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Posted: 12/29/2002 4:05:44 PM EST
New to AR's - I'm basically a handgun guy - a couple of Colt Gold Cups, a couple of S&W .22's, a Ruger .22, and Springfield Ultra Compact in 9mm with laser grip as my carry gun. I own and shoot frequently an SKS, but now want to get an AR. Have read a lot from this site and others and am totally confused as to what to get.

1.) My local gun dealer carries Colt and Bushmaster and says don't get Colt because they are overpriced and are non-mil spec. Get the Bushmaster because the quality is better and they are mil-spec. Hmmmm, I thought I read here where all commercial AR's are non-mil spec in the true sense of the term?
2.) He has an M-3 carbine for $899 and an M-2 for $799 - are these good prices? I tried the Bushmaster website, but they tell you to go to a dealer to get the price - What's up with that?
3.) I've read that RRA has the best stock triggers, DPMS is good, Bushmaster is good, and Colt is good. So, for the money, which is the best? I'm looking for a lightweight plinking gun, occasional target shooting, that is high quality and will be accurate and knowing me, will be modified. What's the best for $1,000 or under?
4.) What about Wilson's and Les Baer? Read a lot about both and don't know if they are worth the money at over $1,500, but they sound interesting if I am going to mod anyway and spend additonal $'s.
5.) What should I absolutely avoid?

Thanks for the input, as I said, after reading a lot on the subject, I am more confused than when I started!
Link Posted: 12/29/2002 5:10:49 PM EST
Wow, you have more questions than me! What I can tell you is what most of these guys told me. An AR is one hell of addictive weapon system. One will not be enough. If you like your other guns, you will flat be totally in love with your AR. I thought I only wanted a plinker but am now on configuration 3 and building my first custom. It's a new world from just buying guns and shooting them. The AR is alot more acurate than any of your others and you may find yourself wanting to reach out there farther and farther. Prices on the Bush and Colt seem about what I see around here. I feel the Colt is one fine rifle but yes they are a bit pricy. Mil Spec is the key for it ensures deminsional compatability with upgrades and material content. Other than that all I can say is I wish I had shot more ARs at the range and read this site alot longer before buying my first. But then they are like potatoe chips, no one can eat just one.
Link Posted: 12/29/2002 5:15:51 PM EST
save yourself the headaches: [img]http://bushmaster.com/shopping/weapons/Images/pcwa2x14m4my.gif[/img] [url]http://bushmaster.com/shopping/weapons/pcwa2x14m4my.asp[/url]
Link Posted: 12/29/2002 5:17:35 PM EST
Get a Bushy or a Rock River, you cant go wrong.
Link Posted: 12/29/2002 5:21:34 PM EST
[url=http://www.ar15.com/forums/forum.html?b=2&f=86]Legal Transfers[/url] Go here, email Pete after you figure out what model you want. If you are looking for an M4 clone then he should have some in stock. He is awesome to deal with and the product is A+. The dealers in brick&mortar shops will always hit you with some overhead charges. FWIW, Ed
Link Posted: 12/29/2002 5:23:50 PM EST
It is true that absolutely NO AR is truly mil-spec, but this is because there is no military specificiation for a semi-auto only M16. Ignoring that little detail, it's beyond question that Bushmaster rifles are absolutely and always the closest thing to mil-spec. They've always offered mil-spec chromed barrels and hardcoat anodized forged 7075-T6 aluminum receivers with nickel acetate coating, and dry film lubricant in the bolt carrier bore in the upper, with mil-spec small hole fire control components (the holes, not the components, which aren't mil-spec if they're not burst or full auto), and a non-pinned, correctly milled fire control component well. The ONLY physical variation between a Bushmaster lower receiver for commercial, civilian use and a mil-spec one is the mil-spec one has the extra hole for the autosear. That's the ONLY difference. If you want to be assured that any standardized components will fit, buy a Bushmaster. No other brand can make all of these claims. CJ
Link Posted: 12/29/2002 5:30:13 PM EST
Well here's my opinions. When you talk about 'mil-spec', the closest you will get in a civilian versions will probably be the bushmasters and the RRA's with the chrome lined bores and 5.56 chamber. I think that DPMS also has a configuration like this also. The thing about AR's is the compatibility/interchangability of parts and configurations. The problem with colts are that many recent models do not have the standard sized holes in the lower reciever. Also you are paying a premium for the name. In terms of general quality, the major brands you mention are going to be fine. Wilson and Les Baer are definitely pricey and I wouldn't spend my money on one, but that is me. I'm not sure what you mean by M-3 and M-2. If you mean AR15-a2 and AR15-a3, then yes those prices are about the same as most places. The reason why you cannot get the prices from the bushmaster website is that they know that you can only get a whole rifle or lower through an FFL, so they want to let the retailer/FFL set the prices without undercutting their prices. One other thing, (which you did not ask) is that the A3 can be had for the same price as the A2 if you do not get the carry handle. This may be of interest if you are planning on putting on some glass or red dot optics anyway. Hope some of that helps. Joe
