Any ARs to avoid? - Page 2

Any ARs to avoid?

This is a discussion on Any ARs to avoid? within the Defensive Rifles & Shotgun Discussion forums, part of the Related Topics category; I read so much about Olympic Arms having issues, I would avoid them. I have examined Olympic products, which reinforces that. I read/hear conflicting information ...

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  1. #16
    Distinguished Member Array Rexster's Avatar
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    I read so much about Olympic Arms having issues, I would avoid them. I have examined Olympic products, which reinforces that.

    I read/hear conflicting information regarding DPMS. A former employee of an internationally-known gunsmithing outfit has personally indicated DPMS is of low quality. Yet, Paul Howe insists DPMS is fine. That is indicative of the conflicts.

    I built up an S&W M&P15 stripped lower with a Rock River Arms lower receiver parts kit and a Colt A2 stock assembly. I mated this with my Colt pre-ban HBAR upper for a nice long-range AR. I have been looking into lighter carbine uppers, for SD, which is why am here, in this thread. I have about settled on an S&W M&P15 upper, but Spike's Tactical is another contender, as a local dealer just started dealing in those, and I may take a look later today. I just need a reliable, decent carbine upper, that will suffice for light practice, and the occasional urban gunbattle. I can pound the Colt upper with mega-quantities of rounds at the range. The next time an inattentive motorist crashes into the rear of my patrol car, I would rather lose a three-figure mixed-name AR than a several-grand custom gem of an AR.

    FWIW, AR15.com can cause information overload, from dedicated fanboys of the various brands. Sometimes, it is best to ask questions on quieter forums such as this one.


  2. #17
    Member Array 120mm's Avatar
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    DPMS are okay, if the price is right. But be aware, the chamber will be tight in dimension. If you want a target gun, DPMS should be fine. If you want something that won't get sticking cases and popped primers during hot shooting, it may be fine, you just have to get the chamber reamed out to 5.56 dimensions.

    DPMS and RRAs need to have their keys staked. Not a big deal, if you know someone who can do it.

    Personally, I wouldn't own a $2000 AR. I don't see the utility in it.

    You can get everything you need for under $1000.

  3. #18
    Member Array Hkchris's Avatar
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    I will never buy a Colt. Mostly because of their politics towards selling to civilians. I was quite amused when they lost their contract to FN to supply the military with weapons shortly after stating they would no longer sell to civilians.

  4. #19
    Member Array Beretta's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 120mm View Post
    It's not so much what to avoid; it's a cost-benefit thing.

    If you want to plink, buy a plinker, but don't pay more than $600 for it. You can buy a plinker for $500+ all day long by buying a kit from M1S, J&T, Del-Ton and putting it on a $100 stripped lower. It's so easy to do it's stupid.

    If you want a quality fighting gun, buy Spike's or BCM. $800 for a complete Spike's and $900 for a BCM upper on a S&W lower is criminally cheap for a top of the line quality carbine or rifle.

    BCM Uppers at G&R Tactical

    S&W M&P Complete Lower Receiver at G&R Tactical

    If you pay $800 or higher for an RRA, DPMS, Bushmaster, Oly Arms, in my opinion you enjoy peeing your money away. They are simply not distinquishable from the $500-$600 guns I mentioned earlier.

    So, its not which guns to avoid, it's how much money you want to spend. IMO, of course.


    Forgive my ignorance/silly question- Wouldnt the finish on the lower be slightly different from the upper if theyre from different manufacturers?
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  5. #20
    Senior Member Array Beans's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rexster View Post
    I read so much about Olympic Arms having issues, I would avoid them. I have examined Olympic products, which reinforces that.
    I must have gotten lucky. I have been running an OLY since 1991 with thousands of rounds throught it without any problems.

