The true cost of your rifle must take into account many more factors than the base cost of the rifle on the day you bought it. Add a few thousand rounds of ammunition and then think about how silly it is to be looking to save money on the rifle cost by buying on the low-end. Never could understand that logic... You will spend many times more on ammunition than you will on a rifle... or you ought to... so buy a good one and shoot it a lot.
I have a 16" Rock River that I like. Admittedly, I bought it before I knew better. The gas key was not staked properly but that was only 10 minutes with a hammer and punch. The castle nut wasnít staked at all but that wasnít a hindrance because I immediately replaced the stock with a VLTOR.
Is it as good as Colt, BCM, etc? No.
What I like about it is with the 1:9 barrel itís very accurate with most 55g FMJ loads, which is what I shoot the most of. Occasionally, itís gratifying to shoot tiny groups off the bench. Itís been 100% reliable. No malfunctions or issues in slightly over 4,000 rounds.
I also have a LMT Defender and a BCM upper on a Spikes lower that would be more appropriate for defensive applications.
When I made my first appearance on here, I was directed to the threads that taught me about staking, and many other potential flaws of my new beauty. Now I've learned where problems might show, and I am most definitely more educated about modern AR manufacturers.
Also, the idea of "how long does it take to replace the bolt and carrier?" has little to do with time, itís mostly about quality, and a little to do with price. Buying a $1000 BM off the shelf, and then throwing a $130 BCG from BCM puts you just a few dollars shy of the whole BCM rifle. Why not get the better gun?
I wish I knew that BCM was a higher quality rifle. When I got my BM I thought BCM was still just making uppers. (I was a teeny bit blind to all the different manufacturers at the time)
I guess what I'm trying to say is, as a Bushmaster owner I have received no negative comments, insults or anything of the sort. Just suggestions.
well, shuck's folks...
i threw a 20'' apex m16 pencil barrel on a dsa A3 upper, and a cheap aluminum free floating handguard , single rail gas block' n' an a DD 1.5 buis.
plum crazy lower n' a old A1 stock. super light ! but b4 i knew any better, i bought a BCM bolt carrier group' auto carrier at that !
silly thing shoots like gang busters !!
hasen't failed yet. seems to be pretty reliable. guess i did good with the bcm bcg.
i started this life with nothing.....kept most of it.
Neither of the 2 ARs I own are 'upper tier'/left-side-of-the-chart rifles. For what I use them for, they are just fine. I am learning to tinker on them, and as relatively inexpensive rifles, I don't mind if I goof up something....kinda like owning an AMC Gremlin and working on the engine (not saying that I have done this, but, you know, just sayin'....). I will own, or more likely build, a 'better' AR some day, but for now, I really don't need to.
I understand and very much appreciate the reason for The Chart, and look to it often as I tinker and upgrade; really no different than what I do when I read Consumer Reports or go to CNET when I shop for a new widget. I understand that my rifles are not as quality as some others (but are better than some), as I am an informed consumer and made my purchases with knowledge afore.
Last edited by chuckman; 11-19-10 at 11:59.
Besides coming to a guy's house, grabbing the scruff of his neck, and forcing him to read it, how do you suggest we "force" him to "not throw the baby out with the was water."
In reality, I think a bunch of the folks you describe realize that replacing the BCG is NOT enough to make their lower tier AR as reliable as they'd like. Because just replacing the BCG is not.
And once they get done paying for all the upgrades necessary, they realize that selling their lower tier gun and buying a new one is CHEAPER!!!!!!
My Oly is better than anything else because it was assembled by a Hero (SSG Hawes,Sniper, awarded Silver Star during Battle of Gowerdesh) who sold it to my Wife, who presented it to me when I returned from Overseas. It then was used to build my skill set from 10-400 yards.
Way I figure it that means more than whoever made the parts.
I am currently the Senior Marksmanship Instructor for the 10th Mountain Divisions Light Fighters School.
Sionics Weapon Systems AR15 Armorer.
"A firearm should be considered a fighting weapon first. Any other use should be considered a bonus." -Me
Click here for Semper Paratus Arms AR15 armorer schedule/locations.
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I am affiliated and work with SIONICS Weapon Systems in Tucson, AZ
I know. I had to try.
I am currently the Senior Marksmanship Instructor for the 10th Mountain Divisions Light Fighters School.
Sionics Weapon Systems AR15 Armorer.
I'll give the original intent of this thread a shot.
In 2006, I bought my first AR for $525. It was a well-worn parts rifle from my local pawn shop. It featured a PWA preban lower, unknown LPK, and a 16" A1 upper marked with Martin Marietta forge marks. The semi-auto carrier was not staked at all. The extractor spring insert was blue and very beat up.
It had frequent failures to feed with the Wolf steel case ammo I was feeding it. With the few boxes of brass-cased ammo I fed it, it ran well.
