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K1LLROI
10-16-2009, 6:18 PM
My AR is a work in progress..
I don't want to cheap out, but unfortunately money is tight at the moment.

I have a good quality lower (Calgun lower). Mil spec LPK..looking for an upper, stock..again I don't want the next man to tell me my AR is no good cause I cheaped out.

I see AR prices are very different.
One can be 700. Another will be 2000. Even higher than that..Geez..

So HTF can I build a good AR that's not a cheapy..but affordable..Does that make sense?

I don't want a Jamomatic..I mean its a freakin AR..right?

I don't want my Saiga outperforming this investment that could run me up...I don't know how much???

Thanks again Gentleman..

Enjoy

P.S.

I'm a Mini, AK guy..

technique
10-16-2009, 6:21 PM
WTF did you just say? I'm not even sure what the question is...

Josh3239
10-16-2009, 6:23 PM
ARs are never "jamomatics". When people talk of cheap ARs they aren't ones that break all the time, they are just built in most cases out of inferior materials. For instace, a lower end AR will just have barrels, bolts, and charging handles made out of weaker metals. This doesn't mean they are dangerous or even bad, it just means they are hobby guns and nothing more. Just range toys. For building a good AR, they best way to put it simply is to introduce you to the famous List.

http://members.roadfly.com/Agent7/guns/AR15_comparision_chart.JPG

Obvioulsy you can see that CMMG, RRA, or Stag aren't the best (I think I just pissed thousands of peole off by saying CMMG isn't the best :D) but they all have their very happy customers.

SoCalRandy
10-16-2009, 6:25 PM
WTF did you just say? I'm not even sure what the question is...

:iagree: I've read this three times and I still can't figure out what exactly is the question???

1988
10-16-2009, 6:25 PM
Buy a second hand or used one in good condition.

Cheap AR or AK is the same. You'd have one issue or another. You don't want to save a few bucks which might be more costly in a situation. Relatively, a cheaper AK might be more reliable than a cheap AR.

Don't play with probability.

"If it might happen, it will happen." ;)

CSACANNONEER
10-16-2009, 6:25 PM
If you shop around and aren't super picky, you can build one pretty cheap. I've built one for just under $400! Yes, that was the final cost of a complete working rifle. All parts were purchased Pre-O, used and on this forum! I'd guess you could get a decent and very reliable rifle built for less than $700 today if you are patient and not picky about the exact parts and configuration.

technique
10-16-2009, 6:25 PM
Josh, do you have an [IMG] of the spec portion of the chart?

Josh3239
10-16-2009, 6:28 PM
Tech, I only have the link here. But now that you mention that, I should save each page. http://spreadsheets.google.com/ccc?key=pwswheghNQsEuEhjFwPrgTA

technique
10-16-2009, 6:30 PM
I have the link...just not savvy enough to have or make an image or pic of it...

But this will help the OP (and just about every one else)

Josh3239
10-16-2009, 6:31 PM
On it, give me a sec.

K1LLROI
10-16-2009, 6:42 PM
You guys were on me quick..

My bad..What brands should I stay away from..?

I basically want a good freakin AR..period.

Thanks again fellas..

All feedback is appreciated..always

technique
10-16-2009, 6:49 PM
Hey Josh, that chart is missing BCM and Daniel defense, its an old version..(your pic) not the link.

K1LLROI,

In short, on budget,
Colt (must use an OLL)~ gonna be more expensive for a Colt
Daniel defense
Bravo company
LMT

Now as you can tell if you go Noveske, you get about the same as what I just listed...only you pay more. Some a bit more than, and some a bit less.

Josh3239
10-16-2009, 6:59 PM
Tech, easy enough fix, I'll get that updated. The specs page is taking forever, I keep trying to make it bigger and photobucket is taking forever to upload.

K1LLROI, I personally stay away from DPMS (except LPKs), Olympic, Hesse, Vulcan, and Blackthorne.

Greg-Dawg
10-16-2009, 7:01 PM
Try the for sale ads for a good deal. I've built mine for under $900, parts include: RRA, BCM, DPMS and Bushmaster.

sevensix2x51
10-16-2009, 7:05 PM
i built a 'kiss' ar for $700, doublestar complete lower(as in stripped lower and lpk), vltor clubfoot stock and buffer components, and dpms a2 upper. got the upper off the private sales forum. shoots really well. as far as kiss builds go...

K1LLROI
10-16-2009, 7:14 PM
Thanks for all the input guys..

I hope that chart helps others too.

I just want a high end 2000$ AR for the price of a cheap one..without the cheapness..

Thanks again..

Josh3239
10-16-2009, 7:26 PM
You get what you pay for, especially when it is for an AR.

technique
10-16-2009, 7:33 PM
Get a Daniel Defense and call it a day...

What is your budget? A DD rifle will cost you about $11-$1200, with rail and sights ready to go to the range.
You can get yourself a DD upper and try to budget build a lower to ct off some cost..

Noobert
10-16-2009, 7:44 PM
Wow, K1llROI, finally out of the chat box I see...Noobert coming through :tank::tank::tank:

pontiacpratt
10-16-2009, 8:02 PM
I just want a high end 2000$ AR for the price of a cheap one..without the cheapness..
Thanks again..
Well I want a $200,000 Ferrari for the price of a Mustang. Just kidding.:rolleyes:

CSACANNONEER
10-16-2009, 8:05 PM
Well I want a $200,000 Ferrari for the price of a Mustang. Just kidding.:rolleyes:

Even though the Mustang is a Ford, it'll still be more reliable than a Ferrari. Sometimes you pay more for a name and/or looks than its worth.

pontiacpratt
10-16-2009, 9:17 PM
Even though the Mustang is a Ford, it'll still be more reliable than a Ferrari. Sometimes you pay more for a name and/or looks than its worth.
I'm assuming the same can be said for AR parts?

jasonnorcal
10-16-2009, 9:32 PM
I have a pretty cheap AR, KD lower, RRA lpk, RRA middy upper, A2 stock. I'm in for about 825$, which is a little high but it's a fresh build so I paid a premium for some things. So far I've got about 500 rnds through her with nary a hickup. I didnt buy the best stuff, but I didn't buy the cheapest either.