Link Posted: 12/29/2002 5:33:49 PM EST
Originally Posted By cmjohnson: It is true that absolutely NO AR is truly mil-spec, but this is because there is no military specificiation for a semi-auto only M16. Ignoring that little detail, it's beyond question that Bushmaster rifles are absolutely and always the closest thing to mil-spec. They've always offered mil-spec chromed barrels and hardcoat anodized forged 7075-T6 aluminum receivers with nickel acetate coating, and dry film lubricant in the bolt carrier bore in the upper, with mil-spec small hole fire control components (the holes, not the components, which aren't mil-spec if they're not burst or full auto), and a non-pinned, correctly milled fire control component well. The ONLY physical variation between a Bushmaster lower receiver for commercial, civilian use and a mil-spec one is the mil-spec one has the extra hole for the autosear. That's the ONLY difference. If you want to be assured that any standardized components will fit, buy a Bushmaster. No other brand can make all of these claims. CJ
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This will be my ignorance showing through: Why have I had no problems with my 2 RRA, or OLY rifles, or 1 Armlaite rifle fitting standard parts? Ever? Trigger groups? Optics mounts? Handguards? I've had Colt parts, OLY parts, DPMS parts, Armalite parts, Bushie parts, etc, etc, etc, ad nausem, no difficulty with any of it interchanging at all. Nothing from Knight's yet, but Badger Ordnance is a go, IOR mounts, Leupold Mk4 rings, and much much more. Just not sure where this "not fitting" stuff comes from..... Again, not a flame but lack of experience with same. Thanks, Ed
Link Posted: 12/29/2002 6:12:38 PM EST
Colt has used two different size fire control pins and pin holes. They have also used two different size and type of front receiver take down pins.
Link Posted: 12/29/2002 6:27:47 PM EST
Originally Posted By Vector_Joe: When you talk about 'mil-spec', the closest you will get in a civilian versions will probably be the bushmasters and the RRA's with the chrome lined bores and 5.56 chamber. I think that DPMS also has a configuration like this also.
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Bushmaster uses 4150 steel in the barrel which is milspec. Rock River and most others use only 4140 steel. Bushmaster chrome lines all the 4150 steel barrels and chambers. Rock River only chrome lines the M4 barrels. DPMS also uses 4140 steel and very rarely offers any barrels with chrome lining.
Link Posted: 12/29/2002 6:32:51 PM EST
Originally Posted By SHIVAN: This will be my ignorance showing through: Why have I had no problems with my 2 RRA, or OLY rifles, or 1 Armlaite rifle fitting standard parts? Ever? Trigger groups? Optics mounts? Handguards? I've had Colt parts, OLY parts, DPMS parts, Armalite parts, Bushie parts, etc, etc, etc, ad nausem, no difficulty with any of it interchanging at all. Nothing from Knight's yet, but Badger Ordnance is a go, IOR mounts, Leupold Mk4 rings, and much much more. Just not sure where this "not fitting" stuff comes from..... Again, not a flame but lack of experience with same. Thanks, Ed
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Bushmaster, Rock River, DPMS, Olympic, and Armalite will all use milspec parts. They will only differ in what steel is used in the barrel and if it is chrome lined. The dimensions and parts will all be consistent with military spec (the only real exceptions being the sear, bolt/carrier assembly, and fire controls) and will use universally sized parts in triggers, furniture, rail accessories, and all internal parts.
Link Posted: 12/29/2002 6:39:07 PM EST
Originally Posted By cmjohnson: It is true that absolutely NO AR is truly mil-spec, but this is because there is no military specificiation for a semi-auto only M16. CJ
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Perfect example of a little knowledge being dangerous. If you review the milspec. It includes test and inspection methods in addition to specification for manufacturing and tolerances. I would guarantee that Colt and ArmaLite are the only facilities set-up to build product to the milspec. Most companies are too small or do not have the infrastructure to meet MIL-Q-9858A.
Link Posted: 12/29/2002 8:27:12 PM EST
Hello and welcome... I too just got started with AR's. I read and looked for months before decided on mine. I went with Rock River. From what I have seen and read their fit and finish is superb along with quality. Their addy is : www.rockriverarms.com also if you ever call them, ask for Steve, he is great with helping. My rifle will be in this coming Thursday! WOOHOOO I can't wait. But beware, it is addictive. I don't even have the rifle, but I have mags, ammo, scopes, case, cleaning kit and already thinking about getting an M4. The rifle I chose is the Elite LE Tactical CAR A4. I had a few extras added. Also, Rock River will customize to your order. But, will add a week or two in delivery time. Lastly, their prices are great! Hope I helped a little.... Good Luck in getting your new AR.... Happy Shooting..
Link Posted: 12/30/2002 5:58:10 AM EST
Thanks for the info - From this and other info I've read, seems like a very good option would be to get a RRA lower (for the trigger) and a Bushmaster upper (for the barrel). Does that make sense or is it too simple?
