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Link Posted: 11/8/2007 5:50:30 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 11/8/2007 5:51:05 PM EDT by EternalVigilance]
Armalite correction: 5.56 chamber, improved bolt and extractor from the factory.



eta: thanks for the write up!
Link Posted: 11/8/2007 8:07:33 PM EDT
Thanks all for the corrections/ additions, I have done some updating and added some stuff on optics.
Link Posted: 11/18/2007 9:59:04 AM EDT
tag for later
Link Posted: 11/18/2007 11:22:20 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 11/18/2007 11:25:11 AM EDT by modus]
Excellent work, ! I learned a lot but I'd like to see something on Noveske N4's since this rifle is decked out pretty much how I like. No need to mod just add a scope right?

I hope this gets stickied and OP continues updating for all us noobs and noobs to come.
Link Posted: 11/18/2007 1:10:01 PM EDT
COLT
LMT
NOVESKE
SD

THEN the rest I RATE THE SAME OR CLOSE TO
ARMALITE
BUSHMASTER
CMMG
RRA
NEED TO ADD NOVESKE UNDER LMT
Link Posted: 11/25/2007 9:07:21 PM EDT
tag
Link Posted: 12/19/2007 11:39:20 AM EDT
tag
Link Posted: 12/20/2007 11:23:28 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 12/20/2007 11:24:45 PM EDT by Minganator]
I'm a newbie here and have recently bought a used AR15 at a gun show. I've read all the information that you've put together (by the way, GREAT Job!) and have a question about the type of rifle I bought.

On the rifle is "E.A. Co." which from what I've been told = Eagle Arms.

If this is true, and based off your article, how could I figure out if when it was made and if it is a LMT or Armalite?
Link Posted: 12/21/2007 11:33:30 AM EDT
I am not an expert on history of ARs by any means, but I just did a little google search, and I think your lower could be made either by Eagle, or by Essential Arms. It appears that if it was made by eagle it will be a model "EA-15", or if it was made by Essential Arms it would be a "J-15". If it is a "J-15" then it was not sold as a complete gun, because essential arms only sells/ sold uppers and lowers. If it is an "EA-15" then I would try contacting Armalite and seeing if they can either date it for you based on serial #, or else point you to someone who can do this. It looks like there used to be a serial # look up on their site, but I can't find it. If it still exists, you could probably post in the Armalite industry section and they could help you find it. Good luck.
Link Posted: 12/29/2007 8:08:41 PM EDT
Any chance we can get this tacked? It's a better thread for newbies than the "Chart" on the other site.
Link Posted: 1/13/2008 8:55:23 AM EDT
Nice effort, thanks.
Link Posted: 1/13/2008 9:33:07 AM EDT
Bump, Tag, Great write up.
Link Posted: 1/13/2008 10:02:24 AM EDT
Great information. Being a Newbie to ARs / Rifles in general this answered a lot of my questions and also gave me some things to think about which I didn't
Link Posted: 1/13/2008 10:05:47 AM EDT
Excellent write up!
Link Posted: 2/18/2008 7:50:44 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 2/18/2008 7:53:24 AM EDT by Tony-Ri]
Great writeup, but you need to fix the bold formating.

Also some things you might have missed. I didn't see a thing on magazines. (USGI, Stainless, HK, PMAGs, and drop free, and what follower to use, etc.)

As far as companies go, don't forget LaRue, Del-Ton, and J&T.

And a mention about conversions, like 9mm, .45, and .22LR would be nice.
Link Posted: 2/18/2008 9:20:25 AM EDT
Great write up.

I'm looking for my first AR and this thread helped me immensely. Thank You!
Link Posted: 2/18/2008 9:26:55 AM EDT
Link Posted: 2/18/2008 1:36:56 PM EDT

bump
Link Posted: 2/19/2008 4:12:14 PM EDT
read this today. great post!!

Link Posted: 2/19/2008 4:32:48 PM EDT
excellent write up!
Link Posted: 2/19/2008 4:40:51 PM EDT
Man, you really want to get this tacked. Just saying.

