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View Full Version : oh gawd, Noveske's done it again: N4 Recce 16"


bwiese
03-11-2008, 12:17 AM
Why does John N. do this to me when I have to remodel my bath & kitchen???

Supposedly out April 15.... I have the 14.5+FH" and now this. I'm done for if there's an 18" SPR coming.

At least I have another Elcan ready...

For now looks like it's got the SWS rail only (fine with me, love 'em) [and the VLTOR railed monolithic upper and the nonfloatedregular M4 dbl-heatshield handguards are not.]

http://noveskerifleworks.com/cgi-bin/imcart/display.cgi?item_id=un4lr&cat=48&page=1&search=&since=&status (http://<a href=)=


Available April 15th 2008, now taking orders.

16.1" Cold Hammer Forged Barrel, 1 in 7" twist, 5.56mm
--Made of Mil Spec M249 Machine Gun barrel steel, with heavy M249 Chrome Lining,
(appx. 2 times as thick as an M4 or M16)
--Extended Feed Ramps
--Mil Spec Phosphate finish
--MP HP tested barrel
--Mid-Length gas system, no M203 notch
--Shot peened and MP tested bolt
--Properly staked carrier key
--Auto carrier
--Flat-top upper receiver
--11" free floated handguard w/ 1913 rails
--Low-profile gas block pinned to barrel
--Flip-up front and rear sights
--Flash suppressor options, (see drop box)
--One 30 rd mag included
$1295




http://www.noveskerifleworks.com/logo/n4lr-550.jpg

KIDRR
03-11-2008, 12:42 AM
Wow very nice!

viras
03-11-2008, 6:02 AM
That's why God invented tax returns...

Biff...
03-11-2008, 6:23 AM
Hmmm, can you say GW tax rebate check. I wonder if the cfo will miss the check.

OutlawDon
03-11-2008, 6:39 AM
Damn that looks sweet. I hate Noveske....makes me what to spend more money! ;)

GenLee
03-11-2008, 6:41 AM
Sweet!

xrMike
03-11-2008, 6:59 AM
What does "recce" mean? Is it slang for "recon"?

Spodeley
03-11-2008, 7:12 AM
Guut greif indeed! But I'm happy with my 14.5+FH"...I HAVE to be happy with it.

WolfMansDad
03-11-2008, 8:43 AM
Why does John N. do this to me when I have to remodel my bath & kitchen???


You have my sympathies. I've just discovered the joys of property taxes, yet I'm still lusting after a 28 gauge beretta (Silver Pigeon II, 5.6 lbs).

http://www.berettausa.com/product/product_competition_guns_main.htm

ROCKETW19
03-11-2008, 9:18 AM
. I've just discovered the joys of property taxes,

Thats funny!

Ryan HBC
03-11-2008, 9:30 AM
"Noveske's done it again"

Heh? It's a 16" version of the same rifle, with a tacticool name. I don't think it will make headlines.

soopafly
03-11-2008, 9:38 AM
Looks like a mid-length gas version of the N4 light carbine upper. If so...damnit, this was the version I really wanted! Anyone want to buy an N4 light carbine upper so I can get this mid-length version? J/K, I'm keeping it. I better start putting my pennies away now...

bwiese
03-11-2008, 9:43 AM
Sheesh, I could end up with 3 Noveske N4-type chromed bbls by the time this is is done - my orig 14.5"+FH, the 16" (apparently w/mid-gas)-- and perhaps he'll grace us with an 18" SPR type as well

soopafly
03-11-2008, 9:56 AM
I'm with you, Bill:D

OutlawDon
03-11-2008, 10:41 AM
What does "recce" mean? Is it slang for "recon"?

Yeah, short for recon.

It's an accurized, med range carbine--16" bbl, match; A3, has a full length FF tube w/ low pro gas block, etc. Basically an accurized carbine that is more effective at longer ranges than the standard M4 with red dot/holo sight, but still can be used up close. Not officially adopted by the mil. SPR is the evolution of the RECON/REECE rifle, mid length 18" instead of a standard carbine.

8200rpm
03-11-2008, 11:04 AM
When the N4 first came out, people harped on about a mid-length gas system with a 16" barrel. And, John delivers.

