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View Full Version : Some AR related reading material that I found informative/useful


Cyc Wid It
11-25-2010, 1:02 AM
No it's not the chart etc. but I think they are good reads. Sure they're forum threads so not EVERY post is going to be perfect, but there is some good discussion from some very qualified people.

Thread 1 talks about what separates various tiers of AR's. Not every top end is going to be perfect, and not every budget brand is going to fail - but all things being equal the top end brands are less likely to fail, and this is supported by DATA.

http://m4carbine.net/showthread.php?t=65729

Thread 2 talks about how to improve lesser brands so that they can run better/more reliably (as opposed to "sell your XYZ and buy brand ABC on the left side of the chart). Also, at the end of the day, if you feel comfortable with your set-up that's all that matters.

http://www.m4carbine.net/showthread.php?t=7376

Probably the best things I took out of reading them are (in case you don't feel like wading through forum threads):

1. Read the text included with the chart, don't just look at the X's
2. Having a realistic and honest evaluation of what you expect from your set up and what you intend to do with it.
3. Anecdotal evidence is just that, anecdotal. Technical data > anecdotal evidence. One person's Colt blowing up and one person's Vulcan running flawlessly does not mean that Vulcan > Colt. When technical folks make brand based statements, they are talking from a large sample size stand point.
4. While everybody's budget is different: ultimately, the cost of ammo and training will dwarf the cost of your gun, so if you intend to run it hard, spending a little in the right places is a drop in the bucket.

I'm no expert, and don't pretend to be, but a lot of what I read just makes sense. Maybe these threads can help with the constant "which upper should I buy" or "brand x vs brand y" or "is this/that feature worth the extra money" or "if SHTF will my brand X be ok" threads that seem to be appearing with increasing frequency.

dieselpower
11-25-2010, 6:57 AM
. Having a realistic and honest evaluation of what you expect from your set up and what you intend to do with it.


This.
Firearms are just like cars.
If you use crappy engine components then try to go racing it you are gonna see failures.

Using those same parts to drive 95MPH on the freeway and you will be fine.
Using those same parts driving to work and you will be fine.

Two problem pop up in all this mess.

1) People show up to races thinking they are Dale Earnhardt jr sporting a Ford Mustang chassis with E-Bay bought engine parts on the inside.

2) When the car blows up, everyone blames FORD....

gmcal
11-25-2010, 7:21 AM
I somewhat disagree with #3. Anecdotal evidence from annoynomous internet posters is generally almost worthless, however, experts in their field sharing their experiences and opinions have some weight, IMO.

To add to #4, I also factor in how much I'll use it and how long I'll own it. It's reasonable for me to expect to be shooting for 30+ years. The cost difference between my rifle and 1 that cost $250 less won't mean anything to me by then.

donking
11-25-2010, 10:36 AM
To add to #4, I also factor in how much I'll use it and how long I'll own it. It's reasonable for me to expect to be shooting for 30+ years. The cost difference between my rifle and 1 that cost $250 less won't mean anything to me by then.

This is especially true when one considers the cost of ammo over the life of the rifle.

Cyc Wid It
11-25-2010, 11:38 AM
I somewhat disagree with #3. Anecdotal evidence from annoynomous internet posters is generally almost worthless, however, experts in their field sharing their experiences and opinions have some weight, IMO.

This is true. I guess I should have clarified that I meant random anecdotal posts. Most people in the field though are fielding top end stuff.

dieselpower
11-25-2010, 9:58 PM
The biggest part with #3 is the difference between a person using it and what an expert has seen in an expert environment.

Pat Rogers is one of the highest rated Carbine Instructors and Tactics writer on the planet. He writes for SWAT Magazine and teaches carbine tactics. He has maintained a log of all class failures for about 20 years. The problem is he can only comment on equipment people tried to use in extreme situations and can not verify anything past what the student tells him.

His experiences do not say if a firearm will fail under normal use. The funniest part is when I took my class I had zero failures with my Colt 6920. The next weekend while goofing off my Bolt snapped in half. I beat the heck out of it the week before, now I have to replace it with a new part. And that new part is an unknown. I am 99% sure that new Bolt is going to be ok...but not 100%. With a off brand I am only 90% and with a unknown cheap one maybe 75%. If I run the weapon hard, I am assured of nothing. I can only assume a high end part has the least chance of failure.

I have personally held a "brand new" Colt 6920 that had a commercial stock on it. I challenged the store owner on this and was tossed out of the store. Bushmaster Firearms will refuse to verify factory warranty until they examine the firearm. Why? Because it is almost a given a high % of the "Bushmasters" are really Bushmaster Lowers with cheap knock-off parts inside....even ones first sold by Bushmaster as complete firearms. Back in the 90s you have to be very cautious about buying a Bushmaster.

This is the problem with a modular Firearm that has 1000 manufactures and all those manufactures parts swap.

people look at my AR15 and say, nice Stag. I laugh and say..its a Colt/Armalite/Stag/Wolff/CMMG.

If it failed in a Carbine course I would hope Mr. Rogers would not record it as a Stag Failure.

Texas Boy
11-25-2010, 10:20 PM
Guns (and ammo) are to an extent like light bulbs - all you can say for sure is it worked the last time you used it.

BTW - I like the racing analogy. The harder you push something, the more quality, proper engineering, assembly, and maintenance matter. I'll probably never push my guns as hard as a combat solider, but I still prefer and enjoy the best quality guns I can find. This generally means I get to purchase fewer guns, but that is OK with me. Nothing wrong with the other approach (inexpensive guns), just make sure you know what you are getting (or why you are paying the extra money for the high end gun).

Cyc Wid It
11-25-2010, 11:31 PM
Yeah, combining those 2 threads with this one (http://www.m4carbine.net/showthread.php?t=56063) by Grant @ G&R Tactical has made for some good reading.

I think if people read these 3 knowledge base threads and use those as a CONTEXT for the chart, they can answer the most common recurring questions.