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Capita159
11-03-2010, 3:39 PM
From all my years of shooting, I remember stepping into Turners Pasadena, or Code3 Alhambra, etc.. and fondling a Armalite AR15, and wishing I had $700.00 to buy it. And when came 1999, it was worth it to sell then to buy, no regrets.
I built a rifle an AR15 rifle under 1K and shot my buddy's Noveske AR15 that claims to be over $2500., and I personally saw no difference.

So my questions ponders:
What is the cheapest you ever spent building an AR15?
What is the most money you spent on a AR15 rifle?
Is it really worth every penny?
And is there any sufficient different between the two?

russ69
11-03-2010, 4:49 PM
399 for a brand new Colt lightweight carbine back in the day (can you believe that). On the other end I probably have 2100 in my match rifle.

Thanx, Russ

VaderSpade
11-03-2010, 5:02 PM
My first Colt SP1 cost $230.00 about 30 years ago. Last year I spent $2,500.00 building a very nice target rifle. Both are good guns both have their uses.

ZX-10R
11-03-2010, 5:07 PM
My DD M4 shoots very well...The no name AR shoots very well also but not as well as the DD...The difference is a scale of 10 for the DD M4...9 for the no name AR.

Worth the difference in money? No but I do feel good when I go to the range and see my AR all decked out and dressed to dance.

Would I spend money on a high priced AR again? You bet...That is why I make money...To buy the toys I want.

daveyshooter
11-03-2010, 5:08 PM
Usually, the more you pay for a rifle the more accurate it could be.
High tolleranced barrels, fancy sights (even iron sights) and very smooth triggers all run up the price.
If you are just a plinker, it won't matter to you, unless you have money to burn.
The standard cheap AR is still more accurate than most of their shooters.
It's a good place to start, at least.

tiger222
11-03-2010, 5:26 PM
I bought a Colt AR15A2 model R6500 for $495 + tax in 1985. It was on sale at National Guns on Parthenia. I walked out with it right after buying it and Jesus did not kill and kittens, Ms. Feinstein.
Most expensive AR is my RAW Bushmaster with LMT buttstock and KAC 2 stage trigger, SR15E3 upper, probably into it over $2600, add another $1K for optic and mount.

If I did not have the KAC upper, I would probably have a Colt 6940 which is about $800 less. Is it worth it? Not really, but I do enjoy it.

captbilly
11-03-2010, 5:31 PM
For many owners buying a rifle is like collecting Matchbox cars. They aren't buying it necessarily because it is better but because they want it to fill some psychological need. Look, I have cars that can go well over 150mph, but there is no place that I know of where you can legally or even safely go that fast. I have a airplane that is really only useful for flying around relatively short distances, doing aerobatics, and it's pretty noisy and uncomfortable, but I like it. My brother in law has old Mopars (Roadrunners, Daytonas, that sort of thing) that he paid over $100,000 dollars for. He says that they are basically pieces of junk, that don't handle or brake well, need constant and expensive repairs if you actually drive them, and are noisy and uncomfortable, but he likes having rare cars. For reasons such as these, people buy very expensive rifles. Sometimes they get the rifle equivalent of a Lamborghini for their money and sometimes they get more like an old Hemi Roadrunner (flashy and powerful but built like nobody cared if you could actually drive it fast.).

The other useful analogy is what do you get when you pay a bunch of money for a fancy German or Italian car. I have owned a lot of cars in my day from Lotus to Triumph and from Subaru to BMW and Audi. I could probably beat my $60k audi or $75k BMW with a Z28 Camaro but the BMW and Audi are so much nicer to drive. Are they worth 2-3 times the price of another car with similar performance, it depends on how much money you have and what things matter to you.

So back to the AR-15 question.You can definitely get a better trigger, better sights (whether glass or iron), better barrel (hand lapped, gas port in a groove, nicer exterior finish, or even super light wright carbon fiber), carbon fiber free float tube, or free float tube with picatinny rails all around, bipods and monopods, fully adjustable target/tactical type stock, bigger handgrip with rubber coating or palmrest, etc. etc. There are people who pay huge money to have their AR "tuned' in the hopes of making it more accurate or more reliable or both. The legitimate question is what exactly do you get for all this money?

If you are all about target shooting then it is fairly easy to quantify the value of the things you get on a particular rifle by measuring the accuracy. If however you are going for some of the more subjective options, mods, brands, then it become much much harder to objectively say whether or not they were worth it. I see guys who can't shoot worth a damm but have a $600 EOTech holographic sight on their gun along with enough picatinny rail space to mount 17 different lasers, flashlights, bipods, spare parts, night vision equipment and god knows what else. Or guys who never shoot past 25 yards but have a $2000 Swarovsky or Schmidt & Bender scopes. Are they going to shoot better with all this expensive stuff? Well if they seriously practice and learn how to use all the fancy stuff then there is little question that it can be worth the money, if it is the right stuff for what they want to do.

If you want a rifle to take to the range with the buddies, and you are going to be shooting torso sized targets from 25 yards with surplus ammo, then it is questionable if you are going to get anything worthwhile from a $2500 AR. If you want an AR for home defense where you will never be shooting past 30 feet but you may need to aim in the dark and you definitely want to be able to maneuver through small spaces then you will not want a light target trigger, you won't need great accuracy, you may want night vision or a laser or a holographic sight, and you probably want the rifle to be light weight. Perhaps if you get the quadrail and a bunch of attachments (maybe a grenade launcher) you will simply intimidate the robber into submission, that's my plan anyway. If you want a rifle that can hit a small target at 600 yards with 75 grain ammo then you will want a rifle that can do that, and you will pay something extra for that capability.

The other side of this issue is the so called "law of diminishing returns". For a little extra money you can get a better barrel, and a reasonably good trigger, but for a lot of extra money you can get a Kreiger barrel and Geissele trigger that, though very nice, is not going to make a huge difference in the accuracy of the rifle. Some target shooters even claim for example that a simple trigger job on the stock trigger and a cheap heavy barrel with a standard A2 stock was enough to make them very competitive in match shooting.

So think about what you want the rifle for, get what makes sense for that kind of shooting, practice, practice, practice, and if you feel you really need something different on your rifle then buy it. I simply could not stand the stock trigger on my ARs so I spent some money on triggers, (then fancy scopes then adjustable stocks, and fancy barrels) but when I let my brother, who is a shotgun shooter, do some target shooting with one of my ARs he was shooting 10 MOA groups, which he certainly could have done with the cheapest used AR one could find.

calishine
11-03-2010, 5:32 PM
As a first thought, "worth the extra cost," is of course relative. Having said that, it is worth it to me.

For people, shooting a paper target 1 shot per second, you will not notice a difference. It's when you run that rifle hard, that the quality difference becomes apparent. That Noveske the OP's friend owns will easily do 30-40K rounds on the same barrel. You can't say that about a Stag or DPMS. Additionally, the parts are properly tested with matching quality control and that is reflected in the price.

At the end of the day, each user had to decide for themselves if a lower end AR or higher end AR meets their wants/needs. Both are excellent choices for different folks.

HighLander51
11-03-2010, 5:36 PM
Accuracy, you can't compare a Bushmaster 16" carry handle AR to a JP Enterprises 3 Gun competition ready gun. It all depends on what you want to do with it.

supermario
11-03-2010, 5:36 PM
I think most AR's will feel and perhaps shoot the same, but I think its the quality AR's that wont fail you after vigorous shooting. I have only owned LMT's and now a Noveske and I never had any problems. But back in the day, my buddies had Bushmasters and seemed to have problems all the time. On a side note, i think the AR's are made better today than before, except for the Colts (seem to always been good AR's from what i hear). Im not an AR guy and Im new to AR platform but that was my experience when i used to go shooting with buddies back in the day.

themailman
11-03-2010, 5:40 PM
You wont see any difference in plinking, but if you run a gun hard, or are looking for sub-moa, you will easily see the difference. It amazes me that people dont understand the simple stats of todays gun world. Pay for quality, get quality, pay for cheap, get cheap.