It is a good write up and has lots of info.

But, I agree with Forest.


Originally Posted By Forest:
I don't see this getting tacked - we have too much tacked stuff as it is.

What I do see is the final writeup being added as an entry in the 'READ FIRST' tacked thread.
Link Posted: 2/27/2008 9:12:47 PM EDT
good stuff
Link Posted: 2/28/2008 9:14:17 PM EDT
great job....answered alot of my questions
Link Posted: 2/28/2008 9:28:53 PM EDT
Tagging just so people newbs can find what they need and not opinions. People need info that has backing, not what I nor you think
Link Posted: 2/29/2008 3:53:05 AM EDT
thank you for the info.

subscribed.
Link Posted: 3/16/2008 4:47:10 PM EDT
Great info. Also a newbie or wannabe looking at something for coyote population reduction out to about 300yds. Probably a lot of fun plinking to but wasn't to sure what I wanted. Now I am confused again because of a recent article read about the new Rem R15 VTR which has about everything I want. Can't wait to see one and hold it but that looks like it is a ways out! Thank's again for the great article.
Link Posted: 3/16/2008 8:09:51 PM EDT
Very good info for the newbie. Thanks for your effort, it is appreciated.

-huskAR
Link Posted: 3/16/2008 9:04:00 PM EDT
It was hard on the eyes to read the entire post.
Link Posted: 3/16/2008 9:51:29 PM EDT
I thought Colt's civilian models had a chrome lined chamber only.
Link Posted: 3/16/2008 10:33:18 PM EDT
Excellent thread! Thanks! This should definitely be tacked.
Link Posted: 3/16/2008 10:41:23 PM EDT
tag
Link Posted: 3/18/2008 9:20:49 PM EDT


Subject : DoubleStar Corp. Versus The "Big Boys"


There is a misconception, especially in the law enforcement community, that the rifles produced by the "Big Boys" are superior to rifles produced by DoubleStar. Nothing could be further from the truth!! Here's why:

Experience : "The "Big Boys" have been making these rifles forever." DoubleStar is a newer manufacturer but it's sister company, J & T Distributing, has been supplying Mil Spec AR-15 parts to the community for 25 years. This is longer than many of the "Big Boys" have even been in business.

Barrels : Some of the "Big Boys" claim to fame is their rifles have chrome lined barrels. Chroming is a military application necessary to prevent corrosion inside the barrel during wet or very humid conditions when cleaning is not always possible. This may be a valid concern for some departments. The trade-off to chroming is a drop in accuracy. Although every barrel is unique, in general, a chrome-lined barrel will be less accurate than the match barrels DoubleStar uses as it's standard. There is nothing magic about chrome lining, it is old technology. If your department requires chrome-lined barrels, DoubleStar will provide them.

Parts : "The "Big Boys" make all their parts in house." Not so! Some of the "Big Boys" make the key components in house and buy all other parts from Mil-Spec venders and some "Big Boys" buy every single part from these venders. There is nothing wrong with this. The wheel does not need to be re-invented. Some of these suppliers have been making AR parts since the Vietnam War. They completed the long manufacturing learning curve decades ago. Of course the machinery used has been updated to the current CNC equipment allowing even closer tolerances to be concisely held. DoubleStar buys the best U.S. Mil-Spec parts available for all of its rifles.

Product liability insurance : "The "Big Boys" carry better insurance."

We do not think so. To the best of our knowledge there are only a couple of insurance companies left in the U.S. willing to underwrite a firearms manufacturer. The plans we looked at seem to be about the same. DoubleStar carries it's insurance through Joseph Chiarello & Co., Inc. The company has been insuring firearms manufactures for 22 years. Also, all the manufacturers of our major components carry their own liability policy.

We at DoubleStar, will not make the claim some of the "Big Boys" make. "Our rifles are better than anyone else's." All AR-15®s are parts guns and with a few negative exceptions, all AR-15®s are about the same.

