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sherm2954
10-17-2009, 4:55 PM
My Blackthorne Experience

After reading numerous reviews, pro and con, about this company, I figured that with my severely limited budget and my unlimited belief that our ability to purchase AR-15 type rifles will soon be coming to an end, I decided to take the plunge and order a kit from www.akpartskits.com. Here’s how it went.

I placed the order for a 16” Carbine (flat top, A3) for $409 plus $20 shipping. The company promised that it would include everything needed except the stripped lower receiver. I had already purchased a Stag Arms from www.weaponparts.com in Arizona for $99 plus $15 shipping. (BTW, they are a great company and I will definitely buy from them again!).

So, back to Blackthorne/Vulcan/Hess…I placed the order and had a confirmation and UPS tracking number the same day. I placed one phone call prior to pushing the confirm button and immediately got a friendly and helpful person who answered my questions. The package made it across the US and got to California where a UPS drone loaded it on the wrong truck and added 4 days to my delivery time. I drove to UPS and picked it up…now, the packaging…

It would have been hard to do a lousier job of packaging. The kit came in a rectangular box with no “peanuts”, no dividers and minimal wrapping. I could feel the upper moving around in the box. It was wrapped (poorly) with some foam material. The lower parts kit was in a plastic bag with the indiviual parts bagged within. No parts list was included. I used an image from the net to compare the parts I got to the ones I needed. Everything was there with the exception of the lock washer for the pistol grip. The 6-position stock was wrapped in bubble wrap and looked like it was the most important thing in the box. There were a couple of minor chips in the mounting ring, but I don’t care, as I’m going to be making more wear marks on it myself very soon. The recoil buffer and spring were loose in the box.

I unwrapped and photographed so that I would have documentation of any problems if I found them…the upper appears to be in very good condition. The barrel finish is very nice and everthing appears tight and properly aligned. The hand guards are tight and properly fitted. The bore is clean and appears to have been test fired (I ran a patch through it to see…).
http://http://www.calguns.net/calgunforum/attachment.php?attachmentid=35395&d=1255823235
I assembled the kit with my lower and threw on a scope for looks. Everything fit well and it operates as it should…no unforeseen hang-ups or issues have developed. I have ordered a riser for my red dot and also backup iron sight for the rear sight…looking forward to getting them mounted. I will report back as soon as I get a chance to shoot!

Overall, with the exception of the packaging, I’m happy with this purchase. As the economy turns around I hope to build a “higher end” AR, but given this is what I could do, I’m glad I jumped on it. I was able to build the CA-legal AR for a total cost (parts, shipping, dros, etc.) of $650.24. I know we’re not supposed to be looking for the “cheapest”, but this was a push for me and I’m really glad I did it. Blackthorne would probably gain better reviews if they put some care into their packaging…other than that, they treated me well, the kit looks great and now I own an AR to compliment my AK.

00BuckShot
10-17-2009, 5:00 PM
Glad it turned out OK for you. I know that some of these budget guys get a bad rap. Kinda like a Vulcan that I have never had a problem with ..

Now get out there and shoot it!!!

Stanze
10-17-2009, 5:04 PM
Before the internet you could build an AR from parts, shoot it your whole life and never have a problem.

Before the internet.

gun toting monkeyboy
10-17-2009, 5:06 PM
There is nothing wrong with the cheapest. If it works, who cares? You knew in advance that you were getting a basic AR, and you know it isn't the top of the line. But you now have a complete weapon. So what if it isn't a colt? You got what you could afford, and you already plan on getting another when the budget allows. Good for you. Enjoy it, and use it as a learning tool to find out what features you like or don't like. The other nice thing about a cheaper gun is that you can experiment on it without feeling bad at all. Swap out parts as you learn how, and see if you like them. Keep the old parts, so that you can put them back on the cheap gun when you eventually upgrade. Some day when you have a closet full of black guns, you'll look back on this one and remember it fondly. Like I said, nothing wrong with cheap, as long as it works.

-Mb (whos first AR was built on a Model 1 sales upper)

CSACANNONEER
10-17-2009, 5:06 PM
So, for about $650 (including shipping, DROS and FFL fees), you just built a complete rifle. Cool. It'll be interesting to hear how it shoots. It may shoot as well as a $1500 AR or, it may end up on gunbroker next week. We'll have to wait and see.

SJgunguy24
10-17-2009, 5:07 PM
Glad it turned out OK for you. I know that some of these budget guys get a bad rap. Kidna like a Vulcan that I HAVE NEVER HAD A PROBLEM WITH.

Now get out there and shoot it!!!

Vulcan and Blackthorne are the same. They keep changing the name do to bad press.

StevieC
10-17-2009, 5:08 PM
that's what I'm taking about!
good on you man :)

Stanze
10-17-2009, 5:09 PM
Yeah, I take particular offense when someone calls my AR (Doublestar upper, Stag lower) a "Bottom Feeder".

If you think it sucks that bad, feel free to stand down range from it. What was that? Yeah, didn't think so!:p

00BuckShot
10-17-2009, 5:11 PM
My first build was a Vulcan Lower (which I still use today) and a Model 1 upper kit. Fond memories for sure.

sherm2954
10-17-2009, 5:12 PM
that is truly a great point! the internet made even the least feable minded (myself included) into self-proclaimed experts...

sspen003
10-17-2009, 5:15 PM
I hope this works out for you. I have a hard time getting past some of the horror stories that I have read about.

For 650 though, it wouldnt have been much more to get a Stag or DPMS upper/buttstock. For the cost of 500 rounds you could have a "higher end" rifle.

Good luck with this gun, maybe Blackthorne is turning out a better product now.

Every time I read about blackthorne everyone gets hung up on the packaging....some love it and some hate it:stuart:

Gigan
10-17-2009, 5:26 PM
Thanks for the info Sherm!

Chemtchr
10-17-2009, 5:34 PM
Congratulations on your build. I wanted a 7.62 X 39 AR so I bought one from Model 1 sales and it works great. Ironically, my upper from CMMG had to be replaced because it shot 8" groups. Now it will shoot MOA with good handloads and me doing my part. Of course I had to add a Giessele trigger to get it to do it. 3-4 MOA was the best I could do prior to trigger swap.

