View Full Version : AR15 Clones - Feedback requested

October 20, 1998, 10:00 AM
The market is filled with M16/AR15 type rifles. This includes Colt, Armalite, Bushmaster, Olympic Arms and maybe a few others. What's your opinion on the fit, finish, quality, accuracy of each respective rifle and which would you choose?

October 20, 1998, 11:10 AM
I am not imressed with Olympic and DMPS - they dont seem to have the precission compaired to Bushmaster (look at the web page www.bushmaster.com I think...) I have owned 3 of them and still have one that I think I will keep forever. They are made to exact tollerances tighter than the others I have seen. Here is Idea for you on how to get your AR with not a lot of money:
Shotgun news has many listings of places where you can order an AR "KIT" what you will get will be a complete AR upper and a bag of parts... the price will be depending on the style of AR you want there are some many different variations out there, it is unreal. There is even a 10 inch pistol kit... the legality of some of these kits is questionable so I suggest you educate your self. Once you get your kit, go to the local FFL holder or gun shop. Cost of the Bushmaster striped lower reciever is only $109 dollars! You will have to pay some mark up and shipping. All together you can be around 500 bucks at this point. Not bad. You have an upper, a lower, and a bag of small parts. A local gunsmith can put the parts together for you for a reasonable price ( i've had it done for as low as 60 bucks ). While there at the shop he can do a trigger job, polish up some internals etc... All said and done you can have a very fine AR for 600 bucks. Beat that. Watch out for preban parts in your post ban reciever - that will get you 20 felony years if you get caught with it, your gunsmith should catch those and set you up right straight.

October 21, 1998, 11:40 AM
I'd have to concur with Kodiac's assessment of the Bushmaster/QPI product.

I have two of their XM15E2S carbines which were assembled about the same time that Bushmaster submitted their version of the M4 for testing at the Aberdeen Proving Ground. One has an excellent action job done by Bushmaster (or one of their subs).

I’ve compared their fit and finish directly to my old Colt HBAR target gun, Colt 9mm Carbines, and several other manufacturers’ and assemblers’ products. These Bushmasters significantly exceed the rest of the non-Colt field, and equals if not exceeds that of the original Colts. I’ve not included the new Knight/Armalite rifle in this comparison because I’ve yet to handle one. However, I’ve heard second-hand reports that they may beat-out the Bushmaster in these categories, but at a considerable cost differential.

Both Bushmasters, mounted with Trijicon ACOG 4x scopes, routinely print nickel-sized groups at 100-yards with Winchester Q-series ammo. The action job on the one does not seem to have had a significant influence on my ability to reduce the groups. However, I once made the mistake of allowing a distaff shooter to try that particular little poodle popper from a 100-yard prone position. She promptly and perfectly center-punched the dime-sized target dot, three times in a row. Shaken to the very foundations of my masculinity, I took my toys and went home; then made Tomb Raider’s Laura Croft fight even more wolves and bears while I worked through my sullen snit.

Bushmaster frames make an excellent point of departure for building your own kit gun. I would caution against letting cost be the primary driving factor, because often you get exactly what you pay for. Even the excellent Bushmaster frame cannot compensate for being saddled with poor quality components or workmanship. Make sure the parts are from reputable and highly regarded manufactures and the ‘smith has a portfolio of satisfied customers for whom he has done the same work.

Rob Pincus
October 21, 1998, 12:09 PM
This is one of my favorite things in the gun world.. the AR-15 kit gun....! I used to help people build these for under $500 bucks. they weren't competition guns, but they were as accurate as anything I ever used in the Army. Along with the kit 1911, this is truly one of the best cases of bang for the buck in the industry. I have had good luck with Olympic recievers, but Bushmaster is definitely better.

I'm a big fan of having to learn how to put the gun together (except headspacing the barrel, I hever messed with that...) yourself, THEN taking it to a qualified smith to make sure everything is okay. While this may get you ridiculed at the local gunshop when you bring in a screwed up AR Lower, you will come out with a much better understanding of the weapon and probably be able to do everything just right by the second time you do it.

October 21, 1998, 01:06 PM
A kit 1911? This sounds very interesting. I have never seen one. That would be even more fun than the AR! Where would I get a 1911 kit - and what all goes into that?

Mykl- you like PC games? Try NAM... based on the Marine Doom idea, built on the duke nukem 3D engine. It is a hoot to play, and you can get it at walmart under the name NAPALM for about 14 bucks or less. (walmart wanted the name changed for some stupid reason so GT re packaged it). It was a level based on the movie Preditor that is amusing. That is a good GUN game... but for stress relief I love Jane's simulations - even if they don't look as good as Lara Croft.

[This message has been edited by Kodiac (edited 10-21-98).]

Rob Pincus
October 21, 1998, 01:58 PM
you can buy a .45 frame pretty cheap, then you get the slide, barrel, all the little pieces and go to town. Shotgun news always has lots of parts for sale. Any FFL dealer can get you a frame. I would suggest Brownell's catalog as a great resource for this project. (516-623-5401)

Some samples from my newest edition ('94)
A springfield kit for $393.00
(not including barrel,bushing, sights, saftey, grip safety, hammer trigger.