DoubleStar pledges to provide you with an AR-15® that is equal to anything on the market. You will be treated in a friendly business manner. Our staff will go out of its way to accommodate special requests. In short, DoubleStar will treat you in the same professional manner J & T Distributing has treated its clients for the past 25 years. All we ask is the chance.


There Website Star15.com
Link Posted: 3/19/2008 6:30:50 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 3/19/2008 1:16:01 PM EDT by juslearnin]
I would appreciate it if you would remove the add/ propaganda. It does not belong here, this is not an advertising forum, and much of that information is misleading and self serving.


ETA: I cannot obviously control what gets posted in a thread. For those of you who use this resource, please remember that what you read in the post above is an advertisement, posted by a manufacturer, and all information should be considered in that light. As I said, I do not believe this forum is the appropriate place for such an ad, but it is beyond my control.

I would point out, that as I posted in the original thread, chrome lining a barrel dramatically increases barrel life, as well as making a barrel easier to clean. The accuracy loss with a chrome lined barrel is very small, such that most shooters will not notice it. If you really are a match shooter, the difference may be important to you, but in that case you likely have no need of a thread such as this. I believe the "humid environments" is a straw man argument as although it is a benefit, there are other benefits (which in my OPINION are greater) which are not mentioned in the ad, and not addressed.

Also, as I pointed out in the original thread, usually when you pay more money for a part or firearm with AR system, it is because there have been additional quality control steps taken to try to weed out parts which might prematurely fail. Before you pay more mone, you should make sure that you are getting such a benefit. The argument above of "we buy our parts from the same folks who make "xxx" is a spurious one, unless they do the additional quality control steps that "xxx" does. The ultimate example of this is Hesse, which does not appear to do much quality control at all, and so you buy at your own risk.

I put this thread together to help people with information, not my opinion, or my "best guess" unless that statement is qualified. The words "I believe" reflect that. If I do not know a FACT, then I don't make it up, and pretend that I do. I work in a business where using precise words is critical, and I am very sensitive the difference between a fact or an opinion, or something which someone makes up just to convince you of their point of view, and this is why I react strongly to the post above.
Link Posted: 3/19/2008 7:24:01 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 3/19/2008 8:28:19 AM EDT by kybosshog420]

Ok, so now we come down to the rubber meeting the road. I will do my best here, and hopefully folks will correct me where I am wrong. Here are your options:

COLT- Colt makes all the M4s for the military. They also sell rifles to civilians and to Law Enforcement. The LE models can be purchased by civilians, and they are apparently of higher quality than the “civilian” models. Colt seems to have the best reputation among folks who train people to use the AR for a living. This is apparently due to better quality control in the manufacturing process. You will pay more for these things, and you have to decide if they are worth it to you. One thing to look out for: some of the civilian Colts have different sized holes where the receivers mate which can making building a gun with them somewhat more difficult if you are mixing brands.

FN- FN makes M16s for the military. Again, they have very good quality control, but chances are you will never find that out for yourself, as they don’t sell to civilians. Apparently there were some FN uppers on the market last year, but I have not heard a good explanation as their source. That “FN” upper that the “Navy SEAL” at the gun show is trying to sell you is more than likely not made by FN.

LMT- Lewis Machine and Tool. I just learned some interesting history about LMT tonight. Apparently Karl Lewis was one of the founders of Eagle Arms, which was a retail business run beside LMT until Eagle was sold to Mark Westrom. Westrom later obtained the rights to the Armalite brand, and combined the two. This info is from an article by Zak Smith in the 2007 Book of the AR-15. LMT is also a government contractor, and has good quality control. LMT has only entered the commercial market in a big way in the last few years, but now there are multiple vendors on the EE with their products available. LMT has a good reputation with folks who train for a living as well.

SABRE DEFENSE- This is another company which has only recently entered the civilian market. They are government contractors as well, and are ISO 9001 certified. I don’t know what that means, but I understand that it indicates that their manufacturing standards must meet a very high level in order to maintain their certification. Apparently, their primary defense contracts involve rifle barrels, and they are very good at manufacturing them.