Sam .223
10-17-2009, 5:35 PM
i used a double star lower for my build, it wasn't anywhere near the most expensive out there and i installed a DPMS lpk in it, i did invest in a quality upper though since i had the money and to me the upper is the part you really want to put the money into if you're able.

Seesm
10-17-2009, 5:58 PM
Great cost on your build...

ShelbyGT500
10-17-2009, 6:04 PM
I had already purchased a Stag Arms from www.weaponsparts.com in Arizona for $99 plus $15 shipping. (BTW, they are a great company and I will definitely buy from them again!).


looks like they went under :confused:

oh I see its weaponparts.com, remove the extra s

E-120
10-17-2009, 6:58 PM
Thanks to the internet I own several black rifles. Whenever I went to small gun stores I was told no you cant own one of those. After some good reading on this great page I have every gun I wanted growing up. Thanks Calguns

pontiacpratt
10-17-2009, 7:23 PM
My budget build:
http://i119.photobucket.com/albums/o158/figgie1/jasonstuff/P1020432.jpg
Cost me ~$800, I don't care if it's not all Noveske and Daniel Defense. I love it, the wife loves it. It all works and it's as Accurate I need it to be. Don't get caught up in which "Lower Price" parts you have. As long as it functions, who cares. It was almost a game to see how "cheaply" I could build it. I take pride in that I Assembled it myself.:D
I since upgraded a few things but the plan was to get it functioning then add the fun stuff:
http://i119.photobucket.com/albums/o158/figgie1/jasonstuff/P1020486.jpg

sevensix2x51
10-17-2009, 7:28 PM
thanks for the heads up! it sounds like a great deal to build a low-end loaner gun, one can never have enough rifles in .223! i built my first one as a high end model(at least for me and my feeble budget), so these budget builds are a breath of fresh air to those of us that want to clog the safe with cool stuff!

sherm2954
10-17-2009, 8:04 PM
Just curious...why do my pictures show as links and not as actual embedded pictures?

sevensix2x51
10-17-2009, 8:05 PM
they show as links.

when i embed an image because im too lazy to do photbucket, i copy the link location and paste it into the "image button" popup (yellow button w/ mtns and sun).... then it shows up in the post.

DREADNOUGHT78
10-17-2009, 10:30 PM
Here is my Vulcan lower 3 years old and other than a bad mag that it came with not one single problem. I have owned CMMG,Kaiser Defense,Spikes lowers and after all those I like this one the best! The
MattP Barrel was the most expensive part on this rifle. Used Calguns parts and a super cheap lower kept this build at around $650
and thats with a real LMT SOPMOD and KAC RAS. So have fun with your rifle I can guarantee it will do exactly what you wan it to do!

http://i95.photobucket.com/albums/l128/detailed_inc/CamoAR001-1.jpg

blackrifle242
10-17-2009, 10:43 PM
My last AR's price reached in about $3000.00. Everything was Vltor, Noveske, aimpoint, etc. I have since then realized that I wasted allot of money. I really just love my kiss build. The only thing that stands out is the Eotech. Good build and good price. Just make sure it keeps on target and doesn't just become a 650.00 bat. Good job and don't let anyone tell you different.

Adrien
10-17-2009, 11:00 PM
Before the internet you could build an AR from parts, shoot it your whole life and never have a problem.

Before the internet.

So true.

Adrien

technique
10-17-2009, 11:04 PM
Yeah, I take particular offense when someone calls my AR (Doublestar upper, Stag lower) a "Bottom Feeder".

If you think it sucks that bad, feel free to stand down range from it. What was that? Yeah, didn't think so!:p

So true.

Adrien

Yes, that is correct...the internet was invented in 1989 (well 1957 actually)
In 1989...there was Colt.

jamesob
10-17-2009, 11:07 PM
i truly believe blackthorne is an ok company. they had a bad rap and with the internet having info from 20 years ago, it's a rep thats hard to get rid of. i have a blackthorne upper and its no different than my stag upper and it will shoot as straight as the stag. i say at the price, build another.

swerv512
10-18-2009, 6:14 AM
Congrats on realizing that spending more $$$ than necessary on something that hardly gets shot doesnt make you a better shooter or an expert on the topic- it just makes you a....
MALL NINJA!

pacrimguru
10-18-2009, 8:03 AM
Yes, that is correct...the internet was invented in 1989 (well 1957 actually)
In 1989...there was Colt.

also, a good point. haha

MilSim
10-18-2009, 8:17 AM
Good build man. I did something similar, and recieved praise and criticism. It doesnt matter as long as it fires good and true and you enjoy it. These guys that are self proclaimed experts end everybody who isnt them is a mall ninja are funny as hell considering most of us will never get to fire a shot in anger(unless your angry for missing the paper man). Most of all enjoy and realize your having just as much fun at a lower price than all the "high-end" guys!:D

wellerjohn
10-18-2009, 8:22 AM
Here is my Vulcan lower 3 years old and other than a bad mag that it came with not one single problem. I have owned CMMG,Kaiser Defense,Spikes lowers and after all those I like this one the best! The
MattP Barrel was the most expensive part on this rifle. Used Calguns parts and a super cheap lower kept this build at around $650
and thats with a real LMT SOPMOD and KAC RAS. So have fun with your rifle I can guarantee it will do exactly what you wan it to do!

http://i95.photobucket.com/albums/l128/detailed_inc/CamoAR001-1.jpg

What optic is that?

johnrunner89
10-18-2009, 8:49 AM
Nice build and nice price! Let us know how it shoots.

ajaffe
10-18-2009, 10:51 AM
Yeah, I take particular offense when someone calls my AR (Doublestar upper, Stag lower) a "Bottom Feeder".

If you think it sucks that bad, feel free to stand down range from it. What was that? Yeah, didn't think so!:p

Huh? With that kind of logic you could say:
If someone thinks your shoes are cheap, then they should withstand a kick to the face or nuts to back their views up.
If someone thinks your car is a beater, then they should stand in front of it and let you hit them with it to support their views.
If someone thinks your barbecue is lame, then they should sit on it while it is at its highest flame point to

To me a better offer would be to shoot a group at a target, switch rifles, and shoot another group at a new target. Then compare to see if the difference in precision/accuracy is worth the difference in price.

sevensix2x51
10-18-2009, 10:54 AM
Huh? With that kind of logic you could say:
If someone thinks your shoes are cheap, then they should withstand a kick to the face or nuts to back their views up.
If someone thinks your car is a beater, then they should stand in front of it and let you hit them with it to support their views.
If someone thinks your barbecue is lame, then they should sit on it while it is at its highest flame point to

To me a better offer would be to shoot a group at a target, switch rifles, and shoot another group at a new target. Then compare to see if the difference in precision/accuracy is worth the difference in price.