I mostly got to practice FTF and FTE drills with it until I sold the stripped preban lower for $475 to a guy in CT, leaving me with a complete rifle kit less stripped lower, and only $50 down from my original outlay.
I bought a new Stag lower receiver for $89 and my local semi-retired FFL/gunsmith spent an enjoyable evening teaching me how to install the LPK. The resulting build ran a few boxes of brass ammo well, and surprisingly, seemed to run Wolf better than the old build, which I do not understand since it was the same BCG and upper. I meant to keep it, but 2 years later, I just sold it for $500.
So yes, I bought a cheap parts rifle that lacked most of the features on The Chart. However, it was a great learning experience that ended up being relatively profitable, and I was able to identify the attributes that I wanted on my "good" rifle. I have been very happy with the LMT lower and BCM middy upper I had purchased since (with research from this site and The Chart) and had no further need for the A1 Stag build.
Last edited by tradja; 11-24-10 at 21:25.
This is precisely what cheap guns are good for. The problem is, you have to get them cheap, or there is really no reason to waste the money.Originally Posted by tradja;824680In 2006, I bought my first AR for $525. It was a well-worn parts rifle from my local pawn shop. It featured a PWA preban lower, unknown LPK, and a 16" A1 upper marked with Martin Marietta forge marks. The semi-auto carrier was not staked at all. The extractor spring insert was blue and very beat up.
I've owned a bunch of $500 ARs prior to seeing the light, and after selling them, am really not out a bunch of money. However, I wouldn't depend on them for anything serious.
But there is a difference in buying a $500 plinker and knowing so, and spending $1000 on a Bushmaster and thinking you have something good there.
Last edited by 120mm; 11-26-10 at 03:26.
The classified ad ran in Saturday's paper. Saturday morning, I got a call before breakfast asking about the rifle. He was disappointed that it was an A1 16". He was looking for a varmint/coyote gun and spent much of the conversation trying to convince himself that it could be one.
The next caller was also looking for a varmint/coyote gun, but once we met up FTF, the excitement of having an AR in his hands clearly got the best of him and, after a weak lowball attempt that I politely brushed away, he bought it anyway, intending to sell off the upper and put a varmint upper on it. Never mind that it has a 4-position stock and a decent but not precision trigger. I observed the allure of the EBR -- it didn't really suit his needs, but he HAD to have an AR. Perhaps anyAR.
The rest of this week, I have received more than a dozen calls about the AR. Even when I politely explain that it is gone, they want to know all about it. Even my neighbor did, who works at a big box bubba store. He really seemed disappointed that a $500 AR got away under his nose.
When presenting their reason for seeking an AR, most of the callers produced some vague anti-POTUS slogans, but the idea of fighting with an AR, at least absent a benchrest, seemed quite foreign to them and in any event inferior to a .308 or .30-06.
I had 350rds of Wolf 55gr for sale as well. Just this afternoon before turkey, I met up with an older gentleman (former USAF and LEO, and a reloader) who bought the Wolf ammo for his Oly despite being disappointed that my $500 AR was gone. During our discussion, I mentioned selling this gear and ammo to fund further classes:
"Oh, like competition classes? Like IPSC?"
"Not exactly. Defensive shooting classes."
"How to fight with a rifle."
"No. The ones I've been to are mostly about home and self defense and running the rifle efficiently."
"Oh, you mean that survivalist stuff."
I'm not really sure what survivalists are into. Probably DPMS. Or SKS.
Commenting that I seemed to know a little more about the platform than your average central Oregon rockchuck blaster, he sincerely asked me about his son's plans to:
-- purchase a .50 Beowulf upper, a round developed and currently employed by SOCOM because the Taliban routinely shake off multiple .223 (sic) hits.
-- replace his Bushy's buffer spring with an unspecified pneumatic gizmo. Apparently the sprooinnngg really bothers his son. I replied that I had never tried such a device, but it seemed to me to be fixing something that isn't really broken.
My point, such as it is, is that this week with my $500 AR ad, I've seen that the allure of $500 ARs is strong here in Bubbaville Oregon. As I type this, there are legions of bubbas lined up in the snow in the dark to snatch up whatever doorbuster AR is offered at the bubba box store. (ok, I just checked the flier for the first time. They have Federal Bulk Pack .22LR for $12.88. I'm there.)
Will the $599 doorbuster blast coyotes? I bet it will.
Will it look cool to your B-I-L on the tailgate of your Chevy next Labor Day out at the cinder pit? Yes.
Can you accessorize it like a grown-up Lego set with gonzo bolt-ons? Sure. I went through this phase too.
And that is all that many AR owners seem to require of their rifles. For these entirely legitimate purposes, I would argue, "right Chart" rifles are as good as anything else.
I'm really not trying to be any kind of snob, or certainly a koolaid drinker. I have a very modest LMT/BCM/EoTech rig that currently sports a 2 point sling handcrafted from a seatbelt out of a '85 Datsun. My post probably appears to disparage bubbas, but that is not my intent or the point. As a result of fiddling around with my $525 pawnshop AR for 2 years, I'd discovered that I really wanted a rig suitable for as many classes as I can afford to attend. That identified purpose simply led me to a different rifle than those with other goals.