When I bought my Low Pro N4 14.5" + permanant AAC, I wanted a carbine that can do the nasty out to 400 yards. Last weekend, I was easily getting 1" groups at 100 yards using a 3X compact ACOG with a illuminated chevron reticle. If I was really curious, I'm sure it can do better groups with a higher magnification scope that has real crosshairs. But, I'd rather go the other direction and get a T-1 Aimpoint.

I don't need the extra 1.5", and the carbine gas system on a 14.5 barrel doesn't bother me. If I go 16", I want a stainless steel barrel w/ polygonal rifling and a Leupold or Nightforce on top.

visualnewbie
03-11-2008, 11:34 AM
As much as I wanted the N4, I wanted it in a mid-length most. If it didn't come in a mid-length, I was willing to wait or go another route. But now, this is going to be my next build. Got to start saving again...

pc_city
03-11-2008, 11:59 AM
In the last couple of years John has extracted bucks from me for these:
http://noveskerifleworks.com/imimg/u21ar10_1a.jpg
http://noveskerifleworks.com/imimg/b18_1a.jpg
http://noveskerifleworks.com/imimg/n4lcbu_1a.jpg
http://noveskerifleworks.com/imimg/l56994_1a.jpg
http://noveskerifleworks.com/imimg/l60170_1a.jpg

If he comes out with an N4 18 incher I'm hooked again!

Adonlude
03-11-2008, 12:06 PM
When the N4 first came out, people harped on about a mid-length gas system with a 16" barrel. And, John delivers.

When I bought my Low Pro N4 14.5" + permanant AAC, I wanted a carbine that can do the nasty out to 400 yards. Last weekend, I was easily getting 1" groups at 100 yards using a 3X compact ACOG with a illuminated chevron reticle. If I was really curious, I'm sure it can do better groups with a higher magnification scope that has real crosshairs. But, I'd rather go the other direction and get a T-1 Aimpoint.

I don't need the extra 1.5", and the carbine gas system on a 14.5 barrel doesn't bother me. If I go 16", I want a stainless steel barrel w/ polygonal rifling and a Leupold or Nightforce on top.

Agreed. I am picking up my 14.5+FH N4 this Saturday and when I saw this post at first I felt like I just purchased a Pentuim 3 and saw a Pentium 4 billboard on the way home from Fry's. Then I realized that the 14.5" is the perfect chrome lined light rifle for close/medium range. If I wanted a longer barrel for accuracy and distance I would be getting one of their already available regular rifles with stainless barrels, probably in .308.

Omega13device
03-11-2008, 3:40 PM
When the N4 first came out, people harped on about a mid-length gas system with a 16" barrel. And, John delivers.

When I bought my Low Pro N4 14.5" + permanant AAC, I wanted a carbine that can do the nasty out to 400 yards. Last weekend, I was easily getting 1" groups at 100 yards using a 3X compact ACOG with a illuminated chevron reticle. If I was really curious, I'm sure it can do better groups with a higher magnification scope that has real crosshairs. But, I'd rather go the other direction and get a T-1 Aimpoint.

I don't need the extra 1.5", and the carbine gas system on a 14.5 barrel doesn't bother me. If I go 16", I want a stainless steel barrel w/ polygonal rifling and a Leupold or Nightforce on top.

Right on...very sensible perspective. You're doing way better than "minute of center body mass" and that's all you need for a fighting carbine. If you're the kind of person who must have one of everything, get both the carbine and recce uppers, otherwise take your pick and you can't go wrong.

RECCE556
03-12-2008, 2:08 AM
I'm a big fan of various Noveske products but when it comes to the N4 uppers, I don't know...I think he could use much better components to assemble his uppers (specifically the CMT/SWS ones)...

He@t
03-12-2008, 11:19 AM
I'm a big fan of various Noveske products but when it comes to the N4 uppers, I don't know...I think he could use much better components to assemble his uppers (specifically the CMT/SWS ones)...

Can u explain to me what is CMT/SWS? For my next OLL build im thinking about the N4 upper. What do u think is wrong with it?

And does anyone know if the N4 is mil spec?

bwiese
03-12-2008, 11:28 AM
I'm a big fan of various Noveske products but when it comes to the N4 uppers, I don't know...I think he could use much better components to assemble his uppers (specifically the CMT/SWS ones)...

Um, can you give us specifics of what you don't like?

"Better" here can only be a matter of style...