missiontrails
10-16-2009, 10:21 PM
My CMMG complete started at $899, but then I added a stimulus package.....

gun toting monkeyboy
10-17-2009, 12:39 AM
Relax, anything above the bottom of the barrel will give you a decent, shootable rifle. They may not give you a sniper rifle with super tight tolerences. But it will likely be servicable, and do everything a basic AR should. I have put together a bunch of them over the past year, and I think the cheapest was just under $600. It is still shooting just fine with several hundred rounds through it. We'll see how it weathers next to my higher end ones. If you don't mind non-chrome lined barrels, Midway has some decent deals on DPMS complete uppers for between $375-500. Some even have stainless barrels. I have been happy with those so far. I am also a huge fan of Anvil Arms out of Florida. They have a very good complete upper for $550-575 for a no-frills model with a chrome-lined bore and lifetime warranty. Look around, there are deals to be had out there right now. Not like the Pre-Bam Bam days, but better than a few months ago. And at this point, don't go blowing a huge wad on an upper. Get a basic one this time to figure out what you like, and get the really nice one for your next one. There will be a next one, by the way. Black Rifle Disease is hard to get rid of.

-Mb

campperrykid
10-17-2009, 1:10 AM
If the gun will just be a plinker , anything will do. If home defense is part of the picture -- quality , durability and reliabilty become very important. A home defense gun needs to work all the time. If that's the goal:

If you can't afford a good AR , buy a Service Grade M1 Carbine from CMP.

www.thecmp.org

The middle one third of The Chart might need a little work & some parts.
The upper third will run ( usually ) right from the start.
The lower third is a roll of the dice.
Test by running 500 rounds through the gun --ideally in one range session , with your chosen defensive ammo.

coop44
10-17-2009, 7:24 AM
Relax, anything above the bottom of the barrel will give you a decent, shootable rifle. They may not give you a sniper rifle with super tight tolerences. But it will likely be servicable, and do everything a basic AR should. I have put together a bunch of them over the past year, and I think the cheapest was just under $600. It is still shooting just fine with several hundred rounds through it. We'll see how it weathers next to my higher end ones. If you don't mind non-chrome lined barrels, Midway has some decent deals on DPMS complete uppers for between $375-500. Some even have stainless barrels. I have been happy with those so far. I am also a huge fan of Anvil Arms out of Florida. They have a very good complete upper for $550-575 for a no-frills model with a chrome-lined bore and lifetime warranty. Look around, there are deals to be had out there right now. Not like the Pre-Bam Bam days, but better than a few months ago. And at this point, don't go blowing a huge wad on an upper. Get a basic one this time to figure out what you like, and get the really nice one for your next one. There will be a next one, by the way. Black Rifle Disease is hard to get rid of.

-Mb

+1 for clarity and honesty
truth is:
Almost no one "makes" their own barrels (maybe Colt)
Mil spec semi auto parts don't exist
no one makes all their own parts in house, suppliers are like hookers they will sell to any one.
forgings start with the same few makers and get sold to any one with the money.
portions of the machine work are farmed out to subcontractors, along with anodizing and heat treat.

most manufacturers are assemblers, the difference is in quality control. Checking parts for dimensional correctness.

AR 15s are the greatest marketing scam since the pet rock.

btw I can build an ar for less than 600, it may not be a gay mans fashion accesory, but it will work

cgseanp1
10-17-2009, 7:38 AM
+1 for clarity and honesty
truth is:
Almost no one "makes" their own barrels (maybe Colt)
Mil spec semi auto parts don't exist
no one makes all their own parts in house, suppliers are like hookers they will sell to any one.
forgings start with the same few makers and get sold to any one with the money.
portions of the machine work are farmed out to subcontractors, along with anodizing and heat treat.

most manufacturers are assemblers, the difference is in quality control. Checking parts for dimensional correctness.

AR 15s are the greatest marketing scam since the pet rock.

btw I can build an ar for less than 600, it may not be a gay mans fashion accesory, but it will work

Could you break down the price of parts and show how you could build an AR for under 600? How much does an upper cost if you build it yourself?

For me, cheapest lower in CA with tax and Dros, probably looking at around $150.. maybe a $50 stock and $70 LPK.. so the complete lower is around $270 to 300 counting BB. Then to buy a built upper (since I don't know about building an upper) I'm looking around $500, probably more..

TO OP, if you need a cheap upper, check our marksarmory.com, he has some for under 500. He had a Double Star upper for 399, but looks like it just sold out!

pontiacpratt
10-17-2009, 7:44 AM
The first listed CMMG upper is what I bought (from Mark's Armory), and at $50 more I might add, It's been a good little upper. About 400 rounds down the pipe no issues. The Pro mag rear sight is kinda high (no elevation Adj) for the front sight it was shooting 8 inches high out of the box. My front sight post is sitting a little high.

Mr.CRC
10-17-2009, 9:36 AM
...

http://members.roadfly.com/Agent7/guns/AR15_comparision_chart.JPG

...

Oh, that is a great chart! I'd love to see it updated some day with some LaRue and Daniel Defense columns.

foxtrotuniformlima
10-17-2009, 9:44 AM
There use to be a saying that for AR pattern rifles, all you need to remember is " ABC" - Armalite, Bushmaster, Colt. And for a very long time they were the only 3 mfgs that made a consistent product. Times have changed but if you are looking to buy a complete upper to go with the OLL, any of those 3 uppers will work just fine and the Bushmaster stuff seems to be priced well in the marketplace.

jasonnorcal
10-17-2009, 11:12 AM
Oh, that is a great chart! I'd love to see it updated some day with some LaRue and Daniel Defense columns.

+1

Where would AA be on this list?

technique
10-17-2009, 11:44 AM
Whats AA?

cgseanp1
10-17-2009, 12:31 PM
Whats AA?

maybe alexander arms? BTW, still curious as to how to builld a complete AR for under 600.

Josh3239
10-17-2009, 12:36 PM
Maybe Anvil Arms?

