Author Topic: Ratings of AR-15's, worst to best?  (Read 28761 times)

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Offline His lordship.

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Ratings of AR-15's, worst to best?
« on: May 28, 2010, 11:55:45 am »
I read an article in Varmint Hunter magazine where the author said that some brands of AR's are lousy in the accuracy department, and some better.  I had asked around the gun club several years back and the feeling was the DPMS and the Olympic brands were to be avoided, but that was awhile back and DPMS has merged with another gun maker.  Bushmaster was considered a good rifle in the lower price range.  I have heard good things about the Les Bauers, but they are spendy.

What are the inferior brands versus the really good ones?


Offline SHOOTALL

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Re: Ratings of AR-15's, worst to best?
« Reply #1 on: May 28, 2010, 12:13:38 pm »
I don't know the ansewer to your question but posted to see the ansewers.
What i have done is just finish building one . LAR Grizzly lower with an unmarked upper . All "parts" are GI spec. except handguard which is free floated . Everyone i pestered while building and buying parts all to a man said the same thing , the parts bbls etc come from a few companies . Other companies put their name on the part and sell them . Some say built to their spec. then say they are Govt. spec.  ???  To me it appears its all in the assy. The more hand fitting it would seem the better rifle . For a good over view check out the M&P Parts site they have a section that addresses what you ask. I had a Bushmaster and a Colt both H-BAR the Colt was very loose in fit . The Bushmaster was tighter and shot much better . Both functioned very well . The one i built is somewhere in between the other two in fit and i have not shot a target yet. As it was assy from parts I will look into getting it tight if possible . But it fires with out a malfunction .
If ya can see it ya can hit it !

Offline mcwoodduck

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Re: Ratings of AR-15's, worst to best?
« Reply #2 on: May 28, 2010, 01:48:30 pm »
When I was shopping around for AR's I found that the upper is the upper.
The lower is the lower (some minor changes in the internals some need an accuracy wedge some do not)
All are made to Mill Spec.
The barrels are the barrels and the more expensive the more trick stuff they have, like fancy triggers titianium this or that and different trick springs.
I would find one with 80 -90% of the features you want and customize it from there.
With a bench wrench and a manual you can remove and replace any part in the gun. 
Hint: Read the instructions twice and remove parts in a Pillow case-  Lots of stuff has small springs.
Removing things like the hand guard are easy to mount a free floated guard to increase accuracy.
Personally I think it is the ability to change things that has made some AR's reps suffer.
The removable hand guards, removable scope mounts and other items are great but need to be torqued down to the same pressure and spot to have repeatable accuracy.

Offline SHOOTALL

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Re: Ratings of AR-15's, worst to best?
« Reply #3 on: May 28, 2010, 01:52:37 pm »
Duck , i put a wedge in the Colt I had 15 years ago and it didn't help much . Are they better now and is there a better way ? And I agree with something to catch springs and add were glasses .
If ya can see it ya can hit it !

Offline teddy12b

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Re: Ratings of AR-15's, worst to best?
« Reply #4 on: May 28, 2010, 02:50:40 pm »
There are so many different styles of AR-15's these days that there aren't a lot of apple to apple comparisons to be made.  You have the short "M4" types, the regular sized "M16" sized rifles, and then you get into the heavy barreled varmint types.  It all just depends on what you want out of the gun, and then you can sort through the different makers.

DPMS gets both good and bad reviews, but I used to have a sweet 16 and it would outshoot my current Colt anyday of the week, but the colt is lighter and built to tighter specs.  There are plenty of good manufacturers out there these days, but they all make such wildly different rifles all in the same house.  It all depends on what you intend to do with the rifle.

What are you looking for?

Offline mcwoodduck

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Re: Ratings of AR-15's, worst to best?
« Reply #5 on: May 28, 2010, 03:05:43 pm »
Duck , i put a wedge in the Colt I had 15 years ago and it didn't help much . Are they better now and is there a better way ? And I agree with something to catch springs and add were glasses .
Mine is an Armalite.
I really like it and had a bad factory round.
Armalite customer service was great.  Asked for new charging handle and since I ment it trying to get the bolt open with the bad factory round, I figured I shoud pay for it.
They sent new one and old one back with a working cleaned upper.  Could not be happier with them.
Also want to add have a high power flash light (60+ lumins) there is a reason you see them on the CSI shows.  You can see a shadow of a spring on a shop floor, even mine that has 1/12 an inch of saw dust.

Offline SD Handgunner

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Re: Ratings of AR-15's, worst to best?
« Reply #6 on: May 28, 2010, 07:43:55 pm »
This debate will go on for as long as there is more than one company building AR's.

As to whether brand X, Y or Z is better, I don't have a clue.

