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AR's are not legos!

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  • AR's are not legos!

    The more I check into the platform I'm starting to understand they are not "Mil-Spec" with all parts interchangeable. I am thrifty in purchases but I also want quality. Looking over the brands and seeing the different options in todays market I believe the AR is kind of like a fad. Where bubba joe builds his bad mamajama or company X charges a premium for bulk purchased overruns that were not within specs.

    It seems to me that while some may have great luck building a good AR from parts, it would be worth the extra money to purchase a brand that has a solid reputation. Before anyone says COLT don't bother I will not do business with a company that treats their clients as criminals. I will never forgive them for the Green label switch to Blue label because they thought people could alter the weapon to a fully automatic firearm.

    Having said that and looking at how some companies use quality control to produce a good firearm while others do non destructive tests on everything that comes through their production line and still others use "Batch Testing" where a few here and there are "Stress Tested" to see if the product has problems.

    I want to know opinions on a good quality AR that won't cost me an arm and a leg. (Thinking Daniel Defense here) some say it is the best but at 2K I just cant do that. I'm not looking for a 'Sniper rifle" or a super seal mini hide away AR. I will not purchase a firearm without iron sights and hate rails so do not present any of the inspector gadget models.

    A1 full rifle 21" what is the best one for the least $

    M-4 16" with 6 position stock.

    10.5 or 12" pistol platform I may accept the stable brace but can see them becoming regulated just because that is all Washington can do.
    Call me John, just an old man with opinions.

  • #2
    You can buy a Colt LE6920 for around $900. In fact, there is one on Gunbroker right now for $850.

    No idea why you'd consider Daniel Defense if you don't want a rail, since that's the company's signature product....

    as for sights, you do know you can add those yourself right?

    I know you didn't want to hear Colt, but honestly I don't care. You asked for mil-spec that's cheap, that's Colt.

    You can try CMMG if you want. Pretty good stuff and nice selection.


    • #3
      I understand the fandom and my opinions are not really that important but I have been looking for a good price with the best options. I just don't have lots of exposure when it comes to brands.

      I know about Bushmaster - now owned by Remington and they have 0 QC and don't even batch test. I now about DPMS and they have good prices but their barrels are not chrome lined I think and the same goes for S&W (FWIW it will be a cold day in Obama's closet before I ever purchase from them - same for Ruger not going to reestablish ties with companies that have screwed gun owners at every turn by making deals with the devil)

      In chrome lined I can get a NIB STAG A2 for under $650 and I think they might be ok but with only 1 review I'm not jumping in with both feet. Windham arms is 1100 for their A2 and someone here pointed out they don't use the flat recoil buffer tubes so it's not actually milspec. Deton had an A2 for $399, then Anderson A2's for $550. (All barrels were 20" not 21 so there may not be a 21" model I'm not sure)

      I guess a mid rang gas tube in the M4 is what I want for the longer sight base not the super ops stubby.

      The weird thing in all of the brands mentioned that I have been researching is their pistols are more expensive than the rifles I don't get it.

      I have seen the build-a-bear AR's which is why I commented on the intollerances of different brands that claim to be within the military specs. I figured I could get 80%'s and then purchase uppers and use a higher end AR as the pattern for drilling holes but some of the 80% units are rejects from the production lines and they are not allowed through the next stage of development. That's why there are no names stamped or completed turns those are "Blemished" lowers.
      Call me John, just an old man with opinions.


      • #4
        You are practically asking for the impossible. No Colt, no rails and iron sights, under $2000 but want a high quality product that does comprehensive testing on its product.

        Aero Precision, POF maybe.

        I'd BUILD a pistol. You say that you hate rails but the new monolithic uppers have a rail on just the top OR they have no rails but slots (M-lok, key-lok, etc..) so that you can place an accessory where you want it without having full rails in the way.

        No matter what, I'd build! You save a lot of $$ and get exactly what you want.
        10.5" barrel
        Either a blade brace or one of the new lever adjustable arm braces. I actually love the new HOOK that's out there, but they don't have an adjustable version yet.
        Maybe a Magpul grip and/or handguard.
        Chrome colored bolt carrier

        Do a Google image search for AR15 pistols for ideas.

        The rusty wire, that holds the cork, that keeps the anger in, gives way...


        • #5
          Interchangeability and Milspec are not the same thing. I have multiple ARs and none of them are milspec but all of their parts will interchange. Just pretend that word is meaningless and go look at rifles and find one you like with the features that you want and buy it.

          Many non milspec parts are superior to the milspec counterpart.

          DPMS makes a lot of chrome lined barrels. They just don't offer it on their cheap models like the Oracle.

          If you want to build your own for the first time, get a %100 lower from a decent company. I like Aero. They are $79 at my local gun store and I have never had any issues with one.


          • #6
            Thanks guys I have never heard of Aero and will check them out. I guess I could go with the top rail for flip up sights on the pistol. I'm seeing ATI and BMAS brands that are metal, there are a few sight systems with low light capability but dang they cost as much as the full rifle. Windham has a synthetic pistol blend of carbon fiber that has a nice price tag $399 and that's the least expensive I have found.
            Call me John, just an old man with opinions.