I sent Technique some gifs, I made some more things into a chart. I'd like to make it bigger so I am going to move the stuff to freewebs since they don't cap the image size. I'll post 'em when I get a chance. I don't have the new chart with DD, but I have the specs chart with DD and the explanations.

freakshow10mm
10-17-2009, 12:37 PM
Anvil Arms

technique
10-17-2009, 12:39 PM
maybe alexander arms?
Well, the guys (AR15barrels is one of them) who put this chart together said, if its not here, its not worth comparing...Some on the chart are on there because they are popular, but as you can see have short comings..

BTW, still curious as to how to builld a complete AR for under 600.

Can't help you there...My Barrel and BCG nearly cost that much.:D
I prefer a durable weapon...Some people think because they have fired 1000 rounds at the range over the last year, they own a quality weapon. When you fire a 1000+ in a day and walk away with a still perfectly functioning weapon...you know you have quality. Some of the lesser brands will fail several times under those conditions, and may even have permanent damage to the barrel after.

cgseanp1
10-17-2009, 12:44 PM
Can't help you there...My Barrel and BCG nearly cost that much.:D
I prefer a durable weapon...Some people think because they have fired 1000 rounds at the range over the last year, they own a quality weapon. When you fire a 1000+ in a day and walk away with a still perfectly functioning weapon...you know you have quality. Some of the lesser brands will fail several times under those conditions, and may even have permanent damage to the barrel after.

I agree. I was just curious if, or how, it could be done for under 600.

technique
10-17-2009, 12:47 PM
I agree. I was just curious if, or how, it could be done for under 600.

There are ways, and there are complete guns sold for less. Doublestar is about a $600 rifle, CMMGs bargain bin is another, a M1S kit or other kit types for less than $500 (no rec. included)...or just being resourceful buying used.

cgseanp1
10-17-2009, 12:55 PM
There are ways, and there are complete guns sold for less. Doublestar is about a $600 rifle, CMMGs bargain bin is another, a M1S kit or other kit types for less than $500 (no rec. included)...or just being resourceful buying used.

forgot about the AR kits they sell.

coop44
10-17-2009, 12:56 PM
Could you break down the price of parts and show how you could build an AR for under 600? How much does an upper cost if you build it yourself?

For me, cheapest lower in CA with tax and Dros, probably looking at around $150.. maybe a $50 stock and $70 LPK.. so the complete lower is around $270 to 300 counting BB. Then to buy a built upper (since I don't know about building an upper) I'm looking around $500, probably more..

TO OP, if you need a cheap upper, check our marksarmory.com, he has some for under 500. He had a Double Star upper for 399, but looks like it just sold out!

I have done this before, several times, here goes,

model 1 barrel from Midway 16" includes handguard cap, front sight base,Bbl nut, built from E.R.Shaw blanks read the reviews at midway $145

car handguards, $15-$20 almost anywhere

Aero precision stripped flat top upper from surplusammo.com, (I am told these are built in the same shop as armalite, just heresay)$70

bolt and carrier- from Midway or sarco, around $150 from midway (DPMS I Think) or sarco $136 ( includes charging handle!)

forward assist and ejection port cover $25-$35 almost anywhere.

front sight post,spring,and detent $10-$15

$400 bucks or less including BCG(if you have a c&r midway offers discounts)

I did not include shipping because every shipper is different (I think surplus ammo ships free)

ORGo to SARCO and buy a complete kit for about $460 plus shipping

If you find parts in there you don't like,(I never did) you have instant trade goods, swap and/or sell into other parts.

If you have zero talent, find a friend to put it together.
If you can screw in a light bulb do it yourself.

P.S. just finished a group buy on lowers from REH Industries(right here in Sac area) a heck of alot cheaper than what you are talking about.

That about does it, UNDER $600

technique
10-17-2009, 12:57 PM
Oh, that is a great chart! I'd love to see it updated some day with some LaRue and Daniel Defense columns.

Well the link was provided...DD is on the chart if you check the link.
I will give it to you... http://spreadsheets.google.com/ccc?key=pwswheghNQsEuEhjFwPrgTA&hl=en

Larue will not make it on this list. They do not fit the criteria (Josh will post that)

This is an M4 chart, a battle carbine chart.
Laure makes SS barrels, .223W chamber... so on. They don't fit the criteria for this chart.

cgseanp1
10-17-2009, 1:15 PM
I have done this before, several times, here goes,

model 1 barrel from Midway 16" includes handguard cap, front sight base,Bbl nut, built from E.R.Shaw blanks read the reviews at midway $145

car handguards, $15-$20 almost anywhere

Aero precision stripped flat top upper from surplusammo.com, (I am told these are built in the same shop as armalite, just heresay)$70

bolt and carrier- from Midway or sarco, around $150 from midway (DPMS I Think) or sarco $136 ( includes charging handle!)

forward assist and ejection port cover $25-$35 almost anywhere.

front sight post,spring,and detent $10-$15

$400 bucks or less including BCG(if you have a c&r midway offers discounts)

I did not include shipping because every shipper is different (I think surplus ammo ships free)

ORGo to SARCO and buy a complete kit for about $460 plus shipping

If you find parts in there you don't like,(I never did) you have instant trade goods, swap and/or sell into other parts.

If you have zero talent, find a friend to put it together.
If you can screw in a light bulb do it yourself.

P.S. just finished a group buy on lowers from REH Industries(right here in Sac area) a heck of alot cheaper than what you are talking about.

That about does it, UNDER $600


ok, cool. I wasn't necessarily doubting you could do it, I just didn't know how. Now I do.. But in regards to the lowers, I don't see how you are saying they are a heck of a lot cheaper than what I'm talking about.. They probably went for $85 or so, plus dros, so 110, plus tax, so what? 120ish total? I guess that is cheaper than 150, but if I were to buy one of them, after I paid the $60 dealer tranfser I'd be looking at around 140ish.. either way, thanks for the info.

jasonnorcal
10-17-2009, 2:04 PM
Sorry guys.......Alexander Arms was the AA I was talking about, but it doesn't fit the criteria either(m4 carbine) I guess.

Josh3239
10-17-2009, 2:22 PM
DSA is selling uppers for $275, not including BCG. Add that plus a BCG and a complete upper with some used parts you can do under $600.

cgseanp1
10-17-2009, 2:38 PM
DSA is selling uppers for $275, not including BCG. Add that plus a BCG and a complete upper with some used parts you can do under $600.

