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New AR rifle ideas


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#1 David Hamilton

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Posted 21 June 2016 - 09:45 AM

Hey guys , haven't posted in a while here but need some help. I recently got over my pistol urge by buying a m&p bodyguard 380 for my off duty carry. ( I'm a Chicago police officer).
I'm now looking to start saving some money for an AR 15. There is a list of several companies I'm thinking of going with but really don't know what's the overall best or " good at all, best at none ".
My experience with rifles is simple, I was in the Marine Corps infantry with deployments to Afghan in 05 to 09. Also did a brief time with a pmc company. So, my skills are there. I can shoot , dis and ass most weapon systems, clean and run the gun in combat. The thing the infantry doesn't really get into, is all the intricacies of the m4 ( types or barrels, chrome lined, all the various sights and endless internal workings of the rifle.)

The m4 I used got me through many rough situations and naturally im looking for something that can stand up against what I carried. I need something tough, moderately accurate( home defense and 200 -300 yds accuracy) and something that is overall trust worthy. And not breaking the bank. Here's some of the companies im looking at....

Colt
Smith & Wesson
Bushmaster
Defense Procurement Manufacturing Services (DPMS)
Rock River
Lewis Machine & Tool
DS Arms
Armalite
L.W.R.C.
LaRue Tactical
Ruger
Saber Defense
Stag Arms
Daniel Defense
CMMG
Spike's Tactical.
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#2 Quietmike

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Posted 21 June 2016 - 10:50 AM

Daniel Defense, LaRue, Colt, Bravo Custom, and Seekins are the top ones in my opinion.

You might get a great one from other companies, and you might get a lemon from these guys, but the overall quality and service from the above has been exemplary for me.
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#3 David Hamilton

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Posted 21 June 2016 - 10:59 AM

Is there certain ones from a company you like? Like I said, I can pick one and run it ( could be better) but if you gave me a list of each rifle and showed a list of how each one different ( barrel lining, small parts within the lower receiver, etc) I would have no idea what's " good" or at least whats " garbage".

#4 Quietmike

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Posted 21 June 2016 - 05:31 PM

BCM has great bolts, shot peened and MPI inspected. They also have a great upgraded charging handle. The trigger on mine (recce 16) was surprisingly smooth. Chromed bore, if that's important to you.

Seekins billet receiver has a ambi bolt release that I like better than the magpul bad lever.

It's really hard to nail down specifics, it just seems they have more attention to detail that results in a smoother running rifle.


I've had some friends who went cheap and got ARs with improper headspacing, burrs in the chamber, and loose gas keys.


Building your own might be your best bet, then you can pick and choose exactly what you want, and you'll be very familiar with how the parts interact.

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#5 pira114

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Posted 21 June 2016 - 06:43 PM

The problem with building your own is that people tend to go with questionable parts to save money. Or save time when quality parts aren't readily available. All parts ain't good parts.

The other issue is that all ARs are not as good as any other. There's a TDP that only Colt has. Therefore, only Colt (and FN when it comes to barrels) can manufactur an AR according to the TDP. So everything else is varying degrees of close. Maybe worse, maybe better. Hard to say since the TDP is not publicly available.

The companies that have gotten close, or on the better side, are well known through observation at serious training schools and proving grounds.

For me, the list is short of what I'll accept. In order, they are as follows:

Colt
BCM
Daniel Defense

And one other brand I'll accept for training, backup, and spare parts is Smith and Wesson. Time will tell still if they make it to the actual list I'd trust my life to, but all reports are that they're good to go. Personally, I just want another year of seeing AARs of their performance in high round count classes

Edited by pira114, 21 June 2016 - 06:45 PM.

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#6 Psybain

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Posted 22 June 2016 - 01:05 AM

If i needed a "cheap" sporter style rifle, I'd go with the m&p sport, aside from that, Daniel Defense, bcm, colt for sure... maybe lmt. Check out sionics out of az too, you get a lot of rifle for your money.

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#7 jvandivere

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Posted 22 June 2016 - 02:56 PM

I've got a ruger- it's a nice rifle don't get me wrong but it's heavy and on the 556E variant I have, heats up very fast (you may have to wear gloves if shooting over 30 rounds).  Piston is cool, but I've found I don't really shoot enough to need it. Actually looking to sell it and get/build another M4 variant.  I have a friend who has a Colt and he likes it, it's fairly economical too. Another with a Daniel Defense and they love it, but are backordered crazy right now.  I hear great things about BCM and have a friend with the Jack carbine and she loves it. Another I'd love if money wasn't a problem would be a Noveske rifleworks gun. They are amazing quality from what I hear and the one I shot was very nice...but pricey.


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#8 pira114

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Posted 22 June 2016 - 03:52 PM

I also stay away from any rifle that uses proprietary parts that can't be switched without using a tool. Parts comonality is one of the perks of an AR.

