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Posted: 10/24/2013 8:01:03 AM EST
What's up? I'm the latest mall-ninja here and here is my first post... I've been building/shooting ARs for a while and I'm also a small time FFL dealer. I've come to the conclusion that when dealing with ARs, the name on the product is a good gauge of how much something will cost, independently of how it stacks up against other similar products. Lowers are a great example. I can get a Spikes lower for $100 and it was made in the same place as a Noveske (gen. 1...I know, they are now made elsewhere) and the Noveske will run me $150-$200. Other examples are suppressor manufacturers that have Govt. contracts almost always cost at least a few hundred more than other comparable cans. Gemtech and AAC are great companies with great products but cost a lot more than Yankee Hill or Silencerco which are arguably as good or better. But because Gemtech and AAC have the Gov. contract claim to fame, their real-estate costs the most and not necessarily because they have superior quality.

My question for you AR gurus is what are some superior quality products that don't have inflated costs? Just because something is expensive, doesn't mean it's the best out there and just because it doesn't cost a lot doesn't mean it's cheap.

I'm really interested in quality barrel manufacturers. We all know that Noveske makes quality barrels, that isn't being put into question. But what are some other sub MOA barrels? Trigger groups? Free-float forearms?
Link Posted: 10/24/2013 8:45:04 AM EST
[Last Edit: 10/24/2013 9:24:43 AM EST by ZekeMenuar]
I spend the big bucks on the barrel and bolt.
Stuff like charging handles, stripped uppers, nickel and dime parts I get from Del-Ton or Bushmaster.
I've got a couple of DPMS LPK's that were fine after a little polishing.
I got my last barrel from AR Performance. I'll buy my next one from them too.
I'm stocked up on stripped lowers. They are all Stag lowers bought before the first panic.
I use either the regular six position telestock or CavArms MkII lowers. I don't care for most of the expensive custom stocks. YMMV.

Resist the urge to be a bandwagon builder. There are a lot of people here that are building the same gun.
Build what you want. Not what the boutique gun of the week is.

If you build your own lower, buy five of those pesky detents that fly across the room during assembly. You'll thank me later.

I like no frills, low drama AR15's.
Design your gun to do one thing and build accordingly.
For example. If you want a 400 yard varmint gun. You don't need an expensive railed handguard. A $100 aluminum tube will do nicely.
Don't compromise or try to build a multi-purpose gun. You'll wind up with a gun that's so-so at everything and real good at nothing.

I don't know anything about suppressors.

Link Posted: 10/24/2013 11:59:20 AM EST
[Last Edit: 10/24/2013 4:25:24 PM EST by Shadow_Dancer]
I only pay a premium for QUALITY and almost never for brand unless I'm building along a specific thematic line where brand is critical to the execution and final product.
Brand and Quality are mutually exclusive. There are many examples where businesses leverage their brand to charge higher prices for like quality, or worse, keep prices the same while subtly reducing the quality because their brand can support higher prices.

My general procurement decision tree is pretty simple.

(A) Is the part proprietary? [ Yes / No ]
- If No, find a suitable alternative of equal quality/grade at less cost.
- If Yes, go to (B).

(B) Is the part manufactured by the brand? [ Yes / No ]
- If No, find the manufacturer / supplier and go to (C)
- If Yes, buy the part at the least cost possible.

(C) Does the manufacturing subcontractor / supplier sell the part under their own brand or is allowed to sell a generic equivalent? [ Yes / No ]
- If No, go to (B) and purchase.
- If Yes, is the part less expensive than (B)? [ Yes / No ]

(D) - If B > C, buy the part from (C)
- If C > B, buy the part from (B)

And NEVER be afraid to ask, "Hey, are there any sales in the near future or discounts available?"
You would be surprised how much money people leave on the table over time by not asking this very simple 3 second question. It has become habit for me.
Link Posted: 10/24/2013 12:22:54 PM EST
[Last Edit: 10/24/2013 12:24:08 PM EST by ZekeMenuar]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By Shadow_Dancer:
I only pay a premium for QUALITY and almost never for brand unless I'm building along a specific thematic line where brand is critical to the execution and final product.
Brand and Quality are mutually exclusive. There are many examples where business leverage their brand to charge higher prices for like quality, or worse, keep prices the same while subtly reducing the quality because their brand can support higher prices.

My general procurement decision tree is pretty simple.

(A) Is the part proprietary? [ Yes / No ]
- If No, find a suitable alternative of equal quality/grade at less cost.
- If Yes, go to (B).

(B) Is the part manufactured by the brand? [ Yes / No ]
- If No, find the manufacturer / supplier and go to (C)
- If Yes, buy the part at the least cost possible.

(C) Does the manufacturing subcontractor / supplier sell the part under their own brand or is allowed to sell a generic equivalent? [ Yes / No ]
- If No, go to (B) and purchase.
- If Yes, is the part less expensive than (B)? [ Yes / No ]

(D) - If B > C, buy the part from (C)
- If C > B, buy the part from (B)

And NEVER be afraid to ask, "Hey, are there any sales in the near future or discounts available?"
You would be surprise how much people leave on the table over time by not asking this very simple 3 second question. It's become habit for me.
View Quote


Why isn't this post a sticky? If it isn't it should be. Well done.

If your not careful you'll give 13'rs a good name.
Link Posted: 10/25/2013 6:57:58 AM EST
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By ZekeMenuar:
[
Why isn't this post a sticky? If it isn't it should be. Well done.

If your not careful you'll give 13'rs a good name.
View Quote


Hahahaha!
Link Posted: 10/27/2013 3:31:46 PM EST
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By ZekeMenuar:If you build your own lower, buy five of those pesky detents that fly across the room during assembly. You'll thank me later.

View Quote


old timer once suggested to me to assemble this part with the lower inside a plastic bag... gallon zip-loc and havent lost a detent yet.
Link Posted: 10/27/2013 5:59:02 PM EST
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By PW45:


old timer once suggested to me to assemble this part with the lower inside a plastic bag... gallon zip-loc and havent lost a detent yet.
View Quote View All Quotes
View All Quotes
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By PW45:
Originally Posted By ZekeMenuar:If you build your own lower, buy five of those pesky detents that fly across the room during assembly. You'll thank me later.



old timer once suggested to me to assemble this part with the lower inside a plastic bag... gallon zip-loc and havent lost a detent yet.


That is a rather ingenious idea.
Link Posted: 10/27/2013 6:45:07 PM EST
After trying a couple high $ barrels including a Noveske I've come to the conclusion that Wilson makes stainless barrels that are just as accurate and only cost a third as much. I've had several now and they would all print 1/2" groups with match quality ammo and if I do my part.
Link Posted: 10/27/2013 7:38:06 PM EST
[Last Edit: 10/27/2013 7:45:56 PM EST by Gas__Operated]
UTG pro Quadrails are miles better than their reputation.

Also it seems to have tougher anodizing than the MI equivalents, I had a UTG pro on my AR and a buddy had the MI.

We were shooting of a tree branch, only later he found out his rails were a bit scuffed. UTG was fine

ETA: Green Mountain barrels are the best IMO, I had a Noveske in an AR I sold a while ago, and the lug that fits into the upper receiver notch was small. Warranty covered it. Accuracy was same if not better in the Green Mountain, mind you the Green Mountain had M4 cuts
Link Posted: 10/29/2013 7:42:06 PM EST
Ditto on UTG. For barrels DEZ Arms has excellent barrels in a variety of configurations at good prices, I've bought 3 so far and am very happy with them. Olympic makes some very accurate barrels also. One area not to cheap out is the extractor. I've switched out all mine to Colt to avoid breakage at random times.
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