275 + 125 for BCG = 400. That leaves $200 for complete lower. Guess it's possible:) BTW, good math, huH?

RECCE556
10-17-2009, 2:41 PM
Those $275 DSA haven't been 100%. Crooked FSB's, none of them are chrome lined, etc., etc...

OP: Bottom line, you're not get a $2000 build for $600. Just save up and buy the good stuff. A DD XV is a great deal for a good quality "complete" gun. Personally, I would just cull quality parts little by little and build a high quality parts gun.

Josh3239
10-17-2009, 2:50 PM
275 + 125 for BCG = 400. That leaves $200 for complete lower. Guess it's possible:) BTW, good math, huH?

Ehh, I think I can get a BCG for a bit less than $125. GunBroker has some very small companie's lowers so those are cheaper, I think Spike's is still discounting their lowers to like $90 or $100. You could get a used stock assembly for about $30 more or less. I have found LPKs for $50.

It would be pretty tight. I bought a stripped BNIB DSA upper receiver for $65 and a stripped DD BNIB barrel for $165 (I actually paid about $20 extra because of the chrome lining, there are non-chrome lined barrels for $145). So the cheapest barrel I could find is $145 plus the DSA upper for $65 is $210, $40 less than the DSA but that is minus the gas system, charging handle, and handguards. I had those extra parts, but I am not sure those extra things would add up to $40, probably a little less if used.

Those $275 DSA haven't been 100%. Crooked FSB's, none of them are chrome lined, etc., etc...

I didn't read the whole thread on ARF but I did seem like they were hit or miss.

Mr.CRC
10-17-2009, 3:31 PM
Well the link was provided...DD is on the chart if you check the link.
I will give it to you... http://spreadsheets.google.com/ccc?key=pwswheghNQsEuEhjFwPrgTA&hl=en


Oh, duh. Thanks! I see DD on there now, and they fare quite well. Seems you have been right on asserting DD to be quality stuff.


Larue will not make it on this list. They do not fit the criteria (Josh will post that)

This is an M4 chart, a battle carbine chart.
Laure makes SS barrels, .223W chamber... so on. They don't fit the criteria for this chart.

I see. So do people take LaRue to the battlefield, or just the match range?

technique
10-17-2009, 3:39 PM
I see. So do people take LaRue to the battlefield, or just the match range?

They are chambered in 223 Wylde, so they are more "match" "accuracy"...While it is possible to run a carbine class with one, you would be better suited with a chrome lined barrel.

Josh3239
10-17-2009, 4:28 PM
Charts are finally up. The 3rd one I just slapped together as best I could using Macromedia Fireworks, I am sure someone with Photoshop can put together a much nicer one. These are all the same as on the link, but now you can save them to your computer or repost in a forum as opposed to just giving people links.

http://gunfacts.webs.com/M4Chart1.gif
http://gunfacts.webs.com/M4Chart1.gif
http://gunfacts.webs.com/Untitled-1.gif

johnrunner89
10-17-2009, 6:46 PM
For a great value I would recommend a Stag or a CMMG (even though I sold my CMMG upper after I got tired of it being picky with ammo). I know they don't have all of the boxes filled on that chart posted above but do you really need all of that? I use my Stag AR for varmint hunting and range shooting and I LOVE it. It is accurate and has never given me a single problem...nor has any of my friends or famalies either. A Toyota corolla doesn't have all the features a BMW, Benz, or Bently might have but it will probably be the last one that needs to be taken in for repair. Its your choice though, so have fun!

pontiacpratt
10-17-2009, 7:24 PM
Just out of curiosity my CMMG Gas Key Is staked yet the spreadsheet doesn't list that it is.

technique
10-17-2009, 7:29 PM
Just out of curiosity my CMMG Gas Key Is staked yet the spreadsheet doesn't list that it is.

The word is "Properly" staked...

If you feel its properly staked...post a pic.

pontiacpratt
10-17-2009, 8:37 PM
The word is "Properly" staked...

If you feel its properly staked...post a pic.
http://i119.photobucket.com/albums/o158/figgie1/jasonstuff/1017092130.jpg
Looks about the same as the demo pic, to my amateur eye.

technique
10-17-2009, 8:48 PM
Looks decently done...So was Missiontrails gas key...

I'm sure overtime, some MFGs will start evolving, more info will be added to the charts. But you have to understand this was compiled by guys who see hundreds if not thousands. Randall (AR15barrels) documents most everything that comes through his shop.

As a result of this very chart several makers sent out emails trying to justify their rank on the chart...it had an impact I guess you can say.

I'm sure if more people go to M4carbine.net to the link at the bottom right corner of the chart with pics like yours, you may get it changed on the chart.

pontiacpratt
10-17-2009, 8:56 PM
The nature of business, you gotta keep up with the competition.
So far I love my CMMG. I truly bought it because it was the cheapest, no... most Inexpensive, upper.:rolleyes:

Josh3239
10-17-2009, 10:24 PM
I know they don't have all of the boxes filled on that chart posted above but do you really need all of that?

That really is the question, how much of it do you really need? Will an AR with an MPI bolt or a HPT barrel be more accurate than a "regular" barrel? Maybe, maybe not. Is an upper with M4 feedramps and a properly staked gas key going to have less stoppages than ones without? Maybe, maybe not.

However the fact is that this chart identifies what is made correctly and that is undeniable. The fact is that companies like Colt, Noveske, BCM, and DD (for the most part) maybe rifles correctly. The others cut corners plain and simple. There is no getting around it, it is just plain cutting corners. Making barrels or bolts out of weaker steel is only meant to keep cost of manufacturing down. Not pressure testing a bolt or barrel is not going to cause your rifle to explode, but that is the proper procedure to making one. Dremeling feedramps after anodizing or throwing on the FSB before parkerizing is just lazy.


A Toyota corolla doesn't have all the features a BMW, Benz, or Bently might have but it will probably be the last one that needs to be taken in for repair. Its your choice though, so have fun!