My first AR was a DPMS Panther Bull 20 Fluted. I had a 4.5x14x40mm Nikon Buckmasters Riflescope mounted on it. This AR was rather loose in regards to fit and finish, especially between the upper and lower receivers. However it would shoot sub 5/8" groups just about every time I took it to the range and a lot of the time it was sub 1/2" at 100 yards from the bench.

My next AR was a Bushmaster 16" M4 ORC (optics ready carbine) with a chrome lined barrel. I had always heard (or should I say read) that chrome lined barrels would not produce the accuracy of a good Chrome Moly or Stainless-Steel Barrel. Well you couldn't prove it by this Bushmaster Carbine as most 5 shot groups are in the 3/4" range and all sub MOA at 100 yards with a 1.5x4.5x32mm Bushnell Elite 3200 Riflescope. This fit and finish on this Bushmaster is great and the upper to lower fit is nice and tight.

My next AR was once again a DPMS, this time a Panther Bull 20. It is set up with a 4x12x40mm Bushnell Elite 3200 Riflescope. This one has much better fit and finish than my first DPMS and the Upper to Lower fit is much tighter. This one hasn't broken the 1/2" barrier as yet but most groups are right at 5/8", so regularily it is boring.

A guy I work with from time to time has a DPMS .223 Sportical. We swapped out the handguards for a Free Float Tube and did a trigger job on it. Shooting the same ammo I have been using in all of my AR's this Sportical will print 5 shot groups at 150 yards in the 1" range (usually slightly less than 1"). The owner couldn't be happier with his purchase.

I have a buddy that has a couple Olympic K8 Targetmatch Upper Receivers. One is on an Olympic Lower and the other is on a Stag Lower. Fit and finish is good on both and both shoot about like my DPMS Bull Barrels.

Truth be known I have been doing trigger jobs on AR's for friends as of late. I have worked on Bushmasters, DPMS, Olympic, Stag and Armalite. For some reason it is easier to get a good trigger on the DPMS than the other brands.

I don't have all the answers, but do know what has worked for me. My Bushmaster doesn't get cleaned as often as it should, and it rides in a vehicle every day in an overhead gun rack yet I know when I squeeze the trigger it is going to fire and fire every time as so far it has never missed a beat.

I think every company out there today can make a bad example from time to time.

Larry
 
T/C Handguns, one good shot for your moment of truth !

RIP Larry, we'll miss you. Died in a vehicle accident Sep 20, 2014

Offline Lloyd Smale

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Re: Ratings of AR-15's, worst to best?
« Reply #7 on: May 29, 2010, 05:35:43 am »
personaly I find very little differnce in accuracy from brand to brand with comparable barrel countours. My dpms sprortical is my cheapest and it shoots as well if not better then my colt that cost more then twice as much. Personaly i think the high end guns are overated. What you get is a better bolt group and and maybe a better sight set up but thats about it. I can buy a dpms for 700 bucks and throw a 200 dollar bolt group in it and run it right along side of any ar. For the most part even the upgraded bolt groups arent nessisary. I have run many thousands of round through that sportical and the only thing ive replaced is the springs and they probably didnt need it yet but i usually put wolf extra power springs in the bolt after a 1000 rounds. No doubt chrome lined bores and chambers are better but again my dpms shoots well and show no wear yet and the chamber not being chromed doesnt seem to make cleaning any more often nessisary. I think most of these upgrades are nessisary for a gun that is going to be used full auto but most civilians dont shoot them near enough or hard and fast enough to really justify the fact that a gun with these upgrades costs twice as much. For what i paid for my colt or even my stag or bushmasters i could have dammed near bought two dpms guns and as to the colt i could have bought two and a pretty good box of ammo to boot. Bottom line is you can get a bad colt just as easy as you can get a bad dpms. Luckly for the most part bad factory ars are a thing of the past. Just about any name brand gun will work fine.
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Offline His lordship.

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Re: Ratings of AR-15's, worst to best?
« Reply #8 on: May 29, 2010, 09:50:46 am »
Thanks for the replies, it also explains why I see so many used Colts for sale in the local gun store.  A trigger job would be a good idea as I recall they tend to have heavy military style triggers.  One of my shooting club members did say that alot of people tend to add on things and then the gun gets into the $2,000.00 expense range.

Using a pillow case to contain all the small parts is good to, quite a difference compared to my Ruger Mini-14 tactical, the Ruger has very few parts and is easy to service.  I might get another Ruger, perhaps the target model.