CMT makes upper receivers for a ton of folks. CMT uppers are
at least as as good as others'. I've looked at Colt & LMT, and they
seem indistinguishable (perhaps even coming from CMT).

SWS rail was chosen due to Noveske dissatisfaction with other
vendors' product & service (LaRue, etc.) The nature of its lockup
sure as hell seems better than my Troy rail.

bwiese
03-12-2008, 11:37 AM
Can u explain to me what is CMT/SWS?


CMT = Continental Machine Tool; associated with Stag Arms. Large OEM for many AR vendors' major parts. CMT makes upper & lower receivers, receiver extensions, bolts/carriers and buffers for many AR mfgrs.

...im thinking about the N4 upper. What do u think is wrong with it?

Nothing. He may be raising some cosmetic or style issue, cuz there's no other issue with these parts.

...does anyone know if the N4 is mil spec?

As close as you'll ever need. The barrel is beyond Colt M4/M16 quality given it's hammer forged, M249 bbl steel, double chrome lined. The bolt & carrier system are MPI'd. The other parts are common to other quality ARs, and the SWS rail is impressive as to how well it locks to an upper receiver; I thought my N4 upper had a 1-piece moniolithic railed upper (like an LMT or VLTOR) when I first saw it.

I'd have to say the N4 is one of the few uppers that's at least on par with Colt in most aspects, and exceeding in other aspects.

[Remember, nothing is really 'mil spec' unless it's a real true Colt M4 or FN M16A2. Milspec applies to the whole system and testing, etc. Parts may be 'milspec quality' but if they're sold outside that channel and without the complete systems testing of USGI M16A2 or M4 firearms, they aren't milspec. Period.]

rkt88edmo
03-12-2008, 11:44 AM
Ooh 16" and 18" to come....aagh I can feel my wallet getting lighter just by looking at them...must close window now....

bwiese
03-12-2008, 11:46 AM
Ooh 16" and 18" to come....aagh I can feel my wallet getting lighter just by looking at them...must close window now....

18" ? I'm hoping for one, have you heard of its possible future existence?

FlyingPen
03-12-2008, 12:11 PM
I think the double chrome lining is more for durability than accuracy.

WilsonCQB
03-12-2008, 12:49 PM
Um, can you give us specifics of what you don't like?

"Better" here can only be a matter of style...

CMT makes upper receivers for a ton of folks. CMT uppers are
at least as as good as others'. I've looked at Colt & LMT, and they
seem indistinguishable (perhaps even coming from CMT).


SWS rail was chosen due to Noveske dissatisfaction with other
vendors' product & service (LaRue, etc.) The nature of its lockup
sure as hell seems better than my Troy rail.

I would like to address a few of your points:

First off, the CMT uppers are distinguishable from other upper receivers. The LMT are far better, not to mention the Larue Stealth or Vltor MUR upper receivers which are VASTLY superior in every way. The CMT uppers are fine for your basic build with iron sights, but not really all that great for a precision build. Just mount a high quality magnified optic on a CMT and compare how out of spec they really are compared with an Stealth or MUR. The CMT's are inconstantly manufactured and most of them are not manufactured true to spec (twisted slightly). You can find a good one if you have about 10-20 of them to sort though. Contact MSTN for their reviews on the CMT upper receivers, and find out which uppers they use for their builds.

The reason Noveske stopped using Larue rails is because Larue Tactical started making their own complete upper groups and barrels, putting them in direct competition with Noveske. Not because they were dissatisfied with the quality or service.

bwiese
03-12-2008, 2:22 PM
I would like to address a few of your points:

First off, the CMT uppers are distinguishable from other upper receivers. The LMT are far better, not to mention the Larue Stealth or Vltor MUR upper receivers which are VASTLY superior in every way. The CMT uppers are fine for your basic build with iron sights, but not really all that great for a precision build. ....

Fine, but irrelevant...

...this is not a same-hole hyper match sub-sub-MOA upper - even though my current N4 can do subMOA with match 77gr + Elcan 4X/1X SpecterDR. The bbl does the work. Plenty of people shoot match ARs with regular uppers.

And the Larue (and maybe the VLTOR, not sure) appears to be billet, not forged. I don't want a non-forged upper next to my face, sorry. [Lowers I don't care as much about.]

And I believe Colt M4 uppers may indeed be CMT cut. Good enough for me.