Average Joe American
11-03-2010, 5:40 PM
As far as an AR15 setup for patrol, home defense, SHTF and range fun just plinking...your not going to see a significant difference between a $2000 LWRC, KAC, Sabre Defense ect ect...and a $700 M&P15, Stag, RRA ect ect. in just one day of shooting a few hundred rounds from a bench at paper targets at basic BZO distances of about 200 yards. You might see a slight tighter grouping but in general not enough to blow your socks off.

The real difference will be seen when the gun is ran through a hard core carbine class or actual combat. The mil-spec, HPT & MPI, shot peened, carpenter 158, cold hammer forged 4150 chromoly vanadium steel ect ect...expensive stuff really pays off by not breaking as soon as a cheaper AR15 subjected to the same harsh conditions.

Thats what you are really paying for. longevity in reliability.

If you are not a SWAT cop or a combat soldier or a civilian contractor who has to buy his own gear before going over seas...then you really dont need an expensive AR15 to poke holes in paper while sitting at a bench all day. But most folks have the money and want the oohs & aaahs when they pull up to the range and open up their range bag for all to see.

joedogboy
11-03-2010, 6:49 PM
Buying premium components increases your chances of getting a great build - but does not guarantee it.

Buying a BMW is a better bet than an econo-box if you want a great car - that said, you can get a "lemon" from BMW, and have a car that is not any better than one that costs a fraction as much. AR builds are the same - in fact, you may do better with a less expensive build where you get some extra parts so you can test-fit them and choose the best matching set.

rero360
11-03-2010, 7:00 PM
I buy quality, and if that means I have to wait to save up the needed funds, then so be it. My next AR is going to be a carbine and nothing but top shelf parts are going to go into it, I plan on putting at least 6 thousand rounds through it within the first 2 months of building/ buying the rifle (Rifles Only and Magpul carbine courses) I don't want the damn thing to break during one of those classes so I buy the best.

Hump0311
11-03-2010, 7:33 PM
As far as an AR15 setup for patrol, home defense, SHTF and range fun just plinking...your not going to see a significant difference between a $2000 LWRC, KAC, Sabre Defense ect ect...and a $700 M&P15, Stag, RRA ect ect. in just one day of shooting a few hundred rounds from a bench at paper targets at basic BZO distances of about 200 yards. You might see a slight tighter grouping but in general not enough to blow your socks off.

The real difference will be seen when the gun is ran through a hard core carbine class or actual combat. The mil-spec, HPT & MPI, shot peened, carpenter 158, cold hammer forged 4150 chromoly vanadium steel ect ect...expensive stuff really pays off by not breaking as soon as a cheaper AR15 subjected to the same harsh conditions.

Thats what you are really paying for. longevity in reliability.


If you are not a SWAT cop or a combat soldier or a civilian contractor who has to buy his own gear before going over seas...then you really dont need an expensive AR15 to poke holes in paper while sitting at a bench all day. But most folks have the money and want the oohs & aaahs when they pull up to the range and open up their range bag for all to see.

I think that this about sum's it all up. I see alot of shooter's selling guns on here giving some low round count i.e "only 200rds fired" or " Less than 600 rounds fired"... I could put 200-600 rounds through a rifle in one course of fire during an intense training session. When you put that many rounds through a weapon it gives you a little piece of mind knowing that what your shooting is going to perform no matter the kind of punishment you put it through.

I'm doing my first build and have set my target price at $1800. Could I build it for cheaper and have a rifle that I felt confident about putting rounds on my target?.. yes. If this was the case I could put a rig together for a little under $800.

I chose the $1800 because of personal preference and knowing that it's true that you get what you pay for.

double0b
11-03-2010, 7:38 PM
I am one to definitely buy quality stuff and buy it once. However, it is hard for me to imagine spending 2500 for a 'match quality' AR (without optics), or "combat ready". I have ~$1350 in my match service rifle. White oak service rifle upper, Geissele trigger, weights, sling, etc. It took me from Marksman to Master, and is still going strong. A new barrel will be in order next year. There is definitely a difference between it and an off-the-shelf Stag (example). But for not too much more $.

Though if you are choosing all sorts of top shelf, tacticool accessories, I'm sure you could drive the cost up. But to what benefit?

BigBamBoo
11-03-2010, 8:00 PM
..........

bobfried
11-03-2010, 8:05 PM
Parts have come down relative to quality in the past 10 years. The side effects of two hard fought wars are better equipment all around that trickled out to the civilian market. I've built a few dozen rifles over the past decade and some have been cheap as dirt.

Cheapest build ever: $350

Most Expensive: $4,200

There has to be a caveat added that it includes ALL ACCESSORIES with the price. To me an AR is not complete unless it has EVERYTHING you intend to use with it figured into the price.

There is a happy medium in quality versus price point that exist. That price point is around $1,00 with iron sights.

F8ality
11-03-2010, 9:20 PM
$800 for my first stag
$2600 for POF 308
$3100 for Limited KAC/Magpul SR15E3
and just got a Magpul MPLA complete lower receiver for my Bday that I have a feeling the wife paid over $1200 for

It all comes down to personal preference and what you are willing to spend money on...

reidnez
11-03-2010, 9:31 PM
I would not spend more than $1,000 on an AR15. In my opinion, that is roughly the point of diminishing returns where any further advantage is marginal at best, regardless of money spent. I would not build a precision AR at all; where accuracy is concerned, I can get a lot more bang-for-the buck out of a bolt gun. I would rather buy a basic bolt gun and spend the extra cash on optics and ammo.

Of course, I do not begrudge or belittle anyone who spends much more than that--I don't "need" an AR at all if I'm honest myself, I just want one--so really I'm just as frivolous as anyone else.

Capita159
11-03-2010, 10:47 PM
You wont see any difference in plinking, but if you run a gun hard, or are looking for sub-moa, you will easily see the difference. It amazes me that people dont understand the simple stats of todays gun world. Pay for quality, get quality, pay for cheap, get cheap.

How do you run a gun hard? We can leave class 3 and hunting out of this.
And you mention pay for cheap, get cheap, what is considered cheap? Airsoft products don't count as they shouldn't be on this forum.

Capita159
11-03-2010, 10:56 PM
Buying premium components increases your chances of getting a great build.

Buying a BMW is a better bet than an econo-box if you want a great car - that said, you can get a "lemon" from BMW, and have a car that is not any better than one that costs a fraction as much. AR builds are the same - in fact, you may do better with a less expensive build where you get some extra parts so you can test-fit them and choose the best matching set.

Agreed, I built more than half a dozen AR15s and seems to always go back to the basic. I rather rely that Toyota pick up with 200K miles than to mess with a BMW M3 with 20" wheels.

I would not spend more than $1,000 on an AR15. In my opinion, that is roughly the point of diminishing returns where any further advantage is marginal at best, regardless of money spent. I would not build a precision AR at all; where accuracy is concerned, I can get a lot more bang-for-the buck out of a bolt gun. I would rather buy a basic bolt gun and spend the extra cash on optics and ammo.

Of course, I do not begrudge or belittle anyone who spends much more than that--I don't "need" an AR at all if I'm honest myself, I just want one--so really I'm just as frivolous as anyone else.

Agreed.

.....and thanks everyone for your input.

Prowler
11-03-2010, 11:01 PM
Accuracy, you can't compare a Bushmaster 16" carry handle AR to a JP Enterprises 3 Gun competition ready gun. It all depends on what you want to do with it.

That's exactly what I own! A BM hardtop and a JP. The BM cost me around $900 to build and the JP setup cost me around $2,800+ with optics. I used them both for 3-gun.

rero360
11-04-2010, 12:06 AM
How do you run a gun hard? We can leave class 3 and hunting out of this.
And you mention pay for cheap, get cheap, what is considered cheap? Airsoft products don't count as they shouldn't be on this forum.

I would consider shooting 2K rounds over the course of 3 days taking a Magpul course to be running the gun pretty hard. Add in if you were able to take level one and two back to back, that would be 4K rounds in 6 days.

After that alone I'm willing to bet a good number of entry level rifles, if they were even able to survive the whole course, would be needing all new springs and a barrel. Can you imagine buying a rifle just before taking those two classes and then having to rebarrel it a week later? That would basically be the reality with a good number of rifles out there.