:rofl:

yeah, i think the side-by-side comparison is a little better.

sherm2954
10-18-2009, 11:47 AM
i truly believe blackthorne is an ok company. they had a bad rap and with the internet having info from 20 years ago, it's a rep thats hard to get rid of. i have a blackthorne upper and its no different than my stag upper and it will shoot as straight as the stag. i say at the price, build another.

As I noted in my first post, they would get a lot better "word of mouth" if they put some care into their packaging...my 15 year old would have done a much better job. First impressions do matter!

Cal-Irish
10-18-2009, 12:02 PM
Love budget build, but the proof is in the shooting. Bust some caps and let us know how it does.

alain209
10-18-2009, 12:30 PM
when did you get the complete upper, just checked out the website. seems like it is not listed anymore.

series8217
10-18-2009, 12:43 PM
What is the point of this thread? Legos clip together too. That doesn't mean they will shoot. Does the rifle even work?

series8217
10-18-2009, 12:45 PM
Oooops my bad.. Missed this in the original post.

the kit looks great and now I own an AR to compliment my AK.

I didn't realize this was for an interior decorating job.

pontiacpratt
10-18-2009, 12:50 PM
What is the point of this thread? Legos clip together too. That doesn't mean they will shoot. Does the rifle even work?

Sometimes they are one in the same:
http://www.mocpages.com/user_thumbnails/famoustom@hotmail.com/www.brickshelf.com_gallery_chopperman_workingguns_ Colt-AR-15_111-1124_img.jpg_SPLASH.jpg
http://www.mocpages.com/moc.php/7316

technique
10-18-2009, 12:57 PM
What is the point of this thread? Legos clip together too. That doesn't mean they will shoot. Does the rifle even work?

The review appears to be base on looks and how it was packaged...not how it fires. There is no mention of a range report.

Given the way the OP set up his rifle it appears the range is all this rifle will see. It does not appear to be a defensive carbine or a hard use carbine. So his assessment of not needing a high dollar weapon is correct.

ShelbyGT500
10-18-2009, 1:00 PM
My budget build:
http://i119.photobucket.com/albums/o158/figgie1/jasonstuff/P1020432.jpg


What case is that? thanks

B Strong
10-18-2009, 1:02 PM
What's there to hate?

If it works, good for you.

Cal-Irish
10-18-2009, 1:03 PM
What is the point of this thread? Legos clip together too. That doesn't mean they will shoot. Does the rifle even work?
Are you trying to sounds like a d-bag?

Stanze
10-18-2009, 2:14 PM
Huh? With that kind of logic you could say:
If someone thinks your shoes are cheap, then they should withstand a kick to the face or nuts to back their views up.
If someone thinks your car is a beater, then they should stand in front of it and let you hit them with it to support their views.
If someone thinks your barbecue is lame, then they should sit on it while it is at its highest flame point to

To me a better offer would be to shoot a group at a target, switch rifles, and shoot another group at a new target. Then compare to see if the difference in precision/accuracy is worth the difference in price.

Sounds like someone looking for validation on an expensive purchase at the cost of someone who isn't in the position to match your budget. That would make said person a snob IMO. The point of my statement and your examples is that they work.

All AR rifles are inherently accurate by design and at the end of the day, they all make the same hole on the target.

I also want to add that "Top Tier" AR rifles have been coming in with questionable quality (Cosmetic blemishes that get panties twisted in a bunch, out of spec parts like dust covers that don't close properly, cracked gas keys, canted FSB, chipped rails, MIM parts, etc.)

sherm2954
10-18-2009, 2:55 PM
The review appears to be base on looks and how it was packaged...not how it fires. There is no mention of a range report.

Given the way the OP set up his rifle it appears the range is all this rifle will see. It does not appear to be a defensive carbine or a hard use carbine. So his assessment of not needing a high dollar weapon is correct.

Second to last paragraph notes that I haven't shot it yet...we'll see how it shoots when I can get away...

Cal-Irish
10-18-2009, 3:12 PM
Second to last paragraph notes that I haven't shot it yet...we'll see how it shoots when I can get away...
Hes in your corner brah

Barney Gumble
10-18-2009, 3:17 PM
I'm sure it's serviceable as a hobby gun for blasting away at the range. If that's what you wanted then no one should criticize you for that.

There's nothing wrong with going the inexpensive route as long as you're going in with your eyes open and know the limitations of the equipment. For example I would not rely that rifle for self defense.

Santa Cruz Armory
10-18-2009, 3:24 PM
Yes, that is correct...the internet was invented in 1989...

That's something else we can thank Al Gore for. :rolleyes:

That said, my first AR was a Model 1 and I've had ZERO issues with it other than it eats all the ammo I throw at it... Maybe if I had a snob rifle I'd have more ammo in the cabinet.

I have 7 different ARs; Colt, DPMS, Model 1, & Rock river. All my builds work great. I've gotten <1" groups at 100 yds with my "junk" Model 1 build. I think that's good in most anyone's book. Don't concern yourself with the rifle snobs.

Enjoy your build!

220RR
10-18-2009, 3:32 PM
i have no problems with my vulcan15.works great.i use it as my beater gun..blast it for 5k and still running strong,and i only clean it once(lazy)..ANYONE WANNA BUY A VULCAN 308 LOWER???

sspen003
10-18-2009, 3:34 PM
All Rifles will put holes on paper (well hopefully) but it doesnt mean that they will be on target. I am not ragging on the OP's build but I do think there is a considerable difference between low budget builds and so-called snob builds.

These differences include accuracy, weight and longevity of the rifle. The concept of you get what you pay for holds true for rifles and just about everything else you pay for.