ETA: I wonder what kind and number of callers I would have gotten if I had a 6920 or Noveske in my ad, for an appropriate price?
Last edited by tradja; 11-26-10 at 07:44.
It's very interesting to read everyone's opinion on what is the best rifle on the market. However, much of it seems to be based on theory rather than statistical data. Statements like "the RRA or the Stag rifles suck" really don't "git 'er done." Or, a statement like "one of my friends owns a XYZ rifle and it's a piece of crap," doesn't give one anything of value. One needs much more statistical data to make a reasonable judgment.
If someone would like to do a research project that would really be of high value, why not try to gather the "failure rate" data from the various manufacturers? All of them seem to offer a "lifetime warranty," so they should know how many returns there have been, and what the failure was. Then, it's simple to work out a percentage for the failure rate of the different components. That would really be valuable information. If that has already been done, sorry that I missed it, again.
Just my thoughts, but whether or not a particular company has staked the key properly, or has built certain components from a certain grade of steel is extremely interesting, and useful, but it may, in fact, bear little relation to what is actually happening out where the "rubber meets the road." Actually, one of the most highly respected builders of complete M-16 bolts, as used my Les Bauer and others custom builders, is Young Manufacturing. Here is their take on staking the bolt key. Guess they have an opinion, too. Who knows?
"Staking the gas key on the AR-15 and M-16 carrier.
There has been a lot of talk about the pros and cons of staking the gas key on the carrier. Here is our opinion and why Young Manufacturing will not stake keys. We have been making carriers since 1991. The US Mil Spec. assembly drawing requires the carrier key to be staked. Contrary to some popular opinions staking does not ďSEALĒ the gas key. Staking keeps the screws from backing out Period. If you do not properly torque the screws to 56 inch pounds you will be staking a screw that is loose or one that is over torqued and prone to breakage. We have seen plenty of staked screws that are loose or broken. The Mil Spec. also calls for the gas key bottom surface to be ďSEALEDĒ with Permatex gasket sealer. Something no one does to our knowledge. Here is our procedure for installing a gas key. First clean the oil from the gas key and the mating surface on the carrier. Then clean the oil from the screw threads. We use break cleaner for this. Next use a very light coating of Permatex high strength thread locker gel on the bottom of the key. PN 27010. This is much easier to use than the Permatex gasket sealer. It comes in a plastic twist dispenser. Make sure you donít use so much that it squishes into the gas port hole. The cure rate is 60 minutes. Next coat the screw threads with the same gel. Install the key and torque the screws to 56 inch pounds. Should you decide to remove the key for some reason donít use the old screws when you put the key back on! You will most likely break them during installation or when you fire the rifle. Go to the local hardware store and buy new 10-32 x ľĒ SHCS. If you feel the need to stake the screws spend the money and get one of the staking tools from Brownell that uses a screw type system to swedge the material into the top of the screw. Donít use a hammer and a punch! You can stretch the thread on the screw and now you have a loose screw that will eventually break if the gun even fires. We will not warrantee a carrier with a staked key no matter who staked it. You will be charged for a new key and any labor required to remove broken screws.
Daniel H Young
P.S. I'm not trying to be argumentative, I'm not taking sides, and I'm not attacking anyone else's opinion. Granted, as a Vietnam era C-130 pilot the M-16 was not my official combat weapon. Our issued weapon was a revolver or pistol (the 1911 rules) and forget the Beretta. However, note that I would never go into any armed intervention with only one weapon, or even two, if I were given the choice. Sounds reasonable to me for one to be well prepared whenever he or she is playing the game of "you bet your butt." I'm much like the current advertisement on television, where the guy lays down his dozen or so personal weapons. Yes, a reliable rifle would be my first choice, then a grenade (or sixty), a pistol, a "Rambo" knife, and, finally, some really good running shoes...if all else fails. Trying to keep things a tad light, here.
Whatever floats one's boat is fine with me. Each to his own. "Carry on. But, I will not be in the area all day." ;-)
"Very sorry that I didn't read all of the ten zillion posts on this topic. I'll try to do better in the future. However, at my age I can't promise. I do find all of these posts particularly interesting since I am, most likely, the first person on this board to fire the weapon which was to become the M-16. We thought that the USAF had lost its mind since it was such a departure from the Garand, the M14, and/or the M1 Carbine, etc."
Just because you shot the weapon that became the M16 doesn't mean you know much about it. If you were to speak about flying a C130 in Vietnam I am sure many of us would be interested in what you had to say.
The reason many people come here is to learn about the M4. No one is here to make you read or belive anything. Not many will want to listen to your foolish statements either.
Last edited by usmcvet; 11-27-10 at 17:43. Reason: add quotes
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