AR15.Com Archives
 "Best" Brand of AR, Forged vs. Cast uppers etc.
mn227  [Member]
12/29/2002 2:57:32 PM
Sorry I am too lazy to read all previous posts to find out myself!

I am hoping someone can either tell me, or direct me to, a good resource for comparing the AR-15 brands. I am mostly looking at carbines and will not be needing all of the "target" features.

I would like to know what brands are good quality, best manufacturing/materials on uppers and lowers, and come with good barrels.

Price is not the #1 concern.

Any info is greatly appreciated.

Thanks!
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W-W  [Team Member]
12/29/2002 3:16:21 PM
ArmaLite
knightone  [Team Member]
12/29/2002 3:21:14 PM
90% of all forged receivers start out the smae way in the same place. The mark of quality is in the machining, finishing and fitting of the receivers. Bushmaster, Armalite, and Rock River Arms are above and beyond the best out there right now. DPMS and Colt would be next after the first three. Olympic would follow on very closely to them (Olympic also forges and casts their own receivers). Cast receivers are inherently not as strong as a forged receiver. Most likely you will not know the difference. There have been a few examples of cast receivers breaking apart due to bad cstings. These situations occur only in 1 out of a coupla thousand. The chances it would happen are slim. One of my AR's is cast and It has worked just fine even though I abuse it severely. It does have a rougher finish, but i am not sure if it is because it is a casting or that it just wasn't smoothed out in order to save cost and labor. If cost is not an issue, look at Bushmaster (they are the only ones offering barrels in 4150 steel, chrome lining is standard, and standard models use 5.56mm milspec NATO chamber/match rifles will use .223) first, then Rock River (4140 barrel steel and chrome lining only offered as option on M4 type barrels). If you just want to plop down a big wad of cash, look at Armalite (4140 barrel steel, chrome lining available, however they only offer .223 chambers). All three are good they only use forged receivers, and the fit and finish is superb.
AKsRule  [Team Member]
12/29/2002 3:25:04 PM
Well at least read this for an overview-- [url]http://groups.msn.com/TheMarylandAR15ShootersSite/recomendationsrifles.msnw[/url]
HenryBowman2  [Member]
12/29/2002 3:41:27 PM
I can only speak from personal experience concerning Bushmaster and American Spirit Arms. My Bushy Shorty AK has been perfect for me. It is well-made and -finished. It's function has been flawless in 4 years and (approximately) 5000 rounds. Zero failures. It's tight and right and hits where I aim it every time. It is the one rifle I will never trade. I have only a few weeks experience with a new American Spirit Arms rifle. The lower is nicely turned out, slightly better finished than the upper. Function has been 100% with all ammo and magazines I have tried. Accuracy is excellent - as good as i can wring out of it. I read the horror stories posted here about ASA, but my inspection of the rifle led me to follow my own counsel on this and I'm glad I did. I picked up this NIB rifle - along with 500 rounds and 3 Colt 30 rnd mags - in trade for an old and well-used Glock 17. So far, I'm one happy shooter. I'll post my experience with this ASA as time goes by.
Troy  [Site Staff]
12/29/2002 8:01:27 PM
Note here that the previous owner of the ASA rifle felt that the rifle, $100 worth of ammo, and $50 worth of magazines was worth a $350-400 used Glock. That's about my experience as well. Most people are lucky to get anything out of an ASA rifle, though the lowers are usually fine. It's the barrels that make me cringe! -Troy
shamayim  [Member]
12/29/2002 8:14:44 PM
Yikes, y'all left out the brand that started it all---Colt [:D] I'm no Colt fanatic. I've got three ARs; Bushie, Rock River and Colt. They're all fine rifles; just about equal in fit, finish and function. Just didn't think y'all should leave out the guys that were first out of the stall (is that a pun?).
DevilsAdvocate  [Team Member]
12/29/2002 8:24:22 PM
[quote]Originally Posted By knightone: 90% of all forged receivers start out the smae way in the same place. The mark of quality is in the machining, finishing and fitting of the receivers. Bushmaster, Armalite, and [red]Rock River Arms[/red] are above and beyond the best out there right now. [red]DPMS[/red] and Colt would be next after the first three. Olympic would follow on very closely to them (Olympic also forges and casts their own receivers). Cast receivers are inherently not as strong as a forged receiver. Most likely you will not know the difference. There have been a few examples of cast receivers breaking apart due to bad cstings. These situations occur only in 1 out of a coupla thousand. The chances it would happen are slim. One of my AR's is cast and It has worked just fine even though I abuse it severely. It does have a rougher finish, but i am not sure if it is because it is a casting or that it just wasn't smoothed out in order to save cost and labor. If cost is not an issue, look at Bushmaster (they are the only ones offering barrels in 4150 steel, chrome lining is standard, and standard models use 5.56mm milspec NATO chamber/match rifles will use .223) first, then Rock River (4140 barrel steel and chrome lining only offered as option on M4 type barrels). If you just want to plop down a big wad of cash, look at Armalite (4140 barrel steel, chrome lining available, however they only offer .223 chambers). All three are good they only use forged receivers, and the fit and finish is superb. [/quote] Thats funny that would not mention RRA in the same sentence as DPMS, seen as how they are BOTH made and machined by the same people.
W-W  [Team Member]
12/29/2002 8:31:39 PM
[quote] If you just want to plop down a big wad of cash, look at Armalite (4140 barrel steel, chrome lining available, however they only offer .223 chambers). All three are good they only use forged receivers, and the fit and finish is superb. [/quote] OLD INFO...ArmaLite is now chambered in 5.56.
walttx  [Team Member]
12/29/2002 8:35:12 PM
[quote] Thats funny that would not mention RRA in the same sentence as DPMS, seen as how they are BOTH made and machined by the same people.[/quote] i did not know that. thanks
TomJefferson  [Team Member]
12/29/2002 8:50:22 PM
Just found out Century buys some of their machined forge lowers from DPMS as well. My basic feeling is Mil Spec is what to look for then features. Mil Spec will insure deminsional tolerances and chemical physical composition. Features like material above Mil Spec or chrome lined barrels add to the product. The top brands seem to put a little more QA into their products and Colt, AR, and Bushmaster tend to put alot more class into their product. They also have better resale appeal. One of the guys here posted, we're not the Army and can have better stuff and I about laughed myself silly since it is true. On the other hand, the Army doesn't have crap either. Me, I'm a shooter and never sell anything for I fall in love with them. Sick, I know, but I typically will lean towards cost and durability. If I burn one out, I pick up the other. Other than the plastic lowers, I feel most brands out there with the same features will do what I'm looking for. I feel a little hypocritical for I too have a cast upper and lower and have absolutely no issues but my new project is forged, however being a build my own, the cost is actually less.
mn227  [Member]
12/29/2002 11:01:35 PM
Thanks for the info. I've got to say that the Bushmasters are a nice package for a nice price. What about Armalite? I'm guessing their barrels are 16" plus brake. Is there a "formula" for how many fps you get per inch of barrel? What about Stoner? Forged or cast? What type of barrels? I really like the rail system that comes with some models.
mn227  [Member]
12/29/2002 11:10:28 PM
More specific about Armalite. They have the M15A4 which I would compare to the BM XM15 M4 A3. You'd have to purchase the carry handle sight and post-ban CAR type stock separately with the Armalite. More money for the Armalite, but is there anything specific I should have on an AR that won't work on the Armalite? What kind of front sight comes on a BM A3?
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