That isn't really fair. These cars are required to meet certain standards that the government feels makes the cars safe and effiecient (atleast to a certain degree). There is no minimum standard for AR parts. No car companies are cranking out cars that have not been crash tested (or atleast none that I am aware of and I'll be the first to admit I know squat about cars). Cars get crash tested and need to have certain safety features (I would guess that seatbelts and air bags are now required and they must pass some sort of crash test), wouldn't an AR bolt and barrel being HP tested be the equivilant of a car getting crash tested.

I will be the first to tell you that some of the stuff on the chart is not the only way to build an AR. But that is the correct way to build it. I know for a fact loctite will hold a castle nut on better, if not just as well as staking, but that doesn't mean loctite is the correct way of doing it. (I managed to destroy a buffer tube simply because I decided to take it apart and the loctite didn't really want to budge and the threads on the tube got sheared).

johnrunner89
10-17-2009, 10:47 PM
That really is the question, how much of it do you really need? Will an AR with an MPI bolt or a HPT barrel be more accurate than a "regular" barrel? Maybe, maybe not. Is an upper with M4 feedramps and a properly staked gas key going to have less stoppages than ones without? Maybe, maybe not.

However the fact is that this chart identifies what is made correctly and that is undeniable. The fact is that companies like Colt, Noveske, BCM, and DD (for the most part) maybe rifles correctly. The others cut corners plain and simple. There is no getting around it, it is just plain cutting corners. Making barrels or bolts out of weaker steel is only meant to keep cost of manufacturing down. Not pressure testing a bolt or barrel is not going to cause your rifle to explode, but that is the proper procedure to making one. Dremeling feedramps after anodizing or throwing on the FSB before parkerizing is just lazy.




That isn't really fair. These cars are required to meet certain standards that the government feels makes the cars safe and effiecient (atleast to a certain degree). There is no minimum standard for AR parts. No car companies are cranking out cars that have not been crash tested (or atleast none that I am aware of and I'll be the first to admit I know squat about cars). Cars get crash tested and need to have certain safety features (I would guess that seatbelts and air bags are now required and they must pass some sort of crash test), wouldn't an AR bolt and barrel being HP tested be the equivilant of a car getting crash tested.

I will be the first to tell you that some of the stuff on the chart is not the only way to build an AR. But that is the correct way to build it. I know for a fact loctite will hold a castle nut on better, if not just as well as staking, but that doesn't mean loctite is the correct way of doing it. (I managed to destroy a buffer tube simply because I decided to take it apart and the loctite didn't really want to budge and the threads on the tube got sheared).

I didn't mean to post a thread that was "unfair" or to offend anyone. It was just an analogy to show that something with less features and for less $ might not always be so bad and it can do what its competitors do while saving $. And if he is on a budget (I know I was when I purchased my AR) and looking for an AR for good times at the range and that will more than likely meet and probably exceed his expectations than a CMMG or Stag might be the answer. I wanted something accurate, reliable and affordable...thats what I wanted and thats what I got :)

I have several friends with AR's of all flavors and no matter the brand we all have great times at the range. One of us might encounter a "set back" with our firearms on occassion (So far our Stags have held up flawlessly though...I knocked on wood after typing that :p) but its usually nothing a field repair kit can't handle or elbow grease can't handle.

Above all, to the OP, goodluck on your purchase!

anto
10-18-2009, 1:46 AM
Bargain Bin CMMG AR. $600 with everything and it's assembled.

technique
10-18-2009, 1:48 AM
Bargain Bin CMMG AR. $600 with everything and it's assembled.

Don't forget to read the fine print...
You have a chance at getting one that is a listed lower. You are not guaranteed a CMMG lower with a bargain bin rifle:)

socomIInato
10-18-2009, 5:09 PM
ARs are never "jamomatics". When people talk of cheap ARs they aren't ones that break all the time, they are just built in most cases out of inferior materials. For instace, a lower end AR will just have barrels, bolts, and charging handles made out of weaker metals. This doesn't mean they are dangerous or even bad, it just means they are hobby guns and nothing more. Just range toys. For building a good AR, they best way to put it simply is to introduce you to the famous List.

http://members.roadfly.com/Agent7/guns/AR15_comparision_chart.JPG

Obvioulsy you can see that CMMG, RRA, or Stag aren't the best (I think I just pissed thousands of peole off by saying CMMG isn't the best :D) but they all have their very happy customers.

serious AR have a prancing horse on the lower. I accept nothing less!:chris:

bombadillo
10-18-2009, 5:21 PM
Screw what the next guy over at the range has to say about your gun. Tell him to worry about what he is shooting and you'll worry about yours. Its not like you're wearing k-mart jeans and somebody with some lucky brand jeans is laughing at you because you're poor and thats all you can afford. If somebody is making fun of you because you have lower quality firearms than they do then both of you have issues. :rant: Rant off


To answer your question, if you get a 20" or longer stock, i'd say get a standard A2 stock or a magpul PRS stock, if you're getting a 16", any collapsible that fits your needs will work that suits your style. I like ACE, CTR, And VLTOR stocks myself. Uppers you could go with a BCM or a CMMG and nobody will be laughing at you. I think that those are the two best bang for the buck uppers out there and if somebody cares to make fun of your gear ask if they would like to be downrange in front of your target while you shoot it. Seriously though, those two are IMO the best for the money in that order and remember, its not a fashion show.

sevensix2x51
10-18-2009, 5:22 PM
Screw what the next guy over at the range has to say about your gun. Tell him to worry about what he is shooting and you'll worry about yours. Its not like you're wearing k-mart jeans and somebody with some lucky brand jeans is laughing at you because you're poor and thats all you can afford. If somebody is making fun of you because you have lower quality firearms than they do then both of you have issues. :rant: Rant off


To answer your question, if you get a 20" or longer stock, i'd say get a standard A2 stock or a magpul PRS stock, if you're getting a 16", any collapsible that fits your needs will work that suits your style. I like ACE, CTR, And VLTOR stocks myself. Uppers you could go with a BCM or a CMMG and nobody will be laughing at you. I think that those are the two best bang for the buck uppers out there and if somebody cares to make fun of your gear ask if they would like to be downrange in front of your target while you shoot it. Seriously though, those two are IMO the best for the money in that order and remember, its not a fashion show.

it's all about the wrangler hero cargos at walmart these days!! everybody knows that! :D

technique
10-18-2009, 5:33 PM
Screw what the next guy over at the range has to say about your gun. Tell him to worry about what he is shooting and you'll worry about yours. Its not like you're wearing k-mart jeans and somebody with some lucky brand jeans is laughing at you because you're poor and thats all you can afford. If somebody is making fun of you because you have lower quality firearms than they do then both of you have issues. :rant: Rant off


To answer your question, if you get a 20" or longer stock, i'd say get a standard A2 stock or a magpul PRS stock, if you're getting a 16", any collapsible that fits your needs will work that suits your style. I like ACE, CTR, And VLTOR stocks myself. Uppers you could go with a BCM or a CMMG and nobody will be laughing at you. I think that those are the two best bang for the buck uppers out there and if somebody cares to make fun of your gear ask if they would like to be downrange in front of your target while you shoot it. Seriously though, those two are IMO the best for the money in that order and remember, its not a fashion show.