Link Posted: 12/30/2002 6:24:32 AM EST
[Last Edit: 12/30/2002 8:00:28 AM EST by cmjohnson]
Originally Posted By QCMGR:
Originally Posted By cmjohnson: It is true that absolutely NO AR is truly mil-spec, but this is because there is no military specificiation for a semi-auto only M16. CJ
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Perfect example of a little knowledge being dangerous. If you review the milspec. It includes test and inspection methods in addition to specification for manufacturing and tolerances. I would guarantee that Colt and ArmaLite are the only facilities set-up to build product to the milspec. Most companies are too small or do not have the infrastructure to meet MIL-Q-9858A.
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Bushmaster does in fact have such capabilities. It's not exactly a secret that Bushmaster has built M4's on contract to the US military. Now, if you were to ask the question like this: "Does Bushmaster actually apply all mil-spec inspection procedures to their civilian market rifles?" then I'd have to suggest that you pose that question to Bushmaster. I won't try to make up an answer there, but I DO know that Bushmaster is equipped to perform every relevant mil-spec process required in the building of M16's, M4's, and their derivatives. In response to the earlier post where someone questioned me, my response is simply that Bushmaster's components are more likely to be assured of proper fit and function than some other manufacturer's products as they stick to the blueprint's specifications and reject parts that don't meet those specs on inspection. It's a matter of tight quality control. Not saying other companies can't or don't get it right. They usually do. But how many lemons do you know about that Bushmaster made and assembled as compared to other brands? I personally haven't seen one yet, but I have seen an older Olympic lower receiver that had to be filed between the front takedown lugs in order to fit onto ANY upper receiver and open correctly. (Not putting Oly down, not really. One of my rifles has an Oly lower (forged) and it's very good, too.) All companies can make rifles that are "to spec" but Bushmaster is one of just a very tiny number of companies that is likely to do so, every time. CJ
Link Posted: 12/30/2002 6:31:37 AM EST
Thanks for clarifying CJ. I figured I knew what you meant, but somebody new might get confused and ONLY buy X,Y, or Z despite and incredible price on Q. Thanks again. Ed
Link Posted: 12/30/2002 7:55:16 AM EST
[Last Edit: 12/30/2002 8:11:25 AM EST by QCMGR]
Originally Posted By cmjohnson: It is true that absolutely NO AR is truly mil-spec, but this is because there is no military specificiation for a semi-auto only M16. CJ
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Originally Posted By QCMGR: Perfect example of a little knowledge being dangerous. If you review the milspec. It includes test and inspection methods in addition to specification for manufacturing and tolerances. I would guarantee that Colt and ArmaLite are the only facilities set-up to build product to the milspec. Most companies are too small or do not have the infrastructure to meet MIL-Q-9858A.
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Originally Posted By cmjohnson: Bushmaster does in fact have such capabilities. It's not exactly a secret that Bushmaster has built M4's on contract to the US military. Now, if you were to ask the question like this: "Does Bushmaster actually apply all mil-spec inspection procedures to their civilian market rifles?" then I'd have to suggest that you pose that question to Bushmaster.
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You made the claim! My point is milspec is a function of the process and to meet the mill spec, you need to meet MIL-Q-9858A. If they are MIL-Q or ISO, they have to apply the same systems.
I won't try to make up an answer there, but I DO know that Bushmaster is equipped to perform every relevant mil-spec process required in the building of M16's, M4's, and their derivatives.
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Do they have the infrastructure to meet MIL-Q-9858A?
In response to the earlier post where someone questioned me, my response is simply that Bushmaster's components are more likely to be assured of proper fit and function than some other manufacturer's products as they stick to the blueprint's specifications [red] and reject parts that don't meet those specs on inspection [/red].
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How is this better than Colt or ArmaLite? Part of MIL-Q-9858A is to build parts right the first time. You are implying Bushmaster cannot hold manufacturing tolerances and must inspect for conforming parts.
It's a matter of tight quality control.
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So you are saying they are good at inspection, but manufacture at a four-sigma capability. What is their process capability? Are they manufacturing at a Cpk of 2 or a Cpk of .33?
Not saying other companies can't or don't get it right. They ususall do. But how many lemons do you know about that Bushmaster made and assembled as compared to other brands? I personally haven't seen one yet, but I have seen an older Olympic lower receiver that had to be filed between the front takedown lugs in order to fit onto ANY upper receiver and open correctly. (Not putting Oly down, not really. One of my rifles has an Oly lower (forged) and it's very good, too.)
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You are saying companies that are not MIL-Q-9858A or ISO 9000 should be suspect.
All companies can make rifles that are "to spec" but Bushmaster is one of just a very tiny number of companies that is likely to do so, every time. CJ
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Don’t count barrels that are not indexed properly or purple finishes on the rifles. Edited to say: cmjohnson - [;)]
Link Posted: 12/30/2002 8:15:39 AM EST
[Last Edit: 12/30/2002 8:17:22 AM EST by cmjohnson]
Originally Posted By QCMGR:
Originally Posted By cmjohnson: Bushmaster does in fact have such capabilities. It's not exactly a secret that Bushmaster has built M4's on contract to the US military. Now, if you were to ask the question like this: "Does Bushmaster actually apply all mil-spec inspection procedures to their civilian market rifles?" then I'd have to suggest that you pose that question to Bushmaster.
