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Posted: 6/19/2011 11:25:25 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 6/19/2011 12:01:25 PM EDT by futuremodal]
..... in an already crowded field, and you want to come up with the best way to introduce your first complete rifles. What caliber do you choose for your introductory line of AR15's?



Just doing a little market research for my own curiosity.



Poll inbound.



ETA:  Since the topic got moved without the corresponding poll, I'll just add the previous results below and add it to the new poll:



223.5.56:  20 votes



Commie caliber:  3 votes



6.8:  4 votes



30 cal wildcat:  1 vote



Proprietary big bore similar to the 450 Bushmaster or the .20 Beowulf:  1 vote



Proprietary hunting/sniping caliber using a WSSM or similar case as a parent case:  1 vote



Pistol caliber:  3 votes



Rimfire caliber:  1 vote



Other:  4 votes
Link Posted: 6/19/2011 10:07:16 AM EDT
As you stated its an already crowded field so i went with "other" meaning that you should come up with something that sets you apart from all the others.
Link Posted: 6/19/2011 10:11:05 AM EDT




Originally Posted By chrisb9381:

As you stated its an already crowded field so i went with "other" meaning that you should come up with something that sets you apart from all the others.




Imagine though that you have some other unique qualities per production/design or just enthusiam for building AR's that sets you apart from the others.  Does a caliber choice make or break you, or is it a non-factor?
Link Posted: 6/19/2011 10:18:16 AM EDT
stick with the caliber that gives the biggest market.  but honestly, as far as complete rifles go you are going to have to have something AMAZING if you want my dollar.  I don't buy complete rifles/uppers/lowers.. and i recommend to others to build their own from the ground up as well.  

if you have something better/better priced/innovative/different and you want my money then i hope you are going to offer whatever it is as individual parts as well.

Link Posted: 6/19/2011 10:22:49 AM EDT
i chose other.
it would be nice to see factory repros of  retro guns
Link Posted: 6/19/2011 10:41:29 AM EDT
Originally Posted By MILLERLGT82:
i chose other.
it would be nice to see factory repros of  retro guns


I'm gonna go with this. My next rifle will be either a 20" A2 cllone, or an M16A1 variant of some sort. I really don't care about the historical accuracy of it, I'd just like to have a no-frills, lightweight 20" rifle.
Link Posted: 6/19/2011 10:48:30 AM EDT
Most people are going to shoot 223 just for the cost.  Building whatever the flavor of the month caliber isn't going to make your business stand out.



One thing that I think would be cool would be a build-a-bear type of AR shop.  As a customer, I think that it would be really cool to run around and pick components from bins and watch it come together.  
Link Posted: 6/19/2011 11:12:42 AM EDT
7.62x39 that takes AK mags





Without something out of the ordinary it would be like getting in the ink pen business.
Link Posted: 6/19/2011 11:53:23 AM EDT
Okay, so the topic got moved to the ARFcom insane asylum ....



...... and the mods forgot to or couldn't move the poll with it? ...



I'll start a new poll, but the results will have been skewed since those 38 votes already cast might not get transfered.
Link Posted: 6/19/2011 12:37:52 PM EDT
the field is crowded I would like 7.62x25 for a pistol and . 6.5 for a rifle , Make it take cheap mags and the world is yours
Link Posted: 6/19/2011 12:41:30 PM EDT
.577 T-Rex in full auto.
Link Posted: 6/19/2011 12:41:38 PM EDT
I would say try to make a RELIABLE piston AR that runs on 5.56 and is CHEAP.
Link Posted: 6/19/2011 12:44:11 PM EDT
You're unlikely to differentiate yourself in the market based on caliber.
Link Posted: 6/19/2011 12:44:55 PM EDT



Originally Posted By acman145acp:


7.62x39 that takes AK mags





Without something out of the ordinary it would be like getting in the ink pen business.


You stole my answer.

 
Link Posted: 6/19/2011 12:46:14 PM EDT




Originally Posted By Joe_Pennsy:





Originally Posted By acman145acp:

7.62x39 that takes AK mags





Without something out of the ordinary it would be like getting in the ink pen business.