All ARs work at the range...so no one laughs there. In carbine classes, yes. You will be the guy getting yelled at to clear your damn malfunctions, you will be the guy holding up the next drill.

If your AR won't work well under those conditions...would you use it for home defense? would you rely on it? Most people who swear by their low end ARs have never put them through any adverse firing conditions.(otherwise they wouldn't be swearing by them) They have only successfully fired rounds at the range with a few FTE/FTF...If you have FTF/FTE at the range...you are probly ****ed in more stressful/dirty conditions.

When someone asks about a HD AR...and people start in with "well I have a M1S and it works great...I don't need to pay all that money, I built on a budget!!!"

Why don't you examine the value of your life, how about the value of your families life? Does the words "cheap or budget" come to mind? ~ I didn't think so.

bombadillo
10-18-2009, 6:19 PM
Totally agree with you for home defense and SHTF stuff go LMT, Noveske, (Even if its their "lower end" or basic model) or a few others, but he specifically asked for bang-for-the-buck rifle uppers. CMMG, Sabre, BCM are all good uppers for the money that people would likely stake their life on. I don't think this is going to be seeing a big messy fight anytime soon or he wouldn't be concerned about what people think of his man-jewelry at the range.

cgseanp1
10-18-2009, 6:20 PM
All ARs work at the range...so no one laughs there. In carbine classes, yes. You will be the guy getting yelled at to clear your damn malfunctions, you will be the guy holding up the next drill.

If your AR won't work well under those conditions...would you use it for home defense? would you rely on it? Most people who swear by their low end ARs have never put them through any adverse firing conditions.(otherwise they wouldn't be swearing by them) They have only successfully fired rounds at the range with a few FTE/FTF...If you have FTF/FTE at the range...you are probly ****ed in more stressful/dirty conditions.

When someone asks about a HD AR...and people start in with "well I have a M1S and it works great...I don't need to pay all that money, I built on a budget!!!"

Why don't you examine the value of your life, how about the value of your families life? Does the words "cheap or budget" come to mind? ~ I didn't think so.

Makes sense, but who said this rifle was being used for HD? Not every gun is a HD gun.

jasonnorcal
10-18-2009, 6:50 PM
Makes sense, but who said this rifle was being used for HD? Not every gun is a HD gun.


In the end aren't they all for HD\SD.............LOL:cheers2:

technique
10-18-2009, 6:51 PM
Makes sense, but who said this rifle was being used for HD? Not every gun is a HD gun.

it was an example... The OP asked for a quality weapon.

LesGrossman41510
10-18-2009, 7:44 PM
some people consider certain brands "cheaper" like CMMG, doublestar.

the good top of the line brands are Larue, Noveske, Daniel Defense, Bravo Company, VLTOR.

A good affordable brand that is very reliable IMO is STAG arms, mine has had a few jams but that was due to bad magazines and bad reloads. Just make sure your AR is lubed up nice and make sure to clean out all the muck out of your bolt carrier group after every 500-1000 rounds and it will function every time.

Vsanzbajo
10-18-2009, 7:52 PM
What about BCM. Will they make in the chart?

technique
10-18-2009, 7:54 PM
What about BCM. Will they make in the chart?

they are on the chart...look at the later chart posted by Josh...they make it up there and are rated high.

BCM is excellent IMO

pontiacpratt
10-18-2009, 8:02 PM
When someone asks about a HD AR...and people start in with "well I have a M1S and it works great...I don't need to pay all that money, I built on a budget!!!"

Why don't you examine the value of your life, how about the value of your families life? Does the words "cheap or budget" come to mind? ~ I didn't think so.
I'm not looking to start an argument here. By this logic in regards to pistols, because I didn't get a Sig, H&K, or Kimber it's not good enough to protect my family and/or my life? Or just avoid the Bottom of the barrel (i.e Phoenix Arms and High point)
I'm not sure where the line in the sand is drawn?

technique
10-18-2009, 8:31 PM
I'm not looking to start an argument here. By this logic in regards to pistols, because I didn't get a Sig, H&K, or Kimber it's not good enough to protect my family and/or my life? Or just avoid the Bottom of the barrel (i.e Phoenix Arms and High point)
I'm not sure where the line in the sand is drawn?

I'm not either...clear that is. I enjoy training with my weapon. Thats my hobby, I'm not a collector. I also enjoy action shooting (not the cowboy stuff). Not every gun is built or equipped to do those types of shooting...I see it all the time.

I have experience shooting and handling a wide variety of firearms...I worked in a shop with a gunsmith...I see stuff that fails, I see common problems with certain guns.

That said, $100 Hi-point ~ you can hold it, thrust forward in a punching motion and rack the slide with momentum...Can't do that with most guns.
Seems like a rickety POS to me..

A Glock is a $500 pistol, its not "high end" but it is reliable. Not too expensive either.

Kimbers are hit or miss, some suck some are great..(I own one its great/ my buddies sucks) they are expensive.

Can you kill with all 3? Yes. What if you need to expend more than a mag or two doing it? Can you trust that $100 Hi-point when you need to shoot 3 consecutive mags out of a now hot gun? What would you prefer? Buying something because its cheap cost wise or buying something thats a bit more expensive because it has a reputation for being reliable...Out of the the 3..I would choose the Glock, and its in the middle expense wise.