But hey, if a person just goes to the range and plinks a few boxes at a time, then a entry level gun is just fine for them. Me, I train the way I fight and I want my personal guns to be at least as good as what Uncle Sam issues me if not better, and since I'm the one paying for it, I'll get the best I can.

freonr22
11-04-2010, 12:20 AM
As a first thought, "worth the extra cost," is of course relative. Having said that, it is worth it to me.

For people, shooting a paper target 1 shot per second, you will not notice a difference. It's when you run that rifle hard, that the quality difference becomes apparent. That Noveske the OP's friend owns will easily do 30-40K rounds on the same barrel. You can't say that about a Stag or DPMS. Additionally, the parts are properly tested with matching quality control and that is reflected in the price.

At the end of the day, each user had to decide for themselves if a lower end AR or higher end AR meets their wants/needs. Both are excellent choices for different folks.


really? 30,000-40,000 rounds on the same barrel?

gmcal
11-04-2010, 12:31 AM
How do you run a gun hard? We can leave class 3 and hunting out of this.
And you mention pay for cheap, get cheap, what is considered cheap? Airsoft products don't count as they shouldn't be on this forum.

You run a gun hard by attending training courses where you're shooting the gun enough to get it hot, exposing it to the elements and beating on it while you're running it. Practicing what you learn from the courses, training on your own. Running 3 gun matches. I'm sure there are more examples.

Slow firing 100-200 rounds a day once a twice a month is not a test of the quality of an ar.

How is your friends Noveske configured? Switchblocks, rails, VIS, MUR, Troy sights, Vltor stocks, Tango Down grips and stainless barrels all add costs and are not required for a good ar. They may help do whatever job the owner wants it do better however and that where the value lies. YMMV.

Capita159
11-04-2010, 12:47 AM
But hey, if a person just goes to the range and plinks a few boxes at a time, then a entry level gun is just fine for them. Me, I train the way I fight and I want my personal guns to be at least as good as what Uncle Sam issues me if not better, and since I'm the one paying for it, I'll get the best I can.

So to you, an inexpensive rifle is a cheap rifle that doesn't work and doesn't last for 2000 rounds. How many mag pouches are you carrying on your vest when you're going fighting? What are you training for? What are you fighting for? Can you tell me what kind of guns Uncle Sam issues out? And last, what is an entry level gun?
Please inform me as I am outdated.

Capita159
11-04-2010, 12:54 AM
How is your friends Noveske configured? Switchblocks, rails, VIS, MUR, Troy sights, Vltor stocks, Tango Down grips and stainless barrels all add costs and are not required for a good ar. They may help do whatever job the owner wants it do better however and that where the value lies. YMMV.

I'm not sure. I just know it's a nice looking rifle, just not my cup of tea. I'm sure it meet the operator's demand, just thought it is a waste of money, but that's just me.

gmcal
11-04-2010, 3:27 AM
So to you, an inexpensive rifle is a cheap rifle that doesn't work and doesn't last for 2000 rounds. How many mag pouches are you carrying on your vest when you're going fighting? What are you training for? What are you fighting for? Can you tell me what kind of guns Uncle Sam issues out? And last, what is an entry level gun?
Please inform me as I am outdated.

There are many reasons to fight. Home/self defense, LE, and military the most common. To be proficient in a gun fight you need to train and practice. You need a gun that can handle that and still be reliable if/when you need to fight. Uncle Sam issues Colt and FN and sometimes a few others. The best fighting non government ar's are made by Colt, LMT, Daniel Defense, Bravo Company Manufacturing, Noveske, Knights Armament Company, and Larue. Go over to m4carbine.net and read the stickies in the technical forum. Go to lightfighter and read the AAR's to see how these brands do in carbine courses and what those courses are like. I'm on my iPhone so I don't want to post a bunch of links, sorry. I'll post some when I get to a computer. Also google "Pat Rogers filthy 14."

rero360
11-04-2010, 6:04 AM
So to you, an inexpensive rifle is a cheap rifle that doesn't work and doesn't last for 2000 rounds. How many mag pouches are you carrying on your vest when you're going fighting? What are you training for? What are you fighting for? Can you tell me what kind of guns Uncle Sam issues out? And last, what is an entry level gun?
Please inform me as I am outdated.

Well no, that would be a cheap gun, an inexpensive gun would survive the course of fire, with maybe just a few stoppages but doesn't have all the nice bells and whistles on it.

I'm issued a Colt M4 with KAC non free floating quad railed handguards with the crappy back up iron sights, I can't think of the manufacturer off the top of my head, but they suck.

As far as the type of fighting I do, umm.....just turn on the news, I am a combat soldier, although I would have figured that was obvious by the crossed rifles in my sig.

My normal loadout is 14 30 round mags for my M4 and 3 15 round mags when I have a pistol as well. That doesn't even take into account any M203 rounds I may have if I have one on my M4 as well.

I consider my RRA to be an entry level gun, its basically the 20" varmint model with a Badger Ordnance Thruster brake installed and for optics I either use my ACOG or my Leupold 6.5-20x MK4

themailman
11-04-2010, 8:40 AM
How do you run a gun hard? We can leave class 3 and hunting out of this.
And you mention pay for cheap, get cheap, what is considered cheap? Airsoft products don't count as they shouldn't be on this forum.

How do you run a gun hard? Attend a Gunsite class, go to a Suarez Int. Gunfighter class, attend an MD or any other carbine fighting class and you'll run your gun harder than ever before. That's when you see the cheap guns such as jse, dpms, stag etc. Cheap doesn't necessarily denote price, but just the quality of worksmanship and materials.

Capita159
11-04-2010, 9:42 AM
My normal loadout is 14 30 round mags for my M4 and 3 15 round mags when I have a pistol as well. That doesn't even take into account any M203 rounds I may have if I have one on my M4 as well.


That is one heavy load, thanks for sharing and update.

That's when you see the cheap guns such as jse, dpms, stag etc. Cheap doesn't necessarily denote price, but just the quality of worksmanship and materials.

DPMS was once look a pond as quality craftsmanship; I guess the tide has changed. I ran 1ooo rounds of reloads 556 on my DPMS panther 20" within a 3hours period of time. No malfunctions, and it still shot straight. But I always wonder if it will last a 5 minute gun fight in the a jungle environment.

Give me your choice of AR15 if you were have to be in that situation.

pgg
11-04-2010, 9:48 AM
I have expensive rifles and accessories. Including optics, I've got about $3K into an AR15, $3K into an AR10, and close to $4K into another AR10, with a $2K 7.62 suppressor on the way to my free-state home of record. I blow through a fair amount of mil surp ammo, but I always take a few boxes of match grade stuff to the range too. I paid a premium for quality components for a few reasons.

1) I've never regretted buying quality stuff. Wish I could say the same about cheap stuff I've bought.

2) I want the limiting factor to be me, not my guns. That crappy group isn't the fault of a cheap rifle, knockoff optic, and Tula ammo - it's my fault, and I can fix it with practice.

3) It's more fun to hit the target at 500 yards than to miss it.

4) And last ... guns are killing tools that just happen to be great fun to play with at the range. Someday I may have to shoot somebody. If that day comes I'd rather be looking at center mass through a bombproof ACOG or Aimpoint instead of a some flakey Chinese red dot I got for the "great deal" of $59 from the booth at a gun show.

Lead Waster
11-04-2010, 10:27 AM
You wont see any difference in plinking, but if you run a gun hard, or are looking for sub-moa, you will easily see the difference. It amazes me that people dont understand the simple stats of todays gun world. Pay for quality, get quality, pay for cheap, get cheap.

I think the decision of what parts to get would be much easier if price actually reflected quality.

I think the reason people look for advice/experience/reviews on parts is because we aren't SURE that price=quality. I don't mind paying $X for a part if it's worth it. But paying $X for a part that is not worth it because I fell for a marketing ploy is upsetting.

If I pay $500 for a gun and it doesn't shoot as well as my buddies $1000 gun, I'm not disappointed. If I paid $1000 for a gun that didn't shoot as well as my buddies $500 gun, then I'd be kicking myself.