You stole my answer.




same here. the only one right now is the MGI unit and its insane expensive and if you want to use your own upper you have to send it off to a custom shop to get modified.
Link Posted: 6/19/2011 12:47:29 PM EDT
More folks making .308 would be nice.
Link Posted: 6/19/2011 12:48:33 PM EDT
Other.  I'd go with the 6.5 Grendel.  Less competition, but looking at commercial ammo supplies and manufacturers, I'd be willing to take a gamble on their popularity going up in the near future.  Especially with good marketing and as part of your business, offering reloading hardware, mags, and ammo.
Link Posted: 6/19/2011 12:56:54 PM EDT
5.45x39 complete upper with chrome lined barrel or some sort of non corrosive lining on all parts

$400 - 550
Link Posted: 6/19/2011 1:05:00 PM EDT
243
Link Posted: 6/19/2011 2:44:42 PM EDT
Twelve gauge.
Link Posted: 6/19/2011 2:48:29 PM EDT
300 blackout
Link Posted: 6/19/2011 2:51:08 PM EDT




Originally Posted By chargerkid5:

Other. I'd go with the 6.5 Grendel. Less competition, but looking at commercial ammo supplies and manufacturers, I'd be willing to take a gamble on their popularity going up in the near future. Especially with good marketing and as part of your business, offering reloading hardware, mags, and ammo.




Proprietary cartridge per Alexander Arms.



However, I do like the notion of an 800+ yard hard hitting caliber out of the AR15 platform ......
Link Posted: 6/19/2011 2:51:25 PM EDT
Shotgun, 22LR, and 308 are all appealing options
Link Posted: 6/19/2011 2:52:06 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 6/19/2011 2:55:40 PM EDT by futuremodal]




Originally Posted By BlackSwan:

5.45x39 complete upper with chrome lined barrel or some sort of non corrosive lining on all parts



$400 - 550


I think one of the new site sponsors has something pretty close - are you opposed to a piston 5.45 upper?



http://www.huldraarms.com/uppers/product_76b374d367d8/



I'm betting others have something in that genre and in that price range as well.

Link Posted: 6/19/2011 2:55:52 PM EDT
I'd be more concerned with the caliber of the employee, as they're the ones making me the money.
Link Posted: 6/19/2011 2:57:02 PM EDT
Right now?

5.56 and 6.5 Grendel. Cheap Wolf steel case 6.5 should be hitting the shores soon and I predeict a lot of people will be clamoring for a 6.5.
Link Posted: 6/19/2011 2:57:39 PM EDT




Originally Posted By xikteny:

Twelve gauge.




Would have to be top fed or side fed, isn't the 12 gauge cartridge too big for the AR15 magwell?



410 or possibly 28 gauge might work.
Link Posted: 6/19/2011 2:57:57 PM EDT
6.5 Grendel
Link Posted: 6/19/2011 2:58:11 PM EDT
Originally Posted By futuremodal:

Originally Posted By chargerkid5:
Other. I'd go with the 6.5 Grendel. Less competition, but looking at commercial ammo supplies and manufacturers, I'd be willing to take a gamble on their popularity going up in the near future. Especially with good marketing and as part of your business, offering reloading hardware, mags, and ammo.


Proprietary cartridge per Alexander Arms.

However, I do like the notion of an 800+ yard hard hitting caliber out of the AR15 platform ......


6.5 LBC-AR then, or your own rendetion thereof.
Link Posted: 6/19/2011 2:58:13 PM EDT
30-06
Link Posted: 6/19/2011 2:59:18 PM EDT




Originally Posted By Lightning1960:

243




You mean 243WSSM?  Or a 243 out of a 308 AR platform?
Link Posted: 6/19/2011 3:00:34 PM EDT
Originally Posted By futuremodal:

Originally Posted By xikteny:
Twelve gauge.


Would have to be top fed or side fed, isn't the 12 gauge cartridge too big for the AR15 magwell?

