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Moded
03-02-2007, 6:59 PM
Newbie question: Just curious, who you fellas think are the top 3 tier AR Manufacturers on the market today. Where would Cal Guns members rank the following...LMT, FN, Colt, CMMG, Noveske, RRA, Bush Master, Bravo Company, etc.

NRAhighpowershooter
03-02-2007, 8:20 PM
Form the 7 OLL's I have...

in the following order in finish

1. Stag
2. Fulton
3. Mega
4. Double Star
5. Rock River.. (the Rock River had the roughest finish)

All OLL's had superb fit with my no name uppers...

Dump1567
03-02-2007, 9:17 PM
Below is a list of what I've heard are top quality manufactuers.
Colt
LMT
CMT/Stag
Noveske
CMMG
Bravo Co.
Don't know if FN even sells to the public.

Anything not list could be hit or miss.

PanzerAce
03-03-2007, 12:36 AM
FN does not sell to the public, due to the nature of their contract with the government. That being said, I have heard FN reps say that the instant they lost that gov't contract, they will be selling FN ARs to the public.

mltrading
03-03-2007, 12:42 AM
Please specify your tagets. Are you talking about complete firearm, specific component, parts or accessories?

Colt, LMT, DD, La Rue, ARMS, Vltor, KAC, Magpul are all top notch in different fields.

GI-M1
03-03-2007, 12:46 AM
Copied from another AR15 website....

The first category is what we will call TIER ONE manufacturers and are the ONLY two that build to the spec and are independently verified. They are:

1. COLT (only the military/LE rifles – the civy “Target” models are not built to the spec)
2. FN

Then next category is “Tier Two” - those manufactures that build to the exact spec – but aren’t verified by US gov inspectors:

1. LMT (Lewis Machine and Tool)
2. BMC (Bravo Machine Company)

Tier Three are companies that build to the spec – but don’t shoot a “proof” round through each barrel before it is MagParticle inspected – they MagPart inspect a percentage of barrels from each lot.

1. CMMG

Tier Four companies build close to the spec – but don’t have 1x7” barrel twist – don’t shoot a proof load through each barrel (they – like CMMG above – inspect a percentage of barrels from each lot) and don’t Manganese Phosphate coat the barrel under the front sight base:

1. Bushmaster

These other manufacturers use sub-standard barrel material (4140) – chambers that may or may not be 5.56 – in short – they are rifles that are build under the standard. Having said that – these “Tier Five” companies do build some quality rifles – just understand – that according the “Spec” – which is how we must judge AR’s – these are further “sub-par” than any of the Tier Four and up. The following companies are not listed in any particular order:

1. Armalite
2. Stag Arms
3. Smith and Wesson (Stag)
4. CMT (which makes Stag and S&W)
5. Rock River Arms (RRA)
6. DPMS

Then there is the Tier Six companies – which I wouldn’t recommend to anyone. The Tier Six companies are any AR manufacturer that is not listed above. Note that many “parts house’s” use AR parts made by one of the above manufacturers – but they also buy parts made from “who knows??” – and is not something I would willingly put my life on the line with…..would you??

So – armed with the above information – I would suggest the following. Buy the assembled upper from any of the Tier Three and up manufacturers.

Buy ANY stripped lower receiver made by any Tier 5 and above manufacturers.

Get all lower receiver parts (actually all small parts) from any Tier 5 and above manufacturer.

Buy bolts/bolt carriers/barrels from any Tier Three and above manufacturer.

If you prefer to go down to your local gun store and just buy a rifle – the only real choice to buy a rifle closest to the “Spec” is our only Tier Four manufacturer – which is Bushmaster.

RRA, Armalite, Stag, et al – all build quality rifles – but they aren’t built even close to the same standard that the Tier Three (and arguably Tier Four) and above companies do.

randy
03-03-2007, 1:38 AM
What about the small manufactures that build high end AR's where would you rank JP Rifles and Mid South Tactical?

Are you looking for lead hose stuff or better shooting?

Better = more accurate, less recoil, lighter, fit and finnish?

Thanks,

Randy

artherd
03-03-2007, 2:35 AM
I would hold my JP CTR02 up against any rifle made the world over.

And it dosen't even have a forward assist.

Besides that, for more standard fare at an earthly price: FN/COLT, LMT.

These are the ones I have expierence with, and would rate "tier 1" top quality.

Below that, Armalite, Bushy, etc. Funds permitting, and if it's a gun you ever expect to even maybe need one day, I wouldn't go below them.

luvtolean
03-03-2007, 8:36 AM
The CTR-02 is a beautiful piece of machinery, and someday maybe I'll plunk down for it (after I get around to building an SPR), but it doesn't rate in that poll due to the fact it's made as a competition gun.

The design does not even attempt to be mil-spec. One of the bigger criticisms I've seen leveled at the CTR for social/field purposes is no dust cover, on top of the fact you can't swap parts with a buddy if it breaks.

I have used the forward assist on an AR. I have also used the forward assist, though it's not called that, on the Garand many times.

I personally think it is a good idea on any charging handle equipped combat weapon.

xenophobe
03-03-2007, 9:29 AM
1. LMT (Lewis Machine and Tool)

They are military contractors, they provide the SOPMOD stock, their rear BUIS, and supposedly provided some of the uppers for the Mk18Mod0 and is the sole provider of the CQBR upper.

That would make LMT a Tier 1 product, IMO, or at least a step above Bravo.

koiloco
03-03-2007, 11:35 AM
The CTR-02 is a beautiful piece of machinery, and someday maybe I'll plunk down for it (after I get around to building an SPR), but it doesn't rate in that poll due to the fact it's made as a competition gun.
.

Agree with you on this one ;)

As far as quality,workmanship and accuracy JP CTR-02 is for sure above the mentioned group due to the fact that it is built as a custom competition rifle.

You should plunk down and get one, luvtolean :)
or come out and shoot mine if you are around San Jose area.

xenophobe
03-03-2007, 8:07 PM
Agree with you on this one ;)

As far as quality,workmanship and accuracy JP CTR-02 is for sure above the mentioned group due to the fact that it is built as a custom competition rifle.


The boutique builders aren't even comparable to the 'tier' milspec stuff. Companies like PRI, Noveske, JP, WOA, as well as custom builds from other dealers...

The tier system refers to 'cookie cutter' type mass produced products, not custom shop stuff.