My friend bought a Springfield TRP for 4 times what I paid for my 10 year old Glock 21. When I shot his pistol...wow. I mean, I was grouping in the bullseye where normally with my gun I was happy just to get a small group near the bullseye. Amazing difference (the guns are totally different, it's not like a TRP vs a cheaper 1911 though). So was it worth it? Well, for the price of his TRP I have the glock, a CZ-75 and a stripped AR-15 lower plus some money to put into AR parts. So I'd rather have more guns, but he was only "authorized" by SWMBO to have one gun, so for him it was definitely worth it. (that TRP shoots like a dream, and if SWMBO says one gun, well, that's a pretty darn good choice!)

Lead Waster
11-04-2010, 10:39 AM
As far as an AR15 setup for patrol, home defense, SHTF and range fun just plinking...your not going to see a significant difference between a $2000 LWRC, KAC, Sabre Defense ect ect...and a $700 M&P15, Stag, RRA ect ect. in just one day of shooting a few hundred rounds from a bench at paper targets at basic BZO distances of about 200 yards. You might see a slight tighter grouping but in general not enough to blow your socks off.

The real difference will be seen when the gun is ran through a hard core carbine class or actual combat. The mil-spec, HPT & MPI, shot peened, carpenter 158, cold hammer forged 4150 chromoly vanadium steel ect ect...expensive stuff really pays off by not breaking as soon as a cheaper AR15 subjected to the same harsh conditions.

Thats what you are really paying for. longevity in reliability.

If you are not a SWAT cop or a combat soldier or a civilian contractor who has to buy his own gear before going over seas...then you really dont need an expensive AR15 to poke holes in paper while sitting at a bench all day. But most folks have the money and want the oohs & aaahs when they pull up to the range and open up their range bag for all to see.


I'd like to see how much it costs to build an exact (quality wise!) replica of what the US Marines/Soldiers are using in Iraq/Afghanistan. Would their weapons be $500, $1000 or $2000 rifles? (Minus the fancy optics, I'm just talking about the gun). I think the gov't pays about $1500 for them, but that price is the "Senator X got a kickback for approving this contract" price and I think the profit margin is a bit higher for everything the gov't pays for.

Also just for the sake of discussion I'd point out that many old battle rifles are out there (Garands, Enfields, etc) are not $2000 guns (factor out "collector's" markup, let's just talk about material costs) and probably saw (or are built for) heavy action.

ninjamaster
11-04-2010, 10:40 AM
I let my girls Uncle shoot the 2 AR's in my sig. The RRA has about $1000 in it, the custom over $3000 + optics. He said, "The fun gun(RRA) was definately fun, but the competition rifle was sweet and I want one." Those are the both the least and most I have spent on an AR.

The custom shoots better, has a better trigger pull, and the overall feel is better than the "fun gun", but that fun gun sure is FUN, and heavy. Plus the less expensive rifle is good for combat courses and such where you don't have to worry about dinging it up!

Casual_Shooter
11-04-2010, 10:51 AM
I tend to buy higher priced items that I justify by thinking they are higher quality. I don't let common sense come into play at all. ;)

At a recent carbine class I attended, there was every level of AR. All worked well short of one that had some issues that were traced to the ammo.

mif_slim
11-04-2010, 12:45 PM
So my questions ponders:
What is the cheapest you ever spent building an AR15?
What is the most money you spent on a AR15 rifle?
Is it really worth every penny?
And is there any sufficient different between the two?

My cheapest would be $475. Shot equaly well with higher end AR's I've shot before....but then again some people dont like no-namers so they stick with high end AR... or better. MIL-SPEC ar's because they kick down doors every day and hunt for BG's every hour of their life. :p

Ruiner
11-04-2010, 1:06 PM
I tend to buy the best I can afford. Whether or not something is "worth it" is entirely up to you. Since you guys like using the car analogy so much, it's like buying a ZR1 over a base model Corvette. Both will get you from point A to point B equally well. Both can be fun cars. But only when pushed hard can you truly appreciate the difference between the two. Why buy the faster car when there are posted speed limits right? Some people do track days where the extra performance does matter and some people simply find joy in owning something a little more high end. Personal fulfillment alone makes it "worth it" for some people.

bobfried
11-04-2010, 1:27 PM
................ But I always wonder if it will last a 5 minute gun fight in the a jungle environment.

Give me your choice of AR15 if you were have to be in that situation.

The stand by will always be the Colt M4. But we civilians can't get our hands on a new version, only the semi-auto version. I however like to one up that notion of the Colt and go for something at least on par if not slightly better for a lower price. If I was being dropped into a jungle right now and I could not have a Colt M4 this would be my build list for an en-mass issue it to the troop carbine:

BCM 14.5" Middy w/ BCM FA BCG
Magpul MOE Middy HG
Daniel Defense fixed rear sight
LMT Defender 2000 lower/ or BCM's own lower

Total comes out just a hair under $1,000.

Right about $400-$500 less than the price you would pay for a bone stock Colt 6920. For that money I would pick up a used Aimpoint/Eotech and thrown on an SF light. So for the same price as a Colt I would have something that is just as decent in quality with force multipliers RDS and night time effectiveness of a light source.

freonr22
11-04-2010, 3:20 PM
but will you wont get 30,000-40,000 rounds out of the barrel



Quote:
Originally Posted by calishine http://www.calguns.net/calgunforum/images/buttons/viewpost.gif (http://www.calguns.net/calgunforum/showthread.php?p=5239392#post5239392)
As a first thought, "worth the extra cost," is of course relative. Having said that, it is worth it to me.

For people, shooting a paper target 1 shot per second, you will not notice a difference. It's when you run that rifle hard, that the quality difference becomes apparent. That Noveske the OP's friend owns will easily do 30-40K rounds on the same barrel. You can't say that about a Stag or DPMS. Additionally, the parts are properly tested with matching quality control and that is reflected in the price.

At the end of the day, each user had to decide for themselves if a lower end AR or higher end AR meets their wants/needs. Both are excellent choices for different folks.


really? 30,000-40,000 rounds on the same barrel?
__________________

gmcal
11-04-2010, 3:49 PM
DD and BCM are what many consider the cheapest rifles that can stand up to hard use, meaning training and practicing and fighting if necessary. They cost roughly $1000 in their most basic configuration. If you don't know why they cost more than other popular brands read these, and this is just a start:

http://www.bravocompanymfg.com/v/vspfiles/assets/images/filthy14_oct10.pdf

http://m4carbine.net/showthread.php?t=56063

http://m4carbine.net/showthread.php?t=7009

http://m4carbine.net/showthread.php?t=55930

I also recommend going to lightfighter.net and reading AAR's (after action reports) from carbine courses. If anyone knows any AAR's where brands that cost less are doing well in significant numbers post them up.

Now, things like red dot sight, rails, expensive stocks and triggers, and flip up sights are not required but they may help the person using the carbine do their job better. Faster, more accurate, easy to attach necessary equipment etc are valid reasons and will vary from each shooter. As with rifles/carbines quality equipment that can stand up to the abuse will cost more.

Thats just for a fighting carbine/rifle. Some people want the most accuracy they can get and that usually gets more expensive then reliablity/durability.

freonr22
11-04-2010, 3:52 PM
LMT has the 4150 barrels, mpi, hpt, and Cryo's EVERY barrel

themailman
11-04-2010, 3:58 PM
Give me your choice of AR15 if you were have to be in that situation.
My AR 15 choice is exactly what I own:

BCM 16" Midlength Upper w/Cold Hammer Forged Upper
Spikes Lower w/DD Parts Kit and Giessele SSA Kit
Magpul MOE Pistol Grip, CTR Stock, MOE HG
KAC Micro Buis
Aimpoint H1 on Larue Lt660
XXXXXX 2pt Sling

gmcal
11-04-2010, 4:03 PM
LMT has the 4150 barrels, mpi, hpt, and Cryo's EVERY barrel

Is that directed at me? If so, I'm not saying DD and BCM are the best just they cost less than LMT, Colt, Noveske, KAC, etc. and still stand up to hard use.

pgg
11-04-2010, 4:08 PM
Total comes out just a hair under $1,000.