CMMG Another fairly recent company, which has a pretty good reputation, but some detractors who mention problems with barrel concentricity, and an old issue involving some kind of flash hider threading mistake on one rifle. As someone once put it, CMMG is the “Burger King” of upper manufacturers- you can have it your way. They offer a dizzying array of configurations. They offer stainless and chrome moly barrels in pretty much every profile and length.

ARMALITE Armalite is a great company. There are some companies which make (build for the most part) AR15s, and then there are companies which actually advance the AR platform. Armalite is one of the latter. I think that this may be because the owner was an army ordinance officer and a shooter, and has a vision for improving things. Want to learn some stuff about ARs? Go to the Armalite library and look around. As noted above, Armalite developed the midlength gas system, as well as their own unique and simple bolt improvement.


STAG Stag is the retail side of CMT which stands for Continental Machine and Tool. CMT makes a lot of the parts that other manufacturers use to build their rifles. Only in the last few years have they started selling directly to the consumer through the Stag brand. If you want a left handed AR15 they have what you want.

Bravo Company Manufacturing (BCM) I did not initially include them because I have wanted to buy one of their uppers for a long time and they have not had them in stock for many months. BCM is a business which has a very good reputation on the board for selling quality stuff and having good service. They offered their own line of uppers for a while which were very high quality. It looks like a lot of their business now involves LMT products, and I wonder if they are just too busy to work on their own uppers. They are a good source for BCGs which have shot peened and MP inspected bolts, but then LMTs are about the same price from them as well.

RRA This is a company which is again only a few years old. Their claim to fame is having won a contract to supply rifles to the DEA. They have a pretty good reputation for "fit and finish", meaning appearance of the upper and lower receivers, as well as a tight fit between the receivers. This may or may not be important to accuracy (not very important if it is).
BUSHMASTER Bushmaster has been around longer than many of the "new comers". The old guys remember when your main choices were "ABC" meaning Armalite, Bushmaster and Colt. They were recently purchased by a big conglomerate which also purchased Remington if I remember correctly. Bushmaster has sold a few rifles to the military, mainly for testing, but is not a significant supplier.

Olympic Arms This company has been around for a long time as well. I believe they are one of the few companies which manufactures their own lower receivers, which has led to some out of spec problems in the past. They also make their own barrels, including some stainless "Ultramatch" barrels which have a very good reputation for accuracy. Unfortunately some of their other parts are hit and miss. Overall they have some supporters and a fair number of detractors on the board. I lost respect for them myself when I bought an upper from them 8 years ago which had been machined incorrectly and then overbored and an insert place in the front pivot pin hole to bring it back to spec. I think most other manufacturers would not have tried to sell one of those as a "normal" receiver.

DPMS (Defense Procurement Manufacturing Systems) is a company which has been around for a while. They have a decent reputation with a few exceptions. One thing that comes up frequently is that their bolt seem to break at the cam hole pin more often than other brands. There is also an issue with their lower parts kits in that the trigger and hammer pins are oversized and can be a royal pain to install. A lot of companies use their lower parts kits to put together "whole rifle kits" which you can add your stripped receiver to, so if you are cursing your hammer/trigger pin because it won't go in it probably came from DPMS. Get out some fine sandpaper and chuck the pin in a drill and take a little off. DO NOT screw up your lower trying to hammer it in.

M&A Parts and Model 1 Sales I lumped these two together because they are fairly similar. However, as pointed out on the second page of the thread, they are distinct companies. I believe that the owners are actually relatives by marriage, or something like that. They both supply low cost "kits" which provide an assembled upper, and all the parts to finish a stripped lower. In addition they sell uppers and some accessories. These are an inexpensive way to build a rifle, but probably do not have the quality control that the other companies mentioned above have. Some folks have great luck with them and are very happy. There was an infamous "Darth Vader" thread that went around for a while which I believe dealt with the owner of M&A going nuts at some gun show at some guy and being put in his place, so customer service might be an issue with M&A specifically, and this might be a reason togo with Model 1 Sales. Also, M&A claims that their uppers are assembled by LMT (Scroll down to the "who makes our stuff" heading ) although I think it would be safe to assume that the parts they supply to LMT are not subject to the same quality control as LMT branded parts are.
When you buy an upper from these guys you get:
I don't know, anyone want to help me out?