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You made the claim! My point is milspec is a function of the process and to meet the mill spec, you need to meet MIL-Q-9858A. If they are MIL-Q or ISO, they have to apply the same systems.
I won't try to make up an answer there, but I DO know that Bushmaster is equipped to perform every relevant mil-spec process required in the building of M16's, M4's, and their derivatives.
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Do they have the infrastructure to meet MIL-Q-9858A?
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As evidenced by the fact that they have produced fully mil-spec M4's for the armed services, I can state that the answer is, simply, YES.
In response to the earlier post where someone questioned me, my response is simply that Bushmaster's components are more likely to be assured of proper fit and function than some other manufacturer's products as they stick to the blueprint's specifications [red] and reject parts that don't meet those specs on inspection [/red].
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How is this better than Colt or ArmaLite? Part of MIL-Q-9858A is to build parts right the first time. You are implying Bushmaster cannot hold manufacturing tolerances and must inspect for conforming parts.
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I said nothing of the sort. Your imagination is running away from you. Get your leash, jump in the car, chase it down, and bring it back home! Part of any quality assurance process is not just to build parts that are to spec, but to inspect them and ASSURE that they are to spec as well. As a QC MANAGER, I'm sure you know this. It's not enough to trust the output of the stamping machines, you have to inspect them, too. All I've stated on this matter is that there are some companies that produce more consistently high quality, to spec parts than others.
It's a matter of tight quality control.
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So you are saying they are good at inspection, but manufacture at a four-sigma capability. What is their process capability? Are they manufacturing at a Cpk of 2 or a Cpk of .33?
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I don't work for Bushmaster and don't have access to their quality data. I would refer you to them for these answers.
Not saying other companies can't or don't get it right. They usually do. But how many lemons do you know about that Bushmaster made and assembled as compared to other brands? I personally haven't seen one yet, but I have seen an older Olympic lower receiver that had to be filed between the front takedown lugs in order to fit onto ANY upper receiver and open correctly. (Not putting Oly down, not really. One of my rifles has an Oly lower (forged) and it's very good, too.)
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You are saying companies that are not MIL-Q-9858A or ISO 9000 should be suspect.
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Once again, I said nothing of the sort. I said that some companies turn out a better, more consistent product that is more in line with mil specs than others. You can't seriously have a problem with that, can you?
All companies can make rifles that are "to spec" but Bushmaster is one of just a very tiny number of companies that is likely to do so, every time. CJ
Don’t count barrels that are not indexed properly or purple finishes on the rifles.
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I know nothing of improperly indexed barrels. I have yet to shoot a Bushmaster that wasn't able to be sighted in correctly within the normal range of sight adjustment. As for purple finishes...yeah, they tend to use their black dye bath beyond the point when they should replace it. But it's a cosmetic issue and that's all. I can't even conceived of any possible situation in which a dark purple receiver is going to compromise the rifleman's mission in any way. It's not even relevant from a concealment standpoint. But I would also like to see Bushmaster make properly BLACK components all the time. But it's their issue, not mine. CJ
Link Posted: 12/30/2002 8:56:29 AM EST
CJ, 1. MIL-Q is like ISO 9000. To build milspec, you have to meet the milspec. 2. Colt and ArmaLite are the only mfg's that have met either of these as far as I know. 3. Just because the government buys something does not make it milspec. 4. QA is old school. Design for manufacturing (DFM) is the process of designing a part / process that will be correct every time. The goal is to have a process capability of six sigma or a Cpk of 2. This will ensure all of you parts are within the area under the curve. Again the goal is to have a Probability of Nonconformance or PNC of .005. 5. You suggest Bushmaster without demonstrating how they are superior to Colt or ArmaLite. 6. My statements are based on your inferences about Bushmasters mfg process. 7. The indexing and purple issues are well known. I am not sure what planet you were on,[;)] but these are examples of an out of control system. (See Cpk) I own ArmaLite, Colt, and Bushmaster and would rank them in that order.
Link Posted: 12/30/2002 10:51:30 AM EST
Originally Posted By QCMGR: 3. Just because the government buys something does not make it milspec. 5. You suggest Bushmaster without demonstrating how they are superior to Colt or ArmaLite. 7. The indexing and purple issues are well known. I am not sure what planet you were on,[;)] but these are examples of an out of control system. (See Cpk)
Bushmaster produced M4's were issued to U.S. forces during the Gulf War. General Norman Schwarzkopff's personal security carried Bushmaster M4's. Would they adopt a weapon during war time and to protect their leaders that did not meet milspec? Can you prove that Bushmaster is not equal to or greater than Colt or Armalite? Why don't you demostrate the superiority of your Colt and Armalite over our Bushmasters. Barrel indexing is more a problem of asssembly. The people who attach the front sight to the barrel sometimes make mistakes. It is human error, not a manufacturing or parts error. I remeber seeing a couple of cases stated on this site where Armalite rifles were also having barrel indexing/sght alignment issues. It's an error in assembly, not a failure of the parts. People make mistakes. Any company that makes this mistake will correct it. If they don't, that is the real problem. Worst comes to worst, a person's sights will be a few more clicks over to one side, the bullet will still fly straight and hit its target with a Bushmaster barrel, guaranteed. Once again, WTF with the purple issue. How does this affect the performance of the rifle? So it doesn't match exactly with your Eagle tac vest, or whatever you wear, so what? Is color coordination with your other gear that big of a deal?