The reason Noveske stopped using Larue rails is because Larue Tactical started making their own complete upper groups and barrels, putting them in direct competition with Noveske. Not because they were dissatisfied with the quality or service.

And there was a dispute, yes, but when I talked with John N. a coupla months ago, he was *much* happier w/SWS railed forend lockup to upper receiver regardless of drama. The SWS rail has a helluva lot beefier rail-to-receiver interface. I'm gonna be getting an SWS rail for my AR10.

WilsonCQB
03-12-2008, 2:36 PM
And the Larue (and maybe the VLTOR, not sure) appears to be billet, not forged. I don't want a non-forged upper next to my face, sorry.

The Larue Stealth and Vltor MUR are indeed billet. To each his own.

aplinker
03-12-2008, 2:41 PM
:confused: Billets are forged. The only difference is the shape they begin with. The billets are forged as blocks, the forged uppers as something closer to the shape of an upper. Billets are at least equal in strength to any other standard forged upper.

That Noveske thinks SWS locks up better has nothing to do with the function and complete bunk. He's pissed at LaRue and sees through those glasses. That he would knock LaRue's rails over a dispute taints his credibility.

It's odd that you consider accuracy irrelevant. The barrel might account for a large amount of the accuracy of an AR, but the upper is the heart of the weapon.


Fine, but irrelevant...

...this is not a same-hole hyper match sub-sub-MOA upper - even though my current N4 can do subMOA with match 77gr + Elcan 4X/1X SpecterDR. The bbl does the work. Plenty of people shoot match ARs with regular uppers.

And the Larue (and maybe the VLTOR, not sure) appears to be billet, not forged. I don't want a non-forged upper next to my face, sorry. [Lowers I don't care as much about.]

And I believe Colt M4 uppers may indeed be CMT cut. Good enough for me.



And there was a dispute, yes, but when I talked with John N. a coupla months ago, he was *much* happier w/SWS railed forend lockup to upper receiver regardless of drama. The SWS rail has a helluva lot beefier rail-to-receiver interface. I'm gonna be getting an SWS rail for my AR10.

bwiese
03-12-2008, 2:56 PM
:confused: Billets are forged. The only difference is the shape they begin with. The billets are forged as blocks, the forged uppers as something closer to the shape of an upper. Billets are at least equal in strength to any other standard forged upper.

It's my understanding not all billets are.

I'll take USGI standard, thank you.


That Noveske thinks SWS locks up better has nothing to do with the function and complete bunk.

...He's pissed at LaRue and sees through those glasses. That he would knock LaRue's rails over a dispute taints his credibility.

The SWS *does* lockup to upper better than other rail upper I have (Troy). It appears absolutely immovable.

I have also handled a Larue upper and the SWS rail is indeed much more substantive in its interface.


It's odd that you consider acccuracy irrelevant. The barrel might account for a large amount of the accuracy of an AR, but the upper is the heart of the weapon.

We're dealing here with a looser-chambered double chrome-lined bbl that's optimized for reliability as opposed to a pampered bench rifle.

If I can get sub-MOA w/match ammo out of an N4 I am happy.

Omega13device
03-12-2008, 3:04 PM
The CMT's are inconstantly manufactured and most of them are not manufactured true to spec (twisted slightly). You can find a good one if you have about 10-20 of them to sort though. Contact MSTN for their reviews on the CMT upper receivers, and find out which uppers they use for their builds.
MSTN builds fantastic uppers. But keep in mind that Wes is running a business and he's a very, very good salesman who knows how to upsell. For a long time he was a total LMT snob, going on and on about how they were the only uppers that were within spec, and the others were twisted and out of spec. Then when Vltor came out with the MUR he went on and on about how THEY were the only uppers that were within spec and all the others were out of spec, yadda yadda yadda. How did it happen that LMT was perfect one day and out of favor the next? Of course each one is more expensive than the last and he makes a bit more money (note that Vltor makes custom MSTN-logo uppers for him).

Now, have you taken your own measurements and done accuracy testing or are you just repeating what Wes said?


(Note: I am not saying Wes is a bad guy; I would love to buy one of his uppers someday and I would recommend them to anyone. In fact I respect him as a salesman for being so good at it, as well as for turning out a fine product. Just be aware that his job is to make money for his business and he's very good at it.)

aplinker
03-12-2008, 3:45 PM
It's my understanding not all billets are.