In an era of outsourcing and oversees manufacturing its has become increasingly important that you are not getting knock off products or products made with inferior materials.

Looking at their website, it explains nothing about where their products are made. All they do is throw around catch phrases like "The Machine Guns of The Special Forces" (wow) or "Technologies Tip of the Spear" and my favorite "Best Built Firearms in the World"

Talk to Addax or BCM and ask them what they think about Vulcan being the best in the world.

I understand building an economical rifle, but Mil-Spec and brand name parts would have put this build at roughly $750, just a bit more than the OP spent.

Whats a hundred dollars when people are paying close to .50 cents a round?

Tell me what you think of this rifle 6 months down the road with 1500+ rounds through it. I plus many other on this forum would be interested in what you have to say. Good luck with this rifle. I hope people are wrong about it.

http://i639.photobucket.com/albums/uu118/sspen003/290t2k6-1.jpg

dot429
10-18-2009, 3:48 PM
All Rifles will put holes on paper (well hopefully) but it doesnt mean that they will be on target. I am not ragging on the OP's build but I do think there is a considerable difference between low budget builds and so-called snob builds.

These differences include accuracy, weight and longevity of the rifle. The concept of you get what you pay for holds true for rifles and just about everything else you pay for.

In an era of outsourcing and oversees manufacturing its has become increasingly important that you are not getting knock off products or products made with inferior materials.

Looking at their website, it explains nothing about where their products are made. All they do is throw around catch phrases like "The Machine Guns of The Special Forces" (wow) or "Technologies Tip of the Spear" and my favorite "Best Built Firearms in the World"

Talk to Addax or BCM and ask them what they think about Vulcan being the best in the world.

I understand building an economical rifle, but Mil-Spec and brand name parts would have put this build at roughly $750, just a bit more than the OP spent.

Whats a hundred dollars when people are paying close to .50 cents a round?

Tell me what you think of this rifle 6 months down the road with 1500+ rounds through it. I plus many other on this forum would be interested in what you have to say. Good luck with this rifle. I hope people are wrong about it.

http://i639.photobucket.com/albums/uu118/sspen003/290t2k6-1.jpg


Holy CRAP!

I've never seen a lower break like that. Can you tell us under what circumstances it broke?

Thanks

sspen003
10-18-2009, 4:00 PM
I found it in an AR15.com thread. Lowers are not supposed to break

It broke because someone shot it.

technique
10-18-2009, 4:05 PM
http://www.ar15.com/forums/topic.html?b=3&f=118&t=405921
http://www.ar15.com/forums/topic.html?b=3&f=118&t=406717
http://www.ar15.com/forums/topic.html?b=3&f=118&t=460760

sspen003
10-18-2009, 4:09 PM
http://www.ar15.com/forums/topic.html?b=3&f=118&t=405921
http://www.ar15.com/forums/topic.html?b=3&f=118&t=406717
http://www.ar15.com/forums/topic.html?b=3&f=118&t=460760

There you go.. The second one fits this thread nicely

Stanze
10-18-2009, 4:11 PM
I found it in an AR15.com thread. Lowers are not supposed to break

It broke because someone shot it.

It's cast, the raised lettering and cast marks indicate that it's cast.

"Top Tier" AR brands have been using cast MIM parts also.

Cast can be done right (Ruger, RIA 1911 frames), but a lot of times CAST=BROKEN

sspen003
10-18-2009, 4:12 PM
It's cast, the raised lettering and cast marks indicate that it's cast.

"Top Tier" AR brands have been using cast MIM parts also.

Cast can be done right (Ruger, RIA 1911 frames), but a lot of times CAST=BROKEN

Its not Polymer?

five.five-six
10-18-2009, 4:13 PM
the only people I have ever heard complain about Vulcan are people who have never owned one


hesse on the other hand is a POS

sspen003
10-18-2009, 4:15 PM
the only people I have ever heard complain about Vulcan are people who have never owned one


hesse on the other hand is a POS

Hesse=Vulcan

technique
10-18-2009, 4:16 PM
Hesse=Vulcan

=Blackthorne

five.five-six
10-18-2009, 4:20 PM
Hesse=Vulcan

no that is incorrect. hesse was a company that made real crap. when they went out of business, vulcan bought all the lowers and re sold them, they were real junk, however, they are the only ar10 lower with a CADOJ letter of approval. I had 2 of them. they were sort of 85% lowers, and took a lot of work to get them to function correctly

vulcan did go through the trouble of submitting examples of the Hesse and the Vulcan pinned lower to CADOJ early on

Josh3239
10-18-2009, 4:33 PM
the only people I have ever heard complain about Vulcan are people who have never owned one


hesse on the other hand is a POS

One Vulcan .50 on the line blows up. The shooter never buys a Vulcan .50 again, all the other shooters on the line will never own a Vulcan .50 ever. Its safe to say Vulcan, Hesse, and Blackthorne all deserve the reputation they have.

five.five-six
10-18-2009, 4:34 PM
Holy CRAP!

I've never seen a lower break like that. Can you tell us under what circumstances it broke?

Thanks

I have seen that pic posted a lot of times by a lot of people (most of them say it's theirs) I was wondering the same thing

five.five-six
10-18-2009, 4:34 PM
One Vulcan .50 on the line blows up. The shooter never buys a Vulcan .50 again, all the other shooters on the line will never own a Vulcan .50 ever. Its safe to say Vulcan, Hesse, and Blackthorne all deserve the reputation they have.

hand loads?

Darklyte27
10-18-2009, 4:37 PM
now more importantly, how well does it/you shoot.

Josh3239
10-18-2009, 4:40 PM
hand loads?

Apparently the design alone makes it completely unsafe. Fifty Caliber Shooter's Association actually banned the older ones from competition, the newer ones aren't banned because of the "upgrades" but I am sure not as much people have bought the new ones after using or hearing about the old ones. Thread on the V50 in the FCSA's forum: http://forum.fcsa.org/index.php?showtopic=106

SCMA-1
10-18-2009, 5:46 PM
...:threadjacked::offtopic:

CSACANNONEER
10-18-2009, 5:59 PM
One Vulcan .50 on the line blows up. The shooter never buys a Vulcan .50 again, all the other shooters on the line will never own a Vulcan .50 ever. Its safe to say Vulcan, Hesse, and Blackthorne all deserve the reputation they have.

