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I have been thinking about picking up an ar-15 type gun before any new and more restrictive legislation may get here.

I want one for both a potential survival/defense rifle, and because I would enjoy owning one.

I want advice on what I should get. I am not looking for the very most expensive model I can get, But I want something that is good quality, from a good brand.

What brands and options should I consider?

do I want to get it in normal .223, or another caliber?

Thanks in advance for your advice.
 

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Son Of Liberty
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Best advice I have seen on the AR15.

Im barrowing this from a militia sight That I go to often. I agree with the author 100%


Quote:
There seems to be a large number of threads from patriots that are seeking to purchase/build an AR type rifle in some configuration. This post will provide most of the answers to those frequently asked questions.

No doubt this post will be somewhat controversial – as I will invariably step on toes in this process – and for that I apologize up front – but also note that I will not compromise my personal integrity by “holding back” on the truth.

Obviously this post will be focused on “tools” that one could trust one’s life too – this post will not cover AR’s that could be used as “toys” (fun guns for plinking/hunting/target shooting/etc.)

We will start with the characteristics of what it is we are looking for in an AR tool – then we will discuss the manufacturers that are making what we want – followed by those that are making close to what we want. If the manufacturer is not listed in this post – I will not trust my life to it – PERIOD. ALL other manufacturers – make “toys”.

The three MOST important parts of the AR are the barrel, bolt and bolt carrier. Consider this – the chamber pressure in an AR when it fires is 50,000 PSI – that is a force of TWENTY FIVE TONS per square inch - and this is near your face! We only want the highest quality parts to contain those high pressure explosions that occur every time we touch off a round.

OK – the barrel assy. We want:

1. Barrel made from 4150 steel
2. Chrome lined chamber and bore
3. 5.56mm chamber
4. Manganese Phosphate coating under the front sight base
5. Forged front sight assy
6. MagParticle inspected
7. 1x7” twist

The Bolt:

1. Buy the bolt from one of the Tier Three or above manufacturers listed below.

The Bolt Carrier:

1. MagParticle inspected
2. Covered Firing Pin
3. Solid “rear”
4. Properly staked gas key
5. Chrome lined “cylinder” (where the gas rings on the bolt interface with the bolt carrier)

Upper receiver:

1. Forged 7075 T6 construction (not cast)
2. Mil-Spec “true” M1913 rails (if flat top)
3. Mil-Spec anodizing AFTER M4 ramps are cut
4. Mil-Spec small parts (forward assist, ejection port cover, etc.)

Lower receiver:

1. Forged 7075 T6 construction
2. Mil-Spec internals (no “target” or “match grade” parts)



Now let’s look at manufacturers. There are only TWO manufacturers that are independently checked/tested to ensure they build “mil-spec” M series longarms (M16A2 and M4). These two manufacturers are Colt and FN. The US government inspectors ensure they build rifles to the spec.

There are other manufacturers that build to the “mil-spec” – but they do so willfully – and are not independently inspected to the spec. Some manufacturers build to the exact spec – some build to portions of the spec – some don’t build to the spec at all.

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

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

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

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

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

1. CMMG
2. Sabre Defense (this information is confirmed for their "government contour" barrels only)

Tier Four are companies that have 1x7" chrome lined, 5.56 chambers, Proof and Mag Particle every barrel, but do not Parkerized under the Front Sight Base.

1. LMT (Lewis Machine and Tool)

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

1. Bushmaster

Tier Six

This company USED to be in the next Tier down - but is has broken from the pack below and now uses 4150 steel barrels - chrome lined. To my knowledge they don't "proof" their barrels, batch or individually - so they aren't quite up with BM - but - they are better than they were!

1. Armalite


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


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

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

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

Buy ANY stripped lower receiver made by any Tier 6 and above manufacturers.

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

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

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

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

Hope this helps,

cheers

tire iron

edited on Jany 16 2007 in blue

edited on March 14, 2007 in green

edited on April 12, 2007 in orange
 
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Alert Today~Alive Tmrrw
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Best advice I have seen on the AR15.
AR15.com isn't a militia site :cool:
All of the things mentioned in the link are true.


A couple of important things you should know when looking for a suitable AR-platform to match your needs:

  • 1:7 rifling twist barrel ~ to stabilize bullets heavier than 55gr.
  • flattop A3/M3 receiver ~ enabling your choice of open sights or optics
  • 5.56 chamber ~ ability to use military-grade 5.56 ammo and .223
  • chrome-lined barrel and chamber ~ prevent malfunctions, facilitate easier cleaning, longer barrel life, and better corrosion resistance

Avoid Star, Vulcan, and Hesse Arms made AR-manufactures, as they are verified rubbish.

Exclusively use GI magazines for proper function:
  • USGI
  • D&H
  • C Products
  • PMI
  • Colt
  • H&K
Avoid USA brand, Mec-Gar, or any bargain magazines of unknown origin. A reliable magazine is 50% part of keeping your AR malfunction-free!
 

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I never saw anything about ar15.com. I believe he is talking about a different site.

5.7mm

AR15.com isn't a militia site :cool:
All of the things mentioned in the link are true.


A couple of important things you should know when looking for a suitable AR-platform to match your needs:

  • 1:7 rifling twist barrel ~ to stabilize bullets heavier than 55gr.
  • flattop A3/M3 receiver ~ enabling your choice of open sights or optics
  • 5.56 chamber ~ ability to use military-grade 5.56 ammo and .223
  • chrome-lined barrel and chamber ~ prevent malfunctions, facilitate easier cleaning, longer barrel life, and better corrosion resistance

Avoid Star, Vulcan, and Hesse Arms made AR-manufactures, as they are verified rubbish.

