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Old October 17, 2017, 08:06 PM   #1
dyl
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Rifle brand analogies please

Hi folks,

I've been starting to consider AR's and I've come across some difficulty distinguishing the various brands especially since parts can be had piecemeal.

I am much more familiar with handguns and reputations of the companies behind them. I know there is some crossover for example, Colt, S&W, Ruger.

Could you use analogies for companies like Spike's tactical, Anderson, and any other ones you can if you think it would help me understand the role or niche? Perhaps warn me if there is a Hi-Point of The AR world ?

Thanks
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Old October 17, 2017, 08:57 PM   #2
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Just get a Colt 6920 first. Shoot the ever loving snot out of it. Then you can decide if you need anything from other manufacturers. Or if you think you'd like a lighter rifle the 6720 can be found for nearly the same $$$

I can't give good analogies for most other rifles, but a Colt 6920 is the glock 19 of AR 15s. Or the Honda Civic of rifles.
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Old October 17, 2017, 09:07 PM   #3
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"Just get a Colt 6920 first"
Unfortunately, the "prancing pony" logo doesn't guarantee performance. I have a Colt AR that has w/o question, the sloppiest chamber in my AR stable. Additionally, the Colt is in the lower 1/3 of the accuracy performance among the AR's I own. This rifle's main use is blasting away the reloaded ammo that doesn't fit the other AR's that have tighter chambers.
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Old October 17, 2017, 10:51 PM   #4
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Old October 17, 2017, 10:57 PM   #5
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From Pew Pew Tactical...

Quote:
Top Tier AR-15 Manufacturers

These are our perceived top quality manufacturers who don’t cut corners and can produce near 100% reliable guns (or they have an awesome marketing budget).

If you’re looking for the best service grade (mil-spec) AR for self or home defense, we recommend going with one of these top tier companies who stand behind their product.

Bravo Company (BCM)

Colt

Daniel Defense (DD)

Larue

Lewis Machine & Tool (LMT)

LWRC

Noveske

Rainier Arms

Yankee Hill Machine

Mid Tier Manufacturers

These are great guns that might start out range plinking guns until they’ve proven themselves.  We recommend putting at least 1000 rounds through with varying conditions, ammo, and magazines before you trust a gun with your life.

The below is not an exhaustive list, especially with all the builders out there.

Anderson

Aero Precision

FNH

Ruger

Sig Sauer

Smith & Wesson

Spike’s

Budget Manufacturers

Nothing wrong with these guns either, they are great starter AR’s because of their affordability and are perfectly capable of being reliable.  Just test them out first.

Bushmaster

Delton

DPMS

Olympic

Palmetto State Armory (PSA)

Rock River Arms (RRA)

Stag
Edited to add disclaimer for those that disagree with this list.

YMMV. Everyone has there own opinions. This is not a be all end all list, just some information to take or leave as you wish.

I was going to post several lists to show opinions will vary, but got tired of looking at the time. Just trying to help the OP.

Carry on.

Last edited by O4L; October 18, 2017 at 11:24 PM.
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Old October 17, 2017, 11:33 PM   #6
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I can't say I agree with that list.

I'd go top tier:

BCM, DD, Noveske, LWRC, LMT, Ranier, Spike's

Mid tier:

Colt, FN, PSA premium, S&W (besides Sport), Aero, Sig, Rock River.

Good budget:

Windham, Bushmaster, some Delton, Stag, PSA freedom, S&W sport, Ruger.

More budget:

DPMS, Delton Sport, Anderson, ATI, Bear Creek, all the Saturday Night Special brands out there.

There are tons of brands out there. Can't keep track of all of them, but these are some of the most popular.

There's also lots of expensive rifles that aren't exactly milspec or high end that I consider novelty BBQ guns. Black Rain and the like come to mind.
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Old October 17, 2017, 11:50 PM   #7
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FNH as a mid tier and below Colt?!

They are at least as good as a Colt, likely better. Fit and finish of the FNs I have seen has appeared better than the Colt's. That's just from handling them though, as I do not own an FN.