Right about $400-$500 less than the price you would pay for a bone stock Colt 6920.

?

Bone stock 6920s go for $1100 these days. It's not January 2009 any more. :)

Centurion_D
11-04-2010, 4:33 PM
Hmmm let's see. I purchased my Colt Sporter Target model for I believe $500 at traders many moons ago. I'd say I probably dumped $1200 into it to dress it up as a A4gery. I guess what ever you're willing to spend makes it worth it.

freonr22
11-04-2010, 4:39 PM
Is that directed at me? If so, I'm not saying DD and BCM are the best just they cost less than LMT, Colt, Noveske, KAC, etc. and still stand up to hard use.
No not at all, Some thing i learned last week, and no one here was really aware of it. DD, and the others are excellent also, just more of an fyi.

For some reason, LMT doesnt cater as much to the retail sector, and is often left out :)

ArkinDomino
11-04-2010, 4:47 PM
$800 for my first stag
$2600 for POF 308
$3100 for Limited KAC/Magpul SR15E3
and just got a Magpul MPLA complete lower receiver for my Bday that I have a feeling the wife paid over $1200 for

It all comes down to personal preference and what you are willing to spend money on...

HOLY SH*T!

The limited Magpul SR15!? The one with the dimpled barrel?!

A magpul lower?!

PICS PLEASE!

CoyoteHunter555
11-04-2010, 4:49 PM
the more expensive it is, the kooler it is

UserM4
11-04-2010, 4:57 PM
I like comparing AR's with cars.

Like, for the average Joe, he can drive a Honda Accord or Toyota Camry and it'll take him from Point A to Point B. No problems.

But Schumacher would see the limitations of a Camry rather quickly. He would need an exotic car of some sort.

If you're not shooting full auto and doing mag dumps, a run of the mill, off the shelf Stag will be just fine.

But if you're gonna do a few carbine courses and go through 10K rounds in a short period of time, you may want a rifle that's had a full military spec inspection and quality check done.

gmcal
11-04-2010, 6:01 PM
I like comparing AR's with cars.

Like, for the average Joe, he can drive a Honda Accord or Toyota Camry and it'll take him from Point A to Point B. No problems.

But Schumacher would see the limitations of a Camry rather quickly. He would need an exotic car of some sort.

If you're not shooting full auto and doing mag dumps, a run of the mill, off the shelf Stag will be just fine.

But if you're gonna do a few carbine courses and go through 10K rounds in a short period of time, you may want a rifle that's had a full military spec inspection and quality check done.

I disagree with your car analogy. An exotic car is built for a different purpose than a Camry or Accord. Stag, DPMS, etc market their rifles as fighting weapons, just take a look at their advertising.

IMO, better car anology is an Accord to a similar Kia. Sure the Kia will do well for awhile and if you put low miles on it it will likely serve you well. But as you put a lot of miles on them Kia's don't hold as well or as long as Accords. You may even find a Kia that can match Accords for longevity but that is a rare Kia. You may find an Accord that craps out at 50k miles. But that is a rare Accord.

Again IMO, exotic cars are better compared to specialized competition ar's. Guns that have adjustable weights, triggers measured in ounces not pounds, etc. And you're correct, it takes someone with considerable skill to recognize the true potential of such cars and rifles.

And remember, the price difference between a Stag and DD or BCM is about $200.

gmcal
11-04-2010, 6:05 PM
No not at all, Some thing i learned last week, and no one here was really aware of it. DD, and the others are excellent also, just more of an fyi.

For some reason, LMT doesnt cater as much to the retail sector, and is often left out :)

I actually looked at LMT before I saw DD and BCM, and went with BCM because it costs less than LMT. I thinks that why so many people recommend DD and BCM, quailty rifles priced less than Colt, LMT, and Noveske. Otherwise I was set to get the basic LMT, I think its the Patrol 16 IIRC.

Capita159
11-04-2010, 7:17 PM
http://www.bravocompanymfg.com/v/vspfiles/assets/images/filthy14_oct10.pdf

http://m4carbine.net/showthread.php?t=56063

http://m4carbine.net/showthread.php?t=7009

http://m4carbine.net/showthread.php?t=55930


Those link are very helpful to my understanding of quality and craftsmanship. I think you just sold me on BCM products. The filthy 14 article makes sense and is more info for any shooter. Yet I still don't believe in high pride products that are four times the cost. But that is just my opinion. Research is key.
I am not a creditable source to make a judgment that my $1K rifle will survive a 20K rds gunfight without any cleaning, "I need to try out that slip2000 lube", nor can recommend a product that is the best anytime soon. But I can tell you that most AR15 rifles I've seem and used through a course of 16 years survived every beating the user put in it. It's true, proper cleaning is the key to reliability. And we are talking about AR15 rifles here, that means semi-auto Armalite variants.

Oh and BTW, you can't compare a Honda to a KIA, that is just unfair. I think comparing an Honda Accord to a Toyota Camry or even a Nissan Maxima would make more sense. At least those automobile companies are from the same country. And installing 2000 wheels will make your car nicer but without proper gearing, tire dimension, and weight difference, your car will not go any faster. So I will agree with Coyotehunter555, more expensive looks cooler. I'll just stick with my factory alloys.

......and thanks again for the link, "gmcal"

freonr22
11-04-2010, 7:53 PM
WOW!! Filthy 14 was an excellent read!! I take back my earlier 2-3 posts about doubting 30-40,000 rounds!! I stand corrected

gmcal
11-04-2010, 9:53 PM
Those link are very helpful to my understanding of quality and craftsmanship. I think you just sold me on BCM products. The filthy 14 article makes sense and is more info for any shooter. Yet I still don't believe in high pride products that are four times the cost. But that is just my opinion. Research is key.
I am not a creditable source to make a judgment that my $1K rifle will survive a 20K rds gunfight without any cleaning, "I need to try out that slip2000 lube", nor can recommend a product that is the best anytime soon. But I can tell you that most AR15 rifles I've seem and used through a course of 16 years survived every beating the user put in it. It's true, proper cleaning is the key to reliability. And we are talking about AR15 rifles here, that means semi-auto Armalite variants.

Oh and BTW, you can't compare a Honda to a KIA, that is just unfair. I think comparing an Honda Accord to a Toyota Camry or even a Nissan Maxima would make more sense. At least those automobile companies are from the same country. And installing 2000 wheels will make your car nicer but without proper gearing, tire dimension, and weight difference, your car will not go any faster. So I will agree with Coyotehunter555, more expensive looks cooler. I'll just stick with my factory alloys.

......and thanks again for the link, "gmcal"

You're welcome but my goal wasn't to sell you on BCM. There are other brands just as good, and maybe even better. My goal was to explain why some rifles cost more than others. Click on the link below is a rifle that cost 1k. Its as basic as an AR gets:

http://www.bravocompanyusa.com/BCM-M4-Carbine-AR15-Bravo-Company-s/141.htm

If you read the link to "the chart" make sure you read the descriptions of each item. These requirements were determined to build a carbine capable of hard use. Much of it is taken from the U.S. Army's requirements of the M4 carbine. They know a little about what it takes to get the most reliability and durability from an ar. I also listen to people such as Pat Rogers and Larry Vickers regarding ars. I'm not knowledgable enough to know what works but they are.

Much like rifles vary in quality so do optics, rails, triggers, stocks, lights, you get get the point. I know my $80 Primary Arms rds, or my $100 Primary Arms 4x scope are not equal to an aimpoint or acog. Even the owner of Primary Arms says so. I bought them to try out the general idea of the optics to see if I like it enough to get the aimpoint or acog. I'll get an aimpoint down the road but it would have sucked to spend over 500 on an aimpoint and larue mount to discover I don't like it.

Many people don't need high dollar stuff. They wont use it hard enough to break it. In those cases cheaper stuff will be fine. But I don't find fault for someone wanting a tricked out ar to shoot every once in a while. Some people just like to have nice things. Last time I bought a car I splurged on some upgrades to have a nicer car. Things like a larger motor for smoother accelation and less noise than a 4 banger, 6 disc changer, and alloy wheels instead of standard wheels and wheel covers. Could have made do without them but they are nice to have. Actually the wheels were part of a package and could care less about them.