Link Posted: 12/30/2002 12:25:14 PM EST
A lot of good info here, possibly more than I need or care to know. Maybe I shouldn't have mentioned mil-spec! Anyway, back to the original question - which one? Can I build one better than factory with a RRA lower and Bushmaster upper? I went to another local gun store and the prices seem reasonable on Bushmaster. They have a Colt M-4, sign says 1 0f 1000 made and they want $999 - seems pricey and the fit and finish seemed a little rough compared to Bushmaster. Heck, what do I know, I liked it because it was a Colt but I still want to get the best for my $'s.
Link Posted: 12/30/2002 1:26:33 PM EST
[Last Edit: 12/30/2002 1:31:26 PM EST by cmjohnson]
I guess I can't leave well enough alone. Concerning closeness to mil-spec in a civilian AR once again: Armalite hasn't offered hard chromed 4150 bores (like the mil spec requires) as a standard feature until just recently. Bushmaster always has. Advantage: Bushmaster. Closer to the mil spec or the designs they refer to. Colt has produced many civilian market AR's that deviated SUBSTANTIALLY from the mil spec type in at LEAST the following areas: Front takedown pin hole size and location Trigger group pin hole size Bolt carrier configuration Sear block in fire control well Bushmaster, by way of comparison, has never once installed a sear block or modified the milling of the fire control well in any manner as compared to the M16 fire control well milling pattern, nor have they ever used oddly sized or positioned front takedown pins. Neither have they ever used non-standard fire control component pins or pin holes. And they have used the "standard" type AR-15 bolt carrier exclusively except when an M16 carrier is provided. Advantage: Bushmaster. Closer to the military specification, or more precisely, the military design. If the original question is, which AR type rifle is closest to the actual M16 design, then the answer was, and still is, Bushmaster. Comparing equal models, Colt or FN M16A2, with any and all A2 clones from all other companies including Colt, Bushmaster, and Armalite, you will certainly have to agree that the Bushmaster deviates from the original design to a a lesser degree than some others, and other manufacturer's rifle is closer to the original design than the Bushmaster, period. And that's that. CJ
Link Posted: 12/30/2002 2:16:33 PM EST
[Last Edit: 12/30/2002 2:18:22 PM EST by QCMGR]
Originally Posted By knightone: Originally Posted By QCMGR: 3. Just because the government buys something does not make it milspec. 5. You suggest Bushmaster without demonstrating how they are superior to Colt or ArmaLite. 7. The indexing and purple issues are well known. I am not sure what planet you were on,[;)] but these are examples of an out of control system. (See Cpk) Bushmaster produced M4's were issued to U.S. forces during the Gulf War. General Norman Schwarzkopff's personal security carried Bushmaster M4's. Would they adopt a weapon during war time and to protect their leaders that did not meet milspec? Can you prove that Bushmaster is not equal to or greater than Colt or Armalite? Why don't you demostrate the superiority of your Colt and Armalite over our Bushmasters. Barrel indexing is more a problem of asssembly. The people who attach the front sight to the barrel sometimes make mistakes. It is human error, not a manufacturing or parts error. I remeber seeing a couple of cases stated on this site where Armalite rifles were also having barrel indexing/sght alignment issues. It's an error in assembly, not a failure of the parts. People make mistakes. Any company that makes this mistake will correct it. If they don't, that is the real problem. Worst comes to worst, a person's sights will be a few more clicks over to one side, the bullet will still fly straight and hit its target with a Bushmaster barrel, guaranteed. Once again, WTF with the purple issue. How does this affect the performance of the rifle? So it doesn't match exactly with your Eagle tac vest, or whatever you wear, so what? Is color coordination with your other gear that big of a deal?
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We are talking about two things. The first is how good Bushmaster is. In my educated experience, I will say they are behind ArmaLite and Colt. I can say this because rating manufactured assembles is my job. You ask, "would they adopt a weapon during war time and to protect their leaders that did not meet milspec?" Before I got into quality, I worked for DLA (Defense Logistics Agency). Yes, because sometimes there is either no specification, or a waiver for production. You will find the exceptions in the FAR's (Federal Acquisition Regulations). You ask me to, "prove that Bushmaster is not equal to or greater than Colt or ArmaLite? Why don't you demonstrate the superiority of your Colt and ArmaLite over our Bushmasters." Read MIL-C-71186 and MIL-R-63997B and MIL-Q-9858A and then reply. The purple issue related to their ability to control their process. Sometimes it is black, sometimes it purple. My Bushmaster lower is black and upper is purple. It shoots fine. The question is why can't the have a repeatable process. The index issue is also related to their ability to control their process. CJ, This was the original statement:
1.) My local gun dealer carries Colt and Bushmaster and says don't get Colt because they are overpriced and are non-mil spec. Get the Bushmaster because the quality is better and they are mil-spec. Hmmmm, I thought I read here where all commercial AR's are non-mil spec in the true sense of the term?
