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Posted: 9/13/2002 2:27:08 PM EDT
I have wanted to get an AR-15 for some time and I think that I'm going to finally get one soon. I noticed that the Olympics were rather inexpensive and have a lifetime warranty. I was also looking at the Rock River rifles as well.

Also, how big a difference is there between cast and forged receivers?

Thanks for your help
Link Posted: 9/13/2002 2:40:58 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 9/13/2002 2:41:17 PM EDT by PostWhore]
You probably will never see a difference between cast and forged in actual use, but cast looks like shit.

RRA has better configurations.

I have a preban oly lower with an RRA 9mm on top, and the RRA has much better machining.

RRA has som of the best triggers out there, so I am told.

Make sure you get a stainless or chrome lined barrel.
Link Posted: 9/13/2002 2:43:47 PM EDT
I have an Olympic CAR97 with stainless steel barrel and am very happy with the finish and performance of the weapon. I haven't had any jams or other functional troubles. Make sure to pick up an Accu-wedge for it.
Link Posted: 9/13/2002 2:47:41 PM EDT
Someone asked the same at a gun shop this week. Universal answer, Fuggaboutit!

Go w/RRA
Link Posted: 9/13/2002 3:25:02 PM EDT
I have a Oly Arms CAR97 with their Stainless M4 Barrel. I had a RRA fake Flash Suppressor added. This gun is sweet. It never jams and is very accurate. It is far better than the Colt Hbar it replaced. I also have an RRA Varminter and it is an even better rifle. As long as you dont get the Oly cast guns you should be fine. I love mine.
Link Posted: 9/13/2002 3:35:24 PM EDT
i have owned a oly for a while and am in love with it. when i think it is an excellent weapon. mine has never given me on bit of trouble. i would get a forged lower. oly makes both, one is an entry level ar15 and the rest are forged. my pcr4 is accurate and utterly dependable. i love mine!!
Link Posted: 9/14/2002 6:34:02 AM EDT
Newer Olymic Arms are better than some of the older ones where they cut corners - most that we don't notice. One that I did notice is that rather than using a finishing reamer after the rough reamer they just use one. On the pair I had the chamber was just a bit too small - a minute with a finish reamer opened in up to NATO specs.

A too small chamber becomes a problem as the barrel heats up and becomes smaller - making ejection difficult.

Both rifle work fine now.
Link Posted: 9/14/2002 10:01:52 AM EDT
The OlyArms FAR-15 has a fluted barrel for weight savings.

What's a fluted barrel?
Link Posted: 9/14/2002 10:55:06 AM EDT
Oly's can sometimes have a tight magwell, and older rifles will be chambered to the .223 SAAMI specs instead of the slighly larger and more reliable 5.56 milspec. Newer Oly's will have the larger 5.56 chamber, but will not have the chrome lining. The barrel and the magazines are probably the two most important parts of the AR. A good chrome lined 5.56 chamber and bore will amount to better reliability.

Oly will chrome line a chamber and barrel at an added cost, but at this point, there's so many good options in the same price range that regularly chrome line their chambers and bores, and wont take a special order.

It really all depends on what you want to do with the AR. If it is a range gun, for plinking and fun... it wont really make much of a difference. If you want something that may be used for any kind of defence, you really should get a 5.56 chamber with chrome lining. If you want a super match accuracy type gun, the Oly SUM line is great for the price.
Link Posted: 9/15/2002 12:44:03 AM EDT

Originally Posted By slipjoint:
The OlyArms FAR-15 has a fluted barrel for weight savings.

What's a fluted barrel?



The FAR-15 is not fluted, but it has been turned down to A1 style - comonly called pencil barrel. This makes the rifle weigh less than 5 lbs!

Fluting if the act of machining out metal fromt he barrel. Sort of like creating grooves on the outside to reduce weight, increase surface area and some say increase rigidity...

If you want a bull barrel rifle, but will be carrying it aruond, fluting is VERY nice. If you do a lot of prone shooting, I would not suggest fluting - you want the weight.

I hope this answers your questions. If not, ask and we will provide you an answer.

Link Posted: 9/15/2002 1:00:42 AM EDT

Originally Posted By new-arguy:
Oly's can sometimes have a tight magwell, and older rifles will be chambered to the .223 SAAMI specs instead of the slighly larger and more reliable 5.56 milspec. Newer Oly's will have the larger 5.56 chamber, but will not have the chrome lining. The barrel and the magazines are probably the two most important parts of the AR. A good chrome lined 5.56 chamber and bore will amount to better reliability.



To add to new-arguy's comments. Oly has been known more for making their guns accurate then for "self defense". They had a tighter chamber (SAAMI spec) in the past (guns made 2 years and earlier) because it increases accuracy. The 5.56 spec makes the chamber looser, allowing one to use ammo that has a wide variety in dimensions (import typically

The .223 spec chamber is very reliable with ammo that is made for it. American made ammo works well. Import ammo does not always stay in spec. For .223 OR 5.56 and can cause problems.

Oly recently changed to the 5.56 spec chamber based upon customer demand. That is a good thing for customers. Customers spoke and Oly listed. Another example is RRA did this with their picatinny rail and other items.

Customers and manufacturers win when they listen to customers.

Should you get a chromed lined barrel?

For the vast majority of people, it makes no difference. They are lucky to shoot 5,000 rounds through their guns lifetime.

For CQB, I would recommend chrome lining or stainless steel if you want accuracy and better reliability.

For high power, DCM, etc. shooting, the Oly SUM stainless steel barrel is hard to beat for the price.

In regards to forged or cast - it is a price point issue. The cast receiver will work just as well as a forged one in most cases.

I made a Oly cast lower into a machine gun and it works great. It's metal is softer, but if I treat it like most of us treat our guns - we baby them and they will last a LONG time.

If you are going to be the 5% who are GI Joes and use their gun for a hammer, shovel and oar, get a forged.

As far as which gun to buy, warranty and price are the biggest factors, for most people.

Some well known manufacturers have a one year warranty. When things were not made well and they broke, they charge $$$ to fix the deficiencies.

The top 5 or so manufacturers guns have very few differencies. you need to decide if they are worth paying more for.

Best of luck in your choice.

Link Posted: 9/15/2002 9:51:47 AM EDT
Wow, thanks for the info budam!

On the subject of the lightweight barrels, would the weight reduction of the barrel amplify muzzle rise, and practically make target re-acquisition an issue, or at the very least a chore?

I'd like to build a lighweight AR (already have standard M4gery's) but would rather not spend $500+ on a lightweight upper that I won't enjoy shooting!

What do you think?
Link Posted: 9/15/2002 9:53:16 AM EDT
I have built two Oly ARs and have had no problems with either one.


Aviator
Link Posted: 9/15/2002 9:56:22 AM EDT
Thanks for all of the help guys. I think I'm going to take the plunge.
Link Posted: 9/15/2002 12:49:14 PM EDT

Originally Posted By slipjoint:
On the subject of the lightweight barrels, would the weight reduction of the barrel amplify muzzle rise, and practically make target re-acquisition an issue, or at the very least a chore?



The lightweight barrel profile will decrease barrel stiffness - the means the muzzle will whip more during firing than a stiffer barrel, and possibly increase your group size.

Also, a lighter barrel has lower angular momentum, which means that for a given load, muzzle rise will be pronounced than with a heavier or longer barrel.

Barrel droop as the barrel heats up will be less in a lighter barrel than in a heavier barrel - although that slight advantage is probably more than offset by increased whip and rise.

A lighter barrel results in a lighter rifle, which is easier and more pleasant to carry for long periods of time, but which will also reduce the overall mass of the rifle, increasing felt recoil.

A good muzzle device can compensate for just about all of the above faults. Something like the AK74 style brake is extremely effective in reducing muzzle rise, and reducing felt recoil. Nothing can be done about the increased whip unless you put the barrel under tension (some free-float tubes can accomplish this), or go with a fluted barrel (which won't reduce weight as much, but increases stiffness, and provides additional surface area to enhance cooling).

Rapid fire with a lightweight barrel will heat up the barrel much more quickly than with a heavier barrel, and a lightweight barrel is not going to be as durable under full auto or rapid semi firing as a heavier barrel.
Link Posted: 9/15/2002 9:53:20 PM EDT

Originally Posted By slipjoint:
What do you think?



More importantly what do you want to do with your rifle?

Based upon that information, suggestions on what to get can be made.


Link Posted: 9/16/2002 12:24:04 AM EDT
I recomend chrome lining for a very important reason: should you get water in the bore of your rifle, you don't want it to rust. This happens on long hunting or camping trips, especially when you bring the rifle inside from the cold.

If you are careful about cleaning and oiling it, you won't notice the differnce.
Link Posted: 9/16/2002 8:28:50 AM EDT

Originally Posted By PostWhore:
I recomend chrome lining for a very important reason: should you get water in the bore of your rifle, you don't want it to rust. This happens on long hunting or camping trips, especially when you bring the rifle inside from the cold.



Is that why most hunting rifles are not chromed lined? :-)

Most AR15 owners do not hunt with their firearm, nor do they take them camping, based upon my expierence in talking to people who buy them from me.

Link Posted: 9/16/2002 10:29:52 AM EDT
Been running an Oly A2 for close to three years now. No complaints what so ever. The chrome lined bore thing just isn't a factor with me. Cnrome lining was intended for full auto applications in the jungle, neither of which impact me. Last numbers I saw showed Oly was the number four or five manufacturer of AR's in the country. They tend to do most of their stuff in house, including forging their own lowers.

For the money they are hard to beat. Bushmaster is the biggest seller. Colt has "the" name. Armalite is certainly the prettiest AR out there, but I doubt any of them shoot any better.