I regards to KIA. If you want to go to the Kia website and click on the optima. Then click on compare cars. The default selections to compare a kia to are the accord, camry, and fusion. Kia even gives themselves a little symbol in the items they beat the others. And they claim they are made in the U.S. Same place as my Camry. :p

Have a good night.

Average Joe American
11-05-2010, 1:30 AM
This is kinda beating a dead horse but I still want to play...lol.

How about this analogy? I hated that car analogy...

A patrol cop can probably get away with a mid tier S&W M&P15 or Stag or RRA AR15 for the once a year (if even that) type of rifle work. S&W and Stag know this and aggressively advertise to that crowd. (patrol cops) Quality guns at a budget conscious police dept. price.

Now a SWAT cop who serves high risk warrants every month and when not in the field, he is sending tons of ammo down range training....he needs a top tier AR15 that can stand up to heavy duty use. A $4000 AR (with optics) may be a little over kill for a patrol cop who only makes $50k, with 2 kids, child support, an ex-wife, a mortgage, mandatory furloughs, dwindling OT, and a drop in benefits along with higher premiums?

Both levels of AR15's are good at the specific jobs they are being used for. Average citizens need to grasp this concept also.

bobfried
11-05-2010, 1:50 AM
.............. a patrol cop who only makes $50k, with 2 kids, child support, an ex-wife, a mortgage, mandatory furloughs, dwindling OT, and a drop in benefits along with higher premiums? ..........

In California? I doubt anyone that is an LEO (FED, State, County, Local) in this state is making anything less than 100k a year unless they're brand new.

Capita159
11-05-2010, 3:23 AM
This is kinda beating a dead horse but I still want to play...lol.

How about this analogy? I hated that car analogy...

A patrol cop can probably get away with a mid tier S&W M&P15 or Stag or RRA AR15 for the once a year (if even that) type of rifle work. S&W and Stag know this and aggressively advertise to that crowd. (patrol cops) Quality guns at a budget conscious police dept. price.

Now a SWAT cop who serves high risk warrants every month and when not in the field, he is sending tons of ammo down range training....he needs a top tier AR15 that can stand up to heavy duty use. A $4000 AR (with optics) may be a little over kill for a patrol cop who only makes $50k, with 2 kids, child support, an ex-wife, a mortgage, mandatory furloughs, dwindling OT, and a drop in benefits along with higher premiums?

Both levels of AR15's are good at the specific jobs they are being used for. Average citizens need to grasp this concept also.

Pushing the reset button:
I think you and some post here are missing the point. "gmcal", pointed and recommended with valid information stating that a BCM products can withstand over 20,000 rounds of usage without cleaning and under training usage.
My OP argument was about a $1k rifle vs a $2500 Noveske craftsman rifle; and is it worth it for that matter to spend the premium. And I now have a better understanding for different needs.....mostly want.

Quality rifles such as a BCM carbine isn't going to run over $2K., which will include optics and rail forearm. LAPD SWAT unit doesn't put 22" wheels on their carbine. Many of them stick with one weapon and they fix it when broken and not replace.

So I don't know how my buddy put over $2500.00 on that Noveske AR15. My guess is probably KAC muzzle, DD Omega rails, Aimpoint T1 with some fancy QD, Magpul dress up products, fancy barrel?, etc...

If I order a BCM carbine for $1K and transfer my Troy 7" MRF "$180", Vortex RDS "$150", Magtech BUIS "$50", HO HO vertical grip "$15", over, I would have enough money to buy another BCM carbine. Now wouldn't that double my longevity over a $2500.00+ set up?

gmcal
11-05-2010, 3:29 AM
Joe,

I understand that not everyone needs a top quality ar and can't remember ever making that claim. I recommended a s&w just the other to someone who only wanted a plinker. But I think you need to recognize that some average citizens shoot a lot, train hard, and use an ar for defense. Why should they not spend the money on an ar that's proven to handle that?

In addition, why is that these arguements only seem to happen with ar's. I've never been in best buy a saw a guy tell someone you don't that big of a tv. Get this one it's cheaper and is all you need.;)

only10x
11-05-2010, 3:59 AM
I could see why anyone would say "why an AR" but its really like comparing apples to oranges if saying "I rather buy a bolt gun"
How much would you spend on a single shot bolt action .22lr?
anyone?
I have seen, shot and own .22 match rifles that rival what people pay for high-end ARs. why? because its a specific tool for a specific job.

well the same question goes for an AR. some people (most?) would pay as little as possible and some >1500 just because they dont see the point in buying accuracy on a platform it wasnt designed for, but IMHO its a good enough platform that can give you the versatility to be two or more completely different guns just by changing the upper.

Im just getting started in Service Rifle with the intention of getting my Distinguished Badge. Thats a game very different than the Tactical stuff thats common on this an most other sites, though because its the current issue weapon of our armed forces, its the firearm we have to use and modify to compete (though you can build knarly space guns in a different class) and win with while shooting as far as 600 yards, yep a 223 out to 600yards.

I just finished putting together my first so so expensive AR. it was alot of fun figuring out what I wanted and testing loads to determine its optimum accuracy will I build another 2k AR? probably not, seeing as how im going to be going thru maybe a barrel a year :D
its just money.
Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness
Amen

gmcal
11-05-2010, 5:19 AM
Hold on a second. I'm not trying to tell anyone to replace their rifle with a BCM. If you have 1k or more troublefree rounds through you're rifle I'd take a carbine course or 2 and see how it does. Before you do that read the "oh no I bought a stag/dpms/busmaster" thread by rob s in one of the links I provided. If you just want an ar to shoot for recreation you'll be fine.

Cyc Wid It
11-05-2010, 9:47 AM
Well, a Schmidt and Bender short dot can run you the estimated price of your friend's Noveske...

joedogboy
11-05-2010, 10:52 AM
I could see why anyone would say "why an AR" but its really like comparing apples to oranges if saying "I rather buy a bolt gun"
How much would you spend on a single shot bolt action .22lr?
anyone?
Depends on planned usage, doesn't it?

Is it to have a simple and safe gun to teach fundamentals with?
Then it had better cost less than a 10/22.

Is it to have an inexpensive shooter for an inexpensive caliber?
Then it had better cost much less than a 10/22.

Is it for precision marksmanship competition?
Then it will be the most accurate gun that I can afford. Please note that I don't say "the most expensive gun" that I can afford, because higher price doesn't always equal higher quality.

donking
11-05-2010, 4:59 PM
....
And remember, the price difference between a Stag and DD or BCM is about $200.

I think you also need to put the cost of ammo into the equation to get perspective. A 1000 round case of brass "plinker ammo" is about $300. It doesn't take much to pay for an entire rifle, why skimp on the rifle?

calishine
11-05-2010, 6:33 PM
really? 30,000-40,000 rounds on the same barrel?

Yup...amazing isn't it? That's what a cold hammer forged barrel from M249 machine gun barrel steel to spec, and double thickness chrome-lining gets you. Like anything else, care, use and maintenance will affect the given user's actual barrel life.

CrippledPidgeon
11-06-2010, 10:13 AM
Well here's my thoughts on ARs.

When I bought my first, pretty much all the parts were from otherwise unknown manufacturers and it worked fine. Sure the trigger was crunchy and the carry handle made mounting optics pretty much hopeless, but it went bang when I wanted it to, and didn't have any feeding problems.

Ultimately though, I sold it because it didn't do what I wanted it to do.

The gun that I replaced it with is no more reliable (it's hard to be more than 100% reliable), and honestly was far more expensive than my first, but the gun's set up exactly how I want it, and I was able to save money where I didn't feel I needed top-shelf parts, and then splurged on the nicer parts that I wanted. And let me tell you, I don't regret buying that Geissele trigger one bit! :P

keson
11-06-2010, 2:47 PM
half year ago my budget for 1st rifle was $1000 including optic...

today I have ..

