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mcnielsen
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Posted: 1/10/2013 7:59:55 AM EST
Anyone have any feedback for these parts?
"If you want to pray, pray before the fight, or pray after the fight. But when you are in the fight, you fight."
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ChickenDaddy
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Posted: 1/10/2013 3:25:51 PM EST
This business is in my town, and I have stopped in and chatted with the owner several times. They have the same parts as everyone else. ..besides the ones they make in house (can't remember what).

I bought a BCG from REDXARMS and it had an out-of-spec firing pin. I stopped in to SOTA and picked up an in-spec one that fixed the problem.

Several co-workres and a few relatives have bought their uppers and all are pleased.

I say good to go.


MoarBullezPrease
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Posted: 1/10/2013 5:54:33 PM EST
I stumbled across them a few months back and did some research hoping to hear something good as I like to support local companies when I can. Most of what I read was poor reviews and the number of bad far out weighed the number of good. I saw 2 of their uppers at the gun show in Bloomington a couple weeks back and wasn't overly impressed. I don't own one and haven't shot one so take this information for what it's worth but the conclusion I came to is that a purchase from them is a bigger risk then I am comfortable with.
midwestoffroad
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Posted: 1/10/2013 6:49:40 PM EST
They have decent priced uppers but there pretty basic as for the parts. I purchased a blkout barrel and its been pretty decent. but from what i heard there assembled uppers had some headspacing issues or reliability issues. I went with there stripped barrel and had assembled everything else.

also back in october i had ordered a part over the phone and ended up picking it up on my way threw there since it haddnt shipped in 2 weeks. but they were out of state at a gun show, but should have dropped it in the mail right after i called them it was just a crush washer .. i had called because to do it online would have been 13 bucks for shipping. on a 2.00 part. supposedly there tied to own wilton ?? machine and make the parts for DPMS you can stop by and check out the store but not mutch to see. just a big class cabinet with a couple barrels and upper in it back in NOV.
death451
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Posted: 1/11/2013 3:25:35 AM EST
Every one that comes into the shop needs to be fixed.
mcnielsen
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Posted: 1/11/2013 3:31:22 AM EST
I got all the info I need to know on this in an IM from another member. Thanks for the reviews, looks like I will steer clear of any future problems with this manufacturer.
"If you want to pray, pray before the fight, or pray after the fight. But when you are in the fight, you fight."
MSgt. Paul Howe (ret.)
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Posted: 1/11/2013 8:27:29 AM EST
OK--I want to know numbers and specifics. I have had FOUR different people have positive experience with SOTA arms...including myself.

What has been bad?

What needs to be fixed?

I was thinking of getting a 6.8 upper from them, but now am wondering.

When I do an internet search on them, I do not get a majority of bad reviews from what I have seen.

Mike, can you pass on that informative IM to me?



mcnielsen
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Posted: 1/11/2013 9:02:30 AM EST
IM sent. usually when you see things priced at a significant discount to the market there is a catch. Since I am already dealing with a 6.8 issue with Stag Arms on my rifle (cue Fugazi Waiting Room) I see no reason in rolling the dice with any new AR builds moving forward. The amount of money I would waste on ammo testing with a rifle that has a tight chamber (for example) isn't worth it to me. YMMV.
"If you want to pray, pray before the fight, or pray after the fight. But when you are in the fight, you fight."
MSgt. Paul Howe (ret.)
ChickenDaddy
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Posted: 1/11/2013 1:53:47 PM EST
I got the IM and see a different side.

I, too have waited to buy a SOTA upper for more feedback.




iNuhBaDNayburhood
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Posted: 1/12/2013 7:53:23 AM EST
I know many people here are refraining from commenting on the subject due to issues of association, but I'm free to speak my mind on the matter since I have no such associations.

For most people that don't shoot much, they're probably perfectly fine... The occasional malfunction just reinforces the "AR-15's are malfunctioning junk" mentality so many have heard over the years. They will probably shoot a few hundred rounds in their AR throughout their lifetimes, and be happy with it...

I've just seen too many problems with them to justify spending the money on a barrel that requires work right from the start just to get it working reliably. Personally, I've NEVER seen a single Sota Arms upper / barrel that functioned 100% reliably from the start. Granted that perspective is quite skewed since people often bring malfunctioning firearms to people that know how to fix them - so the 'fixers' often only see the problematic ones. However, all the ones I've seen have all needed some level of 'work' to get them shooting & cycling reliably with good accuracy.

There are just far too frequent issues with chambers not quite head-spacing right, needing a little bit of careful reaming to bring them into spec to get them functioning properly. They work just fine if you take the time to check its head-spacing, give the entire gas system a good full inspection (including checking the gas port diameter to make sure it's drilled properly for the barrel diameter & gas system length), as well as checking over the bolt carrier, gas key, staking, and gas rings. Give the bore a good close optical inspection for burrs in the rifling and gas port hole area, and if all checks out okay, it's going to run just fine!