410 or possibly 28 gauge might work.


It would require a proprietary lower receiver, yes.
Link Posted: 6/19/2011 3:04:02 PM EDT
START with 5.56mm



THEN go to the pistol calibers.

Link Posted: 6/19/2011 3:08:49 PM EDT
Originally Posted By futuremodal:

Originally Posted By Lightning1960:
243


You mean 243WSSM?  Or a 243 out of a 308 AR platform?


6x45 is another "243" for the AR that's been mostly overlooked.
Link Posted: 6/19/2011 3:10:48 PM EDT
416 Rigby
Link Posted: 6/19/2011 3:17:45 PM EDT
what about a pistol caliber, e.g. .40, .45, .38...?

just an idea
Link Posted: 6/19/2011 3:19:54 PM EDT
Originally Posted By 53vortec:
Originally Posted By futuremodal:

Originally Posted By chargerkid5:
Other. I'd go with the 6.5 Grendel. Less competition, but looking at commercial ammo supplies and manufacturers, I'd be willing to take a gamble on their popularity going up in the near future. Especially with good marketing and as part of your business, offering reloading hardware, mags, and ammo.


Proprietary cartridge per Alexander Arms.

However, I do like the notion of an 800+ yard hard hitting caliber out of the AR15 platform ......


6.5 LBC-AR then, or your own rendetion thereof.


This or inquire as to AA's licensing fees.  I am a bit biased.  I LOVE mine.
Link Posted: 6/19/2011 3:22:24 PM EDT




Originally Posted By 7Six2Fifty4R:

what about a pistol caliber, e.g. .40, .45, .38...?



just an idea


If someone invents an AR mag that reliably feeds rimmed cartridges, that someone will be a gazillionaire .... okay, maybe only a millionaire.

Link Posted: 6/19/2011 3:24:01 PM EDT




Originally Posted By chargerkid5:



Originally Posted By 53vortec:



Originally Posted By futuremodal:





Originally Posted By chargerkid5:

Other. I'd go with the 6.5 Grendel. Less competition, but looking at commercial ammo supplies and manufacturers, I'd be willing to take a gamble on their popularity going up in the near future. Especially with good marketing and as part of your business, offering reloading hardware, mags, and ammo.




Proprietary cartridge per Alexander Arms.



However, I do like the notion of an 800+ yard hard hitting caliber out of the AR15 platform ......




6.5 LBC-AR then, or your own rendetion thereof.




This or inquire as to AA's licensing fees. I am a bit biased. I LOVE mine.




I love my Beo so much I'm inclined to favor other AA products.  If that Wolf rumour pans out, I'm there.
Link Posted: 6/19/2011 3:26:31 PM EDT
Link Posted: 6/19/2011 3:30:33 PM EDT


If I ran an AR company, I'd concentrate on producing properly made upper receivers.  And I'd guarantee everything for life.  I'd do whatever it takes to produce a quality upper receiver assembly at a reasonable price.

And I'd concentrate on a few basic upper receivers:

1.  16" lightweight barrel with A2 upper receiver;
2.  16" lightweigh barrel with flat top receiver,
3.  16" M4 profile barrel with A2 upper receiver;
4.  16" M4 profile barrel with flat top receiver.
3.  20" lightweight barrel with A2 upper receiver
4.  20" lightweight barrel with flat top receiver;
5.  20" govt profile barrel with A2 receiver
6.  20" govt profile barrel with flat top receiver.

Every barrel would be 4150 steel and chrome lined.  And every chamber would be properly chambered in 5.56mm.  And all the front sights would be mounted squarely and with proper taper pins.  And every bolt carrier would be staked properly, every time.