I'll take USGI standard, thank you.


Of course not all billets are forged. Billet is a generic term for a hunk of metal, as opposed to something pre-formed. The billets used to make AR uppers by VLTOR and LaRue are forged.

If you choose to settle for inferior products that's your choice, but don't knock the others because you don't understand how they're superior.

Your AR barrel also isn't mil-standard.

bwiese
03-12-2008, 3:47 PM
Of course not all billets are forged. Billet is a generic term for a hunk of metal, as opposed to something pre-formed. The billets used to make AR uppers by VLTOR and LaRue are forged.


I'd rather have a true forging than an indirect forging next to my face, sorry.


Your AR barrel also isn't mil-standard.

Yes, I bought the N4 because it exceeded the spec.

WilsonCQB
03-12-2008, 4:02 PM
MSTN builds fantastic uppers. But keep in mind that Wes is running a business and he's a very, very good salesman who knows how to upsell. For a long time he was a total LMT snob, going on and on about how they were the only uppers that were within spec, and the others were twisted and out of spec. Then when Vltor came out with the MUR he went on and on about how THEY were the only uppers that were within spec and all the others were out of spec, yadda yadda yadda. How did it happen that LMT was perfect one day and out of favor the next? Of course each one is more expensive than the last and he makes a bit more money (note that Vltor makes custom MSTN-logo uppers for him).

Wes has never said that an LMT upper was out of spec. The LMT was the only consistently in-spec upper for a long time. Wes was stripping down the LMT complete uppers just for the receivers for his precision builds and selling off the barrels. So why continue this practice when you have the Larue Stealth and the Vltor MUR to build on? It's not about up selling, it's about availability and better quality.

Omega13device
03-12-2008, 4:55 PM
Wes has never said that an LMT upper was out of spec. The LMT was the only consistently in-spec upper for a long time. Wes was stripping down the LMT complete uppers just for the receivers for his precision builds and selling off the barrels. So why continue this practice when you have the Larue Stealth and the Vltor MUR to build on? It's not about up selling, it's about availability and better quality.
He implies that LMT is not within spec. Here's what he currently says from his post on arfcom:

"WE NOW USE EITHER VLTOR MUR/VIS OR LARUE STEALTH BILLET RECEIVERS IN ALL OF OUR CUSTOM BUILDS. IT'S JUST TOO DIFFICULT TO GET A RELIABLE SOURCE OF FORGED RECEIVERS STRAIGHT AND TRUE ENOUGH FOR THIS APPLICATION."

Maybe I'm splitting hairs on what he's saying, but the fact remains that I just don't see any measurements or test results that bear out what he's saying. Just another unverified marketing claim.

bwiese
03-12-2008, 5:06 PM
Maybe I'm splitting hairs on what he's saying, but the fact remains that I just don't see any measurements or test results that bear out what he's saying. Just another unverified marketing claim.

From the people I've spoken to, Wes @ MSTN has good stuff, does great work, but all of Wes' geese are swans and everyone else sells ugly ducklings.

I'm quite happy to have just about any decent A4 flattop upper on a rifle. People are shooting same-hole groups with stock Colt/Stag<->CMT etc. upper receivers on their rifles, it's the barrel/chamber, the bolt lockup and the idiot behind the trigger that do the work.

J_Rock
03-12-2008, 5:18 PM
He implies that LMT is not within spec. Here's what he currently says from his post on arfcom:

"WE NOW USE EITHER VLTOR MUR/VIS OR LARUE STEALTH BILLET RECEIVERS IN ALL OF OUR CUSTOM BUILDS. IT'S JUST TOO DIFFICULT TO GET A RELIABLE SOURCE OF FORGED RECEIVERS STRAIGHT AND TRUE ENOUGH FOR THIS APPLICATION."

Maybe I'm splitting hairs on what he's saying, but the fact remains that I just don't see any measurements or test results that bear out what he's saying. Just another unverified marketing claim.

I think he means that Vltor and Larue uppers are held to tighter quality control standards than LMTs. Not that all LMTs are bad but your chance of getting an out of spec receiver is much less with Vltor or Larue

J_Rock
03-12-2008, 5:23 PM
BTW Larue upper receivers are beefed up in various places. Chances are its much sturdier than your average receiver.