  6. #21
    VIP Member Array cdwolf's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pirate View Post
    What issues have you have with the M&P15a? The S&W AR's are generally outstanding values and at the upper side of the AR scale as far as quality and features.
    I ordered some some c-mags for it and they wouldn't lock up. So I called S&W and was told by them that some of their lowers were out of spec , So I then asked how we needed to go about fixing the issue.
    Well after 3 or 4 phone calls later I was told I could ship it to them(my dime each way)and they would see what they could do.
    I have plenty of mags that work,so i just dropped it. It has functioned fine and shoots great, but you would think if they knew they had a QC issue they would want it fixed. I couldn't even get them to tell me what all was found as out of spec
    GUN CONTROL= I WANT TO BE THE ONE IN CONTROL OF THE GUN

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  7. #22
    Senior Member Array Texag's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Beans View Post
    I must have gotten lucky. I have been running an OLY since 1991 with thousands of rounds throught it without any problems.

    When you've had a gun for 19 years having thousands of rounds downrange doesn't mean much. Do you think standards, QC, and QA might have changed at Oly in those 19 years?

    Quote Originally Posted by cdwolf View Post
    I ordered some some c-mags for it and they wouldn't lock up. So I called S&W and was told by them that some of their lowers were out of spec , So I then asked how we needed to go about fixing the issue.
    Well after 3 or 4 phone calls later I was told I could ship it to them(my dime each way)and they would see what they could do.
    I have plenty of mags that work,so i just dropped it. It has functioned fine and shoots great, but you would think if they knew they had a QC issue they would want it fixed. I couldn't even get them to tell me what all was found as out of spec
    You ever think it might be the mags that were out of spec?

  8. #23
    Member Array titleist's Avatar
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    It seems like you are still open to a relatively wide price point, just want to eliminate some options before the tough decisions need to be made. If you choose not to go with a custom build, strong consideration should be given to Bravo Company's own rifles. These guns include absolutely top notch parts, and let you choose what kind of configuration you want to go with, be it a stainless dmr or a plain-jane m4gery. At all levels these will be unbeatable for their price, and arguably unbeatable at any price. Go there first and save your time, all you gotta do is pick the fixin's you want.

    This probably seems like over simplifying your selection process but if you insist on searching around at other makes, give this company a look last and compare.

  9. #24
    Distinguished Member Array nutz4utwo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cdwolf View Post
    I couldn't even get them to tell me what all was found as out of spec
    Got a micrometer? You can check for yourself. Download the lower receiver blueprint and compare:

    CNCGUNSMITHING - www.cncguns.com - Downloads
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  10. #25
    VIP Member Array cdwolf's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Texag View Post

    You ever think it might be the mags that were out of spec?
    Yes I did.
    They locked up in the other AR's they were tried in, and then S&W told me they had some they knew of that were off.
    I can't remember who the first company they outsourced there lowers to, but they changed fairly quickly.
    My Standard USGI mags work fine, I may put a gauge on it.
    I was just shocked at the lack of Customer Service.
    GUN CONTROL= I WANT TO BE THE ONE IN CONTROL OF THE GUN

    A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.

  11. #26
    Member Array 120mm's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Beretta View Post
    Forgive my ignorance/silly question- Wouldnt the finish on the lower be slightly different from the upper if theyre from different manufacturers?
    It might be. Personally, I'm unconcerned with finish in my tactical rifles. The real deal ones that are used by the military often have drastic color mismatches. Plus, I hate the black color ARs come in, so I paint all of mine. Remember, black rifles get hot in the sun. Sand or light green rifles are much less hot to handle.

    If color match is an issue, I'd either buy a completed gun from a single source, find color matches through asking those who've assembled their own, and/or get your gun refinished with duracoat or gunkote. Expect to pay a bit more money for all of those, of course.

    Quote Originally Posted by cdwolf View Post
    Yes I did.
    They locked up in the other AR's they were tried in, and then S&W told me they had some they knew of that were off.
    I can't remember who the first company they outsourced there lowers to, but they changed fairly quickly.
    My Standard USGI mags work fine, I may put a gauge on it.
    I was just shocked at the lack of Customer Service.
    Early S&W ARs had issues. Some rather serious. I am told that they've fixed the most egregious issues and are good to go. I have no personal experience with S&W, though.