VULCAN/HESSE/BLACKTHORNE These guys have been around a while to. They have several names because their products are so bad they have to come up with a new brand name every now and then to try to fool people into buying their products. I am not sure where their products come from, but based on their reputation and cost, many are probably made in China. They use inferior materials, and I don't know and am not interested in the specs on their rifles, as you should not buy one. The best part about these guys are the material they provide for online quips. Two of my favorites are: "Friends don't let friends buy vulcan/hesse/blackthorne", and "Vulcan, guns of the "SPECIAL" FORCES (the ones who rode the short bus to school)."

I would appreciate it if you would remove the add/ propaganda. It does not belong here, this is not an advertising forum, and much of that information is misleading and self serving.

Double Star was left out, was just posting the info for others, and in NO WAY was any of this self serving (I do not work for DS, or sale guns) and if much of that information is misleading then your calling Double Star / J&T lairs because it came striaght from there website

So WHO's Misleading
Link Posted: 3/19/2008 8:00:01 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 3/19/2008 1:10:51 PM EDT by kybosshog420]
and as for misleading come on did you even read the 1st post stuff like

as well as a tight fit between the receivers. This may or may not be important to accuracy (not very important if it is).

yea thats why the sell matched uppers and lowers for match shooting now thats misleading and he uses the words I believe 50 times

RECEIVER EXTENSION: I believe commercial

that misleading DPMS comes in BOTH
every little section on each AR-Maker is this guys opinion/(what he copied online) and thats not propaganda
Link Posted: 3/30/2008 12:29:55 PM EDT

Originally Posted By juslearnin:
For all you newbies, there is a guy named "Pat Rogers" who posts around here fairly rarely, who's opinion is pretty highly valued (when you see one of his posts don't make a fool of yourself and tell him how much more you know than he does). He had some interesting contribuations to this thread which were enlightening to me. You have to read through it all, and pick out what he has to say, but for the most part he advocates red dots for most folks.


This link takes me to the "Optics, Mounts, and Sights" main page.

Is there any way I can get to that thread?

TIA.
Link Posted: 3/30/2008 5:30:45 PM EDT
great job!!!!nice to have facts to read .thanks in prosess of building tact driver ,last peice barrel.
Link Posted: 3/30/2008 5:36:46 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Rick_A:
I thought Colt's civilian models had a chrome lined chamber only.


The MT line generally does, with exceptions, IIRC. The LE line is fully lined.
Link Posted: 3/30/2008 5:37:59 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 3/30/2008 7:01:26 PM EDT by juslearnin]
In reference to the Pat Rogers comments on red dots, the thread has gone into the archive- here is the address:

http://archive.ar15.com/forums/topic.html?b=3&f=18&t=345638&page=1, but I guess when it gets archived, the link defaults to the optics and sights board. I tried to bump it, but can't. I don't know if there is anyone else who can do it? I will cut and paste Pat's posts here, although it is hard to follow as you don't see all the discussion:

His first and second and third responses were an answer concerning the army buying a bunch of ACOGs:

So true. Unfortunately, no one is willing to tell the emporer (Mattis) that his baby is ugly and overall, useless.

I have Marines in most of my classes (Most of my classes are for Marines).
Universally, they hate the RCO. They all love a red dot.

Gee- what a suprise.....




The ACOG is pretty much useless at 50yds and in. It is great at 300 yds.
The fight is closer rather then farther, and the RDS is much easier to use then the RCO.