When someone bought a DBAS upper receiver, they would be confident that the thing would work properly.
Link Posted: 6/19/2011 3:32:04 PM EDT
I'd love some proof that the US Armed Forces use 6.8SPC.
Link Posted: 6/19/2011 3:34:33 PM EDT
308. Make it very nice and charge about a grand for it. I just don't want to spend that much for a DPMS. There doesn't seem to be much between a DPMS and a Larue.
Link Posted: 6/19/2011 3:37:57 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 6/19/2011 3:46:06 PM EDT by Remyrw]
Two options, preferably identical except for the barrel and bolt.
Version 1: Standard 5.56 AR's 1:7 16" gov or M4 profile chrome lined. That satisfies 90% of the customer base that wants a centerfire AR.
Version 2: Same basic package but with a 1:14 16" barrel. Chrome lined, light weight profile, with barrel extension for 22LR instead of 5.56. Use a suitable bolt and magazines. Should include buffer and spring in lower so it's ready for a center fire upper with no modifications.

Version 3: Standard lower with both uppers and a LaRue mount of the customer's choice and a free range book to record sight adjustments between the two. Factor your margin to increase profit slightly over either of the first two versions but still significantly lower cost to the customer than two rifles.

Offer 6.8mm builds since most of the machine work is identical anyway. What exactly are you producing on a CNC machine yourself? If you're making rails and doing billet receivers and such that's still all the same. The bolt carrier is still the same as well, so if you don't want to worry about doing the bolts themselves you can just get them from one of the current manufacturers at the same time you buy things like part kits, gas tubes, stocks...

The market for other calibers is pretty limited. Sure, feel free to build them on request but I wouldn't try to make a business out of them. You'd have to all but corner the market to survive and even then it would be a struggle with any of the more esoteric calibers.

ETA: Honestly though, without some sort of major hook, there's no room for yet another company making AR's at the level of machining. Most of what WOULD be a significant hook only appeals to a small number of people or has known and substantial problems. Fixing most of those problems means changing the platform enough that you are no longer cross compatible with other AR15 uppers or lowers, which means you are essentially a different firearm. My focus would be on cost, quality and availability. Offer options WHEN YOU HAVE THE PARTS, but basically just sell what you can source or make as you make or receive it. A lot of companies have gotten in over their heads on order volume trying to cash in on the demand, I do not support this business model for hard goods when supply is less than steady. Don't sell something if you can't give a reliable and reasonable time frame for delivery. That puts you in a different business, that of handmade custom items, where you take orders and a deposit. I don't think AR15's belong in that category.
Link Posted: 6/19/2011 3:44:46 PM EDT
An AR10 upper/lower for ~$100 each.  The .223/5.56 market is completely flooded with sub $100 receivers, why no one can put out a AR10 receiver for a decent price is beyond me.
Link Posted: 6/19/2011 3:48:33 PM EDT



Originally Posted By inzane123:


Most people are going to shoot 223 just for the cost.  Building whatever the flavor of the month caliber isn't going to make your business stand out.



One thing that I think would be cool would be a build-a-bear type of AR shop.  As a customer, I think that it would be really cool to run around and pick components from bins and watch it come together.  


Ding. Plus, you need an established customer base. To do that, make 223/556, make it well, make it reasonable on cost, excel at customer service. Yeah, you're not going to have much of a profit margin, but with a loyal customer base, a good product, and reasonable prices (think 'easier to get new customers/customer bases'), deciding on which calibers to produce won't be hard.



Also, I would like to see an actual dollar amount tied to a 'custom' caliber or setup or rifle or etc. Kind of like a New Year count down clock. Like I could log onto your website and see how much a KISS .308 AR15 would be, how many people wanted them, how much to buy one now, what the cost would be per unit at x units. Even a 'layaway' program where I could 'order' something at a specific price, and the order would be completed if enough people wanted to buy that kind of thing.
 
Link Posted: 6/19/2011 3:51:48 PM EDT




Originally Posted By Remyrw:

Two options, preferably identical except for the barrel and bolt.

Version 1: Standard 5.56 AR's 1:7 16" gov or M4 profile chrome lined. That satisfies 90% of the customer base that wants a centerfire AR.

Version 2: Same basic package but with a 1:14 16" barrel. Chrome lined, light weight profile, with barrel extension for 22LR instead of 5.56. Use a suitable bolt and magazines. Should include buffer and spring in lower so it's ready for a center fire upper with no modifications.