__________________________________________________ _______________

For an AR...I didn't buy 1 and call it quality. I have purchased nearly 20 or more before I realized the difference in quality and over all reliability.

Again, a stag jams at the range..what makes you think it wont jam in a HD situation in your home with no dirt or fouling? I have had zero reliability issues in my current AR...I can feel confident that in my home it will run if I need it to. It runs with thousands of rounds worth of fouling in it..complimented with dirt.

People claim you need a sopping wet AR for it to feed properly. NOT in a quality AR you don't. People claim you can't use wolf~ In a quality AR you can run ANYTHING! It will eat it!

There are differences.

I prefer that in my AR I have all "check marks" in the barrel and bolt category.

If you shoot at the range any old AR will do.
If you compete, train, are a LEO, prepare for some SHTF...etc. You need better.




No argument here...I see guys calling people Mall Ninjas a lot lately...Some of those same guys have pics of themselves in airsoft quality vests, and bottom end weapons...then they turn around and call the guys with real gear and working guns, those who actually go to Magpul dynamics, Frontsight, Vickers classes etc....Mall ninjas...:rolleyes:

pontiacpratt
10-18-2009, 9:01 PM
Tech that makes sense.
In my limited experience the only gun I was afraid to shot was a .22 Phoenix Arms pocket pistol, that a guy in the lane next to me offered. The safety was so loose that it would randomly engage. I'm sure as I see more I'll have a better understanding of quality. At this point the only guns that I've seen malfunction was the aforementioned Phoenix arms, a 1911 .22 conversion, and my Neos.

RECCE556
10-19-2009, 2:05 AM
I see guys calling people Mall Ninjas a lot lately...Some of those same guys have pics of themselves in airsoft quality vests, and bottom end weapons...then they turn around and call the guys with real gear and working guns, those who actually go to Magpul dynamics, Frontsight, Vickers classes etc....Mall ninjas...:rolleyes:
+1

I'd love see all these "my $500 AR is as good as any $1500 AR" come to a three-day advanced carbine course and see how well their guns hold up. $500 AR's are $500 for a reason. The low end manufactures didn't just decide to make $1000 less than the $1500 manufacturers...they can sell them at low prices BECAUSE THEY CUT CORNERS.

tonelar
10-19-2009, 12:14 PM
maybe alexander arms? BTW, still curious as to how to builld a complete AR for under 600.

Rifle Kits from various mfgs are breaching the $475 mark nowadays... $100 Lower and $25 bullet button. Looks like $600 to me.

coop44
10-19-2009, 1:14 PM
+1

I'd love see all these "my $500 AR is as good as any $1500 AR" come to a three-day advanced carbine course and see how well their guns hold up. $500 AR's are $500 for a reason. The low end manufactures didn't just decide to make $1000 less than the $1500 manufacturers...they can sell them at low prices BECAUSE THEY CUT CORNERS.

What Corners? I really want to know

technique
10-19-2009, 1:19 PM
What Corners? I really want to know

All you have to do is read this thread...or look at this chart made by industry professionals. You can see several AR makers compared side by side. Its that easy.

http://gunfacts.webs.com/M4Chart1.gif
http://gunfacts.webs.com/Untitled-1.gif

coop44
10-19-2009, 1:42 PM
"Industry Professionals" I see no names. Which industry? Marketing and sales, or Publications.

technique
10-19-2009, 1:49 PM
Please read the thread carefully...Please pay attention to the chart. There are two websites to visit listed on the chart, one is a discussion of the charts creation by the people who created it...

One of the people who helped in the creation of this chart is one of our own....this chart is accurate, and came from careful examinations of several of each brand listed....

NavDoc
10-19-2009, 1:51 PM
Nevermind

CK1
10-19-2009, 2:03 PM
Sorry to steal your thread thunder but I didn't want to start a whole new thread asking what may be a stupid question.

But basically I wanted to ask the same thing.

Yesterday I purchased a complete lower by Mega from T&A Armory.
Good guys there and I'm satisfied.

I wanted to start off with a good base and with what I feel is possibly the most important and difficult part to build.

So what's a good next step to go with a Mega lower? Is there an upper that maybe isn't good with this lower?

technique
10-19-2009, 2:15 PM
So what's a good next step to go with a Mega lower? Is there an upper that maybe isn't good with this lower?

All uppers will work on it as far as I know.

It really depends on what you wanna do do with it. How much you wanna spend, what you plan to do with it, all that stuff.
If you just plan on target shooting at the range, you don't need to spend money or buy quality. If you want a SHTF/HD/carbine class gun, spend some coin.

CK1
10-19-2009, 2:28 PM
As long distance accuracy as you can get with a .223 is what I would like to get without breaking the bank. I like the long barrells.

The size of the bank can be modified if I think I'm going to be able to shoot the eye out of a newt.

I don't know what a newt is, but I'd like to be able to say some day I took his out at 200yds.

I'm wondering if I should just hold out until the Cost Mesa gun show and see what I can pick up there.

technique
10-19-2009, 2:35 PM
Gun shows are over priced...not a place you wanna shop.

I'm not much of a longrange guy but if I have to buy one:

Addax ~New 18in DI upper
Colt (H-bar)
Saber Defense
BCM (Bravo Company)
Centurion Arms
Noveske
LWRC
LMT

K1LLROI
10-19-2009, 3:32 PM
This turned out to be a very informational thread. Thanks to all who participated, and for those who still are. Thanks for all feedback.
Thats a great chart.

That should answer some questions about brands, and overall quality.

Sure helped me out..Now I just need to make up my mind..updates coming soon..

Thanks again everyone..

bombadillo
10-19-2009, 3:41 PM
Gun shows are over priced...not a place you wanna shop.

I'm not much of a longrange guy but if I have to buy one:

Addax ~New 18in DI upper
Colt (H-bar)
Saber Defense
BCM (Bravo Company)
Centurion Arms
Noveske
LWRC
LMT

Agreed but would add Daniel Defense to that as well.

technique
10-19-2009, 3:45 PM
Agreed but would add Daniel Defense to that as well.

