View Full Version : Blackthorne uppers = poo!

09-01-2008, 7:13 PM
Just a warning to those out there who want to buy an upper from "Blackthorne Products." Yes they're cheap but still stay away. Had a customer talk to me about one and I told him the notorious bad quality. He decided to buy one just for fun to see what it looked like. Saturday he brought his upper into the shop and boy does it look crappy. Barrel was unmarked and had poor parkerizing with lots of scratches, FSB appeared to be improperly cast and was splitting, the upper appeared to have come off an airsoft gun. Barrel extension and locking lugs were unfinished and roughly cut. Upper finish seamed cheap and Chinese like, and was out of spec, it wouldn't even clip into my Spikes lower. So just some general advice, I would stay away from them, a couple hundred bucks difference really does matter.

Blacktail 8541
09-01-2008, 7:34 PM
Some people just do not take sound advice.

09-01-2008, 7:39 PM
Tell him to return it for a full refund including shipping.

09-01-2008, 7:44 PM
My AR-10 upper works just fine, although the bolt carrier group is Armalite. Had no problems fitting onto a Noveske lower except for some minor cosmetic issues where exterior contours don't exactly match up. They are definitely lower quality fit and finish wise than pretty much eveything else available though. I wouldn't recommend them for anyone that doesn't have at least basic gunsmithing skills.

God Bless The Mauser
09-01-2008, 8:14 PM
It seems to be hit or miss with them.

09-02-2008, 12:33 AM
It seems to be hit or miss with them.

Mostly miss though.:p The lowest quality I'd go with is probably a Del-ton. I haven't had problems with the one I have and reliably fires wolf. So no beef there, though I'd like one of those Noveske uppers.:tt1:

09-02-2008, 8:19 AM
When you buy the cheapest stuff you get ****ty quality 99% of the time!!!!!!!!!

God Bless The Mauser
09-02-2008, 9:38 AM
I shopped around and found that J&T Distributing was good quality and good price so I just went with them and got a very nice upper and kit.

09-02-2008, 12:47 PM
blackthorne is crap.

09-02-2008, 1:30 PM
Tell him to return it for a full refund including shipping.

I've heard that they don't take anything back for any reason, and says so in the fine print.

I have read nothing but horror stories about them.

The only thing they have worth anything are the IMI galil parts, but I've read about issues with some of this stuff too.

A company to stay away from at all costs.

09-02-2008, 1:52 PM
They used to have cheap Yugo M90a kits, but now that those are gone, that company doesn't have too much doing for them.

09-02-2008, 11:48 PM
blackthorne is crap.

I disagree. In my experience, Blackthorne are not as bad as people make out. Perhaps only by those who have never owned one of their products, but may have read about them on some other forum.

When I was building my first AR, I really didn't do much research into the different companies selling AR parts, so my decision was definitely based on price, and I purchased a flat-top M4 kit from Blackthorne. I coupled it with a LAR lower and after 1000+ rds, the rifle is accurate and reliable as ever.

I've had one problem with it and it was my own fault. On my first range visit, the rifle jammed (because I gave the bolt carrier way too little lube). I tipped the rifle on it's side to free a misfed round, not realising one had rolled into and had got stuck in the top of the receiver by the gas tube. I released the bolt forward jamming a round between the gas tube and the gas key, bending them both badly. That was about 18 months ago.

I called Blackthorne Products and they put me on to the phone with their technical manager, and he told me to ship the upper back to them. I sent it regular UPS, and received my upper back within 8 days, which included the shipping times to and from St. Pauls, MN. They had replaced the gas tube and gas key free of charge. You can't complain about that for customer service.

Since then I have been using Tetragrease on my bolt, and it has functioned without complaint. My only complaint is the finish of the upper receiver. It is not as nice as on my LAR lower, but it's a subtle difference, not like they look wildly different.

Knowing what I know now, I would consider buying another AR kit from them again, if I really was working to a tight budget again. But since I now know of dozens of other vendors that I wasn't aware of 18 months ago, I am going to shop around for my next build (a 24" varmint rifle).