Gunfighter- I train people for a living. Mostly Mil. The Marines i work with despise- to a man- the RCO.
Let's look at this from a more useful perspective.
The RCO requires training- a fair amount of it. It is not often given, and when so, sometimes incorrect- as was the case in CamPen last month.

Within 50m, the RCO is at a disadvantage. I watched that (again) this week when a group of very skilled instructors- and some serious lifetakers- using RCO's were unable to keep up with others who mainly sported RDS.
That you may shoot well with it is irrelevant. It is whether the L/Cpl can.

The RCO POI states that before entering a structure, you should wait 10 minutes for the xxoptic xx(CORRECTION) eyes to acclimate to the dark as the reticle is faint.
Terrific.
Guidance in theatre is that it has to be re zeroed every 30 days.
I own two. I shoot them, though not often as they do not fill the mission requirements as well as an Aimpoint, Short Dot, EOTech and possible other optics do.

The Aimpoint is easier to teach. Easier to use, and fully capable out to the max realistic range of the M4A1, and further with the 3x magnifier.
And it can do it for a whole lot less.
The RCO would be more useful as issued one per Fire Team or one per squad.

Re challenging anyone. I realize the the errornet is similar to beer balls. Cute, but i just spent 36 hours this past weekend shooting 2400rds of 5.56x45 ball doing exactly that.
I'll stand by my statement, based on my experience.


His next response was to a question about the ACOG with the red dot mounted on top:

No- it has not been so in my experience. A better solution would be an Aimpoint and a 3x magnifier.

Placing a red dot on top of the ACOG means that at close range you have to get your head off of the cheekweld- an iffy proposition.
I know people who make it work.
I also know people who dring scotch and milk.


His next response was to the Aimpoint vs EOtech question:

That "big ass ring" is 65moa.
I can shoot the EO pretty well.
I don't use them because of poor battery life, leaky battery boxes/ corrosion, hard to reach controls and other problems.
The Aimpoint works better for me, but in the end, you have to choose what works better for you.
Drive on




Link Posted: 3/30/2008 5:48:24 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 3/30/2008 5:49:16 PM EDT by EternalVigilance]
.
Link Posted: 3/30/2008 6:02:02 PM EDT
good thread

you may want to add some info on magazines and the difference between pre-ban and post-ban ARs for the new guys in a ban state.
Link Posted: 3/30/2008 6:17:33 PM EDT
Good info, drive on....
Link Posted: 3/30/2008 6:34:06 PM EDT
Please accept my personal thanks for your for the time, energy, and effort on this post. Excellent work. I'd like to see it used as a starting point for something to educate those unfamilar with the AR platform. I'm 54 years old and got my first gun at age 9. I've owned and used shotguns, pistols, bolt guns, etc, however, I just ordered my first AR. The number of configurations, manufacturers, and opitions available is staggering! Wish I'd been able to read this before I ordered. You've gone a long way in clearing up some of the fog. I'd love to see a "definition of terms" and "recommended reading list" set up too. You done good, Troop!
Link Posted: 3/30/2008 7:34:59 PM EDT
It looks like you worked hard and put alot of time in this. Thanks a lot. It should definatly be tacked
Link Posted: 3/30/2008 7:35:02 PM EDT
UMMM, Good Stuff.
Link Posted: 3/31/2008 7:02:08 AM EDT
another great thread for new guys: forums.officer.com/forums/showthread.php?t=81462

with a site as big as AR15.com we should have a new guy forum where a newbie can say hi and get basic info to help them find what they are looking for
Link Posted: 3/31/2008 8:11:15 AM EDT
Great stuff. As a new guy I am very glad I found the thread. Thanks for all the work!
Link Posted: 3/31/2008 8:24:47 AM EDT
Good Read Thanks for the info,
Link Posted: 3/31/2008 9:04:12 AM EDT
This thread is what sold me on AR's. There are a few problems, such as point-of-view issues, though those were pretty easy to differentiate from the facts involved. Great job.
Link Posted: 3/31/2008 11:04:35 AM EDT
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