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My answer is if they meet the intent of MIL-Q-9858A they will be milspec. The rifle will not be an M-16, but the mfg. process is milspec and that is covered in MIL-Q-9858A. If you have not, read MIL-Q-9858A and you will understand. If you look at MIL-C-71186 and MIL-R-63997B and MIL-Q-9858A you will see ArmaLite is closest for civilian rifles and Colt / FN for military. 88balanced I would suggest ArmaLite.
Link Posted: 12/30/2002 2:33:25 PM EST
Well , If 88balanced has read this far I bet he's[b]REEEEEEAAAAL[/b] Confused now [:D]
Link Posted: 12/30/2002 2:53:33 PM EST
Originally Posted By Vector_Joe: Well here's my opinions. When you talk about 'mil-spec', the closest you will get in a civilian versions will probably be the bushmasters and the RRA's with the chrome lined bores and 5.56 chamber. I think that DPMS also has a configuration like this also. The thing about AR's is the compatibility/interchangability of parts and configurations. The problem with colts are that many recent models do not have the standard sized holes in the lower reciever. Also you are paying a premium for the name. In terms of general quality, the major brands you mention are going to be fine. Wilson and Les Baer are definitely pricey and I wouldn't spend my money on one, but that is me. I'm not sure what you mean by M-3 and M-2. If you mean AR15-a2 and AR15-a3, then yes those prices are about the same as most places. The reason why you cannot get the prices from the bushmaster website is that they know that you can only get a whole rifle or lower through an FFL, so they want to let the retailer/FFL set the prices without undercutting their prices. One other thing, (which you did not ask) is that the A3 can be had for the same price as the A2 if you do not get the carry handle. This may be of interest if you are planning on putting on some glass or red dot optics anyway. Hope some of that helps. Joe
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Um know,it,all!!! ARMALITE is chrome lined and 5.56 chamberd.[:D]
Link Posted: 12/30/2002 3:28:10 PM EST
I was in Law Enforcement in the USAF. My first AR purchase as a civilian was a Bushmaster, if that tells you anything.
Link Posted: 12/30/2002 3:45:37 PM EST
Originally Posted By AKsRule: Well , If 88balanced has read this far I bet he's[b]REEEEEEAAAAL[/b] Confused now [:D]
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Actually - YES! It's like opinions, well you know, everyone has one. I'm just trying to make the best value and quality purchase including if need be to build one myself - as I've stated twice and have not gotten a response, would a RRA lower and a Bushmaster upper make a great cost effective rifle? How about that Colt M-4 - is it worth the $999? thanks for all the responses.
Link Posted: 12/30/2002 3:57:58 PM EST
The Colt M-4 MT6700C I have is beautiful. Given a choice between RRA and BM I would agree with CJ and go with a BM. (I would stay away from a mix-master).
Link Posted: 12/30/2002 6:37:19 PM EST
Originally Posted By cmjohnson: Armalite hasn't offered hard chromed 4150 bores (like the mil spec requires) as a standard feature until just recently. Bushmaster always has.
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There is a lot of good info here, and I'm glad the discussion has been able to proceed so far along in the manner it has. However, Armalite still does not offer 4150 steel in their barrels. This was just RE-confirmed about a month ago. If they have changed in the last month or so, please forward the relevant info to confirm this. BTW, I sinserely hope they have.