Sometimes you might want to check to make sure the lower tags of the upper receiver were drilled with the correct spacing for your take-down and pivot pins in your lower, but otherwise they should run fine. I've never seen one that was so far beyond repair it wouldn't work.

My cousins, God bless their frugal endeavors, have purchased Red-X and Sota Arms uppers for their low-budget AR builds. Two of them bought Red-X uppers (thankfully the older production ones that actually functioned pretty good - unlike the latest stuff they've been producing). The Sota Arms upper fit the lower, quite a tight fit with pin hole spacing, but it fit. The problem with that particular upper is that it's key-holing American Eagle 55-grain rounds at 25 yards! He's getting minute-of-grapefruit key-holed groups at 25 yards. If he shoots Wolf, he might as well be shooting 000 Buckshot from a sawed off short barrel shotgun.

Upon closer inspection, there's a substantial burr inside the barrel where the gas port was drilled. There are smaller marks or imperfections in the rifling cuts as well, but that's pretty easy to take care of since it is very minimal. Most likely the problem is that substantial burr is likely stripping some of the copper jacket off his bullets, and causing stabilization issues.

I'm waiting on some finish bore lapping supplies from an online supplier so I can fix the problem for him, but until I can get it fixed for him next month he just has to deal with an inaccurate key-holing rifle. I'm sure once the burr is removed it will likely shoot just fine. His chamber appeared to be head-spaced fine though. His bolt carrier needed a bit more staking on the gas key, but I'm not sure he bought that with the upper, or if that was from another company - I didn't look it over for any stampings or identifying marks.

Granted, a 'sampling' of under a dozen uppers is a fairly low statistical sampling, but they've all had issues that require more than a casual knowledge of the AR-15 to fix them. The sampling that I've seen was 'biased' in that I'm typically the kind of guy people go to in order to fix their PROBLEMATIC guns. That makes the sampling somewhat biased.

Though I've also worked on a similar number of Hesse Arms AR's, and in honest comparison, I've seen three Hesse Arms rifles (with Hesse Arms uppers) functioning reliably from the factory. I still haven't had a person bring me a rifle that had a Sota Arms upper that functioned flawlessly. The Hesse guns just needed stocks / triggers switched out with Magpul / VLTOR stuff... And YES, that owner who wanted an VLTOR stock does realize his VLTOR stock costs over 50% of what he paid for his rifle...

I know the Sota Arms owner is an incredibly nice guy, and runs his business in a very service-oriented manner. All are great things, and I look forward to seeing what products he puts out in the future... I'm sure he has put out some very good quality products... I just haven't seen them yet since people don't often bring me guns that don't have problems unless they want me to help show them how to swap out some parts.
Spes mea in Deo est.
TACCOM3G
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Posted: 1/12/2013 5:03:54 PM EST
[Last Edit: 1/12/2013 5:06:04 PM EST by TACCOM3G]
Are the stripped uppers any good?
Waxman
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Posted: 1/13/2013 4:44:12 AM EST
Here is my experience with them. My wife had just built her first lower and we were at a gun show looking for a upper for here build.Sota had a upper just like she wanted, but it had just sold. The guy there said they could build her one, and she would have it in a week. The one feature she wanted most was a quad rail upper so she could add her dark earth rail covers, she was pretty clear about this. Ok 2 weeks go by, no upper. I called them to see whats up, kinda got the feeling they forgot her order. I reordered the upper like she wanted, emphasizing the quad rail! 1 week later i open the package on my doorstep, it was the wrong upper, just a smooth aluminum tube, no quad rail.I immediately called them and they appoligized and said they would send the quad rail version out right away, with a return shipping.box for the wrong one.Three days go buy and there is another upper on my doorstep. I almost had a stroke when i opened it to find it was the wrong upper again! I aam embarrased to say it now, but i snapped ,i left them a horrible mean message since they didnt answer. I got a call a hr later from the owner, telling me how sorry he was.The guy said. He would personally send out our upper, but did mention the one i jus received and the one ihad on the way would both have 5r rifling. Which is usually a more $ option..3 days go by and i finally get the right upper, i now have 3 of their uppers in my possesion and a bunch of zombie targets they sent to smooth things over.I decided to keep both 5r uppers, send back the third, and pay the difference. If it is any conselation, both uppers look, function and shoot fantastic, sub moa for sure. You guys can draw your own conclusions.
mcnielsen
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Posted: 1/14/2013 3:21:52 AM EST
Sub-moa?

You must post details.
"If you want to pray, pray before the fight, or pray after the fight. But when you are in the fight, you fight."
MSgt. Paul Howe (ret.)
Paulie
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Posted: 1/14/2013 6:42:31 PM EST
It's been a long time since I posted here but I have to say something in this. Every manufacture makes a mistake here and there. What's important is how they own up to it. I have had nothing but great product with Sota Arms and have not seen anything to the contrary. I have seen nothing but quality parts, barrels and Colette uppers. There prices have been fair and they stand behind what they make. People will generally only post bad experiences,
Not what works. Give them a chance and I'm sure that you will like what they have to offer