I won't be anywhere near a Vulcan50 when it's being fired unless, I know that it has been insected by one of the few leading 50 smiths around. More than one Vulcan50 has had major and dangerous problems. OTOH, Vulcan lowers just have poor QC. Some of them are among the best lowers around and others are not worth the alluminum they are made with. But, to knock all Vulcan/Hesse/Blackthorne products without personally inspecting them is not right either. Their reputation is well deserved but, occassionaly they accidently release products that will perform as well as their competitor's products but at half the cost. It's just a crap shoot. BTW, I have a Vulcan lower around just to say that I own a Vulcan lower.

CSACANNONEER
10-18-2009, 6:04 PM
Ok, technically the V50 has NEVER been banned from FCSA matches. However, since it is up to each individual match dirrector to only allow guns which they deem safe to be allowed to compete, V50s don't often make it passed tech inspection. I do know of one commercial reloader who owns three V50s and used them to proof his loads. He feels that if his loads are not too much for a V50, they will work fine in any other 50 on the market!

tango5
10-18-2009, 6:27 PM
I have a Vulcan lower that i got about 3 years ago. I use it as my test bed lower for new parts and testing. It has never failed me, its in spec of other milspec lowers and its my favorite. Lot of people on the internet bash Vulcan/Blackthorn, id say maybe 4% of those people had personal experience with their products, and the rest of the 96% are people who spend to much time on the internet and believe things they read and think its the truth. Good job on your build, it will make you happy.

five.five-six
10-18-2009, 7:31 PM
id say maybe 4% of those people had personal experience with their products, and the rest of the 96% are people who spend to much time on the internet and believe things they read and think its the truth. Good job on your build, it will make you happy.

here here!

MikeR
10-18-2009, 8:41 PM
Are you trying to sounds like a d-bag?

COMPLETE SUCCESS!

ID like tO hear a range report too. BUt it sounds like a lot of mall ninja-ing going on in here. Seems like some of you believe everything you read and have no experienCe with. I tHought i was on ARFCOM for a sEcond. BAG

sevensix2x51
10-18-2009, 8:55 PM
COMPLETE SUCCESS!

ID like tO hear a range report too. BUt it sounds like a lot of mall ninja-ing going on in here. Seems like some of you believe everything you read and have no experienCe with. I tHought i was on ARFCOM for a sEcond. BAG

rommflmmfao@subliminal messages

asheron2
10-18-2009, 9:31 PM
Before the internet you could build an AR from parts, shoot it your whole life and never have a problem.

Before the internet.

lol

bruceflinch
10-18-2009, 9:54 PM
Good for You! Welcome to the AR Club! :)

RECCE556
10-19-2009, 3:24 AM
Don't hate me because I built what I could afford!
Don't worry about us hating you because you bought Blackthorne, you'll hate yourself for buying Blackthorne. :)

philthy209
10-19-2009, 7:37 AM
Hit or miss with any product.Good build. Not all of us can afford to buy the name brand stuff so why flame him?

ar15barrels
10-19-2009, 8:17 AM
I assembled the kit with my lower and threw on a scope for looks. Everything fit well and it operates as it should…no unforeseen hang-ups or issues have developed. I have ordered a riser for my red dot and also backup iron sight for the rear sight…looking forward to getting them mounted. I will report back as soon as I get a chance to shoot!

I recommend upgrading the buffer to an H3 or a 9mm because the gas ports are drilled extremely oversized on Vulcan barrels.
The other thing I would upgrade is the extractor spring.

Oil it up real good.
Go shoot the gun how it is now and save a few pieces of fired brass to show us if you have any problems.

1923mack
10-19-2009, 8:31 AM
Go have some fun with it. Report back on all legal activities performed.

RECCE556
10-19-2009, 2:29 PM
Hit or miss with any product.Good build. Not all of us can afford to buy the name brand stuff so why flame him?
Blackthorne is known as mostly a miss brand. I've seen their stuff up close, it's garbage. Also, it's nothing personal. If he wants to buy junk, GO FOR IT but don't expect people to just pat you on the back for doing so. ;)

Gryff
10-19-2009, 2:34 PM
If it is reliable, then I call that a Win. Now go forth and punch holes in paper.

sherm2954
10-19-2009, 3:02 PM
Amazing array of responses...I never anticipated this many. Thanks to all for the advice, both pro and con...I don't take any reasonable, thoughtful criticism personally. That said, I do intend to build a second (with revenue from a second job...and yes, you can still get a second job in America!). At that point I will definitely be looking for a "name brand" build.

As soon as I get a chance to go shoot, I will post the results.
Thanks again to you all...even critics! Be safe and have fun!

dieselpower
10-19-2009, 5:32 PM
Just a quick thought here....
You have a Name Brand Build....just not the one OTHER PEOPLE want to see.

jaytee
10-19-2009, 6:40 PM
Amazing array of responses...I never anticipated this many. Thanks to all for the advice, both pro and con...I don't take any reasonable, thoughtful criticism personally. That said, I do intend to build a second (with revenue from a second job...and yes, you can still get a second job in America!). At that point I will definitely be looking for a "name brand" build.

As soon as I get a chance to go shoot, I will post the results.
Thanks again to you all...even critics! Be safe and have fun!

Just a point to note - on their website they say they have uppers made by LMT and LAR manufacturing, and barrels made by Wilson and Mossberg http://www.akpartskits.com/faq.html.
I am pretty much ignorant to these manufacturers (due to my noob status), but from what I've read, especially about LMT and Wilson, they seem like fairly popular brands with a good rep? Does that make a difference? Or is that just to be taken with a pinch of salt?

technique
10-19-2009, 6:47 PM
Here is what LMT has to say about places like BT and M&A:

I am sorry but regardless of what other companies put on their websites I cannot release any information about whom or what we have made for whom. So I regret but I cannot confirm or deny the information below.



Please let me know if you have any other questions or concerns.