Link Posted: 12/30/2002 6:43:34 PM EST
knightone Bushmaster produced M4's were issued to U.S. forces during the Gulf War. General Norman Schwarzkopff's personal security carried Bushmaster M4's. Would they adopt a weapon during war time and to protect their leaders that did not meet milspec? The answer is YES ! Spending 25 years in the military with direct knowledge of accquisition of parts, equipment etc I can tell you that the military does indeed use non-mil-spec items. the M-9, PSM-6, CEDS, AGETS (yeah, I know...military acronyms)none of which were mil-spec when first introduced and adopted by the military. I think we have all digressed from the original question. Why do we have to inundate the poor guy with more info than he requested or will ever need to know? Isn't this supposed to be a "helpful" group ?? It sounds more like a bushmaster (if you dont like my bushy or disagree with me, then I will browbeat you till you do) colt bashing site. Why cant we just say IMHO....I like (-----)because. IMHO....I have 3 Colts, 2 Bushy's and a DPMS. I would also rank them in that order. Lets make this a forum that people actually want to come back to and be a part of. 88Balanced is probably so un-balanced right now he is hanging on to the floor to keep from falling off. JMHO
Link Posted: 12/30/2002 6:48:14 PM EST
[Last Edit: 12/30/2002 6:50:11 PM EST by knightone]
A "mix-master" as someone put it is fine. I have a RRA lower mated to a Bushmaster upper and it fits perfectly and the color matches exactly. If you want a complete rifle, Either one (RRA or Bushmaster) are good choices. Keep in mind that RRA only chrome lines M4 barrels. The difference in steel (4150 vs. 4140) is almost negligible. If you absolutely must have a stronger steel, go with the Bushy, otherwise you won't be able to tell the difference. Personally, I like RRA. they are new and made some mistakes when they first started, but have more than made up for past mistakes with their recent products. Their finish is superb and the fitting is excellent. I should hope that in the future they decide to chrome line all their barrels, that would be nice. It would also be nice to see them make barrels out of 4150 steel, but like I said before, the difference is no big deal. Is the Colt M4 worth $999, that's for you to decide. With the Colt you will have to look for Colt sized trigger parts (not really that difficult), but with RRA or Bushy, you can get regular parts and swap parts with any other AR (with the exception on Colt's with large pins, obviously). With a Bushmaster, you will get an excellent product. They had a bad batch of barrels earlier in the year. I have never heard of any indexing problems before or since (I could be wrong). If there is a problem, Bushmaster will take care of it fast and friendly. The fit and finish will be superb. The rifle will serve you well. Look at it this way, if Bushmaster is so below standard, why do they sell so much product? Why do they stay in business? Why do they have so many repeat customers? A great majority of the people on this site swear by them and so do I. Rock River is also superb. Customer service can be slow, but they are courteous and knowledgeable once you reach them. They are up and coming and put out an extremely well made product. If they ever offer chrome lining standard on all their barrels, they will truly rival Bushmaster. Colt in recent uears has slipped in quality control. QCMGR may say QC is irrelevant, but I disagree. If the parts are made properly but are fitted and installed without care and attention, then not inspected, you will not have a proper funtioning rifle. That is not good. Recvently, I have heard of Colt's being loose in fitting, have muzzle brakes detach during firing, and the finish being rough. All of this is due to bad QC. What good is a milspec part if it isn't ijnstalled with care and attention? What good is spending all that money if the rifle is not comparable to the cost in fit, finish, care and quality? The only real problem I have ever seen in a Bushy is the barrel indexing problem. That, admittedly, was due to poor quality control. They did take care of everybody that had the problem, and I have never seen it happen before or since. The purple finish is a QC issue too. Although, they still take care that the finish is even and smooth. Bushmaster admits that they oly allow purple receivers to go through QC if there is just not enough time to re-anodize the receiver. Times like when the AW ban was about to take affect or when they have to meet a contract deadline. I think you will find a great majority of Bushmaster receivers to be black and not purple. Mine is a preban and it is black. The uppers I have bought are all black. I don't have a purple one in the bunch.
Link Posted: 12/30/2002 7:51:03 PM EST
Originally Posted By knightone: Colt in recent uears has slipped in quality control. QCMGR may say QC is irrelevant, but I disagree. If the parts are made properly but are fitted and installed without care and attention, then not inspected, you will not have a proper funtioning rifle. That is not good.
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I never said QC is irrelevant. QC is what I do for a living. Quality has to be designed into the process not inspected into the process. You have two component of the system; manufacturing and assembly. A process that is in control and stable will show little variation over time. This variation is called common cause variation. This is variation inherent to the process and can be accounted for. Variation that occurs due to a problem is called special cause variation. Special cause variation has an assignable cause. The purple receivers and indexing issues are assignable causes. It appears BM has the issues under control and then they have a quality spill. If you manufacturing process are in control, then the assembly process will be more consistent. If the assemblies are part of a DF/A (Design for Assembly) process, then the probability of non-conformance will be decreased. The bottom line is you need to have process in statistical control and a well trained workforce.
Link Posted: 12/30/2002 10:35:39 PM EST
Originally Posted By QCMGR: If you manufacturing process are in control, then the assembly process will be more consistent. If the assemblies are part of a DF/A (Design for Assembly) process, then the probability of non-conformance will be decreased. The bottom line is you need to have process in statistical control and a well trained workforce.
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So you are saying that the loose receivers, badly attached muzzle brakes, and the rough finishes are going to be consistent becasue Colt has a low percentage of non-conformance due to their incredibly tight manufacturing process. therefore all those problems will remain consistent over a majority of their products. Or perhaps you are saying that Colt does not have a well trained workforce.