I'm not sure DD has a long barrel or "rifle" model yet...I think they may have plans, or it may be out, I'm not sure.

bombadillo
10-19-2009, 5:30 PM
Oh, is OP going for a varmint build or something?? If he were looking for a mid grade upper that nobody is going to laugh at, PKfirearms had a RRA predator pursuit bead blasted upper 24" for under 600 bucks 1:8 twist complete with BCG. Not too bad for a long barrel with a target crown.

K1LLROI
10-19-2009, 6:08 PM
Oh, is OP going for a varmint build or something??

I'm looking for an all around rifle. Like the rest of mine. You know, range, competitions(sometimes), even when SHTF. Its just all that oiling that gets me.

I'm almost done with my first. I want to do it right. Super right. I have a 2nd build just in case..B )
Sorry for the smiley I'm on the Iphone..lol

Thinking of holding on just a bit longer..Get that $$ together.

Thanks again.

Hope we can make that chart a stickie..

Good read.

coop44
10-19-2009, 7:00 PM
Please read the thread carefully...Please pay attention to the chart. There are two websites to visit listed on the chart, one is a discussion of the charts creation by the people who created it...

One of the people who helped in the creation of this chart is one of our own....this chart is accurate, and came from careful examinations of several of each brand listed....

I am not trying to be arbitrary here, I am just trying to invoke some critical thinking.

When terms like "Industry professionals" get bandied about red flags go up.

Let's see, Bernie Madoff, Ollie North, Dr. Kavorkian, Ivar Kruegar, Charles
Ponzi, Arthur Anderson.

Professionals, every single one.

There are people out there who digest every miniscule bit of information, chart it, graph it, and spew it forth on the internet, to solidify their appearance of expertise with the public.

truthfully, I found much of the information to be very much in line with my own research on AR type pattern rifles. But, on the other hand, some of it is a bit foolish. For instance, there is no one in the U.S. building or using really substandard barrel blanks.As I have stated previously the proof in the pudding is quality control, and the skill level of the assembler.

Trust me there is no one building AR's in a NASA like clean room.

technique
10-19-2009, 7:14 PM
We are talking People who work in the firearms community and represent some of those companies listed, competition shooters, people who know the process of making barrels (Randall), etc...

Reputable people...not just people on the internet who claim their AR is better than others and made of lesser materials. (those are the ones I discredit)

This chart was put together by a group of people and is forever evolving. Specs were gathered from personal data records, some requested from the companies listed...as far as I can tell based on my own experiences with 5 or 6 of the names on the chart...all is accurate.

If you would like to follow the public portion of the creation of the chart from 2007-current you can do so here http://www.m4carbine.net/showthread.php?t=6642 if you would like to ask about it...ask those who put it together.

This chart shows the quality of each individual upper in a side by side comparison..what company is lazy, what company follows the platform specs as they were originally designed...

As someone said above, if you don't park under the FSB, what other corners are you cutting?

If you look at the spec page, you can see who "batch tests" your bolts, and who tests them all. Those are clear, even a quality company like Noveske batch tests...I know this from personal experience, but the chart reinforced my hunch a year later..


In short these are FACTORY SPECS COMPARED SIDE BY SIDE..there is nothing to falsify.

CK1
10-19-2009, 7:24 PM
Gun shows are over priced...not a place you wanna shop.

I'm not much of a longrange guy but if I have to buy one:

Addax ~New 18in DI upper
Colt (H-bar)
Saber Defense
BCM (Bravo Company)
Centurion Arms
Noveske
LWRC
LMT

Glad to see you noted Saber.
I saw a Saber 24" thru Midway for $5hundred and something.

Guess I'll just buy it and see how it goes.

Cheaper than a car hobby and I'm sure much easier to assemble.

WeekendWarrior
10-20-2009, 10:06 AM
WWRTW

cgseanp1
10-20-2009, 10:34 AM
Glad to see you noted Saber.
I saw a Saber 24" thru Midway for $5hundred and something.

Guess I'll just buy it and see how it goes.

Cheaper than a car hobby and I'm sure much easier to assemble.

Sabre defense isn't a cheap brand, not sure what you saw for 500 bucks.

CK1
10-20-2009, 5:43 PM
Sabre defense isn't a cheap brand, not sure what you saw for 500 bucks.

Woops! Yeah you're right. Had to do a double take on that one.

I think I searched for Sabre and up popped Midway with a list of uppers. 1 of the 1st listed was;

DPMS AR-15 A3 Flattop Upper Assembly 223 Remington 1 in 9" Twist 24" Bull Barrel Stainless Steel with Free Float Handguard

Any feedback on this, or is it a P.O.S.?

Josh3239
10-20-2009, 5:44 PM
For the same price you can do much better than DPMS. DPMS is a small step above the bottom feeders.

CK1
10-20-2009, 5:52 PM
Alright, so this is gonna be 1-o-dose get what you pay for deals, ain't it?

That's cool, I'm really good at this game!

I'm not ready to put together a parts list yet because I simply don't know enough about the MFG's.

How about Bushmaster complete uppers for around $800 or $900?

Or what's a good match to the Mega complete lower I just purchased?

technique
10-20-2009, 5:54 PM
for 8-$900 get a Bravo company!!!!

cgseanp1
10-20-2009, 5:56 PM
Here's a nice sabre (out of stocK though)
http://riflegear.com/p-514-sabre-defence-24-heavy-bench-target-upper.aspx

CK1
10-20-2009, 7:06 PM
You know with so many AR builders out there, with so much good info and valuable opinions, it would be kind of cool to have some kind of spread-sheet that reflects the various standard parts and MFG's in various price ranges that are listed in an order of the most popular by votes.

For instance;
Most popular complete upper for $400-$600 = Stag Arms
Most popular complete upper for $600-$800 = ?????

Most popular complete lower for $500-$700 = Mega
Most popular complete lower for $700-$900 = ?????

That would be great info for someone like me who's coming in with limited info, if not down right ignorant.

It's definitely a lot of info with a lot of various combinations of parts, but man would that be a valuable list!

CK1
10-20-2009, 7:09 PM
Here's a nice sabre (out of stocK though)
http://riflegear.com/p-514-sabre-defence-24-heavy-bench-target-upper.aspx

I know, I saw that one too.

These guys are right down the street from me too.