Or, on the cheap end:
reciever for $125.80
Upper for 130.66
Spngfld barrel 67.55
complte parts 100.00 (approx, varies GREATLY)

total: approx: $425.00

So that would be a base model .45 that you had the satisfaction of building yourself, for well under $500.00 Of course, when you start adding videki triggers, Wilson safeties, Clark Barrels, McCormick Titianium innards and you can spend $800 really quick.

October 21, 1998, 10:12 PM
Thanks for the input so far. Has anybody examined or fired the Colt Target AR and what's your opinion on it?

Second, if you were putting a kit together, what barrel would you consider?

Rob Pincus
October 21, 1998, 10:19 PM
Barrel Brand, probably a bushmaster
I like the 16" Heavy Barrel for an all purpose gun.

October 23, 1998, 08:02 PM
Bushmaster does not make a 7.62x39mm AR, do they? I think I'm going to have to give in soon and get an AR, and would prefer 7.62x39mm to 5.56mm, if I don't just spring for an Armalite 7.62x51mm.

October 30, 1998, 08:15 AM

Isn't the problem not "pre-ban parts in a post-ban receiver" but rather pre-ban features (flash hider, bayonet lug, etc.) on a rifle built with a post-ban receiver?

I don't believe that there is a problem with pre-ban parts that would go into the lower. I believe that the problem is M-16 parts (not a pre or post-ban issue), that if used turn the gun into an NFA weapon.

October 30, 1998, 10:24 AM
According to the BATF, the Post Ban Lower, will make your gun a Post Ban Gun. And thus it all parts put on it have to be in compliance. The Lower is the base of the gun and the part that the ATF keeps tabs on sales of.
And should there be questions about your AR, the burden of proof is on the gun owner.

Rob Pincus
October 30, 1998, 11:42 AM
Tax, The flash Suppresor and bayo lug are "parts" of the gun too....

October 30, 1998, 01:57 PM

Perhaps I misunderstood your original post. I understood "Watch out for preban parts in your post ban reciever" to mean parts specifically installed in the receiver (hammer, disconnector, selector, trigger, bolt/carrier, etc.), and with these parts, there is not a pre vs. post ban issue. It is an NFA or non NFA firearm issue. I am pretty sure that you are completely legal in installing pre ban, non NFA parts (hammer, disconnector, etc.) in a post ban gun. The post ban gun simply can't have too many "evil" features (pistol grip, detachable mag, flash hider, bayonet lug, etc.).

If I'm wrong (according to my wife, that's most of the time http://www.thefiringline.com/ubb/smile.gif), please let me know. I don't want to assemble an illegal rifle.

October 30, 1998, 02:08 PM
When in doubt - take your AR in to a good smith you trust.
I am lucky and have the best AR smith in Virginia a 1/2 block from me. I trust him completely - He has earned that trust.

A good smith will be able to give you the full details...

Even the BOLT Carrier can get you 20 years. It has to be cut down or something like that... My smith did that for free for me.

All this AR talk - I am going to have to take mine out and Shoot it this weekend.

Rob Pincus
October 31, 1998, 04:10 AM
You mean the M16 (closed circle) style bolt carriers are not allowed in Post ban guns, right? or am I missing something?

I'd have traded you a cut one before you cut a closed one, kod!!!

Jeff White
November 6, 1998, 07:45 PM
Evil M16 parts not permitted in an AR15 are: hammer, trigger, disconnector, safety and bolt carrier. Just possesion of one of these M16 parts and an AR15 is considered a machinegun. It doesn't even have to be installed. There are certain exceptions, if you own a registered M16 and an AR15 possesion of the parts would be legal as long as they were not installed in the AR15. BATF made this ruling around '83 or '84. I built my first home made AR15 in '83 using a Quality Parts (Bushmaster)lower,(it was an EA they weren't selling their own yet). I purchased it from them with M16 parts. Somewhere I still have the letter from Quality Parts advising me of the ATF ruling and instructing me to return the receiver to them so they could replace the parts with AR15 parts. No charge of course. I always wondered what this ruling cost Quality Parts.

A few years ago the Supreame Court ruled in a case involving a TC Contender and a Contender Carbine kit. It seems BATF had charged a man with possesion of an unregistered short barreled rifle, because he possessed a 10" Contender and a Contender Carbine. Their premise was that the two guns could be assembled into an illegal short barreled rifle so mere possesion of both guns was a felony. To it's credit the court ruled that the government had to prove that they had been assembeled into the illegal short barreled rifle. A reasonable man would assume that this ruling would apply to an AR with an M16 part, but it doesn't.

October 5, 2004, 01:06 AM
Pay close attention --- My Wilson UT15 is as advertised, with out-of-box performance @ sub-MOA, and all else superb, especially after installing an Ace SOCOM stock after-ban-expiration. Look no further --- ante up the long dollar and get the best, what you really wanted...

October 5, 2004, 05:30 AM
Pay close attention ---

Speaking of paying close attention, did you pay close attention to the date of this thread?

October 5, 2004, 10:05 AM