Colt and FN are solid rifles, their basic models are not necessarily "high end", but are good. They also offer some higher end rifles though.


The questions that are important are...

What is the main use of the rifle?
What features do you feel are important?
What is your budget?


Reliable rifles are available in a variety of price ranges... Though overall quality varies.

A rifle suitable for hard use is usually more expensive than a range plinker.

Simple desire to own a higher end rifle is also a valid reason.

Remember, that the cost of sighting options must be added to the final cost. BUIS, red dot, scope...


Some good brands have been mentioned above.
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Old October 18, 2017, 12:06 AM   #8
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No no, FN isn't below Colt. The brands weren't in any specific order in each category. I'd agree the finish is better on the FN over the Colt, but they're the same basic specs overall.

FN probably is top tier, but the finish just isn't as up to par as the ones I listed as top tier are. At least on rifles I've seen in person.

From my experience, most of the top and mid tier function the same. Some are just prettier with better customer service.
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Old October 18, 2017, 12:35 AM   #9
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Yep. What's your budget and intended use? You'll get more focused answers.

It's almost hard to go wrong these days as long as you buy a well known name brand. Lots of good quality stuff out there at great prices.

Look at the crazy price on this, guys. http://www.monmouthreloading.com/sho...pper-receiver/ I've paid more than twice that in the past. (It's $44.95 in case the price changes)

That's just to give you an idea how far prices have fallen on AR parts and rifles.
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Old October 18, 2017, 01:11 AM   #10
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DubC... My comment was for the person who posted above you. They had Colt as "top tier" and FN as Mid...
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Old October 18, 2017, 08:03 AM   #11
Fishbed77
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Quote:
"Just get a Colt 6920 first"
Unfortunately, the "prancing pony" logo doesn't guarantee performance.
No, but the higher level of QA/QC that goes into Colt rifles (compared to all the consumer-grade brands) improves your chances of getting a rifle that is GTG.

Personally, my preference is for BCM rifles. For the price, quality, and options they offer, they are hard to beat.

If you're willing to build a lower from quality parts and slap a BCM upper on it, you have a very good chance of getting a very high quality rifle for a very reasonable amount of money.
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Old October 18, 2017, 08:29 AM   #12
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Colt.

Everything else is just a copy.
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Last edited by SanchoPanza; October 18, 2017 at 08:57 AM.
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Old October 18, 2017, 09:38 AM   #13
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I just posted a list from the website for a starting point for the OP.

I knew not everyone would agree with the list. I don't agree with it completely, but it was more information than was here before.

Lighten up folks.

(See edit above.)

Last edited by O4L; October 18, 2017 at 09:47 AM.
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Old October 18, 2017, 11:08 AM   #14
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Talking barrels only:
Most are ok to use at a minimum. Of course some are considerably better than others.

If you can’t find out much information about them, I’d steer clear.
I have:
Aero
Ballistic Advantage
Anderson
FN through PSA.

Those are all in what I’d call the affordable category.

One of my Anderson barrels is also the cheapest $80 4150 unlined 16” with a carbine gas system with the M4 cutout... it’s the most accurate I have at 100yds. Probably not the norm though.
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Old October 18, 2017, 11:12 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DubC-Hicks View Post
I can't say I agree with that list.

I'd go top tier:

BCM, DD, Noveske, LWRC, LMT, Ranier, Spike's

Mid tier:

Colt, FN, PSA premium, S&W (besides Sport), Aero, Sig, Rock River.

Good budget:

Windham, Bushmaster, some Delton, Stag, PSA freedom, S&W sport, Ruger.

More budget:

DPMS, Delton Sport, Anderson, ATI, Bear Creek, all the Saturday Night Special brands out there.
This is a pretty good breakdown IMO.
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Old October 18, 2017, 01:23 PM   #16
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I thought the post asked about barrels, but it says brands... I’m slipping in my middle agedness
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Old October 18, 2017, 06:23 PM   #17
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Quote:
dyl wrote:
...I've come across some difficulty distinguishing the various brands...
Don't focus on the brand, focus on the specifications of the rifle you'll actually be buying.