            • #7
              Keep in mind that Windham Weaponry is the same people that owned Bushmaster originally. After Cerebos bought them out and moved everything to Illian, NY, the original owner restarted under the new name.

              Palmetto State Armory is a good company as well, despite their low cost.
              "SI *VIS *PACEM, *PARA *BELLUM"
              MOLON LABE!


              • #8
                Since you seem to know more what you do not want vs what you do, simply list I don't want brand X,Y, or Z. Then add to that ATI, Anderson, PSA Freedom (other fine), Windham, Olympic, Bushmaster DPMS, Armalite, etc....rule out the lower end of the spectrum entirely.....then you're left with still a huge list to choose among. From what you've written so far, Stag, Rock River, or PSA premium (CMV or CHF) probably about right and still not crazy $$$. Or go up a step in $ to Daniel Defense, Midwest Industries, or Bravo Company, or another rung to LWRC or LMT, or......there's countless folks making ARs and pretty hard to get it wrong - even a $379 ATI is gonna run and probably do <3MOA on bulk FMJ ammo. When you set $2k as the ceiling that really includes just about anything other than stuff like Noveske, Larue, Wilson Combat....
                They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.<br /><br />-- Benjamin Franklin


                • #9
                  Milspec is made by the lowest bidder. Remember that.
                  [I]Peace Through Strength, Victory Through Devastation...Strategic Air Command[/I]

                  American by birth, made from German parts from Emmingen, Baden-Württemberg

                  An unhappy German is a Sour Kraut!

                  Das Leben ist zu kurz, um billiges Bier zu trinken!


                  • #10
                    Herr Walther is correct!

                    Mil Spec is the lowest quality that the Gov't will accept!


                    • #11
                      Mil Spec is usually just simple things like a finish that repels wear, weather, and abuse to a specific point.
                      It's things like accessory rails that are specific measurements as to be universal.

                      The rusty wire, that holds the cork, that keeps the anger in, gives way...


                      • #12
                        How about FN. They build milspec rifles and carbines. Thx-Ace


                        • #13
                          What did you end up building?

                          MIL SPEC just means it meats the military specification called out in the requirement document. It dates back to WWII, thanks to Dr Demming, quality and design standards established so 100 companies can make the same part and they can be swapped around and work. The "MIL SPEC" M4 barrel may be identical to the non-chrome lined version of the same. It may be the same barrel made in the same factory and tooling but it is not CL so it is not MIL SPEC. Does not mean it is not a good barrel. Anyone can call their stuff MIL SPEC if it meets the specifications. We could technically rule out ALL AR15s as MIL SPEC if you wanted to focus only on the trigger group.

                          As for Colt selling out, go back in time and look at the politics of the day. Go back to the 1960s even. That SP1 carrier was different. The lower was different. The front pin was different. They built M16s for the government and their civilian version was always different in some way. The DIAS and LL, Colt's desire to have a civilian version of the AR15 and a government contract tied to the pressure of the gun lobby of the day drove them to make a product that met the civilian demand and protected them from liability and the possible loss of a contract. So, go under or do what you can to meet the needs of the consumer and your government contracts. Oly Arms, Bushmaster, Eagle and the small guys like Essential Arms, PWA, Sendra/NESARD and so on may have been more milspec but they sold guns by the hundreds or thousands. Not one of those companies had a single bit of concern about changing the pin size or putting in a DIAS block because they had no reason to. They were not Colt and had zero risk of getting canned on contracts. They were just little AR companies selling a gun that nobody really had much interest in. You go into a store and could buy a $100 SKS, $300 AK or a $600 AR. None were flying off the shelves. They got popular when the government said you could not have one. I have $2 that says if the 89 Bush ban and 93 Clinton bans had not happened, you'd still have the same small companies and not the endless supply of AR stuff we have today. Do I support those bans? Nope but they did bring us to where we are now.
                          There is no I' n team!
                          There are three types of people in the world: 1. Those that can count. 4. Those that can't.
                          So, am I your man Mr. Dumbass? The name, is Dumaas!


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by acem View Post
                            How about FN. They build milspec rifles and carbines. Thx-Ace
                            FN makes some good stuff. Have pulled many a FN rifle out of the box new during equipment fieldings over the years. The first FN M16A2 I shot was in 1996 when I was stationed in FL. Good guns.
                            Last edited by Vulcan; February 22, 2020, 03:28.
                            There is no I' n team!
                            There are three types of people in the world: 1. Those that can count. 4. Those that can't.
                            So, am I your man Mr. Dumbass? The name, is Dumaas!


                            • #15
                              Yea.........with that platform being around for about a half century now..........quality has been "watered down" by a lot! Everyone and their second Cousin has an AR factory in their Barn now..........

                              You want to dip into the old "good stuff" now, be prepared to have a fat wallet!
                              And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgement was given unto them: and I saw the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God, and which had not worshipped the beast, neither his image, neither had received his mark upon their foreheads, or in their hands: and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years. Rev. Chap.20 Vs.4)