1.) $4000 KAC SR-15
2.) $4000 MK12 w/ Nightforce
3.) $4000 Remington 700 w/ Nightforce and AICS 2.0

and now I'm looking for a Nighthawk :p

GOD DAMN BLACK RIFLE DISEASE

only10x
11-06-2010, 3:37 PM
think the Japanese call it otaku ;)

gmcal
11-06-2010, 5:30 PM
half year ago my budget for 1st rifle was $1000 including optic...

today I have ..

1.) $4000 KAC SR-15
2.) $4000 MK12 w/ Nightforce
3.) $4000 Remington 700 w/ Nightforce and AICS 2.0

and now I'm looking for a Nighthawk :p

GOD DAMN BLACK RIFLE DISEASE

lol. I like how you do things.

1811
11-06-2010, 7:05 PM
Did someone say MPLA...

http://i625.photobucket.com/albums/tt332/1811-photos/3513a000-1.jpg

Boom!

Capita159
11-06-2010, 7:11 PM
half year ago my budget for 1st rifle was $1000 including optic...

today I have ..

1.) $4000 KAC SR-15
2.) $4000 MK12 w/ Nightforce
3.) $4000 Remington 700 w/ Nightforce and AICS 2.0

and now I'm looking for a Nighthawk :p

GOD DAMN BLACK RIFLE DISEASE

KAC is just too darn proud of their products. But if you can afford one, then I envy you. Just like how I envy the guy with the 2002 Trans Am WS6 when I had my 1969 Firebird 400RA, of coarse this was in 2002 :).

I also own a Remington 700 that I dump $4000.00 at. And come to think of it, I should've just bought one from HSPrecision instead of making it look like one.
My next bolt gun will be a .338Laupa HS rifle, and that budget will start at $6K.
Again and sorry, I still can't justify an AR15 going over $2500. It's just not worth it to me and not my cup of tea. However, I did build a LR-308/AR10 rifle that did cost me over $2500.00 without optics, but it's something else.

Thanks again for all the replies........

Darklyte27
11-06-2010, 7:37 PM
my great bang for the buck build was 900$ 16 inch carbine stag upper, stag lower, 2 stage trigger. then upgrades followed eotech, magpul furniture, about another 800$ I usually only use Iron sights on this and can group 5 inch groups at 100 yards

My precision AR's, Larue Stealth upper *$1200* with a 2stage trigger, magpul PRS stock, monopod is roughly $2200 with some cheaper optics.
Shoots half moa at 100 yards.

I do want to upgrade my optics though.

My stag model 6 is about the same without the fancy larue rail and bushnell 3200 optics and cost about $1100

TNP'R
11-06-2010, 8:08 PM
i want an ar-15 badly but they are out of my price range, and im not into building.

only10x
11-06-2010, 10:24 PM
'building' sounds intimidating and it is if your talking about a house :D, a lower receiver.. not so much. actually its more like buying a model car hobby kit just assemble.
dont need any serious tools for a lower, the upper is a different story, but then again doesnt make any sense if all you want is a plinking gun as there are alot of inexpensive ready to go uppers available.
read read read and buy slowly. you can find alot of parts on the cheap in our marketplace.
its an awesome platform and pretty cheap to shoot if you look for deals.

Average Joe American
11-06-2010, 11:16 PM
My grandfather killed alot of Japanese with a Garand (and no optics) that is considered decades obsolete as a battle rifle compared to the M4. Its not how much you spend on a gun, its your marksmanship that it will ultimately boil down to. Just get a decent gun and get good with it. Who cares what brand or how much you spent.

joelukehart
11-07-2010, 12:42 AM
Olympic AR15 paid $1200 in '97. 20 plus hi-cap magazines. $20 registration in 2000. Owning registered AW's= priceless.

Capita159
11-07-2010, 1:50 AM
Olympic AR15 paid $1200 in '97. 20 plus hi-cap magazines. $20 registration in 2000. Owning registered AW's= priceless.

That is priceless.
I wouldn't mind paying $2500 to use Dr.Brown's DeLorean to go back to 1997 and pick up more Armalites.

My grandfather killed alot of Japanese with a Garand (and no optics) that is considered decades obsolete as a battle rifle compared to the M4. Its not how much you spend on a gun, its your marksmanship that it will ultimately boil down to. Just get a decent gun and get good with it. Who cares what brand or how much you spent.

This has got to be the best reply on this thread.

themailman
11-07-2010, 7:58 AM
My grandfather killed alot of Japanese with a Garand (and no optics) that is considered decades obsolete as a battle rifle compared to the M4. Its not how much you spend on a gun, its your marksmanship that it will ultimately boil down to. Just get a decent gun and get good with it. Who cares what brand or how much you spent.

Thats got to be the most flawed arguement Ive seen so far. Im sure our great great grandfathers killed many Brits with their muskets, so why not take those to war. Weapons evolve, battlefields evolve. If you'd like to take an M1 Garand down to Marjah then be my guest, but haji will be in possession of your M1 by the end of an ambush. You see, when youre being ambushed, the only way to get out of it alive is to fight and manuever. The M1 Garand is obsolete because an 8 round internal magazine on a heavy *** long rifle will do nothing for you against RPGs, RPKs, and Ak47s. There is a reason why weapons evolve.

Who cares what brand you buy? Wow. Well, lets take a look at Hi Point vs Glock. DPMS vs Noveske. They arent just brand names that you pay for, you pay for quality materials and quality craftsmanship. Some people take firearm ownership seriously, those of us that rely on firearms to save our lives know that "a brand is a brand" is a good way to ftf your way into the grave.

And of course knowing how to manipulate your weapon is paramount. That arguement is again moot because thats common knowledge and not at all whats being discussed here. Common sense people...

bombadillo
11-07-2010, 8:32 AM
Regardless of the platform its going to be used for, I HAVE to have a decent trigger. A frank white, or RRA 2 stage is a must for what I prefer. Outside of that, I've seen guys with cheapo bottom feeder "target" uppers that are out shooting the high end custom made uppers with the krieger barrel, and everything built to their spec at the high power competition here. I haven't been a competitor yet mainly due to gear and not really being equipped properly. I have also seen high dollar uppers put down 1/4" 5 shot groups at a hundred all day too. Its all about what your purpose is and your budget.

Rob454
11-07-2010, 8:54 AM
The average person will NEVER run their gun through combat/ "run hard". The closest pretty much every member on here will come to is a competition or doing a full day of shooting at a range ( usually from a bench) if they even do either of those then the gun goes in a case then cleaned then back in a safe. Buying quality parts just gives you that piece of mind that the part passes certain requirements and it wasn't built by Bozo the clown in his basement. And as we all know even quality parts break. They just dont break as often as lower quality parts.
The round count IMO for the most part is inconsequential because it really doesn't mean a whole lot overall. The shape the gun is in makes more a difference IMO than how many rounds. If it has a shot out barrel most likely the exterior is worn also. if you ever bought or sold anything you will be able to tell if the gun is worn out. I dont keep track of total round count but I can give a round figure. I mean i have a few guns that literally shot 20-80 rounds out of it and the reason I remember that is because the gun ever came out of the safe again. but my shooters no I dont have a accurate round count cause i dont care to keep one.
I built a AR just because I wanted to know how to build one. other than that I have absolutely no need for a AR. The gun itself does nothing for me. Its nice dont get me wrong. I just dont get too excited over it.

Uriah02
11-07-2010, 9:56 AM
I just want to thank so many that have provided so much good information on this thread. I would like to get a new black rifle when I return to CONUS and frankly have so little experience with the technical side of these that I didn't know where to start. I think I have an idea now.

13204u
11-07-2010, 3:17 PM
Just to add to this convo. It seems as long as you pic an in spec lower, and lower parts kit, along with a good buffer tube, it all really comes down to which upper you choose. Alot of what is talked about as being essential is involved in the upper assembly. Correct me if I am wrong.

bombadillo
11-07-2010, 7:57 PM
Nope, you're right on the money. You could take the cheapest lower and put a good trigger and a quality upper and have it shoot sub MOA. You could also take the most expensive lower, slap on the cheapest blackthorne upper and have it shoot 4" or better with match ammo.

