,

I read it on the internet. Isn't that what we're all doing here? I originally stated that I would stay away from PTAC and the reason is the feedback I've read from others that have personal experience. That's enough for me to go with premium PSA when I get something from that company. As I stated, it seems to be hit and miss. Some do fine with it but there are enough reported issues that I would personally stay away.

http://www.mdshooters.com/showthread.php?t=133338

http://www.ar15.com/forums/t_2_301/2...PTAC_LPKs.html

http://www.ar15.com/forums/t_2_301/2...ome_PICS_.html



http://www.ar15.com/forums/t_1_5/156...s_product.html
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Old December 22, 2013, 02:13 PM   #18
arizona98tj
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I do believe dust covers, at least for use on civilian ARs, are somewhat over rated. I live in the desert Southwest. I've spent over 60 hours in training courses with my AR-15. Those courses were all conducted in the rather windy desert. There were days when the wind blew so hard it was tough to stand still enough to put a bullet on a 50 yard target. Needless to say the dust was blowing a LOT during those courses. While my M&P15 OR has a dust cover, it was only snapped closed at the end of the training day, about 15 seconds before I put it in the gun case....the rest of the time it was open. I suffered no performance issues.

People can "want" anything they like....but that doesn't mean it is "needed" in order for something to work. YMMV
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Old December 22, 2013, 04:01 PM   #19
CTS
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Billyjack. It is a new start up company. Things take time to iron out on a new company. I know some of the guys running PSA and I don't think they would take a chance on these products if they didn't believe in them. For the four of five complaints you can find on the internet, there are 4 or 5 hundred possibly thousand happy customers. I have used one of their bolts in the past with no complaints from the customer so far. Remember, people tend to gripe when they have a problem. They are not nearly as likely to come on the net and talk about a product that works like it should unless possibly doing a review, all of which I have seen to be pretty good so far.

Quote:
I'd stay away from the lower end PTAC stuff and if you get a complete upper, make sure you're getting a good bolt. They are not all created equal.
This was your initial statement on the subject and all I did was ask you to clarify your position. Since you have no personal knowledge of their products maybe you shouldn't give advice on them. Just my opinion. Hard to give advice on something you have no experience with. I have had to return PSA Premium bolt carrier groups for replacement because they were out of spec but that doesn't mean I quit using their parts.
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Last edited by CTS; December 22, 2013 at 04:10 PM.
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Old December 22, 2013, 07:38 PM   #20
BillyJack3
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I don't disagree with you on your first hand knowledge point. In this case, I have none and I'm simply someone who has just done many weeks of research for another upper receiver. Trying to decipher what PTAC was, I felt fine posting what I did. My statement was simply that I would stay away and that all are not created equal. Stating that all is not equal and make sure you are getting a good bolt is good advice for anyone. With the PTAC product, unless you know what you're looking for, you may not be happy with what you get.

My point on bolts is below. Both marked PTAC in two different bundles. One has a Carpenter 158 bolt and one comes with 8620. It's simply confusing as one is a PTAC FA BCG and one is a PTAC 16" Rifle Kit.

I'm sure there are many people that are happy with their PTAC product and if you click on all the links I posted earlier, one of those was a positive post. I don't have an issue with the company but a little clarification would certainly help.

If I saw that this is the PTAC BCG:
http://palmettostatearmory.com/index...ng-handle.html

I would assume that by getting a complete PTAC upper with BCG that I would be getting the same. But if you read the spec, that's not the case.
http://palmettostatearmory.com/index...rifle-kit.html
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Old December 22, 2013, 09:05 PM   #21
CTS
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Yep, your right about the bolts. I just ordered the one with the charging handle. I would have assumed that all the PTAC bolts would be the same. I didn't mean to sound like I was getting on your case. Just had a rough day I guess. Sorry for the hard time. Top it all off my Iphone took a dump on me and it is just a few weeks out of warranty.
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Old December 23, 2013, 08:17 AM   #22
BillyJack3
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I didn't take it that way at all. As I mentioned and to your completely valid point, I typically don't comment on things I don't have experience with but after researching, I was still left with questions. Nothing some clarification and marketing can't solve. PTAC definitely has a place and PSA does as well. I didn't really NEED a new upper but the PSA Premium made it too hard not to get. That's what having a spare bolt in the safe does to you. Makes you start building around it.

And my company still has me on a Blackbarry. It will be a year and a half before I can join the real world and get an iPhone. Good luck with yours!
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Old December 26, 2013, 01:33 AM   #23
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Right now, as was mentioned earlier, you can put together a pretty nice rifle from PSA with the pricing of late. I purchased a premium psa upper w/BCG, CH and MI lite-quad rail in a 16" carbine config; and it is real nice. From my understanding the "Premium" label denotes the fact that the barrel is made by FN for PSA.

The shipping isn't the fastest, but it is consistent and I have purchased a number of items and have been very satisified.

BTW I just ordered an FN FNAR .308 from PSA and got it for under $800. They have some really good deals, but they don't last as they are frequently soon out of stock of said deals. If you have the time and patience you can build a lower with a prebuilt PSA upper with a decent red dot for under $700.
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Old December 26, 2013, 03:42 PM   #24
BillyJack3
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I have my PSA upper on order. Looks like a shipping label is printed but it's just sitting there. I'm hoping it gets picked up soon. I've had a lower I built for about 8 months now and also had a spare BCG. I just picked up a charging handle and a take off Colt carry handle. This build is going old school, truck gun, KISS, no frills basic M4 clone. Can't wait to have a nice simple AR.
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Old December 27, 2013, 01:17 AM   #25
Fishbed77
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Of the three options, I'd go with PSA (make sure you use their "Premium" or "Classic" parts rather than the "PTAC" budget parts).

You will end up with a rifle that is less expensive, closer to mil-spec, and likely better than a Windham or S&W.
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