Offline jmayton

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Re: Ratings of AR-15's, worst to best?
« Reply #9 on: May 29, 2010, 04:57:54 pm »
The problem is that you can't simply compare brands, but must also compare similar rifles.  Are we talking A2, M4, Specter, Sportical, Varmint, or DMS configuration?  Each one has its use and different characteristics.  My Colt 6920 with chrome-lined chamber and bore is great as a hunting and SHTF gun, but not fantastic in the accuracy department.  It's also extremely rugged because Colt is one of the only that is full mil-spec (except for those pesky trigger pins).  You won't go wrong with Colt, LMT, Larue, Sabre, or Daniel Defense.  For a little less, CMMG, BCM, and S&W make good rifles.  The others are ok.  I have a friend that has a HB DPMS that'll outshoot my Colt all day long, but his is a varmint configuration. . . mine'll last longer.  The important differences are in the bolt carrier, bolt, and barrel.  The upper and lower receivers are just there to keep the parts from falling on the ground.  You can check out "the chart" to see a comparison of various manufacturers:  http://spreadsheets.google.com/pub?key=pwswheghNQsEuEhjFwPrgTA&single=true&gid=5&output=html

Offline shvlhead.45

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Re: Ratings of AR-15's, worst to best?
« Reply #10 on: June 04, 2010, 12:44:55 pm »
Assuming we are talking tactical not long range varminting what I see is you get what you pay for. 

Now, like stated above, the upper and lower receivers really don't have much difference in them unless you are getting a custom like the Les Baer where the upper is actually matched to the lower when they begin the build. 

The biggest differences lay in the barrels and trigger mechanism. 

Here is where the fun begins: rate of twist, I like 1:7 with a chrome bore and chamber because it is EOTECH sighted and I like heavy 62 and heavier bullets.  You will have to decide what your primary use is and select your barrel weight and rate of twist based on primary bullet weight and intended use.

Trigger: $200 plus light weight target/varmint shootin triggers or standard two stage set at 5-9 lbs because it is used during high adrenlin puckered butt times more than on a range. 

Buttom line: what are you going to do with it?

v/r
Shvhead.45

Offline jackson-will

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Re: Ratings of AR-15's, worst to best?
« Reply #11 on: August 07, 2012, 12:44:54 am »
Well, great to see your thread on ar lower as I am also looking for the ar lower manufacturers. I think the Ar-15 guns are very easy to purchase, So most of the people prefers to buy ar-15. It is a legal flexibility and also major reason for its usage. Well, I am collecting the best ar 15 manufacturers. Please share some more about it.

ar 15 manufacturers


Offline cjclemens

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Re: Ratings of AR-15's, worst to best?
« Reply #12 on: August 07, 2012, 12:19:18 pm »
Quote
Well, great to see your thread on ar lower as I am also looking for the ar lower manufacturers. I think the Ar-15 guns are very easy to purchase, So most of the people prefers to buy ar-15. It is a legal flexibility and also major reason for its usage. Well, I am collecting the best ar 15 manufacturers. Please share some more about it.

Is this a question or a statement? Can someone translate for me?

Offline Bugflipper

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Re: Ratings of AR-15's, worst to best?
« Reply #13 on: August 08, 2012, 08:36:06 am »
As far as m-4 style, I don't think there is a big difference. At work they issue noveske. They are said to be the best. At home I have a bushmaster set up just like it to practice with( actually running it as 22 lr right now). The only difference is the bm has a standard 16" barrel instead of 14.5 and is semi auto only. I can't tell a difference in accuracy. Not to many years ago folks could say that colt, dpms, armalite or whichever other company didn't produce an accurate gun. With all the competition today if they don't measure up, there is a cheaper brand nipping at their heels. I think most of the major brands are pretty close in accuracy. A few years ago there were still some folks reporting 1.5" groups with m-4 style rifles. Lately all I've heard is around an inch or under.
Of coarse if you are talking free floated varmint rifles without chrome lined barrels, they should run under 1/2" groups to be the norm with what's out there today. A lot of them already have target type triggers from the factory. Can't speak for them all but my varmint rigs will usually do 3/8" or better and they are just cheap uppers from model 1 and j&t distributing.
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Offline ironglowjr

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Re: Ratings of AR-15's, worst to best?
« Reply #14 on: August 09, 2012, 08:08:53 am »
Many will say one is better than others some say no difference.... I have a very in depth knowledge of  AR platform rifles I have gained through beeing a Armorer/Gunsmith in the Marines, and now a professional gunsmith that builds custom AR's. The couple things I have found are:
- there are a few forgeries that all uppers and lowers come form ( key hole, square....etc.) in my experience brands that get their upper and lowers for key hole forgery have tighter tolerances (such as Daniel Defense and Yankee Hill Machine ) ....after the forgeries send to the respective companies then they put their "Roll Mark" on them (Brand Name).
Hope this helps.................ironglowjr