Many manufacturers put out highly finished rifles with very high quality components that sell for much more than $1,000. At the same time, that same manufacturer may put out a garden variety M4 knockoff for $500. If I told you to go buy Brand A referring to their $1,200 rifle and instead you went for their $500 model, you wouldn't get the same thing I was thinking about when I recommended the brand.
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Old October 18, 2017, 07:10 PM   #18
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O4L...

I knew it wasn't your list... I was just disagreeing. No hate for you or the original maker of the list.

So it does show the point of people disagreeing... But for the most part I did agree with the list on the whole.
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Old October 18, 2017, 08:29 PM   #19
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Old October 18, 2017, 09:46 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by marine6680 View Post
O4L...

I knew it wasn't your list... I was just disagreeing. No hate for you or the original maker of the list.

So it does show the point of people disagreeing... But for the most part I did agree with the list on the whole.
That's cool.
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Old October 18, 2017, 09:49 PM   #21
dyl
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First off, I am amazed at how civil you all have kept this thread.
Second, thank you. It was helpful. You've given me plenty of info but I thought if you're curious about my motive:
What I am looking for is a potential 1 specimen representation of the genera. I don't have 3 gun competition near me, I don't have the property to run and gun. I may get a silencer in the next year or 2. I am aiming for a solid choice (so I suspect not bottom barrel Budget) that can group well and leave me not wondering if it was me or the rifle. (I actually do have 1 pistol that is like this) For example, I have an M&p and Glock rather than a Phoenix HP22, Rohm, or Diamondback DB9. I'd probably go carbine length with a red dot on a free floated hand guard with iron sights some day and not really a varminter nor pistol length. Just kind of a general service rifle setup to explore the genera, gain familiarity, that would also be a keeper. I do reload. Thanks again
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Old October 18, 2017, 10:04 PM   #22
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Then look at the Colt 6920 with the Magpul SL furniture. Very representative but with a modern touch. Maybe the marine can post a pic of the one he just picked up. It's very cool.
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Old October 18, 2017, 10:22 PM   #23
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I think mid length gs systems are superior on a 16in barrel.


If you want a solid rifle for general use, and if you are budget conscious... PSA Freedom or an Aero Precision. Both are under $600, I would suggest the Aero as being a bit better. Brownells has them. The OEM allows for easy customization to the configuration you want.

The problem with PSA is that they have a lot of different variants, with different specs. You have to know what you are getting.


For mid range pricing, $750 to a bit over a grand... Colt, S&W, Sig and others. FN may have a few options for under $1200 available.


If you want something higher end...

BCM and DD are great options.

Last edited by marine6680; October 18, 2017 at 11:44 PM.
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Old October 18, 2017, 10:59 PM   #24
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I have used Anderson and PSA lately. With PSA stay with Freedom parts or better. I have a .308 Anderson I did a barrel change on to convert it to .338 federal using a BHW barrel and it works just fine. The only other change I did is add a drop in Timney Trigger to it. Works just fine. I have also used Aero Precision. They worked just fine. Primary Arms also has some good stuff.
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Old October 18, 2017, 11:13 PM   #25
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http://palmettostatearmory.com/psa-1...516445149.html

http://palmettostatearmory.com/psa-a...zine-7065.html

http://palmettostatearmory.com/psa-l...516446450.html

http://palmettostatearmory.com/psa-a...dle-24080.html

Here's a quick list of parts I just slapped together in 5 mins. Total of $510ish+ shipping. It'd be a free float 16" with mid-length gas system, nickel boron bolt carrier group. I've used the PSA Freedom barrels in numerous builds and always been happy with the accuracy. I think it'd meet all your requirements you listed, but there are many other options out there that would as well.

Or this one if you would like a complete rifle, only with carbine length gas system:

http://palmettostatearmory.com/psa-1...516447093.html
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