  12. #27
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    I just got into AR's and ended up buying a CMMG M-4LE. Less than $900, completely mil-spec and not a hiccup so far. One thing that surprised me was the accuracy out of the box. It shoots 1" or smaller groups at 100 yds. if I do my part. Don't listen to those that say you have to buy a $2K AR and a $2K optic, or you bought junk...
    "Texas can make it without the United States, but the United States can't make it without Texas!".... Sam Houston

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  13. #28
    Senior Member Array Frogbones's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Beans View Post
    I must have gotten lucky. I have been running an OLY since 1991 with thousands of rounds throught it without any problems.
    Heh..it seem most people whom actually own Oly. Arms rifles say the same.

    I now have 2630 rounds through my "used" Oly Arms. rifle since Jan. and not a problem. I even have a few vids of me putting some of those rounds down range on youtube..not jams...or the like. I've only cleaned it twice. I guess I'm lucky too.\

    Did you now that a possible company out of the South Asia...produced fake/cheap (hi-point cheap) rifles that had Olympic Arms stamped on the reciever?

    http://oa2.org/forums/viewtopic.php?...t=fake&start=0

    this is also a good forum were you will find very little if any brand biggotry (unlike ar15.com or M4 forum) and good knowlegde on all type of AR's.

    Oly. has been investigating this for a while. Probably a good source for the reason why some have had "bad" customer service, or bad experience is because the Oly Arms rifle they baught was a FAKE.

    Olympic Arms has been MUNFACTURING the AR almost as long as the AR platform has been around. THey also the one who came up with the Free Float Barrel and the ones who came out with the A3. For a Company that produces some "crappy/gamer" rifles sure had been in the business for a while, give lifetime warrenty, and has revolutionised the AR platform twice over.


    Then you got people that have "heard things" about Oly arms, that have "heard" from others that spread the perpetual OLD news about Oly Arms. Most, if not all the problems that smeered Oly's name and still spread to this day are pre '94..like the cast lower, they now forge thier own.

    They have since cleaned up thier act and DO manufacture good rifles...some plinker qualtiy, some actual personal defense quality, and some compitition quality.

    People hanging on to, and spreading the old news that Olympic Arms are shotty, use cast lowers etc.etc....is like still hanging on the the news from 25yrs ago that Jack in the Box still uses horse meat for thier burgers. Or Taco Bell uses dog food grade meat for thier tacos.

    It's get old. Most, if not all the people who have owned and or actually shot one...say "hey those aren't bad rifles at all".

    I degress...people,and brand biggits will believe what they want......

    I do understand there are better manufactores out there...but to say to completely avoid one because of major disinformation, myths, and brand biggot agendas...is just cheesy.


    And JUST what is "properly staked"....if you have enough material pressed from the gas key into the screw heads, or material from the heads pressed into the key that inhibits loosing of the screws....isn't that "properly staked"?

  14. #29
    Member Array 120mm's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Frogbones View Post
    Heh..it seem most people whom actually own Oly. Arms rifles say the same.
    Most fanboys are the same in this. It's great until it isn't; then you don't hear from them again.

    I now have 2630 rounds through my "used" Oly Arms. rifle since Jan. and not a problem. I even have a few vids of me putting some of those rounds down range on youtube..not jams...or the like. I've only cleaned it twice. I guess I'm lucky too.\
    Okay, fine. You overpaid for a junk carbine and lucked out. Until it breaks. OR Oly Arms suddenly started making quality carbines. Which is possible.

    Did you now that a possible company out of the South Asia...produced fake/cheap (hi-point cheap) rifles that had Olympic Arms stamped on the reciever?
    HAHAHAHAHAHA!!!! Oly Arms has been circulating this rumor to excuse their poor quality control since at least the early '90s. I remember hearing this story from an OA dealer at a gunshow in '92. If at first your products suck, make up a story about off-shore manufacturers making junk and using your name.