Version 3: Standard lower with both uppers and a LaRue mount of the customer's choice and a free range book to record sight adjustments between the two. Factor your margin to increase profit slightly over either of the first two versions but still significantly lower cost to the customer than two rifles.



Offer 6.8mm builds since most of the machine work is identical anyway. What exactly are you producing on a CNC machine yourself? If you're making rails and doing billet receivers and such that's still all the same. The bolt carrier is still the same as well, so if you don't want to worry about doing the bolts themselves you can just get them from one of the current manufacturers at the same time you buy things like part kits, gas tubes, stocks...



The market for other calibers is pretty limited. Sure, feel free to build them on request but I wouldn't try to make a business out of them. You'd have to all but corner the market to survive and even then it would be a struggle with any of the more esoteric calibers.




Your last point is well taken.  The customer must be able to experience judicious utility of his/her purchase, otherwise they find out they're stuck with a giant dust collector 360 days of the year.



That's one reason why I am intrigue by the concept of "single caliber; duel cartridge" - the most obvious (and successful) example being the 22lr conversion for the 223 AR.  What I would like to see is a Stoner rifle designed around an AR cartridge specified for long range aspects aka Grendel/WSSM, but can be converted to a lower cost cartridge for practice/plinking.
Link Posted: 6/19/2011 3:57:31 PM EDT




Originally Posted By an_hero:

I'd love some proof that the US Armed Forces use 6.8SPC.




Well, there's rumors to that effect ...



What I should have said for that option is a non-5.56 cartridge for potential military applications, 6.8 being one such example.  Basically designing something that would appeal to the top brass (thus the potential for a lucrative government contract).
Link Posted: 6/19/2011 4:07:58 PM EDT
No option for ANY 6.5


Fail
Link Posted: 6/19/2011 4:10:24 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 6/19/2011 4:14:04 PM EDT by 4schitzangiggles]
Long version, open with 5.56 (and no not .223 or .223 Wylde). Offer either chrome lined or nitrided (I prefer the nitrided barrels for increased accuracy, increased whole barrel corrosion resistance and longevity) barrels with a 1/7 twist, Mid length gas system. Use F-marked FSB assembles with a bayonet lug that is properly drilled with taper pins oriented the correct direction. Have the barrel made out of 4150 CMV steel. You could go with a government profile or light weight (I am looking to do a lightweight build for my next project) profile. M4 feed ramps and a properly torqued barrel nut. Use a T-marked 7075T6 forged upper that is type II Hardcoat anodized. Shot peened HP/MPI tested Bolts, etc, etc.

Short version, offer a top tier rifle built, tested and held to a well defined standard with quality components at a price that is affordable with great customer service and you will do well. If you come out offering Bushmaster, DPMS, Olympic Arms etc. level of quality, you won't be around long. There is a glut of "just as good as" rifles that aren't.  Quality wise you would want to be comfortably with in the BCM, DD, Spikes, Colt, LMT level of quality and slightly above the Bushy, DPMS level on pricing (really, it won't be that hard). Consider having an outside lab verify your standards. get your rifles out to people going to high end instruction/classes taught by respected instructors and tell them to run them hard. The unsolicited endorsements will speak louder than any snazzy internet marketing. That is how BCM got to be where it is. Built a reputation on no compromise with quality and customer service and the world will beat a path to your door. Shpw us you can handle the basics first, and do it well before branching out to "boutique calibers" no matter how cool 3 dudes on the internet thinks it will be. If you want a .gov contract build what they know, then after they see what you can do, think about adding some flavor to your line up.

Oh and I nearly forgot, keep away from garish logos. People should know they are handling your product based off of the quality and a small roll mark.

If you need a Beta tester, lemmme know.
Link Posted: 6/19/2011 4:20:27 PM EDT
I would copy the ever lovin shit outta those turkish made 12s that are coming in and make them outta forged lowers and accept more AR parts like stocks and grips and rails etc.

You could make some bank.
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