Exclusively use GI magazines for proper function:
  • USGI
  • D&H
  • C Products
  • PMI
  • Colt
  • H&K
Avoid USA brand, Mec-Gar, or any bargain magazines of unknown origin. A reliable magazine is 50% part of keeping your AR malfunction-free!
 

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I must have gotten lucky. I've got a Vulcan. It was all I could afford at the time, but it has worked well for me. The only jam I've had with it was when I tried to bump fire a 40 rnd mag. It jammed after 35. Shooting normally, it never jams, and shoots strait. I kind of wish that I had saved up a little more for something better, but this works for now.
 

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"Dolt"
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Opinions are like butt holes ... we all have one and they all stink.

Colt first
BM 2nd
RRA 3rd
Cav Arms close 4th if not tie for 3rd

Id stay away from all others, but thats just my humble opinion.
 

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Da BADDEST MoFo!!
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RRA all you need to know =)

You put Colt over RRA??? youve lost your mind. Colt is the most over rated junk on the AR market. RRA or Bushmaster would be the top to on my list even tied for first. followed by DPMS and Olyarms. Colt and S&W would be below the bottom of the stack... not even in the running
 

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Im going to agree with doc and beaterar's post.

Colt is above RRA simply because it is a Mil-spec manufacturing company. Some Colt rifles are not mil-spec. I lump the non milspec into the same quality as RRA.

Mine is a frankensten M4, but it works.

My advice is research, decide what you can afford and buy it. If you dont like it resell and start over.

5.7mm

RRA all you need to know =)

You put Colt over RRA??? youve lost your mind. Colt is the most over rated junk on the AR market. RRA or Bushmaster would be the top to on my list even tied for first. followed by DPMS and Olyarms. Colt and S&W would be below the bottom of the stack... not even in the running
 

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This is I believe the ONLY Mil-Spec Colt AR available to Civilians. I have been thinking of getting one of these instead of a Rock River Arms AR.

http://www.colt.com/law/lecarbine.asp (Model: LE6920)

So far I have found them NIB (new in box) from $1200.00 and up on Gun Broker, and Guns America.

http://www.gunbroker.com/Auction/ViewItem.asp?Item=91888659

(Search for Colt LE6920, or Colt M4, usually the same results show up for both inquiries)


Some Colt rifles are not mil-spec.
5.7mm

Totally correct. You wanna stay away from their "Target" and "Match" rifles, those are the ones NOT made to Tier-1 Mil-Spec.
 

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What / Who / Where is the militia site? What's the URL? Hook a brother up... :cool:
 

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Founder
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Last I heard, Colt stopped selling AR-15s to the civilian market years ago. Things might have changed since last I heard.

But when I heard that colt was no longer going to sell to "regular people" screw em. Even if colt does sell to the public now, their past actions were a slap in the face to everyone that wanted to buy an AR-15.


Even as far back as 2002 Colt had stopped selling the AR-15 to the public

May, 2002 by Massad Ayoob
http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m3197/is_5_47/ai_87027403/pg_1
Colt's reserves its AR-15s for law enforcement.
Colt firearms is a traitor to the gun owning public. Any company that does not sell its firearms should be boycotted to financial death.

I can not even believe that people still recommend colt ar15s?? Colt slaps the public in the face, and people go back for more??

Do not ever buy a colt, any kind of colt - EVER.
 

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Good Bye
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Ugh, me hates 5.56! Give me a RRA lar-8, and i'm happy.
 

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In a pile of brass
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i would bet a bushmaster, i love them the most of any gun ive ever shot, but i havent shot a big variety of guns like some of the people here ,123, becasue im a "poser"...but you should look at the bushmasters, they have a great selection.
 

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Son Of Liberty
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Bushmaster just earned a NAVY contract so they will soon join the ranks of other makers that produce an actual MIL-SPEC weapon. They also earned teh contract to build the MASADA so we may soon see Bushmaster as a serious firearms contender. Keep your eyes on them, they are about to become HUGE.
 

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Bushmaster just earned a NAVY contract so they will soon join the ranks of other makers that produce an actual MIL-SPEC weapon. They also earned teh contract to build the MASADA so we may soon see Bushmaster as a serious firearms contender. Keep your eyes on them, they are about to become HUGE.
Im definitely keeping my eyes on that Masada. You know Bushmaster is officially selling it as the Bushmaster ACR Rifle. And the best part is, its due out in a few months! :D
 

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Elitist Gun Snob
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I'd go Bushmaster all the way! With Federal XM193 ammo, I get a 1/2 group at 100 yards easy.

Out of what you may be considering from Beat's post, it's the most economical and bang-for-your-buck way to go.
 

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Son Of Liberty
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KEV
Colt firearms is a traitor to the gun owning public. Any company that does not sell its firearms should be boycotted to financial death.

I can not even believe that people still recommend colt ar15s?? Colt slaps the public in the face, and people go back for more??

Do not ever buy a colt, any kind of colt - EVER
Ruger did simular, bill ruger helped write the assualt weapons ban, he did so in a way that would exclude the mini-14 so that he could make huge profits. He dident deny to sell us one of his guns, he made it illegal to buy every other gun.

As well S&W agreed to keep records of all handgun purchases that could be used by the police and ATF. After the American public threated to boycot they reversed there decision.

SO add S&W and Ruger to the list of Tratiors.
 

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Elitist Gun Snob
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Very true Beaterar! I actually have that nag in the back of my head every time I purchase or look at possibly purchasing a Ruger rifle. They are just so well built and reasonably priced that I have to overlook that slap in the face and spit on my back from Bill Ruger. Hard to do, but since S&W don't and never will get my business, nor does Colt, I figure 2 out of 3 ain't bad....
 
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