Thank you,


XXXX XXXXXXXXX

Sales Representative
Lewis Machine & Tool Co.
1305 West 11th Street
Milan, IL 61264
Phone: 309.732.9527
Fax: 309.787.2636

jaytee
10-19-2009, 6:54 PM
Here is what LMT has to say about places like BT and M&A:


But can they (BT etc) legally say that if it's not true?

bomb_on_bus
10-19-2009, 7:05 PM
thats not a bad looking rifle for what you put into it! thats a hell of a deal IMO

technique
10-19-2009, 7:05 PM
But can they (BT etc) legally say that if it's not true?

LMT can make the rollpin for the forward assist and they can legally say they they use LMT parts...LMT can make any part for them.

For example M&A sells mid lengths that they say are made by LMT or possibly RRA...LMT doesn't market Mids, but RRA does...but M&A won't specify who makes what for them. neither does Blackthorne. So its a crap shoot. There is a huge difference in quality LMT vs. RRA.

To me, thats dishonest marketing.

LMT will make any thing for anyone...but is it good enough to put the LMT name on is a different story.

series8217
10-19-2009, 7:45 PM
Are you trying to sounds like a d-bag?

My bad; I didn't realize this was the interior decorating subforum.

sevensix2x51
10-19-2009, 7:47 PM
My bad; I didn't realize this was the interior decorating subforum.

you already used that line. please be original in your next post. :D

series8217
10-19-2009, 9:01 PM
you already used that line. please be original in your next post. :D

:surrender: I surrender! Totally my bad; I didn't realize this was the novel ideas subforum!

All joking aside, I'm not ripping on the guy for buying a cheap gun. I'll be very happy to hear that the gun shoots well. I just think it's premature to make a post patting oneself on the back about a rifle purchase when the rifle hasn't been test fired.. especially with these having a reputation for breaking.

Hope it works out for the OP.

thegrayham
10-19-2009, 9:02 PM
I want to build a cheap black rifle (<$1000) and really want to see how this one shoots!

vega
10-19-2009, 9:04 PM
I recommend upgrading the buffer to an H3 or a 9mm because the gas ports are drilled extremely oversized on Vulcan barrels.
The other thing I would upgrade is the extractor spring.

Oil it up real good.
Go shoot the gun how it is now and save a few pieces of fired brass to show us if you have any problems.

BEST reply so far.

mif_slim
10-19-2009, 9:09 PM
Before the internet you could build an AR from parts, shoot it your whole life and never have a problem.

Before the internet.

The best one I've read!

tiko
10-19-2009, 9:31 PM
$650 unbelievable low price, this is good for my uncle who doesn't want to spend money. I got to show him this thread.

sevensix2x51
10-19-2009, 9:38 PM
:surrender: I surrender! Totally my bad; I didn't realize this was the novel ideas subforum!

All joking aside, I'm not ripping on the guy for buying a cheap gun. I'll be very happy to hear that the gun shoots well. I just think it's premature to make a post patting oneself on the back about a rifle purchase when the rifle hasn't been test fired.. especially with these having a reputation for breaking.

Hope it works out for the OP.

no hard feelings. just trying to help save you from d-bag replies. im all for open forums, and im sure the rest of us also appreciate your criticisms, but theyre best posed in the constructive variety. they keep you from getting flamed. i know from experience. :)

negative and poo-talking replies are always welcome in my threads however. keeps things lively. :thumbsup:

ar15barrels
10-19-2009, 9:48 PM
For example M&A sells mid lengths that they say are made by LMT or possibly RRA...LMT doesn't market Mids, but RRA does...

LMT does sell mid-lengths in the MRP line.

Also, LMT is a job shop first and formost.
If someone comes to them and says "make me xxxx number if this gizmo" and they have the tooling to make that gizmo, they will do it.
LMT got into the firearms market because of their making parts for Armalite for many many years.
They were a subcontractor LONG before they sold their own brand.
Those familiar with PWA might also recognize the logo/engraving on current LMT branded lowers. ;)

xxdabroxx
10-19-2009, 10:22 PM
LMT does sell mid-lengths in the MRP line.

Also, LMT is a job shop first and formost.
If someone comes to them and says "make me xxxx number if this gizmo" and they have the tooling to make that gizmo, they will do it.
LMT got into the forearms market because of their making parts for Armalite for many many years.
They were a subcontractor LONG before they sold their own brand.
Those familiar with PWA might also recognize the logo/engraving on current LMT branded lowers. ;)

:King:.

sherm2954
10-19-2009, 10:33 PM
:surrender: I surrender! Totally my bad; I didn't realize this was the novel ideas subforum!

All joking aside, I'm not ripping on the guy for buying a cheap gun. I'll be very happy to hear that the gun shoots well. I just think it's premature to make a post patting oneself on the back about a rifle purchase when the rifle hasn't been test fired.. especially with these having a reputation for breaking.

Hope it works out for the OP.

Trust me...I'm praying this works out! No one is more interested in finding out how it shoots! (BTW, I went to school in Montebello in 1976, 77)!

SCMA-1
10-20-2009, 7:18 AM
LMT does sell mid-lengths in the MRP line.

Also, LMT is a job shop first and formost.
If someone comes to them and says "make me xxxx number if this gizmo" and they have the tooling to make that gizmo, they will do it.
LMT got into the firearms market because of their making parts for Armalite for many many years.
They were a subcontractor LONG before they sold their own brand.
Those familiar with PWA might also recognize the logo/engraving on current LMT branded lowers. ;)

So you're saying that PWA is now LMT? I noticed they are from the same city and state, and the logo is still the same boring oval.:p;)


http://i713.photobucket.com/albums/ww140/webbiz1/Cameras/IMG_1260.jpg

Speaking of cheap AR parts, PWA was the cheapest back in the day; their cost however had nothing to do with their quality. We bought them for $50-$60 each and built many excellent and inexpensive ($300-$400) AR's. Those that insist price paid is proportional to quality/value received do not understand business, marketing, manufacturing, economics, etc.

WeekendWarrior
10-20-2009, 11:16 AM
WWRTW

RECCE556
10-20-2009, 1:08 PM
Speaking of cheap AR parts, PWA was the cheapest back in the day; their cost however had nothing to do with their quality. We bought them for $50-$60 each and built many excellent and inexpensive ($300-$400) AR's. Those that insist price paid is proportional to quality/value received do not understand business, marketing, manufacturing, economics, etc.
First off, Quality and Value are two different things. You can buy a low quality item that's still a good value (like Chinese button batteries).