WilsonCQB
03-12-2008, 5:25 PM
He implies that LMT is not within spec. Here's what he currently says from his post on arfcom:

"WE NOW USE EITHER VLTOR MUR/VIS OR LARUE STEALTH BILLET RECEIVERS IN ALL OF OUR CUSTOM BUILDS. IT'S JUST TOO DIFFICULT TO GET A RELIABLE SOURCE OF FORGED RECEIVERS STRAIGHT AND TRUE ENOUGH FOR THIS APPLICATION."

Maybe I'm splitting hairs on what he's saying, but the fact remains that I just don't see any measurements or test results that bear out what he's saying. Just another unverified marketing claim.

It is too difficult to get consistency from CMT or the other readily available "Mil-Spec" manufacturers (Rock River, WOA, etc), and LMT doesn't sell stripped upper receivers, hence the lack of availability. He not implying that LMT is out of spec. just that LMT uppers have to be cannibalized from complete upper groups and that is not very practical.

WilsonCQB
03-12-2008, 5:27 PM
BTW Larue upper receivers are beefed up in various places. Chances are its much sturdier than your average receiver.

As well as the VLTOR.

Omega13device
03-12-2008, 6:01 PM
It is too difficult to get consistency from CMT or the other readily available "Mil-Spec" manufacturers (Rock River, WOA, etc)...
Where's the empirical data that proves it? Unless you have data, you're still just repeating Wes's marketing BS.

He@t
03-12-2008, 7:29 PM
CMT = Continental Machine Tool; associated with Stag Arms. Large OEM for many AR vendors' major parts. CMT makes upper & lower receivers, receiver extensions, bolts/carriers and buffers for many AR mfgrs.



Nothing. He may be raising some cosmetic or style issue, cuz there's no other issue with these parts.



As close as you'll ever need. The barrel is beyond Colt M4/M16 quality given it's hammer forged, M249 bbl steel, double chrome lined. The bolt & carrier system are MPI'd. The other parts are common to other quality ARs, and the SWS rail is impressive as to how well it locks to an upper receiver; I thought my N4 upper had a 1-piece moniolithic railed upper (like an LMT or VLTOR) when I first saw it.

I'd have to say the N4 is one of the few uppers that's at least on par with Colt in most aspects, and exceeding in other aspects.

[Remember, nothing is really 'mil spec' unless it's a real true Colt M4 or FN M16A2. Milspec applies to the whole system and testing, etc. Parts may be 'milspec quality' but if they're sold outside that channel and without the complete systems testing of USGI M16A2 or M4 firearms, they aren't milspec. Period.]

Thank you so much bwiese for the great explanations the N4 will definetly be my next OLL build.

8200rpm
03-12-2008, 8:32 PM
If someone thinks they can shoot the accuracy difference between a standard forged upper and a billet upper, more power to them. I'll give them a cookie.:rolleyes:

If someone can prove it with a statistically valid test, I'll buy them a six pack of their favorite beverage.

Also AFAIK, Noveske never knocked LaRue's rails. From the single exchange I read HERE (http://www.ar15.com/forums/topic.html?b=2&f=219&t=154647), John seemed less than satisfied with Mark's business practices.

No doubt about it, LaRue makes some damn good stuff... some of which I purchased and will continue to purchase. But, Mark LaRue is somewhat of an internet drama magnet.

Mark has an army of satisfied customers, and throngs of fanboys who will throw themselves at his feet and come to his defense. His mounts may be the best in the business, but it's amazing what people will do for a nice scope mount and a free bottle opener.

MEU(SOC)
03-12-2008, 8:35 PM
Wow...the UPPER is $1295. :eek:

8200rpm
03-12-2008, 8:56 PM
Wow...the UPPER is $1295. :eek:

Subtract:

Surefire 556K $85
SWS 11" Rail ~$275
Troy BUIS $250
Low Profile Gas block (Vltor) $60
30 rd magazine $12


You have a M249-spec barrel, upper receiver, BCG, gas tube, CH, for $613. That's about $100 more than a CMMG 16" middy, but you can't get the M249-spec barrel. MSTN was planning on selling just the barrels for $395, but they had a change of heart. MSTN sells the N4 barrels for custom builds only.

If you do the math, the price is not out of line.