Without that, you have a rifle that when it goes down, it's down. Unless you want to carry tools and spare parts. Not always an option

#9 David Hamilton

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Posted 22 June 2016 - 08:16 PM

Do you guys know what the difference is / was between the mass issues m4's I'm familiar with in the infantry and the " high end " ones that are name brand ?

#10 pira114

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Posted 22 June 2016 - 08:48 PM

For Colt, there's not really a difference besides select fire. For every other brand, they've basically reverse engineered them. The gas port is one area where manufacturers have toyed with what was known. And many have gotten it wrong, some right.

Other than that, it comes down to the metal used, quality of manufacturing, and attention to detail. Like gas key staking for example. Some do it right, some do it wrong, others don't even bother.

#11 David Hamilton

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Posted 22 June 2016 - 09:25 PM

Thanks for the answers. My thinking was also " if the m4 I used on deployments worked so well , why are these companies changing everything "

#12 B3dlam

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Posted 22 June 2016 - 10:00 PM

Some companies make functional improvements over the M4 style rifle (ambidextrous controls for instance) many of the companies also are just brining a different feel or look so a lot of change they make is purely aesthetic.  There are some basic improvements you can make depending on what your end goal is a free float rail for instance should help to increase a rifles potential accuracy.


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#13 jvandivere

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Posted 23 June 2016 - 05:59 AM

Thanks for the answers. My thinking was also " if the m4 I used on deployments worked so well , why are these companies changing everything "

If you want "like your deployment M4"...look to Milspec companies like Bravo company.  other companies build their rifles for a specific audience, so they will have features like mentioned here and elsewhere that differ from Milspec rifles. For instance, gas tube size or buffer size, trigger packages (both better than mil and/or different sizing/pins).  They do this for a number of reasons, one being to shoot .233 instead of 5.56 and to shoot crap ammo.  If you're wanting a Mil Spec M4, look for those words on the spec sheet.


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#14 pira114

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Posted 23 June 2016 - 12:02 PM

Not to be argumentative, but "Mil-Spec" is one of those things that means very little. It's advertising. Again, no one outside of Colt has the actual TDP, Technical Data Package. Mil Spec, or Military Specifications, is not an actual thing outside the advertising world really. Anyone can say it.

The good companies even say it. While I agree that BCM is a great company and make some of the best out there, they also offer products aimed at specific audiences. The mid length comes to mind. Bravo makes an excellent mid length, but there's no such thing as a Mil Spec mid length, as to my knowledge, there is no TDP for a mid length. Or ambi controls, or oversized charging handles, or better stocks, etc.

While these are good improvements, they're not part of the TDP. And if that's what we're judging Mil Spec by, then it means nothing.

The trick is to find a company that takes pride in their work and pays attention to detail. It's also realizing that any company can make something in mass quantities, do a great job, and occasionally have an issue with one product. So customer service means something at that point.

Personally, I let others be the guinea pigs. I look for companies that have proven track records and consistent quality combined with customer service. That's why Colt, BCM, and DD always make my top three.

Edited by pira114, 23 June 2016 - 12:03 PM.

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#15 David Hamilton

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Posted 23 June 2016 - 02:16 PM

I think based on this post and the awesome answers, my first will be a colt.
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#16 David Hamilton

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Posted 23 June 2016 - 02:26 PM

Might be an Odd question but, I know they have many models and versions of the AR. Is there anything specific to look for in a general purpose type rifle? Or is it just up to me to look at each one, research the pros etc and select what " I like "

#17 pira114

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Posted 23 June 2016 - 02:32 PM

Not an odd question. Probably the most common question.

Depends on usage. Or intended usage. I wanted compact and lightweight, so I went with the shortest barrel without going SBR, lightweight barrel (also called a pencil barrel due to lack of grenade launcher support), and all lightweight grips, optic, light, etc.

A standard M4 configuration will get you longer range than most people can see with the naked eye. Accuracy, off hand, better than most of us can shoot. Lightweight enough to not be a hindering factor. And reliable, which is my most important "feature."

Lots of guys want to shoot farther and more accurate, so they get longer barrels and floated barrels. It's all in what you want it to be

#18 David Hamilton

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Posted 23 June 2016 - 04:55 PM

There is a gun shop near me. Is that the best route ? Go there and see what they got in Colts, bcm etc ?

#19 pira114

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Posted 23 June 2016 - 05:39 PM

Any shop that can order from any of those brands can help you. It's often easier to deal with a shop than ordering if you're not exactly sure about what you're getting. Gun shops often have idiots working for them that will tell you their "Fred's Tactical M4" is just as good as the Colt you want to order. Ignore them. But having a shop to go back to for warranty issues is what's easier.

Colt 6920 is what I tell people when they ask for a basic M4 type carbine for defense, classes, plinking. It's the civilian version of the M4, and the base of which all others are designed.
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