Now back in the day, I was buying $500-$600 complete Colts. So in today's market, how much is that $300-$400 low-end frankenparts gun worth now and who's buying them...not much and no one....if I wanted to sell my used green label and blue label Colts, I think I could get a good money for them...so who got their money's worth out of their gun?

BTW, the $60 PWA lowers (adjusted for inflation from 1989) is $105 today. So even with NO market presences (a LOT of people still don't know who PWA is nowadays), they were still not sold for that much cheaper. Plus you have to factor in the simple fact that self-built AR market (back in those days) was NO WHERE NEAR as big as it is now. If one doesn't understand the impact of that, then they have no understanding of economics. If you believe that the current bottom feeder brands who sell their wares for significantly less than the "tier 1" brands are "just as good", you sir, are quite mistaken. PWA's sold for cheap because no one knew who they were. LMT was NOT a household name back then. Brands like Blackthorne/Hesse/Vulcan, DPMS, Olympic Arms, etc. all EARNED their reputations and are cheap for a reason...not because they're some unknown "gem" of a brand....

And while price paid isn't necessarily proportional to quality/value, you cannot fully discount its role. The bottom line is this:

"It's unwise to pay too much, but it's worse to pay too little. When you pay too much, you lose a little money -- that is all. When you pay too little, you sometimes lose everything, because the thing you bought was incapable of doing the thing it was bought to do. The common law of business balance prohibits paying a little and getting a lot -- it can't be done. If you deal with the lowest bidder, it is well to add something for the risk you run, and if you do that you will have enough to pay for something better." - John Ruskin

Now that being said, one has to be careful. There are PLENTY of brands out there that charge a lot of money are not giving your money's worth (like Leupold which has switched to Chinese parts and production). They key is research and knowing where/who the data is coming from. So I think it's more accurate to say that price is not an AUTOMATIC indicator of quality nor value. Now I am ALL FOR a great deal on anything. Hell, I jumped on that Elcan SpecterDR for $1000. I would have bought 100 of them at that price because that was a GREAT DEAL on a QUALITY item. Hopefully, people can see the difference between that and buying some cheap-a** "FamousMaker" red dot....

I would LOVE to have a company that puts out top tier products with a 0% profit margin...I bet their products would be innovative and spectacular! Any of you willing to start that company? Does anyone think the low end companies are so noble that they are forgoing profits to bring you high quality products? I think you can answer that one yourself. ;)

jamesob
10-20-2009, 6:29 PM
First off, Quality and Value are two different things. You can buy a low quality item that's still a good value (like Chinese button batteries).

Now back in the day, I was buying $500-$600 complete Colts. So in today's market, how much is that $300-$400 low-end frankenparts gun worth now and who's buying them...not much and no one....if I wanted to sell my used green label and blue label Colts, I think I could get a good money for them...so who got their money's worth out of their gun?

BTW, the $60 PWA lowers (adjusted for inflation from 1989) is $105 today. So even with NO market presences (a LOT of people still don't know who PWA is nowadays), they were still not sold for that much cheaper. Plus you have to factor in the simple fact that self-built AR market (back in those days) was NO WHERE NEAR as big as it is now. If one doesn't understand the impact of that, then they have no understanding of economics. If you believe that the current bottom feeder brands who sell their wares for significantly less than the "tier 1" brands are "just as good", you sir, are quite mistaken. PWA's sold for cheap because no one knew who they were. LMT was NOT a household name back then. Brands like Blackthorne/Hesse/Vulcan, DPMS, Olympic Arms, etc. all EARNED their reputations and are cheap for a reason...not because they're some unknown "gem" of a brand....

And while price paid isn't necessarily proportional to quality/value, you cannot fully discount its role. The bottom line is this:

"It's unwise to pay too much, but it's worse to pay too little. When you pay too much, you lose a little money -- that is all. When you pay too little, you sometimes lose everything, because the thing you bought was incapable of doing the thing it was bought to do. The common law of business balance prohibits paying a little and getting a lot -- it can't be done. If you deal with the lowest bidder, it is well to add something for the risk you run, and if you do that you will have enough to pay for something better." - John Ruskin

Now that being said, one has to be careful. There are PLENTY of brands out there that charge a lot of money are not giving your money's worth (like Leupold which has switched to Chinese parts and production). They key is research and knowing where/who the data is coming from. So I think it's more accurate to say that price is not an AUTOMATIC indicator of quality nor value. Now I am ALL FOR a great deal on anything. Hell, I jumped on that Elcan SpecterDR for $1000. I would have bought 100 of them at that price because that was a GREAT DEAL on a QUALITY item. Hopefully, people can see the difference between that and buying some cheap-a** "FamousMaker" red dot....

I would LOVE to have a company that puts out top tier products with a 0% profit margin...I bet their products would be innovative and spectacular! Any of you willing to start that company? Does anyone think the low end companies are so noble that they are forgoing profits to bring you high quality products? I think you can answer that one yourself. ;)

for the most part i agree, but as for companys like blackthorne it could be that their prices are low, because they are trying like hell to overcome the bad rep that they have had. if you look at all the reviews of thier products on other forums, they are from years ago not so much recent. i have one on my kids ar and it shoots great and looks just fine.
as for factory built rifles the last time i heard the only mfg's that made all of their parts were colt and olympic arms. my brother has a olypic arms rifle and the quality of the upper as for fit and finish is less that the blackthorne. as for colt's , i carried one on duty and was not impressed at all with it. mine was a sp1 and my sgt. had a m16 and it was no different in quality than the olympic.
as for quality, for the most part mfg's get their forgings from the same company. all mfg's use cnc machines to finish the forgings and there are very few barrel mfg's out there.
so i would put blackthorne in the same catagory as m-a, model1, delton and a few other small mfg's out there.

ar15barrels
10-20-2009, 6:34 PM
i would put blackthorne in the same catagory as m-a, model1, delton and a few other small mfg's out there.