RECCE556
03-12-2008, 9:04 PM
As WilsonCQB pointed out, CMT's upper are not very well quality controlled. I have witnessed this firsthand as I've had a LOT of CMT uppers pass through my hand. I've also built more upper than I like to remember on CMT uppers and had the rails not mount straight. CMT/Stag used to make quality products but their quality control in the past couple of years has gone to shiat. They also do not coat their uppers to MIL-SPEC. I've had a LOT of them come through w/o the final finish on the interior (it was only anodized) and I've had more than few where the anodizing came off by just looking at it cross eyed.

LMT has also suffered the same problem with some of their components. I am in FULL agreement with Wes when he says getting reliable uppers (and BCG's) is a hard thing to do. Even LMT has recently slipped with their QC. Before, you could just sell LMT's stuff w/o even giving it a second thought, not now a days.

And shall we talk about CMT's lowers (including Stags?) If you've noticed, Noveske's lowers are different than before. His old lowers ran into a few issues with being out of spec. As a matter of fact, some of you may remember that he had a blowout sale of lowers with TangoDown Battle Grips on them? The "Custom Drilled" grips...well, what happen was that CMT shipped him lower that had the pistol grip screw hole drilled completely crooked. QC, QC, QC. I recently handled a LMT lower where the front pivot hole was misdrilled. Instead of trashing the lower (what SHOULD have been done), LMT simply "ovalled out" the hole so that it would fit. It was also missing the finish meaning it was done after the finish was applied (so much for the "hard andoziding" to protect the aluminum). The fact of the matter is, companies like CMT may subcontract for mil manufactures but the dirty little industry secret is that they (and a lot of manufactures) don't necessarily stick to the same QC schedule when it comes to products they sell commercially.

Getting back to uppers, the ONLY forged uppers I use are COLT'S. PERIOD. The LaRue STEALTH uppers are also TOP NOTCH and I would PERSONALLY put one of those above a forged upper in terms of durability. I have build a Stealth uppers that were treated like someone else's red-head stepchild in the sandbox and they have been 110%.

In regards to the SWS rail, sure it's not bad, but it's not great either. Considering how much material it has cut out, it's not as light as you would think. Also, it has NO anti-rotational device.

All I'm saying is that I think you can build a upper with better parts for nearly the name amount of money. Instead of double thick hard chrome, you can get a process called HARD BLUE done to your barrel (SS too). Based on what I've seen with standard chrome lined barrels, Hard Blue should easily outlast double thick hard chrome.

However, to each his own. If you think the N4 is the end-all and be-all of AR uppers, buy one and enjoy it...it'll probably last you several lifetimes. For some of us, we just like to build our uppers with better quality, in-spec components. Just don't get "married" to any brand. I've seen more than a handful of "good" brands go down in quality when they ramped up to meet demand (LMT, CMT, etc.)

And talking to them is pointless. I've had both CMT and LMT (for example, they're not the only ones), straight out LIE to me about the problem with their products. You have to understand, they're interested in making money. If it gets out that they're making bad product, it doesn't help their bottom line especially when they own up to it. I've even had one company tell me that the faulty product wasn't theirs!!! Funny, they shipped it to me... :/


MEU(SOC) - $1295 for a upper isn't that out of line. I've built uppers that were damn near $2K w/o optics. Depends all on what you're putting into it...afterall, M1S uppers may only for $300 or so but look at what you're getting (or not getting). ;)

Adonlude
03-12-2008, 9:29 PM
RECCE556, what is this anti-rotational device that you speak of?

MrLogan
03-12-2008, 9:41 PM
Oh, man! I was just about to get an N4 upper, now there's this too!

RECCE556
03-12-2008, 10:34 PM
RECCE556, what is this anti-rotational device that you speak of?
Basically, it's a design element on some rail systems (DD, LaRue, Troy, etc.) that prevent the handguard from rotating should the mounting system come loose. I've had see handguard that have twisted loose when the user put enough pressure on their VFG to overcome the ft/lbs. torque that their barrel nut was tightened down to (basically, the barrel nut was tightened under spec. or just came loose from use).

The SWS system (at least the few that I've seen) has the handguard attach directly to the barrel nut and there is nothing to stop it from spinning should the barrel nut come loose except for the gas tube (which is present in everyone's system of course)

For most people, this isn't a problem (so long as the builder built the upper correctly) but if we're talking about "extreme" use (like a doubled chrome lined barrel), then why not have this sort of feature?

Don't get me wrong, I think the SWS rail system is a decent rail system. If they incorporated a ARD (Anti-Rotational Device), it would be that much better. Another change I'd consider is shortening the barrel nut. It adds unnecessary weight IMO.

pc_city
03-13-2008, 6:58 AM
I just got an email from John Noveske regarding this topic. The gist of the email:
1) He is not planning on offering an N4 Recce 18.
2) He is not pissed off at Mark LaRue and did not slam his rail.
3) There is little difference in receiver performance and life span in real world use.
4) A solid scope mount across the receiver affects the union between the scope and the barrel more than a heavier receiver.
5) Properly manufactured forged parts perform as well as billet parts and are more cost effective.
6) He will be offering a 16" Light Recce VIS in Late April/Early May.

FlyingPen
03-13-2008, 8:37 AM
Basically, it's a design element on some rail systems (DD, LaRue, Troy, etc.) that prevent the handguard from rotating should the mounting system come loose. I've had see handguard that have twisted loose when the user put enough pressure on their VFG to overcome the ft/lbs. torque that their barrel nut was tightened down to (basically, the barrel nut was tightened under spec. or just came loose from use).

The SWS system (at least the few that I've seen) has the handguard attach directly to the barrel nut and there is nothing to stop it from spinning should the barrel nut come loose except for the gas tube (which is present in everyone's system of course)

For most people, this isn't a problem (so long as the builder built the upper correctly) but if we're talking about "extreme" use (like a doubled chrome lined barrel), then why not have this sort of feature?

Don't get me wrong, I think the SWS rail system is a decent rail system. If they incorporated a ARD (Anti-Rotational Device), it would be that much better. Another change I'd consider is shortening the barrel nut. It adds unnecessary weight IMO.

Hey Recce556, I assume you're a custom builder like AR15Barrels?

Would you recommend the LaRue or VLTOR MUR uppers?

Where can you get hard blue barrels?

RECCE556
03-13-2008, 8:43 AM
5) Properly manufactured forged parts perform as well as billet parts and are more cost effective.
I've highlighted the issue with most forged uppers. Companies like CMT just don't hold their tolerances as tight as they should. Also, a forged part should be a bit stronger when every other variable is the same. HOWEVER, with LaRue's Stealth upper, LaRue has actually beefed up the upper in various places which is what makes the difference. You have to see and hold one in your hand to understand the difference. The Stealth is also a little heavier than a standard forged upper (1oz heavier if I recall).

Either way, the bottom line is that the N4 is not a "bad" upper but it's also not the holy grail by a long shot. The only worthy part in that entire upper is John's barrel. The quality of an upper (IMO) is the sum of it's parts (and the build quality of course) and to me, CMT parts have proven to be a gamble. If a double thick chrome lined barrel makes you hot and horny, I would suggest working with Wes at MSTN to build an upper around that barrel using better components.

RECCE556
03-13-2008, 9:07 AM
Hey Recce556, I assume you're a custom builder like AR15Barrels?

Would you recommend the LaRue or VLTOR MUR uppers?

Where can you get hard blue barrels?
Yes, I do assemble custom uppers but Randall offers many more services than I'm capable of...as a matter of fact, I go to him for a lot of stuff that I don't have the facilities for. He's a machinist and has all the skills and knowledge that accompany that. I'm just a mere "assembler" and tester. :)

Either the LaRue Stealth or VLTOR MUR will work just fine. I also use Colt M4 uppers as I have found them to be most consistent in quality. I personally like the Stealth over the MUR only because it looks more like a standard upper and the FA/Shell Deflector is built into the upper...but that's just personal preference, I would have no issues recommending or using either.

Now understand that for most people, the advantages of the Stealth or MUR isn't going to matter. A Stealth/MUR upper isn't going to magically transform a POS barrel into a bench rest barrel....but if you're looking into building a "holy grail" type build with some kick arse accurate barrel, the Stealth/MUR is nice place to start (as is a Colt M4 upper which is what most of my personal uppers are built on). It's all about getting a quality, in-spec part.

Hard Bluing is done by Superior Barrels but they tend not to deal with civilian customers for now. They're busy filling mil jobs and they only handle non-mil jobs infrequently. However, I'm working to have a set of barrels treated in various configurations (SPR barrels, RECCE barrels, Noveske barrels, etc.)