Average Joe American
11-09-2010, 5:36 PM
Thats got to be the most flawed arguement Ive seen so far. Im sure our great great grandfathers killed many Brits with their muskets, so why not take those to war. Weapons evolve, battlefields evolve. If you'd like to take an M1 Garand down to Marjah then be my guest, but haji will be in possession of your M1 by the end of an ambush. You see, when youre being ambushed, the only way to get out of it alive is to fight and manuever. The M1 Garand is obsolete because an 8 round internal magazine on a heavy *** long rifle will do nothing for you against RPGs, RPKs, and Ak47s. There is a reason why weapons evolve.

Who cares what brand you buy? Wow. Well, lets take a look at Hi Point vs Glock. DPMS vs Noveske. They arent just brand names that you pay for, you pay for quality materials and quality craftsmanship. Some people take firearm ownership seriously, those of us that rely on firearms to save our lives know that "a brand is a brand" is a good way to ftf your way into the grave.

And of course knowing how to manipulate your weapon is paramount. That arguement is again moot because thats common knowledge and not at all whats being discussed here. Common sense people...

Yeah? And your argument has to be the most flawed on this thread also. Why? Because its not grounded in reality. How many average Joe California citizens have you heard of being caught in an ambush against full auto AK47's and RPG's Marjah style right here in the beautiful Golden State of California? Or anywhere else in America? I know SWAT officers that have never been ambushed or engaged in a full day of combat shooting. The high risk warrant is served, shots are fired, (or often not fired) and the situation is done. Patrol cops and home invasion shootings have an even less time engaged in a fire fight. 7 minutes average I believe was the stats compiled by the FBI a few years ago.

The reality is that most folks dont need a $2000 gun to make them a solid shooter for self defense. What they need is a level head, training and a gun that is at least mid tier quality or higher. (no... model1, Hesse, Vulcan, HiPoint, Charter arms ect) Something that will not break in 7 minutes lol.

I agree, buying quality is best. I am dropping $500 on an Aimpoint in a few days, trust me I subscribe to the quality argument but the reality is that for "the average joe"... just learn to run what ya brung. Leave the mall ninja clamp ons at home and just be a decent marksman and learn some self defense shooting tactics. (scan for additional bad guys before you holster, stay out of the fatal funnel, dont clear your house by yourself if possible ect ect.)

626Tony
11-09-2010, 6:05 PM
for the dollar MP -15T

gmcal
11-09-2010, 8:52 PM
I thought I did a good job of showing that when comparing apples to
apples that there are "top tier" ar's available at a comparable price point to "mid tier" ar's. I also thought I did a good job of showing that 2k ar's are really 1000-1300 ar's with fancy upgrades like rails, stocks, triggers,
flip up sights, stainless barrels etc.

If you're considering a "mid tier" upper then BCM and DD are available for $60-$70 more. Do you need it? Maybe. Maybe not. But it's only $60-$70 dollars. If you want to save money somewhere get a stripped Stag lower and LPK and a milspec receiver extension and stock of your choice instead of one from a "top tier" manufacturer.

Forget about price. If you heard a bump in the night what ar would you rather have? One that is built with higher quaility materials and stricter QC, or one that isn't? It's not a matter of $800-$900 vs 2k. You can own a complete BCM or DD for $900-$1000, maybe less is you get BCM lower with a blemish. Or build your own lower with Stag componets and it's $60-$70 more. It's $60-$70. I keep repeating $60-$70 because some are not grasping that. It's only $60-$70 more.

rero360
11-09-2010, 9:28 PM
gmcal: I think you did a pretty good job. Let me try and help, I plan on building my next carbine, here is the build list in its current state, some adjustments may happen:

Upper:
BCM upper receiver, 16" midlength barrel, BCG, charging handle and gas tube
Larue Tactical 12" free float tube, QD sling mount and low profile gas block
AAC blackout muzzle brake
total cost for upper: $1,037.00

Lower:
JD Machine lower receiver
RRA lower parts kit
Magpul CRT stock, BAD lever, AFG, ASAP receiver end plate and MS3 sling (when they finally release it)
bullet button
Lower cost: $672.00

optics/irons:
USO SN-4S with red illumination, JPJ1 reticle (unless they are able to make the one I designed)
Badger Ordnance Max 50 rings (really only need one)
Troy folding BUIS
optics/irons total: $1870.00

For a grand total of $3,579.00 (not including S&H and DROS for the lower)

now if I didn't want all the extra stuff, to go cheap but still have a capable carbine I would get rid off all the extra magpul stuff minus the stock, replace the larue tube with a MOE stock, lose the scope, swap the gas block and front troy with a traditional front sight and I would have a total of :$1,400.00

Average Joe American
11-10-2010, 9:42 AM
To play devils advocate... my shotguns and handguns arent mil-spec, individually high pressure tested and magnetic particle inspected, shot peened, have carpenter 158 steel, or have 4150 chromoly vanadium steel ect ect.

If I had to use them to investigate a bump in the night... I feel 100% confident that my non-mil-spec shotgun or handgun will serve my intended purpose just fine. Just because a gun is not mil spec doesnt mean it will have a high probability of failing you in a home defense situation. (a 7 minute engagement) It may fail you in a combat situation in Iraq or A-stan but 99.9% of average Joe citizens will never experience that level of shooting.

That being said, if I were buying a new AR15...I'd still get a BCM or Spikes or DD since they are top tier at just a few dollars more than a S&W M&P or Stag or RRA. (which are mid tier) As mentioned by gmcal, its only about $70 more for the good stuff.

gmcal
11-10-2010, 3:22 PM
That's true but the process is a little different. For pistols the military tested several makes/models and chose those that performed the best. We can identify the Berretta M9, and a couple of models from SIG and H&K being reliable. Same with shotguns. There have been reports that small groups within the military that can chose what want to use having good success with certain model Glocks.

If the military held open tests where various AR15/M4/M16 makers could submit their rifles then we would more data on a brand by brand comparison to judge who/what is better. But we don't so we use who gets the closest to what the military wants as a benchmark.

I would also like to point out that your gun should not just be used when their is possible danger. You should practice and be proficient. Your gun should be able to handle that and be reliable when you need it.

Wherryj
11-10-2010, 3:38 PM
Buying premium components increases your chances of getting a great build - but does not guarantee it.

Buying a BMW is a better bet than an econo-box if you want a great car - that said, you can get a "lemon" from BMW, and have a car that is not any better than one that costs a fraction as much. AR builds are the same - in fact, you may do better with a less expensive build where you get some extra parts so you can test-fit them and choose the best matching set.

I agree with your premise, although not necessarily with your analogy. There is a chance to get a lemon with almost anything. Perhaps an expensive car is less likely due to more quality checks, but I suspect that the chances of getting a lemon with a 7 series is about the same as the chance of getting a lemon when you buy a Honda Civic.

What you get are better parts from the start. A BMW has better "tuning" via its design. You get more horsepower, more luxuries, etc. You pay for the better parts. Oh, and I can vouch that you will most likely have fewer problems with the cheaper Honda than the BMW. I have a Honda S2000 and a BMW 3 series. Even though the BMW isn't the most expensive model, it has been at the shop for electrical issues 5 or more times. Traction control circuit disable failure, numerous engine sensors...nothing serious but always expensive.

My S2000 is about a year older and has never needed anything except basic oil changes, etc. I can also suspect that you know which car gets driven harder.

If you are going to drive it to work in rush hour traffic, do you care which car pulls .5 more g's on a skidpad? Do you care which vehicle can accelerate 0-60 in 2 seconds less?

If you go to a Bondurant course, do you care?

For higher stress/higher performance use, the more expensive parts may mean better performance. For the average person, as you say, it may just be "bragging rights".

Capita159
11-10-2010, 5:10 PM
but why is a strip Noveske lower cost $100.00 or more than Spike's SL15, or Mega's Gator, JD machine, etc...???

bobfried
11-10-2010, 5:30 PM
but why is a strip Noveske lower cost $100.00 or more than Spike's SL15, or Mega's Gator, JD machine, etc...???

You mean $100 LESS?

That's what I paid for the last few I got ($0,000,000.00) from Noveske, though they were "supposedly" seconds I could not find a darn thing wrong with them.