Delton and Model 1 are a clear step above hesse/blackthorne/vulcan.
Perhaps sherluck and M&A are similar to Hesse/Vulcan/Blackthorne.

jamesob
10-20-2009, 8:32 PM
Delton and Model 1 are a clear step above hesse/blackthorne/vulcan.
Perhaps sherluck and M&A are similar to Hesse/Vulcan/Blackthorne.

shurluk is one of the other ones i was thinking of. they all are neck and neck imo

Justintoxicated
10-20-2009, 8:44 PM
My budget AR shoots great. But it cost 2x as much as your because I built it a few months ago :( Bushmaster upper and cheapest lower I could find $105 or something. I built a more expensive one first so it sat there for a while. Now I'm shooting silverbear through it and it is quite accurate at 100 yards even with the cheapy 62 grain Boat tail steel cased ammo. :) So now it saves me about $50 in ammo every time I go to the range too over brass cased stuff that I'm designating my other AR for.

RECCE556
10-20-2009, 11:35 PM
for the most part i agree, but as for companys like blackthorne it could be that their prices are low, because they are trying like hell to overcome the bad rep that they have had. if you look at all the reviews of thier products on other forums, they are from years ago not so much recent. i have one on my kids ar and it shoots great and looks just fine.Nah, not true at all. I've seen their products first hand (RECENTLY too) including a LPK that had unfinished machining! The parts look like no other parts I've ever seen...and I've seen a LOT of parts in my life. Trust me, the stuff their getting (some of it) is DEFINITELY either reject parts or parts from China (or both!)

If the one you have shoots fine, then lucky you. I bet under some mildly strenuous use, that the cracks would start showing (not literal cracks, I mean problems)


as for factory built rifles the last time i heard the only mfg's that made all of their parts were colt and olympic arms. my brother has a olypic arms rifle and the quality of the upper as for fit and finish is less that the blackthorne.
Even those two buy various parts from subcontractors. But it doesn't matter who actually makes the parts, what matters is whether or not the parts are IN SPEC and if they manufacturers follow strict quality control. This is what separates the men from the boys so to speak.


as for colt's , i carried one on duty and was not impressed at all with it. mine was a sp1 and my sgt. had a m16 and it was no different in quality than the olympic.
Carried on duty as in a LEO role or in a Military role? If you were issued one in the military, it was most likely an abused and over cleaned rifle. If you received it as a duty weapon in a LEO role, most likely, it was a previously "loved" military rifle.

Outside of visuals, the QUALITY differences are in places that aren't obviously. Like the quality of steel used in the barrel and BCG. The quality and testing standard that the various items have to meet and go through, the proper torquing and staking of various parts, etc., etc.

It's not just a "coincidence" that the brands you see "break" in a carbine course are predominately "commercial/hobby" brands....and it's not a ratio thing either because they're NOT the most common in the courses. In most of the courses I've taken, the most dominate brands are higher end brands (which may also say something about the end user of high end vs. commercial brands...I mean if you have to save a few bucks to build your only AR, how the heck do you afford a $500+ class and shoot $400+ worth of ammo...plus have several mags, mag holder, sidearm, holster, etc...plus a reliable car, gas, lodging, food, condoms, etc.????)


as for quality, for the most part mfg's get their forgings from the same company. all mfg's use cnc machines to finish the forgings and there are very few barrel mfg's out there.Again, it's all about specs and QC. Sure, they can all buy from the same forging manf. but how good is the machine shop's QC? How tightly do they keep their tolerances? What one shop considered "poor" is another shop's "good enough". That's the difference. I've seen PLENTY of AR's and parts that should have NEVER passed quality control. Some from higher end brands (even Colt) but the VAST MAJORITY have been from lower end brands. I'm talking being able to count on one hand (Colt) vs. seeing it "regularly" (DPMS, Stag/CMT, Hesse/Vulcan/Blackthorne) So by "rolling the dice", you're MUCH more likely to roll snake eyes with the low end brands rather than the higher end brands. Sorry for you guys making minimum wage (I've been there) but that's just life.

ar15barrels
10-21-2009, 12:04 AM
which may also say something about the end user of high end vs. commercial brands...I mean if you have to save a few bucks to build your only AR, how the heck do you afford a $500+ class and shoot $400+ worth of ammo...plus have several mags, mag holder, sidearm, holster, etc...plus a reliable car, gas, lodging, food, condoms, etc.????

Wait, you need condoms for carbine classes? :eek:
What the heck do you guys do on saturday night?

RECCE556
10-21-2009, 3:16 AM
Wait, you need condoms for carbine classes? :eek:
What the heck do you guys do on saturday night?
It's for that one rare instance where a hot chick might be in the course...I just like to be prepared. :) I think I need to take more beginner's courses...I don't recall EVER seeing a girl in any of the intermediate to advanced courses...guess they just don't give a hoot...

jamesob
10-21-2009, 10:18 PM
this is from the blackthorne website on who makes their parts, if this is true there shouldn't be a problem with it. but who knows who the other mfg's are.

Who makes Blackthorne Parts? Most of our upper receivers are from LMT and LAR manufacturing. Our barrels are mostly made by Wilson and Mossberg (we simply cannot tell the difference in manufacturers so we cannot honor requests for specific manufacturers). We headspace and test EACH AND EVERY barreled upper! All other parts are from Government contractors.



Barrel info
Blackthorne purchases the barrels in our kits from Wilson and Mossberg. Again, we simply cannot tell the difference in manufacturers so we cannot honor requests for specific manufacturers. Our barrels are made from chrome-moly 4140 steel, except our Stainless steel barrels, these are made from 416R re-sulpherized gun quality stainless steel. We do not normally chrome line our barrels because this degrades accuracy and, because of advances in the quality of ammunition, is not really needed for corrosion resistance for most people. With this said, we do offer our barrels chrome lined on special order. Chrome lined barrels are $50.00 extra. This should not be necessary unless you operate in or around salt water and have an aversion to cleaning your firearm. If you require more corrosion resistance than normal, get a stainless barrel. Chrome lined barrels are ordered by using the item # AR-Chrome.

technique
10-21-2009, 10:24 PM
we already went through this a few posts up...

jamesob
10-21-2009, 10:27 PM
we already went through this a few posts up...

ahh. totally missed it.

tacosauce
10-27-2009, 10:44 PM
Congrats on realizing that spending more $$$ than necessary on something that hardly gets shot doesnt make you a better shooter or an expert on the topic- it just makes you a....
MALL NINJA!
:smilielol5: