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Posted: 9/24/2003 9:42:35 PM EDT
Ive been trolling the boards for quite awhile, and checking out tons of manufacturers trying to get a feel for what they offer, how much everything costs and the quality of the items you get.

I like what oly offers, and i feel it would fit my purposes wonderfully, but i have heard some problems with their parts being machined far out of spec, poor finish and some other things. However a lot of this seems to be stemming from old encounters with the manufacturer. Do their new weapons comply with Spec? Are there still any issues i should be afraid of? I do intend on assembling my own lower, and attaching a complete upper. Chances are that no matter what im going to use the same manufacturer for my upper as i use for my lower, so overall impressions are very important to me. (personal pref. on the matching upper/lower) Thanks a lot guys!
Link Posted: 9/24/2003 11:53:23 PM EDT
this is what i've heard; bushmaster has improperly indexed sights and purple receivers dpms has tight chambers and out of spec parts oly out of spec parts/lowers that said i have owned products from all the above companies and was happy with all of them. if so and so company sells thousands of AR's more problems will be reported/posted here. chances are good that you'll get a nice rifle though.
Link Posted: 9/25/2003 12:33:41 AM EDT
This may have been the case many years ago and some of those old stories live on, but I think their quality has improved very much since then. I have one of their PCR-5's and examinined it next to the Colt and Bushmaster offerings when I bought it. I couldn't tell any difference. Saw that Oly has their 20" kit on sale for $424. now. Hoppy
Link Posted: 9/25/2003 2:32:42 AM EDT
I have only one Oly lower. I bought it about 2 1/2 years ago. It has a tight mag well, oversize trigger pin holes, and the mag release button hole was too small. I had to reduce the size of the button to get it to work. Might have been just one odd lower, or a second, but you might want to check these items before you buy an Oly lower. I run mine with a 9mm upper where the tight mag well and the slightly sloppy trigger pull does not matter. My other lowers, DPMS, Armalite, PWA, have none of these problems.
Link Posted: 9/25/2003 4:43:39 AM EDT
I have 2 post-ban Olys that I put together from kits that I purchased off their website. They went together very well. I also have a pre-ban Oly M4gery. All my Oly stuff is A1, fit, function and finish. Every bit as good as my Armalites and Colts. Variety is the spice of life, they say...
Link Posted: 9/25/2003 6:26:20 AM EDT
I have one of their featherweight upper assemblies and it is fine. Fit and function are very good. I wouldn't hesitate to buy from them. Cheers!
Link Posted: 9/25/2003 7:02:31 AM EDT
They also have a lifetime warranty on their stuff, plus a return policy that allows you to return their ARs (IIRC, not sure, call and check) if you are not happy. Ghost
Link Posted: 9/25/2003 7:46:40 AM EDT
I have both RRA and Oly lowers and they both seem to be of equally high quality. The mag wells on the Oly lowers are a little tight but I have never had a problem with it. Things only get looser with time anyway. As far as fit and finish the Oly lowers I have seen are excellent.
Link Posted: 9/25/2003 1:07:15 PM EDT
I built my first AR with Oly parts on a Stinger ( Mega ) stripped lower. The Mega lower is very nice and they have a reputation for being tight to spec. The Oly parts went in perfectly and the upper to lower mating is flawless. There is no slack at all but both pins can be pushed out by hand. Since this is my first AR and I have only lurked here a couple months I have to conclude I was simply lucky, but I'm very pleased with all the parts; Mega and Oly.
Link Posted: 9/25/2003 7:40:15 PM EDT
I have 2 Oly PCRs (produced in 2003) and have no issues, I love them both. I think most of the problems were with their stuff from a few years ago. They are the only manufacturer that still makes all their own parts. I have found their staff very pleasant to deal with.
Link Posted: 9/26/2003 5:22:20 AM EDT
Originally Posted By plateshooter: and the mag release button hole was too small. I had to reduce the size of the button to get it to work.
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This is caused by the mag catch button hole being cut in two plunge cuts. The correct method is to plunge in and cut the length of the hole. The hole looks like a fat figure eight instead of the correct rectangle with arcs on the ends, can't recall the name for that polygon. The "waist" of the figure eight is what drags on the button. Quick pass with a 1/4" rotary rasp will fix it up. Had to do it with every lower I assembled there.
Link Posted: 9/26/2003 5:25:01 AM EDT
Originally Posted By _DR: They are the only manufacturer that still makes all their own parts. I have found their staff very pleasant to deal with.
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Uh, no. They buy quite a few parts from outside vendors. Mega Machine and LMT being two.
Link Posted: 9/26/2003 8:51:49 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 9/26/2003 8:54:30 PM EDT by _DR]
Originally Posted By Tweak:
Originally Posted By _DR: They are the only manufacturer that still makes all their own parts. I have found their staff very pleasant to deal with.
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Uh, no. They buy quite a few parts from outside vendors. Mega Machine and LMT being two.
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I was referring to the major parts including forged upper receivers, forged lower receivers and barrels. Tom Spithaler of Olympic Arms told me this last week when I called asking about a DCM upper. They have expanded their CNC operation for the new OA93 carbine line, and also make all the major components for that in house. I don't know about the bolt carrier group, buttstock group or trigger group, I didn't ask about those. Most of the AR15 manufacturers use many smaller parts from third party suppliers, I would expect that. I don't see any reason why Tom would lie to me, I have dealt with him before when I bought my first Oly, he's an honest guy.
Link Posted: 9/27/2003 1:26:16 AM EDT
awesome, thanks a lot for all the honest feedback! You definately curbed most of (if not all of) my concerns. I dont mind if a few magazines dont fit here and there, they are cheap, so i can use them for spare parts or for target practice lol :) Again many thanks :)
Link Posted: 9/27/2003 4:26:16 AM EDT
USGI and British Military SA80 mags are your best bet, though a little more expensive these are the best value. These will fit fine in an Oly. The Orlites I have also fit fine, although they are prone to breakage, wouldn't recommend them except as a throw away range mag. I bought 2 Bushmaster 40 round mags, and they feed fine, but are very tight. I belive the mags are slightly larger than spec since the USGIs fit fine (drop out when mag release pressed). I just ordered another Oly complete upper for the Oly lower I built after almost buying a new gun show "parts" upper to complete it. After thinking about it, it just wasn't worth saving $50 and giving up the excellent match grade barrel, black-tac bolt & carrier and lifetime warranty against defects that they offer. After 1000+ rounds downrange (all of it M193 ball and Winchester white box) I have not had a single failure or stoppage with my Oly. That has a way of sticking in your mind when you buy a new rifle. Armalite, Bushy, Colt, all very fine weapons. But I'll stick with my Oly because it's as reliable as my service rifle was and it has a way of growing on you. Good luck with your search!
Link Posted: 9/28/2003 9:04:44 AM EDT
The Oly "PCR" rifles I've seen, especially for the last couple of years, look good to me and I wouldn't hesitate to buy another one. The one I have is equal to anybody's quality, both in fit and finish, and it is very accurate. On the other hand, I would recommend you stay away from their "Plinker" (low cost) models. I've only seen a few of them, but two of those few were terrible quality--oversize pin holes, etc.
Link Posted: 9/28/2003 11:13:30 AM EDT
if i buy the oly setup and things arnt to spec, i will get it replaced. No way in hell im going to spend as much money as these cost, and have it being a sloppy POS. even if i have to send it back 30 times, i will get a nice weapon! muhahaha lol :)
Link Posted: 10/3/2003 10:56:22 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 10/3/2003 10:58:39 AM EDT by Zenif]
Tweak, what does Oly buy from Mega? I called Mega and they said that Oly hasn't been a customer of thiers for over 5 years, outside of the pistol mag loaders (which by the way, Oly has been out of for a very long time...), and parts that Dalpon ordered and never picked up. Where do you get your facts? Is Lewis machine and Tool the LMT you speak of? If so, they said that they haven't purchased from them in over 3 years. Said they used to buy barrel extensions and bolts and carriers, but I know Oly makes their own now. Just thought I'd give you all an update. I just wish that more people would check the facts before they make blanket statements. Also, Tweak, how long did you work at Oly? I have been a customer of theirs for years. Don't think I ever heard of or spoke to you. How long did you work in the assembly shop? Didn't you once work for Dalphon too? Still, Colt is to the point where they make 7 or less parts in house these days, and Lewis, Continental and Yankee Hill are making 90% or more of the parts found on every other manufacturer today. I'd still rather have an Oly, but i sell them all.
Link Posted: 10/3/2003 2:29:41 PM EDT
Just so you guys know, Oly put there 16" carbine kits on sale for $399.00. Great price and plenty of options for a little extra money. I oredered a kit on 10-1 and received it the next day. I live in Northern Idaho so it's not very far to ship but still that was quick and I had them put a FIRSH handguard on. This will be my first Ar I've owned, but have shot a few. The fit and finish look great on my kit. Now I just need a lower to complete it. Can't wait to complete the rifle.
Link Posted: 10/3/2003 4:33:50 PM EDT
I have one Oly preban lower. I bought it second hand and it functioned fine. It looked just as well made as my Colt lowers.
Link Posted: 10/3/2003 5:55:42 PM EDT
Owned a oly arms PCR-4 I put together as a kit for about a year now. Never a problem. Awesome rifle. Good as colt and everyone else. Out of spec BAH! Nope! Finish is great! Only thing I dont like is no chrome lined bores and chambers. I have also heard that oly barrels are more accurate than others.
Link Posted: 10/4/2003 8:49:32 PM EDT
Originally Posted By _DR:
I was referring to the major parts including forged upper receivers, forged lower receivers and barrels.
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Yep, they build those there tho they're still having trouble with the uppers. The uppers I've seen most recently still lack some "mil spec" machine operations.
Link Posted: 10/4/2003 9:05:43 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 10/4/2003 9:12:13 PM EDT by Tweak]
Originally Posted By Zenif: Where do you get your facts?
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I'll check into it.
Is Lewis machine and Tool the LMT you speak of?
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Yes.
Said they used to buy barrel extensions and bolts and carriers, but I know Oly makes their own now.
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Well. I used to install those barrel extensions and the boxes they came in said Mega Machine. We used to drive over and pick them up. The bolts and carriers came from various suppliers none being LMT. I unloaded several boxes of them.
how long did you work at Oly?
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From '93 to '98 when I went back to school.
Don't think I ever heard of or spoke to you.
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Guess you never made it to the LE conferences.
How long did you work in the assembly shop?
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'96 to '98, barrel assembly before that.
Didn't you once work for Dalphon too?
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I'm certain you have me confused with someone else, the owner of Dalphon is a low life and was one of Oly's most consistent customers. I worked at OAI and occasionally still work for Valkyrie Arms.
Still, Colt is to the point where they make 7 or less parts in house these days,
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Doesn't matter who makes the parts as long as the parts make the cut. BTW, Colt makes 12 parts "in house". The whole "in house" arguement is pointless, it's a marketing ploy. What other industry worries about how many parts are made by the OEM? Automotive? Computers? Airlines? It's the finished product that counts. [board code]
Link Posted: 10/10/2003 7:52:22 AM EDT
Tweak, again, I'm not sure where you get your information with regards to what Colt's manufactures in house, but mine comes from a former Vice President of Colt's Manufacturing. The number from him was "7". (splitting hairs...) As far as your arguments with regards to the manufacturing of parts in house being "moot" in todays world of industrial advancement, I cannot disagree with you more. Here's why. All the examples that you have supplied, cars, airplanes etc.) we are either talking about industries that produce MILLIONS of units (possible exception being airplanes), AND they are what we call in the manufacturing world "cross-industrial". Cross industrial means that the manufacturers of the finished product rely heavily (50% or more) on parts that are manufactured in industries outside that of the finished product. Airplanes and automobiles require electronics, glass, rubber, textiles and more. A cross-industrial finished product cannot be producted without the use of outside vendors. Airplanes, autos ect. REQUIRE other industries to produce their finished product. The AR industry is NOT cross-industrial and therefore is outside the bounds of the "contract parts" requirement of a cross industrial product. In other words, to make an airplane you NEED to buy product from other vendors and industries. Such is not the case for AR15's. In the Ar-15 industry te use of contract parts is not done out of necessity, it is done of of the inability to produce, or the unwillingness to produce or in most cases, the lack of knowledge or machinery to produce. The AR industry is full of assembly shops that call themselves manufacturers because you can go down the street and buy the parts from other vendors, and this is based mostly on the fact that the government over contracts and surplus parts then fill the marketplace. As a matter of fact, ANYONE can be an AR15 manufacturer by your standards just by purchasing an 07 manufacturers FFL, and buy a few parts. I don't know about you, but I'd much rather buy from a manufacturer that produces their own parts and can therefore give you a lifetime warranty in stead of the 60 or 90 days that the other manufacturers give you because they can only support their prodict as long as their vendors support them. Speaking as a purchasing agent, many manufacturers will only give you a warranty for the part you buy from them that equals the terms on which you purchased it. In other words if you buy from them net 30, you get a 30 day warranty, if you buy net 90, you get a 90 day warranty. This is very common. The warranty in many cases has more to do with the terms of payment than the quality of the parts! Again, buying from Olympic Arms means that you are buying from a manufacturer that has a stake in the industry, not just a stake in their profits. You see, Oly builds Ar's because this is what they love to do. Most others build them because it was easy and cheap to buy the larts and get an FFL! Oly wants to innovate the industry, and their new product develpement shows it. By the way, what specifically is wrong with the Oly uppers? you said that they are "still having trouble with their uppers"? What did you mean by this. It appears to me that your info is at least 5 years old anyway...
Link Posted: 10/11/2003 7:26:50 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 10/11/2003 7:36:06 AM EDT by _DR]
Originally Posted By Tweak:
Originally Posted By _DR:
I was referring to the major parts including forged upper receivers, forged lower receivers and barrels.
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Yep, they build those there tho they're still having trouble with the uppers. The uppers I've seen most recently still lack some "mil spec" machine operations.
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What kind of "trouble". How about some specifics so I know what I am looking for, I sure haven't seen any trouble in my 2 PCRs that I shoot twice a month - and I compete in CMP with my Service DCM built Oly, they are not safe queens. Just out of curiousity, how many Olympics have you owned and fired, not just put together.? What are you basing your criticism on specifically? Can you define the "mil-spec" operations you speak of? I hear a lot of "I knew someone who" and very little hard detail about issues with specific items. For instance I have a Bushmaster carbine with a trigger pin that kept walking out because the pin holes were out of spec, and I had to install anti-walk pins with keepers. That's the kind of specific information that is useful, not vague statement that they had "trouble". vague statements are of no help. I'm not trying to flame, just point out that constructive criticism of a manufacturer is useful, but general nonspecific statements don't help at all. Obviously you are biased against Olympic for whatever reason(maybe you saw their manufacturing process 5 years ago), and perhaps it is justified. But please share the technical details so that we may benefit from your experience, that's all I am saying.
Link Posted: 11/1/2003 4:26:57 PM EDT
My info regarding Oly relates to their own parts making. They make their own uppers, lowers, barrels, H/T/D, bolts and carriers. They are using CNC machining centers that have been installed in the last two years. I honestly don't know about the small parts, but I have been told that Oly has brought most of their work in-house because they weren't getting the quality they wanted. I have been told that Colt currently buys their major components from Continental Arms, so does Bushmaster and RRA. I certainly admired the Colt I inspected recently and lately I have heard from a number of people that RRA puts together a great rifle. I own both Oly and Mega/Stinger receivers and I am happy with both. I built the Mega Machine with with a random collection of parts from a variety of sources. I am not an employee of Olympic Arms, but I work with Tom Spithaler at the Monroe, WA gunshows, and get a lot of information from Tom and other dealers at the show. If I didn't like his products, I wouldn't be there. If I build a custom rifle, I'll go with Oly, they have a bunch of options that are well worth incorporating into a personal ar. On the other hand, they have the PCR-1P that comes full dress with all the options. Oly has begun hand-selecting receivers and selling matched pairs. Their Blac-Tac armor is a real improvement in metal treatment that should add years of life to the steel parts, if it lives up to expectations. All of their new bolt carrier groups are treated with Blak-Tac.
Link Posted: 11/1/2003 9:12:35 PM EDT
Originally Posted By Da_Bunny: They are using CNC machining centers that have been installed in the last two years.
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They've installed more? They had three CNC mills (Fadals) and a CNC lathe (Maho) when I started there in '93. That's what the "NF" serial number series was, [b]N[/b]ew [b]F[/b]adal.
Link Posted: 11/3/2003 9:42:47 AM EDT
Oly has purchased and installed 5 (five) new CNC centers (with one more on the way for the Witney Wolverine pistol)in the last 3 years. They have made announceents on their web site, and had shoewn some pics on the Oly news section of their web site as well.
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