Link Posted: 12/30/2002 11:41:58 PM EST
WOW! This thread has really been assraped! [BD] Even Olympic Arms sells M16 parts to the US Military. Buy the Bushmaster...no wait...buy the Armalite...no, wait...buy the Colt...no, wait...buy the Rock River Arms....[BD] If you are going to buy from your local gun store buy the Bushmaster. Nice gun, you won't be disappointed. [;)]
Link Posted: 12/31/2002 12:04:27 AM EST
Yes, USN_Joe is right. I am sorry for taking part in the hijacking of this thread. Quite honestly, with just about any of the AR's in the top five or six of the amnufacturers, you can't really go wrong. All of them will most likely go bang when you pull the trigger. The top companies being Bushmaster, Rock River, Armalite, Colt, DPMS, Cavalry Arms, and olympic Arms (in no particular order). If you stick to those guys, you should not have a problem with either the product or getting a problem solved if you do have one. If you want to build your own, it is a good way to learn about every aspect of the rifle while at the same time ensuring that every piece is fitted correctly. there is no better QC inspector for your rifle than yourself. It would be a good learning experience for a new AR enthusiast. If you build your own Bushmaster and Rock River lowers will have a bit of a smoother finish than lowers from other companies. For example, Armalite usually has a great finish, but they only sell Eagle Arms lowers which will have a slightly rougher finish. Bushmaster and Rock River receivers will also match quite nicely both in finish and color (unless you get a purple Bushmaster receiver, which is rare these days) If you buy a complete rifle or even just an upper, Bushmaster and Armalite are the only ones who use 4150 barrel steel and chrome lined bores and chambers as standard. All the companies (with the exception of the Colt's larger trigger pins) will accept universal AR15 parts. Even then, it is not hard to find the larger pins at most suppliers. It really is up to you. What materials you want, how much you are willing to spend, which looks beter to you. Everyone has their own taste and you should decide for yourself which is the best AR. I will stick to Bushmaster and Rock River. If some want to stick to Colt or Armalite, all the more power to them. Heck, I even like Oly and DPMS. To each his own and good luck with whichever AR you decide to purchase.
Link Posted: 12/31/2002 3:52:45 AM EST
Originally Posted By knightone:
Originally Posted By QCMGR: If you manufacturing process are in control, then the assembly process will be more consistent. If the assemblies are part of a DF/A (Design for Assembly) process, then the probability of non-conformance will be decreased. The bottom line is you need to have process in statistical control and a well trained workforce.
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So you are saying that the loose receivers, badly attached muzzle brakes, and the rough finishes are going to be consistent becasue Colt has a low percentage of non-conformance due to their incredibly tight manufacturing process. therefore all those problems will remain consistent over a majority of their products. Or perhaps you are saying that Colt does not have a well trained workforce.
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All the Colts I own have excellent fit and finish. Then again, I recommend ArmaLite.
Link Posted: 12/31/2002 3:54:38 AM EST
[Last Edit: 12/31/2002 3:57:01 AM EST by QCMGR]
Originally Posted By knightone: Yes, USN_Joe is right. I am sorry for taking part in the hijacking of this thread. Quite honestly, with just about any of the AR's in the top five or six of the amnufacturers, you can't really go wrong. All of them will most likely go bang when you pull the trigger. The top companies being Bushmaster, Rock River, Armalite, Colt, DPMS, Cavalry Arms, and olympic Arms (in no particular order). If you stick to those guys, you should not have a problem with either the product or getting a problem solved if you do have one. If you want to build your own, it is a good way to learn about every aspect of the rifle while at the same time ensuring that every piece is fitted correctly. there is no better QC inspector for your rifle than yourself. It would be a good learning experience for a new AR enthusiast. If you build your own Bushmaster and Rock River lowers will have a bit of a smoother finish than lowers from other companies. For example, Armalite usually has a great finish, but they only sell Eagle Arms lowers which will have a slightly rougher finish. Bushmaster and Rock River receivers will also match quite nicely both in finish and color (unless you get a purple Bushmaster receiver, which is rare these days) If you buy a complete rifle or even just an upper, Bushmaster and Armalite are the only ones who use 4150 barrel steel and chrome lined bores and chambers as standard. All the companies (with the exception of the Colt's larger trigger pins) will accept universal AR15 parts. Even then, it is not hard to find the larger pins at most suppliers. It really is up to you. What materials you want, how much you are willing to spend, which looks beter to you. Everyone has their own taste and you should decide for yourself which is the best AR. I will stick to Bushmaster and Rock River. If some want to stick to Colt or Armalite, all the more power to them. Heck, I even like Oly and DPMS. To each his own and good luck with whichever AR you decide to purchase.
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I apologize also. I agree* with knightone. *edited to note except I prefer ArmaLite.
Link Posted: 1/1/2003 1:17:59 PM EST
88BALANCED: i couldve warned you earlier. asking the general question "who makes the best ar-15" or "what ar-15 rifle should i get" will 100% of the time here at AR15.com open up a hornets nest of varying opinions, experience, and tons of disagreement. this thread is very typical, and very helpful i must say. the correct answer to who-makes-the-best-ar15 is: no one manufacturer can claim absolute supremancy. its like asking who makes the best car. forget about it. just pick one and begin your enjoyment. good luck. oh, i chose colt for my M4 and my 20" flat top HBar. but then, i live in connecticut and thats my bias. they are fantastic rifles for certain.
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