    Seriously, an Asian company decides to "cash in" on Oly Arms magnificent reputation??? HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!!! Whew....

    this is also a good forum were you will find very little if any brand biggotry (unlike ar15.com or M4 forum) and good knowlegde on all type of AR's.
    You mean "bigotry" (spelled it right for you) like actually noticing the barrels of Oly rifles are button rifled from the lowest quality steel available? Non-chrome lined, of course.

    Oly. has been investigating this for a while. Probably a good source for the reason why some have had "bad" customer service, or bad experience is because the Oly Arms rifle they baught was a FAKE.
    Yep, if you got a crap one, it's FAKE!!! HAHAHAHAHHAAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!!! Dang, that one never gets old.

    Olympic Arms has been MUNFACTURING the AR almost as long as the AR platform has been around. THey also the one who came up with the Free Float Barrel and the ones who came out with the A3. For a Company that produces some "crappy/gamer" rifles sure had been in the business for a while, give lifetime warrenty, and has revolutionised the AR platform twice over.


    Then you got people that have "heard things" about Oly arms, that have "heard" from others that spread the perpetual OLD news about Oly Arms. Most, if not all the problems that smeered Oly's name and still spread to this day are pre '94..like the cast lower, they now forge thier own.
    And charge more money than several companies, that started building them yesterday, but STILL do 10X better job at it. So, what's their excuse for that? South Asians, again?

    They have since cleaned up thier act and DO manufacture good rifles...some plinker qualtiy, some actual personal defense quality, and some compitition quality.
    Their plinker quality they charge personal defense + prices for, unfortunately. Which is really my only problem with OA, when you come down to it.

    People hanging on to, and spreading the old news that Olympic Arms are shotty, use cast lowers etc.etc....is like still hanging on the the news from 25yrs ago that Jack in the Box still uses horse meat for thier burgers. Or Taco Bell uses dog food grade meat for thier tacos.
    They proudly advertise their low quality barrel steel on their own website. And that they are not chrome lined. Where just about everyone else offers chromelined at that price or cheaper.

    It's get old. Most, if not all the people who have owned and or actually shot one...say "hey those aren't bad rifles at all".

    I degress...people,and brand biggits will believe what they want......

    I do understand there are better manufactores out there...but to say to completely avoid one because of major disinformation, myths, and brand biggot agendas...is just cheesy.
    Well, this bigot wouldn't mind owning an Oly Arms, if they were priced according to their actual quality.

    And JUST what is "properly staked"....if you have enough material pressed from the gas key into the screw heads, or material from the heads pressed into the key that inhibits loosing of the screws....isn't that "properly staked"?
    Yep. I have yet to see an Oly Arms properly staked from the factory. I would be delighted to see one properly staked. Post up the e-pic there and surprise me.

  15. #30
    Senior Member Array Frogbones's Avatar
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    I guess I'm just lucky. Now if I was just as lucky with my Olympic Arms, Kimber, and Kahr firearms. I'd hope I could be with the lotto ticket no?

    I do have a pick of my key staked on this forum already...BUT I got my rifle used...the previous owner might have staked it..or just got a totally new BCG for it who knows. The rifle though has fired everytime and pretty darn accurate..though the longest I've shot was 175yrds.

    I forgot to mention above as this is new news to me...but I was at the range yesterday and I packed one extra round into the mag..so the mag wouldn't lock into the mag well..stripped the round and the mag fit perfect. Well the range officer came to help me out seeing I was having a minor stumble.

    He saw that I had an Oly Arms....but mentioned how it was customized. I told him all I changed was the foregrip and the pistol grip. That I got it (the rifle) used.

    He mentioned that the lower is Oly arms. but the upper wasn't Oly. and that stock wasn't Oly either. He said he had a few Olys, Bushmasters, and a Armalite AR10 and what he saw on the on the upper wasn't Oly....it was like CMMG, or the like. I just stood there...like uuhmm.

    SO Now I'm thinking I bought a franking rifle.....kinda funny though....I did pay 650 for it and a few other stuff with it carry bag, magazines, front sight tool. Runs my 22lr conversion kit good to.

    Oh well the gun runs good, and I've learned alot about how the AR runs...and all the parts to go with it.

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