Link Posted: 9/16/2002 11:02:25 AM EDT

Originally Posted By budam:

Originally Posted By new-arguy:
Oly's can sometimes have a tight magwell, and older rifles will be chambered to the .223 SAAMI specs instead of the slighly larger and more reliable 5.56 milspec. Newer Oly's will have the larger 5.56 chamber, but will not have the chrome lining. The barrel and the magazines are probably the two most important parts of the AR. A good chrome lined 5.56 chamber and bore will amount to better reliability.



To add to new-arguy's comments. Oly has been known more for making their guns accurate then for "self defense". They had a tighter chamber (SAAMI spec) in the past (guns made 2 years and earlier) because it increases accuracy. The 5.56 spec makes the chamber looser, allowing one to use ammo that has a wide variety in dimensions (import typically

The .223 spec chamber is very reliable with ammo that is made for it. American made ammo works well. Import ammo does not always stay in spec. For .223 OR 5.56 and can cause problems.

Oly recently changed to the 5.56 spec chamber based upon customer demand. That is a good thing for customers. Customers spoke and Oly listed. Another example is RRA did this with their picatinny rail and other items.

Customers and manufacturers win when they listen to customers.

Should you get a chromed lined barrel?

For the vast majority of people, it makes no difference. They are lucky to shoot 5,000 rounds through their guns lifetime.

For CQB, I would recommend chrome lining or stainless steel if you want accuracy and better reliability.

For high power, DCM, etc. shooting, the Oly SUM stainless steel barrel is hard to beat for the price.

In regards to forged or cast - it is a price point issue. The cast receiver will work just as well as a forged one in most cases.

I made a Oly cast lower into a machine gun and it works great. It's metal is softer, but if I treat it like most of us treat our guns - we baby them and they will last a LONG time.

If you are going to be the 5% who are GI Joes and use their gun for a hammer, shovel and oar, get a forged.

As far as which gun to buy, warranty and price are the biggest factors, for most people.

Some well known manufacturers have a one year warranty. When things were not made well and they broke, they charge $$$ to fix the deficiencies.

The top 5 or so manufacturers guns have very few differencies. you need to decide if they are worth paying more for.

Best of luck in your choice.


Link Posted: 9/16/2002 1:06:16 PM EDT
Link Posted: 9/16/2002 2:58:25 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 9/16/2002 2:59:36 PM EDT by slipjoint]

Originally Posted By budam:
More importantly what do you want to do with your rifle?

Based upon that information, suggestions on what to get can be made.



Well, I was thinking about building a relatively lightweight AR. I'd like to be able to lug the thing in the forest or deserts near here while camping. While a standard, scoped and loaded (10 round, say) AR could weigh in at around 10-11 lbs or so, a lightweight one would be a good two pounds less.

At the end of the day, the target will probably be rabbits. Your thoughts on barrel whip has me somewhat concerned. Given that the distance from the head of the rabbit to the tail of the rabbit is fairly small, I'd hate to destroy the meat in case the barrel whip makes THAT much of a difference.

However, this won't be the only duty the rifle will be seeing. Weekend plinking is also in the cards which would see lots of semiauto action.
Link Posted: 9/16/2002 5:39:51 PM EDT
Hello

I just bought my 1st AR it is Olympic Arms Plinker model. Yes I know you purist have to have the latest and greatest. However for me and my uses it fit the bill. I just shoot at things around the ranch, you know .... plinking.

Yes I know it has cast recievers and A1 sights but that doesn't matter to me. When I am blasting South African surplus ammo and having fun isn't that what this sport is all about? Having fun?

First shots where this afternoon and yes it was fun. I bet a Colt $2700 AR would have been just as fun. Like I said it fit my bill just fine.
Link Posted: 9/17/2002 2:24:49 AM EDT

Originally Posted By slipjoint:
Well, I was thinking about building a relatively lightweight AR. I'd like to be able to lug the thing in the forest or deserts near here while camping. While a standard, scoped and loaded (10 round, say) AR could weigh in at around 10-11 lbs or so, a lightweight one would be a good two pounds less.



The FAR-15 would be less than 5 lbs plus magazine+bullet weight., say ~6 lbs.



At the end of the day, the target will probably be rabbits. Your thoughts on barrel whip has me somewhat concerned. Given that the distance from the head of the rabbit to the tail of the rabbit is fairly small, I'd hate to destroy the meat in case the barrel whip makes THAT much of a difference.



Free floating should reduce this problem, but increase weight, slightly.



However, this won't be the only duty the rifle will be seeing. Weekend plinking is also in the cards which would see lots of semiauto action.



As long as you take reasonable care, the FAR-15 would likely do you fine.

Link Posted: 9/27/2002 8:33:30 AM EDT
Just adding my 2 cents. I have had the Oly PCR-7 for about 2 years now and it has been very reliable. As far at tight mag wells go I have had no trouble at all.
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